Hedgehog and Fox For Hire
Loud snores filled the rooms of the Chaotix Detective Agency. Espio and Charmy are already awake but Vector, their boss, is still sound asleep on the couch in the living room. The source of the snores.
Out of all the members of the agency, Vector is by far the laziest. While Espio gets up earlier than even Charmy, Vector gets up until noon, sometimes later than that. He even woke up at three in the afternoon once.
Espio was meditating quietly in a corner while Charmy was playing on his 3DS, the volume down to silent. Charmy hated playing his games like that. He likes hearing the beeps and boops from his game, the sound of people clashing with one another, and especially the voices. Charmy enjoys knocking people back and hearing an oof! as a reward.
But he can't turn up the volume in the mornings because 'Vector needs his beauty sleep' as Espio told him. Charmy complains that he sleeps too long and Vector needs to get up and play with him. Besides, Vector is not getting any prettier.
Charmy snickers to himself. Vector? Pretty? Not a chance. Charmy can't even imagine how Vector would look if he were prettier. Not that he ever will be anyway. Nope no way Vector could ever be pretty. Or is it handsome? Could someone really become pretty if they got just enough sleep?
The bee shrugs as he resumes playing his game. Eyes concentrating, thumbs flying over the A and B buttons, Charmy fought his way through the levels, punching bad guys, kicking open doors. This is the life. If only Charmy could hear what the bad guys and the monsters are saying. Ugh. Vector better wake up soon...
"I got it! I got it!" Charmy saw his chance and sprang up. He buzzed over to the agency's old fashioned telephone, snatched up the phone and said, "Hiya, thanks for callin' the Chaotix Detective Agency! Do you prefer paper or plastic-"
The chameleon snatched the phone from Charmy's small hands and placed the phone to his ear... wherever that was. "Hello this is Espio the Chameleon. I apologize for the inconvenience. How can the Chaotix Detective Agency assist you? Hmmm-mmm. I see. Come over to the Agency at around noon today and we'll discuss this possibility. Hmmm-mmm. Okay. Farewell for now."
As Espio hung up, Charmy flew over. "Well? Who was it?"
Espio takes a deep breath. "That caller wishes to work here with us."
"Wow, really?!" Charmy got excited from hearing that. He half flew half jumped up and down. "Who's coming? Who's coming?"
Espio raises his hand. "First off, keep your voice down. Vector is still asleep."- Charmy groans- "Second, I do not know her name-yes the caller is a girl- or why she wants to work. All I know is that she and a eight year old fox wish to work with us. I told her to come at noon today so we can ask her questions."
"Do they like video games?" the bee interjects.
"I do not know. I did not ask her."
"Can I ask if them when they come?"
"If you must." Espio let out a sigh.
Charmy cheered and flew all over the little room. "Yippee! Yippee! Wait til I tell Vector!"
Before Espio can open his mouth to quiet the bee, Vector himself appeared at the doorway, his sleep-filled eyes blinking. He yawned and stretched. Espio glared in Charmy's direction.
"Hiya guys," the crocodile greeted them. "What'd I miss?"
Espio explained everything to Vector about the phone call and the unknown girls. Vector declared clean-up day and they just now finished. The crew laid on the couch, sweat glistening from all the hard work, their arms slightly sore from all the cleaning.
"I'm gonna take a shower, I smell!" Vector announced, getting to his feet abruptly.
"How can you smell? You do not sweat" the chameleon pointed out.
"Just because I'm a crocodile doesn't mean I never smell," Vector replies, making his way to the bathroom. Before he could enter he remembers what he wants to tell his team mates. "I am in charge of the interview," Vector declares. "So whatever I say goes, got it? I'll ask'em the questions and you two record the answers."
"Why can't I do the interview?" Charmy whines.
"Because yer too young to be askin' professional questions," Vector replied impatiently. "If ye wanna ask the girls questions they have to be good questions like, 'tell me about yerself', 'are ye willing to work hard for the job yeh want' or even 'any medical complications'"-
"That's illegal," Espio spoke up.
Vector freezes. "What?"
"Asking personal questions is illegal. It has nothing to do with the job and the interviewee will not be comfortable answering them," explained the chameleon.
"Illegal?" inquired Charmy. "Ya mean we could get arrested if we ask them these sorts of questions?"
"Yeah," Vector answered. "That's what illegal means. Wait a moment."
"What?" the friends asked.
"Aren't we in America?"
"We are in Station Square," the chameleon answers. "What difference does it make?"
"I mean think about it; we're on a large continent with lots o'people living in cities or country sides. Isn't that America?"
"We have a president."
"We negotiate with lots o'small countries."
"We are considered a world power according to most countries."
"So we're America," Vector finishes. "Problem solved."
"But guys," Charmy speaks up. "What is America?" The bee understood nothing from the conversation.
"Yes, Vector," Espio joins in. "What is America?"
"You don't even know?"
Silence."Let's...forget we talked about this," an embarrassed Vector says.
Espio and Charmy agree.
Espio checks his invisible watch-long story- for the one hundredth time. He is nervous. The ninja took deep breaths to calm himself down, then glanced over at the door. Nothing.
I do not understand he thought. I have always been the cool, calm and collected one. Not to mention the brains of the team. Why am I so worried about new people coming in to possibly officially join our group?
It is easy to get used to a small group of people the ninja decided. There used to be more people in the Agency; however they quit either because they had something important they had to do and could no longer be a part of the Agency or they rediscovered their old passions and wanted to pursue their dreams. Now it was just Espio, Charmy and Vector, the three of them working hard to keep the Agency rolling with money to pay for bills.
Having new members coming is a new experience for the three of them. The fact that the members are girls is a bonus to the new experience. Not that the chameleon minded anyway.
"Ding dong! Ding dong!" a chorus of voices hollered from outside, interrupting his thoughts.
Espio opened the door, and saw a purple hedgehog and a black fox in the doorway, wearing their casual clothes, with shorts and button down polios. The hedgehog wore a lavender polio while the fox wore a gray one. The fox grinned from ear to ear while the purple hedgehog shot her a look.
"Let me ring the doorbell next time," she informed the fox, not noticing Espio standing right in front of them.
"They're here! They're here!" Charmy's acute hearing picked up the noise. He buzzed over to the front entrance.
The hedgehog and the fox jumped back a bit, hearing Charmy's loud buzzing. One look from Espio and Charmy quieted himself, flying away from the front door. The chameleon turned to the girls They both recovered their shock. At least somewhat.
"I apologize on behalf of Charmy's behavior," the chameleon said. "He is-"
"BIG NEEEWWWWSSS!" howled Vector's voice from up the stairs.
Espio turns to the girls seriously and mouths "Hide."
The girls ran over to a nearby coffee table, got under it, and covered their heads with their hands. "What is that?" the fox whispered to her friend.
"I dunno," Sam whispered back, wishing with all her heart that whoever was making all the racket would just-
Then Sam realized that the noise Vector was making ceased. The room became absolutely silent; not a word was heard from anyone. The hedgehog peeked her head out slowly, turning from side to side.
The coast seemed clear. She motioned for the fox to come out. As soon as they did, a large snout greeted them.
The hedgehog squeaked, grabbed her friend by the arm and crawled as fast as she could to get away, only to be meet Vector once more.
"Wanna work with us?" he asks in his grin.
Espio calmed Vector down then apologized again to the girls about Vector's AND Charmy's behavior. Espio explained how Vector and Charmy get excited easily and adding caffeine to his excitement can really make them bounce off the walls. That's the real reason why we do not get new members the ninja decided. The girls forgave them regardless.
"I'm used to dealing with people like him," Sam told the trio. "I especially got used to it when I met Flower." She gave the fox-Flower- a meaningful glance. Flower returned the smile.
"And you are..." Vector kept the conversation going.
"Sam," the hedgehog extended her hand. "Sam the Hedgehog."
"And I'm Flower Fox!" Flower added.
The group shook hands, exchanged introductions and took their seats on the couch. At least Vector took the couch; everyone else sat on whatever seat was available. Espio and Charmy got out their notebooks and pencils, ready to listen. Vector cleared his throat and began.
"So, uh, yeh girls wanna work with the Agency?"
Both the girls nodded.
"Do yeh have any prior experience with working with the law?" the interview began.
"No," Sam replied.
"Are ye good at solving complex problems and puzzles?"
"No," Flower answers.
"Do ye have keen sight, hearing, smell, and taste?"
"No," Sam says.
"On a scale of one to ten, how focused are ye when it comes ta completing a task?"
"Three," Sam replied.
"Zero!" Flower answered proudly.
"You're hired!" Vector stood up triumphantly, papers scattering in every direction.
Espio almost chokes on his own spit. "WHAT?!" he shouted. He knows that Vector is not exactly the brightest but he is certainly not that dumb.
Everyone gave him a startled look. "Sumthing wrong, Es?" the crocodile questions.
The chameleon regained his composure. Taking a deep breath he says, "Vector, can I talk to you in the kitchen? Now."
Vector shrugs and follows Espio, leaving Sam, Flower and Charmy alone.
"Do you guys like to play video games?" Charmy could not contain his curiosity any longer.
"Heck yeah I do!" Sam grinned.
"Me too! Me too!" Flower excitedly yells, jumping in her seat.
Charmy's smile could not be any wider. "Finally some playmates!" he cheered.
Sam and Flower joined right in. The three grouped up, high-fiving each other. An applause of slaps and giggles echoed throughout the room, the three becoming friends instantly. They suddenly stop, falling to the ground laughing.
"Let's go play!" Charmy initiates his long-waited playdate.
He races up the stairs with the girls not too far off Charmy's trail.
The three barely began their video game time when Espio and Vector come into the room. The trio's eyes fell upon the older two.
"Congratulations! You two are now a part of the Chaotix Detective Agency," Vector's loud voice boomed in the room, his arms stretched out so he could hug the new members who happily obliged.
"Yes," Espio chimed in, his soft calm voice in contrast with Vector's. "Welcome to the Agency."
"So are we gonna solve mysteries and stuff?" Flower asked Vector.
Vector chuckled a bit. "Nah, not yet. Not until we get a call from a client. Also we have a policy of excepting jobs that pay and pay well. Otherwise we won't take it."
"Sounds fair," Sam agrees.
"I thought so. Anyway, Es and I are gonna go run sum errands, so you guys can just chill if ya want."
"Why does Espio have to come?" Charmy questions.
"Let us just say Vector and I need some guy time," the chameleon replied. "Do not assume we forgot about the two of you; these errands are important."
Vector and Espio exited the room, walked down the stairs then opened the front door. "We'll be back in a few!" Vector calls as the door slams, once again leaving the three friends alone in the Agency.
"So..." Sam began.
"So what?" Flower asks.
"Nothing, I just hate awkward silences."
Charmy, anxious to do something, broke in. "You guys wanna play video games?"
Sam was about to answer when an idea struck her. "Hang on guys," she said. "I have a better idea."
Amy Rose hummed to herself as she strolled throughout the mall, her hands snatched whatever her eyes spotted first. She was in a good mood. Suddenly her cell phone rang out singing her theme song "My Sweet Passion." Amy's eyes lit up.
I hope it is who I think it is she thought happily, though she could care less on who was calling her; as long as Eggman wasn't calling her, she did not care. She picked her phone like a delicate berry and put it on her shoulder."Hello?" her cheerful voice rang.
"Hello Amy. It's me," said a strange voice.
Amy stopped in her tracks. "Who's this?"
"It's me, Sonic," the voice replied.
"Sonic?" Amy echoed uncertainly. No it can't be him.
"I have to say Amy, I am a bit lonely," continued 'Sonic'. "In fact, I wanna go on a date with you. Today."
Amy's eyes widened. "Oh my God, really?!" If that really is Sonic, Amy's dream is just about to come true.
"Yep," the voice confirmed. "Meet me at the Burger Shop at around one-thirty." With that, 'Sonic' hung up, leaving Amy beyond excited. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod were her thoughts as she skipped to the checkout line. Sonic finally asked me out! I thought this day would never come!
But wait. Amy skidded to a stop as she realized something: she had to pay for the items that were randomly grabbed without a second thought. She quickly counted the items in her cart. Thirty-one. Amy smiled wickedly as she got out a credit card labelled Christopher Thorndyke. Problem solved.
Rouge the Bat was in the G.U.N breakroom, eating her lunch. Today she brought a ham and cheese sandwich, spinach that was no bigger than the size of her palm, and a water bottle. Rouge ate slowly, savouring the taste of her perfectly healthy lunch. Then her cell phone rang. She flipped the top of open. "Hello." her smooth voice purred.
"Hey babe, it's me, Knuckles the Echidna," a strange voice said, like a female trying to make her voice sound deeper.
This is not Knuckie Rouge knew. But I guess I'll play along anyway. "Hiya Knuckie, how's it going?"
"Not so good," 'Knuckles' replied. "I'm not spending time with the most beautiful woman I know."
"I could fix it for you," the bat offered, still playing along. Whoever was imitating Knuckles was doing a good job. If it's not convincing, it's at least interesting.
"That'd be great," 'Knuckles' jumped on the offer. "Wanna meet me at Angel Island say, when you get outta work?"
"Sounds perfect." Rouge liked where this was going, even if this wasn't really Knuckles.
"I'll bring the Master Emerald just for you."
Rouge gasped as the caller hung up. Beeeeeeppppppp went her cell phone as Rouge pressed END with her thumb. Rouge resumed with her lunch, eating much slower than usual.
2:02pm in a different part of the Agency
Shadow the Hedgehog sat in front of his computer, sipping his coffee. He's been typing at that thing for nearly two and a half hours, and so far nothing interesting happened. Stupid work, stupid job. he grumbled. I wish I were home right now.
Suddenly the phone, which was right beside his computer, rang. What now? He angrily sighed as he picked up the phone and put it on his shoulder. "What?"
"Is your refrigerator running?" a high-pitched voice asked.
"Who is this?!" the grumpy hedgehog yelled. When he heard laughter at the other end, he grew furious. "Whoever you are, I will track you down and find you!"
"He's still on the phone!" a teenager's voice breathed out.
"Darn right I'm on the phone! You better hope that I don't start with your-" Whoever called Shadow hung up before Shadow could really let it out. Shadow swore then stopped when he noticed that a bunch of co workers were giving him funny looks.
The hedgehog grabbed his coffee, sniffed the aroma then made a face. "Wait a moment. I hate coffee!" He tossed it at a nearby co worker, brown liquid splattering not only his uniform but also his computer.
"You better hope that your yearly salary will be able to pay this off jerk!"
"Boy, we've had the most craziest cases!" Vector exclaimed as he and Espio strolled through aisle after aisle. Vector threw item after item into the cart while Espio pushed the cart beside the crocodile.
"We had have some unique cases," the chameleon agrees effortlessly dodging the other shoppers' carts.
"Those were sum good times," the crocodile said wistfully.
"Agreed- huh?" Espio immediately halted in his tracks, causing Vector to bump into the cart. He gave Vector an apologetic look and pointed to a window on the other side of the store.
The two dashed over to the window and stood in front of it. They can see the streets and various stores and restaurants. Directly outside stood Amy with her back to them. Her body shook slightly as though she were crying.
The two detectives were out of the store in a heartbeat, at Amy's side, the cart forgotten for now.
"Amy, are you alright?" Vector asks.
Amy glowered at the two, tears flowing freely from her eyes. "Do I look alright?!" she demanded.
"Well, um," Vector stammered.
Thankfully for him, Espio took over."What happened?"
Amy's head dropped to the ground. "Sonic he-he said that he wanted to go on a date with me, b-b-but he never showed up!" Amy cried, crushing her handkerchief in her fist. The tears stained the ground. "How can he be so cruel!" she went on. "He said he was lonely and wanted company- MY company and he just goes a-and smashes my heart as if I were n-n-nothing!"
"Calm down," Espio spoke gently to her. Amy could never hate Sonic, everyone knew it. Whatever Sonic did really upset her, but Sonic would never do something as selfishly as that. Something weird was going on and the two had to figure out what. "Are you certain that was really Sonic?"
Amy stopped crying for a moment as she recalled on the previous events that happened from earlier. "He...sounded stranger than usual. But I never thought anything of it since Sonic does sound like that whenever he makes a call to someone."
"Oh," Vector said. "That makes- Wait how d'yeh know that?"
Amy shrugs. "I dunno but Sonic's about to meet my special friend!" Amy's eyes quickly switched to anger as her hammer appeared out of nowhere.
"Now wait just a moment," the calm ninja touched Amy's shoulder and Amy put the hammer away and gave Espio a confused look in return. "I think I know what happened."
Vector and Espio returned home, carrying more than a few groceries in their hands. They stood before the door, the laughter inside the tiny house seemed to shake the Agency like an earthquake. Vector and Espio heard Charmy bellow with laughter as though he witnessed someone slipping over a banana peel. All their laughter sounded...innocent. Very loud definitely but also innocent.
"Are ya sure yeh know whodunit?" Vector inquired his friend. Espio has a good head on his shoulders, Vector knows, but even someone like Espio can be wrong. Everyone is wrong sometimes. The three sounded like they are having fun; no way could they be doing anything wrong.
Before Vector can say what is on his mind, the ninja opens the door to...absolute chaos. There was trash all over the floor from cans to candy wrappers. Dirt colored the furniture, shoes, clothes and socks were everywhere. As far as the friends could see there was not an inch of the area clean. So much for cleaning day the ninja mused. Then the crocodile and the chameleon noticed the three friends in the corner at the far end of the Agency was Sam, Flower, and Charmy all lounging near the phone, laughing their butts off.
"Ahem." Vector clears his throat.
As soon as he did, the laughter terminated, their eyes widen in shock at the sight of the older two. Flower dropped the phone, prank call forgotten. They were caught red-handed and now, they were in big trouble.
Sam, Flower and Charmy took turns telling their story on how they've been prank calling lots of people throughout Station Square using the phone book. The prank callers spoke timidly and with shame, Sam being the most shameful. Finally all three stopped speaking altogether, awaiting their well-deserved punishments.
After a long moment, Vector spoke. "It seems ta me that you guys weren't really thinking this whole thing through. Ye guys just went 'head and did it with no second thought. Ye didn't think of the consequences, the people you are hurtin'. Nope-" Vector shook his head, - "Ye guys were bored so yeh went and did yerselves a lota good. Lota good." Vector mutters that last statement under his breath.
The three dipped their heads in shame, fully tasting the unpleasantness of the lecture. Espio stood by a corner, his eyes shut, but the three knew he is listening; it would be unlike him not to observe in the action. Plus Espio is waiting for the moment to interject in case the crocodile's behavior comes out of control.
When Vector stops talking long enough for a pause, Flower yells. "It was Sam's idea!" she shouts. "She should be receiving the punishments, not us!"
Sam narrowed her eyes at the fox. "So much for a sister friendship with you." she mutters.
"I DON'T CARE WHO STARTED IT!" Vector burst out. He let his anger out at the three friends who were startled by the outburst and that the fact they are being yelled at. "ALL OF YOU TOOK PART IN THIS THING AND NOW YOU THREE ARE-"
Espio waves his hand over to Vector. "Vector!" he called out. Vector shushed then Espio says, "Allow me."
Nodding, Vector made way for the chameleon so he can talk to the three. "Did you know," he began. "that Vector and I ran into a person who was deeply affected by your behavior?" When the three shook their heads, Espio continues. "That person was Amy. She seemed deeply upset that her hero Sonic would ask her out then never show up. Amy did not realize she was being prank called and therefore became despaired when this happened."
Sam's eyes widened. She was only trying to entertain herself, she did not mean to hurt Amy's feelings, or anyone's for that matter. A wave of guilt slapped Sam as she thought of all the people she prank called.
Images of their expressions varied from annoyance to sorrow. "I-I didn't mean too." she stammered, shaking her head. "You can...fire me if you want, just don't...fire my friends." Sam spoke slowly, as if every word hurt Sam's throat getting the words out. The hedgehog wished she were anywhere but here.
"We cannot do that," Vector spoke suddenly, spinning his chair to face them once more. "Ye guys took part in all o'this so you are fired."
"Even me?" cried Charmy.
"Not this time," Vector responds. "But go on over to yer room and we'll think on what ta do with yeh."
Nobody even bothered arguing seeing that there was no way out of it. Charmy's buzzes were much quieter than usual as he flew up the stairs to his room. Sam and Flower lowered their heads in shame as they dragged their feet out of the Agency, not daring to look back.
Once everyone departed Espio turned to Vector, raising an eyebrow. "This time?"
Sam and Flower remained silent all the way on the way to the mansion. They went straight to the room they shared and plopped on their own bed. The two friends sighed as they both sat up. After a moment Sam spoke. "Y'know, I was never cut out to work anyways."
"Me neither," Flower agrees.
"I guess we're better off unemployed."
Sam gave her a suspicious look. "Do you actually agree with me or are you just agreeing to agree?"
Flower shrugged. "I dunno."
Sam let out a small laugh which encouraged Flower to laugh too. Being fired from a job never felt this good.
Vector was just coming down the stairs to a mediating Espio; he just had a talk with Charmy and told him his punishment. Charmy is not allowed to play video games or come near the phone for a week. That sounded like a decent punishment for him, considering what happened. They couldn't just fire him; without Charmy, how else would the team reach the high places? Plus Charmy is too young to be kicked out in the streets; that's pretty harsh treatment for someone his age. It is illegal as well.
"Vector," Espio spoke suddenly.
Vector jumped a foot in the air. "Don't scare me like that!"
"My apologizes," Espio replies, not opening his eyes. "I want to inform you that I have been looking at the phone history that our pranksters made."
"Really?" Vector exclaims. "Good o'Es, always one step ahead of even me!" Vector laughed for a moment. Taking a deep breath, he asked, "So, whaddya find?"
"They have called various numbers throughout the city in random homes," the chameleon reports. "And they called the G.U.N Agency twice."
"Is that all?" Vector scratches his head. He was expecting for the three to make more phone calls than that.
"Yes," Espio replies evenly. "They've called a total of fifty-five people using up at least thirty minutes on the phone."
"Aaawwww!" Vector groaned at the mention of bills. "Not our minutes! Don't they know we need that phone? How are we gonna pay this off!"
Before Vector could say a word, the door comes crashing against the wall, splinters flying everywhere, making the already dirty Agency into an even filthier one. In the doorway stood a figure known as Shadow the Hedgehog.
"Like playing pranks, huh?" he asks as he invited himself in the building. "Well, you'll definitely like my prank."
Vector and Espio, who quit mediating long enough to see what was going on, backed away from Shadow as though he were a rain cloud. Shadow went over to the phone, picked it off its' receiver and said, "Ring ring ring. Hello? What's this? The phone's perfectly fine? Well let me fix it for you Mr. Repairman!"
With that Shadow curled his hand into a fist, smashing the helpless phone until it was nothing but bits of scarp. He destroyed the phone so quickly that neither Vector nor Espio had enough time to stop him.
When the hedgehog finished, he glared at the two; he is not finished yet. "Now to ensure you pranksters learned your lesson..." Shadow removed his inhibitor rings, the rings falling to the ground with a tiny ding! as Shadow powered up.
Vector and Espio turned to each other, knowing looks of how bad things are getting. "Es, do something!" Vector cried.
The chameleon disappeared out of sight. "I'll find Charmy while you distract him," he whispered.
"WHAT?!" Vector howled. "That's the worst plan ever!"
"Good luck," Espio said.
"Don't ya-" Vector was cut off with a punch to the face. He slammed against the wall, his head vibrating with shock.
One fight later
Vector groaned as he sat up, awaking his forced sleep. He found Espio at his side, unconscious. "Es," he whispered, shaking him. "Es, wake up."
Espio opened his eyes. "Wha...what happened?" he asked.
"Ye didn't...abandon me?" the confused crocodile said.
"I would never abandon you," the chameleon spoke softly. "Nor would I abandon anyone. I actually returned to assist you in the fight. I found Charmy," the chameleon went on. "I hid him in a closet, told him to stay quiet then I tried to reason with Shadow. He wouldn't listen so I fought and..." He winced as though the pain caught up to him. "I am okay though," he said. "We just need to call Charmy and have him and someone else get us both the hospital."
"Aaawww!" Vector groaned once more. "Not the hospital bill!"
"Look on the bright side. At least we are no longer in debt of the phone bill."