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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by aarond
A Different Place: Chapter 56 - Road to Recovery

Dantz looked at the new cast on his right hand. It was white and made his hand look abnormally large, like the white gloves those anthropomorphic animal characters would wear in a cartoon. It would have been funny if his hand hadn't been injured so severely. The cast went down his forearm about halfway, but didn't restrict the movement of his elbow in any way. He would have been in pain, except the doctor had given him so many painkillers, he was almost in a euphoric state.

After he'd been taken back to the city, by the Bonnes, of all people, he'd went immediately to the hospital. They'd had to saw off his Dantz Blaster, which was melted and warped beyond all repair. As Dantz had feared, some of the metallic shards and run-off had fused with his skin. It had taken a three-hour operation to remove all of the metal fragements, he required over a hundred stitches, and then, since his hand had been completely crushed by the Enarban Fell, he'd needed a cast as well. They had separated all of his fingers from each other to prevent them from healing together and making his hand into a "mitten."

Dantz leaned back in his bed. They'd made him change into a hospital gown and stay in bed despite the fact that he felt fine! He wanted to go find Roll; she didn't even know where he was, now. He and Roll were alone together, and each was all the other had. He needed to tell her that, no matter what happened in the future, he would always---

"Hello, Mr. Digger, sir!" piped up a cheery, high-pitched voice from the doorway. Dantz looked, but saw no one there to meet him. "It's nice to see you're okay!"

Dantz angled his vision downward, and saw three of the little Servbots beaming at him from the doorway. "Hi, guys!" he said cheerfully. "What's going on?"

"Miss Tron wanted to come and visit you!" said a Servbot, dragging Tron Bonne in with the others.

"That's great!" Dantz said, still cheerful on the outside. "I'm doing fine, you know." He patted his cast. "Nothing the ol' D-Man couldn't handle!"

Tron still looked stunned. She hadn't changed clothing since her battle with Glyde, so she was still clad in a soot-stained jumpsuit. There was a small bruise under her right eye, and she looked blankly at the wall, not even acknowledging Dantz's presence in the room. She was only barely paying attention to the Servbots.

"They had to pull chunks of metal out of my hand!" Dantz said.

"Oooh!" said one of the little guys, staring in horror at Dantz's cast. "I bet that really hurt!"

"Well, a little," Dantz admitted, winking at the Servbots, "but that was before they gave me the drugs!" All of the Servbots uttered gasps of amazement at this, which almost startled Dantz into laughter. "Yep, they're really treating me right here."

Dantz wasn't sure if Tron was listening to him or not, but at that exact moment, she burst into tears, her chest heaving as she nearly folded in on herself. Resisting all medical advice, Dantz sat up in his hospital bed, throwing down the side railing. He gripped Tron to him tightly, squeezing her nearly so hard as to bruise flesh.

"I...understand," he said in clipped tones. "I understand how it feels to lose someone close to you. My mother ran out on me when I was a kid. I never even knew my dad. Now Barrel, Data, Quackard..." He decided not to remind Tron that she was at least partially responsible for those deaths. "It feels like it's never going to get better, doesn't it?" Some part of him in the back of his brain realized that, were it not for the painkillers he was currently on, he would be crying now nearly as hard as Tron. "It will. I promise."

"But I...never...I couldn't...tell him. I was too...scared!" Tron wailed.

He gritted his teeth. "If there's any justice, in this world or the next, he already knows." Dantz gripped Tron by her shoulders and pushed her back so she could face him. "Listen to me. You, Tron Bonne, are not only one of the premier sky pirates currently in the world, but you also have one of the most loving hearts of any of the girls...any of the women I've ever met. You hear me?"

Tron sniffed and nodded silently. "Let's go, boys," she said shakily, and led the Servbots out of Dantz's hospital room.

Dantz hoped the girl would be okay. Even though they'd been opponents on more than one occasion, he found himself thinking of her fondly. Of course, he had better not let Roll catch on to that. Roll... He hoped she'd be able to find him.

As if in response to his wishes, he heard a cry of "Dantz!" from the hallway. A small, thin, red-clad girl darted into his room.

"Roll!" he said, barely having time to open his arms before the blond girl threw herself into them. "I was afraid you wouldn't be able to find me!"

"As soon as I heard about those explosions in the air, I knew where you'd end up," she confessed, nuzzling her Digger's chest. "Hey," she said, disengaging herself from him, "why is your gown all wet?"

Clearly, his gown was wet because Tron had been crying while she hugged him. He didn't want to tell Roll that, though. "Umm, because I was drooling on it," he said quickly.

"Ewww!" Roll yelled, thrusting herself away from Dantz completely. "That's gross!"

"Well, they have had me on a lot of drugs here..."

"Shut up, dummy!" Roll punched him in the chest, away from the damp spot, of course. "I was so worried about you."

Dantz thought of all that had happened to him in recent hours. "I'm sorry, Roll. I want you to know that...I promise I'll always come back to you, okay?"

"Yeah," she said, sniffing as she looking at her feet.

"What's with all the long faces in here?" said a crotchety old voice. "You'd think somebody died, or something."


"That's right," said the old Digger, alive and well. "You should've known it'd take more than a thing like blowing up to kill me." He circled his shoulder around in its socket. "Tell you what, I may leave the Digging to you from now on, though. Takes it out of you."

"He's not the only one---errrerrrh!" Quackard walked into the room. "I'd hug you, Dantzy-boy, but I don't swing that way."

"No problem," said Dantz as little Data hopped into the room, dancing playfully around the hospital equipment. "Data! I'm glad you're okay, too!" Data bounded onto Dantz's bed, doing a little jig around his sheets. Dantz smiled, although he felt a little guilty, knowing his family was all okay while Tron had to deal with such a tragic loss. "It was too bad about MegaMan, though..."

"MegaMan?" said Roll, no doubt remembering the young boy she'd traipsed around Kattleox City with. "What happened to him?"

All of the Casketts were paying close attention to Dantz now. "He died," said Dantz. "He fell off the skyship into the ocean. We looked for hours, but we couldn't find him."

"So...MegaMan's dead?" asked Roll.

"I think so," Dantz said. "I don't see how he could have survived." He patted Data's head. The monkey's eyes had gone wide as he listened to Dantz's news, and the little robot smushed his head into Dantz's thigh. The Digger stroked Data's fur, unsure of why the monkey was so depressed.

"I'm sorry, Gary," said Alaine as the royal skyship made its way back to Garrdan Island.

"I can't believe Tron said she never wants to see me again!" lamented the prince. "After we saved her life and all..."

"Well," Alaine said, "it turned out for the best. She'll get over her dead boyfriend, eventually."

"Yes, you're right," he said, "and then it'll be Gary's time to shine!"

Alaine nodded. "That's why I had to destroy that little boy. He would have been in your way, you see."

"What?" said Gary. "You was you who knocked MegaMan off of that ship?" He looked shocked. "You killed him?"

"I had to do it. Nothing matters to me more than your happiness, Gary. I couldn't tell you about it, because then Tron would have held you responsible." Her eyes pleaded with her nephew.

Gary looked slyly at her. "Well done," he said in a congratulatory tone.

"Well," Glyde said haughtily as he and the Birdbots rowed their way towards the next nearest island, "I'm certainly glad we thought of storing that large life raft in the Enarban Fell's cockpit."

"Keh!" squawked one of the Birdbots in agreement. "Yeah. I wonder why we did that, anyway?"

"Because we didn't have anywhere else to put it!" said another Birdbot.

"Silence!" Glyde ordered. "Regardless of reason, it's clear that I showed a great deal of good judgement in placing this raft aboard the Enarban Fell." He shivered. "Mr. Loath is going to be very displeased with us for losing the Garoona Klang..."

One of the Birdbots quacked. "Um, well, technically, we haven't lost it yet. We know where it is---it's still on board the Bumblebee Stinger."

"Keep going," Glyde prompted.

"All we have to do is find the ship. Errerrrgh! Technically, unless it's damaged, the refractors will power the ship for a period of no less than fifty years, right?"

"Right!" said another Birdbot with a rare burst of enthusiasm.

"Keh-keh! So we have another fifty years, give or take, to find it. Unless someone else finds it first."

"Change of plan!" Glyde said authoritatively. "First, we're going to report to Mr. Loath. But, let me stress this, the operation is STILL underway! We just haven't secure all of the refractors yet!" This was technically true. The ship had to be secured, and the refractors were on it. "Then, we'll commandeer one of the family's skyships, come back here and re-capture the Garoona Klang!" He laughed in triumph. "In no time at all, we'll be the most powerful crime syndicate in the world!" The Birdbots squawked in time with Glyde's laughter as the raft drifted further out to sea.

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