Disclaimer: Megaman is the property of Capcom and Kenji Inafune.
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We interrupt our regular music programming for our hourly news. It is April 21st of the year 2393. It's a beautiful Sunday morning and what a nice day to admire our Lord Serpent. Lord Serpent is scheduled for a press conference today at the new Serpent Carnival where he shall officially open the carnival to...
"Such an annoyance," Aile switched the radio of the music player off.
The buzzing and the general static caused from interference with the radio signal stopped. The signal this far away from the city was not expected to be crisp anyway. That only left the almost trance-like hum of the motorcycle engine.
The trees that constitute the forest blend into lines of green as the immense speeds. The tires clip a puddle of mud, sending a spray into the bushes. She tried her best to grip and control the handles. The roughness of the dirt track made a very bumpy ride, a far cry from the smooth cruising of the asphalt of the city.
She took a quick glance on the upper portions of the visor of the helmet. A small screen gave vision of the immediate area behind her. She saw nothing but a dirt path, trees and rocks. She grinned confidently as she relaxed the throttle slightly.
Suddenly, the roar of another motorcycle leaped from the bushes, landing alongside her bike. The birds chirped wildly as they flew off, panicked. The other rider laughed with a farewell remark, "See you at the finish!"
Aile did not have a chance to take in what had happened before the rival motorcyclist sped far ahead of her. The back wheel of the opposing bike dipped into a mud puddle. Mud slushed upwards at exactly around the height of her head. She reeled backwards momentarily as a few blotches obscured her vision through her visor.
Cursing in her mind, she took her left off the handle to attempt to clean the smudge as quickly as possible. She had wasted enough time already. It was certain, at this rate there was little chance she could catch up. There was a glimmer of hope though, as her mind quickly hatched something devious or brilliant up.
If the other rider had used a short cut through the woods, so could she. Anger and frustration turned into a grin as she finalized what she would do in her visualization. A sharp 90 degree turn left narrowly missed colliding with a tree trunk. She was certain of her victory now. Only a steep climb up the mountain side awaited and the clearing designated as the finish line.
"Is this thing on?" A man stood at a podium as he gently spoke into it and tapped into the microphone that was strapped to a stand on the podium.
Feedback from the speakers and hearing his own voice did indeed confirm that the microphone was functioning well.
The man smiled cheekily to himself after the slightly embarrassing moment. He looked down at himself. Was he dressed for the occasion? For a leader, a suit should be suitable for almost all occasions. Not too modest, not too regal for a public image.
Gazing around, many members of the press and reporters constituted the first row of people directly in front of him below the stage. All held a microphone or a recording device of some kind and looked eager to record any word said. Their trusty assistants, the hovering cameras were not far. However, they showed little modesty in their invasion of personal space as a few zoomed a little too close for comfort. The cameras were only mechanical devices programmed with AI, as opposed to the reploid counterparts that were the reporters.
Behind him, many fairground rides awaited. Workers and staff scurried around either in panic or excitement and hopefully get everything running on schedule safely. Carnival music started to play for brief moments over the loudspeakers as they started to test the PA system.
After the first row of reporters was a significantly large crowd of children and the parents who accompanied them. Many were jumping about and screaming in anxiety and excitement as the kids slowly saw the playground come to life. In sequence, it became increasingly more difficult to control them.
"Lord Serpent, are you ready?" An assistant whispered into his ear, "We're ready to start as soon as you are."
Seeing the impatient children, Serpent gave a nod and cleared his throat at the microphone.
The crowd fell silent, save for the children who continued to moan even after being hushed.
"Ladies and gentlemen, and children of course." Serpent started his speech. "I better not keep the children waiting for too long. It is my absolute honour to officially open this theme park today, Serpent Carnival. I wanted to name it something else, but public opinion constantly insisted that it be named after me, since it was Serpent Inc. that provided most of the funding that made this possible. Serpent Inc. has dedicated this to all the lives lost and the sorrow of the families caused by the maverick attacks. This carnival will be somewhere your children can play safely. All I require is your support so we may prevent more lives from being lost. Without further ado, I hereby declare..."
A roar of a motorcycle stopped Serpent's speech right before the end.
"This is not good..." Aile attempted to hold on tightly as her bike burst through the bushes and smashed through a fence. She had a moment to take in her surroundings, "Where's the forest? A carnival? I don't remember a carnival being here!"
Before she knew it, she was headed straight for a collision course with a crowd of people. The crowd began to quickly diverge as panicked fathers and mothers picked up their toddlers and pulled other youngsters out of the way.
She pulled as hard as she could on the brakes. The manufacturer boasted short stopping distances, but the force of the deceleration was far from enough. She was still moving at considerable speed when the bike had no more room to brake. The bike crashed front-tire first and catapulted the girl upwards at a high angle.
Aile flew up a meter or two and landed with a loud thud next to the podium on the stage. The crowd stared at her while she lay there eagle-spread on her back. She remained there for many long seconds as she panted heavily and tried to process what had happened.
When clear thought returned and her body started to respond, oddly enough, her first thought in order was to remove the blue helmet on her head. At that exact moment, an urge constantly nagged at her that the helmet was very uncomfortable and it needed to be removed immediately. It had served its purpose anyway.
With great effort, she tried her best to sit up. Her hands quickly ripped the helmet off and dropped it alongside her. Her tense mind started to finally relax as she took a deep breath of unobstructed air. The crowd gave a sigh of relief as they saw her move and not fatally injured.
"Are you al right, young woman?" Serpent kneeled down to offer a generous hand of aid to the girl.
"I'm... I'm fine." Aile attempted to respond with her shell shocked state, not noticing the hand offered.
"Should I call a medical team?" He said again, and waved the hand in front of her face to remind her of the presence of the helping hand, if she did not notice it.
"I said I'm fine," Aile dismissed the offer of help as she gripped the man's hand.
A chill ran down Serpent's spine as soon as they made contact. Typically it would be abnormal for someone to have a reaction like that from just touching their hand. Perhaps it reminded him of...
"Mister, are you al right?" Aile asked, seeing the man space out. "I'm the one who had a motorcycle crash here, not you."
"Hmm... Perhaps you are..." Serpent continued to stare blankly.
"Perhaps I what?" Aile did not understand where the man was going. Let alone a statement from a man who looked like his consciousness was on another planet. "Name's Aile, if you were wondering who I am."
"Aile, I see." Serpent felt his mind return to himself. He pulled and helped Aile off the flooring of the stage, which was long overdue. He tried to calmly say, "I'm sure you know who I am."
"Mr. Almighty Lord Serpent." Aile responded with a mocking tone. "Great Protector of..."
"There's no need to address me with so many titles." Serpent chuckled, "You seem to have a strong personality. Most women would faint this close to my presence."
"I won't. I'm far from being an admirer," Aile said.
"That's fine," he responded. "Now where was I? Since you're fine, I'm afraid I have to do this."
"Do what?" Aile did not time to properly answer before he felt a pair of hands grip and pull hers behind her back.
"I don't want to do this either. Arresting juveniles feels so wrong." A police officer said with a muffled voice, due to his helmet. He handcuffed her hands, completing the arrest. "You're under arrest for... I guess that goes under public disturbance. You could've injured someone."
"You can't arrest me like this!" Aile shouted, "What have I done wrong!"
"Don't worry," Serpent assured her. "If you aren't a repeat offender, sentences on juveniles are usually very light."
The ground started to shake. More and more started to flee as each of them saw the incoming menace. A huge machine slithered it's way through the opening at the destroyed fence. Shaped like a snake, it effortlessly bore through a building as it headed for the highest concentration of people, the stage.
Realizing that the snake-like machine was headed straight for them, all of the crowd and the reporters fled in different directions attempting to get far away from the danger as quickly as possible.
"What is it?" A police officer asked another officer closest to him.
"Don't ask me! If it's not a reploid then it's a maverick! Just shoot it!" The officer responded, drawing his rifle.
Aile was ignored as the police officer detaining her released his grip. Unknowingly, he pushed her in an attempt to get her to flee along with the crowd. With her hands tied though, she quickly lost balance and fell again on the stage.
Serpent drew his own pistol and fired at the mechaniloid. Perhaps a few more shots could make the difference?
It seemed futile though. The small-arms fire effortlessly bounced off what now seemed to be impenetrable armour, even at the head.
The assistant pulled gently on Serpent's coat, afraid of raising his own voice or any form of retaliation. He requested, "Lord Serpent? We should retreat, it's getting too dangerous here."
"Humph," Serpent puffed as the notion of retreat was a little hard to swallow for his ego. He reached for Aile, "Come on young girl, you shouldn't be in the path of danger."
The snake machine reared it's head skywards and let out a terrifying scream. The sheer volume of it dazed all of the police and everyone around it. Before anyone could recover, the snake had already readied it's own body as a weapon. The entire upper length of the snake swung down like a hammer and struck cleanly at the middle of the stage.
Not far the the middle, Aile was fortunate enough not to get crushed. However, the force of the smashing force propelled her several meters high and away from the destroyed stage.
The last thing she could remember from that event was the flight through the air, and the cold, hard ground that awaited.