Chapter 2: Separate Ways.
It has been over an hour since Blues/ProtoMan had his outburst and Doctors Light and Wily have been reviewing the video of the prototype's only moments alive, assessing the damage he sustained and speculating on what went wrong with him. Both scientists watch the video of the prototype robot taking his first steps in the lab, but Thomas inparticular watches on with sorrow in his eyes.
"He looks so innocent," Thomas quietly laments, "Bless his heart. He had no idea what was about to happen."
Dr. Wily glazes his eyes at Thomas' sorrowful comment. He cannot comprehend why Dr. Light cares so much about these robots. They're just machines in Wily's mind, nothing more than a means to make money and get famous.
Dr. Light turns the video off and approaches the damaged body of the robot prototype, placing a hand on the prototype's red forearm.
"The more I think about this, the more I believe that giving him complete free will would be a bad idea. However, all it would take is just programming certain directives into his CPU, especially the law of robotics: 'no robot shall harm a human.' That way, he could still make his own decisions and live like a human."
Wily asks in a mocking tone, "So, when he destroys the lab next time, I don't have to worry about getting killed myself? Sounds good to me."
Light looks down upon his fallen creation and tries to suppress his growing agitation with Wily's overall attitude problem he's had lately. There are times when he feels like punching Wily in the face, and this is one of them. But, being the pacifist that he is, Thomas buries these feelings and tries to communicate with Albert (which is an unenviable task, at times.)
"I wonder exactly what caused this," Light asks, "Any guess, Albert?"
"You're the one with all the answers, Thomas. You tell me," Wily answers. He is genuinely stumped but still had that snide sound to his voice when he replied to Dr. Light's question.
Thomas strokes his light grey beard calculating what could have done this and he comes up with only one solution... "It must have been the guidance system."
Dr. Wily looks over his partner with furrowed grey eyebrows when he hears Thomas' speculation that the guidance system was responsible for the prototype's fit of anger.
"The guidance system?" Wily blurts, "Thomas, I programmed the guidance system myself! It must be something else!"
Dr. Light held himself back from telling Wily that his involvement in programming the prototype's guidance system may be exactly what was wrong with it. "No, it has to be the guidance system," he reiterates, "There's no other explanation for his rampage he went on."
"Then, what about the pain he experienced?" Wily loudly asked, his voice becoming more into a shout.
"There was probably an internal conflict between his pain sensors and his faulty programming!" Light snapped back, raising his voice now, "And it shocked the poor boy's system!"
Wily stood accross from Dr. Light and just stared back at him with daggers in his eyes, feeling the rage beginning to boil inside of him when Dr. Light had the gall to call his programming faulty.
"My programming is faulty?" Albert barked, "Oh, but, you're never wrong, are you? Everything is everybody else's fault but yours! Isn't it, Thomas?"
Dr. Light let out an exasperated breath... he knew where this was going, he has had this argument several times over the years he has known Wily. "Are you going to start with me again?"
"Oh, no, Dr. Light!" Wily chuckles with a sarcastic snear, "You're right!... as always!"
"Albert, I am not blaming you-"
"YES, YOU ARE!" Albert interrupts with a roar, aiming his finger at Thomas, "You can't blame yourself, because your ego is too Goddamn big to admit failure! You are jealous of my genius!"
Dr. Light rolls his eyes and throws his arms up in the air. He had though he had heard everything, until now.
"You know I'm a superior intellect!" Wily continues, "You just degrade my ideas and make them your own! You probably sabotaged ProtoMan's guidance system, so you could leave me in the dirt and you take all the credit!"
"That is the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard!" Light replies, now rising his voice again to shout, which is very uncharacteristic of him.
"If you want the guidance system reprogrammed, DO IT YOURSELF!" Albert yells as he turns to leave the lab.
"Albert!" Light calls, "Everybody makes a mistake."
Dr. Wily ingores Thomas and continues storming toward the exit.
In a last ditch effort, Dr. Light calls, "Dammit, Albert! Are you about to throw all of these years of hard work in the trash? Because of a petty disagreement?"
Wily stopped in mid stomp, standing with his back to Dr. Light. Dr. Wily was growing a strong dislike for Thomas Light, especially recently. It was bordering on hatred. According to Wily's point of view, Light seemed like he had an aura of supreme intelligence about him. But, in actuality, it was Wily whose ego was swelling. He is just not rational enough to realize it.
"I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings," Light said, catching up to Wily, "I know you've worked hard too. But, we can't give up now. We've come too far!"
Wily turns around to face Dr. Light. Just like before, Dr. Light was convinced Wily had calmed down again, but this time, Albert wasn't backing down so easily.
"You're not sorry, Thomas," Wily says, "Not one damn bit."
"Albert," Light states, "I've done nothing but point out that Blues' guidance system had a problem. If I had made the same mistake, I would admit it.. Albert, you're not just my partner, you're my friend. Now, come on... let's stop this foolishness."
Dr. Wily took in and let out a breath... he was finally simmering down, just like he usually does. "What do you want me to do, Thomas?"
"We have to destroy the faulty plans for all of the robots we were planing on designing," Thomas replies.
"You're destroying... all of the plans?" a mortified Wily asks.
"Yes," Dr. Light reiterates, "They are obviously dangerous in their present form. They need to be re-worked."
Dr. Wily felt his heart sink to the bottom of his feet. It was bad enough that - in his mind - Light was blaming him for the malfunction in the prototype, but now in his warped mind, he felt Light was punishing him by making him destroy the blueprints and schematics for the other robots.
Of course, Dr. Light's true intention was to perfect the prototype and make sure what happened today doesn't happen again.
"Then, we'll reprogram the guidance system," Light continues, "Once that's been finished, everything should work. I'll help you-"
"No, that will not be necessary, Thomas," Wily flatly interrupted, "I'll reprogram the guidance system myself. I'll get started on it now."
Wily began walking back towards the busted prototype robot, but Light stopped him by putting his arm in front of him. "Not tonight, Albert. It's getting late and it's been a very stressful day. Besides, there's something else we should discuss."
Wily was bothered further by the fact that Dr. Light was basically kicking him out for the night. It takes him every ounce of strength to contain his anger. "What?" he asks with a flat tone, ready to hear Thomas' next jab.
"Earlier, when you told him that there could be brothers and sisters," Light pointed out, "He said he would like a little brother."
"And...?" Wily asks.
"I was thinking that maybe he could use a companion," Thomas answers, "That way, he would not be alone. If he didn't feel comfortable speaking to either of us about something, he would have a fellow robot to confide in... though, I always dreamed though of having a son and a daughter."
"We can give him both a brother and a sister," Wily suggests, trying to tell Thomas what he wants to hear so he can get the hell out of here, "Tomorrow morning, after we've repaired the prototype, we can begin work on his siblings."
"That sounds like a good plan," Light replies.
After a beat of silence, Wily turns again to leave without saying another word.
"Goodnight, Albert," Light says, "I'll see you tomorrow."
"...Goodnight, Thomas," Wily replies as proceeds to leave the lab, his anger now reaching the boiling point as he seethed all the way outside.
Outside the lab, Dr. Wily unlocks the door to his car and gets inside, spewing obsenities the entire time.
"My work is faulty?" he seethes to himself, "...I'll show you faulty!... short, overweight, self-righteous son of a bitch!"
The fact that he has to drive home also enrages Wily. Dr. Light lived here on this compound and his house was connected to the large laboratory structure, so if he was tired, he could just stumble off to his bedroom a few doors away. But, Wily had to drive all the way back to his dumpy little shack of a house on the other side of town, usually dead tired. (Of course, Wily conveniently forgets all of the times Thomas offered him a spare unused bedroom to use.)
And Albert's car wasn't a SkyCar, so he had to deal with all of these Godforsaken New York motorists!
Wily's warped mind began torun wild with hateful thoughts as he pulled out of Dr. Light's compound, and the fury began to boil over... He was sure that Light was jealous of him. Why else would he claim that Wily's "flawless" guidance system was faulty and dump all of his perfect plans for other robots?
And then, Albert started hearing that little whisper in his head... the same one that drove him to brutalize his father when he was young...
Thomas had the gall to tell you to destroy the plans that you worked on for all of those nights... the gall to tell you that the prototype's malfunction was all your fault... how dare he question your intellect... are you going to stand for this, Albert?... are you?
Wily slammed his foot on the brakes and stopped in the middle of the street. He looked at his reflection in the rear view mirror and all he could see were his eyes staring back at him.
"... No!" he wickedly snickered back at his own reflection.
Later that night.
The interior of Dr. Light's lab was dark. The only light peering in was from a doorway where Thomas himself now stood. He returned to the lab area because he thought he heard a noise earlier.
"Albert?" he called, "Are you still here?"
After flipping the light switch, the lab became luminated once again. The robot prototype was still lying on the worktable, now covered in a white sheet and the condemned plans were still on another table nearby. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first glance.
As Dr. Light took a few steps forward, he continued looking around... "Albert, is that you?" he calls once again.
Then, he felt something hit him fiercely on the back of his head. Light saw stars floating in his field of vision and then, the whole world went dark.
Dr. Wily had whacked his old friend from behind with the butt of his flashlight. He crouches down and hisses into Dr. Light's ears with a sinister glee, "Yes, Thomas... it's me!"
Dr. Wily made a cocky stride towards the prototype and begins talking to himself. "Destroy my work, will you? Ha! Not if I have anything to say about it!"
Wily pulls the white sheet off of the damaged prototype he calls ProtoMan. He rubs his hands together, nearly salivating at what this robot can do for his future.
"You're coming with me!" Wily whispers.
Dr. Light woke up freezing thanks to being on the cold floor of the lab. He had a bad headache now and it pulsated as he tried getting back to his feet. He squinted his eyes under the lights, which only made the headache worse. Then, he noticed something was missing...
"Blues!" he gasps in horror.
Dr. Light found only the white sheet that he placed on top of the robot earlier, now rumpled on the floor. He looked over to the other table and found that all of the plans that were meant to be destroyed were also missing. But, in their place remained a hand-written note. It looked like the chicken scratch of a madman.
It read... "Dear, Thomas. You have stabbed me in the back for the last time. You just couldn't take the blame for your mistakes, could you? Now it's too late. I am tired of seeing your face on the covers of the newspapers and on the evening news. Now, it's MY TURN to be in the spotlight!
Sincerely, Dr. W."
"Damn you, Albert!" Dr. Light whispered as he crumpled up the note.
Later that night.
Elsewhere in New York.
A New York Police cruiser pulls up outside of the small delapitated house owned by Dr. Wily well outside of the city. Albert's car was still parked in the driveway and blocked in by the police car, but it looked very dark inside the house.
Two officers step out of the police cruiser: one was a human woman and one was a Policebot.
Like all Policebot units, this one has an identification designation on his star-shaped badge on the upper left of his royal blue chestplate and on the 'forehead' of his helmet-like head which comprises of two letters followed by two numbers. This one's designation is AL-05.
The human female officer has long dark red hair, fair skin and round green eyes, coming from a mix of Irish and Austrian decent (yet she doesn't have a trace of either accent.) Her name is Lynn Wersching, and she has been a Police officer for her third year now, and through all three of those years, she has been partnered with AL-05.
Officer Wersching contacts the department via her radio. "HQ, we've arrived at Albert Wily's residence. His car's here, but it looks dark inside."
"Copy that. Additional units are en route to your location. Proceed with caution," says the dispatcher on the officer's radio.
The Policebot looks though the windshields of Wily's car and so does Officer Wersching with her flashlight, looking for any trace of ProtoMan/Blues.
"I don't see any stolen robots in here," Wersching says to her robot partner, "Not unless it's a small robot he took."
"The robot that was reported stolen stands at five feet and eleven inches. We would notice him," AL-05 says, "It is possible he was taken inside the house."
"Then, let's go in," Wersching says, her breath turning into fog thanks to the cold atmosphere.
As the police officers approach the shabby-looking house of Wily, they draw their weapons as a precaution. Policebot AL-05's right hand retracts into his forearm, then a set of two of 9-milimeter gun nozzles appear. This was his weapon arm, a common feature in all Policebots, although the typoe of weapon installed and ammunition varies from unit to unit.
The duo cautiously approaches the front to to Albert Wily's house and can see the poor shape this place is in. The paint was peeling everywhere, a shingle was hanging off the exterior wall and a dead mouse was seen lying near the 'welcome' mat.
The mere look of this place gives Officer Wersching an uneasy feeling in her stomach, like she was about to walk into a house from a horror movie.
"Al, you go ahead and do the talking," the human officer says with a disgusted face, "This place gives me the creeps."
"As you wish, Lynn," AL-05 replies, referring to his partner by her first name.
The PoliceBot knocks on the door. "Dr. Albert Wily," he says loudly, "This is the New York Police Department. We order you to come out of the house immediately!"
There is no response from inside.
"Dr. Wily, this is your last warning. Come out, or we're coming in!" AL-05 orders, but Wily still doesn't answer.
AL-05 gives a nod to his human partner and and she aims her gun at the door. The Policebot then kicks to door off it's hinges and the two officers storm inside. Once inside, the officers look around and listen for any trace of Dr. Wily, but it appears he's gone... in fact, there is hardly anything here at all.
A sunken mattress and a table are the only things in the living room of the house. There was nothing else, nowhere. In fact, it looks like this place has been hardly lived in for months.
The house's heating system is not even running, and the sound has a very lifeless sound to it, like the electricity isn't even on anymore. Thick layers of dust and spider webs can be seen everywhere and Wily's handwriting could be seen all over the walls. This scribbling on the walls consists mostly of robotic diagrams and mathematical problems long since solved... and the phrase "Die, father!" written in large letters on one of the walls.
As the officers search the rest of the house, Officer Wersching enters the kitchen area. Like the living area, it was very empty and looking like this place had been abandoned or hardly lived in in many months, with dust in the sink. With living conditions like this, there was no way she was going to check the bathroom in this dump.
In fact, just seeing this place like this makes the female officer wonder what this Wily guy must have been going through... and those thoughts remind her of somebody important in her life who is going through some real trouble himself.
AL-05 returns and gives a status report. "No sign of Albert Wily or the robot prototype on the property. It is possible that he may never have even stepped foot inside the house upon his return."
"Great. And we don't have any leads on this egghead either," Lynn sighs, "I'll radio HQ. I'm gonna puke if I have to stand in this dive for much longer."
The next day.
Dr. Light was the one who had called the police and reported the burglary executed by Albert Wily last night. The police notified him that Wily's house looked unoccupied and unmaintained when they searched it.
However, even if he was caught, Dr. Wily could always claim he has fifty-percent ownership of the plans and the robot prototype, which technically he does. However, He could easily have been jailed for assault, but Dr. Light was not interested in pressing charges on that count.
Dr. Light had barely gotten any sleep since yesterday and his head still hurt. Now the pain was centered in the area where Dr. Wily struck him in the back of his head yesterday. Under his nearly white hair, there was now a dark bruise. Thomas sat down in a swivel chair in his office and placed an ice pack on the back of his head. It stung at first, but the pain gradually eased down.
Dr. Light tries making one more call to Dr. Wily's phone - assuming he still has it with him - but, it goes unanswered, just like all of the other calls he's made since late last night. Thomas gets frustrated and drops his phone on the desk.
Afterwards, Thomas began thinking about Blues (or ProtoMan), most especially his kind, yet sad face he wore during the short time that he was alive. For the first time in his life, he had a son to take care of... and now, he was taken from him.
"Why did you have to take Blues away from me, Albert?" Thomas sighs.
He reflected on his prototype robot's first moments before his fit of rage began. The look on his face was puzzling. It was like he was lost in an unknown world and he was unfamiliar with everything. He also didn't have a purpose in life. He was created just to be activated and tested on.
"Perhaps my new robots should have a purpose in life." Light says while reaching for a pen and a notepad with his free hand.
He began writing down notes on what the next two robots should be like. Now that Dr. Wily was gone, Thomas could use an assistant in the lab. It would be nice to have an assistant that didn't snap and start arguments at the drop of a hat like Wily did. This robot could be Thomas' second 'son.'
Also, when he looked around his house today, he realized that he barely had the time to take care of it. Layers of dust could be found even here in the office. Thomas thought perhaps the other robot could double as a housekeeping robot and that this could be his 'daughter' robot.
Also, they needed distinct personalities, so that they both wouldn't be identical. With their virtually unlimted free will, they could pick and choose what they enjoy in life like real humans do.
Light wrote down the ideas and at the bottom wrote "Prime directive", and underlined it. Light felt increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of a robot having complete free will. Especially after the way he saw the prototype snap at him and Wily.
One day maybe, that dream could come true. But, right now is not the time. So, for now, Thomas must focus on the construction of his two new robotic offspring.
Later that day.
It had not even been a full day since his violent split-up with his former business partner Dr. Light, but Dr. Wily had already made his way here to Chicago, Illinois.
After Albert stole the robot protoype and the plans, he ordered a Taxi to come to the lab. Wily then shut the robot cab driver down and stole the cab, taking ProtoMan/Blues and the plans with him. And before he arrived to Illinois, he ditched the cab because he knew that a New York cab running around in the Mid-west would arrouse the attention of the authorities, and managed to hotwire another car and steal it, still with the robot prototype in his possesion.
Now that he was taking a rest from driving, Albert had taken it upon himself to ply his trade elsewhere now that he is no longer working with Thomas Light. And as Wily clutched his phone to his ear, he was certain he knew just the place to call.
After there is an answer on the other end, Wily speaks. "This is Dr. Albert Wily. I wish to talk to the man in charge. Put me through to him immediately."
Vick-Tek Corporate Headquarters.
Back in New York City.
In his office high atop of his corporation's skyscraper, - complete with a giant letter 'V' on each side of the buiding, - the Billionaire C.E.O. of the Vick-Tek computers and technology corporation sits behind his desk, reading the morning's headlines on a computer tablet.
His name is Marcus Vickers, a somewhat tall and lanky man in his early forties with a jet black Caesar haircut and a fully grown goatee below that. He built this company from nothing but a circuitboard in his parents' garage right after graduating from college, and it has since become one of the largest computer and technology corporations in the world.
However, in the years that have passed, Vickers has surrounded himself with a corps of 'Yes people' in his inner circle, and the highest ranking of which makes his way into Vickers' office right now. He is the Vice President of the company, Scott Erikson, a portly fellow with combed brown hair and a round face.
"Sir, you an interesting call on line 1," Scott says as he reaches his boss' desk.
"I'll get to it in a moment, Scott. Did you hear about this?" Vickers asks, completely blowing off his call and pointing to the news"Albert Wily and Thomas Light, the world's foremost minds on robotic technology, have split up. And here's the good part... Wily stole the prototype for a new robot they were building. What a loon!" Vickers snickers.
"Actualy, sir... Dr. Wily is on the line right now," Erikson says, "He says he wants to speak with you."
Vickers' jaw drops. "... eh?" he blurts.
"If you wish, sir, I could disconnect him," Scott says.
"No... I'll take the call," Vickers orders.
"Sir?" Erikson asks, questioning his bosss reasoning.
"I know this sounds strange, but... you're just going to have to trust me, Scott," Vickers says, the gears in his mind beginning to turn as he puts the tablet down and switches on his speaker phone, pressing the button to connect to line 1 and Dr. Wily.
"Dr. Wily, I presume?" Vickers speaks, interlocking his fingers as he leans into his phone.
"Mr. Vickers! It is a pleasure to finally speak with you," replies the cheerful growl of Dr. Wily on the other end, "I would have liked to have worked with your company earlier, but my old friend Thomas Light got in the way. But, now my services are availible to the highest bidder after severing ties with Thomas."
"Yes, I heard that you two had a parting of the ways," Vickers says, "But, perhaps you could enlighten me about this new robot prototype I've heard about. I'm very interested in the concept." This is what Mr. Vickers wanted to hear about.
"Ah, yes! My new prototype is an invention that will change the way we look at artificial life forever," Wily pitches, "He is the first humanoid robot, fully capable of making his own decisions. This series of robot is the next step of human evolution... in fact, these robots will be so sophisticated, they could eventually replace humans, eradicating the flaws of humanity and replacing them with the perfection of robotics."
Even though he was very interested in the idea of Wily's humanoid robot prototype, Mr. Vickers and his Vice President are bothered by Wily's description of what this new robot could do.
Replacing humanity with robots? That sounded absolutely mad, but not as much as what Wily said next...
"The initial test was troublesome and of course Thomas , the idiot, tried to blame his incompatence on me... then I hit him with a flashlight," Wily says, the wicked smile noticable in his voice, "I could have killed him if I wanted to... and I wanted to... but I decided to let him live with his mistake. That way, he would learn his lesson."
"Uh... that's a, uh, very encouraging story, Doctor," a nervous Vickers says, trying to keep Wily on the line, but realizing now that maybe talking to this psychopath was a very bad idea.
"So, let's negotiate the terms of our agreement," Wily says, "Bear in mind, I will not be able to work in New York... I most likely have an outstanding warrant for my arrest... but I will be building my own work structure and will work from there."
"Listen, Dr. Wily... your idea for the humanoid robot sound very interesting," Vickers explains, "We don't want to be affiliated with somebody as... unstable as you. It would be bad for business."
Back in Chicago, Dr. Wily's face turns into into an angry frown. First, Thomas throws him under the bus (according to his warped mind), then the police has the audacity to make him out to be the bad guy instead of Light, (again, according to his warped mind) and now he was being called 'unstable'... that was the last straw.
Even though Albert is certifiably crazy, he doesn't like it when somebody calls him out on it.
It was then that he heard that whispering in his head again... "Make him regret his words," it said, "make them all regret it."
As Wily's anger begins to bubble to the surface again, he could also hear the voice of Vickers in his ear. "Perhaps you could seek some counsuling. Maybe then, we could hold negotiations."
As Wily's face begins to turn red and his forehead vein begins pulsating, he rasps, "... I don't need you!"
Wily begins bashing the phone into the stolen car's steering wheel, then he rips the phone's battery out and throws it out into the street. As he ignites the engine, slamming his foot on the gas pedal and peeling out into the street, his eyes remain large and full of pure rage and he grinds his teeth together.
"I'll show them!" he seethes as he races down the street, "I'll show them all!"
You have probably noticed the first of the new scenes, introducing the first of our original characters. (For those of you who have read the series before, you've already seen them.) The first duo being Policebot AL-05 and Officer Lynn Wersching and the second being Marcus Vickers and his hopelessly loyal Vice President Scott Erikson.
You'll be seeing where their stories go in the coming episodes.
In the next chapter it's time to Rock and Roll!
Please remember to leave a review or a comment. And if you catch any typos, let me know via PM.