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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by aarond
A Different Place: Chapter 34 - What A Nice Girl

"I'm Roll," said the blond, blue-eyed girl in the red hat as MegaMan helped her to her feet.

By this point, MegaMan had become somewhat reluctant to reveal his name to strangers, due to their inevitable questions. "It's nice to meet you, Roll," he said somewhat evasively. "Are you hurt at all?"

"No," she said, dusting herself off a bit. "I think I'm okay." She raised her legs, one by one, and inspected her kneecaps. "No scratches. That's great!" Then, she looked MegaMan over. "You're a Digger, aren't you?"

MegaMan shrugged. "Sort of." That was basically true, in that he had explored ruins before, but he really hadn't done enough to consider himself a professional Digger. "Are you from around here?"

"No," said Roll, "our ship just...kind of crashed on this island a little bit ago. The guy who was driving, he's a real doofus---"

"I saw that!" MegaMan said quickly. "That was your ship? It flew right into the city wall!"

Roll looked a little embarrassed. "Yeah, well..."

MegaMan didn't want to make the girl uncomfortable, so he changed the subject. "I tried to get in the city, earlier, but the guard says I can't get in without a some sort of identification."

"Yeah," said Roll, "that's what I heard, too."

For some reason, MegaMan found he had a profound need to show off. "I'll bet I can get us in. Wanna try?"

"Okay," she said, grinning. MegaMan suddenly began to feel a little dizzy. Also, something seemed familiar about this girl.

"Follow my lead," he said, jogging up to the market's inner door. "Excuse me, sir?" he said to the guard. Without waiting for the man's response, he continued. "I know, we need identification cards to get in the city, right? Our father's in there, getting our ID cards right now, but he forgot our passports." As MegaMan flashed a couple of spurious documents (in reality Teisel and Number Twenty-Eight's membership cards for Mega Man's Buster Battalion (he was holding them for safekeeping in case Tron found out that the second time Number Thirty-Six had serenaded her, it was their idea and not his)), he could see that Roll was altering her expression to match his own look of desperate concern. Obviously, this was a clever girl. Before the guard could interject anything, MegaMan said, "Without the passports, he can't prove who we are, and so we can't get our ID cards, can we? So you have to let us in, otherwise he won't be able to---"

"Okay, okay, go on in." Evidently MegaMan's adopted tone of urgency had acheived its desired effect. He and Roll slipped through the small door, gaining access to the whole of Kattleox City.

It was not small, but it was far more compact than most of the other cities MegaMan had visited. Due to the constrictive walls that surrounded the city, any construction had to be carefully planned out. This meant the buildings, for the most part, were rigidly fit together, with some of them even being face-up against another one, or even two. Considering this, MegaMan was impressed with the amount of grass and space the downtown area had.

While there was traffic on the streets, it was very light since nearly everything in the city was within walking distance from everything else. Roll spotted something to her liking and, latching on to MegaMan's hand, dragged him over to a street vendor.

"Two hot dogs, please," she ordered. Turning to MegaMan, she added, "I only had two bites of my cinnamon roll before I dropped it, so I'm still a little hungry. Make mine with everything," she said to the hot dog seller.

"Um," MegaMan said. Tron didn't trust him with any spending cash, so there was no way he could afford a hot dog. "I don't have any money..."

The vendor handed Roll her hot dog and paused. He obviously wasn't going to get a hot dog ready for someone who wasn't paying for it.

"It's on me," Roll said, flashing her addictive grin at MegaMan. "Make his with everything, too."

The vendor nodded and prepared MegaMan's hot dog, making it identical to the one Roll had received and was now eyeing hungrily. MegaMan took it as the girl handed the hot dog seller a couple of small refractors. "Thank you!"

As MegaMan took his own hot dog, he realized that Roll had been waiting for him to be served before she started eating. This amazed him. When he had lived on the Blue Barnacle, he had been the cook, and therefore, expected to eat last, and oftentimes, by himself. On the Gesellschaft, everyone just served themselves and started shoveling food in as fast as possible. Someone actually delaying her own meal until he was ready to eat was so outside his realm of experience that he forgot to start eating. He just stood there with his mouth hanging open.

"Don't worry, it's good," Roll assured him, evidently taking his hesitation as trepidation at trying a new food. "Haven't you ever had one before?"

"Oh!" MegaMan said, and, not wanting to seem impolite, he took a bite. Roll followed his example, but he was so busy analyzing the contents of his mouth that he was only vaguely aware of that. He had, in fact, eaten hot dogs before, but never with so many toppings. Three different kinds of relish exploded in his mouth, at once tasting sweet, sour, and salty. The crisp onions were mild enough not to be oppressive, and the crunchy little fried things---he wasn't even sure what those were---added extra texture. He thought he might have detected a hint of crushed tomato, but that was probably from one of the different varieties of relish. The sausage, he realized almost as an afterthought, was also quite spicy and very tasty.

"Wow!" he said. "This is amazing!"

"Yeah," Roll said between bites. "This is really good stuff. Sometimes you take a chance on those hot dog stands, but usually it turns out pretty good." She waited a moment, then asked, "This is just one part of the city, I think. You want to see what else there is?"

He nodded. Roll led MegaMan through another gate, on the opposite side of the first. He could have sworn there was something familiar about Roll---like he was supposed to know her, or something. Still, what he did know about her he liked, he thought as they entered another section of the town. She'd bought him a hot dog and hadn't even yelled at him once, yet! What a nice girl she was.

Tron tried not to groan with impatience as she walked around Kattleox Island's administrative district. She had scored herself an island ID card, with a false name, of course, but one that would work properly nonetheless. Now she could walk freely around the city, but why would she want to? There was nothing particularly worth seeing around this boring burg, even if the city had been constructed around some ancient Ruins that were standing above ground.

Tron led her three Servbots to the police station. All Servbots were properly identified now as "Engelbert Hossenfeffer," a name which Tron had randomly selected for all of her little creations. Apparently no one at the island's immigration office had a problem printing up forty ID cards for the "same" person. The police station was massive; Tron guessed it had over twelve separate floors. Laughing, she marked it down as another example of bureaucratic expediency. With a police station this size, almost half of the island's population must be employed inside. Judging by the size and stature of the other buildings in the area, the other half probably worked construction.

"All right, listen up!" The Servbots snapped to attention. "I'm going in here, but I don't want you to follow me. You guys go look around the town, okay? Go check out the bank, or something. Meet me at the library in an hour! And don't do anything stupid!"

"Yes, Miss Tron!" The Servbots walked walked away from police headquarters in single file.

Walking into the structure revealed something else to Tron: very few officers were on duty at any given time. That boded well for the Bonnes upcoming invasion of the island. Three clerks were ready to serve any incoming personages at a large desk in the lobby. "Umm, excuse me?" Tron asked one of them with a show of juvenile nervousness. "Is there any way I could look around the police station? I was, umm...thinking about maybe coming to work here when I grew up."

Tron's estimation of the police clerk went down quite a bit---though it hadn't been all that high in the first place---when he cheerfully agreed to give her the grand tour. He hopped over the long desk and proceeded to show her around. "This is the lobby," he said unnecessarily, pointing to a bulletin board, "over there we keep the latest wanted posters, a copy of today's newspaper, and back there is the Chief Inspector's office. It's the only office on the first floor." He led her through another set of doors to an elevator.

"This is the mail room," he said as they got off on the second floor. Tron nearly gasped at the sheer amount of postal traffic that was going through the open floor. Hundreds of letters and packages were stacked on top of each other, making it hard to see some areas of the mail room. Three or four people were dashing around the room with wheeled carts, putting pieces of mail into slots while plopping other pieces back into their carts.

"How long does it take for the mail to be delivered to whoever it belongs to?" asked Tron, staring at the manic mail carriers.

"Don't be silly," said the clerk, punching the next button on the elevator, "the mail never gets delivered. If we just wanted the mail to get wherever it's supposed to go, we'd only need two people to work in here for one shift, instead of the eighteen we currently employ." He chuckled for a bit. "Delivered," he said in disbelief.

The rest of the police station's layout was equally ludicrous. The third floor was the fitness room, filled with exercise machines, barbells, and free weights that made the Gesellschaft's training room look pathetic in comparison. The next four floors were filled entirely with break rooms, each with four or five attendants to serve snacks and coffee to whoever was taking a break at any given time. "The break room employees have a strict schedule for their own breaks," explained the police clerk. "Otherwise, they wouldn't have anyone to attend THEM when they're on break."

The eight, ninth, and tenth floors were actually filled with people at desks. Each floor used the same layout, but while it appeared that the employees were hard at work, Tron noticed that most of the office workers were whittling away their time playing solitaire or "BombSniffer," two games that were included with their computers' operating systems.

The tenth floor was empty. "This floor is still a work in progress," said the clerk as he quickly pressed the next button.

The eleventh floor was filled with file cabinets, with several employees dashing around filing and re-filing hard copies of case files. "Reports are the lifeblood of police work," explained the clerk. The whole process put Tron in mind of the mail carriers on the second floor, although there weren't any carts on this floor.

Tron expectations were admittedly very low as the elevator chugged up to the top floor, but she was taken by surprise yet again. The doors opened to reveal a very plush, ornately furnished living area, complete with assorted pieces of nouveaux-Reaver art that was so popular among the fad-susceptible upper class. "These are Chief Inspector Burris's living quarters," the clerk said. "He lives in the station so he'll be available twenty-four hours a day if he's needed."

"Nice," Tron said simply as the elevator doors shut again. "So," she asked as the lift began its long journey back down to the lobby, "where's the jail?"

"I'm sorry?"

"The jail," Tron repeated. "You know, where you keep your criminals? Where is it?"

The police clerk blinked a couple of times. "Oh, the jail! You know, it's never really come up before."

"Are you saying that there aren't any holding cells in this building at all?" Tron could hardly believe it.

"I guess not." The clerk actually sounded kind of surprised, himself.

Tron had to work very hard to restrain herself on the rest of the elevator ride. She almost wanted to leap into a frenetic dance of joy. There wasn't even a jail on the entire island! How had these people not been cleaned out before now? No matter---the family Bonne would take care of that, soon enough. After returning to the lobby, Tron walked quickly out the revolving door and ducked around the corner. Unable to practice her restraint any further, Tron found herself doing cartwheels as she thought of the simplicity of the job ahead. She couldn't wait to tell MegaMan and Teisel!

Maybe she'd take MegaMan around the town before they returned to the Gesellschaft. Tron had been angry at him after his little joke with Number Thirty-Six, and even angrier after the second time, but maybe it was time to let it go. She'd also been acting really cranky whenever he was around, too, and that had been unfair. Maybe she just wasn't sure how to act with him, because he always made her so nervous. Tron's eyes brightened as she saw MegaMan entering the administrative district. He'd figured out how to get in the city on his own, hadn't he? That was her boy. He was smart, strong, and---Tron quickly jumped behind a tree.

Who was that hussy he was with?

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