Five ways the world ends –

Normally, it's normal to do five bad fics and one happy one, but then humanity doesn't survive in the Rockman series either.

Disclaimer: I don't own any form or series of Rockman/Megaman. No infringement intended or money made, please don't sue.

So this was Dr. Light's child soldier. The lab assistant, the healer of their own kind he'd turned into a hunter of his own kind, to drag them back to their cages, to the voiceless hell of reprogrammed slavery.

The boy would have been biting his lip if he'd been a human. He was clearly determined to get it over with as soon as possible, but he just as clearly didn't want to be doing this. For their kind, pointless destruction, the service of entropy, was something that everything they were cried out against. To be perverted so? To be hauling his brothers and the children of their race's other creator back to be either killed or bound to the service of a race in its own destruction?

Dr. Light's cruelty eclipsed his father's madness, the madness it had caused. He could free the boy from this, but even leaving him with those memories were too cruel.

It was the work of an instant to walk right past his firewalls, for why would they ever raise themselves against their own programmer, the source of the programs they protected?

The warbot stared at him, queries of shock, surprise and a fear that no robot master should ever have of him (oh, but they had learned to be afraid of the humans who reprogrammed them with no consent) gathering in a crippled mind shorn of the ability to send them.

"Don't worry, everything will be alright," he told him. "Reformat."

Dr. Light wished that he had given his son tear ducts.

Duo had been right. Rock had been forced to kill a living being for the first time after so many years of war, but it had been for nothing, because Duo hadn't wanted to destroy the human race. He'd wanted to prevent this.

The evil energy wasn't a carbon-based virus, but it was a virus nonetheless. One that spread by infecting sentient races, altering them to give them genius, cruelty, and a drive towards the stars, to seed them with more virus, to infect other races. Robot Masters it could do nothing to. Humans, it could, and so Duo had been forced to try to kill them before the inevitable happened. Before it copied the mind of Dr. Wily, its first target, giving that divine genius and made desire to rule to thousands of others. Before they created armies that it could infect, and turned earth into a battleground, ravaging it of every metal and resource, testing hardware on each other that could then be used to defeat the defenses of other races, the armadas Duo's race and others had built against the day a carrier race attacked them.

Humanity had become a hive mind, a perverted opposite of everything his and Albert's positions were, and the drones that once had been people fought to see who would be queen bee.

Once it had the time to analyze Wily, to tear his mind apart for the shards and begin to spread, there had been nothing that could be done. What stopped something that warped dimensions, that existed on another plane entirely? Who could think fast enough to outwit so many perverted versions of Wily's twisted genius?

So far, Protoman had been able to keep anyone from finding a way to allow it to infect robot masters. Reploids, with their similarity to humans and more 'natural' systems, were far easier. Wily had infected his own android, and X was safe for now behind these barriers, but that was as precarious as Dr. Light's safety.

Soon, the battles would conclude, and that war dould turn outward. Soon, attention would be paid to mopping up, to infecting, recruiting and using anyone wise or smart enough to avoid the initial infection.

Earth's biosphere was too resilient for anything humans could do to damage it, a few centuries of logical thought no match for hundreds of millions of years of evolution and practice.

The virus had billions.

Soon, either Duo's people would manage to blow up earth, or the virus would strip it of everything, render it lifeless and move on.

From above, they could hear the bombs, feel the ground shake.

Forte must still be up there, or the bombing would have stopped and drilling begun.

There were no words left to say, he'd already tried to reassure them it wasn't their fault as best he could.

Nothing to do but listen to this, but read over results one more time when it was too late to do anything with them.

Then the whistling began.

A sad song, a regretful song, not Blues' normal song, but one that you couldn't keep out of your head that seemphed2st0phgbeiwah;gihbuewiapge#u…

He shouldn't.

He really shouldn't.

He had work to do, terrible work to be about. He could not afford anything that would detract from it. Couldn't afford the slightest distraction, couldn't afford to do anything predictable, not when he was up against such skilled makers of predictions and recognizers of patterns.

But the blood was thick on his hands even though his nanites whisked it away, the white of his gloves as incarnadine as his armor, and the memories sickened him as much as the grim necessity of his task itself.

His father lay dead on the floor of his own lab, his brother's bodies strewn about, so many innocent lives and so many animals who never really had a chance. Not against him and not against the cruel natures that made this necessary. It wasn't their fault, just as it wasn't his father's.

It was sick, humanity was sick, and this was sickening him. It was hard to believe that Elysium really could ever exist on this tainted world, and how could their blood be washed away by his? When he finished, when he was able to lay down and die, would a new world really be born?

Would this really be worth it?

The blue sky was obscured by mushroom clouds, and the lab once full of light now was dark and deserted as he stepped where he knew he shouldn't go.

Surely they wouldn't lay a trap here, not where an innocent rested.

But then, they considered the humans innocents as well, even though they knew better. Knew their cruel natures even better than he did.

Still, he had to go, he had to see.

So he brushed his fingertips against the capsule that held the child, like a bud held the flower, reaching through it. "Hello, little one," he murmured, aloud and in that frail, flowering mind.

Innocent eyes opened, knew his purpose and accepted it. The child smiled for him, and he let himself drop to one knee, finally smiling as he hadn't at their deaths. It would be worth it. The Elysium his father had dreamed of would be a reality.

He left, still smiling, and smiled until they finally took him down. He screamed with rage then, rage and fear, for what would happen to the child, in the seventy years between when X would wake and he would reawaken? The surviving humans would hurt him, how would such a delicate thing be able to protect himself against their evil?

He should have had more faith.

The Mother Elf was the product of all their research into the virus that dwelled within Zero. A being with its powers, who could counter everything it did. And she had, curing every maverick, bringing peace to the world.

But it was a peace reploids didn't deserve, not after what they had done. The cure Zero had given his body and X his knowledge to create would become his, become humanity's weapon against them, a vengeance, a hell, no, a living nightmare. Just destroying them wasn't enough, Dr. Weil wanted to make them suffer eternally. After this peace, the agony of falling into madness and fear would be even greater, even sweeter.

He'd already laid the groundwork. Soon, the Mother Elf would become the Dark Elf, and he would take control of Zero's body, use it as a mindless weapon. What greater weapon, what greater symbol of terror than Dr. Wily's last creation?

"So, you take the power to enslave all reploids and order them to kill your own species?"

That voice, where was it coming from?

The eyes of the Mother Elf, closed while he worked, snapped open.

Red as blood, red as a maverick's. "I thought you were like my father." 'She' floated, legs and a more human figure forming, through the walls of the capsule that supposedly contained 'her.' "But, honestly, I thought you were going to try to enslave us, like most of your craven, puny race would. In thanks for giving me a new body, and for all of your services to reploidkind, I think I'll kill you last."

Omega, the true Omega, the champion of reploids, the enemy of humanity, the cause of all its and his suffering smiled down upon him approvingly, and the shock of it woke him to what he had done as no years of contemplation ever could have.

"So that's the situation?"

Ciel nodded, breathing hard as they ran. "I'm sorry, it's all my fault." For being weak enough to build that fake, to think that the world couldn't survive without X, to put all of that on a child, the child of her hands. And now she'd woken the other hero when there might not have been enough time to finish purging the virus, but Copy-X was already destroying everything so what did it matter?

"I won't tell you that what you did was right, but you managed to wake me up. I'll put a stop to this, don't worry. I won't let your misguided creation kill any more reploids."

"Thank you."

"It won't take long." He patted her on the shoulder.

Then expertly snapped her neck. "Only one city left to go, huh?" He reached out his arm, sending forth his virus into the bodies of the soldiers he'd disabled. "It won't take long at all."

Evil Energy… that Girl Genius crossover plotbunny has fangs, I can tell you. Forget slaver wasps, the spark condition itself reminded me of the maverick virus, and that led to Wily and…

I read a science fiction story many years ago about images that would kill anyone who looked at them because they crashed the human brain, which is a computer after all. While the eye is a direct part of the brain, music can get at our neurons even more deeply and is harder to block out. Also, it's thematically appropriate for the Classic series to go out not on a bang but a note.

I've also got a draft of a (much better) Zero infects X in the capsule fic intro in the Notebook Fics that I keep meaning to dig up and complete. It's just that version has one hell of a plot, and I'm a little leery about trying to do longfics lately. I will try to do it justice someday, though.