Chapter 1: Augustgradian Arrival

Location: The Daedalus

Evening...


The bridge of the Gorgon-class Battlecruiser was a virtual hive of activity, with Fleet Admiral Gaskaville standing in the midst of it all. With hands clasped behind his back, he stared out the main viewport, watching as Central City came into view. He heard the doors to the bridge slide apart, causing him to glance over his shoulder and find Princess Sally stepping inside. The two marines who were guarding the bridge attempted to deny her access, but the Admiral was quick to put a halt to that.

"Something I can do for you, ambassador?" he asked.

"I wanted to apologize for any wrong impressions that Sticks may have given you," she stated.

"And why would that be?" he questioned.

"Sticks has lived in isolation for most of her life," Sally explained, "Amy's been trying to help her adapt to civilization."

Sticks, in her usual paranoid self had accused one of the Daedalus' crewmembers of trying to steal her identity, with the intention of replacing her with a robotic double. It had nearly resulted in violence, but Amy had thankfully stepped in to calm down the situation.

"Am I to assume that she really wasn't meant to be here?"

"You wouldn't be wrong in that assumption."

"I'll take that into consideration, Ambassador," he said, "Mr. Borisov, open a channel to the control tower at Central City Airport."

"Aye," a youthful man replied, "...channel is now open, Admiral."

"Control tower, this is the Daedalus," he declared.

"Go ahead, Daedalus," a voice said, cracking through unseen speakers.

"The Ambassador and her companions will be departing shortly," the Admiral stated.

"Understood, Daedalus. Hanger 10 has been reserved for the Ambassador's aircraft."

"Acknowledged," Gaskaville said, turning to face the princess, "We'll be within range in the next fifteen minutes, you'd best get a move on."

"Thank you, Admiral."

Turning around, Sally exited through the same doors she had entered and stepped into the hallway that lay beyond. It was large enough to allow two marines in full CMC Powered Combat Suits to walk down side-by-side. Currently without NICOLE, Sally was required to utilize an AVA unit in order to maintain contact with the other members of the Knothole Freedom Fighters. Removing the device from her vest, she slid the device apart, and exposed the thin, neon blue screen.

"Sonic, are you there?" she asked.

The hedgehog's face appeared on the screen, but he was in the midst of a conversation with someone off screen. The amount of noise in the background indicated to her that the Freedom Fighters or at least Sonic was still within the Daedalus' cantina.

"-a jukebox mounted to the ceiling?" he said, before turning to face the camera, "Yo Sal, what's shakin'?"

"Have everyone gather at the Freedom Fighter Special," she said, "We'll be departing as soon as I arrive."

"I'll let the others know," he replied as the screen went dark.

She made her way through the ship, following the signs that were mounted against the Neosteel walls to the elevator.


Location: Central City

Fifteen minutes later...


Rotor piloted the Freedom Fighter Special towards the mainland, the light of Central City became visible against the growing darkness. The aircraft touched down on the tarmac and came to a complete stop once it pulled into an open hanger. The X-Tornado landed mere moments later, with Tails transforming it into the X-Cyclone so as to fit within the hanger.

"We made it," Amy cheered as she trotted down the loading ramp followed by the others with bags in hand.

"Remember this is a diplomatic mission," Sally reminded, "We need to set a good example to these Terrans if we hope to persuade them to ally us."

"Isn't there suppose to be someone here to meet us?" Sonic asked, approaching with Tails and Chris.

"The Prime Minister's aide was suppose to be here to greet us, but-" Sally said as she was interrupted by Ray.

"S-someone's c-coming."

Sure enough a black limousine was tearing across the tarmac and was headed in their direction before slowing to a stop in front of the hanger allowing a young woman to step out and began approaching them. She was of Asian ancestry with neck length black hair and dressed in a short black skirt with a white blouse, high heels and a pair of reading glasses.

"Miss Acorn?" she asked, "I'm Yoki Uresaki, Prime Minister Carmichael aide. I apologize for him being unable to greet you when you arrived."

"That's quite alright," Sally replied, "I'm sure he's very busy."

"That's good to know," she said, "Well then, we should get going,"

The group placed their bags and equipment within the truck of and piled into the limo before it headed along the tarmac. Exiting the airport, they were joined by vehicles from local law enforcement and two SUVs containing members of the Internal Security Division. As they headed in the direction of the Prime Minister's residence, Miss. Uresaki began an explanation of the city's history.

"Central City is not only the capital of the Mar Sara Province but the capital of the Terran Republic as well. It was the first Terran Colony founded over seven hundred years ago, but back then it was known simply as Central."

"How large is the city?" Sally asked.

"It covers 22.43 square miles with an elevation of 460m, and is divided into five districts: The Airport, the City Center, Beacon Hill, Jackson Heights, and Coal Harbour," she replied.

"And where would the Prime Minister's residence be?" Tails asked.

"The Prime Minister's Residence is located between Beacon Hill and Jackson Heights."

"It looks like there's some sort of festival," Sonic said noticing the banners and lights hanging from the numerous building and trees.

"That would be for the upcoming weeklong festival celebrating the establishment of the Terran Republic," Yoki explained, "you've chosen the perfect time to come here."

"What's that building over there?" Chris asked, pointing to the gleaming white building with a bronze roof.

"That's the National Assembly building," she replied, "It's where the elected members of the legislature sit. The sunsets are spectacular when reflecting off the rooftop on a clear evening."

The motorcade eventually reached its destination, passing through a large rot-iron gate and slowed to a stop out in front of a sprawling mansion located off the only road that led into the Jackson Heights neighbourhood, but still within the chic Beacon Hill district.

"Whoa!" Mighty exclaimed, "It's huge."

"Following the establishment of the Terran Republic, it was donated it to the government when it was agreed that Central City would served as the capital. Its served as the residence of the Prime Minister ever since."

The group exited the vehicle and retrieved their bags and equipment, entering the Prime Minister's residence only moments later.