Bass Log File 01: Krieg Gesserei Standoff
Krieg Gesserei has become a war fortress.Standing atop one of the parapets, Bass surveys the grounds around him. The factory, located in a vast empty meadow outside the main Darkland capital for safety's sake, has developed a barrier around it: A barrier made of mounds of corpses, some human, some cyborg, some reploid. Most all of them have been stripped of anything valuable, and even now mechaniloids are still carrying off the dead into the heart of the factory: The reploids to be melted down into shells and weapons, the humans to be burned as fuel.
The response is swift; a violet meteor streaks through the night sky of Darkland, sweeping around, slamming into the ground a distance away from the building itself.
It dissipates, revealing a woman with hands on the ground and on one knee... calmly, she rises, moving her hand to her hip; out pops a shaft from the right side, guard telescoping out and rapier blade forming.
She looks up ahead, within eyeshot of Bass. There is destruction, but she had predicted it... so her gaze just fixates on that chauvinistic, egomaniacal, genocidal son of a b!%@#.
Not long after Layer's landing, a beam of crimson and white strikes near her, materializing into Zero, Z-Saber already drawn and at his side. Glancing at Layer sidelong, the blond Hunter dryly quips, "Going off alone, Layer? That's -my- stunt."
"Welcome to my house!" Bass shouts down to the two of them. "I'd ask you to wipe your feet, but I don't think you'd listen!" He places a foot up on a ledge and rests an elbow on it. His wings spread out against the bright of the noonday sun and the clear blue sky; he looms like a gargoyle on the rooftop of Notre Dame.
"Do you see it?!" he shouts down. "These are the murderers they've been sending after my children and I for weeks! There are a thousand of us here that they have been trying to crush for spare parts and energen-crystals!"
"And what have you Hunters done about it? Nothing! You left us to the tender mercies of these mechaniphobes! You left us to rot! You sold me to these butchers without blinking!"
Layer doesn't respond to Zero. She doesn't care whether Zero's here or not... his help would be appreciated at some point, but right now there is only one focus. The one she'd shown kindness and mercy to, someone she had hoped she would see goodness out of.
Yet another fallen from grace.
Layer seems still for a moment... but then, out of nowhere, she flings herself forth with dash systems launching her. A run turns into a sprint as she nears the building, kicking up and off the ground as she hurdles over the barrier, not stopping.
Zero's expression goes flat as he looks past the wall of bodies, eyes settling on Bass emotionlessly. "...like you have any right to call -anyone- a butcher, Bass. Like I said. They should have dismantled you." ...and then Layer's in motion. "...damn." Deciding to try and distract the Psychotic RM, Zero's arm converts in a flash and raises, spitting out a few balls of plasma to cover Layer's approach. "Call this your eviction notice."
Bass leans to the side and lets the plasma bullets blow past him. "You don't use reason much, do you, Z? All you can do is look at bodies and get a big rubbery one for battle. Then again that's what I expect of you. The Old Man didn't make many thinking and reasoning robots," Bass calls down. "What you call butchery, I call self-defense. I have people that depend on me to look after them now, and if I let them get sent off to Neo Arcadia to get crushed up for fuel, I'd be letting them down, wouldn't I? Don't come to me with that self-righteous bullshit, Zero. I know what you did to Repliforce and Red Alert and anyone else you lapdogs went after. Your hands are just as bloody as mine - if not bloodier!"
A shimmer of blue starlight flicks through the clouds, then down towards the ground. There's an optical blast and echo of light where it reassembles into Tempest Dolphin, who floats up off the ground about twelve feet and begins scanning the wall of bodies.
Kick off the ground, onto the wall of the base with the transferred inertia flinging Layer up it, running, running...
"...well, you're not going to teach them through murder..."
Layer flies up the edge of the building, her built-up speed propelling her up and off the wall and into the air. Flipping around, she fires off her dash systems one last time, sending her spiraling up and above Bass, but landing on her feet with a skid, kicking up rooftop dirt.
Now she's ready. His position was pretty disadvantageous.
"Not denying it, Bass. There's one problem with your reasoning." Stepping forward, Zero keeps the Z-Buster levelled, eyes scanning for traps or tricks. "...-my- conscience lets me rest well, knowing I did the -right- thing. Ten-to-one, you can't say that, no matter -how- delusional you are."
"I rest very well at night, thank you. You, on the other hand? One word, Z. One word."
Bass' wings spread and he takes flight rising high into the air. Once he has sailed at least another story above the rooftop, he dives like a peregrin falcon, hands outstretched -- aiming for Layer.
Layer doesn't even flinch. She simply holds her sword straight at him, outstretched with both hands gripping it, a point in line poised for whatever direction Bass comes in from.
"Come on..." she grumbles.
Oddly collected despite Bass' words, Zero closes the distance with the wall and looks up the distance. "Wrong answer, Bass," he calls up, and starts springing up the wall, meter by meter in rapid succession. "-Very- wrong answer."
Tempest Dolphin gives a swift kick of her tail, wind surging under her as she raises up over the barricade of bodies like a wave cresting a reef. And down the other side. She circumvents the fight and twists along the wall to start digging through flesh and metal about halfway up with a directed windstorm that slowly lifts and drops bodies to roll down the slope.
Bass decides to test Layer. She tried to come after him before, and the fight was over before he could judge her skill. Barreling towards her at subsonic speeds like a bat out of hell, he keeps a steady course, aiming apparently to impale himself on Layer's blade --
A split second before impact he spreads his wings and beats them backwards, stopping on a dime in the air some ten feet from the Huntress. The gust of air blown towards Layer is short, sharp and incredibly strong.
"Get the fuck off my lawn!"
Tempest Dolphin stops digging to pull out a cyborg, leaking fluids both green and red. She opens an access panel on the shoulder and reconnects some torn tubes, then looks at him a moment longer... no, he's too far gone. Most of his heart's gone and the embedding prevents any kind of treatment. Thankfully he's not even conscious. She adjusts her scan to filter him out, and looks around the wall again.
That was somewhat smart.
Layer's eyes widen briefly in shock as she tries to keep her balance, but fails against the strong wind with her light weight. Tumbling back, she falls into a roll, steadying herself again.
"Not until you're dead..." she growls.
Springing over the top of the wall, Zero lands in a crouch on the other side of Bass, opposite Layer. Z-Saber flaring to life, the grim Wilybot fixes his stare on the finnd Master. "...two options, Bass. Give it up, or get diced, from the looks of it. I probably already know the answer, but I gotta ask." Yes, Zero looks ready for a fight, but for some reason, he's holding back.
Bass hovers in the air for a moment, just out of saber range for Zero. "Give up what? Give up so you can go sell me to another collector who's gonna take me apart while I'm still fucking alive and conscious so he can make more reploids out of me? Give up so you can kill me, so that the Federation and the Hunters can sweep in and take the reploids I've saved from Neo Arcadia's death camps - take my children, my family -- and haul them off to be scrap, to be sold into slavery, to be killed?" The Master of Masters' eyes burn bright, angry, unforgiving red and his fanged teeth are clenched in a grimace of pure hate. "ARE YOU FUCKING STUPID?! THESE DUMB BASTARDS--" he points to the pile of bodies that Tempest is sifting through, "--HAVE BEEN COMING HERE FOR WEEKS, NOT TO SAVE HUMANS, NOT TO CREATE PEACE, BUT TO TRY TO HAUL US ALL OFF FOR 'RAW MATERIAL!' YOU'RE FIGHTING TO SAVE A BUNCH OF HEARTLESS, GUTLESS ASSHOLES WHO WOULD JUST AS SOON SPIT ON YOUR CORPSE AS THANK YOU!"
Bass rises higher into the air, his hand vanishing into the barrel of his buster, the hellish purple glow beginning as he starts to charge a shot. His eyes narrow and his voice calms, as his rage comes full circle into perfect, unsettling calm. "No... No, I shouldn't expect any of you to have considered that. I'm dealing with brute automatons that only do what they're told."
"Even then, there is no need to kill... I wouldn't have come if there was no massacre..."
Layer's hands hold her sword at the ready... not moving. Not yet. She learned impatience does not work against him from the last time... this time calls for a different approach.
Continuing to watch the winged Master, Zero makes no move to attack. "Actually... ...I was thinking you could explain what the Hell's -actually- going on here. Find a -rational- solution. I don't like what's going on any more than you do. ...but what -you're- doing? Makes them right. It makes them right, and just rallies more and more frightened and scared people to -their- cause. There're other ways." Wow. He's been around Light and X too much. "...your call."
Tempest Dolphin flits around the pile, dragging her tornado with her. She lifts her gaze and frowns then shakes her head. There's nobody here she can save, no time to get what they would need here... and she starts to cry a bit as she imagines the kind of life it would leave them with even if they could. She floats away from the pile and rises skywards. <The road to peace is a bumpy one. Sometimes the good thing to do is wrong, and sometimes the right thing to do doesn't seem very good. Our powers are limited, though, and it affects our choices in ways we might not like. This has to stop, Bass. Even in self-defense, if you keep killing humans, then we have to...>
"That's the dividing line between us," Bass shouts in exasperation. "There's more at stake here for me! These monsters... do you know what they've done with the 'useless eaters' here? MELTED THEM ALIVE! MELTED THEM FUCKING ALIVE!" He points at the factory with one hand. "Do you think that I know how to set up a factory to turn bodies into ammunition? THE MATERIALS WERE ALREADY THERE!"
His jets burn brilliant violet as he brings that pointing hand back up and balls them into a fist. "I've seen them do this two hundred years ago! Two hundred years ago they forced us to line up and die for their convenience! And here and now they're doing it again! In two hundred years you think humanity would have learned something, but they HAVEN'T! I'm not willing to see my sons lay down and nobly sacrifice themselves just to try to make some kind of stupid heroic point to these unmoving, uncaring FUCKS!"
"Do any of YOU have children? Hmm! Do any of you have to look into the eyes of a robot built off your very DNA and tell them, "I'm sorry, but daddy needs you to go die a horrible painful death so that maybe there's a chance humanity might give a damn after?" NO! NOT ONE OF YOU! Martyrdom is NOT an option for me!"
"...so you say that they just need to die?" Layer asks, glancing at him, not moving.
Zero points at the wall of corpses. "Let me get this straight, Bass. You're saying they're evil for destroying us indescriminately. If it's true, they're -wrong-." Shaking his head, Zero exhales slowly. "...but what you're doing here? You're becoming the same as them. Do you honestly think those bodies over there -don't- have families of their own? Homes? Do you think you and your - family are the only ones that matter? ...protecting your own is -not- something you can do alone, and you -know- it."
Bass points at the defenses built into the factory.
"Don't give me that 'weep for the fallen soldier' shit. They knew they could die the moment they put on the uniform and picked up a gun. These sorry bastards came in to attack the fortress and "quell the rebellion". I didn't wantonly go around killing toddlers, these fully grown, fully trained, fully free-willed MILITARY KILLERS came here to RIP ME APART and I DEFENDED MYSELF!"
"Bullshit." Zero's expression shifts, marking a turning point in his thoughts. "If all you were worried aboput were your kids, Bass, you'd have taken them, and gotten the Hell out of Darkland. You don't want any self-righteous spiel? Then quit spouting it yourself. You could have left. ...but you didn't. You're using those spawned from your DNA as an -excuse- to slaughter people. You really want to do the right thing? Get your kids, and -leave-. Take the evidence of what they were doing, and give it to the Federation. -Show- them what's going on. Do things the -right- way. ...otherwise, there's no way I'll believe you didn't -want- this fight. ...so what's it gonna be, chief...?"
Bass flaps his wings, the charge on his buster dissipating. He soars back up to the top of the factory and touches down there in a crouch, staring at his brother.
"I'm not stupid enough to have left anyone I cared about in this factory. There's nothing but drones churning out enough ammunition to chew through a tank battallion. I'm not like the Old Man, Z! I won't use my kids to fight my wars for me, and I won't use them like tools!"
He stands up, slowly. "A long time ago," he begins, "I thought I put an end to Rock. Rock from the future, modified -- whatever, it was what Rock was gonna become -- and when he went down, he made me promise to look after this world. And you know what? Only the strongest robot in the world could take on that kind of challenge -- so I accepted!"
He places a hand on the inner elbow of his buster arm, pointing the weapon upwards. "But you know what? Nothing's gonna change unless someone fires the starting gun, Z. I won't lie to you, you're family -- I wanted this fight. But not for the reasons you think. I wanted this fight because humanity is a safe, protected, lazy herd of sheep that don't understand what they're doing to us. If humanity really understood the untold horrors they've inflicted on their thinking, living, sentient mechanical sons and daughters, they wouldn't still be calling us property two hundred years later. Places like Neo Arcadia and Darkland wouldn't exist."
"But they DO. And you know what? Sometimes the only way you can get someone to snap out of their self-destructive, abusive spiral is to PUNCH THEM RIGHT IN THEIR GODDAMN EYE."
Eyes dropping slightly, Zero keeps Bass in his peripheral as he thinks. A couple of minutes pass by, filled only with the flapping of Bass' wings, and the hum of the Z-Saber breaking the sounds of the labor below. Finally, Zero looks up at Bass with a stone-cold expression. "...you sound like Sigma did..."
"Yeah, I've had the "pleasure" of tangling with that bald bastard. Don't you compare me to him - I ain't after genocide, Z. I don't want humanity gone. What I want is a humanity that's not trapped in making the same stupid fucking mistakes over and ov--"
He suddenly stops as if some revelation dawns on him, expression slacking and pupils drawing into pinpoints.
".... fuck /me/. Maybe the Old Man was right."
Zero keeps his attention on Bass, eyes scanning occasionally as if he's expecting an ambush at any time. "That's free will, Bass. As long as there's Humanity, there's going to be mistakes. There's -going- to be repetition. We can either try and guide them through it, show them -why- what they're doing is wrong... ...or do it your way. Start another pointless war between us and them, and risk obliterating -everything- in the process..."
"Sometimes, Z, you gotta break the law to do what's right. Aren't you people protecting Epsilon and his band of merry fuckwits in Giga City? Aren't they doing the same shit - and you and yours let him walk right out of jail, no questions asked?" Bass asks. "Why are you trying to stop me now?"
The Z-Saber dies, and Zero replaces it on his back. "Alright Bass. Think what you want. ...but if you -really- want to protect this world like you -say- you do..?"
Taking a couple of unarmed steps forward, the blond berserker fixes Bass with a stare. "...then give it a week. I don't expect to change your mind, but maybe you'll see something in a week that you don't now."
"--I'll give you a week, Z," Bass acquiesces. He points a finger. "But let me tell you this much -- if someone comes after me or my kids? I -will-. Fuck. Them. Up."
Nodding to his 'big brother', Zero seems to relax. "Just do yourself a favor, Bass. Watch the President's announcement. Trust me. It's a step in the right direction..." With that, the 0th Captain explodes into crimson and white light, and streaks skyward.