Flare stood to leave. “Sonic” he said gravely “I really don’t understand what is going on here any more than you do. I wish I could answer your questions but I can’t.”
“I know my duty is to the safety of Mobius” Sonic replied “And something tells me that you are no threat to it, so for now I am happy to call you friend.” Flare smiled and looked across at the fox who was closing his toolbox and tidying his new found treasures.
“How about you Miles?” Flare asked “Allies?”
“S-sure Flare, whatever Sonic says is good by me” Tails shot a watery half smile in the two hedgehogs direction, but deep inside he wondered how on Mobius Flare knew his real name.
The arrival of the medic had been a heart-stopping moment, but Robotnik soon regained his usual impatient composure. The thing had various arms with numerous sharp things attached to them. It trundled into the room, deftly negotiating around the debris that had resulted in the brief few moments that the doll was active. The medic was not quite agile enough to manoeuvre around the awkwardly positioned doll, and one of its tracks ran over the doll’s left hand, through the toughened glass Robotnik swore he heard a metallic scream.
“Sir” the medic bot addressed him in its cheery bedside manner. “Please open the door, I cannot help you unless I can get to you, now I know you are scared and in pain…” Robotnik went purple and smashed an already bleeding fist on the door release button, the computer would have put its fingers in its ears. If it had fingers. Or ears.
There was a strange atmosphere back at The Ranch and Sonic didn’t like it. “Look little buddy I’m sorry I ate all that food, its just what with Flare appearing and…”
“It’s fine Sonic, I’m really not hungry”
“Tails, that’s the sixth time you have repacked your toolbox, you only do that when you are really worried or upset about something. Come on buddy ‘fess up, what’s bothering you?”
Tails had his back to Sonic, and Sonic watched his best friend’s shoulders droop as he turned to answer him.
“It’s Flare” Tails looked sorrowfully at Sonic, and Sonic saw fear and bewilderment in his large blue eyes. “He frightens me Sonic. I know you think he is OK and normally that’s good enough for me, but there is something wrong. How did he know my real name? Why have we never seen him before? Is he something to do with Eggman, or worse? I don’t know Sonic, I hate doubting you but I’m just not sure”
Sonic smiled at his friend “Tails” he said kindly “Its good that you doubt me, you have your own mind and opinions. You are vital in our struggle here on Mobius, but I really think Flare is on our side; well, at least not on Eggman’s side that’s for sure”
“What about knowing my name? How did he know, Sonic?
“Maybe I called you and he overheard, I dunno…” Sonic trailed off.
Tails said nothing, and started repacking his toolbox for the seventh time.
The door to the panic room slid open and the medicbot rumbled inside. The doctor wisely kept back from the open door and made sure the medic was between the still body of the doll and himself. The bot hummed and clucked over the Doctors injuries, spraying cooling vapours onto his wounds, and injecting him with pain relief and stimulants and all the while cooing and chirping in a soothing manner, desperate to make his patient comfortable.
The Doctor, for his part was not a good patient. He squirmed and complained as the robot did his best to help him, and as the last of the plasters were being applied, he looked at the large clock on the lab wall and tutted.
“Yes yes, that’s enough I am fine now”, the Doctor mumbled “Don’ fuss any more.”
With an armful of stimulants Robotnik found that his courage and conviction were returning in waves, he pushed past the Medic and strode up to the still inert doll laying discarded on the floor. Sweeping up a long pair of tongs, Robotnik carefully extended them towards it as if dealing with a deadly snake, and grabbing the crushed leg, picked it up.
The doll hung limply from its damaged leg, looking forlorn and helpless but still managing to emit enough menace to make Robitnik nervous enough to keep a very firm grip on the tongs.
“Computer!” Robotnik barked “Two buzzbombers in here now!”
“Yes Sir, they are on their way” the computer replied almost smugly, as if the events of the past few minutes had somehow changed its opinion of its maker.
Holding the doll over the examination table, Robotnik lowered it not to gently and released the tongs, half expecting a new barrage from his psychotic creation, but it just clattered to the metal platter of the table and lay still.
The Entity had made its way into the heart of the castle, it found that too its utter amusement it could merge with the copper wires that were strung all around the place and move at will in any direction without expending any of its precious energy. The mechanical creatures that seemed to inhabit this place were of no threat to it at all, infact it found it could even use these soulless contraptions as a vessel to hold itself in and even more energy was saved. It still hungered for the source of the darkness it had felt earlier, but all these new wonders were so distracting. It vaguely followed the pull of the darkness, flitting from cable to robot and back again as its fancy took it, its wanderings took it through darkened corridors, filthy with neglect into wide open halls that would have been magnificent if not for the layers of dirt and oil, but all of it was lost on the entity, it was getting closer to the blackness, and it wanted to feed.