A Megaman X fanfic by Neo Qwerty and Mystery Muse
Blink One: Oblivion
Lumine was moving alone in the newly-discovered fortress. He passed by Mavericks, unnoticed and ghost-like, and heading toward his final destination; Sigma's location. His feet never brushed the ground, and the golden eye that was not hidden by his hair was closed peacefully. Something odd about the twice-resurrected Reploid, something fundamentally wrong with him made the Reploids in his presence feel suddently uneasy.
This was Lumine's final act… His last gift to his children. He may not be worthy of creating the New World anymore, but he could still judge who would remain. For no one else could make a decision as perfect as his, ever.
He had lost everything. X had destroyed his body. Ferham had disturbed his peace. Axl had taken his mortality. Sigma had stolen his purity. X had broken his soul. Zero had shattered his hopes. Sigma had crushed his life. And, finally, X had robbed him of immortality. And this was why only he could pass judgment on his kind.
Once he reached Sigma, he freed the power that had laid dormant within him. A wavering, golden halo formed behind his form, and he reappeared in reality, facing a frozen Maverick leader. His eyes stayed closed, and his lips curled upward. His voice was soft and strange; it was no louder than the wind blowing through a forest, and yet there was an echo so loud it rumbled like an earthquake.
"Sigma. Your fate is to live in my perfect world."
The golden halo wavered and then vanished, and a horrible tearing sound filled the entire fortress as the last of Lumine's power rushed forward, uncontained. That power could have shaped a bright future, once upon a time. But fate had decided otherwise, and soon enough nothing remained of the Mavericks, or their fortress. There was naught but a scar upon the Earth, where pure nothingness had been unleashed.
And far from that location, Lumine's weak body was sitting in a throne, straight-backed and head held high. He looked like a porcelain doll, not a single strand of hair out of place and his lips pulled up in a contented smile. And to preserve that perfection, a high-powered shield had been placed up to thwart any attempts at displacing him.
But there was a flipside to that ethereal perfection; in front of his throne, critical components that should have been inside a Reploid had been carefully ordered and cleaned, spread out before the hollow new generation Reploid's feet. The new core that X had installed was lying in the center, and there was a short note, written in Lumine's elegant handwriting, taped to it.
Nothing is perfect.
Blink Two: Perfection
His lips had tasted like warm wax: dry, clean and flavorless.
X found himself remembering this as he and the small army of angry newgen Maverick Hunters burst through the defenses in Giga City and thundered into the core where Lumine's serene, regal and utterly lifeless form was propped up, like some legendary icon, wearing that smile that cut through X's mind, with an underlying sarcasm only he could see.
A vivid sense of disappointment swept the room, even as X slowly let out his half-held breath and the angry Hunters behind him lost their focus to stammer and stare at the carefully posed corpse. They'd been ready for, primed for, and expecting a fight. Now they had nothing. No closure, no release, and no satisfaction.
X moved forward slowly. Professionalism demanded he order the other Hunters to sweep the area for traps or other hostages; Axl was still missing.
And it also gave him a perfect excuse to be alone with the body, with the remains of a Reploid that had been an enemy and a friend and … something else, feelings that X didn't know how to categorize away into a prim and regimented little box.
X stepped forward carefully, crouched next to the core and interior components, clean as the day they were manufactured — god, how could he have! — and scanned the little note left beside it.
Nothing is perfect.
As X reached toward the core, a burst of static sounded in his ear, and then Alia's shaky message reached him.
X, it's… it's over.
The end of the war came so timidly, in a Navi's voice that trembled with awe and fear.
Sigma is… the Mavericks… it's all gone, X. Everything. Like it never even existed… I don't know how…
But X knew.
You did it, didn't you? Not for love, not for hope, but from despair…
X could sense the static buzz of growing excitement as the little troupe of Hunters, scattered down the halls and in the other rooms of Lumine's palace, began to catch the word. The rumor passed swiftly from Reploid to Reploid like prairie wildfire on arid grass; a sudden spark that launched a storm in a people long bereft of hope.
Nothing is perfect.
X rose and looked long and hard at Lumine's secret smile.
And then he looked closer into that perfect, ghost-white face, and he saw the faint red light gleaming deep inside the concentric spheres of Lumine's visible eye, a dot within the blackness of the newgen's dilated pupil. He saw the inner ring twist sharply, and X felt a terrible weight descend on his soul all at once.
Nothing is perfect save God's will.
The explosion of Lumine's abandoned core atomized everything within a 30 mile radius.
Blink Three: Anihilation
The explosion and total destruction of Giga City was like a signal to the silent prototype. He broke into a dizzying fast flight, hover engines displacing air and leaving long gold streaks in the sky. He had tasks to perform, and no one could possibly stop him. Lumine had spent his final days modifying Axl, turning him into far more than a newgen, far more than a prototype…
He flew until he reached the north pole, where Ferham and Zero had hidden themselves, and then dove straight through the ice, evaporating it with raw power before it even had a chance to melt. The metal walls themselves were no more of an obstacle; he simply twirled Red's double-headed scythe, the enhanced blades chewing through the metal like they were paper-thin. He was going straight for his mission, like an odd, enchanted arrow of a Reploid.
And there was not a single instant of hesitation when he found Ferham and Zero, exchanging whispers and the woman typing on the keyboard—there was a whirl of Axl's weapon, and Ferham was cleaved in half vertically. Another sleight of hand, and the upper blade was pointed toward the stunned Zero. Ferham's body fell to the ground, the two halves of her beautiful face twisted in surprise and pain and, for some odd reason, her core didn't even get to explode.
"He said she can't live."
These words came out of Axl's mouth, in a monotone, and he stared at Zero. He was wearing Lumine's colors again, purple and white and green painted on his brand-new armor. His round chest jewel had been replaced by an hexagonal crystal, a perfect replica of Lumine's. His stabilizers had been removed, and in their place there were two yellow-green feathered, mechanical wings just like Lumine's battle form had.
"He said you can't live."
And Axl's right eye, nothing but blank green glass, contrasted rather heavily with the left one, which was Lumine's eye, gold fading into orange fading into a dark red, piercing and hateful, and set right on Zero.
"He said X couldn't live."
And he could see why they weren't worthy of living. After all, he had the eye of God, and God saw everything.
Blink Four: Deathless
Chaos exploded within Zero's mind.
Low wails flooded Zero's receiver as a collective scream of terror rose from panicked Maverick Hunters all across the globe: X is dead, oh god X is dead, it can't be, it can't fucking be, Zero, where is Zero, X can't be gone, somebody save us, what's happening, it's the end of the world, SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!
And Ferham fell startled and sad, her last gaze holding a secret that had only been revealed in death; an answer that Zero knew first hand only came in the split second when time and breath stopped and the world with all its glamour and illusion fell away.
Her eyes transmitted that truth to Zero, like a virus, before she crashed to the ground and burst. A precious secret brought at the price of pain beyond reckoning.
Death has no meaning.
His eyes, mismatched and gleaming like an insane double star, held only lies.
Zero felt the eye of God turning toward him in vengeance. Without a moment of hesitation he rose to meet it.
I'll never die.
The blue tetrahedron set in his helmet's casing blew apart with a cry of snapping glass as Zero released the final, most deeply hidden seal on his body himself. His will reshaped his form into its true nature. Hair bleached to the white of bone, claws tipping his fingers, terrible dark wings that pulsed with his blackest energy, the vital, passionate rage that had been bound to his core hundreds of years ago by a visionary madman.
Zero cast his body forward, abandoning all pretense and all hope as effortlessly as a snake sheds useless skin; as he did so hell blossomed around him in ice, darkness and blood.
But you will.
It was a titanic battle, a demonic angel and an angelic demon crashing, twisting and smashing across the length of the sky, the width of the earth. Blood hailed on the ground as green light sawed into flesh, as razor sharp wings tore into black armor.
Lumine shoved the possessed Axl Bullet into the empty space in Zero's helmet, at point blank range, firing three times. Zero's brain splashed out the back of his head in a mass of irretrievable shrapnel.
And Zero melted away.
But somehow, his body continued to fight. Without mind, without grief, without despair, without knowledge, it battered on and on, inching toward that hateful yellow eye. And his body, which had its own will and instinct, moved his lifeless mouth and spoke its truth.
"You're not our God."
Zero's fingers wrenched that mad gold eye free of Axl's socket, and crushed it to nothingness.
Blink Five: Finale
The entire world had been in total disorder for weeks on end. Both the humans and the Reploids had been floored by X and Zero's deaths, and shocked at the complete erasure of Sigma. Everything had ended in a bang… And yet no one even knew of Lumine's existance, except himself. And if he could help it, no one would know, ever.
But now, the dust had settled, and there was a new world taking root, before Axl. Scientists, humans and Reploids, had discovered that the Maverick Virus itself had vanished into thin air. In the five hours after Zero's death, something had been unleashed, and had erased the virus and its variants, along with all research related to it. And that was something Axl couldn't even explain. Lumine wouldn't have done that — couldn't have done that…
But the important thing was that there could be no more Mavericks. All of the new generation Reploids had been obliterated in Giga City's destruction, or along with the other Mavericks. The old models didn't have the capacity to go Maverick of their own will — they could rebel, but they couldn't go bugfuck crazy. And, due to their slower designs, Force Metal couldn't drive them loco like it did with the newgens. And that had ended up making an amazing difference in human attitude; now the Reploids weren't feared half as much.
And, to crown it all, there was a scientific breakthrough; by changing the coding of the electrosphere, an artificial shield with the same functions as the ozone layer could be created. This way, humans could leave the underground residential districts gradually, and reestablish themselves aboveground. And, if combined with the biomechanical technology from Noah's Park, it could safely restore the earth to an ancient state more like three hundred years ago.
Not to mention all of the other astounding discoveries… —
"Axl, you're thinking again…"
A small hand knocked on his round, hollow jewel, and the high-pitched but stern voice broke him out of his musings to give a sheepish chuckle.
"Hurry up, dummy, I wanna see him one more time before the museum closes!"
He walked again through the crowds, carrying his charge and being extremely careful, and stopped at their destination. There, on the other side of the glass window, stood Zero in all of his splendor. His forehead crystal and the back of his helmet had both been restored, and his armor had been repolished and his hair brushed. His wings — for he hadn't reverted after his death — were folded back and then over his sides, and he looked more like he had simply gone to recharge and someone had pulled a nasty prank on him than the cold, hard truth that he and Lumine had killed each other.
A small, wistful sigh escaped his "passenger"'s lips, and he looked upward blindly.
"I bet it would be so fun to travel back in time and meet him…"
Axl chuckled and grinned, but his eye watered.
"I know… I think I'd have a few things to say to him."
"And then we could have gone to see X, too…!"
"Got something to say to him too…"
Blue eyes were rolled, and then the little girl's impish voice made him turn all shades of red.
"You sound like you have a cruuuuuuuush!"
"…Hear that, Ciel? It's your mom radioing for you!"
The little human girl giggled and brushed her blonde ponytail back, before grabbing on to Axl's white blue and red helmet again.
"Okay, okay, Axl. Let's go back!"
He sent a final glance to Zero… and then refocused on his reflection. He had gotten the Hunters to restore his armor back to his natural colors, and taken Lumine's wings off and replaced by stabilizers, but… His single green eye narrowed and looked at the empty spot where Lumine's eye had been, then he mentally traced the self-inflicted wound that dug deep in his helmet and added another scar on his face. He liked being reminded of Red a lot more than being reminded of Lumine.
Bah, anyway. He gave a small nod to the lifeless hero, and then set off toward Alia's appartment, to bring Ciel back. He had promised the Navigator to bring her daughter back before five, after all…
Yeah, that was the hugest discovery ever.
The prototype lifted his eye up again, and hummed to himself.
Maybe nothing's perfect… But this is really frickin' close to it. Just lacks some heroes.