"Spiritus ex Machina" Part One: Mega Man joins Dr. Light at the Advanced Robotics Trade Show to address the future of thinking machines. New faces abound – who are Drs. Cossack and Lalinde? What sinister forces lurk behind the scenes? Meanwhile, Dr. Wily searches for something to give him the edge deep in the forbidden Lanfront Ruins. All this plus the debut of RUSH!
Spiritus Ex Machina - Part One: Shaping the Future
Dr. Light takes Rock, Roll, Elec Man, and Rush to the Advanced Robots and Trade Show (A.R.T.S. Convention for short) and upon entering, Rock and Roll are captivated by all the different types of robotics. As Dr. Light is explaining what all goes on at the convention, he is informed by Elec Man that the two (along with Rush) have taken off into the crowd to explore. Dr. Light shrugs it off and decides to go look for some old friends, and suggests that the Robot Master should go a look for their booth. Elec Man follows the direction, but suggest that he remind Rock that he's meant to be on display with Rush.
Meanwhile, Rock and Roll are looking at various devices serving many upgrading purposes when all of a sudden Roll bumps into a blonde girl and knocks her over on accident. The girl was caught by Pharaoh Man, who glares at Roll and warns her to watch where she's going, "or else". While Kalinka insists she's alright, Roll frantically apologizes while Rock tells Pharaoh Man to leave his sister alone, Rush growling defensively, until Dr. Cossack tells Pharaoh Man to calm down and states that he knows them. Before he has a chance to introduce himself, Dr. Light comes over and hugs him by surprise, delighted to see his old friend and Kalinka. He asks if any of the "old group" is also at the convention, and Dr. Cossack states that Dr. Lalinde has been looking for him ever since it opened, and the mentioned doctor approached the scene and says otherwise. Dr. Light looks nervous, yet excited, to see her and shakes her hand, complimenting that she looks "as stunning as ever". Rock questions whether all scientists in robotics know each other, and Kalinka explains that isn't the case, but that's why the convention exists and says that Dr. Cossack knew Drs. Light and Lalinde when they were younger. When asked what Dr. Light was like back then, he points out that he had "less beard" and "less belly". Dr. Lalinde stands up for him and says he looks fine, but Dr. Light says that Roll keeps pushing him to exercise.
Upon the mentioning of Roll, Dr. Light asks Dr. Lalinde if she ever finished her own robot, and she responds by stating that she did, and introduces Quake Woman, a Geological surveillance robot. While Kalinka says she isn't a robot, Dr. Cossacks insists that she is still his "greatest creation" and that he'll explain the odd phrase to her when she's older. Dr. Light appears confused, as he thought Quake Woman's name was supposed to be "Tempo", but Dr. Lalinde says that she needed some alterations to her design, before changing the subject regarding the upcoming debate and meeting up with people. Light agrees, as he doesn't know who he's debating against, and then met up with Pedro, whom he knew since three years prior regarding an expedition to the Amazon Rainforest.
Meanwhile, in the Amazon Jungle, Dr. Wily is determined to find the Lanfront Ruins, where a powerful EMP field is in place. After going as far as he can by car, he decides to go on foot instead, although he exhausts quickly. Back at the convention, Pharaoh Man questions Mega Man's name, saying it should be "Copy Man" because of his ability to copy is opponent's weapons. Rock explains that his main weapon is the Mega Buster, hence his name, but also questions Pharaoh Man's name because he "Isn't really a pharaoh". While explaining that he explores ancient tombs in Egypt, a security guard who was in an apparent hurry bumps into Rock, startling the helper robot initially. Rock apologizes, and the guard says not to worry and moves on, speaking into a communicator that "ES-20 is in place", referring to himself.
Elsewhere, guards all around were holding similar communicators and stating that they were in place. A man named Harvey replies back that he is satisfied and ready to "Get this show on the road" (ready to spring a plan to crash the convention into action). Somebody else walks in, by the name Xander, and says he's proud to get this 'plan' ready, and a panel is shown of various security guards tied up and blindfolded stuffed into a room.
Back with Drs. Light and Lalinde, Dr. Cossack is in a lecture hall getting a crowd ready to start a debate on whether advance A.I. in robots is constructive of destructive to humanity. Dr. Light, who is debating on the benefits of the topic, is surprised when he finds his opponent is Dr. Lalinde, who is debating against it. Dr. Cossack allows the debate to begin, and Dr. Light begins with stating how robots are able to do things to dangerous for humans. Dr. Lalinde explains that robots are simply tools and that they shouldn't think on their own. Dr. Light says that they are more complex than mere 'tools', and while she says they shouldn't be any more complex, she also states that science struggles to understand emotions in human beings and that people become attached to 'expendable tools', and she puts it. He argues that if that's the case, humans shouldn't interact with each other at all and states that he constructed Rock and Roll, his 'children' and that they give him the same fears and joys as any parent. She then points out how Dr. Wily stole and weaponized his Robot Masters, and how in retaliation, Dr. Light weaponized Rock to combat them and she questions whether or not he could bear it if he was destroyed. While Quake Woman seems unintimidated by the points, Rock appears interested while Rush looks worried.
Back in the Amazon, Dr. Wily made it to the ruins and entered. He questions why there could be an EMP field when the ancients had such primitive technology before falling into a shaft and, upon a rough landing, fell into a cave-like, enclosed area. Before he can comprehend what happened, he sees a massive supercomputer, likely causing the EMP field.
During the debate, Dr. light asks Dr. Lalinde about how Quake Woman had the same level of personality as Rock but was meant for use in more unstable, dangerous environments. She says that Quake Woman was exactly the kind of robot that should be avoided when all of a sudden, the power dies out and a voice announces that Dr. Lalinde is right; all advanced robots need to be prevented. Rock hops to his feet and begins to change into Mega Man (the same way he changes weapons) and Harvey appears on the screen, ordering his soldiers (under the alias of Emerald Spears) to attack. All over the convention, the soldiers disguised as guards order all the humans out of the building, but all robots to stay put. Pharaoh Man asks Elec Man if he could handle a power outage, and he responds by saying that it's more 'exciting' than charging another person's cell phone. Elec Man asks one of the guards (unaware of the situation fully) if he could direct him to a power conduct. The 'guard' points a gun at him and orders him to stay back, and says that the Emerald Spears have taken the convention over, again telling all humans to leave and all robots to remain put.
Meanwhile, Kalinka and Roll are in hiding, and Roll is more concerned with keeping Kalinka hidden and safe. Kalinka suggests calling her father to check if he's alright, but Roll assures her that he's safe with Mega Man around.
Back with Elec Man and Pharaoh Man, the soldier shoves a woman out of his way, whom is caught by Pharaoh Man. Angered, Elec Man charges himself up and tells the soldier to leave the people in the convention alone. He points his gun at Elec Man and dares him to attack, knowing he can't fight back. While Elec Man wants to electrocute him, he states that he can't, for that would violate the First Law of Robotics. The soldiers moves on, and Elec Man states that he wishes he had Dr. Wily's coding back in his system, but Pharaoh Man tells him to let it go.
In the Lecture Hall, Mega Man charged to the front of the crowd with Rush and Dr. Light demands to know his plans. Harvey responds with saying that he and Dr. Lalinde will assist him and the Emerald Spears by "ending the future of advanced robotics".
After all the others have left, Auto puts on one of Mega Man's spare helmets and pretends to be Auto Man while singing the theme to the Mega Man cartoon. Complete with a dummy of Dr. Wily and a Robot Master dummy he calls 'Whoever Man'.
- Ripot (Cameo)
- Dr. Light
- Elec Man
- Rock / Mega Man
- Kalinca (First appearance)
- Pharaoh Man (First appearance)
- Dr. Cossack (First appearance)
- Dr. Lalinde (First appearance)
- Quake Woman (First appearance)
- Dr. Pedro Astil (First appearance)
- Dr. Wily
- Theo Payne (First appearance)
- Emerald Spears soldiers (First appearances)
- Harvey Greenleaf (First appearance)
- Xander Payne
- Ra Moon (First appearance)
- Simone Miller (First appearance)
- Originally, this issue was the first appearance of Xander Payne, before Issue 16 retconned his appearance in the Issue 2.
- The World of Payne story solidifies this retcon even more altering Unknown Soldier Blue's appearance to resemble Xander.
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