Princess Sally walked down the hallway of the Knothole central compound, making her way towards the communications room, looking at her handheld computer Nicole in her hands. As she did so, she unwittingly passed by her friends Bunnie, Tails, and Rotor, who all waved to her.
“Well howdy, Princess!” Bunnie greeted.
“Hi Sally!” Tails added.
Not even hearing them, Sally walked right past them, causing the trio to scratch their heads.
“Gosh, she didn't even notice us!” Rotor commented, watching her head for the communications room. “She must have a lot on her mind after everything that's recently happened...”
Sally stopped just outside the communications room, waiting for the door to open up as she typed on Nicole. She finally spoke to her. “Well...if Uncle Chuck's right, this frequency should be able to break through the time barrier, and we'll be able to establish-”
TEMPORAL SHADOW: FIRST CONTACT
by Shayne “Sonic Remix” Edwards
(based on a comic story by Karl Bollers)
Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters and indica © and ™ 1991 – 2017 SEGA – Sonic Team
She walked in, seeing the large computer sitting within the communications room and began to sit down before it.
“What are you attempting to do, princess?” Nicole asked as Sally set her down on the desk next to the computer.
“I'm going to use your sophisticated technology to establish a temporal broadcast. If we can phase it with the time bubble protecting Knothole, we can get a signal to the outside world. If we're lucky, the Robotnik that was established in the outside world's time frame have orbiting satellites we can relay the signal to,” Sally responded, typing furiously on the computer. It took a few minutes for Sally to receive an establishing signal from a satellite, making her smile. “Well, it seems the first part work. Hopefully I'll be able to contact any freedom fighters that are out there, like what Robotnik had done with his sub-bosses in our time frame.”
Once she was sure that she got a signal established with the satellite in orbit, she began to speak up on the communications device. “This is Princess Sally of Knothole Village, sending a general broadcast signal to ANY freedom fighter groups that can hear us. Please respond if you can. I repeat, this is Princess Sally of Knothole....”
Sally repeated her message a few more times, feeling she wasn't going to get a response, before suddenly a familiar voice spoke up over radio. “Angel Island to Knothole, are you receiving me, over?”
Sally grabbed the mic in excitement. “Roger that Angel Island...wait...” she paused. “Knuckles, is that you?”
“Affirmative!” came the familiar response. “Do I know you, Princess...?”
“Yes! I mean...no...I mean...kinda of?” She shook her head. “I'm sorry, give me a moment to get in contact with any others who might be hearing this broadcast, I want to explain everything to you all.”
“Well I hope you can make better sense than that just now,” Knuckles responded before another voice came through. “Knothole, this is Robotropolis calling in, how can we be of assistance?”
Sally blinked and mouthed to herself. 'Robotropolis' before Knuckles interrupted. “Mighty, is that you?”
“Knuckles, buddy! It's been a while!” Mighty replied. “How's it been going up there?”
“It's been wild! You won't believe what's been happening-”
Sally cleared her throat. “Sorry to interrupt, boys. Mighty, did you say you were calling from Robotropolis?”
“Yeah that's right, mam. I can't reveal where, but I assure you, were are freedom fighters hiding here in the city. Our leader is absent for the moment, I'm speaking as his second-in-command.”
“Well, I can appreciate the chain-of-command-”
Sally was interrupted as more and more responses came in from around the globe. The Arctic Freedom Fighters, Downunda, even some groups she never met began to respond.
Once she was sure she got everyone that could hear her, she responded. “I'm contacting you all for reasons of dire importance. Let me explain...”
She took a deep breath. “I should start by explaining that my village comes from a place out of time and space. We've recently appeared in your world's timeline just a few days ago. I want to be able to exchange information about our timelines so we know what we're dealing with. I want to start with what we considered our biggest threat in our timeline, and that's Ivo Robotnik.”
Mighty responded to this. “Robotnik was a big problem, even in this timeline. Our planet's been under siege by him and his sub-bosses for longer than most of us care to remember. Just recently, he was successful into making us look like utter fools by believing that our leader was conspiring to betray us. The ploy lead to our original location being found by Robotnik, and enslaving a good chunk of my friends.
“Thankfully, our leader was able to escape, and I was the one to go chasing after him, discovering the truth, that it was all a set up by Robotnik, and that our leader was innocent. We came back to Robotropolis together to free our friends, but Robotnik wasn't going to go down so easily. It turns out that he built a massive fortress in secret called the Death Egg, that was going to wipe out the freedom fighters and Sanctuary from existence. Our leader gave chase after Robotnik and the Death Egg, and the last thing we had seen was the Death Egg crashing out of the sky and into the sea. We haven't seen our leader OR Robotnik since...”
“Hmm...” Sally mused. “That sounds similar to events that happened in my timeline, only that it was our champion Sonic the Hedgehog that was accused of treason for trying to kill me-”
“Wait a minute,” Mighty interrupted. “Did you say Sonic?”
“That's right,” Sally responded with a frown. “So you know him in your timeline?”
“Know him? Mam, he's our leader,” Mighty responded. “We haven't seen him since the Death Egg was brought down. Is...is Sonic there? At least...your version of him?”
'Well that makes sense,' Sally thought. 'Sonic would be the one to take out the Death Egg. But a leader? And what happened to their Sonic? Was he alive still?' Sally finally responded to Mighty. “Yes, our Sonic is here in the village, but a recent series of events has happened to him.”
“We're listening,” Mighty responded.
Sally inhaled. “Well, as I started to say, our Sonic was arrested, accused of trying to kill me. But it was all a setup and our village had been captured and enslaved. Thankfully Sonic escaped custody and convinced our royal secret service Commander Geoffrey that he was innocent. Gathering forces, Sonic and the others came back to stop Robotnik and free the villagers. But Robotnik wasn't done, as he had built a weapon to take out the village once and for all, called the Ultimate Annihilator. But it had been sabotaged and it backfired on Robotnik, wiping him out. Sonic came home and discovered that I was still alive, but in a coma. I revived under his presence.”
“Well, that's great and all,” Mighty responded. “But you said something's happened to Sonic?”
“Yes, I was just getting to that. See, the Ultimate Annihilator's backfiring created unstable energies, such as the time bubble that protects Knothole from timeline changes, and alternate zone portals popping up. Now take that and mix in one time traveling hedgehog named Shadow who randomly showed up in the past, and we got a temporal cocktail that created that time changes around Knothole. This Shadow, apparently, had been battling roboticizing nanites in the future where he's from, and in an attempt to destroy them, Shadow's quills were accidentally coated with deactivated nanobots. Apparently a combination of chaos energy sent Shadow to the past, and in the process, landed on top of Sonic and injuring him with those nanite coated quills. But no one, not even Shadow, knew that Sonic was slowly being roboticized until it was too late.”
“Wait-” Mighty interrupted. “I had heard reports of Mecha Sonic up on the surface. I thought people were losing their mind over Sonic's absence.”
“I'm afraid the reports are true,” Sally responded. “Sonic is roboticized. However, it turns out that Sonic still has his mind intact. The nanites that were roboticizing Sonic were confused by their programming, scrambled by the effect of the chaos energy time travel, and wound up 'absorbing' Sonic's morality as his brain was being converted. They began to work with him and protect him. But it was too late to reverse the process, so Sonic is in our village as a robot.”
“At least he's okay...but what about our Sonic? Can two Sonic's exist in the same time frame?” Mighty asked, worry in his voice.
“I have a few thoughts about that,” Sally responded. “If your Sonic is still missing, it means that either he didn't make it...or...”
“Or...its possible that two Sonics cannot exist in the same time frame...and when time changed for Knothole...”
There was dead silence for a moment before Mighty spoke. “...we're going to keep searching...there are others I need to talk to about your theory...I don't want to give up that our Sonic is still alive though.”
“I understand...” Sally responded. “Honestly I'd respond in the same way if I was in your position.”
“So what now?”
Sally sighed. “Tomorrow morning, my team and I will be coming into Robotropolis to access the damage and changes made to the city from what we know. Perhaps we can meet up at some point.”
“Give me time to discuss it with my people. You can come into the city though, and if we decide to show ourselves, we'll meet up,” Mighty said.
“Fair enough. However, a word of caution. The temporal storm has left unstable zone energies popping up across the planet. Beware, should you encounter any of them.”
As Mighty began to respond, it sounded like he was beginning to break up. “Ro—r, ho------- – can m--- -----row-”
The signal went dead, with static sounding. Sally looked to her computer. “Nicole, what just happened?”
“Satellite signal has deteriorated, Princess,” Nicole responded.
Sally picked up the computer and began to walk away from the room. “Well, hopefully my warning got out in time. I'm going to go gather the others. We're going to have one last meeting before the excursion into Robotropolis in the morning.”
THE END, FOR NOW
NEXT - Temporal Shadow: Brave New World