Hallooo! ^_^~ It is I. The one who hasn't written fan fiction in like, three million years. ._. SIGH, please be kind, and gentle, and magnanimous. I'm trying this out. Comments towards improvement are welcome. Flames will be met with the God-awful wrathful creature that is ME. And you don't want that.

So Anyway~! Knuckles and the Chaotix, and all related characters, obviously don't belong to me. o-o …  *ignores muffled shrieking coming from closet* …because if I did, they'd be tied up in my ..^__^;.. room… somewhere! SHUT UP IN THERE! O`o …-silence-….

…. And I'd be relatively rich. Noealani does, however, belong to me. So like, don't steal her, y'dig? Yeah. W0rd. Let's get this show on the road, shall we? ^_^


"Get your tail OUT OF MY FACE," said an annoyed voice, in a loud, sibilant whisper. The sound of a palm-swat soon resounded, a yelp following its wake.

"Man, what the HELL. Get your FACE out of my tail," Another voice retorted, indignant.

"Shut UP, both of you!"

The third voice, belonging to Knuckles the echidna, suddenly piped in, vexed. He glared at the two perpetrators; two of his three brothers-in-arms, apprentice guardians, so to speak. Vector the crocodile, and Espio the chameleon. Who, at that precise moment, were too busy glowering venomously at one another to pay much attention. Mighty the armadillo was just behind them, looking generally nonplussed. Quibbles between those two were obviously a daily, if not hourly, occurrence.

The echidna heaved an exasperated sigh, and rose quietly to his knees, to peek over the boulder the four were hiding behind. They were situated at the very edge of a rustic campsite, belonging to the Dark Legion. A squadron of about fifty soldiers had set up camp in a clearing just adjacent to a thick jungle area. Knuckles had of course come to know about it, and had decided to investigate. Wherever the Dark Legion was, trouble couldn't be tagging too far behind. As it was, trusted informants had let him know that that particular legion camp was holding a hostage- a prisoner. And Knuckles couldn't have that, now could he?

Espio peered over their cover as well, his sharp eyes quickly assessing the situation. He then turned to the crimson echidna by his side, his expression serious.

"There are six armed guards covering the perimeter of the campsite, I'd say. And that tent over there," he nodded towards a slightly larger tent, with two legionnaires standing watch, "is where they're keeping the captive. All the rest are obviously armed in some way or the other. Considering the odds are fifty to four…"

Knuckles scoffed. "We can easily take those odds."

"True, but do you really want to risk putting the hostage in danger? I know that if I were being ambushed by us, the first thing I'd do is grab the guy, and threaten to kill him."

"Man, what the hell you on? Knux can pull one of his chaos-dude tricks, and fry 'em all crispy-like before they even know what hit 'em. Then we can just grab the hostage dude, and high-tail it outta here," Vector interjected, haughtily. "Let's just take 'em head on, it's no biggie!"

Knuckles frowned at the green crocodile, his brow furrowing. He rather liked the head-on idea, himself- but he knew he'd be putting the hostage into considerable danger, if they ambushed the camp. He turned and slumped against the boulder, staring at the ground in contemplation.

"We can't very well sneak in, there are too many of them to go unnoticed. And how do you suppose we get past the two sentries at the hostage tent? We can't take them out without arising immediate suspicion."

Espio smirked, jabbing a thumb towards himself, arrogantly. "Let me handle the sneaking. I've got copious camouflage abilities, remember?"
"That's fine for going into the tent, but how do you think you'll get out?" Mighty piped in, shaking his head. "The camouflage ability only works on you. It'd look pretty weird if the hostage came floating out of the tent. That'd alert everyone in less than like, five seconds."

Knuckles lifted his head, and looked at his three companions, a grin on his face. "We could sneak in through the back of the tent, somehow. From what I've seen, it's situated right at the edge of the campsite. We could pop in unnoticed, grab the guy, and run the hell away before they notice anything wrong."

Vector let out rather a loud chuckle, which earned him a hand clasped over his maw, to keep him from making any more noise. After a quick look to make sure nobody heard that, they all nodded their heads in agreement. That seemed like the best way to go about the task at hand.

"Now look," warned Knuckles, eyeing the other three seriously, "see that you don't make a sound. It's best if we avoid a fight altogether, and leave the soldiers to wonder who did the deed, instead of starting somethin'." He glanced towards Mighty, who blinked back with a vague expression.


"What do you say to going in by yourself, and taking the hostage? We'll back you up if anything happens. We can't all go in, in case the soldiers decide to scout the perimeter, and notice us. Vector, Espio and I will stand guard outside, and silence any nosey legionnaires before they can sound the alarm."

Mighty nodded, flashing a crooked grin. "I think I can handle that."

"Good, it's settled then," said the echidna, pleased. "Let's see if we can't sneak around back, and give those morons a surprise!"

"Quiet tonight," quipped a dark legionnaire, gazing indistinctly about. He was one of the sentries standing guard at the hostage tent, partner with another, standing just opposite. The other scoffed, and hiked up his blaster, glowing eyes narrowing within the blackness of his hood.

"Too quiet," He barked, gruffly. "Just keep your eyes peeled. Ain't nobody but us appreciate the fact that we've taken that woman prisoner."

"Is she awake?"

"Not that I know of. The little spitfire had to be sedated, before she stopped kicking around."

The first legionnaire raised a brow, and peered into a crack in the tent folds momentarily. A figure lay silhouetted against the light, strapped to a medical bed of sorts. She didn't stir. Satisfied, the soldier pulled his head back, and offered the other a wry grin.

"Good thing, too. That bitch was screaming like a banshee before. Would have gotten the attention of the entire island if she'd kept going."

The other shrugged, grinning as well. "If she wakes up, they'll just shoot 'er up again. She'll learn to keep quiet eventually, unless she wants to die from Valium overdose."

"What does Dimitri want with her, anyway? She's awful thin. Doesn't look like she could make a good ally."

"Appearances can be deceiving," said the other, with a shrug. "Though I have no clue what purpose she'll serve, either. We will see when Lord Dimitri arrives."

The first soldier nodded, and resumed gazing stonily about, his blaster armed and ready. The other followed suit, and all was silent again. Little did the two know that at that precise moment, a flap at the back of the tent had been lifted, and Mighty the armadillo was crawling in, fully intent on stealing away with Dimitri's prize.

            Mighty blinked hard a few times, his eyes having to adjust to the dark interior of the tent. It was dimly lit, only by a few oil candles, burning merrily on a wooden table nearby. A small surgical trolley was parked beside it, on which rested various syringes, bottles containing pills and powders, and a test-tube rack, stacked with cylinders filled by suspicious-looking liquids. On the bottom layer of the trolley was a metal tray, carrying gauze, bandages, a bisturi, and a pair of scissors. Mighty frowned to see the syringes and chemical components. He took a sniff at the air. It was heavy with the scent of disinfectant. Wrinkling his nose, Mighty rushed over by the side of the captive, and took a quick look at who he was dealing with. The first thing he noticed was that it was a girl, not a man. Upon closer inspection, he realized she was also quite thin, and painfully frail to look at.
Just like a porcelain doll, he thought to himself sadly, working on undoing the restraints around her wrists and ankles. It's almost as if she might shatter if you touched her. Carefully he took the fragile creature into his strong, capable arms, and lifted her off the bed, without so much as an ounce of effort. His eyes widened a little. She weighed almost nothing! Underfeeding being the most likely cause. He snarled slightly to himself, and gently moved the girl's head against his shoulder, giving her what little comfort he could. Judging from her appearance, she had probably been going without food for at least six days. How could anyone treat another being like this?

A sudden, irritated hiss promptly brought him out of his thoughts, making him jump. It was Espio, who was none too pleased at hanging about outside for so long.

"Mighty! Aren't you ever coming out? Hurry up, we can't stay here forever!"

Mighty's ears perked upright, embarrassed at his loss of attention. He nodded firmly, and scrambled back out as quickly as he could, letting the tent flap flutter back down as he exited.

"Sorry about that. I got sidetracked," he muttered, apologetically.

"It's all right," whispered Knuckles, already darting towards the thick jungle immediately behind them. "Come on, let's get outta here, before they notice anything amiss. Once we get out of range, we can take a good look at this person."
The others nodded, and darted off silently, almost immediately lost within the confusion of the foliage. Vector smirked to himself as he leapt and dodged effortlessly through the trees and plants, thinking with glee of the nasty surprise the legionnaires were to have.

Dimitri's gonna flip shit when he realizes his prize is gone, he snickered to himself. I wish I could be there to watch, when those poor fucks on guard come to terms with him…