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Cy-Fox[Mini-Novel] Relative State - Protocol Cy-Fox v1.5
Day 212, 3244 (Sunday, July 31st, 3244)
            Today was a day for celebration but it was also a day of mourning. Freedom was won, but one of the Freedom Fighters instrumental to bringing it had been lost. Unknown to those he left, Sonic the Hedgehog was fated to meet his end aboard the Time Egg, converted into the last of Dr. Ivo Robotnik’s Metal Sonic prototypes, the first and only cyborg. The two had disappeared, not to be seen again. All that was left now was the cleanup, the dismantling of every remaining base, the looming task of scrapping every robot. Collaborators had to be found and put on trial for their betrayals. But two of the most notorious partners of the mad scientist had no intention to be put in the dock at the King’s Court.
            “So, the good doctor’s finally shut the doors to his practice.” Regina Ferrum muttered. “Leaving us to hold the bag as it were.” Ferrum was a tall human woman with dark green colored hair, a natural but rare shade. She wore a gold colored headdress upon her head as well as a flowing red and black patterned dress, arms crossed at her chest.
            “What are we going to do? This place is going to be crawling with Freedom Fighters!” The other figure squawked, a bald man wearing a dark green turtleneck and a white labjacket. Julian Snively was once a scientist for the Guardian Unit of Nations, but his incidental discovery of Robotnik’s shuttle wreck almost twelve years ago had been the event that led to Robotnik’s ascension and near dominance of Mobius. Robotnik wasn’t entirely to blame either, as Snively took advantage of the other’s interest in his family’s ‘history’ on Mobius, his mistrust of G.U.N and his technology, fully intending to be the power behind the throne. However, Robotnik’s psyche had taken a violent turn to an even worse state, causing him to upturn Snively’s plans. Over time he had went into a persistent mania, treating the whole war like a game, at least until this year.
            3244 was the worst year of the Long War as Robotnik had started to recall designs that were long thought lost and put them into practice. Prisoners and laborers were no longer needed, he had begun a systematic extermination program. This in turn caused the Freedom Fighters to intensify their efforts to topple his regime. A spontaneous, unorganized attack spearheaded by Sonic forced Robotnik into his Time Egg, into which the hedgehog followed. Both were gone, but there was no known tampering in the past. Where had they gone? The question was what made Snively and Ferrum check the vast research bunker in Mobotropolis.
            “There has to be something left here that will let us snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.” Regina said, darkly hopeful. There was always something, a clone or some other superweapon to make use of.
            “He has to be gone, for good now. Otherwise this wouldn’t be happening!” Snively protested. “If he were in the past, we would have won. He’s either in the future, perhaps beaten or worse, he might have gone home.”
            “Gone home?” Regina turned her head and stared at the short man. “What do you mean gone home?”
            “He was never one of us. I found him in a shuttle wreck twelve years ago with his two flunkies. Ivo wasn’t even his true name, it was Ovi. He came from another history altogether, one more advanced than ours, in the twenty-second century.” Snively stammered.
            “More advanced than ours?” Regina looked at the staff that she held in her hand, shuddering as she felt a chill run up her spine. She was one of the few, perhaps one of the last Magitek cultists that could directly control electronics. Robotnik’s machines were putty for her to form in her hands and they were great pawns in their last generation. If those were true examples of 22nd century technology, a woman like her could bend a dependent society to her will. “Yes, that has to be where he’s gone. He’s gone home, and there has to be a way to follow him.”
            “The Time Egg is gone!” Snively protested. “It was a pro-“
            “A prototype, yes I know. But there must be a precursor to that, he wouldn’t trust himself to an untested system.” Regina countered as she approached Robotnik’s hover-pod, which was tipped on its side. Leaning forward and tilting her head at an angle, she accessed its onboard computer.
            “Ah, good. There was data captured from the Time Egg’s usage.” Regina murmured. “And he kept his temporal drive prototype close. Very close.” She twisted the control joystick, causing it to yaw back to an upright position before climbing in.
            “Really? Where?” Snively asked, blinking.
            “Right where I sit.” Regina smirked as she fed the space-time coordinates from the Time Egg’s passage into the pod’s systems, then moved the small craft over to its customary sitting place in the lab. The lights in the bunker began to flicker as she activated the jump sequence. The pod couldn’t travel without a good deal of power, and it didn’t have the power that Robotnik’s shuttle or the Time Egg had. But she could draw upon the lab bunker’s fusion reactors. It was going to siphon all remaining power and draw the Freedom Fighters to the bunker like a moth to a flame.
            But all they were going to get was Snively. Once he realized this, Snively started to rush towards the pod, waving his hands.
            “No! Regina! I thought I was to be your king!” Snively protested.
            “In a sense, I am making you king, a king of cinders. The last of the Robotnik Empire.” Regina laughed. “While I begin my reign anew as the Iron Queen, but not just of this history, or your dear friend’s. I want all of them.” Fingers of lightning started to coalesce around the outer surface of the pod, branching out and intensifying as a shell of blue energy formed around it. Snively couldn’t help but to turn his gaze away from it as a brilliant flash fell over the lab, bringing the last light it would ever have.
Thursday, May 7, 2116
Royal Albert Hall
Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Earth, Sol System
            Maria had fallen asleep with her left arm hooked around his right. Her cheek was pressed into the sleeve of his jacket. Ironic that she would be sleeping through one of the most energizing pieces of Wagner’s Die Walkure, the finale known as The Magic Fire. Even more so that she was the one who insisted that he leave his coursework from nearby Imperial College London to sit so that they could go to the Royal Albert Hall. At first, Captain Sir Miles “Tails“ Prower thought that the concert would be a bore. After all, when one is pursuing a double major in astrophysics and temporal mechanics, expenses paid by the Keplerian Republic Space Navy, loafing is one of the last things they want to do.
            But the two-tailed fox had been hooked on the first note. Add in the food they had eaten here in their box, which was likely part of the reason why Maria Robotnik went to sleep. The other factor was from her long hours in the emergency ward at University College Hospital as a 3rd year trauma registrar. The twenty-six-year-old woman was his own walkure in a way, holding his life literally in her hands after he was killed last year aboard Space Station ARK. Somehow, for whatever reason, he had been copied to a cortical stack backup chip, and ‘lived’ as a Qinteq MAARS Mark IX security robot until a new body was made for him.
            In most respects it was very close to how he looked before he was killed. The same pale gold and white fur, in the same places along with the black tufts of fur at the tips of his ears, the same two tails with their white tips. However, he was taller, 6’4” and there was an assortment of weapons and armor made for him, sitting in the captain’s locker of the battleship KRSS Warspite. The Warspite was a Dreadnought-class space battleship, the first and only of the Keplerian Republic. Prower had originally been information warfare officer of the ship, when it was captained by the human Carlos Concha. However, after the Battle of the ARK, Concha had risen to the rank of rear admiral and the powers that were decided that Lieutenant Commander (posthumous promotion) Prower couldn’t get killed a second time so easily if he had some higher responsibilities in his hands. So, he had been promoted to Captain after being slotted into his new body and knighted by King George VII with investment as Knight Commander in the Order of the Bath.
            That opened some doors but also brought about the need to pay attention to things like protocol, diplomacy and other factors of command. He had gone back to Britannia Royal Naval College while Warspite was being repaired but then a new wrinkle developed when the fox had been asked to attend a meeting at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Not only was Warspite going to be repaired, but it was being refitted as a temporal battleship. It didn’t even have anything remotely close to an FTL drive but a new body known as the United Nations Temporal Command had decreed that it would be capable of time travel and expected to police this little strand among the other histories. Ovi Robotnik’s disappearance and reappearance had shaken the Security Council, he had gotten access to another history by accident at first. Then he came back with an axe to grind.
            It begged the question, what if someone else made it here with the same purpose in mind? What if they could turn the outcome of a World War, or did something damned foolish like give the Army of Northern Virginia Soviet surplus rifles? Leak the Obama and Sanders administrations coverup about the Chaos Emeralds? Cover up Watergate so that Nixon served out his full second term? The Time Egg had been taken into custody and torn apart so that time travel could be fully understood and weaponized for defense. The Warspite was going to be the first battleship fielded for such a purpose and Prower was the one her executive authority was vested in. Thus, why he had this double major on his shoulders.
            “Excuse me, Sir Miles?” There was a polite clearing of the throat as a man sidled up to Maria’s right. The fox raised his left hand and made a shushing motion. Maria opened her eyes briefly before starting to sit up, running her fingers through her hair with her pale cheeks reddening. “H-How long was I out for?”
            “That’s classified information.” Miles quipped with a puckish smile. Then he looked towards the visitor, one of the Royal Albert’s ushers who blinked, holding an envelope in hand.
            “As a matter of fact, that’s what I’m here for.” The usher held the envelope out. “A rather odd hedgehog gave it to me, he told me it was for your eyes only.”
            “Odd? In what way?” The fox asked, ears raising.
            “Well sir, he was rather short for one of your kind.” The usher said nervously.
            “Yes? White colored, gold eyes?” Miles asked rhetorically.
            “That’s the one!” The usher affirmed.
            “Smart lad,” Miles turned and held his right hand out so that the usher could put the envelope in his hand. He set it in his lap and reached into the inner pocket of his black reefer jacket, producing a pound note and giving it to the other man.
            “Thank you, sir.” The usher said, giving him a nod before disappearing. Once he was away, the fox rose up and locked the door to the box, pulling the curtains closed as applause broke out from the auditorium. He opened the envelope and read its contents slowly.
            “Off to Switzerland then, James?” Maria asked, putting on her best Received Pronunciation.
            “Hardly Miss Moneypenny.” Miles lowered the envelope and leaned in to kiss her cheek. “Nothing really exciting, just that the Warspite had something come up on its new sensor array. Very small chroniton flux.”
            “That does sound awfully boring, yes. But why would Silver go to the trouble of sending you a message like that?” Maria asked.
            “There shouldn’t be any chroniton fluxes happening because we’ve got the Time Egg and Warspite hasn’t even gotten her temporal drive installed yet. So, every other flux is a possible traveler.” Miles said, folding up the paper.
            “Does that mean you’re leaving?” Maria raised her hands up and wrapped her fingers around the back of his head, gently scratching at his ears.
            “I don’t see why you couldn’t go with me.” The fox said with a low rumbling purr.
            “Good. I haven’t gotten to see you in weeks with how you run about.” Maria sighed. “How ironic, my boyfriend has control of a time machine but he never has his own time.”

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