A week passed since the asteroid-destroying achievement. I and the others had felt good ever since. I felt glad things were calming down in a certain fashion.
Today’s craziness all started that morning a week after the asteroid thing. Sticks, at her burrow, had prepared herself for the day like usual. Brushing her teeth, she spat out the toothpaste and saliva mixture (gross….) and then intended to turn on the water to wash her mouth the rest of the way. But no water came out of the faucet. She then tapped the faucet. No water came out.
“I’m sure there’s a logical explanation.” She then said aloud. “Someone is stealing all the water to sell it back to us!” She got angry like she often does. She then kicked her trash can away. “I’m onto you, you draconian overlords! You will rue this day! And the next few days! And eventually forever!” She proclaimed as if she was promoting a medieval duel.
Sonic, Amy, Tails, and I were at Meh Burger, having lunch a few hours later. We were watching the CC show.
“So the water’s been going on and off lately. Have you seen this? Have you heard? I hope the water department is doing something worthwhile with the water. Like send it back to Dr. Eggman’s bathtub!” CC laughed as he talked in the TV.
That got me and the others with me to giggle and chuckle a little.
Suddenly, Sticks came in a hurry. “I need to see the news!” She then changed the channel on the TV. We then saw Soar the Eagle and his news channel on.
“It’s the story everyone’s been changing the channel to see.” Soar announced as he spoke in his usual microphone. “The grand opening of the very first major scissors factory.”
The camera then showed the new hefty building just inside the village, and there was Mayor Fink standing next to Soar. Fink had a seemingly crappy pair of scissors in his hand.
“It is my pleasure to welcome this giant scissors factory to this very Bygone Village.” Fink announced as he was smiling.
The few actual audience members cheered.
Fink then tried to cut the red ribbon with the crappy pair of scissors, but the ribbon just kept ending up between the rusty blades. He had trouble as he got a little more frustrated.
“My my….this may take a while….”
I facepalmed as I was watching this. “Man….we definitely need that factory. Those scissors are a piece of junk.”
“Why didn’t they talk about the water crisis?” Sticks crossed her arms as she looked at me, Tails, Sonic, and Amy.
“Maybe it’s just a plumbing issue.” Tails guessed.
“Should I call Mario to fix it?” I took out my phone.
“Anything’s possible, which is why I choose to believe it’s an evil government plot!” Sticks raised her fist up.
“Our elected officials are here to help us. They’re smart, hard-working, sensible public servants who have a passion to help the common person.” Amy said as the boys and I looked at her.
Later, at Mayor Fink’s office, Fink had a huge pair of scissors in one hand and a sheet of coupons in the other. He was trying so hard to cut the coupons correctly.
“Steady…..one wrong move and no discount corn for me.” Fink said to himself. “If only I had a smaller pair of scissors.”
The doors then swung open. Sticks stomped in. Fink looked and saw her come in.
“The people demand the truth!” She proclaimed.
“And I demand a bargain!” Mayor Fink added.
“Forget about the coupons and pay attention to the water crisis!”
“One says buy two get one free. Does that mean one of the two is free or that I end up with three altogether?” Fink asked.
Sticks facepalmed. “Ugh! I shoulda known Amy was setting up a Gilligan flip again. I’m gonna-!”
“No no!” Fink interrupted. “Don’t do another Gilligan flip! Those look painful….”
“A crusading journalist to blow off the lid of this water scheme!” Sticks finished.
She then left to find Soar. Soar was in the town square, eating a sub sandwich. He seemed to enjoy it very much.
Sticks came running. “I’ve got an important news story! The water supply is being stolen!”
“Interesting. So, why come to me?” Soar asked, paying attention.
“Because you’re a journalist!” Sticks replied.
Soar gave her an unamused look.
“And as a journalist, you’re supposed to expose the truth, be the voice of the people, and do what’s right!”
“And you might get an award.” Sticks then got unamused with Soar’s unwillingness.
“A reward?” Soar took it in. “Alright, I’ll do it! But only as soon as I’m finished with my sandwich.” Soar then continued eating.
A little later, Sticks and some of us were watching Soar’s next show.
“It’s the question we’ve all wanted to ask the mayor.” Soar announced in his show. “How are those puppies he adopted?”
Mayor Fink was then seen having three puppies with him. They were all over him.
Sticks didn’t like it at all. “He’s doing another fluff piece!”
“They’re all so adorable, you know.” Mayor Fink said in the TV. He then looked up at the one on his head. “Except this one. You know what you did!” The TV then turned off.
“This is what happens when society expects nothing of its journalists. The people must be told what’s going on, even if I have to broadcast it myself.”
Next thing that was known, Sticks was wearing an old cowboy has, ringing a bell at the town water well. She was literally standing on it.
“Hear ye! Hear ye! Beware, good townsfolk! Our water supply diminishes as I speak!” She yelled out as she rang the bell. People just passed by as if she wasn’t even there. No darn was given by any of the villagers that moment. Sticks just stood there.
That’s when Sonic came over and looked up at Sticks.
“Becoming a town crier isn’t the best way to fight the mainstream media. You should try something a little more…..high-tech.” He suggested, trying not to make Sticks look so stupid.
“Technology is the enemy!” She yelled and then caught herself. “But….maybe the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or is the enemy of my enemy my double-enemy? Either way, time to fight fire with fire! Or double fire….”
Later that late afternoon, Sticks was in her burrow as she had a microphone like used for radio stations or voice acting, with headphones on so she could hear herself clearly. Tails and I, after Sticks convincing us, were at the controls about 15 feet away, and we were making sure everything was according to plan. We both had headphones as well.
“Thanks for helping me get my private radio station ready, guys.” Sticks smiled at us.
“Sticks and technology, sittin’ in a tree, I-N-T-E-R-F-A-C-I-N-G!” Tails sang a little, teasing Sticks.
I was shocked to hear that at first. Then I just had the urge to just laugh. And I bursted laughing.
“That’s the funniest thing I ever heard!” I had tears in my eyes from the laughter.
“It’s not my first choice.” Sticks crossed her arms. “But sometimes, you gotta compromise the principles to get the truth out.”
“That’s pretty well reasoned.” Tails said as I calmed down my laughing. “You sure you don’t wanna add anything like a time-travelling banana told you to do this?”
“No.” Sticks replied.
“Huh, go figure.” Tails commented.
I then set everything up. “We’re live in 5….4….3….2….1.” I then started recording as I signaled Sticks to start.
“This is Sticks the Badger, and I shall bring you THE TRUTH!” She proclaimed, and everyone in the village heard it on their radios.
Even Fastidious Beaver.
“Actually, I can’t handle the truth.” He said aloud, and he then just laid on the floor in a fetal position like way before.
“Wake up, people! Our water is disappearing, and don’t expect the media to tell you cuz they’re the pocket of big business! We must ask ourselves, who stands to gain? In this case, the answer is Eggman.” Sticks said in the microphone. “Let’s take a caller.”
I answered the call and put it on speaker.
“Dr. Eggman’s schemes aren’t fiscally motivated. They’re barely motivated period. Have you ever read these things or seen the show?”
“Y’know what? I’ll prove it. This time tomorrow, you’ll all believe me. Sticks, over and out.” She then took off her headphones, and Tails and I stopped recording.
“What now, Sticks? No one seems to believe you.” I said.
“Thanks for the obvies, genius. We need proof of what Eggman’s up to. But we gotta catch him by surprise.” Sticks smiled.
The next day, we found ourselves flying in Tails’ plane as I was flying with my angel wings. Sticks had a news camera with her.
“When we jump, remember to catch me.” Sticks said to Tails. “That’s the crucial part of the plan.” She then jumped off the plane, much to the surprise of both me and Tails.
“We never discussed that!” Tails shouted, and he then jumped off the plane after Sticks as I flew over to her.
Sticks looked at both me and Tails, still with the camera in her hands. “Get footage!” She reminded us. She then threw the camera. It hit Tails’ head first and then ricocheted off his and hit mine.
“Ow!” We both said.
I then flew up with my wings and held the camera. I then pointed it at Sticks, and I started recording.
“This is Sticks the Badger,” she said as she was falling, “and I just jumped off a plane to show you that I’m not crazy!”
I then paused the recording as Tails then held Sticks’ hand with both of his. We all then landed behind rocks at Eggman’s Lair. Outside, we found Eggman working with what seemed to be a water pump. I then started recording again as Sticks came out of her spot. Tails and I followed.
Eggman’s water pump was actually taking the town’s water. Sticks turned out to be right.
“This water-siphoning scheme will make me millions! Unless I get caught red-handed. That’d be a publicity nightmare. The shareholders would throw a fit.” Eggman said to himself. Good thing I caught this on tape.
“Aha!” Sticks cried out, surprising Eggman. “Busted!” We caught him.
“My New Years Resolution should be to stop announcing my evil plan.” Eggman said to himself, knowing he was now caught.
Sticks then turned to the camera. “I told ya Eggman was stealin’ our water.”
“Actually, I told them. But that’s on me. I’m gonna build an evil plan announcement filter that can….” He then caught himself and groaned.
Next thing I knew,I had replayed some of the audio of the footage we got back at Sticks’ burrow. She was broadcasting.
“This water-siphoning scheme will make me millions!” Eggman’s voice said as it was when it actually happened.
“I bet now you people are listening to me.” Sticks then said.
The phone then rang.
“Agh!” Sticks screamed. “Stop listening to me!” She then caught herself. “Oh, right. We have a caller.”
It was Mr. Walrus. “At first, I had no reason to believe Eggman was up to no good, but now that it’s being yelled at me by someone who’s outraged, I’m outraged!” He then kicked his trash can across the room where he was.
“I should’ve listened to you sooner. And I should’ve ordered the soup. Why do I make so many bad decisions?” An old man.
Tails and I just looked at each other, a little weirded out.
“Sticks, over and out!” She then took off her headphones.
Much to our unawareness, Dixon, the owner of the news company, was listening as well, along with DB Platypus.
“The only thing being siphoned faster than the water is our ratings.” Dixon said.
“I’m telling you Dixon!” DB said, using the quote fingers as they call it. “Real news is in.”
“I have a half-baked idea.” Dixon then said. “Let’s fire Soar and replace him with this Sticks character, along with these Emily and Tails as their camera and audio crew.”
“What a dandy idea!” DB agreed.
Soon enough, Dixon came into the burrow as Sticks, Tails, and I were clearing things up for the day.
“Sticks?” Dixon called out.
Sticks shrieked in reaction, and then she turned and saw Dixon.
Dixon walked in. “No need to freak out. I’m Dixon from the network. We love what you’re doing and want to offer your very own television show.”
“I’ll never join you. Because you’re the man, man!” Sticks at first rejected.
“But moving from radio to TV will increase your audience.” Dixon insisted. “More people will hear your message. More people will hear the truth!”
“I dunno….” Sticks then turned to me and Tails. “This stranger is making me feel uncomfortable.”
“But like you said; sometimes you gotta compromise the principles to get the truth out.” I said.
Sticks then looked at Dixon, and they then shook hands.
Later that day, with Tails and myself recording, Sticks and a few outraged people were at Mayor Fink’s office. Sticks was facing the camera.
“This is Sticks the Badger, live at the mayor’s office. I’m gonna find out what he knew about Eggman’s water stealing scheme and when he knew it.” She then faced the mayor. “What’ve you gotta say for yourself?” She then held the microphone out to Fink.
He looked a little sick. Diarrhea sick. “I don’t feel too good. I think I ate too much corn….”
We then heard his stomach acting up. He then got up and ran slowly out of the room. He then passed loud gas as he ran off closer to the door than me and Tails.
I then stopped recording and looked at Tails. “I’m never eating cheap corn again.”
Later, close to nighttime, the footage was replayed as it was on TV, and Dixon then turned it off and looked at us.
“You made the mayor look like a fool and destroyed all faith in our government. And the viewers are eating it up! Great work!” Dixon smiled.
“Ratings are ‘through the roof.’” DB used the quote fingers repeatedly. “Not literally, that’s why I did ‘this’.”
“Your show couldn’t be better!” Dixon added. “We just have a couple of notes to make it better.”
“Notes?” Sticks didn’t like the sound of it.
“Nothing major.” DB assured. “We just thought that now you destroyed all faith in the government, maybe you could do a ‘happy’ story to cheer everyone up again?” He used the quote fingers again when ‘this’ happened.
“I don’t really do happy. And we agreed to tell the truth.” Sticks liked it less and less.
“Hey! Sometimes people are happy! That’s the truth.” DB argued.
“I just don’t wanna sell out.” Sticks said.
“You’re not selling out. You’re being a ‘team player’.” DB used the quote fingers again.
“Quit it with those quote fingers!” I almost demanded, annoyed with it.
“I’m not really a team player.” Sticks commented.
“As a great broadcaster once said, sometimes you gotta compromise the principles to get the truth out.” Dixon added.
That convinced Sticks.
The next day, we were recording back at the mayor’s office, and Sticks wasn’t at all happy or enthusiastic.
“I’m back at the mayor’s office….where his puppies just had puppies.” Sticks said, almost monotone, and Tails then turned the camera to Mayor Fink. There were six puppies now instead of two.
“They must’ve laid eggs because now, there’s three times as many!” Mayor Fink was happy.
Back at the studio….
“Okay, I now debased myself and did a happy story. Now I need to keep investigating Eggman!” Sticks demanded.
No problem. Well….there’s just one.” DB said. “Eggman Industries is now your sponsor.”
“But he’s a villain!” Sticks was shocked and outraged at once.
“You don’t need to do anything different. You just have to wear this.” DB handed her an Eggman hat that looked like something you win at a carnival of some sort.
The next day…..
“We’re live at the scene of a terrible accident.” Sticks was even more monotone than before as the hat was on her head.
The Gogoba chief had his wheelbarrow on his foot, on its side. “Oh, it’s not that bad. You’d be surprised at how often this happens to me. Go on, explain my misfortune. Nice hat by the way.” He eventually complimented.
Sticks then threw her hat down as I caught it on tape. “I can’t do this! I’ve compromised my principles to the point that they’ve become meaningless! I can’t be trusted! I’m the man, man!”
“She sold out!” The same old man announced, angry. “Get her!”
“I only did it to help you!” Sticks said, feeling bad.
“I don’t need any help!” The old man talked back. He then lost his balance and fell, unable to get back up. “H-Help….” Karma kicked him back in the head.
“We have to blame someone.” Lady Walrus said, looking at Sticks.
“No! We all have a responsibility to find the truth ourselves. You shouldn’t do just what someone from TV tell you to do.” Sticks proclaimed. Tails was still filming.
“That’s the smartest thing I heard from Sticks all week. If ever.” I commented.
“What should we do?” Lady Walrus asked.
“Fight the power!” Sticks replied, lifting her fist in the air.
The people then ran around and went crazy, doing almost whatever.
“That wasn’t what I was hoping to see….” I commented once more.
Sonic, Amy, and Knuckles then came by. They saw the riot going on. All while Tails and I were still filming.
“EVERYBODY, CHILL!” Sonic then screamed out. Everyone stopped immediately, looking at Sonic. He smiled, pleased. “That was much easier than I thought.”
Suddenly, Eggman’s water pumping machine then landed behind Sonic, Amy, and Knuckles. Tails and I were sure to catch it on tape. That caused people to run around again, only screaming in fear.
Eggman then came in his EggMobile. “Behold! The Mega Microwave Water Vaporizer! Watch in terror as your precious water is vaporized by microwaves! It needs to be hovering over the ocean to work, but I wanted to show it to you first.” He then caught himself. “Gah! I did it again!”
“This is your worst plan yet!” Sonic remarked.
“Really?” Eggman seemed flustered. “You think so?”
“I meant worst as in worst conceived. Now stop tryin’ t’ take our water!” Sonic demanded.
“No! Water isn’t a public right. It should be privatized and sold by someone smarter, richer, and much more handsome than all of you.” Eggman refused.
“Eh, shut up.” I said as I was filming.
“Sorry, Eggy. We’re gonna stop you.” Sonic was about to fight.
Sticks came in. “No! We are! Get him!” She then urged the townspeople to take action. They did that, using crowbars, axes, all they could use to destroy the machine. Eggman was so shocked to see such an unlikely thing happening. The machine completely broke down, letting water spill out.
“World Star!” Tails and I chanted.
“I probably should’ve built better defenses into that thing. That’ll be my new New Years Resolution!” He proclaimed, admitting defeat.
“Sticks, you got the truth out, fought the power, and brought about meaningful change? What’ve you gotta say to your fans?” Tails asked as he was recording still.
“I quit!” She replied.
“Really?!” An excited Soar the Eagle came out. “I can have my job back?!”
“I hope when you do, you realize how powerful the truth can be.” Sticks replied, giving him the microphone.
Soar took it in his hand. “You’re right. I’ll never waste that power again! In the meantime….” Soar then ran off and came back in a costume like a Hawaiian dancer with the fruit costumes.
“LAAAAAAAA!! La cucaracha! La cucaracha! La la la bla bla bla!” He then started singing the song in celebration.
I then poked Tails’ shoulder as we stopped recording. I then gestured toward Soar. He knew, smiling, and we both started recording. We both got closer to the broken water vaporizer. My eyes then flashed gold, making water, in big amounts, come out right at Soar. That washed him away, with him making gurgling sounds. That got me and Tails to smile, trying to hold back our laughter.