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epzero/03.htm
Episode Zero
Part 03 of 04: Feedback
Started: <20050523 // 0947CST>
Finished: <20050527 // 2100CST>

Sonic the Hedgehog: Neo Redux
Episode Zero
Part 03 of 02:
Feedback


Written by Adam Czech


Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction, based on the worlds of Sonic the Hedgehog, originally created by Service Games, DiC Productions, Archie Publications, Egmont Fleetway Publications, and various lesser sources. This work is not to be sold, and is not intended for monetary profit. This document is not to be modified, or redistributed in any way without the author's consent.

The original material and characters in this story that do not draw from any other source, including information about the world based on Adam Czech's "Sonic the Hedgehog: Neo Redux," are copyright to Adam Czech (Antipode), and may only be used with his expressed consent.

This story is (c) 2005 the author.

With apologies and respect to Douglas Adams.

--

"Any sign of him yet, Little Bro, over?"

"Not yet, Sonic, over."

"Well, keep looking!"

The blue-and-silver blur of the Tornado screamed along the ground at maximum speed, keeping no more than ten metres between it and the ground as it rounded hills and dove through depressions in the landscape of Angel Island. Its pilot, fifteen-year-old Miles "Tails" Prower, kept his hand on the flight stick and concentrated through the lenses of his aviation goggles. The voice of his mentor and idol, Sonic Takeshi, crackled through the intercom in his helmet. In the back seat of the two-seater plane, Amy Rose kept a close eye out for their sworn and dangerous enemy, Doctor Ivo Robotnik, better known among the freedom fighter circles as "the eggman," a sort of inside joke between Sonic and Tails that had gotten out of hand some time ago.

The freedom fighter network had picked up disturbingly high readings of energy coming from Angel Island a couple days prior, and since their old pal Knuckles was the current Guardian of the Master Emerald, Sonic, Tails, and Amy were sent out to investigate. Tails and Amy had dropped Sonic off on the shore of the floating island to meet Knuckles, then circled under and around to the other side. Every time Robotnik stepped foot here he would go straight to the Shrine Palace to get his grubby mitts on the M.E., and they were pretty sure this time would be no different. The plan was to launch a two-pronged offencive and flank him from both sides and take him unprepared.

"Oh my gosh, Miles, look!"

Amy pointed off the nose of the plane, and Tails looked to see a massive steel tower where the Shrine was supposed to be. It gleamed a metallic darkness in the darkness of dusk, and had the symbol of Robotnik's empire emblazoned on the front.

He tapped his intercom. "Sonic, we've made visual contact, over."

The hedgehog's voice came back. "Roger, Bro. Set down and make your way inside. We'll meet you there, over."

"Roger, over out."

He cut back power on the throttle and extended the landing gear, and Tornado dropped to a short dive to set down gently in the grassy meadow. He shut down the engine and called behind him. "Ready to go, Emi?"

"Ready when you are, Miles," she replied, slapping a clip into her pistol and clicking the slide back. Tails readied his own gun and climbed out of the cockpit.

The Eggman's efficiency rating had severely plummeted the past couple of years; his new fortress lacked the trademark sinister, fear-inducing, odiousness of his previous domiciles. And there were no guards in sight, either.

Tails tapped his intercom. "Sonic, it looks like we've got a coast-clear. Should we go in, over?"

"Negative, Bro. Knux and I are about thirty seconds away. Just hold tight."

"Roger," he replied and knelt in the shrubbery. They were about a quarter-kilometre from the tower. "I guess we wait."

Twenty-five seconds later they heard the engine. Twenty-seven seconds later a cherry-red, '26 model, Stardust Speedster 8 with chrome details raced around the bend, heading straight for Robotnik's tower. The echidna behind the wheel and the hedgehog in the passenger seat both let out a whooping cry as they peeled past Tails' and Amy's hiding place, showing no signs of stopping.

The car squealed to a stop and both occupants jumped out. Sonic waved over at their bushes. "Hurry up, kids!"

Tails and Amy hustled to the tower as Sonic and Knuckles rushed inside. Curiously, they found their path unimpeded as the got to the core of the facility, where they knew from experience would be a command chamber, with Robotnik waiting for them. They were right.

The Eggman let out a throaty bellow as they kicked the door in. "You're too late, freedom fighters! I've already sapped the power of the Master Emerald to use in my time machine!"

"You'll never get away with this, Eggman!" Sonic posed and proclaimed.

"Time machine?" Amy asked. "Like what you gave Metal Sonic?"

Robotnik bellowed again. "Exactly right! Except this time on a much grander scale! And once I pull this lever all of Angel Island will be sent hurtling back in time, where you Mobians are so primitive I can easily enslave the lot of you! Ha ha haaa!"

"You better not pull that lever, Blubber-Butt!" Sonic warned.

"Oh ho, but I'm going to anyway!" Robotnik countered.

"No!"

"Yes!"

"You touch that control panel and so help me..."

"Too late!" Eggman giggled with glee and pounced on the lever. All five of them felt a sickening lurch as the ground beneath them gave way and the sky hit them on the head. Then the sky fell to pieces and rained around them, and the ground wondered what was going on up there. It went to look, and forgot to hold them up, and everyone began falling through an endless abyss. The ground then realised it had failed in its only logical property in life, gave a resounding "oh, bludger," and went all to pieces, same as the sky.

So the sky and ground fell in tandem with the five hapless time travellers, mostly in chunks. Not that the time travellers themselves fell in chunks, though they very well could have. But such a thing would have been dreadfully uncomfortable, and very messy, so for the sake of argument we'll assume they fell as one entity. Not to say that all five beings merged, heavens no, as many of the same arguments as above would apply in that instance as well.

Also, in the instant Robotnik pulled the lever, more energy than the Master Emerald had ever produced in the past was sent coursing through the soil and plants of the floating island. Having something as mechanically unsound as an island floating through the air is one thing, but infusing it with multiple times the energy that makes it operate is another entirely. The entire mass of the island failed under the stress of temporal velocity and shattered in such a spectacular display of force as to be seen from kilometres away, and for several years forward and back. (Exploding during temporal travel has the effect of ripples in a pond, except in addition to the ripples expanding outward in the physical plane, they expand outward in the temporal plane as well. Dreadful stuff, time travel, just nod and smile and move on.)

Perhaps predictable to all of the furries there, was that Eggman had either severely underestimated or severely mis-programmed his technology. For instead of sending them back to the Mobian Stone Age, it sent them back about 1000 years or so, before Mobian recorded history altogether. They were above a lighted city, with skyscrapers and historic buildings and the like. They were all unconscious by this time, as the trip was extremely taxing on the nerves, and a good thing as well, because they were a handful of kilometres above the surface of the planet, with neither ground to stand on nor parachute. Oh yes, and they were falling as well.

The rubble that used to be Angel Island fell right along with them, smashing into buildings and causing great damage and panic. How they survived the fall none of them would know until much later, but the ground was not friendly in the least. By the time they came to, they were in a dank, dark holding cell.

But that's a story for another time.


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