warning:- This story will contain varying amounts of OCs, angst, torture, swearing, sexual implications, drug references, war, violence, prejudice, and possibly implied rape. Just, what the fuck ever. If you don't like that shit, don't read it! Flames will be used for toasting my marshmallows.
Amazing thanks to the wonderful Pixelated Firefly for being my beta for the story.
disclaimer:- Varying references are made during this story to things I have not created, nor receive any profit for. Sonic belongs to SEGA, meaning most that lie therein.
War does not determine who is right - only who is left. ~Bertrand Russell
Anthem of Our Dying Day
"Skin from burns will become stronger… if you heal well."
All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me) by Bullet for My Valentine
"We're gonna make it Honey, we'll be alright…"
He was four. He had the mind of a barely developed seven year old, the coordination of a six year old, and the emotional capacity of burning rubble. And even then, there were some things that child prodigies would never understand. The dying shrieks of his loved ones around him, and the fire reflecting in eyes of cold sapphire… he couldn't understand why it was happening. A mind as cunning as a fox still couldn't understand why his family was dying around him.
"Let's play hide and seek, I'm it."
He'd waited hours for his mother to find him. Determined to win the game he ignored the screaming from outside, the smell of burning wood and of something far more foul drifting through the air. He huddled in the corner of the basement, leg twisted to curl around a box of family photographs while his arm leant on a stack of his old baby clothes. Becoming thirsty, he'd decided to forfeit the game and trek up the basement steps two at a time to tell his mom he'd given up when there was a deafening crash.
His father crashed through the door like a rag doll, shattering the wood and knocking him off his feet. After the initial collision his father wrapped his arms around him and used his body to absorb most of the impact, hitting the basement floor with a devastating force. He wriggled out of his fathers limp, heavy arms and his head snapped up to the robot trudging down the stairs. He couldn't make out the details. The fire was blazing all around it and it's huge hulking body was surrounded with a blackness found from knocking out the electricity.
Adrenaline thrumming through his veins, he turned back to his father and pulled on his whiskers, tugging at his hair to get him to open his eyes. They did, but that pale, dead blue spoke of sadness and defeat, something even he could understand.
"My little soldier…"
The little fox started crying. His father wouldn't get up. There were gashes and cuts in his side, his brown fur was awash with drying and fresh crimson. His spine had made a disgusting shuck noise. His leg had hit a broken pipe, breaking his skin and his leg.
"Fly away Tails. Do it now."
The robot was almost among them, the wooden stairs of the basement giving way under its weight so that it crashed to the floor with an impact that shook the foundations of their house. He fisted his hands in his father's shirt.
Get up! GET UP!
Tears blocking his vision as he shook his father with all the strength his little body contained.
"I love you, Son."
He placed his closest hand on his face, but it soon went limp and fell to the ground.
"Fly away now. Go and don't come back."
"Do it NOW, TAILS!"
The robot's mechanical hand banged before them, catching one of his tails under the huge impact and breaking the skin, grinding the bone. The little fox shrieked in agony, trying to get his tails to rotate, but the pain he felt in his left one hindered the movement. He faced the robot, wiping his tears on his arm and jumping onto its head, using the height to bounce back onto the remains of the stairs and running away as fast as possible until he stumbled to a stop.
Amidst the rubble of their home and the smell of burning carcass. His mother lay dead at his feet. She choked on her own blood and the ash pushing aside oxygen and taking residence. A broken necklace of blue and white lay at her feet. Bullets peppered her side, illuminated by the fire in the kitchen. He blanched, completely unaware of what to do. Tears burned his eyes and streamed until he couldn't see any more.
"We're gonna make it Honey, we'll be alright…"
There was another slam at the door. The faint outline of a man illuminated with the fires eating up his home, with a voice so sinister and a silhouette so strange and round, pointed to him, his voice holding no emotion...
"Get rid of the little one too."
The little boy shrieked, grief stricken and scared beyond anything he had ever felt beforehe bolted for the stairs of their house, hoping his room would provide shelter. Despite being a prodigy, it was the dumbest thing he could have done that night. At the entrance to his bedroom, he tripped over his lame tail and his ankle was grabbed, his tiny body being dragged back into the hallway.
Kicking and screaming, he was held in a soldiers arms when-A soldier!
He was human! This was his chance.
He looked up and saw a deception, darkness so clouded that he couldn't see the evil in his acts.
He grabbed a hold of the soldier's arm and bit hard enough to draw blood, effectively making him drop to the ground while the kit spit out the taste. He didn't waste time, eager to get out of this dreadful place. He made it to his window sill, tripping over toys and rumpled bed sheets that seemed so insignificant now as bullets rained in his general direction.
"Stupid mutants! I'll get you, you little brat!"
He leapt out of the window, aiming to get to the next rooftop. The pain was arching through his body, making him weaker and weaker by the second. He managed to get the alleyway below, less scathed than if he had just fallen out and…
It was littered with Mobian carcasses.
Through the flames and tears, he made out the shape of more robots and soldiers, guns cocked, and eyes blazing a venomous red. Ignoring the pain in his body, in his tiny thrumming heart, in his bleeding soul, he turned around and ran and ran and ran…
Be My Escape by Relient K
Part I: The Grand Prix
10 years on.
Tails was ready to make a face plant on his watch. It'd be better than mentally racing with the minute hand as it tick, tick, ticked it's boring way across the face of the boring-ass clock, currently holding it's (boring!) position as warden in high regard. They weren't allowed to escape the campus until it rung. And the stupid bell wouldn't ring for the better half of thirty minutes. He rubbed his eyes with his wrists and slowly dragged them down his face so the fleshiness around his eyeballs could be seen.
Boy was he a charmer.
"Leave your face like that and it's gonna stick."
"Only 'coz you'll stick it that way," the yellow fox retorted, holding his cheek up with his fists as he turned his face to lock eyes with Silver. The white hedgehog smiled at him before flicking away a glue stick he had been toying with, "Why are you even here? Why don't you play with someone your own size?"
"You're using that in an incredibly wrong context, Tails," he laughed, propping his boots onto the table, "And I can't help it!" he added the last part in a whisper, "You don't have many friends in this class."
"Did you have to state the obvious?" Tails growled under his breath, just loud enough for Silver to pick up on. He knew already that he wasn't that popular. One of the main reasons that would account for the reason he was hated in this class would be the fact that he was two grades above his age group. He was fourteen years old and learning at a tenth grade level, so many in his class automatically assumed he was a stuck up snob.
And then there was Silver, who wasn't allowed to assume such things. Treat Tails the way that everybody else in their class did and he'd be out on the streets in no time.
"If it were me, I'd rather someone kept reminding me," Silver stated sarcastically. There was a call from the back of the room, and the hedgehog turned to regard one of his other friends, but rejected the offer to come and sit next to them, partially because the invitation had not been extended to Tails, "I bet you're glad we've only got approximately twenty three minutes of this left, aye?"
"That's the understatement of the century," he chuckled crossing his arms and laying his head on them when a plastic bag was shoved onto his head. He let out an indignant yell as the culprit shoved it further over his shoulders and he had to claw to get the offending hands off him. He was vaguely aware of a brief scuffle outside the black expanse of the garbage bag before it was lifted from his head.
Silver had jumped over the table and tackled the culprit, pinning him down with his foot, "What the hell is wrong with you?"
Tails was still trying to catch his breath, but when he looked over the table he realised that it wasn't even someone he could remember the name of. It probably started with an M or a D.
"All in good fun mate," he replied, trying to get up but Silver wouldn't release him.
"You do realise that he could sue you for that kind of treatment? Just because he's younger and smarter than you doesn't give you the right to act like a self-righteous prick!"
Tails fisted his hair and shook his head, "Just let it go, Silver."
He pressed his boot further into the bully's sternum, but that wouldn't stop him, "He goes to a high school like this one, he wouldn't have the money. And besides, he's just a mutant."
The fox stood up so fast that the desk in front of him fell down, crashing on top the person pinned to the floor, "I'm on garbage duty, that's what you're trying to say right?" His voice was filled with malice and an incredible amount of annoyance as he fetched the plastic bag he'd been suffocated with and made his way to the door. Even the teacher sitting in the corner didn't do a goddamn thing about it. Silver released his prisoner, figuring the desk that had toppled over him was enough to keep him busy for a while and followed Tails out the door.
He'd gotten long used to the abuse as a mutant, but for some reason he still couldn't fully control his emotions when something like that happened.
"Hey, Tails. Are you alright?" Silver murmured, trotting alongside Tails strides. They walked around campus languidly. Garbage duty was picking up rubbish in the general vicinity, and Tails wasn't sure if it was really his turn, but he needed to get out of that classroom.
"Fine," he replied sadly. In truth, jibes like that still hurt. And he wasn't as brave or justice orientated as Silver. Actually… Silver wasn't very justice-orientated. He was a pick-pocket after all (and damn good at it too) but there was just something about how other people treated others that irked him. He could understand Tails' predicament, he was a mutant as well.
"You'd 'ave thought we'd been used to it by now, huh?" he laughed and there was nervous humour in the tone.
"You don't have to deal with it," Tails retorted as he watched Silver extend his hand over the concrete quad. With no one around, the fox would have felt more at ease, but Silver was surrounded by many people that didn't like mutants, despised them even. He watched as his hand started to glow with tendrils of blue, and slowly, items from around the courtyard started to zoom towards Tails' garbage bag. Something that would have taken the remaining twenty minutes was finished in roughly thirty seconds, "You can just pretend to be normal."
"Despite that," Silver admitted, "I wouldn't be able to. You know that."
They lived in a society where mutants were socially stigmatised, the definition of mutant being; having abilities and features beyond that of normal Mobian and human abilities and appearance. In Tails' case, it was having two tails and the brain of a super genius. In Silver's case, it was telekinesis; the preferred form of ESP because he wouldn't like having his white-quilled friend poking into his head every three seconds.
"If it was any place but Soleanna, right?"
"Not like I'd ever think of leaving," Tails said, an affectionate smile worming it's way onto his muzzle when he noticed a scrunched up piece of paper beneath his feet, "Look at this."
Dr. Robotnik, better known as 'Eggman' is hosting the
Soleanna Grand Prix
Extreme Gear Racing
Interested? Sign up on the edge of Crisis City in Megalo Station.
Date for registrations ends December 7.
Get in quick to win…
Everything about this flyer was completely bonkers. It was really fishy too.
Eggman was a horrible person. Ten years ago he had initiated the first mutant massacre where Tails had lost his parents, and many other innocent Mobians and humans had been killed as well. He would have continued if the Duke of Soleanna didn't realise exactly how many innocents were getting killed. He didn't understand the politics of it all, half of it led to pig-headed boorishness with no logical explanation and the worst part of it was that Eggman kept his position because he was the Duke's best friend. He was now the head of MeteoTech, with riches and more technology than he could ever want, but he hadn't made a public appearance in four years, due to an incident involving another mass killing spree.
Tails' best friend Sonic had been fighting Eggman for as long as he could remember. Sonic considered himself 'People's Choice' and fought for the rights of other mutants, but he hadn't had much to do lately because Eggman had been lying low. This was his grand scheme. There was definitely more to this than others would assume. He crinkled the flyer in his grasp, causing the paper to crunch.
Get in quick to win
That just screamed suspicious. Anyone with that amount of money was set for life, they'd be able to move out of Metal City (better known as Crisis City) and head to Station Square or Castle Town, have a better life. There had to be a catch.
"You gonna join?" Silver asked enthusiastically.
"Uh, no. I don't want to associate myself with anything The Fatman has planned; it just spells disaster." He had to admit that he'd always wanted to get revenge on Eggman for what he had done to his street. He'd been so blissfully happy before his parents died. That thought alone was enough to sap all the energy from the young fox's body and cause a mild burn behind his eyes.
"Look at that!" Silver said, pointing to the bottom of the paper.
…and a congratulatory dinner with Eggman himself.
Tails heartbeat pulsed beneath his skin.
This is my chance!
He could get revenge for what Eggman had done to him, what he had done to so many people that loved and cared for him, that he still continued to do under the oblivious eye of the crown. But then again… there were so many competitors that were so much stronger, faster and skilled than him. Couple that with the determination to get the money and he was a goner. There had to be a simpler way to get Eggman to come out.
He scrunched up the paper in his fists, crushing it with his sneaker, "No."
"Willing to pass up free grub?" Silver said sarcastically.
"Not next to that clown, he might eat everything before I get the chance to," the fox muttered, managing a weak smile. Silver patted his back and in that instant the bell rung, and they were met with a cacophony of joyful cheers.
Simple and Clean (Xylophone Remix) by Utada Hikaru
"I'll meet you back at the workshop okay?" Silver admitted reassuringly as he gazed up at the cemetery gates.
"Sure. See you later. Send someone out on grocery run, it's Amy's turn to cook tonight."
"Really? Yes! No more fried charcoal from Knuckles!" he grinned before running off. Tails watched him hop over one of the river bridges and disappear out of sight and then turned his attention towards the cemetery. He always did this on a Friday, at least once during his school terms and he had been so busy or unwilling to go that he'd simply pushed the thought away and ignored it. He felt somewhat calmer today and wanted to speak to his parents.
Their actual bodies had been incinerated in the flames, but he'd created two crosses out of white metal, planted flowers and left them whenever he could afford them. Flowers in Crisis City were really, really expensive and it was hard to get by already. As it was, he didn't have flowers with him right now, but he liked to think they took comfort in the fact that their son was still visiting and thinking of them.
"Hi Mom, Sad. I'm sorry it's been a while. Crisis City's still teetering on the edge of economic break down. I try not to get into it. Shadow's more interested in where all the government's money is going." He fingered a flower gently and sat on the ground before the crosses, resting his tired legs, "We took in someone new this time. I know you guys would scold me for making such a reckless decision, but he was just so… I don't know. I'm really glad that Silver came to us.
"I mean financially it's easier to live with other people here right? Crisis City is overpopulated, there isn't much room and if we're all paying for the same gas, electricity and water bill then it'd be easier than separate housing. It's what we did to your old Soldier Training Facility building, Dad. We turned it into a workshop. We hardly ever see each other except for at night time anyway- Whatever, I'm just rambling now. I'm keeping up my grades… well… it's complicated, but you don't really have to worry about them. School out though anyway, and I'm looking forward to just working with machines again.
"Hmm… you guys would probably scold me for doing something that's technically illegal. But so far I see nothing wrong morally about using Extreme Gear, they rake in a lot of ring and if you use them right you won't hurt anyone," Tails plucked at some grass and stared at the flowers weaved around his mother's grave, "but it's a different story when you're teaching Amy how to drive, yeah?" he chuckled quietly, noticing that it was getting dark and looking back at the crosses sadly, "Do you think that mutants are ever going to get the same rights as normal Mobians? What a future that would be…"
He got up and dusted off his jeans, taking a moment used to pick blades of grass from the denim to reminisce about the way that his mother and father used to sing him to sleep after a bad nightmare. He blew a kiss to the white crosses and turned around to head home.
"I miss you."
Electric Romantics by Short Stack
Ah. Going home had to be one of the most peaceful times in the day for the young fox. There he could just work the night shift after he'd finished his homework (excluding today because he didn't have any), just him, a few customers and his machines. Wonderful machines that didn't speak, didn't yell, and most of all, didn't complain about how horribly he cooked or how he should take a bloody shower because he smelt of axel grease. But since it was Friday and he normally had fewer clients on Friday, he was bent on claiming the hammock in the library- after his shift- and settling down with one of his favourite books (probably Brent Weeks today) left to be undistur-
"TAILS! SHADOW USED ALL THE HOT WATER AGAIN!" Or maybe not.
"I did not you pink twit, you just happened to choose now to take a shower when there was currently only cold water."
"You do not fool me with your psycho babble!"
Tails had just taken the staircase up from the workshop to drop his backpack off when he encountered Amy and Shadow. He was towelling his quills and Amy was decked out in a bathrobe, complete with fuzzy slippers, yelling at the stoic hedgehog at the top of her lungs. His body ached, like it usually did after he'd had a sluggish walk from school, plus the fact that he'd decided to take the long way to visit his parents, and he just didn't feel like dealing with this nonsense. It was around five and he only had half an hour before his shift started.
He still found it ironic that they turned to him, the youngest member of the Black Arms, to solve their inane problems.
Amy was fifteen years old, and Shadow believed he was around twenty, but at the moment they were acting like five year olds, "Amy, I'll turn on the hot water tank and you should have hot water in around twenty minutes. Shadow, there are some customers down there. Since they have motorbikes, I assume they're yours."
The building was actually in Shadow's name because Tails was under aged, but almost everything inside belonged to the fox. Since Tails' Extreme Gear service was illegal, Shadow covered that up by working a normal mechanic/electrician workshop but around eighty-seven percent of their income came from Extreme Gear maintenance, by far the fastest and most dangerous way to get around the city. One handling Extreme Gear before the police was immediately chased after, but they normally got away. There were special underground races where people would race, bet, and most likely die. There weren't many that dedicated their life to Extreme Gear who lived past twenty-five.
"Yeah," Shadow sighed impatiently turning back to Amy and doing a really rude hand gesture involving his tongue. Amy's face turned a red the colour of ripe strawberries, and she took of one of her slippers and threw it at Shadow's head. Unfortunately the black hedgehog had incredible perceptive abilities and ducked before it collided, hitting Tails square in the face.
He let out a shuddering groan as it fell to the ground and Amy screeched out her apologies, "Oh Tails, I am so sorry."
Tails turned from her to Shadow with a flat look, watching as the hedgehog tried to conceal a smirk. His nose twitched and he rubbed at it sorely before commenting dryly, "Your dinner better be bloody awesome or else you're going to find something incredibly unpleasant in your bed."
Amy scoffed, smiling lightly when there was an abrupt yell from upstairs, a slight pattering of feet and then a huge slam. Silver and Sonic were fighting to get down the stairs.
Their building consisted of half a sky scraper with a shaky structure. Tails' Workshop/Shadow's Garage provided the foundation, and the staircase leading up from that led onto the floor housing the living room, Shadow, Sonic and Knuckles' bedrooms plus one section of rooftop containing Tails' launch station for testing out his bigger projects, Amy's herb garden, a half pipe and a small make shift jungle gym created from scrap metal and rope, made especially for Silver. There was a spiral staircase that led onto the third floor which contained the biggest storage room/the guest bedroom, the kitchen, Amy's room and a bathroom. One level above that and then the structure started to become shaky, because the building had originally been a sky scraper but was knocked down during The Massacre, and housed a makeshift library, Tails' room and Shadow's art studio. Silver's room, above that, had been the attic but was now modified so that Silver could live there, which he felt annoyed about because you needed to go through his room to reach the highest point of the building, which happened to be a minuscule rooftop perch where you could see almost all of Soleanna.
The third floor had a huge gaping hole in it that Tails hadn't bothered to rebuild, and he'd simply put a railing on the edge of it, so they now had a balcony indoors, which Sonic, Silver and often himself tended to use instead of the stairs, normally just hopping from the railing and landing in the living room. They only did this when they were in a huge hurry because they'd fallen on the couch one too many times, and they weren't sure it could handle any more damage.
"God, you can be such a little bitch sometimes," Amy sighed, throwing her hands up.
"I'm a bitch?"
Silver and Sonic chose that moment to stick their heads over the balcony and yell, "Is dinner ready yet?"
"She hasn't even started!" Tails replied, watching with glee as the two hedgehog's shoulders sagged. The fox started trekking up the spiral staircase. He heard Sonic clomp away to do whatever he wanted while Silver continued yelling.
"Amy! Cook for one more, will you? Blaze is coming tonight!"
"You couldn't have told me your girlfriend was coming sooner?"
"She's not my girlfriend!"
Tails chuckled at the exchange, passing Silver as he made his way to the fourth floor. He shucked the curtains to the art studio away so that he could drop his things by the hammock hanging in the library, where most of the inhabitant still in school crammed during test periods. He was rifling through the shelves when he heard the rest of the conversation.
"I'm cooking for two more now! Cream's coming as well."
Tails blood ran cold when he heard the name of the seemingly sweet little rabbit. Cream had taken a page out of Amy's book in stalking-who-she-fancied and set her sights on him as soon as she turned ten. She'd taken to fawning over him and generally making him uncomfortable in the way that Amy used to for Sonic. Amy had grown out of that phase once she realised it wasn't working. (Thank Solaris.)
He ran down to the third level and yelled from the staircase, "Why did you invite her?"
"Ugh, because she's my best friend?" Amy stated it like it was the most obvious thing in the world, "Why are you picking on me? Silver gets to invite Blaze over whenever he wants."
"Yeah! But Silver and Blaze's lovey-dovey relationship is mutual!"
From the attic Silver gave an indignant yell that was muffled by the floors between them, but sounded something like, "I'm not in love with Blaze!"
"Yes you are!" Amy screeched.
"Yes you are!" Knuckles agreed from his room.
"Yep! It's true!" Sonic said from the living room.
"You guys suck!" he replied, stomping about the attic annoyed.
"Well, if you want me to cook then you're allowing me any guest I want, capishe?" Amy was PMSing. And when she PMS'd, her word was law. She turned back to the kitchen utensils and started working on what seemed to be spaghetti bolognese.
Tails let out an aggravated sigh and mimicked her annoying vocal tone, placing his hands on his hips, "God, you can be such a little bitch sometimes."
The pink hedgehog turned around slowly, one of her favourite kitchen knives in hand to face the fox, "Repeat. That. Again."
"Shit-!" he squeaked, bolting down the stairs as fast as possible with a murderous pink monster trailing behind him.
The young fox lived in a city on the edge of an economic meltdown. A psychotic madman was ruling his home instead of the Duke of Soleanna. He worked eighteen hours a week and studied the rest, in a trade that was not only dangerous, but illegal.
But as long as he could come home to screaming matches, missing underwear hunts and fights over the loudest stereo music, then he'd be alright.
Home sweet home.
Welcome to the life of Miles 'Tails' Prower.
(revised March 9th 2012, Friday)
Alright! What did you guys think?