The Consequences of Lampooning a Tyrant
Emerald Hill Zone, West Side Island, Acorn Archipelago, Earth, October 24 th , 3225 P.X.E.
Located off the eastern coast of the northwestern hemisphere continent of Northamer in the Northern portion of the Central Sea, the entire Acorn Archipelago was once the Mobian Troll homeland of Pancardina before an unknown event or force splintered the landmass into numerous islands that were all eventually claimed as offshore territories of the mainland Kingdom of Acorn during the reign of the Fourth King, Julius the Enlightened, with each following monarch adding on to the development of each island in the eight generations that followed. Among the island territories, the one located to the westside of the Archipelago, appropriately named West Side Island, was designated as the Kingdom's last retreat in the event their holdings at Northamer, including the capital of Mobius City, were seized in masse by the Human Overlanders during the Great War between both of their countries that raged in the previous five years.
Thankfully for the Kingdom's economy that was struggling from the war, the tide had turned in their favor before the construction of a new major city could begin. Unfortunately, however, all the Mobians that lived in the Archipelago would shortly go about their daily lives without greater authority for the following year when both the Kingdom and the Military Republic of Overland felled from within at the actions of a brilliant, yet wicked, scientist who played both sides of the Great War before making his own move for global power at the conflict's end with a robotic army as well as aides of various species under him.
Nonetheless, life went on steadily for the Mobians who lived on West Side Island, and it was in a village of the tropical plain known as the Emerald Hill Zone in fact, that a local pelican had been publishing parody comics monthly that were quite popular among both children and adults alike. His latest work at the anniversary of the Kingdom of Acorn's overthrow even, was based on the titular Eggman himself.
"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall!" An automatic voice was saying from the animated comic book known as Crack Ups while held in the hands of a newt in the company of a pelican. Together they watched as the comic inside played a scene of an overweight Human in red and black clothing fall to the ground and crack like he was an eggshell. "But the entire world just stood around and giggled, while that rotten egg just laid there and wiggled!"
"Help, I've fallen, and I can't get up!" a gruff, yet surprisingly accurate, voice that resembled the one used by Doctor Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik said followed by raucous laughter from the comic itself.
Despite already knowing the result, the yellow-feathered pelican wearing a pink tie who created Crack Ups, Sketch Lampoon, could not restrain a laugh himself as he told his neighbor, who he had invited into his home to help with his depressed-looking moods via showing off his comics for free. "See what I mean, Syd? It cracks me up! And like I always say, if it cracks me up, it ought to be in Crack Ups!"
The newt, Sydney Bland, allowed himself a meaningful laugh himself as he replied. "It definitely will have an impact, Sketch, and I can't help but admire your bravery."
Showing the palms of his hands after handing the issue back to Sketch, Sydney explained. "Well, it is no secret that if Eggman himself finds out about your comic's existence, he'll be mighty crossed. You're taking a big gamble with your life in making such a statement."
Sketch laughed to himself once more as he said with a scoff. "Oh, gamble, scramble! I see potential for humor, and I take it, Syd. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Besides, you're making it sound like that oversized egg of a snake will ever find out." Letting out a pleased, characteristic whistle, Sketch chuckled even more before he then heard screams from outside his house and turned to the window of his living room to see many flight-based Badniks, the robot enforcers of the Eggman Empire that Sketch was mocking via its head of state, were encircling the village as many other ground-based Badniks from Swat Bots to the Coconuts model were driving the terrified people out of their homes and walkways and into the center of the settlement.
Before Sketch could think of what to do in such a situation, he held the cocking sound of a firearm behind him and could tell, even without looking, that he was in genuine trouble.
"Well, here's our chance to see how brave you are, Lampoon, old buddy." Sydney told Sketch in a smug tone of voice.
Having been led outside of his home, Sketch was forced to see the Badniks holding the Emerald Hill Folk at gunpoint like Sydney held him. While their fellow neighbors looked surprised that one of their own was aiding and abetting the invading force, questions and curses went unsaid when two levitating vehicles sat down on the nearby ground for a Human from each to disembark, one diminutive and green in attire while the other wore red and was far larger.
The villagers all felt fear as Doctor Eggman as well as his nephew and personal aide, Julian "Snively" Robotnik, had arrived in their home.
"Good day, people of the Emerald Hill!" Eggman proclaimed with raised arms while Snively looked on with a self-assured grin. "Aren't you going to welcome the Illusionary Island's new leader?"
"New leader?" One of the Emerald Hill Folk could not help but ask scandalized.
A pompous laugh escaped the evil scientist and dictator as he said. "But of course. I just made the news that I'm building the rightful capital of my Eggman Empire here on West Side Island, or are newspapers so out of your reach, or better yet, beneath you, that such important information escaped your notice?" Raising his left hand to cutoff any protest, Eggman then added. "But enough about my industrial plans for this island." He then brought out the latest issue of Crack Ups as he showed it to the people yelling. "I'd like to talk with the vile creature who drew this despicable excuse of a comic book!"
"He's right here, Doctor Eggman, sir." Sydney said proudly as he forced Sketch down to the grassy ground at Eggman's feet.
Noticing the newt in the purple turtleneck, Snively looked interested as he said nasally. "Ah, you must be Mister Bland. Your tipoff was most welcome if I might add. This amount of criticism is intolerable, after all."
"Bland, how could you do this?!" One of the Emerald Hill Folk shouted in betrayal with many others feeling the same way as well.
Sydney scoffed derisively at the condemnation as he replied. "Oh, please, you happy, go-lucky simpletons. Even the stupidest among you should see that there is no future denying the Eggman Empire. And to be honest, seeing how miserable you all are right now, brings a wide smile to my face. It's the most fun I've had all my life."
Sketch allowed anger to overtake him as he turned to Sydney yelling. "Fun?! Like you couldn't find anything more enjoyable to do with all that money you got instead of treating your own neighbors like dirt?!"
"Enough!" Shouted Eggman as he allowed his gaze to wonder over the villagers. Exhaling, he turned to Sydney with a fiendish grin. "Well, I do appreciate those who seek better opportunities, especially at the expense of the weak. So, Mr. Bland, so long as you obey my orders, you can do with this Zone and it's pathetic inhabitants in whatever way you chose."
Sydney bowed down at the waist as he replied. "I'll serve you to the best of my ability, Master."
"Good." Eggman then turned to Sketch with a narrowed grimace as he said. "And you, Mr. Lampoon, what do you have to say for yourself?"
"Can I ask how come you can't take a yoke, Dr. Robloatnik?" Sketch said rhetorically in an attempt to sound brave before he was hit with a shock gun courtesy of Snively.
Chuckling at the pelican's pain, Eggman shared a glance with Snively as he said. "You read my mind, Snively. I'm impressed."
"Robotnik is my surname as well, Doctor." Snively replied with a gracious bow.
"Just so." Eggman said with a nod before he then turned to Sketch. "Sketch Lampoon, for the crime of disrespecting your rightful Emperor, you and all those who laughed with you are hereby sentenced to Roboticization."
"No, please!" Sketch begged as many of the knowing Emerald Hill Folk gasped and cried out in fear. "You already have me, Doc! Nobody else needs to suffer! Don't you have a heart for when it comes to little kids?!"
Eggman laughed uproariously at Sketch's words as he answered. "If I do have a non-cruel side, Lampoon, I'm afraid it's not up for display at the moment." Turning to Sydney, he then commanded. "Mayor Bland, direct the Swat Bots to destroy all traces of Crack Ups and arrest anyone who's confirmed to have purchased an issue, read it, or be associated with Lampoon as well as anyone who tries to resist the new social program I'm inputting for them."
"Yes, sir, Doctor Eggman." Sydney said with a salute before adding. "And if any orphaned children or pets come up as a result, I'll be sure to direct them to the nearest Eggman Army recruitment center and Badnik Processing Plant just for you."
Allowing himself an eager laugh, Eggman turned to Sydney with a pleased look as he said. "You really have been reading my work, Bland. I like it." Making way for his Egg Mobile, he then added. "Come, Snively. Let's get to work on my Metropolis."
Had a thought of Sydney Bland from Sonic the Comic coming to work under Eggman for both opportunistic reasons and a desire to make other people miserable back when I planned on making the previous chapter a full story, but I can imagine that some things do not necessarily need to be connected to each other in order to tell a big story, especially since I settled for Sketch Lampoon from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog to be sold out instead of the Prower family. I also have more ideas surrounding West Side Island, so be on the lookout.