STORY: Seeing Stars (2/4)

From: Pat Carson <>
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 1995 04:33:20 -0700 (PDT)

     Sonic blinked, then eyed Vision's amulet. "Heyyy, you're right! I
_knew_ I'd seen that somewhere..." He glared at Vision, furrowing his
eyebrow. "So, what gives??"
     "Headless gopher, eh?" Vision chuckled. "That must've been Darius.
He likes to use that illusion to scare people away from our subbase there."
He knealt down and smiled at Tails. "You can relax, Tails, I'm no ghost.
This amulet just carries the symbol of my homeworld, Keld'yr."
     Tails peeked out from behind Sonic, looking more confused than
frightened now. "K-keld'yr? Homeworld?"
     Sonic hrm'd, then patted Tails' head. "Tell ya later, big guy. We've
got business to take care of, and it's got Robuttnik written all over it!"
     With that, they made their way to the hub, formulating a plan and
deciding who to send on the mission. Sally, Sonic, and Vision were most
certainly going. Bunnie, because they could use her strength. Dulcy for an
airborne escape. Sally was loathe to include Tails in the mission because of
his youth, but Sonic and Vision convinced her that his natural tracking
skills would be very helpful. And finally, Antoine, that decision coming
after much protest from Sonic. Sally felt that he was good for something,
and Vision noted that one more Freedom Fighter wouldn't hurt.
     Each of the Freedom Fighters were approached by Sally and Sonic, and
told to accompany them to the war room to be briefed on the mission. The
entire group met at the door, which Sally opened for them. They all
entered to see Sonic waiting for them. "Hey, guys!"
     "Hey there, Sugarhog!" Bunnie replied, then paused, looking back to
see the "Sonic" that came with the group walk in and up to the head of the
long table. "Huh?? What in blazes...?"
     Everyone else was just as confused by this oddity. "Oh, mon dieu!"
Antoine said with obvious dismay. "There ahre being TWO Soneecs?!"
     "Oh, I wouldn't say that..." The "Sonic" at the table replied. He then
glowed brightly and morphed into a tan-furred ferret with a ponytail and a
gold amulet around his neck.
     This, of course, had produced a variety of gasps and astonished
responses from most of the people in the room. "Whoa!" "Sacre' Bleu!!"
"What th'" "Oh mah stars..." "Oh my.."
     Sonic chuckled, having been privy to this planned display. Even
though he still didn't trust this alien, he could always appreciate a good
     Sally rolled her eyes, chuckling at these antics. She walked up to
Vision and introduced him. "Freedom Fighters, this is Vision. I'll let him
speak, because what he has to say is _very_ important to this mission."
     "Thank you, M'lady, "Vision said as Sally took her place at the table.
"If y'all will take a seat, I'll begin by explaining who, and _what_ I
                                    * * *
     Meanwhile, at Robotropolis, Dr. Ivo Robotnik was sitting in his chair
at Central Command, deep in thought and looking very unamused. "Snively..."
he said, "My day isn't looking very bright right now... How is it that I
can find such a wonderful energy storage crystal, yet not be able to use
one _BIT_ of the energy stored within it???"
     Snively turned away from his instrument panel and said, nervously,
"W-we've been having trouble with the power extraction equipment, S-sir...
There seems to be a tremendous amount of phase..."
     "Well, then..." Robotnik interrupted, "Perhaps we should _fix_ the
trouble..." his eyes glowed a brighter red. "...and _SOON_. Am I clear on
this, Snively??"
     Snively gulped visibly. "Y-y-yes, S-sir... working on a routine I
created right now, Sir.."
     "Good..." Robotnik replied, and went back to his brooding, something
he seemed to do exceedingly well...

     "Lord Robotnik..." A familiar voice spoke, interrupting his
brooding. Robotnik spun his chair around to see Commander Packbell
standing before him, flanked by two SWATBots.
     "Ah, my beloved Packbell..." Robotnik said with a smile. "I take it
that that group of rebels in your care have been processed?"
     "Yes, sir, they've been roboticized. Sir..." Packbell replied, "I feel
it necessary for us to double security at the laboratory where our latest..
acquisition is located."
     "Hmm..." Robotnik mused. "Our current resources are somewhat short in
that department, thanks to that annoying blue rodent and his friends... Are
you sure this is necessary?"
     "Yes, sir..." said Packbell. "The potential that this crystal has
would most certainly attract unwanted attention."
     "Perhaps..." Robotnik replied, "Though I doubt those miserable rodents
will discover it until it's too late... Still, I admire your enthusiasm.
Permission granted."
     "Thank you, sir. That is all," Packbell said, and turned around,
leaving the room. "...You pathetic, bloated fool..." he thought to himself,
"You've no idea what you're dealing with..." He doubted that the base they
found the crystal in wasn't abandoned recently. He also knew that the
crystal didn't originate from this world. He couldn't shake the feeling
that its original owners would soon come calling, somehow...
     Robotnik resumed his brooding, only to be interrupted again. "Dr.
Robotnik, sir! The latest results of our tests on the crystal have arrived!
They look quite promising, Sir!"
     Robotnik raised an eyebrow. "On viewscreen, Snively..." He read the
data that began to creep up the large screen in front of him, and an evil
smile crept up on his face. "Very promising indeed... Yes, perhaps I _am_
having a good day, after all..."
                                    * * *
     Vision recounted what he told Sonic and Sally with the rest of the
assembled group of Freedom Fighters, then helped them form an attack plan;
The goal being to retrieve the Ry'den Star if possible, to destroy it
otherwise. Vision would be the one to destroy it, knowing the safest method
of rendering it unusable.
     After forming a solid plan, everyone waited until dark, then went
outside to take off for Robotropolis. Dulcy looked at the group. "I'm not
sure I can carry this many..."
     Sonic smirked and put on his backpack. "I can juice over there with
Tails." Tails gleefully hopped into the backpack in response.
     Vision nodded and said, "And as for me..." He glowed and changed into
a brown-furred bat. "I can provide my own transportation," he said with a
     Sally blinked at Vision's transformation, noting that she wasn't going
to get used to that for quite a while. "Well, that's settled. Let's move."
With that, the group left for Robotropolis.
     Along the way, Tails was talking to Sonic. "Aw, c'mon, Sonic, Vision's
kinda neat! A little weird, but neat."
     "I dunno, little bro'," Sonic mused, "I'm still not sure I trust him;
this could be some sorta trap... I mean, Robuttnik's had aliens helping him
before, and he..."
     "Oh, he has, has he?" Vision interrupted, flying in closer to the two.
"Hmm... I've had my suspicions... This bears looking into. Tell me, you
ever see any of these aliens?"
     Sonic blinked startledly, then nodded. "Yup. It was on that Spy
Satellite that me n' Rotor took down. It was uuuug-LY! Looked like a big
brown furred ball, with yellow eyes, and these slimy lookin' tenticle-like
things coming out of it... It tried to wrap them around me, yuck!"
     Vision listened, musing, then made a face. "Bleah... Sounds like a
Tenadian Alley Dweller.. Nasty suckers, they like to feed off the blood of
sapients. They usually take _days_ to feed off someone. It prolly thought
you looked pretty tasty, Blue Boy." He grinned.
     Sonic blinked at that, then shuddered, nearly tripping as he ran.
"EEEEEEEEEEW!! YUCK!!! That thing TOUCHED me?!?! Ewwewweww!!!"
     Vision chuckled, and Sally shouted down, "Keep quiet down there, we're
getting close..." The border of Robotropolis was in view as they made their
                                    * * *
     The inside of Robotropolis' buildings didn't look any more cheerful
that the outsides did. Drab hallways, cold grey walls, and dark rooms were
the rule, and this particular building on the outskirts of Robotropolis was
no exception.

     In one of the air vents, however, the color scheme was changed
slightly, as a bright orange glow began to form a large circle on one of
it's walls. The circle completed itself, then a grey metallic arm punched
out the metal within the circle. The metal was cooled by some device, and
the head of a tiger popped through the newly formed hole and said in a raspy
voice, "Heeeeeeeere's JOHNNY!!"
     The rest of Vision's body climbed through the hole, followed by Sonic,
who's eyebrow was quirked as he said, "Weird, man, weird..."
     The rest of the group filed through the hole, and Sally pulled out
Nicole. "Nicole, are there any records of this building in your database?"
     "Working, Sally..." Nicole replied in her ever calm voice. "No mention
of this building exist in early Mobotropolian records."
     Sally frowned. "He must've recently built it. We're going to have to
play it by ear..." She looked at Vision. "Where to now?"
     "Well, perhaps we should let Tails discern that." He handed Tails the
datapad he had been using to track the Ry'den Star's energy pattern.
     Tails looked at the datapad confusedly... "I can't read all these
weird looking letters..."
     Vision chuckled. "You don't need to, just follow that big arrow on
there and your instincts and you'll do just fine. When that arrow starts
turning red, you'll know we're getting close."
     Tails nodded and smiled. "Ok. I can understand that."
     Vision pulled out another datapad, seemingly out of nowhere. "And I'll
be looking out for bots in the meantime. Shall we?"
     Sally nodded. "Lets. We haven't a moment to lose." And the group made
their way through the vents, Tails leading the way.
     They made their way through the vents to a dim hallway. Assured that
there were no SWATBots present, they made their way through. They passed a
doorway, when Vision stopped them. "Guys, hold up a bit..." He zipped into
the room stealthily as the others looked at each other in confusion. After
a brief moment, he came back out. "A little toy I found. I'll explain
later." Everyone shrugged and continued.
     They made a turn, following Tails, when Vision stopped them again. "Bots
coming at 3 and 9 o'clock, guys. Move towards the wall and stay put."
Everyone moved towards the nearest wall, then Vision began to change shape,
forming a metallic-like box around them. Antoine almost screamed at this, but
Sonic quickly slapped his hand over his mouth and whispered, "Cool your
jets, Ant, or we're all toast!"
     Through a small hole Vision left, Sally could see two SWATBot patrols
walk by from both directions, apparently mistaking Vision for some machine
located in the hall. After a moment, Vision reformed back into a tiger.
"Coast is clear, let's move."
     They continued on, with Antoine shakily saying "I would very much be
liking a warning before yeu try and serrigate us like that again..."

     Sally rolled her eyes. "That's 'suffocate', Antoine, and he was
disguising us from the SWATBots..." Antoine complained a bit more as they
continued, not noticing a shielded camera observing them from a hole in one
of the walls...
                                    * * *

     Robotnik was in the same building, in a large room, working on some
form of device. Snively was there reading off data from a terminal, trying
to ignore various taunts from Packbell, who was overseeing security.

     Robotnik rose from his device, removing his goggles. "There, that
should do it... Now, if only I had a suitable subject to test this..."
     He was interrupted by a SWATBot. "PRIORITY ONE HEDGEHOG ALERT! FREEDOM
     Packbell observed the monitors... "Six of them located, Lord Robotnik.
One of them being the Hedgehog. It appears they're heading towards this
     "Really? I was wondering if we'd see those annoying rodents traipsing
through here... Hmmm..." An evil smile crept up on Robotnik's face. "Let
them come, though not TOO easily... I have something to show them." He
laughed as he made his way to a control panel.
     Packbell nodded, and ordered the SWATBots to comply. He then looked at
the monitors again, and raised an eyebrow.. "Those datapads the fox and the
tiger carry... The fox I've seen before, but the other one... Hrm..."
                                    * * *
     The Freedom Fighters continued on, dodging a few more SWATBot patrols.
They entered another air duct, and soon came across a large room. Tails
looked at the datapad he carried.. "I think it's in here, guys!"
     Vision nodded and checked his datapad... "Just four bots outside the
door to this room... Think we should make our way in?"
     Sally looked out the vent, then nodded. They opened the vent and made
their way into the room.
     The room was incredibly dark, with only a few small blinking lights
providing any light. Everyone made their way around with some difficulty,
and Sonic looked around, saying.. "Man... Someone should get the lights in
     "Allow me, rodent..." A familiar and malevolent voice said... The room
brightened, and a few metal boxes could be seen in the large room, as well
as a good amount of scaffolding. There was a large, humming device in the
center of the room, with a glowing, bright yellow, multi-faceted starlike
crystal being suspended in the middle of it by some form of tractor beam.
And, standing on a platform located in front of the device was Packbell,
Snively, and the large round shape of Dr. Robotnik. "Greetings, hedgehog...
So glad you could drop in..." he said with an evil grin.
     The whole group stood in their tracks, a few gasps coming from it.
Sally looked at the device, and the crystal in the middle of it, and
silently mouthed the words "Is that it?" to Vision, who nodded in reply.
He had a bad feeling about things...
     Sonic jumped forward and pointed at Robotnik. "You've got something
that doesn't belong to you, Robuttnik, and we're here to take it away!"
     "Oh, are you, now?" Robotnik replied with a sneer. "And I suppose I
should just hand it over to you? No, I don't think that's going to happen at
all, rodent. I'd much rather destroy you with it instead." He grinned.
     "HA!" Sonic shouted. "Yeah, right! You can't even figure out how to
use that thing!" He advanced a step forward.
     Robotnik smiled even more. "Oh, on the contrary... I already have.
     Snively grinned evilly, and replied, "Yes, Dr. Robotnik, Sir!" he
pushed a button on the machine's control panel.
     The Ry'den star glowed even brighter, and energy started arcing along
it's surface. Suddenly, it discharged a large bolt of energy directly at
     "WHOOOOA!" Sonic yelped as he zipped backwards just in time. The bolt
slammed into the ground with explosive force, leaving a huge hole in the
floor. The Freedom Fighters gasped at this near miss.
     Snively grinned, and targetted the entire group, pressing the firing
button again. Robotnik laughed evilly as the Ry'den Star charged up again...

/---------> ##### ##### ##### # <---------------------------------------\
|Peace, -> # # # # # <- Vision (Pat Carson in RealLife(TM)) |
| Love, -> ##### ### # # <- |
| and -> # # # <- /-----------------------------------\|
\---------> # ##### ##### # <--| Nakedness is a concept created by |/
                                     | Humans with fur envy :) |

Received on Tue Oct 03 1995 - 08:05:57 PDT

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