"BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER"
Author's note: Welcome to my first Season 4 episode. For those of you who have seen Mega Man--The Series, be aware that this book is not a part of that series, nor does it have any place in the Series timeline. This is my first real Captain N story. Enjoy!
Saturday, December 12, 1992, 9:00 AM
"Dr. Right!" Mega Man called with a happy grin as he noticed the white-haired man standing just outside the doorway to his home. Mega Man was still too far away for his creator to hear him, but, unconcerned about this, the robot restlessly continued forward. "It's been a long time since I've been home." he commented to himself in high spirits. He was still a good distance away when the red figure appeared. It came and went so quickly, Mega Man could hardly notice any of its details. The small form dropped down behind Dr. Right, grabbed him, and leaped away. It all happened so fast that the full implication of the events didn't strike Mega Man until sometime later. His first response was purely reactionary. "Dr. Right!" he shouted, running faster. He reached the spot where his creator had once stood only seconds later. But it was too late; Dr. Right was gone. Mega Man fell to his knees on that spot, panting a little. His wide eyes scanned the area in a desperate attempt to figure out where the scientist had been taken. He lifted his head and noticed a piece of yellow cloth drifting through the air towards him. Numbly, he held out a hand and let it settle into his palm. Then he leaped to his feet. "Dr. Right!!"
"Kidnapped?" Kevin turned to gaze at him inquiringly. Mega Man nodded. "I was there to see it, but I couldn't do anything about it! We have to find him!" "That may not be an option." Lana spoke up, dashing in the Conference room and gesturing at the two to follow her. She took them to the Communications room and pointed at a computer screen. "Megaland is being attacked by hordes of robots!" They hurried to see what she was talking about. "Robot Masters." Mega Man identified grimly. "Crystal Man? Stone Man, Gravity Man, Napalm Man, Gyro Man, Star Man, Wave Man, Charge Man?" Kevin read off. "I've never seen them before." He scratched his head. "Neither have I." Mega Man informed him. "Dr. Wily must have made a new batch." "Um, actually," Lana spoke up, "these don't seem to be Wily's robots at all. The guy behind them is named Proto Man." "Proto Man?" the other two echoed simultaneously. Lana nodded and brought up a visual. The robot in the image looked to be exactly the same size and shape as Mega Man. His armor was a pinkish red and a silvery white. His visor was so black that the eyes underneath were not visible. A yellow piece of cloth was tied around his neck like a bandanna. He was standing in a confident stance with a sly smirk, and was backed by his eight Robot Masters. "That's the mega creep who took Dr. Right!!" Mega Man shouted in fury, pointing at the screen. His hand tightened angrily around the bit of cloth he was still carrying, and abruptly he remembered it. "Hey," he added, gazing at it in surprise, "how recent is this image of...Proto Man?" "It was snapped when he first appeared with his Robot Masters." Lana answered. "That was maybe half an hour ago at most." "Probably before he came to the lab." Mega Man nodded, holding out the cloth. "He must have lost this while grabbing Dr. Right!" This of course only added to the evidence that it was indeed this new Proto Man character who had taken the scientist, although Mega Man had gotten a good enough look at him to be able to identify him from appearance alone. Abruptly the little robot spun on his heel. "I'm going to find him and make him release Dr. Right!" "Mega Man, wait!" Lana called. "What about the robots? If they aren't stopped soon - " "The N Team can take them on while Mega Man searches for Dr. Right." Kevin volunteered. Mega Man nodded in agreement. "I'm still trying to round everyone up." Lana mused thoughtfully. "I wanted to tell you two first, of course." "We should probably split up to make it go faster." Kevin commented. "Why don't I get started while you fill in the rest of the team?" She nodded. Mega Man spoke up. "I might as well come with you, Captain N. At least until we find out where this Proto Man is hiding." Kevin agreed, and without further delay the two warped out.
"So, this is Crystal Man's domain." Kevin commented as he glanced around at the icy rocks. "His self-appointed domain." Mega Man corrected. "Let's take it from him." They started moving. "Reminds me of Gemini Man's stage." Kevin commented with an easy grin. Mega Man fired relentlessly at the enemy robots in the area, moving forward at a dead run. When he noticed that Kevin was lagging behind, he threw a glance over his shoulder. "What are you mega waiting for? Let's go!" Kevin shook his head and followed.
"Gravity Man, huh?" Stacey looked around the factory. Lana nodded. "I hope the others get my summons soon." "Yeah, like, they'll be totally ticked if they miss out on the action!" Stacey teased. The two were standing at the end of a dead-end hallway, so there was only one way to go. Stacey began to lead the way, but had only taken a few steps when a mysterious force swept her off her feet. "Woaahh!!" She landed hard and ended up on her hands and knees. Shaking her head, she opened her eyes. "Stacey!" came Lana's voice. "What are you doing on the ceiling?" Stacey looked around. "I wish I knew." Lana took a few hesitant steps forward, and the next thing she knew, she was on the ceiling, too. "What the - " "The gravity's wacko around here." Stacey commented. Lana noticed some arrows on the wall. "I think those arrows indicate whether it's up or down." she realized. Sure enough, when they walked past another set of arrows that pointed down, they were deposited back to the floor. "Talk about your ups and downs!" Stacey laughed.
Kid Icarus and Simon ended up on a platform under a deep black sky dotted with stars. "This must be Star Man's spaceport." Simon said rhetorically. He glanced up at the ledge ahead of him. It was too high for him to reach with a jump, but there were structures nearby he could snag with his whip and swing up. Quickly he unsheathed his weapon. "Watch the master in action." he teased to his companion. Kid Icarus, in the meantime, was discovering that his flying was mysteriously unstable. Something strange was going on here. "Simoneus, wait." he started, but Simon was already leaping into the air. "Wwaaaahhhh!!" came the cry from the vampire hunter as he soared several times his height into the air. His arms and legs flapped uselessly as he moved in an arc and finally came to rest on the other side of the ledge he'd been trying to scale. Kid Icarus reached him in time to see Simon make a not-so-graceful landing. "Wha-wow." the vampire hunter gasped, sitting up. He regained his composure with amazing speed. "What a jump! I don't even know my own strength!" "Simoneus, that wasn't you." Kid Icarus informed him, alighting next to him. "Something's weirdicus with the gravity around here. There seems to be less of it." "Oh, well..." Simon climbed to his feet and replaced his whip by his side. "It was still a magnificent jump." "The landing was bettericus." Simon didn't want to be reminded of that. "Well, let's get moving. We'll get nothing accomplished if we just stand here." Kid Icarus followed him as Simon began walking. "I better stay on the ground." he commented. "I'm having troubles flying here." "I'm having a blast." Simon returned. "Watch this!" He made another leap, but this one was controlled, and he made a perfect landing on a distant platform. "Ta da!" Kid Icarus shook his head and followed, supplementing his leap with his wings in order to guide him to a safe landing. "I could get used to this." Simon laughed as he leaped over another pit. "I could, too," Kid Icarus agreed as he struggled to keep up, "but I'd rather noticus."
"Mega Man, slow down." Kevin panted, trying to keep up. "What's your rush?" "I have to find Dr. Right." Kevin flinched at the tone he heard in the voice. "Hey, going so fast that you get yourself killed isn't going to help him." With that Mega Man came to a dead stop. "I guess you're right." he conceded. Then he smiled. "Thanks. You want to take the lead for a bit?" Kevin shrugged, returning the smile and raising his Zapper. "Sure. I haven't played this level yet. I can't wait 'til they come out with it back home!"
"That thing looks pretty mean." Stacey commented. She and Lana were huddling in a narrow hallway, looking out into a big room where a huge, vaguely-humanoid robot was trying to get at them. He couldn't fit in the hallway, so they were safe at the moment. But when they'd first entered the room, the robot had tried to slam down on top of them - using jet thrusters to speed his fall - and they'd just barely escaped back into the hallway. Lana fired her Zapper at it. Stacey couldn't use her boomerang here for fear of hitting Lana. The Princess' laser struck only a glancing blow. "He's moving around too much, and I can't aim in here." Stacey glanced around. "Oh, this is, like, great. Here we are cowering in a niche in the wall while that thing traps us in here!" Lana put away her Zapper. "We'll have to run for it." "Run?" Stacey squeaked. "Sure. Time it so that you zip underneath him before he can slam you." Lana stood up. "I'll distract him with my Power Pad while you make a break for it." Stacey agreed reluctantly, and Lana exited the hallway first. Running behind her, Stacey swerved off to one side, running by the wall. She had to use her boomerang to take care of some small robots and cannons, but it was a good thing she cleared the path - otherwise Lana would have smacked into them during her Power Dash. The next second Lana was by her side. "Hurry!" the Princess gasped, and the two raced for a ladder. Quickly they climbed it, only barely making it above the giant robot's reach in time. When they reached the next level landing, the two paused to rest. "Phew!" they let out.
"Hey!" Kevin's eyes lit up. "I think we found Crystal Man." Mega Man nodded, punching open the gate without hesitation. "It's about time." The next room was a square crystal cavern. A blue-and-green Robot Master stood beyond, his outfit decorated with smooth spheres. "Ah-ha." Crystal Man praised. "Right on schedule." Mega Man aimed his blaster at the Robot Master. "Where's Dr. Right?" Crystal Man feigned surprise. "With my master, of course." "Where's he?!" "You'll find out soon enough." Crystal Man leaped forward, one swish of his hands sending small spheres ricocheting around the room. Mega Man and Kevin split up to dodge, firing whenever they got a chance. Mega Man's shots destroyed the crystal orbs, but Kevin's reflected off. "Ow!" Mega Man cried out as he was struck. He hit the ground hard, rolled, and leaped back to his feet. Crystal Man didn't seem to stop moving, but instead leaped back and forth around his cavern like a grasshopper. Then something strange happened. Kevin hit one of the spheres while trying to fire at the Robot Master. As it had with all the others, his Zapper's laser caused the orb to spin off in a new direction - only this one hit Crystal Man. "Yeeaah!!" the Robot Master cried as he stumbled. "Hey, that's it!" Kevin cheered, rapidly pumping shots at the remaining orbs. Mega Man focused his shots on the Robot Master himself. Crystal Man tried to dodge, but with Mega Man herding him, he couldn't avoid his own orbs that were being shot into him, and he was destroyed. "All right!" Kevin laughed, doing a little victory cheer. But Mega Man's reaction to winning the battle was anything but what he was expecting. "Argh!" the robot cried. Kevin blinked. "Mega Man, what's wrong?" "He didn't tell us where Dr. Right was!" Captain N started to reply, but a strange, quiet sound caused the two to silently turn. A little red-and-white robot was now standing across the room, on a small platform of crystal. His black visor glistened. He looked identical to the image on Lana's computer, except he wore no bandanna. The newcomer looked directly at Mega Man with a small smile and spoke three words: "Hey, little brother."
"Look out!" Kid Icarus cried. Star Man was surrounding himself with rotating star-shaped blades and bouncing around the room. The stars protected the Robot Master, and, on top of that, the lack of gravity around here made maneuvering interesting at best. Simon was trying to make the best of his new jumping abilities, but usually he ended up careening in a direction he didn't want to take. Kid Icarus fired arrows, but they all bounced off Star Man's shield. "We can't touch him!" he cried in dismay. Simon tried his whip again; it bounced off without damage as it had before, but this time its end managed to grab one of the stars, yanking it free. "Hey, look what I have." Simon grinned, gazing at the star for a moment before tossing it aside. He snapped his whip and snagged a second star. "And another, and another, and..." Pretty soon Star Man was running out of stars. "Knock it off!" the Robot Master protested, aiming his star-pointed cannon at the vampire hunter. Kid Icarus hit the unprotected cannon with an arrow, knocking Star Man's aim off. "...and another," Simon continued, "and another,..." Kid Icarus looked down and noticed for the first time that, although Star Man's front was guarded by a huge metal star decoration, his back was left wide open. "Ah-ha!" the archer cheered, nocking an arrow. His shot flew true and struck in the middle of Star Man's back, finishing him. "...and another..." Simon trailed off. "Oh, darn, out of stars." "Hey look, Simoneus." Kid Icarus broke in. "Look what Star Man had." The archer held up a long white shaft with some sort of sphere on its end. "What is it?" Simon asked. "Looks like some sort of super arrow." Kid Icarus turned it over in his hands, then dropped it in his quiver. Turning back, he finally noticed that Simon was standing in a pile of golden stars. The vampire hunter grinned at him, moving his boot through the pile. "Wish on a star?" he offered.
Kevin and Mega Man stared, dumbfounded, while Proto Man just grinned at them. "Mega Man!" Kevin finally found his voice. "I didn't know you had a brother!" A brother? echoed through the robot's mind. One who...? No! "I don't!" he protested hotly. Proto Man chuckled, making no move - to attack or otherwise. "What's wrong, bro?" he asked. "Too proud to think that Dr. Right might have made someone before you?" Mega Man sputtered at the insult, but the name brought his mind back on track. "Dr. Right! What did you do with him?!" "He's in my fortress." came the easy reply. "If you want to find it, this robot will show you the way." The wall opened, and a huge half-tank, half-humanoid robot rolled into the room. The next second, Proto Man disappeared. "Wow!" Mega Man cried as he and Kevin parted, leaping away in opposite directions as the tank plowed between them. "Mega easy for him to say!" Kevin pulled out his Zapper, then hesitated. "If it's going to 'show us the way', should we destroy it?" While he was debating, the tank turned on him. Mega Man began firing, his small sphere-shaped shots flashing from his arm cannon. "Captain N, look out!" The tank paused under the assault, and Kevin leaped back. "I guess that answers that." They battled without reserve then, moving around to avoid the tank's charges and its cannons. Kevin shot a cannon off with his Zapper, while Mega Man worked on the base of the unit. With their teamwork the tank frankly didn't have a chance. It finally came to a halt and exploded, blipping out of existence. Something small fell to the ground where the tank had once stood. "Hey, look at this." Mega Man said, walking over to pick it up. "That thing dropped something." The second his hand touched it, he and the object vanished in a stream of light. Kevin leaped forward. "Mega Man!"
Mega Man glanced around. He was in a silent room filled with ledges and spikes. It was a tower, he realized eventually - much higher than it was wide. He was standing perhaps halfway up the structure, on a ledge against a wall. He heard a noise below him and looked down. The floor far below him was slowly rising upward. Acting on instinct, Mega Man began jumping up the platforms, at times narrowly dodging the deadly spikes. Occasionally he had to wait for the floor to lift him to the next-highest platform, and that made his mad rush even worse. At the top of the tower was a gate. Mega Man plowed through the electronic door before the floor could crush him against the ceiling. The gate went back down behind him, and he found himself skidding off a ledge and dropping down a short distance to the floor of the room beyond. Except for the ledge behind him, the room was quite bare and plain - save for the red robot standing on its far end. "You made it." Proto Man said in a friendly voice. Mega Man picked himself up carefully and gazed warily at the robot. "Who are you, really?" he asked finally. "You don't believe me?" Proto Man returned. He didn't have to wait for a reply; the expression on Mega Man's face answered plainly enough. "Why not?" "Because you swiped Dr. Right!" Mega Man suddenly remembered why he was here. "A robot would never do that to his creator!" "But you're not exactly a robot anymore, little brother." came the calm reply, bulking Mega Man in his tracks. "And neither am I. Which means we can do what we want - regardless." Mega Man paused. "Let Dr. Right go." Proto Man laughed. "You have a one-track mind, my brother." He took a step forward. "But think for a moment. Do you realize how much alike we are? Twins, even!" Mega Man stared dubiously at him. "If you're really my brother," he started, turning the word over in his mouth for a moment, "then where have you been?" "I've been watching you." It wasn't quite the answer Mega Man had been expecting, but he supposed he'd have to take it. "And you're quite skilled, Mega Man, but you're not even using your fullest potential. You're being undermined by the rest of the team. And don't protest." Proto Man added quickly as Mega Man started to open his mouth. "You know it as well as I do." Mega Man clamped his mouth shut. "What are you getting at?" he asked finally. Proto Man gazed at him and said two words: "Join me." Mega Man blinked. "Leave the others. You and I together could accomplish things they could never dream of. Two brothers as a team. What do you say?" "Join you?" Mega Man finally sputtered. "In doing what?" Proto Man shrugged carelessly. "Whatever we want. We could have anything." "Like the world?" Mega Man asked suspiciously. "Sure, if we wanted." "No way." Mega Man stepped forward. "Let Dr. Right go." "Sure." Proto Man agreed. "He's not important - was just a way to get you to come to me. Even those Robot Masters I made are just pawns. You and I - we're the ones who will make things happen." "I have no interest in taking part in any of the mega things you're doing." Mega Man responded, finally lifting an arm to aim his blaster at the robot in warning. "I'm not sure I even buy all your brother stuff." "No, I don't suppose you would." Proto Man sighed. "You've spent too much time getting fame and glory to care about your brother." Mega Man paused, his aim faltering. "That's okay." Proto Man went on thoughtfully. "So it wasn't meant to be. I can live with it." He raised his own arm and pointed his own blaster. "Farewell, little brother." Then he fired. Mega Man found himself being hurled backwards through the air, his back slamming forcibly against the ledge under the gate. He collapsed to a sitting position, gasping. Quickly he checked his energy meter and was aghast to discover he only had one unit of energy left. Looking up, he found himself staring at his brother, who was aiming his arm cannon for another blast. A whistle flowed through the air. It was quite strange, actually - a few notes playing out a snippet of a melody. It seemed to tease the air, dancing softly. Proto Man glanced up, and, out of the corner of his eye, Mega Man saw someone land on the ledge behind him. He turned to look and couldn't believe his eyes. Another Proto Man was standing there! He looked identical to the first, except there was a yellow bandanna tied around his neck. The original Proto Man quickly fired at the newcomer, who jumped the lethal shot smoothly and returned fire. As Mega Man watched in astonishment, the Proto Man across the room from him was struck and stumbled. His body flashed, morphing into a shape quite a bit larger than his original one. Right before Mega Man's eyes, the Proto Man that had claimed to be his brother turned into a taller, dark robot with strange glowing eyes and a dome for a head. Dumbfounded, Mega Man looked back to see that the Proto Man wearing the bandanna was now turning towards him, reaching out a hand. For a brief moment, Mega Man thought the robot was going to fire at him, too. But instead the newcomer dropped a supply of energy, then turned and teleported away. The big dark thing that the other Proto Man had turned into began to rant angrily. Mega Man didn't catch most of his words - his voice had changed along with the rest of him, and it sounded very eerie now - but he got the idea that he was about to become toast. Quickly he scrambled to snatch up the energy supply, which totally refilled his reserves. Then he spun around to face his adversary, desperate to defend himself, yet feeling hopeless at his severe disadvantage. A battle cry from Kid Icarus interrupted the pending battle. Mega Man turned to see the archer flying near him, notching into his bow the biggest arrow Mega Man had ever seen him use. With a cry, the archer let the arrow fly, and it struck the dark Proto Man right in the dead center of his chest. The response was surprising. The black robot reeled, caught in some sort of electrical surge as the arrow quite literally stuck to his chest. Mega Man took his chance and leaped forward, rapidly pumping the robot with arm cannon shots. The horror tried to break himself free, but it was too late. The fury of Mega Man's shots overcame him, and he disintegrated. "Ha!" Kid Icarus cheered. "I knew that Super Arrow would come in handy somewhere!" "Mega Man, there you are." came Lana's voice. Mega Man turned to find the rest of the N Team gathering behind him. "We took care of the rest of the Robot Masters." Kevin stated, twirling his Zapper on his finger. "I'm just glad we were able to track you down." Lana stated. Her gaze drifted across the room. "What was - " "That was my 'brother'." Mega Man told them bitterly. Silly him to think he could have a brother anyway! Why had he allowed himself to even consider such an idea? Without looking back, he spun on his heel to walk out the gate and leave these events behind him forever. "Mega Man!" came a cry. The robot whirled. He recognized that voice. "Dr. Right!" he cried, starting to run. His creator was standing on the far side of the room, but Mega Man skidded to a halt when he noticed the red form standing next to the scientist. "Who - " he started. "Look!" Simon interrupted, pointing toward large windows on one side of the room. "It's Dr. Wily!" The N Team crowded around the windows and could see the evil scientist making a get-away in his saucer. Dr. Wily noticed them but was in no shape to fight. "Blast you, Mega Man!" he shouted instead. "My Dark Man clone almost succeeded in snaring you, but then the real Proto Man had to show up and spoil my scheme!" The saucer turned and began to fly away. "I won't forget this!!" Mega Man pulled back. "'Real Proto Man?'" he echoed, glancing hesitantly across the room. The Proto Man who was standing next to Dr. Right - the one with the bandanna - just watched him from behind that black visor. Dr. Right stepped forward. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you, Mega Man, but, frankly, I thought Proto Man was lost forever, so I didn't see a need to dwell on the matter." "Proto Man?" Mega Man repeated, staring at the red-and-white robot. "You mean...I really do have a brother?" Dr. Right nodded, smiling. "I built him before building you." he explained. "On April 10, 1985. So, technically, he's your older brother." "Brother?" Mega Man just stood there gaping. He couldn't seem to realize what was being said. "Isn't that cool?" Kevin broke in with a grin. "Mega Man has a brother!" Mega Man blinked. This was going to take some getting used to.
The concert hall was packed, as usual. In honor of the day's events, Kevin and his band were playing a montage of songs from the game Mega Man 3. They played such tunes as Shadow Man and Snake Man, souped up a little, of course. The hall rocked to the beat. But off to the side, in the shadows, sat two little robots. They were watching the show from a distance with only each other for company - unnoticed by the crowd, who's attention was solely on the performers. Mega Man glanced over and over again at the red-and-white robot who looked so much like himself. Brother. He tasted the word again, for about the hundredth time that evening. It already sounded pleasant to him, and he was sure he would become more accustomed to the idea as time went by. I could get to like this, he thought with a happy little smile. Then, content, he turned his attention back to the band.