Content Warnings: Violence/peril
Continuity: None for my own stories. This is merely a retelling of Sonic Advance 3's extra boss.
Spoilers: Srsly tho, this spoils Sonic Advance 3, not to mention Sonic Battle. Just in case a pair of handheld games old enough to legally drive in all fifty states is still on your to-play list.
He had many questions, but for the first time since the world had split, he didn't have a partner to bounce them off of; his own mind would have to do.
One: was Emerl's soul really buried in that machine they'd been fighting?
If it seemed like it before, it definitely doesn't now.
Two: how did the Chaos Emeralds return to him after that robotic monstrosity had spent their power on its own transformation?
Beggars can't be choosers. Smash first, ask Tails and/or Knuckles later.
Three: why exactly was Dr. Eggman following him?
He probably - wait...
Halfway to the stratosphere by now, Sonic whirled around.
"Why exactly are you following me?"
"Why else?" Eggman hollered back from his hoverpod. "We need to stop that thing."
"Whaddya think I'm doing?"
The glowing hedgehog focused a burst of chaos energy into shooting ahead at an even faster pace. The faint mutter of "showoff" behind him reminded him that his hearing, too, was advanced in this form.
Oh well. With great power came great annoyances.
Reminding himself to deliver a clever retort later, Sonic burst through the ozone layer and into outer space. The mutant robot finally came back into view.
"Yo!" Sonic yelled at it. The machine, a vaguely spherical mass with what looked like yellow plus signs slapped on both sides, turned around to face an eye-like protrusion at him.
"Listen closely. I don't know if Emerl's somewhere in there, so I'm giving you exactly one chance to stop whatever destruction you're planning."
The robot rotated slightly. Four claws extended from its body by chain-like arms.
"I'm even willing to forgive you for stealing the Emeralds from me...after I collected...all of them." Sonic said, though it was forced through gritted teeth.
One of the claws turned to face him. He raised an eye ridge.
"What is this, a handshake? Okay then, I-"
Said claw blasted a laser directly into his face, knocking him several meters backwards. He straightened himself quickly, energy flames shooting up his arms as his fists clenched.
"Oh, that does it! Do you even know how long it took me to play hide-and-go-seek with no fewer than seventy toddler-brained Chao?! They have a knack for hiding in the most ridiculous-"
"Arguing with a machine. Really, Sonic?"
Sonic looked back, mildly surprised to see Eggman again. He folded his arms coolly.
"Still tailing me, I see. Took ya long enough to catch up."
"Blasted nuclear thrusters were only sixty percent operational. Why don't you ever do as I tell you?!" the doctor hollered into the dashboard he was presently pounding a fist against.
Sonic rolled his eyes, then charged towards the robot. The moment his fists made contact with its body, a foreign energy painfully immobilized him.
One of the robot's arms whipped him hard, knocking him back to where Eggman was still hovering.
"I could have told you that would happen, you know."
Sonic let off a growl, then shot forward again.
He swerved to avoid a laser as another arm whipped towards him. He caught the following arm, only to be shocked again.
"Seriously," Eggman said as the hedgehog tumbled back to him. "That's not going to-"
Upon realizing he was only addressing the aftershock of Sonic's latest takeoff, Eggman waited until the next time the hedgehog was inevitably sent flying in his direction.
"Why aren't you paying attention to me?" the doctor whined.
Sonic continued to face the robot. "You're not a threat. He is."
Something thumped him in the back. He wasn't quite sure what it was until he saw the explosion and billowing smoke from the corner of his eye. He half-turned, just enough to level an exasperated glare at Eggman.
Eggman giggled nervously. "Force of habit."
"You couldn't save your missiles for the world-destroying robot?"
"They wouldn't harm it."
"So what will?!"
"Well, you're both charged with the power of the Chaos Emeralds simultaneously, so I can conclude that you're each hogging a mutually exclusive subset of their full spectrum. Generally the energy is meant to be united, which is probably why you're getting shocked when you touch it."
"Get to the point. How do I beat it?"
"I'm not sure but-"
"Then why didn't you say so?" Sonic barked. A barrage of missiles fired from the robot. Sonic launched forward, rapidly headbutting, kicking, and throwing them all towards the machine at once. The entire thing was engulfed by explosions.
Unfortunately the resulting smoke clouds did an excellent job of concealing a robotic arm until the moment it grabbed Sonic around the torso, shocking him before tossing him back.
"But I do know," Eggman finished, "that brute force isn't going to work."
Sonic grunted as he shook his head. "So then why isn't the robot also getting zapped from touching me?"
"Oh I'm sure it is. But it's incapable of feeling pain, unlike you. In order to do any real damage, you'd have to find a weak point. Probably the eye underneath that lid."
Sonic looked at the protrusion Eggman was pointing at, and sighed. "Ah. This is gonna stink."
He charged into the fray, dodging lasers, missiles, and arms, until he reached the machine's body. He gritted his teeth and reached forward to clasp the 'eyelid' with both hands. Trying to fight the pain and rigidity flooding through his limbs, he focused all his attention into prying the lid open. It only budged an inch before an arm walloped him.
He landed prone on top of the Eggmobile, and rested limply for a moment.
"News flash," he muttered. "That stunk."
"I told you," said Eggman through his mobile's speakers. "Mechs are superior beings."
Sonic slowly looked down at the 'mech' he was beached on. "Fine, so you fight that thing."
"What? I'm only here for moral support."
"Oh no, I insist," said Sonic, hug-grabbing the Eggmobile and flying towards the robot again.
"Gah! What are you-?"
Sonic dodged the flurry of attacks and brought the Eggmobile over to the robot's body. He lifted it over his head and slammed it down hard on the eyelid.
The lid opened momentarily, revealing a red orb. But it closed immediately.
"Aw, come on," Sonic whined. He repeated the action multiple times in quick succession, as though he'd just picked up a Donkey Kong hammer.
"STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP" Eggman punctuated on each hit.
An arm whacked Eggman's pod, knocking him and Sonic far away.
"Well, that was utterly pointless!" Eggman berated the hedgehog.
"Oh, I dunno," said Sonic with an enormous grin. "I really enjoyed it myself."
"Well. If you insist on being a barbarian and involving me, at least pay attention. You got the eye open, but in order to make it stay open, you need to deliver a shock to the robot's system."
"Huh," muttered Sonic. He flew behind the Eggmobile, grabbed it again, and focused on channeling his supply of chaos energy. The flaming glow spread from his hands to the entire surface of the Eggmobile.
Eggman looked around as the energy field intensified. "I suppose that will do."
"It'll have to," said Sonic. He looked around the side of the Eggmobile, waiting for the robot's eye to face them unobstructed.
"Great," said Eggman, "now we can carefully-"
Sonic reared back and kicked the charged Eggmobile hard with both feet. It went flying into the robot's eye. The impact knocked the lid open and the energy shock held it there.
Eggman shook his head dizzily. "Did you seriously have to -eek!"
Sonic charged in, shoving the Eggmobile aside and smashing into the exposed eye. There was a loud crackling noise that followed, along with all four arms smacking the intruders away.
Sonic was the first to recover. "In your face, robot! Ha! Oww."
Eggman growled. "As unpleasant as that was, I have to admit it did work."
He gestured to the robot. Several warning lights had gone off on its base, which only served to highlight the fine cracks now present all over its body. The lid had closed over the eye again.
Sonic smirked. "Happy to perform an encore."
He flew to the side of the Eggmobile and began charging it again. A missile struck him, shattering his focus.
"It wasn't me this time," Eggman said, shrugging. "Now, more juice!"
Sonic gripped the vehicle again. "Do I look like a battery to you?"
Another missile came flying in. Sonic rotated the Eggmobile to bat it away.
"Do I look like a meat shield to you?" Eggman bellowed.
"Yep!" shouted Sonic as he booted the Eggmobile towards the robot again. The eye opened and Sonic crashed into it.
By the time the two recovered to assess the robot again, it had clearly gone into berserk mode. The cracks in its base were now running along its entire circumference. Wisps of smoke spurted out as the warning lights lit the entire contraption red.
"All right, one more," Sonic said, grabbing the Eggmobile.
"We'll have to get close," Eggman warned.
Sonic complied, but unfortunately the action brought them within range of the four arms, which were now spinning wildly around the robot.
Eggman yelped as Sonic yanked him around in a rapid orbit, trying to balance the tasks of charging the vehicle while dodging the flailing arms.
"This is not helping my vertigo!" the doctor wailed.
"Tough!" Sonic shot back.
The robot fired a laser at the two. Sonic swung the Eggmobile, deflecting the laser back into the robot. The arms slowed down slightly, but it was just enough of an opening. Sonic forced as much charge as he could into the vehicle and kicked it towards the eye for the third time.
The eye opened. Eggman braced himself, then turned in surprise when nothing immediately happened.
"What are you waiting for? Finish it!"
Sonic lifted a hand to his head, squinting as he tried to locate the robot's eye through his increasingly blurring vision.
Eggman sighed and steered his pod in front of the eye.
"Hey look at meeeeee," he shouted in his best falsetto, "I'm a blue rat named Sonic, and I'm too slooowwwww!"
Sonic let off a roar and charged towards Eggman, who shrieked and moved out of the way just in time. Sonic slammed into the eye at full force.
After the initial impact knocked them back, Sonic looked up to see the robot explode in a shower of parts.
"Well, that should do it," he said woozily.
"Agreed," said Eggman, steering his vehicle towards the planet again. Something jolted him slightly, and he looked out his dome window to see Sonic clinging to the back of his pod.
"What, did you spend all your allowance in one place?" the doctor sneered.
"Shut up and drive."
"At what point did I consent to being a taxi operator?"
"I dare you to come out here and try knocking me off."
Eggman engaged the drive lever. The machine hovered forward for a few meters before sputtering to a stop.
"Argh! These infernal thrusters are getting a one-star review on their Nile page if I ever return home."
"Try giving 'em a good whack?" Sonic suggested.
Eggman growled. "Did you obtain all your knowledge from Saturday morning cartoons? Not every mechanical problem is solved with-"
Sonic dope-slapped the thrusters. They erupted like a diet cola bottle invaded by the Mints From Outer Space.
He smiled, enjoying the complimentary flame-kissed ride back through the planet's atmosphere.
Back in oxygenated air, Sonic turned to notice another item falling towards the planet; the robot had reverted to its original form. A remodeled Emerl.
The doctor turned and soured at the sight. "Wow. Durable little louse. Almost as bad as you."
"We have to save him!"
"I don't have to do anything except go home to binge on antacids and rom-coms. You kill yourself rescuing the thing if you want."
Sonic didn't waste any more time arguing or considering his own decision. He kicked off the Eggmobile and flew over to the robot. It was battered and limp, but appeared to be mostly intact.
He grabbed it by the arm and tried to pull up, but couldn't muster nearly enough energy to do so. He chuckled incredulously as he tried to think of Plan B.
The mountains...the forest ...or the...?
His vision began to blur again, and he made up his mind.
The world turned a brilliant white, followed shortly by a pitch black.
Sonic's eyes opened with the speed of a tortoise on decaf. An orange-brown blur began to come into focus.
"Sonic!" yelled the happy blur as the hedgehog sat up.
Oh phew, wasn't sure I'd wake up.
"SOOOONIIIIIIIICCCC-" wailed a pink harpy.
Crag it. Maybe I can pretend to pass out again.
He almost didn't need to pretend; most of the air evacuated his lungs when Amy dove into a frantic hug, lifting him to his feet.
"I thought I'd never see you again!" she sobbed into his chest.
"It's-" he barely managed to squeak out. "It's okay, Amy, I'm fine."
Tails looked a bit shaken too, but he opted to change the subject. "What was Eggman doing the whole time?"
Sonic barked out a laugh as he absently patted the pink head still attached to him. "It's a long story, but…"
He trailed off as a hazy memory drifted its way back to him.
The tiny rabbit in the back of the group looked up at him. "Yes, Mr. Sonic?"
"I think I want to go hang at Emerald Beach to tell my side of the story. Would your mom let you come with us?"
"Uhm, she told me I could be out as long as I needed to help you," Cream responded, and then bit the tip of her thumb. "But she also told me to insist that I bring you all for supper when the adventure was over. Cheese, what should we do?"
"Chao?" said Cheese.
"He's asking if you need my help at the beach."
Sonic grinned. "Well, not exactly, but I really want to go to the beach, and it would make me very happy if you came."
Tails gave Sonic an odd look, then turned to Cream. "How about we call your mom and ask her? Maybe she'd even like to join us there for a picnic. My communicator will have reception once we leave this area."
"Okay!" the rabbit chirped, satisfied with the resolution to her dilemma.
"Oh, this will be so romantic!" Amy gushed. She turned to look up the nearby stone staircase. "Hey Knuckles, you want to come to the beach with us?"
The echidna was sitting peacefully at the top of the stairs next to the Master Emerald he was guarding. "I'm fine, thanks," he called back.
"Great, well, it's a da-" Sonic began, before thinking better of it. "It's a plan. Here we go!"
Author's Notes, 6/23/20:
Dear Sega: Happy 29th birthday to Sonic and Eggman. Now please remaster the Advance trilogy.
What with the obvious musical throwback and other themes therein, I'm sure the designers intended this boss fight to be an emotional one. But, me being me, I found it utterly hilarious with the so-called "teamwork" aspect.
Now, if you're one of my regular readers and you're mad at me for posting something new before finishing my current fic...don't worry, I'm mad at me too.
For another scapegoat, we can blame Cytisus for giving me an opening to mention Battle/SA3 in conversation which then triggered me looking up the endings which subsequently triggered me writing this. Clearly, I'm not the only one at fault here.
TL;DR, I have no idea how I wrote this so quickly, but now that it's not nagging my brain anymore, I can get back to my previous commitment. Thanks for reading!
Cytisus strikes again! Not to be outdone, here is a hilarious drawing based on Eggman's last line:
[deviantart dot com]/micazee/art/Antacids-and-Rom-Com-Night-847749167
I am flattered and humbled and also in hysterics. Remind me to write goofy throwaway lines more often!