The summer was turning into autumn. Outside Hanz’ laboratory in Germany, a crowd of some 100-150 people had assembled. Inside the laboratory, three people were talking.
“I’d say that it seems like everyone that has bothered to turn up is here now.” Shiva observed the crowd through the window, then turned to the others.
“It’s a bit sad, actually…” Nuclean was sitting on a chair, looking around the room.
“Well, with the way the shit went down, I can’t say there’s much of a choice, now is it? At least, I’m going through with it.” Standing leaned against a wall, 666 was smoking a cigarette like always, Kage perched on his shoulder.
“Yeah, I know what your’e talking about, and you’re right. So, shall we?”
“Indeed.” The trio left the lab, looking at the crowd. Nuclean stepped up and began to speak.
“Welcome, all of you, and thanks for being able to be here. Today is a day of farewells, and there are more of them than you think.” As Nuclean spoke those words, a feeling of uneasiness seemed to spread among the crowd. “As you all already know, Hanz passed away recently in the aftermaths of a heart attack. Hearing those news made me sad – Hanz was more than a companion, he was a close friend, and what must not be forgotten is that he is one of them who started the organization. And of the original five, he is the last one to leave this life. He has been buried in his hometown already, and we do in fact not know where that is. We will however erect a memorial stone at this location for you to pay your respects. However, the memorial stone will not be for him only.”
To this, the order members responded with a confused reaction.
“As you may have noticed, two other important members are not present here today. And sadly… they have indeed also left us. First, like some of you might have known, Emerald Mantis fought against being taken over by a Maverick virus at all times. Well, it finally was not possible for him to suppress it anymore. So, he did what he planned to do if it should ever seem inevitable… he wiped his entire system, deleting everything. However, it proved to be futile, as the virus did in fact overtake him anyway. We do not know if the virus simply won before he was able to complete the deletion, or if the virus actually survived the deletion. 666 was with him at the time, and was… forced to destroy him.”
“Just like me, he lived a life of violence… he was the person most similar to me I have ever met. But certain things have to be done. At the very least, he died doing what he enjoyed the most… when he was concious, in any case. Killing a friend is something you have to be able to do.” 666 threw away his cigarette and lit another one. “Remember this, otherwise it may one day lead to your downfall.”
“Going on, there is Mizuki. She is no longer one of us, but at least she is still alive. She has gone on with her life… she got married a short time ago. She sent us this message shortly before that day… it was even before Mantis died.”
Hello, everyone – how are you? I am more than fine, as the greatest day of my life is approaching.
I want you all to know that the loss of Hanz has nothing to do with my decision. I will sadly not be able to attend his funeral, but I will pay my respects at a shrine over here.
There is one thing I want to ask of all of you of the Outer. Do not try to find or contact me. I do not dislike you, but sad as it may be, you have no part in my new life.
Nuclean, Shiva, 666, Mantis – the four of you are however welcome to visit me, because you are friends and not simply members of the organization I administrated.
As for the administration, I can only hope you’ll find someone else that can do it.
But I want to thank all of you for the time we spent – it was exciting and fun. But I have to go on to bigger things.
Hakira Mizuki

“And this brings us to the final farewell that you will be doing this day… Mizuki spoke of new administration. However, the three of us will have nothing to do with it.” Nuclean took a deep breath. “As of today, the Order of the Pentagram as you know it… is disbanded.”
The order members reacted strongly to this, and everyone started talking. Most of them were confused.
“Silence, silence! What has happened recently made us take this choice. The center of the Pentagram is gone, and the remains of the Inner has taken this decision. What you do from here on with the Order is all up to you, but for the three of us, it is a closed chapter. It does not mean that we will not follow the idea of this organization anymore, but the organization as it is, we will not need any longer. We do not mind if any of you contact us, but don’t expect us to help you. The memorial stone I spoke about will as you may suspect be over the Order as it was – it will contain the names of Hanz and Mizuki, of course, plus the last constellation of the Inner. You can ask us why we do this, but we will not give you any answer. In fact, we will not answer any of your questions – we will take our leave now. Hanz’ storeroom has been opened for you to get your stuff from. The three of us have already taken what belonged to us or to those that left us. At least, everything we cared about – that which is left in there is yours for the taking. With that, farewell!” Nuclean turned back to the laboratory.
“See you guys in hell.” 666 took a final glance over the crowd and followed Nuclean.
“Anyone who tries to follow us will be dealt with…” Shiva turned around as well. The three of them entered the laboratory and locked the door.
“It’s over with. They took it better than I thought, admittedly.” 666 dropped his cig and stepped on it.
“I doubt anyone dares to follow us, but something tells me we’re better off getting out already.” Picking up a pile of papers, Nuclean looked at them.
“Totally with you there, let’s jet!”
After picking up some things from the laboratory, the three of them left through the back door and took a short walk to a parked Humvee. Nuclean entered the driver’s seat, 666 and Shiva the back seat.
“I can’t believe this thing was still running after all that time in storage. Besides, why did you even keep it if you were only going to have it there?” As the car started, Shiva looked at 666 who was lighting another cig.
“Who knows… well, pretty much everyone did bring some memorabilia from the war.”
“Yeah, but… a damned huge jeep?”
“Memories, I guess… I intended to pick it up several times, but then I found the Hunters and had no need at all for it anymore. Sis would probably love this thing, though.”
“You don’t intend to bring it all the way there, do you?”
“Nah. Especially not since I already gave it to Nuke.”
“For that I thank you. It will be useful to me.”
“What are you planning to do, anyway?”
“I would prefer to not tell you that. So where should I drop the two of you off?”
“Wherever. I’ll catch a ride home when I feel like it.”
Shiva looked out of the window for a moment and then turned to 666. “Hey, sixboy.”
“Y’know, I’m feeling a bit rusty. Would you care to spar?”
“Heh… gladly. I haven’t had any really good fight lately, and I need to reclaim the title anyway.”
“Yeah, right.” Rolling her eyes, she turned to Nuclean. “In other words… drop us off somewhere where we can be alone. To fight, that is.”
“I know the perfect place for that, then… it’s about an hour drive from the city, but in the other direction. We should reach the city soon, though.”
“Perfect place, huh?”
“Just you wait. So, by the way, what are you going to do now, Shiva?”
“No idea… being a mercenary is just my style, so I’ll keep at it, but I don’t have any personal agenda anymore. I’ve given up pretty much everything relating to my family. I don’t even care about… that anymore. Guess I’ll do what I feel like.”
“In other words, just like you were always doing?”
“Oh, shut your mouth.”

A little over an hour later, they pulled up outside a forest up on a cliff. The trio left the car, two of them inspecting their new surroundings.
“Here we go. This is a perfect training ground.”
“Huh, looks nice. How’d you find it?”
“Hanz told me about it. We’ve had some sparring sessions in here ourselves…”
“Well, then… we may meet again some day. ’twas nice to know you…”
“Same. I’d try to shake your hand, but I know you too well for that.”
“Well, how about this then…” 666 smiled, threw away his cig and held out his clenched fist. Nuclean and Shiva put out theirs as well.
“It was a good time!” Shiva started smiling as well.
“Indeed, it was! Wonder what will become of the rest…” They lowered their hands a bit, and then threw them up in the air. Nuclean snickered and went back to the car. “Well then, I will take my leave. Don’t kill each other now.”
“Don’t worry.”
As Nuclean drove off in the distance, 666 and Shiva looked at each other.
“Well then…” Shiva put her hand on Coper. “Shall we?”
“Gladly.” 666 started sneering.
“And no support units.”
“I know, I know! Kage, you’ll have to sit this one out.”
Kage beeped and retracted his legs as they entered the forest. Reaching the cliffside, they assumed fighting stances.
Shiva put her hand on Coper. “Ready when you are.”
666 activated his claws. “Just don’t come crying to me when you have to crawl out of here.”
“Same to you, sixboy. Same to you.”
A few moments later, they both dashed forwards. Shiva drew Coper, unfolded it to its full size and swung it towards 666. He swiftly dodged, and dashed towards Shiva at high speed. Delivering a kick towards her torso, she caught his foot in her left hand and gave him a stasis blast before flipping him away. She followed up with an attack with Coper, but 666 had already gotten to his feet and punched away the gargantuan spear.
“Not bad…” He took a leap backwards as Shiva folded out Coper’s prongs and had the stasis field run through it.
“Have a stasis grid…” Starting to spin around with the spear fully extended, the stasis field started going in several directions.
“I’ve seen that before, I know how to counter it!” Building up some speed, 666 started dashing right towards it. Just before getting hit by it, he leaped up in the air and put himself on direct collision course with Shiva. Putting out his foot, he delivered a jump kick to her head. However, just thereafter, he was hit by Coper. Both of them fell, but got to their feet quickly.
“Don’t think I’m done yet… I’m not going to let you win this.” Shiva took a swing towards 666, but he did a swift jump and landed on the spear. Running down the shaft with his hands raised, Shiva started sending the field through the spear again. Jumping off and landing close to her, 666 did a leg sweep followed by a slash. Hitting her arm, Shiva did a fast move and again sent Coper swinging towards him. Ducking under it, 666 approached her again, but Shiva had her other hand fully charged up and let 666 feel the full extent of it. His body went numb for a moment, which was enough for Shiva to send him into a tree.
“Argh! What was that about being rusty again?” Smiling, 666 assaulted again.
“You if anyone should know that it’s easy to pick it up…” Charging up again, Shiva started running as well.
“True.” Doing a sidestep, 666 started running alongside the spear, which Shiva started spinning. Narrowly avoiding a prong, 666 came up close but did not attack. Instead he jumped over her, landing behind her and throwing a punch at her back. Retaliating from the blow, Shiva quickly spun around with Coper, but 666 dodged it again. Starting to move backwards, she started a wild attack, spreading her stasis field around the area.
“Oh, come on… well then.” Drawing his swords, 666 assumed a special stance. “Let’s see how you like this edge.” Eyeing up his opponent, 666 watched her movements closely. Trying to find a pattern, a short while later he dashed towards her, very narrowly dodging the spear as he came within range. Just instants later, the spear came towards him from above, but he threw a very powerful punch towards it with both hands. Holding it still for about a second, just as Shiva started pulling Coper back, 666 made another push and Shiva lost her grip. Coper was sent flying, landing behind 666.
“Hey, that was mean!”
“As if that’d matter.” Dashing towards her with his swords raised, she stood still. Just as he came close, she ducked.
“Yah!” Keeping her balance with her hands, she had both legs perform perfectly aimed kicks. Nightmare and Koe flew off in opposite directions as 666 regained his balance.
“Well, well. Probably was a bad idea to use that attack.”
“So… how about ending this… fair?”
“Fair? What do you mean?”
“A good old hand-to-hand…” 666 deactivated his claws and crossed his arms. “No claws, no stasis fields.”
“Heh, why not…?” Assuming fighting stance again, Shiva started dashing towards 666. He did the same, and they clashed just a moment later. Being fairly evenly matched in melee fighting, they kept at it for several minutes. Noone seemingly gained the upper hand, but at last, it was Shiva that drew the short straw. She was wrestled to the ground by 666, who held her arms and legs pinned down. With his head just above hers, he started smiling.
“I guess it’s over.”
“Sigh… maybe so.”
“Maybe? If you have any way to get out of this without using your fields, I’d love to see it.”
“In fact…”
“Heh.” 666 had very little time to react before Shiva raised her head to his face and gave him a quick kiss. 666’s grip loosened slightly, which was Shiva’s signal. She broke free and instead slammed him down to the ground, with his arms trapped under his torso. Putting her foot down on him, 666 had no way of getting up without giving Shiva another opportunity to strike him.
“What the… what the hell was THAT supposed to mean?”
“You can’t say it wasn’t fair.”
“…I’m not.”
“So, who’s the winner now, huh?”
“Sigh… alright, alright, you win this time as well…”
“Ha!” Letting go of him, Shiva turned away and sat down at the cliffside.
“Now…” 666 got to his feet and collected Nightmare and Koe before walking up to her. “An explanation. And it better be good.”
“Why don’t you have a seat, and I’ll tell you everything…”
“Oh, whatever.” Sitting down beside Shiva, 666 looked at her in disbelief. “Now… was that simply a spontaneous move to gain victory, or was it something else?”
“Both. Truth be told, I…” She took a deep breath. “To put it simply – I’ve gone and fallen in love with you.”
“…you? Since when?”
“Quite a while, actually… even before Raze passed on… but I didn’t say anything out of respect for her. I really planned to give up on you… not doing anything until this long after her death was also out of respect, but I thought you’d feel ready to move on now.”
“Oh, that would never have been an issue.”
“That’s just like you…”
666 lit a cigarette and looked down on the ground as Kage came back to his shoulder. “Why me…?”
“Several reasons. You’re strong… and more importantly… you’re not human. I’m tired of…” Shiva stopped halfway through the sentence.
“Earlier… friends?”
“I don’t want to talk about it… but yes, I’ve had relationships… one of which I really wanted to work out, but noooo. And there’s another reason. You’re reliable.”
“Heh… well, I’m not sure how to reply, but… hell, why not. Can’t say I don’t like you.”
“…so… you…”
“Yeah. I’m up for it, but it’s on your own risk.”
“Sixboy…” She moved closer to him, putting her arm around his shoulders. “Don’t worry. I won’t make the same mistake my brother did.”
“Mistake, huh? That’s one way of looking at it.”
“Ignar was brave and stuff, but he was too much of a do-gooder for his own good. I knew it’d kill him one day.”
“Admittedly, he got what was coming to him in the end. But it was still sad it had to end that way… he was my first real friend.” 666 lit a cig and looked out in the distance. “And now his sister has become my girlfriend. It’s interesting how these things happen sometimes.”
“True…” Shiva drew even closer to him, and they looked at each other for a moment before sharing a kiss.

Time passed as they simply sat there, neither of them saying a word for quite some time. As the sun began to set, 666 lit a new cigarette and looked up in the sky. “Well then…”
“Huh?” Shiva raised her head from his shoulder and looked at him.
“Let’s go.”
“Oh… yeah, you’re right.” Shiva removed her arm and they both stood up. She went to pick up Coper.
“So, what’s your plan now? I’m guessing it’s not the same anymore… and I’m guessing I’m part of it, whether I’d like it or not.”
“Perfectly correct!” Shiva folded Coper and put it on her back. “I’m going with you, and don’t think you can stop me.”
“Don’t worry. I wasn’t intending to. But are you really sure? I mean, you’d pretty much become a Maverick Hunter… like me, a freelancing one, sure, but still.”
“Oh, I don’t mind. Besides, then I finally get to meet this… ‘sister’ of yours. Silva-something?”
“Silver. Now that I think about it, something tells me that the two of you could become good friends…”
“Yeah… interesting is what it will be to see… so, time to get out of here?” 666 turned around and started walking slowly from where they had came.
“…yes…” Shiva took a final glance out over the cliffside and then ran up to 666, grabbing his hand. Walking out of the forest hand in hand, they started the trip towards the Maverickhunters Headquarters.

Story is © Magnus von Göes Karlström 2007
All characters are coyright respective owners.
All Megaman related characters are copyright Capcom.

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