A Sonic the Hedgehog story
by Daniel J. Drazen
"I wish Sonic was here."
Sally took her cloak and wrapped it tighter against herself
as she sat closer to the small fire she had built. The wind was
picking up in the bottom of the canyon.
Above her, growing from the floor of the canyon like some
improbable stone plant, loomed Dragonsnest. It had been the
center of dragon civilization on Mobius centuries before, but the
number of dragons had been in decline even before Robotnik's
takeover, and the few dragons who had evaded capture were in
Sally and Sonic had agreed to a compromise: Sonic would
transport her close to Dragonsnest and then leave. Which he did
with obvious reluctance. Sally had no idea who or what was
waiting for her, but it was clear she had to meet it alone. No
matter how much she disliked the prospect.
She leaned her back against the stone tower, listening for
any sound that might come her way. It was not fear, however,
that caused her to wish for Sonic's company. It was loneliness,
a loneliness made even more profound in a deserted stone canyon,
waiting for moonrise.
Thirty feet away, hidden in the darkness, a small figure
crouched behind a massive boulder. It was Sonic. Sally may have
told him to go back to Knothole, he told himself, but she didn't
say anything about not doubling back at the first opportunity to
keep an eye on her. Besides, someone had to make sure that the
Knothole freedom fighters didn't lose the brains of the outfit.
Satisfied that what he thought he'd heard was just the wind,
Sonic continued his vigil.
OK, he told himself, maybe he'd feel the same way if someone
came up to him and told him he had a chance of finding his own
mother. Like *that* had a chance of happening! For as far back
as he could remember he'd been an orphan, living with his Uncle
Chuck. Until the day Robotnik took over Mobius and he went to
live in Knothole. Still, why was Sally doing this by herself?
Sally's usually way cautious, Sonic told himself, but sometimes
she could be so...
Sonic's thoughts were interrupted as someone or something
grabbed him from behind. Sonic wasn't used to being lost in
thought, but the figure had crept up on him absolutely
undetected. The figure then hauled Sonic to a standing position
while Sonic felt the tip of some kind of knife being pressed
against his throat.
"Is this your idea of following instructions?" the stranger
called out to Sally...in Sally's voice!
"What are you...No!"
"You were told to come alone!"
"I didn't know he was following me, I swear!"
"Hold it right there," the stranger said, for Sally had
begun running toward them and was now about ten feet away. "You
know this busybody?"
"His name's Sonic. He's my friend...."
"Looks like you've picked a friend who couldn't be trusted."
"That's not true! I've trusted him with my life more times
than I can count. We fight together against Robotnik."
"I'm not interested in your little war." The figure paused.
There was no way to read her thoughts, for her face was once
again hidden behind a veil. "So you trust this fool with your
life. Let's see how far that trust extends."
With that, the figure took the knife away from Sonic's
throat, and with the other hand produced a coiled length of rope
from under her cloak. She tossed it to Sally, who caught it
before it hit the ground.
"If you're truly familiar with royal customs, you know how
to put someone under protection."
Sally didn't say anything to the stranger. Instead, she
deftly tied one end of the rope into a slip knot and placed her
head through the loop. She handed the other end to the stranger,
then gave Sonic the center section of the rope to hold. All the
time she kept her eyes on the stranger.
"I'm impressed," the stranger said. "You've remembered
something that has long been forgotten. I accept your offer,"
she said as she let the rope drop. Sally then took the loop from
around her neck.
The stranger coiled up the rope and replaced it under her
cloak. Then, taking a half-burned log from the fire and using it
as a torch, she led Sonic and Sally into Dragonsnest.
"Yo, Sal, what was that all about?" Sonic whispered.
"It's an ancient rite that I learned about. The royal
family of Mobius had the right to intervene and show mercy to
someone who might have committed a crime. That ceremony with the
rope was my way of saying that I'm willing to be held accountable
for your actions."
"What do you mean, 'accountable'?"
"If you transgress, you go free and she has the right to
"No talking!" the stranger called out. "And that means no
questions as well. You'll have your answers soon enough,
Most dragons prefer to nest in the open, yet the ancient
tower was shot through with interior nurseries and storerooms.
It was to one of these that the stranger led Sonic and Sally.
The room was more like a barren cave. Several ancient
dragon's egg shells lay in a corner, lit by a low fire in the
center of the room. In another corner, Sally could see the dim
outline of someone laying on a straw mat. The person's breathing
was steady but mechanical, as if a machine were doing the
breathing for them.
The stranger threw her log torch on the fire. It flared up,
and both Sally and Sonic gasped in alarm. The figure on the mat
was mostly robot--only her head and right arm had been spared.
"Who is that?" Sally asked in a shocked whisper.
The figure undid her face veil and slipped her cloak hood
off her head. Neither Sonic nor Sally could believe it. The
figure looked exactly like Sally. There was, however, something
in the darkness of the eyes, the hard set of the mouth. This was
a person who had seen too much too soon.
"We are twin sisters, you and I. My name is Sandy. And
SHE...she was once Queen Alicia of Mobius."
"But...but what's she doing here?"
to be continued
Received on Tue Mar 07 1995 - 10:59:23 PST
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