The red and white bobber dipped below the water's surface. "Hey, I think I got a bite," said Tails. He and Sonic were sitting on the Knothole bridge, fishing together for what must have been the first time in half a year. The late-afternoon sun sparkled brightly through the Great Forest's canopy.
"Way to go, Big Guy!" Sonic said. "Quick, reel it in!" He tried to sound enthusiastic, hoping his greatest admirer wouldn't notice the melancholy in his voice. But Tails did notice, and knew full well why his hero was in such low spirits.
Timothy the Muskrat, the soft-spoken but steadfast Freedom Fighter, had lost his life in the mission last night, and Sonic felt responsible.
A small force had spent weeks preparing and coordinating a plan to shut down Robotnik's new Satellite Positioning System before he could use it to finally pinpoint Knothole Village's location. Using the decoding program Tails had written, Sally and Nicole unlocked the entrance to the database center while Bunnie and two