Sonic the Hedgehog © Team Sonic and SEGA
Kung Fu Panda © DreamWorks Pictures
The Freedom Fighters © DiC Entertainment
My friend, The Panda will never fulfill his destiny, nor you yours until you let go of the illusion of control. Look at this tree, Shifu. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time. No matter what you do the seed will grow to a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach. – Master Oogway.
In Zengchong, a small village on the edge of the Valley of Peace, life went on as always. Farmers were in the fields while the small village became active with trade and commerce. Little did any of the villagers know that things would change in a matter of moments.
"What's that?" a little bunny asked, pointing to the sky in the middle of the busy street. Villagers stopped when a dark shadow formed over the village and looked up where the child was pointing.
"I've never seen anything like it …" a pig stated as they all stared at the gigantic, red-and-gold ship.
It came to a stop, floating in the air over the village before portions of the bottom opened. "What's it doing?" a goose asked before balls of fire dropped like comets, slamming into buildings and exploding violently.
Villagers ran screaming in terror before large, egg-shaped objects dropped, slamming into the ground. The larger ones opened, and black, metallic humanoids with large, oval heads and single, red eyes marched out. Finally, a single, smaller robot dropped from the flying ship. It was gold and blue in color with two glowing red eyes, and rockets surrounded by curved, blue spines attached to its back.
"All biological creatures line up peacefully and prepare for robotization." The blue robot growled as it stood up before the stunned, horrified villagers. "Do not run. Do not fight. Resistance is futile."
Panic raged as the robots grabbed the villagers and threw them into the smaller egg-like containers. "Go! Fly to the Jade Palace! Get help!" the leader of the village said to a small goose, who took flight toward the east.
He flapped his wings and panted, flying as fast as he could but came to a sudden stop when a blue blur that was the head robot flashed before him. "No escape," the robot growled as its pointed, metal fingers closed around the goose's neck.
"Resistance…" The robot repeated as it carried the goose back to the devastated village. "...is futile."
"Dr. Robotnik," the blue robot spoke through a communication device. "Village has been secured. Robotization about to begin."
"Excellent, Metal…" a booming voice spoke through the com on the robot's arm. "I'm sending down the full assault force. Proceed to the Jade Palace, priority targets are the Furious Five and the Dragon Warrior."
Sonic the Hedgehog
Kung Fu Panda
THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS
Chapter I: The New Master
Po the Dragon Warrior, or Master Panda as many of the Jade Villagers called him, sat peacefully lotus style under the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom, watching the sun begin to rise in the distance.
His jade eyes widened from a flash of light, and a wave covered the valley, replacing the huts and plant life with cold, steel plates and smoking factories, the sky black with smog. "What the…"
"A great evil is coming to our valley, Po," Po turned to see Master Oogway standing beside him, looking gravely over the twisted landscape.
"You cannot defeat this on your own, my friend," the tortoise placed his hand on the panda's shoulder and smiled softly. "But if you trust in your friends, allies, and even enemies, the coming war will be in your favor."
"But you must remember," the tortoise looked back up at the sky. "Homes can be rebuilt, new lands found elsewhere. What matters is what you take with you every step of every day."
"I don't understand, Master," Po asked the aged master in confusion. "What can I do?"
"I don't know…" Oogway worked his mouth a moment. "I am not the legendary warrior, who is spoken of in legends, whose Kung Fu is the stuff of legends."
"That was in a dream, one single dream. Won't you let me live that down, Master?" Po closed his eyes with a groan.
Oogway studied the chunky panda for a moment before shaking his head with a smile. "No," the old master chuckled at the young Kung Fu master. "Now, you must awaken; it is almost time for the gong, and you know the importance of today. Good luck, my friend."
Po snapped his eyes open and looked at the sundial in the window. "Oh, I've got ten more minutes till the gong." Po mumbled before rolling to the side. "Five more minutes and I'll… wait, window?" He shot up to a seated position and looked around. "Oh no."
He suddenly recalled he had spent the night in his old room above his father's noodle shop, which meant he had less than ten minutes to make it up the steps to the Jade Palace.
He screamed loudly before jumping from his bed, making sure his black-and-gold, dragon-print slacks were on properly, screamed again and ran full force out of his room, tripping down the steps to the kitchen.
"Good Morning, my big, brave Dragon Warrior," Ping smiled proudly from where he was preparing noodles.
"Hi, Dad! Bye, Dad!" Po said as he rushed out through the dining area, dodging his dad's customers, chanting 'sorry, excuse me, thousand pardons', as he ran. He made it to the steps and took a deep breath, lifted his belly, which was far less flabby than it used to be, and started his climb.
"Good morning, Master!" The Furious Five said in unison as they stepped outside into the hall of the Jade Palace before the waiting Grand Master Shifu.
"Good morning, students," Shifu responded, eyes going to the room across from Tigress'. "PANDA!"
"Master Panda stayed with his father last night, Master," Crane explained, and Shifu nodded.
"He's probably already at the training ground," Shifu mumbled before glancing to the room just past Tigress'. "And speaking of which… RABBIT!"
"Oh, no!" a soft, feminine voice squeaked, and a short, brown rabbit with long ears hanging behind her head hopped out, flushing with embarrassment. "Master Shifu, I'm so sorry; I was so nervous about today that I couldn't sleep and…"
"Perhaps Master Panda should fail you right now since you couldn't awaken with the rest of us," Tigress growled at the timid, fourteen-year-old bunny. "If I were your master, I'd…"
"But you are not her master, Master Tigress," Shifu said, stepping up to the rabbit. "You've worked very hard, Cream. Master Panda has given you great praise."
"T-Thank you, Master Shifu," Cream bowed timidly.
"As for your punishment, it will be issued after your final test with your Master," Shifu said sternly, causing the bunny to duck her head slightly. "Your performance will help Master Panda and I determine the best punishment for your insubordination."
"Y-Y-Yes, Master Shifu," Cream whimpered.
"Let us go. Your Master waits to administer your final test," Shifu said, turning and walking down the hall with the Five plus one trailing behind.
It was hard for Shifu to believe that the young rabbit could so soon be ready to be named a master at her age, but her sharp mind and Po's surprisingly excellent teaching skill had made her rapidly increase her skill to just below the Five.
There was some strife two years ago when Shifu announced that Po would be taking Cream as an apprentice, when none of the Five were allowed a personal student. Crane, Viper, and Monkey relented the quickest, agreeing that Po would be best to train the young one. Mantis took a little more than a week to give in and start speaking to Panda again.
Tigress was a different story all together, and Shifu still frowned at the thought. From the beginning of Cream's training under Po, Tigress had criticized Po's teaching method. She had attempted to point out flaws in Po's styles and techniques, many of which Po successfully countered, causing Tigress to storm off in a huff.
And then there was the harsh treatment of Po's student. While she had bonded well with the other Five, Viper especially, it seemed that everything she did irritated the tiger to no end. Tigress jumped on every little mistake, to the point that the poor bunny was horrified of the Tiger Style master.
Shifu had sat her down many times, reminding her that helping Po with his training of Cream was more than welcome. It was even requested by the Dragon Warrior himself, but what she was doing was not helping at all. Sometimes, these sessions ended peacefully, with Tigress apologizing, saying she was only attempting to help, while others led her to exploding, pointing out that weak treatment would only give the bunny a weakness of character and skill. The latter always resulted in Shifu sending the tiger to her room to meditate on how she was mistaken.
Shifu shook his head before the group made it to the gates of the training grounds. "Are you ready, Sister?" Viper smiled as she slithered up beside the trembling bunny. Shifu glanced over and noticed Tigress watching the scene with narrowed eyes. "Don't be frightened; you'll do just fine!" Viper said, and Crane and Mantis nodded while Monkey patted the youth on her shoulder.
"It is time," Shifu said as he stood before the bunny, surrounded as she was by the Furious Five.
Shifu opened the door to find Po standing in the middle of the training ground, bent over with his hands on his knees. "Panda?"
"Oh, thank goodness, I'm right on… er... you're right on time!" Po grinned at the group.
"Cream," Po smiled tightly as he stood his full height, which was far more than twice Cream's.
"Yes, Master?" Cream replied with a slight shake to her voice as the Five and Shifu formed a line on the side of the stone floor in the center of the courtyard.
"You've made me and Master Shifu very proud," Po said as he turned and walked a few steps with his arms folded behind his back. All but Shifu looked on in confusion as Po stepped behind a small table with a covered bowl and two empty bowls. He lifted the lid and set it to the side, revealing several fresh dumplings. He placed a pair of chopsticks on the side of the table facing Cream and took a pair himself. "You have completed your training, Cream. You are now free to eat," He explained motioning to the dumplings. "Enjoy."
"What? Is this it?" Tigress asked in a mix of anger and confusion. "Her final test is LUNCH?" She growled, shaking her head. "Oh, what happens when she becomes Grand Master? Dinner? Dessert?"
Cream glanced at Tigress while Shifu simply lifted his chin. "Tigress, one must learn patience. Not everything is as it appears. After all, did any of us believe one such as Po could be the Dragon Warrior?"
Tigress lowered her ears and hunched slightly before taking a step backwards. "Forgive me, Master," she whispered somewhat harshly.
"And it is breakfast time, so it is not lunch." Shifu corrected with a smirk, which made the tiger bristle slightly.
"Cream... Cream, look at me," Po said in a soothing tone. "Look at me, just me." The timid rabbit slowly looked up and locked eyes with the Dragon Warrior. "There is no one else here but you and me. Master Shifu and the Five are not here. It's just you and I."
"Yes, Master…" Cream gulped, focusing solely on the large panda before her.
"Now, dig in, kiddo, and enjoy it," Po smiled warmly as Cream picked up the chopsticks. She glanced questioningly at her master before taking a dumpling in her chopsticks and moving it toward her mouth. She blinked rapidly when she bit down on her empty chopsticks.
"I said you're free to eat," Po said, chomping on the dumpling he grabbed from Cream. "Have a dumpling."
Cream stared at the bowl for a moment before doing as told, and yet again, Po grabbed it from her chopsticks.
"What's he doing?" Viper whispered to Crane as they all watched with confusion, save Shifu, who had a broad, proud smile on his face.
"You are FREE to eat…" Po said with a mild growl to the agitated rabbit.
"Am I?" Cream asked challengingly.
"ARE YOU?" Po responded hotly before Cream dove for the last dumpling with her chopsticks.
The Five watched intensely as Po and Cream dueled with their fingers and chopsticks, trying to grab the dumpling. Finally, Po grabbed it and held it high. "Viper Style!" He shouted, and Cream flawlessly began to move, grasping for the dumpling while using smooth and random viper-style attacks.
"Crane Style!" Po shouted, and the White Crane defensive style became Cream's method, while Po launched a series of attacks, which she blocked and countered in her attempt to nab the dumpling.
"Monkey Style!" Po instructed, and Cream yet again effortlessly changed stances and began jumping and lunging at her master. She even almost caught the dumpling a few times.
"Mantis Style!" Po called out after a few near misses. Cream nodded and dropped her stance to the praying mantis style, striking out with quick, precise attacks.
"Wow, she's learned more than I thought," Viper said proudly, while the rest nodded and watched.
"Tiger Style!" Po shouted out, and Tigress' eyes widened in outrage.
"What?" She gasped as Cream took her own fighting stance flawlessly. 'How dare he teach her my style! I'm the master of that style… he has no right!' Tigress thought as she watched the rabbit strike at the panda with near perfection.
"Alright!" Po grinned at the rabbit, who stared intently at the dumpling just out of her reach. "Now for the grand finale… Panda Style!"
"Hi-yah!" Cream said before bracing her legs, pushing her little cottontail back and all her weight and strength to her small belly.
"SKADOOSH!" She yelled as she pushed herself forward, slamming her full body weight, what was there, into the Panda's oversized belly.
While Po was prepared for her attack, he had been too focused on his student's techniques instead of his location on the training ground. With his heel hanging slightly off the edge of the training platform, it didn't take much to send the larger panda off balance. "Whoa-whoa!" Po gasped as he tumbled backwards and landed flat on his back.
Dead silence filled the ground for several moments before…
"Pluck me featherless and call me a turkey, she did it…" Crane breathed as the small rabbit flipped onto her master's belly and grabbed the dumpling.
"Thank you, master," Cream said before feeding the dumpling to her slightly dazed master. "But I really need to watch my figure."
"Excellent, Cream. I was blinded by your awesomeness," Po said with a smile.
"Thank you, Master," Cream said again as she brought her hands together and gave a short bow to her master, who returned it as best he could with his student sitting on him.
"Cream, excellent performance," Shifu clapped his paws as Cream crawled off her master, and Po struggled to sit up. The old master and the young rabbit watched in a mix of amazement and amusement as Po struggled to either roll off his back or sit up. "Crane, you know the drill…" Shifu sighed, nodding to the avian.
Crane mumbled under his breath as he walked up to Po and held out a claw to the struggling panda. "Alright, upsy daisy…" Crane said, flapping his long wings to gain momentum to pull Po off the ground.
"Thanks, pal," Po said cheerfully as he got back to his feet.
"Don't mention it… again." Crane shrugged as he and Po flanked the yet-again nervous bunny.
"What did you think of my number one student's bodacity?" Po said, placing one of his big paws on the small rabbit's head.
"What are the Moralities of the Deed?" Shifu asked, looking down his nose at the rabbit.
"Humility, Loyalty, Politeness, Righteousness, and Trust," Cream answered without missing a beat, making Po have to fight to keep the grin off his face.
"And the Moralities of the Mind?" Shifu asked after a short nod.
"Courage, Endurance, Patience, Perseverance, and Will," Cream again answered without hesitation.
"Very good," Shifu nodded, "Your techniques are far from perfect. Several of your attacks could have been faster, stronger, more focused. There were many times you showed a hint of sloppiness in your stances." The master stated, causing the bunny to lower her face. "But that is something that will come with practice and training. You are far from becoming the seventh member of the Superior Six. But I agree with Master Panda: you have earned the right to be called a Master and a Teacher."
"Master!" Tigress bellowed. "She's just a child! You can't possibly judge her ready based on the Panda's words and that silly dance!"
"Tigress…" Shifu started, but Po held up his hand.
"No, no, it's cool, Master Shifu, totally cool." Po stated with a smile as he patted Cream's shoulder. "If Master Tigress thinks Cream isn't up to snuff, let the apprentice prove herself." Cream's eyes widened, and she squeaked in terror.
"You want me to fight a child?" Tigress asked Po in surprise.
"I don't see why not," Shifu nodded.
"Master, she's gonna eat me…" Cream said, clinging to Po's pants.
"Nah, she eats tofu, not meat; trust me, I've tried to get her to eat my cooking," Po said, shoving Cream toward the center of the ring. "Just remember what I taught you and you'll be fine!"
Cream's eyes were as wide as saucers and her chest heaved as Tigress circled her, growling.
"Please don't die…" Po whispered under his breath.
"Now, silly, little rabbit," Tigress gave a fangy grin, "Let me show you the real Tiger Style."
"Cream can't win this one," Viper said coming up to Po's side.
"I know, I just hope she can focus enough to make Tigress work for it," Po whispered back, biting his lower lip.
Cream screamed when Tigress pounced at her with angry swipes and punches, but despite the rabbit's obvious terror, she managed to not only successfully but gracefully dodge every single incredibly close strike.
Cream ducked, dodged, and crawled to avoid the angry tiger's attacks before a single opportunity presented itself to the rabbit. She launched herself to the side of Tigress' latest pounce and reached with both hands to grip her long, flailing tail.
"What are you doing?" Tigress asked in anger as she tried to get to the rabbit hanging on to her tail.
"There are no teeth on this end!" Cream responded as she held on for dear life, prompting Viper to make a comment about Cream having a tiger by the tail, which only further enraged the Bengali Master of the Tiger-Style.
Tigress swung herself around while turning her tail toward herself in an attempt to get the rabbit before launching out with her teeth. Cream screamed and unconsciously held up her hands, which still held Tigress' tail, to shield herself. Tigress' eyes widened in pain as her teeth sank into her own tail. "Ha! Bit yourself!" Cream laughed before the Tiger threw a backhand that sent her flying out of the ring into her master's forgiving stomach.
"See?" Tigress panted, favoring her twitching tail. "She's… not ready…"
"I disagree; she made you winded," Monkey pointed out, earning his own glare from the tiger.
"Yes, Cream has proven herself capable of keeping up with the best of you," Shifu stated, turning to the still-trembling rabbit. "Cream, do you accept the rank of Master and Teacher over the students of the Jade Palace?"
"Y-yes, Master Shifu," Cream took a trembling step toward the miniature Grand Master.
"Then, Master Cream, you will serve with the Dragon Warrior, Master Panda, as teachers of the ideals and styles of Kung Fu to the citizens of the Valley of Peace willing to learn."
"Thank you, Master," Cream bowed with a grin on her face, then turned to her other master. "Thank you so much, Master Po!" she squeaked as he bowed to her teacher.
"Eh, don't mention it," Po waved it off.
"Master, what's that?" Tigress said breaking the moment.
The gathered martial artists looked where Tigress was pointing and saw a pillar of smoke rising in the west. "It looks like it's coming from the edge of the Valley, perhaps Zengchong…" Shifu mused.
"Crane, Mantis, go get a closer look," Shifu instructed, "Panda, Cream, go to the village and have the villagers begin preparations to retreat up to the palace. Viper, Tigress, help me prepare the defenses of the palace."
Po and Shifu shared a look, and Po realized Master Oogway must have given his master a heads-up as well. "Yes, Master," the seven bowed before breaking up to do as told. "Come on, Cream," Po said, making his way quickly to the exit with a bad feeling in his sizable stomach, and this one not from too many noodles.
A few thousand miles away …
A full-grown female jackrabbit ran full speed between the ruins of factories. "Almost home free," She whispered in a crisp, Southern drawl with a single, gloved hand holding her brown cowboy hat on top of her head. "Aw, shit," She cursed when she came up on a dead end. "Ah knew should have made that left back there."
She turned to retreat but came face to face with a group of SWATbot robots. "Yup, should'a taken a left at Albuquerque…" She said looking up at the robots. "Do ya'all mind? Ah'm kinda in a hurry. It's mah turn to cook supper, and mah ol' man is real sensitive on his eatin'."
"Do not run. Do not fight. Resistance is futile," the towering SWATbots stated mechanically as they approached the rabbit.
"An' what if ah wanna run and fight, Sugah?" the rabbit asked as she jumped up, gripped the lead Bot with her gloved hand, and crushed the metal in her grasp.
"Taking your sweet time, huh, Bunny?" Bunny glanced behind the bots to see a young, blue hedgehog with curved quills, red-and-white-striped shoes and white gloves looking on impatiently as he leaned against the wall of the factory. "I'm waiting…" he drawled looking at his watch.
"Sugah-Hog?" Bunny asked before pulling off her glove and rolling up the sleeve of her brown leather jacket to reveal a metallic arm.
"Target: Sonic the Hedgehog. Alpha Protocol: Postpone all missions and capture target hedgehog," The SWATbots said as they turned away from Bunny right as she was morphing her metallic arm into an energy cannon.
"Hi, guys; bye, guys," the hedgehog said as he disappeared, leaving only a vaguely visible blue blur for a moment, just before a massive blast slammed into the back of the robots.
"Thanks for tha help, Sugah-hog," Bunny said as Sonic appeared beside her.
"Fame can be a curse, but it does come in handy on occasions," Sonic mock-sighed with a smirk plastered to his face. "Find out anything on why Eggman's Egg Carrier's flown the coop?"
"Yeah," Bunny nodded, showing him the file she ripped off from Robotnik's computer system. "Dunno what he's goin' after, but we know where he's going."
"Valley of Peace, huh? I remember Uncle Chuck tellin' me about that place," Sonic nodded, "Some old Great War vets live there."
"Yeah, General Shifu and his student, the Dragon Warrior-To-Be, Tai Lung," Bunny nodded, "Sally's Pa likes to compare us to Lung durin' the debriefin's you sleep through."
"If he could catch that Dragon Warrior guy and turn him into one of his robots," Sonic rubbed his chin, "That could be bad news."
"Ya think?" Bunny snorted at her friend, "But Eggman'll have to get past Shifu's other students, the Furious Five. Ah hear they're the best martial artists 'round."
"Woo, the big, bad Furious Five! Probably scare Eggman about as much as they scare me," Sonic scoffed. "They don't know Eggy. So, guess I'm just going to have to go over there and save their lives."
"Sonic, no, we need to get with tha others and come up with a plan!" Bunny tried to argue.
"Great idea. You go and get a plan, and I'll have him beat by the time you guys get an idea," Sonic nodded, stretching slightly.
"Ya don't even know where the Valley of Peace is!"
"Which direction is it from here?" Sonic asked, glancing up from his ready stance.
"East," Bunny said dejectedly.
"Ah, then I'll find it. See you there!" Sonic said before disappearing in a burst of speed.
"Dagnabbit, Sonic!" Bunny called after him. She shook her head before lifting her arm to speak into the com of her mechanized arm. "Bunny to New Mobotropolis. Robotnik's headed for the Valley of Peace, an' so is Sonic. He'll probably need back up. Bunny out."
She sighed and looked up at the cloudy sky. "Ah got a bad feelin' bout this…"
To Be Continued…
A/N: Despite how this chapter looks, Tigress is my favorite character, and I do have a reason for her crankiness toward Po's student. Next chapter: the war of the "Eggman Empire" fully enters the Valley of Peace. How will Po and the Furious Five fair against Robotnik's greatest creations? Find out next time!
edit 12/30/08. I got my rights and lefts, easts and wests mixed up and got Sonic headed in the right direction now.