Greetings, O readers. This is the first installment of what will hopefully become an epic series, barring any unforeseen mishaps along the way. It follows the main storyline of Megaman ZX, but I've made several notable deviations here and there. You'll see what I mean if you like this story enough to keep an eye on it.

As an additional note, this is my first story, so be kind in your reviews. But don't hesitate to tell me if I'm doing something wrong, so I can correct it.


Disclaimer to end all disclaimers: All characters mentioned, hinted at, or even remotely resembling characters created by various companies are the property of their respective companies, specifically Capcom, but refers to any others if mentioned. I own none of them. Any semi-original characters with a basis elsewhere are still property of the company that made it. All things, including area names, characters, items, or events that were thought up and presented by anyone, are owned by said someone, and whatever company they represent or represented at the time. Once again, I own nothing, and unless I become exceedingly wealthy in the near future, I probably never will either.

And with that out of the way, let the story begin!

Rise of the Chosen

Chapter One

The Transporters

Area A was a vast and serene forest that stretched north of the city of Innerpeace as far as the eye can see. Filled with creatures, both biological and mechanical, living in harmony with each other. Far from the city, despite the native creatures' level of activity, the area was pristine and quiet.

Alas, nothing lasts forever. A beeping sound, although muted, was loud enough to disrupt the natural quiet of the place, startling a flock of birds into flight.

Atop a high cliff overlooking the forest, the source of the beeping, a tall reploid clad in red with long blond hair and glasses, fumbled through his pockets until he located the object in question: a phone.

"Hello. You've reached Giro Express Transporters. We can take anything, anywhere. What can I do for you today?"

"Giro, is that you?"

The reploid's eyes lit up. He had been awaiting this particular call. "Ah, hello Prai- I mean, client." He corrected himself almost immediately. They may have been old friends, but this was business.

"Did you receive the package from the archaeological recon unit?"

Giro glanced at the two bikes resting nearby, one red and one blue. Nestled in the side compartment of the blue one was a small grey box. "Yea, I got it."

"Good." There was a short pause, in which Giro suspected she was checking her location. "My unit is headed for the agreed upon rendezvous point."

"Already?" Giro pulled up his sleeve to reveal a small watch. "That's at least an hour ahead of schedule."

"I know it's a little sooner than expected, but we've confirmed some maverick activity nearby. I'd rather get this over with as soon as possible, Giro. Can you meet us there?"

"I understand. Yes, I'll meet you there." Giro terminated the connection with a frown. (Maverick activity, huh? Guess we'd better get moving as well.)

"Hey Aile! You ready to move out?"

No response was forthcoming. Giro glanced around until he located his companion. She was standing near a broken tree, just next to the cliff edge. She wasn't looking at him.

Giro walked up behind her. "Aile, did you hear me?"

If she did, she gave no indication of it. Giro followed her gaze, and immediately suppressed a sigh.

Far in the distance, the city of Innerpeace was clearly visible. And standing prominent over the city, as it always had, was the immense Slither Inc. building. It was this immense building that was the object of the brown-haired girl's eye.

Giro knew she was depressed by the way she stood, and he knew he had to break her out of it. The girl had a way of letting her depression take over until she couldn't do much of anything.

Fortunately, he had several good ways of snapping her out of it. Unfortunately, they all seemed to involve getting her somewhat mad at him.

"Even at this distance, you can easily see the Slither Inc. building. They sure have done a lot to save this country, even you have to admit that."

The girl's stance remained unchanged, but Giro had the impression that she slouched a bit. "The country maybe, but you know full well that their security force could have saved my mom and the rest, and they didn't. Ten years, and I haven't forgotten, Giro. I haven't forgotten everyone screaming…everyone dying…"

She abruptly straightened. "The mavericks took everything from me."

(There it is), Giro thought mildly, as Aile's fist clenched. Now, all he had to do was pull her thoughts away from Slither and the past, and he was home free. (Now let's see here… I should lead her train of thought away gradually)

"I remember the day I found you all alone. I know it's tough, but I doubt your mother would want you to be so sad."

Her depressed stance didn't set in. Giro knew he was close, and decided to go for the final blow.

"Besides, you're not bad in a pinch. I bet you didn't know that all of our customers like you."

That did it, and she whirled around to face him, her jade eyes blazing. "Not bad!? Is that supposed to be some kind of compliment!?"

Giro laughed; he couldn't help it. Her expression was priceless, and a part of him celebrated his victory over Aile's depressed state. And as he laughed, her expression softened, in the way it always did. Aile couldn't hold anger very well, especially when she knew he'd only been trying to help her.

Giro finally got himself under control. "Anyways, we should get moving. The client is already making their way to the rendezvous point, and we don't want to be late."

Giro headed back to his bike. Aile simply stared at him for a second, then jogged after him. "Hey Giro, just who are these Guardians we're working for anyways? They always seem to be on a schedule, they have an obsession with secrecy, and to top it all off, they haven't even told us what it is we're supposed to be delivering to them!"

She gestured rather pointedly at the grey box in her bike's side compartment, which actually proclaimed in large black letters, "TOP SECRET! DO NOT OPEN!".

Giro mentally slapped himself for forgetting to tell her about their employers. "The Guardians are an independent defense force that banded together to fight the mavericks. Right now they're moving from place to place, both to investigate the cause of the maverick outbreaks, and to hopefully stop said outbreaks."

His gaze fell on the package briefly, then returned to Aile. "As for the package, try not to ask too many questions. I'm sure that it's very important to them, whatever it is. For all I know, it might have something to do with the mavericks, so it's probably very dangerous. We should just deliver it, and forget about it."

Aile met his gaze levelly. She knew her boss well enough to know that he wasn't telling her everything. But just as she opened her mouth to tell him that, there were three loud bangs.

"Down!!" Aile ducked behind her bike at Giro's command, but poked her head over the vehicle to see what was going on.

"Giro, what's happening!?"

"Those are mavericks! But how did they find us here!?"

Three more reports sounded, and Giro cursed venomously while leaping to the side, just as some unseen force hit his bike, pushing the red vehicle to the side and causing it to smoke. Her view no longer hindered by Giro's bike, Aile could clearly see a trio of galleon hunters, all with their arm cannons leveled.

Giro briefly wondered why they hadn't destroyed his bike outright, then realized that they had been aiming at a point past his bike. He glanced at what, and was both dismayed and shocked to realize that it was the fuel line on Aile's bike. There was only one reason to target her bike and not his.

"They must be after the package!"

Giro opened his mouth to warn Aile, but he was cut off by a series of weapon discharges, as the two rear mavericks opened fire.

Aile's eyes widened as she saw the shots headed for her, and she unconsciously scrambled backwards. Fortunately, she backed far enough away not to be caught in the blast, which would have been lethal to her. But as the bike exploded, the concussive force blew her backwards, right off the cliff.

Aile heard Giro call her name as she fell. Then she hit something hard, and she blacked out.