The Underground Game – a 50 Phrases collection

This is the End

DISCLAIMER: And the rest is silence…

When Sonic had let Robotnik leave Robotropolis, they'd made a deal.

"If you ever set foot or robot or spaceship in Mobian territory again," he'd warned, "I won't just stop you. I will send the worst of the Resistance after you and let them do everything they've been wanting to do this past year. Do you understand me?"

It hadn't been a threat – it was a promise, and at the time, Robotnik had known it. It was at least part of the reason he'd never come back to his fallen empire, despite the fact it was still ripe for takeover.

But after three years, things had changed.

"Yo, Eggman!" Sonic yelled, as he viciously kicked the last of the droids into the dirt. He slapped some dripping oil from his arm as he stalked forward and angrily pointed up at him. "What the heck do you think you're doin' here? We had a deal!"

"Why, Sonic, I thought that since you'd come home and played the Lost Prince, it was time for a reunion," he said, as pleasantly as he could manage while frantically calling for his final mecha. He'd expected Sonic to take a little longer to tear through his army. "So nice to see my city again… almost just the way I left it."

"Hey, what can I say, your blubber is hard to forget," he growled.

Eggman peered down at him over the cracked windscreen. For all their banter, he did know Sonic hated him just as much as he despised the little hedgehog. Even when Sonic joked, there were moments when he'd crack his knuckles or show his teeth that reminded Eggman they were at war, and the only thing that was keeping him alive was Sonic's chaos combined with that convenient morality of his. But this time… this time, Sonic wasn't just angry.

Eggman smirked and stood up to point dramatically. "Ohhh-ho-ho-ho! Sonic! This is the end!"

"Yeah, you say that every time," he snapped. "And today, you've ticked me off enough that I'm thinkin' I might actually hold you to it."

"Oh, no, Hedgehog. I'm not talking about our little games, this time," he said, shaking his finger. "Or my life, so don't get ahead of yourself. I'm talking about your life!"

"Again: you say that every time," he said, and took a threatening step forward, pointedly grinding a droid arm beneath his heel. "Don't know if you noticed, old man, but I'm kinda still breathing."

"Why threaten your breath when I've already done so much more?" he asked, and then pointed at him again. "For three years, you have lived life between two worlds! You've had no past, no responsibility; just our battle. The humans couldn't catch you, the Mobians had no idea where you were. And I, for all my grand schemes that threatened the fate of our very world, somehow went unnoticed by these unsuspecting people."

That made Sonic stop, and then look around, having completely forgotten their audience. All around, hundreds upon hundreds of people were cowering in doorways and windows, staring up at Eggman like he was the apocalypse in human form. Some of them were openly sobbing. Quite a few were hyperventilating.

"And," Eggman continued acidly, "your family had no idea what you were really capable of."

Sonic paused, as if he could avoid it, but eventually he turned to the square behind him. His mother, glaring up at Eggman in furious silence, and his siblings… staring at him… at what he'd been able to do without even trying…

He swallowed, his arms dropping to his sides in silence.

"You can't run from Mobius anymore, Sonic," Eggman said, and then laughed again. "And don't think I don't know about GUN's little endeavours here! Rouge and Shadow are somewhere here, and they will have to report back, if they haven't already! You think the humans won't care who you are?"

Sonic ignored him, still watching his siblings. Sonia had her hands pressed against her mouth; she looked like she was about to throw up, just from the sight of the shattered droids. Manic had fallen back several steps and was clearly struggling to breathe properly, his wide eyes fixed on Sonic.

They were scared.

And not just of Eggman.

After another moment, Sonic moved on, his eyes trailing over the people around him. This wasn't like the humans with Chaos – Mobians, for all their magic, didn't have humankind's blind faith that things could get better. Worse, they'd had thirteen years under Robotnik's mechanical fist, and three more of convincing themselves he was gone and they were free. He wouldn't be surprised if all of them thought Eggman just showing up meant they were all going to be robotocised for daring to enjoy life without him.

But then Sonic noticed movement, and he blinked.

Hidden in an alleyway, still dusting off bolts and oil from the robots he'd torn apart, Knuckles met his gaze, and then tilted his head in silent question.

On the other side of the street, Tails and Amy watched from behind a trashed droid, concerned, but only for him.

Far behind Eggman, almost out of sight, Sonic noticed Shadow and Rouge, sauntering calmly away from an explosion that was all that remained of Eggman's robot carrier. A glint of green told Sonic the Ultimate Lifeform had his ever-present emerald, and he hadn't put it away.


Sonic smiled, and looked back at his long-time enemy. "Man, am I lucky I never told people I actually saw you die. Would my face be red right now, or what?" A shadow made him look up, and then calmly take a few dozen steps back to avoid the falling mech. It landed as gracefully as Eggman's mecha ever could, and Sonic whistled. "Egg… tortoise? I'm guessing?"

"Eggpocalypse!" he corrected triumphantly, his hovercraft slipping into its usual place in… oh, heck, no matter what Eggman called it, it still looked like a giant tortoise. But Eggman ignored his look, sitting down with a smug grin. "Make your quips, boy. No matter what happens today, I have won. Your simple world has come to an end, and you will suffer the consequences!"

"And… those'll be… what, exactly?" he asked, setting his hands on his hips. Remaining cocky in front of something which had a bigger foot than your entire body always seemed an impossible task, but Sonic was used to it. He tilted his head as if he could still meet Eggman's gaze. "You think I care what GUN thinks? And what're these folks gonna do? Guilt trip me? Dude, how long have we known each other?"

"Oh-ho! So you will defy your family? Turn your back on everything you fought for three years ago?"

"Well, back then, yeah, you're right, it probably would've bothered me," he said, and then flung his hands out, reaching for energy he could feel. One by one, seven power sources sparkled in return, and he smiled, glancing over at Tails, who winked back. Sonic may have been preoccupied this past week, but his friends had been hanging around bored. He turned back to Eggman, rolling his shoulders back. "But things change. I changed. And these days, I like change."

He yanked, and his friends released the emeralds they'd been holding, allowing them to hover over Sonic's outstretched hands. He smirked up at the mecha, revelling in Eggman's audible squawk of panicked surprise.

"Where did you get those? They never come onto Mobian soil!"

"With my friends, anything's possible," he said. "And I figure it's time Mobius saw exactly what it's been missin' out on."

And with that, he pulled the emeralds in, and shot into the air, gold and power exploding around him as he flew up and over the mecha, clenching his fists with a broad grin at Eggman's expression.

"Robotropolis is done, Eggman. The Empire fell, and even if I'm a prince, the thing I rule most is kicking your butt," he said, and then let his power seep out, making his voice echo across the town square so the audience had to hear as he added, "We've changed, Eggy. Let's show these people how much."

This has been a challenge to myself, inspired by my friend Jkateel.

Fanfic should be about fun, and it is, but sometimes motivation is hard to come by, and I (like a lot of people) am much better at telling myself I suck than risking other people telling me so.

But sometimes in fanfic, and in life, you just have to push through and do it anyway.

Thank you for pushing through with me. Please let me know if you'd like to see me or anything from these stories in your sandbox again!