By Mercenary X & Zeiram0034
Edited by Zeiram0034
Proofread by Jeff Greyhound1211 Phillips
Special thanks to Jamie Swiftrunner for Bunnie's accent
Chapter/Episode 1 Old Guard out, New Guard In part 3
Robotization & Detention Level
Chuck and the others had rushed in as fast as they could, but the sight that greeted them was something they hoped they wouldn't see. Sally was fully robotized, and Sonic had metallic arms and legs.
Sally? Wake up Sal, stay with me here. Sonic tried to shake her awake, panic in his voice as he began fearing the worst.
Chuck ran up to the now metal princess that Sonic was holding, even without having to look very hard, he could tell she was just in a stasis lock.
Sonic, don't worry, she's just in temporary stasis lock. We'll have to make a stop at my hideout and pick up a few things so we can bring her out of it back in Knothole.
Sonic looked at his uncle like he just slapped him in the face over the suffering that Sally went though.
We can mourn later. Right now we have to worry about ourselves and getting Sally as well as you to safety.
He was right, it hurt, but he was right and Sonic understood.
Hey guys! We don't have much time and this can go a lot faster if someone would help me a bit. Rotor complained as he was trying to pull boards and chips out and salvage what he could.
Oh, right. Chuck realized what Rotor was doing, Antoine, help Sonic get Sally ready for transport. You three help me take that thing apart. The three other mobains just nodded and ran by, only getting a glance at the Princess and Sonic as they passed.
Snively was pissed, but he wasn't in an uncontrollable rage, he was right now going back to the prototype room with a squad of SWATbots.
As he continued his assistant SWATbot turned a corner and saw them coming his way.
"Trouble sir?" He asked while Snively just stormed past him in a huff.
"Hmm guess so." the bot said to himself as he followed behind his master.
It would be another three minutes before they got to the room, only to find it empty of any Freedom Fighters, also the Prototype Robotizer was stripped down and what wasn't taken was smashed beyond repair, the computer was also in a similar state, and strangely, there was a rather large dent in the floor, and a blood stain here or there.
Hal? Snively spoke up not looking away from the mess.
Sir? The aforementioned bot responded.
Have the production of SWATbot replacements moved up on the time table, and make sure they have the upgraded AI's, also make sure that the power rerouting is also the first priority. Pull any SWATbots as needed to complete the task by the end of this week.
Yes sir, anything else?
Make sure to gather the test data from the back up server on the Princess' and hedgehog's Robotization and have a report ready for me by tomorrow at the latest. And have someone clean up this mess. he said as he went and waved a hand to the room.
Yes sir, The bot saluted as the Overlander walked past him.
The SWATbot squad turned to Hal.
Follow me, you have a new assignment.
Rotor's Lab a few hours later.
"Okay, now let's go attach the supplement power to the input line." Rotor said as he looked into his magnifying glass that led into an open panel on Sally's head. Chuck was busy working with NICOLE on the other side inputting commands.
Suddenly Sally's eyes open up and her irises where filled with the blue/white light she had before she went into Stasis Lock.
"Huh?" Sally said, suddenly aware that she was awake. She tried to sit up, but found herself restrained as she was before.
"What? Guys? What's going on?" She attempted to look around, but found that she was unable to move due to the restraints placed on her head and body.
Hold on, Sally, Uncle Chuck said, we need to make sure that the inhibitor programming is gone; but until then we can't take a chance.
Sally looked to Chuck, calming down from the slight panic that had arisen within her from the initial shock.
She only noded in response.
We're right now trying to isolate the program that you fought, but this thing is so different from what I had when I was Robotnik's slave, so we have to have you strapped down just in case it tries to take over again.
Okay. She said timidly before Bunnie came up to her next to Chuck and put a hand on her arm.
Don't worry, Sugah, we're all here for ya.
The rabbit girl's gentle smile reassured her and made Sally calm down a bit more. Then a thought came to her.
Bunnie, how's Tails? The rabbit's face saddened some as she steadied herself.
Physically, he's fit as a fiddle, she then sighed, but the youngling is scared out of his wits. I had to practically let himself cry his little, old self to sleep before I could get em to let go. He's back in my hut, snug as a bug. Ah just hope he's not having any nightmares right now.
Sally let out a small sigh of relief, thankful that tails wasnt hurt, but then her eyes scanned around the room, wondering where a certain blue hedgehog was.
Where's Sonic? Worry creeped into her voice.
Sugar hog is in Rotor's living area with the lights off. I'm worried about him the most. He didnt say a single word on the way back and insisted that he carry you. When Ant tried to insist that he wasn't able to do that, I swear on my Great Grandma and Pappies' grave that I thought he was going to hurt Ant.
Sally's eyes widen with fear.
I've got to talk to him.
Nu-uh Sally, He's hurtin as it is. He needs time. Besides, you an't in no position ta help or say otherwise. Bunnie pointed to the straps.
But if it makes ya feel any better, I'll talk to him. I kinda know how he feelin and what he's going though.
A sad look then formed on the rabbit's face as if something reminded her of a bad moment in her past.
Sally could only nod in response.
It was then that something else got their attention as the sound of shouting could be heard in the distance.
Sacrebleu! Antoine exclaimed.
Dis iz un outrage! Dis iz not how you treat your Princess.
Antoine! Shut it, will you? We have to do this! Rotor countered.
It iz no excuse! Dis iz e capital offensive: tree-zon!
Okay, I can only take so much. Sally thought.
Antoine, stand down! She shouted, the argument between the two ceased imediately.
I appreciate your concern, but Rotor is right. Until we all know for sure that whatever it was isn't going to take me over again, we can't take any chances.
Uh, eh . . . y . . . yes, my princess. He said.
Antoine bowed to her and kept his mouth shut. Rotor mumbled something about working in peace finally, but Sally ignored it.
Really she was still more afraid then angry over the current situation she was in. Above all else she didn't want to lose her newly regained freedom of her body and hurt anyone else that had already been hurt like back in Robotopolis.
Sally, Chuck spoke up, I've been going over all the data and it seems that the Robotizer that was used on you and Sonic was something I've never seen before. It seems it was made to turn a mobian, or anything for that matter, into a weapon more powerful then anything that the original was ever capable of doing. It's the most frightening thing that I've ever seen in all my years.
Chuck then sighed heavily.
What's wrong? Bunnie asked Chuck.
Sally however seemed a bit unnerved by this information, that she was just turned into a killing machine?
I designed the robotizer as a medical tool to replaced broken body parts or to find ways to cure illness. But, this . . . this thing is a total perversion of what I was doing, Chuck just shook his head.
With NICOLE and Rotor's help, we've discovered something: after pouring over the data off of Sonic's arms and legs and with your body as well, we think that whoever is robotized with this, for lack of a better term, Combat Robotizer, it will take the natural abilities of it's victims and uses those skills to the basis for it's weapons, tools, and abilities of the body. Sonic's speed is a perfect example, because from what I've seen of his feet, he's got some kind of boosters and hover system that, if I'm right, will make him faster then he's ever been before. Possibly do things he's never done before, if I dare say so.
The others where shocked by this information, but then no one could even think it was possible for Sonic to get any faster.
My stars, Bunnie replay.
That's not good news. Rotor said.
This caused most to begin thinking of possibilities of how this could make things even harder on everyone; more so for those who would have to go and fight them and even more horrible would be what would happen if Sonic was fully robotized like Sally and didn't have his freewill.
Chuck continued with his explanation.
But we might be able to use this to our advantage. From scans that Nicole took when doing a more in depth look into your systems Sally, it would seem you have some kinds of computer hacking capability like NICOLE has, maybe even superior to hers.
But vhat duz dis mean? Antoine asked.
It means, Antoine my boy, is that we can't get at the rid of the software from out here, but we might be able to do so from inside, or more precisely, you can, Sally.
What? How am I supposed to do that?
"As I stated before, your body has the ability to interface with other computers." Chuck said as he pulled out a long gray cable. "So what rotor and I have devised is that we will connect you with NICOLE. From there you will interface with her systems and she will guide you through what Rotor and I have decided to call a data dive."
Wait, didn't Sally already kick this thing's metal arse back in Robotopolis? I mean, she did, right?
Uncle Chuck just shook his head to Bunnie.
Sorry, Bunnie, but Sally only thrust it back and possibly disabled it. It is still in her somewhere and we can't risk it coming back and attempt to override Sallys mind. Given what you told me of your fight with her, this thing could subdue the entire village to be robotized, or worse yet, kill everyone outright.
At this Antoine fainted from that bit of news while Bunnie looked horrified. She covered her mouth as she gasped at the thought.
"Which is why it is absolutely imperative that we neutralize this program as soon as possible." Rotor said.
Chuck began to route a cable from NICOLE to Sally's arm, then a another set of cables from NICOLE and sally to a computer for each of them.
"Sally" Chuck sighed, "I'm not going to sugarcoat this. Most of this is only theoretical, so we won't know what will happen when you data dive or if it will even work, but it's the best we could think of in such short notice." He finished solemnly.
But we might be able to at least monitor what you both see and possibly communicate, again, even that is theoretical at best.
Sally looked deep into Chuck's eyes. She then sighed and seemed to gather up her resolve.
If this is the only way, I will take it. Like you said, the risk is too great at this point to let that thing linger any longer then we have to.
Chuck nodded to her as he inserted the cable.
"Well, here goes everything." He said, the tone in his voice somewhat shaky.
Wait, before you do anything, let me make this clear: if this thing is taking over and nothing can stop it, don't hesitate to do what you have to do in order to stop it. I'm not worth it if it means that this thing can hurt you or anyone else in Knothole.
Chuck just holds her hand and gives a gentle squeeze. "Lets just hope it doesn't come to that" He said as Rotor began to ready the system.
Okay, NICOLE, you ready? Rotor asked.
Ready and waiting. She responded.
Okay, starting system in three . . . two . . . one . . . go! Rotor said as he hit a button on Sally's arm.
Sally stirred a little as she started to come out of the, well . . . she couldn't really say what it was, but it felt like going down the tree stump slide into Knothole, but with many more lights and much brighter and colorful. She sat up and then noticed her surroundings.
It was a room, a room in the style of a Princess in a castle. There were some toys here and there, including a rocking horse, a shelf with some books and a wardrobe that must have held clothes. And she was in a four posted bed complete with drapes that could enclose and shade a person from the rest of the room.
"This is . . . my . . . old room" She said with slight hint of confusion in her voice as she took it all in. "But how?"
She scooted to the left edge of the bed near some windows that were letting in light. A bright light that could be described as blinding, in that you couldn't see anything outside it but the light, however it wasn't so much that it would hurt your eyes.
"It is a digital representation of your subconscious mind." A voice echoed within the room, causing sally to yelp with surprise.
"Wha . . . who said that?" She said quickly as her eyes darted from one side of the room to the other.
"Behind you" The voice said in a monotone yet slightly exasperated tone. Sally turn around and was face to face with a lynx girl glowing with a slight purple aura. The closeness of her face to hers caused Sally to jump back in surprise and to fall off the bed. The lynx girl giggled a little as Sally had only her feet on the bed with the rest of her body on the floor.
So this is humor and laughter. Quite infectious, but not unpleasant. Thats very interesting. The girl said as she crawled to the edge and looked over the side at Sally with a smile.
Sally was not laughing. Instead she glared up at the lynx girl with an angry scowl as her hair bent over into her face. She breathes in and exhales hard to blow the hair out of her eyes.
Who are you, and where am I? Sally pointed to the Lynx girl, her finger resting on the unknown girl's noise.
Why, Sally, I thought you'd recognize me after all this time. It's me Nicole. She said as she gently took Sally's finger and pointed it away from her.
Nicole? Bu . . . wha . . . how is this possible? Sally couldn't understand.
Nicole didn't have any kind of user interface Avatar before, why now?
I have one now because of you Sally?
Wait . . . I didn't . . . She quickly backed up and sat on the floor with her back to the wall.
---Say anything? You don't need to. I am linked into your robotic body's systems. I can in a way read your mind as you can read mine. 'Just like this.'
Sally only blinked, dumbfound as she heard the voice speak 'Just like this' without moving her lips. But what more is that she felt the voice more then heard it
Uh . . . okay.
Hello? Can you two hear me? Another voice echoed in the room Sally looked around and couldn't pinpoint the location.
We read you, Charles. Nicole said without looking away from Sally. She then got off the bed and grabbed Sally's arm and lifted her up off the floor and on to her feet.
Uncle Chuck? Sally looking even more expecting him to show him self like Nicole. Are you here too?
Sorry to disappoint you for not making as grand of an entrance as NICOLE, Rotor spoke up, but Chuck and I are only able to speak to you two via this headset though the computers we set up.
She looked up to the roof, as if half-expecting their faces to show up. In some kind of divine, god-like manner and speaking to her the message. I take it then this is that data dive you two talked about?
Yes and no, Chuck spoke up, As far as I can say, it looks like you might be in a memory of your childhood.
Oh, and we can see everything both you and Nicole are seeing. Rotor then noted, Hey, Nicole? Where'd you get the idea for the Mobian body?
From Sally. Sally looked to her A.I. companion in surprise.
Me? She pointed to her self.
Yes, as I stated before, this place is a digital representation of your subconscious mind. The computer components took your memories and thoughts and gave them three-dimensional forms that are arranged in a very computer like manner, allowing me to interface with you. In fact, your OCPU went and devised this form for me the moment I entered your systems.
NICOLE? Don't you mean CPU? Rotor asked over the com link.
No, Sally has an OCPU, an Organic Computer (or Central) Processing Unit. Her Mobain brain is one of the only parts of her that is not been robotized.
Wait! Chuck spoke up this time. You mean to tell me that me that Sally's brain is still flesh and blood?
But, why? I though the entire body was robotized and nothing was left. Sally spoke with shock.
I can only theorize that by having access to a partially organic brain, it would allow whatever presence that was controlling Sally to operate an a higher rate of effectiveness, being that the mobian brain is in itself the most powerful type of CPU which is leaps and bounds over any kind of artificial CPU construct. Thus to enhance the CR combat capabilities, it would intentionally keep part of the victim (in this case being the brain) untouched by the robotization process to use it for its own devices, whatever that may be. In laymens terms, by having access to an organic brain, this makes a CR extremely dangerous when being controlled by the SLAVE Engine, since it will be just as creative and unpredictable as a normal mobian. In fact, it is possible that a normal robian workerbot may also have an OCPU.
SLAVE Engine? Rotor said. Is that what was controlling Sally is called?
Yes, I've discovered its name is called the 'Synaptic Labor Augmentation Variable Encryption Engine Software', or S.L.A.V.E. Engine Software.
Wonderful, we have a name for it now. Sally sarcastically responded under her breath to herself, not knowing that everyone heard it.
Sarcasm, another very interesting emotional thought pattern. I am finding this to be a rather educational experience. Nicole reacted.
Sally then looked at her with a rather red face full of embarrassment.
Uh, Sally? We all heard it. Chuck spoke up; if Sally could see herself, she figured she was as red as a beet.
Sally, come, we have to find the SLAVE Engine and neutralize it, Nicole figured it would best to get to the matter at hand. Sally's face then took a serious look.
"And how do we do that?" Sally said.
As if responding to her answer, NICOLE simply raised her hand and pointed to the door of the digital room
Through here. Nicole said.
"Here? But isn't this just.." Sally didn't have time to finish as NICOLE grabbed her left hand and positioned herself in front of the door.
She then turned the knob, opened it, and pulled Sally with her though the bright light.
Sally was momentarily blinded by the sudden transition and soon found herself back in a large grassy field.
Her eyes fluttered open, her vision still partially blurred thanks to the sudden brightness from the light behind the door.
Jeez, Nicole you could have at least warned me." She groaned as she rubbed her eyes.
"Sorry, Sally," Nicole said with a soft chuckle. "I am still new to this whole data dive thing, at least in this form of it."
Sally let out an exasperated sigh, "Well you aren't the only one."
As her vision began to clear, it was then that Sally began to take in her surroundings.
"Where in Knothole?" she said in a bewildered tone.
"Actually a digital representation based of which are on your memories, quite similar to your room." Nicole said in a matter-of-fact tone.
"Yeah, but looking at it now everything seems kind of . . . I dunno, slightly odd." Sally said as she took in her new environment.
The grass seemed to glow a bright, transparent neon green as it swayed in the wind. The trees where covered in strange lines and symbols that glowed with the same color as the grass. Even the sky was covered with the same strange outlines that pulsed a vibrant blue.
While aside from the aforementioned details, other aspects where instantly familiar including the small creek that ran through the village and the groups of huts and other dwellings all nestled together, under the protection of the massive trees. Indeed it was actually 'quite beautiful' Sally thought to herself as she looked around.
It was then that sally noticed Nicole had been staring at her for quite some time, her finger under her chin with a rather quizzical expression on her face.
"What is it?" Sally said her tone slightly confused at the computer turned lynx's quizzical stare.
"Interesting" Nicole said as she cocked her head from one side to the other as if she where trying to get a better look at something,
"It seems that once that data dive commenced your form seems to have undergone an upgrade of some kind." she said with a rather awestruck tone.
"What are you talking about I look . . ." Sally didn't finish her sentence as she looked down at her body, or rather, her well developed body.
"What in the?" she said as took in her new form, her body was covered with what she could tell was a skin tight jumpsuit.
It to was covered with the strange lines that pulsated a pale blue green. However it wasn't the jumpsuit that caught her attention, but rather the fine contours of her body, she was slightly taller then she previously remembered, and her chest was certainly larger then before.
"It seems you appear to be slightly older then your previous form, and quite . . . well . . . how shall I say . . . voluptuous." Nicole said with a hint of humor in her voice.
It was then that sally shot Nicole a stink eye that cause the lynx girl to turn away and stifle a small chuckle.
"Nicole, this is serious." She said, worryingly. "I dont even know how . . ."
It was then that a thought crossed Sally's mind. What did her face look like? As if to answer her own question, she made her way down the grassy hill towards the stream with Nicole following right behind her.
Hesitantly she knelled down in front of the stream and looked at the image reflecting of the digital water.
"Oh my . . ." She said in awe as she looked at her new, or more precisely, older face.
Her hair was now past her shoulders and was a bright, vibrant scarlet. The contours of her face were similar to her previous one, only slightly more womanly and delicate. Her eyes were a bright blue that seemed to shine like finely made sapphires.
If Sally had been concerned about trivial matters as her looks, she would have had to say that she was quite beautiful.
"Wow." She said timidly as she felt her face with her hands.
She turned to look at Nicole.
How is this possible?
I don't know, Sally. I don't have enough information to even draw a conclusion to speculate. The lynx said.
But we can discuses this later. We need to find the data hubs and from there we can start a search for the SLAVE Engine and get rid of it.
Right, Sally said getting back up and walking to NICOLE. Where do we start?
NICOLE closed her eyes and seemed to be focus on something. She then opened her eyes and pointed to what would be the north wall with the elevator in and out of Knothole.
That way is the best way that I can determine from here. Nicole says.
Nicole brought her chin down and turned to Sally. Sally returns a ready smile and they both turned in the direction that Nicole has indicated that they should travel. As they begin to move, they quickly halt their movements and stood still. The undoubted presence of an unknown person grabbing both of their attentions.
I wouldn't if I were you. Came an oddly child-like voice from behind them.
To be continued...