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MMU: MD-02 Mascot and Magica

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    MMU: MD-02 Mascot and Magica

    While visiting New York City with his parents so he could shop for an important costume for an upcoming masquerade ball at the school, our hero to be meets Dr. Light and is offered a tour of the Light Laboratory. Within a nearly forgotten closet, the young man finds what looks like a mock up prototype of a robot dog designed to be humanoid. Fearing that Dr. Light wouldn't let him use it for the school dance, he secretly borrows it with the intention of returning it later and has an encounter with Dr. Wily where the young man manages to save Megaman from a trap. Removing the suit later turns out problematic which prompts him to return to Dr. Light for help to remove the costume.

    Aside from the canon Megaman characters who will be guest starring in various episodes, other more unique allies will be appearing. Dr. Jewel is a female scientist whom Dr. Light enlists to aid the young man in his new heroic career; Paulie "Spike" Burnston is normally the high school bully but when he sees the costumed Felix in action later he chooses to help the hero as often as possible; and Angeline Wick is a girl whom Felix knows little about although being a practicing witch with real magical powers is always helpful.

    Felix Smythe (our hero) is a young teenager of below average height (if Rush could stand up like a man, he would be taller than Felix.) He has spiky brown hair, green eyes, and fair skin. He normally wore a Red and Forest Green striped tee shirt, blue jeans, and sneakers. When wearing the dogbot suit, he stands a bit taller (almost making him eye to eye with Megaman) and he has a Black, Gold, and Dark Green armored suit with a canine like helmet. As Mega Dog, his suit is a lot like Megaman's except for the helmeted dog head and tail. He uses a transformation device provided to him for his use by Dr. Jewel so he can change between his human form and his hero form. Rush likes Mega Dog a LOT!

    This is a Megaman Universe fan fiction story! Megaman, Rock, Roll, Rush, Dr. Light, Dr. Wily, Protoman and all other canon characters of the genre are owned by Capcom. They are used here as support characters only. I am not challenging the copyrights of stated characters in any way, shape, nor form. All rights are reserved.

    [MMU: MD-02] Mega Dog
    Episode Two: Mascot and Magica
    Started on February 27th, 2013
    by Darrel "Lord Pouchlaw" Vanwinkle

    Felix Smythe, Mega Dog
    Paulie "Spike" Burnston, Mascot
    Angeline Wick, Magica
    Robert Porter, Ace Man

    Dr. Jewel
    Istanbul, a black cat (familiar to Angeline whom is a witch)
    Officer Dave
    Aunt Malva Wick
    Aunt Hagatha Wick

    Guest Starring:
    Dr. Light

    Guest Villains:
    Dr. Wily

    Chapter One: Sidekick 101.

    "Dammit, Bolt Man!" exclaimed Mega Dog during his latest fight. "I can't handle both you and Cut Man at the same time!"

    "We know, Mega Mutt!" retorted the electrical robot villain. "That's why we're doing this! Double teaming you!"

    At that moment, a long cable like whip made of chain links whipped out and pulled Cut Man's clipper extension away from Mega Dog's neck. "I can't let you do that to my master, Cut Man! If I expect a head petting tonight, I have to save him!" Standing at the other end of the long chain whip was someone wearing a home-made canine mascot costume with a gnarly looking spiked collar around his neck and a tag which read, Mascot - Property of Mega Dog.

    Cut Man snipped the chain whip and laughed at the silly costumed interloper. "What in the heck are you supposed to be? One of Mega Dog's new kennel brothers? That's got to be the dumbest outfit I've ever see-!" And he was cut short by a smack to the face by a suspended motor block that had been swung directly into his face by the new costumed crusader.

    "Oh shut up! The dog and his boy will not be defeated!"

    Mega Dog was trying hard not to laugh at the newcomer himself. It was literally the silliest mascot costume he had ever seen. And the collar and tag was pure humor. He then kicked Bolt Man's legs out from under himself and threw the electrical robot directly into Cut Man as he was trying to get up. Then MD was instantly at Mascot's side. "Dumbest costume ever," he whispered. "And I know why you're doing it. Go home before you really get hurt, Spike. Megaman fights these buffoons all the time. They mean business. I can handle it; you can't."

    Spike as Mascot whispered back, "No way, Mega Dog. I want to learn how to be a hero from you. Give me a chance; please. I get enough abuse from dad. Don't make me go home. Let me help. I'm begging you."

    "We have to get you a better uniform if you're going to be helping me. And right now, you are vulnerable. Now please, back off. I've already alerted Megaman through Rush's transceiver. They'll be here at any moment."

    "But I wanna help, master..."

    "Beat it or else!"

    And Mascot departed out the way he had come in from just barely missing the arrival of Megaman and Rush.

    "Am I ever glad you guys got here," said Mega Dog. "They were trying to steal an experimental robot engine that this factory had created. But they couldn't know that it had been removed to another location hours before they got here. And then..." he sighed. "...some kid in a really bad fur suit showed up and claimed to be my sidekick. He even had a collar with words saying that I was his master. He called himself Mascot. I made him go home just before you and Rush arrived."

    Rush made a face and started laughing, just as Megaman remarked, "You got to be kidding, right? Your sidekick?"

    "Believe me," he replied. "It was about all I could do not to join in laughing with Cut Man at how silly the outfit looked. What am I going to do about this kid?"

    "I don't think I've ever had that problem before, although Roll often tried to help me early on before I agreed to let her help me so she didn't get me captured or worse." Megaman hummed. "If you think this kid will eventually get hurt, then you should let him help you or else he will act when you aren't around and then he would really get hurt. And it might even make you feel as if it was entirely your fault. Agree to train him. He has to learn how to take orders or he won't be any use to you at all. He might even accidentally get you captured by the enemy."

    "What's the word on Protoman?"

    Megaman replied, "Dr. Wily has him under orders to stay away from Brookton or else he won't be rescued next time he gets in trouble up here. And he has been very disagreeable lately. Every time he and I clash together, he says that he wants to fight YOU, not a has-been like me."

    "I was afraid of that. Whoever hit him with that lightning bolt only made Protoman want to come finish what he started up here. And Dr. Wily is going to be dealing with a rebellion from him very soon. You and I both know how Protoman gets. In truth, Megaman... I respect Protoman. I don't want to fight him."

    Patting Mega Dog on the shoulder, Megaman said, "He used to be a good guy until Dr. Wily did something to his programming. So if anyone can help him, perhaps it is you, Mega Dog. He definitely wants to be around you. You're the newest hero on the East Coast. Anyway, I'm going to leave Rush here with you and I'll take Cut Man and Bolt Man away. And remember: Mascot is your responsibility. If you know who he is, help him so he doesn't get hurt." And then Megaman departed.

    "Ruff! Rilly Rid!" said Rush with a humored look on his muzzle.

    Mega Dog smiled at Rush. "I'm glad you're going to be around this time, Rush. Let's head back and see what Dr. Jewel has to say about this situation. Maybe she has some metal dog biscuits for us." He winked as the two headed off together.

    End of Chapter One.

    Chapter Two: Wild and Crazy Jewel.

    When Mega Dog and Rush walked into the Jewel Labs home base, they saw Dr. Wily on the big screen in a conversation with Dr. Jewel. "-and I know he still wants a rematch with Mega Dog, yet I've given him orders to stay away from Brookton. And now he's gone and I can't find him."

    "What's going on, Dr. Jewel?" said Mega Dog as he walked up to stand next to the female.

    "Dr. Wily is looking for Protoman... again," she said. "You didn't see him while on your patrol, did you?"

    "I wish I had, in truth," he replied. "I encountered Cut Man and Bolt Man at the old engine factory looking for that prototype that the scientists moved earlier today to another location. And then... I had an encounter of the weirdest kind. More weird than Dr. Wily calling to ask about Protoman. But I never saw Protoman himself."

    "What did you encounter?" Dr. Jewel asked.

    Mega Dog looked at Dr. Wily, then at Dr. Jewel once again. "This might perk up Wily's day a little. Someone showed up at the battle wearing a combination of four school mascot fur suit costumes that resembled an ugly dog and he had a spiked collar around his neck with a tag that read... wait for it... Mascot - Property of Mega Dog. Cut Man about died laughing when he saw the guy and then the weirdo had the nerve to say that he was MY sidekick. Of all the dumb things. I barely convinced him to go away before Megaman and Rush arrived to take the robots back to New York City."

    Wait for it... a moment of silence... and then... Dr. Wily fell over laughing on the floor. Which meant the monitor signal switched off.

    "Now that Wily isn't listening, Dr. Jewel, the guy under the suit is another high school bully called Spike. He said he wants to learn how to be a hero like me. He also mentioned that he got abuse at home. He was begging me to let him help me with my job. Unless he gets a safety suit, I am afraid he is going to end up hurt. Megaman said that Mascot was my responsibility and that I should train him since he does want to help. What do you think?"

    Dr. Jewel hummed. "I say give him a chance. You could make a new friend that way. As for his outfit, perhaps we could invent something more suitable for him to wear. He wants to call himself Mascot, so we should operate on that theme. In the meantime, I am still working on extending your eight hour time limit."

    "Any further information on that lightning bolt that struck Protoman during our fight the other night?"

    Switching on the monitor to show the fighting ring from a distant camera angle, Dr. Jewel said, "Here is Protoman insulting your girlfriends and you snarled the way Rush taught you and now watch watch happens when I slow down the footage." Slowly coming down from the top of the screen was the tell-tale lightning bolt that electrocuted Mega Dog's opponent where he stood. "As you can plainly see from this distant angle, that bolt came from the sky itself. No one was up there. Call it divine intervention, if you want. But I'd like to jokingly say that Mrs. God didn't like Protoman's humor." She then turned off the monitor.

    Mega Dog remarked, "Um, I'd rather not go there, Dr. Jewel, or else she might hit me next time."

    "In any event, lets get you fitted with the time extension upgrade," said Dr. Jewel with a smile. "I've increased the chronology scanner to twelve hours from the original eight hours, although in order to make this work, I had to shorten the early warning timer to thirty seconds from the original one minute. If you don't think you can handle that, then its back to the old time limit."

    "We'll just have to make it work," he replied as he allowed Dr. Jewel to tinker with his bracer. "At least this way, I won't be in school when it wears off. And that should give me ample time to make the switch."

    "Before I forget..." started the good female scientist. "'re not superstitious, are you?"

    Mega Dog arched an eye. "No. Should I be?"

    "Not really, but I just thought you should know that there has been a black cat prowling around the outside of the labs recently. I caught him looking in through one of the windows this morning after you headed off for school. It was almost as if he was watching you."

    "I have a feline fan now?" said Mega Dog with a laugh. "That's different! Did you give him a bowl of milk?"

    "Yes, I did," she replied as she finished up working on the bracer. "All done. Anyway, I don't know where the cat is now, but I just thought I would tell you about it."

    "As long as the cat doesn't show up wearing a cape during one of my jobs, I don't see a problem with having a feline fan."

    Dr. Jewel chuckled. "I don't think Krypto would let Streaky cross over into our universe, Mega Dog. Now let's see about getting you something to snack on. We're lucky you can still eat human food, unlike Megaman and Rush who have to have oil based energy drinks. You haven't tried any of Rush's food, have you?"

    Mega Dog made a horrible bleck look on his muzzle. "Only once. I'll never do that again. I don't think Rush liked seeing that much vomit come out of my muzzle in so short a period a time."

    End of Chapter Two.


      Chapter Three: Time Out of Rhyme.

      Mega Dog and Rush were out in the park later that day tossing around a metal disc (a plastic disc would never survive the jaws of the canine heroes.) Unseen by the two robot canines from one side was Istanbul, that black cat companion to Angeline Wick.

      "There they are," said the magical cat as he watched them toss the metal disc. "Uh oh, its heading toward that window. Just once..." His eyes sparkled with a magical light and the disc seemed to bounce off of an unseen wall inches in front of the window returning the disc to Mega Dog. "That should do it."

      "Did you see that, Rush?" asked Mega Dog as he examined the metal disc. "I mean, I'm glad it didn't hit the window, but... what stopped it?"

      Rush shrugged his shoulders. "Rye runt row."

      Suddenly, everything around the two canine heroes just seemed to stop in mid-action as Istanbul slowly padded out from where he had been watching from. "I stopped your disc. Just like how I stopped everything just now. I need to talk to you."

      "It's the black cat that Dr. Jewel was mentioning!" exclaimed Mega Dog. "But... you're talking. You're magical then."

      "Brilliant observance of the obvious, Mega Dog," said the cat with an obvious smirk. "I am called Istanbul and my mistress was the one who hit your opponent with the lightning bolt the other night. She likes you. Not as much as Rush does, quite obviously, but she likes you. She knows who you really are as well. You often see her in school. Her aunts would have a conniption if they learned that she was using her magic to help a hero, so she has chosen to help you discreetly. When you do team up publicly, she will be using the name Magica. But otherwise, if something unexpected happens and you don't see where it came from, just accept the fact that Magica helped you once again and be on with your business. As I said, she must be discreet in her participation with you or else her aunts will become unglued."

      Mega Dog smiled. "I wouldn't want to get your mistress in any trouble with her aunts, Istanbul. What I end up doing a lot is fighting some pretty nasty robots from Dr. Wily's arsenal. And now someone else helping on the side. First Mascot and now Magica. Mascot and Magica. Talk about your dynamic duo." He winked at the audience.

      Rush rolled his eyes.

      Istanbul chuckled. "We'll talk again later, Mega Dog. I should get going. Witches can tell when a familiar cat stops time like this." And with that, normal time resumed and the black cat was simply gone.

      Mega Dog looked at his robotic canine friend. "What did you make of that, Rush?"

      "Run rat! Ruff!"

      "Yeah, I think the cat can be fun too," he replied as he picked looked at the metal disc again. "What would you like to do now?"

      At that moment from one side, Protoman said, "About time I found you. I need to talk to you before Wily finds out where I went."

      Mega Dog sighed as he turned to look at the robot. "Yeah, he is looking for you. He called Dr. Jewel a few hours earlier. What do you want, Protoman?"

      Moments later inside a warehouse just behind Dr. Jewel's labs, Protoman sipped on an oil energy drink. "Thanks for this, Mega Dog. Now, as for what I want... as you know, I am Megaman's main antagonist in New York. But I wasn't always this kind of a robot. So I was wondering... if you might be able to help me make a new start."

      "If Wily hears you talking like this, he will think Megaman did something to you," said Mega Dog. "But sure, I'll be glad to help you get a new start. Of course, Megaman is often in the area to check on me. And with Wily out looking for you currently, how are we going to handle your disappearing as Protoman and reappearing as your new identity?"

      "I heard you had a new sidekick who needs a new costume..." started Protoman. "What I am proposing is this: let me help outfit the guy and in return, you and Dr. Jewel can transfer my mind from my unneeded old body into the all new and newly colored body. Then I can ship the old Protoman back to Wily in a box and I can personally stay up here in Brookton with you as... the new boy in school. What do you say?"

      "You've really thought this out, haven't you?" asked Mega Dog curiously. "You really want to get away from Wily and you're hoping this will do it."

      "I have tried a lot of other ways and nothing ever seems to work. So this is my last ditch chance to finally get free of him. Please, Mega Dog... help me."

      A professional ally such as Protoman was the most tempting of prizes there was to salivate over. Even though Rush looked skeptical about the offer, he wasn't trying to warn Mega Dog not to go along with it. Perhaps there was some sincerity about the request. Megaman had once said that Protoman used to be a good robot.

      "Okay, Protoman," said Mega Dog. "You got yourself a deal. We'll get started on your makeover as soon as possible."

      "You won't regret this, buddy. I promise."

      End of Chapter Three.


        Chapter Four: The New Mascot.

        That night in Dr. Jewel's private lab which had no monitors which could interrupt her work, the good doctor along with Mega Dog, Megaman, Rush, Mascot, and Protoman were quite busy working on building and coloring Protoman's new body. Dr. Jewel had chosen to make the 'Robert Porter' body with blond hair, blue eyes, and tanned skin. In other words, he was very handsome and even Megaman was impressed.

        "To buy us some time, Protoman," said Megaman. "I had an adult fan in Florida air an announcement that you were seen near a lab in Miami."

        "Thanks, Megaman," he replied. "This is my one chance to finally be free of Wily."

        Dr. Jewel then said, "Lay down on this table, Protoman, and we'll get your transfer into Robert Porter started. As the new boy in school, you needed a new boy name. As for your new armored identity... we'll work on it. Just don't forget your promise to help Mascot with his new armored suit."

        Protoman lay on the table and closed his eyes as Dr. Jewel hooked up cables from Protoman to the new body.

        In the meantime, Mega Dog was having a chat with Spike. "You heard right, Spike; we're going to not only let you be my sidekick, but we're going to upgrade your costume and train you as well. But please... no embarrassing collar with my name on it. Okay? Wait until we both meet Magica later. She's my other discreet partner. She's a witch, according to her fun familiar cat."

        "A real witch, huh?" replied Spike with a small tremble in his voice. "I hope she doesn't turn me into a frog."

        "I am sure she wouldn't do that. You are trying to turn over a new leaf."

        Dr. Jewel then said, "Mascot, come over here so we can measure you for your new outfit."

        While Spike did that, Rush pounced on Mega Dog and the two wrestled on the open floor for a bit.

        "Ractice rowl." Grrr. "Rike rat."

        Mega Dog made the growl in return, then he winked with a smile.

        "Retting retter."

        After a while, the computers made a chime sound and that is when 'Robert Porter' opened his eyes and sat up. "Looks like it worked, Dr. Jewel. Thank you. Now to uphold my promise. What are Mascot's measurements?"

        Dr. Jewel gave the measurements to Robert and they began working on the new suit and devices for the suit.

        While they did that, Megaman dismantled the old Protoman body and began packing it into a box for shipment later to Dr. Wily.

        Soon Spike was being fitted for his new outfit while Robert and Megaman began planning the new Aceman's armored outfit and helmet. "Are you sure you want to call yourself 'Aceman', Robert? I know you want to fit in with Mega Dog's team."

        "As Aceman, I can join the official line up with confidence. Mega Dog, Mascot, Magica, and Aceman, which can be shortened to simply Ace. How does that sound?"

        Mega Dog came over and patted both Robert and Rock on their backs. "I think it sounds swell. I just hope you don't regret being the new boy in school though. Being in school means hiding the fact that you're Ace. And you have to do the classes without robot speed. I know you're smart, but just saying, that's all."

        Robert smiled. "Thanks for giving me this chance, Felix. I really appreciate it. I remember you suggesting my training you in combat, but not for crimes. So if that offer is still open, I'll be glad to give you and Mascot both that training."

        Megaman smiled, too. "I'm glad you're going to be with Mega Dog here in Brookton. But knowing Wily, he won't be happy when he gets the Protoman parts back with the mind wipe on the system. He is sure to cook up some scheme to get revenge on whoever did it. Staying on the safe side, Mega Dog, the story you should always use is that you seriously don't know what happened to Protoman. I think that is easy enough to do. Just don't mention Ace at all when Wily is asking about Protoman."

        Robert smirked. "Maybe Wily will get hit by a lightning bolt next time."

        "That reminds me, Robert," said Mega Dog. "In school come Monday, we need to arrange a moment in private so you can apologize to Angeline Wick. According to her cat, she was the one who hit you with a lightning bolt. She's a witch in training and her aunts are evil witches. Angeline is trying to be a good witch. She hit you with the lightning spell because you insulted my girlfriends even though I'm not even dating her."

        "Don't worry, then... I will make good with the apology to her. Is she cute?" He winked at the audience.

        End of Chapter Four.


          Chapter Five: First Snow.

          After an uneventful day at Brookton High, Mega Dog, Rush, Aceman, and Mascot were on patrol through the warehouse district. Flying overhead on a broom, in one of the clouds, was Magica with her cat Istanbul. They were keeping an eye on Mega Dog just in case and discreetly. If her aunts asked what she was doing, she could always say that she was casing out targets for her spell casting usage.

          Of course with the familiar cat's discreet information, Mega Dog was partially keeping an eye on the skies in hopes of seeing Angeline on her broom. He just wanted to see it once. He eventually caught a glimpse of the broom and its riders as they went from one cloud to the next; a literal break in the clouds. Mega Dog just grinned when he saw that and then it was back to serious business at paw.

          Even though it was mid-November currently, the region hadn't had a snowfall as yet. But when the call came in through the team's receivers, they knew what to expect. "Mega Dog! Flame Man and Frost Man are breaking into a steel mill warehouse!"

          Mega Dog replied, "Thanks, officer! My team and I are en route right now! E.T.A. - 3 and a half minutes!" He glanced at his friends. "Let's go, guys! Crime in progress! Flame Man and Frost Man!" He didn't have to say it out loud, but Magica didn't have a receiver like the others did and he knew she was eavesdropping on what they had been talking about.

          The black familiar cat stated to his mistress, "Flame and frost. That means you need to prepare water, fire, and possible force spells. But you have been progressing beautifully lately, so perhaps you might surprise me with something of your own."

          Magica grinned. "We only get involved if it looks like the bad guys are unfairly getting the upper hand. And if my aunts catch me zapping a bad guy, I just say that I missed the guy I was aiming at. Simple to explain away. Besides, as long as I am casting the spells they instruct me to cast, they shouldn't complain."

          At the warehouse, Crush Man had arrived to assist Flame Man and Frost Man in collecting the steel. And then the local heroes arrived on the scene just behind three police cars.

          "Thank goodness you came, Mega Dog," said one of the officers. "Crush Man just arrived a moment ago with a big truck. Dr. Wily must be building a new robot since he is after fresh steel."

          Aceman replied, "That has to be what he is doing. Didn't you say he was after the new robotic engine yesterday, partner?"

          Mega Dog nodded his muzzle. "Yeah, but he didn't get it. I think its time we taught these shoplifters a lesson." And he led the charge into the warehouse.

          And that's when the hero team slipped and slid on the patch of ice on the floor just inside; courtesy of Frost Man. "Heroes fall down and go boom," he said with a sneer. "What a shame. I told you guys that would work. See? I'm not so dumb. I'm all-"

          And that was when Frost Man was hit by a tornado that seemed to come out of nowhere and it threw him across the warehouse into a stack of barrels with a resounding crash.

          "Tornado? Your aunts didn't teach you that spell," remarked Istanbul with a puzzled look on his feline muzzle.

          "I didn't cast it, Istanbul," she replied. "There must be someone else nearby who is using magic." She then irked when she saw the nicer of her two aunts floating up through the clouds on her magical vacuum cleaner. "Auntie Malva! What are you doing here?"

          Malva Wick was a chubby looking woman although she had a sweet kindly looking, dimpled face. She wore the classic garb of a witch. Including the hat. "Wondering why you didn't come straight home, for one. And for two, I know what you have been doing spell wise. You never seemed that interested in casting spells until Mega Dog appeared here in Brookton. And suddenly, you were studying your magic left and right. And if Mega Dog has this effect on you, then I approve of your helping him. Your Aunt Hagatha might not see things our way though... unless you make it worth her while."

          "I might not see things WHAT way?!" And that was when the other aunt simply appeared standing on the clouds. For all of two seconds... and then she fell straight down through the clouds toward the ground below. But it took her only a moment to save herself and she was soon back in the clouds with the others on her own broom. Hagatha Wick was a tall lanky woman with a long crooked nose and a small wart. Her eye brows had that evil sinister look to them and she also wore the classic witch outfit with the hat. "Why didn't you tell me that you were talking in the sky? I almost got hurt!"

          Malva replied, "Angeline's recent motivation in wanting to excel at magic is due to her interest in Mega Dog. Until he appeared in the city, our niece had no interest in improving at her magical lessons. And if Mega Dog motivates her to learn the spells we teach her, then we should permit her to be friends with Mega Dog and help him. But I have to insist that you hide your identity. That way, if you choose to be wicked at a later date, no one will associate the good witch with the bad witch."

          "So you used a lightning bolt the other day to help Mega Dog, is that it?" scowled Hagatha as she glared directly at her niece.

          "In truth, Hagatha... I wasn't going to do a thing that day... until Protoman insulted females in general. And being a female myself, I wanted to teach him a lesson. So I zapped him. Next time he shouldn't be so quick to insult a lady. Besides, I happen to like the boy under the Mega Dog suit. He defended me from bullies in school the other day. He's the boy Dr. Wily almost killed before Mega Dog first appeared. Imagine... trying to transform a boy with science instead of magic. The nerve of that scientist."

          Hagatha grinned at that moment as it started to snow. "My little niece being hateful of a man. Very well, as long as you plan on punishing him later, I'll give my consent."

          End of Chapter Five.


            Chapter Six: Magica.

            Wearing a magical mask which sparkled constantly, Angeline flew her broom down and into the warehouse where she sent a lightning bolt directly into Crush Man, sending the big tin can robot flying backward. "The dog is mine, metal heads!" Then to Mega Dog, she asked, "Are you okay, partner? Sorry I was late for the party, but I have permission to be directly involved now as long as I someday zap Dr. Wily." She winked with a smile.

            Flame Man exclaimed, "No one mentioned a girl hero in Brookton! Just who are you to interfere in Dr. Wily's master plan?"

            "Why I am Magica, of course!" she replied with a smile. "Allow me... to demonstrate!" And Flame Man was instantly stuck inside a water globe looking quite helpless.

            Ace Man and Mascot stood on either side of Magica at that point. "Nice timing, Magica," said the former Protoman. "But how did you get permission to directly help Mega Dog?"

            "You heard me, Ace Man. As long as I someday punish Dr. Wily for trying to transform a boy with science instead of magic, I have full permission to join the team."

            Rush barked at Magica saying, "Ruh raff run rat!"

            Mega Dog chuckled. "He said you have the fun cat. We met him the other day. Nice feline. I'm just glad he doesn't wear a cape."

            Magica giggled. "Istanbul prefers cloaks over capes. He is actually a grader for my studies. I learned the Sonic Blast spell this afternoon. I haven't gotten to use it yet."

            At that point, Frost Man simply surrendered. "Please don't use it on me! I surrender!"

            Megaman was arriving at that moment. "Glad to hear it, Frost Man. I got Rush's signal call. Three robots for the price of one, is it?" He then noticed Mega Dog's full team. "You people need to have a group picture done soon. You look really important now. Come on, Frost Man... time to get you and the others back to New York. As I recall Magica saying as I was arriving... she hasn't gotten to use that spell yet."

            Once Megaman had taken Flame Man, Frost Man, and Crush Man out of Brookton, the three bad robots were surprised when the truck stopped at a roadside rest stop and then the rear doors opened slowly...

            ...revealing Protoman. "Everybody out. You better be glad Dr. Wily sent me as back up to check on you three."

            Frost Man looked surprised. "Protoman? But I thought you were in a million pieces!"

            "I was... until Dr. Wily rebuilt me and restored a back up of my memory imprint from a save disk he had in storage. I am Protoman 2.0 now. But around the heroes, just call me Protoman. We still don't know what happened to the old me, but he is got to be in hiding somewhere. We thought Megaman would know, but we don't know how to get him to reveal anything useful to Dr. Wily." He paused with a grin as he pulled out the Megaman disguise and held it in his hands. "Was I real enough to fool the heroes?"

            Flame Man smiled. "It fooled me and Rush must of been distracted because you fooled him too."

            Protoman grinned. "I know. And that is exactly the answer I wanted to hear. Because Dr. Wily's newest plan is for me to pull a major robbery while wearing this disguise. Megaman will get the blame from witnesses and he will either have to turn himself in or become an outlaw, like us."

            Crush Man said, "That sounds like a great plan! When are you gonna do it?"

            Protoman glanced to the south and New York City. "Later on tonight, actually. We have to wait until the real Megaman is bedded down and Dr. Light isn't looking at him. Then... we strike and 'Megaman' pulls a robbery for all to see. But the tricky part is that I have to stash the loot in his own room in full view. That way when Dr. Light checks on him after the police come he will see the robbery loot. We don't get to keep any of the goods this time because it really has to look like Megaman did it."

            But unbeknown to the robot bad guys, the fun cat (Istanbul) had been nearby just beyond a retaining wall where he had been conversing with other local felines of the area. "So that's their plan. Sorry, chums, but I need to go warn my mistress and her friends. We can't let Megaman get framed for this." And he vanished from sight.

            While the team were traveling as a group while Magica was on her broom, Istanbul magically appeared on the front of the broom and exclaimed, "STOP!" And of course the whole team came to a halt in the middle of the street. "I found you guys just in time. Protoman is back. Dr. Wily rebuilt him and restored his nasty memory from a save disk. He has a Megaman disguise and they are going to use it to frame Megaman for a robbery."

            Ace sighed. "I knew we hadn't heard the last of Protoman. We have to do something or else Megaman will end up looking as criminal as the other robots in New York."

            Mega Dog was already on his police communicator. "That's what I said, Dave. Protoman and the rest of Dr. Wily's goons have a Megaman costume and they are going to use it to frame our friend in New York. Get word to the police down that way fast and have them send some officers over to Dr. Light's labs and have them stand guard over Megaman. We will be sending word to Dr. Light and hopefully we can thwart their plan before it happens."

            Mascot smiled. "Full cooperation with the police is what makes Mega Dog so popular up here. He gets the news and alerts out fast."

            End of Chapter Six.


              Chapter Seven: Insights into the Evil Mind.

              "Another fool proof plan thwarted and Megaman didn't even leave Dr. Light's labs to do it this time." Dr. Wily was griping to nobody as he paced back and forth through his laboratory. "If only Megaman would reveal where they are hiding the old Protoman... we wouldn't have to keep playing this game."

              He stopped as he glanced at his main frame computer monitor. "Computer! Bring up the team shot of Mega Dog's friends!" And the computer brought the image to the screen. From left to right were Dr. Jewel, Mascot, Ace, Mega Dog, Rush, Magica, and Istanbul... the latter two hovering on the broomstick. "Mega Dog's team..." But then he stopped as he focused solely upon one individual. "Of course! How could I not see that before? Computer! Analyze both Protoman and Ace side by side!" And after a few moments, the results were in.

              "So... the old Protoman is Ace. Very clever, Dr. Jewel. I almost overlooked that team member. Without the Protoman armor, I originally assumed it was just another one of Mega Dog's school mates. But it is in fact the old Protoman with a new identity. Hiding in plain sight."

              "How to capitalize on this turn of events?" Dr. Wily paced for a bit more, then he stopped again as he snapped his fingers. "Of course. I need to call Dr. Jewel and lay out my ultimatum. Either she will give me what I ask for or else I reveal what I know to everyone and ruin Ace's new life ultimately."

              Moments later in Dr. Jewel's lab, Dr. Wily was on the big screen giving out his ultimatum. "Hand over the experimental engine and all the steel I have been after or else I reveal to all of Brookton regarding Ace's dark past. It would ruin him. You have one hour to think about it, Jewel." And the call ended.

              From one side, however, Magica's two aunts stepped out of the shadows into the lab. Malva and Hagatha. "Was that the man who tried to change Felix with science instead of magic?" asked the tall lanky witch looking quite agitated.

              "Yes, Ms. Wick," stated Dr. Jewel in reply. "Dr. Wily was the man who did that. And now he is trying to get the upper hand over Mega Dog's team again."

              Malva then said, "If Ace held a press conference and just fessed up with the team and you supporting him then Wily's threat would be empty hot air."

              "Actually, the problem goes deeper than that," Dr. Jewel explained as she poured some fresh tea for the two witches. "Ace is still a robot like his old self was. But... if someone magical were to grant him the gift to become a real boy with the powers to become Aceman, then he wouldn't ever have to worry about befalling the robot trap ever again. But who do we know who is even remotely related to the Blue Fairy?" She winked with a smile at the two witches.

              Hagatha chuckled. "We are related to her, in truth. We could do that for Ace, but we witches like to uphold the balance in magic. For one good deed you need to suggest a bad deed equal to the task for which you are asking. Any ideas?"

              Dr. Jewel suddenly had that sly evil looking Grinch smile on her face. "One bad deed... every time Dr. Wily says the word 'Mega', he would exude quick drying liquid steel down both legs. Since he wants that steel so badly, he can be encased in it. As for the experimental engine... he never said which, I mean... WITCH one, now did he?" She winked again.

              Both Wick witches were cackling with delight at the very wicked suggestion!

              "And because steel can attract lightning all the better," continued the good doctor with a smile. "when Magica goes to zap him, she can't miss."

              Thirty minutes later, the press conference occurred just outside of Dr. Jewel's labs with Ace center stage. Ace revealed his past to the gathered reporters and how he had come to Mega Dog to ask him to help him overcome his sordid dark past which he had no control over. Then he swears that he has turned over a new leaf by joining Mega Dog's team. And in that truth telling moment... Aceman began to magically sparkle as his body transformed from a robot into a real boy, although still suited up as Aceman.

              And he was a hit after that. Tell the truth and miracles happen.

              Twenty minutes later, the team and the witches were back inside the labs when Dr. Wily called back. "Time is up, Jewel! Do I get the goods or do I ruin Ace's life?"

              Before Dr. Jewel could reply, Mega Dog stepped into the center view and said, "I want to say something to you, Wily!"

              "And what would that be, Mega Dog?" and in the instant Dr. Wily said the word 'mega', the aforementioned curse activated and he was heard shouting in shock and agony.

              "Enjoy the curse the witches put on you. We are not giving in to your demands." And then he cut the call off himself. "How long do you think he will be before he figures out how to free himself?" asked Mega Dog with a smile.

              Hagatha laughed. "It might be a while because we made it so anyone within his hearing who said the word 'Mega' would cause him to experience the curse. His entire lab building may end up filled with quick drying steel before he can stop people from saying the word."

              Aceman then said, "I think the curse should be altered once he produces as much steel as he wanted to illegally acquire... changing it from steel to... that form fitting rubber stuff that actually changed Mega Dog... the curse word altered at that point from the word 'Mega' to the word 'Robot'. Then we could see how long it would take him to stop saying the word 'robot' in order to free himself."

              Hagatha ended up laughing some more. "You guys are a riot to be around! You can expect us to keep Dr. Jewel company more often."

              End of Chapter Seven.


                Chapter Eight: It's All The Rave.

                It was a few days later after Mega Dog had Megaman arrange for a Megaman Day Parade to occur in New York City where over loudspeakers Megaman's name would be announced every five to ten minutes. Mega Dog never told Megaman why this should be done but it certainly made all the newspapers in the city and boosted citizen morale especially since Dr. Wily hadn't raised a single complaint in public about the parade. Perhaps he was too preoccupied to interfere? Naw... now who would have arranged that?

                Dr. Light arrived at Dr. Jewel's labs with a rather large crate. "Where is he, Dr. Jewel?"

                "He and his team are just finishing up a patrol of Brookton, Dr. Light," she replied as she placed her hands on the crate. "Is this the special surprise you told me about?"

                "Very much so," he said as he patted the lid gently. "Even Rush was excited to be involved in this project. I just know Mega Dog will love it."

                "I will love what, Dr. Light?" exclaimed Mega Dog as he walked in with Mascot, Magica, and Ace Man closely behind him.

                "Ah, Mega Dog... I built something for you. Rush was all too happy to help out with this project. And since you know that Rush is the coolest robot dog ever and you know anything that he would be involved in would be just as cool... we thought it was time for you to have your very own robot dog companion. Mega Dog..." he opened the crate to reveal a canine robot unit which looked exactly like Rush except it was green instead of red and gold instead of pink. "meet Rave. He will be your very own super companion here in Brookton. Now this isn't to say that Rush won't be coming up to help you from time to time. Rush told me that he was still teaching you important things. But when Rush isn't around... Rave will fill in the gap just perfectly. Rush helped choose the colors." Yes, it was the same color scheme that Rush had chosen originally for Mega Dog's original armored outfit.

                Mega Dog grinned in that silly robot dog manner that Rush had taught him. "Rave, is it? I can't wait to take him with us on patrols around Brookton, sir. But..." he then frowned. "...I am having a new problem that I only recently told Dr. Jewel about. And since I wouldn't want you and Rush to worry about me... I think it is best that I let you know what is going on. The other morning... I caught myself about to drink an energy oil drink. At first I thought that I had simply grabbed the wrong can by mistake, so I gave the drink to Rush then I grabbed a cola and tried to drink it. I got violently ill and Dr. Jewel had to help pump my stomach. But then..."

                Dr. Jewel brought up the schematic x-rays of Mega Dog's biological system on the monitor. "I conducted an x-ray of his body and this is what I found, Dr. Light. There are parts of his internal organs becoming robotic. And it is spreading, albeit slowly. At his current rate of progression, I am hazarding an estimate that he would be completely robotic like Megaman by the end of May. Apparently this is related to his initial transformation which was caused by Dr. Wily. His robotic stomach cannot tolerate colas. And the dietary progression is slowly getting worse. He got sick to his stomach looking at a school lunch which was his favorite earlier today. Mega Dog will entirely lose his humanity by the start of Summer. And if Felix just disappeared before he could finish high school then everyone would know his secret."

                Dr. Light studied the x-ray for a few moments. "I was afraid something like this would occur sooner or later. Form Fitting Rubber is highly unpredictable. It never has the same effect on people that you see the first time. It is a lot like the Mutagen of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their comic books. You never know what it will do."

                Magica then said, "My aunts are researching something on their end which they hope may help Mega Dog retain his humanity. After all Felix has been through, this doesn't seem fair for him to continue to undergo these horrible transformations. Aunt Hagatha wants to set Dr. Wily on fire for causing this."

                At that moment, the black cat padded into the chamber and leaped up on the console. "Greetings, my friends. The witches came up dry, not surprisingly, however... leave it to the 'fun cat' to have the solution to this dilemma. I know how to help Felix retain his humanity and still be able to access Mega Dog." He then grinned like the Cheshire Cat.

                Magica glared at Istanbul. "He is miserable enough, Istanbul. So this better not be one of your sly tricks just so you can get an expensive dinner that no one here can afford to buy you. So give... what is the solution?"

                "It was only that one time..." replied the black cat. "Sheesh, I said I was sorry. Anyway, this is for Felix. In order to recover his humanity, all he has to do is become my apprentice. Yes, he would have to agree to all of the rites and processing as well as blood bonding and soul linking to me, his new master. As you know, I am your grader for magical studies, Angeline, but I am also a fully functional warlock who chooses to remain in feline form. It is better that way for me. If Felix agreed to my offer, he wouldn't have to learn magic at all... unless he wanted to. He and Rush DID say I was the fun cat. So... do I get any praises for my solution?"

                Mega Dog was not entirely convinced. "Hmm... and what is in this for you if I did allow you to help me in this manner?"

                "I don't know why everyone is so suspicious all of a sudden. I come up with a sure fire solution to help Felix and I get put before the Grand Tribunal for my efforts. As I said, Felix... as my apprentice, you would learn the magical power of Twinning. This enables you to conduct a true transformation between multiple forms instead of just Felix the Human and Mega Dog. For instance... you could also have a form like Rush's as a bonus. I would only get something out of this if you chose to learn magic from me. Just remember: this solution would be forever on the provision that nothing happened to me. And because familiar cats like me live for an eternity, I fail to see you suffering from any ill effects."

                Mega Dog looked to Dr. Jewel and Dr. Light at that point. "What do you think? Is there any other solution you guys can think of?"

                Dr. Jewel shook her head as she revealed something that went against what Felix had been told originally. "Your wrist transformer... does not actually transform you into human form, Felix. We didn't have the advanced technology to make something that futuristic for your use. So instead, it has been placing a hologram of your old human appearance over your Mega Dog body. I apologize for not telling you sooner. Therefore, Istanbul's solution may be your only hope at this point."

                He turned to face the black cat once again. "Okay, Istanbul. You have a deal. I'll become your apprentice."

                End of Chapter Eight.
                End of Episode Two: Mascot and Magica.

                Stay tuned for the next episode, Mega Moonlight.