Megaman and all related characters are property of Capcom.

Note: This story is set during the events of Mega Man X5.

REPLOIDS.

By

Dr Facer

=0=

Reploids. They are everywhere these days. Right now, according to the last census, there are over twenty reploids for every human being. You can't go out your house anymore without seeing them. I sometimes wonder how come that we adopted them so quickly, perhaps it was because they did make our lives much easier. They did at first, though. Now, because of that megalomaniac murderer, Sigma, leader of the mavericks, we humans are on the brink of extinction. But do we care? No, we don't care. All we do is to let them take care of the problem themselves. Sigma is a reploid, right? Let the other reploids take care of him. That was what the Earth High Command said when Sigma attacked us for the first time.

By the end of the first maverick revolt, the reploids found a new hero in Mega Man X. The only good thing I can see about it is that X fights to keep the world at peace. I don't dare to think what would have happened to humanity if X was a racist killer like Sigma. Not too long after that first battle, reploids found a new hero in the hunter Zero Omega. It was not surprising when Zero, just like X, became an inspiration for reploids all over the world. That said, I still think reploids are difficult to trust. They are stronger, faster and in some cases, far more intelligent than us humans. It's no wonder I approach them with extreme care.

The fact that reploids are dangerous because they can go maverick is not what worries me. Under normal conditions they seem to be able to get along with each other better than us and they see us as their equals. No, I may not like reploids but they're not the greatest danger we face. That danger, which is what truly worries me right now is the Sigma virus. Every effort to destroy that thing has failed so far and I am sure that it will continue bringing hell to this planet for years to come.

Then there is that situation with the Eurasia space station. I doubt the Maverick Hunters can stop it from crashing on Earth. The damage will be incalculable, I fear to even consider how much we are about to lose and so, as I wait for the inevitable, I can't help but read my notes again in hopes of finding an adequate distraction. I keep all the relevant information about reploids in my notes, you see? It's very convenient, or at least I believe so.

The first note of interest I have is the one that describes the discovery of Dr. Light's lab. I have to say that it was when Dr. Cain excavated Mega Man X from that cursed laboratory that everything wrong today really started. Less than a year after X was activated, Cain started building reploids like if his life depended on it. In a matter of just five years, the number of reploids was equal to that of the human population. I thought it was insanity, and I still do.

The next note I read is that of the capture of the first maverick. A reploid called Stealth Panther went crazy and started slashing humans, reploids and mechaniloids. Stealth Panther's rampage continued for almost a month until he was finally destroyed. I thought that reploid assembling would stop after that but no; instead, Cain created a special force to hunt down mavericks, and the leader of such force was none other than Sigma, Doctor Cain's greatest creation.

The note that followed was one of the most significant regarding reploids. After an emotive speech given by Cain to the High Command, reploids were recognized as living beings and granted civilian status. Sigma and his team of hunters were especially overjoyed that day. I remember that X, on the other hand, was not considered important anymore and the press mostly ignored him or his reaction. What was exciting though, was the first reploid wedding, which was held that year. The most memorable thing from that wedding was the fact that the couple managed to have 'kids', all they had to do was to build them and give them 'older' bodies as they 'grew'.

My next note is from a month or so after the reploids were granted citizenship. Sigma was forced to battle an unknown maverick that single handedly murdered all the humans and reploids inside the mine he came out from. Sigma was called to deal with this menace personally, and was reported to be extremely damaged after he destroyed that killer maverick.

It was not too long after that event that Cain presented a new hunter, a crimson reploid who identified himself as Zero Omega. This Zero was reportedly found in a secluded area, damaged and with no recollection of his past. Zero was repaired by Cain and after a short time he became a very efficient hunter, even rivalling the notorious Vile.

I put down my notes for a brief moment just to look at the emergency broadcast system. It seems Zero is going to crash a space shutter in the Space Colony to destroy it or at least change its course. It would be great if he succeeds, unfortunately, I'm sure he won't. After I do a few equations, I am convinced that the mass of the Space Colony is too large for a simple shutter to do the job. Considering the current status of things, with nearly 45 percent of the reploid population infected by the Sigma virus and aproximately 65 percent of mechaniloids damaged or infected, I really doubt our planet can survive this emergency.

I pick up my notes again. Where was I? Oh yes, the first reploid wedding. The next note details the first Maverick war: Sigma decided that Humans were not worthy of existence and he set on a quest to wipe us all out. That was when X became the hero he is now.

My next two notes detail the second and third attacks Sigma led against humanity. All things considered the second uprising wasn't that bad, but the third one? That was disastrous. Doppler Town was destroyed along with its creator, Doctor Doppler. It's a real shame, he was one of the best reploids ever built, a truly brilliant scientist. I can honestly admit I had a lot of respect for him and his work.

Looking back, I remember being very surprised when Sigma revealed himself as a virus. How he turned into a computer virus is still unknown, though my best estimations indicate that somehow, Sigma's programming mutated into it. That was also Cain's best guess, which reminds me he died shortly after we had that conversation. He still lived long enough to see the birth of his final project, the Repliforce army, which he hoped would help maintain peace.

I lift my eyes from my notes as the heavy banging that interrupts my reading becomes louder and more intense. As expected, a group of infected mechaniloids are attacking my refuge. The surveillance cameras that still work show me that, luckily, the mechaniloids are industrial and lack weapons. It should take them a while to reach my chambers and if they're summoned somewhere else before they do I may even survive.

I sigh, there's nothing I can do to stop the violent machines trying to enter my factory so I instead continue reading. Reading is better than worrying about what is happening outside.

The next note is about Dr. Cain's funeral. I have pictures of the event here, printed and glued to the paper. An old habit from an old man, I suppose, but I like it. It lets me touch what I am seeing, it's good to help me remember how it all was. It's… interesting seeing the General, the Colonel, Iris, X, Zero and even myself all together paying respect to Cain. Interestingly enough, now that I look at the picture more carefully, I could swear that a cloaked reploid far in the back is Sigma paying one final tribute to his creator, perhaps? No, that is ridiculous. I am sure Sigma is not there, he was probably too busy preparing for his next uprising.

Ah, the fourth uprising. So recent still and so tragically destructive. Sigma played it smart that time. He waited a few years before returning, waiting until Repliforce got strong enough and then, he manipulated everything so that he could pit the Repliforce army against the Maverick Hunters, and by doing that he managed to obtain access to the Repliforce's satellite and their Final Weapon.

Sigma almost succeeded in destroying everything, but somehow X and Zero defeated him, at the cost of almost all of Repliforce. I remember that meant the destruction of two of my company's greatest creations: Colonel and Iris. They were our finest reploids back then. Of course, now we have Signas and Alia to be proud of, but I still think of Colonel and Iris at times. I regret that the two of them became so idealistic. Their ideals pushed them into battle and brought them death. Then again, when a reploid is out of the assembly line, it's really impossible to know what they think or feel or what they'll do. All we can do is to hope they'll like the role we assign them, we're lucky most of them do.

I imagine there is humor in the fact that that someone like me, who believes reploids are nothing but a source of danger, makes a fine living building them and repairing them. But how could I not? Buidling machines and robots has been the family business for more than a hundred years.

Having nothing better to do, I go back to my notes and flip back the pages until I find what I'm looking for. An important event from five years ago. The story of the only human-reploid marriage to date. I remember how shocked I was when I heard about it. The man who married that female reploid is the son of one of the world leaders, so that ceremony got triple the media attention it should have received.

Still, the most amazing thing of it all was that a group of scientists found a way to implant an artificial womb on the reploid, which allowed her, after the selection of an ovule in a fertility clinic, to give her husband a child. And that baby has grown quite healthy and quite human, I even have a small picture of the reploid mother with the child in her arms. It's a very touching, heart-warming picture, really.

Hmm… I wonder if the boy's reploid mother went maverick today. I certainly hope not.

My last note is from only a month ago. It is a news report of an important archaeological finding. Something I bet Cain would have loved to see. A group of archaeologists found an ancient underground lab. No, not just a lab. It was much more than that, it was actually a Skull Castle! The team was very happy with this discovery, since it meant the world was finally going to learn more about the legendary and evil Dr. Wily.

The finding was decided to be too important and was thus declared off limits by the High Command. Since then, only the most important and influential members of the organization received clearance to visit those ruins. I remember I opposed when I was asked if the Skull Castle should be explored. As far as I am concerned, anything related with Doctor Wily should be burned to ashes. Unfortunately, the High Command ignored my warnings and refused to nuke the fortress. I find it interesting that now, only after a month the Skull Castle was found, that Sigma returned in full force. I wouldn't be surprised if Sigma decided to use Wily's fortress as his new base. It would be… adequate? Yes, that's right. Adequate.

My thoughts drift towards Light and Wily. I wonder if they ever imagined that the maverick wars afflicting us would be entirely their fault.

Light imagined a peaceful and safe world for everyone and he used his knowledge to chase that goal. Wily wanted to rule the world, it was his obsession, and he used his knowledge to chase that goal. I think that, in their determination, both scientists were very much alike.

I realize now that the pounding in the outside walls of my factory has stopped. Maybe the mechaniloids were summoned somewhere else? No. Of course not. A new sound replaces the banging. Looking at the video I'm getting from my surveillance cameras I can see Grizzly Slash has arrived and he has… oh, he's brought a plasma blaster. That one can melt the reinforced walls. It's unfortunate but I should still have some time before they enter the factory. Not much, but some. Enough to make sure everyone else in the factory escapes.

I tell my staff that the factory isn't safe anymore and I order them, humans and reploids alike, to evacuate at once. I see them run and seal the evacuation tunnels behind them. Good. They will be safe now, I'm sure of it. Those escape routes I had built underground a few years back will lead them to a safer place deep under the Mountains.

As for me, I must stay. I have lived long enough already and trying to escape would be futile. I am the target after all and if I flee my presence would only bring danger to those near me. No, I shall stay here. If only to buy some time to my workers.

It is… funny. I thought I would be afraid when my time came but… but I feel calm and relaxed. As if a deep understanding of life had suddenly dawned upon me. My thoughts are clear as well. Clearer than they have been in many years. I reach an understanding, too, and I realize there is something important that I must do.

Determined, I prepare a safe line in my communicator so that Grizzly Slash can't trace the person I'm calling. I have to talk to him before they find me. It's imperative I talk to him!

The small screen in my desk struggles for a few agonizing seconds until it finally manages to make contact.

"Father?"

"Hello, son," I answer, feeling a wave of relief wash over me. My son is safe. "Is your refuge still secure?"

I see how he nods. "Yes father, we're fine here. How about you?"

"Things are fine. I am perfectly safe here."

"…Dad?"

"Yes?"

"You could never lie, don't try to start now. How bad is it?"

My son is right, of course. I have never been able to lie convincingly. "Bad, but don't worry. I won't die so easily."

"I can call the Maverick Hunters, see if they can send someone, Alia could…"

"Alia is busy helping with this crisis," I remind him. "We have no time for that, son. Just… just tell me, how is my grandson, how is Mikhail?"

My son crouches and shows me a little boy. The kid smiles at the screen and waves his hand at me. I manage a smile and wave back, feeling a surge of love for the child so fierce it almost drives me to tears. If only I had spent more time with my grandson…

"He is fine as you can see," my son says after he deposits Mikhail on the floor. "I'm just glad he's not that scared, we're lucky this place is so far away from Saint Petersburg."

"And your wife?" I ask, anxious. "How is she, Viktor, is she fine?"

Viktor makes room for the camera so I can see behind him. There she is, laying silently on a bed in the corner.

"She is not sleeping, father," my son says.

"Did she…?"

"No, heavens, no. Nina was so afraid the virus would corrupt her systems that she downloaded her mind into this," my son explains and lifts a memory cube. "She will be safe from the Sigma virus here, father. If her body and power core are not active she can't be infected. Once this is all over, I will reactivate her."

"I see, I am glad for all of you."

"Will you truly be alright there, father?"

"I think I will," I answer while looking at the security monitor. The mavericks have almost melted the wall. They will be here very soon. "Viktor, the emergency systems are getting low on energy, so I will make this quick. Listen well to my words."

My son nods.

"If I don't make it, I want you to finally take full control of the company. Also…"

"Father!"

"Don't interrupt me, Viktor!" I shout. "I truly believe you can take my place. I am sure of it! You have the spirit, the intelligence and the drive to restore Cossack Laboratories after this attack is over, and you will do it, promise me you will!"

"I… I promise, father. The company will not die," he swears. A sad promise, if I have to judge by his tone of voice.

"There is something else, Viktor. I… I need to tell you… you are the best son a man could hope to have. You and my grandson are the best gifts this world has ever given me. I love you both dearly, I love you with all my heart."

"Father, you…"

"There is more," I say, I can't let him interrupt me, the infected mechaniloids will be here soon and I must tell him this. It's the only chance I have left to say it. "I never told you this, but… but you made a good choice. Nina… your wife, she is a kind soul and I want you to tell her how sorry I am for all the times I treated her poorly. Tell her I believe she is a good mother."

I can't hold back a satisfied smile. I can finally take that weight off my shoulders.

"And Viktor, tell Nina she's the only reploid I have ever considered both friend and family."

I can see my son is struggling against his tears. He's so sensible, even if he's now over thirty years old.

"Good bye, my dear son. Always remember that your father loved you and your family."

"Father, wait!"

I turn the communicator off. The mechaniloids are already inside and I can't risk them having any chance to find my son and his family.

Soon, Grizzly Slash will find me, but I feel no fear. I have said my final good byes, I can go with no regrets.

The wall finally collapses with a loud crash and a tall reploid enters my refuge. I admit I was not expecting him, but after an instant of surprise I understand it could not have been any other way. I am too important, too much of a symbol to let one of his mavericks kill me. He has to do it himself, otherwise he will not be satisfied.

Smiling, I do the only sensible thing. I greet him.

"Welcome to my factory, Sigma. I was honestly not expecting you, but I'm honored you considered me important enough to come here in person."

"Professor Cossack, I am amazed by your apparent courage. Every other member of the High Command succumbed to fear when I visited them."

"Which I gather is the reason why you saved me for last. Is that not right, Sigma?"

"It is, indeed," he says as he walks towards me. His hands are glowing, the air gets charged with electricity and I know what's going to happen.

But I don't care. Even if I die here, my family's legacy will live on.

I am Sergei Cossack, and I'm not afraid…

END

Note:

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This was the first time I wrote a story for the Mega Man X universe many, many years ago. I was content with the results until recently so I decided to revisit the story and rewrite it; I believe the story is much improved now.

As you just read, I decided to ignore X and Zero as the major characters and focus on a single human and in the way he sees things, just to show a different point of view.