© Cybernetic Wrath
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July 1, 2107 – Four Years Ago
The outskirts of what was once the planet Mobius' largest and most vibrant city, Mobotropolis, was in shambles with the majority of the old city's buildings demolished, with the remains scattered all over haphazardly. It was surrounded by a giant perimeter fence which had all the trimmings typical of its paranoid and insane chief occupant of fifteen years. The fence itself was electrified, and that included the razor-sharp barbed wire at the top, and that was only for starters. Hidden in the ground, and disguised as rubble were automated gun turrets. Inside the city at certain checkpoints were long-range missile pods, surveillance equipment and E-series robot troopers, some of them specially modified to be snipers, all looking outwards. It would be suicide to try to get in that way.
Which was why Freedom Fighters Squad Zero was slogging through the sewer system, having breached it after infiltrating the long empty hydroelectric dam that was positioned on an island in the ocean. The sewer system was guarded by water-dedicated hunter-killer robots which roamed through the murky, stagnant water that was still contained within the sewers. There was also smaller cousins of the perimeter turrets hidden in the walls. This would've have been suicidal as well, but less risky than a direct assault on the perimeter. On the other hand, Squad Zero had a trump card hidden up its sleeve.
More accurately, it was in the center of the procession, with a grimace on his face as he wiped his gloves onto the legs of his fatigues. Their trump was otherwise known as Miles “Tails” Prower, undisputedly the Freedom Fighters' best tech specialist. Prower was what the humans called a Mobius fox, as he looked very much like a humanoid version of the four legged canines. He had pale fur that was a combination of orange and white, the white starting from his muzzle and going down to his chest, abdomen and upper legs, with some of it on his arms and feet.
He also had pale yellow hair on the top of his head, the front of it ending in bangs. His fatigues were in digital camouflage patterns of white, gray and black, his pants soaked in sewer water. Rubber insulated boots and the inner layer of his pants kept his feet and legs dry for the most part. Strapped onto his back was a large backpack which contained his computer, a heavily modified Earth-made laptop, as well as various diagnostic equipment and hand tools. The final touch was the holster strapped to his belt, in which an old Heckler & Koch USP .40 was locked in. It wouldn't do him much good in a combat situation, which was why the squad had him surrounded. Every one of them would put their lives down for him in order to let him do what he needed to do. Especially the unit leader, his best friend Sonic.
Sonic was a Mobius hedgehog, leading the pack as he usually did, with no weapons in hand, in his belt or in his own pack. Sonic's weapon was the sheer impact of his body coupled with his extraordinary speed, becoming a blue furred cannonball which if he struck the right place, could take down a heavy assault E-series variant. Sonic wore the same digital camo fatigues that Tails and the others had, but instead had shorts instead of long pants. He shuddered as he his socks and shoes were drenched in the dirty water. He then turned around and walked backwards. “Remind me why we have to do this within Mobotropolis instead of doing it from some communications station. My feet are soaked.”
“Guess you should've worn boots like the rest of us,” a red echinda clutching a sniper rifle said. It was Knuckles, Sonic and Tails' other close friend, the unit's sniper (and cynic). “Then again, you'll just find some other reason to whine.” The other anthropomorphs chuckled, causing Sonic to narrow his eyes.
“We can't do it at any comm station because for one thing, it'll be harder for the virus to spread, as Robotnik could just isolate it to a certain sector. If we do it here, I could give it full access to everything and possibly lock him out. Then when everything's down, we can make the physical grab,” Tails said.
“Define everything,” Sonic turned back to the direction the others were facing.
“Optimistically everything connected to his network, planetwide. But if we lock out just Mobotropolis, we should be good as long as we grab Robotnik. Speaking of which, I think it's time to do a scan,” The fox then stopped and one of the other squad members walked up behind him and opened up his backpack, removing his computer and putting it in his hands. The squad member then zipped the backpack up and returned to their position.
“Thanks,” The fox then opened up the black, squarish clamshell and powered on the system. Within a few minutes, its operating system was loaded. Tails then loaded up his self-designed network probing suite, patched together from information gleaned from captured robots and risky hacking runs. Another program, born from the fruits of that same research was buried deep within, waiting for a later time to be released. That was the virus that would hopefully bring an end to Dr. Ivo Robotnik's years of terror. Tails called it Dixie Flatline, naming it after the ROM construct in William Gibson's novel “Neuromancer”, in which he carried a 123 year old paperback copy in his backpack. Flatline was once a human hacker named McCoy Pauley, who had survived being “flatlined”, or rendered brain-dead by ruthless artificial intelligences until his heart (instead of his rock solid brain) decided to flatline itself. So Dixie was made into a close-to-immortal ROM construct by Sense/Net and would be used by one of his old friends, Case the protagonist, in order to tackle one last job, one that would result in Dixie being used in a sacrifice move with a virus.
Just as what they were doing right now. While Tails didn't like the idea, if he and his friends had to die in order to secure Mobius' future, then he would accept it, just as his father did in order to make sure his newborn son lived. It was here in the underground where General Amadeus Miles Prower, the deputy chief of staff of the Mobian Army would be attacked by hunter-killer robots that had just killed Tails' mother Rosemary, and would be crippled, but able to shield his son long enough to get him to his adjutant, Sonic's father Jules. Miles couldn't remember his father very well, but he was able to find out that he was the one who Ivo Robotnik, then the lead scientist for the Army's new Robotic Infantry Command, answered to. Robotic Infantry Command was made almost entirely of robots, including robots that maintained and repaired other robots. In a bid to seize power, Ivo locked the Army controllers out of the command and control network (the very same network they would be trying to shut down, albeit heavily expanded and fortified) and sent the robots out to do his dirty work. He would be confronted by his former boss, who tried to detain him in order to restore the network back to its previous state. But Ivo would have the upper hand, escaping after shooting General Prower in the eye, blinding it.
Tails narrowed his eyes, deep in thought as he searched for the presence of the network. There was a faint connection, one that he couldn't manipulate yet. He closed the computer and held it with both hands as they kept moving.
Unaware of what was taking place beneath him, the lone free human occupant of Mobotropolis (or Robotropolis as he called it), Dr. Ivo Robotnik, was watching the various monitors of the security checkpoints set up throughout the ruined city. Every so often, he'd compulsively check the direct feed from certain robots, and then look over their operating systems and find some sort of flaw that needed patched. Always adapting, always watching, always paranoid and always insane. Robotnik was a short, 35 year old man of undetermined bulk, prematurely bald, save for his long brown mustache. He wore special pince-nez that shielded his eyes from both the sun and other things like the spark of the welding equipment in the robot factories. Years ago when he was 20, working as the lead scientist of Robotic Infantry Command, though he was still short, he was at peak physical condition, thin and slightly muscular instead of fat and he had a full head of hair. Now as time went on and his empire became more automated, day after day, all he did was sit at his monitoring station, eat, sleep and go down to the containment pens in order to torture a prisoner or two, human or Mobian.
Ivo got out of his chair and walked over to two upright android mannequins. The first one was of a taller, thinner and older man who resembled Ivo, bald except for a white version of his long mustache, wearing pince-nez like him, but instead of wearing a red jumpsuit, he wore a turquoise turtleneck under a white labcoat and had one hand raised in a defiant gesture. The other was an even taller man with slightly grayed blond hair, a full beard, wearing a dark blue dress shirt, a light blue bow tie and a labcoat like the man beside him, his father. This mannequin had its arms crossed, always looking at its viewer with a very displeased look on its face.
“Look at me now!” Ivo raised his arms up in the air. “I did it! I seized control even though you told me it was morally objectionable,” He then pointed at the first mannequin. “I have no needs for your moral excess baggage, Grandfather.” He then pointed at the other mannequin with the same finger. “Nor yours, Uncle. You were wrong. It is our destiny to dominate these inferior creatures. And it was my destiny to prove it, to prevail and to rule.”
Ivo then went back over to his control station and opened a drawer, pulling out the very same gun that he used to blind General Prower. He then walked back over to the mannequins, extended his arm to full length, pressing the gun up against the android's nose and fired, causing various components to explode out of its skull, scattering across the floor. He then lowered the smoking gun and leered at the other android. “I think it would be more fitting if I did this to you in person, Uncle. It would be fitting for you to lose your own life after you've lost everything else, wouldn't it? Won't be long now. Your precious daughter doesn't have much time left. She'll be joining her mother, and I hope she leaves screaming. I wish I could be there. It'd be music to my ears.” He then laughed sharply and returned to his station, unaware that through the ruckus of destroying the first android, that Tails had disabled the command and control network in the sewers.