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Duel

_______________________________________________________________
By K. M. Hollar

While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world contains us both...
While the one eludes, must the other pursue:
(Browning)
______________________________________________________________

Entry 1: May 30th
Sonic Hedgehog

Nobody knows what it's like to be hunted.

Today I had a lead of about two hours, so I stopped by a gas station out in the middle of nowhere to get some food. There were two other people in there buying junk--you know the sort--the folks on long road trips buying chips and Gatorade. They were so calm. They didn't watch the road outside the way I kept doing.

I think they noticed me, though. I was paying for my stuff, and I was looking over my shoulder just as the clerk handed me my change. I saw him reaching toward me and about jumped out of my skin. I don't like it when people reach toward me without my noticing. Particularly not lately. I didn't hurt him very badly--he was pulling quills out of his arm as I left.

But nobody understands what it's like to be hunted. Watching your back all the time, eating on the run, sleeping whenever you get the chance. There was one point at the beginning when I couldn't shake him, and I ran for three days and three nights. Do you know how tired you are after running for that long? And you're living in terror, because if you misjudge and stop running, you'll find his claws around your neck and that's the end of you.

I picked up this palmpilot from the garbage behind an electronics store in Soubaro about eighty miles back. It works, kind of, if you hit it in the right places. The screen has a big dent in it, but I'm not particular. Thought I'd keep a diary to keep from losing my mind. Who knows--I might get a good laugh out of it later. Like ten years from now.

If I live that long.


Log entry 1:
Mecha-bot 2--surname Metal Sonic

Status: Systems operating at 100%.

Priority hedgehog continues to elude my grasp. Primary mission: destroy him. Destroy him. Destroy him.

His speed continues to place him beyond my grasp, but he cannot hide at night. At night I can track his infrared signal for up to an hour after he has passed. It is currently 1400 hours. Sunset is at 2000 hours, and then I shall pick up his trail again.


Entry 2: May 31st
Sonic Hedgehog

I hate the nighttime. For one thing it's dark. For another thing, I want to go to sleep because that's been my habit all my life. You sleep all night and wake up when the sun comes up. That's what civilized people do, right?

Well, I'm not civilized anymore. Night is the most dangerous time for me, because Metal Sonic can track me and see me, and I can't see him. Heck, I can't even hear him half the time. He's so fast that he outdistances his own sound, so my best bet is to keep an eye out in all directions all times for a tell-tale plume of dust. Except that doesn't work at night.

I'm currently on the eastern borders of the Great Desert, dipping in and out of it. There's lots of space for running--nothing for miles but open rocky country and cacti--but there's no water and no shelter. I have to sleep during the day when I have a decent lead on Mecha. So I run from town to town, leading him after me. Thank goodness he's only after me, and leaves everything else alone. If he was attacking these poor people who help me, I couldn't live with myself. But he doesn't want to waste the time. I guess. I hope.

I've been on the run for three weeks now. Ever since Robotnik built that crummy robot and sent it after me. Robots don't get tired and they don't need food. I wish I knew what he used for fuel--he probably has a fusion core or something, which means he won't need to refuel for months.

I wish I had a fusion core.

I'm writing this from about a thousand feet above the desert floor. I'm sitting on top of a flat-topped rock they call a mesa, watching the sun rise. There's nothing moving for as far as I can see, and I can see a good hundred miles this morning. I hope running up the sides of mountains foils his sensors. Maybe I can grab a few minutes of sleep.



Log entry 2:
Mecha-bot 2--surname Metal Sonic

Status: Systems operating at 100%.

Lost the hedgehog shortly before dawn. The rising sun destroyed the infrared trail, and I hunted through the wasteland for three hours, seeking a fast-moving target. At 1000 hours I detected him on radar one hundred kilometers to the west. Pursued.

Hedgehog was nearly within my grasp when he noticed me. He fled at right angles to my course, and by the time I had adjusted my flightpath and returned to top speed, he had increased his lead to fifty kilometers. But he cannot run forever. The ambient temperature is one hundred five degrees Fahrenheit, which can be fatal to organisms if they are exposed to it for too long. If I do not destroy him, the elements will.

But I will have been the reason the elements destroyed him.


Entry 3: June 1st
Sonic Hedgehog

Dang, I hate that robot.

He chased me until about two o'clock, and by then it was so hot the rubber was melting from my sneakers. I doubled back and headed west. I've got to get out of this desert. I know that trees offer cover for him, but they also offer cover for me, even if I can't run so fast at a stretch.

At five PM I spotted a town and stopped for water. As you can imagine, I've drank every extra drop I was carrying. My lead wasn't very long--twenty minutes at the most. I went skidding through the doors of a grocery store, rocketed to the back and filled up my water bottle from a drinking fountain. Then I drank the whole bottle and refilled it.

From there I tore through the store, grabbed some food that I can eat on the run, and hit the checkout. I was watching the parking lot outside through the front windows and jogging in place as the clerk rang me up. I guess she noticed something, because she said, "Uh, sir, is there something wrong?"

"Oh no," I told her. "There's just an assassin tracking me and I'm not very far ahead of him. So I'm kind of in a hurry."

She gave me a weird look and handed me my stuff, and I was out of there. And just in time, too. As I hit the doors, I saw the rooster-tail of dust that was Mecha flying up the road toward the town. I ran for it.

It's now nine PM. After leaving that town--I don't even know what it was called--I found a highway and followed it for an hour. The trouble with highways is that Metal Sonic can follow me so easily he doesn't even have to use his instruments. So I left the highway and headed off into the sunset. The desert was beginning to have some scrubby trees and greener brush growing in it, so I figured I was coming to the edge. But I figure I have another two days to go, at least. Right now I'm camped out on a rock overlooking the highway, watching my trail. I'm tired, but I can't rest.

Oh dang, there's his afterburner light.


Log entry 3:
Mecha-bot 2--surname Metal Sonic

Status: Systems operating at 100%.

Pursuit of the hedgehog continues. I nearly caught him when he stopped for refueling, but he still managed to elude me.

Learning matrix processing data.

The hedgehog must stop for supplies periodically. Therefore I could stake out a refueling station and ambush him when he stops.

Problem. He runs in random directions, and his course is unpredictable. Perhaps if he enters more hospitable terrain I could predict his course more accurately. More data must be gathered.


Entry 4: June 2nd
Sonic Hedgehog

I've been running for thirty hours now. I'm taking a break high atop a tree, watching my trail. It's a little after dawn, and I'm so tired that my vision keeps blurring. Never thought I'd get tired of running. I could go to sleep on this branch here if I knew he wouldn't find me. But I only have about an hour's lead, and I need more sleep than that.

I want to go home. The Freedom Fighters will be worried about me, but I don't have any way of contacting them. Nothing short of going back, and I can't lead Mecha back there. All robots are programmed to destroy Knothole, and I'm sure he'd stop chasing me long enough to kill all of them.

I've made it out of the desert and into mountain country. Harder going, more trees, prettier scenery, water. Maybe I could jump Mecha and see if I could damage him. Might buy me some time. I've got to do something before I fall asleep on my feet and run right off a cliff.


Log entry 4:

Mecha-bot 2--surname Metal Sonic

Status: Systems operating at 100%.

Hedgehog is tiring. His speed has lessened as we entered the Anotempa Mountains, and I do not think it is from running uphill. His infrared trail is crooked and shows many halts. I am perhaps nearing the end of my quest. It has been three weeks--he has lasted longer than I

ATTACK MODE INITIATED

Log entry, two hours later
Status: Systems operating at 78%

The hedgehog did something I did not expect. I was nearing his position when he doubled back and charged me. His method of attack is to curl into a ball and strike his target with his spines, which, when spinning at high speeds, can puncture metal.

He struck me on the left side and knocked me into a tree trunk. Owing to the toughness of my chassis I was able to regain my feet and attack him before he had uncurled from his first rush. I tried to rip out his throat with my claws, as I am programmed, but he twisted away before the procedure was complete. I pursued, but he attacked me again. I scored a random hit as we collided, then the unarmored back of my head struck a rock, jarring my computing systems.

I have rebooted. Two hours have passed while my internal diagnostics repaired the damage, and the hedgehog is long gone.

Learning matrix processing data.

The hedgehog is dangerous at close quarters. I will not underestimate him again. He must be killed on the first blow, or I will take excessive damage.

I am also learning to hate him.


Entry 5: June 4th
Sonic Hedgehog

It's been two days since I could get this palm pilot to work. I got so much blood on it that it shorted out, and it had to dry, I guess. This morning I scraped the blood off the screen and it came on ... after I hit it on a rock a couple of times. I shudder to think what an electronics technician would think of my methods of tinkering with delicate machinery.

Anyway, I tried jumping Mecha and it didn't work too well. I knocked him down and he came up fighting. First he tried to rip my throat out, and when that didn't work he went for my eyes. I body-slammed him and he shorted out, and I ran for it.

Amazing how pain wakes you up. I'd been dead on my feet until then. Then I get a few holes in my hide, and all my energy came pouring back. I ran all the way over a mountain and down the other side, then realized I needed to do something to stop the bleeding. For one thing this palm pilot was soaked, and for another thing I was feeling woozy. No towns in sight, so I found a stream and cleaned up the best that I could. It's kind of hard to bandage your own neck, especially since you can't really see it, so I just plastered my neck with wet leaves and went to sleep.

Woke up the next morning feeling like crap. I climbed out of the valley I was in, spotted a road, and followed it fifty miles to a town that thinks it's a big city. It's all spread out in the hills, but they have shopping malls and factories and stuff. I went looking for a hospital and found one after an hour or so. I guess I looked bad, because cars kept slowing down as they passed me, and the drivers stared at me like I was walking roadkill.

Found a hospital and got patched up. Happened to look in a mirror and noticed this dirty, bloody blue hedgehog looking back at me and about jumped out of my skin. Then I wondered where Mecha was, and spent the rest of the visit jogging in place while the nurse tried to bandage my neck without throttling me.

That was yesterday, and I didn't see a sign of him all day. It made me even more nervous than usual, because if I can't see him or hear him, he could be anywhere--a million miles away, or watching me from behind the next tree. I climbed a tree and slept all afternoon with my spines embedded in the wood to hold me there. Then I ran all night.

That was yesterday. Still no sign of Mecha. It scares me. He was on my tail so much before ... so where is he now? I'm jumping at every rustle and crunch, imagining I hear the whoosh of air over metal skin. I think I'll run for a while.



Log entry 5:
Mecha-bot 2--surname Metal Sonic
Status: Systems operating at 89%.

Owing to damage I have not been able to travel at high speeds. However, the hedgehog left a trail of blood that I could follow by visual sensors alone. I tracked him to a settlement called Stony Gulch, where it appears that he received repairs and ceased bleeding.

I cannot find his trail by daylight. I must wait until dark to continue tracking him--he has concealed himself somewhere in this forested country, and there are too many other people in the area to identify him by scan.

Therefore I will take advantage of the six remaining hours of daylight to repair the damage done to my internal workings.


Entry 6: June 5th
Sonic Hedgehog

I've got to get out of these mountains.

I'm almost wishing I'd stayed in the desert. In the desert I could break the sound barrier when I needed to get away from Mecha, and I could lose him, or at least build a pretty long lead.

Here the terrain is rocky and covered in trees. The only place I can build any speed at all is on the roads, and as I've mentioned before, running from Mecha on roads is no good at all. He can track me without even trying. Not to mention that mountain roads twist and curve, so travelling over three hundred miles an hour means I risk flying off a cliff and falling a couple thousand feet.

This morning he caught me when I was checking my backtrail. He snuck right up on me and I barely escaped with my skin. I've got to get out of these mountains.

Wish I had a map. I seem to remember that the country levels out as you travel west, but I'm so far south now I can't remember what's on the maps. Wish I'd studied geography a bit more.

I'm sitting on a rock overlooking the highway. I have about an hour's lead, and I can see a couple turns of the road as it winds back up the mountain. I'll see him coming round the mountain when he comes ... not a nice thought.

This has to end soon. I was looking at my sneakers today, and the soles are wearing through. My sneakers are built for serious wear and tear--they have a ten year warranty, made for Mobians who are natural runners. These are only two months old and they're already wearing out. Guess I've been using them a lot lately, heh heh. Not only that, but my neck and shoulders are stiff from Mecha's scratches, which makes running harder.

I'm almost out of money, which means I won't be able to buy food anymore. The car won't run without gas in the tank. I've got to DO something to make him quit chasing me! But as long as he exists he'll chase me, because that's what he was built to do. Maybe he tracks my DNA or something. So I have to destroy him or die. At the rate I'm going, I'll run myself into the ground and die anyway, saving him the trouble.

Here he comes, and I'm off.


Log entry 6:
Mecha-bot 2--surname Metal Sonic
Status: Systems operating at 100%.

Repairs resulted satisfactorily. Resuming pursuit of target. Hunting him through mountain country is a delight. He cannot achieve top speeds, and when tired he conceals himself in the forest. When this occurs I muffle my engine and look for him on foot, a very amusing prospect.

At five AM his infrared trail left the highway and entered the trees, so I followed it as quietly as possible. I discovered him climbing a tree, looking back up the road. I concealed myself behind some brush and watched him. He is agile and strong, and seems at home among the branches. He climbed until I lost sight of him and had to use a scanner to detect him. He stopped only when the branches became too thin to bear his weight, and remained there for ten minutes.

I waited. My jet booster gives me limited hover capability, but I cannot fly, and I had no wish to attempt climbing after him. My body is heavier than his, and a fall might result in irreparable damage. Besides, I have studied his ways. The hedgehog cannot bear to remain in one spot longer than a few hours. I, on the other hand, have unlimited patience.

Ten minutes later he descended the tree, looking around cautiously as he went. I waited until he jumped from the last branch to the ground, and I charged while he was in midair. He yelled in surprise and bolted just as I slashed at him with my claws, but he was so quick that I only succeeded in pulling out some of his spines.

I pursued him back to the road, and for an hour the chase was very close indeed--there were many twists and turns, and he could not accelerate to top speeds. I nearly caught him three times. Then we reached a straight stretch and he escaped.

But only for a time. There is nowhere else to run in this wilderness except for on the road. I shall pursue him until he drops dead of exhaustion, and then I shall mangle his body for all the trouble it has given me.



Entry 7: June 6th
Sonic Hedgehog

Think, hedgehog, think. You have to outsmart him. You definitely can't outrun him, and the odds are against you outfighting him. He's made of METAL. As discovered, he'll rip bigger holes in you than you can in him.

But what can I do? I'm running out of resources, energy, everything. It's been a month. A freaking MONTH. Ever tried running for a solid month, and a little more? You get tired. Really tired. I have no clue where I am anymore, my nerves are so worn from being hunted that I can't sleep even when I do get the chance, and I'm conserving rations and therefore starving to death.

Two ways to win. Either he dies, or I die.

Well, my death isn't an option. So I guess it's him. But how can I kill him? No, not kill--destroy. He's a robot, not a person. So how do you destroy a robot? Crush it, tear it apart, burn it to death? All of the above are just a tad beyond my current capabilities. And the more I run, the less strength I have for any kind of fighting.

The last mountain I climbed had a pretty nice view, and I could see that the mountains are giving way into flatlands of some kind. I'll be able to run faster, but how can you run faster when you don't have the strength? I've got to think of something, and quick. After all, I have a reputation for quick thinking. But right now I'm so dang tired that I can't think of anything at all. Except running.

And I can't run forever.



Log entry 7:
Mecha-bot 2--surname Metal Sonic
Status: Systems operating at 100%.

Today the hedgehog simply ran for hours without stopping. I pursued, but there is little to report, other than location. We are nearing the western borders of the Anotempa Mountains. Sometimes the country beyond becomes visible between the mountains--scans indicate that this is Wefost, a small peaceful country bordered on three sides by mountains. The hedgehog will be able to outdistance me there, but he is tiring. And he needs supplies, for he has not refuled in several days.

I will try ambushing him at the first organic fueling station within scan range. I will let him believe that I am behind him, then circle around and beat him there, which I can do because my scans tell me where everything is. The hedgehog lacks scanners and therefore must hunt visually.

Perhaps I can do more damage to him this time. Being organic, he takes longer to repair himself, and I believe he is still in distress from our last encounter. However, next time we will meet on my terms.

Note: Kill him on the first strike to avoid taking damage.


Entry 8: June 7th
Sonic Hedgehog

Okay, I'm scared now. I wasn't scared before. Mildly worried, yes. Ticked off, maybe. Genuinely scared, no. But now I'm genuinely scared. Majorly.

This morning I finally escaped the mountains and headed down into farmland and marsh country. I decided to spend the last of my money on food, because I'm starving from all that running. I think blood loss may have contributed, too. So I went flying into town as the sun was rising and went nosing around for a grocery store.

Found one that was open and went trotting across the parking lot to the doors. There hadn't been a sign of Mecha, and I was feeling pretty good as I pushed open the doors and stepped inside.

And Mecha steps out from behind a watermelon display.

I broke the door off its hinges getting out of there, and from the noise I think he smashed right through it. I hit the road doing ninety and tore out across the fields on the other side of town, because I'm harder to track that way. But he was so close that he trailed me through two more towns before I spotted a little wood and ducked into the trees. That threw him off, and I hightailed it.

I have an hour's lead, but I don't know. I can't stop shaking. He was waiting for me. He knew I had to stop for food. He's HUNTING me. I can't get away from him. I can't get away long enough to rest or think or eat, he's going to catch me and

Calm down, hedgehog. He hasn't caught you yet because you still have the superior speed. He's just a robot, and therefore you can outthink him. Even when he starts showing signs of devilish intelligence.

Okay, think, man, think! How can you destroy him? What's around here that you can use? Lure him into a gas station and set him on fire? No, too risky ... knowing him, I'd be the one who gets soaked in gasoline. What about the police around here? No, no, what could they do against an assassin robot? He's almost too fast for me--he'd be way too fast for them. Probably kill them all without slowing down.

I've got to do something! I'm at the end of my rope, here! Do I fight him or what? But I can't fight him, he'll shred me! I've got to get out of here! But that's what I've been doing. Running doesn't work anymore. I have to try something else.

But WHAT? I've tried everything! And there he is, I must be going.


Log entry 8:
Mecha-bot 2--surname Metal Sonic
Status: Systems operating at 100%.

Ambush nearly succeeded. However, I showed myself while he was still near the exit, and he managed to escape due to his astonishing reflexes.

Another ambush will not work so well, for he will be on his guard. Our little chase has become a game of hide and seek, for he hid in an outlying forest and escaped my sensors. I lost an hour searching for him and discovered his trail near sunset as his infrared trail became visible.

Perhaps that is a new strategy. Cut him off from refueling. After a few days his systems will have burned off all extra fuel and he will collapse. Yes, that is the strategy I should have followed from the first. As long as he does not run too far ahead, I can cut him off from his fuel supply and force him to run until he can run no more.

And then I shall maul him.



Entry 9: June 8th
Sonic Hedgehog

Another day. I'm so tired. I've tried stopping to get food, and he's always waiting for me. I haven't eaten in ... two days? Three days? It's been a while. I'm beyond hunger now. Now I'm just exhausted and slowing down. I can't shake him off. I'm typing this on the comp while running. Seems like he's only gotten faster.

Never thought it'd end this way. But he who lives by running dies by it, right? Sonic the Hedgehog, died running from Metal Sonic, who was a little bit faster. There, I'm already writing my own tombstone. I can't give up yet, not while I'm breathing.

Later--

Okay, lost him in another stretch of woods. Got a few minutes to catch my breath and think.

Either he dies, or I die.

So what if I die?

I've spent a long time looking at that sentence. What if I died? Or ... what if he thought I was dead? Would he give up hunting me? Or would he shut down, or go back to Robotropolis?

Stands to reason that if I was dead, he'd stop hunting me. I know I'm beyond exhaustion because I'm actually considering this. But how can I fake death good enough to convince a robot? He has scanners that detect my body heat and respiration and stuff. I can't stop all that unless I totally disappeared. Jumped in a river or something where he couldn't see me anymore.

Jumped in a river.

Robots don't like water much. So what if I jumped in the water somewhere that he couldn't follow but assumed I wouldn't survive?

Of course, if he thinks I wouldn't survive, I probably wouldn't. I'm not the greatest swimmer in the world. But I have to try. And first, I need to find a river.


Log entry 9:
Mecha-bot 2--surname Metal Sonic
Status: Systems operating at 100%.

Hedgehog continues to slow down. He is weakening hour by hour--he can't stay ahead of me except in sudden sprints when I draw almost within striking distance. I keep him in sight at all times now. The end is near. Soon his blood will coat my claws and my mission will be accomplished.

Almost a shame, really. Hunting him has taught me much about the world and of how organics operate. When he dies, I will return to Master Robotnik for additional missions. The hedgehog is the closest thing I have to an equal, and killing other, less swift opponents will be much easier.

And then I will be the swiftest thing on this planet. The swiftest blue hedgehog, mortal or robot. It is a sweet thought.

But he must die first. Soon, very soon ...


Entry 10: June 9th
Sonic Hedgehog

Been following an aqueduct north to find its source. It comes out of a river, but the river isn't dangerous-looking enough. So I followed that upstream, and what do you know, it comes down out of the mountains over rocks that make some great whitewater rapids. Wish I had a raft.

Wish I could swim better.

Nothing for it now. I'm too tired to plan anymore. If this doesn't work, Mecha will get me, or the river will. Either way, I'll get some rest.

I'm gonna throw this palmpilot into some bushes where hopefully I can find it again and Mecha won't notice it. Ciao, little comp. Maybe I'll survive to find you again.


Log entry 10:
Mecha-bot 2--surname Metal Sonic
Status: Systems operating at 100%.

Hedgehog has been following a river upstream all day long, barely staying out of reach. It's tantalizing ... I can almost feel his body tearing apart in my claws. But I must have patience. He is stumbling in weariness, and soon he will stumble for the last time.

We are nearly to the mountains again. Surely he is not thinking of


...


Learning matrix processing. New emotion registration. SHOCK.

We had reached the edge of the bank beside the river, perhaps twenty feet above the water. Here the river is narrow and rocky, and the water is swift and loud. The hedgehog stopped--actually stopped--and turned to look back at me.

There was nowhere he could go, so I slowed to a walk and approached him. He watched me and said, "This is the end, Mecha."

"Yes it is," I replied, flexing my claws.

"Too bad you don't get to finish me off," he said, smirking.

"And what do you intend to do?" I asked. "Run some more? You are exhausted. You are beaten. Surrender and I promise you no more than thirty seconds of excruciating pain."

He smiled at me. By that time I was five feet away from him, and lifted a hand in preparation for seizing him. But I never got the chance.

Still wearing that smirk I despise so much, he spun and leaped off the bank. Being a powerful runner means he is also a powerful jumper, and he landed in the middle of the river. He was sucked under instantly by the current.

SHOCK.

I still feel it. I have run along the bank for three miles, scanning and rescanning the water. There is no sign of him. It has been more than twenty minutes since he went under, and no organism can survive more than two minutes under water. The water is so turbulent that my scanners do not pierce it very well.

He is dead. The hedgehog is dead. His body might wash ashore anywhere between here and the aqueduct fifty miles downstream. Or it might be pinned under a rock midriver and not surface for months. I am not setting foot in that accursed water to search for him.

Log supplement, 6 hours later

I have continued searching, and I am convinced that he is dead. My scans detected something floating on the current five miles from the point where he jumped in. A white object. One of the hedgehog's gloves. For it to be only five miles downstream means that the hedgehog is indeed lodged underwater somewhere, and the glove shook free only hours before I located it.

I am carrying it with me as a trophy to show Dr. Robotnik. I have completed my primary mission of destroying the Hedgehog.


Entry 11: June 10th
Sonic Hedgehog

I can't believe this computer still works. I dropped it doing fifty, and it came on as soon as I pressed the button. Next time I buy a computer, I'm definitely buying this brand.

I guess it worked. I thought I'd made a major mistake as soon as I jumped off that cliff, let me tell you. I came down right in the strongest part of the current, and it sucked me down like soap down a drain. Took ages to reach the surface again, and the water was spinning me and tossing me so much that I couldn't tell which was was up. The roar was deafening, and once in a while I'd hit a rock. Ouch.

I managed to get my head above water long enough to gasp in a few breaths, then it sucked me down again. I suppose it's a good thing I was under as long as I was, because Mecha was probably busy looking for me. I kept telling myself to grab a rock and hang on for a while, and I was nearly dead when the river whirled me around between some rocks in a quiet place. The surface was covered in twigs and dead leaves that the water had swept there. I held on to a rock and ducked under the floating mat, leaving just my nose and mouth above water.

I stayed there for hours. I might have slept. I was exhausted beyond exhaustion by that time, and hurting pretty badly from my little whitewater excursion. I'd open my eyes once in a while, check the sun, then sink back under the floating leaves. Once I happened to open my eyes and saw Mecha flash by on the bank above me. Still hunting me, eh? Well, I'd stay put and play corpse for a while longer.

As I lay there soaking, it occurred to me that he might hunt until he found my body. What if he was programmed to take my head back to Robotnik as proof of my death? That would suck.

So I pulled off a glove and threw it out into the current. As I watched it float away, Mecha appeared, flew out over the water and pounced on it. He flew back to the bank, where he examined it closely. I ducked back into the water and watched from as low as I could get without submerging.

Suddenly he held my glove above his head in a triumphant gesture, then turned and took off northward as fast as he could go. I wanted to laugh. He'd bought it. Sonic Hedgehog was dead. He'd won.

Let him think that. It'll keep him off my back.

I crawled ashore and slept on the bank all that night. The next morning--today--I limped back to where I'd dropped this palm pilot to see if I'd busted it up too bad. And it still works. Yay.

Footnote

So that's the end of this little account. I hiked back to civilization and got patched up, and made my way back to the Freedom Fighters. And what do you know? I got a good laugh out of this account afterward.

Of course, it'll be a lot funnier in ten years, when I finally beat Mecha for good.

______________
_______
Copyright information: Sonic and Metal Sonic are copyrighted by Sega. All other Archie references copyrighted by Archie Comics. This story is copyrighted 2004 by K. M. Hollar.
______________________________________________________________
A short story. Metal Sonic was created to destroy Sonic, right? So what if he immediately went after Sonic the moment he was set loose, and did not stop pursuing Sonic until Sonic was dead? Sonic is on the run and keeping a diary. Mecha is hunting him and also keeping a diary. Who will win?
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:icon1gamergirl:
1gamergirl Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this story! there should be a comic of it as well.
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:iconlight-dusk:
Light-Dusk Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That was epic
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:iconkirana44:
kirana44 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. Just...wow. I'm a pretty good writer, and even I'm not this good!
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:iconamalika:
Amalika Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2010  Hobbyist
It's quite a good story :clap:
But I think it would have been better to make two or three chapters out of it
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:iconstarway09:
Starway09 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010  Student Digital Artist
WOW! Awesome story. Sonic's quick thinking has saved the day once again!
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:iconwave-the-swallow:
Wave-the-Swallow Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2006
Try Tails and The curse of Sonic R!: THE TAILS DOLL. Try it!
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:iconredtailedhawk:
RedTailedHawk Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2006
Wow, I have read this about 20 times, sometimes on DA, somtimes on your website, sometimes on Fanfiction, and its still as good as when I first read it. This is one of my favorite stories by you, next to the Mecha Triolgy on Fanfiction. Kudos to you, it deserves a fav.
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:iconfire-mouse:
Fire-Mouse Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2005
^.^ I love it! *cackles maniacally* Long live the ingenuity of Sonic over Robotnik's machines!!!
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:iconmetallixgirl:
metallixgirl Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
LONG LIVE METARRU-SONIKKU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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:iconkirbychan234:
KirbyChan234 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2004
Dude...that was awesome....
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