A/N: I finally got Forces and I'm like- whoa? Wow? Anyway, here's my take on Sonic's six months in prison.
Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide
He woke up to harsh blue lights, steel walls surrounding him, and no doors in sight. To cold metal, a too fuzzy head, taste of blood in his mouth and the screaming disbelief in his mind: how? How could I lose? How could he win- And where the hell was he? What was happening? How could I have been defeated-
His body hurt. His head hurt worse. He felt exposed and vulnerable and wrong- this was wrong. This tiny room, this not-knowing-what-the-heck-is-going-on, was wrong. How could this have happened? –And, most importantly, how was he going to fix it?
A sudden crackle of sound, and he flew to his feet, looking around – and finding a speaker mounted to the wall. The noise grates on for five eternal seconds more, and then there's a voice which Sonic is unfortunately and unpleasantly familiar with… "Sonic! It's such a pleasure to have you visiting!"
"Really?" Sonic chirps back. "I was almost under the impression that I was held here against my will!"
"Very good, hedgehog! Any other tremendously clever observations you've made?"
"Well, this is the drabbest room I've ever seen," he says pleasantly, "Could do with a bit of colour. Pink, maybe? Or green?" he rattles of nonsense while carefully walking around the room, feeling for indents in the walls. Cracks. Hidden buttons. Anything.
And then Eggman taunts, "You will find nothing-" and Sonic stops dead. "Your cell is flawlessly designed, and impossible to escape."
Sonic raises an eyebrow with a smirk, internally screaming what now there's cameras in here- "Is that so? Then watch me flawlessly pull off an escape from this exact cell!"
Three hours later, and he has found exactly nothing. He now knows there is a camera in the left corner, which he swiftly destroyed, and that there are four fluorescent lights in the ceiling, and 36 panes in the floor and 207 light-grey panels in the walls. Two-hundred and seven perfectly undamaged and perfectly polished panels made out of something so hard and solid, that he hurt his foot when attempting to smash a hole in them.
The floor is a completely flat, almost slippery. He's debating on whether it is actually worth it to search the whole ceiling too – he'd have to jump to manage to touch it. Just-
…Tails. Amy and Knuckles. What's going to-
It is worth it. It has to be, and again he furiously starts working on finding something, anything, just a way out…
Five days later, and he has found nothing. He's been escorted to various locations by armed robots, and the first time he destroyed the whole squad and proceeded to make a run for it. It did not end well, and after that he didn't get any food for two days. The third day he refused to eat anything out of spite, so now he feels light-headed and weak. Like the room's getting colder. Like the room is getting smaller…
I'll get out. I'll get out, and when I do, you're going to pay.
What Sonic thinks might be a week later, the speakers come to life again. He looks up at it, and waits for the screeching static to stop. And it does, soon, and Eggman's voice announces gleefully, "The United Federation has fallen!"
Sonic clambers to his feet without thinking about it. "What do you mean?" he snaps at the speakers.
Eggman laughs, the sound tinny and warped. "The president stepped down, and GUN is no more. As of today, the United Federation no longer exists!"
Impossible. Sonic swallows. How? –Instead he says, "And it only took you, what, ten years? Twenty? That's slow even for you-"
"And the rest will follow soon after!" Eggman snarls, silencing him. "And when it's all conquered," he drawls, suddenly sounding so unbearably smug- "The great Dr Eggman will show you exactly how you've failed."
Time blurs together. He doesn't know if it's night or day anymore, and forget weekdays. He's not really sure about which month it is, either. He – he was defeated in the spring, right? So it's – it has to be May now. Or June.
Huh. His birthday's coming up, isn't it?
-this was not how he wanted to spend it.
…actually, he wants a lot of things. It's like shouting into a void, with no answers. It's like being alone for days and days until you can't remember how to hold a conversation. It's like staring at those walls until they seem both a million miles away and just inches from your face, all at once. It's like realising that nothing is ever going to happen.
This time he wakes up because the speakers are going off again. (Last time they did, it was because Eggman felt smug and wanted to flaunt the fact that he had crushed both Soleanna and Apotos in a single day) Now it's just static, a pounding in Sonic's head and the feeling the room is tilting to the side... Is it? Or maybe it's-
"Do you know what date it is?" Eggman sing-songs, voice coming out shrill and high from those speakers.
What? He stabs into the dark. "Your birthday?"
That'd be just the thing for Eggman to show off…
He laughs. Eggman, that is. "No – it's your birthday!" Surprise hits Sonic, and he doesn't quite bother to hide his expression. (The new camera is destroyed, anyway)
"So now you have a gift for me, or what?"
"Well of course," Eggman says. "Just for you, I destroyed Christmas Island! Enjoy the rest of your miserable existence!" and the speakers go silent.
Quiet. Back to this suffocating silence- he destroyed Christmas Island.
How did Eggman know?
…Sonic doesn't know what to do anymore.
What he supposes is good, is the fact that Eggman yet has to parade his friends' deaths to him. So… so they must still be alive. Still fighting…
He smiles, faintly.
Somehow he finds himself tripping around in a daydream, a complicated sort of universe where things actually happen and time exists. A dream, an illusion in which there are other colours than grey and white and blue – in which people talk and people have faces, not just hostile voices from tech imbedded in the walls.
…And then he's suddenly stricken with the fear that what if he can't run anymore.
Physically incapable to- he gets to his feet and starts jogging in place. It feels… off. He speeds up and- and it feels weird. Like his legs are about to shut off.
-He starts to train like this, every day.
Because he can't bear the thought of losing his speed, on top of everything else…
He takes great pleasure in mocking Eggman at every opportunity, though.
Ah yes, his one and only joy nowadays: taunting his arch-nemesis. Waiting. Breathing slowly. Staring at the 136th panel which is a slightly different shade of grey than the other panels, did you know?
He's so bored he thinks he might cry. He doesn't know if it's July or September. He feels so unbelievably tired and weary, and once, once he wishes that he could just disappear already. Die. Go somewhere, anywhere else than this place-
He stretches. He sleeps, tries to sleep until time has ran away entirely and things will finally begin to happen again.
-He thinks he has never felt as happy, as exhilarated as when Zavok suddenly turns up to announce that he's moving to a new cell.
The room he finds himself trapped in now is bigger. And it has a window out to a large hall, with an even bigger window towards space. Deep blue, strewn with twinkling white dots and there – there's his world, his planet, his home-
It is so beautiful.
How he's missed seeing the stars. And sheesh – there's so much space in this new cell! (Pun totally intended) He can move around, and there's even a bench? He's amazed, and it's actually quite silly. Right?
-Sonic bursts out laughing at that bench, and can't stop until his stomach hurts and it is hard to breathe. He feels slightly hysterical. That's normal right, if you're supposed to be executed in a few days? Yeah probably, he chides himself… "But still," he says out loud. "Space. A window. That's – that's not the worst thing to see before you die."
"Talking to yourself?" Eggman's disembodied voice berates him. "Now that's just predictably pathetic."
…It takes Sonic five seconds to realise that he is actually hearing a voice, not just imagining it.
"Says the guy who talks about himself in third person." Sonic easily spots the speakers, and can immediately see at least fifteen things which are different from the other ones… not that anything matters anymore.
"That's the best you could think of?" Eggman says, annoyed. "Now I'm just disappointed."
"And so am I, about your design choices."
"No matter," Eggman says, interrupting him. "The world belongs to me now, hedgehog! I've won. I've won!" He exclaims. "Dr Eggman has won. And today, today you will die, Sonic."
Sonic manages a sarcastic, "Wow," and a short applause. But Eggman doesn't reply, the speakers going silent, and then – then Sonic just slumps down against the bench. He's so tired of it all. But he just doesn't want it to end like this – no, he can't let it end. He has to get out, today, he has to get back to the planet someway, he has to-
He has to save the planet. And he needs to run free again, just once – his chest squeezes and throat constricts when he thinks of never dashing through a field again. Never tasting fresh air again, never feeling the wind and the sun, hell, he'd do anything just to even feel a bit of rain again.
-Somehow desperation unlocks energy reserves he didn't know he had, makes that old determination rise up again.
And when Zavok comes, he jumps straight into the fight, feeling free and unstoppable for the first time in six long months, six never-ending months of nothingness. He grins, he shows off, he leaps and twists in near-freedom- so close he can feel it – and it's so addictive, so good, he swears he could take on the whole Egg army by himself, in that moment. He's finally alive again.