"I am in blood, stepp'd so far that should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o'er." -William Shakespeare, Macbeth
"Who would not rather trust and be deceived?" -Eliza Cook
You know an issue is going to be good when the cover has the hero's home burning, his family injured, and the vision of his foe grinning in the firelight. Well, perhaps good isn't the right word. Interesting might be more appropriate. After all, there's the old Chinese proverb, "May you live in interesting times" which crawls into waking memory.
With no response to his repeated hails home and his teleport signal blocked off (which is a little confusing, unless Blues or Wily jury-rigged it after Break Man teleported in with the Series 2 I.C. Chips [though Break Man did mention everything but his personal teleport signal was being blocked --Ed.]), Mega Man is forced to fly back home on Rush. When his home's in sight, he doesn't get much further before his dear old brother shoots him down out of the sky. Of course, all Break Man is doing is acting as a diversion so Dr. Wily and Doc Robot can do their thing inside of Light's lab unmolested.
What does Wily want? Why, it's very simple. He wants Gamma. And only Light's authorization can get him in. If Light does so, he's giving his former best friend... a man who betrayed him, whom he forgave, whom he let back into his life, who betrayed him once more... the keys to a machine that could very well conquer the world.
But Roll's life is in peril, and he's a father. He doesn't have a choice.
In hindsight, goading an already emotionally traumatized Light probably isn't the smartest thing Wily can do, but being the pathetic waste of life that he is, always obsessed with proving himself the best, it's to be expected. In truth, I thought that Light would do more than hoist Wily up by his shirt... I was expecting a knee to the groin here, or at the least, a hard right cross. It doesn't happen, though, and Doc Robot separates them before Light gets the chance.
With Gamma unlocked and powered up, Wily rides up on the lift to the robot's side, says his taunting farewell speech, orders Doc Robot to destroy everything above the hangar (since he's not keen on killing Light, just destroying his home, his life's work, and his endeavors), and poofs off in warp light.
Outside, meanwhile, Break Man and Mega Man's duel continues, with Break Man gaining a momentary advantage after downing Rush. Pleading for his pet's life, and the lives of the defeated Series 3 Robot Masters, Blues concedes to letting Rush live. As soon as Mega Man asks him why he's doing it, though, and uses his real name, Break Man explodes in rage.
And then Light's lab explodes.
Not unexpectedly, Blues is more concerned about the lives of Roll and Dr. Light than he is about Mega Man's own existence. Assured that they're alive, he calls the fight off, tosses Mega Man the coordinates for where they need to meet after Mega Man's gotten some repairs done, and poofs off. Mega Man wastes no time flying inside with Rush, and to his relief, finds his sister and his father alive and well.
Well, alive at least. Dr. Light's had better days.
This is perhaps the most defining moment of all of Dr. Light's screentime so far. We've never seen him pushed as far to his limits as he is here; not even when Ra Moon was causing havoc did he have such pain written on his face. Rock and Roll console him as only they can, and then they make their plans to counterattack. For better or worse, Gamma has to be stopped. Wily has to be stopped. And Mega Man... Mega Man has to do what Light couldn't bring himself to do.
It will be up to a repaired, revitalized, really irritated Mega Man to do what is necessary. Following the coordinates that his rogue brother provided, Mega Man and Rush take off for parts unknown.
Welcome to Skull Fortress 3, Mega Man. We've been waiting for you.
Sometimes, good people do bad things. Sometimes, bad people do good things. Throughout all the story arcs we've had in this comic so far, Dr. Light and Dr. Wily have both had their moments.
Wily began this entire mess because he was bitter about the ban on robotics placed on him by his peers, and is obsessed with being acknowledged as the best. He has been a constant source of trauma and trial for those on the side of peace, law, and justice. During the time when he was exonerated after the Ra Moon incident, he was working his own agenda, true, but there were moments during the Ra Moon crisis where he seemed to act with a notion that perhaps some things were more important than his own agenda. Mind you, they're few and far between, but there's enough there that we cannot take a snapshot of Wily and declare him wholly evil. Self-serving, egomaniacal, obsessed... but not always evil.
Then there's Light. A man of peace who paves the way for a future in which humanity is continually outmoded and replaced, he espouses the best qualities of humanity and fails to recognize that, as Isaac Asimov once said, the pace of technology outstrips the growth of mankind's wisdom. In wishing to make a world of peace that would never be threatened again, he created its most dangerous weapon ever. He always had a choice to keep Gamma locked down; he could have weighed the lives of himself, of his children, against the threat to the world that a Wily-controlled Gamma would represent. No. He did weigh the scales. He weighed them, and in the end, he did the human thing. He did the flawed thing.
It is easy for any of us to scoff at him, to call him weak. He has put all the world in jeopardy, and all because he would not, could not ever let his children be murdered in cold blood. But were we in his shoes...
No. I would dare any of you to tell me, honestly, that you would not make the same choice.
There is nothing we would not do for our children. We might even, perhaps... let the world burn.
Light is a good person who has done bad things. He has done them for good reasons, flawed reasons, yet the outcome of it all is still overwhelmingly negative. It makes him imperfect. It makes him human. Some readers may lose respect for him after this, but I cannot. I respect him the same as I ever have, and just as I did when I was writing "Guiding Rainbow's Light"...
I understand more about him than I did before.
For the Blue Ink.
When he isn’t writing “The Blue Ink” reviews for The Mega Man Network, Erico (The Super Bard) spends his days keeping track of the “Legacy of Metal” fanon, dabbling in cooking and tea-brewing, and exploring the human condition from his Iowa stomping grounds.
The views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mega Man Network.