Chapter 10: Souls

"Were those… vampires?" Mega Man asked.

"Yes" the figure named Angel responded, pulling out a sword he had strapped to his back. "But you aren't human either," he added. Mega Man glanced at himself to see if he had any circuitry or wiring showing from his earlier tumble, but it didn't appear that way.

"How can you tell?" he asked. Angel's face suddenly morphed into that of a vampire's itself.

"Because I'm not human either," he responded. "I can smell it. Now I'm going to ask you one more time," Angel warned. "What are you?" Angel brandished his sword to further his point. It was a huge claymore, probably capable of even hurting Mega Man if swung with enough force.

"I'm…" Mega Man hesitated. "I don't know if you'll believe this, but I'm a robot; a living machine." Angel paused for a moment and put away his sword, reverting his face back to normal.

"You smell metallic," he said. "That could be it." The man pulled out a small device Mega Man recognized as a cell phone and dialed a number. He glanced in Mega Man's direction as if telling him not to move. "Cordy," he said. "Your vision was close, but when I got here she was already being saved by a boy robot." There was a short pause. "Yes, a robot." Another pause. "I saved the robot. I don't know, Cordy, he looks like a little boy." Angel paused for yet another moment before speaking again. "Ok, thanks. Bye." Angel finally turned back towards Mega Man. "I need you to come with Me." he said.

Mega Man backed away a step. "What's this about?" he asked.

"I have a friend who has visions. That's the reason I came to save that girl. The thing is, you weren't in her visions. Her visions are never wrong, which means you weren't supposed to be here."

"I wasn't," Mega Man said. "I'm from another dimension." Mega Man figured if this man was talking about visions, the idea of dimensions would not be alien to him.

"In that case you really need to come with me," he replied. Mega Man decided it would be best if he followed. Angel led him to a car, and Mega Man was struck by its beauty. It was a black 1968 Plymouth Belvedere convertible, and extremely similar to a vintage car on Mega Man's own world. Mega Man was always fascinated by older machinery; in a silly way it made him appreciate his own technology all the more. In any case he could say that this care was rare. "The name's Angel, by the way." Angel offered hand to Mega Man before getting in his car.

Mega Man decided to go with his normal name, as he was in his civilian clothes. What he didn't realize was that his memory was already failing him there. "I'm Rick," he said. He was pretty close.

"We've been having some troubles with dimensions lately," Angel continued. He started the car and it ran smooth. "My friends and I just escaped from a hell dimension called Pylea a few weeks ago. Very medieval."

"I'm from a futuristic dimension compared to this one," Rick replied. "But I was stuck for a few weeks in another one, and since then I've gone to a few more. I'm a little lost now."

"Hmm," Angel said. "The kinds of dimensions we deal with are more mystical than tech. Wesley may be able to figure something out."

"You're going to help me?" Rick asked.

"Not exactly," Angel replied. "I don't even know you. I just want to make sure you're no kind of threat, or some kind of portend of the apocalypse. Frankly, I'm getting a little burned out on those." Mega Man didn't know what to think about that statement. He pressed the issue a bit.

"So, you have mysticism here. And you're a…" Mega Man began but couldn't finish.

"Vampire," Angel replied. "You can say it. It's a long story."

"Aren't vampires supposed to be all bad?" Mega Man asked. He remembered once fighting a robot vampire, but didn't think the experience really gave him qualified knowledge on the subject.

"They are," Angel replied. "Vampires don't have any souls. In that regard I'm unique."

"Robots on my world don't have souls," Mega Man answered. "I guess I'm unique in that way too. But they aren't all evil."

"Not that I know much about robots," Angel replied. "But they usually act however they're programmed to act. Vampires are humans who have been turned half demon. The problem is most humans are already half evil anyway. Vampires completely lose their souls; they no longer have any inclination to be anything except evil."

"I see." Mega Man replied. "Did you have to kill them, though?"

"What am I going to do, put them in jail?" Angel asked.

"Why not?" Mega Man asked.

"First of all, the world at large doesn't know about the supernatural, and it's for the best. Secondly these people are not really people anymore. They're demons, pure forces of evil. Whatever person they look like, that person died a long time ago."

"So… do you sleep in a coffin?" Mega Man asked.

"Oh God, not this question again," Angel sighed. For the rest of the car ride into L.A, Angel explained about the world Mega Man was in, and corrected him on some of the misconceptions of vampires. They were not affected by garlic, they didn't have any innate ability to change shape or charm people, and they did not sleep in coffins. Vampires were weak to many of the same things Mega Man had believed, however. A stake to the heart or decapitation would immediately return them to dust. Sunlight would very quickly cause a vampire to catch on fire, and fire could kill a vampire as well. Even very strong vampires could only manage to last a few seconds in sunlight. Holy symbols like a crucifix or Star of David could cause a vampire to recoil or prevent one from approaching, and burned when touched. Holy water had the same effect as acid on a vampire. Finally, vampires could live without blood, though they would slowly lose their sanity and quickly lose their strength without it. Angel always drank the blood of animals, which he got through making some deals with local slaughterhouses. Angel explained more about the world, that it was often filled with various types of demons that lived in the underbelly of society; most evil, some neutral, and even a few good. Angel then explained about some of his friends, as they were pulling into the hotel which Angel made a home of. Wesley Windham Price was their resident expert on the supernatural. He had previously been a Watcher, part of a council that kept an eye on the supernatural happenings of the world and was dedicated to protecting it. Given his failures within the council he had been kicked out and became a rogue demon hunter. He eventually joined with Angel and his company Angel Investigations that helped the helpless around the Los Angeles area. Charles Gunn was a vampire hunter since the age of twelve. He had formed a street gang protecting his inner city neighborhood in the badlands from vamps and other demons. He too eventually joined up with Angel as he reached adulthood and saw the greater good he could do working city-wide. Cordelia Chase was the heart of the team. Once a completely shallow, wealthy California princess, she had gone on to become a failing actress when her family's money was seized by the IRS. She knew Angel from the town of Sunnydale which had been his previous location, and after he saved her life she began to work for his business as a secretary. Eventually she inherited visions which caused her intense pain every time she saw something, but gave her important knowledge of the future from what she called the Powers that Be in order to guide Angel. Finally there was Winifred Burkle or Fred as they called her. They did not know much about her, really, except for the fact that she had been a physics grad student at UCLA when she was sucked into the hell dimension known as Pylea, where she survived for five years as a slave to demons and then as an escaped slave before Angel and his crew rescued her. Extremely withdrawn from the experience, she spent most of her time locked in her room at the hotel.

Angel led Mega Man into the hotel. Mega Man had had enough time to sit still in the car that his leg was starting to feel better, though it was still full of grit. His limp was only slight. Before they were even fully through the entrance, they were approached by Wesley. He was a thin man of average height, wearing mostly dark colors. He had a slightly spiky hairstyle and wore a pair of old spectacles. He spoke with a British accent: "Angel, we need to talk. I've already found some prophecies pertaining to…" he paused for a moment and eyes Mega Man. "Well, pertaining to him, I believe."

"Good job Angel saving that girl," Angel said sardonically. "You took care of it so quickly, and look what you found."

"Sorry," Wesley apologized.

"I'm used to it." Angel responded. He led Mega Man into the lounge along with Wesley while continuing to talk. "Where's Cordy?"

"She decided to take a nap, I believe. The last vision took a bit of a toll on her, I'm afraid." Wesley answered. Mega Man stood there sheepishly, feeling completely alien to these people. He didn't feel like a part of their conversation or even their world.

"This is Rick, by the way." Angel said. That made Mega Man feel a little better.

"Oh," Wesley said. "Charmed." Wesley offered his hand, but Mega Man was a little slow on the uptake, so Wesley quickly moved his hand away and grabbed a large tome he had placed on a couch. He laid it out in front of the two. "This is from the prophecies of Hikari Yīshēng, eleventh century Japan, written in kanji. This is a rough translation, mind you."

"Well what does it say?" Angel asked, a little impatient.

"Hikari was working for the Fujiwara clan on the conversion of the village Byōdō-in into a large Buddhist temple. One night he claims in his journal to have encountered an Oni demon. The demon was dissatisfied with the religious conversion of the area and told him he would curse Hikari's life with visions of the future to shatter his faith. Hikari wrote the visions down and then went mad, drowning himself."

"What kind of visions?" Angel asked, again a little impatient. He didn't care much for back story.

"Well, this is the relevant one," Wesley continued. "A man of great mettle will fight six demons of the earth in a city of angels, lest the city be damned into hell."

"A man of great mettle?" Angel asked. "How does that apply to a robot boy?"

"I believe this was a mistranslation," Wesley said. "This copy is written in English, and I suspect the original prophecy was dictated to the writer."

"Meaning?" Angel asked.

"A man of great metal" Mega Man interrupted, "as in the material." Mega Man stomped his good foot on the ground to create a clanking noise.

"Precisely," Wesley confirmed. The group was suddenly interrupted from any further discussion by a loud scream upstairs. The three ran to the second floor quickly and rounded a corner to see Cordelia outside of Fred's room, convulsing on the ground. She was screaming in pain, and Fred was in her room balled up in a corner.

"I didn't do nothing," Fred said. "She was coming to talk to me and she fell over. I didn't do it." Fred covered her eyes.

"It's OK," Angel said, grabbing Cordelia. "Cordy!" he shouted. "Come on, I'm not gonna lose you too." Cordelia stopped screaming and after a few moments stopped shaking, and opened her eyes. "Are you alright?" Angel asked.

"It was another vision," she said softly, her voice a little weak. "A strong one." Wesley went over to Fred to calm her down and make sure she wasn't traumatized while Angel helped Cordy sit up.

"What did you see?" Angel asked.

"It was demons…" she said. "There were these big pointy silver demons, they were slashing people, shooting fire from their hands, ice… every kind of attack you could think of." Cordy looked over and saw Mega Man. "And you!" she pointed, a little surprised. "But different, you were dressed in blue. You were fighting them… but they killed you. They were killing so many people…" a small tear fell from her eyes.

"We're not going to let that happen, Cordy." Angel assured. "Where was it?"

"Business plaza… just outside of…" Cordelia began but trailed off.

"Where?" Angel asked.

"Wolfram and Hart." Cordelia finally answered. The look of concern on Angel's face turned to one of complete seriousness. He stood up and turned toward Wesley.

"Wes, call Gunn. You and him are with me. Fred, I want you to take care of Cordy. Can you do that to me?" Angel asked.

"Yes," Fred answered, standing up. "I'll save her like you saved me."

"Good." Angel said. "Rick," Angel spoke to Mega Man. "Looks like you've got a prophecy to fulfill." Mega Man recalled his uniform and shaped his hand into a plasma cannon. He simply nodded to Angel. "Let's get to work," Angel ordered.

It was a quiet night outside of Wolfram and Hart, one of LA's biggest law firms. Wolfram and Hart also happened to be the city's most evil law firm, specializing in dealing with demons and their contracts, and known for getting murderers off the hook in exchange for money and power. Since Angel had moved to LA, the two groups had constantly antagonized each other. A portal suddenly crackled into being outside of the law firm. Two figures stepped out. "Yes," one said. "This should be the place. Send the signal" He looked at the building and burst through the door. Alarms went off at the Wolfram and Hart facility. Security attacked the two, but proved utterly ineffective as they were swatted away. A secretary at the main desk sat there in utter shock. The two figures of Violen and Vile stepped forward. "Where is the Mega Man?" Violen shouted. Four more portals began to materialize behind him. "I must have my revenge!"