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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by aarond
A Different Place: Chapter 4 - Bank Robbery

MegaMan was still grieving the loss of Data as the Namagem family ship docked at Primiki Harbor. Through the lonely nights and the quiet mornings, the boy realized he'd taken his robotic companion for granted. In fact, the first two or three days, he'd woken up hours late and Aunt Cherle had scolded him sharply for nearly missing lunch. It was a half-hearted scolding though, and MegaMan could tell---he'd had several worse from her, some that included physical reprimands.

What scared him the most was the nightmares. MegaMan didn't know what it was, but since Data's death---and he had to admit it, Data was dead, not just dancing around on the ocean floor---odd images kept forcing their way into his brain. Pictures of a beautiful shoreline in perpetual twilight, and a strange, unfamiliar voice...no, wait, two voices were whispering to him softly. He could almost hear what they were saying...

Occasionally these thoughts would intrude on MegaMan's mind during his waking hours as well, but they were far easier to dismiss while he was conscious. He began focusing on his day-to-day tasks, trying to keep his attention locked on whatever he happened to be doing at the moment: moving around cargo in the hold, stirring a sauce or stew, or scrubbing that last speck off the each dish in the sink. Outwardly, not much had changed, but those who looked closely could see that the flash had gone out of MegaMan's eyes. He was just going through the motions of shipboard life.

One morning, MegaMan felt the ship's engines shudder to a halt. Obviously, the ship had made port. Grunting, he rolled sluggishly out of his berth and waited for the cargo hold to open. As usual, MegaMan unloaded the smaller crates while the larger ones were taken by crane onto the dock. This time, though, after the job was done, Jonial strode up to MegaMan carrying a large burlap sack.

"Here," he said, dumping the sack carelessly into MegaMan's hands, "go into town and deposit that into the bank for me, will ya?"

"What is it?" asked MegaMan.

"It's the payment for our last haul. There's over twenty thousand zenny in there, so be careful with it, okay?"

MegaMan peeked inside the bag. Shimmering sparkles of red, blue, and green shone back at him. They had been paid in quantum refractors! These jewels were the basis of all money in the world, not to mention the source of most mechanical energy---MegaMan had taken a look more than once at the large refractor which powered the ship---and the smaller ones worked, when spun, as batteries for smaller mechanical devices, much like the electric mixer he used in the ship's galley. It would be incorrect to say the bag MegaMan held as he walked down the gangplank was worth its weight in gold, because it was actually worth about thirty times its weight in gold. After all, refractors weighed hardly anything.

After a quick admonishment from Jann not to lose the money (like he was actually going to), MegaMan strolled casually through the harbor, past the harbormaster's office, and into Gold City proper. Most of Gold City's money came from, as one might expect, the highly profitable gold mining industry. The world's economy might not be based on gold, but the precious metal was still highly in demand, both for use in electronics repair as well as for its use in jewelry and ornamentation.

MegaMan was impressed with Gold City, although he realized that since he'd only been ashore one time before, he had little basis for comparison. Still, it was a treat for the boy to see the brightly-colored signs, the greeness of the public parks, and the landbound buildings, some of which were bigger than his own ship! He thought about buying a hot dog at one of the small stands he saw as he entered the downtown area, but was afraid to---his grandfather had said nothing about buying anything for himself, and it would probably be noticed if the deposit in the bank was not the same amount that Jonial had been paid.

MegaMan sighed as he trudged up the steps to the Gold City Bank, realizing as he did that as soon as he'd made the deposit, he'd have to go home. His time in this fascinating place was almost at an end. The bank was a quiet place, perhaps the quietest place he'd ever been. MegaMan had been noticing the absence of the heavy, growling engine since he'd put ashore, but the silence in the bank was oppressive. He was almost afraid to speak as he gently set his burden on the counter in front of the nearest teller. "I'd like to..um, deposit this," he said softly.

"Sure," the teller said. "Name?"

"What?"

"The name on your account. What is it?"

"Oh. Namagem."

"All right." The teller punched up something on his computer. "Good to see you guys in town again, by the way. How's Jonial? He's your grandfather, right?"

"Yes."

"So which one are you? Of the grandkids, I mean. Are you Frann?"

MegaMan's eye twitched, but otherwise there was no sign of frustration on his face. "No, not Frann. I'm MegaMan."

The teller narrowed his eyes. "MegaMan...I've never heard of y---oh, I get it. Like the TV show, right?"

"Well, not really. I was named---" MegaMan didn't get to finish his sentence because, at that moment, a huge crash sounded from outside. After a moment's calm, the boy returned his attention to the teller, who was about finished counting the refractors. "How much was in there?" he asked just as he heard another crash. This time, he'd felt it in the floorboards. "What's going on?"

As if to answer MegaMan's question, a large metal fist propelled its way through the bank's front doors, shattering the glass. MegaMan stood in shock as another identical hand forced itself through the doorway. Both hands exerted force upward, lifting the entire front wall off the building, leaving the bank open to the air. "Pirates!" someone shouted.

MegaMan stood agape as a large robot, with two massive legs to complement the arms and a protruding, bulbous torso to match. The robot flung its arms with accuracy, knocking policemen and security guards aside. MegaMan was stunned. What should he do? Should he do anything? The robot was approximately 23.8 feet from him now. Judging from its size, he estimated the robot's weight at around 4 tons.

An amplified voice emerged from the robot's body. "All right! This is a holdup! Why don't you save yourselves some trouble and open the safe? We're going to take it all anyway." Hmm, the voice was odd, high-pitched like a girl's.

Purifier series, combat routine J-14 set! Beginning execution...

Time seemed to slow down as MegaMan dashed around the robot's path and out into the street. Rather, everything else but his own actions seemed to have slowed. Espying the nearest fallen police officer, MegaMan dodged around the rubble and, taking the policeman's riot shield and rifle into his own hands, quickly targeted the center of the large robot's frame---the most likely place for the cockpit. The report sounded as the shell fired, but MegaMan also heard a clang as the bullet bounced uselessly off of the robot's heavily armored torso.

Unfortunately, he had drawn the pilot's attention. The robot gestured frantically to some kids nearby---no, wait, they weren't children, they were...other robots? MegaMan allowed himself a chuckle. These were primitives of some sort, mere junk with archaic programming, nothing compared to---

The primitives were on him quickly. They weren't seriously attacking; they were trying to stall him. But for what?

MegaMan's eyes clouded violently as the robot's blow knocked him backwards through the air. Recovering with a speed that was unbelievable for a mere ship's cook, MegaMan shook off the remaining diminutive robot and aimed his rifle swiftly. The robot's armor was simply too thick for bullets to get through, but MegaMan had noticed an unprotected hydraulic hose connecting the robot's torso to its right arm...

The shot fired. A hit! The hose burst apart, brown fluid spurting forth uncontrollably. The flow of hydraulic fluid slowed, then stopped completely as the robot's pilot cried out in alarm, "Hey! My right arm! Something's wrong with it!"

"Miss Tron!" the little robots cried in unison, surrounding the bigger one.

The pilot sounded angry. "Who is this guy, anyway? Hey, you! How'd you do that?"

How had he done that, anyway? He'd never fired a gun before in his life! MegaMan was at a loss for words, but knew that he needed to say something... "Um...lucky shot, I guess." Whatever had possessed him before, it was gone now. He'd fired the gun twice, so he knew he could do it again if he had to, but MegaMan's confidence in his aim was completely gone.

"You don't know who you're messing with!" Was it his imagination, or did it sound like the pilot was doing more than a bit of posturing? "It must be your lucky day. I'm in a good mood, so I'll tell you what: I'll let this little incident slide if you agree to be my servant. Whaddaya say?"

MegaMan stared up at the robot. "Me? Join up with pirates?" He thought about what he'd be leaving behind...his bed in the corner of the cargo hold, his galley chores, his aunts and uncles who paid him no attention, his cousins, Jaren, Mayl, Frann...

"Sure," MegaMan said, flashing a wide smirk at the pirates. "Why not?"




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