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Re: GIGA MIX 3 STORY OUTLINE

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:40 pm
by Observer
Inside Rock's mind, the struggle is continuing. Before his mental eyes, Rock is confronted by a mountain of mechanical corpses.

Your memories are those of war... Is it that you enjoyed all the fighting?

The face of the White Giant glares over them, down at Rock.

"NO!" Rock denies vehemently.

Did you do it to be praised as a hero and be admired by everyone?

"NO!" Rock continues to deny, harder. "It wasn't like that! I just wanted to protect everyone!!"

"Protect everyone"? Is that what you call this...?

"... I!" Rock's protests weaken.

Is that how you excuse all the violence you committed? How many of your robot brethren did you destroy in order to "protect everyone"?

Rock is silent, grimacing, looking down at his hands. "...."

"AS MANY AS WAS NEEDED!" Someone is shouting encouragement from behind?

A blurry face is visible over the horizon, and with it, a scene of every type of Robot Master cooperating right outside the operating room doors. "I've seen the true result of everything you've done... You've done all right by all of us. Don't ever doubt that."

A familiar gloved hand reaches out to the teary-eyed Mega Man, who had dropped to hands and knees. "Now c'mon... all this darkness and self-doubt doesn't suit you!"

"... Who are you?" Rock asks.

Those hands reach for Rocks, folding the young warrior's fingers closed over an object. "I'm one of the many souls that was saved... because you were willing to fight the good fight."

Rock looks down into his hands. "...." His pupils shrink to mere dots. "--This is--!!"

A Rolling Cutter blade is resting in the blue bomber's hands. "... But then--" Rock looks up, but the figure is walking into a blinding light, his figure overwhelmed by the brilliant rays, a right hand waving.

"You're--!!"

-----------------------------------------------------

"WHAT IS ALL THIS RUCKUS ABOUT!" Dr. Wily growls, head thrust out into the main room outside the operating room.
"What was that explosion?!" Light asks immediately after.

"--Doctor!!" Metal Man responds. "It's Bass!"

"What did that idiot do now?!" Wily grouses.

"He took four of Dr. Cossack's crystals and left!" Magnet Man explains.
"He's headed straight for the Stardroids!" Wave Man adds.

"HE WHAT?!"

The eyes of every Robot Master widen at the sound of that voice, as their eyes fall upon Rock, standing tall, repaired, at the operating room door.

Re: GIGA MIX 3 STORY OUTLINE

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:49 am
by Observer
There is an immediate uproar of joy and renewed hope.

Rock is surrounded by his brothers and friends, some with tears of relief in their eyes - even Rock's enemies have wide grins and happy faces! The moment of revelry is short lived, however, as Dr. Cossack steps forward to get Mega Man's attention.

"Doctor Cossack?" Rock asks, looking over at him.

"I know you are still recovering," Cossack asks with a grim tint to his face, "but... according to the Stardroid's timer... we only have five hours left before Earth is destroyed. We're running out of time!"

"You've seen what this crystal... a mere copy of the hyper energy crystals can do... and the threat it poses. But if we intend to beat the Stardroids, we have no other choice!"

Dr. Wily watches, thoughtful, withdrawn.

Cossack's brow wrinkles in concern as he addresses the robotic youth. "Despite having created the crystals myself, I can't make any promises.... Mega Man, I...."

"I understand," Rock replies firmly. "Please, Dr. Cossack... Install the crystal in me!"

"Very well," Cossack agrees, "but there is still one more problem..."

----------------------------------------------------------------

In the blackness of space, Blues, holding onto his shield, is trying to catch his breath, steaming with clouds of energy from taxed power generation systems - but he is not alone... Surrounded by the remaining Stardroids, Terra, hands on hips, addresses him with smug arrogance.

"You lasted longer than I expected," the leader of the Stardroids muses. "It's been fun - but it ends now."

Terra's intentions are suddenly interrupted by a spray of rapid plasma fire, and a roar of insane, giddy laughter as Treble-boosted Bass shoots up from below. The Stardroids are forced to take some protective measures as their bodies are struck with the barrage of machine gun energy slugs.

"Who is this guy?!" Mars shouts, peppered across his chest and feet.
"He has the power of the cryst--" Neptune is interrupted by roaring fire in his direction.

"Bass?!" Blues shouts in surprise, turning his head towards the noise - just in time to take an energy blast from Bass' indiscriminate suppression fire. He is knocked away from the battle, sent streaming off through the void trailing a stream of energy "smoke". Bass hardly notices, caught up in the drug-like high of raw power coursing through him, screaming with harsh howls of crazed laughter.

----------------------------

"When Dr. Cossack installed these crystals into us, it did more than just give us greater powers," Ring Man explains to Rock. "For some reason, we were able to locate the Stardroids over long distances. If was if we could... sense them. That's how we knew where to find mega Man and the others when they were fighting the Stardroids underground."

"Our sensors indicate that Bass is headed straight out into space," Kalinka adds. "That is most likely where we will find the Stardroids...."

"However, we have no way to get into space!!"

"By merging with Treble and using the four energy crystals he took, Bass gained the power to penetrate the atmosphere. Unfortunately, none of the robots presently here have that ability. There are a number of space shuttles around the world, but the destruction and chaos caused by the Stardroids has rendered them all useless. We simply have no options!"

"Would the crystals affect Rush or Item Number 2 in the same way they did Treble?" Rock asks, looking for solutions.

"Bass has four crystals, while we only have three," Cossack answers. "And although three may be enough, it's a risk we can't take. Not only that, if rush were unable to control the power of the crystals, it could lead to unfortunately consequences..."

Rush whined, ears drooping, Rock patting his head to try to cheer him up.

"DAGNABITT!" Wily growls. "If only Wily City was still standing!!..."

"Wily City is not gone," the room's communications systems interject. "Wily City still exists!"

"What?!" Wily snaps, eyes wide, turning towards the half scrambled image lighting up the view screen of the main room. "Who is that?!"

"I attempted to communicate with the Gamerizer and Dr. Light's laboratory, but could not get a response. I surmised that you and Dr. Light would eventually find Dr. Cossack, so I hacked into his network in order to track him down." A humanoid figure is starting to emerge from the static. "Forgive my rudeness, but I also took the opportunity to eavesdrop on your communications with the various spaceports around the world... Am I correct in thinking that you are searching for transportation?"

"That voice!" Shadow Man interjects.

"If your destination is space, might I be so bold as to offer you a ride? I'll be waiting for you here, at Wily City."

"Shade Man!!" The vampiric Robot Master's face, ghosting and glitchy around the edges, shows up out of the hacked transmission feed.

"You're alive?!" Shadow Man gasps. "But how?!"

"You say you are at Wily City?!" Wily asks, incredulous. "How can that be?! Explain yourself!!"

"Please remain calm," Shade Man smoothly answers. "There is no time to explain fully... you must get here as soon as possible."

"You're not making any sense! Wily City was destroyed by that White--!" Wily protests.

"I apologize, I should have been more clear - I am currently standing in the old Wily Base - the place where Mega Man once battled the Second Numbers," Shade Man continues.

Wily's eyes are about ready to bug out of his skull! "WHAT WHAT WHAT!!??" Taking a deep breath he continues, "But there's no space ship there!!"

Shade Man smiled wisely. "Technically no... but we will have to make do with what we have."

Re: GIGA MIX 3 STORY OUTLINE

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:17 pm
by Observer
It's not long before a fleet of helitrailers and copters have transported the Doctors and Robot Masters to the original Wily Castle base.

Wily rubs the top of of his head, grimacing, staring at the Skull Satellite nestled on the launch pad.

"This?! This is your plan?!" Wily says, exasperated. "The Skull Satellite is certainly capable of going out into space, but.... it wasn't built to carry personnel - and we don't have enough time to convert it!!"

"The passenger can stand atop the satellite," Shade Man calmly reponds.

"EVEN A ROBOT WOULDN'T SURVIVE THAT!" Wily snaps.

"That is where," Shade Man says, looking over at Star Man, "he comes in."

"Wow! An antique!" Star Man comments to himself, looking over at the satellite.

"Hmph," Wily concedes. "I see...."

"Still, I abandoned this place without repairing any of the damage that Mega Man caused. Are any of the systems even functional?"

"Not to worry," Shade Man mollifies with a smile, "I have thought of everything."

Wily Numbers, Cossack Numbers and Light Numbers, fan out through the Wily Castle; each of them take up stations and begin to use their unique abilities, weapons and tools in broken areas.

"So this is your "plan" us it?" Wily asks, scowling.

"Yes," Shade Man replies. "The Numbers will stand in for any broken equipment."

"Only a fool would come up with a plan like this--!" Wily gasps, hands clenched.

"But Wily...." Light interrupts, smiling faintly.

"I KNOW...." Wily grumps. Taking a deep breath, he begins to smile as well. "... It may be interesting to see if it works."

"Are you fully recovered, Roll?" Ice Man asks his sister.

"Yep! I'm sorry for causing so much of a fuss," Roll smiles. "By the way, where is Cut Man? I haven't seen him since he woke up."

"He's probably slacking off somewhere, trying to avoid doing any real work," Bomb Man answers.

Light looks pensive. Rock steps forward. "... Guys..." Cut Man's head scissors are in his left hand. "... Cut Man..."

--------

(Flashing back to the operation room, only a short while ago...)

"WHAT?!"

"You want us to repair Mega Man using your parts?" Light gasps.

"Do you have any idea what you are saying?!" Wily adds, jaw dropping.

"I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I'M SAYING!" Cut Man replies firmly. "Rock and I are the same model, based on the same schematics!! That means our parts should be interchangeable!! The proof lies in the fact that I was able to merge with Rush!!"

"That's not the point!" Light shouts. "It's his artificial brain that is damaged -- if you were human you'd be asking for a brain transplant!! It'd be a simple matter with any other part, but there is no way we can do this!! Even if we did succeed at transferring your brain into Mega Man, once it was brought back online, the results would be you walking around in Mega Man's body - that wouldn't solve anything!!"

"I think you're overlooking something important," Cut Man replies with a stressed smile.

Wily and Light stare at Cut Man, beginning to get an idea of what he's suggesting.

"We are robots... machines. It should be easy enough for you to transfer all of the data from Rock's brain into my brain's hardware," Cut Man says.

------------------------------

"... And so... Wily and I used Cut Man's parts to restore Mega Man," Light solemnly explains.

"...no..." Elec Man denies, trembling. "... But then... what happened to Cut Man?!"

"... Cut man..." Rock says in a low tone, "... is...."

Elec Man suddenly grabs Light by the labcoat, his eyes wide and his teeth clenched. Rock and the others gasp in shock.

"WAS IT WILY!?" Elec Man screams, "IT WAS WILY, WASN'T IT?!?! HE DID THIS TO CUT MAN!!!"

"No," Light answers flatly. "It was my decision."

There is stunned silence. Shadow and Shade Man look grim. Roll's lip trembles. Bomb Man tries to wipe away tears. Ice Man bursts into a sobbing wail.

Elec Man lets go of Light's jacket. He falls backwards, onto his rear, his eyes wide. He's speechless.


Rock places his hand on Elec Man's shoulder, snapping Elec out of his catatonic state. "... Rock?"

"Come on, Elec Man... We don't have much time," Rock states with calm determination. "We should continue working."

"... but...!"

-------------------------------------------------

(Back to the operation room...)

"LISTEN TO ME!" Light argues with Cut Man, as Wily's thoughts turn inward, his weary expression seeming numbed by the option Cut Man has given. "It's TRUE that we cold restore Mega Man using the method you're describing, but that would mean your data would be gone forever! WE WON'T DO THAT!"

"You can just make me again once it's over," Cut Man replies with casual ease.

"You FOOL!" Wily erupts. "Even if you followed the same schematics to the last bolt the resulting robot would simply be a Cut Man! It wouldn't be the same brash half-wit that is standing before me now!"

"LIGHT AND I GAVE YOU ROBOTS SOULS!! WITH A SOUL YOU ARE ABLE TO SEE, HEAR, FEEL AND GROW AS INDIVIDUALS! YOUR IDENTITY IS THE SUM OF THESE EXPERIENCES!!"

Cut Man's large eyes angle into a frown. "''These kids should be granted the opportunity to decide for themselves how they will live, and how they will die!''"

Wily makes a choked noise, his own words spat back at him. Cut Man grins and looks over at his sister. "Roll told me you said that, Dr. Wily. I never would ahve expected words like that to come out of your mouth."

"GRRR! That girl has such a big mouth!!!" Wily fumes. "THIS IS NOT WHAT I MEANT WHEN I--"

"I know I'm twisting your words, and I'm sorry," Cut Man apologizes. "But.. It's not like I want to die. I just want a chance to fight."

"To... fight?" Wily replies weakly.

"YES! TO FIGHT THE MOST IMPORTANT BATTLE OF MY LIFE - THE BATTLE FOR ROCK'S LIFE!"

"YOU TWO ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN GIVE ME THE STRENGTH I'LL NEED - PLEASE, HELP ME WIN THIS BATTLE!" Cut Man shouts.

Wily closes his eyes and is sobered, taking a deep breath.

-----------------------------------------

<<PREPARATIONS FOR LAUNCH SEQUENCE COMPLETE. ALL PASSENGERS, PLEASE STAND BY FOR BOARDING.>>

"After discussing it, we've agreed that each of us will select one member to harness the power of a crystal," Cossack announces to the assembled team. "I choose you, Ring Man!"

"... but I wasn't able to control it before," Ring Man confesses, shamefaced and worried.

"You can do it," Kalinka encourages with a smile. Dive Man nods somberly behind her. "Have faith in yourself."

"Here," Wily says, tossing the crystal almost carelessly to Shadow Man. "Come to the maintenance room and I'll have it installed."

Shadow Man lunges forward and catches it, startled. "Huh?!"

"Being a genius, I only create awesome robots, so any of my numbers would do, but you seem like you have nothing better to do right now," Wily explains casually.

"...nothing better to do?" Shadow Man mutters, sweating profusely. "... Well, er, I mean... I specialize in reconnaissance, and stealth, so under the current circumstances I have no active missions, but..."

Shade Man leans over Wily's shoulder. "... Ahem. I have "nothing better to do" as well."

Wily sticks out his tongue at Shade Man. "You put me to sleep. So no."

Re: GIGA MIX 3 STORY OUTLINE

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:52 pm
by Observer
(Some music to go with this post, perhaps? http://youtu.be/brjB7NXO61c )

<<..2..>>

<<..1..>>

<<..0..>>

<< LIFT OFF! >>

The Skull Satellite rushes off the launch pad in a blast of smoke and jet trail, carrying with it a handful of Robot Masters, and the hopes of the planet.

Inside, watching from a monitor, Dr. Light is lost in thought. Rock... When you asked me to become "Mega Man", I asked you whether you still intended to go... Despite the fact that your defeat was almost certain. His mind flashes back to just a short time before. "Now I'll ask you again," Light said to the juvenile robot. "The Stardroids possess power unlike anything you've ever faced. It pains me to say this, but the truth is that the chances of your victory are not favorable. Do you still intend to go?"

Rock's expression grew only more determined. "If you believe that I cannot beat the Stardroids as I am right now... then please upgrade me to the extent of your abilities!"

A smile faintly drew across the old man's bearded face, his eyes still worried. I see your courage and spirit are as strong as ever.

"Main and sub-engines are functioning normally!" Dark Man Number 1 announces from the control panel. "Path confirmed," Number 2 adds immediately after.

Rock... Elec Man thinks, watching the Satellite growing smaller and smaller in the camera feed, You are the strongest of us all... in more ways than one.

"The shield seems to be holding," Wily notes with a small measure of pleased surprise. Shade Man, watching behind, merely smiles to himself.

"They are now entering the stratosphere!" Number 2 says.

-------------------------------------------------

"WEEEEEHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Star Man, his upper body wired into the top of the Skull Satellite, allowing him to project the Star Crash barrier around the entire device, is shouting in wild, joyous, childlike abandon as the group breaches the exosphere into space. Far below in the Wily Base, his fellow Five Numbers look on with a sense of pride, and some shared delight.

"It's easy to forget how dire things are when Star Man's leading the way, isn't it?" Kalinka notes with a smile.

"I think that's his most charming quality," Shade Man adds, standing beside her.

Yet Roll does not share the moment of lightheartedness the others do. Worried, she watches the skull satellite disappear from view, her thoughts with Rock's safety. She does not want to feel that pain of loss ever again.

--------------------------------------------

Just a short distance beyond, Bass is taking a pounding. Energy blasts are coming from the Stardroids surrounding him, peppering his body with micro explosions. The violent joy of battle and the surge of power from the crystals are winding up tight within him until --

"RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!"

"... He's been consumed by the power," Terra notes with disdain. "How pathetic." Bass is fairly foaming at the mouth, his eyes blank panels, his teeth clenched in a feral sneer, his whole body paralyzed in position.

"Finish him, Pluto!" Terra commands. The purple furred panther humanoid brings up his claws, swiping them down towards Bass' head --

-- When a tremendous charged shot blasts his hand out of the way, shattering the claws at the end of his hands!

Terra looks down, his smile fading, his eyes narrowing as the Skull Satellite rushes upwards towards the group.

"Interesting...."

Taking aim and preparing for another shot at the top of the skull is none other than Mega Man, his eyes fixed on Terra.

"So he lives," Terra muses, a smile returning to his black-eyed face. "I would expect nothing less from a hero."

His lips pull back in a fanged leer. "MEGA MAN!!!"

Rock's gaze quickly falls on Bass, who is drifting closer to the satellite as it rises up to meet him. "Are you all right, Bass!!?"

The weary Super Wily Number, wincing, rebuffs him with a weak protest. "... Shut up... and fight...!"

"STARDROIDS!! is Rock's returning cry as he and his companions gear up for their final battle.

----------------------------------------------------------

"There's only an hour left before our time's supposedly up," Wily says.

"Despite the fact that we've done everything in our power to stop it, we may be little more than vapors in an hour." The old man fixes his eyes on the Russian roboticist. "But there's something I want to know before I kiss this existence goodbye." Light, too, turns and looks with a wary expression.

"Cossack!!" Wily commands, hands in his lab coat pockets. "What is the story behind those "copy crystals" and "Duo"? I already know they aren't your creations, so don't bother wasting my time."

Re: GIGA MIX 3 STORY OUTLINE

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:50 pm
by Observer
"I can't help but wonder," Ice Man muses, in another part of the castle. "Why are the Stardroids doing this?"

"I know what you mean," Fire Man replies, visor down, face visible. "They just show up one day and declare 'We're going to destroy your planet!'?"

Flash Man sigh clouds and nods in assent. "Even we wouldn't go that far, and we're supposed to be the "evil Wily robots"."

"Although Bass might," Heat Man notes with a silly grin.

"Their motive isn't their only mystery," Ice Man says. "Who are they, really?"

"The simple answer is," Shade Man interjects calmly from his perch on a tall piece of machinery to the back, "They're space robots."

"SHADE MAN!" the others gasp - these not aware he had so quietly arrived, and some not aware he was still alive.

"Do YOU know who the the Stardroids are?" Drill Man asks, looking up at the dignified vampire.

"I have a pretty good idea," he says. "Though I would wager the Third Numbers know considerably more than I." Fire Man looks at them in surprise. "?!"

Magnet Man steps up. "YOu all know about the battle for the hyper energy crystals, right? It was part of Dr. Wily's third plot for world domination. In the end, Gamma was destroyed. Our attempt to claim the energy crystals resulted in failure."

"The only saving grace was that the other half of our mission was more successful. Aside from the energy crystals, the Asteroid Alpha was also carrying the ruins of a very ancient and highly advanced, yet completely alien civilization."

"Dr. Wily ordered the Third Numbers to explore the ruins and retrieve any ancient weapons, stone carvings, and other item of interest from the temple there," Snake Man adds. "In the deepest chamber of the temple, the walls were entirely covered with alien text. From what we gathered, the text was a complete record of the Stardroid's origins!"

"According to the records, the Stardroids are powered by the very same energy crystals we were trying to get from the asteroid - the Stardroids are weapons created by the aliens!"

A short distance away, Wily seems to be telling the same tale. "We found a message written on one of the tombs... A warning: "Fear the Stardroids. Fear the energy crystals." Even with their advanced technology, they aliens were forced to flee their home planet. They took refuge on a small asteroid until the Stardroids found them and finished the job."

"Aside from the stardroids, the text in the ruins also spoke of another," Wily says. "As the alien race lay dying, a "White Giant" suddenly appeared and sealed the stardroids within itself. The giant's name..."

".... Was Duo!"

Wily's eyes fix on Cossack. "Quite a coincidence, wouldn't you say?"

"It is as you say, Dr. Wily," Cossack responds. "The Duo I brought into this battle is the White Giant mentioned in the ruins... the very same White Giant that destroyed Wily city." Light looks stunned.

"After Mega Man and the others destroyed the original Duo, its left arm found its way to me by change. Then, the Stardroids appeared. I know about the Stardroids from Dr. Wily's data. And I also knew that we would need Duo's power to beat them... So I took Duo's left arm and attached it to a prototype robot I had been working on. While I was working, Duo's left hand suddenly opened -- he was holding those seven crystals!"

"The crystals...!" Light stammers. "... They were the White Giant's energy sources?!"

"And now we've put that immense power into Rock and the others!!"

----------------------------------------

(*addin' some more music if you like. -Ob http://youtu.be/dj1ZbnlVbtA )

"RAAAAAAHHH!" A charged shot of violet energy blasts from Bass' barrel towards Saturn.

"Black Hole!" Holding up his ring, Saturn seems to suck up Bass' shots into oblivion; then a split second later they return, firing back on Bass, striking him dead on. "You have a lot of power, but it's useless if you can't control it!!"

Bass' eyes go blank again as he struggles with the enormous power coursing through him, threatening to overwhelm his sanity.

"Has the power of the crystals totally fried your circuits?" Saturn mockingly questions.

"I am... Ultimate!" Bass gasps.

<<Is this what you wanted?>>

Bass drifts for a moment, smoldering somehow through the inky night of the heavens, hearing another voice, deep and booming, echoing through his mind. The shadow of the White Giant is somehow behind him.

<<Having the power control you... Losing your senses... is this what the ultimate warrior looks like?>>

<<WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE MORE POWERFUL IN THE FIRST PLACE?>>

Bass' eyes snap open.

Memories of his battles against Rock flash across his eyes, through his mind. "M-M-M-Mega.... Rrgggh...!"

Blues' calm face and words come back to him. "It's all about what you see. Mega Man always has his sights set on the future... that is what he fights for."

"Shut... up...!" Bass weakly protests, sweating, weary, self-loathing.

Saturn maneuvers his ring to the side, gathering in energy, charging an attack. "TIME TO END THIS!!"

"SHUT UP!" Bass screams. "YOU DON'T KNOW ME!!!"

Saturn startles. "Huh--?!"

Thrusting his hand into his chest, Bass rips the four energy crystals free! "RAAAAAAAARRRR!" He hurls them at Saturn, charging his buster! Saturn pauses, trying to figure out what in the world Bass is doing as the crystals fly towards him - suddenly Bass opens fire, but not at Saturn - at the crystals in front of Saturn!

"I AM THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR!!"

The crystals detonate in a blinding explosion, evaporating Saturn in its wake!

Bass, gasping, damaged, exhausted, is bathed in the light of the blast. "I... am... the ultimate..."

----------------------------

Claws are flying at high speed against metal rings, wielded both as weapons and shields. Ring Man and Pluto are engaged in flawless dance of martial arts, moving swiftly and fluidly against each other, each seeking to find an opening, each guarding against attack.

"You're pretty stubborn for a weakling!" Pluto mocks.

"It's true that I'm the weakest robot here -- however--!" Ring Man lets fly a cluster of Ring Boomerangs. "This is one battle that I simply cannot lose!!"

The boomerangs hit true - not striking Pluto but encirling his forearms and thrusting his arms backwards against his will. "!!"

"GOTCHA!" Ring Man shouts, preparing for another strike - when he's suddenly blasted in the back with a homing shot from Pluto's tail. "!!"

"Nice try," Pluto mocks, "But Terra isn't the only one who can manipulate the path of his projectiles!" More shots are fired, smashing into Ring Man across his chest and back, blowing off his left leg at the knee. "So as I said -- YOU'RE WEAK!"

Doctor Cossack... Miss Kalinka... Everyone... I am sorry, Ring Man thinks, smoking, drifting in space. I wasn't strong enough... after all... If only I was ... as strong as....

<<Your heart is always filled with "someone else">> That same deep voice from within. The inverted shadow of the White Giant is behind him. <<For "someone else". Like "someone else". "Someone else" seems to be all you think about. But what is it that you want?>>

"... what... I want...? I...."

"Hmph," Pluto grunts. "That was easy." -- His assured victory is cut off by a uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach, a cold clench of fear and the stink of his own mortality confront him. He turns around and finds himself confronted by the specter of robotic death, scythe held over his right sholder. "WHAT!?"

"Where did you come from?!" Pluto panics, firing into the image. Skull shaped disks float out around the figure. "--MY ATTACKS AREN'T---"

Pluto shrieks! The scythe is raised, the giant skeleton form ready to cut down the fleeing, screaming cat!

-------
"You should learn to think for yourself," Skull Man explains, appearing beside Ring. "Worrying about what other people think and being too stubborn to do what you think is right will only make your life as pointless as mine turned out to be."

"Skull!" Ring Man gasps. He trembles. "Don't say that!! What you did - it wasn't your fault! If we had only tried harder to understand--!!"

Skull winks at Ring and taps the side of his head. "That's exactly what I'm talking about. Don't worry about me. What's done is done."

"... Skull..."

"My time is over," the skeleton states. "The rest is up to you -- my brother!"

Ring Man regains consciousness to the screaming of Pluto. Glancing over his shoulder, the feline Stardroid finds he's no loner pursued. He's sweating profusely, and then, he begins to giggle. "Y-you created an illusion...? Yeah! -- That must be it, there's no way a monster like that could exist!!" the panicked cat madly gibbers, regaining his composure, looking at the apparently unconscious Ring Man. "So it WAS an illusion... no wonder I wasn't able to damage him.. hehehehe..." Pluto turns and launches himself back at Ring Man. "But I know YOU'RE REAL!"

Ring Man's right fist plows through Pluto's abdomen and explodes out his back. "SKULL MAN!!" Pluto chokes in confusion, eyes wide, staring down at Ring Man. "He's NOT A MONSTER!" Ring man snarls. "He's my BROTHER!!"

The area is brightened by the force of Pluto's explosive demise.

Somehow, Duo is watching. <<...>>

Re: GIGA MIX 3 STORY OUTLINE

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:18 pm
by Observer
Shadow Man's blade cuts cleanly through Mercury's body, angled from the right shoulder to the left hip. It's like slicing through pudding - and it has no effect, as Mercury's body shoots gooey tendrils reconnecting the two halves and yanks him back together.

"HAAA HAA! When will you understand?!" he sneers, mocking. His right foot swiftly shoots up and kicks Shadow Man in the chest. "It's HOPELESS!"

Directly behind Shadow Man, Mars and Neptune open fire, chasing the ninja's rapid movements with railgun fire and acidic blobs. "GRRR! AT THIS RATE WE'LL--" Shadow's eyes snap up and catch sight of an old observatory space station not too far off. Is that...?

BOOM! Shadow Man's body is hit with a massive explosion!

Neptune approaches Shadow's last known position. "Hmph! We finally got him-- wait!" He clenches his teeth as he looks down. "WHAT?!"

A ninja-garbed log is left floating in space at Neptune's feet.

"HE GOT AWAY?!"

------------------------------

Shadow Man appears from umbra cast by some of the space station's outer equipment, clinging to its side. "An old observation station... abandoned, apparently..." He finds that one of its airlocks has been wrenched open, and ducks inside.

We may have been upgraded, but three against one is still a little rough, he thinks. If only there was some way to fight them one on one...

His eyes catch sight of something further down the airlock. "... Impossible! Why are you -- HOW DID YOU GET HERE-- PROTOMAN!"

Collapsed against the wall, slumped forward, sitting on the floor, Blues is a pitiable sight. His helmet and visor are cracked. His buster is chipped, his suit torn and charred in places, his arms and legs missing cover panels, bare circuits and components showing beneath.

---------------------------------

Jupiter's death comes swiftly, his body exploding from the abdomen out. "No... How...? It was just ... one weak planet... ! This....! THIS - CAN'T BE!!"

Rock pants, his buster still pointed to Jupiter's remains. Behind him, Terra appears. "You surprise me at every turn. I am actually impressed," he muses with a pleased, dark smirk.

"How can you just stand there...? Why didn't you stop me from destroying your friend?" Rock asks, frowning, confused.

"My friend....?" Terra asks, thinking a moment. "Oh, you mean Jupiter. I'm certain he was satisfied with his death. All of his despair and rage has fed Dark Moon... It won't be long now until the hatching."

"The "hatching"?" Rock asks, still on guard. "What is THAT supposed to mean?!"

"EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE!" Terra shouts. "Dark Moon feeds on your fear and despair to nourish the energy growing within it. SOON THE TRUE DESTROYER WILL BE BORN!!"

"NO!" Rock denies. "I WON'T LET THAT HAPPEN!"

Terra grins wide and opens fire from the palm of his hand. "Heh heh! I seems you have a limitless fountain of hope within you -- That should be enough to satiate Dark Moon once all of your hope turns to despair!!"

------------------------

Blues suddenly startles awake, pointing his buster, ready to fire.

"Calm down," Shadow Man says. "It's not like you to be on edge."

"!!" Blues blinks behind his visor. "... You're... Shadow Man... Where...?"

"We're inside the station," Shadow Man explains. "I thought it best to keep you out of sight for now."

Blues notices makeshift repairs along his body. His chest is bound by Shadow Man's scarf. He smiles faintly. "You tended to my damage... it would seem I owe you some thanks."

"Hmph!" Shadow snorts. "I'm not even sure why I did. It makes no difference to me whether you live or die!!"

Blues just chuckles.

"Don't laugh at me!" Shadow Man protests, embarrassed.

"... There's something I needed to ask you," Shadow Man says after a moment, regathering his dignity, growing serious. "What do you have in your chest?"

"You saw it?" Blues asks.

"When I was fixing you up, yes. What I saw... was it...?"

Blues replies matter-of-factly, still smiling confidently, "Yes... you know exactly what it is, don't you?"

"It's a hyper energy crystal."

"Why do you have an energy crystal?!" Shadow Man exclaims. "They were all lost with Omega!!"

"Actually, the very first crystal that the exploration team brought back to earth was taken by Dr. Wily... and installed into me," Blues replies. "As fate would have it, I ended up in Wily's hands some time before that. Wily used me as the subject of his experiments when he was gathering data on the crystal."

"What?!" Shadow Man gasps. "Dr. Wily never mentioned any of this to me--!!"

THUD!

Mars, Neptune and Mercury are rushing through the open air hatch down the hall. "THERE THEY ARE!!"

"--Stardroids!!"

"We'll just be a bigger target if we stay together," Blues points out, quickly getting up. "Let's split up."

"Wait!! You're damaged!" Shadow Man protests.

"I'll be fine. You're bindings will keep me together long enough," Blues replies.

"Don't be foolish! You're falling apart!!" Shadow Man snaps.

"The damage isn't from the battle. My body has simply run out of time," Blues calmly states. "It's already dying."

Shadow Man is speechless, his eye wide.

I was a prototype. My power core was flawed to begin with. I was a dead robot walking.

Blues charges up, opening fire on Mars as the behemoth comes trundling down the lock.

Against my wishes, I was experimented upon...

Neptune and Mercury are held back by the force of Protoman's buster shots.

Forced to continue living... if what I was doing can even be called "living".

Shadow Man leaps out of the blazing heat and explosions. Outside the space station is degenerating as blast holes are pockmarking it all over from the inside out from the force of the fighting.

But now, I am thankful for what Wily did. My time was limited... And it should have been up a long time ago. But Wily and the crystal granted me the strength to keep on living...

The abandoned station explodes, Stardroids, Blues and Shadow Man streaking out of its wreckage like brilliant comets.

To keep on FIGHTING!

Bringing his shield to bear, Protoman screws his courage to the sticking place, charging the damaged buster, and roaring in defiance of fate as he charges once more into the fight.

Behind, the inverted shadow of Duo watches.

Re: GIGA MIX 3 STORY OUTLINE

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:06 pm
by Observer
Blues hacks up an enormous splash of "blood" from his mouth. Mars is machine gunning him from behind. Mercury is on top of him, trying to envelop him in silvery goo. "GIVE ME YOUR ENERGY!" he laughs. "I'LL SUCK IT OUT OF YOU!"

Shadow Man snaps around. "PROTO--!" But within a heartbeat he's forced to dodge Neptune's acidic attacks. "Pay attention!" The Stardroid mocks. "You can't afford to be distracted!"

"PROTOMAN!!"

Shadow Man, grasping his sword in both hands, charges down Neptune. The globs of "salt water" splatter along his shoulder, legs and feet, hissing and bubbling away outer armor and oozing towards inner components.

"GET OUT OF MY WAY!!"

"He just keeps coming at me?!" Neptune cries, unable to comprehend this self-sacrificing behavior. "Doesn't he feel his body dissolving?!?"

SHUNK!

Shadow Man's blade is thrust through Neptune's belly --

"PROTOMAN!!"

-- And passes through into Mercury as well!

"... Shadow Man!!" Blues rasps, trying to regain his strength.

"You're pathetic!" Mercury sneers. "When will you figure out that cutting me won't work?!"

"I SEE THAT," Shadow Man snaps. "... BUT HOW DO YOU FARE AGAINST HEAT?!"

A ninja must remain calm and logical at all times... and at times like now, more than any other.

Pinned like insects, the two Stardroids are shoved into a collapsing orbit, Shadow Man forcing them down. "Can you survive the heat of the world you tried to destroy?!"

"Shadow....SHADOW MAN!!" Blues shouts, watching helplessly as the three robots start to fall into the Earth's atmosphere, bursting into flames and growing smaller and smaller in his sight.

BWOM! Blues is rattled back into attention by Mars' cannon shot impacting his shield.

"Come on, what's the matter?" Mars taunts. "Did you lose your will to fight by watching your friend die?"

"My... friend....?" Thoughts of Rock, Tango and Shadow Man come to mind.

"I... I HAVE NO FRIENDS!" Blues snarls, rushing towards Mars, his shield being battered by a ferocious onslaught of weaponry.

FOOSH!

Mercury is shrieking and melting as the three robots fall faster and faster into the atmosphere. More and more of both Mercury and Neptune are flying off in burning, blackening, evaporating chunks, more and more, until only Shadow Man remains. Turned with his back to the planet and his descent slowed only just barely as he enters the atmosphere, he opens both eyes, staring out into space.

The two Stardroids shielded me from the worst of the heat, but... there's no way I'll survive a fall from this height. ... So be it.

A loud roar in the distance grabs his attention-- just in time to be grabbed in the jaws of the Wily Dragon!

"Wha--QUICK MAN?!" Shadow Man gasps, both eyes wide. The Second Number commander stands atop the Wily Dragon, impassive and indifferent, inspecting his catch with a critical eye.

"YOU'RE ALIVE?! What are you doing here?!" the confused ninja blurts out.

"I got him," Quick Man radios.

"Sorry for the extra trouble. You were the closest one to his position."

"That voice -- Shade Man, is that you?!" Shadow Man asks.

"Quick escaped the explosion at Wily City by way of the Mecha Dragon. He kindly took the time to save me as well," Shade Man explains. "Since the Mecha Dragon tends to stand out, we decided to hide it away in the old base."

"We were only able to locate you because you opened your right eye."

Shadow Man blinks, and glances down at his hand for a moment. "... Oh..."

A fist suddenly thrusts through Shadow Man's chest.

A half-dissolved Mercury is rapidly forming behind the impaled ninja.

"you... h-how...?" Shadow Man chokes.

"HAHAHAHAH!" The liquid Stardroid sneers. "Disappointed? I am the great Mercury! It'll take more than that to defeat me!!"

Quick Man reacts faster than Mercury can blink, boomerang in hand.

"WHOA, Easy there! I'll deal with you slowly, after I'm done with your friend here!" Mercury arrogantly taunts.

SLICE

Shadow Man, coughing, looks on at Quick Man, freed from Mercury's hold. I... didn't even see him attack...

Quick Man stands with his back to Mercury, saying nothing - no change of expression on his serious face. Mercury's bisected halves shudder, tendrils trying to reattach the severed parts. "... Fool!... did you forget that I can regenerate....?!"

The left half of Mercury's body collapses into a formless, sagging muck. "N-NO... NOOOO!"

The Stardroid explodes, goo flying in all directions. A hyper energy crystal, the core of Mercury's power and regenerative function, falls and shatters, as Quick Man turns and looks ahead, directing the Mecha Dragon back on course.

Duo's presence watches on.

Re: GIGA MIX 3 STORY OUTLINE

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:48 am
by Observer
Mars continues to unleash barrage after barrage of missiles and cannon shots at Blues; Blues has managed to shoot down many of the oncoming projectiles, but the brunt of them are being taken by his trusty shield. The damage is mounting however, and it won't be long before --

BAWOOM!

Blues' shield detonates with one last huge cannon shot, and the damaged Robot Master has sacrificed it in order to charge down Mars and come out of the resulting brilliant blast directly on top of the Stardroid.

FOOMP!

Blues jams his buster arm directly into Mars' head cannon.

With a taunting grin, Blues charges up his buster to full.

Mars' eyes widen in horror. "!"

VA-BOOM!

Blues is blown back from the massive explosion his buster arm a smouldering stump, his helmet knocked from his head. His energy is fading fast.

I...

His memories are flashing back to him, a jumbled mess of friends, battles, loved ones.. the edges of his vision are darkening.

Why... was I... always fighting....?

What was it ... that I wanted.... to protect?...

His sight is fading, a light in the distance.

Yes... that's it... I wanted to protect.... the light...

The dawn of a new day creeping up over the surface of the brilliant blue, green and white planet on the horizon, the last thing registering on Blues' optics. He reaches out for the light.

... Light....

Darkness.

----------------------------------------------------------

TIME REMAINING UNTIL EARTH'S DESTRUCTION: ONE MINUTE.

Racing along under the surface of Dark Moon, its "eye" forever glaring emptily down upon them, Rock and Terra are locked in mortal combat. Zig-zagging past Terra's lasers, Rock charges his buster, taking careful aim --

-- Direct hit!

Terra's midsection suffers a direct hit, blowing open his vital circuits. His eyes widen in disbelief. "... Impossible!"

"You cannot be this... strong.... where... does this strength come from....?!" He clenches his teeth, sweating, feeling his mortality at last. "... This isn't... how it was meant to...!"

Rock bears down on him, rushing forward and charging up for another full powered shot. That's it, Rock! Give it everything you've got!

"Don't underestimate this BODY!"

BOOM!!

-----------------------------------

"HA HA HA!! THAT WAS FREAKING AWESOME!" Roll shouts in triumph, far below in Wily Castle, watching the view screen with all the others. "ROCK WON! HE BEAT THE STARDROIDS!" She fist pumps.

Elec, Guts and Ice Man blink, wide-eyed at their sister. "Ro... Roll?"

"Roll... what's gotten into you?" Elec Man asks, puzzled.

"Huh? Is that supposed to be some kind of joke?" Roll asks. "Why are you calling me "Roll"?"

"... Wait, your voice-- the way you're talking.... are you...?" Elec Man stammers. "... Cut Man?!"

"Roll" scratches her head. "Well duh. Who else would I be?"

Ice Man holds up a mirror.

"Roll" looks into it.

"WH-WHAAAAT?!?!"

"Well... this is most unexpected," Light blinks. Ice Man, confused and concerned, looks up at him. "Doctor Light?!"

"What is going on? What has gotten into Roll?" Fire Man asks, sweating.

"Let me try to explain," Light begins, trying to calm his worried creations. "As you know, Cut Man's artificial brain was used to repair Rock. If we had simply replaced Cut Man's data with Rock's, we would have lost Cut Man forever. So we decided to transfer all of Cut Man's data into Roll first."

"Fortunately, Roll is also based on the same model as Cut man and Rock. We were only able to save all of Cut Man's data because Roll, as a domestic helper robot, instead of a combat robot, had a lot of unused space in her memory banks."

"I get it!" 'Roll' says, pounding her fist into her other hand. "This is all a dream!"

She abruptly faints, caught by Elec Man. "Roll!"

"Then Cut Man is--?" Ice Man asks, brimming with hope.

"Yes," Light smiles. "Once we build a new body and transfer his data into it, we'll have our old Cut Man back."

"Oh Doctor, you had us all worried that Cut Man was gone forever!" Ice Man chides, wiping away tears.

"I apologize, I should have explained more thoroughly," Light says with a small measure of embarassment.

"... What happened?" Roll asks, waking back up to her old self.

"Explain more thoroughly?"

"Wily?" Light asks, looking over at the bruised and bandaged old man. "Even with all of that spare memory space, no artificial brain could possibly hold two complete identities at once. We had to compress Cut Man's data to the limit to make it it all fit... I'm not even certain if we can extract it all again without causing damage. There are no guarantees."

Wily looks over at Light. "I was as surprised as you were when Cut Man's personality broke through the surface... but it might mean that the extraction will go better than we had hoped." He closes his eyes, leaning against the wall, sitting on the floor, resting. "I'm still surprised you suggested this method... it was quite a gamble."

"A gamble?" Light asks, standing beside him, looking confident. "Far from it."

"With the two of us working together, there's no robot that we cannot fix," Light says, looking down at his former partner. "Right?"

The two bump fists.

"Hmph," Wily agrees begrudgingly, albeit with a returned smile. "Right."

Re: GIGA MIX 3 STORY OUTLINE

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:48 am
by Observer
(This post definitely requires a little reading music to set the mood: http://youtu.be/9l1jkmPF9-c -Obs)

"IT'S OVER!" Rock shouts. "Leave Earth quietly!"

"Over?!" Terra rasps, his right arm thrown from his body as explosions continue to eat through his body from the inside out. "... Far from it... this is only the BEGINNING!"

"COME DARK MOON! FEED ON MY RAGE AND REGRET AT HAVING BEEN DEFEATED BY MEGA MAN! UNLEASH THE TRUE DESTROYER!!!" Terra's body is blown in half, the explosion echoing his peals of laughter.

The surface of the moon turns glassy... suddenly cracks begin to form, spreading out, racing across the entirety of its surface, beams of brilliant light pouring out through the tears, until at last, the pure force of overwhelming energy inside the sphere forces it open, throwing shards of discarded black matter in all directions.

In the center of the burning radiance is a figure - a robot - its body black as cinders, the edges of its armor, its hands, feet, joints, helmet, buster arm - shining with the full golden-orange radiance of the sun. From its back a corona of dancing solar flames spreads out in circular rays. Its face is invisible, blackened sunspot nothingness, beneath a burning central crest on its hoplite-styled helmet.

Sunstar has been born!

Opening a hand composed of roiling solar flame, it turns its attentions to earth. The blazing weapon at the end of its left arm starts to charge up.

"NO!!" Rock shouts. He races forward, charging up his buster, firing upwards towards Sunstar.

The silent Stardroid unleashes a torrent of raw solar energy directly towards Earth!

Rock's charged shot speeds up and impacts the center of Sunstar's beam, splitting it out into multiple directions, sending shooting comets of power that graze over Earth's atmosphere but ultimately miss their impending target -- but the raw power of the blast, grazing past Earth's electromagnetic field and atmosphere, still plays hell with the surface below. Earthquakes erupt as the land trembles. Massive lightning strikes blaze down as gale force-winds scream across the planet and cloud clusters are rammed into one another. Tidal currents are temporarily interrupted by the pull and power of the remnants of Sunstar's attack, causing massive crests and tsunamis over low-lying coastal cities. Buildings collapse in some areas. Humanity is tossed like a ragdoll in a tornado.



Sunstar turns towards Mega Man, bringing his weapon forward.


<<Mega Man... What is it that you fight for?>>

Duo's presence surrounds Mega Man even as the young warrior is charging up and preparing to fight the sum and substance of destruction itself. Rock fires at Sunstar, striking him; the Stardroid -- if that is truly what it could be called -- leans forward and sails in closer to Rock. At his approach coronal flares and flames radiate out from Sunstar's very presence. Rock is forced to shield his face as his armor starts to heat up, flares of fire licking at his body, forcing him to retreat to a safer distance.

<<The humans do not even know that you are still fighting for them. They are preoccupied with sorry, rage and despair over all they have suffered. They are only thinking of themselves now.>>

"I DON'T CARE!" Rock shouts. "Even if NO ONE ever finds out -- that's FINE BY ME!" Streaking, burning coals of solar fire are tracing after Rock like seeker missiles, as Sunstar reaches his burning hand out to try to grab Mega Man.

"But -- I'm NOT alone!" Rock shouts in defiance, arguing with Duo, fighting his way through the flames.

<<It is true that, through this battle against the Stardroids, enemies and allies banded together to work and fight as one...>>

"I have friends!" Rock interrupts. "Everyone is always with me! That's why I will fight, now and forever!!"

<<But such alliances are temporary. Once this threat passes, they will go back to their petty squabbles. With the passage of time, they will forget... they will grow distant from one another and will once again turn on each other. Humans think only of themselves. They are a selfish race that can stand for good or evil -- whichever happens to be most convenient for them at the time. Are such imperfect beings worth risking your life for?>>

<<Is there a point ... in dying for them?>>

"THAT'S WHY!" Rock shouts, blasting Sunstar again full on, forcing the Stardroid back a few more feet.

<<?!>>

"It's a beautiful thing when everyone's hearts come together as one.. but if was always that way, we might as well just be one being. The best part of there being lots of people is there are just as many souls!"

"At times, they help each other, console each other, compete against each other... at times, they even hurt and fight each other.... When it really matters," Rock says, "they can band together - but they are also capable of going their separate ways!"

Sunstar points his weapon at Rock.

"THAT'S HOW WE LIVE - THAT IS WHO WE ARE!"

And at that moment Rock's message - Rock's voice - breaks through to everyone on the planet below - and all the fighters still hanging in orbit.

A chorus of cheers, of renewed hope, calls out for Mega Man, cheering him on!

Sunstar has been cut off from his source of power.

<<I ask you again: What is your name?>>

Rock raises his buster over his head, the cracked weapon's muzzle growing a sphere of brilliant blue-white plasma.

"I AM MEGA MAN!!!"

Across the skies of Earth, a smaller, second sun bursts into existence, a halo expanding outwards from its core, carrying its light across the heavens in a brilliant visible rainbow along the curve of the vast blue bowl of the heavens.

Satisfied, Duo turns aside, walking silently into the dark eternity of space.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: GIGA MIX 3 STORY OUTLINE

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:21 pm
by Observer
(Background music again: http://youtu.be/tItVKBRzjtg )

"Whether time went faster of slower than we all expected, one month has passed since the devastating Stardroids Calamity."

"The scars left behind by the Stardroids are still painfully visible across the world, but everyone is working together to rebuild it all, back to the way it used to be -- No, to even better than it used to be!"

"That's it for now! This is Plum reporting from the field on behalf of CAPTV!"

"Okay! Thank you Miss Plum! Now over to Chest in the Studio...."

--------------------------------------

"Father?" Kalinka asks, standing with him in the temporary Light Labs facilities.

"Hmm?" Cossack turns to face his teenage daughter.

"What was 'Duo', anyways?" She asks. "Why did he come to Earth?"

Cossack removes his glasses, sighing softly and looking out the window at the construction going on beyond - the new Light Labs, Inc. "To be honest, I have no idea."

"Thinking back on it all now, I can't help but wonder -- the fact that I was able to build a Duo replacement from the one arm... installing those crystals in Ring Man and the others... all of it..."

"... Did I really do it of my own free will...?

"Do you think Duo somehow....?" Cossack trails off.

Kalinka hugs Cossack from behind and smiles. "It doesn't matter," she replies gently. "Whatever the truth, to me you'll always be the greatest roboticist in the world."

------------------

"Doctor..."

Rock walks into Light's office, carrying a package. Light, in the middle of packing up the last of his belongings from the old lab, looks up. "Hmm?"

"HELP! PLEASE HELP!" Roll bursts into the room on the edge of tears.

"Roll, what's wrong?!" Rock asks, turning around suddenly. Light steps forward quickly, eyebrows raised. "What is it?"

"Look!" Roll holds out a damaged robotic cat, unconscious, wrapped in yellow cloth. "TANGO! One of the neighborhood kids found him like this!!"

"C-can you repair him?!" Rock asks, worried. Light takes Tango, setting him down on top of a sealed box, having a look over the support unit. "Hmm... the damage is severe...." He smiles. "The main memory systems and power care are still functional. Tango will be just fine."

Roll and Rock smile at each other and breath a sigh of relief.

"Oh! Doctor, here," Rock says, remembering the brown box in his hands. "This arrived C.O.D.."

"A parcel?" Light asks, taking it.

Roll and Rock step out, headed off to help with other chores. "See you later Doctor!"

Light puts on his reading glasses. "... Wily?"

A red helmet with a white crest, badly damaged and charred, is inside, along with a card.

After the battle, a fully repaired Star man went back to bring Mega Man, Ring Man and that Idiot home. He also found this. I don't want it, so you can have it.
- Albert W. Wily

"...." Light's hands fall to his side. "... Proto Man..."

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Flap!

Shadow Man, dressed in a wide brimmed hat and cloak, stops in his tracks, hearing the noise behind him.

"You never change, do you?" Shade Man asks, aloft in the air a short distance behind the ninja. "Your obsession with these archaic traditions will always be a mystery to me."

"Hmph." Shadow Man shrugs it off. A new Wily fortress looms in the distance behind him. "You're one to talk. You seem obsessed with sneaking up on people. What do you want?"

"From the way you're dressed, I presume you're leaving on some quest for self-discovery and improvement?" Shade Man asks. "No doubt having your circuits handed to you in the fight was a hard pill to swallow..."

"What you say is true," Shadow Man states. "Quick Man was able to easily dispatch Mercury, a foe I failed to destroy. But that's not all..."

"After everything that happened, I just felt the need to be alone, to think... About myself. About Dr. Wily. About humans.... and about robots."

Shade Man smiles faintly. "Well that sounds like a picnic and a half, but what will happen to Dr. Wily if you're not around to babysit-- I mean, to protect him?"

"You will protect him," Shadow Man answers firmly.

"Is that so...?" Shade Man asks.

Shadow Man glances back at the vampire, dead serious.

Shade Man sighs.

Shadow Man continues to walk on into the distance.

"Oh wait!" Shade Man calls out. "I almost forgot!!" He puts both hands to his face, shouting at the top of his lungs. "After everything settled down, we went back to re-examine the ancient text regarding the Stardroids! We found out that the aliens who created the Stardroids weren't the ones who created the hyper energy crystals!!"

"...." Shadow Man turns back and shouts, "What are you trying to say!!?"

"They were merely the puppets of fate! They acquired the crystals from an external source -- they based their designs of the Stardroids and Sunstar around the power of the crystals!!"

Shadow Man is a speck on the horizon.

"... He left anyways," Shade Man sighs. "I wonder if he even heard me." With a shrug and smile, he murmurs to himself, "I guess it goes to show... even when they're born on completely different planets, people are all the same."

The fortress suddenly rumbles, and eight beams of light streak out of the top.

Shade Man watches them trail overhead. "... All the same... Let's just hope we don't warrant another visit from the friendly neighborhood "white nightmare" anytime soon."

------------------------------------------------

Light is reminiscing in his office, looking fondly at a picture snapped many years ago - a photo of he and Wily, arms locked in triumph, over the success of a prototype robot. He smiles, thinking back to those days. Perhaps there's hope for Wily after all...

"DOCTOR LIGHT!" Rock slams open the door, leaning on the frame. Light fairly stumbles forward, clutching the picture to his chest. "Rock?! Wh-what are you doing?! You should always knock first!!" he chides, sweatdropping.

"I'm sorry doctor but there's no time! You have to come and look at the TV!!" Rock shouts.

"MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! People of the world, behold! I know it may be a bit sudden, but I hereby announce the commencement of my eighth plot to take over the world!!!"

Light, staring at the TV, is utterly, comically gobsmacked. The picture drops from his hand. "W... WILY?!"

"Rock!" Elec Man shouts, joined by the other Light Numbers, rushing into the room. "There are robots we've never seen before running amok in the city!"

Light rubs his forehead, trying to stave off an oncoming headache. "... Can we... count on you again, Rock?"

"Of course!" Rock grins with determination.

"Be careful out there Rock!" Roll adds, brows furrowed in concern, still smiling.

"Thanks Roll, I will!" Rock's hand clenches into a fist as he shifts into his Mega Man armor. "Transform: Mega Man!!"

[END]