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Chapter 10


Dreams, Nightmares, and Prophecies


The day or two that followed consisted of planning for a raid on the Maverick HQ. Bass had drawn up a map of the base, and the easiest entrances to the base. "OK," Bass lectured pointing at the map. "There are two entrances that lead more or less directly to Sigma's central lab. Of course, these entrances are rather heavily guarded, but two small strike forces should be able to make it past the resistance."

"Hmm...Makes sense," Mega Man had to admit.

Bass nodded. "Let's all get a good night's sleep. We're gonna need it!"

*************


Zero found himself in some sort of laboratory. A shadowy figure stood before him. By now Zero had recognized him as Dr. Wily, his creator. "Go," the figure said to the red Reploid. "Destroy X! He is my enemy!"

"No!" Zero cried. "I will not destroy my best friend!"

"You must," Wily replied. "I as your creator command you!"

Zero was suddenly angry. "Just because you created me doesn't mean you control my destiny!"

Wily grinned. "Oh, but I do. You'll see. One day you and X will be at each other's throats. I guarantee it!"

"Not if I can help it!" Zero retorted as he leaped as his creator, intending on tackling him and beating the stuffing out of him. He didn't even reach his target before he got caught in an electric field. Pain was coursing though his entire body as he screamed in agony.

"Ahhhh!" Zero cried as he sat straight up in his bed. "Oh, man. A nightmare!" Zero was concerned, though. Those nightmares had stopped occurring when Iris came along. Now what was causing them. "Probably the fact that Wily is actually here. Well, since I'm not gonna get any more sleep tonight; and since the night watchmen aren't expecting to see me out and about (and they happen to be the jumpiest Hunters on the force), I guess I'll see what's on the late night movie.

Zero got out of bed, revealing the sleeveless tee shirt and red boxers he wore to sleep in, and left his bedroom.

***********


Mega Man was running desperately through a strangely familiar metal hallway, though he couldn't identify where he was. He didn't know why he was running--he only knew that whatever it was, it was terrifying him. He rounded a corner and almost ran face first into Bass. "Yahh!" Mega Man screamed just before running down another hallway. He ran a short distance before coming across a small room. Mega Man stopped short and gasped. In this room, tied to the far wall, was none other than Dr. Light himself! "D,d,d,doc!" Mega Man cried as he ran to his creator's aide.

"No, Rock!" Dr. Light cried. "It's a..." Mega Man suddenly felt a sharp pain run from his right shoulder down to his left hip. With a strangled cry, he fell to the ground. "...trap!" Dr. Light finished lamely.

Mega Man painfully looked to see what had cut the huge gash in his chest and stared in shock. His attacker wore scarlet and white armor, had blonde hair that went down to his knees, and held up a sword like one would see on "Star Wars." "Z,Z,Z,Zero?" he muttered in surprise. Zero seemed to disappear as Bass rounded the hallway, followed closely by Protoman. "Bro!" Mega Man called out. "Help me!"

Protoman gave Mega Man a strange look. "Why should I help you?" he asked mockingly. "I've decided that Bass is more my type, so I'm helping him defeat you once and for all!"

Mega Man said nothing as the news sunk in. Then he screamed in pain as huge beams of plasma ripped through his body.

***********


Hadrian awoke with a start. How could he do otherwise with the scream that erupted from the bed next to his. "Oh, man," he mumbled. As he stumbled out of his bed. Mumbling profanities under his breath, Hadrian stumbled over to his brothers's guest bed. He almost tripped over Rush, who was going slightly crazy with his master screaming like that. Hade started shaking his brother violently. "C'mon Rocky, wake up!" When that failed to produce results, he slapped him hard across the face. "WAKE UP!"

Rock's eyes shot open and he punched his assailant right in the face. Hadrian stumbled backwards and landed right on Rush. Mega Man was fully awake now and he realized just what he did. "Oh, man--I did it again!" Rock looked down and saw the rather comical sight of his brother splattered across the floor with Rush's front end sticking out from under his right side, and his bottom half protruding from under his left. "Uh, sorry, bro," Rock muttered apologetically.

Hadrian slowly lifted himself from off the dog. "What made you do that!?" he practically screamed.

"Hey," Rock said defensively, "You woke me up from a nightmare!"

"No kidding. You could wake the dead with that scream of yours!" Hadrian stopped. "Is it just me, or do you seem to have nightmares pretty often?"

Rock sighed. "It's definitely not just you. And all my nightmares seem to be about you destroying me."

Hadrian made a show of yawning and stretching. "Oh, well. No harm done. Good night, Rocky."

Rock was glad that Hadrian was pretending that the entire exchange didn't happen. He was about to go back to sleep when he noticed something. "You wear that to bed even!?" he asked in shock.

Hadrian knew he was talking about his characteristic yellow scarf. "Of course," he replied with that grin of his.

****************


X found himself in that same dark hallway, and in the distance he heard the familiar sound of a battle taking place. "Oh, no!" he yelled into the air. "I've already seen a friend of mine die once in this dream! I'm not gonna go through that again!"

Since X wouldn't go himself, his dream took them there automatically. This time Mega Man wasn't battling with Bass, rather with Zero. "Huh?!" X cried in surprise.

The battle played out quite similarly to the way it did before, with a few obvious changes. Protoman arrived, just as before...but this time, Zero got away before he could do anything to him. When the sequence finally played out, the place completely faded out, just as before. "Well, Rocky," a familiar voice said behind him. "Whaddya think of this little setup?"

X spun around to face a ghostly figure that resembled Protoman. "What did you call me?" he asked in surprise.

Protoman grinned. "Well, that's who you are! Ya might not remember it, but you are my little bro. Gee you've gotten big!" Silence prevailed for a second, then Protoman became all business. "I assume that the Doc had already appeared to ya."

"Yeah, he has," X answered.

"And I assume that he's told you about the danger approaching."

"Yes..."

"Good! That makes my job easier. Doc Cain seems to think that the past is safe because of that temporal whatsit that surrounds us 'bots from the past. To some extent, he's correct, but if you don't fix the problem soon, then we might all be 'erased' from time."

"Hadrian," X said hesitantly. "What is it I'm supposed to stop, anyway?"

Protoman smiled, not the cocky grin that he usually flashed, but a sad sort of smile. "Wish I could tell you, but I can't. All I can tell you is that it has something to do with us people from the past. Oh, and don't tell Little Rock about what you see in these dreams."

X rolled his eyes. "Well, duh! I figured that part out already."

Protoman flashed his ever present grin again. "I thought you would. You always were a smart boy. Not as smart as me, of course, but then, who is?"

Protoman disappeared before X could protest, and suddenly X found himself falling...and falling...and falling...

***************


Zero was lounging on the couch thumbing through a TV Guide magazine. Some channel or other was showing back-to-back Terminator that night, but Zero quickly decided against it. Robots out to destroy the Human Race was less science fiction and more fact than his tastes would have allowed. He was interrupted in his "channel surfing" by a loud THUMP from X's room. "Aw, man," Zero muttered as he ran through the door to his friend's personal space. "Now what?"

Zero stopped short just inside the doorway and suddenly had to repress a laugh. There was X, on the floor, completely tangled up in his sheets, trying to get out. "What's this?" Zero asked mockingly. "The great and powerful leader of the Maverick Hunters can't even defeat his own bed sheets?"

X glared at his friend. "Oh, shut up and help me out, will you!?"

Zero did, but he couldn't help but laugh a little at X's plight as he did so. "So, X, wanna watch the late night movie with me? I hear that the Terminator is coming on in a second."

"Ug," X replied as he gave his friend a "thumbs down" at the suggestion. That was one thing he and Zero definitely agreed on.

Suddenly red lights started flashing as an alarm began blaring out the most annoying honking noise either Reploids had ever heard. Iris stormed in the room. Judging from her tousled hair and the slightly glazed look in her eyes, she had just awakened, but she was fully armored. "Guys, we have a problem!"

X pulled a face. "Problems shmoblems! We always have problems at this place."

Zero glared at X for a second and asked, "What is it, Iris?"

"The Mavericks found where we are hiding a good portion of New York's population! There's an army of 'em there as we speak!"

Zero chose this time to start cursing.