A SEGA PICTURE
Mid-afternoon. A Beautiful Summerís day in June 2002. Birds are singing and flying around, doing their business. Children are laughing, skipping and dancing. But these children are no ordinary children.
Welcome to Pritchard Island, home of the Humans of Mobius. Itís called Pritchard Island because of the guardianís last name. The human world is full of bizarre places than any other island. But more on that later.
Samuel Pritchard is the guardian of this island. His job is to keep the island safe from danger, and questions those who trespass.
He was lazing around in his hammock on this particular day.
"Pritchard Island." He said. "The safest place in the whole of Mobius. Hardly any danger comes and if it does, I can sweep it away with the palm of my hand." Samuel often boasted.
Not far off from Wild Green Zone laid Machine Zone. The residents were treating the day like any other day too.
Suddenly, there was a loud crash. The residents went wild. They were all frightened by this Ďthingí that just landed.
It was the enemy.
He staggered up from where heíd fallen. Nursing his injuries, he looked to survey the damage. There were none, but, to his surprise, there was a distant beeping noise.
He went to it and surveyed it.
It had detected special gems.
Eagerly, he scanned the island for identity. Pritchard Island, home of many gems. He stared, then smiled an evil smile.
"Hah! With Sonic out the way, I can rule the world! I still have robots from the last time I was in combat with Sonic. Iíll use them! With the humans out the way, I shall retrieve the gems and rule Mobius!"
Without any warning, Robots began flying out the wreckage and eating the humans.
The rangers of Machine Zone saw this, and rushed to the Underground base, and began making contact.
Samuel was lazing in his hammock when a ranger came running to him.
"Sir!" he shouted. Samuel looked up. "Connection from Machine Zone!"
Samuel went blissfully in, unaware of the events.
"Mac." He said. "Whatís up?"
"Weíve got a serious problem." Samuel watched in horror.
"Get the team out there!" he shouted. "Iíll send the rest!"
Teams from Wild Green and Marble Tree rushed from their base to Machine Zone.
Teams from Stadium Rock and Iceland joined in.
By the end, there was nothing left but Robots.
Knothole. Beautiful day. Sonic The Hedgehog is taking his usual run. Today is a normal day.
He reached the princessí door, stopped and walked to the door, but just as his hand touched the knob, the door was flung open.
"Come in!" said Sally dragging him in.
"There are still gems in Robotnikís reach." Said Rotor. Also in the hut were Bunnie, Tails, Knuckles and Antoine.
"Where are they?" asked Sonic.
"On some place called Pritchard Island." Said Rotor. "Itís quite near Flicky Island."
"We have to try and get there before he does." Said Knuckles.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" said Sonic. "Letís go!"
A long time later, Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, Sally, Bunnie and Rotor arrived at Pritchard Island. It was totally deserted.
"Itís quiet." Said Knuckles, suspiciously. "Too quiet." He added after a pause.
"Where is everybody?" said Sonic.
"Look!" said Bunnie. Up in the sky, something was floating down. It touched the ground with a gentle thud. It looked like a ordinary container containing a shield. Sally went up to it, took Nicole out of her pocket and began scanning it. She was about to touch it.
"I wouldnít do that if I were you!" snapped a voice out the blue. Sally looked up, and for the first time they saw Samuel Pritchard.
"I like your spirit, stranger, but do me a favour, step out the way." Then he whipped up his gun.
"Wait, Iím still scanning thatÖ" Sally started to say, but was cut off as Samuel fired and the box exploded. Sally fell back.
"I donít like strangers, but I have to save their asses." Said Samuel. "If youíd touch that, you would have been dead. Now, may I ask, who you are?"
"Weíre heroes. We come from another part of Mobius. We need the key to your gems." Said Sonic.
"We donít mean any harm." Added Knuckles.
"Youíre too late." Said Samuel. "Some fat guy come and steal them 2 days ago. I havenít got a single ranger to go and get them back."
"Wait a minute." Said Bunnie. "What fat guy?"
"He was wearing red, with a yellow stripe in the middle and, oddly enough, he was the sized of an overgrown egg." Said Samuel.
"Robotnik!" they said in union.
"That his name?" said Samuel. "You have met him before then?"
"Oh yeah." Said Sonic. "Weíve stopped him from taking over Mobius."
"Oh, so thatís his game, is it?" asked Samuel. "He wants my gems just so he can take over the world, is that right?"
"We think so." Said Sally.
"Whyís the place deserted?" asked Knuckles.
"These robots came out of the wreck where the guy crash landed and they ate all my people. Iím the only person who got away with it because I hid in my Underground base." It was then that Samuel noticed something.
"Whereís the Underground base?" asked Rotor.
"LOOK OUT!" Samuel shouted, swinging his gun up in the air as everyone looked behind and saw the badnik, almost upon them, but it exploded as quickly as they saw it.
"Gee, thanks Mister." Said Tails.
"Nameís Samuel." Said Samuel. "Come with me. The Underground base isnít far." He picked up the small girl that was inside the badnik.
Unknown to anyone, Robotnik was watching the conversation.
"Sonic? Again? Well, no matter. With the Robots Iíve created, youíll never find my secret base! I shall rule and you will be powerless to stop me!" And he laughed his evil laugh. "Snively!"
"Tonight, I want you to put Plan A into operation."
Wild Green Zone.
In the Wild Green Underground base, Samuel showed the heroes a picture of where the wreck had landed.
"Looks as though heís made himself at home in that." Said Samuel. "He also built another area in Machine Zone. Calls it his Secret Base Zone. Also, thereís this." Said Samuel, putting another picture on the screen. "A huge ring." Indeed, a huge ring was sitting there, in front of a wall.
"The special stage!" said Sonic.
"Robotnikís put out special rings around your Island for you to retrieve the gems. You have to go through that ring and retrieve one of the gems. How many gems are there exactly?"
"We have to start our journey quickly if we have to stop him." Said Sally.
"But thereís badniks everywhere." Said Knuckles. "What do we do with the people weíve rescued?"
"Weíll drop them off at Underground base doors throughout the zones. I know where they all are." Said Samuel. "It shouldnít be a problem. Iíll get the equipment."
A few minutes, they were on their way, walking through the many trees and Green of the Wild Green Zone.
"So tell us about the Island." Said Bunnie.
"Whatís there to tell? Itís just your basic Island. 5 different places to go. 7 gems. Donít think there is much to tell." He suddenly hauled his gun up and fired at an incoming badnik. "Now we have to be careful." Walking over to the child, "Stick with us young lad. Youíre alright now."
"Somehow, sir I donít think thatís true." Said the boy.
"Because of them." The boy replied, pointing to an ambush.
"Shit!" said Samuel. He fired. His blow took out only two badniks. "Give me a hand! I canít do this on my own!" So Sonic and Knuckles joined in the ambush, while the rest and the boy stood by.
Soon, there was nothing but broken metal and a couple of Samuelís people.
"All you, follow us. Youíre safe now." Said Samuel.
After dropping off the humans at an Underground Base door, the journey continued.
At nightfall, Tails asked:
"Are we going to set up camp soon?" The team stopped.
"Shouldnít we keep going?" asked Rotor. "If we want to stop Robotnik in time."
"Nah, the little guyís right." Said Samuel. "We should take breaks at nightfall. Some of us need our sleep, but some of us have to stay guard for another badnik ambush. Iíll take the first watch."
And so he did. A couple of hours had gone by, and nothing had happened. Tails emerged from one of the two tents Samuel brought.
"You alright?" asked Samuel.
"Yeah, canít sleep."
"I thought you were tired."
"Well, Iím not now."
"Oh, OK." And for a few minutes, the pair of them sat there. Then, there was a bright yellow glow. Tails was the first to notice this. He wandered in itís direction.
"Hey, kid, where ya going?!" called Samuel in alarm.
"Itís a special stage!" said Tails. "Iíve always wanted to know what itís like to be in one." And he jumped.
"KID!!!" shouted Samuel. He was too late, Tails had disappeared. Samuel ran to the tent.
"Get up!!" he shouted. "Someone get up!!" Sally emerged from the tent, her hair screwed up.
"Whatís wrong Samuel?"
"That two tailed kid just went through that ring over there!" said Samuel. "I tried stopping him, but he wouldnít listen. Take watch, Iím going in there after him!"
"No, wait!!" said Sally. "Iíll get Sonic. SONIC!!" Sonic emerged from the tent yawing. "Whatís all the yelling about?"
"Tails just went in the special stage!"
"I tried stopping him Sonic, believe me." Said Samuel.
"Never mind. Iím going in after him."
"Be careful, Sonic!" called Sally after him, as he jumped in the ring.
The special stage was a weird zone, full of rocks and rings. Then ahead, he saw Tails.
"Tails!" he shouted, running towards him, but was stopped as he fell over a rock. Regaining his balance, he set off again, quickly after Tails, who was prancing round picking up rings.
"This is fun!" he was saying to himself as he collected the rings. "And thereís hardly any danger! Whatís there to fret over?" As he was saying this, a large rock came hurtling towards him, in an alarming way. Tails then turned round to pick another ring and saw the rock.
"Tails!" shouted Sonic. He shot past the rock, snatching Tails on the wayÖ then got trapped in Mega Muck. This was something that was never seen in a special stage. Then Tails caught another rock.
"Throw it away, Tails." Said Sonic, still trying to free himself.
"But Sonic, itís one of Samuelís gems!" said Tails, showing it to him.
"Well done little dude!" said Sonic, giving him a high five. But their celebration was cut short by another big rock, this time hurtling towards Sonic, who was still trapped in the Mega Muck. They panicked.
Back in Wild Green, the others had woken up and were worried about their two heroes. It was then that they noticed that the ring was getting smaller, by the minute.
"Guys!" said Sally in alarm. "The entrance! Itís getting smaller!"
"Right, thatís it!" said Samuel, picking up his gun. "You!" he said to Knuckles. "Youíre coming with me." Before Knuckles had time to protest, Samuel grabbed his arm and yanked him through the ring.
"Hey!" said Knuckles.
"I canít do this on my own!" said Samuel. He saw the special stage for the first time. "Big place, innit?"
"There they are!" said Knuckles. "That rock! We have to save them!"
"Come on, then!" said Samuel. They both started running.
Tails was trying to lift Sonic out of the Mega Muck, which he was not succeeding in doing.
"I canít lift you any more. Iím tired!" said Tails.
"Keep trying!" shouted Sonic. The rock was almost upon him. Sonic looked to his right and saw Samuel and Knuckles. Knuckles glided towards him, while Samuel fired at the rock. Knuckles caught Sonic, taking him out of the Mega Muck, while the rock exploded.
"We have to get out of here, quickly!" said Samuel. "Our entrance is fading away."
"Grab on!" said Sonic. They all grabbed on to Sonic, and he took off a light speed, avoiding all the rocks. Tails was still clutching the gem, hoping not to lose it. In a matter of seconds, they were all out of the special stage, just as it was about to close up. Sally was angry.
"Why did you do that? Have you any idea on what you could have done to yourself?"
"ButÖ" Tails started to say.
"Wait. I havenít finished. You could have hurt yourself in that Special Stage. Now you know the reason why we donít allow you through it, so what do you have to say?" Tails handed Samuel the gem.
"A gem! You found a gem! Would you Adam and Eve it! We barely started our trip, and already Iíve got a gem back! Well done Kid!" Sally was sorry at once.
"Iím sorry Tails. I was just a bit frightened." And they exchanged a hug.
"Thatís OK Aunt Sally."
"Itís getting late. Time we got shut eye." Said Samuel.
In the Secret Base Zone, Robotnik pounded the machinery with anger.
"The plan to trap Sonic in there went haywire." Snively had just told him. "That madman and the echnia got involved with it."
"And I put that mud in their just so he can be pounded to smithereens!" said Robotnik angrily. "Plus they got one gem back!!" He calmed down. "Well, no matter. Iíve got plenty more tricks where that came from. Tomorrow they shall reach the end of the Wild Green Turf, should the badnik ambush not be successful too . There, I shall put Major Plan B into operation."
The gang continued their journey early the next morning. They didnít appear to need food.
"Are there any dangers we have to watch out for on the journey?" asked Knuckles.
"The Marble Tree Zone." Said Samuel. "The trees always seem to lose their marblesÖ" he grinned at this.
"And these marbles hurt?" asked Sally.
"Oh ay. They do damage to you. Lucky there are medical people in each zone. They fix it almost straight away."
"Stadium Rock packs a wallop, if you get in the way of certain rocks, that is. But thatís not a problem if youíre skilled."
"What about the people that live there?"
"No one lives close to the rocks. I pity the poor people in Iceland Zone though."
"Why?" asked Knuckles.
"Itís freezing up there! Itís 10 degrees Celsius up there and they donít care a bit! Iím surprised that they can stand it!"
"What about Machine Zone?" asked Tails.
"No problems there. Youíve just got to watch out for all of them except this one and Machine Zone. And of course this ĎSecret Base Zoneí as he calls it. I donít know what weíll expect in that."
"But surely thereís things you should look out for in Wild Green and Machine." Said Rotor.
"Like what?" asked Samuel, a little annoyed.
"Like that." Said Rotor, pointing to some badniks.
"Badnik ambush!" shouted Sonic, springing into action. Before Samuel had time to move, he was knocked over by the hedgehog. He picked himself up and joined him and Knuckles in the ambush.
After all that, the journey continued. When they reached the end of the Wild Green Zone, it was almost dark.
"Shall we set up camp again?" asked Sally.
"Weíll do this everynight." Said Samuel. "This time, someone else shall watch."
That Ďsomeoneí was Knuckles. He grumbled about it, but he sat down and watched.
About two hours of watching, Knuckles heard a scuffle. He grew wary. The noise got louder. He went to the tent.
"Samuel. Wake up." A few seconds went by and Samuel emerged.
"I thought I heard something. Something unusual. Itís probably nothing, but Iíd feel better if we checked it out." Samuel woke Sonic and explained.
"Be careful." Said Samuel to Sonic a few minutes later. They walked about warily. But little did they know that a large robot watched them from above.
Sally crawled out of the tent.
"Whatís going on?" she asked.
"I thought I heard something." Said Knuckles.
"It seems to be clear Knuckles." Said Samuel.
"Yeah, like I said, itís probably nothing. Iíll call Sonic." The robot was only a couple of feet behind Knuckles. It was a egg shaped robot and the gun on the front looked very menacing. Samuel had just come back through the bushes.
"Itís alright if you make a mistake here and then, but do it once too oftenÖ" he said, and paused as he looked behind Knuckles and saw it.
"Knuckles, behind you!!" he shouted. Knuckles turned and swiftly missed the gunfire, which Samuel also avoided. The fire woke everyone else up. They quickly moved out the tent, but leapt back in horror at the sight of the machine. Samuel tried firing at the robot, but it only damaged one side of it. The gun was still operational.
"Donít just stand there!! Do something!!" shouted Samuel to Sonic. So Sonic spin dash attacked on the robot. This made the robot only turn and fire at him. He avoided it by inches. Then Samuel aimed for the head with his gun and fired. The robot almost lost its balance, but it regained itself, but it looked a lot weaker.
"Keep aiming for the head!" shouted Samuel. But Knuckles leapt on the gun instead and tried breaking it. He didnít succeed. The gun seemed to be automatically controlled, and Knuckles never got so dizzy in his life. When he finally stopped spinning, he found himself on the end of the gun and the gun was about to fire.
"Die, scrap metal!!!" shouted Samuel, and fired the gun. This saved Knuckles from dying too young. But the robot didnít die, it just looked even more weaker. It prepared to kill Knuckles again. But now only one more hit to the head was what the robot needed, which was given by Sonic. The robot stayed in the air for two seconds, then fell to the ground, exploding. The blast flew Knuckles straight into Samuel.
"Are you alright?" Samuel asked.
"Yeah. That robot would have killed me if it hadnít been for you. I owe you one."
"What about me?" asked Sonic with dignity, as the others emerged from their hiding place.
"Yeah, you helped Samuel. That gets you part of the credit, too. I think I was being a bit too smart and wanted it finished off my way."
"You were being very brave." Said Sally. "As were the others. You werenít being cocky."
"Thank you princess, that makes me feel better."
The Marble Tree
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN???!!! THE PLAN FAILED??" Robotnik was red with anger. His red face matched his suit. "THAT PLAN COULD HAVE DEFEATED ANYTHING!! ESPECIALLY MEDALLING HUMAN BEINGS!!!"
"But sir, they found the weak spotÖ" Snively began to say.
"What weak spot???!! MY PLANS NEVER HAD WEAK SPOTS!!"
"It was faulty even before the machine left, sir!" said Snively.
"Bastard mechanics." Said Robotnik, after a bit of a pause. "Now theyíre in that Marble Zone. No doubt the Marbles wonít stop them. Iíll have to more plans into action. Send in the Ninja Robots."
Early next morning, the gang started again.
"Iíve been thinking." Said Samuel. "I want to cover more ground today. Iíd like to be by Stadium Rock by tomorrow at noon. That means weíll stop later than usual tonight. Or probably not at all."
"I agree Samuel." said Sally. "Weíll get to Robotnik quicker."
"But weíll be tired." Said Knuckles. Everyone stared at him.
"I agree." Said Sonic. "Freedom Fighters need their sleep." There was a pause. "What? Thatís what Iíd like to do. It gives us a fresh mind."
"Oh, trying to make things easier, I see?" said Samuel. "Thatís an interesting thought, yes. But at what point did you forget that WEíRE TRYING TO STOP THIS BOZO FROM TAKING OVER THE WORLD???!!!" he suddenly yelled. "Do you realise, that while weíre arguing that that guy could have taken over half my territory already? We have to push on!! Or we could do it your way and lose the battle even quicker. Whoís with my idea?" Everyone apart from Knuckles and Sonic raised their hands.
"Fine! Weíre pushing on! End of story!" said Samuel. With that, he turned roundÖ.and met a robot in the face.
"HIIIIYA!" it shouted and kicked Samuel straight in the face. Samuel flew back and hit the ground. The Ninja robots observed their enemies.
"Eat dirt!" shouted Sonic and flew into the first ninja. But no sooner had he pinned it down, than the second sprung into action and kicked him off. Sonic went straight into a tree. Knuckles was next to attack, but as he leapt towards the third, it swung round and hit him on the side of the head, causing Knuckles to collapse to one side. A gun fire sounded, and one exploded, releasing a human.
Suddenly, for no reason, Tails started to fly.
"Tails!" screamed Sally.
"Kid, what the hell are you playing at?!" shouted Samuel.
"If I fly, theyíll want to capture me, right?"
"But if they miss, maybe theyíllÖ"
"Kid, watch it!" shouted Samuel, as the second ninja jumped up and tried to grab Tails, without succeeding. It fell and exploded.
"Fall and exploded!" finished Tails.
"Youíve got yourself one smart kid there." Said Samuel to Bunnie. Then, "Kid!" Tails moved just in time as the third ninja exploded. Both released humans.
"How do you know these things?" Samuel asked.
"Just curious." Said Tails.
"Well, curiosity almost killed you the last time. Just try your best to stay out of trouble." Said Sally. The words barely left her mouth when a Marble fell to the ground. She looked to Samuel, who looked at his watch.
"Uh-oh. The daily falling." He said.
"Eh?" asked Sonic.
"Well, itís like rain, but itís with marbles. We have to find shelter quickly before they hurt us." He picked the dazed humans up and they moved as quickly as possible to an Underground shelter, while more marbles started dropping to the ground. In a few minutes, it was like a rainfall of marbles.
"Do the marbles grow back?" asked Rotor, once they were safety inside the shelter.
"Unfortunately." Said Samuel. "One day, I intend to tear the trees up and give this area a different name."
"Wouldnít they grow back?" asked Tails.
"Youíve got a point." Said Samuel, and got a little annoyed now that Tails mentioned it.
"This time, the two tailed fox interverted sir." Said Snively. He hated it when Robotnikís plans went wrong. He always went berserk. But to his surprise:
"Theyíre held off in the Underground Base. The Ninjas were supposed to stop them, but instead held them up during the Marble rain. Iím still angry that they didnít finish them off though. But it gives me time to create new robots and to come up with new plans." He turned round. "Theyíll attempt to cover more ground, but with the help of my new robot, they wonít get far."
By darkfall, a lot of ground had been accomplished. They were almost at the end of Marble Tree. But for no reason, Knuckles and Sonic stopped.
"You can go on if you want, but we want to set up camp." Said Sonic.
"What did I tell you earlier?" said Samuel, getting cross. "I cannot cope with bosses and badnik ambushes on my own, so you two need to keep up. We plough on until the last person stands!"
"Isnít that a bit too much spirit?" asked Bunnie.
"I just want to get to this idiot quicker." Said Samuel. "And defeat him before this whole world is in danger."
"Yeah, come on guys!" said Rotor. "I suggested to him that we should keep going in the first place." There was a pause. "On the first night?"
"Oh yeah." Said Samuel. "I remember. Besides of which, weíre near the end of the zone anyway. Not far now. So come on!"
Two hours of exaggerated heavy panting walking later [Sonic and Knuckles were going over the top a bit.], the end of Marble Tree and the start of Stadium Rock was in sight.
"Thatís all for tonight." Said Samuel. "NOW, we can set up camp."
"I donít think so somehow, rodent." A voice said out of the blue. Everyone froze, some with fear, some with courage, and some with a mixture of fear and courage at the same time.
"Whoís that?" asked Sonic. "Show yourself!" Behind them a tree seemed to move on its own. It had really scary eyes.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are." Said Knuckles, angry now that he couldnít get to sleep yet because there was a new badnik on the loose.
"Is this good enough?" asked the tree. Knuckles turned and saw the tree. It suddenly moved its branch and produced a large marble.
"Take this!" it shouted and threw the marble. It landed on the ground near Tails. Tails cautiously looked at it.
"Aunt Sally! I think heís missed." He said. The words barely left his mouth when the marble started beeping. Instantly, Sonic knew what it was.
"Tails, look out!" he shouted and ran towards Tails. He suddenly tripped on a branch and landed on the bomb. It exploded beneath him.
"Ouch!" he cried as he rolled off. There was a blood stain on his stomach, and a rather large one at that. Sally was instantly at his aid.
"Hey human, have a piece of this." The tree shouted and threw another marble bomb at Samuel. Samuel fired his gun and the bomb exploded mid-air, showering marbles everywhere.
"Of all the options I had, I donít think that was the brightest!" shouted Samuel as a marble landed on Bunnie and her metal started sparkling.
"We didnít think that either!" shouted Knuckles, as Rotor went to Bunnieís aid.
"Yo, echnia, taste this." Said the tree, throwing a marble bomb at Knuckles. Knuckles picked it up and threw it back. The bomb exploded, attacking the tree. It cursed angrily.
"Hey, I think Iíve got an idea!" shouted Knuckles. "Try throwing the bombs back!"
"Say goodnight, echnia!" shouted the tree, and a bomb hit Knuckles in the head. He fell to the ground.
"Oh, for the love of Pete!" shouted Samuel. "If itís not one thing, itís another!!" He then realised he was the only one standing. Knuckles had been knocked out.
"Die, human!" shouted the tree and prepared another bomb.
"I think not!" shouted Samuel, and took the gun again. He fired before the tree threw the bomb. The tree took a seriously blow on its right side. A large hole appeared and itís right arm had disappeared.
"Arrgh! Curses!" the tree shouted. It threw the bomb. Samuel picked it up and threw it back. This time the tree exploded. The blast sent nearly everyone flying back.
All that was left after the blast were broken twigs. Samuel picked himself up, panting.
"Is he alright?" he said to Sally.
"Iíve done what I can, but Iím not sure itíll work." Sonic was all bandaged up with Sallyís vest on the stomach, and the blood still showed through.
"What about Bunnie?" asked Samuel.
"Ah canít move mah leg, sugar. I think Iíve ruined it." Bunnieís leg was all black and horrid.
"Knuckles?!" said Sally. Tails picked Knuckles up. A large bruise had occurred on his head.
"Leave it to me." Said Samuel. "Iíll be back."
A few minutes later, he arrived with some doctors and an electrician. They set to work.
"You absolute marvel!" said Sally.
"Well, you knowÖ weíve got work together and help each other." Said Samuel. "And I havenít done much helping."
"Samuel!" said the electrician. "This legís really bad, we might have to replace it." This news wasnít greeted so well.
"Well, how longís it gonna take?" asked Samuel.
"A day or two." This news also wasnít greeted with happy faces. Samuel looked to Sally.
"We canít go on without her." She said. "Just like we canít go on without Sonic or Knuckles." Samuel pondered this.
"OK, what about the patients?" the doctors had grave faces.
"The echnia might take a week to get better." Said one doctor, while the other one said:
"This guy could die if we donít operate soon. Then itíll take a day of two before heís better."
"Back we go." Said Samuel. "As much as Iíd love to get to that eggman quickly, I canít risk any lives." So the team started to go back to the nearby hospital.