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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by aarond
A Different Place: Chapter 39 - ...Go!

"We're just about ten minutes away from the Ruins," Mr. Wily called from his place at the boat's helm.

"That's great," said Tron from the deck, shielding her eyes from the sun. "I'm going to go amidships and get ready."

While she began down the stairs, MegaMan grumbled, "I don't know why she didn't just put on her armor while we were on the Gesellschaft, like I did..."

"Because she wanted to make a grand entrance," said Number Eighteen. "It's really important to her that we all like her new armor. She worked verrr-y hard on it!"

"Yeah, yeah," said MegaMan, dangling his left arm lazily over the ship's rail. It wasn't really Tron that was making him so disgruntled---this time, anyway. Even though Wily, the boatman, had been nothing but polite and pleasant to them, MegaMan nevertheless felt some sort of hostility when he was around the older man. He almost felt as if they should be fighting about something,, that was impossible.

Despite the fact that Wily and MegaMan had nothing to fight about, the boy was still trying to keep his distance from the boatman. Tron was too busy preparing her new outfit for its first use, so this meant that he had nothing but Servbots for company on the boat rides. Admittedly, the Servbots could be entertaining at times, but one tended to get tired of their incessant, childlike questions after a thirty-minute barrage. No, MegaMan did NOT know why some bunnies had floppy ears and other bunnies had up-ears.

Bon had been sitting on the prow of the boat for the entire voyage. The youngest Bonne brother had spent the last half-hour staring at his reflection in the lakewater and trying to grasp the random fish that would swim by. He hadn't successfully caught one yet.

Servbot Number Two jogged up the stairs, opening the door that led to the boat's interior. "Presenting, in her brand-new, state-of-the-art Digging armor, Miss Tron Bonne!"

As Tron strutted out the door, MegaMan saw that the primary motif of her new, highly-fashionable armor was "pink." Every inch of Tron's armor was painted a fiery hot pink, from the solid greaves to the shoulder pads to the hydraulic boots. Only the blue visor on Tron's helmet seemed to be a different color. Tron's helmet, by the way, was now ergonomically designed to allow the billowing vestiges of Tron's definitive hairstyle to emerge freely while still allowing Tron the maxiumum level of head protection (Number Two would later tell MegaMan that it took several painful, frustrating hours in front of the band saw to properly align the slots in the helmet).

All of the Servbots began "ooh"-ing and "aah"-ing. "That looks amazing, Tron," said MegaMan, who had long ago learned the benefits of instantly and overwhelmingly complimenting anything and everything Tron personally made. "I'm really impressed."

"Thank you," Tron said, blushing slightly. "I...really put a lot of work into it."

"And I can tell," said MegaMan in earnest.

"Buu!" said Bon approvingly, leaping off of the boat's prow and back onto the deck.

"We're almost there," Wily said from above. "Just let me put 'er full astern so you can disembark easier."

MegaMan, Tron, and Bon waited until the ship's stern had just reached, then they hopped over the boat's railing onto the grass of the small island. Tron used her ID card to unlock the door sealing the Ruins, and the darkness within was revealed. The Lake Jyun Sub-Gate awaited them.

"I still can't believe you're doing this," Dantz said to his Digging companion as the two of them walked up to the entrance of the Clozer Woods Sub-Gate.

"Well, believe it," said the legendary Barrel Caskett, clad in his archaic armor, clutching Quackard's spare Impact Pulser (Dantz would have called it the "Dantz Shocker," or the "Dantz Wave," or something equally self-indulgent) in his wrinkled hand. "I'll do my share of Reaverbot-busting, don't you worry."

"At least you're not still wearing that bathrobe," said Dantz, holding his ID card up to the scanner on the Ruins' entrance. The card reader flashed a red light over the barcodes on Dantz's identification, and the door to the Sub-Gate unsealed itself. "Here goes nothing," Dantz said as he and Barrel walked into the structure. The floor jolted, the lift descending immediately as soon as it detected a presence on its surface.

"Can you hear us, Quackard?" Barrel asked through the voicelink.

"Yeah---keh-keh!" came the Birdbot's voice. "The next floor down's completely clean. Not a Reaverbot in sight." Roll had apparently not gotten over her little snit, and had refused to Spot for Dantz this time as well, even though her grandfather was also going on this Dig. Something had clearly come between the Digger and the young girl. Barrel thought he had an idea of what it might be.

The lift came to a halt, and the two Diggers emerged into the first basement. "You realize that Roll was probably making such a fuss over that MegaMan boy to make you jealous, right?"

"I don't want to talk about it," Dantz said, walking through a pair of double doors. The chamber behind it was some sort of control room. "Hey, Quackard, are you getting any readings from here?"

"It just reads like any other room---errrerrrhhh! Why, is there something else down there?"

"Yeah," Dantz said as he and Barrel investigated the ancient instruments. "This looks like some sort of control center. It says something...about 'Prototypical...something Units.' I can't really decipher most of it."

Barrel looked around the younger Digger's shoulder. "Operations Room 2," he read from the Ancient language. "Emergency System activation requires direct password input from Eden or the insertion of three Level 2 or higher Prototype Anthro Unit ID cards."

"What the hell does that mean?" asked Dantz.

"Well," began Barrel, "there are references to the Prototype Anthro Units all over different Ruins around the world. I assume the gist of this message is that if we want to activate the Main Gate, which I assume we do, we have to find three of these ID cards and insert them into the control unit, here."

"Can't we just use our Kattleox Island ID cards?" Dantz held up his own identification. "I've got mine right here."

"No, Dantz, we can't use those," Barrel said, walking out of the control room.

The two continued to the next sub-basement. The two split up to investigate the different directions the passageway took. Barrel's fork was a dead end, although the old Digger found what he believed to be one of the ID cards mentioned in the above control room. He doubled back just in time to find a large Reaverbot sneaking up on Dantz.

"Look out!" Barrel called, firing the Impact Pulser at the Reaverbot. Its joints froze in place, although they began vibrating sharply as the Reaverbot tried to struggle against its imprisonment. Dantz flipped around and finished the robotic menace off with three shots from his Arm Cannon.

"Thanks," said the young Digger as he and Barrel began harvesting refractors.

"That's why I'm here," Barrel said. The two finished their work and began down the next channel. Barrel began hearing odd noises over the voicelink. "Quackard, what's going on up there?"

"That stupid monkey is jumping around on my controls again!" said the Birdbot. "Come here, you stupid ape! I'll teach you to screw around in here while I'm Spotting---waaaak!" The two Diggers heard a clatter as Quackard's headset fell off the Birdbot's head, then the sounds of a fading struggle as Quackard and Data took their fight outside of the Spotting Room.

Dantz and Barrel looked at one another, then continued through the Ruins. After a few moments of silence, Barrel started in on a different subject. "About you and Roll---"

"Listen, Barrel, I don't---"

"Shut up and listen to me, boy!" The authority in Barrel's voice brooked no argument. "She's had her eye on you since she was seven years old, and I don't think she's going to let go of that idea very easily. She doesn't like to give up on things, you know."

"Yeah, I know," said Dantz, blasting a small Reaverbot in front of him. "It's just that I always---"

"---thought of her as your, sister, I understand," Barrel finished for him, blasting another villainous Reaverbot.

Aided by his hydraulic boots, Dantz bounded up to a nearby ledge in search of treasure. "I think I found one of those ID cards!"

"Great!" said Barrel. "I picked one up earlier! Looks like we only have one left to find!"

Dantz fell back to the floor level, the shocks in his boots absorbing the majority of the impact. "Actually, Barrel, you don't understand. It's not that I couldn't think of Roll in that way, it's just that I can't. There's something special about her---I've known it ever since we met. Something that...I don't know, it doesn't seem like I should be a part of.

"I know I talk big, sometimes. The truth is, if I don't, I'm worried people might overlook me, like they did when I was little." Dantz halted his speech as another Reaverbot approached. He fired three shots at the Reaverbot, destroying it. "Aw, yeah! The D-Man scores another big takedown!" Seeing Barrel's rolled eyes, he grew more serious. "Anyway, there's someone out there for Roll, someone really special. I can sense it. It doesn't matter how I feel, because I can't let her stay with me. It would be like...holding her back, or something."

"I don't know, Dantz," said Barrel as the two entered a dead-end room with a translucent ceiling. "I think you won't be able to change her mind on this---but I can think of a few ways she might change yours."

Dantz blushed at Barrel's frankness. "Quackard," he called, "I can't see any way to proceed forward in here. Do your scanners read anything?" Silence for a moment. "Quackard, are you up there?" Dantz looked at Barrel. "You don't think he's still chasing Data, do y---"

Both Dantz and Barrel heard the headset on the other end drop once again, followed by the sounds of receding footsteps as someone ran away from the Spotting console.

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