Rockman.EXE belongs to Capcom. This fan fiction was created for the Tri-Monthly Contest at Rockman.exe Online. Please do not post this fiction anywhere without the author's permission.
"Am I Dreaming, or Am I Awake? ~Of Birthdays and Battles~"
By: Kero Trigger
Story Description: After being woken from a dream, Netto and Saito celebrate their birthday, complete with the gifts of custom Navis. Later in the day things change from happy to desperate as the twins try to escape the clutches of Wily and the World 3, while Netto has problems of an entirely different nature as well.
Colors danced across the field, sparks shooting into the air like fireworks. The sword fight had been going on for what seemed like hours, both of the swordsmen showing the strain as they struggled to maintain the upper hand. Each of them had sweat running down their faces, glaring at the other one. Neither one of the Navis was ready to lose, but one was going to.
"Rockman, hang in there! You can do it!" Netto yelled towards the PET, his hand holding it so tightly his knuckles became white. There was more than just a simple record at stake here, much more.
"Netto-kun, I.." The blue Navi opened his mouth to respond to his operator, which was the opening the other Navi had been waiting for.
A sudden increase of pressure on the sword, thrusting it forward, caused the blue Navi's to break. With a sadistic grin the other Navi swung his own sword at the chest of the blue Navi.
For a moment, time stood still. Netto opened his mouth, screaming, the world remained silent. As he watched his Navi slowly being removed from existence, pixel by pixel, sound returned. He heard his own scream mingling with his Navi's, he felt the sting of tears in his eyes. For a moment, he thought he saw them forming in his Navi's eyes as well.
"Netto-kun.... Sorry.. I..." Before the blue Navi could finish, he had vanished from sight, leaving Netto staring at an empty PET.
"Rockman!" He stared at the PET in disbelief, barely able to read the bright red "DELETE" that now filled the screen. "Saito-niisan!"
It suddenly became hard to breathe, ragged gasps a sad attempt to fill his lungs. The coppery taste of blood began to fill his mouth as his vision wavered, making him feel as if he was going to vomit. He fell onto his knees, hand clutching at his chest, trying to stop the pain. The death-like grip he had on his PET loosened, the custom device clattering to the ground.
"N..No!" He fell forward onto his hand, blood falling out of his mouth in a slow stream, creating a pool on the ground. He was going to die, now that his twin had left. His arm gave out, causing to fall to the ground completely. "S..Saito-niisan..."
The voice sounded so distant, but he knew who it had to belong to. Brown eyes slowly moved across the floor, finally stopping at the still-empty pet. He could hear Rockman repeating his name over and over..
"Netto-kun, wake up!"
There was a sudden sharp pain, this was it, he was going to die. He shut his eyes tightly, trying to focus if even a small bit before he died.
The pain became too much, he opened his eyes with a scream. Eyes slowly focused to see the face of Rockman in front of him, upside down. With another scream Netto backed away, hitting the wall with a thunk.
"Netto-kun, you're strange sometimes."
Netto's hand was over his heart, eyes wide. "It was just a dream..." He noted the strange look his twin gave him, hanging over the edge of his bed. He was back in his room, the one he shared with his brother, still in bed. Watching his brother's head vanish he watched as his form was slowly revealed as he climbed down the ladder that led to the top bunk.
"Netto-kun, you better hurry up or mama will be mad at you." Saito smiled at his brother before heading towards the closet, beginning to unbutton his pajama top.
"Hai.. I'll get ready in a minute.." Pushing brown hair back away from brown eyes, a blue strip of fabric was quickly tied around the boy's head. He stood, stretching, before turning to fix the sheets on his bed. They were tangled and pulled off, giving the boy trouble as usual. Within moments he had created a bigger mess than he had started with, a groan escaping his lips as he pulled the blanket over the crumpled fabric.
Saito, however, had just finished buttoning the dress shirt he had picked for the day. Turning from the closet he walked towards the desk, hands shoving the soft fabric of his shirt under the waistband of the black shorts that hugged his waist. He ran a hand through his hair, sitting in the chair located at the desk. A drawer was opened, a black ball pulled out, quickly unrolled into a pair of black socks which were soon pulled on, toes wiggling within the confining fabric.
Netto quickly moved towards the closet, pulling out the clothing he seemed to always wear. Pajamas were thrown in the direction of the boy's bed as simple clothing was pulled on in a hurry. Netto, however, did not bother tucking his shirt in, instead moving towards the desk to pull a bright red vest off of the back of the chair his brother rested in. In a matter of moments it had been pulled on and closed, Netto absently pulling on the cuffs of his shirt as he looked in a drawer for socks.
"We need to head downstairs now, Mama started cooking breakfast." Saito stood, footfalls silent on the carpeted floor as he headed towards the door.
"How do you know that?" Netto hopped on one foot, pulling on his sock. It always bothered him, how perfect his twin seemed to be compared to him. At home, at school, even at the battles they had with Navis, Saito was always the best.
Saito smiled sweetly at his twin, tapping the side of his own nose with a finger. "I just nosed it." Netto fell over.
* * *
Both boys senses were invaded with the noises and smells of their mother making breakfast, their soft footfalls barely noticeable. Voices soon reached their ears, causing both to stop at the bottom of the stairs. Turning to look at each other they grinned, suddenly dashing towards the kitchen. They both had the same idea in mind, they had to see the man in the kitchen with their mother.
"Papa!" The two brown haired boys yelled happily, wrapping their arms around the tall scientist. Yuuichiro's eyes shined happily from behind his glasses as he stumbled from the impact. Brown and green eyes met his brown eyes, the hug returned to both boys in one swift movement.
"I thought you had to work late again today, Papa." The brown eyed boy stated, somewhat confused. He usually worked every day of the week, even sundays, especially since that strange Net group had started to cause trouble.
"How did you manage to get today off?" The green eyed twin inquired, watching his father oddly. He had an idea why, as did his twin, but neither said anything.
The man smiled, hugging the boys tighter. They soon escaped his embrace, watching him, waiting for an answer to the question. Glancing towards his wife he smiled, noticing that she was smiling also. Turning back to the boys he paused, then began to speak. "Well, there wasn't that much work to do today, my assistants suggested I go home and spend the day here with my family, it is a sunday and you two don't have school."
"Is that the only reason, Papa?" Saito frowned, not believing that was the only reason.
"You didn't forget what today is, did you...?" Netto frowned as well, somewhat hurt. Could it be that his father had forgotten after all?
"No, that isn't the only reason. I did have to bring you two your birthday presents, after all it isn't everyday you two have a birthday." Both boys smiled widely before hugging their father again, knocking him down in the process.
The entire family shared a laugh before Haruka shooed them out of the kitchen and towards the table, claiming they would make a mess. The boys began to set the table, grinning as much as they dared.
"Ne, Papa, when will we meet them?" Saito asked, Netto turning with him to look at Yuuichiro.
"After breakfast, I want to have some of your mothers delicious pancakes that she made first."
* * *
Both boys had eaten their breakfast rather quickly, urging their father to hurry up as well. Their mother smiled, watching them as they pulled the tall man out of his chair, dragging him towards the hall that lead to the other rooms.
"Hurry up Papa, I want to go try battling with a real Navi for once!" Netto continued to pull on his father's arm, his twin going to open the door to the study. Inside there were two PETs, each sitting in its own charger, screens blank. Netto let go of his father's arm, walking towards the electronic devices with his twin. Both stood in front of one, looking at them oddly before looking back at their father, who only smiled.
"I couldn't decide who would get what Navi.. So depending on what PET you pick, that's what Navi you get." The older man watched his sons, sitting in a chair that was nearby the desk the PETs rested on.
Saito and Netto locked eyes for a moment before each boy reached forward, warm hands gripping the cold casing of the devices. Power buttons were hit as the systems were lifted from the desk, held to be seen better. Each boy looked worried, wondering if there had been a wrong choice in the one they had chosen.
Black screens soon blinked into existence, the familiar PET logo flashing on the screen before the background changed again. Blue soon filled the screen, programs blinking into existence in the background. Slowly the form of a person appeared on each PET, blurred at first, becoming clearer with each second.
"They look identical, Papa." Saito mused, glancing from his PET to Netto's, then back again. It was true, both Navi's seemed to be identical, if not for the colors.
The Navi's both shared the same basic design, a simple helmet on their heads, a blue crystal on the center. Each had a gray body suit, simple gloves on their hands, much like a basic Navi had. There was a white u-shape at the top of their boots, but nothing out of the ordinary, not even the white on the toes. A loose white belt hung low on their waists, looking as if something should be hanging there. Gloves were also similar to that of a basic Navi, fading from the color the Navi wore to white at the wrist. They seemed to be wearing vests, their symbols located on their chest. That was where the differences began to take shape.
Netto's Navi sported a bright shade of green, which clashed oddly with the bright blue of the crystal on its helmet. There was no special facial markings, the symbol on its chest the same as the boy's headband. Saito's Navi, however, stood tall in a purple hue, the same color streaked his face from the bottom of his eyes to the corner of his jaw. His symbol was a mirror image of Netto's, somewhat reflecting that Saito seemed to be the opposite of his twin in many ways.
"I tried to make them similar, but different at the same time as well. You two were my main influence while making them.." A soft chuckle escaped Yuuichiro's lips as he watched the bewildered looks on his son's faces, they were too busy looking at the PETs to pay attention to him. " Twins for the twins, you could say.."
Blue eyes suddenly snapped open, only to meet with dark brown. Soon after red eyes were opened to meet green. Both Navis stared at their new operator for a moment before beginning to speak.
"Hello, I'm Midi, it's a pleasure to meet you." The green one said softly, smiling at his new operator. "Don't hesitate to ask me to do anything, I'll do it to the best of my ability.. But I won't do your homework."
The other Navi snorted slightly at hearing this, rolling his eyes. "He'll even do that, trust me. My name's Techno, if you wanted to know. I'll do whatever you say just because it's nice, but I might not always like it. Don't expect me to wake you up every morning either."
Saito chuckled, nodding towards his new Navi. "That's quite all right, I'm not like my brother. I can get up and ready on my own every morning."
"What's that supposed to mean?!" Netto glared at his twin, balling his empty hand into a fist.
Before a fight could start Haruka entered the room, hands behind her back. "Do you like them, boys?"
Both twins blinked before nodding, remembering their manners. They both walked towards their father, standing at his side.
"Thank you, Papa." Saito gave his father a hug, before walking towards his mother.
"Yeah, thanks a lot, Papa." Netto soon hugged him as well, but stayed by his father's side, turning to watch his mother.
"I have a present for you two as well." Smiling, Haruka moved her hands in front of her, a small bag resting on each palm. One was blue, the other red. Saito knew his was the blue, as Netto knew his was the red.
Dashing over to his mother, Netto took the small package out of her hand as his brother did the same. Before opening them they both hugged her tightly, speaking their thanks at the same time. "Thank you, Mama."
She hugged both of them back, brushing Saito's hair away from his eyes as they pulled away. "I'm afraid it isn't much, but it should help you with those battles you talk so much about."
"Mama, can we go see Meiru-chan? I wanted to ask her something today.." Netto pocketed the package his mother had given him, looking up at her. Seeing her smile and nod he grinned, running out of the room.
"I'll go with him and make sure he doesn't do anything too stupid." Saito soon left, leaving the adults alone.
"My my, they grow up so fast, don't they.." Haruka sighed, one hand on the side of her face. Yuuichiro stood and crossed over to her, hugging her tightly.
"That they do.."
* * *
"Netto-kun, I don't think Meiru can talk to us right now, doesn't she usually have piano lessons?" Saito frowned at his brother's back as they crossed across the front lawn to the neighboring house. "There is a sidewalk, you know."
"It won't kill the grass if we walk across it this once."
Saito lowered his head, sighing. There was just no way to make his brother understand sometimes. "Netto-kun, we've created a path..."
"It'll grow back."
The sounds of soft piano music reached the twin's ears as they stood near the front door. Straightening his vest, Netto rapped his knuckles on the door, the music stopping soon after.
"I told you she had practice."
The door was opened shortly after, the red-haired girl that lived next door glancing through the small gap before opening it fully. "Saito-kun, Netto-kun, what are you doing here? Isn't it your birthday today?"
"Yeah, well... I ..." Netto stopped, looking down at his feet. Why did he always choke while around her? It made no sense.
"Oh! I didn't get you anything, I'm sorry." Meiru stepped outside, giving each boy a hug and a peck on the cheek. "I hope this can make up for it, I don't have any way to get you something..."
Saito smiled at his friend, noticing his twin's red face. "The kind gesture and warm thoughts are more than we need, trust me. When is your piano lesson done? We want you and Roll to meet our new Navis..."
"I'm afraid it won't be done for at least half an hour.. Would you like to meet by the squirrel statue in the park when I finish?"
"That's a good idea. We'll see you then, Meiru-chan." Saito waved to the girl, dragging his brother away by the back of his collar. Meiru shook her head, watching them leave before shutting the door and locking it once again.
Snapping out of his love struck state, Netto spun to face his twin. "Why did you do that?! I was going to talk to her!"
"Netto-kun, you were mumbling random syllables. Besides, you have half an hour to think of something to say. Let's go to the park now, okay?" Saito didn't turn to face his twin, he continued to walk down the sidewalk towards the park that could be seen in the distance.
Netto said nothing, instead shoving his hands into his pockets. Looking around he noticed that the empty house that a friend used to occupy was approaching, he stopped in front of it. Sadly he let his gaze rest on it, he could almost hear his friend calling to battle in some sort of game, he had always thought he was the best.
"Saito-niisan, do you remember why Dekao moved?"
Saito stopped, turning to look at his twin. "Something about his parents thinking it would be safer for him and his little brother if they moved in together. It doesn't seem the same without him here, or without Yaito-chan either..."
Netto nodded, that had been another strange event. The increase of illegal activity had shut down a lot of things that had been connected to the Web, which hurt many companies. Yaito's father had a company, one that suffered from the damages done. They had moved out, and no one had heard from her since. Sometimes they began to wonder if she was even still alive.
Both boys began their walk again, beginning to wonder more and more about what had been occurring recently. Things seemed so strange lately, people had begun to go missing, especially those who were known for Net Battling. It also seemed odd that while certain families suffered, their own seemed not to change at all. Then again, their father did work at a company that was working on programs to stop this all from happening, which could explain a lot.
Then again, it explained very little.
* * *
"..The world is in a state of shock, no one is sure what should be done about the Net group known as the World Three. It is believed they have been responsible in the disappearance of the well known NetBattler, Ijuin Enzan, who has been missing for a week now." The Newscaster on the tv shuffled through the papers, seeming somewhat upset.
Haruka frowned, it had been like this for quite some time now. Anyone that could have stopped things from happening, whether they were adults or children, seemed to be vanishing one after another. Quite a few of them had gone into hiding, the others were slowly being found, even if some of them were dead.
The Newscaster was suddenly handed another piece of paper, a strange look crossing over the pale face. "This has just been handed to me.. there has been an update in the case of the missing Hikawa boy. Police have found the boy's body in a car located outside of a chip shop he was often seen at. So far the shops owner, Higure, has been charged with the murder of the boy. However the World Three could also be part of this hideous act. More information is not available at this period in time, and our hearts go out to the Hikawa family."
The television was soon turned off, Haruka's eyes turning towards the window. "I hope the boys are all right.."
* * *
Netto and Saito had made themselves comfortable on a bench in the park, sorting through the chips their mother had given them. There was a wide variety of chips including swords, projectiles, field changing, and defensive. Pulling out which ones that would be the best they broke them down into two piles, Saito taking one while Netto took the other.
Both boys were so involved with the Battle Chips that they didn't hear the approaching footsteps. The shadow that fell across them did catch their attention, however, and soon Netto's vision was fading to black, a strong pain forming on the back of his head. Soon even the sound of his brother screaming faded into blackness, leaving him in a void.
Netto floated in the void for longer than he could tell before sounds began to invade his sanctuary. There were yells and screams, loud beeping of machinery. There was a sharp pain in his chest, his body felt as if it had been hit with a baseball bat.
Opening his eyes he could see people standing around a bed, doctors and nurses fighting feverently to save a boy, lying shirtless on a stretcher in front of them. They didn't seem to notice him, he walked right between them, attempting to get a better look at the boy.
The face he saw, however, was not what he had been expecting. Even with the boy's eyes closed, he knew the face better than he wanted to. It was his own face, he was the boy they were struggling to save. He turned, running from the room, trying to find anyone he knew. Things like this just didn't happen, it had to be a joke.
He ran down the halls, past the other people trying to help those with serious injuries, past faces, past the sound of screams. He ran, searching for anyone, fear gripping at his heart. No one had noticed him yet, he couldn't hear his footfalls.
"I'm sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Hikari.. I don't think your son will make it."
"Please, you can't say that, there has to be a way!"
"He's unresponsive, has no heart beat. If we can revive him, there is no telling what has happened to his mind. He could be in a coma, he could be trapped in a vegetive state for the rest of his life.. he could be perfectly fine. I'm sorry, there's nothing I can really say that will make this better besides the fact we're trying everything."
Netto stopped running, sobs reaching his ear. Something about them sounded familiar, he turned to search for the source. In front of him stood his mother, sobbing against his father's chest. In his hand was a PET, the screen was blank, blood coating it in places.
"What is going on here? Where am I? Papa, Mama, don't you see me? Mama! Papa! Where's Saito-niisan?!" Netto began to scream, tears stinging his eyes. Why couldn't anyone see him? "Saito-niisan!"
"Netto-kun..." There it was again, that familiar voice. He turned, walking in the direction of the familiar sound. "Netto-kun, please wake up.."
"Saito-niisan, where are you? Saito! Answer me!" Netto sped up his steps, the world seemed to spin in front of his eyes, increasing with each second.
"Please Netto-kun, open your eyes.."
"Move, I can handle this." A strange voice said. Netto began to panic, the world spinning faster now. He dropped to his knees, eyes shut tightly. A sudden sharp pain across his face caused him to snap his eyes open, the blurry image of someone standing over him the first thing he saw.
"You smacked him!"
"It worked, didn't it." The blurry image slowly turned into another boy, who was watching Netto somewhat oddly. Sitting back he vanished from the boy's vision, Saito helping his twin to sit up straight.
"You got hit pretty hard, I was afraid you wouldn't wake up."
Netto's head began to spin once again, his hand moving to rub the back where the pain had decided to live. He could feel what felt like blood there, but he couldn't recall what had happened.
"At least you two still have your PETs, you can probably find a way to contact someone with these things." The other boy leaned against the wall, Netto's PET in his hand. A red PET rested against his leg, the screen dark. "These things are custom jobs, aren't they? Looks like you have a lot of battery life too."
"We just got them today, actually." Saito pulled his PET out of his pocket, rubbing a hand across the screen. Techno seemed to be worried, but remained quiet, watching his operator intently. "Techno, please try to see if you can contact someone and tell them what happened."
Netto's pet was soon back in his hands, he stared down at it, almost expecting to see that strange blue Navi on it. Instead he saw his own Navi, looking as if it was going to cry.
"Netto-san, I was so worried about your well-being! Are you all right?" The green Navi sniffed, hands up by its mouth.
"I'm fine, Midi.." The brown eyed boy placed the PET on his lap, leaning against the cold wall of the room. He slowly began to look around, trying to discover where they were. There was no way to tell what time of day it was, the room had no windows, a single door the only way in or out. There was nothing in the room besides his brother, the other boy, their PETs, and himself.
"So.." The strange boy ran a hand through white hair, sharp blue eyes watching the twins for any signs of trouble. "Judging by what the Navis have said, you two must be the Hikari twins."
"That's right. It seems odd you would know who we are, but by looking at your hair style I can only assume you're the missing NetBattler." Saito watched the other boy as well, frowning slightly.
"What?" Netto sat up, blinking at the white haired boy. "You're him? You're the Ijuin Enzan? I always thought you were... Taller."
"And I always thought you would be smarter."
With that, the room fell silent. Each boy began to do something, staring at nothing seemed to be the favorite thing. Enzan stared at his shoes, arms crossed over his chest, one knee pulled up. Netto stared at the ceiling, arms limp at his sides, legs straight out in front of him. Saito sat with his legs crossed, holding his PET on his lap. He waited patiently for any news from his Navi, a frown crossing his face as the purple boy returned, shaking his head.
"We can't contact anyone, there has to be something else we can do." Saito sighed, smiling slightly at his Navi. "Thank you for trying, though."
The room went silent once again, the three boys planning how to get out of the room. Footsteps were soon heard, then stopping once reaching a certain volume. The door squeaked open, it was shrill enough to make the boys cover their ears. A strange man stood in the doorway, his face shrouded in shadows. There was nothing clear about the man, except for the gun he pointed at the three children.
"Get up, Wily-sama wishes to.. Speak to you."
Each boy stood slowly, pocketing their PETs silently. Turning, Enzan was the first to leave, soon followed by Netto and Saito. The hallway was much like the room had been, damp and dark. Each step they took was multiplied, echoing in their ears before being replaced with the sound of another.
The hall suddenly emptied out into a large room, the lights much brighter than before. Three arms were raised to shield eyes struggling to focus, each boy blinking. Slowly the sights began to come into focus, revealing the strange hodgepodge of electronic equipment spread across the room. Wires were spread haphazardly across the floor, quite a few of them covered with tape in places.
Farther into the maze of machinery an old man sat, waiting for the three young boys to appear. His white hair seemed as if he had been pulling on it, not bothering to care for it much at all. He hunched forward slightly, his hand gripping onto a skull-topped cane tightly. What looked like an eye piece covered the man's right eye, but it could have actually been his eye. He laughed cruelly, glaring down at the three children that now stood before him.
"Now I have you, the three thorns in my side.." Wily stood slowly, looking tall but small at the same time, fierce but weak. "Don't bother worrying about me killing you, that would give them a martyr. No, I intend to do far worse..."
"What are you going to do with us." Saito stood tall despite the obvious fear that ran through himself and his twin. They had no way to attack, and if they decided to use their fists to take the older man out, the dark man with the gun could easily end their attempts to stop him there.
"Wouldn't you like to know? In a short time, however, there will be much more to worry about. By then my plan will be complete, and I will have no use for you anymore."
"You're insane." Enzan spat. "Whatever plans you had, they won't work. Blues and I will stop you no matter what!"
Wily continued to ramble on about his insidious plot to take over the world, but Netto paid no attention to it. Much like his brother, he was looking for any way they could stop this from happening. There was no port for their PETs on any computer in the room, and oddly enough, the man with the gun was strangely missing.
The floor in front of the boys suddenly began to move without warning, the groans of machinery filling the room. Slowly, what looked like a simple box was raised, filling the hole completely. On it, however, were three places to plug in a PET. Each boy stood in front of one, PET in hand. Enzan slowly pressed the power button on his own PET, glaring up at Wily.
"I am giving you one last sliver of hope. If you can beat what lies inside, there is a chance you can stop this from happening. Its much more fun if I get to see you suffer, your Navi's deleted in front of your own eyes due to your carelessness."
Not another word was said before each boy plugged in their PETs. Three Navis were transmitted from the sanctuary of the PET through a thin wire, materializing in a small battle arena. What seemed like thousands of virii filled the area, causing the two smaller Navis to shake in fear.
The third Navi, however, stood tall. His face was emotionless, but one could only guess what true feelings were shown in his eyes, hidden behind a thick black visor. Without another word a sword appeared on the Navi's arm, long silver hair billowing out behind it as it went in for the first attack.
Within seconds the arena was filled with the sights and sounds of attacks being made. Battle chips were used one after another, virii being deleted left and right. Navis took damage only to continue fighting, taking out the virus that had attacked. Every deletion seemed to be followed by two more taking its place, there was no end to it.
"Netto-san, I don't know how much longer I can do this." The green Navi screamed, taking a hit to his side. Soon the purple Navi was there, firing to protect its brother.
"Midi, stay alert! We can't let them win, you know that!" Techno pushed his back against his brothers, both shooting wildly at the virii. "We can't let them down, either!"
"Blues!" Enzan called out towards his Navi, sending him another sword chip. "Try to find the link, the one that leads to the main computer!" Blues nodded, saying nothing.
"Care on letting us in on the plan, Enzan?" Saito glared at the boy from the corner of his eye.
"Just find the link, Hikari. Blues will know what to do then. We need to clear a path to the outside edge!"
"You heard him, Midi! Start making a path!" Netto started to send every mini bomb chip he had to his Navi, who began to throw them in the same general area. Virii were taken out in large groups, slowly creating holes in the swarming mass.
The fight continued on, the three Navi making a slow progress towards the edge. Wily stood, looking on, a psychotic grin spread across the aging face. The slight possibility he had given the boys seemed to be growing with each second, making him nervous.
"Techno, look towards your left! I think I just saw the link!" Saito pointed towards his left, yelling at the Navi. He had to move quick, there was still the chance for failure. There could be no messing up this time, it had to be perfect.
Red eyes scanned the battlefield, suddenly opening wide. There, not ten feet in front of him, was the link they had been looking for. Turning sharply he waved his hand, calling out. "Blues! Midi! I found it!"
Midi ran towards his brother, Blues dashing past him. Without so much as a thank you he had passed Techno, soon after vanishing through the link. Now side by side once again, the twin programs began to back towards the link, not stopping the continuous shower of plasma bursts.
"Hikari, get ready to plug out. Blues is almost done!" Enzan looked up at Wily, victory shown on his face. Wily backed away, not believing he had overlooked the simple issue of an unprotected link.
"There's no way you can beat me! No possible way! The World Three cannot be defeated so easily, not by mere children!"
The battle continued to rage inside the digital world, Wily's rant falling on deaf ears. The virii had begun to increase in number once more, the twin Navis taking much more damage than they could handle.
"Midi, watch your back!" Techno dashed towards his twin, shoving him out of the way. Blue eyes met red, a plasma burst hitting its target. Techno screamed in agony, a scream that lingered long after he vanished from the area.
The room began to shake, Blues appearing again in the arena just to see the purple Navi vanish. "Mission complete, Enzan-sama."
"Plug out now, Hikari!" Enzan plugged out his PET, quickly backing away.
"All right! Midi, plug out!" Netto struggled to stand, the room shaking violently under his feet. Retracting the cord of the PET he backed away, waiting for his twin to move.
Saito stared dumbfounded at his PET, Techno barely alive inside. Shaking hands slowly pulled the device free from the plug, tears forming in green eyes. "I'm sorry..."
"We have to get out of here, now!" Enzan ran towards the hallway they had entered from, pausing there for the other two to catch up. "Hurry up!"
"Saito, come on!" Netto pulled on his twin's arm, dragging him out of the room. Pieces of the ceiling began to fall, a cheerful female voice filling the room.
"There is one minute remaining before the base is destroyed. Please leave now, and have a nice day."
Reaching the hallway Enzan grabbed onto Saito's other arm, he and Netto dragging the other Hikari out along with them. The hallways were built much like a maze, constant turns were taken. Saito snapped out of his stupor and began to run for himself, skidding into a wall while making a sharp turn.
Turn after turn the boys ran, opening doors and dodging debris. Stairs soon met their eyes, at the top there was the glorious sight of light from outside.
They began to run up the stairs, each trying to get out as fast as they could. Being so focused on escaping, Netto didn't notice the piece of concrete falling from the ceiling until it was too late.
The boy crumpled to the stairs like a doll, sliding down a few before finally coming to rest.
* * *
"Uhn..." The brown haired boy rolled onto his side, arm draped across his eyes. "Just five more minutes, I'll get up then..."
"Netto-kun, open your eyes."
Slowly brown eyes fluttered open, slowly focusing in the light. Sitting up slowly he turned to his side, seeing the strange blue Navi sitting next to him. Confused, he began to look around, trying to recognize his surroundings. The area was completely white, no definition between the floor and anything else.
"I'm glad you're up, Netto-kun."
"Where am I..?" Netto turned slowly to the blue Navi, confusion spread across his face.
"Netto-kun.. We're dead." The Navi looked down at his lap, playing with his hands. "I'm sorry, it was my faulght. I wasn't as strong as I needed to be."
"What? No, you have something wrong. I'm not dead." Netto shook his head, laughing nervously. "I just escaped death, so did Saito-niisan and Enzan."
"Netto-kun, did you hit your head? I died too, did you forget? My name may be Rockman, but I'm still Saito!"
Netto backed away, shaking. This was some strange joke, there was no way it could be reality. "It's a lie! Saito and I made it out, we did!"
"Netto-kun, calm down, you're becoming hysterical!"
"It's a lie! I tell you it's a lie!" Netto tuned from the Navi, shutting his eyes tightly. Hands were clasped over his ears, knees brought up to his chest as he began to rock, repeating it over and over. "It's a lie, it has to be.. It's a lie, I'll wake up and be fine.."
Slowly arms slid around his torso, pulling him out of his ball. His back was pressed up against Rockman's chest, the Navi crying onto his shoulder.
"Netto-kun, we're dead. Don't leave me here alone, don't leave me in this world.. We can go back to our home. We can go back to our friends, to Mama and Papa, we can go back to normal.."
"..I want to go back.." Netto mumbled, hands dropping to his sides. Tears slowly began to run down his face, eyes still remaining shut. "I want to go back and see Saito-niisan again, I want to see Midi and Techno.. I want to see Meiru's face when she finds out I'm a hero.. I want to see Mama and Papa looking at me with pride, I even want to talk to Enzan again..."
"I'll always be your brother, but I won't always be Rockman... Goodbye, Netto-kun.."
Netto suddenly felt everything changing around him, the warm embrace was gone, replaced by the hard feeling of the ground against his back. He could feel grass tickling his leg, the wind blowing across his face. Slowly opening his eyes he saw the image of his brother kneeling over him, tears in his eyes.
"Netto-niisama!" Saito pulled his brother up, hugging him tightly. Netto returned the hug, unsure as to what was going on. While his twin sobbed onto his vest, he took the time to notice that they were outside, Enzan standing nearby, the rubble the only thing left of the building they had been in.
"So, are you two ready to go, or are we just going to stay here all day?" Enzan ran a hand through his bangs, pushing them away from his blue eyes. "If you want to stay here tell me so I can go home."
Saito slowly pulled himself away from his twin, standing, helping Netto stand. "Let's get going, shall we?"
Netto smiled, nodding his head slightly. "Yeah, let's go home.. Even if this world isn't like the other.. I still like it best."
"What was that...?"
Looking up at the sky Netto smiled, his hand holding onto his brother's. "I'll explain it to you later, Saito-niisan."
"Hurry up you two, I'll leave you behind!"
Pulling on his twins arm, Netto ran in Enzan's direction. Even with life being the way it was, having his brother with him was the best thing he could wish for. Perhaps Enzan would even want to be his friend now, but if he didn't it wouldn't stop him from trying.
Enzan soon found his hand trapped in the grip of Netto's, the laughing boy leading the other two off. Each had a smile on their face, as did their Navis. Yes, this was the best choice... for everyone.