A group of businessmen have gathered at Forever Fall. They didn't understand why of all places, they needed to meet here. Being outside of the city meant potential attacks from nearby Grimm. They hoped that whatever demonstration they were about to witness, it would be over soon.
A limo soon pulled up and out came the host of the demonstration, an older gentleman by the name of Gainsboro.
"Sorry for the odd choice of location gentlemen," said Gainsboro, "but rest assured this is the perfect place to demonstrate Cadet's latest technology."
"This had better be worth it professor. You realize we're in a Grimm infested area right?"
"That's exactly why we're here. Behold our latest weapon in security."
A young man in his early twenties stepped out of the limo. The boy had blonde crew cut hair, and wore khaki pants with a black long-sleeve sweater, with green lines drawn on the sleeves up to the shoulders with open circles. He carried a small backpack with him. The businessmen looked at each other confused. Cadet was well known for making robots to handle security, but they usually came in larger sizes and carried a vast arsenal of weaponry, so they didn't know what to expect with this...whatever it was.
"Meet the Self-Sufficient Huntsman Automaton Model-005," said Gainsboro.
"Or if you prefer," said the android, "you may simply call me Nick."
"Is this some kind of joke?" asked one of the men. "You're telling us this auto-whatever is supposed to be a weapon?"
"Indeed," said Gainsboro. "He may appear to look like a normal young man, but that is simply a deception to mask his true abilities."
"That's the biggest crock of-"
"Wait," said Nick, holding up his arm and looking around the area. "I'm sensing a large presence in the area."
"Where?" asked Gainsboro.
"About ten meters from us, coming from...there," said Nick, pointing towards the woods. Out of woods approached a horde of Ursii, roughly a dozen in number. The Ursii slowly approached the group. The businessmen started backing away in fear, but Gainsboro stood where he was as Nick walked up to the snarling Grimm. His backpack opened up and out popped two swords, which flew into Nick's hands.
"Gentlemen, the demonstration shall now commence," said Gainsboro. "This should not be a problem Nick, yes?"
"Of course not professor," said Nick. One of the Grimm suddenly charged towards Nick and tried to jump tackle him. At nearly the blink of an eye, Nick got behind the charging Ursa and plunged his two swords straight into the spine of the Ursa, killing it instantly. Nick pulled out his two swords and began attacking the other Ursii. The Ursii can barely make any moves against Nick as Nick was quickly slashing them to death.
"As you can see, our latest model has been given our most advanced combat programming yet," said Gainsboro. "With a mix of lightning quick reflexes, amazing strength, and sensing an opponent's next move in real-time, Model-005 is truly the definition of the perfect soldier."
The entire encounter was over in nearly a minute. Everyone clapped and was impressed with Nick's capabilities. Before anyone can comment on what happened, they suddenly heard a loud screech from the sky. Everyone looked up to see a Nevermore starting to circle around them. The businessmen started to get worried again.
"Looks like we've got some unexpected company," remarked Gainsboro.
"This will not be a problem professor," said Nick.
Nick threw the two swords he had towards the Nevermore. The swords flew straight into the Nevermore's chest, but did little to stop the bird. All it accomplished was catching the Nevermore's attention. With Nick now in the Nevermore's sights, he ran away to lure the Nevermore away from the others. The Nevermore fired several feathers at Nick, which he dodged with ease. The Nevermore then dived down, attempting to grab Nick with its giant claws. Inches away from grabbing Nick, Nick jumped and grabbed on to the Nevermore's leg as it took off into the air. Once high into the air, several more swords popped out of Nick's back and hovered around him. Nick guided the swords into the Nevermore; two went straight into the bird's eyes, one was thrust into its throat, one more on each thigh, and the rest plummeting into its spine. The bird was dead within a few seconds, and dive bombed to the ground. Nick dusted himself off and summoned the swords back into his backpack.
One of the businessmen stepped aside and immediately began to make a phone call.
"Roman, it's Junior. You've got to see this."
Team RWBY had returned to their dorm after their final class for the day. Ruby was glad to finally be back in her room, and immediately went to her bed to take her well-deserved nap.
"Oh sweet bed, take me away into dream land," said Ruby.
"You shouldn't be taking a nap so late," said Weiss. "You'll wind up staying up all night."
"Then I guess I'll just sleep until morning," replied Ruby. "Good night everybody."
"You can't rest now sis," said Yang. "We need to head into the city asap!"
"For what?" asked Ruby.
"We need to find ourselves dates!" said Yang.
"Dates?" asked Weiss. "Dates for what?"
"The big dance of course!" replied Yang.
"You mean that party being held here tomorrow?" said Weiss. "I wouldn't exactly call that a big dance. Besides, why do we need to go into the city to look for dates?"
"Have you seen the men of this place? All the good ones are likely taken by the older students, and the rest are either total jerks or total wimps. Our only chance to look good is to go out into the city and nab some fresh meat."
"Okay, several questions. First of all, who are we looking good for? Secondly-"
"Meet you guys in the commercial district!" said Yang, already changed and heading out the door. The rest of the team reluctantly decided to tag along.
Team RWBY were sitting by a table outside of a café. Yang was scouting the area to find the perfect date, while the rest of her team stood back and observed what Yang was doing. Despite the place being full of boys, Yang had yet to make a move.
"So are you just going to gawk at them or actually talk to them at some point?" asked Weiss.
"I'm not going to grab the first pretty boy I see," said Yang. "I need to find the perfect catch. One that's going to make everyone at Beacon jealous."
"Again, I ask why," said Weiss. "Last time I checked this 'dance' is simply a party for all the students to eat horrible food and listen to horrible music all night. I'm pretty sure any students with dates are going out to real parties where they can have actual grown-up fun."
"All the more reason to find one," said Yang.
"Weiss kind of has a point Yang," said Ruby. "Do we really need to have a date for the party?"
"Hey, if you like showing up to parties alone, that's your problem," said Yang.
"I don't even know why I bothered to come along," said Ruby, standing up and getting ready to leave. "I'm heading back."
"Where are you heading back?" asked Penny.
"Back to the scho-," said Ruby before stopping and turning around to see Penny suddenly behind them, causing Ruby to nearly jump out of her skin.
"Greetings friends!" said Penny with her usual wide smile on her face.
"Jeez Penny!" shouted Ruby. "You need to stop sneaking up on us like that!"
"What are you up to today?" asked Penny.
"I'm looking for a date to Beacon's big dance tomorrow," said Yang.
"I'm here to wonder why Yang is looking for a date to some dumb party," said Weiss.
"I'm here to prevent collateral damage," said Blake.
"And I was just going home," said Ruby.
"Well Ruby my friend," said Penny, "if you don't have anything to do, would you mind hanging out with me for the day?"
"I'd like to Penny, but...," said Ruby, trying to think of an excuse she can give to avoid being stuck with Penny.
"But I promised my friends I would...," before Ruby can finish, her friends had already disappeared. Funny how they were able to move so fast when Ruby got stuck talking to Penny.
"Well," said Ruby. "Looks like it's just you and me now."
"Sensational!" said Penny.
"Sensational," muttered Ruby.
The rest of Team RWBY had relocated to the center square, where Yang continued to scout for the perfect date.
"Do either of you feel guilty about ditching Ruby like that?" asked Blake.
"I didn't ditch her," said Yang. "I just happen to be busy on an important quest."
"She's the one who wanted to be friends with Penny," said Weiss. "I've got enough quirky acquaintances to deal with."
"Sometimes I wonder if Penny realizes we're trying to avoid her," said Blake.
"If you feel so bad about it, go back and hang out with her then," said Weiss.
"Hold that thought!" said Yang. "Check it out: hot stud at twelve-o-clock!"
Blake and Weiss looked toward the direction Yang was pointing. At a table was a boy with a crew cut and dress clothes, sitting by himself reading a book.
"I don't know," said Weiss. "He looks way out of your league."
"What makes you think that?" asked Yang.
"Look at him. The way he dresses, the way he sits there reading his book; it gives off a certain debonair feel about him, and you are the complete opposite."
"Yeah? Well they say opposites attract, so I like my chances!" said Yang, walking over to the table the boy was sitting at.
"What do you think?" asked Weiss. "Think she'll actually land him?"
"Looks can be deceiving," said Blake. "Perhaps he's not as charming as he appears."
Yang took a seat across from the boy. Blake and Weiss stood closer to hear how the conversation would go. The boy continued reading like he didn't notice.
"Hey there," said Yang. The boy ignored Yang and continued to read his book.
"Hello!" said Yang, waving to get his attention. The boy still did not give a response.
"You with the crew cut and the book, are you there?" This time the boy put down the book and looked at Yang.
"I query that you are trying to get my attention," said the boy. "Can I help you?"
"What's your name?" said Yang.
"My real name is classified information. But my nickname is Nick."
Yang didn't know quite how to respond to that. Blake and Weiss were starting to think this was going to get awkward.
"Okay...Nick," said Yang. "I'm Yang. What'cha reading there?"
"A book," said Nick.
"I know it's a book," said Yang.
"So then why did you ask?" replied Nick. Yang paused herself from losing it with Nick. Blake and Weiss kept themselves from laughing at Nick's question.
"I MEANT tell me about the book you're reading," said Yang.
"The book is 'The Secret to War' by Maula Moon," said Nick. "It is an ancient text that has been passed down for centuries that details the strategies and tactics of fighting in a war against any opposition."
"So you're a history buff?"
"Correction: I am simply interested in learning fighting strategies, albeit nothing in this book tells me anything I would not already know. Still, I find it remarkable that despite the passing of such great amount of time, the best strategies never change."
"Fighting strategies huh? Are you a fighter?"
"What I am is classified information."
"You sound like a man with a lot of secrets. I love a man of mystery."
Nick didn't reply to Yang's comment, oblivious to Yang's attempts to hit on him. Yang thought he was playing hard to get, but she wouldn't give up that easily.
"So Nick, what are you into?" asked Yang.
"I do not understand your query," said Nick.
"I mean what are your hobbies? Your interests?"
"I do not have any hobbies. As for interests, I am interested in learning many things, such as fighting strategies and human observation."
"I like to learn how humans behave."
"Why? Are you some kind of psychologist?"
"What I am is classified information."
At this point Yang concluded that this boy, despite his good looks, was not going to be a suitable date for the dance. "Well, it was nice talking to you," said Yang. "Take care Nick."
Nick went back to reading his book, as if not even acknowledging Yang's presence. Yang sighed and went back to her teammates, who found the awkward conversation amusing.
"He actually seems nice," said Blake.
"Are you kidding me?" asked Yang. "That guy is weird! Even weirder than Penny!"
"I think he just intimidates you with his intellect," said Weiss.
"What's THAT supposed to mean?" asked Yang, a few sparks going off in her hair.
"Excuse me," said Nick, suddenly showing up next to them and surprising them.
"Something wrong?" said Yang.
"I could not help but overhear your conversation," said Nick.
"Oh jeez," said Yang. "Look, I'm sorry I called you weird."
"You mentioned that I was weirder than someone called Penny," said Nick. "This Penny you are referring to; is she a girl of average height with orange hair, green eyes, and wearing a grey dress with black stockings?"
The trio were relieved Nick wasn't mad, and also surprised that he knew Penny.
"You know Penny?" asked Weiss.
"I know of a Penny," said Nick. "My question to you was, are they one and the same?"
"Yes, we're talking about the same Penny," said Blake. "But how do you know her?"
"Penny and I are related," said Nick. The trio were surprised to find out Penny had a relative.
"That explains a lot!" said Yang. "So what are you, her brother?"
"Technically speaking we are not blood related. But for the sake of this conversation, yes, let us go with I am her brother," said Nick. Despite learning more about Nick, the trio were getting even more confused.
"So...you're adopted?" asked Yang.
"I am not adopted," said Nick. "We simply share the same 'parent' but are not related."
"So could you explain how exactly you're related, or who your parent is?"
"That is classified information."
"Of course it is!" said Yang, throwing her arms up in the air and wanting to give up talking to Nick. "It's like I'm talking with a robot here."
"What did you say?" asked Nick.
"You said I talk like a robot."
"Oh...did I say that out loud?" asked Yang, rubbing the back of her head and feeling awkward about calling Nick the R word.
"You sure did," said Weiss.
"I'm sorry about that," said Yang. "You're not upset are you?"
"Correction: I am not capable of real emotions," said Nick. "But if I were to be, I would not be what you would consider upset. I would be amazed!"
"Wha-what?" said Yang.
"You have been able to come to the conclusion that I am in fact a robot! Tell me, how were you able to deduce this fact based on limited evidence?"
"Oh. You...guessed," said Nick, sounding disappointed. There was a long awkward silence as the huntresses tried to comprehend what was going on.
"Well, guessing is a legitimate form of reaching a conclusion, albeit ridiculous as it is," said Nick.
"So you and Penny are really robots?" asked Blake.
"Actually, we're more than just robots," explained Nick. "Now usually I am not allowed to share this information with anyone, but since you appear to be friends with Penny, I query that I can trust you to not share this information with outside parties?"
"You mean if we can keep a secret?" asked Yang. "Yeah, we can do that."
While the trio were talking to Nick, Ruby and Penny had been hanging out near the various shops in the commercial district. Ruby didn't have much money on her and Penny didn't seem to carry money at all, so all they did was window shopping at various stuff they would have loved to buy; or at least the stuff Penny seemed interested in buying. Ruby simply tagged along and was hoping to go back home, eat some cookies, and read her latest copy of Weapons Monthly.
"So Penny, is this all we're going to do today?" asked Ruby.
"I guess so," said Penny. "I don't know much else to do."
"Well, how about we stop and get something to drink? Coffee sound good?"
"Oh, I don't drink."
"Drink at all."
Ruby was going to question why Penny never seemed to have a need to eat or drink, but decided not to. When it came to Penny, Ruby had several questions about her that boggled her mind ever since that incident at the docks a couple months ago. Ruby wondered if it was right to ask Penny those questions or simply keep them to herself. Without wanting to make things more awkward between them, she decided to go with the latter option.
"So you can't think of anything else to do?" asked Ruby.
"Well, if you didn't mind, I was also thinking...we can just talk?" said Penny.
"Sure, I guess we can do that."
"That's great! There's actually something I've been meaning to ask you for quite some time."
"Ruby, what is love?"
Ruby was glad to not be drinking anything right now, because she would have spat her drink all over the place. Whatever awkwardness Ruby was trying to avoid with Penny, it suddenly came to a head with Penny blurting out such a big question.
"Why would you ask me that?" asked Ruby.
"I figured you might know," said Penny. "Nobody else I know can answer that for me."
"Speaking of asking questions, I've been meaning to ask you something," said Ruby. She suddenly changed her mind and decided to ask the questions she's been wanting answered.
"What is it?" asked Penny.
"Penny, just who or what are you?"
"Who am I? My name is Penny."
"But what are you?"
"I'm...I'm Penny," said Penny, starting to sound nervous.
"I know what your name is. I'm asking you what you are, because I don't think you're human. Not after what I saw you pull off at the docks."
"Oh, that?" said Penny, chuckling a bit. "You should really forget you saw any of that. Anyway, I asked you a question first."
"I'm not answering until you start explaining yourself," said Ruby.
"I can't explain myself. My masters made it perfectly clear to not share that kind of information."
"Then I can't answer your question."
"Oh...all right," said Penny, sounding defeated. "Because you're my friend and I trust you, I'll tell you. But promise me you won't tell anyone else what I'm about to tell you?"
"I promise," said Ruby.
"The truth is...I'm an android. Specifically, I'm called a Self-Sufficient Huntsman Automaton."
"A self-auto-what?" asked Yang.
"I think it means he can think and act on his own," said Blake.
"That is correct," said Nick. "I would explain further, but I'm afraid I cannot share too much information about Penny and I as that is classified. I will tell you that Penny and I are in fact androids manufactured for a certain purpose. My real name is SSHA Model-005. Penny's real name is SSHA Model-001."
"Are there any more androids like you and Penny?" asked Blake.
"There are several more like ourselves, but they are either inactive or currently in production. The only two active androids for now are me and Penny."
"So do you go wandering around like Penny does?" asked Yang.
"Not quite," said Nick. "I do like to step out once in a while, but Penny is nearly downright obsessed about it. We may both be the same kind of android, but we have been programmed in drastically different...hold on." Nick turned his back and held one finger into his ear, as if he was just receiving a phone call.
"Hello? ...okay, understood." Nick put his arm down and turned back to the others. "I just received a transmission from my masters. I'm afraid I must return to my undisclosed location. It was a pleasure to meet you Yang, Weiss, and Blake." Nick bowed his head and ran off.
"What kind of company would manufacture androids?" asked Yang.
"I can think of one company," said Weiss. "Have you ever heard of Cadet Security?"
"I have," said Blake. "They make weaponized machines for what they claim is security purposes, but I've heard rumors that they are also secretly invested in illegal business ventures. Kind of like the Schnee Corporation."
The moment Weiss heard Blake mention that name in an unflattering light, she turned around and pointed a finger up to Blake.
"I'll have you know that just because my grandfather's company and Cadet have worked side by side for many years does not mean we have anything to do with these so-called illegal business ventures, if that's what you're implying."
"Rumors or not, we've got bigger issues to deal with," said Yang.
"What bigger issues?" asked Weiss.
"I still don't have a date for the dance!" said Yang. Blake and Weiss face palmed.
"SSHA Model-001?" asked Ruby. "So there are more androids like you?"
"Several," said Penny. "But I can't explain any more or else I'll get in trouble with my masters."
"Who are these masters of yours?" asked Ruby.
"I'm not allowed to say. In fact, I was never supposed to talk to anybody outside of those within my company; but I was so curious about what the real world was like. I wanted to see everything with my own eyes, and not just go off of data they programmed into me, so I constantly sneak out to see for myself."
"That sounds terrible. It's like they're trying to lock you away from the outside world."
"They say it's because I'm not ready to face the outside world. I don't see why. I can defend myself very well, and outside of that one time at the docks, it's not like I get into trouble when I'm out. Sometimes I think they secretly hate me."
"I don't think they hate you Penny. Maybe they're just really worried about you. My dad used to freak out whenever Yang and I went out. He never stops worrying about us."
"Well, I answered your question Ruby," said Penny. "Now you have to answer mine."
"Right. What was it again?"
"I need you to explain to me what love is."
Ruby took a deep breath. She wondered where to begin trying to explain the concept of love to Penny.
"That's...a really hard question to answer Penny," said Ruby.
"Why?" asked Penny.
"Love isn't something that can easily be answered. It's too complicated to explain in such simple terms."
"Surely it can't be that hard."
"Trust me, it's really hard."
"In that case, just try to explain it to the best of your ability."
Ruby took a moment to think about where to begin. She thought that maybe by starting with the basic definition, it might get easier to explain from there.
"Okay," said Ruby. "Basically, love is when you really, really like someone."
"How really?" asked Penny.
"Like you're willing to do anything for them."
"Well to some people, anything really means anything. Even at the cost of their own lives."
"People would do that?"
"A lot of people in love would. Well, not just people in love. People who simply love other people do that as well."
"I don't understand."
"I mean there's loving someone and there's being IN love with someone."
"There's a difference?"
"Just because you love someone doesn't mean you romantically love them. Like take Yang and myself. We're sisters, so of course we love each other, but we're not IN love with each other, because that would be creepy."
"What would be creepy about it?"
"Sisters...well, any blood-related members of family aren't supposed to be in love with each other. See, some forms of love aren't considered normal, and some of it is just downright wrong."
"You mean like if girls were in love with other girls?"
"Well not that! True it's not exactly normal, but there's nothing wrong with a girl being in love with another girl or a boy being in love with another boy. Some people think it's wrong, but some think it's just as right as a boy and girl being in love with each other." Ruby sighed.
"See what I mean when love is really complicated? There's so many questions about it that don't have a concrete answer."
"How about knowing when you're in love with someone?" asked Penny. "Does that have a concrete answer?"
"Not really," said Ruby. "One day you just...kind of know."
"So it's possible you just fall in love right away?"
"It's possible, but not likely. Most people try getting to know each other before finding out they are in love."
"So there's a procedure to falling in love?"
"I guess you can say that."
"Then what is the set procedure for falling in love with someone?"
"There really is no set procedure. You just get to know someone better and when you get to the point where you care deeply about them, that's when you know you're in love."
"I see. Is that all there is to it?"
"Oh no, there's a lot more to cover about love. But I'd say those are the basics."
"I'm glad we had this talk Ruby. You're a good friend."
"Thank you Penny."
"I just wish I had more friends like you," said Penny, suddenly sounding depressed.
"What do you mean? Don't you have any friends wherever you're from?
"Even though there are other androids where I'm from, I'm still so different from them. I can't explain why, but even though we're all nearly the same, I feel as if I can't relate to them."
"Are you saying that I'm really the only friend you have?"
"Well, there's also Weiss, Blake, and Yang. They're my friends too...I think."
Ruby was surprised to hear Penny explain her problem. It was no wonder Penny was so overexcited when Ruby had said she was her friend; she must have been the very first person or robot to ever call Penny their friend. Even if she was an android and came off sounding weird, she deserved to have more than one friend. Ruby decided it was time Penny made more friends, and she knew just how to do it.
"Listen Penny," said Ruby. "Have you ever been to a party?"
"No," said Penny. "What are those like?"
"They're a lot of fun. You get to dance, eat, drink, and best of all, meet lots of interesting people."
"That does sound like fun. Where can I find one of these?"
"My school is having a party for any student to attend, but non-students can come by as guests. How would you like to come join me?"
"You...want me to come with you?" asked Penny, starting to sound excited.
"Of course. I bet you'll make lots of new friends."
"You really think so?"
"I know so."
Penny was ecstatic. She was finally going to have real fun, and best of all, get a chance to make new friends.
"But wait!" said Penny. "What will I need to wear? And should I paint my nails? Do I need to bring my own food?"
"You don't need to do any of that!" said Ruby. "Just come as yourself. Meet me tomorrow in front of Beacon at 6:00P.M."
"Oh thank you Ruby!" said Penny. "I'll be there for sure!"
Just then, Penny started receiving a transmission within her.
"Can you hold on for one moment?" said Penny, turning around and taking the call. "Hello? ...do I have to? ...okay, I'll be there." Penny hung up and turned back to Ruby. "That was my master. I need to go home now."
"See you tomorrow then," said Ruby.
"See you tomorrow Ruby!" said Penny, taking off.
Before heading to his room to shut down for the day, Nick was ordered to see professor Gainsboro in his lab.
"What did you need me for professor?" asked Nick.
"I have a special assignment for you," said Gainsboro. "Tomorrow you will be assisting a man named Roman Torchwick in robbing the dust vault on the eastern side of Vale. I'll upload all the information you need."
Gainsboro took out a flash drive and inserted into a slot located at the back of Nick's head.
"Professor, I detect a conflict of interest with this assignment," said Nick. "The dust vaults are guarded by Cadet Security under the orders of the Schnee Dust Company. These new orders would conflict with those previously established."
"Ignore those previous orders," said Gainsboro.
"I'm afraid I cannot do that. Those orders were created by the President of Cadet Security himself. Under no circumstance am I allowed to ignore the orders of Cadet's highest ranking member."
"Except the President is currently away on business matters, leaving me in charge. Therefore, I'm the one calling the shots here, and I'm ordering you to override those orders."
"Understood. Overriding established orders. New orders: I will report to Roman Torchwick and obey his commands until further notice."
"That's a good android. You're dismissed."
Nick went to his room that he shared with Penny. Being androids, their "room" only consisted of their sleeping pods and a desk at the opposite side of the room.
"What did the professor need to see you about?" asked Penny.
"I will be out on assignment tomorrow night," said Nick.
"Looks like we've both got plans for tomorrow."
"You have plans as well?"
"Ruby invited me to a party tomorrow. I'm so excited! I'm going to make so many friends!"
"Just make sure you don't suddenly cause a scene like you did last time."
"Say Nick," said Penny, "remember when I asked you about love?"
"Yes," said Nick. "As I recall I gave you the definition and you thought it was an unsatisfying response."
"I was talking with Ruby about it, and I asked her for the procedure for falling in love. She said there wasn't really a procedure."
"Of course there is a procedure. While some variables change from subject to subject, there is a basic procedure to falling in love. First, subject A must first spend a significant amount of time with subject B. Second, subject A begins to develop feelings for subject B. Finally, subject A expresses those feelings with subject B. Should subject B share the same development of feelings, the two subjects will have fallen in love with one another."
"I see. Thanks Nick."
Nick closed his pod and shut himself down for the night. Penny closed her pod, her last thoughts before shutting down being how to start the procedure for the one she loved.