Remember the scene when Gamma released Amy and Birdie from prison aboard the Egg Carrier? When Amy told him they'd be friends? That she hoped they'd meet again? Well, suppose robot and pink hedgeho...
Warnings: Hopefully, you've beaten "Sonic Adventure" or at least E-102γ Gamma's storyline, or else you're gonna be S-P-O-I-L-E-D. I'm sure some of you who got told who died before finishing the latest Harry Potter book will tell you aaaaaaaaall about it. So, I'm sparing you the pain and giving you the oppurtunity to beat the game first. ;D Otherwise, the fic gets pretty angsty, and somewhat cheesy/fluffy. (Sappy?) It gets pretty angsty, and somewhat cheesy/fluffy. (Sappy?)
From The Cage, A Little Bird
By: Jigglypuff in Blue Ribbons
What equaled ten minutes was more like ten hours.
Accompanied by her mighty Piko-Piko hammer, and a sky-blue Flicky for a companion, Amy Rose fought her way through the Mystic Ruins. Light and nimble she was, the pink hedgehog wasn't much used to travel-particularly in a jungle, in a land of mulch and mosquitoes. No matter how the branches tugged her scarlet dress, no matter how intimidating the night, her passion was triumphant over her complaints, and her stubborn determination was MORE than enough to give all those who opposed her a good whackin' to cosmic eternity.
The pink hedgehog couldn't help but wince, however; the squelching made her uneasy, and she often made trips to scrape the mud and muck from her boots before moving on-thank goodness the stream always followed her. The Flicky waited patiently each time, and even Amy grown tired of the constant stops, and ignored the conditions of her feet and moved on. Who knows when that horrid robot Zero caught up with them again, let alone in a place of screeching bugs, slugs and centipedes, leeches and...!
SWAT! The mosquitoes never stopped coming.
Amy lifted her hand, making an ugly crossed face as she shook the dead pest away. She felt more than a hundred times grateful she wore gloves. But even more so that she and Flicky got away from the Final Egg alive-still, the pink hedgehog's arms and legs were ichy and achy, and bites on the hands were even more irritating-and exhausted she was, she still had a long way to go. There wasn't anything at the base in the first place, which was why she first trekked the jungle in the first place. Now it was a matter of getting out back to the Egg Carrier... and where was that now? Alas she sighed, bending to her knees.
"Birdie... where are we, anyway?"
"Birdie", as the Flicky was so addressed, fluttered before her face, chirping to rouse the attention of the pink hedgehog. As she lifted her head, her bright-green eyes widened before the sad innocent ones that gazed before her. Next, she leveled with the precious pendant around its neck-funny how a bird could possess such a thing. It wasn't everyday to see a jewel necklace for a creature's treasure, let alone knowing it held a Chaos Emerald. But then again, Flickies were rather different compared to normal birds. They were ordinary, yes. But one spread rumors about how they could travel between time and dimensions, like with the past and future aboard Little Planet...
Which brought her to Sonic the Hedgehog. Four years-had she been right? Every mention of his name still made her heart flutter. She was filled with energy at the thought of him, and she'd give anything... ANYTHING, to stay close to her hero. Time after time, he'd get away, even at the sight of her. But if Sonic were scared of her, it meant she held a sort of authority, right? Perhaps he was afraid to acknowledge her strength? Was he running because she was stronger than him? If that were the case, soon enough her chases wouldn't go to waste. Yet after all this time, it was rather embarrassing that he was always rescuing her. But now, something more important was focused in the pink hedgehog's mission. Particularly with a beloved, "feathered" friend, at that.
"Aw, don't give up!" Amy encouraged. "We'll find your family, okay? And then, you'll all be at peace again! All right?"
The girl stood up, seeing flickers of life flash from the Flicky's eyes. No matter how hopeless it seemed for the bird, Birdie believed in her-even admired her optimism. And the pink hedgehog smiled-who wouldn't look up to someone who rescued you, more than once... from Dr. Robotnik?
"Now let's keep going. We can do it!" Sonic didn't let her down-she wasn't about to for Birdie either.
After painstaking travel, Amy Rose eventually did do it. The ladder was a godsend leading from the jungle, and despite the climb feeling like a backpack of bricks were on her, the pink hedgehog was able to appreciate the view of the lush labyrinth and pyramid that waited beneath the black, twinkling sky. She took the stone cart back to the camps and train station, yawning as she staggered onto the mainland-how late had she been walking? The train station was closed, too... she hoped Tails was home, and that he wouldn't mind letting her stay overnight.
Her eyes squinted, but she couldn't mistake the odd shadow before her.
It looked like a machine far away-but the pink hedgehog peered a bit closer, and discovered it was more than that. The silhouette headed toward the train station on wheels, and looked as if it had a human shape, though only somewhat. A disc floated behind like a flying saucer, and she saw it had arms-one of them a huge literal gun. Finally, the identity caught on to Amy Rose, and she couldn't stand still any longer.
"Hey, Mr. Robot! Wait!"
E-102γ Gamma complied to the command and stood, turning himself and was frozen as a familiar girl and bird came running toward him.
"I don't think he's back yet..."
Next thing both of them knew, they were alone-upon the porch of a workshop, at that. There, Amy seized a clear view of the sky and surroundings about the Ruins, and her fiery-green eyes kept alert. Alas, she never saw whom she was looking for, and the sky seemed empty and dull after staring for long hours. She waited next to the robot E-102γ, Birdie exhausted and nestled comfortably in her lap. The pink hedgehog stroked the Flicky's wings, gloved fingers caressing each feather and its fluffy down. A finger softly rubbed the tuft of its head, the bird's eyes closed in fatigue and peace-it was safe.
"Where is your friend?"
The mechanical tone shook her after the calm silence between them-Amy turned to the robot, her gaze upon him as he remained still. Even from sitting down, E-102γ was a towering giant compared to her.
"I don't know... He's probably with Sonic in Station Square. At least, he was there since we've flown away from the Egg Carrier." During her incarceration, she overheard Eggman talking about a missile... was that what held them up?
"Search for friend will continue." The being confirmed. "Mission must be completed before I move on."
"Thanks Robot... I'm so glad I found you!" she chirped. "It would've been a bummer waiting by myself. I told you we'd meet again, right? I said we'd be friends."
The robot said nothing, but the pink hedgehog found a mutual agreement, and that was a good enough response.
"Hey, Robot... since we're friends now, I find it weird we don't know each other's names yet."
From what the robot could recollect, E-102γ only had a vague recollection on the identification of the young girl. Something two people addressed... supposedly her friends.
"I'm Amy-Amy Rose."
"Identification: Amy." An image of a two-tailed fox and blue hedgehog crossed the robot's literal memory banks. So that was it.
"I am E-102γ Gamma. I was created as part of the E-Series."
"Eee...One-Oh-Two?" It didn't take long for Amy to find the white bold numbers printed upon his red breastplate. "Ahh..."
The pink hedgehog found herself much more energetic, perhaps even excited. She forgotten how sleepy she was and the hours waiting as she continued to converse with her mechanical companion.
"Okay, Eee... Gamma! Between you and me, I'll call you Gamma, okay?"
"So, Gamma... I was wondering." The girl poised herself. "Have you... thought it over? About leaving Eggman?"
"Have you thought of coming with us?"
"Eggman is my enemy."
Amy was astonished how quick the answer came-back aboard the Egg Carrier, she had known Gamma to be insecure and confused. He never even questioned his actions or what he believed in; he just did what Eggman told him without thinking about it or what he was doing. Which was exactly what the doctor wanted: humans and animals had feelings and a conscience, and were most likely to rebel at any time. But a robot didn't have an emotional intelligence. It could be ordered to burn an entire city and feel no remorse for the lives taken away; it couldn't distinguish between right and wrong. Eggman had full control over their existence, and could manipulate them to his ease. It was impossible for any of his mechanic minions to turn on him.
"Associations with Dr. Eggman are deleted. I am no longer his robot."
"That's great! I knew you nice enough to quit working for such a bully. You're free now!"
"Mission is not yet complete."
"...What? You don't mean-?"
"Dr. Eggman punished my brothers. I must rescue them."
Another photographic memory flashed in the robot's recollection-an image of the other E-Series bots beamed to exile and their death sentence. Amy never personally knew them, but as she gazed at Gamma and looked deep into his blank expression, there was a sort of sadness reflected from the neon-green bulbs that served for his eyes. Was Eggman that horrible to the other robots? Especially to whom Gamma called family... and whom he'd never know well. Except to kill them.
This was what had separated E-102γ from ANY of Dr. Robotnik's legions of robots: he cared. From that moment onward, he had a heart beneath the steel frame. A steel heart. (Well, one had to start somewhere) E-102γ... Gamma. He became independent. He saw himself as a living individual. He had a mission... his own. He had his own purpose as well: something to live for.
"Rescued: E-103δ Delta. E-104ε Epsilon."
"So... that's what you were doing in the Mystic Ruins? You've must've found them, huh? How come they aren't with you?"
"Remaining: E-105ζ Zeta. E-101β Beta."
An image of the silver, supposedly superior brother reassembled in the Egg Carrier. It was like surgery before Gamma, he could see each and every part of his insides-how a robot was created. His poor brother, whom he competed with in life-or-death... whoever would be the "spare parts" Eggman talked about. His brother, whom he was between intimidated by or admiring... maybe both. E-101β Beta-he worked for Eggman longer, and not once broken control. Yet, E-102γ Gamma empathized with the silver robot-and felt the greatest sympathy and sorrow towards him.
He had forgiven all his brothers, even before he fought them for the last time. He had never felt more guilty for the way they ended up, he was responsible for their tragic sentence-it could only be up to him to save them all and let them die in peace. Perhaps he could forgive himself then.
"...Oh. I understand. They're free now."
From what Amy remembered being kidnapped by Eggman, about every robot of his contained a living, breathing animal inside; they served as a life-force for their armored bodies. The creature and robot became one, though separate entities. It was like having a heart transplant from someone who recently died: the Flicky, squirrel, or hen were sealed away at the core of the body, and the robot acted on its own intuition. Only from death, could the animal be free-that is, if the animal didn't go along with it.
With that, the E-Series were rescued from Dr. Robotnik's control and manipulation; they were able to die in peace, knowing there was a better world for them somewhere out there. And the lost creatures caught inside them could escape and live life again, and make up for lost time from unconscious confinement. Both were given a second chance. Just like their savior wanted.
"Finally, E-102γ... Gamma."
He knew what he had to do now. E-102γ had a purpose: something to live for... and die for. He would follow them, join them in this new paradise, new mission-they could be together. And they could truly live.
Birdie had long since buried its head beneath its wing, dreaming of dreams to come. Of family. Of hope.
Amy carefully tucked the Flicky in a soft spot in the grass, her head filled with everything in the conversation said. The pink hedgehog climbed atop the porch, stood, and walked toward her robotic friend, her eyes serious yet fought for a smile, even as her face scrunched from hurt. She approached the robot in red, standing on tip-toe as bright green faced bright green, almost like they were having a staring contest, with both contestants stubborn.
"...I didn't know." Amy started. Her voice left a trail of hurt, but she didn't allow herself to break down. "It's just that... I thought we'd be friends. At least, longer than that...!"
"I thought, well... all this? For me and the little bird? You're going to...!"
Gamma was frozen with the pink hedgehog close to him, and it was when Amy realized she had curled a fist upon his armor. The girl sighed, leaning her full body upon the robot, supported by his steel frame. He was obviously confused by this, and stared blank and confusedly ahead of him, but Amy held her arms around him, refusing to let go and closed her eyes, resting her head closer where the robot's shoulder would be.
"You taught me."
"You freed me aboard the Egg Carrier. If it hadn't been for you and the bird, I would not have changed. I would still be Eggman's robot. Everyone would still be under control of Eggman."
In that prison earlier that day... wasn't that when they met?
"No. You did that on your own." Amy smiled. "You saved us both because you had a heart-ah!"
A gasp cut her short-the robot steadied himself, lowering his gun arm until it was beneath Amy's feet. Cautiously, albeit awkwardly, he moved his other arm around the hedgehog, making sure she wasn't pressed too hard against him. His claw-like fingers reached across on her back, then hung limp. Was he only mimicking her? Or did he understand...?
"Gamma... I'm proud of you." Either way, Amy accepted the embrace, soft tears treading her cheeks like morning dew. "And Birdie is too. Birdie and I... I don't know what we could've done without you. Either way, we've-we've all changed. No matter what, you'll always-ALWAYS be my friend."
Despite the cold steel, it felt comfortable, and so very warm...
"Birdie and I will miss you." She wiped her eyes, and her vision became blurry and dark-her eyelids were heavy, and refused to budge. "Do what you have to do, okay? Go get 'em, Gamma! And good luck...!"
"Amy...? Amy, wake up!"
A hand gently nudged the sleeping pink hedgehog, who was spread upon the porch with Birdie nestled to her chest. She stirred and kneeled herself up, a drowsy hum from her throat as she rubbed her eye to see a familiar figure in sight.
"I'm so sorry I took so long! How long were you waiting here? It's late, you know..."
"And I'd... like to know what took so long...!" She was content to see Tails regardless.
"Eggman tried to set a missile in Station Square! I managed to stop him by myself, without Sonic's help... I had a bit of trouble getting away from Station Square after that, though." The fox rubbed the back of his head and blushed. "I'm not normally used to that sort of attention. I was hoping to get back to the workshop as quick as I can!"
"No problem!" The pink hedgehog grinned. "I was hoping you'd let me stay overnight! If you could..."
"You definitely need to rest." Tails nodded. "Let me unlock the door and I'll let you in..."
"Thanks Tails..." The pink hedgehog yawned, standing up and following Tails with Birdie cupped in her hands. She heard nothing but the jingling of the fox's keys and his voice as he continued.
"By the way, was that robot the same one we saw aboard the Egg Carrier?"
"You know, the one you saved when Sonic and I were fighting him. He was watching you when I was coming here."
"Oh... he promised he'd stay with me until you came." the pink hedgehog nodded in understanding. "Where did he go?"
"The raft beneath the station, I think. They say the Egg Carrier crashed somewhere here."
"Egg Carrier! That..." A yawn. "That's where I've wanted to go..."
"Aw, Amy... get some sleep, okay?"
"Yeah, I know." The pink hedgehog became delighted with the bedroom, thanking the fox friend a million times over. "Good night, Tails..."
"Good night, Amy."
The door closed between them, and Amy and Birdie curled peacefully beneath the sheets. Tomorrow was another day, and they had plenty to look forward to-and the memory of E-102γ Gamma flown beside them.
The pink hedgehog gave a small giggle before she completely slumbered-perhaps a certain hero in blue would follow her dreams too.
A/N: Whew! I've had this fanfic in my head for at least a YEAR or so now! And well, after much excuses to hold myself back ("Watch the SA1 Sonic X episodes... watch the SA1 Sonic X episodes from your Japanese import DVDs you got for Christmas... replay SADX... finish that one chapter for that other fic first... keep working more on that fic... beat Gamma and Amy on SADX... get Gamma and Amy's upgrades & weapons... beat the Final Story on SADX... aw crud, outta options!") As you can see, I'm quite the procrastinator. With this fic, well... it was now or never. Either I was gonna let it haunt my brain, let it sit there only 1-2 paragraphs long on my computer, stay unbeta'd for days since I've finished, stay unedited 'cause I was lazy/in my "OMG my writing Sux!1 WANGST" period, and well... if I didn't write something, it was going to kill me. I wanted to finally finish this fanfic after so long being overdue. And voila!
Anyway, I love Gamma. This should be apparent by now. XD Eep, put your gun down! I know I'm an annoying egotist, but let me finish. Um, anyway. I always found him to be one of the most interesting characters of the first "Sonic Adventure", and I was really sad he was often ignored and overlooked, and that even in the games, he seemed kinda glossed over. I also thought the relationship between Gamma and Amy was really sweet-I was surprised how little they were mentioned in fic, if Gamma was even mentioned at all. Maybe the idea tended to get lost, at least in comparison to the more popular/familiar stuff out there. So I felt I had to write about them, so I could at LEAST give them (and Gamma) a little recognition. :)
And for a little trivia... see if you can guess what Emily Dickinson poem inspired me while writing this. There's over a thousand, after all... ;D