Article: 261475 of talk.bizarre
From: (d.)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: "level 1"
Date: 1 Dec 1995 18:50:15 GMT
Organization: iTribe, Inc.  <URL:>
Lines: 123
Message-ID: <49nip7$>
Summary: fiction, FTSD submission
Status: O

[Note: this is j.j's fault.]

The odd, rickety tank lumbered over the crest of the hill in front of
him, spitting thick oily smoke from a set of pipes pointing up from
its rear.  With a grimace he watched it roll down the slope towards
him, just barely able to come to a halt at the bottom.  Another piece
of death-machine crap -- how had he gotten this job anyways?

His feet ached dully, although he couldn't see them in the tall grass
of the valley.

"End of the line.  Time to die!" barked a megaphone attached to the
tank's cockpit melodramatically.  He almost imagined he could see the
outline of his quarry's head backlit in the smoky glass viewport.

"Let them go!" he demanded, already knowing the action was futile.
They would fight, and he would win, or he would die, or he would win
and die both.  The outcome didn't seem important anymore, although he
was bound to be the tool of justice.

The tank powered up its beam weapons in response.


"He's cute," Sally said in awe.

"But he's lousy in bed," Rhonda replied.


"Just kind of lackluster.  Goes through the motions without any heart
in it, like he's following a blueprint for sex."

"Is that all so terrible?"

"He's got a tiny dick too."

"Oh.  Well, he's still cute.  I guess I'll just look at him, though."

"Good choice.  Go for his friend there -- he can fuck like an animal."


His right arm shorn off.  Bled to death.

Head crushed.  Dead instantly.

A beam weapon through the left lung.  He coughed blood until he
drowned, nestled in the tall green grass.

His spine snapped in three places.  The Doctor actually came out to
laugh at him that time.

He rammed his left arm into a heat exhaust, blackening his fingers
until the pain nearly drove him to his knees.  The tank stood still,
turret spinning slowly about to get a bead on him.  In desperation, he
thrust his other arm in as well and pulled at the insulated conduit

The pain brought blood to his eyes.  His fingers were charcoal.  He
braced his knees and strained against the conduit's moorings, pulling
it slowly loose as the Doctor frantically tried to aim some weaponry
at him.  With a sudden snap it broke free, depositing him on his ass
in the tall green grass.  He looked at his hands dumbly -- they were
half melted to the metal pipe now.  Wires stuck out of both ends,
still sparking.

The tank's turret squealed to a halt, and the tank's engine died.
Inside he could hear the Doctor angrily banging against the metal
controls in frustration.

A series of small explosions began rocking the tank, and smoke
appeared around the edge of the cockpit.  A blast of fire launched the
cockpit free of the tank; it was a self-contained escape pod.  Without
a single word, the Doctor steered the vehicle away from the Green
Hills towards his laboratory.

Shock wormed its way through his body, but he managed to struggle to
his feet somehow.  Over the hill he found the small metal prison, and
he leapt on top to manipulate the release catch with his feet.  The
sides of the device opened, and cheers broke out among his friends
trapped inside.

Shock overcame him at last, and he toppled backwards from the large,
egg-shaped device onto the ground.  His eyes found the blue, cloudless
sky as his heart stopped in his chest, and for a split-second he knew


"We were worried about you!"

"No, don't worry about me," he sighed, looking towards the west.

"Come celebrate with us!"

"No, no time for celebrating.  He's got others, still."

"At least rest for a while."

"No, I can't.  I'm sorry."

About a hundred miles to the west the Doctor's chemical plant churned
out evil chemicals -- his next target.  He began running across the
Green Hills, not even bothering to say goodbye lest his friends see
the unwillingness in his eyes.

When would enough be enough and when would the torture of endless
deaths cease?  When would a final death come for him, lifting him away
from mortal cares and woes?  He had no answers, he had no hope.

Sonic kept running, through the grasslands.


The large and potentially dangerous polygonal mirror wheel: