Hello, friends! This is a new story by me, Brady Patrick! Tails' New Friend is fun semi-lighthearted story about Tails making a new friend (an OC of mine) and their adventure they go on together.
This story is set in the Sonic SATAM continuity. It takes place between seasons 1 and 2 of the show. Though this story is split into 4 chapters, it is meant to be about as long as an episode of SATAM overall. I hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading!
Chapter 1: Pounce
The sun was up, the sky was blue, it was beautiful, and kangaroos too. Tails was out greeting the brand new day. He was on a mission; it was a top secret mission, so even he didn’t know what he was doing. That’s why he was in the air, see him fly, his two tails twirling like meerkats at the club. But then he hit a tree.
“Ow…” the young fox complained, rubbing his head and standing back up to face the tree that had really come out of nowhere. It was as fat as Dr. Robotnik, and had thick, glossy leaves. “Stupid tree,” Tails mumbled. He took to the sky again, but after he hit another tree and insulted that one’s intelligence too, the young fox thought it would be more prudent to walk the rest of the way.
There came a fine kitty, his fur orange and yellow, striped in sleek streaks; his mane was just beginning to grow around his neck; he wore a pair of black-and-orange gloves and shoes, and grey socks, and he was stumbling down the middle of the road as if he were lost.
“Hi!” Tails said to the feline stranger. “My name’s Tails. Nice to meet you.”
The kitty cocked his head and narrowed his eyes, studying the brown fox. Eventually, he said. “Yeah, hello.”
“What’s your name?” Tails asked.
“Leo,” the boy replied.
“Wanna play, Leo? Do you, huh?”
“Chase the butterflies. I like to run around screaming and chasing butterflies,” Tails said, completely serious. “Sometimes I try to catch them too. Wanna try?”
“Oh.” Leo narrowed his eyes again, unsure if this radical Tails kid was fully conscious. Truth be told, the lil kitty had never done anything so hardcore as chasing butterflies before. He didn’t know if he was up to it. “I’m kinda late…”
“Where’re you going?”
“Down the road.”
“I never saw a town down there before. Is it far? Does everyone in your town know Sonic?”
A blue-and-pink butterfly drifted lazily into Leo’s eyesight. The bug came right up to his nose and landed on it. He tried to ignore it, but the longer he tried to avert his eyes, the more he felt like swatting at the wee colorful beast. So he did.
The tiny bug was fast as lightning, and it dodged his playful paw-strokes with grace. At that moment, Leo looked up at Tails. The boy fox shrugged.
In a blur of orange-yellow and brown fur, the two were off, into the meadow, past the thick rows of trees that lined the dirt path. Burrs and foxtails stuck in their fur, but they didn’t care – they were hunting butterflies. Tails had a big advantage, since he could fly after them when they went real high up into the trees, but Leo was a professional pouncer, the first of his name. He would do everything in his power to catch more butterflies than Tails. This was serious business, and it took all morning. By the end of it, Leo had caught 3 butterflies, and Tails had caught none.
“I win,” the kitty yawned. “Now I have to go.”
“Aw, let me try again! Come on, pleeeeeeeeeeeease?! I almost got it last time!” the fox begged. Leo nodded, scratching his ear. Tails stuck out his tongue in defiance. He flew up and up, like a winter’s wind, going right for the first thing he saw flying through the air, his white-gloved hands outstretched eagerly.
The only problem was the thing Tails saw flying towards him wasn’t a butterfly. It was much bigger, and it wasn’t alive.
“Awoooaaaah!!” Tails shrieked upon hitting the metal bird. Falling like a sack of tomato cans, he grasped at the air, only pulling up at the last second to land softly in the dew-covered grass. Above, the metal bird’s eyes went red. It cawed a robotic caw and circled around the two kids. It looked very much like an eagle, only roboticized.
“Oh no, that’s one of Robotnik’s evil robot minions!” Tails shouted in dismay. “Sooooooooonic!” he wailed. “Sooooooooooonic save us!!”
The bird dove in a dive bomb attack straight at the fox. Tails put his hands over his head, crying and shaking and calling for his best friend.
With a loud crash, the metal eagle tumbled into the grass, landing next to Tails, its twisted metal smoking. Opening his eyes timidly, the young fox saw Leo crouched in front of him, one paw extended in the air. The feline’s tail was jerking about madly. He had just landed from a fierce pounce.
“L-leo… di-did you… save me… from th-that mons-ster?!” Tails asked, still trembling. The kitty stood and nodded silently. And then he began walking back to the path and home. “Past cool!” Tails muttered to himself. “Hey, wait up!” He chased after that kitty like he was a mouse covered in catnip.
“What?” Leo asked, stopping. “I won,” he said. “I caught more butterflies. Now I have to go.”
“But you can’t! You have to meet Sonic and Aunt Sally and Rotor and Antoine and Bunnie and all the others!”
Tails shifted his eyes. “I dunno… I thought maybe… you could join us…”
“My parents are waiting from me,” the feline boy said. “Maybe another time.”
“Did your parents teach you how to attack robots like that?” There was awe and admiration in the young two-tailed fox’s voice.
“The last time I saw them, they were being attacked by similar creatures,” Leo spoke. There was sadness in his voice. “Birds and bees and men. They attacked our town and gathered everyone up to turn them into robots. But before they found me and family, my parents sent me down the river to escape.” He scowled deeply. “I don’t like getting my fur wet!”
Tails’ mouth was agape. “Oooh… does that mean your mom and dad were turned into robots?”
“I don’t know. Not yet, anyways. I’m going to find out.” His tail twitched and flopped.
“Whoa, hang on! That’s a bad idea!” Tails ran over to Leo. “The Swat-Bots are real dangerous! And they’re even more dangerous if their leader’s with them! Did you see a big fat bald man with a red suit and a huge mustache? He talks like this, and he’s all creepy,” Tails said carelessly, raising his arms above his head to mock Robotnik and lowering his voice to a sinister whisper.
Leo tilted his head in thought. “Uh… maybe, I don’t know.”
“He’s a nasty man, Sonic told me. You shouldn’t go back there. He could capture you, or the Swat-Bots could hurt you!” Tails whined. “Come back to Knothole with me Leo. I’ll introduce you to Sonic and the others, and you can stay with us as long as you want. It’ll be great, I promise. Please, don’t go.”
“Thank you, Tails,” Leo whispered, his summer blue eyes locking with Tails’ own. “But I need to make sure my parents are alright.”
With that, Leo was chasing the wind, down the dirt path, towards the sea, past the forest where Knothole was hidden.
“Aw…” Tails said, shrugging his shoulders and grimacing. “Come back… Leo…”
The sun was rising in the distance, over calm topaz waters. Birds were singing from the trees. It was going to be a warm day. Tails glanced back at the wreckage that was the robotic eagle Robotnik had sent after them. He wondered if Robotnik had finally found Knothole, or if that bird had only been a scout. He thought about telling Sonic. A lonely voice inside his head told him to go to Sonic with that news. But ahead of Tails, a kitty was bounding off down the well-worn road on all fours, a dust cloud forming behind him.
“He saved me,” Tails said aloud, almost in wonder. “This is a real bad idea, but I have to go after him… I have to stop him…”
Tails sighed and started twirling his twin tails. Into the air he rose, like a butterfly imbibed with the force of the dawn. And he did pretty good, for a kid. He only hit three trees as he flew after Leo towards what (even someone as young and inexperienced as Tails knew was certain doom.
Chapter 2: Chase
It was a long way down the road to the sea. Tails and Leo walked and talked and talked and walked, and Tails picked some nice orange and purple flowers for Aunt Sally. However, a moment later, when he smelled one, he sneezed, sending them all in the air, never to be recovered again.
“Are you going to follow me for the rest of my life?” Leo asked the fox, annoyance in his voice.
“No, that sounds like a long time.”
Leo’s tail twitched. “You’ve already been following me a long time.”
“I don’t think so, it’s only been like 10 minutes.”
That was far too long for this impatient kitty. “How about you stop here?” he said, pointing to a rock underneath a tree next to the path. “You’ve been walking forever, so why don’t you take a rest here?”
“I gotta better idea,” Tails said with a devilish grin. “How about we juice it?”
“Yeah that’s what Sonic says before he goes Mach 7!”
“Oh, well now it makes sense.”
“I’ll race you back to your home,” Tails said.
Leo’s eyes narrowed. “Another competition?”
“Are you scared?” Tails asked rebelliously.
“I’ll win, just like last time.”
“Not if I get there first!” the young fox said gleefully.
And off they were to the races on this, the duo’s second competition. What was so extraordinary about all of this was the fact that Tails knew that Robotnik or his Swat-Bots were likely in Leo’s hometown, based on what the kitty told him in the last chapter. So either he forgot about that (since he’s 10), or that is a serious plot hole.
Leo ran on all fours like a feral alley tiger, while Tails ran after him. When Tails saw that his puny legs were nothing compared to Leo’s four-legged extravaganza, he decided to take the air (personally, he preferred it). Leo had a big lead, although Tails was gaining on him a bit.
Suddenly, Leo stopped when he saw a shadow pass over the road in front of him. But it wasn’t Tails – this was a metal bird, flying through the air as if it were on a mission. It was flying really fast, but Leo caught a glimpse of it before it disappeared into the empty blue sky. It looked a little plump, with a mouth of saw teeth, and an overall short statue. If the last robot had been an eagle, this one was a flying chicken.
“Man… that was weird. What’s up with all the robots all of a sudden?” Leo asked no one in particular, scratching his head.
At once, a brown blur sped past Leo with such force that it knocked him over and made all the trees sway as the wind of Tails’ flight pushed them back and forth. Sitting back up, Leo shook his head and got a look of panic.
“Oh no, the race! I forgot! I have to win!”
Springing up, Leo sprinted after Tails. The two-tailed fox had a sizeable lead, but just like Alain Bernard, he started to fade; when they rounded a bend, and the forest gave way to a coastline on the right and a meadow on the left, a forcible sea wind came calling from the sapphire sea, and it blew Tails all the way back. Leo jumped out of the way of the tumbling fox, cackling with glee, and a few moments later, he came to the town, just on the edge of the water.
The town, known as Seastone, was made of white stone buildings laid in confusing grids, and the roads were paved. Many of the houses didn’t have doors, but curtains guarding their entrances, and those blew in the wind lazily.
“Mom, dad?! Hello?” the boy called, his voice echoing down the streets. Strangely, there was no one around. Usually, Seastone was somewhat busy, and there were always people out and about. Now, Leo’s hometown had become a ghost town.
Tails came flying up behind the kitty a few moments later, huffing and puffing. “H-hey… Leo, is this your home?”
“Where is everyone?”
“I don’t know. Maybe they went somewhere.”
“Maybe the Swat-Bots got ‘em,” Tails said darkly.
Leo scowled. “Don’t say that. Come on, let’s find them!”
“We hafta be careful, Leo. There could be Swat-Bots or worse in here!”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m not scared of them,” Leo replied.
The went off into the city, chasing one another, chasing flies, and even chasing a tumbleweed one time. They ran down to the beach, played there for a while (Leo refused to get wet and he got sand stuck in his fur instead), and returned to town by noon. Still, no one was around. The fox and the kitty-tiger-lion-thing hopped from empty house to empty house, climbing up the walls, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, getting lost in play.
One time, they stopped in the market and stared at a statue of a fat little boy hunched over licking an ice cream that had fallen to the ground. They didn’t stay to look at it for long, though, since the longer they stared at the finely-carved marble, the hungrier they got.
The two played a while longer until they came to rooftop at the edge of the town, bordering on its high stone walls, white as beach sand. Tails and Leo would have continued to run about, chasing one another in sport, if they hadn’t discovered the metal chicken perched upon the wall.
It saw them and cawed.
“Cluck!” Tails moaned in dismay. He began to tremble.
“H-h-he’s… R-r-obotnik’s fa-fa-favorite pet!”
“Robotnik’s the bad guy?”
“Yeah, he’s real nasty and evil!”
Cluck laughed with mechanical deviousness and then took to the sky, flying back the way Tails and Leo had come.
“Robotnik has your family,” Tails said solemnly. “I’m sorry Leo, but it’s true. You said his Swat-Bots were here, and now everyone’s gone… they were probably taken back to Robotropolis to get roboticized!”
Before Leo could say ‘That’s terrible!’ (because that’s what he would have said, he already decided it in his brain), a voice came echoing across the warm summer air.
“Hey! Hey! Hey!”
The two boys looked down on a new figure who was running into town. She was a blue-feathered falcon, it looked like, with a yellow beak and red patches around her eyes. She wore a dark leather jacket, brown boots, and looked rather out-of-breath and quite perturbed.
“Hey, you two, get down from there!” the girl falcon yelled in exasperation.
“You’re not the boss of me now!” Leo shouted back.
“You don’t get it! You have to hide! Get down from there! Hurry!”
“Huh, what do you mean?” asked Tails.
“Dr. Robotnik’s coming this way with a huge army of Swat-Bots!” the falcon said, flapping her wings. A feather flew from the bird’s wing and flew up into the air. Leo reached out and grabbed it with his paw. Bringing it to his mouth, he rubbed it up against his cheek and began to purr. In unrelated news, his belly started to rumble.
“No way!” Tails yelled. Nudging Leo, he said, “Come on, Leo. You heard her! We have to go.”
“Yeah, yeah, don’t rush me,” the kitty said, still purring. But at that moment, when he looked up, he saw a dust cloud approaching from the distance. And the closer it got, the more it seemed to glint, as if everything in that cloud was made of metal.
“Wow.” His tail spun about like a helicopter blade. “That’s a lot of robutts.”
The three ran into the nearest house to hide.
“I’m Emma, by the way,” the falcon said, shaking their hands.
“Hi, my name’s Tails, I’m 10 years old!”
“I’m Leo,” Leo said gruffly, taking the tasty-looking bird’s hand. He thought she looked familiar. “Hey… aren’t you from this town?”
“Seastone? Yeah. Well, I was. Before Robotnik came and kidnapped everyone!”
“How did you escape?” the boy kitty asked.
Emma frowned. “I was out in the forest looking for worms! When I came back, I saw the robots everywhere, and I hid in a bush and watched them leave. Then I followed them into the forest to see where they were going, but a Swat-Bot found me, and I ran back here.”
“And now they’re coming back.”
“Yeah,” the girl said sadly. “They’re gonna capture us too.”
Leo thought about his parents pushing him into the river, just moments before those Swat-Bots appeared and grabbed them around the shoulders, pulling them away from the water’s edge. And now, he saw more of them, as he peered out the window, marching in regimented lines, too numerous to count. At their head, a big fat man with a long red mustache was riding a moped, the ugly metal chicken perched atop his shoulder.
“Robotnik,” Tails said in a whisper. There was anger in his voice.
“We gotta take them out,” Leo said, his paws forming into fists. “It’s not fair… he took our parents,” he said, looking to Emma. “He took everyone from Seastone. We have to get them back and make that stupid fat man pay.”
“Sonic would find a way to beat Robuttnik,” Tails said, his eyes shimmering with awe as he thought of his best friend. Then, his face softened into a look of determination, his tongue stuck out slightly. “Yeah, we gotta take these guys out!”
“Do you have a plan?” Emma asked.
“Well… no,” Tails said, frowning. “But I’ll think one up.”
Swiftly, Robotnik stopped his army of Swat-Bots. He turned right on the path and marched them straight into the abandoned town.
“Oh no!” Tails muttered. “He’s coming right for us.” Leo knew that was because Robotnik was looking for Emma.
“We have to think up something quick.”
Tails’ eyes lit up. “I know! I know!”
“What?” the other two asked in unison.
“We’ll run away!” Tails whispered, half crazy-laughing, half shaking. “A Freedom Fighter knows when to fight and when to run. This is one of those times we gotta run, or we’ll be roboticized!”
Leo and Emma were going to argue, but the Swat-Bots were fast approaching. They would soon reach the house and find the three children. There was nothing else they could do except run. And so the three of them burst from the house and sprinted down the white stone street, in the opposite direction of Robotnik, towards the sea… which they would soon find out was nothing if not a watery dead end.
Chapter 3: Gone
The yellow ball of fire hung high in the empty sky. Below, in the sweltering white-cobbled streets, three furry children ran like their lives depended on it. And they did, for behind the three, a magnificent army of Swat-Bots was marching down the streets, searching for any signs of life.
Ahead of the apocalyptic army, Robotnik flew about on his moped like a madman. Cluck was on his shoulder whispering in his ear. “Oh what’s that Cluck? Hmmm? She went this way, eh? Aho ho, well she won’t get far!”
And off like that, moonface went. Cluck took to the air with his genetically engineered brothers (eagles on steroids) to search for Emma, the blue-feathered falcon who barely escaped from Robotnik before.
Tails and Leo and Emma were all running, but they came to a dead end where the town hit the ocean; a few planky bridges were built out over the water to fish from, and the three managed to find themselves on the largest and longest of those piers. There was no way out!
“Guys…” Leo said, skidding to a stop at the end of the pier, just barely making sure that he didn’t fall into the water (that would make this the worst day ever (so far, this was only Leo’s eighteenth worst day ever). “We’re at a dead end!”
Emma flapped her wings frantically. “We have to think of something, something, something!”
“I’m trying!” Tails grumbled, folding his arms and frowning. “Be quiet for a minute, okay? Sheesh! You guys make it real hard to think!”
“Fine, but I’m gonna get a closer look,” Leo said, and before Tails or Emma could try to stop him, he ran up to the edge of the pier and went in that little booth where the man usually sits to peak out.
There came Robotnik, swaggin’ up on his moped like a true villain. This was no silly Eggman; Dr. Robotnik was all business all the time, baby. And behind him came the army in perfect marching steps. In the center of the army, a massive spider-like machine was walking lethargically, thirty-five feet tall. Marching amongst the Swat-Bots were other robots – they looked like bears and foxes and cats and dogs and dragons.
“People,” Leo whispered to himself. “The ones that dude roboticized.”
“No…!” The boy had to bite his tongue to stop himself from yelling out. For there in front of him, as the robot army marched closer, he saw amongst the ranks of black-and-grey metal two standing cats. Indeed, they looked more akin to tiger-lions (or lion-tigers), with one of them sporting a healthy metal mane.
Leo sunk to his knees. He felt the tears coming, as he knew they would. That stupid Robotnik man had done exactly what Tails had warned Leo about. And still he had wanted to come back just to see, just to make sure. And in the process, he had gotten the other two stuck with him in this miserable nightmare…
Looking over his shoulder he saw the boy fox and the girl falcon crouching at the edge of the pier, hoping Robotnik didn’t come their way. That was when a shadow fell across the planky bridge, and a metal eagle from the sky went soaring down the pier to the end. Surely, it saw the two, for its eyes lit up and it howled with a hideous metallic voice that echoed across the water; by the time Leo knew what was going on, the bird was racing off back towards Robotnik.
“Well that sucks more than a little,” Leo said. He went running back to the other two, and said, “Guys, they’re coming!”
“They saw us!” Emma sobbed in dismay. “What are we going to do? Huh?!”
Tails stepped forward, his face all scrunched up. “Sonic wouldn’t run away! He would fight Robuttnik and make him run away all the way back to Robotropolis.”
“But how do we do that?” Leo asked, not sure.
“I have an idea,” Tails said, beaming. “Man Sonic, I wish you were here to see this, cuz it’s gonna be way past cool!”
Above, metal eagles circled. Cluck returned to Dr. Robotnik’s crusty shoulder and told him all that the man needed to know. He stopped his army, Swat-Bots, eagles, and the huge towering spider robot (not to mention the new worker bots he had created), and turned them east towards the pier. At that point, their pace quickened.
“She brought some friends?” Robotnik was saying. “Oh that’s good. That’s very good. Yes, well done Cluck.” The good doctor gave his pet a good scratch on the head for that one, which Cluck greatly appreciated.
Soon, Robotnik and his army reached the pier where our three peeps are chillin’ at. And there stood Tails, the only one of the three visible. His hands were on his hips and he had a scowl upon his face. Robotnik rolled up to him on his ballin’ moped and began to cackle.
“Oh, this is the rodent’s friend, isn’t it? Tails was your name, I believe. My my, you’re a small one, aren’t you?”
“I know what you are, Robuttnik.”
“Huh?! Why… you! How dare you?!” The man sputtered at that insult, slapping his belly and going red. “Just for that, I’m roboticizing you last so you can watch all of your friends turn first!”
“Yeah, yeah, okay,” Tails said, waving the man away.
That greatly confused Robotnik. “Huh? What’s that? You want me to leave little man? Haha, I don’t think so!”
“I’d rather face a cool enemy, like that big spider you got. Whaddya say, baldy?”
“Oh?” Robotnik turned to look at his hulking robot, who stood precariously in the middle of his army, its eight legs spread haphazardly around between the Swat-Bots. “You want to face the Arachno Shredder 9000? Are you crazy, kid?”
“Come on, Robuttnik, are ya scared?” Tails goaded him.
“Why… you insolent little brat! I’ll make you pay for saying that!” Robotnik jumped back on his moped, which Cluck had been keeping warm for him, and pointed at the boy two-tailed fox. “Arachno Shredder 9000, squash that furry little mutt! Make him pay for insulting the fine name of Dr. Robotnik!!”
And so, the spider stepped forward. Tails stood firm, not betraying a bit of fear, except for when his legs were shaking a little bit. It was a really huge and massive robot after all. From behind, in the mess of fishnets, ropes, old crab cages, and refuse, rubbish, and poppcock, Emma and Leo crouched. It was all Leo could do to keep his eyes trained on Tails and not think about the tasty bird to his right.
They watched in trepidation as Tails stepped forward to face the hugest robot in Robotnik’s arsenal.
“Is this is a good idea?” Emma asked. “It looks really dangerous.”
“It’s a bit dangerous,” Leo admitted, “but Tails wants to make sure Robotnik pays for this. He roboticized our families!” Leo said earnestly. “We have to make him pay for that!”
“I guess… but I don’t see how Tails trying to fight that robot will help. There’s no way he’ll win.”
“Maybe,” Leo said, eying the brown fox. “But he said he had a plan, so I trust him.”
Leo knew that Tails wasn’t dumb. Maybe he was a little inexperienced, but he always meant well, and he never did stupid things. Whatever Tails was trying was going to be reckless, Leo knew, but at the same time, sometimes, as the saying goes, ‘people don’t think it be like it is, but it do’.
Chapter 4: Friend
“A Freedom Fighter stays calm in the face of danger.”
Tails stood on the edge of the pier, facing Dr. Robotnik and his army of Swat-Bots alone. Suddenly, a shadow fell over the young fox as the Arachno Shredder 9000 moved forward to face him. It towered over him like a garden gnome.
“Run, puny fox… if you can,” Robotnik whispered menacingly, petting Cluck. He was grinning. “Oh, do give me a good show, heheheheh!”
“Come and get me, you big meanie!” Tails said, looking up at the super-tall robot. “I’m waiting!”
Robotnik nodded to his creation. “Do it. Crush that pathetic Freedom Fighter once and for all!”
The Arachno Shredder 9000 rushed at Tails like a hungry dog. The boy did not move, even as the massive robot brought one of its eight legs up and thrust it down upon the pier with immense force. At the very last second, Tails jumped aside, using his tails to propel himself out of the way and into the air.
Noticing that its quarry had escaped, the Arachno Shredder 9000 stepped back and tried to swipe Tails out of the air. The boy fox dodged around the waving metal arms like a pro, never getting hit even once. Below, the pier had splintered and collapsed, and water was rushing at the doctor and his robots. Robotnik was safe on his moped, but many of the robots in the first few rows of his army were touched by the incoming seawater, causing them to short-circuit and fall over.
Ahead, Tails and the Shredder continued to battle. More and more impatient the robot grew with each passing second. It just couldn’t manage to hit the young Freedom Fighter, no matter how hard it tried. Finally, it tried one last great punch at Tails, and quite unsurprisingly, this attack missed too. The Arachno Shredder 9000 slammed its leg onto the ground, crushing what remained of the entrance to the pier and sending a spire of water flying down the center of the pier and off into the sea, so tremendous was the force of impact. Below the waters, the sand cracked and split, and a fierce rumbling could be heard.
Everyone stopped, turning around to look at the sea. Coming at them was a huge wave, maybe fifty feet tall. Tails smiled. “Perfect,” he whispered to himself. “Now we gotta juice it!”
The Arachno Shredder 9000, however, was not so easily scared off. It continued to swing and swipe at Tails wildly. When it crushed another section of the pier, further out to sea, a mess of broken boards and planks went flying into the air, and one hit the poor fox in the side of the head, causing him to fall from the sky…
… and land right in the arms of Leo, the orange-furred kitty. His young mane blew in the seawind, and he stared up at hulking robots ahead of him with a mixture of fear and defiance. Behind him, the blue-feathered falcon named Emma came running.
Leo glanced behind them at the huge wave approaching shore. “We gotta get out of here!” he shouted. “Are you ready, Emma?”
The two ran down the pier, dodging the Arachno’s attempts to squash them. Finally, the pier collapsed into the water, and Leo grabbed Emma before jumping towards the shore. In the air, Emma began flapping her wings wildly, sending feathers everywhere. She snapped her beak shut and used all of her strength to pull the two boys up and up and up and out of the way of the incoming tsunami.
A second later, the wave hit, covering Seastone in a fifty foot wall of water. Robotnik screamed and was swept away by the swirling waters, cursing Tails and Leo and Emma. His moped was destroyed in the rush of water, and he was very displeased with that turn of events. Cluck was pulled away from his master by the force of the tsunami and shot underwater. The Swat-Bots were blown about like twigs in a storm, short-circuiting and blowing up. Even the eagles were caught by the high wall of water and destroyed. The roboticized people were washed away like Robotnik, left to short-circuit and malfunction, but since they had once been people (whereas the Swat-Bots had not), they did not explode and die.
As seawater covered the city, the last thing that could be seen was Cluck’s robotic chicken head, detached from his body, sparking, one eye popped out, his mouth slightly agape, perhaps in surprise, or perhaps locked in an eternal, final scream, bobbing down the foaming waters through flooded streets of Seastone.
The sun was beginning to set in the distance. Leo sat on a rock in the middle of the meadow, his chin in his hands, watching butterflies drift through the air. His tail twitched. Behind him, Tails appeared, walking up to Leo. The boy fox stopped near where the butterflies were and picked a couple of flowers for Aunt Sally before turning his attention to Leo.
“Oh hey Leo, what are you doing out here?”
“Nothing,” the other boy said sullenly.
“Emma decided to join the Freedom Fighters. I took her to Knothole and she met everyone! It was real great, you shoulda been there!” Tails said eagerly. “You should join too, Leo…”
“Are you thinking about your parents?” Tails asked, sitting down on the rock next to Leo.
“Yeah… I miss them a lot,” Leo explained, staring off at the setting sun.
“I know what you mean,” Tails said softly. “I miss my parents too.”
“Were they roboticized by Robotnik too?”
Tails nodded. “Sonic and the others have been trying to stop Robotnik’s evil plans for a long time! You could join us, Leo. You could help us fight Robotnik! You could get back at him for what he did to you. Plus, Aunt Sally promises that she’ll be able to de-roboticize everyone soon. She’s working real hard on a solution to that problem! Don’t you want to be there when your parents are turned back into people again?”
Leo stood, his fists clenched. “I’ll do everything I can to get my family back,” he swore. “And I’ll help you fight Robotnik.”
“Yeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss!” Tails shouted, punching the sky with glee. He took something out of his back pocket and handed it to Leo.
“What’s this?” the kitty asked, staring at the small rounded black piece of plastic in his hand.
“That’s a dirt hockey puck,” Tails explained, grinning. “Wanna play with me before we go back to Knothole? I have two sticks…”
Leo sighed, looking at the sunset, and then turned to face Tails. He saw the hope and happiness in the other boy’s face. For a moment, he wanted to walk away and disappear in the forest. But then, he remembered that Robotnik was not yet defeated. He knew he had to save his family, save everyone who Robotnik had roboticized, not just in Seastone, but across all of Mobius. He knew he couldn’t run away. He would have to stand and fight, with the other Freedom Fighters.
“Sure Tails,” Leo replied finally, holding out his hand to take the dirty hockey stick Tails had magically produced for him out of nowhere. “First one to eleven?” he asked.
“Uh huh! I’m gonna beat you, Leo!”
“Yeah right,” Leo replied with a cheeky grin, feeling his competitive nature surging through his veins. “I’m going to beat you, just like before!”
“We’ll see about that!”
As the sun continued to set, the two boys scampered across the meadow, the small black hockey puck flying wildly through the air this way and that. The sounds of their laughter and play could be heard echoing across the forest as butterflies flew around them, and it appeared that not only had Tails found himself a new friend and fellow Freedom Fighter, but so too had the once-sulking Leo.