Benjamin Franklins, a story by Anna Marcelli Palmer

It is yet another typical day of unspeakable surrealism for the citizens of Station Square.

People are fleeing to every possible direction, running for dear life, screaming their lungs out as the gigantic robot, a horrendous creation overloaded with more gadgets than esthetics or common sense would normally allow, marches its way towards Twinkle Park. Its commander, a fat old man with a ridiculous red moustache, laughs with complacency as the buildings collapse for him to pass.

As usual, the city is choking on its own ashes.

Destruction, chaos, madness. Missiles, blades and gunshots. The entire local police department is trying to thwart the man's evil plans, yet their simple firearms have little effect on the enormous creation. Cameras, cell phones and microphones are on fire as journalists from all over the world are trying to photograph, tape, or film just a fragment of the ongoing tragicomedy.

But all of a sudden, and when all hope seems lost, there is a stir within the stillness, a familiar flash of blue. And smiles form on people's faces, as they see their hope arrive at the scene, ready to show a thing or two at the mad doctor. Their hero. Everybody's hero.

Soon, fear gives its place to enthusiasm.

"Hey, look, it's him!"

"Take a picture of him when he gets close!"

"He will save the city as always, don't worry."

"I wanna be like this when I grow up..."

"Look at how he dodged that missile!"

"Sonic, marry me!"

And like this, every soul pleading to be saved stops and stares, every face looking for a way out turns the other way to watch the extravaganza, every kid stops crying and silently enjoys the visual effects.

"Ouuuuuuch! That bold man must've hurt much! Did you see this mom, did you SEE THIS?"

"Just tell me you taped this."

"Shut up and watch!"

After a short sequence of spirals, loops and fancy attacks at the speed of light, the notorious opponent has to declare retreat, and slowly turns his back and takes the machine to his base for repairs. A silent minute passes, during which the onlookers try to process the new data and understand what has just transpired. Then everyone bursts into a thunderous applause.

Atop a hill made of debris, stands the star of the scene, with a small smirk carved on his face.

The hedgehog gives his fans a theatrical bow, before disappearing in the same flash of blue that had initially declared his presence.

Less than two hundred metres ahead, he freezes in his tracks at the sound of a voice.

"Hey, you Superidiot, I'm over here."

It's owner, a fat old man with a ridiculous red moustache, makes himself visible, furiously waving for Sonic to notice. The hero growls in vexation.

"Stop calling me that, 'cause you'd be nothing without me, is that understood, Pumpkin?"

Eggman rolls his eyes. Very few things can affect his mood, but right now he feels slightly irritated. "No one would pay you to save the city from a nonexistent threat, kiddo."

In response, Kiddo shows the scientist his tongue.

"No one would pay YOU to create those Transformers of yours, yannow.", Sonic gives his interlocutor a smug smile. "But they adore me. I am the one they want to see on their screens, their T-shirts, their videogames, the fucking diapers of their babies. I am all the money you make, sweetheart."

"Oh, shut up, you spiky rodent." Eggman opens an impatient palm before the younger male. "And give me yesterday's share."

Out of nowhere, Sonic produces a saturated wallet and pretends to be counting. "The reward from the mayor. The toothpaste advert. The appearance on that movie whose name I forgot. So, you get, what fourty percent?"

The doctor yawns. He is already dreaming of his favorite armchair and fuzzy slippers.

"Give up that trick, it's never gonna work. And now give me fifty and let's get this over with, because I've eaten nothing since this morning, not to mention my feet are killing me."

The azure speedster hands him a thick pack of Benjamin Franklins, which he briefly examines to make sure he's not been fooled. And like this, hero and villain lazily start making their way home.

"Don't be such a baby, Ivo. It might be a demanding job, but believe me, next week you'll be buying diamond doorknobs."

"Ah, yes, the thing with that Boarding School. What can I say? Dirty job, but someone has to do it."

"You got me, ole' man. It's all about Business."