CAUTION: This story contains spoilers for the multiplatform game Sonic Unleashed. Viewer discretion is advised.
Chapter 10: Oh Crap
I began to read the news story out loud, with Nick observing beside me.
Double Crime: Chaos Emeralds, Runner Go Missing. "Oh crap."
Two crimes were perpetrated in quick succession recently. The first crime was the kidnapping of known Runner Snakken Novoki Ichabod Carven Kissinger (geez, they didn't even have the decency to print my full name), better known as Silver Lightning, one night ago. The second was the robbery of the seven Chaos Emeralds from their preservation case in the Chaos Research Facility in Sector V49. "Oh crap."
Pride the Fennec, known Runner and star researcher of the Chaos Research Facility, did not witness either crime, but when asked for her opinion of the incident, accused known villain Angel the Porcupine of masterminding both crimes. "It'd be the perfect M.O.," she observed. "Get the wolf out of the way and have your fun while he's gone. I just wish I'd been there for the show."
Pride's claim appears valid. Security footage at the Chaos Research Facility showed traces of porcupine quills that a DNA analysis has confirmed to be Angel's. "Oh crap."
The kidnapping, which occurred at the Lounge, is more interesting. Security footage, when reviewed, showed Silver Lightning having a drink with an unknown blue hedgehog, after which they both vanished in a flash of light. The hedgehog is suspected to be in allegiance with Angel, as the resemblances are striking.
Nick and I shared the next one: "Oh crap."
A warrant has been placed for the immediate arrest and trial of the hedgehog. The whereabouts of Angel, Silver Lightning, the hedgehog, and the Chaos Emeralds are all as of now unknown.
The article ended there. Nick and I looked at each other, but before we could say anything else a robotic voice got our attention.
"FREEZE! LAW ENFORCEMENT! YOU ARE BOTH UNDER ARREST!"
The maintenance robots from before had scattered to make room for the incoming police robots. They were heavily armed and looked like they could pack a punch. We both raised our hands in surrender.
"YOU WILL BE HELD IN CONTAINMENT SPHERES UNTIL YOU ARRIVE AT THE COURTROOM," the same robot from before commanded, and two others aimed cannons of sorts at us. Then each one fired out a Containment Sphere. I knew those things. Each one was about the size of a grapefruit, but could hold an entire person inside by converting them into a specially coded energy pulse. The instant one of the Spheres hit me, it zapped me with a special field that began to dematerialize and encode me.
The last thing I saw before I was fully entrapped was Nick getting encoded by the other Sphere.
They say a perfectly fair trial always reveals the truth. I wish I'd gotten one of those instead of that farce.
The presiding judge, a stern-looking male kangaroo by the name of Genesis, rammed his gavel against his podium. According to Snake, he had a visible grudge against Runners, and wasn't known for his sense of fairness.
"Order! ORDER! It is time for the trial of... ehm..." He stared at me. "What is your name?"
"Sonic the Hedgehog," I declared, loud and clear.
"Very well then, the trial of Sonic the Hedgehog. The prosecution may present its case now. Officer Chico, if you please?"
I turned my attention to the prosecution bench, where a fierce-looking male coyote in a skintight latex uniform stood with his arms folded. "Mr. Hedgehog, did you kidnap the wolf over there at the plaintiff's bench (he pointed at Snake) the night before this one?"
This wasn't good. I tried to explain that I had not kidnapped anyone, but Chico stopped me. "Answer the question. Did you or did you not kidnap Snakken Novoki Ichabod Carven K-"
"I did not," I blurted out.
Chico nodded silently. "And are you or have you ever been affiliated with this man (he showed me a picture of Angel the Porcupine)?"
"Before tonight I'd never even heard of him," I replied.
The judge went volcanic. "That is a bald-faced lie! Angel the Porcupine is one of the most notorious criminals on the planet. Unless you've been living in a hole your entire life it's impossible that you haven't heard of him."
"He's telling the truth!" Snake objected. "He hasn't heard of Angel because-"
"Silence, Silver Lightning!" Genesis boomed. "You will not speak out of turn!" Snake sank dejectedly into his seat.
Things were looking bad for me already. Chico brought up a holographic monitor that displayed Snake and myself at the Lounge the night before.
"Silver Lightning," Chico inquired, "is the hedgehog with you in this image the same as the one in the defendant's chair now?"
Snake nodded. Then the coyote pressed a button on a remote control, and the security footage played on mute. It showed my Stone of Light glowing, and the two of us vanishing in a flash of light... just like I remembered it.
"Is that the way you remember what happened, Silver Lightning?"
Chico's next step in proving his case was to rewind the video to right before our disappearance. My face wasn't visible, but Snake's was, and he was a little panicked and trying to get his distance.
"Observe the expression on the plaintiff's face," Chico told the court. "He was unwillingly spirited away by the defendant to who-knows-where. If that's not kidnapping, then I'm a can of jalapeño chili!"
Where was a can opener when you needed one?
Genesis rammed his gavel again. "A very convincing case! The court needs to hear no more. The defendant, Mr. Sonic the Hedgehog, is guilty as charged."
WHAT?! I was just up and declared guilty without even a chance to argue my side? I had heard enough. I jumped on top of the witness stand and pointed accusingly at the kangaroo, letting my emotions flow.
"Wait one minute! What sort of a kangaroo court are you running, kangaroo? What sort of legal system is this, that doesn't let the defense get a word in? I call a mistrial! I call- HEY!"
Just then, I felt something hit me in the back, then my body began to dematerialize. Must have been another one of those spheres they used to capture us.
"Six months' imprisonment; adjourned," Genesis announced right before I was completely gone.
(Snake's P.O.V. again)
"You're joking, wolf! All THAT happened?"
I managed to catch Pride and Everest right outside the courtroom. They had attended the trial and seen the whole episode, and hearing my explanation was an even bigger shock for them. We huddled in private.
Everest folded his arms. "Personally I'm not standing for this, Silver Lightning. We can't let an innocent hedgehog rot in a Containment Sphere for six months when the next coming of that Dark Gaia thing is just around the corner."
Pride bowed her head. "This was my fault. I shouldn't point fingers without knowing more about the situation."
"Ah, cheer up, Pride," the mountain goat interjected. "We can get him out of this mess, mark my words."
I nodded. "You said it, Everest. Let's all meet at Sector E43 in fifteen minutes. We're going to play a casual game of breakout."