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Megaman: Twilight
by Tomm Hulett

Chapter 3: Shogun

A streak of blue light strobed down to the earth. Cutting through the sky, it crashed to the ground without a noise, and Megaman stood where it had connected. The robot gazed up at the structure in front of him. It reached several stories straight up, and looked to be a Feudal Japanese castle.

"So this is where Samurai Man lives," Megaman said to himself. "Fantastic." He ran into the metal structure without much enthusiasm. The tall steel door of the castle slammed behind the robot as he passed the doorway. The room remained dark for a moment before lights flickered on. Immediatly afterwards, the holes in the wall which held the torches began to spew flame. "Blast!"

Megaman slid away from the initial shot, making a beeline towards the stairway leading upwards. Another flame struck him in the shoulder and he stumbled briefly. He jumped over the final fireball and ran up the steps. A roaring squeal of metallic components from the left startled the robot and he rolled to a corner and brought up his mega buster. Before him crouched a black droid; human shaped, and brandishing twin throwing daggers.

The enemy whirred threateningly. It jumped in the air and threw one of its daggers. Megaman slid underneath it and dodged the knife successfully. He stood and fired three plasma shots at the ninja robot; they were deflected. The droid countered by tossing its second dagger. Megaman leapt the weapon, meanwhile charging his buster to full power. A maximum force plasma burst shot into the opponent and it exploded into pieces. It left behind a glowing sphere. "Cool," the blue bomber walked over to it.

Sometimes Doctor Wily's guard robots would explode, but their energy sources would be left behind. Megaman had the ability to siphon any left over energy from these spheres to repair his own damage. He used this particular robot's energy to make up for the shoulder hit he'd taken back with the fire launchers. Some enemies left their weapon energy sources instead.

Megaman leapt onto a ladder which lead upwards and climbed to the next floor of the area. Three plasma bursts exploded near his head and he quickly assessed the situation. "Turrets," he muttered under his breath. "Two in that wall over there, and one hanging from the ceiling." The robot flipped off the ladder onto solid ground and charged. He jumped towards the platform below, blasting the ceiling turret while in mid air. The other turrets took aim and fired, the shots avoided by a deft slide. A quick shot of the mega buster took the second turret out, the third fired another round.

This burst flew close to Megaman's face. He could feel the heat of the shot searing the air beside his left cheek. He cartwheeled away from the second incoming shot, and rolled behind a small block. When the turret stopped to rest, the blue bomber leapt from his hiding spot and fired a fully charged blast. The turret exploded into shards. "Nothing like a brisk warm up," Megaman quipped.

* * *

Electricity buzzed through the circuits of the metallic castle. Binary code squawked out of a speaker, another microphone taking it in for translation. The words 'Megaman has begun assault' appeared on a viewscreen. "I see he's wasting no time," said an observer. A hand hefted a communicator. "Samurai Man--be alert," the voice commanded. "He's headed your way."

"Yes, my master," the robot responded. The shadowed figure knew that his robot was bowing, even though he only spoke through a communicator. Such well programmed servants. The observer smiled.

* * *

"Let's see how well you TAKE it!" Megaman swung from an outhanging bar to a nearby wall. He fired two small bursts before pushing off and landing on the ground, sliding out of the way. Three of the ninja robots had surrounded the hero, and he was in the process of turning the tables. Two daggers landed near to the robot's foot. "Whoa..." he stood from his slide and changed directions. He soon realized he was now sprinting directly into one of the ninjas. "Hey there..." he fired his mega buster, blowing the robot into peices. He then performed a backflip to dodge another dagger, pivoting upon landing to face his other two attackers. There was only one in sight, though. Megaman quickly dispatched this opponent with his buster. "Where's your friend?" he asked to the now-disfunctional pile of pieces.

His answer came in the form of the ninja robot leaping from the ceiling onto his back. The blow sent Megaman tumbling in an awkward roll, the assailant holding on and buzzing loudly. "I can't believe I fell for that," the blue bomber growled as he struggled to right himself. "How did I ever let my guard down--"

The ninja shoved one of its daggers into Megaman's lower back. "AArgh.." Megaman swung his arm around to remove the dagger, but couldn't reach. Flipping his body backwards before leaping to his feet, Megaman was successful in bucking the ninja from his back. "That hurt," he replied, ripping the dagger from his back and placing it in his mega buster. "YOU try it." Megaman fired the dagger out of his arm cannon into the ninja robot. The creature was knocked backwards before colliding with the floor and exploding. Megaman saw an energy capsule on a nearby platform and ran to get it.

"This is a pretty big hideout," Megaman said to himself. "I hope it's not much farther to Samurai Man." The robot continued walking down the hallway he was in. Suddenly the floor dropped out beneath Megaman's feet, and he tumbled down through the darkness. 'How many times have I done THIS before?' he thought. 'I suppose I'll land and Samurai Man'll be standing there when the lights turn on.'

He landed roughly on his rear and stood up. The lights indeed turned on, but instead of Samurai Man, three paper doors stood in front of him. "Hm..." he walked to the nearest door and opened it. A large fire cannon was behind it, and Megaman was knocked away by the blast. The flames continued to pour out, injuring the robot many times over. He finally regained himself enough to shoot the cannon.

"Let's think about a safer way to do this," he muttered, using an energy can he had found earlier in the day. He charged up his gun and shot the second door. The paper fell away and revealed another fire cannon--this one destroyed by the burst. "Thought so." He shot the third door, and it revealed a hydrolic door with a large skull shaped into it. Megaman proceeded through the gate, charged through the short hallway, and emerged out the second gate, into the vaulted chamber of Samurai Man. The ceiling was lined with sharp spikes, and there were blades placed eratically on the walls.

"Konnichiwa," the robot master said mockingly, bowing. "May your death be honorable."

"I'm sure it will," Megaman shot back, charging his mega buster. "But you won't be there to see it."

With a battle cry, Samurai Man charged at Megaman, his blade unsheathed. He ran so that the large cresent on his helmet might also spike his opponent against the wall. His sandaled feet smashed against the floor as he ran. Megaman leapt over his assailant, using a handstand to spring to his feet. He spun and fired a blast. The robot master grunted as the shot hit him square in the back. "Whelp.." he threw his katana. It spun in the air and flew towards the hero.

"Whoa," Megaman jumped over the blade and landed between it and its owner.

"Return," Samurai Man spoke. The sword buzzed into Megaman's left leg on it's way. The blue bomber stumbled and the warrior robot laughed. "You are weaker than I was told, blue one. Prepare to die."

"That's funny," Megaman jumped away. "It really is." The robot fired two more charged shots at his attacker. Samurai Man endured them both. A third shot from the hero was deflected, as the robot master began to glow.

"Grraaaaaaagh..." Samurai Man hefted his katana before driving it powerfully into the floor. The entire castle shook under the blow. The spikes on the ceiling of the chamber began to rain down. The ones that hit Samurai Man were vaporized by his current force field. The ones that hit Megaman were much more damaging.

Megaman stumbled slightly. He gritted his teeth and leapt in the air towards the robot master--who was no longer radiating a shield.

Samurai Man grinned behind his helmet and held his sword in the air. "DEATH STRIKE!" he shouted. The blades along the walls dislodged and flew across the room to the opposite wall. Of course, Megaman was in the middle of all of it, so he sustained much damage.

The weapons robot fell to the ground yards away from his intended target. "This place...is a deathtrap..." he stuttered. He fired another charged blast that he had been storing up. "How much...damage can you TAKE?" he cried in a frustrated tone.

"As you can see," Samurai man said simply. "The new robot masters are built much better than the previous models."

The hero breathed heavily. Oxygen was necessary for his circuits to remain functional--and at the moment they were struggling. Megaman stood slowly and charged his gun. He then broke into a sprint towards the robot. Seeing his intent, Samurai Man, too, brought his sword to bare and began his charge. Megaman leapt into the air, readying his mega buster. It was a traditional method of the Japanese duel. Usually both warriors had swords--of course, usually both warriors were ninjas. Samurai armor wasn't the most ideal attire to be making superhuman leaps. As the blue bomber saw his opponent jump into the air, however, it became obvious there were a few modifications.

Samurai Man flew upwards, holding his blade out to strike. Megaman reached the pinnacle of his jump, and aimed his weapon. It was a desperate chance, but one more hit and Megaman would be done for anyway, so this was as good a choice as any. Just before his opponent's weapon connected, the blue bomber fired his blaster. It connected directly into the robot master's upper torso.

Megaman landed, falling to one knee. Samurai Man had been sent spinning by the burst, and landed sprawled on his back. He struggled, finally managing to sit upright. "I....must...die honorably," he choked.

Megaman stood and gazed at him. Years ago, Megaman might have offered to help the dying robot master. Offered him a second chance, or tried to explain to him the errors of his ways. That was a long time ago. Now, though, rage burned in the hero's eyes.

Samurai Man grasped his katana in both hands and brought it up, pointed at himself. "You are strong," the robot master said weakly. He then shoved the blade into his own stomach, severing his main circuitry wires, and setting off a chain reaction.

The blue bomber watched as his opponent exploded into bits. One down. One step closer to revenge for Roll's death. Megaman stopped himself. Revenge had never been his goal--and he didn't want it to be. He wouldn't seek vengeance...but justice. Roll's killers would be brought to justice. The robot solemnly turned on his wrist communicator. "He's finished, Doctor Light," he replied. "I'm moving on to the next location."

"Roger, Megaman," the Doctor responded. "I'm tracking your progress."

The robot stood alone in the chamber. He shut his communicator off. Before teleporting, Megaman looked one last time at the charred metal floor where Samurai Man had died. The robot sadly shook his head; and then he was gone in a blue streak. "Justice..."

Continue to Chapter 5
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