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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:09 am 
"Get a load of this!"
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Rocky Road
Rocky Road
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:44 pm
Posts: 108
Wearily Sonic rose to his feet, eyeing the opposition’s left flank, where five steady barrels were taking aim. He rolled the bullet between his fingers contemplatively.

“Thinkfast!”

The world was too slow really. At least when he focused everything looked like it was moving in slow motion. Even his body seemed sluggish, throwing the piece of lead at a greater speed than what had carried it from its source, then turning to run as quickly as possible in the same direction. Sonic could just make out the tiny projectile flying above him, heading towards his mechanical counterpart’s left hand, breaking the sound barrier. He'd determined this model couldn’t fire that fast.

Not wanting to have a hole torn through its arm, Mecha Sonic jerked out of the incoming bullet’s way, quickly twisting to open fire on the hero with its right set of weapons. The air cracked with five more shots, but he had already taken his opening and sped past the metal mercenary.

Sonic didn’t waste time with the stairs, Jump Dashing over them to the top level of the chamber, eyes searching for a means of escape. Between himself and the floating doppelganger was a strange translucent container that bordered the edge of the upper floor, about as tall as one of the combatants, a pile of shrapnel from the wreck when he came in resting on the surface. The red flames beneath Mecha Sonic could be seen through its glass sides, casting the other end of the room in an unsavory green that reminded him of sewer water. Long and jagged shadows chased each other across the walls in their dimly lit battle ground. Over his foe’s shoulder Sonic could make out what looked to be the entrance to Mechanical Resonance, where the noise he heard earlier seemed to emanate, a whisper under the vroom of thrusters. It felt much farther away than it did on his last visit.

Mecha Sonic wasn't going to let up. It brought both arms to bear, ten barrels leveled at its target, shooting in a wide spray.

Sonic was able to catch the enemy’s movement before it was too late and ducked into a ball, rolling behind the green container as bullets whizzed over head. Silver crown shimmering against the reflected light of its twin rockets, Mecha Sonic whirled through the air like a drunken dancer and continued to unleash full weapons fire, skirting around the glass tank to strafe the blue sphere.

This time they didn't miss.

Again feeling the pang of tiny drills digging into his flesh, Sonic uncurled from his round shape to skid on the floor, watching the room flash white between rapid heart beats. Rings slipped out of him and fell in a circle around his prone body. He drew sharp breaths, lips pulled tight.

Recovering quickly Sonic Spin Dashed away from another shower of lead, managing to clear the distance separating him from the wall opposite the top of the stairs, snatching up two of the fallen Rings on the way. The persistent bullet stream chased his blue contrail, a concentrated rain beating hard against the ground to the thunder of gunshots. Sonic had exited the Spin Dash in time to see the approaching storm.

It moved in slow motion from his perspective, enough that he could afford a glance to his left, spotting a dormant Metal Sonic slumped against the inside of a tube.

Taking his own advice to think fast, Sonic cart-wheeled behind the glass cylinder, dodging fire that ripped apart the computer terminal in his place. It vanished in a burst of sparks and shards of broken screen.

Mecha Sonic’s yellow eyes followed the fleet footed hedgehog to its twin’s resting place. It made necessary calculations and adjustments as its hands shifted position, hesitant to destroy the sleeker, bluer machine. Careful not to damage the tube's occupant, another wave of fire raked in the far wall's direction, blasting it to pieces.

Dust clouded the space where the rain had fallen. Amid flying glass and ricocheting shots, the intended target was unscathed; he had taken complete cover under Metal Sonic’s thin body.

Not deeming this a safe hiding place, Sonic picked himself up, still grasping the improvised shield. As the hovering adversary's glaring face became clear in the smoke, he let the robot go to take more aggressive measures.

“Okay, buddy” he said as Metal Sonic hit the floor. “Enough playing around...”

_________________
Image
Quote:
I WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATOR, RULING OVER CHAO ISLAND
except it WON'T BE CHAO ISLAND ANYMORE
IT'LL BE BANANA ISLAnD


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:10 am 
"Get a load of this!"
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Rocky Road
Rocky Road
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:44 pm
Posts: 108
Once again Sonic curled into Spin Dash position, revving up in place as streaks of energy like fireflies danced through the air and into his body. A soft blue glow began to radiate from the spinning hedgehog, filling the room with pale light that seemed to wrestle with the harsh sunset of Mecha Sonic’s rockets.

The robot was unsure how to interpret this new development- it had no knowledge of this ability or what sort of countermeasures to take. Scans told it the beads of light were hot enough to burn through steel, yet its fleshy opponent seemed to be absorbing them. Firing on Sonic while he was vulnerable would have normally been the mechanical soldier’s first concern, but the presence of the dangerous force swarming around hedgehog now stayed its hand. The Spin Dash couldn’t strike airborne targets without a sufficient incline to launch from. It would be safer to wait and observe the enemy’s next move.

Suddenly the Sonic’s spinning stopped and he uncurled, feet slapping to a halt as he rose again to his full height. Now however the a sheath of blue light laminated his body like a ghostly film, transparent enough to allow the teen to smirk through at his silvery opposite. Mecha Sonic cautiously raised its right set of digits towards the glowing hedgehog, sensing no more volatile energy despite the change in appearance.

To little to late. The Light Speed Attack cracked through the air before the bullets left their barrels, blasting the robot’s right arm to pieces.

Half of Mecha Sonic’s body was engulfed in black smoke and trickling flames as the limb’s ammunition ignited all at once, shrapnel rolling to the floor in burning chunks. Nonetheless the machine remained absolutely steady, attempting to take aim again with its other arm, only to find its target was still moving. Sonic’s spinning form ignored gravity and orbited his foe like a spiked satellite, leaving numberless after-images in circles around the machine. It was impossible for the chromed combatant to determine his movements through the blur of intersecting contrails. Mecha Sonic made a pirouette mid air, discharging its remaining weapons aimlessly in every direction, a desperate effort that proved useless. Bullets ricocheted harmlessly about the walls of the complex, adding their noise to the strange sound the hedgehog’s Light Speed Attack made in its circuit.

Another crack and the left arm was obliterated, creating another burst of smoke and flame.

Sonic ceased his circling and emerged from the cloud of after-images above the look-a-like. Taking advantage of this position, he slammed his heel with as much force as he could muster down on his opponent’s head, sending it crashing towards the bottom floor.

Mecha Sonic’s thrusters cut when it hit the floor, plunging their battlefield again into darkness. Sonic landed crouching, he supposed some distance away, feeling only slightly winded. He stretched, arching his back as he spoke.

“I’ve learned a few tricks since our last little play date, as you can see.”

The shadows gave no answer, but he was certain the machine was still operational. It had a track record for handling heavy damage. This fight wasn’t quite over.

“Come on, I know this has been a ‘disarming’ experience for you,” he said with a grin. “but I know you haven’t given up yet. Don’t keep me waiting!”

At first there was more silence. Then a loud clank, like metal hitting metal. Another clank, followed by the earsplitting sound of something scratching against the floor, sending a irritated shudder through his body. Slowly yellow compound eyes rolled down into view, as Sonic realized the robot was rising off its back just with its legs, using its mechanical joints in ways that would make limbo dancers jealous. The eyes continued to move downwards before settling slightly below Sonic’s own height. He had feeling he knew what was coming and braced himself.

The red glow returned, revealing Mecha Sonic crouching on the other side of the room, thrusters burning. The wheels on its feet screech wildly as it rammed the organic hedgehog at full speed, smashing both of them through the wall and into the training room.

‘Just like old times’ Sonic thought.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The evacuation was long underway, orders going out at the clamor of the Egg Viper’s destruction hours ago, when the countless mechanical inhabitants of Metropolis abandoned what they were doing to begin their flight. Workers emptied from their factories, shutting down the conveyer belts and refineries and power plants. Block by block the lights of the city went out in waves, buildings vanishing into the valley’s shadow. Assembly lines ceased; construction sites were deserted. Everywhere the most valuable items were gathered and piled into trains for transport; important equipment, experimental machinery, rare materials, archaeological pieces uncovered in the ruins, research specimens, and so on. Precious fuel was also moved with haste, tanks upon tanks of it, any that could still be used in other facilities. Missiles, guns, weighty cannons, and explosives too were dragged by the crate full to be stacked in train cars; the enemy could not get the opportunity to steal or study their weapons technology. Slowly the circle of defenses around Metropolis began to pull away, heading for bunkers and hideouts in the jungle, while all-terrain vehicles crowded with robots dove into the bush. A scant number of guards remained in place at any important juncture, watching and waiting to determine if further action might be necessary to preserve any of the city’s resources.

Despite reasonable assurance that progress was being made in the mass exodus, there were a few things the Doctor felt the need to double check, just to be certain. He glanced back and forth from the small screen in the Eggmobile’s cockpit to the blackened corridors of Mechanical Resonance, trying to steer the hovercraft out of harm’s way. Most of the badniks patrolling the halls were destroyed in the hedgehog’s prior rampage, so there were fewer obstacles to dodge now, but he still had to be careful. The giant claws used in constructing pieces of the Egg Carriers could be dangerous if crashed into at his current speed, and even when they were no longer moving they took up a lot of space. These and other devices in the Final Egg were starting to shut down, but it would take time before power was completely cut from the base. Many of the various machines in the Doctor’s facilities ran on independent power supplies so they could remain operational in the event of something jeopardizing the primary energy sources.

After cruising lower to duck under an observation platform, the scientist turned his attention back to the little screen, scrolling through status reports. E-107, E-108, and E-109 were in the process of being moved out of the city; none were anywhere near completion, but the designs had already been worked out and all three could be finished en-route to their destination. The capsules containing the organic batteries so essential to sustaining the Empire were being loaded onto the Egg Liner for transport to the Iron Jungle deeper in the island. The Doctor raised his eyebrows at the figures for the small animals being evacuated- he had not relocated this many since the Flying Battery’s journey to Angel Island, and then most of the capsules on-board were empty or contained something else.

What worried him most however was the successful extraction of all data from the Final Egg’s computers. The information stored here was vital to the function of his army and any hope of future conquest. The tactical advantage it would give his enemies if it fell into their hands was enormous. Every last disk, hard drive, and storage device was either to be removed or erased. All the computers would be wiped clean and their connection to the Matrix mainframe severed.

The Doctor tore his eyes away again to examine the path in front of him, piloting the Eggmobile upward over a couple of high steps and down a sharp-curved hallway. It led to a small room with with five doors and a trio of security cameras shining yellow light at him in an accusatory fashion. He gave an agitated sigh at his poor luck; this room took advantage of the Final Egg’s massive size and allowed the surrounding corridors to be rotated around the exterior of the room like a giant puzzle box, changing which door led to the next room every two hours. This was a security measure to prevent anyone from accessing his private control room in the upper recesses of the tower. He’d forgotten to turn it off and now he was running out of time.

Acting quickly he attempted to remotely access the system controlling the doors to make them all open at once, typing madly on the Eggmobile’s keyboard.

He heard some commotion behind him and the typing grew even more frantic.

Not soon enough for his liking, the doors finally opened.

Out of each flew a E-06 unit, a round, floating sentry badnik with a bottom half not dissimilar to the Doctor’s own hovercraft and a dark blue top half decorated with pointy ears and light blue eyes in a perpetual scowl. Mostly intended for observing and reporting security problems to other, more elite units or for scouting out hard to reach locations ahead of their parties in the field, the “Spinas” were not particularly effective in combat but in groups like this could be intimidating. This model’s defensive capabilities were limited to a pair of constantly rotating scythes with plasma-bladed tips, capable of cutting through almost anything with ease but possessing a very small range. They were stationed here to respond to intruders who picked the wrong door.

The correct one, he noted, was unoccupied. He turned to the door on the far right, where there was no Spina, preparing to fly down it as fast as possible.

Before his hands could grip the wheel, a violent impact rocked the walls around him, and the sound of metal rending apart could be heard down the hall he just passed through.

“You now, I actually like some of the additions you made to ol’ Mecha Me...” a voice spoke thoughtfully.

The hedgehog’s voice. The Doctor twisted to look down the hallway, snarling, teeth clenched.

“.... but still, that whole charging forward without anything to protect the front? Not the smartest move when I’ve got Rings to take the damage away and can Spin Dash into his body for a good three seconds before the invincibility wears off.”

Sonic strode into the room, as calm and cocky as ever, clutching some big charred hunk of machinery between his hands.

Despite the levity of his tone, he was not showing off the familiar toothy grin. In its place was a grimace, which was also familiar to the Doctor; it was more intense than a frown, yet more placid than a glower.

The Doctor didn’t like seeing this face.

The hedgehog stopped and stood between him and the door he sought to enter, not quite blocking the path, but just enough to make the Doctor very uncomfortable. Sonic rubbed his hands around the metal object like it was a basket ball and he was trying to feel the bumps.

“Granted,” he went on, taking another step forward. “it worked alright back on the Death Egg, when I didn’t have any Rings for the whole fight. That was a tough fix. When I finally did beat him, I really thought you had run out of things to throw at me.”

Sonic dropped the robot’s head to the floor beneath them, Mecha Sonic’s yellow visor staring up at its maker.

“Even these days though, I forget how it really is. I forget that you always have more, and more, and more, don’t you Eggman?”

“ATTACK!” the Doctor ordered. The four Spinas dived into action at their master’s cry, flying towards the meat creature with their spinning blades at full speed, boxing in the foe at all sides.

Easily and gracefully Sonic leaped over this simple formation, coming back down to strike them one by one. Like a skipping stone on water he splashed from one enemy to the next, azure shock waves peeling off his airborne body, badniks exploding in a shower of sparks. The Spinas’ ruined remains joined Mecha Sonic on the floor. Four small animals, suspended briefly in green barriers while the shrapnel fell where robots used to be, scurried towards their rescuer as he landed among them. He crossed his arms, watching the critters crawl around his feet.

“Up ‘til about now, I had a theory, doctor...” he continued, seemingly ignoring what just happened.

Behind tinted shades the Doctor was rapidly looking from Sonic, to the door, to his keyboard, and back again. Everything about this situation was bad. This Eggmobile had no weapons, not even the cryogenic explosives he’d outfitted his other vehicle with earlier, which then did little but assist his enemy when deployed. He’d need to carry a firearm from now on, whatever the circumstances.

“I figured maybe just crushing your toys would teach you a lesson for once- but it looks like you still got toys to spare." the teen said as he surveyed the shattered badniks. “I mean, where does it end? Giant missiles, backup Egg Carriers, even another Mecha Sonic! Are you hiding another giant robot that looks like you somewhere?”

The scientist put his vast mind to work trying to think of a way out of the present predicament. There had to be a means of incapacitating the hedgehog. He just had to keep the boy talking until he could come up with something.

“I must apologize, my most determined nemesis, but I’m afraid there are no more functional mechs around here, so sorry to disappoint.” the Doctor began. “I would certainly have prepared one if I had the chance.”

Sonic rolled his eyes at the excessive formalities.

“Really?” he questioned. “None? No Egg Viper 2.0? No multiple backup Eggmobile-attachments for me to fight in sequence? No sentimental recreations of past battles?”

“Very interesting ideas, but no, the fact is I wasn’t expecting you visit again so soon.” the Doctor answered, his craft gliding to right soundlessly. “Why in fact did you choose to follow me here with such determination? After all the excitement in Station Square I imagined you’d had enough for one day...”

“Well, that’s just it Eggman,” Sonic replied, voice growing louder. “I thought that you had enough after we took down your Egg Carrier and your new pet, but then I hear you tried to nuke the whole city! Good thing Tails was there, or there wouldn’t have been much left for Chaos to wreck!”

He drew his fingers across his mustache contemplatively, head tilting to the side.

“So, did my attempted use of lethal force seem excessive to you, this particular time?” the scientist prodded.

“Even you know that this went too far,” Sonic muttered, stepping closer to the floating vehicle. “this was beyond excessive.”

“I had hoped that, through Chaos, I could crush and take over the city perhaps more gradually.” he protested. “You forced my hand after you broke us apart! Things would have worked out differently if my plan were allowed to proceed...”

The Doctor’s dark glasses scanned the space above them for a moment, his face growing pensive.

“It isn’t like I haven’t used equally deadly weapons of mass destruction before, after all. You have seen what my more impressive creations could do on the Floating Island and else where- even experienced a few first hand! Surely that little incident with the missile could not be what compelled you to chase after me.”

“This isn’t like blowing up an empty volcano, Eggman!” Sonic countered, not noticing that the Doctor began typing something into the controls of his hovercraft. “You put hundreds of thousands of lives at risk today, and now because of you innocent people are dead! I’m not just going to let you get away with that!”

“Oh-ho, and what exactly do you plan on doing about it, child?” he asked coldly, eyes now glued to the ceiling.

The hedgehog gazed steadily at the man, matching his icy tone.

“Maybe turning you over to the military will do the trick...”

Now the Doctor’s attention was fully on Sonic, and his face contorted into an expression of unmitigated fury.

“NO!” he bellowed. “Those fools will NOT capture another Robotnik! I’ll die first!”

A look of confusion passed over Sonic’s face at this exclamation, but he had little time to wonder at it as violet plasma streams suddenly speared between the two of them, forcing him to back flip to safety. White, spherical machines with small propellers had fallen from a trap door over head and formed a barricade of sizzling beams around the young hero, fencing him off from his adversary.

The Doctor grinned in devious pleasure at seeing his trap work. He had never found an appropriate trigger for dropping the security drones, but keeping them around anyway had proved a fortunate decision.

Wasting no time, he rocketed through the door and down the corridor, the pod’s exhaust trailing behind him as he made for the control room. There was a terrible noise behind, a crunching sound and a whirring like the wind, but he ignored it and focused on reaching his goal. Eyes locked straight ahead, he searched desperately for the entrance. The hall was dark and narrow but opened up to a wider, higher room, and the exit was somewhere above. He pulled the Eggmobile up to fly over a ledge, and the sound became a howl that was drawing ever closer. But he was almost there- he could see it! The circle of golden bird statues, and above them, the tunnel leading to the top of the Final Egg!

The smooth, polished swallows were a minor art project of his, the sort of distractions he allowed himself whenever designing a new base of operations. Surrounding the opening in the ceiling that led to the control room and facing outward, the shimmering metal likenesses represented the various little creatures he harvested to power his machines, and the beautiful mechanical perfection they ultimately became a part of. As he built his empire on the backs of these small animals, so the Doctor’s throne now rested high over the backs of these birds. The interior of the tunnel was completely smooth and free of footholds, running straight upwards for more than a hundred meters.

The swallows served as another portend- accessing the control room required flight, something his pursuer was not capable of.

Arriving under the entrance way, he flicked off the burning thrusters and increased the hovering force to propel the Eggmobile up, ascending through the tunnel into the darkness.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By this time the emptying of Metropolis was nearly complete. The last cargo was being secured aboard the Egg Liner, and robots scurried up and down the railways in preparation for departure. Elsewhere, stillness pervaded the city; beyond a few token guard units hovering in the shadows, all activity had come to a stand still. The once shimmering mass of animated machinery had become silent and lightless.

For a person watching from the cliffs above, it would appear the jungle was creeping in and consuming the steel citadel. As the lights were extinguished, the bulk of the city began to fade from view, becoming lost in the shade of mountains. The sun was starting to set and the glow of the skyline seemed to retreat with it. The shadows crawled up the Final Egg slowly, lights flickering out one by one, until just a single shining star graced the top of the tower.

The mighty tower became as a giant candle rising out of the valley, burning with the last light of Metropolis, a light towards which its architect now raced.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The command center was just a small portion of the top level of the fortress, though it was also the most vital. Lit by the glow of over twenty monitor screen, each displaying data readouts for incalculable minutia pertaining to the Empire’s forces. The monitors are arranged in a semicircle on the south end of the room, ten flanking either side of a colossal holographic projection detailing the entire complex, the master of the castle’s very own magic mirror to behold all that happened in his domain. The other side of the room was taken up by a tall, semicircular console, encompassing an imposing black throne, just as showy as the captain’s chairs aboard their flying fortresses. Predictably, the seat’s decor took inspiration from its creator’s face, so the person sitting in it would appear to be within the mustached madman’s maw, teeth and a long nose forming an awning over their head. The garish throne was silhouetted against the afternoon sun by three windows that spanned from roof to floor, painting the walls in orange.

At the moment the Eggmobile came to a stop the Doctor scrambled out, sprinting towards the console, his coat tails dancing at his back. He sank into the black material of the command chair before attacking the keyboard with a furious pace. The facsimile Final Egg within the holographic display broke down and was reassembled as a wide rectangle over which text began to scroll.

'Ah, yes....’ the Doctor thought. 'Just one more thing to take care of before I clean up here...’

Within the hologram an empty bar appeared, which rapidly began to fill with red as a number beside a percent sign started counting up from zero. The most significant and irreplaceable data had to be copied before the master computer could be flushed. If the things recorded here were lost, there would be no chance of ever getting them back. He wanted to handle this data personally- there were too many risks involved in placing it in the care of one of his underlings.

The bar reached its fill and the counter reached 100%. Out of the console popped a small featureless disk, which the Doctor snatched up gleefully. He held it up to the light, watching the rainbow reflected in its sides. In his hands he was holding every shred of information he had obtained on the God of Destruction. Scans revealing Chaos’s molecular structure, neurological activity, and energy interactions at each stage of his transformation, and much more.

He pocketed the disk and went back to typing on the console.

“Excellent! Now, to erase all this data so there will be no trail of bread crumbs for anyone to follow!”

“Gee, I dunno Eggman, you think anybody could actually make sense of this stuff? All looks pretty meaningless to me.”


‘What the....?’

No.

No.

Not possible.

Uncomprehending, the Doctor slowly turned towards the origin of the voice, jaw hanging open.

There, reclining in the cockpit of the Eggmobile as if he were getting cozy in a beach chair on the pool-side, was the hedgehog once again. Sonic looked around the control room lazily, not bothering to make eye contact with the Doctor, eventually settling his gaze on the multitude of monitors above him. The disposal process was already underway and they were beginning to go blank one at a time.

“Well, all except for the one there,” he said, eyeing the screen reporting the figures for the organic batteries being transported. Sonic etched it into his brain before it was deleted. “I understand that one perfectly, doc.”

“You clung to the back!” the scientist concluded, rising from his throne. “Just like back in the Labyrinth all those years ago, riding along to escape the pouring water!”

Sonic spared a genuine grin, also getting to his feet and leaping down from the Eggmobile.

“Aww, come on now doctor, forward thinking guys like us shouldn’t be dwelling on the past.” he admonished, walking around the deactivated hologram projector. “We should be looking towards the future. Tell me what you see in your future. Through the iron bars, that is.”

The Doctor punched a few more buttons before regarding Sonic evenly across the console separating them.

“Now where did this sudden urge to see me in prison come from? You have rarely expressed much concern over apprehending me in prior altercations. Just a few hours ago you were content to sabotage my plans and let me limp away in a burning hoverpod.”

The hedgehog’s expression grew serious again, green eyes narrowing.

“This isn’t about you and me, Eggman. This is about what happened to Station Square. Those people deserve justice. You’re the one responsible for what happened to them, you have to answer for the things they suffered.”

“Oh please,” the Doctor sneered, slipping behind the command chair. “I know you better than that. This is hardly about something as noble as justice. You were always happy to play our little game, whatever the number of lives at stake or freedoms threatened. I got to have my fun coming up with ways to rule the world and you got to have your fun keeping me from doing it, testing your skills. But now the game’s gotten too ugly for you, hasn’t it? You thought because you were the hero that no one was ever going to get hurt, and now that enough people finally have you’re scared to keep playing!”

Sonic clenched his fists at his sides, looking away from the human, staring at the floor.

“I always knew I could keep you contained.” he said, eyes sliding shut. “That me and Tails could always stop you from getting out of control. Even today.... even today we proved I was right. It is just that neither you or I could have been prepared for how dangerous Chaos ultimately was, even after you were defeated.”

“You can’t hide the truth from me, Sonic.” the Doctor replied, taking a few steps further away and folding his hands behind his back. “There is only one reason why we are standing here right now: because you failed to stop Chaos from reaching his full potential. And you can’t live with knowing that.”

“Don’t try to act like you can wash your hands of it, Eggman!” Sonic spat in anger. “You freed Chaos, you tried to destroy Station Square, and you will answer for the crimes you have committed!”

He opened his eyes, glaring up at his nemesis with steeled resolve.

“And there is nothing you can do to get away from me.”

Yet then the Doctor smirked, taking one last step backwards.

“I’m afraid that’s where you’re wrong, boy.” he replied as multicolored light rose and fell around his red and black clad form. “However fast you are, I will still always outrun you.”

Sonic’s eyes went wide in recognition.

Without a second thought he lunged at the human, teeth bared in a vicious snarl, jumping clear over the console with the intent to seize him in gloved hands. He grasped only air as the Doctor vanished, leaving Sonic to slam against the transporter pad below -identical to the one on the Egg Carrier- with a hard thud.

At that moment the last light in Metropolis went out, like a candle.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sonic paced the room, the glass scattered when he beat the useless transporter pad in frustration crunching under his feet. The conversation he just had was racing through his head. He couldn’t allow this expedition to become a waste of time. There had to be a way to track down the Eggman.

He looked out one of the over sized windows, the only source of illumination in the room now.

Far below he could just make out one of the rail roads leading out of the city. A train was moving down it now, heading westward.

The number of small animals he was sure were trapped aboard that train now was still burning in his skull. He knew something needed to be done for them. Following the rail road was also his best option for hunting down Eggman again.

The Doctor’s words seemed to echo in the dark. Goading him to give up. Telling him it was his fault.

He looked toward the train again. It was still in view.

Failing to stop Chaos from reaching his perfect form weighed heavy on his mind, but he couldn’t afford to let it become fuel for Eggman’s mind games.

If there was time to worry about the past, then there was that much more time to run.

_________________
Image
Quote:
I WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATOR, RULING OVER CHAO ISLAND
except it WON'T BE CHAO ISLAND ANYMORE
IT'LL BE BANANA ISLAnD


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:11 am 
"Get a load of this!"
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Rocky Road
Rocky Road
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:44 pm
Posts: 108
Broken Glass

It would have been wrong to say Tails was afraid.

When fighting the Doctor alone, he'd been able to convince himself that he wasn't scared, despite how loudly the blood pounding in his ears protested.

That was when he went up against one of the villain's towering machines, armed to the teeth with weapons that could have blown him from the face of the Earth without leaving so much as a smear behind. Even when confronted by something as terrifying as that, Tails refused to let himself become afraid- refused any hesitation when his life was at stake.

No, Tails wasn't afraid.

Just... intimidated, maybe.

The fox child scowled at this thought, drawing his knees up to his chin and folding his arms over his snout.

He was seated sideways in a too-big chair, glaring pointlessly at the window of the mayor's office, the outside of which was so coated with mud and grime that nothing on the other side was visible. His two tails flicked up and down rhythmically, occasionally winding to the left like a propeller, an unconscious reflex that seemed to denote his anxiousness. Dust particles swirled around in the air above him with the motion.

Tails sighed and wrapped the appendages around him like a blanket to keep them still. He remembered how people used to tease him about his tails and how they moved so unnaturally. It wasn't something that helped his mood.

He was restless, however; it had been hours since the mayor announced his intention to arrange an award ceremony where Tails would be gifted with the Yellow Chaos Emerald. The idea wasn't something that appealed to the city's young hero. He disliked being the center of attention, at least when it came to presenting himself before huge crowds of people. His experiences with such things weren't especially positive.

He wondered how many people would be there. Some of them would be asking questions, certainly. Wanting him to give answers to the public. Demanding him to talk for the entire world to hear. Clamoring to know how he saved the city from Robotnik. Questioning why he failed to stop Chaos from reaching its perfect form.

All those eyes boring into him.

Judging him.

Despite the humidity, he shivered.

Tails really didn't want to go through with the ceremony. He didn't want to be in this place at all. The child was mentally and physically exhausted from all that had happened that day. He just wished to go home and fall asleep.

Leaving was out of the question of course. For one thing he really needed the Chaos Emerald. The crashed Tornado 2 was still resting inoperable in the Mystic Ruins, and if Tails had any hope of flying the plane back to his workshop he would need the Emerald to power it. There was absolutely no way he could leave his creation to rust in the wilderness like that. His heart ached at the thought of all the hard work that had gone into the precious machine being wasted.

'Tornado' he thought mournfully, imagining the plane half-sinking into ground somewhere in that jungle. 'It needs me...'

He contemplated explaining the situation to the mayor and getting him to hand over the Emerald right now, dispensing with the whole ceremony business. Tails' eyes flitted around the room, empty save for himself since the mayor departed with the captain of the police force. All he had to do was leave the office to go find one of them.

Tails looked down at the space on the floor in front of him, where his feet were supposed to be. All he had to do was get up out of the chair, and walk to the door. All he had to do was walk down the hallway where all those strange people were waiting to stare at him and ask someone about the Emerald.

Several mintues later the fox noted that his body had yet to move and he was still sitting with his tails coiled around his knees.

He scrunched his eyes shut while letting out a groan of frustration.

'Unbelievable! I stood up to Robotnik but can't do this one little thing?!'

Tails cursed himself for being so ridiculous. There was no rational reason to be this shy around people, especially since they were mostly people he already knew. There was no reason to be so worried about going to the ceremony. Normally the boy spent so much time cooped up in his workshop that he couldn't contain himself when an opportunity to talk to someone appeared- he would go on and on about the latest device he was tinkering with like it was the easiest thing in the world. What was different now?

Well, he was tired, he admitted. He felt too drained to confront anyone right now. As stupid as it was to be intimidated by these tiny obstacles when he had already overcome so much worse, Tails simply couldn't find the strength for anything else.

"I wish Sonic was here..." he muttered into the fluff of golden-yellow fur his muzzle was buried in.

Sonic was never shy, never got tired, never worried about anything. Nothing could intimidate Sonic, or at least Tails had never seen anything that could in all the time he'd known the hedgehog.

Tails could not imagine Sonic being afraid of anything.

If Sonic were here, Tails knew, then the Yellow Chaos Emerald would already be in hand and the two of them would be on their way. Sonic would have no problem talking the mayor into handing the gem over; Sonic could talk to anyone and keep his cool. It didn't matter what situation was happening around him, Sonic was always in complete control. Sonic never second guessed himself, never doubted his own abilities, never hesitated to act. He was pure action, and no force was his master.

Tails was certain that all these things were true, just as he was certain that he and Sonic could not be more different. Sonic, to be sure, could never be bullied or stung with words, as Tails so often was because of his peculiarity. If Sonic were here, then he could take care of everything so easily.

'But Sonic's not here' Tails reminded himself.

Tails wasn't brave like Sonic, wasn't as confident as him. He tried to believe in himself, tried to be as cool and collected as his hero, but the fox's courage seemed to abandon him with startling swiftness. He felt so alone now.

Tails wanted to become more independent and prove he could do things on his own. Made a promise that he would.

Now that he actually was out of Sonic's shadow, he was just lost.

_________________
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Quote:
I WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATOR, RULING OVER CHAO ISLAND
except it WON'T BE CHAO ISLAND ANYMORE
IT'LL BE BANANA ISLAnD


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:12 am 
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Rocky Road
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:44 pm
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The vulpine was stirred from his pondering by the whispered creak of the office door swishing open. He jumped slightly in his seat, fur poofing up to stand on end out of frieght- no, surprise. He was only surprised.

The mayor shut the door behind him as he made his way into the room, taking a seat behind his sizable desk. He appeared much more composed than he did when speaking to the Commander earlier, projecting an image of focused calm. Tails once again cursed himself for the irrational reaction. He uncurled from his wrapped up position on the chair and tried very hard to avoid looking nervous in front of his host.

"I'm sorry for leaving you unattended for so long, Mr. Prower," the balding gentleman began, removing his spectacles and brushing them lightly. "This crisis has me being pulled in a dozen directions at once. So many things demand my attention..."

"It's- uh, that's fine sir." Tails answered, his voice incredibly small.

Here was his opportunity. He could get the Chaos Emerald and leave to salvage his airplane.

"This is a difficult time for everyone of course," the mayor continued, replacing his glasses. "It would be selfish to put-off any of my responsibilities when all of these people are in need."

"Y-yeah," Tails said, still gathering his thoughts. "You must be really, um, busy."

"Indeed. Just now we finished coordinating a plan to evacuate the city. Even with the assistance of the G.U.N. medical personnel, the number of injured is too great- we cannot provide enough treatment with Station Square in the shape she is in."

He turned his seat to look towards the window, as if imaging the shattered ruin beyond was staring back at him.

"We will need to transport most of the refugees to the capital with the military's airship if those in critical condition are to have any hope of recovering. The ones who aren't too gravely injured or agree to give up their place on the airship will be carried out by other means. The nearest place we can send them is a small town in the Blue Ridge Zone. If it were possible, I would rather they be ferried to some of the other satellite cities, but the present flooding makes all sea and land travel extremely unsafe. With the people barricaded in like this, the only solution is to airlift as many as we can to higher ground, where they can be transported more freely."

Tails absorbed this information as he searched his head for something meaningful to say.

"In the meantime we have to do everything we can to keep our citizens reassured," the mayor said, turning back to face Tails. "There is still so much work to be done."

"Right."

The fox child shifted uncomfortably, gazing around the room while refusing to meet the man's eye.

"With all these important things to do, um, you wouldn't want to get distracted with unnecessary stuff," Tails said distractedly. "Like... well, talking here with me?"

At this the mayor's expression became startled.

"Don't be silly Mr. Prower!" he said, spreading his arms wide. "Of course speaking with you is important! You've done so much more than the rest of us to protect this city. And after all, we have to get preparations underway for your award ceremony!"

"Yeah... that," Tails replied. "Isn't that pretty much unnecessary too? I mean... you could just give the Chaos Emerald to me now, right? We don't have to bother with, uh, showing everyone that I got it? Wouldn't it be better to let me sneak it out of the city?"

He cast a glance at the mayor, who was growing increasingly perplexed.

"I really will keep it safe! Honest!" he added quickly. "I just- just need to use it for something... and I dont' see the point in waiting around for this ceremony thing."

"You don't want to be publically rewarded for your heroism?" the mayor asked.

"No," Tails answered, looking down. "I... don't feel comfortable standing up in front of a crowd of people."

The mayor regarded him thoughtfully from across the desk.

"Young Mr. Prower," he spoke. "Do you know why I decided that the Emerald was to be gifted to you in this particular manner?"

"Um... because you were grateful that I helped stop Robotnik?"

"That's not it." the mayor answered. "True, you were very brave, and you deserve all the gratitude we can offer you for that. But no, the reason I wanted to arranged this ceremony was because I wanted the people to see you."

"See me?" Tails asked in confusion.

The mayor stood up, turning his back to the boy as he once again gazed upon the city outside.

"Station Square's people have suffered tremendously from this disaster. They have lost so much. The feeling that they have been defeated, that their enemies have triumphed, is crippling. Right now, their hope is broken. That is why I want you to go before the public, to tell them what you did and give them a hero to look to. The people have to regain some since of victory about this whole mess. They need someone to rekindle their broken spirit."

He turned, looking at Tails with penetrating eyes.

"They need someone to believe in. They need to believe in you."

Tails tried to process this. Could he really backout now when the city needed him?

He racked his much lauded mind for a satisfying answer and came up empty. What he was being asked to do made something like a knot twist in his stomach. Having faith in himself was already proving so difficult. Making all of Station Square have faith in him seemed impossible.

_________________
Image
Quote:
I WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATOR, RULING OVER CHAO ISLAND
except it WON'T BE CHAO ISLAND ANYMORE
IT'LL BE BANANA ISLAnD


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:13 am 
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Rocky Road
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:44 pm
Posts: 108
'The sky is pink' Amy thought numbly as she surveyed the sun's slow descent over the city skyline.

'I never liked pink.'

Her favorite color of course was blue; she liked seeing nice, clear blue skies. Of course, she didn't usually complain about being pink herself. It would spoil her girlish confidence to complain about her self-image. Being fashion conscious as well, she tended to wear pink or other colors that complimented her hair color. That did not mean Amy generally liked the color pink. Subsequently, some of the beauty that others found in sunsets was lost on the hedgehog girl.

Right now, she would have given anything in the world to just see a blue sky instead.

The sun was crawling ever so gradually down the sides of buildings now, it's light beginning to fade. The shadows that stretched along the stagnant waters were sharp and jagged. Ruined structures clawed upwards, cutting the sky like feral teeth sinking into pink flesh.

The top of the building in front of her looked like nothing so much as a toothed smile, edged with broken steel rods and still-smoking, charred pieces of wood.

Amy's apartment was gone.

That morning, Amy had lived on the top floor of an apartment building in the residential area of Station Square, within convienent walking distance of the newspaper stand and the train station. When she directed the men operating the rescue boat to where her home was supposed to be, she expected the five feet of water to only be a minor obstalce between her and her belongings. She expected to wade her way to the stairs of the bottom floor and climb to her room where she could gather her things. Maybe, she thought, a pile of rubble might be in her way, or part of the building might have caved in. That would have been a smaller matter- she was strong, she could dig through the rubble, smash debris aside with her hammer if necessary.

Instead, a gout of fire from Perfect Chaos had blasted the top of the building clean off.

A rough semi-circle of crumbling stone jutting from where the second story of the apartment once was, still smiling down cruely at the little girl, was the only evidence that anything had ever been there.

Amy struggled to internalize the reality of what she was seeing. That morning, she'd had an apartment. She'd had clothes, she'd had a television set, she'd had a bed, she'd had potted plants with big pretty blue flowers, and- and-

And now it was gone.

All gone.

Where her home was supposed to be was a patch of empty, pink sky.

'I never liked that color' she noted to herself again, staring vacantly at the spot that refused to go back to being a building.

Amy looked helplessly to her side for Birdie, as if seeking the Flicky's confirmation that her home was indeed destroyed. However, when she turned around Birdie wasn't there.

'Oh' she remembered. 'Birdie left with the other two Flickys before...'

'I'm alone.'

_________________
Image
Quote:
I WILL BE AN ADMINISTRATOR, RULING OVER CHAO ISLAND
except it WON'T BE CHAO ISLAND ANYMORE
IT'LL BE BANANA ISLAnD


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