Inflicting the Roboticizer on herself was the worst moment of Bunnie;s young life, but she had taken it stoically, without complaint. When the deed was done, her younger self had passed out in shock. Just as well. Bunnie laid her there in the cleaning by the creek and finally destroyed the portable Roboticizer before flinging it back into the sink hole. The implications of everything were echoing now, like silent footsteps in an empty house.
She had called her mama.
And like that, the memories long forgotten came back and Bunnie realized the truth of what had really happened to her. It sank in, but tasted no better than knowing she had inadvertently destroyed all of the Great Forest and killed herself and Sally. She had vowed to set things right, but like Sally had before, she could not resist making a change and hoped for the best. It seemed so insignificant and yet it meant everything-perhaps it would make all the difference.
She made sure that Rosie found her prone younger self before finally placing the Time Stones together for the final time: "Knothole Village….3235.…Knothole Village…3235...Knothole Village…3235" Cautiously, hopefully, Bunnie opened her eyes again as the power of the Time Stones faded.
She stood just outside her hut in Knothole. The sun was shining, the Forest stood tall and proud. Her right and both her feet shone their usual dull metallic color. But…
Bunnie looked down. From her navel down until her legs joined to her loins, Bunnie was flesh and blood, in place of a cold, metallic womb. She yelped aloud and tears sprang to her eyes as she reveled in the sensations of having her lower torso made of fur and flesh, but steel. She looked around, trying to find a direction to run so she could find her friend when a voice suddenly found her.
"Not so fast, little rabbit."
Bunnie looked over her shoulder at the familiar voice. She stepped into the thick of the forest and found an elderly man with a long, white beard waiting for her. He looked down his long, crooked nose at her.
"Mah stars! Lazaar?"
The ancient wizard nodded and crooked one of his ling, bony fingers. "Come with me. A talk, we shall have."
He led her to a secluded trail in the Forest and spoke as he walked.
"A mighty river, is time itself. Impossible to control, but undeniable. When through time you went, stepped out of the river, you did."
"Ah did? Is that why I always had mah arms and legs? Even when ah was dead?"
"Know not what changes you made, but protect you I did. A simple spell, years ago, when I first sensed you stepping out of time. Protected you this spell did, to ensure you would remain unchanged."
"But why? Why help me?" she asked.
"Catastrophic, time travel can be. Lucky, was your princess and little thief, they did not influence events worse than they did. My job, it is, to keep things right." Lazaar pointed to the Time Stones in her hands. "Care if you use them. Gone, my spell is, and the next change your death may be."
Bunnie looked down at her robotic limbs and sighed. "Maybe one day. But ah don't think ah want to do this again. Like you said, it's too durn dangerous. Without me, everyone woulda died years ago."
"Then best, it is, for you to keep things the same. A warning, I came only to provide." Lazaar lifted his beard out of the way of his belt and pressed a button on his belt. With a flash of light, he vanished and Bunnie was left alone in the Great Forest.
She looked at the Time Stones in her backpack and realized she would have some explaining to do, but when she told Sally the story, she would understand. A personal doubt was no friendship lost amongst the Freedom Fighters. However, Bunnie had seen the terror wrought from a wrong decision. She knew better now than to tamper with the events of Mobius as they were played out. However, the temptation should never be there.
Deliberately, she smashed the Time Stones with her feet and then hurled the pieces into the Great Forest in different directions-her robotic arm flinging them far from easy reach. In years, their magic faded, they would be nothing more than simple stones amidst the Great Forest.
Nearby, she heard Sally's laughter and Sonic raised voice. She was near the bridge, where Sally was trying to get everyone to focus on the job at hand. Sonic was goofing off while Tails and Rotor laughed at him and Antoine fussed over their lack of focus.
Smiling, Bunnie ran over to meet her friends.