Jay’s expression was unmoving, like stone. Beatrice wasn’t too shocked herself, as she half-suspected it would be an Auto Droid.
“Last month we received an alert from one of our A.D. Recycling facilities that there was an unauthorized departure of an Auto Droid scheduled for recycling. A few of the workers and security personnel there were found dead. I believe it’s this same Auto Droid that’s targeting our employees and shareholders.”
Beatrice chimed in. “And let me guess. You want us to sort this mess out for you before the general populace learns that the company created a rampant bot that's out there killing people.”
Haru went stone-faced in response to her words. As hard to swallow as they may be, it was the truth. He needed someone with their expertise to help sort this all out or else both his and his fathers' heads would roll.
He nodded in response.
“We’ll help in any way we can, sir,” Jay spoke up. “But we’re going to need everything you know on this A.D.”
“Of course,” Haru responded as he smiled, thankful that they would provide their assistance.
“My investigation is concluded, sir,” a voice both soft in tone yet strong, calculating, and almost robotic sounding announced from an adjacent doorway.
The trio faced the individual and upon her gaze landing on his form, Beatrice's blood froze.
In the entryway stood a somewhat tall man with jet black hair that curled a bit. His cerulean eyes seemed to shimmer as they focused on Haru. His lean form was adorned with a white dress shirt with a black tie, black pants, and black dress shoes. On the left breast side of his shirt, the designation “K-101” was imprinted in bold black lettering.
She shot up from her chair, startled, almost mortified. Flashbacks flashed through her mind of her childhood. Of when she had last seen that individual's face.
“Y-You,” she uttered to herself, though loud enough for the others to hear. The male Auto Droid turned its eyes to her. Its face was devoid of emotion. She continued to stare at him, taking in his appearance before locking eyes with him.
‘H-he looks just the same. Why is he here,’ she thought to herself.
Jay looked up at the mortified expression on her face with worry. “Beatrice, what is with you?” She didn’t respond. Haru stared at the spectacle in curiosity.
“I believe your compatriot has gone into emotional shock, detective,” the Auto Droid said as he turned his head to face Jay. Beatrice snapped out of her trance upon hearing his voice again.
“Are you alright, detective?” Haru asked as he leaned in slightly. Still somewhat curious about her reaction.
“I need to step out for a minute,” she stammered out suddenly before rushing out of the area.
Jay watched her go. Both confusion and worry were swimming in his mind.
“My apologies, I don’t know what comes over her sometimes,” he said, facing Haru. Haru just raised a palm.
“No need to apologize. You should probably check on her. I need to hear this report anyways.”
Jay nodded and stood up to go after Beatrice.
Beatrice sat in the car. She leaned back into her seat with her right hand covering her eyes.
‘It looked just like him,’ she thought to herself. She began to chuckle. ‘This must be karma for something I did. She heard the driver's side door open but didn’t move. Jay sat down and sighed. Silence filled the space for a moment before he spoke.
“What’s going on, Beatrice?” She didn’t respond.
“I’ve never seen you get like that before. Not since," he trailed off a bit before continuing. "Do you… have history with that droid?”
She remained silent. “You have to start talking to me, you know. We are partners. I want to help you in any way I can, but this shell you’ve had around yourself these past few years has to go.”
Beatrice slowly removed her hand and stared down at her lap. “It’s complicated, Jay,” she said in a low voice. The emotion in her tone was almost alien to him. And that made his worries worse. But he relented.
“Well, I’m always here whenever you decide to uncomplicate it, yeah?”
‘I don’t want to ever see that face again,’ she thought to herself. ‘I don’t want to ever see those memories associated with that face ever again.’
Jay returned to Haru to see what other information he could provide before returning a few minutes later to take Beatrice home. She was silent for most of the drive. That wouldn’t have stuck out as unusual to the man if it weren’t for her display earlier and the almost palpable depressing aura around her.
He would get answers out of her about her reaction at a later time, but not now.
Haru stared out the window as the dark-haired Auto Droid drove smoothly down the street.
His mind was adrift with the current issues facing his fathers' company. He frowned at the thought of the old man.
“Mr. Tomaru, if I may ask a question,” the machine asked.
“What is it.”
“That woman from before, the detective, what could have caused her to have such a reaction to the sight of me?”
Haru leaned back into his seat. “Hell if I know,” he responded, closing his eyes. “Maybe you reminded her of someone, perhaps an Auto Droid with a similar model. Is it really important?”
“No sir,” the droid responded. “I was just a bit curious is all.”
Sleep, unfortunately, couldn't come to Beatrice that night. Every time she closed her eyes she would see that Auto Droid's face. And the memories of her childhood would come rushing towards her like a tidal wave and threaten to subsume her in its depths. She groaned, agitated. She threw her blankets off of her body and went into her kitchen to retrieve a canned beer.
In hindsight, she probably shouldn’t be drinking alcohol whilst already having trouble sleeping, but she didn’t care. She brought the canned beverage to her lips but froze before she could take a sip as voices from a distant memory echoed in her mind.
“You promise to never forget me,” a little girl's voice echoed.
“I promise. I’ll find you one day,” a man's voice responded to the girl. She groaned even louder than before to the point where it seemed like she was going to shout in rage and smash something.
‘Why did I have to see his face again,’ she mentally shouted as she slammed the beer down on her counter and stomped back into her room. ‘Why?!’
She yelled into her pillow after plopping down onto her bed.