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CH 2: Time Slip

Cait Sith.

Eons ago, the robot had been a a member of the rebel group Avalanche. With his friends, the cat helped save the planet, and with it this future in which he was now standing in.

Twenty thousand years in the future. Cait couldn't believe it. For over three weeks, he was questioned by every notable professor, historian, and scientist this world had to offer. He told them countless times about materia, lifestream and every other relevant fact about his time. They just didn't want to believe it. A select few scientists even barely considered what he had known to be true.

Cait had also gotten to know the Maverick Hunters quite well. The one named Mega Man X seemed to welcome a new addition, even if Cait was a little odd. The Auroran Flash loved to trade one-liners with him whenever they crossed paths. The rookies enjoyed having someone new on the team, even though all he did was give them pointers. Then there was Zero. Zero always had a chip on his shoulder, but had the power to back it up as well. It wasn't too surprising when Zero challenged Cait to fight in the Battle Sim. Even though he hadn't fought in ages, he decided to see just how rusty he was.

"Hey, cat! You're late!" Zero yelled from outside the Battle Sim.

"Yeah, yeah. I know. Them rookies decided to play a lil' joke on me by hidin' my megaphone."

"What's so special about that thing, anyway? You don't need it."

"The hell I don't! This is where I keep my materia." Cait said, pointing to the glowing orbs.

"Oh boy, here we go with that materia bit again." Zero remarked, rolling his eyes.

"What do ya mean by that? Cait scowled.

"Oh, come on. You expect me to believe that the planet is alive and you can use it's "magic" just because you have some glowing rocks? Give me a break." Zero said.

Cait Sith slowly took out his best materia and placed them in his "ultimate weapon", a term that Cloud had coined so many years ago. He tried not to show his anger, but he knew Zero was perceptive enough to know how he felt.

"Allrighty then, tough-guy. Let me show you how it's done." Cait said.

Zero laughed to himself as Cait entered the battle sim. That funny-looking thing won't last five minutes in a state-of-the-art battle simulator, especially since he had no powerful weapons on him.

Zero quickly ran up to the Observation Room, where anyone could watch a training session; a spotter, a coach, a partner. But Zero went up there purely for the enjoyment of seeing a beat-up old robot try to fight armies of simulated mavericks. Zero watched on as Cait Sith fought his first opponent. Cait merely smashed it with those two giant fists of his. Simple enough. Then two more opponents appeared. Cait defeated them with ease. Four more suddenly appeared. Instead of attacking them, Cait murmured something and four giant lightning bolts shot down and obliterated the mavericks. Zero was astonished. He began to wonder if he had been wrong. The enemies doubled after the previous ones had been eliminated, and Cait Sith, no doubt, was feeling pain. Zero saw on several occasions Cait whispering to himself, and he pondered as to the significance of it. Three hours passed. Cait was still in there, with little signs of wear and tear. Zero was beginning to get used to odd-looking things popping out of nowhere. One of the weirdest things he saw was a big hammer slamming down on an enemy and apparantly doing no physical damage at all. He couldn't understand what the hell that did. Two more hours passed and Zero was beginning to get nervous. Could that ancient robot beat his best time of five hours and forty-five minutes? No, he couldn't. But he did. That time passed when Cait summoned a guy on a six-legged horse. Three quick slashes defeated yet another wave of attackers. The very best time was six hours even and it was coming up. Sigma had set that time when he was still a hunter. Could Cait Sith last that long? Five fifty-seven...fifty-eight...fifty-nine. Cait looked down for the count at that point, but managed to let loose one last attack. A gigantic ball of green plasma began to form right in front of Cait. It quickly spread out and engulfed the whole room. Thousands of enemies dissipated almost immediately. However, Cait Sith could no longer go on.

"End battle!" Cait cried.

Zero glanced at his time on a nearby monitor. Six hours and three minutes. He beat Sigma's time. Zero himself couldn't last that long. How in the hell did he do it? Zero kept asking himself that as he ran down the stairway. It had to be that materia stuff Cait carried. But how? Magic doesn't exsist. Does it?

Cait exited the simulation exausted. But seeing the look on Zero's face made it worth the effort.

"So, how'd I do?" Cait asked.

" beat the best time by three minutes."

"Really!?! Wow. Didn't know I had it in me."

"I saw you do a lot of impossible things in there. How on earth did you manage to pull it off?" Zero remarked.

"Like I told ya, it's my materia. You can cast all sortsa magic spells with 'em." Cait said.

Before he could continue explaining, Dr. Cain's voice blasted over the loudspeaker.

"Red alert! Red alert! Sigma is attacking the base again!"

It had been only a couple of months since Sigma's last attack. They were becoming more frequent and it was starting to piss off Zero more than anyone.

This time, Sigma himself led the attack. That fool, Volcanic Raptor, had chosen to use his army to settle a personal grudge, instead of capturing X and Zero as he wanted. His forces had been wavering for the past couple of years, so Sigma decided to attack quickly and efficiently on multiple occasions to throw the hunters off balance and weaken their ranks. It was perfect. And it was working.

The battle was nowhere near as massive as the last one, but was still raging when Zero and Cait Sith joined in on the fight. Sigma spotted them, and cracked a wicked smile. Standing up from his throne, Sigma walked across the floating platform and picked up his newest beam sabre. Swinging it a few times to get the feel of it, Sigma nodded in satisfication. Sting Chameleon was quite the craftsman. He had to remember to build more intelligent reploids. Sigma glanced at the fight again, but could not find Zero. Who he could see was Blazing Lion and his annoying "Justifiers". Lion could have joined him, but didn't because he had this falsified idea of protecting "Innocents". Ha. There was no such thing as an innocent person. Everyone is guilty of something; at least that was Sigma's view. He could also see the Auroran Flash striking down his mavericks. That pesky little girl loved to call him names. One of her favorites seemed to be "baldy". Just then Sigma felt a presence behind him. He turned around to see Zero, fully poised for battle. No wonder he couldn't see him in the fight.

Without a word, the two began to fight like no one's buisness. Swiping at each other like men possesed, the duo didn't stop until a stray slash damaged a control console. The floating platform, high above the ensuing battle, began to plummet towards the earth. Sigma's dampening field was still active, so neither of them could teleport. Theywould have to jump when the time was right. At first, Zero thought it would crash into HQ. He had just dash-jumped off the roof to get there, anyway. Intsead, it was directed towards the fight. Zero glanced down again to see the most amazing thing happen. Sure, he had seen a lot of weird things today, but this took the cake.

The Earth had opened up and many of the hunters were falling in. X, Cait, Aurie, Blaze, Proton. All of them fell into a bright green abyss. There were others, but he couldn't make out who they were. Zero and Sigma stared at each other as they were swallowed by the Lifestream.

Zero awoke on a grassy plain with a headache. He glanced around and saw all his friends around him slowly getting up. Each held their heads as if suffering from the same migrane that he was. Cait Sith was the only one not effected. Standing up and staring at the only man-made thing in the area, Cait obviously recognized it. Zero walked over to Cait and stared with him.

"What is it?" Zero asked.

"The Gold Saucer!" Cait said with glee.

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