"Oh my goddess." Tron exclaimed, stepping out of her Drache and sinking her shoes into a white sanded beach that seemed to stretch for miles. Hers was the first utterance of most of those who'd had the pleasure of setting foot on the shores of Gametangia. "I never would have guessed a place like this still existed."
"What? You mean that this place somehow escaped from the wrath of the dreaded Bonnes?" came the playful reply from the woman still inside the small airship, before she too hopped out the hatch and landed next to the pirate. Roll was grinning almost sadistically, something she had picked up in the company of the pirates. She proceed to let loose an exaggerated sigh. "But I suppose all good things must come to an end."
"Ha ha ha. Exaggerated laugh times two. Done joking around yet? We've got work to do, ya know." Tron stated, indicating the far off town while she gave her travel companion an annoyed glance. The wit was stale, though, and didn't phase Roll a bit.
"Sure you don't want to bring a giant crab mech with you for when we enter the town? This place is just begging to be razed to the ground." Roll continued, paying back Tron for the way she and the other Bonnes had treated her during the meeting. Her words were indeed having an impact, but one that wasn't altogether shown on the scowling pirate's face.
"Ever heard of something called 'incognito'?" she questioned, setting up a cruel joke as she turned and began to walk along the beach, headed towards town.. "Well, no. I guess you wouldn't, what with that trashy outfit you're wearing all the time attracting so many stares."
The jibe didn't have as much impact as it would have, however, because Roll was currently clad in her suit of blue diggers' armor in preparation for the coming dig. Still, the mechanic knew exactly what Tron was trying to say. She bit back her instinctive answer, that she wore her red outfit for no one's benefit but her own, and kept on the offensive.
"How does it feel knowing you've destroyed people's lives? Family's life savings gone in a moment, stolen by little yellow people with big guns. Buildings demolished, all in a search for zenny." her words no longer held the slightest hint of humor, and Roll was half surprised to hear herself saying them. "Heartless pirate! I bet you don't even care, do you?"
"You're right; I don't!" finally, Tron's breaking point was reached. The infuriated pirate didn't even look back at Roll as she began to rant. "I mean, how am I supposed to care about such lifeless people? They sit on their asses, content to live a life of abstract leisure until they become old and die. They don't know what it's like to truly live, so how can I be destroying lives that never existed?!"
"So that's it. That flimsy justification is what helps you sleep at night?" Roll held her arms out wide as a method of conveying her disbelief, still following the pirate along the beach at a safe distance.
"No, but sometimes I like to pretend it does." Tron replied. She didn't dare turn her head while answering, lest her verbal sparring partner see the hollow look in her eyes.
This effectively diffused the conflict, leaving both participants standing still on the white sands. Waves gently caressed the shore as the birds overhead cackled and cawed, seeming to magnify the silence with their own refusal of it.
"Tron, I'm… I'm sorry." Roll apologized, realizing how hateful she had acted towards the one who was helping her. Barrel's advice to her must have been in vain, she thought sadly, because she hadn't listened to it at all.
"Don't be. Everything you said must be true, or else I wouldn't still be in this line of work." Tron refused the apology, crossing her arms and holding her shoulder blades. The blonde mechanic struggled to come up with something else to say, before Tron pieced her emotional barrier back together.
"You could always just stop, you know?" she finally ventured, hoping against hope that she wouldn't be laughed at for stating something that must sound so ludicrous to one such as Tron.
"Easy to say. The Bonnes going straight, once. After the stuff on Kattolox island, we used that humongous refractor to pay for the repairs to the Gesselschaft, since you and Megaman destroyed it. With the money leftover, we bought a small convenience store in Gold City." the pirate began to explain, remembering how hopeful they had all been when they'd first walked into the building. To her, the blank walls and empty shelves had appeared as a blank slate, from which to start life over again.
"What ever happened to it?" Roll asked, snapping Tron out of her small moment of nostalgia.
"Let's just say that Teasel wasn't exactly the best business man. He only ordered stuff he was interested in, and the customers couldn't care less about most of it. Before long, we'd entered the red and were going to have to close down." she paused for a moment before continuing. "To keep the building, we had to come out of 'retirement' and doing some more raiding. We didn't want to risk our home getting blown up again, so we decided to hire Glyde's crew and two older treasure hunters to help us out."
"So those times we fought you while searching for the four keys, you were just fighting so you could keep your business going?" the blue armored digger asked, feeling more guilty than ever. Maybe she shouldn't have felt that way, but she couldn't stop herself from feeling like it was her fault the Bonnes were still in the piracy business.
"Yeah, but that dream is gone now." Tron stated as she picked up her feet and continued their trek across the sands.
"Why?" came the expected question, one which the pirate was resistant to answer; she didn't want to let Roll in on her secret, but it was buried in the only reply she could give.
"Well, as soon as I heard Megaman got lost in space somewhere… I had the building sold and it's assets liquidated." the brunette answered, trying to keep her voice level when the subject of Megaman came up. "I figured we'd need all the zenny we could get. But I suppose it wasn't enough."
"Tron, I'm honestly sorry about your lose. But don't you see? Just the fact that you would give up something that means so much to you, to help out someone who's done nothing but get in your way, proves that you aren't heartless!" such an unexpected reply caused Tron to pause in mid-step, before she turned around with an odd expression on her face.
"You really think so?" Tron asked, looking at the blonde mechanic in something like amazement. Roll nodded, now smiling in the genuine way she had in the past. The smile was contagious, and the pirate soon felt the edges of her lips curving up as well. "Well, I suppose we all suffer from delusions."
"What say we stop for lunch in town before heading out to the digout? My treat." Roll replied, catching up to the pirate so that they would now be walking side by side. The mechanic didn't have much zenny left to herself, thanks to rocket building eating up her account, but there was surely enough to pay for a meal.
"Heh, sounds like a prescription for disaster. But sure, why not?" Tron answered in her typical sarcastic fashion. With that, the two women headed out along the coastline, the tall white buildings of Ova City.
After their meal, Tron and Roll had left the restaurant full and content. The side effect, however, was that neither felt much like going on a dig so soon after eating. It was agreed that the two would split up and walk around the city a bit, and then meet up in an hour to get things under way.
Nearly an hour later, while walking around the crowded streets, Roll was idly wondering how her Megaman had managed to wear his armor almost constantly since she had made it for him. Eating in the cramped diner had been quite an ordeal, especially when someone had mistaken her for the suit's original owner. That had ended embarrassingly enough, without her accidentally knocking the table down when she stood up.
"And now I've got this heat to deal with." Roll thought and inwardly groaned, not liking the island climate as much as she would have if wearing her normal suit of clothes. "After this dig, I'm going to install a cooling system of some sort."
Roll passed by what appeared to be at first glance an empty alleyway, shadowed underneath the two white skyscrapers that had formed it. But as the blue suit of armor past by, a pair of eyes could be seen lighting up with recognition from their place in the darkness. With such speed that the figure nearly tripped, the shadowed man stepped away from his place leaning against the wall and stepped into the sunlight behind Roll.
"Megaman? Wow, it's been a long time since I've seen you!" were the words Roll heard before turning around to see at least the second most frightening person she had ever seen. The stranger was wrapped in bandages, over which he wore a suit of bronze armor that looked ancient and heavily used. What was most striking about his appearance was that he had no right hand to speak of, instead having a large claw-like reaverbot appendage extending from his wrist.
"Stand back!" Roll said, only quivering slightly as she held up her mega buster with her free hand, pointing the barrel at the strange looking pirate. An almost hurt expression past over the middle aged man's face, which was soon replaced by dawning realization.
"Hey, you aren't Mega. What's the deal with wearing my bud's armor, girl?" the man replied, his voice muffled by bandages. He hadn't raised his arms in the air or shown any other indication of being frightened by the young women, which didn't do much to calm her fears. But his mentioning of her Megaman in such a friendly manner managed to quell her worry slightly, enough so that she could answer.
"I'm Megaman's… uhm…" she was suddenly floundering, not knowing how to reply. Roll had stopped thinking of herself as Megaman's sister a long time ago, but how else was she to introduce herself? "I'm a close friend of his. I built the original blue suit for him."
"Huh, you must be some kind of mechanic! Oh, and the name's Bola, world renowned treasure hunter. Nice ta meet'cha." Bola introduced herself, holding out his reaverbot hand for a handshake. Roll politely declined, to which the aging 'treasure hunter' only laughed in reply.
"I don't remember Megaman ever telling me about you. When did you meet him?" Roll asked politely, still not absolutely sure if this man could be trusted. Maybe she was being prejudiced, the mechanic thought, but any one with a lethal weapon for a hand should be approached with caution. Then she stole a glance at her Mega buster, now hanging at her side, and realized how hypocritical she was being.
"Eh, I think it was either eight months, or two centuries ago; I can't remember which." Bola scratched his head with a claw tip as he answered. The look of confusion on Roll's face gave him a slight chuckle and he held his hands out apologetically. "Sorry, but I'm not very good with dates 'n stuff. Prefer to live in the moment, ya know?"
"Uh, sure. Anyways, it was nice meeting you, but I really have to be going." the mechanic excused herself while pointing a thumb behind her. She turned to walk away, but was halted before she had taken even three steps.
"Hey, wait! You're not going on a dig alone, are you?" he called before she had left. The blue armored women turned around almost warily, wondering how he had guessed her intention. He correctly read her expression, and answered accordingly. "Well I figure you wouldn't be in that getup unless you were planning on getting into trouble."
"I won't be alone; I'll have Tron Bonne with me." as she mentioned the infamous sky pirates name, Bola's face seemed to instantly sour, as if remembering a particularly nasty smell.
"Now why in the world would you go and do that? I've met the Bonnes on a few occasions, and they are not what I'd call good people." he explanative, holding up the fingers on his left hand in the traditional 'quotation marks' gesture when mentioning the pirate's questionable reputation.
"I know what you mean, but I don't really have a choice." Roll reluctantly replied, not exactly hopeful that the Bonnes would suddenly have a change of heart. "Without them, I won't be able to get enough zenny to build another space shuttle. Megaman… well, he got stuck up on some space colony called Elysium and we can't get him down."
Genuine worry and concern became apparent in Bola's eyes at the mentioning of Megaman's plight. Rubbing his chin with his free hand, the adventurer seemed to contemplate something for a number of moments. He snapped his fingers when the idea finally came to him.
"I tell you what, I was planning on doing some digging myself today. Sort of a retirement party thing." Bola began, waving his hand in the air. "I don't wanna see you fall in with a bad crowd, so why don't you come with me and I can show you were all the best refractors are?"
"I'm not sure. I don't really know you, so how can I trust you?" the blonde replied honestly, though she had to admit that the idea of digging with someone other than Tron was quite tempting.
"Then ask your Bonne pals for permission; if nothing else, they'll say I'm a good treasure hunter. Besides, I happen to know this particular sub gate like it was a second home." as he pitched the idea, Bola watched Roll continue to warm up to it. He knew just how to clinch the deal, too. "Megaman, he's like a brother to me, and I do anything to help him and his girlfriend out."
Roll stood stock still, in deep thought. Something about the man's demeanor made her feel that he wouldn't hurt her, but the more logical side of her mind protested. And then there was Tron to consider; if Roll went digging without her, she might decide to loot the town behind her back. But if she dig go with Tron, it was more than likely that they'd end up in another argument with each other, and possibly not find as many refractors.
"All right, I've have my answer." Roll began, wondering if she had made the right decision. Bola grinned expectantly, an expression that couldn't be seen behind the bandages.
Authors Notes: Wow, better not let go of that cliff you're hanging onto, readers; it'd be a terribly nasty fall. In other, related new, this chapter is completed and online! To think that some of you thought it would never happen. I said it once and I'll say it again: this will be the worlds first complete Megaman Legends continuation fic! Unless traingham beats me to it, of course (read his fic, "Love Heist", right now if you haven't already).
This chapter ended up surprisingly long, but I suppose there was still a lot of business to be taken care of before the dig could be gotten under way. Because it was so long though, two scenes had to be cut out. One was a battle sequence on the beach against fish-like reaverbots, but it wasn't that necessary so it got cut. The final scene of this chapter was taken out, so as to give the chapter it's suspenseful ending, and it will instead be shown in the next chapter. Also, keep crossing your fingers for that Serve-bot side story; it would be done already, except this story takes up all my writing time.
Readers Corner: Four more reviews! Y'know, somethings starting to tell me that people like this story. Strange, huh? First off, newcomer and un-signed reviewer NeoNarcissism leaves probably the most positive review I have ever recieved. All he (she?) asks is that I don't let the story die; consider your wish granted! xDarkZerox, now known on the Legends Station forum's as xxDarkPhoenixx, excuses chapter 10's delay because it was due to FFX, and for that I am greatful. Steffie from South Africa managed to write a review as well, even though her local electricity plant's workers are on the verge of going on strike! Last but not least, Dragge_Trigger liked the introduction I gave Bola, as well as the pic of Capt. Amadeus. Allright, that wraps it up for this chapter!
Long live America (North and South)! Read and review!