A/N: Sorry to leave you hanging with the last chapter.

Sword: Yeah! That was mean!

Pen: Oh hush. And don't use me again this time.

Don't worry. I've already written it down. Now Sword?

Sword: The author only owns Gauge.

Pen: The rest is owned by Sega.

Sword: Hey I wanted to say that!

Pen: So?

Sword: Why you! *starts to make-out with Pen*

Uh...Well, on with the story then...Guys...Guys! What the hell? Keep it PG-13 at least! This isn't a lemon!

Chapter 8-Go Be The Hero

Sonic's vision was blurred. He wanted to shake his head, but the slightest movement caused it to throb in pain. He opened his mouth to speak, but found his voice raspy. Sonic cleared it and tried again.

"Amy?" he called. "Tails? Knuckles? Anyone?" He heard a movement coming nearby. Sonic turned and was surprised to find Eggman hovering in his little pod, right above the now destroyed robot.

"Ah, Sonic. Glad to see you're awake," Eggman sneered. He pushed a button in his pod. Cracking noises were heard all over the robot as the armor slowly broke away.

"This should take care of you once and for all!" Eggman laughed, as the armor completely fell away to reveal a massive metallic sphere. It was smooth on its surface and the only thing that stood out was a box on the side, with red digital numbers counting down. Also, surrounding it in little holders were all the chaos emeralds.

"I really should thank Shadow," Eggman continued. "Without him, this wouldn't be complete."

"Wha?" Sonic began, but Eggman cut him off.

"Yes, its a bomb. Powered by the chaos emeralds with the Master Emerald in its core!" he stated proudly. "The blast will be enough to wipe out you, your friends, this island, and even the city!" Eggman roared with laughter as Sonic slowly stood up."Then I'll build the capital city of my new empire! Eggtopolis!"

"You're crazy!" Sonic retorted. "You're gonna kill everyone!"

"Exactly," Eggman smiled. His pod raised higher into the air until he went through a hole in the top of the roof that opened for him and closed right behind him.

Sonic growled. He quickly ran around trying to find all of his friends. He found Tails first, who was trying to stand shakily to his feet. "Tails! Ya alright?"

Tails nodded. "What's going on?" Sonic gave him a brief explanation, causing Tails eyes to widen.

"Can ya stop it?" Sonic asked.

Tails looked over at the sphere, whose numbers now read ten minutes left. "Maybe." He ran over to it and started to search for a way to shut it down, while Sonic found everyone else.

The last person he found was Amy, but she seemed to be completely unstable. She didn't even realize what was happening and couldn't stand on her own, forcing Sonic to carry her in his arms.

Meanwhile, Tails kept shocking himself when he tried to touch the chaos emeralds. "Ow!"

"Must have some sort of defensive system," Shadow commented.

Tails nodded. "Yeah, but I don't know how to shut it down without taking the emeralds out. And we only have eight minutes left."

"Wait!" Knuckles said. "The G.U.N. jets! Couldn't they shoot it?"

"It's possible," Tails rubbed his chin in thought. "But I'm not sure if it will have any effect. It might just make the bomb go off sooner." Knuckles sighed. "But we could try flagging them down and let them," Tails added. "It might destroy the shield around the emeralds and destroy the Master Emerald inside, shattering it and reducing the blast radius."

"Sounds like a plan!" Sonic said. The group ran off, heading down the corridors and looking for an exit.

After a while, Cream noticed that they were missing someone. "Where is Mr. Gauge?" she asked.

The group halted. Gauge was missing. "We don't have time for this," Shadow pointed out.

"I'll go back," Sonic volunteered. "You guys get outside." He gave Amy to Knuckles and then took off.

-----

Gauge stood in the hallway where a large door frame was. It seemed like some sort of heavy blast door. But before he could wonder anymore, he heard Sonic calling for him.

Just as he saw Sonic round the corner, Gauge grabbed his pipe and smashed some controls nearby, causing him to be trapped on one part of the ship and separating him from Sonic.

"Gauge!" Sonic punched the door, but it was solid and thick. He tried to use his homing attack, but without the emeralds, he wasn't able to smash through.

"Sonic," a voice over an intercom nearby called. Sonic walked over to it.

"Gauge? What are ya doin'?"

"Stopping this thing," Gauge replied. "Let's face it. The jets most likely will just set this thing off."

"No!" Sonic replied. "C'mon, get outta there!"

"What for?" There was a pause. "I've just caused trouble for you guys. Ruined your reputation. Well, now I got a chance to fix this."

"What do ya-"

"I'll stop the bomb. You can just take credit for it. After all, you are the hero," Gauge chuckled.

"But-"

"But nothing. I'm not needed. You are! Especially by a certain girl." Sonic blushed at this. "Yes, you know who," Gauge added, almost as if he could see Sonic's face. "Now, go be the hero and get her and the rest out of here."

Sonic could only nod. "Good luck Gauge." Then he turned and left.

-----

Gauge arrived at the bridge once again. He glared at the massive bomb, whose timer now read five minutes. He walked up to it and stuck his pipe in between the notch where one of the emeralds sat and the emerald itself. Instantly, an eletric shock ran up his arm.

He nearly faltered, but gripped the pipe harder and pried. The emerald began to move ever so slightly and it eventually popped out. Gauge studied his now charred gloves. He could feel the electricity still running through his body and he felt sore all over. But he found the next emerald and went to work again.

-----

"Where are they?" Tails wondered aloud. Knuckles was trying to get the jets attention, while the others were waiting at the edge of the small island for Sonic and Gauge.

"Hey!" Knuckles called to them. Everyone looked into the sky to see several helicopters flying out to the island, all with the G.U.N. logo on them.

As one of them landed, Rouge stepped out. "So did I miss anything?" she asked.

-----

Gauge grunted, as he crawled on the sphere and hastily searched around. "Ugh, where is that damn fourth chaos emerald?!" he cried. He had managed to get three out so far, but the fourth one was eluding him.

"Where could it-" he stopped as he saw its red glow nearby. "Oh, there it is."

-----

"Look! It's Mr. Sonic!" Cream exclaimed. Everyone turned to see the blue blur himself running up to them.

"Sonic!" Tails greeted. Then a confused expression covered his face. "Where's Gauge?"

Sonic thumbed behind him. "He's takin' out the chaos emeralds."

"But that'll kill him!" Tails replied. Sonic nodded.

-----

Thirty seconds left. Gauge struggled with the last emerald, but it seemed to be stuck. He discarded his lead pipe and grabbed the white emerald with his hands, digging his fingers between the crack.

"C'mon," Gauge pleaded as he pulled, trying to ignore the constant shocks. His body was now covered in charred and burned skin and all his nerves felt numb. Ten seconds left

"Get out." Five seconds left.

Just as it reached one, the emerald came out. Gauge held it up wearily and triumphantly. "Gotcha," he whispered happily as the bomb began to glow white.

-----

The ground outside rumbled as everyone noticed the white lights coming from the carrier.

"The bomb!" Tails screamed as they were all engulfed in a white light.

Sonic closed his eyes, expecting some sort of immense pain. But after a few seconds, he opened his eyes to see the light dying down. It had only touched the inside of the island, coming close to them, but not touching.

"Did it?" Rouge left the question hanging in the air.

"Yes," Shadow answered. "It went off."

"Mr. Gauge," Cream sniffed, as silent tears ran down her face. Tails frowned and moved over to comfort her. She buried her head in his chest as Cheese floated above, crying as well.

"Mmmm," Sonic heard. He turned to Amy, was a moment ago was lying peacefully on the ground. She sat up and looked around at all the solemn faces of her friends. "What's going on?"

-----

After G.U.N. had determined it was safe, Sonic and co. had began to search what was left of the carrier, along with G.U.N. soldiers. While the soldiers looked for any sign of where Eggman might be hiding, Sonic and his friends were searching for any sign of their lost friend.

Cream and Tails were doing their best as they searched small sections, while Amy helped Knuckles. However, Knuckles was more concerned with finding the Master Emerald, which he guessed was now in pieces. "Gotta find it before batgirl does," he muttered.

"This is a waste of time," Shadow declared as he, Sonic, and Rouge lifted up a piece of a wall to see if Gauge was under it. "He's gone." Sonic stayed silent as he kept searching. Shadow grunted and walked off.

Rouge followed him. "What's the matter hun?" she inquired.

Shadow faced her. "We should be looking for Eggman. Gauge is gone. Nothing could have survived-"

"Hey guys!" Knuckles shouted over from a pile of rubble. "Come here!"

Everyone gathered around as Knuckles continued to dig and punch holes in the pile. "What is it?" Sonic asked.

Knuckles just kept digging, until he reached what he had wanted to show everyone. Gasps were heard all around the group.

"Holy-" Rouge whispered.

"Impossible," Tails added.

The rest could only stare into the hole, marveling at the discovery.

A/N: And that's the end.

Sword: WHAT?! But what was in the hole?!

Well, you'll find out in the sequel entitled "March of the Eggmans". Be on the lookout for the first chapter in about a month.

Sword: But I can't wait that long!

Pen: Oh calm down.

Sword: Must release anger...En garde!