I think there's three flights.
The flights are 25 steps each. I think. I don't know for sure. I can't know for sure, because I don't have time to know.
I think I'm on the first or second flight, I see another stairway but I'm not exactly counting. And there's no carpet on the steps. At first I thought they were wood or something, but this is concrete.
Who made this place?
Anyway, there's no looking back.
There are three exits to this situation, one being the stairs, the second being my gun, and the third being mercy. And there's no mercy in this situation. This scenario won't work that way. I have too much influence.
I have too much power.
Truth is, I like being in this position. I have someone's life in my hands. It is maybe, a little unfair. I feel big. But I don't feel good.
"Hey, you don't have to do this, right?" I hear. Do what? There are so many things I can do. Blow your brains out, send you down two flights, and then that's the half of it. You might not even be dead by then.
I look down. A former royalty is staring up at me. I'm guessing she was pretty once. Life hasn't aged her well. And I used to like her back then… I'm disgusted.
I'm a hypocrite, no lie.
I screw up my eyes- I can't be sad about anything now. I'm God now. I'm in complete control.
I'm feeling a little sick.
"We used to be friends. We used to be-"
"terrorists?" I say, pressing down a wave of nausea. Maybe I'd just vomit all over her. She probably wasn't even deserving of that. I didn't, either way. "Freedom fighters was just your way to push the agenda. I saw that years ago, Sally."
She looks up at me. "But what about Robotnik? And Scourge?"
I don't have an easy answer. It takes me a moment of silence. A minute or two.
"It may have been a noble cause, but how noble is it to cause so many ruined lives?"
"What do you mean?" She sounds irritated. I took too long. Any longer, people might hear us. I had a silenced pistol, too. "If we hadn't done anything, your ass right now would be dead. Dead! Mine too! What is wrong with you? The only agenda here is whatever hippie-liberal-extremist bullshit you're pushing now!
"You don't have the balls to shoot me."
I turn the safety off.
"I know who you are. You're a phony. You wanted what the hedgehog had. You wanted to be the hero. You're no liberator, you're just using the will of the people to your advantage so you can have Sonic's fame. And then what? Nobody's going to care. You'll be arrested and hauled off and stuffed in front of a firing squad. And you know who will be there? Sonic, the one you've been chasing. It'll all be in va-"
She slumps over, gasps for breath, but then she tumbles limply down the stairs. A rag doll.
I drop the gun. She told me off. And it was true.
I didn't think it would hurt like this. I was no freedom fighter. I was no liberator. I was a damn fool. An avatar for the people, one that they were never going to use. To them I'd just be some crazy assassin. A former friend, maybe.
I'M SO FUCKING PISSED RIGHT NOW.
I'M A DAMN FOOL. And 25 years ago
"25 years from now , Sonic," I say casually, reclining in a chair. "What do you think we'd be doing?"
"I don't know, Miles." He says. "What do you think?"
"In a perfect world," I grin, "Drinking a martini off the coast, lying back, being national heroes,"
He laughs, but it's a fake one. That's a pipe dream. Nobody knew for sure.
"I might not even be there, bro." He tells me. "I might be a legend, with some memorial, or none at all."
My grin disappears. "Don't say that," I groan. "You aren't a martyr. Mobius will be boring- as- hell by then."
"We don't know that for sure," Sonic says.
And then, he looks at me. "I always wanted to know what life would be without me," he says.
"What do you mean?"
"I wanted to see. If all this is still there…" He says. And he smiles, and it hurts. I can't even imagine.
Electrodes everywhere. I have a wet sponge on my head- arms strapped down, feet stuck, and emaciated. I'm emaciated. Am I?
A tear falls down my face.
Because I know this isn't real.
This is the method of rebirth, some kind of metaphorical dream-trance in the seconds before death.
Sonic is there, and I'm with him, and so is Amy, so is Sally- oh god, what the fuck? Sally? And so are my friends.
I'm on a stage. Everyone is clapping. They smile. Pat me on the back, and everything.
"What you did was right."
"Was it?" I murmur.
"It was," Sally says.
"But you guys aren't real. I'm a felon. Convicted killer. Life in prison is too good for me. How can I be right? Everything I've done was…"
Wrong. Damnit. I want it to end quickly.
I bang my head against the restraint, crying out, begging for help. Or for it to end soon, or for God to come down and pick me up and send me away. I don't mind hell now. I've already let everyone down.
And I look at Sonic, and he's staring back at me with pain in his eyes, from something I haven't seen for 25 years. I've let him down.
This is not how he wanted to be 25 years ago.
The knob is pulled, and I don't know what the fuck I was thinking
Head in my hands. Sobbing uncontrollably. No one knows me. I'm just a jaded fuck who wanted to be just like a childhood hero. And now I'm alone. All alone in the dirt to rot for eternity or whenever the Messiah comes. And he'll look at me, say, "You're pitiful", and leave me in the dirt, as a reminder of earth, a sin-bin full of killers, sinners, all sorts of crazy fucks.
And I'll rot. Food for maggots, and worms, until all of them die out and I'll just be nothing. Particles roaming, roaming, lost inside myself in probably a fake version of life because I know what's out there.
I know what's out there, failure.
So now I've made my decision. I'm in this blank space. There's nothing here. I mean nothing. There's no color of nothing. I see nothing. I am nothing.
And yet, people still care about me. Someone does. I hope they do.
"I let you down."
"You did, I guess." He says. He tries to smile, but I haven't seen his smile in years. It's some kind of nightmare face. I haven't a clue what it is if I haven't seen it. Smiling made me feel worse.
"I want to go home."
"We are," he says.
I'm on the stage again, full of applause. Everyone shakes my hand, and parade me around like in the end of that movie I saw. Can't remember the names.
Can't remember anything now. Sea of faces. Nothing but.
But I don't feel sick anymore.
I can restart here.