A TALE OF ROCKMAN
written by Ben Roberts
Cast of Characters
Doctor Thomas Xavier Light-benevolent robot maker, creator of Rock and Roll
Doctor Willam Albert Wily-cousin and assistant to Dr. Light; cynic
Rockman-android 001, assistant to Dr. Light, champion against chaos
Roll-android 002, Rock's "female" counterpart, assistant to Dr. Light
Achilles/Cut Man-androbot 003, timber felling robot
Heracles/Guts Man-androbot 004, wilderness reclamation robot
Orpheus/Ice Man-androbot 005, Antarctic exploration robot
Hephestas/Bomb Man-androbot 006, ground disruption robot
Helios/Fire Man-androbot 007, waste disposal robot
Icarus/Elec Man-androbot 008, atomic energy storage robot
Setting: 20XX A.D.
Dr. Light's lab--Neo Tokyo, Japan
Skull Castle--Andes Mountain Range in Chile (South America)
Guts Man's Domain--Mining center in Nokaneng
Fire Man's Domain--Waste disposal center in New Denver (North America)
Cut Man's Domain--Treeborg supply and processing plant in Sydney (Australia)
Ice Man's Domain--Water purification center in New Shirewick (Antarctica)
Bomb Man's Domain--Mining
center in Chengdu, New China
Power Plant in Keliva, Croatia
This portrayal is not entirely
consistent with the original video game, as Rockman as actually supposed to be
a robot (and Rockman X is an android; all copies of him are replica-androids,
Another inconsistency, which will probably bother more people, is that Rockman is actually supposed to be a little-boy robot, with a voice that sounds suspiciously like it is supplied by a four-year old girl.
I once read the American Mega Man 2 novelization, and I can honestly say that I could have better spent that half hour by trying to poke out my own eyes with a banana. My story doesn't fit with that novelization, but I can justify that by saying that this is a tale of Rockman: not Megaman. I imagine the forces which push a simple tool-user robot into the role as the guardian of liberty and freedom as darker and more sinister than as portrayed in many Megaman fan fiction stories.
Oh, and Dr. Light and Dr. Wily's
real Japanese names are Dr. Thomas Right and Dr. Albert W. Wily.
With those numerous disclaimers out of the way, I invite you to enter to world of Tokyo 20XX, in which a world war has left the ravaged planet vulnerable to the machinations of a madman. In this darkness, a champion against chaos arises.
This is his tale.
--Ben Roberts / Mælgrim Crwthor
In the center of darkness, a pool of incandescent light surrounded the man.
About fifty years old, his hair
was full on top of his head, though prematurely white, shot through with streaks
of iron grey.
Dressed in his old and faded
white lab coat, the man snipped the last wire with a pair of electrical
Still, it was worth it; the job was done.
Below the Santa clone, lying on
the table, was what appeared--by all rights--to be a man.
Were it not for the mess of
wires and bolts that lay revealed within the man's chest cavity, he would
appear completely human.
By any reckoning, Thomas Xavier Light was a genius.
The man grinned at the android
lying on the table before him.
Certainly, he had never imagined
such success when he had first attended the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
From the invention of his first
robot, a sort of "cybernetic suitcase," as he liked to call it, he
had been hooked.
Here, then, was the crowning
achievement of Light's career to date.
A robot must never harm, or directly cause harm, to a human being.
A robot must act for self preservation unless it conflicts with the first rule.
A robot must obey all commands, unless they are in conflict with the first two rules.
Still, it--he--would be fairly
Thomas Light looked across the
room to where the android's "female" counterpart lay on a corresponding
table, almost invisible in the blackness of the night in the lab.
There was so much to be done,
Dr. Wily was due to arrive
tomorrow--no, later today, Light reminded himself--so he'd better get some
sleep so he could meet his cousin at the Turboport.
With the grant from the Tokyo
Institute of Technology, the two cousins, as partners, were to begin their
massive project on the following day.
Thomas X. Light straightened his
back and ignored the popping sounds it made in protest as he set down the
William Albert Wily sat aboard the Bullet Train and studied the schematics.
Of course, they were only
preliminary sketches, but better than nothing at all.
Wily recalled the conversation perfectly.
"More robots?" he had
"They'll be better than
At the word
"challenge," Dr. Wily had buckled, and agreed to join his brilliant
cousin in creating the six most advanced robots the world had yet seen.
The Tokyo Institute of
Technology itself had specified that the pair work on developing robots to
counter six of the worst environmental problems that threatened society on Earth.
A wilderness reclamation robot
was needed to clear away nuclear rubble generated during the blessedly
short-lived Third World War, while a waste disposal robot would work in tandem
with it to dispose of the nuclear waste and other garbage that threatened to
overwhelm most urban areas.
Perhaps most important would be
the atomic energy robot, which would help tremendously in utilizing the full
potential of atomic power plants around the world.
No less important would be the
Antarctic exploration robot, which would help in purifying water at the South
Finally came the timber felling robot, to help clear areas for new housing and provide lumber for buildings, and the ground disruption robot, to aid in the mining of minerals needed to maintain the flow of always-increasing industrial robot production.
In front of him, Wily held the
sketch for the wilderness reclamation robot.
Although it looked a bit
cartoony, the design appealed to Wily's more fanciful side.
The world was too dependent on
robots, Wily surmised grimly as he refused refreshments.
Wily shivered and glanced down
at his old, leatherbound copy of Karl Capek's R.U.R.
Wily brushed the unpleasant thought aside and dozed off into a sleep with dreams of a dark haired welder and a silver-colored welding shield, brand new on the day of its experimental plasma-burst proof test . . .