The story of how Protoman finally left Wily's group and joined Megaman. Based on the old cartoon series.
To Find My Place
It had been the hardest battle Megaman had in a long time; Wily's robots, new and old, attacking at the same time. Hostages, new weapons, unexpected explosions, counter attacks for anything he did. For a second, for just a small second, Megaman didn't think he could win. But he couldn't give up.
He thought of Dr. Light who was like a father to him. He built him, Proto and Roll. He always treated Mega like a son rather than a robot. He couldn't let his father down. He thought of his sister Roll and his dog Rush who were also counting on him. He thought of his brother Protoman, whom he thought was good deep down. Then there were also the people of the city. He had rescued the hostages, but it was at a high price, he was damaged and had little energy left; never before had there been such a large and precise attack.
While Megaman processed all of those thoughts, he struggled against the thick metal wires wrapped around him like tentacles. That giant robot was a problem. It was controlled by Dr. Wily in a room in the center of its body. It was shaped like a combination between a squid and a spider, painted black and gray, with a few red details. Mega seriously needed to recharge. He couldn't find the strength to break free.
"It's over! I've finally won!" Dr. Willy was feeling victorious. Protoman, was there as well. He was to rejoin the fight in if needed, or protect Wily if Mega got too close.
The assault had been planned for months, with every possibility being taken into consideration. Many hostages were captured simultaneously in various parts of the world. Rather than attempting to capture or defeat Megaman while he rescued each of the hostages, Wily's robots knew their true purpose was to damage him if possible, or at least drain his energy fighting as long as they could.
Another important part of the plan was to have more robots hidden who would not fight Megaman, but instead make sure no one reached him with an energy can. The enemy robots didn't have new abilities for Mega to copy or any important information about the plans except for what was vital to the role they played.
Now, after an exhausting battle, it looked as if Megaman would finally be defeated. "Finally, this moment will go down in history!" Wily laughed with insane evil as he aimed a large plasma cannon at Megaman. The attack would most likely destroy the tentacles that held the blue robot in place. The powerful plasma cannon would possibly overheat and damage the spider-squid robot slightly. The shot may be powerful enough to vaporize Megaman and damage the city or even the robots from Wily's army who were near by in case Mega escaped. But that didn't matter as long as Megaman was destroyed.
Protoman thought of what he was about to do. 'If Wily ever found out...' There was a pause as he searched his memories for any evidence that may indicate that the mad scientist could do anything about it. He shrugged and completed the thought. 'If Wily ever found out, he wouldn't be able to do anything about it anyway.' With that he opened a small storage compartment and pulled out a little controller. It was a small black square with a single red button in the middle. Protoman pressed the small red button and after hearing the expected 'beep' that Wily either ignored or didn't hear, he crushed the controller, leaving it as nothing but metallic dust. He dusted off his hands, looking satisfied with his work and watched as something began to short circuit in the control panel.
"What's going on? It's not working!" Dr. Wily screamed in anger. He was so close to destroying Megaman, too close.
Protoman knew small chip that caused the short circuit self-destructed soon after it had done its job. There would be nothing more than metallic dust left, if anything at all, and that was no reason to blame him for this inconvenience "I'll just go finish Megaman myself." Protoman headed out of the spider-squid robot via the emergency exit overhead.
Coming out on top of the robot, Protoman aimed a weak plasma blast at Megaman, or rather at the tentacle wires holding him. The short circuit caused when the blast collided with the wires made it look like it had been stronger than it actually was. That is how Protoman wanted it to look from Dr. Wily's point of view.
Megaman was released and knowing he needed some energy if was to stand a chance, he made a temporary retreat. He was convinced that Protoman had freed him on purpose, but was unsure why.
While Wily cursed and yelled watching Megaman get away, Protoman ran after him. Being the only one fast enough to actually keep up with him, they soon left the other robots behind. "Where are you going in such a hurry little brother?" Proto aimed his plasma beam cannon at Mega, who was clearly exhausted.
"You set me free and now you want to kill me? Why don't you make up your mind and join me once and for all?" Megaman asked.
"I'm not going to join you. You should understand that by now," Proto could hear the other robots approaching, searching for Megaman. "Go inside."
They went inside the ruins of a small building that was destroyed by Dr. Wily. The city had sustained a considerable amount of damage while Megaman tried to return from the other side of the planet from his last rescue mission. "If you have no intentions of joining me then why do you help me?" It had always puzzled Mega how one second Protoman was trying to kill him and the next he saved his life, only to try to kill him again.
It reminded him of the first time Proto sabotaged one of Wily's weapons claiming that he wanted to fight Megaman himself. That time he openly admitted it. Many times followed when weapons would fail at the most critical time and Mega wondered if it was all Proto's doing. He was sure he had something to do with the spider-squid robot's plasma cannon not working.
"You should know by now that I want to defeat you in battle myself," Protoman answered.
"Is that all there is to it?" Mega asked. "I thought that deep down you cared about your brother."
"You may be my brother, but I will prove I'm the best. For that I must beat you at your best, so for now I'll let you escape. I'll also provide some useful information." Proto opened a small compartment and pulled out a cable plugging it into his arm. The energy of his weapon would serve to recharge Mega. He handed the blue robot the other end of the cable and once he was ready the energy transfer was made.
Proto told Mega each of the robot's weaknesses. Some might have been mistakes Dr. Wily made in the design and some Mega was sure Proto had caused himself. With renewed strength, Mega was off to battle and again he came out victorious.
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Later that night, after repairs were made to Mega, Rush and Roll, who had also suffered some injuries trying to help Mega, the blue robot had an interesting conversation with his father. It was quite late and by then Roll and Rush were in sleep mode. Mega had a little trouble activating it since his AI refused to stop processing the same information over and over. He realized that Dr. Light was still awake working in his lab and went to talk to him him.
"Mega you're up late today. Is everything alright?" Dr. Light paused from his work and focused his attention on Megaman. He had been working on a robot clearly built to help repair the buildings and houses in the city. He had mentioned something about giving the city a few robots to help with the repairs.
"Yes, everything is functioning properly, I was just thinking," Mega replied.
Dr. Light nodded and sat on a chair, indicating for Mega to sit down too. "What is it that you were thinking about?"
The blue robot sat down facing his creator. "It's about Protoman, he helped me today. You saw that right?"
"Yes, the blast was clearly meant to free you, not hurt you," Dr. Light admitted. Maybe Dr. Wily didn't notice it, but he certainly did.
"After I left to try to find a way to recharge, he followed me and caught me. I had practically no energy left. It was hard just to stand. He could have destroyed me easily there and them. But he told me to hide in an empty building so Wily's robots wouldn't find us. He told me the weaknesses of the robots, the new warrior robots and even that giant spider squid robot," Mega explained.
"I wanted to ask you about that. You appeared to know their weaknesses after you came back and you obviously had some of your energy restored." Dr. Light had decided that instead of asking, he would let Mega come to him to talk about it. It was clear there was a lot on his mind and treating him like a son, he never pushed him into talking until he was ready, which usually didn't take very long anyway.
"He not only told me about the robots but gave me his own energy. Had Dr. Wily discovered him, he wouldn't had enough energy to defend himself or get away. I was relieved when I saw him make an escape along with Wily, Gutsman and Cutman. I wish he stayed, but at least I knew Wily didn't discover him. He said he only wanted to beat me at my best. He said he wanted to prove he is the best. Why is it like this?" Mega nearly pleaded to know hoping Dr. Light might have an answer, even if it was only in theory.
Dr. Light took a deep breath and started telling Megaman about the past before he was built. "Protoman was built to be the protector of the city. He was to stop crime and keep everyone safe. Dr. Wily was my partner in the project, but he wanted to use that power for evil. I know he reprogrammed Protoman, but I can tell from what you've said that his original programming is only being suppressed and was never truly erased. You, Protoman, Roll and Rush have the ability to learn and adapt yourselves to new places and passing time. Protoman's original programming is slowly merging with the modifications Wily made. Slowly, errors in the data are being corrected and conflict is being eliminated. I believe that eventually, Protoman's free will shall be restored when all those contradictions are processed and resolved. Then he will make a choice for the good that came from this original programming or..." Light paused seeing Mega's expression. "You could say that in a way Wily gave him a sort of virus that Proto's original programming must deal with. Eventually he might not go back to Dr. Wily or he may join him without doubts. The choice will depend on the data Proto has collected overtime and the conclusions he draws from that data as to what he should do."
"Then there's hope?"
"Yes, but you must be careful."
Mega nodded, "I understand. Were Proto and I really made from the same basic plans? Is the difference in programming our only difference?" The first question was not new, but the second made it a little more specific.
"Yes but I made a few small modifications," Dr. Light answered. "I made it so that it wouldn't be so easy to reprogram you. I believe that Protoman has developed a similar resistance to reprogramming, except he had to create it himself and you had it recorded into your memory from the beginning."
"Then if Wily tried to reprogram him again, it won't be so easy?"
"Unless Protoman is deactivated, and I'm sure he won't allow that, it would be impossible," Dr. Light assured. Mega looked hopeful at his answer.
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It looked like Dr. Light's predictions were coming true, yet the future was still uncertain. Protoman sometimes showed up to fight Megaman, but from Dr. Wily's complains, Mega knew that he wasn't being very helpful in his evil plans.
On one occasion, Mega led Proto away from Wily so they could talk without interruptions. This time Mega was investigating a hidden weapon Dr. Wily had on a remote unpopulated island. With no people around, there was no danger in leaving for just a few minutes. "Where have you been lately?"
"Wherever I want to be," Protoman replied, a bit surprised by the question. "I don't need to work for Wily to fight you. I'll just come whenever I know you'll be there."
"You don't really care if Wily takes over the city or even the world, do you?" Mega inquired.
"It's just one city, the world has many cities. As for taking over the entire planet, I'm not too pleased with the idea. Don't get me wrong it's not that I joined the side of good or anything. It's just that I rather not have Wily ruling the world," Proto explained.
"Are you going to try to take over yourself?"
Protoman paused giving it some thought before answering. "No, that never really caught my attention."
Mega believed him. "Then what will you do?"
"Isn't it obvious? I'll keep on fighting you until I win. Then I'll do whatever I want to do," Proto wasn't sure where Mega was going with all the questions.
Megaman smiled and it caught Protoman by surprised. "I just think it's good that you made the decision not to help Wily. Even if you run off from time to time, maybe we can spend a little time together as brothers." It looked like Proto was going to say something against that idea, but Mega stopped him. "Don't answer me now, just think about it." Those were the last words spoken between them before their battle continued.
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Time passed by slowly and one day Mega found Proto, but Dr. Wily was nowhere to be found. "Proto?" He was merely standing there in a lonely area of the city park.
"Another battle little brother?"
"No, not today. Let's do something else today," Mega requested. "Why must we always fight?"
Megaman started listing some reasons. "Because it's wrong to fight for no reason, I haven't done anything to hurt you, I want us to be like real brothers and-"
"Enough, we'll fight now," Protoman interrupted.
"No," Mega refused to give in.
Protoman grinned, apparently amused by Mega's stubbornness. "No? Then tell me what can we do that is more interesting?"
Megaman gave it some thought. He came up with several places they could visit. The only problem being that there would be a lot more people in those places and they might still be afraid of Proto, even if he was with Mega. Besides, it wouldn't exactly be a warm welcome if Proto had any intentions of joining him. "We could go home and play video games." It was something that Mega, Roll and Rush did often. They played video games like normal humans would.
Feeling a certain conflict on if he wanted to join Wily again, for his own benefit, or if he would rather go along with Mega this time, Proto thought about it. He had decided some time ago, around the time he started to lose interest in Dr. Wily's plans to take over the world, he would simply do whatever he wanted to do whenever he wanted. "Alright, let's go."
"Really?" Mega had his doubts for a moment. For Proto to accept his invitation so easily didn't seem likely, but Mega wanted to focus on the possibility that there was nothing more to it than that.
"Did you change your mind?"
"No, let's go home," Mega led the way. He noticed Proto didn't protest to the fact that Mega had referred to Dr. Light's house as home for both of them.
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Mega had decided to take a walk by himself that afternoon. Roll and Rush had stayed home playing their new video game when Mega returned with an unexpected visitor. Rush seemed startled for a moment and Roll took the lead in their racing game. Princess Peach's kart drove past Yoshi's kart, moving up to first place. Rush ignored it and wouldn't stop barking. "What's wrong Rush? Smell something or did you realize I will inevitably win this time?"
"Dad, Roll, Rush! We're home!" Mega's voice was heard. Roll took notice that he said we instead of I, so that meant they had a visitor. Could that be what was bothering Rush?
Using a mushroom, Princess Peach sped past the finish line as Yoshi was left behind in last place, while all the computer controlled characters followed after Peach. Happy that she had won, Roll went off to greet their guest. "Hey Mega, who's visiting?" She stopped as she saw just who it was. "Protoman!" Mega looked happy enough to have him there, but Roll had her worries that it could be another trick, even if she too noticed the change in his behavior over time. It had been a year since the time Protoman pretended to want to join the side of good and many things had happened in between, but at the same time, it didn't feel like it had been that long.
"We're here to play video games," Mega voiced it in the most casual and natural way.
"Do you mind?" Protoman inquired.
Roll looked at him for a moment, then at Mega and then at now quiet Rush, whom Mega finally calmed. "If Mega thinks it's okay, then I guess it's okay by me too."
Rush looked a bit surprised but didn't argue. The four went off to play video games. Roll was not happy to find that instead of her usual third place when she played with Mega and Rush, she was ending up in forth place. but it was still fun. Mega and Proto were quite competitive. After the racing game. they tried a few others. Roll and Rush saw some of closest battles between Fox and Falco they had ever seen. Mega and Proto were always competing and usually ending up with a draw.
By the time Dr. Light returned from a meeting with some other scientists. he came home to the laughter of his children. But there was someone else there besides Mega, Roll and Rush. He soon found it was Proto. Maybe this time he would stay for good.
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Time passed quickly as it always does when it's so much fun. After a few energy cans and some more video games, Proto decided it was time to leave. "Why won't you stay?"
"I'll think about it, but I still want to have a battle with you," Proto replied.
"Alright, we'll have a battle. It'll be good practice for both of us. We'll collect data and improve, but we won't try to destroy each other." Mega agreed on those conditions. They could modify their technique based on data collected from experience and become more skilled.
Proto thought about saying that he would certainly destroy Mega if he had the chance, but he gave it some more thought. He had countless opportunities to do that if it were what he truly wanted. Besides, life would be boring without his little brother around, "agreed."
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Protoman returned to Dr. Wily hideout. His programming had debugged on its own and Wily's control over him slipped away. With a much more solid programming now, it would be practically impossible to be reprogrammed against his well established will. Of course he wouldn't let that happen, but Dr. Wily's constant attempts to give him an upgrade were suspicious.
Wily knew he lost control of Proto and he was trying to get it back. It took Proto long days and nights of asking himself why he returned to help Dr. Wily, why he let Megaman escape and why he wasted his chance to finish him off to realize that maybe that was not his place after all. It was not where he wanted to be.
Making sure he wasn't seen, Protoman watched Gutsman and Cutman working to assemble new weapons. He could hear Dr. Wily yelling near by and soon he came into view. He suddenly wondered why he listened to him in the first place. Sure he was involved in his creation, but truth be told, Protoman knew all too well that it was Dr. Light who did most of the work anyway. He listened as Dr. Wily yelled about Protoman being a traitor and possibly a new enemy. Taking one last look at the scene, Protoman left just as quietly as he came, unnoticed to the villains. This was not his place.
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Protoman returned to Dr. Light home, where he was welcomed even if it was late into the night. As time passed, he liked it there more and more. He even teamed up with Mega for real and actually enjoyed it. Perhaps Mega had been right, being more like brothers was a good thing. This was where he felt he truly belonged. With Dr. Light who treated him like a son regardless of what he did in the past, with his brother Megaman, his sister Roll and even Rush had come to like him too. That was his place.
Disclaimer, I don't own Megaman.
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