Author's Chapter Notes:
Sonic/Blue (c) Sega SonicTeam
Miles/Tails (c) Sega SonicTeam
Knuckles (c) Sega SonicTeam
Amelia/Amy Rose (c) Sega SonicTeam
The Chaotix/Vector, Charmy, Espio (c) Sega SonicTeam
Metalla (c) Sega SonicTeam
Red (c) Sega SonicTeam
The Babylon Rogues/Jet, Wave, Storm (c) Sega SonicTeam
Reginald (c) Sega SonicTeam
The Knothole Crew/Sally, Antoine, Bunnie, Rotor
Mighty & Ray (c) Sega SonicTeam
Ki & Sam (c) My younger sister
Blue and the others zipped to the museum, but found that it had been recently invaded, and their item was stolen. When Wave heard this, she let out a cry of frustration, leaving Miles to be the voice of reason.

“Do you know who took it?” Miles asked, trying to calm down Wave. “We have to get it back, no matter what.” He looked each of the troubled employees in the eye. “Did any of you see the thief?”

“It was…it was a…” One of the employees started, and then held his mouth, like he was about to barf.

“It was something indescribable.” Another continued. “No doubt the young Dr. Robotnik’s work.”

“WHAT!?” Sam cried, stepping forward. “Then that’s where it must be! Let’s go!” He grabbed Bean and Miles by the arm and dragged them out of the museum. Miles gave a quick movement to call the others along, then pulled loose so he could walk normally.

Elsewhere, gentle music played in a dark room, the sunlight blocked by dark curtains over the windows. Inside this room, a graceful ballerina danced endlessly, each pass by the windows lighting up her delicate features. Her round ears were adorned with crystal earrings, and her leotard and tutu, shades of pink and blue, moved with each step, each sway of her hips and each stretch of her arms.

Her lips parted slightly as she lowered herself cross-legged, then jumped high into the air, where strong hands caught her and held her there until she lowered and then performed a pas de deux with him. Her soft eyes closed and her hands rested in the stranger’s easily, her small body clasped in his hands as he bent her back, then spun her slowly as she rose up her leg behind her.

The music came to a stop finally and the stronger let her down gently. She quickly backed away from him with quick, nimble steps and then turned to the blocked windows, where she hoped to catch a glimpse of the bright blue sky.

“I got you something.” The stranger said, pulling out a shimmering purple gem. “I thought you might like it.” He turned her to him with a gentle push and took her hands, placing the gem into them. “It’s called a Chaos Emerald.”

She looked at it, it’s gentle light reflecting in her blue eyes, then handed it back to him. “I don’t want it. I’ll bet you stole it from a museum somewhere.” She said, turning away. He took it and shrugged, putting it back in his pocket.

“Do you really think I’d do that?” He asked, touching her shoulder gently as he moved closer to her.
“Yes.” She snapped, looking over her shoulder. “Don’t touch me!” She spun away from him and moved to another window, trying to pull open the drapes. “I won’t turn to you, I won’t!” She insisted, shaking her head.

He sighed and gripped her shoulders tightly. “Bark, you don’t have much of a chance in this matter.” He turned her to him. “Sam, as far are you are concerned, is dead.” He growled, and then forced a crushing kiss onto her thin, delicate lips.

She cried out, but his kiss blocked her, and her open mouth only allowed him to penetrate her lips further, forcing into a French kiss. She floundered for a bit, then tried to push him away.

He gripped her wrists and pushed her up against the wall, making it impossible for her to move away. Then he slowly moved his hands down her arm, his body pressed against hers as she struggled to escape. There was no escape, she knew that, but she had to try!

“Reginald, we’ve got a problem!” Jet said, slamming open the door and interrupting what they were doing. “Wave’s gone to join M, and the Freedom Fighters have joined him as well.”

“The Freedom Fighters?” Reginald said, pulling out of the obscene kiss. “How? I thought she belonged to you?” He stopped pinning her and turned to him. “Explain, Jet.”

“Well, this slave brat named Miles Prower came with his loser friends and busted her out. We tried to follow, but one of the losers has super-speed. A lot like M, really.” Jet explained shrugging. “Do you think that’s who he based M’s design off of?”

“I know it is, Jet.” Reginald replied, walking over to join him. “But, let’s continue this topic elsewhere. My ballerina wishes to dance.” He led him out and slammed the door behind him, blocking her protests.

“No, I don’t!” Bark yelled, but she wasn’t heard. Soon she heard the door locked and stomped her foot. “Fine. I’ll dance, since there isn’t anything else to do in here.” She walked over and chose another record, then put it on in the stereo. Then she turned and raised her arms and leg up, then lowered them to her sides as she stepped quickly on her tiptoes and then spun.

Back with Blue and Co., they were riding at full speed to a large castle-like fortress in the ship M had let them use to get to Station Square. Bean leaned out the window with his tongue hanging out like a dog in a car on the freeway while the others planned.

“We’ll charge in and kick Reginald’s sorry ass!” Sam said, slamming a fist into his palm. “Who cares about his damn security!”

“Let’s be reasonable here, guys.” Sally said, crossing her arms. “He could be prepared for us, especially since Jet may’ve told him about Wave’s escape by now.”
“Oh, yeah…” Sam grumbled, crossing his arms. “So, what’s YOUR bright idea?!” He looked at Sally, then Miles. Miles just sat there thoughtfully without saying a word. “Hello~?! I’m trying to save Bark here!”

“I’m thinking.” Miles said, glaring at him briefly, and then closed his eyes. Was there a map of the place somewhere? He looked at Wave. “Wave, do you have a map of this place?”

“I…might be able to get one by hacking into their computers. Why?” She asked, looking at him. “Do you have a plan?”

“I might.” Miles said, nodding. “Can you also get the security schedules?” He added, reaching into his tails and pulling out a clip-on device that Blue had never seen before.

“What’s that?” He asked, zipping over to have a look as Miles tugged out some sort of flash drive from it.

“It’s my hacking device.” Miles replied, smiling slightly. “From when I was in those gangs.” He plugged it into the USB Port on the laptop Wave pulled out and then said, “Alright, now open up the folder with it and click the program ‘Hack ‘em.’ It’ll get you in no problem.”

Blue blinked, then realized that, even though he’d been with him a while, he knew next-to-nothing about his little friend’s past. Even Knuckles, who flaunted himself, was a mystery to him. And now Miles was pulling out something from the past he hated…
His friends, he had to admit it, were strange.

Wave hooked up a printer to her laptop – where did she get that, Blue wondered – and then used the program Miles mentioned to hack into Dr. Robotnik’s inner workings. “Wow. What kind of life did you live before, kid? One of crime?”

“Practically.” Miles shrugged. “I was in a lot of gangs, most of them against my choice.” He then turned away, hiding his face from everyone. Bean spotted it though and zipped over.

“Miles…What’s up?” Bean asked, touching his shoulder with an attitude as calm as Shadow’s. This kinda’ creeped out Blue, but he just watched. What had happened? “You can share with me, bud.” Bean added encouragingly, and Miles shook his head slowly.

“No…it’s my burden to bear…” He said, and then walked past him wiping his eyes. Bean narrowed his eyes and followed him into the cockpit, where Miles was to go and make sure the autopilot was working okay. Narrowing his own eyes, Blue followed as well.

“Why are you hiding? Last we saw you were hiding from that freak, and now…GAH! Haven’t I already proven that I can help?! You’d still be with that spider-guy if it wasn’t for me!” Bean was saying when Blue slipped over to eavesdrop.
“I can’t tell you! It’s too terrible!” Miles said, tears slipping down his face. Blue’s eyes widened, but he stayed where was, listening. “I’m not free! I’m a run-away slave who was captured and I’d be better off DEAD by the Humans’ hands right now!” He fell back in the chair. “You don’t know what it was like…the whips…the chains…the bullets in my arms…” He bent his head into his hands. “I can’t go back to that, I can’t!”

“I’m not saying you should!” Bean said, shaking Miles’s shoulders to knock some sense into him. “I’m trying to decrease the burden you’re carrying!” He raised his head up with his hand. “I’m your friend, Miles. Don’t leave me in the dark about your pain.”

Miles looked up at him, and then pulled away. “I’m not trying to…but…” He sighed. “It’s too hard to share.” He slowly undid his shirt’s buttons, then pulled it down, revealing brutal scars on his chest, back and shoulders. There were also scars on his neck and lower torso. “It hurts to remember…” He said, his eyes shaking as he looked away.

Bean and Blue both winced when he revealed his old scars, and then Bean reached over and tugged the shirt back into place. “I’m…I’m so sorry, Miles…” He took Miles into his arms, holding him close. Miles quivered, then clung to Bean as tears slipped down his face.

Feeling like an intruder who didn’t belong, Blue quickly retreated back to the others, where he tried to act like he’d been there all along.

A few minutes after Blue’s hasty retreat, Miles and Bean came back, neither of them looking like something bad had happened. In fact, they looked almost cheerful, considering that they had someone to rescue.

“Do we have what I asked for?” Miles asked, walking over to Wave. “We’re getting close enough to plan.”

Wave nodded, then handed the papers she’d printed out to him. “Okay, what’s our plan?” She asked, looking at him.

Miles looked it over, and then grinned. “Listen up…”

To be continued…
Chapter End Notes:
No, you never get to hear the plan. You only hear it get carried out, or get interrupted.
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