Sonic the Hedgehog
By Lucky_Ladybug

Notes: Nackie and Nic are Sega's (and Archie Comics for Nic)! Dr. Lilliput and his ant henchmen, Darkwing Duck, and St. Canard are copyright Disney! Steve Sloan and Cheryl are copyright Viacom! The story idea is from the movie "Dick Tracy Meets Boris Karloff"! Sam Spade, Sherlock Holmes, and Kasper Gutman are copyright ??? Everything (and everyone) else are mine! ^_^ Oh, and Diane the lawyer is named for my buddy Diane Olexa! :)

The mad doctor laughed maniacally as he waved a hand in front of the frozen bank teller's eyes. "Come, my beauties," he cackled, waving to the giant ant henchmen who were collecting money and jewels from the vault. "I have it now! My plan is brilliant! I will have money from every bank in Los Angeles—and no one will be able to stop me!"

Nack, walking past outside, happened to notice a guard standing at the window of the bank . . . and who kept standing there, not moving an inch.

"What in the . . ." He came over for a closer look. "That's the durnedst thing I've ever seen. . . ." He removed his hat, scratching his head as he looked through the window at the others in the room, who were also rooted to their spots and, apparently, not about to move. He also saw what looked like giant ants carrying bags full to the brim with jewelry and currency. Nack found all this strange enough that he wanted to investigate further.

Suddenly something cold and hard was thrust between his shoulder blades. "You, weasel boy," a low voice growled.

Nack, undaunted, reached around and grabbed the glass soda bottle. "Yeah? What do you want?" He found himself facing a huge ant.

"Ah, you don't scare easily," the ant observed.

"Of course I don't," Nack replied, his eyes slowly closing to half-open slits. "But I don't appreciate you pretendin' that soda bottle was a gat."

"You know we've been robbing the bank!" a new voice accused, and the mad doctor dropped down in front of Nack.

"Well, now, I did happen to see that," Nack admitted, keeping a tight grip on his stun gun. He had a feeling he was going to need it. "You don't honestly think you're gettin' away with it when I'm around, right?"

The doctor and his ant associates backed the weasel up onto the sidewalk. "Actually, weasel boy . . ." The doctor whipped out a strange-looking object that seemed to be a cross between a hair dryer and a pinwheel. "We are."

Nack instantly grabbed his stun gun, shocking an ant that darted out unconscious at the exact same time the mad doctor struck him with whatever was in the strange object. The stun gun fell from Nack's hand as the weasel fell forward, suddenly freezing in place, a blank stare on his face.

"Ha! Got him!" The mad doctor lowered the weapon, cackling and smirking as he placed the stun gun in Nack's holster. The weasel didn't even bat an eye.

"And he got him!" one of the ants replied, pointing to the ant that was sprawled on the grass.

"Well, pick him up and bring him along," the mad doctor replied with a wave of his hand. "Or leave him. I don't care—we got what we came for!"

The ants shrugged, then dragged the unconscious ant with them, leaving Nack stunned silly on the sidewalk.
"Look, Phil, I'll call you back when I have more information." The Arctic fox sighed as she turned her cell phone off. Phil, the reporter from the local newspaper, was always pestering her about her new cases as a defense attorney, to tell him about them before the general public found out. "You'll only tell them anyway," she always told him, "and right now, it's supposed to stay confidential."

Diane had just moved to Los Angeles to open her own law practice two years ago, and since then, she had become a noted lawyer in the city. She had seen many odd things in her time, from criminals stealing bathtub plugs to robbers getting stuck upsidedown and calling the cops for help. But suddenly she stopped short, appalled. A weasel was standing slumped over right in her path, his blank blue eyes staring off into the distance.

Diane's mouth dropped open. "What in the world??" She went up closer to him and waved a hand in front of his eyes, with no results. "Uh, hello?" she called. "Hello? Is anyone home in there?!?"

Receiving no response, she gently shook him, again with no response. "It's like he's petrified!" she exclaimed. "Or dead with his eyes open!"

Quickly she checked for a pulse, just to be sure. It was there, and beating steadily, but the poor thing's senses were simply not there, even though his eyes were open.

"I don't know how to deal with this!" Diane groaned. "I don't get it—he's unconscious, and yet . . . Who ever heard of someone falling unconscious standing up?!?"

Suddenly she heard footsteps and whirled around. A female weasel was standing there, a world-weary expression on her face. "Well, well, Nack. This is a new one," she said, her lips pulling back in a wry smile.

"You know this guy?" Diane gestured toward the paralyzed, blank-faced weasel.

"He's my brother," the female weasel replied, shaking her head. "What in the heck is he doing?"

"Nothing!" Diane threw up her hands in frustration. "Absolutely nothing! He's just standing here like some kind of petrified tree!"

The female weasel had to crack up. "Nic," she said when she'd finally got control of her emotions. "I'm Nic. Now, let's see here . . ."

Nic was actually quite worried inwardly. Nothing like this had ever happened to her brother before (or to anyone that she'd heard about, for that matter), and she had to wonder if he was alright. "Nack! Hey, Nack!" She stood in front of him and clapped her hands loudly. Nothing. Nic turned to Diane, raising an eyebrow. "He's alive, right?"

"Last I checked, he was."

Abruptly police sirens sounded off down the street and a car with flashing lights parked in front of the bank just down the street on the corner. Lieutenant Steve Sloan got out, surveying the area.

"Steve! What's happening?" Nic demanded. Steve Sloan was a homicide detective, so why would he be here? Unless . . .

"Someone called and said there'd been a strange robbery at the bank," Steve replied. "They weren't sure whether anyone had been harmed or not, and the Captain called me in." He paused, doing a double take. "What happened to your brother?"

Nic shrugged. "Heaven knows. This woman here . . ."

"Diane," the lawyer interjected.

"Diane here found him like this," Nic finished.

Just then Steve's partner Cheryl came out of the bank, looking confused. "Steve, you've gotta see this," she exclaimed. "Everyone in there is alive, but frozen in place!"

"You must be joking," Diane muttered.

Steve gave Cheryl a concerned look and followed her back into the bank, calling to Nic over his shoulder, "It looks like Nack wasn't the only one they got!"

When Steve came back outside, he looked tired and somber. "Just as I thought," he sighed.

"What?" Nic demanded.

"The Freeze-Frame gas strikes again," Steve said with a grim smile.

"Come again?" Nic asked, closing one eye and staring at him.

"Dr. Lilliput, a notorious guy who escaped from jail a month ago, has been using what the captain at my precinct has started calling the 'Freeze-Frame gas' because whatever it is freezes its victims in place—as you can well see."

"Durn idiots," Nic said, rolling her eyes.

"Let's not be so harsh," Steve replied, looking amused. "Very intelligent people have been caught with the Freeze-Frame gas. All the victims that the police department has spoken to have said that it hits instantly, with no possible way out at all. If you've been targeted and the gas has been let loose, you'll get hit, no matter how hard you try to prevent it."

"Alright, alright. Skip the lecture." Nic folded her arms, looking annoyed. "Are the victims okay afterward?"

"Generally, yes," Steve replied. "Though about a week ago, one victim developed total amnesia, and another severe migraines. Of course," he added, "there's no way to prove that those conditions were brought on them by the Freeze-Frame gas."

"How long does it take them to regain consciousness?" Diane spoke up.

Steve sighed. "It depends on the victim," he admitted, "and on how much willpower and strength they have. Nack here, I happen to know, has quite a bit of both."

"He's not bad," Nic replied flippantly. "But I'm better."

"Still the same old Nic," Steve remarked.

"We don't actually havta wait for 'em to wake up, right?" Nic's eyes glinted mischievously. "I mean, we can speed up the process, right?"

Steve gave Nic a stern look. "Just what are you thinking of doing, Nicolette?"

Diane, catching on, left, returning shortly with a bucket of water.

"Girl, you think like me," Nic said with a laugh, throwing the water all over Nack, drenching him.

The other weasel's eyes blinked and he coughed as he reached up to wring his hat out. "What the heck are you trying to do—drown me?" he sputtered.

"Nack, Nack, Nack," Nic replied, shaking her head slowly. "What kind of idiot are you—letting yourself be overcome with Freeze-Frame gas?"

Steve gave Nic a sharp look as if to say, "Remember what I told you."

"Ohh, is that what it was?" Nack said, his eyes narrowing.

"I didn't have any chance to get away," Nack growled. "He shot it at me before I could do a durn thing, 'cept stun one of his minions."

"Heh. You just don't wanna admit that you weren't quick enough on the draw," Nic replied, rolling her eyes.

"I've really gotta be going," Diane broke in. "If you're sure you're okay . . ."

"Oh yeah, I'm fine. And I did everything right," Nack growled. "I'm not as stupid as my sister would have you think."

Diane patted him on the shoulder, smiling. "I'll see you soon," she whispered, handing him a card with her name and business address on it.

As the weasel siblings continued to glare at each other, Steve tried not to laugh. "I might just try your solution," he said to Nic and Diane, going back into the bank to deal with the frozen victims inside.

"I'm gonna catch the varmint who did that to me," Nack vowed, placing his Stetson back on his head.

"Heh, or he'll catch you . . . again!" Nic returned.

"Nic, why don't you just can it," Nack growled.

"I'm the better bounty hunter," Nic insisted, tossing her head. "He'd never catch me like that—staring off into space like I didn't have a brain!"

"Alright, then, let's put it to the test," Nack responded, folding his arms. "We'll both go after Dr. Lilliput—and see who's able to avoid the Freeze-Frame gas!"

"You're on!" Nic nodded firmly. "But I'll get the reward money—you'll be froze up again, helpless!"

Nack resisted the urge to snap at her again. That's what she wants, he thought. Besides, didn't Sherlock Holmes have this trouble too? Heck, even Sam Spade got KO'ed by Kasper Gutman!
"What're we comin' to the golf course for?" Nic demanded. "I thought we were going after that funny mad doctor!"

Nack grinned. He knew something his sister didn't! "Dr. Lilliput likes the golf course," he replied somewhat smugly. "This used to be one of the ones he owned, 'fore he got thrown into jail the last time. He also had one up in St. Canard."

"Alright, alright. Now, we'll split up," Nic directed. "After all, we ain't working together."

Nack nodded, trying to hurry away before Nic could come up with another barb. He wasn't quick enough.

"I'll be seeing you around, Statue Boy," Nic called mischievously.

Nack pretended he hadn't heard.
"Ha! This is marvelous!" Dr. Lilliput giggled maniacally as the ants stacked up all the money in his old office. "I'll be rich! Nothing will stop me now! This is much better than the plan that involved shrinking buildings! And what's more, out here in sunny Los Angeles, I don't havta deal with that caped clown Darkwing Duck!"

"No, but you do havta deal with me!" Suddenly a female weasel dropped gracefully down on his desk.

"Who . . . who are you??" Lilliput asked, momentarily startled.

"Nicolette the Weasel." Nic blinked at him, holding her stun gun high.

"You look a lot like that guy I stunned silly the other day," Lilliput commented, no longer alarmed.

"I'm better than him," Nic replied.

"Oh really?" Lilliput half-closed his eyes lazily.

Suddenly half a dozen ants appeared, the one in the lead brandishing the strange pinwheel/hair dryer gun at Nic.

"Oh boy. That really scares me." Nic pointed her stun gun at the lead ant. "After I take care of him, I'm calling you out, Lilliput!"

"Be my guest." Lilliput shrugged. "NOW!" he yelled suddenly.

Nic and the ant both fired at the same time.

Several yards away, Nack heard the blood-curdling scream. "Nic!" he burst out, sprinting to the golf office and throwing the door open. Nic was standing on Lilliput's desk, frozen, her mouth open in a scream that had been silenced, her long braid stuck straight out in midair, her stun gun at her feet. A large ant was sprawled unconscious on the floor, obviously Nic's doing.

"She'll be alright," he said to himself, tipping his hat to her, then turning his attention to Lilliput. "Got my sister, I see."

"Ahh, you are related," Lilliput said, blinking slowly. "I thought so. You have the same fur, the same blue eyes, the same fang. And . . ." His eyes glinted rudely. "The same clumsiness. Neither of you can avoid my Freeze-Frame gas!" He cackled.

"Go on, hit me with it," Nack taunted. "You know I'll get frozen again. Hit me with it!"

Lilliput yawned lazily and reached down to grab the pinwheel/hair dryer gun. Instantly Nack had tackled him, bringing him to the floor.

"Get him! Get him!" Lilliput yelled at the ants.

The conscious ants leaped to attention, all ready to knock the weasel down for the count. Nack responded by shooting them all down with his stun gun.

In the ruckus, Lilliput lost the gas gun and frantically groped for it. Nack took the opportunity to turn the sprinkler system on, rousing Nic. "Sorry, Dr. Frankenstein," Nack said, grabbing the gas gun before Lilliput had a chance to get it back. "We're calling you out!"

Nic immediately sprang into action, retrieving her stun gun. At the exact same instant, she and Nack fired the various guns, first stunning Lilliput, then freezing him in place. He looked quite silly standing there with his half-closed eyes and the goofy expression on his face.

"Heh. We took care of him," Nack remarked.

"You did, anyway." Nic climbed off the desk, wringing her long braid out. "I wasn't a heck of a lot of help. Go on, say it." She sighed. "I wasn't able to avoid the Freeze-Frame gas either."

"You just said it," Nack replied. "Actually, I'd say we're even." He paused. "I'll split the reward money with you. You deserve half of it."

"I earn my money," Nic replied. "And I didn't do anything to earn half of the reward money on this job."

"Au contraire," Nack said, a twinkle in his eye. "If you hadn't shrieked out like you did, I might not have found Lilliput before he cleared out."

Nic turned to stare at her brother, a retort on her lips, which died before she gave it voice. "I'll consider it," she said slowly.

"Trust me, Nic, you earned it," Nack insisted.

Nic smiled. Should she tell Nack she had actually been worried about him when he had been struck with the Freeze-Frame gas? Maybe some other time. There was plenty of time for that, she rationalized.