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Megaman: Twilight
by Tomm Hulett

Chapter 2: Nightmares

"Whooo," Eddie chirped. "Whirp!" The small red fliptop's vocabulary was limited to binary squeaks and hums, although at odd times he was able to simulate certain words made up of a single syllable. At the moment he was standing on top of Megaman, as the blue robot slept.

"Rrreee?" He questioned. "Bzzz." "Huh?" Megaman opened his eyes to the vision of the comical little box with legs. "Hey Eddie!" The warrior robot picked up his small friend playfully and spun him about in the air briefly. "What's the buzz?"

"Rooo....hmmmm.....ching!" Eddie chirped, smiling and opening his eyes wide. "Really?" Megaman asked, grinning. "For breakfast? Cool!" The blue bomber leapt out of his bed and stretched--another human trait he'd picked up. To compensate for the robot's inability to digest real food, Doctor Light had (in one of his more humorous moods) decided to shape Megaman's three daily meals of energy capsules into food. It was more of a joke, really, but Megaman played along. There was no harm in it. This morning, as Eddie had just informed his role model, they were having bacon and eggs.

Megaman sprinted out of his room and down the long corridor leading to the meal area of the laboratory. He wore a large smile on his face. That was the good thing about being a human-like robot. Just like humans, stressful events could seemingly disappear after a good night's sleep.

The weapon robot decided to test his skills, and turned the journey to breakfast into a check on his mobility systems. He performed leaps and bounds, speed changes, and flips; along with other acrobatics. Eddie tried his best to mimic every move, as he idolized Megaman in a way. The small fliptop's attempts usually resulted in him tumbling down stairs or some such.

"Brace yourself, Eddie," Megaman warned. "We're goin' for a shoulder roll." The robot did as he had said.

"Wheeeee!" Eddie exclaimed before landing flat on his face. He righted himself and continued the charge.

"Arooooo!" Rush flew down the hall towards Megaman in 'jet' mode.

"Heh...hey Rush!" Megaman jumped onto the robo-dog. They swooped by Eddie and the blue hero leaned down to pick him up. "Let's go!" The three shot down the hall to breakfast.

* * *

After the speeding corridor run, Megaman swooped into the 'dining hall' atop Rush. He dropped Eddie at the entrance and landed immediatly after swooping at Auto. "Hey guys," Megaman replied. He sat down in front of his plate of 'eggs'.

Roll got up from where she was sitting, moved next to Megaman, and announced "I'll sit by Rock."

After several years of this constant 'Rock' stuff, Megaman was getting fed up. At first it had just been another of Roll's cute attempts; but now it was just annoying. Megaman was too hungry to care at the moment, though, as his late night pondering had surprisingly taken more out of him than any of the others had expected. Roll had taken the liberty to wake Doctor Light up that night and explain the 'incident' to him. She knew Megaman would have objected--saying 'our creator needs his sleep' or something like that.

Now, however, Roll was all smiles and giggles as she saw that Megaman had apparently burned off any steam. "Sleep well?" she asked, a noticable twinkle in her eye.

"Yeah...I had weird dreams, though," answered Megaman.

"Fascinating," Doctor Light whispered, more to himself than anyone in particular. He always said something like that when he was reminded of how well he had created his robots. It was one reason he made sure that he ate and slept in the same 'house' they did. They were his family, and he treated them as such. Megaman his son, Roll his daughter, Rush his dog, Tango his cat, and Beat his bird. Of course, the animals were more Megaman's pets than his own. Auto and Eddie were...well....they were close friends. "But my mind wanders," Light spoke out loud accidentally. He blushed and continued with his meal.

"So, Mega," offered Auto. "You feelin' better after last night?" The large green robot never was the most tactful speaker.

"Shhh," commanded Roll, assuming a stern look.

"Ohhhhhhnoooo..." whirred Eddie. Rush covered his head with his metallic paws. Auto simply assumed a confused look and shrugged.

"It's okay, guys," Megaman chuckled. "I'm fine now. Just needed to get that off my chest." The blue bomber wasn't quite sure that this was all that true. But at the moment he was happy, and wanted to keep it that way. "I appreciate your concern." Roll seemed to get much satisfaction from those words, and her smile beamed.

"Thank you, Rock," she giggled. "We appreciate you too."

Megaman ignored the fact that Roll's response really wasn't appropriate to the comment he had made, and Doctor Light simply mumbled something about "fascinating."

Rush's ears perked up and Megaman commented as to the strange noise that had suddenly come into listening distance. It sounded like...

"GET DOWN!" ordered the heroic droid, jumping from the table.

Roll screamed as something blew a chunk off of half the ceiling. Three robotic figures dropped down into the room, and above them hovered Bass; perched atop Treble. "Sorry to spoil your little party," Bass mocked. "But my master has a small message for you. I'm here to deliver it."

Something in Megaman's mind twitched. Wily. Again. Right now, though, the immediate concern was Bass and his homocidal obsession (note: or robocidal, I guess). "Can't we have a moment's peace without megalomaniacs threatening us?" Megaman questioned.

"Megalomaniac? You ranking me with Wily?" Bass replied in a patronizing tone. "I'm flattered...but you still have to die."

The warrior robot turned his attention to the three humanoid robots who were standing in front of him. "These are the Silicon Knights," Bass announced. "Iron, Alloy, and Steel." As the evil robot said each of their names, they each struck a pose that had become a trademark reflex of Wily's robots. "I have things to do...so they're here to play with you." Bass and Treble then flew off into the morning sky.

"We have exact instructions to HURT you," remarked a robot with huge anvils as feet. His fists were abnormally large, and his head was strangely square. His body formed a sort of new age armor, most of it forming into exact angles and ending up looking quite blunt. He was a dull grey color, and Megaman assumed this was "Iron". Iron carried an axe.

"We're gonna' melt you dowwwwn," smirked a robot weilding a large scimitar. This robot seemed about the general size and shape of Megaman himself (albeit with a thinner head), although he had this same 'armor' motif that the other two had. His body was continually changing shape from slightly larger to slightly smaller. To go along with the change, his color also morphed among shades of gray and dull blue. "Prepare yourself." This seemed a logical choice to be "Alloy".

"Silicon Knights assemble," replied the third opponent; a taller, more slender robot. He was packing a standard issue plasma cannon, although his 'armor' formed into dangerous looking spikes and points. Megaman was sure that the blades were designed to puncture through his titanium armor, and was very sure he didn't want to get too close to them. His coloring was more of a blue tint on the grey, and he was definitely "Steel"--and the leader. "ATTACK!"

The three rushed Megaman immediatly. Iron had driven the table towards the blue bomber in an attempt to pin him to the wall. An attempt that was thwarted by a deft slide manuever. Ironically the only manuever Megaman hadn't tried in his hallway sprint. Iron growled and struck the wooden finish with his axe. Our hero emerged at the robot's feet, though, and stunned him with a quick shot of plasma from the famed 'mega buster'.

As the first assailant regained himself, Megaman charged at Steel. If the warrior had learned anything, it was that defeating the leader was a sure way to defeat the troops. Defeating the leader in this case, however, didn't seem all that feasable at the moment. "Three against one...more than fair odds for the famous Megaman," joked Steel. "It's a pity that your dear Doctor Light didn't make more weapon robots to help you out."

"I wouldn't wish my fate on anyone," growled the warrior robot. "It's because of trash like you that I'm forced to continue along this path of destruction."

"I'd almost think you regretted your destiny," Steel smirked, continuing the clash by parrying Megaman with his spiked body.

"I do," the blue hero said firmly. "And I pity you." Megaman punched at the 'knight' while simultaneously firing his mega buster; which was conviniently the same hand he punched with. The shocks served only to knock Steel back a step and did no real damage. Megaman didn't expect them to.

Alloy was quickly on top of the robot. "Bye," he smiled. "Good luck."

"You're a strange one," Megaman commented. "Wily gives you such odd personalities." He fired a few buster shots.

Alloy found this funny for some reason, he was obviously the 'eccentrically humorous' of the bunch. He took a moment to cackle uncontrollably. "We're funny that way." The droid swung at Megaman with his oversized blade. The blue bomber tripped the 'laughing knight' and fired a few bursts at him.

Megaman took this calm of the battle to glance around and make sure his friends were okay. He spotted most of them behind makeshift shields and turned back to the knights who stood for anything but chivalry. They had reassembled and were standing again underneath the gaping hole in the ceiling. "For now, these knights must say 'bye'," Alloy chuckled. Iron smacked him across the face with a huge backhand.

"We will leave you now," Steel said with mock nobility. "We've....served our purpose."

"Purpose?" Megaman realized they'd been a diversion. "What might that be?"

The knights simply laughed quietly to themselves. "I've also decided to leave you with a small token," Steel looked at the charred place on his shoulder where Megaman's plasma had connected. "Just because I'm me." The spiked knight robot fired a large plasma burst. Surprisingly it wasn't aimed at Megaman. It was aimed at Roll, who was standing out in the open now. It connected.

"NOOOO!" Megaman ran over to his 'sister' as his three opponents teleported away. The blast had done far worse damage than Megaman had speculated, and Roll was motionless. The female robot was missing most of her head, and half of her upper torso. Megaman knelt beside her body and stared, forlorn. "Roll."

Doctor Light was simply amazed at the emotions Megaman was expressing. It was one thing for a robot to express happiness or determination. But such strong feelings of love and anger were amazing. The Doctor didn't express this vocally, of course; this was neither the time, nor the place. He made a mental note to record this happening, all the same.

A familiar whistle interrupted the sorrow momentarily as a red and grey robot teleported in. "Protoman." Megaman spoke without emotion, then turned his head back to Roll. "It destroyed her, Protoman. That monster destroyed her."

"I--I'm sure we can fix--" Protoman decided comforting his 'brother' was the most important thing at the moment.

"It destroyed her memory circuits and most of her body," Megaman moped. "Roll can never come back."

Deciding comfort was impossible, Protoman sadly explained what he had come here to explain. "I--I'm sorry," he stuttered. "I saw them approaching and came to warn you; but I was too late." He looked at the broken remains of his 'sister'. "I failed. Roll's death lies on my hands."

"It was Steel," Megaman said, again devoid of emotion. "Not you."

"No, I could have stopped him." Protoman's yellow bandanna whipped about in the draft created by the hole in the ceiling. "This is my fault." The robot's optic sensors shut behind his visor. "Roll..."

"The one who did this will soon pay, Megaman," Light reminded them. "As soon as we're ready, we'll send you to--"

"We're holding a funeral for Roll," Megaman said resolutely. He stood with Roll in his arms. "Before we do anything else--we're holding a service for Roll."

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