A/N: Hey, folks. Now that Colours and Generations have slightly restored my faith in the series, I figure it's time to pay a little tribute to the series that started me off as a fanfiction writer.
If any of you have crossed fandoms over to ye olde FFVII and read my other fic, Of Pyjamas And Ironic Harmonies, this is a pretty similar deal. For those that haven't, here's the rub:
1) Barring dramatic circumstances, this story will be updated once every two days, no more, and no less.
2) You, the readers, are encouraged to send in prompts as to what you'd like to see next. These prompts might take the form of a word or a phrase (e.g, Stars And Stripes or something like that), or even just a situation. Credit will be given to the promptee.
3) In regards to the above point: they're called 'prompts' for a reason. You're not telling me what to write, just giving me a suggestion and seeing what happens. The more specific or restrictive your prompt is, the more likely I am to flip it on its head and do something unexpected with it. This isn't a choose your own chapter fic. This is a 'make a suggestion and pray desperately it happens' kind of thing. (But whatever happens, I'll make sure it's good.)
This story will (excluding specials or stuff like that) run for exactly 57 chapters- fifty rings, and seven chaos emeralds, if you like. Although I've listed it under Tails, since he's my favourite, I'm familiar with all the main characters and will use quite a few of them, so don't feel shy about requesting a particular pairing or whatever. I might not do it, but chances are I will.
Right. After that little essay, it's time to begin!
Disclaimer: You and me, baby, we ain't nothing but mammals. I got sued for stealing from Discovery Channel.
Tails balanced the model carefully upon the very tips of his fingers, nimble beyond the cumbersome gloves he wore. A halogen bulb he should've changed two weeks ago flickered wearily above him, and the moon winked balefully at him from the window. The clock in the living room bawled out a dozen times, and was ignored a dozen times for its trouble.
The problem, he told himself, was the aerodynamics. The real problem, his mind replied a little more truthfully, was the laws of physics. There were four laws of aerodynamics covering flight, and none of them agreed with each other.
As a result, no one knew why a plane flew. Only that it did. Designing a plane was half science, half intuition; a practice in adjusting every angle, every screw and bolt, until you found the sweet spot where the laws of physics stopped paying attention and let the damn thing off the ground. Even when you had the knack, it took weeks honing scale models in the wind tunnel (your ears aching from the noise and your electricity bill higher than the entire city at the next station down), and countless redesigns, rehashes and re-imaginings.
For tonight, though, he was done. Three weeks he'd been burning the smallest hours in his pursuit of perfection, and it was starting to tell. Tonight's model was as good as he was going to get it; tomorrow, paint could be applied, and the testing could begin. He scrawled a brief note in his engineer's journal (oily fingerprints littering the pages, the simple curled script crammed into whatever space was left) and put on his nightcap.
Building a plane was like saving the world, he thought idly, as he pour a customary glass of milk before hitting the hay. Despite the fact that planes were a miracle of engineering, there were so many out there, leaving stripes in the clouds and carrying thousands of people across oceans and continents and cities. Just as there were a thousand planes in the stratosphere, somehow, he and Sonic and the rest of the gang had managed to drive off Eggman so many times.
And he thought to himself, sometimes, "sure, Knuckles is strong, and Sonic is fast and Shadow is the unholy spawn of an eldritch abomination and a mad scientist who would later try to crash an intergalactic cannon into the planet, and maybe I've got a spare IQ point or two, but that's all we are. How do we keep doing it? How do we keep winning against a million-strong army of robots, a swarming ocean of metal and weapons and blood?"
Everything points to them losing. But they don't. Sure, the planet's been blown up or split apart a few times, but it's usually a temporary thing. They're sitting in the sweet spot where the laws of probability turn a blind eye, and miracles are an everyday thing.
Knocking back his glass of milk in one gulp (a bad idea, and coughing ensued), he finally decided to give his brain a rest for tonight. His bed, the one thing in his entire lab that he kept free of oil, called for him.
In his garage, sitting quietly under white sheets, were five hundred model aeroplanes, each one perfect, intricately detailed and painted. They were of a quality even professionals only dreamed of, but he had never sold a single one. They were miracles of design, that he had given the world.
Some part of him, still childish and naive after all his trials, believed that the world was a place that was kind, and fair. That for every miracle he put into the world, maybe, just maybe, he could get one back. He'd had four hundred and eighty two victories over Eggman, great and small.
He had eighteen left.
A/N: A little bit of quiet, introspective musing to start us off, with a semi-sweet ending. Things will start getting more exciting as the chapters roll up. (I'm secretly dying to do a few fight scenes...)
Oh, and one last thing. For this collection, I'll be doing a something a little special: I'll be reading out the chapters and putting them on youtube. If I get any interest, I'll carry on doing it for the rest of my work, and perhaps even other people's stories, too. If you'd like to listen to a British guy with a derpy voice read your stories out to you instead of having to strain your eyes, type my username (TheVulpineHero1) into youtube and take a look around my channel. I'll put the recordings up the day after the text chapter (so, this chapter's reading will be up tomorrow). I hope you've enjoyed this little taster, and that you'll enjoy the collection to come!