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Chapter 6


Forgotten Memories


"Woah," Mega Man gasped. "I thought this neighborhood looked familiar. I guess now I know why!" Mega Man started walking through the main exhibit. Each case contained robots that were sure to be ancient history in this time period, but Mega Man knew them better than he'd have liked. Snake Man. Blizzard Man. Heat Man. Pharaoh Man. They were all here, along with the other Robot Masters Mega Man had defeated. Mega Man stopped in front of a case containing Guts Man and grinned. He remembered the day of the great unveiling. A museum dedicated to all the victories of the city's--possibly even the world's--greatest hero, Mega Man. It had only been--what?--a year and a half ago? "Well, at least by my standards," Mega Man reminded himself with a giggle.

Finally, Mega Man continued on, searching for his new friend. During the search, he couldn't keep another memory from surfacing about this place--one he'd just as soon forget. It was during the seventh "Wily War." Dr. Wily broke in and managed to make off with the model of Guts Man. Using it, he created a new Mega Man Destroyer. Mega Man defeated it only after taking heavy damage. It was a good thing he had the Slash Claw to knock its blocks back at it.

At the end of the main room, Mega Man came across a door that had never been there as far as he knew. The dim light made it difficult for Mega Man to read the inscription on the door, but he managed to make it out anyway. It said, "The Mega Man Memorial Exhibit." That made Mega Man straighten up. Tapping a finger on his chin, Mega Man thought, "If there's any place in this museum that X would most likely go, this is probably it."

Mega Man opened the door and stepped in a room that had even less light than the main exhibit. The only light in the room was coming from the seven glass cases in the room. Mega Man stopped short when he saw what was in the cases. In the center of the room were two large cases, encased in the one to the right, Mega Man saw himself, standing in a battle-ready pose. In the case to the left, Mega Man saw Protoman. Then in various glass cases of various sizes scattered around the room were Rush, Tango, Beat, Roll, and together in one case, Auto and Eddie. Mega Man took his helmet off and ran a hand through his black hair--a human mannerism that was programmed in his personality routines before he even became a Bioroid. "Woah, creepy," he mumbled.

"Hello, Mega Man," a sudden voice came from a far corner of the room.

"Hi, X," Mega Man said as he flipped the light switch next to the door. Light flooded the room and Rock could see X sitting on the far corner of the room with his helmet resting next to him. Mega Man walked over to him, sat down, and put his hand on X's shoulder. "...and call me Rock--all my friends do."

X gave Rock a rather sad smile. "Thanks--Rock." he mumbled.

There was a few seconds of uncomfortable silence before Rock asked, "So...whacha doin' here?"

X looked distant, like he wasn't really listening, but he answered anyway. "This is my little hideout. A place where I can just be by myself." Rock suddenly felt a pang of guilt, like he intruded on something private, but X went on. "The Robot Museum was suffering big time--I guess when a war is goin' on nobody has the time to visit a museum. When I found out that it was going to be torn down, I asked Dr. Cain to buy it for me...He must have known why I wanted it because he bought this place with money that definately could have been used to help the Maverick Hunters. So as I was restoring the place I came across this room. It had been locked up and closed for over thirty years and I wanted to see what was in here. Now, this is where I spend most of my 'alone time.'"

Rock was quiet the entire time X was talking. Finally he asked, "But isn't it creepy. I mean it's like seein' the ghosts of the past. Well, my present, but you know what I mean."

X gave Rock a small grin. "That's why I like it here." Rock couldn't help but give X a strange look. X went on; "When I come here I can almost remember parts of my past. Like a shadow of a memory or something. I hope that maybe one day, I might actually remember my past..." X trailed off.

Rock stood and picked up his helmet. He was intruding on something and felt he should be going. Besides, he hadn't seen Rush in five minutes and he had to check on him and make sure he didn't break an exhibit or something. "I guess you wanna be alone, huh?" Rock asked X. X gave a small nod. As Rock was about to leave, he glanced back at X, who in turn was staring off into space. Again Rock noticed how alike he and X actually looked. Same blue eyes. Same black hair with the same wave. Same untied shoelaces when in street cloths. The only difference between the two of them was the age they appeared to be and the design of their armor. Rock just couldn't leave X looking so depressed. "Well, too bad!" he said with a cheerful grin. "You can't get rid a me that easily. Wily's been trying for years!"

Rock plopped right back on the ground next to X. "I'm gonna tell ya all about myself. Maybe that will stir up some of those memories of yours."

X leaned back against the wall, closed his eyes and said, "I think I'd like that."

Rock slapped X on the back as he exclaimed, "Good! Now where to begin...I guess the beginning is as good as anything. I was built in the year 20XX and I wasn't a warrior. Not even close! I was a mechanic....."

Rock told his story for what must have been hours. He just finished telling X about the fifth Wily War and was just about to start in on the sixth before he realized that X was asleep. Rock checked his internal clock (Which he remembered to reset to match the time in this period.) and almost gasped. "It's two in the morning! And even Reploids and Bioroids need their sleep..." Rock fell to sleep almost before he finished the statement.

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

X found himself walking down a pitch black corridor. "Wha...Where am I?" he asked himself. Then suddenly the inky blackness came to focus as a metal hallway. "Huh? Where's this!?" X exclaimed. Then he saw the symbol. Etched on the wall was a stylized "W." "Hey! I know that symbol. That 'W' means that this place belongs to the infamous Dr. Wily!"

Then a strange noise met X's ears. "Hey!" he exclaimed. Then he ran in the direction he heard the sound. "Ohh, man! I know the sound of plasma cannons firing when I hear it! There must be trouble!"

X turned a corner and stopped short. In front of him, was Mega Man, battling what must have been Bass. And he was losing. "Hold on, Rock!" X shouted. He tried to form an Arm Cannon, but nothing happened. "What the...!?" And that wasn't all. Bass hit Mega Man with another shot that sent him hurtling through the air. X tried to catch his new friend, but Mega Man passed right through him. X was beginning to get really frustrated. "Aw, man! It's like I'm not even here!"

Before X could realize the significance of this, Bass broke into his thoughts. "Well, Mega Man. Are ya ready ta quit yet?"

Mega Man struggled to stand and gave Bass the best grin he could. It wasn't much. Mega Man was bleeding heavily, and he was cut, battered, and charred in too many places to count. "Don't know.....the meaning.....of the .......word." he answered in defiance.

Bass grinned wider. "Have it your way!"

X wasn't sure what happened then, but all he could see was a bright purple light. "NOOOOOO!" he screamed as he covered his eyes. When X could see again, Bass was leaning against the wall, arms folded, as he gave Rock a smug grin. Mega Man just stood there for a moment, giving Bass a look of complete shock. Then, he just toppled over. He didn't get up. X couldn't believe his eyes.

"Rock! No!" The sudden voice came from behind X. When he spun around, he saw Protoman. Protoman was looking at Mega Man, then he turned his attention on Bass. X never saw so much hate and anguish in one face before. "You killed him." Protoman said softly. Then he said again in a louder tone, "YOU KILLED HIM!!!" Then with a primal screech of rage, Protoman was on Bass. The ferocity that Protoman fought was unreal. Bass didn't stand a chance.

Once Protoman finished, a small groan came from the still form of Mega Man. "Rock!" Protoman shouted. He was across the room and had his helmet off in less than a second.

"H,H,H,Hadrian...?" Mega Man whispered.

"Yeah, Rocky. It's me."

A small smile played on Mega Man's lips. "I f,f,forgot ta...duck."

"Don't worry, Rock. You're gonna be okay."

"Not....this time. Say good bye to.....Doc....tor....Light for me."

Protoman was obviously breaking down. "Don't talk that way! I'll take ya back to Dr. Light and he'll have you all fixed up in no time! You'll see..."

Rock shook his head, then whispered, "Good bye, Hadrian..." Then he closed his eyes.

Protoman was openly crying now, even though as a robot he couldn't shed any tears. "Rock....Rock! Oh, no.....no.....no....."

The scene then shifted back to darkness, leaving behind a very emotionally stunned Mega Man X. "That was a scene from the past, X. Your past."

X spun to face the one who addressed him. To his surprise, it was a ghostly blue image of a white haired, bearded man in a lab coat. "Dr. Light?" he asked in disbelief.

Dr. Light grinned. "Yes, X. It's me. I have come to help you. A great evil is here, and events are happening to change history. You must stop this from happening, or none of us will survive!"

"What? What must I stop?" X asked.

Dr. Light gave X a wistful look. "I can't tell you right now, but beware...."

Dr. Light began to disappear, and now X was on the verge of hysteria. "Dr. Light? No don't leave me yet! Nooooooooo!"

X awoke with a start. It took him a second to recognize his surroundings. He was in the Robot Museum; right where he was supposed to be. He glanced to his right and found Rock fast asleep against his shoulder. "Good night Rock." X said as the terror of his dream faded. Then he fell into a dreamless sleep.