After the incident of the Jakob Project and the halted production of the Copy Chips, New Generation Reploids are stepping forward seeking help from the Maverick Hunters and the Government to erase any traces of Sigma's DNA in their Copy Chip for good and willing to work side by side with the Old Generation Reploids to bring an end to the Maverick war. But someone else has other ideas to end this war.
The rain was pouring down rapidly in the once populated human city that is now nothing more than a mere ghost town with leftover remaining signs of humans being once here in the past. Traffic lights flickered on and off and the street light lit the Hunters way to their destination. Raindrops splashed and dripped down their armors and weapons and Axl let out a bored yawn, “Man, I thought this place will be crawling with Mavericks by now.” he said while resting his gun on his shoulder, “I'm itching to shoot one right now in the face.” Zero groaned and shook his head, “The minute we got here, you're already complaining about being bored.” said Zero, surveying the empty streets.
“You have to be patience, Axl or this mission will be all for nothing if the Mavericks found out that we're here to stop them.” said X, Axl pouted a bit and they stopped in unison after loud banging of trash cans echoed through the city and they looked around to search for the source of the noise and Zero singled them to follow his movements and they headed toward a warehouse by an abandoned factory. Zero held his hand up when he saw a shadowy figure darting away and heading toward the opening doors of the warehouse. Moving toward the door, the Hunters stood on both sides of it.
“Okay, on the count of three and we'll ambush them. One...”
Axl took off running straight into the warehouse, leaving X and Zero surprised and frustrated for Axl's action and they ran after him, “Axl, it could be a trap!” X shouted and they froze when they heard a gun going off and Axl screaming and they ran faster to catch up with him. There was a light at the end of the warehouse that opens up to another room and they found Axl rooted in place, staring off in horror with one hand cupping his mouth and his gun laying on the ground with the barrel of the gun smoking. His hand shook as he pointed at what is shaking him to the core and X and Zero turn and they too look in horror. “Who would commit this disgusting crime?” said X, wanting to look away but yet he couldn't and Zero stepped forward to investigate.
The room was filled with dead bodies of New Generation Reploids, ripped apart with their chests slashed opened and gutted like fishes. It was their twisted frozen screaming faces that's what got to Axl shivering with fright and he took a few steps back and turned to dash out of the door screaming from the top of the lungs with X and Zero running after him to make sure he's safe and back at the base unharmed.
General Signas sighed and he rotates his chair to face X and Zero who are seated in front of his desk, “How's Axl? Is he in a better state of mind to attend this report session?” Signas asked and X shook his head, “He's still shaken up by the crime scene we saw and he wants to sit this one out. We'll give him the details of this meeting later when we check up on him.” said X and Signas nodded and he pressed a few buttons on his desk to bring up a profile on X and Zero's report and scroll through it, “Unfortunately, this isn't the last murder we're going to see. We've been getting reports of New Generation Reploids being murdered and having their chests ripped opened and they all have one thing in common; their copy chips are getting stolen and now our project to remove all traces of Sigma's DNA is falling apart at the seam.”
“You got to be kidding me.” Zero muttered under his breath and Alia gave them copies of past reports of other New Generation Reploids being murdered and torn open to look over, “I wish I was, Zero but we got New Generation Reploids backing out of the program that is either going into hiding or refusing to do it altogether.” said Signas. They looked over the past reports and all the crime scenes photos and the report told the same story, New Generation Reploids are murdered and removed of their Copy Chips for unknown reasons. “We're now concern about Axl's safety and we want extras watch over him in case they decided to go after him.”
“Don't worry, sir. Zero and I will keep a close eye on him until this murderer is brought to justice.” Axl has been aimlessly wondering about the Hunter Base and taking deep breathes to steady his nerves and taking breaks from his walking. He saw dead bodies of Reploids before in the past and they never shook him hard to the core. But seeing Reploids of his own kind has done it. It's even worst when Axl recognized half of them from the program that Signas requested him to help and reach out to shape-shifting Reploids like him who want to rid of any traces of Sigma in them.
“I can't let this bother me. I need to need to find this murderer and put them in their place. I won't have any problem handling them myself if I have to.” Axl said with a tone of confident and stood out with pride. He yelled when a hand was placed on his shoulder and turned around to put himself in a fighting stance with guns drawn on a gray and purple colored Reploid holding his hands up, “Axl! Woah! It's me, Konnar.” he said and Axl put his gun away and sigh with relief. “Sorry, I got pretty tense for a second there.” Axl smiled while nervously rubbing the back of his head.
“Yeah, tense enough to almost put a bullet into his skull.” said a sarcastic rude voice when an AI Reploid appeared next to Konnar. Konnar is a gray and purple Reploid with a diamond shaped gem on his helmet with smaller round ones around it. He has a short brown ponytail and his left eye is black while his other eye is normal with purple irises. Chaos the AI Reploid on the other hand, his left eye is gone and can only see out of his right one and he has a short Mohawk with braids on one side and shaved on the other side.
“Give him some slack, Chaos. Axl had a horrible day and he's still recovering from it.” Konnar looked at the AI from the corner of his eyes. “You feeling okay, Axl?” Konnar frowned and Axl sighed, “I'm not sure, Konnar. I don't know why today's mission shook me up since I'm used to seeing destroyed Reploids on some mission but this....This one got me.” Konnar put a consoling hand on Axl's shoulder, “It's no doubt it's because most of the dead Reploids you have seen are either Mavericks or the so call “Old Generation” Reploids we're being called but when you see one of your kind getting killed then yeah, you are going to feel shaken up.” Chaos folded his arms and they couldn't help but feel that Chaos is right, for an AI that can be a jerk and picking fights with X from time to time.
Zero and X greeted Konnar and he gave them a friendly hello back to them before he excuse himself and Chaos to head for their training with his mentor, Starblade Raccoon. Zero and X had a long talk with Axl and explaining to him about the other series of murder and Signas' order to have extra security around him and they offered to watch over him, “That murderer has to be insane to go after a Maverick Hunter like me. I'll be fine without having extra security and handling them by ourselves.” said Axl and X shook his head, “Axl, you can't be reckless over this and think the worst isn't going to happen. Zero and I are concern about your safety since you're a shapeshifter yourself and they might come after you too.”
“But I'm a Proto-type. Why would they waste their time on me? Then again, Sigma was after me and he destroyed the whole Red Alert to do it.” Axl looked away, thinking about the day when he left his old group when they weren't themselves. “Axl, how about you get some sleep and we'll talk more about it in the morning.” Zero suggested and X nodded in agreement, “I agree with Zero. Maybe a good night sleep will clear our heads.” Axl looked up at them and smiled a bit, “Yeah, sleep sounds good right about now.” he said and they bid each other goodnight before heading off to their room to sleep.
Good night sleep didn't come to Axl and he was haunted by the images of the grizzly crime scene. Their faces all frozen in terrified horror and ripped body parts everywhere and the room's light began to flicker and one by one, the bulbs burned out and echoing footsteps rang through the air and stopping halfway throughout of the darkness was Lumine in his psychotic state and stared at Axl, “This could of all been prevented if you would have joined us and abandoned the old generation.” Lumine cocked his head at him and he turned into a twisted monster and attacks.
Axl woke up screaming and placed a hand on his head and feels his core running fast. It was raining outside again and the raindrops dripped down his window and there was knocking on his door, “Axl, are you all right?” X asked him and Axl answered the door. “Get your armor on, Axl. I'm afraid there's been another murder of a New Generation Reploid.” said Zero.
Axl kept telling himself that it was nothing but a dream and it shouldn't bother him but when they arrive at the crime scene, the dreaded feeling in the pit of his stomach all came back to him they were greeted by their scout, Nyiem, a navy blue and red colored Reploid with faded yellow hair and wearing a ragged scarf and he was taller than the hunters that approached him. “Glad to you here, Commander X and Zero. I found this body on my way back from my scouting mission.” said Nyiem and Axl swallowed and followed them at a slow pace. “I must warn you, this isn't going to be pretty.”
“All right, we're ready to see the crime scene.” said X and Nyiem hoisted the white clothes away to reveal another dead Reploid body and Axl eyes widen out of pure horror started stepping away from the beheaded and torn open New Generation Reploid and feeling his core racing faster than before and his body was trembling and shaking with dread of fear and his head was hurting. “Axl what's wrong?” Zero asked him out of aghast and the hunters ran to his side to help him out, “He's having a panic attack! Get him out of here and somewhere safe right away!” said Nyiem and The Hunters helped Axl up to his feet and helped him move away as soon as possible from the crime scene.
“Nyiem is right, you suffered a Panic attack.” said Lifesaver, turning the monitors off and Axl hopped off from the exam table, “What caused it?” Axl asked him as he put his helmet back on, “Overwhelming anxiety and fear. Is your previous mission still bothering you?” Lifesaver asked him as he writing down any answers that Axl would give him, “Well, I did have that nightmare of the said mission and what did it was the current body found from Nyiem. I felt like was going to shut down right on the spot.” Lifesaver nodded, “It's best that we nip this in the bud before it starts giving you bigger problems in life.”
The sun was setting over the city with the faint glow of the remaining light and Konnar waved hello to Axl and the two teenagers chatted and Konnar frowned, “I do hope you get better, Axl. Having Panic attacks is no fun. I would like to chat some more but my mentor is having me accompany him on a patrol tonight.” said Konnar as he adjusted his Gungnir on his back and he can see the old Raccoon calmly singling him to hurry and Konnar waved goodbye to Axl in a friendly manner. “Konnar, I can see why you're easy to get along.” Axl smiled a bit and headed to his room.
The nightmares came back again but this time Axl was in a dark void and one by one, pairs of glowing eyes would appear and step out of the darkness is Lumine again but looking calm and collective as he walked toward Axl, “Gruesome, wasn't it Axl.” he said in a soft voice and Axl gasped as he felt hands coming out of the darkness to grab him. He struggled to free himself but Lumine reached out and grabbed hold of his head to make him look at him. Lumine smiled a bit, gently caressing his cheek, “Theirs a way we can stop those senseless murders by doing one simple thing.” He turned Axl's head to the side and lean closed to whisper into his ear, “Let me control you.” Axl struggled harder and shouted no and Lumine stepped back from with a cold emotionless expression.
“So death it is then. No matter, once the killer is done doing away with you. I'll repair and take over.” Lumine made tentacles appear from his back and all at once, they lunged toward Axl. It was the scream that was heard all over the base and X and Zero came rushing to Axl's aid and X blasted his door down and they found Axl having his Panic Attack again. The Hunters didn't waste any time and they helped Axl out to recover from his attack. X spoke to him in a calming voice and Zero was encouraging to Axl take deep breathes and do breathing exercises with him.
Axl let out a relaxing sigh and he felt his core slowing down to a normal steady pulse. “Axl, it's best-” Axl interrupts Zero, “I'm fine. I just had another bad dream is all.” he said and he stood up to get ready for the day as X and Zero watched him with worrying expression, “Well, you're not going to like this but it's up to you if you still want to come or not. We got another body dump today.” said X.
Axl couldn't peel his eyes away from the trashed up and gutted out New Generation Reploid that lays before them. What disturbed him the most was the Reploid's terrified frozen expression on their face before the corpse was picked up and hauled away to the morgue to figure out what caused its death but X and Zero knew well that the results are all going to be the same like the past murders. “What a mess.” Zero muttered as he gets a clear view of the grizzly crime scene before them and X frowned, seeing how aghast Axl is to see another Reploid like him killed and harvested like they were nothing but sheep for the slaughter.
“Axl, you don't have to get yourself involved in this and we can request General Signas to take you off the case.” said X, resting a hand on Axl's shoulder and the teenager shakes his head, “I can't, X. I haven't gotten a good sleep without closing my eyes and seeing their destroyed bodies and their disturbed faces. I have to know who's been targeting them and why. Their copy chips are pried out of their chest but yet we don't know why would anyone wanted them from the start.” Axl let out a sigh and they can see how scare Axl is when he looked at his friends, “I can be next on their butcher chopping block. They could be watching me right now and waiting for me to be alone and kill me!”
The Panic Attack is setting into Axl again, his breathing grew problematic and Zero reached out and grab hold of Axl's arms without grasping hard, “Axl, take a deep breath with me and listen to us.” he said and Axl swallowed and nodded his head. He took a deep breath with Zero and exhale and breath in again with him and feeling his panic going away and X rubbing his back to help comfort him as much as he can, he hates to see Axl like this and he wants to see him being his old self again. “Axl, I agree with X here. It's best we take you off the case until you're feeling better and get more treatment for your panic attacks. If we get any new breakthrough in the case, we'll come to you right away.”
Axl hates to admit it but they're right, being in a panic isn't helping anyone, not even himself or the murdered New Generation Reploids who some of them been working with the Maverick Hunters to have any of Sigma's DNA erased from their system for good. X smiled a bit and he leads Axl away from the crime scene and Zero began their investigation. He kneels down to look at the ground and traced his fingers over a series of scratch marks all over the ground, none of them looked like they were done with knives or any other sharp weapons but yet they look all too familiar but who use to make them is Zero's question.
“Alia, I need all information on past and current Mavericks who are known to use their claws as weapons.” Zero spoke into his earpiece while he picked up a torn up piece of metal off the ground stained with some fluids and Alia replied, “Okay, Zero. I listed off the Mavericks who are known to use claws as weapons and all I got is Neon Tiger, Grizzly Slash, Slash Beast, Mattrex, and Blizzard Wolfang so far popping up from our data source.” she said and Zero thinks it over, “Flash Cheetah is a maverick who uses claws too and Carcass Vulture uses a scythe if he wants to cut his enemy down.” While Alia is talking to him, Zero thought he saw a shadowy figure moved from the corner of his eyes and slowly turned. “Hold on, Alia. I think I saw our culprit fleeing.”
Zero goes radio silent and runs down the narrow alleyway of the city. He stopped and he reaches for his saber and walked quietly as he can and avoided anything that makes a sound to alert the culprit. Zero wants them alive and brought back to the base for questioning, even if they have to kill each other first. “I know you're here. It's either you come with me quietly or I'll force you.” Loud footsteps echoed through the Ally Way and a dark shadow downcast over and the Maverick Hunter slowly turn and his eyes widen with the shock, “What the Hell is that?”
End of Beyond the Battle Network Line Megaman X Episode One “Chaos Control Part one”