"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
Fighting, running, shooting, thinking, and crying for weeks really took a lot out of Tails. For months, he and three fire-teams had run, and run, and run. They hid anywhere they could, scavenging any food and ammunition left. But supplies in the city were running low. The situation was less than perfect. It was like running a marathon, and not having the hope of there being a water bucket at the finish line. The reason to continue fighting quickly became shrouded in doubt and the thought of giving in. The hope of rescue had left them two months ago. Nobody was going to save them, and they knew that. Fighting for no reason nearly caused the remaining troops to revolt. Why fight when giving up was the only way to live? But Tails had found a reason for himself. One that nobody else had anymore. Even Knuckles didn't have this reason. For Sonic. Tails knew Sonic would have wanted him to fight, he would have wanted his friend to continue fighting for what was right, even if that meant retreating, running, and hiding. Regardless of what the other troops said, he still wanted to fight, despite there being no hope of any help from anyone.
It was pouring down rain in Station Square. This was the Master Emeralds way of saying "your life isn't miserable enough, let's add a little water". The roar from the rain hitting the ground was unbearable. Even with three meters of dirt over your head, the rain still managed drip down onto Tails. Tails was laying on a hard wooden board with a rag for a blanket over him. He was trying to get a little nap before going out on patrol. But the rain had different plans. Just as Tails was finally about to drift off to sleep, a single drop of dirty water his eyelid. He slowly opened his eyes, just to have another drop hit him.
"Damn it." He cursed, sitting up
Tails rolled up the rag and put it aside. The most likely temporary bunker he was in was more like a caved in house. In fact, it was one. Some furniture still lingered around. A ripped painting of fruit hung from a wall. But the destroyed house was also filled with crates of gear, food, ammunition, and medical supplies. The faint sounds of quiet talking could be heard in the other rooms. Tails looked down at his watch. It was 15:35. He grumbled as he stood up.
"Another day in hell." He said to himself
Tails got up and walked over to a crate and picked up his things. He put on an old, stained, worn out trench coat. He wrapped a torn, and dirty black scarf around his neck and grabbed a brown baseball cap. He put it on backwards and strapped a pair of goggles on his head. Just as Tails was about to load his pistol, footsteps could be heard behind him. He turned his head and looked at who was making the noise.
"Everything good?" Bolton asked, running his hand through his buzzed down hair
Tails nodded and holstered his pistol.
"Yeah, I just don't want to do another patrol again. I've done three in the last two days." Tails sighed
"I know, but you know the terrain the best. And the other troops don't have the energy." Bolton explained
"Fuck…" Tails groaned
Bolton hated seeing such a young kid being thrown into such a violent and dangerous world. It made him fear what Tails would be like when he was older, seeing as he has most likely been scarred by all of this. Nothing could stop the compassionate side of Bolton from letting a pitiful frown appear. It was then that he decided on something.
"You know what? You stay here and get some rest. I'll go on the patrol alone." Bolton said
Tails was shocked by his sudden words. The streets were swarming with swat-bots. Along with that, fighters and attack helicopters owned the skies. Anything that wasn't made of metal, or pink quills, was instantly killed if spotted. Nobody went out unless they had a partner.
"What?!" Tails exclaimed, "You can't go alone, you'll be dead within the hour!" he cried, pointing at the entrance to the bunker
Bolton chuckled and put on his skullcap and headphones. He walked over and knelt down in front of Tails. He put down the gear in his hands and held onto Tails' shoulders. He stared at the fox with a relaxed, and caring face. He stared right into Tails' worried eyes.
"Don't worry, kid. I'll do radio checks every hour. If I miss two, call me KIA." He said, patting him on the shoulder
Bolton said this surprisingly casually, as if he was used to going on suicide missions. Tails just looked up at him with scared eyes.
Tails wanted more than anything for Bolton to be safe. Since they had met, they had practically become family. That was what combat did, it made bonds that couldn't be broken. Tails couldn't bring himself to let go of Bolton. They had done patrols together all the time, and Tails knew that man needed help.
"Don't worry about me, Tails. Just get some rest, you need it." Bolton said, smirking a little
Just as he was about to stand up to leave, Tails jumped onto him and gave him a hug. Bolton was surprised by the compassion of his little fox friend. It took him a while before he embraced the hug. He felt Tails' tears drop onto his tactical vest. They shared this little hug for a couple seconds. Eventually, Bolton pulled back. Tails was crying. He was clearly still going through a lot emotionally. Losing everybody did take its toll on someone. He could tell that Tails wasn't ready to lose another friend. Bolton wiped the tears from the fox's eyes and let go.
"Be good while I'm gone." Bolton joked, grabbing his gear and standing up
Tails just stood there, sniffling. He watched as Bolton walked towards the hatch at the other end of the room. He grabbed an assault rifle from the wall rack and loaded a magazine into it. He pulled the action back, and it shot forward. Bolton looked back at Tails and smiled.
"Who knows, maybe I'll bring back something special." He chuckled
Tails didn't say anything as Bolton unlocked the hatch and opened it. Rain poured into the bunker from the open doors. Bolton pulled his hood over his head and stepped out. He closed the door behind him, leaving Tails alone in the room. Tails just stood there, looking at the door. He was sure Bolton was not coming back.
The day was finally here. He could leave. After all the months of painfully lying in that hospital bed, thinking only about his friends, he could finally leave. The doctor had given him the all clear and taken off the brace. All Sonic wanted to do was sprint out of that crowded, smelly, and chaotic place. He wanted to go out and save Station Square, and more importantly, his friends. He was going to make thing right, and do what he always did, save the day. But like any dream, something had to change it.
Sonic sat in a chair in the recreation center of the hospital. The huge room was filled with games, tables, TVs, and just about everything else that could be considered fun for little kids. He watched while children ran around, laughing, screaming, and playing around with each other. Sonic didn't mind kids, but he would never become a babysitter. Kids were too much work, and they stank. But he still found them amusing to watch. Sonic just sat there, watching them, letting a little smirk appear. One boy was running around the room as fast as he could. Sonic could tell the kid was obsessed with speed.
"He's gonna tire out if he doesn't stop soon." Sonic chuckled to himself
But watching kids wasn't the reason he was in the recreation center. No he was here because a certain nurse had left a note for him on his bedside table. It said to meet her here before he left to go on his adventures. So he waited. He waited a little while, but Francesca finally arrived. Without a word, she sat down next to him and sighed. They watched the kids for a moment. Then, she spoke up.
"When you leave, are you going to help out Station Square, GUN, and your friends?" she asked, looking over at him
Sonic turned his head. He smiled, winked, and gave a thumbs up.
"Of course! And then I'm gonna kick Dr. Eggman's butt." Sonic said enthusiastically
"You do that." She chuckled
Suddenly, Sonic's face turned serious.
"But knowing my plans isn't the real reason you called me here, is it?" He said, a little quieter
Francesca's face turned from pleasant to melancholy in a matter of seconds. She looked down and played with her thumbs.
"No. No it isn't. I wanted you to do something for me." She said slowly
"Anything." Sonic replied
Francesca pulled out the photo of her and a GUN trooper from her scrubs. It was the same photo she had shown him weeks earlier. Her eyes began to water slightly as she stared at the picture. She held it out to him and looked into his eyes.
"His name is Tom. I want you to find him, dead, or alive. I need to know where he is, and if he's safe. Please take this to help you." She said quietly
Sonic stared at the photo. This woman really did care about this guy Tom. He understood that. He was somewhat on the same mission. He wanted to find Amy and tell her how he felt. He wanted to save her just as much as he wanted to save Station Square. He never wanted to lose a friend, especially her. Sonic nodded slowly and took the photo. He placed it inside he glove and patted it. He looked back up at her and smiled.
"Don't you worry. I'll find him." Sonic said
Francesca smiled weakly.
"Thank you, Sonic." She whispered, her voice getting shaky
Sonic stood up and looked back at her. He smiled smugly and winked.
"See ya later, Francesca." He said
"Goodbye, Sonic." She replied
Sonic chuckled and turned around. He walked out of the recreation center and down the corridor leading to the entrance. He walked down the hallway, looking around. But what he saw, and heard, disturbed him. As he was walking, Sonic passed two GUN troopers. They were standing by the side, talking quietly. He overheard their quiet conversation.
"Did you hear the rumors about what happened to Delta 5?" asked one of the troopers
"No, what?" asked the other
"I heard they were completely wiped out by that Agent R guy we've been told about." Said the one
The other trooper shook his head slowly.
"I can't believe we lost the city."
This enraged Sonic. How could GUN, the most powerful military force on the planet, not be able to hold a single city? Were they even trying? Something had to be done about this. And if nobody was going to stand up for what needed to be done, then he would. This whole situation needed to end, with or without GUN. Sonic couldn't help but feel that this was a bigger problem than he realized. If the military couldn't handle it, it had to be serious. But Sonic knew better than to dwell on that. It would cause him to get his mind off the present.
"This Agent R bozo sounds like a real dirt-bag. I better get there fast." Sonic said to himself, walking for the entrance to the hospital
Sonic made it outside the hospital and stood out in the gardens. He looked around at the world. It was so peaceful. Birds flew around, chirping. White clouds dotted the blue sky. The air felt cool and pleasant, along with a nice breeze. The sun shone down, warming his quills. It was a picture perfect day. Sonic took in a deep breath of the summer air.
"What a perfect day to battle Eggman." Sonic sighed
He looked out in the direction of Station Square. Miles away, the sky didn't look so inviting. Horrible and dark storm clouds hovered over the city in the distance. It was dark out there. Sonic smirked and scratched his nose. He checked to see if his shoes were tight, and then sprinted off. Sonic ran as fast as he could. He felt the wind rush through his quills. The world blurred around him due to his speed. It felt amazing to run again. He had almost forgotten how free it made him feel.
"YAHOO!" Sonic screamed
Sonic sprinted all the way to Station Square. He sprinted through grassy fields, leaving a line in the crops. He sprinted through a small town, leaving a blue streak through one road. He sprinted through the forest, making the younger trees bend from the wind he created. But this run began to turn from pleasant and enjoyable, to gloomy and depressing. As he got closer to the city, the environment began to change. The weather got worse, and rain started hitting his quills. The trees began to look darker and broken. The sky turned black and grey from the storm clouds. The chirping of birds turned to the calls of crows and buzzards along with thunder. Soon, Sonic could see something else besides nature.
"Woah!" he cried, skidding to a halt
Sonic stopped just in front of huge metal object. He stood there in awe at what was in front of him. He slowly looked up. The gigantic steel wall rose hundreds of feet into the air. The steel shined from the rain and how clean it was. There didn't appear to be any seems or panels on it, just one long piece of metal. He could see his own reflection in the mirror-like metal. Sonic put his hands on his hips and whistled in amazement.
"Wow Eggman, you really outdid yourself this time." Sonic said
This massive metal wall separated him and the forest from the outer most parts of Station Square. It was quite an impressive work of engineering. Sonic couldn't deny that. But it did seem a tad defenseless. Having a massive wall didn't quite stop a hedgehog who could run up skyscrapers. Sonic smirked and began to step back.
"Watch out, Egghead. I'm coming." Sonic chuckled
Once he had gotten enough space, Sonic got into a running pose. He looked up at the giant wall and smirked. Sonic then ran for it. His foot made contact with the wall and before he knew it, he was running up the metal wall. Despite it being slick from the rain, he was still able to get enough traction to run. Sonic always loved running up walls, it made him think he could do anything, which, in reality, he could. Sonic ran up the wall and jumped as he reached the top. He barely dodged the barbed wire that was lining the top of the wall. He looked around for a brief moment while he was in the air. The wall was actually thicker than he though, about several feet of pure steel. Eggman really wanted to keep this city. But then Sonic's confident idea of taking out Eggman disappeared when he saw a bird's eye view of the city.
"Oh… my… Chaos..." He whispered and he began to fall
The senate building at the edge of the city was a great place for Eggman to move his headquarters. It was not only a building that could overlook the entire city, but also provided a secure and elegant place to live. He had turned the rooms inside of it into control rooms, robot production facilities, and residential areas for him and Agent R. Of course he had added his own features to the senate building, like a wall lined with turrets and swat-bots. Barbed wire and road blocks blocked off the road to the building. It was more like a fort now than a building. It was perfect for him.
Eggman leaned back in his chair inside his office. He was trying to grab a quick nap before his meeting with Consilium and Agent R. He kicked his feet up and put his hands behind his head. Being the overlord of what was soon to become Eggmanland took a lot out of you. Just as he was about to doze off, a loud beeping sound came from his laptop. Eggman opened his eyes and growled. He took his feet off the desk and scooted in.
"What now?" he asked in an annoyed tone
Consilium's voice then came on.
"Doctor, it seems our motion-sensing wall on the north-east has detected something." Consilium said
Eggman was used to having this message come up.
"It's probably just a bird or something." Eggman said, scooting back
"The data showed it moved at nearly 700 miles per hour… up the wall." Consilium reported
Eggman's heart skipped a beat when Consilium said this. Now he was now fully awake. He leaned forward and grabbed hold of the desk.
"WHAT?!" he roared, standing up
"Only one person with that ability exists in my databanks, Sonic the Hedgehog." Consilium said
Eggman's jaw dropped. He fell back in his chair and let his arms dangle. He couldn't believe it. Sonic was alive? How in Chaos' name could this have happened? Sonic was killed two months ago. This didn't seem right. Eggman just couldn't fathom the idea of him still being alive.
"Are you sure?" Eggman asked, hoping Consilium had messed up for once
"I am not wrong, doctor."
Eggman sat there, contemplating what was going on. Sonic was back and in the city. This was not good. He knew that Sonic was a threat to him. He hadn't planned for that rodent to return. This would severely hinder his plans. Eggman put his hand under his chin, thinking. Thoughts of what the hedgehog might do started swarming his mind.
"How am I going to handle this?" Eggman asked himself
"Excuse me, doctor. But I calculated the possibility of Sonic surviving months ago, and created a plan of attack in case he ever returned." Consilium explained
Never was Eggman more thankful for creating Consilium than he was now. That computer was going to make him emperor. He leaned forward and propped his head up on the table, staring at his computer screen.
"And what might that plan be?" Eggman asked
"Using Agent R." Consilium responded
Eggman smiled evilly. Consilium was correct. Agent R would do great in this situation.
"Alright, explain." Eggman said
"After my most recent look at her emotions. It would be nearly impossible for Agent R to revert back to her normal mind. After meeting Sonic, her emotions would go out of control. Anger would be her most likely emotion. Sending Agent R out to fight Sonic would not only hurt him, it would cause her to become furious, making her deadlier. I suggest immediate deployment."
Eggman leaned back again, thinking. The plan sounded good, and most likely, it would succeed. All he needed to do was tell her to go out and intercept Sonic. The plan sounded perfect. Eggman smiled and chuckled.
"Great plan my computer friend. Send for Agent R. I'll brief her, and deploy her." Eggman ordered
"As you wish… but doctor…"
Eggman raised any eyebrow.
"What?" he asked
"I suggest not telling her who she is fighting. There is a 20 percent chance she will rethink her decisions on the way to fight him."
"I understand." He replied
Eggman stood up and walked over to a computer screen. It showed the plans for the beginning of Eggmanland in Station Square. It showed the plans to clear the entire city, and build from the ground up. He adjusted his glasses and stroked his mustache.
"I will not have my plans ruined by that hedgehog again. This time, he's got something he won't expect coming at him." Eggman said to himself
The emotional pain was almost as bad as being shot. Knowing that your supposed death was the reason for all this destruction was something nobody could bare. Sonic couldn't help but feel responsible for all of this. He felt that all of this death, destruction, and chaos could have been avoided if he had not been trapped in that cave. He could almost smell the death in the air. The feeling of being alone didn't help either. Sonic's heart broke when he saw what had become of Station Square, his beloved home. He had nearly screamed in horror at the destruction. But instead of screaming, he composed himself, and decided to explore. Who knew what was out in this desolate field of death?
Sonic walked slowly down the streets of Station Square. His steps were slow and cautious. He looked around in shock and awe at everything. Buildings were destroyed and their ruins looked like small mountains. The remains of skyscrapers, shops, homes, and even schools were everywhere. But it was hard to make out what anything was through the fog that covered the ground like a blanket. Sonic couldn't tell whether it was day or night. The clouds and storm blocked the sun. The rain added to the dreary situation. Sonic didn't know if he was crying, or if it was the rain. His footsteps were the only sound he could make out. Echoes of screams and crying could be heard in the wind.
"Dang." He whispered to himself, "How did it get to this?"
Sonic walked down this boulevard of broken dreams for a while. After a while, he wondered where all the swat-bots were, where the GUN troops were, where Eggman was, and where his friends were. The city seemed almost abandoned, as if nobody had been in it for years. He had expected the sounds of gunfire, screaming, and robots to be everywhere, but there was only silence. But as he walked alone, Sonic became more and more suspicious. He narrowed his eyes and looked around a little harder.
"What are you planning, Egghead?" he asked
Sonic stopped where he was and looked around, searching for any clue of movement. Then, suddenly, he heard roaring overhead. Sonic looked up just in time to see one of Eggman's fighters fly past him. It banked right and circled around. Sonic watched it closely, smirking. He chuckled when the fighter turned in his direction, and began diving for him. He got into a ready pose and waited for the right moment. When the fighter was close, it opened fire with its machine gun. Dirt and asphalt jumped into the air when the rounds from the machine guns made their way toward Sonic. Sonic laughed and jumped into the air right before the shots were about to hit him. He flew up and curled into a spiky ball. He homed in on the fighter as it came speeding towards him. He then shot at the fighter. His ball of spikes ripped straight through the fighter, leaving a clean hole through its body. Once he was out, he spread out his limbs.
"SWEET!" he yelled, falling back to earth
Sonic landed on his feet, followed by an explosion in the distance. Sonic turned around and laughed.
"Now that's how it's done." He said to himself
Sonic continued walking down the street with a confident swagger. Whatever Eggman had in store for him, he could handle. Sonic was now near the center of the city. The wall he had jumped over was now just a speck in the distance. While he was walking, Sonic heard the sound of footsteps down another street. But they weren't normal footsteps, they sounded metallic, like swat-bots. Sonic smirked and started walking towards the other street.
"This is gonna be too easy." He chuckled as he rounded the corner
Sonic spotted a single swat-bot walking down the street. He almost felt bad for the robot he was about to destroy. But sadly, the swat-bot saw him before Sonic could make his attack.
"All units, primary target has been located." The swat-bot announced in its deep robotic voice
Sonic gasped and grew an angered expression.
"You're going to invite your friends? No fair." Sonic said
Sonic sprinted for the robot and attacked it. He curled up into a ball and shot into it. He made a hole through it and landed behind it. The swat-bot fell over, dead. Sonic smirked and chuckled. But before Sonic even had time to fix his gloves and wipe his nose, more sounds could be heard in the sky. They sounded like Eggman's dropships. Sonic looked up and saw a dozen dropships converging on his position.
"Outnumbered… I like this." He said, getting ready to fight
Sonic decided to wait for them to deploy, just so they had a fighting chance. He watched as the first dropship unloaded three squads of swat-bots. They all started running for him, guns ready. Sonic got down, ready to sprint off. He chuckled and ran for the swat-bots. He ran and jumped into a spiky ball. He tore through one and landed on the ground, skidding forward. He skidded for one and kicked it into the air. It flew back and hit a building. Sonic then jumped to his feet and sprinted for another, destroying it quickly. But while he was fighting, the other dropships were unloading dozens of swat-bots. When Sonic finally destroyed the last swat-bot in the squad, he stood there, panting.
"Three squads down, now for the others." He said
Sonic turned and looked at the other swat-bots. His cocky expression soon turned to helplessness and fear. His ears drooped down and his shoulders slumped. A full battalion of swat-bots were all running for him. He suddenly became nervous. He could handle swat-bots, but he needed a little help sometimes, and he didn't have any. Sonic shook his head an exhaled.
"Okay, Sonic. You can do this." He said, clenching his fists
Sonic got ready to sprint forward, but as the swat-bots approached, he was not so sure if he could fight that many. The fight in the crater had been too much for him, and this was too.
"Ahh… forget it." Sonic said
Sonic was just about to turn around and run, when suddenly, a shot rang out in the air. The lead swat-bot fell to the ground. Some of the robots stopped. Sonic stopped too and looked in the direction of where the shot came from. Over by a pile of rubble, Sonic could spot the glint of a rifle barrel. He then saw what looked like a human head aiming the rifle. A small flash of light appeared when the human fired another shot. Another swat-bot fell. Sonic caught on and faced the robots.
"Sorry guys, but I got backup." He joked
Sonic jumped into the air and homed in on one robot. He destroyed it and jumped into the air again. Before he could home in on the other swat-bot, he heard a yell.
"HEY YOU! GET OVER HERE!" the human yelled
Sonic frowned and landed on top of one of the swat-bots. He gave a thumbs up and jumped off the swat-bot as the others fired at him. He landed away from the crowd of robots and ran for where the human was. The swat-bots fired at him as he ran, but he was too fast. Sonic jumped over the wall of rubble and landed next to the human. The human moved away from his position and grabbed Sonic's arm.
"Come with me." He said urgently
"Got it." Sonic replied
Sonic could instantly tell this human was one of the few remaining GUN troopers still left in the city. The GUN patch gave it away. So did his ability to shoot the heads off swat-bots. Sonic knew the best thing to do was to follow whatever instructions this trooper gave him. He had been in the city longer than him. The trooper lead Sonic away from the pile of rubble just as the swat-bots were getting over it. They weaved through broken walls and piles of rubble, dodging the fire from the swat-bots. They jumped over broken walls, slid down piles of rubble, ran through half-destroyed rooms. All in an attempt to evade the incoming fire from the swat-bots.
"Where are you taking me?" Sonic asked, running beside the trooper
"To the HQ." the trooper replied
Sonic grunted and followed the trooper. After a long and exhausting run, they had lost the swat-bots. Sonic and the trooper hid behind a wall and sat down. The trooper was panting furiously, but Sonic just sat there, looking at him. The nametape on the trooper read, "Bolton". That must have been his name. Now that he knew his name, Sonic thought he owed this guy a thank you.
"Hey." Sonic said, turning to look at Bolton
Bolton wiped his forehead with his sleeve and looked over at Sonic.
"Yeah?" he asked
"Thanks for giving me backup over there. I needed that." Sonic said
"Don't worry about it. Besides, I told my friend I would bring something valuable back with me."
"Well I am pretty valuable. I'm the world's fastest hedgehog." Sonic said in his cocky tone
Bolton chuckled and held his fist out. Sonic lightly punched it and they laughed. They both sat there for a minute, catching their breath. Then, Bolton nodded and stood up and checked his assault rifle. He looked down at Sonic and motioned for him to get up. Sonic stood up and looked up at Bolton.
"Where to now?" he asked
Bolton smiled and pointed at a pile of rubble.
"There." He said
Sonic raised his eyebrow in suspicion. He stood there silently as Bolton walked over to the pile of rubble and knocked his fist on it. He knocked a complicated pattern of fast taps, then slow, then a very hard one. He stepped back and stood beside Sonic. He slung his assault rifle and patted Sonic's back.
"You're gonna be happy when you get inside." Bolton chuckled
Sonic didn't know what he meant by this, but he assumed it would be good. Sonic and Bolton patiently waited for a couple seconds in front of the rubble. Then, the sounds of unlocking and shouting came from the rubble. Without even a sign, the rubble opened up, revealing a dimly lit pit. But that was not all the rubble hid. From the darkness, a young Mobian fox in dirty clothes popped his head out of the pit.
"Bolton! You're back!" the fox cried, not noticing the blue hedgehog
Bolton smiled proudly.
"I sure am. And I brought you something special." He said, motioning for the fox to look at Sonic
When the fox and the hedgehog looked at each other, shock and amazement were in their eyes. The fox's eyes began to water, some with Sonic's. Joyful smiles crept up their faces. Eventually, the fox couldn't keep it in.
"SONIC!" the fox cried, jumping out of the pit
"TAILS!" Sonic yelled
Tails ran up to Sonic and gave him a loving hug. Sonic returned the hug and held Tails close. They were finally reunited. Tails and Sonic were friends again, they were together. The family was beginning to get back together. Now, they might stand a fighting chance.