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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by aarond
A Different Place: Chapter 43 - Aerial Assault

Roll fired her small gun at the little skyships flying past her. That was funny. A tiny weapon for tiny targets. Or rather, it would have been funny if she weren't involved in a battle for her life right now. A small ship flew past, and she saw the emblem that, in truth, she had been expecting to see on its side. It was the same insignia that cute MegaMan had worn on each of his shoulders.

Without warning and without provocation, the Bonnes were attacking her home.

The larger "mothership" flew calmly in the background, only spitting out the occasional bomb or stray bullet, no doubt content to let the smaller flying vessels do most of the work. Roll wished she had finished tweaking this weapon's power output. Ideally, it would have been just as strong as the Dantz Blaster, maybe even stronger, but right now it was only about a third as powerful. The puny gun didn't make any loud, proud blasty sounds like Dantz's weapon, it just twittered as the small shots escaped.

Dantz was shooting at the incoming ships and projectiles silently but with determination, his gritted teeth plainly visible as he took down several of the enemy's vehicles and missiles, with much more success than Roll had been having. She couldn't even fire at half the rate his weapon had, but still, she would try.

The deck shuddered under Roll's feet as a missile detonated on the Flutter's hull. She discharged the weapon a few more times at the pirates. The small green energy blasts lurched out of the small gun's funnel-shaped nozzle, then shakily sailed towards one of the small, purple-colored aircraft. What did these people want from them? Dantz and Barrel had gotten some money out of their last Dig, but it wasn't anything that impressive. "Have they made any demands?" she asked her Digger, with whom she was still cross. For the moment she would forgive him, just because the current situation was so complicated.

"Not that I know of," said Dantz as he launched a Diggermissile at the enemy. "I wonder if they just want to take us out of the competition?"

"That could be it," Roll allowed. The gun clicked as she tried to fire again. "Now what?" Checking the gun's battery level, she found that it was completely drained. She was defenseless against the pirate onslaught. "What else could go wrong?" she asked.

A large, neon beam arced out of nowhere and knifed through the Flutter, slicing the airship neatly in two. Dantz sent a concerned look Roll's way as the front end of the ship, now disconnected from the ship's flying engine, began sinking quickly. Roll ran desperately for the stern, leaping as she reached the edge of the falling deck. She had almost made the jump, but not quite. Just as she began to make the plunge to ground level, Dantz's gloved hand snatched her own, yanking her up to safety.

"What do we do now?" her Digger asked, staring at the front half of their home as it slipped further groundward.

The Flutter had been destroyed. They were still in the air for the moment, but it would be only seconds before the engine went critical and exploded. "You know," Roll said softly, "I meant that question rhetorically..."

MegaMan felt more than a little guilty as he flew one of the many Draches involved in the assault. He knew that the ship they were attacking was Roll's home, and he suspected that she would not approve. To ease his guilty conscience, he convinced Number Thirty-Nine (whom he had originally thought was Twenty-Eight, as those two Servbots looked so alike as to be nearly interchangeable) to man the guns while he, MegaMan, flew the ship.

This only partially eased the clenching, uncomfortable feeling within MegaMan's gut. It was easy to rationalize that since he wasn't actually firing any shots, he wasn't responsible for anything bad that happened, but he knew that was very limited thinking.

MegaMan saw the small red-and-yellow ship grow larger as he and Thirty-Nine made their first run at it. Number Thirty-Nine began simulating automatic firing sounds with his mouth, which were soon echoed by the actual guns. The boy looked on as the Drache's streams of fire rattled against the other skyship's surface. He pulled the Drache up just a little earlier than he probably should have, but his gunner didn't seem to notice.

"Let's get ready for another run!" Thirty-Nine said eagerly. "Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh!!" He made firing motions with the gun controls although he wasn't really shooting any longer.

Sighing, MegaMan flipped the Drache around and flew towards the little skyship again. "Here we go," he said without enthusiasm. As Thirty-Nine strafed the vessel a second time, MegaMan thought he noticed two figures on the ship's upper deck. The Drache was shaken by some form of attack hit the tiny ship from behind.

MegaMan tried to fly evasively as he made another pass, but was unable to avoid the shots that Roll---yes, it was Roll---was firing at him. He couldn't steer around the green energy blast, but fortunately the shot was so weak that it plinked harmlessly off the Drache's glass windshield.

Number Thirty-Nine howled in excitement as he kept up the attack. "Ha haaaa! Eat lead, you suckers!"

"Settle down," MegaMan told him as he flew past the yellow skyship once more. It was funny; he would have given anything to be able to fly a skyship half a year ago. Now, after several intensive training sessions, Tron and Teisel were finally ready to trust him with a Drache, and he would have done anything to not be flying one!

MegaMan began another attack run. Roll and that big guy were really letting some of the Draches have it now, firing in several directions simultaneously. MegaMan noticed that Roll had stopped her defensive fire as he flew the Drache closer. Suddenly, a bright orange light seared through his eyes. He blinked, and many long seconds later, was able to see clearly once again. Nothing but bright, blue sky was in front of him now. "What happened?"

Number Thirty-Nine looked confused as well. "I think we may have flown past their ship," he guessed.

"You're probably right," said MegaMan, turning the Drache about. An unbelievable sight awaited him: the Casketts' ship had been cut in two! "How did that happen?"

"Ummm...I don't know," admitted the Servbot.

"Take the wheel," MegaMan commanded, leaving the pilot's chair. "Fly us close---I'm going to pick them up. Their ship might blow at any minute!"

"Ro--gerr!" sang Thirty-Nine, plopping himself into the other seat.

MegaMan waited a few more seconds before opening the Drache's rear door. As it swung back, he saw a tall, tanned young man aiming an Arm Cannon at him. He looked haggard, obviously exhausted from the tasks he'd just been forced to endure, and his Digger's armor was scarred from many impacts. "Come on!" cried MegaMan. "Get in!"

The Digger blinked twice. "What?"

"Let's get out of here before your ship explodes!"

The Digger stared at MegaMan without comprehension, then shrugged. "Okay." He grabbed Roll, who had been staring at another incoming missile, around her waist and carried her on to the Drache. MegaMan shut the door and ordered Number Thirty-Nine to get as far away from the doomed skyship as quickly as was possible.

Roll lunged for the door, only to be held back by MegaMan and the Digger. "No!" she screamed

"Stop, Roll!" MegaMan ordered. "Whatever you left behind, it's not worth your life!"

Roll wailed and sank to her knees. MegaMan, well aware that any comfort from him would be unwelcome just now, kept his distance from the blond girl. He wanted so much to hold her, tell her that everything would be fine, but how could he, knowing that he was instrumental in destroying her home?

"Grandpa," Roll moaned. "Quackard, and Data...they're all..."

"Maybe not," said the Digger, removing his mining hat. "They might have been on the other half of the ship."

Roll sobbed. "So they just fell to their deaths! They didn't blow up. That's comforting!"

MegaMan rubbed his eyes, remembering a time when his best friend, coincidentally named Data as well, had died. Nothing had been able to comfort him. Still, he gave it a try for Roll. "Roll, I'm really sorry about what happened..." He looked at an object hanging from the man's belt. "Hey, you've got the key! That's what Teisel was looking for!"

"You want that key?!" Roll shrieked, the tears streaming down her face. "You can have it!" She ripped the key from the Digger's belt and chucked it at MegaMan. "Take it! My grandfather's dead!"

"I'm sorr--"

Roll threw herself at MegaMan. "It's all your fault! I'll never forgive you!" Sobbing, she pounded her fists down on the boy's shoulders, wounding his conscience much more deeply than his body.

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