The Prower of One

By Darren “RedFox” McRoy and Duncan “MTP” Sheard


Prologue – Tails of the Past – by RedFox


            Miles Prower couldn’t sleep.

            It wasn’t the disturbing events of two weeks before that were keeping him awake; he was long past that. There had been but a single casualty, though a sad one that was. Randall was learning to accept his new robotic limbs well, and seemed not to be two discontented with his abnormality. He wasn’t even being teased by his peers; all Knothole hailed him as a hero. Miles was almost envious, though he was a hero himself numerous times, he had never quite gotten over all of the mockery he received in his youth over his two-tailed deformity.

            However, terrible memories wouldn’t help him get any sleep either. Miles closed his eyes and tried with sheer willpower for him to sink into oblivion. It was so easy to get knocked out in a fight; why couldn’t he put himself to sleep on his own?

            Fiona’s easy breathing beside him helped sooth him slightly. She was fast asleep, and she had had just as traumatic experiences as him a fortnight ago. What force could possibly be keeping him awake?

            Miles thought about going for a midnight fly, but decided that it wouldn’t help, nor was it very feasible. Slamming headfirst into a tree would get him some sleep alright, but somehow Miles was looking for a more peaceful mode of unconsciousness.

            A sudden scream shattered the peaceful silence. In a flash, Miles was out of bed and racing to answer the distress call. Someone could be in trouble; someone could be getting mugged. Even Knothole had a few criminals lurking around, and recently the Royal Guard had had more on its mind than petty thieves.

            Miles quickly got control of himself. It was only little Tails’s voice. He wouldn’t have to play hero, just helpful and loving father. Miles walked across the hall and opened his son’s bedroom door.

            Tails was sitting straight up in bed, panting hard, with all three tails sticking straight up. Seeing Miles, he looked bashful and embarrassed. “Sorry, Dad… I’m really sorry… I had a bad dream… I didn’t mean to wake you up…”

            “First things first, son. Are you okay?”

            “I think so… I’m okay now. It was just so real…”

            Miles sighed. He knew how it was. Nightmares were all too common in Knothole these days; and it wasn’t only those who had fought against Robotnik who had them either.

            “Can you get back to sleep? Is there anything that I could do?”

            “Could… could you tell me a story?”

            “A story?” Miles thought about it for a second, and decided that he wasn’t getting any sleep anyhow. “Well, okay, but what sort of story would you like?”

            “A story of the old days, when you were still fighting Ro – Robot –“

            “Robotnik. Are you sure, Tails? Those were scary times; they might not be right for now. I really don’t want you to have another nightmare. Is there another story that would be better?”

            Tails thought about it for a moment. “No, I’d really like that. What about the time that you saved the world from Robotnik and his big flying Killer Egg thingy?”

            “The Death Egg?” Miles chuckled. “Son, Sonic and I brought that big flying chunk of metal down so many times that I can’t even count them. You’ll need to be far more specific.”

            Again, Tails thought. “The last time. The one where you finally won forever. I wanna hear about that time. You were the hero, weren’t you? Dad?”

            But Miles was already deep in thought. Slowly, it all began to come back to him. He could almost feel himself back in his twelve-year old body, vivacious and energetic once more. As Miles began to narrate, the events of fifteen years ago began to play through his mind once again.



Chapter 1 – General Relations – by MTP


Tails sighed happily as he strolled out of his hut in the quiet village of Knothole. The village was never really alive, except for the nights after raids on Robotropolis when it came alive with a vengeance, but there was always something small going on. Always.

It was now a good two years after Doomsday and the fight against Robotnik hadn’t stopped. When it had been found that Robotnik had survived Doomsday, the Freedom Fighters had been totally shaken to the core. They had never imagined that it could have happened. In those two years Tails had become a bigger player in missions. Either because they needed the extra help or because he was growing up, Tails wasn’t sure why but he accepted it with glee. He had always wanted to be able to prove himself on missions and over the two years he had. More than once he had seen his “name”, Tails, written with a lightning bolt in place of the “s”. He still didn’t know where that had come from but he didn’t disapprove of it at all.

He stepped out off the veranda and walked off into the middle of the village. It was still early morning but many people were already up and about. Tails noticed Amy and Mina standing off to one side talking. He looked over at them and waved. They noticed him and waved back.

“Hey Tails.” called Amy.

“Hey Aimes. What’s up?” replied the fox.

“Not much.” put in Mina.

“Just chatting.” said Amy.

“I see.” said Tails.

Tails could see where this conversation was going. It was one of those famous “Hi” “Hi” “Bye” “Bye” type of things. He hated these types. Waste of energy really. He was about to turn and carry on when Mina spoke.

“Oh, Tails. I nearly forgot.” She said, “Sonic came by earlier. He was looking for you.”

Tails stopped and turned round. He was surprised. Not about Sonic looking for him but that Mina had said the word Sonic without sighing. He thought too soon though, as Amy and Mina both let out a slow sigh in unison. Tails made a mental note to bang his head on something later. Man, those two had a seriously unhealthy thing about Sonic. Didn’t they know he was taken? Well, maybe he wasn’t. Sonic and Sally’s relation wasn’t really clear at the moment. They cared about each other, but they had never really showed their true feelings publicly yet. Tails knew the reason why too. A commoner and a princess, how was that supposed to work?

“Right I’ll go and find him then.” said Tails snapping out of his thoughts.

“Tell him we said ‘hi’.” said Amy.

“Sure.” said Tails as he turned and rolled his eyes, oh boy.




It was approaching lunch time when Tails at last found Sonic. He was standing at the edge of the village talking to Bunnie.

“Hey Sonic. Heard you were looking for me.” called Tails.

Sonic and Bunnie turned and looked at him.

“Hey big guy.” replied Sonic, “You got that right.”

“So what’s up?” asked Tails.

“We’re holding a meeting tonight. Something big has come up.” said Sonic.

“What do you mean big?” asked Tails.

“We’re not sure sugah.” replied Bunnie, “That’s why we called the meeting.”

Tails looked puzzled.

“Listen, Tails. Don’t let this slip.” said Sonic.

Sonic actually sounded deadly serious. Tails could catch a small hint of fear on his voice too.

“Sonic, what is it?” asked Tails quietly.

“We have recovered something from Robotropolis on our last raid. To say the least it’s scared the hell out of everyone who’s seen it. Meeting tonight at six sharp. Be there, Tails.” said Sonic.

The hedgehog turned away from Tails and took a deep breath. Tails was frozen to the spot. Sonic wasn’t acting normally. He wasn’t acting normal at all. Tails slowly turned away and wandered off into the village lost in thought. What was so important that it had Sonic this spooked? He had to be at the meeting.




Tails was starving. He hadn’t eaten since breakfast that morning. After Sonic had spoken to him earlier, he just couldn’t stomach any food. He was too worried. He currently sat in a chair at a long table inside a hut. The hut in question was located in the center of the village and was used as a meeting room for group planning. Next to him sat Rotor, who was busy fidgeting with a small gadget and obviously didn’t know the reason for the meeting yet. Bunnie and Antoine sat opposite him. They were holding hands and Bunnie looked worried sick. Antoine was looking at her with puzzled eyes. Further down the table sat Amy and Mina who were both looking from each other and then to everyone else with a slightly irritated look on their faces. Sonic and Sally hadn’t shown yet. Tails looked at his watch. It was just after six. Where are they? he thought.

“Where are they?” said Amy, voicing Tails’s thought.

“They’re late.” said Mina.

“Quiet, sugah.” said Bunnie quickly, “They’ll be here in a minute.”

“What’s this meeting all about?” asked Rotor putting his small gadget down.

“You’ll find out in a minute.” said Bunnie.

“I hope so. I’ve got better things to do than sit around waiting for them to show.” said Amy.

“Now listen sugah. They’ll be here…” started Bunnie almost rising from her chair.

“…right now.” said Sonic as he and Sally passed into the room.

“About time.” said Mina quietly.

Sonic and Sally walked across the room and sat down in their seat at the end of the table. They sat for a few moments saying nothing. Everyone was looking at them.

“Well?” said Mina getting impatient again.

Sonic hand flew up and a small object flew out of it and landed with a bang in the middle of the table. Everyone jumped.

“There! You happy now Mina?” said Sonic giving her a scowl.

Mina didn’t respond. She just sat quietly and waited.

“What is this?” said Rotor picking up the object.

“We’re not sure.” said Sally.

Tails looked over Rotor’s shoulder at the object. It looked like a small box with a tube entering in one side and coming out the other. Several smaller tubes entered into it from the side.

“Looks like some sort of injector port.” said Tails.

Everyone looked at him. Sally was nodding.

“It looks like it, doesn’t it.” she said.

There was something about the way she said that that made Tails’ ears prick up.

“What you mean, Sally?” asked Tails.

“Where do you think we found that?” asked Sonic.

“Looks like of some machinery, maybe a new generator of something.” said Rotor.

“Wrong guess, sugah.” said Bunnie.

“We found that attached to a roboticizer.” said Sally.

“Za what?!” cried Antoine rising from his seat, “Are you telling moi zhat dis thing came from le roboticizer?”

“Yes, Antoine.” replied Sonic.

“How could this be part of a roboticizer?” asked Amy.

“Let me explain.” said Sonic taking a deep breath, “Myself, Sally and Bunnie were in Robotropolis last night. We were scouting out on of Robotnik’s new factories. Reports had it that he was building some sort of new prototype generator system. We managed to break in undetected but instead of finding a new generator we found just a load of crates and boxes containing supplies. We thought we had been had but decided to check it out anyway.”

“We are glad we did now.” said Sally. “Those boxes contained roboticizer parts and off to one side of the factory was a completed roboticizer. We had hoped to gather a bit of information about it for use on our de-roboticizer but this roboticizer wasn’t like any we have encountered before.”

“We still don’t know too much about it but the roboticizer in the factory didn’t run on normal energy. The construction of it was far too sensitive for that.” said Sonic.

“What do you mean?” asked Mina.

“Well for one thing the inside of that injector port is coated in diamond glass.” said Sally.

“Diamond glass!” said Tails, “You mean like on Doomsday?”

“Yes Tails, like on Doomsday.” replied Sonic, “Whatever Robotnik was using to power that roboticizer, it was not normal energy. To have that kind of protection on the injector ports it would have to be something more powerful than we have ever seen.”

“You said ‘was using’.” said Rotor.

“Yes.” replied Sally, “We planted explosives around the factory and set it off. The diamond glass parts probably survived but the rest didn’t.”

“It will take Robotnik a while to recover from that. Hopefully long enough for us to find out what he’s up to.” said Sonic.

“So what now?” asked Antoine.

“We go back to our usual tasks. We can’t do anything more about this problem for now. We will have to hope something turns up.” said Sonic.




The group filled out of the hut slowly. They had covered all the other news of the day, but the news of the new roboticizer was what had stuck in everyone’s minds. Tails strolled across the center of the village, lost in thought. What was going on?


Chapter 2 – Covert Operations – by RedFox


            “I’m telling you, this is my mission!”

            “Sonic, c’mon.” Tails reasoned. “You can’t do this one alone. We have absolutely no clue as to what we’re going up against. It’s not like I’m going to screw this one up. All that I’ll be doing is flying overhead, looking out for you. There is no way that Sally would want you doing this alone. I’m already keeping this secret, which I seriously do not think is right. You are not going by yourself.”

            “If Sally knew about this, she wouldn’t let me go!”

            “Which she would probably be right about. This is incredibly dangerous, Sonic. You know nothing about what those explosions left behind. For all we know, Robotnik has rebuilt his base by now! It’s been three days; his robots move fast.”

            “Aw… little Tails is acting so grown up. You’re going to make a great father someday with an attitude like that. I’ve kept secrets for you before, haven’t I? What about the time –”

            “No need!” Tails said quickly. It was a home shot all the same; he did most definitely not need any reminders of his somewhat more rebellious times. He still carried a small scar on his flank from his last little adventure. He now resorted to the only way that he could ensure that his friend was not going alone. “I hate to be like this, Sonic, but you’re letting me come or I’m telling Sally.”

            Sonic sighed. “I never thought that I was going to win this one anyways. All right, you’re coming. But only to look out. Unless I’m seriously in trouble. Other than that, this is my job, okay?”

            Tails nodded and set off for Knothole Hanger. He hoped that nobody would see him headed that way; there was no way he could come up with a fib to explain why he was taking out the Tornado right about now. The entire story would have to come out, and Sonic would be annoyed with him again. It happened all too often now. Something was definitely wrong with Sonic lately.

            Having made it to the hangar, Tails ran a gloved finger over his pride and joy: his Tornado. Having gone through a series of planes with different names, like the Tornado II, the Cyclone, and the Cyclone II, all which had been destroyed in one way or another, Tails had finally decided to rebuild his original Tornado and repair it when it got smashed up, instead of having to deal with the name changes.

            He had just barely gotten his pilot goggles out of the drawer when Sonic came racing in. “Are you a total idiot?” Sonic cried. “How the crazy hell are you supposed to get out of Knothole unnoticed in that thing? The noise will wake up half the town! You, my friend, are coming along on the strength of your own two tails!”

            Tails gulped. “You’re right. I didn’t think of that. All right then, but I will have to land occasionally. I can’t stay in the air indefinitely.”

            “Just don’t screw up.” Sonic growled. “If I get caught for this, Tails, mark my words…”

            Tails sighed. His old friend was acting very strangely.




            Sonic could cover the distance to Robotropolis in fifteen minutes, as he had proven many times. One of the reasons that he had been hesitant to let Tails come was that he could only move half as fast in the air. Sonic kept having to control his speed, and he was not happy at all about it.

            Flying through open air was a task that, when you had been doing it all your life, didn’t require too much concentration. As long as Tails kept up maximum speed and didn’t run into a stray tree, he could usually let his mind wander. Sometimes his best ideas came to him in mid-air.

            Today, Tails’s topic of reflection was Sonic. Could something seriously be wrong with him? Could the blue blur below him not even truly be his hedgehog pal? Tails made a mental note to ask Sally to run a scan on him and make sure that he was not an imposter. Then again, could that really happen? And how? If Robotnik had ever captured Sonic, he would simply throw him in a roboticizer and be done with him. Tails knew; it had happened before.

            Seeing the tall skyscrapers of the dreaded city rise in front of them, Tails flew down and confronted Sonic. “You wouldn’t happen to have a plan, would you?”

            Sonic looked indignant. “Of course I have a plan! What are you implying? You think that even I would just rush into a mission as important as this without thinking about it first?

            “Yes,” Tails answered simply, “but apparently I was wrong. So what is this wonderful plan of yours, pray tell?”

            “I approach the city, sneak through the alleys, find out what happened to the base, see if I see anything strange, and then cause a little chaos with this little doodad that I happened to have the insight to bring along with me.”

            Sonic pulled a large stick of dynamite out of a pouch that he had been wearing around his waist.

            “Sonic!” Tails exploded. “This is a spy mission, not an attack! You’ll set every alarm in the city off with that thing! Every SWAT-bot for five miles around will have guns trained on you within a minute! What’s the purpose of sneaking around then? I do not feel like swooping down there to save your –”

            “Cool it, little buddy.” Sonic said. “I don’t feel like it either. We’ll be pitching this backwards on our way out. They’ll never know what hit them.”

            “Sonic, this goes against every rule in Knothole’s entire history. All of this without Sally’s consent, the King’s consent, anyone’s consent – we could be sued, we could get jailed, we could even lose our positions as Freedom Fighters! I thought you didn’t want to get caught! Do you think that Sally is going to think that another explosion in Robotropolis was a coincidence?” That gave Tails an idea. “Speaking of your half-girlfriend, what do you think she’ll think of you if you go breaking laws?”

            Sonic looked deflated. “Okay, you win. Again. Nothing but spying. However, let me remind you that we already are breaking laws. So you had better not make any mention of this to Sally, because you’ll be in just as much trouble as me.”

            “If you can’t even tell Sally what you saw, then what’s the point in going in the first place? We can’t use any information that we gather to help plan anything else! This “mission” has no point? Why did I even let you go in the first place?”

            “Why did I even let you come? You’re being a real pest, Tails, you know that? I seriously ought to –”

            “Now you want to fight? We can’t afford this, dammit! We’re on the same side, remember that? Look, this entire thing is going wrong. Just get in there and check it out, then get the hell back here! Go! We’re wasting time!”

            Sonic ran off at top speed, while Tails took to the air.




            From his vantage point, Tails could see everything that was happening down at the outskirts of the large city. Now that Sonic had pulled up at the city edge, he did his best to move slowly and stealthily. Hedgehogs, however, were unfortunately not designed for sneakiness, and Sonic was far from the exception. The result was the equivalent of a normal person racing at top speed through the streets trying to stay close to the sides of buildings.

            Had Sonic been racing through the streets, he would have made far less noise. When trying to move slowly, however, he ended up clomping his shoes very loudly against the cement. Badniks, Robotnik’s roboticized animal minions, heard the noises easily and went to investigate.

            What Sonic lacked in furtiveness, however, he made up for with spin moves. Any robot that got in his way was torn to metal shreds in an instant. Though Tails couldn’t see them, he knew that each robot busted meant a small Mobian animal freed from Robotnik’s cruel enslavement.

            There was one thing that Tails couldn’t see, though. He knew where Robotnik’s former base was – there was a huge explosion crater around it – but certain buildings kept getting in his line of sight. That was why Sonic was down there. Obviously the explosives had worked, but what remained? And, more importantly, was there any more diamond glass?

            Tails stopped dead. Two SWAT-bots had discovered Sonic, and were obviously more intelligent than most of their comrades. They were following him, and so intent was he on his crusade that he didn’t notice. Tails wanted to scream, to warn his friend, but before he could do anything, SWAT-bots had two plasma guns pointed directly at Sonic’s skull.

            Never should have worried, thought Tails, as Sonic launched a double back kick directly into his captors middles. When the cloud of dust faded, all that remained was scrap metal and Sonic was nowhere to be seen. It took Tails a few seconds to find him. He was sprinting full blast for the exit, which either meant that he was spooked or that the mission was accomplished. Tails hoped that it was the latter.

            Suddenly, he realized that he had his own problems, as two large missiles were headed directly at him, and moving quite quickly through the air. Veering off to the right, Tails saw with a surge of terror the missiles also change course and speed after him again.

            Luckily, Tails never traveled airborne anymore without a small pouch which held, amongst other things, a flare or two. Quickly firing one of these, he was relieved to see the missiles be attracted to the intense heat and collide in mid-air. With luck, Robotnik might even think he has scored a hit and eliminated his target.  It was always good to have the element of surprise on your side.

            Looking down, Tails was horrified to see Sonic dig the dynamite out of his pouch. He struck the explosive against his shoe, creating enough friction to light the fuse. Not looking back, Sonic threw the dynamite over his shoulder into the crowd of robots behind him.

            The huge explosion was deafening. Metal was superheated, circuits were fried, shards of robots were blown in every direction. The helpless, miniscule animals trapped in the robotic shells were vaporized in an instant.

            Sonic was now in terrible danger. There was an advancing wall of fire behind him, plus, now, burning pieces of debris had flown over his head and ignited numerous objects in front of him. He was trapped between the two blasts, which were quickly advancing on him. Worse yet, the wall across from him had three gasoline barrels leaning against it, perfectly stacked.

Sonic had disobeyed a direct order from his friend and killed numerous hapless hostages. However, scandalous as that may have been, Tails wasn’t going to watch Sonic be incinerated in that inferno below him. Plunging downwards, Tails began to calculate how to pull this one off. He screamed to Sonic, who apparently heard him over the noise and looked up. Tails saw terror in his eyes.

Spotting Tails, his expression turned hopeful and concentrated. Leaping up on top of the gas barrels, Sonic timed his jump perfectly so that Tails caught him in mid-air. If Tails had had muscles in his tails, every single one of them would be straining to get him up. Pull, c’mon, dammit, pull!

The final explosion threw the two of them ten feet upwards. Regaining control, Tails flew away with Sonic securely in his grasp. They set down about a half-mile from the city and watched the explosions.

“Don’t say anything, Tails. Don’t say a thing. It was the only thing that I could do. I was trapped. It was all that I could do.

Tails didn’t. The two Freedom Fighters turned and began back to Knothole.


Chapter 3 – Thinking – by MTP


Tails lay awake in bed. He was staring at the ceiling hard as if he could burn a hole in it with his gaze. Sonic and himself had made it back to Knothole without being seen but news of the explosion had already reached the village. Sonic and himself had decided to split up and enter the village at different times from different direction so as to not arouse suspicion. A number of people had asked him where he had been and he had quickly come up with the excuse of going for a walk. He still couldn’t believe how lame it must have sounded. A giant explosion rocks Robotropolis and Tails was out ‘having a walk’. Yeah that’s really going to hold.

Tails shook his head and sat up in bed. He needed to get out and think. Slipping on his shoes he walked over to the door of his hut and exited into the village. It was very dark now and a number of lanterns had been lit around the place. Tails could hear faint voices coming from the other side of the village where the campfire was located.

“Must be having a meeting.” said Tails quietly to himself.

Tails looked away and began to walk through the village. Apart from the noise behind him the village was still and quiet. It hadn’t been earlier today though. Tails remembered the scene. The village had been in a total uproar. Sally had been marching around giving everyone, especially Sonic and himself, very evil looks. She had been very upset. Sonic had looked very upset too. Tails knew he was having a hard time. When King Acorn had banned Sally from having a relationship with him, Sonic had been very upset. Sally too for that matter.

Tails kicked down with his feet and spun his tails gaining enough lift to let him hover above the ground. He was still tired from rescuing Sonic earlier and couldn’t fly very high but still he was able to hover a little. He sighed.

“Why did we do that? What was I thinking? I should have just told Sally instead of demanding to go with him. We could be in serious trouble now if anyone finds out. And what was it all for? Sonic said he didn’t find any signs of diamond glass while he was looking round. Uuuuuuuh.”

He flew on through the village not paying much attention to anything. He was paying so little attention he almost….


Tails quickly flew to the side as he almost collided with a large building. He lost his hover and landed with a thud on the ground. He looked up to see that the building was the Tornado’s hanger. He pulled himself to his feet and smiled.

“Of all the places I could end up.” he said to himself.

He opened the door to the hanger and walked in. He fumbled for a moment to find the light switch and then flicked it. The Tornado stood in the middle of the hanger as it always did. Tails walked over to it and smiled. Something Sonic had said earlier came back to him.

“Are you a total idiot? How the crazy hell are you supposed to get out of Knothole unnoticed in that thing? The noise will wake up half the town!”

Tails laughed. He had been right about that but not about anything else really. Tails thought for a moment. Why not? He thought to himself. I’ll probably get in enough trouble over the latest incident when they find out anyway.

He turned quickly and flung open the doors to the hanger. He stopped dead. Standing there not more than ten feet away in the middle of the runway was Sally. She had her arms crossed and was staring at him with a slightly inquisitive expression.

“Going somewhere Tails?” she said slowly.

Tails could only stand there. Damn! Now I’m in for it!

“I saw you hovering through the village from my hut.” continued Sally, “It seems my predictions were right again.”

“What…..what do you mean Aunt Sally?” asked Tails slowly still rooted to the spot.

“It was you and Sonic that caused that explosion in Robotropolis wasn’t it?” replied Sally.

Tails gulped hard. How did she know?

“What makes you think that Sally?” he asked as innocently as he could.

“Come on Tails. Don’t play me for dumb here.” answered Sally with a laugh, “Everyone is in Knothole apart from you and Sonic when a mysterious explosion rocks the city. You just happen to appears again saying you went out for a walk…and now I find you here, sneaking out in the Tornado.”

Sally put her hands on her hips and raised her head slightly in a victorious type of way. Tails almost fell to pieces and confessed everything right then but he caught himself.

“I…..I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He replied nervously.

“Of course you don’t and neither do I.”

Tails blinked. Had he heard that right?

“What do you mean?” asked Tails.

“Look Tails. There is no hope in trying to hide the facts. I know it was you and Sonic in Robotropolis. I don’t care what you were doing there, it doesn’t bother me. What does is what you did while you were there. You could be facing some serious trouble.”

“But Sonic had no choice!” cried Tails, “It was the only……”

Tails stopped. What was he doing?! He had just…

“So it was you in Robotropolis. I knew it.” said Sally with a wry smile.

“Oh god Sally! I’m sorry!” cracked Tails, “I didn’t mean for it to happen. We were just….”

Sally stepped forwards and put a finger to Tails lips. Tails stopped.

“Tails listen to me. I know what you did. And I’m sure it was only a last resort type of action. I don’t want to see you get into trouble. If you or Sonic were punished for this I would feel terrible.”

Sally stopped and let out a sigh before continuing.

“That’s why I’m not going to report it.” She finished.

“You’re….you’re not?” said Tails his voice shaking slightly.

“No. I don’t agree with what you did, but I’m sure you regret it now and won’t do it again. Punishing either of you would only result in something very unsavory happening and I don’t want that.”

Sally smiled at him. Tails feel his spirits lift slightly. Sally had always been good to him. He closed his eyes and sighed.

“Thank you Sally.” he said.

“Don’t think anything of it. I’ll put it down to a freak accident of some sort in the report. Don’t worry about it. Now where were you going in that thing?” said Sally motioning towards the Tornado.

“I don’t know.” replied Tails honestly, “It was a spur of the moment thing I guess.”

“Well if you still want to go out, I’ll give you permission to do so. But if you do I want you back by tomorrow afternoon.”

Tails thought for a moment. Did he really want to take the Tornado out or was it just a spur of the moment thing like he had said? Then again, the prospect of not having to try and convince everyone of his fake innocence tomorrow morning was appealing. He mulled the choice over for a few seconds longer and then nodded. He looked up at Sally.

“I’d like to go out.” he said.

“Very well Tails. Where?” replied Sally.

Tails blinked. That was a good point. Places flashed through his head for a second.

“The Floating Island.” he said, quickly grabbing at a place to go.

“Ok then. You be sure to be back by tomorrow afternoon, ok.”

“Ok, Aunt Sally.”

Sally smiled and bent over him. She planted a kiss on his nose, smiled again and walked off. Tails watched her leave and then rubbed his nose. It was funny how old habits seemed to stick around no matter what. Tails calling Sally ‘Aunt Sally’ was one and the ‘funny’ kiss, as Tails used to refer to it, was another. He giggled slightly and turned back to the hanger. He removed his flying goggles from a draw and spent a few minutes checking the Tornado over to make sure she was ready. When he was satisfied he removed the chocks securing the undercarriage and climbed into the cockpit. Again he spent a while checking gauges and dials and them pressed a small red button on the console. There was a dull hum and then a splutter. The engine started with a roar and Tails gently taxied the plane out onto the runway. Tails was sure that everyone in Knothole would be awake now so he had to be quick. He lined up for takeoff and increased the throttle. The Tornado started to move forwards, quickly gaining speed until there was enough lift to pull the plane into the air. Tails pulled back and the plane rose steadily away from Knothole. He looked back to see the whole village lit up with light. Everyone was definitely awake now. Tails looked back to the sky and banked the Tornado towards the Floating Island.




If there was one thing that annoyed Tails, apart from a lack of mint candy in the cupboards, it was things that changed without telling anyone. The Floating Island was a prime example. It didn’t change, it just moved around and finding it was sometimes a real pain! Tails scanned the horizon pondering over where it could possibly be. He knew it was around here somewhere, but where? He had already spent a few hours looking for it and he was beginning to feel tired now. His head was nodding on his shoulder slightly when he finally saw something sticking out of a cloud. It was fairly large and looked solid. Tails banked the plane to get a better look and a smile spread across his face.

“Trust the island to be shrouded in cloud! Oh well, sometimes things just don’t go your way.”

He turned towards the island and started to drop. This will certainly be a surprise for Knuckles and co.


Chapter 4 –Fearsome Fiasco – by RedFox


Tails touched down perfectly in an open clearing. Launching himself out of the cockpit, he instinctively began to whirl his tails to soften his landing. What he would have done without them, Tails didn’t know. He certainly would have never become a Freedom Fighter; his other skills simply weren’t enough. Any teasing that he had ever received was twenty times worth it when he was soaring a hundred feet up, enjoying the air and the sheer freedom of it all. Sometimes he even felt sorry for the rest of his friends; none except for Dulcy, an adolescent dragon, could possibly know what it was like. She, however, had left them six months ago on a search for any others left of her kind and hadn’t been heard from since.

Looking around, Tails was suddenly struck by his own idiocy. What was he doing on the Floating Island with the crises occurring back in Knothole? Diamond glass was no joke; it was very difficult to obtain, thus extremely expensive. Nobody would have had it just lying around. Chances were, Robotnik was up to some new nefarious scheme. He, Tails, should be down there helping out! The only reason he was here was on a whim, just to go off on his own and be antisocial.

Well, thought Tails, I’m here. So maybe I should just explore for a little bit. They can’t miss me that much – can they?

The Floating Island was large and flat-topped. It looked somewhat like – well, an island without a sea, which was of course what it was. Tails, hovering at an altitude of no more that a few feet, set off towards the middle of the airborne atoll in search of the island’s young guardians: the Chaotix. He didn’t exactly know what to say; but at least he could give them a short update on what was occurring down on Mobius’s surface, with the mystery of the diamond glass. Not that they would care too much – they had their own troubles on the island – but he was there, and he may as well serve some purpose.

The blow came from nowhere. Something struck Tails in the face right as he was passing by a large tree. Fighting for elevation, it was denied him as another shot came from above him. He fell towards the ground, and hit it hard.

He was unconscious for a moment; when he awoke, four figures were staring down at him. It was Vector, Espio, Charmy, and Mighty… and none of them looked particularly pleased. Now Tails realized what had happened… Espio had camouflaged himself in his chameleon manner against the tree, and struck Tails as he passed by. The second shot came from Charmy, who would have been flying overhead. Tails had only encountered the Chaotix on a couple of occasions, could it be that they didn’t recognize him?

His vision was clearing, and he stood groggily. Getting a full look at his two tails, Mighty realized, “Hey, guys, cool it… it’s just that Prower kid Knuckles sometimes hangs out with.”

            Vector smacked Espio in the back of the head. “Why don’t you look before you land a punch? You are way too sensitive, dude.”

            “And you’re not?” Espio shot back. “With everything that’s been happening? How can you expect me not to be a little bit jumpy? Remember that strange glow? And the -” he broke off as he remembered Tails in front of him.

            “C’mon, Espio, you can trust Tails,” Charmy said, “he’s a Freedom Fighter just like Sonic… and you know that Knux trusts Sonic. The glow,” he added, turning to Tails, “is coming from the Master Emerald, and we don’t quite know what it means. We believe it to be a sign that something climatic is about to happen. There have been other strange occurrences as well.”

            “Can I see the –” began Tails, but was broken off by a cry of protest from Espio.

            “Sorry, Tails, we can’t trust you quite that far,” said Knuckles, who jumped down from the tree above them. “Yeah, I saw everything. It was just fun watching you guys. What are you doing here, anyhow?” he asked Tails.

            “Oh, I think that you’re going to have more to worry about that why he’s there,” came a voice from somewhere around them, and then followed it up with a goofy attempt at a sinister laugh. “What? Confused? Ah, I see. Can it possibly be you don’t remember Flying Frog?” With that, from a different tree, the ridiculous-looking half-insane frog appeared across from them.

            Vector laughed. “Flying Frog? Yeah, who could forget you? But what are you going to do alone? And where are all of your little friends?”

            “Oh, we’re here,” Predator Hawk laughed as he swooped down from above and landed on their left, folding his azure wings and flexing his sharp talons. Behind them, a rumbling began, as Sgt. Simian, the monstrous gorilla, stomped his feet and let out a terrifying roar. In a flash, the super-swift orange-yellow Lightning Lynx was standing on their right, before they could even see from where he came. All of the Fearsome Foursome were looking extremely smug, and appeared to be itching for a fight. It was likely that they could force one, as they now had the Chaotix, Knuckles, and Tails surrounded.

            “Wait a minute!” Tails cried. “I wasn’t there, but Sonic told me that two years ago, you four got on Robotnik’s bad side, and ended up as robots! Then somebody launched a grenade and the entire compound went up in flames! What happened to you?”

            Predator Hawk laughed again. “Yeah, the fat man got the better of us that time. However, most of us weren’t worth scrap metal as robots. I, for one, lost my power of flight! The horror!”

            “I couldn’t run for anything,” chimed in Lightning Lynx. “A roboticized me can’t stand up to the original at all!”

            Flying Frog looked foolish, as always, as he mentioned that with a body of metal, it was impossible to glide. “There was just no point to it!”

            “I, on the other hand,” Sgt. Simian said, “simply had my strength increased threefold! I could punch like never before! So, while they’re no longer robots… I am. The paint job makes me look pretty realistic, though, eh?”

            “We had to pay for our ‘freedom’, however,” mentioned Lightning Lynx. “We got our bodies back – except for Simian, he got his free will – on the condition that we would continue to work for Robotnik and Robotnik alone. That’s why we’re here… on his orders. We can’t just run off, either… he’s got all sorts of ways to track us down. Working for him is better than being Robian, though. It’s just terrible as a robot… it’s like a nightmare that doesn’t end… but enough with the sentiment. We came for a reason.”

            “And what’s that?” asked Charmy. “As if we needed to know.”

            “There’s only one reason why anyone is foolish enough to attack the Floating Island,” Knuckles added.

            “You’re – or should I say Robotnik’s - after the Emerald,” Espio growled.

            “Very good, chameleon,” Simian said. “And you six are the only – six? We had only counted on four! Hey, what’s with the echidna? And the two-tailed freak? You guys recruiting new members?”

            Oh, that one stung, thought Tails. He absolutely hated being called a ‘freak’, but he wasn’t about to let the brute know that he had hit home with his remark. Knuckles laughed and said, “You don’t remember me? I know you guys from somewhere.”

            “When they first came here,” Charmy mentioned, “you were on the surface getting into all sorts of trouble… wasn’t that the time you were forced to get yourself roboticized?

            Tails remembered it well, but the Foursome wasn’t up for any more nostalgia. “Okay,” Knuckles said quickly, being in command on the Floating Island, “Mighty, you and I take the robot gorilla. Charmy and Tails, I think that the hawk is going to want an airborne fight. Vec, you handle that weird amphibian, and Espio, you have the lynx. This is gonna be one heck of a clash.”

            “Attack!” cried Simian.

            The Foursome seemed to be more than happy to follow Knuckles’ set regulations. Each villain went after his designated target. Tails didn’t see much more than that, however, as Predator Hawk decided that he was a bigger threat than the miniscule bee and shot straight towards him. It didn’t take Tails long to realize that Hawk could fly and use his talons at the same time, while Tails could not utilize his tails as a slash weapon while airborne, giving Hawk a clear advantage. He decided to play tag, and turned to fly away from the avian menace behind him.

            “You won’t escape that way, vulpine!” Hawk cried behind him. It was true; he was a far faster flyer than Tails. Veering off to the right, Tails hoped that Hawk would not remember Charmy, who was still hovering, waiting for an opening. His luck was in; Hawk shot right past Charmy, who clobbered him with a right hook to the jaw.

            Hawk staggered in midair, shook his head, blinked, and continued after Tails, not to be deviated from his ‘prey’ – Tails reflected that the arrogant creature’s name suited him well. Flying as fast as he possibly could, Tails suddenly screamed in pain as Hawk’s talons raked one of his tails and grabbed hold. Dangling from his tail, Tails felt as if the whole thing could just be pulled out. The pain was excruciating. Hawk, however, again forgot that he was fighting two at once. Charmy’s uppercut forced him to release Tails as he himself screeched in agony, then changed course and went after Charmy.

Charmy was now flying alongside Tails. They exchanged a quick look, and something seemed to pass between them. Later, Charmy would insist that some type of extrasensory perception was involved, while Tails would maintain that it was just pure coincidence. However, the two went into a dive, got below canopy level, and flew directly at a tree trunk, Hawk close on their heels. At the last second, Tails swerved to the left while Charmy went right. Before he could figure out who to chase, Predator Hawk slammed directly into the trunk of the tree. Tough he may have been, but this was too much. Hawk collapsed.

Tails had to land; his tail hurt far too much to keep flying. Touching down, he was relieved to see that Flying Frog had bitten the dust, and Lightning Lynx was beginning to tire. Sgt. Simian, however, was still going extremely strong; it was hard to fight a full-sized robot gorilla, even if you were Knuckles and Mighty. Charmy went after Simian, so Tails decided to go help Espio with Lynx. Vector had keeled over; his battle with Frog had been too much.

Lightning Lynx may have been partially enervated, but he never lost his oversized ego. Laughing, he threw punches at two locations that he guessed by scent and hearing where Espio might be, and scored with the second one. It was almost humorous to watch a chameleon-shaped piece of the scenery fly a few feet and lay on the ground; Espio was not in good shape.

Tails swooped down from behind the feline, aiming a kick at the back of his head. Lynx obviously heard him, because he turned to look. The only effect of this was that Lynx took the kick in the face instead, and was thrown in the dust next to Espio, who was beginning to regain his purple color.

Lynx stood, wiping his face and looking with disgust at the blood on his fur. Racing at top speed towards Tails, vengeance in his eyes, he launched an uppercut that connected all too solidly. Tails was thrown backwards, but managed to reverse the fall into a pull-up by rapidly spinning his tails. His jaw was very sore, and he was beginning to get dizzy, but he didn’t have to worry. Knuckles, Mighty, Charmy, Espio and even Vector, who had recovered, closed around Lynx. Behind them, Tails could see that Sgt. Simian was down.

Even Lightning Lynx knew that these were odds with which surrender was this only option.

“Alright,” said Tails, “you have some talking to do.”


Chapter 5 – Plans Revealed – by MTP


Tails held his tails in his hands. The ends of them were wrapped up in a large amount of bandages and they looked twice there size. They throbbed from when Hawk had grabbed them. Speaking of Hawk. Tails glanced to his side and chuckled slightly. Predator Hawk was lying on his back tied up in rope. He had a dazed expression on his face and his beak had been bent backwards. Well he should be dazed. After Knuckles and Mighty had peeled Hawk off the tree earlier he hadn’t moved at all. He was out so cold he was sub zero.

Tails scanned the rest of the area. They were in a small clearing a little way from where the fight had taken place. Flying Frog was on his back nearby too. His legs were stuck up into the air making him looks very odd indeed. Above his, Tails could hear Sergeant Simian screaming away. Tails looked up. Simian was tied up in rope and hung from a tree in a net. Knuckles hadn’t taken any chances with Simian. He was by far the strongest and Knuckles and Mighty didn’t look like they wanted another round with him. Charmy lay with his back against a tree snoozing. The air battle with Hawk had worn him down slightly. Espio wasn’t there, Knuckles had sent him off to check on the rest of the island. A wise precaution in Tails’ eyes.

“Come on Lynx spill it!” came Mighty’s voice over Simian’s cries.

Tails got up and walked a little way to the other side of clearing. Here Lightning Lynx was tied up and sitting on a rock surrounded by Knuckles, Vector and Mighty. They had been trying to get information out of him but Lynx had no intention of talking.

“I’m not talking!” said Lynx.

“This is hopeless.” groaned Mighty.

“Maybe not.” smirked Vector.

“Vector…..” warned Knuckles.

“What? I was only going to tell him what we do to things we don’t need on the island.” said Vector frankly.

“What do you do?” said Lynx looking up quickly.

“Oh we throw it off the island.” said Vector casually.

Lynx’s face fell like a stone. Everyone knew he was joking but Lynx didn’t. His face looked like he had just been given the death sentence. Of course if Vector was serious he would have been. Tails couldn’t help but let out a small chuckle. Everyone turned to look at him.

“Hey Tails.” said Knuckles.

“Hiya. So how’s it going?” asked Tails walking over.

“Well if Vector would stop throwing idle threats at him we might get somewhere.” replied Mighty.

“Hey!” protested Vector.

Lynx suddenly relaxed and almost fell off his seat.

“It’s no good you know. He’s not gonna talk.” said Mighty.

“Knuckles a word please.” said Tails with a smile.

Knuckles walked over to Tails and he motioned for Knuckles to lean over. Knuckles did and Tails whispered something in his ear. A broad smile spread across Knuckles face.




It was a little later and Lightning Lynx was snoozing on his rock. Tails and Charmy sat in a tree nearby, completely hidden by the leaves. Knuckles, Mighty and Vector had given up there questioning for the moment and all was quiet. Even Simian had shut up.

“Where is he?” said Charmy.

“He’ll be here in a second.” replied Tails.

Suddenly there was a loud cry and the sound of undergrowth being smashed.


Lynx was awake in a second as Espio charged out of the undergrowth screaming. He looked around for a second before spotting Lynx.

“There you are! Now I’m gonna smash your face in!” cried Espio in a mad rage.

Lynx gulped and skittered backwards off his rock. His hands were still tied so he had to shuffle backwards. Espio advanced on him and soon made up the distance. Grabbing Lynx, Espio banged him against a tree.

“I never repaid you for that last hit in the fight. But I will now.” he snarled.

Lynx closed his eyes and cringed.

“Alright hold it Espio! Right now!” cried Knuckles voice as he dropped out of the sky and landed on Espio.

“Lemme go!” cried Espio struggling beneath Knuckles.

Mighty and Vector appeared from another direction and ran to help restrain Espio. Knuckles let go and Vector and Mighty carted the screaming Espio away. Knuckles stepped forwards.

“Boy it was a good thing I was here to stop him. He looked like he was going to tear you limb from limb.” he said.

Lynx replied by shaking uncontrollably.

“You know if you had given me the information I want I might have put on a few extra guards tonight. Oh well, I suppose we’ll just have to keep an eye on Espio and make sure he doesn’t ESCAPE.”

“You wouldn’t! He’d kill me!” said Lynx.

“Who says?”

Lynx blinked at him, his mouth opened and it came out.

“We were sent here by Robotnik to get the Master Emerald. He needs it for some plan that he has.”

Knuckles looked at him as if to say ‘yes we already know that’. Lynx noticed.

“He didn’t tell us the specifics but it’s got something to do with some new robotisiser he’s making. That’s all I know! I swear.” pleaded Lynx.

“Well ok then.” said Knuckles slowly, “I’ll set Vector to guard you tonight.”

Knuckles turned and walked off. As he passed out of the clearing, Tails and Charmy slid down the tree and landed next to him. A few moments later Espio, Vector and Mighty appeared too. Espio was chuckling.

“Man that was brilliant. Tails you really are a one for plans. Making it look like I was going to beat him up to get the information. Brilliant.” he said slapping Tails in the back.

“Well.” blushed Tails.

“I’ll go and keep an eye on Lynx.” said Vector, “We need a guard out there tonight anyway.”

“Right Vector.” replied Knuckles.

Vector nodded at the group and headed back into the clearing. Mighty made a move to leave.

“I’m going back to check on the Emeralds guys.” he said.

“I’ll come with you.” said Charmy as he winked at Tails and followed Mighty.

Tails, Knuckles and Espio watched them leave and then started to walk into the forest. They stopped by the side of a lake and sat down.

“I’ve been thinking about what Lynx said.” said Knuckles, “This new robotisiser doesn’t sound good. Running on the power of the Master Emerald, I don’t like it.”

“He couldn’t make anything like that anyway.” said Espio.

“Actually guys…” started Tails.

Knuckles and Espio looked at Tails. He was looking up with a concerned look.

“What is it Tails?” asked Knuckles.

“I haven’t told you why I came here yet. It wasn’t simply for a visit. Something’s happened in Knothole.” replied Tails.

“What?” asked Espio.

“Well during a raid on Robotropolis a few weeks back, Sonic and Sally found these odd robotisiser parts. They were coated in diamond glass. We couldn’t figure out what they were for…but now.”

“So you think Robotnik might want to use the Master Emerald to power this new robotisiser so he’s strengthened all the parts to withstand the energy?” asked Knuckles.

“Makes sense. But that’s worrying if its true.” stated Espio.

“A robotisiser powered by the Master could do just about anything I would think.” said Knuckles, “This needs reporting. Tails I’m coming back with you to Knothole.”

“Right.” said Tails standing up.

He made a move and stopped.

“Oh no!” he said.

“What?” asked Espio.

“I told Sally I’d be back in Knothole this afternoon!” he cried looking at his watch, “It’s nearly ten at night! Boy am I gonna get it. Tell the others I said bye Espio.”

“Sure thing Tails.” called Espio as Tails darted off into the undergrowth followed by Knuckles.

A little while later found Tails at the control of the Tornado heading back towards Knothole with Knuckles clinging to the upper wing.

“Sally’s going to kill me.” he kept saying to himself.


Chapter 6 – Counterplan – by RedFox


The pair had a welcoming committee when they returned. If you could consider Sonic and Sally a welcoming committee. Tails was relieved to see that Sally was not looking too upset. Then he looked at his best friend.

Sonic’s face seemed to show a mix of emotions. He looked angry, sad, and rejected at the same time. Tails dreaded talking to him, and wondered exactly why Sonic was so upset. Could he think that Tails had intentionally left him out of the trip?

As the Tornado pulled to a stop, Knuckles jumped off of the wing. “From now on, I’m gliding,” he grumbled, rubbing his upper arms. “Hanging off the wing of a plane piloted by a twelve-year-old is not my style. No matter how talented he may be,” he added quickly, nodding to Tails.

“Hey, blue boy, what’s up?” Knuckles asked, walking over to Sonic with glove outstretched. Sonic merely stood there, stone still. It was impossible to tell even what he was looking at. “Okay, no need for friendliness or anything,” the echidna said, visibly hurt.

“Er, Knux, how about we go meet everyone else?” Sally said with a smile. “Tails and Sonic haven’t seen each other all day. I think that they need to talk. Alone.”

Knuckles looked at the other two, nodded, and walked off with Sally.

Sonic gave a deep sigh and sat down on a stone. Tails did the same across from him. “So,” Sonic said. “You don’t need me for your little missions anymore.”

“Dude, it’s not like that.”

“What led you to the Floating Island? What did you think that you’d find there?”

Tails paused. “I… suppose that I didn’t really have a reason.”

“To get away from me, perhaps?”

That shot stung Tails directly to the core. Then, in a wash of horror, he realized that it could be true. Hadn’t Sonic been acting strangely lately? And wasn’t it upsetting him to see his best friend constantly angry? Why had he found himself wandering towards that hangar instead of hanging out in some hut, having chili-dog scarfing contests with his pal?

“I – I just don’t know, Tails. Is something wrong with you? Is there anything at all that you want to talk to me about? Because – you’ve almost never gone out without me before. Maybe twice, three times… and except for Downunda, you’ve always told me first. We don’t need to go back into that, do we? C’mon, buddy. What’s going on?”

Tails could think of a million things. Sonic acting strangely, the new threats to the safety of Mobius, the experiences in Robotropolis, and, worst, having exposed their “secret” about their own little mission to everyone else. Tails could get everything out now; the two of them could have a good, solid heart-to-heart, and everything would be vastly better.

Instead, he leapt in the air and flew away, back towards the town.

“Tails! Tails!” came the fading voice from behind him.




            Sally had called the meeting. Everyone was there: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Rotor, Amy, Mina, Antoine and Bunnie. The quoted meeting objective was to “discuss possible plans for further action in light of new information.” Sonic referred to it as “finding a way to kick Robotnik’s ass.”

            The first thing on the agenda was for Tails to report on what had happened on the Floating Island and what he had learned. Tails told everything in detail, and was pleased to see strong reactions from the crowd when he mentioned the return of the Fearsome Foursome and the plans for yet another mass roboticizer protected by diamond glass. When he sat down, there was silence.

            Sally was the first to speak. “Thank you, Tails. Would anyone like to speak on a possible option for what action we should take?”


            Crap, Tails thought.

            “Well,” Sally said, “here’s a thought. If we have another raid on Robotropolis, then –”

            “Oh, come on, not again!” Sonic blurted angrily.

            “Sonic,” Knuckles hissed, “you’re out of order…”

            “I really don’t care. It seems like that’s all that we ever do: raid Robotropolis, raid Robotropolis, raid Robotropolis. What do we ever gain?! What is it worth?! Don’t you think that perhaps one of these days ‘Buttnik’s going to wisen up and be ready for us? What about what happened yesterday when Tails and I -”

            Sonic stopped, realizing his huge mistake.

            Sally smiled. “It’s okay, Sonic, we already -” then also halted.

            “You… know?”


            “You told?!” Sonic almost screamed, turning on Tails, who was intentionally sitting across the room from him, but cringed anyhow. “I trusted you and you go and tell them?! You little -”

            Instead of defending himself, however, or insisting that it wasn’t his fault, Tails suddenly turned aggressive. “It was the right thing to do, okay?! I’m not going to suspend my morals for you like that. You almost got killed back there. You remember back in the day when the fighting was fiercer? You got away with a crazy lot of stuff back then, and you ended up actually getting knighted for it. Remember that? But listen, “pal”. This planet needs you right about now, and I am not going to let you get yourself killed for whatever reason. You know why? Because I’m your friend, damnit!”

            By now Sonic was standing and was looking as if he was actually about to physically attack the kit, who himself was now also on his feet and breathing hard. Everyone else was silent. Then Sonic just collapsed, head in his arms, and began sobbing. Tails had only seen his hero cry once before, and slowly sat down, while Sally walked over to comfort the hedgehog.

            Rotor spoke. “Yes, it’s an old idea. But I think that Sally has a point here. Diamond glass is the hardest substance known to man or Mobian, so if Robotnik is using it, the best that we can do is to keep him from getting the emerald. However, it would be good to find out as much about this as possible.

            “I know zat I am not much for military strategy,” Antoine added, “like my father was. However I have a proposal. If we split into two groups, one can go to ze Floating Island to help to guard ze emerald, while the other can perform zis raid.”

            Nobody had any objections, because nobody had any better ideas. The meeting dispersed in a disorderly fashion, and the exchange between Tails and Sonic was on everyone’s mind.

            Tails himself walked home instead of flying. As he walked, he wondered: Is Sonic losing it? And then the second question: Am I?


Chapter 7 – Disaster Squared – by MTP


            Tails lay on his stomach on his bed with his face buried in his pillow. He sniffed slowly and then gulped. Slowly he raised his head slightly and looked at his pillow. The areas where his eyes had been were totally soaked with tears. But then he had been crying for a long time.

It was now the day after the events of the meeting and things were now in motion. Sally, Rotor and Bunnie has left the village earlier that morning bound for Robotropolis and last night Knuckles had set off for the Floating Island with Antoine and Mina. The village was now virtually dead.

Tails had stayed locked up in his hut since the events of the meeting. Thoughts and feelings had been jumping around in his head and even though he had tried he couldn’t control them or sort them out. In the end he had resorted to letting them win and he had cried himself to sleep the previous night.

“Why is everything happening now?” he asked his pillow, “Why is my life going to pieces?”

Just then a very quiet knocking sound echoed through the room. At first Tails ignored it but then another sound was heard.

“H…hello? Tails?” said a familiar voice.

Tails slowly turned to look at the door. His eyes still sung from his tears and his vision was a bit blurred. The voice came again.

“Tails sweetie, you in there?”

Tails gulped and turned back to his pillow.

“Doors unlocked.” he said slowly.

“There Tails, its ok.” said the voice.

Slowly Tails glanced over his shoulder. The green eyes of a small pink hedgehog looked back at him.

“Hey Amy.” he said glumly.

Amy just blinked at him and ran her hand through the fur on his head again.

“Tails sweetie, why so glum?” she asked.

Tails knew she already knew the answer to that. Everyone in the village knew about yesterdays meeting and the exchange he had had with Sonic. What else could be wrong? Maybe there was something else wrong. He sighed heavily and looked away from her.

“Come on Tails. I hate to see people like this.” said Amy.

“It’s just…..just….” Tails stopped to sob quietly, “….why Amy? Why is this all happening?”

“Sometimes life does this Tails. We can’t stop it.”

“But why? Why does it have to do it at all? Why can’t life just be nice and leave us all alone?”

Tails looked back at Amy as she shrugged.

“Tails sweetie I know you’re upset but you got to remember that life goes on. Sometimes bad things happen and all you can do is try to sort them out.”

Sort them out, yes! Slowly Tails sat up and looked at Amy fully. Of everyone in Knothole, Amy was certainly the most energetic and outgoing. But as Tails looked at her he could tell that even she was upset. She was staring at the wall and seemed not to notice that Tails had sat up. This isn’t right. This shouldn’t be happening. None of this should be happening. Tails slowly leaned over and put his hand on Amy’s. She jumped slightly and then turned to look at him.

“Tails?” she asked.

“Where’s Sonic?” the fox replied.

“Sonic? He…..I’m not sure. I caught a glimpse of him over by the ring pool about an hour ago.”

“Thanks Amy.”

Tails removed his hand and slid off the bed.

“Tails were you going?” asked Amy.

“I’m going to find Sonic. I have to sort this out.” replied Tails with a nod.

Amy blinked and then slowly a smile spread across her face. She jumped off the bed, took a step forwards, leaned over and planted a small kiss on Tails cheek.

“Good luck.” she said before spinning and walking from the hut.

Tails stood for a moment in silence before raising a hand and rubbing his cheek. Of all the girls in Knothole Amy was certainly the most forth giving when it came to those cheek kisses. At one time Tails might have taken it a bit too seriously but as much as he liked Amy he wasn’t interested. He personally didn’t think he could love anyone again, not since the incident with Fiona…

Tails shook his head and snapped out of his thought. Now was not the time to dwell on the past. He had to focus on the present, on Sonic. With a stern nod he walked from the hut. As he did he turned sharply and headed towards the edge of the village. A sudden thought came to him. What if Sonic was still here? What was he going to say? Would his friend want to see him? Does Sonic even consider him a friend anymore?

Tails soon made it to the edge of the village and pushed a low hanging tree branch aside. Ahead of him was a large clearing with a glowing pool of crystal clear water at the far side. This was it, the ring pool. Tails slowly looked across the clearing but couldn’t see anyone. He stepped out of the bushes and made his way across the clearing. He stopped by the ring pool and turned around to look at the clearing again. Sonic definitely wasn’t there. Tails was almost afraid to call out. Now that it came to it he didn’t actually want to see Sonic as much as he wanted to talk to him. It turned out that he didn’t need to shout though as a voice spoke to his side.

“Well fancy meeting YOU here.” it said.

Tails turned to see a blue hedgehog standing at the edge of the clearing. He had his arms crossed and was staring at the kit with a cold gaze.

“So, you come to apologize or something?” he said.

“Sonic I…” Tails stopped, what exactly was he doing?

“What? Listen ‘BUD’ I got nothing to say to you. Not one thing. I trusted you! You have been my friend for years and then BAM! You go and do something like this.”

Sonic turned slightly and made ready to leave.

“Sonic please!” cried Tails, “I….I….I need to talk to you.”

“Why? So you can tell me why you betrayed our friendship?”


Tails was almost on the verge of crying again. His eyes started to water as he took a few steps forwards.

“Sonic please stop. Please don’t leave. Don’t leave me like this. It’s not how you think it is. Please can’t I at least tell you how I feel.” begged Tails.

Sonic stopped and turned to look at the kit.

“How you feel? How about how I feel? At the meeting when I almost mentioned our mission I was terrified. I thought, what have I done? How could I do this? Only to find out seconds later that you had already told them everything! You can’t imagine how that felt!”

Tails closed his eyes tight as he clenched his fists. Sonic wasn’t listening, he didn’t even want to listen. There was only one thing he could do to get him to listen. His eyes flew open as he looked up quickly.

“For the love of Mobius! SHUT UP!” cried Tails as he took a diving leap at the hedgehog.

Sonic wasn’t expecting this and Tails connected perfectly knocking him to the floor. Sonic looked up the kit sitting on top of him. Tails was now breathing deeply and his eyes burned with a new found fury.

“Now you listen to me Sonic Hedgehog! You think I wanted this to happen? You think I wanted to betray our friendship?! HA! What the hell kind of a friend would I be if I wanted to do that? You want to know why I did what I did? I’ll tell you anyway! You have been so damn wrapped up in yourself during the past few days that I have been worried sick about you. I’ve spent nights just lying in bed thinking ‘what could be wrong with Sonic?’”

“What the hell do you mean?” growled Sonic.

“Oh come on! You’ve been moping around for days, snapping at people, going out on ‘secret’ missions, which turn out to cause more trouble than anything else.”

“HEY! You were there too.”

“Yeah and it’s good thing I was or you would be barbeque hedgehog about now! Listen to me Sonic. I didn’t just take the Tornado out without anyone knowing. You want to know what happened? I was so wrapped up about you that I went out to get some air and to try and workout what was wrong with you. Sally cornered me at the hanger and forced it out of me. After that I lost it. OK! I admit it! I ran away, you happy? But think of this, what if I hadn’t been at the Floating Island? Maybe Knuckles and the Chaotix wouldn’t have been able to fend off the foursome?”

“Holding yourself pretty high there aren’t you?!”

“And you don’t?!”

Tails looked down at his friend. Sonic wasn’t struggling, just looking up at him with a piercing glare. He had said everything he could and Sonic still didn’t believe him. Even if he had had more to say there wouldn’t have been time as a loud ringing sound filled the air. Both Sonic and Tails looked back towards the village, it was the village attention bell, something was wrong. Tails quickly stood up and spun back towards the village. He took a step and was almost bowled over by Sonic as he shot past. Damn clown! Tails buried his anger and raced back to the village as fast as he could.

When he arrived he was met by a horrible sight. Sally, Rotor and Bunnie had arrived back but Sally was not there. Rotor and Bunnie on the other hand were hardly recognizable. Covered in blood and dirt they were being fussed over by a number of other Freedom Fighters. Tails blinked and then raced into the village at full pelt.

“What happened?” he cried.

“Argh…sugar.” winced Bunnie as she leaned against a hand rail.

Tails just stared at her. Her robotic parts were scorched black and she was bleeding from various wounds and cuts all over her upper body.

“Bunnie! What happened?” asked Tails frantically.

“Yes what happened?” asked Sonic coming to a screeching halt next to the pair, “Rotor’s too badly beaten up to talk. Where’s Sally?”

Bunnie looked over at Sonic, her face a picture of defeat.

“It was Robotnik sugah. “cringed Bunnie, “He was waiting for us. He….he attacked and…Sally was captured.”

Sonic’s face suddenly fell. He went a pale colour and looked as if he was about to be sick. He took a few deep breaths and then looked at Bunnie again.

“We have to go! We have to save her!” he said.

“WHAT?!” cried Tails, “Sonic we can’t. Bunnie and Rotor can’t fight and the others are on the Floating Island!”

“Then I’ll go alone!”

“Sugah no!” cried Bunnie taking a sudden step forwards and causing a wound on her side to open more.

She cried out and would have fallen over if Sonic hadn’t caught her. Sonic looked down at her in his arms as she looked up.

“You can’t go Sonic. You won’t be able to get in. We barely got out. It’s different, Robotnik was ready for us.” said the rabbit.

Sonic looked from Bunnie to Tails and back again several times before his head fell forwards. He closed his eyes tight and then spoke.

“Alright.” he said though gritted teeth.

“Thank you sugah.” replied Bunnie.




It must have been a few hours later when Sonic and Tails sat back to back on a large rock to one side of the village. They were both lost in thought as they stared into the middle distance. Bunnie and Rotor were now both resting in the medical hut with fairly serious injuries. Finally Sonic broke the silence.

“Tails?” he said.

“Yeah Sonic.” replied the fox not really paying much attention.

“I feel so empty.”


“Like the life has been drained out of me. Look Tails I want to say something to you and I really mean it. I’m sorry.”

Tails turned to look at his friend. He looked over him and then turned away again.

“Yeah whatever.” replied Tails.

“Tails I really mean it. I’ve been thinking about what you said. About how I’ve been acting recently. I guess I’ve just lost sight of what we are fighting for. Everything we do doesn’t seem to accomplish anything. Everything important in my life is slowly being crushed into a fine powder. I…I just don’t know why I’m fighting anymore. And now this has happened and….”

Sonic suddenly stopped and let out a dry sob. Tails turned to look at him again. He could tell he was terribly upset and Tails felt sorry for him. Was this really the reason he had been acting so funny recently? He put a hand on Sonic’s shoulder.

“It’s ok Sonic. I guess none of us have been acting normally recently. Don’t worry, we’ll find a way to rescue Sally and…”

Tails was cut off by another loud ringing sound. The village attention was ringing again. The pair didn’t exchange a word as they jumped off their rock and ran into the village side by side. They arrived to find Amy frantically ringing the bell and a large group of people swarming around a figure. The crowd parted as Sonic and Tails arrived to reveal a rather battered looking Knuckles. Sonic and Tails both stared.

“Amy what’s going on?” asked Tails.

“Knuckles arrived a few minutes ago. We got trouble.” replied Amy.

Sonic approached Knuckles who was breathing heavily. Bruises and small cuts covered his body.

“Knuckles what is it? Why aren’t you at Island with the others? What happened to you?!” he asked quickly.

“Sonic we have big trouble. I mean seriously big.” replied Knuckles.

“What is it?” asked Tails steeping forward.

“The Floating Island has been attacked. Robotnik decided to launch a full scale assault on the place. He must have used his entire arsenal on us. The Island has been totally flattened. When we all came round after the attack we found out that the foursome had broken loose and then we found that the Master Emerald had been stolen too.”

“What?!” cried Sonic, “Oh god.”

Sonic suddenly collapsed to his knees with a thud.

“Sonic!” cried Amy rushing to his side.

“There’s worst too.” said Knuckles slowly, “Sonic, Mina’s dead.”

Everyone looked at Knuckles with a shocked stare. Only one voice broke the silence.

“No…” said Amy quietly.


Chapter 8 – No Time to Mourn – by RedFox


            “How?” Sonic sobbed over and over. After the incident at the meeting, he was being far more free with his emotions. “How? How did it happen?”

            “The robots got to her,” Knuckles said sadly when Sonic had finally calmed down enough to listen. “I didn’t see it, but Charmy did… he said that it was just awful. You know that you wouldn’t want details.”

            “I’ll make him pay,” Sonic snarled, looking up. “I’ll make that dirty bastard pay for all of what he’s done. If I ever get my hands on him… no, death would be too good of an end. I want to see him suffer, I want – ”

            “Sonic,” Bunnie said softly, and he fell silent. Tails had never heard Bunnie speak so gently to Sonic before; she could have bean a mother placating a small child instead of a good friend nearly her age. “Sonic, what has happened is horrible and you have every right to feel the way that you do. But listen to me: Store that anger. Put it somewhere in the back of your mind and be rational… for now. You’ll need that rage later; there’s no point in using it now.

            “A great danger now threatens us,” she continued, now addressing everyone standing in the middle of the village in an authoritative voice. Somehow her terrible wounds gave her the appearance of a hardened general speaking to troops. In a way, she was. “As much as we wish that we could express our grief, it is implausible at the present time. Our planet asks for action, and action now. We must act and act quickly. For now let us list our current problems, and then we can bring forth suggestions.

            “Item one: Robotnik has the Master Emerald and certainly means no good with it. Item two: That infernal foursome is loose again. Item three: Sally has been captured, and heaven knows where and in what condition she is right now. Item four…” she broke off. “Is there an item four?”

            Nobody spoke. The real item four had no solution.

            “Well, then. Are there any suggestions on how to remedy even one of those?

            “Yes,” said Rotor. He had now recovered enough to talk. “Yes,” he repeated, then hesitated. “I am about to reveal a secret that has been kept from you for a long time now. When Sally’s current vest was first designed, three years ago, a high-tech miniature tracker was sewn into it. Nobody was ever told besides the King, the tailor, Sally and I – I only because I had designed the gadget. It would have been all to easy for Robotnik to capture the signals from the tracker if he ever knew that it existed, and with that information he could have found Knothole with no effort whatsoever. But now the situation is desperate. If Sally still has her vest, then I can locate her.”

            “Before we take any further steps,” noted Tails, “we may want to appoint a new leader of the group for the duration of Sally’s absence. Personally, I nominate Bunnie.”

            Bunnie blushed. “Well, ah -”

            “I second that,” chimed in Antoine, and there was a general consensus amongst the assemblage. Bunnie would lead the Freedom Fighters in this mission.

            She quickly assumed her new role. “Rotor, if we head over to your lab can you pull up some type of screen to show us Sally’s location?” After receiving an affirmative nod from the walrus, she beckoned to the rest of the group and walked in the direction of Rotor’s laboratory, wincing the entire way. The sooner that Sally was located, the sooner that they all could handle the far larger problem ahead. Maybe, just maybe, Sally would have some information; hopefully Robotnik wouldn’t succeed in getting information from her.

            A map of Mobius popped up on Rotor’s large screen. Rotor stabbed a button a couple of times, and the map zoomed in. Sally was most definitely in Robotropolis, which was no surprise. Where in the city was unclear from the current view. Rotor zoomed in on the little flashing dot some more. When the screen cleared, the red dot was in the center of a large black figure that appeared to be a building of some sort. Rotor pressed a few more buttons, and an aerial view of the building came up, photographed by the current Royal Surveyor. Tails wanted to have that position someday.

            “What is zat place?” inquired Antoine.

            Another push of a button: “It’s an abandoned… hospital. I suppose that we shouldn’t have expected something conspicuous. Nobody would suspect evil lurking in a hospital. Probably the usual: some robot guards and about a hundred ways to get killed. Not too fun.”

            “I’m going,” Sonic said unassailably. Nobody had expected anything less.

            Tails suddenly started having horrible thoughts. Robotnik was not above any form of evil, and that included torture. Sally was tough – one of the toughest people Tails had ever met – but there were some very effective means of getting information out of someone. What if Robotnik decided that Sally was of no use to him alive? The dot indicated her vest, but nothing else. No, Tails couldn’t believe that! Sally would have great value to Robotnik as a hostage. She had to be alive. “I’m going too,” he said.

            Knuckles also voiced his participation, but when Amy tried to volunteer, Sonic pleaded with her not to come. “It’s too dangerous,” he said. Amy still protested, but Bunnie also put in her word and Amy backed down.

            “Rotor and I are in far too bad of a shape to commit to this one, too,” Bunnie said, “as much as we would like to. That leaves Sonic, Tails, Antoine, and Knuckles. So we’ll be sending the four -” In midword, she collapsed on the floor of the lab. Blood from a newly opened wound began to pool.

            “Bunnie!” Antoine cried out, rushing to his girlfriend’s aid. Sonic dashed off and returned a half minute later with some cold water. The shock of the cool and pain from the water in her cuts woke Bunnie with a start. Then she groaned and lay back down on the tile.

            “Ant,” Knuckles said suddenly, “we’re not letting you go on this. You’ve got to stay here with her. She’s really in a bad way.” The three sentences were almost entirely monosyllabic, but they conveyed a world of understanding. Slowly, Antoine nodded. Though he had once been an arrant coward, everyone knew that it was love, and no spinelessness, that denied him participation here. He helped Bunnie to her robotic feet, and they walked off together towards the village infirmary. Slowly, everyone else departed, only agreeing to meet in that small hospital in two hours. The trio was left alone.

Sonic groaned. “Well, this mission will be a little bit different, hmm? Robotnik knows that we’re coming now. He’s probably got a zillion different defenses set up. We are going to get pounded with lead, gas, steel, poison, fire, and whatever the hell else that piece of crap can throw at us. Then, even if we somehow survive this, then there’s the matter of the Master Emerald. I don’t even want to think about that.”

“Do we have a game plan?” asked Knuckles. “I mean, what do we do? Just take off right now? They kinda just left us, didn’t they? What if we got some help? What about the Secret Service? They’re around, aren’t they?” Which question he wanted answered first was unclear.

Sonic grunted in distaste; he didn’t care for that organization much. “No, they’re not around. They’re supposed to be taking care of something in Downunda, but there hasn’t been word from them in six months. This is not the time to be worrying about those guys. We’re alone on this one.”

“I guess we’re just the top heroes,” noted Tails. “If they give the job to us, it’s bound to come out okay.” Sarcasm tinged the second sentence.

“All right,” said Sonic. “Do either of you mind if I take control here?” He didn’t wait for a reply. “Good. Here’s what I’m thinking. Knux, you and I are going to run ground duty. Tails, you’re in the air as usual – in your plane – looking out for us. We’ll be wired so that you can warn us of anything that you see.

“Then,” he continued, “once we’re past the outer defenses, you’re going to clear a path for us. Get all of the explosives that you can possibly find. Bombs, dynamite, C4, whatever. Drop it all and clear the way to the destination. We’ll come tearing through behind your bombs. But for God’s sake Tails, don’t hit the hospital.”

It was a plan made on the spur of the moment. It had no authority behind it. However, they had to do something. They couldn’t just wait for the endless bickering of the king’s advisors that would inevitably happen to finally come to some conclusion. As Bunnie had said, the planet called for action, and action now – Tails wondered if that was original – and the ones to carry out that action were the trio who now stood alone in the forest clearing. Silently, they dispersed to prepare for the seemingly suicidal mission.

Tails would be flying alone above the most dangerous, evil place on Mobius. Robotnik knew that they were coming and would have rockets and missiles galore pointed at the sky. He, Tails, would be carrying an enormous load of explosives that, besides ensuring his pyrotechnic destruction with even the slightest hit, would weigh down the plane a very sizable amount. He could accidentally hit Sonic, Knuckles, or Sally. Anyone could be easily killed.

On the other hand, Mina was dead.

I’m gonna be needing a hell of a lot of explosives.


Chapter Nine – A Nightmare Revived – by MTP


Tails slowly reached out and pressed a red button marked ‘start’. With a splutter the Tornado’s engines roared and came to life. He brushed a hand through his bangs and then pulled his flying goggles down over his eyes. He sighed heavily and then shuddered. This was it! This just might be the final battle. Tails looked at the controls in front of him and then leaned over the cockpit side. Below Knuckles was standing next to the planes wheels.

“Ok Knux remove the chocks.” he said.

“You got it Tails." replied Knuckles.

Knuckles quickly leaned over and removed the two sets of chocks from around the plane’s tires. He stepped back out of the way and nodded at Tails. Tails nodded back and increased the thrust slightly. The Tornado gently rolled out of the hanger and onto the runway. He brought it to a halt again and looked out of the cockpit. Knuckles had walked out of the hanger now and stood along side Sonic next to the stationary plane. He nodded firmly at the pair and they in turn nodded at him.

“Good luck Tails.” said Sonic.

“You too bud.” replied Tails.

“Keep it cool Tails.” put in Knuckles.

Tails nodded again and then looked back at the controls. He gently took hold of the control stick and thrust lever and closed his eyes for a moment. The next few second he spent readying himself for his task ahead. Finally with a long sigh he pushed the thrust lever forwards. The plane began to speed up as it thundered along the runway. The tail soon left the ground giving Tails a much better view of the runway ahead. It was taking a lot longer for the plane to take off than normal and Tails knew why. Strapped to the bottom of the wings were as many bombs and missiles he could fit on them without compromising the structure of the plane. Then next to him in the cockpit was a large bag filled with a variety of explosive devices that had scrounged up around the village.

Finally the plane gained enough forward momentum to launch itself into the air, even if it did so rather shakily. The wings seemed to bow under the weight of its payload. Tails was just praying they didn’t fall off! The plane climbed more as it started to pass over the forest. In the distance the outline of Robotropolis could be seen glinting on the horizon. For a moment Tails glared at it. The cold black towers pierced the sky like a knife would skin. To Tails this comparison held true. A knife only caused pain in the wrong hands and so did that place. It couldn’t go on anymore I WOULDN’T go on anymore!

He looked down at the ground below him as he cleared the edge of the forest. Far below a twin streak of colour, one red and one blue. Sonic and Knuckles only had to keep up with his plane and at that kind of speed Knuckles could easily keep up with Sonic. He wondered what they were talking about. Maybe the mission ahead of them? Maybe the dangers that were involved? Did it really matter anyway? Probably not, all that they had to do was focus on the task ahead. They had to rescue Sally and they had to put a stop to Robotnik’s plan here and now!

Tails looked up again to see Robotropolis getting bigger on the horizon. He checked over the panel in front of him. Normally the Tornado only had its nose mounted machine guns as weapons but now it had the bombs and missiles also. Tails had designed the plane to carry a few if it was ever needed but he was carrying so many now it was ridiculous. He had had to double up on some of the controls so one control actually released two bombs. It made his relative payload smaller as he could only drop so many ‘lots’ of bombs but he didn’t mind, so long as he could drop them! He just hoped that Robotnik might not be ready for such a swift counter attack. Knowing Robotnik he’d probably be ready but Tails hoped otherwise.

“You ok up there, Tails?” came a voice.

Tails quickly picked up the comm. and answered.

“Peachy as always Sonic.” he replied.

“Good, you ready for this?”

“As I’ll ever be.”



“Yeah Tails?”

“I’m scared.”

“Me too Tails. And I think Knuckles is too.”

“No I mean really scared.”

“Tails listen bud. We’ve had our….differences lately, but I gotta tell you something kid.”

Tails didn’t reply, he just sat looking at the comm. What was Sonic going to say?

“Listen to me bud. I’ve known you for a few years now and during that time you’ve got from an annoying kid who kept following me around to a close friend. You’ve matured and grown into a strong person. I’ve never told you this before but people respect you a lot, I respect you a lot.”

Tails was amazed. His hero respected HIM?! He blinked a few times and pinched himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. It hurt, he wasn’t dreaming.

“Sonic I…” he started.

“No Tails don’t speak. I know you probably think I’m joking to boost your confidence but I’m not. You really are a capable person and if anyone can pull this off its you.” finished Sonic.

Tails made a small happy whimper and then answered.

“Thank you Sonic.” he said.

“Not at all Tails ol’ buddy. Now get your sights trained on that city. It’s juice time!”

Just then a sudden loud boom filled the air and Tails quickly leaned over the cockpit. A blue blur was flying across the landscape leaving a small red train behind it. Obviously Sonic was taking Knuckles for a drag. Tails looked back at the controls and floored the throttle. The engine roared and the Tornado leaped forwards into the wind with a burst of speed. Tails gripped the controls hard as he narrowed his sight on the city. He started to dive the plane slightly. Sonic’s blur could be seen racing ahead of the plane and Tails made a small move. He flicked a control cover on the panel in front of him and pressed the button underneath. A couple of missiles detached themselves from the Tornado’s port wing and flew into the sky leaving a trail of white behind them. Tails watched eagerly, urging then on in his head. The missiles reached the city limits and started to drop before they suddenly exploded in mid air. The balls of light lit the sky in a dazzling array of colour. Tails slammed his fists on the console next to him. Dammit! Robotnik must be ready as Bunnie had said. I’ve got to get closer.

Tails put the Tornado into a steep dive towards the city. As he dived he could already see a bright blue blur moving in an erratic zigzag pattern below as laser fire filled the area. Hold on Sonic! The Tornado continued to dive, gaining more and more speed as it went. The wings started to shake and groan under the strain of the wind and payload. Tails gritted his teeth and narrowed his eyes on the ground below. Surprising no fire had come his way but he guessed it was because they were busy trying to shoot Sonic and Knuckles. Tails suddenly pulled back making the Tornado’s engine roar as two oval shaped objects dropped from the wings. The Tornado started to climb steeply as two huge explosions rung out below it. The radio crackled.

“TAILS!” cried Sonic.

Tails hastily picked up and answered.

“Sonic! You ok?” he asked.

“If I wasn’t me I’d be toast right now and it wouldn’t have been from the bots.”

“Sorry but I had to do something.”

“Try not to cut it so close next time but thank you. The ground troops down here are intense. How far is it to that hospital?”

“About a mile to the east.”

“A mile eh? I could do that in a few seconds but not with these troops around.”

“Leave them to me Sonic.”

“Be careful Tails.”

Tails quickly put the radio down and then started to level out the plane. He was sure that as soon as he started to dive again he’d be diving into a rain of fire. The bots hadn’t known about him before but they did now. Tails closed his eyes for a moment and clenched a fist to his chest. His thought drifted to Sonic and Knuckles below him and then back to Knothole. Bunnie was probably lying in a bed now with Antoine looking after her. Rotor would probably be resting too and Amy, what would she be doing? Mourning over Mina probably, those two were quite close. Mina, why did it have to be you on the Floating Island? Finally his thought landed on their goal, Sally. Tails opened his eyes slowly and sighed.

“I’ll rescue you aunt Sally. I’ll rescue you and make that Robotnik pay for anything he’s done to you!”

Tails quickly turned the plane and headed into a dive again towards the troops. He hadn’t been diving for long before a rain of laser fire headed his way. He jinxed the plane to the side to avoid it but flew straight into another rain. Several shots glanced the fuselage tearing gashes in it and a few others punctured the wings. Tails cringed as he thought his payload might have been hit, but after several seconds and no explosion he relaxed. He started to weave madly as he dived and then opened fire with the Tornado’s machine guns. He strafed the ground for a few hundred yards, and was rewarded by a number of explosions, before he pulled up. The plane started to climb again as another volley of laser fire filled the sky. A few shots hit the tail making it spoke but the laser fire quickly stopped. Tails looked back to see a blue and red blur moving around the area followed by a trail of explosions.

“Tails you alright?” said Sonic’s voice.

“Yeah. A few glancing blows but I’m ok. Thanks for the help just now.” he replied.

“Don’t worry about it. This area looks clear now so myself and Knux are gonna try for the hospital. Keep us covered.”

“I’ll try….WHAAAAAA!”

“Tails? TAILS?!” cried Sonic.

Tails wasn’t listening though. The Tornado rolled in mid air as a flood of missiles flew towards him. Thankfully Tails had seen them in time to react and dodge. A few moments later the missiles were followed by a number of stealth bots.

“Tails?!” cried Sonic.

“I’m ok Sonic. I’ll get back to you!” replied Tails quickly.

He switched off the radio and banked the plane. The stealth bots had also banked now and the Tornado and the bots gradually gained on each other. Tails didn’t wait for them and opened fire. A small unguided rocket pod on the port wing sprung into action sending its contents into the sky. The rockets flew towards the bots that seemed to dodge easily although one appeared to be a bit slow. Two rockets hit it tearing it to pieces and throwing debris into the air. This debris quickly made contact with a nearby bot ripping off part of its wing and sending it plummeting towards the ground. A rain of laser fire soon followed forcing Tails to take evasive action. As he did a number of missiles detached from the wings and nicely found their marks. Banking the plane sharply, Tails soon pounded the last two stealth bots with machine gun fire forcing them to crash.

The fox then shifted his attention down to the ground to find more laser fire flying around but he couldn’t see any sign of Sonic or Knuckles. He quickly picked up the radio.

“Sonic! Sonic you there?” he cried.

“Still here bud. It’s like a fur ball down here.” joked Sonic.

Tails sighed slightly. At least he was still alright.

“Tails!” said Sonic firmly, “There is no way we can get through here. We need a road sweeper.”

“Tails street cleaning services at your disposal Sonic. Hang on I’ll be right there!”

Tails looked up. In the distance he could see a large building. He had seen a few aerial shots of the target and knew he was looking at it now. A long straight road led from the target down to where Sonic and Knuckles were hiding. Street cleaning service eh? No problem! With a swift fluid move, Tails flicked a switch on the control panel. The Tornado gave a small shake and a small mechanical whine was heard. A large rocket booster lowered from the bottom of the planet between the landing gear. It locked into position and Tails pulled back on the stick just as the booster ignited. The Tornado’s booster lit up the darkened sky as it looped over and then dived towards the ground. As it dived a flurry of missiles flew from wings streaming down onto the street below. The ground erupted in a huge fireball as Tails level the plane out a short distance from the ground and opened fire with the planes machine guns. He glanced over his shoulder to see the first explosions dying away and just in front of them was the blue and red blurs of Sonic and Knuckles. Tails looked ahead of himself again and readied the rest of his payload. With continuous machine gun fire the remaining bombs fell from the wings turning the street into a giant fireball. If any bots had been in the street they certainly hadn’t survived.

It took all but a few moments to reach the hospital. As it came into sight Tails pulled up sharply before going into a loop. He looked towards the ground to see Sonic and Knuckles skidding to a halt outside. He looped the plane round and roughly brought it in for a landing on the street. It was tricky because of the pot holes and debris created by his bombing run but he managed and trundled the plane to a halt. He quickly jumped out already boasting a large laser rifle he had taken from the cockpit. He landed on the ground and rolled to a spot of cover before poking his head out. After surveying the area he could see no sign of danger and he stepped out.

“Sonic? Knuckles?” he called.

“PSST!” came a sharp whisper.

Tails looked to the side to see Sonic and Knuckles poking out from behind a broken wall. They were waving madly at him and Tails quickly sprinted over to them. As he reached the pair they grabbed him and pulled him behind cover.

“What are you doing standing out in the open like that? You wanna get shot?!” hissed Sonic.

“It was clear Sonic. I made sure of it before stepping out.” said Tails.

“Never take that chance Tails, never. Anyway we got bigger problems now.” said Knuckles looking out from behind the wall.

“Right Knuckles.” replied Sonic turning to Tails for a second, “Tails I gotta say, you’re street cleaning maneuver actually made more mess than it cleaned up.”

Tails chuckled.

“It was meant to.” he replied.

“Now!” cried Knuckles as he darted out of cover.

Tails looked at Sonic and then quickly followed him as the three sprinted across the street and into the hospital. They all jumped as they entered the building and rolled into cover before standing up. Everything was deadly quiet. The only sound in the air was the dripping of a nearby water main. Cautiously they all moved out of cover into the middle of the room.

“I don’t like it.” said Knuckles.

“Neither do I.” replied Sonic, “Why is it so quiet all of a sudden?”

“Maybe they left?” suggested Tails.

“Left? Tails think straight will ya? If Sally really is here they wouldn’t just leave. If anything they’d call in reinforcements. Something is wrong here. Deadly wrong.” said Sonic.

“But what?” puzzled Knuckles.

“Only one way to find out, we have to go and see.” replied Tails.

Sonic and Knuckles both nodded at each other and the group slowly made for the stairs. They knew Sally was being held on the third floor in the west wing of the building from her jackets transmitter. As they edged up the stair Tails began to think. Why is it so quiet? Where are all the troops suddenly gone? Was Sally really here? Was this just a big trap? What was going on?

“We’re there.” said Sonic’s voice.

Tails snapped out of his thoughts and looked around. They were standing on the stair just below the third floor. Tails quickly checked his gun to make sure it was fully charged. Sonic looked back at him and Knuckles.

“Ok guys take it easy. This is getting far too odd for words and it’s making me a bit jumpy. I don’t know whats going on but things would not be this quiet unless something big was waiting for us. Keep it cool.”

“As always Sonic.” replied Tails.

Knuckles just nodded. The three of them slowly stepped out from the cover of the stair well and started to walk down the corridor. Rubble and junk lay everywhere along the corridor and the building itself was run down anyway. Tails was starting to get jumpy now like Sonic. They continued on for what seemed like an eternity peering into various rooms but not finding anything. Tails was getting very jumpy now spinning at any sound be it a dip of water or his own footsteps. He stepped up to another room and looked in. The window was dusty but a quick wipe with his glove made him gasp.

“Sally!” he cried.

Sonic and Knuckles were at his side in a flash and Sonic’s hand landed on the doorknob.

“No Sonic don’t….” started Tails.

It was too late though. Sonic twisted the handle and flung the door wipe open. Sally lay bound and gagged in the middle of the room with her eyes closed. She didn’t look too badly beaten but they could all see various bruises all over her body. Sonic flew into the room before the other two could stop him. Tails was waiting for it, a laser field, a group of swatbots, anything to just burst in and surprise them. It didn’t happen though. Sonic reached Sally and collapsed to the ground next to her. He quickly removed her gag and then severed the metal binds on her wrists and ankles using his own laser gun. He pulled her into himself and shook her slightly.

“Sally! Sally can you hear me? Are you alright? Sally?” he said quickly.

Sally moaned slightly and Sonic pulled her even closer. Knuckles walked out into the room and started to look around cautiously. He was shaking his head slowly.

“This isn’t right.” said Tails still standing in the doorway.

“Not right at all Tails.” replied Knuckles looking round at him.

“Where are the swatbots? Where is the surprise attack? Where is anything?” continued Tails.

He stepped into the room slowly looking around frantically. Sally gave another moan and started to open her eyes.

“Sally?” asked Sonic nervously.

“Uuuuh….S…..Sonic?” asked Sally slowly.

“Sally!” cried Sonic as he drew her even closer.

Tails was still nervous but he was also concerned for Sally. He walked over to Sonic and Sally and knelt down beside them.

“Aunt Sally? You alright?” he asked.

Sally slowly turned to look at him. She blinked her bruised eyes and smiled slightly at him.

“Hey Tails.” she replied hoarsely.

“Sally what’s going on? Where are the troops guarding you?” asked Tails.

“There never were any.” she replied.

“What do you mean Sally?” asked Sonic.

“I don’t know. When Robotnik caught me I was sure he’d roboticizes me. But he didn’t. He didn’t even seem to brag over my capture. It was like he wasn’t bothered.”

“Wasn’t bothered?” questioned Knuckles, “That seems a little odd.”

“Coupled with this situation I’d agree.” said Sonic, “But we can puzzle over it later. Right now we have to get you back to Knothole Sal.”

Sally nodded weakly and let Sonic pick her up. Tails and Knuckles nodded at him and both sprinted from the room with Sonic following. They raced back down the stairs and into the main lobby. There they stopped for a moment to check the street. As it had been earlier, it was clear and they all made a mad dash for the Tornado. Tails quickly started the plane as Sonic and Knuckles hoisted Sally onto the upper wing. They then both took a hold of the plane and Sally with different hands.

“Ready!” cried Sonic, “Let’s get the hell out of here.”

“You got it Sonic.” replied Tails fixing his attention on the controls.

He turned the plane quickly half expecting laser fire to suddenly spring from a corner and blow the plane to pieces. It didn’t come though and Tails had soon lined up on the battered street. He opened the throttle and the plane shot forwards along the road. Bumping along the pot holes and craters it finally gained enough speed and took off. The plane was lighter now that it didn’t have its explosive payload and the three people on the wings hardly made a difference at all. As the plane climbed higher a rustle ran through the air. Tails pricked his ears, the sound wasn’t normal. It sounded like something mechanical but really big. It was followed by a number of small explosion sounds. The group on the wings heard this and Sonic looked over at Tails.

“Tails what’s that?” he asked.

“No idea Sonic. They sound like explosions.” replied Tails.

“Maybe some of your bombs didn’t go off and have been set off now?” commented Knuckles.

“No they all exploded.” replied Tails.

“Then what was it?” asked Knuckles.

During this time Sally had been clinging to the front of the wing. She suddenly whimpered and gulped making Sonic and Knuckles turn away from Tails and making Tails look forwards. They all gasped. Ahead of them an object was slowly raising upwards out of the group. As it did a loud roar started to fill the air. The object was huge and spherical in shape. It blotted out the already dark sky as it climbed higher. Nobody could speak, they all just stared at the sight.

“That’s the…” started Sonic.

“…Death Egg!” finished Knuckles.

“How?!” whimpered Sally still clinging to the plane, “You destroyed it!”

“We did.” replied Sonic still staring at the object as it rose higher into the sky.

Suddenly it all clicked in Tails head. The reinforced diamond glass roboticizer parts, the stealing of the master emerald, the Death Eggs reappearance. Tails face fell as he looked up at the others.

“You were a decoy.” muttered Sonic to himself as he looked at Sally, “He used you as a freaking decoy Sal!”

The Death Egg had now risen so far out of the ground it was now completely visible, its huge rocket engines driving it slowly into the sky.

“Sonic what do we do?” said Knuckles, “We have to do something.”

Sonic spun on the wing, almost falling off as he did, and stared at Tails. Tails was looking a bit white but Sonic didn’t appear to notice.

“Tails! Floor it! Get us to that thing!” he cried.

Tails quickly snapped out of his trance and stared back at Sonic. It was strange to see Sonic’s eyes filled with emotions like fear but the sight filled Tails with a new found strength. He planted his hand firmly on the throttle and opened it up.

“Hang on.” he said.

Moments later the rocket booster on the planes underside ignited throwing it into a steep climb towards the Death Egg. As they climbed Sonic started talking.

“We have to stop this thing.” he said.

“How?” asked Knuckles.

“Just like last time. We blow it up.”

“Yeah simple.”

“Ok Tails get us as close as you can. Knuckles and myself will get onboard and try to stop this thing. You make sure you get Sally back to Knothole.”

Tails suddenly looked up at Sonic. He couldn’t be thinking of leaving him behind? Not on this important a mission. He wanted to go, he wanted to help Sonic, but before he could speak Sally spoke for him.

“Sonic wait! I don’t need any help getting back to Knothole. Take Tails with you, he might be able to help.” she said.

“You sure Sal?” asked Sonic.

“Yes I’m sure. I’ll take the Tornado back to Knothole.”

The plane was now nearing the Death Egg and Tails could make out a small flat area on the side of the ship. He turned the plane towards it and almost immediately the sky filled with laser fire from the Egg. Tails swerved the plane as he tried to juggle dodging the laser fire and keeping his friends on the wings at the same time. There was a momentary pause in the laser fire.

“Sally if you’re gonna take over get in here now.” said Tails quickly.

Sally quickly released her grip on the planes wing and slid into the cockpit next to Tails. Tails felt as if he was going to be crushed but then Sally was fairly slim and he didn’t feel too squashed.

“Throttle, control stick and gauges.” said Tails quickly pointing out the controls as he scrambled from the cock pit onto the wings.

The plane had now flown very close to the Death Egg and Tails quickly grabbed Sonic and Knuckles. Sonic and Knuckles both nodded at him and the three jumped from the plane. They fell for a moment and then Tails spun his tails slowing their decent as they touched down on the surface of the ship. They turned to see the Tornado banking steeply away from the Death Egg as another volley of laser fire flew from the ships guns. Sally, not being the aerial expert Tails was, was unable to avoid this next burst and the tails and upper port wing was ripped from the plane. It started to plummet towards the ground heading for the edge of the Great Forest. Tails could see Sonic’s face was frozen in a look of horror. The Tornado continued to spiral towards the ground and none of them could do anything as it hit the edge of the forest and exploded.

“SALLY!” cried Sonic as he collapsed to his knees.

Knuckles gritted his teeth and turned away as he closed his eyes. Tails just stood and gazed. The Death Egg continued to rise and slowly the burning wreck at the edge of the forest began to get smaller and smaller. Tails blinked as a tear leaked from his eye. The Tornado was gone. Sally was gone! He slowly looked over at Sonic. He was one his knees still sobbing into his arms. Sonic had never been so free with his emotions before. The sight drained him of all the hope and determination he normally had. If Sonic is like this what chance do we have? Tails sighed slowly and continued to watch Sonic as he slowly looked up. He starred down at the ground below and then looked up at the sky.


Tails was so shocked he took a step backwards. Sonic slowly drew himself to his feet and turned to face him. Tails could see his eyes were ablaze, ablaze with anger and madness. He looked away from Tails, leaving the fox slightly stunned, and surveyed the flat area they were standing on. A small hatch was mounted near a corner of the platform and Sonic walked over to it slowly. The hatch had a lock code on it but Sonic just drew his gun and sprayed the entire area with laser fire. The hatch was reduced to a smoking hole in the ships hull and Sonic threw the gun to one side. He glared back at Tails as Knuckles step up beside him.

“Come on!” said Sonic flatly still glaring at them.

Without another word he spun and jumped threw the hole. Tails looked and Knuckles and then they both raced towards the hatch. Knuckles jumped in first followed closely by Tails. Inside all was dark and Tails felt himself falling downwards towards the unknown. What was down here? What was waiting for them? Did he really understand what was going on? Was this thing what he feared it might be? With a sudden thud that knocked the wind out of him slightly, Tails landed on a metal floor. It was still dark but he could make out the shapes of Sonic and Knuckles standing next to him.

“Let’s go.” said Sonic.


Chapter Ten – In War and Love – by RedFox


Three pairs of shoes produced a fast drum roll sound over the dull roar of the Egg taking off as the threesome raced along the metal corridor. Upon close inspection, one could make out the outlines of many complex-looking circuits and slowly revolving machinery embedded in the walls. It was an engineering masterpiece, and despite Tails’ deep loathing for the mad scientist surely located somewhere aboard the ship,  the fox couldn’t help but be impressed. Someday, he thought, I’ll be able to build like this. I’ll build my own enormous ship. It’ll be bigger that this one – and a lot more friendly looking too – but never, never in a million years will I use it for evil.

That is, of course, if I survive this…

Sonic, who was in the lead, screeched to a halt in front of a door. His comrades did the same. “Is it locked?” asked Knuckles. The door was solid steel and most likely three inches thick. The three of them would have to find an alternate route were the door sealed – but Sonic turned the latch, and it opened. A stream of light hit them in the face – the corridor beyond was lit by a number of fluorescent lights in the ceiling. Sonic and Knuckles lightly stepped over the low barrier into the next hall, while Tails took to the air just to give his tails a stretch. He didn’t know if there would be any flying involved on this mission though, considering the ceilings were rather low.

Down the lit hall, Tails suddenly saw the door open and a SWAT-bot enter. It froze as it saw them, and suddenly began shouting a robotic warning into the radio its right arm.

In a flash, Sonic was in the air. The skirmish was over in less than three seconds, with nothing left of the robot save for a small pile of scrap metal. Sonic’s fury was anything but placated, however. His eyes still burned, mad with the desire for revenge. Motioning for Tails and Knuckles to follow him, he leapt through the door, poised to take on any more metal that might be foolish enough to confront him.

“They know that we’re here,” Knuckles muttered as he trailed Sonic through the door. “That ‘bot got its warning out… we could get swarmed any second…”

He broke off as he saw the room that they had entered. It was enormous, with more doors than any of them could count. Floor, walls, and ceilings all shone with that familiar metallic luster. An elevator lead to the second and third floors, which opened up in the center so that they were visible from the ground. More doors were set in the walls on both floors.

It had to be the largest room on the Egg. Quite obviously the “main hall” of the ship, there would hardly be room for a second one. None of the doors were labeled, but they did have odd signs on them that supposedly marked what they were. The three heroes looked around, then at each other. Tails voiced what all of them were thinking: “So, which door do we take?”

“Pick one,” said Sonic, and without waiting for either of them to do so, opened the door immediately to his left, which had a skull and crossbones on it. What he found inside made them all gasp with astonishment and horror.

It was a torture chamber – the worst any of them had ever seen. Devices with the sole purpose of causing pain littered the area, ranging from red-hot iron to stretching machines to a rack. A shelf on a far wall boasted a horrible-looking collection of sharp knives. Heavy weights were neatly stacked next to some irons so a person could be slowly crushed under them. Sonic slammed the door shut and turned away, with a slight green tinge to his blue and beige face. Tails felt just as sick. How many had gone through Robotnik’s horrors until they broke, crying, screaming, willing to say absolutely anything simply to avoid the pain continuing? The fox made a vow to avenge every single one of them, and then nearly laughed. He already had Mina and Sally to avenge, and now he was going to take on the burden of an uncertain number of others?

By finishing this madman for good, Tails thought, I’ll avenge them all.

Knuckles led the way into the next room, with a totally unrecognizable symbol that looked like a corrupted mix of the letters Q and T, which turned out to be completely empty except for an oddly shaped Badnik rolling around on the floor. It wasn’t quite spherical, but seemed somewhat lumpy, and appeared to be completely helpless. Knuckles began walking towards it, but Tails caught his arm. “You have no idea what that thing is,” he said simply. “Just leave it.” Knuckles assented with no argument. They didn’t have time to play around with mutated robots.

In the room left of that one, they found a single escape pod large enough to fit one (rather fat) man. They looked at each other and there was no need for words. This was their way off of the ship – the three could easily fit in it. Sonic left that door open in case a speedy exit would be necessary.

The next door was locked. The three each tried various ways of opening it, but without success. Its sign seemed to indicate it as the engine room, though Sonic thought that it might signify something else. In any case, there was no getting through the metal, so they proceeded onwards to the next, which had a radioactivity sign on it. Tails pointed out that he was probably already mutant enough and had no desire to grow a second head as well, so they should most likely skip that one. The others quickly agreed, and continued on.

The sixth door was at the tip of the oval shaped hall – like an egg, Tails thought wryly. It had a large C on it for marking purposes, though that didn’t give them any clue as to what it was. As always, they entered in attack formation – Sonic at the lead, with Knuckles behind and Tails flying above them – all three ready to take any attacker. Blinking a few times to get used to the bright lights in the new room, they heard an all too familiar voice.

“Glad you could make it,” said Dr. Ivo Robotnik. “I was beginning to worry that you’d never get here.”

The mad scientist sat in an ostentatiously lofty chair positioned in front of a control panel that was in size to a normal panel as he was to a normal man. Lights, buttons, switches and labels made up the enigmatic masterpiece of metal, above which sat a large screen. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, however, were not worrying about the control panel at the moment. Instead, they were looking at the thousand-odd robots that were standing between them and Robotnik. The control panel room was barely large enough to fit them all; they were so crowded that it almost looked like one gigantic metallic monster. Those with guns had them pointed directly at the threesome – who heard the door slam, trapping them in the room.

“You did, of course, set off some two hundred alarms the instant that you entered this ship,” continued the evil genius with a look of smug triumph on his face. “All robots on board were instantly recalled to this location to eliminate you the instant that I give the command. My only regret is that you will not suffer for long.

“You are aboard my true master creation – the sequel to all of its pathetic predecessors – the Hyper Death Egg. I no longer have any interest in destroying Mobius; I have realized what an utter waste of a prime planet that would be. So much potential gone to waste! No, my furry adversaries, the Hyper Death Egg is no weapon of mass destruction. It is not exactly a weapon at all, for it will take no lives. Yet with a single push of this button –” he indicated the largest button on the panel, which was, naturally, bright red – “every living being on the face of this planet will become my robotic slave within the time span of a mere two minutes!

“I think that I may keep you alive,” Robotnik continued, “long enough to watch me push the button. It is almost done charging from the Master Emerald – kept in its nice diamond glass container, of course.” He looked at a gauge on the side of the panel. “It should be about… thirty seconds.”

Throughout this entire monologue, Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails had stood completely still, letting the horror of it all wash over them. Finally, Sonic said softly in a dull monotone to his comrades, “I don’t know about you, but I made a resolve a long time ago that if I was ever to die young, I was going to go down fighting. Let’s take some metal with us, shall we?”

Robotnik laughed. “You’re actually going to fight? Fine…” He pushed a couple of buttons. “I admire your bravery, rodent. So I won’t have my lovely minions kill you yet. They are now programmed only to render you unconscious. Then, the three of you can meet my favorite room in this ship. I believe that you have already explored it.”

“Out of curiosity, Buttnik,” said Knuckles with no small touch of bravado and using one of Sonic’s favorite names for the doctor, “where’s that little midget lackey of yours? I thought that he was always at your heels.”

“Snively is not worthy to take part in this scheme. He sabotaged my predecessor; and I cannot take any unnecessary risks. I roboticized him, though the process went awry and he emerged with his free will intact. In any case, he’s out of the picture.”

While this somewhat pointless conversation proceeded, Tails’s mind was racing. He stared at the army in front of him, and suddenly had an idea. What was the thing about most of Robotnik’s bots’ sight? They were heat seeking – they saw only a red image where there was warmth. So if he could somehow make himself cold – but that was impossible. Plus, most were equipped with echolocation so that they could see cold-blooded creatures as well. What else was there?

Tails took a second look at the throng. The SWATbots, all of whom were wielding guns, had an evil-looking red strip where normal eyes should be. Tails was struck by the fact that he could see every red strip in the mob… not one bot had its head tilted down… or up.

That’s right, Tails remembered. This model can’t angle their head – they can’t see above themselves!

“Stun them,” Robotnik said coldly.

All three creatures leapt into the air. Knuckles connected four times with his fists before being laid flat by a well-aimed shot. Sonic turned himself into a chainsaw and sliced though an entire line of bots until he, too, was laid flat on the metallic flooring. Tails, however, had begun to spin his tails the instant that he hit the air and was now flying directly below the twenty-odd foot ceiling. No shots came his way.

            Robotnik’s eyes bulged as he saw what was happening. Turning to the control panel again, his fingers began to dance over the array of keys. Tails made a dive for him but was halted by a swarm of eighteen flying Badniks who suddenly swarmed him from below.

            This was the time to try a new move that Tails had been working on for a little while but had never tested in combat. As the robots flew at him with stingers, blades, or whatever sharp implements they might posses bared, Tails did a roll in mid air and for a crazy few seconds, was flying upside down with his rapidly spinning tails facing the ground. As each Badnik attacked, they were sliced to pieces before they could even come close to hitting him. Tails finished the roll before he could black out, but the maneuver had left him with very little control.

Fighting for altitude, he pulled up right before crashing into the head of a SWATbot below. The two robots who had previously avoided his tails and were now diving at him from above didn’t pull up in time. They slammed into the floor and exploded, which began to cause a chain reaction. Robot after robot began to explode, each one igniting the one next to it.

Tails saw with horror that while Knuckles had been flown back to the door by the stun ray, Sonic was still in the middle of all the bots, and the explosions were nearing him. The fox couldn’t help but remember a scene exactly like this one – was it only two days ago in Robotropolis? He hadn’t slept in forever, either… he didn’t even have a clue what time of the day it was. Swooping down, he grabbed Sonic’s arm and flung his body over to where Knuckles lay with all the strength he could muster. It worked – Sonic crashed against the locked door and lay still. Tails felt bad about hurting his friend even more, though he knew that in this case it was necessary. Both of his friends should now be far enough away from the chaotic conflagration in the center of the room.

He needed a rest badly – he had been in the air for over a minute and it was certainly no casual flying, either. Luckily there was a ventilation grate at the top of the room, and Tails managed to grab onto it and hold for ten seconds, long enough to give his tails a break without having to risk getting shot if resting on the ground. He leapt off of the ceiling in full flight mode and headed for Robotnik again.

The mad scientist was frantically pressing buttons, but apparently to no avail. His screen appeared to be frozen with a large red X on it. Finally, though, he seemed to realize that his weapon was fully charged and had been so for almost a minute. With a cry of delight, Robotnik reached for the large red button.

Tails instantly flew up to the top of the large chair and pressed his fingers hard against the sides of the doctor’s fat neck. Robotnik gave a yelp of surprise, then slowly sank into his chair. Tails made a note to thank Sally for those pointers on pressure points – then remembered that Sally was dead. His desire for revenge revitalized, Tails set to work on the control panel.

Hovering in mid-air above the controls, Tails was surprised to see how simple the panel actually was. Everything was labeled with words, and very little was particularly vague. However, what he wanted to do would be complex, and would require all of his brainpower – and it would need to be done quickly, because the fire from the explosions was beginning to fill the room. Burning metal was flying in every direction, some shards narrowly missing the two-tailed fox.

Tails set to work doing what he loved best: tinkering with machinery. The very first thing that he did was shut off all of the SWATbots’ control systems, eliminating one potential remaining threat. Next, he found the escape pod controls and readied it for transport to the Floating Island. He knew that the next part would be the hardest. Menus began popping up on the screen; he searched for the one labeled “main fuel source” and finally found it. He had to go extremely deep and hack several passwords to figure out what he needed to do. When he was finished, he wiped his brow, which was not only sweaty because of hard work. The room was becoming an unbearable inferno. But the diamond glass container holding the Master Emerald was unlocked, and the door that led to it as well. He also made sure to unlock the door out of the room that they were in. The only problem would be making the jewel fit in the pod, though from Knuckles’s description of the priceless gem, it would just fit.

Finally, it was time for revenge. Hacking deep into the bowels of the Hyper Death Egg’s network, Tails found the controls for the engines, which still had a good amount of power left over from the Emerald. In three minutes, the boosters would fire and the mammoth ship would go hurtling into the outreaches of space. A quick mental calculation told Tails that the Egg would be incinerated in a faraway star in, oh, some three million years.

The countdown began, and Tails flew over the dying fires for the exit at top speed. He had given himself more than enough time, but didn’t want to cut it close. Opening the door, then grabbing both Sonic and Knuckles by a wrist each, Tails pulled their unconscious bodies out and dragged them towards the escape pods. Haphazardly flinging them into the pod, he then raced into the room to his left, which they couldn’t open before. Now, however, the door gave way, and Tails, panting heavily, stepped through.

He had entered a small circular room filled with cables. All of them were hooked up to the base of a cylinder made completely out of shimmering diamond glass. However, thanks to Tails’ superior hacking, a hatch on the side of the machine had sprung open and the Master Emerald gleamed brilliantly inside. The odd green glow that Espio had mentioned was filling the chamber with light. Without a second thought, Tails plunged his hands into the chamber and grabbed the shining jewel.

His first thought was that he would never be able to lift it. It must have weighed half a ton – how come he hadn’t foreseen this? It was the most obvious problem in the entire plan; trying to lift a gem three times his size? What had he been thinking?

Then, suddenly, the Emerald began to move. Tails gasped as he felt energy flowing through his gloves and into his arms. Raw power began to run through his veins. All of his fur stood on end and began emitting a brilliant white light. The light surrounded him and for a moment he knew nothing but a blindness of white, he was weightless, he was invincible…

In a flash, he was back on the ground… in a way. His fur glowed a deep orange and a red cape fluttered against his back. He also knew exactly what had happened. The intense power of the Master Emerald had initiated his transformation into his Turbo form! The Emerald now felt light as a feather in his hands, and he pulled it all the way out of its diamond glass container. Then, again, her felt even more power begin to surge into him and stopped, shocked.

His feet lifted off of the ground and again, white light began to emerge from his fur, mixing with the green glow of the jewel in his hands. An amount of Chaos energy that he had only obtained once before was now spreading out to all parts of his body. He felt invincible – he could have taken ten thousand robots on and not have had to lift a finger. In another flash, the transformation completed and Tails knew he had, for only the second time in his life, attained his Hyper form. His fur was a light brown, the way that it had been when he was much younger; four yellow birds trailed him, looking cute but immeasurably powerful.

Within three seconds he had carried the Emerald back to the escape pod and squeezed it in. The instant that he lost contact with the jewel, his energy began to fade, almost too slowly too be noticed.

Just as Tails was squeezing into the escape pod, (brushing against the Emerald again, which rejuvenated his power,) Robotnik stumbled into view, running as fast as his fat body would carry him.

For a moment, he looked incredibly stupid, staring at the three of them lying in the cramped escape pod with the Master Emerald. He finally managed to articulate a single word: “No…”

The door shut and the pod blasted off into space.




The Chaotix were waiting for them at the edge of the island, not knowing what to expect to come out the pod that landed on their shore. Of course, the island had again, with the lack of the Master Emerald, fallen into the ocean and had a true shoreline again. Mighty, Charmy, Vector, and Epsio were all there, as well as Ray, the flying squirrel who had recently joined the group, and Julie-Su, a female echidna whose relationship with Knuckles had never really been definite. All six of them drew a collective breath as the pod door slid open –

Tails tumbled out of the pod and onto the ground, lying there, loving the firmness of solid earth and for the first time in his life happy not to be airborne. Ray cried out as he saw the pod’s main cargo. “The Master Emerald!”

All six of the Chaotix raced up to the pod, grabbed the shining jewel, and hauled it out. Behind it were the still unconscious forms of Sonic and Knuckles. Seeing Knuckles alive, most of the Chaotix left the gemstone and went to see if he was okay. Mighty alone picked up the Emerald and carried it off. Tails wondered why it didn’t seem to affect him or any of the others the way that it had affected him, but was too exhausted to ask or even care.

Jubilant shouts of joy filled the air, but all that Tails wanted to do was sleep…




            “Alright,” Sonic said, “go over this one more time.”

            Tails sighed. He was plain sick of continually recounting his heroic escape from the Hyper Death Egg – how he had not only saved both of his friends and rescued the Master Emerald, but finished Robotnik for good to boot. It wasn’t only because he had had to tell the story three times already, but mostly because he thought that it sounded ridiculously implausible. Eventually someone had to become skeptical about the fact that Tails’s account of the events on board the Hyper Death Egg had him as the absolute hero; the last thing that he wanted was to be seen as an attention-seeking narcissist.

            But, so far, everyone seemed to believe him, especially since Sonic and Knuckles both confirmed that Tails had been facing an army of robots alone and unarmed, and, if he had managed to escape, he had no reason to lie because it was a fantastic venture no matter how he told it.

            Contact with the mainland had been minimal, but the residents of the Floating Island had managed to get a very short message down that confirmed that the threat of Robotnik was finished and all three of the heroes were alive. Anyone also could conclude that the Emerald had been returned to the island simply by virtue of the fact that it was, once again, suspended in mid-air and slowly moving around the planet.

            Almost twenty hours had passed since Tails, Sonic, and Knuckles had returned, but they had spent most of it resting. As soon as they possibly could, they wanted to get back down to Knothole and celebrate, but they knew that there would be a strong presence of sadness as well for the deaths of Mina and Sally. Still, the reign of terror that had lasted for nearly a decade and a half had finally ended, and Tails had never heard of a better cause for jubilation. He had never know life without the constant threat of Robotnik hovering over his and all of the other Freedom Fighters’ heads. Today the nightmare was finally over.

            Knuckles seemed particularly interested in the effects that the Master Emerald had had on Tails, first pushing him into first his Turbo form and then his Hyper appearance. “That never happens to us,” he muttered, using the “us” to refer to him and the other guardians of the jewel. “I suppose it’s because we spend so much time around it that we’re just used to the constant energy. That’s my best guess.”

            The Emerald’s odd bright-green glow had vanished, leaving it with it’s normal shine of unparalleled energy. Tails reasoned that the mysteries surrounding that strange object would be pondered over for as long as it existed.

            Later that day, the three of them were released from their hospital rooms and allowed to meet the cheering crowds of nearly all the inhabitants of the Floating Island, who had come out in force to thank the heroes who had once again saved their home. Tails insisted that the full story of their escape not be released so that all three of them could share the glory equally. Nobody except for the Chaotix and the Freedom Fighters would ever know the full truth.

            Confetti flew and bells sounded, then the crowd began to call for a speech. Tails absolutely refused to do any such thing, so Sonic took the initiative and stood up at the podium. His words were not inspiring or particularly memorable, in fact, studied from a professional point of view the entire thing was laughable. However, with his informal language and mediocre jokes, Sonic achieved something much more. He showed that, at heart, he was no different from the rest of them. He showed them how absolutely anyone could be a hero. He made them feel like he was one of their own.

            Finally all of the festivities had ended and a small transport plane was preparing to bring Sonic and Tails back to Knothole. Knuckles had declined their invitation to join them, saying that his place was right here, and he had had enough partying anyhow. The plane was almost done fueling when Tails remembered something. He asked the first member of the Chaotix that he could find.

            “Hey, Espio?”


            “Whatever happened to those four guys who attacked the island? What did you do with them?”

            Espio looked a little bit awkward. “Well, we managed to recapture them – they couldn’t get off of the island – so they’re still here. We’re really not quite sure what to do with them. They’ve been a horrible nuisance more than once, and we’re not quite about to let them go. On the other hand, they’ve always just been working for someone and their crimes don’t seem to deserve anything horrible. We’d really just like to be rid of them for good.”

            Tails nodded. This was what he had expected. He sprinted back to Sonic and told him to hold the plane for them. Then Espio agreed to show Tails where the Fearsome Foursome was being kept. The chameleon obviously didn’t care what Tails had in mind; as far as he was concerned, the fox could merely want to give the foursome a parting insult.

            Sgt. Simian, Predator Hawk, Lightning Lynx and Flying Frog were all looking extremely bored. They were locked in a single large cell with a couple of board games, a radio, four beds of according size, and a bathroom. Hawk looked especially bad; he hadn’t been able to stretch his wings for three days now. All four, however, looked up as Tails entered. The unlocked door shut behind him as Espio left, knowing that Tails could find his way back to the transport ship easily enough.

            “If you want to tell us that Robotnik’s gone,” the robotic Simian said sullenly, “don’t waste your breath. We already know.”

            “That’s not what I’m here for,” Tails replied. “I just wanted to know something. Did you enjoy working for him at all? What was it like, doing his bidding?”

            “Awful,” Lynx replied in an instant. “We hated it, but we didn’t really have a choice, did we? If he ever crossed him, he’s have us roboticized again in a second. It was easier just to do what he said.”

            “Hypothetically,” Tails said in a slow voice, “if I were to find a way to get you out of here right now, with Robotnik dead, what would you do?”

            The foursome looked taken aback. “Get us out?” asked Predator Hawk. “How do you expect to do that?”

            “Answer the question.”

            Hawk seemed flustered. “I – I don’t really know. We’ve always made our living doing hit missions – we’d work for whoever fed us and kept us going.”

            “Do you really want to go back to that?” asked Tails. “Back to being slaves, minions? In the literal sense, you may not be robots – save for one – but your masters have made you the equivalent!”

            “Do you have a better suggestion, Tails?” Flying Frog surprised him by using his name, rather than the degrading metonymy and synecdoche common to the amphibian’s lexicon.

            “Why don’t you try being free for a change?” Tails asked, his voice suddenly higher-pitched and excited. “You don’t need a master! Be yourselves, do what you want, not what some fat moron in a suit tells you! Live your own lives! All of you have skills that you have fine-tuned for combat. Yet these same skills would be invaluable in a number of occupations that you have never considered!

            “When I look at the four of you, I do not see evil creatures! I see four people whose were taken advantage of, corrupted, brainwashed by tyrants. You can start a new life, guys! End this vicious cycle from doing the bidding of one dictator to the next, be free!

            “With Robotnik finally defeated, Mobius will soon once again be a wonderful place to live. Soon Robotropolis will again be the city that it once was – a thriving, bustling conurbation filled not with robots, but with Mobians!” Tails began to settle down from his enthusiastic frenzy. “The way it should be. So what I am offering to you is a parole of sorts. I can get you out of here on the one condition that you will promise to, from now on, live honest lives as trustworthy citizens. How can we be sure that you will? We can’t, of course. But I think that if you give it a try, you’ll find it vastly preferable. How does that sound to you?”

            The four held a quick conference. It took almost no time for them to concur. As Tails shut the door behind him, he heard Predator Hawk mutter to one of the others something along the lines of, “That kid could be a hell of an orator someday.”

            After assuring the Chaotix that by preparing the foursome safe transport back to the surface they would not be a problem again, Tails flew back to the ship, where Sonic was waiting impatiently. “Are you coming now?” he grumbled as Tails dropped to the ground and stepped up the ramp into the transport vessel. Inside were a pair of comfy flight seats. Sinking into one of them, snapping headphones onto his ears, and closing his eyes, the fox was soon asleep again.




            The slight jolt as the craft touched now roused Tails from his nap. Even inside the ship, he could hear cheering and shouts from the outside. He peeked through a window and, sure enough, there was another enormous party for the heroes. All of Knothole had turned out for this occasion – banners and confetti and virtually anything imaginable were present amongst the mob. Tails looked over to see Sonic grinning at him. The latter was even more used to this sort of thing, if that was possible.

            However, Sonic’s smile flickered for a moment, and he looked down at his shoes. “Tails, y’know…” he began, “I’ve already said this, kinda, but I want to say it again. These past few weeks, I’ve been treating you like crap and – and I just wanted to apologize. I could try to defend myself, say that I had reasons, but the truth is that I was just a total jerk, and I’m really sorry.”

            Tails had long forgotten about his rows with his hedgehog friend in light of the events of the last two days, but Sonic’s words made him remember the enmity between them that had held for a couple of days. Pushing those thoughts out of his mind, he put on a poker face and resumed looking at Sonic silently, expecting more to come.

            “Well… the other thing that I have to say is a bit less serious. You know those spray-paints of your name with the lightning bolt “S” that have been showing up? That – that’s my handiwork. It really was just a stupid prank, and I’m not even sure why I did it. I just thought a true hero deserved his own logo.”

            Having spent a number of hours dreaming up hypotheses for the mysterious graffiti, Tails should have been absolutely livid. Instead, however, this revelation seemed to break the tension of the moment. Not only that, but Sonic – Sonic had called him a hero. It hardly seemed possible. “Well, you know what?” asked Tails, breaking into a grin of his own, “maybe you were right. That would look right nice on the side of the Tornado, wouldn’t it?”

            Sonic looked greatly relieved.

            “C’mon,” Tails said, “let’s go meet the crowds.”

            It seemed impossible that the applause could get any louder, but it happened as Tails and Sonic stepped out of the ship. Scanning the jubilant multitude, the fox searched for his fellow Freedom Fighters. There they were – Antoine, Bunnie, Rotor, and Amy were all together off to one side. That was odd, Tails thought. They should have been the first ones to greet them upon their return to the surface. Beside him, Sonic had suddenly gone rigid.

            She was wielding a pair of crutches. Her right arm was in a sling, and her left arm a cast. Various scrapes and scratches dotted her body. Yet one thing was for sure. The figure who had just emerged from the crowd, Princess Sally Acorn, was most definitely alive.

            In half a second, Sonic was on the ground and, utterly unashamed, unabashed, had her in an embrace and was kissing her as hard as he could. After recovering from the initial shock, the crowd again began to cheer loudly. Sally too looked surprised, but she did not pull away, rather she brought her arms around Sonic and kissed him back. The crowd cheered even louder. Tails watched, smiling, so very happy for his two friends.

            The two lovers broke their kiss and gazed into each other’s eyes. Suddenly Sally stumbled and fell forward into Sonic, who caught her easily. She laughed, then said, “Sonic Hedgehog, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’ve been practicing that,” earning an appreciative laugh from the crowd.

            Sonic seemed to be struggling with something for a moment. He bit his lip, looked down at his toes, then up again. He swallowed deeply, and then, like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky, said, “Sally, will you marry me?”




            Tails banked the Tornado left and flew along the shoreline. Without any obstacles to worry about, he could sit back, keep a loose grip on the controls, and reflect on the activities of the past three months. It had certainly been hectic.

            There was, of course, outrage at the mere concept of such a lowly-born commoner becoming Prince and future King of Knothole. King Acorn had held this view for a long time, and had very much disapproved of his daughter’s relationship with Sonic. However, many of the King’s advisors were beginning to look past Sonic’s caste and more at his achievements – namely, saving the planet several times. Faced with the undeniable fact that Sonic was now known planet-wide as Mobius’s savior, Acorn admitted that the marriage might not be so bad after all. To at least make it somewhat more official, Sonic’s knighthood, which he had gained and lost once before, was restored.

            The wedding itself, a couple of days ago, had been more than fitting for a royal couple. They had insisted that it not be overly extravagant, though – there had been enough enormous parties recently all across Mobius celebrating the end of Robotnik’s terrible reign. It had been completely open to anyone who wanted to come, and come people did. A princess and a worldwide hero being wed was worth a good amount of mileage to see. Overall, the entire affair was a rousing success.

            Mina’s funeral was held soon after Tails and Sonic returned. Sally having made such a miraculous reappearance after both thought her dead, it seemed almost fitting that Mina would do the same. However, the fairy-tale ending was not to present itself. Her body was brought back from the Floating Island in a coffin and she was laid to rest in the town she loved best – Knothole. “Mina has rejoined her parents,” said the maned wolf who ran the service. “We must pray for her in the life that lies beyond.” And a moment of silence was held for the brave martyr; her life taken from her so young.

            Without Robotnik in control, most of the SWATbots and Badniks left in Robotropolis became confused and either stood in place or wandered off. A team had been dispatched to purge the city so that it would once again be suitable for civilians to live. The dark clouds over the city were thinning without the constant outpouring of smoke and pollution into the air. Soon, the entire place would be the thriving metropolis that it had been before the horrible dictator had taken over. Mobius was scarred, but like all scars, this one would heal. It would take time and patience, but it would heal.

            Snively, Robotnik’s midget nephew, was never found. It was assumed that he was dead, though nobody knew for sure.

            Tails’s stomach growled, and he realized that it was long past noon and he really should touch down and have lunch. He spied a prime location: a group of palm trees close enough together to provide decent shade. Making a short loop to lose altitude, the Tornado touched down perfectly on the sand and its pilot vaulted himself out. Crashing himself onto the sand, Tails lay back, closed his eyes, and munched on his sandwich. Even when it was cold, famous Mobian chili was about the best thing around.

            Now full, Tails began to consider falling asleep on the sand for a little while before completing his joyride and heading back to Knothole. However, just as he was about to fall asleep, he heard a smooth female voice say, “Hello there, Tails.”

            Tails leapt to his feet and looked at the vixen standing in front of him. She looked vaguely familiar, but he couldn’t quite remember where he had seen her before. Plus, his vision was still blurry, and he shook his head, trying to clear it. “How did you know my name?”

            “Tails, these days you’re just about as famous as your blue comrade.” There was an edge of resentment to those last two words, as if she regretted admitting Sonic’s prominence. “Everybody knows you. Plus, you’re not exactly hard to identify, either,” she added without malice, pointing at his double appendages.

            Tails’s finally shook his head clean and then got his first good look at the fox. She was a few years older than him, with hair that for a moment put him in mind of Sally’s except it was a darker brown and had a yellow bow near the back. Her fur was cinnabar, and she carried a dagger in a hilt strapped to her waist. All of a sudden, Tails remembered exactly where he knew her from and nearly leapt into the air. “You – you…”

            “Have we met before?” the vixen asked, frowning slightly. “My name is Fiona.”


Epilogue – Story’s End – by MTP


"So that's how you met mum." said Tails.

Miles chuckled slightly to himself and smiled down at his son.

"Well it's slightly more complicated than that." he replied.

"How come?"

"Well I'd met her before you see but that would have to be another story….for another night."

Tails nodded slowly and looked a little upset. Miles nudged him gently.

"But you'll have to remind me to tell you that one another night, ok?"

Tails looked up with a smile.

"Thanks dad." he said.

"Hey no problem Tails." replied Miles looking at the clock beside the bed, "Holy smoke! It's nearly two in the morning. I think we both need to get some sleep or we'll look like walking zombies in the morning."

Tails started to laugh quietly to himself and Miles soon joined in. They both stopped suddenly as they heard a voice from the door.

"Ok story time is officially over now I think."

Both Miles and Tails turned to see another fox standing in the doorway leaning on the door frame. A long silky dressing gown was wrapped around her person and her hair was tied into a long plait.

"Hey mum!" said Tails smiling at her.

"Miles Prower!" said Fiona slowly, "How long did you intend to keep this kid up?"

"Only long enough to finish the story, Fiona." replied Miles giving a smirk.

The addressed stood up fully and walked into the room as Miles got up from the bed. Fiona quickly settled Tails back into bed and tucked him up again. She leaned over and planted a kiss on his forehead.

"Now you get some sleep ok." she said.

"Ok mum. I think I'll be able to sleep now." replied Tails.


"Night son, sleep well." said Miles.

"Night dad. Thanks for the story."

Miles just nodded slowly and left the room with Fiona. He flicked out the light as he did and closed the door quietly. For a moment Fiona and Miles stood in the corridor listening. It didn't take long before they heard a gentle set of whistling breathes coming from Tails' room. They nodded at each other and made their way back to their own room. Fiona climbed back into bed but Miles went over to the window for a moment.

"Something on your mind dear?" asked Fiona.

"Oh nothing much I guess. Just thinking." replied Miles.

"Yes stories can do that. I heard you talking to him a short while ago although I missed most of your story."

"It's hard to think it all really happened."

"Occasionally yes. So much has happened and something's do seem out of this world….literally."

"Funny Fiona, funny."

Miles turned away from the window and slowly slipped into bed next to Fiona. Fiona gave him a small peck on his cheek as he slipped in next to her.

"I heard you talking about our first….well your second, meeting." she said.

"Heh!" chuckled Tails, "That was an interesting series of event's wasn't it."

"I'll say. I couldn't believe it at first but it explained why you were so shocked at my appearance. But just like that robot I seemed to fall for you too."

"And I'm glad you did Fiona."

"Ah shucks Miles."

The pair lay looking into each other eyes for a moment before Fiona yawned.

"Well Miles I think we really should get back to sleep…if you ever were asleep to start with. How knows what tomorrow will bring." she said.

"True Fiona. I think I might just be able to sleep now." replied Tails.

"I'm glad…..Tails."

Tails. Miles smiled slowly as he once again felt himself slipping back into memories. His youth had been filled with adventure and pain and the present was filled with happiness. He wondered just what the future would bring. More of the same? More of the past? Or something new yet to be discovered. He didn't mind though. Right now he was content and nothing could change that. His memories slowly started to fade away as gradually sleep took him and he slept the rest of the night away in one of the deepest most contented sleeps he had ever had in his life.


Author’s Note I – RedFox


This story was created using characters from SEGA and Archie Comic Publications. It takes place in a “universe” that blends the concepts of both. Any other characters that appear in the story were created in the mind of the author. Please ask me before using these any of these characters. My e-mail is Also e-mail me if you particularly enjoyed this story, or have any suggestions for my writing.

            Part of Bunnie’s speech in chapter eight is derived from the famous presidential inaugural address of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932.

            Special thanks goes primarily to my excellent co-author, MTP, as well as to Sonic HQ for information on characters, and to everyone who read and reviewed.

            This story was the sequel (or the prequel, depending on how it’s looked at) to my previous novella, Tranquility Disrupted. The third installment will be underway pretty soon, and it will feature the second generation of characters introduced in that first story, as well as a few new additions.

            Thanks again for reading!


            - Darren McRoy, “RedFox”, September 2003


Author’s Note II – MTP


            Well, Red has said most of it already but I guess I’ll put in my own thoughts.

            Firstly thanks to Red for trusting me enough to bring me in on this work. Secondly thanks to Sonic HQ. I’m not all that up to speed on Archie and their archive proved incredibly useful. Also thanks to our readers and reviewers again for all your support.


            - Duncan Sheard, “MTP”, September 2003