(1): Mr Rogers is DEAD. Notice the American spelling? I was using ClairsWorks to type this up, and back in those days your choices for spellcheck were "American" or "Screw Yourself."
(2): I always figured Protoman had a closer relationship with Roll rather than Megaman. I'm probably dead wrong.
(3): LE FORESHADOWING.
(4): This is me totally bullshitting.
(5): The first pop culture reference of twenty-five million in this story.
(6): I wonder how I screwed up this quote so bad. Maybe I was drunk?
(7): This exchange was completely OOC for both Megaman and Bass, but something about it is kind of funny anyway.
"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day to be neighbors..." (1)
"Would you mind shutting up? Your singing leaves much to be desired."
"We - ll....okay. But only 'cause you're my sis."
Protoman and Roll sat on the porch of Light's lab, soaking in a beautiful spring day. Mr. Sun was smiling, birds wheeled and circled in the azure sky, and flowers bloomed (along with some weeds). It was the sort of weather that made one want to jump and turn cartwheels. However, neither of the bots felt like doing this. They preferred to sit and stare off into the distance, hoping for something interesting to happen.
"You know," Protoman said suddenly in a lazy tone, "Mr. Rogers is one messed up individual. He gets undressed in front of little children."
Roll frowned. "I don't think that taking off your shoes in front of a TV camera counts as getting undressed, Proto."
Protoman shrugged his plated shoulders. "Whatever. Shoes or no, Mr. Rogers still scares me."
Although Roll couldn't disagree with that remark, she decided to change the uneasy topic.
"Isn't it a beautiful day?"
Proto took a halfhearted glance at the nature surrounding him, and shrugged again. "I suppose so. It's not that big of a deal to me."
"I'm not surprised, since you can't see any of it with that visor in front of your eyes."
Proto became offended. "Hey. Don't dis the visor. It's my friend."
Roll grinned. "But how can you SEE anything?"
Proto stood up. "I can see just fine!" He said haughtily. He tried to reenter the lab, but was stopped short when he bashed into the doorframe.
"Ouch." He whined.
Roll fought back the urge to say "I told you so". Instead, she tapped Proto on his metallic leg. "Sit down for a sec. I want to talk to you." (2)
Proto frowned. The heat of the sun was causing him to slowly to cook alive in his heavy silver and maroon armour, but he obeyed. Taking his place next to Roll again, he removed his scarf in an effort to cool off a bit.
"What's on your mind?"
Roll's expression became serious. "I just want to know why you don't seem to hang around the lab that much. True, I see you often, but what about Rock? He'd really like to see more of you."
Proto's face darkened like a thundercloud. "Rock's my brother, and he's a good fellah, but to be perfectly honest with you Roll, I don't need to hear his preaching on what a good team we could be if we joined up and fought together. He doesn't seem to respect the fact that I work best when I'm alone. Everytime I meet up with him, he tries to persuade me to work with him. I've told him as nicely as possible to bugger off and let me do things at my own pace, but no matter how many times I repeat this, he always confronts me with the same question; 'When are you going to stop skulking around on your own? Why don't you stay and help me fight Wily'? And good golly miss Molly, it DOES get tiring to hear that over and over again."
Roll nodded a bit sadly. "Maybe I could have a talk with him."
"Don't bother. It probably won't work." Proto said heavily. Then he sighed and said, "I suppose Rock is still off fighting Wily right now?"
"Uh huh." Muttered Roll while she traced some lines in the dirt in front of her with a broken twig. "Man, that guy is getting on my nerves. Rock's, too, I'm sure."
"I don't see why they don't just give that guy the Chair." Proto remarked as he unconsciously wove a noose out of his removed scarf.
Roll nodded in agreement. "I don't see why Rock just doesn't kill him."
Proto stopped fiddling with his scarf. He dropped it in surprise. He dropped his jaw as well. Proto grabbed Roll by her shoulders and shook her wildly.
"Don't ever....ever....EVER SAY THAT!" He hissed frantically.
Roll seemed confused, and with good reason. "Why...? What did I say?"
Proto regained his composure. "Sorry Roll. It's just that...well...I don't want you saying anything that will give Rock any ideas, although killing Wily is a damned good one. I'm scared that Rock might try it one day. Do you understand what problems would arise then? It would make our lives a living hell."
Roll looked at her brother dumbly. "But why?"
"I take it you don't know too much about the Rules of Robotics?"
Roll had to admit that she did not know very much.
"Well, it's a sort of Ten Commandments for robots." Proto educated her. "Except I don't think that there are ten rules of robotics. Still, there are quite a few, and the first one is to be obeyed without fail: 'A robot is never to harm a human being'. Could you imagine what would happen if Rock killed Wily? He'd be deactivated for sure. Like a dog that bites, a robot that kills humans is bound to do it again. And that is a very dangerous thing. Could you think of Rock on a killing spree? You'd need a bloody army to stop the guy!" (3)
"Oh." Roll said. She seemed to be feeling a bit guilty about bringing up the whole topic.
Proto read her mind. "That's all right." He sighed. "It's just something I don't really like to think about. I'm just worried sick that Rock is gonna lose it one day and blast a hole through Wily. A robot is programmed to follow the rules as closely as possible, but you know how humanlike Rock can be at times. His emotions can sometimes get the best of him. I think he'd try taking a shot at Wily. Then he would be killed, and we'd be surrounded by the media...Oy gavalt, I get such a headache just thinking about it!!"
An uneasy silence was the only answer from Roll. Proto shifted uncomfortably.
"If I told you a secret...would you swear to keep it under your hood? I mean, don't even tell it to Rock? I don't want him to start worrying over stupid things."
Roll's mechanical heart skipped a beat. She wondered if her brother was going to reveal himself to be an alien. That would explain an awful lot. "I swear."
"All right. I trust you. Light told me that he's working on some plans for a new robot."
Roll seemed disappointed. "That's not so unusual."
"No, my ignorant little sibling. Not just ANY robot!"
Roll's interest sparked again. "Go on."
Proto looked at her sternly from behind his visor. "If Light's plans translate into actions, we're going to see a robot that is radically different from any bot you and I have ever known. This robot will have tremendous strength..."
"So?" Roll interrupted again. "A strong robot is nothing to write home to mother about."
"Roll, will you be a dear and let me TALK for ten seconds without being stopped? Thank you. Like I was saying, this robot will also possess emotions that are almost identical to those of humans. It will be able to choose its own path in life, as its programming won't restrain it from doing anything it wants to do. That means that this robot could break the rules of robotics with ease, if he chose to do so."
Roll still did not seem too impressed. "A robot with emotions? Big deal. We have emotions, right?"
"Yes," agreed Protoman, "but our emotions are somewhat primitive. We're still enslaved by our programming quite a bit. (4) What we possess is really nothing compared to what a human can feel. But this mystery 'bot will have the thoughts and feelings of a human. Think of it, Roll. A robot that can love, hate, feel anger, etc. A robot that follows its thoughts and emotions, not its programming."
"I think that sounds wonderful," Roll said as she took all this in.
Protoman got to his feet. "No, it's NOT wonderful." He said in an annoyed tone. "Don't you see the point I'm trying to get across? Would you like me to use sign language? Let me sum this up for you. A robot that can think, feel, and break the laws of robotics is a dangerous thing! What if this robot DOES decide to kill humans. Do you think anyone could stop it? It would be exactly like an angry human that is almost indestructible. It's bad news. I've told Light that he's sowing dragon's teeth with this whole idea. He just laughed and told me to relax, because he has only made the plans for this robot and he hasn't really had any thoughts of carrying out the instructions for some time, if ever." Proto sighed and slumped down again. "I guess he's right. Maybe I should lighten up. I'm just really worried about those plans falling into the wrong hands, i.e. Wily." Proto paused and cocked his head to one side. "'Worry'. THERE'S an emotion we posses! Pretty funky, huh? Maybe we're not so primitive as I originally thought."
Roll smiled and patted her brother on his arm. "There now. There's no reason to worry about phantom robots. We'll see what happens. Just quit living in the future. We have bigger things to worry about in the present."
Proto gazed off into the distance again and frowned suddenly.
"Yeah. And here comes one of those problems."
Roll whisked around to see what Proto was so upset about. She could see a small black and yellow form making staggering towards the duo. A purple and silver four - footed figure trotted alongside the robot.
"Bass." Proto growled. "And that miserable mutt of his. I really don't trust that guy, and I only put up with him for Light's sake."
"My, you're so trusting. No wonder you have so many friends." Roll teased him. "I personally think that Bass is all right. Besides, it looks like he's hurt or something."
"Well then, you just have a yabba - dabba - do time with Mr. Bass." (5) Proto told her while getting to his feet. He retrieved the precious scarf that he had dropped earlier. "I don't want to even look that guy in the face. I'll see you later, 'kay? If Bass tries anything smart, just kick him in the groin. That always works for me when I have a pesky human reporter chasing me down for an interview. G'bye!"
Proto was engulfed by a red beam, then gone.
Sometime later in Dr. Light's oh - so - famous lab, Bass skipped about as merrily as a drunk dwarf. He had been admitted to the lab and repaired with no problems. That took care of part one of his plan. Now it was time for phase two. Bass tagged at Light's heels, pestering the old scientest just for the fun of it. Suddenly, Bass stopped and tapped Light on the shoulder while pointing to a curious object that lay on a nearby shelf.
"Hey Doc, what's that?"
"Oh, that's my new invention. It's called the Energy Balancer, and it's function is to --"
"'Energy Balancer'? That's a stupid name. What's that?" Bass pointed to another object.
"That's my laser cannon. It's very handy for --"
"Oh never mind. What's that?"
Dr. Light rubbed his eyes with one hand. "Bass, could you please give it a rest for a minute? I never knew that any robot was capable of asking so many stupid questions."
Bass became offended. "Sorry. I can't help it if I'm inquisitive."
Dr. Light clearly felt bad about telling off the robot. "I'm sorry, Bass. It's just that your questions have given me a migraine."
The corners of Bass' mouth twitched ever so slightly. "Gee. Isn't that a shame?" He patted his newly - patched shoulder, where Shade Man had previously shot him. "By the way, thanks for the repairs."
"No thanks needed. It was a simple procedure."
"Well, thanks just the same." Bass suddenly lunged at a table and grabbed a half completed fragile construction that rested upon it. The creation promptly slipped out of his eager grasp, and shattered to bits on the tiled floor.
"Oh well. You can't win 'em all." Bass remarked with a casual shrug. He swept up the debris with his foot and kicked it under a table.
Light involuntarily winced at the sight of his hard work splattered all over the floor.
"No...and sometimes you can't win AT all..."
Bass looked up. "Hm? What was that you said?"
Before Light could even stop him, Bass sprung towards a storage shelf that rested in the far side of the lab. As quick as a squirrel, Bass hauled himself to the top of the shelf. His eye fell on a thick notebook that resided there. Bass grabbed it and began to flip through it without hesitation.
"Wow!" The sleek bot called down to Light. "Are these plans for upgrades to Mega and Rush? They're the creamiest! You should....aurgh!"
Bass' last word was uttered in surprise as he began to notice that the shelf was falling...with him on it! Bass went 'el splatto' as the structure tipped over with him beneath it. Light hurried over to make sure that the bot was all right.
Bass managed to lift up the fallen shelf and squirm out from under it.
"I'm alright. Really, I am..."
Light frowned. "Bass, it would please me if you kept your paws off of my stuff." He glanced with alarm at the notebook that Bass clutched. "In fact, give me back that book."
Bass grinned hellishly. "I'm sorry Hal. I can't do that." (6) Bass grabbed a table and lifted it above his head with no problem whatsoever. "Here! CATCH!" He bellowed as the heaved the object towards Light. The table hit Light square and true, knocking him over and pinning him down to the floor.
"Bass...WHAT is...going...on?" Light demanded.
In answer, Bass simply extracted a small bomb with one hand, and waved the thick notebook with the other.
"I said I liked your plans for this little upgrade! So I'm ripping them off for Wily! Isn't that nice of me?" Bass swept over the room with a glance. "I just wonder if there's anything else of value to steal..." Bass walked away from Light and over to the back of the lab, where there was a vault, and a small window. "Well lookie here, Pard! A vault! Gee, I wonder what's inside?"
Dr. Light frantically renewed his struggle to get out from under the table. "Get away from there!"
Bass simply tossed the bomb he was holding up and down like a black baseball.
"I like bombs. Don't you? Bomb Man gave me this one for a Christmas gift. I felt sorta bad about receiving it...after all, all I got Bomb Man was a lousy pair of dollar socks. Now, if I were you, I'd get down low to the ground. You don't want any shrapnel in your eye!" Bass hurled the bomb at the safe and dove to the ground in one smooth motion. Sure enough, the bomb exploded on contact. It blew the door off of the safe in addition to blowing up a good quarter section of the lab. Light was not hurt, but he became utterly terrified to see Bass rummage through the safe's contents. Bass eventually pulled out some materials that interested him.
"Well, isn't this interesting!" The black bot remarked as he shuffled through a bunch of papers and computer disks that he had taken out of the safe. "These look like plans of some sort...." Bass took a closer look at the papers. "Plans for...a 'reploid'. Now what in the sam hill is a 'reploid'? Oh well, whatever it is, I'm sure Wily will be interested in it." Bass collected the papers along with the notebook he had snatched earlier.
"Give those plans back to me!" Dr. Light cried desperately.
Bass snickered. "Okay. Let me get this straight. Here in my hand, I have something that is obviously of great value. In fact, it might even help Wily take over the world. And you, my enemy, is laying there as helpless as a kitten. So you want ME to just GIVE you back the plans? As if I'm just gonna walk over to you and say, 'Here you go Dr. Light. I was just kidding'? I REALLY don't think so! Sorry old chap. It's like those horror movies where the heroine is being pursued by a nasty monster, so she goes upstairs and locks the door. Like a locked door is really gonna stop Satan?"
Bass' fun was interrupted by the sound of the lab door crashing open. There stood Mega Man, his mouth sagging open in disbelief. His gaze went from the destroyed lab to Dr. Light pinned under the heavy table to Bass and back to the destroyed lab again.
"Holy Queen Mother! What's been going on here!?" He demanded angrily.
Bass waved at the blue bomber. "Too late, Mega Man! He who hesitates is...oh, screw it. See you around!" (7)
With that, Bass whistled to Gospel who instantly bounded to his master's side. Bass threw himself out the window that was positioned beside the destroyed safe. Unfortunately for the sleek bot, the window was closed, and jumping through the thick glass caused him a wee bit of pain. Light and Mega could hear Bass' rapidly receding voice float back up to them from below.
"OUCH! Damn, that hurt! Don't you idiots ever open your windows? Let some fresh air in! It'll do ya good!"
Chapter Notes: Well, not exactly a real detailed or intriguing account of how Bass got his hands on Light's plans for Reploids -- in fact, there's another screw up by me, the race wasn't named until Dr Cain made the first replicate (DUH) -- but hey, I was young.