Pacas, tenrecs, and pangolins..4

From: <>
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 1995 19:42:30 -0500

   Last one!


   "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

                                                                  Pangolin Problems, Part 4
                                                                                 by Michael Szal

        "Okay Packbell," said Williams, "you can take me to Robotnik now.
Computer, unscramble the Swat-bot."
        The Swat-bot on the floor, where Tails had left him, got up and returned
to normal as if nothing happened.
        "How can you undo a random process?" Packbell wanted to know.
        "Only an idiot does something he can't undo," was all Williams said.
        "The Swat-bots you disabled earlier, you have all the data that was lost?"
        "Of course. When we get to Robotropolis, I won't mention anything about
Tails or being taken against your will."
        Packbell was extremely confused. If Williams didn't want to be a
prisoner, why was he giving in? He certainly had the ability to escape. All
he had to do was tell his computer-- His computer! That was the key!
        "Give me your computer," ordered Packbell.
        "Give me that computer of yours."
        Williams laughed out loud. "I'm not your prisoner!" he managed to say,
still laughing. "I'm just visiting Robotnik to help him out and what not."
        Packbell utilized all available data and still could not find any reason
for this kind of behavior. In his experience, nobody ever wanted to help
        "If you are a freedom fighter," said Packbell, "why do you not resist?"
        "I just disabled a Swat-bot and threatened to do the same to you. You
don't call that resistance?"
        "That is what I mean. Why do you help a freedom fighter, then turn around
and help Robotnik?"
        "I guess there are just some things you will never understand."
        The rest of the trip was spent in silence. When they arrived at
Robotropolis, Williams was escorted to Robotnik's lair.
        "Commander Packbell," greeted Robotnik, "I see you've brought me my
        "I am in no way here against my will," stated Williams.
        Robotnik looked at Packbell as if this was all just a joke.
        "It is true. He can leave at any time."
        "Why can't you stop him?" Robotnik seemed worried.
        "I came here to help you out," said Williams, "and you treat me like one
of your prisoners."
        "Packbell, seize him!"
        Packbell took one look at Williams and remembered what had happened to the
Swat-bot. "No," he disobeyed.
        "I'll seize him myself." Robotnik started to approach Williams.
        "Computer, now."
        Robotnik's robotic arm suddenly grabbed his neck and started to strangle
        "" he somehow managed to force air out of his
lungs even though his throat was being crushed.
        "Computer, stop."
        The hand let go.
        "I knew you were going to try something. You're a bit behind in this
conversation. Packbell and I are on 'I'm here to help you.' You're way back
at 'seize him.' If you want my help, I suggest you cooperate. If not,
Packbell and I will go back to Knothole and rule the world from there."
        "Packbell?" Robotnik directed his attention to the android. "You were at
Knothole? And you didn't tell me!?!"
        "Yes," he stood behind Williams.
        "Whose side are you on!?!"
        Packbell didn't dare say what was on his mind. "If only our positions
were reversed," he was thinking. "This person has complete control over me,
what am I to do about it!?!" He told Robotnik what he wanted to hear,
"Yours, sir."
        "Then take him prisoner! Now!"
        "Okay, that's it!" Williams was fed up. "I'll be leaving now. Don't
expect me to help you." He turned around and was about leave when Sonic came
rushing in with four Swat-bots behind him. "You have to show up at the worst
possible times, don't you?"
        "Grab on! We're gettin' outta here!" ordered Sonic.
        Packbell took the initiative and tried to grab Sonic, but was too slow.
Sonic had already grabbed Williams and was headed for the door when he was
cut off by the pursuing Swat-bots. He stopped, turned around and took off in
the opposite direction. The next thing he knew, he was face up on the
ground. Williams had held on to his backpack so when he took off his feet
went forward and the rest of him stayed. Packbell reached down and picked
Sonic up.
        "Hey! Put me down!"
        "I've always wanted to know what you keep in here..." Williams opened up
Sonic's backpack.
        "What're you doin'!?!"
        He rummaged through the pack. "A power ring... Infra-red goggles?..." he
put them on. "Hee, hee! Very cool." He didn't have a neat backpack like
Sonic, so he wore the goggles over his forehead.
        "Well..." started Robotnik.
        "Williams," continued Williams.
        "Well, Williams. I see I've underestimated you."
        "People tend to do that. Want a ring?" He tossed the power ring to
Robotnik like a frisbee. "Now what? We roboticize him?"
        "What!?!" complained Sonic.
        "What do you mean 'what?' You trust me, don't you?"
        "Not any more, bud."
        Williams groaned. He turned to Robotnik, "You trust me, right?"
        "Not yet."
        He groaned again. "Trapped in the middle," he said to himself.
        On the way to the roboticizer, Sonic said some things to the effect of
"you'll never get away with this" and "you can roboticize me, but there will
be others." In the end, they were all in front of that small, diamond-glass
        Sonic was being lead inside by Packbell when Robotnik interrupted him.
        "No. Put the armadillo in first."
        "I am NOT an armadillo!" corrected Williams as he was being lead inside by
two Swat-bots. "See this tail? Do armadillos have prehensile tails?" He
was now enclosed in the tube. "I'm giving you one last chance before I
        Robotnik walked over to the control panel.
        "Computer, throw the roboticizer boot-up program into an infinite loop."
His computer inserted the necessary code. "And computer, retrieve the
location of Knothole from Packbell, then delete it from his memory."
        Robotnik hit a button and the sound of the roboticizer warming up filled
the room. But it kept warming, the beam never kicked in.
        "I'd say we've thirty or so seconds before the entire room blows up,"
approximated Williams.
        "I would get you for this," said Robotnik, "but you saved me the trouble.
Packbell, lock the hedgehog in the room."
        Robotnik and the Swat-bots left the room. Packbell, still carrying Sonic,
stepped outside, threw Sonic back in, and closed the only door to the room.
        Sonic looked at Williams and, albeit he gave Robotnik the only power ring
Sonic had with him, he did save Tails.
        "Stand back!" he said and tried to buzz-saw his way through the glass.
Not even a scratch.
        "Computer, raise the diamond-glass tube." It retracted back into the
ceiling. "Computer, how much time until the roboticizer overheats?"
        "Forty-two seconds," his computer reported.
        "We have more time than I thought."
        "Let's go!" urged Sonic. "We're going to be toast!"
        "Relax. We have more than an ample amount of time."
        Sonic tapped his foot on the ground as he waited. Two seconds later,
"Time's up, let's go!"
        "Don't you want to wait until the last second and escape just in time?
Maybe dive behind something just as it's exploding?"
        "I'm not leaving without you!"
        "Okay. Computer, take the roboticizer out of the loop."
        The roboticizer stopped warming up and engaged the beam. Of course,
nobody was underneath it.
        "You could've done that all along?" asked Sonic.
        "Uh, huh," nodded Williams.
        "Let's go. Through this vent." Sonic lead the way out of the building.
        Williams was in for a pleasant surprise. "Rain! I love the rain!" He
started to walk away. "Bye!"
        Sonic caught up with him. "Where are you going?"
        "To the Great Swamp."
        "In the rain!?! I'll take you there." He picked Williams up and they
were headed to the Great Swamp. Williams gave directions as they went and
they soon arrived at a small village.
        "Thank you, you may go now."
        "You're going to stay here?"
        "Yes. This is where I live. Bye."
        Sonic was hesitant, but said his good-bye and left.

        The next day, there were still clouds overhead, but it seemed to be
clearing up. Life in Knothole was returning to normal, but many villagers
still talked about Williams. Tails and Dulcy were playing air tag. Sally
was in her hut "recovering" as a messenger bird perched on her window sill.
She took the note from it and it flew away. On it was written:

        To: Tails (No Pun Intended)

        "Tails!" Sally called out the window.
        Tails flew down and entered her hut. "What is it, Aunt Sally?"
        "You have...mail."
        "Cool!" Tails had never gotten mail before. He opened it up. There was
a small disc tied to the bottom of the note. It read:

        Dear Tails,
                I thought you might like some information on the retrieval of data from
        other computers without direct links. You wanted to know how I scrambled
        that Swat-bot, this will get you started. Enclosed is a disc with
        everything on it.

        Tails untied the disc and asked Sally to borrow Nicole. She let him, so
he inserted the disc and accessed what was on it. A list of all the files
came up with a message at the bottom:

        P.S. You now have a virus.

        The End...

        And now the character profile.

Name: Gabriel Williams
Species: Giant pangolin
Sex: Male
Age: 22
War Standing: Impartial observer
Occupation: Freelance hacker
Specialties: Computers and everything about them
Other Notes: Gabriel was originally born and raised in Mobitropolis, but was
        relocated to a village near the great swamp when Robotnik took over. He
        can make the best out of any situation and always stays calm, even when he
        has no idea what's going on. A few of his friends have been known to call
        him Xero at times, supposedly because of his sense of humor. He uses this
        name when he doesn't want anybody to know his real one. He doesn't really
        care who wins the war and has been trying not to get involved. But since
        he's been dragged into the war, he'll fight for whichever side he wants
        and change sides a few times to make it interesting. Gabriel has a
        computer, about the size of Nicole, as his aide. If ever it was taken
        from him, he'd have only his wits to get it back or make a new one.

Received on Sat Mar 11 1995 - 19:36:54 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Thu Mar 19 2015 - 12:17:02 PDT