Rockman.EXE is not mine. Don't sue.

Us After This
Chapter 7
~by Shimegami-chan

A/N: Kyaa! How typical of me to just run off like that. ~_~ Everybody forgotten about this story yet?

Shi-chan the colossal workaholic strikes again. This time I've pitched in with Anime Haven, the fansub group working on Rockman EXE. (Well, myself and the rest of WPP. :P) As if one project isn't enough, now we're doing four, plus a host of little side projects. Too bad I don't get paid for this stuff. :P

Read on!

Meiru gasped. "Are you sure you're supposed to be out of the hospital yet?"

"It's true," Saito said quietly, in his soft-spoken tone. Though the voice was Netto's the words froze Meiru where she was.

"How can that be possible?" she asked, her voice shaking.

"It's complicated..." Saito started to reply.

Netto switched gears. "Che! Do you two have to be so serious at a time like this? There's a World Three guy right in front of us!"

"Oh...right!" Saito blushed.

"Meiru-chan, can Roll check out the house's security system?" Netto asked.

"I guess so." Meiru's PET was on the floor, its power turned off by the intruder. She turned it back on. "Roll, are you all right?"

"I'm fine, Meiru-chan. What happened?" The pink-jumpsuited Navi looked shaken, and Gutsman stood in the background.

"Nothing to worry about," Meiru soothed. "A break-in at Netto's, but we took care of him. I'm going to plug-in to the house security system, okay? Make sure they didn't do anything to it."

"Okay," Roll agreed. Meiru plugged the cord into a socket on the wall and she and Netto/Saito watched with interest as Roll investigated.

"Viruses," the pink Navi declared. "Just some Mettool."

"Can you delete them?" Saito asked breathlessly.

"Worried?" Netto said with a sly grin.

"A little," Saito admitted.

"Okay, that is bizarre," Meiru groaned. "Talk inside Netto's head or something."

"We can't," Saito admonished. "We haven't--"

The door flew open. "Meiru-chaaaaaaan!"

"Dekao-kun!" Meiru glanced away from her PET, where Roll was easily tromping Mettool.

"Meiru-chan! Are you all right?" he exclaimed, running to her side. The big boy took a moment to stare at the other occupant of the room. "Netto?"

"That's me."

Dekao gaped for a moment. "Aren't you in the hospital?"

"Well, I was..."

"Meiru-chan," Roll interrupted. "The viruses are gone."

"Good, nice work. No Navis in there?"


Meiru unplugged the cord. "That guy's Navi must still be in his PET. Come on, let's check it out."

"Yeah." Netto went to the loyalist's side and grabbed his PET, allowing Rockman's agile instincts to help him avoid the man's thrashing body. With Meiru peering over his shoulder, he switched on the PET, and a purple Navi appeared on the screen.

"Where's Snides-sama?" it questioned, looking hard at Netto. "Are you Hikari?"

"I am..." Netto answered slowly. "Your Operator the moment." He wasn't quite sure what to say, and Saito didn't make any suggestions.

A moment later another Navi appeared beside the first, a green one. "Server-sama has completed his mission. Hikari has been disposed of."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Netto snapped, and both enemy programs turned to look at him.

The green one looked angry. "Snides was supposed to kill him! Where's his Navi?"

"Let's go to your PET," the purple one suggested, glaring at Netto. The two Navis disappeared, leaving Netto staring at the PET in shock.

"'Disposed of?'" Saito said finally, a tinge of worry in his voice.

"There were two of them..." Netto hissed. "One came here. The other must have went after Papa! We've got to get back to the labs!"


Netto jammed his rollerblades onto his shoes and charged out the door, Meiru and Dekao hot on his heels. Saito wished there was something he could do to comfort his friend, but Netto was skating much too fast for him to risk taking over. When Netto finally did look over his shoulder, Saito saw that Meiru alone was following them, riding her scooter and yelling aloud to Roll something the boys ahead couldn't hear.

Netto fell noisily down the stairs into the Metroline station, barely landing on his feet. "Be careful, Netto-kun!" Saito managed to instinctively call.

"I know!" Netto answered in turn, shoving coins into the fare box and skidding into the train, Meiru a step behind. "You worry too much, Rockman."

"I didn't want you back in the hospital with a broken leg," Saito bantered good-naturedly.

"Roll, how's Dekao-kun?" Meiru questioned.

"Dekao called the police, de gutsu," Gutsman answered from the PET. "He's coming back to Meiru-chan now."

"Tell him we're on our way to the Science Labs," Meiru instructed. "Roll, you have access to Hikari-san's PC, right? Go ahead and meet us there."

"Okay, Meiru-chan!" Roll linked to Emdee's computer while Saito turned his attention to his twin.

Netto was still panicked and angry. "Netto-kun?"


"Calm down..."

A laugh escaped the young teen. "I'm okay. Thanks, Rock."

If any of the other passengers noticed, they didn't say anything.


When Netto and Meiru arrived at the Labs, it was clear that something had indeed happened. There were police cars and ambulances outside the building, and a huge crowd milling in the lobby. No one was at the main desk, so Netto, Saito and Meiru took the elevator up to Dr. Hikari's office.

There, they quickly pinpointed the source of the disturbance. Police tape held back a flood of reporters and staff, and several officers were shooing away the crowd. Netto squeezed to the front, just inside his father's lab.

Inside the office was a swarm of emergency teams, and lying on the floor in a pool of blood was a person Netto knew very well. "Oh my God..." Saito gasped as ice crept into their stomach.

Netto let out a howl of agony and bolted forward, under the tape and through a clump of surprised officers. Saito could feel Netto's anger burning inside them, and he fought to control the urge to calm his twin.

Meiru's voice called out to them from behind. "Netto! Rock!"

An officer beside the injured man was talking to a medic, who was gently moving him onto a stretcher. "They suspect it was a World Three loyalist, and--hey! Kid, what do you think you're doing?"

Netto dropped to his knees beside his father and Saito willed the man's eyes to open and reassure them that it was okay. Dr. Hikari's face was contorted with pain--he seemed to be alive but unconscious.

"Papa..." Netto whispered.

Saito could feel dull shock replacing his twin's anger. He dared not take control, except to murmur softly, "Netto-kun..."

In the background, other voices began to speak.

"Oh my God, it's Hikari's son."

"Move the crowd, this man needs to get to the hospital!"

"Apply more pressure!"


"World Three..." Netto said dully, the implications of that sinking in to his mind. "Rock...they went through get to us."

~to be continued...

Shi-chan: Ooh...getting dark...
Seki: Thanks to Artlan for the villain name suggestions! :)