CHAPTER THREE: HOW IT BEGAN
The group of wandering heroes, which included Sonic, Blaze, Tails and now their newest ‘recruit’ Bunnie, had set up somewhere in a forest area. The trio has set up an obstacle course in the forest. “Okay, that is done. This is a perfect basic obstacle course to help you find out what your Robian part scan do and how strong they are.” Tails said as he was done with it. “Don’t worry if you feel it goes wrong, Sonic is fast enough to cover you from the real dangers.”
“Don’t worry about me!” Bunnie said. She prepared herself. Tails raised his hand, giving the signal, Bunnie shot forward. The traps mostly consisted of logs on swings, which she punched off her with her mechanical arm, which shattered the logs to bits. However, one log shot out, and she wasn’t fast enough to dodge and was knocked down by it. “Ouch!”
“You have to take into account you can’t move as fast with your robotic limbs as with your normal ones. Though I see you are already getting used to your enhanced strength and I see there is technique to your fighting…you have clearly experience.” Blaze noted.
“Eeyup! Swallowtail taught me a few things long before ya’ll came to Desert Dodge. Though didn’t help much when yer family is threatened and are forced to play nice. Luckily your little stunts have inspired the rest of the town to learn fighting.” Bunnie said.
“You did all right, but we have to sharpen the reflexes a bit. But let’s do that after lunch.” Sonic suggested. They made a campfire and heated some canned food in a pot. Sonic stirred in the brew.
“…and then my lil’ sis popped out of the ground and said ‘I’m a carrot’! it was so hilarious and adorable!” Bunnie said, telling a funny anekdote about her family. Sonic and Tails laughed at her story. Blaze didn’t. Bunnie noticed it. “Wasn’t it funny?”
“I don’t do funny.” Blaze noted.
“She rarely laughs. She’s overly serious. Don’t mind her. She doesn’t mean to come of as disrespectful. It’s just some of us have different coping mechanisms. She is the brood, Tails tinkers, and I’m the handsome, cocky jokester.” Sonic noted.
“Coping? With the war…or with something else?” Bunnie asked nervously.
The three adoptive siblings eyed each other nervously. “We have not exactly told her everything about ourselves have we?” Sonic noted.
“She only joined recently…wouldn’t it be too early to tell her?” Blaze noted.
“If she doesn’t know from the start, how else she can get prepared? Besides, she’s a team member, keeping info would be counter-productive.” Tails said.
“It’s a sensitive subject. Are you willing to tell her of our tragedies?” Blaze noted.
“Talking about problems is the first step of coping and eventually solving it.” Sonic said.
“Was it too much to ask? Then Ah’ll let ya be.” Bunnie said nervously.
“No, it’s okay, cowgal. You’re part of the team now. We happily accepted you because we need all the help we can get, but we need to be deserving of your help. With teammates there shouldn’t be trust issues.” Sonic said. “Who goes first?”
Tails nervously fidgeted with his Tails, something Bunnie noted him doing whenever he was flustered. Blaze just held her usual firm look and mumbled something. Sonic sighed. “Guess I’m up first. Now Bunnie…I’m warning you far ahead. Not only what I will tell you will say a lot about me…but it will also tell how it all began. And with that, I mean the war.”
It happened around ten years ago, in Mobotropolis, in the Kingdom of Acorn. Long ago, the Kingdom was at war with another kingdom. A kingdom with what appeared to be humans, yet these humanoids only had four fingers and they had various haircolors and eyecolors that doesn’t exist with humans. They were called Overlanders, due to them hailing from the Overlands, and they were led by an Overlord.
The kingdom of Acorn, filled with Mobians of various kinds, lived in harmony with nature and did everything to preserve it. Mobians as a whole were very accepting of outsiders. They were led by the royal line of Acorn family, who were known to be wise and benevolent rulers.
On the other hand, the Overlanders were obsessed with progress and destroyed nature without a second thought, just to expand their cities run by fossil fuels. They were also extremely aggressive and prejudiced against non-Overlanders, and their state was a dictatorship, led by an Overlord, who always got re-elected due to rigged elections.
Mostly the Kingdom of Acorn and the Overlands ignored one another, not wanting anything to do with one another. One day, that all changed. The Overlands have destroyed all thier ecosystems and had been wasteful with thier resources, tot he point they had few left. Instead of politely asking for help from the neighbouring kingdom, they decided to just take everything they wanted.
That didn’t sit well with the Mobians, but nontheless they tried to appeal to the Overlanders’ better nature and trying to negotiate, but the Overlanders didn’t make deals with ‘filthy weed-loving, primitive animals’. When the Overlanders became aggressive and started hurting his people, and taking parts of the forest that wasn’t theirs, the kingdoms were starting to get at war. The war went on for a few years, neither side getting a foothold. The Overlanders were technologically advanced but they were relying mostly on brute force. And the Mobians, despite inferior tech, weren’t primitive at all, not to mention that they fought smarter and more tactical then the Overlanders. That made the two kingdoms fight to a standstill.
The war seemed to go nowhere at all, until one day, a high ranked officer came to warn the king. “Your majesty!” the brave officer said as he came into the throne room and bowed before his king. “I bring news from our troops in Green Hill.”
The King, who was a Mobian squirrel with reddish brown hair and a mustache, a blue uniform and a golden crown, spoke tot he knight. “Speak up, Sir Jules, what is the emergency?”
The knight was a hedgehog, just like Sonic. Though there were notable differences. He was older then Sonic, and he had a tuft of white hair on his head. “We have apprehended a couple of Overlander. But he was no soldier of the Overlord’s armies. In fact, he was on the run from them. We don’t know why the Overlanders have turned on their own, but they claim they want to help us.”
“Bring them to me. I want to personally hear what they have to say.” The King noted.
His queen, a Mobian chipmunk with brown fur and red long hair, spoke to her husband. “Maximillion, are you sure this is a good idea? The Overlanders have repaid every attempt at kindness we gave towards them with violence…”
“I trust my royal guards can contain them, Alicia. Besides, the Overlanders wouldn’t be hunting on their own kind if there was a reason for it. If we can find that reason, we may know what makes these Overlanders tick.” King Acorn replied.
“I will bring them towards you, my King.” Jules said. “We’ll have them with in the hour.” Sir Jules replied.
“Thank you Jules, you are dismissed. Oh, and congratulations. I heard you and Bernadette are proud parents of a son.” King Max said.
“We are, and he’s a blessing. We at first thought Bernie couldn’t get pregnant…but then a little miracle happened.” Sir Jules said.
“You deserve this miracle. After the selflessness you displayed and the contributions to war and healthcare your family has provided for our people.” King Max said.
“The Walkers above have been kind. I just wish we could have ended the war before his birth…” Jules noted.
“We will end the war, so that he may have a safe future, Jules. But until then, he gets to witness the brave warrior you are.” King Max assured him.
“Thanks, my king. I’ll…we won’t let you down.” Sir Jules said as he went to retrieve the Overlanders.
An hour later, the two Overlanders were about to be guided in the throne room. One of them started to mutter nervously tot he other. The one muttering was short for Overlander size, barely as tall as a Mobian, with a scrawny physique and a long pointy nose, and brownish hair and blue eyes. “They are going to toss us in the dungeon, they want retribution for what the Overlands did, we’re doomed!”
“Cut it off, Snively! Let me take the word, we are not going to be anyone’s prisoners, I’m going to prove ourselves valuable for their cause.” The other said. The second Overlander was taller, of a normal Overlander size. He appeared large and wide, at first sight obese, but after a good look you could see it was bulk, not muscle. He had blue eyes, which eyed cold and empty, and he had a reddish brown mustache. For the rest he was bald.
They were brought in by Sir Jules and a squad of knights. The knights saluted thier king, as King Max turned his attention to the attention of the two Overlanders. He didn’t look angry at them, but his look was stern. “Speak up, Overlanders. What are your names? What is your business in my kingdom? And most important, why are your own troops chasing after you?”
“My named is Julian Kintobor. And this is my nephew, Snively Kintobor.” The tall mustached Overlander introduced himself.
“Kintobor? Isn’t that the family that leads the Overlands? The Overlord line?” King Max asked, now raising an eyebrow suspiciously.
“I understand that you may be weary due to my connections to the leading government of the country that antagonizes your own. But you must understand that me and Snively here are also victims, as much as your people. My country has suffered under the reign of my...bloodline. My father, the previous Overlord and his firstborn son, my brother and Snively’s father, have been utterly careless and has left our nation with little resources due to their greed and wastefulness. In short, my people dug a hole they couldn’t have dug themselves out.
Normally I wasn’t involved in the politics like the rest of my family, instead persuing scientific goals in the hopes of solving the problems of my nation, but unfortunately, my parents and later my brother, always have ignored my suggestions. But not my good nephew Snively.” He quickly put an arm around Snively to appear caring, Snively giving an awkward smile.
“So when my suggestions became ignored every step along the way, I knew my nation would go to ruin. Since they wouldn’t listen I had attempted to…have him removed from power. There was no other way. Otherwise, the Overlands would die out. But my brother didn’t like that. He had me and his own son hunted down like wild animals…not my brother and I were really close, but it still hurt that I meant so little to him.”
He dropped down on one knee. “So for me and my nephew’s sake…I have no where else to go, we mean no harm, we are just looking for a home. Allow us to help. My bloodline has already damaged the Overland’s ecosystem beyond repair, I don’t want that madness to continue. I can’t offer much but…my loyalty and information. I know how the Overlanders think. We can end the war, so your kingdom can be safe.” Kintobor said.
“This war is taking it’s toll on my kingdom. Though your kind is responsible, we Mobians judge the actions of individuals, not the race. So we are willing to take in a fugutive who has been the victim of his own people’s violence. You shall recieve shelter in our kingdom. You will get the chance to prove yourself. But don’t mistaken, there are consequences if that trust is broken.” King Max said.
“You are truely a wise leader, something I wish we had in the Overlands…I will not dissapoint you, your Majesty.” Kintobor said as he politely bowed.
“Jules, bring our…guest to a guest room in the castle. Have a few knights stand guard. If they need anything like food or drinks, provide it to them.” King Max said. The Knights nodded and saluted.
When the knights were done putting the uncle and nephew in a room, Snively complimented his uncle: “You were good…real convincing. You even came off as a bit charming…you had them eating out of your hand. So, how long before you backstab them?” he asked.
“Snively, have you learned anything? I don’t do things for the sake of doing them. No, I am a scientist first. I think this is a good oppertunity to…study. We know these Mobians are different, we know they are lenient. But they are interesting. I want to make sure how they tick…besides, there are legends, rumors about them…if that’s true, they’ll be valuable to get our revenge on the Overlands. Backstabbing would be counterproductive at this point.” Julian said.
“So we play nice? To learn more about them? But what if we are done with the Overlands?” Snively asked.
“You were always impatient, nephew. But you are young, it’s understandable. You will learn that while a smart person can get from A to B without going by C and D first, it’s the C and D that makes it fun. Right now, we’re comfy, let’s enjoy it for now, and let fate see where it brings us.” Julian said as he grabbed a glass and poured in some drink he had asked the guards earlier.
“So you’re playing games?” Snively asked.
“I never play games. A good scientist is always takes things seriously, Snively. But a good scientist also knows numbers can only take one so far. Sometimes fate has weird things in store, but in the end they may end up…interesting. Now, just stop getting worked up, and enjoy yourselves a little. We’re safe and we are having a lot of options for the future.” Julian said. “You’ll understand due time, if you are willing to be patient.”
Over the past few years, Julian has proven himself towards the Kingdom of Acorn. His knowledge and technological genius were a valuable asset. In short time, he was accepted by the people and was made Minister of War, and something of a hero. His creation of robotic footsoldiers to prevent harm to actual soldiers proved a step upwards, and knowing how his brother thought, helped them drive off the Overlanders. Though they were persistent and kept coming back, not learning their lesson.
Right now, Julian was working on a few projects. He was down the tech lab with two of his Mobian collegues. One of them was a blue hedgehog, like Jules, only with brownish red furry eyebrows and a mustache. It was Sir Jules’ brother, Charles ‘Chuck’ Cobalt. The other was an aging grey lynx, with black markings on his cheeks and yellow eyes. This was Dr. Thomas Ellidy. Each of them had their pet project.
“I don’t know how grateful I am for your efforts Julian…thanks to your robots, less people need to put themselves on the line…and it gives me more time…” Charles said as he tinkered with a pod. “And the technology your provided us with…it’s a huge step up!”
“I appreciate your gratitude. Yet, turning flesh to machinery…it sounds kind of amazing. Almost unreal.” Julian noted.
“Not if you have the right power source.” Charles said as he showed of a huge golden ring-like object. “The golden rings, byproducts of the planet’s very biosphere. If the Overlanders weren’t so stubborn to acknowledge there was another way then fossil fuel, they wouldn’t have done as much damage. Hard to believe they appear metal, but are crystallized energy. But the end result is worth it. Making irreparable damaged limbs functional again…making a terminally ill person able to live on until a cure is found…it will change everything.”
“Not to mention…It could make people more…powerful. Stronger, immortal…it could be used for more then…medical purposes.” Julian said out loud.
“I want to save lives, not take any more. I rather keep it as a medical tool once I finish it. Besides, with this whole war going on and people dying every day, do we really need any more weapons to screw one another over?” Charles asked.
“There are things that can go wrong with such a risky invention as yours, Charles, you do realize that, right?” Julian noted.
“I know. That’s why Thomas and I are working our projects back to back. One can be a backup for the other.” Charles noted as he looked at his feline collegue.
“At least if we can’t save the body, we can save the mind…all the knowledge of a person won’t be lost, and neither is what makes the person…him or herself.” Dr. Ellidy said. “Digitizer and Roboticizer, back to back. The ultimate tools…”
“I have a feeling you have personal reasons for creating these particular devices. I don’t doubt you are selfless, but no one does something without their own reasons as well. It’s a part of Mobian and Overlander nature.” Julian said.
“You are right.” Dr. Ellidy said. “My daughter…she is ill. The doctors don’t know anything, it’s like a whole new disease. And they can’t find a cure. She’s…wasting away. I hope my Digitizer can save her, if all else fails.”
“I…am sorry to hear that.” Julian said. “It may not sound convincing, but I am not the guy with the best family life as you may know.”
“Thanks anyways.” Dr. Ellidy said.
“I may be a single man, but I understand the pain you must feel. My nephew, little Maurice…I always look after him when Jules and Bernie are on duty. I helped raise him and may feel some fatherly affection towards him. I can’t bear to stand the thought of something happening to him.” Charles added.
“You have a nephew as well, you can more closely relate, Julian?” Ellidy asked.
“My nephew and I are more like…friendly acquiantances then anything else. I wasn’t close with him until before we fled the Overlands. Should be no surprise that due my strained relationship with my brother, I didn’t get to spend much time with my nephew. But we share views and that’s why we get along most of the time.” Julian said.
“It’s kind of sad, family should be a wonderful thing. And such a brilliant man as you, who has done so much, deserves better.” Charles said.
“I appreciate the concern. But there are some past tragedies we can’t turn back. But we can instead focus on our little project and make things better.” Julian said as he drew a few more lines on his blueprints.
“Now you mention it, what exactly is the ‘Heavy’ and ‘Bomb’ projects you have been working on?” Charles asked.
“Prototype robots meant for construction and demolition, useful for rebuilding after the war. But should things really get out of hand they can have use during the war as well.” Julian noted. He noticed the two scientists staring at him. “But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that of course”. He quickly added.
“Hey, get back here, you little scamps!” an annoyed nasal voice sounded. The three scientists saw Snively running in (he was getting balder by now) chasing after two Mobian kids. One was a blue hedgehog and the other was a female chipmunk/squirrel with brown fur, blue eyes, and red hair.
“Uncle Chuck!” the blue hedgehog said as he and the squirrel girl came towards him.
Charles picked up his nephew and patted the squirrel girl on his head. “Hey, lil’ Maurice…and Princess Sally too. Oh, are you giving poor Mr. Snively a hard time again?”
“Me and Sally were getting bored. We just played a little prank.” Maurice said proudly.
“You played a prank, you dragged me into this.” Sally said.
“You enjoyed it, didn’t you?” Maurice said.
“Did not!” Sally said.
“Enough, little ones. You know you can’t just barge in the lab. I know you kids like to run around, but next time don’t go in the labs. It can be dangerous. And give poor Mr. Snively some slack, he’s tired.” Charles said.
“Don’t mind Mr. Snively. He’s born without a sense of humor.” Julian said jokingly. Snively groaned. “But he would feel better if you said sorry.”
“Okay…Sorry, Mr. Snively.” Maurice said.
“Ugh!” Snively said.
“Maurice said sorry, please say it’s ok!” Sally said. Snively’s expression didn’t change. “I’m the princess and I say you have to forgive him!”
“All right, it’s ok. Just don’t target my hair next time…I’m real sensitive about it.” Snively noted.
“Now that’s solved…it’s getting late. Why don’t we all call it a day. Let’s go home and make dinner. I’m making chilidogs!” Charles said.
“Yay! Chilidogs! My fav!” Maurice said happily.
“You want to join for dinner?” Charles asked.
“No thanks…I’m doing a bit overtime. I’ll close the lab. I’ll eat something afterwards.” Julian insisted. He didn’t like chilidogs anyways.
“No…I’m going to see Nicole at the hospital. I’ll eat in the cafetaria.” Ellidy said.
“Mr. Ellidy? When is Nicole coming out of the hospital? Is she still sick? We haven’t been able to play with her for weeks.” Sally asked sadly.
“The doctor says she needs to stay a little longer. But I’m sure she’ll be back on her feet in no time.” The scientists didn’t have the heart to tell the kids that it was back with Nicole. How did you say to a kid that young that thier friend is dying anyways?
“Okay then. Tell her we said ‘hi’! I’ll ask dad if he can bring her a fruit basket…or cookies, she loves cookies!” Sally said. She and the others left and went seperate ways.
Only Julian stayed behind with Snively. They waited until no one were sure no one was around and eyed the inventions of the other two. “Charles…Ellidy…they are such good collegues, and such brilliant minds. Yet…I have plans for the future in which these two inventions may prove really useful. But I can’t let them be wasted on solely medical purposes…when their potential can be much more.” Julian briefly started to tinker with the two inventions. “It’s sad, they may hate me for it later. But there is no other way…”
“You regret anything you may do in the future, Julian?” Snively asked.
“I regret a lot of things, but I get over them quickly.” Julian said with a wicked grin on his face.
TO BE CONTINUED