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Fanfic / There's a Fine Line

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"Every part of me wants to promise I'll protect you [Tails], but I'm really starting to...I...for the first time ever, I don't know that I can keep you safe. And that terrifies me. "
Sonic, Chapter 3, "Nothing Wrong...Except Everything"

There's a Fine Line is a Decon-Recon Switch Deconstruction Fic of the Sonic Adventure mythos written by Xonic S creator and Sonic Paradox alumni KyoSo. Following up on the events of Sonic Adventure 2, it paints a bleak picture of a world where G.U.N. is becoming a shadow world government, opposed only by a so-called terrorist organization known as the Minutemen. The Chaos Emeralds are gone forever, and Sonic has been reduced to running place to place in a vain attempt to stay one step ahead of G.U.N., who are out to take him into custody over trumped up charges. He succeeds until Tails tries to help him, having been manipulated by promises that G.U.N. will drop any charges against Sonic if he volunteers his services to them. Sonic and Tails end up both held hostage, with Tails' safety being held over Sonic's head if he doesn't do G.U.N.'s bidding. His first mission is to retrieve a sample of Liquid Chaos from a miles deep mineshaft in the Mystic Ruins, nobody involved aware of what lurks in the depths. Things quickly spiral out of control.

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Despite the incredibly dark nature of the story, a Lemony Narrator and frequent comic relief - well penned, as KyoSo is traditionally a comedy writer - keep things from devolving into Deus Angst Machina. It also quickly becomes clear that the story is less a simple continuation of Adventure 1 and 2 than a character piece focused on Sonic and Tails' Chronic Hero Syndrome driving them to Sanity Slippage as they are forced into more and more impossible situations and their friends' safety threatened.


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This work contains examples of the following tropes:

  • A Friend in Need: Arguably one of the fic's biggest themes is testing Sonic's resolve in the face of his friends' lives being threatened.
  • Body Horror: The results of the liquid chaos experiments.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Tails. All he ever wanted to do was help Sonic, and he pays so dearly for it.
  • Break the Badass: Fine Line is basically "Let's Break Sonic: The Fic."
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The story makes heavy use of comic relief moments and scenes, particularly with the narration, to keep things from falling into a Trauma Conga Line or Deus Angst Machina.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Sonic feels personally responsible for anything he could have even theoretically prevented, even if not realistically.
  • Covert Group: The Minutemen, an anti-G.U.N. paramilitary organization.
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  • Crapsack World: G.U.N. basically controls the world.
  • Darker and Edgier: When compared to its source material.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Once the gloves come off, being Sonic the Hedgehog truly is a an anxious nightmare.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: G.U.N. stands between Sonic and the light-hearted adventure of his normal existence, something we can occasionally see peeking through the clouds - especially during comic relief scenes. It serves as a reminder of the simple and fun life Sonic and Tails have lost, and that they have to regain if they get through this in one piece.
  • Definitely Just a Cold: Whatever happened to Sonic in The Fountain has left him gradually deteriorating, but he seems very hesitant to admit it. Especially the part about regenerating from wounds.
  • Determinator: Sonic is turning into this.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter: The chao Sonic finds in the Fountain chamber, shown to consume the Liquid Chaos, can phase-shift into a liquid alongside other strange attributes.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sonic, at the end of Chapter 3
  • Heroic Safe Mode: As Chapter 5, Sonic is beginning to fall into this.
  • Heroic Suicide: Sonic and Tails both have both attempted derailed attempts to do this, respectively to prevent more of their friends from being taken hostage and to shatter neutralize the Master Emerald before G.U.N. could take it.by shattering it respectively.
  • Hostage MacGuffin: Tails.
  • I'll Kill You!: Sonic in the third chapter, when the G.U.N. pilot is ordered to detonate Tails' explosive collar. He punctuates this with the story's first Precision F-Strike, to underscore his Freak Out.
  • La Résistance: The Minutemen.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narration often attains a sort of sarcastic detachment, describing things as if the story were a comedy. This is at its most extreme during comic relief sequences.
  • MacGuffin: Liquid Chaos seems to be on everyone's wish list, as they theorize it can be use to forge new chaos emeralds. Useful, considering the original seven have been scattered into space.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: G.U.N. wants to use Sonic's power for their own ends, and they know holding his best friend hostage will convince him to help.list.
  • Mauve Shirt: Sasha, Drake and Finn are introduced as new fully-fledged characters before being unceremoniously killed in an explosion.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Tails accidentally sets off the entire plot by simply trying to help Sonic get out of trouble with the law.
  • Oh, Crap!: A few times.
    • The first big one is toward the end of Chapter 3, when Sonic realizes Tails is gone.
    • A double-whammy comes in Chapter 5, first when the briefcase explodes and then when Sonic realizes that drones are about to take out the base.
  • Orifice Invasion: The liquid chao forces itself down Sonic's throat.
  • Precision F-Strike: You know shit's gotten real when Sonic drops an f-bomb.
    • In Chapter 3, when Sonic realizes Tails is going to die.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in Chapter 8, the story now teetering on the edge of justifying an M rating.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Knuckles seems to serve this purpose, as do several new characters introduced in Chapter 5. Most of them end up dying fairly quickly.
  • Rebel Leader: Nova of the Minutemen.
  • The Reveal: Chapter 6 both reveals Tails' disappearance in Chapter 3 was due to Nova abducting him and the Master Emerald, and ends with the cruel revelation that that the missing Tails is in the same building as Sonic, who desperately wants to find him.Sonic. And he remains right under Sonic's nose under the next big reveal in Chapter 8 when they're reunited.
  • Sanity Slippage: Tails and especially Sonic are being pushed further and further over the edge slowly losing his grip with almost every passing chapter.
  • Stun Guns: Nova has one of these. She uses it on Tails, which Sonic mistakes for killing him. This does not end well.each chapter.
  • Tricked Into Escaping: Sonic is used to get a bomb into the Minutemen's base.
  • Unobtainium: Chaos energy emitters, be they the Master Emerald, Liquid Chaos or the missing Chaos Emeralds.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Happens multiple times.
    • Tails sets off the whole plot by being tricked into letting G.U.N. capture him and Sonic.
    • Sonic later ends up being freed on purpose to get a bomb into the Minutemen's base.
  • Virtual Reality Interrogation: Tails is subjected to this by Nova.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Minutemen leader Nova is revealed to be this in Chapter 6, and it only gets worse from there.
  • Wham Line: Almost a common occurrence after the first couple chapters.

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