Title: A Proud Sort of Generation
Series: Megaman Classic
Characters: Second and some third generations
Summary: The proud second generation of Robot Master was bested by the Blue Bomber when they threatened the peace of the city Monsteropolis. Defeated, and with their purpose incomplete, they are reduced to merely doing what they must to survive to the next day. Realizing that things aren't taking a turn for the best to prepare for a new fight against Mega Man, Dr. Wily seeks out the assistance of Dr. Light, proclaiming that he's a changed man and develops a Third Generation of Robot Master. With their purpose stripped from them, and their replacement inevitable, the Second Generation is left to cope with this change the best way that they know how: waging bets against the more advanced line in hopes that Mega Man will defeat them so that they may reclaim their place as the best once again.
The Second Generation of Robot Masters had been refined in such a way that that was their sole purpose, and the only reason they existed. They were not made to be appealing to human sight, and they didn't need to be safeguarded in order to mingle among them. Limited and restricted, locked by the three laws of Asimov was a concept they would never come to understand upon activation. Removed from their being, they held orders to help their creator take over the world, and to them, nothing could stop them.
The best of all their kind.
Full of pride and programmed ambition that they were better than those they were modeled after: the First Generation of Light Numbers.
Failing wasn't an option, and their known enemies, the humans and Mega Man, wouldn't stand a chance against them.
Eager and restless, the takeover of Monsteropolis was swift, and victory was surely in their grasp. No Light Number could overcome them, and with the spirits of one city crushed, Dr. Wily easily made his announcement across the world, using Monsteropolis as the prime example as to what his Robot Masters could do to the rest of it all.
Overzealous and confident, Crash Man never expected to be defeated by the uprising hero they have been programmed specifically to combat against. Registering the 'Blue Bomber' in his data-banks, their battle had been quickly provoked. At first, Crash thought the gentle-natured robot before him was a joke and that the ones they were derived from were nothing more than insignificant examples to their greatness.
Brute strength and resilience to his own sporadically-placed bombs hadn't been enough against Mega Man for it was easy to provoke him to anger, and easier still to keep him distracted from any traps that lay in store for him. Defeat wasn't easily won, but he had still fallen like the rest of his brothers. Pride could never be restored from that single occurrence and a lesson couldn't be learned from strong-willed stubbornness crafted in layers upon layers of code. Every weakness had been exploited against him, and admitting that someone had bested them and made them fallsome in the most mocking of mannersas if they had been no more than a mere obstacle course in a video game was degrading.
Crash Man was never supposed to know this level of humiliation. Plucked up in exploded bits and pieces, he was eventually restored by his creator. With that restoration came limited functionality and a constant fight for survival. The sentient beings still required resources and with Dr. Wily out of a laboratory and funds to restore them fully, it left machine learning at work. Humiliation never struck so hard, and pride and dignity were soon lost to the need to exist from hour to hour. Low on energy, and without pristine parts, his line fought a new battle, and looked forward to the day where they could get their vengeance on Dr. Light and his Robot Masters. Programmed with the confidence that they would take over the world for Dr. Wily, they knew no other purpose, and believed that they would rise once again to fight for Dr. Wily's goal.
Humiliation developed further when they came. Fed up with the slow progression of setting up a lab and rebuilding from what Mega Man had torn down, Wily sunk to an all-time low and claimed that he was a changed man. Working alongside Dr. Light yet again, they constructed newer models, models Dr. Wily didn't need. Surely this was some plan just to retrieve the necessary materials to repair and enhance them to fare better against their known enemy, but when that moment never came, the Second Generation was left to seethe silently and to lick their wounds from the very shadows they had been cast in. After all, the thought of only half a Wily Number being Dr. Wily's priority was insulting at best, and truly stripped them all of their purpose.
It didn't help that they had to share the same abandoned facility with them when they weren't working for the very humans they had been programmed to despise so much. At first, Crash had wanted nothing to do with them, brandishing his drills into aggressive motion whenever one dared to cross paths with him. It seemed to work especially well against themall but one.
Hate, withheld only by code limitations, couldn't shove the Robot Master away, and when it was known that he would be among the ones to set out to achieve Dr. Wily's goal, it left him with a sense of betrayal, and stripped of a true purpose. The desire to be around other robots crafted without limitations to the humans that built them was quashed so easily, and left him with a vile bitterness and loathing towards them all instead. How could Dr. Wily do that to them? How could something else mobilize right before their very eyes and strip their last ray of identification from them? Their purpose had been to defeat Mega Man and to take over the world, and now they didn't even have that!!
Demanding explanation was out of the question for Dr. Wily was never around and what orders that were delivered to them were feasted upon like a hungry man gobbling up a plate of free food. It didn't matter what those orders were; it only mattered that they still gave them reason to carry on. That didn't stop their bitter nature towards the Third Generation from showing as, often times, bets would be had on who would fall first, or how much longer it would take Dr. Wily to view them as more than mere gophers to pillage through piles of junk in order to find spare parts for their own continued existence.
Giving up was not an option, if only because Crash and his brothers wanted to live to see the ones who had stolen their glory fall before Mega Man. Rooting for him over their other 'team mates' at such a stage in their active existence was petty, but that knowledge remained buried beneath a synthetic sense of ill feeling. So, like children, they gathered around refurbished and outdated technology, and like a hungry pack of wolves, listened to their favorite voice of reason: the Reporter Plum for details on Mega Man's progress.
Like a family preparing for a football game, seven of them rallied together before broadcasts, waged bets with mere scrap they had pathetically gathered for that week, and with new aspiration and energy, they crowded around the small radio that refused to pick up a frequency unless it was seated towards the far left of the room.
"Top's down. Just as I predicted." Air commented casually. No one cared about Air's sophisticated opinion anyway, so it wasn't a surprise to have Flash speak out before he could get any further with his statement.
"Ssssshhhh, we all knew how useless Top Man was, Air. It's why you only got three bolts from it."
While the two shot perpetual glares at one another, Crash leaned forward, one green eye squinting as worn sound receptors strained to pick up the feminine voice over his brothers' banter. Static shrouded many of the details, but already three of the Robot Masters had been destroyed by Mega Man. Magnet Man, Hard Man, and now Top Man. Crash never got the satisfaction of seeing how mauled and mangled each casing was, but that didn't stop him from visualizing it. That was only possible due to the staving examples gathered around one pathetic radio.
Each and every one of his brothers looked as if they had been put together from whatever stray part had been lying around. Paint evaded some of their components, and left nothing but raw metal to shine back at him in the dimly lit room. Such a light cast a haunting hue over them all. Broken, falling apart, in need of serious repairs and so low on energy most of their programs had to be turned off in order to save power to remain active just a little longer. The piles of scrap placed near each of them were a testament to 'newer' upgrades so that they could rise again. But first thing's first. The Third Numbers had to fail, and oh how they prayed that they would.
"Besides, they're all useless in comparison to us, Brother." Air insisted on getting the final say in the situation. Crash's lips pressed together, eyes narrowing further. Plum was saying something about an underground facility where a shadowed figure had been spotted with one of the energy crystals for Gamma
or that's what he was left to assume through the crackling static from the radio's feedback.
"Oh, there you go again! Can't just sit there and be" Drill tips trembled in slight frustration. He couldn't hear her!
"Oh no! It looks as if the Robot Master Shadow Man has
. lost Dr. Light"
"Both of you be silent" Metal began, and about that time it registered that Crash had waged the perfect bet.
"I was right!!" Drills 'zwee'd' in childlike excitement as he thrust them up, expression turned chipper as if he had received a present. "It's Shadow Man!" He announced, looking around from the radio to the others gathered around. But they didn't seem to hear him. Instead, all three of them were looking at him now, pulled out of their heat-of-the moment argument and back to reality. If looks could kill, Crash wouldn't exist anymore. It was as if they were relaying the message 'shut up, the adults are talking right now'. "But
" He mumbled in a dejected fashion.
"As I was saying, I don't take orders from you, especially after you'd led us into failure, Metal."
"Ohhh, gonna blame it all of Metal now?" Flash jeered.
"You guys are all dumb." Heat finally piped in, unable to hear as their voices rose, Air's still on the brink of being monotone and robotic due to verbal function failures.
"Can you guys do this after Mega Man beatswho was it
"Shadow Man! Like I was saying, Bubbles."
"Thanks. After Mega Man beats Shadow Man. Then you canthey're not listening to me." Bubbles sighed, looking slightly irate as Flash called Heat a 'pipsqueak' and threatened to tape his lid shut. This earned a gasp from the shorter robot and a quick 'Nah uhn! You wouldn't!'. At least their banter wasn't as deadly as Air and Metal's. Unlike Flash and Heat, the two hadn't been on the best of terms since their fall. Crash hated it.
But Metal and Air kept at it, their words easily drowning out over the sound of Plum's voice. Sadly, Crash had expected something like this, as none of them liked to lose and lately all it took was one comment to set someone off.
"Don't worry, Crash. I heard you." Wood, quiet as ever, finally spoke up, trying to soothe the pout that lingered on his features now. "I picked Needle Man this week, so I already lost."
"I did too. Lost I mean." Crash admitted, still unable to look away as threats grew worse.
"What?" Wood asked, voice rising so he could be heard.
"It's like they're in a completely different world," Bubbles gaped before he tried to join in on the only 'pleasant' conversation going on at the moment. "I picked Gemini Man myself, but it looks like he didn't go for him. No offense, but that guy gives me the creeps. He's so arrogant and full of himself!"
"I picked Snake Man." Crash added, finally tearing his gaze away to stare towards his other brothers. In the background Flash had successfully seated himself atop Heat's hood. What a waste of a Flash Stopper
"Again? You always pick him." Wood still smiled a little behind his sagging frame. Constructed from solid wood made it very difficult to keep him from looking pathetic, but at least Wood was back online. Up until a few weeks ago, his brother had been the last to be pieced back together; Mega Man hadn't been kind to his wooden-cased frame.
"Yeah, what's the deal there? None of us have ever seen him OR Shadow Man for that matter
They hadn't seen Snake Man, but Crash had. It had become a chore to evade the sneaky bastard, for even the obnoxious 'ZWEEEEE' of his drills failed to discourage being pestered. In fact, it likely was the primary reason that made him come back for frequent visits. Crash had no desire to get to know him, too wounded by the refined and upgraded models that waltzed around in the form of mockery. Like pouring salt into the wound, Snake's presence was a painful reminder of all that had come to pass, and all that wasn't going to pass now that they were there. Replaced, just like any outdated piece of technology was by the human trash they stood up against.
"I just don't like him."
"You must not in order to risk giving up your wages each time one of us hears Plum announce something else about the 'Gamma Incident'." Bubbles found humor in it, while Wood offered a smile that spoke of a mutual understanding. Wood was the only one out of them all that didn't verbally speak of how he felt about them.
Still, he supported his line mates, and Crash could have sworn he waged more than the others on purpose so that they would have more parts to fix themselves. How else was Wood going to give it to them? They were all stubborn
and accepting help was beyond them right now. They could earn their own place back in the world. They were strong and proud, too proud for their own good. Even now Metal and Air were set in silence, their pent-up frustration unleashed in the form of heated words and empty threats. Now neither of them had the energy to muster more than glares, silently seething over what they had said to one another. Hurt for hurt
blow for blow. Crash longed for it to be different; he longed for a past that could never be again.
"Looks like they've finally settled down." Bubbles whispered, seeming relieved that he could relax yet again.
"Oi, Flash! Get off Heat. I think he's learned his lesson." All were startled when Quick's voice finally broke out from the doorway, the proudest of them all finally having arrived back from his outing into Monsteropolis. It had been his turn to go out and rally some energy for them all and he didn't disappoint.
Always out to show that he was the best, he held up two loaded sacks of goods and grinned a charming grin from ear-to-ear.
"No need to be sour, we've got energy and it seems like Shadow Man didn't stand a chance~." As he spoke he tossed each two blue E-Tank cans, being sure to lodge Flash upside the head with one when he didn't listen and get off Heat. 'Why you' was cut off with another being tossed his way followed by a 'Catch!' and an upbeat snicker. Out of them all, Quick never showed how defeated he truly was, but when he thought no one was looking, Crash saw it. Perhaps it was because he was derived from Dr. Light's best creation, Elec Man, or maybe it was his overconfidence that kept him wearing the best mask.
"What do you mean 'didn't stand a chance'? Don't tell me youyou did."
"Sure did, Metal. I wanted to drop in and see how he was doing, and I have to say, it was a lot better than listening to pinkie here. She's just too slow to deliver the best news fast." He tapped his finger atop the radio, and listened to it fizzle in a foreign language of its own. He beckoned for everyone's attention, and easily got it as all of them settled down again.
"Come on, tell us all about it!" Crash wasn't the only one that was excited, and while Quick had tossed his to Bubbles to open for him as well as a straw to sip easier from, he couldn't help but want to hear how it had all happened over sipping at the much needed energy. Wood was nice enough to hold it out for him (Bubbles only had one hand and needed to nurse his own drink) and left Crash trying to juggle two things at once. Not wanting to tear his gaze from Quick he leaned towards the right, lips constantly opening and closing as they awkwardly sought out the straw protruding from the can itself. He was sure it looked ridiculous, but he honestly didn't care.
"Alright, alright. I'll fill you in and then we'll see who won~." Quick got comfortable leaning as casually as he could be against a heap of scrap, treating it as if it were his throne, if Crash didn't know any better. "So I finished up my mission earlyas alwaysand heard Plum on the radio. The location wasn't too far off so I decided to why not see our replacements in action. See what all the fuss is about, and I gotta say, it's not much! So Mega Man uses Spinning Man's special ability
." He began, his words just as outspoken as they had been so long ago
"Top Man." Air corrected.
"Whatever," he shot back flatly, rolling his eyes as if to say 'don't interrupt!' before quickly carrying on. "Spinning Man's ability is pretty useless. He just
twirls, but apparently that's Shadow Man's weakness."
"Are you serious?" Crash blurted, his goal of his lips finding the straw ruined by this big reveal.
"Yeah I'm serious! He was doing
so-so against Mega Man, but then he just used Spinning Man's attack and it was all over in no time. So
it went a little something like this!"
Quick's eyes seemed to light up as he spoke, hands moving in wild gestures as well as showcasing movements to mimic how Shadow Man fought. It was exaggerated and was likely a downplayed example on how 'well' the newer robot fared against Mega Man, but none of them wanted to believe it. They watched, and Crash even found himself laughing as Quick went to great lengths to see them all enjoying themselves during such a hard time.
They were the Second Generation of Robot Masters. Forged from Dr. Wily's hand and based off the blueprints of Dr. Light, they would always come together like this and wait patiently for the day to reclaim their purpose once more. A proud sort of generation like none had ever seen; they would make a comeback, and the world would know their names once again, and realize that they were a force to be reckoned with