CAUTION: This story contains spoilers for the multiplatform game Sonic Unleashed. Viewer discretion is advised.
Chapter 18: You've Gato Be Joking
Right, so, here was the situation. It was just me and the mutated hedgehog against the local metallic law enforcement, or MLE as I liked to call it. He and I had taken out most of them, but I knew how they worked; if the smaller force couldn't handle it, they'd send out something bigger. Much bigger.
Only two MLE robots remained. I hit the nearest one with a dead-on kick, triggering a side function in my Gravity Boots to trap it in a gravitational nexus (which is a fancy way of saying gravity was now confining it to a single spot in mid-air; I don't really think that's a nexus, but it sounds cool, so let's say it is). The hedgehog then grabbed the other with his elastic arms, swung it around in a large arc, and smashed it into the trapped one, crushing both.
We both stood and savored our victory for a few seconds. Then the loud roar of a jet engine caught my attention. I heard it before he did, for obvious reasons, but soon he looked up as well.
"Pride, what is...?"
"Sounds like a jet engine. Know how I said the worst is yet to come? Well, here it comes."
And there it came. I recognized the model: Number 324-14. Alias, El Gato. Basically it was a giant mechanical panther that could fly via the jet engines embedded in its feet. And darned if it wasn't Officer Chico behind the cockpit glass.
El Gato landed firmly on the ground, its reinforced leg joints absorbing its landing perfectly. Then, Chico's voice boomed from a speaker. "Attention, Sonic the Hedgehog! Surrender and come along quietly and you will not be harmed!"
"Sorry, Pedro, but 'surrender' ain't in my vocabulary," the hedgehog retorted.
"Have it your way, then. Prepare yourself for the onslaught of... El Gato!"
Chico pushed a lever forwards, and from El Gato's eyes spewed a pair of deadly hot lasers which left twin trails of black in the ground as they moved towards the hedgehog. He saw them coming, though, and cartwheeled out of the way with no problem. It repeated the attack a few more times, but didn't once connect.
I could tell the hedgehog had done this before (I made a mental note to ask him about the details later). El Gato's next attack was a series of slow-moving, guided missiles from its mouth. Sonic bounded over the first, and tricked it into hitting the second, detonating both. He then stretched his arms out and grabbed the third, swinging it around before chucking it at the fourth. He then grabbed the fifth and last and hurtled it at El Gato's face.
It was a good idea, but the missile didn't connect. El Gato pulled up its front paws and let loose a quick burst from its jet engines, skidding backwards on the heavy-duty wheels embedded in its paws. It rolled backwards a hundred feet or so before crashing into the side of a nearby building. (Collateral damage was nothing to the police force; I knew that from personal experience.)
"Nice try, señor hedgehog," Chico taunted, "but you've got to do better than that!"
"Oh, I will!" the hedgehog shot back, before stretching out to grip the ground ahead of him and using it to slingshot himself towards El Gato. I was already running to keep up.
KA-CLICK. A hatch opened up at the tip of El Gato's tail, and it spat out a few extra MLE robots. Sonic went for the nearest one, but I saw that it was priming its laser eye attack again, probably hoping to nail him while he was distracted.
"SONIC, LOOK OUT!" I called. He got the hint, and chucked the robot into the lasers, which fried it instead of him. Then he took care of the others while simultaneously dodging more laser attacks.
The noise of the missile chamber loading got our attention, and Sonic jumped up, using El Gato's jaw as a handhold to reach the cockpit. He then brought his fists down on the glass, again and again, beating it like it'd stolen his lunch money.
Chico pounded a button, and El Gato bucked its head up, tossing the hedgehog off. Then the mechanical beast engaged its jet engines and took off again, hovering well out of our reach.
"You've made me muy furioso, hedgehog!" Chico growled. "Take this!"
This was no good. We couldn't reach El Gato from its aerial position. If only we had a heavy projectile to hit it with...
I had an idea.
Waving for Sonic to follow, I darted back to the outside of the Lounge, where all the scrap metal from the MLE massacre still remained. Choosing a good-looking collection of metal, I jabbed the heel of one of my Gravity Boots against it, then stepped back, creating another gravitational nexus that lifted up several hundred pounds of scrap.
I turned up the power of the nexus, compressing the metal into a sphere. It was now the size of a cannonball, and perhaps just as heavy. The hedgehog stretched his arms out and plucked the compressed metal out of the nexus.
"Hey, thanks, Pride! I'll put this to good use!"
El Gato was just upon us; if it wasn't the middle of the night it would be casting a very intimidating shadow over us. I carefully judged its distance and speed, and...
...ordered Sonic to throw. With a mighty heave, he chucked the sphere over his head; it seemed to spin through the air in slow motion as its trajectory peaked. Chico went for the controls, but wasn't fast enough.
CRASH. The ball penetrated the cockpit glass and slammed into the controls beneath it. Chico screamed and ran from the cockpit as El Gato went haywire. It seemed to thrash in agony before finally collapsing, a tiny escape pod leaving it and departing over the horizon.
Sonic couldn't resist a post-skirmish one-liner. "Well, that's one kitty that won't be catching any mice anytime soon. Thanks for the exercise, though!"
(Dr. Eggman's P.O.V.)
Angel and I watched a monitor together. The Hedgehog Hound's signal was dead (probably because its subject wasn't in this time period anymore), so instead we were spectating as a gray wolf-- Silver Lightning, Angel called him?-- handed a Chaos Emerald to that professor in Spagonia.
"So, they're collecting the Chaos Emeralds in your era," Angel muttered. "And their safehouse is that university. I suppose they'd need someplace to store them, since they can't be brought through time."
I rubbed my chin. "Are you saying we should try to take them?"
"Yes-- and let's not stop there. I believe I've got an idea..."