Proto Man: Wanderer.
I'll never understand why people say it's a small world, little brother. I've been going around this world as best I can, but I still have ways to go. Maybe going around the world is easy, but being everywhere…that's when the world doesn't seem so small. For a regular human, it would take a lifetime—and that's being generous on my part—for him or her to be in every town, on top of every mountain, to visit every body of water, just to look at the same thing that you saw in the last. Luckily for me, I'm not a regular human being. I'm not even a human being. Friends and family call me Blues, but I lack depth in both departments, so I am best known as—Proto Man.
I was the first robot created by Dr. Thomas Light. I would like to say I saw this great blinding light as I was activated; that I felt a warm sensation, but that would be a lie. I was activated, and it is as simple as that. I guess that's enough. So there I was—I never existed before, but I knew the world—so what was there for me? Dr. Light had plans on me for being a hero, but I didn't. I didn't want to be confined. I hate being confined.
I remember staying in Dr. Light's lab for an entire day, just thinking of things I comprehended but didn't understand. I grew uncomfortable. I felt the walls close in on me. White walls, white tiles…they were so bland, so lifeless. Is this what a hero is to do? Wait in a limbo for a call then return. That's when it dawned on me: it takes more to build a prison then bricks and iron bars. If I was a hero that is the only role I could exist in. Everyday it would be the same: call, help, succeed, wait, and repeat over and over in a tiring cycle. I couldn't change; people just wouldn't let me. It wasn't until I went outside that I found what I was looking for: a windy, sunny day.
The wind blew against my scarf as I turned my head slightly to notice; it was the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me at that point. I turned my head slightly more to see my shadow; I couldn't help noticing the different shades. I then noticed a tree just 10 meters from the left wall of the lab. The sunlight and wind, as they combined, created a wonderful masterpiece. The shadows of the various tree limbs, one on top of the other, created a wonderful illusion. Dancing shades shifted before my eyes, changing every second as the wind increased or decreased. I gazed up into the sky, planning on seeing the sun, but my I caught sight of something else: a lonely cloud. As I watched, it seemed to me, that it would change shapes. Shapes of things I knew but didn't really. A mountain, George Washington…and then…an old man I have never met. "Never met," the thought etched its way into my core, as Dr. Light called me back in. "No. Not never met…never experienced."
Dr. Light introduced me to his library and told me that I could help myself; it was there I met John the Savage. I only read one book, one single book by the name of Brave New World by Huxley. There are two societies: the primitive and the technological. One is ruled by emotions and heritage; the other is by technology and reason. The only common link is a boy caught somewhere between. His name is John. He comes from the bigger society, but grew up with the primitives. He loves Shakespeare and other literature, but is not accepted in the culture he loves. He is an outcast. He is found and brought into the "real world". In this "Brave New World", drugs control people, everyone has a singular place in society that cannot be altered, and art of any sort is forbidden. As I read, I saw myself in John. I didn't like the ending; John hanged himself, a lonely boy who never belonged.
It took me hours to fully understand the context. The primitives, being put where they could not bother the advanced society, are not happy but have their freedom; the other has no freedom, but drugs and brainwashing lead to happiness. The only one who lacked both was John. Which was important to him? He wanted to be accepted but on his terms. He lacked happiness in the primitives, freedom in the other. He tried to gain what he lacked, but couldn't. I thought over if for hours until I answered a question with a question: What do I want?
It took me hours to ask a question I should have, but only a second to answer it: I want both. I want to be happy and I want to be free. Just like John, I want to know joy and I want it on my terms. And I was different from John—I can still have both. But then I thought of Dr. Light, he had been very good to me; he is a good man with a giant heart, but then again, did John compromise? Maybe in the end he gave up, but he never compromised. No compromises and never give up. I told Dr. Light of my decision and said my goodbyes. He tried to stop me, reason with me, but I had no need of reason. I couldn't help smiling as I ran.
Last week I was in China and met an elderly man by the name of Chu Sheng, a very talkative old man who seemed to have an endless amount of stories about his children and grandchildren and nothing better to do, I decided to listen. We walked to a park and talked for most of the day. He had a slight stuttering problem, but I paid it no heed, why should I? His daughter's first steps were into his arms, and she married her high school boyfriend. They named their first child after him. He's an engineer and, ironically, was working on a building I had pasted two streets before. I tell Chu and he chuckles softly to himself. After a few hours, we talk about rainy days, and say our farewells. He hopes to see me again, but I tell him that it'll be highly unlikely. I'm always on the go, but why is it I always find my way back here?
I can't travel to Indiana and stand all alone in a cornfield that sweeps the state, rocket across the Pacific Ocean, or even just take a few steps before I think of home and family. I guess even a wanderer needs a home to come back to, even if he stops just a few steps before he reaches it. That's where I am today, little brother. Watching you, Roll, and Dr. Light as you enjoy a picnic in a park. I'm glad that this time I'm viewing you under better circumstances. Usually you're fighting Wily and his robots; this is a nice change of pace. Instead of helping you in battle and leaving without a goodbye, I'm seeing a family enjoying a summer day. It's times like this, Rock, that I think I understand you. It's about the only thing I do get about you.
I'll never understand your need to be a hero, Rock. Not in a million years. To condemn yourself to a role that you have to play over and over…it's just too above me, I guess. There's a reason why it's called the never-ending battle. You can defeat Wily a million times, lock him away from all things good—and he'll just find a way to crawl and slither his way back into your life and make you pay. I'm not suggesting killing is the answer. If you kill a Wily, does that justify killing another? Do you kill a killer, kill a thief, and kill a man who could be both or worse or slightly less? That's what is so bad, Rock. You're stuck in a room with no windows, no light, and no colors. To make it worse, inch-by-inch, day-by-day, it's coming closer to crushing you.
At times I want to tell you that. I want to tell you that you're wrong, that you need to be like me, that it's the only way. But what right do I have? I severed my ties long ago and though we have aided one another on special occasions, we both are strangers to one another. I keep coming back, but I don't stay. It is obvious from here that you all are quite content without me. Still, I have heard rumors that you spend what little free time you have trying to find me, Rock. Maybe, one day, I'll stand still long enough for you to find me. Nevertheless, always remember that your big brother is watching out for you, no matter where I find myself, I'll be sure to check in on you...even if you never see me.