Disclaimer: If it exists in Sega creations, it ain't mine. Everything else is.

Author's Note: This story follows directly on from the events in my fic Secrets of the Emeralds. If you haven't read that one yet, one or two (or nine or ten) things may not make complete sense. Just FYI ;)

Guardian's Log no. 11471

So I'm finally back after that whole Robotnik fiasco. Sonic's healed up and almost back to his old self. Unfortunately, he came after Tails had left to look for him, so Sonic's now gone to look for Tails looking for Sonic. I think we can all see how that scenario's going to pan out.

In a way, I admire the kid's loyalty; the hedgehog treated him like dirt, and yet Tails still wants to stick by him. Anyway, he's been gone two months now, which means Angel Island is finally mine again! No more insatiably curious two-tailed fox with his endless stream of questions, no more of his building killer machines that nearly blow innocent bystanders up and no more of his snoring either.

I sure do miss the little guy.

--Knuckles the Echidna

My Memoirs by Me

Forget everything I wrote about Knuckles earlier in this journal (especially the entries I had to write in my own blood – YEESH!) Knuckles is the best, smartest, coolest, spiniest gliding rock-smashing red echidna-ish (echidnese?) Guardian of the Master Emerald ever in the whole history of Angel Island! In the whole history of Mobius! Oh man, I'm on such a high I'm babbling almost as much as Tails but I can't help it!

Bottom line; Knux used the Master Emerald to heal me! I can walk again! I can RUN again! I can run and jump and race and somersault and do everything I did before I fell off the rail that day! I'd hug Knux if I didn't think he'd go all stiff and embarrassed on me!

Now I just gotta find Tails. I hope he's okay, wherever he is. I acted like...well, I was a jerk, full stop. I don't blame him for seeking sanctuary with Knuckles, but apparently now he's gone looking for me. He found me before I got here, but...well, let's not go into that here. Not if it's gonna spoil my good mood.

Ohboyohboyohboy! I can run again! I. Can. RUN!

--Sonic the Hedgehog

Dear Diary

I wish I'd never left Angel Island. So much for getting back on an even footing with Sonic; I know he's probably still miserable about being crippled, but I don't see why he has to take it out on me! Well, if he really wants me to leave him alone, he's got it! He can stay that way forever as far as I'm concerned!

Got a note from some of the kids in Emerald Hill Zone asking if I wanted to hang out with them. I think I will; we can catch up on old times before I go back to the Island.

--Tails

Knuckles stretched leisurely and glanced around at Tails before remembering that the kid wasn't there anymore.

The echidna shook his head. He was, to his utter amazement, missing the fox. After a few months of having Tails by his side, chattering and constantly firing questions at the echidna (they'd had a very informative discussion about babies not so long ago, and Knuckles had wished fervently that Sonic had been the one handling that particular topic!) the silence was dull.

Growling in frustration, Knuckles snatched up a rock and hurled it at a pella tree, knocking a ripe fruit to the ground where it promptly exploded.

Thinking of Sonic drew the echidna's mind back to the time when he'd healed the hedgehog. It had taken several weeks before Sonic had become confident in his newly-healed body – the sensation of his feet catching fire and being literally ripped apart under the extreme friction when he'd been forced to run wasn't one he was all that keen to repeat – and another few days for him to get back to his old, cocky self, albeit a cockiness that was tempered with something else now. You could talk to him, and you'd never know that anything had happened, but suddenly his voice would tail off and his eyes would cloud over and it was obvious he was reliving one or other of the tortures he'd suffered at the hands of Robotnik. In the end, Sonic had gone to look for Tails (who was in turn looking for Sonic, and Knuckles privately thought that they'd go round and round in circles before actually finding each other) and left the echidna alone. Knuckles had spent every hour of every day up at the Master Emerald; he'd drained it of a vast amount of power to restore Sonic to full health, and Angel Island had dropped until it was almost touching the surface of the water. It was rising again, but painfully slowly, and Knuckles was just incredibly grateful that it had been over the ocean, where nobody could see it.

He reached out to caress the vast jewel protectively, then drew his hand back as a white light flared inside. The echidna knew the light well; it only ever appeared just before the Master Emerald displayed something, something important. Good. If it was showing him visions, then the power was out of the critical stage.

As he watched, the light faded and a figure appeared in its place, a beaten and bedraggled figure in chains.

"What..." Knuckles started forward, staring. "Tails?"

The fox's fur was patched auburn, and Knuckles realised with a sickening lurch in his belly that the auburn patches were where Tails' fur had been stained with blood, most likely his own.

"Knuckles." Tails' voice was distant and echoey, as though Knuckles was hearing it underwater and a long way off at that. "Knuckles, please, help me, I can't get out."

"Tails, where are you? What happened?"

"I can't get out, Knuckles, where are you?" The fox's mouth never moved; he seemed to be communicating telepathically. That could account for the ethereal quality in his voice, Knuckles thought, although not the slight quiver. Although he'd never heard it in his life before, the echidna recognised the sound; it was the quiver of someone who had sobbed themselves raw.

"I'm here!" Knuckles circled the Master Emerald frantically, as though he could somehow persuade it to open up and let him in. "I'm here, kid, where are you?"

"Knuckles, help me."

"I will!" Knuckles stopped moving and stared at Tails' image. "Just tell me where the hell you are!"

"Knuckles, please, I can't get out."

"Tails, where are you?" Frustrated, Knuckles resumed circling, running a hand over the Master Emerald.

Tails vanished.

"No." Knuckles stared at the Master Emerald as though he could will the fox back. "No!"

There was a whisper on the air, just on the cusp of hearing, so faint that Knuckles wasn't sure if he'd imagined it.

"Please...help me."

The echidna slammed both fists down onto the Master Emerald.

"Tails!"

Okay, so it's short and sweet ;) But it's only the beginning. If you read this, please review :D