A/N: Sheesh, my shortest chapter to date for such a long wait. =/ I'll do my best to increase my productivity, guys!


The cockpit closed and the Egg Walker shifted into battle mode.

"Tails, you can do it!" Princess Cream clasped her white-gloved hands together.

"I'll do my best!" Tails nodded before regarding the machine before him.

All the strategies he'd planned for fights with Eggman would be useless right now; Sonic wasn't here to tag-team the Doctor with him! He didn't have any items, either...

So the only thing he could do was a full-on attack!


Chapter 7

End of the Prelude


Jumping up, he curled into a ball and struck the cockpit. The Walker shook and rattled but immediately lunged one foot forward. It slammed down right next to where Tails landed and sent out a shockwave that knocked the fox onto his back.

Cream was able to avoid it and hover in the air by flapping her enormous ears. She gasped once she saw that Tails had been hit.

"I'm okay, Cream!" he reassured. Getting up, he was forced to dodge the next robotic stomp by curling up again and rolling away; but as he escaped, he bounced straight into another of the Walker's feet, and…

The foot crumpled under the blow, and Eggman's machine listed to one side. Tails saw his opportunity and once again hit the cockpit straight on!

The Egg Walker righted itself… slowly. It was then Tails realized that the more he damaged the feet, the slower the robot would recover from the attacks! So he kept on with that strategy; dealing them harder blows by swinging his two tails at their weakest points and then hitting the cockpit once the machine wobbled.

After a few rounds of this, Eggman opened the cockpit to begin another monologue. "Ah yes, Tails, always fighting… You and that blasted hedgehog have been a constant thorn in my side. But today, your patheticlittle attacks won't beat me!"

The fox whirled to stand in front of the Princess. What could the villain be planning?

Suddenly, the underside of Eggman's robot opened to reveal…

"Take a look at this! Look what I stole from Chao Haven!"

A giant green gem sparkled in the compartment. And as a matter of fact…

"It's the Master Emerald!" the Doctor crowed. "This jewel has the power to grant any wish in the entire world. And when I use this Emerald to increase the Egg Walker's power, even Sonic will never beat me!"

He pressed a button. Light erupted from the gem as bands of energy began to whirl around it. When it dimmed and the rabbit and fox unshielded their eyes, they saw the Egg Walker slowly repairing itself, now glowing a rainbow hue.

Missile launchers then popped up near the cockpit and fired at the two! Tails pushed Cream out of the way and took the full brunt of the attack as a result. He limped up as Cream yelled his name in fear, and both knew that he was in danger.

He put his all into a last jump at the cockpit. The hit landed, but Tails bounced off without leaving even a crack in the cockpit's now (infinitely?) energy-reinforced glass.

"Ohh ho ho ho ho ho!" came the pilot's taunt. "Is that all you've got! How sad! You'd best take some vitamins, because that didn't hurt at all!"

I'm not going to give up now! Cream needs me! Tails thought. But the feet proved to be undentable as well.

"Yes…" Eggman said triumphantly, "Just as I expected! That little fox is nomatchfor the new me." He popped open the cockpit and leered over the edge. "It's not even worth my time to toy with you anymore… so it's time to finish this! Here we go, Tails. Get a load of this!" He punched another button with a malevolent grin.

The empty missile launchers combined into a laser cannon, and when it fired in a sweeping arc, it dealt a knockout blow to Tails! Cream covered her eyes as the fox spun around and landed hard on the carpeted floor. She raced over and kneeled down to see if he was okay; which, of course, he wasn't—he had lost consciousness.

"Oh no! Tails! You must get up!" she cried.

"Ha ha ha ha HA!" Eggman laughed. "Yes, YES! I finally did it! I got one of them! It may not have been Sonic, but this one will do, yesss."

After watching the battle silently, Metal Sonic spoke up for the first time. "Congratulations on your victory, master. This is why you are number one."

"As long as I have the Master Emerald, everything I wish will come true! No one will be able to stop me!" The Doctor turned to regard the children. "Well, well, well… I guess I might as well get rid of Tails. He's no good to anyone now, that's for sure."

He activated the jewel and it shone with a blinding brightness. Suddenly, a lightning bolt appeared and struck Tails, blasting him straight out the window of the castle!

His body flew up before falling in a downward arc past the Death Egg into the abyss below.

"Oh, no!" the Princess cried. As Eggman laughed and Metal Sonic ordered Egg Pawns into the room, she dashed to the window and saw the fox fall farther and farther away…



"…Down and down he fell, down through stars that twinkled colors of all sorts, until at last he disappeared into the clouds."

The storyteller paused at the end for dramatic effect.

"That's what I'm talking about!" Muscle exclaimed. "That was an AWESOME battle!"

"But what happened to Tails?" Missy asked with worry. "It sounds like he fell an awfully long way… Will he be okay?"

Auntie laid a hand on the Chao's head. "Don't worry. Tails still has a lot of great things to do."

The other smiled. "Good. I'm glad!"

Turning to Oldie and Mammy, the girl nodded and they nodded back. It was a long day, and she was a bit weary. But things were just beginning. And like Tails, she still had a lot left to do.

As she watched them herd the Chao to bed (with occasional cries along the lines of "Stop running, Muscle! It's bedtime, so you need to calm down!" from Mammy) she looked up at the darkening sky.

"When the figure falls from the heavens, and the Stone of the Gods is joined, all that exists will become one again…"