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Eclipse: Canon
Author Leo
Participants Epsilon
IC Date: 02 June 2219
RL Date: 02 June 2006
Story Arc Brand New Sky

Ra Moon had been vanquished. The beast had been bound and sealed. The nightmare was over.

In Roll’s name, they had joined together. The pact was uneasy and exceedingly delicate. There had been small incidents, little sparks indicating that this was only the most temporary allegiance. There had never been harmony, but with the radically clashing ideologies of the current actors in the war, even this unity against a clearly common foe was frayed. Only the charisma and essential goodness of Mega Man kept them together as long as they had.

They sought the Stardroid pendants. Some had been kept away in vaults, while others were scattered and had to be found. They brought the charms together and built their trap out of this last piece of the Stardroid legacy. The Duo energy that the beast had absorbed made him especially vulnerable -- and so, only in retrospect, Elegy’s sacrifice finally made sense. He had to be sure that the beast would be sealed. But how could he have known?

They struck Tora Bora. They fell upon it like a hammer and shattered it completely, slaying many of the Legion. The Robot Masters took their e-ring from them, forcing Ra Moon to reconstitute his Gentlemen from the darkness when they fell. The beast’s rage rose. It would not play with its prey any longer. The final march began, as it assumed that the planet, so weakened from the constant assault, would no longer be able to present organized resistance.

It was lured into the trap. The concert was an inspired idea; it provided a mechanism by which the majority of his ground forces could be cut down, leaving the remaining combatants to fight the Robot Gentlemen and Omnidroids. It was a fierce battle, and victory had not been assured. Then, the Light came: Mega Man, gleaming with his latest armor mode, rained down fury upon the foe.

Mega Man and Ra Moon engaged in battle. The two seemed dangerously evenly matched. Then, a surprise: Patriarch, summoned up from the darkness, rose up to strike at the stage itself. Hoping that the others could deal with the powerful foe, Mega Man rallied his strength and kept his focus on Ra Moon. A determined group of technicians and scientists did battle against Patriarch, but it was Epsilon who finally avenged his fallen and destroyed the evil King for the final time.

The power Mega Man had been given could keep up with the beast’s relentless assault, and with the help of his friends Rush, Beat and Fliptop, he achieved what appeared to be victory over his foe. Ra Moon appeared to be poised to be dispersed again -- but then the trap was sprung, and the beast was captured, bound, and sent far into space, hopefully never to trouble the good people of Earth ever again.

The world had changed. A return to how things were was not possible. Too many people had died. Too much had been destroyed or altered by the passing of Ra Moon’s forces over the world. As the dawn broke, the survivors looked across their world and came to terms with their changed destinies.

The Maverick Hunters, ascendant with the supreme power of Mega Man’s armor, were still crippled. Their home was in shambles, and Roll remained in recovery from her ordeal. They had lost many of their number during the campaign. For them, their task was to bury the dead and rebuild.

The Repliforce was left the thankless task of defending a world teetering on the edge of anarchy. Their Fortress was still under repairs, leaving them with smaller airships. Stretched to the limit, facing terrorist foes content to engage in hit-and-run tactics, many of their number yearned for the days when large armies would still clash over continents for dominance. Perhaps, sooner than they expect, those days will come again.

The Robot Masters had come out of the conflict relatively untouched. With no land to lose and few standing resources to destroy, they could only gain in the present environment. They had won the e-ring system from the Robot Gentlemen, giving them the ability to escape doomed battles without fear of Sigma Virus infection. Wily would not stand idly by while the forces that faced him recovered. Now was their time to fight and win glory and power.

The Mavericks had suffered from the attacks both leading up to and during the campaign. While they had air supremacy while the Fortress V was being repaired, they had little else to celebrate. Many Reploids had fallen during the fighting, and they continued to face a world where their enemies were all around them. They stood to gain if they could capitalize in the present unstable environment, but it would be a hard climb. Word had started to spread about their reticence to fight in the last battle, which disturbed many would-be recruits.

Neo Arcadia had suffered extensively from the wrath of Ra Moon. The Blade Dancer’s betrayal had meant that much of Ra Moon’s attention had fallen on the embattled nation. Their forces were routed, leaving them vulnerable to the advance of Repliforce units and the American army. Already overextended from their push into San Angeles, they were forced to pull back. Some kind of negotiated surrender had been worked out, though the ramifications of this were yet to be known. However, the time of Neo Arcadia’s empire-building had come to a sudden end. Their task was simple survival.

The others were in various states of disarray. STARS had joined with Repliforce to consolidate payrolls and to assist the overextended army in dealing with unconventional threats from organized crime and other smaller terrorist elements. SciTech continued to work diligently to repair the damaged Internet. The Yakuza, as always, was there to ensure that the black market continued to function as it should.

Through it all, the Irregulars had survived. This is what they knew best. During the conflict, they had added Robot Overlords and even Robot Gentlemen to their number, creating a squad headed up by Giga Man. This last group of active survivors from Scott Wily, known as Giga’s Emancipated Robot Cousins, inadvertently embodied the ideals of the Irregulars: love, beauty and redemption. Even Flora Man may yet be redeemed, Epsilon thought.

They had lost much, as well. Many of their greatest scientists and explorers had died on Mars during the failed expedition to the red planet. The Omnidroids had been killed, and then made into traitors that had to be destroyed. But the deepest cut, as it had always been, was Epsilon’s -- the Irregulars’ -- loss of Vowel and Consonant. Vengeance was a salve, but only time could heal.

Yet, they had a foothold in Giga City, and hope for the future. Perhaps that was enough, Epsilon considered, as he looked over the ocean toward the rising sun. His Irregulars would survive. They gained a few new members every day. In time, they might be able to make another run at liberating this cruel and heartless world from its inscrutable masters.

The most damning thing about the entire affair was Epsilon’s lingering malaise. They had taken his dream from him. Epsilon had thought that by bringing back indisputable proof that all consciousness was fundamentally the same, he could finally end the hatred between humans and robots. If they could just be made to see that they were brothers, they could finally respect that they were equals. The humans would have to free the Reploid race, and they could finally begin to gain the power and freedom they deserved.

But it was not goodness that had shown that they were all the same, but evil. Humans and robots had worked together to assist Ra Moon for the promise of power and glory. They had betrayed all of their friends and family, all of their ideals, everything that made life for fleeting, temporal might. They wanted to crush their enemies, or avenge themselves in some way for real or imagined wrongs. The wickedness of man and machine had been revealed to all, to their eternal shame.

After the battles had ended, the fleeting unity of the various armies used to fight against the Adversary collapsed. Once more, after the common foe was defeated, they fell upon each other. Mavericks claimed superiority to humans. Neo Arcadia claimed superiority to robots. The Hunters and Repliforce were caught in the middle, trying to maintain the uneasy status quo. No one learned. No one was saved. They all had their roles to play, and had returned to them without so much as a hiccup of thought.

The crushing sadness had almost destroyed him. Good people -- Consonant, Elegy, countless others -- had been killed by Ra Moon for his dream. He wanted a world where humans and Reploids could have a separate peace, living side by side as equals, a peace earned by power and courage. But it seemed that wickedness and hate would always rise up to challenge them, and the lessons forgotten after it had been defeated. The weight of vanity and greed were simply too great.

Yet, the Stardroids had said that the light should not outweigh the dark, nor the dark outweigh the light. Perhaps they had been right all along. Though there was profound darkness, there were shining lights. Pugilation Man had been redeemed, Flora Man now sought salvation -- perhaps even Blues could find redemption, one day. Evil existed, yes, but so did good. The one thing Ra Moon could not destroy was hope, no matter how much horror he perpetrated across the world.

His dream had been destroyed, but many dreams are. Some cannot bear the light of day, being only diaphanous ephemera. Perhaps it was time for a new dream. Though the truth alone could not liberate the world, perhaps he only needed to persist in modeling a new way, a better way, and wait for the inevitable consequences. Giga City was well suited to be his City on the Hill, as Able City would be the Mavericks’; his Athens to their Sparta.

Epsilon had to continue onward. He had lost much, but too many people depended on him to allow him the luxury of self-hatred and constant remorse. Through his trials, he had learned hard lessons about his hubris, lessons he hoped he would be able to remember in the coming days. He had wanted to draw down the moon and make the stars bow to his commands. As good-intentioned as he was, he had only been setting himself up for the inevitable fall.

Some times, he felt very alone. It was difficult for him to explain to others how he felt, or what he had been through. Watching the sun rise helped him. A new sunrise led to a new day, and new opportunities for the struggle to finally end. Looking into the sun reminded him of how Consonant made him feel. Sometimes, he imagined looking into the light and seeing the door at the edge of infinity, with Consonant just beyond it.

He’d make it there, one day.

6. VNV Nation - Airships – Futureperfect



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-- New playable characters unlocked -- Hard Mode password: teamcolonel