One of the most excellent tropes for getting into a character's head in any fictional universe involves sticking them in a psychiatrist's office and getting them to look at the ink blots and play at word association. Thus I have done just that in the following story. Reviews are appreciated, as is constructive criticism.

This story is set within the Sonic X continuity, somewhere between the first and second season.

Blue Hedgehog Psychology.

He doesn't want to be here.

No surprise, there. Most people don't. They've either been secretly enrolled by their parents, signed up by their husband or wife or forced to come by their bosses under the threat of being fired if they don't show up. There's something that people find intimidating about these offices, with their large desks and the pictures and plants people put on display in a vague attempt to make the place appear more homely.

Personally, (ironically) I think it's the couch which bothers people the most. The one he has refused to use since he got in the room. He's been sitting on the window ledge, arms folded behind his head, legs crossed, for about ten minutes now. Before that he had made himself comfortable in the seat behind my desk, and before that he had been sitting on the desk itself. He isn't one for remaining still, that much is certain. But then, I rather expected that. I've seen him on the news many times, and he's often little more than a cobalt blur caught briefly by security cameras.

'You don't have to answer the question if you feel uncomfortable with it, Sonic.'

'Nah, it's not that,' he shakes his head. 'Just that there are some things I figure I shouldn't talk about, you know? They're not my business.' He's been looking at me with those strange, green eyes for the entire time he's been here while all the while pretending he isn't. As if he's trying to figure me out. Clearly the world they come from isn't familiar with psychiatry.

The world they come from. God.

I think after this, I'm going to be the one who needs a psychological evaluation.

'I get that. I can see why you might not be happy revealing some things. After all, your arrival in this world was...' Unexpected, surprising, scary, disturbing as hell, sent many people rushing to their psychiatrists '...Not a comfortable experience.'

He snorts. 'Yeah, no kidding. Try freak-out city. I mean, what the heck you people were all staring at I have no idea.'

'Well, were not really used to giant speeding blue hedgehogs.' Honesty is the best policy. He seems to understand, by now, that in this world he is something of a...

Can I call him an "oddball"? I've no desire to insult him, but I honestly can't think of any word from my psychology dictionary that's more appropriate.

'I figured. I saw a hedgehog just a while ago. One of your world's hedgehogs, I mean. They're just little things. Tiny.' He holds his thumb and forefinger an inch or so apart (how big are his hands under those gloves, anyway? This guy seems to utterly defy every law of proportion my biology class ever taught me). 'And I don't reckon they go so fast. And they eat cat food? Seriously, is there cat in that stuff?'

'Not... as a general rule, no.'

'Oh. Well it sure tastes as if it does. Don't even get me started on the crickets. Yeuch.'

I decide it might be better not to enquire further into this particular train of thought. We've been here for half an hour already, but I feel no closer to understanding him now than I did when I first entered my office and found him sitting on my desk, playing with the Newton's cradle and looking bored.

He's looked pretty bored ever since.

'Hey, are we done yet? I'm kinda hungry?'

I open my mouth to answer but by the time the words form on my tongue, he has already disappeared. I pause, blink and he's back again, accompanied by a slight breeze and a smell that reminds me of the hot dog vendor down the street. He has a hotdog in one hand. He pauses, looking down at the chair and then up at me. 'Uh...'

I nod. He sees that as agreement enough and starts wolfing down the hotdog almost faster than I can see. It's frankly disturbing, the speed at which he accomplishes even the most mundane of details.

'Meh. Sorry, just that Ella gets really weird about people leaving stuff on the furniture,' he says, with his mouth full. 'I keep telling her, it makes no difference. I've been eating all my life, not having manners never made it a problem.'

I think I already know the answer to my own forming question (I've done my research, after all) but I ask it anyway. 'Who's Ella?'

'Lady works for the Thorndyke's. Looks after Cream,' he shrugs. 'Gets reeeally weird if you leave a mess on her carpets.

'And the Thorndyke's? They're the family who took...' You people. 'You and your friends in when you arrived on this world, aren't they?'

'Well I wouldn't say "took in",' Sonic shrugs. 'I stick around. Chris is an okay kid. Kinda clumsy, keeps getting himself into really dumb situations, but...'

'But?' I take a stab in the dark.

'He saved my life,' Sonic says and... There's something oddly serious (or seriously odd) about his tone of voice. Something which doesn't quite fit in with everything else I've seen and heard of him so far. He's not used to that, I realise. He's not used to being in debt that way. 'No one's ever done that for me before. No one's ever had to. Well, maybe Tails, but he's always coming to peoples rescue, he just doesn't know it. He's alone a lot... Chris I mean. Think he was always alone before we showed up. Never had many real friends. Can't think why not,' He frowned, as if this was something he hadn't thought about very often and wasn't used to the idea. 'That's kinda not fair, you think?'

'No, it's not.' I agree. I remember my own childhood –crouching behind walls at school drawing on the floor with chalks. Never bullied, just ignored. Or looked at funny. The quiet little weirdo who never stood up for herself and never had anything to say.

How things have changed...

'That one looks like me, except purple.'

I rather expected him to say that. I flip the card.

'A desert with loads of space for running.'


'Tails, but with just one tail. Which looks a little weird.'


'The Tornado. The plane, that is. Not a big whirly thing like that one that chases me in the desert.'


'Some weird thing with big eyes.'


'Knuckles. With a really big head.'

Isn't that the name of one of my upcoming patients? Maybe. I shrug and turn the card again. Flip.

'A flower garden. Like Amy's back home.'


'A crash helmet. With a tree growing out of it.'


'An Eggbot.'


'An Eggbot gettin' smashed into pieces.'


'The back of Amy's head.'


'Green mustard, without the chilli dog underneath it.' He shrugs at what I presume is my rather confused expression. I flip the card again.

'A Chaos Emerald. Hey, are these things supposed to mean anything?'

'They mean whatever you want them to mean,' I shrug, attempting to appear casual. He pauses, nodding at this for a moment. I turn to the next card.

He stares at the next splodge for a moment before answering. 'Heh. Push the button before I grab it.'

'Excuse me?'

'Meh. Long story, and boring to boot.' He shrugs. I know he's not going to elaborate, so I simply flip the page.

'That one's another Eggbot.'


'...I think that's a tree.'


'A really, really big hammer. Hitting Eggman over the head...'

I try to think a little, about their world. I tell myself that I can't really understand them without to an extent understanding where they come from, so I did my research on their world before these sessions started.

It makes my brain spin. Seriously. A subsidiary of ours it's certainly not. Not if their idea of a hedgehog is a lightning fast creature than comes in a variety of colours and can break the sound barrier as easily as they wolf down chilli dogs. I can't even start imagining what that world could possibly look like. I try asking him again it, but he just shrugs and says it's kind of like this one. But a lot brighter and with lots more different people (and more tails). He says he thinks it might be bigger than our world is, but he can't be sure.

'I mean, I managed to run right around this one about twice in the same week. But back on my world, I'm still running into places I've never been before. ' he plays with the Newton's cradle on the desk. I wonder if the movement of the little silver orbs is as agonizingly slow for him as it seems it must be. 'I figure it keeps changing. Like it's a little different every time.'

The thought of a world which changes itself over and over is a little too much for my psychologically aimed brain to handle. I remember those old pulp fiction stories I read as a child, stolen away from my big brothers drawer... All those tales about planets as alive as the people who lived on them and caves full of creatures that mutated the walls and changed pathways to keep wandering travellers confused and lost forever.

'Why're you doin' this anyway?' His question comes out of the blue (no pun intended) and... I know the proper response to it; I just can't seem to form it on my tongue.

'You know... I'm supposed to be the one asking the questions.'

'Yeah, yeah, but you've been doing that all day,' Sonic groans (it's actually only been able half an hour, but maybe it feels like all day for him). 'My turn now.'

'It doesn't really work that way?'

'Why not? Jeeze, you humans and your rules,' he sighs, reappearing on the window ledge again. He seems to like it there. Keeps looking up at the sky. 'It was that president, right? He put you up to this whole "Psych Evaluation" thing.

'Yes, he did.' I have a personal rule not to lie to my clients. Ever.

'Because he doesn't trust us?'

'I... wouldn't put it like that.' I pause, he doesn't say anything and for a moment the silence hanging between us is awkward. How silly of me to be provoked in this situation. In defence of my own president (not that I'd be one to talk there. His Psychology Examiner of State I may be, but I still voted for the other guy). 'We have to take precautions.'

'Yeah, I know. And so does my friend, Cream. We know all about your world's precautions.' Sonic says dryly. It's the first sign of any malice I've encountered from him so far. He must get more annoyed the longer he'd cooped up in a space. I get the feeling that it probably took a lot of effort to convince him to come in the first place. I wonder who it was. The boy Chris he keeps talking about? His seemingly clutter-conscientious friend Ella? 'Your people at that government shut her up inside of a freaky compound, you know. Shot laser beams at us. For real.'

'...I didn't know about that.' Partly truly. I did hear rumours about their involvement in the break out from Area 99 a few months ago. As government psychiatrist in lieu of the president, I'm privy to that kind of information, but I never knew the absolute details. 'She must have been rather upset.'

Sonic snorts. 'Upset ain't the word for it. Maybe if they'd been a little more careful with her...'

He wouldn't have had to trash the place so thoroughly. 'She's just a little kid, you know? And Cheese is a little thing that wouldn't hurt a fly.'

I don't pretend to understand this situation. I have other clients to speak to about that before I pass any judgement. Including the Cream he spoke of.

I put my pen and paper down and look at him. 'What if I apologised for them? Would that make you feel any happier?'

Sonic shrugs. 'You can't apologise for someone else, it doesn't work that way.'

'Well. I'll apologise anyway' I say. Anything to get us out of this trap and back into productive conversation.

He pauses and gives me a long, even look. At least twenty seconds long. I wait patiently, clutching my clipboard tightly in one hand. Waiting. Somehow feeling like he's the one passing judgement 

now instead of me. I can kind of see why he bothers some people. But the public love him and... Really, what's not to like? The fact that he's different to us?

He rubs the back of his... head? Quills? Whatever. And the next thing I know he's got his arms behind his head again. 'Okay, fine. Next question, Doc.'

'Call me Eloise.'

He opens one eye, looks at me again, but this time his face is amused. 'Eloise, huh? As in Ella?' I nod. 'Good name.'





I've been reduced to playing word games.

It's not my favourite way of working out a client's personality but sometimes, a client comes along who just won't say anything useful.

That's a silly way of thinking, I know. And the opposite to what my training told me: according to my first tutor, everything a client says is relevant, no matter how casual it may seem at the time, but that's a little too Freudian for me. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a random comment about flowers, or chilli dogs really is just a random comment about flowers or chilli dogs.

Still, on this particular occasion, I think I might actually be getting somewhere.






'Blue. Well...' he scratches his nose with as close to thoughtfulness as I presume he ever gets. I guess she probably was. Never really met her. Ella's kinda like a stand-in mom to Cream, though. And to Amy and... I guess all of us. But she wasn't the first thing I thought of, so she doesn't count, right?'

'Pretty much,' I smile vaguely.


'Also blue. You know it's not as weird a colour mutate as some people think it is.'

That's an interesting point. I make a note of it for later before continuing with our game. 'Sister.'

'...Uh. I got nothing?'

I smile. 'Don't worry; you'd be amazed how often that happens. Child.'





'Weird. Because it is. No offence.'

'None taken. Hope.'





'Hungry. Which I am again, by the way.'




'Chris. And Tails, of course. And Cream and Amy. Sorta Knuckles too, when he's not being a dull jerk, which is most of the time.'

I don't allow myself to be distracted. The words for this test are legally set beforehand, but sometimes, I let my instincts take me where they please rather than following the script. Sometimes I learn more that way.


'Robuttnik.' Sonic says and... I have to smile back as soon as I realise he's talking about that Eggman character (now wouldn't he be an interesting subject for a psychological analysis?) Sonic glimpses at the door, tapping his feet impatiently against the window ledge, like he's considering going for another snack. 'Are we done yet? I've got places to run, people to see, freaky robots to destroy...'

'Chilli dogs to eat?' I suggest comically.

'Heh. Yeah, that too. Plus the world might need saving again at any moment, you know. You people have a heckuva lot more tornados and earthquakes than our world ever did.'

'Does that bother you, Sonic?' I ask, more out of genuine curiosity than for any psychological reason. 'Having to save the world? Stopping one of Eggman's schemes after another?'

'Not really. Why would it?' he looks at me frowning, trying to decipher my question. I'm not sure he's smart enough to, or maybe he's just not interested enough in this kind of thing to wonder about it for long. It seems the only things important to him are running. And those he cares about, of course. I've figured out that much about him. 'I mean Eggman's always been this way. S'pose I should thank him for being such a jerk, sometimes,' sonic grins. 'He sure spices things up around here. Still I figure he could cut the slack a little on all that World Domination and Eggman Empire stuff. It got real old real fast back on our world, and it's no newer in this ne. I've watched your TV shows. He adds. 'Half the bad guys on those weird programs remind me of Robuttnik, big time.'

'Eggman has always behaved this way?'

'Sure he has. For as long as I can remember, anyway.'

I contemplate making a joke. 'Maybe Eggman's been watching a lot of The Batfreak Show himself.'

'What, you watch that too?' Sonic blinks at me. 'That things on after The Next Show that Cream watches. Your TV's really weird.'

'Well it's nothing if not entertaining.'

'Heh. Yeah, I guess.'

When did it become so important to me to make him feel okay around me? To not think of me as a another one of those government officials or agents who locked up his friend and shot at him? who took him from his "home" in this world, and made him come here for one test after another?

Sonic burps.

I wonder how anyone could be afraid of this person.

'Our hour is almost up, Sonic. You're free to leave if you wish.'

'What seriously? As in I can leave the whole building?'

I smile. 'Yes, the whole building. You're not being held prisoner here, you know.' Not anymore, anyway.

Sonic jumps to his feet, grinning. 'About time. I need a serious trek around the globe. Know anywhere a guy can stretch his legs that isn't a desert or an ocean? Already been to all of the former on this planet, and I don't really want to go near the latter.'

Final Report Concerning Subject S.

Psychologist on Duty: Eloise S. Crowley.

The phrase "hyperactive hedgehog" which is so often utilised by the media to describe the Subject in question appears to be something of a misnomer. While seemingly incapable of remaining still for any extended period of time while under pressure (he no doubt possesses an accelerated metabolism of sorts), Subject is not prone to restlessness or extreme bouts of emotion while unperturbed. That said, he has expressed some discomfort (presumably understandable) with the treatment he and his friends by the public, media and government since their arrival in this world.

Subject has shown an obvious fondness towards certain individuals, as well as an abhorrence of water. While drawn to the spotlight, he also seems generally rather uncomfortable with public displays of affection, and prefers his contact with others to remain non-physical in nature. He exhibits an almost juvenile irreverence for authority and obligation. At least in part, his willingness to rush in and save the day is contributed to by his desire for excitement and adventure. He is generally good natured and is particularly friendly around children. Is far less understanding where governmental officials are concerned and regularly attempts to avoid communication with them.

The Subject's exact Personality Type is difficult to define due to the fluctuating nature of his character. He is perhaps the personification of the "Live and Let Live" philosophy, responding to threats and danger only after such things occur and claiming that he would rarely, if ever instigate a situation which might prove hazardous to the public. However, when a threat does present itself a staggering change in his personality takes place. He becomes intensely focussed and appears to undergo a complete psychological transformation. While in this state, subject is capable of reaching far higher speeds than those he can obtain in less urgent situations.

Subject holds no hatred and little malice, even towards those who might wish to do him serious harm. Such sentiments would not be in keeping with his overall personality. Subject is non-materialistic, claiming that all he requires to be truly happy is a wide open space in which to run.

Because of the high speed at which he moves and processes information, Subject's memory has proven to be fallible and he regularly forgets details that others might consider important, or neglects to take into account other peoples' mindsets or ideas, often resulting in offhandedness or an apparent lack of empathy. This might provide an explanation for his role in recent events. He claims to operate best in an environment where he is able to plot his strategies ad hoc without the need for advanced thinking or explanation.

Potential Threat: Moderate

Suggested action: It is unlikely that subject would deliberately cause harm to others unless provoked. However his personality remains in a constant state of flux and he regularly forgets important details concerning social interaction. While primarily good natured and prone to helping those in difficulty, it may still be wise not to antagonise him in any way.

Further study into his physical and psychological capabilities would be a wise course of action provided he gives his consent. Otherwise subject (and presumably others connected to him) should be permitted a certain degree of governmental freedom under the Human Rights Act. Human or focussed he may not be, but sentient and aware of his treatment he most certainly is.