Hi there! My name is Cocoran, but everyone calls me Coco. I'm a cleaning rep turned
Maverick turned Hunter. Gee, that sounds weird doesn't it? But that's what happened.
~inane giggle~ Well, you might think that a reploid wouldn't be happy as a cleaning
bot, but gee I was. I was a good cleaning bot. Scrubbing and humming all day long…
although a human working there told me I sounded like a demented refrigerator,
which wasn't nice, but then I was cleaning the vents near him for thirty minutes
so I guess he had a right not to like it…. Where was I? Am I boring you? You look
a little glazed. Oh right, I was talking about cleaning. Well, the company I was
cleaning for was making a super-duper-ooper fighting reploid, and I was cleaning
up the lab when the Mavericks tried to get it. Big oops. I'm kinda a klutz, so
I got in the way when they shot this little dart at it. Bigger oops…. Why am I
talking to you like this though? 1'st person narratives suck…. Oh shut up…. Can
it! ~sounds of a small scuffle~ That's better… but I must be boring you. Or confusing
you. Or maybe you just don't like me…. ~sniff~ A lot of people don't like me…
maybe I'm annoying you now. Let's just go to third person, shall we? Here it is…
"Ah lowa lowa, woah baby, we got it goin'… yayayayayya…." The cleaning bot sang
softly as she polished the mirrors. She grinned at her reflection, taking pride
in the perfect shine. Her eyes were a velvety aqua, her face cute in a pert little
way, but her hair was… odd. Pulled into two pony tails, she looked like she had
come straight out of Sailor Moon. The little cleaning bot's eyes dimmed as she
thought of all the teasing she endured… but then she perked up as she thought
about her next job to do. "Go clean the nursery, all right!" And she skipped her
way out, tripping occasionally. The human and reploid employees ignored her. They
all knew Coco. One human caught her as she stumbled a bit to far, and she burbled
out thanks, which he smiled and accepted. Coco giggled as she reached the nursery,
hearing the children's voices. "Hee-eey!" She poked her head through the door,
singing her words. "I'm baaaack!" Most of the children laughed, and some of them
groaned. Like the adults, they all knew Coco. "How's everything been?" She burbled
out, kneeling down and holding out her arms to a tiny toddler, who clutched her
with a big, toothless grin. "Hi Danny, you little sweetie!" She tickled him a
little, smiling brightly, and the child laughed, grabbing her hair, which eeled
away. "Nuh unh!" She giggled, her hair pulling itself back into a little ball
behind her head. Several other children started clamoring for her attention, while
the older ones stayed as far away as possible. Coco loved them up freely and impartially.
She adored human children. Cleaning the nursery just made her day… "Oh." She sighed
a little, her hair drooping. She was here to clean, not babysit. With one child
getting a ride on her shoulders, she started vacuuming. She hummed happily, getting
every speck of dirt. "Cocoran!" A loud male voice sounded behind her, making her
squeak and jump, almost unseating the child from her shoulders, who squalled.
She pulled him into her arms, turning around guiltily to see her supervisor glaring
at her. "Aren't you finished yet?" He asked irritably. He was a middle-aged,
handsome man, but Coco had trouble appreciating that in the slightest bit. He
was her idea of purgatory. "You're supposed to clean up the lab! The techs need
clean space!" "Yes sir!" She chirped, looking at him with slight panic. She was
the best cleaning bot in the whole company, but nothing she did was good enough
for him. Not fast enough, thorough enough… he always had some complaint. She sighed
unhappily, putting down the child. She would have liked to stay, but she knew
he wanted her to do the lab first… it mattered, children didn't. They never
do, or someone would be at home with them! Coco thought, a little resentful.
If I had a child I wouldn't put them in a place like this… "Coco, are you
listening?" He barked at her impatiently. She came back to herself very
quickly. "Yes sir!" She replied. He scowled harshly. "Don't mess with the Reploid
on the workbench, all right? Clean everything else. Got that?" She almost sprained
her neck nodding. "Good. Now go." "Yes sir!" And she was rushing through the halls,
when she happened to stumble into a dark green and orange Reploid, with spiky
red hair. He caught her, stopping her fall, and laughed at her. "Ehh Coco, you
in a hurry?" He asked good-naturedly, righting her with his large, strong hands.
Coco gurgled in joy, hugging him. "Malcolm, it's good to see you!" She giggled
as the lab bot, Malcolm, flushed a little. "Yah, good to see you too. Where you
goin' in such a hurry?" He asked, patting her on the head. She giggled a little,
not resenting it in the slightest. "Oh, I gotta go clean out the lab!" She chirruped,
then looked downcast. "I wanted to stay in the nursery but he wouldn't let me…"
Malcolm didn't have to ask who "he" was. "Oh, old bossy boots." He dismissed his
human superior with a wave of his hand. "In business, it isn't the cream that
comes to the top, is it?" He grinned at her giggle. "Nosirree." Then he patted
her gently on the back. "Well, you run along, and don't mess up the project in
there or bossy boots will nail you up by the pig tails." Malcolm tugged on one
of them affectionately, and she rubbed her face against his arm for a moment,
smiling. "I won't!" And she tumbled on down the corridor, revitalized by that
brief meeting. There was always something to keep her spirits up… Her eyes widened
as she opened the door to the lab. It was a horrible mess! The new 'bot was sprawled
out, surrounded by tools everywhere… and there were other things like candy wrappers,
coke cans… I have my work cut out for me here… Coco sighed to herself,
pulling out her DustBuster VII vacuum. She started by throwing all the wrappers
and cans into the trash and recycling, which took at least thirty minutes. Why
can't they do this themselves…? She felt more than a little resentful that
her time with the children was being pre-empted for a bunch of slobs who did have
working legs… Coco sighed quietly to herself. It didn't really matter, she could
always slip into the nursery later, during her break. She finished that, and started
her vacuuming. She smiled to herself, getting every bit of dust she could find.
When I'm finished, this room will sparkle! She boasted to herself with
pride. Cocoran nearly jumped out of her skin when the door slammed open. There
was soundproofing around the lab room, so she hadn't had the slightest clue… and
she squeaked in dismay as she saw the invaders. Those aren't lab bots, are
they? She stood still for a moment, watching wide-eyed as the strange, heavily
armored 'bots rushed into the room. "Hi!" She chirped on pure reflex. "Can I help
you?" Most of the Reploids ignored her, except for a large black one, who took
one look and laughed. "Hey, a cleaning bot! This should be fun!" Coco gasped as
he grabbed her by the arm, hauling her into the air… and her panicked mind suddenly
recognized the patch on his shoulder. The Maverick symbol! "Let me go, let me
go!" She shrieked at him, bursting into tears. He was about to say something when
she whacked him over the head with her vacuum cleaner. The Maverick let her go
with a startled yelp, and Coco tried to run… tripping over her own feet instead,
right in front of the new robot. Ow! Coco clutched her arm, feeling… very
odd. Looking down, she saw a teeny-weeny dart stuck in her… the three Mavericks
were all staring at her. Oh wow… She was starting to feel awfully dizzy.
She stumbled back, tripping over her feet again, landing with a loud clatter on
the floor… "Let's get out of here before the Hunters arrive!" She heard one of
the Mavericks say just before she entered dreamland…
Anyway, that's how I became a Maverick. Wasn't it stupid? I had to get
in the way… but I'm always in the way. ~sniff~ And then Maverick HQ… oh, I'm getting
ahead of myself. But it was… I mean… oh wah! ~sniffling~ Oh I'm sorry. I can't
cry when I'm telling a story. Oh, thank you X, that's nice… ~blows nose~ Anyway,
I'll tell you the rest as soon as I get a drink of water. Be right back… Time
to go… Oh, I'm back! Oh look Zero, I found a kitty! Isn't he just adorable?!?
Here, you hold him for me… no, I insist… aww…. ~big kissing sound~ Thank you Zero!
Oh! Well, back to my story! ~inane giggle~ Where was I? Oh yeah, waking up… ~sniff~
It was just awful…
"Ouchies." Coco came to consciousness slowly. She was shoved into a corner of
the lab, far away from the lab table. Her bleary eyes raised to see dozens of
technicians… all fiddling with the new robot. "Ow ow ow…" Coco groaned, putting
a hand to her head, stumbling up. It hurt so bad… and nobody was helping her.
Nobody! That robot's important, but I'm not! Dull resentment burned… But
dissolved into cheerful welcoming as she saw Malcolm. "Malcolm!" She chirped,
stumbling towards him. He ignored her almost completely. "Not now Coco… you're
sure he hasn't been tampered with?" Cocoran stared. Her hair coiled and uncoiled
as strange thoughts roiled through her mind… He doesn't care either… Why am
I here? Serving humans…? What am I THINKING? "Maaaaalcolm…." She tugged on
his arm, urgent to communicate her… difficulties. He turned around with an irritated
glare. "Coco, not now! Mavericks invaded the company! Three humans are dead and
four bots! I have work to do!" And he shoved her away. Tears sprang up in her
eyes. She hurt, no one was listening to her, and she felt so strange… "Coco!"
A familiar, dreaded voice boomed from behind her. Coco jumped, but instead of
the usual panicked subservience, resentment burned inside her. Why should I
do what he says? Part of her was just aching to put her hands around
his neck and squeeze… What am I thinking?!? Coco shook her head,
panicked and afraid again. Her human supervisor scowled down at her. "What are
you doing here?" He demanded. She opened her mouth to say that he sent
her here, but didn't get the chance as he grabbed her arm. "Nevermind. Come on,
come on!" And he practically dragged her out of the lab. Coco gulped, cringing
away from his touch, a strange revulsion going through her. She didn't want him
to touch her… "Go downstairs and start cleaning up the bloodstains." He ordered
her brutally. She stared blankly, her mind a roiling mass of emotions. "Let go
of me!" She finally burst out, yanking away. "I don't have to do what you say!"
From a large Reploid it might have sounded ominous. From a tiny little cleaning
bot, it was childish. He stared at her. "What's wrong with you, you stupid cleaning
bot? Go do your job!" And he tried to grab her again. He wasn't expecting a punch
in the face, but that's what he got. Even a small cleaning bot had a great deal
more strength than a human did, and she mashed his nose across his face. Ohhh….
Coco stared in horror at the blood on her hands, then his body as he slumped.
Oh…! She ran away, sobbing, ignoring all the startled looks and questioning
voices. She ran and ran and ran… she even barreled past a couple of Maverick Hunters,
one in blue who looked familiar, but it didn't matter…
"What was that?" The blue Reploid, X, asked, stunned, looking after the pig-tailed
apparition that had just pushed past him. It was disappearing rapidly into the
brush. Another Hunter shrugged and answered. "I dunno. Looks pretty weird, though.
We ought to go see how that super bot of theirs is doing." X nodded, glancing
curiously after the lost Reploid. "She… hit me! Cocoran, that little bitch!"
A middle-aged human was shouting as they entered the building. X winced at the
volume, then eyed him sharply. Except for a bloody nose, he would be fine. "Coco-what?"
A rookie asked disingenuously. A distraught lab bot with spiky red hair stopped
right in front of them. "Coco-puffs, she punched bossy-boots and ran off!" He
was so nervous he was yanking on his hair rapidly. "Something was wrong… I should
have listened…" He babbled to himself, then suddenly seized X by the arm. "She
can't be a Maverick, she can't be! Coco wouldn't hurt a fly! Please sir, bring
her back safe…" "Um, yeah." X muttered, trying to extricate himself and find someone
slightly more coherent. "We won't hurt her…" I think. He added mentally.
If he understood this correctly one of their Reploids had gone Maverick… one with
a sweet disposition. But Maverick infections usually put an end to that, no matter
how kind and caring the victim. They would just have to see…
Ohhhh, Malcolm did care! Oh, X, you never told me that before! ~soft kissing sounds,
then a strangled growl~ Oh now Zero, don't be silly, I love you too! ~more kissing
sounds~ Oh, I really… Hunh? Oh, right, I'm supposed to be telling a story! Um…
where was I? Oh yeah! I didn't know where I was going but I just had to go… kind
of like lemmings. Do you know lemmings X? I've seen lemmings! They're just so
CUTE! I wanted a lemming but Dr. Cain wouldn't let me get one… Oh, I'm boring
you again, I can tell. Zero's getting that look, too. Well, anyway, I went to
Maverick HQ! Where else does a Maverick go, right? Sigma wasn't happy to see me.
~sniff~ Oh, he was so mad! I've never been that scared in my life… it was
awful… oh, thank you Zero, that's so nice of you…. Well, I guess it's time for
a new chapter… right? Right. Hell… Ooops, Maverick HQ.