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Chapter 7


Escape


"Sigma, I still don't see why you don't blast that worthless human into a million pieces already!" Doppler said it. He and Sigma were walking down the hall to their personal living quarters after another debate with Dr. Wily.

Sigma didn't give Doppler "the look" like he did any other time Doppler spoke up against him, and that scared Doppler more than anything. "Maybe you're right, Doppler," he said in an "I'm not really listening" tone of voice. "I think that our esteemed guest finally outgrew his usefulness. I will take care of that particular problem tonight!"

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


Meanwhile, Bass was guarding Dr. Light and Roll like he always did. He was sitting in a small chair--leaning back against the wall with his feet resting on another one--and he was doodling on a small pad of paper, probably because he was bored. "Well, well, well," he thought to himself. "I'm glad I finally got around to planting those bugs. This should be an interesting night!" Bass had spent the last few weeks exploring the Maverick base, getting to know every nook and cranny--and planting listening devices tuned into the frequency of the communicator of his helmet. Now they were paying off, letting Bass in on his "benefactors'" plan to destroy Dr. Wily.

For a moment, he was tempted simply to let them have him, but he decided that no one deserved a fate like they undoubtedly had planned. That left the problem with his two prisoners. Neither one of them spoke around him since the day Bass discovered he had feelings for Roll--feelings that he was still trying to cover up--but he could still feel that his feelings were getting stronger. On the other hand, they were friends of Mega Man, his most hated enemy. Finally, he came to a decision. Bass scribbled on his pad for a moment more, tore the paper out, crumpled it into a ball, and tossed it on the floor as he left.

Roll and Dr. Light watched him go. "Now, why do you suppose he just up and left us?" Dr. Light wondered aloud.

"Who cares?" Roll said with a sneer. "That just makes planning our escape easier!" But even with her confident words, she had to admit she was curious, too. Roll looked from the door to the crumpled paper on the floor outside the cage. It was within easy reach and, being a housekeeping robot that couldn't stand untidiness, Roll went to pick it up. Curiously, she uncrumpled the paper. She only looked at what was on it for a second and her eyes grew almost twice their normal size.

"HeyDocIthinkyoushouldcometakealookatthis!" Roll exclaimed with that habit of hers to string entire paragraphs into one word.

Dr. Light took the paper from Roll's hands and read it himself. He too was startled by what was scrawled on it. It read: "Escaping tonight. Be prepared."

The time had come. The moment had arrived. All Bass had to do get the two old scientists, Roll, and himself out of the Maverick Headquarters and they'd be home free. Yeah, right. Easier said than done. Sigma certainly wasn't making the escape any easier. Bass hadn't even unlocked the cage that Dr. Light and Roll were held in before Sigma appeared. The tall Reploid sneered. "Unfortunately, Wily, you have outlived your usefulness. Therefore, It is time to say goodbye."

Wily scowled at the futuristic robot in front of him. "Do you really think that you could kill me?" he taunted. "I have eight Robot Masters on my side that will defend me to their destructions!"

Sigma didn't seem the least bit perturbed. "Oh, are they?" he asked with amusement. "I think you ought to see what side they are really on!" With that, Sigma hit a button hidden in the wall that caused the wall to open up, revealing the eight robots Wily and Bass brought with them. Each of them had the Maverick symbol stamped on their armor. "You see, Wily, we've transformed your precious Robot Masters to Reploids and infected them with the Maverick Virus. I don't think they will do much to help you anymore!"

With a noble battle cry, Bass leaped at the Maverick leader, intending to blast him to smithereens. "Oh, sit down!" Sigma grumbled as he backhanded the ebony robot in the face. Bass reeled from the blow and practically flew face first into the brick wall next to the cage. Bass slumped to the floor and he didn't get up.

"Bass!" Roll wailed from inside the prison.

Sigma gave Bass one sidelong glance as he said with a sneer, "If you are as intelligent as I think you are, then you will stay down!" Sigma turned to Wily. "And as for you..." Sigma drew his Beam Sabre, its shimmering green blade almost hypnotizing the terrified human. "...I do believe it is time to say goodbye."

Wily's former Robot Masters all watched the show with great interest. All except for Sword Man. He was in a quandary. He was now a Reploid with a free will and a desire to destroy humanity. Yet the human that was about to be slaughtered was his own creator--a man he'd been loyal to for his entire life. Part of him wanted to simply let Sigma slice the poor, pathetic human in two, and yet... When Sword Man saw Sigma raise his Beam Sabre in preparation to destroy his target, he made his decision.

Wily saw the glowing blade begin its arc to his skull and closed his eyes against the death he knew would come. But it never came. Instead, Wily heard a clang like that of two swords locking together. When Wily dared a peek, what he saw stunned his already frayed mind to a state of total confusion. Standing above him, with his sword locked with Sigma's, was Sword Man.

"Sigma, that is my creator you almost iced," Sword Man growled as he stared at Sigma with determination. "And I am not going to stand by and watch as you destroy him!"

"Fine," Sigma agreed. "Then I will have to destroy you first!" A fierce battle had started between the two robots and all Wily, in his frayed state of mind, could do was watch them go at it.

Bass, meanwhile, gave a groan as he was pulled from unconsciousness. He put a hand to his aching head as he stood shakily up. When Bass lowered his hand, he could see the black liquid from his face staining it and let loose with some of the more colorful words in his vocabulary.

"Bass!" Roll exclaimed, disgusted. "This isn't the time to sit there an' cuss! C'mon, do SOMETHING!"

Bass spun to just in time to see Sword Man send his legs out to attack Sigma, only to have Sigma blast them to a million pieces. Sword Man screamed in pain as the psychic connection between his leg and the rest of his body was broken before falling to the ground. Sigma was about to chop of Sword Man's head, but the Robot Master blocked the blow with his sword.

Still muttering his choice words and phrases under his breath, Bass produced a card key from his belt and used it to unlock the cage. "Come on!" he yelled to his former captives. On his way out the door he grabbed Wily (who was still incoherent from the shock) by the shoulders and dragged him out the door with him.

Seconds later Bass and the rest of the escapees arrived at the vertical hallway. Bass leaped down it without hesitation, followed closely by Treble. Roll followed, but Dr. Light hesitated. "Don't worry Doc, I'll cachya!" Roll's comforting voice floated up to his ears.

"Well, here goes..." he muttered as he jumped.

Roll caught him as promised and the group was running down the hall again. Soon they arrived at a spot that didn't seem to be any hope of escape. The hallway continued ahead of them as much as it did behind. "Hey!" Roll exclaimed. "Why're we stoppin' here? Bass..."

But Bass wasn't listening to Roll as she continued to complain. He just set his creator down. Bass noted with great amusement that Dr. Wily still had a faraway look in his eyes. "Still out of it," he muttered. "I guess coming that close to dyin' can do that to a human..."

"And furthermore..."Roll continued.

"ROLL!" Bass shouted, silencing the girl robot. "Would you be a dear and just let me get us out of this mess!? Thank you." Bass turned to the stone wall and pressed a button that Roll and Dr. Light couldn't see. Suddenly the bricks seemed to vanish and revealed a metal hatchway that opened up for Bass.

"What is this?" Dr. Light asked with interest.

"A garbage chute," Bass explained. "It leads deep enough into the sewers that the only other way the Mavericks could take would take hours. Treble first..." The large robot dog leaped in the opening head first.

Bass was just throwing the still stunned Dr. Wily in the chute when Dr. Light asked, "But couldn't they just teleport to our location?"

Bass grinned. "Nope. There are teleport buffers all over the place that are always on as a security measure. Not only do they keep intruders out, but they keep Mavericks in! By the time they find the spot we've landed, we'll be long gone. You next Doc." Dr. Light slid feet first down the shaft as the Maverick army appeared on both ends of the hallway. "You go first!" Bass yelled at Roll.

"But what about you?" Roll asked in surprise.

"Somebody's got to cover the rear!" Bass replied.

Roll smiled as she leaped down the chute. Bass and Rock were more alike than either of them would care to admit...

"So, old friend. Now you've betrayed us." Vile hissed.

Bass leaned casually against the wall. "Yep," was the simple reply.

"Then I'm afraid you'll have to die." Vile said calmly. "Attack."

The entire army converged on Bass, but none of them could get close enough to even get a good aim with their weapons. After a few minutes, Bass said to Vile, "Ya know, this has been a fun party, but I got places to go, people to see..." With that Bass shot a fully charged shot right at the ceiling. With a shout of "Geronimo!!" Bass dove head first down the shaft seconds before tons of debris crashed to the ground, covering the entrance.

"Arrrrg!" Vile let out a primal roar of rage. He knew where that garbage chute led, and he knew how long it would take to get there, or dig his way through. By then the Mavericks' prisoners would be home free!