The Case of the Abandoned Million Dollar Sacks

It was a lovely day in Station Square, and for Chris Thorndyke, it meant school was out for the summer. It was not going to be like any typical childhood summer for him, since his home was playing host to Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends. Perhaps it was going to be filled with testosterone and adrenaline, or perhaps it wasn't. Who knew?

For Sonic, it only meant taking the heat for a whirl, and the hotter things got, the more excited he was to thwart the threats of Dr. Eggman. Eggman saw it as the perfect opportunity to annihilate Sonic. It was a question of who could reach the goal first, but the public knew the answer to that was a no-brainer. And if they picked the wrong answer, they were likely to dubbed or depicted as anti-American by the beliefs of Leo the Patriotic Lion, who once praised Sonic for displaying red, white, and blue all over his body (including his shoes).

While going for a walk with Sonic's friends (minus Sonic, who was running around looking for adventure as he always did, and hiding from every potential photo-op), Chris tripped over a sacked and caught himself before hitting the concrete of the sidewalk. "Are you okay?" Cream asked as Cream got back up.

"I'm all right," Chris replied, "but what's in the sack I tripped over?"

"Let's have a look," said Tails as he opened the sack. To everybody's surprise, there was cash; $1 million to be exact. "Whoa!" he exclaimed. "We struck it rich! We hit the jackpot! There's $1 million in here!" Then he turned worried. "Oh, no. Someone's got to be in a panic here. I mean, this has to be cash that was lost, unless it's counterfeit money."

"Better check," said Amy. "No one in their right mind would leave $1 million of real cash in a sack like this. No one in their right mind would throw money away either, unless it's fake."

"But who among us can tell if it's real or not?"

"What about Silver? He's got those powers of telekinesis. He could tell, couldn't he?"

"He could, but I don't know if he's got more important things to worry about. Or has he solved the problem with Eggman Nega and Princess Elise?"

"He has, as he told me the last time he spoke to me."

"Great. Let's take the sack and have him examine it." The group walked off with the sack in search of Silver, with Shadow joining them along the way, saying he found a sack of his own that also had $1 million. "So that makes $2 million in total," he said.

"This is getting weirder and weirder," Amy made the comment. "What idiot is leaving these sacks? What if Eggman's trying to trap us?"

"It can't possibly be Eggman," Tails replied. "He's in prison after that case where he tried to heckle Leo the Patriotic Lion, and Leo condemned him to Alcatraz. If he's escaped, then it must be him, but if he's not, we'll be left unsure of what's happening."

By the time Sonic and Knuckles caught up with the group, Chris updated them on what was happening, and Sonic gave his input. "I thought I saw some story like this on one of those late-night news programs," he said. "Some rich psychologist who could afford to lose that much money set up an experiment by leaving a ton of cash in a sack and waited to see what happened. Some returned the fortune, and some didn't."

"Hmmm," said Tails. "This may be another one of those. But first, we're looking for Silver, so he can use his powers to determine if this is real or fake. We don't have time to go to an authority for this, as it could another trap of Eggman's."

"I hope not," Sonic replied. "Leo the Patriotic Lion sent him to jail just the other day, then praised me for my patriotic display of red, white, and blue. It's just a coincidence that's happened, but you know Leo."

"Mr. Stars & Stripes, as the Biker Mice call him," Knuckles added. "And that's a fact."

Just then, Silver seemingly popped out of nowhere, floating down to the ground. "You looking for me?" he began.

"Yes," said Amy. "Take a look inside these sacks. We can't tell if this money is real or fake, because someone left sacks of them lying in the streets, with no explanation why."

Silver examined the cash by observation and by his use of telekinesis and his other abilities. After a few minutes, he gave the report. "It's made with more content than the real thing. These are counterfeit all right! Somebody was either doing some experiment or was trying to frame somebody for robbing a bank. Either way, it's up to us to find out."

Back at the Thorndyke residence, Chris reported to his grandpa, Chuck, what happened, and Chuck recognized the spot where Shadow found his bag. "Chris, you've uncovered a mystery, all right," he said. "Based on the locations you told me, I only recognize the spot where Shadow found his bag, and I can conclude there was a recent wave of lost bags full of counterfeit money. But all I can conclude is that this crime has no explanation. Some psycho is just littering, that's all."

Soon the search began, and it felt like everybody was running at top speed and going nowhere fast. Then, at a crucial moment, the group came across a trail of counterfeit dollar bills. "Better follow it," Shadow spoke up. "It could be a clue."

The group crept stealthfully along the trail, following it right to the end. Chuck was driving his convertible slowly so Chris could keep an eye on the trail. Unfortunately, it led them to the one spot they weren't counting on.

"It took us to the desert!" Tails exclaimed.

"Why would it take us here?" Sonic asked.

"I got a bad feeling about this," Chris replied. "Look!" Everybody turned in time to see an approaching squadron of robots. Eggman was nowhere in sight, however, which surprised everybody. Not wanting to wait, however, Sonic turned into his trademark spin and crushed all the robots to their doom. Out of the main robot fell one of Eggman's cronies, however, so it was proof it was his plot.

"Bokkun!" Knuckles exclaimed.

"So it was you and your obese boss that was behind it!" Shadow added sternly.

"Don't touch me! Don't touch me! I'll blow you up!" Bokkun threatened. "It's not my fault Eggman's still in prison! All he wanted to do was distract you while he escaped."

"Well, you just tell him he's not leaving. Not with us on the job, much less Leo the Patriotic Lion!" Sonic replied. Bokkun started crying, as the mere thoughts of Leo gave him nightmares. Silver grabbed him, punted him like a football, and sent him to the stars before he could escape. "Whoa! I didn't even know my own strength!" he exclaimed.

"That's the best punt I've ever seen, and it's not coming back!" Chuck made the comment. "Well, now that we solved the mystery, what should we do with the fake cash?"

"What would Leo do?" Amy added.

"Let's ask him and find out," Sonic replied. He led the group outside of Station Square and over to one of its neighboring cities, Wildcat City, the metropolitan wonder that was Leo's home. When Sonic and the gang stopped by Leo's house, it was 11:45 a.m., and Leo was finishing some yard work of his, and was about to put his things away and eat lunch, though he was going to end up doing with Sonic and the gang. He was more than thrilled to see Sonic and the gang, however, considering he didn't see them as much as some other contacts of his. While he didn't enjoy unwelcome guests, Sonic and friends were always welcome with him.

"Hey!" Sonic called with that famous smile of his. "How's it going, Leo?"

"Fantastic," Leo replied, smiling back. "So glad to see you, Sonic. One of these days, I ought to be seeing you carrying the flag with you. What can I do for you?"

"We found these two sacks of counterfeit money that total $2 million. Shadow, show him."

"Here's the sacks," Shadow announced, showing Leo the cash. Leo took a look at it, using some his own equipment to investigate while listening to Silver's conclusion. "Silver, your powers do you no wrong," he congratulated. "These are piles of funny money, meaning fake money if you've never heard that expression before. The best advice I can give you is to throw them in the compost heat. Follow my Patriotmobile here, and I'll show you where it is." (The Patriotmobile was Leo's high-tech crime fighting automobile that he occasionally used in battle if he wasn't fighting on foot, or as he considered it, on paw.)

The group followed Leo to the compost heat, and Sonic and Shadow deposited it and watched its destruction. Then everybody went to eat lunch at the nearest diner.


Sonic the Hedgehog © SEGA

Biker Mice From Mars © Rick Ungar, Tom Tataranowicz, Tom Tataranowicz Animation, Brentwood Television Funnies

Leo the Patriotic Lion © me