The Void Revisited 2/2

From: <>
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 1995 02:12:28 -0400

   The rest of it.


   "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.

                              Reunion, Part 2
                              by Michael Szal

   They were approaching Sally's hut when Rotor noticed them. He remembered
Sandra and Williams from before, but didn't recognize the other two.
"What's going on, Tails?"
   "We're VIPs from Wespero and are here to see the princess on an important
matter of global safety," explained Williams.
   "SHE is not a VIP," he directed his statement to Sandra.
   "No, she's just somebody we met on the way here. We need to see the
   "Sonic said not to let anybody in."
   "Why not?"
   "Sally's been hurt, badly."
   "Is that all? Sandra, move him."
   She did not. "I don't take orders from you."
   Williams groaned. "Sandra, I am kindly asking you, not ordering you, to
help me out."
   She complied.
   "Thank you." He opened the door and everybody came in.
   "You." Sonic also recognized the two. "And her. Why are you here? So
you can finish Sally off?"
   "Hardly." Williams didn't take it personally, he liked having a
reputation. "I came about the creature, but I guess I have time to save her
   "Save her life? How can you--"
   "She'll be better than ever in under four hours."
   "That's impossible!"
   "Sonic," Tails backed Williams up, "he saved my life. Let him help
Sally." Sonic thought about it for a second. He didn't know what to do.
   "Let him try," encouraged Bookshire.
   Although his gut feeling told him that Williams could not be trusted,
Sonic stepped out of the way.
   "Computer," said Williams, "send a thousand of my nanites to Princess
Sally." He walked over to a corner of the room.
   "Huh?" Sonic had NO idea what just happened. Nothing happened! How
can talking to a computer save Sally's life?
   "I'm not going to explain it. Not now, anyway. Those who know, know.
Those who don't, don't need to. How did this happen?"
   "I was keeping the creature busy and Sal was scanning it with Nicole.
Then it ignored me and whacked her with its tail."
   "So, the mighty Sonic Hedgehog was outsmarted by a big, dumb creature."
He could tell he made Sonic angry. "Don't worry, it was my fault."
   "What do we do now?"
   "We wait for her to get better." For a while, they just waited. Then
Williams simply left.

   He was sitting on a log next to the power ring pool when Adam soon joined
him. Adam sat down on the log, "What are you doing here?"
   "You're going to sit here for four hours?"
   "Two and a half. By then she should be conscious."
   Adam thought about that for a while. "Robotnik's gone," he finally said.
"There isn't much to do."
   "There's always these people to torment, it keeps them on their toes.
Every once in a while, we help them, that keeps them guessing. Why are
they here? Are they going to help us? Should we trust them? Sonic thought
we were here to kill the princess, that's a reputation if anything."
   No one else said anything for a while. They could hear a noise coming
towards them. It sounded much like a tiny hurricane or a breeze. It kept
getting closer until it was directly over them, at which time it stopped and
Tails landed right in front of them, "Will Aunt Sally be okay?"
   "Tails, you worry too much. When I say she'll be better than ever in
four hours, she will."
   "What will you do after she gets better?"
   "We'll get rid of that creature."
   "And after that?"
   "Our work will be done, we will leave."
   "But......I want you to stay."
   "I appreciate that. There's only one problem: where are you in the chain
of command? Who can you convince to get us to stay?"
   Tails had to stop and ponder. Sonic wouldn't listen, Tails saw his
reaction. Sally might after she found out Williams saved her life. There
was only one person who would agree with him. "Nina would listen to me."
   "Ah! Nina! Good, go get her. She should be a part of this." With
that, Tails was gone.
   "Why's Nina so important?" asked Adam.
   "She and Tails, and Sandra, are the only people here who actually trust
me. They would back me up. I'd consider them good friends."
   "Sandra? The one who tried to kill you in the forest? SHE is now your
friend but, saaaaay...THE PRINCESS isn't?"
   "The princess would never trust me, not even after I saved her life.
Sonic? Maybe by some miracle. Sandra does."
   "She shouldn't. Tails shouldn't either."
   "But they do. Don't you consider Nina a friend?"
   Adam thought about that. "Yeah," he sighed, "okay. But NOT Sandra."
   "You just don't know her well enough." The conversation ended there.
   Not before long, Adam brought up an interesting point. "We're pretty
lucky. I save Nina's life, you save the princess' life, we help get rid of
this creature. When the princess takes the throne, we're going to be
   "More than you think. I also saved Tails' life. And then there was that
thing with Sonic. He would've been blown into a million, smoldering pieces
if it wasn't for me."
   "Well, I did save Kristen's life a few times."
   "I hear a challenge."
   "Okay, the creature is the deciding factor. Whoever takes care of it is
the winner."

   Around two hours and thirty minutes later, Williams opened the door to
Sally's hut. Adam followed him in. Everybody was there, it was somewhat
   "Adam! Williams!" Nina ran over to them.
   "I told you we'd see you again," reminded Williams. He could see that
Sally was conscious. "I guess we should start with introductions." He made
his way to a corner of the room. All eyes were on him. "Everybody, I am
Gabriel Williams, but I go by Williams for reasons I don't want to go into.
This is Adam Lockard." He dragged Adam into the spotlight. "And this is
Kristen Taylor. We're all from Wespero and we came here to find help to get
rid of this creature." He took a position next to Sandra. "Sandra
Nightweaver, she captured me a while ago and traded me to Packbell for a
hover unit. But I still like her," he put his arm around her, "it was fun."
   No sooner did he finish his sentence than Sandra took him by the arm and
flipped him onto the ground. There was a moment of silence--everybody was
shocked. Then Williams began to laugh. He got up and finished the
   "Tails, for obvious reasons."
   "Actually, it's Miles, Miles Prower. But everybody calls me Tails."
   "Okay. Tails was with me when Sandra caught us. Nina, I met her in a
hover unit some time ago. Sonic Hedgehog, he just plain doesn't like me."
He walked over to Sally's bed, "And this is Princess Sally."
   "Princess Sally Alicia of the House of Acorn."
   "Whatever. I just saved your life," he reminded her. He still had three
more people to go. "Somebody else can introduce the rest of you."
   Tails immediately stepped forward. "This is Rotor and Bookshire
Draftwood. And this is my brother, David Prower. He's an android."
   "It's good to meet all of you," David greeted the guests politely.
   Williams gave him an evil grin. "Android, huh? As Like
a big, walking computer. Controlled by tiny, electrical impulses. Just
waiting to be--Computer, scramble David!"
   David twitched a little, then fell to the floor. Tails knelt beside him.
He shook David and asked him if he was all right, but nothing happened.
   "What have you done!?!" Bookshire didn't necessarily like it when
somebody ruins a lot of his hard work and effort.
   "Okay, okay. Sorry, but I haven't done that in a while. Computer,
unscramble David."
   He got up, "You can't just turn me off like a piece of equipment! I am
a living being like anyone else!"
   "Oh, calm down. Think of it this way: I knock you unconscious in such a
way that there is no permanent damage and I can wake you up at any time."
The world went black. The next he knew, Williams was waking up to a bucket
of water in his face. He could feel the bump on his head, realized what had
happened, and began laughing.
   "How can he DO that?" The more Sally got to know Williams, the more she
was confused by him, but, then again, doesn't everybody? When she was well
enough to walk, Williams was placed in her now soaking wet bed.
   "I get it," said Williams. "Knocked unconscious, brought back with a
bucket of water, no permanent damage. I get it."
   "You're not supposed to get it, it's not a joke. You're supposed to know
how David felt."
   "Princess, I knew how he felt, I was fully prepared for this. I'll
admit, however, that I didn't think anyone would actually do it. Who
DID do it, anyway?"
   "I did," Sonic stepped forward.
   "Adam already explained everything," continued Sally. "He said you would
get up and continue what you were doing as if nothing happened."
   "Exactly. Did he explain the creature?"
   "Yes, but I have a question. Adam said you opened the void and it came
out, right?"
   Williams nodded.
   "I've been inside the void before, there are no giant insects in there."
   "Then my calculations were wrong. Robotnik didn't have many details on
the void, I ended up doing most of the work myself. There was a chance that
it wouldn't work when I opened it."
   "Where does yours lead?"
   "I don't know. Maybe I'll have a chance to take you in some day."
   "That's not likely."
   Williams sat up, "Well, what's the plan?"
   "We don't have one yet."
   Williams groaned. "I have one, but you won't like it." He got out of
bed and headed for the door, but when he arrived, he stopped, "Almost
forgot. Computer, deactivate all of Sally's nanites."

   After everybody was rounded up outside of the village, Williams gave
everybody an encouraging pep-talk. "There is a giant creature out there
that could easily kill any one of you. I brought it here, so you don't have
to help me get rid of it if you don't want to." Nobody left. "Since no one
has thought up a plan, I will present mine. We save David's memory, David
jumps into the void, the creature follows, I close the void, you simply
build another android, everybody's happy." There were a lot of objections
to this approach.
   "We can't 'simply' build another android!" stated Bookshire.
   "You must have some kind of instructions."
   "I'm not the same android that they build me to be," said David. "I have
improved myself to become better than the original design."
   "Good for you. Then we save YOUR specifications for later reference."
   "Just because he's an android doesn't mean we can sacrifice him to save
ourselves," defended Sally.
   "Well, Princess, do you have a better idea?"
   She did not.
   "Considering the circumstances," David spoke up, "it would be best to
follow Williams' plan."
   "There, ya' see? Now for the second part: we can't all go. David
obviously has to go because he's going to lure it back whencesoever it
came. I'm going because no one else can open the void, even if it is the
wrong one. The rest--"
   "I'm going with you," insisted Adam.
   "Of course."
   "Me too," volunteered Tails.
   "If Tails is going," said Sonic, "I'm going."
   "Nope. Too many people."
   "The rest of you can get to know each other better."

   After the necessary backups were made and the final good-byes said, the
group left for the Great Swamp. For some odd reason or another the creature
had migrated there, its trail of destruction gave its new hiding place away.
They each said good-bye to David again and Adam went with him to the other
side of the creature.
   "Computer," ordered Williams, "open 'the void' twenty-five yards east of
the creature and close it as soon as the creature goes through it." The
swirling helix again opened up.

   That was David's cue, "So long, Adam."
   "Sorry, but Computer, scramble David." He jumped out from behind the
tree, waved his hands frantically, and called out to the creature.

   "What's he doing?" asked Tails.

   The creature noticed him and began chasing him.

   "Adam!" Williams tried to stop him, or at least get the creature away
from him. "You demented fool!"

   It worked. The creature heard him and turned to start chasing him.

   Williams didn't expect that to happen. "Tails, run."
   "I can't leave you!"
   There was nothing Williams could do at that point. There was no place
for him to go, nothing for him to hide behind. Even if he found a way to
escape, Tails was still there. And the only thing between Tails and the
creature was him.
   "This'll be fun," he said under his breath. The creature slashed at him,
he took the full force of the blow. One gash in his left arm, the other in
his leg, and being knocked ten feet away--he expected worse. The creature
moved in for the kill.

   It took a lot from Adam to regain the creature's full and undivided
attention, he ended up having to kick its back leg. After that, the
creature simply followed him out of annoyance into the void. That was it,
the crisis was over, and Adam was gone.

   "Williams?" Tails ran over to him.
   "Pain. Pain is bad."
   "Adam saved us, he took David's place."
   "I know, that's what gets me. To save us, all he had to do was come up
with a better plan than I did. But he went and got himself killed. There's
no way that I can top that. I think he killed himself just to annoy me."
   "Williams," Tails was surprised at him, "your best friend is...gone."
   "Yeah," he sighed. "There's something wrong, though. Adam wouldn't just
jump into a void." He slowly got up.
   "Should you be walking?"
   "I'll be fine."
   "Do you forgive me?"
   "Okay, why?"
   "I should've listened to you. If I had just left when you said so, then
you could've..."
   "Could have what? Moved out of the way? Yeah, right. It doesn't matter
if you stayed, ran, or took my place, one of us was going to get hit, maybe
both. Aren't you glad it was me?"
   " I mean, I don't want to see you hurt."
   "I'm trying to explain this to you. Would you rather get your arm hacked
open, or have me, with my nanites that can fix almost anything, get my arm
hacked open?"
   He put his arm around Tails and gave him a type of half-hug. "Tails, I
could tell that when I first met you I was going to like you. You are
extremely intelligent and need to work on your sense of humor, but that's
okay. There are a LOT of things I can teach you, maybe you can visit me
sometime. Just don't tell Sally you're going."
   "Maybe YOU can visit me."
   "Oh I will. Every once in a while, at the most unexpected time, I'll
drop by and say 'hello.'" He limped over to David's position, which was
still behind the tree. "Computer, what is wrong with David?"
   "He has no recognizable command functions or interpretive data."
   "Computer, unscramble David." It did. David got up and tried to deduce
exactly what went on whilst he was out. "Let's go," Williams started back
for Knothole.
   But as soon as he turned around, the void opened up again and Adam
popped out. Immediately afterwards, it closed. The trio ran (or limped as
the case may be) over to Adam, who was sweating and breathing heavily.
   "They need more oxygen in their atmosphere," he panted.
   "Well, that's what you get for being heroic," commented Williams. He
helped Adam up and they started back for Knothole. "I nearly get my leg
lopped off after I try to save you, and you nearly suffocate after you save
   "I don't care--I won!"
   "Won what?" asked Tails.
   "We had going. Whoever could get rid of the creature was
declared the winner."
   "There was nothing tangible at stake," added Williams. "It was just a
matter of reputation. Something you can check off on your 'things-to-do'
list. Saved planet, check. How did you get back, anyway?"
   "When you were unconscious I took your void programs. I would never
jump into a void with no way to get back."
   "How was it in there?"
   "Nice place to visit. I'm never going there again. Promise me one
thing, Williams, don't ever open it again."
   "That's a problem. See, I told the princess I'd take her in. And Tails
might want to go. Then I'd have to show Kristen also. Maybe we could set
up an attraction..."

   "Tails!" Nina ran up to meet him. They embraced, "Why is David here?
Did the plan work?"
   "It's hard to explain."
   Williams' wounds had healed a bit, but were still quite noticeable.
Kristen saw the torn clothing, missing scales, and dried blood and wanted to
know what happened. He explained everything, including why David was still
with them. "And now, Princess, we will be on our way."
   "Wait!" Tails stopped him. "Aunt Sally, can't they stay here just one
more day?"
   She had to think for a minute. "Ultimately, it's not my decision to
make. You'll have to ask Sonic."
   It took some convincing from Tails and Nina, even Bookshire put in a good
word for them. Maybe it was because Adam saved the planet, maybe it was
because Williams saved the princess, maybe even because Williams was
injured. In the end, Sonic let them stay for twenty-four more hours, but no

   The End...

Received on Wed Apr 05 1995 - 02:01:29 PDT

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