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Red, As Far As The Eye Can See

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The Eggman base was dark and hastily abandoned- it was clear in the things scattered, tubes broken and robots messily evacuated or even left behind. The Resistance had been slowly finding all of Eggman's bases, and it looked like this one had been inhabited recently. Eggman must have noticed them scouting out the area and panicked, because the last time the team had been there, it was fully functional and still in use.

    There were robots around- most of them were deactivated, but a few sprung to life just to attempt to kill the group. Silver and Amy ended up splitting off to deal with a whole bunch of them that were probably left as a trap- Gadget ended up following after them, because there were a lot more than expected. That left just Sonic and Tails to explore Dr. Eggman’s lab.

    Something was off, though. There was a familiar stench that remained, and phantom ruby prototype shards could be found in various locations. Luckily, none of them worked. Tails ended up walking in on a huge room filled with test tubes- a few were shattered open, thick liquid flowing out of them and onto the floor, while others remained intact. Some of them had disfigured creatures still inside, but it didn’t look like any of them were alive. On one table in the lab lay the shattered remains of Infinite's mask. An area that looked like it was supposed to be for the Phantom Ruby, originally, had a piece of tape plastered over it that just read "FAILURE." As he inspected the area, he heard shuffling and froze, his eyes locked onto a corner on the opposite side of the room. He approached cautiously, before freezing in place once more.

"Sonic!" he called, and soon enough his best friend- and brother figure- showed up beside him. "What is it, Tails?" he asked, glancing around for any possibly online robots.

Tails pointed to a cage, the suddenly clear smell of blood almost overwhelming. "Look." he whispered, his hand shaking. Sonic’s breath hitched. 

    The floor of the cage was covered in dried and fresh blood, some of it even having poured out. The lock was still on it, secured shut, but it had been clearly scratched at. What was most horrifying, however, was the creature- no, person still inside the cage. It was covered in bandages, and its silhouette was strikingly familiar, but it barely looked alive. That is, until it moved- it shuffled slightly, away from the locked door and, simultaneously, Sonic and Tails. Its muscles were tense and its tail twitched.

    It looked up suddenly when Sonic stepped forwards. It had a muzzle clamped tightly around its mouth, preventing it from opening it very far. Despite this, its mouth was open as far as possible, and it was panting slightly, tongue out. There were marks along its jaw where the muzzle had dug into its thin fur. 

    One eye was blue and the other yellow- The left with a large yet old scar over it. Its hair was long and tangled- some parts were matted with blood. It had probably been white at some point, but now it was an almost greyish brown color. The bandages around its chest, arms and legs were bloodied and old. It had untreated injuries, as well; a scrape on its cheek, a bloodied tail, and various cuts and bruises, especially on its face and shoulders.

    What was probably the worst about the state of the figure was the heavy chains keeping it in place. There was a metal collar around its neck and two heavy looking cuffs around one of its ankles and one of its wrists.

It stared into Sonic's eyes and he shuddered. "Yikes. We should probably get them out of there..."

Tails looked nervous about that. "But- what if they're dangerous? I don't think Eggman would be that... harsh , unless they were... you know..."

Sonic shook his head. "No matter how dangerous they may be, no one deserves to be locked up like that. Come on, Tails, help me get him out."

Tails glanced at the bloodied creature and squeaked. "B-but what if it's Infinite? It looks creepily like him..."

Sonic sighed. "Tails, even if it does end up being Infinite, I really doubt he could do anything to us when he's injured like this. Besides," He knelt down to fiddle with the lock, the creature's gaze following him. "If he was really that dangerous to us, do you think he'd still be in the cage? I said what I said; no one deserves to be locked up like this."

Tails nodded. "Alright, Sonic. I trust you. I'll look around for a key or something we could lockpick with."

Sonic smiled reassuringly at Tails- he knew he meant the best- before returning his attention to the lock. "I wonder if I could just break it..." he muttered under his breath, jiggling it slightly.

The creature's pupils widened slightly and they almost relaxed. It rasped something barely audible, causing Sonic to pause.

"What'd you say, buddy?" he tilted his head slightly. Tails was right- it did kind of look like Infinite without the mask, if that was even possible with all of its injuries. Then again, it didn’t have the giant rock in his chest now- it was just bloody bandages. What could even be under there? If it was Infinite, would there just be a gaping hole? The phantom ruby was only protruding about a third of the way- that meant the other two thirds had to have been inside of Infinite. Where would his organs go to make room for that?

It took a few shaky breaths before pushing out some hoarse and quiet words: "The doctor hates you... so much." To that, Sonic chuckled awkwardly. "Haha- yeah, not old news to me... He kind of trapped me for six months, I might've gotten the message, then..."

It coughed, with a sound as if it were tearing through its lungs. "He'd always... rant about you. When he came in here..." it huffed. "Wish I could've... bit him more than once..."

Sonic frowned. "Did he do this to you...?" he asked quietly, so that Tails wouldn't hear. Tails was far enough away he likely hadn't heard any of their conversation.

The creature- or, person- just nodded, closing its eyes and leaning back into the bars behind it. "Can you tell me your name?" Sonic asked, looking back down at the lock in an attempt to figure out where to hit it in order to break it.

"It was... Zero... I think." the figure took a shaky breath. "Before he took everything away..." it coughed again, and Sonic hissed in frustration.


"Alright, Zero, We'll get you out of here, promise."