Not Life and Death Situations
Damon immediately began to read.
I don't feel that it is necessary to record the dates, as the lab information and reports by all of the G. U. N. guards will reinforce that. It is the order of events that matters to me. This is how it happened exactly as I saw it.
The people I feel that I should introduce somehow are Tanya Von Garthe (Grandma Tanya? The crazy old lady who hates me? Damon wondered.) she's a sweet lady I suppose. She loves my niece and nephew, Maria and Joshua. Another . . . well, Joe Iblis isn't exactly my best friend, but I suppose he could be worse. The man is more about the power than the project. I suppose that's why he rubs me the wrong way. Also, as I mentioned, my niece and nephew live here on the ARK with us. Maria and Joshua Robotnik—Maria Jane is twelve, and Joshua Damon is a few months old. He was born on the ARK—his and Maria's mother had to return to Earth. They will return, too, when their parents can support them. Until then, we scientist are their guardians. Maria acts like a mother to her little brother . . . I suppose it's very adorable, even I'll admit it. The Biolizard was a failed attempt at the Savior. We attempted to use DNA from a fossil to create the organism, but it's clear that high radioactivity and dinosaur remains do not produce anything but destruction. If it was dead, the core that was used to make it would become unstable and could potentially explode. This would destroy the labs, therefore, we keep it on ice in lab E-13. Thank goodness that we can keep the children out of there.
Damon stopped there because it was getting late anyway, and luckily enough he knew he could get back to it. Though he thought it was strange that he had a flipped version of Joshua Robotnik's name.
Well, I would say it for years to come that I hated Biology class with a burning passion. It didn't help when he was taking us on a field trip that was mandatory—just our class, because apparently we were all in need of a visit to some museum that he thought was perfect. I thought it was idiotic until we were on the bus. The driver was the one that used to take me home from grade school. But the only other adult was Eggman himself—ahem, Namggerd.
"What do you think he's doing?" I asked Jason.
"I don't know, but I've got a bad feeling about it," he replied.
"Why? What does he want with a bunch of kids?" He stared at me like I just asked why I can run so fast.
"Kids that could potentially be his archenemies."
". . . oh, boy." Soon enough, we were on a highway road through absolute nowhere. I couldn't even see any other cars. There was just a bunch of random hills. I didn't notice we were in a tunnel going through those hills for about thirty seconds, but ignored it. Mostly, I was trying to listen to the conversations around us. I was pretty much shocked by what I heard behind me.
". . . did you watch the new video up from Laura's place?"
"You'll never believe it! I can't believe Damon and Eric are so amazing!" What? This was Jenna talking! This is Jenna . . . who just took Scarlet's place as meanest girl in school a week or two ago. Scarlet 's still captain of the junior varsity cheer squad, and John is still on football, but Jenna and her boyfriend Nick are now the top of social status ever since Scarlet and John started hanging out with us. She's talking to Nick now . . .
"Those two dorks?" he asked. Ah, the world was back in order.
"Yes—they sing like you wouldn't believe though! Better than even . . . oh . . . well . . . I don't know who to compare to, but they are amazing! Here, I've got my phone, I'll show you." I listened in on the phone and wasn't surprised be Elaine's voice being first. I chuckled at the fact that she only had the part with John rapping, otherwise, ears would bleed. She put Damon's full song on—she does that rarely. She cut straight to me, and I listened. And—what? That was me? Had she recorded someone else singing it and synched it up with my mouth moving . . . wait, she wasn't quite a computer genius to be able to pull that off. So that was me? Wow.
When we got to the museum, which, I might add, was in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of grassy hills around, I decided that there was no way that we were going to have a normal field trip. I stopped by Damon, who had just gotten out of the bus and was leaning on one of the stone columns of the museum. I couldn't see anyone at all inside.
"What do you make of this?" he asked.
"Well, first, I'd say that Egghead can't get more suspicious. Second, I believe we may have to come up with a good story as to why we can turn into the famous heroes of the town pretty soon."
"Well, maybe not. I can afford to give up the fact that I'm part of G. U. N., and that'll explain my fighting abilities. And who knows? Maybe we can somehow get out of this secrets intact anyway. People have yet to figure out that we're disappearing every time Eggman decides to destroy the town square." I grimaced.
"Not quite. Mom grounded Jason and I last night for running off and not telling her anything when some robots were randomly destroying public property. We took care of it, but still . . ."
"That's rough. I wonder if we should tell our families, you know, besides mine."
"Are you kidding? After Jason disappeared, do you think my parents would be okay with us fighting off an insane maniac? They'd never let us out of the house!"
"Speaking of which, how did the cops swallow Jason's story about having no clue where he was?"
"They were too scared of my mother's wrath to give him further questioning."
"Ah." As we talked, the rest of the class had come out, and Mr. Namggerd looked around, taking attendance. Then he led us in.
The museum was empty, dark, and generally coated in dust. There were about ten closed, large metal doors on one wall that wasn't covered in plaques and paintings and displays. Each one had a square keypad next to it, and was labeled with black letters, A, B, C, and so on. Mr. Namggerd walked to the front of the group and we all got quiet.
"You may explore as you wish, but you cannot go into the rooms over there. If you try to open them without a security code, then alarms will sound and you will be in very big trouble with the school, your parents, and probably the police. I am going to call in and see if I can find a tour guide. If not, run around and do whatever you want. Don't touch anything," he warned as he went off into one of the wings.
"Well," Damon said loudly after he was out of earshot, "Let's check out these rooms, then." He walked up to room A and looked at the keypad. He turned to look at me.
"Hey Eric! Check this out!" I looked and saw three unmistakable letters on the side of it. G—U—N.
"How do you two think you're going to get in there?" sneered Nick.
"Well, this is an old G. U. N. thing. It'll respond to whatever codes are for the different agents. They only use the codes for the computer now, because all they need is a thumb scanner and a security camera now. Of course, I've got a code, and if mine doesn't work, none will," he said, mostly to himself. I looked around.
"What? Are you trying to say you work for G. U. N.?" asked Jenna incredulously.
"Obviously. Let's see." He punched in a code and a light above the door turned green. The door swung open.
"No way!" I said as Damon and I went in first. It was the remains of none other than the giant robot wolf as well as a whole bunch of other trashed machines. Each one had a label that proclaimed that it had "FAILED" in his attempts to take over. People looked around in awe.
"This looks like the things that attacked in school," said Elaine, pointing out one particular scrap pile to a few people. Then they started to crowd around it, looking at the stuff.
"Well, okay. Junk. Then at least we know Eggman will probably recycle it for later . . . let's go to the next room," suggested Miles. I nodded and we all went out, and Damon opened door B. I guess I should have expected what came next.
BEEEEEP. BEEEEEP. BEEEEEP. Well, that was just great. Red lights turned on the minute that we were all inside, and a very large glass tube came down from the ceiling, hitting the floor with almost enough force to shatter it. It was about as large around as the invisible box mimes have, and went from the floor to the ceiling. I flinched, looking from side to side, and saw that everyone was in the same boat. It was like being in a set of test tubes, only my friends and classmates were all stuck in other ones. On a large platform at the front of the room, standing next to what looked like a control panel, was Mr. Namggerd. There was no tube on top of him, trapping him on the spot. He was smiling as he pressed a button, making the alarms and lights stop. Regular florescent lights flickered on.
"Mr. Namggerd, get us out of here!" shouted someone. I rolled my eyes. Like that was going to happen. He put us here, after all. He merely smiled.
"I'm afraid I can't do that now. It's quite wonderful watching you all squirm, clueless as to why I—"
"Clueless?" I interrupted. "What kind of an idiot spells his name backwards as an alias?" He looked surprised, and as people were confused and tried to spell it backwards, I sighed. Then Damon spelled his name forwards, then backwards.
"Namggerd. Dr. Eggman. Jeez, you all can't spell to save your lives," Damon said. Gasps spread throughout the room. Again, I rolled my eyes.
"You see, my dear students, I decided after my little attack on the school that there was certainly something interesting going on. One of my robots reported to me that eight of the students from my classroom were not present when it came, and I happened to know that each one had a Chaos Emerald, plus the Master Emerald, which means that eight of you here are not worrying about your safety as much as much as your secrets . . ." Which, of course, we were.
"And how do you plan on doing that?" asked Miles.
"Well, I have created a chemical that will, upon contact, make a Chaos Emerald or anyone who has had contact with a Chaos Emerald glow a particular shade of red. All I have to do is let it go, in gas form, to your tubes, and we'll all see it." The class murmured. I realized that I was the closest one to the light switch. A plan formed in my head quickly. I mouthed instructions to Amy, who passed it on to everyone else. Everyone who got it gave a tiny nod to show they understood.
"But maybe you'll just tell me?" he asked, and Damon snorted.
"They'll probably tell you when you go on a diet," he said. Eggman turned immediately to Damon.
"Ah, you're the one who got them all in. You seem like you could be quite the leader . . . maybe Sonic or Shadow? But no . . . G. U. N. would flaunt it, not keep it a secret. That is, unless you're . . ." he squinted at Damon, who leaned on the back of his tube and glared back. I bit my lip and decided this was as distracted as he was going to get. I smashed the glass tube I was in, in turn getting a lot of cuts, and hit the light switch. I could still see the light of the release button on his control panel, and sprinted towards it.
"Everybody out!" I shouted once it was open, and everyone rushed through the open door back to the bus. I hung back to distract Egghead—then no one would get caught by bots.
"Ingenious, Mr. Sarali. Why haven't you put that much work into your assignments?"
"Because they aren't life-and-death situations. Whoever Sonic and the others are, if they did what I did, they would have been caught as themselves. I'm just returning the favor for saving all of our lives that one day." Figuring everyone was probably on the bus, I ran for it.
The robots chased us all the way back to the school, and we barely made it inside before I managed to inform the teachers that Mr. Namggerd was Dr. Eggman. Oddly enough, he didn't enter the school. In fact, the robots retreated. I didn't notice that Eggman called them back because he got a prize anyway . . . and that I'd lost something very important.
Eggman only grinned as he picked up his prize for the day. The children could wait. After all, they were pretty much nothing without the advantage of the Chaos Emeralds. And he now had one. He set the gem in the case next to his creation in lab C, and began to laugh, and laugh, and choke, and laugh.
Officer Drummond was very puzzled. Jason Sarali had disappeared, and had returned. He supposedly had no memory of the events, and was unharmed except for a few minor scratches, bruises, and a burn or two. He could speak coherently, and after a medical exam, there was nothing found wrong with him. All that either he or his brother could explain was that he was kidnapped, and that Jason woke up on the corner of the street, in the clothes that he'd come to questioning with, and he knew simple facts that boys his age should know, that six-year-olds didn't. This was the most puzzling case he had faced. Finally, he had decided to call in help. The ad in the paper looked promising, however, the investigators did not.
The first was a tall man who seemed more like he would be trouble than help. He had headphones on—the kind that were big and bulky. His green shirt with a peace sign nearly glowed in the dark, it was so bright, and his sagging pants earned a disapproving look from the policeman. But the man was an adult.
The second person that was standing to the tall man's left was younger, perhaps seventeen or eighteen as opposed to the other who was probably in his twenties. This man had somewhat long, dark hair that had an unnatural white streak down one side. He wore a loose, white, sleeveless shirt with a tight, black, long-sleeved undershirt that showed off his lean muscle. He wore jeans and gym shoes—not the large, clunky kind that seemed so popular, but plain ones that didn't get in the way.
Officer Drummond hardly noticed the third one at first because he was shorter than the desk he stood behind. It was a little boy, probably five years old, with a huge grin on his face. He had red hair and a ton of freckles.
To be honest, Officer Drummond was desperate, and he wasn't really supposed to be hiring a private agency to solve this. They were supposed to let it slide because his boss—the chief—was too scared of the mother of this boy to do anything else.
"I can assure you sir, we never give up on a case. We will solve this thing—we always do," said the second man. He seemed not to be the leader, however, was definitely the brains of the group.
"But we don't do these things for free," said the tall one.
"Ahem, may I know your names?"
"They call me Ross," said the tall one.
"Sasuke," said the calm, second man.
"I'm Ryan!" said the little boy.
"Pleased to meet you three. Now, here's the case, and this is my offer . . ."