You never know how empty the world is until you can't share it with anyone.

Scratch that.

You never know how empty the world is until you've shared it with someone, then lost them.

Oh, Netto is still alive. He just has someone else to be with, to share his memories with while I stay on the outside and watch, craving for that attention and knowing that I will never get it again.

I used to be Rockman. I used to stay up late with Netto playing video games, battling viruses when there was homework to be done. I used to listen to him moan about life or chat about what he would do with the payments he's getting for being a NetSavior. But I'm not Rockman anymore. And Rockman is still around, being with Netto because I can't. Because Netto's light is too bright for my darkness to survive.

Maybe that's why the power of Duo's comet was so enticing. With that power, my loneliness wouldn't matter. I could have Netto in some way, even if it wasn't the way I really wanted.

That's why I'm standing here in the core of the comet's Cyberworld. Is this happiness I'm feeling? I haven't felt anything besides the loneliness in so long I can't identify other emotions anymore. Perhaps I am happy, knowing that as soon as I assimilate this power I will be free from this hell on CyberEarth.

Rockman tried to stop me, of course. Him and Netto. They only pounded this burning desire deeper into my dark heart by showing me what it is that I lack, what I yearn for so strongly it makes me almost want to cry from need. But I don't cry. I can't cry. I've become so used to this existence that it scares me. I need to leave before I truly become evil.

I've had a long time alone in the darkness to contemplate evil. I've come to the conclusion that I'm not evil. Shademan is evil because he wanted to destroy mankind. I only acted as I did because that's how darkness is supposed to act. Or so I thought.

Darkness is only a good place to hide from the light, to hide your true self and act as you want. I like the darkness. It's let me hide my crushing loneliness from my lighter half, letting him hold onto his beliefs that darkness and evil are one and the same. I doubt the world wants to hear the truth.

I've dwelled on bitter memories long enough. It's time for me to act. I spread my arms and prepare to accept the power that will free me.

Now there's pain. Agonizing pain, originating from my chest and the sword that appeared through it. I stare numbly down at it, not quite comprehending. I only know that I've been prevented from replacing something I've lost and the realization wounds me to my very soul. Or do Navis even have souls?

I crumple to the ground as Slur rejoices in her victory over me. But I'm not down yet. I know Rockman and his friends are watching me. I know that they will not survive if Slur decides to attack them. And I want more than anything for Rockman to survive. I don't want Netto-kun to experience my loneliness.

With the last of my strength, I download one final battlechip and struggle to my knees behind Slur. She's foolishly left me alone, thinking me to be down for good, but I'll show her.

Flames encircle me as I reach out for Slur, wrapping my arms around her and using her to push myself fully to my feet. I command the flames to jump onto her, to imprison her within their embrace. I gather my energy for what is to be my final act and look up, meeting Rockman's gaze squarely.

And I give him my last request.

"Go home, Rockman. Go to where Netto is."

He hears me and nods, telling his companions to flee. He lingers, even as my body burns in preparation for what is to come. His emotions filter back to me, as we're really the same, aren't we? I know he feels regret.

He'll feel sad when I'm gone. My heart lifts at this realization and I almost manage a smile.

Then he's gone. I finally release what I've been holding back, self destructing with a vibrant blast that rocks the comet with its ferocity. With my last conscious thought I prepare myself for the unknown.

….

What's this? I feel something, so very far away. It beckons to me, draws my soul to it like a ship to a lighthouse. I reach for it, am accepted happily into its embrace, and finally feel whole again.

I look up with determined eyes. I'm going back to Netto-kun. For a part of me, that's all I've ever wanted. The other part is content to return.

But I will never forget the loneliness. I will never forget what it was like for Dark Rockman, for his memories are my own now. He and I are once again united, as we were always meant to be.

I will never, ever leave Netto-kun. Not if I can help it. Nobody ever deserves to feel that lonely.