My Brother's Keeper (2/2)

From: Shawn Wolski <n5una_at_MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 1995 20:35:58 -0600

        And learn David most certainly did. He found that there were
many functions to life besides his undecided role in the chain
of command. Over the period of three weeks, David accomplished
many tasks to improve his status in his new domicile. He
learned more about the intricacies of his organic companions'
speech and emotional displays. He also learned how to fly,
since his endoskeleton was modeled very closely after Tails.
After some instruction from Dulcy and receiving her experience
from seeing what procedures Tails used to hover, fly, and land,
David became capable of flying to almost any location. He
studied novels, encyclopedias, poetry, and it seemed as if there
was no way to quench David's lust for information. He
instructed his nanites to manufacture appropriate hardware for
upgrading his survivability, and to improve the preexisting
equipment that he had built inside him. Yet, there was one area
which he failed to complete successfully: his relationship to
Tails. As David built up his emotional database, that fact only
served to compile to complex and frustratingly gargantuan
        In reality, the situation was no more severe than it was on
David's first day of life. Through an almost telepathic
agreement, for Tails had no intention of being anywhere near
David, they managed to maintain a respectable distance. Sally
counseled him about his bind with Tails; Sonic tried to
convince Tails to rethink his misgivings about David. Nothing
seemed to work. The only alternative was to permit Tails a wide
berth from David. For a while, everything was almost perfect,
as long they did so. However, as life would have control over
events, this status of peace would not survive for an extended
period of time.

        David was pacing around the Knothole/Great Forest border near
the bridge at about 1700 hours, testing his latest sensors for
accuracy. During his passive IR scan, he noticed a form appear
about thirty meters in front of him as he directed his head
forward. Intrigued by this, he converted his sensors to visible
light scan, and magnified the image. It was a young female
skunk, about Tails' age and height. Nina saw David and ran over
to him.
        David downloaded the required data about Nina into one of his
dynamic provisional memory storage units. What he read he
didn't enjoy at all. According to his data, Nina was a close
friend to Tails. And if Tails saw David and Nina together, the
situation could become an unsettling one for all three parties.
That was one confrontation that he had no intention of
participating in. David's stress registers increased with the
anticipated battle that would ensue if he didn't act to prevent
it. He turned around to evade the near-future battle.
        It was too late. Nina already had him contained in her
powerful grasp, and David had no hope of immediate salvation
except to implement his overwhelming strength. He was unable to
do so, for any such act would critically injure Nina, and part
of his basic moralistic programming prevented him from doing so.
 His respect for life was too strong to justify a violent
response. Therefore, other, more civil procedures would have to
be acted on.
        "Oh, David!" the young skunk exclaimed to him, not softening
her grip one iota. "It's so good to see you again! It's about
time you got away from those adults and over to those your own
        David attempted to find a diplomatic mean of escape. "Nina, I
would very much appreciate your friendly attitude towards me, if
you would please allow me to maintain a respectable distance!"
        "Oh, sorry about that," she apologized, and complied with his
implied request. "It's just that I've never had a chance to see
you personally, I got a little too excited."
        "You aren't the only one that might get excited," David
retorted, as kindly as possible. "According to my information,
you are Tails' friend, and....Tails and I do not exactly have an
amicable relationship as of this current time. I have no desire
to be the perpetrator of any distress between the two of you,"
David stated, using all of his sensors to locate Tails before he
and Nina severely got into trouble.
        Tails was located about 300 meters away, but his location was
surrounded by trees. It was more than likely that he would not
see David and Nina, but David wasn't inclined to take any risks.
 He said so to Nina.
        "Why can't you two get along?" she inquired. "From what I saw
over the past few weeks, you're not the one at fault for this."
        That took David completely off guard. He was uncertain as to
how to answer Nina's question. Of course, David wasn't at fault
for anything, except for being created. And that, he had no
control over.
        He never had the opportunity to answer. Tails arrived, his
eyes silted and teeth exposed with anger. David measured Tails'
stress levels, and found that an eruption was about to take
place, no matter what David could try to prevent it with. His
organic counterpart stood in his position, slowly breathing with
a dangerous tension.
        "" Tails managed to
slowly spit out, unable to control the rage in his voice.
        Nina answered for David. "He's just talking to me; nothing
more. I just wanted to be friends with him after I saw him away
from all the adults here." Her calm voice belied the anger she
was feeling toward Tails and the way he was treating David.
        "That doesn't matter! He's a robot, something to take us back
to Robotropolis whenever he has the chance to!" Tails barked
out, even more stressed than before.
        Nina continued as calmly as the situation would permit, "No,
David's a Freedom Fighter, just like you are. And nothing is
going to change that!"
        David wished that he could contribute something to the
conversation, but considered the consequences beforehand. It
would ultimately serve to further degrade the already tenuous
relationship he had with Tails. And the condition was becoming
more precarious just from this exchange.
        "Well, what do you need to associate with a robot for? He
doesn't have anything to give you, he's emotionless, stupid, and
the worst excuse I've ever seen for a brother!" With that last
remark, Tails ran back into the Great Forest.
        Little did Nina and Tails know that a storm was advancing over
the area. And Tails was in the middle of it, unheeding of the
warnings. David warned Nina of the situation.
        "Someone has to go after him, at least to teach him a lesson,"
Nina replied, unable to maintain the level of calm she had only
a few seconds ago. She moved to go after him.
        "No," he ordered, extending his hand to block her path. "I'll
retrieve Tails."
        "Are you sure about that, David?" his friend asked.
        "I will have a higher probability of retrieving Tails, since I
have capabilities to utilize that you don't have available," he
answered, with a determined look on his face. "The way you can
assist me is to get help from the others in Knothole. I require
their presence here in order to prevent the situation from
becoming critical."
        She considered his orders, but said nothing further. She knew
what the unspoken words were. She then ran off to Knothole, as
quickly as she could.
        David did the same, only in the opposite direction. With all
his sensors active, he searched for Tails as far as he could
scan. After locating his trail, he rushed to Tails' aid.

        About fifteen minutes later, David located his counterpart.
Tails was sitting on a rock, apparently unheeding of the rain
pouring down on him, and the thunder which seemed to be getting
closer every second. Tails was also blind to David's arrival,
since he made no indication that he noticed the compuorganic
fox's presence. Then again, in the darkness created by the
storm, David would be the only one who could view anything. He
thought with a belated sense of worthiness that he didn't send
Nina, or tell her to send anyone after the two foxes. They
would have become as lost as Tails appeared to be.
        "Tails?" he called over the thunder. "It's me, David."
        "Get away!" the other fox retorted. "We don't have anything to
talk about!"
        "On the contrary," David replied, maintaining his outer calm,
"we have everything to discuss. Starting with the condition
between us."
        "There's nothing I have to say to you, David!" Tails yelled,
wishing that he could be alone right now and nothing else.
        "Please, Tails!" David nearly pleaded. "Tell me what it is
that troubles you about me!"
        As if the very storm had tired of the confrontation between the
two foxes, a fork of lightning streaked down the sky and found
an impact point on a nearby tree. The violated branch erupted
into flames, falling straight down on Tails' position. He saw
the branch and instinctively crouched over, in the hope that
this would protect him.
        David took action to rescue Tails from a conflagration that
would otherwise consume him. He flew up to the falling branch,
and disengaged his rotating tails. Utilizing both of his tails,
David swatted the flaming branch, dislocating it from its lethal
flight path. Tails was safe for now.
        On the ground, Tails waited for the fiery death to fill his
field of vision. It never came. The only sounds he could hear
were the rain, thunder, and David's tails slowly returning him
from the tormented areas above ground. He saw David stop
rotating his tails about two meters above ground, then expertly
drop to the ground, landing so that the shock would dissipate
through his body. Tails' savior slowly walked over to him, his
face a testimony to worry.
        " really care about me?" Tails asked, not trusting his
voice to sound coherent.
        David understood him without difficulty. "Of course I care
about you," he responded, "as well as the rest of the Freedom
Fighters. What ever gave you the impression I didn't? Is that
what you were concerned about?"
        Tails started crying, for he had overlooked something in David,
and had neglected him for so long. He felt sorry for David, and
ashamed of himself for harboring the prejudice he had, just for
the fact that David was something of a form he had no personal
control over. He got up and hugged David, and didn't release
his grip on him for a long time.
        Sniffling, Tails said, "I'm sorry I treated you the way I did,
David. I just didn't know that you really cared about me so
much. I thought you would go crazy and send us back to
Robotropolis or something."
        "Tails," David answered jovially, "you know me better than
that. Besides, even if I did want to take you back to
Robotropolis, I couldn't."
        "Why's that?" Tails inquired, the shamed look on his face
converting to one of wonder.
        "Because you're like a brother to me," David continued, "and
there's no Robotropolis available for me to send you and the
rest of the Freedom Fighters to."
        "It's good to have you"
        They both shared in a mutual session of laughter, then David
gradually guided his brother back to the refuge of Knothole.

* * *

        The next day, there was no indication of the adversarial state
that existed between Tails and David. They were like two foxes
that had finally found themselves, which in this case, they did.
 Sally and Sonic watched from a distance as they saw the two
foxes actually playing together, instead of Tails being at
David's throat, and David doing everything in his power to
escape. They were like friends, or (dare they think it?)
brothers that were concerned for each other's welfare.
        "I can't believe it, Sonic," Sally said after the realization
struck her as to what the fox pair was doing. "It seems like
they were enemies just yesterday. I wonder what brought Tails
out of it?"
        "Don't know, Sal," the hedgehog said, equally awed by the
transition. "I asked them earlier, but they wouldn't tell me
        "Maybe it's just as well that way. These two are going to be a
powerful team in the future."
        And the condition of Tails' transition remained a secret, to
everyone in Knothole. All that mattered now is that they loved
each other like brothers of a long acquaintance. They both
agreed to tell everyone one thing though: that David's name be
changed to David Prower.


Shawn Wolski, N5UNA

An Indoctrinated Sonic T. Hedgehog Story Author

"But I guess some things are better left in the past."
-Sally, quote from "The Temporal Syndrome"

Received on Sun Mar 19 1995 - 21:35:22 PST

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