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Chapter 61: Goodbye
Chapter 61: Goodbye
"The famed Mega Man has once again made our world safe from robot tyranny as he brought in the captured Dr. Wily to the world government law enforcement offices. But this time he wasn't alone. Laura Miller is there with the story."
The screen switched to Laura Miller, a redheaded reporter with a blue suit. "Thanks, Megan. We're standing outside the law enforcement headquarters where Mega Man had just finished talking to reporters after delivering Dr. Wily for imprisonment awaiting trial."
The screen switched to Mega Man standing in front of many microphones and recording sticks, with camera flashes going off behind them. Roll stood next to Mega Man behind his left shoulder, mimicking the stoic face her brother had, while Link looked around at all the people and places curiously.
Mega Man said, "Dr. Wily has been successfully captured alive. I just handed him over to the proper authorities so they can convey justice upon him. His escape from Siberia was no mistake, there was no way it could have been prevented. He had a contingency plan in case of his eventual capture where he stored copies of robot masters with the powers he needed in an underground vault in Antarctica. The vault, and his castle, have been destroyed, of course. So we hope to prevent another occurrence of this."
One of the reporters frantically called Mega Man's name to ask a question. "Are you anticipating another escape by Dr. Wily after this capture?"
Mega Man answered very politically, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. If Dr. Wily does strike again in some way, I will always be there to stop him and his schemes."
"Is it true you had assistance during this mission."
"It is, my partners are right here. Of course, you know my robotic sister, Roll."
She gave a polite wave as more flashes went off.
"And to my left is Link."
More cameras flashed and Link made the same wave hesitantly unsure of what exactly was going on.
A reporter spoke up. "Is it true that he's a human?"
This created an amazing buzz in the crowd, and they started piping up like chickens. "Link, Link," they called out. "How do you feel about working with a robot?"
Link looked at Mega Man for answers. "What do I do?"
"Just answer any questions you want to," he smiled.
Link turned back to the small white stick being almost shoved into his mouth. "I feel just fine about it. Why wouldn't I?"
"Where are you from?" another asked.
"Where is Hyrule?" they asked without hesitation.
"It's um... um... very... um... far away?"
"What do you do in Hyrule."
"Technically, my title is a royal knight of Hyrule castle, but I'm really more of an adventurer."
Roll jumped in, "He's working for an agency as an undercover operative. No comment about that."
"What weapons did you use to fight the robots?"
"Mostly my trusty sword. Can't believe it held up so well. My shield broke a while back, but I got a new one that's much better. And I used my hookshot a lot. And bombs."
"How were you able to fight the robots without a plasma weapon of any kind?"
"Well, fortunately, the magic came back into my rods, so I was able to use those just in the nick of time."
Mega Man and Roll were trying to stifle their bemused giggles at the blank faces of the reporters. They were trying to maintain their dignity with serious questions.
"Is it true you were at the demonstration at the robot detainment facility?"
"I was there. I broke it up, in fact. I can't believe anyone would try and attack Mega Man like that."
"Do you plan on assisting Mega Man in the future?"
"Well," he looked at his friend. "I would, but I have to get back to Hyrule. My people need me there. Just like you people need Mega Man here."
"Why did you decide to assist Mega Man?"
Link thought for a brief moment. "I could say that it was to return the favor that he showed me in my world. Or I could say that I simply wanted to explore this new environment. Or I could say I felt obligated to help because I was a bit of a burden to him through our adventures. But I think the real reason is, because he's my friend." He smiled at Mega Man, and he smiled back.
"How did you meet up with Mega Man?"
"He actually dropped into Hyrule by accident, helped me out quite a bit. And I came here, by just about the same accident. It's a funny story really. You see, there was a moblin attack in the village. Well, first, Ganondorf had manipulated some events and artifacts to convince us there was a fourth piece to the Triforce, and so-"
"Uh, no more questions," Mega Man interrupted holding his hand against Link to block him from the reporters, "No more questions, we have a limited timetable we have to keep to for Dr. Wily's arraignment, thank you very much."
The voiceover of the reporter vocalized, "After the interview, the three of them went back in and arranged for Dr. Wily's extradition. He's expected to stand trial later this month. Both Mega Man and Roll promised to give a full exclusive interview later after things had settled down. In other news, Titanium-X, a new lightweight alloy is making vast strides in-"
Mega Man reached over to the console and shut off the monitor. It flattened to a white line and disappeared. He rested back against the chair and looked over at Link, who was leaned forward with rapt attention. It was probably his first time seeing himself on video, interacting with people as he normally would. It was the first time he had been interviewed and broadcast to millions and billions. Mega Man crossed his arms and asked, "Well? What do you think?"
Link, still looking at the video screen said, "Does my voice really sound like that?"
"Um, well," Mega Man stammered, "The voice recording mechanics often add in interference and distortion noise sometimes," he lied. Of course, the audio reception was crystal clear.
"All they did was talk to me," Link said. "They didn't ask you anything," he said to his friend.
"It didn't bother me. I've been interviewed so many times by reporters its become routine. The same events, the same questions, the same answers. They could probably just replay a tape of my last interview. I've had my fill of them. How about you, Roll?"
She shrugged, "I didn't care. You know me, I'm not much for being the center of attention."
The door behind them opened with a quiet shush. Dr. Light tip-tapped the metal floor with the rubber end of his cane, holding onto a thick stack of paper in his hand, reading as he walked. His leg was still wrapped in a light blue covering.
"Dr. Light," Mega Man greeted.
"Hello kids, Link," he nodded.
"What're you looking at there, Doctor?" Roll asked.
"I've been going over Dr. Selkirk's notes, the ones they found in Dr. Wily's database."
"Those are the ones gleaned from the computer," Mega Man half-asked, half-stated.
Dr. Light nodded. "Yes, they are just amazing. Just amazing. They're a work of complete genius."
"So you can understand them?" Mega Man asked.
"Not a lick of it." He shook the pages in front of him. "This is complete spaghetti code."
"Spaghetti code?" Link asked.
"It's completely indecipherable. One line references another, that references another, that references another. You can't keep track of it at all. One part of code contains twenty functions that do the same thing, and another has one function that should be split into thirty. It's pure genius, but the notes are so muddled and disordered. There's no logical progression to it at all. It would take years just to set up an experiment that would test these theories, let alone actually implementing it." He tapped the edge of the stack on the side of a console, straightening the edges. "Wily really shouldn't feel so bad. No one could do what Selkirk intended. He was definitely on the shallow end of the sanity pool." He set the stack of papers on the desk and looked at the three of them. "Well, I just came down here to tell you that I finished working on the transporter and it should be ready to go."
The three stood up from the chairs, surprised. They knew it was inevitable, but like all things they knew were unavoidable, they didn't expect it to come so soon. "It's all ready to go?" Mega Man asked.
"Exactly to my last known specifications. I mean, I made it the same way I did before it was destroyed, so it should be an exact duplicate."
"Did you test it?" Mega Man asked.
"Yeah," Roll said. "There are a million variables that could be a factor here. It could dump him in some region of space. How do you know it's actually going to deposit him in Hyrule?"
"It will," Link said quietly, his eyes downcast. "I'm tied to Hyrule. It's part of me and I'm part of it. My destiny is in Hyrule, and I can't escape it. It won't let me escape. If I can't find my way back to Hyrule, Hyrule will find it's way back to me."
There was a moment of silence.
Dr. Light hmphed, "Well, I'm certainly glad you believe that. I wish you could stay a bit longer so we could investigate this strange phenomenon surrounding you," he said, referring to Link's magic, "But I agree with Rock. It's best for both our worlds if you leave expediently. Don't want to have a rip in the space-time continuum," he said with a jolly grin. "Do you have everything?"
Link patted his holding bag. "All I got is what I came here with, and that's all I'll leave with."
Light nodded and turned around, leading the four of them out into a hallway under the manor in the lab complex. Mega Man and Roll walked side by side at the back, Link treaded between the doctor and the robots. Dr. Light had performed many experiments on Link's magic elements in between breaks repairing the transporter. Every test had come up with pretty much the same results Mega Man had. There was nothing special about the scepters, yet fire and ice spontaneously formed and poured out like milk from a carton. There were no refrigeration coils or fusion generators like Dr. Light had expected. He could find no connection between what he was seeing and 'magic'. A more obsessed man would have imprisoned Link, trying to find out the secret to this power and to harness it, but Dr. Light was never that sort of person. He had no covetous nature when it came to power. His specialty was making robots, not magic.
"You've certainly had an interesting time here," Dr. Light said to Link, making idle conversation. "I'm glad you got to see a little of what my s-, I mean, Rock, has to go through in life."
"Well, that's all right," Link smiled. "He got to see a little of what I have to go through in my life. It was only fair."
The door to the transporter room opened and there it was. The same as when Roll and Rock had last seen it. A large hollow metal wheel, about twice the height of any of them, with a controlling computer attached next to it. Dr. Light charged in and approached the control box. With a few clicks and snaps of buttons, a faint charging hum activated and the machine turned on. The hollow space inside the circle turned into a shimmering gold surface, undulating rhythmically.
"It's all ready," Light said, and turned back to the three younger companions standing behind him. Link, closest to the circle, stood with his back against it, paying it no attention and facing his two friends. The three of them just stood just inside the room, looking around at the floor with small mouths, acting like three year olds waiting for punishment.
Dr. Light was about to repeat himself for fear of them not hearing him the first time. Then he realized what was going on. They were saying their goodbyes, and finding it more difficult than they had realized. He had no idea they had bonded so much with such a total stranger in such a short amount of time. He found even himself getting misty eyes, though not certain whether from the tearful goodbye, or how well his progeny's A.I. had developed to this level.
Link turned to Roll, trying to hold his head high, but struggling. "Goodbye, Roll. Thanks for everything." He spoke the words right into his eyes, then shifted them away.
Roll leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. Link's eyes opened a little wider. It was a powerful kiss, more powerful than if it had been on the lips. "Say hello to your Zelda for me," she said.
Link smiled and lightly nodded twice. He turned over to face Mega Man, his friend, his battle partner. There were no words he could think that would be appropriate after all they had been through. He held out his hand to shake. Mega Man took it and grabbed it, pulling it up and down. It would be the last common thing between their two worlds he might ever learn.
Link grasped him about the shoulder and pulled him into a hug. "Guess now we've got a bit more time to say goodbye, but I don't really know what to say."
"Yeah, neither do I," Mega Man said. No human had ever embraced him like one of their own. He just soaked up the experience, better without words. "Oh," he said, pulling himself out after an appropriate time had passed. "A little bird told me you took a shine to this while you were here."
He reached behind him and pulled out a white and pink cylinder with the words 'Fairy Juice' written in elaborate letters.
Link laughed out loud in surprise and happily took the can. "Oh, heh, thanks."
"Just a little something to remember us by," Roll said.
"Thanks," he replied as he put the can into his bag. "This'll be a great trick to play on Zelda," he schemed.
With one final sigh the Hylian put a hand on Link's shoulder. "I won't forget you."
Mega Man put his hand on Link's shoulder as well. It was hard metal, but more human than he had ever felt. "I'll always remember you," he said.
They released their grips simultaneously. Link turned around and faced the black and gold sea, floating there in space. His mind played over all the events he had seen in his time here and there, teleporting, watching ghosts, racing a hydroski, tunneling underground. There wouldn't be anything about this he'd forget.
He craned his head back, looked at Roll once, and Rock once. "See you later," he smirked.
With that, he bounded up and leapt into the portal. The surface rippled like water from the impact Link made. Dr. Light consulted the diagnostics on the computer readout next to the control panel.
"Transportation was successful, as far as I can tell," he said.
Mega Man nodded. The two siblings thought of how rather anticlimactic that was. Link was there and just has suddenly as he appeared, he disappeared. The void that he left was immediate. The three of them were like soldiers with no more war to fight, and returned to their points of origin. As in all things, an ending must come about. Time and people might change, the world will keep turning, nothing is static. But the memory remains.
Next Chapter: Epilogue