A loud bang and heavy vibration shook the sleeping hedgehog awake. He looked around, seeming to hide himself in the bed in confusion. "What the hell was that?!" He said to himself and got out of bed. He put on his trench coat as he opened his room door, only to find a news vehicle in complete disrepair. It seemed to have crashed through his window, breaking his TV and Sofa. It was smoking in the hood like it had already exploded.
He put his hands to his head, tugging at his messed up bed-hair. "WHAT THE FU-" But he was interrupted by a handsome newsman Tiger in a tuxedo who leaned next to him with a mic to his mouth, facing a short clay-furred lynx with large ears, who also waved with a small smile off-screen, giving a thumbs-up to indicate that they're rolling.
"This is James McGuffin on Channel 5, reporting to you live with the poorest and most anti-social hedgehog on Mobius!" He pointed to the hedgehog with a smirk. The camera zoomed in on the two, the hedgehog's eyes in huge surprise. His bags under his eyes were completely visible at this point and the light of the sun made it really clear.
"Now tell us your name so we can put you in the record books!" James said as he put the Mic near the hedgehog's mouth. He pushed it away lightly, his eyes going back to half-closed and his right eyebrow twitched. "First of all, who are you people and how did you get into my apartment?!" The hedgehog grumbled. "I could've sworn I locked the doors..!"
James still smiled and said with his arms out. "We built a ramp, went 90 miles per hour, and arrived in your apartment without asking for clearance!" He chuckled. The cameragirl veered the camera to the ramp at the bottom of the road and zoomed in on the skid marks. "Get a good look at those beauties!" James said, laughing.
The hedgehog looked down as well but immediately backed up as the sun got in his eyes, making him grunt in pain a little bit. The Tiger grabbed him back in to view of the camera. "Now don't be shy and tell us your name!" He said, bringing the mic to the hedgehog.
"Do you expect me to start saying these things in front of a live audience?!" The hedgehog tried explaining, flailing his arms about. "I'm gonna be judged and laughed at even though it's already been done and people can see how short and stinky I am I'M A FREAKING BEAN!" His pupils shrank as he grabbed James in his collar, pulling him close to his face. Then he quickly pulled him back, sweating and shivering. "S-sorry I freaked out there for a minute...I haven't been socially interactive for a while..."
James stood still for a moment, in mild surprise at how the hedgehog went from 0 to 60 in under 2 seconds. He tried again by asking with a hint of slyness "So is that a yes or a no on the name thing...?"
The hedgehog looked at James and then at the camera. He went up to it and turned the camera off, making the midget-lynx jump back slightly. The camera-person tried to protest but the hedgehog already went back to his room, shutting and locking his door.
Through the muffled doors, a brief "Maybe that was kinda really rude?" sounded from the cameragirl, but the silence afterward suggested there was a minimal impact.
The hedgehog opened the door quietly, sticking his head out, looking around. His living room was still destroyed, but the truck was gone. He got out of the room and looked over the edge, seeing the truck at the bottom on its side like it was pushed down. “Are you joking…?” He grumbled to himself as he backed away from the edge. “As long as they’re not in my room, I’m safe.” He sighed and walked to the kitchen.
The hedgehog opened the fridge, pulling out a Root Beer bottle. He went to the cupboard next to the fridge and searched around in a mess of trash to find a bottle opener. “Come on, where's that blasted thing…” He grumbled to himself, shoving a few empty and dirty Root Beer bottles that reeked of raw sewage. “I’ll have to clean this out later…” He sighed as he finally found the bottle opener. He shut the cupboard and opened his new bottle of Root Beer.
But before the first drink could be made, a knock was heard at his door. Which made him lower his bottle on the kitchen counter to slowly walk towards it.
“Uhm...who is it?” The hedgehog called. No response. He decided to try again. “If you’re those news guys, I will find a restraining order with no signature on it, edit it with your names on them and claim it as mine...because I can’t afford one…” He blinked a few times, as if he was regretful for his gibberish sentences. There was still no response, but another knock. He mumbled something before opening the door completely, hearing a familiar voice.
“‘Tis I, James McGuffin and I have returned to-!” The door slammed on him almost instantly. “Aww, but come on! We just want a small 40 minute interview!” James complained. The midget-lynx was still recording behind James.
The hedgehog growled a bit and leaned against the door with his back. “An interview? With the most boring and unhygienic hedgehog on Mobius?! I’m trying to get my hands on some lunch right now and you’re in my way!”
“Oh, it’ll only be 40 minutes! I...I can make it 39 minutes!” James tried to negotiate. The hedgehog was starting to get infuriated as his right eye twitches a little bit. He growled and raised his voice a little bit, “Why do you even care about a person such as myself? I have no importance, I am on the lowest class, and yet you STILL want to put me on Television for embarrassment?! You’re out of your mind if you think that’ll get a good story!”
James’ ears seemed to droop a little bit on camera but the hedgehog took no notice. James spoke again, his ears going back up. “It’s because we have nothing left to do! And people adore us making fun of the lowest class, so we figured ‘Why not’! It’ll be a scoop for the public, trust us!”
The hedgehog was starting to get even more annoyed, growling quietly. The midget-lynx looked at James and tugged his shirt, trying to get his attention. She said quietly, “I...I really don’t think he wants us to interview him. I mean, it’s kind of rude to begin with…this is kind of like a form of bullying.”
The Tiger seemed to think about this for a moment and then nodded. “You do have a point! We apologize for intruding, Mr. Hedgehog. Have a nice day!” He made a cutting motion to his neck at the camera, a signal to stop the recording. The lynx turned the camera off and the hedgehog heard them walk away. He sighed in relief.
“Finally...now I don’t have to deal with them anymore. Though, that lynx did look uncomfortable during the whole thing. Or maybe that’s just me. Oh well, at least I’m not stealing a restraining order because that is rather rare to find on the streets. It would almost be coincidental if I find one the next day or something.” He sighed and went back to his Root Beer, taking a huge gulp. He already drank half of the bottle. “I suppose I’ll just take my mid-afternoon nap since I cannot watch TV at this point.” He yawned and went back to his room, bringing his Root Beer bottle with him.
In the midst of having a dream, the hedgehog was awoken by a sudden jolt under his bed. He groaned and rubbed his head, checking the clock. “Five in the evening…? That’s pretty rare for rats to take up my bed…” He looks under the bed, only to see a familiar ear poking out from under his bed. This struck him as odd, but the moment he was about to say something, a tiger head popped out, looking at the hedgehog in the eyes with a huge smile.
“HELLO AGAIN MR. HEDGEHOG!” The tiger shouted, making the hedgehog yelp jump to the ceiling, hit his head and fall on the floor upside down. His eyes were swirling as he tried to regain his vision. Strangely, he couldn’t find the midget-lynx that was here earlier.
“Sorry to scare you Mr. Hedgehog, but I am not giving up on that interview just yet!” He said, smirking. “For I, Professional Interviewer James McGuffin, will get the juiciest scoop Mobius has ever seen on the Low and Powerless Class!” He helped the hedgehog back to his feet, who was still very dizzy from impact. He quickly shook his head after regaining consciousness. His eyes opened wide in surprise, pushing him away.
“Y-YOU AGAIN?!” He growled. “HOW DID YOU GET IN MY HOUSE AGAIN! I BARRICADED THE DOOR TO MY ROOM!”. James only smiled still, like his face was stuck that way. “That will forever remain a mystery, my friend! Now please, tell me all about yourself and I will leave you alone! I do not have my cameraman...woman...very small cat-lady with me right now, so it is just a conversation between you and me!”
The hedgehog only glares, his right eye twitching. “How do I know that you’re not lying?” He asked as calm as he can. James smiled and checked his pockets for him. “I have no microphone on me, no hidden cameras. It’s all good! Now please, tell me about why you decided to live like this. It doesn’t look in anyway healthy and I must know for myself! And other people must know too!”
There was silence for a moment, looking at James. He only sighed and responded, “Fine...I’ll tell you. If only you’ll leave me alone after this…” He grumbled and sat down in front of the wall in front of James while he sat on the bed.
James clapped once and his tail flicked. “Wonderful! Could you tell me about the reason why you chose to live in a crummy apartment room?”
The hedgehog nodded, avoiding eye contact. “Sure. I can barely afford a bigger house, any food, or a car because I don’t have a job. I refuse to get one.”
James’ eyebrows furrowed a bit, intrigued by his answer. “And why is that?” he asked.
The hedgehog answered solemnly and carefully. “It’s because...I’m afraid that I don’t deserve it. I don’t have any special talents or strengths that everyone else seems to have; only weaknesses.” The tiger nodded and stayed silent for the hedgehog to continue.
“See, it all started when I was a little kid, about 4 years old at max. I lived with my parents in a rural area away from any civilization. We grew our own food, made our own wells for water, and all those kinds of things. We only had each other, including my brother. Though I didn’t own him as my brother since he was a wolf like my parents were. I got no explanation as to why, and I still haven’t today. And there is a reason for that.
“On Midnight of October 11th, 2004, we received our first and last visitor. He went by the name of ‘Frederick Ivan’, a strange name if you asked me. He wore a red leather jacket with yellow buttons and white stripes, four buttons in total and black tight pants. He had this...weird mustache like he was some kind of scientist or something. I didn’t know about him until an accident happened 10 minutes later.
“The house exploded into flames, throwing us all out of the house. The horrible part was, I heard a laugh behind me as I was laying down in the grass choking on my blood. I didn’t figure out whose laugh it was until 2 years later. I found out that the person who visited our household was none other than that evil Doctor himself. I felt stupid for not knowing it before, and I had this...feeling growing in my chest. I couldn’t describe it if I could.”
James was quiet, seeming to have the thousand-yard stare. After a long silence, he spoke, “Hmm...do you at least remember what it felt like?”
The hedgehog looked down in thought. “It felt like I had the power to do anything I could think of, which continues my story. Ever since I had that feeling, I did the impossible; I was going to attempt to get revenge on my family’s death all by myself at the Doctor’s HQ in South Island. Unfortunately, it almost resulted in my death and I lost that feeling forever.
“The more I think about it, the more...envious I get. I can’t seem to get that feeling to return no matter how hard I tried. So I gave up on it all and...ran away. I ignored it all and decided to just...move on. And this room that you somehow got into without my permission, was the same room I have stayed in for a whole decade almost. I’ve lived off on nothing but Ramen, Pizza Rolls and Root Beer. It was all I could afford nowadays. I never talked to anyone again either. I couldn’t dare step outside in the dangerous world; not with the Doctor still roaming about.”
The room started to darken and turn a deep red as the sun was starting to set. Everything was silent, and only the sounds of passing cars and muffled music in the upper floor. The hedgehog’s hair was over his eyes, so his expression was entirely hidden. James stood up and patted his shoulder, his smile seeming to have faded during the entire story.
“I am terribly sorry…” He said quietly, his ears drooped and tail limp as a noodle. “You’ve been through too much and I’ve been too nosy about the whole thing. I shouldn’t have been so careless. I will leave you in peace, since it is what you truly want.”
He got back up and opened the door to exit the room but stopped suddenly, his back still turned. He asked, “What is your name again, Mr. Hedgehog? I do not believe I have gotten it.”
There was a long pause, but the hedgehog answered. “My name is Asonja Masenko. I came up with the last name myself to give myself cover.”
James nodded, and said one last thing. “Just know, Mr. Masenko, that there are not a lot of bad people out there as you think there are. You just need to get up, and try. And not just sit there and be a little pussycat!” He laughed a little bit, which made Asonja tense up and growl. “WHO’RE YOU CALLING A BEANSPROUT?!” He shouted a bit, but calmed down shortly after.
James chuckled a little bit and faced him. “Only joking, my good friend! But trust me on this, there are good people out there in the world. Hiding yourself forever won’t get you anywhere. If you’re just a shadow seeking help, how can anyone talk to someone who doesn’t exist in their eyes? Think about that for a minute, and maybe you’ll get that feeling you desire back. I know what that feeling is, but I will not be telling you what it is; It would spoil you for quite a while. Good luck, and good night Mr. Masenko.”
And with that James left the apartment, leaving Asonja the Hedgehog alone in his room once again. He hugged his knees, deep in silent thought. James’ words repeated and circled around his head as he thought harder and harder about what he had to do. But then he stood up, closed his door quietly and leaned against it.
“Hmm...I'll have to think about this with another Root Beer tomorrow...Now is not the...time...” He muttered, and drifted back to sleep against the door.
Asonja gets up from his bed, cracking his back and neck. He was up all night thinking about a mess he was and why these strange news people decided to pop in and start filming him, humiliating him in front of a live audience. He gets up shaking his head to try to get the thought out as he gets ready to go to the outside world for the first time in 2 weeks. Asonja puts his trench coat on, along with his other clothes that he never bothers to clean and ventures off into the streets.
He digs into trash cans and bags for anything of use. He did find a barely used bottle opener, a list of groceries and a...check? “Huh…” He says, examining the check that had $200 written on it. He tosses it to the side, considering it to be trash and went back to walking.
Asonja suddenly gets the thought of being a shadow again, making him stop and think for a moment. So no one knows who I am? He thought. No one knows I exist? Sounds like my early life… He sighs and continues on down the busy street.
Since he had his hood up, people were starting to glare at him with certain hate, as if he had committed murder. A little boy pointed at him at the other sidewalk, but the mother seemed to tell him to keep moving. Asonja hated getting negative attention, but what can he do about it? Those kinds of thoughts are in his mind day-in and day-out. He continued walking across streets, avoiding eye contact with anyone.
Asonja suddenly stumbles across a Café, seeming to be pretty empty. It came with a bar, and inside eating area and outside hangout area with tables and chairs with umbrellas over them. He could smell pizzas from over there, making his stomach growl. He ran over and sat down, his mouth watering as he looked over the menu: They had chicken, pizzas, burgers and rotten flesh. Wait did I read that right? He thought, looking back over the words. Rotten Flesh wasn't on the list after all. He was confused at that for a moment but couldn't think about it for long when a gray wolf waitress came over to greet him.
“Hello!” She says, giving a sweet smile. “Welcome to the Grande Café, the best place to eat at Station Square! What drink could I get you?” Asonja seemed to feel something bubbling in his chest when he looked at her eyes, making him go into a small trance. He then quickly blushes and shakes his head quickly, getting out of the trance.
“U-uh…” He stutters, looking at the list of beverages on the menu. “C-could I have a Pepsi please?”
She smiles and wrote it down on her list. “Sure! Anything else for you today?” She asks, before going on a complete tangent. “Oh, I should recommend the Deluxe Pizza it's so good here! This one time I ordered here before I started working, I-” She stopped herself before sweating and looking very worried. “I'm so sorry about that, I got a bit too excited there…” Her ears flopped a bit as she said this.
Asonja didn't know what to say but something told him to smile and go with it. “It's fine! As a matter of fact, I think I'll try that.” He says before stopping and gulping. “Shoot, I just remembered...I don't have any money to pay…” He sighs.
The wolf’s ears perked back up. “Oh wait a second, you're the black hedgehog we were told about? We were notified earlier of you coming here just moments ago. Apparently anything you order will be paid for!” She seemed to smile. “Lucky you!”
Asonja sat there for a second, confused. “Did this person say who they were at all? No Mobian on this planet would be that nice to someone like me.” He says, looking at her directly again.
The waitress thought for a moment, but shook her head. “No, they didn't say. Though, I think it was a female caller the more I think about it. Perhaps a sister of yours or something?” She shook her head again, noticing she went on another tangent. “W-what I'm saying is, we don't know her name; she never told us but said you would be here. Your name is Asonja right?” She asks politely.
He nods. “Yes,” he says. “That is my name. But why would someone pay for my food for me? That's weird, don't you think?”
She nods in agreement. “Totally. So, you wanted a Pepsi with a Deluxe Cheeseburger right?”
“Yes I do.” Asonja nods. “Thank you very much.”
She smiles and says, “No problem! My name is Nariko by the way; I forgot my nametag this morning and I freaked out a little bit because I thought someone stole my identity I thought it was the craziest thing in the entire planet!” She giggles, not even realizing the 3rd tangent she went by today.
Asonja couldn't help but laugh a little himself; he rarely laughs. “Wow, that's crazy. Anyway, you should go back to work before the manager raises hell.”
Her ears perk up quickly, making her yelp. “You're right! I'll be back with your order!” She runs back inside with his menu and list. Now he must sit and wait.
As Asonja was taking a quick nap, Nariko the wolf waitress came back with his soda, putting it on his table. He woke up, noticing this. “Oh! Thank you Nariko.” He says, looking up at her.
She nods, her tail wagging slightly. “You’re welcome!” She says with an honest smile. “Your burger will be just a minute; we have a new cook today and he’s a little...on the show-off side. Or at least trying to! He’s all like, ‘I can make the best burger in the world, just you watch!’ which usually results in a burnt burger or a misplaced cheese slice. I think he has OCD…” She paused and then yelped again. “Oh, I’m sorry I went off on another tangent! I need to go!” She says before she runs off, hiding a blush.
Asonja seemed to smile a little bit at this before taking a small sip of his soda. “Goofy girl.” He says to himself. “She must like me if she talked to me like that. It is nice of her but I still don’t think I could have a girlfriend…Well I'm only assuming; she's only trying to be nice.” He rolled his eyes and drank his soda.
Suddenly, he felt weight on his legs as well as a quick jolt from the table. He jumped a little bit at this and moved his chair back to see what caused this. What showed gave him a heart attack; a Mobian lizard with white hair, blue eyes and green scales jumped at him. Asonja yelps and falls backwards from his chair while the lizard shouts in a heavy German accent,“GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY! If it isn’t my assistant that I lost after 20 years!” He grabbed Asonja’s shirt collar, pulled him up and hugged him.
Asonja was surprised by this but pushed him off lightly. “Hold on a second pal,” he says, putting his hands up at chest-level. His forehead was sweating and his heart was beating at the speed of light. “I am not your lab assistant. You must have it wrong.”
“Ah, but you are Asonja correct?!” The lizard says, not lowering his voice. “From personal experience, you’ve helped me increase my knowledge!” He came up to him, smiling a toothy grin. “But after 20 whole years of searching for you with my trusty Assistant Finder 2000,” He held up a broken metal box with shattered LEDs, “I have finally found you! So let us head back to my lab in my invisible car!”
He grabbed Asonja’s wrist and dragged him to the corner of the street. Asonja resisted and managed to break his grip. “Whoa whoa whoa, hold on!” He says abruptly. “Can you at least wait when I’m done with my meal first? I’d hate to leave Nariko like this; it’s slightly embarrassing when you hold my wrist like that too..” He was a tad flustered afterward. The lizard scientist showed no signs of changing his energetic smirk.
“Okay okay, but immediately after you’re done, we go to my lab! To the Cafe table!” He points back to his sitting area and ran to it, jumping onto the umbrella and clinging onto it. Asonja blinked in the lizard’s sudden actions but shrugged it off as much as he could as he ran back. “Just...stay quiet alright?” He asks, looking at the lizard. “I don’t want people to criticise me for something as ridiculous as this.”
The scientist nods, still not lowering his voice. “You got it, lab assistant! I shall lower my sound waves to a minimum!” He saluted as he still clung onto the umbrella. Asonja sighed a bit, a sweat drop going down the side of his head as he continued to wait for his food.
Asonja was woken up by the scientist as he points toward the cafe, “YOUR FOOD, IT ARRIVES!” Asonja growled and smacked the lizard in the back of the head. “Keep it down,” Asonja grumbled to the scientist. “You’re going to get me kicked out!”
The scientist nods and turns on his camouflage as he hides under the umbrella, which, unsurprisingly, didn’t work very well. Asonja sighs and shakes his head. “Whatever,” he mutters to himself. “He may have knowledge, but doesn’t have the correct ones known as Common Sense…”
He noticed Nariko coming up with his Deluxe Burger, which actually looked professionally made. The buns looked baked to perfection as well as the meat, which seemed to be cooked at exactly the correct temperature and time for a Medium-Rare result. The cheese itself looked gorgeous on its own as it seemed to fuse with the burger meat. This made Asonja’s stomach scream for joy, making a loud growl.
Nariko handed him his burger carefully with a smile and a quick tail flick. “Here you go, Asonja,” she says, her tail going crazy. “I made it extra perfect and special!”
“Oh, you did?” Asonja asks politely, and raises his eyebrows. “It does look a lot better than everyone else's burger. Did you make it yourself?”
“Yup! I do apologize for it taking it forever.” She cupped her hands together in front of her, and blushed, embarrassed. Asonja jumped a bit and looked at her worriedly.
“N-no need for being embarrassed, I understand!” He says, holding up his hands to his chest, remaining calm as he frantically tries calming her down. “I really do appreciate you taking your time and patience into making this; not many people do that to me at all. You’re probably in fact the first to be this thoughtful.”
Nariko looked back up at Asonja, and her eyes gleamed. “Really?” She says, while she smiles. “That’s great! I’m glad I could help!” She sits down across from him again, as she doesn’t appear to notice the poorly hidden lizard under the umbrella.
“Well go on, give it a try!” Nariko suggests, as she waits patiently and excitedly for Asonja to try the burger she worked so hard to make for him.
He nods, and takes the burger carefully. He takes a big bite out of it and he seems to stop after he swallows the burger chunk. Nariko looked at him, and leaned toward him. “Well?” She asks. “How is it? Do you like it?”
Asonja was quiet and looks up back up at her, his grey eyes seeming to dilate. “I-it’s…” He hesitated, but kept a smile on his face. “It’s...the best burger I’ve ever had!” He smiled even more, this time looking right into her eyes.
Nariko’s eyes gleamed again and squealed in joy as she cupped her hands together to her chest. “Yay!” She shut her eyes in pure joy. “I’m so glad you like it! I worked so hard on it and I was afraid you wouldn’t like it but now that you do I don’t have to worry about you not liking it anymore!” She takes a deep breath, as what she said was rather long and she didn’t have a chance to breathe at all during the sentence. Asonja kept eating it, but slowly as he wasn’t a very fast eater to begin with.
Nariko then decided to start a conversation. “So, what do you do in your apartment?” She asks politely. “I’m just curious, you don’t have to tell me if I’m being too nosy.”
Asonja looked up at her and answered after he swallowed, “Oh no, don’t worry,” he says reassuringly. “I don’t do much in my apartment as I’m usually afraid of coming out on days like these. You know, it’s too hot and it’s really busy. That sort of thing.” He waved his hand around for a moment before he took another bite of the burger.
“Oh, I see,” Nariko responds, as she tried to think of a different topic. “Do you like science?”
“Why yes I do. What do you study?” Asonja answers blatantly.
“I study Computer Science. I totally recommend it! What about you?”
“Usually I go for Physics or Chemistry; Biology doesn’t come easy to me and it’s a rather boring type of science to look into, in my opinion.”
“I can agree.” Nariko nods. “But how come you don’t do much in your apartment? I could bring you to my lab if you want and we can talk about it.”
Asonja nods. “I’ll look into it, I promise. When do you think would be a good time?”
Nariko seems to blush as her tail wags in excitement; she can be seen as someone overly-obsessive with people she recently meets and knows a bit better. Asonja didn't seem to complain at all, as he is somewhat the same but at a more controlled manner.
“How about tomorrow at 4 in the evening?” She suggested. “I’m free on that date.”
Asonja nods and finishes the burger. “That would be good. Thank you for the grub.”
Nariko smiles and nods. “You’re very welcome!” She smiles, but it seems to fade fairly quickly. “But since someone is already paying for your meal today, you don’t have to pay. I honestly don’t know who it is, but it’s a bit strange don’t you think?”
“It is a bit strange,” Asonja nods, gets up from his seat, and yawns. “Anyway, I’ll be heading back home. Thank you again, Nariko.” He smiles.
“You’re very welcome.” Nariko responds as she walks away back into the cafe and waves to him, her tail still wagging. “Have a nice day, Asonja!”
Asonja waved back. “You too!” he calls after her. Once she was gone, the lizard scientist came back out and looked at her.
“Oooh, she’s a scientist too?” He asks, his awful german accent returning. “I think I found my next subject…” He mutters, smirks and rubs his hands together. “Perfect…she’ll be great for my next test subject!”
Asonja stood right next to the scientist, looking at him weirdly. “You do know that I heard what you said, right?” He questioned.
The lizard jumped and looked at him. “N-no you didn’t!” He lies. “It’s just a...uh...April Fools joke!” He says quickly, and holds his index finger up. His green glove didn’t match his white lab coat at all, as it looks like slime was on his gloves.
Asonja just gave a small glare. “Right…” He mutters as he went to his phone and seemed to dial a number for a moment. “Perhaps I should call the cops on you for possible kidnapping.” He threatened. Some Mobians started hearing the commotion and looked over at the two questionably and in total confusion.
The scientist grumbled and ran to him as he attempted to tackle Asonja to the ground; however, Asonja just quickly moves to the right, dodging the attack. He then noticed a piece of paper fell out of the Lizard's labcoat, which he grabbed and kept for safe keeping.
The scientist takes out his ray gun and fires upon Asonja, missing every single shot. “Dude, really?” Asonja scowls. “You’re like one of those troops from Star Wars…” He rolled his eyes, and put his hands in his trench coat pockets to keep the paper hidden from view.
The Lizard growled and ran to him again, but Asonja countered him by roundhouse-kicking the scientist to the ground. He placed his foot to his chest, sneering at the scientist.
“Now hold still while the police arrive.” Asonja says sternly, glaring at the scientist who was struggling to get out of Asonja’s hold.
“I didn’t even use my hands to bring you down.” Asonja shrugs. “Pitiful, if you ask me. I’d love to scold you more, but your reign of...kidnapping...ends here.” He sounded unsure and uncertain, which made him sweat.
The scientist smirks as he says, “Ah, I get it; you’re afraid aren’t you? You’ve never been a hero before, right? You’ve lived your whole life on your own and here you are, trying to be the hero! I will give you some credit, you do have some skill, but you’ll never be the hero you think you’ll be! You’ll live in the shadows, afraid to stand up to the people who put you down to the bottom of the lake! You want to put them down like me, don’t you? Then why don’t you show me what you’re capable of in the future and grow up! Quit hiding and show them who’s boss!
“Staying in the shadows won’t do you any good!" The Lizard continues. "Nobody’s going to do it for you! You’re all you have left, and sitting around crying about it will not make them go away; they will keep attacking you, feeding off of your fear and anguish. You want that to stop, don’t you? Then I suggest getting up off your hiding spot and conquer your fears. I say this because you have the potential to become one, but you refuse to realize your abilities. You know science more than any other Mobian, you know how to fight, you know how to defend yourself. I suggest putting that into good use for once in your pitiful life you deem, and make it better!”
Asonja was silent, his hair covering his eyes to hide his emotion. The sounds of police sirens were inching closer at a high speed to the cafe. The lizard just smirks and continues, getting a bit louder.
“You know you want to be powerful! You know you want to be recognized for your achievements! If you want it that badly, don’t wait for it to come to you; you have to get it yourself, and no one is going to help you! That’s the painful lesson of life, and everyone goes through it! You’re not going to be the special case of avoiding the most painful parts of life; you gotta take it like everyone else does!”
The police take the Lizard from Asonja, who stepped back suddenly as they took the lizard away.
“Remember what I said, Kariko! You’re going to need it if you want to be successful! GO STRAIGHT FOR YOUR GOALS, GUN FLARING! I'LL BE WAITING IN INTERROGATION!” The police throw the hysterically laughing Lizard in the car and drive off, wheels screeching.
"...What?" Asonja looks up at the police car looking away. "Did he say Kariko? I don't even know who that is...and what the hell was he talking about? I should head home anyway, I need a break from all of this nonsense..." He shakes his head and leaves the cafe.
Nariko came out of the cafe and ran to Asonja to try to cheer him up, but she stopped. She stood there, questioning whether or not to help him out, but she shook her head and turned back, leaving Asonja alone for the day.
But he was stopped by the police for a moment. "Excuse me, sir," the policeman says, getting Asonja's attention. "You claimed that the Lizard had 'subjects' correct?"
"Yes, I did," Asonja nods. "I think this should help." Asonja adds, and pulls out a crumbled piece of paper. He hands it to the policeman, who reads it over.
"It appears to be an address." The policeman says as he puts it away. "Thank you for this; we'll use this as evidence against him in court as well as sending troops to take pictures of his lab."
Asonja nods as the policeman walks back to his car and drives off in the direction with the others. Asonja headed a different direction back to his apartment.
4:30 PM - Epilogue
Asonja arrives back in his apartment and sat down on the couch to reflect on the day so far. "So let's see..." He mutters to himself. "This weird scientist lizard dude claims I'm his assistant, I disagree and meet Nariko, the nicest waitress I have ever seen whom is possibly a bit too obsessed with me...most likely something that I can relate to. Then finally the scientist claims to have 'subjects' in his lab and the police will investigate it. Man, this has been a weird day." Asonja shook his head for a moment, before stopping and going over the Lizard's words.
"I could've sworn I heard this before..." Asonja mutters. "I believe it was yesterday the Tiger dude told me the same thing; 'Living in darkness will do you no good...' " He repeats back to himself. "What is this supposed to mean? And why is this happening to me specifically and not anyone else?" He groans and collapses sideways on the couch. "I'm not that important anyway..." He adds before falling asleep.