This plot bunny would just not leave me! Hence, the results. Saying anything about it would spoil it massively.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Rockman and do not make any money off of this.
"I can't... stay in this world... much longer... Zero..."
A figure in blue robes blinked as he suddenly found himself lying down on a metal floor in the midst of a blue room. A very familiar-looking room.
"Where have I seen this place before?" Cyber-Elf X murmured to himself, standing up. Mentally scanning the place (ah, the joys of being digital!) he realized, with a shock, that this was the site where Eurasia had crashed many years ago. "Am I not supposed to be in Cyberspace? What am I doing here?!"
Before the Cyber-Elf could ponder anymore, he heard a familiar-sounding scream. Curious, he floated through the area, noting the battle that had taken place. That wasn't what caught his attention, however, and if he had been human, X was sure he would have had a heart attack. For there, half-dead on the ground, was Zero, with a battered but still functional X standing over him.
"Zero! No! Don't die!" the other X screamed, clinging to Zero. "Do you hear me? Zeroo! Zeroo!"
The Cyber-Elf had gone numb. He had known that time was no factor in Cyberspace, and that if distorted enough, it was possible to go through time... but it wasn't as if his trip through time had been exactly planned, had it? But now he knew why this place looked familiar. He had come here with Zero after Eurasia had crashed in order to battle Sigma.
And, he realized with a sickening jolt as he made sure to stay out of sight, he knew what was going to happen next. And he was quite sure that he wasn't allowed to stop it.
"...Dro... Drop dead...!"
To this day, X was sure that the voice that had come from Sigma's mouth had NOT been Sigma's, and he had his suspicions as to whose voice it had been. Anyways, X squeezed his eyes shut and placed his hands over his ears as he heard the laser fire and his younger self scream. Watching oneself and one's best friend get destroyed wasn't exactly a pleasant experience. He opened one eye just in time to see Zero fire his Buster at Sigma, destroying him.
Stepping a little closer, but still making sure to remain out of sight, he listened to Zero's "last" words. "Your... optimism led... to your own... demise... You... should... li... li... live..."
Zero's eyes shut, and X knew that he was dead, but not permanently. He also knew that someone would be coming to save his younger self right about now. Though it had been about 200 years since he had gone through this, give or take a few years, the Cyber-Elf was actually curious as to who had saved the two of them, and why they had seen fit to take Zero away from him and make him think he was dead. That was probably the only reason he had stuck around and hadn't tried to return to his own era's Cyberspace.
But no one came.
He blinked confusedly, recalling his own memories of what had happened. Sometime around now, he had given himself up for lost when he had heard a voice tell him to relax. The voice had sounded very familiar to him, but X's vision had been failing and all he could see in front of him was a bluish-white light in the shape of a person. He then didn't remember anything that happened afterwards until he had suddenly found himself leaning against a wall right outside Hunter HQ.
Initially, he had thought that the AI of Dr. Light in the capsules had saved him, but then he remembered that A) Dr. Light needed the capsules to be present, and B) though he wasn't sure whether he could trust his failing audio sensors, the voice hadn't sounded like Dr. Light at all. In fact, the voice had sounded more like...
X nearly choked as he finally realized that truth. He now knew exactly who had saved him.
Leaving his hiding place, he flew towards his younger self and remained suspended in the air above him.
"I'm going... to die..." the younger X murmured to himself, eyes still closed.
"...Not yet..." the Cyber-Elf said to him softly. "Actually, I want you rest and relax for now... Hold on, X..." He continued, stumbling a bit as he said his own name to another, "...Just for a few more moments..."
Two hours later, X groaned, too tired to hover as he landed on a broken pillar. Who knew that repairing Repliroids was so exhausting, even while doing it in Cyberspace? He'd have to make sure that the next Nurse Elves he met got some extra E-Crystals...
Looking over at the younger X, the Cyber-Elf shivered. As he had been repairing himself, he had noticed that the laser that had pierced right through the middle of his chest, missing his energy generator, which had a similar function to and was located in the same place as the human heart, by a mere centimeter. "That was fortunate. If that attack had gone one more centimeter to the left..."
Turning his eyes to Zero, he stood up -- and buckled. "Oh... I forgot..." he said, standing weakly. "I spent most of my energy already..." He hadn't fully recovered from the amount of time he had spent wandering the real world back in his era, and he had used up what little he had recovered.
X frowned, smoothing his robes out of habit. He needed to get Zero's body out of there, but he no longer had the energy to remain in a corporeal form (which probably also explained his sudden craving for E-Crystals).
Then his eyes landed on his younger self.
Could he possibly do it? Mother Elf and the Baby Elves were able to control Repliroids bodies to a certain degree. Perhaps if he made sure that his younger self remained unconscious, could he possess his own body, find a source of energy for his Cyber-Elf form, and take Zero elsewhere to be repaired?
Well, he didn't really know what else to do. And he was fairly certain that no matter what he did, the time stream wouldn't allow him to mess it up. Deactivating his hologram so that he looked like nothing but a ball of blue light with rainbow strands, he floated over to his younger self, studying him carefully.
"Well... here goes nothing."
The sensation of passing into his own body was so surreal that X was unable to describe it. One second, he was outside his body, trying to enter. The next second, he was suddenly inside a room.
Great. Now where was he?
"Eh?!" A voice squeaked behind him. Turning around, his eyes rested on the people standing before him, which all but told him exactly where he was.
Before him were what appeared to be a group of X-lookalikes, but all dressed up in his different armors. Four of the lookalikes, one of whom was dressed identical to the Cyber-Elf, and three more who were in the Falcon, Gaea, and Ultimate Armors, were unconscious. A very battered-looking X in the Force Armor was sitting next to them, while two Xs in the Max and the Gold Armors tended to them. The final two Xs, one in the Light Armor and one in the Giga Armor, were standing guard.
The one in the Light Armor blinked and looked back from the unconscious X to the Cyber-Elf. "Dad...?" he asked, confused. "You're giving off the same readings as Dad..."
"But Light, Father's right here," said the one in the Giga Armor. He pointed his Buster at Cyber-Elf X.
X stared at them and mentally gasped. How could I have forgotten about them? He raised his hands up in the air. "I mean no harm," he said to them. "I am X, yes, but I am not the X you know."
"Then who are you?" another voice rang out. The two in the Max and Gold Armors stepped up, forming their Busters, and the one in the Force Armor, who had been the one that had spoken, struggled to his feet.
"Force," X said kindly, gazing at the weakened Armor program. "You may want to sit back down. You're too damaged to do anything..."
"...How do you know my name?" Force asked, confused.
"Let me explain. I am X from the future," the Cyber-Elf finally said.
The four Armors stared at each other, at present-day X, and at Cyber-Elf X. Finally, the one in the Max Armor stepped forward. "I don't suppose you know who we are?" he asked cautiously, one hand on the hilt of a Z-Saber on his back as he gestured to himself and the two in the Giga and Gold Armors.
Nodding, X said, "You three are Max, Giga, and Gold."
Placing a hand on his chin thoughtfully, Giga stepped forward, casting a gaze on the unconscious figures behind them. Pointing to the Ultimate Armor, he gave a small smirk. "That's the Ultimate Armor. What's his real name, and why?"
X smiled as well. "I named him Nova, after the Nova Strike, because I believed if he kept the name Ultimate, it would give him a large ego -- or at least, a larger ego than he already has."
Giga's eyes widened. "You really are Father!"
"But if you're from the future, why are you here?"
Deciding that it was safe to step closer, X walked over to his Armor programs. "I am doing something that I am supposed to do." He looked down at his duplicate. "My younger self was badly damaged during Sigma's attack, knocking him unconscious and nearly killing him."
"So that's why he appeared here," Gold said thoughtfully. "And why he and the Armors were hurt so badly. Force was attacked during the statue incident, but he's had time to recover, so he's okay, but Falcon, Gaea, and Nova are hurt pretty bad. The four of us are okay because we were in the background."
"How did you get in here?" Max asked.
X shook his head. "Sorry, but I don't have much time to talk," he told them. "I promise I'll explain everything, but for the moment, I need to borrow the body."
"Why?" Light asked.
"To save Zero," X said urgently. "I managed to save myself here, but Zero's still hurt pretty badly."
"But why do you need present-day Dad's body?" Light asked again. "Can't you just do it yourself?"
X twitched slightly. "I... don't exactly have a body anymore," he said. At their surprised expressions, he added, "I am like you all now. It's a long story, but I promise I will explain it later. Will you let me take control?"
The conscious Armor programs looked at each other and shrugged. Giga stepped forward. "Alright," he said. "We'll let you take over for now."
"Thank you," a relieved X said. He knelt next to his duplicate. "I'm going to have to put my past self to sleep for a bit," he said to the Armors. "It would be awkward explaining who I am to him. After all, I was not aware of my future self's existence in this era."
They nodded. X muttered something, before his hand and then the unconscious X glowed a bit. "He won't wake up now. Don't worry, I will take it off of him before I leave the body."
The conscious Armor programs each picked up one of the four unconscious figures, and Max threw Force's arm over his shoulder. "Good luck, Dad," Light said as he tried not to drop Nova.
X watched the Armor programs walk off to another room. "Think Dad'll get mad if I 'accidentally' drop Nova...?" Light muttered to Giga, who frowned reproachfully at him. Chuckling a bit as he remembered how annoying and egotistical the other Armors had found Nova, the Cyber-Elf closed his eyes and concentrated. A strange sensation passed through him. He opened his eyes again and found himself staring across the room where he and Zero had fought Sigma. Lifting his hands, he examined the blue armor that he was wearing.
"I'd almost forgotten what it was like to not be wearing robes," he said thoughtfully. He stood up and experimentally moved his limbs around, adjusting to the feel of being physical again, before turning to Zero, wincing at the damage he saw. All that remained of Zero were his head and chest. "Well, old friend... time to save your life. Again."
There're a total of three parts, and Parts 2 and 3 will come later.