The Void Revisited 1/2

From: <>
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 1995 02:11:27 -0400

   Here's my first post-Doomsday story. It ties up most loose ends that were
left by my original, "Pangolin Problems." Enjoy.


   "We don't take kindly to big ol' floatin' heads."
   -A Cowboy, Relaxation Tape No. 5

   This short story is based on the characters created and copyrighted by
Archie Comic Publications, DiC Productions, Holly-Beth Kraft, Sega
Incorporated, and Shawn Wolski. 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 Szal.

Timeline: Late 3236, almost a year after Doomsday.

                              Reunion, Part 1
                              by Michael Szal

   Williams was sitting in his chair, looking through some files when his
train of thought was broken by his computer.
   "Incoming visual transmission," it reported.
   Why would anybody contact him? The only person who knows he's here is
Sonic, but why now? The only other person who could contact him was...Adam!
"Computer, answer it!" A hologram of a very familiar numbat appeared before
him. "Adam!"
   "It seems you ARE alive," noticed Adam.
   "What happened? Why didn't you contact me before?"
   "It's a long story. Why didn't YOU contact me?"
   "I tried. You never answered. I assumed you were roboticized but
couldn't find you. That left but one alternative: death."
   "Well, I kinda had my computer 'confiscated.' But, obviously, I got it
back. You have NO idea what we went through to get out of this mess."
   "WE? You mean--" A familiar paca stepped into the display. "Kristen!"
   "I'm so happy to finally see you again!" she exclaimed.
   "Are you okay?"
   "Fine now. At one point I fell out of air duct. I don't remember
exactly what happened, but Adam says I broke my leg."
   "You should've seen it!" Adam tried to describe the situation. "Thirty
or forty foot drop, knocked unconscious, leg broken right in half, blood
everywhere. We were being chased so I--"
   "Chased?" Williams thought that to be strange. "By who? I though
Robotnik was gone."
   "Apparently some Swat-bots are still here. Anyway, we were being chased
so I had to climb down and get her out of there. By the time I got there,
the bleeding stopped. I picked her up and brought her to the safest place I
could find. I just stuck the leg back in place and within two hours the
entire thing was healed! Not even a scar!"
   "I'm sure you have many more stories that can wait. Where are you?"
   "We've set up camp outside of Robotropolis, or what's left."
   "I'll be right there. Just send me the--"
   "No, we'll meet you in Wespero. It'll be good to be back home."
   "Okay, but hurry." The transmission was discontinued. Williams
continued his work as he waited.

   The door burst open and Kristen came running in. Williams barely had
enough time to get out of his chair before she pounced on him. They fell
to the ground and Williams got a minor bump on his head, but he couldn't
feel it--he was too busy being kissed by Kristen.
   "I'm so glad to see you!" she finally stopped and got up.
   "I can tell," noticed Williams.
   Adam helped him up and they hugged each other as tight as ever. He
patted Williams on the back. "You're alive."
   Williams sat back down. "Yes, we've established that."
   "After Robotnik singled you out, I though that was the end of you."
   "Nah, he just wanted to interrogate me. Nothing I couldn't handle.
What's your story?"
   "The rest of us were either executed or roboticized, depending on how
well we behaved.
   "They shot my mother," Kristen told him. "Right there, right in front of
me. They just shot her."
   Williams knew what this meant. "Kristen? You okay?"
   "No!" She broke into tears. "They shot her!" She needed a shoulder to
cry on and Williams was there for her.
   "What happened?"
   "A Swat-bot ordered her to cooperate, but she didn't." Adam explained it
for Kristen. "She fought it, but lost."
   Williams started to laugh. He was the only one laughing. "I can't
imagine Helen going up against a Swat-bot!"
   Kristen always wondered how he could just shake these things off.
   "C'mon, Kristen." Williams tried to remedy the situation. "Best friends
are reunited after each one thought the other was dead. We're supposed to
laugh at each other's anecdotes, not dwell on the morbid aspects of our
adventures. Don't you see? WE are what's left of this village, WE
survived, WE won. Don't you feel...special?"
   It took a while, but she eventually calmed down. "I guess you're right.
You know, one time--"
   "I'm sure it's a great story, but there's no time. We're off to the
Great Unknown." Williams began to pack up his things.
   "But we just got here," complained Adam.
   Williams ignored him. "I've found a way to open the void. We're going
to test my theory."
   "Why in the Great Unknown?"
   "In case anything goes wrong, nothing important will be sucked in."
   "You're always so optimistic."
   "You coming?" Williams directed his question to Kristen who was sitting
on his bed.
   "No, I--" she sniffled, "I'll stay here."

   "So," inquired Adam, "what now?" They were in the middle of nowhere.
   "Computer," ordered Williams, "open 'the void' about four hundred feet in
front of me." It took a while, but soon a bright yellow and purple helix
appeared in front of him. "You want to go in first?" he gave Adam the
   "That's okay. You opened it, you go in."
   "I think I'll send some nanites in first." Before he could instruct his
computer to do anything, a scaly, six legged, thirty foot tall, six inch
teeth, razor sharp clawed, insect-like animal came out of the void first.
   "Well, now you've done it."
   "Maybe it's friendly." Williams started to walk toward it.
   It noticed the two appetizers and let out a roar in their direction.
   "Or not. Computer, close 'the void.'" It did. "Hellooooo!" he called.
   It roared back.
   "Doesn't seem to be all that intelligent," noticed Adam.
   "Computer," ordered Williams, "send out some nanites to stun
the...uh...the creature and give me a progress report."
   "Nanites released," reported his computer. About a minute later,
"Nanites have infected host." A few seconds later, "Nanites have been
   It started to walk toward them.
   "Adam, I suggest we make a strategic retreat to Wespero." They both took
off running.
   The creature chased after them. Although it could run fast (compared to
most Mobian animals), it got tired quickly. There was too little carbon
dioxide in the air.

   "You're never going to believe what happened," Williams said as he sat
down on his bed. "A, uh, creature came through the void."
   "A 'creature?'" Kristen looked to Adam for some sort of confirmation.
   "Don't look at me. I'm not the one who conjured it up."
   "What does it look like?"
   "Well, I'd say it's a cross between a dragon and an ant."
   "I think it was hungry," added Williams, "it started to chase us. I
tried to stun it with some nanites, but they were all destroyed before they
could do anything. It must have a super immune system."
   "Where is it now?" asked Kristen.
   "Good question. Computer, where is the creature?"
   "Near the Great Forest."
   "Probably found something to eat," said Kristen.
   "Considering the size of its teeth, I think it's carnivorous," stated
   "Could be omnivorous," contributed Adam.
   "Whatever the case, it's not supposed to be here. We need to find a way
to send it back or kill it."
   "It's not a computer, you can't control it. Nanites are useless, you
can't kill it. This isn't going to be easy."
   "Then we get some help."

   Tails was on lookout, sweeping the horizon with his binoculars. He
stopped and backed up, something caught his eye. It was far, far away.
He switched to a higher magnification to take a closer look. There was a
big rock sitting at the edge of the forest. It was strange to see a rock
that was never there before, but even more strange to see it move. His eyes
were not deceiving him--the rock moved. From past experience, he knew that
rocks did not move on their own. He kept observing it. A head popped up.
   "Sooooonic! SOOOOONIC!!!"
   Sonic came racing up to meet him. "What is it, big guy?"
   Tails handed him the binoculars and pointed in the rock's general
   Sonic saw what Tails had seen. "What's THAT?"
   "Keep watching."
   Sonic observed the rock a bit more and saw the head pop up for a moment,
then back down. "I'm gonna check it out." And he did. In under ten
seconds, he was standing in front of the rock. "Mondo weird."
   The creature heard him coming and turned to look at the tiny, blue
animal. Its target was in range and it spit at him. Direct hit.
   "Hey!" Sonic was covered in a cloudy, sticky substance.
   The creature, however, was confused. Usually when it hits another
animal, the animal gets stunned instantly, ready to eat. It roared at him.
Sonic could see a vast array of sharp teeth. For a moment, he stood
motionless. The creature snapped at him. Sonic jumped out of the way and
left for Knothole. He had seen enough.
   "Sal!" He ran up in front of her. "Sal, there's something--"
   "A monster in the forest? Tails already told me."
   "It spit on me!" He wiped some off. "What is this stuff, anyway?"
   Sally reached down and detached Nicole from her boot. "Nicole," Sally
flipped her open, "what is the substance that Sonic is covered in?"
   "Sugar saturated water."
   "What kind of an animal is this?"
   "A big one," replied Sonic.
   "I'd like to go see it."
   "Are you crazy!?! That thing's dangerous!"
   "Sonic, it spits sugar. How dangerous can it be?"
   Sonic shook himself off and took Sally to see the creature.

   She found out just how dangerous it could be when she was standing in
front of it. She saw for herself how big its teeth and claws were. "Nicole,
full scan on the creature."
   "Keep it busy until Nicole's done," she told Sonic.
   Sonic ran around to the creature's head. It spat at him. He ran
underneath it to its tail. It slashed at him with one of its feet. He ran
around to its side. It turned to face him and snapped at him. Again he
ran to one side. This time the creature, realizing what was going on,
whacked Sally against a tree with its tail.
   The blow from the tail broke a couple of ribs and punctured a lung in the
process. The tree gave her a nice-sized concussion, shattered a shoulder
blade, and fractured a vertebra or two. Sonic immediately ran over,
gathered up Sally and Nicole (which just made things worse for Sally, but
was better than being eaten), and took off for Knothole.

   Sonic put Sally down on her bed and went to get Bookshire. He was in his
hut. "Bookshire! Sally's hurt!"
   The tone of Sonic's voice was the most obvious signal that something was
very wrong. The blood on him was a close second. He barely had enough time
to grab his first aid kit before Sonic grabbed him and took him back to
Sally's hut.
   "Oh, boy." This was a much bigger problem than Sonic led him to believe.
He panicked, slightly, but remembered to stay calm. "There's a, uh, box of
stuff on the table in the, um, far corner of my hut."
   Sonic was gone and in a few seconds came back with the box. Bookshire
took it from him and put it down next to the bed.
   "Get someone to guard the door," ordered Bookshire as he removed certain
items from his first aid kit and his box. "No one disturbs us until I say
   Sonic was gone again. It took him a little longer this time, but only
because he had to explain to Rotor, the closest person, what was going on.
Sonic came back in and closed the door behind him. He and Bookshire worked
as fast as they could to keep Sally alive.

   Williams and company were now in the Great Forest, on their way to
Knothole Village.
   "What's so special about this village?"
   He remembered what happened the last time he was there, "I have...friends
there. They might be able to help."
   As they were walking, Sandra stepped out of nowhere and blocked their
   "You again," greeted Williams. "Who wants me now?"
   "No one. I need your help. I take it you've noticed the creature?"
   "Yeah," answered Kristen. "Who is this?" She sounded jealous.
   "We are...old acquaintances."
   "Oh, we're more than acquaintances." Williams smiled at her.
   She grabbed him by the neck and held him up to her face, "Will you help
   "I'm already on my way to Knothole to find some help of my own." It was
hard to talk, his voice was scratchy. "You're welcome to tag along."
   Normally, Sandra would not "tag along" with anybody, but this was
different. She dropped him on the ground, "Lead the way."

   Tails had resumed his scan of the horizon before Sonic and Sally left to
see the creature and was oblivious to the whole "Sally" incident. He was,
however, the only one who could see Williams and his band of adventurers
coming towards Knothole. He decided to meet them and escort them the rest
of the way.

   "Williams!" called Tails. He landed in front of them.
   "Hey! Look who it is!" replied Williams.
   "A kid?" asked Adam.
   "Don't underestimate him. He just might be able to beat you in a
   "What!?! No way!"
   "If I remember correctly, Packbell once referred to him as the 'Supreme
Emperor of All Time and Space.' After we take care of this creature, we
might have a chance to find out who's better." Turning to Tails, "Anyway,
where's the princess?"
   "YOU know the princess?" asked Kristen.
   "Yeah, but she hates me." Back to Tails, "So where is she?"
   "Follow me." He led the group the final distance to Knothole.


Received on Wed Apr 05 1995 - 02:00:37 PDT

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