At the center of Metropolis, Citadel Eggman stood over every other skyscraper as the tallest building not just in the city, but on the entire island to boot. Fitting for the Eggman Empire's capital building, it carried Doctor Eggman's own facial likeness in a gigantic, Human head-shaped way.
Surrounding the entrance to the Citadel were numerous flesh and blood reporters as well as camera robots assigned to the gala happenings. With fireworks on display above the heart of the Empire, many officials from distinguished scientists like Grimer Wormtongue to the few members of the Robotnik family that spawned Eggman himself and the Egg Bosses in-between were making their way on a red carpet leading them inside the Citadel while the media took pictures of the guests and broadcasted them on television.
Arriving just as the fireworks started to be lit and go boom in the sky like a few other Egg Bosses did, Sonic, Clove, and Cassia made themselves presentable to the crowd from smiling, winking, waving hands, and, in Sonic's own words, looking cool in front of the cameras. Heading straight for the Citadel's ballroom, the three friends were among the first to show up for relaxing music, good food, and socializing amongst themselves and others.
Taking a glass of soda for himself and resolving to get some chili dogs for his own appetite later, Sonic find one such opportunity to socialize when he noticed the Soumerca Egg Boss, who was chatting with her Tralius and Efrika counterparts as well as the Director of D.E.S.S.E.R.T., the Department of Enforcing Systematic Submission, Enlistment, and Reverence for Tyranny, had come to the gala in her Army uniform rather than in a dress like the Pronghorn sisters.
In amusement, Sonic walked over with a polite interjection in the conversation. "Excuse me, Grand Chief Whip, Egg Bosses Thunderbolt, Axel, and Maw, but can I cut in?"
The aptly titled Grand Chief for his role in encouraging public support for the Empire through whatever means applicable, Whip was a white feathered rooster who wore matching robes with a purple trim over trousers and a green waistcoat, and upon noticing Sonic, nodded his head with a self-assured, if somewhat genuine, smile as he answered. "It's no trouble at all, Egg Boss Sonic. Your peers and I were just talking about how best to endear our Empire's laws to the masses. There has been some difficulty in Sourmerca as of late, I'm afraid."
Hearing the news, Sonic turned to the shortest of their group, Thunderbolt the Chinchilla, who took charge of Soumerca in Eggman's name, and asked with a tone of voice that he hoped hid his concern for the people who lived there under her authority. "What kind of difficulty, T.B.?"
Knowing where Sonic was taken the conversation and why, the diminutive Chinchilla who was well known among the Egg Bosses for her ruthlessness and fanatism to Doctor Eggman rolled her eyes and simply replied. "I haven't killed anyone yet, Sonic, if only because the workers in my area just refuse to work as part of a friendly strike, and so far, haven't attacked my soldiers, destroyed Imperial property, and disrupted our trade with the rest of the Empire. I figured that so long as keep them all under house arrest, this coordinated strike won't go into outright rebellion."
Despite his worry, Sonic could not help but let out a laugh. "And here I thought you hated taking prisoners, Thunderbolt."
Narrowing her eyes at him, Thunderbolt said with a hint of menace. "Don't start with me, Sonic. I'm under enough stress as is."
Sporting a grin, the Hedgehog commented. "Aha, so that's why your still in uniform. You want to be ready to counterattack no matter where you go, huh?"
"Exactly!" Thunderbolt exclaimed in a firm tone of voice before adding under the knowing look Sonic was given her with an embarrassed blush and exasperated sigh. "And yes, I couldn't find the right formal attire for this event. It's not easy being the way I am."
Wanting there to be no hard feelings, Sonic then said with a nicer expression. "Cheer up, life of the party. The Big Doc gave you your own continent for a good reason, so I think the best you can do is take the bad in stride and do your best to keep it from getting worse."
Brightening up, Thunderbolt declared. "That's right, and in our Lord's name, I will succeed!"
"That's the spirit!" Sonic responded with his right stretched out which Thunderbolt in a mask of nonchalance pumped with a fist of her own.
Chuckling at the sight in amusement, the enigmatic Thylacine in charge of Tralius, Maw, turned to Sonic with an approving smirk. "If anything, my good Sonic, there should be more Egg Bosses like you. The way you've kept order in the Archipelago is proof of your ability to hold back chaos."
Modestly shaking his head, Sonic said back to Maw. "No need to flatter me. All I do is remind everyone that title or no title, I'm a Hedgehog of the people." Turning to the Water Buffalo of their clique, he then said cheekily. "Something I have in common with Axel here, even if I'm the one with the most agility in this room."
Chuckling in good nature, Axel said in response. "You may have the agility, kid, but I still have all the muscles you lack."
Exchanging a friendly laugh, the four Egg Bosses and Imperial Director all clinked their glasses just as a memorable piece of techno music kicked in on the ballroom's speakers.
"Oh, he's here!" Thunderbolt cheered.
And Thunderbolt was correct, for up the stairs in the ballroom, Doctor Eggman himself emerged from the door above to bask himself in the applause of his subordinates that ranged from polite in Clove's case to enthusiastic in Thunderbolt's. "Hello, everybody!" He greeted aloud.
As the clapping and cheers kicked up again, Eggman later held his hands up to gesture for quiet, which soon followed. Taking that as his cue to speak, Eggman began to say something before the honking sound of a vehicle horn interrupted him. Turning his irate gaze to the source, he and everyone else in the ballroom saw the electrician, Harpio Marxio, playing with his horn lazily while his two brothers, Chicio and Grouchio, attempted to get him to stop making a scene before it was grabbed from out of his hands by an annoyed Ox in armor that was the norm to Yurashia warlords, Jun Kun, who then slammed both of his hands on it, crushing it on the ground.
While Harpio stood there wide awaked with a sadden gaze at his destroyed horn, Chicio could not help but turn to the Ox with narrow eyes saying. "Friend, that was-a cold-a even for you." And some, like Sonic, could not help but agree.
Hearing Eggman clearing his throat before Jun Kun could decide to wallop the shorter Humans, however, got the whole party back on track to listen to their superior's opening speech.
After a refreshing comment on this previous one-shot, now two-shot, on Archive of Our Own by Armia, the writer of the Sonic mega crossover, Time Trials, I got inspired to add a second part for the sake of argument. I also find Time Trials to be highly recommendable on both Archive of Our Own and FanFictionNet, so please look it up and maybe contribute to its TV Tropes article.
I hope that the pun-like name of the local Doctor Robotnik Appreciation Tribe meets with people's approval, but while I might have some ideas to add up on this, I would appreciate it if some constructive feedback was also given as it would not hurt to have more likers offering ideas themselves. I might even decide on either Cassia or Clove being chosen as Sonic's love interest in this one-shot since I am still undecided, but until then, I just want the people on FanFictionNet to recognize that there are lots of characters that are usually not put in the character boxes for stories.
Also, for those who primarily read my work on Archive of Our Own, I decided to shut down all my guest reviews due to numerous threatening reviews I had been getting anonymously on there from obviously the same person, even if they are too cowardly to reveal and explain themselves. It was disturbing, annoying, and hurtful, so if anyone wants to review my work there, they are going to have to register first from now on.