Ivo wept bitterly.
Below his hand lay the cold hand of Marie Robotnik, his paternal grandmother. She looked far from serene as she lay there, her face scrunched up into the kind of mean look he had almost never seen her wear. She had died only a month before her birthday. The cause? A stroke, of all things. It made Ivo angry. The best friend he had in his family-and the only real link to Grandpa Gerald-was gone. Dead.
As his father put a hand on his shoulder, urging him to move on, Ivo suddenly thought of Shadow, the teddy bear. His cousin's teddy bear, that had the lost journal entries inside. Should I open it now? He asked himself. No, he decided. I promised, in that silly ten year old way, that I wouldn't.
But before he could continue thinking of the mystery his grandmother had entrusted him, his mother murmured something abut his speech, and he began running over it in his head, to make sure he got it right.
Ivo Robotnik sighed, going through his old things, wondering how he was going to manage to move all his stuff. The government just couldn't see the merits of using body heat to power its exosuits, and neither could anyone else... and he couldn't understand why. He supposed it had something to do with his grandfather, but really, what was there to do about that?
It had been eight years since Ivo had gotten his masters-when he was twenty two. He had gone on to get his doctorate, and another bachelor's degree. Many of his professors had been fans of his grandpa Gerald, and he noted that he got special treatment for it-not that it mattered. His IQ was well over 300. He didn't need the special treatment... it merely made it laughably easy to succeed in academia.
However, getting a job hadn't been so easy. As simply as he had gone through school on his grandfather's surname, getting a job as a Robotnik was harder. It seemed he already had a sizeable file at GUN, compared to the average person's one page. Though, aside from idolization of his grandfather, his record was totally exemplary, the amount of scrutiny the organization had placed him under intimidated each and every prospective employer. His degrees were virtually unusable; the only companies that would even give him a chance were video game development houses... and how could he save the world making video games?
And now, broke, living on a game developer's salary, Ivo Robotnik had to move out of his childhood home in order to pay off his college debt, and move in with his annoying friend Al. But first, he had to clear his things out of the house.
A daunting challenge.
He threw object after object into various boxes-old junk robots into the scrap metal box, old heirlooms into the sale box, old memoirs and documents into a box of things to keep. He was mostly acting mindlessly; very few of the pieces meant anything to him.
And then, as he was digging through a buried box, his hand hit something soft.
Pulling gently, Ivo uncovered a tattered black teddy bear with reddish-brown eyes.
Memories flooded back to him, and now Ivo realized that not one, but both of the criteria to open it had passed.
Standing up, Dr. Robotnik raced down the stairs, to the second floor, then the first. He wasn't running like he used to, but he still loved the feeling-flying as fast as his thin legs could carry him, nimbly avoiding obstacles because he knew exactly where they were.
He rushed into the kitchen and pulled a steak knife from the drawer. He placed Shadow on the table and gently ran the knife along his seam, severing the thread that stitched the teddy bear together. Setting the knife down, he reached into the back of bear and pulled out two data disks.
And then he took them to a computer, to read of the mystery of 35 years before.
Dr. Eggman sighed as he flew over to Prison Island. It was time.
It filled him with anger just to think about what he was about to do-what he had to do. Not because his actions were so vile, though they were... but because the circumstances that had created them were true atrocities. When he took over the world, nothing like it would ever happen again.
He considered. It is because of their actions that I am who I am. He lowered his hovercraft a few feet. Their conspiracy, their atrocity, destroyed my family and its reputation. He turned off his lights. They killed my innocent relatives for their own political agenda. They destroyed my career so as to keep me from ever being a threat to them.
Eggman released the legs of his walker. Turnabout is fair play.
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