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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by aarond
A Different Place: Chapter 38 - Ready, Set...

"Let's wish good luck to all of our competitors!" Amelia said into the microphone. The gathered citizens of Kattleox island cheered their approval wildly. "The contest will begin in three days' time, and the Sub-Gates will be divided as follows: Team Caskett will explore the Ruins in Clozer Woods, Team Bonne will take the Lake Jyun Sub-Gate, and Team Glyde will Dig the Sub-Gate in the Cardon Forest!" The crowd cheered one final time and began to disperse as the press conference ended.

Roll saw her nice new friend breaking off from his group and walking over towards her. "Hey, Roll, um, I just wanted, wish you good luck in the contest and all." He scratched the back of his head and began staring at his feet. "I'm sorry Tron was so grumpy, earlier. That's just how she is."

Catching Dantz's eye on her and the new boy, Roll grabbed took his gloved hand in both of hers. "Oh, don't worry. I know you're going to do great on your Dig!" Now Dantz was looking a little miffed. That was great! "You know, I just realized that I don't even know your name. What is it?"

The boy looked a little nervous. "Um, well, the thing is, it's actually---"

"MegaMan!" called a loud voice from inside the throng of people surrounding them. It sounded a little bit like the nice boy's crazy girlfriend.

"Where?" Roll asked, looking around the area as if she expected a cartoon character to pop out from behind a trash can.

"Right here," said the boy, pointing at himself. "That's my name."

Roll's eyes lit up. "You mean your name's---" He nodded, and Roll giggled in delight. "That's amazing! You've got the coolest name I've ever heard! How did you get a name like that, Mega Man?"

He was really starting to look uncomfortable. "You should say it a little faster. It's one word, not two: 'MegaMan.'"

"Far out!" Now that Roll looked at him closely, putting his face together with his name, it seemed like there was something familiar about him. Like, maybe she should already know MegaMan? But that was impossible; they had never even met before today!

"Made yourself a new friend, Roll?" said a crotchety voice from behind her.

"Grandpa, this is MegaMan," she said, introducing the two. "MegaMan, this is my grandfather, Barrel Caskett. He used to be one of the best Diggers in the world!"

"Used to be?!" Barrel demanded. "I'm still one of the world's best Diggers, and by cracky, I might even prove it in this little contest of Amelia's---did you say MegaMan?"

"That's his name," Roll said.

"Hah!" Barrel laughed. "I always figured if Roll had a little brother, that's what he would've had to be named. She wouldn't have stood for anything else, she loves that show so much." Now it was Roll's turn to look uncomfortable. "Good luck to you in the Dig, sonny. I hope I'll be seeing you around." Barrel turned and walked away, the belt of his mauve bathrobe trailing after him.

"Yeah," said MegaMan blankly.

"Look, I think we need to head back to the ship, now," Roll said. "I'm sorry if I got you in trouble with your girlfriend, or anything, and I really had a good time with you today."

"MegaMan!" called the nutty girl's voice again.

"Well, actually, Tron isn't really my girlfriend. She's made that very clear to me on several occasions."

"Really?" Roll said with interest. Noting that Dantz was still watching her from a few yards away, Roll leaned forward and gave MegaMan a fairly chaste, but still interesting, kiss on the mouth. She ruffled his brown hair, smooshing her face into his just a little too hard. "See ya later," she said as she released him, then she ran off, taking great pleasure in the hurt look on Dantz's face as she blew by him.

MegaMan felt his head start to spin as Roll threw herself against him. Something inside him felt really, really tingly, but it wasn't near as powerful as the throbbing in his lips as he felt the blond girl's mouth smashed up next to them. He had just started to lean into her as she pulled away and gave him an appraising look. "See ya later," the girl said as she turned away from him.

MegaMan felt as though he'd leapt twenty feet into the air, but instead of falling, he was just hanging there, limply. His chest felt like it was going to inflate and maybe burst, but that didn't matter right now because all he could think about was how Roll's body had been so close to his own. In fact, he would have done almost anything to keep her that close.

For some reason his arm was jerking up and down. He was trying to think about Roll some more, but something had latched onto his hand and was tugging on it like some sort of pull-chain. Why wouldn't it stop? "What is it!?" MegaMan yelled, perhaps a bit louder than he had intended.

"Mister MegaMan, sir," said Servbot Number Three, looking wide-eyed up at him, "Miss Tron has been looking all over for you. It's time to go back to the Gesellschaft!"

MegaMan let Number Three lead him back to the Drache. At some point, Tron appeared, lecturing MegaMan about something stupid he'd done, but the truth was, he didn't care one lick about that. After the group had returned to the Drache and a very-relieved Number Ten, MegaMan sat down in the little flying ship, took off his right glove, and started touching his lips, trying to re-live the feeling he'd gotten when Roll had kissed him.

"What are you doing?" Tron demanded from the bench across from his.

"You bet," MegaMan agreed.

"I know---it was that little tramp, wasn't it? Did she do something to you?"

MegaMan was barely aware that Tron had asked a question. "Uh-huh." He was also so absorbed in his mental re-enactment that he missed Tron's hurt and worried glance, which quickly turned to a frosty stare.

When the group finally made it back to the Gesellschaft, Teisel sat them down in the meeting room, along with Servbot Number Thirty-Seven and Bon. After receiving an explanation from Tron, the elder pirate seemed to have been completely mollified. "Well, there was nothing else you could do at that point, and we did get what we wanted, in a way---the Ruins have been unlocked! Now, to this Lake Jyun Sub-Gate: I'm going to let you two Dig this Ruin out yourselves."

Tron's jaw dropped. "What?"

"Now, Tron, you told me you wanted a free hand on this mission, so you're going to have one. I'll stay up here and Spot for you, so there'll be nothing to worry about."

"But I thought you were going to do all the actual Digging!" Tron protested. "I have had time to build a new Gustaff yet, and the Feldynaught is way too big to fit into any Ruins!"

MegaMan, who had been becoming gradually more and more aware of his surroundings, piped up, "What, are you worried about Digging without a giant robot suit? It's all right, Tron, if you're afraid, I can go by myself---"

"Afraid!?" Tron scoffed. "I'm not afraid. Who said I was afraid? I'll go, Teisel, but do I have to take him with me? How about Bon instead?"

"Babu!" Bon said.

Teisel nodded. "You can take Bon, too. All three of you can go. It'll be safer that way."

"What about me?" asked Number Sixteen.

"Yes, you can come, too," said Tron, massaging her temples. "The more the merrier!" Then, she turned back to Teisel. "I don't have any weapons or armor of my own, you realize. What am I supposed to do?"

Teisel plucked a large bag with a "Z" on it from the floor and dropped it on to the tabletop. "That's easy! Go shopping!"

There was only one junk store on Kattleox Island. Tron took two of the Servbots down to Apple Market with her to perform carrying duties, but otherwise she went alone. She wanted no one to witness the situation she was about to subject herself to.

"Hello, there!" the junk store owner, a plump, mature woman, greeted cheerfully as Tron walked in the door. Her eyes grew even more welcoming when she saw the big bag of refractors Numbers Five and Forty were bearing.

Tron started snapping out orders like a drill sergeant. "I'll need a set of Digging armor, some appropriate weapons, a helmet, hydraulic boots, and some flair."

"I'm sorry?" asked the woman as she darted around the back of the store, gathering the items Tron had requested.

"Flair," Tron repeated. "I don't want to look like just any old Digger, you know! I have a reputation to protect."

"I see," said the store owner as she plunked a standard brown set of Digging armor on the countertop, placing a matching helmet on top of that. "Try these on."

As Tron struggled to put on the armor, the store owner whipped up a pair of hydraulic boots and an Arm Cannon, along with a gold-colored sash.

"What's that?" asked Tron.

"Flair," replied the store owner, shrugging. "The best I can come up with, anyway."

Tron looked herself over in the mirror after dressing in the boots and armor. "This makes me look like a boy," she complained. "Can't you make it look more...feminine?"

"What you see is what you get," said the woman. "The Reaverbots don't care how good you look."

Tron was already trying out the helmet. It was the correct size; she had double-checked before trying it on, but somehow it wouldn't quite fit. Tron growled as she tried to force it over her head. "What is the problem, here?"

"Umm, Miss Tron," said Number Five, "I think your hairdo is getting in the way."

"Hmm?" Tron felt around. Of course. Her widespread hairstyle took a lot of gel to maintain, so naturally it would also be nearly indestructible and immobile as well. "We'll have to think of a way around this." Tron handed Number Forty the helmet and experiemented with the gold sash. "Not bad," she said analytically, "but I think it needs more. Can you paint the armor a different color?"

"Sorry," said the junk store owner, "I don't have the tools in here. I just sell 'em."

"All right," Tron said, "I'll take them, but it had better be at a substantial discount. Number Two and I are going to have to do some major alterations when we get these back to the ship."

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