On My Mother's Grave, Part 5

From: Robin Hood <gt6005a_at_prism.gatech.edu>
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 1995 21:44:03 -0400 (EDT)

On My Mother's Grave
A Sonic the Hedgehog story
Written by Kris Kelley. Story by Kris Kelley and Craig Moore.

This story is protected by copyright laws. Feel free to distribute this story,
but the authors do not allow any unauthorized alteration of the story or
distribution for profit.

Part 5

     Tolouse didn't even bother knocking. Sally nearly dropped Nicole in
surprise as he burst into her hut.
     "Tolouse, what in the---?"
     "Tails is gone! Packbell took him! Look at this!" He handed the pad to
     She read it. "Oh no. Where's Todd and Antoine?"
     "Antoine's back at his hut. Todd... He went after them."
     "He did?"
     "There was nothing I could do! He said he knew where the building was and
then he took off before I could stop him."
     Sally rubbed her forehead. "This is *not* good. Okay, go get Sonic. We
must act quickly."
     Sonic was soon there, and the three worked out a plan. Sonic gave his
usual suggestion. "I say we go bust him out now!"
     "Sonic, you don't have any power rings, remember? You used them in your
little show yesterday, and the next one's not for another three hours!"
     "I can run fast enough without 'em, and we need every second we got! No
telling what Packbell will do if he sees Todd alone!"
     Sally had to admit Sonic was right. "Okay then, we should get going."
     Sonic shook his head. "You're staying here, Sal."
     "I beg your pardon?"
     "Look, this isn't some carefully planned mission. It's gonna be dangerous
and I don't want you getting hurt. Let me handle 'im like only I know how."
     Sally thought and again admitted to herself that Sonic had a point. They
shouldn't risk both of their lives on this one. "Okay, but you're not going
alone. I suggest that you take Bunnie with you."
     "Bunnie's sick, remember? She got a cold."
     Sally rubbed her forehead again. This was looking worse with each passing
minute. "Alright. Tolouse, will you go?"
     Tolouse had little desire to face Packbell again, but he would not hesitate
to help Tails or Todd. "Of course."
     "Good. Okay, get going!"
     "C'mon, Tolly! Let's juice!"
     Sally watched from her doorway as the blue streak melted into the woods. I
don't know why, she thought, but I have a bad feeling about this.

* * *

     Todd tore through the woods, his years spent on the run allowing him to
keep up a brisk pace. As he ran, his mind was also in high gear. There were
many memories: his home, his mother, the years spent with Sebastian and the
others, and finally, his time at Knothole. It seemed that at the end of each
happy memory, there was a traumatic one waiting to be relived, and in every one,
Robotnik or Packbell played a central part. There had been many times like
this, when the memories played themselves out, and each time, Todd's hatred of
Robotnik and Packbell had grown, and not a day had gone by that he didn't dream
of making them pay for what they had done -- by any means, at any cost. Had
Sally and the others known just how immense this hatred had become, they would
certainly have worried about him. It is sometimes impossible to tell just how
far one will go when all other goals, all other thoughts have been tuned out,
save one.
     This time was different, though, for he had not one goal, but two. Tails
was his friend. He considered the young two-tailed fox to be one of the closest
friends he'd ever had. Packbell's going to pay for ever even thinking of
kidnapping him! he thought. Todd would stop at nothing (NOTHING!) to make sure
that no harm came to Tails, and that Packbell would suffer for what he'd done.
     Packbell, I swear to you, on my mother's grave, you WILL NOT GET AWAY THIS
     He pushed himself harder, running as fast as he could. Finally, he found
himself outside what used to be the Mobotropolis Museum of Arts. He was the
first to arrive.

     Tails shivered in silent fear, wavering in and out of consciousness, as
Packbell busied himself at a portable terminal, making sure that his other
duties were taken care of and that he would not be missed while his plan was
being carried out. They were in the main display hall, where the works of
Mobius's legendary artists had once resided. The museum had been neglected
during the time of the Great War, and one of King Acorn's hopes had been to have
the museum restored back to its full glory when the war ended. Robotnik, of
course, had had other ideas when he staged his coup, and now the building was
just one among many others, decaying and forgotten in the outskirts of the city,
far away from the main activity of Robotnik's factories. Which, of course, made
it an excellent place for Packbell to carry out his plan without any worry of
Robotnik interfering.
     Packbell checked the status of his projects, as well as the of the
rebuilding of the coolant treatment plant. Good, everything is on schedule, he
thought. By this time next week the plant will be operational again, and I can
finally turn my attention to---
     "Packbell!" A voice broke the silence.
     Packbell turned around and saw a lone fox standing in the distance
entryway. He casually stood up and picked up his laser rifle as he said, "And
who are you?"
     "You should remember me, Packbell, after what you and Robotnik did to me.
And my mother!"
     Packbell, of course, had every face that he had ever enountered memorized,
but even for an android it is easier to recall some faces more than others, and
he didn't feel the need to waste time scanning his memory for this particular
one. "Spare me the bad monologues and tell me why you are here, and I might let
you live that much longer."
     "I have come for my friend Tails and to make sure that you are never able
to pull anything like this again."
     Only one fox, and not one of the main Freedom Fighters at that? This was
not the rescue party Packbell had figured on. Perhaps the others were on their
way, and for whatever reason this one decided to strive ahead. Personal
vendetta, maybe. Packbell chuckled to himself. There's one in every crowd, and
they all got what they deserved eventually. Now, however, was not the time.
Holding the rifle with both hands, he said, "I'm afraid that you are a little
more than helpless to retrieve your friend here. As you can see, he is quite
restrained and any motion towards him or me will be quite painful, I can assure
you. Now, run along and make sure your friends are here by sundown, or there
will be no hope of rescuing him."
     This quick dismissal was certainly not what Todd had expected, and his
anger began to boil, consuming him. "NO!! I will NOT be ignored so easily, do
you hear me?!"
     Packbell, now irritated, turned back around. "Did you not understand me?
Get out of my sight!"
     "You will face me, NOW! You owe me that much for all the misery you have
caused me!"
     Something about this one, Packbell thought. He's different. So, he
scanned his mind, and eventually came across the memory of a young kit during
the time of the initial coup. He gave Todd a chilling grin. "Ah, now I
remember you, and I must admit I am impressed that you are still alive. You
know, I have to tell you it was a lovely sight seeing Dr. Robotnik deal with
your mother the way he did. Seldom does he get that involved in dealing with
prisoners, and it is always a pleasure watching him when he does."
     Todd trembled. "Shut up! I swear you will pay for that!"
     Packbell sneered. "I told you to spare me the speeches. I can easily
guess what you're here for." Packbell then thought for a moment. "But can you
imagine what I am here for? Have you stopped to think about why I kidnapped
your young friend here when I could just as easily have taken any or all of you
last night?"
     Todd refused to listen. "All I know is you are not going to get away with
     Packbell chuckled. "Oh, I think I will. Let me tell you my plan..."

     Meanwhile, two more figures had slipped quietly into the display hall, from
an entranceway on the opposite side of the room.
     "There they are," Tolouse whispered. "And look, there's Tails!" He
pointed to where the unconscious fox sat tied to his chair.
     Sonic looked. "Packbell's got his back to us, and it sounds like he's
bending Todd's ear. C'mon!"
     "Where're we going?"
     "We're gonna get Tails out of there super fast. Then we'll get Todd and
blow this hole."
     The two crept stealthily over to Tails and began working on his restraints.
Much too close for comfort, Packbell continued detailing his plan to Todd.

     "...You see, far more times than I would care to remember, your precious
Freedom Fighters have succeeded in their plans, resulting in their continued
existence as well as the destruction of much of Robotnik's property. I began
looking for ways end their luck, and I believe I have found one. What do you
think would happen to the Freedom Fighters if they witnessed both the kidnapping
and..." he paused, chuckling, "...the killing of one of their closest and
youngest friends, right in front of them, while they were utterly helpless to do
anything about it?"
     Todd shuddered. "You would really... just to see how they would react?
They would do everything they could to destroy you!"
     Packbell chuckled. "I think not. Why, to have their free-spirited friend
here *crushed* before their very eyes? How would they sleep at night? How
would they be able to look at themselves in the mirror?" He took a step towards
Todd. "And, how would they fight?"
     "You-- I won't let you do this!"
     Packbell chuckled and said with a hideous whisper, "Watch me!"

     Tolouse was sweating bullets. "Sonic, are you done yet?"
     "One more to go, bud. Here, help me with this...yeah, that's it. Now
     Tolouse pulled, and the final restraint gave way, but not silently.
     Oh, gods...

     Packbell turned, his eyes instantly focusing on the source of the sound,
and then on Sonic. "You!"
     Sonic was quickly on his feet. "Yeah, me. Who'd you expect, the cleaning
     Packbell was in even less of a mood for Sonic's attitude than normal. He
raised the laser rifle. "I guess I will just have to execute my plan that much
quicker. Say goodbye, hedgehog!"
     Sonic prepared to dodge, but he noticed the rifle was not being aimed at
him. "Huh? Now wait a Sonic sec---"
     Tolouse's heart pounded as it looked like the rifle was pointed at him.
"Oh my---"
     Packbell focused his aim, ready to pull the trigger.
     All thoughts and actions were broken by a scream. Todd howled as he raced
across the display hall.

     What happened next took place in much less time than any of those present
remembered it.

     Tolouse darted sideways, bumping into Sonic.

     Sonic grabbed him and quickly pulled him down behind him, then reached up
for Tails.

     Packbell hesitated slightly... ever so slightly... before pulling the

     Todd jumped in front of Tails, still howling.

     Packbell pulled the trigger.

     A blinding flash. Thoughts of panic, wondering if these were the last

     The howling stopped.

     When he realized that he was still alive, Tolouse looked up. "TODD!!"

     Sonic didn't waste anytime at all. With adrenaline adding to his strength,
he scooped up Tolouse in one arm and Tails in the other, and raced out of the
display hall before Packbell had another chance to fire.

* * *

     It was several minutes later before any of the participants were thinking
clearly. By that time, Sonic was passing the city limits with his two
occupants. Tails was easy to carry, as he was still unconscious. Tolouse was
another matter.
     "We can't just leave him back there, Sonic! We can't!"
     "There is nothing we can do," Sonic replied, all hints of his famous
attitude gone for the moment. "I'm sorry."
     They moved on, toward their destination of Knothole.

     It was several minutes later before any of the participants, carbon-based
or otherwise, were thinking clearly. By that time, Todd was breathing his last
breaths, and Packbell stood over him, exploding with anger. Packbell was going
over the events in his mind, and with each replay, his anger and frustration
deepened. He couldn't deny the truth to himself. He had hesitated. Todd's
scream had distracted him, and although he recovered in a slim fraction of a
second, it had been enough. It had been enough for Todd to block his shot. It
had been enough to allow Tails and the others to escape.
Now here he was, watching the foil of his plan die at his feet, and still not
getting any satisfaction from it!
     He roughly picked up Todd and was ready to shout at him, to threaten him.
But what could he say? 'I'll kill you for what you did'? He was already dying!
All he could think to say was, "Don't think I'll stop here. Take to your grave
the knowledge that I will win! Do you hear me! I *will* win!"
     But Todd didn't respond to that. Instead, he mustered all of his remaining
strength to raise his head, look Packbell eye-to-eye, and whisper one last
sentence, which he did with a smile.
     "I beat you."
     Then his head fell, and Packbell knew there was nothing more he could do or
say to scare or hurt Todd.

To be continued.
Received on Sat Aug 19 1995 - 22:46:17 PDT

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