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January 26, 2013
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(Contains: nudity)

I open my eyes to the sheen of metal and the sweet smell of rust. It brings me no comfort.

 

I have no idea how long I’ve been asleep. Come to think of it, I have no idea how long I have been here at all. I let my eyes dart around the room, trying to take it in, to remind myself of where I am and why I’m here. A little air bubble trapped between the surface of my eye and my eyelid pops, making a loud cracking noise and smoothing my movements. I can feel my lashes trying to stick together. I can feel a film over the corner of my lip.

 

I try to sit up, but I can’t. Sleep paralysis. It’s been happening more frequently lately, ever since…

 

I try not to think about it. I try not to let any recollection of the last few whatever they have been come to me. No, I am in bed, I was sleeping peacefully, and I will be getting up shortly, having a nice omelette (how rich), and I will be building my next invention to…

 

Don’t think about it

 

My next invention to take over the world

 

Don’t think about it

 

And when I take over the world there will be no cannibalism or murder

 

Stop thinking about it

 

And I will definitely not sell out anyone I actually care about

 

Stop thinking about it

 

Not that I am actually capable of caring about anyone if my disordered interactions with those damnable hedgehogs is to be believed

 

Stop thinking about it

 

Is it any wonder that I turned out just like him given the context

 

Shut up

 

And that I am just as big a threat to the safety of everyone in the world

 

Shut up

 

That I was manipulated by an alien creature just as easily as he was if not more so

 

Shut up

 

As a matter of fact I am inferior to my grandfather for failing to counteract that influence in any meaningful way

 

Shut up

 

And when it all came to pass I was useless and powerless as I was the day I was denied clearance

 

Shut up!

 

Just as powerless as my sweet innocent little cousin and her constantly repeated name

 

“SHUT UP!”

 

The sound of my own voice shakes me from the moment, and I realize that my thighs are touching my stomach, my fingers clasping my knees.

 

My eyes are burning; my lungs are burning. I shouldn’t stay here much longer, assuming my location is even the cause of my suffering. I shall have to move to the castle, to the park. But they might find me there. They might be willing to traverse the obstacles, to counter my defenses. Normally I might welcome the confrontation. Before, when I had something to prove. Before, when I wasn’t self-aware. Before I realized that everything I had looked up to was wrong. Before I realized the true depth of disgusting darkness my grandfather carried with him, before I realized that everything they had said about him was true…

 

And about me. I was his grandson. I admired him openly. Ergo, I was clearly as much a security threat as he was.  But I am different, I told them. And when they wouldn’t listen, I resolved to make them rue the day they made me the same.

 

But I always was the same…

 

I rise from my bed, knees shaking, head spinning. A more automatic part of my brain surveys my memory to find the last time I ate, the last time I drank. I’m not even sure. As I’m sure the hedgehog would tell me, obviously it’s a little less urgent with me than most. I stagger to the tiny bathroom attached to my quarters and collapsed onto the downturned seat, only realizing once the last of my leg muscles stop contracting that I have failed to remove my trousers. I quickly survey my body to determine if I even need to vacate, and find that I do not. Likely an artifact of my failure to stay hydrated, no doubt.

 

Hydration. The word pulls my eyes to the shower, pristine as the last time my robots cleaned it the last time I was at this base. How long has it been? I’ve grown used to the smell.

 

Why bother? No one bothers me here except myself. Even if there were someone whose presence would not be a bother, they would certainly never bother to come here. Unlike my spiny relative, I have no charming innocent girl to be devoted to me for seemingly no reason. My wit, charm, intelligence, and creative skill, while superior in most ways to Shadow’s, cannot compete with the social value of having a heart. I wonder what denied me that. Was it my grandfather, my father? Or was it me?

 

It certainly wasn’t my lack of a heart that had motivated me to save Shadow after his defeat of the Finalhazard. I meant to use him to my advantage. And yet I keep coming back to that moment, as if somehow that redeems me, makes me more than the traitor my grandfather turned out to be.

 

I rise to my feet, shaking, removing my clothes as I stand. Removing my trousers, I actually fall a little, catching myself hard on the edge of the shower with my gut. No matter. No physical pain can possibly compare to the knowledge that the premise of my entire life was faulty. I turn on the water, giving a little gasp as it comes out hot, too hot for me, and my still-gloved hands scramble for the control until I don’t feel a need to run and scream.

 

If only I could wash away his sins. If only I could wash away mine.

 

I stand there in the water, letting the warmth soothe my aching joints, feeling stiff muscles start to relax. How long have I been lying in the bed? How long have I been moping? It isn’t like me to linger too long on a failure. But what am I? I am merely a reflection of him. I am to Gerald as Sonic is to Shadow…

 

My heart catches in my chest.

 

What Shadow does for his basest feelings, for his whims… Sonic does for what, as far as I can tell, is some kind of deep moral obligation. One does not simply chase the same villain for all this time for fun.

 

The more I look back, the more I have no idea what motivated my grandfather.

 

…but I have always been driven by the unfairness of it all… that all my skills should be dismissed because of who my grandfather was… that all my planning should be destroyed by one sniveling, spontaneous rodent... All this time, I have been fixated on the wrong thing. It all comes together in my mind and before I know it, there is soap in my hand and I am clean.

 

I step out of the shower and stride out of the bathroom, naked as the day I was born. Clean towels from the linen closet. A clean suit. Fresh boots.

 

I walk out to the control room, my resolve renewed, and yet I find myself on the floor.

 

Perhaps if I’d eaten something?

 

...But I got up once. I shall get up again.

Note: a fairly large portion of this story takes place in the bathroom. While I'm not overtly explicit about anything, if you have a strong imagination, you have been warned.

There is also some swearing, GAME ENDING spoilers for Shadow the Hedgehog, and implied nudity.

This is about 15 hours early, but I can't be sure I'll wake up in time to post it, so I'm just gonna put it up early. Happy birfday!

A little something I wrote for *iammemyself. Comparing my life to the plight of the roboticist who never wins anything, thinking about her current project, The Right Reasons, thinking about the ending of Shadow the Hedgehog while I work on my big project based on it... this kinda came together. I got so emotional about it I showed her in advance, even though it was supposed to be a surprise, and she's ok with it, so that's all good by me.

Buutttt there's more...

Companion Picture: [link]
Loosely Inspired By: [link]
A Much Better Picture By Indiana: [link]

Sonic, Eggman, Shadow, Gerald, Black Doom, and everyone else belong to Sega, and so does Eggman's constant failure. The words are mine, though.

Edit February 23rd: Holy crap. A daily deviation. I did not expect that at all! (Indiana, you are dead! :P) I am very flattered, and I want to thank everyone: Indiana for recommending this piece for a DD, JZLobo for selecting it, and each and every last one of you for reading. :)
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-02-23
The Wrong Thing by *flamewarflipsides delves deep into the head of a protagonists and asks some very good questions. ( Suggested by iammemyself and Featured by JZLobo )
:iconbatmanwithbunnyears:
BatmanWithBunnyEars Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013   General Artist
:iconcongratsddplz: I really like the dreary, introspective mood of the piece. It's quite divorced from the typical bright colors and fast-paced action of Sonic, but in a compelling way. And I think those of us who developed other abilities in place of social skills can relate strongly to the line, "My wit, charm, intelligence, and creative skill, while superior in most ways to Shadow’s, cannot compete with the social value of having a heart. I wonder what denied me that. Was it my grandfather, my father? Or was it me?"
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:icondecepticonflamewar:
DecepticonFlamewar Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

Thank you!

The particular installment in the Sonic series that inspired this is a deliberate departure from the series' cheerful tone, but it's hated among the fans for a lot of reasons, its tone being one of them. A lot of them thought it was narmy and ham-fisted. One thing I like to do when I write about the series is to take some of the more disturbing pieces of that game and make them a meaningful sort of dark, instead of darker and edgier for shock value. 

Given my rather dysfunctional family, my narcissist grandmother and father in particular, the rather disappointing turn my career has taken, and the high potential I showed in school, it's really useful for me to put myself in the shoes of characters who come from screwed up backgrounds. I wouldn't say it's easy or comfortable, because I often see things in myself I would rather have not. This is one of the rare stories I've written about Eggman from Sonic or N from Pokemon that has ended with me feeling better about myself rather than a useful sort of worse. It ended a long funk I was in even before I was given a DD for it, and I'm so grateful for the attention. Thank you so much. 

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:iconbatmanwithbunnyears:
BatmanWithBunnyEars Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013   General Artist
You're welcome! I can really relate, since things didn't exactly turn out great for me in the career department, either. Everybody always told me that as long as I got a degree in something, there'd be a job for me. Well, figuring reward would be proportionate to effort just like it had always been in school, I went for the hardest major I could find: physics, with a math minor. I spent years in dead-end nothing jobs trying to find work in a related field, but everybody hiring for science-related fields wanted engineering degrees, and given the job market, they could find plenty of candidates that fit the bill. It only became worse as I got older and older without gaining work experience. Finally, I joined the Army and had some success, but that didn't last, either. Fortunately, I get paid disability now, so even though I still don't have a career, things aren't as bad as they once were.

I hope I didn't bore you too much with my life story. It's just nice to meet somebody who's had similar experiences. :highfive:
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:icondecepticonflamewar:
DecepticonFlamewar Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh no, I totally understand. I went into Teaching because I thought it was my life's calling. I found out that when I actually do get to do it I love it to death, but mostly I just get pointless bullshit babysitting jobs and bureacracy for a fraction of the pay I'd get if I could find a real teaching job. It's like, I'm getting paid 11 bucks an hour to be sexually harassed, threatened, and tell people to be quiet? Fuck all of this!

What's really, really hilarious about this story and Eggman is that in Sonic Generations, there's a throwaway line where classic Eggman decides to give up on taking the world and get his teaching degree. This is apparently a reference to some old educational game I never played... But in my mind I imagine the Robotnik family legacy kept him from getting any work in engineering and robotics... and then his criminal record from Sonic 1-3 kept him from getting a teaching job. XD

I personally know at least part of the problem for me getting a teaching job is that my father's... evil, more or less. Affably evil, but evil. And everyone in the area knows it. And so is one of his brothers. In this area if you have my last name you have a 3/4 chance of being descended from crooks, and a lot of times people don't even ask which one my dad is. I've had people make horrified faces when I said who I was related to. IT's terrible. I can't go to a local school without having at least one class ask me if I'm related to the guy who screwed their dad, and when I grudgingly admit he's my dad or my uncle they tell me to tell him off! Students, at least, give me a chance and assume I'm nothing like them, but students aren't the ones who make the hiring decisions. 

Long story short, it's hard enough to be a teacher, but to be a teacher in my area with my last name? I'm afraid to apply at McDonald's. I think if my last name were Robotnik, I would be more employable. And I trained for a far less noble profession than you.

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:iconmjponso:
mjponso Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013
I'll admit...it's a lot more thought-provoking and introspective than I'd expect from a fan fiction. It doesn't surprise me that something like this was selected for a Daily Deviation. :nod:

It does give insight into the mind of Dr. Robotnik. I see it as a perspective of one who's been on the losing end of battles one too many times, and is stepping back to contemplate his life.
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:icondecepticonflamewar:
DecepticonFlamewar Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for the comment! Unanswered questions are what got me into fanfiction and literature, all the way back to the notion of reprogramming in Beast Wars when I was a little girl. Now I'm going back at my childhood with a degree in this stuff, so I have a bit of an unfair advantage. :p

Ever since Shadow the Hedgehog, and a 30 second soundclip that plays if you satisfy certain conditions against its final boss, I have been convinced that Eggman does have a conscience. So I always want to write it... and a panic attack about my own professional failures gave me the means.

THanks so much! :D
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:iconmjponso:
mjponso Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013
I've never played the Shadow the Hedgehog game, so I didn't pick up on any spoiler that may have been in there. But I share your opinion about Robotnik: he's a bad guy, but not heartless.
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:icondecepticonflamewar:
DecepticonFlamewar Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's not a massive spoiler. The game revolves around Shadow's ambiguous past and whether he's the real deal from SA2 or a robot copy from Sonic Heroes. Eggman tells him the truth with what is implied to be his dying breaths if you take too long against the final boss.

I managed to explain the whole thing without spoiling what Eggman actually said. XD
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:iconkrokodilov:
Krokodilov Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013
That's been a while since I read a good fanfic about Eggy!
And I really like the language and the fact that he (Eggman, not language) didn't gave up :>
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:icondecepticonflamewar:
DecepticonFlamewar Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much! I'm really glad everyone likes this piece. I never expected it to get the kind of response it did!
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