Thrash Metal Miniseries Pitches of Video Game Fanfic – Sean Kilpatrick

Streets of Rage 


Sweat-licked little Blaze is slammed to the mat. An apologetic male sparring partner endures impuissant combos, then puts her down again, face first. She shoves him off, headgear enswathed with bloody hair, shouting: stop holding back, faggot! Freeze over credits – Blaze walloped out of frame. She changes clothes, strolling about nude, showering before male cops in a locker room. Several discuss their urge to lick the mat. Whoever raised that bitch should be high-fived in his casket. Intense, situated away from everyone, scarred up boxer’s build, Adam observes. 

Her presence an anomalous distraction, any kindness paid feeling worse than abuse, affirmative action under the guise of courtship, Blaze haggles with her sergeant for a promotion. Sick of playing prostitute, she demands placement on their elite gang unit. Alternating between cordial common sense and pouty child, she tries maneuvering him. He defers, handing her a sexual harassment pamphlet. And stop sparring like a maniac. You turn less tricks all battered up. No worker’s comp for the CTE you’re unnecessarily incurring! 

A criminal syndicate infests the city. Much of the police force has been compromised. Blaze complains to Alex, railing a speedbag for punctuation. Alex offers logical assessments without being patronizing. Underdressed, Blaze pushes for a good word with the gang unit, of which Alex is a member. He disguises his want very well, defaulting to filial concern. Lust only announces itself in brief moments – rare, suggestive hints Blaze either misses or ignores. Often she abuses his free time with her issues, leaving before he can offer anything but an encouraging word. To retaliate, torn between concern over her safety and resentment for being taunted, he is equally ambiguous with any expectations concerning entry into the unit. 

In the gym, Adam approaches Blaze and her simp sparring partner, a random orbiter kept a few steps below Alex. Seeing Adam, he exits. Slip that fucking gear off, Kelly Kawpowski. Blaze unstraps and flings each glove against his chest. Adam invites her to attack. Blaze charges and is jabbed in the throat, an effortless, invisible strike. Gagged into shock, struggling to breathe, she almost can’t recover. Adam squats next to her, not gloating, monitoring if she’ll survive. Why fight like a man? Blaze can’t respond, eyes watering. Can’t hurt anybody pretending you’re big. Maybe just their feelings. Other such inspirational gibberish. He gets up to her ear and whispers. Try gathering the will and you’re still trying. Leaving, he slips a card in her bra.

Blaze’s entire swanlike throat has bruised shut. Alex talks her into wearing a neck brace. She instigates, hoarsely stuttering, for Alex to help seek revenge. Alex glances at the card, cutting her off, mid-sentence, ushering her out, slamming the door. Heal and stop complaining! Blaze is confused and upset, her last thread of support lost. He finally snapped at the teasing, domineering impositions. At home, staring at the card – a printed address – she begins to cry, but stops, very suddenly, punching herself in the face. The neck brace cracks, hangs there, bounces off the floor.  

Alex takes a seat next to Adam at a dive bar. You really think she’s ready? Or just sick of perfume in your gym? If she ain’t, it’ll be a party to watch her wash out. If she is…nice view during the high jump. Alex: you know, wasn’t just her father that fucked her up. Adam interrupts: why let yourself become another echo in that pussy? Think she’ll let you wear it like a crown if you bow low enough? True, Alex drinks. That’s my problem. Regardless, for all her bullshit, she’s no victim. She’ll take, not break. The right amount fucked up. Adam guffaws: keep playing daddy and she’ll own you for the effort. Alex grins, coldly. Pimp or dad, out of the womb or barreling towards one, our characters select us. Adam laughs: some depressing shit. Let’s walk it off.

They stumble down an alley, playing drunk. A group of sloppy thugs surrounds them. Before the leader can make a demand, Adam whams in, chin to chest, a haymaker, the jawbone ripping exposed in an explosion of blood wrenched down from either side. Shifting slightly, he throws the unconscious body, as it asphyxiates on tongue with a cacophonous gargle, into the others. They dive at Alex and Adam. Alex coolly and systematically bashes anyone who approaches him apart. Adam runs through people, brawling, annihilating them outright. Wet snaps reverberate through the alley, buildings covered wall to wall with gore and blood spray. A series of grunts and death rattles: none of the gang members are left with the physical ability to scream. Adam plucks a tooth out of his knuckle and drops it on the cement.

Blaze stands before a condemned building. She checks the card again and crawls in through a boarded window. Dim light discloses forms wearing formerly white ghees matted with dried blood, chains for belts. Alex and Adam step forward. Welcome to the city’s worst gang. They pair up, bombarding more than sparring, holding back just enough not to kill. Her opponent, the only other female there, much larger, kicks Blaze when she bows, throws her across the room again and again. Blaze begins crying without sobbing. Her opponent steps around her and slams her to the cement. Blaze looks at the pair next to them. A compound fracture juts out of someone’s leg. He laughs, hopping around, congratulating his partner, blood spiraling. Blaze clasps hands with her opponent and is yanked standing, shoulder aslant. Alex and Adam steal glances. Blaze grins, quaveringly, and checks her shoulder into her opponent, correcting it with a horrendous pop, sweeping her, stomping the knee, somersaulting on top, three-striking: diaphragm, throat and eyes. She gives a slow, bloody thumbs up.

Blaze, teenaged – schoolbag, short skirt – skips through the ghetto, Lambada dancing to a Walkman. Her legs are covered with different colored Band-Aids. She rocks ass-length, permed brown hair. Trying to remain as close to the main road as possible, an accident diverts her. Sloppy thugs lying on benches catcall. She bumps into a punk gang, yellow bomber jackets, mohawks. Her ass is grabbed. She jumps and skitters away, cornered by a third gang, further intense, in black karate ghees. One of them kicks her school bag off, spinning her around. Another high kicks so fast wind blows her skirt up. Someone steps behind her without her realizing and administers a carotid artery occlusion. Blaze seizes and faints, drizzling piss. 

A built woman in bondage gear, wrapped in a whip, rifles through Blaze’s school bag. She holds up a gymnastics leotard, unbuttoning, fingering the crotch. People laugh. Blaze sits up, hitting her head on the ceiling of a dog cage. She is naked. The woman wraps the mesh. Her eyes are dead. Another girl Blaze’s age gets dragged by, spitting at and struggling with the karate gang. The woman unfurls her whip, electric surges crinkling, and flicks it backwards, without looking. One of the girl’s breasts smacks the wall. She clenches up on the ground, holding her chest, hyperventilating. Wasteful after two weeks of bratty behavior. You’ll be turned out nice, right, honey? Now set your ass against the mesh. There’s just enough girth in your breathing holes for a dick to fit through. I’ll hold your hand if it hurts. Blaze stiffens, staring. The woman presses her whip to the cage. The metal sings, vibrating. Blaze presents her ass, backing to the mesh. That’s consent, a karate gang member yells, straddling and tipping the cage up, seesawing her onto him. He holds the top, banging her and the cage back down with each thrust. The woman pats the other end. If only you’d been a virgin, bad girl, we wouldn’t be so brazen as to jump you in this way. Blaze stares at her hands grated bloody, refusing to be comforted. Flash of a pink room, a dark figure hovering over Blaze the child. The karate gang member knots strands of Blaze’s hair around the spires of the cage’s ceiling, thrusting meaner, so his force splays her head back, chin tilted. Everything flatters you, even and especially my crimes against you, which is why I shall continue to perform them with gusto, he whispers. The woman grinds against her whip handle, watching.

A police car crashes through the gate of the opulent courtyard they’re in, killing two gang members. Alex steps out, walking a member back, leg in a missed kick smooshed parallel, and breaks his neck against the corner of a building. The woman flees. The man raping Blaze tries to finish before Alex approaches, but is grabbed and gently lifted off of her, mid-stroke. Alex carries him away from Blaze’s line of sight and forces him prone, stomping the erection, splitting it bent in half, blood spurting from the ruptured center. He kicks each testicle flattened into the body, ripped free of its sac, and wipes the blood and sperm on his boot across the man’s face. Unlike most, he states through the death throes, I tend to bask in the dog shit on my boot. Blaze is tearing the hair out of her scalp, pulling against the knots. Alex can’t untie her because she is banging the metal, hysterically ripping and cutting herself. In the delayed awkwardness of being unfastened, she issues a feral scream that does not stop and is inconsolable. Alex panics, cutting the strands with a pocket knife, gathering her up, holding her. She claws, insensate, trying to climb over him, freezing, going limp when she sees the mutilated corpse. Limber in Alex’s arms, she grins, snickering, teeth aglow.

Blaze, in a montage of strike patterns, has become all sinew, closer to an anatomical drawing. She recovers from being hit faster and spars with men, not dominating, but holding her own. Leaping over a man, kicking the back of his head, she touches down expertly. The man undoes his chain and whips it an inch from her face. This provokes a psychotic flashback reaction. She bites a hole in her lip, sacrifices her arm to the chain, and boosts over it, roundhousing the guy unconscious. Blaze uses the bone sticking out of her forearm to wave Alex over. I have some modifications specific to my training I think might help. Alex is proud, pleased. 

Bored walking a beat, dressed whorish, bruised everywhere, donning casts and bandages, Blaze insults potential tricks, following when they leave, mocking nonstop. Another trick pulls up. She leans in and sneezes red snot on the upholstery, calling him names over his protestation. He grabs her arm and is throat-chopped. The head plops, horn blaring. That john is in critical condition, her sergeant yells. I got gangs organizing into an army under this Mr. X! We can’t afford another citizen’s hospital bill. We malign enough of those dipshits as it is. Outside the office, corrupt cops stare them down, plotting. She sits through his tantrum, pressing her calloused palm into the desk, wood creasing. I don’t need a fucking paycheck to perform my calling, you bought cunt. I make homemade tampons out of the checks you cut me! Go fine someone for sneezing! She brings her heel down onto the desk, splitting it in half. He relents, surprised, apologizing. Blaze quits anyway, living in the condemned dojo where she has constructed a towering jungle gym out of hazardous pipes. She strips nude and straps weights over her body, flying through the structure. It tremors with velocity. Performing a handstand, she does twenty-foot-high pushups. Adam applauds. Blaze climbs down, soaked, unstrapping weights, hair covering her face. Need a scrunchie, princess? She throws a weight at him. He catches it. I can fight blind. She cartwheels overhead, knocking him off balance. He lobs a punch and she pretzels around his arm, striking repeatedly, flung a great distance. She lands on her feet, running back, jump-kicking him down. He snatches her backflip steady, nailing a diaphragm shot. She is scooted back by the force, wobbling, repurposing her breath, recovering, blocking and dodging him. He grabs her again. She wraps around him in a judo contortion. He breaks out of it, peeling her off like a screeching cat. They kiss. Blaze rides him, acrobatically, hoisted forward, hair knotted in his fist. She chirps no, clamping on him so tight the sex pauses. They proceed, him regulating her contractions with a slow strangle. Bucking off, Blaze fountains on him, their dampened skin smacking. Adam smirks, most of the cum milked back onto his abdomen. Goddamn, you won this time. She pads away, training again as if nothing happened. 

Sitting upon a throne, draped in shadow, a long-haired wraith wearing a business suit polishes his Tommy Gun. An intense black karate ghee guards him. He motions for a gang member / henchman nearby to approach, tossing a crack pipe. The henchman hits it. The smoke exits his mouth red. He begins frothing, screaming, attacking the closest fellow henchman. The bodyguard kicks him once, bursting both eyes out of his skull, leading him leashed by the optic nerves. He trips in his own vomit. The guard holds him up again, presenting sockets stuffed with bile, still faintly struggling to attack. The man on the throne roars. For too long we’ve cooperated with societal expectation, even as it incorporates our trade. I want to rule the ruins of this city. By no other method shall my image be synthesized.

Cross-legged, books on sambo, judo, yoga, gymnastics, and ninjutsu strewn about, open at different pages, Blaze’s ear twitches. She vaults the length of the loft, landing on a rat, crushing it beneath bare feet. Alex calls her to the roof. Pandemonium in the streets, screaming gangs beating and raping random citizens. Some police join in. Some are killed fighting. Others have abandoned their posts. Compatriots who quit the force with them went for help, creating a stopgap toward Mr. X’s penthouse. I have one question, Alex says, tying on a headband. When you kill your first human being, will you fall apart, or continue fighting? Blaze studies the chaos. People aren’t worth saving. I only want to save the city to test my skills. So you know I could kill forever. Adam is taping his hands. Try not get too lost in it. You don’t experience guilt killing someone in the ring because the risk is mutual. Murdering scumbags is a downright holiday. 

Blaze slips into her vice outfit, distraction as a tactic, an advanced vanity. On the street, already running, she launches off of Alex’s shoulders and jump-kicks a sloppy gang member, reversing the momentum of another, bashing them together, looping around people, palm-striking, gouging, clawing free when overpowered, spitting and hissing. She lands on a punk trying to sweep her, collapsing his lungs. He shudders, gasping, urinating. Blaze squats above his damp patch, plucking the piercings out of his face, one by one, trying some on, tossing them, tromping into his head for leverage, drilling with her heel. She spins over a black karate ghee, running up his chest, pressing his eyes in with her thumbs. Adam slugs, uppercuts – pulverized bodies flying, skulls splintering to the street, the skin of faces disordered under his blows. When he’s outnumbered, he trapezes a roundhouse that shish kabobs everyone dropped together. Alex economically plants kicks and jabs, head butts a thug, cartilage blasting free, inverts a knee, triangle chokes a wild boxing kangaroo trained to maul them. It shrieks, the tongue flying out of its head, landing on Alex’s shoulder, geysers sprinkling. They fight for hours, speechless, an unending sequence of melee, progressively worn and injured. Larger enemies approach with weapons, stabbing at their feet, even as they are dismantled. Blaze encounters a girl who resembles her, but with one breast, eyes red, fighting with her same style. She tries to win her to their side. They tie each other up, hitting at the same time. Blaze snaps, shouting how the missing breast puts her off balance, and cracks her neck between her thighs, draping atop the corpse, weeping. Adam disembowels an obese fighter with a sword, intestines snaking loose, caught on their shoes, stubbed through the street as they stumble on, drenched and swaying. 

Riding an elevator up the penthouse exterior, they send henchmen tumbling off the side. A sea of splatted viscera lines the courtyard. Inside, Blaze recognizes the dominatrix with the looping whip. In a trance, she picks glass from her shoulders, wrings a quart of blood out of her hair, and charges, diving past humming electric lashes. She prongs the woman’s throat, squeezing while hurdling her, shredding the meat under her chin down to one flap. Plunked upon the chortling mess, Blaze shoves the whip-handle inside, beneath the skirt, feeding it, switching the electricity on till skin glows parted from muscle, till the hair and clothes catch fire. She punches the melting head, scalding her hands, moaning: it’s so good! against the sizzle sound. Alex lifts her off, she fights away, mock-fucking her hips, stomping the oozing skull into the expensive carpet, smearing it along to the final door. A volley of bullets zips through, hitting Blaze in the shoulder and Adam in the forearm. They roll inside, Adam dashing at the Tommy Gun – part of his ear shot off – disarming the shooter. Alex and the guard squares off. Outclassed with speed, Alex dodges and works his joints, slowing them even. Overpowering him piecemeal, he punts the guard off the side of the building. Adam boxes the shooter, leading with his good arm. Struggling for control of the weapon, he hocks bits of molar into the man’s eye, combos close, cornering, and bites a hole in his throat. Lugging him to the throne, Adam parts his mouth on the seat, curb-stomping the back of his head. Teeth dart across the room, some landing in the taxidermy up above. They take turns passing out until the last few surviving members of their team rescue them.

The city is temporarily regained. Blaze sits in a small apartment, covered in scars, eyes dead. Her demeanor is adrenally charged, jerky. Alex visits with a clean set of bandages. Their hands meet, trembling at the same wavelength. They fuck at a clipped tempo, injured, Alex doting over her, eating her out. She’s held close, eye contact. Cuddling, he hints at marriage. She stares ahead, numb, interrupting him, grabbing his shoulder, cutely shaking him from his reverie. It wouldn’t be fair to either of us. Happy endings are for jerking off. None could compare to the heights we just visited. Can’t you tell I prefer bad behavior over any plan? They grin and begin training again, meeting Adam for a celebratory drink.



Subcomandante Sonic 


Smokestacks masticate the skyline of Robotnik’s city. Night is no longer a feature here. Bots shaped like animals scan a glowing, poisoned forest. Smaller versions of each breed are visible, entombed alive behind the red scrim comprising the machine’s eyes. Sonic and his lover, Princess, dressed like resistance fighters, break cover. Rendezvousing with other black-clad animals, they examine a map, bomb targets underlined. Princess shudders at the memory of how peaceful their planet once was. Sonic pets her quills, recounting when they met. He tripped out of an epic speedrun at the sight of her bathing in a waterfall. Vomiting black hunks of bile, Tails interrupts their reverie. During the day, everything is seen through a haze of pollution. They train to destroy a power station, disseminating anti-Robotnik pamphlets, Sonic’s gloves smoking as he writes longhand. Intricate movements irritate and confound him. Tails, taking notes with one tail, comforting with another, gathers counter-intelligence off a freed slave from the city, a rabbit made permanently dizzy by torturous forced labor.

On a high balcony, Robotnik observes rows of bots. Banners surround him. He steps inside, conferring with his advisor, an animal collaborator, Knuckles. Born despising his kind, Knuckles supports this imposed industrial revolution wholeheartedly, quipping that Sonic and company are disgusting environmentalist do-gooders, a sub-clump kibbutz, an insensate rabble. They move through opulent, golden, gaudy, air-conditioned rooms, idly toying with appliances. Attractive female animals are marched in. Knuckles sticks a gloved finger down one of their throats, gums spread. She instinctually gnaws. He replaces his finger with the barrel of a Luger, firing after a long pause. The fur on her caved-in snout ignites and he stomps it out, smearing a boot along the carpet. Messy fucking beasts! The rest are directed to his bedchambers. Bear bots buzz over, cleaning the gore. Faint weeping is audible, echoed inside.

Sonic zooms through an effulgent, circumvolving metropolis, dodging bots, collecting rings that loop around his body for armor. He bobs by brocaded corkboard terrains, sinks into verdant crenatures, releasing crates of supplements. Balling up, he bashes a bot out of the air. Metal roars open, exposing the little animal within, gears popped through its flesh, now torn asunder, mutilating it worse, fur and blood scrambled about the machine’s husk. Sonic cuts himself extracting the remains, failing to resuscitate the creature, its bowels coating him as the dismembered torso, one arm meekly shielding half a head from sunlight, lags into a single twitch. Henceforth, Sonic’s face occasionally bears the same twitch. He runs and its shrieking follows him. He avoids bots, striking only when cornered, holding back so the hull drops without exploding, but is soon informed the animals rot inside anyway, dying of dehydration over the following days, and resolves to limit defensive maneuvers, sometimes vomiting, caught by his speed, after being forced to kill his kind.

Knuckles invades the gorilla holdout while Sonic is away. Riding bots, he slaughters animals, intercepting Tails mid-flight, plucking the eye out of his skull, tossing it at Princess. He corners her, peeling off a glove so he can test her temperature – Gotta see if you can incubate my seed. She snarls at him, deliberately animalistic, preparing to commit seppuku on her own quills. Sonic zips in at the last minute, covered with the viscera of destroyed bots, ramming Knuckles, who lands, scrambling to flee, minus an arm. Princess discovers bot-innards, tremoring with realization. Sonic sobs, begging forgiveness. Kissing, snotting on each other, they drop, fucking amidst the wreckage, coming together, a corybantic paradiddle spiked back and forth for penance. Tails recovers, detonating the power station bombs Sonic planted. The city flickers dark. Robotnik, furious, pursues Sonic in an orbiting craft, smashing and smashed in return. Surviving the conflagration, scrambling away from a homicidal Sonic, Robotnik presents a large emerald to distract him and stumbles off. Touching the surface, Sonic enters a floating labyrinth with swirling, kaleidoscopic backdrops, bouncing toward more emeralds that shock him with energy once obtained.

Liberated from labor camps and bots, many animals build makeshift villages. Some stay, too damaged to embrace freedom. A charged, more powerful Sonic, recruits soldiers for his war to finish Robotnik. His manner has become focused, militant. The animals call each other comrade. Princess births Sonic’s litter in a communal hut with a number of other families. Sonic catches a couple of his soldiers raping a villager and lines them against a wall, spin dashing through their splattered bodies. To regulate the chaos of a fledgling society, Sonic develops a taste for punishment, establishing verdicts of execution for anyone deemed a hindrance to the party. At night, Princess snuggles him. He states: we have already brought forth a litter of revolutionaries, comrade wife. To join together in copulation would be so much decadent excess. Princess thanks him. I will remember to tend our humble farm when tempted to sacrifice my utility to sybaritic pursuits. He pats her: Sybaritic is too big of a word. Good members of the proletariat never speak with pretension. Sonic is brought a list of animals guilty of bourgeois transgression. An unkempt Tails begs Sonic to withdraw from this extreme ideology. We can still work together as individuals, for a cause, not of it, to overcome Robotnik. Sonic considers his friend’s elimination. Have you divided your loyalties in the name of selfish enterprise? – Search my eyes and see, Tails says, untying his eyepatch. Sonic uses the electric light of a quill to peer deep inside the socket. I see no tears, brother. Tails is spared, but banished to the outskirts. You were the rare kind of leader I was proud to follow, living as one component of your shadow, for a necessary duration, not because I valued shade, but to preserve my own quality of life – not a blotted out, joint productiveness – to be delivered from an oppressor, not to cultivate that adumbration into an equally sinister replacement. Nobody hears him. He packs bags, entering isolation. Making sure she is unobserved, Princess taps the window. Tails, swing starting the propeller of his biplane, waves. She removes a glove, pressing her paw against the glass.

Robotnik and Knuckles inhabit a skyscraper in the reduced city. Roving brownouts punctuate their conversation. They discuss plans to offer mortgages, loans, and welfare to the animals building their houses, under the guise of reparations for previous turmoil. Knuckles has a robotic arm he uses to flip through business books. Robotnik replaces animal bots with uninhabited insect bots. He explains how the animals inside his bots served no benefit from an engineering standpoint, just a predilection for sadism. He’s matured beyond such adolescent malice, and wants to help boost the economy. They decide it would be best to let time pass, till the animals forget the enormity of their crimes, before introducing a tax plan.

Sonic and his freedom fighters decimate insect bots and animal collaborators, killing a path toward Robotik’s skyscraper. They find distant relatives of Knuckles, a small family, and flatten the screeching litter smudged along the length of Sonic’s dash. Knuckles expresses his indifference through a bullhorn. A barbed, Sonic-shaped bot is deployed and clobbered into bolts. Sonic holds the head up next to his: no monuments, no gods! Robotnik and Knuckles, cornered in their office, attempt to survive by agreeing to take on animal workers at the factory, with benefits and a living wage. If I die, there’s no excavation of emeralds, Robotnik intones, presenting another emerald. They require intensive mining, you know. Sonic blacks out, wakes racing around an assembly line dome, bonking into orbs, replacing them with rings, burnt by emeralds. His fur is scorched yellow. Robotnik offers to buy a drooling Sonic’s rings for a hefty fee.

Sonic and Princess live in a mansion. Princess idolizes factory workers, threatening to apply to work in one, but primps herself and sleeps all day instead. Billboards with furry bodies line bustling enclaves. Their litter overdoses at boarding school. Competing with animals, Sonic races through tubes for emeralds, winning, though he’s grown fat. He grovels sexually before Princess, always half hard, eating her out instead of copulating, asking nightly for affection, more often spurned and turning to groupies. His face is on t-shirts in a revolutionary pose. Tails has been found in his cabin, hanged by both tails. It is reported as a misadventure in autoerotic asphyxiation. There are no longer bots, yet every animal has an entertainment center implanted in the palm of its glove. They work to pay for repairs when too much masturbation causes a glitch in the device.

Sonic bickers with Robotnik about shared profits on his merchandise. Gaining an emerald, he rubs against it, purring and lisping. He presses a glove over his eyes, watching footage of his faster self. Knuckles, in shades and business suits, begins an affair with Princess. After coming harder than she ever has, she admonishes Knuckles for the crimes of his past. Hey, we were young, babe, Knuckles replies, hardly listening, wiping her off of him. I only regret a crime if it doesn’t add a couple courses to my meal. Okay, Princess fumes, touching his Luger, realizing: death only counts anymore if it’s someone’s status. She topples Robotnik and Knuckle’s company with public accusations of indecent behavior on their part and takes a seat behind Robotnik’s desk, which is painted pink. She feigns fellating a Robotnik cigar, then throws it out the window. Knuckles is kept as a fuck toy, a pale, unconfident version of himself. His robotic arm malfunctions when Princess squirts on it. Sonic runs alongside their convertible, giving them the finger. Whenever Sonic ventures to expose Princess, he is demonized and humiliated for trying to oppress a female. The animals live in the same squalid state as before, but like looking at her.

Living in Tails’s cabin, Sonic rubs salve on his arthritic legs. On the few occasions he ventures outside, animals throw things at him. Limping home, Sonic encounters a destitute Robotnik holding a food sign, moustache grown down to his shoes. An animal stops and lifts its leg. Joke’s on him, Robotnik mumbles. Sonic leans in to hear, asking why. Because I never freed my slaves…I just broadened their quarters. Robotnik hands him the last emerald, which stinks like eggs. A secret about me is I invented a carburetor that made gas mileage a nonissue and the oil companies of my planet killed my wife and hunted me for so long I basically became them. Out of spite, which is all there is. Sonic, busy pawing the emerald, drops his groceries, revs up, fighting through the pain, and rams his body into a stone edifice of himself standing in a glorious pose. His quills spike through to his front. He dies, writhing, skewered in the matrix they cut into him, slowly widening each hole.

A limo arrives at Sonic’s empty funeral. Princess, wearing sunglasses, decked out in expensive attire, steps out. Knuckles follows suit, looking subservient. Princess removes a glove, setting her paw on the closed casket. Knuckles guffaws. Princess puts her glove back on and snaps her fingers. Two large bears rip Knuckle’s robot arm off. He fights back, blinding them with blood, vicious again, growling, snarling, gliding and punching with his free arm, but is overpowered and bitten in half, onward from the ass, honking dementedly. Knuckle’s entrails festoon the funeral. Princess snaps her fingers again. The bears are confused. She does the murder motion at herself. They refuse their order. She removes the sunglasses and weeps atop the coffin, plucking out her quills and fur. My bark returns, she whispers, rescued from the prison of a sentence. I never believed in anything we fought for. I just liked watching you work. Bleeding from her patches, lying emaciated on the coffin, refusing to let it be lowered, Princess’s beautiful skeleton becomes a statuary that the animals present their palms to, pulling out the screens with their teeth. Cities disappear below the brush. All animals form one mewling clump, an orgy in freshly grown fields.