The Fugutives Trilogy

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Part 1 - The Jailbreak

Written by General Salt (Chris Smowton)

ICQ: 2765883 Email: chris_smowton@hotmail.com

In Corneria City, it was a normal day. Slippy Toad sat back, and enjoyed the afternoon sun. There was nothing on his mind, and he was just musing over a way to speed up the Landmaster, when his train of thought was very forcefully derailed by a sharp knock on the door. This was no ordinary, polite knock; it was a knock that said "I could break down the door instead, but I won't." Slippy was slightly perturbed by this - it reminded him of something, but he could not quite recall it, through the alcoholic cloud of last night. He applied an amphibian eye to the peephole, and saw the muzzle of a laser gun. Suddenly, it all came flooding back to him - the helium tanks he bought, and the big bill, and his alcoholically influenced decision to forget about it, despite all the "Final Notice" mail he had got. His train of thought was back, in full force, but was just going around in circles, getting nowhere fast. Resorting to an age-old amphibian instinct, Slippy dashed under the nearest large object, which happened to be his bed, and waited. There was a loud bang, and the door melted. A dog in black uniform holding the aforementioned gun, which was now smoking gently, began to search. He emptied all the drawers first, not because he expected to find some impossibly compressed toad in there, but because of the prospects of large sums of money. Then, when finding nothing, he moved onto the bed.


In a dark, Cornerian prison there was a small room. It had a small barred window, but it seemed to be conveniently placed so a good file would make for an easy escape, which was the case in almost every jail in the universe. The room was silent. Well actually, it was not silent, as there was faint dripping of water onto the rock floor, leaking through the equally rocky ceiling. Suddenly, the almost-silence was broken by a quiet swearword. If you listened longer with your ear to the grating on the floor, you would be very interested by the swearing and cursing getting gradually louder, until finally regretting it entirely when a blinding laser bolt ruptured the grate, and hit the ceiling. This dislodged further rocks, provoking further cursing from under the grate. A furry paw grabbed onto the hole in the grate created by the laser, and hauled itself up. The owner of the paw turned out to be Fox Mcloud, who was holding a laser gun. He was followed up by Peppy Hare, who looked rather bruised, and still had a rock sitting on his head, and Falco Lombardi, who was losing several feathers due to rock bombardment. The only one of the group who did not seem to have been effected by the rock fall was Fox, who was wearing a yellow, battered miner's hat. He surveyed the room, which seemed fairly good for a room to begin a jailbreak, but saw something odd about it. He could not quite put his finger, or rather paw, on it until Falco tapped him on the shoulder.
"Well done, Fox," he said
. "Thank you," Fox replied.
"You mean you haven't seen it?"
"Seen what?"
"Something is wrong with this room."
"Well, it's rat infested, suffers water leakage, smells like a-"
"Not that! Look for something essential which is missing."
"Well, there's a window, a floor, 4 walls, a ceiling, and no door. I take your point." There was indeed no door, instead there was a vaguely door-shaped hole, filled with cement, as if it had once had a door, but couldn't be bothered with that sort of thing anymore.
"Well," said Peppy, "This is a grand place to begin a jailbreak, isn't it Fox. I thought you knew this place like the back of your paw!"
"I do," replied Fox, with an air of insulted pride.
"Well how did you end up with us in here?"
"I never said I knew the back of my paw that well! Anyway, there's probably a way out."
"Name me one," said Falco.
"The wall. I'll try it with the laser!" Fox did so, and the blast rebounded around the chamber, before dying down and going out. Peppy and Falco got up off the floor, and checked all parts of their bodies were intact. "Sorry," said Fox. "I'll try the cut setting instead." He did this, and the laser beam appeared, but constant, and not so bright this time. The rock began to vapourise under the extreme heat, but it was tough going.


In another room of the Cornerian Jail, a guard in black uniform leant against a wall, smoking a cigar. The guard was another dog, which had at once caused an "Equal Rights for All Species" parade against the police's speciesist employment patterns. The guard was allegedly watching the cells, but in actuality was most likely causing several jailbreaks to succeed. This did not bother the guard, however, until suddenly the wall began to vibrate. He looked round at it. Said the guard:
"What in the-" When you think about it, this is not a very glamourous word on which to end your life, but that's life, or to be more accurate, that's death.


Fox's laser got all the way through the rock wall, and the rectangular chunk of rock fell forwards, away from Fox. Instead of the thud Fox had expected, however, there was a fleshy splat. Fox walked through the gap, and lifted the rock.
"Urgh," said Fox. "Peppy, Falco, do yourself a favour, and don't look under the rock." Fox tried desperately to forget that sight, and continued.
"Peppy, do you have the map?" said Falco.
"Map? I thought you had it!"
"Oh great. All right, split up, and look for some sort of control to open the cells. When I called the prison before we came, they said Slippy was in cell 4F." Fox set off, and came to a spiral staircase made of rock. Everything in the whole jail seemed to be rock, even with toughened metals available. Obviously, the place had been made on a tight budget. Fox went on through the corridors, thinking to himself of the way there are several people who are natural jailbreakers, people who naturally know where the locking systems are and people who never get caught. He was annoyed at finding himself not to be one of them. Then he heard a click, and whirled round to see a fox coming up the staircase, in the same black prison uniform. He shot a stun blast at the fox, but it seemed to warp itself around him, so the fox briefly seemed to be wearing a jacket made of blue laser energy.
"Nice try," said the fox.


Falco was also having no luck. He'd thought he had it once, but it had turned out to be that he'd found the heating systems control. He had a sneaking suspicion that he had left the setting incredibly high, but his attitude soon got in the way of all guilt, despite the numerous screams of pain he had heard since. He came to a staircase, and walked up it. This one looked secure, but still made of rock. At the top he walked along another of these long, bleak corridors which the jail seemed to have an unlimited supply of, and was about to sit down for a break when he thought he heard someone say 'Nice pie.' However, he decided this was not too likely. Nevertheless, he went to see what it had come from.


Fox set his laser to 'vapourise,' and aimed for the fox in black.
"I've heard of those," said Fox. "They're very nice. But they don't work on vapourise setting. Unfortunate, really, from your point of view."
"Ah yes," replied the guard, "but everyone knows that no being on Corneria would ever kill one of his own species, and you won't kill me."
"That's not true for me!" said Fox, but in his heart, he knew he was pinned by the guard. He would have to shoot another of his own species, or be stunned by the guard. He swallowed, turned his laser to full power setting, and aimed. His finger tightened around the trigger...


Falco found the source of the odd speech, and was rather surprised by it. Fox was there, aiming a laser gun at a fox in black uniform. This did not surprise him very much, but he found it difficult to believe that the guard would complement Fox's culinary skills in such a situation. He saw Fox's agonised look, and knew why he was not shooting the guard - it was another fox. He approached behind the fox, and held his laser ready to hit the fox on the back of the head. He raised the butt of his laser...


The guard suddenly looked quite dazed. Fox took advantage of this, and, biting his tongue, fired the laser. A bright green bolt of energy soared through the air, and time slowed down. The guard fell forwards just before the bolt struck him between the eyes, and his falling body gradually revealed Falco, who looked shocked, and dived slowly to the ground, as if he was in water. The green bolt just missed Falco, and time caught up with itself. Falco rolled across the floor, and came to a stop at Fox's feet, whilst the laser bolt carried on and smattered against the wall, digging a great gouge into it.
"Next time you're going to kill me," panted Falco, "could you please give me a bit more notice?"


Peppy was, like Falco and Fox, also having no luck with his search. He was in a large room with a tiled floor, and had searched quite thoroughly. He left via a "floating platform" lift, a high-tech piece of equipment, which was simply a sheet of metal against a wall, which could float up and down the wall. The lift made a soft whirring noise, before stopping at the third floor. Peppy was about to get off, when he noticed a pattern on the floor, almost like a target. Most of the tiles were white, but there were several rings of white, around one red. Peppy went down the lift again, and stepped on the tile. He jumped off again quickly, because the red tile slid slowly aside, revealing a gaping hole leading into black nothing. Peppy looked apprehensively down it, but could make nothing out. There was only one thing for it - Peppy jumped. He braced himself for a long fall, and hit very solid ground after about a metre of fall. He soon got over the shock of such a premature landing, and walked down the pitch- black passage that was revealed, feeling his way along with his hands. He hadn't got far, when he found a door in his path. He felt around it for a bit, but did not find anything. Finally, he set his laser to cut, and switched it on. The dull beam revealed by it's light that the passage in fact ended here, and that there was another openable tile above him. The thing was rather hard to see from the outside, but on the inside, there was a push button to open it. He thought it would be another entrance to the tiled room, but it was not. This seemed to be a basement, and was entirely constructed out of metal meshes. There were many Cornerian guards and technicians down here - in normal conditions, these would be his friends, but he had a friend to rescue. He had to treat them as enemies. He knocked out a passing guard with the butt of his laser, and quickly pulled him out of the way. He donned the guard's uniform, and walked out into the nerve centre of the prison. He felt very self-conscious, but, as far as he could see, nobody noticed him. He looked around for cell controls, and, after a bit, found a cat with a complicated panel in front of her. He saw the open/close buttons for all the cells, and saw the button to open 4F. He now had one thing left to decide - how to do this without arousing suspicion. He could forge a document saying he was to relieve her of her duties, he could order that the prisoner in 4F be released immediately… Peppy stood there, pondering over various ways to do it.


"Ouch..." said Falco. "This floor is really hard."
"Yes," said Fox, looking slightly embarrassed, "lets go and find Slippy. He must be around here, it said 1-29F back there."
"Fox," asked Falco, "do you see anything odd about that rat there?"
"You mean except for the wheels?"
"Yes, that rat has wheels! I only know one toad stupid enough to build a robotic rat, and it's Slippy. Follow that rat!" Falco and Fox followed the rat for some time, before their concentration was broken by:
"Fox, Falco! Over here!" Slippy was calling them from cell 4F. "How do you think I get out? These are solid metal bars here, lasers won't cut them!"
"Well," said Fox, "you could try filing one down with the end of a laser..."


Peppy reached his decision. He hit the button, punched the controller and ran. A crowd of guards, a little slow on the uptake, gave chase. Peppy sprinted along the passage back to the tile, followed by a few badly aimed laser blasts. He opened the tile, and jumped out into the tiled room. He quickly put a large piece of rock lying nearby over the tile, but that would not hold them long. He sprinted as fast as he could towards cell block F...


Slippy's door sprang open.
"...or, alternatively, we could just let you walk out," said Fox. He felt rather annoyed at having described the perfect escape plan to Slippy, only to have the door spring open, most likely by the courtesy of Peppy. The three ran from the rocky room, heading for the van depot. Fox lasered a door as he ran, and the door collapsed. Behind it appeared Peppy, who Fox ran straight into. Peppy and Fox got up again, and began running for the van depot.
"Where...exactly are we...going?" asked Peppy.
"The van depot!" replied Fox.
"Oh. Oh dear." Just as Peppy said this, the four arrived at a door marked 'Van depot - entrance only,' and they ran through it. They came to a large shed with a massive towering roof, and several vans arranged in it. Some of these were floating, because they had their anti-gravity on, and some were lying on the ground, switched off. They got in one of these with the anti-gravity on, and Falco jumped in the driver's seat. The van was metallic light blue, with a streamlined cockpit, and a more boxy storage compartment behind it. Falco jumped in the driver's seat, and the rest got in the storage compartment. Just as they had got in, the doorway erupted with guards holding lasers, but the police van was laser proof, and was unaffected by their many pot-shots. Falco stepped on the accelerator, and drove straight through the wall, using the pointed front end and toughened metals to ensure it did not just crash.
"Woo-hah!" cried Falco. "I haven't driven like this for years!"
"Falco, we haven't lost them yet!" protested Fox. "Keep going, but drive sanely!" fox noticed Peppy in the back, staying very still. Fox was not much of a judge, but through his fur, Peppy looked somehow greener than usual.
"Urgh," said Peppy. "Are you sure it was a good idea to put Falco in the driver's seat?"
"Not in particular, but to escape a bunch of people who want to kill you, you need an utter maniac driving. That is exactly what Falco is best at." Fox walked back to the cockpit. Falco passed under power lines, which caused the van's anti-gravity field to fluctuated, sending them bouncing up and down, at one stage scraping along the ground. There came some horrible noises from the back, which Fox had no desire to investigate. He didn't know it, but a police car's anti-gravity failed due to running on something fairly disgusting coating the road. The disabled car skidded sideways, and fell into a ditch, where the car burst into flames. The driver's very unusual last words were 'Arrrgh! Foiled by a carsick rabbit! Aaarrg-' Fox just knew he heard Peppy saying:
"Ohhhhhh...we shouldn't have let him drive...ohhhh." Meanwhile, Falco stepped on the accelerator, desperate to make an escape. A police driver, realising that shooting lasers at the van itself was futile, shot at the anti-gravity field, causing it to weaken there. Falco wrestled the steering wheel, but the van shot off the road into a ditch. Falco got up after a bit, and looked out of the sunroof.
"Guys, don't look now, but there are about 50 police out there - there's nothing we can do."

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 2: A HERO IN EXILE