Battered and bruised, Sonic struggled to get up, but could not any longer after the beating he had endured from Robotnik. Julian then picked him up with his right metal hand, grabbing Sonic hard by his neck and said squeezing it tightly, "Pathetic hedgehog! Did you really think you and your merry band of troublemakers was going to be able to stop me from my conquest of annihilating you vermin?"
As Sonic struggled to get Robotnik to ease the grip on his windpipe, Julian then added holding a remote in his hands, "I have a dozen missiles ready to fire at your homes with just a push of a single button, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!"
Sonic then retorted to him as best as he could, "That's where you wrong, Robuttnik. It ain't over till its over."
Robotnik responded by squeezing Sonic's neck even tighter and said gritting his teeth at him, "Don't you get it, you pathetic rodent? You and your Freedom Fighters have lost this battle! It's over! You and your worthless comrades will have nothing to look forward to but being my robotic slaves! And once that happens, you all will finally learn once and for all, whose ruler of this planet!"
"Guess again, Doctor!"
Robotnik turned his head to the right to who it was, and there he saw Sally, along with Antoine and Bunnie with weapons pointed at his head. Sally had an LK-32 tightly gripped in her hands, while Bunnie had her plasma arm cannon armed, with Antoine drawing his sword. To their surprise however, Robotnik was not the least bit phased by their arrival.
"Well, well, well, look who finally showed up." Julian commented smirking. "I was wondering if you were all smart enough to get past my robotic soldiers."
"Shut up, Julian!" Sally shouted at him. "Drop Sonic this instant or I'll fire!"
Julian however just laughed at her demand. "You are one feisty Princess, and a foolish one too I might add."
Sally responded to this retort by firing a few laser shots at his feet to try and scare him. But the evil dictator didn't even flinch.
"The next one's going between your eyes!" Sally yelled at him.
But again, Julian laughed heartily at her words. Bunnie then said to her best friend infuriated, "Don't just stand there, Sally girl! Fire!"
But before Sally could, Julian said, "I wouldn't do that if I were you."
"And why not?" Sally demanded.
"Because if you fire one more shot towards me again, I'll use the hedgehog as a shield."
Hearing that made Sally almost lose her focus. Julian then added, "I knew you would fire a warning shot, because it's not in your nature to go for the kill like I do. And unfortunately, it's that kind of mentality when the chips are down, evil always wins."
"Shut your mouth, Robotnik!" Sally roared.
"Oh yea, and what are you gonna do about it?" Julian taunted. "You know what will happen if you fire another shot at me. So unless you don't mind losing your precious hedgehog as well, go right ahead and kill me."
Sally then hesitated to make a move, as the idea of losing Sonic was almost unthinkable to her.
"What's the matter, Princess? Your gun jammed? Go on, shoot me!"
Sally however just couldn't do it. Robotnik then turned to Bunnie and Ant and said, "And what about you 2? Are you gonna finally the right thing, as you all have claimed to do, or are you 2 cowards as well?"
Bunnie and Antoine too froze in place, as they just couldn't do it. Losing Sonic was too big of a sacrifice to them as well.
After a standoff of 25 seconds, Robotnik finally had enough of this. So he said to them growling, "Worthless rodents! Can't even sacrifice one of your comrades in order to finish me off? Well, fine then! In that case, you can all witness my glorious achievement before you all become my robot slaves."
Still using Sonic as a shield in front of his body, Robotnik then prepared to press the button to launch the missiles. But before doing so, he put up some video screens, displaying their home lands. "Now watch, as within a matter of minutes, your homes and comrades will be engulfed in a huge ball of fire!"
Moments later, Robotnik pressed the button, and the missiles immediately ignited, soon heading towards the sky. The faces of all the Freedom Fighters were ones of horror as they watched. Once the missiles exited the silos, Robotnik said sneering, "The only thing better than enslaving you all is watching your reaction to losing everything you and pathetic kind stood for! Say goodbye to your homes and loved ones there, because they'll soon be gone!"
Sally, along with Bunnie and Antoine watched the video screens, completely mesmerized by the images on display. Even Sonic looked on baffled. 30 seconds soon passed, with the all the missiles now in the sky, quickly heading towards their designated targets.
Wanting to rub it in, Robotnik asked grinning, "Tell me, Princess Sally. How does it feel to know your war against me was in completely in vain? Was it worth it now knowing you're done for?"
Sally however didn't respond to this, as she kept her eyes glued towards the video screens. Robotnik responded to this by just shrugging his shoulders, adding, "I guess there are no words to describe how awful this moment is for you. Eh, No matter. It'll all be over soon enough"
As the missiles continued their course, Robotnik commented with glee, "Less than 2 minutes to destruction. I cannot wait to see the look on all your face when that first bomb hits."
To his surprise, neither of them responded to his taunts, making him frown due to the fact he could not rile them up any further.
45 seconds later, the missiles were now halfway towards to their destination. Robotnik then turned his head towards the outside window and commented, "With Robotropolis soon to be the only city left standing, I shall use the burnt remains of your homeland as building material and make it the greatest city of the entire planet!"
Again, they did not respond to his banter, finally making Julian lash out at them. "What's the matter with you? Don't you care you're about to lose it all, as well as those inside your Freedom Fighter homes? You should be at the point of complete despair by now!"
With no response again, Robotnik finally waved his left arm dismissingly at them and said growling, "Fine! What do I care what you do emotionally? As long as I get you as my robot slaves, that's good enough for me!"
With the missiles now less than 25 seconds from impact, Julian then said sighing with glee, "It'll soon be all over, and my ultimate conquest shall be complete! AH HA HA HA! Victory shall soon be
Robotnik's taunting was abruptly interrupted, as he heard a loud explosion outside of his main quarters.
"What on Mobius was that?" Julian demanded, now looking outside the window again. It was then he saw what was going on, making him gasp in deep shock.
"NO! IT CAN'T BE!" He yelled, his face changing to one of complete horror.
But it was. Before his very eyes, those same missiles he had sent to destroy his enemies' homes were now instead hitting his robot factories, blasting them to bits.
"How could this have happened? I had the coordinates down perfectly. How they could have
Sonic then began to chuckle at his tirade, making Robotnik hold him towards his face, "You knew the missiles were going to hit my factories, didn't you?"
"What, you actually thought we were going to let you destroy our homelands that easily?" Sally said, finally speaking up "I'm actually very offended by the fact you thought your system couldn't cracked."
"How could you have hacked my missiles program?" Robotnik demanded infuriated. "They had over a
"I had Nicole do a little tweaking on it, Doctor," Sally reiterated interrupting. "Oh, your security system was very difficult to crack all right, but Nicole was eventually able to get through. You seem to forget she's a super computer, and just about any network task isn't too difficult for her to handle."
"Why you no good
"Looks like you lose again, bullet head." Sonic commented firmly.
Hearing that remark from Sonic made Julian blow his stack enraged, as he drew his sword from his sheath and attempted to impale him. "I'm going to gut your insides out very painfully for this, hedgehog!"
"It's over, Doctor!" Sally said boldly, holding her laser weapon tightly. "Surrender or we'll open fire!" Bunnie and Antoine both had their weapons drawn as she said this
"Go ahead and shoot me!" Robotnik retorted at them angrily, now putting Sonic in front of him as a shield again. "I don't care what happens to me anymore, because I'm taking this vile hedgehog down once and for all!"
Sally again hesitated to pull the trigger, as well as Bunnie and Antoine. Neither of them could fire a shot if it meant killing Sonic in the process.
20 seconds later, Robotnik said to Sonic grinning, "Well, since your friends are too cowardly to finish the job, I'm gonna finish you instead! Say goodbye, rodent!"
Sonic however just blew off his words and said looking at him, "You really don't when you're beat, do ya, Buttnik?"
"Shut up and meet your doom!" Robotnik fired back, now inching the blade closer to Sonic's chest.
But before he could, Sonic had one last trick up his sleeve, as he quickly grabbed a flash bomb from his pocket and heaved at Robotnik's head before he could react. The result of this caused a small explosion of artificial light, temporarily blinding Julian's eyes. The evil dictator yelled in pain, as he covered his eyes with his right metal arm. As a result, he abruptly dropped Sonic in the process.
"And now to finish you off, Sonic style!" the blue hedgehog declared boldly.
Now free, Sonic revved his legs and ran towards the stunned Robotnik, running circles around him as fast as he could. Once Julian regained his vision, he tried to attack his foe with his sword by swinging it at him, but was unable to due to his extreme speed.
"Hold still, you little pest!"
With Robotnik clearly confused, Sonic then went for the kill, as he attempted a triple spin at him, aiming at his belly. Robotnik though was able to see it coming, but was only to able to protect himself with his left metal arm since Sonic was coming at him very quickly. Robotnik's metal arm took the brunt of his attack, but was knocked to the ground in the process. Sally, along with Bunnie and Antoine cheered at the sight of this.
"Way to go, Sonic!" Sally said with delight, holding her right arm victoriously.
Sonic then walked up to Robotnik, who was in a daze and said to him, "Game over, Buttnik!"
Robotnik growled at him in response, as he tried to get up. "I'll get you for this, rodent!"
By now, Sally and the others soon walked toward him as well. Sally soon told him after standing next to him "Time to face facts, Doctor, we've won this war!"
"I'll fight you till my dying breath!" Robotnik retorted. "No way am I surrendering to you filthy Mobians!"
Sonic then put his right foot firmly on his neck and said, "Give it up, egg belly. Your plans are shot, and your conquests are finished!"
Bunnie turned to Sally and asked her, "So what should do with him?"
Sally thought it over and soon replied, "Well, while I'd love to kill him right here on the spot, I think our entire Freedom Fighters network should get to see a public execution. That way, they all can be witness of this vile overlander's just rewards."
"Sounds good to me." Sonic replied with a smirk.
"But how do we get zis tub of lard out of here so we can carry it out?" Antoine asked puzzled.
Sally quickly replied, "I guess we'll just have to
Just then, Robotnik saw an opening and took advantage of it. With Sonic's attention currently on Sally, he lunged at his foe with his right metal hand and grabbed the blue hedgehog firmly, now standing up. Sally, along with Bunnie and Antoine soon saw this and reached for their weapons. Robotnik however had a counter measure to keep their fingers off the trigger.
Julian soon took a few steps backwards with Sonic in front of him as a shield, now holding his sword in front of his throat.
Sally then pointed her high powered laser machine gun at him and said firmly, "Drop him, Doctor, or I'll fire!"
"You fire one shot at me, Princess." Robotnik warned. "The hedgehog gets decapitated in the process."
Sally and the others immediately groaned, as they knew Robotnik somehow outsmarted them again.
"You shouldn't have let your pride get the best of you and finished me when you had the chance." Robotnik said firmly. "Now that you hesitated and didn't seize the moment, I'm gonna do it instead!"
Sally still pointed her gun at him, but couldn't fire, as she cared too much to sacrifice Sonic's life.
30 seconds soon passed. Robotnik then said to them laughing evilly. "Well, looks like I got you in a catch-22. Heh heh! You can't fire on me without losing the hedgehog, but guess what? I'm gonna take his life anyway!"
"NO!" they shouted in despair.
"Sorry, but you're too late." Robotnik taunted at them. "He is hesitates is lost, and in this case, it couldn't be more true." He then said to Sonic who was still struggling to get free, "Time to die, rodent!"
"Hold it, Doctor!" Sally ordered.
"And why should I?" Robotnik retorted. "There's nothing you can to change my mind."
"That's where your wrong, Robotnik!" Sally fired back. "I still have one last trick up my sleeve."
"Oh yea, and what would that be?" Robotnik asked mockingly.
"Oh, not much, just a little shrimp as our hostage who you refer to as a worthless lackey." A voice from outside the room replied.
"Who's there? Show yourself!" Robotnik demanded, though still keeping a sharp eye on the Freedom Fighters in front of him.
Within seconds, the person who spoke came into the room, revealing it to be none other than Julie-Su, holding Snively tightly in her right hand. Knuckles, along with Amy Rose also entered the room with her.
Robotnik growled fiercely at the sight of this. "Snively, you incompetent fool! How could you be so stupid to let yourself get captured?"
"I'm sorry, sir." Snively replied sheepishly. "They cornered me and I was helpless to escape."
"Enough of your pathetic excuses!" Robotnik fired back. "You are a complete disgrace to me!" Snively looked at his Uncle with anger after he said that.
Sally then spoke up and said, "All right, Doctor, here are my terms. You either let Sonic go this instant or else Snively's going.."
"What, you're gonna execute him? Go right ahead!" Robotnik dared. "It would save me the trouble!"
"Actually, Robotnik, I was going to have him reveal to us all of your secrets in exchange for sparing his life." Sally reiterated with a smirk.
"You what?" Julian looked at her with fierce anger.
"That's right. And don't think he won't keep anything from us." Sally warned. "I know you 2 have been at odds for quite some time now."
Robotnik growled at Sally's clever tactics and said to his nephew, "You would tell them everything, wouldn't you?"
"You bet I would, Julian!" Snively said firmly to him, putting emphasis on his Uncle's name with deep contempt. "I've done my homework on all your little gizmos since you've been back and I've kept notes about their weaknesses."
"You are nothing but a pathetic little man!" Robotnik said angrily.
"As if I didn't know your true feelings about me already, you bucket of slime!" Snively countered.
"Alright, enough of this pointless banter!" Sally said. "So what's it going be, Robotnik? You going to give in to my demands or what?"
Robotnik then chuckles and said, "Nice try, Princess, but I already considered this possibility long ago."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Bunnie demanded.
"It means, you cyborg menace, that the data Snively thought he saw about my robot's weaknesses was completely fake!"
"WHAT?" Just about Freedom Fighters said this in unison.
Robotnik again chuckled and said to his nephew, "Did you really think I didn't know about you trying to overthrow my rule again? I knew from the very start you hated working for me, so I figured you'd keep tabs on me on whatever project I was working on. Looks like you took the bait."
Snively instantly lashed out at his uncle and shouted pointing a finger at him, "Julian, I swear I will help make your reign on Mobius a very short one!"
"Oh, you're one to talk, Snively." Robotnik retorted. "You got caught by the Freedom Fighters, and have been insulting me to your very doom ever since, should you ever crawl back to my side anyway."
Snively unfortunately knew he was at a crossroads. He would either be a prisoner at Knothole, or executed in Robotropolis.
"I gotta admit, Princess." Robotnik said after a brief pause. "You really did give me a scare for a second. I actually thought you might have outsmarted me again. But since your threat is full of holes, it's time to deliver on mine."
Robotnik then attempted to cut Sonic's neck with the sword in hand, when Sally spoke up again and said, "You really are as dumb as I thought you were."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" Robotnik demanded aggravated. "You're out of bullets to use against me, so just shut up already!"
"I still have one bullet left." Sally replied firmly.
That got Robotnik's attention. "Oh, what, the threat game again?" He said annoyed. "If you think you're gonna stall me any longer, you're
"I'm dead serious, Doctor!" Sally said boldly.
"Oh yea?" Robotnik retorted. "Prove it!"
"I had Nicole give your system another little surprise before coming up here." Sally declared with a slight smug.
"You're bluffing!" Robotnik fired back.
"You sure you want to risk your entire network's system on that conclusion?" Sally inquired.
Hearing that made Julian a bit suspicious, but not convinced. "And just what did your little super computer do to my network?" Robotnik mocked. "Program it to self destruct? Yea, real brilliant!"
Julian then began to laugh at her threat, in which Sally spoke up and replied, "No, I had Nicole prepare to install the Cyrus virus on your system."
Instantly, Robotnik's facial expressions changed. He was well aware of that virus, as he had dealt with it many years ago. "Ha, nice try, Princess, but that virus program is no more. Snively and I got rid of all traces of it long ago."
"Not quite, Doctor." Sally said firmly. "When Snively had the virus attack Nicole, she was able to save parts of it to her hard drive. Only recently were we able to restore it to normal."
Sonic looked on very puzzled at Sally's explanation. Even the others were puzzled at this explanation. But before he could say anything, Robotnik said with huff, "You're just trying to trick me! Well it ain't going to work!"
"Am I?" Sally retorted with arched eye brows. "Well, if that's so true, why don't you check your little computer system and find out?"
Not being able to resist, Robotnik did indeed, but at the same time, made sure none of the Freedom Fighters could get the jump on him while doing so. After turning it on, he discovered the screen had indeed changed. Instead of his usual data, it showed a picture of the Cyrus virus program with the words, installing in 5 minutes.
Robotnik then tried everything to get rid of that screen, but was unable to, as it was password protected. He soon became very frustrated and then banged the monitor. A few seconds later, he turned to Sally and shouted pointing a finger at her, "You pathetic rodent! How did you pull this off?"
"Like I said, Robotnik," Sally replied with smugly, "I had a lot of help from Nicole, as well the original creator of the virus himself."
"You better tell me how to get rid of it, or its curtains for your hero!" Julian threatened.
But Sally was unmoved by his threat. "You move that blade one inch, and I'll have Nicole activate the program this instant!"
"Why you little..."
"It's time to face facts, Doctor!" Sally said with a stern look. "I outsmarted you this time! No matter what you do, your system is history if you don't do as I tell you!"
Robotnik growled loudly at her, but then said firmly, "If you think I'm gonna surrender my city to you, you can forget about it! I'll fight you to the death over it! And on top of that, even if you do wreck havoc on my roboticizer network, I'll kill Sonic in retaliation before either of you can kill me! How's that for demands?"
Hearing that made Sally hesitate her next move, but then said, "Well, Doctor, maybe I might be willing to let you keep your corrupt city, for a price anyway.
"What? Let the hedgehog go?" Robotnik retorted. "Forget it! He's going down one way or the other."
"Are you sure you want to risk your life on that proclamation when all you have to do is ask your nephew for the password?" Sally inquired firmly.
Robotnik nearly did a double take, so did Snively. "What are you talking about?" Snively asked confused. "I don't know the
Julie-Su then winked at him very quickly without Robotnik noticing, as he got the hint. "Oh, that password."
"How do you know the password anyway, you wretched little worm?" Robotnik demanded angrily.
Snively then explained the best he knew how, "Well, you see, sir, I dealt with this virus once before. I studied its computer program and came up with a backdoor access code to shut it down."
"If that's so true, why didn't you tell it to me before?" Robotnik interrogated, not convinced.
"Well, you didn't exactly greet me warmly when you returned from the Void, now did you, Julian." Snively replied with smugness.
Robotnik then demanded of Sally, "Since you knew he could do that, why didn't you change the program's codes. I thought you were smarter than that!"
"I didn't have to, Doctor," Sally explained, "Since Snively was captured, he couldn't do anything to stop us from installing it anyway. Besides, I thought he might come in handy to use as leverage against you." She then added with a smirk, "Looks like that came in handy, did it not?"
Robotnik was torn now, as he didn't know what move to pull. Sally then said with her gun pointed at him again, "The choice is yours, Robotnik. You can kill Sonic, but then you will die in the process and lose your kingdom on the spot. Or you can let him go, and I'll let your little shrimp boat here save your system from the fatal virus. "
"What exactly are you proposing, Princess?" Robotnik inquired, now beside himself.
"It's very simple, really." Sally replied. "We both have something of each others that we want saved. So, let's trade. You let Sonic live, and I'll let Snively here save your precious network."
Robotnik however still wasn't willing to just let Sonic go. He then pondered what to do next in his head for the next 30 seconds.
"Well, Doctor, what's it gonna be?" Sally demanded firmly. "I'm waiting."
Robotnik finally broke his silence and said growling, "Very well then. Snively, fix my system at once."
"Not so fast, Julian." Snively retorted.
"What is it now?" Robotnik inquired annoyed.
"If I'm gonna do this, you'll have to give me a bigger role in your empire."
"It's either that, or I'm gonna let them fry your system." Snively said firmly.
"Why you pathetic, incompetent
"Ah, ah, Julian." Snively shot back. "No name calling either."
"You really think you can push my buttons just because I'm at your mercy?" Robotnik demanded enraged.
"Well, if you don't want me to save your system, we can always
Robotnik interrupted him, yelling angrily, "ALL RIGHT! Fine, you win!" He then turned to Sally and said, "But only on one condition, Princess."
"And what would that be?" Sally inquired.
"You and your rag tag bunch must leave Robotropolis immediately. If not, I kill this wretched hedgehog now!"
Now Sally felt torn, as she was hoping to get more than Sonic back, but decided to comply. "Very well, Doctor. We'll call this little battle of ours a draw."
"So you're really going to leave just like that?" Robotnik asked with suspicion.
"If we get Sonic back, yes, we will, but not until he's released. So, do we have a trade, or what?"
Robotnik again thought it over. While he was tempted to kill Sonic since he had the power to do so, the risk of losing his kingdom and his life in the process made him realize it was not worth it. 10 seconds later after pondering this, he said sighing softly with his eyes closed, "It's a deal."
He then tossed Sonic backhandedly towards the Freedom Fighters and said as the blue hedgehog went tumbling to the ground, "Here's your precious hero. Take him and get out!"
As Sally went to help Sonic up, who was now lying on his back from the abrupt toss, Robotnik added after Snively was let go to fix the computer, "Don't you ever show your faces here again. On the day you do, you're missile bait!"
Sally nodded her head, and the Freedom Fighters began to leave. But before she left, she said to Robotnik, "Until next time, Doctor."
Robotnik shot a murderous look at her, but didn't say anything as she left.
Meanwhile, the Freedom Fighters began to make their way back home. On the way there, Sonic said to Sally as he walked beside her in the Great Forest, "Hey, thanks for saving me back there. That was quite a strategy you pulled off back there."
Sally gave him a slink wink and replied, "It was even more brilliant than you realize."
"Huh? What do you mean?" Sonic asked confused.
"There was no Cyrus virus on his system." Sally explained. "It was a ruse I had cooked up in case I needed leverage over Robotnik."
"But how did you make it look so authentic then?" Sonic inquired confused.
"Well, to be honest, Nicole had trace files of the virus after it was removed from her hard drive that was she able to utilize. Cyrus also helped by making a bogus installation screen as well." She then winked at him adding, "It was the only I could make Robotnik believe his system was in serious jeopardy."
Sonic put his arm around her and said impressed, "No wonder I find you the coolest gal on all of Mobius. You're my brilliant and beautiful Princess."
Sally blushed at the attention he was giving her, but didn't say anything in response.
"There's still one thing I don't understand." Sonic said after a pause.
"What's that?" Sally inquired.
"Why did you honor your word to that vile man and not have us take him out after he released me?"
"Well, I would have normally," Sally explained. "But you mean too much to me. I didn't want to risk your life again that quickly after working hard to get him to let you go."
"Aw, you care that much, Sal?" Sonic asked ribbing her.
"Wouldn't you do the same for me if I was in your spot?"
"You know I would, Sal." Sonic replied smiling. "You mean just as much to me, if not more."
Sally was deeply touched by that statement, as she knew this statement came from his heart.
Bunnie then came up to Sally and asked, "So when's our next strategy on taking Robotnik out? You know he won't keep his end of the bargain for very long."
"In due time, Bunnie." Sally told her confidently. "Right now, we need to recharge and regroup after a hard battle. We'll go after that vile doctor again soon enough."
Bunnie couldn't argue with that, as she nodded her head in agreement. As she went back to talk with Antoine, Sonic then noticed a slight sadness on Sally's face.
"You ok, Sal?"
Sally looked at him with a slight smile and replied, "Yea, I'll be ok. I guess I'm just a bit tired from the recent battle and need some sleep."
Sonic however wasn't entirely convinced of her answer, but decided to let it go for now.
Back at Robotropolis, Snively by now had disabled the fake virus on the network system. After doing so, he said to Robotnik, "It's done, sir."
Once he inspected the system, he said muttering, "Well, guess you're not completely worthless after all."
As Julian began to head back to his main quarters to brood, Snively asked him, "Just wondering, sir, what will be my new roles in your kingdom?"
Robotnik quickly turned around and said to him bluntly, "You're not getting any new responsibilities, Snively.
Snively looked at his Uncle with shock and anger. "But we had a deal, Robotnik!"
"Deals are meant to be broken, you pathetic assistant." Robotnik stated cunningly. "I only promised you that to get you to fix my system."
"Julian, you owe me!" Snively fired back, pointing a finger at him. "Your system would have been fried without my help."
Robotnik then walked up to his nephew and abruptly grabbed him by his shirt collar with force. As Snively whimpered at this, Julian said with anger in his voice and breathing heavily, "After insulting me to my face and threatening to tell my enemies all of my secrets, do you honestly think I should give you any reward at all?"
"Well, sir, you see, I was only
"Don't you dare lie to me!" Robotnik yelled, tossing Snively like a rag doll against the wall. The small lackey yelped in pain as he hit the floor.
"I should kill you on the spot for your treachery!" Robotnik stated with fury, and then began to walk towards him. Snively however cowered in fear when he did so, crawling backwards, wondering what he would do to him. But to his surprise, Robotnik said to him now composed, "But, I suppose saving my system should have some form of payment on your behalf."
Snively then brightened up, as Robotnik continued. "So, my payment is this. I'm going to spare your life and forgive all your treasonous acts and words towards me, this time anyway."
"That's all I'm getting?" Snively inquired disgusted.
"Take or leave it." Robotnik reiterated bluntly. "You got 10 seconds to decide."
Not wanting to die or push his luck, Snively took the deal, as he nodded his head saying, "Ok, I accept."
Robotnik grinned at him in response and said, "I thought you might." After a brief pause, he then said at him at the top of his lungs with rage, "NOW GET OUT OF HERE AND GET BACK TO WORK, YOU INCOMPETENT LACKEY!"
Snively instantly complied, as he ran for his life back to his station. Once he left the room, Robotnik said shuddering with rage to himself, "I'll get even with that vile hedgehog and Princess Sally if it's the last thing I do! They will pay dearly for their dirty tricks to my empire!"
Meanwhile in the Great Forest, Sally soon took a walk by herself to gather her thoughts, as she was unable to sleep that night. Eventually, she made it to the hill where she could see the city from afar off. Once she got there, she stood near the tree on the cliffs and said to herself sighing heavily. "We were so close, and yet so far."
While Sally wasn't angry with her decision to withdraw for now, she wondered if perhaps she should have tried to kill Robotnik instead of using diplomacy.
"Was it the right decision?" Sally asked herself. "I know Sonic's life was at risk, but perhaps I could have freed him another way."
As she pondered this with her arms crossed and head down, Sally saw a shadow enveloping her. Quickly turning around a bit startled, she saw it was none other than the blue blur himself.
She then said to him a bit annoyed at sneaking up on her, "Sonic, what are you doing here?"
Sonic replied walking up to her, "I saw your hut was empty after taking a stroll around Knothole, so I went looking for you. And since this is one your favorite thinking spots, I came here first."
"I guess know me too well, don't you?" Sally commented sighing heavily. She then said to him, "You couldn't sleep either I take it."
Sonic nodded his head and replied a bit awkwardly, "Well, my brush was death did kind of put my mind on overdrive."
"Your mind's always on overdrive." Sally reiterated with a bit on smirk on her face.
"Very funny." Sonic muttered not amused. "So, mind if I ask what are you doing here anyway?"
Sally answered now sobered up, "I'm just trying to make sense of everything tonight."
"Why?" Sonic inquired puzzled. "I thought tonight went pretty well, except for the withdrawing part."
"Yea, that's what been troubling me." Sally said, a bit embarrassed.
"Sonic, do you think I did the right thing in not taking a shot at him?" Sally asked confused.
"Well, you did what you had to do, Sal." Sonic replied, now putting an arm around her. "You saved my life, and that's the important thing."
"I know," Sally replied, now sniffling a bit with tears rolling down her cheeks, "and I wouldn't have done anything different if I had to go through this scenario again because you mean that much to me." She then added after a brief pause, "But I can't help but wonder to myself if I could have saved you and killed that vile man at the same time."
Sally looked at Sonic as he was wiping the tears from her eyes and asked him trying to keep her composure, "Tell me honestly, do you think there was another way out?"
Sonic pondered this for a bit and replied after a brief pause, "Well, my gut feeling unfortunately says no. Robotnik had me right where he wanted me, and I think any attempt to kill him would have meant my death as well."
Sally again sniffed and commented, "I kind of figured as much."
Sonic then hugged her tightly and said, "We'll take him down someday soon, Sal. We're inching closer to victory with every battle we fight. Just don't ever lose heart as we press forward. Your strong will while leading us is more vital to our team's morale than you'll ever realize. Can you promise me this?"
Sally smiled at his embrace and said, "Ok, it's a promise."
After they let go, the 2 of them looked at the evil city holding hands, gazing at it intently without a word spoken. After a minute of this, Sally asked him looking into his eyes, "Sonic, do you think we're destined to be at war with Robotnik for the rest of our lives?"
As Sonic looked at her puzzled, Sally added, "I know it sounds crazy, but I just have this bad feeling inside of me that this war is far from over. I don't know
Maybe I'm being a bit too paranoid now after tonight's close shave."
"It's understandable." Sonic replied, sympathizing with her. "War is never predictable."
"What's your gut feeling about all of this?" Sally asked, needing a bit more assurance.
Sonic pondered it over thoroughly and then said after a long pause, " Well, no one can say for sure what will happen in the future, Sal, but there is one thing I do know."
As Sally looked at him intently, Sonic said, now looking at her intently as well with a hand on her right shoulder, "Until our dying breath, we stand together, united, side by side, fighting for a free Mobius. You hear me?"
After hearing that, Sally felt much more confidence inside. She then said smiling at him while laying her head on his shoulder, "Thanks, Sonic. I needed to hear that."
"Anytime, Sal." Sonic replied, holding her tightly with a warm smile. "Anytime."
The 2 of them then looked at the city again, putting their arms around each other. Neither of them knew how it long it would take, but they vowed to finish what they had started.
Mobius would either be free from Robotink's rule, or they would die trying.