Chapter 16: Blues' Beginnings
(Issue #17)

"Roller Brawl, hand me a new set of resistors, please?" Doctor Light asked as he worked on repairing Blues, who'd been switched offline for the moment.

"You got it, Dad!" Roller Brawl smiled as she looked for them. Rock himself was helping Dr. Light in the process as well, helping with the soldering of the new core.

"So, Dr. Light, is it true?" Rock asked, looking for confirmation on what Blues had claimed.

"Is what true?" Dr. Light answered with a question of his own, Roller Brawl handing him the resistors he requested.

"What Blues said. That he's your first creation and our older brother," Rock replied, Dr. Light putting on the finishing touches on the new core in Blues.

Sighing, Dr. Light closed up the open chest cavity within Blues. With the new core installed, Dr. Light could now only hope for the best for Blues' personality. "Yes. Blues' serial number is DWN-000. He's the very first Robot Master in history. My greatest triumph...and my greatest failure."

"Wow..." Roller Brawl gasped. "What happened, dad? Why was he your greatest failure?"

Dr. Light let out another sigh. "It was many years ago. Back when I was younger...more naive. I had just started my life's work..."

"And I still considered Dr. Wily as my friend."

Dr. Light's beard was still bushy, but it was considerably smaller. Dr. Wily also had a single bat-like wing of hair that was tied like a ponytail.

"That's it, Albert!" Dr. Light happily announced, taking off his goggles. "He's all done!"

"Hmmm..." Dr. Wily mused. "Awfully...human-like. When you suggested making robots that had more independent thought processes and had that trounce my Double Gear system, I didn't think you meant like zhis. He's so much like us! Apart from his hair."

"Jealous, are we?" Dr. Light teased, winking at his colleague.

"N-no!" Dr. Wily stuttered, a drop of sweat running down the side of his head. "You were zhe one who went gray first between us!"

"Just a simple sign that we're distinguished men of science!" Dr. Light suggested.

"Back to my point," Dr. Wily focused back on the robot they'd built. "...your military contract was to create an advanced fighting robot. But you've built...a young man."

"And my Robot Master line will be able to perform advanced warfare tasks, as well as a myriad of other tasks for more...civilian purposes, like power generation and construction," Dr. Light explained as he put an arm around Dr. Wily. "I'll give them the weapon they want, but the prototype, my boy, will stay with me."

"Hmph. I'd say you were taking your love of robotics too far," Dr. Wily said with a smile. "But that would make me a hypocrite, considering that I wanted to make heroes out of robots. Let's wake him up."

"Ah. Of course. Let's get to that," Dr. Light recalled the next step. "Wake up, son. Good morning...Blues."

Hearing those words triggered the first lines of code within the first Robot Master. Blearily rubbing his eyes as he got up, his first words were uttered with uncertainty. "...Hello?"

At this, Dr. Light immediately embraced his new creation, much to his surprise. "Welcome into the boy! I'm your creator Dr. Light." As Dr. Wily began taking measurements, Dr. Light began diagnosing his new creation. "How do you feel? You self-diagnostic should've kicked in by now."

"I feel...fine?" Blues replied shakily. "All systems feel normal, but..."

"But what?" Dr. Light asked in concern.

"I feel...confused. Disoriented," Blues answered. "I know we are in a 'lab' and what a 'lab' is but...why?"

"Hear that?" Dr. Light smirked. "He's self-aware, Albert! Not even five minutes online, and he's already thinking meta-physically!"

"Mm-hmm," Dr. Wily noted with some disinterest as he wrote into a notepad. "Don't mind me. I'm just taking the measurements you'll need for the weapon upgrades later down the line. You're welcome, by zhe vay."

"Weapons?" Blues asked, looking at his hands in bewilderment.

"Don't worry about that," Dr. Light assured his creation. "You're taking the first steps that will bridge the gap between man and machine."

"I...I see," Blues said shakily. "But what happens to me now?"

"You have data," Dr. Light explained. "But now you need culture, as well. Follow me, and I'll show you what humanity has made."

"So, what culture did you expose Blues to?" Roller Brawl asked as Rock checked to see the charging station was ready and the readings on the core.

"Ah, those days were good ones indeed," Dr. Light fondly recollected. "That scarf and those sunglasses he wears? That was during our first real trip out on the city. He saw them on a clothing store window and asked for them. I then brought him to see the creations of mankind throughout the ages. From the simplest stone tools to the great works of Michelangelo, Picasso, Rembrandt, and Da Vinci."

"I see. Do you have any other memories?" Rock asked.

"Yes. I knew Blues had a good heart when I brought him to the wilderness. He didn't hesitate to feed the birds in the forest with his scarf holding their seeds," Dr. Light smiled. "That was what I truly wanted: man and machine, artificial and natural, all together in harmony."

"Awww! That's so cute!" Roller Brawl cooed. "But I'm gonna guess not everything was peaches and cream."

Dr. Light chuckled. "Indeed, it wasn't smooth sailing all the time. He did have a lot of trouble during our first trip to the city. I feel the influx of light and sound was a bit much for him, but he did seem to adjust well when I brought to a concert later on that night."

"Um, Doctor?" Rock asked. "Do you think you...went a bit fast for him?"

That made Dr. Light look down, shame fleeting across his face. "Perhaps. In retrospect, I was too enthusisastic. I pushed too much of the world – and my own goals – on him all at once. But from what I could tell, he was accepted all so well."

When Dr. Light was typing his notes, he overheard a strange tune coming from a nearby room. Walking over, he saw Blues sweeping the floor of the lab, whistling the tune he'd heard earlier and wearing the shades and scarf he'd been gifted.

"Hi Dr. Light. Something wrong?" Blues happily asked as he waved to his father-figure.

"Not at all..." Dr. Light assured his son. Remembering what had caught his attention, he then said, "I was just listening to that song you were whistling. Where...where did you here it from?"

"I didn't hear it from anything," Blues revealed. "I just came up with it on my own."

"You...came up with it yourself." Dr. Light's face was one of intrigue. "I see. C-carry on." Internally, though, he was incredibly giddy at how his prototype was able to actively create something on his own.

"He made up his own song?" Roller Brawl asked, her curiosity piqued. "Do you remember it?"

"Oh yes," Dr. Light answered. "I think it went something like this." At this, he whistled a small tune in a G minor scale. It was only twelve keys in length, but it was still a catchy tune nonetheless. Needless to say, Roller Brawl's eyes sparkled at this, as did Rock's

"Let me try!" Rock offered. However, all that came out was nothing but hollow noise. "Ummm...let me try again?" Again, nothing but wind came through.

"Bro, I know you want to be like him, but let's face it," Roller Brawl snickered. "You aren't Blues, and Blues ain't you! So maybe whistling just ain't your forte." That certainly left Rock feeling embarrassed, and his beet-red face confirmed that notion.

"Now, now, Roller Brawl, don't go teasing your brother," Dr. Light jokingly scolded his adoptive daughter, ruffling her hair and making her face match Rock's. "It's not nice!"

"Okay, okay!" Roller Brawl complained as she straightened out her newly disheveled locks. "But you mentioned that the military was funding you, right? So how'd he prove himself?"

"Unfortunately, you're right, Roller Brawl," Dr. Light's face was more solemn at this. "This was when I received most of my research funds from the military. It was a paradoxical time, a pacifist being supported by the army, but without their resources, I wouldn't have been able to build Blues. However, my benefactors wanted proof of the fruits of my labor, so I brought him to a testing zone...and that was when things began to crumble."

"Remember your programming. Hit and run. Don't be reckless. Pick your targets wisely. Don't forget to use cover for your advantage..." Dr. Light reminded Blues like a worried mother.

"Relax..." Blues declared within his new helmet, morphing his left arm into a Buster. "I've got this."

"Dr. Light, are you ready to explain why we're here?" One general with a thick handlebar mustache asked.

"Er...yes, General DiMaggio," Dr. Light stammered nervously. "G-good afternoon, gentlemen. Today's demonstration is of Light Labs' autonomous combat robot, DLN-000."

"Noted for reference," A nearby officer recorded, his blue eyes piercing through his square glasses. "But what can this robot do that makes you think you should get more funds. Explain what today's tests will involve."

"Right," Dr. Light said with rising confidence. "Today, you will be shown how a robot capable of independent thought can prove useful. Light Labs does eventually intend to give such capabilities to the civilian sector, but first, we will demonstrate the versatility of my s–er, this robot can perform in a..." Dr. Light flinched at the next few words. "In a live-fire exercise. Future models should eventually allow for minimal, if any, harm to human life."

"Understood," General DiMaggio nodded. "Officer Wishnov, begin the exercise."

"Yes, sir," The aforementioned officer pushed a button, causing walls to pull up from the ground, and also call for drones that resembled spheres attached treads, blaster guns on the sides of their optic units in their front. Blues saw the bolts approach, and quickly ducked behind a nearby wall. Taking note of one, he leapt from the back of the wall to another, blasting one of the drones to bits. Blues then design to attack from above, jumping to the top of the wall and firing at two more, making them explode. As he did so, however, sparks began forming around him, electricity cracking around him like a hula-hoop. As the remaining drones shot off his handhold on the wall's top, he dropped down and, with his enhanced strength, pushed the wall down and flattened them.

"V-very good," Dr. Light said quietly, his concern growing as he saw the sparks around his prototype grow bigger and bigger. "Move on to exercise 2."

As prototypes of the Bunby Helis flew towards him, Blues noted, "Doctor Light, something's..." As he tried to fire at one of them and missed, he froze up, causing two of the Helis to tackle into him as sparks erupted, leading him to scream in pain.

"Blues? BLUES?" Dr. Light asked in concern. Seeing no response, he quickly ordered. "Stop the test! STOP THE TEST!"

"Officer Wishnov, shut it down!" General DiMaggio ordered.

"Yes sir!" At this, the Helis flew away, giving Dr. Light the opportunity to pull out his PDA and insert some wires into Blues' chest to get some readings.

"Everything was going so well. What happened?" General DiMaggio wondered.

Seeing the readings, Dr. Light understood. "It would seem that there is an imbalance in his power generator. He's never but put under this kind of strain..."

"You're telling me that you never bothered to test it first?" Officer Wishnov asked incredulously.

"Of course we tested it!" Dr. Light retorted. "But everything about DLN-000 is unique and experimental. A robot of this level of advancement has an incredibly high power demand, and if that output demanded is pushed..."

"It certainly shows promise," General DiMaggio acknowledged. "But that power failure is a concern."

"Indeed," Officer Wishnov remarked. "If we had a simpler model, then it shouldn't have such a high energy demand. We'd also require a simpler software suite by comparison. Those should make your designs feasible for our purposes."

"Good work, Dr. Light," General DiMaggio simply concluded. "You've won us over. We'll put you on the list for further research funding. So get back to us once you've got a simpler model ready."

"Yes," Dr. Light responded softly as he cradled Blues' offline body. "T-thank you, general."

Rock and Roller Brawl were left in utter shock as they heard what had happened to their brother, and hearing how helpless Dr. Light had been when it came to try and help him. Tears were forming in his eyes.

"Doc? Dad? Are...are you okay to keep going?" Roller Brawl asked in concern. Their reminiscence was interrupted when the intercom began to ring, the caller ID showing Auto. Deciding to answer it, Roller Brawl said, "Auto, you've made the delivery?"

"Don't worry, it's been taken care of," Auto confirmed with a thumbs-up. "Me, Roll Trigger Happy just dropped off DLN-065. Hopefully they can take care of that dam before the flood comes in from that heavy rain."

Construction Derby Part 1

As Auto drove a truck with a massive box over to a nearby dam, Guts Man waved towards him. "Hey, Auto. You coulda met us a better time." While Auto and Trigger Happy wore ponchos to cover themselves, Roll had changed to a green frog-themed raincoat and yellow rainboots for protection.

"Yeah, sorry Guts, but this ain't a social call," Auto explained. "Doc thought you might've needed some help to finish the dam." As Trigger Happy and Roll worked to open the crate, Guts Man was...less than pleased.


"Yeah," Trigger Happy grunted as and Roll finally got the crate open, revealing a Robot Master equal to the height of Guts Man. "Meet DLN-065, or as Dr. Light calls him...Concrete Man!" Concrete Man was a bulky humanoid robot with an orange head with a gray round part on the forehead, blue eyes, an orange-white torso with a round, green gem on the front center. He also had orange spherical shoulders with a gray round part on each of them, black arms, a white hand on the left arm, an orange arm cannon on the right arm, black legs, and orange boots with gray ends like concrete blocks.

"Think the doc's a bit presumptuous?" Guts Man growled.

"I mean...he may have jumped ahead in his designs, but..." Auto determined.

"Not that! I mean I'm GUTS MAN! I don't need any help finishing this dam" Guts Man pointed out, Concrete Man's eyes fixed on him.

"Not this time!" Roll countered. "If things were perfect, yes you wouldn't have needed help. But Dr. Light said that the rain is unusually heavy, and the town downstream could be swallowed in a flash flood. You need the extra help to get the dam finished early, so I hope your priorities are straight!"

"I..." Guts Man couldn't help but feel small. Roller Brawl was certainly snarky, but an angry Roll was a rare and scary thing. "'am." Hearing this, Auto made a call to Light labs, with Trigger Happy and a now happy Roll waving back, the two construction Robot Masters doing likewise. Once they were gone, though, tensions began to flare.

" know how to build stuff?" Guts Man asked incredulously.

"Ayo! I was built for Dam construction, ya lugnut!" Concrete Man retorted, his voice given a deep Italian-American accent. "So if you're done layin' about like a low-powered Met, what say we get to woik?"

What followed was massive infighting between them. Concrete Man did have his uses, thanks to his Concrete Shot being able to make strong blocks for Guts Man to push in as Concrete Man sprayed more concrete in to seal the cracks inside.

"How's the sealant coming along?" Guts Man asked. "Do I need to slow down so you can keep up?"

In response, Concrete Man sprayed concrete upwards, leading to it landing on Guts Man's head. "Oops! Dat was clumsy o' me!"

Later, Guts Man, holding a piece of steel, knocked Concrete Man from the top of the dam to the ground. "Oops! That was clumsy of you!"

The two's tempers finally flared. "YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME?!" Both of them asked each other. They would've come to blows had streams of water not hit both of them. "Uh oh..."

"Alright, then. You three go back when the rain stops and see how they do," Rock noted.

"You got it, Mega Man!" Auto saluted.

"They'll probably call us back soon," Roller Brawl shrugged. Seeing how Dr. Light seemed to recover after they'd stopped talking about Blues for a bit, she decided to ask him to continue. " what happened after the testing?"

"Ah...well, as you can imagine, the exercise was a partial sucess but a partial failure at the same time," Dr. Light sadly mused. "But that wasn't the real failure with Blues..."

"Dr. Light?" Blues asked as he unplugged himself.

"Absolutely not!" Dr. Light bellowed.

"Listen to yourself, Thomas!" Dr. Wily countered. "You're way too attached to him to do any significant changes. Let me take care of the modifications!"

"I said no!" Dr. Light stayed firm. Blues looked around, and saw the two doctors arguing in the lab.

"Oh, I see how it is. You trust me to take care of designing his arm cannon, but not enough that you'll let me modify his power core!" Dr. Wily suggested angrily.

"That's not it! You designed the core, but I installed it!" Dr. Light countered.

"And obviously, you installed it wrong!" Dr. Wily retorted.

"Need I remind you that you were banned from directly working on advanced robotics?" Dr. Light argued.

"Oh, thank you, Thomas!" Dr. Wily answered sarcastically. "Thank you for reopening that old wound!"

"You brought that on yourself with the Wily Walker debacle!" Dr. Light reminded his friend. "More importantly, Blues is my boy, and I'll be the one to handle his redesigns."

"Doctor...Light?" Proto Man asked with uncertainty. That brought the attention of both doctors away from each other.

"Blues!" Dr. Light turned around in surprise, as did Wily. "I didn't know you were already recharged." His worry returned, grabbing the shoulders of Blues as Dr. Wily looked away. "Are you all right? Do you feel off balance?"

"I...I'm fine," Blues replied with unease in his voice. "But what's this about redesigning me?"

"It's your power generator. There's a flaw in it, and if I don't repair it, the imbalance within it will destroy you," Dr. Light explained. "I have to redesign you to save you."

"But what if you bungle it like you did the first time?" Dr. Wily pointed out. "You could erase all his coding and reduce him to nothing more than a glorified remote drone!"

"I'm...sure you'll retain all your personality traits," Dr. Light tried to reassure Blues as he gave Dr. Wily the stink eye.

"Oh yes. Sure like you were that you could install his energy core properly," Dr. Wily said sarcastically.

"You're not helping!" Dr. Light screamed.

"I know. Because you. Won't. Let. Me," Dr. Wily spelled out as he crossed his arms.

"ENOUGH!" Dr. Light finally had enough.

"Fine. Fine," Dr. Wily grumbled as he left.

"Blues, go hook yourself back up in the lab so we can keep your power stable. We'll begin work tomorrow," Dr. Light ordered firmly.

"But..." Blues interjected.

"Now. Please, Blues. This is for your own good," Dr. Light said gently.

"...What about what I want?" Blues wondered sadly.

"Geez," Roller Brawl could feel herself cringe. "I knew Dr. Wily was mean, but he really didn't help much there."

"No he didn't," Dr. Light noted. "But that wasn't what pushed Blues away."

"What do you mean?" Rock asked.

"It was me who scared him off," Dr. Light revealed. "That night...well...I'm not completely sure what happened, but I've run the scenario in my head over and over, and I think I can make a fairly good hypothesis..."

"I just don't get it, Noelle!" Dr. Light explained his conundrum in bed, talking on a video call with his laptop. "It's to save his life, so why is he so reluctant to let me help him?"

"Because you coded the closest thing to a will into him," Dr. Lalinde explained. "You really didn't expect him to use it?"

"Of course I did, and I want him to!" Dr. Light countered. "But I want him to make good, logical decisions."

"From what you've told me, he thinks his life, and his mind more importantly, are in danger," Dr. Lalinde pondered. "Do you know if anyone who's logical when confronted by their own mortality?"

"Oh, I hate getting into debates with you," Dr. Light huffed as he held his head in hands.

"You called me for my dazzling insight, didn't you?" Dr. Lalinde chuckled. She looked similar to her older self, but she had no streaks of gray and her hair was loose. "Or did you just want to complain about your boy?"

"In part to forewarn you still plan to build...Tempo, was it?" Dr. Light admitted. "Honestly, it might've been easier if I did rewrite that rebellious streak out of him..."

"Oh, Light, you don't mean that," Dr. Lalinde deduced with ease.

"No. Of course not! I just..." Dr. Light sighed. "I don't know what I'm saying. All I know is that once he's been repaired, I'll make it up to him. I've got some designs for a special ceratanium helmet and shield just for him. Then, he'll see it was good in the long term."

"He must've overheard me saying that I wanted to remove his rebellious nature, but never heard that I didn't mean that. The next day, several E-tanks were missing, and the photo of us was on the ground, the display smashed to pieces. I never saw or heard from him again after that. My pride, my arrogance, my lack of foresight...they robbed me of my first first son," Dr. Light concluded his reminiscence, fully letting the tears flow as his son and adoptive daughter embraced him.

"So you never thought about forcing me to take the procedure against my will?" Blues asked as he awoke. Chuckling, he caught the attention of the trio. "This takes me back all those years ago, waking up on your work table for the first time."

"Blues! Are...are you okay? Is your personality circuit intact?" Dr. Light ran to his eldest. Blues seemed to concentrate, before he looked at his hands, like he had just been born anew.

" is! My core feels not at all unstable now, and...I'm still me! I remember everything! I feel like me!" Blues noted, tears of joy forming in his eyes. "I'm fixed! And I'm still me! Now come here you two!" At this, he lunged at Roller Brawl and Rock, wrapping the two in a big hug. "My little bro and my little sis!" Seeing Dr. Light rush forward, he added with a smile. "And you...father!"

"Happy to see that you're okay," Roller Brawl coughed out. "But if you never came back to see Dr. Light, why did you decide to help him back at the ARTS convention?"

"That's a long story, but with my core all fixed up, why don't I tell you?" Blues offered. "You all deserve to know what happened."

He would've begun had a call not come in one the intercom. "Doc? Doc?"

"What is it, Auto?" Dr. Light asked.

"The dam's looking great, but Guts Man and Concrete Man aren't anywhere to be found," Auto explained.

"Ah. I think I know just where they'd be," Dr. Light smiled. "Sending you the address. Congratulate them on my account, would you?"

"Will do!" Auto confirmed just before signing out.

Construction Derby Part 2

"Not good" would be an understatement. The water was beginning to poke holes into the dam, the pressure beginning to exceed the dam's ability to counter it.

Immediately, Guts Man went into business mode. "I'll keep it standing, and you seal the leaks!" Immediately, the older Robot Master ran to the dam and held back on it with all his mechanical might. All the while, Concrete Man began spraying as many holes with his quick drying concrete as he could.

"You sure you can hold all dat?" Concrete Man asked. "Dere's a lotta pressure pushin' up against the dam, and it may be too much for ya!"

"It's not a matter of if I can, Concrete Man!" Guts Man explained. "I'm gonna do it! I'm not letting my temper be responsible for innocent humans losing their homes or their lives!"

"Yeah, well I shoulda let your sass slide and focus on the job," Concrete Man conceded. "Almost dere!" They were almost done, but then, a massive leak sprung from the top of the dam, cracks rapidly begining to form.

"Oh no it don't!" Guts ran to a nearby Concrete Shot as he gave Concrete Man instructions. "You go top-side and get ready to set a stone!"

"You got it, boss!" Concrete Man said as he began to scale the cliffside. At once, Guts Man grunted as he lifted the block and threw it at the hole in the dam, plugging it up. Once that was the case, Concrete Man immediately got to work sealing the dam.

"Looks like the rain's begun to settle, and the dam's stable now," Guts Man let out a sigh he didn't know he'd been holding. "Good work, champ."

"Right back at ya, mac. I'm definitely seein' why they call you 'Guts Man' now," Concrete Man complimented as he held out his only hand.

"Thanks pal, but we're not done yet!" Guts Man said as he took the offered hand and shook it. "After the job's done, then comes the most important time of the day!"

A few minutes later, the two were at a nearby bar, singing karaoke together as Bomb Man and Oil Man listened to them in rapt approval.

Electrical communication
引き裂かれてる imagination
未来 縛る 回路ほどいて

"Blues, you were saying?" Roller Brawl was rapt with attention.

"Alright. So here's what happened..." Blues began.

Voice Cast:

Dr. Light - Randall Weibe

Roller Brawl - Cree Summer

Rock - Cole Howard

Dr. Wily - Scott McNeil

Blues - David Kaye

General DiMaggio - John DiMaggio

Officer Wishnov - Jason Wishnov

Auto - Greg Cipes

Guts Man - Garry Chalk

Trigger Happy - Dave Wittenberg

Concrete Man - Tom Kenny

Dr. Lalinde - Erika Harlacher

Author's Note:

So...yeah. There really wasn't much of a way to change what happened: this is one of the main plot threads of the comics, so there really isn't a way for me to make big changes to the backstory of the 1st Robot Master. Apart from the context of the introduction being changed thanks to Blues working to reconcile with Dr. Light and accept the procedure, this and the next are not going to see much change from their original versions. I did decide to include Guts Man and Concrete Man into the story instead of it being a side story, but that's about it. As for Concrete Man's VA, best person for a concrete man would've been a concrete mixer, so I based him on Mixmaster from Transformers: Animated, but since Jeff's voice for him is a bit too similar to Fanzone, I decided to go for his Constructicon partner Scrapper, who was voiced by Tom Kenny. And if you're curious what Guts Man and Concrete Man were singing, it's Electrical Communication by Ganasia and the Japanes theme for the opening of Mega Man 8.

Next Time: On The Other Side

After seeing that his core has been rebuilt while not losing his personality, Blues takes it upon himself to retell the messy events that followed after his exit from Light Labs. Developing his own sense of justice and determining his own future, Blues spends his last moments questioning himself, until encountering a red robot running to the ARTS convention.