Vile: Okay, despite a small bout of stalling with this, I got the next chapter out. This is where we go into the Stormy Bog area. I couldn't split this into two chapters, so- Why am I still talking here? Enjoy!
MMZX3: Mega Man ZX Enforcers
Chapter 22: Storming the Swamp
A box shape of metal frames projected multiple pink energy screens, forming a solid box that Vent was being kept inside. A low noise came from the figure that watched him, rain battering the box's edges. "He's almost like a little baby in there. A harmless little baby." Her communicator suddenly went off. "Uwaaah! W-What was that?!"
"Sparkroak! The Mega Men are on their way to your location!" Model D told her. "Get rid of them if you see them! That's an order!" The communication cut out, leaving the Pseudoroid scared.
"I… Intruders! Oh no, oh no… what should I do?!"
*With the Group*
The Mega Man team warped into the area, but as soon as they did, a flash of lightning and crack of thunder suddenly sounded. "YAAAH!" Atlas was startled by the thunder, clinging to Taylor's arm unconsciously.
This got a few weird looks from some of the others. "Huh. The Flame Mega Man is afraid of thunderstorms." Thetis remarked, making Atlas immediately punch him with one of her cannons in annoyance.
Taylor looked up at the stormclouds as the rain poured down. "I don't get it. This area isn't supposed to experience thunderstorms. It's not the kind of area for that."
Aeolus stared intently at the clouds. "…Those aren't normal thunderclouds. I can tell. They must be a special model of jammer: They cause a permanent storm that disrupts radar."
Another boom of thunder sounded. "W-Whatever it is, let's try and shut it down ASAP!" Atlas said quickly.
"I agree, but mostly so we can stop all this rain." Siarnaq said, already walking ahead through a bush. Two seconds later: "WAAH!" SPLASH. The Mega Men ran after him, coming face-to-face with a rushing rapid with lily pads, logs, and rocks being swept along. A short distance down, Siarnaq frantically jumped out of the water onto a log, then across the rocks and logs, but when he hit a lily pad, it sunk back into the rapid with him on it.
"Hang on, dude!" Thetis said, diving into the water. He let the current pull him to Siarnaq, letting him grab his wrist, but going back wasn't easy even with Thetis's Model L powers, as he barely made any headway underwater against the current. Eventually, though, he managed to pull himself and Siarnaq out of the water.
Siarnaq coughed heavily. "That… sucked… BIG time!" He spat.
"Agreed! Even for me, that was nasty!" Thetis groaned.
"So swimming across the rapids isn't an option. What else should we do?" Aile wondered.
"Easy!" Ashe said, jumping onto a log in the river, then onto a rock before leaping onto the other side of the river.
"Huh. Reminds me of an old video game I played once." Taylor mused.
"I guess it's better than nothing!" Grey said, following Ashe's example. The other Mega Men began to do so as well.
However, as Aeolus was crossing, he made a wrong move and ended up jumping toward a lily pad. "Don't land there!" Thetis shouted. Thinking quick, Aeolus quickly did an Air Dash to make it to the other side.
"Okay, someone remember this: Do NOT step on the lily pads!" Ashe said, irritated.
"Let's go!" Aile said, and the others agreed, moving through the rain-soaked forest. The saber-wielders of the team slashed through the plants to keep the path moving.
The thunder boomed again, and enemies began to plunge down from the clouds: Odd flying squirrels with clouds for cape membranes. They carried what looked like acorns, but they dropped them, which detonated as thunder bombs upon hitting the ground. "Incoming!" Grey shouted, pointing his pistols at them and firing, shooting a few down. Ashe and Aile fired afterward, but some of them tried to dive bomb them. Taylor and Aeolus managed to slash them out of the air.
"Squirrels. Model D must be running out of ideas for enemies." Aeolus mused with a chuckle before the group continued on. They came to another series of rapid rivers, but remembering what to do from earlier, the group used the rocks and logs, but avoided the lily pads, to cross each river.
However, as they continued, Model X suddenly spoke. "Wait, Aile."
The girl stopped in her tracks, making the others stop as well. "What is it, Model X?"
"There's something around here… It feels familiar to me." The Blue Biometal told her. "That way." Model X directed her to left of where she was standing, toward a tree. However, when Aile walked toward it, her foot ended up hitting a pit.
"Uwaaaaaah!" She screamed as she fell into a deep hole.
"Aile!" The others cried. A "THUD" was heard, and the others looked down the hole.
"You all right, Aile?!" Grey called down.
"Ugh… Yeah! It wasn't a bad fall!" Aile called back up. "I'm heading back up!"
"Wait, Aile, not yet!" Model X told her. "The signal. It's down here. Follow my direction." The Biometal directed Aile down a few tunnels until they came to an odd object. It had a flat circular shape, colored blue with a four red protrusions and a yellow core. A vaguely hexagonal shape was embedded in it, looking similar to Model X, but was slightly bigger.
"What do you think it is?" Aile wondered. She heard two people jump down into the pit, and turned around to see that it was Grey and Ashe.
Ashe saw the object. "Cool…" She breathed. Aile walked over and picked the object up.
All of a sudden, the yellow core glowed and protected a blue hologram. The hologram was of a young woman, possibly 18 or 19, wearing a work uniform, a helmet, and had a ponytail coming out of the helmet. A breath came from Model X. "It's her…"
"Who?" Aile asked.
"She is the one who created me… and the other original Biometals." The Blue Biometal said. "Her name is… Dr. Ciel."
The hologram then spoke. "If this mechanism has activated and I am speaking to you, then you must be the Chosen One for Biometal Model X. When Model X was created, it contained a powerful armor that I have split into four parts, and hidden within capsules like this one. I hope I can trust you with the power that lies within." The hologram sighed. "This capsule houses the Leg Parts of Model X's True Armor. They will grant you increased movement ability and increase your jumping ability. Insert Model X into the slot on the capsule's front to receive this power. I trust that you will not misuse the Biometal…" The hologram closed her eyes before vanishing.
"Ciel… I was unaware that you did this for me." Model X breathed. "Aile, we must receive this power… to honor Ciel."
Aile nodded. "It could also help us against Model D." She De-Megamerged and took hold of Model X. "Here goes…" The Blue Biometal was placed into the slot in the front, and his eyes began to glow. Then, the four protrusions and core began to glow as well, and a swirling effect took place within them. The whole capsule began to glow, Model X's eyes glowing brighter. Then, a bolt of lightning went from each protrusion to the core, combining into one before striking Model X. The lightning didn't damage him, but he changed slightly: The bottom edge of his construction grew longer, with a different color scheme: The bottom edge was now a lighter blue with some of Model X's original blue above it, then a yellow line on each side, with lighter blue coloring above it and a small blue stripe in the middle. The color change stopped right below Model X's "face". "Do you feel any different, Model X?" Aile asked hesitantly.
"I feel… stronger." Model X said. "Try Megamerging again." Aile nodded, performing a Megamerge and donning her armor. Immediately, she felt something was different.
"Aile, your legs!" Grey pointed out. Aile looked down and noticed the change: The lower part of her boots had changed to a lighter blue color with yellow soles, the yellow ring unchanged, but the top part had disconnected from the ring. The top part now bore a cylindrical shape that could fit around the ring, colored the lighter blue with a ring of the original blue color about halfway up, a stripe of the original blue going down the front of the armor. As a final touch, two green lights were above the ring. The white armor around her hips, however, hadn't changed at all.
Aile moved her new legs around for a bit. "Not bad. These could be very useful." She mused. "All right, let's get back up to the others." Grey and Ashe nodded, and the three of them rushed back through the tunnels. Grey and Ashe noted that Aile's movement speed had increased, just as the Ciel hologram had said. The two Model A Mega Men got to the opening just as Aile was wall jumping her way back up.
Speaking of Aile, her new leg armor allowed her to wall jump back up very quickly, landing in front of the others. "Whoa, in a rush or something?" Taylor asked.
"I wasn't even trying to go fast." Aile said honestly, looking at her legs. "This new armor is awesome!"
"Don't turn into a bighead on us, Aile!" Ashe said, her and Grey having climbed all the way to the top of the pit.
"I know, I know. Let's move!" The Mega Men took off again, but they didn't get much farther before reaching their destination.
In this case, "reaching their destination" was achieved by Siarnaq stepping on a soft piece of ground and putting his face in water again. He groaned as he got up. The water in this area was confined as a small pond instead of a rushing rapid. Lily pads were abound in the water, more so than any logs or rocks, but there was land around the pond to stand on.
"H-Huh?! W-Who's there?!" A voice suddenly said, followed by a high-pitched croak. The voice was female, and it seemed young. Then, something shot out of the water, landing on one of the lily pads in the pond. It appeared to look like a large frog robot, colored a combination of bright yellow and black, with black webbed hands and feet with yellow fingertips. The shoulders were spikes, and what looked like red "feathers" were around the robot's head. Oddly enough, the frog had a small tail. The frog looked back and forth quickly, jumping slightly at the crack of thunder and flash of lightning. "W… What was that…? I th-thought I heard something." She shuddered.
"Over here, Sparkroak!" Thetis shouted.
"Waaah!" Sparkroak jumped in fear before leaping around to face them, showing large blue eyes. "M-M-Mega Men!" She began looking around back and forth, scared. "Oh no, oh no, they're here to get me! Everyone's out to get me!"
"Is… this thing supposed to be a Pseudoroid?" Ashe asked no one in particular, getting nods from the Elemental Mega Men.
Aile stepped forward. "Have you seen a young man with brown hair out here? His name is Vent! Tell me where he is!" She was demanding, not asking.
Sparkroak recoiled again. "Th-That guy I locked up? He's your f-friend?! I c-can't! He'll k-kill me! I w-won't let you t-take another step!" The frog let out a loud croak.
ENEMY: SPARKROAK THE DENDROBAROID
Sparkroak suddenly leapt across the pond to another lily pad, then to another pad near the Mega Men. She then stood on her legs and lashed out her tongue, which was charged with electricity. "Move!" The Mega Men quickly got out of the way as the tongue struck the ground to try and zap them.
"All right, let's go!" Thetis quickly dove into the pond to get a sneak attack, but almost immediately, Sparkroak let out a loud croak to the sky, and a lightning bolt shot down from the clouds, impacting the pond and charging it with electricity. "EEEYOWCH!" Thetis shot out of the water, electrified, scrambling onto a log.
"S-Stay out of my p-pond!" Sparkroak yelled, lashing out her electric tongue again.
However, her tongue was knocked out of its path by a wave of Siarnaq's kunai. "Sparkroak, you're still the same wimp you were when we met you. Just go back underwater before things get ugly."
Sparkroak shook for a while, but stood firm. "…No way! I w-won't let myself be defeated! Master g-gave me life, and I'm gonna k-keep it!" She let out another croak, causing lightning bolts to rain down. The Mega Men quickly managed to dodge.
Aile was charging up energy along the way. "Haah!" She fired off a Level 2 Charge Shot that nailed Sparkroak directly.
"AIYEEEE!" The Dendrobaroid screamed as she was sent backward, though she landed on another lily pad. "Y-You meanie!" Sparkroak quickly leapt back to near Aile. "Take this!" Her cheeks suddenly puffed up before her tongue lashed out. It wasn't electrified, but it was lashed out quick enough that it wrapped around Aile tightly.
"Huh?!" All of a sudden, the tongue picked her up and swung her around. "Whoa, whoa, whoa…!" She was then flung at the other Mega Men. "WAAAAAH!" She landed hard on the muddy ground.
Sparkroak quickly unleashed her electric tongue at them. Grey quickly grabbed and pulled Aile out of the way of the attack, while Aile unleashed a Laser Shot at Sparkroak, nailing her. "Everyone, split up!" Grey yelled, and the Mega Men quickly dashed around the pond.
"Eat this!" Siarnaq tossed a Cross Star at the frog, but she quickly jumped to another lily pad to dodge.
"You think you can run from us?" Taylor leapt into the air with his Omega Aura and unleashed Arc Blade. A few of the hits got Sparkroak, but not many. When he landed, he shot out a Shinkuujin shockwave that just barely missed her.
"W-Why you!" Sparkroak croaked to the sky again, calling down lightning bolts to strike around. The Mega Men jumped across the rocks and logs in the pond to dodge, making sure to stay out of the water, lest they be shocked by the electrified water. "I told you to stay out of my p-pond! I'll show you how p-powerful I can be!" With another croak, something rose out of the water: Another lily pad, but this one was on top of a large vine of sorts that went straight upward, raising the lily pad above the others. Sparkroak then leapt onto the higher lily pad and began to spin around, lashing out her electric tongue to make it sweep across the edge.
"Is this what you've resorted to? Weak." Aeolus mused, easily jumping over the tongue as it moved over the area. The other Mega Men were able to dodge as well, even when Sparkroak caused her tongue to undulate.
The tongue retreated to her mouth, causing her to hop up and down. "Oh no, oh no! My sweep attack didn't work! T-Take this!" She began unleashing a barge of electric tongue attacks and lightning strikes, but the Mega Men managed to dodge each time. Then she puffed her cheeks and launched her tongue, un-electrified.
Aile, seeing it coming this time, went to the front and grabbed hold of the tongue before it could ensnare anyone. "Gotcha!"
This made the Dendrobaroid freak. "AAAAAH! Leggo, leggo o' me!" She struggled to say, not having the use of her tongue.
"Maybe I'll give you… a little taste of your own… medicine!" Aile groaned, pulling on Sparkroak's tongue while she pulled back, trying to get her tongue back in her mouth.
Then a slashing sound was heard. "AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!" Sparkroak's ear-piercing scream was heard afterward.
"Oof!" Aile landed on her rear, holding the tongue, which had been severed from its host. She shuddered and tossed it away.
Thetis was nearby, having just swung his halberd. "No more of that stupid thing!"
Sparkroak was trembling. She then jumped back up to the higher lily pad and began croaking constantly, calling thunderbolts down randomly on the Mega Men, causing them to run.
"Remind me to bring a lightning rod next time!" Atlas griped as they dodged.
After a few seconds of dodging, the Mega Men got fed up. "Let's get this over with!" Grey fired off a Plasma Orb, Atlas shot a bomb from her right Knuckle Buster, and Aile fired off another Charge Shot, all three attacks hitting Sparkroak with enough force to knock her clean to the edge of the pond on dry land.
Sparkroak struggled while on the land, looking up weakly… to see Siarnaq hovering over her. "Hi." Next thing she knew, Siarnaq's claws went through her head, being pulled back out. The Dendrobaroid's body sunk back to the wet ground. "Honestly, I was hoping I didn't have to kill you."
"Y… You didn't…?" Sparkroak's malfunctioning voice choked. "M-Maybe I'm… better o-off dead… Y-Your friend is… up ahead… he's b-by the… jam-mer machine… Grk…" Her body then crackled before exploding, Siarnaq having backed off beforehand.
A DNA Core rose from her wreckage, which was absorbed into Grey's helmet. "That makes seven." Model A mused.
"Let's get moving. She said Vent was up ahead!" Aile said.
"Yeah, and maybe we can get rid of this storm, too!" Atlas said.
"Honestly, I agree. I'm sick of this rain." Taylor added. "Let's go." The Mega Men took off away from Sparkroak's pond. The group soon came to another rapid, but there was a problem: There were no logs or rocks in the rapid: Only lily pads. "You have got to be freaking kidding me."
"NOW what are we gonna do? We all know what happens if we try to step on those things!" Thetis griped.
"Wasn't Sparkroak able to land on them?" Aeolus asked.
Grey snapped his fingers. "Good plan, Aeolus. Ashe, let's do it." The other Model A Mega Man nodded.
"A-TRANS!" Both of them transformed into copies of the Dendrobaroid.
"We might be able to take care of this if we each take three passengers at a time." Grey said. "Hop on, everyone."
"No pun intended." Ashe added.
"I just hope I don't get sick from this." Taylor groaned, getting on Grey's back, Atlas and Thetis following him. Aile, Aeolus, and Siarnaq got on Ashe's back. "You guys got a good hold?"
"As good as ever. Let's go already!" Siarnaq said. On that cue, Gray hopped into the rapids, landing on lily pad after lily pad with Ashe on his tail.
"Whaaa-aaaa-hahahaha! This is actually pretty fun!" Thetis laughed. Using the lily pads, the Mega Men managed to make it to the other side. The passengers hopped off of their rides, which transformed back into Grey and Ashe.
"Not the way I prefer to air travel, but I guess it was OK." Aeolus mused, fixing his outfit.
"I'm picking up some harsh interference nearby." Model H said. "The jammer must be near." The Wind Biometal directed them through a batch of trees, and they were eventually face-to-face with a HUGE machine that was spewing stormclouds into the sky. Odd pink lightning was coming off the machine as well.
"This has gotta be the jammer." Ashe said.
"It sure is! Look!" Grey pointed at an odd box made of silver pipe-like ends, projecting pink forcefields around an unconscious Vent.
Aile gained a tic mark. "Let's destroy it then!" She quickly began blasting at the jammer's control field. The others began going to town on the rest of the machine. Soon, the whole jammer was crumbling into pieces.
As the machines exploded, the rain and wind slowly began to die off until it stopped completely. The sky then began to clear, until the sun finally managed to brighten up the dark swamp. "Ah… nice sunlight. No more thunder." Atlas said.
Then, the forcefields surrounding Vent were dispelled, causing the box frame to crumble. Aile quickly rushed to Vent and knelt down. "…Vent?"
Vent's eyes shook before shooting open, him sitting straight up. "Whoa! What happened to me?" He spat out, looking around. "Grey? Ashe?" He then saw the Elemental Mega Men. "Whaa! You four?!"
"Long story, Vent. Let's get out of here first." Ashe told him.
Grey's communicator went off, making him answer. "I guess you were able to destroy the jammer." The Commander's voice said. "What happened out there?"
"We located and destroyed a Pseudoroid that was running the jammer." Grey told him. "We've also found Vent. He's relatively unharmed. Is there a transerver nearby?"
"With the jammer offline, we can find one." The Commander said. After a moment, he gave them the result. "According to the screen, there's one right under you."
"Huh? That doesn't seem right." Grey wondered.
"Hey Grey, over here!" Thetis moved some wreckage of the jammer out of the way, revealing an active transerver. "The jammer protected it from any damage!"
Grey smiled. "Great. We're on our way back, Commander." The Commander signed off, ending the call.
"Looks like it can handle up to five of us at a time." Thetis said after checking the transerver out.
"Think you can walk, Vent?" Aile asked, getting him to his feet.
"Yeah. I wasn't roughed up that much." Vent replied with a smile. "Let's go." Aile nodded. Grey, Ashe, Vent, and Aile stepped on the transerver first to be warped out, then the other five stepped on to be transported back to the Hunter's Camp.
Vile: Vent has finally been rescued, completing the team! But there's still the issue of Model Z. If you guys liked this chapter, leave a review for me! Ja ne for now!
Computer Voice: Vile, logging out.