Hello there folks! I'm Sentinel07, coming to you live with my first foray into the Mega Man series!

For those of you that are here after reading my first fic, Kid Icarus: The Great War, then I'm happy to see you again. For those of you who haven't, it's a pleasure to meet you all. Now, for some details.

Words in italics show a character's thoughts

Words in italics and bold indicated a transmitted voice

Well, I guess I shouldn't beat around the bush too much. This story starts during Mega Man Zero 2, during the Resistance's attack on Neo Arcadia. However, a certain something happens, one that may change history's course. So, how about we get this party started?!

Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Mega Man series. That belongs to Capcom (for better or for worse).

Now then, let's begin!

(BEGIN)

Chapter 1: The Mission that Changed Everything

Times were turbulent in the year 22XX. The discrimination against Reploids, robots designed to be human-like, lead to one war after another. Eventually, some Reploids banded together, forming the Resistance; an organized movement for peace in the world. For the longest time, things were bleak for the Resistance. The forces of Neo Arcadia, a city designed to be a utopia for humans, hunted down the Resistance, labeling them "Mavericks" and condemning them to death.

But one day, a miracle occurred. Ciel, a human girl who lead the Resistance, stumbled upon the lost laboratory that held the worlds' last legendary hero.

His name was Zero.

Backed into a corner, with a help of a friendly Cyber-Elf, Zero was revived after a century of stasis, reawakening to the world at long last. With the help of Ciel, the Resistance, and the memory of his old friend, Mega Man X, Zero toppled Neo Arcadia's tyrannical rule, and brought down Copy X, a replica of the original hero gone rogue.

Following this, Zero wandered alone, looking to rediscover his purpose; his desire for peace that was shared with his life-long friend. Eventually, war broke out again, and Zero rejoined the Resistance, who were once again being persecuted. Overjoyed by this return, Ciel welcomed Zero back, and the Resistance once again became able to fight back. As Zero fought once again, Ciel continued her research for an alternate energy source; one that could potentially save the Reploids from their persecution.

But eventually, the new Resistance leader, Elpizo, staged an operation against Neo Arcadia. Dubbed "Operation Righteous Strike", the Resistance was ordered to attack Neo Arcadia. Alas, the attack disastrously fell short, and the Resistance was now under direct attack.

In one version of this story, Zero and Ciel successfully saved the Resistance from this large-scale attack and went on to accomplish more great things, leading to a new future for Humans and Reploids. This is a new tale. One that depicts another way history may have taken. How does this tale end you ask? Let's find out together, shall we?

Accessing archive data. Dated June 15 ,22XX. Time of recording: 14:23:11.

Begin Transmission.

(LINE BREAK)

"Zero, have you arrived?!"

With the failed direct attempt on Neo Arcadia, it was discovered that a ship carrying a "special bomb" was flying towards the Resistance base. Naturally, then news of this broke out, Zero immediately volunteered to destroy the bomb. However, Ciel convinced him to let her join, claiming that he would need more than brute force to destroy the bomb. Relenting to her demands somewhat, Zero allowed her to, but only by way of a portable Trans Server and once the majority of enemies were destroyed.

"I just landed on the top of the ship. I'm about to make my way inside. Stand by."

Zero did a quick check-through of his weapons; the Z Buster, Z Sabre, Chain Rod, and the Shield Boomerang were all accounted for. Good thing too, because you could never be too careful when dealing with Pantheons and other such robots.

Steeling himself, Zero fought against the high winds, a result of being thousands of feet in the air, finding a nearby ladder to lower himself in. As he climbed down it, he activated his navigation system, searching for the front of the ship.

"All right, I see the ship's bridge."

"How long do you think before you make it?"

Zero gave a quick look around. The hallways were really ordinary, and the ship wasn't too big.

"Give me about a minute."

Suddenly, a dozen or so Pantheons started running down the hallway towards him, some also rising from openings in the walls, all of them activating their buster guns. Zero looked around, pulling out his Z-Saber and lighting it.

"Make that a minute and a half."

The Pantheons began firing rapidly as Zero ended the transmission, flipping as high as he could in the air. Using his free left hand, Zero rapidly shot bullets from the Z-Buster, shooting down two Pantheons through their chests. Landing on the ground, Zero rolled left and right, dodging the enemy bullets, although one grazed his shoulder. Undaunted, Zero charged forward, slashing through the Pantheons and tearing them in two. Pantheons were some of the lowest-ranking soldiers anyway, so they were hardly a match for Zero, even with their immense numbers. Of course, Zero didn't have time to waste every single one of them. As much as he wanted to, the Resistance base wasn't going to survive a long and drown-out fight.

Making sure his navigation system was correct, Zero began running down the hallways, casually shooting down any robots that crossed his path. However, as he navigated downwards, climbing down ladder after ladder, he came across more obstacles.

"Electrical gates."

In front of him stood fields of electricity, forming gates that blocked his path. A clever trick, but Zero had seen this stuff before. The generators were very close by, allowing Zero to easily cut the power with a slash of his sword.

"The power will only be out for a few seconds! Hurry!"

No need to be told twice, Zero jumped between the platforms in the electric field, making it before they began to form again. Once on the other side, Zero found himself another ladder. According to his scanners, this should be the last floor. However, as he got down, more mobile robots that hovered in the air focused their attacks on him. Zero dashed between the walls, performing aerial maneuvers that cut the robots to pieces. The ship's control room was now in sight.

"I'm now on approach."

"I counted two minutes, Zero."

Zero could sense a little giggle behind that comment, but he declined to comment on it. There would be time for conversation once the bomb was diffused. Zero entered the control room, immediately shutting the door as he saw more Pantheons on the approach. Zero then punched the control panel, making sure it stayed locked. It wouldn't be too hard for him to break out. After that, he turned his attention back to the transmission.

"I'm in the control room. I've secured the area as well. Setting transfer coordinates." Zero affirmed on his transmission.

"Transfer coordinates confirmed." replied the Resistance operator. In a few seconds, Zero saw a familiar flash of light as Ciel materialized in front of him, quickly taking a few seconds to observe her surroundings.

"Let's see…the bomb device is…..here!"

Ciel ran over to the control room panel, accessing the computer as she worked her magic on the bomb controls.

"Can you release the bomb?" asked Zero. Ciel nodded, although she didn't turn her head.

"I can release it for sure." nodded Ciel. "However, it'll take me some time to get through all the commands. There's quite a lot in here."

Before Zero could confirm that, they both heard banging on the control room door, seeing it begin to dent. Apparently, it wasn't the strongest door.

"Pantheons." spoke Zero as he prepared his sword again. Ciel turned her head back to the bomb controls.

"I'll need some time to release the bomb. Please, cover for me." said Ciel.

"How long?"

"About 90 seconds or so."

That was a considerable amount of time was what Zero thought. However, if it was the only way, he was willing to comply. Just to be sure though, he pocketed his buster and equipped the Shield Boomerang to his left arm. If there were many more Pantheons, he would need its reflecting capabilities. The room was fairly big, probably about 15-20 yards from the door to where Ciel stood. He'd have to use that space wisely.

Just as he thought that, Zero could begin to see Pantheons beginning to come through the door. With that, he began to charge forward, putting himself well between them and Ciel. The Pantheons were beginning to aim even though they were only halfway through. At once, they began firing.

The laser blasts resounded throughout the room as Zero made sure none got through his position. Once he got a good position, Zero thrusted his boomerang, cutting the heads off the robotic beings as they collapsed to the ground. The "dead" bodies began to clog the entryway, making to harder for the remaining robots to make it through.

"All right, that should be….."

"AHHHHH!"

Zero gasped as he heard Ciel cry out, seeing her bracing a bit, still at the controls, a burning spot very close to where her hands were. Zero looked around, eventually seeing a small entry for robots on the ceiling. As much as he wanted to point out the lousy design, he swung the boomerang again, slicing up the robot.

"Are you alright?!" asked Zero. Ciel got back up and nodded, getting back to the controls.

"I'm about halfway done! Just a little more!"

Zero nodded and turned his attention back to the rest of the room. If there was an opening on the ceiling, who knows where others could be. He would have to be vigilant.

BOOM!

His attention was once again brought to the front, where the door had just been blasted open, allowing the still-alive Pantheons to burst through the door. Gritting his teeth, Zero charged forward, eager to end them before they could target Ciel. He immediately sliced open two of them in the middle of the room, using the Shield Boomerang as numerous laser blasts were directed at him. Thankfully, the boomerang's reflecting powers shot back at many of the robots, often hitting them in the chest or head for an instant kill.

Ciel continued to run through the bomb control systems, her brain and fingers operating on overdrive right now. For something from Neo Arcadia, it was pretty complex. However, not much was too complex for Ciel.

"Almost done!"

"Got it."

Zero was as emotionless as ever as he kept going back and forth as the Pantheons continued to enter. Thankfully, as he was deemed the greater threat, most of the Pantheons targeted him alone, while he was able to cut down the few that targeted Ciel. He then ended one other as he crushed one Pantheon against the wall and tossed it at another, destroying them both. Seeing another robot on the other side, he literally threw his Z-Saber, impaling the robot in the head.

"Got it!" Ciel cried as she pressed an enter key on the keyboard.

At once, they both heard and watched as they heard the clamps on the bomb begin to weaken, the bomb slipping through as it began to feel, miles away from the Resistance base and into the middle of nowhere. Both of them gripped the sides of the ship as the explosion rocked it a bit, making them both try to keep their balance. Eventually, the explosion subsided, and the two looked down at their work. Ciel smiled and sighed in relief, looking over at Zero on the other side of the room.

"Phew, we did it!" she smiled. Zero even allowed a small smirk.

"That's good. I don't want to imagine what would happen if we delayed much sooner." said Zero. "Alright Ciel, you go ahead first. I'll catch up later."

"You'll follow behind of course, right?" asked Ciel with a slight hint of worry.

"Of course." Zero replied with assurance.

"Alright, just let me…..wait, do you hear something?" Ciel asked.

Zero looked around, not hearing anything at first. Then, he heard a slight stirring, like a machine running on emergency power or something like that. He looked over all of the dead robots, seeing no such power from them.

"Where could…..?"

But then, on the farther side of the room, Zero saw a faint flash of red coming from a Pantheon had only had its right arm still operational. Zero quickly realized who it was aiming for.

"Ciel! Get away!" Zero yelled as he wiped out his buster and began to fire.

"What?"

SHOOT!

But it was too late, as the half-dead Pantheon shot a single laser blast, one that Zero was too far away to reflect. Ciel quickly turned in the direction of the shot…only for it to hit her dead in the chest.

"AHHHHHHHH!" Ciel cried as the blast knocked her against the computer panel, almost knocking her unconscious as electrical sparks flied everywhere. Zero's buster laser then blasted the remains of the Pantheon, killing it for good. However, he quickly put that aside as he pocketed his buster and ran towards Ciel.

"Ciel!" he cried out.

He allowed himself to gasp a bit as he observed her, laying against the panel. Her chest was incredibly burned, blood beginning to spill on the ground. Zero wasn't stupid; he could tell that this was beyond simply medical care. The laser blast heavily damaged her internal organs. It was a miracle that she wasn't killed immediately.

"Ze….ro." Ciel spat out as small bits of blood coughed out of her mouth. There was no other way. Zero had to get her back post-haste!"

"Operator! Ciel's been critically injured! Teleport us back! NOW!"

"I can't! There's too much interference from the air turbulence. You'll have to escape from the ship and jump back to our own ship before I can transport you!"

Zero gritted his teeth. Why did this have to happen at the worst possible time?

"Ze..ro….go..with…out….me…."

As Ciel choked those words out, flashed rushed through Zero's memory. They were very familiar memories, consisting of a brown-haired girl he once failed to protect. One who died at his hands so long ago.

Zero gritted again. Not this time!

Immediately, Zero scooped the nearly lifeless Ciel in his arms. He rapidly ignited the thrusters in his boots, granting him quicker speed as he began to rush back through the ship. He didn't have the firepower nor the time to make a quicker path for him and Ciel.

As the ship began to wobble in mid-air, Zero encountered little resistance as he jumped from wall to wall, constantly listening to Ciel's heartbeat. It was slow….but still steady. Still, Zero knew that he didn't have hours, he had minutes, and maybe not many of those either. Thankfully, he soon jumped up the final ladder, landing back on top of the ship. As he looked out over the Resistance ship still making its way over, Zero took another look at Ciel; still breathing barely, but now unconscious.

"Just a little more." he grunted. However, he soon heard snapping behind him.

"Where do you think you're going, little Reploid?!" cried a blue, stag beetle-like Reploid who jumped onto the ship. "You may have released the bomb, but we can still destroy your base if I have this ship crash into it directly! Ha ha ha ha!"

Looking straight at Kuwagust Anchus, Zero groaned again. He didn't have time for this. Every second he wasted ticked closer to Ciel's eventual death, and he would have none of them. He had already lost too many to allow another. Still, he had no time to fight, especially with carrying Ciel in both arms.

"Here I come!"

Kuwagust charged at Zero, his pincers snapping as he got closer and closer. Zero was caught between a rock and a hard place right now. If he somehow defeated the Reploid, the ship wouldn't crash into the base, but how could he…..

Suddenly, Zero got a flash of inspiration and awaited the beetle to come closer. Just as it did, Zero activated his boot thrusters again, and jumped backwards.

"Running away?!" laughed the beetle.

"Hardly." spoke Zero. The beetle kept charging, and Zero kept jumping further and further back.

"Your accuracy is rather weak. Your leader must be displeased." smirked Zero. Kuwagust immediately got angrier, roaring as he charged towards Zero.

"Die, along with your friend!"

The beetle Reploid charged again, pincers wide open as Zero awaited near the end of the ship. Making a quick transmission, Zero smirked as the beetle approached.

"DIE!"

"Up we go."

Zero jumped up at the last second, sending Kuwagust stumbling at the edge of the ship, trying to keep his balance. However, Zero fell right behind him, delivering a strong kick to his backside that sent the Reploid hurdling through the skies.

"I WON'T FORGET THIS!"

As the beetle fell to his inevitable crash, Zero jumped on to the Resistance ship. He took another look at Ciel, making him grimace a bit. Her face was gravely pale, and her heartbeat was nearly nonexistent. Blood was still dripping from her incredibly burned chest.

"Transfer us! NOW!" Zero cried.

"Affirmative! No turbulence detected! Transferring in 3…2…1.."

Zero felt himself wisp away along with Ciel, now in a desperate race to save the girl's life.

(END)

Phew, what a first chapter huh? This is where we deviate from the canon story and into our own. Who knows what may happen from here on out. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this and give me your feedback. Love it! Hate it? Despise it? Anything works!

See you all again! Sentinel07, out!