By Mercenary X & Zeiram0034
Edited by Zeiram0034
Proofread by Jeff Greyhound1211 Phillips
Special thanks to Jamie Swiftrunner for Bunnie's accent
Chapter/Episode 2 Shattered Freedom part 1
Small streams of sunlight pierced through the thick forest canopy as the morning sun began to rise, It's life giving glow a welcoming sight to the awakening inhabitants of the secluded village.
For the villagers, the day was beginning just like any other as they began to go about their daily activities, unaware of the events of the previous night that had come to past.
In Princess Sally's hut, rays of light shined through the window of the quaint domicile, illuminating the room with it's warm glow.
The princess herself was laying in her bed, the sun reflecting off her metal body as she slowly began to stir.
Her eyes opened lazily, a soft blue glow emanated from her pupils as she awakened.
Bold green text scrolled across her vision showing various system checks and status screens as her body 'woke up'.
The words,'SYSTEM OK' flashed in bright green neon letters as her optics reverted to thier default setting.
"Ok?, anything but!" Sally thought bitterly as she rose from her bed, her joints and servos creaking and twisting as she stretched out.
Last night had been mostly a blur, the battle with the slave had taken a lot out of her and even after being in stasis,(the robian equivalent of sleep) she still felt drained, both physically and emotionally.
The events by the lake however where still vivid in her mind, the words of her love, still echoing in her thoughts.
"You're still the most, way past cool gal I've ever met and that makes you beautiful."He had said to her as they embraced under the moonlight, that moment of affection they shared with each other was something she would never forget.
With an metallic sigh, Sally walked over to her dresser, the wooden planks of the hut's floor creaking with each step.
Opening the drawer, She pulled out a blue vest, it's appearance was exactly the same as the one she had lost in Robotropilis.
"Hope it still fits." She thought to herself as she began to put it on.
Looking at herself in her dresser mirror, she was surprised that the vest still fit her reasonable well despite the changes due to her robian form.
It was then that her focus shifted from her attire to her actual body, last night she was so filled with sorrow and rage that her robian body was nothing but an ugly shell she wanted nothing to do with.
After waking with a much clearer head, it gave her time to take in her new look throughly. Her coloring was no different from her normal form, with the major difference being she was covered in metal rather then fur.
Her face looked very close to her original form's, with the exceptions of visible seams that ran down across her cheeks where the metal plating intersected with one another. The irises of her eyes where a pitch black with her pupils glowing a light sky blue, almost exactly the same color as her real eyes once were.
Her hair was still scarlet colored, but instead of hair, it was now a series of flexible metal fibers, which strangely were able to bend and move in a similar fashion to her original hair, yet still held a rigid form as she brushed her metallic bangs from her face to get a better look at herself.
The proportions of her body where mostly unchanged, with the only visible changes was that her chest, waist, and hips where segmented at various points; most noticeable in areas that allowed her to bend and flex her body.
Her legs below her knees was covered in blue colored metal that became wider as it came down to her ankles.
Her boots had been integrated into the design of her legs, the heels of which where elevated, making her slightly taller.
"Hmmm..I guess it will have to do." She mused to herself, still having trouble coming to terms with her robian form.
And on that thought, Sally left her hut and walked down the grassy walkway towards rotor's workshop
"All right sugah hog, now ya'll got ta be patient with this one." Bunnie said as Sonic carefully flexed his metallic fingers around a tin can.
He then let out a low growl of frustration as he accidentally crushed it with his vice-like grip.
It was then that rotor walked in , carrying a box of various scrap parts and machinery.
"So how's the training going?" he asked curiously while setting down the box on his workbench.
All the response he got from sonic was a sideways glance and a rather annoyed look that clearly read 'what do you think?' as Bunnie smiled apologetically to rotor.
"Well Sugah, It's been rather slow goin, but I reckon he'll get the hang of it."
Sonic let out an deep sigh as he leaned against the chair he was sitting in.
"How the heck am I even suppose to use these things? It feels like I'm wearing a pair of oversize hockey gloves." He said, while raising his robotized arm up to add emphasis.
"Well, to be honest Sonic you have actually made a lot of progress since last night." Rotor said.
"It just seems that as far more delicate movements are concerned you just gotta take it a bit slower."
Sonic looked up at the walrus with one of his trademark smirks.
"You know that slow has never really been my style Rotor." he said with a hint of humor behind his voice.
Both rotor and Bunnie sighed in response to the hedgehog's snarky comment.
"Yeah we know." They said in near unison.
It was then the the sound of metal footsteps caught their attention as they turned around to the door way.
"Good morning guys." Sally said as she walked up to the trio, it was then that she noticed the rather large pile of crushed cans on the floor near Sonic and Bunnie.
"Oh don't worry about that Sal," Sonic said as he noticed the puzzled look on her face.
"Just been getting practice on how to control these." he said as he lifted his hand and flexed his metal digits.
Though from what she could tell It looked like he still could use some more practice.
Bunnie walked to her friend and placed her robotic hand on the side of her shoulder in a gesture of comfort.
"How ya doin Sally girl? Ya feelin alright?
Sally softly smiled at the her friend's concern, apparently her new look did little to effect the sweet rabbit girl's kindness.
"Well I would be lying if I said I was fine, but I am feeling a whole lot better since last night." She said.
"Glad to hear, ya'll gave us quite a scare last night during that whole data dive thing." Bunnie said as Rotor walked up to Sally with Nicole in his hand.
"I believe this belongs to you." Rotor said as he handed her the small personal super computer.
"Thank you Rotor, I appreciate you taking care of her while I was asleep." She said as she unfolded NICOLE and activated it.
"It's no trouble at all Sally, just glad I could help out is all." The walrus said as he walked back to his work bench.
"Good morning Sally." The small computer chimed, her voice was surprisingly more lively then it had ever been.
"Rotor? Did you do any programing to NICOLE while you had her, she seems different."
Rotor looked up at Sally from what ever device he was tinkering with and said No Sally, but she has been acting strange since last night.
Before Sally could respond a metal crunching sound came from the corner of the room.
"Now sugah hog, you did good there until you tired to catch it.
"Ugh, Sonic complained. This is way past uncool.
He then dropped the can with the rest of it's ruined brethren,turning once more to the box full of empty cans as he picked up another, ready to try again with the exercise Bunnie had him doing.
"Okay, one more time. Bunnie said watching Sonic to do another delicate maneuver with this hands and the can.
Sally decided to ignore Nicole's strange behavior for now and focus on more important matters.
"Rotor, where's uncle Chuck? The metal princess asked the walrus.
"He's still fiddling with the parts from the robotisizer, he said that he was trying rig up something.
Another crunch could be heard from Sonic, the two paid it little heed as he continued.
Mostly right now he's having me get parts from the shed for the rig.
Rotor then walked to the back of the lab where a curtain was hiding it, he then walked behind it, and Sally could see Chuck working on a platform.
Curiosity got the better of Sally as she followed the walrus behind the curtain, there she saw Chuck welding something on the outside of the platform.
Sally's noticed suddenly as Chuck was welding, he wasn't wearing a welder's mask, but then a little icon in Sally's vision suddenly appeared, looking similar to a sun crossed out with a red X.
The reason for this became apparent when the bright white light from the welding torch suddenly came on and it didn't blind her, the room dimmed almost to full darkness while the area around the welding was viewable.
Once Chuck stopped, her vision became normal once more.
This would continue for three more times until Rotor interrupted the elder robain.
"Got those capacitors and breakers you asked for Uncle Chuck. Rotor said putting the box of items on a bench near the machine.
"Thanks Rotor. he said as he placed the welding torch on a near by work bench.
"Uncle Chuck? what are you doing? Sally asked him, the older robain looked to the younger one.
"Well, last night's events got me thinking."
"About what?" sally said as charles picked up a datapad that was on a workbench beside the unfinished device.
Charles walked over and handed her the pad.
"About the SLAVE engine" he said as he pointed on the screen
Sally felt a chill crawl up her robotic spine as she stared at the digital representation of the now infamous program on the datapad's screen.
"From what I witnessed last night, there's no possible way for the freedom fighters to continue carrying out our standard operations with this thing out in the field, not to mention that with these combat robians patrolling Robotropolis, were going to have to completely rethink our strategies" Charles said solemnly.
"That still hasn't answered my question as to what your building here" Sally said as she walked over to the device in question, taking a closer look at it.
Charles stood with a thoughtful expression, as if contemplating a very difficult decision, an expression that Sally certainly took notice of as she stood up from examining the unfinished equipment she had been overlooking.
"What is it?" she asked, concerned as she saw the elderly robian was struggling with what must have been something troubling.
Charles looked up at the robian princess as he took a deep sigh.
"Sally, I'm sure your familiar with the term fighting fire with fire correct?" he said, his tone turning very serious
The princess nodded in response, wondering what he was getting at.
"For years I have had to live with the guilt of what my invention has done to this world, but now after seeing what snively has created I don't think there is any other alternative to combat this new threat" charles said as he looked at the uncompleted device, concern in his eyes.
For a moment sally was still confused, but then it suddenly dawned on her, a look of suprise on her face as she looked at charles and then at the machine.
"You're building a robotisizer? Why? She asked him.
"Two reasons really, He sighed taking a moment to think again to him self the justification he had in the first place.
The first one would be to continue the original intent of making it a medical tool, Heaven knows we may just need it thanks to Snively upping the stakes of everything.
It was then he took a moment to think over his second reason with it being more for him self then anything.
The second is if we're going to have any hope to beat him, we might be forced to play him at his own game, but not without an edge. Which is why I'm building a robotisizer that will hopefully work as a derobotizer as well.
"Can it be used on us? She asked with a glint of hope, but noticed the pain in his eyes when she asked.
"I'm afraid not. You, Sonic, Bunnie, me, or anyone else that hasn't been in this one can't be de robotized. He said sadly.
The best I can do however is use it on my self or Bunnie to upgrade ourselves. One thing I have to make note is that even if I fully robotisize Bunnie or Sonic, when changing them back their limbs will still be robotisized.
"I see, She said looking down,disappointment in her eyes.
"Listen Sally. Chuck said, putting both hands on her shoulders and having her look at him.
There's still a chance to get this to work on Derobotisizing you and Sonic, but it is a horribly slim one, even so I won't give up trying even if it looks like we may be stuck this way forever.
"Its Okay, I just wish we didn't have to do it this way. She said, looking away from Chuck and to the Robotisizer.
"I'm sorry it has come to this. Chuck said and he pulled her into a hug.
Can you ever forgive this old fool for the evil that he's brought on this world?
"Oh Chuck. She said back felling the tears coming from him, Rotor at this point had made himself scarce deciding to check on Sonic and Bunnie to let them have their moment.
There's nothing to forgive, you had no idea your work would be used like this or end up doing this to both of us, and I can live with this if it means saving our people.
"You don't know just how much that made this old man's soul feel better. Chuck said to her.
Sally smiled softly
You'll figure it out, I'm sure of it.
It was then a thought crossed her mind as she looked back at the incomplete machine.
Chuck? Can this robotisizer free another robian from the SLAVE engine?
Wiping away a tear from his face he looks back at the data pad still in hand.
That's the one piece of good news I have for this, we might be able to override the program with one of our own. Thanks to the data from both the SLAVE engine and the subroutine Nicole got us, we might be able to restore their free will with this, or install a version of our own SLAVE engine as a kind of antibody program to prevent anyone from being made into a Combat Robian for Snively.
"So do you really think that this could actually work? She said with renewed hope.
"It might be the only shot we have, if we can bring them back to the rig that is. However the most likely scenarios would be more of the 'on the field installation' of our own software with you having to carry and install it into someone, but you will be able to do it fine thanks to Nicole.
"Thank you Sir Charles. The computer spoke up in Sally's hand in a far less monotone voice as of late.
"Uh, you're welcome Nicole. Anyways, I need to do some testing and figure out what is the best set up for this to work. I'll Run some simulations later with Nicole's help, but if all goes well princess, we might have a weapon to use in our fight against Snively.
"Okay, She said, nodding with reluctant approval to the plan.
Then she noticed Nicole in her hand and remembered about the holster she used to have in her boot, and the one in the vest she lost being the only one with the safety strap for her.
Oh no, I forgot about that. she sighed.
"Forget what? Chuck asked.
"The holster that I had for Nicole in my vest and on my boot. She said as she opened her vest.
This one doesn't have the strap to keep Nicole in it. The one back in Robotropolis was my last vest with one.
"Sally, if I may. Nicole spoke up.
There might still be one on your boot, although a much different one.
"Nicole, my boots are my feet now, the hostler is gone. Sally pointed out.
"That is my point. Nicole said, then added, They were integrated into you, I found this out when I was talking to your intelligence aspect, you need only think about it.
Looking at uncle Chuck, who just shrugged, Sally did as instructed by closing her eyes and imaging her holster for Nicole, it was then that she felt an odd pop on her right calve and looked down to see a panel had opened up.
The slot open outward and then slid down slightly on a twin hinge system that was mounted on the right and left sides of the access port, the port itself then split vertically to allow Nicole to be stored.
"Whoa, Sally replied.
"Just close me up and then insert me, there should be a push-in lock and release mechanism. Nicole said.
Sally did as she was told. Once Nicole was placed there the port closed back up and the slot retract back into her leg in one quick motion..
Within a second of the panel closing Sally felt a sudden rush as if she felt very light headed, but that would soon pass, some numbers and information in her H.U.D passed by rather quickly and a small window opened up with Nicole's mobian form on it.
"Hi Sally. The smiling lynx said while waving to her.
"Well, this is sort of convenient. Sally spoke, waving back.
"Why did you just wave to me? Chuck asked with a puzzled look.
"One moment Sally, there's one other option you have thanks to me being intigrated with your systems. Nicole's window then disappeared from Sally's view, and then a square holographic window opened up between both her and Chuck with Nicole in it. Now how is that? Better?
"Well I'll be. Chuck spoke with surprising excitement.
"Nicole, how are you doing that? Sally asked, at once noticing that the hologram was not wavy or slightly distorted as it normally would be.
"It is simple Sally, by combing our systems, I can use your body as a kind of booster for my holographic projector, you have several subsystems in you that let me take advantage of my projector and put out a more effective display.
"Nicole, Chuck pointed out, How am I hearing you?
"That would be the hardlight feature that I was able to adapt with my systems. I can make the hologram vibrate ever so slightly to allow for sounds and I can pick up sound and other types of vibrations that come into contract with the projection. Bypassing the need to use Sally's senses and freeing up it's use for other needs.
"That's Amazing. Sally said with awe.
"The truly amazing part is that your subsystems allows for a full 360 degree projection from your body because of key locations that also allow for the projection of holograms, but visually I'm still dependent on Sally's eyes to see the normal spectrum.
With that, Nicole shut down the window but the two could still hear her.
"I need to run compatibility tests on my self to see how much I am able to interface with you Sally, I'll be here if you need me, just call out to me with your mind, I'll hear it. she said
"Well, I can say at least something good has come of this. Chuck said impressed by this event.
Suddenly there was a bang from outside the door to the lab.
"Princess, are you in there? The voice of Griff shouted to them. Please, we need to see you.
Sally was about to answer when she felt Chuck's hand on her shoulder.
Wait, let us deal with this, you stay here. We'll brake it to them easy and then you can show them.
"Okay, She said with some hesitation, Chuck noded in response and then went past the curtain with Rotor following.
Sonic and Bunnie didn't move from their spot, as they continued working on his training, The hedgehog glancing upward slightly as he watched his uncle walk past him and bunnie.
Getting to the door, he took a short breath and exhaled, then opened it.
There stood Lupe, Ari, and Griff with two mobians that came with the group during yesterday's recon mission into robotopolis.
"We heard from these two about what happened, Ari said as he barged in, but stopped and starred in disbelief at Sonic sitting on his stool , the ram's eyes fell on the hedgehog's metallic limbs.
So it is true? he whispered.
"Yes Ari. Sally said as she emerged behind the curtain, the shock on Ari, Lupe, and Griff's faces was evident.
"Oh no. Griff said,sadly as he walked in, looking at the now robotized princess.
"Princess, Lupe said solemnly as she looked at Sally.
I'm so sorry, I should have been there to support you. she said sadly as she walked up and hugged her.
Sally slowly but carefully returned the hug, taking care not to exert to much pressure.
Even though she could still feel to a slight degree,the robotization had left the majority of her senses particularly numb, Sally figured it would take a good while for her to get used to the rather inconvenient adjustments.
"Snively is going to pay for what he's done to you." ari said angrily as he punched his fist into his palm.
Sally looked towards the three, appreciative that they still saw her as a leader and their friend, hoping that when the time came the residents of knothole would be just as understanding. But for now there was more pressing matters to discuss.
"There's no point in dwelling on that. Right now we've got to plan for what Snively is going to send our way. Sally said as she let go of Lupe and took a step back.
"That's kind of what we came to talk to you about. Griff spoke up.
The young cat from yesterday spoke up.
. Paul came up to us this morning, it's Marcus, he's stirring up trouble again..
"Yeah, we didn't say anything, just like Antoine told us not to. The bird from yesterday said.
But we think he may have overheard us talk about something.
"Well that's just fantastic. Sonic said sarcastically.
What does that jerk want this time? I swear, he's almost as bad as Butttnik.
"Sonic, please. Sally spoke up.
He may be a jerk, but he's one of the best when it comes to keeping our provisions from running out, plus he's the only one in Knothole besides Lupe and her pack that can hunt or trap wild game for meat.
"Still doesn't make me not want to throw him over a cliff. Sonic complained.
"Well, If not for him getting the meat, you wouldn't have anything for your chilly dogs but empty buns. Sally pointed out.
Sonic just grumbled, as he went back to his training session.
"Anyways, Griff said.
Marcus is demanding answers for what happened yesterday. He's already got my Lieutenants, in a huff.
Charles brow furrowed as he remembered how badly the dog had reacted when he had entered the village.
"Wonderful, and knowing how hard it was to get him to accept me in this village, I don't even want to think about what he's going to say about you..
To make matters worse he's got that grudge on you to start with and then there is his influence with some of the villagers.he finished as he looked at sally.
The robian princess let out a frustrated sigh.
.God, there's only one thing I can do. she said, putting her hand over her forehead.
And I don't think anyone here is going to like it.
To be continued....