Author's note: Their struggle is as constant as our lives. One drop of insanity is enough to forever alter this. Join me in a quest for true madness, a search for the bottom of Your abyss. The servant humbly accepts everyone willing to enter. No interruptions. No tricks.

The smiles are real.

Feedback is golden.

Disclaimer: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are copyright SEGA.

Smile

Teeth gritting, he was ready to imitate a kettle.

He poofed mercilessly at the image. Eggman could not stand for this. He would not stand for Sonic's idiotic muzzle glaring into his ingenious face.

That hedgehog, he could get away with everything. Grab a free chilidog? Sure. Cause a traffic jam? Certainly. Annoy an echidna? Why not. Destroy a base? No problem! Be stupid?! Hell, yes!

Eggman slammed his fists against the metal frame furiously. "Why don't you die, hedgehog?!"

No answer. The dark windowless space was empty. Nobody would hear him scream. Nobody would feel the sweat trickling down his chin, dropping to hit the rusty metal floor.

He smacked himself on the face, thus clearing out the wet sweaty lines, and paced around in the solitary room. Each step, accompanied by a lonely light bulb buzzing beneath the heavy ceiling, was forceful yet clumsy. The man felt anger slowly draining the remains of his life force, and had to rest.

A loud heaving breath escaped his lips, parted carelessly, ready for another outburst. He clutched a panel's edge near the wall, hissing in turn with screens, always on, but never put to use. Eggman's tired eyes closed underneath the dark round glasses. A temporary sigh, turning into a wheeze.

Rumbling. The lamp swung away for the light to reject him. Deep breaths, Ivo. Relax. It would cease. Those infidels never die, but always fail. He held tight not to lose balance, no matter how much his feet begged for a fall. He looked up at the lonesome shine above. Could a man…not stand his own ground?

"No! Why can I not? Why have You forsaken me?!" Robotnik roared.

Silence was his treatment. Earth ceased speaking to him through nervous quakes. Now, when he demanded an answer, even the one thing that dared to communicate with genius…it ran. Eggman snorted. The world bred cowards and fools. Genius raised itself.

Those fingers squeezed on the sharp edge to a point inner pressure forced him to let go, returning to the middle of the small steel compound. He looked up at the light, still swinging from his steps and humid tones. C-could it comprehend genius? The scientist hesitantly paced towards it, reached out, and set the shine in his palm, so it wouldn't move away, warming his hand.

"All I need is the world. It is the only thing I ever wanted," he whispered into the light. "Ignorant fools are in power. Plumb idiots enforce it." The eyes sealed shut, a quiver mounting on his lips. A bite forced them to be still. "And I am the villain!"

In a burst of rage, Eggman thrust his hand down, pulling the light along with him. Wires snapped to a faint spark, releasing the object into his will. It wouldn't shine. The happy glow ceased to a dying red on a thin coil, throbbing on the floor among glass shards. Release. His palm fell limp as a belittling gaze stomped the wire into the ground until nothing could be seen in the blaring darkness.

Nothing, except…

Eggman stepped back, looking into a monitor screen. Only static was on, he thought, not caring about battle tearing his city apart. It was none of his concern, unlike vibrant blissful technology. The doctor knew exactly how it was built, where each part came from, what robots assembled it. A shiny logo on the top right corner: a red mustachio smiley caught his attention. How did it occur that such a signature became the trademark of his empire?

He could not recall it, staring deeper into the red ink blotch. Eggman ignored that the screen went blank, a missile fired at its surveillance camera.

The man's voice became softer, more silent while his lonely fingertip caressed the icon. "All I wanted…is all I'll ever want. But the world doesn't want me. The world rejects true genius for…" the finger slipped.

Robotnik frowned, looking away from the picture. "My dreams… M-my dream." Hastily, he turned back to the logo. "I am not insane for having a dream."

"That I follow…no matter the pain, no matter the failure, no matter what!"

To do, to go, to reach the final destination. He knew everything, yet was forced to return to the beginning every time, more bruised and hopeless than before. The dream allured him, and Robotnik obeyed its call as loyally as a robot could serve. This, however, meant nothing, for he was forsaken: by his grandfather, by his foes, by his allies, by all that rightfully belonged to him, including the world.

Could a damned man rule his world? Could he, Doctor Ivo Robotnik, take damnation into his own two hands and become its sovereign?

When a man cannot smile, he can rule every thing. And he could not! The weight of failure turned his lips down from hope. As the atrocity dominated him, so he would – the world. Piece by piece, he would disassemble its resistance, steadily grasping more and more crumbs until there would be enough grain for a whole.

The notorious doctor coughed, still trying to think and calculate. His breath turned steady, eyes beginning to rest in the dark, and posture turned to lax. He was ready to live a dream again. Yet before another step could be taken, the entrance door slid open, revealing a furnace outside. The remnants of Robotropolis lay down before their master.

It was no surprise when a figure emerged from the flame.

"You are old, doctor," a crisp mechanic voice uttered.

Eggman had to go.

With a smile.