Chapter 1: Protect and Defend
The cold tundra wind blew through Snow's fur as he stared out at the silent, bare, iced over ocean of the Alpine Tundra, the boundary that separated his home from the rest of Holoska and beyond, to the Arctic Tundra. He growled within closed teeth and his tail flicked back and forth. How he hated the Arctic Tundra Freedom Fighters that had always gotten in their way and doubted them for their skills. But, maybe later he could think about it, for right now, Snow's priority was clear. His freedom fighters had gotten word that the Alpine Dark Egg Legion was attempting to cross the White Sea and invade the local fishing town of Alpine Holoska. Even if Snow disliked humans, as a freedom fighter, he had a duty to protect, and as the loyalty in his dog genes went, he was obligated to acknowledge them. And why they'd attack a small, meager town in the middle of nowhere was beyond him. He had positioned his team around all four corners of the area, so if the Egg Army got anywhere close to them, they would send out a signal, and help would soon arrive. Snow tilted his head to the side and sniffed the air. Nothing yet. Suddenly, quietly, his ears caught the running of big padded feet and, that's when he smelled them. He grinned and let out a loud, bellowing howl to the sky.
The Army was coming.
The Egg Boss of the Alpine Dark Egg Legion, a tall, big, white polar bear with a blue snow jacket and goggles peered through his binoculars at the island a couple of miles away from his men, that they had orders to attack. He didn't doubt Eggman's superiority, but recently, he and the other Egg Bosses had come to an agreement that Eggman was going a bit, insane. And with that in mind, that made him worried. Worried that Eggman's sanity was dwindling away, and soon, very soon, he might lose it entirely. And that was something Egg Boss, Nathan Polar Bear, knew could happen any day now. Any month. Any year. All that was left, was time. Through his binoculars, he scanned the landscape, searching for anything that could pose a threat to his men and their mission. Their orders were to go to the town, raid the houses and search the rooms, for a valuable object. An object of great power and importance that would benefit the Eggman Empire in their search of world dominance. Suddenly, a loud howl filled the sky and Nathan swiftly turned his head in the direction of the howl. There, he saw it. A white wolf, well camouflaged to fit the snow covered environment, wearing black cuffs, white gloves and blue and white boots. Nathan recognized the wolf immediately as Snow the Arctic Wolf, the Freedom Fighter of the region. Nathan gritted his teeth. Where there was one, there were the others not too far behind. He yelled out to his men, who composed of cyborgs and robots alike, to stop and await orders. They complied and paused in their march, their laser guns perched on their arms and their eyes directed at the island. Nathan looked through the binoculars again, only to find the young wolf sitting on its perch, looking out at the army, not moving a muscle, save his tail.
"What is he up to?" thought Nathan aloud as he continued to watch Snow from afar.
"What's the matter Nathan?" asked a static voice from a walkie talkie attached securely to Nathan's jacket.
"I see the wolf kid." "Do you see the others?" "Negative." "Well, send the robots out to surround the island. We'll find them." The walkie talkie resumed to silence.
Nathan turned to the robots. "Robot squadron circle the perimeter!" The robots, who had a strikingly similar design to Metal Sonic, though with silver-white metal and red eyes, and Silver Sonic, stepped forward and saluted Nathan. "Affirmative." and then rocketed themselves (the bigger ones walked) towards the island.
Nathan watched the robots as they started to surround the island. He peered back at Snow, which had not moved from his stationed spot. He knew Snow and his "special abilities" well, and he knew that he was not someone to be messed with.
But, the real question on his mind was, what was Snow going to do?
Snow watched the robots as they circled the island. His senses were tingling like crazy, and all he could do to keep himself from detecting a hint to his enemies of what he was going to do, was wag his tail back and forth slowly and keep his mind clear, focusing on the only things he could focus on: the robots, the danger, and his mission. He'd protect this town, no matter what. He yawned and twitched his ears. The huge Silver Sonic robots in front of him stopped several feet from the island, their silver bodies as still as the frozen ice below them. The smaller robots had disappeared in the trees, but Snow could still here them as they propelled themselves around the perimeter of the island. Somewhere, on the three other sides of the island, Snow knew his friends were looking up at the sky and the looking out at the frozen sea before them, watching with growing impatience as the robots closed in. They surely had gotten the signal by now, and were preparing for a fight. There was just one problem however. This was an army they were up against, and there were only four of them! Even if they could take out the robots, the cyborgs would be another problem. There were only four Silver Sonics, and twelve Metal Sonics, and a lot of cyborgs. So, what odds did they have? One. Him.
The wrist bracelet that Priscilla had designed for each member of Snow's team started to beep and Snow glanced at it. Lea's voice came on. "Snow? Snow you there?" Snow looked back up at the robots.
"Yeah." "Do you see the robots in your area?" "Yeah." "Have they moved yet?" "No." Lea sighed. "That's good to know. Angus and Ava said the same thing." There was a pause. The Silver Sonics were as still as statues.
"So, what are we up against?" Lea finally asked. Snow's ears twitched as the robots chests turned inside out, revealing chest laser cannons. Snow rolled his eyes at the robots. Seriously, this is the BEST these guys can come up with? He slowly got up and stretched.
"Well, I see four Silver Sonics up here at the front, twelve Metal Sonics surrounding the island on the three other sides. And it looks like the second wave is composed of a whole lot of cyborgs."
"I need specifics Snow! Be serious!" "I am serious. I can only see the front of the wave, I don't have super vision!" Lea complained loudly on the other end of the receiver and Snow rolled his eyes. "Aw! Leave him alone Lea! He's got this! He can handle four mean scary robots. Are you saying you can't?" a groan from Lea confirmed Snow's thoughts that Angus was on the line. Snow quickly sidestepped as a Silver Sonic fired a laser beam at him, melting the snow and dirt where he first was. He bit his lip. "Ooh! You missed!" and sidestepped a second time as another Silver Sonic attempted to blast him.
"Guys! They've started to launch the attack! Get ready to fight!" from the other end he heard his friends echo, "ROGER!" and then the bracelet turned off.
Running on the ice, using his claws to apply friction, Snow charged headlong at the robots.
Ava looks around her surroundings as Priscilla and Harriet attack the robots. There were only four robots, which was enough for them to handle. Priscilla had already taken one out, and Harriet had beheaded one, so that left two more to deal with. One of the Metal Sonics was approaching her now, its claws stretching out to grab her, squeeze her, and tear her to itty-bitty bits. "Well, hello there Robot." she looks at the robot, head tilted and smiling at it.
Ava was never one for fighting, she was inclined to peace, not war. The robot took another step, its shadow hanging over her. It raised a claw to strike her, but Ava didn't move. From behind her, she could hear her friends as they slashed and struck the robot's companion. The robot in front of her swung its hand down to strike, but Ava didn't move. She smiled up at the robot. "It must be nice having your metal siblings to watch your back, isn't it?" The robot pauses and looks at her, its claws hanging a few inches over her head. "Why aren't you scared?" Ava smiles innocently. "I'm just not scared of you."
The robot withdraws its claw, and slowly slides it around the seal girl's throat. Ava flinches as the metal touches her skin, but she doesn't move.
"AVA! What are you doing?!" Priscilla, a white and black speckled owl calls to her. There was then a swooping noise, followed by a slicing noise as metal sliced through metal, and then the Metal Sonic in front of Ava lay in front of her feet, its body sliced and diced to pieces. Priscilla hovered next to Ava on her Extreme Gear. Her face was filled with anger and concern. "You need to be more careful Ava." Ava giggled and smiled up at Priscilla. "Silly owl, I'm always careful." A sweat drop rolls down Priscilla's head. "Yeah, sure you are kid." "Hey guys!" Both girls turn to Harriet, a snow white hare with black tips on her ears. The hare points out to their side of the White Sea. The second wave had begun to move in.
From another side..
Lea dodges and kicks a Metal Sonic in the chest, while throwing another one onto the laser shield, burning its body entirely. Her bracelet turns on, and the least of her annoyances of the day came on. "Hey fox-breath!" Lea rolls her eyes, using her special ice-manipulation gloves, to form an ice spear, throwing it at a robot, impaling it all the way through the head. "Hi Angus." She says in a cold, icy voice. From behind her, a Metal Sonic shoots a laser beam at her, which she reflects back at it with her laser shield. "I bet I'm getting more kills than you Miss High-'nd-Mighty." Lea sighs, throwing her head back, her hair flying out of her face.
A Metal Sonic's hands convert into buzzsaws, and it charges at her. Lea forms two ice swords and runs at the robot. "It's not about competition Angus. We're trying to protect these people you know." On the other end, Angus groans and then shouts, "Hey! What'd you do that for?!" and then replied with a grunt, "I know. But when I find what we're doing is too serious, I can't focus and- oh no.." Lea's ears flick and she hastily parries as the Metal Sonic swings its saws at her. Lea swings her other sword down on the robot, slicing its head off, and then finishes with burying her sword into the robots chest, twisting and turning it till the gears squealed and died away.
"What, is it Angus?!" She growls out of impatience and irritation. There was a long pause, and Angus replied slowly, carefully, his voice barely a whisper. "The cyborgs are coming." Lea gazed out across the ice sea. A spark of fire lit her eyes. A smug smile creeps along her mouth and she pushes her streaming hair out of her eyes. "Bring it on."
Amid a pile of robot scraps..
Angus watches the cyborgs as they first marched, and then ran towards him. Each one was armed with a laser gun and/or a rifle. He was pretty sure he could see their faces hidden and distorted underneath the metal masks they wore. Many were ermines he noticed from his childhood, many he had never noticed until now. Tears came to his eyes and rolled down his cheeks, freezing into ice sickles before hitting the snow.
"Come at me Eggman! I'm ready to take you out!" He swings his laser beam sword around like he had seen it done in Star Wars movies. "May the force be with me!" And, without a second thought, Angus charges into the army of cyborgs, ice sickles rolling off his face and hitting the ice below him.
Meanwhile, Snow was..
Snow jumped from one robot to another, his mid were-wolf form currently in motion. His mid form was smaller than his full form, but also bigger than his normal form. He slashed the Silver Metal Sonics, made them blast themselves and each other with their laser beams, and was actually handling the situation pretty well, until..
The second wave!
Snow heard them before he saw them, marching towards his area their guns loaded and aimed directly at him. Growling, he reached his full form, finished off the remaining robots, and ran back to the shore. His breath came out in a cloud of mist, and his eyes glared at the advancing cybernetic soldiers. His face was so fierce, so covered in rage, that no one would have guessed or even hinted, his growing fear. Fear, that his team might not win after all. He suppressed a wine, and prepared for the coming wave.
The island was in the midst of heated battle. All four sides were facing battering attacks from their enemies, who ever so steadily, continued to close in. By now, the villagers had either heard or recognized what was happening, and were either attempting to hide, or attempting to escape from the danger. But, whether this was going on or not, neither Snow, nor his friends, could have known, and neither could they have cared. Each friend, no matter where they were, was fighting to the last straw. Neither backed down, and neither gave in to the cybernetic Egg-soldiers. Snow, now in his full werewolf form, fought against all who got between him and the land, tearing and crunching through cybernetics as he went. Many screams and shouts of either pain or a call for assistance escaped the mouths of those unlucky victims. But, though many got close and fired their laser and freeze guns at him, none of the soldiers managed to pull the trigger in time, for the furious fur ball lunged at them in a flurry of claws and teeth, knocking the soldiers back like they were nothing.
"BRING ME THE WOLF-BOY!! What are you fools doing?!" Nathan growled at his soldiers and shook his fists at them, his mech walking along the surface of the ice, making slow, but gradual progress.
"Sir, he's tearing us apart!" A soldier saluted him as he passed, revealing a torn off hand joint that sparked at the ends. (Literally.)
But Nathan Polar Bear ignored this remark. Banging his fists ungently on the mech, which shuddered as the blows fell, he shouted at the fallen soldiers and those who still stood, his bared fangs showing. "GET UP YOU FOOLS!! GET UP AND FIGHT! FOR THE EGGMAN EMPIRE!!" This was followed by a repeated chorus. "FOR THE EGGMAN EMPIRE!" And then, those who had fallen struggled to their feet and marched towards the enraged were-wolf, who still continued to destroy the surrounding soldiers, his growing fear and uncertainty hidden in his eyes and ferocious face.
Nathan smiled an evil, knowing smile. Snow was losing terribly and he knew it. Nathan knew it in his polar bear genes, under rows of rows of ancestral history that spanned from the war and on. His kind were known for their deadly, even terrible strength and policy and this was a trait he was neither ashamed nor proud of. But, in the Eggman Empire, this willingness to use force to achieve his, and the Empire's own means was required, and for that, Nathan was reluctant. Now, as his men surrounded his enemy, and the Empire's enemy at that, he felt a surge of pride, because for once, without a doubt, they were going to succeed.
The soldiers continued to close in, their weapons pointed at Snow. Every group of soldiers that were knocked back were immediately replaced by another row and so on. He was losing, and Snow could already feel his limbs about to fall off, his strength slowly about to wane away. To Snow's own horror, he had also lost control of his Were-form, which was going completely "savage", and that, in Snow's case, was especially bad. He could already see it before it even happened. First it was one soldier, who aimed and fired a freeze-beam from his freeze gun at him, and then, moments after the blast hit and Snow felt one of his legs becoming enveloped in ice, then more blasts hit soon afterwards, and Snow, before he had time to react, was frozen where he stood.
Snow growled and tried to move, to break out of the ice, but his limbs were frozen solid, his nerves having lost all feeling. And, as if it couldn't get any worse, Snow found himself staring into the face of his hated enemy, Nathan P. Bear.
Nathan smirked and leaned down so he and Snow could look at each other in the eyes. Snow's eyes narrowed and his lips curled back, revealing sharp werewolf fangs. There was a murderous intent in those eyes, something Nathan was almost surprised to see. But he hid his surprise behind an even wider smirk. "Hello, Snow. A little, frozen, aren't we?" Snow growled and there was no hint of amusement or playfulness in his growl. Nathan ignored this and patted Snow on the ice-covered head. "Stay where you are. That's a good boy." Snow sneered at Nathan, and Nathan sneered back, withdrawing his hand quickly as in fear of getting bit. But Snow remained where he stood, frozen in time.
Nathan climbed back into his mech and immediately resumed command. "Group A! Keep your eye on Snow. Make sure he remains where he is." Group A, as they were called, positioned their freeze guns, aiming them at their prisoner, who growled an unheeded warning to them as they pressed their guns closer, closing in on him. Nathan then directed his eyes to the second group. "Group B! Move in to the village and look for what we seek!" Immediately, Group B flowed into the forest, their marching footsteps making marks into the snow, their lasers tearing through brush and wood. Snow uttered a pitying wine as he began to resume control over his were-form. Nathan turned to a small drone.
"Report to the Mother Base. Tell her we're closing in on the artifact. Tell her to wait for further report. That is all." The drone beeped in reply as the message ended and flew off into the opposite direction from whence they had come.
Nathan looked to the sky and watched as the snow began to fall and the storm began to descend. "I won't fail you Dr. Eggman. Not this time." And he smiled his knowing smile.
Angus sliced and diced cyber-soldier weapons and kicked many back, but no matter what he did, no matter how many he drove back, more pressed in. And, he knew, down in his gut, that they were losing. He knew he needed back-up. But he also knew that wouldn't help. So he focused on what he knew, or he hoped he knew. That he was a Freedom Fighter, and even if they lost once, they would recover, resupply and live to fight again. And so, with a gulp, he knew what he must do. He retreated. Dodging cybernetic soldiers and laser bullets here and there, he dove into a snow burrow and ran as fast as he could, away from the soldiers. The cybernetic soldiers, now unhindered, continued to march to the village.
Lea knew she was cornered, but she didn't stop fighting. Using her ice-manipulation gloves and the growing storm, she managed to freeze many soldiers into solid blocks of ice, and many more she managed to hit with blows so strong they fell backwards, stunned. For the most part, Lea was confident she was winning this fight. But, just as Snow and Angus had figured out before, the more that were defeated the more that seemed to spawn in their place. Lea wrinkled her nose in disgust as another squadron closed in on her. "How many more do they got? How many more did they enslave?" Lea thought as she hastily deflected a laser beam as it headed straight for her. Her bracelet buzzed on, and Lea braced herself as the cybernetic soldiers continued to press in, their guns so close as to touch her. Lea created an ice sword out of the cold air, and managed to drive them away in time for Angus's voice to come on the line.
"Lea, is that you?" Lea widened her shield till it surrounded her in a protective bubble, her enemies swarming in on her like angry ants. "Yeah, and what do you want Angus?" There was a moment's hesitation and Lea almost started to worry that something had happened to Angus, but these thoughts were dashed away as Angus hastily responded. "Your not going to like this, Lea. But we'll have to fall back and regroup." Anger surged in Lea's breast and she angrily yelled into the receiver, "Are you going mad Angus!?" Angus responded just as angrily, "I might be mad, sure, but at least I'm not stupid and hard-headed like you!" Lea sucked in her breath and almost jumped as a cybernetic arm phased through the shield and attempted to grab her. She quickly sliced it off before it could reach her. She began to wonder why or how they could have been able to reach in and grab her. To her horror she soon saw it.
Her shield was fading away. Priscilla, though she was very skilled in her art of engineering, still had to work on perfecting her creations. And in this case, Lea's laser shield was one of them. Soon, and Lea hated to think it nevertheless say it, they would be on her. And even she hated the thought of Angus being right for once. Tears falling down her face that immediately froze to her cheeks, she lowered her fading shield and ran for what she was worth.
Harriet and Priscilla were pressed with their backs to either side of Ava, their weapons raised towards their enemies. It wasn't long till they got a combined message from both Angus and Lea, telling them to fall back and that they had no other choice. Both girls looked at each other, their faces uncertain, but Ava broke in to quell their quarreling thoughts.
"We can't stay here. So we're going to fail to protect the humans. So what? I've learned, from someone I know, that there's a time and a place to fight and a time and a place to defend. We'll have our chance again, I know it. And besides, Snow and our friends could need our help!" Both girls marveled at the words of this young girl, but regardless, both agreed, though their faces still held a trace of wonder. How does she know that Snow and their friends need their help? How could she know? Making room on her Extreme Gear, all three girls hopped on and flew off.
Once they were in the sky, Priscilla called in on Angus and Lea. "You guys there?" "Yeah." Both responded in unison. "Ava has an idea that Snow is in trouble. Did either of you get a response back from him yet?" There was pause. "Nom, nothing." "No response here either. Priscilla, what is going on?" Priscilla guessed at the disguised panic in Lea's voice, but she didn't hint to Lea that she knew, for she proceeded to talk in her unchanged, concerned tone. "I don't know, but it must not be good. It's not like Snow to wait on us this long. Hang in there guys, I have a plan. Meet me at the front of the island." And with that, she signed off.
"What are we going to do Priscilla?" Priscilla looked down into the frightened face of Ava. It almost worried her as she was bitterly reminded of how young Ava was. It worried her still more, that she had no answer to that. But she drew the little girl close and tried to soothe her as best as she could.
"I don't know Ava. But something, I hope."
Meanwhile, at the village..
Mothers clutched their children, men stepped between their family's and the enemy, harpoon guns in their hands, and children scampered out of the way as cyberized Mobian soldiers stormed the docks, fishing huts, and igloos, tearing apart board and boat, searching for something only they knew of from reports. The leader of the raid, Nathan P. Bear, stood above it all, his mech towering over the inferior homes and people below him. The villagers could only watch in horror as the soldiers tore apart their homes and scattered their belongings into the snow. The snowstorm began to worsen and the villagers huddled into one another for warmth, their faces still stricken with fear and unable to look away from the scene before them.
Eventually, the soldiers stopped, and gathered around the villagers and their Egg Boss, their guns pointed upwards, but their eyes behind their goggles ever watching the villagers and their Egg Boss. Nathan scanned the soldiers one by one, only to be the even more frustrated that they had returned to him empty handed.
"Where is it? WHERE IS IT?!" One soldier shakily saluted and spoke up above his superior's ranting. "Sir, we all do respect, but we've searched every nook and cranny in this village, and there has been no trace of the artifact." In the faded half-light of the sky above, and the red glow of the mech's light, Nathan appeared even more terrifyingly bear-like than he had before, his powerful bear hands tearing into the metal of the mech, and his face twisted in a bearish snarl, his eyes on fire with seething fury. The cybernetic soldier, even though his heart, along with every other feeling part of him was cyberized, shuddered and backed up behind his brothers and sisters, his dignity forgotten in his fear. "Your telling me, that none of you fools know where it is because it is nowhere to be found?!"
After raining his furious shouts down onto the heads of his men, he then turned an even more terrifying glare upon the villagers, which drew back only to be pushed back into the ring by the soldiers.
"Where is it? I know you have it! Tell me, which one of you pathetic, inferior, humans is the village elder or leader of this village?" His voice was rough and animal like and the villagers felt their blood run cold. Nathan's eyes glowed with an inner yellow fire that made him appear ghostly in the now darkening village. The only light came from the red glow of the mech and the cybernetic soldiers' guns.
"Humph! If you won't tell me, I suppose I could make you.." Nathan crossed his arms and his eyes scanned the crowd till they landed on a little black-haired boy. Nathan smiled and gestured with his head towards the boy, who was grabbed roughly by the nearest soldier and held up for the others to see. The boy turned his scared eyes to Nathan, whose smile disappeared and was replaced by a frown of disgust. He turned his back on the boy and said in low, yet clearly heard tone. "Kill him." There was an outcry from the crowd and an old, broad-shouldered man ran into the clearing his face pale with fear yet determination.
"Let the boy go now." Nathan turned and gave the old man a once-over side glance. "Are you the village elder?" The old man nodded and though their was a slight tremble in his voice, he remained firm. "That I am." Nathan turned to the soldier holding the boy and nodded. The soldier obeyed, dropping the boy into the snow and backing back into place. The boy cowered and scurried back into the crowd. Nathan turned to meet the village elder face to face. "Then, tell me, elder, where is the artifact?"
The village elder trembled under Nathan's fierce gaze but managed to say, "My apologies, I don't know what your talking about." Nathan roared in fury. "Your lying! I know you know what I mean! And I will kill every one of you human scum till I have what I seek!" with that he angrily pointed at the other humans. "Kill them all!" And, at this command, 5 of his soldiers stepped up and aimed their laser guns at the humans who cried out in fear and alarm.
The village elder fell on his knees. "No! Please! Don't kill them! There are women and children among them. Please don't kill them!"
Nathan growled. "Then give me what I seek." The village elder shuddered, sighed, and stood up. He crossed his way back over to the crowd, passing by the soldiers, who pointed their guns at him, only for Nathan to gesture for them to hold their fire. The elder picked out two men, one smaller and one larger than the other and told them what they must do. "Bring him what he demands." And then the elder, following the two other men, headed for the ravaged docks. Two soldiers followed them, making sure they weren't trying any funny business. The two men pulled on an ice covered rope and both men tugged and tugged till a strange object in a net was lugged up. The two men and the elder then returned to the crowd, and the soldiers delivered the object to Nathan. Nathan peered closely at the object and then he grinned as he recognized it. It was a Gai Tablet. He waved it in the air in victory. "WE HAVE IT!" And the soldiers raised their guns in the air and saluted their Egg Boss. Nathan then turned away from the villagers, placing the Gai Tablet in a cold-resistant bag. Motioning with his hand, the mech left the village, the soldiers following after them.
Before disappearing entirely into the gloom of night, Nathan shouted over his shoulder. "Thank you for your gracious services to the Eggman Empire. Your services will not be forgotten!" and then he laughed as his men headed back the way they came, leaving the ransacked village behind them.
Back with Snow..
Snow watched each one of his "guards" with a wary eye. He could feel the growing pain throughout his body as his were-wolf form, ever so slowly, began to fade. He knew that once his form was gone, he would faint from the pain in due consequence. He knew he had to escape, but how could he? And if he could, what next? The answer was simple: the "guards" would shoot him with a laser beam, wounding him, and leaving him helpless to the Eggman Empire. But he couldn't just sit there and wait for Nathan to return!
I need a plan.. Snow thought to himself wearily. I need my friends..
Meanwhile, hidden behind a snow-bank, sat Snow's friends, their breaths coming up in white clouds, and their eyes and ears darting here and there nervously. Ava, among the others, however, was absolutely calm.
Priscilla was busy drawing a plan in the snow. When she was finished, she turned to the others and explained to them the plan in a slow, quiet, careful voice. "OK. Here's the plan, we know Snow is surrounded by eight or more cybernetic soldiers, along with a few robots. What we don't know is how much time we have to save Snow and get out of here before Nathan gets back." Saying so, Priscilla peered quickly over the snow bank and then ducked quickly back down. And just in time too, as a patrolling Metal Sonic passed by right at that moment.
Angus groaned and rolled his eyes. "We know the obvious, Cilla. Tell us something we don't know, and then tell us to save Snow so we can stop wasting our time, so Nathan can't get us sooner!" Harriet quickly muffled Angus's mouth so his impatient cries couldn't be overheard by their enemies.
"Please, Angus, keep your voice down. Do you want us all to get caught?" Harriet whispered earnestly into Angus' ear. Angus made a muffled reply and nodded. Harriet removed her hand from Angus' mouth who smiled and continued to listen to Priscilla's plan.
"As Angus pointed out, we know the obvious already: we need to be fast and discreet. Get Snow and get out," she paused as she hurriedly drew out a circle surrounded by sticks to depict Snow and the soldiers beset around him, and the other shapes, meaning them, positioned around, above, and beneath the soldiers. "Angus, since you and Lea are each good burrowers, you two dig tunnels directly under the soldiers feet and attack them from below. Harriet and I will attack them from above on my Extreme Gear. Ava, you will be positioned near that snow bank over there," Priscilla pointed in the direction of the snow bank and Ava nodded. "To keep watch and give us a signal when Nathan and his troops return."
"What will the signal be?" asked Ava with an anxious glance towards Snow, who was still surrounded by the cybernetic soldiers. Priscilla licked her lips and shrugged. "Try a seal bark." The young harper seal nodded and waited for the signal.
"Does everyone agree with the plan?" inquired Priscilla and everyone nodded, their young faces lined with determination and confidence. Then, without another word, the team went into their positions, Harriet and Priscilla silently took to the skies, Angus and Lea dove under the snow, and Ava ran from one snow bank to the other, taking care to hide from the robots and soldiers who looked her way.
When Priscilla and Harriet were far above their leader and the soldiers, their weapons at the ready, Priscilla turned on her bracelet and inquired if everyone was in position. A few minutes passed, and then there was a confident reply from the team underground, and Ava at the snowbank.
"Alright, at my signal.." Harriet looked to Priscilla and nodded. Priscilla nodded back. "NOW!" And dove her Extreme Gear down towards the confused and surprised soldiers. Harriet jumped off of the Extreme Gear and knocked two soldiers over into the snow with her metal bow staff, blocking the freeze bullets and lasers fired at her by the soldiers and the Metal Sonics. Priscilla fired out her boomerangs, knocking two of the soldiers onto the ground and sliced at the robots with her hunting knives.
Angus and Lea launched themselves out from the snow, fighting the soldiers and robots with their swords, back to back. Snow, enlightened by his friends coming to his rescue, howled so loudly that his ice prison cracked and shattered around him. Growling and moaning, he charged at and tore off the limbs of the fallen cybernetic soldiers and robots, their metallic cries and silence filling the cold air around them.
Meanwhile, the wind around them had grown more and more fierce and the snowflakes stung the eyes and skin of the Freedom Fighters as they continued to fight ceaselessly. Snow's form had begun to wear down and his strength was starting to wane. His friends were also getting tired and, after creating enough damage to the Dark Legion to suffice for one day, the group hastily fell back, taking their leader with them.
When Nathan P. Bear returned to where he had left Snow and Group A, he was greeted by shattered cybernetics and beheaded robots. The triumphant grin on his face faded and he gravely frowned. His troops hesitated as they followed him through their fallen brothers, looking around them unsurely, as if the Freedom Fighters who had done this were still lurking somewhere in the snowbanks. Nathan, however, didn't care. What had happened here was just a minor casualty, and couldn't be helped.
"Search for survivors and bring them with us." he growled to the hesitant soldiers as they obediently looked for survivors among the wreckage. "You think you and your team won Snow? Oh no, you lost this one. The Eggman Empire has won this time." Nathan muttered to himself, a cruel and hideous grin flashing across his face.
Chapter 2: Scourge 'n Strike
Back at the Alpine Tundra Freedom Fighter HQ located at Ice Floe Falls..
Snow pulled the covers back from his bed and got out, stretching and loudly yawning, revealing several sharp, white teeth and fangs. He then trudged wearily to the "kitchen" and sat down at the table. Harriet and Priscilla were sitting there, eating. Priscilla winked at Snow and pushed him a bowl of hot soup. Accepting it, Snow tipped his head back and drank the contents from the bowl, placed the bowl back down and burped. Harriet wrinkled her nose at him as she crossed out another word from the crossword puzzle. Both girls ignored him, and everything was quiet. Almost too quiet. Snow thought warily.
"So, where are Lea, Ava, and Angus?" asked Snow as he stretched once more and scratched behind his ears.
"Lea is reading a book, Ava is sleeping, and Angus, well, he's dropping by on his family, to see how they're doing." responded Priscilla casually, sipping her soup through a wooden spoon.
"Ah. What are you guys going to do today?" Snow inquired as he shifted uncomfortably in his chair.
"Staying home." said Harriet. "Same." said Priscilla.
"Oh." said Snow, who pushed back his chair and stood up. Ever since their failed mission, Snow and the team had been greatly upset with one another at their failed attempt and had decided to take a break and train before they engaged the Alpine Dark Egg Legion again. Snow, for the most part, considered it as his own fault for their failure, and placed all the blame on himself. He always felt uncomfortable about it, however, because he wasn't sure if his teammates thought the same about him.
For the past few days it had been like this, and for the most part, Snow was bored out of his brain.
"You fixing on visiting your sister, Priscilla?" Priscilla looked up at Snow in surprise. "Why would I need to visit her if my Clan is a few blocks down to our base?"
Snow shrugged his shoulders. "I just, was thinking.." he paused. "Yes?" Priscilla inquired, looking at him with a bit of enthusiasm that she hadn't been showing for awhile.
"What if, the whole gang went to Planet Disco. It's been awhile, you see, since we've been there." Snow continued, rather quickly, his face showing much energy and enthusiasm.
Priscilla pondered over the idea for awhile, considering their options and schedule carefully, and then nodded confirming the idea immediately. "Sounds good to me. I'll go tell Lea and Ava." Harriet finished her crossword puzzle and followed her. Snow, however, immediately contacted Angus via the arm bracelet to tell him of their plan.
After hearing confirmation from Angus that he would meet them at Planet Disco, the Alpine Tundra Freedom Fighters set off for Snowy Valley. When they arrived at Planet Disco, the party igloo's dazzling Christmas lights and multicolored lanterns warmly greeted the group as they followed Priscilla inside.
Music, laughter, and pleasing smells greeted their ears and noses as they entered and Angus waved to them from where he leaned against a jukebox and joined them. "I'm telling you guys, Moon has ordered some new entertainment devices. I haven't seen this many people here before since we were last here." And it was true.
As Snow and his friends followed Priscilla to the bar counter, they saw many new additions to Planet Disco. There were new tables and chairs, a radio, a wireless, small, TV, and a new, wireless fridge box.
Ava hung close to Snow, her small hand held tightly in his own, her violet, terrified eyes darting this way and that anxiously. She wasn't the only one who was on edge. Harriet and Lea glanced around at the humans and Mobians alike, some with faces they recognized, others they did not. Harriet's hands and ears twitched as she felt for her bow staff on her back. Even Angus had begun to shrink back from the strangers who walked by and around him. Snow's hairs stood on end and his ears hung back, his eyes searching the crowd for a face he recognized, most likely an unfriendly face at that.
Priscilla alone of all of them was perfectly calm and unaffected by the concern and anxiousness her friends felt. When they reached the bar counter, Priscilla jumped onto a swivel stool and greeted her sister warmly. Priscilla's sister, a tall, 19 year old snowy owl with white and black speckled feathers, one blind, grey eye, and one gold-colored eye smiled and exchanged her sister an equal greeting. Moon wore a pink and purple snow jacket with a hood, blue jeans with pink hearts sewn onto the bottom pockets, and green boots.
As Snow and his friends got onto the swivel chairs, Moon gave each of them a wide grin. "Well, well, if it isn't my favorite Freedom Fighters. So, how'd your latest mission go? Well, I hope." Angus and Snow hesitated and the girls all gave each other uncertain glances. Moon's grin slowly vanished and she shook her head in astonishment. "I cannot believe it! No way! You guys let the bad guys get away with it?" Snow bit his lip and nodded.
"Yeah. We kind of messed it up, for everybody." Snow said and bowed his head glumly. Moon clucked her tongue and shook her head again.
"Don't look so glum, Snow. We all have our downside's eventually. The good guy's will always win in the end. They always do. Hey," Moon gently lifted Snow's head up with her feathered hand. "Don't worry about it. Knowing you guys, you'll always find a way to make things right again. Now," she added as she leaned her chin on her hand and resumed her business like air. "What can I get you guys? Sprite? Cola? Fanta? Anything you like, its on me. I even have Fish 'n Chips."
Angus licked his lips and patted his tummy. "I'd like the whole house special if that's alright with you?" Moon and the others laughed and Moon left them to fetch them their orders.
Twenty minutes later, Moon was back with their refreshments and Snow and his friends sat down at a small table and ate and joked amongst themselves.
A heavily wrapped figure, along with some others wearing the same attire trudge across the snow-covered ground. As the group reaches the decorated igloo, one of their members, a rather tall and skinny figure glances up at the neon sign hanging by a pole sticking out of the igloo's round surface. The figure adjusted his red sunglasses and pulled his scarf off from over his mouth as he read the sign.
"Planet Disco, huh?" The figure turned to his group and then back at the igloo. Finally, after a moment's pause, the figure sighs and reaches for the door handle.
In Planet Disco..
Everything went quiet for a very brief moment as the group of heavily wrapped figures entered the establishment. All eyes were directed on them, and one member of the group, a very tall, muscly figure with army boots removed his snow goggles and glared at everyone till they resumed what they were doing.
Then, taking their time, the wrappings around the strangers were removed and placed on some coat hangers near the doorway and, only then, could the strangers be identified as who they were: the Suppression Squad and their leader, Scourge the Hedgehog.
Only Scourge could have told why he and his Suppression Squad were out in the middle of nowhere, but he chose not to.
Motioning his gang members to follow him, Scourge approached the bar and leaned his shoulder casually over the bar counter and gave Moon his most ladies winning smile. Moon caught his look and smiled back. Fiona Fox, Scourge's girlfriend, sat down at the seat at the bar beside him, her back to Moon, her arms rested on the counter, her eyes scanning the party hub with less contempt than her teammates could ever give.
The others, Predator Hawk, Lightning Lynx, Sergeant Simian, and Flying Frog, were spread out in groups of two. Predator Hawk and Lightning Lynx were hanging out around the jukebox, P. Hawk looking through the list of songs for one his boss would like.
Sergeant Simian and Flying, meanwhile, were casually enjoying some "fun" by challenging some of the tough guys there to an arm wrestling challenge to prove who really was the "toughest" of the bunch.
When Moon at last finished her other orders, she went to Scourge and inquired, coolly, of what he would like to order.
"A strong, alcoholic drink if you have it." Scourge grinned back and gave Moon a wink. Fiona tried her hardest to resist slapping her boyfriend across the face for flirting with someone other than herself.
Moon charmingly smiled and shook her head. Man, she is so cute.. Scourge thought to himself as he pushed his sunglasses farther up on his head, smoothing down his long green spikes as he did so.
"Sorry to disappoint you, tall and handsome stranger, but, I don't serve alcoholic drinks at my establishment, you see." It took a brief moment of lost thought before Scourge could fix himself a response, which was mostly in shock in his part.
"What?! Why not?!" he burst out. Almost everyone there turned to him, even Snow, who glanced at him discreetly while eating out of a bag of Cheez Crackers. He's definitely not from around here. Anyone from around here would have known Moon's rules on alcoholic beverages.
Without so much as batting an eyelash, Moon coolly responded. "We don't have any of that junk because I like a safe environment in my hub. And so do my customers. But, I do have some Sprite, Coca-Cola, Root Beer Float (non alcoholic version).. and anything along the lines of caffeine. Well?" She drummed her fingers on the counter and smiled at Scourge.
Scourge, since he was still speechless at the idea of no alcohol being served there, gave Fiona the time she needed to speak up.
"We'll go for the Root Beer Float. Six please." Moon nodded and took a step back.
"Sure thing. Anything else." she asked in a cheery tone.
Fiona shrugged and didn't look at her. "No, that'll be all." Secretly agreeing with herself that these people were definitely trouble, Moon set to work at preparing their orders.
Scourge turned his back to Moon and rubbed his hands over his face. "They don't have alcohol, at a hub for crying out loud. Wow.." he mumbled to himself. And then, his eyes caught Snow looking at him, and Snow turned quickly away.
Scourge laughed and grinned when he realized the reason why. "Of course! No wonder she doesn't serve alcohol here. So that "kids" can have a chance of coming here! Haha! Its hilarious!" From a look from their boss, the other members of the Suppression Squad joined their boss in laughter.
Ava buried her face in Snow's fur, and Snow pulled her close. Lea stood up and her friends followed suit. "Come on. Let's get out of here." Angus nodded and stuffed a handful of fish and crackers into his mouth. But before they could take a step out of their booth, the door of the Planet Disco flew open and four familiar figures stepped inside. It was the infamous hunting group, The Tundra Rogues.
Snow and his friends froze in place, and then quickly ducked under their table before The Tundra Rogues' leader, a tall silver and black wolf, named Striker, could notice them. Fortunately, no one else there noticed the youngsters strange behavior around the four hunters, for everyone, even the Suppression Squad, was looking at the hunters sudden appearance with more surprise than fear.
Moon's head not long afterward appeared behind the counter, with the Suppression Squad's orders in hand, and at sight of Striker, she almost dropped what she was holding but managed to put the orders on the counter before her surprise could show further damage. She beamed a huge smile Striker's way, and her eyes darted anxiously and furtively towards the booth where Snow and his friends sat at.
Striker returned the smile with a wide grin and he and his hunters approached the counter. When they reached the seats where Scourge and Fiona sat, without so much as a request to move, one of the hunters pushed Scourge and Fiona's chairs away from the front of the counter and sat on four chairs nearest to the counter.
"Humph! Rude.." Scourge grumbled as he watched Striker the Wolf with a very contempt air.
Striker didn't notice Scourge, nor did he notice the rest of the Suppression Squad glaring at him and his team from all corners of the room. He wasn't even the slightest bit aware of Snow and his friends from across the room. He had his eyes on Moon, and Moon alone.
"So, how are you doing today, lovely?" Striker inquired coolly. Moon blushed and leaned her shoulder on the table.
"Fine. Could be doing better. How was your day? Catch any... latest kills?" Moon whispered in an undertone, that was faintly caught by Scourge. Scourge's ear twitched and he frowned. Snow, however, thanks to his keen wolf senses, heard every word, his hair standing on end, a faint growl rising in his throat. Kody, Striker's best friend and second-in-command, turned his head slightly in Snow's direction. Ralph the Grizzly Bear, who was sitting to Kody's left, noticed him glance at the table and asked what was wrong. Kody shrugged, putting his hands in his pockets, slouching.
Striker frowned slightly and shrugged. "Not much, unfortunately. We caught a few normal creatures. Not anything to be considered a high price, but okay. I know a certain buyer who would simply adore the hides of the animals we managed to track down. So, that's something... I guess." Striker shrugged indifferently. "So then, me and the boys will have the usual. Think you can muster it up for us, beautiful?"
Moon managed a smile and a nod. "Alrightcha! I'll be back in two shakes of a wolf's tale!" And with that, she was gone.
As soon as Moon had vanished into the back, La Oh pulled out an ancient, fading map and laid it out on the bar. The whole team pressed around the map, making sure no one could catch a glimpse of it, and talking in low, secretive tones.
What is that traitor and his no-good thugs up to now? Snow thought, peering out at Striker from his hiding place under the table. Across from him, Lea grabbed his shoulder, hard, and motioned for him and the others to follow her.
We. Are. Leaving. She mouthed, gesturing to the door. Everyone, except Snow, nodded and crept out from underneath the table, heading towards the exit. Only Snow slinked towards Striker, hiding behind Scourge and Fiona's chairs, his ears twitching attentively to the conversation.
"Are you sure we should do this, Striker?" Ralph, a bulky grizzly bear with his hands curled into fists, asked of his leader. "It sounds risky."
"And, more importantly, what if it goes wrong? And we all end up in more trouble than we can handle?" La Oh put in, scratching his antlers absentmindedly, glancing furtively around the room, taking in his surroundings all at once.
"Not if we get in and out. We take what we came for, we leave, easy, peasy," Striker stated confidently, his hands tracing the frayed edges of the map.
Together, in the harsh continent of Holoska, the Alpine Tundra Freedom Fighters face many a danger, whether its the Alpine Dark Egg Legion, the Zone Cops, groups of rogue Mobians from other clans, or even the occasional visit from the Arctic Tundra Freedom Fighters, there's nothing the Alpine Tundra Freedom Fighters can or cannot do. But that is until, a new danger arises. What will happen? Will the team stay united?
Read Part 1 to find out. Enjoy! :)
Characters (Those in Part 1 and on.)
Angus the Ermine
Ava the Harper Seal
Harriet the Snow Hare
Dark Sonic, Dark Shadow, and Dark Silver (dark counterparts of the heroic hedgehogs) Team Chaos
Zonic and the Zone Cops