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A Pretty Short Chapter.

"...and then the computer exploded, sending energy into her." Mega Man finished his story for Dr. Light, who was examining Aria. Roll listened quietly. "Is she going to be okay?" Mega Man asked worriedly. "She went awfully freaky after that..." Dr. Light looked up from his work, laying down several tools. Aria was lying limp on the examination table, her slow, steady breathing the only sign of life. Dr. Light gently closed her chest panel, pulled her jumpsuit closed, then turned to Mega Man.

"I believe she'll be fine... from what records I was able to recover from Tiffany's lab, her brainwaves are within normal parameters, and all her systems are functional." He sighed, rubbing a hand over his eyes wearily. "But I don't know about the other energy readings. They just don't make much sense... I'll need to run a level one diagnostic." He tapped several keys on a nearby computer terminal. A soft golden glow started at her feet, slowly working its way up her body. "It will take at least three hours to complete." Dr. Light said to his creations, who were showing no signs of leaving. Roll raised an eyebrow and went to clean another part of the lab. Mega Man just bit his lip, gazing for a moment at the blond bioroid. She suddenly stirred, eyes opening slightly.

"Hey..." She murmured softly. Mega quickly tried to reassure her.

"It's okay, we're just running a diagnostic on you..." His voice trailed off as he realized she had fallen unconscious again. "Dr. Light, is it normal for her to do that?" He asked anxiously. Dr. Light shrugged apologetically.

"She's been through a great deal. It's hard to say. Come back in a couple hours, Mega. She'll probably be better by then." Mega Man looked troubled, but nodded.

"Okay Dr. Light. I'll be back in a bit... Rush! C'mon, let's jet!" A loud howl was heard as Rush responded to his master's voice. Aria stirred uncomfortably at the noise, but didn't wake. Dr. Light was already looking at the results from the scan, even though it wasn't over. His eyes widened slightly. This didn't seem normal... but he couldn't be sure until the scans were done...


Elsewhere...

Most of Wily's robots had piled onto the Skullcar, where Wily was lecturing them about the details of their newest mission. They were listening attentively, except for Bass, who was sulking in a corner. He had survived the biggest chewing out of his life, where Wily had pretty much sworn that he was never, ever, ever going to reprogram a robot, bioroid or trash container for Bass ever again.

So she'll never be one of us... Bass stared out the window blankly, thoughts churning. She was so... different. Even before the blast got her. Forceful, impulsive...beautiful... And his thoughts turned into daydreams. Talking to Aria, then holding her, the sweet smell of her hair, her skin against his... kissing her lightly, harder, and then-

"Bass!" Wily's voice cut through his fantasy like a blow torch through butter. Bass flinched almost guiltily, then saluted.

"Yes, great one?" He asked sarcastically. Wily scowled, eyes narrowing.

"What are you supposed to be doing?" He asked sharply. Bass felt a sudden surge of panic as he realized Wily was testing him.

"Destroy Mega Man?" He replied cautiously. It was usually a pretty fair bet that that was part of his instructions. Not that he followed instructions unless he liked them...

"Only incidentally. You," Wily stated clearly, in the tone most people would take with an idiot. Bass gritted his teeth angrily. Sometimes, he really, really hated his creator. "will be busy getting the laser I need. It is held in a special vault, and I expect you to get it out. Understood?" Bass raised one eyebrow. What was so special about this vault, anyway?

"Oh yeah? What kind of a vault are we talking about?" He asked. Wily grinned evilly.

"Oh, just automated laser systems, infra red beams, little things I'm sure you can handle." He replied. Bass didn't like the sound of that, but it would be hard to question him in a car full of robot masters, and even harder to black out. But still, he didn't like the tone of this... What's with him? Bass asked himself as he gazed hard at Wily. It was almost as if he didn't care at all whether Bass made it back or not. He hadn't exactly been caring before, but never quite this indifferent...

Wily went back to explaining their various parts to the other robot masters. This time, Bass gave them more attention. And the more he listened, the more he came to the conclusion he had been given the most dangerous job. Well, I am better than them. He commented to himself. Then he shrugged mentally. There was nothing he could do. He fell back into his dreams, staring out the window. Dreams of defeating a blue bioroid, and holding a blond one...

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