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Cy-Fox Unit

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  1. Acknowledgements This is a work of fiction that portrays an alternate timeline of that of the combined continuum of SEGA's Sonic the Hedgehog video game and comic book series made in conjunction with Archie Comics. This work is meant to be for the enjoyment of the fan and the science fiction reader alike and is not meant as a work to make profit. Characters from the continuum are a combination of 'canon' and derivative versions. Naval officers must therefore understand not only how to fight a war, but how to use the tremendous power which they operate to sustain a world of liberty and justice."" -Admiral Arleigh Burke, USN Prologue Mobian Space Admiralty Mobotropolis, Republic of Mobius 12.08.2115 - 2:27 PM (Local Time - Republic Eastern Seaboard Time) The timing of the public inquiry and conference had rung with irony. One hundred and seventy-four years ago, a similar announcement and conference on Earth had signaled the entry of one of its most powerful nations and later the first nuclear power into a second world war. It came a day after a devastating surprise attack that crippled the United States Navy and was thought to be the opening to a west coast invasion. Only a few weeks ago, a similar attack came about on Earth's doorstep with equal surprise. The parallels dropped however as the attack did not come from an established nation. There was no exchange of diplomatic traffic that tried to paste salve onto the wounds in peace. The Battle of the ARK was a pure surprise that shook both Earth civilian and military leaders but also many in this very building, especially for Admiral Kyle W. "K.W." Bolton. Admiral Bolton was a blue-eyed, gray and white furred cat but not the kind that stood on four legs, staring down balefully at you and your friends while you ate steak and potatoes, debating on when to pounce and steal what he could like the trickster-demigod Loki. Instead he stood on two legs, had two hands with five fingers apiece, prominent claws at the ends and of course had a tail. His uniform jacket sat on the back of his chair and the sleeves of his charcoal gray shirt were rolled up to his elbows while he held his tablet in hand. RMSS Amadeus Prower (BB-0) - Readiness: Red - Crew: 40% Staffed - Armament: Black - Newport News Space Naval Yard (Space Station ARK) - Repairs/Recovery RMSS Mobotropolis (CC-0) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Home Orbit - Patrol RMSS Station Square (CC-1) - Readiness: Red - Crew: 65% Staffed - Armament: Black - Mobius Orbital Naval Yard - Repairs/Recovery RMSS Knothole (CC-2) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobius Orbital Naval Yard - Patrol/Guard RMSS West Island (CL-0) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobius Orbital Naval Yard - Patrol/Guard RMSS Emerald Hills (CL-1) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard RMSS Floating Island (CL-2) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Earth Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard RMSS Flynn (DD-0) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Earth Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard RMSS Stanley (DD-1) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Earth Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard RMSS Yardley (DD-2) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard RMSS McKay (DD-3) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard. RMSS Wakefield (DD-4) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard. RMSS Coore (DD-5) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard. RMSS Dixon (DD-6) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard. RMSS Christopher Blair (CV-0) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Fighter Wing: Green - Home Orbit - Patrol RMSS James Taggart (CV-1) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% - Armament: Green - Fighter Wing: Green - Earth Orbit - Patrol RMSS Trafalgar (SS-0) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% - Armanent: Green - Mobia System Outer Rim - Special Operations Bolton sighed quietly, lowering the tablet down to his desk. Two capital ships under repair still. The casualties, both system and manpower, were caused by an electronic attack that affected the Guard Fleet in different ways. The battleship Amadeus Prower and the battlecruiser Station Square respectively identified each other as hostile targets and opened fire while their crews tried in vain to stop the firing. The attack was propagated per BUSHIPS Casualty Forensics’ analysis, by a combination of a polymorphic worm and intelligence direction. Human and Mobian ships and satellites were equally affected, paving the way for the attack on Space Station ARK. That was their collective Pearl Harbor, to have the onboard garrison as well as the many civilians that lived, worked and studied there under threat. To have the Warp Gate between Mobia and Sol cut off and either planet divided and at their attacker's mercy. But something unexpected had happened that week of November. It was a significant blip in the chain of events, centering around one of Bolton's subordinate officers. He switched to a different file on the tablet, reading over the casualty report that he had looked at earlier at breakfast. Prower, Miles A. - Lieutenant - Electronic Warfare Division Officer - Earth Naval Orbital Service - Space Station ARK: Killed In Action Correction: Prower, Miles A. - Lieutenant - Electronic Warfare Division Officer - Earth Naval Orbital Service - Space Station ARK: Severely Injured/Disabled Correction: Prower, Miles A. - Lieutenant - Electronic Warfare Division Officer - Earth Naval Orbital Service - Space Station ARK: Active Those three lines were signs of escalation that took place in the matter of hours. Bolton tapped on one of the links for Prower's name and fixed his eyes on the general file photo. The face of a young, two-tailed gold and white fox at age 16 stared back. Then it changed to a similar face, one that was a few years older but different. Not in the natural way one's face could evolve as they aged but in the way of a best effort for reconstruction. Glowing blue/cyan eyes stared back now and it was always unnerving whenever he saw them. But at the same time, Admiral Bolton was glad to see them. Lieutenant Miles Prower had indeed been killed on Space Station ARK. He was the first of his kind to be revived from that state and put back into action. He was also something new that thirty years ago, couldn’t even be conceived of in a fiction novel in the Old Kingdom. In that space of hours, Lieutenant Prower had been a dead man, turned into a weapon that changed the course of the battle. Miles Prower was a cyborg. But his story started much earlier. Chapter 1 – Displacement Republic Armed Forces Cemetery Mobotropolis, Republic of Mobius October 3, 2100 Rain always seemed to accompany death, Field Marshal Amadeus Prower lamented, raising his eyes while his orderly held a large black umbrella above the fox and his seven-year-old son. The aging field marshal squeezed his white gloved hands into tight fists. Of all the times for this to happen, for Rosemary to die close to Miles’ birthday. He had been unusually still and silent the entire time since the news had been broken. Amadeus had delivered such news to the families of young men and women that were lost under his command in both the Royal Army of Acorn and the Republic Army but had found himself unable to do so for his son. Instead it had come gently from someone better equipped to deliver the news to such a young child, the very physician that both tried to save Rosemary in her final moments but also helped bring Miles into the world. Professor Geralt Robotnik stood close by, holding his own umbrella with his wife Johanna as well as his two grown sons, Poul and Julian with their wives at their sides, Noomi and Iva respectively. Of the grandchildren, nineteen-year-old Ovi was the lone adult and continuing his studies in mathematics and robotics. But it would be the other, eleven-year-old Maria who would be the most help to Geralt here. The blonde-haired girl adjusted her black hairband and veil before looking up at her grandfather, then Miles. The two-tailed fox looked almost like a statue, standing in black suit and fully buttoned white shirt. Maria broke away from the other Robotniks slowly and approached him. She reached out and took his right hand, startling him. He turned his head towards her, surprise registering on his face. “She’s gone.” Miles said quietly. “I know.” Maria replied, just as quiet. Releasing his hand, she ran her own against the top of his head, between his ears soothingly. “It’s all right to be sad.” “Sad? I’m not sad.” Miles muttered. Maria tiled her head in surprise. “You’re not?” “I’m angry, at myself. It’s my fault, it’s all my fault.” Miles growled. That caught his father’s attention. Amadeus looked down and blinked. The younger fox froze and then stared up. “It is, isn’t it? If I hadn’t been born, she wouldn’t have gotten sick, wouldn’t she? That’s why you hadn’t told me, Father. It’s my fault.” Amadeus bared his teeth with a low snarl, tightening his fingers even more. He hunched forward and shook, wanting to shake his head and demand to know what put those ideas in his head. Instead he straightened his stance and returned his face to that strange calm that it had since the news broke. Maria did his job for him and he felt a pang of shame for his cowardice. “It’s not your fault.” Maria reassured Miles quietly. “It’s as Grandfather said earlier, cancer was a possibility. Your mother worked with all sorts of radioactive material in the Royal Army.” “Which brought about the mutation I have, I know.” Miles reached around and grasped his second tail, consciously. While it was possible in normal conditions for Mobian vulpines and canines to develop polycaudality, it was very rare. His genetics were altered in the womb by the vestigial decay of those materials and he had thought it was just going to stay at ridicule and names at school. In his mind, those events escalated and this was the cost. “You didn’t kill your mother.” Maria took his right hand and slowly pulled it away from his second tail. Then she stepped around to face him, taking both of his hands. “It’s not your fault, it’s not anyone’s fault.” “He thinks it’s mine,” Miles raised his eyes, prompting Maria to shake her head and then study Amadeus’ face. “Your father’s very sad. He’s as much in shock as you are, perhaps more.” Amadeus closed his eyes and then stepped back, waving a hand towards his orderly, motioning for them to stay put as he joined Geralt. The human cocked his head as he looked at Miles and Maria. “Penny for your thoughts, Amadeus?” “Your granddaughter is unusually wise for her age.” Amadeus murmured. “As you know, she tested very close with Miles in intelligence.” Geralt said with a small sigh. “Her mind is set on becoming a medical doctor as well. It seems that my son has brought our first psychiatrist to the family. But that is not what is on your mind, is it?” “No,” the field marshal admitted. “What am I to do with him? Our family is not whole, the only Keidens left are distant cousins and my sister is much older than I am. I cannot just put him in the care of an aide, it’s not fair for him or for the subordinate.” “Old friend, have you ever thought of just leaving the Republic Army? For godsake, you’re almost fifty. You of all of your people deserve a retirement, to be able to be a father full time.” Geralt suggested. “And remarry?” Amadeus shook his head slowly. “No one could replace Rosemary in my heart, as my wife or his mother. Resigning is out of the question as well. I need the work.” “Surely not for pay,” Geralt pointed out. “Not at General Staff paygrade.” “For my sanity,” Amadeus countered. “Besides, I have an example to set.” “You are only Mobian!” Geralt snapped lowly. “You are not some sort of god of war. You’re a good man Amadeus. If you’re certain about staying in service, then perhaps you would permit your friend to suggest a solution.” “You have always given me wise counsel before, Doctor.” The fox admitted. “Johanna and I have no children to take care of now. Aside from teaching assignments, things are a bit slack. Miles can stay with us in Malmo. He can go to Bladins, Maria would certainly welcome it.” Geralt said. “I couldn’t ask you to do that.” Amadeus cast his eyes down. “Why not?” Geralt asked. “I owe you so much already.” Amadeus self-consciously pressed a finger to his eyepatch. “Then consider this repayment. Let us help you one more time for both of your sakes.” The human adjusted his glasses. Amadeus looked back at Miles, his single tail rising in hanging in the air as he considered what was being offered. He blinked with his single eye, nodding slowly. “Very well then. After his birthday.” The field marshal reached out and placed his hand on his son’s shoulder. “Let us return home, Miles.” Maria embraced the kit and held him for a few moments. The young fox’s ears lowered as he allowed himself to shed a single tear. He raised his head and eyed the human, blinking before moving back and turning in unison with Amadeus, the two foxes starting to make their way towards where the cars were situated, the orderly following. Maria rejoined the other Robotniks and faced the cars with them. Geralt reached out and took her hand, squeezing it gently. He watched Amadeus and Miles get into the staff car and tipped the umbrella in their direction. “Miles will be moving in with us in a few weeks.” Geralt said. “He’ll transfer to Bladins.” “Your idea,” Maria concluded with a small smile. “Typical grandfather, always finding an opportunity to heal others.” “Quite right.” Ovi said, reaching up to massage his fledgling reddish-brown mustache. “After all, it is human duty to protect and enlighten our cosmic neighbors. Would I be able to help with his tutoring for the examinations?” “Far be it for me to underestimate his abilities.” Geralt said, looking at his elder grandchild. “The only thing I could think he might need assistance with is his Swedish. But we will cross that bridge if we need to.” “Whatever he may require.” Ovi nodded. October 19, 2100 “Good morning, Miles.” The voice was not Amadeus’ but familiar. The young fox stirred in his bed and sat up slowly before squinting to adjust for the change of light. Then his eyes slowly opened to take in the sight of a blue hedgehog close to his father’s age, wearing a white shirt with a black necktie. The silver oak leaf of a Republic Army lieutenant colonel was on each side of his collar. “Is it time for school then, Jules?” Miles asked quietly, stretching his arms out over his head. The hedgehog shook his head. “There will be no school for you today.” “A cancellation?” Miles asked with a tilt of his head. “No, nothing like that. Don’t you realize what today is?” Jules asked in turn. “Tuesday,” Then it dawned on him. “My eighth birthday. But I never had a day away from school on my birthday, Colonel Ogilvie.” “Your father decided to make an exception.” Jules explained, gesturing with his titanium finished right hand. “I was asked to set out specific clothes for the day. Water’s already drawn up for bath. Near hot as usual as you like.” “Father’s not one usually for exceptions.” Miles said, casting his blankets aside and sliding off onto his feet. He then turned and pulled the blanket and sheet back to make certain it was properly made before moving towards the hedgehog and the door. “It certainly is a time that calls for them now.” Jules lamented. He watched the fox disappear towards the master bathroom and sighed softly. Then he looked down at his right hand, drawing the sleeve back slightly. Fifteen years ago, it was a normal arm and he was a whole man. He was the then Colonel Prower’s executive officer in the 1st King’s Guard Regiment. Both had come up from lower ranks in tanks and the two were close friends. Ogilvie had the opportunity to strike out for his own regiment but instead stayed by Amadeus’ side. It wasn’t that he didn’t have ambition, but that he felt that he was in the right place already. He was glad that he had stayed on that fateful day in 2085. Or whatever the old Royal Calendar Date was, human standardization came on quickly. King Frederick Acorn had been incensed at a bungled offensive by General Murat D’Coolette that caused the bulk of his army to be bogged down and encircled by the echidnas. He could just about guess at how the mad king fumed at how his superior modern army was stopped by descendants of those who opposed his grandfather in 2012 with spears and arrows. Little did King Frederick know, little did any of them know, they had observers high up and above. For decades, the humans had watched and seemed to watch impartially. Contact with the planet was on moratorium or at least that was what the member nations of the United Nations understood. Quietly though, Russian intelligence operatives contacted the echidna tribes and came to a general understanding of the long running conflict. After all, they were fighting for freedom from an oppressive imperialist nation. They could have possibly broached the issue at the United Nations Security Council but America, Britain and the others would have likely poo-pooed armed intervention. They were enlightened from nation building on the barrel of a gun, after how that quagmired in the early 21st. So, in the spirit of their former communist trappings, they operated in secret. There were no armed blockades of the planet, just observer drones and occasional scientific orbital survey missions. There was intelligence to be gathered here, old surplus to get rid of and while the echidnas wanted to know the price, meager agreements for mining rights or treasures were made. They had more than enough back on Earth. The Russians were simply curious as to whether the echidnas could be organized. Soon trainers and mercenaries would come and large “science” shuttles were brought into orbit, with carefully measured efforts to drop cargo away from UN surveillance. The echidnas were taught Russian and English, given uniforms as well as guns, vehicles, boats and supplies as well as the training needed to use them. Advisors would help them point out the weaknesses in the Royal Army of Acorn and to their humor; they realized that the enemy’s weapons and doctrine were equivalent to that of the early Cold War. Soviet and Federation-era T-72s, T-80s, T-90s and BMPs rampaged and cut through Acornian armor and men while Spetzyeknaz teams captured important documents and officers. It was here in the failed D’Coolette offensive that King Frederick decided it was time to turn the balance of power back in his favor. Having cultivated a first-generation atomic weapons program, he was set on smashing both the echidnas and his disgraced and shattered army together. The 1st Royal Guards were to come in and sweep up what was left. Amadeus knew about the program of course as he had fingers in a secret peace and democracy activist group. Someone that went by the codename of White Rose had given him information about the experiments. When the orders came, he seemed to comply at first but then rallied his men to turn around and instead attack the airbases and field artillery convoys. This forced Frederick to travel to an array of silos where he kept loyal company. Here Sebastian intercontinental missiles sat, large and unwieldy for this sort of operation, but they would do the job. Amadeus and Jules had raced to the facility and met stiff resistance after being informed of the king’s plans by White Rose. The 1st Royal Guards however seemed to have the situation in hand. That was until a sniper’s bullet tore through the fox’s eye and felled him. Furious and intending to protect his commander, Jules put himself in the way of the next shot and fell as well, on top of him, his right arm mangled and useless. Seemingly to die together in battle as they fantasized as cadets. The initial launches by the Acornians had caught UN attention and drones had been scrambled through the Warp Gate along with contingents of troops. The drones had intercepted every missile and shot them out of the sky and signaled their arrival. On approach to secure the launch site, German Bundeswehr forces ran into the 1st Royal Guards and a hasty surrender was agreed to. It was here where the two had met Dr. Geralt Robotnik of Sweden. The doctor had quickly packed them off with Bundeswehr medics assisting in stabilizing them. Amadeus’ eye was destroyed and useless, but he still had his mind intact. Jules however after all the fighting, decided to take a discharge. He had been promoted for his bravery to his final rank of lieutenant colonel and his friend had decided to give him work by putting him in charge of maintaining his home. One became two when Captain Rosemary Keiden, formerly of the Royal Acornian Artillery Corps met the now Field Marshal Prower and she had revealed herself as the secret source of his information. They had later married and Miles came into the fold. It certainly seemed to be the best of times, their nation would be rebuilt into a republic, heal and embrace their new friends from above. It was not to be though, not any longer. The price of freedom had finally been paid by biology. The technical details of Rosemary’s death were all laid out in an autopsy record that was sealed inside of an envelope within Amadeus’ personal desk, unopened since it was given. The autopsy itself was originally going to be eschewed in favor towards Professor Robotnik’s diagnosis of advanced cancer, but the Republic Federal Police and the Army CID allegedly smelled a rat, per Jules’ contacts. He was not naïve by any means but the idea of someone wanting to assassinate either Field Marshal or Captain Prower was unheard of. Amadeus was a revolutionary hero after all, originally offered the leadership of the nation but declined it. Unlike George Washington though, he remained firm on his refusal. As for Rosemary, why assassinate a woman who was fifteen years out of the atomic warfare game? Especially after transitioning to a teaching role? In either event, it would take time to determine what happened. It would not change the result. Rosemary was dead, Amadeus without a wife and Miles without a mother. Jules moved to the closet and slid one of its doors back, removing a hanger that had the day’s chosen clothes wrapped in plastic. He walked out and closed the door, setting the hanger on the doorknob of the master bathroom before moving along to other things. After twenty minutes passed, Miles was out of the bathtub and moved over to a chamber that had several nozzles pointing inwards. He walked in and flipped a switch, putting his thumbs into his ears as a pump came to life and warm air shot at his body from all angles. The moisture in his fur started to dissipate while he raised his tails. Another minute or two passed before he was dry and he shut the chamber down with a switch. No need for a towel in this age except for cover. The fox stepped out and went to open the bathroom door, finding the hanger there. He unhooked it and drew his clothes in, freeing the plastic cover. Dress uniform for the Republic Army in his size, with cadet insignia on the epaulets. He stared at it, eyes narrowing before removing each piece, putting on the undershirt and boxers first. Then he pushed his arms into the sleeves of the white, long-sleeved shirt and buttoned it before stepping into the gray trousers. Pulling them up to his waist, he fastened them and took the black tie, lifting his collar up and opened the clip, placing it before closure. Finally came the gray jacket, so much like his father’s. Once that was done, Miles exited the bathroom and found that Jules was standing there, holding socks and boots. He took them wordlessly and sat down to put his socks on while the boots were set before him. Finally, he stepped into the tall Wellingtons and blinked. “What’s the idea then Colonel?” Miles asked. “You’ll be having breakfast with your father.” The hedgehog replied. “Oh.” The fox looked down and adjusted his tie’s alignment. “Well, I think I’m ready then.” “Excellent.” Jules motioned for him to follow down the hallway. He picked up his own jacket from a chair and pulled it on. Of course, it was the same generation, he wouldn’t be caught dead in the old Royal Army blues any longer. Though he wore his ribbons both Acornian and Republic as entitled. Miles followed him to the coatroom and then out the door, down the steps and to where the hedgehog’s car was waiting. It looked like a relic compared to the human imports but it had four wheels and drove. Though there was the exception of the engine plant, replaced with a hydrogen fuel cell system. Ironic, being so close to ruining their ecosystem with atomics not long ago and one of the first things tackled by the new government was eco-friendliness. He missed being able to raise the hood to get his hands dirty. Miles got into the back of the black coupe and Jules got into his place in the front. He turned the key, listened for the customary humming and watched the dials turn. Damn thing didn’t even sputter and roar like it did with the old plant. He switched into reverse and backed out slowly, stopping for another car to pass before cranking the wheel to the right. Once straightened up, he went into drive and started to cruise. Republic Military Executive Mobotropolis, Republic of Mobius The Military Executive was nothing like the Pentagon in Washington. In fact, without foreknowledge of what it was, one would assume it was just another series of office buildings. Plans were being laid for a new facility based on upgrade designs but with the relative peace, the Mobians were comfortable with the status quo for now. At a guardhouse set on the street that passed by the main entrance, Jules had shown his credentials to an echidna MP who waved them through. The division between their races was as dead as the Kingdom. Quickly after the establishment of the Republic, they had come to an amicable settlement and set their Russian weapons aside for a militia force. Echidnas were now equals and considered Mobians like all others. The rabid old guard had gone off with the king, wherever he was now. Rumor was that he somehow made it off planet. Others thought he went to hide in some bunker with Queen Alyx and shot himself before the echidnas could dig him out. Miles certainly held no reservations against the echidnas, disliking someone for their race was just overall a stupid idea. As they parked, Jules reached into his pocket and removed his smartphone. That was something that still amazed him; the phones he was used to had to come on the fat blue backpacks of radiomen. It didn’t take long for a cellular network to get set up on Mobius. At first drones acted as mobile hub points until towers could be permanently installed. Then came the networks, gleefully finding an entire world to sell off inventory to. Mobians that either had no phones or perhaps wall sets were pushed into the modern day. Information and other people at their fingertips and one could even call through to Earth with special relay satellites beaming their calls and data to the other side of the Warp Gate with little to no lag at all. Humanity had solved these problems some time ago with their understanding of quantum mechanics. He put a call through to Amadeus’ office and informed his adjutant that they had arrived. Then the hedgehog got out and Miles followed in turn. They moved through the lot and then across the street, since this section had no traffic at either gate. Then they passed a line of concrete wall to another guardhouse where their credentials were checked again before they could enter. Jules knew where they were going of course, he had been there few times with Amadeus when they were just colonel and major. Miles looked over at the circular seals for each branch; Republic Army, to his surprise the Republic Navy’s had new wording, now the Republic Sea Navy and then one he had not seen earlier, the Republic Space Navy. Something to ask Father about, he thought as they moved along. The canteen was split into four sections, one for visitors, one for enlisted personnel, officers and finally staff officers and executives. The various enlisted men turned and stood up to salute both the hedgehog who returned the gesture and a wave to continue business, and with small smiles, the fox. He nervously returned the salute and repeated the process with the officer’s section. Finally, in the wood finished enclave of the staff officers’ section, he saw his father rise from the long table and approach with three other men. The first man was familiar; he was on a portrait of every major government building and in his citizenship books at school. President Maximilian Acorn smiled and knelt to eye level with the fox. More nervous, Miles rendered yet another salute and Maximilian returned it. “Happy birthday, young man.” The president said, beaming. He wore a red suit jacket and pants along with a matching red tie. Formerly the Crown Prince under King Frederick, he was more liberal than his father. At first when the coup had occurred, it was thought that they would place Maximilian on the throne and submit, but instead he had agreed to rule provisionally until the framework for the Republic could be set. Finally, once their constitution had been set, he abdicated, expecting Amadeus to go up for election. Instead the fox surprised him, suggesting that he run for office. At the very worst, he could just have lost and retired to quiet life. Instead, the popularity gained with his short yet just rule as King won out and he became the first president of the new republic. After four years as president, he decided to decline a consecutive term but still pulled a symbolic proportion of the vote. After two terms of the also popular Roger St. John, he decided to run again in 2098. “Thank you, Mr. President.” Miles said quietly, bowing his head. Maximilian smiled and patted the fox between his ears. Miles slowly walked towards the seat that was to his father’s right, immediately noticing its difference in scale compared to the others. There was a circular rail at the bottom to boost him to where he could reach the seat. Once he was seated, Amadeus looked in his direction, smiling, or at least the best approximation of one. “Eight years old and another eight to go before you enter national service.” Amadeus said. The second and third of the men turned to face him. First was a black wolf with a strange pair of eyes, one red and one green. He wore a Sea Navy uniform with the single bronze star of a commodore on his collar. Aviator wings were on his chest but the hat was different, a charcoal gray visor cap with a rocket and anchor device on the front. “He would do well in the Space Navy,” The wolf said, narrowing his red eye and staring. “Though I would wager that you have him groomed for the Army.” “You’re with the Republic Space Navy?” Miles piped up, staring up at the wolf’s cap. “Indeed I am. Commodore Crow Seetan formerly of the Sea Navy.” Seetan reached out with a large hand and took the fox’s right hand; grip strong as he shook it once. “Your father helped convince the Forum of our need of a spacefaring force. We can’t by conscience just have the humans provide external defense for us. It will be a few years before we are fully organized but mark my words, pirate and royalist will scatter like the bugs they are once we’re spaceworthy. Ever been into space?” “A few times apparently, but apparently, I was too young to form full memory of it, Commodore.” Miles replied, ears lowering. “Well that leads into your birthday gift.” Amadeus said, removing his hat and setting it down atop of his plate. He reached into the inner pocket of his jacket and removed a plastic card with a magnetic strip on its back, setting it on the table before sliding it over towards Miles. “I am going to be very busy with work but I want the best for you. Professor Robotnik has invited you to stay with him and his family on Earth.” Miles reached out and slowly raised the card. It was a one-way ticket card, programmed for transit out of Mobotropolis by shuttle. Leaving Mobotropolis in late December, arriving at Malmo Aeroport. Malmo, he closed his eyes slightly, searching through his memory of Earth geography. Sweden! He would be staying in Sweden! A small country but rich in history and culture, known best as where the Nobel Prize was awarded. “That’s right.” The third man of course was Geralt Robotnik. He smiled and pulled at his bushy greying mustache. “We’ll be switching you to the Bladins International School, that will take time to finalize which is why we are not leaving immediately. Of course, the move will also occur on winter vacation so that there’s no drop in continuity. Gives you time to say farewell to friends too.” “Farewell to taunters.” Miles replied, raising his ears. “At least I’d have an even shot at making friends with humans.” “Well, Maria will be in the same school as well, though she is three years ahead of you.” Geralt said with a nod. “That will be an excellent start.” Miles said, muzzle flushed. Then he looked to Amadeus. "Thank you, father." "Let us eat." The field marshal acknowledged his son with a nod and folded his hands together before picking the fold out menu that sat upon each plate.
  2. The updated Protocol Cy-Fox v1.0 is starting to post now and until I can work out forum formatting weirdness, I've decided to upload progress in Word 97/2003 format though live progress can be found at https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11993383/2/Protocol-Cy-Fox-1 as well Protocol Cy-Fox 1.0 6-11-2016.doc
  3. x91.thumb.jpg.4a4fb5e1b7f1b346aa89263f94

    Hello Commander, we have remade contact with another XCOM task force in North America.

    1. Kaze no Klonoa

      Kaze no Klonoa


      We are extremely impressed with the progress of the XCOM project thus far, Commander. Your recent results were beyond our expectations... and that is not a statement this Council makes lightly.

    2. Cy-Fox Unit

      Cy-Fox Unit

      Speaking of which, I found my first squad's loadout screenshot from my first playthrough of Enemy Unknown. Played it on Classic. Maria Robotnik made the ultimate sacrifice, again.



    3. Kaze no Klonoa

      Kaze no Klonoa

      I've played a bit of the game recently on PC, although I later picked up the iOS version since I needed a phone game

    4. Cy-Fox Unit

      Cy-Fox Unit

      I played the iOS version when I was issued an iPod Touch from work (Apple). It wasn't bad and it meant I had portable XCOM. I'm tempted to make a new 'Sonic' squad for XCOM 2. Might also put personalities into the Character Pool.

  4. I actually found an unopened copy of the complete Robotech: The Macross Saga that I guess I bought at Walmart a few years ago. It took some getting used to being acclimated towards late '90s and later graphic design and there was a bit of cheese with the voices but it's been pretty inspiring for my writing. Especially appropriate in the wake of playing XCOM 2, SDF-1's pretty much akin to the Avenger.
  5. There will not be a Danny DeVito voiced "Detective Cy-Fox".

    Now if Peter Falk were still alive, that would be another story.

    Actually even hearing Peter Falk as Detective Pikachu seems a lot better now.

  6. I was leaning more towards secondary events. Buying the one and only copy of a Wu Tang Clan album for example.
  7. I'm thinking we're going to have a Sonic 5 in the 4 and prior fashion and perhaps a Sonic Generations sequel. Sonic Timestream seems to make more sense than Sonic Universe since there's characters from different eras of time. Would be pretty killer if we could play other characters than just the Sonics, perhaps with branching storylines a-la-Adventure but that'd probably be a development overhead nightmare.
  8. He'd have a better chance starting an acting career. And I know just the person to pair up. Pharma Bro, meet Echidna Bro. Whoa, IPB leveled up a bit. You can like posts?!
  9. If Ken Penders ends up getting asked to write for the games, I will make it a personal mission to work intensive amounts of overtime so that I can buy every copy from GameStop, Walmart and the local shops so that I can gather them together and make a very expensive bonfire. That's about the only enjoyment anyone would get from such an exchange. Plus I'd not have to buy matches for my pipes and cigars for some time.
  10. The One Less Traveled By Chapter 1: Midshipman Prower, Departing Robotnik Family Estate Malmö, Sweden, Earth June 27, 2108 – 7:14 AM CEST “Miles?” The voice that called out to him was that of a late-middle aged woman, Standard with a tinge of a Swedish accent that was neutralized slightly by forty-seven years back and forth between Malmo, Baltimore and Bloomington. The young fox raised his ears slightly as he looked up from his trunk, having packed the uniforms and books that were pre-purchased from the Mobian Space Naval Academy and delivered the previous week. He wore a white collared shirt with a black necktie and gray slacks which had a hole in the back like all of his others, meant for his two tails. Julianna Robotnik tilted her head with the typical closed mouth smile that she usually had on her face. Teaching part-time classical music, she kept the gears turning at the family estate that had been a home for Miles since his father buried himself in his work as Chairman of the Joint Military Staff back on Mobius, ever since his wife, Miles’ mother, had died eight years ago. Julianna’s husband, Professor Geralt Robotnik was arguably next to the late Colonel Jules Ogilvie, his father’s best friend and saw tactfully that the young fox would be stifled by being put under the watch of the Republic Army’s army childcare program. “God morgon, Mrs. Robotnik,” the fox greeted her with a small smile and closed the trunk, standing up. The closest thing to a grandmother that he had, he first felt like an imposition in the first year, staying quiet and attentive to his studies. But the Robotniks reached out and embraced him with warmth and compassion. While his father was dispassionate about his application to the Mobian Space Navy, mainly because Miles knew it did not follow General Prower’s grand plan for his life. A life that was to be drill and being moved around as a chesspiece and possibly being advanced not as a matter of merit but of patronage. “You have a visitor for breakfast,” Julianna said with a nod of her head. The fox lowered his ears slightly. Was it his father, coming through the Warp Gate to Earth perhaps to give him a final rebuke or perhaps even less likely, encouragement? He closed the trunk and started for the door, Julianna giving him a small hug which he returned with one arm. He slowly moved alongside the human down the staircase, passing the closed foyer into the kitchen/dining area. Suddenly he was almost face to face with a smiling blond haired woman, blue eyes meeting his own. She wore a white tanktop, dark blue scrub pants and a white labjacket, her name in blue embroidery above a pocket. Maria Robotnik, M.S.M. - Skåne University Hospital. “Maria,” Miles’ tails raised and started to waggle around. The 19-year-old woman reached out and scratched behind his ears before pulling him into a hug. “You did not think I was going to let you run off to the academy without saying goodbye, did you Utrymmecadet?” she teased in her even more accented English. The fox felt his heart skip a beat and an unnatural warmth to his fur as she gently pressed a finger to the tip of his nose. He allowed himself to flicker his tongue out slightly. Maria was one of Geralt’s grandchildren, only three years older than Miles. She had the academic blood, running straight into her Master’s Degree of Science in Medicine at 16, which she recently completed. Now she was a first-year medical student at Skåne University Hospital, which was about a half hour’s drive away. A prodigy much like him. She stood out to the fox, he secretly had a crush on her since he started to discover that aspect of adolescence three years ago. “Of course not,” He raised his head up to the woman, who was an unusually tall 5 feet 8 inches, though he wasn’t too far behind her. She pats the top of the fox’s head and his ears flattened slightly. “You didn’t seriously interrupt your summer studies to just see me, did you?” “Yes I did, I will not be seeing you except perhaps on holidays. Only proper to send you off like this.” Maria explained before drawing back to settle down at the table. Instinctively Miles sat down beside her and looked down at what was set out. Smörgås, an open faced sandwich along with eggs and caviar from a squeeze tube. His first objective though was the coffee. Plucking his Mobian Space Navy mug, Tails took a long draw from it before beginning to eat. “Going off to fight in space, I still cannot believe it.” Julianna spoke up as she sat at the table. “Of course Geralt had some defense training when he was picked to be part of the landfall on Mobius but he had the UN peacekeepers protecting him. Pay very close attention to what they teach you, Miles. It could mean your life.” “And I’d rather not have you returned to us in a box,” Maria spoke up, reaching out to pet his head again. Tails flattened his ears as he leaned in to take a forkful of food. Wolfing it down, he leaned back and looked at the two women. “I always pay attention. I’m not out to be the next Ender Wiggin or James T. Kirk.” Though he did have a large spread of science fiction novels ranging all the way back to the 1900s on his tablet. “Systems Warfare and Engineering, if I remember correctly.” A new voice broke in. Geralt waved his right hand up as he settled down to Julianna’s left as she gave him a look that he returned with an apologetic smile. “I was tending to the greenhouse.” Then he noticed Maria and his smile widened. “I see the prodigal granddaughter has come up for air.” “I just finished my master’s degree, Grandfather and medical school starts very soon. I want to have the advantage.” Maria took a long sip from her orange juice. “I know better than that, Maria. You could have gone to medical school right after high school.” Geralt teased. “Taking that masters of science allowed you to maintain parity with your peers. Probably best too with all the men that would have been circling you like sharks. I could see the horrified look on their faces, finding out they were hitting on a sixteen-year-old.” He guffawed. Maria’s face flushed and she lowered her head. Tails tilted his own head. “She doesn’t need some lecherous frat boy from Baltimore.” Julianna piped up giving Geralt a slight elbow, who smiled knowingly. “I wasn’t that lecherous.” “Words of an American,” Julianna shot back. Geralt picked up his coffee mug and masked his smile behind a long slurp. Tails took the opportunity to finish his food slowly, while Maria suddenly went on the attack. When Tails finished, Maria reached out and grasped his shoulders. “Everything is packed?” “Practically,” he said, the heat in his muzzle and face intensifying to where his nose tickled. “Professor Robotnik is taking me back to Mobius once he’s done with his business here.” “You’ll do fine at the naval academy,” she said before rising up to her feet and moving to the back of his seat. The fox looked up, his nose resting atop of her head as she leaned in to quickly kiss his forehead, her hair covering his eyes. “I’ll miss you,” he mouthed quietly. Maria released him slowly and went around to hug Geralt from behind. “I’m going to see my study group, Grandfather. Have a good trip to Mobius.” “I’ve never had a bad one yet.” The sixty-four-year-old laughed softly and reached up to massage her arm. “Don’t forget to unwind every so often. You may be a medical student but you’re also human too.” “Yes Grandfather.” Maria moved away and bowed her head. “Goodbye Grandmother.” Julianna nodded with a smile. Then as she stepped away, she gave Tails one last pass of her hand across the top of his head. He sat there, listening to her picking up her bag and leaving through the front door. Then he picked up his plate and moved towards the kitchen to clean it at the sink. Once it was done and rinsed, he set it on a rack and turned to find Geralt behind him “Walk with me,” Geralt said in a conspirator’s whisper. Tails followed him through the estate through the professor’s study, to the back door. They made his way into his greenhouse refuge and Tails instinctively looked over the various plants that were artfully grown and maintained there. Geralt reached for a drawer in his wooden ‘beater’ desk and withdrew a small box. He withdrew two cigars and held one out to the fox. “Huh?” Tails rotated the offering in his hand. Geralt laughed softly and sat up on his desk. “This is the very box that your father and I smoked from after you were born. It’s my celebration batch of cigars. Upmann brand, a very famous American president smoked them. John F. Kennedy.” “The one that kicked off the moon landing initiative,” the fox piped in. The human nodded. “I thought it appropriate that we share a smoke before you go off to fight on moons. But don’t tell Maria and definitely don’t tell Julianna.” He laughed and slapped his knee. “I smoke in here because the filters absorb most of the smell.” Geralt withdrew a Zippo from his pocket and used it to light his own first, then reached out with the flame still live. Tails matched the human’s motions, leaning in to catch the flame with the tip and then sucked in slowly. He grunted, the smoke a bit alien to him at first but not unpleasant. He held it in his mouth and then slowly let it out through the cigar’s tip. “Well now,” Professor Robotnik observed, pulling the cigar out from his mouth with a smirk. “You took that a lot better than your father did. He coughed up a storm on his first cigar.” “I’m not my father,” Tails grunted again as he moved the cigar to the side of his mouth, chewing on it slightly. The human nodded and crossed his arms. “That’s the point, isn’t it? Going to the Space Navy. A new branch, one where you can prove yourself on your merits. To prove that you’re more than your father’s name.” “All that he seems to be is a name,” The fox straightened up and drew in his breath, causing the tip to glow red before he let more smoke out. “General Amadeus Prower, the hero of the Revolt. The Chief of the General Staff. Father? By mechanics.” “I wouldn’t be entirely too hard on him. He was rather devastated when your mother died. With his responsibilities, there was no one else that could take them as well as he could. The only relief he had was work. That’s why I offered to have you stay here.” Geralt reflected. “He does care for you, even though his intended career path for you isn’t what you are following. Amadeus can be rather stubborn in some respects, yes. But he tends to listen to me and I’ve stressed how this is the right thing for you to do.” “I’m grateful,” the fox said with a small nod. “Believe me. I’ve learned so much from you and your family.” “As your father’s best friend, it was only right.” Geralt smiled toothily, looking like a nearly bald Einstein. “Speaking of family, I noticed that you seem to get nervous around Maria more than usual.” “I-uh,” The fox inhaled sharply and turned his head, lowering his ears. Geralt laughed. “It’s all right, my boy. It’s that time in your life that you start noticing pretty girls. And Maria is not a bad choice, but you are at a turning point here. Both of you are going into your studies. But I am curious, have you told her?” “No,” Tails admits, looking back at the human. “Butterflies in your stomach?” Geralt asked and the fox nodded in return. “To be expected. Tell me this, are you certain that you want to do this?” “I’m sure. It will be at least three years before I am done with my studies at the naval academy anyways. Maria will be either done with or on her final year of medical school when I am finished. Depending on my performance, I might be able to get a posting that will let me return to Earth periodically.” The fox said with another nod. “I think you will do fine, son.” Geralt smiled. He leaned back, projecting smoke into the air as he gathered a bundle that sat on it before holding it out to the fox. “For those quiet nights if you have nothing to do. The best way to occupy a restless mind that’s idle.” Tails took up the bundle and carefully undid the twine over top of the butcher’s paper. One of several hardcover books, the first one’s dust jacket having a ship at sea. “Patrick O’Brian. Master and Commander.” He read out loud. “This seems like a well-kept book.” “They all are. They were my great-grandfather’s. On my mother’s side. He bought them new, one at a time.” Geralt said. “These were Dr. Watson’s?” The fox’s ears raised up high. He pressed a hand to the cover. To think that these belonged to one of the two men that discovered the structure of DNA and lasted one hundred and thirty-nine years in such a good condition. “I’ll ensure they are looked after.” “Better yet, ensure they’re read.” Geralt laughed softly. Tails took the cigar out from his mouth and held it away from the books, flicking the ashes at the end. “Now then, once we’re done with our smoke, we’ll get your things in the car and head for Kiruna Spaceport. And remember, if Juliana asks- “ “We weren’t smoking.” Tails laughed and made his way towards one of the armchairs in the refuge, Geralt taking his place in the other. Tails picked up Master & Commander and began to read, taking slow deliberate drags from his cigar every so often. Geralt pulled out his phone and opened his music application, the sounds of seagulls and rolling waves filling the greenhouse along with violin music. He sighed happily, watching the fox read.
  11. No Matter How Improbable “I’m telling I can do this but I’m telling you I cannot do it,” The fox that spoke had one visible eye, the empty lid of the other covered by a patch. He pursed his lips, muzzle wrinkled and greyed by stress and age and adjusted his peaked cap. The person he spoke to was an equally aged human that wore a white labjacket, blue turtleneck and gray slacks, bald save for a large drooping grey mustache. He had his arms bound by chains to the armrests of the chair that he occupied. “You must do it,” the human pleaded, trying to lean forward. The fox shook his head and adjusted his khaki Eisenhower jacket. “You’ll never be able to live with the consequences.” The human raised his hands up. “You’ll be saving a life that should not have been extinguished. I know it’s unnatural but-” “That’s not the consequence I’m talking about,” his mysterious visitor said, crossing his arms. “I attempted the unimaginable, and I succeeded. I crossed into this universe and took a son that wasn’t mine, forty-two years from now. And since then, not a day has passed without me feeling the burden of that act.” “What kind of burden?” Professor Gerald Robotnik asked, tilting his head. The fox sighed and moved closer to the man, kneeling down beside his chair. “I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told anyone here. Where I came from, my planet was in a state of war. My King had betrayed all sense of decency and was going to use terrible new weapons. He was intent on becoming Death, Destroyer of Worlds as the human Oppenheimer put it.” Robotnik raised his eyebrows in recognition. “I had an oath to the Crown that I had to follow but I also had an oath to the Realm and to common sense. I acted with the help of the most magnificent woman I know that was working on the program. We acted and prevented King Frederick from using those weapons and we forced his dark claws off of the throne, exiled him into space. Then we married and Rosemary bore me a son. Miles was his name.” The fox took off his hat and pressed it in against his chest, raising his head to look into Robotnik’s eyes. “Little did I know, there was still parts of the Royal Intelligence Service that were still loyal to the king. They had poisoned her with the very materials she worked with and they poisoned him as well as a result. At first it seemed Miles was out of danger. Just an extra tail. He was gifted, he showed promise. But as time went on, they were feeding her more and more and ultimately it had gotten to where they could not handle it. I lost my wife and my son to cancer and the best medical minds and technology could do nothing for it.” He pursed his lips. “You tried everything that you could for them. You were my friend Gerald. You knew my struggle well with what you had to endure with Maria.” Robotnik’s fingers tightened and the fox raised his free hand up to grasp them. “I cheated Gerald. I came to this universe several decades from now with your help. I took a son that was not mine. I watched him grow up, I had him go through treatments to manipulate his genetics so that he would become one of my kind, and I had his memories conditioned. I had his life scheduled for him and he rebelled. We argued and he ended up joining the Space Navy. He became bitter and used that energy to become a commissioned officer. He sits in front of a console with no ambition, no drive. He suspects there is more than what I tell him. He suspects that he does not belong there.” The fox stood up slowly and replaced his hat. “If I pull your Maria from that station, there will be repercussions. You don’t know how things will be changed by these actions, but they will be. It is our not our place to adjust the universe and your counterpart will never be able to look at Maria again and you will not be able to think of her without knowing that just like every time I look at my son!” Gerald cast his eyes downwards. “You expect me to just leave her there. You said so yourself,” He struggled against his bounds. “We do not know the repercussions. For all we know things will be different with her presence there where you come from. You being here alone, confiding in me is proof that one person can make all the difference General Prower. If your purpose of visiting me tonight was to torture me with this unfulfilled opportunity, then you have succeeded and done what the men in gray have failed to do. Either you are a well-trained psy-ops officer for GUN or a figment of my imagination. What I want to believe is that you are a man of your word. What I want to believe is that you are a man that is willing to do what is necessary to make the universe better, trying to atone for your lost son. If you seek forgiveness then the way to it is saving her. Take Maria away from that dreadful place and create a new life for her. I beg you! Amadeus, please! If you are my friend, please-” He struggled against his chains again, grasping at the fox’s jacket and started to sob uncontrollably. Slowly Amadeus’ hand worked its way against the human’s fingers as he extricated himself gently and then smoothed out the wrinkles in his uniform. He bent his head down and turned away to move towards the exit. He could feel tension in his chest muscles, his conscience eating at him. Slowly, he turned his head to look back at the ruined man and nodded. “I will open Pandora’s Box. But not for you. Not for me. But for her. Creator help us both if you are wrong.” Chapter 1 The return was uneventful as Amadeus had ventured through the return portal into the laboratory of the Gerald, actually known as Geralt, from his universe. The wiry Swedish-American scientist stabbed his index finger into a control on the tablet application that he was using to control the portal system, causing the swirling blue glow behind the fox started to fade out into nothingness. “It went well?” Geralt asked, running his left hand through his balding, grey-blond hair. Amadeus fixed his eye upon him and nodded once. “He’s imprisoned, for crimes he did not even commit. Misunderstood, he lost as we have lost ourselves. He appealed to me to go and take his Maria away from there. I told him I would, despite myself.” “Something I was contemplating to do myself now that we have a cure for the disease,” Geralt reached up and took his round-framed glasses off, massaging his forehead for a moment before dropping the hand down. He continued to hold his glasses. Amadeus shook his head. “In a dangerous environment you would end up getting shot or worse. I should be the one to go back, I have the training. I might even be able to bluff my way past the boarders.” “I suppose you are correct, my friend,” Geralt said quietly. “I would need to have a bed set up in here and the compound ready anyways.” He moved closer to the fox and replaced his glasses, looking up into his face. “Old friend, I know you of all people expect order to be the driving force in the universe and that it is to be kept in place. This is the most complex moral dilemma one could come across. Do we try to save one life by taking her away from the world that she knew and start her over here, or do we just let her die in the name of order? I know you had a similar dilemma with Miles. Protecting and preserving an innocent life is the choice you’re making here. You even have my counterpart’s blessing. Do not feel guilty, your soldier’s honor will stay intact.” The fox nodded slowly. “Or so everyone is telling me. I may need to disguise myself as human, as one of them. I should probably look over the footage that we captured from the ARK attack and review it, that way everything looks accurate.” “The nanotechnology lab here has a prototype helmet that you could use,” Geralt replied, moving over to his desk. “Its systems are controlled by eye-tracking and thought processing via fMRI scanning. Target who you want to masquerade as and the helmet will holographically project it on its outer surface, accounting for the environment. It even gives off heat and tactile feeling, like that of skin and hair if necessary.” “Sounds complex,” Amadeus tilted his head. Geralt nodded in agreement. “They are constantly trying to miniaturize the components necessary and make it modular. Try to bring it back in at least one piece, General.” “If this gadget works correctly as you say, then there shouldn’t be much danger at all,” The fox moved closer to the human and pats his shoulder. “I’ll let you know when I have everything. Get me through there on the day of the attack and I’ll bring you a granddaughter.” “You already have a plan started?” Geralt settled down at his desk. Amadeus raised his ears and started to make his way out. “I’m always working on a plan. Worked for that Rommel that you all compared me to in ‘85.” Geralt crossed his arms and looked down upon his desk, reflecting. Amadeus had been thirty-three at the time, a Lieutenant Colonel in the 1st Royal Guard Regiment, the one responsible for defending the former Kingdom of Acorn if an invasion had set upon the homeland. The comparison to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was apt. Both men were intelligent tacticians and had wrestled with their conscience in the face of their terrible leaders. Only Hitler had not lived to secure nuclear weapons, Frederick Acorn did. The troops were indoctrinated to swear fealty to Hitler, but Amadeus’ troops were wiser. They all saw the writing on the wall as he did. There was no forced suicide and a state funeral for Amadeus Prower. He lost an eye to a Loyalist sniper known by the code name of Fang, but in the end he had secured the future for his kind. A new Republic of Mobius, born to new light that shattered the threatening shadow of nuclear holocaust. Once the launches by King Frederick had been detected, the human expeditionary force that was on standby to cross the Warp Gate had went through, the first live humans to do so. Soldiers, spacers, marines, diplomats, artists, politicians and scientists. What of the attempted strike on the echidna tribes that the Acornians were at a stalemate with that launched was shot out of orbit by the human ships before they could complete their lethal arc. To the Mobians, it was as if they were witnessing their mythological gods preventing disaster. But when the ships started to make planetfall, it soon became clear that both races were no longer the sole occupiers of the universe. They were neighbors now and the humans, wise with their own tumultuous conflicts in the 20th and 21st centuries were determined to make their first impression a positive one. Geralt had been one of the exobiologists with the expeditionary fleet. He was 41 at the time and his son Poul was in high school, one of the many whose eyes were glued to the TV. He had pointed at the screen, exclaiming “Det är min pappa!” when the professor had knelt down beside Colonel Prower, working to staunch the bleeding from his ruined eye socket at the king’s Launch Test Facility. No questions, no judgment, the light skinned, blond haired ‘alien’ had just adjusted his glasses and did what he could before calling for a stretcher. He thought that this would probably be the last time that he would’ve seen Colonel Prower, being carried away by UN and Red Cross-armbanded Bundeswehr medics. He was surprised when Amadeus had come to later on at the prefab base that they had set up on the ground and asked for him. The slender fox had sat up on his cot and asked him in perfect English for his name and role. After Geralt told him, he had asked if the eye could be saved but unfortunately it was useless. At most it would have been a blind filler. With a nod, the fox seemed to accept his fate. Geralt then suggested that a human-made prosthetic could be swapped in to restore his vision. Amadeus waved his hand dismissively. “An eye is a small price to pay to unseat a tyrant,” he had said. “An eyepatch will suffice, not that I am ungrateful for the offer Doctor. I do however ask that I be given the privilege of your friendship.” He offered his hand to the surprised human, who took it slowly. Geralt was there when the United Nations General Secretary had offered Amadeus the option to stand for the elections for the commander in chief role in the new Mobian government. The fox looked to him, then the gold braid epaulet on his shoulder and shook his head with a small smile. “I am not a politician Mister Secretary. I am a soldier and my place is to lead soldiers. I will be content with my position on the General Staff. The king’s youngest son Maximilian should be the one that you look to. He has an iron conscience and I can personally confirm he has taken part in no atrocities. Let him stand for election. Perhaps the Acorn name will end up rehabilitated.” Amadeus as Chief of the General Staff ended up engineering the rapid upgrade of the Republic Forces with human assistance. He had toured the ARK, as well as various cities on Earth. The media had turned him into the first alien celebrity, naming him as the heir apparent to Rommel, Patton and Schwarzkopf. Over time though, he started to retreat out of the spotlight to dedicate himself to his work. When Maria Robotnik had been born, a year earlier, Amadeus had showed up in the night after taking a shuttle through the Gate and sat for an hour with the bundle of blanket and child in the crook of his arm. After returning Maria to her mother, he had joined Geralt at the Swede’s ancestral home and took part in a blitz of wine and cigars that left him thoroughly wrecked the next morning, but intent on securing another chapter for his future. Of course he had invited the Robotniks to his wedding in 2090, one of the highlights that Geralt kept being a photograph of the fox eying the slice of cake that Geralt’s wife Johanna had prepared for it along with one year old Maria in his lap. They had experienced loss though close to each other as well. Maria had died when she was five from an aggressive illness that human science did not seem to be able to identify or eliminate, at least not then. Then Miles had died six years later with Rosemary as a result of radiation poisoning and the cancers that developed from them. Two heartbroken men had come together to share grief and to seek a solution. Amadeus had gotten his son back, in a sense. Now the fox was going to repay his debt. Chapter 2 Amadeus stared at the wafer thin screen before him in the quarters that were set for him on the ARK’s executive level. He reached for the screen, causing the video application that he was using to project its playback controls. The screen was frozen on the dead girl that was lying against the wall close to the cargo ejection control station on the other ARK. The footage was taken from various angles by the security cameras from the entire incident and he had played a very dangerous game to make a copy of it while on Prison Island after speaking with the other Gerald. The facility seemed to be a generation or two behind, in fact the troopers were carrying Heckler & Koch MP5s and other late 20th and early 21st century weapons. Just like the trooper who had dealt the killshot to Maria Robotnik. The fox growled softly and pressed the restart button for the section he marked. Four troopers in body armor, pointing their MP5s at unarmed civilian scientists. One in particular moved towards a tube, staring at it for a few moments. Then he seemed to look past it, noticing something. Maria had been standing behind a console, obviously afraid of what was unfolding. The trooper started to take off after her and she disappeared through a nearby hallway. The door at the end closed behind her and the trooper took up position, reaching towards the control. It wouldn’t open, it was locked. Smart girl, the general thought as he watched the frustrated trooper step back and pepper the console with a full automatic burst. If only the doors were better designed like ours. The fusillade caused the console to explode internally, forcing the door open. The trooper leveled his weapon at the girl. She was getting to release capsules from Gerald Robotnik’s experiments down to Earth. “Let go over the lever!” he yelled. Maria stared at him, frozen as he tightened his finger on the trigger. “Don’t fool around with me!” The human yelled angrily as she pulled down and he fired several bursts. Amadeus slammed the palm of his hand against the gesture control to pause, staring at the trooper. “Undisciplined thug!” the fox snapped out loud with disgust as he stood and leaned forward, feeling tremors in his legs and arms. “If you did this under my command I would have had you court martialed and hung. Soldiers do not execute unarmed civilians, and especially young girls! You call yourself guardians?” He reached for a bottle of Scotch that sat upon the desk, one that he had been given by the United States Military Academy at West Point. The fox pulled the cork out and brought it to his muzzle, tipping it back so that the warm, smoky liquor rolled freely. He swallowed with a sharp flaring of his nostrils before setting the bottle down. “I will show you butchers what a real guardian, a real soldier does in the name of honor!” Amadeus stepped away from his desk and opened the armoire in the room, revealing clothing sealed within a plastic zippered bag. He grunted and started to remove his Republic Army uniform, hanging the jacket up, folding the khaki slacks and his white shirt, stacking them on top of each other. He kept his socks and his underleggings on, staring at himself in the mirrors on the armoire’s inner door panels. 50 years old and a general staff officer and he was going to muster out on a one man special operations raid. Fortunately aside from his lost eye, there wasn’t much else wrong with him. He was still mobile and kept to the former Royal Academy’s exercise regimen. He reached for the plastic bag and removed it from its hanger, unzipping it. A dark blue jumpsuit, a black tactical vest, gloves and boots for his size of feet. He would need to keep his tail within the jumpsuit. The fox unzipped the jumpsuit and climbed into it before zipping it back up. Then he stepped into the boots and started to lace them up. Finally he stuck his arms into the vest and zipped that up as well, sticking his hands into the gloves. He looked down at the empty holster and reached into one of the recessed shelves of the armoire, withdrawing his sidearm from it, a modern H&K UGEP handgun. Instead of firing projectiles, the weapon fired a directed beam of energy at its target. Depending on a selector switch where the safety would be on a projectile gun, he could fire a beam meant to cause a non-lethal burning sensation or at the maximum level, burn a hole through conventional body armor and certain types of vehicle armor. It did not appear that the GUN troopers even got to this stage of development. He holstered the weapon and looked down at himself. I may as well be dressing as the SS or the Royal Acornian Household Guard, he thought. Out of habit, he placed his peaked cap back upon his head and made his way back to Geralt’s laboratory. The human looked up at his hat and then the GUN uniform. “There’s no patches,” he said as a way of greeting. Amadeus looked down at the outfit and shrugged his shoulders. “I figure that for as long as I’ll be there that they won’t be able to notice too much.” He held his hand out and Gerald produced a mini-tablet. “There is your emergency recall of course. Though I would prefer that you try to get her back through the portal. The effects of recall have been untested.” “He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one, dropped the revelers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel. As your Poe would say.” Amadeus took his hat off and handed it to the scientist as he picked up the holo-mask helmet that he had asked for. “The tablet also controls the helmet, you can use its camera to capture someone’s facial features and headgear. Otherwise there are defaults.” “I’ll figure it out. Were you able to get me the coordinates I asked for?” The fox raised his ears and looked at the portal’s anchor-frame, which Geralt had not activated yet. “Date, time and position of the ARK relative to the planet. I’ll be putting you in a side room that opens into the hallway Maria had went through.” “I’ll grab the man and try to incapacitate him. Worst case scenario is I have to burn him. What could that universe need with such an undisciplined butcher anyways?” Geralt fixed the fox with a stare. “You can’t necessarily execute a man that hasn’t committed a crime yet. Besides, killing him might have repercussions on the rest of the raid.” “True enough,” Amadeus said grimly, flexing his fingers. “Activate the sequence, I’m ready to go through.” Geralt held up his own tablet, a full-sized one and started the activation program. Space Station ARK in their timeline was responsible for maintaining the Warp Gate that bridged the distance between the Mobia and Sol star systems through a wormhole powered by the Chaos Emeralds within a special reactor in the ARK’s Engineering section. They still provided excess energy and became the primary power source for the station, backed by the ARK’s original fusion reactors. One of the many reasons why the station was popular with physicists and electronic engineers, there was power to spare. The principles of the portal were that of the Warp Gate itself, but instead of just bridging the distance between space, it also bridged time and by adjusting the quantum signature of the tunnel’s exit point, one could step into another timeline, like what Amadeus had done earlier. This had been the first timeline in fact that Geralt had opened up into when he first figured out the process. Amadeus stared at the frame as the same multi-colored energies that were in the Warp Gate’s ring started to form within it. He waited for Geralt’s signal, the human speaking up after a few minutes. “It’s ready General.” The fox turned and placed his hand on the human’s shoulder for a moment, then withdrew it, passing into the energy field, the familiar sensation of diving underwater hitting his face before he was sucked through at normally impossible speeds. Chapter 3 Amadeus bent forward and coughed after emerging on the other side of the portal. Bright red blood ran down his nostrils and he wiped it with his sleeve. He did not recall having a nosebleed before he left or even when he transited between the timelines before. The fox straightened his body and pointed his ears forward towards the closed door. He could make out some of the idle conversation between the GUN troopers in the large room to the left. Then he could pick up the sound of quick footsteps and the door opening. He tracked the sound with his ears and steeled himself for his next move. Heavier footsteps to follow, the trooper that had killed her. Would kill her. The one man that shattered the lives of three people. Maria, her grandfather and Amadeus himself. The fox’s ears pointed to the right, indicating to him that the G.U.N trooper was going to try to breach the door. Amadeus pressed the control and ducked his head out, withdrawing the UGEP. No sense getting into a risky hand to hand fight, he was going to use his era’s superior technology to his advantage. He flicked the selector switch on the weapon from ‘Safe/No Charge’ to ‘Level 2’ and then pointed it at the human’s back firing twice into him. The trooper went down to one knee, a strangled yelp of pain rising from his throat. Amadeus leaned in and grabbed his mouth, stifling the yelp and then forcefully dragged the man back through the way that he came, closing the door. He lowered himself to his haunches and stared at the human with contempt. “What is your name?” the fox growls quietly. The human started to reach for his gun and Amadeus leveled the UGEP at him. “Just give an excuse you fool. Burning you into ash would bring me to fulfillment. We look down upon assassins of children where I come from.” The human gaped at him and was about to protest but the fox grunted sharply. “Don’t deny it, I saw it all unfold before my own eyes. You went down there and you fired upon a defenseless little girl. No weapon, no threat.” His index finger tightened on the trigger of the UGEP. “How does it feel being in her shoes now? At someone else’s mercy, fear in your mind. Is the person holding the gun a soldier or a butcher?” He lowered the weapon and then grabbed the trooper by the neck, squeezing hard on the arteries, causing the human to drift into unconsciousness. Amadeus stared down at the human and cast his helmet off. The average male face, clean shaven, light brown hair. He opened the downed trooper’s eyes with both hands and stared. Blue eyes, that was uncommon. The helmet he wore started to project the trooper’s face and helmet over his vulpine features. The fox then unslung the MP5 from the trooper’s body and passed his left arm through the loop so that it would rest at his right side. He retreated through the door and went for the door Maria had locked, punching in the reverse of the sequence that she had entered from the security footage. The door parted and the fox took a careful step forward. Maria stood there, just like how she had earlier. Her attention was on ejecting the capsules and Amadeus had no intent to stop her. He looked back towards the opposite end of the corridor that he came through. No sign that the trooper was being missed. The fox looked back at the young girl. “I’m not one of them,” he said out loud in his natural voice. A small sound of surprise came from Maria as she looked over at him. “T-Then why are you wearing the same uniform?” she asked, hands tight on the lever. Amadeus kept his hands up and open as he approached her. “It was necessary so that I could get to you safely. I’m here to get you off of the ARK, to safety Miss Robotnik.” “How do I know that you’re not lying to me?” the girl asked, starting to pull on the lever as he approached. Amadeus raised his hands to the helmet. “I can prove it, as long as you take care of the capsules first and promise me that you won’t do anything rash.” He looked down at the readouts with satisfaction as Maria instinctively brought the lever down the rest of the way, the cargo hatch shuddering as it opened and its contents rolled out. Amadeus lifted his helmet off from his head and held it in both hands then blinked. Maria turned her gaze upon him and released the levers, staring at him blankly. “You’re not-“ “Human,” he finished for her. “No I am not. Nor am I a mere foot soldier. My name is General Amadeus Prower and your grandfather asked for me to try to save you from this place in case of an attack. We have been friends for some time. You can trust me. The man that was coming after you isn’t going to be a problem, I knocked him out.” Maria swallowed and moved closer to the fox, reaching out to touch his face, as if she didn’t believe he existed. Her fingers brushed against his muzzle and he snorted on instinct. He raised his ears and directed them towards the open door. “There’s not much time. You need to come with me.” “What about the others?” she asked as he reached for her hand. “There is no time, you’re the one I was sent out for.” Maria grasped the fox’s hand and went in step with him towards the door. Amadeus came to a stop and gripped the UGEP, lifting it back out of its holster. The trooper’s squadmates were on the other side, confused at what they were looking at. The fox leveled the weapon at them and growled. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll back off and go the way you came.” “There’s four of us and only two of you!” the lead trooper snapped. “What did you do with Schmitz?” The trooper in the rear moved through the formation and went into the room that Amadeus had originally came through. “Schmitz is down, but alive! There’s something else though, some sort of energy field farther in.” “Keep your distance and get Schmitz out of there and to a field medic. The rest of you, get in execution formation,” the lead trooper said. Amadeus tightened his grip on the trigger of his UGEP, pointing it at the lead trooper’s head. “If you even think of harming the girl, I will make it my last purpose to make certain your blood spills on this station with mine.” He maneuvered Maria’s hand so that she could take the tablet out of his pocket. Geralt’s earlier caution came to mind. The effects of recall have been untested. Well this certainly constituted grounds for emergency recall. “Lieutenant, I don’t know about you but I didn’t join the service to shoot kids,” the trooper to the right of the lead said. “We should just detain them both.” The lead trooper grimaced. “The girl is an accomplice to the foremost criminal scientist next to Mengele. As for the other, he’s either one of Robotnik’s experiments or even worse, some kind of hostile alien. I gave you both a direct order. Execution formation!” Amadeus thumbed the selector switch to a low-intensity burn charge and fired at the light fixture over them, causing the troopers to instinctively take cover and shield their eyes from the bright yellow-white blast. He grabbed Maria and moved away from the doorframe. “Activate the sequence! The red button on the display!” Maria complied, noticing the display showing a bubble effect in wireframe starting to expand outwards. The two heard a low buzzing sound and watched as the world around them seemed to vibrate wildly. Suddenly it felt as if the floor had dropped out from under them and the liquid feeling that Amadeus felt earlier when crossing through the portal hit him. Maria instinctively began to panic and the fox held her tight to his body as they dissolved and were tunneled through the fissure that the emergency sequence created. Reassembly was immediate as well, causing them to fall to a floor. Space Station ARK Unknown Date, Year 2101 CE It looked like they had returned to Geralt’s office but the human was nowhere to be seen. Amadeus was confused, certainly Robotnik would not have just left with such a critical mission underway. Then he turned his head, noticing the portal frame that he had originally went through was not there. The world around him spun and he holstered his gun, reaching up to hold his head. Maria moved to his side and tried her best to steady the taller fox. “General Prower?” “I’ll..be all right,” Amadeus said with a small growl while raising his head. “I need to get you to your grandfather.” Maria blinked and surveyed Geralt’s office, surprised at how warm and classical it looked, compared to the spartan office that she remembered. “We’re on the ARK, still? But how?” “He will explain everything, once I figure out where he went,” Amadeus moved towards the desk and pressed down on the PTT button for the comm unit. “Find Professor Geralt Robotnik and open a circuit.” A female voice replied almost immediately. “Professor Robotnik is in the Medical Division, Resuscitation Suite 1. Circuit has been opened.” “Geralt?” Amadeus spoke out to the empty air. Suddenly a holographic image showing Resuscitation Suite 1 appeared and the human stared at the camera that was feeding the image. “I don’t have time to welcome you aboard Amadeus. Maria went into cardiac arrest three minutes ago.” The fox and the girl looked at each other with confusion. “That cannot be possible. I have her with me right now and she seems fine.” “If this is your idea of a joke, then you can go to Hell!” Geralt snapped. He looked over at one of his assistants. “Charge to 120 joules,” The assistant affixed adhesive patches to a girl that looked exactly the same as Maria, except with her hair unrestrained by a band. Her skin tone was an ashen gray-blue. With a low snapping sound, her body twitched and Amadeus could hear the constant whine signaling a flat ECG waveform. Something was wrong here. Amadeus cut the connection and gestured for Maria to follow him out of the office, barging past the professor’s secretary. Maria looked in awe at the architecture around her, more emphasis on glass and alloy finish here. Everything seemed bright and organic here compared to the melancholic, closed-in environment on her ARK. Amadeus led her into an elevator and stabbed at the sterile green button for the Medical Division, then looked down at the girl, the dizzy sensation in his head coming back. “This isn’t my home, is it?” she asked. Amadeus lowered his hands and just stared, uncomfortable with the question. He wasn’t a physicist and he wasn’t expecting to be the one that might have to answer the tough questions. Geralt was supposed to do that but right now he was dealing with her dying before his eyes. Was it the same girl? His thoughts were interrupted by the opening doors and he followed the red line on the floor to the Emergency Wing, stepping through the double doors into Resuscitation Suite 1. Geralt didn’t bother to look at him as he held a syringe full of a clear liquid. He fed it into a central line and pushed down on its plunger, watching the status board before him, still displaying a flat ECG. Distraught, he made a fist and slammed it into the clear board, causing it to shatter, cutting off its alarm tone. Geralt’s assistants backed away and then looked over at the newcomers, now confused. A woman spoke up and raised her hands. “You shouldn’t be in here.” “Who is it?!” Geralt spat, turning on his heel and then blanched as he stared at the fox and then Maria. Then he looked upon the bed where the dead girl lay. He tightened his hands into fists and approached the two. “What are you doing here Amadeus? As a matter of fact, when did you get here and who is this?” “Grandfather!” Maria blurted out and then pressed up against the human, her face growing hot as tears welled from her eyes. “You should know who I am!” Geralt forced himself to look down at her face and slowly opened his fingers. “It’s not possible.” He then looked back at the bed, then back to Maria. “It’s not.” He slowly lowered himself to his knees and took off his glasses, staring at Maria before a strangled cry rose from his throat and the devastated man embraced her. Amadeus was still confused as to what exactly happened. He moved closer to the bed, to the dead girl and blinked. Sure enough Maria Johanna Robotnik was there, dead. Exactly how she looked in her casket when he attended the funeral. Only one possibility came to mind and he motioned for the woman that spoke up earlier. “What day is it, miss?” “Wednesday,” the assistant said quietly. “The complete date, please.” The fox elaborated. “Wednesday, December 21st, 2101.” She said plainly, giving him a strange look. The emergency recall brought him to the correct day but not the correct year. He had arrived nine years earlier than what he was supposed to. His son was with him back on Mobius in their family home near the Staff Headquarters. Was this some sort of miscalculation on Geralt’s part or was some other agent at play here? Something Miles had told him about entropy came to mind now. By taking Maria with him, he had created an uncertainty that had to be accounted for. A paradox and if it were to resolve itself properly to a stable form, entropy had to take part. A young innocent girl taken from her home timeline, replacing her twin that just died like when he replaced his son. How was this entropy going to manifest? Was it going to be here or back over there, or both? He reaches up and massages his temples, a sudden sharp pain coursing through them relentlessly. He didn’t remember falling or even barking out. His left side felt completely faint and his vision blurred. Geralt tore his attention away from Maria and then moved closer to Amadeus, rolling him onto his back. The fox tried to speak but an unintelligible mash of words came from his mouth. His eyes darted around wildly and then suddenly he found himself speaking. “We played God for two lives,” he rasped, fixing his eyes on the human’s face as froth formed in his mouth. “Now we are all sons of bitches.” Then everything went dark, still and cold for the 58 year old general as the first steps to the equation that he wrought began to be resolved.
  12. U.S Department of Energy Experimental Oil Platform (EOP) 16 Mid-Pacific Region 5 nautical miles from the Prison Island Restricted Zone He'd made it this far without looking for a deposit, but for old times sake, the 34 year old, rotund Dr. Ivo Robotnik stepped away one of the railings on EOP-16, away from the Pacific sunset into the platform's control center. EOP-16 was his entirely his creation, created to represent MIT against several other colleges that were vying for grant money for their A.I and robotics labs. Whoever that collected the most oil and located the most deposits in a 30 day period would get the funding, with a large sum going to the one that designed the platform. Money was always good, and oil was even better. Which was why after he got done with his little bit of business in the area, he would get into Prison Island with his father and get out quietly and lie low. After everything blew over, they would take the money and the oil as well as the remainder of Ivo's cut of the family fortune and get things underway. Ivo sat at his massive chair in the control station and instructed the station to scan for a deposit and to settle down onto it. Within minutes, the moving platform started to sink down onto the surface of the waves and hover. Ivo could hear the telltale whining of the pumps as they started to work. Now for phase two. Ivo got into the operating system of the platform's main computer and started to fiddle with the Department of Energy's watchdog programs, as he had several times before. It wouldn't do well for a DOE keylogger to pick up on what he was doing and somehow alert G.U.N. His plan to break his beloved father out required total stealth. A brute force engagement would prompt him to leave, setting his plans back further. With the security systems now down, Ivo could relax a bit. He rubbed a white gloved finger against his sweating bald head and checked the reliability of a possible wireless connection to the G.U.N network at the island. He always checked it, no matter how many times he came around to communicate with his father. Notified that he had a strong signal, Ivo proceeded to exploit the backdoor in the G.U.N security network that he'd placed inside when he accessed it for the first time. He'd immediately accessed the security camera for his father's cell and unleashed decoy and scrambler programs in case his connection was detected. Prison Island Joseph heard the whir of the camera as it turned He continued to stare at the two military guards. Then static buzzed into his ears. His eyes brightened out of their normally dull, bored state and he cocked his head. In his ears were two specially modified hearing aids that were sent for by the prison doctors when Joseph complained of hearing problems. Little did they know, the shipment they'd requested was intercepted and swapped out by Ivo through intermediaries right before he embarked on his testing runs of EOP-16. At first, he'd thought the static was a defect but when the buzzing died down and he started to hear his son's voice, a surge of pride went through the aging madman's mind because of his son's concern and for his ingenuity. Through the two way audio system in the camera, they could communicate, with Ivo's voice coming through the camera's address system, which was normally used to inform him that he was going to be fed or changed soon. The only difference was that Ivo's messages were tuned to a special frequency that couldn't be heard except through the hearing aids. He continued to stare at the operatives, keeping his face the way it had been in case the operatives decided to turn around. The sensitive microphones on the camera could pick up on his quiet replies with ease. “Today's the day, father. I'm going to get you out.” On the platform, Ivo had accessed the job center for the robots in the medical section. He accessed one directly and fed a program into it. The medical robot rolled out of the standby storage center in the medical section and proceeded to the drug storage area and passed through security. G.U.N trusted its automated system. None of the prisoners could get access to the central computer and the staff was screened for drug abuse and other malicious behavior regularly. So it wasn't hard at all for the robot to get a syringe of anti-arrhythmia medication and a syringe of epinephrine, only according to Ivo's altered records, they were empty blood test syringes. Ivo then instructed the robot to proceed to his father's cell. When it arrived, the operatives stared at it, glad to see something that had a different color besides that of the walls. The sleek white cylindrical robot had its syringes stored within. The robot stopped directly in front of the door. “M.D #91 here for random medical check of Robotnik, Joseph.” “Not a problem,” the SAS trooper said and looked to his SEAL counterpart. They unslung an ID card that was around their necks on a chain and slid their cards in at the same time. The door opened and the robot rolled in, door closing behind it. Joseph stared at the robot unsurely and looked up at the camera. “Trust it, father. This may be uncomfortable, but we should be seeing each other soon.” The robot then withdrew the anti-arrhythmic and undid the chains by sweeping its hand over the electronic lock in the center. Peeling the chains off, the robot then opened his jumpsuit and then promptly plunged the needle into his chest and injected the medication. Joseph gasped and crumpled to the floor, the anti-arrhythmic slowing his heart down. The robot then injected a controlled dose of epinephrine. Enough to keep his heart going, barely. The robot then stored away the syringes and rolled over to the door, and began slamming a fist against it. “Dr. Robotnik is experiencing a heart malfunction. I must take him to the medical section. Open the door.” The last thing Joseph saw before he blacked out, was the door opening and the robot starting to roll back to him. From there, it was relatively simple. He was pronounced dead and an autopsy was considered unnecessary. His age taken into consideration and the fact that he was to die anyways gave him an express ticket to be buried in the Pacific. It was easy for Ivo to hijack the systems of the automated barge that was taking the body bag out to sea. He had the barge move out to the edge of the restricted area and took the load off it. Then he placed enough fuel within for the barge to make it back without G.U.N knowing that it had made a farther trip than it should have. Within the week, he had harvested around 100 barrels (or 4,200 gallons) of oil and got his father back. Not a bad haul at all. The oil platform started to rise up in the air and moved out towards Asia, undetected. Chapter 1 Mystic Ruins Mobius May 7th, 2109 Gerald Robotnik was in his mid-90s but he looked and felt like he was only in his early 60s. Add in that he had arrived in Mobius at the tail end of spring with a bright shining sun and clear skies as well as optimal weather conditions, and he was feeling even more better, perhaps even invigorated. He sighed and took his round-framed eyeglasses off and replaced them with similarly framed sunglasses. He then looked up in the air and sighed again. If only he was able to take his granddaughter Maria, and if only her grandmother was still alive. He and Maria both missed Mary, and it was hard to tell who missed her more. She was practically Maria's mother since Maria's actual mother, Elizabeth, died at childbirth. Mary Robotnik had looked very much like an older, brown haired version of her granddaughter when she and Gerald first married. She'd simply died in her sleep, napping with 6 year old Maria in 2098, leaving Gerald to take care of his granddaughter. Maria couldn't go to Mobius or even Earth as she was stricken with a genetic disease known as Neuro-Immunodefiency Syndrome or NIDS. NIDS made her prone to severe infections which would normally be able to be fought off by a healthy person. It also ate away at the muscle tissue in her body, forcing her to eat high protein diets to regrow it. She also exhibited mild forms of autism. But that didn't stop the 17 year old girl from annihilating her studies and taking no prisoners. Gerald would have loved to reward her with a trip to Mobius, but instead he had to settle with a few postcards. He walked down the rickety wooden steps of the station platform and wondered what they did when it rained. If it rained. He proceeded towards a hill with steps and upon reaching the top, immediately found who he had come to visit. Lying on the grass was a male 17 year old Mobian fox anthropomorph, wearing a pale blue, long-sleeved dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and a pair of gray shorts. The fox's fur was also pale, a combination of yellow and orange. He wore oversized white, insulated gloves that looked like something an electrician or a mechanic would wear, which his head was resting on. He had two tails which were flat against the grass and to round things off, he had bright blue eyes that reflected on his bright, carefree attitude of the moment. “Professor Robotnik, I presume.” The fox said, still lying down. He then raised his right arm up straight. “Amadeus Miles Prower. But I prefer Tails.” Gerald took his hand and shook it. “That I am. Tails is it?” “Yes sir,” the fox lowered his hand and tucked it back under his head. He closed his eyes halfways. “It was a bit of a surprise when I heard you were coming personally. But I'm not one to tell you what your business is.” Gerald nodded. Tails then patted the grass. “Sit down if you like, take a load off.” “Ah, I've done enough sitting on the train. I must be moving along anyways, busy schedule and all.” Gerald said, rubbing the back of his head. Tails nodded. “That and technicians hungry to test my operating system.” He then sighed and got up off the grass. “Very well then. I suppose you wouldn't have enough time to stay for a cup of mint tea?” “Well...that I could do. I hear it has a reputation.” Gerald smiled. “It comes from the mint plants here in the Ruins itself,” Tails said, brushing himself off. He then put his hands behind his back and clasped them together. “Follow me Professor.” He led Professor Robotnik to another hill and ascended up the steps towards the building Gerald saw there earlier. It was surrounded by sandy ground and some gravel. The fox stepped up to one of the doors and opened it, then stood aside. Gerald stepped inside, and Tails followed, closing the door. He had the air conditioner on, giving out a comfortable breeze. Gerald stopped and looked around. “Very roomy. Nice view too.” “That it is, though I mainly selected this area because of the cliff here. Makes a good airstrip.” Tails said. He then pointed to a set of swinging double doors. “Lab's through there. We'll have our tea back out here. I've got electronics and other things in there that would be too easily damaged if we had a spill there.” Gerald proceeded towards the lab doors and the fox followed. The lab was about the size of two car garages. At one side, it was exactly what it looked like, with a workbench, some drill presses and other machinist devices. Arc welders, laser torches, and even hand tools. On the other side was what looked like a computer junkyard, a few well preserved Earth computers, including a well cared for IBM PC and PC XT that cost him a lot. A few modern servers and what looked suspiciously like a custom made supercomputer. Tails settled into the rolling office chair that was in front of the supercomputer and dug around in a pile of data discs and withdrew two cases that was about the size of the old UMD game discs. He held them up. “There it is. One master and one backup copy.” Gerald took the discs and examined the labels. “What's this AEON mean?” “Two meanings for the two distributions on it,” Tails replied. “The first distribution goes on the servers. That's the ARK Environment for Operating Networks. The other goes on workstations and other systems, the ARK Environment for Operating Nodes. They go together like Windows NT Workstation and Server used to.” “Windows NT?” Gerald had a puzzled look on his face. “Sorry, I'm used to talking like I'm presenting at the local chapter of Mobius Retrocomputing when I'm in here.” Tails said. “Very old operating system from Microsoft. Fell out of the mainstream when it got bought up by Cyberdyne Systems.” “You worked for Cyberdyne for a little while if I remember right,” Gerald mused. “Summer internship a couple years ago.” Tails said. “Not to worry, that's wholly my code.” “Hm,” Gerald set his briefcase on an unoccupied portion of the desk, opened it and put the discs inside, and then closed up the briefcase. “That's not all I have for you though,” Tails got out of the chair and pushed it back up to the desk and went back through the double doors, this time with Gerald following. He led Gerald back to the living room, and this time turned and went through his small kitchen, back outside into an enclosed greenhouse. The fox proceeded to a set of vibrant looking flowers and plants and pointed to them with a gloved finger. “For your granddaughter.” Gerald smiled but shook his head. “I thank you for the thought Mr. Prower but I'm not sure that these plants would be healthy to have around Maria.” “I maintain a stable environment here, free of disease Professor. If you like, I can give you a small bit of each to take up, since it'll be easier to carry. Maria can easily add these to her own plants and grow new sets. She can get the rest when she's cured.” “'When' she's cured?” Gerald said, and raised his eyebrow. “I'm an optimist by nature, Professor. You'll find a cure for her surely enough, with time.” The fox then flitted over to a table and picked up a plastic bag full of seeds. “And these are the mint seeds for the plants I make my tea from. Might do some good if you've got tired researchers.” Gerald accepted the small bag and pocketed it. “Speaking of which,” Tails looked down at his left sleeve, as if looking at his watch. “It's tea time right now.” May 9th, 2109 Station Square Two days later, Tails was asked to meet with his friends for lunch. After an hour train ride, the fox had met them outside of the station, which the city was named for when it was a humble railroad terminal years ago. He was wearing a shirt similar to the one he wore when he met Gerald Robotnik and also a cream colored suit jacket, looking like a young professor from Cambridge or Oxford. “You look very nice Tails,” Amy Rose, the green eyed, pink furred girlfriend of his best friend, Sonic the Hedgehog, said, tugging at his sleeve. Sonic, wearing a blue T-shirt and shorts smacked his friend on the back. “Still dressing like a nerd as usual.” Tails smiled wryly. “But I am a nerd, Sonic.” “Awhile ago you wasn't,” Sonic smirked. No one would've thought of them as fighters but a few years ago, they'd fought for survival when Ivo Robotnik and his father invaded Mobius in 2100. They had managed to somehow kidnap several thousand Mobians and turn them into crude cyborgs that were called Badniks. Most Badniks resembled the Earth animals their anthropomorphic forms were similar to with dangerous weaponry. Those were the frontline troops, with glistening multi-colored E-series robots as the shock troops. From 2100 to about 2106 the forces of Mobius were locked in combat with these terrible beasts until Ivo's forces were beat back into hiding. Tails was Sonic's mechanic and systems expert, keeping the various machines and weapons Sonic used in working condition and considered Ivo to be his technical rival. At one point, Eggman had infiltrated the Mobian military equivalent to NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and was readying to use Mobius' own nuclear weapons against itself, if it weren't for Tails facing him in cyberspace, countering everything he threw at the systems. Now it was a time of peace. There was no longer a need to make weapons or fly suicidally against the odds. He could just relax. The trio began to walk towards the Emerald Beach. They were going to have lunch at the hotel's outside restaurant there. When they made it there, Tails looked around. “Where's Knuckles?” “He's out doing his usual 'guard the Master Emerald' ninja stuff,” Sonic said and raised his arms up to the air. and took a seat “Finally! I hope they still have chili dogs” Tails settled into his seat and leaned back, putting his hands in the pockets of his jacket. Then suddenly his right hand started to quiver. The cause was his cell phone. He withdrew the phone from his pocket. It was a wholly basic one, just a simple phone, no text messaging, no television, not even an Internet connection. A phone was a phone to him. He raised the phone to his ear and then lowered the phone slightly and covered the transmitter with the palm of his left hand and whispered “Fish sandwich, fries and root beer, please” Amy nodded and Tails answered his call “Hello?” It was Gerald “Miles? This is Professor Robotnik at Space Colony ARK,” “Good afternoon. I take it that since I'm getting this call that you have your network set up,” Tails said. “That we do and this call's routed through thanks to your system. The techs fell in love with it.” “That's good to hear,” Tails said and scratched at an ear. “How much do you want?” Gerald asked. Tails blinked and his mouth hung open slightly “Excuse me?” “How much do we need to pay you?” “Pay?..” Tails was appalled at the idea. “Professor, I didn't write that to sell. You asked for an operating system and that's what I gave you. It didn't take much effort at all. No charge” “No charge? My boy, you at least deserve something for your efforts.” “I'll be fine Professor. Call me whenever you need updates written,” Tails was about to disconnect. “No, no Miles..wait. What if I made you the ARK's system administrator?” “System administrator?” Tails was caught by surprise even more “Yes! You designed the operating system after all, you'd know it best and you could be right at hand if there's a problem. You could also make use of the ARK's resources for your own projects! And...” “Yes, Professor?” Tails asked, half closing his eyes. “You could see Maria,” Tails' eyes then opened back up. That settled it. “Deal,”
  13. Cy-Fox (2009) Prologue Guardian Unit of Nations Penitentiary Facility Zero One (a.k.a Prison Island) Classified location, mid-Pacific region December 31st, 2099 Prison Island was the blackest of the black ops. detention facilities of the world. Not even the Secretary-General of the United Nations was allowed to know its location, being taken there when necessary by helicopters with blacked out windows. Its location on the civilian global positioning and mapping networks was deliberately changed to appear as nothing but water. It was guarded by an entire infantry company, and a carrier group with escorts taken from various of the U.N member sea-navies that were specifically assigned to seemingly obscure duties on their respective rosters. It was here where the most dangerous people of the world were kept, either awaiting trial or awaiting their death (their crimes so horrendous that the idea of parole is swept away as soon as it's thought), either slowly by life imprisonment or quickly by various methods that walked a fine tightrope between humane treatment and a Geneva violation. It is the prison of choice for those that have been found guilty of crimes against humanity and crimes against extraterrestrials. So far, there has only been one prisoner guilty of both. He sits in a plastiglass cubicle which is guarded around the clock by two operatives, one always from the United States Navy's SEAL Team Six, the other from the Special Air Service of Her Majesty's Royal Army of the United Kingdom. Their prisoner is wearing an all white straitjacket and jumpsuit combination. Chains keep his arms and legs pinioned against the back and legs of the titanium alloy chair that is bolted to the floor. The prisoner has long, graying brown hair that is at shoulder length and a bushy walrus mustache of the same coloration. He stares bitterly at the two operatives and tries to work up a ball of spit, but his mouth is too dry from the last round of medication. The two guards just stared at the lone door in the room for a good reason. He would gladly recount every detail of his crimes, and those details would make the stomach of even the most seasoned assassin or psychiatrist turn. His name is Dr. Joseph Robotnik. Age, approximately 56 years old. Graduated with honors from John Hopkins Medical School and undertook a career as a general surgeon before humanity received a pleasing answer to a question that boggled them for ages: Are we alone in the world?. The answer came in the form of the anthropomorphic race from the Andromeda galaxy known as the Mobians. When the Mobians started to integrate themselves into human culture, Joseph Robotnik decided to try to become one of the many prospective pioneers of xenomedicine. He applied for the position of colonial surgeon for the first human colony on Mobian soil and took everything, including his young son Ivo with him. He embroiled himself in his work, dissecting corpses of those that had died from unknown causes, trying to figure out what made the Mobians tick. Eventually, in probably the same way the thought processes of those like the Nazi doctors of World War II were twisted, he began to look for ways to make them stop ticking. It first began with precise ways. Drugs, chemicals, gasses. Then his methods began to evolve into more grotesque forms. Freezing, boiling, disembowelment. It was even said (but never confirmed, although when asked, a twisted smile would curl on his face) that he cut apart and ate a young adult Mobian vixen, alive. What made things even more disturbing was the way that he involved his son. Videos confiscated from his chamber of horrors showed him aiding Ivo as he tried to use his father's tools on a young hedgehog about his age. The rosy cheeked, cherubish seven year old could always be seen carrying Joseph's scalpels in a blue case, the caddy of the most macabre game ever conceived. November 6th, 2072 would be the worst day of Joseph's life though, when he was found to be the culprit behind the various disappearances and killings. But it wasn't a vengeful Mobian or human detective that made the pinch. It was his own father, Professor Gerald Robotnik, who was appointed as a special investigator through a diplomatic agreement between the Earth and Mobian governments. He could vividly remember how angry his father had gotten, seizing his psychotic son by the shoulders and slamming him against the refrigeration unit in the morgue repeatedly while screaming at him for what seemed like hours on end. He then led his son into the waiting arms of G.U.N troopers in public and had taken young Ivo away from him, to be evaluated by several child psychiatrists and to be placed in his custody. The trial was publicized as the 21st century's equivalent to Nuremberg with the exception of there being only one defendant, who was tried and found unanimously guilty. Sentenced to life within this secret plastic box. Little did he know, he would soon be getting out of it.
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