The fifteenth chapter of Book Three: The Invasion, and the final part of Part Three of the book.

Chapter Fifteen: Pursuit

Sonic and Shadow stuck together, each being seen only as a blur by the people around them. However, they were two blurs in a set of seven, with four other speeding hedgehogs and a single rabbit all moving at their top speeds, trying to catch Will. Shadow scowled, before shouting.

“Enough of this! CHAOS CONTROL!” Instantly, Shadow disappeared in a flash of blue light. Barely two seconds later, Statyx and Shima did the same, and Silver wasn’t far behind them, not teleporting but dashing, using his telekinesis to fly at astonishing speeds. Sonic slowed slightly, enough to grab Manic and Cookies’ hands, before using Chaos Control himself, and the final members of the Moebius Infiltration Team disappeared.

As soon as they reached the others, Sonic was gobsmacked with what was going on. Shadow had his inhibitor rings off and was grappling with Dark Will, but it was obvious that even the Ultimate Lifeform couldn’t hold the echidna back for long.

“Don’t just stand there, faker! Help me!” Sonic didn’t know whether to be offended or surprised because of Shadow’s use of his old nickname, but the others all leapt into action. Almost instantly, the Overcharge cloak was suppressed by a turquoise glow as Silver grunted, barely able to hold the telekinetic restraints on Will’s dark form. The restraining field was then added to by Shima, who’s cyan telekinesis aura shone as brightly as Silver’s turquoise power. Shadow used this as his chance to free himself, nodding to Statyx. At that, Statyx raced at Shadow, who used a burst of Chaos Energy to launch his brother into the air, before charging and slamming Will with a hip and shoulder tackle, pushing himself into the air with pure strength. As he reached Statyx, they grabbed hands and entered spin dashes simultaneously, spinning in sequence as well as on their own. This technique slammed into Will, and a cloud of dust obscured Sonic’s view. He saw Shadow and Statyx turn to walk back to the others, only to have two long, flaming tendrils extend from the thickest part of the dust, dragging them both in, at the same moment as Silver and Shima were sent flying. Sonic roared, charging in and repeatedly smashing the dark-formed echidna with every physical technique he could think of, only to have the flaming cloak repulse every strike. Manic tried bringing his sword in, but even the sharpened blade of Excalibur couldn’t cut through Will’s defense. Sonic closed his eyes, appearingly in frustration.

“I didn’t want to have to use this until we reached Moebius, but oh well…” he muttered, his quills flickering with increasing speed. Silver watched in amazement as Sonic’s quills locked into place and his fur stood on end, turning his normal hedgehog blue color to a bright gold. Manic and Shima looked astonished as Sonic began to float, a ripple of energy rolling off him as his super form completed itself. Sonic reopened his eyes, and a pair of startling red eyes glowed in place of his green ones. Will froze, and a cruel grin split across his pitch-black muzzle. Shadow and Statyx used this moment wisely, both backing away to let Sonic have free reign. Cracking his knuckles and grinning like a maniac, Sonic bolted towards Will, leaving a sonic boom behind him as he smashed his fist straight into Will’s face. Easily, the punch broke through Will’s energy cloak, but barely made him flinch. Angrily, Sonic tried pausing time with Chaos Control, letting his environment invert in colour. Even so, Will remained black, and his smile widened.

“My turn,” he growled, his voice low, guttural and oozing with darkness. Sonic shifted his stance from an enraged offensive to a more controlled defense stance, one of the few martial arts skills he, Knuckles and Shadow had exchanged over the years. In doing so, he noticed Will shift his weight from his right foot to his left, before hurling a Chaos Spear with insane intensity straight at Sonic, who only barely managed to block the strike with crossed arms. Even before he could compensate, Sonic found Will barreling towards him, both fists completely covered in darkness as he launched into a frenzy, releasing that final shred of control he had held and becoming fully bestial. Sonic closed his eyes, preparing for a battering, but it never came. Opening his eyes, he found that the Chaos Control had worn off, and Will was frozen in place, staring directly into his father’s eyes, which were red, each pupil a three-pointed pinwheel. As Sonic watched, the pinwheels seemed to spin, and Will’s dark form receded, leaving the teen on the ground, shuddering and sobbing. Knuckles powered down his eyes, and placed a hand on each of Will’s shoulders, before wrapping his son into a massive hug, each shedding tears. Sonic returned to his base form, returning to the rest of the team. Shadow raised an eyebrow.

“What happened? I sensed you Chaos Controlling, and the next thing I knew, Knuckles was here,” he asked. Sonic shrugged.

“We fought in the time-stop, he was winning, but it collapsed just before he hit me. Don’t ask me how Knuckles got here, or what he did. All I know is, it worked.”

“I think it’s touching.” Shima muttered, and Cookies nodded. Manic made a gagging noise.

“I think it’s sick.” Sonic, Silver and Shadow all laughed, as both Knuckles and Will got up and walked over to the others.

“Right, follow us. We’re going to take you to the Master Emerald, you can get to Moebius through its power.” Shadow nodded, motioning for the others to follow him. The others all started to follow, albeit with rolling eyes and sarcastic gestures from Sonic and the two youngsters, the others all used to the idea of taking orders from Shadow. Knuckles and Will spoke in soft, guarded voices as they walked through the areas damaged by Will and Striker’s last duel, before arriving at the current home of the Master Emerald, Knuckles’ Mobotropolis home.

“As soon as I can, I’m moving it back to Angel Island. The Super Emeralds are powerful, sure, but I think it’s fallen a fair few meters since we moved it here, almost eighteen years ago.” Shadow nodded sagely, while Sonic just smirked.

“Didn’t you move out here for your family to have more access to things?” Knuckles shrugged.

“Hey, I’m not needed here anymore. Lara’s at university, and Will’s almost at the age to move out anyway, so Julie and I were discussing moving back to Angel Island, and I think that after all of this drama, we should. Take the Master Emerald with us, so it’s better protected, out of the way so people aren’t being hurt by armies after it’s power, and so if anyone does try to steal it, I can fight them, not Will. I haven’t had a decent punch-up in ages.” All of the elder members of the team laughed, while Will, Manic and Cookies all looked at each other and shrugged. Knuckles lead them through the well-maintained house into the Emerald Shrine-room. Shima and Statyx looked at each other in surprise, not expecting to see a recreation of the Emerald Shrine of Angel Island sitting in Knuckles’ house, complete with wood and stone murals on one of the walls and a few strange statues. Knuckles smiled, before clambering atop the massive glowing gemstone and closing his eyes. As he did, the Chaos Energy they could all feel emanating from the Emerald magnified itself, and green flames surrounded the Guardian. Knuckles smiled as he sat cross-legged atop the gem, the energy invigorating him. Without even opening his eyes, he pointed at each person there, and the energy manifested itself in its own unique way. Sonic’s quills stood out on end, almost as if he was transforming, before returning to normal. Shadow’s hands and feet burned with the same green flames as he spread his arms and laughed. Silver’s psychokinesis shone bright green, slowly changing back to normal. Statyx’s inhibitor bands started to glow with intense patterns as they instantly charged. Shima found her dark form’s wings suddenly burst from her back, without actually transforming, something she looked shocked about. Manic formed a shield of Chaos Energy in one hand, and drew Excalibur from its sheath by his side, holding it aloft in a traditional knight’s pose. Cookies leapt into the air, flying for a few seconds like her mother, before slamming down into the ground and triggering a small earthquake. Then, Knuckles pointed at Will. Everyone watched, but there was no visible effect as Will had a torrent of Chaos Energy offered to him. Knuckles scratched his head for a few seconds, but Will smiled.

“Looks like I’m already fully-charged and ready for battle, dad! Just give me one second.” With that, he raced out of the Shrine and down to his bedroom. Looking around, he quickly spied and grabbed the weapons he was looking for, before racing back, strapping the belt to himself as he did. Knuckles started to grin as Will entered, the Twin Dragon Dao Blades strapped to his side.

“Practiced enough with those?” Will responded by drawing the blades in one hand, splitting them with a barely visible movement and throwing the second blade between hands.

“I think I’ll manage,” the young echidna smirked, before standing back and entering the circle that the others had formed. He grasped Cookies and Shadow’s hands, and waited.

“Right, just be careful. You might be filled to the brim, but Scourge has more than enough items of power to give you a headache. Work as a team, and you’ll bring him down.” Knuckles warned, before closing his eyes, nodding towards Shadow once. The Ultimate Lifeform took the cue.

“Chaos Control!” he shouted, tapping into the combined energy of all in the circle, and warping the entire group off to Moebius. Knuckles sighed and slid down from his perch, passively accepting the final shreds of Chaos Energy the emerald was extending, before turning to see Blood.

“I’m going after them. You know, a little surprise reinforcement.” Knuckles nodded, before motioning to the Emerald.

“Well, good luck, Blood. I’m going to see if there’s anything left I can do here to help out, even if it’s just rounding up Moebians.” Blood nodded, placing his hand on the Master Emerald.

“Chaos Control!” he muttered, before disappearing in a flash of blue light. Knuckles gave a faint smile, before turning his back and walking out the door, leaving the emerald and it’s power for another day.

Dramatis Persona

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