A Sonic the Hedgehog story
by Daniel J. Drazen
Silently, the two sisters walked past the curious crowds of
freedom fighters who had gathered about the hut. "Please," Sally
said to them, "this is something we have to do alone. You
understand." The freedom fighters murmurred in assent and let
Sally led her sister, in silence, to a small clearing. Just
beyond, barely visible through the brush, was a pool of water.
Beneath this was the source of the power rings that gave Sonic
the added velocity he needed at times.
But that was the farthest thing from the minds of the two
sisters as they entered the clearing. Before them was a mound of
earth, at one end of which a simple stone of memory had been
placed. It was the only such mound in the clearing.
"My mentor, Julayla," Sally said simply. "She was a good
teacher; I didn't appreciate until much later that she was also a
"You were right, this *is* a good place. We'd better
The two began tearing at the grass, uprooting it and
removing dirt by the handfulls. As they worked, they talked.
"Did Mother ever say why we were split up, Sandy?"
"It wasn't her idea, or Father's from what she could tell.
He was talked into it by Karack, governor of the Southern
Provinces. He was that 'swine' that Rosie mentioned. Because
the South took so much punishment during the Great War, leaving
Mobotropolis relatively untouched for most of the fighting, and
because Karack passed himself off as a militarty genius, Father
apparently trusted his judgment. Maybe if Father had been more
of a skeptic all this never would have happened.
"Anyway, Karack reasoned with Father that the royal family
needed to be split up for 'security reasons.' He must have
convinced Father that, if the royal family stayed together, we
could all be wiped out in a single attack. So Father approved of
"At first, Mother told me, it wasn't such a hardship to be
separated from Father. I suppose looking after an infant took
much of her time. But she said she also wrote many letters to
Father. I don't think any of them ever reached Father, or if
they did, they were altered to say what Karack wanted them to
"So long as Karack could present himself as a successful
governor in a combat zone, he had Father's ear. That made it all
the easier when Karack brought his protege to court with a
petition that he be installed in the War Ministry: Julian."
"So this Karack and Robotnik were on the same side all
"Apparently. It's hard to say who thought he was in control
of whom. Karack must have been sure he had Julian on a short
leash; we've seen what Julian was capable of doing.
"I was four years old when the experiments began. Mother
began to be sick a lot; I'm not certain but I think Julian was
arranging to have someone taint her food so she'd have to be
taken someplace for treatments. All I knew was that someone
would come to take her away, they'd lock me in my room, and
nobody would let me out no matter how much I pounded on the door
or screamed. Only when she was back in her room would they let
"You sound as if you were being held prisoner."
"We were; there's no other way to explain it."
"And Father never suspected anything?"
"Apparently not; Karack must have let a couple of letters
get through--enough to put his mind at ease. So he had no way of
knowing what was happening to us.
"One day, Mother was brought back in and I was let into her
room. She was unconscious, and when I tried to move her, the
covering slipped off her bed, where she'd been placed. I...I
can't begin to describe what I felt when I saw what they'd done
to her left foot. I thought they'd chopped off her real one and
put a metal one in its place. I was panicked and screaming when
two bots came into the room. They took me to a laboratory of
some sort. After that everything was a blur except for
Julian...and that look on his face! I woke up back in the room
where Mother and I were being held. My right hand had been
roboticized. The forearm and upper arm came later on two
"From that time on we were treated as prisoners, without
even the pretense of civilized treatment. From our window we
could see shipments of bots coming in, as Julian prepared for
some kind of assault.
"Then the day came when Julian had us brought to the throne
room. He said he was going to 'tie together some loose ends.'
The first one he took care of was Karack."
"Let me guess: Robotnik had him roboticized."
"Robotnik knew all along what kind of petty opportunist he
was up against in Karack. He would have done Karack a favor by
roboticizing him. After he was done, Robotnik didn't leave
enough of Karack to pour into one of your boots. He made Mother
and I watch what happened--I still wake up screaming sometimes,
thinking about it. Then he ordered us returned to our room."
"So how did you ever escape?"
"It wasn't easy. We were under surveillance every minute of
every day. Ironically, it was Robotnik who made our escape
"The residents of the capitol thought they were safe because
of Karack's dealings with Robotnik, but they were wrong. With
Karack out of the way, Robotnik had no more use for the city. He
brought in SWAT-bots and began destroying the whole place.
"I don't have any clear memories of what happened, but
Mother told me that we were being escorted down a hallway by a
couple of Karack's guards when the palace was rocked by some kind
of explosion--we could never learn exactly what had happened.
Anyway, in that one moment, the guards panicked and fled, more
worried about saving their own lives than watching us. That was
all the chance Mother needed.
"Mother had been born in the Southern Provinces and had
wintered in the palace as a child. So she knew every inch of the
place, including tunnels and passages nobody was supposed to know
about. She opened one of these and we went inside. That was the
first time I heard the sound of SWAT-bots. They were coming down
the hallway, then I could hear the sound of their footsteps
fading as they headed off in the direction of our room. I'm sure
they were under orders to execute us.
"We moved along the corridor. It was darker than night in
there, but Mother held me and whispered that I should be very
quiet. I could only feel myself being carried onward and
downward, down what felt like a descending pathway.
"No sooner had we reached what felt like the botton of the
path and a stretch of level tunnel than the ground above us
began shaking violently. I remember screaming, then dirt raining
down on top of me. Next thing I knew, I was outside of the city,
in the moonlight.
"Mother told me later what had happened: bombs had been
placed in select areas of the city and the palace, with the
military bots--now called SWATbots--holding the people captive in
several predetermined locations. Robotnik apparently got away
after giving the order for the SWATbots to detonate the bombs.
That's how the palace, the capitol and the people were destroyed.
It didn't matter to Robotnik that he lost a number of his
SWATbots--maybe he thought it would look more like a military
strike that way. Maybe half a dozen Mobians survived the blast
through some twist of fate or other. Mother and I survived only
because we were underground.
"We came up through an opening that led to the outskirts of
the city; the city itself appeared to be deserted except for the
bodies. We were too much in shock at the time to know what to do
or where to go. We found a house that was still relatively
intact and fell asleep.
"The next morning we woke to find ourselves surrounded by
Nomads--apparently they'd come to scavenge the city or what was
left of it. Because Mother still had some of her jewels with
her, including a brooch studded with gems that was a wedding
present from Father--that's the one I gave Bunnie to show to
you--and because Mother knew a great deal about the Nomads'
language and customs, we bargained our way onto the caravan. And
we travelled with the Nomads from that day forward, hiding our
identities when SWATbot patrols came around. When we heard that
Mobotropolis had been taken and the populace roboticized, it
seemed pointless to go back anyway. We got used to that life,
but it cost us dearly: we lost all hope that things would ever be
as they were. And then we ran into Dirk and heard about you.
"I think that's it," she said as she wiped the dirt from her
"So do I. Let's go."
Sally and Sandy left the clearing, their task accomplished.
Sally still had hopes that Uncle Chuck might find a way to
miraculously cure their mother. In the meantime, they had acted
in accordance with Mobian custom: they had, with their bare
hands, dug their mother's grave.
They returned to Knothole just as Uncle Chuck stepped out of
Sally's hut. Sally, despite the physical and emotional
exhaustion she felt, ran toward him.
"Any news, Uncle Chuck?"
"Yes, but I'm afraid it's not good."
to be continued
Received on Tue Mar 14 1995 - 08:38:50 PST
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