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Part 19: Cybergeddon

Last time, the military put tanks that Dr. Wily built into every town and city in order to combat a threat from Dr. Wily.

That went about as well as you might expect.

SciLab is on lock-down during this event. I'd question the safety of this in light of recent happenings, but it really seems like the only exit from this building is the Metroline. So I guess it's safe.

Assuming there's not another attack like FlameMan's in the next couple of minutes.

Old Man is getting too old for this shit.

The tanks are causing problems all over, of course, though Lan only needs to worry about the one in ACDC.

It does seem like the virus that took over the tanks is something different from normal, though.

Lan's friends are in danger again, of course. Because, I mean, why wouldn't they be?

Lan seems to be fairly smug about handling a tank on his own, though.

He even casually raises some death flags, just to make things a bit more fair for Wily!

Naturally, Lan's friends point out that trying to flex on a tank miiiiight be a bit much.

But considering Lan's history, is it really? If anything, it's surprising he hasn't done something like this sooner.

Ultimately, though, Lan convinces his friends to run from the tank once it begins ominously beeping.

Naturally, he has no plan on how to deal with the tank now that he's alone, though.

Said tank proceeds to open fire on Lan.

Fortunately, Lan has achieved Ultra Instinct, so this is little more than a mild inconvenience.

As such, he jacks in.

Let's see what kind of baddie is behind these shenanigans.

Hmm... something about these viruses seems vaguely familiar.

At any rate, the strange viruses attack by moving around occasionally before eventually leaping at MegaMan to latch onto him. For the duration of their invasion of his personal space, they drain HP from him.

Now that the tank has been stopped, Lan and MegaMan take the time to discuss this strange new enemy.

As opposed to normal viruses that try to delete Navis, this one was trying to assimilate MegaMan.

Good thing we don't have to worry about seeing those anywhere else!

After Lan jacks out, the Officials come to check on him.

As it turns out, the viruses taking over the tanks worldwide are Alpha's spawn: the AlphaBugs. Despite being named now, the red ones are still known as ???? for some reason.

It seems that Wily has started decoding Alpha!

Honestly, this is amazing. Wily's practically taken over the world already and he hasn't even released Alpha yet.

I don't know if that's more of a testament to Alpha's danger or Net Society being hilariously inept.

The Officials are mobilized to deal with the army hacking, with Lan being left behind since he doesn't have clearance.

Either way, it winds up being fortuitous timing, because Lan has other things to worry about.

But why!?

Just a quick check on Lan's friends before we go looking for Yuichiro. They all seem to be fairly fine, though Yai is the most shell-shocked by the recent occurrence.

Back to Beach Street!

As it turns out, the situation is a touch more serious than just Yuichiro playing hooky from the hospital.

That's a bit of an important thing to forget, to the point that I have to wonder how Yuichiro managed to forget about that even with the threat of Alpha looming.

At any rate, Lan gets the medication for his father and opts to check the room. Y'know, just on the off-chance his father decided to leave any RPG-esque clues.

What are the odds?

Despite having this letter, Haruka won't react to it because it's not really information. That said, the Card Key is pretty telling, so this still is rather weird.

Though not as weird as all of these people (one of whom works at the hospital!) letting Yuichiro pass by without a fuss.

At any rate, the Card Key is used on the room next to where the meeting about Alpha took place. This feels a little condescending to the intelligence of the player considering this feels like a check to see if you were paying attention 15 minutes ago, but maybe it's just me.

Lan is, of course, worried about his father, but Yuichiro says that he doesn't feel like he can just lie in bed while Wily is about to cause Armageddon. Lan asks why, and so Yuichiro explains.

... ... ...20 years ago, a promising scientist came to SciLab. He used the latest tech to create the basis of the Net. A prototype of the Internet... "Alpha"! That scientist was a man who I respect very deeply. It's my duty to delete Alpha for him!

There are a few interjections from Lan here and there about how he doesn't understand until the name comes out, but that's the gist of it: Dr. Light created Alpha and so Yuichiro feels obligated to get rid of it.

Yuichiro also explains that now is the ideal time to begin a counterattack given that Alpha hasn't finished decoding and there's a very sturdy program made by Dr. Light in place to prevent Alpha from fully awakening.

Good thing Wily doesn't have some freakishly powerful Navi working for him that could possibly destroy it!

Yuichiro's need for pain meds eventually flares up, leading to Lan supplying them. We then get the hero speech you'd expect, so I'll sum it up.

Dad, let me save the world! I'm a spunky young anime protagonist with everything to prove!
But son, it's too dangerous! I mean, stopping one or two terrorist organizations is one thing. But a third? That's where I draw the line, young man!
But daaaaaad!
Oh, alright. But this is the last time!
Oh come on, dad. What are the chances I'll have to save the world again?

Battle Network 4's ominously impending existence aside, the more immediate concern is that Wily decided to build his evil lair somewhere a touch less accessible this time. I'd say that it was basically the Bermuda Triangle, but the actual Bermuda Triangle is a location in a Star Force game and as evil as Wily is, getting to his evil lair is not nearly as hellish as navigating that clusterfuck.

So I'll just let Yuichiro explain.

Yuichiro states that in order to approach Wily's island without dying, Lan will need to acquire a boat with a powerful engine. So now his elementary school son has to acquire a boat, an engine, sail treacherous waters, and then try to stop several people and AIs that want to kill him and destroy the world.

I feel like just maybe we should ease up on the "my family, my problem" blood oath for this instance and send a tactical team to smoke Wily. But what do I know?

At any rate, Lan steals DNN property without permission in order to get to the island.

He also asks Yai for a boat engine because she's obscenely rich. Yai immediately susses out that he wants to go to the WWW base, but Lan tells her to keep it secret. Begrudgingly, Yai agrees and says she'll have someone install the boat engine overnight.

And so Lan goes home and goes to sleep.

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Doom...

Everyone's pretty excited about the end of the world (but somehow not the nature parts, right Anetta?).

Rei happens to notice that there's only four of the five operators around at present, though.

As it turns out, Inukai's gone to a nice zoo upstate. Really lovely place, full of all of the animals he could ever want to brainwash to kill children.

Sunayama immediately starts kissing ass and, yeah, I can't blame him.

Wily and Co. then proceed to go about the usual routine of evil laugh, saying delete a bunch, and then making their demands via live television.

It's just that the demand is "Everyone except us can die. K thnx."