My Little Hedgehog: Freedom Is Magic
Rainbow Dash rocketed over the western part of the Unicorn Range, easily exceeding the speed of sound. Rainbow Dash loved that feeling, the roar of noise, explosive sonic boom, then only the sound of the wind whistling in her ears. She closed her eyes sucked in a deep breath of crisp, clean supersonic air above the Everfree forest.
It was great to be alive, great to live in the magical land of Equestria, a utopian country free from pollution or strife. The dangers of Nightmare Moon and Discord stifled easily by the elements of harmony. A third threat, that of the changeling Queen Chrysalis, beaten through the power of pure love.
Not less than a few hundred miles away, Sonic the Hedgehog blasted toward the mountains southeast of the Kingdom of Mercia. Sonic loved the feeling of the wind whistling through and around him as he tore out of the southernmost part of the Deerwood Forest. He relished the acceleration and easy grace he achieved only his feet and years of battle...
Sonic and his friends; Tails, Knuckles, and Amy Rose revisiting Mercia in order to pay a visit to Amy's cousin, Rob O'Hedge. It was a pleasant visit, a nice change from where they all lived. War-torn Northamer had certainly seen a lot of action.
First the Great War against the Overlanders, in which Sonic's own father fought. Then the first Robotnik War, ending when they thought they had ended the threat of Robotnik when he was consumed by his own Ultimate Annihilator. Now the second Robotnik War, still going on, now against the equally evil extra dimensional Dr. Eggman, who had masterminded the instruction of Knothole Village, the slaughter and enslavement of many Mobian races; the bees, the echidnas, and now with his dreams of roboticizing the world, nobody was safe from his control. With the exception of the Republic of Acorn, of which Sonic was a proud citizen and Gentlemen at Arms for the state (his knighthood having been revoked in a mishap).
And Robotnik had been quiet of late. "Weirdly quiet" as Knuckles had put it. But this vacation was good; it was nice to get away from the recently razed plains near New Mobotropolis, away from the ash choked skies of New Megaopolis, and the polluted desert of the Oil Ocean Zone.
Sonic inhaled deeply as he stood on a low hill, looking out at the tall, imposing-looking gray faces of the mountains. Soft currents of the summer wind ruffled his quills and wafted the heavy scent of flowers that made Mercia such a desirable country. It was good to be alive, good to have friends, allies, friendly rivals… Even a girlfriend! At that, Sonic burst down the low grassy bluff, shooting off toward the mountains, determined to climb the highest one he could find. He raced forward at full throttle, watching their lower slopes draw near. His eyes wide, he began to laugh, free of worry and pushed himself harder, accelerating faster… Faster… Faster!!
Rainbow Dash's attention was drawn suddenly by a humongous ripple in the sky. Something over to the North… "Huh?" She said, and bolted toward the now pulsating epicenter of the turbulence.
Sonic had halted quite suddenly; his face had impacted solidly with something that stopped him dead in his tracks, his momentum temporarily crushing him against the churning barrier. Sonic could only see the barrier (after his eyes focused) when he struck or even just touched it. He rubbed the quickly fading bruise on his chin, pondering the strange shield. He decided eventually the just feel along the edge and call Tails, perhaps he would know what to do. Sonic began jogging around the shield, his hand sliding effortlessly along its surface, causing a long wave to flow like water behind him as he ran.
Rainbow Dash turned sharply on her way to investigate the ripples, they had begun to move! She flapped her wings harder, boy they were moving fast! But she had almost caught up to what appeared to be causing it. She looked…and couldn't quite believe her eyes. She had suspected some hotshot pegasus and a unicorn friend were trying some magic trick or special effect. But what she saw she couldn't believe, somepony (was it even a pony?) was easily keeping pace with her on foot! She flew closer, waving to the strange blue thing, but it didn't seem to notice her. She flew even closer, looking right into the strange flattened face it seemed to wear a look of confusion and wonder sit traced its…Jeez! What was that!? It looked like a monkey hand in a glove! Rainbow Dash tried again and again the creature's attention but the green oval slits RD the resumed her eyes were still transfixed at the ripples emanating from the hand. Dash had had enough, and decided just to try to touch it, whatever it was.
Sonic was staring avidly at his hand, marveling at the ripples in the shield. Still no change and no breaks in its pristine surface. He was running along, starting to feel a little bored, and something warm and circular pressed against his chest…
" Wow! This guy can move fast" thought RD, for upon touching the creature's chest, he had leapt away 15 feet into the air and was now looking roughly in her direction. Then it hit her, "of course! There must be something between us only I can see through!" She leaned right, and suddenly she heard a cry of surprise from the creature, who skidded to a halt, wider eyed than ever before.
Sonic gawked at the little winged horse that had appeared out of nowhere, and now swooped and settled in front of him, trotting the last few steps.
"Hi!" Said the pony.
"Heh-heey” Sonic responded awkwardly.
"Oh wow!" The pony exclaimed, "You talk! Awesome! So what are you? You gotta name?"
Sonic, now over the initial shock, composed himself and grinned "I'm Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog, and you are?"
The pony drew herself up proudly, six-colored mane fluttering like her wings in the breeze "my name is Rainbow Dash, weatherpony, overall awesomeness, and future member of the Wonderbolts!" She settled back onto the grass, "you can just call me Dash, or RD, whatever, anyway…" She scrutinized Sonic once more. "So, where are you from? I don't think I've ever seen anypony… or anything like you."
"I'm from Northamer, a country really far away from here, but I guess because you live in that shield you haven't seen a Mobian before."
"Huh? What shield?
"Didn't you see? I was running my hand along it, that's what was making these…" Sonic dropped, rolled, the world in place, charging up his signature spin dash, and then roared forward crashing headlong into the shield.
`The earthshaking, bone-rattling impact nearly caused Dash to fall over her she was so surprised, . But, sure enough, A golden barrier frothed and rippled like disturbed water sending out fading waves of energy pulsing into the sky. But RD only glanced at them, concerned that Sonic may very well have split his huge head open proving his point. But Sonic was walking calmly back, completely unscathed.
"See, THAT shield, or barrier, or whatever it is."
"Wow, you're pretty fast." Dash remarked.
"PRETTY FAST!?" Sonic huffed "I'm faster than fast, the fastest thing alive!"
"Big talk from somepony who can't fly!"
"Oh and flying makes you fast? That's rich, even my friend Tails can fly, and he's a fox!"
Rainbow Dash was taken aback, but was sure he was joking "well, I can think of only one way to settle this!" She grinned "let's raced to prove who's the fastest!"
"Right on! Where to?"
"Uhhh…" Rainbow Dash looked around but Sonic interrupted.
"Hang on" he said "my friend is here I have to wave them down."
“Down?” Said Dash.
But Sonic was gone, running in a large circle to attract the attention of a fast-moving biplane, coming down to meet them.
Sonic stopped right in front of the biplane, the Tornado 2 Mk 3, and greeted Tails
"Hey Sonic!" Tails called, cutting the motor and hopping out.
"Hey buddy!" They exchanged high fives "come meet my new, hopefully friendly, rival!"
Tails's mouth dropped open as Rainbow Dash fluttered over to meet them "but it's a… a… I mean…"
"Pegasus, yeah" Rainbow Dash interrupted "and that's she's a pegasus, she's a really awesome pegasus, anyway" Dash turned from the slowly recovering Tails, "so is this that friend you are talking about? ‘cause I don't count using a plane as being able to fly!"
Sonic started to speak, but Tails had recovered enough to introduce himself "my name's Miles, Miles Prower…"
Rainbow Dash fell over laughing "miles per hour!?" She giggled and rolled.
"But you can call me Tails…" finished a disgruntled Tails.
Sonic laughed and patted tails’ shoulder, "Hey buddy, come over here, I wanted to show you this" he walked over to the dirt mark he had made to indicate the edge of the shield. Tails pulled out the iPad like Miles electric, and Sonic crouched into position a few feet from the shields edge.
“Telemetries activated Sonic” said Tails “ready when you are.”
Sonic nodded, curled, and charged his spin dash once more and blasted forward, causing another wave of golden ripples to run off into the horizon.
"Got it?" Sonic asked.
"Got it!" Tails responded, walking forward to the edge of the barrier. He pressed the Miles electric to its surface and gently rocked back and forth. Rainbow Dash trotted up to Sonic and both watched Tails work.
"So, what's he doing?" She asked, staring in puzzlement as tails pressed innumerable buttons and sliders that popped up on the screen even once silencing an alert tone.
"You got me," replied Sonic "so, what's it like in there? You know, in the shield?"
Rainbow Dash’s face broke into a wide grin, "oh man, it's the most awesome place ever! You just wait!" She explained about the pristine and beautiful country of Equestria. She told of the ponies, the princesses, the many magical creatures and other intelligent species that lived there. Creatures like mules, donkeys, griffins, minotaurs, and even goats.a "And of course it's not just Pegasus ponies, there's also unicorns and earth ponies. Unicorns, like my friends Twilight and Rarity, use magic, and earth ponies, like my other friends Pinkie Pie and Applejack use their talents of their cutie marks!" She gestured to her flank and then paused, thoughtful "well, actually everypony uses their cutie marks' talent, just earth ponies more than anypony else because they don't have wings or magic.”
Rainbow Dash stared back and forth between them, a little annoyed, their blank expressions stating clearly that they couldn't quite believe what she was saying. It's not like she was telling him a fairytale! "You know what? Just come with me!" She grabbed Sonic's wrist, and dragged him over to the barrier.
"Whoa! Wait! I can't go through there let go of--!"
Both he and Rainbow Dash disappeared.
"Sonic!" Tails called, as he ran up to the shields and pressed his hand against it.
Seconds passed, Tails was starting to get worried, when Rainbow Dash’s head and hoof appeared in front of him. "Come on!" Said Rainbow Dash as she grabbed Tails's hand, and before he could protest, Tails was dragged in.
Tails stumbled, his tails whirled, and he hovered little before dropping back down. Rainbow Dash watched the whole time.
"Okay, no tricks, how in Equestria did you do that?" She demanded
Tails was a little taken aback "do what?" He asked
"Don't play dumb with me Mr.! Fly! That's what! How did you just fly!?"
"Oh, right…" Tails was a little abashed, nobody had ever questioned his ability to fly before, but of course this was her first experience with Mobians. "Well, my ability to fly is based on my genetic mutation of having two tails, hence my nickname."
Rainbow nodded and Tails continued.
"By oscillating the two extremities and an interlocking pattern, I create a gyroplane like effect, and given the nature and placement of my tails, I have no need for stabilizing rudder!"
Rainbow Dash nodded again, then turned to Sonic, who was standing tall, his eyes closed.
"So, how does he fly?" She asked
"He spins his tails, and the wind pushes him up"
"Oh! Why didn't you just say so Tails?"
Tails didn't answer, but haughtily busied himself with the Miles Electric, in response to a beep.
Sonic interrupted him "Tails…"
He looked up. "Yeah?"
"Can you feel that?"
Tails paused, listening, feeling, smelling, something.
"It's like… Like I'm holding a power ring… But I'm not…" Sonic marveled.
Then, Tails noticed, his body, doubtless like Sonic's seemed to be charged with energy. Tails turned quickly back to the Miles Electric, opening one of its many applications.
"What guys?" Rainbow Dash asked worriedly "feel what?"
The Miles Electric beeped, and Tails called "Sonic! This place is bathed in--! “
"Chaos energy!" They finished in unison.
Rainbow Dash jumped into a fighting position. Her eyes darting from side to side "Chaos! Where? Is Discord back?"
The two Mobians looked at each other. "I don't think so…" Said Tails
"Who's Discord? Asked Sonic.
Rainbow Dash is formally vigilant expression softened to a smile. "Well, it's a long story, how about I tell you on the way to Ponyville?"
"Is that where you live?” Asked Sonic
She smiled "You bet! Just follow me!" And with that she launched herself into the air and prepared to bolt away.
"Wait!" Shouted Tails "can we get my plane first?"
– – –
Colored its normal bright red, it would ordinarily be very obvious and quickly destroyed. But, painted grassland camouflage-colored as it was, the small, floating E-1002 Egg Flapper was not noticed by Sonic, Tails, or the strange cyan pegasus. And its camera eyes recorded Sonic, Tails, and the pony pushing the Tornado through the spatial anomaly.
Dr. Ivo Robotnik, better known as Dr. Eggman, sat in the seat of his Egg-Mobile, eyes fixed on the screen in front of him.
"… how?" He muttered to himself. "HOW!?!?!" He screamed at the Dark Egg Legionnaires operating the control room monitors.
"We have something!" An echidna called from the scanner team. "And energy reading from that…err…thing…"
"The pegasus?" Suggested Robotnik
"Yes sir, that, it seems to put off an energy field of the shield recognizes and admits. This can then be spread to other things, or people, it touches."
Eggman sat back, his hand scraping down his face. Since he had discovered the shield, he had tried every conceivable method to break in. Digging, cutting, and blasting (sometimes all at once), all had proved useless. So in the end the challenge had just fallen to the back of his mind. But now Sonic had gotten in, on his first try! He brooded for several more seconds, and suddenly, something clicked. Snively ordered the Egg Flapper to retreat, and the idea solidified in his mind.
"Snively!" He called, and his nephew turned quickly to face him.
"Yes uncle?" He drawled
"I want you to recall the Eggman Fleet task force, not the whole Egg Fleet, just the task force!"
"I want you to send them to the dockyards, and funnel all available power rings there as well! Oh, what the heck, order a general alert to grab any power rings, and ship them to the dockyard!"
Snively's eyebrows peaked, as did his interest "Power rings uncle? Surely we don't need to convert the fleet over to power ring energy…?"
"Of course not! Just do as you're told!" Eggman roared. "And change course," he continued more quietly. "We have a certain echidna's laboratory to visit…"
– – –
Sonic sat on the wing of the Tornado, watching the mountains and forests roll past underneath. It was a beautiful, the sun shone bright and warm, the trees were a shining emerald sheen, the mountains a simple matte gray. The air was clear and cool, and the patches of water below winked up at him like diamonds.
Sonic grew restless; he paced back and forth across the wings, watching Rainbow Dash dart among the clouds. Her mane and tail left a bright sparkling rainbow wherever she went. He was considering jumping off the plane to blow off some steam, but she called out.
"There it is!" She yelled over the engine.
She dove down, bursting through a bank of clouds streaking over the town square, the Tornado flying close behind. Ponies gawked at Dash’s entourage, who stared right back as they flew by; Tails nearly crashing into Sugarcube Corner for his error. Rainbow Dash directed Tails to park in the widest boulevard she could find, which just so happened to be in front of the library…
A moment later, Twilight Sparkle burst from her front door, Spike close behind her.
"Hey Twilight!" Rainbow Dash called from above the parked biplane. "Check out these cool guys I just met!"
Twilight stared wide-eyed at the strange, bipedal creatures standing near the plane. She blinked, and suddenly the blue one was right in front of her, grinning kindly and extending a monkey-like hand.
"Hi!" Said the creature, "I'm Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog".
She stared at Sonic for a long, awkward, moment. Then evaporated in an explosion of purple sparks!
"Whoa!" Sonic stumbled backwards and nearly fell over Tails.
"Yeah, she does that sometimes, maybe she went to get a book or something" said the little purple Dragon. "Anyway, I'm Spike, pleased to meet you!" They all shook hands and Rainbow Dash dropped down next to them.
"What's up with Twilight, Spike?" Rainbow Dash asked "where'd she go?"
"Three guesses…" Chuckled Spike.
At that moment, Twilight burst again from her door followed by several books, a quill, and an endless stream of paper.
"Ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh! A whole new species!" She squealed with joy. The objects she brought with her seemed to orbit her as if her enthusiasm had its own gravitational pull. Quills sped over paper, books flew through pages as if blown by a wind, and Sonic felt his gloves and socks gently tugged by the same purple aura that enveloped Twilight's notes. Twilight made contemplative noises as she worked "Hmm, some kind of fox and a porcupine…"
“Hedgehog!" Cried Sonic indignantly.
Twilight gasped "…and sentient to! Quick, you have to tell me everything! What type of society do you have? Family structure? System of government? Any famous inventors or magic users?”
Twilight's questions came at blurring speed, even for Sonic. He could only answer half the questions, and even as he tried, more questions came! When she had finally finished, Sonic awkwardly returned her hopeful starry eyed stare.
Luckily, Tails stepped in, "Hang on! I think I can answer your questions!"
Twilight's eyes were practically bugging out of her head as Tails pulled out the Miles Electric, and brought up his pictures.
"What is that?" Twilight whispered in awe. "I've never seen anything like that in Equestria…"
And with that, Sonic and Tails began to talk the ponies through almost every major landmark, every battle and enemy. Twilight's face grew grimmer and grimmer with each anecdote, but Rainbow Dash's smile stretched farther and farther with each action-packed adventure. Tails was so caught up in their stories, he failed to notice the crowd of ponies gathering to see the strange and magical presentation. Video recordings ,high-quality images, and holograms flashed and shone around them, connecting and illustrating intricate plots and stunning landscapes.
Sonic looked around, as fascinated by the pastel crowd of ponies as the citizens of Ponyville were of Tails’s presentation and him. After a long time, Tails finished, and he looked up with surprise to find a massive crowd of cheering and stomping ponies behind Twilight.
Sonic clapped him on the shoulder "cool story bro, great recap of our awesome adventures!"
Tails was quite surprised, but also very pleased. And so the two began to introduce themselves, and Sonic proceeded to demonstrate his astounding speed and agility. The townsfolk were fascinated and awed, (even Rainbow Dash was a little jealous) as Sonic performed a blurring break-dance. In the midst of bowing and accepting praise, Sonic noticed Twilight greeting another unicorn and two pegasi. The unicorn, Rarity, and the cream-colored Pegasus Fluttershy, seemed slightly intimidated by the imposing Royal guard, who now spoke with Twilight.
Then Sonic's view was obstructed by Rainbow Dash's wide smile "man, when I first met you, I thought you were kinda weird. But after those stories and those awesome moves…!" She trailed off, Twilight and the Royal guard had came up next to her.
"Sorry Rainbow, but Princess Celestia wants to see Sonic and his friend right away." Twilight said
"Huh? Does the Princess want to see his stunts? I can pull those off any day –"
A look silenced the athletic, enthusiastic Pegasus. Tails broke the awkward pause that followed. "So, who is Princess Celestia?”
Twilight turned to him "Princess Celestia is our ruler, along with her sister, Luna; they govern Equestria, night, and day.
"24-hour Princess service huh?" Asked Sonic "my girlfriend would hate to have to do that, not that I'd let her."
Twilight was confused for a moment, then, "Oh!" She giggled "no Sonic, when I say they govern night and day, I mean Celestia controls the rising and setting of the sun, and Luna, the moon."
Tails and Sonic looked at each other, each sure the pony must be joking.
"Come on! I can take to Canterlot; I just need to buy you train tickets."
"Train? I don't need a train! I can run just fine, how far away is this Canterlot?"
Now it was Twilight's turn to be skeptical "it's about 143 miles northeast of here so I doubt you can…"
"150 miles? Is that all? See ya later!" And off he went, flashing past the houses and rocketing up to the hills.
Everyone stared blankly off at his retreating form, then at Tails. "Heh, that's Sonic for you" he grinned "and this energy field might be making it worse".
"Yes, about that energy field, you mentioned it when you were showing me your…uh… Miles Electric was it? Can we talk about that?" Asked Twilight
"Sure, let's get on the train first. Sonic doesn't like to wait!"
Twilight smiled "I'm sure, do you want to come to girls?" She called to her friends.
Rarity and Fluttershy ascended, as did Applejack, who had shown up with the crowd. But no call came from Rainbow Dash.
Twilight frowned "where's Rainbow Dash?"
Sonic shot over the plains, grass flattening in his wake. He rushed along, his legs blurring and his hands and quills straight back. He ran at a leisurely hundred miles an hour to give his new friends time to catch up. He ran on, enjoying the afternoon breeze, until a shadow obstructed the sun. Sonic quick-stepped left (just in case) and looked up at the perpetrator.
Rainbow Dash smiled back at him "Hey, soooo, how about that race?"
Sonic just smirked back at her, and blue aura enveloped him as he blasted forward, then slowed, looking back mockingly. Rainbow swooped toward him, then felt a touch right between her wings and noticed Sonic was now to her right.
"Tag! You're it!" He shouted, and blasted forward.
It was, arguably, the fastest game of tag ever played. Their laughs and cries of delight and playful frustration fell behind them in an instant as they tore across land and sky. Both competitors easily exceeding the speed of sound, and Sonic was enjoying it immensely. Tails was a fun opponent, but this pony was a challenge! Finally, Sonic could really push himself, could finally prove once and for all he was the fastest thing alive, he…
He glanced off to his left, back ahead, then did a double take. There was a large town he could see off in the distance, a sprawling suburb with a gentle river flowing through it. And it was on fire. His mind reeled, and he veered sharply, preparing to rush to their aid. When he saw what the cause of the fire was… A bright orange, cigar shaped, weapon clad battleship…
Sonic's mind went blank, and he didn't even feel Rainbow Dash's hoof smack his shoulder. He was in denial, Eggman couldn't be here, not now, not so soon, what about the shield? This was a nightmare, it had to be.
All he could utter was a quiet "No…"
"Yes!" Said a voice.
"NO!!" Sonic roared, and bolted away.
Rainbow Dash stared off into the distance called "yeah–huh! I got you right on the shoulder!" But then she saw where he was running to. She gasped, and rushed to help.
Sonic blasted a trail through the flames, looking for survivors, he found them, rounded up the town square surrounded by short, stout figures wielding spears. He gritted his teeth and tore into the Egg Pawns before they even noticed. A few quick homing attacks dispatched them, and Sonic turned to the awestruck crowd of ponies "anyone hurt?" He called.
Some pegasi called ascent or raised hooves, and one spoke in a weary but prim accent. "They shot at us when we tried to fly away."
"Can you still run?"
"Then run! Get outta here, I'll keep the ‘bots off ya!"
The group turned and began galloping, trotting, and limping down the nearest street, Sonic flitting in and around them. He ran down the street and up sheer walls, robots bursting like balloons and falling to pieces after him. He became caught up in a particularly furious struggle, where well armed Egg Flappers spouted torrents of bullets and missiles, and Egg Pawns swung with broad swords and spiked shields. After the last platoon itself, Sonic noticed the escape of the citizens of Hoofington had ground to a halt, they were just standing there!
"Hey!" He called "what are you doing! You gotta get outta he–"
He saw what had stopped them…
Three hulking silver Egg Hammers lumbered down the wide avenue, their bulk blocking the way. Each hefted an enormous mallet over their shoulders. They stopped, having spotted Sonic. Sonic dropped down from the flagpole he had perched on and walked through the parting and retreating crowd. Sonic cricked his neck, cracked his knuckles (he wished he had the echidna’s help) and continued purposely forward. 20 yards out, the giant robots heaved their weapons above their heads, and Sonic crouched down, coiling his body like a spring, ready to burst forward in a flurry of motion…
When a rainbow blur swooped in from overhead with a deafening boom, cleanly decapitating the middle robot! The flanking the robots swung desperately at the passing streak of color, but each only succeeded in sending their hammers crashing into the cranial dome of the other.
Sonic smirked, and called to the crowd "okay! All clear! Let's go!" He made sure everyone made it out of the city, then jumped on top of a sapling, pulling it back until creaked and cracked in his hands, then flung himself into the air. He arced into the billowing smoke of the burning city, his eyes searching for his target. He found many a burning, crumbling thatch building and gleams of robots. And out of the ash and gloom, the hull of the bright orange battleship loomed ahead. By its markings and build, it was not a flagship, but a gunboat: the Egg minnow, meaning it was unlikely Eggman or any of his living cronies would be on board.
He spun into a ball, and plowed through the ceiling of the bridge. And many orange robots arrayed at the control consoles started as Sonic crashed to the deck...
Rainbow Dash managed to herd the frightened and jittery crowd to the nearby train tracks, where she had also stopped the train. Twilight, tails, Applejack, and Rarity stood outside with the bewildered conductor directing everypony to train cars. Those with injuries were sent to the sleeping cars, mares with young fillies and colts were in the dining car, and the remaining crowd of adults and adolescents would stay behind to attempt to bring the fires under control.
Twilight had just finished instructing the unicorn's how to perform a water summoning spell, when there was an almighty explosion that shook the ponies to their bones. They screamed and cowered, fearing further attack. They looked all about them, and out of the dark smoke, a shadow loomed out of the sky, seeming to come closer as they watched. The ship burst from the cloud, its armor engulfed in flames, the bridge all but melted. And among the bright red flames and fiery orange hull, a lone cold blue trail carved itself along the deck, streaking through and around gun emplacements, robots, and the roaring fires. The ponies watched in awe as the battle cruiser passed overhead and to carom to into a nearby hill, disappearing in a massive detonation.
"Sonic!" Tails and Rainbow Dash yelled in unison. They stared out at the roaring flames, the rivers of melted metal, no sign of him.
Then Rainbow Dash snapped to her senses "I'm gonna put out the fires!" And shot off.
Tails wrenched his attention from the burning hulk and watched her dart around, gathering clouds. He was fascinated; from the looks of it the clouds were nothing more than feathery pillows to Rainbow Dash. She fluffed them up so that they became one big storm cloud, and she forced it over the worst of the flames. With a sharp kick of her hoof, water magically poured from under it.
Minutes passed, and soon the flames began to gutter, as did the hopes of the crowd. The rain poured down, chilling the superheated and charred metal. There were tears in Rainbow’s eyes, and even Tails’s heart was cold, his eyes watery as the clouds.
"Wow! How'd you do that RD?" Said a voice from behind the crowd.
Everyone turned, and gasped in surprise as Sonic walked nonchalantly toward them. Tails dried his tears, of course Sonic would make it; he always did…
Rainbow Dash though, was furious "why'd you scare us like that!? We thought you were dead!"
Sonic smiled and shrugged "what can I say? I gotta find some way to make an entrance!"
The crowd chuckled appreciatively, and began to cheer and stomp for the heroes and heroines that had rescued Hoofington.
When they had calmed down, Twilight called out "all right everypony! Get water and follow me and Fluttershy!"
The meek Pegasus blushed and waved shyly.
"What about me?" Sonic and Rainbow Dash said in unison, then glanced one another.
Twilight’s smile faltered, "Sonic, you and Tails need to go to Canterlot, the Princess still wants to see you."
"But can't that wait? Tails and I can help here…"
"No Sonic, you can't. The Princess wants you there as soon as possible." She stared at the ground and fiddled nervously with the clover patch. "She thinks you could pose a security risk." She said bluntly.
A silence fell between them. They could hear the roar of the flames, the claps of thunder the weather ponies brought forth, the shouts of the rescuers and the heaving of wreckage.
Blurted Rainbow Dash "But he just saved everypony in Hoofington, how is that a security risk?"
Twilight thought for a moment "I know, so would you go with them to Canterlot?"
"Well sure, but…"
"It's okay Rainbow, we've got it here, I need you to defend Sonic and his friends to the Princess."
On any other day Rainbow Dash would've sulked or slept on the train ride to Canterlot, but there were other matters to attend to. In the dining car, there were still terrified fillies and their equally shaken parents. This mood wasn't good, and neither was the situation, but she and Sonic decided to put on a show.
As the train raced along the tracks, the hedgehog and the pegasus drew up to the window of the dining car, and continued their game of tag. Since they didn't want to out-speed train the game was not about speed, but agility. Fillies and colts watched in utter awe as the two competitors for the fastest thing alive dove, bounced, jumped and swooped around each other, dodging obstacles and each other with the greatest of ease. Tails smiled as parents and children alike stood gawking, cheering and stomping (apparently their method of clapping). He was glad Sonic and his new friend had come up with such a great idea to distract the citizens of Hoofington from the recent loss.
Tails jumped a little when Nurse Redheart, originally on vacation, now medical consultant, touched his shoulder. "We are ready to attach your artificial leg, would you come with me please?"
Tails nodded, and followed her to the sleeping car, where grizzly set of bedsheets were being removed by a squeamish looking Rarity. In the room, a young stallion lay unconscious on the newly sheeted mattress, his left hind leg sheared off below the dock (reversed knee). Tails took up the artificial construct he had made from next to the door, and he, Nurse Redheart, and Applejack, approached the patient. Sonic could distract them all he wanted, but the truth was that Robotnik was still at large, still in the area, and interested in the citizens of Equestria. And when Robotnik was interested in the civilization, more was usually seized for the good of the Eggman Empire.