Wait, I can explain! Laryna6 and I were looking some things up for Recovery, and I brought up that Rock doesn't know that Protoman is his older brother in Capcom canon. Which is absolutely unbelievable, right? Maybe he's gullible like Dr. Light is. Anyway, if you go to Protoman's page on the wikia and look at his info from "Rockman Battle & Fighters", it says in there that Rock doesn't know. Well, it's in Japanese. I translated part of it, but I had to ask a fluent friend about some things in the first sentence especially. It's all in hiragana, so that made it more difficult.
Anyway, it roughly says, "The prototype robot, although Rockman is unaware, is his older brother. He loves solitude and acts upon his own beliefs." So after all this time, and this is a long time, Rock still somehow doesn't know. He doesn't know in the manga, either. None of them put two-and-two together and really, they come off as adorably dense.
Either way, this story isn't what we'd consider an interpretation of exactly what's going on in canon. Interpretation plus artistic license: no point in fan fiction if you don't deviate from the official story. I sort of feel like, for Mega Man fanfiction, if you don't write the robots as robots, and I mean that if a human with an arm cannon equivalent could take Rock's place, or anyone's place, then the story is rather boring. I like xenofiction and I think that their mentality would be different from a human's. They'd still be people, certainly, still capable of a broad range of emotions, but how and why they manifest, what triggers them, what they consider acceptable/appropriate, and how their social structure is set up should differ from humanity.
This was also partially inspired by the release of Gigamix 2. Blues looks dapper, I'm not even kidding. He's dressed nicely and I'm like, "Kiddo, you live in a warehouse, where are you going that you're dressed so nicely?" ::pats Blues::
Part of this premise was jossed by Gigamix 2. One concept that we've played with was that Drs. Light and Wily weren't actually intending to make a sentient robot, that it was an unforeseen result in their research. Gigamix 2 spells it out clearly that the sentience was the aim.
This is yet another collaboration between Laryna6 and HarunaRei. We don't own Rockman or any of the trademarked or registered characters. If we did, then Legends wouldn't have been canceled.
This was the ninth time Rock found himself running through a skull fortress. Each one was a little bit different, each one a bit more detailed, a bit more elaborate, a bit more confusing than the last. Rock wondered if Wily was the one who did each redesign, or if one of his robot masters was delegated to the task. Wily must have his hands full with building new robot masters for each war.
Rock didn't think that people really understood how much time and effort had to go into making one, especially for someone like Wily who couldn't go through legitimate channels for parts. That was why Wilybots were robbing places so often. If it wasn't for Wily's newest project, it was for their own upkeep, their own maintenance. They didn't have the three laws but even if they had, Rock wasn't sure that would stop them. Especially if no humans were being harmed in the process. Though the second law would be harder to get around if there were humans there for it.
If there weren't? If it was getting the parts or dying? Third law precedence, no contest.
It made Rock immensely grateful that Dr. Light was there and could look after them, that there was no shortage of parts or materials when something did go awry. Because stealing was stealing, no matter how justified it may have seemed. It was still wrong.
He never wanted to have to be wrong in order to survive.
But now there was a government-imposed upper age limit for robot masters manufactured after a certain date. He, Roll, and his oldest brothers were unaffected; only the newest line was being executed, but…
It made Rock wonder about what robot masters meant to humans. About what he meant to humans. Were they really disposable, the same as a dishwasher? A toaster? He knew Dr. Light never would, but if robot masters ever were approved for private ownership, would he have cousins who were thrown away because their owners became bored with them? Even though they were people, too?
The ones that rebelled this time were Dr. Light's robots, were all his creations, and he was being held accountable for their actions. Even now that they'd found it was Dr. Wily who encouraged them to revolt, they were slow to release Dr. Light.
Rock didn't know how he felt about all this. His siblings weren't wrong. They wanted to live, wanted to be of use, the same way he did. The same way any robot master would. There was nothing wrong with them, there was no reason they couldn't have upgrades, but instead, the human government condemned them to death. It was so wrong, so twisted, so illogical. Rock couldn't comprehend their reasoning. No matter what conditions he attributed to the decision-making process, nothing he was calculating could possibly lead to this. So how had the humans come to this conclusion?
At least when his brothers had been condemned, it was because they had actually hurt people, and the government changed their mind when they didn't want to work with Wily again and it was obvious that it hadn't been their fault. Dr. Light explained about elections and politics, that these weren't the same people in power now, but it felt so unfair. Why did he have to do this all over again?
Still, they'd been spared last time, once they were rescued, so he just had to hope that it would happen again.
Rock was still angry with Wily. He'd put everyone in danger so many times. But, this time, like when he'd sent some of his robot masters to rescue Rock's brothers from the place they were sent to be destroyed, he may have just saved their lives. They had a chance now, these brothers and this sister, and the ones Dr. Light had built after them. Surely the humans would do the right thing again.
But now Dr. Light was in trouble again, was kidnapped again, and it made Rock think of when the Darkmen kidnapped him while posing as Blues. Or the time when he was arrested when the copy of Rock was rampaging. Rock had something of a sick feeling blooming inside him despite not having a stomach or really the ability to feel truly nauseous. He could feel an emotional sickness, though, and by now he could recognize it. Anxiety, unease, trepidation. He needed to move faster, get there faster, even though there were robots positioned everywhere to slow him down, trying to impede his progress.
He hated having to fight, hated having to hurt to get people to stop doing this. It wasn't even the robots' fault and he knew they were just doing their jobs, but he still felt bad. Even though stopping them was his job right now.
And oh, the door into Wily's room was right ahead. It was a bit of a relief, even though Rock knew that the crazed doctor would have some kind of a ridiculously overpowered machine in there, a final push against Rock. No matter how many times Wily was defeated, no matter how many times he was put into jail, he always seemed able to escape (usually with the aid of his robot masters), always with another trick up his sleeve, another trap.
Why couldn't he just admit defeat and stop?
Now that he was here, he could try asking, one more time, try pleading, try reasoning with him. Dr. Wily was more lucid some days than others, but if he'd just listen…
Oh, dear. It was the happy, cackling Wily. The 'I've got a secret,' one. This was never good.
But at least he'd told Rock where Dr. Light was being kept.
Rock was startled when another Wilybot showed up then, but it was Blues. Blues attacked him sometimes, but he'd helped save Dr. Light from crashing into the asteroid and he'd saved Roll and Kalinka. Of course, the time he'd saved Roll was right after Forte saved Roll and then decided that the Darkmen had the right idea, kidnapping her to get to Rock and so kidnapped her himself. And right after that, Blues had just... torn through a lot of Sniper Joes—he didn't like them because Wily had based them on him, which might be why he was so mean to Rock's copy that time—and made Forte attack Rock, hurting a lot of other people in the process.
Blues was a lot like Wily: Rock was never really sure what he was going to do. He was also even more dangerous than Wily: he'd once attacked Rock's brothers when Rock wasn't there and torn through them just as easily as those Sniper Joes.
But, most of the time, when he did attack Rock he went easy on him, unlike his younger brother Forte, and sometimes he was helpful. Like that time he'd rescued Kalinka.
And he'd saved Dr. Light, and then saved Rock from Gamma. Blues was... erratic, and a lot like Dr. Wily, in that he was brilliant and did some very mean things, but Rock didn't think that he was a bad robot.
Though honestly, trying to understand Blues' motives was like looking at the results of an equation, knowing that there's an underlying order to it, but never being able to figure it out regardless of how many sample "answers" you're given.
It made him feel a bit bad; a robot master like him shouldn't have trouble putting two-and-two together.
Either way, Blues never appeared before Rock working in tandem with Wily; Wily's schemes usually disagreed with Blues' beliefs, went against what he considered to be decent.
If he was here, it was probably to support Rock, and that made him feel better. It wasn't fun to have to go through this alone every time. Blues' presence, knowing he was watching over him, knowing he was looking to help him really helped Rock. Even if he was only there in spirit, even if he was always watching from behind, it was something.
It felt nostalgic, like when he'd just been a new lab assistant, and Dr. Light had been watching over him.
There was a lot about Blues that felt nostalgic. That clicked. They way they fought: Rock supposed that he reflected Blues' fighting style by now since he was the one that trained him, but it worked really well against the Wilybots. Even the other Wilybots were wary of Blues, didn't quite trust him, but Rock did. Every time, what Blues did turned out for the best. Even if what he was doing at the moment seemed wrong—like holding his buster to Kalinka's head—in hindsight, it made a certain amount of sense. She and Dr. Cossack were standing right there, in the midst of the fighting. If a stray shot hit either one of them? Humans couldn't be repaired, not from something like that. Everyone had to calm down then (first law precedence) and from there, the fighting was contained. At least until the copy engaged Forte, but they were far, far away from the Cossacks by then.
Rock just wished that Blues took the time to justify himself to others rather than just leaving and letting everyone not trust him. That had to hurt, even if he acted like it didn't.
Like, right now, Blues was probably right that Dr. Light wasn't in the room. Dr. Wily was obviously in a gloating mood even though he'd just lost, and Blues always knew these things.
Still, Rock had to go check, because if Blues was wrong? If something happened to Rock's family?
He couldn't take that risk.
Dr. Wily cackled. "You aren't going to take your brother's word for it, are you? Not when Dr. Light just stood there and watched him die..." That was all Wily said, because Blues backhanded him.
The crack of Blues' gloved hand on his face was louder than it should have been.
Rock shot at Wily before, but that was because his machines always had shields, so it was safe. He also knew that Blues didn't mind physical violence: he'd kicked the Darkmen's heads off, Cut had said, the night Forte and Blues met.
Rock froze then, eyes widening. Blues backhanding Wily, even a robot replica, should have shocked Rock, but the old scientist's words rocked him much harder. "…Brother?" That single word was all that Rock really registered, his systems screeching to a halt. Blues was a Wilybot, so why was Wily…
Dr. Light watched him die? Blue eyes wide, Rock's gaze went from Dr. Wily to Blues. Blues backhanded him. To make Wily stop talking. So Wily was telling the truth? But then…
"Oh come now, this can't possibly be a surprise to you—seriously? Seriously!" Wily's incredulous surprise was replaced by near-outrage, but he didn't say anything more. He was laughing too hard.
Blues just looked at him, and it was hard to tell with those shades (it was hard to see any of his face at all), but Rock thought he was glaring.
The slap was less of a surprise: Dr. Wily was basically hysterical, and Rock had heard of slapping people when the were hysterical, to get them to calm down.
Or perhaps it was that he'd already seen Blues hit him once.
"But... I thought you were a Wilybot." He'd come to attack him with Wily's third series. "Shadowman was surprised when you betrayed Wily," but, Rock realized, hadn't there maybe been some element there, some hint that Shadowman wasn't entirely surprised? Elecman and Iceman had betrayed Wily before: had Shadowman suspected that Blues would betray him because he was a Lightbot?
And the way that Blues had been distracted, during their fight, when Dr. Light's face had appeared on that screen?
Rock looked between Wily and Blues again, his shoulders slumping. "But…why didn't you…" Why didn't you ever tell me? All these years, and you were family, and you never said a thing? Was he upset with them somehow, was that why? Had Rock done something?
Or had Dr. Light? Wily said Dr. Light watched him die, but Dr. Light wouldn't…his father wasn't like that. Rock's eyes were wide, confused, and pleading. Why? Why did he have to find out this way? Why hadn't Blues told him? Why hadn't Blues trusted him?
"Why didn't you? I thought you'd known for years," Dr. Wily told Rock. "It's curious that you don't... Did you tamper with his memory? Or did Dr. Light? After all, anyone who has studied the history of robotics would know about Protoman. The original robot master, that got extra credit on the Turing test by convincing the examiner that they were a computer—Dr. Light was speechless when he found out that you'd gone online and read XKCD." Dr. Wily started laughing again, almost doubled over, and normally, Rock would have been concerned, because that couldn't possibly be good for him.
All Rock could do was look to Blues, at a loss for words. He'd…it was true that Blues always acted as the senior unit, but Rock didn't think in terms of activation time and Blues' AI was clearly set to be older than his own. Blues was being helpful, wanting to mentor, and Rock needed the help. So the way their relationship evolved never seemed odd to Rock, even though logically, Rock should have been the older unit.
But no, Blues was actually older and more experienced, and not just in combat. In everything.
And Dr. Light never mentioned anything either. Did Roll know? Did his other brothers? Had the Wilybots? Was Rock really the last to know?
"The one Dr. Light didn't program with the three laws because he never thought it would be truly sentient," Dr. Wily continued. "The one..." He just laughed in the face of Blues' buster. "If you shoot me, you'll die. Permanently, this time."
"And the blast from your replacement generator will take you with me," Blues said evenly. "Because you couldn't remove them from me. So much for the genius greater than Dr. Light."
"Please, wait!" No! He didn't want Blues to get hurt, even if Dr. Wily was just taunting. He could tell his, his older brother (his only older brother!) was angry, angrier than Rock had ever seen him. He was still calm, collected, his voice was still even, but he'd learned to read Blues to some extent over the years.
He was furious.
Rock stepped forward, then again. One arm reaching up, plaintive, pleading, toward Blues even though he was clear across the room.
Wily only grinned all the broader, "And then your little brother will be caught up in the blast."
"He's armored: you aren't." Human.
"Not against a nuclear blast." Child.
Rock could only look between the two, nervous, still approaching, albeit slowly.
Blues' lips curled upward. It couldn't really be called a smile. "And who says that isn't a bonus? You're the one that just pointed out why I would want Dr. Light to suffer?"
"Because you're one to go out of your way to help, to groom someone to defend themselves, to protect them just so you can blow them up in the end." Please. Look at how much you're upsetting him with such cutting words.
Blues' smirk only deepened as the room the fake Dr. Light had been in exploded.
Because that was the idea.
Rock cried out, eyes wide because what if Dr. Light had really been in there? He ran into the room, he had to go and see because what if Dr. Light had been in there?
And Blues was still aiming his buster at Dr. Wily.
And Dr. Wily was seething.
When Rock came back, Dr. Wily was gone, and so was Blues. He hoped they hadn't left together, because Blues had been really angry.
Rock was trembling a bit, and at first he thought it was a malfunction, that perhaps something was knocked loose during one of the fights, but his diagnostics returned that his physical components were functioning.
They returned that his trembling was the consequence of his emotional state. He looked down at his hands in wonder, more than a little confused and even a little frightened. Shaking like a leaf, he'd heard on a TV show. He could easily veto his emotional state, force himself into a calmer mood, but Dr. Light said that that caused a great deal of stress on his systems. The same way repressing hurt humans.
It was strange; he didn't feel like crying, he wasn't sad, not really. He wasn't happy, either. He was...in shock, his scans returned. Shock resulting from emotional stress, from physical stress. He needed to go home and rest. He needed time to process this, but not here. He needed to be somewhere safe. The teleport shields were gone, so he went home.
Dr. Wily really was a genius, inventing something like teleportation. It really had been a privilege to watch him work with Dr. Light that time and think that the fighting would really be over.
Auto was waiting for him at the receiving capsules. He was thankful for that. He knew that Dr. Light would be released from police custody soon, so he let Auto lead him into the lab.
It was rare for Rock to look this upset, though, right after a war. Tired, yes, disappointed in Wily, always, but he looked like he almost wanted to cry. Auto set his jaw in the equivalent of a frown. He led Rock to one of the exam tables and helped him hook up into the computer system so his status could be copied. Auto could help, but Rock was better at spotting problems in his own systems. Now that he was home and he wasn't in a hostile environment, he was able to assess himself more comprehensively. He compiled a list of problems and separated out the ones he could rectify by himself and uploaded what Dr. Light would need to address into the main computer. He could have waited for Dr. Light to get back, but he was just so tired.
He was already lying down and he was plugged into a power source, so his core was humming contentedly. He didn't even try to fight it when he began to nod off.