Pacas, tenrecs, and pangolins...

From: <>
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 1995 19:32:14 -0500

   I promised you a story, so without further ado, here it is...


   "I need a new quote."

        This short story is based on the characters created and copyrighted by
Archie Comic Publications, David Pistone, DiC Productions, Holly-Beth Kraft,
and Sega Incorporated. The author gives his permission to distribute this
work freely as long as it's distributed in its full, unaltered form and
currency has nothing to do with the distribution. Any questions, comments,
or protests can be addressed to the author. Copyright (C) 1995, Michael

Timeline: This story takes place around 3235, a tiny bit before DiC's "The
        Doomsday Project."

                                                                  Pangolin Problems, Part 1
                                                                                 by Michael Szal

        "Saaaaaallyyy!" called Tails, as he flew over to her hut. "Aunt Sally,"
he called again, knocking on the door. No answer. "Sally?" he asked, slowly
opening the door. Nobody was home. "Too late!" he thought and quickly
headed off toward the War Room.
        The War Room was not much more than another hut. It got it's name after
Sir Charles build a holographic projector to use as a visual aid for planning
raids, rescues, or other missions to Robotropolis. Everybody met in the War
Room before a planned mission to work out the details.
        "Sally?" Tails asked again, this time at the front steps of the War Room.
        "Tails?" answered Princess Sally, opening the door. "What are you doing
        "I wanna go on the mission too!"
        "I don't think so, Tails. Not this one, anyway. It's too dangerous."
        "But I can handle it! I'm a freedom fighter now, remember?"
        It was true. Tails was an official freedom fighter, but everybody was
over-protective of him.
        "I think he can do it," defended Sonic.
        "Sonic..." grumbled Sally, "he's only ten years old..."
        "But he's a way cool ten!"
        Sally pulled Sonic away from the doorway into a corner of the room. "We
can't afford to fail this mission!" she said in a harsh whisper.
        "So you're saying Tails'll screw it up?"
        "'s just that......well...fine. He can come." She stepped back
into the doorway. "Okay Tails, here's what you can do."
        They discussed the plan and, after everybody was ready, Sonic lead the way
to the power ring generator. He always wondered why the thing had to be
underwater, but he knew that Charles must have had his reasons. It was still
three whole minutes before another ring appeared. Sonic went over the
mission again. He was deep in thought when Tails tapped him on the shoulder,
offering him the ring. He took it and stuffed it in his backpack for later
use. Sonic let Tails have a head start as they raced toward Robotropolis
whilst Sally rode Dulcy as they flew the aerial route. It took less than a
minute to get to Robotropolis (Sonic was taking his time) and, not
surprisingly, he got there first. He was at "the usual" which was a small,
open area surrounded by junk. Contrary to how it sounds, it was camouflaged
quite well. If the raiding party had to regroup for any reason, this is
where they'd meet.
        Sonic scanned the skies for a while, which got old fast. "Where are
they?" he thought out loud. "They should've been here by now." And he was
right. Ten minutes passed with quite a bit of hover units passing by.
"Where ARE they?"

        "It's right behind you!" alerted Sally, ducking laser fire.
        "Hang on," warned Dulcy in just enough time to be too late for Sally to
        She dove, almost straight down, which was followed by a sharp left turn
and then a full loop. This tactic worked, Dulcy was now behind the pursuing
Stealth-bot, but with one side effect.
        "AAAAAAAAAA!!!" screamed Sally at the top of her lungs. Unbeknownst to
Dulcy, Sally had fallen off.
        "Great," complained Dulcy, under her breath. "Couldja' hang on a sec!?!"
        By now, the Stealth-bot had figured out what had happened and was turning
to continue the pursuit. The other two were far behind. This gave Dulcy the
opportunity to "postpone" her little encounter and save Sally.
        "I'm coming!" she called.
        She looked down and located Sally, who had been falling for a good four
seconds. By now, she had fallen well over three hundred feet and in another
four seconds would have fallen eight hundred more. However, Dulcy had
"cracked the whip" and caught her in little under a second.
        "There now, that wasn't so bad. You okay, Sally?" polled Dulcy.
        The only sound she got was a quick, soft whisper of "I'm fine," from
Sally. After Sally caught her breath, she checked for the Stealth-bots and
warned Dulcy as to where they were. This time she was ready for any more
"stunts" Dulcy was going to pull.
        Sally could feel the centrifugal force holding her in the saddle as Dulcy
pulled up and chased after one of the Stealth-bots. Dulcy was slowly getting
closer and closer until she finally unleashed a miniature blizzard at the
Stealth-bot. It froze instantly and dropped like a ton of bricks.
        "One down, two to go!" exclaimed Dulcy after she heard the Stealth-bot
shatter upon impact.
        "There's one off to your left!" said Sally, leaning forward so Dulcy could
hear her.
        "Left?" Dulcy thought to herself. She had noticed the one on her right.
Then it hit her. She made a sudden turn to her right and headed straight
toward the Stealth-bot.
        "What are you doing!?!" Sally screamed at her.
        "Trust me!" she replied, dodging laser fire as she went. At the last
second, she let out a smoke screen and pulled up out of it. The two
Stealth-bots, who couldn't see a thing, crashed right into each other.
        "Next time," suggested Sally, "tell me when you're going to play chicken
with a Stealth-bot."
        They continued their flight to Robotropolis.

        "There's Sonic," Sally pointed out.
        "Okay," replied Dulcy. "Here I go..." she thought to herself. "I can do
this. Just level off. Level off... Good. Slow down. Okay. Now land."
The next thing she knew, she was lying on the ground, face down, regaining
        "You okay, Dulce?" asked Sonic.
        "I'm fine, ma," was the reply.
        "Where were you guys?"
        "Sorry, we were in a dogfight," answered Sally.
        "A dogfight? With who?"
        "A squadron of Stealth-bots."
        "A SQUADRON? Why was there a squadron out patrolling?"
        "Who knows."
        "There were a lot of hover units around," the intelligible young fox
chimed in.
        "He's right. What's up with all the security?" asked Sonic.
        "Maybe Robotnik's up to something," replied Dulcy, fully recovered.
        "If he is, we're in trouble," Sally pointed out. "With all these patrols
around, we're going to have a hard time completing the mission."
        "Right," confirmed Sonic. "Let's just get the 'bot and get outta here."
        "Okay. Dulcy, whenever you're ready."
        Dulcy flew up to a ledge on one of the surrounding buildings. After
looking around, she signaled the ", wait...okay" sign. Sally jumped
into Sonic's arms and he took off with Tails close behind. They were headed
for the Swat-bot production factory.
        They arrived seconds later and all followed Sally as she led the way to an
air vent. She carefully removed the grate, put it aside, and crawled through
the small passage into the factory. After everybody was out of the vent,
they spread out, scanning the interior. It was a vast place, conveyor belts,
cranes, extra Swat-bot parts, yet not a single guard.
        "This is too weird," said Sonic.
        "Agreed," came a reply from Sally at the other end of the factory.
        "Over here. This must be where they put the completed Swat-bots before
shipping them off to their posts and activating them."
        Princess Sally was standing in front of a loading dock. The Swat-bots
would be left there until a transport shuttle came by to pick them up.
        "Good job, Sal. Meetchya' outside."
        Sonic dragged one of the Swat-bots back through the vent. Dulcy was
outside waiting.
        "Here you go, Dulce."
        Sonic heaved the Swat-bot onto Dulcy's back and she took off for Knothole.
Now came the hardest part of the mission: waiting. He waited... And
waited... And waited... It seemed like hours before Sally and Tails finally
emerged from the vent. Sally again leaped into Sonic's arms and he once more
tore off into the night to the outskirts of Robotropolis.
        "Nicole," said Sally, "detonate."
        The factory went up in flames. A nice sized mushroom cloud soon followed.
Then the shock wave. It was a spectacular light show, but all good things
must come to an end. After it was over, the three started back toward
Knothole, content in knowing the mission was successful.

        They were greeted at their small village by Rotor with a disturbed look on
his face.
        "Message from Uncle Chuck," he said in a low voice.
        "What does it say?" Sonic wanted to know.
        Rotor handed him the message:

                Robotnik is definitely up to something. High Security. Lots of
                patrols. Working on the details. Watch for another message.

        "That's it?"
        "That's it."
        "But what could ol' 'Buttnik be doing that Uncle Chuck doesn't know
        "Hard to say. Probably something big."
        "At least that explains all the security," concluded Dulcy. "But let's
worry about that..." she yawned, " the morning."
        The group dispersed, each member heading of to his or her hut--except
Rotor. He stayed up late in his lab, working on the Swat-bot.

        "Snively!" Doctor Robotnik contacted him via hologram. "Have you finished
your interrogation?"
        Snively was in a small, enclosed room with a single chair in the center
and a bright light aimed at it. It was one of the many interrogation rooms
Robotnik had created. There were six Swat-bots assisting him, two guarding
the door, three guarding the prisoner, and one off in a corner. Robotnik
does not usually have this many guards assigned to a single prisoner. Even
if a few of the prisoners did escape, where would they go?
        Snively gasped. ", sir. Not yet," answered Snively. "He
refuses to talk, sir."
        "Loosing your touch?" Robotnik thought back to when Commander Packbell
arrived with the prisoners and wondered why he let Snively do the
        "No,'s just that...well, sir, we can't kill him."
        "Then roboticize him, fool! His secrets will be ours!"
        "Yes--" the hologram was gone, "--sir," Snively mumbled to himself. "Then
roboticize him, fool! Hmph! I'll show you roboticizing!" He stormed off
down the hall. "Bring the prisoner!" he called behind him.
        The three Swat-bots guarding the prisoner escorted him to the door with
the Swat-bot in the corner leading the way, obviously designated as the
unofficial leader. The other two at the door waited until everybody had left
before bringing up the rear.
        "I don't think so," the prisoner announced. "Computer, retrieve all data
from the Swat-bots, then delete all their data." All the Swat-bots suddenly
fell flat on their faces.
        Snively heard the noise and spun around to find the prisoner escaping.
"Get back here!" he demanded. "What are you waiting for!?!" he yelled at the
Swat-bots. "Get him! Get him!" They did nothing.

        "What do you mean you LOST him!?!" asked Robotnik, holding Snively up to
his face.
        Snively swallowed hard. "Well, sir..."
        "How can you lose a prisoner with SIX Swat-bots as escort!?!"
        "You see, sir..." Snively replied with sweat pouring down his face. "All
their data is gone, sir."
        "I-I-I can't explain it, sir. All data in the Swat-bots was deleted."
        "That's IMPOSSIBLE!!!" Robotnik said, throwing Snively back on the ground.
        "Find him, Snively! He cannot get away!"
        "Y-Y-Yes, sir."
        After Snively left to assemble his search party, Robotnik walked back to
his chair and sat down. He pressed a button, "Packbell!" he ordered.
        A few seconds later a hologram appeared before him. "Yes, sir," Packbell
awaited orders.
        "Whatever you're doing can wait!"


Received on Sat Mar 11 1995 - 19:26:39 PST

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