Against All Odds

A Megaman X fanfiction by Neo Qwerty

X hovered near the bed, eyes flicking from readouts to Lifesaver, then to their patient. All five of them — himself, Alia, Lifesaver, Douglas and Pallette — fought against the inevitable, attempted to save Axl from Lumine's postmortem attack. The blow had seemed benign at the moment, and would have been easily deflected if the space beneath Axl's helmet bauble were solid instead of a hole. But the unknown, crystalline matter had drilled straight through protection meshes and into Axl's positronic brain, and fragmented, throwing shrapnel that buried into even the black box containing the core information for a Reploid "resurrection".

The more they examined the damage and assessed possible recovery options, the clearer it became: Axl's brain was physically irrecoverable, and so would many of his memories be. If they brought him back at all, it would only be as a shadow of himself, and they didn't know if he would retain enough of his knowledge to be useful as an on-terrain Hunter. He would most likely never be able to reach S-Class rank again, either way, or even a rank above B-Class.

Pallette sighed sadly, and shook her head.

"That's going beyond what my guys can recover."

Alia spoke up, quiet and grieving.

"We might be able to get a few stray memories, but his brain's looking like someone detonated a crystal-bomb in his head. Even his stem's completely totalled…"

X stated a last-measure option, unwilling to just let Axl die yet.

"We still have a backup of his drivers from the last time he came in for a DNA-purge, right? Let's just… Fix the stem and reinstall the basics."

"X, it would take a miracle for Axl to be resurrected…"

The old Reploid looked over at Alia, pain clear in his eyes and thickening his voice.

"We owe it to him to at least try. He's helped us time and again, even when I was trying to turn him away from the Hunters. We can't give up until there's no hope at all left."

Lifesaver nodded, looking quietly at the young prototype, and spoke his mind.

"We still can't tell exactly what Axl is capable of. There might be an unknown design element that can let him recover hidden in the mess of beta features he still has in him. I'm willing to place him on life support for a week, and scan for improvements every few hours."

"Thank you, Lifesaver."


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