GeneX - Soleanna Struggle
Chapter 19 - Race Against Time!
Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA and
Sonic Team. You knew that, right?
GeneX and related fanchars are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.
"It doesn't matter now what happens,
I will never give up the fight!
Long as the voice inside drives me to run and fight,
Place all your bets on the one you think is right!" - It Doesn't Matter, Sonic Adventure 2
Shortly after the eagles dropped Copter and company at Kingdom Valley, they spotted the Egg Carrier in the sky! The eagles had helped them catch up by a lot, but they still had a ways to go to get close enough for Copter to get on. Looking around, they could tell this wouldn't be easy. Kingdom Valley was, for the most part, covered with water. Cliffs, ledges, and stone platforms could be seen poking out of the water in many places, but most of those platforms seemed rather unsafe. However, they were the only way to get to any of the several castles and towers that were scattered around the region. As they started to attempt to chase the Egg Carrier, Copter noticed a problem. "This isn't going to work! I'm never gonna make it if I have to wait for all of you! I'd get there much faster going on my own!" he grumbled. Tommy looked sad. "Sorry... We just want to help..." he said. Copter sighed with frustration. He didn't mean to hurt the kid's feelings, but he had to hurry! "Look, I know you want to help, but I really need to do this by myself. I'm sorry you guys came all this way for nothing..." he said, starting to go ahead on his own. Razor stopped him. "Hold it! You can't just leave all of us behind! You think Eggman's just gonna let you waltz onto his ship?" he shouted. Copter turned to him and crossed his arms. "I don't see why not! I don't see Vortex or any of the experiments here, so it would seem they got on easily enough!" he pointed out. Chet was looking up at the Egg Carrier with Mia's binoculars. "He does have a point..." he said. Mia snatched the binoculars back. "Get your own gear, Chet!" she snapped. Razor, however, wasn't finished. "If you haven't noticed, those experiments seem to be pretty good at sneaking around. Also, they work as a team! I'm certain you're going to need help at some point on this trip!" he reasoned. Copter started walking again. "Do what you want, but I'm not waiting for you! I've wasted enough time already with those silly tests that those silly priests insisted on!" he said. Razor looked from Copter to his friends. "Hmmm... Chet, I know you can keep up with him. I'll go, too. But, the rest of you? Copter's right, you'll slow us down." he realized. Katie frowned. "So, that's it? You want us to turn back?" she asked. "Not gonna happen!" Mia shouted, "You two go and help Copter! We'll do our best to catch up!" Chet started running off after Copter. "Works for me!" he said. Razor had a look of concern on his face. "It's going to be dangerous. If things start to get too tough, I want you three to get yourselves out of here! Understand?" he said. Tommy, Mia, and Katie all nodded. "You don't have to worry about us, bro! Just help Copter!" Tommy said. With that settled, Razor turned to chase after Copter and Chet.
Copter, Chet, and Razor were racing towards the nearest castle, hoping to quickly climb to the roof before the Egg Carrier could get too far ahead. Copter wasn't sure if he could fly himself up to the ship, but it was the only thing he could do. As they ran, someone hovering high above them looked on. "Gee, Alphie, those guys are sure in a hurry, aren't they?" It was Char, and he was accompanied by Alpha! "They're having a race to get to that castle! Oooh! We gotta hurry! We're in last place!" Alpha said in a panic. Char patted Alpha on his metal head. "Don't worry, we're not competing! We're spectators! Except I don't think they're racing. See, they're running towards our ship! They're intruders!" he said, grinning playfully. Alpha waved his arms excitedly. "Wheeee!! Over here, intruders! I'll put on a pot of coffee and we'll go bowling!" the crazed robot shouted. Char flew around and tried to get Alpha to quiet down. "Hold it! Hold it! Don't let them see us! We can surprise them!" he said. "SURPRISE!! SURPRISE!!!" Alpha yelled excitedly. Char kicked Alpha in the head. "Quiet, I say! Gimme the phone thingy! I'll call the ship and get us some pals to help us play with those guys!" Char grabbed a walkie talkie from Alpha's hand. "Hello? Is this thing on? Hee hee! Hey, doc! Our old pal, Copter is here! And he looks kinda grumpy! Send us some robots to keep him company! I bet that'll cheer him up!" he said, handing the walkie talkie back to Alpha once he was finished. Alpha spun his robotic head around in a circle. "So, can I go after those monkeys now, mommy?" he asked. Char frowned a little. "Don't call me mommy! I'm a boy! Tee hee! Call me daddy if you want! But I think we should stay out of sight for now, Alphie. Let's sneak around near the castle! C'mon!" the Chao said, laughing excitedly as he led Alpha towards the castle. "Finally, it's time for us to have some fun!"
Copter and Chet entered the castle together, with Razor close behind. Inside was only a single large room, with no ceiling. Looking up, Copter saw ropes hanging at different points above them. There was another door in the room as well. Chet walked over to see if he could open it. "Dang, this door is locked! And I think the stairs leading up the side of the building are there, too!" he groaned, walking back over to Copter and Razor. "That's just great... And there doesn't appear to be any other way up the tower!" Copter growled. Razor was looking above them. "We got a bigger problem, guys! Look out!" Copter and Chet looked up and saw what Razor was talking about. A swarm of Eggman's robots were hovering in from above! They were the same sorts of robots Eggman had been using throughout his activities in Soleanna, but here Copter was encountering yellow and red versions of these robots for the first time, and the guns they carried seemed a bit more dangerous than the weapons of the white and blue robots he'd encountered previously! Copter, Chet, and Razor readied themselves to fight as the robots surrounded them. "So, you guys are here to welcome us, eh? That's just fine! You tin cans aren't gonna stop us!" Copter shouted. The robots simply ignored his words and aimed their weapons, firing moments later! Copter, Chet, and Razor quickly sprung into action, avoiding their shots as well as they could! The yellow and red robots fired homing missiles at them. The yellow robots could fire several small missiles, while the red ones would shoot one large one at a time! Either way, Chet saw to it that they all locked on to him, and used his speed to outrun them, making them useless! Some white robots were also hovering overhead, shooting at the group with their machine guns. Razor took cover and attempted to shoot back whenever he could. Meanwhile, Copter joined Chet in bashing the robots on the ground. Chet slashed the robots with his claws whenever he got the chance, while Copter used powerful tailband powered attacks to destroy even the heavily armored yellow robots with a single hit! However, they couldn't destroy the robots fast enough! More continued to drop into the room, and Copter had to take to the sky in order to attempt to stop some of them before they could land! After each attack, Copter started to fall, so he used the ropes hung around to bounce back into the air! Seeing this, Razor got an idea. "Copter! Use those ropes to bounce up to the top of the tower! That way, you can get outta here and chase that ship!" he shouted. Copter continued to attack the robots as he replied. "What about you guys?!" he yelled. Chet smashed a robot and then waved up to Copter. "We'll be fine! We'll distract these robots so you can get away!" he said. Copter, realizing this was the only way, started making his way up the tower by jumping from rope to rope! "Good luck, guys!" he shouted, waving down to them as he flew up towards the next rope.
Copter was too busy watching the incoming robots as he hopped up the tower, and wasn't watching where he was going much. Soon, he ran out of ropes to jump on, and found himself soaring towards a stained glass window! "Oh, shooooooot!!!!" he shouted as he crashed through the window, finding nothing below him on the other side! He was forced to fly ahead, straining his two tails as he found his way to a platform a short distance away from the castle. Grabbing the edge of the platform and climbing to his feet, Copter glanced up at the Egg Carrier. It was starting to get away, but there was still time to catch it. Copter shook his fist at the ship. "You big, fat maniac!! When I'm done with Vortex, I'm coming after YOU!!" he shouted in frustration. As he looked around the area he'd landed at, he suddenly found that he'd attracted the attention of more flying robots. "Aw, this is for the flickies!!" he groaned, running to avoid the bullets as they began flying at him! The platform he was on was small, but a cliff was within flying distance from it. Copter made it to the cliff, and continued running off towards the Egg Carrier, avoiding multitudes of robots as he went. After all, he simply didn't have the time to deal with them! Watching him flee from the air above was Char and Alpha. "Would you look at that? All the trouble we went to get those robots here, and he's just ignoring them!" Char said playfully. "He's gonna steal my cookies!! Then what will I put in the toaster!?" Alpha shouted. They continued to follow Copter as he reached an area with two large towers. Alpha aimed his gun at the tower closest to Copter. "Eat this, towers! You looks hungry!!" he shouted, firing! These towers were rather weak, and as Alpha's shot crashed into the first one, it began to crumble and collapse from where it was hit! Worse, it was falling towards the cliff Copter was standing on! "Aw, dang it!! Even gravity's against me!!" he shouted, jumping away from the cliff and flying around the falling tower, landing himself on top of its remains. Alpha then fired a shot at the second tower, which Copter once again avoided, flying around the collapsing part and landing on the platform that remained. "You'll have to do better than that, chump!!" he shouted, having finally spotted Alpha.
No longer hiding, Alpha flew down to the platform Copter was waiting on, with Char close behind. "Hello, old pal! Wanna play marbles?" Alpha said in greeting. Char chuckled at the face Copter made in reaction to Alpha's silliness. "What's the matter, Copter? Aren't you happy to see us? Well, Doctor Eggman won't be happy to see you today, so scram!" he said. Copter raised his fists in anticipation of a fight. "Sorry, guys, but I have business on that flying box of bolts! And after all I went through to get this far, there's no way I'm turning back now! You don't like it? Then I'll kick the screws out of you, crazy robot!" he threatened. Alpha laughed at Copter. "Hee hee hee! Screwy robot! You silly, black kitty! Now I watch you dance!" the robot chuckled, firing laser blasts at Copter's feet! Copter jumped out of the way and ran after Alpha, smacking him with his tails! "Owie! You a bad monkey! Hold my phone thingy, little devil guy. Alphie has to punish him!" Alpha said, handing his walkie talkie to Char. Without further hesitation, Alpha charged after Copter, unleashing a flurry of physical attacks mixed with laser fire! Copter was taken off guard, and knocked around a bit. He was forced to run and put some distance between himself and Alpha. "You're nuts!" Copter said, startled by Alpha's bizarre fighting style. "I'm bolts, too! Now, I show you more Alphie-fu! GASP!! That rhymed!" Alpha shouted before charging at Copter again! Copter wasn't about to take any more cheap shots from Alpha, though. He quickly moved out of the way, carefully dodging all of Alpha's attacks until he could figure out how to retaliate. Once he was ready, Copter jumped away from Alpha, prompting him to charge again! "Hold still, jumping bean!!" Alpha shouted, running after Copter. This time, Copter waited where he was until Alpha got close to him, then stepped aside and stuck out his foot, tripping Alpha and causing him to fall over! "Have a nice 'trip,' Alpha!" he chuckled, walking away. Char flew over to Alpha and watched him stand up. "You OK, Alphie?" he asked. "My kidneys hurt..." Alpha whined. Char turned to Copter. "You bully! I'll teach you! Time to deploy something nasty!" he shouted, turning his attention to the walkie talkie. "Send the Egg Genesis, right away!"
Seconds later, the Egg Genesis arrived! It was a giant, yellow robot that flew over the area. It had four large "arms" that were equipped with several missile launchers, and on top of its central body was a retractable "head," that resembled the heads of normal E-Series robots. It certainly looked intimidating, but Copter could see signs of battle damage, such as dents, all over it. "Looks like you guys have recycled this thing at least once! I bet it's nowhere near as tough as it looks!" he said, jumping and flying towards it! "Wow, he's crazy! The Egg Genesis will blow him to smithereens!" Char said, covering his eyes. Alpha started clapping. "Cool! Now we got a show! If only we had dinner, too..." he said. As the Egg Genesis began launching missiles at Copter, he flew over the robot and landed on its head! It was a little tough to keep his footing, since the head kept rotating, but Copter didn't have time to balance himself. The missiles were still chasing him! With that in mind, he ran for one of the robot's arms and hurried across it, with missiles crashing behind him as he did so! A large, stone bridge stretched across the water in front of him, so Copter jumped onto it! Char and Alpha had flown over to observe the battle. "Hey, he's just running away from it!! That's cheating!" Char shouted. "Cheating? Cool! Why didn't I think of that?" Alpha said. Char pointed to the rapidly escaping Copter. "Don't just hover there! Get him, Egg Genesis!" The giant robot swiveled its head to face Copter and began to chase him. It was surprisingly fast, and Copter realized that it would catch up to him any minute. "Aw, crud! Why do I keep running into all the stubborn enemies? Boy, I could sure use a quick method of transportation..." he grumbled, trying to speed up to escape the robot. Suddenly, he spotted a spring at the end of the path! As he reached it, Copter wondered whether or not he should use it. "This is too convenient. I bet it's gonna lead me into a poison swamp or something!" he muttered, turning around to find the Egg Genesis closing in on him. "Whatever!! Stinky swamp, here I come!!" he shouted, jumping onto the spring.
The spring launched Copter far into the air, towards the top of a tower where another spring waited. Unable to control his flight path, Copter could only scream as the second spring launched him across the valley to a cliff where a third spring bounced him down to a small platform where a fourth spring sent him soaring onto a large, stone platform that was big enough to hold the Egg Genesis. Copter stood up shakily and dizzily, glancing around to get his bearings. "Whoever invented those crazy springs is going to the top of my enemies list... After my stomach catches up to the rest of me..." he muttered woozily. Suddenly, much to his dismay, the Egg Genesis flew over the platform, casting its plus (+) shaped shadow over it! Copter stomped his foot on the ground in frustration. "How the heck did that stupid thing follow me!!?" he shouted. Alpha and Char caught up just in time to hear that. "Yeah, that was sure crazy, but you're not getting away from us that easily! Time for you to go BOOM!!" Char said, sitting on Alpha's head to rest his wings. "Yeah, and don't even think about hitting that weird blue circle thing on the bottom of that robot! It isn't fair to take advantage of weak spots! Play nice!" Alpha said, prompting Char to hit him over the head. "Dummy! Don't you understand the concept of a secret!?" the Chao shouted. Copter grinned and waved at Alpha. "Thanks for the tip, metal moron!" he said. Suddenly, the Egg Genesis fired an energy blast from the blue sphere on its underside, which Copter was only able to step far enough away from to avoid its full blast! The attack knocked him over, but he quickly stood back up. "No thanks for the distraction..." he muttered, rushing to avoid the missiles that the Egg Genesis began shooting! At the first opportunity, Copter jumped into the air and flew towards the robot's weak spot, tapping into the power of his tailband to unleash a devastating attack that caused the blue sphere to explode! "Oh well. At least the ship will land on top of him." Char sighed, "Let's go home, Alphie!" As Char and Alpha flew away, Copter realized that the Egg Genesis was trying to crash directly on top of him! Since the platform he was standing on was too small for him to escape the blast, Copter ran to the edge and jumped away, flying for the nearest land he could find as the Egg Genesis exploded behind him!
High above Kingdom Valley, Zipp the Hornet watched the explosion created by the Egg Genesis, and then watched Copter land on a bridge leading in the direction of the Egg Carrier. "Geez, doesn't Copter ever tire? He really doesn't take a hint, does he?" he thought, pressing the button on his helmet to call Vortex. "Hey, 'Tex! Our bro Copter is catching up! And boy, I think he's gonna be mad if he does!" he reported. Vortex was busy on his end, and hesitated to respond. "What'sss that, Zipp?" he asked once he was ready. "Copter's headed this way! Err... Your way! What shall I do? Blow his brains out?" Zipp said. Vortex paused a moment before replying. "You're not kidding. I can ssssee him through the window here. But it doessssn't matter. He cannot actually get onto the sssship. We are flying too high, and hissss tailssss are not wingssss! If he triessss it, he will crassssh and drown." Vortex reasoned. Zipp moved to follow Copter and observed him as he climbed the stairs circling a tower. His determination seemed unsettling to Zipp. "Are you sure? I mean, he sure seems sure of himself. Then again, he IS an idiot. But he's an idiot powered by a magic tail thingy!" he said. Vortex didn't seem to care. "He'ssss not all that tough. Even if he doessss get up here, what'sss he gonna do? Eggman issss already aware of him, and on top of that, sssso are we. He doessssn't sssstand a chance againsssst all of usss! Bessssidessss, hissss time issss running out!" he hissed. Zipp smiled, convinced that Vortex's logic was sound. "Yeah, I guess you're right. Actually, it's kinda disappointing. We could use a good challenge! Oh well, maybe I can blast a few robots on my way off the ship!" he said. Vortex's voice came through Zipp's helmet again. "If you're quite finisssshed fooling around, I ssssuggesssst you return to the sssship. We're going to need ssssome of your... expertisssse..." he said. "Roger. One maniacal killing expert, coming right up! Over and out!" Zipp chuckled, pressing the button again to turn the phone off. "Time to make some fireworks!" he grinned, flying towards the Egg Carrier.
Copter's difficult, tiring trip through Kingdom Valley was reaching its end, and soon he managed to reach a high point atop a tower, close to the Egg Carrier. Although he was about as close as he could get, he realized that the Egg Carrier was too high. "Shoot, my tails will never carry me that far! I knew this was a long shot in the first place, but still... I can't let it end this way!" he said to himself, trying to think of a plan to get himself onto the ship. "Dang, where's a conveniently placed spring when I REALLY need it? Those crazy things might've been able to give me the boost I need." he said, looking around to make sure he didn't miss one. "Nothing..." he sighed. Suddenly, he got an idea. "Duh! I don't need a spring! I just need a bounce! Like my Bouncy Shoes!" he said, recalling how he defeated the Arachnoegg at Darkegg Fortress. He tapped the heels of his shoes together and jumped, activating the power of his Bouncy Shoes to rocket himself up into the air! It sent him high, but he'd still have to fly like he'd never flown before to reach the Egg Carrier! With that in mind, he started spinning his tails as fast as he could, desperately trying to push himself to catch the Egg Carrier. He inched closer and closer to the ship. With some effort, it seemed possible that he might make it. "I believe I can fly! I believe I can touch the sky!" Copter found himself singing, but the words beyond that point escaped him. He drew closer and closer to the ship, but soon his tails began to tire. "I believe... I can... soar?" he panted, beginning to realize that this wasn't going to work after all. "Blast it... Looks like Punchy's future knowledge was wrong. I'm not even gonna reach the ship!" he thought as his tails' strength failed, and he began to fall. There was nothing but water below him, and he was too tired to swim at this point. It seemed as though he was a goner. As Copter shut his eyes, preparing for his impending impact with the water, he suddenly felt himself lifted up by the tails! "Ow!! What the...?" As he opened his eyes, he found the ocean getting further away from him as he was carried towards the Egg Carrier! "Silly goose! You can't fly far without wings!" said the person who had come to his rescue. Copter looked up and saw that it was Whisk pulling him by the tails! Too exhausted to say anything, Copter simply growled in pain at being dragged by the tails. Once they reached the Egg Carrier and Whisk pulled them aboard, Copter stood up to talk to her. "Did you have to pull my tails...? Aw, never mind. You just saved me. Thank you... But why did you do it?" he asked, recalling her refusal to help earlier. Whisk shrugged. "I dunno. I guess... I dunno. Well, anyway, I've done my good deed for the day! Um... What was your name again? Never mind, I'll just forget again. Bye bye! Good luck with saving what's-her-name!" she said, jumping off the ship and flying away. Copter watched her leave as he rested himself. "She's a strange bird... But I guess she's not bad." he said.
Copter really didn't have time to rest, though, because the ship was due to crash soon, and he had no idea how soon. Thus, he had to begin exploring the ship very soon after Whisk was out of sight. It was a large ship, but most of the robots that had been aboard had left earlier to invade Kingdom Valley. Still, it didn't take long for Copter to run into his first obstacle. Spiny was waiting for him in a hallway on the ship! "Well, well, if it isn't the infamous Copter. Vortex sure underestimated you, didn't he?" he said, grinning menacingly. Copter grinned back at him. "Ah, you're one of those new experiments. Bucky sure likes imitating Sonic and his pals, don't he?" he said, pointing out Spiny's resemblance to the famous blue hedgehog. Spiny immediately became enraged. "Come on! You should know better than most my pain! You look like Tails, but you're not. Well, I'm not Sonic, either! And don't you forget it!!" he growled. Copter seemed amused by Spiny's reaction. "You sure do get upset over that. Come on, there's a lot of people... and animals... that look like other people... or animals. Get over it." he said, snickering a little. Spiny calmed himself down, but continued glaring at Copter. "Aren't you smug? You think you scare me? I saw how Experiment 11 had to rescue you down there. Oh, yeah, I know she's alive. But I won't tell Bucky. The way I see it, we experiments have these nifty powers of ours for a reason... To destroy. And, y'know, it would be a shame to ruin Vortex's desire for destruction by telling him that no crime actually happened..." said the sinister porcupine. Now, Copter realized the extent of Spiny's murderous nature. "Wow, you sure aren't Sonic. Did you adopt that attitude simply to distance yourself from him, or were you always a sicko?" he growled, realizing that a fight was about to happen. Spiny let out an enraged roar. "GRRRRrrrrrraaaaaaarrrrrr!!! You idiotic son of a... I am NOT Sonic!!! I am SPINY!!! SPINY THE PORCUPINE!!! And I'll make sure you understand that before you die!!" he shouted. Copter grinned confidently at Spiny. "Well, you'll have a long time to work on that, then. Now, let's get going already! I'm in a hurry!"
To be continued...