I don't even know.
A character study, if it suits you
I don't like to think of ourselves as a militia.
But sometimes, I do. It really makes me feel terrible.
What kind of queen puts her subjects in this kind of torment?
A good queen, I mean.
I'm not even royalty anymore. I like to think that I am. Am still. My kingdom didn't always used to be suffering.
If I had a kingdom.
A few years ago I wouldn't be making these corrections.
A few years ago this wasn't happening.
The machines are shooting at us again.
It happens almost daily. Some unseen force must be keeping us alive. I haven't counted, but I'm sure we've been bombed at least twice.
Bullets ricochet off walls and spray plaster all across the roads. My ears are continuously popping from loud noises- several explosions have possibly broken the decibel record by now.
Knothole is on fire.
My kingdom is on fire.
My, my possessions. Except I own nothing here. To be fair, the most power I have at any time is probably equivalent to a mayor of a small town.
Imagine this small town to only house about 70 or so mobians, and this town is currently getting shelled, and you've got Knothole.
"Baisez moi!" Antoine screams. I tell him to calm down. Right after, a large explosion gets the ground shaking, and two others- the hedgehog and the fox, start wildly gesturing for me.
I didn't really care much personally for Antoine. The coyote was aloof, and for the most part we'd never see him much. He also, in the words of Sonic, was an "abrasive, pretentious French asshole". However, he was really the only one with actual war experience. We also didn't have a policy to forcefully discharge anyone, much to Sonic's dismay.
He was the war hero. The marketable side of bloodshed, I guess. In reality, the rest of us tended to worry about him. At times, he'd be as active as anyone, getting out, attempting to recruit more mobians, trying to convince them that it wasn't a lost cause. At other times, he'd just sit there. Staring. Maybe remembering.
But he'd always be nice to Miles, the kid with no parents, the kid who as apart of some strange birth defect, had two tails. We'd call him Tails, simply because of that. I remember reading in a book somewhere, sometimes fetuses absorb one another in the womb and simply become one person. It'd explain how an eight year-old had at least twice the brainpower of a grown man, I suppose.
But he was a child. Sonic literally had to convince the rest of us that he was not going to let this child die. None of us really believed that, but we let him in anyway. I don't know why. It seemed so strange of a teenager being so insistent on the order.
If post traumatic stress disorder applies to people still in trauma, I guess that'd be the best way to describe the Hedgehog.
Today (tonight, morning, I really don't know. The sky has been painted over with RPG fire and grenades), Sonic is crouching and a few buildings down the street, but I can hear him well enough over the hail of shrapnel.
"You have to go back!" He says.
Going back. Retreating. Giving our enemy the benefit of, hey, at least we wrecked their stronghold, they won't be fucking with us for a long time.
I just couldn't accept that.
"No!" I say.
I'm not going to give up on my people!
Fuck your people, I hear him screaming back. It hurts inside of me; though he's right. By staying here, I might be prolonging the damage.
But I can't just leave. I can't leave. That bastard isn't going to take anything more from me. That bastard isn't going to take anything more from us.
I get up to my feet, stop hiding beneath the sandbags, and start firing. The bullets smash alongside walls.
They hit steel, too.
And beneath that, flesh.
I see two of the "swat-bots" just explode outwards. Instead of oil, I don't know, maybe wires or something... Instead, bodily fluids.
I hate that. That fucking roboticization, stealing away people.
People with lives. People being subjected to some kind of nightmare taxidermy. That could be my people.
This thought only seems to enrage me further.
Then two pairs of hands grab me from behind and drag me against my will.
It hurts. I couldn't stop them.
"It's over," Sonic is saying. They're leaving. Antoine says something else in foreign tongue. I've embarrassed myself, without even trying.
I've dug a village's worth of mobians in their graves prematurely. I've been chasing an enemy and kicking my dust into the faces of hundreds.
I can't do that anymore.
I won't. I will not stand for it...
I am coming for all of you.
Sometimes I wonder if this really isn't about Knothole.
I lobby day in and day out about this. I say it really is. But I'm not sure if it is.
I'll never turn my back on my people. I swear. But sometimes...
I think part of it is within me.
Knowing my parents is a lie. I knew them for a brief period of my childhood and then they died. They were killed, torn away from me.
I guess it's a bit selfish to say that. Maybe selfish to say a lot of things. I guess I've never recovered.
I think I might be harboring a grudge against a man I know nothing about.
That's not entirely true.
He was a fantastic scientist, I guess. I could vouch that for anyone- I really don't know that much about science, anyway. I could be amazed by something really, really simple, but not know and give it the award of the year.
A fantastic scientist, but a terrible person. Always blurring the lines. Somewhere, morals have to step in.
In the name of science cannot explain everything.
But he didn't see this as much as a problem. His experiments, growing bolder and even sometimes offensive, were the target of many critics and mobian-rights activists.
Then, suddenly, he was a fugitive. I don't know. A scientist to a war criminal in mere years. I don't know how the transition happened.
Truth is, I really don't think Robotnik gives a damn about it, either.
My glance turns to a stare
Obsession rules me - I'm yours from the start
I made a promise.
I made a promise.
I made a promise.
I made a promise.
I made a promise.
I made a promise.
I was going to protect them.
I was going to protect everyone.
The camera zooms in slowly, as if checking to make sure there's anything interesting happening. There wasn't.
It was just a stupid warehouse.
So here it is. A factory. Maybe underground?
I never thought something so sinister could be so... simple.
But here it is.
Don't betray your people.
You do what you have to...
I finger the microphone, speaking quickly and in monotone. "Units Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, this is 3-4-4 Hexagon. You should be flanking or getting complete visual of the target right now."
A crackle on the other end. Miles picks up. "Roger," he says, full of energy. Just like a kid.
"Okay, then," I say. "At around thirty minutes from now, this factory is going live to accommodate a mass roboticization project. Robotnik is creating at a faster rate than ever before. If we don't stop them now, or at least cripple their output, we're going to be outnumbered badly."
Silence on the other end.
"I don't want another Knothole massacre. That's why we're here. Got it?"
A wave of replies on the other end. All of them yes. Then, after a while, it seems like someone legitimately terrified says, "What happens if we've got mobians before they become robots?"
Everyone knows the policy now.
Robotnik is a cold blooded killer.
Everyone in the room goes dark. No exceptions.
...Like I said, I don't like to think of ourselves as a militia.
Well. Like I said. You do what you have to.
"Emotion is getting in the way of our work," Sonic says.
"Emotion, how?" I say.
I know what's coming damn well. But I make no attempt to stop it.
Maybe I enjoy this.
"I'm not giving up on my people!"
"Your people are sick of this bullshit, Sally! What are we even fighting for anymore?!"
The truth is, I know.
But I don't think anyone else does.
Alcohol is a terrible friend. It does little to help you out, and when it does, it's only to shove your face in the mud afterwards.
Today, Alcohol doesn't want to be bothered with me.
Maybe I'm taking this overboard. Maybe there was another way out to this.
Maybe I'm fucking retarded.
Maybe... Maybe everything.
Why the fuck do you have to be so maybe all the time, I scream to myself. I don't find this strange at all. I scream to myself.
In reply... Because I've been so sketchy about things over the past few months, it's fucking ridiculous.
Then the wave of maybe and if start coming over me again. Smothering. It hurts to think.
Maybe I'm only doing this because I'm hurt.
If my parents weren't dead, would this be different?
Maybe this is fixable. Maybe I can come clean to myself.
If I continue... What are the costs?
Maybe if maybeifmaybeifmaybeifmaybeifmaybeifmaybeifmaybeiF
JUST LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE
I'm breaking down and I can't even care about it
you do what you have to, right? you do what you have to, right? you do what you have to, right?
i won't let my people down.
l just do it on my o
Head continues to hurt. I should have put down the glass a while ago, but now I know.
The whole world is really fuzzy and white, like someone's been screwing around with the soft glow function on a camera.
My head is pounding.
Static. Raw static.
I have to do something.
I just have to do somethi
If I have to do it on my own.
Running through the woods at full speed. I wish I had Sonic's legs.
I wish Sonic was here.
I here clanking and footsteps behind me. Words exchanged. A bullet whizzes past me- OW, FUCK- it grazed my ear.
Keep running. I have to get away.
Keep running. All I do is run, don't I?
Been running from everything. From the truth.
...I'm only a teenager. I can't run a nation.
That is the worst thought in the world. Fuck that, I tell myself. Don't let your people down.
But your people don't even care anymore.
Freedom Fighters never fought for freedom, they say.
Cough. Spit. I can't keep running like this. My head hurts, my eyes burn and everything is excessively hot- like burning from the inside. At one point, I change direction and run to the left.
I can't do this. I can't.
Fall to the ground.
Get up, I beg.
I cannot. My body cannot. I've out willed myself.
Get up, I say again.
In response, I vomit. Acidic puke splashes on the ground. It seems to sizzle upon impact. This is all I can do now?
I simply cannot win.
Get up, I plead. Don't let your people down.
The clanging and footsteps are right behind me now. I can barely raise an arm before something smashes in against my head and I crash to the ground and everything is going black everything
I let my people down.
A while ago, I did.
But they don't really care. They don't really care, anyway...
"You're going to make a fine machine, girl." I hear. A man's voice. Robotnik's voice. Burning another hole into my head.
But nothing seems to hurt anymore.
Like they say.
You do what you have to.
From short story dated to May 2007. Updated and posted, April 2009
Lyrics, credited to Faith No More's "From Out of Nowhere"
Written by Wesley A., also known as Radio Interference and/or fucking idiot
I hope you enjoyed it and fully understand if you did not