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|Mega Man #21|
‘Countdown.’ It's almost New Year's Day, and Mega Man is ready to celebrate in style! Rock, Roll, and Dr. Light are among the crowd waiting to watch the ceremonial light-ball drop at midnight, but the celebration is short-lived as the Emerald Spears return to exact their revenge on our heroes! The epic grudge match between Mega Man and Xander Payne begins now, so grab a front row seat and prepare for the battle royale!
On New Year's Eve, Mega Man and Emerald Spears leader Xander Payne are exchanging fire amongst each other while inside the countdown ball, which has ten seconds before it hits the ground and not only pronounces a new year, but also explodes and kills a large number of innocent bystanders. Xander then boasts that the bomb inside the rigged countdown ball will prove the Emerald Spears victory, with him going out as a visionary and a martyr.
It then flashes back to 21 minutes and forty-three seconds earlier, when Mega Man, the guest of honor at the new year ceremonies in the city square, gives a brief speech thanking them for making him the guest of honor and telling them to enjoy the festivities. Agent Roslyn Krantz then arrives, commenting on how Mega Man has been a lab worker, a hero, and a public speaker, and they greet each other. Roll and Dr. Light then greet Krantz on the occasion. Dr. Light then questions Krantz whether everything is all right, due to the heavy police presence in the area. Krantz mentioned that everything is fine at the present, but explained that this was the reason she was meeting with them: After the terrorist attack conducted by the Emerald Spears group at the A.R.T.S. Convention, all but three members have been arrested. However, as three are still at large, and due to Mega Man's presence, they suspect the remaining three members intend to disrupt the ceremony with another terrorist attack, and requests Mega Man to protect the city for the night. Mega Man heartily confirms the request and has Rush come along to help. Krantz then leads Mega Man and Rush to Agent Gilbert D. Stern, who then explained, after telling Mega Man that man invented coffee to prevent them from getting cold, the gist of what he knows regarding recon duty. After their "hippie-turned-revolutionary leader" was arrested, he relayed everything Greenleaf knew about what had transpired, although he admitted it wasn't much, as while Greenleaf was the official figurehead of the organization, he left all the organizing and logistics to his second in command, Xander Payne, the one responsible for blowing up the A.R.T.S. Show while Mega Man and several humans, including Doctors Light, Lalinde, and Cossack were still inside the building. They also deduced that, besides Xander, two other currently unidentified members had escaped prior to their arresting several of the members. Although it would be good to capture the two unidentified members, Xander himself is the top priority, as because of his being ex-Military and being very fanatical towards his cause, he was the biggest threat.
Meanwhile, the two "Spears" members, Simone Miller and Theo Payne, disguised as construction workers via uniforms they had stolen, including badges, that allowed them to get past security, returned to Xander and confirmed the arming and the placing of the bomb according to Xander's specifications. Theo, however, questions why they needed to do the attack, as the people didn't do anything wrong. However, Xander stated they were indeed guilty by using a machine to celebrate New Year's Eve, and he intended to demonstrate exactly how they were guilty. He declares that with the "weapon" they worship, he'll purge the symbol, robots, and the foolish humans who cannot live without them. A federal-class Blader appears to investigate, but Theo and Simone manage to send it away. Simone suggests that they should leave the area, but Xander thinks that the Blader's appearance means that the cops are suspicious, and they can't allow them to find the bomb. Xander orders to take down the surveillance robots and anyone or anything that threats the mission.
Agent Krantz is checking all maintenance people on shift, and Mega Man asks Stern if the Emerald Spears will appear with so many drones and snipers around. Stern asks Mega Man what his gut tells him, but Mega Man don't has guts, but internal diagnostics. Stern is happy that he isn't obsolete, and says that while robots can scan and analyze, they can't feel the situation. It may not be logical, but it saved his life more than once, and he feels that the Emerald Spears are present. The Emerald Spears start acting, and a drone went offline. Krantz goes to the rooftops with two officers and asks Mega Man to back up Gil, but Gil goes alone saying that he will follow his gut and Mega Man should keep an eye on Rosie. Mega Man wonders how he can help with conflicting directions, and while talking with Rush he has an idea.
Meanwhile, Simone takes down a Blader and asks Theo if they should leave. Theo, however, says he can't leave his brother as he was always present for him, and he needs him now. Simone pulls Theo and kisses him in the mouth, saying he is stupidly loyal. Embarrassed, Theo asks if she called him stupid, but she corrects to adorably loyal, which is the reason she loves him. Suddenly, they see fireworks in the sky. Mega Man is flying with Rush Jet and using his buster to create fireworks, and it calls Xander's attention. Angry, Xander hits Mega Man's helmet with an auto-targeting blaster, and Mega Man spots him. The blue bomber contacts Agent Krantz and starts pursuing Xander. After the communication, Theo knocks down the officer with Krantz, and she is unarmed by Simone. Krantz and Simone know each other and they discuss, but when Theo asks Simone if she knows the cop, Krantz throws Theo on Simone and captures them.
In another place, Xander is running away from Mega Man and is surprised by Gilbert, who is pointing a gun for him. Xander puts his blaster in the floor and rises his hands. The two appear to agree that robots are bad for humans, but Stern also believes in law, justice, and the fact that Xander is "a few bricks shy of a load". Xander kicks his weapon on Gil and they fight. Xander throws Gil from the building, but he manages to hold the edge. Mega Man and Rush help Agent Stern, and he tells them to go after Xander. With ten seconds left, Mega Man enters the lightball and Xander tries to stop him, but Mega Man breaks his weapon and throws the bomb to Rush, who flies high and throws it, and Mega Man blasts the bomb, the explosion creating fireworks in the last second.
Several characters are shown celebrating the new year, Roll hugging Dr. Light, Dr. Cossack holding Kalinka, Dr. Lalinde with Tempo, Time Man adjusting the clock on his body, Splash Woman alone in the water, Break Man with 20XX reflected on his helmet, and Auto, Oil Man, Guts Man, and Concrete Man drinking E-Tanks. Xander is captured, and Mega Man gives a speech to everyone present.
- Mega Man
- Xander Payne
- Police officers (Cameo)
- Dr. Light
- Roslyn Krantz
- Gilbert D. Stern
- Harvey Greenleaf (Cameo)
- Simone Miller
- Theo Payne
- Federal-class Blader
- Dr. Cossack (Cameo)
- Kalinka (Cameo)
- Time Man (Cameo)
- Splash Woman (Cameo)
- Tempo (Cameo)
- Dr. Noele Lalinde (Cameo)
- Break Man (Cameo)
- Concrete Man (Cameo)
- Oil Man (Cameo)
- Auto (Cameo)
- Guts Man (Cameo)
- Both covers feature the countdown timer: Worlds Collide crossover in 3 issues.
|Mega Man series|