||Fan Fiction by Matthew Jessup
||Mega Man Legends 2, A Novelization: Chapter 1 - Thy Unveiling
The conditions were perfect. The sky was blue, the air was clear, and the day was silent but for the low, dull rumble that the Sulphur-Bottom made as it cut through the sky.
The Sulphur-Bottom was a large gray airship, constructed to find the Mother Lode, a legendary treasure that people had been hunting for centuries. The ship was constructed by renowned explorer Werner Von Bluecher. Bluecher may have been one of the millions to attempt to find the treasure, but he was the only one with the resources needed to go this far.
The Mother Lode was rumored to be hidden on Forbidden Island, an apt name for an island that was near-impossible to return from alive. While many had gone, few had returned, falling victim to the biting cold and ever-present blizzards that marked the island. Only two men had ever returned from the island, and they were the ones heading this expedition.
Inside the Sulphur-Bottom stood Professor Barrel Caskett, a longtime friend and rival of Bluecher’s. Barrel was an old man, with full white beard and no hair. Half of his head was covered with a dark grey metal plate, remnant of something that had happened in his distant past. He stared out of the window for a few seconds before picking up an old photograph and sighing.
The photograph was a picture of his long-lost daughter, her husband, and their daughter. Matilda and Banner had set out to Forbidden Island, just like so many others. And, just like the others, they had never returned, leaving Roll in the care of her grandfather. The subjects in the picture were smiling, not knowing the horrors that were in store for their future.
A voice behind Barrel made him jump. He looked over his shoulder to see the tall form of Werner Von Bluecher strolling towards him. Von Bluecher was approximately the same age as Barrel, but unlike Barrel, Von Bluecher still had the light of youthfulness in his eye. Time had been much kinder to him than to many people his age.
He reached Barrel’s side and glanced at the picture in his hand.
“Hard to believe it’s been ten years since your daughter and son-in-law were lost here.” Von Bluecher said, staring out the window at the swirling white clouds below.
“What were they thinking?” Barrel sighed. “Leaving their daughter behind, coming to such a dangerous place…”
“Are you sure you don‘t want to change your mind? Do you really want to go back?”
“It’s too late to turn back now,” Bluecher replied. “I’ve spent my whole life working towards this. I’m not going to stop now. I couldn’t live with myself if I did.”
“Mr. Werner Von Bluecher! Mr. Werner Von Bluecher! Please report to the central hall!” A voice on the intercom interrupted their conversation.
“That time already,” Von Bluecher said, turning away from the window. “Well, I’ll go on ahead. I guess Roll decided not to come?”
Barrel gave a start.
“Huh? Oh, oh yes,” he said, tearing his thoughts away from the sad memories of the past. “She and Rock are on the Flutter. She’s a little upset at the possibility of someone finding the Mother Lode before she does. After all, she’s been searching for it all her life.”
“I’ve always been fond of Roll, you know that,” Von Bluecher smiled. “But, as they say, all’s fair in love and war!”
He left the room. Barrel stared out the window at the swirling storm that marked Forbidden Island, before sighing and following his companion.
The press was gathered in a large group, all wanting to report on this historic event. The general air in the room was that of excitement and anticipation, with just a slight hint of fear. The main hall was one of the largest areas on the ship, with a wooden stage at the front of the room that stood in front of large bay windows. The windows were currently covered in metal shutters, blocking the outside view from the press.
A security guard marched up to Von Bluecher as he entered the crowded hall.
“Nothing to report, sir!” the security guard said, snapping to a salute.
“Good,” Von Bluecher replied. “Keep your eyes peeled. If any pirates show up, I want them dealt with immediately! Nothing is going to ruin this, not if I can help it.”
“Yes sir!” the guard shouted, snapping to salute again. Von Bluecher winced, and surreptitiously massaged his ear.
He and Barrel walked to the podium. Twenty reporters at once were introducing the press conference to their respective stations.
“Nobody has journeyed to Forbidden Island and returned to tell the tale…”
“But today, two men who have devoted their lives to studying that infamous island…”
“…will attempt to land there and retrieve the legendary Mother Lode…”
“Did you have to call so many reporters?” Barrel groaned to Von Bluecher.
“This is an important event,” Von Bluecher muttered. “The more the merrier.”
“You haven’t changed,” Barrel replied, but there was a hint of a smile in his voice. “Just try not to make a fool of yourself - or me!”
A hush fell over the crowd as the reporters finished their introductions and Von Bluecher stepped up to the mic. He cleared his throat.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, thank you for your patience,” he said in his best orator voice, his words echoing throughout the chamber. “I would like to give you a brief description of our planned expedition…”
In the midst of the crowd, a dashing blonde-haired young man attired in a brown suit silently stepped up to a group of what seemed to be reporters.
“Now, what do you think you’re doing here?” he quietly asked a silver-haired man with a ponytail. “I thought you had gotten out of the pirate game.”
“Stuff it, Glyde!” the man whispered angrily, not taking his eyes off of Von Bluecher. “We’ve got enough problems as it is!”
“What, did your little department store go under already?” Glyde asked, smiling.
“No, it hasn’t gone under!” muttered the man furiously, turning towards Glyde. “We’re just…a little in the red this month, that’s all! We need a little cash to make ends meet.”
“Well, if you didn’t only stock things you liked, maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess!” snapped a glasses-wearing woman. She was shorter than the man, and there was a slight family resemblance between them.
“Both of you, shut up!” hissed a large suit of armor behind both of them. “I’m trying to listen to what they’re saying!”
“What did you say, you tin can?” growled the silver-haired man. “What do you think you are?”
“Hey, no use squabbling until after the job’s done, Teisel,” Glyde said.
The woman glared at her brother, who sighed resignedly and turned his attention back to Von Bluecher, who was still speaking.
“As I am sure you are all aware, no one has visited this island and lived. No one, that is, but Professor Barrel and myself. Thirty years ago, we journeyed there and survived. Over the years, we have been asked numerous times what we saw there. We have kept that knowledge to ourselves…until now. Today, I intend to let you see it for yourselves!”
Von Bluecher took a step back as the shutters covering the windows behind him fell away, revealing the massive swirling cloud that covered Forbidden Island. The crowd gasped, as journalists snapped hundreds of pictures and reporters urged their cameramen to focus on the cloud.
Meanwhile, an airship stood, grounded, on an island far to the west of the Sulphur-Bottom. It was of a decent size, enough for a family of three to live in. Most of it was painted yellow, but the underbelly and tips of the wing were a dark, rich red. On its hull was written the word “Flutter”.
Aboard the Flutter, Rock Volnutt was cooking breakfast. He was a nice boy, with messy brown hair and lightweight blue armor. He wore an apron over his clothes. He quietly let himself into the living room, where the daughter of Barrel, Roll Caskett, slept on the couch. He smiled down at Roll for a second before placing the plate of food on the coffee table and turning on the TV.
“Roll, breakfast is ready!” he said, nudging her slightly. “I made the eggs just how you like them!”
Roll grunted, and turned over, her pink pajamas rustling as the material scratched against the couch.
Rock nudged her again, holding the remote in one hand.
“Wake up!” he said, insistently, poking her in the side. He continued changing the channel until he got to one where the press conference was taking place. Roll slowly woke up and looked blearily at the TV.
“Oh,” she mumbled, rubbing her eyes, clearly very tired.
“Don’t worry, I’m sure the Mother Lode can’t be found that easily,” Rock said, trying to reassure her.
“Mmmn.” she said, slowly sitting up. On the TV, Von Bluecher was still talking, gesticulating to give his points emphasis.
“Professor Barrel and myself are confident that the Mother Lode, which has been sought after by all mankind for numerous generations, does lie buried somewhere on this island.”
The reporters applauded, but Von Bluecher spoke over them.
“That concludes my presentation. Are there any questions?”
A blonde reporter walked up to them. She wore glasses and held a notebook in her hands. Her hair was done up in a professional-looking bun and her button-down shirt looked like standard-issue reporters garb. She looked vaguely out of place.
“Mr. Von Bluecher,” she said, seemingly choosing her words carefully. “Has your research given you any clue as to what the Mother Lode might be?”
“Now, that’s an interesting question,” Von Bluecher replied. “Personally, I believe it to be something that can be used for the betterment of mankind. Perhaps it is a new energy source, or new technology that will render our current energy source, the refractors, obsolete. Certainly it is something of tremendous importance.”
“And, Professor?” the reporter asked, shifting her focus to Barrel. “What do you think?”
“Well…” Barrel started to say, but froze. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It couldn’t be possible…could it?
“Matilda?” he gasped. “You’re…you’re alive?”
Before she could answer, there was a loud commotion in the back of the crowd.
“That’s her!” a very disheveled woman was screaming. “That’s the one who stuffed me into a locker!”
The crowd began murmuring to themselves, all staring at “Matilda”, who smiled menacingly before addressing everyone.
“Has it occurred to you that this great lost treasure might not be what you think it is?”
She slowly walked backwards to the large window.
“What happens to you is no concern of mine, but I will still give you a warning: What you call the Mother Lode is not a treasure at all. No, it is a catastrophe waiting to happen! Gatts!”
A ship flew up to the Sulphur-Bottom and shattered one of the large windows. The woman jumped out onto the ship, which hovered near the broken windows. Security guards charged forward, aiming their guns.
“Stop! Hold your fire!” ordered Von Bluecher, causing the guards to lower their weapons. Teisel, his sister, Glyde, and the suit of armor all stared at the mysterious woman through the gaping hole in the Sulphur-Bottom.
“Look at that, Teisel,” breathed the sister. “Isn’t it amazing?”
“I smell a mighty big treasure, Tron!” Teisel replied, grinning, the light of piracy in his eyes.
“Outta my way!” snapped Glyde, elbowing Teisel in the ribs.
“Ow!” Teisel cried as he nearly fell out of the window. He glared at the suit of armor as he barely regained his balance. “Are you trying to get me killed?!”
The mysterious woman cast her gaze on the congregation still assembled in the Sulphur-Bottom.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cause such a ruckus…” the woman said apologetically. “Still, the child must not be awakened. There is no telling what will happen if she is. You have been warned!”
And she soared away from the mass confusion. Barrel stared at her retreating form.
“A child?” he whispered to himself. “A catastrophe? What do you mean, Matilda?”
Back in the Flutter, all was silent. Roll and Rock stared at the TV, openmouthed. They couldn’t believe what they had just seen. Roll was the first to speak.
“That woman…” she whispered. “That woman was my mother.”
“Wha- No way,” Rock gasped.
“But.. she wouldn’t do anything like that, would she?” Roll mused, speaking to herself.
Rock paused, staring at Roll.
“Well…” he started, but stopped.
“Hm?” asked Roll, looking up at him.
“Well, why don’t we find out for ourselves?”
“I…I don’t know…”
“Look, it’s the only way to be completely sure.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. OK, let’s do it. I’ll get changed. Can you do the dishes for me?”
Roll ran to her room.
Rock smiled, and went to pilot the Flutter.