Disclaimer: Sonic the Hedgehog is copyrighted and produced by Sega. SatAM is copyrighted and produced by DiC. The plot and any potential fancharacters are all I own, and no profit is being distributed in any way through this story.
Author's Note: This retelling of part of an episode was originally going to be a one-shot, but I decided to either make it a two-shot or three-shot due to chapter length. This fic was written as a challenge on my L.J. page, set by Swift178. It's possible I might expand this and make it a full-fledged story one day.
Timeline: This fanfic begins as Dulcy, Sally, and Sonic are flying during "Blast from the Past, Part I," but with many differences, such as dialogue, scenery descriptions, location, and character perspective.
Knuckles, Keeper of the Time Stones
Part I: Intruder Alert
My name is Knuckles, and I live inside this castle on the Floating Island. The island itself is small, but it has lots of trees surrounding the edge, and in the center is an old castle. This castle is my home; I live deep within the walls in order to watch out for any intruders that invade my island and steal the Time Stones. Anyone who trespasses will have to face not only my wrath, but the castle's, too.
But guarding the Time Stones isn't the only thing I do. Everyday, I walk around and take care of the animals who either live here or stop by along the way. They are the only ones I trust, not Robotnik…not even other Mobians.
Aside from the animals, I rather not communicate with anyone. As long as no one touches my Time Stones, I'm fine being alone.
As for the castle, it's very old, dating back to the Gothic days, or so I heard. The winged gargoyles sit on the side of the steps, and the building's made out of bricks, inside and out. But despite its age, it's caught up the modern times very easily, especially after the little renovation that I made. I don't know Doctor Robotnik's day job, but he keeps a lot of scrap around his yards, and that's more than enough for me to steal, fix, and use to my advantage.
Sigh. That's another day of exploring the island, I think with boredom and sit back down in the main chair in the control room. Around here are lots of monitors and lots of computers. I keep a track of everything through the many monitors here, and sometimes it's very boring. I hate it when there's no action, but at least the Floating Island's peaceful, and the Time Stones are safe.
Boy, did I think wrong.
Suddenly, the alarm begins to beep, and I cry out and fall on the floor.
"Warning. Warning," blares the computer in a monotonous female voice. "Intruder alert. Intruder alert."
I hurry to my feet and sit down again. "What is it?" I ask the computer.
I'm shown a radar, which is green and makes an annoying humming noise. "Three unidentified life forms are approaching Floating Island."
Three, eh? Interesting. "Who are they?" I ask.
Well, that's a big help. "Are they Mobians or humans?"
"Scanning," replies the computer and begins researching.
I tap my left red shoe anxiously, eyes at the radar. "C'mon, stupid computer. I haven't got all day."
No reply yet, and I mouth cross remarks. Apparently, this is why Robotnik dumped them in the junkyard. They're too darn slow! If I don't get a response soon, I'll be invaded. These Time Stones cannot be touched by anyone, and I don't want 'em stolen just because some lousy comp's too slow to react.
No, Knuckles, calm down. You know how much computers can outwit you or abandon you. Never deem a computer useless or throw one away 'cause they may be a little slower than current ones. I need patience…if I still have any… Sigh. Maybe my conscience is right. I ought to respect my computers a lot more. I mean…it has helped me keep track of the Floating Island and help me guard it whenever I'm not inside the castle. Heck, it's helped me battle invaders before, so why scrap it now?
You know, maybe computers can be underrated…if I know how to use it…
"Three Mobians. One dragon, one squirrel, and one hedgehog."
Hmm. I don't know why they're coming here, but I better prepare my defenses. But at least I finally get an answer!
I get up from my chair and walk over to the end monitor, which is several feet away and next to the main metal door.
"Computer," I command and press a button with a spiked glove, "activate the fog barrier."
Okay. Now to pray that they don't find my island.
I sit back down on my chair again and continue to watch the radar. Slowly, they approach the Floating Island, and I curse myself inwardly. C'mon, fog. Make them get lost and have them away from here.
But much to my dislike, they creep closer.
Dang it! They've landed on the island! Dazed, yes, but not hurt. And now they're exploring it—
Wait a minute. How come they still feel like they're "back on the ground"? Heh-heh. Maybe I spoke too soon. The barrier may've tricked them or something; listen to all this mumbo-jumbo. This hedgehog and squirrel-girl are arguing a little about whether they're on the island or not, and the dragon's shaking her head at their bickering.
"I think I better find out myself," I hear the hedgehog quip.
I try my best not to chuckle, but a smile did crack through. Good little 'hog. Now run off the island along with squirrel-girl and take your little pet with you, too.
"Hold it, Sonic!"
That's weird. The dragon just spoke in this weird baby-ish drawl.
"Why hold it?" asks the hedgehog. "We're on the Floating Island, right?"
"Yep, but you're on the edge," says the dragon.
"Say, what?" Pfft. What an idiot, acting like he has no clue what this dragon's talking about.
Suddenly, I hear her inhale loudly… Once stopping, she exhales long and hard and starts to rotate counterclockwise. Meanwhile, I begin to feel a little nervous. This fog system of mine may not be strong enough to fight her fierce breath. Come on, fog, fight it!
—Unfortunately, my fog defense fails, and now they can see where they are…!
"Holy—!" cries the hedgehog and jumps away from the ledge.
"Good heavens," exclaims the squirrel, her fluffy head looking around. "It's so beautiful. I haven't seen something like this in forever."
Blue boy, though, isn't quite as interested.
"Yeah, yeah. It's nice," he replies and taps his foot; he makes a gesture towards my castle. "But we have a job to do, remember?"
I smash the side of my hand on the computer and begin swearing. These cursed Mobians seem to really be after my Time Stones; they haven't said it yet, but I know it. I can feel it within me.
I can't allow that to happen!
"Computer, prepare for an attack!" I command.
"Affirmative, Knuckles," responds the computer.
Good, I think and put on my earphones. Soon, they'll understand to not to trespass the Floating Island's ancient grounds.
Afterwards, I continue watching the screen and notice the squirrel and the hedgehog called "Sonic" converse with the dragon. When squirrel-girl asks her if the dragon will come with them, she declines and, instead, hangs onto a branch with her tail and falls asleep.
"So, Sal, you think the Time Stones are in the castle?"
"I wouldn't doubt it, Sonic," she replies and grabs onto his naked wrist. "C'mon."
As they approach the steps, I feel like yelling obscenities. I knew it! I just knew it. They are after the Stones, after all. Why, these no good, despicable, pieces of Mobian FILTH! How dare they… HOW DARE THEY?!!
"Knuckles, are you all right?"
I shake my hand vigorously. "Yeah, I'm fine," I reply with a groan. "Remind me to not pound you so hard next time."
"Sensors are functioning normal, Knuckles."
"Yeah…I understand." Or not. Computer language really befuddles me.
Bah! Never mind that. Time to refocus.
"Computer! Ready to attack?"
"Gargoyles are operational," it replies.
"Good," I say, black eyes on the screen. "Wait for the right moment…"
Once they touch the stairs and disagree on how they believe they're being watched, I laugh again. This is getting better and better. And with that dragon sleeping and suckling her thumb like a baby, I feel giddier. C'mon, little ones, just a little more…
The gargoyles growl, and the one of the right approaches them.
"Sal, grab on!" the wimp of a hedgehog tells the squirrel.
She grabs his shoulders, and they begin running around the island. The gargoyles respond by expanding their wings and flying after them. Keep going, hedgehog. Just run around the island like the blue chicken you are. Ha-ha-ha-ha!
"Dulce, help!" cries the hedgehog to the dragon.
"Dulce," eh? Sounds like a nickname this 'hog gave to the dragon. No matter. I'll leave her be. She doesn't seem to be much of a problem…yet.
The same goes for "Sal." Who names a girl "Sal," anyway?
"One…moment…Ma…" she replies slowly and remains sleeping, as if she didn't hear him.
Scoff. "Dulce" is just an innocent baby, just with an annoying drawl to boot… But "babies" are deceptive little creatures, so I can't be too cocky. "Dulce" is on my watch list…for now.
Meanwhile, I continue watching my gargoyles chase "Sal" and "Sonic." Hmph. From the looks of his speed, he can definitely be called "Sonic"…yet not at supersonic speed. Must be the heavy gut of his.
If he can't run that fast, then maybe I can capture them. Or better yet, boot them off my island—
I've got an idea…
"Gargoyles, kick 'em out!" I yell through the microphone. "Fly faster, my protectors! Make 'em leave and never come back!!"
"Sal's" and "Sonic's" eyes suddenly pop open.
"Sal, is it me, or did the gargoyle talk?"
"I don't know, Sonic," replies "Sal." "But I believe it did."
Scoff. Yeah… Like I care.
"…Sonic," she says suddenly. Her big, blue eyes stare at the gargoyles with great suspicion…as if she sees something within them… "I don't think the gargoyles really did talk."
"Say, what?" Sonic looks at her and makes a quick left.
"When you heard that voice, didn't it sound the same from both gargoyles?" says "Sal."
"Who cares?" Sonic cries and veers sharply to the right. Thankfully, my gargoyles keep on following him.
So Sonic and "Sal" want to not take my seriously, huh? If that's what they want…
"ACCELERATE, MY GARGOYLES! MAKE THEM REGRET EVER STEPPING FOOT ONTO MY ISLAND!!"
Sonic and his squirrel gasp immediately, and I laugh in delight. This is very good, indeed. The last they want to see is an angry guardian who doesn't like it when he's taken too lightly. Lightly's fine sometimes, 'cause teasing my enemies is so much fun, but if they ever want to blow raspberries at me and tell me to kiss their butts…then they'll really pay.
A gargoyle literally trying to bite "Sal's" head off… Now that's my kind of fun.
"Faster, Sonic, faster!" Sal commands to Sonic with panic. Not to worry, "Sal." You will go faster. Actually, Sal and Sonic, you'll have to go faster if you don't want me to kick you and your dragon off my island and away from my Time Stones.
"I'm trying, Sal!" Sonic cries out and turns around; the gargoyles continue to follow them.
"That's it, you two!" I encourage with a yell. "C'mon, my friends, kick 'em in the dirt! Smash their pea-brained skulls through the ground! Make 'em hurt!"
Suddenly, the gargoyle on the left raises its left front leg and begins to reach out. But just before he can swipe at Sonic, he dodges. No biggie, I think, as the other gargoyle attacks, too. Again, the hedgehog quickly maneuvers out of the way.
Hmm. I must say, for a bloated hedgehog, he's pretty agile. But my gargoyles can be and are quicker, especially with them flying and not running.
Suddenly, I hear them scream as they approach a big slab of rock. Unfortunately, they stop just in time and make a quick turn. Bother these intruders! Stupid little rodents! Sal and Sonic are sure stubborn, but scared witless… Heh-heh. Call me cruel, but I'll admit, I love it. At least my island ain't so boring anymore—
Did they just run over a tree?!
Okay. Playtime's officially over.
"GARGOYLES, DON'T MAKE 'EM RUIN ANY MORE OF MY ISLAND!"
"Ruin anymore?" Sonic looks up at Sal and whispers, "I only bumped into the tree. It's still standin'. Open your stony eyes and see it for yourself."
"SILENCE, HEDGEHOG!!" I roar. "You don't disrespect this sacred place like that. Even if you and squirrel-girl did not destroy one of my precious trees, you also want my Time Stones! I know it, I can hear you clearly!"
"How can ya?" Sonic taunts, glancing back. "You're just old, cranky, and weathering away like your ancestors!"
"HOW DARE YOU INSULT MY TRIBE AND MY GARGOYLES, YOU SORRY EXCUSE OF A MOBIAN!!"
One gargoyle tries to swipe, but Sonic speeds up a little more.
"As Guardian of the Floating Island, I hereby banish you and all those associated with you for all eternity! Gargoyles, do your worst!"
At once, the gargoyles roar thunderously at the runaways and soon emit very sensitive soundwaves, and I cover my ears to protect them. The hedgehog and squirrel howl painfully from the noise piercing their eardrums and use their free hands or clothes to cover their ears.
And, then, disaster strikes…for them!
Sal and Sonic lose their balance and start to skid hard across the dirt. Their yells are loud, but the waves really hurt. My gargoyles keep chasing them while still roaring their dangerous weapon.
Suddenly, they slam through a giant slab of rock…which borders around the island.
Immediately, the gargoyles disappear, and once the screaming and waves subside, the island becomes silent, as well.
Whew! That was rough, I think and put the earphones down. Stubborn Mobians wouldn't leave my island in peace. That they want my Time Stones. Ha! At least, now they'll know to never underestimate my power or the "ghosts" of the Floating Island ever again. And they'll return home with some well-deserved injuries, too…I hope.
I turn my attention to one of my screens, where "Dulce" is still sleeping, yet her ears are wiggling. Here, I crack my knuckles. My gargoyles won't kick her off. Not this time—
"Will you not rescue them?"
Oh, great. An interruption.
"Why, computer?" I ask. "They're intruders. I can't let them be here."
"But you do not want them to die, do you, Knuckles?"
I start pondering.
The island is about a few thousand feet high. Usually, it's moving all the time. Right now, the island is dormant only a few miles from Robotropolis, as the place here surprisingly is the coziest and warmest for bypassing animals (surprising, eh?).
Dormant…a few thousand feet high…and not far from Robotropolis.
Good echidnas, no!
The island's above ground!
"Maybe you should rescue them, then."
"Save your comebacks for later!" I reply hastily and put my earphones back on. "Reactivate my gargoyles and make them—"
"IIIII'm comin', Sally!!"
Suddenly, I hear that blasted drawl, and that baby of a dragon – "Dulce," I believe – fly off the tree and dive away from the edge of the island.
Ya know, even when you're forced to help, someone does it for you. And I can't say that's a bad thing, either, 'cause these vermin are still unwanted. As I said, as long as no one touches my Time Stones, I'm happy. That's all.
I turn to the computer speaker and drawl, "Yes, computer?"
"Can I set up the defenses?"
I ponder for a minute or two. "Do you think they'll return?" I ask curiously.
"I think they will," the computer replies.
Rats! These Mobians don't know when to quit, do they? Either that, or they're way too dumb to realize that my island and I hate intruders! Idiots, these Mobians! Every last one of 'em.
Sometimes, life really stinks…even when you want to begrudgingly help them.
"Knuckles, are you all right?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," I reply, ignoring the occasional casual voice. "Just wallowing in self-pity again."
"I can make you some tea," says the computer.
"Maybe later, computer, but thanks," I say, smiling. "Activate spiral maze, please."
All right, then. Now I just have to wait and see if this "Sonic" and the others arrive. Once they do, I'll be ready for them.
With that, I stand up and exit the room.