Princess Sally Alecia Acorn Edit
"Speed is no substitute for common sense." - Sally A. Acorn
Full Name: Princess Sally Alecia Acorn
Alias: Juice Bean, D.J. Aelita, Lightrunner
Race: Genetic Hybrid, chipmunk/squirrel "Fuzor"
Age: Not given
D.O.B.: April 25th, XXXX
Fur: brown and cream
Inate element: none
Hybrid ability: Temporal Perception Manipulation (TPM); able to alter her own or others' perception of time
Prefered equipment: OGPX issue Overdrive Sandals, OGPX issue bioware self-assebling memory-cell alloy nanofiber suit
Prefered weapons: C.H.R.O.N.U.S. utility watch (equipped with cutting laser, Micro Shuriken Launcher, ultrasonic generator, energy blade "Quick Sword", grappling hook/stinger, Quantum Discus, AEON Clipper, etc.
Other: C.I.P.H.E.R. portable megaframe hololythic projection computer
Personality Profile: Edit
Sally Acorn is not the person she used to be. She has long since
reinvented herself and rebooted her life. And many would never believe
she was of royal heratage. But as she will testify, those days are dead
and buried with the ashes and dust of her kingdom and its people. While
her story may seem familiar to anyone who has heard the tale of
long-lost heirs to the throne of a kingdom, Sally is the real deal.
However it's a story Sally has closed the chapter on, only looking back
when she has to. Too many painful memories and too many loved once gone
for her to bear, Sally asks herself if she's running away from the past
or toward the future...or just...running.
Sally has lived the majority of the "after times" of her life in Technopolis, Neo Arcadia having found her future as an athlete in the prototype, powered, foot race known as the Overdrive Grand Prix--a sport which makes use of a universal bio-electric field runnjing the planet in a grid to fuel superenhancing bioware suits and solar-fusion powered, speed-boosting Overdrive Sandals. This equipment radically amplifies a wearer's enate abilities to supersonic levels with capacity for short bursts of quantum-level speed, greatly augmented jumping, intensified acrobatic ability, and strengthened durability to withstand the incredible stress levels from the power generated. And supplementing that is an OGPX issue, self-assembling nanofiber jet suit made from memory cell alloy, digitally stored as data and recalled as matter from her utility watch, CHRONUS. When deployed, this suit allows Sally to take flight using jet burner "moth wings" in combination with boosters, and thrusters, allowing her to pull of many aerial stunts in the gravity-twisting, magnetic-assisted EMF "matter wave" race track of the mad, bad, and crazy rollercoaster tracks of the OGPX--tracks which randomly and spontaneously alter their own obstacles and racing conditions multiple times per lap. A feature which makes it less a foot race and more like a gauntlet obstacle course. Some even claiming it to be right out of a video game.
Sally has raced her way into the pros and is now two-time Overdrive Grand Prix Pro Circuit Champion. Having been located by Princess Violet, Sally has been reunited with her friend and confidant, fellow Ecotropia survivor, Bunnie Rabbotou.
Those who know Sally now describe her as bold, confident, and laid back with a free-spirit's drive and one to give a "Heh."grin when things look challenging or complicated. On the surface, Sally may seem like a reckless risk-taker who's as bad as Ripper when it comes to showing off and pulling stunts. But Sally spends an inordinate time behind the scenes, planning out her moves and her methodologies while considering safety measures and dangers, often coming up with contingiencies for the unexpected. To date Sally has had no incidents of recorded accident or injury nor any cases of property damage. While some will call it the Devil's Luck, those who know better confirm that Sally is a lot more careful than she's given credit for. Sally lives by the motto "Speed is no substitute for common sense."
Underneath the surface, Sally is an educated scholar and a very meticulous planner. Versed in many sciences and excelling especially in kinematics and the physics of speed, motion, and probablistic behavior of moving objects, Sally runs 3-D computer model simulations of many of the moves and multiple-step manuvers in her repetoir in advance before attempting them in the field. Whens he's not actually zipping around, leaving neon blue light contrails, Sally is one to put her mental prowess to the test, offering her insight and helping UCI strategize during pre-planning for major missions.
Sally's friends all know her to be quite the go-getter. Having the record for most number of accepted UCI Fieldwork in the team, no one can accuse her of slacking off. As easily one of the hardest working members of the action team, Sally easily redefines the word overachiever. When off the track and not on mission, Sally seeks the lights and sounds of the nightlife as "D.J. Aelita", spinning her sounds on the twin turntable mixer-board.
That Guy...and Sally. And Other Friends, Too: Sally's beginnings were certainly not humble. As the daughter of King Maximillian Acorn and Queen Alecia Acorn, Sally was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and would grow into the mold of the typical spoiled royal. Being quite smart for her young age, Sally was a promising scholar. Her teachers loved her because she'd often prove smarter than they were. A lot of the students found her to be the proverbial teacher's pet and a know-it-all goody-two-shoes. That coupled with being a princess had made her a little stuckup. Fortunately she had a child-hood friend who'd prove to be her foil, reeling in her Mary-Sue tendancies. And the two of them would argue off and on. And usually he'd end up winning the arguement the cheap way--by running off in the middle of Sally's lecture. And that always proved aggrevating because of his Hybrid Ability of super speed. If that weren't bad enough, he was always eating those disgusting cheese coneys. How could anyone possible eat those things? As if that weren't enough was it REALLY necessary for him to belch their stench in her direction? He was SO not Sally's dream prince charming.
That guy wasn't the only headache in her life. There was that squire. Antoine D'Cooliette. His father was one of King Acorn's closest friends and by extension that meant he and Sally would see a lot of each other, much to Sally's frustration. It wasn't any one thing in particular that bugged her about him. He was the foreign kid. Sure his accent was exotic and most would find it romantic. But not Sally. And he was always trying to prove himself the brave soldier...but he was always jumping at his own shadow. And boy was he ever accident prone! Just how many priceless vases had he shattered in a domino effect because he tripped over his own feet?! Then there was his overbearing need to be a little too friendly if not brown-nosing. Yes, as a member of the royal court it was understood that the proper level of formality had to be show to the members of the Royal Family. But he just insisted on taking it too far. If it weren't for the fact that he was 8 and she was 5, Sally would have probably concluded he was trying to woo her...wait, that was exactly what he was trying to do. Oh, Sally was soooo not interested. About the only strength she could ascribe to him was that he had..."nice hair". And that was a forced compliment.
Not everyone she knew drove her nuts. The Minister of Science had an junior assistant shadowing him named Rotor Walrus. But his friends had nicknamed him Boomer. He was okay. A little shy but that was one of his likeable characteristics. And he was just a loveable goof. And easier to put up with than that incorrible mutual friend of theirs. Why he and Rotor were friends often seemed a mystery but Rotor insisted he was a cool guy. He was just...impatient and a little rambunctious. Sally warned that he was going to get Rotor in trouble by association but Rotor at that early point in his life lightheartedly replied that he'd take his chances.
And then there was the baby. A cute lil fox born to Amadeus and Rosemary Prower. The lil' guy was cute as a button and seemed to be happy around Sally. But it was unnerving that the little guy was equally comfortable around that...that troublemaking mutual friend of theirs. Oooh, he mad Sally so mad that she'd go for lengthy periods of time pretending not to remember his name...oh wait, that's right. The kid. Yeah. Cute as a button. Looked at Sally with lil' brotherly eyes. Had and extra tail--HELLOOOO! Okaaaay. That was probably not normal. And even daddy dearest didn't have an answer to give Sally what that was all about.
And lastly there was the new girl. Bunnie Mei Rabbotou. Finally someone Sally's own age and gender. And she was so cool. Bunnie was from the oriental country of Jang and had seen all kinds of fascinating things that Sally was overly curious to learn about. Obediently, Bunnie answered all of Sally's questions and catered to her needs as she had been trained and instructed to do. Though Sally wasn't comfortable with Bunnie being just a mere servant. She was hoping Bunnie would see her more as a friend and open up to her on a personnel level, even remarking once that Bunnie didn't have to act "like a robot" around her. After some coaxing and persuading, the young Rabbotou agreed to go beyond Lady-In-Waiting and be Sally's best friend.
Elias was always busy with his studies. Being the elder sibling, the Prince didn't get to see as much of Sally as he would have liked to. Maybe the lack of sibling companionship was an issue, maybe it wasn't. But Elias tried to be a good brother when he could and was always looking out for lil' sis. But he had learned early on that his life was pretty much already planned out. Something young Sally was still ignorant--she was at that age where being a princess was the same as being on top of the world. She'd learn. And hopefully Elias would get to guide her through the ups and downs since he was already living that part of life. Infatuated with the old-fashioned and traditional ways, daddy-dears would probably not hear of Elias' true sentiments on his future as king. Elias just wasn't that into being king. Besides...he had a feeling that Sally would make a better ruler than him. No. Elias just didn't wish that life on his little sister, either.
The World Ends With Who? Not Us, Fools!:
It was as the song lyric went: "Nothing ever lasts forever. Everybody wants to rule the world." And that's exactly the fate Vorostovian leaders had scripted for their neighbor kingdom. Ecotropia had lived in a rather comfy paradise in a not-so-comfy location. If things had been different, their land would have been part of Neo Arcadia and not Vorostov territory. But Vorostov was forming a nice little fissure between Neo Arcadian soil and the golden kingdom. In the Legion of Nations, Neo Arcadia maintained strong healthy ties with Ecotropia and Edoropia. For Vorostov to make a move on their neighbors would draw plenty of suspcion.
As a country, Vorstov's people weren't necessarily evil or prejudice. But like any people all it takes is the right campain, the right propoganda, and the right incentives...and the flock of sheep would follow its lead into the ninth circle of Hell. The situation however was volatile. Just marching into Ecotropia territory and pillaging them blind would be a horrid move and the entire Legion of Nations would eat the whole country alive; someone would most assuredly scream "hate crime" above the masses and Vorostov did not need its reputation tarnished with that kind of global media circus. But if left alone, the terrible famine and the increasing poverty within Vorostov would mean its people would call its leaders on campain promises they failed to deliver on. And a lot of greedy politicians were not about to be known as the men and women who let Vorostov get sucked down into the ninth circle of Hell. "It was either us or them. And we choose them."
Ecotropia had to be sacrificed for the good of the larger, more desparate country.But a treasury of riches would only keep the economy stimulated for a short time before equilibrium set in. And a city of food and cuisine wouldn't be nearly enough to ration to a whole country. The lesson to be learned was simple--give a man a fish and he'll be fed for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll never starve. So th e question was: what did Ecotropia know that skyrocketed it to its success?
Royal Portable Megaframe. What was the Royal Portable Megaframe? In short: the Genie's Lamp. The Golden Goose. Noah's Ark. The Holy Grail. It was the answer to everything. It was a seed in the form of an artificial intelligence which controlled a database...no...it controlled THE database. It held Ecotropia's very legacy; its past, its present, and the blueprint for guiding its future. Every drop of wisdom every guru in the city-kingdoms history, every scientific discovery and theory every scientist had ever come up with, every cure for diseases even Vorostov hadn't eradicated yet, every stock market model, every corporate plan, ever conceiveable weath of information from what pop song was in that year to secrets that only the Royal Family was trusted to. Ecotropia's very culture, history, identity and its secrets to success were right here, ripe for the picking. Enough collective knowledge, wisdom, and data to reboot a city from its ruin to once again thriving within a compressed period of time. Or evolve a city's growth and expanding, taking it far beyond the rest of the world's progress. The route to Megalopolis. It sounded more like a fairy tale than anything. But it was real. And Vorostovian leaders wanted it. They wanted it enough that they were desparate to rip it from King Acorn's corpse and hold it aloft. But that was just as bad for image as pillaging the city.
Sally had been told not to go near it let alone touch it. But the computer's A.I,, known as Next-generation Intelligence Construct Hololythic Operations Library Element (N.I.C.H.O.L.E.) was...nice to talk to. And Sally curiousity just couldn't be contained. However Maximillian was adamant that the RPM was to be handed down to her brother, Elias on the day of his coronation; a responsibility he would handle with honor and pride. Ecotropia's future would be in his hands.
Some Don't Seek Anything Logical (They Only Desire to See the World Burn):
A select number of Vorostovian leaders was projecting a bleek future for the country unless something drastic was done. In the cover of night, in the dark recesses of a secret chamber underneath their capital's government citadel, a Secret Society took shape. It was an insult; a proud nation like Vorostov playing second fiddle to a kingdom infested with talking porcupines in high tops and mange-ridden walnut-eaters who dared to wear robes and crowns. And who knows how many other species of filthy Hybrid beasts. They needed to be put in their place and spend a few humbling centuries in Vorostov's shoes. Some poverty and famine and sickness of their own would do the trick. But first the country's heart had to be cut out. That RPM was the key to everything. Now how to get it without Neo Arcadia or the rest of the world catching them in the act?
The name of the mercenary outfit the Vorostivian Secret Society had called on has since faded from the pages of history but they claimed to be the best and seemed to have the credentials to back it up. And their fee was unusually cheap. It was perfect. As long as they kept their mouths shut, delivered the goods (and maybe some spoils of war along the way), and disappeared for good, then Ecotropia's days were truly numbered. And Vorostov wouldn't have any blood on their hands, let alone anything to tie them to Ecotropia's inevitable downware spiral. While Neo Arcadia's satellite province would be left to bleed a slow death, Vorostov would slowly ascend to greatness without drawing suspicion.
And so it was that the mercenary army was assembled and set up the weapons, gear, and equipment needed to cut Ecotropia off from the world with its allies being none the wiser and Vorostov itself not having any knowledge of the operation. With Ecotropia falling into an electromagnetic dead zone and every method of contact with the outside world suddenly vanishing this was the prelude to the storm. And it was then they swept into the city. Too numerous for words, too powerful to stop, too well armed for Ecotropia's military to withstand. And too brutal for any man, woman, or child to ever grasp. The palace walls were breached and everything had fallen into place like clockwork. Victory was at hand and Vorstov's Secret Society were the big winners...
...NOT. The double-cross was upon Vorostov's leaders. The people they thought they had entrusted to do the job were not who they said their were. And it was made clear when the fee that they had innitally taken was dropped in the society's laps--burned to cinders. It was then clear that Vorostov's politicians had gotten themselves in over their heads. The lesson to be learned was that there was a breed of being with which there was something fundamentally wrong. This kind of person was less than human...morally depraved...and utterly ruthless. They had quickly learned that there were people in the world...people who could not be bribed...could not be bought...could not be bullied...could not be reasoned with. They sought nothing logical. The mercenaries that the Secret Society had unleashed had only one goal: to erase Ecotropia off the face of the planet just for the sport of it. And no one would live to tell the story.
The slaughter would have been too much for a horror movie. Nothing and no one was spared. Destruction and death echoed through the city walls until the walls themselves were gone.
Destiny Changes Hands:
Sally's wake-up call to reality was cruel but she didn't deserve it. Not like this. First her mother and then.. Frozen in fear and covered in her father's blood, Sally could only look at his murder like a deer facing approaching headlights. This was the end of the road. But at the last moment the road took a detour with a well placed katana cleaving a monster in half. It was impossible to tell who was more stunned--Bunnie or Sally. But there was no time to argue. The girls had to escape. In her haste, Sally was very reluctant to leave. Before Bunnie finally dragged her out of the room, Sally had taken the Royal Portable Mainframe from her father's lifeless body, eyes filled with tears.
The escape through the fiery inferno was death-defying at every turn. For a brief moment, Sally and a fleeing Elias under the protection of what few Royal Guards were left, would make eye contact before more enemies would give chase. It was the last time Sally would see her brother alive. Wishing she had gone back for him, Sally begrudgingly followed Bunnie onward. But then someone showed up that made Sally stop in her tracks. That mutal friend of theirs. Sally had gotten into the worst argument of their lives with him earlier that day. She had to apologize but now wasn't the time. She had to get to-- Too late. The ceiling had collapsed, cutting them off from each other. And with that Sally was devastated that her first friend was gone...and she never told him that she was sorry.
The two girls had made it outside and away from the city moments before the massive ball of light swallowed up the city. By then most of the mercs had gotten out and were sweeping up whomever was attempting to get out of dodge. When the last of the smoke cleared only a deep, disturbingly spherical crater had swallowed up any existance of the once glorious kingdom and its surrounding area.
Bunnie had managed to get Sally to a tiny group of survivors of the Royal Court who swore on their lives to get the Princess to Neo Arcadia. Sally was disturbingly silent the whole time and emotionlessly followed her benefactors, not arguing or protesting once. The princess was overwhelmed by the realizations that set in and fell into a deep funk, painfully humbled by the experience.
Sally's trek from the borders of Ecotropia would lead her across the Vorostov territory. Her benefactors promised to get her to Neo Arcadia. It didn't matter to Sally. She had nothing to live for. At least she had the company of NICHOLE.to keep her anchored to some semblance to sanity.
Unbeknownst to Sally, Elias would survive but it would be brought to his attention that even his little sister had been taken from this world. Stained by hatred, Elias had lost everything. There was nowhere for him to go but into the abyss. And he'd be taking the guilty ones with him. In short, the only thing left was revenge. Elias gathered survivors--men who were willing to follow him into Hell for the cause if need be. The plan was simple: round up the mercenary guerillas and do unto them what they had done to their kingdom. It was a long and arduous plan spanning a lengthy amount of time in which many of Elias' men did pay the ultimate price. But it culminated into the final step in his plan. The mercs could not pass up the chance to eradicate another Hybrid city. Lured to domed city and into its very epicenter, the tables would turn as Elias's trap was sprung. With blood and vengeance already on his hands, Elias' grasp on the world had slipped away as had his health. There was just one last play to make and it would be one that crossed the line and could potentially endanger the whole planet. Using forbidden technology to create a self-sustaining solar fusion reaction at the epicenter of the city and activating a powerful forcefield shield around the whole dome which would hopefully protect the planet from the intense heat spike from within--one that would likely reach the ignition point of the atmosphere itself. The process was offset just such that by the time the heat spike was at its peak, the self-sustaining process would collapse on itself. Anything in that dome would be completely disintegrated. With a final parting message, Elias bid his city's murderers goodbye. There was a flash and then nothing. The shield had held up and Elias' plan had worked. Blind from the flash, Elias slipped out of consciousness as his life processes shut down. At least Sally would never know of his black deed...she would never see him again...not where he was going...
Into the Void:
Vortex Labs. It was funded in secret by the most influential members of the Secret Society. And they did not take the betrayal well at all. And furthermore the merc group dropped off the face of the planet. Somebody had to be punished. Neo Arcadia could not know about this. Any of it. No witnesses. Not even one. The convoys of survivors migrating to the mother country had to be silenced. And that was where Vortex came in.
Life was harsh for Sally and she had grown increasingly withrdrawn. But the worst was yet to come. Picked off one by one her guardians were helpless by Vortex's security gestappo. And Sally was quickly siezed up and taken to the underground laboratory facility. At first Sally was grouped with the others, slated for standard proceedures until the director had discovered that she was the lost heir to the Acorn Family...and she had the RPM in her posession. Happy days were here again for Vorostov's Secret Society. The plan was back on and Vortex was to be commended for their excellent work. Not willing to waste an opporunity, the director had special plans for Sally.
It was called Cybermorphic Nanoplasm Strain: X (CNS-X). It was the grand experiment. A viscous plasm saturated with the latest, most experimental nanite Vortex had spawned yet. If it worked then Sally was to become the greatest bio-weapon in history. If not...oh well...her demise would be considered..."very satisfying".
But that was the icing. The cake lay in an interface cradle in the center of a supercomputer platform, jacked into the entire lab's central mainframe. The same mainframe directing the infusion process on Sally. All it had to do was crack NICHOLE's firewalls, decipher her language, decompile her bit-by-bit, and finally mass-download ever last nibble of information to Vorostov's mainframe to be packaged up and sent to the Secret Society for their benefit. NICHOLE would prove to be a stubborn (and in the director's opinion, quite rude) A.I., denying the supercomputer's infliltrations and waging war with the mainframe itself in realtime. No matter. The supercomputer would have to eventually adapt faster than this stubborn RPM was adapting. For a computer program, it was showing an alarming amount of self-preservation.
It was a routine proceedure. It was a routine method. But what wasn't routine was the laboratory specimen that had gotten loose and now was proceeding to raise havoc on the lab's systems and equipment. The resulting malfunctions chain-reactioned into a domino effect as the supercomputer had closed in on cracking NICHOLE's code at the same time the scan of Sally's life essence, DNA, and mental imprint had been assembled for programming the nanites. The resulting implosion of energy build-up, data collisions, and malfunctions surged straight into the infusion machine only moments after Bunnie Rabbotou had manged to yank Sally out of the capsule. And just in time as they had narrowly averted a violent explosion which consumed the machine and ruptured the storage tanks. As Bunnie had led Sally away from the blaze, she could have sworn she caught sight of someone else in the room by the nanite tanks. Bunnie quickly snatched up a badly scrambled RPM and breached the defenses of the facility, getting Sally to safety.
Again Sally and Bunnie wold part ways and once again the princess was on the run.
It Was...an Angel...a Blue Angel:
Sally did the only thing she could at that point. Survive. It was a nightmare. It was impossible. Now in her teens, the princess was on a crash course to staying alive. There was no chance she could make it to Neo Arcadia on her own. And it seemed to be confirmed when Vortex's Security Force caught up with her. This was the end and Sally counted in her head the seconds to invevitability...
"What happened? I just blinked for a moment." Sally's enemies had been subdued and out cold. Her vision was blurry at best and she was trying to push herself up from the wasteland's ground. She wasn't alone. Someone...was there. "Hey, are you alright?" A gloved hand was outstretched toward her. A shape. A blurry shape. A blurry...and very blue shape? Sally found herself behing helped to her bare, aching feet. Hunger and weakness was making it difficult to focus. Was this a hallucination? No. It was real. Someone was helping her. Someone......familiar? "You should be more careful, it's dangerous out here." Sally was at a loss for words and still unable to clearly see who it was. The voice...it was older but...she had heard it before. "Well, gotta juice! Take care now." And he was gone before Sally good get the words out. "W-w...w-wait!" Was it him? It had to be. Who else could it be. But...wasn't he...?
I Am No One:
Sally pressed on, stumbling along the way until she found herself face down and dragging herself to the first sign of hope she had come across--a puddle of water just large enough for-- That reflection. That face. Who was that? Sally didn't recognize who was staring back at her. And when she realized she didn't recognize herself...the last remnants of her grip on the world slipped away with her very identity. To add to that, it set in that when...he rescued Sally, he didn't recognize her either. It was like she was a total stranger to him. And he was so...nice to her. No snappy comments, no banter. Not even a wisecrack. Why didn't he recognize her face? They had grown up together. How could he not know who.......no...it wasn't him who was at fault. She really had fallen this far.
Why was she alive? Desparate for answers she opened up NICHOLE, hoping for advice. That's right. She was still carrying Ecotropia's seed. It was an incredibly long shot, but somehow, someway maybe she could rebuild Ecotropia. It was her royal duty, after all. Her lineage had to go on. Even if it took decades, she had to at least try. Certainly all was not lost. NICHOLE would know what to do.
But...what she was greeted with was an error screen...which eventually flickered out. She was gone. The database was gone with her. All of it gone. Her friend was gone. Then there was nothing else left. Ecotropia really was dead and Sally's only hope at rebuilding it was gone. Sally felt her knees buckle and the puddle coming up fast. A splash then...darkness.
You're Not Alone:
A cough and a sputter. "Didn't...Didn't I drown?" No. Something else had happened. Sally found herself starring into eyes of someone new. Sally was quickly informed that her life function were nearly terminated. That was an unusual way of putting it. Who really talked like that? And why did she talk with an electronic reverb to her voice? Another hybrid. A girl. Green eyes...no, not Bunnie. Someone else? Those ears...cat-like. No...these were the ears of a lynx. Wait. Someone else had escaped Vorostov?
Sally found herself in the care of a hybrid lynx with a rather blank expression. Who was she? Sally would learn her rescuer called herself Nikita. But there was something...off about her. Off and familiar. It looks like the two of them were surviving together. The more Nikita responded to Sally's questions, the more artificial she seemed. And it wouldn't be long before the answer hit Sally like a ton of bricks.
Ripples...ripples in a sea of mercury. That's what it looked like. The scorpion's sting didn't pierce her flesh like it should have. And then her other hand had siezed the creature and yanked it roughly from her arm, the venom being forced out...but with no blood accompanying it. This went far beyond a Hybrid ability...no...she wasn't a hybrid at all. She was...?
"Nanomorph?" Sally had offered. Nikita considered the word fairly befitting. A few more rounds of 20 questions and it was all clear to Sally. NICHOLE wasn't gone. She was standing right in front of her. The Nanoplasm-X. It had become a new lifeform. LIke a shapeshifter. But her friend had been changed. She had taken on a life spark. As it turned out her entire database collective was intect. The golden goose had evolved into quite the beautiful swan...well...lynx. And it seemed NICHOLE's protocols and prerogatives were still in place. And her priority was ensuring the princess' survival.
The Favor Returned, A Promise Kept:
Sally was still clinging to a shred of reality and dangling precariously close to the pit of insanity. But she was at least sane enough to know that someone had saved her life...twice, now. If there was a chance she was still alive, Sally had to help her. But how?
With Nikita's help, Sally's survival changes were marginally higher but she was still weak and starving. And yet she couldn't think of herself. There was a girl who needed to be saved. And somehow she had to make it happen.
Miracles were bound to happen every so often and this miracle came in the form of Sally and Nikita reaching the Neo Arcadia border. Sally begged Nikita to help her keep her promise. Not certain while she "chose" to agree to Sally's plea, Nikita used her nanite collective to locate a buried fiber optic communication cable, infiltrate it and access Neo Arcadia's global internet system. In a period of milliseconds, Nikita had scoured the Neo Arcadia cyber-matrix and discovered the UCI and its covert Action Team. Taking images and data recovered from the Vortex Labs Mainframe and composing a desperate plea for help, Nikita dropped the call for help onto the personal computers of the UCI founders and as a final message relayed Sally's special request, asking the powers that be to fullfill a promise for her. Remaining annonymous and not sticking around, Sally and Nikita vanished off into the night, now bound for...?
Home Sweet Technopolis:
Sticking to the shadows, the princess and the program had avoided drawing attention to themselves. They were at least in friendly territory now but neither felt like explaining things to the authorities. The only thing Sally wanted to do now was fade to invisible. Continuing to follow and interpret her program directives, Nikita siezed the first opportunity she could to again access the Neo Arcadia global internet system. But this time for a different purpose--namely slipping into Technopolis' computer systems new identities for themselves as well as registration as citizens of Technopolis. Before long Nikita had managed to hack ID's and account information as well as various accounts and a credit line. Ultimately, two people who didn't exist without any proof of identity or any financial assets in the world...sudden did.
In short order, Nikita had secured the deed to a beach condominium on Technopolis' beach outskirts where she and Sally would take up residence together. Encouraged to stay inside and out of sight, Sally would remain bed-ridden (or at least couch-ridden) while Nikita set about exploring the city and securing more necessities for survival. Still an empty shell, Sally would barely spoke let alone asked Nikita just what she was doing in the outside world. As time went on, Nikita would nurse her back to health but there was nothing she could do beyond that; her program was to ensure Sally's survival but ther was nothing in her software collective about humanoid emotions and healing a devastated heart. Sally was broken inside and showed no signs of moving forward.
The One Critical Thing Sally Missed:
Television--there was no shortage of it and Sally wasn't exactly discouraged from watching it. Nikita went about her business in the outside world whether bringing a steady income or groceries or going about affairs she kept secret from even Sally as per the scope of her program. It was not like she was even remotely curious, in fact it was a wonder if anything was really sinking in. The former princess was in a strange land with no purpose to serve.
The People vs. Vortex Labs. There was no one in the city who hadn't heard about it. Almost no one. Sally's depression had sunk so low that even TV didn't hold her attention and she spent much of her time curled up under the covers and crying herself to sleep. The trial of the century had exploded across the world but Sally paid no heed. Had she would have watched it, she would have witnessed the fall of her captors and in all likelyhood she would have inferred from the testimony the identy of the mysterious star witness, "Miss X" and she would have known that the promise she had delivered to the UCI founders had been kept. The one thing that would at least steer her on the road to recovery and she'd never know about it.
She Went Insane...But She Grew Bored of That and Went Sane. Very Sane:
Even depression doesn't last forever. While the trial had come and gone and Nikita wasn't inclined to tell Sally about it--it wasn't a required sub-routine after all--things were very much settled in the mundane. Sally was slowly slipping out of disconnection with the world, finding it harder to remain an empty shell. Time was healing her whether she wanted it to or not. Nikita had started to notice the change and while she evaluated it as positive, her struggle with understanding emotions or the Hybrid psyche would not let her say she was "glad". It was okay. For a time...Sally had forgotten what the word even meant. In all the time that went by, Sally did not leave the house once. And despite the improvement she stuck to that. But something in her had a problem with that; she just didn't know it yet. It was then she noticed NICHOLE's old shell...wait...had it been repainted? When did Nikita do that and...why? Opening up the portable mainframe, the princess was greeted with "USER REGISTRATION UPDATING, FACIAL AND RETNA SCAN COMPLETE. OPERATING SYSTEM CONFIGURING. Hello, Sally Acorn. I am the voice of Construct Intelligence Program Hololythic Encyclopedic Retrieval (unit)."
C.I.P.H.E.R.? Nikita had replaced the operation system of the Royal Portable Mainframe? But...the database? Was--? Further inquiry would reveal Ecotropia's entire collective had been erased from the unit during Bunnie's attack on the lab. The only surviving copy of it was now in Nikita's head. She really was the girl that knew too much. And if anyone ever learned who and what she was,their lives could be in danger. What if Vorostov's secret society came after them again? Was Vortex Labs still hunting them down? But what about rebuilding Ecotropia? No. The temptation to use Nikita's knowledge was too great. And even so, they were now in a new home in a country that already existed with a government, culture, and life all its own. It was time to face reality. There was no choice but once and for all conclude that Ecotropia was and always would be "past tense". Her mind was made up. Sally was princess no more.
From that moment, Sally had decided that this was a secret she had to keep protected with her very life. No one could know the truth to this story. Not even any other Ecotropian survivors...if there were any left alive in the world.
It was strange. But for a brief moment, C.I.P.H.E.R. had sounded like someone Sally knew long ago. Someone who had always watched out for her. Little did she know that a secret was already being kept from her. One which Nikita had promised C.I.P.H.E.R. to never to reveal to Sally. Cryptically, C.I.P.H.E.R. had sealed the promise with the parting afterthought "So this is my punishment for my dark sin. What a truly cruel fate worse than death...at least I can still watch over her."
Nikita's next gift was a little stange. A watch. An oversized, heavily modded watch. C.H.R.O.N.U.S. was its designation. It was short for Chronometer (and) Hololythic Repository (of) Omnifunctional New-Tech (deploying) Utility System. Nikita told her it was a time piece remotely linked to Technopolis' supercomputer atomic clock, Atomic Era Omnitemporal Neo-architype or A.E.O.N. for short. Besides its hololythic time displays Nikita had modded it with a number of features including matter-data conversion storage--a technology which seemed remarkably similar to the E.N.G.I.N.E. system that had recently been invented. But this feature wasn't Neo Arcadian in origin. Was it something from Ecotropia's R&D before its fall? No matter. Time was one thing Sally had a lot of.
Sally grew restless of being cooped up indoors. She needed to get out and see her new home...well...it would be new to her if she ever saw it.
Sally had been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting. And one particular memory kept coming to mind. That guy. The one she spent her childhood arguing with. The guy she kept telling to "slow down" and "wait for me" and "you're so impatient". The guy that had to have been the one that saved her life. Sally spent her whole childhood irrate at him, feeling he was living in his own world. A world she refused to accept or understand. But maybe...maybe it wasn't unreasonable to at least try to put herself in his shoes. Considering she had no shoes (or much of anything in the line of clothing aside from the rags that Vortex Labs had forced her to wear and a few very basics Nikita had brought home), it seemed now was probably an appropriate time to stop living in absolutes and rethink her old beliefs, likes-and-dislikes, and philosophies on life. Was it unthinkable that maybe he knew something she didn't all this time?
That day she had an epiphany. In her pondering the time she had spent chasting her friend about always being in a hurry; that he was missing out on life because he was impatient. How much went in one ear and out the other because he was too eager for people to cut to the chase? How many details did he lose track of because he cut one too many corners. But...could it be, Sally was the one missing out on life?
"Slow." "Too slow." And in some cases "You're too slow." She had heard him say it too many to think straight. It wasn't Sally's fault that she didn't have super speed. In fact as far as Sally knew she didn't have any hybrid powers. Or maybe they hadn't manefested yet. Which made it a problem if she was making up her mind to at least attempt to see the world through his eyes. It's not like she could just put on a pair of super-speed sneakers and see it for herserlf. Nah. She was a smart girl. It would take a lot more than just something on her feet to achieve that kind of speed. There was countless things to consider. Stress levels on muscular tissue, tendons, and bone. Being able to even move her limbs at that speed without injury. Reflex times, friction coefficients, heart and respiratory functions. In short her whole body would have to be superenhanced to even come close to matching him. But somehow it all worked out for him and he wasn't exactly the guy who'd know what a coefficient was. For him speed was just second nature; as simple as breathing. And he had another advantage that Sally didn't. He ran on instinct. He had a sense about how things went down at high speed. Sally didn't have that instinct. She was too logical. She couldn't be impulsive. But she was intelligent and a meticulous planner. That had to count for something. So how would someone who spent her life shunning that speed world go about entering it for the first time.
The Speed Philosophy (The Bowl Metaphor):
It was a simple question to Nikita.
"What is it that my life lacks?"
Nikita wasn't sure how to respond. There were either too few answers to give...or way too many answers to give depending on what exactly Sally was implying. The answer was simple: speed. It was hardly the word Nikita was expecting and she couldn't even begin to go about asking for clarificaition. And thus Sally detailed her epiphany and the philosophy she had been pondering for some time now.
"What do you think of speed?"
Nikita frowned and replied that King Frederick I had said that "Hastiness was the enemy of good politics." to which Sally mused that it's a good thing she's not a politician. She turned serious and detailed her thoughts, defining hastiness as "speed beyond one's capacity". Nikita nodded in agreement. "If one's bowl is full, then the faster the speed, the better." "Then for great cause, the one with the greater speed has the bigger bowl." Sally concluded. And with that she slipped on her favorite blue vest with a pair of old blue boots Nikita had very recently brought home to expand Sally's very limited wardrobe and headed for the door. When inquired where Sally was going, the former princess replied "To find speed."...and gave a thumbs-up.
Kick Into Overdrive:
Nikita found herself accompanying, at some points being about dragged along for the ride; kind of a role-reversal considering she had led Sally by the arm out of Vorostov and into Technopolis. It was a long day and the varying places to find speed neither impressed nor interested Sally. If he was still around he'd probably call it kiddy stuff. A city this big and advanced had to have something adequately speedy. Lady Acorn knew that there was no substitute for his style of "juice and jam" but it's not like...wait, she already drove off that metaphorical bridge before.
Turbotropolis Speedway. It was the last major stop on the list. Did she really have to consider autoracing? So not hopeful about it. Well there were the racers...annnnnnnd...their vehicals were...where? And were those...sandals on their feet? Why would anyone go into an auto race with metal sandals on their feet? No way. Was this some kind of foot race? What kind of foot race-- *blink* Uhhh...where did they...? Sally's eyes must've pentupled in size when she saw it. And the feeling of deja vu smacked into her like a fiery backdraft. They were running. At supersonic speed. Their racing suits were lit up with neon pseudocircuitry and their sandals were just blurrs--each racer leaving a different colored neon light contrail as they followed the contours of the twisting, turning, bending, and gravity-defying roller coaster of a "matter-wave" track. And more than that the track itself was altering itself, causing obstacles and hazards to spring up without warning. And the racers were all adapting to it. This was like...some big life-sized video game. No...this was like a page out of her past. And this was exactly what she was looking for.
The Fall Comes Before the Pride:
Sally would need to prepare herself before she got into this. But where to get a proper education? Ultra Crew Institute Academy of Online Higher Learning? What a concept! Kindergarten through college through the internet...just the thing and Nikita would prove to give the young Sally an edge. And before long, Sally had a high school diploma and an accredited degree in kinematics. Now there was just the matter of getting into shape. Months at the gym eventually paid off and Sally was feeling a whole lot better than when she first walked through the door of her condominium home. Now she'd just have to figure out how to get her start in the sport. First she'd have to research it.
Apparently the sport was a prototype new-age entry into the list of "extremes". Resulting from the unlikely offshoot of a project for powered combat infantry suits originally developed in the dome city of Corinth--Neo Arcadia's military technology testing grounds (and the other side of the coin that was the twin Exposition cities, the top side being the consumer goods/civilian tech testing expo city of Technopolis), the Overdrive Grand Prix made us of quasi-tronic nanotechnology in combination with gravity and energy based tech and bioware designed to radically enhance, strengthen, intensify, and defend a human or hybrid body from otherwise un-surviveable stresses and conditions at unheard of speeds. The rules were like something out of a computer game and the obstacles seemed even more so like a game programmer thought them up. And yet there was something very appealing about it once Sally had gotten the gist of it.
Patience paid off and eventually Sally with Nikita's help talked to the right people. And before long she was pulling off those boots and replacing them with Overdrive Sandals (painted a nice shade of blue with some red and white trim in rememberance of certain individuals), slipping into the bioware underpaddings, zipping up the suit, letting the memory cell alloy comprised nanofiber assemble around her body, and feeling the power as the suit's quantum tech connected her to the universal bio-electric field that ran the planet in a spherical grid. And she was off and aw-- Ouch. That was probably something she should have expected. Well, she was just getting star-- Ouch, again. And again. And again. Yeeeeeah...this was...going to take practice. And figuring out how not to trip, fall, and otherwise wipeout and end up in the "basement" as the others had put it.
A few running starts and she was at least able to make it...part of the way around the first turn. Wow, this was a humbling experience. Many of the wipe-outs she was having probably should have hospitalized or even killed an unprotected person. This bioware suit was amazing...or it would be if she ever got the hang of it. Guess theory only took a person so far.
Weeks of practice and Sally found herself in her first race. And unsuprisingly she wasn't thought particularly highly of. At least she had managed to finally complete a run around the track. But the long story short was, she was just not prepared for the...additional obstacles. And quite frankly she was finding it very difficult to keep up. By the end of the race, she finished dead last and became the race's goat. Yeah. Good luck with sponsers, kid. Losing didn't hurt so much. Losing with an utterly epic-fail. That was the killer. Nikita adviced Sally to reconsider her career path before it led to serious injury, OGPX safeguards or none. But this was one time Miss Acorn had plans of her own. And she would be unwavering and stubborn in the face of defeat.
With Great Power Comes...Eh, Just Don't Blow It, Kid:
By now, defeat was something Sally was wearing particularly well. At least she was good at something even though it wasn't anything to speak of. Most people don't consider being good at failure something to brag about. It was just too fast for her eyes. Too fast for her brain. Too fast for her reflexes. There was just no time to act. The obstacles chain-reaction domino effect overwhelmed her at ever turn...and straightaway.
Another race and another textbook dead last. At least she had heart, right? Yeeeeah...heart. The laps went as expected and expectations were low. Rounding the turn and about to begin another lap, disaster struck as one of the failsafes had...failed. And failed epic. In the cascade of falling debris and the malfunctioning sections of track, it looked like Sally's life was about to come to a very abrupt end. In the fleeting moment as her eyes wided and she braced for the worst, she had a vision...a revelation. A flashback to that moment where she was saved in the Vorostovian Wasteland. An image of a golden metal ring. And visions of things that she couldn't make sense of. And at the climax of it all, the world had turned photo-negative and vast strings of complicated equations and high-order calculations rained down everywhere. A fire had ignited in Sally's eyes as her pupils changed shape--becoming like clockhands for a brief moment as an aura surged around and inside her. Time was...slowing down? Seemed like...wait...her movement? Why was it so fast? What was going on? Sally found herself impulsively acting, dodging, flipping, twisting, spiraling, and one-handstand vaulting, and otherwise running through every acrobat's flashy trick in the book. And no sooner had it begun, everything suddenly roared back to real time and Sally had spun out to a crouching stop without crashing out. And when she turned around she saw the impossible number of dangers she had narrowly escaped. And she wasn't the only one taken by suprise. Every person's head had been turned in her direction. There was too much there to be a fluke. How did she do that?
Sally didn't win the race as expected and she didn't even place also as expected but that was furthest from her mind. What was that power she just exhibited? Nikita's later tests on Sally had revealed that a Hybrid Power had finally manefested--the power of time-perception manipulation or TPM as she shortened it. In essence, Sally couldn't manipulate time itself but rather how she and/or others perceived it. The way she had invoked it on the track was like a form of that "bullet-time" that science fiction movies had popularlized. To surmise it was like turning a 1/1000th of a second into a full second while retaining the capacity to move and react at enhanced if not well-above average level. And chances were she could invoke it in other ways as well. Perhaps even stop a person's perception of time. But no way would she dare deo that on the track. That would be outright cheating. This was a responsibility and abusing it was not an option. But still this seemed like the answer. Sally now had the perception and reflexes needed to adapt to the track.....no...it was not something she was in conscious control of yet and even if she was in control of it, it would be too much like flexing a muscle. It wasn't something she could do off and on in pulses let alone continuously. The fact of the matter was Sally was just going to have to practice to get fast on her own with her TPM as a crutch along the way.
Practice makes perfect and Sally was no longer lagging behind the pack. Still a long way's off from first place, she was at least making progress. If she could get fast enough in her heart and in her head, maybe she could even come up with quick plans while on the track and she'd spend less time reacting and following things as if they were choreographed in advance. What Sally wouldn't give for Bunnie's ability to have that "immediate future" insight she seemed to be good at harnessing--her Sixth Sense hybrid power was quite appealing by comparisson to Time Perception Manipulation but then again that was a matter of the grass being greener of the other side of the fence.
By now Sally was able to put on a little show or two when on the track and not merely by accident. Even if she wasn't standing in the winner's circle, she was spicing up the sport. And people were taking notice. It was starting to look like there might be hope for her after all.
As she got older and more experienced, Sally was being more warmly received and readily recognized. It seemed she had passed initiation and was on her way to a bright(er) future. Last place seemed like a memory by this point and Sally's position had slowly climbed out of the double digits. She was making the other racers earn their victories and follow-up positions rather than them making her earn her way to even finishing the race.
Sally was no longer an unknown and the phrase "up-and-coming" had quickly attached itself to her description. It was even starting to look like she might get herself a fan-base before long. And her splash and pizzazz on the track had definitely gotten bolder. So much so that it was inspiring some of the other members to attempt their interpretations. Sally was changing the face and the rules of the Overdrive Grand Prix practically overnight. And sponsers were starting to keep an eye on her as a potential investment.
Welcome to the big leagues. Was it really that much of a cliche? Sally was approached first by the Moxy Cola corporation--the busines having sniped her away from their competitors at Volt Cola. Looks like Sally was going to start seeing some real money in the future. But it wasn't about the money or the fame or the success. Sally had rewritten her own destiny. She was no longer surviving...she was living and the distinction was overly obvious. With a half-grin smirk, Sally whole-heartedly chose her new callsign alias. Amongst the likes of "Nitro", "Jet", "Burnout", "She-Lion", "Trash" (as in trash the competition), and "Motorhead", Sally would take her place under the name "Juice Bean". Her father had called her his little "Bean" as a nickname and supposedly the name of some weirdo duck hybrid from his youth. And "juice". Which came from...that guy's favorite expression, meaning to "take off in a hurry", "get the heck outta here", or otherwise to achieve serious speed. OGPX Racer, Number 32 was ready to tear up the track.
By this point, Nikita had started serving as engineer for Sally's Overdrive Sandals, bioware and jet suit mode. Sally's flair on the track was now a media spectacle and many of her maneuvers would find their way into the standard play book for racers. With the bioware and sandals being revised and upgraded, the engineers were starting to push the limits of the track design as well, implementing new, conventionally impossible twists to an already twisted track.
The sport was starting to find its way out of Technopolis and onto other tracks across the country. And as quickly as the sport was catching on, it wasn't farfetched to believe that it could even find its way into other countries. Who knows. Maybe it would go global?
While Mitzi was setting up shop in Miranda, Sally was deep into her current OGPX season. Scoring in the top three was commonplace but what she was really aiming for was a first place finish. She had racked up enough points during the season that Championship Finals were in her future. It wasn't her first rodeo but she had a feeling that it would be her lucky year.
The Champ Is Here:
Sally was nervous the morning of the last race of the seaon. With winter starting and the Mr. Weather calling for snow, it looked like the race might even be canceled. But somehow the skies stayed sunny and clear (thanks in part to hacking from a certain white rabbit princess). Little did Sally know that there would be unexpected attendees in the audience seeking her out to offer a new kind of challenge.
The race went as all expected races with the usual bevvy of video game obstacles, hand-to-hand combat rounds, and some high-flying stunts and acrobatics. Sally was pouring it on the whole race when another disaster would rear its head, this time sending her free-falling toward the spinning main rotor of a news copter too close to the action. While the whole stadium was panicked over the impeding doom about to occur, Sally was cool and collected. She knew exactly what to do as she had come up with a very quick plan. Once invoking her Hybrid Power, everything hinged on guiding herself toward the very epicenter of the rotor and using a feather touch, she'd use the center of the whirling rotor, equidistant from the whirling blades as a springboard to kick off and gain enough distance to fire up her jet suit thrusters full blast and out of the suction of the mighty fan. And all while not only staying in the race but getting back into position. This had to be the stunt of the decade.
Sally was really giving it all and blazing forth toward that checkered flag ahead. With her lungs on fire and her drive set ablaze, Sally pulled ahead and crossed the finish line. It was official. She was this year's grand champion.
Join the UCI Action Team Today, Sal:
Violet's little demonstration had the group convinced. As Nikita had snared the press hounds and the rest of the crowd away from the champ, UCI made their way down to the pits to make their offer as Sally was removing her helmet. This person was their man-- --oh, wait, she's a woman. Violet played it real cool and explained things, leading up to her climaxing with the fated reunion. Bunnie and Sally. Back together again. IIt was a heart-felt and very emotionally-stirring reuniting of old friends. And things were looking up.
Night on the Town...Delayed on a Count of Rain:
Sally had booked a reservation for the group at a hotel's penthouse suite. Nikita would catch up later after handling...other affairs. The press would be itching for an interview with the champion having been denied earlier and it was up to Dr. Nikita Lynx to smooth things over.
Technopolis was overwheming for many of the group. But Sally promised to answer any questions they had and even walk them on a tour of the city in the morning. It wasn't so bad staying the night. The accomodations were good and room service was certainly prompt if a bit automated. And 2,000 channels on TV and free high-speed hololythic internet access was nothing to sneeze at. Plus a little rain wasn't going to stop an outing for dinner at an authentic oriental restaurant.
Sally explained as much of her sad tale following the end of Ecotropia as she could bring herself to remember, all things considered.
So Why is it called a News PAPER Around Here?:
Going paperless was something that Technopolis had apparently embarked on years prior. Matter-wave hololithic news...tablets were the standard of the morning routine. And the were not thrown away and incenerated but rather erased and recycled or wireless updated. But that was just a minor thing of note during the city tour.
Despite Ripper losing the damage deposite on the gyro bike (on account of parking it between monorail cars...sideways), the day was pretty much mishap-free. Visits to weapon shops and video game/entertainment centers proved to be quite the tour of Sally's second home. And technology was beyond sci-fi at ever turn and every street. Never had anyone seen so many hololythic lights and display and everything computer was all wireless and easily network interfaced togther. This was the future. Today was in fact tomorrow. But now it was time to trade that in for a third home. And so Sally Acorn was Miranda-bound with Nikita catching up later after some...minor press conferencing and squaring other affairs away.
Sally's endevours would prove just as ambitious as a UCIAT operative as the were on the track. Jumping at every chance she could to get in field world, Sally proved herself a real go-getter and adventure seeker. Her confidence at its peak, Sally cautiously gauged herself to not become arrogant. Vortex had humbled her greatly and turned her away from the memory of being a spoiled royal. Going so far as to completely abandon an ties to royalty, Sally now insists people don't call her princess, much to Vi's perplexed disgust (as she herself embraces the lifestyle, believing that if you got it, flaunt it.).
Since being issued UCI A.I. support unti, RVG-Gamma (Or "Ravage" as Vi calls him), Sally has since started making use of his twin-turntable D.J. mixerboard alt form in her night life endevours as sound-spinning "D.J. Aelita" at the disco techs and night clubs. Finding a nack for mixing music and bringing her own style of flash and charism, Sally happily introduces the party-goers of Miranda to how they bring the noise in Technopolis.
Sally often earns dubious looks from some who consider her as reckless as Ripper for her tendancy to criss-cross Miranda's traffic grid with her neon light contrails but she garners a lot of comraderies, as she's earned a reputation for being hardworking and dependable.
Nikita has since augmented CHRONUS with an alternative but effective arsenal and modded Sally's favorite vest to transform into a silver BPV with bullet and beam stopping/reflecting power even greater than the best available kevlar.
Sally especially earns the ire of Cima who finds her alternative, technocentric, and overly flashy methods annoying. It doesn't bother Sally any because her insults and comments fall on deaf ears. Sally's one to let her performance in the field do the talking back rather than waste her breath in confrontation. Besides Mitzi seems to have a better knack for clashing with the Sergal's bark and bite. Sally does things her way and if anyone has a problem with that, they can put their money where their mouth is and prove it on the battle field against the enemy. Chances are if Cima's said it, Sally heard worse in her life time be it from the Vortex Labs staff, the mercenaries that destroyed Ecotropia, or her OGPX rival, Sue "She-Lion Blu".
Sally often gets narrowed eyes from Chameleon because of her Technopolis lingo and that she gets along with Ripper and habitually executes stunts and manuevers that hinge on something he'd attempt. And besides that, Ripper is always asking her about getting an OGPX Self-Assembling Nanofiber Digital bioware Suit (SANDS) and Overdrive Sandals of his own. As if the rocket skates weren't ENOUGH to put up with.
Most everyone else gets along pretty well with Sally. Sally can be seen more often in the off-season, between December and May, while less so, because of racing in the OGPX circuit, the rest of the year, occasionally dropping in between races and eagerly accepting whatever mission is on the table for her. While Sally is living a life she's comfortable with she only needs to accomplish one last ambition for complete piece of mind...catch up to that guy and properly thank him. Even though he's become little more than an urban legend whispered among hybrids, Sally is sure he's out there some where; going wherever the wind takes him and in all likelyhood being a hero to all those in need. And she's going to find him. When she does, she'll race him as many times as it takes to catch up to him. Only then will she truly be able to put the past behind her. After that...who knows? Maybe she could marry him...............nah.