Categories > Games > Zelda > Gatecrash

Chapter 37: Strategic Retreat

by theWallflower 0 Reviews

Chapter 37: Strategic Retreat

Category: Zelda - Rating: G - Genres: Action/Adventure, Crossover, Fantasy, Sci-fi - Characters: Link, Zelda - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006/11/17 - Updated: 2006/11/17 - 3175 words

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Chapter 37: Strategic Retreat

"Run!" Mega Man said as he struggled to move under the weight of his sister.

Link started to dash off, then looked in multiple directions. "Run where?" There was nothing but inky blackness as far as the eye could see.

"Follow me!" Mega Man started off down the snow valley, obviously encumbered by Roll's body on his shoulder. Link struggled to match pace but the snow kept him from reaching a full sprint. If only his fire rod worked he could have covered Mega Man while they dashed off.

Mega Man adjusted Roll to his other shoulder as he activated his arm cannon. He twisted his body and fired at the robots on the crest of the snow mound. They brought up their litanium shields and the plasma blasts flew off at reflected angles. Mega Man hated those things and kept pummeling them as hard as he could as they hid behind their protection.

Link nearly fell on his back as one of the assailants shots nearly got him in the foot. A melted scorch in the snow marked where he had nearly gotten scorched himself. Link took off his shield and held it at his side as he ran in a zig-zag in order to avoid the shots which could easily have taken off his leg.

Mega Man's constant bombardment finally paid off. One of the sniper joes dropped his shield in order to fire and caught a plasma blast in the side of his head. He staggered back as Mega Man fired three more shots at the unarmored foe, finishing him off. Its oblong shield tumbled down the hill, along with some of its appendages.

The remaining two continued their assault, oblivious their fallen comrade. Yellow energy rained down around Mega Man, mostly ignoring Link, except for when he got in the way. They must have thought a lone human was inconsequential. Just as Mega Man jumped to avoid the peltering, a shot hit him in the kneecap, causing Mega Man to skip a step, but he maintained his balance and speed. He fired back at the enemies, trading shots like water balloons. After they thought they would be running forever, their destination crept over the hill in the distance. Faded lit windows dotting the base became visible to the naked eye.

Suddenly, Mega Man took a shot square in the chest, causing him to fall back into the snow, enveloped by white light. Link instinctively jumped out in front on seeing his fallen friend, holding his shield outward.

"No, get back!" Mega Man said, knowing one of those plasma blasts would tear right through Link as it had the moblins. He grabbed Link's tunic and pulled him back behind him. "I just lost my balance," he said as he stood up himself.

"It's Roll. You need to put her down."

"I can't put her down. We need to get to the base."

"No, we need you to fight back. Give her to me. I can take her."

"No, she's too heavy."

"And you can't fight with her on your back. There's no time to argue. Give her to me."

Mega Man followed the second law with only a moment's hesitation and shifted Roll off his shoulder. Link felt an icy chill on the nape of his neck as her arm dragged across his skin. "It's not far. Just head for those windows. Don't look back."

"Yeah, yeah, I carried you, I can carry her. Get going." Link tugged himself out of his standing inertia and got moving, dragging Roll's feet in the snow. He grunted along, trying to get his doubly heavy load moving faster. Link realized he was going to have to do more weightlifting when he got back to Hyrule. Plasma shots began littering his path as the attackers noticed another robot was making an escape.

Mega Man wasn't about to let that happen though. Unfettered, he took off at a sprint up the hill, firing his arm cannon like a madman. This new threat distracted the two and they set their sights back on the blue robot coming at them ferociously.

Link dragged Roll at about half the speed Mega Man was making through the snow, but at least he wasn't getting fired at. He suppressed the itch to look behind him to see how Mega Man was doing, if he was surviving the battle between robots. The base was only yards away now. He gritted his teeth in determination and pushed his legs to the limit.

The doors automatically opened for him as he approached the lit entrance. Two gray doors with small windows blocked his passage further. As soon as the doors closed behind him, Link collapsed in exhaustion. Roll clanged to the metal ground next to him. Link's arms shaking with fatigue, he used his legs to push himself upright and lean against the doors into the complex. He peered into the small window and saw a hallway with doors on each side. No people though.

"Hello? Hello?" he shouted to anyone within earshot, which was no one. He knew this area wasn't going to be very secure for him and Roll if those robots started after him. The only object in this foyer was a box on the wall with a green lit pad next to it. Link examined the device, poking it, seeing if it could allow them a way in. Maybe it was some sort of key dispenser.

"Hello?" he said. "We need entrance. It's an emergency. Do you have a key?" His stimulus provided no response. "Anyone!" He shouted to the ceiling. "Open the door, please! Now! It's an emergency."

The hero withdrew his sword, "Oh, for cryin'..." He swiped the weapon against the doors in frustration and panic. "Let me in!" he shouted, contemplating putting a bomb in the door, but then there would be no way to close it. He jammed the blade in between the two doors and they slid apart automatically. Link looked aghast in amazement for a second. "Wow. That never works for me in my world."

Without wasting another moment, he resheathed the sword, picked up Roll, and half-dragged, half-carried her into the hallway. As he set her down he said, "Now how do I close them?"

Mega Man, running for his life, appeared in front of the doors, a little shot up, but none the worse for wear. The clear doors opened automatically for him and he pushed into where Link was standing. He pressed a black box on the wall similar to the one in the foyer. "Emergency door close. Code 417X9A."

"Compliance," a voice from above said. Link figured it was the Computer. It sure seemed to be everywhere there was a structure. And it always sounded different.

The thick gray metal doors shushed close and locked together.

"You all right?" Link asked.

"Not bad. I destroyed the robots, but there could be more on the way. I think this'll keep us safe though." Mega Man pressed the green pad with his hand and a holographic screen illuminated in front of Mega Man's eyes. Link, who was knelt on the floor beside Roll, keeping her head up, was taken aback at this display. It was some sort of half-formed screen, like a ghost.

"Security directory," Mega Man spoke. "Clearance four-nine-two-eight-five-eight-nine." The display changed and Mega Man inspected the data. "Enforce security lockdown 1A, code beta-zero-gamma-alpha-pi-theta. Engage."

"Security lockdown priority alpha engaged," the Computer said.

"We're good now. There's enough protection around that it'll take a large army to get in. We'll know about any attempts to penetrate the defenses." He knelt down to Roll and held up a hand to her cheek. It was frozen solid. Hopefully, the material of her skin wouldn't crack when she thawed. He flipped open a panel near his waist and pulled out a cord from inside his body. Turning up a parallel panel on his sister, he inserted the cord, connecting the two of them. "Okay, let's see what's wrong."

Mega Man stared off into space, doing whatever he was doing silently and unobtrusively. Link finally got a chance to really look at Roll as Mega Man worked. She was blond and had a youthful, bright appearance in her face, like a younger Zelda. She had deep, but blank green eyes staring up at the ceiling, encrusted with melting ice. Her lithe body was enveloped in a tight eccentrically colored purple and green suit, armored with what looked like chain-mail plates around her arms and legs, and a semblance of a helmet.

"You can turn off your thermal shield now," Mega Man commented. Link, who had nearly forgotten he was wearing one, looked to his belt and pushed the button he had hit before. The warm temperature around him dissipated, replaced with a bit colder, but tolerable air.

"What are you doing?" Link asked when Mega Man hadn't said anything for a while.

"I'm trying to figure out why she won't move. It looks like her battery froze. I'll have to start her back up again when she warms up."

Link thought for a second, then took off his thermal shield belt and handed it to Mega Man.

"Thanks, but that won't be necessary. Besides, you need it more, and the more heat it generates the less life-span it has." Link nodded and put it back on. He stared down at Roll's face, into her eyes, waiting for her to jump to life. Mega Man started steadily streaming some of his power into her battery, giving it some energy to start out with. Too much would have caused an overload and possibly a leak.

"Come on," Mega Man whispered. Roll's eyes remained steadily blank. Suddenly, Mega Man felt a spark of power jump to his cable, indicating that she wasn't totally gone. Link noticed a light coming back into her eyes.

"There we go," Mega Man said. He communicated to Roll over his cable connection. Hey, sis, it's me. Don't get up, you're frozen solid. Just wait to get warm. "She'll be okay," he told Link. "She just needs time to start up her systems again." Link figured the cord he connected to her had something to do with knowing she was awake. It must have been some sort of communication medium. "Can you find some humans and see if they'll help us? This could take awhile," Mega Man asked.

"Uh, there's no robots anywhere around here, are there?"

"No, no malevolent ones. I did a scan when I turned on the security grid. You're free to walk about the base. The command center should be on the second floor."

Link hoisted himself up and walked down the hallway, leaving Mega Man and Roll behind. Using his natural navigation instincts he turned left at the T-intersection and followed that down a ways, past meaningless doors, all of which were locked. It curved into some sort of operation room, where there were no humans, but plenty of signs of them, with discarded papers and coffee mugs spilt onto the floor. It looked there may have been a scuffle, or the people left in a hurry. He walked past the open room and into another with some offices, and past that into a laboratory. He hadn't found any stairs yet though, or any way to get to the second floor. "Where is this command center?" Link said to himself.

He heard a bleeping noise up above, causing him to stop in his tracks. "Hello?" he said. "Is someone there?" he said with paranoia.

"The command center is on level two in the northern quadrant."

"Is this the Computer?"

"Yes. This is a model JKL 4598-2, using a Decalins class operating system. Would you like to hear more details?"

"Uh, no, not really," Link said, figuring they were irrelevant and he wouldn't understand them anyway. The Computer must have been communicating with him telepathically since he saw no one making a voice. "Can you help me?" He tried to keep his answers as succinct as possible as not to anger it with inconsequential things.

"What would you like to know?"

"Where is the command center?"

"The command center is on level two in the northern quadrant."

"Where's that?"

Another bleep. "Would you like have me show you the way?"

"Yes, that'd be great."

The wall next to him started blinking in red arrows in a strip of black in the middle of the partition that ran all through the hall. "Please follow the red arrows to arrive at your destination."

"Thank you."

Link did as the Computer said, following the red arrows down the hallway, leading him into an area he had not seen before. The arrows stopped at a gray double door that was the width of a single. There was no doorknob Link could find, and he figured perhaps it would open automatically. He wound up bumping into it. "Open the door?" he asked politely. He pushed on the door. "Computer, can you please open this door?"

"Affirmative."

The door slid apart. If the Computer could open locked doors for him he was going to have to get one for his next adventure. Link poked his head into the tiny room with no way out. "Is this the command center?" he asked incredulously.

"This is an elevator."

"Oh," Link commented. An elevator, of course, he was familiar with those. He stepped in and turned around to face the doors, which closed after a second. He stood there. Nothing happened. Perhaps he needed to tell it what to do. "Take me to the command center, please."

The elevator whirred in response and he could feel himself being lifted upwards. Apparently, the Computer was all-knowledgeable, but needed to be told what to do to an annoying degree.

The elevator stopped whirring and opened its doors in a completely new area of the building. The same red arrows were waiting for him, chasing in the appropriate direction.

"Thank you," Link said again.
Meanwhile, back in the primary hallway inside the door, on the cold ground. Mega Man continued waiting patiently for Roll's functions to complete processing. When she sent him a message over their connection he nearly jumped. Rock?


Yes, Roll, I'm here. It looked like her communication functions had completed primary start up. She could communicate on a rudimentary level.

You're all right?

Yes, I'm fine.

What happened? The last thing I remember was I was out in the snow looking for Wily's base.

I think you froze your components. Parts of your programming stopped, then your motor functions, and then it had kind of a snowball effect, pardon the pun. You wouldn't have known you were freezing until it was too late. But there wasn't any permanent damage.

What happened to you?

It's a long story. Mega Man repeated what he had told Dr. Light earlier, changing some elements here and there, and ending it with their entrance into the research base.

And he's here now? Roll asked. You just sent him out there alone?

He'll be fine, trust me. I've seen him in battle. He's much more agile than you or I.

Well, don't say that till you've seen me in action, she indicated with a hint of smirkiness.

Ah, yes, your upgrades. So what did Dr. Light do for you?

Everything. My sensors are enhanced, my helmet gives me extra vision, and I have two laser pistols for my weapons. Dr. Light did a good job, working with what he had, which was essentially parts in the garage. The only thing he neglected was temperature control, she joked.

I see. And you decided to try and find Wily on your own.

I'm just as capable as you now, you can check the specs yourself. Don't take this one mistake as proof I'm inept. It's just a design oversight. You made plenty of mistakes over time.

I didn't say that. I'm sure you are capable. But what you did was risky. Even I don't fight until I need to.

I know, but I didn't know where you were. I thought you were dead or disappeared. I had no way to contact you. I didn't know if you were coming back.

Mega Man thought that was justified. When the most capable is absent, the next most capable takes over. I understand. I would do the same thing. Did you find his fortress?

Not yet. Has he done anything yet?

Not that I know of. What about the vase Dr. Light mentioned?

Roll communicated her information about Dr. Selkirk and the code on the vase to Mega Man. Roll was hoping her brother had something to contribute, but unfortunately, he had no conclusive evidence to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle.

/Why in the world would Wily take a vase? /Mega Man wondered.

That's what everybody's been asking.

I think the key lies in the binary code. We should run it though some testing when we get back.

Okay.

Roll.

Yeah?

I'm glad you're all right.

Same to you, bro.
Link's helpful arrows led him to a big door in the center of the complex, just where he would expect a command center to be. "Open door, please," Link commanded as he set in front of it.


The door opened just a finger's width and buzzed. Link was starting to recognize that sound as something unpleasant happening. This time it appeared to be that the door couldn't open all the way. "Open the door all the way."

The door buzzed again. "This door is experiencing an error. Please contact a maintenance worker to have this fixed," the Computer said.

"Where can I find a maintenance worker?"

"Maintenance workers are available between the hours of 900 to 2000. In the event of an emergency, leave a message with the maintenance department and they will get in touch with you as soon as possible."

"I don't have time for that. I need it open right now. Please?"

"Maintenance workers are available between the hours of 900 to 2000. In the event of an emergency, leave a message with the maintenance department and they will get in touch with you as soon as possible."

"Yes, yes, but is there any way it can be open now?"

"This door is experiencing an error. Please contact a maintenance worker to have this fixed."

"What if I just open it like this?" gripped both sides of the door and pushed. The sliding mechanism gave way to his strength slowly. As soon as it opened to a body's width he wedged himself inside and pushed it all the way open. With an exasperated grunt he adjusted his tunic and turned inside the room.

The layout looked like the bridge of a ship. And there were humans here, but they were draped across the consoles, splayed out on the floor, lacerated and burned. Link put a hand to his mouth, never seeing this sort of horror before. They were all dead.

Next Chapter: Waiting for Mega Man
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