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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by Quick Cheetah
Illogical: Chapter 2

JIJI:

Seething with rage, I powered up my flamethrower, and let loose an wave of fire that a Karamuna Bash would have envied. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was, seeing Delta's smug expression give way to horror as his death arced toward him in a red-orange blaze. He cried out in pain and terror as the wave struck him, sending him sprawling and writhing on the floor as his shell melted and fused into an unrecognizble mass. His struggles gradually slowed, then stopped.

That done, I turned my attention toward where Mistress Sera had fallen. I had to know if she was alive. I shuffled over to the pile of debris that used to be a shelf, calling her name. To my utmost relief, she answered!

"J...Jiji? Are you there?" Mistress Sera's voice was weak, but audible. She groaned softly, then said, "I...I am heavily damaged. I need repairs immediate...ly...."

For a moment, I was overjoyed that I had not killed my mistress after all. But now was not the time to be emotional. I needed to get Mistress Sera to safety, as quickly as possible. The scraps of metal were far too large and awkward for my hands, but perhaps I could manage them in my current form. I began to dig carefully through the debris...


SERA:

When I awoke, the first thing I was aware of was the sheer weight of the junk piled on top of me. Sharp pains gnawed at my back, and I felt feverish all over. Then, as soft and silent as a thought, Jiji's voice was calling my name. I was able to answer and report that I was heavily damaged and needed immediate repair, before dizziness overwhelmed me, and I was sinking into oblivion...

[No!] I thought, struggling against the deactivation. [I must stay conscious!]

"Mistress Sera," Jiji called from somewhere above. "This unit is attempting to dig you out. Please warn ahead of time of anything that might go wrong."

The ironic thing was, everything had been going wrong since we stepped into this room.

I felt the pressure shift as the heavy debris was lifted away. Then, something huge was plunging in next to me, and I screamed. It jerked away sharply, and I could see what it was: I was looking at the rather large muzzle of a robotic dragon. Its huge, lipless mandibles were lined with chisel-like teeth, bared in a perpetual snarl. Scarlet, hooded eyes peered at me from atop a beaklike structure at the end of the muzzle. Looking farther back, I could see the dragon's long, thin, spiked wings, slender body, and whiplike tail. An enormous spike on its back lanced toward the ceiling. Twin cannons perched on its shoulders. A Servitor-Fiiru. Somehow, Jiji's lovely voice, twisted and robotic-sounding, came from somewhere in the beast's chest cavity.

"Mistress Sera," it asked, "Are you able to move?"

I tried, but the remaining debris and the pain in my back prevented me from doing anything more than shifting my limbs slightly. "I am still trapped," I murmured. "And I cannot feel anything below my waist!" I started to panic, and sought out the System's soothing logic in a failed attempt to calm myself.

The avian dragon nodded slightly, and said, "Very well. This unit shall call for assitence." As I watched, the monster began to shrink. Spikes, cannons, snout and tail receded, as its body morphed into a humanoid shape and skin and hair reappeared. No matter how many times I see it, a Servitor unit's ability to compress an enormous Fiiru form into a relatively small humanoid body never fails to amaze me.

Fully de-transformed, Jiji sprinted back out of the room, to the nearest companel. I heard his voice saying softly, yet urgently in the distance, "This is Servitor Unit Jiji requesting emergency assitance in Storeroom 7. Repeat, emergency assistance is required in Storeroom 7. Mother Unit Sera has been damaged, possibly severely." Pause. A soft voice on the other side of the connection was speaking, but too softly for me to hear.

"Very well," I heard my servant tell the speaker, "Jiji out."

Meanwhile, my condition was detoriorating rapidly. I felt myself growing unaturally warm, and my breaths became labored, signs of a failing coolant system. There was the dampness of leaking fluids seeping from my back. Dread enshrouded my soul. If my coolant system failed, there was a 98% chance I could expire.

Jiji returned, stating, "Assistance will arrive within seven minutes. What is your condition?"

"I do not have seven minutes!" I nearly shouted. "My coolant system is nearing critical!" I needn't go on. The horrified expression on Jiji's face told me he knew what that meant. He immediately calmed, then said, "In that case, there is only one thing to do: a Level 3 shutdown must be carried out immediately."

A Level 3 shutdown-total deactivation-ceases a unit's functions entirely, down to the brain activity. Unfortunately, unlike higher-level shutdowns, a Level 3 cannot be carried out by the unit itself; it must be performed manually, by another. It also requires the creation of a memory backup, the necessary auxilary components for which are usually carried by one's Servitor, for just such an emergency as this.

"You have my permission," I told my servant.

"Acknowledged", Jiji replied, and carefully removed the rest of the debris that was imprisoning me, then very carefully turned me over onto my stomach. I gritted my teeth against this fresh pain, barely registering the Servitor's low moan of horror and disgust as vital fluids gushed from my wounds. His fingers pressed against the back of my neck, followed by the the light, sliding sensation of a memory chip being inserted into the I/O slot located at the base of my skull. By this time, my coolant system had gone critical. I could feel the metal of my body starting to soften, and turn to liquid. Every breath was a laborious struggle to get cooling air into my disintegrating respitory devices. Not a moment too soon, my internal CPU stated,

MEMORY BACKUP APPARATUS: READY

[Create memory backup in preparation of Level 3 deactivation] I instructed it.

PROCESSING...DONE.

"Ready," I told Jiji. He said nothing, but continued with the deactivation. My throat tightened with nervousness as an unsettling thought occured to me: I was completely at this Servitor unit's mercy. True, it had been twenty-eight years since he was assigned to me, but then again, it had been fifty years before Lene went aberrant and tried to kill me. Jiji could just as soon rip my vital components out and claim that I had been crushed beyond repair when the shelf collapsed. And I would be unable to stop him.

I tried to put all thoughts of the unit that had betrayed me from my mind. This was not Lene. This was Jiji, someone completely different, I told myself. When I could not reassure myself, I begged the System for help. It complied, easing the pain, and surrounding my thoughts with calmness, even euphoria, as the sharp, cold pinprick of a shutdown device in the back of my neck probed for the deactivation mechanism located on my spinal column. Then, I was drifting into a deep, black ocean....


JIJI:

Mistress Sera grew limp as I completed the shutdown. The process was a success; her overheated body began to cool down to a safer temperature. I took the moment to enjoy the sense of relief and a job well done, before the System cleared my mind of all emotions.

The door slid open behind me, admitting two Purifier units and a Construction/Maintenence unit into the room. One of the Purifiers, MegaMan Trigger, jogged toward me.

"Report!" he ordered. I explained all that had occured, while Trigger listened. When I was finished, his expression turned thoughtful, then he said to me, "Servator Unit Jiji, you do realize that, due to your failure to provide adequate protection for Mother, you are partially responsible for the damage she has sustained."

I nodded slightly to indicate that I understood, then watched as the Construction/Maintenence unit assigned to this area entered and teleported Mistress Sera to her quarters, where a repair pod would be waiting.

I would have felt a deep despair and guilt, had the System not reduced it to mere dismay. Instead of proving to Mistress Sera that I was worth anything to her, I had instead confirmed that I was useless. The first time I was challenged to protect my mistress from outright danger, which is what a Servitor unit is created for in the first place, I had failed, and I knew what that meant. At Mistress Sera's order, I would be terminated, after a mere twenty-eight years of existence.

I did not resist when the Purifiers seized and restrained me. I simply complied with their orders, and allowed them to lead me out of the room. After all, there was nothing I could have done that would have made any difference.

***


SERA:

My fears of being destroyed by my Servitor unit while inactive proved unfounded. I woke up safe and sound in the repair pod in my chambers, and the process was well under way. Not only did I survive the encounter with the Aberrant Bureaucratic unit, but my fears of being slain by my own Servator unit had been dispelled. Jiji had passed the final test; I now consider him completely trustworthy. One cannot comprehend the sense of freedom and relief at that discovery.

According to the diagnostics run by the repair pod, I had suffered moderate damage to my primary circuit relay, and severe coolant leakage. Minor damage, really, but would nonetheless take seventy-two hours for the repairs to be complete. The Elysium/Terra meeting had to be postponed.

During the forty-fifth hour of my repair, Yuna came in to check on my progress, accompanied by a Servitor unit I had not seen before.

"Hello Sera," Yuna greeted. "How are you feeling?"

"As well as can be expected," I replied with a wan smile. I nodded toward the unfamiliar Servitor. "Who's that?"

Yuna smiled proudly and said, "This is Gaga. He was just activated less than forty-eight hours ago, and already shows great promise. Gaga, this is Sera, Mother Unit of Elysium."

Gaga regarded me almost shyly, then said, "Hello. It's an honor to meet you, Mistress Sera."

"What happened to your previous Servitor unit?" I asked. "He got reassigned." Yuna answered quickly, as though she would rather speak of something else. "Speaking of Servitors," she continued. "what are you going to do with yours? It doesn't sound to me like he's very reliable."

I honestly did not know yet. Normal practice for an infraction this severe was to terminate the unit responsible. Delta, the unit who was responsible for what happened, was a charred lump on the storage room floor. It was also partially Jiji's fault, since he had failed to protect me, yet I could not bear to sentence Jiji to death. After all, it was not as though there were many options available. There was the possibility that throwing me onto the shelf was the only thing that could have been done. There was also the possibility that there was another, safer option, and Jiji had acted too hastily. I needed more time to consider this.

A couple of Purifiers brought Jiji in to confer with me during the seventy-first hour of my recovery. His wrists had been bound together behind his back. His normally impeccable posture was slouched in shame, and his eyes were dull with misery.

One of the Purifiers, none other than MegaMan Trigger himself, stepped forward.

"Mother Sera," Trigger said, "Servitor unit Jiji has been declared defective after failing to protect you adequately from danger. Orders?"

Without displaying any emotion, I asked the brooding Servator, "Did you scan the shelf for defects or possible unstability?"

"No, Mistress Sera." he mumbled.

"In the attempt to locate a safe area in the room, did you do an entirely thorough search and ensure that there was no other option?"

"No, Mistress Sera."

I took these new facts into consideration, and, after a minute, announced my decision: "Servitor Unit Jiji, you are pardoned."

This statement invited odd stares from all who were present. All wondering about my seemingly illogical decision.

"Subsequent testing of the room showed that the shelf I was...placed upon was indeed the safest point in the room at the time," I explained. "There was simply nothing that could have been done to prevent what had happened. In fact, if I were anywhere else in the room, chances are that I would be severely damaged at this point, or terminated entirely. It would not be just if I were to terminate Jiji for something that he could not have prevented. Let him go."

The Purifiers removed Jiji's bonds, and, having served their function, departed.

"MegaMan Trigger!" I called. The First-Class Purifier hesitated, then turned. He had the same expression as Jiji did when he was brought in, as though he knew ahead of time what I was about to say.

"You are aware," I told him, "that this whole incident never would have occured had you not attempted to rehabilitize Delta, and terminated him immediately as protocol dictates, are you not?"

"Actually," Trigger said, "the idea was not mine, Mother. It was the Master who thought of it."

I sighed. Of course it had to have been the Master's idea to suggest rehabilitation. What is it about humans that makes them alternate between sheer brilliance and utter idiocy?

"MegaMan Trigger, you and I are holding a one-to-one conference as soon as I have recovered." I declared.

"Yes, Mother." The Purifier bowed respectfully and left the room.

I leaned back in the pod, and tried to relax until repairs were complete. This was not the first time I have had to reprimand Trigger. Being a MegaMan unit, he had a tendancy to do things differently than how the System dictated, sometimes to the point of failure. His unorthodox actions led to many scoldings over the years, yet he never seemed to learn. Yet another defect in the MegaMan breed. However, Trigger did indeed perform his tasks quite efficiently most of the time, so there was no need to terminate him. And besides, since he was a Purifier, there was no need to worry about Trigger becoming Aberrant.

Right?


JIJI:

As promised, as soon as Mistress Sera was able to move freely and painlessly, she summoned MegaMan Trigger to her office. I, of course, stayed behind her, in my usual kneeling position. This gesture serves a dual purpose; besides being extremely respectful, I am also in an ideal position to leap onto an attacker, or transform without being concerned about falling over.

Trigger entered the room, bowed, and said, "Mother, I can explain. Rehabilitation is not a one-hundred percent solution. There is a slight chance for failure. Perhaps Delta was an exception to ...."

Mistress Sera held up a hand to silence him.

"Your rehabilitation theory has proven ineffective." she said. "There will be no further attempts. From now on, you will terminate malfunctioning units like all the other Purifiers."

"Yes, Mother."

"Why did you think you could reprogram Delta?" Mistress Sera asked.

"I didn't. As I said before, it was the Master's idea." Trigger replied.

"Trigger, humans are illogical creatures. Sometimes they say things they do not really mean or have not thought through properly."

"Then why obey them at all, if they're so illogical?" Trigger demanded. I saw Mistress Sera's shoulder's tense up in irritation at the Purifier's sharp tone of voice.

"Because that is what we were built for." my mistress told him. "To serve the human race, until the last one has ceased to exist. But don't forget, the Master is the only true human remaining. The System exists to protect and serve the Master. We exist for this, and only this purpose."

Trigger lowered his head, his shame showing through.

It seemed to me that this was a most unusual Purifier unit. But then again, he is a MegaMan unit, and MegaMan units tend to be a bit peculiar.

"Remember, the Master says illogical things at times," Mistress Sera concluded. "If he does, ignore him." She returned to her desk.

"I do not understand," I asked as Trigger left the room. "Why would the Master want a unit such as that by his side? What would prompt such behavior?"

There was an unusually wistful tone in Mistress Sera's voice when she answered my question. "The Master is...lonely."

The saddened tone piqued my curiousity. I looked up, taking care not to meet her eyes.

"Mistress Sera," I asked. "Is something wrong?"

She jumped slightly, as though startled, then glanced down at me. "No," she said. "Nothing is wrong. I was just reminded of how lonely I myself had felt walking alone along Elysium's hallways while you were still being constructed. I guess...I guess I never really thought of it until now." Her eyes closed as she sought comfort in the System.

Her unhappy expression was disquieting to me. I stood up to my full height.

"Mistress Sera," I said. "This unit is constantly in your presence, so you no longer have a reason to feel alone."

She glanced upward at me, offering that smile I had come to appreciate so much, and said, "That is true. And I am extremely grateful for your presence."

Her words generated a pleasantly intense feeling of gratitude, which the System immediately quelled. No major loss; emotions tend to be illogical anyway.

Mistress Sera settled back down behind her desk to resume her duties, while I stood faithfully next to her. For the next several minutes, I reflected on the pleasant emotion Mistress Sera's words had invoked. Specifically, I wondered why I had been so grateful for nothing more than praise. It seemed illogical to get so emotional over mere words. Eventually, after giving it some thought, I figured it out: Mistress Sera's kind statement had reinforced the fact that my life had been spared from termination due to fatal error. That and nothing more.

The door to the office burst open, and a Communications Unit drifted in, screeching, "Mother! This unit requires your immediate attention! It is urgent!"

"If it is so urgent, then why can you not take it up with the Master?" Mistress Sera snapped, clearly annoyed by the interruption.

"I'm afraid that is impossible," the Communications Unit replied.

"Why?"

"That is what I came to tell you! The Master is dead!"



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