This story takes place shortly after Dr. Robotnik has been defeated and the roboticized Mobians' (Robians') free will has been restored. The continuity it takes place in resembles the Archie Sonic comics, but I don't try to closely adhere to that universe. This can be seen in the case of what I did with Amadeus Prower (Tails' father) - I thought the alien thing was dumb, so I instead made him stay on Mobius and stay roboticized. Also, I'm a Sonic games fan, so SegaSonic has a lot more influence (one example of many: "zone" refers to an area, not a dimension). There have been other changes as well, as you'll see as you read on. But I don't think it will be too confusing. Just keep in mind - I'm not trying to stick to any single, official Sonic continuity. On the other hand, let's be clear - I'm not going "off the wall" and doing anything totally different, either. Sonic's still Sonic, Tails is Tails, Sally's her Sally-ish self...blah blah blah.
Oh, and I started writing this story before the reboot, and since I'm not following canon anyway, I didn't really take the new Archie-canon into account. I do like the new Archie canon, don't get me wrong, but it just won't impact this story.
If you read the following story and think, "Where's Tails' mom in this continuity?" then I'd answer that she's most likely dead, but I'm not sure. She could just be one of the Robians who wasn't in Robotropolis and thus is still under Robotnik's influence. Or she could be alive and well and just...isn't here at the moment, for some reason...yeah...
Feel free to give lots of feedback! If you make a good point, I might very well revise the story.
"S - S-S...Sal...SalSally..."
"Shh, NICOLE. Don't try to talk. You need all your resources to decompress your data and make repairs. You know that."
Sally sighed. Her father walked in. He groaned and rubbed his face. "I'm sorry, Sally. Perhaps I should've...consulted you...before issuing that command to NICOLE..." He paused. "How badly is it...uhm...damaged?"
"Daddy...she had to establish a network connection with and hack into a whole zone full of unbelievably advanced computers, do a meticulous scan of each one, carefully discern what data was implemented by Robotnik, and delete that data - all as quickly as possible. No disrespect, Daddy...I mean, I know you just want to keep everyone safe, but...in order to have the memory to do all that, she'd have to compress...I don't even know, thousands of files." She sighed, exasperated, and rested her hand on NICOLE. "I'm amazed she could even do such a thing..."
The King sat down. "I'm sorry. I should've consulted you first. But, well...at least now it's done. Your computer...if it really successfully accomplished what I asked it to, all Robotnik's programming has been removed from every Robian in Knothole. It's a great load off my mind. Do you...do you think it succeeded? Do you think it did it all...completely?"
"I don't know," Sally said. "NICOLE is really incredible, but this..." She sighed. "Well, we'll just have to wait until she's restored herself to find out for sure."
"On a happier note," the king said, "I have a present for you." He walked off and came back with a 20-Ring Item Box. It had a classic monitor design, except for having a golden color. "I found this in the mail. It's gilded with gold, which means it's sacredly dedicated to royalty."
"Um, that looks like gold spray paint to me, Dad," Sally said.
"What?! Who dares insult the crown?!" the king huffed.
"Maybe they just didn't have much money," Sally offered.
"Good point," the king said. "At any rate, there wasn't a note specifying whether or not it's a present for you or for me, so we may assume it's a gift to the royal family in general. I thought I'd let you have it. You're more likely to need it, after all."
"Thanks, Dad." She tossed it into the air and gave it a powerful, sharp kick. She felt the refreshing, energizing rush of rings streaming into her and smiled. "To be honest, though, I doubt I'll be doing much battle for a long time," Sally admitted. "I'm tired of war."
"Huh?" She noticed a piece of paper fall off the back of the ring box.
"Part 1 of my gift to you. Part 2 coming shortly!" it read.
"Good morning, Dad," said Tails, pushing open the door to his father's room, where he was lying in bed, charging.
"Hello, Tails," Amadeus grunted as he sat up.
"Um...how are you?" said Tails, feeling a bit awkward.
"I...I'm fine," Amadeus said, unplugging himself. He sighed.
Tails knew his father was having a hard time. He had once been a general for King Acorn, and more recently, when Tails was young, had defended West Side Island, a colony of the United Federation. He had made it through many hard battles, even losing an eye during one. However, he could not escape being captured by Robotnik and roboticized. While under Robotnik's control, he commanded legions of badniks and robot soldiers. Once he had been freed, he was so upset that he ripped out the new laser eye Robotnik had given him to replace his lost left eye. At first, he avoided being found by his son, unable to come to terms with his failure to avoid being captured by Robotnik and the havoc he wreaked as a result. He finally decided he needed that he had to return to his son, if only to apologize. Of course, Tails was was thrilled to finally be reunited with his dad. The two were currently residing in Knothole, the village tucked away in the Great Forest Zone (also known as the Wood Zone). Tails wasn't sure this would last - he and Sonic often traveled in search of adventure - but he was happy to settle down for just a little while.
"Rosie finished sewing your new eye patch," Tails said, smiling brightly and handing it to his father.
"Thank you, Tails," Amadeus said, smiling weakly. He put it on.
"Looks good, Dad!" said Tails cheerfully. "It's just like your old one."
"Wha...?" Amadeus looked puzzled. "Wait...how..." He clutched his forehead. "...How did I lose my eye the first time?"
"Um...in battle, I thought," said Tails, concerned. "Is your memory...?"
"I'm fine, Tails, I'm fine. I just...can't remember," he said, perplexed.
"Well, I can always...you know, um...run a...scan or something," Tails offered awkwardly. He wanted to help, but he knew his father probably didn't want to be reminded that he was a robot. Not that it was the kind of thing that was easily forgotten. "I mean, if you want-"
"No, no, I'm fine," Amadeus said. "Robotnik must've just...messed with my mind, or something. Agggh." He sat down in an armchair.
"But...I thought the king said that NICOLE got rid of all of Robotnik's programming..." Tails scratched his head. "Oh, well...I guess if he permanently deleted a memory or something, then that couldn't have been restored..."
"If you say so, Tails," Amadeus said. "I don't understand computers...even though I am one, heh."
"Well, um, there are reports of badniks still wandering around Wood Zone, so I'm going to go battling them with Sonic soon. Speaking of which, do you think...you might go back into the army?" Tails said.
"Probably not right away, but yes, I would like to serve King Acorn militarily again," Amadeus said.
Tails cocked an eyebrow. "I thought you preferred serving the United Federation?"
"I...what? I served under the United Federation?"
Tails was shocked. "You...you don't even remember that?"
There was a knock on the door. Tails opened it.
"Hey, Tails," Sonic said. "You haven't forgotten your date with some unlucky badniks, have you?"
"Umm, no..." Tails gave his dad a concerned glance.
"Go with him, Tails. I'm fine," Amadeus said. "Go on."
"Umm, OK..." Tails said. He stepped out and closed the door.