Disclaimer: All official MegaMan characters are property of Capcom. The idea of NetDaemons originally belongs to Wazuki Orochi and Rabarta Nostrum.
IT'S A MIDNIGHT RELEASE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
And here we have it at last, everybody. The long-awaited movie-style epilogue. This final installment takes place three years after the end of the last chapter. More details will be revealed as the story progresses.
ROCKMAN.EXE: THE COLLEGE YEARS
The buzz of the alarm clock broke the silence in the bedroom, waking up the twenty-four-year-old Lan Hikari from his sleep. He slowly reached out and hit the sleep button. His movements, however, did not go unnoticed as his wife Maylu stirred beside him. He laid back down and turned around to face her.
"Morning, Lan," whispered Maylu, "Getting up early again, I see."
"Well, I've come a long way since we were kids," replied Lan with a smile, "Well, I better go get ready."
"I'll get breakfast ready," offered Maylu as she got out of bed. She slipped on her robe and walked into the bathroom to brush her teeth. Lan laid in bed waiting for her to finish and then got up himself. He grabbed his blue bathrobe off the hook beside his bedside table and walked out into the hall putting it on. He noticed the door at the other end of the hallway was open – the door leading into the bedroom he had when he was growing up as a kid – and he looked inside to see his wife standing over the crib in the corner. He walked over to her quietly and put his arm around her.
"Look at him," Maylu whispered. Lan looked into the crib at the small sleeping form. The Hikaris' few-month-old son Patch was sound asleep snuggly tucked under his blanket. Lan slowly reached in and gently stroked the baby's reddish-brown hair. The happy couple stood beside the crib for a bit longer before Maylu kissed Patch's forehead and the two of them left him alone to continue sleeping.
After brushing his teeth, Lan went into his home office. Actually, it was both his and Maylu's. The room was occupied by two desks, one on either side. A bookshelf stood against the wall between them. One half was occupied by books while the other half was filled with all sorts of software, disks, and highly-disorganized documents. Lan walked over to his desk and switched on his computer. As he waited for it to finish booting up, his turned his attention to the small blue device next to it: his PET. He took it off its charger and brought it out of sleep mode. A yawn came out through the speaker and he looked at the screen to see his NetNavi MegaMan stretching his limbs.
"Morning, Lan. I see you're up early today."
"Well today's the big day," was Lan's answer, "Although that's not the reason I'm up early." Another yawn from his PET suddenly caught his attention and he couldn't help but smile.
"Had fun last night, I take it?"
"I wish," replied MegaMan, "Navis can't do it like you humans can." Suddenly, a pink form came into view as Roll appeared and wrapped her arms around her husband. She and MegaMan had gotten hitched the very same day their operators had gotten married.
"Alright, you two. Get back to your respective PETs and I'll bring you downstairs." Lan picked up Maylu's PET from her desk and beamed Roll in before taking both handheld electronics down with him. As soon as he entered the kitchen, he was immediately met by the smell of bacon, eggs, and coffee. He walked up to Maylu from behind and placed his hands on her arms as he kissed her. She smiled and returned to her cooking. Before long, the two of them were sitting down at the table eating breakfast with their PETs sitting at the end.
"So Lan, you're making that presentation today at work, aren't you?" asked Maylu.
"Yeah. I'm kinda nervous, though," Lan admitted, "It's the first time I'll be presenting research on behalf of SciLab."
"I'm sure you'll do fine, Lan," MegaMan assured his operator, "But on another note, aren't you meeting that new intern today, as well?"
"That's right. I'm supposed to spend the morning showing him around and telling him how things work," answered Lan as he took another bite of his toast and picked up the newspaper.
"There's a warning about a new threat on the net," the brunet observed as he read the headline and proceeded to read the article, "They're not sure what it is, whether it's just a virus, a Navi, or something else. But they're warning everybody in case they encounter whatever is out there."
"Well whatever is it, I'm sure the Officials can handle it," said MegaMan, "Now hurry up and finish eating. Otherwise, it won't matter that you woke up early." Lan quickly finished his breakfast and went back upstairs. He came back down wearing his work clothes which consisted of black slacks, a white shirt, and a blue jacket similar to the one his father wore with bright orange stripes and MegaMan's icon emblazoned over the left breast. His hair had been combed and gelled to give him the look he wanted for the presentation. He strapped on his PET holster onto his left arm and slid his PET into place. After putting on his shoes, Lan grabbed his briefcase and kissed his wife.
"I'll see you when I get back from work." And with that, he headed out. Not long after Lan and Maylu had gotten married, Lan's parents moved to another part of DenTech City and left their son the house in which he had spent his life growing up. And even today, deep within his heart Lan felt he couldn't leave the white-walled blue-roofed building even if he wanted to. He walked down to his car, got in, and drove off.
"So did you read the news?" one NetNavi asked another.
"Yeah, they're warning everybody about this new so-called threat on the net."
"It's probably just some two-bit hacker," a third interjected, "Nothing the Officials can't handle."
As discussions between the digital beings continued, four lone figures stood just outside the cyber town. One of them had a news window open before him.
"They're starting to take notice," one of the others noted. This first one was a slim NetNavi dressed completely in black. His torso was encased in armor with the lower half resembling a ribcage. He had two large shoulder pads and small curved spikes on his knees. A pair of long slender fin-like protrusions donned each forearm. His helmet curved over his forehead and covered his cheeks,showing his face and his bright yellow eyes through a Y-shaped opening and the top was adorned with two twisted crests.
"And yet they still don't acknowledge who we truly are," the second one replied. This one was the smallest of the four and was dressed in a white suit overtop of which he wore a white loose-fitting jacket-style kimono and white hakama pants. But beneath those clothes he also had some degree of armor. White boots and white gloves, as well as white leather chest armor served to protect him. He had long white hair that went down to his waist and piercing violet eyes. Beside him was a long slender naginata with a pole made of ivory and a sharp slightly curved blade.
"I just want to crush them, but our leader won't allow it," the third growled. He was the the largest built of the three, but not with a enormous muscles like a wrestler or a bodybuilder. He wore a black bodysuit with scarlet stripes running down the sides and bright red armor that covered his torso and legs along with matching gauntlets and boots. Out of all four of them, his armor was by far the thickest. His helmet was like an old medieval war helmet the same color as his armor adorned with dragon wings on either side of his head and a crest shaped like a lion at the top with locks of orange hair sticking out from underneath. Stuck in the ground beside him was an enormous claymore.
"Be patient, all of you," the fourth and final Navi said calmly not looking up from his news window. This one also had a black bodysuit but with pale yellow stripes running down the sides. His armor was a pale yellow with shoulder guards shaped like human skulls and the chest had the image of a skull embedded into it. His boots were the same color with the tops serving as knee guards also designed like skulls. His gloves, also ashen, started one-third down his forearm and continued until they reached his fingers at which point they ended and exposed old yellowed bones for fingers. Bone designs covered his armor. His helmet, the same color as the rest of his protective gear, looked like a skull with sharp teeth adorning the area just over his face with deep-set eye sockets and two horns. In fact, it looked as if it had been made from an actual skull with grey shoulder-length hair sticking out from under it. His piercing eye were a dull red and his face extremely pale. Strapped two his back was a long wicked scythe with its handle looking like it was made from human bones and the top with the skull of a long-beaked bird from under which protruded the blade.
The ashen armored Navi closed his window and turned to his comrades.
"I think we can cause just a little bit of a rouse."
"Now that's what I've been waiting for!" the red one cheered. The scythe carrier looked at all three of his comrades – black, white, and red – and addressed them individual.
"Then let's go out together. Famine! Pestilence! War! Let's do it."
"Right, Death!" the three replied simultaneously.
Famine held up his hand over his head and snapped his fingers. No sooner had he given out the signal, a black severely malnourished horse appeared. It was so thin that its bones could be seen clearly through its skin and looked like it could barely support its saddle. Beside him, the white-robed Pestilence clapped his hands and summoned a white, very sickly, seemingly disease-ridden barebacked horse. War took up his claymore, spun it over his head, and plunged the blade into the ground, which caused it to explode and from the cracks emerged a dark crimson horse covered completely in red armor. Finally, Death placed two fingers to his lips and whistled. Immediately, the ground exploded in front of him and from the depths of the underworld emerged a yellowed skeletal horse wearing a black saddle. The four NetNavis got onto their steeds and reared them on their hind legs.
"Let's ride!" shouted Death and he led his comrades forward.
Lan flipped through a clipboard of documents as he rode the elevator down to the SciLab lobby wearing his clean and neatly-ironed labcoat. The heard the beep announcing the arrival to the first floor and stepped out as the doors opened. Inside his PET, MegaMan was flipping through his own files.
"So Lan, what do you think this new intern will be like?" asked the Blue Bomber.
"Not sure. I'm planning on just meeting with him and seeing where things go from there," answered Lan. He finally arrived at the lobby and looked around for the person with whom he was supposed to meet. He quickly found him sitting on the bench beside the receptionist's desk. As he got closer, he blinked several times to clear his vision as the person sitting there bore a striking resemblance to Daniel Radcliffe. But after a double take, he realized that his hair wasn't the same shade of brown.
"Uh, hi there," Lan greeted as he approached. The young man looked up at him and stood up.
"You're Andrew Seitz, right? The new intern?"
"Yeah, that's me."
"It's nice to meet you. I'm Lan Hikari and let me be the first to welcome you to the SciLab staff."
"I've heard a lot about you, Dr. Hikari," Andrew replied, "You and MegaMan saved the world so many times. It's an honor to finally to be in the presence of a genuine hero." Lan couldn't help but smile a bit. It had been three years since the last final battle and the hype of his fame had died down since. However, he enjoyed living a quiet life once again. But it still gave him pleasure and a sense of pride knowing that people remembered what he had done.
"So Andrew, I understand you're a recent high school graduate from Netopia," Lan said as he and Andrew proceeded upstairs.
"That's right. I'm from Odenton, Maryland. I recently graduated from St. Vincent Pallotti High School," answered the new intern, "I applied for an internship here at SciLab while I study at Den University."
"Den University, huh? Sounds like you've got some high standards set before you." The elevator door opened and Lan and Andrew stepped in and rode it upstairs.
"Uh, Andrew?" the scientist said in the slightly awkward moment, "I hope you don't mind me asking, but has anyone ever told you that..."
"That I look like Harry Potter?" Andrew interrupted, "Yeah, I get that a lot. Especially in bookstores."
"So, tell us about your Navi," requested MegaMan as his hologram appeared on. This made Andrew completely speechless.
"Whoa! It's MegaMan in the flesh!" he exclaimed when he was finally able to speak again, "I've always wanted to meet you!"
"Hey, easy there!" the blue NetNavi said backing away slightly, "Don't worry. You'll see me around a lot. So about your Navi."
"Oh yeah." Andrew reached for his side and took out a navy-blue PET, "I created him out of some Navi data I found floating around the net one day. He says his name is PirateMan."
"PirateMan?!" exclaimed MegaMan, "The Dark Nation Navi?"
"Don't worry. I've changed his original program and I've even remodeled his appearance," Andrew assured him, "Have a look." He activated the PET's hologram and displayed the new and improved PirateMan. Immediately, Lan's and MegaMan's faces fell.
"Andrew, how big of a Pirates of the Caribbean fan are you?" asked Lan.
"A pretty big one," answered Andrew, "Why?" PirateMan's new design consisted of a humanoid figure with a stiff octopus tentacle in place of a right leg, a crab claw for a left hand, and a face with a beard of octopus tentacles wearing clothes and a hat encrusted with barnacles.
"Hey, we're here," Lan announced quickly as soon as the elevator beeped. The doors opened and he led Andrew to his father's office.
"Dr. Hikari, this is Andrew Seitz, the new intern," he introduced.
"Ah, yes. Welcome, Mr. Seitz. We've been expecting you," greeted Yuuichiro as he stood up and walked around his desk, "Welcome to SciLab."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Hikari," Andrew politely greeted in return.
"Lan, your presentation is this afternoon so show Andrew around until then," instructed Yuuichiro.
"Yes, Dr. Hikari," replied Lan, "This way, Andrew." One of the changes Lan had to go through when he started working at SciLab was to treat his father like his boss. Fortunately, it didn't take long for him to adjust.
The brunet took the new intern to the supply room where he presented him with a labcoat before proceeding to show him around the facility.
Chaud stepped out of the IPC boardroom along with the members of his board and returned to his office. It had been a long and tedious meeting and he was tired. But that was the life of a company president. He sat down behind his desk and took out his PET.
"ProtoMan, has the delivery to SciLab been done?" he inquired.
"Yes, it has," answered ProtoMan.
"And any new business?"
"No." Chaud settled back in his chair and pushed two buttons on his desk, locking his doors and closing his window shades.
"Now, what about Official business?"
"That new threat has risen in priority," reported ProtoMan, "It's been confirmed that it is four NetNavis who have been terrorizing the net, but details are still unclear. But we do know one thing. They're after a goal."
"And I assume we have no idea what that goal is," Chaud surmised.
"ProtoMan, go check it out."
"Roger." Chaud beamed his Navi into his computer and sent him out onto the net. ProtoMan dashed across the web and soon joined up with a patrol of ONBA NetNavis.
"Report," he demanded.
"ProtoMan!" The team leader saluted as the Scarlet Swordsman approached, "We've received reports that one of the Navis is heading this way."
"Wait, I see someone coming!" one of the team members called out. Everybody looked in the direction that he was looking in and watched as the one who had spoken continued to peer through a pair of binoculars. Slowly, a black figure atop a black malnourished horse appeared.
"So word on the street is true," the team leader thought out loud, "They DO ride on horses. Alright, everyone! Prepare to attack." A ways away, Famine stopped and looked ahead at the Navis before him.
"Well, looks like we've got company. And it also looks like they want to play." He flexed his right arm and clenched his fist. The pair of crests on his forearm slid forward and formed a long set of claws.
"Alright. Let's play with them." Famine spurred his horse and his steed charged.
"Fire!" commanded the leader. Immediately, all ONBA Navis fired their weapons. Famine swung his arm and deflected their shots with his claws. As he closed in, he slowly prepared himself and when he was within range he leapt off his mount and began slashing away. ProtoMan immediately formed his sword and jumped in. He saved one of the NetNavis from deletion and kicked back the black Horseman.
"Who are you?" he demanded.
"Oh, I know you. You're ProtoMan, the number one Official NetNavi!" exclaimed Famine with a laugh.
"Who are you?" repeated ProtoMan.
"My comrades call me Famine and with good reason, too. Watch." Famine looked around for someone to demonstrate his power on and found one Navi nearby. He drew back his arm and stabbed his claws through him. Immediately, his weapon began to glow red and his victim slowly wasted away. ProtoMan watched in horror as the Navi grew thinner and thinner until bones could be seen through his suit. When it looked like he could get no skinner, Famine withdrew his arm and pulled his claws out of the body.
"What did you do?" demanded ProtoMan.
"This is why I'm called Famine," answered the Horseman, "I absorb data from my victims and they slowly waste away until they die. In essence, I am starving them to death. And ProtoMan, I think you would be a nice victim."
"Just try it on me." ProtoMan raised his arm and held his sword out.
"I plan to." Famine extended the claws on his other arm and took up his stance. Then with lightning-quick reflexes, he launched his attack. He swung with his right arm and attempted to stab ProtoMan, but was deflected to the side. He quickly retaliated with an uppercut with is left arm. ProtoMan quickly backflipped out of the way and spun around in midair. He swung his arm out and unleashed a Sonic Boom from his blade.
"Your basic long range attack," noted Famine, "War's data on you is surprisingly accurate." He swung his arm and broke through the attack.
"I should thank him when I rendezvous with my comrades."
"What is it you're up to?" demanded ProtoMan.
"Even I'm not sure," replied Famine, "If you want to know the whole story, you should talk to Death. Of course, that's assuming you survive this battle. Now wither away in famine and starvation!" He charged and thrust his arm forward. ProtoMan brought up his sword and caught his opponent between both claws. Famine scoffed and twisted his wrist around to lock the blade in place.
"GaiaBlade Battlechip in, download!" Chaud slotted in a Battlechip and ProtoMan's sword was replaced with a giant vine-covered blade. This new weapon proved to be too heavy for Famine to use to flip his opponent, so he quickly pulled away and jumped back to distance himself. However, ProtoMan ran after him and chopped down with his enormous sword. The black-armored Navi raised his arms and blocked with his claws, but the impact still pushed him back.
"Damn." Doing his best to hold back the GaiaBlade with one arm, Famine snapped his fingers. Immediately, his steed appeared and neighed loudly as it reared up beside ProtoMan.
"What?" The Scarlet Swordsman was caught off guard and turned to swing at the malnourished horse. This gave Famine the opening he needed and he slashed ProtoMan's side. The red-armored Navi grunted and planted his free hand against his wound before trying to attack his enemy. The black Horseman jumped away and brought his guard back up.
"Recover120 Battlechip in, download!" Chaud's next chip healed his Navi and ProtoMan was able to stand back up again.
"You're not getting another chance like last time!" Famine held out his right arm and a small red spearhead attached with a wire shot out from between his claws. ProtoMan raised his GaiaBlade and used it as a shield, but the small spike pierced right through it. Three grappling spikes then deployed from the base and Famine pulled his arm back, sinking them into the blade. The Horseman grinned and reeled in his line, dragging ProtoMan along with it.
"Now prepare to feel the power that named me Famine!"
"I don't think so," replied ProtoMan. At that moment, Chaud slotted in a StepCross and the silver-haired Navi dashed forward and sliced with two swords. He came to a stop behind his opponent and they both stood there for a few seconds. The wire was severed and Famine stumbled forward.
"Looks like you won this fight, ProtoMan." The black-armored NetNavi retracted his claws and whistled. His horse ran up to him and he mounted its back.
"You're not getting away that easily!" ProtoMan dashed toward Famine and readied his sword. His opponent suddenly turned around with a raised hand and three black monsters resembling reptilian birds. The Scarlet Swordsman sliced his way through them, but by the time he had killed them off his opponent had already ridden off.
"ProtoMan, how are you doing?" inquired Chaud.
"I'm alright," answered ProtoMan.
"We better report this right away," the IPC president said.
"Affirmative," agreed ProtoMan.
"That was an amazing presentation, Dr. Hikari," Andrew congratulated as he followed Lan out of the SciLab theater. As had just been stated, the scientist had just completed his presentation to the science panel. Lan had entered as a nervous wreck and now walked out proud and tall.
"Thanks," he replied to the new intern, "So Andrew, do you have a place to stay?"
"Yeah, I have an apartment. But my stuff won't be here until tomorrow so I'm planning on checking myself into a motel for the night," was Andrew's answer.
"A motel?" Lan repeated, "Sorry Andrew, but I personally can't allow that."
"Huh?" Andrew blinked as the other brunet placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Come stay at my place for the night," invited Lan.
"Are you sure?" asked Andrew, completely surprised, "I don't want to intrude or anything."
"Don't worry about it," Lan assured him, "I'm sure we can accommodate you for the night. I just need to call my wife." He took out his PET and selected the phone option. It took about a minute before Maylu finally picked up.
"Hi, Lan," she greeted her husband, "Sorry I took so long to answer. I was in the middle of changing Patch's diaper."
"It's okay, Maylu," Lan assured her, "Listen, we're going to have a guest tonight. Could you please set an extra place at the table? I'll get the guest room set up after dinner."
"Thanks, Maylu. I'll see you when I get home."
"Okay. I love you."
"Love you, too." Lan hung up and put his PET away.
"Wow, so you and Maylu actually got married?" asked Andrew.
"Yeah," answered Lan, "I proposed to her on the day of our graduation. Anyway, let's get going. Do you have transportation?"
"No, I took a cab to work this morning."
"Then I'll give you a lift."
"Oh, I couldn't Dr. Hikari."
"Call me Lan, Andrew. Come on." After hanging up his labcoat, Lan led Andrew to the SciLab underground parkade and to his car. His presentation had taken quite a long time so the rush hour traffic was already long gone, allowing him to get home quickly.
"Maylu, I'm home!" he called as he stepped through the door. He was immediately greeted by his wife with a kiss. He smiled back at her and then turned to his son, who was in her arms. Patch appeared to be happy to see his father and was making joyful noises.
"How was the presentation, Lan?" asked Maylu.
"I'll tell you at dinner, Maylu. Let me introduce you to our guest." Lan stepped into the house and allowed Andrew inside, "This is the new intern, Andrew."
"It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Hikari," Andrew greeted.
"You don't need to be so formal," Maylu said in response, "Just Maylu is fine." Andrew couldn't help but smile. Not only had he gotten the opportunity to meet his hero and his family, but they were also allowing him to address them on a first name basis.
At dinner, the conversation was exciting as Lan retold the days events with the majority of the focus on his presentation.
"So how did the panel take it?" asked Maylu.
"Not surprisingly, a lot of them were skeptical about the whole theory," answered Lan, "However, some were actually enthusiastic about it. Once everything is finished, I'm hoping I can use the new technology to create a NetNavi for Patch."
"How long do you think your project will take?" Maylu inquired.
"Still several more years," was her husband's response, "But I'm sure by the time it's finished, Patch will be old enough to have his own Navi."
After dinner, while Maylu washed the dishes Lan went upstairs and grabbed the spare bedsheets from the closet and brought them into the guest room. Once everything had been set up, he let Andrew get settled in and went back downstairs to help his wife with the cleaning. Afterwards, Maylu gave Patch his bath and then both parents put their son to bed before getting ready for bed themselves. While Maylu was in the bathroom, Lan sat in bed reading a book when the phone rang. He put his novel down for a moment and answered.
"Hikari residence, Lan speaking."
"Lan, it's Chaud. I'm calling on Official NetBattler business."
"What do you need me to do?" asked Lan.
"Nothing as of yet, but I'm calling you right now to tell you some information. You know about those four Navis supposedly threatening the net?"
"ProtoMan engaged one of them earlier today. The one he fought claimed his name as Famine. His powers allowed him to drain his victims of energy, rendering them into a severely malnourished state. In addition to that, this 'Famine' also possess the power to summon a mount."
"A mount? You mean like a horse?"
"Exactly," Chaud confirmed before continuing, "Several reports have indicated that the other three Navis also possess the ability to summon steeds, but each wears a different color. Besides Famine, who was black, there was also a white one, a red one, and a pale yellow one."
"Why does that sound so familiar?" Lan wondered out loud. At that moment, MegaMan decided to interject.
"The four Horsemen of the apocalypse."
"But didn't we take care of them during the summer after our third year?" asked Lan, "The same year we competed in the Olympics."
"Yes, we did. But it seems that those four were merely impersonators," Chaud confirmed, "These four are the real thing. In any case, Officials have been notified all over the world," resumed Chaud, "Lan, if it comes down to it, we'll need to employ your services once more." Lan picked up his PET, brought his Net Savior badge, and stared at it as he contemplated the situation.
"We just pray that it won't come to that," Chaud concluded, "Well, that's all I needed to tell you about, Lan. Good night." The line went dead as he hung up and Lan did the same on his end.
"Who was that, Lan?" asked Maylu as she came out of the bathroom and sat down on the bed beside her husband.
"Chaud," answered Lan, "He called to warn us." Maylu sidled up beside him and placed her hand on his lap.
"Want to tell me about it?" There was a moment of silence before the brunet began explaining the situation to his wife.
"Try not to let it worry you, Lan," Maylu said comfortingly once he had finished, "He said he'll call on you when they really needed your help."
"That's true." Lan finally eased up and placed his arms around his wife. The two of them got under the covers and cuddled in bed, bringing one another's lips together. Deep inside, Lan wanted to go further, but with Andrew in the guest room it was out of the question. So for tonight, he was happy with what he got. Eventually, he and Maylu fell asleep in each other's arms.
"Hey Pestilence, is this the one?" asked War as he held up a small fruit-shaped object.
"Yes, that's it," answered Pestilence, "Now hurry up so we can get out of here." The two Horsemen finished gathering what they needed and left the shop with their arms loaded with paper bags. The pair of them weren't wearing their regular clothes but instead were garbed in standard NetNavi bodysuits and armor. Nobody seemed to avoid them in any way as they walked through the streets. In fact, no one seemed to even recognize them in their current state.
As the pair continued on their path, one Navi bumped into Pestilence.
"Hey, watch it!" The white-clad warrior turned and stared with emotionless eyes at the one who had bumped him and rudely yelled at him.
"What do you think you're looking at?" Instead of saying anything, Pestilence reached up and touched the large man. Suddenly, the other began to twitch around violently and uncontrollably. Next his skin started to change color as dark marks appeared all over his body. Finally, he collapsed gasping for air and soon ceased twitching. Pestilence turned away from the corpse and brought up his hand, which was covered with some kind of unknown substance.
"One should not be so hasty to judge," he said emotionlessly and clenched his hand into a fist, causing the substance to subside. He then continued on with War right behind him. It didn't take them long to arrive at a cyber inn and entered. They headed upstairs and approached the door at the end of the hallway and knocked. Famine, who was also in regular Navi attire, answered the door and let them in. In the far corner, Death sat in a comfortable chair staring out the window.
"What took you so long?" he inquired.
"Pestilence had to take care of someone who bumped into him," answered War as he set down the shopping.
"Why are we even trying to mingle with these mortals, anyway?" asked Famine.
"Because of our search," replied Death, "We've done wide sweeps so far and have turned up nothing. So now we need to examine each area more closely. Besides, did you ever consider the possibility that our attacks could very well destroy that which we seek?"
"Actually, I never really thought about that," admitted War, "But what fun is it if we can't slay anyone every once in a while?"
"Well you don't need to worry about that," Death assured him, "We just finished our search in this pathetic excuse for a Net City and found nothing. I say we show these people how we thank others. Besides..." He stood up.
"We still need to collect something else in order for us to achieve our goal."
"SoulData," said Pestilence.
"A thousand pure and a thousand tainted," added Famine.
"And how do you think we are supposed to collect SoulData?" Death asked his comrades. A big grin broke across War's face.
"I was hoping you'd say that, Death," he cackled. Death smirked and his armor slowly seeped out from his body and encased him. A flash of smoke made his scythe appear and he rested it on his shoulder. Clouds of micro-organisms surrounded Pestilence and garbed him in his robes. He then took out a three-part pole and snapped it into a long staff that flipped a blade out from the end, turning it into his naginata. Famine's armor appeared as dark energy passed over his body and he extended his claws. War's armor emerged from the ground beneath him and clamped into place around his body. Once he was equipped, the hilt of his claymore rose and he grasped it and pulled his weapon out.
"Determining one's SoulData is not an easy task, Death," Pestilence brought up, "How do you propose we go about finding which Navis to slay?"
"Do you recall the time I went out on my own a few days ago?" Death asked, "Well, I went out so I could pick this up." He opened an inventory window, scrolled through its contents, and soon pulled out what appeared to be a set of black and white scales.
"The Scales of Judgement," he announced, "When it tips toward the white, that will indicate a pure SoulData. Likewise, the scale tipping toward the black it will indicate a tainted SoulData."
"I hope you have more of those things," said War.
"As a matter of fact, I do. I made copies." Death distributed scales to each of his comrades and then stood back with the original in his hand, "Make sure you get a positive reading before you attack."
"Got it," replied War.
"Understood," answered Pestilence.
"Right," was Famine's response.
With all four Horsemen now properly equipped, they left and thus their hunt began.
A large blizzard had struck the Sharo military base, putting everybody on high alert.
"All sensors are still out of commission due to the storm," a soldier reported to his superior officer.
"Keep on it. In times such as this, an enemy is bound to attack us. I want reports every ten minutes."
"Yes, sir. Lieutenant Colonel Laika, sir!" As the soldier left to return to his duties, Lieutenant Colonel Laika turned in his chair behind his desk toward his computer. SearchMan was engaged in target practice. One-by-one, targets would pop up randomly and he would fire his sniper rifle at them as they came up, hitting them dead-on in the center of their heads.
"Anything news on the situation out there, Lieutenant Colonel?" asked the sniper as he continued with his training.
"Nothing, still," answered Laika, "Did you send Lan the email?"
"It's sitting in his inbox among his unread messages right now," confirmed SearchMan, "Has anything else been found?"
"Well I did some searching on my own and I found something startling. This snowstorm we're experiencing is not normal."
"You think someone hacked into the weather satellite system again?"
"It's very probable. I'd send you to check it out, SearchMan, but with weather being as it is I could easily lose your signal."
"Actually, Sargent Flurry has already been dispatched along with a team to take care of it. However, we haven't heard anything from them for the past two hours."
"SearchMan, is it possible to contact any Official Centers in any parts of the world?"
"I'll do a search right now." SearchMan fired of his last shot and opened a window to begin a search for any available channels.
The following morning, Andrew began his job as a SciLab intern. His work mostly kept him at his desk the entire day, but there were times when he had to deliver documents to the various parts of the facility. However, being unfamiliar with the building, he often got lost. He was fortunate that PirateMan had a map of SciLab or he would be even more lost than he already was.
"Crap. I'm going to be late for the meeting," Andrew muttered to himself as he tried to maneuver his way through the halls.
"You should have made that left turn three hallways back," said PirateMan.
Andrew eventually made it to the meeting and entered the room apologizing profusely for his tardiness.
"Please try not to blame him, Dr. Hikari," said Lan, "It's his first day."
"Well, nobody said being a SciLab intern would be easy," answered Yuuichiro, "It's okay, Andrew. Go ahead and have a seat."
"Thank you." Andrew found an empty chair beside Lan and sat down.
"Anyway, we were just talking about the panel's review on Lan's presentation," recapped Dr. Hikari, "As expected, there were quite a few skeptics among the group, but I am pleased to announce that a good percentage of the panel is in full support of the project."
"Does that mean...?" Lan began.
"That's correct, Lan," answered Yuuichiro, "They're going to begin funding your research almost immediately."
"That's awesome, Dr. Hikari!" exclaimed Andrew.
"Your first big break!" MegaMan cheered.
"I...I honestly don't know what to say," Lan stammered.
"The NetNavi Reproduction project is now official," Yuuichiro announced, "Lan, here's all the detailed regarding the materials, equipment, personnel, and so forth that you will have at your disposal." He slid a folder over to Lan, who picked it up eagerly.
"And now we move onto some new business," declared Mr. Famous, "SciLab has received a request from the Officials to develop some sort of defense mechanism to combat these new Navis that have been threatening the net."
As soon as Mr. Famous made mention of it, Lan knew immediately what was going on. If the danger ever rose and MegaMan was unable to fight, they would need another means of fighting the Horsemen.
"We have here an official report from the Officials," continued Mr. Famous, "It has been confirmed that the four Navis at large have been identified as follows. One wears black armor and answers to the name Famine. The second is garbed in white and goes by the name of Pestilence. The third is dressed in red armor and has been called War. And the last carries a large scythe and the others address him as Death."
"The four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," Andrew thought out loud.
"How much do you know about them?" inquired Lan.
"Quite a lot, actually," was the intern's response.
"Well whatever you have to offer, tell us everything you can," said Mr. Famous, "We'll need all that information to conjure up a means of ridding this threat. And on a related note, it also seems that these four possess another ability to summon some kind of creatures. We first found out about them when ProtoMan battled with Famine. We have no confirmation on what they are yet, but we are trying to find out everything we can."
"You know, I can just tell right now that we're going to need some extra help," MegaMan piped up from his PET.
"I think I know who you're talking about, MegaMan," replied Lan.
Music was blaring from the computer speakers in the basement of a house in another part of DenTech City. Three boys around the ages of twelve and thirteen were down there a the furnished underground bedroom enjoying each other's company and just having fun. Among them was twelve-year-old Noah Kaiyou. The boy genius had grown taller over the past three years, but he was still relatively short. He hadn't hit puberty yet, so his voice was still pretty high and he didn't have a single hair on or below his chin. He now wore a pair of blue carpenter jeans, a white tank top, and white socks. He had also stopped wearing Velcro shoes and instead now wore white sneakers. In addition, he also wore a short black necklace. It had once been a shark tooth necklace, but the tooth had been broken some time ago. So instead, a pendant bearing Lumine's icon hung from around his neck instead. Noah still maintained his hairstyle of keeping it tied back in a ponytail. His Sabata plushie sat on his bed beside his pillow. Shortly after Lan and his friends graduated from university, Noah eventually found a family who took him in as one of their own. Not long after that, he made friends with someone his own age and soon they became very close. That friend was one of the other boys that was with him in his basement bedroom that moment. The third was the son of the couple who had adopted him.
Noah had invited his friend, named Chris, over that day and the two of them were just having some fun together while the boy genius' foster brother, Doug, watched them. Chris was standing up doing the robot to the music while Noah sat beside him in his computer chair doing his own sitting-down dance while lip syncing with the song. All the while with Doug filming them with a camera.
"I'm bringing smexy back. Yeah! Them other boys don't know how to act. Yeah! I think you're special what's behind your back. Yeah! So turn around and I'll pick up the slack. Yeah! Take 'em to the fridge!"
"'Take 'em to the fridge'?" laughed Chris.
"Weird song," replied Noah. He hit the next button on his music player and skipped to the next song.
"I didn't like Kevin Woodpond anyway," said Doug.
"Want to go to the pool?" Noah inquired.
"I thought you'd never ask," answered Chris. He immediately pulled off his pants and revealed his swimming trunks. Noah and Doug got changed and the three of them went out into the backyard and started playing in the pool.
"Hey Noah, take this!" shouted Doug as he shot his adopted brother in the head with his water gun.
"Bad idea, Dougie!" Noah yelled back as he unleashed a frigid blast from his super soaker. When it came to water fights, the child prodigy was notorious for filling his tanks up with lots of ice.
"You always wanted to be cool, Dougie. Well you can't get any cooler than frozen!" After an hour of goofing around, the three boys laid themselves down along the edge of the pool breathing heavily as they looked up toward the sky.
"Noah, you have a visitor!" Doug's mother and Noah's foster mother called through the kitchen window.
"Please tell him to come around back," the boy genius replied before turning to Chris and Doug, "Why don't you guys head back inside for a bit? I'll meet you in the living room."
"Sounds good," answered Chris as he pulled himself to his feet. He helped Dougie up and the two headed inside. As Noah got up, Lan came in through the side.
"Hi, Noah. It's nice to see you again."
"Lan! It's you! How are you?"
"I'm doing really well, Noah," answered Lan, "How have things been going with you?"
"Excellent, Lan. Personally, I don't think life could be any better." The prepubescent prodigy brought a chair for Lan to sit down and placed another one by the edge of the pool for himself so they could talk face-to-face.
"You've grown a lot since I last saw you, Noah. And I see you've got a little bit of muscle now," Lan observed, noting not only Noah's height but also the slight muscles in his chest and abs.
"Well I still take karate and I swim ten laps every day. Plus I started getting into DDR a few months ago. So anyway Lan, what can I do for you?" the boy inquired.
"I came to see if you knew anything about the new threat on the net," Lan replied as he sat down.
"You mean the Four Horsemen?" asked Noah.
"You know about them already?"
"News travels fast over the net. Now I assume you already know that each of them carries a different weapon and rides a different horse and they also possess powers to summon dark creatures to do their bidding." Lan just stared. Noah crossed his arms over his bare chest and smirked.
"I still got it."
"So what can you tell me, Noah? I know you're still an elite researcher, so I thought that if anyone knew anything about this it would be you."
"Well yes, I do have something. My notes are in my room, but I've already memorized all of them. A while back, I sent Lumine to gather some information for me from the deepest recesses of the Undernet and that's where we found out about the Horsemen. It appears they found something that granted them the powers that they have."
"What was it?" asked Lan.
"They're called NetDaemons," was Noah's answer, "Creatures born from deleted Navi data fragments, but not actually Navis. Neither are they viruses. They're an entirely separate cyber species altogether. They will prey on anything and everything. But how those four can control them, I still have yet to determine."
"Do you have any information on what the Horsemen's goal might be?"
"Am I the cutest kid in the entire world?" Lan just glared at Noah. The boy sighed and placed his hands behind his head as he leaned back in his pool chair and looked up toward the sky. It was his favorite position for when he needed to think hard about something.
"Don't take my word on this, Lan, because even I'm not one hundred percent positive," said Noah, "But my sources tell me that the Four Horsemen are in the process of gathering SoulData."
"You mean the SoulData of Navis?"
"Yes. It seems that they're trying to collect one thousand pure SoulData and one thousand tainted SoulData. But that's not all. They're searching for something else, too. The Great Basilisk."
"What is it?" Lan asked.
"Who knows for sure?" replied Noah as he leaned back a bit more, "I'd wager it's an enormous snake. And judging from the way things are going, it's probably also a NetDaemon." A smile slowly broke across Lan's face.
"Thanks, Noah. I knew I could count on you."
"What are super-genius friends for, Lan?" asked Noah, "And as a Net Savior, I can even do some hands-on stuff for you."
"Wait, you're a Net Savior now?" Lan gaped as his jaw dropped.
"Got certified last year at age eleven." As Noah continued to lean back, his chair suddenly slipped and sent him screaming as he fell backwards into the pool, taking the chair with him at the same time.
"Noah, are you okay?" Lan quickly asked as he ran to the edge of the pool. The child prodigy surfaced and slicked back his white hair before wiping the water from his face.
"I'm fine, Lan. Don't worry," Noah assured him as he treaded water, "It happens all the time." Lan sighed and helped him out of the water. He could only imagine what sort of horrors were befalling upon the being of the net at that very moment.
Pestilence looked at his scales and noted the way they tipped as he passed them over the area below him. His steed neighed sickly and he patted the horse gently.
"Don't be so restless. We'll be finished here in just a moment." The white-clad Horseman turned back to the scene below him and held up his hand. Immediately, thousands of NetDaemons in the form of rats emerged and swarmed the town. Civilians ran around in a panic trying to avoid the demonic rodents, but to no avail. Their numbers were far too great. Before long, they had completely overrun the area. From his mount, Pestilence chuckled quietly to himself.
"Look down there, my steed. Look at them as they try to flee. What say we go and give them some hope of salvation, even if it's only for a few seconds." He pulled on the reins and his horse reared up before leaping down. He raced down toward the town and noticed a few of the civilians had managed to escape and were coming his way.
"Help us!" they cried, "Somebody please save us!" They stopped in their tracks before a warrior clad in white sitting atop a sickly white horse.
"You there, please save us from the rats," they pleaded. Pestilence looked down at them with emotionless eyes. Then he slowly reached out and countless colonies of microorganisms came together to form his naginata. The villagers sighed with relief, but then Pestilence began slaughtering them one at a time.
"You are no innocents. You are all criminals from this town's prison," he declared. Before long, he had slayed them all. He then looked at the remains of the town and stared long and hard for a few minutes. Finally, he raised his hand and the rats disappeared.
"Did you see that?" A young whisper was heard and Pestilence turned to see a small group of children coming out of hiding. He got off his horse and stuck his naginata into the ground.
"It's okay. You can come out." One by one, the children came out and walked over to the Horseman.
"Don't worry, they're all gone now." Pestilence slowly reached out and placed his arms around all the kids, "Nobody's going to hurt you know." Suddenly, the children began to turn a yellowish color and slowly withered into disease-infested individuals.
"However, I will be requiring your pure SoulData." The children fell to the floor and a small sphere of light was pulled from each of them. Likewise, small spheres of black light were pulled from the bodies of the criminals that were killed.
"Hmm, five pure and four tainted. Not bad for a start." Pestilence removed one of the corpses that was still clinging to him and let it fall back with the others before watching the bodies break up into particles of data and disappear.
Meanwhile thousands of miles away, Death sat in the Horsemen's hideout watching as his comrades extracted SoulData from their victims.
"Nicely done, comrades. Keep up the good work."
"Death, what are you going to be doing while we harvest the SoulData?" inquired War.
"I'm going to hunt down the Great Basilisk," answered Death as he stood up and grabbed his scythe. He whistled for his horse and rode off in search of the giant serpent.
At the Official Headquarters in Netopia, the Officials were looking over the past series of mass deletions.
"They're definitely collecting SoulData," Raoul said, "So far, all they're killing are criminals and children."
"I can understand why criminals would be the best choice when obtaining tainted SoulData, but why children?"asked a female Official.
"I'll explain why," a new voice interjected. All heads turned as Chaud stepped into the room. The tails of his red sleeveless coat flapped behind him in his wake as he entered until he stopped at the table.
"In order to obtain pure SoulData, the Four Horsemen are looking for innocents," the ace NetBattler explained, "And who could be more innocent than children?"
"This is horrible!" ThunderMan bellowed.
"Don't worry. We will stop them," ProtoMan assured the Officials and their NetNavis, "If they're unable to obtain all the necessary SoulData, they can't proceed with their plans. If they were to succeed, many more lives would be lost. Not only on the net, but also in the human world."
"Then we'll have to stop them long before they can complete their harvest of SoulData," said Johnson.
"The problem is we don't know where they'll strike next," Chaud brought up, "I don't enjoy saying this, but at this point our enemies have the clear advantage against us."
Lan shut the door behind him as he stepped into his home and removed his shoes.
"Maylu, I'm home!"
"Dinner will be ready soon, Lan," Maylu called back from the kitchen. Lan set his briefcase down and entered from the living room. He placed his arms around his wife from behind and greeted her with a kiss.
"How was your day?" she asked.
"I'll tell you about it over dinner. Where's Patch?"
"He's sleeping in the living room." Lan went out of the kitchen and picked up his son from where he lay on the blanket in the middle of the floor. As he lifted him up, Patch suddenly started wiggling around and making noises. Maylu heard him and both parents immediately knew what it meant.
"I've got it, Maylu," Lan informed his wife as he brought his son to the changing table. Once he had finished changing Patch's diaper, he took him upstairs and put him to bed before changing his clothes and returned downstairs in time for dinner. As they ate, Lan retold Maylu his entire day.
"I'm happy to know that Noah's been doing well," said Maylu.
"Yeah, the kid's actually made friends his age," Lan replied, "But more importantly, he's given us information that'll be a huge help to us and he's also agreed to help us with this project to beat the Four Horsemen."
"That's great news!"
"That's what everyone else said."
After dinner, the happy couple settled down on the living room couch to enjoy one another's company for about an hour. After that, Maylu went upstairs and started getting ready for bed. While she was in the shower, she didn't notice her husband enter the bathroom until he stepped in with her and placed his arms around her. At that moment, Maylu knew immediately what he wanted. She decided that Lan should end his rewarding day with a bang. She turned around and their lips met under the rain of warm water.
In one of the many deepest recesses of the Undernet, three of the Four Horsemen gathered. Famine, Death, and Pestilence were there, but there was no sign of War anywhere.
"The search for the Great Basilisk has turned up nothing," Famine began.
"The beast is elusive and will only show itself under certain conditions," explained Death, "We must be patient. I must confess, even I found it difficult to seek it out. But more importantly, how is the SoulData collection coming along?"
"War claims he has a faster solution," answered Pestilence.
"Speaking of War, where is he?" inquired Death.
"He's giving his 'faster solution' a test run."
"Well let's just see how well it works." Death raised his scythe and sliced it through the air, cutting open a hole in space. The three Horsemen then gathered and watched. What they saw was an enormous battle going on between the Netopian and Cyraqi Navis. Soldiers were being killed left, right, and center. In addition, several innocents were caught in the line of fire from both sides. From a vantage point high above the bloodshed, War stood triumphantly with his claymore on his shoulder as he watched countless SoulData rise up from the battlefield in multiples at a time.
"This could very well work," Death noted.
"War's ability to invoke intense anger and aggression into others has proven to be very useful for this cause," said Pestilence.
Meanwhile, at the scene of the enormous battle, War continued to watch from his observation perch. Whenever he noticed anybody falter, he held out his hand and before long those who had backed down briefly were back up and fighting just as furiously as the others.
"This is too easy," War smirked, "I'd go down there and kill them all myself, but then Death would have my head."
"Then fight me, ya bilge rat," a voice called out from behind him. War turned around and saw PirateMan standing before him.
"Who the hell are you?"
"I be called PirateMan. And I take it that ye be War, one of them Four Horsemen, aye?"
"You're preceptive, aren't you?" War lifted his claymore from his shoulder and spun it over his head a few times before sticking it into the floor beside him, "So you're looking for a fight, then?"
"Well what yer doin' just ain't right." PirateMan wrapped his right hand around the hilt of his sword and drew it from its scabbard.
"Alright." War chortled lightly to himself, "This will be interesting. At least now I don't have to just stand here and watch." He stared straight into PirateMan's eyes for a brief moment before holding out his hands.
"Now release the dogs of war!" he shouted out his battle cry and summoned three demonic reptilian hounds. The beasts snarled and began running toward their prey.
"Come out here, ya filthy bilge rats!" shouted PirateMan. Just as War had summoned his NetDaemons, the pirate-themed NetNavi called forth three pirates and they clashed with the dark beasts, leaving their captain to fight the crimson warrior.
"I can see it's going to be a bit of a shame to destroy you." War grabbed his claymore, pulled it from the ground, and rushed at his opponent. He swung his giant sword and it was blocked by PirateMan's cutlass. As he pulled back, he placed the other hand on the hilt and swung again. PirateMan slipped to the side and the giant blade struck the ground and split it in two. He then took that opportunity to attack. The crab claw that served as his left hand gleamed with the watery brine dripping from it as he opened it up and lunged. War ducked and the claw just missed his throat.
"A good warrior is always equipped for any battle situation." Still crouched, the Horseman extended a hidden set of blades in his left gauntlet and took a swing at his foe. PirateMan backed away immediately while also using his sword to deflect. Once there was distance between them, War leapt back to his feet, pulled out his claymore, and slashed. PirateMan summoned more crew members and they took the hit instead.
"I'll finish you off with one strike!" declared War as he spun his claymore over his head as the blade started to glow as red as his armor, "World Torn Asunder!" He brought his weapon down and firmly gripped the hilt before swinging it around and launching fiery waves of energy. PirateMan moved as swiftly as he could to avoid getting hit. As the waves flew across the air, they passed through various objects and cleaved them to bits.
"Watch it, PirateMan!" Andrew warned, "That attack will slice you to pieces."
"And this isn't even my strongest attack!" declared War.
"Then we'll just have to up our own power a bit," replied Andrew, "PirateMan."
"Aye!" PirateMan snapped his claw three times and then shouted out loud, "I'm sending ye down to the Locker!" Right on cue, a metal box rose up from behind War and closed around him. Once he was trapped, the mysterious onslaught in the dark proceeded.
"You really think that can stop me?" The blade of the Horseman's claymore pierced through the Locker and sliced it open, allowing the red-armored warrior to leap out.
"That was just the beginning, ye scurvy dog!" PirateMan sheathed his sword and raised his right hand, "Now tremble before the terror of the seas: the Kraken!" At that moment, the floor panels burst apart as giant tentacles rose up from beneath them and towered over War.
"You really think a giant squid can stop me?" the Horseman laughed.
"Octopus, not squid," corrected Andrew. The Kraken began its assault and started slamming its tentacles down on War, who jumped away and continued to dodge the attacks as they came.
"Damn! They're everywhere!" growled the Horseman. As he spun out of the way of another tentacle, he raised his hand and summoned a large pack of NetDaemons. The beasts latched onto the swinging appendages with their jaws and tried to tear them apart.
"World Torn Asunder! In stereo!" War spun around and unleashed fire waves in every direction. His tactic proved to be effective as, even though the attacks didn't cut through the tentacles, they still managed to force them back by inflicting damage onto the Kraken.
"You came close, but close just isn't enough!" he laughed as he kept up the onslaught, forcing the tendrils to retreat. Suddenly, one of them broke up through the panel just behind him and snaked its way around him.
"Now take him under!" ordered PirateMan.
"Damn it!" War tried to fight against the grip of the tentacle, but it was proving to be increasingly difficult as it continued to tighten. On top of that, it was too close to his body for him to effective cut it off with his weapon.
"Enjoy yer sufferin' down in Davy Jones' Locker!" Suddenly, War's expression changed.
"A true warrior is prepared for every possibility." The crimson Horseman used whatever maneuverability he had in his wrist and lowered his claymore. Suddenly, a smaller blade shot out from the opposite end of the hilt and impaled the tentacle. He then twisted his sword around and cut through the tendril. The Kraken's roar echoed loudly as it retreated. Now free of his bind, War stood back up and placed his sword on his shoulder.
"Is that all you've got?"
"The Kraken was your strongest attack, PirateMan!" said Andrew.
"And apparently it wasn't enough to destroy me." War retracted his hidden blade and prepared to unleash his claymore on PirateMan. Suddenly, a message came through and he paused to answer it. After a few seconds, he turned back to PirateMan.
"You were lucky. It looks like we finally have a lead." War stabbed his claymore into the floor, breaking it apart, and his warhorse came up. He mounted his steed and rode off.
"Arr, Capt'n Seitz, what he be meanin' by a lead?" asked PirateMan.
"Something very bad," was Andrew's answer."
"So you finally found it?" asked Famine.
"Yes," answered Death, "The Great Basilisk is stored in suspended animation somewhere in Electopia's Internet City. I don't know where specifically, but then all we need to do is search."
"But what about the rest of the SoulData?" inquired Pestilence.
"I'm sure that particular Internet City has plenty of SoulData to harvest," Death assured him. One by one, each of the Horsemen's faces began to display a diabolical grin.
"Then let's get going!" cried War. He and his comrades watched as their leader raised his scythe and gave a loud yell before summoning his horse. The others followed and they rode off for their next destination: Internet City.
A sector so full of life, it's just too good to pass up, thought Death as he galloped ahead in front of his fellow Horsemen.
Lan always had the weekends off and this Saturday morning was no different. He woke up to the beautiful face of his wife and couldn't help but smile. He felt that he was the luckiest man alive to have been married to Maylu and to have born a son with her. Truly, if there was anything that he treasured more than anything in the world, it would have to have been Maylu and Patch.
Speaking of Patch, he suddenly heard the baby' s cries coming over the baby monitor. The noise woke up Maylu and she sleepily started to get up only to have her husband stop her.
"I'll get him," he said gently. Maylu smiled at him and said thank you before going back to bed. Lan immediately got up and went straight to his son's room, sliding on his robe along the way. When he arrived, he immediately went to the crib and picked up the little baby.
"Shhh, it's okay, Patch. It's okay. Daddy's here now." He gently rocked the little boy back and forth to calm him down. Once Patch had quieted down, Lan took him back to his bedroom and sat down on the bed. Maylu pushed herself up into a sitting position and and leaned against her husband. After a few minutes, the two of them went downstairs. While Maylu made coffee in the kitchen, Lan walked into the living room and set Patch down on his back on the blanket in the middle of the floor. He then picked up the baby gym from its spot in the corner and placed it over his son. Maylu came in with the coffee just as he sat down on the couch and handed him his mug before joining her husband's side on the sofa. Lan placed his arm around Maylu's shoulders and pulled her close as the two of them watched Patch play.
"He looks so happy," Maylu commented.
"Well, we are his parents," said Lan as he set his mug down on the table beside him. He then leaned over and slowly pressed his lips against his wife's as he slowly took her coffee away and set it next to his. They parted a couple of minutes later and stared deep into each other's eyes.
"Do you think we should have another one, Lan?" asked Maylu between breaths.
"I think so," was Lan's answer, "But we should wait. At least until Patch is two."
"Agreed," Maylu replied before she was attacked by Lan's lips again. She leaned back until she was lying down on the couch and her husband was right on top of her.
"Are they at it again?" asked MegaMan.
"Yep, they are," answered Roll, who was watching from the living room system.
"You've gotta be kidding me," MegaMan mumbled as he walked up to stand beside his wife, "After last night, they still have energy to do it again in the morning?"
"Seems so. Anyway, will you be okay by yourself today, MegaMan?" Roll inquired, "I have some stuff to do for Maylu in Internet City today."
"I'll be fine," replied MegaMan.
"Okay, Mega." Roll kissed her husband on the lips and headed out, "I'll see you when I get back." And with that, she was gone.
Back with Lan and Maylu, the two had locked lips again and the former was running his tongue against the other's teeth while the latter was running her fingers through his hair. Lan leaned in closer, but his arm suddenly lost its grip and he fell off the couch, taking Maylu with him. They landed on the floor now in completely opposite positions, but Lan pushed the two of them over so that he was on top again and they continued to make out.
While Patch continued to play with his baby gym, Maylu slipped her hand into the already-loose folds of her husband's robe and ran her fingers along his chest. Lan took this as a cue and slipped his arm out from its sleeve and pinned the redhead's other arm to the floor before pressing deeper into his wife's mouth. Their love-making was interrupted a few minutes later by the doorbell. Lan regretfully pulled away from Maylu and straightened his robe before going to answer it.
"There had better be a very good reason for this interruption," he growled as he opened the door. Standing outside was a familiar grey-haired man about a year younger than Lan with crimson eyes wearing a dull red shirt, black pants, grey running shoes, and a wristband bearing his Navi's icon on his left arm. The brunet recognized him almost immediately.
"Good morning, Lan," Sean greeted cheerfully, "Man, it's been three years since we've seen each other face-to-face like this."
"Come in," Lan opened the door wider and allowed his friend to step inside, "Hey Maylu, look who's here!"
"Sean, is that you?" asked Maylu as she came up to the door with Patch in her arms.
"It's great to see you again, Maylu," said Sean.
"We haven't seen you since you were in For You, My Love."
"I remember seeing you guys in the audience."
"Can we get you any coffee, Sean?" Maylu offered.
"I'd love to, Maylu, but I'm afraid I can't," Sean declined politely, "I just came to get Lan." He then turned toward the brunet and addressed him directly.
"Something really bad is going on in Internet City right now, Lan. We need you and MegaMan. I was sent to come and get you." The look on his face was grim and Lan's was no different.
"Have things really become that bad?"
"Yes. So get dressed and come with me." Lan looked at Maylu, who gave him an affirming nod.
"You should go, Lan," she said. Lan nodded in return and went upstairs. He entered his and Maylu's bedroom and opened the closet. He threw off his robe and got dressed. Lan put on a pair of black pants, a white long-sleeve shirt, blue boxers, black socks, and an orange flight jacket. Once he was dressed, he strapped his PET case to his arm and slid the small device in its place. He paused for a moment and looked at the small box sitting on the top shelf of his closet. He took a step stool and stood on it to bring it down. Maylu walked in just as he sat down on the bed and opened it. Inside was his trademark headband; something that he hadn't worn in nearly three years.
"I swore MegaMan and I would never fight if we could help it," he said to himself.
"But it can't be helped now," said Maylu as she sat down beside him. Lan traced his finger over the circular icon in the center before taking out his PET.
"You feeling it too, Lan?"
"Yeah. You sure you want to do this."
"We have to, Lan."
"Then let's make this our final fight." Lan put his PET away and stood up. The box fell to the floor as he placed the headband against his forehead and wrapped it around his head. He secured it in place with a swiftly-tied knot and tugged on the ends twice.
"Let's go, MegaMan!"
"Our last battle, Lan!"
Lan and Sean arrived at their destination an d entered the room where they were supposed to meet everyone. Standing around a large table were none other than the other Net Saviors: Chaud, Laika, and Noah, as well as Mr. Famous.
"Thank you, Sean," said Mr. Famous, "Welcome, Lan. Glad you could join us. I know you've retired from the battlefield, but we need you and MegaMan one last time."
"We've confirmed the Horsemen's location and what their next course of action is," explained Laika, "They're in Internet City. According to our intelligence, they're amassing all the Navis there in a single location. I believe their plan is to gather the remaining SoulData they require. But this is only a ruse. Their real objective is to search for the Great Basilisk, which is supposedly somewhere in the area. While they attack the NetNavis, they will also be searching for that giant snake."
"Unfortunately for us, they've set up a powerful firewall around the entire city so it will be near-impossible for anything or anyone to enter or leave," Noah continued from where Laika left off, "Even with Sean's superior skills as a hacker, it would take hours to get in. Therefore, we need an alternate route. The only good news is that it also blocks whatever prevents people from using Battlechips in Internet City, so we're going to have to take advantage of that."
"We can enter the city through the destroyed Gospel virus factory," Sean projected a holographic map of Internet City onto the table and began to explain the plan, "As some of you may recall, there is a sewer that leads straight from it into the heart of the city. If we follow it, we should come up right where the Horsemen have gathered. However, access to the virus factory is extremely limited. There's only one place in the real world where we can jack in to it. And that's the abandoned warehouse approximately ten kilometers away from Kotobuki." Sean then brought up a map of the real world and showed where the warehouse was located.
"Our primary objective is to save those Navis," Chaud brief the others, "Our enemies will likely put up resistance, so we need to make the safety of the bystanders our top priority. Whatever you do, try to avoid engaging the enemy at all costs until all civilians are safe. Once that's done, then we fight back."
"This looks like a very complex plan, but we're going to have to do everything we can to save everyone," Lan finally said.
"Before you begin, I have something for all of you," said Mr. Famous all eyes turned to him as he brought out five boxes and presented one to each Official standing before him.
"What are they?" asked Noah as he opened his.
"Your new Net Savior uniforms," answered Mr. Famous, "Customized for every one of you." Lan opened his box and pulled out a beautiful blue jacket that bore the Net Savior logo on the back and MegaMan's icon on the side of the left sleeve. The one Chaud received was similar only it was red instead of blue and it bore ProtoMan's icon. Sean's jacket was grey, Laika's was green, and Noah received a child-sized white jacket.
"This is really nice," commented Lan as he took off his flight jacket and slipped on his new one. Once he zipped it up, he looked at himself in a nearby mirror.
"Damn, I look good!" Chaud stepped up next to him in his own jacket followed shortly by Sean. Laika finished putting his over his military uniform and placed his army coat to the side. Noah joined them a few seconds later keeping his jacket unzipped.
"Now let's begin the operation," declared Mr. Famous, "We must save everyone in Internet City."
"Oh God!" MegaMan suddenly exclaimed.
"What's wrong, MegaMan?" asked Lan.
"Roll's in Net City today!"
Internet City Center Square was jam-packed with NetNavis from all over. Famine, Pestilence, and War paced around the giant pillar that stood as a decorative monument on top of which stood Death looking down at everyone.
"What's going on here?" one civilian demanded.
"Why the hell have all of us been gathered here?" another shouted.
"You want to know why you're here?" asked Death as he raised his scales to examine the crowds. Once he was satisfied with the results, he brought up his hand. Several NetDaemons resembling black naga creatures with glowing red eyes and mantis-like arms equipped with deadly scythes appeared and slithered into the masses. They slashed through everything in their paths, cutting down all the Navis and releasing their SoulData. The other Horsemen followed soon with Famine calling forth his evil birds, Pestilence conjuring his demonic rats, and War summoning his reptilian war dogs. Amidst all the chaos, Roll was walking through the panicking Navis trying to find her way around.
"What's going on?" she asked.
Death smirked and turned to his comrades.
"I think it's time," he said. The others nodded in agreement and their leader stood up to his full height.
"Make sure none escape alive until I've drawn out the Great Basilisk," commanded Death.
"It appears that we have some resistance," Pestilence noted as he watched a pink Navi somewhere in the crowd whip back one of his rat NetDaemons.
"Heart Slash!" Roll let loose a rain of pink razor-sharp hearts and deleted several NetDaemons that were coming at her.
"She's a feisty one," Famine commented, "So full of energy."
"Do you want her?" asked War.
"I'd be delighted." Famine slid his claws into attack position and approached Roll.
The car stopped just outside the abandoned warehouse and the team of Net Saviors got out and stood outside.
"Why did I have to ride the hump?" grumbled Noah as he smacked his butt a few times with his fist.
"So Sean, you know this facility better than anyone," said Lan, "How do we get in?" Sean walked over to a grate beside the main door and pulled it open.
"Back then, I could have easily crawled in," he explained, "But now... Well, look at us. We're all grown men here."
"Except for one," interrupted Chaud. Having already picked up his cue, Noah crawled through the vent and soon returned through a small door inside the main door. Once everyone was inside, Sean ran toward the main computer and booted it up.
"Good, it still works," he affirmed.
"This is a Generation One jack port," Lan noted, "We can't get in from here."
"That's why I brought an adapter." Sean dug around in his pocket for a while and took out a small device, which he plugged into the port. On the other end was a sensor.
"Okay, we're ready to go," the grey-haired man confirmed to his teammates.
"Then let's go!" declared Lan, "Jack in!! MegaMan, power up!"
"Jack in!! ProtoMan, power up!"
"Jack in!! SearchMan, power up!"
"Jack in!! Axl, power up!"
"Jack in!! Lumine, power up!"
Roll was still fending off NetDaemons as Famine continued to approach her. Before long, he was standing right behind her. The black Horseman slowly raised his arm and prepared to strike.
Suddenly, he was attacked by a trio of miniature pirates. Roll turned around to see Famine in this state and wondered what was going on.
"Ye must be more careful, milady." PirateMan stepped past Roll with his sword drawn and thrust it into one of Death's naga NetDaemons, killing it instantly.
"Who are you?" asked the pink NetNavi.
"I be called PirateMan." As PirateMan continued to fight, three of War's NetDaemons leapt up and pounced at Roll. She saw them and ducked and covered.
"GUTS PUNCH!" A massive shadow fell over her as GutsMan ran in and slammed his fists into the beasts, knocking them away, "Is Roll okay?"
"GutsMan!" exclaimed Roll, "Yeah, I'm fine."
"We're here now!" Dex said triumphantly. Three years after university graduation, he had made his way into becoming an accomplished chef and worked at an expensive restaurant. But right now, during this particular fight, he was at home.
"Aqua Fountain!" A giant faucet suddenly appeared and a giant rush of water came gushing out.
"AquaMan!" The tiny water Navi was smiling as his attack continued to wash up the NetDaemons. IceMan then suddenly dropped on top of the faucet and took in a deep breath.
"Blizzard!" The Hobbit-sized Eskimo merged his attack with that of AquaMan and their combined might froze a large number of NetDaemons.
"We only sent our Navis to get a few things for us and now look what it's turned into," Tory commented as he sat at his computer with his wife Shuuko. The marine biologist took a FreezeBomb Battlechip and slotted it into his PET. IceMan received an ice-blue ball and he threw it as far away as he could. It hit the ground and exploded into countless ice stalagmites, which speared even more of the digital daemons.
"Death, it looks like we've got more resistance than we had though," said War.
"Leave it to me." Death summoned his scythe and began to pour some power into it. It began to glow blue and once it was shining, he slashed towards the sky and fired off a powerful energy wave. It disappeared beyond the digital clouds and before long a loud roar echoed throughout the city.
"What be that devilish cry?" demanded PirateMan.
"I'm afraid to find out," replied IceMan.
Suddenly, an enormous NetDaemon bigger than anything one could imagine in the form of a massive dragon came swooping down. Its entire body was covered with a thick black hide with its upper arms and thighs resembling black rib cages surrounding dull crimson sacks. Its feet were armed with deadly jagged raptor claws and its hands were armed with claws that looked even deadlier than those of the supervirus Terabyte from several years ago. It flew on pair of gargantuan wings, which swirled with darkness and chaos. Sharp spines ran down its back from the top of its neck down to the tip of its tail, which was armed with a claw-like appendage with each end tipped with some kind of stinger. It had a short neck and its head was adorned with two four horns with two curving back and the other two jutting out to the side as well as two shorter ones pointing forward from either side of its lower jaw.
"Abyssus, destroy them!" commanded Death. The massive dragon roared and flew toward Roll and the others.
"Guts Machinegun!" GutsMan raised his arm and started shooting a rapidfire of gunfire only to have it deflect harmlessly off Abyssus' hide.
"It's no use! It's too strong!" cried IceMan.
"There be no givin' in at a time like this!" snarled PirateMan.
"Indeed!" a gentleman's voice concurred. Glyde appeared before everyone and greeted them all politely. Yai, meanwhile, was in her president's office at Gabcom headquarters on the top floor. Sitting on her desk was a photograph of her wearing a beautiful pink wedding dress standing beside Sean who was dressed very handsomely in a dark tuxedo.
"Let's see how he likes this! BlueMoon Battlechip in, download!" Yai slotted in a chip and the Blue Moon symbol appeared in the sky over Glyde's head. It quickly changed into a laser satellite and fired a solid blue energy beam down on Abyssus, hitting it squarely on the back of its neck. However, the massive monster proved to be a lot stronger than that and it recovered in no time at all.
"Where's MegaMan when you need him?" Andrew wondered out loud. Suddenly, three white feathers shot out and struck Abyssus in the face before exploding.
"Sorry it took us so long!" Lumine apologized as he came onto the scene. He was followed closely behind by SearchMan, who fired his Scope Gun at Abyssus' left eye. He successfully hit his mark and blinded the dragon completely in that eye.
"What is that thing?" asked Axl as he arrived along with the remaining Net Saviors.
"If I had to guess, I'd say it's another NetDaemon," answered ProtoMan, "A clever tactic."
"Enlighten us," MegaMan requested.
"Right now, it seems that the Horsemen have only summoned that dragon to fight whatever resistance they come across," explained the Scarlet Swordsman, "However, it's much more than that. The Great Basilisk is drawn to displays of immense power. By summoning that dragon, they've laid out the bait for their trap to capture it."
"How do you know so much?" inquired Axl.
"Noah lent Chaud his research papers on the NetDaemons a while back," answered Lumine as he landed next to the three.
"Can we please just hurry up and stop that thing before any more people get hurt or deleted?" asked MegaMan, trying to shift everyone's focus back to the crisis on hand. It apparently worked as he immediately found himself rushing into battle with ProtoMan and Axl.
"Looks like we've got even more resistance than we thought," Death thought aloud as he stood on his perch watching all that was happening, "It looks like we're going to have to send our NetDaemons after them."
"Want us to take care of the rest of the SoulData?" asked War as he summoned his claymore.
"Excellent," replied Pestilence as he summoned his naginata and he and War rushed into the fray to join Famine. Meanwhile, the armies of avian, rodent, canine, and naga NetDaemons were shifted toward a new set of targets and began to attack.
"Fire no Jutsu!"
A giant wave of fire followed by a rain of sharp thorns swept over the black monstrosities and decimated a number of them. NeedleMan appeared from behind a building as ShadowMan teleported into the square right in front of MegaMan as he was running across it.
"MegaMan, take care of that dragon. Leave these small fries to us," instructed the ninja.
"Who's 'us'?" asked MegaMan.
"Everyone who came to help." As if on cue, a tomahawk came spinning through the air and chopped two naga heads in half and decapitated an avian.
"The team's all here!" shouted TomahawkMan.
"Screen Divide!" Colonel swung his sword and unleashed a column of green energy that zigzagged past the NetDaemon hordes and cut through them. Several nagas slithered towards GutsMan from behind, who was too preoccupied attacking Abyssus to notice them.
"That's as far as you go!" DragonMan suddenly slammed down before the serpentine NetDaemons and raised his arm, "Dragon Flare!" A powerful burst of energy erupted from his dragon head arm and blasted them into oblivion.
"Hell Sickle!" The crimson blade of KillerMan's scythe sliced through a few canines as Punk circled around him using Mad Roller to wipe out the rats.
"Holy...! Everybody came to help out!" MegaMan exclaimed in awe at the sight of all the friends that were coming to help. He heard mechanical Darth Vader like breathing coming from behind him and he turned around in time to see Zero walk past him. An avian, a canine, and a naga lunged at him at once, but the ex-virus transformed his right hand into his Z-Saber and cut them down with ease.
"Get going, MegaMan," he said in his usual deep voice.
"Right!" MegaMan gave him a nod an ran toward the fight with Abyssus.
"Think we can handle this many?" asked Colonel as he jumped behind Zero and stood back-to-back with him as countless NetDaemons surrounded them.
"Might be hard if another one shows up, but it's nothing we can't handle," replied the crimson Navi. And with that, the two of them split and started slashing.
"Chaos Inferno!" Abyssus opened its mouth and charged up a ball of red and black fire inside its maw before unleashing it from its jaws. The attack struck the wall of the nearest building and from the smoke burst out ProtoMan, who swung his Proto Sword at the NetDaemon dragon and cut its nose a few times. Abyssus withdrew in pain and knocked him away with its arm. The Scarlet Swordsman flipped through the air and landed safely on a crane. As he looked back up, he caught sight of Axl shooting toward the sky. The redhead whipped out his Axl Gun and started unloading plasma bullets at Abyssus.
"Crap, I'm losing altitude!" shouted Axl as his hover jets started to lose thrust. Glyde flew to his aid and grabbed onto his arm before flying up. Once he had gotten closer to the dragon, he threw him up and morphed his right hand into his Glyde Cannon. With the butler-like Navi attacking from below and Axl shooting from the front, Abyssus turned away from the scarred NetNavi and flew away at an upward angle. However, its path was blocked when Lumine jumped off a tower and unfolded his wings with the tips shining brightly.
"Let him have it, Lumine!" Noah whooped.
"Heaven's Judgement!" A golden rain of holy energy shot out of Lumine's wingtips and showered Abyssus. The attack pelted it from above like hail, causing the NetDaemon to roar out in pain and back down.
"Now GutsMan!" shouted Lumine.
"You got it!" GutsMan roared as he jumped down and slammed all his weight down on the monster, "Guts Hammer!" Trying to maintain his stance on the creature, he slammed his weapon down and the impact sent Abyssus plummeting into a large construction pit below.
"Aqua Fountain!" Four giant faucets appeared around the edges of the pit and upon AquaMan's command they began to fill it. Abyssus stood up and threw GutsMan away before splashing around the rapidly-filling pool. The space was too small for it to spread out its wings and fly out, so it was doing what it could to climb out.
"Don't let it out!" shouted MegaMan.
"Bind it, Kraken!" shouted PirateMan. The tentacles of the giant octopus burst up from the water filling the pit and wrapped themselves around Abyssus.
"IceMan, get to work!" shouted ProtoMan.
"Right!" the vertically challenged Navi yelled back, "Blizzard!" Combining his freezing attack with the water from AquaMan's, he began the process of encasing Abyssus in a giant block of ice.
"It's still putting up resistance!" exclaimed Glyde.
"Not if we can help it!" shouted MegaMan as he jumped and started firing his Mega Buster at the massive dragon.
"Heart Slash!" Roll's heart rain pelted Abyssus from above.
"Satellite Ray!" At the same time, SearchMan summoned a satellite and used it to fire a green laser at the enormous beast.
"Almost done!" Tory informed the others as the ice reached the base of Abyssus' neck.
"Think again!" Without warning, Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death all appeared on four separate towers surrounding the pit.
"You're a lot more trouble than you're worth," Death declared, "Famine, Pestilence, War, take them out. Abyssus, break free with Pandemonium Flare!" The dark dragon let out a deafening roar and began blasting Chaos Inferno fireballs into the air.
"What's going on?" asked Roll as the ice started to crack. Suddenly, the freezing solid shattered as waves of dark energy erupted from Abyssus' wings. As the NetDaemon climbed out of the pit, Death jumped off his perch and landed on its back.
"Let's go, Abyssus. We have some business to attend to."
"Oh no you don't!" ProtoMan jumped after them, but he was blocked by War's giant claymore.
"Shouldn't you guys be collecting SoulData?" Axl asked Famine as he was blocked by the black Horseman.
"Apparently, that can wait," replied Famine, "You guys are a bigger." He clenched his fist and his claws seemed to grow longer.
"Now wither away in famine and starvation!" And with the shout of his battle cry, the ebony-clad warrior charged.
"Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war!" War swung his massive sword at ProtoMan, who tried to block with his Proto Sword but the sheer weight of his opponent's weapon was enough to make it crack.
"Hang on. ProtoMan. HeroSword Battlechip in, download!" Chaud slotted a chip into his PET and ProtoMan's weapon was replaced by a longer and better reinforced blade. With the HeroSword making an even match for War's claymore, the two swordsmen found themselves better able to fight on equal ground.
Pestilence was a lot handier with his naginata than Noah had originally thought. Despite the weapon's length and its wielder's height, the white-clad Horseman had no trouble using it with such deadly efficiency and speed. And against both SearchMan and Lumine, he was doing surprisingly well holding his own against them.
"Die by my plague!" he cried.
"Keep your distance!" Laika warned. SearchMan leapt as far away from Pestilence as he could. However, the Horseman would have nothing of it. He pursued the sniper, continuing to slash and stab at him with his naginata.
"Noah, what's that?" asked Lumine as a discolored cloud appeared to surround Pestilence.
"Let me run a scan." Noah took out his new pocket laptop and began to scan the information being sent to him through Lumine before he finally gave his answer, "Lumine, stay FAR away from him! That's a cloud of deadly microorganisms!"
"What? You mean he's got a cloud of germs around him?" exclaimed Laika.
"Isn't that what I just said only using smaller terms?"
"So that means we need to maintain distance from Pestilence," Lumine summarized.
"Easier said than done," replied SearchMan as he continued to shoot at Pestilence while resuming to back away, "He keeps closing in on us!" Seeing no way to get away from the Horseman on the ground, Lumine unfolded his wings and took to the skies.
"That won't save you." Pestilence tossed his naginata into the air and clapped his hands. At once, a large cloud of microorganisms came together and formed his horse. The white warrior leapt onto its back before it jumped towards Lumine.
"Now die!" he shouted as he caught his naginata.
"Soul Unison: Gyro Soul Battlechip in, download!" Lan slotted a chip bearing GyroMan's icon into his PET and watched as MegaMan transformed into Gyro Soul. Once the change was complete, the emerald-eyed NetNavi began to spin the propeller on his back and took off. He flew as fast as he could toward Abyssus and the Horseman standing on its head.
"Shoot him down, Abyssus!" commanded Death. The massive dragon looked down and fired a Chaos Inferno at MegaMan.
"Evade!" shouted Lan. MegaMan immediately took evasive action and spun to the side to avoid getting blasted into oblivion. He re-stabilized himself and morphed his right arm into a fan.
"Tornado Arm!" Thrusting his weapon up, he unleashed a whirlwind at Abyssus that struck it on the chest. He then turned his aim toward the wings and continued flying up.
"Pandemonium Flare!" Abyssus let out a roar and unleashed massive streams of dark energy from its wings. MegaMan flew side-to-side as quickly as he could to avoid getting blasted, but with the way the attacks were coming it was almost impossible. He swiftly flew behind a wall and continued to ascend while the barrier took the hits from the Pandemonium Flare. When he passed the top, he flew in closer to Abyssus.
"Chaos Inferno!" The giant dragon unleashed another swirling red and black fireball from its mouth.
"I can't avoid this one!" shouted MegaMan.
"Hang on, MegaMan! AntiDamage Battlechip in, download!" The Chaos Inferno hit and a puff of smoke burst out from it. A burning dummy slowly fell to the ground. A few seconds later, the real MegaMan in normal mode appeared over Abyssus and threw three giant shuriken down at the one riding it. Death quickly jumped back and the weapons struck the dragon's back. Abyssus roared in pain as MegaMan landed on its back.
"You're a fool, MegaMan," the leader of the Four Horsemen said, "Do you really think you can take me on and win?"
"I don't need to think," replied MegaMan as his right hand transformed into a Katana3, "I don't even know for sure if I'm going to beat you. But I'm going to try to protect others."
"MegaMan," scoffed Death, "The Shining Guardian of Balance." MegaMan suddenly gasped.
"I will enjoy carving you up with my scythe." Death held out his weapon with one hand before drawing it back to his side. There was a moment's pause before he began the attack. He swung his scythe and MegaMan ducked. He made another swing and his weapon was deflected. MegaMan pushed the blade away and swung his sword only to have his opponent block it by the handle of his scythe. Meanwhile, GutsMan had managed to get to the roof of a skyscraper and stood ready.
"GutsPunch, ColdPunch, DashAttack Battlechips in, download!" Dex slotted in three chips and GutsMan's right fist began to glow.
"Program Advance! Punch!" The large gorilla-like Navi thrust his arm forward and fired multiple fists down on Abyssus' head. The dragon was pelted from above and the impact from the attack shook its body hard enough that MegaMan and Death had to grab onto the spines on its back to maintain their balance. At the same time, IceMan appeared on another building.
"FreezeBomb Battlechip in, download!" Tory slotted in a chip and IceMan threw the bomb that appeared in his hand. It hit Abyssus in the back and exploded into a shower of ice stalagmites.
"Whoa, easy!" MegaMan shouted, "I'm here, too!" He carefully positioned himself on the ice and readied his sword. Death hooked his scythe around an icicle and pulled himself forward.
"This would be a lot easier if not for these interlopers," he thought out loud, "Abyssus, delete them all. Pandemonium Flare!"
"Oh no you don't!" MegaMan quickly turned to the wing closest to him. He sliced off an icicle and gave it a hard kick. The spike of ice slid across the surface of Abyssus back and the sharp end struck the wing. The NetDaemon roared in pain as its Pandemonium Flare was cancelled.
PirateMan then appeared beside IceMan and pointed outward with his sword.
"Get it, ye scurvy dogs!" An entire crew of the pirate-themed Navi's miniature pirates were summoned and they jumped off the roof with their weapons drawn, pouring down onto Abyssus. As soon as they landed on the beast, they began attacking it.
"I am coming to assist, MegaMan!" Glyde informed the Blue Bomber as he flew in closer.
"ZeusHammer Battlechip in, download!" Yai's PET registered her chip and a giant hammer appeared in Glyde's hands. He took hold of it and swung the blunt weapon as hard as he could. It slammed against the side of Abyssus' head with enough force to knock it off its flight path and sending it crashing against a building.
"I said easy!" screamed MegaMan. Death jumped off Abyssus' back and stuck his scythe into the wall before pulling himself up to allow himself to stand on his weapon. MegaMan, unfortunately, didn't have such a thing to help him as he was thrown off the dragon's back. Fortunately, Lan sent him a Kunai1 to stick into the wall.
"Looks like Abyssus has done the job," Death said with a dark smirk. Back at the square where all the Navis were fighting or fleeing from NetDaemons, the pillar in the center suddenly crumbled to reveal a giant hole. A loud hissing noise could be heard coming from deep below and a giant black snake with piercing red eyes slithered out and bared its fangs.
"What's that?" a psychic Navi named Piano asked as she turned to look at the gargantuan serpent.
"It's a giant snake!" exclaimed a spider-like Navi named Anansi.
"Everyone away!" shouted Colonel as he fired off a Screen Divide at the Great Basilisk only to have his attack rendered completely ineffectual.
"Get it, Abyssus!" ordered Death. The dragon pulled itself out from the building and roared before spreading its wings and flying off.
"Oh no you don't!" MegaMan placed his other hand on the kunai and swung himself up. As he flew through the air, he struck out his arm and managed to grab onto Abyssus' tail.
"Damn it." Death placed two fingers in his mouth and whistled. Immediately, his skeletal horse exploded out from the wall and he leapt onto its back, pulling his scythe out of the building at the same time. His mount leapt across rooftops as its rider pursued MegaMan with the intent of stopping him from foiling his plan. Abyssus soon arrived in the square and landed with a thundering crash that knocked MegaMan off the tail and sent him rolling across the ground until he hit a wall. The dragon glared at the Great Basilisk and roared and the serpent, in turn, hissed menacingly back at Abyssus.
"I sense an Electopian giant monster fight," said Axl. He sidestepped to his left and avoided getting slashed by Famine's claws.
"Now that the Great Basilisk has shown itself, we can finish up our other job." The black Horseman leapt away from Axl and stabbed his claws through a fleeing civilian. A pure SoulData was extracted and he continued killing.
"Crap!" Axl leapt after Famine and let loose a volley of bullets on him from the Vulcan3 Sean sent him, "I'm you're opponent, Famine! Focus on me and leave everyone else out of this!" He tackled the warrior from behind and pushed him away before receiving the MachineSword chip from his operator and stabbing at his enemy with it. Famine caught it between his claws and twisted his opponent's arm out of the way before going in for the kill.
"I'll make you a part of the count!" he shouted as he thrust his claws forward. As Axl dodged, Lumine caught the blade of Pestilence's naginata between his blades, making sure he stayed far away from the germ cloud surrounding him.
"Roger! Scope Gun!" The sniper took aim and fired. He succeeded in scoring a shot on Pestilence's shoulder, causing the white-robed Horseman to jump off his horse and into the air.
"Viral Manifestation!" As Pestilence came back down, he swung his naginata downward. He missed when his opponents dodged and his blade struck the ground, causing several sickly green veins to spread out from the spot he had hit.
"How are we supposed to fight an opponent with the power of disease?" asked SearchMan.
"The same way we do everything in these battles," answered Axl, "by attacking them with everything we've got and never giving up!"
"FighterSword Battlechip in, download!" Sean slotted the chip into his PET and watched as his Navi's left arm transformed into the long orange sword. Axl extended his wings and activated his hover jets, propelling himself toward his enemy. As he reached Pestilence, he drew back his arm and thrust his blade forward but the Horseman succeeded in pulling out his naginata and jumping back in the nick of time. He landed back on top of his mount and kicked its sides as hard as he could. The horse neighed and charged forward while its rider readied his weapon. The blade dragged along the ground as he rode and dug even deeper as he prepared to swing it.
"Search Grenade!" SearchMan quickly threw one of the small green explosives forward and watched as it bounced along the ground until Pestilence's horse stepped on it, causing it to explode.
Meanwhile, the duel between ProtoMan and War continued as the two swordsmen battled fiercely with one another. Neither warrior was willing to give into the other and so they pressed themselves forward. ProtoMan's superior speed did give him an advantage against his opponent in terms of mobility, but War's inhuman strength allowed him to wield his claymore with equal speed.
"World Torn Asunder!" The red-armored Horseman swung his weapon and unleashed fiery waves of energy from his blade. ProtoMan dashed back and forth to avoid getting struck down and blocked a few with his Super Boom attacks. He was about to go on the offensive when War suddenly charged toward him and swung. He only just barely managed to block his attack but the impact alone was enough to push him to his knees.
"I was expecting more from you, ProtoMan. So far, this is just been one big disappointment."
"I'm not about to give up yet," was the Scarlet Swordsman's answer as he pushed himself away and the claymore came crashing down into the ground. War pulled his weapon back out and charged again. He swung at ProtoMan over and over again, never letting up even once.
"My sword is far superior to yours, ProtoMan! You haven't a chance of defeating me!" War shouted has his relentless attack resumed. Blades clashed and sparks flew with every impact.
He's right about one thing, thought ProtoMan, His sword is too strong. I have to disable it somehow. Somehow, Chaud seemed to know what his Navi was thinking and and brought out his Battlechips.
"Here I come again!" War laughed as he ran forward and raised his claymore over his head.
"Hammer Battlechip in, download!" ProtoMan's sword was replaced with the blunt weapon and he successfully blocked his opponent's monstrous blade.
"Damn!" War pulled his arm back and swung again, but was blocked a second time.
"When your own battle style doesn't work," said ProtoMan, "adjust accordingly." He finally went on the offensive and swung his hammer, striking a blow to the claymore causing it to shudder.
"Damn it," growled War, "He's found a way to measure up to the magnitude of my attacks!"
MegaMan ran as fast as he could toward the site of the two monstrous behemoths, but a black energy wave stopped him dead in his tracks when it struck the ground in front of him.
"I can't let you through, MegaMan," said Death as he descended down from above after having caught up and leapt off his horse, "We need the Great Basilisk."
"What are you planning to do with it?" MegaMan demanded, "And more importantly, what are you trying to achieve?"
"I'll tell you right before I delete you," replied Death. He placed a hand against the tip of his blade and slid it along the metal and down the handle. He then swept his hand backwards and formed a second blade on the other end. A red glow appeared along the edges of both blades and MegaMan realized that they were beam blades.
"Now MegaMan, it's time for you to die!" Death then flew forward and swung. MegaMan jumped back and started shooting him with his buster. The leader of the Four Horsemen swung his scythe and deflected the shots before jumping after his opponent. He slashed and missed as MegaMan rolled to the side. He quickly pulled his weapon apart and split it into a pair of sickle-like weapons before resuming his assault.
"You can't win, MegaMan," said Death, "Even if you defeat me, you can't stop us from achieving our goal!" He pointed behind him where Abyssus and the Great Basilisk were already engaged in battle. The latter had tied itself around the dragon and was squeezing as hard as it could while Abyssus smashed against everything in its way to shake it off. The massive snake hissed as it crashed against one building after another, but still maintained its hold. However, even it could begin to feel itself slipping. So while its opponent was trying to shake it off again, the Great Basilisk opened its mouth and plunged its venomous fangs deep into Abyssus' shoulder. The dark dragon of chaos roared loudly in pain and tried to blast it away with Pandemonium Flare, but only succeeded in obliterating a number of city blocks.
"I have to protect everyone, Death," MegaMan declared, "That's my job as a Net Savior. And quite frankly, I just can't allow you to kill everyone."
"Well we don't need to kill much more, anyway," replied Death. He crossed his sickles over his chest and two large spheres appeared, one white and one black. It took MegaMan a moment to realize that they were both giant orbs filled with SoulData.
"We just need ten more pure SoulData and ten more tainted SoulData," Death explained, "At this point, those are easily obtainable. We just need to subdue the Great Basilisk now."
"What do you hope to achieve by obtaining two thousand SoulData and the Great Basilisk?" MegaMan asked, reiterating his previous question.
"Well since you seem to be so persistent in finding out, I suppose I can tell you," said Death, "We, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, desire power. And in order to achieve the ultimate power, we need these elements."
"Yes. That which is unparalleled."
"Death, you and your comrades are making a mistake!"
"So what if we are? As long as we attain the power in the end, we're willing to do anything." Death sent away the SoulData and dashed toward MegaMan. He swung his weapons at him and the Blue Bomber leaned back as far as he could. The blades passed just over his nose. He quickly morphed his hand into his buster and fired off a shot at random. It struck Death's left ankle and the Horseman gasped in pain and surprise. MegaMan immediately took advantage of his opponent's moment of shock and pulled himself up, smashing his helmet against his face.
"Soul Unison: Guts Soul Battlechip in, download!" MegaMan quickly transformed and once he had he grabbed Death's leg as he fell back and began to spin him around. After seven rotation, he threw him into a wall and watched him break through it into the building. Death pushed any debris off himself and slowly got up.
"Cannonball Battlechip in, download!" Lan sent his Navi a steel cannonball and MegaMan threw it forward with his GutsMan-like strength and succeeded in smashing one of his opponent's blades.
"Curse you, MegaMan." Death put the two weapons together and re-formed his scythe. He whistled loudly and summoned his horse. He leapt onto its back and rode off. He approached the area where his teammates were fighting and stopped for a moment.
"Move out, everyone!" he shouted, "We can deal with them after we've gotten what we desire!" Upon hearing the command, Famine jumped away from Axl and snapped his fingers that summoned his black malnourished horse. War had to push ProtoMan away before he could spin his claymore over his head and plunge the blade into the ground,which exploded and out climbed his heavily-armored steed. They were swiftly joined by Pestilence, who was already on horseback and they regrouped with their leader.
"We can kill more along the way," War declared.
"Do whatever you want," replied Death. He kicked his horse in the ribs and it immediately ran off with his comrades in tow.
"Damn it! They're heading toward the Basilisk!" yelled MegaMan.
"MegaMan!" The Blue Bomber turned around and saw ProtoMan speeding toward his direction on a motorcycle. MegaMan stretched out his arm and caught the Scarlet Swordsman's outstretched hand as he zipped b y. he pulled himself up onto the passenger's seat on the back and positioned himself comfortably. Beside them on either side, Axl and SearchMan followed on a pair of Ride Chasers and Lumine flew behind them.
"Death, they're following us!" Famine yelled out to the horseman in the front. Death took a glance back and narrowed his eyes.
"Release your NetDaemons," he ordered as he held up a hand and summoned his naga NetDaemons. His comrades followed suit and soon there was a whole army of naga, avian, rat, and beast NetDaemons.
"Damn it! We won't be able to fight them off and keep up with the Horsemen!" Sean said.
"Then we'll just have to try," replied Lan as MegaMan readied his buster and ProtoMan his sword.
"We'll take care of the ones on the right, you guys take care of the ones on the left," said the Blue Bomber.
"There's twice as many on the left," answered SearchMan.
"I know. I can count."
"Just keep on them," ProtoMan commanded.
"Why, what are we waiting..." asked Axl before he suddenly stopped, "Wait a second. What the hell is that music?" Suddenly, a commandeered battle jeep came flying off one of the upper highways with its radio blaring at maximum volume. Driving it was TomahawkMan and sitting in the passenger's seat was Colonel with his Colonel Cannon ready and standing at the gun turret on the back was NapalmMan. The vehicle crushed several NetDaemons as it landed and ran over a few more as it skidded to a halt. Once it had stopped, Colonel pointed his cannon out the side and shot a naga that was trying to get in.
"Now that's what I call riding shotgun," commented Axl as NapalmMan opened fire with the machine gun.
"That joke would make a lot more sense of Colonel was using a shotgun instead of a cannon," replied Lumine.
"Does it matter right now?" asked MegaMan, "They've distracted the NetDaemons, so we can focus on catching up with the Four Horsemen."
"It seems that they've evaded our NetDaemons," Pestilence noted as he looked behind them.
"What now, Death?" inquired Famine.
"Execute escape plan number eighty-eight," ordered the leader of the Four Horsemen.
"What's going on?" asked Lan as columns of light suddenly burst out of the floor. One by one, NetDaemons began to appear and before long they had completely surrounded the Net Saviors.
"How did NetDaemons get out here in the real world?" asked Chaud.
"Actually," Sean began, "I should have mentioned earlier that this building was also where Gospel researched nanotechnology."
"And I should also point out that I was able to bring viruses into the world using nanotechnology," Noah added.
"So that's how you did it," Lan commented with a hint of enlightenment in his voice.
The five Official NetBattlers stood back-to-back as the NetDaemons closed in around them.
"What about the chase?" asked Laika, "With the firewall surrounding Internet City and given this being our only access point, we'll lose them."
"That's why I'm going to have Axl dispose of the firewall first," answered Sean, "The Four Horsemen forgot one important thing: the power of a Gospel Chip." He whipped a chip out from his folder and spun it between his fingers before slotting it in.
"AquaGospel Battlechip in, download!"
Axl stood up on his Ride Chaser as his hand morphed into a Gospel head.
"There's a small device holding that barrier up," Sean informed his Navi, "It's at the highest point of the dome. But you've only got one shot to make it happen."
"Got it!" Axl carefully took aim at the peak of the firewall before unleashing a powerful blast. It shot up toward the top of the dome and struck a black pea-sized device. It took a few seconds after the attack had subsided before it started to crack and when it finally did, the entire firewall came down and NetNavis everywhere began to log out as quickly as they could.
"Now that that's done, let's log everyone out." On Chaud's command, everybody returned their Navis to their PETs. Immediately everybody reached for their Synchro Chips. Laika and Chaud had theirs already in hand since they were always on duty, but the other three had to fumble around a bit to get theirs out because of the older two's civilian lifestyles for the past three years and the youngest having only recently been appointed the Net Savior rank. Sean had to take his Synchro Chip out from his wristband, Lan had kept his stashed inside a hidden zipper in his wallet, and Noah had to get his from his pendant, which turned out to be a locket made to hold a Synchro Chip.
"Ready?" asked Lan as he held his hands out in front of him. Chaud, Laika, and Sean followed while Noah positioned his PET and Synchro Chip over his head.
"Ready!" the others replied.
"Synchro Chip, in!" The five of them slotted their Synchro Chips into their PETs.
Lan leaned back a bit and relaxed as the familiar feeling of entering Cross Fusion came back to him after three years. First his legs were encased in blue-colored boots that went halfway up his shins and were embedded with rectangular emeralds. Gloves of the same shade of blue formed over his arms and elbow guards grew out of the tops inside of which another set of emeralds had been set. His clothes were wrapped tight against his skin as MegaMan's icon formed and planted itself onto his chest, which upon contact initiated the transformation of his clothing into a navy-blue skin-tight bodysuit. His power pack appeared on his chest at the same time as the yellow shoulder pads and the light-blue stripes. Lan could feel his hair being pressed down against his scalp as his all-too familiar Cross Fusion MegaMan helmet appeared and covered his head. He took a step back and took up his battle pose.
Chaud could feel the transformation taking place as red and black gloves covered his hands with spike-like elbow guards attached to them. Red boots with white covering the toe areas formed over his legs and spike-like leg guards appeared. The president of IPC raised his left arm up to the side of his face and then thrust it out to the side as ProtoMan's icon appeared on his chest and transformed his clothes into a black and purple bodysuit and his Net Savior jacket into red armor. His hair grew out down to his knees as the helmet appeared over his head. He spun around once and took up his final stance.
Armor first appeared around Laika's torso. Once it clamped into place, his uniform transformed into a grey bodysuit. Gloves and boots quickly followed suit. His helmet appeared over his head and an orange visor slid down to cover his eyes. He held out his right hand and his sniper rifle appeared. He grabbed hold of it and raised it over his head before bringing it back down in front of him and placing his other hand underneath the barrel.
Sean's clothes wrapped themselves around his body as they changed into a grey skintight bodysuit. Navy-blue armor with red around the neck, down the center of the chest, and along the sides formed over his torso and a pair of matching shoulder pads attached themselves to it. Meanwhile, red lines shot down the sides of his bodysuit until they reached his feet, where a pair of navy-blue boots with stripes lining the sides, ankles, and tops appeared and clamped into place. White cloth surrounded his hands as navy-blue armor striped red around the tops and wrists and along the sides appeared over his forearms, fusing with the white into gloves. A small white power pack appeared on his back and a pair of thin wings extended out from it. Sean crossed his arms in front of his chest, clenched his fists, and thrust them out to his sides as Axl's icon appeared on his chest. Two more icons appeared on either side of his head like earmuffs before encasing all of it in his red and navy-blue helmet. A pair of white crests extended upward from the icons and slightly downward, as well. Two yellow extensions covered his cheeks as a yellow visor slid over his eyes and a mouthguard matching his armor's main color scheme covered the rest of his face while his hair stuck out from the back in the same style as Axl's. Two pistols appeared before him and he grabbed them from the air, twirling them both on his fingers before bringing his left arm back behind his head and his right arm down in front of him.
Noah tossed aside his Net Savior jacket and the black strip of cloth keeping his hair tied back disappeared in a shower of pixels, letting his snowy-white locks fell down around the back of his neck down to shoulder length, as well as his pendant. White armor materialized over the lower half of his legs and feet and came together to form boots. Diamond-shaped indents appeared on the front just below his knees and turquoise-colored gems filled them. Pure white gloves encased his hands and forearms and turquoise gems appeared near his elbows and on the backs of his hands. Noah flexed his left arm and clenched his fist before thrusting it back out to his side. Lumine's icon formed in front of him and locked onto the center of his chest, transforming the rest of his clothes into a dark purple bodysuit. A blue gem surrounded the icon and from it white armor grew out and surrounded his torso. The collar and the area protecting his solar plexus changed to green and the armor extended out and covered his shoulders. Noah closed his eyes as his bangs were swept to the side and covered the right half of his face while the hair that hung loosely behind his head distributed itself evenly and curved outward. A band of light ran through his hair and changed it from white to light purple while turning it solid at the same time. Two earphones appeared on either side of his head and a band of white connected them together, transforming them into a headset. A small microphone came out from his left earphone and stopped just next to his mouth as an orange lens slid out from the same earphone and covered his left eye. He opened his eyes and turned around. A massive shower of pixels came together on his back and materialized six majestic mechanical angel wings. He spread out his new appendages as he turned back around and took up his final pose.
"Go go Cross Fusion Rangers!" sang R Lumine.
"I don't think Axl has a definitive color," was R MegaMan's response, "Let's go!" Now Cross Fused, the team split up and took on the NetDaemons at once.
"VariableSword Battlechip!" R ProtoMan's hand transformation into the yellow awkwardly-shaped sword and he dashed through a line of the dark monsters. His sword cleaved through them like they were made of butter and when he came to a stop, the nanotechnology that sustained their forms in the real world exploded, taking the NetDaemons with them.
"Scope Gun!" R SearchMan's sniper rifle shot through rows of horrid creatures at a time. His shots were all level with the nagas' heads, which allowed him to hit several avians in the process and whenever he got lucky, the scythe-like arms of the nagas would impale any beasts or rats. Unfortunately, though, his focused was centered more on the targets in front of him that he failed to notice the three nagas approaching him from behind.
"Feather Kunai!" Six shining white feathers shot through the air and impaled those three nagas in the back, destroying them instantly. R SearchMan turned around and saw R Lumine standing there arming himself with even more feathers.
"No problem, Laika." R Lumine bent down and stabbed the feathers in his hands through the heads of several rats. As he got back up, he noticed a large number of NetDaemons closing in around him.
"Not today, chaps!" He spread his wings and took flight. As soon as his head was almost touching the ceiling, his wings stopped moving in fully-spread positions and the tips began to glow.
"Heaven's Judgement!" A shower of energy bolts erupted from his wingtips and rained down on the NetDaemons. After successfully killing several of them, he dropped back down. As he descended, R Lumine pulled two large feathers off his wings and sliced down with the one in his left hand as he hit the floor, cleaving a beast in half.
The sound of dual pistols firing joined the other noises filling the air as R Axl shot down as many of the airborne NetDaemons as possible.
"Blower Battlechip!" He aimed his guns upward once again and this time a flaming tornado spewed out, engulfing and incinerating anything in its path. He also used whatever heat he had left to burn some rats.
"Sean, there's a naga coming in from behind us!" warned Axl. R Axl quickly turned around and armed himself with a LongBlade, which he used to block the NetDaemon's blade-like arms. He slowly brought up his free hand and shot it through the forehead with one of his pistols.
"Lan! Come give me a hand!" Right on his call, R MegaMan came up to him and they stood back-to-back.
"You want to do a double attack?" asked the blue-clad Net Savior.
"Exactly," replied R Axl as his sword turned back into a pistol.
"Then let's do it." R MegaMan charged up his buster until it was completely maxed out and waited.
"Let's do it!" shouted R Axl. He held out his arms and unleashed a barrage of Axl Bullets from his pistols while R MegaMan fired a giant energy beam from his Mega Buster. Before long, all the NetDaemons they had shot were destroyed.
"Still more to go," R MegaMan split from R Axl and shot more NetDaemons. After another intense forty-five minutes, the last one was slain.
"Okay, now we need to get back onto the net and find the Four Horsemen," said Chaud as the five Officials crossed out.
"I've got it covered," replied Noah as he took out a small black box with an antenna, "Right before we had to log out our Navis, I had Lumine plant a tracer on one of the horses. We just need to track them down." He switched on the device and it immediately started beeping. They followed the increasing speed of the sound until they saw what appeared to be two male teens in a corner of the warehouse doing unmentionable things.
"What the hell?" asked Sean.
"Whoops, that's my gaydar. Sorry," Noah quickly apologized as he searched for his tracker.
"Why the hell do you have a gaydar?" asked Lan.
"Ever since that night I got abducted and nearly forced into child pornography and prostitution, I've found it necessary for me to keep one for protection against sexual predators," answered Noah as he pulled out the proper device, "Okay, they've left Internet City and have travelled all the way to... this point."
"Then that's where we're heading next," replied Laika before heading out with the others.
"Hey, wait for me!" Noah called after them as he grabbed his jacket on his way out.
"At long last, we have finally subdued the Great Basilisk!" announced Death as he walked back and forth in front of his comrades. Behind him, Abyssus had succeeded in restraining the Great Basilisk. It had been placed into a circular position with tail right against its mouth. They were now at their hideout in a secluded area of the net.
"So what's our next move, Death?" asked War.
"We only need to collect the remaining SoulData," answered Death, "And once we have them all, we can begin the ritual."
"Too bad it's not going to last!" There was a loud explosion from above and MegaMan, ProtoMan, SearchMan, Axl, and Lumine dropped down and landed in the darkness.
"So this is where you guys have been hiding out," Axl thought out loud as he looked around.
"How did you find us?" demanded Pestilence.
"My operator tracked you here," answered Lumine, "And now that we are here, we shall end this."
"How did you get in here?" asked Pestilence.
"The front entrance was unguarded," replied MegaMan.
"Death, how much of each SoulData do we still need?" asked Famine.
"We need three more tainted and one more pure," was the answer, "We can extract the pure SoulData from one of these pathetic mortals."
"Did you just call us 'pathetic mortals'?" asked SearchMan.
"What do they mean by that?" Sean wondered aloud.
"And if you need three more tainted SoulData, why don't you just kill your teammates like every other villain we've come across?" MegaMan inquired.
"If I could, I would," answered Death, "But unfortunately for us, NetDaemons don't have SoulData; therefore, there would be nothing to achieve by slaying my comrades."
"What?" was Axl's only response.
"I get it," said ProtoMan, "You four aren't NetNavis. You're NetDaemons!" Death's body twitched several times before he leaned his head back and and diabolical laugh ripped from his throat.
"So you finally figured it out," he sneered, "You are correct. We, the Four Horsemen, are among the highest ranking NetDaemons created. That is why we possess our own free wills as well as powers to control other NetDaemons."
"Well, this changes a lot," Noah thought aloud as the Navis prepared for another battle.
"Abyssus, take the Great Basilisk and get out of here!" Death commanded, "The rest of you, retreat! Our mission objective takes top priority! We must gather the remaining SoulData!" He placed two fingers in his mouth and whistled, causing his horse to burst out from the ground. Famine snapped his fingers and summoned his own mount. Pestilence clapped his hands and his horse appeared in a cloud of microorganisms. War spun his claymore over his head and slammed the blade into the ground, which caused it to explode and from it jumped out his steed. The Four Horsemen mounted their steeds and turned towards their escape route before riding off with Abyssus flying high above them with the Great Basilisk in tow.
"You're not getting away this time!" shouted MegaMan as Axl and SearchMan received their Ride Chasers from their operators and ProtoMan received his bike. Lan slotted in his own vehicle chip a moment later and a shining new blue motorcycle with MegaMan's icon for rims appeared. The Blue Bomber immediately hopped onto the seat and revved the engine. He kicked up the stand and took off with everyone else behind him.
"Come on, guys. We need to get a better access point," Lan said to the others before running back to the car.
"Are they after us?" asked Famine. War took a moment to look back using the reflection of his claymore's blade before answering.
"Yes, they are."
"Take care of them!" ordered Death. He kicked his horse hard and his steed ran faster as Abyssus swooped past overhead. He would have gone and helped them himself, but getting the last of the SoulData was his highest priority. However, he knew that his comrades would need all the help they could get, so the leader of the Four Horsemen summoned his naga NetDaemons to aid them before continuing onward.
"Something's turning around and coming back toward us," Axl noted. SearchMan raised his sniper rifle and looked through the scope.
"It's Famine, Pestilence, and War!" he exclaimed.
"Where's Death?" asked MegaMan.
"He's continuing ahead," answered Lumine.
"MegaMan, you go after Death. We'll deal with the other three," ProtoMan ordered.
"Okay!" MegaMan revved his engine and sped ahead.
"You're not getting past this point!" War shouted.
"Heaven's Judgement!" Lumine's rain of energy bolts from his wingtips showered the Horsemen with so much firepower that they were unable to stop MegaMan from passing as they defended themselves.
"Leave him!" barked Pestilence, "There's no way that blue pest can last against Death AND Abyssus." He readied his naginata and prepared to attack. On either side of him, Famine extended his claws and War prepared his claymore.
Death looked over his shoulder and saw MegaMan approaching at an incredible speed.
"Damn him," he muttered as he summoned his NetDaemons. MegaMan saw them coming and morphed his right hand into his buster.
"Mega Buster!" Magenta plasma bolts erupted from the barrel and streaked through the air. The first shot impaled one naga through its head and the second struck another's chest, but failed to kill it. MegaMan fired again and finally succeeded in destroying it. However, his focus on one enemy allowed the others to get in too close for him to effectively blast them away.
"Sword Battlechip in, download!" Lan inserted a Battlechip into his PET and MegaMan's buster immediately reverted back into his right hand before morphing into a sword. One naga hooked its blades over the front of the NetNavi's motorcycle and pulled itself up, but MegaMan swung his new weapon and cut off its arms at the elbows, sending the NetDaemon rolling behind him. He immediately used his other hand to grab the leftover appendages and threw them at two more nagas. He succeeded in stabbing one in the shoulder and the other blade pinned another one's tail against the road.
I must find the remaining SoulData NOW! thought Death. He turned off at the first exit and MegaMan followed. Their path took them back into the Electopian Internet City. Once he entered the city, Death took out the scales and honed in on the first Navis that it tipped. As soon as he had one locked on, he drew his scythe from his back and swung, cutting through his victim and extracting the SoulData.
"Nine hundred and ninety-eight!" He added the glowing black orb in with the rest and then killed his next tainted target, "Nine hundred and ninety-nine!" Death now just needed one more tainted SoulData and one more pure SoulData. He decided he would obtain the last pure one from his pursuer. But first he needed his tainted soul. He quickly found one and lopped off the unsuspecting Navi's head with ease.
"One thousand tainted SoulData." Now with only one pure SoulData left to go, he finally came to a stop in an open area.
"Abyssus, set the Great Basilisk down and restrain it. After that, you're coming with me," he commanded. Abyssus slammed the Great Basilisk against the ground and wrestled it back into its circular position. It then fired several of the spines on its back into the giant snake and effectively pinned it down. Once the Great Basilisk was down, the massive dragon turned to the incoming MegaMan. Death dismounted his horse and stood ready with his scythe.
"MegaMan, be careful," warned Lan, "He's plotting something."
"You sure?" asked MegaMan as he continued to drive.
"Yeah, I know plotting when I see it. That's definitely plotting."
"Maybe they're scheming."
"No, scheming looks different. That's definitely plotting."
"I can't believe you guys actually have time to debate on whether or not Death is plotting to kill you!" screamed Sean.
"What?" Lan asked turning back to his screen.
"Paradise Lost!" Death swung his scythe and slashed the ground, causing it to break it up and explode underneath MegaMan. The Blue Bomber jumped off his motorbike and aimed his buster.
"Mega Buster!" His shots were blocked by the tail of Abyssus as the dragon NetDaemon flew toward him with its mouth wide open and glowing dark red.
"Chaos Inferno!" A giant ball of black and crimson fire erupted from Abyssus' maw and hit MegaMan, throwing him back into a building. His bodysuit and armor scorched and smoking, the emerald-eyed Navi slowly sat himself up and looked at his incoming enemy. He quickly rolled to the side as Abyssus' mighty claws crashed through the wall in an attempt to grab or impale him. Whichever the intent was, MegaMan wasn't going to let either happen. He ran across the floor as fast as he could while giant dragon claws continued to follow after him. As he reached the end of the room, he braced himself for impact before taking a mighty leap forward and jumping out the window. Surrounded by glass shards, he looked back and saw Abyssus rip its arm out from the side of the building and fly straight towards him. It slammed him hard with its head and MegaMan crashed into a crane.
"I can't fight him effectively in the air if I can't fly," he muttered as he pried himself free of the frame.
"We already used Gyro Soul, MegaMan. But here, this should help. AirShoes Battlechip in, download!" As soon as Lan's PET registered the chip, a pair of jets appeared on the soles of MegaMan's boots.
"Perfect!" The blue NetNavi fired up the jets and pushed himself off the crane just as Abyssus slammed into it.
"Five Spreader Battlechips in, download!"
"Megadeus Burst!" MegaMan's hand morphed into a giant blaster and he unleashed a massive burst of energy that hit Abyssus on the head. When he could finally see through the smoke, he saw that his efforts had only succeeded in breaking off one of the dragon's horns. The giant NetDaemon flew higher and its wing struck MegaMan, knocking him down several feet before he could regain control.
"Pandemonium Flare!" From the swirling abyss of its wings, Abyssus unleashed a powerful rain of chaotic energy waves down onto MegaMan.
"CurseShield3 Battlechip in, download!" A Dominerd3 appeared over MegaMan and blocked the attack for him. But as soon as it was hit, the virus shot up and attacked the dragon. This counterattack ceased the Pandemonium Flare and Lan and MegaMan immediately took advantage of the opportunity. Teleporting onto its back with an AreaGrab, the Blue Bomber prepared to sink a HeroSword into the base of its neck until Death suddenly appeared.
"You're not going to win this fight, MegaMan. Your SoulData will be the final pure one we need." And with that, the leader of the Four Horsemen swung.
Somehow, the fight against Famine, Pestilence, and War had also made its way into Internet City. As soon as they were surrounded by digital skyscrapers, all combatants were thrown off their vehicles and horses as rogue waves from Abyssus' Pandemonium Flare hit their area.
"Fang Line!" A red projectile shot out from between Famine's claws on his right arm with a length of wire attached to it and flew right toward Axl.
"BigBomb Battlechip in, download!" Sean sent in the chip and his Navi threw the bomb at the spearhead. It exploded on contact and left behind only the wire, which Axl immediately grabbed.
"ElementFlare Battlechip in, download!"
"I was hoping you'd use that, Sean!" The redhead grinned widely as his hand turned into a flamethrower and he unleashed a powerful jet of flames that shot up the line and engulfed Famine.
"Gun Del Sol EX Battlechip in, download!" Noah slotted in his chip and Lumine fired the Super Solar Spread at Pestilence.
"Hurry, Laika!" the buy genius prodded, "We need to apply as much heat as possible in order to kill the microorganisms surrounding his body.
"Hang on, Noah. I'm looking as fast as I can," replied Laika as he searched his folder for Fire chips, "Just keep your pants on."
"Laika, I may just be about to enter puberty," answered Noah, "but now is most definitely not the time to be thinking about ma..." He was cut off when a cry from his PET alerted him back to the battle and he slotted in his Gun Del Hell.
"LavaSeed Battlechip in, download!" A red football-shaped seed appeared in SearchMan's hand and he threw it like on of his Search Grenades. Pestilence jumped into the air and the seed hit the ground, creating a pool of lava.
"You missed," the white Horseman sneered.
"Fan Battlechip in, download!" A VacuumFan virus appeared and sucked Pestilence back down. He cried out in surprise as he was brought back down and pulled into the lava.
ProtoMan's right hand was a WideBlade and his left hand was a DrillArm3 as he used both to attack and defend against War and his massive claymore.
"I'm delighted to finally face the best swordsman on the net!" War declared as he continued his attack.
"Glad to see at least one of us is enjoying this," replied ProtoMan as the giant blade glanced off his drill and he countered with his sword only to have it deflected.
"ProtoMan, we need to destroy that sword of his," Chaud said firmly.
"But to do that, we're going to have to immobilize him long enough for us to get a clear shot at it," ProtoMan responded.
"Just for now, don't attack War. Attack his weapon instead!"
"Roger that!" ProtoMan now shifted his focus on the the claymore and began slashing at it with his blade and thrusting his drill at it.
"What do you think you're doing?" demanded War. Each time he swung his claymore, his opponent would block it and then try to hit it with a counterattack.
"I've got something from my backup folder," Chaud informed his Navi, "Here we go. Thunder3 Battlechip in, download!" ProtoMan crossed his arms as he ducked under War's arms and launched a ball of electricity directly into his stomach at point-blank range. This immediately paralyzed the Horseman on the spot.
"GoldFist Battlechip in, download!" The Scarlet Swordsman discarded his weapon as he stepped back and his right first was encased in gold. He immediately cocked back his arm and swung as hard as he could. The punch went right through the claymore's blade and shattered it.
He destroyed my claymore! War exclaimed mentally. When he was finally able to move again, he took a few steps back and looked at the hilt in his hand and the pieces that lay on the ground in front of him.
"Looks like your main weapon is gone," ProtoMan said.
"I am never without a weapon," replied War as he turned the hilt around in his hand and extended the hidden blade inside the other end. At the same time, he also extended the set of blades hidden inside his gauntlets.
"Now the fight is a little more fair," commented ProtoMan as he reverted back to his Proto Sword.
"Oh the fight has only just begun." And with that, War went on the offensive. Thanks to his lighter sword, his attacks came much faster than before, although not quite as powerful. Fortunately, because of this change, the two combatants were now more evenly matched.
The scythe blade shot up as the weapon was deflected by a Guard3 that had appeared over MegaMan.
"Tell me, Death. What sort of ultimate power do you hope to obtain with all that SoulData?" asked the Blue Bomber as he countered with a ZapRing3.
"Does it really matter so long as we're getting what we desire?" Death replied as he cut the electrified circle apart and attacked. MegaMan raised his weapon and caught the scythe between the prongs. He twisted his arm and wretched the thing out of his opponent's grasp before flinging it away. He was about to counterattack when Abyssus suddenly shuddered before turning into a straight vertical direction as it began to fly straight up. MegaMan immediately made a grab for one of the spines as did Death. The former, once he had stabilized himself, fired up his AirShoes and released his hold.
"You're not the only one with the option to fly, MegaMan!" Death concentrated for a moment and a few seconds later a pair of skeletal wings sprouted from the back of his armor. He let go of Abyssus and flew up to MegaMan.
"You cannot escape death, MegaMan!" shouted Death as he formed an axial pike out of bones and launched himself at his enemy. He thrust his temporary weapon at him and MegaMan narrowly evaded the attack. The Horseman swung and was blocked before he tried again.
"Pandemonium Flare!" Both combatants turned their heads up as Abyssus rained chaos waves down from above. The two opponents immediately pushed away from each other to get out of range from the attack.
"MegaMan, we are here!" shouted Colonel as the jeep came over a ridged only to be blasted into oblivion when the Pandemonium Flare hit the ground. Fortunately, the ones in the vehicle survived.
"Bone Flail!" The pike in Death's hand transformed into a long flexible spine with a spiked skull on the end and he flew straight toward MegaMan. The blue NetNavi looked up to see him coming and immediately moved to the side, just barely dodging the attack. Death pulled his weapon back in and lashed out again. MegaMan continued to roll away as the weapon smashed into the wall behind him. At one point, Death flew alongside MegaMan after launching his flail and dragged the spiked skull and bone chain along, breaking away more of the wall until the structure overhead began to collapse.
"MegaMan, watch out!" cried Lan, "BlackHole Battlechip in, download!" MegaMan's current weapon disappeared and he held out his right hand to form a black hole in front of his his palm. Immediately, all the debris was pulled into the void.
"I have you now!" shouted Death as he came up from behind MegaMan and launched his flail at him.
"MegaMan, behind you!" warned Lan. MegaMan immediately turned around and aimed the BlackHole at Death. The force of gravity immediately began to pull him in. The Horseman lost his grip on his flail and watched as it was sucked in.
"Curses!" As Death tried to find a way out of his situation, he spied his scythe flying toward him from behind. With an idea now in mind, he reached out his arm and grabbed his weapon as it passed him and held it out in front of him.
"Paradise Lost!" He swung his scythe and fives red waves of energy shot forward and exploded upon reaching MegaMan, blowing him away.
"MegaMan!" shouted Colonel as the other Navis started to gather to watch the fight from below, including PirateMan and Roll.
Death was grinning as he brought his scythe up and rested it on his shoulder.
"Well, that's that." His expression suddenly changed when the smoke cleared and he saw a dummy in place of his opponent.
"AntiDamage!" he realized before he was struck from above by three shuriken.
"And there's more where that came from!" shouted MegaMan.
"AntiDamage, AntiNavi, Muramasa Battlechips in, download!" Lan slotted in all three chips and MegaMan held his hands into the air.
"Bodyguard!" A shower of shuriken came shooting down and Death was struck countless times by the steel stars.
"Let's finish him off, MegaMan!" Lan took out four Battlechips and began to put them into his PET, "Program Advance! ShotGun Battlechip in, download! V-Gun Battlechip in, download! CrossGun Battlechip in, download! Mega Cannon Battlechip in, download!" MegaMan's right arm transformed into a gargantuan blue cannon. It was so heavy that even his other hand couldn't help to support it and he had to set the output of his AirShoes to maximum just to keep himself aloft.
"Now I remember why we don't use this Program Advance to so much anymore," he muttered as he took aim at Death.
"Not today, MegaMan," the leader of the Four Horsemen cackled as Abyssus came down behind MegaMan until its face was level with the blue Navi.
"MegaMan!" Roll's voice screamed out, "BEHIND YOU!" Somehow, his wife's words reached his ears and MegaMan turned around just in time to see Abyssus open its mouth and power up for a Chaos Inferno.
"Shit!" He whipped around as fast as he could, raised his weapon, and took aim.
"POWER CANNON!" MegaMan fired the cannon and the blast blew off Abyssus' head.
The explosion did not go unnoticed by the other Horsemen as they all paused in their fights to look up at the giant headless carcass of the dragon as it fell to the ground.
"Now's our chance!" declared Chaud, "Everyone, attack!"
"Delta Ray Edge!" ProtoMan dashed around War at lightning speed in a triangular path and delivered one powerful slash after another with each pass.
"DjangoV1, DjangoV2, DjangoV3 Battlechips in, download!" Noah slotted in all three chips and an image of Django the Solar Boy appeared.
"Program Advance! Crossover!" Lumine rained Feather Kunai on Pestilence while Django shot the Horseman from behind with his Gun Del Sol. Once the dual barrage was finished, the two of them rushed in and slashed Pestilence from both sides with their swords.
"Triple Vulcan3 Battlechips in, download! Attack30 Battlechip in, download!" Laika's chips were sent to SearchMan and his sniper rifle was replaced by a large gatling gun.
"InfinityVulcan3!" The power of the attack struck Famine with such power that it pierced his armor and forced him against his other two comrades.
"Time for the finishing blow!" shouted Axl.
"BassV3 Battlechip in, download! AntiNavi Battlechip in, download! FireGospel Battlechip in, download!" Sean's chips took their effect and Axl summoned a copy of Bass and Gospel.
"DARK MESSIAH!" The attack on the three Horsemen came hard and brutal. First, they were engulfed by Gospel's powerful breath attack and once that had subsided, Bass came crashing down with his Earthbreaker.
"That takes care of them," Axl said confidently.
"Not quite," corrected Lumine as NetDaemons started appearing. Each of grabbed hold of their respective masters and carried them away.
"Now MegaMan, you are mine as is your pure SoulData!" Death launched himself at MegaMan with full force and slashed. The Blue Bomber reacted quickly and blocked with the barrel of his Mega Buster.
"This is where it ends for you, Death," said MegaMan as Abyssus' body hit the ground with a thundering crash, "The Four Horsemen's reign of terror ends here and now!" He re-angled his buster and fired a shot that knocked the scythe blade away and punched Death with the same arm. He drew back his arm and grabbed his helmet before pulling down and smashing his head against his knee.
"Final Gun Battlechip in, download!"
"So long, Death! FINAL GUN!" The blast hit Death dead-on and he was sent falling down at incredible speeds until he struck the ground. MegaMan soon came down himself and landed a few feet away.
"MegaMan, you're okay!" Roll cried as she ran out from the crowd and wrapped her arms tight around her husband enough to make his face turn as blue as the rest of him.
"I said I'd come back safely, Roll," he managed out as he embraced Roll.
"MegaMan!" The Blue Bomber looked on and saw ProtoMan, Axl, SearchMan, and Lumine running towards him.
"Hey, guys!" he called back, "How did things go?"
"We beat Famine, Pestilence, and War!" Axl answered excitedly.
"How did things go with you?" inquired ProtoMan.
"See for yourself," replied MegaMan as he pointed toward Death with his head. He then turned back around and his eyes were met with those of Roll.
"I'm glad you're back safe, MegaMan," she said.
"I'm glad that no one was hurt," he responded, "Especially you."
"Oh, Mega," Roll giggled. MegaMan couldn't help but chuckle a bit, himself. But the mirth stopped as Roll placed a hand against the side of his face and slowly drew closer to him. He immediately picked up on the cue and slowly closed his eyes as he inched closer to his wife's face.
Suddenly, Roll gasped and she slowly fell away from MegaMan. The emerald-eyed NetNavi opened his eyes and called her name. Behind her, he could see Death propped up on one elbow with his scythe in one hand.
"One thousand pure SoulData," he whispered.
"Roll, no!" MegaMan knelt down and caught her just before she hit the ground. Death slowly pulled himself up to his feet using his scythe for support and limped to where the Great Basilisk was pinned down.
"Now let us begin!" The leader of the Four Horsemen raised his scythe and released all the captured SoulData. First a ring was created around the giant snake with the SoulData alternating between pure and tainted. The rest was then used to form a five-point star within the ring, interlacing the Great Basilisk within itself. Immediately, dark waves of energy began to rise up.
"Yes. Fill me with the great power!"
"Roll..." MegaMan whispered.
"MegaMan, look!" shouted SearchMan, pointing at Death.
"Leave her with us. We'll take care of her from here. You have to stop Death!" ordered ProtoMan. Pulling himself together, MegaMan nodded and left Roll with the others before running towards the array.
"You're too late, MegaMan," said Death as he was joined by his comrades.
"Death," Pestilence managed to get out, "is it...ready?"
"Yes, my comrades," answered Death, "This is the day that we four NetDaemons, the Four Horsemen, shall transcend all life!"
"Just what we've always wanted," replied Famine as he slowly pulled himself up to his feet. Death lent all of them a hand in bringing them to stand. Meanwhile, the SoulData was slowly being absorbed into the array.
"STOP!" yelled MegaMan as he continued running.
"Foolish creatures. Did you truly believe that NetDaemons could achieve ultimate power?"
"That voice," muttered MegaMan, "It can't be!"
A column of black energy rose out from the center of the array and the Four Horsemen turned to it.
"This is...amazing," gaped War.
"Truly magnificent," said Death. Suddenly, four beams of energy shot out and impaled the four NetDaemons, but without piercing any vital organs.
"What's going on?" demanded Death as the beams then immobilized them by tying them up.
"You guys were all just puppets!" screamed MegaMan as he reached the edge of the array. He tried to dive through the wall that surrounded the perimeter, but was blasted back by a powerful force.
"Insolent creatures, die!"
In a flash, Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death were sliced to pieces and their fragments broke up into tiny bits of data. The wall finally dropped and MegaMan rushed into the array. He leapt into the air armed with a Katana3 and sliced downward. The black column in the center broke apart and his sword was blocked by a single finger. A cloud of chaos appeared and formed a very long and very familiar sword.
"It's been three years. Hasn't it, MegaMan?" MegaMan looked at the person straight into the eyes and his own widened in fear.
"It IS you!" The new form drew back the arm that had blocked the Katana3 and punched MegaMan away. The Blue Bomber skidded along the ground and got back up as soon as he stopped.
"Good to see you still remember me, MegaMan." Indeed, it was true. The Black God of Chaos had returned. His one remaining wing flapped once as he slowly as he stepped forward from the center of the array. Clouds of chaos poured out of the spines on his armor and formed a new black bat wing made out of pure chaos energy on the left side of his back.
"Everyone leave the city now!" shouted Colonel. Immediately, the crowds began fleeing and it wasn't long before only two remained in the square.
"How did you come back?" asked MegaMan.
"I am a god, MegaMan. Therefore I cannot die," was the answer that was given.
"Fortissimo, why did you come back?" MegaMan demanded as he kept his buster at the ready.
"Why did I come back? That's a ridiculous question, MegaMan. But I suppose someone like you has no idea, so I may as well tell you. The universe was created long ago; born from chaos. And so it shall return to chaos. What I want, MegaMan, is to destroy all that exists and return it to the chaos from whence it came. In doing so, I shall become a far more powerful god than any could ever imagine. But first, MegaMan..." Fortissimo raised his hand over his head and black clouds of chaos covered the entire city.
"I have some business to which I must attend. I knew that the NetDaemons' natural hunger for power would be enough to inspire them to make the preparations for my return. However, I also needed ones with enough intelligence and power to make it happen. Thus I assembled the Four Horsemen together. And with none of them being the wiser, they did my bidding like the puppets they were."
"And just what is this thing you have to take care of first?" asked MegaMan.
"Isn't it obvious?" replied Fortissimo, "Revenge... Against you."
It was at that moment that MegaMan knew immediately what was coming to him. A few seconds later, both he and Fortissimo jumped high into the air. The Black God of Chaos flew toward him and slashed with his Masamune.
"Is everyone out of the city?" asked SearchMan.
"That's everyone," reported Axl as he crossed the border as a normal Navi and transformed back. Next to SearchMan, Zero stood holding Roll in his arms.
"It's all up to MegaMan now," said ProtoMan as he stood and looked towards the chaos that had gathered, "How is she?"
"She's still alive, but not for much longer," replied Zero, "MegaMan will have to hurry."
"You really think we can save Roll and all the other victims of MegaMan defeats Fortissimo?" inquired Lumine.
"Fortissimo needed SoulData for his revival," answered ProtoMan, "It's only a hypothesis, but his defeat may release all that SoulData that was stolen."
"Hey, MegaMan beat Fortissimo once before. So he can do it again," said Axl as he tried to raise people's hopes.
"Let's hope," was all the others could say as they turned to watch the battle from afar.
Blue and black flew through the air across the buildings as the battle between the former Shining Guardian of Balance and the Black God of Chaos raged on.
"Mega Buster!" The blue savior of the net aimed his weapon and unloaded several shots at the monstrosity that called himself a god, but his opponent's power was beyond any that he had ever seen. In fact, Fortissimo appeared to be even stronger than he was last time the two of them had met in combat. And somehow, the dark Navi knew that he could sense it.
"It's amazing how much power the NetDaemons will grant you," he said as he landed on a window ledge.
"So you not only used the NetDaemons to revive you, but you also used them so you could take their power?" demanded MegaMan as he jumped onto a balcony.
"Anyone who seeks power will follow those who offer them even the slightest hope, no matter how shady the one offering it may be."
"I think you're beyond shady, Fortissimo."
"I don't think that really matters right now, MegaMan. Causa Mortis!" Fortissimo fired a thin beam from his fingertips at the structure above MegaMan's head and sliced it to bits. The Blue Bomber quickly abandoned his position and blasted away as the falling debris. He fired up his AirShoes and flew away as quickly as possible. However, given his situation he had to fly backwards and as a result, Fortissimo was able to drop in behind him and slam him in the neck, sending him flying forward. MegaMan smashed into the falling rubble and hit the wall. As he pulled himself up and opened his eyes, he saw his opponent flying in toward him and he quickly jumped off just before the Masamune could hit him and instead sliced a deep gash into the side of the structure.
"DynaWave Battlechip in, download!" Lan's chip armed MegaMan with a pickaxe and he immediately dug it into the wall to slow down his descent. Once he had slowed down enough, he jumped the rest of the way down and landed on the ground. It was a big mistake.
"Oh crap!" The memory suddenly hit MegaMan like a load of bricks as the ground suddenly erupted in a blazing explosion. He was thrown back from the blast and he skidded down the street until he finally came to a stop. Fortissimo landed on the pavement and slowly walked towards him.
"Mega Cannon Battlechip in, triple download!" MegaMan suddenly leapt up to his feet and pointed a massive red cannon at his enemy.
"GigaCannon3!" And with that cry, he unleashed a devastating blast of energy.
"Veni mi Filli!" Chaos poured out from Fortissimo's artificial wing and formed into a clone of himself that took the hit. It was destroyed and the chaos returned to its master before he unleashed the power of GigaCannon3 back at its user.
"WideBlade Battlechip in, download!" Lan quickly slotted in the chip and MegaMan quickly swing his sword and sliced the blast in two. He then quickly brought his weapon up and just barely managed to block Fortissimo's Masamune. He pushed his feet against the ground as hard as he could as he and his foe began pushing hard against each other.
"Why do you want to destroy everything, Fortissimo?" MegaMan demanded.
"I already explained," was Fortissimo's answer, "The universe was born from chaos and so it shall one day return to chaos. When that day comes, I will be far more powerful than any other god."
"And what will you do once you've destroyed the universe?"
"What will it matter by that point?" Releasing one hand from the hilt of his sword, Fortissimo opened his palm and held his arm to the side, "Absolutum Dominium!" Thirteen orbs of chaos appeared around the two of them and the Black God of Chaos flew into the air before closing them in on his opponent.
"AreaGrab Battlechip in, download!" MegaMan's hide was saved by his operator as he was teleported to safety several feet away before the collision and the following explosion occurred.
"Gotta hide," the Blue Bomber muttered as he ducked into a small shelter. Fortissimo jumped over the massive crater that his lad attack had made and slowly walked down the street searching for his opponent.
"You can't escape this fight, MegaMan!" he called out, "If you do, you'll be putting all that you love and care for in danger. And knowing you, that's never an option." MegaMan looked around his hiding place and found a microphone and a sound system. He immediately switched it on and began to speaking, hoping that it wouldn't give away his position. Otherwise, he was going to have to move fast.
"I don't intend to escape!" the blue Navi's voice boomed over store speakers everywhere.
Not a bad tactic, thought Fortissimo, However, it won't save him. The spines on his armor began to glow.
"Cadavera Vero Innumera!" Millions of energy bolts shot out of his armor spines and within seconds he had destroyed every single building on the block. Any debris that fell toward him he simply sliced to pieces with his sword. When the destruction was complete, he flapped his right wing and blew the dust away.
"Where are you, MegaMan?" he demanded as he walked through the ruins. Suddenly, the rubble burst up from under his feet and MegaMan emerged with a DrillArm3.
"Take this, Fortissimo!" The blue NetNavi thrust his drill forward and Fortissimo quickly grabbed it in his free hand. As it bore through his palm, he squeezed it as hard as he could to cease the spinning. Even as it slowly came out the back of his hand and black colored blood began to dribble down his arm, he continued to tighten his grip.
"You're persistent, MegaMan."
"Well this is definitely proving that you're not invincible, though," was MegaMan's response. Suddenly, there was a loud squealing noise as Fortissimo poured all his strength into his hand until his fingers finally dug into the drill and ceased its movement. He then pulled his arm back and ripped the bit from its socket, nearly tearing off MegaMan's right arm in the process.
"Man, what power!" shouted the Blue Bomber as he stepped back. He watched as Fortissimo wretched the drill out of his hand and dropped it onto the pavement. Chaos from his left wing poured onto the wound and within seconds it had completely healed.
"I thought gods didn't bleed," MegaMan commented.
"Once I gain immortality, it won't matter," replied Fortissimo. He dashed in and smashed his fist into MegaMan's face, throwing him back. He then teleported in front of him and slammed his palm against his chin, which threw his foe into the air. He reappeared over him and grabbed him by the locks of hair that stuck out from under his helmet before flying higher. Once he was above the buildings, he threw MegaMan into the air.
"Flagellum Dei!" Fortissimo carved a large cross in the air with Masamune and a giant cross made of planets shot out from it and slammed into his enemy. MegaMan was hit hard and he fell onto a roof.
"MegaMan!" shouted Lan.
"Lan, he's definitely a lot stronger than he was three years ago," MegaMan coughed as he tried to get up.
"But you're the Shining Guardian of Balance..."
"The power faded along with Fortissimo at the end of the last battle. We don't have the means to defeat chaos anymore!"
"MegaMan, we don't have to defeat chaos. We just have to defeat Fortissimo. He might be a god, he might not. But either way, he's still just a NetNavi. We CAN beat him! So come on, bro! We'll finish him once and for all together!"
"Yeah. You're right, Lan." MegaMan stood up as Fortissimo came down and caught the blade of Masamune between his hands as it came down on his head. He then forced the sword down and ran forward until he slammed his helmet against his foe's face.
"So you're finally taking this battle seriously, MegaMan," Fortissimo said as soon as he recovered.
"No, Fortissimo. I've been taking this fight seriously since the beginning," answered MegaMan, "This time, though, I'm pulling out all the stops!"
"I had hoped you would say that. Now fight! Causa Mortis!" MegaMan rolled out of the way of the beam and fired off several shots.
"WhiteWeb3 Battlechip in, download!" Seconds after the chip was registered by Lan's PET, MegaMan's buster began shooting webbing. The white sticky substance covered Fortissimo. He tried to cut it off, but his sword proved to be too long.
"Curses." He stuck Masamune into the ground and began trying to tear off the webbing with his gloved hands.
"Attack him now while he's distracted, MegaMan! FireSword Battlechip in, download! FireBlade Battlechip in, download!" Now armed with two flame swords, MegaMan ran in and slashed with both. He not only dealt damage to Fortissimo in doing so, but he also set the webs on fire, which contributed some additional fire damage.
"StepCross Battlechip in, download!" As MegaMan landed behind his enemy, his swords changed into WideSwords and he dashed again, performing a diagonal double slash with his blade at the same time as he passed. The Black God of Chaos collapsed onto his knee.
"Fortissimo, I really don't want to fight you," said MegaMan, "But when you threaten the existence of everything, I can't just sit back and watch. Can we please end this madness?"
"Madness?" Fortissimo stood up and turned to face his enemy, "You have no idea what true madness really is." He formed an orb of light and an orb of darkness in his hands and threw them both at MegaMan.
"Memento Mori!" The orbs made contact and merged around their victim into a single sphere of chaos.
"We won't let you win, Fortissimo," muttered Lan with his fist clenched so tight that his knuckles had turned white. Suddenly, a bright light began to shine out from the orb of chaos and it suddenly exploded, freeing a shining MegaMan.
"What is this new power I'm sensing?" asked Fortissimo, "Is it the power of Balance? No, it's different. What exactly is this?"
"This is the light of my soul," answered MegaMan, "The light of the boy who lives on inside of me. The light of Hub Hikari!" The light subsided and MegaMan burst forward with seemingly newfound power.
"Absolutum Dominium!" Thirteen orbs of chaos appeared and formed a wall in front of Fortissimo, but MegaMan jumped over them and shot him in the back.
"How's it going in there, Lan?" asked Sean.
"MegaMan's doing exceptional right now!" Lan exclaimed, "I think we might actually have a chance." He quickly switched to a second folder because his main one had already been used up; most of the chips had been used against Death and the Horsemen.
It's still going to be a tough fight without Final Gun or the power of Balance, but we'll do everything we can, thought Lan.
"Muramasa Battlechip in, download!"
Thanks to all the damage MegaMan had taken all day, the demonic aura surrounding the blade of Muramasa was insanely powerful. When the two combatants clashed, their blades struck hard and sent shock waves that caused even the mightiest of buildings to shudder violently. Both combatants were blown back and they each landed on separate buildings. However, Fortissimo was the first to recover and was already on his way to attack again.
"Flagellum Dei!" MegaMan saw the attack come and instantly dropped down about five meters and swinging approximately eight meters to the left. The giant cross of planets missed him and the skyscraper began to crumble, forcing him to abandon it. MegaMan landed on a roof a ways away and looked around for any sign of Fortissimo. There were none.
Then without warning, a piece of the building's structure beside MegaMan was sliced off and thrown at him. The Blue Bomber jumped and saw his foe standing at the edge of the newly cleaved section. He landed back down and leapt at his enemy before they resumed trying to kill each other. Fortissimo's attacks were relentless, so MegaMan found himself defending most of the time. As he backed closer to the edge, his opponent sliced at the roof and sent the piece he was standing on plummeting to the ground below. MegaMan was saved when Lan sent him a Condor chip and he had a Fishy3 virus to stand on.
"Not a problem, bro!"
Suddenly, Fortissimo flew past overhead and sliced through several building walls and blasted all the debris with Cadavera Vero Innumera to widen the range.
"This isn't good," muttered MegaMan.
"TankCannon3 Battlechip in, download!" MegaMan's free hand morphed into a giant cannon.
"Now this is more like it!" Taking aim with his new weapon, MegaMan fired a blast and it destroyed a large chunk of debris. One came close and he sliced it in half with his Muramasa.
"MegaMan, try to get out of here," instructed Lan.
"I'm all over it." Maneuvering as best as he could out of the falling debris while continuing to blast and cut, MegaMan eventually got out and flew up as high as he could.
"Where's Fortissimo?" he wondered out loud. His answer came when a sword sliced his Condor in half.
"Guess that answers that question!" MegaMan jumped off onto the nearest roof and collapsed. The fights all day had him exhausted. But he knew he couldn't give up. Not yet, anyway. He slowly rose to his feet and steadied himself with the Muramasa. However, this was short lived as he suddenly felt something impale his body. He screamed in pain immediately and dropped back onto his knees.
"That blow didn't pierce any vital programs, so you'll still live," said Fortissimo as he stood behind MegaMan with his Masamune stabbed into the blue Navi's back and impaled out through his icon. The emerald-eyed savior of the net slowly turned his head and glared angrily at the Black God of Chaos.
"I'm going to make you suffer, first," continued Fortissimo, "And the first thing I'm going to do is make you watch helplessly as I annihilate all that you hold dear." Images of his family and friends all dying flashed through MegaMan's head and strength filled him once again. He forced himself onto his feet and grabbed the Masamune's blade. Bracing himself for the upcoming pain, he pulled the sword forward through his body until the hilt was right against his back and smacked his head against Fortissimo. Once he had, he pushed the blade out of his body and tossed the sword to the side.
"You truly are a sadistic, sick, and evil bastard." Fortissimo got up and picked his sword off the roof before turning to MegaMan.
"I've been called worse, but soon none will be left to insult me." He grasped the hilt in both hands and charged. MegaMan waited and when Fortissimo lunged forward with a stab, he deflected it to the side with his Muramasa. He then ran alongside it, sliding his own sword against the blade and then dropped down, sliding against the floor before kicking his opponent in the jaw and blasting him with the TankCannon3. Both attacks sent him flying into the air. MegaMan quickly leapt to his feet, discarded his weapons, and jumped up after him.
"Let me show you something, Fortissimo! This is the power I get from all my friends!" His icon suddenly healed over as it glowed brightly and countless lights shot up and completely surrounded Fortissimo, trapping him in the center of the sphere.
"THIS IS THE POWER OF THE LIGHT OF MY SOUL!"
MegaMan flew up to the first light and upon making contact with it, he transformed into HeatGuts Style MegaMan.
"Heat Guts Buster!" His arm turned into a flamethrower and he unleashed a powerful fire blast at Fortissimo. He soon reverted back, but then moved to the next light, which turned him into ElecBrother Style.
"Zap Ring!" The attack hit and paralyzed the target, giving MegaMan plenty of time to move onto the next light, which transformed him into WoodShield Style.
"Twister!" The next stop was AquaCustom, in which he used Bubble Shot. Then he moved over to ElecGround Style and used the ground-ripping ZapRing followed by HeatShadow style combined with shuriken from the AntiDamage chip.
"Now the next!" yelled Lan. MegaMan moved on and transformed into Hub Style.
"Charged Hub Shot!" The blast hit its mark and MegaMan then moved on to the next set of lights. The first changed him into Fire Soul MegaMan.
"Fire Arm!" His attack torched Fortissimo and he then moved onto the next Soul Unison light: Guts Soul.
"Guts Punch!" He pushed himself off the wall of lights with his feet and smashed his fist against the Black God of Chaos as he passed. As soon as he reached the other end, he transformed into Aqua Soul upon touching the next light. He fired another Bubbler and moved onto Number Soul.
"Dice Bomb!" A large dice formed in his hands and he threw it. It hit Fortissimo on the head and rolled along the air on an invisible surface until it stopped on a six. Then it exploded and MegaMan moved onto the next Soul Unison.
"Wind Soul! Fuujin Racket!" A blast of wind from his fan struck his enemy and then he moved on into Roll Soul.
"Roll Arrow!" The pink heart-shaped arrow hit Fortissimo's icon and MegaMan then transferred himself over to Wood Soul.
"Twister!" After the second Twister hit, he moved onward and turned into Metal Soul.
"Metal Break!" His fist was shimmering as he slammed it with full force against Fortissimo's face. Then he transferred Thunder Soul and launched a ZapRing following which was Search Soul.
"Scope Gun!" After carefully targetting his enemy, MegaMan pulled the trigger and fired a shot that hit the mark dead-on. Then he moved on to Junk Soul, which he used to summon a Rock Cube before utilizing Poltergeist to throw it.
"Proto Soul!" he shouted as he transformed again, "Delta Ray Edge!" MegaMan dashed around Fortissimo in a triangular path and slashed him with each pass, dealing heavy damage. Once he was done, he went to the next Soul Unison: Magnet Soul.
"Magnet Missile!" The magnet he summoned exploded on contact and he moved onto Knight Soul.
"Royal Wrecking Ball!" As he passed Fortissimo yet again, his enormous flail-like mace struck him hard.
"Tornado Arm!" In Gyro Soul, he blasted the evil NetNavi with a whirlwind.
"Shadow Blade!" As MegaMan Shadow Soul, he teleported behind his opponent and slashed him with his katana.
"Vulcan Arm!" Using Napalm Soul, MegaMan launched several Fire-powered bullets from his cannons.
"Tomahawk Swing!" Raising his tomahawk over his head, MegaMan Tomahawk Soul chopped down and hard.
"Medi Capsule!" After turning into Medi Soul, he threw the capsule and watched it explode before transferring into Toad Soul.
"Shock Melody!" The electrified music note hit its mark and then he changed into Colonel Soul.
"Screen Divide!" The zigzagging column of energy that shot out of MegaMan's Colonel Saber streaked through the air and struck its mark.
"Now for Crash Soul!" declared Lan as MegaMan made his way over.
"Crash Bomb!" The missile he fired was caught by Fortissimo, but fortunately it was set to exploded on contact regardless of whether or not it hit. Magic Soul was next, in which he used Magic Fire. And then came Elec Soul.
"Lightning Blast!" MegaMan fired a spark into the sky and a few seconds later a massive lightning bolt shot down and struck his target.
"Blizzard!" As Blizzard Soul, he froze his enemy quickly. Next came Red Soul.
"Crimson Vortex!" A red tornado rose up from under Fortissimo and completely engulfed him. MegaMan then reverted back to his true blue self and moved on to the next light. Upon touching it, he made the transformation into the beautiful and magnificent Dragon Soul.
"Dragon Flare!" His right arm morphed into a dragon head and he unleashed a powerful energy blast that struck Fortissimo with full force.
"Nova Flare!" As Nova Soul, MegaMan fired a beam into the air from his halo and it came crashing back down on top of his foe. With his Soul Unisons now finished, the Blue Bomber proceeded to the next set of transformations: the Crosses. Heat Cross was the first one he received. But when he looked at himself, he immediately realized that he wasn't actually in Heat Cross; he was in Heat Beast!
Somehow the Beast Outs have been incorporated into all the Crosses, thought Lan.
"Grand Burner!" Decided to just go with the flow, MegaMan unleashed a giant flame breath. He then moved onto Aqua Beast.
"Aqua Spiral!" He thrust his arms out and two cyclones of water shot forward and hit his target. Next he moved onto Tengu Beast.
"Tengu Storm!" The massive wind attack hit its mark and then he proceeded to Slash Beast.
"Cross Slash!" His two enormous sets of claws sliced through their target as he passed and upon landing, MegaMan moved onto Tomahawk Beast.
"Wing Boomerang!" He detached his wings from his back and threw them. They hit the target, returned to his hands, and were reattached to his back before moving on.
"Big Thunder!" As Elec Beast, MegaMan exhaled a deadly electrical blast at Fortissimo.
"Drill Drive!" As Ground Beast, he tackled his opponent drills first and bore his weapons deep as far as they would go before he tore them out again and flew to th other side for his next Beast Cross.
"Killer Tail Arrow!" A giant purple tail grew out of Killer Beast MegaMan's backside and he stabbed Fortissimo with it. In Dust Beast, used Dust Shooting to randomly throw scraps and then moved onto Charge Cross, in which he used Charge Bite to shoot a giant Greiga head. However, the Crosses were far from finished. His next transformation changed him into Red Beast.
"Falcon Scythe!" The hit-and-fly slash was quick and he immediately moved onto the next: Phantom Beast.
"Claws of Exorcism!" MegaMan's claws grew to five times their original length as he flew through the air with his arms held out. As he came close to his prey, he swung inward and slashed. His claws cleaved through Fortissimo and he slowly came to a stop crouching behind him. He stuck his arm back out and pointed his claws behind him before thrusting them through his enemy's back and out his chest. Once that was done, he spread out his fingers and his claws sliced through the entire body. Once he was done, he moved onto Friction Beast and flew as high as he could.
"Reentry Impact!" MegaMan dive-bombed and slammed hard into his opponent. Then he moved on and changed into Crash Cross.
"Burst Shot!" All his silos and ports opened up and a massive bombardment of missiles and rockets shot out and rained onto Fortissimo.
"Sun Crusher!" Utilizing the power of Nova Cross, MegaMan's armor and rings started to shimmer. His body pulsed once and then once again as a massive burning ball of gas appeared over him and slowly grew larger and brighter. When he had finally built up enough power, he tore his halos from his body and threw them up, surrounding the newly-formed star with them. He sank his claws into the giant burning ball of gas and then hurdled it at the Black God of Chaos. He then moved to one of his most power, but most short-lived and least-used Cross: Crystal Cross.
"Diamond Wave Explosion!" Sharp spikes appeared all over MegaMan's crystal armor and he pounced before firing a giant rain of diamond shards that ripped through Fortissimo's body.
However, it wasn't finished quite yet. For next he turned into his Falzer Beast Out form and blasted the evil NetNavi with his Falzer Tornado and then switched to Greiga Beast Out, where he used his flaming Beast Breath to burn him severely. The next three forms were the very first Crosses he had ever received.
"Machinegun Tri-Shot!" Bass Cross Gold allowed him to shoot triple shots at Fortissimo rapidly.
"Hell's Rolling!" As Bass Cross Silver MegaMan, he launched two spinning wheels of dark energy that sliced through the black Navi's body.
"Gun Del Sol!" In Sol Cross, emerald-eyed Navi tore through Fortissimo with the power of the Solar Gun's Spread attack.
"This can't be happening!" shouted the Black God of Chaos.
"This is definitely happening!" replied Lan.
"And this," added MegaMan as he appeared over his enemy in his normal form, "is the end for you!" He morphed his hand into his buster and pointed down as he charged up.
"If I die, MegaMan, I'm taking you with me!" swore Fortissimo as he brought back his Masamune and threw at the savior of the internet.
"CHARGED SHOT!" The charged shot that erupted from MegaMan's buster engulfed Masamune and completely vaporized it before piercing through Fortissimo's icon.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" His screams echoed long and loud as his destruction was made complete. Data was broken up into bytes. Bytes were broken up into bits. Bits were then further broken down until nothing remained.
"Thanks, everyone," MegaMan whispered, completely exhausted, "Thank for all your help." He slowly floated back to the street and was gently laid down against the ground before the sphere of lights vanished and returned into his body. In the sky, the clouds of darkness lifted and the sun began to shine through.
"Did he do it?" asked SearchMan.
"Look up there!" IceMan called, pointing up. Everybody lifted their heads and witness a giant snowfall of SoulData gently floating down. The first one touched the spot on the ground and the Navi to which it belong appeared in a flash of light.
Roll's pure SoulData slowly came down to her icon, which glowed white as it reentered her body, and she slowly opened her eyes.
"I'm so happy you're safe, MegaMan," she whispered weakly.
Back in the city, MegaMan slowly got up and flipped himself onto his back.
"We did it, Lan," he said between breaths.
"Yeah, we did," answered Lan, who was also just as tired. As MegaMan stared into the sky and the slowly drifting SoulData, he saw several black feathers fall to the ground. He turned his head to the side, reached out, and picked one up. He brought it up over his face and looked at it.
"It's finally over..." The feather slowly disintegrated and he continued to stare up at the sky.
A couple of weeks later, everything was finally back to normal. Internet City had been rebuilt, the only danger Navis had to worry about on the net were hackers and viruses, and life went on as normal. However, there was one key change in the digital city. In the very heart of Internet City in the Central Square, a monument had been erected. It was agreed by the ONBA and the Internet City planning committee that it would be necessary to commemorate the one whom it depicted. The monument was an eighteen-meter tall statue of MegaMan striking a heroic pose on top of a four-meter tall pedestal. Engraved on all sides of the pedestal were the tellings of all that the heroic blue NetNavi had done over the years. And now his deeds were immortalized upon this stone structure.
MegaMan himself, however, was still at home resting after the grueling battle against the Four Horsemen and Fortissimo. But he did know about the statue thanks to the tabs he kept open to all the news websites. Roll was looking better than ever even after what had happened to her. She plopped down on the sofa beside her husband and put her arms around him.
"How are you feeling today, MegaMan?"
"A lot better now, Roll. Thanks." MegaMan minimized his window and put his arm around Roll's shoulders, "Listen, I have to go with Lan to the Official Center this afternoon. Think you'll be alright without me for a while? I mean, considering what happened, of course."
"If there's anyone here who needs to be worried over, it's you," replied Roll. MegaMan smiled and turned to face his wife.
That afternoon, Lan arrived at the Official Center after work and headed straight to the Net Savior office. Laika still hadn't gone back to Sharo yet, so he was still around and Chaud was also there since he had given himself the day off and left his vice president in charge. Sean was in, however, sitting at his desk looking for any local theaters with open auditions for upcoming plays.
"Where's Noah?" asked Lan.
"He's in the bathroom," answered Sean, "He should be out any second now." Sure enough, the sound of a flushing toilet could be heard and a few seconds later, Noah emerged from the bathroom in the corner drying his hands on a paper towel.
"I'm here now," the adorable child genius announced.
"So, Lan. What was it that you wanted to speak to us about?" inquired Mr. Famous.
"Yeah, it's about this." Lan opened the bag he brought with him and took out his blue Net Savior jacket. He put it on Mr. Famous' desk and then placed a disc beside it.
"What's on the CD?" asked Laika.
"My badge and ID," answered Lan, "Everyone, I'm retiring from the Official NetBattlers Association."
"Lan, are you sure?" asked Chaud.
"I'm sure," was Lan's response, "It's been great serving as an Official these past thirteen years, but now I'm ready to settle down into a more peaceful life."
"Things won't be the same around here without you, Lan," said Noah.
"Noah, you only became a Net Savior last year. In fact, this is the first time you and Lan have been in this office at the same time," Chaud reminded the boy.
"That's not the point. Lan, we're going to miss you as a part of the ONBA." Noah stepped forward, "Is there any way we can convince you to stay?"
"I'm sorry, little guy. My mind's made up." Lan placed a hand on the boy's head and mussed up his hair.
"We may need your services again at some point, Lan," Mr. Famous brought up, "What will you do if that need ever arises?"
"Sorry, everyone," Lan apologized, "Back then, it was alright to dedicate my time to saving the net and all that. But I have a family now. I have to spend more time with them."
"I understand, Lan," Mr. Famous replied as he stood up from his desk, "In fact, I know exactly how you feel right now." There was a knock at the door it opened a few seconds later. An eleven-year-old boy stepped into the office and walked up to Mr. Famous.
"Lan, this is my son, Jamie."
"Wait, you have a son?" asked Lan.
"Man, you really are out of the loop," Sean commented.
"Yes, Lan. Jamie is my son and I also have a wife," explained Mr. Famous, "I also have a four-year-old daughter."
"Wow, you've really got your work cut out for you," MegaMan commented from his PET right after he let out a long whistle.
"We always make you a part-time Official, Lan," Mr. Famous suggested, "We'd only call you in when we'd absolutely need you and only if you're willing. We can accommodate your schedule however you see fit."
"So what will it be, Lan?" asked Laika.
"Well, Lan?" MegaMan added. Lan thought about it for a moment and he finally gave his answer.
"Alright, I'll stay."
"Then you're going to need these back," said Mr. Famous as he pushed Lan's jacket and ID back toward him. The brunet slipped the blue garment on and reinstalled his badge and ID.
"Maylu, I'm home!" Lan announced as he stepped through the front door.
"Welcome home, Lan!" Maylu called from the kitchen, "Dinner's almost ready."
"I'll set the table, then," Lan offered.
After a filling dinner and the washing up that followed, the happy couple sat down on the living room sofa. Lan turned on the TV while Maylu held Patch in her arms.
"So you're still going to be a Net Savior, after all?" she asked.
"Yeah," he answered, "Are you upset?" Maylu shook her head.
"Not at all. In fact, I'm really happy."
They sat there for another hour before MegaMan suddenly beeped in.
"Hey Lan, you have that big presentation tomorrow," the Blue Bomber reminded.
"And Maylu, you were going to be there too," added Roll.
"They're right," Lan said, remembering as well, "We should go to bed early."
"Sounds like a wonderful idea, Lan," replied Maylu. After turning off the TV, both of them headed upstairs.
"Are you nervous, Dr. Hikari?" asked Andrew on the following day.
"Very," Lan answered, "By today's standards, it's a very far-fetched theory."
"So when will your wife be arriving?"
"Any time now." As if on cue, Maylu walked into Lan's office at that moment.
"Hi, Maylu." Lan approached his wife and kissed her on the lips, "I'm so glad you could come."
"Sorry, I'm a bit late. But I had to stop at the bathroom to change Patch."
"Anyway," Lan took a step back, "Maylu, this is Andrew. The intern. And Andrew, I'd like you to meet my wife, Maylu." Andrew took a few steps forward.
"It's an honor to finally meet you, Mrs. Hikari," greeted Andrew.
"The pleasure is all mine," replied Maylu.
"Hey Maylu, are you ready to go?" Lan asked, "How about you, Andrew?"
"I'm good to go," answered Andrew.
"I'm ready whenever you are, Lan," replied Maylu. The three of them then headed down to the SciLab theater. When they arrived, Lan took his place behind the podium, Maylu stood beside him, and Andrew got everything set up. The young scientist took a deep breath and a sip from his water bottle.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the science community," he began, "thank you all for coming. This is my wife, Maylu, and this is my assistant, Andrew. I'm here to present to you my theory on NetNavi reproduction..."
And thus concludes Rockman.EXE: The College Years.
Thank you all for reading and thanks for all your support.