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Crashman X

Chapter 3: Questions

On the way to the maverick hunter HQ, Storm Eagle informed me of what had happened during the past years. Apparently, a new type of robot had been invented, called a reploid. These reploids had no primary directive, and therefore could do as they pleased. As he spoke of this, I began to think about my brothers and I. We had been created for the dispatchment of Megaman. But some of us, like Ballade and Sunstar, chose to aid Megaman in one way or another. I was going towards the maverick hunter HQ to become one, but how did I know that wasn't just a step towards finding the final creation of Dr. Light?

He also informed me on mavericks. Mavericks were reploids with errors, beliefs, or decisions that have put humanity at risk. It is a maverick hunter's duty to seize and contain mavericks. Hearing him discuss these duties, maintaining the peace, made me rethink becoming a maverick hunter. They were based around protection, when all I've known is destruction. How could I protect the humans the hunters were sworn to? The only reason Storm Eagle wanted me to be a hunter was because I took down Libra Frost. Nothing had changed. They didn't expect a hero. They expected a weapon.

Eventually, we reached the maverick hunter HQ. Inside, I saw reploids leading other reploids away. The ones being led away were in chains, so I assumed they were mavericks. They didn't look very threatening, even disregarding Libra Frost. Some reploids, I assumed hunters, were talking. Some looked humanoid, but others looked like various animals, just like Storm Eagle. There was a mandrill speaking to an armadillo, as well as an octopus speaking to a blue humanoid reploid. At first, I thought it was Megaman, with similar designs and all. Then I realized there were some differences between the two. This reploid looked more mature with more armor, and he had a red gem on his helmet.

The blue reploid looked over at Storm Eagle and, with a surprised look on his face, walked over to him. "Storm Eagle!" He said in a confused voice. "You survived the zodiac maverick!? Commander Sigma told us that he wasn't sure you'd make it back in one piece." He looked over at me. "And who's this guy?"

Storm Eagle chuckled. "This guy is the reason I'm alive." He said. "He defeated Libra Frost before I even got to the location."

All conversations stopped. Even the mavericks turned and looked over at me. Everybody was just staring with wide eyes at this tiny red robot that had apparently slain a maverick the size of a small house.

"This is-" Storm Eagle paused. Then he looked over at me. "Actually, I never got your name. What is it?"

"My name is Crash-"I began, then stopped. A name like Crashman wasn't really something they'd accept. I didn't know if any of them knew about Dr. Wily, and I wasn't about to raise any eyebrows. Metaphorically, since most of these guys didn't have them. "Just Crash."

"Crash here took down Libra Frost in one shot. He has some kind of drill-mine thing that completely obliterated Libra Frost in one hit!"

"Is that so?"

I looked up to see a red reploid approaching us. He had a long blonde ponytail, red and white armor, and a green gem on his helmet. Something about him didn't feel right, like I had seen him before. "Hey. My name's Zero." He spoke. At the mention of his name, my memory circuits started short circuiting, as if they were trying to dig up a submerged memory. I looked around and felt my visual scan of the room become blurry, and eventually, I shut down.

Robots don't usually dream. If we do, we all see Sheepman for some reason. In this dream, however, I was standing in the ruins of a city. I looked around and saw some fires burning around me, each of which had a symbol burning above it. Zodiac symbols. One wasn't burning however, and that was the Libra symbol, obviously because I had slain Libra Frost. I looked up and saw a giant stereotypical menacing shadow hanging above me, with stereotypical glowing red eyes and a dark demonic voice.

"You may have slain the golem, but my sentries still stand at the ready. Now, you have sparked my interest. I will make sure you are dealt with. You may think you know who I am, but your thoughts can and will deceive you. You will know my name only when it is too late for you to do anything about it. You will eventually come to a small town. You will meet many people here, one of which you know everything, and yet nothing about. It is here that the next zodiac maverick will appear, and dig your grave in jagged flames. I cannot tell you more, except for good luck, and prepare to die…"

I awoke in what appeared to be a mechanic's office. I looked around me and saw other maverick hunters getting repairs. A penguin's back was being repaired of some slight armor breaches, and a mammoth's trunk was being attached. I saw that Storm Eagle and Zero were both talking, along with the blue reploid. He looked over and saw that I was apparently awake. "Hey. He's up." He said casually, like I had just been resting.

"Hey." Storm Eagle asked. "What happened back there? You just collapsed out of nowhere. We checked in with a mechanic, and they said your energy supply, while primitive, was still full and functional. Needless to say, we made a few adjustments to your system, physically and internally. You are now on par with us. Speaking of which, when were you built? You looked very out of date."

"The year-"I couldn't remember the exact year. "20XX"

"That's almost 100 years ago, even with rusty details. Who built you?"

"Well-"

"So, this is the zodiac maverick slayer I've heard so much about."

I looked up and saw a green bulky robot with blank blue eyes and a stern face walk towards me. He looked down upon me and spoke in a deep, stern voice. "So, you're this Crash I've been hearing about?"

"Uh, yeah?" I responded.

He took one hard look at me. "No." He said. "There is no way someone like you could've taken down a zodiac maverick."

"Commander Sigma," Storm Eagle attempted to reason. "I saw him do it with my own eyes. One shot, and it was down."

"And how do you know that it was only him?" He asked. "How do you know someone else didn't do any of the work, but then fell in battle?"

"There weren't any bodies around the area."

"Obliteration. Have you even seen what the Libra fist is capable of? Have you seen the people disintegrate from it?" Commander Sigma looked at me. "If he really wants to prove himself, he should take down another zodiac maverick, as soon as we find one."

"A small mining town." I blurted out.

Everyone looked at me. "How do you know that?" The blue reploid asked.

"I-uh…"

"That would make sense." Storm Eagle stated. "Toxix did go to a small mining town to research some metals there. A zodiac maverick could easily go there and assassinate him. He's unguarded. We attempted to send some help, but he said that the eldest reploid there is a very powerful warrior."

"Uh, yeah!" I said. "That's why I knew. I heard some guys talking and assumed that it would be an probable place for an assault."

"He's our head researcher." Sigma said. "Storm Eagle, X, you two can sit this one out. Zero, go with this ancient scrap metal." He glared with me. "I want him to prove himself." He then left. But as he was leaving, he looked back and said, "If there are any casualties, they're on you." He then vanished from the doorway.

"Well, he seems pleasant." I said.

"Commander Sigma can be a bit cold…" The blue reploid, I assumed X, explained. "After a while…he is a bit less cold…"

"Oh joy."

"Well, you heard him" Storm Eagle stated. "You and Zero head to that mining town. But be warned."

He began to walk out the door, but turned around. "The reploid in that town. He will not hesitate to kill you if you get in his way."