The odds were against them
"But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
-1 Corinthians 15:57
Through the streets of Station Square they ran. Under the ground they burrowed. Above the city's buildings they flew. Sonic and his friends were rushing as fast as they could to meet Dr. Eggman's largest robot. It was up to them to fight off this goliath of a robot. But the odds were against them. Eggman had a Chaos Emerald. They didn't. But they had to fight him; otherwise he would destroy Station Square, and build the beginnings of his new empire on its ashes. Sonic and the others knew what they had to do, whether or not they were likely to succeed. But he and his friends had stopped Eggman before, and they'll do it again. With the right strategy, and coordination, they would win. But that was something none of them had. The attack was so sudden, and so violent, that they never had time to plan an attack. If they won this battle, it would be a miracle.
Sonic sprinted through the streets of Station Square. Shadow was not far behind him. Sonic was having a tough time running. All the rubble, debris, and wreckage were making it hard to run without making sharp turns. Fires raged all around him. Buildings were crumbling, creating huge dust clouds that made breathing near impossible. The heat was unbearable, and the sounds of car alarms, screaming people, crashing buildings, and yelling were almost deafening. It was a chaotic scene. As he was running along, Sonic looked up when hearing a roaring sound. It was the Tornado. The sleek red biplane flew overhead. Sonic smirked and tried to run faster, trying to beat the plane. But his acceleration was cut short when he fell into a massive crater. He fell through and rolled on the hard rocky ground. Dust and rocks were kicked up from his violent fall. Once he was done skidding across the ground, Sonic sat up.
"DANG IT! That hurt!" Sonic exclaimed, rubbing his head
A couple seconds later, the shadow of a hedgehog came over him. He looked up and saw Shadow standing there with his arms folded, and a scornful expression. Sonic chuckled nervously.
"What do you think you're doing playing in the dirt, faker." Shadow asked in his normal dark tone
Sonic stood up and brushed the dirt off himself. He looked back up at Shadow and grinned.
"Having more fun than you, buzzkill." Sonic replied
Shadow growled and showed his canines. But his anger was stopped when he took his eyes off Sonic. His pupils darted from one spot to another. His jaw dropped slightly as he looked around. Sonic was growing confused. He looked around at what his friend was gazing at. He didn't see anything except the shallow crater he was in. He then looked back up at Shadow with a curious face.
"What are you looking at, dude?" Sonic asked
Shadow just continued to look around, and finally directed his gaze back at Sonic. A look of horror was in his eyes. This was not normal for Shadow. He was not easily scared.
"Come up here." He ordered
Sonic frowned and walked up to where Shadow was standing. He stood next to Shadow and looked in the direction he was gazing. Shadow pointed down at the crater.
"See those strange markings in the crater?" Shadow asked
Sonic strained his eyes to see what Shadow was seeing. But after a few seconds, Sonic saw them. It was true. There were markings in the crater. They resembled the designs on the bottoms of shoes. At first Sonic thought it was just a coincidence. But then he noticed that they were in a very precise pattern. And in the middle of that pattern, was Dr. Eggman's emblem that he painted on every one of his creations. But something else was different about this crater. It was shaped like a foot. Sonic quickly looked over at Shadow.
"What is this?" he asked worriedly
Shadow just stared out down the war-torn street. Sonic turned and gazed in that direction. What he saw horrified him. Down the street were more of the massive craters. One after the other. They were footprints of Eggman's robot. Sonic and Shadow both looked at each other with shocked faces. They were speechless because of this startling news.
"That robot is bigger than I thought." Sonic said under his breath
This robot was truly massive. It was leaving craters in the ground from its massive feet. Sonic and his friends had never seen anything like this before. They were running into this blindly. But they had to, despite the problems they faced. Sonic knew this, and didn't like it, nobody did.
"We need to keep moving." Shadow grunted
Sonic nodded and began to sprint down the street. Shadow activated his shoes and sprinted off behind his blue counterpart.
Tails had been busy lately modifying the Tornado. He had seen the need to add a passenger seat to his humble little biplane. With a little elbow grease and an extra seat, he had turned the Tornado into a two seat aircraft. This was perfect seeing that Amy needed to come along with him sometimes. And this time was no different. Amy was sitting in the back seat of the Tornado, watching the world below her. The scene from the Tornado was just devastating to Amy. Seeing fires and rubble everywhere showed how much that robot was destroying this great city. Even with the roar of the Tornado's engines, Amy could barely make out the screams of innocent people still trapped in the city. She shivered when she thought about the pain they were in. It did not help that the sickly sweat smell of burning flesh was rising into the air along with the smoke. Amy gagged a little when they first entered the city's airspace due to the smell. She looked over at Tails. She frowned and huffed.
"TAILS!" she screamed over the engine
Tails however, didn't pay attention to her scream; he was busy flying the Tornado high above the city streets. He needed to focus on the towering robot that was no doubt tracking him already. Tails was worried about what this robot would do to his precious airplane if it had the anti-aircraft guns the news had been talking about. The lack of GUN helicopters was quite unnerving. But his thoughts were stopped when he felt a finger tap his shoulder. He turned his head around and pulled one headphone cover off his ear. He stared back at the pink hedgehog who was clearly distressed about the situation.
"WHAT?!" he asked
"WHERE IS GUN?" Amy asked, "WHY AREN'T THERE ANY HELICOPTERS OR JETS. AND I DON'T EVEN SEE SOLDIERS BELOW!?"
Tails looked down at the ground. Amy was right. The streets were devoid of any Gun vehicles. Not a single Humvee, LAV, or tank could be seen. No soldiers were anywhere either. Something wasn't right about this. GUN had the most capable military on the planet; they had to of deployed soldiers by now. Tails looked back up at Amy with a confused face.
"I DON'T KNOW, AMY! MAYBE THEY ARE ALREADY FIGHTING THE ROBOT!" he answered, trying to comfort his friend
Amy huffed in disapproval of his answer. She wasn't a tactician, but she was sure that she would have a steady supply of soldiers heading for that robot from the base. There was not a trace of GUN, which scared her.
Tails put his headphone cover back on his ear just in time to hear the static of a radio hailing him on his channel. Tails pressed the push-to-talk button on his headset.
"Tails hear, who is this?" he asked
Suddenly, a GUN helicopter flew up next to them. The helicopter's main cargo bay doors were open. Soldiers sat on the edge of the platform with their feet dangling out of it. Creates and other troops were inside the cargo bay. Tails looked over at the helicopter that was flying next to him. The pilot of the helicopter was looking over at Tails.
"This is GUN helicopter Viper 2-3. It's about time you bozos showed up. What have you been doing this whole time?" the pilot asked, his voice raising as he was getting mad
"We've been trying to come up with a plan, thank you." Tails snapped back
"Coming up with a plan?!" the pilot screamed, "Half of station Square is gone because of your inability to act! It's been tough being the last helicopter on station. We can't get troops in there fast enough. And our fighters ain't doing much when SAMs blow them apart. You better have a damn good idea on how to destroy this thing, because my friends better have not died for nothing."
Tails was stunned by what the pilot was saying. The situation as even worse than he thought. If GUN was unable to keep this robot at bay, than not many people could. But maybe when they got to the robot, they would see just how much of GUN was left.
"Sorry Viper 2-3. If we could have gotten out here sooner, we would have. Don't worry, we'll see what we can do." Tails confirmed
A brief pause followed over the radio.
"You better because otherwise, we're gonna have some serious pr-"
The pilot's sentence was cut short when Tails, Amy, and Viper 2-3 saw a missile heading straight for them. The huge heat-seeker was heading for Tails' aircraft. Everything went into slow motion for Tails. His years of training as a pilot automatically kicked in and he made a slip second decision. Tails made a hard bank to the left to avoid the missile. When he did, the G-forces made his body feel hundreds of more pounds heavier. He struggled to keep consciousness during the hard turn. But he made the bank left, and just in time too. The huge missile just barely missed the Tornado. Tails leveled out the plane and let out a cry of victory.
"WE MADE IT AMY!" he screamed
Tails turned his head around to see Amy almost pale white. He was gripping onto the frame of the Tornado with a death grip. She just stared at him with a nervous smile. He had given her the scare of her life. Now she was sure she didn't like flying. Too much danger of passing out from a simple turn.
"NICE WORK TAILS, YOU SCARED THE CHAOS OUT OF ME!" She joked
Tails chuckled and gave a thumbs up.
"THANKS AMY! I-"
Suddenly, a huge explosion rocked the Tornado. A massive fireball blossomed just a couple meters away from them. The plane shook and rocked. The heat from the explosion made Amy feel like her skin was on fire. She and Tails both had to close their eyes to avoid being blinded by the mini sun what was growing next to them. But it wasn't just head. Shrapnel flew and stuck the plane's fuselage, leaving scratches and holes through it. It was unbelievable that the Tornado was still in the air. Tails and Amy both turned their heads to see what the source was of the huge fireball that nearly burned their fur.
"WHAT WAS THAT?!" Amy asked
Tails looked over at where the fireball had been. What was left was the burned, chard, twisted, molten, and broken remains of a GUN helicopter gliding through the air. Burned bodies and crates flew out of the cargo bay. The entire front of the helicopter was gone. The carcass of the helicopter was just gliding from the speed it had previously been achieving. When they both saw this, Amy and Tails froze up in horror. They watched in silence as the corpse of the helicopter fell from the sky towards the ground below.
"HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!" Amy asked
"THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A SECOND MISSILE!" Tails said
As the helicopter fell towards earth. Amy felt a chill go down her spine as she heard a slight scream come from inside the doomed helicopter. She was starting to doubt whether or not this fight was even worth fighting.
"HEY TAILS!" Amy screamed
"WHAT?!" He asked
"IS THIS FIGHT EVEN WORTH FIGHTING?! DO WE EVEN HAVE A CHANCE AT BEATING HIM?! BECAUSE IT SEEMS LESS AND LESS LIKE A POSSIBILITY!" Amy asked
Tails had no idea how to answer that question. This fight was turning into something that they were all having doubts about. Something about it wasn't sitting right with the rest of the team, and it was showing. They were all clearly nervous about this. But something else disturbed Tails about what Amy said. She never backed down from a fight. She was always ready to fight and always wanted to fight. But her saying she didn't want to fight this robot meant that something was seriously up. This didn't make sense to Tails, and he didn't like it.
"DON'T WORRY AMY! WE'LL WIN!" Tails confirmed
Amy frowned and folded her arms. Tails then realized something. The robot knew they were coming. He needed to warn the rest of the team. He pressed a button on his headset, signaling the other members of the team.
"This is Tails calling all team members." Tails said
A brief pause of static filled the radio, but then it cleared up to the sounds of voices.
"Sonic here, what's up Tails?"
"Receiving tails, what is it?" Shadow asked
"What?" Knuckles asked
"What's new big boy?" Rouge asked
"Listen up everybody." Tails said, "The robot knows we're coming for it. Be alert." He ordered
A chorus of "Got it." Followed his order. He clicked off his radio and continued flying. Now they all knew that they were heading into a fight where the enemy was ready. This wasn't good for any of them. But nevertheless, Tails bravely flew the Tornado towards the giant robot, waiting to see what it had in store for him.
Rouge flew low through the streets of Station Square. She flew low to the ground, dodging the buildings and exploding fire hydrants. The smoke made it somewhat hard to see and breath. The screams, sirens, and yelling of the city were too much for her. She was a thief, not a warrior. Once this was over, she was going to use that Chaos Emerald to make the best necklace ever seen. However, that would all have to wait, because right now. A robot powered by the very crystal she wanted to steal was destroying the city. It was a saddening fact that almost made her not want to fight.
"Geez, why does a lady like me have to fight in a place like this?" she asked herself
She was trying to fly as fast as she could so she could get this whole thing over with. Her bat wings flapped wildly, straining to give her a little bit more speed. Her back ached slightly after a couple minutes of flying. Her wings were beginning to hurt with every flap. She was beginning to wheeze with pain. She needed to rest. Finally, after a couple more minutes of pain, she decided to land. She decided she should probably tell Sonic about this however. She pressed the call button on her communicator and called Sonic. After a couple seconds of static, Sonic's voice came through.
"Sonic here, what is it Rouge?" he asked
"Big blue, I'm taking a break. This lady needs to rest for a second." She said in an exhausted tone
"Got it. Just make sure you get here with the rest of us."
"Alright. See ya soon." She said, turning off the communicator
She was going to land. But landing was a big mistake. Rouge slowed down and hovered over the ground for a second. She slowly descended and her feel gently touched the street. She folded her wings and let out a sigh of relief. The pain was subsiding for now. However, while she was looking for a place to sit, something incredible happened. She heard the faint noise of a man screaming. She looked around. Nobody was around her. Only destroyed cars, rubble, fire, and craters. This bothered her however, because the screaming was getting louder. She spun around in all directions, looking for what was causing the annoying scream.
"It's not cool to hide from a lady." Rouge exclaimed
All of a sudden, the screaming became incredibly loud, and then it ended with a loud crash behind her. Rouge jumped back and screamed in shock. What she saw confused, and scared her. A thick cloud of dust blinded her from what had caused the loud crash. She squinted her eyes and slowly approached the crash site.
"Hello?" she asked nervously
As she approached, the sound of a man moaning pierced the air. After a couple slow and silent steps, Rouge began to see a shadowy form on the ground. It was barely moving. By now, the dust was beginning to settle, and the figure became less and less blurred. Rouge let out a gasp of shock when she saw what it was. It was a GUN soldier! He was lying in a small crater made by him. He was barely moving, but he moaned loudly. Rouge slowly and carefully reached the soldier. She was shocked by his condition. His legs were completely gone. Blood stained his black uniform. His helmet and headset were gone, revealing his human face. His face was bloodied and broken.
"H-hello?" she asked
The soldier slowly turned his head. The sounds of cracking bones could be heard as he turned his head to look at her. One of his eyes was completely bruised and swollen. A slight smile appeared on his broken face.
"Whoa… Y-you're R-rouge right? The bat?" the soldier croaked
"Yeah… that's me." She said quietly
The soldier coughed a bit and continued smiling, showing his broken teeth.
"Now I know we'll win." He said quietly
"W-what happened to you?" she asked, afraid of what the answer would be
The soldier looked around him and then at his mutilated body. He just chuckled slightly and stared back at her.
"Swat-bots. That giant robot has swat-bots everywhere. And that robot has one strong stomp, trust me." He said, clearly in pain
"Is that was flew you all the way over here?" she asked
The soldier nodded slowly and closed his eyes. The soldier then reached for one of the pouches on his chest. His broken arm cracked as he grasped what was inside of the pouch. He wheezed in pain as he did this. Rouge just watched in horror, but she knew there was nothing she could do for him.
"H-here…" the soldier said, extending his hand
The soldier was holding his radio. The slightly damaged radio was on, and it sounded busy.
"What's this for?" she asked
"This is so you can tell GUN that Sonic is on his way." The soldier mumbled
Rouge slowly reached out and grabbed the radio from him. Just as she grabbed the radio, the soldier's grasp weakened. Without any warning, the soldier just stopped breathing. Rouge stared at him with horror and pity. The soldier just died right in front of her, without a word or anything. He just died. Rouge now knew she wanted nothing to do with any of this. But this idea was reinforced when she looked down at the radio. The faint sounds of voices could be heard coming form it. Slowly, rouge turned the volume up on the radio. That was a mistake. The voices that were coming through the radio were deafening.
"Fall back to secondary LZ!
They're breaking through our right flank!
Viper 2-3 is down!
We're being overwhelmed!
We want to provide EXVIL, but there is nowhere to go to!
GUN headquarters is under attack, all units pull back now!
We gotta get out of here!
PULL BACK! PULL BACK!"
Rouge threw the radio as far as she could. She couldn't take it. It was all too much for her. Tears began welling up in her eyes. If she was going to fight this fight, she would have to be strong. But if all her friends that she had made at Gun were dead, then why even bother? Who was she fighting for? GUN was her one faithful employer, now there was no GUN. She couldn't fight, not anymore. She was sure that they were going to lose. And she didn't like to enter a fight she knew she would lose. She was done with this. She thought about how easy it would be to just leave and not even bother with this. It would be so much easier than fighting a huge robot.
"Screw this." She said to herself
She opened up her bat wings and got ready to fly. She was going to get out of here and go find another city to rob. It was much batter than anything this place had to offer. But just as she was getting enough strength to take off, she heard something below the ground. She looked down in wonder at what was making the burrowing noises. The sounds went straight past her, but then stopped. Rouge turned around, she knew who it was. Her favorite echidna. Suddenly, the ground a couple feet away from her became disrupted, and broke apart. A red echidna with dirt smeared all over his face popped out of the tunnel. He grunted and looked around with his angered expression as always.
"Guy! This is awful. I should have just gone with Tails and Amy!" he complained
Rouge stared at Knuckles with an annoyed face. She put her hands on her hips and frowned.
"Where have you been slow poke?!" she scolded
Knuckles turned around and looked at Rouge. He growled and got out of his burrowing hole. He approached her, clenching his fists.
"Oh I don't know, trying to find the robot! What were you doing? Taking a beauty break?!" he scowled
Rouge closed her eyes and turned her head away.
"Well some of us need to stay beautiful." She said in a calm voice
Knuckles growled in annoyance. He hated it when she talked like that.
"Oh go fly into a cave!" he said, storming back to his hole
Rouge turned and stared at him. Nobody told her what to do. She ran up and kicked him in the back. Knuckles flew through the air and smashed against a destroyed car, leaving a huge dent in it. He grunted and shook his head. He looked up to see rouge walking up to him. She knelt down in front of him and smirked evilly.
"Don't tell me what to do big boy." She said seductively
Knuckles' cheeks turned red and he frowned.
"I'll show you big!" he screamed
Knuckles punched Rouge in the face. She flew back, but she stopped in mid air and caught herself. She was furious now.
"Don't you know not to hit a lady!?" she howled
Knuckles got up and started walking up to her.
"You're not a lady! You're a chicken of the cave!" he yelled
Rouge screamed and flew straight for him after that insult. He had struck home for Rouge. Nobody called her a chicken, especially Knuckles. She made a fist and punched him. But Knuckles was ready for her. He caught her punch in his hand, immobilizing her. Rouge's face turned to one of complete fear and her eyes turned pleading. Knuckles grinned evilly and threw her as hard as he could. Rouge again flew through the air, but this time, didn't catch herself. She slammed against a pile of rubble. The pain in her back and head were unbearable. Her vision became blurred and her senses became dull. Finally, she fell unconscious.
"Good ridden." Knuckles grunted
He walked up to her, ready to finish off the thief, when suddenly his communicator went off.
"Oh come on!" he yelled in annoyance
Knuckles answered his communicator.
"Knuckles here, what is it?" he asked
"KNUCKLES! WHERE ARE YOU AND ROUGE?! WE'RE GETTING OUR BUTTS WHOPPED OVER HERE!" Sonic screamed through the radio
Knuckles instantly remembered what they were doing. And it wasn't good. His friends had already started fighting the robot? What was going on? He needed to get to his friends fast; otherwise he may never see them again. Knuckles began to panic. He shouldn't have spent his time fighting Rouge. They needed to work together, but now she was unconscious and useless.
"Sorry, Sonic. I got hung up, I'll be right there." Knuckles confirmed
Knuckles ran for his hole and jumped in, burrowing away towards the robot and leaving Rouge to lie there, unconscious.
Thanks to Knuckles, they were one person down. But they were also already fighting the robot without a plan, and were losing. This wasn't good at all. The odds of winning were depleting rapidly, thanks to him. Knuckles would need to get there as soon as possible if he even wanted to see some of the action, because they all knew it would be over quite quickly. One of them was going to fall. Either the robot and Eggman, or Sonic and his friends. They were doomed if they didn't come up with a plan, and right now they didn't have one. So that left only one possibility.
They were doomed, especially Sonic.