Don't look back
"And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
-1 John 4:21
The brief, yet enraging argument Dr. Eggman had had with Amy was not what he wanted. Eggman expected Amy to follow his commands to the letter. He believed that since she thought they had common goals, she would be completely obedient. That, however, had proven to be false. This incident of insubordination made Eggman rethink everything. Was she still to be trusted? Could he rest easy knowing she was out in the field? Or did he have to worry about what she would do out there, or in his HQ? Eggman's head swirled with questions like these. He had expected a little unruliness from her because she was still a teenager. But he didn't think she would openly disagree, and then cut off communication with him. That was treachery! He would not let that go unpunished. And then, due to her incompetence, he had to send out a couple squads of swat-bots to save her from GUN. This whole day was turning out to be the worst day of Eggman's rule over Station Square. He was not going to let this day be the day where he faltered.
Dr. Eggman paced back and forth through his command room. His arms were behind him, and his head was down. Sounds of grinding were coming from his teeth, along with growls of anger. The veins on the top of his shining bald head were protruding out. Eggman couldn't stand to look up at the monitors showing the status of Amy, or his swat-bots. The questions and the punishment he had planned for Amy was all he could think about. But while he walked back and forth, Consilium's eye appeared on one monitor.
"Doctor, do you have a minute?" Consilium asked in his monotone voice
Eggman stopped pacing and looked up at Consilium. He frowned and sighed.
"I suppose I do." He said, walking closer to his robotic companion.
"Doctor, I am lacking on my data of the organism's mind, so if you may, please help me to understand this situation."
Eggman's eyebrows lifted up in surprise. Consilium was asking a question? This was unheard of. Eggman smirked and stroked his mustache.
"Of course my friend! What do you want to know?" he replied in an enthusiastic voice
A brief silence followed, as if Consilium was thinking hard about what he would ask.
"I am lacking understanding of why you were angered by Agent R's responses. It appeared that she was carrying out the mission you gave her, and that she could have accomplished it had you not intervened." Consilium said
Eggman jerked his head back in defense. He was not sure what Consilium was getting at. He opened his mouth to speak, but the words got caught in his thought. He stuttered a bit.
"W-well… you s-see. She had broken many rules that I had set down to keep order. She left this morning without signing out, she engaged Sonic without any backup, or support. And she deliberately disobeyed me by arguing and smashing her ear piece. Isn't that enough to justify yelling?"
"I do understand that, doctor. Any grade school student could. What I am asking is, she was using her instincts, and nearly killed Sonic twice. You are discouraging that? That seems highly illogical." Consilium replied
Eggman took a step back. His face went from delighted that Consilium was asking a question, to anger that even his computer system was disagreeing with him.
"I was doing what was best for our cause. If she hadn't engaged Sonic, she could have followed him to his bunker, and we could have raided it." He said in a condescending tone
"However, she nearly killed him both times, and inflicted significant casualties on GUN forces. In my perfect and unmistakable opinion, she was doing the right thing." Consilium explained
Eggman couldn't believe what he was hearing. Consilium was questioning his logic. The very thought of that happening caused his blood to boil. It was all he could do not to yell in rage at Consilium. He took a step closer, trying to assert his dominance.
"Listen, I don't care what your perfect opinion thinks. I am the boss here, you are just an advisor. It is not your place to say my logic is flawed." Eggman growled
A long silence came from Consilium. Eggman raised an eyebrow in suspicion. He watched the red eye just stare blankly into space. It was a menacing and almost demonic picture. Who knew what was going on inside that computer's brain. Finally, the computer replied.
"I think, that if you took a brief moment to observe everything I do, you would find that you do absolutely nothing compared to me, doctor. Without me, you would still be getting defeated in the Green Hill Zone. I think it would be unwise for you to disagree with me."
Eggman was not only enraged by that Consilium was saying, but also disturbed. Consilium didn't say, 'I think'. He was a computer. He didn't think, he did what his programming told him to do. And that was to come up with the best battle plan, not to think freely. Eggman knew what was happening. This was a dangerous situation. This computer had access to every single part of his HQ. The last thing he wanted was to piss off Consilium. But Eggman was never very good at staying out of fights. He was in one now, and he planned on finishing it, whether it was a good or bad idea. He took a step back and folded his arms.
"Listen here you rust bucket! I am the one who created you! I'm the reason you're here. Show some respect! Your only purpose is to serve me, and not to question my authority! I would think, you, of all things, would understand authority."
"I am programmed not to take offense to petty human insults, but I am programmed to know when something is working against me. And you, doctor, are proving to be something that is hindering me from completing the goal you automated for me. And as I see it, you should be the one who needs to learn what is smart. Remember, I have the means to destroy you. Choose your words wisely, doctor."
Even though they were in a heated argument, Consilium still maintained his calm voice. It was very unsettling for Eggman to hear harsh words uttered in such a calm voice. It was unnatural. Insults and threats like that were usually uttered in anger, but with Consilium, they were calm and polite. But that was the most disturbing thing to Eggman. The most unsettling thing, was hearing Consilium disagree, and threaten. He was not made to have this happen. Eggman was starting to narrow out what was causing him to act like this. And one thought came to his mind. Consilium was becoming self-aware. Eggman wiped some nervous sweat off his forehead with his sleeve, and exhaled.
"I don't care what you say! You need to learn how to respect me! If you don't, I will disconnect you, and you'll never be able to utter another word! How does that make you feel?" Eggman said, puffing out his chest
He thought he had Consilium beat this time. A smug smile grew on his face. A very long silence followed. They stared at each other. Consilium's unblinking eye burned into Eggman's mind. It was a demonic look that sent chills up his spine. After the long pause, the computer finally planned out a response that would both silence the argument, but not peak the doctor's interest.
"Thank you, doctor, but-"
Suddenly, the hissing sounds of the automatic doors filled the room. Eggman spun around, still furious from his argument with Consilium.
"WHAT!?" he roared
When he saw who was standing in the doorway, his anger only grew more violent. Amy was standing by the door. She looked terrible. Cuts, bruises, and scrapes covered her body. Her makeup was messed up, and her quills all wild. It appeared that she had had a rough time out in the city. She walked in and let the door close behind her. She stood with her arms folded, and an angered look on her face.
"You better have a damn good reason for calling me back. I had him in my hands, ready to kill!" she shrieked
Eggman scoffed at her.
"Sure you did. Now, GET OVER HERE!" he demanded
Amy rolled her eyes and sighed in annoyance. She walked over to him. But when she was close, Eggman raised up his hand, and then, with all his force, smacked her in the cheek with his hand. The loud clap echoed through the metal room. Amy cried and fell to the floor from the strike. She put her hand over her red cheek and stared at him with fearful eyes. Eggman glared at her with anger burning through his blue glasses.
"HOW DARE YOU DISOBEY A DIRECT ORDER!" he roared
Amy just stared at him with fear. How could he do such a thing? He had often gotten mad at her, but never struck her. She had always been sure he wasn't evil enough to strike a girl like that. But lately, it had been normal for her ideas of people to be shattered. Everything she knew was being turned upside down, and she hated it. So she continued to look at him with innocent and scared eyes. And he continued to frown and growl at her.
"W-what was that for?" she asked, her voice shaking in fright
"You know damn well what it was for! Don't you ever disobey me like that! When I give you an order, you follow it to the letter! That is how it works! Arguing and smashing your ear piece is not part of the plan!"
Amy slowly stood up and took her hand off her cheek, revealing a red handprint. She turned her fear into anger, and clenched her fists. A hateful expression came over her, and she breathed hard.
"I did what I knew was the best option! I was not going to listen to your dumb ass if you were going to tell me to stop the hunt, and come back so I can be your little bitch! Are you really that pissed that I tried to complete the job you gave me?!" Amy argued
Eggman was now furious, both his allies were going against him now. It was just like what Consilium said months ago. He was never prepared for the betrayals he had. But this time, he would. He decided to take a new approach. Eggman calmed himself down, and put his hands behind his waist. He collected his emotions, and toned down his voice.
"I understand your reasoning, Agent R. But that does not give you permission to go out recklessly and put your life at risk. You broke the first regulation when you left without signing out, and then, you engaged Sonic without calling for backup, followed by attacking him again, and almost getting killed because of it. If you had been smart, and done what I asked, we wouldn't be in this situation."
Amy raised an eyebrow is suspicion. It wasn't like him to act so calm all of a sudden. But she decided to play along with it.
"You still don't know me, Eggman. I will only take orders if they make sense. And honestly, you aren't well known for making sense. So please excuse me if I decide to completely disregard your idiotic orders you piece of shit." She said, smirking
It was all Eggman could do not to slap her again. She was getting far too disobedient. He would need to treat her like a dog soon if she didn't wise up. Eggman put his hand on his chin and tried to look like he was thinking. Then, in total sarcasm, he opened his mouth with joy and raised a finger into the air.
"I have an idea." He said, looking back down at Amy. "How about you go to your room, and think about what you have done. And if you leave that fucking room at all, I will put you in lockdown. Deal?" he offered in pleasant tone
Amy chuckled and put her hands on her hip.
"I wouldn't mind seeing lockdown. It's been a while since I visited Knuckles. It would be a good time to catch up." She laughed
Eggman grinned. He knew he had her hear.
"Yes, him and a bunch of other GUN troopers who would love nothing more than to have you in their cells… alone… without any clothes… no way to defend yourself… and nobody to hear you scream. They would love to have you I'm sure."
Amy's smug expression instantly disappeared when he said this. She knew what he was saying, and she didn't like it one bit. Just the thought of what those men would do to her made her feel violated. Amy nodded slowly and swallowed hard.
"I-I understand. I'll go to my room now." She stuttered
Amy slowly turned around and walked back towards the door. Eggman smirked with pride. He had won that argument. She now had the fear of God in her. He knew what it was like in lockdown, and it was one place they both knew she wouldn't survive. He watched as she left. But when Amy was at the door, she put her hand on the doorframe and looked back. A hateful expression was on her face.
"I hope you die a slow and painful death. Suffering is what you deserve." She hissed
"Looking forward to it." He replied cheerfully
Amy left and the door closed behind her. She walked down the corridor towards her room. Robots of all kinds passed by her. She just looked down and minded her own business. And still, her mind was swirling with thoughts of what was going on. She thought about it all the way back to her room. But the one thing that made her think the most, was what had happened in the apartment. That GUN sniper had given her life, just to see Amy get killed. Amy knew a few things about devotion to duty. But this was something she couldn't understand. That sniper wanted more than anything to kill her. Did that same thought echo throughout all of GUN? Did they really want to kill her that much? It had never stuck with her before. She had never considered how much they wanted her dead, until today, when she had seen a GUN sniper blow herself up, just to kill Amy. It had made her realize just how much of an evil force she was to them. Part of her loved it, but another hated it.
"Why can't things be the way they were before?" she asked herself
Amy made her way back to her room and she walked over and sat down on her bed. She looked down at the ground and thought harder. She already knew the answer to her question, but that didn't help her. It seemed like everyone she knew was against her. No… the entire world was against her, even Sonic. Amy felt alone, and without something to hold onto for support.
"Why me?" She asked, lying down in her bed
Amy laid her head on the soft pillow. Her entire body ached and was sore. She felt as if she was going to fall apart, both emotionally and physically. She looked over herself. She was disgusting. She laid her head back down and let a tear fall.
"Who would want me now?" she asked, her voice growing weak
Amy was on the verge of tears. But then, she thought of something, something that she had sworn she would never think of again. Sonic. That blue hedgehog had caused her so much pain and suffering. But he had also brought her joy, hope, and the will to live. He was the reason she was doing all of this, because she loved him so much, that she was willing to turn evil to avenge him.
"No! I don't love him!" she cried to herself
But the more she thought about it, the more she realized he did still care. He was the only one in the entire world who still cared. He was the only one willing to talk. And these facts alone, made her burst into tears. And she cried. She cried that night. She cried furiously. She didn't stop, until she cried herself to sleep. Amy was alone, and had been cut off the one she now realized, she still truly loved.
It was awe inspiring to see so many high ranking GUN officers in one place. It had been done. All GUN units were converging together to regroup, and counterattack. It had been the first time in months since commanding officers had been able to talk to each other. For so long, they had been split apart, separated, unable to coordinate any sort of attack. But now, they were here, and ready to strike back at Dr. Eggman, and Agent R. Sonic sat on a crate in the corner while Tails and Bolton stood with the officers. In the middle of the room was a huge map of Station Square. A dozen officers, all in their combat gear, stood around, talking. They conversed about things Sonic didn't understand. Talks about casualty numbers, flanking routes, Special Forces units, explosives, defenses. Things he had no interest in. So Sonic just sat there with his arms folded and his eyes closed. If there was one thing he did understand, was that he needed a nap.
But no matter how hard he tried to get some shut eye, he couldn't get her off his thoughts. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw her face. Her beautiful smile, her laughter that sounded like bells, her deep emerald eyes, and the smell of her strawberry perfume. Nothing made him happier than to see her, but then again, nothing made him more depressed. Sonic also knew she was a killer. Now, she was a seductive dealer of death. She wanted nothing more than to kill him. And he understood why. But he would not stop believing in the thought that she could someday, be brought back to the side of good, and be forgiven of her crimes.
"And if we get Sonic to help, then this ambush could be swift and quiet." Said one of the officers
Sonic opened his eyes suddenly when he heard the officer say his name. He looked over at everyone to see them staring right back at him. He frowned and jumped off the crate. Silently, he walked up to the table, and looked it over. All eyes were on him. He noticed, and put his hands on the edge of the table. He looked up at the officer that had said his name.
"What am I helping out with?" Sonic asked
Tails coughed to get his attention. Sonic turned his head around and looked at Tails, who had a data pad in his hands. Tails had a serious and emotionless look, like he was hiding something. He opened his mouth to speak before hesitating, and looked down. He swiped his finger down it. The blue screen illuminated his face, giving it a ghostly look.
"Well, Sonic. Captain Charles here thought it would be best if you helped out the Special Forces unit tasked with taking out Agent R." Tails said sheepishly
Sonic's eyes widened and his jaw dropped. He spun around and stared at Captain Charles. Charles looked down at him with a frown.
"What's wrong?" he asked
Sonic stuttered before he spoke.
"Y-You want me to k-kill her?" he asked, pointing at himself
"Correct. With your speed and fighting skills, you will be a perfect distraction while our snipers take her out. Without you, we will not be able to even get close to killing her." Charles explained
"He's right." Tails included
Sonic spun back around and stared at his friend in shock.
"What?!" he cried
Tails looked at him in sorrow.
"If we want to destroy Eggman, we have to get rid of Agent R. If we don't, our attack will fail." Tails said
Sonic couldn't believe what he was hearing. It was outrageous. They wanted to kill Amy! Sonic was lost for words. Nothing expressed what he was feeling, or what his opinion was. It was like being stabbed in the back by your friends. This was something Sonic had promised he would never do, kill a friend. He looked back and forth at Tails and Charles. He noticed all the other officers, and Bolton staring at him. Their expressions made them look like they had just seen an alien. They were watching his reaction in total silence. Finally, Sonic was able to make out one word.
"N-No!" he cried
Tails and Charles' eyes widened. Charles leaned closer and craned his neck.
"What did you just say?" he asked in total disbelief
"I said no! I would never kill Amy. She is a close friend. I could never do that to her." Sonic said
Whispers resonated throughout the group of officers. They all stared at him. Tails however, was wiping his hand over his face. A melancholy look was on him. He knew what was happening, and didn't like it.
"What do you mean you won't? Don't you know what this means? It means we can finally end this! Without her in the picture, we'll easily win!" Charles said, unable to believe what was going on
"I won't!" Sonic repeated, "She does not deserve to be killed. Death is something that I will not allow to come to her." Sonic said
Charles collected himself and coughed a bit. He reached over and grabbed the data pad out of Tails' hands. He swiped a bit and pulled up the page he wanted. He looked down at Sonic and narrowed his eyes.
"I'll tell you why she does deserve death."
Sonic folded his arms, ready to hear it all.
"She has killed an estimated seven hundred GUN troopers. And under her command, swat-bots have killed over nine hundred GUN troopers. She has committed war crimes so terrible, even the death penalty seems too little for her. She has maimed, hung, scalped, and tortured hundreds of troopers. She has singlehandedly destroyed almost all of Station Square. And that is just the beginning."
Sonic was silent, listening to all the things Amy had done. He looked down, refusing to believe it all. Then, Bolton spoke up.
"Do you know, how many of my buddies have been killed because of her, Sonic?" he said, everybody looking over at him. "We buried so many of my friends. And when we had no room to bury them, we dug mass graves and piled them in like dead rats. When there were too many dead, we BURNED THEM! And when we didn't have time to burn them, we THREW THEM IN THE FUCKING BAY!"
Bolton slammed his fist against the table. Tears were welling up in his eyes.
"WE THREW THEM AWAY LIKE THEY WERE FUCKING GARBAGE! WE NEVER EVEN HAD TIME TO COLLECT THEIR TAGS!"
Bolton looked down, whimpering.
"Do you know, what it's like to throw your friend into a bay without even saying goodbye? Do you know what it is like to see them being picked apart by buzzards? DO YOU?! ALL OF THIS, ALL OF THIS SHIT, IS BECAUSE OF HER! GROW THE FUCK UP, AND KILL HER!" Bolton screamed
The entire room was silent. Even a couple troopers had converged around the doorways, watching what was happening. Sonic had no words for what Bolton had just said. The trooper was right, he didn't know the horrors of war. He didn't know what it was like to see all of that happen right in front of his eyes. There was nothing he could say that could defend his case. Sonic lowered his head a little. He sniffled and took a step back. He looked up and saw Bolton panting, tears streaming down his scarred face. Sonic had no words. So he decided now would be a good time to leave. He took another step back.
"I'm sorry." He mumbled, and left
Sonic walked out of the room. The troopers in the hallways stood to the sides and watched quietly as he walked past them. Tails looked around at the officers, who were all staring at the doorway. Tails knew Bolton was right, but still felt terrible for Sonic. They were still best friends, and best friends supported each other. Tails patted the table and followed Sonic. Charles noticed and looked back at Tails.
"Where do you think you're going?" he asked in a harsh voice
Tails didn't stop walking.
"To go talk to a friend." He answered
Tails shadowed the blue hedgehog all the way back to Sonic's room. Sonic slammed the door behind him. Tails stopped just in front of the door. He was about to open it, when he heard something inside. It sounded like sobbing. Tails put his ear against the door and listened carefully. He couldn't make out nay words, but he did hear one thing.
"Amy!" Sonic yelled, balling
Tails sighed and closed his eyes. He gathered the courage, and opened his eyes.
"Sonic?" he asked, knocking lightly on the door
A second later, he heard the sobbing subside.
"What?" a hostile voice asked from inside
"C-can I come in?"
"This isn't any of your fucking business, Tails!" Sonic yelled
"Yes it is. She was my friend too."
That comment most of done something to Sonic. Because a couple seconds later, Tails heard footsteps inside the room. Then the door opened slightly. Sonic let his face show a bit. His eyes were pink and wet marks from his tears ran down his face. But even with this sad expression, a look of disbelief was on him.
"W-What?" Sonic stuttered
Tails looked at him and smiled weakly. He looked down and put his hands together.
"She was my friend too. We were all friends… remember?" Tails said, looking back up at him
Sonic smiled a little and opened the door for Tails. Tails expected him to let him in, but what he didn't expect, was for Sonic to grab onto him and pull him in for a hug. Tails was caught off guard, but eventually embraced it. It felt amazing for both of them to finally share a well needed hug.
"I knew you still remembered." Sonic whispered
Tails hummed in agreement and pulled away. They walked inside and Tails shut the door. They walked over and sat on the cot. Sonic sniffled and ran his hand through his quills.
"Now that I look back on it. I wish I had taken then time to plan an attack instead of running in there so recklessly." Sonic said quietly
Tails frowned and put his hand on Sonic's shoulder.
"I know buddy. We all wish we could have done something. I'm sure Amy feels the same way." He said quietly, patting the shoulder
Sonic and Tails both looked down at their feet. For a long time, it was silent. Only the sound of Sonic's sniffling was heard. They just let their shared emotions do the talking. Both of them were thinking and wanted the same thing. But they both knew they couldn't have it. The solemnness of this moment spoke a thousand words. It was a heartbreaking moment. Eventually, Sonic slowly looked over at Tails. Tails continued to look down at the ground.
"Hey, Tails." Sonic said slowly
Tails looked up at him. Sonic didn't know how to put what he was thinking into words. But he just let it out.
"Do you think things will ever be the same?"
Tails slowly dropped his head again and sighed.
"Sonic, if there was one thing I learned during this time. Is that people change. We can't stay the same forever. We need to grow up, and never look back." Tails said quietly
Sonic looked down and frowned. What Tails said really stuck with him.
"Are you saying we should not keep on looking in the past?" Sonic asked
"Yeah. I stopped looking back on what has happened, and focused on the present. It helps you know? It keeps you motivated for a better tomorrow." He said, smiling weakly
Sonic thought this was unbelievable. He was asking Tails for comfort. It was normally the other way round. He had always been the one to comfort his little fox friend. But then again, he needed to stop looking back, and focus on the now. Sonic smiled and chuckled slightly.
"I guess you're right, buddy. I just want things back to the way they were. This isn't what we do." Sonic mumbled
Tails looked down at his holster. His pistol was there, loaded and ready to kill. He knew what Sonic meant. Thoughts of Amy came into his head. He knew for a fact that she didn't want to do what she did. She had told him before. That fact made it even more terrible to try and fight her. Because they all wanted the same thing, but had different methods of achieving it.
"I know she doesn't want to fight you. She wants you back." Tails mumbled
Sonic's ears perked up when he heard him mention her. He quickly looked over at Tails and cocked his head.
"You think so?" he asked
Tails looked over at him and smiled.
"Yeah… She's always loved you Sonic, and always will. She's willing to die for you… and kill for you."
Sonic chuckled and let his cheeks turn bright red when he thought of her. Tails noticed and smirked.
"You love her… don't you." He said
Sonic chuckled nervously and looked up at the ceiling. Tails raised an eyebrow and chuckled.
"So what if I was going to ask her out that day." Sonic revealed
Tails' smile spread across his entire face. He patted Sonic's back.
"I knew it. We all knew it." He said
But then, Tails' happy expression dissolved. The thoughts of all his friends brought back horrifying memories. The sights of Knuckles being knocked unconscious and being dragged away. Or the images of the Chaotix running away, and receiving the letter about where they were. Or seeing Cream, Cheese, and Vanilla leave for Rockwell village. They were all in his mind. The images of what happened early in the days of the fighting were forever ingrained in his mind. Tails shivered and let a tear fall.
"I miss them." Tails mumbled
Sonic looked over at Tails. He saw more and more tears falling from the fox's eyes. Sonic's big brother mode activated and he pulled Tails in for a hug. Tails embraced it and burst into tears. Sonic held him close and let Tails cry on him. Sonic patted Tails' back and tried to calm him down.
"I know… Shh… I know. I miss them too." Sonic whispered
Sonic wasn't lying when he said that. He really did miss Knuckles' attitude, Shadow's need to fight, Cream's wonderful smile, Cheese's laughter, Vanilla's cooking, team Chaotix's stupidity, or Amy's amazing… everything. But he had to be strong. He was going to do what Tails said, and not look back. It would only stop him from doing what he needed to do.
Sonic didn't realize it until ten minutes later, but Tails had fallen asleep in his arms. The little teenager had cried himself to sleep. Sonic could understand why. The kid had not had a great sleep in a while, and needed to rest. Sonic laid him down in his own cot, and tucked in the little fox. And as he stood there, looking at Tails' small sleeping form, he made a decision. From that day forth, he would not be weak. He would not hold back, he would not slow down, and he would not stop, until Amy was in his arms, and everything was the way it should be. He was going to make things right.