I pulled my eyes open. My head throbbed, and I still felt weak. I found a tray of food on the floor above the cot. Curiously, it wasn’t gruel. It was more like a school cafeteria lunch: not great, but better than expected. However, looking at it made me feel sick, so I turned over. I felt under my shirt and pulled out my locket. I opened it, revealing the picture of Grandpappy, and a selfie that Sonic and I had taken in front of the Christmas tree. I sighed heavily. I pressed the locket to my chest. I wished I could see him. It didn’t have to be long. Just five minutes would do. I could only imagine what was happening to him at that moment, if it was worse than that he went through before me.
Suddenly, I felt a surging pain all over my body. My jaw clenched and I squeezed my eyes tight. Something glowed in the darkness. When the pain subsided, so did the light. I opened my eyes. It was then I realized there were jagged blue lines crawling up my arms and hands. The glow came from the lines, and warbled softly from my shoulders to my fingers.
“What…What is this?” I gasped, fearfully.
I looked at the camera in the corner.
“WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME!?”
I felt some kind of jolt and my eyes flew open. A trio of guards appeared in front of me. One of them pressed a button on a control panel to my left. Suddenly, the clasps holding my wrists released and I crashed to the ground. The ground was cold and hard. The clasps on my feet opened as well. I grunted as I pulled myself up.
“What’s up?” I asked, smirking.
“Follow us, Commander Barns has a task for you.”
“If I do it, can I see Luana?”
The guards didn’t respond. Instead another aggressively poked my side with the barrel of their gun.
“Alright, alright, I’m going!” I snapped.
I followed them out and down the hallway. I observed the names of the doors passing by, looking for any evidence of Luana’s whereabouts. What did Cdr. Barns mean by “She is about to take part in something that will save all of mankind”? What were they planning?
The guard at the front swiped a card and a large door opened, leaning to a suspiciously large, empty room. At the top left corner, I could see a large window, clad with black like an interrogation room at a police station. Then, I realized the guards had left and locked the door behind them.
“What are they cooking up now?” I thought.
“Good morning, Blue Blur” blew a voice over an intercom.
It wasn’t the commander. It was someone else.
“Today, we’re going to do a little testing.”
I folded my arms across my chest and tapped my foot.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, this ain’t my first rodeo! Show me what you got!”
Suddenly, the floor began to crumble around me.
“Oh geez!” I exclaimed, startled.
Thankfully, it didn’t crumble all at once. Conveniently, it broke up into platforms, widely spaced apart, too far for a human to bounce across. Then again, I wasn’t human. Below the platform was, what appeared to be boiling lava. I don’t know how they managed to transport boiling lava and keep it hot to in an act to torture me, but very impressive nonetheless.
I began running from platform from platform to prevent falling into the boiling lava below me. Then, some droids began firing lasers above me. I jumped up and rolled, taking them down one by one as well as staying alive. When I got to the end, the whole room was back to normal.
There was a moment of silence. Then, a blast shield went up. Robots shined in the spotlight. They pointed their guns at me, and began firing. I dashed around. Then, I sonic-rolled, taking them out. But then, I saw pendulums with sharp ends swinging just above my head.
“Good grief! You really wanna kill me, dontcha?” I called.
The test went on for what felt like hours. I was beginning to tire and for once my feet ached.
But I wasn’t letting it dampen my spirits. I had all the motivation to keep going. Finally, the robots stopped coming. For once my feet ached.
“That was fun! Are we done?” I asked, gesturing to the black window.
The door opened behind me and the guards were coming in. I saw the open doorway.
Before the guards could grab hold of me, I supercharged past them, and into the hallway. Alarms blared. I kept running as fast.
“I need to find some kind of control room and find Luana!”
Soldiers were coming and fired at me. I ran left and right to avoid getting hit. I took a right. But the soldiers were blocking the way. They aimed and were ready to fire. But I didn’t stop. I plowed right through them. I jumped through the window and into the engine room.
Soldiers were flooding in from all directions. I kept going. I ran like mad trying to find somewhere with a lot of cameras! Every evil base has a room with a lot of cameras!
Finally I found what I was looking for. I charged into the room and knocked out the security guys. I began pressing buttons like crazy, desperately trying to find Luana. At last I found footage for the “Isolation Cell Block.” I found her!
“Luana…!” I cried.
She was sleeping, but pale. I also saw some blue jaggy lines up her arms. My eyes widened. I felt a stab in my heart.
“What did they do to you…!?” I gasped.
I suddenly felt excruciating pain, a massive surge through me that paralyzed my entire body. I collapsed to the floor, stunned. Then I realized: I neglected to see bracelets clasped around my wrists. The red light was activated.
Cdr. Stone walked in with five soldiers behind him.
“I’m surprised you were able to freely run about for so long” he said, cooly.
I tried to pull myself but I could only get as far as my arms and head. I glared at him.
“I’m sure you’ve seen these bracers before,” Cdr. Stone explained, “Only Dr. Dockinson had alternate versions. These are more…painful.”
“I just…want to see…Luana!” I growled, through wincing.
“Ms. Dockinson is no longer your concern; And neither you, hers. You will stay here and you will not leave!” Stone snapped, “Don’t worry, you are participating for a good cause.”
“Participating!?” I growled, “You are holding us against our will!”
Stone activated the bracers again and I fell to the ground again.
“Take care of it” Stone ordered, and he left the room.
My heart dropped. I was angry, and I was torn. I took one last look at Luana before they took me away.
“I will get you out of here, Luana!” I vowed, “I will never stop running! I swear it!”