Rock and a hard place
"A fool's lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating."
Reuniting with your best friend after weeks of worrying whether they were alive or not was the best feeling Sonic or Tails could have. Knowing that Sonic was alive breathed new hope into Tails. He had accepted the fact that Sonic was dead, but now those depressing thoughts were gone. Sonic was with him again. The fact that the blue hedgehog was here now meant he had someone to help him, someone to laugh with him, someone to recollect old memories with. In Tails' head, nothing could top this moment. He was meeting his long lost friend. It was incredible for him. Nothing could make him happier.
Sonic felt like he was on top of the world. Knowing that you best friend was okay after all this time reassured him that there was still hope, still a chance of undoing what Eggman had done. Sonic felt lucky. Out of all his friends, the one to finally reunite with him was Tails, his buddy. He wished this moment would never end. It was far too special. Sonic had worried about his friends, but seeing Tails meant that he shouldn't worry too much. Tails could withstand a lot, and so could everyone else. But deep down, Sonic was just glad his friend was okay. He couldn't ask for anything more.
Sonic and Tails hugged each other for what seemed like ages, embracing the fact that they were both still alive. It was like two brothers meeting after a long time away. Bolton watched them and chuckled to himself. They looked so happy together, like a family. Family… Bolton suddenly remembered something, or rather someone. He frowned a bit and wondered where she was, and if she was okay. He wished he could call her and tell her he was okay. But he knew better than to dwell on these things and shook the thought away. He smirked and slung his rifle.
"Well… it looks like you two are certainly happy to see each other." Bolton chuckled
Tails and Sonic pulled away. They looked up at him with the biggest smiles they could make.
"You sure bet!" Tails cheered
Sonic laughed and let go. He looked around and folded his arms. Now that happy times were over, they needed to get back to work.
"This is great, but are we going to get inside or what?" he asked, kicking the ground
Bolton's face suddenly turned serious. He unslung his rifle and looked around with his eyes narrowed.
"You're right…" he said slowly, "Fighters will be all over us pretty soon." He said, walking towards the hatch
Tails' face grew concerned as well. He pulled out his pistol and clicked off the safety. Sonic was a little shocked to see Tails holding a pistol. He knew Tails hated using weapons that could kill, especially ones that killed other humans. Sonic realized this was an exception. But still, he couldn't help but feel bothered by Tails holding a pistol as if it were second nature. He decided to ask about it. Sonic walked up next to Tails as they were heading for the hatch to the bunker.
"Hey Tails." Sonic asked
Tails lowered his pistol and looked over at Sonic.
"Yeah?" he replied
"Do you like using that thing? It's not like you to use a weapon like a pistol." Sonic said
Tails looked down at the pistol and shrugged. He looked back up at Sonic with a frown on his face. They stood by the hatch while they waited for Bolton to go down.
"I don't like it. But I will use anything to kill every damn swat-bot. I'll use this thing to put a round right between that son of a bitch Eggman." Tails said, growling
"I guess you're right." Sonic said slowly
Sonic was taken aback by Tails' words. They were not words he said often. Sonic was sure Tails didn't know what a swear word was before all of this. What had happened to his friend? Sonic just thought about it and wondered what else this new version of reality had in store. He was starting to get the sinking feeling that everything was not the same. But he was sure he could make things right. He just needed a positive attitude, and learn what has happened. Then, he could kick Eggman's butt. Bolton was now down and Tails was getting ready to go down as well. He watched as his friend began to descend into the pit of black. He hated dark places. Once Tails was down, he called up to Sonic.
"Come on, Sonic! We don't want UAVs spotting our access point!" Tails called out
"Got it, buddy!" He yelled back
Sonic jumped down and landed inside the bunker. The first thing that struck him about the place was not the dirt, grime, gear, blood, or people, it was the smell. The smell of body odor, crap, oil, gunpowder, sulfur, and disgusting food almost knocked him out. He covered his nose and gagged.
"Geez, Tails! What's that smell?" Sonic demanded
Tails looked over at him with a clueless face. He was confused as to what Sonic was going on about. But then he remembered the smell they had all grown accustomed to. A smirk grew on his face.
"The smell of war." He chuckled
Sonic didn't like the smell of war. He walked through the dimly lit room up to Tails. His friend was standing behind Bolton, who was listening to something on the radio. Bolton held up a mike from an ancient box radio. He was listening to something, and judging by the look on his face, it didn't sound good.
"What do you mean they picked up our tracks?!" Bolton asked
His face was struck with fear and terror. Sonic and Tails both stood there, afraid of what he was going to tell them. Sonic looked over at Tails with an unsure face. But the face on his fox friend was nothing like the joyful expression he had earlier. He had the thousand yard stare. He was looking at nothing without blinking. Sonic wasn't an expert in war, but he was sure something bad was coming, and Tails knew what it was.
"What's going on?" Sonic asked in an uneasy tone
Tails shook himself out of his trance and looked over at Sonic with a fearful face.
"It's coming." He whispered
Before Sonic could ask what his friend meant by this, Bolton got up. He threw down the radio mike and grabbed his assault rifle. Without a word, he stormed over to the doorway and stood there.
"ALL HANDS! EVACUATE! EVACUATE! EVACUATE! WE ARE LEAVING! AGENT R IS ON THE WAY! GET READY TO DEFEND THE BUNKER!" Bolton roared
Bolton then ran down the hallway, shouting out orders. Tails began to go into a panic. He spun his head around, looking for something. His breathing picked up and sweat began to wet his fur. Sonic was uneasy. This whole scenario didn't look good. He stood there, unsure of what was going on. He watched at Tails scurried about, packing up gadgets, maps, belongings, and other small things into a rucksack. He looked as if he was acting on instinct, like he had practiced this. Eventually, Sonic needed to know what was happening. When Tails passed by him, he grabbed Tails' arm and made him face Sonic.
"Tails, what is going on? What is Agent R? Why are we leaving?" Sonic asked
Tails shoved Sonic's arm off of him and packed the last item in his rucksack.
"Agent R, is a wild beast. Something that is unstoppable. It shows no mercy, kills everyone, and hates me with a passion. Does that answer your question?" Tails explained
Sonic wasn't satisfied with that answer.
"No. Who is this Agent R guy? I've heard a lot about him, but never anything specific." Sonic continued
Tails stopped his scurrying and stared at Sonic. His face was pitiful and sad. Sonic didn't know the truth. Tails sighed and lowered his head.
"Sonic… a lot has changed since you went missing. Agent R is a product of that change." Tails said slowly
Sonic couldn't handle it anymore. He was done with these cryptic messages Tails was giving him. Sonic stormed up to Tails and grabbed him by his arms. He shook Tails roughly.
"Who is Agent R?" Sonic demanded
Tails looked up at him. He appeared to have tears welling up in his eyes. He was beginning to sniffle. His breathing was out of control, and he looked weak.
"Agent R is-"
Suddenly, an explosion could be heard further down the bunker. The entire area shook violently for a couple seconds. Dust and dirt flew everywhere, followed by screams of pain and terror. Then, a couple seconds later, gunfire. Sonic and Tails both spun around and looked down the corridor. Tails struggled and broke free of Sonic's grip. He ran for the doorway, pulling out his pistol.
"Bolton!" He screamed
"Tails!" Sonic yelled, following his friend
Just as they made it to the doorway, Bolton and Bragg came running through it. They crashed into Sonic and Tails, tackling them. Bolton and Bragg got up and spun around, bringing their rifle up. They fired into the brown clouds of smoke.
"GET THEM BACK!" Bolton barked
Bragg nodded and stepped back a bit, never ceasing to fire. He turned around and slung his rifle. He grabbed Sonic and Tails and led them over to the hatch.
"Come on you two, we're leaving!" Bragg yelled
The breaching charge from the swat-bots had left one heck of a hole in the rubble. Amy liked seeing the robots storm into bunkers, destroying everything in sight. It made her feel like she was playing one big game of tag. And the other player was Tails. She was looking for him, ready for the final prize. Once she was done with him, she could finally move onto Eggman. Nobody was going to be spared when she was finished with everything. If she was suffering, everyone should be. Amy intended to keep it like that.
When the breaching charge blew up, the swat-bots rushed in, firing away at the unsuspecting GUN troopers. Amy sat on a large rock outside the bunker, filing her nails. She acted as if nothing was going on. She sat all lady like with her legs crossed and her skirt looking proper. She just played with her nails, humming a song to herself. But her song was drowned out by the gunfight going on inside. The screams of horror from the GUN troopers was her new song. But she paid no attention. She just sat, filing her nails and picking at them. After she was done playing with her nails, she threw away the filer and stood up.
"Alright," she said, pulling out her hammer, "Let's get to work."
Amy approached the hole in the bunker and stepped inside. The chaos of the battle raging inside was just like any other ambush. The GUN forces were completely surprised, and getting slaughtered. Her swat-bots were being taken down, but were still doing their job. Smoke, dust, shell casings, and blood clogged the air. Nothing special to Amy. She stood just within the bunker. She looked down a long corridor with a dimly lit room at the other end. She smiled and flung her hammer on her shoulder.
"Let's go." She said to some swat-bots
A couple robots turned and followed her down the corridor. Of course, GUN troopers were firing at her, but the swat-bots were taking them down easily. But then, two GUN troopers in particular came running and entered the corridor. They made their way towards the room Amy was heading for. Amy snarled when she saw who theses troopers were. Bolton and Bragg. The two troopers were the ones who saved Tails many times. They had stopped many of her attempts to destroy bunkers. And their presence also meant something important. Tails wasn't far away. That fox was glued to them. If she could kill them, that traitor would give up easily.
"Get down, ma'am." One swat-bot said in its deep robotic voice
Without thinking, Amy dodged and hid behind a box just as Bolton and Bragg were firing at her. Two swat-bots fell right where she had been standing. Amy's eyes widened and her mouth hung open. She had nearly died. She had nearly been shot. If it wasn't for her swat-bots, she would be dead. For some strange reason, Amy suddenly felt more anger rush into her. The thought of those swat-bots dying for her made her furious. They didn't know any better, but had an undying loyalty to her, even if it was programmed. She knew they could be replaced, but something made her mad that they had died.
"How dare they." She said to herself
Amy growled and jumped up. When she got up however, she saw something that delighted her. She saw not only Bolton and Bragg here, but Tails as well. The fox was running with Bragg further into the room. Then, moments later, Bolton stopped shooting and followed his friends. Amy took her chances. She jumped over the box and started running for the room, screaming. She had her hammer ready to strike. As she ran along, a GUN trooper jumped out in front of her.
"Die, slut!" he screamed
He grabbed her hand that held her hammer and gripped it hard. He had caught her by surprise. Amy looked down and saw he had a knife in his other hand. The trooper tried to stab her, but Amy knew what to do. She dropped down and tried to slide under him. He missed her. When she was down, Amy threw a punch at his crotch. The trooper let go and stumbled around, wheezing in pain. Amy got up and pulled out her hammer. She swung it at him. Just like with Wilkins, his body exploded from the force and sharp edges. The blood, flesh, and organs flew everywhere. Amy wiped the blood off her face and looked down. The mutilated remains of the trooper were all over the floor.
"I'm no slut, I'm Sonic's lover." She said to the mess by her feet
Amy stroked the red bandana on her arm and closed her eyes. She lipped out Sonic's name and shivered. She still missed him… very much. But if she ever met him, she would have a few words for him. Just then, her earpiece went off. She clicked it.
"What?" she asked, irritated
"Agent R, I just wanted to tell you to keep chasing them. They won't be able to get far. You can end this right here, go!" Eggman ordered through her earpiece
"Copy, but I'll give them a little head start, just to make it fun. I want to savor this." Amy hissed
A long pause came from the other side of the radio. Finally, he spoke up again.
"Do whatever you think is the right thing." Eggman said, turning off the radio
Amy took her finger off the earpiece and put her hammer away. She slowly walked through the corridor with confidence and seductive grace. She was going to get those traitors, if it was the last thing she did.
It was a desperate rush to get away from the bunker. Nobody had expected or prepared for the attack. It was so sudden, and so violent, just like all the others. One would think the GUN troops would have devised a plan for dealing with such events, but they hadn't. Probably due to the lack of communication. Nevertheless, they were still unprepared. But one thing was for certain, Agent R was not going to stop until they were all dead. Every single one of them.
Bolton, Bragg, Tails, Sonic, and two fire-teams ran for their lives. They ran as far away from that bunker as possible. Most of the troops had rucksacks on, trying to keep what few little items of gear they had left. But some just carried ammunition, firing at the last swat-bots that were following them. The group weaved and dodged the rubble. They made their way through the jungle of twisted metal, destroyed concrete, and broken glass. All in an attempt to get away. After a long and exhausting run, they finally escaped the killer robots. They slowed down and stopped on a ridge overlooking the remains of a courtyard. Bolton pulled out his radio and turned it on.
"All troops, form a perimeter. Let's figure out a plan." He said
Without words, all the troopers got into positions, making a circle around the gang. Tails sat down and leaned against a wall. He put his hands on his face and screamed into them. Sonic looked down at his friend with pity.
"Why was I such a fool?!" Tails yelled through his hands
Sonic frowned and sat down next to Tails. He placed his hand on his friend's back and stroked it gently.
"It's okay, Tails. It wasn't your fault." Sonic said quietly
Tails put down his hands and stared at Sonic's coldly.
"Yes it was. I should have done a perimeter sweep before opening that fucking hatch." He cried
Tails was really beating himself up about this. Sonic was still amazed by this new version of reality he was in. The list of questions were piling up, but he could ask those later. He needed to deal with the immediate problems. He pulled Tails closed and hugged him.
"It doesn't matter. I'm here now, everything is going to be alright. We'll win." Sonic said
He wasn't sure if he believed those words, but they sounded good. Anything to bring Tails' hopes up. Because if there was one thing we was sure of here, is that there was no hope. Bolton saw all of this and walked over to Bragg.
"Talk with me for a moment." He whispered
Bragg nodded and they stepped away from Sonic and Tails. Bragg pulled his scarf down and pulled out a can of tobacco. He put a pinch in his mouth and looked at Bolton.
"What is it?" he asked
Bolton starched his head and sighed.
"Dude, we don't have enough supplies to keep the men going. Thing's aren't looking good. Without our long-range radio, we can't contact other bunkers. We're screwed unless that miracle of a hedgehog can come up with something." Bolton explained
"I know that. I don't have much faith in that blue rodent, but I will if he can get us out of this tough spot." Bragg said, spitting out some chew
They both looked over at Sonic, who was wiping away Tails' tears.
"He better pull some serious magic out of his ass if he is going to save us." Bolton mumbled
Suddenly, a thought popped into Bragg's head. A memory from months past. He looked over at Bolton. A huge smile was working its way up his scarred face. Bolton noticed and raised an eyebrow in suspicion.
"What are you thinking?" Bolton asked
"Didn't that Amy Rose girl used to be in love with that guy?" Bragg asked
Bolton thought back to when he was a FNG, and they were helping out test the Claw. And back when Agent R was known as Amy Rose, and she was friends with Sonic.
"Yeah… she was." He said quietly
"Well what do you think will happen when they finally meet?" Bragg asked
Bolton frowned and looked up, thinking. It was a puzzling idea. One he hadn't thought of in a while. He looked back at Bragg with a thoughtful expression.
"Two things could happen. Either she falls in love with him again and we all live happily ever after, or she doesn't change and it all goes to shit." Bolton said
Bragg thought about it. Both those options didn't help them too much. This was a tough situation, and they didn't have any ideas. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Bolton and Bragg both looked over at Sonic and Tails. Tails was no longer crying, but was still sniffling. Bolton motioned with his head and they both walked over to the Mobians. They stood in front of Sonic and Tails. The two animals looked up at them. Sonic narrowed his eyes.
"What?" he asked in a harsh tone
Bolton sighed and knelt down so he could look into Sonic's eyes. Sonic stared at him with a suspicious face. Bolton opened his mouth, but held back his words. But suddenly, a round flew by and hit one of the GUN troopers in their head. Screaming came from the south area.
"CONTACT!" yelled one trooper
Gunfire rang out in the air. The gang all spun their heads around and looked in the direction of where the fire was coming from. Bolton and Bragg both unslung their rifles and ran for the area of the firefight.
"Get over here you two!" Bragg yelled as they ran
Sonic looked over at Tails, who was standing up. Tails pulled out his pistol and clicked the safety off. He wiped his nose and held his hand out to Sonic. His face was determined and stoic. Like this was what he lived for. Which, in reality, he was.
"Come on, Sonic. Time to fight." Tails said
Sonic's mouth opened in awe slightly. His mind then focused on the present. He nodded, frowned, and took Tails' hand. He stood up and looked at his friend.
"Let's go." Sonic said
Tails nodded and they both ran towards the firefight. Tails jumped behind some rubble and got into position next to Bolton. They worked as a team, firing and covering while the other reloaded. Tails fired a few shots at the swat-bots and hid behind cover. Bolton popped up and fired a couple shots.
"What should we do?" Tails asked
Bolton crouched down and looked at him.
"We need to fall back to the rallying point. Hopefully some other squads made it out." He said, standing up to fire
The prospect of other squads making it out of that bunker alive were slim, but possible. Nevertheless, they needed to get to that rallying point. The troopers needed a place to rest. Tails peered around the rubble and fired, dropping a couple swat-bots. He hid again and looked around in the chaos. Only 20 troopers were left. But they fought like devils. The remaining GUN troopers were the best, and they showed it. They were dropping swat-bots with ease. Even though they were low on ammo and everything else a force needed to fight, Tails was sure they would hold out. Sonic was here again, that's all that mattered. They were saved by him. Just then, tails looked over and saw Sonic running up to the swat-bots. A huge smile crept up Tails' face. He was finally going to see his friend in action again.
"GO GET 'EM BUDDY!" Tails cheered, jumping up
Sonic looked back, smiling, and gave a thumbs up. He then ran into a swat-bot, kicking it down and making it slide into a couple more. Sonic jumped up just as they were firing, and flew up into the air. Then, he used all his force and came crashing down towards earth. When he landed, the shockwave made a few robots fly up and crash down. More swat-bots came in, firing at him. Sonic smirked and jumped up, running towards them. While running, he curled up into a ball of spikes and rolled at lightning speed towards the robots. He ripped through all of their legs, turning the squad into a pile of spare parts. Sonic just continued to tear apart the swat-bots that were flooding into the battlefield. Soon, smoke and dust began to clog the air, making it hard for anyone to see what was going on inside the cloud.
"SHOW 'EM WHOSE BOSS SONIC!" screamed one GUN trooper
All the troopers at the firing line stood up and looked down at the massacre that was going on inside the dust cloud. They raised their assault rifles into the air and began cheering. The roar of their cheers echoed through city. It was going to be their first victory. Bolton, Bragg, and Tails all looked at each other. Tails smiled even bigger and jumped up. He jumped in the air, cheering.
"YEAH SONIC!" he yelled
Amy walked through the destroyed courtyards towards what sounded like chaos. She grinned, thinking of all the ways she was going to kill Tails, Bolton, and Bragg. She could capture them and torture, make it painless, or make them die slowly. But deep down, any way would do it for her. All she wanted was their heads. Amy continued to walk, noticing the dead swat-bots beginning to scatter the area. Their numbers were growing as she got closer to the ruckus going on in the distance.
"I hope the swat-bots saved me a couple." She chuckled
But as Amy approached, the sounds she thought had been chaos turned into something she hadn't heard in a long time. Cheering. The sounds of men cheering were overtaking the sounds of battle. Amy frowned as she got closer. She walked up a hill that overlooked the battlefield. What she saw confused, and angered her.
"What the hell?" she asked
All she saw was a cloud of dust and smoke blocking out the source of the battle sounds. But she looked around, Gun troopers were standing all along the ridge, cheering. Something was wrong here. She didn't like it. Amy didn't like seeing her enemies cheering. She clenched her fists and began to growl. Her growl grew and grew. Her anger boiled inside of her. This needed to stop. Amy looked down at the battle going on and huffed. She looked around at the cheering GUN troopers in disgust. She hated it. Amy breathed in.
"EEENNNOOOUUUGGGHHH!" she screamed as loud as she could
That did the trick. Everything around her stopped. The entire world went quiet. Nobody moved. All the Gun troopers stared at her. She could see some of them ducking down and hiding again. Others turned and ran away from the ridge. But the most important thing was that the sounds of battle had ended. It was all completely silent.
Sonic had just ripped off the head of a swat-bot when he had heard that high pitched scream. He had stopped as soon as he heard it. Even the two swat-bots left had stopped attacking him. The cheering had stopped, everything had stopped. But that wasn't the most incredible thing about that scream. No, what was most amazing, was who screamed. To Sonic, it sounded familiar. It sounded like someone he knew. But he couldn't place his finger on it. So he had stopped. He was going to let the smoke clear before he saw who had stopped his fun.
Tails looked out and saw who had screamed. He saw Amy's figure standing in the distance. A feeling of dread came over him.
"Oh shit." He whispered
He knew what was about to happen. And he didn't like it.
The breeze slowly blew away the smoke and dust. The air became clearer, and that was not good. Sonic stood there, staring at where the scream had come from. Amy was slowly walking down the hill, towards the battleground. Just as Amy had reached the bottom of the hill, the smoke had cleared away almost completely.
"Alright," Amy said impatiently, "who the hell is destroying my swa-"
Amy stopped right in her tracks when she saw who it was. Sonic's jaw dropped in shock and horror. The world around them stopped. Everything was silent and nobody moved at all. The world seemed to be holding its breath, waiting to see what would happen. Amy and Sonic stared at each other in astonishment. They couldn't believe what they were seeing. Sonic dropped the swat-bot head on the ground and took a step forward?
"A-Amy… is that y-you?" he asked in amazement