Sonic was busy in the semi’s cab fiddling with his bag of cash. Bernardo’s take was still in the blue cubes in the cab. When Sonic was done, he brought the bag up with him to the shotgun seat. He then pulled out his phone and started dialing a number he heard earlier.
“Amy Rose,” the pink hedgehog answered.
“Hey, it’s me.”
Sonic couldn’t see it, but she lit up when he talked. “Hey! Where are you right now?”
“Had to take care of something first. Are you able to see what’s going on in the Industrial District?”
“Why would I want to do that?”
“Maybe you only need to see the sky around that part of town.”
“Okay, let me head outside.” He waited patiently for a few seconds. “I’m seeing a lot of smoke coming from—.” She stopped. “What did…. Did you do that?!” Sonic could hear how exasperated she was. “What is that?!”
“That would be two-and-a-half billion dollars-worth of Eggman money going up in flames.”
“Where did you find that? How did you find that?”
“I’ll tell you the details later.”
She got out of the elevator and walked toward the BOLO desk where a male gazelle typed away. As she walked, Lien-Da noticed how more G.U.N. agents were in the building, congregating in the corner where the Iron King was being held.
“Kenny,” Lien-Da said.
“What’s up?” the gazelle replied.
“I need you to make a new BOLO.”
“Sure. What’s the description?”
“Male hedgehog. 25 years old. Blue fur and green eyes, about four-and-a-half feet tall. Tan stomach. Calls himself ‘Sonic.’”
“Alright… what’s he wanted for?”
“Arson. Got it. How big should the radius be for the search?”
“Make it statewide.”
“Yeesh, someone has big target on his back.”
“Considering this is same prick that ruined our little deal at the docks, he should be lucky it isn’t bigger.”
Kenny stopped. “Wait, this guy did all that?”
“And he burned $2.5 billion of Eggman’s money.”
Kenny groaned. “Alright, I can have the BOLO out in a few minutes. Anything else?
“Yeah,” Lien-Da said as she fished out her phone. “I need this number tracked at all times.”
“Bean’s? But he’s in—?”
“Sonic took Bean’s phone. I need you to keep tabs on it.”
Kenny typed the number in and set it on a search using the computer’s hardware. “Got it. Weird, he’s making a call on it right now?”
“Can you trace it?”
“Gimme a sec.” Kenny was a skilled computer genius. Within seconds, he had the phone’s locations. “He’s calling a (555) 867-5309. The number’s registered to one… Amy Rose.”
Lien-Da almost did a double-take. “Who’s he calling?”
“Amy Rose. You know her?”
“She’s the Rascal, Kenny.”
“I’ve got a big problem with her. Can you patch us into that conversation?”
“Hold on.” Kenny typed away madly. “Got it.”
“Put ‘er on.”
Kenny did so, and they listened in.
“I’ll tell you the details later,” Sonic said. “I’ve also got something that you might like.”
“And what might that be?”
“Ah-ah! That’d ruin the surprise! Now, where can I meet you?”
“I’m at a diner called St. Elmo’s Fire. It’s in the plaza near the city library. You know where that is?” Lien-Da felt a sinister smile grow on her face.
“I was there earlier today. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“Good. See you then.”
Lien-Da just chuckled. “I’ve got her! Oh, I’ve got her! Thanks, Kenny.”
Lien-Da hurried away from Kenny’s desk to go to hers. She kept a few spare pistols there. She would need them.
Sonic, no longer needing the phone, threw it out the window. “Do you know where the library is?”
“Too well. My brother and I practically lived there as kids.”
“Good to hear. You can drop me off there.” Sonic reclined in the passenger’s seat, but something just came to mind. “Bernie?”
“Why were you so eager to help me? I have you at gunpoint, and the moment I tell you Eggman’s involved, you turn into the most helpful human on the planet.”
“Maybe I like helping people?”
“People don’t pull an emotional 180 for no reason.”
Bernardo sighed and took out his wallet. He flipped it open and gave it to Sonic. “Here.”
“I said I don’t want your—.”
“The picture,” he emphasized.
Sonic then shut up, took the wallet, and looked at the small picture inside of it. There was Bernardo, a woman with dark, raven hair, and two boys that looked a lot their mother. “Your family, I presume?”
“Yes, but it’s who’s not in the photo that’s most important.”
“Who’d that be?” Sonic could see that a chord was struck with the driver. He looked sad.
“My big brother. You see me with my family in that photo, but my brother should be in that photo. Not me. My wife, Marianne, she used to be my brother’s wife. My sons, Ray and Finn, used to be my nephews.”
“You married your sister-in-law?”
“I did it to… well, listen. My brother’s name was Juan, but some of us called him ‘Johnny.’ Johnny and I were very close. Our mom used to work in the library, so we worked and read there for years. We decided that we were going to get real jobs to support our mom since budget cuts cost my mom hers. Johnny and I went to work at the refinery where you hijacked my truck, and we worked there for a long time, during which Johnny met and married Marianne. But one night, Johnny and I were working late dealing some paperwork. We punched out and exited through the loading bay. When we got out of the building, we saw a few of our coworkers gathering around something. We went to see what the commotion was, and we walked in on a drug deal.”
“Oh, boy,” Sonic said uneasily. “I don’t like where this is going.”
“You’re right to think so. This drug dealer, I’ll never forget his face. A black rat with yellow eyes that seemed to stare into your soul. My bosses had been investigating a few of the guys to see if they were using any drogas. Turns out they were, and they were doing a deal in the plant’s parking lot. Johnny went to try and break it up, but….”
“The dealer came armed, didn’t he?”
Bernardo nodded solemnly. “Two shots later, my brother was on the ground. Everyone ditched us, and I was trying to stop his bleeding with my shirt. The problem was that those bullets went through my bro’s stomach. I couldn’t call the 9-1-1 in time, so I was there with my brother dying in my arms.” Bernardo let out a tear. “But he made me promise something before he died. He made me promise that I’d look after Marianne and the boys. He made me swear.”
Sonic put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Bernardo.”
The driver sighed. “Thank you. After that, I called the cops. The dealer was easily identified from the plant’s cameras. He was sentenced to life in prison for what he did. Marianne… Chaos, she just couldn’t take the fact that her husband, my big brother, was killed for trying to do the right thing.”
“And the dealer worked for Eggman?”
“Sí. That came up in the trial. Rotten bastard. Got shanked in prison a few weeks later. Served him right. But that didn’t change the fact with Johnny dead, Marianne couldn’t make some of her payments. School for the boys, food, clothes; she had a hard time finding stability… that is until I came in and helped support her. At the time, she wasn’t my wife, but she was the only family I had left since my mom died two years prior. I kept her and the boys afloat… and then….”
“Things just happened between you two?” Sonic guessed.
“She said that I looked so much like Johnny. She wanted me to keep her safe. She needed someone to hold her. But at first, I couldn’t, even if I did love her. And she knew that. She knew that I would feel like I was betraying Johnny. I-I didn’t have the stones to touch her. I felt….”
“You felt guilty.”
“I still do. But one night, I swear that Johnny came to me in a dream and said that it was okay, that if there was anyone that could make her and the boys happy, it was me. Sonic, do you believe that people talk to you in your dreams? That they give you advice and guidance?”
He immediately went back to that purple desert. That same lavender lady haunted his thoughts. Bernie…?
Bernardo chuckled. “After he gave me his ‘blessing’, I was really able to love her. The boys were a little weirded out that Uncle Bernie was going to be their new dad, but they had gotten so used to me spoiling them that they were cool with it. They were the best men at our wedding.”
“And are things going alright with all of you?”
“Marianne thinks I spend too much time away, but as a trucker, that’ll happen. I don’t cheat on her. I just couldn’t. I made a promise to Johnny that I’d always be there for her. Nowadays, I keep forgetting to switch out that wallet photo of mine for a more up-to-date one.”
“Why is that?”
“Because a month ago, we had twins. We named our daughter Esmerelda after my mom, and we named our son Johnny.”
“Family before everything.”
“You’re not the only one who’s lost a brother to Eggman.”
“Yeah, and very recently. That’s why I’m here: revenge.”
“Sonic, revenge is a scary thing.”
“I don’t intend to kill Eggman, but I give you my word that I will make him suffer.”
“Whatever you do, Sonic, just be careful. Eggman’s a tricky and wicked bastard.” The truck came to a stop. “We’re here.” Sonic grabbed his bag and opened the door. “Sonic?” the hedgehog turned around. “Good luck,” Bernardo said as he offered his hand.
Sonic shook it. “Thank you. Keep your family safe, and keep a low profile. There’s another $500 grand in the back for you.”
Bernardo looked back in disbelief as there were a few stacks of $100 bills stacked nicely. “You don’t have to do that.”
“Yeah, I do. I can by with a half-mil.”
Bernardo smiled. “Thank you. And when you do nail Eggman, patear su culo por mí, ¿de acuerdo?”
Sonic chuckled as he got out. “Sería un placer, Bernardo.”
The truck drove off and Sonic sighed as it raced away, blowing diesel exhaust right into his face. He just chuckled as he walked down the plaza. A familiar, spicy smell ran across his nose. He looked around and saw a guy behind a kiosk. It looked like he was ready to pack it up for the night.
That’s right, Sonic was still hungry as hell. The thing now was that he had some cash on hand.
She swirled her drink around one more time. Then she swigged the last of it in one big gulp. No, it wasn’t very lady-like, but she getting impatient waiting for him. Throwing the empty cup into a nearby trashcan, she left her table and grabbed another at the counter. A low-fat caramel macchiato latte with a rose pattern at the top. She loved how the baristas here did their magic with the milk. She was always in awe of how they were able to get the picture of a rose on the top of her drink. She sat back down and took a big sip of hot, steamy heaven, and it helped her take the edge off.
“Ahhhhhhh,” she sighed. “Bliss.” She had to be careful. This was the last place to have a coffee-gasm.
The bells on the door sounded like Sunday morning church as a male, blue hedgehog came through the door. He had one chili dog topped with shredded cheddar in his left hand and a duffel bag in the other. It looked like he had just had one since there was a little chili sauce on his lip. As he scarfed the other chili dog down, he looked around the place. There was a lot of weird movie memorabilia. A lot of the pictures around the joint had Emilio Estevez and Rob Lowe in their youth. Maybe this place was sort of tribute to a movie they were in?
“Sonic!” The blue hedgehog turned to his left and saw Amy at a table. He made his way around the tables, apologizing for his big bag.
“This seat taken?” he asked.
“It is now,” she said as she gestured for him to sit down. “Sounds you’ve had a busy night.”
“Among other things, yes.”
This was the first time that she saw him for what he really looked like. No dimly lit lights, no camera footage, and no need for gamma boosting. He could actually see his vibrant royal blue fur and jarring emerald green eyes. “Dang,” she thought, “He’s handsome.” But flirting could wait.
“What’s with the bag?” she asked.
“This? Oh, just raided Eggman for about $500K before I torched the joint.”
She looked at him in shock. “You… what?”
“You heard me.”
Then she scoffed. “So, you stole from the guy you’re trying to bring down and took his money. You’re not exactly a smart criminal, are you?”
“Well, there’s no need to call me ‘Robin Hood.’ That’s for sure. I just needed a little spending money if I’m going to stay to bring him down.”
“And that’s my biggest question with you.”
“Not my speed?”
“No. Well, yes and no. I’d love to know how you’re able to break the sound barrier, but I have to know why you’ve got such a hard-on for Eggman.”
“First off, yuck. Secondly, I’ve got a lot to tell you, but this isn’t exactly the most private of places. Did we really have to meet here?”
“No, but you did call me when I was here, and I needed a drink.”
“That being said, is there somewhere we can talk privately?”
“First, you said you had something for me that I’d might like. What might I like?” Sonic opened the bag and pulled out a book. “What do we have here?”
“A ledger. It’s got a few noteworthy locations like where Eggman stashed his billions. But, with you being the underground investigative reporter, I think you’d like to see who Eggman has done deals with and who he’s got on his payroll.”
Amy’s face lit up more and more as she flipped through the pages. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, of Eggman’s associated were on this. Times, dates, people, accounts yet to be honored.
“You get this from Bean?”
“Had to interrogate the little bugger, but I got it. Your G.U.N. friend took care of—?”
“A team’s already been dispatched. All the goons involved with the deal are being held at the MPD Building. Hopefully the agents won’t get paid off and let them go. Thanks for that, by the way.”
“For stopping the biggest deal in city history. And for giving the Iron King of all people the dropkicking of a lifetime! How did you do it? And what about this ‘big story’ 25 years in the making?”
“Whoa…,” he said holding his stomach. That didn’t feel very good.
“Bathrooms are over there,” she said pointing behind her. “Don’t worry, I won’t move. We’ve got a lot to discuss.”
Sonic rapidly got out of his chair and hightailed it for the restroom. “That’s what you get for eating Eddy’s chili dogs,” she thought.
“He seems trustworthy enough,” T said via the earpiece.
“Yeah. Kinda cute too.”
“A, don’t even think about it. Business first. You know that.” Amy rolled her eyes. T has always been a buzzkill… or an over-protective brother. Both were applicable.
“Rose,” a gravelly voice said. Amy stiffened when she heard that voice. She knew it too well, and she sounded pissed. Turning around… yup, that was the dominatrix, alright.
“Lien-Da,” Amy said dryly.
She drew a pistol and cocked it. Amy was caught off-guard. She never drew her gun out this quickly, even when Lien-Da usually threatened her. It was almost always bullwhip first.
“You were at the docks,” she hissed.
“What are you—?”
She put the gun right to Amy’s head. Everyone else in the café saw the whole thing. Lien-Da noticed their gaze. “Police business!” she barked. Then she turned back to Amy. “Where’s your friend?”
“Fast. Blue. Took down our deal. I know you two are in cahoots with each other.”
She shot up into the ceiling.
Sonic, from the bathroom sink, heard that. He washed his hands quickly and peered out the door. There was Lien-Da with a gun to Amy’s head.
“You and me are going to go outside and wait for him. Got it?”
Amy didn’t have much choice. It was either do this, or give him up. Luckily, the echidna didn’t know he was already here. She just prayed that Sonic knew what was happening. Boy, did he ever.
She got up, took a sip of her coffee, and was led out by Lien-Da, who had a gun trained on her at all times. As Sonic watched this all unfold, he felt his hand ball up into a tight fist.
Now out in the parking lot, Lien-Da directed her to a small alley behind the place. It wasn’t a well-kept alley as the nearby dumpster was on the verge of overflowing. It also had a few lights hanging on the walls. The way they were set up, it looked kind of like they were following you, monitoring your every move.
She pinned the reporter against the wall with her gun still driven into her back. “You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this, Rose,” she said viciously.
“And in an alley, too. It’s a shame it wasn’t on your usual corner.”
She didn’t like that. Not one bit. She threw Amy off the wall and in one quick motion….
Amy went down hard as Lien-Da retrained her gun on the hedgehog. “You son-of-a—!”
That was the pistol’s hammer. One finger twitch and it was all over for Amy.
“Get up!” Lien-Da commanded. Amy did, not breaking eye contact with her captor. There was hate in the Rose’s eyes. Lien-Da had reached an all-new low. “Sayonara, Rose.” The echidna was about to pull the trigger when she felt someone tapping his shoulder. “Buzz off,” she told him. The person tapped again. Frustrated, she turned around, “I’m busy here!”
What a roundhouse! This time, however, Lien-Da wasn’t knocked out by it. Sonic then picked her up and threw her violently against the brick wall. The dominatrix rubbed her head since it bounced off the brick like a rubber ball. She grabbed her gun, but a foot was slammed against it. “Ahhh! Get off you—!” She didn’t have time to finish her sentiment as she was ferociously grabbed by the coat collar and held high. The light showed her attacker’s face well. It was Sonic, and he looked like he was by no means happy. “Y-You!”
Sonic threw her again, this time into the cold steel of the nearby dumpster. Sonic quickly made his way to her, grabbing the echidna again and throwing her into another wall. “Get up!” Sonic yelled. Lien-Da, beaten and bruised, was not about to go quietly. She got up and swung at Sonic, who easily dodged it. “Not quite!” She threw a few more punches, but Sonic’s quick maneuvering meant the Lien-Da get punching air. “Too slow! Maybe next time! Over here! This your first time fighting or what?!” Each miss brought another insult, and she was at her wits end. It didn’t help that his look of bloody murder from a moment before was now replaced by the cockier attitude she saw at the docks.
“Hold still and fight me!” she barked as she cracked her whip.
“Okay, but you asked for it!”
The bullwhip snapped and wrapped around Sonic’s arm. To him, it hurt like hell, but he shot her a devilish smile. Erratically raising her eyebrow, Sonic grabbed the line and pulled the weapon away from Lien-Da before pitching it to the side. Not happy with him, she charged him and threw a fist. Sonic caught her left hook and bent her wrist in an unnatural position. As she yelped in pain, Sonic kneed her in the midsection. Doubling over, Sonic brought his hands together like he was praying and slammed Lien-Da’s skull into the pavement. Writhing in pain, Lien-Da was pinned again as Sonic slammed his right foot into her head.
“I can’t believe you’d hit a woman!”
Sonic then spat, “You’re no woman. No self-respectin’ chick dresses like you.” He scoffed. “And no self-respectin’ cop holds an innocent lady at gunpoint.”
“She’s ain’t innocent of anything! You got no idea how much I hate this bi—!”
“Shut it!” Sonic said as he slammed his foot into her skull again. His tone indicated that he dropped his arrogance. It had served its purpose. “You’re a sick dog who should be put down. Like right now I’ve got my size-13 boot perfectly placed on your upper vertebrae. All I would need to do is apply a little pressure, and you’d need a coroner and a 6-foot hole. It’d be so easy.” Lien-Da would never admit or show it, but she feared for her life. Her life was completely in his hands. “But I’m not going to do that, Lien-Da.”
Another foot to the back of the head! It was super effective! “I’m going to tell you this once, witch!” he then took his foot off her and picked up Lien-Da by the throat. As Lien-Da struggled to breathe, Sonic said, “If your police friends ever bother Amy again, I will make it my mission that you’re all in the E.R. by sunrise! Understand?” Lien-Da, amid her struggling, nodded. “And if you ever bother Amy again, I will break your arms, I’ll shatter your pelvis, I’ll tear both of your ACLs, and I’ll see to it that you eat all of your meals through a straw! Do you hear me?!” Lien-Da nodded. “Good. Now, you get to take a nap.” Sonic dropped the leathered lady hard, and, with one well-placed punch, hit Lien-Da in the side of the head, knocking her unconscious.
He breathed heavily and starred at his work. One of the toughest customers on the MPD and Eggman payrolls was beaten soundly and savagely. She didn’t stand a chance. He took both of her guns and disassembled them. He then cuffed her and, to really rub it in, quickly strung the beaten echidna on a nearby light by her own bullwhip.
After all that, Sonic looked at Amy, who was starring in disbelief and shock. She looked at Lien-Da, and then back to Sonic. Big Blue saw the fear in her eyes and was ashamed. His ears drooped down as he looked away from her.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m sorry that you had to see that.”
She could tell by his voice that he was feeling guilty for the outburst, but she put a hand on his shoulder and said, “No! That was amazing!” Sonic turned back with saddened, puppy dog eyes. “Sonic, you saved me! I-I can’t thank you enough!”
“R-Really?” he said with his face softening.
“Yeah! You put her in her place!”
“Sonic, there’s no need to defend yourself. It’s okay. I’m okay.” Her words felt nice, but he couldn’t shake the guilt. Seeing how it still bothered him, she decided to change the subject. “You were right in saying that this wasn’t a safe place to talk. My place is a lot safer.”
“Yeah, it’s in North Res. We’ll be safe there. C’mon, let’s go.”
“Hold on a sec.” Sonic zipped away and came back with his bag, the ledger, and Amy’s drink.
She blushed a bit and took the coffee. “We’ll take my car.”
“You sure about this? He asked as they walked out of the alley.
“Positive. Besides, my brother will want to meet you.”
Ugh... what a night. Work stunk like horse manure in the middle of July, but I won't bore you with the details. Instead, I'll summarize it in one sentence: NEVER IN MY LIFE HAS MY FAT ASS GOTTEN MORE THOROUGHLY KICKED THAN BY TWO ONE-GALLON JUGS OF LAUNDRY DETERGENT. If you'd like to hear the full story, I'd be more than happy to tell you.
As I'm sure a lot of you're aware, we'll finally get the chance to meet the brains behind Amy's tech, though if you know anything about the Sonic mythos, it should be rather obvious who T is. R's introduction will come soon enough, though that should be more obvious who she is.
As for this chapter, this segment was intiailly going to be more... controversial, specifically the last scene with Lien-Da. Nothing like rape or anything that extreme, but still sensitive. It's why I edited and re-edited the chapter to make Sonic more like Sonic and not Shadow (but I'm getting ahead of myself). It should be noted that Lien-Da was never supposed to be in the story to begin with. Instead, Lien-Da was supposed to come later. Initially, Lien-Da's post as SWAT leader was going to be held be Fang the Sniper/Nack the Weasel. However, since one of my inspirations for this story also had Nack in a similar relationship/role with Eggman, I decided to nix Nack (paddywack, give the dog a bone) and replace him with Lien-Dork.
I'd like to thank MissMJS and FireSonic642 for their reviews of the last chapter on fanfiction.net (Thank you. I really appreciate it). I'd also like to to thank smkd (on deviantArt) for favoriting a lot (if not all) of the chapters to this story so far.
Next time (8/24), you'll be getting another double dose of chapters. The reason for this is 1. the chapters happen directly after one another, and 2. chapter 12 is insanely short. In fact, it's the shortest chapter of the whole story at 2823 words. For perspective, chapter 2 has been the shortest so far at 4276 words. As always, the characters used in this story are the property of SEGA, Sonic Team, and Archie Comics. Everything in the story is being used strictly for entertainment purposes. And as always, I will talk to y'all later.
CHAPTER X – MAN IN MOTION
Bean hurried around his office collecting the necessary goods to try and combat the blue menace. He saw what Sonic did. He knew what he was capable of. He knew he was next. The only thing he could do was fight for his life and try to get away with as much stuff as his grubby, little hands could hold.
The last thing he was taking with him was locked in a long drawer and was as heavy for him, but did it ever pack a punch. He held it up and started loading it with shotgun shells. He pumped it once. Ready for any—.
“What’d I tell you guys—?”
BLAM! TCH-TCH BLAM!
Bean stopped to see that the only thing in front of him were pieces of drywall painted with ammo pellets. Someone grabbed his gun and ripped it away. In no time, flat, he was staring down the barrel of a 20-gauge shotgun. He looked in horror as Sonic held the gun with a cocky, unhealthy smile. Bean couldn’t help but relieve himself at that moment.
Sonic shook his head. “Charming,” he said. “But hey! Maybe some chicks dig the smell of piss!”
“Oh, please! Please, I didn’t do anything!” Bean begged. “I didn’t—!”
“You shot at me with a pump-action 20-gauge… twice. And you’ve been peddling guns like these all across town from what I understand.”
“I-I-I-I,” he stammered. He shut up real quick when Sonic pressed the barrel to his face. “DON’T! I’LL GIVE YOU ANYTHING YOU WANT! I’LL DO ANYTHING YOU WANT! YOU WANT MY MONEY? I’LL GIVE IT TO YOU! YOU WANT A BLO—?!”
Bean quivered and backed away after Sonic shut up at the ceiling and pumped the gun again.
“First off, that’s fricking disgusting. I’m not into that. Secondly,” he said drawing the gun back to Bean, “I just wanna know if there’s anything you got on Eggman that I can use.”
“W-Wh-What do you mean?”
“You see, I’m not exactly sure. All I know is that I’ve got a score to settle, and I could really use your help.”
“Maybe I can help settle that score?” Bean offered anxiously.
“That’s what I’m here for, Tweety. I wanna send the doc a message, and I want to be big.”
“Doc? I don’t know no docs!”
“Save you breath, short-fuse, I know that Dr. Robotnik and Eggman are the same fat guy. Now… what can you give me that’ll help me out?” Bean hesitated. Sonic put his hand on the trigger. “I’m warning you, the next shot won’t be at the ceiling.”
Bean gulped and hung his head. “The bag I was filling up, near the painting.” Bean pointed to the duffel bag against the near wall.
Sonic nodded and headed over to the bag, opening it up. There were a few items like cash, shotgun shells, and a book of some sort. He pulled the book out and held it to Bean’s face. “What’s this?”
“A ledger. It’s got all of our accounts from our business deals.”
“Dude, I’m not lyin’ to you when you’ve got a gun to my face. It’s also got a few locations, like the hangar where the doc hides his cash.” Bean’s eyes shot up and he clenched his mouth shut. Sonic suddenly became very intrigued.
“A hangar? Full of cash?” Bean cursed himself and nodded. “How much is in there?”
“Uh, uh, a little more than $2.5 billion.”
Sonic smirked. “That’s a lot of green. And the Eggman just stashes it there?”
“Y-Yeah. Banks in this town are getting harder and harder to convince to let us launder that cash. Gotta stockpile it.”
“And where might this hangar be located?”
“A-About a mile east of the OilOcean Refinery.”
“Just north of here. Take the first right when you see the OilOcean sign, and it’ll be a mile down on the left side. Look for Building No. 1848.”
“Bean, thanks for helping me out. Now, I just need one more thing from you. You got a cellphone?” Bean nodded and slowly went back to the desk, opened a drawer, then gave it to Sonic. He took the phone and cycled through the contacts list. As he figured, there was Eggman’s contact information.
Sonic turned back to Bean. “Thanks, birdy. Now, you get to take a nap.”
Before Bean could react, Sonic drove the butt of the gun into Bean’s face, knocking him out with only a single hit. Sonic then took the gun with him as he held onto the book and the phone. “Take a right at OilOcean… that gives me an idea.”
This midnight shift was getting old. But she had her orders from the doc: wait for Lien-Da’s confirmation that the deal went along alright. She expected her to call a little earlier, and now she could only sit on her hands and idly play computer solitaire until she finally came a-ringing. But there was also a sense of uneasiness that came from all this. If she hadn’t called by now, that potentially meant that things had gone sour. If that happened, the doc would have her stuffed and placed on his mantle. Getting on her boss’s bad side was never something Thunderbolt wanted to do, though having to work with Lien-Da made that happen a lot more than she would’ve liked.
Her favorite song then screamed out at its refrain. “About time!” she said as she picked up her phone. Sure enough, it was Lien-Da. “Did you forget to call me or something? You had me worried.”
“Thunderbolt, get a hold of the boss. Tell him that I need to talk to him at headquarters…,” she grunted, “headquarters ASAP.”
Her worst fears had just surfaced.
“What happened? And why do you sound like you’re in pain?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“The deal went south.”
“It wasn’t my fault that a one-man wrecking crew took us all out at the docks!”
She scoffed. “One man. Good one. I’m sure that the doc will get a kick out of—.”
“I’m bullshitting you, Thunderdolt! I need him there now!”
She groaned. “Why don’t you call him, you sorry excuse for a whore?!” BEEP BEEP BEEP. “Crap,” she said. The echidna hung up. She rubbed her temples in frustration. “I’m going to hate this call,” she said dialing him up.
All done. The tank was filled and ready to roll. The hose was taken off and securely fastened to the trailer. He had one last stop, and then he could return home. She hated when he worked late. She feared that he would be having some sort of affair. Lord knows she’s had enough heartbreak in her life. But that wasn’t the case; not by a longshot. He was picking up some much-needed overtime that would help them both. Well, them and the kids.
The guy running the pump system turned off the machine. “You’re good to go, Bernardo!”
“See you later, Cy!” Bernardo suddenly looked back at the truck. It almost sounded if… no, someone at the facility probably just shut a door. He shrugged his shoulders. “See you next week!”
He opened the door to his big semi and got in. He quickly strapped himself up, ready to go North Res and deliver the final load of unleaded gasoline for the night. He reached over to the passenger seat to grab a bottle of water.
Bernardo froze in place. His lip began to quiver as the very life he lived flashed before his eyes. Behind him in his sleeper cab was someone with a cocked shotgun.
“P-Please don’t shoot me,” Bernardo gulped. “I-I-I’ll give you a-anything.”
“Sir, I have no intention of shooting you, much less taking anything.”
“Then what do you want?”
“I need to use your gas.”
“Bernie!” A muffled voice from outside yelled. It was Cy. “What’s the hold-up?”
Bernie… why did that name sound familiar to him? Sonic shrugged it off and said, “I don’t wanna get found out. Make somethin’ up.”
Bernardo straightened up and grabbed a water bottle. Then he rolled down the window. “D-Dropped my water bottle between the seats,” Bernardo said. “That place might as well be a black hole, but I’ve got it now.”
Cy loosened up, not suspecting a thing. “Oh. Alright. Just wonderin’ why you weren’t moving.”
“I’m ready to go. See ya next week.” Bernardo rolled up the window and began to pull out.
“You improvise pretty well,” Sonic complemented.
“Shut up. I don’t want to talk.”
“Relax,” Sonic said as he went from the sleeper cab to the shotgun seat (no pun intended). The Latino driver got his first look at the blue speedster. “I need you to take me to a hangar that’s a mile east of here. Building number 1848.”
“Dude, just please let me go. I don’t wanna get shot!”
“‘Bernie,’ right?” The driver was silent. “Is Bernie your name?”
He sighed. “Bernardo,” he corrected. “Bernardo Juarez.”
Sonic held the shotgun upward in his left hand and offered his right hand. “Sonic the Hedgehog. And I’m sorry for doing this for you.” Bernardo looked at him with disgust, but he shook his hand anyway not wanting to get a lead lobotomy. “Just so you know, if we play this right, you’ll have a fat payout when this is all over.”
He scoffed. “‘Fat payout?’ What the hell are you having me do anyway?” Bernardo said as he nervously took a sip of water. The anxiety made him spill some of it.
“I’m going to use the gas in this tank to light up $2.5 billion of Eggman’s money.”
Bernardo spit out the rest of his water, coating the steering wheel and the inside windshield. “You’re havin’ me knock over how much of Eggman’s cash?!”
“According to a ledger I… ‘acquired’ from one of Eggman’s associates, $2,508,000,000 to be exact.”
Bernardo could barely believe it, and he had a huge smile on his face. That confused Sonic. “Why didn’t you say it was for Eggman?!” Bernardo said joyously.
Now it was Sonic’s turn to feel uncomfortable. “You seem a little too happy about this,” Sonic commented.
Bernardo sighed. “You got a bone to pick with Eggman?”
Sonic hesitated. He didn’t expect this conversation to get turned on its head. “Like you wouldn’t believe. You have one too?”
“Ooooooh, yeah. What’re you doing this for? Eggman ain’t the kind of dude who likes when people mess with his mierda.”
“Already did that… twice. But what I’ve got planned, this’ll be child’s play.”
“What are you? Some thug trying to muscle in on his turf?”
“No. I’m no criminal. Eggman’s cooking up something big, and I’m the only one who can stop him. I’m here to bring him down.”
“And you’re just going to steal from him? Seems a bit light if you ask me.”
“Oh, no. That’s why I need this tanker’s gas. I’m going to light this sucker up.”
“I get it. Hit him where it hurts.”
Sonic chuckled “Exactly.” The tanker came to a stop. This was the hangar, and there was no one there. Probably best to keep a cash cache like this as low-key as possible. “Wait here.”
“I won’t go.”
Sonic got out of the tacker and walked to the big door. Surprisingly, there was no security around the world’s most unsuspecting bank. Unsurprisingly, it was locked. It was a simple padlock that kept the big sliding doors shut. He jogged back to Bernardo. He opened his door and asked, “You got a set of bolt-cutters?
“I’ve got a spare toolbox in the cab. Gimme a minute,” he said as he unclicked his seatbelt and went into the back of the truck. In a few seconds, he came out with the ‘box. They walked back to the doors when he asked, “So how much am I getting paid for this?”
“I want Eggman to take as big a hit as he can. How does $7 million sound?” Sonic could see green dollar signs in the driver’s brown eyes.
“Sounds like a deal to me.”
“Good. Just so you know, you’ll have to leave town ASAP when you get the cash.”
He groaned. “Yeah… I suppose I would.”
Sonic picked up on his partner’s sudden sadness. “Is there a problem?”
“My family. I can’t just up and leave ‘em without a good reason.” Sonic felt bad and cursed himself. He should’ve considered that he might have a family.
“I’m sorry for doing this to you. I didn’t—.”
“No, it’s okay. My kids have always wanted to go on a big vacation to Disney World.”
“I tell you what, when I bring down Eggman, I’ll make sure you and your family is kept safe. They won’t lay a finger on you. You have my word.”
They stopped when they got to the door. “Your word?”
“My word,” Sonic said as he offered his hand. They shook. “Although you might want to keep a low profile. Spending lots of cash in a short span isn’t a good way to hide.”
Bernardo opened his toolbox and pulled out the bolt-cutters. With a little pressure, he broke the lock. The duo then opened the large doors. On Sonic’s side was a light switch just on the inside of the building.
“Holy…,” Bernardo said as he surveyed all that well-lit money. There were towers of cyan cubes all over the place. They could see that the cash had been bundled up. Sonic took one and opened it. He counted the bills, which were together in stacks of $10,000 being held by pieces of tape. He quickly counted the cube’s contents.
“There’s $1 million per cube,” Sonic stated.
“And how many cubes are here?”
“’Wow’ indeed. Back the truck in here.”
Bernardo nodded and ran back to the truck with the toolbox in hand. He quickly got the truck in reverse and backed in as Sonic directed him.
“You’re good!” Sonic yelled. The truck was shut off and Bernardo got out. “Can this hose spray the gas onto the stacks?”
“Yeah, but shouldn’t we take our money first?”
“Wouldn’t be a good idea.” With that, Sonic went back into the truck and grabbed the duffel bag he had swiped from Bean’s office.
He came into the Mobotropolis Police Department Building in a huff. His face was beet red, he had the face of a killer, and you could have sworn steam was coming out of his ears. He was that pissed off. The cops in the lobby all took one look at him and froze in place. The few of them in that room that were on his payroll knew if he looked like that, there would be hell to pay… and a body to hide later.
He stormed to the front desk where the officer behind it trembled. “She’s waiting for you in her office!”
He didn’t say a word as he stormed through the doors on the left into the precinct’s bullpen. There were cops a-plenty running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Across the room, he saw Bean and Bark along with a small battalion of dirty cops that were all confined to a corner. Among them was the Iron King himself bound by a series of hand- and ankle-cuffs. Surrounding them all were a bunch of agents clad in black riot gear. They weren’t the city’s SWAT team, they had “G.U.N.” on their backs.
“The feds?!” Eggman mentally screamed as he stormed to the elevator. “How did they find out about this?!”
The ride to top floor couldn’t end soon enough as he waited and waited for what seemed like hours. When the doors opened, he resumed his fast walk and blasted into Thunderbolt’s domain. The chinchilla commissioner yelped in surprise and then cowered in fear.
“WHAT HAPPENED?!” he screamed. She couldn’t talk. The words were caught in her throat. “Thunderbolt! I swear to all things holy—!”
“Doctor, don’t look at me!” she defended. “I-I wasn’t the one who—! Yikes!”
He swung at the chinchilla’s giant suit, catching her in the glass dome. She opened her eyes and was deathly afraid that her glass was cracked. She nearly fainted when he brought his finger up to the dome and towered over her.
“I give you guys one simple job, and you still find a way to screw it up!”
“Who ratted us out to the feds?!”
“Dr. Robotnik, I don’t know!” she defended. “I didn’t do it! I wasn’t there! I’m not the—!”
“You bet your cybernetic suit that you’re responsible for this! I don’t care if you weren’t there! This was the biggest deal we’ve ever tried, and now we’re the laughing stock of the city!”
“Now what the hell happened?! And where the hell is Lien-Da?!?!”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” a voice said from behind him. Speak of the devil, there was the dominatrix, only she was gun-less and looking worse for wear. “And I’m right here. Thanks for asking.” Eggman let Thunderbolt off the hook for the moment as he turned his attention to Lien-Da. She was going to be in bigger trouble than the commissioner.
“And just what wouldn’t I believe, rodent?” Eggman asked darkly.
“That… that the deal was…,” Thunderbolt was having a hard spitting it out. “That the deal was broken-up by one person.” Eggman turned back to the commissioner with a confused and angry face. “Don’t look at me! I’m just going by what Lien-Da said!”
Robotnik turned back to Lien-Da, who now resting in one of the office’s seats. “One man?” Lien-Da nodded. “One man?!”
“What aren’t you gettin’, doc?” Lien-Da hissed.
Eggman walked up to Lien-Da and grabbed her by the black leather collar. “One man couldn’t take down a small army by himself!”
“And I’m telling you I saw it with my own eyes!”
The doc threw Lien-Da into Thunderbolt, shattering the glass dome on her robotic suit. The commish panicked a little bit, but stayed silent as Eggman was still looking at her like she was going to be his next murder victim.
“Tell me what really happened, Lien-Da! Or I’ll strangle you with that whip or yours!”
“I’m telling you it was one guy!”
The doc drew a revolver from underneath his jacket. He pointed it at the snippy echidna. “One. Last. Chance.”
“I swear it was one guy! He was blue and really freaking fast!”
The doctor froze and shot her a look of surprise. “What did you say?” he asked in a more conventional tone.
“He… He was really fast. We couldn’t even touch him!”
“A-And he what did he look like? Describe him to me!”
“Blue hedgehog. Looked about mid-20s. Maybe a little shorter than me. Really fast. He took us all out before we could get a gun on him!” It was at that moment that Lien-Da really read the doctor’s body language. She could see he was in shock. When she had said that he was blue and fast, Eggman immediately changed his emotional level. Lien-Da put two and two together and raised her eyebrow. “Hold on a sec. Do you know him?” The doctor was silent. “You do know him!” The doctor retrained the revolver and aimed it at Lien-Da’s head. “That clinches it. You don’t just know him… you know him.”
“Boss?” Thunderbolt squeaked. “Do you really know him?”
Robotnik looked at both of them. He couldn’t figure out what to say. He saw the wreckage. There was no way that anyone could’ve survived that firestorm.
RING! RING! RING!
The doctor pulled out his phone. It was Bean.
“It’s Bean. You two keep quiet.”
“Wait! Doc! He’s down—!”
“Hello?” Too late. “Bean? What happened down there?”
“The Tweety Bird you’re looking for isn’t available,” the voice on the other end said. “If you’d like to leave a message, then hang up and redial.”
“What?! You aren’t Bean!”
“Doctor,” Thunderbolt said. “I tried to tell you that Bean’s incarcerated downstairs.”
The doctor groaned. “Who is this?”
“You surely couldn’t forget a guy like me, could you, doctor?”
The doctor froze again. That cool voice. The way he said it. “B-Blue?”
The man snickered. “Hello, doctor.”
Eggman panted, barely comprehending how it was possible for him to be alive. He then cleared his throat. “Blue, I’m so glad you’re alive!”
“Heh-heh, I suppose you are. But let me ask you something, doc. When does the lying stop?”
“Should I even call you ‘doctor,’ or should I call you ‘Eggman?’”
Robotnik gasped. “Eggman? Who’s Eggman?”
“Cut. The. Crap. I know everything, Ivo. Everything.”
“I don’t know—.”
“Those clones, CREAM, the Sonic Project, and you are the city’s biggest criminal kingpin. You lied to me. You lied to all of us.”
The doctor didn’t respond at first. He then growled. “I should’ve ended you a long time ago.”
“You kind of did. You took it all from me. My parents, CREAM, my life, and Green.”
“Heh. So, he’s dead? Good.”
“I wouldn’t gloat if I were you, Ivo. You took everything from me, and now I’m going to do the same to you. It started with the clones and taking down your precious drug deal. And now, I’m going to bring you down.”
“That so? And how are you going to do that?”
Sonic chuckled. “You trained me to be the best. Believe me, I’ll find a way. I’m resourceful as hell. You know that better than anyone.”
Eggman sighed. “I’ll give you one chance to stop all of this, Blue.”
“Pass. And the name isn’t ‘Blue’ anymore, doc. Call me Sonic.”
“Where’d you get the idea for that name?” the doctor asked in annoyed tone.
“Take a guess. Oh, and doctor? Are you able to see building 1848 in the Industrial District from where you are?”
Eggman looked around and saw the south side of the city via the office’s window. He walked up to it. “Yeah, why?” Then a feeling of fear jolted down his body. “Wait… why are you there?”
“Why am I at the building that has about $2.5 billion of your dirty cash? Well, I hijacked a gas tanker from the OilOcean Refinery down the street.”
The doctor shot up in realization. “What are you doing?!”
Eggman reeled from the loud blast at the other end of the call. “What was that?!”
“That was me shooting a trail of gasoline that leads back to your hangar. Those bills are all doused in gas, Ivo. You might wanna call the fire department.”
Sonic hung up. He watched the trail of gas speed toward the building. He was a quarter-mile from the hangar and had Bernardo run what was left of the gas out onto the street, thus creating the trail. The tanker had been shut off for a moment as Bernardo pulled ahead a little bit so that his truck wouldn’t go up like fireworks. He then got into the semi as Bernardo pulled away.
Eggman looked in horror as a small trial of light got closer and closer to its target. Lien-Da and Thunderbolt saw it too.
“Eggman?” Thunderbolt asked. “What happened?”
The building went up in a glorious fireball. The doctor’s billions were gone in a flash of orange light.
“Bolt, get the fire department to Hangar 1848 now!” he barked as he stormed for the door.
“Wait,” Lien-Da began, “isn’t that where you stashed all of your cash?”
“Yes, idiot! Thunderbolt, are you—?!”
“Yes, boss!” she said frantically as she dialed away.
“Did that fast guy do that?” Lien-Da growled.
Eggman stopped and turned around. “Yes, bonehead, he did,” Eggman hissed. “Put out a BOLO [Be On the Look-Out] for a male hedgehog. Blue fur. 25 years old. Tan stomach and muzzle. Green eyes. Runs very fast. He’s 4-feet-6-inches tall. Goes by the name ‘Sonic.’ Considered highly dangerous. If he’s using Bean’s phone, track it. You got all that?”
“Yeah, but how the hell do you know him so well?”
Robotnik scowled and turned back to the angry echidna. “I’m going to tell you this once and only once: if you ask me that again, I’ll have you crucified in Central Park. Got it?”
Lien-Da fell hard and wiped the blood from her cheek. “Let it go, Lien-Da. Or else.”
Eggman stormed out of the office on that. Lien-Da slammed her hand into the floor. Thunderbolt hung up her phone. “How the hell are we supposed to nail this prick if the doc’s holding out on us?!”
“I’m sure he has his reasons,” Thunderbolt said calmly.
“And how the hell can you say that when all of this crap happened?!”
“I don’t want to anger him any more than he already is.” The commissioner got up and opened a nearby closet that had replacement parts for her robotic body. She grabbed a new glass dome. “Now do what he says.”
CONTINUED IN CHAPTER 10 PART 2
CHAPTER IX – CREATURES OF THE NIGHT
He was up on a housetop when he paused. Okay, it was really a dilapidated apartment complex to the northeast of the plant. The sun was setting, and now he was only waiting for Amy to show up. He figured this place was as good as any to wait it out. That didn’t mean he couldn’t survey the area as the workers began to leave their jobs for the day. Soon, the city’s scum would be invading the premises if they hadn’t already done so.
The port was well guarded. The high fence circling the complex was topped with barbed wire. However, Sonic could easily jump over the fence from his higher position. There were a few cranes around the coast as well as one in the center of the outside campus. The building itself was large as it had two stories and separate wings, most likely for different sections of waste disposal and treatment. Finally, there were metal crates all over the place; some were stacked, some were not.
The city’s night lights turned on, and the same went for the treatment plant. The area outside was not as well-lit as it should’ve been given the multitude of shadows. There were plenty of blind spots around the lot sans the area closest to the building where the lighting was very bright.
He panned from right to left as he continued to survey the area. That was when he saw a glimpse of pink. He squinted his eyes to see who it was. Sure enough, Amy showed up with the only pink showing being her head as her outfit was darkly colored. Sonic followed her as she walked closer and closer to the complex, but then he noticed how the entrance was well-guarded with armed guards. “How’s she going to get past?” he thought.
He saw her roll up one of her sleeves, revealing a gold bracelet. He raised his eyebrow curiously as he watched her left up her arm. It was almost as if she was aiming her had at something. “What is she—?”
She jerked her wrist, and a thin line was shot from her bracelet and latched itself to the wall of the complex. He watched in disbelief as she grappled up to the roof of the building with no trouble at all. When she got up, she ran and leaped off like a trapeze artist and shot out another line that grabbed the underbelly of the lot’s center crane. She zipped up and silently set herself up on the catwalk.
His stunned face told the story. He couldn’t believe what he just saw. She shot out a few lines from her bracelets and grappled up like freaking Spider-Man. Who was this chick?!
As he said that, a few armed punks exited the building, two of which were the green bird and polar bear that Sonic had seen from Amy’s email inbox. With them was a red echidna dressed in tight black leather with a black whip to match. Besides them, the area was now crawling with some of Eggman’s goons. It wasn’t going to be easy to waltz in on so many armed guards, but Sonic had trained for years to deal with situations like this. Ready for action, he jumped off the building and into the complex.
The metal that the catwalk was made of wasn’t especially comfortable. The cold steel threw her for a loop given how humid and warm it still was. But she didn’t have time to worry about that. She had a deal to cover, and maybe even a blue speedster to see.
Amy crawled to the edge of the walkway. She could see everything from her vantage point. Looking behind her, she could see a ship in the distance starting to make its way into the city via the Allegheny Passage. It was a one big freighter. It was able to sneak under the bridges with relative ease.
“Zoom in,” Amy whispered. Her contact lenses were able to focus in on it and found out the flag and ship hailed from the Dragon Kingdom. “Bingo.”
“Eggman still has a lot of contacts in the DK,” T said via her earpiece.
“At least it narrows it down, T. Oh, and the usual suspects are here. That panda from the other night, Lien-Da, Bean, Bark—.”
“I don’t need the play-by-play. I can see it from here, A.”
Amy rolled her eyes and kept tabs on the freighter as it continued its run via the South Allegheny Passage. It was just passing under the Interstate 395 bridge. She turned her attention back down to the small crowd of reprobates. “Let’s listen in,” Amy said. It took a moment, but T worked his magic and got the earpiece tuned in to what was going on down below.
“He just got into the city,” the panda said. “My master is inquiring if Eggman will show up.”
“And I’ve told you a million times, no, he isn’t,” Lien-Da replied as she was getting impatient with her black-and-white associate. “And the commish won’t be here either. She’s got orders to stay put.”
“Darn,” Amy said under her breath.
“He’ll be here in about 10-15 minutes,” the panda said.
“Does this mean his boss is on the ship?” T queried.
“Sounds like it,” A replied.
“Also sounds like he’s going to get caught on Candid Camera.”
“My thoughts—.” She stopped herself and froze. She could hear something. Something… metallic. It was quiet soon after that for a few seconds.
“No, I think we’re—.” Another metallic sound could be heard. She could feel something as the catwalk vibrated.
Her eyes shot up.
She was compromised.
And the worst part was that T heard the whole thing as she did.
“AMY! GET OUT OF THERE!”
She turned around and gasped as someone put a hand over her mouth so she couldn’t scream. Her body trembled as the shock of getting caught silenced her and made her heart race. The man then pinned her head to the steel as he got on top of her and, with his free hand, grabbed her arm and pinned that to the catwalk as well. With her heavy breathing and her life flashing before her eyes, she thought that this was the end. The lack of lighting made it impossible for her to see her attacker.
“Shhhhhh,” the man whispered. “Amy Rose, I’m not going to hurt you, okay? And the more I think about it, this really wasn’t the way I wanted us to meet.”
Her heart was still beating a million times a minute, but she was a bit relieved that he said that in such a calm—if not embarrassed—way. However, that only meant that he could’ve just been trying to calm her down so it would be easier to kill her.
“I’m going to let go of your mouth. You can’t make a sound, or we’ll both be caught. ‘Kay?” She hesitated for a moment.
“Amy, you have to trust him, even if you don’t want to,” T said into her ear. “Do as he says.”
She heeded her brother’s advice and nodded to the dark figure. In turn, he released his hand and got off her, taking a knee beside Amy. She breathed heavily as she tried to internally calm herself down.
“I’m sorry for doing that,” he said, “but it was the only way I could think of to get your attention and not have you scream.”
She shook her head. “And you should know that you should never do that to a woman,” she whispered intensely.
“Sorry, it’s my first time with one.”
“First ti—? Okay, who the hell are you?! T, engage the gamma boost.”
“Huh?” the dark figure asked, obviously confused.
T raised the gamma boost on her lenses, which made her lenses take in more light. With that, she saw her attacker. A hedgehog, blue, green ey—. Holy crap, it was the speedy guy! Her eyes shot up when she made the realization.
“What did you say? And are talking to yourself?”
“I-I didn’t know it was you that surprised me. You’re that really fast guy from the beach last night.”
“Uh, yeah. That was me.”
“I figured you might be here.”
He shot her a confused look. “What do you mean?”
“When you break into someone’s office and go through their stuff, at least have the decency of putting everything back the way it was.”
He cursed himself. “You… You knew I was there?”
“I don’t leave my file cabinets open. Now, I find you on the beach, then you break into my office. Who are you?”
“First off, you left it wide open for someone like me to waltz in.”
“Not everybody climbs the side of a building in broad daylight to walk into a locked office.”
He groaned. “Touché. And secondly, I’m Sonic.”
Now she was one to cock an eyebrow. “You’re joking.”
“I’m not,” he affirmed.
“Well, Sonic, I’m Amy Rose. I don’t exactly know if it’s a pleasure meeting you or not,” she said she offered a hand. He felt that it was an honest response given his actions and shook her hand.
“A pleasure. Now, what’s going on here? And what were you talking about ‘gamma boosting?’”
She scoffed. “Don’t worry about the gamma boost. And as for why I’m here, you tell me. You went through my emails. And get down. Someone might see you.”
He rolled his eyes but did as she said, going belly-down on the catwalk. “I am here because you’re here covering a big-time drug bust, Rascal.”
“I keep telling people I’m not the Rascal. So, don’t call me that!”
“How else would you be able to get to a vantage point, not be seen, and tape this for the AMG? And what about your bracelets? How are you able to grapple up to buildings?” She grabbed one of her bracelets to try and hide it. Caught red-handed. “Someone made those for you. My guess is that it’s how you can get to places where others can’t so you can eavesdrop on their meetings.” He noticed something in her ear. “Ohhhhh, you were telling the person on the other end to boost the gamma. What does that mean, by the way?”
Amy shook her head. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I can see the earpiece, Miss Rose. I’m not stupid.”
She sighed. “Alright, yeah, I’ve got someone in my ear, but will you shut up?! I’m trying to cover a deal here! And why are you here?”
“I am here because I need to talk to you.”
“Is that so? My business hours are—.”
“Looks like you’re working right now, so I’d say your business hours are now.”
She scoffed. “Smartass.”
“I’m being serious when I need to talk to you. You and I have something in common.”
“Really?” She wasn’t buying it. “And what might that be?”
“A distaste for Eggman.”
“Everyone in this town does,” she spat back.
“But you’re the biggest media icon with the biggest axe to grind against him.” She rolled her eyes. “Okay, what if I told you I had some information on the guy?”
“Then make an appointment.”
“What if I told you that I had the biggest story of your life?” he countered. She froze for a minute and looked at him, not believing him. “You heard me right, Miss Rose.”
“And what might that be?”
“How about his true identity?”
Her face softened a bit. “That would make for some interesting information, Sonic.”
“I can sweeten the deal. What if I also told you that this story is tied to something from 25 years ago and has global implications? I could even tell you what happened on that oil rig since I know you were looking into it from your videos.”
“What kind of information?”
“I can’t say it all now; there’s too much information and too little time. But I can guarantee that it’ll make your career and be the story of the century.”
He could see that she was intrigued. “And how do I know that you’re not lying?”
“Considering you and I have just formally met, you probably shouldn’t. But I swear on my brother’s grave it isn’t a lie.”
“Hmm… how do I really know you aren’t pulling my leg?”
He looked her dead in the eyes. “Eggman has made my life a living hell. The two people that meant the most to me are dead because of him. Hell, he even took my parents from me. Now, I was told that you could help me because of your insistence on breaking the hard, gritty news in this town, that you could help me break the biggest story this city will ever hear. Eggman ruined my life. I want to bring him down… hard. I want to make him pay. I owe that much to my brother. I need your help, Amy. Please.”
She studied him for a few seconds. His voice sounded very sincere and motivated.
“A,” T said. “I think he’s telling the truth. Look at the fire in his eyes.” There was a fire in his eyes. He never broke eye contact. He sounded like he had poise and commitment.
She sighed. “Alright, I’ll hear out, but it’ll have to come later, alright?”
He smiled. “Deal.” He offered his hand, and she shook it. He turned back down to the small crowd of people. “So, what’s the deal with this drug deal?”
“It’s not entirely a drug deal. There’re some weapons involved as well.”
“What do you mean?”
“She that ship coming into the port?” she asked as she pointed. He looked to the right and saw it beginning to make port.
“That’s a freighter filled with drugs and weapons from the Dragon Kingdom. Eggman’s got a few big partners there, and supposedly one is on the boat right now. This plant is the city’s biggest illegal goods depot as well as its biggest means of distribution. Weapons and drugs make their way to the plant, trucks throughout the day deliver the rotten goods, people have their trash taken away by the plant’s workers, and people make their payments to those workers so that they can get their weapons, drugs, and sometimes even underage female prostitutes.”
“You’re kidding,” Sonic said with disgust. “Those prostitutes were probably taken from their families I imagine?”
“That’s a pretty safe assumption. Disgusting, I know, but it has happened.”
He shuddered at the very thought. “Anything else I need to know?”
“See the female echidna down there?”
He looked down at the crowd. Near the building, there she was. “You know her?”
“Too well,” she hissed. “That’s Lien-Da the Echidna. She’s the Mobotropolis PD’s SWAT Commander. She’s involved with a lot of deals in town. Eggman’s number-one hired killer. The panda next to him is somehow involved with the big boss on the freighter. Don’t have a name for him, but I do on the green bird and the white bear.”
“And they are…?”
“The bird calls himself ‘Bean the Dynamite.’ The bear is ‘Bark the Polar Bear.’ They’re in with Eggman mostly, but they also do business with the other crime lords in the city. They run the plant and oversee the distribution processes.”
“They sound like upstanding citizens,” Sonic jested.
“Very. Well connected. Tough to bring down.”
“Even with your surveillance?”
“Even with my surveillance. Now shut it. The boat’s docking.”
The large barge was able to get in nice and tight to the dock and drop anchor. Chains were then sent over the edge and tied to the dock via anchor points. Next, a ramp came of out of the side of the ship and landed with a loud THUD when it hit the concrete. Several armed guards in eastern-looking outfits exited the ship slowly with the illegal goodies.
“Whoever this guy is, he’s well-stocked,” Amy said.
“In terms of goods and manpower,” Sonic remarked.
Amy could then hear a few thuds coming from the boat. It was steady, almost like someone was stomping. The source of the loud stepping came out onto the ramp and descended with authority and dignity. He was one muscular, big, brown ox. From head to hoof, he was covered with blue armor made of out some very thick metal. He looked like a modern-day gladiator with the armor and how leather belts tied them to his body.
“Wait…,” Amy began. “I know that guy… T, is that Jun Kun?”
“’T?’” Sonic asked. “Is that who’s on the other end of your earpiece?”
“Y-Yeah…,” T said, barely believing what he was seeing. “That’s him.”
“Amy, timeout,” Sonic interjected. “Who’s Jun Kun?”
Amy turned her head and said with bewildered eyes, “You don’t know that that is?!”
“That’s why I’m asking you,” he defended.
She groaned and rubbed her temples. “Jun Kun is the biggest mobster in the Dragon Kingdom, not to mention Eggman’s #1 partner in the East. He’s known by the alias of ‘Iron King’ because of his iron armor. That metal is as thick as he is, but his body is his biggest weapon. He used to be a massive bodybuilder and steroid user who worked as a supplement distributor, but then he made the jump to drugs and arms. His body is the pinnacle of Mobian perfection. Even a well-placed punch to his kidneys wouldn’t do anything since his unreal muscles are just as strong, if not stronger than his armor. If he’s here, then this is bigger than I could’ve ever expected.”
There was a certain way he intimidated people when he walked. It could have been the shear mass of his body. It could have been how he towered over everyone. It could have been that he could pick you up and crush your bones with one squeeze. It could have been how the earth seemed to rumble and tremble with each step he took. This man was the most feared being in the East, and he made sure that you knew it.
Lien-Da just stared him down with crossed arms as the behemoth walked toward her, Bean, and Bark. Bean looked very terrified. Bark was in awe at how gigantic he was. Lien-Da only saw him as a trade partner and she the ambassador.
“Wasn’t told you were going to show up,” Lien-Da said as she glared at the nearby panda.
“Sensei,” the panda said as he bowed to his master.
“Save it, Express,” said the ox (Iron King: Keith David) in a booming voice. He then turned to the red one. “You’re Lien-Da?” The echidna nodded. “You know why I am here.”
“Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you came here? Big risk with you coming without a passport.”
“I wanted to personally see my largest shipment get delivered. You know the implications of this deal?”
“Then where is the money I was promised by Eggman?”
Lien-Da snapped her fingers. Another goon ran to her with a briefcase. He handed the luggage to Lien-Da who opened it up for Jun Kun to see. “This alone is a million bucks.”
“I was told my compensation would be higher!” the king screamed, snorting in anger.
“Calm down, the rest of the cash is on that pallet over there.” Lien-Da pointed directly ahead of him to a wooden pallet with a few crates full of cash. There was a guy on the forklift with it prongs underneath the pallet. She then pointed her gun at the Iron King. Jun Kun glared at Lien-Da.
“What is this?!” Kun yelled.
“Just want to make sure you have the goods first. Don’t want you to just walk out of here with the cash in hand.” The panda pulled out a gun and pointed it at Lien-Da’s skull. The echidna chuckled. “Seriously? You’re going to be like that?”
“It would be wise to not anger my sensei. The last one that angered him—.”
“Express, put your damn gun away,” the king demanded. The panda hesitated and looked at his boss, but he did as he was told. Then he turned back to Lien-Da. “Here it is.” The king turned back to the boat and nodded. Two of his goons still on the ship fled for a minute and came back with a large crate and ran it down the ramp. One had a crowbar and opened it up in front of Lien-Da and her group. They all smiled. “And there’s more where that came from.”
Lien-Da chuckled as she holstered her pistol. “I think we’re going to get along just fine.”
Amy chuckled. “And I’ve got you on camera, Lien-Da,” she whispered.
Sonic asked, “So where do you have your hidden camera?”
“That’s a trade secret.” She sighed. “But now this city’s going to be in a load of trouble with all of this making its way to the streets.”
Sonic shook his head. “They aren’t leaving the port.”
Amy paused and looked at him with confused eyes. “Excuse me?”
“They aren’t leaving the port,” he echoed.
“And what makes you think that?”
“Because I’ll personally stop him and the bust.”
She couldn’t believe what she was hearing and scoffed at him. “You take one step down there, and your head’ll get blown off!”
“They won’t get the chance.” His arrogance was starting to grate on her.
“I know you’re fast, but you’re also stupid if not cocky.”
“The first thing you need to know about me Miss Rose is that I’ve been trained to deal with instances like this.”
“And I’m Betty White,” she mocked.
“Your email said you have a friend that tipped you off about this, right?” She nodded. “Then give him a call. Make sure that this crap doesn’t get into the city.” She rolled her eyes. “Miss Rose, the longer we argue about this, the less time we’ll have to stop this.”
“If you call your contact and tell him to get his butt over here, then we can stop this… and you’ll have one a front-row seat for the most amazing thing you’ll ever see in your life.”
She shook her head and looked at him. “You honestly think you can take them all on? Did you not see the big dude with the army and the armor?”
“Trust me, Miss Rose. I can handle these guys. Is there any way that I can contact you when I’m done?”
She rolled her eyes. “If you somehow find a way to stop him, I’ll get my friend over here. She’ll take care of everything.”
“Deal. Now, how can I get a hold of you?”
“Can you remember a phone number?” He nodded. “(555) 867-5309.”
“(555) 867-5309,” he repeated. “I can remember that.” Sonic got up and leaned over the railing. “Prepare to be amazed,” he said as he fell off the side. Amy nearly yelped as she looked over the edge to see that he landed safely and moved quickly through the shadows. She sighed in relief.
“Nice landing, but he’s still a goner.”
Sonic smiled as he could still hear Amy’s words. “Let’s start with the ship.”
The king’s crew were steadily removing the ship’s contents and putting them into an open freight container. It would be easier for storage, and no one would know that they were in there.
“So besides tonight, what was your biggest deal?” Bean asked.
“Two years ago,” Jun Kun answered. “Apotos. Those separatists were bleeding for bazookas and support. They were very willing to fork over the king’s ransom for my help. Or should I say ‘my ransom?’”
The winds suddenly broke out into a fervor as everyone heard and felt them.
“What was that?” Bark asked.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” The group turned toward the ship. “AHHHHHHHHHH! WHAT’S THAT?! HELP! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
The entire group outside drew their guns slowly as they eyed the ship. All the commotion came from inside.
“Express? What’s going on?”
“I’m not sure.” The panda then grabbed his walkie. “What’s going on in there, guys?” Nothing. Silence. “Guys?” Still silence. “Anyone?”
“I’m here,” a voice responded.
“What’s going on in there? We heard screaming and yelling.”
“That’s a bit redundant, wouldn’t you say?” This guy’s voice was calm and in a mocking tone.
“What is going on in there?!” Express screamed.
“Hold on to your bamboo, Po or Ting Tang. Whatever your name is.”
The panda was furious. “WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA—?!”
“Here’s an idea for all y’all: watch the ramp.” They all looked there. Lien-Da then motioned for her crew to aim at the opening.
The high winds returned as the group was disoriented by them.
“Watch this!” A voice yelled.
A gust blew right past them and a scream could be heard. Another gust screamed by as the number of gun-toting creeps fell by a few men.
“What the hell?” Lien-Da asked.
“W-Weren’t their more guys here?” Bark asked.
WHOOSH! ZIP! PEW!
More and more crew members seemed to vanish out of thin air. Little screams were made by those who vanished as they disappeared. It was almost as if they were getting taken away by something.
“Lien-Da…,” Bean said as he stiffened up.
“Can you catch the wind?!” A voice yelled out. The area was soon becoming a windy nightmare as everyone was having a hard time standing up against the tempest. Lien-Da herself had to go down to one knee and look with one eye open as a blurry blue tornado seemed to appear around them. More and more goons seemed to disappear before his eyes into the blue typhoon. Nothing was left of them.
Then the winds stopped. Everyone that was still around got back up and felt a nasty wave of dizziness except for the Iron King himself, who was not looking happy. Kun grabbed Lien-Da and brought her to his face. “What’s the meaning of this?!”
“How the heck should I know?!”
The few goons that weren’t taken away by the winds all looked scared as they held onto their semiautomatic guns loosely. None of them could stand straight as they were all quivering in terror. In the beginning, the area was filled to the brim with armed guards. Now? Maybe a dozen of them remained.
One guard was thrown into a metal crate and knocked unconscious. Those left looked at his unmoving body.
Another one vanished.
WHOOSH! ZOOM! PEW! ZIP!
It continued until there was only the group of Lien-Da, Bean, Bark, the Iron King, and the panda. Oh, and one measly guard that stood in the middle of the area under a light. He looked at the group in shear horror.
“Don’t just stand there!” Lien-Da screamed. “Do something! Shoot your gun! Anything!”
As his body trembled, he nodded shakily. He turned around slowly, trying to find what had done this. He heard a breeze in the darkness. “DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!” he yelled as he unloaded a magazine into the darkness. It didn’t take him long to burn through the entire clip.
“My turn!” that same voice yelled.
The lone henchman was hurled across the area after bouncing on the pavement like a skipped rock. Behind him was the darkness. He was down on his belly and hurting all over. He tried to get up, but suddenly someone grabbed his leg. “Wait, get off me!” The figure then pulled him into the dark abyss. “Stop! Please! Get o—. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” He tried to grab the concrete as he was dragged away and silenced. His scream echoed, haunting the group of five that remained.
“L-Lien-Da!” Bean squeaked out. “W-We n-need to go!”
“Aww,” the voice said. “But I saved the best for last!” A sharp gust roared around the group and a blue hedgehog with a cocky grin seemingly appeared out of thin air.
“Who the hell are you?!” Lien-Da yelled as she pulled out her twin pistols. This prompted the panda, Bean, and Bark to do the same.
“You guys don’t mind if I borrow those, do you?” Sonic disappeared in an instant and quickly robbed them of their guns before they could realize it. Then the group became aware that they were rapidly disarmed. Sonic was near the coast, pistols in hand. “Guns can be dangerous if used improperly,” he said as he dumped them into Tampa Bay. The look on the group’s face was priceless. The panda, Bark, and Bean were all beside themselves while Lien-Da the Iron King were looking mighty pissed. “What’s wrong, boys? Cat got your tongue?”
“H-How are you… you a-able—?” Bean stammered.
“You and I have a mutual friend who could tell you that,” Sonic said as he began to walk toward the group. “And may I say he’s going to pay dearly for that. Now I’m going to give you boys, and the lady, one chance to surrender.”
The Iron King bellowed a might belly laugh. The rest of the criminals looked at him like he had just lost his goddamn mind. “You may be fast, but you’re in no position to order me around!”
“This coming from a guy who ain’t even a real king!”
Kun’s laughter subsided, but he still had a confident grin on his face. “Express, show him what’s it’s like to go up against the Iron King.”
The panda froze and looked at his boss with wide eyes. “Excuse me?”
The Iron King picked him up and said lowly, “Did I stutter?” The terrified bear shook his head. “Then do it. You have a knife, so use it.”
The panda anxiously and nervously nodded as he was set down. He turned to the hedgehog who was still walking casually. As he was told, the panda reached into his shorts and fished out a small blade that had been strapped to his leg the entire time.
“Ooooh!” Sonic said overdramatically. “What else you got in there~?”
That ticked off the panda as he gripped it fiercely and charged at Sonic. Big Blue stopped and waited for him to come. “You’ll die at the hand of—!”
Sonic then bolted up to him and grabbed him by the throat and picked him up effortlessly. Sonic had one mean grip as the panda tried to break free. “I will do no such thing!” Sonic said playfully as he grabbed the knife out Express’s hand and threw it to the side. Suddenly, Sonic spun around at breakneck speeds at least a hundred times in a five-second span. He let go of the panda who was dizzy as hell from the spin cycle. “Take a seat, chum,” Sonic said as he punched him in the face, knocking him out. He then looked up to the group. “Who’s next?” He noticed they were one person short. “Hey, where’s—?” Bark had gotten in behind Sonic and literally bear-hugged him, picking up the hedgehogs as he squirmed a bit.
“Try ‘n’ get outta this,” Bark said.
“You asked for it.”
In one quick move, Sonic straightened his legs away from his body, bent them, and swung them back hard, nailing Bark in the crotch. The polar bear squeaked in pain as he let go of Sonic. Bark was doubled over in pain and grabbing his lower section. Sonic then added insult to injury by punting him in the face, knocking him out too.
Bean trembled and escaped into the facility. Lien-Da turned and yelled, “Coward!” She groaned and stormed to Sonic. “Okay, wise guy, I’m placing—!”
Sonic wasn’t interested in her hollow words, so he roundhouse kicked Lien-Da in the head, silencing her in a flash. Amy shut her eyes and groaned while chuckling. “Get wrecked, sleazeball,” she said.
And then there were two. Jun Kun slowly clapped as he stared at Sonic. “Impressive,” he said. “A master of speed and basic combat. I must say that if you were to work for me, you would be the best fighter in the world, and if I may say, the perfect right hand in my organization.” Sonic scoffed at his offer. Iron King’s face soured. “When I make an offer like that, people usually take it,” he hissed.
“I’m not interested, you oversized T-bone.”
You could practically see the steam coming out of the ox’s ears. He didn’t like that one. “What was that?!”
“You deaf too?” Iron King cracked his knuckles. “Ooh, ‘cause that makes you so bad.”
The fight was on as Kun charged Sonic, but Big Blue zipped around him in an instant and leaped for the back of his head.
Sonic’s body rag-dolled to the ground as Iron King had countered with a hard backhand. “Okay….” Sonic didn’t have time to react as the ox picked him up and hurled him into a nearby metal crate. Sonic could feel a sharp pain in his side from the contact. This time, he got up quickly to get ready. “That all you got, beef brisket?!”
The king mooed angrily and charged Sonic, but he once again zipped away. Kun slowed himself down and stopped himself before colliding with the crate. Sonic saw his opportunity and put a well-placed flurry of punched into the exposed side of the Iron King. When Sonic was done, he was confused why the ox didn’t go down. He looked up to see a smirking Iron King. Then Sonic remembered what Amy said.
“Even a well-placed punch to his kidneys wouldn’t do anything since his unreal muscles are just as strong, if not stronger than his armor.”
“Aw f—.” Sonic was then kicked by Kun and sent skidding across the pavement, finally stopping hard when he collided with another metal crate. Sonic got up slowly as he found himself bleeding from the mouth. “Tough customer,” he said.
“I’ve spent my entire life building myself to physical perfection!” the Iron King boasted. “Even your punches can’t hurt me!”
“If at first you don’t succeed…,” Sonic said as he charged the brute. He threw himself directly at the ox, but once again, Kun countered with a vicious slap. Sonic had to quickly roll of out the way as he was nearly stomped by the king multiple times.
“Stand still, worm!”
“I’m not fish bait!” Sonic screamed as he got up and zipped out of trouble. Sonic held his midsection. That last slap got him in the abdomen. It finally got through Sonic’s thick skull that he wasn’t a physical match for Kun. He had to find a different way to beat him. If it wasn’t brawn, then he had to out-smart him. The question was how he could do that.
Kun was ready to charge the hedgehog again. Sonic braced for impact when he realized what he was standing in front of: a large shipping container. As he charged, Sonic taunted, “You’d make a lousy rib roast!”
“You’ll die for that!” Kun yelled has got on all fours midstride and continued to violently charge, putting his head down to boot. Then Sonic dove out of the way before the king could realize what Sonic made him do.
The king got up screaming and holding his head. Sonic took this opportunity to recover and hide behind another container. As he caught his breath, he watched the king hold his head in agony. He could also hear a low humming sound. Sonic quickly realized what was humming: Kun’s metal headpiece. The thing was hit so hard that it was vibrating his sku—.
“That’s it!” he said. “But he won’t charge head-first at me again into a metal wall, so how can I do this?” As the king tried to steady himself, he saw the answer. The Iron King was covered head-to-hoof in thick, blue armor. That armor, save for his headpiece, was strapped to his body by leather.
With the plan ready to go, Sonic came out from the shadows. “Hey, tenderloin!” The king looked up to see Sonic turn around, bend over, and spank himself twice. “Come and get it!”
Kun charged again, but so did Sonic. The ox wound up and swung, but Sonic dove at his legs and rolled underneath them as he passed by. Sonic then stopped, revved up a spin dash, and let it loose. He reached and clung onto Jun Kun’s meaty leg, trying to get his shin guard off. The ox stopped and swung his leg, trying to shake him. “Let go!”
He finally threw Sonic off his leg, but Sonic stayed upright. It looked like he had something hiding behind his back. The king saw that and looked down at his left leg. No shin guard.
“Give. That. Back!”
“Make me!” Sonic said with a smirk.
The two then charged again at each other, and just like last time, Sonic slid under the Iron King’s feet. Kun stopped and turned around, but he got a nasty surprise and Sonic swung his shin guard like a softball bat and connected with the headpiece.
“Ahhhhhhhhhh!” Kun screamed as he held his head. Like last time, his helmet vibrated, scrambling his brain like eggs.
“Heads up!” Sonic yelled as he jumped and swung again.
“AHHHHHHHHHH! STOP THAT!” Kun couldn’t see straight because of the repeated trauma.
Sonic kept swinging at every chance he had. He wouldn’t let the king get his bearings. Kun couldn’t take the hard hits or his vibrating helmet. Sonic kept wailing on him as the king yelled and gripped is head in agony, dropping to his knees in the process.
Sonic threw the shin guard down, getting behind the ox for his finisher. He quickly looked Amy’s way and winked before doing so. Ready to go, Sonic revved up and let loose a spin dash, running at the downed ox, and with a well-timed leap, he grabbed Kun’s horns and brought him down.
“Hi ho, silver!”
The speedster’s momentum took the Iron King’s face into the concrete, ending the fight on a hard slam. Sonic got up and looked down at the fallen king. Kun moved a little bit, even trying to get up, but he just couldn’t and flopped down to the ground defeated.
“Not bad for my first 8-second ride.” Then he quickly zipped back to the boat and came back with a rope. Now wanting to break what little pride the Iron King had left, he hogtied Kun and let him lie there like a tied-up bull at the rodeo.
Amy couldn’t believe it. She saw Sonic take some hits, but that didn’t mean a thing as she witnessed Sonic absolutely annihilate the greatest and most feared crime lord in the East one-on-one. But more importantly, she saw him take care of almost everyone in the complex without too much of a problem. He singlehandedly took down a small army. He moved so swiftly. His hits were well-placed. When he did face adversity, he adjusted and made his enemies hurt. She couldn’t say a word because she was in shock that he pulled this whole thing off, just like he said he would. And he looked masterful in doing it.
She saw him look back up to the building, and who did they see? Bean the Dynamite in his office watching the whole thing from the window. He looked destroyed. He was beside himself. All the strings he had to pull to get this deal to happen, and it was all up in flames. Sonic and Amy could tell by the look on his face that Eggman was going to have him de-feathered and basted in his own juices.
Bean ran away from the window when Sonic waved at him. He was next. One last piece of business. Before he went in, Sonic looked back at the amazed Amy and waved. She hesitantly waved back as he saw him head into the building.
“T? T? Did y-you see that?!” she screamed. “Please tell me we got that!”
“Y-Yeah, we got it,” he forced out. “How? Just how?!”
“We’ll find out soon enough. I’m going to stay and—.”
“Not a smart idea, A. You just screamed out a few words when you were supposed to be silent. What if a goon woke up and heard you? You need to get out of there.”
“Sonic will catch up with you later. He’ll call you. Speaking of which, I need to call R so she can have G.U.N. secure the place.”
“You’re right,” Amy replied in a defeated tone. “I’ll head somewhere safe to meet him.”
Amy took one last look at the window and saw Sonic in the office with Bean. With that, she used her wrist grapple to get down safely and run out of the area. Little did she know that an echidna dominatrix heard her up there. And she had just woken up.
CHAPTER VIII – FREE CLIMBING
He skidded to a stop as he left the interstate and jogged normally northbound. He surveyed some of the sites as he traveled, noticing the many fancy buildings around the place. It really was the economical capital of the city as a bigger building relayed a stock ticker with all the trading prices from the previous day. Another seemed like it was made of nothing but glass as it stretched into the daytime sky. Its windows shined with the sun beating down on it.
“Maybe it won’t be so easy to find the AMG,” he thought.
He slowed down to walk this time and more carefully look around.
“How’s anyone supposed to find anything here?” he thought out loud.
“Hmm?” Sonic turned around to see a young brunette-haired woman behind a small coffee shop.
“You look a little lost.”
“Yeah, I am. First time in this city. Can you please tell me where I can find the Acorn Media Group?”
“The AMG Building is about… seven blocks north and three blocks east. It’s tucked in among the other news buildings, but it’s the tallest one of the bunch on the hill. You can’t miss it.”
“Thanks a lot,” he said as he walked away.
“Just be a little careful, the roads do get a bit steep.”
“Steep roads haven’t stopped me yet!” He began to jog again northbound, and sure enough, the elevation quickly rose. He hated steeper grades. They always brought his pace down more than he was used to, even at high speed. That, and it was also easier to slip if his footing wasn’t up to—.
Just like that.
“Son-of-a—!” he said as he got up. “That’s going to hurt in the morning.” He looked at the patch of concrete he fell on and saw that it was darker. The rock was wet, and he followed the trial to a spot where water dripped from above. Someone had overwatered their plants and made the surface just slick enough for Sonic to face-plant like a klutz.
Despite his skinned knee and hurt pride, he jogged on for a few more blocks to the top of the hill where everything started to flatten out a bit. Taking one good look east, he was several buildings with various news logos. The one that caught his attention had a sky-blue circle surrounding a brown nut and an “A” that was colored navy blue. There it was. The AMG Building.
He walked toward the building, minding whatever traffic crossed his path and saw what was supposedly the city’s beacon of hope. The site looked like it was expanded. The bottom three floors had slightly darker concrete than the ones above it. Connected to the west side of the building was a four-story parking garage that also had a metal fire escape system that was connected to the main building and went all the way up to the roof. What was most curious about the overall design was that for every floor, there was a ledge that couldn’t have been wider than one or two feet. Despite the high humidity, there were a few open windows, probably catching the wind that circled around the naturally higher and skyscraper-covered area. The area where the fire escape was located was the only place where the ledges didn’t continue. The ledges were cut off at the fire escape to accommodate the its placement.
The sudden rush of air conditioning enveloped him as he walked through the revolving doors. He expected that a well-known and successful company in the city would have a lobby that would be decked out with the merchandise of said company, but that wasn’t the case. White marble walls stretched with matching columns reaching the ceiling at each corner. Black marble tiles on the floor. Windows with deep red curtains and golden fringes. Large TVs at each end of the room with the company’s programming on it. A desk at the wall that was made of some dark, rich wood and sported the AMG logo and company name in gold lettering.
Behind the desk was a magnificently framed and large hand-painted portrait of a blue-eyed and blue-furred hedgehog and a lavender female hedgehog with green eyes. At the bottom of the frame was the tagline “Always with Us in Loving Memory.”
However, the moment he took a better, more focused look at the lavender lady, he saw her right in front of him, bloodied, but with a hearty smile. He shook himself back to reality. What the hell… what on Chaos’ Mobius was that? The image was burned into his head now, a lasting memory. But he couldn’t focus on that at the moment. He business to attend to.
Besides the large portrait, there were smaller photos that lined the walls of the lobby, were all hand-painted, and had corresponding names on their frames.
A pair of hedgehogs, no doubt married, that had blue and lavender fur. The same ones on the portrait behind the desk. Jules and Bernadette the Hedgehogs. A cute chipmunk with sky blue eyes and a pretty smile. Sally Acorn. A dashing monkey man with brown hair and blue eyes like Sally. Ken “Monkey” Khan. A green and pink dragon with hot pink eyes a few canine teeth showing. Dulcy the Dragon. A young man with green eyes, brown hair, brown facial hair, and was a human. Brett Rodgers. A pink hedgehog with jade green eyes, shoulder-length quills, and three quills on her forehead that looked like bangs. Amy Rose.
“Yeah…,” he whispered to himself. “That’s definitely the woman from the beach.”
“Excuse me, sir?” Sonic turned around to see a female wolf behind the desk. She was undoubtedly the secretary and probably confused that a guy was seemingly loitering in the lobby. “Is there something I can help you with?”
“Yes, yes there is,” Sonic said as he walked to the desk. “I’m looking for Amy Rose.”
“I’m sorry, but Amy Rose is out right now. She is gone to lunch.”
He groaned. “Great,” he huffed. “Just when I needed to see her the most.”
“Why? You her boyfriend?”
That caught him off guard, and he shot her a panicked look that meant, “What did you say?!”
“No! Heavens no!” he defended.
“Oh… well if you’re not taken, wanna go out some time?” He blushed madly as the wolf flirted with her. The icing on the cake was her small smile and not-so-subtle wink.
“I… uh… I’m going to have to decline…,” he forced out amid his nervousness.
She frowned and clicked her tongue. “Shame.”
“Uh, look, it’s nothing against you Miss…?”
“Wolf, but please call me ‘Luna.’”
“It’s nothing against you, Luna, but I’m a little too busy for a date right now.”
She sighed. “I understand, handsome.” Second time he was flirted with in one day. Odd. “Room 0923.”
He zoned out. “What was that?”
“Amy’s room is 0923. It’s on the 9th floor. She shouldn’t be too much longer, I would think.”
“Thanks, Miss Wolf. Er… Luna.”
“No problem, guapo. Elevators are to your right.”
He began to walk towards the elevators, unaware that Luna was watching him the whole way. Handsome, and he was trimmed. “Cute butt,” she thought. That wasn’t the only thought running through her head. She could’ve sworn she had seen a blue hedgehog like that before. She turned around to the painting behind her and switched back to the blue dude walking toward the elevators. “He looks a lot like Jules. Must be a coincid—.”
WAIT, WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?!
She just gave a stranger her friend’s room number! He could’ve been someone sent to sabotage the company! Hell, this guy could’ve been a hitman for all she knew, and she just let him walk on by! She cursed herself for being so careless and caught up in his looks.
“Hey!” she yelled as she ran out from behind her desk. Too late. The blue dude was already gone, no doubt traveling up an elevator. “¡Eres un idiota, Luna!” she yelled.
“What’s the big deal, Luna?” She turned around as one of the guys from security had walked to up her. He was one big bulldog.
“I just made a mistake and let that blue hedgehog have Amy’s room number! I just committed a huge security risk! I got distracted by—!”
The bulldog grabbed her by her shoulders. “Calm down, Luna. I’ll get my men up there ASAP. Even if he doesn’t intend to hurt anyone, we’ll deal with him.”
“Okay! Okay!” she said in a panic.
“Which room is Amy’s?”
With the ding, Sonic left the moving room. The hallway was kept very well with navy blue carpeting and ivory walls. All of the rooms had steel frames around the doors with door-sized windows to match. He began walking to his right, noting the room numbers as he passed them by.
“0905, 0907, 0909, 0911—.”
“Hmm?” Sonic looked up to see an older female chipmunk with blue eyes smiling and nodding at him as they walked past each other. “Oh, good afternoon!” he said as he went back to the room numbers. “0915, 0917….”
The chipmunk stopped dead in her tracks. She turned around back at the blue hedgehog and shook her head in disbelief. “W-Wait… was that…?” She followed the blue man and looked around the corner.
“Ah, 0923.” He stopped and looked in via the adjacent window. Luna was right, she wasn’t here. “Maybe…?” Nope, the door was locked. “Crap.” Now how was he supposed to get in? He looked at the doorway for a second when he saw through the adjacent window to the far window of the office. He could see the whole city from that angle, but more importantly, Amy’s window to the burgh was as open as a barn door. He remembered that each of the different levels of the building going up had small ledges that he could probably walk on. But even if he could do that, how would know which room was hers? It wasn’t the only office with an open window. That’s when he looked at the city in the distance. It looked like you could see the entire city to the south from his current angle. He was about halfway down the hallway, so he could estimate where her office was.
Unbeknownst to Sonic, the lady chipmunk was still there stalking him. Alicia Acorn watched carefully at the man, not noticing that he trying to find a way in. Her gaze was lost on him. She looked at him with simultaneous shock and starry eyes.
“No…,” she whispered. “It can’t be. Is that… Jules?” No, no it wasn’t, but it sure looked like him.
“Mrs. Acorn?” a thick voice asked. Alicia turned around and faced a few security guards, one of which was the bulldog from before. “We’re looking for a blue hedgehog. Luna’s concerned he might do something to Amy.”
Sonic’s ears twitched as he could hear the colossal canine talk from the other side of the corner. “Uh-oh. Time to vamoose!”
“He’s r-right around the-the corner,” Alicia shook out.
“You alright, Alicia?”
“F-Fine.” She hurried along and looked back. “I must be seeing things.”
The dog shook his head and peered around the corner. The blue dude was walking away from them. The pooch walked around the corner. “Sir? What are you doing up here?” Sonic kept walking. “Dude, stop!” he said as the dog gave chase. Sonic continued to walk casually and rounded the corner. “We just wanna talk!” There was a sudden gust of air that came from around the corner. “Okay, stop!” He rounded the corner, but the blue speedster was gone. “Where the hell did he go?”
“Go around the other way! Cut him off!” His compadres did as they were told. The dog walked slowly, peering into every room that he could. “Where are—?” The rush of footsteps could be heard around the far corner. He drew his pistol and aimed at said corner. “Hands up!”
“Boss!” a security cat said as he rounded the corner.
“Holy—! Don’t just rush in front of me when I’ve got my gun out, Gonzalez!” he said putting away his 9mm.
“He’s not here, chief!”
The dog looked around confusedly, trying to find an explanation. Then it hit him. The door to his left read “FIRE EXIT.”
He pulled up his walkie-talkie. “Security, check the stairs.”
Thankfully, there wasn’t anyone in the fire escape to see Sonic’s high-speed descent. Before he knew it, he reached the ground floor and opened the door slightly. The coast was not clear as he saw a few security guards patrolling the elevator area. With them was a spooked Luna.
“No clean way out,” he thought as he darted his eyes every which way trying to find a clean exit. “And they might patrol around Miss Rose’s office since I was there, but I need access to it. C’mon, Sonic, think.”
As he panned to the left, he saw a white door with red letters that read “FIRE EXIT. ALARMS WILL GO OFF IF OPENED.” It was at the end of the hall away from the small group.
“Getting everyone evacuated from the building would give me some alone time.”
“Security,” Sonic heard a walkie-talkie say, “check the stairs.” His eyes shot up.
“That’s not good,” he whispered. Sure enough, the few guards in the lobby were heading there. Seeing no other option, he sighed. “Gotta blast.”
The door opened with a mighty gust of wind as Sonic bolted from the staircase and towards the fire exit. The poor guards were too stunned by the wind to see Sonic duck out at high speeds, not they could’ve seen him in the first place.
ERRR! ERRR! ERRR! ERRR!
A loud alarm began blaring from the AMG Building as a sure-fire panic had set in. The firemen would surely be there soon, so Sonic had to work fast. He circled the building and rapidly ran up the parking garage’s ramps to the top floor.
There it was, the old-school fire escape. The parking garage was four stories tall, so the blue speedster would have to climb up six stories all with the wind whipping around the nearby skyscrapers.
“This should be fun.”
“… So of course, it comes to the point where we have to deal with the defective dildo,” Brett Rodgers continued as Amy, Sally, and Khan were laughing hysterically at his story. After Brett and Amy did the Mobotropolis City FC press conference, Sally and Ken Khan joined them for an outdoor lunch at a diner in the heart of Knothole University. “I knew that Zeb and Colton weren’t going to touch it, and I didn’t need management to say on the walkie, ‘Hey, Brett? Some customer left behind a dildo in the parking lot in the handicap stalls. Can you deal with it?’ So, Colton heads back in, Zeb takes the train of carts, and I—.”
RING! RING! RING!
“Sorry, Brett,” Sally said as she heisted her phone from her purse. “It’s mom.” She hit the talk button. “What’s up, Ma Kettle?” Sally’s eyes widened as her mom spoke. “We’ll be right there.” CLICK! “Waiter, we need the check ASAP!”
“Right away, miss!” a voice called back as Sally quickly packed up.
“Babe,” Khan said, “slow down! Where’s the fire?”
“The AMG Building. Fire alarm got pulled. We need to go.” The group froze. “Come on!”
Stairs weren’t a problem for him as he was quickly up to the outside of the 9th floor. He took one look down and saw that the next step was a doozy. One false move, and he’d be doing his best impression of Wile E. Coyote.
Suddenly, a loud siren began blaring in the distance. That was the fire department. They’d be here soon, and they didn’t need to see a blue hedgehog climbing on the exterior of the AMG with a fire alarm going off. Heck, the people down below didn’t need to see that either. He needed to be sneaky.
Deciding on a plan of action, he hopped off the top of the fence and landed on the ledge safely. To better conceal himself, he got down on all fours and began crawling toward Amy’s office, staying as far as he could from the ledge to keep his presence there a secret. As he turned the corner, only one window was wide open on the south face of the 9th floor. Taking a quick peak down below, everyone was still filing out of the building.
“Now’s my chance.”
He quickly got up and hopped over the windowsill into Miss Rose’s office. It was a lot larger than he thought it would be. To his left were a bunch of filling cabinets bunched together like an island. The walls were otherwise barren save for the filled pin-up yarn and picture-laden board on one of the bluish grey walls. The right side had her desk with a computer—complete with a dual-monitor setup—and large flat-screen TV on the wall.
“New problem,” he said. “Where the hell do I start?” He looked around the office, hoping for an idea. He got one when he saw the island of file cabinets. “I guess we’ll start there.”
He walked over to it and looked at the alphabetized letters on them. They read “A-D, E1, E2, F, G-H, I, J-K, L, M, N-Q, R1, R2, S-V, and W-Z.”
“Hmm… how about ‘E’ for Eggman?”
He opened drawer E1 and found a drawer crammed with manila folders. He cycled through them, but found nothing. “Maybe the other one?” He slammed that one shut and opened E2. “Here we go.”
There were a few files on Eggman, and Sonic made sure to quickly scan over their contents. He found multiple photos of people linked to the crime lord as well as crimes committed, but not much more than that. “Okay… maybe ‘R’ for Robotnik? CREAM did say the people think that Eggman and Robotnik were connected. He reached for R1 and found nothing on Robotnik, but R2 had a few items questioning the doctor’s moral standing. He had a few pieces on what crimes he committed, but there was nothing on the Sonic Project, much less anything useful. That didn’t surprise him.
He shut the file and put it back in the drawer. He sighed, letting out his frustration. “Wonderful,” he muttered.
Suddenly, footsteps could be heard. Sonic’s ears perked up as he remained dead quiet. The people out there were men, and they were making plenty of noise.
“Looks like this room is clear too. Captain, this is Jimenez, the 9th floor is clear. Everyone’s evacuated from this floor. Headed to the 8th.”
The man walked away. With a sigh of relief, Sonic relaxed. “Must’ve been one of the fire crew. Probably doing a sweep of the building.” The fireman looked into the room via the window, but he didn’t see Sonic behind the isle of cabinets. Lucky hedgehog.
He got back up and looked around the room more for another clue. The board at the end of the room caught his eye as it had a lot of yarn and pictures on it but had too many to keep track of. He walked away from the file cabinets and went to the last place he could check: the computer.
The cars pulled up to a small crowd in the streets. The barriers cutting off the street had only just been opened. Amy and Brett Rodgers were in one of the AMG’s news vans while Khan and Sally were in Khan’s little, red Corvette. They looked out their respective windshields to see the small mass of people and the firetrucks with their lights flashing. Brett let Amy out of the news van to see if she could find out what the hell was going on as he tried to make his way toward the parking garage.
She sifted through the people and found Max and Alicia with Luna. “Max! Ali!” Amy called out. They turned around to see who was calling for them. “What’s going on?”
Max looked back toward the doors and saw a few firemen through the glass windows marching on out. “We’ll find out in a minute, Amy.” The ensemble walked out without so much as a patch of soot on their suits. Everything seemed okay at first glance.
One of the firemen was thrown a bullhorn from one of the trucks. “Everyone?” he blared through it, “May I please have your attention? The building is secure. There is no danger inside, nor is there any fire. Someone probably thought it was funny to walk out through one of the fire exit doors and set off the alarm. You can all head back inside safely.” The firemen then walked back up to their trucks and drove away. The AMG workers then headed back inside.
“So, someone opened the fire exit?” Amy asked the Acorns.
“Yeah. The weird thing was that no one saw who did it.”
“So, it just goes off for no reason? Something doesn’t seem right.”
“We’ll look at the cameras and see if we can find anything. Until then, business will go on as usual.”
“If you say so, boss.” Amy caught a glance at Alicia, who looked a bit off-kilter. “Something up, Alicia? I know the sirens were a bit loud, but that’s no reason to get all stressed out.” Alicia didn’t say a word. “Uh, Alicia? Mrs. Acorn?” Amy turned back to Max. “Something up with her?”
“She… she said something about seeing someone who’s been dead for 25 years.”
“Don’t tell me she’s seeing ghosts?”
“I don’t think so, but she’s really spooked. Best not to ‘poke the grizzly’ if you catch my drift.”
“Alright, I’ll butt out.”
“Amy?” Luna asked. “Got a moment?”
“Make it quick.”
“There was someone here earlier looking for you.”
“Our favorite echidna cop?”
“No, I don’t think it was a police officer at all.”
“It was a tall hedgehog. Blue fur, green eyes, handsome as hell.” Blue hedgehog… Then it hit her. Amy’s eyes lit up. The wolf noticed. “Someone you know? Security told me he was skulking around your office.”
Amy wasn’t sure what to say. She just looked at Luna trying to find the words. “Yeah, I know him, or least I think I do.”
“What does that mean?”
“I’ll let you know,” Amy said as she picked her pace to catch the next elevator.
Luckily for Sonic, Amy just set her computer to sleep. He moved its mouse ever so slightly, and it lit up. “Hmm,” he pondered. “Where might I find a lead on this thing?” He reopened her Google Chrome tab to see what sites were just up. Not much there.
Maybe her Microsoft Word app? She had to have made a script for what she said on her Rascal video shorts for the news. He saw a brief history of what she’d been typing out on the app, and he went through them. It was pretty much the same stuff he saw in the filing cabinets. Nothing there either.
He went back to Chrome to see what internet tabs she had up. One was her email. He hesitated before clicking on it. “This might be a little personal… but I think it’s worth it.”
He clicked on it and was given access. He looked on her message list on the left side of the page and scrolled down a bit until he read something named “HAPPENING TOMORROW.” It was received yesterday. He followed the email and read it carefully.
“Tanker spotted with Dragon Kingdom flags entering the Central Sea. Many of the ship’s crew are on G.U.N.’s Watch List. Unknown who is captaining the ship. Witnesses at the port in Hang Kang said this deal could be the largest illegal goods deal in Mobotropolis criminal history. It docks tomorrow night at 9 pm at Mobotropolis Docks. Port A113. Be safe. R.”
“Interesting,” he said. “Wait, ‘9 pm?’” He looked back at the board in the back of the room. There was a sticky note that read ‘9 pm.’ He zipped back to it and looked at its location again: the Industrial District.
He went back to the computer and read through some of her emails. There was another one from this “R” associate of Amy’s that followed up on a few photos she had taken involving a dirty cop, the same one that Sonic had busted up earlier that morning, a panda, a green bird, and a polar bear. From what he gathered, the bird and bear were a few of Eggman’s associates.
Going back to the first email he looked at, he looked at the address and googled it. In the Maps section, he was given the exact location of where Port A113 was located. It was a port that was located at the Mobotropolis Waste Management and Disposal plant which was specifically at the Mobotropolis Docks in the Industrial District on the east coast of the Tampa Bay. So, this was going to be the site of the city’s biggest criminal deal with probably a lot of Eggman goons? And then add in the fact that Amy was going to be there covering it all as the Rascal? Ooh, this was too good to pass up and was exactly what he was looking for. If he could be there when this deal happened, he could really screw with the doctor. He took a brief view out the window at the rest of the city. Across Angel Island he could see the large body of water known as the Tampa Bay. He looked along the eastern side of it and found the place. It about halfway up the eastern side.
His ears perked up as he could hear people walking and talking. One voice sounded feminine and got louder and louder.
Realizing he could be exposed, he exited out of all the tabs and set the computer back to sleep. He began to climb out the window just as someone was putting their key into the lock. Sonic narrowly got out of Amy’s line of vision (via her window) as she walked into her office. He peeked around the corner after a second or two to see her getting situated. “Just in time,” he whispered. With that, he got back down on all fours and quickly scurried along the ledge, getting to the exterior fire escape without much problem or anyone noticing.
“I’ll meet you at 9, Miss Rose.”
Amy booted her computer back up as she put her purse under the desk. She noticed that all of her tabs were closed. “Huh. Thought I left ‘em open.”
“I heard the building had a fire alarm go off,” T said through the speakers. “You okay?”
“I was with Brett, Sal, and Ken when they went off. So yeah, I’m okay. Someone apparently triggered it.”
“Alright, just checking.”
“And apparently our blue speedster came by the office looking for me.”
“How do you know that?”
“Luna. She said that security saw him skulking around my office.”
“A, the fact that you seem nonchalant about this concerns me.”
“What’s the big deal? It doesn’t look like he got in anyway.” A giant gust of wind came in from the open window and began to send papers all over the joint. Amy groaned. “Just what I needed!” she barked as she walked over to the window and shut it.
“That’s what you get for leaving your—.”
“Can it!” she screamed at her brother as she turned on the A/C. It wasn’t the first time that he’d ripped her about this kind of thing. As she turned around to walk back, something caught her eye that seemed out of the ordinary. A filing cabinet that was open? That bothered her on a personal scale. She always closed her drawers. Why was this one—?
She looked back at the window and the computer. T could see her puzzled face through the camera that was at the top of the TV. “Something the matter?”
“I-I’m not sure,” she said as she closed the drawer. “T, were you looking at the live feed of my office when I was gone?”
“I had no reason to since you were out for a while.”
“That doesn’t answer the question,” Amy replied with a hint of annoyance in her voice.
“Yes, it’s in the system on my end. No, I wasn’t paying attention to the screen. I was making lunch for myself considering I wasn’t invited to join you guys,” T shot back.
“Put it on the screen. Start from when I was out to when I came back.”
“You got it.” T worked his magic and it came up on the screen like she asked. It started with when Amy left. About an hour later, they could see someone peering into the office via the large window next to the door. “There,” Amy said as she pointed.
“There’s our blue speedster. Wait, how the hell did he find out where you work, much less where your office is?”
“Not important right now. Fast forward.” The video went by a little faster, and the blue dude was gone. After a few minutes, that same blue dude could be seen entering the office via the window. “That little snoop,” she said with a bit of amazement. “He was here.”
“I’d rip you for not closing your window, but I’m too distracted by how creepy it is that he got in.” The video continued as he looked around the filing cabinets, the back wall, and then the computer.
Amy got back to her dual-monitor setup and opened her Chrome. She went straight for the browser history. There, she could see that there were a few links to her email inbox as well as Google Maps. When she pulled up the Maps app, it was pointed at the disposal plant.
“He was looking at the city’s waste plant.”
“The same place you’ll be tonight?”
“Yeah, the—.” Suddenly, she went back to the history. Pulling up the email, Amy found out he marked out some of the emails she had originally gotten from R regarding the night’s deal. The video on the TV then showed him going back-and-forth from the desk to the board in the back. She put two and two together. “He’s going to be there tonight.”
“Excuse me?” T asked.
“The blue guy. He was looking into the deal at the plant tonight. I think he’s going to be there too.”
“Whoa, whoa, Amy. Timeout. How do you know this?”
“He was looking at my files in drawer E2, which has almost everything about Eggman. He went back and forth to my computer and looked through my email; just goes to show me I should’ve turned the computer off when I was gone. And from what I gathered for browser history, it’s plain to see he’ll be at the docks tonight.”
“Amy, if he really is going to be there, then it’s not safe for you to go.”
“Doesn’t mean I still won’t do it.”
“Amy! How do you know this guy isn’t trying to kill you? He could be a stalker for all we know!”
“First off, if was going to kill me, why did he duck out when I was walking into the room? Secondly, I don’t think you can be a stalker when you’ve met a person for the first time only a few hours ago!”
“A, I’m your brother. Listen to me. This has all the making of bad news.”
“All the more reason to still go tonight.”
“Amy!” T barked as her groaned. “None of this looks good. I have a feeling that something bad is going to happen with him there.”
“Don’t be so paranoid.”
“Don’t be so foolish. Amy, you’re my older sister, and I love you. Please, all of this that’s been happening in the last few hours, something doesn’t smell right. Nothing good can come out of this.”
Amy sighed. “And you know that I’ve already made up my mind.” T groaned. “Listen, I’ve gotten out of some tight jams before. If I need to do it again, I’ll get out of there no sweat. You’ve seen me do it dozens of times. Hell, you’re the reason I can get out of those jams. Please trust me. If he was going to do something to me, he would’ve already done it. He’s had two chances to do so, last night and a few minutes ago.”
T sighed. “I guess you have me there.”
“Trust me, bro.”
“I do, but I’m just—.”
“Worried. I know.”
T groaned. Amy could picture him shaking his head. “Okay, I’ll have your back on this. Please don’t make me say ‘I told you so.’”
“I think I’d be dead first before you say it to my face.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of.”