Volume Two, Season Four
The Dark Past
By Cole Bezotte, Sofie Spangenberg, and Forrest Eaton
I'm letting these guys be my new partners. For merely one of the reasons, they have something that my former partner Needle Kirby does not: they are reasonable with content!
Along the way back to Los Angeles, Ratchet told about his recent ordeal to Pupuru. He spilled everything that Mr. Grimm had told him, about how he really was Grimroth Razz, the Lombax's old friend. After having gotten rid of the Cosmic Key, which was swallowed up by the earth as well as Grimm himself, Ratchet spent the few days searching for clues at his old garage; sure enough, he found the floor stained with Grim's blood, untouched and never cleansed.
"So an enemy we're going up against is really a friend…" Pupuru sadly said after she listened intently to everything.
"It's a sad truth," Ratchet replied with a sigh. "Why would Needles dig deep into my past to bring out the darkness and despair that continues to haunt me?"
"Oh no… I forgot about MY memory! Eggman still has it!"
At that same moment, at the forbidden laboratory of Dr. Eggman, the mad scientist finally felt the urge to yank the hidden compact disc out of Orbot's head. He stared deep into its shiny outer shell, looking at the reflection which was himself. All his recent plans had been foiled, leaving his laboratory in ruin thanks to William Sparks' demolition derby. Now was Eggman's chance to share Pupuru's memory with the whole universe and reveal her dark past.
"She's had this coming for a long time!" he exclaimed as he exited his lab via a giant hole in the wall. "Bring a band of EggBots with you! We'll need to invade any nearby television station and harness their broadcasting system."
"Like a madman…" Cubot stuttered, "…he is…well…a madman…"
Dr. Eggman furiously drove his way to the station in Brooklyn that aired Our Miraculous World, with his left hand holding the disc, and the other hand on the steering wheel of his vehicle. He had recreated his own version of the vehicle known as Warthog, knowing well its functions from when he had driven it in Master Hand's new world.
(That big story "The Key to Freedom" was a crossover masterpiece! Remember that Twisted Metal contest that everyone competed in?)
It took him at least ten rushed minutes to make his way there, as the pulse in his right arm began to quicken. He did not feel anything in his other arm though, since it was roboticized, so it almost felt like he did not even have a left arm in the first place. But his mind was set, and his plan was to be operated on immediately.
Meanwhile, back at the mansion of the League of Heroes (like I've said for the billionth time), Captain Qwark eagerly turned on the television set in the living room, wanting to see the footage of the recent battle displayed publicly. But right when the news channel was about to show the footage, the signal was suddenly cut off and replaced by something rather unfriendly.
Dr. Eggman had successfully invaded the station and inserted the compact disc in the main projection feed system. Pupuru's memory was on air, showing every single dark detail that she had in her dream and in real life. There was absolutely no use to change the channel; the memory showed everywhere, all across the universe. Those who wanted to keep their TV sets on noticed the dark past that Pupuru had been keeping away from the public.
And as for Pupuru herself, she was sickened by what was going on. All her friends were seeing this right before their very eyes. She almost wanted to beg them to stop watching it, but it almost seemed like no use to her. Instead, she felt like locking herself away and ending her own life by knife there and then. With tear-stained cheeks, she began to dash her way up the stairs to her room.
"No you don't!" Ratchet exclaimed as he and Kat chased her up the stairs. "Stop where you are!"
"Let me guess…" Pupuru whimpered as she stumbled where she stopped. "You want to kill me off…? To end it here and now…?"
"What the frick are you thinking?!" Ratchet replied. "Why do you think I brought you here in the first place?! I already know everything that happened, Pupuru. Marcus Kane gave me your memory before I brought you out of Blackfield Asylum."
"And I know all about it too…" Kat came in. "I knew we made the right call to bring you here. I wanted to be a good friend, and I'm still wanting to carry it on."
"I know it's dangerous that people know all about you now," Ratchet continued. "But that does not mean that it should be the end of you. I know people will call you a freak for what you've said and done all those times, but I know how much it hurts inside. When I recognized you after gaining your memory, I really wanted to come here to Earth to help you. But when the human race looked at me, they already hated me! They considered me an absolute freak for not being of this world. It was by helping you that I gained unity with the human race.
"And I still want to help you. All those enemies we've faced over the months have gone too far this time. I promise you, Pupuru, I will do everything in my power to stop this menace…"
Slowly, Pupuru embraced Ratchet, placing all her trust in him for what must be done. But once Ratchet took off to find Eggman, she hid herself in her room and locked the door so no one could enter. If anyone was to find her, she would have to beg herself to be gone for good (as her own feelings told her).
"It's working!" Dr. Eggman exclaimed happily. "It's actually working!" All the workers in the station were bound and gagged, which kept them from stopping him in his diabolical scheme. Though they were helpless, Ratchet was not, and so help was on the way. But for now, the madman enjoyed himself while he could. Pupuru's memory was airing on every single channel.
"Look at all the phone calls, text messages, and tweets I've been receiving lately!" Eggman continued as he held up his cell phone. "They say that I'm right about this! They wish Pupuru was dead! I'm so happy I could cry!"
"But what about Sonic?" Cubot interrupted. "He's your REAL nemesis! Why are you ignoring him?"
"I'm simply taking a break from him for now," Eggman answered in reply. "I say the environment and authorities on Earth are much weaker than on Mobius! Have I never been right?"
"But you still have Needles to compete against," Orbot pointed out. "He should be jealous of your success right now."
"Or…maybe he'll never show his face again after what I've done," Eggman replied. "He'll HAVE to admit that I'm the better villain! Now let us simply sit back and watch the rest of this juicy stuff. I feel rather proud of myself for coming up with this!"
At that same time, another friendly being had taken notice of the horrible truth that Dr. Eggman was exposing. The Lombax known as Donna had just landed her ship back on her home planet Kerwan (though she was born on Fastoon). She was relieved to be back to where she's lived all these years, back to the comforts of home.
However, the program on her television set was cut off and replaced by the footage of Pupuru's memory. While Donna was in the kitchen preparing her evening meal, her left ear twitched as it noticed that something was not right. She recognized Pupuru's voice right off the bat, and immediately ran back to her living room to see what was going on.
Though Donna had a dark childhood herself (concerning the death of her mother), never before had she beheld anything far worse. What was displayed right in front of her was nothing more than the death of Pupuru's parents, the big nightmare she had dreamt of, and the many harsh circumstances that came her way after awakening.
"This should be all nothing but lies!" Donna thought as she forced her set to power off. "It must be false evidence put up by another menace… Yet I can't help but think that it all looks so real! If what I've seen is true, then why didn't Pupuru tell me about this in the first place? Perhaps I'm thinking differently of her… She'd never dare spill anything horrid that she had faced. I almost feel like holding this grudge towards the human race for their insane personalities and unsafe world. They've gone mad…!
"On the OTHER hand…" Donna continued as she headed to her ship, "…Ratchet is there on Earth to PROTECT her in the first place! He formed this League of Heroes to defend Earth from the freaks and killers that live. And if I HAD helped defeat that clown freak, then that proves that I'm that same kind of hero Pupuru is! I'll find the source of that broadcast, and that fiend better be sorry for what he did!"
Quickly, Donna powered her ship back on and soared off into the stars again, flying at top speed to her previous destination: Earth.
Back at the news station, Dr. Eggman was satisfied to see the horrifying moments that happened in Pupuru's dream. After finishing his bag of popcorn, he demanded Cubot that he fetch him another full bag.
"I'm almost all out of popcorn seeds," Cubot complained as he activated his built-in popcorn machine.
"I don't care!" Eggman interrupted. "I just want some snacks to settle my pounding heart as I watch this beautiful stuff!"
"On the contrary, boss…" Orbot objected, "…you have NO heart!"
"Then that proves that I am perhaps the MOST evil person who ever existed! As for Needles, he's a GHOST, so he doesn't count."
Right then, Eggman's cruel celebration was suddenly interrupted by the sound of the Time Cube materializing behind him. Ratchet had come to the scene just in time to dismantle Eggman's live satellite feed. "You better turn that off right now!" Ratchet shouted as he pointed his Omniwrench at the mad scientist.
"Incredible!" Dr. Eggman replied, breaking off the subject. "You have a contraption that travels through time and space! I'd love to go for a ride and visit the girl, to see how she's reacting to this favorite show of mine."
"You monster!" With that, Ratchet's wrench went flying right for Eggman's face. He would have gone for the machine instead, but his anger let him attack the enemy instead.
Eggman's glasses fell right off, revealing the dark eyes that hid behind them. A pair of black eyes with red pupils stared right at the Lombax with intimidation. "You won't like it when I get angry!" he sneered as he raised his eyes upward. "After Sonic partially roboticized me, my sight became distorted. Nowadays, these eyes of mine get short-circuited at the worst moments! And I can't control them!"
Ratchet was startled to see a long energy beam shoot out from Dr. Eggman's eyes, blasting at the large video monitor that hung directly above him. The Lombax was not aware of what was happening at first, but he was finally able to see what was falling down on top of him once he turned around. He only saw it for a split second before everything went completely dark. He did not wake up.
"Congratulations, sir!" Orbot exclaimed in triumph. "You have just squashed a major enemy! Can this be the end of the Lombax race?"
"It actually ISN'T!" Eggman gasped in reply as he sniffed the air. "I smell ANOTHER ONE!"
Everyone heard a sudden scream come from Cubot; they turned to see his mechanical head get blasted off by the energy bolt of a shock pistol. And the hands that held the weapon was none other than Donna herself; she had come to dismantle Eggman's broadcast just like she promised herself.
"It's funny…" Donna teased as she pointed her gun at the doctor, "…I thought there would actually be someone more THREATENING running this operation."
Dr. Eggman held his hands in the air as if Donna was seriously going to fire at him in cold blood. But her aim changed as she instead blasted the computer that contained the disc that held Pupuru's memory. The data was completely destroyed, along with the major source that contained it. It was no longer able be aired anywhere.
Eggman's rage rose to a new hight as his blood boiled at the sight of his scheme being foiled. But such frustration caused his eyes to malfunction again, causing another energy beam to shoot out. His aim went wild this time, but the beam ended up scorching Donna's right shoulder severely, leaving a black burn.
Distracted by the pain in her arm, Donna did not notice Dr. Eggman recollecting his glasses and picking up the unconscious Ratchet in his arms. He ran right into the Time Cube and immediately left the station as he set the coordinates to another location: one farther away from where the recent ordeal had taken place.
"This is the only way to get rid of him…" Eggman thought as the Time Cube landed in the exact spot he desired. "I know that the monitor hit the correct spot on Ratchet's head that would cause him to lose all his memory. This is the perfect chance to ditch him somewhere else where he would have to start a new life. He will no longer be with the rest of his buddies in Los Angeles! This really turns from one situation to another!"
The madman threw Ratchet out into the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada, then quickly traveled back to his laboratory in Brooklyn. What would become of the great Lombax now?
It looks like Ratchet is in a fix! What will happen when he recovers? We'll find out next time, when a musical group is introduced.