Aria grimaced, glaring down at the skull shaped fortress. Only Wily could dream up a place that ugly, she reflected grimly. A cold wind whipped her hair around, making her shiver.“Damn.” Aria muttered, spotting several gun turrents and Sniper Joes on the walls. She glanced down at her minimal body armor… Only a metal vest, really. It was only meant to protect her from lab accidents, and wouldn’t withstand any kind of punishment.“And all I have is a goddamn dagger.” Aria said sorrowfully, holding the dagger up to the light. “What am I going to do, spit on them?” Aria slumped down, and her eyes narrowed with hatred as she looked at the fortress again. “It doesn’t matter… if I die. I’ll have to sneak in.” Slipping her dagger into her boot sheath, she started her reconnaissance.Patiently and diligently, she circled the fortress, looking for a weak point. Finally, she saw an opportunity as good as any she was likely to find. A single guard Joe, near a small, hidden access point.“All right.” Aria murmured, looking the Joe over. But there was no way to get close without being seen. “Well…” She shrugged. If she couldn’t sneak, she might as well brazen it out. And maybe… her eyes lit up as she thought of a way to set the Joe off stride.“Hey, big boy.” She strode up confidently, leering at him. She had learned the expression from some of her brothers videos. “Care for a frolic?” The Joe wasn’t programmed to react to that sort of thing, and pointed its gun at her instead. Aria dodged the blast deftly. “Hey, what do you think I am, rough trade?” She asked indignantly. Before it could fire again, she flipped out her boot dagger, and threw. It hit the Joe hard in the chest, spraying the wall with robotic blood.“Oh.” Aria stared at the dead Joe, swallowing hard. She had never killed anything before. That this was of Wily’s robot minions didn’t seem to help any. “Oh, mother, what am I doing?” Aria closed her eyes and leaned against the wall for a moment, collecting herself. When she felt ready to continue, she pushed herself up and entered skull fortress…
Elec-man fidgeted nervously. Normally watching the video monitors was a boring, easy job and he was happy to have it. But right now, Bass was leaning over his shoulder, peering at the video monitors with a very disquieting smile. It added a whole new peril to his work.“B-Bass.” He stammered. “I need to tell Wily…” A hard black hand clamped over his shoulder.“No, I don’t think we need to tell Wily yet.” Bass smiled down at him gently, showing one canine tooth and inspiring utter terror in his hapless underling. All of Wily’s bots were familiar with that particular smile. “One silly robot, alone… There’s no need to worry him about it.” His eyes glittered as he glanced back at the monitor.“B-b-but…” He stammered, and then cowered as Bass glared at him. Then Bass smiled again, and patted his shoulder.“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” He turned and walked out. Treble paused for a moment to give him a low, rumbling growl, then followed his master. Elec-man tugged on his bolts nervously.“Bass will take care of it.” He glanced back up at the monitor showing a young girl slinking through skull fortress. “Bass will take care of it.”
Aria wrinkled her nose as she skirted a pool of something that could only be called ooze. Her creator had never been a neatness freak, but this was beyond what she could tolerate. “He has all those stupid metools.” Aria muttered, swiping at a cobweb. “Can’t he keep the place clean?”This place was definitely not clean. The lighting was terrible, and the whole place was incredibly dank and dirty. The scent of mold and rust clung to everything, making Aria gag. She peered around the corner, and gasped. With his back to her was Iceman. He whirled as he heard her.“Well, well well. What have we got her? Somebody breezin’ for a freezin’.” Aria swallowed hard, backing away.“I, uh, I’m a new robot…”
“Sure you are, sister, sure you are. Tell me another one! Wily don’t make no girls.” He smirked at her, raising his hands. Aria thought wildly.“Why not?” Iceman paused for a moment.
“Beats me.” He shrugged. “Don’t matter. You-“ He stopped as Aria closed her eyes and began singing. It should have been utterly worthless without her brothers, but she wasn’t dead yet. Aria opened one eye and saw Ice man standing absolutely still, his jaw slack. Aria slowly edged back, reaching for her dagger. But as she did Ice man’s eyes refocused, spotting the weapon, and her spell broke.
“HEY!!!” He yelled, furious. Aria screamed as a blast of ice passed over her head, sending her rolling. She got to her feet only to get catch another blast with her shoulder.“Ahhhh!” Aria gasped in pain, trying to regain her feet. Pain shot through her shoulder as it scraped against the wall.
“Give it up, kid.” Iceman chuckled, walking up to her. “You can’t defeat me! You’re just a lab bot.”
“Oh yeah?” Aria grunted, dagger finally in hand. “We’ll see!” Her arm flashed around and her dagger flew. Unfortunately, Iceman was far more agile than a Sniper Joe. The dagger clipped his side.
“Gah! Bitch! I’m gonna blow you into little…”
“Oh no you’re not!” Another voice rang out from behind her. “Aria, duck!” Aria hit the ground as a blast of plasma passed overhead. Iceman was flung back, clear through a wall. Aria gaped as a blue, slender robot leaped in front of her.
“You’re gonna pay for that, ya blue pest!” Ice Man shouted, surging up out of the shattered wall. Aria gasped as she realized who her savior was.
“Mega Man?” She said in disbelief. He glanced over in her direction, flashing her a cocky smile. His eyes, she noticed, were a blue even more vibrant than Andante’s.“Don’t worry, I’ll handle this bozo!” Aria backed away as the two went at it hammer and tongs, plasma and ice flying everywhere. Then suddenly strong hands clamped around her mouth and arms, dragging her back. She struggled for all she was worth, trying to alert Mega Man, but he didn’t hear…
Continue to Chapter 6 of Aria
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