_
xo


God is watching.
Whatever god might be.


It would seem I have turned the carpet and walls of my apartment into a Jackson Pollock piece. Even though she's not moving right now, I can still hear her screams, her violent thrashings.

Time to act.

Weakly crawl over to her, reaching between her legs picking up the bloody mess she left for me.
Tear open the placenta with my teeth and the objects inside tumble to the floor.

Spit.

A mechanical arm, a boltgun, three bolts, and a syringe filled with an unknown substance. And somehow, I know exactly what to do.

Pick up the syringe and bite the cap off. Force the needle into the bleeding socket where my arm should be. Inject. It's like a thousand tiny firecrackers going off in my shoulder, spreading warmth and love throughout my veins. Introducing the sunshine to my soul.

Focus.

Pick up the arm, fumbling with it. It digs into my scabbing wounds as I force it into place just right, to where it stays. Pick up the boltgun with my newly freed hand and put it in place. A hiss and then a pop as it pins the new limb into my bone structure in one, two, three places.

The boltgun falls from my grip, causing it to go off, destroying the television. Fuck it. I didn't want that piece of shit anyway.

Scooting back into the wall behind me, I lean against it. My energy draining. The world around me blurring together. Amy's corpse, still bleeding out in front of me, melting into the floorboard.

Sally, Nicole says. Princess Sally.
"What?"
I love you, Sally.

The wires in my brain explode and my head frazzles.

God is with us and I don't think it's death we have to worry about.

I think it's life.


Hard black on hard white.
The thing about our kind is that we like to make things out to be a lot more complicated than they really are. Including ourselves.

DNA confirmation of self-disassociation.
A cloud that looks like a bunny is still a cloud.

I traveled around the world in a straight line only to end up where I started and shake my own hand.
Love is love, god is god, and both are ultimately what you make of them.

We enter this life covered in blood and screaming. It isn't uncommon to go out the same way.

The first stage of recovery is withdrawl. Suffering is the only road to getting any better.

I lay on the hardwood floors, staring at your corpse and longing for your touch. As much as I want you, as much as I need you, I know what's for the best.
I can't afford a relapse.

Vivid imagery of you and I together slowly fades over time with each drink. Memories degrading with each pill I take. My mind, body and heart ache more and more with each second you are absent. Someone that was once so dear to me, now little more than a distant memory of both happiness and sadness. Love and hatred.
Ecstasy and suffering.

The blood has dried and stained the white walls brown. Your body withered and decaying. The stench of you rotting invading my nostrils and driving anything I ingest back out the way it came in.

I'd like to deny what I am. I'd like to forget any of this ever happened. But I can't.

You can't erase ink, and bloodstains are almost impossible to get out.

Such is existence.


Every second of every day is a test of my faith.
One instant I'm calm, feeling like I'll be okay. The next, I'm a crying mess of pathetic weakness.

No. I don't miss her. I'm gonna be fine.

Pick up a hobby. Sewing, knitting. Something tedious and slow, that occupies my mind and zones me out. I made a pink scarf that's thirty feet long. Nobody's ever gonna wear it. It just helps me cope.

The days crawl by, as they did before. Only now, they're more agonizing.

Nicole talks to me occasionally, but she never has anything interesting to say. I actually miss being pissed off. At least then, I felt something other than emptiness.


The phone has been ringing, and I know it's either her or him. One of them, I have no desire to talk to. The other, it's for the best if I don't.
Nicole kept telling me for awhile that Robotnik was trying to reach me. I asked her to stop, and she's respectfully complied.

I just keep knitting. Nicole sitting there, motionless as always on the coffee table in front of me.
Pink scarf. Blue blanket. Doesn't matter what I'm making. The important part is the distraction.

Every passing second is another chance to numb the empty feeling. You kind of forget how pointless everything is when you're absorbed in a meaningless task. Toiling away, working on a useless piece of cloth you'll never use and don't care about.

It takes me away.

Suddenly, I'm startled by a knock on the door.
Turn my attention towards it, but don't move. Just wait. Wait for it to go away, so my task can resume.

Silence. I can see the shadows of your feet under the door, fucker. Go away.
Whoever is there slides something under the door and walks away. I give it a moment before getting up and picking it up. Vanilla envelope with the name SALLY ACORN written across it in bold sharpie letters. Shoddy handwriting.

Tear it open. Inside is a blank piece of paper save for the words I HAVE SOMETHING OF YOURS and a photograph of Amy, beaten up and crying.

My heart wrenches. Nobody beats and kills Amy except for me.

Fucker.


I don't want to love you. I don't even want to think about you. But I can't help it. You're too goddamn beautiful for your own good - for my good, for that matter. You mean too much to me. I want to get rid of you, but I can't lose you. You tear my soul apart, Amy. You tear me apart. Fuck you, Amy Rose. I love you, but I hate you. I need you, but I want you gone. All your little details haunt me in ways that I can't explain, that I don't understand. The way you bite your lip when you're thinking. The way you play with your quills when you're nervous. The way you feel. The way you taste. There's a moment before your lips connect with mine when all the oxygen is sucked from my lungs. There's a moment just before you touch me when all of my hairs stand on and, and my skin tingles. I don't know what sadness is anymore, because I've lost the ability to be happy. And you know, even in your dumb little brain that you can't have one without the other. There's a lot about me I don't understand, myself. Your defining moment in this life is how you depart from it for good. I've left your bloody, bruised and torn corpse to rot over and over and over again, yet you still somehow manage to haunt me. Like a ghost with unfinished business. This is how we treat the ones we love. Our entire existence is fucking sickening. The footprints on my back from the shoes of those I've loved serve as a reminder of what I am now and what I once was. You shit on something enough, and it turns into one big, stinky pile of ugly shit. I'm living proof that karma isn't real. Both Sonic and Amy have taken something from me that I can never buy back. Every day, I wish I could hate them more than I love them. But I can't.


There is no sound reasoning behind the things that I do. Nor is there certainty.

There is no fairness in this existence. This is what has destroyed me.

One by one, I load the bullets into the magazine. The satisfying click of the projectiles fitting into place.

Force the clip into the bottom of the pistol.
This gun is your god, and my hand is your judgment. The sentence carried out by both will be final.

The end is nigh.


She's here waiting for me. They both are.
However, there's more on my mind than just her.

"What the fuck have you done to us?"

"What exactly is it that you're implying, squirrel?"

"We can't die. We can't grow. We can't become something we want, because every time we get to where evolution is a possibility, we are destroyed and somehow recreated. We die and everything is erased. And we just exist again."

He doesn't speak. Just scratches his beard.

The ginger beard I just wanna rip off his fat fucking face.

"I want answers," I tell him. "I want answers now.'

Amy hasn't said a word. Timidly facing the corner as if she's unsure of what her purpose in all of this is. "Something strange is going on," she sniffles. "I don't understand it."

"You never will," Robotnik says, pushing a button. "But I can give you an idea. For now."

The wall of screens slides away unveiling countless test tubes. Life-sized ones. Filled with me. Filled with Amy. Filled with Sonic. Shadow. Knuckles. Rouge. Big. Fiona...

Clones.

I can't even remember the last time I died. I can't even tell if I'm real. If any of this is real.
My heart sinks and I want to die.
But I can't. I'll just be right back here tomorrow.

"If you're in complete control," I tell him, " why go through all the bullshit that we've been working at for years? What is this accomplishing?"

"Do you remember when you were born?" he asks me, plainly.

And I have to think. I have to think real hard about it.

"Station Square?"

"No. Where you lived before you moved here."

"I don't understand what you mean?"

"A little place called Knothole ring a bell?"

Knothole...
KNOThole...
knotHOLE..

"This is all just fun and games, Sally."

No.

"I've killed you all so many times, and it never gets tiresome."

"No..."

"You little brats gave me a challenge at first, sure. In the beginning, it was the hedgehog I hated. It was the hedgehog I loathed. It was the hedgehog I was certain was my sworn enemy. He had the skill, sure, but it wasn't long after I captured him that he didn't have a fucking brain in his head. He was a simpleton, following orders. Your orders. You were always the one, Sally. You were always the thorn buried deep within my right testicle. Causing the constant state of pain, rage and anxiety that clouded my judgment for a good decade. When I caught you, I knew your death wouldn't be enough to satisfy me. I wanted to torture you. To rape and humiliate you. I wanted you begging for death, Sally. I wanted you begging for something for something that would never come soon enough. Just like I. I did my worst on you, Sally, but you never begged. That's when I knew one lifetime wouldn't be enough for you. For any of you. Now, I control everyone and everything. I control your memories. I control your life. I control you, Sally."

"No," I say, fists tightening. "You don't."

"Do you wish you could die yet?" He sneers. "Because you won't."

"Fuck you, Robotnik," I spit. "I'll kill you."

"After you die," he says, smiling, "you won't even remember this."

The floor opens beneath Amy and I, and gravity takes its toll.

His laughter echoing from above..

Immediately rake her in with my left arm, close to me. Right arm strikes the side of the shaft we're falling through, causing sparks to fly from the metal grinding against metal and rain down on us.
Close my eyes. Bear through it.

Hand finally digs into a mesh vent covering, and we come to a halt, the force of the stop almost knocking Amy completely out of my grasp. Hold her tight against my body.

You're not getting rid of us that fucking easy, you fat piece of shit.


"Alright, Amy," I breathe. My body trying its damnedest not to give up on me. Not to just shut down and collapse. "You see that vent above us?"

Feel her shifting around to look.

"Is that a yes?" I ask.

"Mhm," she squeaks.

Eyes tightly closed. Head swimming.

"Use me," I tell her. "Use me to climb up to the vent. Wait for me there."

One second, her tiny hands pushing all her weight down on my head. The next, her knees resting on my shoulders.

"Hurry." Demand.

My body is hanging on by a thread.
Her weight is lifted, and my mechanical arm lifts me up into the vent with her.

Collapse. In through the nose. Out through the mouth.
I'm gonna be okay.


"Amy," I breathe.

She looks at me with wide, watery eyes of confusion and indignity.
Her soul bleeding out through her face. She looks so pretty like that.

"I need you to stay here," I command. "I need you to stay here until I come and get you. If I don't come back within the hour, you need to find a way out through the vents. Can you do that?"

She nods, tears streaking down her face. Thin black lines of mascara staining her cheeks.

Eyes close as I lean in, lips connecting with hers. Locking. Parting hers with mine, tongues fighting like a couple of tangled snakes. Striking back and forth, twisting before disconnection. Eyes opening to hers. Big and soulful, just as they always are. Melt.
I hate what she does to me, but at the same time, I need it.

"I love you," I say, kicking the vent open and hopping out.

She never responds.


Mid-air, falling from the vent in the ceiling, I lock onto the shine on the top of his head reflecting the bright fluorescent lights above me. Mechanical arm high above my head, ready to strike. Snively turns around in just enough time for his eyes to grow wide with fear as my metal fist connects with his bald fucking head, causing it to cave in and sending him tumbling uselessly to the white tile at my feet.
Death rattle forced from his throat in a mangled squeak as his blood, bits of his skull and brain matter spray the walkway.

Three guards just ahead of Snively's corpse are suddenly alerted by the commotion. Spinning around, readying their submachine guns. Act fast, dashing forward, scooping what's left of the bald little twerp up with my right arm hooked around his neck. Pull him back up as my left hand draws my pistol. Bullets pelting against him, his head limply rolling around as the force of the hot molten lead tearing into his body pushes me back a little. Gritting my teeth.

Finger the safety off and wait a moment for the fire to cease. Thumb the hammer back and throw the broken shield back to the ground.
As they reload, I pull the trigger over and over again, projectiles whizzing arbitrarily towards the idiot guards.

Four shots bring two down, puncturing bloody holes in their torsos. Feet act by second nature, bringing me towards the third one, zigzagging down the hallway as he cocks his weapon and opens fire.
Everything in existence fades away except for me and him. The distance closing in, my right arm ready to strike. Molten lead tearing through my fragile flesh is little more than fact.

His eyes widen as my fist connects with his throat, a string of blood ejaculating from between his lips and splashing me on the face as he sinks to the floor.

Wipe myself off. Let the games begin, Robotnik.


As I approach the door, it opens for me, as always.
He's expecting me.

Stepping into the room, he's already clapping. Something I didn't expect.
And before me on the ground, riddled with holes and bleeding out, is Amy. Something else I didn't expect.

"Bravo," he says to the left of me. "Bravo, Sally. I wasn't sure you'd make it this far."

Eyes drift from my loved one to his face. That smug fucking grin slapped across the front of his portly head. The artificial light reflecting off of his black goggles.

"What are you?" I ask.

"God," he says leaning forward. "I've already told you that, honey. You just refuse to admit it."

Fists clenching. Teeth gritting.

"I've killed you," he says, smiling. "I've brought you back. Given you life. Fucked you. Created and destroyed you. I've pulled the strings for years, and let me tell you something, Sally; it never gets old."

"You underestimate us," I tell him, drawing the pistol and pointing it at him. "More importantly, you underestimate me."

He responds to this by simply chuckling.
Pull the trigger as rapidly as my finger will allow, unloading the weapon into his fat torso and face. He bleeds, but doesn't react. Blood drips from the two holes in his forehead, down his chubby cheeks.
Gales of laughter bellowing from his gut, echoing off the walls.

"I'm going to enjoy this so much more knowing that you can't, but you thought that you could," he says, unholstering a handgun from his chair. "I'm going to kill you. Then I'm going to fuck your bride and kill her, too. Then I'll bring you back, and have you go back to work for me. And I'm going to love it, Sally."

He points the gun at me, and pulls the trigger.

Bang.


I was created years ago. Put together with lead, a shell casing and gun powder, and packaged into a box and shipped out. In that box, with my brothers, I stayed for a few weeks, until finally, I saw light again.

Light.

I was then carefully loaded into the magazine of this weapon. The weapon was cocked, and I was pulled into the chamber. Here, I've stayed for years. Laying dormant. Waiting to fulfill my purpose. To carry out god's will.

Today is my day.

When I felt my world shifting, I knew this.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel when the hammer kicks me in the back, sending me flying from the weapon. Head first, I shoot out of the barrel, and light washes over me, blinding me as I rush towards my purpose, my goal.
Met with the wide left eye of a confused squirrel, I tear through her open ocular cavity and into her brain. Forcing my way through, losing little momentum as I break through the back of her skull and bounce off the wall, landing somewhere between her falling corpse and the crying hedgehog.

I have fulfilled my purpose.
I can die happily now.


Heat splitting my skull replaced with a coldness I can't remember ever having felt before. The world around me melts as I fall into the abyss.
Skin melting away, flesh leaving me as my bones crumble. I am little more than a floating brain attached to a spinal chord at the stem. Glowing florescent blue, red, green, pink. Any color I could think of.

I hear the screams of the dead all around me.
All reaching for me, trying to destroy what's left of me. All envious of what I have and what they don't. In the distance of the void, I see a tiny speck of light, growing larger, webbing outwards all around me.

The void speaks to me and asks me to make my choice.

My choice.

My choice...

I tell it yes. It's time to finish it. It's time to erase all the damage that's been done to you and I.
I tell it that it's time to correct the ways in which we've both been wronged.

You and I.
The void and myself.

We will have our day. I will accept your cold, loving embrace. But before that happens, I have some unfinished business to tend to.


My eyes are open.
One cannot see, but the other is strong enough for the both of them.

The lights overhead almost stinging my fragile vision, but I fight through it. I'm stronger than that.

Laughter. Robotnik's.
Crying. Amy's. I had no idea that she cared about me this much. Or even close to it.

Sit up, and both cease.
Smile.
With some effort, I stand.

Robotnik's shocked expression is worth more than gold. I wish I could take a picture but that would never do it justice.
Feet kick into gear without command. I cackle as I approach him.

Knees bend. Feet spring me upward at an angle, towards him.

In this moment, I consider every second I've suffered. Everything he made me do. Everything he made me feel. Every single second I played into his sick, dumbfucked game. And as I launch myself upwards, as I make eye contact with this fat fucker at his own level, without a thought in my head commanding it to do so, my right arm springs forward towards him. My hand in claw formation, breaking through his fragile face, skull cracking and face caving in. His blood splashing against my fur as my hand digs deeper, closing around it.
Withdraw, bringing back with me blood, skull and brain matter.

I'm still cackling when he short-circuits and explodes.
I'm still laughing when I hit the ground.


"You know what we have to do?" I ask.

"Yeah," she replies, nodding and looking away.

We have to make sure this never happens, ever again.


Hundreds of monitors surrounding us from every direction, possibly even thousands. Showing us outside from every angle of the Death Egg.

"Are you ready?" I ask.

She nods.

Look forward.
The distant city lights of Mobotropolis getting closer and closer. Closing in more quickly than I expected on station square.

Tilt the handle so that we start heading downwards at angle.

This is for all of you. My gift to this wretched city, to pull you all out of the disgusting funk you've been in for years.

Distinct buildings coming into focus, getting closer and closer.

This is for your boredom.

This is for your tedium.

This is for your daily lives that never change. That never get better. That never get worse.

This is for the static.

This is for the prey.

This is for the hunter.

This is for the day.

This is for the night.

This is for the sunrise.

This is for my city. Everything I ever wanted and never really got. Oh, sure, I got a taste. But that isn't what I wanted.

I wanted the whole thing.

This is for me as much as it is for you.

You'll understand when you're older.


CRASH!


Stirring.
Headache. Splitting.

I need something. I need anything.

White.
White and grey.

The snowy static of the monitors before me. The cameras just as broken as the city underneath us.

I cough up blood into my left hand.

"Did I do good?" she asks.

Struggle, a little. The safety belt of this chair holding me tightly into place. I reach down to my boot and draw the filet knife I keep on me at all times. Just in case.

It's all become so clear to me. I've grown up so much in just these past few seconds that even I have a hard time believing it.

I'm not a narcissist. Far from it. In fact, I actually hate myself and everything I've become quite a bit. But, this moment? Right now, I feel something I haven't felt since I was a child.

Pride.

"Yeah, Amy," I say. "You did O.K."

"I love you, Sally."

I turn to Amy. Her eyes wide, watering. The kind of look that breaks your heart and fixes it all at once. I lean in. Kiss her on the cheek, and then force the knife into her throat.
Her big green eyes fill with tears as she coughs up her own blood, choking on it. Trying desperately in vain to gurgle out one final I need you, but it's too late.

It wouldn't have worked out anyway.