TIME HURTS

This story, like my other interactive one Love Hurts, let's you the reader decide what happens. Questions and comments are appreciated and I can be contacted at ([email protected] or [email protected]). Please enjoy. Any terms or items that may not be understood are explained.


"Your move Antoine." Droned NICOLE.

Antoine certainly did not excel at many things, but when it came to chess he was unstoppable. Even when playing against NICOLE on her chess program at the hardest difficulty setting he could win on a regular basis. In this particular game Antoine could see that he could not win and was trying to get a stale mate.

Antoine moved his queen one square up the board.

"Stale Mate!" He exclaimed.

"Correct Antoine!" Stated NICOLE. "Do you wish to have another game?"

"No." Said Antoine and left NICOLE by herself in the work shop.

As he left the work shop and rounded a corner he bumped into Rotor.

"So Antoine." Began Rotor. "Did you beat NICOLE again?"

"Yes!" Lied Antoine. "It waz ztale mate but I had more pointz."

"I thought you and NICOLE did not work by points?" Inquired Rotor.

"Vell, it seems that this is what we are to be doing now, no?" Snapped Antoine and walked off.

"Seems pleasant enough!" Mumbled Rotor under his breath. He shrugged and then continued on his journey into the workshop.

It was early summer in Knothole and most of the forest creatures had already come out of hibernation. Sun beams penetrated the forest canopy like giant golden blades. It was humid, warm and the air was rich with the smell of pollen and dry earth. Of course Antoine rarely had time to appreciate this. He was too busy complaining to himself about how hot it was with his uniform on.

Antoine was heading back to his hut when he was overtaken by Rotor carrying NICOLE.

"And, where are you to be going?" He called out to Rotor. But Rotor paid him no head and instead ran straight into Sally's hut.

"He iz zeeming pleazent enough!" Antoine mumbled to himself. He shrugged and decided to see what all the commotion was.

As soon as Antoine had reached the door he heard Sally cursing. She wasn't just cursing mildly either. Something had really got her started.

Antoine opened the door tentatively and poked his head into Sally's room. The inside was humid and dusty and reminded Antoine of Rotors workshop.

"HOW COULD HE DO THIS!?" Yelled Sally. "IS ISN'T EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT. NO! DAMN!"

Antoine misinterpreted the situation immediately and walked into the room arms open wide.

"Zere, Zere Zally." He began. "Whatever Sonic has done I can be fixing!"

Sally looked at Antoine like a cat looks at a mouse and was about to explode when Rotor came to Antoine's rescue.

"Sonic has NOT done anything Antoine!" Blurted Rotor. "It's Buttnick again!"

"What has the old bag done zis time?" Asked Antoine.

"Harnessed enough energy to destroy this entire galaxy!" Sally was close to desperation and could not believe her own words. But, NICOLE had confirmed her worst fears.

"Impossible!" Snorted Antoine.

"Believe it buster!" Said Rotor solemnly.

"Get everyone in here for a briefing now!" Commanded Sally, she started to cry. "NICOLE, get ready to break the news."


About ten minutes later all of the freedom fighters were assembled in the war room. With the exception of Sandra.

"Where the hell is she!" Bellowed Sally.

"Sally-girl, please!" Protested Bunnie, "Calm down!"

"NICOLE!" Boomed Sally. "Where is that stupid vixen!"

Sonic and Bookshire looked at each other.

"Something's gotta be wrong, huh?" Sonic asked.

"Too right!" Exclaimed Bookshire. "I've never seen her this grumpy!" Then. "Maybe it's just her hormones again!"

"Shut up Booky!" Yelled Sally.

Bookshire flinched and decided if he wanted to live much longer he should keep his mouth shut.

"Sally what is wrong with ya!" Demanded Dulcy, who had stuck her neck through the window. "Whatever has happened it is no excuse for you to....."

"Are you sure you are planning on living much longer?!" Interrupted Sally, sounding more aggressive than ever. Dulcy snapped her mouth shut.

Tails was not absolutely sure what was going on but realized something bad must have happened and he started to cry.

"Oh, no!" Sally began to feel guilty. " Sorry Tails, Sonic, comfort him!"

Sonic was very surprised by the fact that Sally did not run up and hug Tails.

"Sally, what the heck, is going on! Why are acting like this?"

Sally ignored him.

"WHERE IS THAT STUPID........"

At that very instant the door burst open and in came Sandra.

"Hey y'all!" She started, then she saw the murderous look on Sally's face. "Do you want to take this outside Sally?"

"Shut up, sit down, stay put and, listen!" Droned Sally.

"This better be good!" Protested Sandra, she sat down near Bookshire.

"OK!" Sally cleared her throat. "There is no delicate way of putting this!"

Sally stopped and looked around at the worried expressions on everyone's face. With the exception of Sandra who had an expression that said "Hurry the hell up!".

Sally began. "NICOLE detected energy emissions coming from Robotropolis that correspond to energy sources a" She paused. "A quadrillion times stronger than anything we possess!"

"WHAT!" Sandra was the first to react. "Wait a minute, your telling me, Buttnick has the power to ,bend time backwards, create wormholes and destroy this entire universe!" She snorted. "Yeah right, in order to get that type of energy you need to harvest the power of entire galaxies!"

The others looked at Sandra and then at Sally who started to sniff and then to cry.

"Ok (sniff) if you don't (sniff) believe me take a (sniff) damn look!" Sally hurled NICOLE across the room at Sandra who caught her.

"NICOLE!" Began Sally. "Show this.... show her!"

NICOLE flashed up the results on her screen for Sandra. Sandra looked at them skeptically for a moment. Then the corners of her muzzle drooped and she let out a long sigh.

"Before anything else happens," Began Sandra. "I'd like to say that I truly value all of your friendship."

"Wha' the who-ha!" Exclaimed Bunnie. "Sandra, it's not like it's da end of da world."

Sandra did the strangest thing. She went up and hugged Bunnie.

"I've always liked you Bunnie!" Whispered Sandra. "I'm sorry but the end is near!"

Bunnie pushed Sandra off.

"Don't talk like datt!" She shouted. "What's happened!!??"

She looked over at Sally who was lying in Sonic's arms. He was trying his best to comfort her.

"With this type of energy Robotnick could kill us at a whim!" Ejaculated Sally.

There was a pause. Tails began to cry again. Antoine was not sure what was going on but hoped he would live long enough for lunch!

"Sally!" Boomed NICOLE suddenly. "New analysis of the energy emissions has revealed a new datum, Robotnick was able to produce the energy, however he is still unable to use it. I am picking up massive error messages from the Robotopolian main frame. It seems he produced the energy in one femto second and then expelled it two femto's later. He still cannot control energy of that magnitude."

"Ya mean," Began Rotor. "We have a chance of Stopping him!"

"Affirmative!" Droned NICOLE.

"WHAT!" Screeched Sandra. "Now that this has happened, I take back everything I said!" She continued. "I can't believe I hugged you Bunnie, I don't value your friendship at all!"

"Oh, boo hoo!" Said Antoine, who still was not entirely sure what was going on.

Sandra turned and faced the French fox.

"D'ya wanna take this outside?!" Demanded Sandra.

"Non!" replied Antoine not understanding Sandra's idiom.

"Alright ALRIGHT!" Screeched Sally. "NICOLE, you mean there is a way of defeating Robotnick before he manages to control this energy?"

"Yes Sally!" NICOLE paused and then continued. "You must understand however that my conclusion is by no means complete. Proximity to the energy source is required to acquire more data."

"We have to get there fast!" Stated Sally.

"Then what are we waiting for!" Said Sonic impatiently let's get going!"

"Should we make a plan?" Rotor tried to raise his voice over the din.

All the freedom fighters began to talk at once.

"SHUT UP!" Yelled Sandra in a commanding tone. The rest fell silent.

"Thankyou Sandra!" Sally took over. "Now, first of all I, must apologize. I really was a bit to harsh and, rash, now I know it's not the end. We do have a chance!"

"It's OK Sal!" Sonic forgave her.

"Same here Sal!" Said Tails.

All of the freedom fighters followed Sonic's example and excepted Sally's apology. Sandra gave out a grunt which was about the best apology you could ever get from her. Sally nodded at her to show her appreciation. Sandra frowned.

"This is going to be a highly organized and efficient operation!" Boomed Sally. "I want Lupine in on this one, we may have to fight our way in."

She turned to Sandra.

"Could you take care of that Sandra?"

Sandra waved her hand in an avoiding gesture. That meant 'yes'. She was obviously still a little embarrassed from her earlier show of emotion.

"Rotor!" Sally called to get his attention.

"Yes!" Rotor replied in an attentive tone.

"What is our current weapon status?"

"A few dozen pistols, seven plasma rifles, three plasma cannons, one rip unit and 30 rounds, twenty or so sonic grenades and one super sonic hedgehog!" He smiled at Sonic.

("Pistols" Small hand held plasma firing weapons. Limited in range and weak.)

("Plasma Rifle" Large two handed weapon with long range, high power and slow re-loading time.)

("Plasma Cannon" Large two handed weapon limited in range and power, but extremely quick to reload.)

("Rip Unit" Large heavy bulky two handed rapid fire missile launcher. Rip rockets are small guided missiles that can negotiate difficult terrain to reach their target. They can be fired in dense woodland and reach a target several hundred metres away.)

("Sonic grenade" Hand thrown grenade that uses high frequency sound to produce a powerful shock wave)

"Way'da go Rote!" Sonic applauded. "And one wimp!" He added shooting a glance at Antoine who mumbled something unintelligible.

Rotor then continued. "That does not include the weapons on that hijacked hover ship. It has two high velocity plasma cannons. Plus, there are all the weapons other groups posses. Some of the western villagers have experimental weapons that might come in handy."

"Better have them all, how many cells do we have?" Asked Sally.

("Cell" Ammunition unit for all plasma based weapons.)

"Enough cellz for both Robotnick and Znively!" Antoine joked.

"Hey Antoine!" Praised Bunnie. "That is the funniest thing you have said all year!"

"Vhy zank you!" Antoine started."Wait a minute, all year? Why you..."

"Knock it off!" said Bookshire.

"OK!" Sally began again, taking a deep breath. "Rotor how many cells do we have?"

"Upwards of fifty!" He replied.

"Excellent!" Replied Sally, then. "All of you will have job to do and we need to be ready in a few hours."

"Rotor, you will prepare the weapons and lay them out in the war room. Dulcy get your harness on and warm up. Sandra and Bookshire will be in charge of intelligence. Antoine, errr, help Rotor. Tails, I am afraid you are not coming on this one!" Sally was interrupted by Sonic and Tails.

"What!" They both exclaimed at the same time. Before Sonic could start his usual moaning routine Sally started speaking again.

"If you have a problem then see me AFTER everyone has gone, that includes you honey." She glanced at Tails who had put on a hurt expression.

"Alright, Bunnie, you can help Rotor carry some of the heavier equipment. Sandra, Bookshire. You are also responsible for getting the hover ship up and running." "Who's gonna fly it?" Asked Sandra.

"We will work that out nearer the time!" Said Sally. "OK, you all know what to do!"

"Let's do it!" Exclaimed Sally.

"To it!" Bookshire finished her phrase. Sally looked at him.

"No, Bookshire it is just 'Let's do it!' now." Seeing Bookshire's questioning expression and sensing that the other Freedom Fighters were probably thinking the same thing she continued. "The other one, quite frankly, sucked!"

"Alright, let's MOVE!!!!" Dulcy removed her head from inside the room and was heard thumping away.

The other freedom fighters filed out except for two.

Sonic and Tails walked up to Sally.

"C'mon Sal!" Pleaded Sonic. "Little bro. here is a FF now. Give 'im a break."

"Sonic this one is just too dangerous, and knowing you, you will probably make it worse."

"Will not!" Protested Sonic.

Fearing one of those tedious "Will not" "Will too" "Will not" "Will too" arguments, Sally changed the subject.

"He is not going and that is final!" Sally crossed her arms. "On this point I stand firm."

"But Sal!"

"NO!"

However Sonic was not going to be beaten that easily.

"Sal, you heard what NICOLE said, she still needs more info! Might not be dangerous!"

"Well she.." Sally was cut short.

"You know how often litt' bro. comes in useful. How many time has he saved you life Sal?"

"Ok you have a...."

"Sal, look at 'im, he really needs this!"

"OK OK OK!!!" Screamed Sally. "He can go. Against my better judgment. He can go. If he dies you had better dig his grave because I'm not!"

Sally stormed out of the Hut slamming the door behind her. Tails and Sonic high foured each other.

("High foured" Mobians only have four fingers.)

"Don't worry Tails!" Began Sonic. "I'll dig your grave for you!"

"Thanks Sonic!" Tails joked. "How come Antoine always gets to go but I don't?"

"Because he REALLY can complain!" Stated Sonic truthfully.

Things started to shape up.


"I'm right here!" Lupine walked up to Sally. She had brought most of her wolf pack with her.

"Excellent!" Sally commented. "The power fluctuation occurred about 20Km outside the perimeter of Robotropolis. If there is some kind of installation there it's gonna be heavily guarded."

Sally was standing just outside the workshop.

"We won't have much cover either!" Said Lupine. "We can't fight in the open. We won't even scratch SWATBOTs, if that's what he is using."

"I have given some thought to that." Sally stated. "How many Rip units have you got and how many rockets?"

Lupine's face tensed as she tried to remember. "Seven units and 3500 rounds!"

"Yahoo!" Sally shouted.

"Youíre really into this battle!" Noted Lupine.

"This is the most important battle we will ever fight!" Explained Sally. "But, how did you accumulate so many?"

"Are needs are different to yours!" Replied Lupine. "We had little need for Plasi."

("Plasi" Refers to all plasma based weaponry.)

"I suppose so." Replied Sally. "Anyway, I thought that we could use the Rip units to pound them and then finish them off with plasi."

"That might work." Lupine thought hard. "I suppose we are going to find out soon enough!"

"There is just one area of the recon-attack I am not sure about." Said Sally.

"What's that?"

"Are we going to wait at a distance and destroy his forces, or should we get in close?"

"If we get stuck in it could cost lives." That was Bookshires voice, he had come up behind both females. "But we certainly would have a higher chance of getting to the source of this."

What should Sally do? Get right into the battle in the hope of destroying the threat. Or maybe she should wait outside the danger zone and destroy the forces there, then come in afterwards. Speed or patience? The choice is yours.

You chose this....

The heavily armed party of freedom fighters made it's way across the great unknown. Sonic carried Sally and was scouting up ahead leaving a trail of dust that was easy to follow. Dulcy carried Bunnie and Rotor and Sandra piloted the Hover Ship, which carried the remaining Fighters and the wolf pack. NICOLE had detected a large amount of movement where the freedom fighters were heading. Plenty of SWATBOT activity and plentiful air cover.

"Well," Said Lupine. "This is it!" She clipped her shock-belt around her waist in an air of finality. The belt hummed into life.

("Shock Belt" Device worn on the waist that increases the body's own abilities to resist damage and shock.)

The others in the craft followed suit. Antoine had to be nudged before he put his on. He was too busy trying not to look out of the window. He had chosen to use the weapon he was best at wielding. A plasma rifle. Antoine felt more secure knowing he could get them at a distance.

Sally voice was heard coming over the intercom. "Unfortunately there is too much interference for us to give you a detailed map of the area, however there is little AA resistance. You should be able to get in close. Do you know what to do?"

("AA" Anti-aircraft.)

"Yep!" Answered Sandra. "Here goes nothing."

Antoine screamed as Sandra brought the hover ship into a tight dive. Lupine and Bookshire gave out an enthusiastic "Yahoo!". Sandra strained to see what was up ahead, wind was kicking up dust. All of a sudden she saw plasma streaks flying past the ship. Robotnick knew they were there.

"Eat this!" Interjected Sandra. Underneath the hover ship two panels slid across and out came two high velocity plasma cannons. Sandra set the weapons systems to auto fire and heard the familiar wine and powerful rotating barrels sprang to life.

The guns fired with computer precision. When Sandra passed through the dust cloud she saw the hulks of many damaged or destroyed SWATBOTS. The cannons continued to punish the oncoming resistance.

Sandra looked at the ammo gauge. They could fire continuously for only about three more minutes.

Sandra activated the landing gear and dropped down in the middle of the inferno. When she had landed she called "MOVE IT!"

The ship was now a sitting target and plasma blasts from unseen sources began to smash into the sides. The ships inertial dampeners and energy absorbers could not take more than about an minute of this.

("Inertial Dampeners" Device onboard most military vehicles that uses quick movements and sound waves to dampen the physical shock of projectiles.)

("Energy Absorbers" Device designed to absorb what excess energy comes from plasi and other munitions and expel it.)

The hatch at the back of the ship opened and the fighters filed out. They heard a boom and Sonic stopped by the grouping party. Sonic put Sally down.

"Terrainís mostly flat!" Yelled Sally over the noise of war. "Little cover!"

"I'm otta here!" Sonic zoomed of into the inferno before Sally could say anything.

"Go get 'em Sonic!" Yelled Sally.

The Hedgehog smashed into every SWATBOT he came across leaving a trail of destruction behind him. At one point he got too close to the front line and had to turn to avoid oncoming fire. 'Must be reinforced with turrets.." He thought to himself.

Dulcy came down and executed another one of her famous landings. Dulcy swore twice then knelt so Bunnie and Rotor could jump off.

"OK!" Sally called. "Let's DO IT!"

The other freedom fighter began to follow Sally. Sandra took off again and began to follow the party, providing air cover. SWATBOTs in the immediate areas began to converge on them. A few isolated bursts of plasma landed near by the advancing Freedom Fighters but that was all. SWATBOTs barely got within 100 metres before they were ripped to shreds. This was mostly due to the rip units which were weakening SWATBOTs before they were even in range. Sonic was no where to be seen but he was doing damage of his own. Machine after machine fell before the party.

The dust around the Freedom fighters was lit with all the colours of the spectrum. Each Fighter had to remain totally alert spotting and taking out threats before they got too close. The noise was immense and the confusion even greater.

Over the crackle of plasi Sally shouted, "NICOLE how close are we?"

"One hundred and fifty metres Sally."

Sally looked ahead through the dust and saw Sonic briefly.

'Good thought Sally, Sonic is taking out the fixed defenses.'

"Sally!" Droned NICOLE, "I am detecting more power fluctuations. We need to hurry up."

"See if you can get control of the installation!" Ordered Sally.

"Yes Sally!" Answered NICOLE.

A SWATBOT began to approach from the right and aimed it's twin cannons at Sally. Sally saw it just before it was about to fire. She screamed.

There was the sound of a Rifle re-loading and a high pitched wine as it fired. One of the SWATBOT's arms was split, then the other one. Two simultaneous blasts finished it off. Sally turned round and saw Antoine and Rotor re-loading their guns.

Sally was about to thank them when something strange happened. The world around her suddenly became distorted twisted beyond anything imaginable. There was a flash of powerful light and the sounds of battle vanished.

Click here to continue.

You Chose This....

Everything was set, although the actual area that the power source originated from was heavily jammed and almost inaccessible by sensors the Freedom Fighters had a good idea about what they were up against. NICOLE managed to approximate the number of SWATBOTs in the area which eventually ended up totaling well over five hundred. It had been agreed between lupine and Sally that they were to establish a trench on which to base their operations and gradually pound the resistance. Every ship available would be used ferry more troops and supplies over to the base. They would also try to gradually flank the enemy as they continued.

All the other Freedom Fighter villagers were in on this attempt. Sally had taken the bold step of broadcasting the dangerous situation to every village. They needed all the support they could get for this type of assault. Luckily it did not cause panic. It just aroused determination. Pretty soon an army began to be formed and grouped at Knothole. Some of the villages were reluctant to co-operate but eventually the strength of the cause swayed everyone.

Sally looked out of the war room window at what must have been the most powerful organization of military forces ever accomplished in the history of Mobius.

She turned to look at Sandra who was busy attaching a plasma rifle and cannon together. She always was prepared.

"NICOLE." Sally said suddenly. "In total how much fire power do we possess, compared to that of Robotnick."

"We posses 5% of his total destructive capacity."

"Wow, thatís high!" Sally was impressed then she had a thought. "If we launched an organized military campaign against Robotnick now could we destroy his empire?"

"Affirmative Sally!" NICOLE answered.

"WHAT!" Sally jumped almost as high as the ceiling. Sandra turned around, surprised.

"You mean, we could have won this war years ago. Saved all those lives!"

"Yes Sally!"

"DAMN IT!" Sally yelled.

"Calm down would ya!" Sandra put her plasma rifle/cannon down. "We needed an event as big as this to pull every one together."

"What the (expletive deleted) is wrong with all these animals?" Sally fumed. "We could have won by now and WE DIDN'T BECAUSE WE WERE STILL CONSUMED BY OUR PETTY DIFFERENCES!!!!!!!!"

By the end of her sentence Sally was screaming.

"We have been fighting this war the wrong way!" Sally finally finished off and slumped into a chair, frustrated.

Sandra looked at Sally and had one looked carefully one would have seen a hint of compassion in those eyes or hers.

"Sally, look." Began Sandra. "I know we could'a done better, but, now at least we have a chance of kicking his....." Sandra never finished her sentence.

Sonic burst into the room.

"Sally, errr, there is kind of a riot going on outside!"

Sally stood up and walked to the window. Down below there were many angry troops who were becoming restless.

"Oh, great!" Sighed Sally. "Just what we need!"

"I think it's time for a rousing speech!" Said Sandra who had just finished taping the two plasi together.

"I agree!" Said Sandra.

Sally was about to go outside when she noticed that the troops had become strangely silent. She peered out of the window and saw Bunnie and Bookshire standing in the middle of the crowd saying something.

"NICOLE!" Said Sally. "Amplify what they are saying!"

Bunnie was speaking first. "..... don't know what ya'll so afraid of. Becomin' a robotic servant for Robotnick ain't no picnic, but it ain't da worst way ta die! How would ya rather die? Defending what ya believe in or hidin' out till ya found? Robotnick Roboticised thousands of us, tortured thousands of us and ruined da lives of all of us. Until now we did nothin'! Now, it's payback time! The fate of Mobius depends on the success of dis mission. Ah say, we hit 'im hard and where it hurts! And we don't stop fightin' until his empire lies in ruins, we show no mercy, we won't ever stop, not until da last Mobian is free from this metallic demon."

The troops around Bunnie suddenly let out a mighty cheer. Those further away, who did not hear anything, decided they were going to cheer anyway.

"That's that taken care of!" Bookshire began. "Bunnie, you sure know how to jerk tears!"

Sally smiled from her seat up at the window. A tear trickled down her cheek only to be absorbed by her fur.


After much organization and a few more pep talks all of the primary assault troops were loaded onto every hover car, ship and vehicle that the resistance could muster. All the troops carried their own ammunition as Sally decided that hoarding it in a few transports was suicidal!

NICOLE did the job of simultaneously addressing every commander about the situation. Pretty soon, over fifty ships and seventy vehicles were speeding off through the great forest. Sonic was sent on ahead to dig a trench near the zone the power source had originated from.


The hover ships were the first to arrive and set themselves down, outside the five meter wide trench Sonic had dug. Sally had given him instructions to return afterwards, he did, after using about twenty SWATBOTs for target practice. The trench itself stretched for more than three hundred meters.

Troops began to swarm out and climb into the trench. Already a few isolated shots were beginning to fly over their heads.

Technicians under the cover of troopers began to rapidly put up a sonic barrier at the edge of the trench. To prevent any flanking MPTs were erected at he ends of the trench.

("Sonic Barrier" Generated by SBGs (Sonic Barrier Generators) that are placed at regular intervals along an area. They use oscillating sound waves and gravitational pulses to produce a one way barrier. Troops on the inside can fire out, but enemy fire is weakened or even blocked. )

("MPT" Mobile Plasma Turret. A powerful four barreled plasma cannon that is used as a fixed defense on newly established front lines.)

NICOLE issued a an order for all troops with rip units to concentrate their efforts on enemy air resistance. Just a few seconds later a fleet of hover ships appeared on the horizon. There were about twenty of them. Rip rockets smashed into the ships and sent them spinning down to the ground.

Sally smiled from her position behind the front inside one of the hover ships. Inside the cabin she had set up a base of operations. All the freedom fighters were there. Dulcy had to stick her neck in through the back. NICOLE displayed a holographic projection in the center of the room. This displayed the status of the entire front. Most of the troops were dug in and ready.

Sally gasped as she saw the oncoming resistance.

"He was only testing us with those ships!" She stated. "Looks like his entire army is coming. Must really be something worth protecting." Sally's voice was low and droning.

The crackle of plasi and rip units grew louder and louder.

"Sal!" Sonic looked at her. "Let me go and kick some butt!" Sally was about to reply when her vision was dominated by a bright white light. For a moment the sounds of battle were drowned out.

Click here to continue.