STORY: The Experiment

From: Bookshire Draftwood <rotor_at_PrimeNet.Com>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 23:25:52 -0700 (MST)


I finally finished it! Now, the next in my series of Sonic stories
direct from my own personal sonic universe!

Packbell has designed a cruel and sinister experiment...can the Freedom
fighters shut it down before he can use it? Read and find out!

As always, send comments here to me at Primenet.

"A talent agent is a vampire with a telephone"
                                       --any movie producer

--David Pistone's distinguished collection of stupid quotes

David M. Pistone -- __ __ ____ ___ ___ ____
Sonic Stories WWW page: /__)/__) / / / / /_ /\ / /_ / / / \ / / / / /__ / \/ /___ /

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 23:20:54 -0700

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Experiment
by David Pistone

The author of this work will accept questions and comments at the
following addresses:

This work is protected under copyright law. THe author grants his
permission for free, unedited, unaltared distribution of this work. Any
and all other uses of this work including the sale of it for money, is
strictly prohibited.

based on characters created by Service and Games (SEGA),Inc. and on
characters created by Archie Comic Publications, Inc.

        A lone shuttle flew through the night skies. On board, Packbell
sat in the pilots seat with a grim expression on his face. He had been
called back to Robotropolis to perform one of the lowest services anybody
could be asked to perform, new prisoner orientation. Normally, when a
large group of rebels were captured, they were officially charged with
treason against Robotnik, found guilty and sentenced to the robotizizer
after an agonizingly long stay in the holding cells. Normally, a
Swat-bot was assigned to give the orientation, but, for some reason,
Packbell had been selected for this duty. As a First Class Commander,
prisoner orientation was listed under his job duties, but he was rarely
assigned it because both he and Robotnik knew there were better things
Packbell could be doing with his time.
        Packbell sighed as he set the shuttle down in a landing bay.
Stopping by his quarters to grab his dress cloak, he headed to the
prisoner orientation chamber.
        The chamber was massive. It had fifty rows of benches facing a
raised podium. Behind the podium was a large screen on which could be
displayed the many terrible robotization and interrigation recordings
that were always made.
        Packbell stood behind the podium and waited patiently. Soon,
Swat-bots began escorting rebel freedom fighters into the room. It was
the typical scene that Packbell was so used to. Some silent, some
crying, some glaring at him in defiance, families holding to one
another. How pathetic, thought Packbell. Soon, the entire group was
sitting in front of him. He began to speak from the script that sat in
his memory.
        "As a Commander in the Robotropolis Central Command, it is my
duty to inform you that you have all been charged with treason against
the Emporor of Mobius, Ivo Robotnik."
        At those words, some leaped up and began shouting words of
defiance. Packbell rarely listened to such nonsense. The Swat-bots
quickly silenced them by shooting warning shots over the heads of the
crowd. When the crowd quieted down, he continued.
        "Haveing been so charged, you have been tried based on an
evaluation of your general behavior, and have, consequently been found
guilty. You are therefore sentenced to the robotizizer after intense
interrigation, and a stay in our holding cells until such time as we need
more worker-bots."
        At this some began trembling in fear, while some still haven't
recovered from the shock of what was happening. Suddenly, a raccoon who
had apparently snapped from the stress, jumped up and made a desprate run
for the door. Before anybody could react, Packbell pulled a laser rifle
and shot three blasts, each of which slammed into the prisoner, throwing
him against the wall where he collapsed in a lifeless heap. The
prisoners stared in shock and terror at Packbell, who was still holding the
smoking rifle.
        "Anyone else feel like dying tonight?" he asked, placing the
rifle back under the podium "if so, please feel free to make a run for
any of the exits provided. While you're here, there's one thing you need
to understand. I care nothing for your futile little lives, and I have
no reservations about relieving you of each and every one of them."
        He turned to the Swat-bots.
        "Take them away," he ordered.
        As the Swat-bots began to excort the prisoners from the room,
Packbell suddenly had an idea.
        "Wait!" he yelled. The Swat-bots stopped where they were.
        In a single sweep of the room, he analized each prisoner
individualy. After make delibrate calculations, he arrived at a conclusion.
        "Take the twenty prisoners in the back row to my experiment
holding cells," he ordered.
        "Acknowleged," responded the bots.
        Packbell was getting tired of experimenting on worker-bots. Some
live subjects might just provide some better results. He doubted that
any of the prisoners would survive the proccess, but then, that was their
problem. Packbell left the prison block and headed for the Scientific
Research Building.

        Sir Charles Hedgehog was widely know among the resistance for his
logical attitude and somber manner when it came to getting a job done.
What was not well known was that a part of him always craved living life
on the edge, and playing the part of a Freedom Fighter spy deep inside
Robotropolis was about as close to the edge as one could get without
falling over completely. Not that he took the job lightly, he was always
very serious about it, because if he were ever found out, he'd be
interrogated and either reprogrammed or sent to the scrap pile.
        Having finished his duty cycle, he quietly slipped away from the
other worker-bots and went to the his hideout to continue with a few
things he had to do. First, however, he sat down in front of his
computer and tapped into the section were Commanders post their daily
progress reports to see if anything remotely important had happened.
        As he scrolled down the list, everything appeared to be pretty
much the same, that is, until he got to Packbell's entry:

REPORT #:548722226-457B





AUTHORIZATION: 458-5874412-55

        This is ridiculous, thought Chuck, if this keeps up, Sally won't have
any freedom fighters left to contact even if she does find her father's
        He connected to the prison block records to check on the status
of the new prisoners. Some could be rescued if they were being held in
the right areas. Looking over the reports, he noticed something unusual.
The number of new prisoners proccessed was 145. Chuck stopped and
thought a moment. Packbell had reported a score of 165, so someone was
off by twenty.
        The more he thought, the more Chuck began to worry. This was the
tenth discrepancy in the records regarding prisoners and worker-bots in
the last four months, and, in every error, Packbell had somehow been
        Chuck realized that something was going on, and he was beginning
to think that not even Robotnik might know. Calling a messenger bird to
him, Chuck dispatched a message to the Great Forest.

        Deep in the Great Forest, in Knothole Village, the freedom
fighters slept soundly. The small bird flew, unnoticed, down past
various huts until it came to rest in the window of the hut belonging to
Princess Sally. Sally lay in bed next to the window in a sound sleep.
The bird began chirping rather loudly until Sally groggily woke up to see
what the problem was.
        Going to the window, she took the note from the bird and read it
as the bird flew away.

To Knothole Freedom Fighters,

Prisoners have been disappearing en route between their orientation and
the prison block. Suspect Packbell is taking them to an unknown location
for some purpose. Request any ideas on what to do.

Respond ASAP

        Sally looked at the clock on the wall. No matter how serious
such a problem was, no one was going to have good, suggestive ideas at
this hour. Folding the note and placing it on her nightstand, Sally went
back to bed and would handle it first thing in the morning.

        Packbell walked into a chamber deep in his research center. In
the center was a long table with shackles on it. Above it, hanging from
the ceiling was a semi-circular piece of metal which appeared to have
laser scanners attached to it, which could be moved up and down the
length of the table. At one end of the room was a large display screen,
and at the other end was a large set of controls facing the table.
        Packbell went behind the controls and sat down. Pressing his
hand to a sensor on the panel, he powered the system. For a few moments,
he sat listening as the machine quietly sucked power from the Central
Power Core to serve his secret, twisted purposes.
        Suddenly, the door to the room opened and two Swat-bots entered,
escorting a frightened looking badger who they promptly strapped down to
the table.
        "Greetings, citizen," said Packbell in a voice so friendly, it
would fool all but the most cautious "You might as well stop struggling,
you can't leave."
        The badger calmed after awhile and simply glared at Packbell.
        "Now, don't be like that," continued Packbell, still speaking as
though he were the badger's comrade "Just because you've been found
guilty of treason doesn't mean that we can't be friends. In fact, you
should feel honored that you're here instead of back in the prison
block. You see, you have been chosen to take part in an experiment that
will change the way people think of computers and robotics forever.
First, however, I despise having to call you 'prisoner' so why don't you
introduce yourself."
        After glaring at Packbell for a moment, the badger responded.
        "My name's Hugo," he said.
        "Hugo? Pleased to meet you, I'm Packbell, but you already know
that," said Packbell, smiling.
        "Now then," Packbell continued "Let's get down to business. All
you have to do for this experiment is to lie perfectly still."
        Packbell pushed a few buttons on the panel, as the laser scanners
began glowing.
        "Oh, by the way," said Packbell "Good Luck."
        The laser scanners came on and shot down onto the badger. The
scanners moved down the length of the subject, examining each and every
inch of him.
        "Preliminary suject analysis complete," the computer reported.
        "Proceed to phase two, neural pathway analysis," ordered Packbell.
        The lasers changed color as they moved up towards the badger's
head and stopped. They began an intense scan of the badger's brain.
        "Analysis complete."
        "Begin Upload Processing analysis."
        The lasers again scanned the badger.
        "Analysis complete"
        Packbell pushed a few more buttons on the panel.
        "Begin full upload procedure."
        The lasers changed color to red and concentrated all their energy
on the badger's mind. On the screen at the far end of the room, was
displayed a 3-D wire frame model of the badger and an imense amount of
unreadable information. All seemed to be going well for the Commander
and he felt a slight tinge of joy at a possible success. Suddenly, the
information on the screen changed.
        "What!!" exclaimed Packbell, he joy turning to shock.
        "Shut down the experiment!" screamed Packbell above the noise of
the alarms that had sounded as he began frantically pushing buttons on
the panel. The badger's body began jerking about violently.
        Packbell managed to shut off the system. Walking over the badger
on the table, he glared at the still slightly twitching body. After
standing there for what seemed like an eternity, he turned and went to
the comm. panel.
        "Send some bots in here to dispose of the body, and bring me
another subject in one hour," he ordered.
        Turning off the panel, he walked back to the system controls.
        "I'm going to get this experiment right if I have to kill every
Mobian on the face of the planet!!!" he declared, and began going through
the program for the thousanth time looking for bugs.

        The next morning, the freedom fighters met in the war room to
discuss Uncle Chuck's latest message.
        "The idea that Packbell is kidnapping prisoners for his own
twisted purposes is a frightening thought," Sally was saying "We've got
to find out what he's doing with them. any ideas?"
        "Just the obvious one, Sal," responded Sonic "Jam to Robotropolis
and find out."
        "Sonic, you know we can't go running to Robotropolis without a
solid plan. We don't even know exactly what we're looking for," Sally said.
        She turned to Bookshire.
        "Have you had any luck locating info on this, Bookshire?" she asked.
        "Not much," he admitted "Packbell has always suspected that
someone's been sneaking into the Core so he code-locks all his personal
files. I'm examining other areas to see if he forgot something, but
it'll take time."
        "Well, until we have a better idea of what's happening, there's
not much we can do," said Sally "Bookshire will continue work on on the
computer system, but it might be a good idea to send one or two of us to
Robotropolis to follow Packbell and see what he's up to."

        Later, deep in Robotropolis, Bunnie and Sonic, both having
volunteered to follow Packbell, arrived outside the main Command Center.
After avoiding the guards, they managed to sneak inside through the
ventelation system. After taking many turns and searching many rooms,
the team lucked out when they found Packbell. He was in the main control
room with Robotnik.
        "You still haven't answered my question," Robotnik was saying to
Snively "Why are there prisoners missing from my holding cells!"
        "I really don't know sir," responded Snivelly weakly.
        "Don't give us that!" said Packbell "Do you have any idea how
hard its been for me to capture these tratiors lately. I've gone through
a lot of trouble to get them and you lose them!"
        Snively glared at Packbell. He knew that Packbell was at fault,
but, with all the trust Robotnik had invested in his finest creation, he
would never believe it.
        "I'll keep looking into it sir," Snively said rather lamely.
        "You do that," said Robotnik "If you don't find out what happened
to them, I'll give you to Packbell for target practice!"
        "Yes sir," said Snively, as he turned and left.
        "Why do you keep him around, sir?" asked Packbell.
        "You know, sometimes I honestly don't know," responded Robotnik.
        "Well, if you'll excuse me, I have some work to do," said Packbell.
        "Of course," replies Robotnik.

        Packbell, walked from the room and out onto the side walk. As he
walked down the deserted street, Sonic and Bunnie followed close behind.
They followed him to a small building. AS he entered, Sonic and Bunnie
stopped outside.
        "Okay," said Sonic "I'm going to folow him in. You stay out here
in case he comes back."
        "You got it suger-hog," said Bunnie. She crouched in a dark
corner of the street as Sonic went into the old building.
        Sonic crept down the corridor. He looked around, but saw no sign
of Packbell. He contiued down the corridor, certain that he'd catch up
to Packbell eventually.

        Bunnie waited patiently behind a garbage can for Sonic or
Packbell to emerge.
        Suddenly, without warning, a metalic hand shot out of the
darkness behind her, grabbed her by the back of her neck and lifted her
easily off the ground.
        "Scream and die, rabbit," said a chillingly familiar voice. The
arm turned her around and she found herself face to face with Cmdr.
        "Did you really think you could sneak up on someone with a
proximity detector?" asked Packbell, smiling.
        Without answering, Bunnie drove her robotic foot into Packbell's
chest. The Commander was unmoved.
        "Such is the advantage of dent-proof alloys," continued Packbell
"Now, why don't we go find your friend."
        Keeping Bunnie in a tight grip, he returned to the building.

        Sonic had searched the entire building and found nothing. As he
returned to the entrance, a figure appeared in the doorway.
        "Greetings, hedgehog!" said Packbell "I believe this belongs to you."
        Packbell held Bunnie firmly in his right hand.
        "Let her go, metal head!" ordered Sonic as he prepared to rush
the commander.
        "I wouldn't do that if I were you," remarked Packbell "Your
distance from me is such that you could never get to me in time to
prevent me from breaking this beautiful rabbit's neck. Now, I suggest
you stay where you are unless you believe taking me down is worth your
friend's death."
        Sonic stopped where he was knowing that Packbell was right.
There was no guarantee he could get to Packbell in time to save Bunnie.
        "What do you want?" asked Sonic.
        "Just the two of you," Packbell replied "I've sent a transmission
to my team at the Research Center informing them you are on your way.
You will go there and allow them to escort you to a special cell I made
just for you. If you have any ideas of doubling back, just remember that
all I need is to hear your sonic boom and Bunnie is as good as dead. Now
        Sonic wanted nothing more than to rip into Pakbell and tear him
apart, but his logic finally won out. He moved past Packbell and ran off
towards the center.
        "You're friend appears to be a very reasonable person," Packbel
remarked to Bunnie as they started for the center.
        "You'll never get away with this," said Bunnie defiantly.
        Packbell smiled.
        "Well, well, another satisfied member of the cliche of the month
club," he said.
        In a lightning move, he shifted his grip on her neck, robbing her
of her conciousness. He continued walking towards the Research Center
where his experiment awaited.

        Arriving at the Center, Packbell proceeded directly to the
holding cells where Sonic sat in a cell guarded by ten Swat-bots. Still
keeping the unconcious Bunnie in his grip, he gazed at Sonic through the
force field.
        "What's the deal, Packbell," demanded Sonic "What have you been
doing with these 'extra' prisoners?"
        "That isn't your concern at the moment. However, you'll find out
soon enough," said Packbell "It was a tough decision, but I have decided
that you will be the next subject for my experiment."
        Packbell pushed a button on the wall. Suddenly, Sonic cell was
filled with sleeping gas. Sonic collapsed to the floor. Packbell turned
to one of the bots.
        "Take the hedgehog to the chamber," he ordered.

        As Sonic began to wake, he realized he was strapped tightly to a
long metal table in the middle of a large room. Looking around, he saw
Bunnie in the tight grip of a Swat-bot while Packbell began to power the
machine. Sonic struggled to break free, but something was holding him in
place. Watching him struggle, Packbell grinned.
        "Force fields are wonderful things aren't they," he remarked
"Just relax. I've worked out all the bugs this time so there shouldn't
be any problems. Granted, thats what I thought the last five times I
tried it, but this time I'm sure."
        "Is that what you do with those prisoners?" demanded Bunnie "You
experiment on them?"
        "Of course," answered Packbell, casually "The worker-bots just
weren't delivering the results I had hoped for. They kept having neural
breakdowns and had to be scrapped. Some saved me the trouble by
exploding. Very intersting effects, but they were setbacks just the same."
        "You're insane, Packbell," yelled Sonic.
        "Yeah, and you're fast. Do you think I care?" stated Packbell as
the system powered up.
        THe system indicated it's readiness. Packbell paused for a
moment and gazes at Sonic, lying strapped to the table.
        "See you in infinity," he said, simply. He flipped a switch on
the panel.
        Later, that was the last thing Sonic remembered. . .

        "Cold . . .I'm cold."

        such was Sonic's first thought. Before he was aware of his
surroundings, even before he was aware of his own body, he knew he was
cold. It wasn't quite like any cold he had remembered feeling before.
It was hard for him to tell if the cold was coming from him or from the
darkness surrounded him.
        After what seemed an eternity, he began to regain some of his
senses. His body was in one piece, at least that's how it felt.
However, for some reason, it wouldn't move. No matter what he tried, it
wouldn't respond to him.
        He tried to get a bearing on where he was, but all that
surrounded him was dark. There was no light anywhere.
        What had happened? Sonic's mind felt strange and fuzzy. He
could barely recall who he was much less what had happened to bring him
to this dark place. He vaguely recalled a machine of some kind, and a
tall, artificial person who he knew he should know, but had forgotten for
some reason. He remembered the words, "See you in infinity". Was that
where he was? Was this what infinity looked like?
        As he thought, more questoins seemed to pile up. Questions that
he didn't have answers for. For one of the few times in his life, Sonic
the Hedgehog became frightened. He didn't know where he was or why he
was there, he couldn't see, he couldn't move, he couldn't hear . . . or
could he? Sonic could barely make out a soft, distant humming sound
which seemed to rise in volume and then fade again at irregular times.
        And so, Sonic continued to float aimlessly through a dark,
sightless void with his own thoughts, and a distand hum as his only

        The words "Procedure Successful" continued to flash on the
control screen. Packbell stood behind his control panel staring at the
words for what seemed an eternity before turning to the Swat-bot holding
        "Would you take the prisoner and wait outside," he said "I'll
send for you in a minute."
        After Bunnie had been removed, Packbell turned back to the screen.
        "YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!" he cried out as he began dancing in
happiness. After all that work and all those failures, his machine
finally worked. It was several minutes before he was able to calm himself.
He called the Swat-bot back in.
        "Computer, what is the status of the body?" he asked.
        "Body is being maintained on full life support. All systems normal."
        "What did you do to him, Packbell!" demanded Bunnie.
        "The same thing I'm going to do to you my dear," replied Packbell.
        The table holding Sonic slid silently out of the way as another
table came up from the floor under the laser scanners. The Swat-bot took
Bunnie over to it where it strapped her down.
        "You see, my dear," began Packbell "The one thing I've always
admired about Robotnik is his ability to make people suffer. The
robotizizer is, in my experience, one of the best devices in existence
for causing such suffering. Not only does it turn the victim's life into
a living nightmare, but it also provides free slave labor. However, it
has it's flaws. The person's senses are maintained so that they are
aware of what's going on. I've recently become aware that, because of
this, worker-bots have the capability to break their spell of submission."
        Bunnie froze for a moment, hoping he wassn't refering to Uncle Chuck.
        "Fortunately, I have yet to hear of such a thing. You see, the
purpose of this machine is to upload a person's mind into the computer,
leaving their body to be robotizized and given the neccessary progamming
for it to function. The person, however is stored in the computer which
is a living nightmare in itself since I or anyone else can toy with them,
torture them or erase them. Therefore, we have the same purpose of a
robotizizer, but this eliminates the possiblity of worker-bots turning on
        Bunnie stared at Packbell as he told his tale of horror.
        "You'll never get away with this," she said.
        "You keep saying that," Packbell said as he walked behind the
control panel "Sometimes I think that's the freedom fighters motto. Oh
        Packbell flipped the switch and the process began again.

        Back in Knothole, Sally was getting worried. Sonic and Bunnie
were supposed to have reported back hours before and they didn't. A trip
to Bookshire's house proved fruitless as he was unable to locate any
records of their capture.
        "Where could they possibly be!" complained Sally as she stood in
Bookshire's computer room "It's not like them to not come back. Are you
sure there isn't anything on them on the computer, Book?
        "I looked at every prisoner info file that my software could
access, but they weren't mentioned anywhere. Chances are, the ywere
captured, but somebody didn't make a record of it," Bookshire responded.
        "Now what reason would anyone have for not making a record?"
asked Sally. Before she even finished talking, she remembered why they
were there in the first place.
        "If Packbell captured them, they could be in serious trouble!"
she exclaimed "I'm taking Dulcy, Rotor and the others to get them out.
If you find out what's going on, contact us on the secured channel."?
        Bookshire nodded, knowing it was the only choice at the moment
"You have my word, your highness."

        Packbell walked back to the research center looking extremely
pleased with himself. Not only had he gotten his machine to work, but
there was nothing he loved more than seeing Robotnik yelling at Snively.
        However, it was work time again and he had two things he needed
to take care of, and he meant to do so by the end of the day.
        Returning to the experimentaion chamber, he paused briefly by the
lifless bodies of Sonic and Bunnie which were only being kept functioning
buy artificial means. He'd have them robotizized eventually, but now, it
was time for some fun. Sitting behind the control panel, he turned on
the computer links and the moniters as he accessed two files that had
been displayed. . .

        Sonic had floated endlessly in the darkness. All he had been
able to listen to was the soft hum. Suddenly, without warning, the hum
increased to a loud roar for a split second as blinding light flased
before his eyes for an instant. The next thing he knew, he was lying on
his back on some cold surface staring up at an endless sky.
        He had a pounding headache. He lay there for a few moments
wishing it would go away when he heard a slight groan of to his right.
Sitting up and turning his head slightly he saw Bunnie lying on her back,
also with what appeared to be a pounding headache. What made Sonic
almost jump with surprise, however, was the fact that Bunnie didn't
appear to be robotizized. Gone completely were the metallic legs and arm
that had plagued Bunnie's existence for years.
        He was at her side in a second.
        "Bunnie, you okay?" he asked.
        Bunnie groaned for a second, holding her hand to her head.
        "Ohh, ya'll tell the guy with the jackhammer to layoff, would
ya'" she mumbled.
        "Come on, Bunnie, snap out of it," Sonic urged gently.
        Bunnie opened her eyes and slowly sat up.
        "Where are we?" she asked.
        "I don't know," Sonic relied. He wished he could tell her more,
but he really didn't know what else to say.
        Suddenly saw that she was no longer robotizized. For several
moments she was speechless.
        "oh my stars!" she declared.
        "I know," Sonic said "I really wish I knew what was happening."
        bunnie didn't seem to hear him.
        "It''s like I was never robotizized," she said, testing her
limbs carefully.
        "You never were," a chilling voice said.
        Bunnie and sonic looked up suddenly. Up in the sky a large
screen had appeared an Packbell had appeared in it.
        "The person known as Bunnie Rabbot was NEVER robotizized,"
Packbell continued "Only her body was. Her conciousness is not effected
by physical trauma."
        "Packbell!" shouted sonic in anger "You've got ten seconds to
tell me what's going on or I'll rip you apart!"
        Suddenly, what looked like liquid metal sprang out of the ground
and wrapped itself around Sonic, virtually tying him to the ground in an
unbreakable restraint. Packbell smirked.
        "You're in my world now and in no position to make demands," he
stated "Here, everything is in my control...even you. If I wanted to I
could erase you from existence in a second...but I won't. I'd ratehr
have some fun with you first."
        Packbell grinned...

        Bookshire had been up most of the night trying to figure out what
was going on, but he had absoluetly no luck. He now sat befor his
computer, trying to think of where he had not looked. Long before, he
had given up looking in the logical places and now he was looking where
ever he could.
        He took a sip from his cup of coffee as he watched the various
pieces of information scroll by.
        Suddenly, he stopped. In front of him was an entry for an energy
requizition to the Research Center requested by Cmdr. Packbell.
        "Yes!!" bookshire exclaimed. He quickly accessed the the
Research Center Files and came across a secured file regarding Packbell's
research. Fortunately, Packbell seemed to have forgotten to code lock it
so reading it would be no problem.
        He sat silently as he accessed the file information and read
through the details of Packbell's horrible assignment.
        After he had read through half of it, he decided to get into the
support files section and see what was there. As the filenames scrolled
by, two names caught his eye:

sonic.con 158MB Status: ACTIVE
bunnie.con 146MB Status: ACTIVE

        He sat there looking at the names for a moment. The horrible
reality suddenly dawned on him that they must have been successfully
uploaded. Not wasting a moment, he quickly began to search for a way to
reverse the proccess while he alerted Sally's strike team in Robotropolis.

        Back in Robotropolis, Sally, and Rotor, sat hiding behind a
garbage dumpster outside the research Center while Ducly stood up on top
of a nearby building acting as a lookout.
        Rotor crouched by Sally as they listened to Bookshire's
information on Sally's com-link.
        "...and the lab they're in is on the third sub-level," Bookshire
        "But, how are we going to get in there?" Rotor asked, peeking out
from behind the dumpster "The place is surrounded by SWAT-bots. We go in
there and we'll be captured for sure."
        "I'm working on it," Bookshire responded "I'm trying to see if I
can send them a false order and get them to leave...stand by..."

        Bookshire's fingers flew across his keyboard as he issued various
vocal commands to his system. After a moment, he was able to access the
area of the system for issuing orders, and commanded the SWAT-bot's to
surround and guard one of the distant factories. He sat back and waited
for a sign that it had worked. Suddenly, the com-link crackled to life.
        "It worked, Book," said Sally "The bots are moving away, and
we're going in...Dulcy, keep guard up there, we'll call you when we need
        "You got it, sally" said Dulcy.
        "...and Book, stay on the line in case we need you," finished Sally.
        "I'll be here," responded Bookshire.
        He returned to his computer, hacking his way back into the
Research Center files as he waited for sally's command.

        Sally and rotor watched carefully as the bots dispersed. As soon
as it was clear, they ran for the door. It was locked, but was quickly
unlocked thanks to some quick tinkering on the part of Rotor. Sneaking
into the building, they quietly made their way downstairs.

        The lab was silent as Sally and Rotor quietly entered. Against
the far wall, they could see the bodies of Sonic and Bunnie still being
held on life support. The ystopped for a moment as the noticed Packbell
sitting at the controls, but it seemed as though he was unaware of their
        The two cautiously approached Packbell. He was sitting in his
chair behind the console, his eyes closed and his left hand pressed into
some kind of direct interface. Sally backed away a bit and whispered
into her com-link.
        "We're in, bookshire," she said "Packbell's behind the console,
but I don't think he notices us."
        "Okay, hang on," came the reply "I'm trying to access the
experiment controls. It might take awhile so jsut sit tight."
        "Affirmative, we'll be waitng," Sally replied.

        Deep inside the system, Packbell's construct grinned as he paced
thoughtfully around his two prisioners, both held to the ground by the
strange silver metal.
        "You know," he said "I've always dreamed of what I'd do when I
got my hands on you. The problem is, I have so many ways to kill you,
but you can only die once...decisions, decisions..."
        Sonic glared at Packbell defiantly.
        "So this is how you're going to kill us?" he responded "By boring
us to death with speeches?!"
        Packbell grinned "True, I could do that. Honestly, I could, and
yet...that wouldn't be much fun. Oh, I know! Maybe I'll have you erased
from the system, byte by painful byte...and I'd make sure it hurt! ;)"
        Suddenly, Sonic's and Bunnie's images flickered for a moment.
Packbell frowned suddenly and looked up in the sky.
        Bunnie looked at Sonic nervously as they flickered again "What's
happening to us?"
        "Don't know," he replied. Suddenly, Packbell's eyes opened wide.
        "The link!! Someone's got control of the System!!" he screamed,
vanishing in a flash of light.

        Packbell's construct reappared inside a communications node. he
quickly identifed the intruding link and jammed it.

        Bookshire stopped a moment as he saw his link to Packbell's sytem
wavering. He thought for a moment and grinned.
        "Sorry, Packbell," he said to himself "You're not stopping me
that easy."

        Packbell's attention flew suddenly to a bypass link on another node.
        "Not so fast, Freedom Fighter!" he exclaimed.

        Bookshire saw the words flash across the screen and thought for a
        "Granted...maybe not as fast as Sonic," he said as he began
typing into his system "but a heck of a lot faster than you."

        Suddenly, Packbell noticed connections coming in from over 100
different locations. He quickly moved, dividing himself down to cover
the links and prevent access to his control system. He laughed defiantly.
        "Create as many links as you want, Freedom Fighter! I'll block
them all!"

        Bookshire grinned. Packbell had fallen for it. He calming
pulled a disk out his top drawer and slid it into his computer. He
activated the program stored on it and paused it a moment. He quickly
typed in commands, sending instructions to the global nodes he used to
open 1000 more connections. he knew Packbell would block them all, but,
the more he blocked, the more weak and spread out he became.

        Packbell, divided himself down again as the connections kept
coming in, his conciousness flying from node to node blocking the
connections, completely oblivious to the trap he was falling into.

        Bookshire grinned a little as he activated the program.
        "bye, bye," he said quietly.

        Packbell paused in a node as he blocked the connections.
Suddenly, he saw something flying towards him. Too late, he realized it
was a copy of the 'Black Death' computer virus. He tried to pull himself
back together, but the virus slammed right into him.

        Sally and rotor had been waiting patiently for info from
Bookshire. Suddenly, the console Packbell was sitting at exploded,
flinging the android back into the wall. Sally and Rotor jumped in
suprise at the explosion and dove for cover. suddenly, rotor noticed
that the laser system activated and began scanning Sonic and Bunnie's
bodies. Sally's com-link crackled to life.
        "I'm in...I've begun the download process," came Bookshire's
voice "As soon as its complete,get them out of there, I've infected the
system and it's going to blow!"
        "Acknowleged," Sally replied.
        They ran over to the bodies as Sonic and Bunnie were downloaded
back into them. sally glanced over at where Packbell laid. It was quite
obvious that he wasn't even functioning. As soon as the download
proccess was completed, Sally and Rotor each grabbed an unconcious body
and ran from the room as equipment began exploding around them.
        They ran out of the building where they were prmptly retrieved by
Ducly. as they flew off into the air, they heard the huge boom as the
Robotropolis Research Center went up in flames, taking Packbell with it.
        Sally watched the destruction solumnly as she held Sonic in her
arms, finding it hard to believe that one of the many threats to freedom on
Mobius was actually dead.

        Sonic and Bunnie awoke a few hours after returning to Knothole.
After looking them both over, Bookshire reported that they'd both be fine.

        A few nights later, Sonic and Sally were sitting by a thick log
in the forest, gazing up at the stars. Sonic sighed.
        Sally smiled "What's the matter?"
        "Well, sal, this worlds now a little more boring than it used to
be. Packbell was a major challenge and now he's gone."
        "You can't have possibly liked it when he was around," Sally replied.
        "Well, in a way I did. Sal, I gotta have action, I gotta have
adventure! Now there's only Robotnik left to give it to me. sometimes I
wonder what I'd do if and when we finally beat him," Sonic replied.
        Sally turned to him, smiling. Sonic knew she only smiled like
that when they were alone by this log.
        "Well, I'm sure we'll be able to find things for you to do," she said.
        Sonic grinned and wrapped his arms around her, hugging her gently.
        "Yeah, probably..."
        He leaned forward and kissed her deeply.
        the two laid there until late into the night, talking and
kissing...and kissing.

THE END...or is it...


        A lone shuttle flew silently through the early morning darkness.
In the pilot's seat, a lone figure sat quietly. He had a metallic skin
and an evil glint in his eye. deep within his mind was nothing but
hatred and rage.
        No one kills me, he thought quietly, no one.
        He scanners beeped suddenly, indicating he was just coming up on
robotropolis. The shuttle began it's approah as it's pilot began
thinking of ways to vent his anger.
        There IS a whole block full of prisoners, isn't there, he thought
as the shuttle landed.
        He got out of the shuttle and left the bay, heading towards the
prision block...Packbell was back.

Received on Fri Jun 23 1995 - 02:43:08 PDT

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