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.
By: Sigma Knight
Story Description: What if is a powerful question. The addition or subtraction of anything in life could have drastic consequences. The life of one person could forever alter the destiny of all others. Hikari Netto has lost his home and his parents to the World Three, but at least he has his brother. A brother that, somehow, he is sure is the cause of all problems and pain he has felt in his life. But on one rain drenched day when he takes his brothers destiny in to his own hands he becomes aware he has nothing left and looks for a means of escape.
"Netto-kun. Wake up, Netto. Wake up!" A voice pierced the deep unconsciousness,in which the aforementioned Hikari Netto, seemed to float. Happy and blissfully ignoring, or at the least hopping to forget, reality. A reality that since his birth had been nothing but one cruel stab in the back after another.
He often did this. Slept. Slept for hours at a time. It was the only time that he was truly happy. It was the only time that things seemed to go perfectly, the way they should have gone. The sky was a perfect blue and the grass, fresh and alive, was green. The most beautiful shade of green that he had ever seen in his life, he would run up on to a hill of it and simply lay there. Staring at the beautiful white puff balls as they would go past. He would smile, even if all he saw in them were pieces of cotton, as the grass itched at his neck. But, he felt alive. Perfectly happy. His mothers voice would ring in his ear, calling him to join the picnic. He would sit up, smile and wave before running to her as quickly as he could. His father was already there, eating with his friends. And his brother, Saito, was....
"Netto-kun! Get up!" Netto felt a sharp sting against the side of his face, and his dream, his perfect world, shattered like a mirror. It was then, that he became aware of the drops of water that were hitting his face. "Netto-kun its raining again, we need to find shelter!"
"Go away, we were having a picnic!" Netto kept his eyes shut tightly. As though he was grabbing hold of his dream as tightly as he could. He couldn't see who was trying to pull it away. But he recognized the voice. It was the same one that always pulled his dreams away.
"Netto-kun! Open your eyes!"
"You're going to catch a cold!"
"Tch. You just know everything don't you!"
"Netto. Niisan. Please."
"Leave me alone."
"Fine. Fine! But...but if you catch a cold its not my fault." The voice stuttered slightly, and seemed strained as though it was pained by his brother's responses but wanted to deny that it was true. "Just go back to you're dream."
Netto gave no response, as he rolled from one position to another. Trying to gather back the pieces of his dream and fashion them back in to the perfect frame that they had been in before. But no matter what he did, he couldn't rejoin that life. That perfection. That happiness was gone now. It was time to face reality. He opened his eyes slowly, seeing what he wanted to get away from.
The dark sky, littered with lightening, and his brother, standing there, crying in front of the burned down shell of a house, that was once a home. His home.
Ch 1. Broken Home
Dear Diary, everything has been going down hill since the Life Virus incident. The whole world was thrown in to chaos, there were so many power surges, and explosions, that everyone stopped using anything electronic. Even people that had Net Navies that lived, stopped using them. I think everyone's given up hope. Even Netto, I can feel it, deep down in my heart and even though he yells at me I have to bee there for him. Because now that mom and dad are gone. Im the only family he has...
It was the same day that the Life Virus was sent out. It had taken everyone by supprise, papa was at home early because, mama had asked him to come and try to fix the stove again. We always had problems with that stove. Niisan and I were at Meiru's house watching TV when it happened. The screen flickered and there was an announcement that the World Three was still functioning. And that they just used Enzan's brief victory over them to hide and do a supprise attack.
As soon as they launched it everything went wrong. The lights and everything electrical overloaded. The bulbs, TV and even Meiru's P.E.T exploded. And then we heard something, something that still haunts me today. It sounded like someone set off a bomb. We all jumped up and rushed towards the window. What I saw still haunts me. Every time I close my eyes I see our house burning. And Papa, rushing back in to save mama. But, neither of them came back out.
Meiru tried to hold Netto, to keep him from running in as tried to call the fire department. But all the phone lines were dead. We couldn't do anything, we had to watch it burn down and everything we own went with it.
We had no where to go, though Meiru did let us stay with her for a while. But that didn't last long, because the World Three still wasn't done. Their attacks continued on whatever they could. And soon all of us, Meiru, Dekao, even Yaito were alone with no home, or even a school to go to. It got to be a rare thing to see a building fully standing.
It was like a nightmare. And it still is. Slowly but surely we all lost are homes to the World Three. Eventually we ended up living at the school, but even then it wasn't safe. We had to leave, and now all of us just wander around scared and hungry.
We walked here to the city, since the train station wasn't an option, and tried to find some place to stay there. But other people had taken up the shelter for their families and locked us out. I don't think I can blame them though, they must be as scared as we are. We did find a candy shop though and were able to eat dinner, so I guess staying in the city at least for a little while isn't a bad idea. As long as we can eat. But, Netto keeps saying we should go back home I keep asking him why but he never tells me.
I did catch him trying to sneak away tonight, he said he was going to find a bathroom, but I didn't believe him. I told him that in the morning we could go back and visit the house. I saw him smile a little, And maybe that was a good thing.
Netto shifted slightly, pressing the palm of his hand against the cold wet concrete of the sidewalk, pushing himself up with one hand before applying enough force with the other and sliding his legs in such away to allow himself to sit up and stare at the burned down ruins of his old home, and his brother. But compassion nor sorrow where neither of the things he felt. Those too had been striped from him, all he could manage to feel was anger and hatred.
Anger. Anger for all the things he had lost, all the things he never had a chance to have and hatred for those that took it away. The World Three and his brother, it was their fault. He had convinced himself that all the occurrences in the previous days, and furthermore his life were the fault of both the World Three and his brother.
"This is all your fault! If you hadn't been born Mama and Papa would still be alive!"
Saito's ears were pierced so cruelly by the harsh words, he hoped that he would go deaf. His hands slid slowly up from his elbows, trying to comfort himself in a hug and ignore the words his brother spoke to him. He wasn't sure as to why his brother hated him in such away. He had never meant any harm to befall his dear older brother, and the only thing he had ever done was be himself. That was all he could do.
"You're the one that wanted to stay at home and eat dinner! If we had just went out like I wanted they would still be here! And now you wont even let me dream about them!"
"I said you could go back to sleep if you wanted..."
"Netto! Stop being so mean to him!" Meiru's voice broke through the sound of the rain and lightening around them as she made her way closer towards Saito and pulled him in to a hug. "Its not his fault! This would have happened anyway, at least you have some family left."
"Humph." Netto pushed himself up to his feet and started too walk off in the direction of the station. "With family like him, I'd rather be an only child!"
"Forget about him Saito, he's a jerk." Meiru held him closely to her as she ran her hand across his face to wipe the tears from his cheeks.
Netto walked down the steps that lead to the station; It was dark, the lights had long since stopped functioning. However he was able to navigate around obstacles and objects by the flickering light from the makeshift lamps that the others had created in order to see.
In the darkness he could make out the faces of many children from his school, who were now left as homeless and alone as he was. Their clothing matched his, tattered, torn and so worn in that they simply looked as though they would fall to shreds at any moment. The filth on the clothes seemed as bad as the mildew on the walls and floor of the subway. And their smell was only partially out weighed by the musky stench that emanated from each individual.
At first, in order to keep themselves clean they would take soap from the stores and wash themselves anytime it rained, due to the fact the faucets and pipes no longer functioned. But soon even their supply of soap ran out and gave way to the lack of hygiene. Food supplies were becoming low again as well. Some children had taken up the habit of even hunting down anything they were able to find and use as food. Anything they could find from stores were rationed, but what ever you were able to find for yourself was yours to keep. They no longer cared where the food came from, as long as they could eat. Rats, cats, even dogs were no longer safe from their hungry eyes. They would be caught and then cooked on the bonfire that lay in the center of the station.
Yes, the bonfire. The only true warmth they were able to receive upon cold days. And the only way they were able to heat and cook the food that they could acquire. Everyday they would look for paper and wood to keep it going. They would tell stories and jokes and sing to make light of the situation at nights or when ever anyone was in the mood. It was the only source of enjoyment for most of them, but not for Netto. He kept his distance from everyone. Befriending only the white haired boy, who seemed to have lost his Navi and all hope of living since the incident.
Enzan always sat alone, far away in a dark corner, huddled over the broken piece of equipment that was once his P.E.T. His hair, like the others, had begun to grow longer and longer each day and had now nearly reached shoulder length. However he refused to cut it, he kept it as a homage to his lost Navi and to his past. A past, like the other children, he wished desperately to have again. He hit the side of the P.E.T. with his palm.
"Blues! Blues! Answer me!"
"Enzan, he's gone..."
"Shut up Hikari! He's not gone!" The white haired boy's gaze trailed up from his P.E.T. to the one that spoke to him. His eyes were wide and thick with tears. Tears that he refused to let fall, for when they did he knew that it would mean admitting defeat. Defeat, not only of his beloved Navi but also the crushing of his soul. "He can't be gone! We were a perfect team, we swore we would defeat the World Three, and we do not fail!"
Netto sighed,rather than continue the argument, and ran his hand through his matted hair. The dirt and oils in his hair would have normally caused him to pull it away in repulsion, but he had gotten used to the feeling over the past few weeks.
"The only way to set things right again is to get revenge and I need him for that. That's the only way to ever set things right." Enzan fumbled around with the P.E.T. and the charging unit that was plugged in to a nearby wall. Several chips,specialized chips to aid in the restoration of Navies, were scattered around him.
"The power is out Enzan, you cant even charge it."
"Shut up! Just shut up!" He was frustrated as he moved the P.E.T in to and out of the charger repeatedly, pressing in different chips only to see them rejected and spit back out. "Come on! Come on, damn it!" As the chip flew out of the P.E.T for the third time, Enzan found himself kicking the charging terminal.
"Not one word Hikari!" Enzan pulled his knees up to his chin and hugged his legs. "Just not... one word."
Netto stepped away from him, his eyes glancing away towards the charger before trailing back to its owner. He knew that if he picked it up or became involved in any way his friend would become more agitated than he already was, so he walked away. He wanted to find somewhere he could go to get away from the world. Sadly, that was not about to happen.
Ch 2 Twisted Knife
Were back home now, the friends we had been living with decided to come with us. Well at least Meiru, Dekao and Enzan did. But I don't know if it really was a good idea to comeback. When Netto saw the house again, he broke down in tears and fell to his knees. I wanted to say something to comfort him, but what could I have said? "Im sorry that mom and dad are dead?" or "These things happen." or "It will be ok."? I just couldn't bring myself to say any of those things.We all just stood there watching him until it started to rain.
We decided to find shelter in the station, it seems like most of the other kids in our class had that idea too. I tried to talk to Netto but he just walked away, he said he wanted to be alone. I don't even know where he went, I haven't seen him for the rest of the night.
Meiru has been having a hard time too. And with Netto pushing us away she hasn't had anyone to rely on. I'm trying my best to help, but I don't know if its good enough. She did thank me for trying and gave me a kiss on the cheek though.
I'm going go and try to find Netto again, maybe he'll talk to me now.
"Netto!" A voice had rung out from somewhere nearby, it was familiar but so where all of the voices that belonged to people that lived in Netto's new home. He wasn't sure why or who's voice it was, so he turned to find himself face to face with the large boy known as Dekao.
"Humph... What do you want?" During the past few days Netto had become detached from his old friends. He had become brooding and despondent.
"Have you seen Meiru around?" The boy's voice seemed as though it had a slight contempt for Netto as he spoke. A contempt that sounded as though it would have some sort of meaning behind it. Dekao had recently begun torturing Netto, at every moment he could, about Meiru. It was mere simple teasing he thought, and there was no harm in trying to lighten the mood. Everyone knew that Meiru deepest for Netto than anyone else. Which is most likely the reason Dekao's voice was filled with light bitter hatred.
"She's outside with Saito." Thinking about that sentence and speaking his brothers name filled him with such disgust that the taste in his mouth suddenly changed.
"Are you sure that's a good idea? Who knows what could happen when they're alone."
"Shut up...Nothing like that is going to happen, she doesn't like him that much!"
"You do remember what happened last time don't you?" Netto's mind flipped through the long list of things he had blamed his brother for, on it inscribed in permanent ink was the kiss he had seen his brother receive from her. They combined with the times he had seen his brother with her and the frequency at which she would hug him. The twisted union of these ideas forced a snort from Netto and pushed him once again out in to the rain, which seemed to have gotten worse over the past few minutes.
Saito was huddled over in the warm embrace of his friend. Warm, despite the chilled wind and icy rain that covered them as they stood in front of the house. He knew they should not be stand in the rain and yet he found himself incapable of movement, and having the deepest desire for the comfort that he felt to never end. Salt filled drops of rain streamed down his cheeks, finding their landing point on Meiru's shoulder.
"Saito. P...Please don't cry." She strained herself not to join him and did the best she could to help him. She had always cared for him deeply, and had always despised when Netto would treat his brother as cruelly as he did.
"Netto hates me..." He struggled to speak between his sobs.
"He doesn't hate you."
"Then why does he..." Saito sniffled his emotions flooded by the memories that began coming back to him. Memories in which he had been mistreated due to the feelings of his brother.
"He's just a jerk.... Forget about him Saito." The young girl let her hand travel across his face again, in a futile attempt to keep it dry. As the salted drops were scraped away she held him closer. "Don't let him hurt you. He's just jealous, you always did so much better than him in class and everyone likes you more."
"Th..they do?" He was unsure of how to feel about the statement she had made. He had refused to believe it was true, he had no desire for anyone other than his brother to care about him. And yet, at the moment he found slight comfort in the fact that some one some where cared about him.
Saito's question was responded to by a quiet nod from the auburn haired child beside him. "Many of us wouldn't have come back here if it wasn't for you. We would have let Netto go by himself. A lot of girls liked you more too, even I..." She caught herself amidst her sentence and wondered if she should continue. After a second of deliberation she spoke again, "Even I like you more than him."
His face began to turn a shade of pink. The same shade of pink that was once on a heart shaped card he had received along with a present from a secret admirer after a particularly tiring day at school, something which his brother had never received before.
Before he could manage to make the movements or have the words to respond, he could feel her warm moist lips pressed against his. His eyes widened in slight shock and supprise, he was not sure what to make of the situation, but as the kiss lingered, for what felt as though it was an eternity, his woes and pain seemed to melt away. It lasted only a few brief seconds, but in those moments a new happiness had been born with in him, a new reason,other than his brother, to be alive. However, as she pulled away he became aware once again of his brothers feelings for her.
"Come on Saito. Let's get out of the rain." A smile curled up the girls lips and she pulled on his arm in the direction of the subway shelter that they too called home.
"I...I want to stay here for a little while longer. Go ahead with out me." He stuttered for a moment before being able to regain himself. For once was not sure as to whether he should honor his brothers feelings for her or let his new ones flourish.
"Will you be all right?"
"Y...yes." He nodded, a slight whimper in his voice before she pulled away.
"Don't stay out too long." She let her arms slip away from him as she began walking alone back home. The only sound she made was the light tapping of her shoes on the wet sidewalk. When she disappeared from view saito found himself walking in to the burned out building.
What was left of the building was charred and burned nearly beyond all recognition. Stairs to the upstairs room were still in tact, as was some of the furniture. Those things closest to the kitchen where the worst affected. They had been vaporized to ash as had been part of the upper room and the roof. Rain poured in from outside. Saito wandered around carefully, making his way upstairs, being as careful as possible not to let any of the fragile steps crack.
Once up stairs he could see more of the shattered glass from the windows that had once been near by, he had not made a note of the ones down stairs because though they had been shattered they were in small pieces. The shards of glass on the ground varied in size, from the length of his hand to the length of his forearm. He stepped passed them carefully, and towards the hole in the second floor that was above the kitchen.
Thunder crashed, echoing around the house causing it to seem as though it was infested by daemons or something far more sinister. That was when he heard a noise.
The sound of cracking glass behind him. He turned quickly to see his mirror image standing before him, a shard of glass in his hand, clutched so tightly that blood flowed from him and dripped on to the ground, a deep seated flame of hate burned in his eyes.
Ch. 3 Brothers Keeper
Netto won't stop crying. He's been so upset ever since we went to visit where our home used to be. He won't even talk to anyone other than Enzan anymore. I wish I could do something to make it all better. But every time I do he pushes me away more and more and blaming me for it. But, maybe he is right. Maybe if I hadn't been born mama and papa would still be alive. And then Netto would be happy. Even if it meant having to die, that's all I want.
The blade of glass slid easily in and out of the warm flesh that once belonged to his brother. The soft sounds of the squishing flesh and splattering blood flowed in a rhythmic murderous tune. The same ballad that roared through the heavens in the story of Cain and Able.
Netto wasn't sure how long he had been straddling his brother. The pool of blood around them however seemed to have grown immensely in size and covered the room. Drips of blood rolled down the edges of the hole in the floor and fell to the ground into what had once been the location of the stove. The drips of scarlet smudged the once crystal clear purity of the glass that he held.
"Its all your fault! If you had never been born, none of this would ever have happened!"He pierced his brothers chest once again, the sharp blade of the glass rubbed against his own skin, and made his own wounds deeper. Tears streamed down his face and he leaned forward and laid his head on the back of palm he had used to thrust his weapon forward.
"If you had just... If you had just had never been born they would be alive!" He slowly stood to his feet and began walking away. His feet carried him down the steps, out the front door and back to the station.
As the blood soaked Netto walked in to the new home, it became deathly still. The thunder and rain outside seemed to have stood frozen in time, everyone's eyes shifted towards the door. A slight feeling of uneasiness turned in each of their stomachs. Netto slowly made his way towards the red headed girl that stared wide eyed at him. With out a word the back of his palm was brought around and pressed harshly against her face, forcing her to the floor. A blood red mark remained on her cheek.
"Damn you..." Before the young girl could respond she was curled up on the floor, his foot lodged in to her mid section. Enzan and Dekao stood and rushed to stop him but as they reached her side Netto had turned around and walked back out in to the rain.
"Hikari!" Enzan ran after his friend, and glanced around in the rain desperately looking for where he had gone. Only due to a flash of lightening was he able to find him. "Hikari, what the hell do you think you're doing!" Enzan ran up to the boy and grabbed him by his collar.
"S..she kissed him!" Tears now streamed down his face, remorse for his actions now quickly caught up with him.
"So what! You can't just do something like that Hikari!"
"You're the one that said the only way to set things right is to get revenge!" Netto now grasped at straws, desperate to find someone to blame.
"I wasn't talking about that and you know it." Enzan's grip tightened around the boys collar in attempt to keep the struggling boy at bay.
"Just leave me alone!" Netto pushed him away,and freed himself from his friends grip and began to run away. Enzan attempted to chase him but lost his friend in the darkness.
Netto kept running, he was not sure how much time had passed or where he was going but he had to keep himself moving. The tears in his eyes blinded him, even after wiping them away he found it difficult to see. Yet he had to get away, from that home, from Meiru, from everything. The rain had started to slow down for a while and the sun had begun to burst through the clouds.
He tried to focus his eyes and tried to make out what was around him. He hadn't been sure how he had gotten as far as he did. He could see water and the half sunken remains of boats near him. He slowly made his way towards the edge of the harbor, and passed some boats. He sat at the end of the dock, peering down in to the water at his reflection.
"If you had just never been born...It's all your fault." The words echoed in his mind and his hand splashed against the water. He slid his hand slowly in to the water, the cold ocean water consuming him. His body fell with ease in to the water and created hardly a ripple or a splash. His eyes opened beneath the clear waters and looked up at the sky, he could see a bright tunnel of light above him; a tunnel that only rippled when life's breath was released willingly by the child. His hand reached slowly up towards the tunnel, it was the only way, his only way to escape from this life that he had been born in to.
His past flashed before him. The times he had spent with his family, watching his brother receive more attention than he himself did. The times which he had spent in class, agonizing over a test that was quickly finished by his brother. The pain he had felt from watching everyone be closer to his brother than they were to him. And through it his brother smiled, caring only about him. The bitter sweet moment in which he had killed his brother pained and comforted him. At that moment everything had been taken from him, there was nothing left . His eyes slowly shut and he could feel himself slipping away in to eternity, and he welcomed it. He welcomed an end to the pain.