The eighteenth chapter of Book Three: The Invasion by Flashfire212.
Chapter Eighteen: Revelation
Will faced Striker, their eyes meeting. With that, Will lowered his head and dashed, opening the first gate to increase his speed as he rammed his head into his counterpart’s chest, transferring the kinetic energy buildup from his body into Striker’s chest, sending him flying. Striker threw his hands out behind himself, using his arms in a risky maneuver to stop himself from colliding with the wall. Upon impact with the wall, Striker simply raised both arms and unleashed a rather large Flamethrower from each hand as he propelled himself backwards down the corridor. Will grimaced and dashed into the flames, only to find each group of brilliant flame to be, in essence, a trick. The flames, while large and threatening in appearance, were nowhere near as powerful as they appeared. Comforted by this knowledge, Will leaped, using Chaos energy to dash in midair to behind Striker, dropping into a powerful leg sweep. This time, Striker simply jumped, the flames dissipating as he cleared Will and hurled a ball of lightning down at the Mobian, before using the distraction to bolt down the passage. Will growled, forming a shield of green Chaos energy before him to absorb the cerulean lightning, before racing after his counterpart, who had hidden in a room at the end of the corridor. Will emerged into an atrium, where he could see Maddy strapped to a column on the far side. Striker was nowhere in sight.
“Maddy!” Will burst, ecstatic. His beloved girlfriend looked up, and her face reflected her new-found hope. She smiled, bruises framing her face as she didn’t even try to get up. Will simply ignored his surroundings and raced to her side, only to be clobbered from the side by Striker, who had hurled a seed straight into Will’s right arm, letting the Seed Bomb detonate on contact to throw Will into a pillar. With that, the powerful Moebian approached, his visible eye now a fully-formed Sharingan.
“Face it, Will, you have lost. Yield, and the end will be brief.” In response, Will suddenly launched on a horizontal axis, spinning sharply with his dreadlocks extended as points, once again slamming Striker in the chest with his spindash.
“Oh, I don’t think so, Striker. Let’s settle this,” he retorted, his own eyes quickly taking on their full first-tier design. Striker simply yawned in response, but Will blinked simultaneously, avoiding the drowsiness from the yawn. Will tried leaping towards Maddy, but Striker simply stepped on a nearby tile, and laser walls leapt up in the echidna’s path, stopping from reaching his beloved. Will suddenly screamed an inarticulate cry and hurled a rather large crimson fireball straight at Striker, who split the orb with a single snap of his fingers, before closing his eyes and hardening his fur with heat. Will’s animal rage had complete control now as he rapidly opened the next two gates, but he suddenly stopped. Striker blinked and reached for his eyepatch, temporarily blinding himself. In that short amount of time, Will had drawn his Guy’viroth broadsword and saber, and was dashing towards his enemy with a fervor and almost monstrous rage that caused Striker to flinch, slowing down his reflexive leap into the air to prepare his next move. Will stopped and pointed his saber at the blue Moebian, which proved to be a big mistake. Striker coated his body in lightning, and dived straight at Will, aiming at his legs. The blue echidna barely dodged the cerulean strike, with some errant strikes leaping into the sword, giving Will a rather painful shock. Will spun to face his near-identical foe, his eyes now in the Mangekyo Sharingan stage. Striker mimicked the transformation with his own eyes, revealing the Mangekyo Sharinshotogan once again. Without a single word being spoken, a struggle of blasts erupted. Each unleashed a powerful Amaterasu at the other, the massive black flames striking each other and forcing each other back and forth. Will attempted to aid his blast onwards with a reinforcing burst of flame, but Striker outsmarted him, using his Sharinshotogan to unleash a powerful cutting wave through all three strikes. Will suddenly countered the slicing pulse with a perfect Kamui, the vortex absorbing the remaining energy from the flaming attacks and the razor-edged wave before collapsing on itself. Striker frowned and powered down his eyes, the Shotogan remaining like always in his left eye. Will did the same, his hazel eyes revealing a fiery fury, but his outward shell having lost the bestial rage.
“So, it’s obvious that this battle of powers isn’t going to be settled like this.” Striker pointed out. His counterpart nodded.
“I concur. I’ll smash the truth into your skull the hard way.” With that, Will’s body began to glow as he opened the fourth inhibitor gate. The first thing to change was the black streaks in his fur, which became a bright yellow. His eyes became a sharp green, with his gloves seeming to glow from within as they turned a brilliant gold, similar to his streaks. His fur finally began to change, becoming an amazing tone of orange. With that, he turned and began to laugh, and started to see the hope start to return to Maddy’s eyes. Striker simply met his gaze.
“I don’t know what truth you speak of, but I’ll happily match this power.” This time, it was Striker’s turn to embrace energy. His streaks turned a pale yellow-green, with his gloves turning a similar tone. His eyes took on a dramatic sky-blue hue, and Will felt his confidence start to slide as Striker’s transformation finished with its vibrant yellow fur.
“Let’s dance,” he taunted. Will nodded in reply, and the two super forms charged at each other. There was no decorum, no holding back. Each simply gave it their all. For Maddy, an observer, it was hard to track the two echidna-shaped blurs as they attacked each other, ramming, punching, kicking and blasting each other so rapidly the eyes could barely follow them. To the battlers, however, there was too much adrenaline to think. Punches were blocked, kicks were caught and returned, blasts were obliterated, all without thought on either part. Will tried unleashing an explosion of flame and smoke, but Striker simply extinguished the flames with his Shotogan. The golden Moebian tried to unleash a powerful swarm of sparks, but a single flaming kick from Will simply caused them to disappear. The fight was balanced completely, although both could tell that this fight was in Will’s hands. Without his eyepatch to cover the purple Shotogan, Striker lost energy at an astounding rate, even when not using it’s slicing blasts. Suddenly, a girl with a similar appearance to Maddy, but with black streaks dyed into her quills, burst in, brandishing a hammer.
“I’ve got your back, honey!” she shouted, swinging her hammer haphazardly. Will suddenly changed his tact, launching an attack on the girl.
“NO!” Striker shouted, diving in front of the blow, forcing him to his knees as he powered down. Will raised an eyebrow and powered down as well, forcing Striker to look at him.
“Striker, you’ve been deceived. Scourge isn’t your father.” Will said, gently. Striker glared at him.
“I know that, idiot. He adopted me.” Will shook his head, and tried to stay calm as he met Striker’s glare.
“You’re my counterpart, so listen to me for once. Scourge isn’t your father, he’s been manipulating you. He killed your biological father.”
“No! You lie to me, Mobian.” Striker screamed, his body starting to break down into spasms of pain and grief. Will grabbed the back of Striker’s head by the dreadlocks and forced him to look his counterpart into the eyes.
“Listen to me! Your father was Anti-Knuckles. Scourge lied to you, and he’s been manipulating you ever since to restore his power!”
“I…I…I…” Striker started, his hands quivering as he tried to contain his grief. The girls shot Will a dirty look, but quickly set to the task of settling Striker down. Will looked at her directly, opening two more gates and beginning to transform once again.
“Once you’ve settled him, could you free Maddy for me? I’ve got a mission to finish.” The girl opened her mouth, but Will met her gaze lightly and as kindly as he possibly could, halting the transformation.
“Oh, fine. I’ll let my counterpart go soon enough, once Striker’s pulled himself together once again.” Will nodded and turned to leave, but the girl stopped him.
“Look, Scourge may not be honorable, but he’s still my biological father. So…” The young guardian nodded, waiting for her to finish. Maddy’s counterpart seemed to shuffle a few thoughts around, before speaking.
“Look, just don’t kill him, alright? Even for all he did to this world, all the darkness he brought the multiverse, he doesn’t deserve to be removed from existence. I’m Shady, the youngest of his three kids with Rosy. I’ll spring my counterpart, but you get through to my father that there’s more to life than power.” Will nodded once again, with a brief salute to Striker as he turned and left, repositioning his swords so all four blades were in easy access as he started to dash towards the battle, letting his body follow its own path in transformation, ready for the biggest fight of his life so far.