Author's Note: Welcome to my second foray into Sonic fanfiction, this time with a dark, and, admittedly, somewhat twisted little one-shot. I apologize in advance if anyone is severely out of character (Most notably Robo Knux as my only knowledge of him comes from Sonic R and Netraptor's wonderful stories.) and if there are any grammar mistakes and such. My beta reader is currently living it up on the east coast for her vacation. Also, the concept of this story is vaguely similar to the short story 'The Lady or the Tiger?" If you've read it, then I'm sure you already have an idea of how this one-shot will end. If you haven't, go read it, it's an excellent, thoughtful piece and can easily be found on any number of websites. That's just about it, so. . .

Diclaimer: None of these characters are mine, and shame on me if I ever tried to claim them as my own . . . Although I do wish I owned a Metal Sonic plushie . . .

-The Choice-

It should have been a simple rescue, really. Amy had been kidnapped in the middle of the night and was being held captive in, of all places, an abandoned warehouse. Sonic didn't think it was a dangerous enough mission to bother waking Tails for backup, and Knuckles was simply out of the question for something this simple, due to his obligations as Guardian.

He had known what to do, and thought he was prepared for everything Eggman could possibly have lying in wait for him.

He was wrong.

Of all the things he expected to find in the warehouse, a metallic copy of Knuckles and a pair of capsules that looked like giant soap bubbles were not among them. It is pointless to describe the events that occurred, but suffice it to say that shortly after Sonic entered the warehouse, he was encapsulated in the second of the two giant bubbles, the first of which held the captive Amy Rose, still in her nightgown.

Although the bubbles appeared to be insubstantial, they were quite strong enough to hold the weight of the two hedgehogs. In addition to this, they provided no traction for Sonic to run, and proved impervious to both his spindash and Amy's Piko Piko Hammer. Sonic and Amy were both utterly trapped. Robo Knux, standing between the two bubbles, seemed inordinately amused by the hedgehogs' attempts at escape.

"I wouldn't bother trying to escape any longer. As you can see, your attempts are quite futile," the robot said, and paused for a second to allow Sonic an attempt at speech. "Also, as you may have noticed just now, the capsules are completely soundproof. You can hear everything I say, but I am incapable of hearing you. So there is no point in mouthing off at me, Sonic."

Sonic simply glared at the robot Echidna, and then made a face. Robo Knux did not react to this juvenile action, and only seemed to be that much more self-satisfied. Stalking around the bubbles in the manner of one who knows he's already won the war, he continued speaking.

"I'm certain you realize that I can easily kill the both of you at any time I so choose. But there's not very much fun in that, now is there? Therefore, I have a proposal that will make this evening so much more interesting – and Sonic, you might want to stop fiddling with your ears and pay attention, as this concerns you."

Sonic yawned, continuing to finger an ear, apparently unconcerned with the underlying threat in the robot's words. Amy also appeared to be ignoring the robotic Echidna, keeping her focus on her hero, whom she was sure would be able to save her before the night was through. Secretly, however, both hedgehogs were listening intently, knowing that somewhere in Robo Knux's long-winded speech was the point he was trying to make, and quite possibly, what he intended to do.

"What I shall do, Sonic the Hedgehog, is offer you a choice: Your life, or the life of Amy Rose," the robot paused to point a metallic hand straight at the blue hedgehog's nose, and continued. "Now, don't think that this means I plan to kill you, as much as that would please both myself and my master. You see, I don't require you to die for Amy Rose – the choice you would make in that situation is, to use a rather crude expression, as plain as the nose on your face. No, this choice is much more interesting."

Sonic was obviously paying attention now, and both he and Amy had anxious looks growing on their faces. Robo Knux relished those looks.

"You see, I have recently perfected a unique skill: I can successfully sever a person's spinal chord without damaging anything other than that person's vertebral column. I'm sure you realize what that means." Judging by Sonic's horrified expression, he did. Robo Knux continued, "Imagine it! Mobius' greatest hero unable to do the very thing that defines him! A very fitting fate for the one who has been a thorn in my master's side for so very long."

"Of course, if the thought of living out your life in a wheelchair frightens you," Robo Knux shrugged, "I'll just kill the girl. It doesn't really matter to me either way. I'll give you one minute to think it over, and then you will make your choice. All you have to do is point at the one you wish to be spared – yourself, or poor, sweet little Amy Rose."

With that, the robot turned his back on the two. Sonic stared at nothing in particular, his thoughts whirling at light speed. Live out his life as a cripple? That was his worst nightmare! To never again experience the adrenaline rush that came with running at impossible speeds; to be dependent on others for simple activities; to lose the very freedom that he lived for – there was just no way he could do that!

But then . . . what about Amy? Sonic looked over at the other hedgehog, who had tears in her eyes and seemed to be pleading with him, trying to make him understand something – what, he didn't know. He couldn't let that robot kill her! Sure, she was annoying at times, and was extremely dangerous with that hammer of hers, but she was really a nice girl . . . and a kind of pretty one, too, when she was strangling him. She didn't deserve to die; Sonic couldn't knowingly be the cause of her death – he couldn't live with the weight of something like that on his conscience. The thought of such a thing chilled him to the core.

Sonic sighed in frustration - Robo Knux was a sick and twisted robot; there was just no way anyone could make a decision like this, let alone in a minute's time! As if on cue, the red robot turned back around, his eyes glowing in an almost triumphant manner.

"Time's up, hedgehog. Make your choice. If you don't, then I'll simply have to kill both of you right now, and that would ruin everything."

Sonic's eyes widened in fright, and he did the only thing he could do with no backup on the way, and no other options.

He chose.


Author's Note: Yes, that's the end. No, I won't tell you what happened. Whether someone miraculously came along and saved them, Sonic wound up paralyzed or Amy wound up dead, well, that's all up to you. Robo Knux is a sadistic little Mecha, though, ain't he?