"Runaway"
By: Toni Ferraro
Sonic and related characters ©1999 Sega Enterprises, Ltd.

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QUEEN ALEENA: We all get angry with each other every now and then. But the most important thing we must learn is to forgive each other.
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*WOOSH!*

Racing at the speed of sound, Sonic The Hedgehog dashes across the pipelines of Robotropolis, holding tightly to a rolled up paper.

He made a left turn to the Underground Secret Base, holding his arms out to keep balance. Although Sonia said the pipeline near the base was old and unstable, he still liked taking the risk as long as it got to his destination faster.

Just before he reached the doors, he leaped off, and made a perfect landing. He glanced in shock when he heard something clang to the floor. It was only a lugnut from the pipeline.

Sonic wiped his forehead. "Whew," he sighed, "Sonia would never let me hear the end of it if the entire thing fell."

He opened the doors and trudged in. "Honey, I'm hooome!" he called, holding up the peice of paper.

Sonia entered the room. "That was quick," she said, snatching the paper from her brother, "But knowing you, that's normal." She unrolled it. "Now let's see what Robotnik's up to this time... Oh no..."

Sonic leaned over her shoulder in concern, "What's wrong, sis?"

"Sonic Hedgehog..." Sonia suddenly raised the paper above her head in anger, "You got the wrong plans!!!"

Manic entered the room after hearing his sister's tantrum.

"I did?" Sonic asked innocently, taking the plans back and looking at them.

"Sonic, these are Sleet and Dingo's vacation forms!" Sonia shouted, "You were supposed to get the plans for Robotnik's latest invention that Cyrus picked up!"

"Whoops! Sorry, sis," Sonic laughed, turning on his heels, "I'll just go get 'em."

Sonia quickly grabbed his arms, "Oh no you don't, Sonic," she scolded, "This isn't the first time you messed this up. Remember last week we had the adventure of our lives only because we didn't know Robotnik's exact plans to destroy the Main Mobian Reservoir only because YOU put chili stains on the plans! I can't trust you anymore!"

Sonic cocked an eyebrow. "Hey, lighten up, sis."

Ignoring him, she turned to her other brother, the 'trustworthy' one she thought of him as. "Manic, could you go to the Underground Shelter and get the_real_plans from Cyrus?"

Manic did a salute pose. "At your service, Princess!" he retorted. Grabbing his hoverboard nearby, he exited the base, hovered on his board, and started off.

"You didn't have to send Manic out," Sonic said, as he and Sonia turned. But they suddenly whipped back around as they heard Manic cry out in pain. They dashed back out to see Manic sprawled on the ground, with a pipeline on his head.

"Oh my gosh!" Sonia cried, as she raced to his side and heaved the pipe off of him. "Manic, are you all right?!"

Manic groaned, rubbing his head. "Major pain..." he muttered.

Sonia looked over to the pipeline. "What happened?" she asked.

Sonic strolled up, whistling in guilt.

Sonia glared up at him. "Why do I have a feeling that_you're_behind this?" she asked.

Sonic slightly sweated, "Weeell," he started, "maybe, because I, kinda... used the pipeline as a running rack." He finished quickly.

Sonia jumped to her feet, angered. "Sonic!" she shouted, "I've told you NOT to run on them! They're very unstable!"

"But it cuts 30 seconds from my usual run!" Sonic protested.

"You could get yourself hurt!" Sonia scolded, then turned down to Manic, on his knees. "Or worse! You can hurt someone else like you just did!" She helped Manic back to his feet and started back inside with him.

"Hey, I'm sorry!" Sonic called, starting in to follow.

Sonia shot a look back at him, "Well, you know, Sonic? Sometimes sorry isn't enough for the likes of you!"

Sonic was shocked by that remark. "Hey, hey sis! You don't really mean that, do you?"

Sonia turned and guided Manic inside. "What I mean is that you're so thickheaded, you wouldn't know any sense even if it bit you! Go eat a chili dog, or something... I've an injury to heal."

Sonic started after them. "Wait, up!" he called, "Lemme help!"

Out of painful frustration, Manic yelled, "No way, bro! You're just an accident waiting to happen!" The doors closed behind him and Sonia.

Sonic just stood there, wide-eyed and silent. Why are they so upset at him? He remembered they're hurtful words.

"Sometimes sorry isn't enough for the likes of you!"

"You're so thickheaded, you wouldn't know any sense even if it bit you! Go eat a chili dog, or something..."

"You're just an accident waiting to happen!"

Sonic then grit his teeth. Does he really need all this insulting? He was sorry for hurting Manic, but they didn't seem to care. It's like all they ever focus on are his mistakes!

"Well, FINE!" he shouted, "I know when I'm not wanted!" And with that, he spun on his heels, and dashed away through Robotropolis. He zipped by the patrolling SWATbots, the factories, and even the chili dog stand!

He dashed out through the border of Robotropolis, and towards the horizon, all through the time, thinking of the cruelty he had to suffer.



***



Manic sat on top of the kitchen counter as Sonia wrapped a bandage around his head.

As she tightened it, Manic let out a depressed sigh. "What's wrong, Manic?" Sonia asked, "Was that too tight?"

"No, it's not that," he responded, "Not only does my head hurt, so does my heart..."

"Hm?"

"I just feel guilty about what I said to Sonic. I hope I didn't hurt him..."

"Oh, don't worry about Sonic," Sonia responded hastily, "He'll blow over it."

"How do you know?" Manic snapped, "I mean, sure he's a simple-minded windbag who leaps before he looks, but he still has feelings!" He sighed once more, "An' I think right now, they're hurt."

Sonia sighed. "Oh, you're right, Manic," she said, "I guess I came down alittle too hard on him." She helped her brother jump off the counter. "I better go find him to apologize."

"Hey, I'm with ya all the way, sis," said Manic, "I mean, you ain't th' only heart acher in this room."



***



Sonic approached a small cliff side. He wasn't exactly how sure how far he ran from Robotropolis, or exactly where he was for that matter. But that didn't really matter to him right now.

He sat on a nearby rock, and rested his chin in his hands, and elbows on his knees.

"Hey, I know I'm usually a pain, but I enjoy who I am," he sighed to himself, "I like getting things through fast, even if it gets me in scraps of trouble. Like I can't get myself out?" He looked into the sky. "I don't do it to hurt other people. I didn't set that pipe to fall on Manic intentionally." He stared at his shoes, "But what do they care? To them, I'm just some thorn in their feet. My own family..."

He felt his face get hot. He shook his head wildly, and his eyes began watering. He quickly wiped the tears. What's wrong with him? Is he... crying?

"Get ahold of yourself, Sonic!" he told himself. He then slumped forward, letting a tear roll down his cheek. "Bummer majoris..."

His ear perked and he glanced up. "Huh?" He let out a confused remark when hearing the sounds of engines driving by. He leaned over the cliff edge and saw to his surprise.

"Dr. Robotnik!"

Down below in the forest, Sonic could see large machines, most with saws on their roofs, driving through. The few trees around them were sawed down.

A large, red hovercraft lowered itself in the middle of the machines. The bottom hatch opened, and out stepped the obese, dictator himself, followed by a band of SWATbots. He examined the forest landscape around him.

"Ah..." he swooned, "What a beautiful forest... Perfect for the new location of the Robotisizer Factory, once all these trees everywhere are taken down!"

He pulled out a set of blueprints and unrolled them. "After I build one here, then I'll set up 50 more locations! They'll populate like a common fast-food restaurant!" He lowered the map, revealing a malicious grin, "And once it's finished, we can test it with these_adorible_little creatures that inhabit this entire forest." And with that, he began his cunning laughter.

Up above, Sonic heard the entire thing. "We'll see about that, 'Buttnik," he said.

He carefully slid himself down the side of the cliff, and hid behind a large rock, all while spying on Robotnik and his scheme.

Robotnik pointed at a large oak. "Unit One," he commanded, "take down that tree first. That's the area where I can set up my own personal lounge."

A tank rolled up to the tree, raising its buzz-saw attached to its roof, then sliding it across the large tree all the way through. When it reached the other end, the tree wobbled, then leaned over, falling down towards the giant rock Sonic was hiding behind.

Sonic just happened to notice this. As it neared, he jumped to the side to avoid behind crushed. He made it just in time.

Just then, a lasergun was pointed at him. "Halt." It beeped.

Sonic stared up at him, "Uh, hi!" he stammered, "Just sight-seeing!"

Robotnik turned to see what was going on. "Hedgehog!" he sneered.

"The one and only!" Sonic jested, going into a sonic-spin, and hurling himself into the SWATbot.

He zipped around Robotnik and then forward, where he suddenly came to an abrupt stop. There was another Tank Unit in front of him, lowering it's buzz-saw just below the hedgehog's head.

"Haha!" Robotnik laughed, "You're not the only one that can spin, hedgehog! SWATbots! Surround and capture!"

The SWATbots circled Sonic, preventing any escape for the blue hero.

Robotnik strolled over to Sonic. "Come to right my wrongs?" he taunted. Sonic growled in response. "Oh, pish posh. That kind of behavior will get you no where, you royal pain."

He leaned forward to be eye-level with Sonic. "You AND the Resistance are nothing more than just whiny children who can't have their way."

"Shows how much you know, Eggbelly!" Sonic retorted, reaching up for his medallion. In response, the SWATbots grabbed his arms.

"Oh, and I suppose you're going to save the day with this little toy, child?" Robotnik hissed, snapping the medallion off the string.

"Heeey!!" Sonic shouted.

"Protest all you want, hedgehog," Robotnik said, turning off, "Either way, you're not on the winning team. SWATbots, take him in."

The SWATbots picked up Sonic, and carried him off to Robotnik's ship. With nothing left to do, Sonic groaned, "Bummer majoris."



***



Cyrus looked up to see a motorcycle and a hoverboard, both occupying hedgehogs, slow to a stop in front of him.

"Hey guys!" he greeted as the two got off their vehicles. He reached over and held a rolled up paper to Manic. "This is a copy of Robotnik's latest plans. It seems he's gonna destroy a whole forest to make a--"

"Have you seen Sonic?"

Sonia's sudden question stopped Cyrus in his words. "Sonic?" he asked, "Uh, no. Not since he came for the plans and accidentally left with Sleet and Dingo's vacation forms."

Sonia moaned, worried. "Ohh, he's be gone for a long time. We can't find him anywhere."

"Don't worry," said Cyrus, "I'm sure he'll show up sometime. In the meantime," He handed the plans to Manic, "check out these plans. They're very important."

Manic unrolled the plans as he and Sonia looked them over. "Oh my gosh!" Sonia cried, "A local Robotization Factory?!"

"And to make it worse," Cyrus added, "he's gonna tear up the entire Eastern Mobian Forest in place of it!"

"This is terrible!" Sonia cried, "We have to stop him!"

"Yeah, but what about Sonic?" Manic asked.

"We'll look for Sonic later," Sonia responded, hopping onto her motorcycle, "This is important! Thanks, Cyrus!"

Manic placed the plans in his fanny pack, jumped on his hoverboard, and he and Sonia were off.



***



More and more trees were cut down as the demolition continued.

Robotnik stood in the middle of it all, enjoying himself. "Haha!" he laughed, "I just love evil doing in the morning! No more trees! No more landscape! Get rid of it ALL!"

As the tanks did as they were told, above, the two hedgehogs approached via their transportations, the hoverboard and the motorcycle.

Manic leapt off his hoverboard and leaned over to the side of the cliff. "Man," he said, "Cyrus wasn't lyin'. Buttnik's definitely gone developer-crazy."

Sonia joined him and looked down. "That madman!" she cried, "He's nearly taken out the entire forest!"

Some more tanks drove up to Robotnik, morely in the shape of large pickup trucks. In their beds, large sheets of metal. Robotnik once again laughed menancingly. "I guess we can start construction!" he announced, "And when it's finished,_Sonic_can be our test guinea pig!" He patted his ship next to him, where Sonic was held captive at the moment, "Or... in his case, the test hedgehog!"

After hearing this, the siblings gasped in shock. "He's got Sonic!" Sonia cried.

"Dude, Buttnik's gonna robotisize him!" said Manic.

Sonia stood up defiantly. "Right!" she declared, "The first thing we do is save him!"



"Enjoy your every last minute of freedom, you frisky freedom fighter," Robotnik taunted to Sonic, inside the ship, "Because once the factory is complete, YOU'RE the first victim. Bwahahaha!"

He turned and walked off to see more of the destruction. In the meantime, Sonia and Manic had slid down the cliff side. They tiptoed over to Robotnik's ship.

"Buttnik's got issues if he's talking to machinery," Manic joked.

"Shh," Sonia hushed, "Sonic must be in there. As soon as we find him, we get together and destroy these machines!"

"Gotcha', sis," said Manic.

They slowly made their way under the ship. After examining the clear coast, Manic chucked a pebble at the dock, and opened down to the ground. The two hurried inside.



Sonic was tied up heavily with rope, and hung from the roof in the back.

He groaned in disappointment. "I guess this is the end," he sighed to himself, "Bad enough I don't even get a chance to defend myself, but I can't even get in any contact with my sibs!"

Just then, he heard a hatch open and two people scamper up. He looked ahead to see two pink and green hedgehogs race inside and look around.

"Do you see him, Manic?"

"No, sis. Hey wait!" Sonic's brother reached on the control panels and picked up something, "His medallion! He can't be far!"

"He took his medallion??" The girl growled, "That's going too far, Buttnik..."

It was them! Manic and Sonia!

"Hey sibs!!" Sonic called over.

The two's eyes widen. They looked over their shoulders.

"Sonic!" Sonia cried, racing over with Manic, "Are you all right??"

"I'm fine," Sonic responded, "Man, I've never been so glad to see you guys again!"

Manic pulled out his drumstick, twirled it on his finger, then shot it towards the rope that Sonic hung above, cutting it and sending Sonic crashing to the floor.

"Although I should admit the rescue was alittle painful to the haunch," Sonic joked.

Sonia jumped to Sonic and wrapped her arms around his neck, embracing a deep hug. "Oh, Sonic!" she cried, "Can you ever forgive us?"

Sonic returned the hug, "Hey, why wouldn't I?" he responded, "After all, you are my family."

Sonia pulled back. "Seriously," she said, "We're terribly sorry for the way we treated you. I didn't mean_anything_I said to you."

"Ditto," Manic added.

"You guys really mean it?" Sonic asked.

Sonia nodded, "Of course!" she responded, "After all, we can't fulfill this prophecy without you. Your a team player!"

"By the way, bro," said Manic, holding out the guitar-shaped medallion, "I think this belongs to you."

Sonic smiled, and took it. "Thanks, guys," he said. He jumped to his feet and began tying his medallion back around his neck. "Now whattya say we kick Ro-Butt-Nik's tail?"

Sonia and Manic held their fists in the air. "We're with ya!" they both responded in unison.



As soon as they all reached the bottom, they were immediately surrounded by SWATbot lasers.

"So," the raspy voice of Robotnik rang out, "It looks as if we got some unannounced guests!" He stepped forward.

"No offense, Buttnik, but who'd want to come with YOU as the host?" Sonic retorted.

Robotnik growled. "Get them!!!" he commanded.

Sonic grabbed Manic and Sonia's wrists, "Hold on to your lunch, 'cause we're hauling haunch!"

And with that, he zipped away, as the lasers struck empty ground. Sonic sped up the cliff, and once at the top, let go of his siblings' wrists. They all turned to look down at the construction site.

"Let's demolish that demolition crew!" Sonic cheered on. The triplets rubbed their medallions to summon forth their instruments.

As they played their song, Sonic and Sonia's lasers struck the SWATbots. Robotnik hurried and retreated into his hovercraft. Meanwhile, the shockwave of Manic's drums earthquaked below the tanks, as they fell into the forming canyon below. All while the three sang their song:


"When something happens you don't like,
Don't turn tail and take a hike!
Stay where you are and sort it out
'Cause that's what family's all about!

Forgive and forget!
Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah!
Forgive and forget!
Nana na na na!


It takes one thing to get us mad,
Keeping us from being glad!
Work things out with one another,
Because we all love each other!

Forgive and forget!
Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah!
Forgive and forget!
Nana na na na!

Forgive and forget!
Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah!
Forgive and forget!
Nana na na na!

Forgive and Forget (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)
Forgive and Forget (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)
Forgive and Forget!"


Once finished, the trio called back their instruments.

Manic pointed into the sky at Robotnik's hovercraft flying away. "We got 'im good, sibs!" he chimed.



In his ship, Robotnik furiously flew back to Robotropolis. "Grrr... I hate hedgehogs!!!" he growled to himself.



The other two cheered in victory.

Sonia looked down the cliff at the now damaged tank units and large area of lands. "We can grow what's been destroyed," she told her brothers, "One thing for sure; Robotnik'll think twice before messing with a beautiful land for his own evil purposes!"

"That's for sure!" said Sonic, smiling warming at his brother and sister, "Now whattya say we go back home? ALL of us?"

Manic hopped on his hoverboard. "Sounds like a plan to me!"



***



The next day, Sonic returned to the Underground Secret Base, steering clear from the pipelines this time.

He sped inside, skidding to a halt next to Sonia, sitting on the couch. "Mail call!" he announced, holding up another rolled up paper, "Cyrus says it's a secret message for us three."

After hearing this announcement, Manic barged into the living room.

Sonia stood up. "What does it say, Sonic?"

Sonic unrolled the paper and looked at it hard. "Hm... South Island Palm Beach? This weekend...?"

"Wha?!" Sonia cried, "Not again!"

Sonic squinted at the paper, "No wait, doesn't say that. Hm... I can't seem to make this out. It appears to have_chili_stains on it."

"Soooniiic," Sonia stifled a growl.

Sonic chuckled, and then handed it to Sonia, "Just kiddin' sis."

Sonia took it and looked at the clean message, giggling to herself before reading. She then read in awe. "Oh my gosh," she said, "It's from Mother!"

The brothers peeped over each of Sonia's shoulders to read the note.



'My children,
You all did wonderful the other day. Although you may have sibling rivalry, remember to stay together at all times. You're each other's links to the past, and will be the people who will most likely stick with you for the rest of your lives.
Keep working together. One day, we will all be reunited.
Love,
Mother'


Sonia wiped a tear from her eye. Sonic noticed this. "Aw," he said whiling putting an arm around her shoulder, "Group hug!"

The three wrapped their arms around each other.

Manic chuckled. "I love you, guys," he chimed.


THE END