• Published 27th Mar 2013
  • 6,341 Views, 280 Comments

Hope - TwilightSnarkle



Memories of the past can destroy even the strongest soul, but what happens when the past can visit in person?

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Chapter 8

Chapter 8

On one side of the bars, Worker and Snowdrop waited patiently. They spent their time together in silence, watching the captive pace the confines of his cell. Despite his circuitous route, Sonic never took his eyes from the window that looked out into the late morning. If he knew he had company, he didn’t let on. The two ponies nodded at the occasional guard that passed them in the lonely corridor.

Snowdrop nudged her father’s shoulder with her horn. “He doesn’t look so scary any more,” she whispered.

“No, he doesn’t,” Worker agreed, leaning down to nuzzle his daughter. “He looks sad. Lonely.”

Snowdrop looked into her father’s eyes. “Will you go talk to him, Daddy?” She glanced at the captive hedgehog and frowned. “I don’t want him to be sad.”

Worker marveled at his daughter. “Really?” He sat down next to her and put a hoof on her shoulder. “Sweetheart, do you really mean that? After all he’s done?”

She smiled up at him. “Well, yeah, Daddy. I mean, you told me he used to be a hero. A good guy.” She spared another glance for the prisoner, and her voice wavered. “I think he’d like to be a good guy again.”

“Do you think he can be a good guy again?” Worker was not one for rehabilitation. He was not accustomed to granting his foes a second chance. In fact, the idea of Equestria’s first public execution in 1400 years sounded better every minute.

“Uh-huh.” She nodded, then dropped into a mock whisper. “Mommy says he just got confused.”

Pulled from his dark reverie by this absurd claim, Worker cocked his head. “Confused?”

“He thought you were someone else. That’s why he...” Snowdrop bit her lower lip and studied the hedgehog. She murmured, half to herself, “I’m sure he didn’t mean it.”

Worker stared at his daughter, his jaw working. The fear that flickered across her face set his blood alight, and for the briefest of moments he entertained punishments that would make the Zone of Silence seem like paradise.

The Zone of Silence, he thought. Exile. Wait. That might just be the answer. Worker looked at the ceiling until he was sure he had regained his composure. He took a breath and leaned close to his daughter. “Snowdrop,” he confided, “sometimes I wish I was half as smart as you, or your mother.”

“You just have to keep trying,” she said, perfectly earnest.

Worker fought back a laugh. “Let’s get you back to Mommy. Then I’ll come back here and talk to him, okay?”

“Okay!” Snowdrop chirped. She cantered down the hall without a care in the world.

The guards smiled at her fondly as she passed. Her father shadowed her, his smile fading as he turned the possibilities over in his mind.


Some time later, Worker returned to his vigil. He studied his old foe, counting each grey quill, tracing every line on his face. Sonic didn’t just look old, he was old—far older than he. Somehow, that table had been turned.

He looked away from the hedgehog and studied his surroundings. The cot had been moved away from the window, if the other cells were any judge. A set of buckets sat in the corner, one with a cover. Beneath the barred window a rough grid had been scratched into the stone. Two by seven, he counted, and ten of them had been crossed through with an X.

After a time, the prisoner stopped pacing, and stood before the window, staring down at the bustling city. Worker wondered, idly, if anyone in Canterlot even knew a prison existed, much less saw use. Still, time was wasting, and if the marks on the wall were any guide, Sonic was running out of it.

“Sonic.”

The hedgehog stared out the window, but Worker knew he had been heard—Sonic’s quills had shivered.

Worker set down a cushion outside the bars and sat upon it. “My daughter asked me to talk to you, Sonic.”

“That’s a new one,” he replied. He could have been part of the stone on which he stood.

“She seems to think you’re worthy of rehabilitation.” Worker leaned forward and rested his chin on the lower rail.

Nearby, a guard started forward. Worker shot her a glance, and she stepped back into her stance, keeping a wary eye on the cell.

Sonic barked a laugh, but did not reply.

Worker tried again. “I think you’d find her very convincing.”

Sonic looked at the floor in front of his feet. Worker waited patiently.

Silent minutes passed. Neither creature moved. Finally, Sonic walked to the bars and sat down on the edge of his cot. Worker sat up.

Sonic stared at his hands, and then looked Worker in the eye. “You really mean that.”

“What? My daughter?” Worker laughed. “She’s got me wrapped around her hoof.”

“No.” Sonic glared with exasperation. “The rehab.”

Worker’s laughter faded. “No,” he said simply. “I don’t. I think you’d look very handsome dangling from a gibbet. Fortunately for you, though, I’ve turned over a new leaf.”

Sonic stood and returned to his window. He clasped his hands behind his back, but his fingers strained to ball themselves into fists. “You’re still a monster, Robotnik. You need to be put away. You need to pay for your crimes.”

Worker sighed, and shifted on his cushion. “Well, you’re partially right.”

Sonic turned his head and watched the pony out of the corner of his eye. Worker stared at the railing, blind to the observation.

“I am a monster, but I’m getting better. As for paying for my crimes? Ask yourself: Would Robotnik want to spend the rest of his life as the subject of magical unicorns?”

He sat up straighter and looked at Sonic once more, gesturing at the guards down the hallway. “Surrounded by candy-colored ponies? Bossed around by the most infuriating set of mares,” he continued, a strange warmth filtering into his voice, “and ruled over by a creature so sweet, she couldn’t stomp a bug?”

“Amazing.” Sonic leaned against the wall and studied Worker. “You really do mean that.”

“Seriously.” Worker shook his head ruefully, then ran a futile hoof through his mane. “Not a bug. I have to carry them out of the house and promise to let them go.”

“And do you?” Sonic asked, a familiar smirk growing at the corner of his mouth.

“Yes,” Worker chuckled. “As I said, she’s very convincing.”

Sonic stepped from the wall and dropped to the cot. “Ah, it’s all worthless, though.” He shook his head, grumbling at himself.

Worker stood, and shifted down the wall so he was closer. He watched Sonic for a time, then sat again, and asked quietly. “What, rehabilitation?”

Sonic threw up his hands in frustration. “I wish you’d stop using that word. I’m not so different from how I was.”

Worker coughed noncommittally.

The hedgehog glowered, but let it go. “Anyway. I’m stuck here. I could sing ‘Kum-Bah-Yah’ every day and praise those damn unicorns ‘til I pass out, and I’d still be stuck here.”

“The princesses would probably not appreciate your term for them.” Worker wore a scandalized grin. “But, they might be willing to listen to a trusted advisor.”

Sonic arched a brow and folded his arms across his chest. “You? Advising royalty? That worked so well last time...”

Worker met his eyes in a level gaze. “Sonic. I won’t lie to you. There’s a part of me that would like to reach through these bars, right now, and reduce you to a fine paste with my bare hooves.” He allowed himself a feral smile—it did not touch his eyes. “What can I say? You bring out the best in me.”

Sonic blinked, opening his mouth to reply, but Worker continued.

But, as I am not lying to you, you can trust me when I tell you that the best thing for you, for me, and for Equestria would be you going back home and telling everyone you never laid an eye on me.”

Sonic stood and leaned in close, looming through the bars. “That’s awfully convenient, Robotnik.”

“Worker,” he corrected.

“Robotnik,” Sonic growled. “You get off scot-free, my world is still in ruins, and I go home empty-handed.”

Worker frowned, and stood up. “Ruins?” He paced back and forth in the hall, turning the word over in his head. “It wasn’t ruins when I left. As a matter of fact, it was rather idyllic. And my final project never succeeded.”

Sonic spat. “It’s a hole.

The unicorn stopped in mid stride. “Sonic?”

“What?”

Worker stared down the hall. “How much of your time did you spend helping this world you value so highly...” He turned to look at the prisoner. “...And how much did you spend trying to find me?”

Sonic gripped the bars and peered out into the hall. “How can I rebuild a world when you’re still out here?”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“I...” he began, and then sat down on the edge of his cot. “None. I didn’t spend any time at all.”

“So! The Great Hero of Mobius. The Blue Blur! Worker reared up with a flourish, then planted himself on all fours and glared at Sonic. “And all those other ridiculous titles. When your world needed you most, when they needed a leader,” he seethed, “you holed up and hid yourself away in a quest to find someone that you didn’t even know still existed.”

“I...” His eyes went wide.

“And your world fell apart.”

“But...” Sonic protested.

Worker walked to the bars and looked him in the eye. “Sonic,” he murmured, “I was a monster. I enslaved that entire realm simply because I could. But you are far more terrible than I. You abandoned them.”

“No,” he pleaded, “I...” He looked up at Worker, and found himself staring into the most disturbing expression. His old foe struggled with a frown, but his eyes were filled with unsettling familiarity. They regarded him with sorrow, with understanding, and with pity.

“I’ll come visit again tomorrow,” Worker said quietly, then turned away. He walked down the hall and nodded at the guards, who saluted and opened the door. “Think on it, will you?”

With that, he was gone.


The Court of the Moon was a place of mystery. Where her sister preferred direct paths and bold expression, Luna infused her surroundings with her art. Passages tended to shift when you didn’t look at them, and the guards kept random patrol routes out of necessity rather than any larger strategy.

In a side-chamber currently fashioned as a sitting room, the princess lounged atop a large embroidered cushion the same shade as her coat. In the dim environs, she seemed to fade into shadows until only her eyes could be seen flashing in the low firelight—and flash they did.

“Rehabilitation?” Luna peered closely at Worker. “Are you serious?”

Worker stood before the fire, sparing the occasional glance for the pooling shadows. He wasn’t entirely certain, but he thought they had just rippled. “Not so much rehabilitation as reprieve. But as for sincerity? I am. Completely, your highness.”

“You only call me that when you’re planning something.” Worker was sure she was smiling in the darkness.

He stiffened. “I’m always planning something, your highness.”

“And?” Luna leaned forward. Her smirk was clear, and her arched brow invited him to continue.

Worker sighed. “...And you’re right. Luna, he needs this. He needs to go home, he needs to heal.” He looked towards the fire, and watched the threads of enchantment that kept it alight. It used no fuel. “He’s been undergoing a transformation in my absence, and now that he recognizes it, he can work to resolve it.”

Luna retreated back into shadow. Her voice, however, seemed lighter. “You certainly seem willing to forgive him, Worker.”

Worker closed his eyes and shook his head. “No. I can’t. Not yet, at least.”

“Then what...”

He turned away from the fire and studied the violet tapestries. “Maybe it’s a selfish reason. But for all his faults, his habits, his blind spots and his frailties, he was right.” Searching the shadows, he found the shimmer of her eyes once more. “He deserved to be a hero, and the good guy deserved to win. But...” He swept his eyes back to the tapestries.

“But?”

“But he’s not the good guy any more. He could be. He needs his friends, his home, and his life back. He can’t get those here.”

The fire grew in intensity, and the features of the room began to slide into focus. Luna rose from her seat and strolled closer to her subject, placing herself into his field of view. “I don’t see how that’s selfish,” she said, slowly, soothingly.

“Don’t you?” He forced himself to meet her gaze, but his ears flickered with irritation. “I was beaten, plain and simple, by the unflagging determination of a creature who knew he was in the right. I could accept that.” His ears drooped. “I can’t accept this mockery. It’s perverse.”

“So you want him to go home,” her lips trembled as an involuntary smile played in the shadows, “so you can feel better about losing?” She turned around and repositioned herself on the cushioned dais.

“Losing to him!” Worker growled, straining to keep his temper. She did not deserve to be the target of his anger. “He’s earned a happy retirement. He deserves to go home and become what he once was.”

“Despite all he’s done?” Luna prodded.

Because of it,” was his whispered reply. “And because if he stays in Equestria much longer, I may just take his place in that cell.” He stared at the carpet underhoof, no longer able to meet his old friend’s gaze. He was surprised to feel her muzzle against his cheek.

“You never fail to amaze me, Worker,” she murmured, and graced him with a kiss on his forehead.

“Oh, this one’s not my doing, your highness.” He glowered, but his temper subsided. “You can thank Snowdrop for the idea. I’m only supplying the reasons.”

Luna stepped back a pace, and smiled down at her subject. “You have a remarkable daughter.”

“Tell me about it,” he chuckled, and stepped to a small table near the hearth. “Did you know that she brought the application for unicorn training with her, just so she could show you she got it?”

Luna levitated a small flask and two tiny stemmed glasses, and laughed as she filled them. “Was there any doubt it would arrive?”

“Well, that’s where it gets funny.” He accepted the glass and sipped from it, then returned to his tale. “You see, Sundown had delivered it personally, and he got his feathers ruffled when he heard her marveling. It seems she’d overheard some of the townsfolk talk about waiting on packages, or delays on important shipments...”

“Oh dear.” Luna’s low laughter flowed through the room. “She didn’t share those opinions with Sundown?”

“She did,” Worker snorted. “He was rather put out. Well, you know Snowdrop. She wanted to know why he was so upset, and began asking some very pointed questions...”

The two ponies chatted as the night wound on. Luna had few guests of late, and truly enjoyed playing hostess—especially to an old friend.


Lentils had just finished setting the places when she heard the princesses approach. After a quick check of the table confirmed that all was as it should be, she made haste for the exit. From the tone of the muffled voices that drew near, she did not want to be in the room for the sisters’ arrival.

The door that led to the great hall flew open, and two creatures of grace and refinement stomped and glowered their way into the chamber. On the opposite wall, a servants’ door swung tightly shut, but neither of the new occupants noticed.

“Freedom?” Celestia scoffed, dropping inelegantly into her seat on the eastern side of the table. “You want to let him traipse back into the mountains, after breaking so many laws?”

“Technically,” Luna replied airily, settling herself into her seat, “he’s not been charged.”

“Technically my royal flank. You know the incantation we used: the same one we used to secure a number of threats from long ago. That carries as much weight as formal sentencing.”

“None are alive now, save us, who recall those traditions.” Her eyes traced over the various portraits and landscapes that adorned the walls. “Indeed, there are few spots on the map that remain from that time.”

Celestia fluttered her wings in irritation.

Luna held up a hoof. “I understand your reluctance, sister. To some extent, I agree. The rules are important, even if we are the ones who wrote them.” She studied Celestia’s handiwork in the window behind her, then returned her gaze to her sibling. “Let me make the case another way. Our guest has been formally taken into custody to answer for his crimes—crimes which, I recall, are rather severe.”

She poured herself a glass of juice, and held it before her. “So severe, in fact, that many of them call for either permanent imprisonment or exile.” She sipped it, then hid her muzzle behind her glass. Her eyes twinkled with mischief. “Unless, that is, you would care to reopen negotiations with the Lord of Tartarus?”

Celestia opened her mouth to reply, then closed it. Silently, she studied her sister. Finally, she poured herself a cup of tea. “You’ve been spending too much time with Worker, Luna.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Celestia glowered, but kept her tone civil. “Exile, then.”

“Yes,” her sister replied, casually filling a bowl with berries.

“To his own realm.” Celestia sliced some fresh bread and searched the table for the honey.

Luna smiled over her berries, and sent the honey and butter her way. “Again, yes.”

“Thank you.” The elder sister busied herself with filling her plate, then asked, “What if he can’t get back?”

Luna swallowed her berries. “I’ve given that some thought.” She dabbed at an imagined spot with her napkin, then set it down. “Were he to accept a geas that prevented him from setting foot in Equestria...”

“I see.” Celestia nodded, thinking it over. “It is a simple enough enchantment. Applied carefully, it would take some time to wear off.”

Luna shook her head, chuckling. “Some time.”

“Mm?” Celestia arched a brow. Her temper had subsided, but her sister had a way of finding her buttons.

“About a hundred years, yes. That would be some time.”

“I see your point.” Her lips played with a frown, but she assumed serenity once more. “While I have my reservations, if everything you have told me is accurate, then I am willing to allow this creature to return to his own world.”

“I’ll let Worker know.” Luna stood from the table, drained her goblet, and turned towards the door. She had barely moved a hoof before Celestia spoke up.

“Luna, you do realize we are not done with him. Especially after that matter with the fire. If Nightmare has surfaced once more...”

She nodded. “I’m aware. I do intend to address that matter with him soon. Just not now, and not with a ready-made outlet for his anger at hoof.” She stamped restlessly, half-turned towards the door, but she kept both eyes on her sister.

The elder alicorn regarded her with a practiced grace, her face a mask over her true emotions. “I simply need to make this clear: If you do not address the issue soon, then I will—and my skills in healing lie towards injuries of the body.”

“I understand, ‘Tia. I do. I will broach the subject with Worker as soon as our guest is on his way.”

“Thank you, Luna.” She glanced up and smiled at her sister once more. “Do give Worker my regards?”

“I’d be delighted.”


When Worker returned to the cell, he was unsure if the hedgehog had moved. Sonic still sat on the edge of his cot, and he stared through the bars at something Worker could not see.

“Good morning, Sonic!” he called. “It’s a beautiful day.”

“It’s only morning if you’ve slept,” Sonic grumbled.

Worker paused a short distance from the bars, then closed the gap at a slower pace. “I’m sorry that you were kept up.”

Sonic stood and leaned against the cold iron. Dispensing with pleasantries, he demanded, “Why are you here?”

“I told you I’d come back today,” he replied, ignoring the outburst. He took a seat across from his companion. “I’d like to ask you a question, but first, I think I need to explain a few things.”

“A few things,” Sonic smirked, slowly looking over the pony from hoof to mane.

Worker tsked. “Those things that we have time for, at least.” He made an effort to steady his voice. “Listen. As you’ve probably noticed, this world seems to be disconnected, at large, from the rest of the Zones. There’s no source tongue, for example, and no direct connection to any other realm that I’ve been able to find.”

“Which means?” Sonic had never been one for lectures.

“Well, for one, there’s no Chaos.” Worker shrugged uncomfortably.

“No... what? Sonic started, then sat down heavily. “No Chaos energy? But the princesses...”

“That’s what I’m getting at, Sonic. You, personally, are the largest collection of Chaos energy this realm has ever known.” He channeled briefly, levitating his own glasses off his face, and let them drift lazily over his horn. “Ponies use magic. Innate magic. Even the ones without horns. I’ll spare you the history lessons on the various tribes, but as hard as it might be to comprehend, this place is detached from the zone network because, without Chaos, it can be.”

“So, the fact that the Emerald sent you here?” Sonic’s face was a study in incredulity, and he had folded his arms again. And was able to send me on your heels? That’s just an inconvenient coincidence?”

Worker shook his head. “I don’t know ‘how’, Sonic.” His glasses returned to his face, and he adjusted them briefly with a hoof. “But I think it’s because it knew what I wanted, and searched every realm until it found it.”

“What did you want?”

“A way out,” he replied plainly. “A little peace. A little quiet.”

Sonic’s brow furrowed. “I don’t believe you.”

Worker arched an eyebrow. “Then believe your own eyes. What did you want? Me. Me, specifically.” He stood, and began pacing as he explained. “The Emerald could have sent you to any other zone, to any other universe to pick up a clone. Someone who looked how you expected. Someone who performed the same deeds. But no. It sent you to me.” He stopped in his pacing and stared directly at the hedgehog. “I wager it sent you to the exact spot I appeared. Was there a cave nearby?”

Sonic, who looked distinctly uncomfortable, shifted on his cot. “Yes. With your crates inside.”

Worker nodded curtly. “As I said, I don’t understand the ‘how’, Sonic, but I’m beginning to get the ‘why’. The Emerald, perhaps all the Emeralds, knew our desires. They altered time and space to achieve them. They can, frankly, do anything.” He stared into space for the briefest of moments, then shook out his mane. “We’ve just never dreamt large enough to find that out,” he murmured.

Sonic stared at him with an unreadable expression. “Why are you telling me this?”

“So when you get home,” Worker confided, “you can give your world what it needs.”

My world.” Sonic ran his tongue across his teeth, and leaned back to study the ceiling.

“Yes,” Worker replied, sitting back down. He took a breath and visibly relaxed, as if an invisible weight vanished from his shoulders. “I no longer lay claim to it, Sonic. It belongs to you and yours, and always has. I hope you will be a wiser ruler than I.”

Sonic sat up and peered curiously at the pony, his hands on the edge of his cot. “I...” he began, then ran out of words. He thought about it for a moment and tried again. “I still don’t understand why you brought up the subject.”

Worker changed tack. “What I said about the ponies and magic is true. It comes in many forms: almost as many forms as there are ponies. When I first arrived here, I met a remarkable unicorn named Whisper. She has the unique ability of comprehension.” He glanced at Sonic to make sure he was following along. “That is, she can understand others easily, and make others comprehend her.”

Sonic leaned towards the bars, curiosity piqued. Make? She controls thoughts?”

Worker shook his head. “Not in the way you’re thinking, no.” He rubbed his chin, and then approached the subject again. “Imagine a universal translator, but only from your words to Equestrian. Like... training wheels for learning the language.”

Sonic began to piece the conversation together. “So you want me to know Equestrian? Why?”

The pony smiled, an old teacher pleased at his student’s perception . “Because Princess Luna wants to talk to you, and offer you your freedom.” Sonic’s eyes widened in surprise. Worker raised a hoof to forestall him. But, she wants to make sure there are no misunderstandings.”

“My freedom?” Sonic breathed, then his eyes narrowed into slits. “That means there’ll be conditions,” he glowered.

“There are always conditions, Sonic,” Worker said patiently. “Just like there are always unexpected results. You’ll want to keep that in mind when you go home.”

Sonic eyed him warily. “You keep talking about me going back, like it’s a given.” He stood, and strolled back to the the window, watching the mid-morning light play along the rooftops.

“I want it to happen,” Worker explained to his back. “I find that, here, if you want something to happen, you should behave as if it will.”

Sonic scratched the back of his head, then looked over his shoulder back at his old foe. “That’s... creepy.

“Serendipity often is.” Worker stood, and leaned against the bars. “Now, tell me: Should I ask Luna to send in Whisper, today? Or will you turn down the opportunity?”

Sonic turned to face Worker once more, frowning. He shifted on his feet uncomfortably. “All she can do is that language spell?”

Worker nodded. “That’s the only spell I’ve known her to cast. She can barely pick up a quill with her magic. Believe me, I understand your concern, but...” He sighed, closing his eyes to piece together his words.

“Sonic,” he continued, opening his eyes once more, “after what you did in Pasofino, I have no doubt that Luna could—very easily, and without regret—reduce you to a greasy char mark on those very stones. I would be hard-pressed to not cheer as she did so.”

Sonic glanced to his feet, then forced his eyes back to Worker.

“She is incredibly powerful, and frighteningly adept. There is no reason for her to play games, or entreat her subjects to do so. She does not want to convert you. She wants you to know what you’ll be accepting, if you do choose to accept.”

Sonic shuddered. “Fine. Yes. If your princess wants to talk to me, then I will accept her translation-spell.”

Worker nodded, and stepped back from the bars. “I’ll tell Whisper to come this afternoon, then. In the meantime, Sonic?” He looked over the hedgehog, from sneaker to quill. “Get some rest? You look terrible.”

Sonic felt terrible, but did not move. He drummed his fingers against the wall, and studied the ceiling once more. “I’ve asked before, but, why are you doing this, Worker?”

“Because you won.” He shrugged, unable to stop the grin that crept across his features. “You deserve your prize. The universe as a whole isn’t very fair, but this place works best when it is.”

Sonic peered down his snout at the pony. “If I won, then why are you smiling?”

“You called me Worker.” He turned and strolled towards the exit.


As was her habit, Luna strolled through the Twilight Gardens, pausing to admire a bower of moonflowers and the moths that tended them. The princess felt a kinship with all nocturnal life, and that kinship extended, in some small way, to the hedgehog that walked by her side.

“He has a great deal of admiration for you, Sonic,” she confided. She inhaled the heady perfume of a strange white-leaved vine, then returned her attention to her guest. “Perhaps it is a little tarnished by your past, but still, I sincerely believe him when he says he wants you to be happy.”

Sonic didn’t quite know what to make of his hostess or his surroundings. He eyed the ring of guards that silently kept pace with him, and realized he was tensing his shoulders and balling his hands into fists. “That’s what bothers me, your highness,” he replied, forcing his hands to his sides. “He’s always been good at manipulating others. He can play the long game and the short game at the same time, and always has a way out. Honestly...” He eyed Luna, then looked back to the silent unicorn chaperones. “...I don’t know if I’m even talking to a real pony right now.”

“You are.” The princess wore a mysterious smile. “But then, you’d expect me to say that.”

Luna nudged a peculiar wrought-iron sculpture as she passed. It spun lazily in the moonlight, accompanied by an odd music. The strangely-balanced mobile caught Sonic’s attention, and he stopped to watch it move. He realized the princess was speaking into his ear.

“I can’t allay all your fears,” she murmured, “nor can I address all your suspicions. What I can do is offer you an Accord.” Somehow, Luna pronounced the capital.

Sonic realized the ethereal music came from the sculpture itself. The lengths of cold iron chimed and grated as they spun past one another. It was enchanting. “I’m...” He cleared his head, shaking out his quills, and glanced sidelong at the princess. “I’m listening.”

Luna drew away, seeming to flow through the shadows until she sat upon a nearby bench. She looked pointedly at an empty chair beside it, then back to Sonic. He walked to the seat, and noticed that the guard had turned their backs upon their meeting.

Once Sonic had taken his seat, Luna gestured at a low table between them. It held a crystal pitcher and two small goblets, which rose with a shimmer of her horn. “Would you care for a drink?” She filled one goblet, and waited for his reply.

“Yes, thank you.”

Nodding with satisfaction, she set the vessel beside him, and filled her own. She took a small sip, and, sparing the barest glance for their chaperones, turned her attention back to the hedgehog.

“I, Luna, Princess of Equestria, at the request of Worker and his family, will permit you to return back to your home world of Mobius, through the same mechanism by which you arrived. In exchange, you, Sonic, visitor from Mobius, freely and without reservation, accept the following geas to be laid upon you.”

“Geas?” he asked, arching a brow at the unfamiliar word.

“A spell that enforces a contract,” she replied, “in the most simple of terms.”

“More magic,” he frowned. He sniffed at the contents of the goblet, then sipped it. It tasted like water, but had an immediate warming effect. “What are the terms?”

“One,” she counted, and a tiny shimmering light sprung to life to float between them, “you are unable to enter the town of Pasofino for as long as you live.” The light bobbed lazily, a boat on placid waters.

“Two,” she continued, and a second light joined the first. They spun about one another, fireflies in courtship. “In the event that you are unable to return to Mobius, the geas will compel you to put a greater and greater distance between yourself and Canterlot until you are outside of the borders of Equestria.”

Luna blew on the two lights and they drifted apart. “Three.” Another light appeared between the first two, and they wove a graceful, formless orbit around one another. “Once outside Equestria, you will be unable to return to it for any reason.”

Sonic pulled his eyes away from the mystical display, and met Luna’s gaze. “So, exile.” She nodded in reply. “Well, it beats prison. When could we make this happen?”

Luna blinked in surprise. “You’re ready now, then?”

Sonic drained his glass, and set it down beside his chair. “Yes, your highness. No offense, but I’ve been in some weird places, and this one takes the cake.” He rose from his seat and, on a whim, tapped one of the glowing spots with a finger. It drifted away, the other two lights trailing behind it as they vanished into their verdant surroundings.

He looked back to his hostess. “The sooner I get home the better.”

Luna rose from her seat and nodded. At some unseen cue, the guard returned their attentions to the pair. “What about Worker?” she inquired. She stepped down a nearby path, but kept one eye on her guest.

Sonic followed. “That’s the question, huh?” He scratched the back of his neck, then shrugged.

“We’ve talked. There are several ways he could take his side of the conversation, but what matters to me is that I have the chance to go home. It could all be another ploy, another grand scheme of his...” Sonic wore a wry grin and shook his head. “...but what if he’s right? If he has changed, then that means the guy I’m looking for, well, he isn’t around anymore.”

“A sensible outlook, in the circumstances.” Luna stepped into a clearing and paused beside a pool. She watched the ripples on the water, then turned back to her companion.

“Sonic,” she said, peering at him, “I must admit: Given your actions when you first arrived, I did not think you would accept my offer.”

The hedgehog said nothing in reply, but strode to the other side of the pool. He stared into its depths, lost in thought. After a time, he shrugged, and returned her gaze.

“Your highness, I don’t know what to believe anymore. My worst enemy wants nothing but my well-being. The people I meet seem genuinely at peace in a very strange world. My goals will do more harm, in the long run, than good.” He threw up his hands in frustration.

“The best thing for me, I think, is just to go back home. Even if nothing changes, at least I can live out my years in familiar surroundings.”

“Are you very old, for your kind?”

“Fifty-seven, and fit as a fiddle.” Sonic grinned with genuine enthusiasm, and tapped his chest with a fist. “Amy says if I lay off the chili dogs, I might even beat my uncle Charles. He made it to sixty-five. Still, no chili dogs...”

“Who is Amy?”

“She’s...” Sonic looked away, suddenly interested in the nearby towers. “A friend. A good friend.”

Luna smiled faintly, a twinkle in her eye. “I see.

“Sonic, if you are ready, I can arrange the spell now, and see you on your way. Do you have any unfinished business you’d like to attend to, before we begin?”

“No, your highness. Not really. Just... If you see Worker soon, tell him I said ‘Thanks’.”

“Just ‘Thanks’?”

“It’ll be enough.”


Sonic sat in the shelter of his cave, watching a spot in the sky that seemed much like every other. It never changed, never gave any reason to deserve such attention, and yet he watched on.

As each day passed, he felt a growing need to move on—to place more distance between himself and the heart of Equestria. He could have pointed directly at the palace gardens by that feeling alone. So long as he did not stand, however, he could keep himself from walking.

His rations were nearly gone, and the only reason he had water was due to the daily rains. He would have to stand, eventually, and then he would have to go. He wasn’t ready. Not yet. If he just waited a little longer, Amy would come through. She always did.

Sonic curled up beneath his blankets and dozed off once again, entering a familiar dream—one he’d visited every day since he’d reached the cave.

He sat at a large table, surrounded by friends and family. Amy was there, as was Knuckles, and Rouge. His uncle, Charles, smiled at him, and at his side were his mother and father. Sally showed off a new vest. Tails simply showed off. Recently, Worker had appeared at the table, as did his daughter, and they laughed and chatted along with everyone else.

Tonight, another guest had arrived: Princess Luna. The other partygoers did not seem to notice her, but she sat by his side, and kept him company. For some reason, every time he looked away he forgot she was there.

Eventually, as all parties do, it ended, and his friends wandered off to other responsibilities. He sat at the table, surprised once again to find himself in the princess’ company. Finally, she stood, and leaned close to kiss him on the forehead.

“Wake up, Sonic.”

Sonic groaned. The sky was painfully bright, but the worst of the light was blocked by a familiar silhouette.

“Princess?”

“Indeed. I think your friends would like to see you. They’ve been shouting at you for the last hour.”

Sonic was on his feet before he realized it and stared wildly about. There, a few feet above the mountainside, hung a hole in reality. From within, he could hear the sounds of machinery, and the wail of a klaxon that signaled something was about to go very wrong.

“Damnit, Sonic! Wake up! Get in here before we blow the entire facility off the face of the planet!”

Amy.

In a flash, Sonic crossed the distance, and crouched to leap through. At the last minute, though, he stopped, and took a breath.

He turned and smiled at the princess.

“What the hell are you doing, Sonic?”

“Thanks,” he said.

Luna smiled. “It’s enough,” she replied.

Sonic leapt through the hole. Reality shattered about him, and the pain returned with a vengeance. He didn’t care. It meant he was finally going home.


“Daddy! Daddy!” screeched a bundle of sky-blue energy that bounced through the room. “Princess Luna’s gonna be my teacher! She says she wants to be a monitor!”

Worker sat up in bed, blearily trying to process the presence of the high-energy filly. The sun was barely beginning to rise, and the clock on his bedside table read ‘far too early on a Saturday’.

Skyshine reached over, seized his pillow, and pulled it over her own head.

Worker spared his wife a withering look, then he smiled at his daughter. “What do you mean, sweetheart? Luna wants to mentor you?”

“Uh-huh!” His daughter beamed with pride. “She says I have potent... po...”

“Potential?” he offered.

“Yes!” Snowdrop squeaked.

“That’s great!” he declared, and snuggled her close, dragging her up onto the bed. He tousled her hair and tapped her horn with his hoof. “There’s no better teacher I could name. You’ll do great. Now, can you give your mother and I a chance to wake up? We’ll be right out, I promise.”

“Okay, Daddy.” She kissed him on the cheek and with a great bounce flung herself off the bed, and was out the door in a flash, which slammed behind her with a deafening crash.

“Mnphflngeh,” said Skyshine.

“Can’t hear you, love,” Worker replied.

“I said it’s your turn, Worker,” Skyshine’s muzzle said from beneath the pillows.

“That it is, dear.” He stretched, then rolled out of bed and onto his hooves. “I’ll get breakfast started. Coffee or tea?”

From somewhere in the house, a little voice screamed with delight.

“Coffee,” she said. “Black.”

Worker smiled and trudged sleepily into the kitchen, where he busied himself among the pots and pans. Soon, he had the morning meal started, a pot of coffee brewing, and a filly at the table waiting eagerly.


“Dead?” she asked, incredulous. Amy set down a tray of fresh fruit and slid a mug of cider across the table to Sonic. He snagged it lazily and drained half of it in a swig, then set it on the table.

“And gone,” he replied. In some ways, it was the truth.

“So,” Knuckles inquired, “what’s next?”

“Well, that’s sort of up to us. But we’ve spent too much time in this facility, I think, and not enough time out there. Mobius needs us.”

“Are you okay, Sonic?” Amy asked. “You’re making sense.”

He spared her a glare, but it evaporated nearly immediately. “I missed you guys, is all,” he replied, staring at his mug.

Amy blushed crimson. Knuckles groaned and got up to fill his plate.

“What took you so long, anyway? I was on that mountainside for a good two weeks past the pick-up time.”

“Two weeks?” Knuckles paused, a spoonful of pasta forgotten in his fist. “Sonic, we’ve been trying to re-open that gate for two months, now.”

“Two months. Sixty days?”

Amy nodded. “Unless the definition of month has changed, yeah.”

“Huh,” he replied, suddenly needing a much stronger drink. “Weird.”


Worker relaxed with his wife on the back deck, watching the fireworks display over Pasofino. Snowdrop was already asleep in her chair, and her pennant declaring her allegiance to the Wonderbolts lay forgotten across her lap.

“Skyshine,” he murmured, nipping her ear, “did you ever think about having another one?”

“What, a foal, Worker?” she whispered in reply. “Aren’t we getting a little old for a larger family?”

“Oh, I don’t know, dear.” He squeezed her gently and kissed the back of her head. “Maybe I’m just being a silly old pony. But there seems to be something more out there for us, now, and it feels almost wrong to keep it to ourselves.”

“Why, Worker!” She reached up and stroked his hoof, pulling his hug tighter. “That was almost poetry.”

“I no good words, ugh,” he teased, chuckling into the nape of her neck.


Sonic clapped Knuckles on the shoulder, grinning warmly at his old friend. “I’ll miss you, Red, but I’m glad you’re happy.”

Knuckles nodded mutely, tears in his eyes as a low rumble filled the air. A shimmering light surrounded him, and the very ground on which he stood began to rise into the air. It ascended slowly, roots tearing and stones shifting precariously, until it finally leveled out.

The shimmer coalesced into a shining stone that hovered above the landscape, and its occupant waved down from Angel Island’s great height once more.

“Be safe, Knuckles!” Amy called out. “We’ll be sure to check on you soon!” She turned to Sonic, and was surprised to see him walking away towards the shore. “Hey! Sonic?”

Sonic looked over his shoulder at her, and smiled sadly, then continued his stroll.

“Hey, I said! Wait up!” She dashed behind him, then fell into step at his side. They walked together in silence for a time, until finally she could wait no longer.

“Sonic? Are you okay?”

“Never better,” he reassured her.

“Then why...”

“It feels good. I just wonder, sometimes, how much we could have accomplished if we’d started earlier.”

“What, without Robotnik?”

“Wo- yes. Without worrying about him.”

Amy stepped in front of the blue hedgehog, and placed her hands on her hips. “You can’t do that, Sonic.”

Sonic stopped, and lifted his arms to fold them across his chest. He was surprised to find that Amy had already seized his wrists. Glowering irritably, he grumbled at her. “Do what?

“Hold on to the past like that.” She released his wrists, and took his hands in hers. “It keeps you from looking forward to the future.”

Sonic nodded, then squeezed her hands tightly. “Looking forward to the future sounds nice.” He released his grip, but she still held on with her right.

The two hedgehogs continued their stroll hand-in-hand. Somehow, the world seemed brighter.


“You think it’s doable?” Skyshine asked, shouldering the furniture as she rearranged the greatroom once more.

“Oh, definitely,” Worker replied. He waved to Snowdrop as she trotted off with Tea Blossom, two intrepid explorers heading into the unknown—and, eventually, the park.

“The Diamond Dogs would love the extra work, and we could put some of these eager young cubs from the southlands to work scouting the best routes. There are only so many pegasi this far from Cloudsdale, after all, and most of them have other duties.”

“Huh,” she paused, marveling. “Our own train station. We could go anywhere.”

“That’s the idea, love. Embrace the future, I always say.”

“Always?” She eyed him suspiciously, but her smile spoke to friendly teasing.

He chuckled at her, winked, and strolled down the hall towards the kitchen.

Skyshine shook her head and surveyed the room. No, the chaise would have to go back near the fire, after all. Still, there was one less thing to worry about: her husband had finally come around. Just thinking about it made everything seem better. Simpler, almost. For the first time in a long while, she knew things would work out just fine.


Knuckles sat atop the island, dangling his feet over the edge and basking in the glow of the Emerald behind him. From this distance, he could barely see the blue and pink marks that comprised everyone he knew on the planet. He had thought, for the briefest of moments, that he might have had a chance with her. Alas, it was not to be.

Still, there were others, and now that he had freed up his schedule, well, there was still a chance there. He just knew he had to have confidence. Trust. What was the word?


Worker woke in the middle of the night, but he did not stir from a dream or cry out in panic. Still, he rose from his bed, and strolled outside—barely pausing to flick on the lights. He leaned against the railing and watched the town sleep below. So much had changed in these last few years. A new life, a wife, a daughter, and now, something more. He had learned a great deal about himself, and even more about how the world worked.

Who knew his old foe could have shown him the way?

Worker understood, now. Anything was possible, if he just held on to one simple thing:

Hope.

Comments ( 201 )

Well if I said that I Hope this would be a good read I'd be lying! Cause I KNOW it's gonna blow the collective mind of FIMfiction!

Less than 2 hours later and my mind is blown, perfectly blown. It was perfect, and now all I want to do is smile at the sunset while happiness fills my soul. Thank you for writing this Snarkle.

~Momentai

It has finally arrived, today is a good day..

I'd post something meaningful but "hdudhdhsijhxh" is all I can manage right now.

When I first read the Eggman trilogy I immediatly thought of this PMV:

OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT IT'S HERE! I'm not sure my body is ready for this :rainbowderp:

And so ends the trilogy of the only good Sonic crossover. What a ride.

WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! EPIC!!!! Love it!!:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

Win, so much win.

Worth. The. Wait.

:fluttercry:..it's over?

no more Worker?

whoah! wtf? I don't know how to say this....but I ACTUALLY seem to be crying....

Well, you did it. The final slot in my Top Ten list has been filled.

#1. Past Sins
#2. Hope
#3. Winter Bells
#4. My Better Life
#5. Quantum Castaways
#6 My Second Life
#7. Griffin The Griffin
#8. Justice
#9. Order From Chaos
#10.Super Mario Galaxy: Equestrian Stars.



Congratulations. I've been trying to fill that list for a year and a half now, and you alone took three spaces.... I'd give you a prize or something....but I don't have anything, Instead, take pride in the fact that I've read close to 1200 fanfictions, and three of your stories took a seat in the Top Ten List.


Good job sir. Good Job...

....I actually sat through and read the whole thing, from start to finish, when I saw you had posted it.

This has been by far one of the BEST crossovers with MLP I have ever seen; for that matter, it's one of the best crossovers in fanfiction PERIOD. You sir, have done a fantastic job, and I dearly hope you put this extraordinary talent to work in crafting your own original fiction.

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To you, the man that took my "Write a good Sonic cross-over" challenge and defied every prejudice, exceeded all expectations, and ate all of that comic, I present an Internet. It is a small, token thing, but cherish it always, for it marks your ascension into godhood.

Oh my god. It's here. And just when I have a dentistry appointment in the morning.
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This series is by far the best crossover fanfics I have read. Good on you sir for making me smile, laugh, cheer, cry, and most importantly, think. Never stop writing.

I've been searching for a way to forgive someone who hurt me when I was young. (Such a simple thing, to grab a child by the arm tightly and yell at him...) I have thought of him at times variously as my nemesis, an enemy, or not-an-enemy, but I have never been able to call him friend. Tonight, with this story, I found it: it's not about me, and it never was.

This means more to me than you know.

It was worth the hours of sleep I could have had instead. Tonight's peaceful rest will be that much sweeter.

Having been a Sonic fan for most of my life, I would like to take a moment to thank you. What you have constructed has been an excellent combination of these franchises. The plot is well executed, the ponies are written very well, and most importantly, Dr. Robotnik, or Worker, is beautifully written, and most importantly is in character. I believe Worker would relapse into Robotnik when his daughter is in danger. I believe he would be upset that his nemesis would have stooped to his level.
This was a perfect ending to a brilliant trilogy, although I am enticed by the hint of Nightmare's return and Snow as Luna's apprentice. Sequel hook? Seriously though, thank you for proving that the Blue Blur - or at least his nemesis - can still be portrayed brilliantly in a story like this.

“My freedom?” Sonic breathed, then his eyes narrowed into slits. “That means there’ll be conditions,” he glowered.

I bet he's going to be young again.

*After reading the ending*

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I knew it! And beautiful ending!

"Order From Chaos" was one of the first stories that really got me into MLP fanfiction. To finally see the arc concluded, I feel so satisfied. Thank you.

From my perspectinve, I'd say that Sonic is well... Typical. After everything Robotnik/Worker did to him and his friends, it's going to be hard letting go. Robotnik broke Sonic in a way, and now, hopefully, he'll be on the way to recovery.:twilightsmile:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT PICTURE @_@

And straight to the top it goes. :V

Another masterpiece.

Geez. Worker Eggman/Robotnik really did a number on poor Sonic. He actually scared me some. :derpyderp1:

Also, I noticed Worker's daughter Snowdrop shares a name with the star of a recently popular animation. Coincidence?

Good story! Also, wow Sonic and the gang are really old. Kinda kills anymore long gaps in time as they would be dead by then. Maybe Knuckles should go to Equestria that would be interesting

2327925

Just keep in mind that this is part 3 of a 3 part series so go read the other 2 first.

Also this takes place some decades after the series, not before.

Thank you all for your kind words. Sure, I know we all visit a site where we share stories about marshmallow ponies, but seeing that kindness spelled out is always a lovely surprise.

I wanted to address a few questions, but then I have to get back to work.

1) It's not 'over'. There will be side stories, and treatises, and scraps of this world poking up from time to time. You may find other stories joining the canon, or revealing they were part of the same timeline all the while.

2) RE: Sequel Hooks, etc. I'm not a fan of stories that end cleanly, wrapped up and tied with a bow. What good is a story that can't keep you company after you've read it?

3) Much like Cadance/Cadence in Justice, the name Snowdrop is a coincidence. I'm sure my little filly would have gotten along with her namesake just fine, after someone explained to her what blindness was.

4) This story takes place some time after the events of canon. If you have not read the first two stories, please do. Many things will become clear, and a few may just become more confusing.

*) Order from Chaos
*) Justice
*) Hope

Much love,

Snarkle

2328328 Or become a Super God and flick it off your world like you would a tick on your arm. :trollestia:

2328434
Fixed, I hope. Thank you.

2328538
Yup, you got it.

Also, this fic is everything I hoped it would be: Amazing.

OMG FINALLY!!!!!!! i cant wait to read this! i love this Robotnik series, ill comment again later after ive read it.

An emotional story that actually manages without falling back on clicheed emotional hooks. And here I thought Fimfiction was dammned to turn into a swamp of "sad"-tag sobstories.

Thank you very much for this story.

2328256
i HOPE this isn't just a 3 part series, there's still so much potential in this story.

not to mention such a good writer doing it.:pinkiehappy:

Wow... That was... powerful. As in, tear to the eye powerful.

Thank you.

I noticed a few places where you should have colored the dialog blue that you missed...

“What did you want?”
“A way out,” he replied plainly.

Also, Sonic being the only source of Chaos energy around was something I thought was going to go in a completely different direction.

2328362 as to Snowdrop and Cadence it really only makes sense for their to be other ponies with those names based on the timing. Cadence was a popular princess I'm sure, and had many foals named after her. Snowdrop revolutionized winter weather, so it would only make sense it would be a popular name for ages to come, possibly even having a few other famous holders. it's probably even a standard name in a bunch of those baby name books.

Also great story as always.

No.

Seriously, no. Robotnik, a man who killed millions gets a free pass, a new life - why? Because he happened not to have killed ponies? Not to have killed in Equestria? Because he changed? Ok.

No, seriously. I'll buy that. He changed, he got a second chance. I am all about that.

But Sonic - who I will freely admit is falling into an anti-hero/villain role here - kidnapped one pony and hurt another and is exiled for life? Is dumped on, thrown in prison and from the tone of the above is regarded as little better than a savage? Because why, they saw this happen so it makes it more real to them? Because he's changing into a villain slightly and even then not half as bad as Robotnik ever was?

No. You do not get to try to take a high ground with Sonic unless you took one with Robotnik. And you didn't. You forgave him. Now the Princesses are nervous about Sonic (oh such a bad creature!) and have to be fucking convinced to do for him what they did for Satan Robotnik? You offered Worker rehabilitation and then dumped on Sonic for being a bit rash and hurting (not killing, hurting) one pony.

Sonic kidnapped Worker's daughter.

Robotnik made orphans out of entire city's worth of kids.

And the Princesses get all upity about Sonic? No. No. This change, from 'forgive all creatures regardless of the millions they slew'-Luna to 'grrr they hurt a pony'-Luna just killed it so bad for me. I was ok till chapter 6 (I think, might have been 7) when this 'grr'-Luna showed up. Thumb down. Sorry, I really loved the series but not this story.

Havent seen a crossover this great since Phoenix Wright: Turnabout Storm.

2329266
A fair critique, but perhaps a little myopic. Consider:
Luna was angry not for the actions of a criminal (primarily) but for her sister's reluctance to act - especially where Worker was involved.
Sonic was not mistreated but simply held captive, and within a week was offered a way out. Furthermore, Luna herself ensured he got home safely.
High road? The only hint of that is when Worker dressed down Sonic for his (lack of) actions in Mobius. He knew Sonic could do better, because he knew Sonic WAS better.
I can understand your emotional reaction to this, but I don't know that it jives with the story as presented. That said, thank you for your analysis.

Wow, this was even better than I had anticipated it being

2329350
There was one instance in chapter 7 but it was chapter 8 where the part I was talking about was. The entire Worker/Sonic conversation makes me dislike Worker - he doesn't have the right to hate Sonic, I'm sorry. Kidnapping your daughter and hurting a friend is all he did to you, Worker - you did much worse to him in your old life.

“Rehabilitation?” Luna peered closely at Worker. “Are you serious?”

THIS is what I'm talking about. Maybe I'm mis-reading this but it read to me that Luna wasn't considering this until it was brought up. Maybe she's playing a deeper game ... then the sisters start talking.

“Freedom?” Celestia scoffed, dropping inelegantly into her seat on the eastern side of the table. “You want to let him traipse back into the mountains, after breaking so many laws?”

Fucking. Wah. Worker broke more laws than you've written Princess - the only thing is that they were broken not on your lands. Does that make it any better? Is it really that important what side of a dimension door they happened on?

Luna held up a hoof. “I understand your reluctance, sister. To some extent, I agree. The rules are important, even if we are the ones who wrote them.” She studied Celestia’s handiwork in the window behind her, then returned her gaze to her sibling. “Let me make the case another way. Our guest has been formally taken into custody to answer for his crimes—crimes which, I recall, are rather severe.”

Severe. That. So they weren't going to forgive him because the few crimes he committed were on their lands, be damned to hell every life Worker destroyed in his old life. Not disrupted, destroyed.

“I see your point.” Her lips played with a frown, but she assumed serenity once more. “While I have my reservations, if everything you have told me is accurate, then I am willing to allow this creature to return to his own world.”

Ok, so what were they going to do with him? What was so severe that Sonic did that Worker didn't do previously? Why is Sonic to be punished while Worker got off? This is where I have an issue - prior to his transformation, Robotnik was a mass murderer and they forgave him his crimes. They forgave him, embraced him and made him one of them. Sonic kidnaps a single pony and they're ready to throw the book, cell and shackles at him.

I hope you see what I'm talking about, where I'm coming from. I cannot see how else to read this. The fact that these crimes were done on Equestrian soil is the only thing that's different - otherwise, Worker is a worse criminal than Sonic could ever be. And yet this one fact is all it takes to make the forgiveness the sisters were so willing to offer Worker no longer an option for Sonic?

Don't get me wrong, Sonic was in the wrong. He was not being a hero, he was obsessive and becoming destructive. But this conversation made it seem like they were going to literally exile him to pony-hell and he doesn't deserve anything like that. If anything, he deserves the exact same thing Worker was offered - especially now that he's realized where the path he's walking down is leading.

2329454
Luna’s alarm was not because she was planning on sending Sonic to Hedgehog Hell, but because she was shocked that Worker even broached the subject.

Celestia’s a stickler for the law. The central plot of Justice, for example, would have been gutted were it not so. In many ways, the law – the doctrines of right and wrong – are all she has in the world.

The crimes were severe. Ponies don’t do these things. It’s not a matter of forgiveness at this point. It’s a matter of a trial. Celestia wants one. Luna, after talking with Worker, is being convinced to let him go – and this is important – in a timely manner.

I understand that we will likely not come to an accord here. The characters’ words can be read to mean many things, which is why the actions themselves matter. Still, thank you for pointing out these scenes. In my next project, at such crucial conversations I will try to be clearer as to the speakers’ motivations.

All the best.:twilightsmile:

2329555
I concur, we will most likely not - for I still see issue even with this.

But it's best I leave it as-is. I wish you well in your creations.

Read it in two sittings. Excellent work, Snarkle. You have my respect and just a bit of jelousy.

Also, have a pic of Ion-Strum, courtesy of Demetrius. You have earned the right to call me by that name now, methinks.

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It's here.
It's amazing
I know this is the end, but I want more...

you sir are a genius
enjoyed this greatly
sad it is over

2329266
This man is your friend.

He fights for freedom.

Listen to him.

2329584
Not looking to reopen this debate just throw in my 2 cents.

I would say that on the issue of ready forgiveness there IS a distinction between forgiving worker and forgiving Sonic.

When Nightmare Moon was defeated by the Elements of Harmony the first time she was banished to the moon for 1000 years. Now we do not know how severe her crimes at the time were, but to prevent eternal night and a reign of evil, this was her punishment.
When Nightmare Moon was defeated by the Elements of Harmony the second time she was not banished to the moon again. She was stripped of her power and of her "dark side". The reason Princess Luna was forgiven was because she had been divided from her Nightmare Moon persona to such a degree that she was no longer that person. And therefor there was no danger of her "reoffending". She was completely rehabilitated.

When Luna "conditioned" worker, she essentially did the same thing to him. She stripped off his evil and bitter shell and released the core person within, giving him a chance to choose a new life free of the karma of his past because he, like her, had been so thoroughly divided from his dark side that he was no longer that person and there was no danger of him reoffending. He was rehabilitated.

Please remember that the actual purpose of a penal system is not punishment for crimes, it is protection of society and rehabilitation of offenders to prevent reoffence.

The issue with Sonic is that no such rehabilitation had taken place. He was still the same person and there was no evil side to him. He was just acting on what he believed he should do and therefor there was no indication he would not reoffend.
They could not condone his actions against worker any more than if someone wanted to attack or imprison Luna for her actions as Nightmare Moon.
However, since they could not convince him of this, the only way to prevent dangerous attacks within the kingdom, which had already generated some collateral damage, would be to maintain his imprisonment.

It's not about forgiving Worker vs forgiving Sonic, it's not about weighing their crimes, it's simply about mitigating dangers to the citizens of the realm. Worker is not a danger, Sonic is.



2329555
That said, we've had Diamond Dogs Kidnap Rarity, assault Spike and the other members of the EoH, attempt to enslave the entire Mane 6; a dragon threaten to cover the land in smoke for a century, a cockatrice turn Twilight to stone, a Hydra attempt to eat most of the EoH and Spike, a dragon attack Spike, Cerberus left his post, etc.
Equestria is a very dangerous place and most of these dangers are not dealt with by the princesses.
Nightmare moon, Discord, Chrysalis, Sombra, a parasprite infestation in Pillydelphia.
Major huge terrifying threats. These are what the princesses deal with.
I do not see them freaking out to this degree over the actions of one strange creature who has a grudge.
I understand that the scenario is necessary to the story you want to tell, but due to canon, it doesn't ring quite true.


Basically I disagree with Minalkra that Sonic's forgiveness should come more easily than Workers did due to the disparity in their crimes, and I disagree that the sole issue is where the crimes occurred.
But I do agree that Sonic's crimes should be less of a point of contention to the Princesses, especially due to the nature of the ever present dangers in Equestria, and given leeway due to Sonic and Worker's extraordinary circumstances.

So basically I'm saying they were too hard on Sonic and Worker should have been able solve the problem himself, as is the Equestrian way.

Otherwise the plot and story are fantastic.

I have to agree with Minalkra here - the way Sonic was treated, by the Princesses especially, felt very dissonant given how Eggman was treated in the earlier stories. I'd have thought that the Princesses would have cut Sonic some slack, or had more empathy for him, considering how they forgave Eggman for drastically greater crimes.

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If the author doesn't mind us talking about it, I'm all for discussing it civilly. But I'm going to leave it up to him whether we discuss it or not.

:pinkiecrazy: ...
"Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment."
-Librarians in service of the false god Emperor (WH40k).

:moustache: Another awesome story... bravo!
:pinkiecrazy: Please, keep up the epic work my good sir or lady.

So much emotion, and for Sonic to get caught up in it, to commit these crimes to get to his old enemy... Emotions are one hell of a drug.

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HERETIC! *BLAM!*

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