A/N: Hey, yall. Me and Panther J are doing everything we can to upload chapters of this wonderful story. So here is Chapter 9.

Chapter 9; Flame Mammoth: His Hidden Power: The Dark Alliance Between Mr. X and Sigma!

(Giga City Memories Plays)

The next day after returning from their first mission, our heroes were back at X-Estate to rest up and prepare for their next mission. Unfortunately, Ling had caught a cold during their fight with Chill Penguin and is now trying to warm up with a warm towel wrapped around her and her feet in a basin of hot water while everyone else is keeping an eye on her until she gets better.

"AHCHOO!" Ling sneezed loudly as Jessie and Sophie managed to jump back.

"Whoa! Easy there, Ling! You almost got us with that sneeze of yours. And that was your biggest one yet." Jessie said with a sweat drop.

"Sorry, but I can't help it. Thanks to Chill Penguin, I caught a cold when he froze me with his ice." Ling sniffled. "And it didn't help that we were in a much colder weather and that only made it even worse. I'll never go to any chilly place without changing into something warm ever again!" The rest of the squad were fine as they weren't in the same position as Ling, but they couldn't help but feel sorry for her and hopes that she gets better soon.

"Perhaps we should have asked Dr. Cain if we could make your RepArmor's have more protection in the case you guys are sent to another location with extreme temperatures." Sophie suggested as she added "Maybe have them warmer when you're in a colder climate and vice versa for a warmer climate."

"I don't know, that might not work on some places, Sophie." Jerry stepped in with a frown. "That might work for the mountains or deserts, but there's also places where humans can't go into. Say like a volcano, there's no way that anyone would be safe in there. The only ones that could enter there are X and Marino since they're Reploids so they don't have to worry about that. Everyone else here wouldn't be so lucky."

"Oh yeah, that's right. I didn't really think about that possibility." Sophie said with a smile. "I was thinking about making the RepArmor's having more protection that I didn't think about the places where humans can't venture into. Guess I'm no different from you in that regard, Jerry."

"Maybe, but you're also the more levelheaded out of the both of us." Jerry said with a smile. "I was always the one who tends to get ahead of himself and bite off more than I can chew, but you were always there to put me back on the path and here we are now. Not just as assistants to one of the world's leading scientist, but also as Maverick Hunters working with our friends to save the omniverse from Sigma and his forces. So let's keep going until we can end this war." Sophie smiled at him and nodded as everyone else can tell about that their relationship seemed like more than just friends.

Just then, X arrived with some herbal tea medicine that he poured into a cup for Ling to drink. "Spoken like a true Maverick Hunter, Jerry. And you're right, we will put a stop to Sigma's forces and end this war for good." He then has the cup to Ling. "Here, Ling. You'll feel a lot better in no time with this herbal tea. It's guarantee to cure any symptoms, with the exception for cancer."

As Ling took a couple of gulps from the tea, her cold instantly vanished and she was feeling much better. "Holy cow! This medicine herbal tea is awesome! Who knew that people had advanced themselves so much in medicine that can cure any diseases except for cancer in an instant?!" The mention of cancer seemed to have made Sophie flinched a little, but it was hardly noticeable by everyone else.

"I'm glad that you liked it, Ling. And it's good to see that you're back to your old self again." X closed his eyes and smiled as he turned to the rest of the squad watching Godzilla vs Kong on HBO Max. The part they were watching was both Titans' second bout in Hong Kong where Kong was using his newly acquired axe to even the odds in his favor against Godzilla, but the King of the Monsters wasn't going to go down without a fight. As it'll be a while until Zero locates the next Maverick General, so they're just killing time in their penthouse to prepare themselves for the next mission. X was also still wearing his leg upgrades he received from Dr. Light's capsule, and from what Dr. Light said to him that he gave X the ability to switch to any armor whenever he wants at will once he found a whole set of armor upgrades.

The Arthurs and their fairies were really enjoying seeing both Godzilla and Kong giving their all as the giant ape used the environment to his advantage to make quick escapes or avoid the monster king's atomic breath, but Godzilla's sheer brute strength has overwhelmed him in their last battle. It was a straight up back and forth grudge match between two of the most powerful Alpha Titans with a long history of a rivalry that spans centuries.

X looked over to Ling in a curious nature. Ever since he, Jerry and Sophie awoken the IS girls from their suspended animation, they were talking about this Ichika person that they've cared so much about. He knew that Ichika was killed by the Phantom Virus, but what was it that made him so special to them? He decided to ask Ling about that. "Hey, Ling? I've got a question for you."

"Hmm? What's up, X? What is it that you need to know?" Ling looked up to face X with a confused expression.

"Well, you and your friends are always talking about this Ichika person whom you give deeply care about. Is he…" X started to look away while blushing shyly. "…Someone important to you?" That made all the IS girls jump in surprise and blushed heavily as they all turned to face X.

(A Friend on my Mind from Xenoblade Chronicles plays)

"H-Huh?!" Ling blushed madly as she looked away in embarrassment. "Y-Yeah, you can say that. I-Ichika-kun is very important to us because he was the first male to pilot an IS somehow. We're not sure how or why he could, he just did and that's how he was enrolled in the IS Academy."

"Oh yeah, I think I read something like that once in the history databanks." X remembered something like this once. "This Ichika Orimura person was the first male to pilot an IS and he has been targeted by this Phantom Task organization due to him piloting an IS. That's why he was ordered to attend the same school as you girls to protect him from their clutches. Did any of you girls… love him?"

"O-Ofc course we did! We all loved him very much!" Charlotte stammered as she pressed her fingers nervously. "He sworn to protect me from my father when I posed as a guy attending IS Academy. Even after he found out about my secret and what I planned to do, he never tun his back on me and I felt that I can be safe with him."

"At first, I thought that he was just some weak man who wasn't even worth my time." Cecilia said, blushing madly. "I was also appalled that he had no idea who I was, so I challenged him to a duel where one of us gets to represent our class. But even though I won, I came to the realization that he wasn't just some weak man when his words seem to have touched my heart. I now see that he was the one that was going to be my future husband and help rebuild my family."

"I knew him back when we were growing up together. We always trained in kendo at my family's dojo." Houki said, blushing as well. "It wasn't until around the time my sister first created the IS, a kendo tournament was held and I had to move because of my sister's invitation. We haven't seen each in six years until we attended the IS Academy where he even still remembered me after all this time."

"Same here, I also knew him when we were growing up." Ling said with her cheeks red with embarrassment and love. "Back then, I was picked on by some bullies and he came in to protect me. It was at that moment when we promised that if I could become a better cook, he'd be my boyfriend. But I had to move back to China because my parents were getting a divorce and I haven't seen him since until I enrolled at the IS Academy."

"As for me, I suppose that you could say that it wasn't on best terms when I first met Ichika." Laura said with a smile and blushing. "Back then, I used to worship Chifuyu because of how she was the best IS pilot in the world and I was training with her. But when I asked what was the true purpose of her strength, she told me that she had someone to protect and that was Ichika. But because I was trained to believe that protecting someone is a sign of weakness, I made it my mission to eliminate him so that he won't be a hindrance to Chifuyu. But when he saved me after I went out of control, I saw that he and Chifuyu were similar in their own ways and that was when I decided to make him my wife." That made everyone else looked at the generic IS super soldier with odd looks.

"I'm sorry, what? You're wife?" Jessie asked with white dotted eyes.

"That doesn't really make any sense in the slightest, Laura. Why would you state that he's going to be your wife?" Marino asked in confusion.

"Yeah… Don't you mean husband? I mean, shouldn't that be the other way around since he's a male and you're a female?" X corrected her with a sweat drop.

"Like I said, he's my wife." Laura replied smugly with a smirk before it became a sad frown. "But now he's…" The IS girls all lowered their heads despondently in depression as they all know what she's referring to.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring it up again…" X said in a depressed tone.

"You don't have to apologize, X. We know that you were just curious about our relationship with Ichika was like." Houki smiled slightly "Ichika-kun died as a hero and we should protect this world in his stead. I'm sure that we'll find someone else in our lives in this timeline. It may take a while to find them, but maybe they'll find us instead. We really don't know when that time will come, but we'll know it when we see them." The rest of the IS girls all nodded in agreement except for Cecilia who believes that she might've already found one, but decided not to say anything at the moment. Houki looked over to X who looked back at her before adverting their gazes from each other for a bit while blushing madly.

Just then, the phone rang and Cecilia went to go answer it. She pressed the answer button as a hologram of Zero appears. "Oh, Commander Zero. We didn't expect you to call so soon. Were you able to find the location of the second Maverick General?" The rest of the squad turned their attention to Zero's announcement.

"Indeed, we did. And let me just say that this one will be a dozy." Zero nodded as he brought up screenshots of an old and abandoned robot factory. "As it turns out, Flame Mammoth has taken up residence there. This robot factory was once a Reploid making facility until an accident six months ago caused it to shut down. The family that owned the facility saw it as a lost cause and just left it to rot, but Sigma's army has reopened it and are now using it to create and brainwash Reploids to join his cause. Flame Mammoth was once a Reploid built for smelting old parts and making them into new ones. Now he's Sigma's pyromaniac Maverick General and is taking pleasure in melting any Reploids that don't join the cause or just a waste of time. X, I want you and your squad to infiltrate the factory and reduce Flame Mammoth to scrap metal. Head there as soon as you're ready. Jerry and Sophie will assist you at the base." Zero cuts the connection as everyone turned to X.

"So it looks like that now we're going after this Flame Mammoth guy." Dancho said with a frown.

Cecilia turned to her friends with a frown. "That we are, Dancho. And it's at an old factory that was once used to create Reploids, but is now just a place where they can brainwash all the Reploids they've created. But to be honest, he wasn't really wroth converting to a Reploid to begin with."

"I know, but I guess it can't really be helped." X nodded as he stood up from his seat. "We need to put a stop to Flame Mammoth's operation in brainwashing more Reploids and shut down the factory for good. Let's prepare ourselves for the mission, Flame Mammoth won't be as easy to beat as Chill Penguin but he still needs to be stopped." Everyone nodded in agreement as they headed for Hunter HQ to begin their second mission.


(Liberon's Fate theme plays)

Flame Mammoth was a huge Reploid who is shaped like a humanoid mammoth with a metal trunk and has a red color scheme and a Maverick symbol on his chest. He was standing before a monitor as he was talking with his master, Lord Sigma. "So it seems that Chill Penguin was destroyed by the Hunters. I always knew that he was the weakest link, but I suppose that it was inevitable that the Hunters would catch on sooner or later." Flame Mammoth reported.

"Yes, I was already informed of the situation by one unit of the deceased Chill Penguin. They were destroyed by X and his friends and it seems that those people that Vile reported about are now with them." Sigma frowned as he showed a video of the X-Squad fighting and defeating Chill Penguin. "Now their next move is to stop you and the factory that family abandoned because of an accident six months ago. No doubt they'll do whatever it takes to put a stop to the operation of creating and brainwashing Reploids for our cause."

"Why would that old relic who we Reploids are based on be leading a group of humans into this war?" Flame Mammoth asked cruelly as he crossed his arms. "X is a traitor to us Reploids and should be reduced to scrap for aiding those ungrateful humans. They may have won against Chill Penguin, but that was only because he was weak. They won't stand a chance against me."

"Don't underestimate the five girls with X, Flame Mammoth. They're more capable than you think." Sigma evilly scolded "They're from the era of the ISes and even though the RepArmors they're wearing are similar to them, they're still quite powerful due to their combat experience and abilities from their era. I want them on my army, Flame Mammoth." This causes Flame Mammoth to gasp in shock.

"But Lord Sigma, sir! Why would you want them for your army?! They're humans! And our enemy!" He protested against the idea.

"True, but you saw what those girls can do. I have learned from their history of their era and saw what those five girls can do." Sigma explained with a dark smirk. "If we were to have them for our army, then the omniverse will be ours to control in one fell swoop. I want you to capture those five girls so that I can brainwash them to do my bidding." Just then, he noticed that he was getting another call from somewhere else. "It seems that I've got someone else contacting me. I'll have to end this conversation with you so that I can take this call. In the meantime, I'll be putting in the final touches for Project Uni. Don't fail me." He ordered.

"I will not fail you, my lord! Those five girls will be yours in an instant!" Flame Mammoth saluted as he got ready for battle as Sigma cuts the channel.

"This had better be important… I don't really have time for any more distractions." Sigma snarled as he accepts the call. "Who is this? State your name and business."

"Now, now. There's no need to get so worked up, Sigma." A familiar voice said darkly. "I've been meaning to talk to you for some time now and this was the best chance to do so. I can promise you that it'll be worth your time."

"So you know me, but I don't know a single thing about you. If you're trying to sweet-talk your way through me, then you're sadly mistaken." Sigma said with a frown "I already have enough on my hands, but I'll humor you if you can keep your promise on making it worth my time. Now I will ask you again, who are you?"

"How easy it is to forget, Sigma. Especially after you've already met one of us during your encounter with the red Maverick some time ago." The voice said with a dark chuckle. "But if you truly want to know who I am, then I'll be more than happy to oblige." The figure steps out of the shadows to reveal an old man with a gray mustache and beard with a hairstyle similar to Dr. Wily. He also wore white armor over a black suit with an X on his chest plate, shoulder pads, belt buckle and a clip for his cape. He also wears white framed glasses with black lends which hides his left prosthetic eye. "I am Mr. X. Founder and head of the X Foundation. A pleasure to finally make your acquaintance, Sigma. Former commander of the Maverick Hunters and now leader of the Mavericks."

"Wait, X Foundation? Then that means that woman was part of your group?!" Sigma asked in shock as he came to the realization.

"Yes, now you're catching on. The woman you encountered is Madam Y, my second in command and is usually the face of our organization." Mr. X answered him with an evil smirk. "And now that I've got your undivided attention, let's get down to business together, shall we?" He then suggested as they started their conversation.

With X and his squad

(Theme: Flame Mammoth's Stage Remix from Maverick Hunter X)

The X-Squad warped in front of the entrance of an abandoned robot factory and looked up at it in awe. While the front entrance has mostly rotted away and the paint has faded, it was somehow still standing and was being used by Sigma's forces to build and brainwash Reploids for his cause. Even despite the accident in the last six months, the factory was still in working condition and could be reusable if they could put a stop to Flame Mammoth.

"So this is where that Mammoth guy is hiding out? This old factory where they used to make more Reploids?" Tekken asked confusedly as he looked at the factory.

"No doubt about it, this is where Flame Mammoth is located at." Charlotte answered him with a serious frown. "We weren't expecting him to reuse this factory after that accident happened six months ago, but now they're using it to create more Maverick soldiers for his army. If this keeps up, we'll be overwhelmed by all those brainwashed Reploids. If this place wasn't being used for evil like it is now, then it'd be a great place to make more Reploids to help mankind. Perhaps we can convince the family who used to own it to repair all of the damages and it can useful again." She then commented with inspiration.

"I'm sure that we'll be able to convince them to repair and reuse this place again once we've managed to end this war." X looked at Charlotte with a soft smile which she noticed and blushed madly. "And you're right. We need to shut it down for everyone's sake. Let's go, X-Squad! Time to put a stop to Flame Mammoth's operation and bring him to justice!"

"Roger!" Everyone nodded in response as the X-Squad charged right in.

As the X-Squad enters the first area, they've noticed that the lava has frozen over since they've already defeated Chill Penguin. Making it less treacherous to walk on, but now they'll have to deal with slippery ice to trek on. Luckily, it's not as cold as Chill Penguin's location so none of the human members are in danger of freezing to death.

"Whoa! What happened here? Everything is covered in ice! How is everything covered in ice?" Coupy asked in shock.

"I'm not really sure, but I think that it has something to do with us destroying Chill Penguin yesterday." Houki answered her as she paused to think about it.

"You really think so? This factory being covered in ice is because of us destroying Chill Penguin?" Ling asked with a gasp.

"It's possible, but that's just my guess. The good news is that we won't have to deal with any lava." Houki answered her with a smile before frowning serious "But the bad news is that now that the area where lava used to be is frozen over, it's going to be really difficult to trek as we won't get any friction on the ice. It's just now more less dangerous and more annoying in a way."

"In any case, we should continue on and reach Flame Mammoth," X told them as he added "We'll just have to be more careful when we land on the ice and try not to lose our footing. The last thing we need is slipping and falling on our butts like a cartoon character." Everything nodded in agreement as they jumped over to the first conveyor belt just before it started moving.

They then jumped to the second conveyor belt moving in the opposite direction of the first, but with some precise landing, they've made it across and continued on to more conveyor belts with an incline. But like before, they've made it across without any trouble. Upon reaching the end of the area, they jumped down in a shaft to a lower level.

After jumping down the shaft, the X-Squad landed in the next section of the factory with some platforms over the frozen lava. Just as they were about to continue on, X noticed that a portion of the ceiling was different from the rest. 'I wonder…' He thought to himself. Is there something special about that ceiling? He decided to come back to it later with something to break those blocks. He then notices that Cecilia was looking at him with concern.

"X, is there something wrong? You look distracted by something." Cecilia said in concern.

"It's nothing, Cecilia. I'm just thinking about something." X told her with a sweet smile which made her blush. "But what about you, Cecilia? Are you doing alright? We can take a rest if you want. I really don't want you overextending yourself."

"Are you kidding me, X? I'm feeling better than ever." Cecilia smirked in confidence. "Thanks to my RepArmor, I feel like I can take on an entire army of ISes back in my era and then some!" She then looked away a bit while blushing slightly. "But… that's not to say that I appreciate you checking up on me, X-kun." In her thoughts. 'X is really nice caring, much like Ichika-san… But he's also a Reploid. Although I wonder… Could humans and Reploids fall in love with each other…?" She then remembers the boy she encountered during her first day in Neo Tokyo and saw just how handsome he was. 'But there's also that boy I met just before this war started… I can tell that he was human since he felt the same pain I had when we bumped into each other.' She then realizes that she's having feelings for both X and the boy and just couldn't choose between them as she blushed even more at the thought of both of them competing for her affection.

"Yo, Alcott! You alright? You better snap out of it or we'll leave you behind!" Laura barked sharply as Cecilia snapped out of her thinking stance and laughed nervously.

"R-Right, o-of course! I'm fine! Time for us to go kick some Maverick behind, brave friends!" She marched towards the next area of the factory everyone else looked at her oddly and sweat dropped.

"Okay… What was that all about? What's gotten into her all of a sudden?" Jessie asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I'm not entirely sure, but it looked like that she was distracted by something." Marino answered her as she crossed her arms "It could be possible that something has crossed her mind and wasn't paying attention until Laura called out to her. Whatever it was, I believe that it was somehow directed at X. But knowing him, he's still pretty dense to notice it." Both girls turned to X who was still confused on why Cecilia was distracted.

"What's gotten into her?" X muttered to himself as he rubbed the back of his head nervously.

"Oh yeah, he's pretty much dense. Probably just as dense as Jerry when it comes to girls." Jessie said with a sigh as she remembered all the times she had with Jerry and Sophie before graduating form high school.

"Hey, guys. There's something I've been meaning to ask you." Dancho called out to everyone.

"What's up, Dancho? What is it that you need to ask us?" X asked her curiously.

"What really happened to this factory? I know that just before we came here, Zero said that a certain family once owned this factory for that accident six months ago." Dancho answered him with a serious frown. "I've been wondering what really happened in those last six months that caused that accident and made the family abandoned it."

"That's a really good question. But we really don't know what really happened here." X answered her, sharing Dancho's frown with his own. "If I had to guess, it could be that one of the equipment caused a serious malfunction in the production line that everything just shut down in an instant. I'm assuming that because the damage was so severe, they had no choice but to shut it down entirely and just let it to rot. However, if Flame Mammoth is using this to create new Mavericks for Sigma's army, then he might know what really happened to the factory six months ago."

"Then we better find him and make him tell us what he knows." Ling said as she pounded her fists with a determined frown. "Not only will we find out what really happened to the factory, but we'll also stop him from making more Mavericks. It'll be like killing two birds with one stone."

"Then we've better find him before it's too late. The longer we delay, the more Mavericks will join Sigma." Houki said with a nod. "He might not cooperate with us easily, but we'll make him tell us about what happened before he can complete his mission." Everyone nodded in agreement as they continued on to the next area of the Reploid factory.

As our heroes leaped over to the next ledge, they've landed on the first platform where some worker Mavericks are throwing pickaxes at them. Fortunately, they were no match for the X-Squad as they were able to destroy the Mavericks and climbed up to the higher platforms to reach the next area of the factory.

"You know, I'm really glad that we took out Chill Penguin first." Ling said with a smile. "If we hadn't, then this place would still be full of lava and that would've been a lot harder to go through. I feel like if we didn't, then we might've had to avoid a bunch of lava shooting out from underneath the platforms. So glad that everything is frozen over and it so much easier."

"Yeah, same here. We'd be scrambling to reach here if any of the platforms melted away." Houki agrees as she added "But we're not out of the woods yet, we've still got a long way to go until we reach Flame Mammoth. Let's take him down and get the heck out of here." Everyone nodded in agreement as they continued on their way to Flame Mammoth… Well, X will have to come back here with something to break those strange blocks on the ceiling. He has a feeling that he knows what it could be.

After climbing up the shaft to the next area, our heroes found more conveyor belts leading to the other side and figured that the only way to reach it is by walking across the conveyor belts. So X was the first to jump onto the conveyor belt as everyone else were about to follow suit until they saw a massive crusher was about to drop on X.

"X, watch out!" Charlotte shouted at him, and he heard her just in time as he barely managed to escape from being crushed by the machine. He then jumped back over to his friends as they watched the presser reacts back up to the ceiling. "That was a close one. If I were a second later, then you would've been crushed." She then check for wounds on X. "Are you okay, X-kun? You're not hurt or anything, are you?"

"Yeah, I'm alright. I just wasn't expecting to almost become a robotic pancake." X answered her just as some old robot parts dropped down from a tube just above the conveyor belt, and moved along the belt until it was directly under the crusher. The crusher than dropped down and flattened the parts, leaving only a circular disk of crushed metal.

"I know that's what happens to machines that are no longer usable, but that it still pretty gruesome from a Reploid's prospective" Marino winced.."It's almost like watching an execution right in front on our eyes."

"Yeah. That could've been me if Charlotte haven't called out to me who she did." X noted as he turned to the person in question with a smile which made her blush. "Thank you for your quick thinking, Charlotte. I could've been crushed if you hadn't shouted at me when you did."

Charlotte looked at him and said with a smile. "Well, what did you expect? We're a team and we're supposed to look out for each other, right?" She then shakes her head in realization. "No- we're more than just a team, we're friends."

"Yeah! Yeah!" Ling cheered.

"I second that." Houki nodded, smiling as well.

"As do I." Cecilia agrees while closing her eyes and smiled.

"Ditto." Laura nods with a small smile.

"Hey, don't count the rest of us out. Aren't we also part of this group of friends as well?" Jessie asked with a grin as she and the rest of the squad joined in.

X smiled at them and nodded. "Yeah, the same with all of you. We're all friends." He looks at his squad and can really feel the bond they all share, despite having only known each other for a short time. But that didn't really matter to them because they can feel that they can accomplish anything when they work together.

"Now that we're all friends, shall we continue on?" Laura smirked coolly.

"Yeah! Let's go!" X answered enthusiastically as they all jumped across the conveyor belts, carefully timing their movements as the passed the crushers and make it to the other side before jumping down the next shaft.

With Flame Mammoth

"I can feel it. They're getting close." Flame Mammoth told himself with a dark chuckle "Those fools may have gotten this far, but their luck is about to run out. And when they do arrive, it'll be playtime for me."

Back with the X-Squad

As the X-Squad made it to the last area of the factory, they had to navigate through several pipes by using the ladders as checkouts. There were also several Mavericks with shields and maces attached to their arms blocking the path, but they were easily defeated when they moved their shields to attack. After making it through the pipe maze, they've reached the door that was identical to the one before the battle with Chill Penguin. Without any hesitation, the group entered through the door, and came into a hallway with the same door on the other side. Knowing what was ahead, our heroes walked through the second door, ready for whatever awaited for them on the other side.

(Maverick Confrontation Music from Maverick Hunter X)

Upon entering the room, they noticed that the floor was a conveyor belt as it carried them across the room. Waiting for them on the other side was Flame Mammoth with his back turned. Just as the massive Maverick General turned to face them, the conveyor belt stopped right in front of him as he was ready for battle.

"Ha ha ha! Well, well. You certainly kept me waiting." Flame Mammoth said mockingly "I was wondering who'd show up… I wasn't expecting a couple of B-Class Hunters like you!"

"What do you think you're doing, Flame Mammoth? This isn't like you, don't be stupid!" X shouted at the Maverick General.

"I believe that the stupid one here is you, X. You bringing little girls into this dangerous war now, aren't you?" Flame Mammoth laughed as he turned to the IS girls. "Now listen up, girlies, you don't need to be with this outdated model. So it'd be best for you five it you can come with me to Lord Sigma. He could use people like you to make the omniverse ours. If you do, then maybe he might spare your lives."

"You shut up! We're not going to join with Sigma or his cause!" Laura snapped as she draws her claymore. "What he's doing is wrong and endangers not just humans, but also Reploids! We're going to put a stop to his insane plans and end this war!"

X pointed his X Buster at Flame Mammoth and said. "We can destroy you here and now, but we'd rather have you surrender and accompany us back to HQ. Power down and come quietly or face us in battle."

"If you don't do as X commands, then we'll have no choice but to destroy you." Cecilia said with a frown as she aimed her assault rifle at Flame Mammoth "That way, you won't be using this factory to create any more Mavericks for Sigma's army." But Flame Mammoth just chuckled darkly at her.

"I'm surprised that you'd be saying that, considering of who once owned this factory in the first place." He told her cruelly.

"What are you talking about? Who owned this place?" Cecilia demanded as she aimed assault her rifle at the Maverick General.

"Oh, you really have no idea, do you? I suppose that shouldn't be a surprise since you've been asleep for the last sixty years." Flame Mammoth mocked as he explained "This factory once belonged to another family that was once a rival to your family for generations. But after you went into suspended animation, that family has now thrived to what it is today. And it's all thanks to you no longer being around to impede them." Cecilia was at a loss for words at what he was talking about until X stepped in.

"That's enough, Flame Mammoth! No more of your lies!" X shouted angrily. "Now I'll ask you again, you can either come with us back to HQ or be destroyed like Chill Penguin. So which is it?"

"You've got to be kidding me, X. Now why would I do that?" Flame Mammoth mocked as he stomped forward towards them. "Bwah ha ha! There's nothing I like more than stomping weak little blabbermouths like you into dust!"

"Then that settles it… I suspected that you'd refuse." X frowned "You're definitely a Maverick! Is everyone ready?"

"Ready!" The rest of the squad all shouted in unison.

"Very well, then. This is where your journey ends!" Flame Mammoth shouted as he stomps closer to them.

MegaMan X and the X-Squad VS Flame Mammoth: Theme Maverick Boss Theme from Maverick Hunter X

"Why you!" Tekken snarled as he charged towards Flame Mammoth but Flame Mammoth trumpeted as the conveyer belt moved backwards. "What the?!" Tekken gawked as he tried to get to Flame Mammoth.

"Hold on. As long as he has control over this facility, the conveyer belts are the most of our problems. So I have an idea." Marino motioned everyone to listen to her plan.

"Ready to die, kiddies?!" Flame Mammoth mocked as he leaped up to attempt to crush them.

"Now!" Marino issued as they scattered away from Flame Mammoth. X charged up his X-Buster and fired it at Flame Mammoth when he landed, giving him medium damage.

"W-What?!" Flame Mammoth gawked. "I was about to squash you runts, but you saw right through me!" Flame Mammoth growled. "Well then, eat this!" Flame Mammoth aimed his Buster at our heroes and fired a flamethrower attack at them, forcing them to take cover.

"Ugh! No good! He really is a pyro maniac!" Kakka frowned seriously as he readies his spells.

"Then we have to improvise! Everyone! On my mark!" X issued, everyone nodded in agreement as they got ready. "Now!"

"I'm going all out!" Jessie yelled as she fired her dual revolvers at Flame Mammoth, giving him medium damage. Flame Mammoth growled as he trumpted again, forcing the conveyer belt to move towards him.

"Now's our chance!" Houki yelled as she charged towards Flame Mammoth who fired his flamethrower Buster at her, but she leaped above him and slashed him three times.

"Ugh! That hurt!" Flame Mammoth growled. "When then, try this on for size! Flame Mammoth yelled as he fired flame attacks from his trunk. Like before, the gang dodged it. Cecilia fired her assault rifle at Flame Mammoth, giving him medium damage.

"Hyahh!" Laura screamed out her battle cry as she leaped up and slashed Flame Mammoth three times with her claymore.

"Let me try!" Dancho shouted as she charged towards Flame Mammoth and slashed him two times with her sword.

"Hmm!" Runo grunted as he fired his pistols at Flame Mammoth, giving him medium damage.

"Ugh! That barely hurt!" Flame Mammoth growled furiously as Renkin bashed him in the head with her mallet. "Now that really hurt!" Flame Mammoth snarled as he fired more flamethrower attacks at our heroes, but like before, they dodged it.

"Eat this!" Marino yelled as she slashed Flame Mammoth three times with her beam knife.

"Nice one, Marino!" Ling cheered as she leaped up and gave Flame Mammoth a drop kick, knocking him to the ground. Flame Mammoth was far from done as he leaped up and tried to squash X, but he dashed out of the way and fired another charged shot at him, giving him medium damage again.

"Hey, Flame Mammo- Flame Mana- uh… Big Elephant Guy! Remember me?!" Tekken grinned as he punched Flame Mammoth in the face.

Flame Mammoth was cornered by our heroes. 'This is bad! I'll end up like Chill Penguin at this point… I got to think of something to turn this battle in my favor!' He noticed Charlotte. 'Hah ha! I got it!' He leaped up.

"This again?" Kakka frowned as they scattered, but this was part of Flame Mammoth's plan as he landed behind Char and grabbed her with his trunk. "What?!" Kakka gasped in shock.

"Charlotte!" Everyone gasped as Flame Mammoth turned towards them.

(Librion's Duty from MegaMan X Command Mission plays)

"Now I've got the upper hand, Hunters! Or should I say trunk!" Flame Mammoth boasted as he added "With your friend in my grasp, none of you can even touch me!"

"You no good cheater! You knew we were going to scatter from your attack and grabbed Charlotte!" Renkin shouted in anger.

"Cheater? Listen, little girl, this is a war. There is no such thing as cheaters in war." Flame Mammoth said cruelly. "And in a war, you must win by any means necessary." He pulls Charlotte closer to him while tightening his trunk's grip on her. "Now that I've gotten a closer look at you, you're the girl from Lord Sigma's database. You're from the era of the IS much like the rest of your friends, eh? Charlotte Dunois, heiress to the Dunios Company that went bankrupted after the Phantom Virus Tragedy, correct?" He laughed cruelly as she struggles to break free.

"Let… Let me go!" Charlotte wheezed as her words fall on Flame Mammoth's deaf ears.

"Sorry, but no can do, girlie! Not when I now have the advantage here!" Flame Mammoth mocked as he added cruelly "It seems that you've forgotten the reason why we started this war… to rid the omniverse of humans like you! It's a real shame that your father isn't here to see his beloved daughter die at my hands! However, Lord Sigma has orders to bring you and your four friends to him.

"Let her go now! If you don't, I'll make you pay ten times over!" Houki snarled as she readies her katanas.

"Says who?! You can't do jack-squat as long as I got your friend!" Flame Mammoth mocked as he issued "Now if you don't want to put your friend in harm's way, then I suggest that you lower your weapons and have the rest of those girls come towards me. If you don't comply, then I'm afraid that you've just forfeited her life." He tightens his grip on Charlotte as the rest of the squad have no other choice but to do as he said.

"You lying, no good pachyderm…" Jessie glared at him.

"Flattery will get you nowhere. Now the rest of you had better come towards me if you want your friend to see the light of day again." Flame Mammoth said darkly as the remaining IS girls walked over to them as to not put Charlottes's life in any more danger than it already is.

"Okay, we're here. Now you better let her go and we'll do as you say." Houki said with a glare.

"Of course, now was that so hard? And for being such good listeners, I'll give you a little something." Flame Mammoth said with an evil glint in his eyes just as he turned to the rest of the squad and fires his flamethrower Buster at them, torching them from the excessive heat and knocking them all down.

"Stop it! You're hurting them! That wasn't part of the deal!" Ling shouted in anger "You said that if we didn't cooperate, then Charlotte won't be hurt!"

"Yes, I did say that. But I never said anything about the rest of your friends!" Flame Mammoth told her evilly "My orders were to bring you girls to Lord Sigma, but he never said that I couldn't destroy the rest of them! And once I'm done with them, I'll be bringing you five to Lord Sigma!" He spreads the fire even more around the others as the IS girls could only watch in horror as their friends were about to die.

"You… You… You monster!" Cecilia shouted, but she couldn't do anything about it while Flame Mammoth laughs manically until he noticed something glowing through the flames.

"…Huh, what in the…?" He wondered as X managed to walk out of the flames with his body glowing blue and his helmet's gem shining brightly as he gritted his teeth in anger.

"Flame Mammoth… You let… her go right this instant!" He shouted in a loud voice that even blew away the flames around the rest of the squad.

Back at Maverick Hunter HQ, Sophie was monitoring the fight from her station until she noticed something about X's power level. "Huh? What the heck? What's going on with X?" She turned to both Jerry and Zero who were also noticing it. "Jerry, Commander Zero! X's power level… is increasing at an alarming and stable rate!"

"No way! How is X doing that?!" Jerry gasped as Zero started to remember an important discussion he had with Dr. Cain.

"According to Dr. Light's research, X has an untapped potential within him. A potential that seems to be a power that only he can use. And if his calculations are correct, then his true power will be unlocked, rivaling that of a god and fighting for the good of mankind." Dr. Cain's voice echoed in Zero's mind as he smiled slightly at Sophie displayed X's status and showing his increasing power level.

"So that's what you meant, huh Dr. Cain? If what you say is true, then X is truly the one to lead the world to a better future."

(Stormy Story from Kamen Rider EX-Aid plays)

"W-What in the heck happened to you, X?!" Flame Mammoth gawked in shock. "Bah! No matter! Time to die you old relic!" Flame Mammoth fired his flamethrower at X who swiped it away like it is nothing. "W-What?!" He gawked in shock.

X let out a heroic scream as he warped in front of Flame Mammoth and fired a charged shot at the Maverick General's trunk, freeing Charlotte as Houki caught her in time.

"Aughhhh!" Flame Mammoth screamed as he held where his trunk used to be. "You'll pay for that you B-Class Hunter!" Flame Mammoth was about to punch X but the Blue Bomber of 21XX caught his fist. "?!" Flame Mammoth's eyes widen in shock as X slams his X-Buster into Flame Mammoth's abdomen and let out another heroic scream as he fired a devasting Charged Shot through Flame Mammoth. Flame Mammoth stammered in shock as he took a step back and screamed "U-Unbelievable!" as he exploded and that was the last they heard of Flame Mammoth.

X panted heavily as he looked at his hands and they were glowing before the glowing stopped.

Everyone was just in awe at what they've just witnessed, X easily destroying Flame Mammoth when they had such a hard time beforehand. X was just as confused at what just happened, but decided to think about it later as he rushed over to the IS girls to see if they were alright. He kneeled by the girls to make sure none of them were hurt as the rest of the squad joined them.

"Are you girls alright? None of you are injured or anything like that?" X asked the girls as they all looked at him in amazement.

"X…" Ling's eyes started to sparkle in delight. "That was just amazing! You just easily took out Flame Mammoth like it was nothing!"

"X… Just what in the world was that power you used?" Laura muttered in envy at X's hidden power. "It wasn't like anything I've ever seen before. Not even our strongest IS couldn't compare to what you just did."

"I'm not sure, it just happened like that. When I saw that Charlotte and everyone else was in danger of being killed, this hidden power just suddenly appeared within me and I couldn't stand him hurting my friends, so I used this power to defeat him…" X explained as he turned his attention to Charlotte as Houki sets her down right beside him. "Are you okay, Charlotte? You're not seriously hurt, are you?"

(A Friend on my Mind from Xenoblade Chronicles)

"X-kun…" Charlotte whispered as she started at his eyes for about 20 seconds until she grabbed him and hugged him tightly, sobbing tears of joy. "Oh X! I was so scared! I thought I was going to die! But I was even more scared in losing you and everyone else! I thought I was going to lose you!" She sniffed as she sobbed even more. X smiled softly and held her close to him as the rest of the IS girls also smiled at this, but couldn't help but feel jealous of Charlotte's increasing bond with X.

"Hey, X. Not to ruin this tender moment, but we still need you to take Flame Mammoth's power." Jessie said with a smile. "We're already done in stopping him from making more Mavericks for Sigma's army, now you just need to take his power."

"Yeah, you're right, Jessie. We're going to need it to stop Sigma and end this war." X agrees as he and Marino walked over to Flame Mammoth's remains. Both Reploids looked at each other and nodded as they touched his pieces, copying his ability. X's armor turns red and fired his X-Buster while shouting "Fire Wave!" Making it a flamethrower.

Marino gained a new blade, the Beam Blade as it glowed a fiery red from Flame Mammoth's remains. She took her stance as before and concentrated until she shouted "Shinobi Art: Blazing Windmill!" And does a series of windmill kicks while her new blade was emitting a fiery aura.

"And now that's two Maverick Generals down. Just six more to go." Houki said with a smile. "We're one step closer to finally ending this war and stopping Sigma's plan. Let's head back to HQ and report to Commander Zero." The rest of the squad nodded as they warped back to the base. Now with two Maverick Generals defeated, that just leaves six more to go until they can reach Sigma.


Sigma's base

(Hail Neo Zarth from MS Saga: A New Dawn plays)

"I see. So that's why you decided to make yourself known to me." Sigma said with a dark frown. "You knew that X and his friends would try to stop me and had some of your soldiers stationed at the same areas my Generals are in. And it seems that they've even managed to finish what Flame Mammoth's task just before he was destroyed by X and his friends." Mr. X nodded as Sigma crossed his arms. "But why are you doing this? What is it that you hope to gain in helping me in this war?"

"I have seen the future, Sigma. And the future is just as horrible as I feared." Mr. X answered him with a dark smile. "I couldn't stop those machines from advancing even further than they already have, but it seems that it was all in vein. So to finally end this, I figured that I could help you in creating your Reploid utopia and finally show the world just how dangerous you Reploids truly are. And that fool Dr. Light's name will be tarnished for all eternity, as is those others with him."

"I like the way you think, Mr. X. Perhaps we're not so different than we originally thought." Sigma said with a dark smile. "As long as your soldiers can keep working from the shadows, I'll make sure that those Hunters will be more focused on me. That way, we'll catch them by surprise when they realize that they've been played for fools. I look forward to seeing the final results of your efforts, partner." Mr. X smiled at this as both he and Sigma let our a maniacal laugher that seems to echo to the heavens. Signaling an evil partnership has just be formed and it could spell disaster for the omniverse.

To be continued…

Next chapter: Enter the Koi Koi 7, Jack Corvus and Queen Tia! Attack of the Goken Five!

A/N: Next up, our heroes meet the Koi Koi 7 as well as the mysterious duo who helped them at the start of the Maverick war as well the comic relief Goken Five. But why do Jack Corvus and Queen Tia looks familiar to X and the IS girls? Find out next time.