A Different Place

Part 57:

The waves went calmly by as the door to the Carrier opened, giving Yuna the feeling that it was her ship that was moving, not the water. This was impossible, however, as the Carrier was hovering two yards over the ocean level. She looked into the waves, as if trying to see through them and into the depths of the ocean floor. Somewhere down there, her target waited for her.

"I am prepared for the jump, Mistress Yuna," said Gatz, standing beside her. "With your permission..."

"You have it," she said.

Gatz nodded and stepped out of the open door, making a small splash as his powerful body sank into the sea. Yuna watched the waves as long as she was able, then began pacing around the Carrier's interior.

They had followed these Purifier readings all across the world, which had finally culminated in their stop here. The Purifier-like emanations had become very strong for a few minutes, then had softened as they sank into the briny deep. Yuna had no idea what to expect, but she was almost certain that there was nothing down there.

Her heart had been broken too many times. She wasn't going to get her hopes up yet again, only to be crushed as she found out another lead had proven to be false. Yuna was going to have to face the facts: she was stuck in this fragile shell, doomed to live out her remaining years with its diminished senses, its tangly hair, and it's ever-worsening physical fitness. There wasn't even anything she could do to stop it; this body would continue aging until its eventual death, from which her program would never be recovered.

Yuna sighed and sat disconsolately on one of the cushioned chairs.

"Mother," Gatz transmitted to her, "I believe I have found the source of the emissions. It does, indeed, appear to be a Purifier Unit. I am beginning recovery now."

"Wonderful," Yuna said, although she kept her expectations low. Most likely, it was some random Shrine Guardian that had wandered off from its duties due to a programming malfunction. Yuna kicked her shapely legs as she leaned back in her chair, a vivid memory in her mind of what it would feel like to have her emerald tresses dancing sensually among her shoulders and bare neck. She nearly shuddered in remembered pleasure, then recalled that she had nothing but a short blond dusting of hair, hair that disobeyed her in nearly every way.

Another splash alerted her to Gatz's arrival. The Servitor Unit walked into the Carrier, holding a body that, while humaniform, was still somewhat smaller than she expected a Purifier's to be. Gatz set the shell gently down on the Carrier floor. "I believe this is the unit we were searching for, Mother," he said.

"It doesn't look like any Purifier I'm aware of," Yuna said. Still, she stood up and walked over to the inert body. Perhaps it was a Purifier, but she doubted it. It didn't look like any unit she'd ever seen. It didn't even have green hair! She gazed unenthusiastically at the face, which was a little cute, truth be told. The lips were pursed in an adorable fashion, and the button nose put her in mind of the unit which had caused her face to light up every time she met him. In fact, even the hair looked slightly similar, although while the shape was correct, the color was all wrong. She raised a blond eyebrow.

"MegaMan!" Yes, it was him. She was certain.

"I beg your pardon?" said Gatz in confusion. "To which MegaMan are you referring?"

Yuna flung herself onto the small, inert body. She planted her lips on its mouth in a cold, salty kiss, and stroked the brown hair, such an unappealing color. "Oh, my beloved Trigger," she gasped as she released him. "I'm so happy you finally came back to me."

AUTHOR'S NOTES: There we are. If anyone has any questions about the story, you can e-mail them to me at , or you can just "review" them to me. If I get enough, I'll answer them in a "Chapter 58," but that won't really count because 57 is the magic number. That also happens to be the number of the school bus I rode to kindergarten on. Heh. God bless. ---ADR