Disclaimer: I don't own Mega Man! Capcom does. I'm making no money off of this. This is based in the universe of the Mega Man cartoon shows, and uses their premises, rather than those of the games. This fanfic is rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America. Please note-- this short is related to my story "Trinity," in that it uses some of the same background. I'd really recommend reading "Trinity" before you read this, since this short contains spoilers for some of "Trinity's" revelations. For an approximate setting, sometime in the second season, after "Bro Bots."

In Memory Alone
by: Ellen Brand

How did it come to this? As a scientist, I have a habit of conducting a "failure analysis" after an experiment, trying to understand where things went wrong. It's a neat, tidy process when applied in the lab, but it doesn't work nearly as well on real life.

I suppose my first mistake was developing a partnership with Albert Wily in the first place. At the time, though, I could see no harm in it. Oh, he was a bit intense about certain things, and he tended to be more interested in creating power than intelligence, but those things weren't uncommon among roboticists. And we did see eye-to-eye on numerous occasions.

Perhaps I should have known something was wrong by the way he treated our prototypes. Blues, Rock, and Roll were self-willed robots, capable of independent thought. As it turned out, they were capable of real emotion as well, something even I'm at a loss to explain, and I designed them! I realized early on that, robots or not, those three were people, in all the ways that mattered. Wily never seemed to see them that way. I realize now that he never saw people that way, either.

Those three robots were my greatest creations, and I doubt that I will ever do their like again. I doubt I'll ever try. When I realized what they'd become, that somehow I had created not machines, but true LIFE, I was no longer an inventor. I became a father, and the three of them became my children. I loved them as such, even though the rest of the world might never understand.

I can remember those early days quite clearly, though they were short, and years ago. Rock was always laughing and joyful, first to really grasp the concept of humor. Roll, on the other hand, was a bit quieter, though happy, and always self-contained. And Blues, the oldest, always ready with that half-smile and a sense of humor much drier than Rock's.

Then everything went to pieces, all in one night. I wasn't even there; I'd been attending some charity function at the request of the Mayor, due to one of my inventions. I don't even remember which one.

What I do remember is my alert system going off, informing me of trouble at my lab. By the time I'd reached home, however, it was over. Roll's memory had been erased, Rock was damaged physically and emotionally, and Blues was gone. Wily had stolen him, and from what Rock told me, it was unlikely that we would ever see him again. At least, not as the person we remembered.

While I repaired him, Rock told me what happened. The young man who had once been nearly impossible to quiet now related the events of the evening in short, clipped sentences. Worse than that, he refused to meet my eyes.

It was only a few weeks later that Dr. Wily unleashed his plague of Robot Masters on the city. He must have been planning this during most of our association, waiting only to retrieve Blues, Roll, and Rock, who were far more advanced than anything he could create alone. There, I believe, was where I made my second great mistake. Rock, who had spent the past two weeks watching over his recharging sister, immediately volunteered to stop the invasion. Perhaps I should have stopped him, but there was no one else. So I gave him some secondary systems, some rudimentary armor, and let him go.

He won, of course. Wily had never had a chance of stopping him. And when he came back, he seemed... better, somehow. Less angry, perhaps, at least at himself. It wasn't until Roll woke up that I realized what had happened. The press had dubbed him "Mega Man," since he certainly hadn't stopped fighting long enough to introduce himself. And he had taken the name as his own, stepping into the hero's shoes, hoping to forget.

Roll calls him "Mega" most of the time. I do the same, although I wish I didn't. It's his choice, though, and though I may not agree with it, I respect it.

I wasn't there that night. To all intents and purposes, neither was Roll. And Blues... Blues no longer exists, though I catch flashes of him peeking out of Wily's Protoman from time to time. Perhaps that's why it was so easy for me to trust him when he pretended to come back to us.

Mega has never told me everything that happened that Christmas Eve. It's a secret shared between him and Dr. Wily, and neither is likely to tell. As far as Mega is concerned, it's Rock who remembers... and Rock isn't around very much anymore.

I have my own memories, though. I remember my creations, my children. I remember the past that Mega tries to forget, especially Blues. There are times I think Mega Man would like nothing more than to forget his brother. If nothing else, it would make his battles against Protoman much easier. Since he can't erase them, he locks them away, leaving me to remember alone.

I'm a scientist, an inventor. Looking back, I can find a dozen mistakes, a dozen points where things went wrong. So why can't I fix things?

All I can do is remember. And memory is such a lonely thing.