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A Mobian In Metropolis; (Amy Rose fi X DC)

1- Misfired Mobian New

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
Waking up in the morning was wonderful, normally. Warm blanket. Warm mattress. Room barely lit from the sun waging war on the curtains. Shroud of fuzz blanketing the world before my eyes open. Everything was wonderful in the morning.

Except this one. Something was wrong this time.

I felt around me. The comforting weight of the blanket was missing. My pillow was gone.

I realized I was standing.

My name is Artie, and something was wrong with the world where you could be taken from your bed in the middle of the night and find yourself standing up who knows where!

I opened my eyes. The void looked back. Not the usual void. The dark and growling void that enwrapped, trapped, and consumed. This was a painfully bright void. An endless expanse lacking in anything besides an oppressively blatant white.

Oh no, I thought to myself. Looking around, I tried to find anything to ground myself in the brightness. I'm sure I haven't died. Nothing was looking to be going wrong with the house. I wasn't sick, and to my limited knowledge there isn't an afterlife that looks like this one…

I held my body still, looking around. Nothing. Nothing for now and forever.

"Thirteen bottles of tabasco sauce on the wall, fourteen boxes of chromium, take one down, pass it around, sixteen shipping containers of enthusiasm on the wall," I heard cut through the silence, drawing my attention.

Circling my head, upwards by about a foot was a softly glowing ball. It had almost cartoonishly fake looking butterfly wings poking out of its back -assuming that even was its back, based on which direction it was floating in…- and bounced with an almost lackadaisical flair.

I couldn't see through the glow, but I could almost see a pair of expressive eyes on the front of its' 'body' along with a slim mouth.

"I think you're doing the song wrong," I stated objectively. "It should be the same thing in the bottles every time, right? As well as stay the same container?"

"Oh!" the… fairy spouted joyously as it spun in circles around my head before stopping in an instant in front of my face. "You are aware! I did not think you would be aware yet…" it trailed off in a slightly confused tone. "But this is good! Random luck is a part of any compromise… or that is how I have heard it…"

"Compromise? What's going on? Last I remember I was sleeping," I said.

"I am your compromise!" it crowed happily, spinning in place. "... Sleeping. A condition of body and mind such as that which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is relatively inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended," it suddenly rattled off, its attention snapping back to me. "Is that right? Your language is slightly confusing for me."

"Close. It's also the defrag state of the brain, allowing the body to keep track and sort all the things it hasn't had the time to go over while keeping the body alive throughout the day," I said, slipping into teacher mode. Customer service and School Teacher is a lifestyle, just as much a job.

"Ooh, most informative. That is quite an interesting biological limitation. What happens to the waste material when you are done?" it asked, quirking its entire body to the side in confusion. It was quite odd to see how expressive this thing could be, with such limited fashion.

I tilted my head with it. "Waste material? From what? The brain or the bod-… what am I talking about? Where am I? What is going on here?" I sputtered to a stop, unable to put my thoughts in order.

"You are between! This is the void," it stated happily, "You have been selected to participate!"

"In…" I draw out the word, weighting it with expectation. "It doesn't help in negotiations for me to not know what I'm getting into. Also, you are an adorable little light bulb."

"I am your Benefactor," it said, to a point where I could almost hear the capital letter distinction. Somehow. "Fear me! For I am crunchy and taste good with generic fast food consumable products!" it ended on, bobbing in a very satisfied manner.

I couldn't keep my face from falling in disbelief. "I… think I understand what you mean, but you aren't saying it right, and also aren't big enough to eat me." I reached out my hand to ruffle whatever fur the light ball has.

It recoiled in seeming horror, fixing me with a terrified expression. "Eat you? I would never eat my chosen! You have a very scary mind, young one…" It bobbed in place, then I saw it quickly glare at me in suspicion, "Wait, are you claiming that you would consume me? That is quite impossible. I am far too large for you to consume without exploding."

I sighed hopelessly at its antics. "The original quote you used is about Dragons. Large, flying, fire breathing lizards. The quote goes 'Don't meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy, and good with ketchup. Wait. I'm too small?"

It scoffed dismissively. "Have you not read the eponymous villains handbook? It claims that one would be unwise to consume a power source larger than their own head. This is a situation where such criteria applies," it stated smugly. "And do not be absurd. Every individual knows that dragons do not exist. At least, I believe I am referring to the correct genus…"

I held my hands to the sides of my head, then moved them near the light ball. It was obviously smaller than the span of my hands. "I don't see it, but before I met you I didn't have any proof that talking light balls existed either. I guess we both can learn something today."

It tittered in delight, a smile clearly visible on its… face. "Yes, learning! We shall both learn on this grand adventure. That is the benefit of our arrangement, as was decided. Do you concur?"

"You keep saying there's an 'arrangement', but you haven't told me anything about it. What's going on?" I asked. I was feeling more and more confused by the second, what the heck did this thing actually want?

Its eyes screwed up in contemplation, before a transparent blue screen popped into existence in front of me. It quickly filled with colours, showing off a familiar sight. It was my room. But seen from an unfamiliar perspective, as if my bedroom was from a game of the Sims.

"Hello contestant!" I heard coming from the screen, as if from a computer monitor's tinny speakers.

"Agh!" I heard myself yelp in surprise, as mini me in the recording swung around looking for the source of the genderless voice. "Uh… hello?"

"Hello!" came the happy chirp of response. "You are applicant One Nine Nine Nine Nine Seven Three Three Nine Two Five of applicant group Three. You are my first beneficii!~ Are you ready to depart?"

The me in the recording rubbed their eyes, letting out a low sigh. "And now I'm hearing voices. Knew I should have gone to bed an hour ago."

"Is your archival state ready for departure?"

Mini Me waved off the question, getting up from my computer after tabbing the power down sequence. "Yeah, sure. Whatever you say, disembodied voice that I am totally hearing right now."

With that, I could see me plodding over to the light switch, plunging the room into darkness before falling bonelessly upon the bed.

"Approval granted! Archival state retrieval in progress." With that and the sounds of my light snoring already filling the room, I could see what I now recognized as my lightly glowing blue ball of fun descending into the room, stopping a couple feet above 'me'. With a light dip, it tapped itself into the back of 'my' head. It lifted off, dragging a glowing copy of myself from my body up and out of the visible frame.


"With permission granted, I was able to retrieve a copy of my chosen applicant. That applicant is you!"

I think for a moment. "Ok. So... I'm a copy of myself. In this white void. Talking to a glowy ball. About some sort of… contest?"

"Yes! Contest! 'To engage in competition to attain.' Out of my siblings, I was finally chosen for the right to continue. You are my first chosen!" it chirped again, bobbing in place happily. "...Please, be gentle with me…"

I fight down a flush. "I have a feeling English isn't your first language…"

"It is not," it agreed. "Unfortunately, your current language was largely incompatible with a great many of my total assigned knowledge. I am having to improvise a trial program as of currently. It will be an experience. For both of us.~"

"Are you doing that on- never mind. What am I doing for you then? Endless errands? Free labor? Is this a slave thing or am I going to be entertainment?" I ask.

"I… do not know." it sounded unsure. "We are in this together. I do not want to abuse you. You are my chosen. I hope to one day be your chosen as well. We can have many adventures! If you continue to be willing…"

I smile. "Well knowing I'm just a copy, willing if only by Fae rules, makes me far more happy helping out. I'll have the breakdown about religion and what this means about the soul later. First…" I give a small formal bow. "How may I help?"

It tilted in midair, its eyes furrowed in confusion once more.

"Fae. Noun. Abbreviation for field applications, engineering. Technical support given by a company to customers who use its products. I am sorry, but I do not understand the correlation."

"Or, in the simplified context I'm using it, the collective group of creatures in Wales and the surrounding areas, having set rules on speech and interactions controlling their lives completely. Typically forced to tell the truth, requiring consent for many action types. In this case, you asking me for consent to copy myself was technically correct. The best kind I have been told. Anyway, while I gave consent, I did not understand what I was agreeing to," I explain. "Very well done I must say. I'm pleased to be working with you."

It shuddered in the air, giving me a sad expression. "I am sorry. I requested permission and it was given. I do not understand how one could give admission in error. It is counter to my knowledge. But I am glad that you are glad! We can be glad together."

"Well, where do we start then?" I ask.

"We already have," it stated succinctly. "We are between, on the way to our destination! Do not be alarmed, we have more than enough time to acclimate you to the process."

"And that would be?" It's like trying to get a child to move to the next part of the story… I thought to myself.

It bounced happily in the air, "I originally asked for permission to use template Earth-19, but I was not given majority approval in my endeavor. My second choice was template Earth-28, however that selection achieved similar results. It was eventually decided to allow my usage of template Earth-55 for our cohabitation."

I nod along. "So that means I'll be going to this Earth-55 place then?"

"Your summation is accurate. Are you familiar with the chosen selection?" it asked excitedly.

"Not at all! Should I be? I mean, if we're talking about multiversal shenanigans, there could be innumerable Earth-55's by local standards."

It bobbed in the air before me, a mien of disappointment almost visible in its dimly glowing demeanor. Its mouth opened, once, twice, before folding into a firm line.

"Did I say something wrong? Is Earth-55 famous or something? I mean, where I'm from isn't capable of interdimensional travel. Just stories and whatnot..." I trailed off, hoping something would push the conversation along and bring back the friendly light bulb.

"Apologies, I am simply… lightly distressed. I had hoped that my selection would evoke recognition in my chosen, but it seems that the only setting I was able to acquire access to was not one formally known. It is… disappointing. Ask a monkey to sing a hymn, and it will give you a typed up story detailing the rise and fall of Rome… Regardless!" it snapped back to its normal fervor, its glowing ramping back up to a shining azure. "It will be a learning experience! I will dump my local data on the setting so we can discover new things together!"

"No wait don'-" I started, and with a horrifying sizzle and the scent of burning trash heaps, a single drop of golden laced… something came free from my new friend and fell away off into non-existence.

"Don't what?" it asked in an unconcerned tone, tilting its body to the side in confusion.

I take a breath. "I wasn't saying I didn't know the setting. I was saying I'm from a regular non-multi-dimensional Earth, with my regular Earth knowledge. The sheer number of places that have the name Earth in the Multiverse must be -observably- limitless, and the number of them that are called Earth-55 are for sure also more than a dozen. I was saying you should tell me more about it so I could see if it matched. Nothing wrong with what you know, but I'm sure I'll be catching up on what I don't know more than what I do know being useful."

"Earth-55?" it asked in a confused tone. "Interesting. I appear to have a missing data block where that settings' files should be. Discharged approximately twenty seconds ago? I do not recall committing to such an action, did I give a specific reason to my actions? It seems rather shortsighted, a duplicate of that read-only information would be next to impossible for me to acquire at this juncture…"

I rubbed my eyes. "That's what I figured. You said you had to settle for Earth-55 as your template, but when I said I didn't know about any specific Earth-55's and asked for more information about it you decided to purge the information so we would be learning about it at the same time. Entertaining for sure, but not very helpful for whatever it is we're doing. Which you still haven't told me."

"Oh. How unfortunate. All I know is that based on the previous entries of 'Earth-1 through Earth-54', it appears likely to be a… DC Comics variant Earth template. I remember from reading the data block previously that it had a set entry point, but I currently can not ascertain the specifics at this juncture. A… Super-Hero setting, in short. How exciting!~"

I perked up at the mention of DC. "Oh. I know that one. Not as familiar as others, but I know the major characters and some of the recurring plot lines." I sigh. "This isn't as bad as It could be. DC is more forgiving than some of the places I've heard of. So… what is the next step?" I asked.

At my final word, light sprang up around me in an almost blinding manner. When it died down, I beheld an odd sight. It was a full length mirror, a few feet away from me. I saw in its reflection what I had been carefully ignoring up to this point, hoping beyond hope that this dream would simply dissipate and leave me laying in my own bed…

I could see myself in it. But it wasn't me, that I saw in its reflection. I was a floating blob of vaguely human shaped… nothing. The same hazy mist that I had seen pulled from my body in the memory, that is what I saw facing me in the mirror.

"-as such, the interface notifiers will fire, which will cause a refractive line back to the originator seed. Understand?" I heard it stop, drawing my attention away from my internal freakout.

My blobby head turned to the light ball. "I'm a blob of stuff. If I do something wrong I will break back apart and possibly die. I think that was what you said, but I'm holding back panic right now, so…" I deadpanned.

"What?!?" it spouted in shock, flinching backwards in surprise, "I have not claimed any sort of comparison that even closely resembles your conclusion! Hmm. I see I will temporarily have to use simpler words to get the information across." With a wave of its entire body, it gestured to the mirror, "We... will… be... seeing… if… any… of… the… character… templates… I… have… access… to… will... prove… compatible… to… you. Hopefully my simpler explanation was easier to understand?" it ended hopefully.

I perk up, my blobby face lifting, then flinching back as I realize it's still me. "Oh. So you were talking about me taking the shape of someone else. If it doesn't fit, or we don't like it, the 'Template' just goes back to it's 'Seed' as you said. Sorry. I'm not used to becoming a blob thing. It took me a moment. Didn't hear the whole thing and I took the worst possible outcome."

It laughed, a tinkling sound that echoed off of… well, nothing, really. "Blob thing," it chortled in amusement, "I mean really. You are a perfectly beautiful soul, all things considered. Could stand to have some appearance modifiers, like a nice pair of wings..." it trailed off, before shaking itself and resuming its 'serious' tone. "Now then. I was able to scrounge together- acquire several templates, would you like to see them?" it asked, an odd buzzing arcing through my mind. I could have sworn it said one thing but then… I must have missed something.

"Let's see what we have to work with. Also, what's the goal of this whole thing?"

"Why does there have to be a goal? Live! There, that is the goal," it ended sagely, and rather smugly.

I stared at the light ball. I didn't know what sort of game this was. Copying someone's 'Soul' like it said sounded big time powerful, and all it wanted was for me to go about doing everyday living things? Sounds like a waste of time for little payoff, but to each their own. I'll learn enough about them later to decide what this was all for.

"That's alright then," I nodded. "And the options for my form? What are we working with?"

My attention was directed back to the mirror, a large male figure dominating most of the space shown in the mirror. He had relatively normal looking skin… until you noticed the odd lines intersecting and almost sunk into the skin. A head of white shaggy hair, with almost featureless glowing eyes. Capping off his appearance were two large gauntlets covering his hands.

I cringed, recognizing the source this man was from immediately. "So do the mental and emotional problems come with, because Asura isn't someone I would want to be if I have a choice."

"Mental?" it asked, wavering in place. "I supposed there might be minor mental overlap based on the initial template itself… do you not approve?"

"Well the character here is known for angry and bloody rampages across the country he's from, and killing just about the entire local pantheon. Sure, they deserved it for being corrupt and generally evil, but that sort of thing makes a pers- being a bit unhinged afterwards. Let's go on to someone easier to deal with."

"Easier…" it mused, before my form blurred once again.

Before me stood… a chest. A big, tan skinned, white fuzz covered chest. I moved, and the chest moved with me, showing two massive arms that led off into what looked like metallic bear claws that dragged along the ground. I couldn't even see my friggin head, this guy was massive!

"This one fits your soul signature much more easily than the last template, wouldn't you agree?" it asked in a happy tone.

I leaned over, lowering my head to look at it in the mirror. First I noticed the hair. Long bushy beard, massive eyebrows, and a ginormous mane trailing back almost to the floor. Then the red eyes, sitting angrily in my resting face.

I looked over to the Light, probably accidentally glaring at it. "So I'm closest in soul to this ginormous beast of a man? He has a face to scare small children, and with DC being the goal, I don't think I'll last more than a few weeks before some villain has grabbed me to hench for them. Who is this anyway?"

It looked saddened by my exertion, "The Template name reads 'Waldstein'. No last name… Well if size is what you're quibbling over, then I have the perfect choice!"

My perspective shifted once more, much much lower than it had been previously. Staring back at me from the mirror was a cheery -almost sickly so- Caucasian girl, with brown hair. Accompanying this rather normal girl were two abnormal additions. Two fur covered ears that stood up straight from her head, along with a ginormous squirrel tail that uncurled from behind her. That alone wasn't the weirdest thing about this though…

"Am I a chibi?" I asked, pawing at my ears and feeling the unfamiliar sensations coming from them. "Wait. SquirrelGirl?! This one! I pick this one!"

"Glorious!~" my resident Navi ripoff spouted cheerfully. "With a seventy nine percent compatibility ratio, transition should be relatively smooth. Now to just sync it up with the setting template-"

I struck a superhero pose with my hands on my hips, watching my new face in the mirror smile. Without much fanfare, the image in the mirror faded, showing me in all of my blobby glory as it let out a sorrow tinged whine.

"What? But it was… Just a moment, I need to check the root files…" it groused, turning green while it froze in place. It recovered its blue glow, giving me a saddened look in extenuation. "My apologies, it appears that template was only compatible with a variant of 'Super Hero Squad' brand Earths. How unfortunate. You were so happy, you almost made me feel happy… I guess we should continue?"

I scoffed. "Well of course I was. SquirrelGirl is the best. Able to do whatever she wants because the joke is always hers, but totally willing to be serious to kick the bad guys in the patoot!" I sighed. "What's next then?"

My vision lifted once more, until I was at a relatively normal height. Staring back at me was a pretty boy with familiar blond hair, sticking up in a way that only anime could explain. He was dressed in what might have been cool back in the nineties, a pair of baggy black pants topped with a baggy oversized short-sleeved hoodie. On his back was a relatively familiar, but still just as bootleg buster sword as the rest of this bargain bin Cloud Strife.

"I wasn't able to afford the baseline variant, but this one is just as functional," it/she assured me, "And look, it comes with a baseball cap!" Its crowing excitement quickly turned to disappointment once again, flashing green for a bare second before turning back to normal, my blobby form following suit in the mirror before me. "Drat. Thirteen percent compatibility ratio. You would have ended up evaporating that template in under a decade…"

"Well that's fair. Cloud, whatever version isn't like me at all. He doesn't really have a personality anyway, and I never really liked him. Next?"

The image in the mirror didn't even finish coalescing before it shattered once more, returning me to my blobby appearance once more. It had only been for the barest of moments, but I could have sworn I resembled a bootleg Mickey Mouse…

"Oh, goodness no," it sputtered in seeming disgust, "How did that even get in here? Probably PAHFIHFOIHIOHIOHIOHIOFRRRR playing one of their practical jokes again, that reprobate… Ah, here!"

Soon enough, staring back at me was the face of a boy. A well tanned, but very short, very young boy wearing what looked like a tailored wet-suit. Sleeveless, with the icon of tentacles rising from the water on his chest.

I looked myself over, turning around and taking everything in. "And who is this?"

"Antaeus Nekton, of the Nekton family. A direct line of the royal Lemurian family, Antaeus can… oh. Well that is disappointing," It ended on, staring off into space.

"Universe specific powers?" I ask.

"For one, the Lemurian Royalty clause would have allowed Antaeus to control all Lemurian technology… but it appears there is no Lemurian technology residing on Earth-55. Additionally, beyond that specific it appears that Antaeus Nekton is essentially just a normal human child. Regardless of the stellar compatibility ratio, I do not believe this would be a good choice any longer."

I nodded. "Universe specific powers. Next?"

It nodded, looking vaguely apprehensive. "A fair number of my selectable options have been deemed unusable based on your previous ones. We have gone from three hundred and ninety two available templates to only thirteen, I am afraid…"

My form changed once more, a middle aged man looking back at me from the other side of the mirror.

"Moses!" I called out, pointing at myself in the mirror.

Indeed, it was almost a banner match for the titular character of a children's movie I had seen years back. All the way down to the jawline, the rough robes he wore, and the long gnarled staff he carried in one hand.

"Indeed! This template has a high affinity for the jeudaic christianic deity, allowing for great feats of what could be considered miracles. All that is required is-" it cut off once more, my body returning to the new 'normal'. "Oh. It appears that the Grecian pantheon is predominant on Earth-55. This template is obviously unusable. My apologies for getting your hopes up."

"Haha. Yeah. Hopes up…" I try to sound happy I couldn't be Moses. Because that's a good idea. Being Moses.

I cleared my throat. Or, whatever my throat was at the moment. "So what are we going to do? I'm not as picky as it seems. I think you are taking my preferences too seriously."

"I still have two templates available. First is thus," it started, my form wavering around me once more.

What I saw before me was a stocky bodied human male, completely bald save for the simply enormous bushy mustache he had growing out from his lip. He wore a mostly red patterned coat, with accents of yellow and gold. His fists were covered in thin white gloves, and a pair of heavy looking goggles lay perched upon his head.

I looked at the bulb, the mirror, then back and forth a few times. "That's the bad guy. You didn't say I could be bad guys. I can be bad guys?"

"I did not make my selection based on such ephemeral qualities such as 'good versus evil'. I simply selected templates that had a higher than usual chance of proving compatible with your soul wavelength, as well as being in my price range thematically appropriate."

I rubbed my hand over my shiny bald head, a twinge of something going through my head at the lights words. "Not sure what to say about writing off the fight between Good and Evil like that, or that my soul apparently is on similar wavelengths to someone who gleefully plots mass animal and otherwise murder. You said there is a bit of mental blending when I get their form? How much are we talking? Could that be limited at all?"

"A fair amount, based on the level of information you would be pilfering from their dietetic history. For example, This variant of Dr. Ivo J. Robotnik would have trace amounts of megalomania, along with kleptomania if you pulled his entire engineering background for use. You are your own person, you are your own soul. You have free will, and will make choices against what the worlds ascribe to you. That is what makes you you"

"Well, Robotnik has done some really cool things with what he's had, but I'm not sold on him yet. What are our other options?"

"I have another selection from that templates setting, if you would like to see it?" it replied.

"Sure!" I declared, desperately hoping that it meant what I thought it was referring to. There were so many potential characters, I wouldn't know where to start. This last one was like opening a booster pack, or the final Gatcha! But there was one I was hoping for the obvious. Sonic himself. Nothing better in the series than the titular character. Sure, it would be a bit of a pain acclimating to being short and hedgehoggy, but the power of 'fastest thing evar' would be absolutely broken in a setting like DC. Flash, eat your heart out.

My image resolved in front of me, to which I blinked in confusion. The familiar sight of a blue furred hedgehog was not staring back at me. What was, however, looked like an extremely cutesified approximation of a familiar cartoon rabbit.

"Oh my gosh I'm freaking adorable," I stated breathlessly, poking at my mirror image with an oversized hand for such a minuscule frame. I noted belatedly that my voice had changed as well with the transition, as it had for each previous form change. I didn't speak with her ridiculously breathy tone, but I could almost hear it underneath my own frame of speech.

"This form has enhanced durability and strength compared to a baseline human, as well as her inherent Mobian ability to fly using her own ears. Quite a versatile package, would you not agree?"

I looked at Not-Navi and Tilted my head to the side, feeling the weight of my ears flopping to the side. "Well that's great, but isn't she a little young to be tossed into another world? I would hate to have homesickness from missing Cream's mother, for example…" I trail off. "Does Cream even have a mother? Who is my mother? I want my mom…" i sputtered as tears started to form in my eyes.

With a snap, the emotion was gone. Staring me back in the mirror was my sadly familiar blobby self.

"How unfortunate. A complete cohesion collapse. Your ratio went from upwards of seventy percent to under thirty percent in under a minute… Quite a mismatch… I see, the template had a heavily ingrained callow mindset… Definitely unusable. If we had sent you off using that… You well might have had a complete mental breakdown upon insertion. Let us try to avoid such a fate… Ah! I was wrong, I have one last template from that setting, here."

What was looking back at me from the mirror wasn't a blue furred speed demon, nor a hormonal and scared child. What it was, was unquestionably, unmistakably, and undeniably PINK.

"One Amelia Trecarthy Rose. For your purveyance."

I looked myself over. I was the size I expected. Basically a short child. Red dress, tall boots, hair band. A normal animal girl. Non-human animal girl. The full Sonic, if you will. "Will I have to worry about any mental blending?"

"It should not be an obvious hindrance, in any case," it assured me. "This template has a fully grown adult mind, unlikely to be subject to any tremendous bout of hormonal skewing. You might find yourself attracted to a certain blue furred hedgehog, but with the setting it is unlikely to ever become an issue. Seeing as it is unlikely that he exists in such a setting template. Other than that, you might find yourself easier to anger, and easier to forgive."

"This is my last choice right? It's between this and Dr Robotnik?" I ask, moving from side to side, the dress twirling me.

"You could always accept the Waldstein template, it was a fairly high sync ratio for you…"

I shook my head. "No. Just wanting to know where we stand. Can I change anything, or is it as is? I mean, the dress is nice, but I always preferred pants. Maybe something similar to what Robotnik was wearing?"

"Yes… I do believe… If I copy the track file from the thirty second backing… splice it into the appearance co- no, that's not… splice it into modifier? Yes!"

It bobbed in midair, the silence between us growing by the second. With a chime that sounded like a ringing knell, my clothes shifted in appearance from one split second to the next. Where once I stood wearing a cutesy red dress with white trim, now more closely resembling the outfit that Robotnik had worn. I could feel a bodysuit underneath a black turtleneck shirt. Red sleeves ending with yellow bell cuffs almost hiding gold bangles. A pair of sturdy black pants pants protected my modesty from any errant breeze, since the bodysuit seemed to not come with leggings. It was more professional than Amy's traditional clothes.

Plus pants!

"Very good job. I think I can live with this. It'll take some getting used to, being so short and furry. Probably have to worry about overheating. What does she do? You went over it with Cream, but not her." I point at the mirror.

It started, before letting out a short huff. "Ah. I see. How remiss of me. This template possesses enhanced strength and durability to protect her from her innate Mobian hedgehog abilities of heightened speed. Super speed! All the speed. But not in drugs. Drugs 'r bad, mmm'kay? Beyond the strength, durability, speed… Ah! Sorry, this bit was hidden in the code… Ah, I see! It appears she possesses the ability to summon something called the 'Piko Piko Hammer'. No, wrong wording. Not summon… Manifest. She can create new ones? Ah, yes. She can create a seemingly unending source of these hammers. It also says she can turn invisible? … Apologies, I am not seeing how she would achieve such an effect. In fact-"

~(^7^)~​

John Henry Irons knew he was in a bad spot. It wasn't ideal, but the alternative was potentially leagues worse. His Mark 3 armor plates were barely cooled off in their final quenching, ideally he would have given them another hour to cool and set in the chemical troughs. As is, they were unexpectedly fragile to targeted blows, especially ones the terminator ripoff before him seemed oh so keen on repeatedly throwing at him.

John momentarily contemplated drawing back and pelting the cyborg with errant bits of upturned masonry, before discarding the idea. The last time he had put any distance between them, the kryptonite powered criminal had opened his chest and belched forth a blast of energy from his own power source.

Probably not a good idea to encourage villains to bathe you in untested radioactive energy. More than likely… Although…

He jumped back, allowing the jump jets inset in his calves and back to glide him effortlessly above the ground. If he could only gain some distance, while also positioning himself closer to a potential bit of ammunition...

"Nice try, tin man!" he taunted, sensors in his helmet highlighting chunks of rock and concrete that had thus far been dislodged during their brief fight. "What are you aiming at? I'm right here ya blind fool! Do I need to stop moving or something? Paint a bullseye on my chest? Maybe pretend I'm a bottle of hooch Corben, with your crippling alcohol addiction there's no way you could miss hitting me!" A sudden blast of green tinged energy forced John to jerk to the side, masking his swipe at the ground with an 'unintentional stumble'. "Oh ho ho! You got close there, did I hit a nerve?"

"Your ceaseless prattling is putting me to sleep, more like," Metallo refuted as he strode forward, the green crystal slowly building an ever increasing glow as a high pitched whine filled the air between them, "Was that your plan? To bore me into submission? You might have a chance then, hero." He punctuated the end of his statement with another ranged blast erupting from his chest, the scent of ozone cutting through the air.

"Heh," John scoffed, dodging to the side with a blast from his dash jets. The chunk of jagged concrete flipped from his hand, lazily pirouetting in the air before him. Rearing back with his hammer, John activated the 'Peoples' Hope' subroutine for his trusty weapon. Jet boosters blared to life, three cones of irrefutable power jutting outward from the back of his mighty hammer. "Predictable as always. Even as a literal machine, white brother can't take a simple joke."

The hammer whipped forward on a radial arc, a perfect bleeding of momentum and direction. The chunk of concrete made a curious metallic pinging sound when the hammer head struck it, perhaps a nail had been baked within it when it was first mixed?

Well, what better for a hammer to strike, than a nail?

The chunk of masonry rocketed forth, striking true. A titanic gout of energy rippled outwards, the light posts nearby rattling as their bulbs shattered in their housings. The air itself twisted and warped, tearing at itself from the discharge before slowly dissipating as the blast traveled ever onwards. John looked on, peering through the slowly settling cloud of dust as his suits sensors frantically peppered his eyes with warnings and alerts. A literal third of the alerts were unfamiliar, he was almost certain Angoria hadn't programmed those in-

Or maybe that was the concussion talking. Wait, concussion? How did he get… John blinked at the resurgence of warning lights flashing about in his helmet, dazedly flopping onto his back, wondering deeply how he had gotten here. Wasn't he just standing… over there? Levering himself shakily into a standing position, he saw Metallo standing roughly where he could have sworn he had been previously. Fist outstretched, his arm slowly returning to a relaxed dangle at his side.

Oh.

Oh, Metallo had hit him. "Rung me like mama beating that darned triangle," he groused, half deliriously giggling to himself as he tried to regain his footing. Judging by the utterly cracked faceplate, and the several servos he could see popping up from his ruptured collar like daisies he had been right to assume that his armor plates would be needing that chemical finishing treatment.

Despite the excessive damage his own suit had taken however… Metallo somehow looked the worse off in their exchange. His shirt hung in tattered fragments from his chest, the fake skin seared off in bubbling swathes across his form. His right arm had lost all of its flesh, the obscuring tissues absence revealing a limb of skeletal metal. His 'flesh' of his face was in ribbons, the rictus grin of the demonic metal skull underneath peering balefully forth.

"Congratulations. You've irritated me. I liked that shirt," he airily complained, the plates on his chest sliding back into place, concealing the kryptonite within.

John spat out a mouthful of blood through the wide crack in his faceplate, rolling his shoulders as he checked his hammer. Just enough power left for one more 'Peoples' Hope'.

"Aw, did I wrinkle your blouse? Well how about you come on over here so I can even out that stupid looking haircut?" John retorted, boosters sputtering to life as he dashed forwards.

~(^7^)~​

I flinched, staring at the wall in front of me. I could smell the scent of a nearby dumpster, pervading the air around me with a horrible odor.

I felt the weight of the world around me, a suspicious lack I hadn't even noticed within the void. Beyond that return of normalcy, the rest of my current predicament was just as abnormal as the resurgence of gravity. It hadn't been a dream, I was still somehow a walking, talking fuzzy furry pink hedgehog. With pretty gold bangles to match…

Looking out of the alleyway -anything to get away from the pervading stench of week old Italian- I saw what looked like a normal city. People walking by, going about their business. No telling which city I had ended up in. Or when. It didn't look like a shithole or have an indeterminate amount of gothic architecture, so I could safely cross Gotham off the list, I guess.

A chance bit of luck saw a skittering newspaper brought through my alleyway by an errant breeze. Picking it up I barely caught the sight of the date at the top before a horrific gust of wind ripped it from my hands. But it was more than enough for me to see the bold text of '9/17/2001 blazoned upon it.

What caused the burst of wind was readily apparent as I ran to the opening of the alleyway, seeing what had rocketed past and crashed into a car. A tall man with a barrel chest wearing what looked like a gleaming suit of futuristic steel armor. Grasped lightly in one hand, I could see he was barely holding onto his signature hammer.

Holy crapbaskets! That was Steel, the Superman knockoff they created to resonate with the African American demographic back in the day.



Holy crapbaskets! Steel was getting his butt handed to him!

"You really thought you could stand up to me, Steel? I am immortal. I am Metallo. Superman couldn't stand up against me, what hope do you have?"

A snort escaped my nose at that, and I tucked myself into the mouth of the alley. I may not know where I was, but that was a Villain line if there ever was one.

The power suited man lurched to his feet in a woozy jerk, barely managing to stay upright as he used his hammer like a crutch.

"I'll always have hope, Metallo. As long as one of us stands up to people like you, we'll always have hope. You can't stomp it out, no matter what you do. You're too weak," he taunted.

The robotic villain scoffed, stalking forward with each step bringing him closer to my alley. "If I am weak, then you must be pathetic.And if all I must do to extinguish such misplaced gallantry… Well I have fairly hefty size tens," he joked, pausing to stomp a crater in the ground. "I wonder how many heads I have to squish beneath them before your pathetic hope gutters out as well…?"

Another step took Metallo perpendicular to my alley. I apparently wasn't as sneaky as I was trying to be, seeing as his gaze snapped over to rest on me. Hey, Pink isn't exactly the best shade for stealth. Right above Neon Orange, but still rather horrible.

"What the… and I thought the New York sewer gators were bad. The hell has a rat like you been eating to get so big?" he laughed, momentarily distracted from his pursuit of the metal clad hero as he loomed over me, leaning against the wall to the alley.

My back foot went up to its toe and started digging into the dirt. "Eh heh…" I started, feeling the pressure of a bona fide villain on my thoroughly cowed head. "... would you believe a bevy of leafy veggies and the occasional Circus Peanut?"

This close, I could see the shredded musculature obscuring his metal face. The fake skin barely hid what was a horrifying visage, unforgiving steel with a glowing red eye. Said eye stared down at me impassively.

"And it thinks it has a sense of humor. Hilarious."

His chest slid open in what felt like slow motion, a green rock within revealed for only a millisecond before a lurid green beam shot forth. I could see it creeping forward towards me in what felt like agonizingly slow motion. I tried to dodge, but only managed to jerk forwards and barely avoid the beam of energy due to my smaller size. The burst of energy exploding behind me propelled me into the air, oh hey tinnitus I missed you like an old friend… I slammed into his legs and tumbled to a stop in the middle of the street, momentarily dazed.

"Big mistake," Metallo grumbled, bringing himself back from where he had been laying on the ground after I slammed into his legs. "Do you have any idea who I am, you disgusting little rat?!?"

Looking up, my terror was overridden. Seeing Metallo loom over me, how he's moved. How his chest had to open. Even the blow I took when I ran into him after he missed me with his ray blast, or whatever he called it. My terror flew away with the natural and overriding emotion.

"Well that's rich coming from a… a ritzed up trashcan like you!" I state. Internally I cringed. A bit loud, but exactly what I wanted to say. Heck, I could build something better constructed than this shoddily put together walking garbage pile!

"Wrong answ-" whatever he might have said was cut off suddenly. Gigantic mecha sledgehammers to the head tend to do that. Steel followed through with his swing, catapulting the robotic villain far to my right.

"Any answer," Steel huffed, hunching over but still somehow managing to hold himself tall as he peered off towards the sprawled super villain. "-is worth it, against a man like you. Can't say I disagree with her, either."

I huffed along with him, more in consternation than true exhaustion. "Well, what else am I supposed to say? He looks horrible. Nothing about him is worth keeping. Even the brain should be replaced."

"Well would you look at that!?" I heard Metallo call out from what should have been an insensate pile of metal and rust. "A volunteer. I'd say thanks for the contribution of spare parts… But pink just isn't my colour." With that, he lurched to a standing position once more, slowly stalking towards us.

I spare a look at Steel, then look back at Metallo. "Uhh… I'm pretty sure any spare parts you can find around here aren't going to be your size, but…" I take a step backwards. "...I'm sure I could change your fittings to match!"

Without conscious thought, I found myself pushing off the ground and doing what Mobian hedgehogs do best. Curling into a ball, I shot directly towards center mass. My rotating ball of spines impacted, digging in and pushing Metallo back. Bits and fragments of metal flew off as I spun faster, urging myself to put out just a little bit more. Anything, everything! I couldn't let up for one second, I wasn't going to let this rickety bucket of bolts show me up!

As I spun faster and faster, a whining, keening sound echoing around us… I could feel it. An aching in my chest, down in my bones. A twitchy, erratic mess of happy, sad, mad, movement that wanted to leap free and dance!

I could feel it. All of a sudden, I wasn't just a whirling mass of suspiciously durable hedgehog quills and fluff. As Metallo quickly found out, I was much… much more. He started to screech, his bellowing cries joining the electric hum that rose ever higher from our bodies. If I had been uncurled, I might have seen arcs of brilliant pink lightning tracing off of me and suffusing Metallos body.

With a final push, I shoved him away. Uncurling, I was faced with what remained of the robotic villain. The left side of his chest had been cored like I had scooped at it with gigantic melon baller, the tenuous fittings holding his chunk of kryptonite in his chest casing reduced to only a couple fragile metal struts. With a heavy sigh and an echoing 'unf' as he fell into a seated position, the kryptonite shard tore free of its diminished restraints and skittered across the ground.

Metallo peered up at me in confusion, and wariness. Unable to lift his head, or even obey his mind's desperate commands to crawl away, he managed to conjure up a flash of stubborn defiance. "What… the hell are you?" he spat forth, and I could very well imagine that had he been physically capable of it, a trail of actual spittle would have followed suit with such a statement.

Maybe oil? Of course, without the ability to properly masticate his food and a repository for said food to drop into to be digested, there really was no point in having a renewable source of liquid being constantly pumped to the mouth. Perhaps some sort of acid spit might be an acceptable attack? A pipe or something could have broken though, easily. He wouldn't have much of a sense of touch as is, so I doubt he would know if an object managed to penetrate…

I started to question how Kryptonite could be used to power… anything. Most engines use either premade power or combustibles, but Nuclear Reactors use Boiler adjacents... He didn't look large enough for a boiler… No point for it?

As I looked down at him, I felt my mind working overtime. Dancing across his crumpled form, chastising, debating… insulting such poor, shoddy manufacture. It was intoxicating, a thread of manic fixation started to run through me. Things, ideas were rushing by me at breakneck speeds. A misaligned shoulder joint here, a friction-less ankle socket there...

I didn't have the right supplies at hand. Nor the correct tools. But I was resourceful. Plus, if what I understood about my new strength was true, tools probably weren't as big of a problem as they could be.

I can adapt!~

I chuckled, stepping forward until I was directly in front of him. I squatted down, reaching for his head and caressing it with tender mania. "Ohohohoh~ Did you think I was finished? Didn't I say I was going to... 'change your fittings'? I must say…" I trailed off, letting his head drop back in a boneless thunk, "I honestly thought you would have been able to put up with more, with such a bare-bones design."

I let out a tired sigh, feeling an almost palpable sense of sadness at this caricatures' initial construction. "I guess... I'll just have to replace the whole thing," I stated in a lilting tone, my fingers twitching uncontrollably. "Now just... Hold... Still~" I crooned, and with that I began rooting through his caved in chest to figure out what was salvageable.

Servos, actuators, all of this was fairly poor quality steel all things considered. This motor was still usable… Ooh! A three and three quarters centi-cubit hexagonal washer! Never know when one of these will prove useful… I think I'm just going to keep this...

"Who was it that made you anyway? Some half-wit with a box of scraps in his parents garage? These actuators are from a common dishwasher design, and could be twice as effective. Your servos are years out of date, and whatever they were using as circuit board conductors is doing a horrible job of it. And the metals? Seriously, 2% carbon mixed iron steel composite? Blegh… I wouldn't be caught dead using this. You have no idea, do you? Did you have anyone check their work? Did you Pay them to do this? If you did, you need to get your money back. This is… really bad. Like, the worst I've seen. Ever. Of all time. Well. This Motor isn't too bad, but it could really be improved. And..." I tried to think of something to say to make him maybe feel better about himself, anything to offset the pure shame of walking around in what basically equated to 'babbies first bionics kit', "The washers are shiny and nice?"

This really was a novel experience. Looking over the tech was taking barely any thought at all. Examining it was effortless, so my mouth could chatter freely. While that was happening, I was thinking through what had been happening. Was Steel back up? He hadn't been making much noise, but that may be because of how fast things are moving. Wait… wasn't I supposed to be Amy? Where did she get all this technical know-how? Did something go wrong with the.... OOOH! An old style backup chained battery linked into the central manifold! You don't see those anymore!

"It's Superman!" I heard someone call out from behind me, somewhere. It didn't matter. It wasn't important. I could tangentially hear people muttering in their hushed voices behind me as I worked, pulling out a piece here, repositioning it there… Using a loose chunk of warped metal to unscrew this… What even was this supposed to be? A structure plate? He didn't need the support for his super strength, anyway.

It would be much safer if he didn't have the ability to rip open his prison bars, is all I'm saying. Plus, I needed the extra material!

I initially thought of using the chunk of kryptonite… but I didn't have the needed safety materials at hand to even entertain the thought, regardless of how much energy it might output. The K ore was nasty stuff, a negatively charged magical remnant of Superman's dead home world. A final 'F-U' to everything at its destruction, capable of many vast and varied effects.

And without a similarly vast supply of lead to block its potentially harmful radiation… I'll leave that to the cueball wunderkin, Lex Luthor. "If he wants to risk cancer every time he handles that crap…" I muttered, ripping out a support strut. He didn't need it. Oh well. Bend the plate back into place…

An idea passed through my head for something I could make with the leftovers. I briefly measured my waist for scale, making sure I wasn't going to under or over shoot.

"Ma'am?"

"-she's been like that for the past ten minutes, won't respond to outward stimuli. It's like she's in some sort of... fugue state?" Unimportant words! Meaningless chatter, distracting me from my work.

I needed something flexible for the strap… Ooh!~ a ribbon cable connecting an override to the muscle fiber conduits allowing an over two hundred percent output… Well he definitely won't be needing that, and look! It's just my size!~ Almost. Almost. Just a couple more inches… Oh, this might work. Bronze male/female connectors, double layered… perfect!

"-already tried that sir, last time I tried she smacked me with that oversized nail whacker."

Another hand on my shoulder? I'm busy! Do not disturb! "Leave a message at the beep!"

I found my body jarred to a stop, my arm outstretched behind me and held still solid as stone. I tried to jerk my hand back, and only noticed after the fact I was holding one of the largest hammers I had ever seen in my life. Harley Quinn would have called this thing overkill, especially with my current size.

Looking further back, on past the gleaming red and yellow mallet… A human hand. An arm clothed in blue.

Oh no. If I was right…

I followed the arm upwards to a handsome human face. Blue eyes. Slicked back hair. Blue pajamas with a pair of shiny red panties on the outside, and with his signature S on his chest. Well… that was bad. It was better than that, but not quite. I could tell the underwear was part of it, and the cloth was much better than your run of the mill pajamas. Really fit though. Custom? Probably. Maybe a gift. I wouldn't think he could afford it on an Editors salary. Was that what I was wearing? Super tight and revealing clothes that made me look fitter then huma- Hedgehogilly? Anatomically possible?

"Ma'am," Superman's tone brokered no room for sideways finagling. Or side tangents. Did I always think like this?

I smiled and looked back up to his face. "Yes? Can I help you?" Strange how my brain could have different tracks like this. An Amy thing?

"You're scaring the populace, miss. I'm going to have to ask you to come with me."

"Oh my gosh it's Captain America!" was squealed directly into my ear. With how much better my hearing was than in my original body, I think I might have gone deaf. Who on gods green earth thought it was a good idea to screech right into a perfectly benign bystanders ear for no reason?

Oh hey. Not-Navi was back. Hovering right alongside me. How long…? Not important! I grabbed the little ball and stuffed it in my coat pocket. Looking back up I smiled. Or tried.

"Hahaha… Don't mind the little light ball. As I was asking, can I help you? Come with you? Am I in trouble?" I asked.

Superman reached out slowly, holding his hand.

"As I was saying miss, I need you to come with me. There are some questions I'd like answered, if you are willing."

~(^7^)~​

He stood before a thin sheet, the view outside this flimsy portal lay just out of reach of his probing fingers. The realm beyond lay glittering and gimlet, a sparkling paradise that hid the putrid muck that lay just underneath.

If one could just reach that last small bit forward, a minuscule amount towards gaining everything…

"Sir?"

His hand flinched backwards, away from the window before him. The city of Metropolis was easily seen beyond, through the six inches of bulletproof reinforced glass.

A protection that was absolutely worthless against the foul alien that called himself the protector of his great country. This foreign beast could kill every man, woman and child in their sleep as easily as any nuclear warhead.

If they could just find a way to bring the brute to heel…

"What of Corbin?" he asked, interested only in the outcome. It didn't matter if that freak won against the Man Of Steel. He didn't expect him to, but any hint of resistance could prove the inevitable victory.

"He engaged with Superman at 2:47. After approximately three minutes of fighting, subject Superman was forced to flee from the battlefield. Acute kryptonite poisoning, resulting in a weakened state below that of a normal human adult male."

Interesting. "And once Corbin caught up to him?" he questioned with a smirk. Superman must have escaped his rightful punishment, the brat was ungainly lucky in his battles, even when faced with kryptonite. Whether through outside interference, or whatever idiocy the local freak of the week managed to scrounge up in their fight.

"He didn't, sir."

Of course. The fool couldn't even give a single battle his all without bungling it up.

"Why did I even bother with that idiot?" he asked, bemoaning the relatively long hours he had spent creating Corbin's new body. Give a common thug super strength, and they'll still manage to be nothing more than a common street thug. "No matter. What was the outcome? Which new spandex clad imbecile crawled out of the woodwork?"

He turned towards a screen that unfolded from his desk, an unfamiliar face showing on it.

"Henry Irons, it seems he is calling himself 'Steel' in costume."

He looked at the second set of images that popped up, showing the statuesque man in a suit of shimmering steel. "How… gauche." No sense of style, these brats. With that much shining metal, made of such poor steel… That headpiece was simply begging for a 52MM round straight to the temple.

To dirty himself even further, his name was a reference to Superman. Disgraceful.

"That bucket of scraps shouldn't have been able to stand against Corbin, even with his limiters…" he peered closely at the pictures, opening up a video file that was beside the main image selection. Barely strong enough to pick up four tons, by the look of it. The mechanical man should have bested the knight easily.

"He wasn't alone."

He froze, staring intently at the newest set of images displayed.

"What the hell is that?" he sputtered, swiping through the pictures. Some sort of… clothed beast. Garishly coloured as well.

"It appears to be an upright hedgehog sir. Pink as well. We don't have anything like it on record, so it must be new."

"Clearly." Wait. Rewinding the video, he bemoaned the fact that there was no source of greater quality. Faulty traffic cameras and substandard cctv footage could only go so far. "Note, autonomous camera drone. Camouflage? Cloaking. Remind at thirty minute intervals. … What was that?"

The creature shown on the screen had bunched itself up into a ball, before somehow launching itself into Corbin's chest cavity at impossible speed. Some sort of limited speedster? Fairly pointless power, if the thing had to cut off their visibility by curling into a ball…

"That, right there," he pointed out, replaying a split second of video over and over. A light colour glowed on the screen, obscuring the creatures for that split second before it sprang forward. "That," he nearly purred out loud.

A single frame of barely visible video.

A nimbus of pink lightning surrounding the pink creature.

"That," he groaned in a lumbering growl, "Is power. Power…"

Mercy took a halting step backwards, away from the palpable feeling of manic energy before her.

Lex Luthor stood up from his desk, whirling a coat around his shoulders as he swept out of his office.

"That power… It should belong to me."
 

Alias

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Cool story Flutters. :3
 
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