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Figured I should post this here since there might have been a few of you who haven't seen this yet. This takes place in the reboot of Heroes of Arcadia shortly after Robotnik's defeat. It's a bit of an experimental piece which looks at one possibility of what happens when those that create the fiction find out the worlds are real. Sadly...I couldn't post this on FF.net due to prohibitions against using nonfictional people. Anyways...hope you enjoy! Oh yes...and before I forget... (P.S.: That sound you hear is the fourth wall completely shattering!) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Things were looking difficult for all involved. Dealing with fans? Not a problem. Deadlines? Not an issue. Layouts? Easy. Finding out your comic was based on a real war in another reality? A problem...and a big one. For years, at Archie Comics, the Sonic comic was going along despite changes in authors, artists, characterizations, and story. It even endured the backlash of fans who got angry whenever something bad happened to a favorite character...like the most recent robotization of Sally. Then Arcadia happened. When the news was made public that Mobius was real and that they were in the middle of the very war that both the cartoon series known as SatAM and the Archie comic were based on, many at Archie felt very uncomfortable. Not only because they used said war as a means of creating a new comic, but because at present one of the very leaders of the Freedom Fight was depicted as having been a victim of said war. This situation became even more complicated when it was learned that King Maximillian Acorn ended up on Earth when he was chucked through the void...and knew about said comic series. Although Archie had decided to temporarily halt production of the comic in respect to the Freedom Fighters of Mobius, an action mirrored by Sega when they halted production on the Sonic games, many were still worried that they might not be allowed to continue it. Or, worst case scenario, how were they going to pay royalties to an entire planet? The one that was concerned about this most was lead producer on the comic, Ian Flynn. He was known as Ian “Potto” Flynn to fans due to the fact he was originally known as the creator of the fancomic “Sonic – Other M”, which of course left many wondering if he laughed when he saw the name of the new Metroid game. This fancomic eventually got him noticed by Archie and he was eventually hired for the Sonic comic and he was even working on a Megaman comic for Archie as well. Unfortunately, with the revelation that both Mobius and Capcom-Earth were real, both those projects were now in jeopardy. Not only because it could be construed that they were making light of what were now revealed to be real events, but because those that were characters in said comics might object. As such, Ian worried about both his future and his career. To make matters worse... “Mr. Flynn? Princess Sally Acorn is here.” ...that just happened. “Show her in.” Ian took a deep breath and prepared for the worst. He knew someone from Mobius would come to talk about the comic. Unfortunately, it just had to be the one Mobian he didn’t want. Sonic would have been fine, since he was still depicted as Mobius’s hero. Sally, though...he was expecting a major browbeating from her for turning her into a roboticized slave to Robotnik, and even weaponizing her. Sally soon walked in, and Ian easily recognized the classic look...a humanoid ground squirrel with auburn headfur wearing a blue vest and blue boots. Despite the fact she was only about four feet tall, she still had an air of importance to her that made her seem larger than life, and that made Ian feel a bit nervous. “Mr. Flynn? Thank you for seeing me.” “It was my pleasure, and may I say quite an honor as well. Please...sit down.” Sally sat down in the chair that was offered her and Ian then tried to make the situation more comfortable. “Can I get you anything?” he asked her. “We have coffee or anything from the vending machines...” “Oh...no, thank you,” Sally said. “I appreciate the offer though.” “Okay,” Ian said, sitting down at his desk. “Now then...let’s talk about the comic.” “Yes, and I’ve heard about you halted production ever since hearing about the war on Mobius,” Sally interjected, knowing that was going to be something Archie was worried about. “We definitely appreciate your sensitivity about the war.” “Well, it probably wouldn’t have looked good for us to make light of your struggle,” Ian said, starting to feel the nervousness increasing, until he saw Sally giggle a bit. “Ian...you had no way of knowing we really existed until now,” Sally said, trying to calm Ian down. “I’ve seen games on this world based off your own wars, and they’ve been handled well enough.” “Oh...you’ve seen some of the fictions of this world?” “I have...including a few issues of the comic you guys have made.” That made Ian nervous again, knowing full well that if that included the more recent issues... “Let me just say it WAS a bit unnerving seeing myself roboticized,” Sally began. “Oh crap...here it comes...” Ian thought to himself as he heard that. “Well, it was a good career while it lasted.” But then what he heard next blew his mind. “But seeing how I got roboticized was definitely what I would have done under those circumstances,” Sally finished. “In fact, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next stories.” “Wait...” Ian then said, surprised by that last part, “does this mean you’re allowing the comic to continue?” “Absolutely!” Ian was dumbstruck and wasn’t sure how to respond to that, but then Sally explained. “Just because it IS based on what we have been through means nothing. The story you have going is far removed from what we have been through, so it is still very much fiction and still very much nothing more than the product of your imagination. I’ve even heard there were several cartoons that were created based on real people here. I think some guy named ‘MovieBob’ Chipman did some online article called ‘Celebritoons’ about a lot of them.” Ian laughed at that. “Oh my god...who told you about THOSE?” “Gamemaster Anthony did,” Sally said. “Actually, it was remembering that that helped him get over how upset he was over what had happened to us.” Ian nodded in understanding. Hearing about what had happened on Mobius would have been bad enough, but seeing it... “So how is the Gamemaster getting on with Arcadia?” Ian asked. That question started a long conversation between the two about everything regarding Arcadia. Everything from the rebuilding effort to what the new reunification of Arcadia has wrought in terms of new tech and other discoveries. Eventually, they got back to the comic and Ian showed Sally the new look he had created for her after she becomes deroboticized. “Oh my gosh, that looks pretty cute!” Sally said. “You like it?” Ian asked. “I’ve had a few detractors say I seemed to have Sega-fied you a bit.” “Well, the gloves do give that look,” Sally said. “But I rather like it! I saw someone we met in Station Square named Tiara wear something similar to this.” “Well, we felt you needed an update,” Ian said. “Besides, I wouldn’t put it past Amy and Bunnie dragging you to some mall somewhere to go shopping.” Sally snickered a bit at that. “You know...I actually joked with Anthony that he should take me to that Mall of America place in his home state. Of course, he’d have to pay for any purchases as I don’t yet have any Earth currencies...” “Oh, God help that poor man’s credit rating...” Ian mumbled to himself and then laughed for a bit. “So...feel better now?” Sally asked. “Yeah...” Ian said, letting loose something akin to a sigh of relief. “I was kind of seeing my entire career going up in smoke for a bit.” “I don’t think it’s your career you need to worry about, Ian,” Sally said. “Sega on the other paw...” Ian looked both surprised and shocked at that. “Sega? What do you mean?” Sally frowned a bit and continued. “Sonic wasn’t too pleased at certain things. He wondered why they told you guys to keep him and me apart and the comic’s story and then got a bit cross when he learned about that ‘nothing the fans can do’ comment. He thought Sega was actually dissing the fans.” “So...what did Sonic say to that?” Sally smirked a bit. “He suggested that they give you a little more leeway in regards to how he and the others are depicted, and then he rather coyly wondered out loud what would happen if Archie had permission to use him and Sega didn’t.” Ian visually winced at that, but was also trying to stifle a bit of laugh. “Ouch...to be browbeaten by your own ‘creation’...” “I know, right?” Sally said, giggling a bit. “At any rate, Sonic managed to convince them to let you guys have a little more levity in regards to the story. So...I’m guessing I’ll see me dating Sonic again in the comic?” “Hey, how can I refuse the princess of Mobotropolis?” Ian said. “In that case, I’d better let you get back to work,” Sally said, getting up from her chair. “Thank you again for meeting me, Ian!” “Actually, I should be the one thanking you!” Sally looked surprised at that comment, considering Ian’s prior nervousness. “It’s just this, Sally,” Ian explained. “I’m glad to have finally met you...the REAL you. It made me glad to see you were real. Not in the sense that you exist, but that you are down to earth and aren’t like the overly demure or prissy princess tropes you see in some stories. In short...a true person.” Sally smiled at that. “All the more reason for me not to get TOO comfortable in my return to princesshood, I guess.” “In that case, here...” Ian said, handing her one of the sketches of her new look. “Who knows? You might be able to wear that as some kind of casual look.” “Alright. Thank you, Ian!” As Sally waved and began to leave, she suddenly stopped and turned back around. “Oh, stupid me...almost forgot! Anthony had a question for you.” “The Gamemaster? What did he need?” Sally reached into a pocket of her vest and pulled out a small sheet of paper. “I’m not quite sure what he’s talking about with this, but apparently he wants to know if you ‘laughed your butt off when Metroid Other-M came out’. Any idea what this is about?” Ian laughed and then explained. “Oh God, yes. I actually got this job because of a Sonic fancomic I made called ‘Sonic – Other M’, where Sonic ended up on some alternate version of Mobius where Knuckles was the main villain.” “Really?” Sally said. “So...what happened when that Metroid game came out?” “Let’s just say I had images,” Ian explained. “Picture Sonic wearing Samus’s Chozo armor and you’ll get the idea.” “Oh, Goddess!” Sally said, chuckling a bit. “I’ve got to tell both Sonic and Samus that!” Sally said her goodbyes to Ian and left. Ian then collapsed further into his chair and breathed a huge sigh of relief. A bit later, he got a phone call from one of his coworkers. “Hello? Yeah...she just left. Looks like she’s okay with the comic going on as usual. Guess she wasn’t as upset at seeing herself roboticized as we first thought.” A short pause occurred as Ian heard something interesting from who he was talking to. “We can also use Penders’ characters? Well, I already knew that. He did give permission to...” Another pause as he heard something...odd. “That wasn’t the reason? Why...what happened?” This time...the pause was followed by Ian nearly laughing and falling off his chair. “Wait...Julie-Su threatened to do WHAT to Penders?!?”