The seventeenth chapter of Book Three: The Invasion by Flashfire212, it is the longest chapter of any of his works, a full five thousand words. Thanks to BloodSonic, Shima and Kagi for the use of their characters, I hope that you all enjoy this massive piece.

Chapter Seventeen: Impossible Challenge!

Sonic lead the group through a dark, clumped forest, in towards Castle Acorn.

“We know that Scourge based himself here before, and aside for the increase in support, he’s following the same sort of pattern as last time, so my money’s on him being here again.” Shadow nodded, his eyes darting around as he covered the group with his handgun. Behind him, the rest of the group was on guard, Statyx bringing up the rear and performing the same scanning eye movements as his half-brother, with the rest all ready and waiting for something. Suddenly, Sonic stopped in the middle of the path. There was a rather large clearing ahead, with the palisade and such directly ahead.

“I don’t like this. Everything about it screams trap.” Shadow pointed out, his handgun covering the areas atop the castle.

“Snipers and other ranged soldiers could be hidden there, not to mention many booby traps either fitted into the roof or directly in front of that palisade. Chaos gates. Spike pits. Pitfalls. Water-filled holes. You name it, the area in front of the gate could have any kind of trap hidden there.”

“Not to mention the possibility of troops hiding within the forest on either side. That’s what makes this a tactical nightmare.” Statyx mentioned, gesturing at the heavily forested areas to either side of the castle. Will stepped forward, cracking his knuckles loudly and maneuvering his swords to the small of his back.

“Allow me. If there’s any kind of pit or hidden soldiers, I’ll be able to find them.” Shadow raised an eyebrow.

“How?” Will’s smirk remained fixed in place as he tensed his body.

“Tunneling.” With the one word reply, the blue echidna dived forward, disappearing into the dirt at a rapid pace. Shadow frowned, but simply turned and walked back into the forest a short distance. Most of the others followed him, but Sonic simply watched quizzically at the action.

“What’s your plan?” Shadow turned to face Sonic, before spinning and grabbing him by the neck, dragging him back to the others.

“My ‘plan’, as you put it, is simply to let Will perform recon, then get word back to me on what’s going on. With that info on my side, then I can make my decision on how to deal with this. Is that understood?” Sonic waited three long beats, watching Shadow closely, before breaking out into an outrageous smirk.

“Sure, Commander. I’m sure the trainees will be glad for your firm hand and rough justice.” Shadow glared at Sonic once again, but simply turned and waited. He didn’t have long to wait. A gentle vibration under the ground was the only sign that Will was going to reappear, which he did dramatically, suddenly surfacing directly behind Shadow.

“Empty. There’s nothing in the courtyard, or above it. I semi-surfaced to check. Nothing. The entire yard is clear.”

“Thanks. Now, here’s the plan. We move as quietly and as stealthily as we can, get into the castle by alternate means than the gate, and then…” Shadow let his voice fade away. Most of the others simply looked at him dryly, understanding his intentions. Cookies, on the other hand, wasn’t as used to his occasional flair for the dramatic.

“What’s next, Mr. Shadow?” Sonic rolled his eyes as Shadow allowed himself to break out into a grin.

“Then, we find Scourge and his machine, and destroy it!” Everyone groaned at his attempt at dramatic flair, but quickly got moving. Will dropped back into his tunnels and disappeared, as Cookies leapt with considerable strength and started her way along through the trees. Shima nodded to Silver, who hurled her into the air with telekinetic power, allowing her to glide over the wall. Sonic, Shadow, Manic, Silver and Statyx all ran down different paths, arriving at the outside of the wall in two small groups. “I just don’t get why we didn’t just Chaos Control in.” Manic pointed out. Shadow sighed.

“Look, Scourge would be able to sense it coming a mile away. Even without the massive array of powerful items, he has a very strong connection to the Chaos Force, so any of us manipulating the Chaos Force to get in would instantly set off his senses.” Statyx nodded.

“We’re masking at the moment. Most of us more experienced fighters know how to diminish our impact into the Chaos Force to near negative levels. Cookies has similar power to a Chao, and due to her carrying a Chao with her, its more explainable,” he explained to the perplexed hedgehog.

“But I’ve got Excalibur, and Will’s got his mystic swords…and his connection to the Chaos Force,” he pointed out. Sonic nodded.

“True, but Will’s an exception. With all inhibitor gates closed, he almost generates a field that interferes with the Chaos Force around him. Ronan explained it some time, but I have no clue what he said, or what it meant. All I know is, it’s something to do with a genetic alteration from his disease, or the gates, or something. As for you and Excalibur, well, we’re taking our chances there.” Manic opened his mouth to retort, only for an invisible hand to clamp his jaw shut and start to lift him off the ground. He turned his eyes to either side, and saw his father and Shadow both rising up in the same fashion, glowing with a turquoise aura. Statyx wasn’t too far behind, floating on electrified air. Manic forced himself to focus as the top of the wall approached, trying not to imagine Moebian soldiers leaping out and striking him down where he floated. His hand tightened around the golden hilt of Excalibur, soothing his thoughts somewhat with the sharp edge of steel. However, as he reached the top he realized that his fears were unfounded, the upper reaches of the castle empty. Only a few seconds after he landed, Silver floated up beside the others, landing with a barely perceivable thud. Sonic pointed at a series of ropes leading down to the ground. Shadow nodded and grabbed a rope, pushing off and sliding down it at high speeds. Sonic and Manic both followed Shadow’s lead, sliding down ropes to the ground. Statyx and Silver both jumped down and controlled their fall for a perfect landing – Statyx using his Air Skates, Silver with his psychokinesis. As both hedgehogs landed simultaneously, they glared at each other. Shima and Cookies became visible further around the dimly lit courtyard, each mainly visible as silhouettes. Suddenly, there was a loud, rhythmic clap coming from the main castle entrance. Almost as one, the Mobians turned to face the source of the noise. Striker, fresh out of armor but clearly visible to each and every person there, had a massive smirk on his face as he stood there, his arrogance shining through. There was a loud POP, as if something was exploding from under the ground directly in front of Striker. The dirt and dust the burst threw up temporarily blinded the team, but when it cleared, they could see a dark, hunched figure standing before the Moebian echidna, everything about him suggesting rage.

“Go. Scourge isn’t in the castle itself, he’s nearby. This is my fight.” Will shouted over his shoulder, his voice full of steel. Shadow turned and started to skate off, the others gradually following him, all knowing that Will’s tone left no room for argument. As they turned their backs, the sound of fighting started to fill the air.

“Well, there goes the element of surprise.” Shadow muttered darkly. Sonic nodded as they raced around the outside of the castle, entering a second clearing on the far side of the castle grounds. Indeed, there stood Scourge and Miles, the former standing in front of a large machine piled high with all of the stolen power artifacts, the latter playing around with controls built into the back of the machine. Shadow quickly captured a quick few images using a camera built into a scouter, then beamed the photos back to Mission Command on Mobius.

“Ronan, I know you’re there. What is that thing?” Within the scouter, direct feed of the main battlefield command, with a second screen centered on Ronan in Col’nesia, appeared. Ronan pursed his lips.

“Huh…so that’s what happened to my toaster.” Shadow raised an eyebrow as the people in the command module started shouting. The black fox quickly raised his hands to forestall the argument, motioning for the frustrated team in Mobius to calm down.

“That’s a Mark Two ETD, or Energy Transference Device. Mark One was designed to be a weapon, where it would send a beam of high-intensity energy from Mega Coal into the target. It amplifies the energy to a greater point, allowing the beam more power than without the amplifier.” Ronan paused and laced his fingers within each other, before continuing. “The Mark Two, the version before you, was designed to use the same amplifying power to induce a much more powerful transformation, again with Mega Coal. Finally, there was the much smaller Mark Three, which was the only one mass-produced. It was used as, well, as a toaster. I personally used the Mark Two prototype, the thing you see before you, because it cooked toast to perfection…” Shadow facepalmed as Tails and Commander Tower started yelling again. The Col’nesian grabbed a nearby bottle of his world’s finest whisky and took a long draught from it, settling his jarred nerves from the noise.

“Quiet, please!” he shouted. Within a few seconds, the command team was silent, allowing Ronan to continue. “Basically, once that thing fires, you have to disrupt the process. Try not to touch the items being amplified and drained, because you’ll fry like a chip in a deep fryer. Just…interfere with the beam or the machine itself. Try not to let Scourge get more than a minute or two’s exposure.”

“Why not? I understand interfering with the machine and such, but why not just stop him from getting any in the first place?” Ronan shook his head.

“Too far, and too risky. The entire thing is very temperamental. You’re too far away from it, and even then, even Sonic couldn’t move fast enough to stop it from firing in his Hyper form. Let Scourge get some exposure, stop the machine, then fight him.” Shadow nodded his understanding, taking off the scouter.

“Let Scourge start the beam, but cut it off as quick as you can. Then we reveal what we’ve got.” Sonic grinned, his fur flickering white with the thought.

“Finally, some action!” As quietly as possible, the team maneuvered into hiding places at the edge of the forest and waited.

Scourge flinched as his Chaos senses detected a quick burst of energy from the forest. Se savored its flavor. Everything about it screamed Sonic, from the speed of the burst to the very essence of the energy itself. He cursed under his breath as he stretched one final time.

“Now, Miles, if you’d please,” he muttered dryly. Miles Prower glared at him for a few seconds, before activating the device wordlessly. Almost instantly, a bright, multicoloured glow formed around the device with a low-pitched hum, growing in intensity and pitch at insane speeds. Miles tightened his grip on the activator handle, watching the dials build. Suddenly, the primary dial flickered into the small green zone before the red. It was ready. Sweating profusely, Miles slicked back his sweat-drenched fur and pushed forward the firing lever. The beam leapt forward and struck Scourge directly in the back, engulfing him in a beam that rapidly changed color, once a second. Like the device, the hedgehog started to make a strange noise, starting in the lower pitches but rapidly climbing as the power entered his body. Suddenly, he screamed, but not a normal scream. This scream resonated to Miles’ very core. The fox watched all the readings climb beyond all his predictions, beyond anything he could have imagined. Scourge’s body was glowing now, his feet hovering centimeters off the floor. The flames on his jacket and his sunglasses were changing colour just as rapidly as the beam, with the colour change spreading to his fur.

“The power! It’s so…intense!” Scourge roared, and both the Mobian team and Miles watched in horror as the true transformation began. Shadow quickly slipped his scouter back on and began to beam footage of this metamorphosis back to Mobius, where the entire command team, even Ronan, was paralyzed with shock and fear. It began with the arms. All the muscles in his upper arms bulged, tearing his sleeves to shreds with their expansion. His fur stood on end and crackled with electrical energy, running across his body with the ease only sparks have. He straightened, and a loud cracking noise rang out across the clearing as his spine elongated to its maximum length. His legs expanded to their own maximum, bulging out as much as his arms. Sonic’s face was a mask of horror as the musculature of Scourge’s chest suddenly changed from the normal, slight frame of a hedgehog to one more suited to an echidna even tougher than Will, one who worked out every day. His fur kept changing colour as his quills began to grow, elongate, multiply! It almost seemed impossible as they then started to fuse together, becoming similar to a combination of both Sonic and Shadow’s Legendary Super Saiyan forms, forms neither hedgehog had used in a long time. The fur colour finally settled, platinum white with deep, purple streaks. Shadow finally remembered what Ronan instructed him to do, blasting the beam coming out of the machine with a powerful Big Bang Chaos Lance, strong enough to deflect the beam and shut the machine down. In a rage, Scourge spun to face Shadow as the rest of the Mobians present stood, revealing themselves.

“You dare stand before me? I am unstoppable! I am a legend! I am INVINCIBLE!!!” he roared. Sonic faced him, his body rapidly changing colour before settling on a similar white to Scourge as he entered his Hyper form.

“No, you aren’t. You’re a monster.” The beastial Scourge laughed, his voice a lot deeper than before.

“Well then, little kiddies, run off home, because the big bad monster is coming to get you!” Shadow closed his eyes, his fur taking on the same platinum tone to Sonic and Scourge, although the streaks remained. Cookies revealed her Chao, which suddenly transformed into a pink Chaos 0-like form around her body as her stance shifted into a more unusual hand-to-hand combat stance. Manic’s hands wrapped tightly around Excalibur, holding it aloft in one hand as golden armor, forged in Chaos flame, began to coat every inch of his body. Silver’s hair elongated to a massive level, soon matching Scourge’s for length as he entered his Time Warp form. Statyx tapped his inhibitor braces, and a green glow spread out over his body, turning gold at the same time as his fur. Shima looked at the others, confused. Sonic noticed she wasn’t transforming, and frowned, throwing furrows through his white fur.

“Why aren’t you transforming? You can’t fight Scourge like that!” he burst.

“I need the emeralds before I can transform! I thought we’d steal them back, although when Knuckles charged me up, I had my doubts.” Sonic grimaced, before flying down from where he floated, gripping her tightly by the shoulder.

“Get ready…now!” he shouted, transferring energy from his Hyper form straight into her body, awakening her Super form. In that instant, she transformed, with white and purple fur replacing her normal black and red. Instantly, the entire group whirled around to face Scourge. He started to laugh, a deep, corrupted cackle that echoed with his power.

“Give up, Scourge, you’re outnumbered!” Shadow bellowed, his own voice echoing from his Hyper form’s power. Scourge’s laugh filled the entire clearing with its dark power.

“Scourge, just stop and face reason! We have strength, and united as one, we shall defeat you!” Sonic shouted. Scourge’s laugh faded away, to be replaced with a crazed, Jokeresque grin.

“Yes, united you stand, but divided, you fall!” Sonic scratched his head, mulling that tidbit, but Scourge’s next remark threw him off.

“You can’t hit what you can’t catch, and you can’t catch what you can’t see!” With that, Scourge started to walk towards the group, only to disappear.

“Sonic, it’s time to show that trick the Guardian was working with you on.” Shadow prompted. Sonic smiled and nodded his response, closing his eyes.

“Huh?” Manic asked. Statyx simply looked at the others, quizzical. Shadow sighed, before explaining.

“Sonic has a sort of slow-motion vision that he can use when running at high speeds. It’s a sort of natural adaptation for his speed. Those of us that can reach those kinds of speeds normally use intense focus to see things, but even then we can’t stay focused forever. Sonic learned to see in high-speed. Knuckles worked with him, and discovered that while Sonic’s transformed, he gets massive boosts in that sight, including the ability to use that high-speed vision while stationary, allowing him to see in freeze-frames, and pinpoint things vibrating too fast for us to see.” With that, Sonic opened his eyes, to reveal the most bizarre thing they had seen in a long time. Almost all of his red irises had disappeared, with his pupils taking up the majority of that space. His face was a mask of concentration as he focused, before blinking, returning his eyes to normal.

“Gone. I couldn’t see anything.” Shadow swore.

“Where could he…” he began, only for Cookies to disappear, her scream the only thing they heard.

Cookies slammed into a tree a distance away from the others, almost halfway around the castle. Scourge grinned, watching the Chao-fused rabbit panic.

“Shunpo. Better known as Flash-Steps. I move so fast, even Sonic or a high-speed camera couldn’t see it. Now, I’ll just pick you off, one at a time, and nobody’s gonna be able to stop me.” Cookies quivered as Scourge grabbed her from the back of the neck and hurled her overarm at another tree, letting her smack into it head-first, before pointing at her and grinning. “Have fun in this little cage!” he crowed, with a cage of icy spikes encircling the young rabbit. “That little Spike Prison is a gift from the Frost Rubies. It doesn’t hold much oxygen, and the spikes can cause a lot of damage… good luck getting free!” As Cookies screamed in fear, Scourge simply turned and used Shunpo again, teleporting away and leaving Cookies to her fate.

Shadow spun, hearing a slight noise, only to see Manic disappear before his eyes.

“Scourge! If you’re going to fight anyone, fight me!” he roared. Scourge’s voice faded out of nowhere, cocky in its tone.

“When I’m ready to, I’ll fight each and every one of you. For now, you must wait…and find me.” Shadow’s face twitched, a sign of his anger, before pointing at the others.

“Watch for him, so keep an eye on Shima. He’s going for those with the lowest levels of power, so Shima’s next, considering Manic and Cookies were…”

“WHAT?!” Sonic burst, furious. “My son? That’s it, Scourge, you’re going down!” he roared, flying off. Shadow facepalmed at Sonic’s impulsiveness.

“Guys, let’s stick together. Sonic can handle himself…”

Manic bent his legs and pushed off the tree, using his armor to absorb some of the impact as he dashed towards Scourge, Excalibur in hand. His sword spun in neat circles as he neared his father’s counterpart, but Scourge appeared unfazed.

“So you’ve got mystical armor and a fancy sword. So what? It’s nothing compared to my awesome might!”

“Wrong, Scourge. I shall end you, for the honor of my family!” Manic replied, his face hidden by the golden visor. Scourge grinned and cracked his knuckles, motioning for Manic to attack. The young armored hedgehog bolted, Excalibur swinging down in a fearsome overhead cut aimed at Scourge’s shoulders. Scourge rolled to the side and hurled a sharp icicle at Manic, only for the youngster to catch it on a shield that emerged from his right forearm and block the strike.

“Give up, Scourge, and our revenge will be swift.” Manic pressed, but Scourge was adamant.

“No way. If I do, you’ll just ship me off to the No Zone again, and I DON’T want to see the interior of that prison again!” With that, the Moebian vaulted backwards in a silvery blur, his masses of purple-streaked hair forming an aura of sorts around him as a heavy heat haze formed around his hands.

“Meet a technique from the power of the Sol Emeralds! Flare Burner!” the insanely powerful hedgehog crowed, before blasting a near invisible beam of heat into Manic, superheating the armor and causing it to disintegrate as Manic lost the battle for consciousness almost instantly, dropping Excalibur as he slumped. Scourge looked at the child, and in anger at his similar appearance to the ruler himself, kicked him once in the ribs with great strength before disappearing with Shunpo once again.

Once again, Statyx and Shadow turned to face their half-sister, only to watch Shima disappear in a flash of white light. Statyx growled, his eyes narrowing to slits.

“They don’t call me the Ultimate Guardian for nothing,” he growled. Shadow nodded in agreement, motioning for Statyx to take point as sudden surges in Chaos Energy presented themselves from deeper into the forest.

“There.” Immediately, Shadow, Statyx and Silver dashed towards the blasts in question, with Sonic doing the same from a different angle, all hoping that they could reach Shima in time.

Shima hurled a large Chaos Missile into the tree behind her, disintegrating it as she kept dashing backwards, holding Scourge off by dodging constantly. Scourge’s face was contorted with rage as he kept trying to anticipate the hedgehog, only to have her dive backwards towards a rapidly-disintegrating tree.

“Would you stop that!” he roared, exasperated. The white super form slowed slightly, a goading smile on her face.

“Now, why would I do that? I figure that it’s impractical for you to use that teleporting step technique in close-range, and as such, if I keep dodging, you’ll eventually tire and I’ll be able to beat you with one strike.” Scourge’s platinum fur ruffled as he laughed.

“Really. Considering that my form is a LOT more powerful than yours, you still think you could win?” Scourge stopped dead still, waiting for Shima to move.

“How about a little contest, Ultimate Lifeform. We all know that your base form beats mine in pure strength, but where does your Super form rate against my Prime form?” Shima coated her left fist in Chaos Flames of a bright neon-green caliber, her color signature. Scourge simply opened his hand, coating it in a glaringly bright coat of light.

“Straight from the Shining Relics… Light Palm!” Scourge dashed forwards, his light-coated hand trailing streaks of glaring power as he raced towards Shima, who performed the same move with her Chaos Fist. The two collided violently, and for a second, the attack appeared to have failed. Then, suddenly, with a blinding flash, Shima was thrown backwards into a tree, semi-conscious from the impact. Scourge turned away, content, only to find himself being restrained by a telekinetic aura projected by Silver as Shadow, Sonic and Statyx all prepared attacks.

“Really? THIS again, runt? What is it about me having a higher form than you that you absolutely don’t understand?” Scourge clicked his fingers, freeing himself, only to find Statyx racing towards him, a fully-formed Mephiles Blade on his hand. Scourge barely seemed to react, blasting the ground directly in front of Statyx with a Charge Beam only for Statyx to disappear.

“Wha…?” the Moebian started, but the Ultimate Guardian reappeared directly behind him, ramming the light-based attack straight through Scourge’s chest, his hand emerging from the other side. Statyx wrenched his hand free of the body, content to let it fall, but suddenly, Scourge stood, his wound instantly healing and leaving the surrounding fur with a red tint. “You seriously view me as that much of a threat?”

“Yes. We do.” Shadow responded, emerging over Scourge’s shoulder and catching him around the head with a Blaze Kick, his momentum carrying him over Scourge’s shoulder to land in front of him. Scourge simply regenerated the burn damage from Hyper Shadow’s flaming kick, and laughed.

“Is that seriously all you have? I’m disappointed!” he crowed, standing completely still and letting Hyper Sonic’s supersonic headbutt simply rebound off his muscle-plated chest. “Nothing any of you could do will make me budge, so give up now, while you still have the chance!” As Scourge raised his arms in a gesture of his power, a black-shafted arrow with blue, red and green feathers on the end slammed into his shoulder blade, embedding itself. Growling in surprise and pain, Scourge turned to face the shadowy archer, only for a second arrow to strike him in the abdomen, just beneath his ribs. The Moebian leader cringed as he yanked the first arrow out of his shoulder, then focused on the second as he stood, the wounds now little more than red stains on his platinum fur.

“Hey, Scourge, normally I would kick your ass, but it’s not Saturday, so I won’t bother,” a shadowy but recognizable voice called.

“But it IS Saturday!” Scourge roared.

“Really? Looks like you’re in trouble.” A rustle in the trees gave away the presence of the hidden archer. The powerful Moebian spun, suddenly seeing a familiar hedgehog with a brilliant blue aura.

“Blood? I thought you weren’t interested in coming to fight Scourge!” Sonic exclaimed. BloodSonic laughed, pointing at his transformed allies.

“Catch your breath. I’ll delay him with Defaran’s power!” Sonic’s muzzle faded to the same color as his Hyper form’s fur.

“Careful, Blood, remember last time you went Defaran?” Again, the hedgehog, his hair styled differently and wearing new clothes, not to mention the complete blue color, sniggered.

“Oh, Sonic, I’ve learned to restrain Defaran since then. You’re looking at his power, but with me in control. Call this my…Blazing Blue form!” With that, Blood revealed a very unusual weapon. It had the blade of a scimitar, colored in black and edged in red. However, the more amazing side was the handle. Long enough for four hands, plus black thread with red rings stitched into it, it resembled a giant’s weapon, or even that of a polearm. Blood didn’t seem to care, holding it in a similar pose to a greatsword.

“Shade, Tsukiakara.” Instantly, the entire weapon formed a translucent black aura around itself. The ancient hedgehog wasn’t finished yet, however, whipping the blade back.

“I’d like to see you block this one! Kura Bunkatsu!” Blood crowed, swinging the sword forward and propelling a slice-shaped wall of the aura, now opaque, directly into Scourge. The attack forced the Prime-formed being down to his knees, a large slash mark appearing over his chest before rapidly healing.

“So, you have a spirit sword. A zanpakto, I believe they are called. Impressive. Still, dodge this little icy attack. Algorstorm!” Scourge roared, and icicles began to rain upon the area. Shadow, Sonic and Statyx each formed a Chaos Shield and seemed content to wait the rain of icicles out, while Blood used Tsukiakara’s Night Drive aura to shatter icicles as they fell towards him. Silver, on the other hand, went on the assault.

“You should know, Scourge, that any item with mass can be grabbed with telekinesis, and that includes these icicles!” he shouted, gripping one of the falling spears with his telekinesis, before hurling that icicle straight at Scourge. The King of Moebius simply dodged by stepping to the side, before disappearing in a white flash again. Blood looked surprised.

“Shunpo? How the hell did he learn Shunpo without a zanpakto?” he burst incredulously. The others looked at Blood, astonished, but Silver kept his focus up, increasing his cyan telekinetic aura to its max.

“You don’t scare me, Scourge. Give up now, or I’ll simply rip you limb from limb with the true power of telekinesis!”

“Really now? Too bad! From the Chaos Emeralds, direct to you…Chaos Blast!” Scourge suddenly reappeared behind Silver, and unleashed a wave of gold energy from his body in a hemispherical appearance, blasting Silver head-first into one of the trees, instantly knocking him out and forcing him to power down. Statyx instantly went on the attack, unleashing his powerful Flames of Iblis attack into the monstrous Moebian, hurling him backwards. Scourge slammed into the upper reaches of a tree, and slid down, but his body quickly ripped with energy and he awoke, the bloodstained patches of fur healed and his strength restored.

“Thanks! I needed that recharge,” the Moebian king jeered. Statyx’s eyes shut to mere slits as he focused, forming light around each hand before racing directly at Scourge, throwing punch after punch with his Solaris Fist technique. Scourge let each strike hit, and with each blow, Statyx looked like he was going to win. Then, Scourge turned the tides. Shaping his hand into a claw-like shape, shadows began to ripple down the length of his hand, forming a spectral claw, before bringing it up and blocking Statyx’s next punch.

“Not bad, Sparky, but let me demonstrate that everything, even someone of the light such as your Super form can be beaten by the shadows, like those from the Nega Emeralds… feel this Shadow Claw!” he roared, slashing the claw forward and entering the offensive. Now Statyx was thrown onto the defensive as Scourge attacked, the long black claws scraping closer and closer to his body as he defended, simply using his Solaris Fist to block or smack away the claws, which constantly increased in speed as Scourge slashed, his rage guiding his strikes and enhancing his strength, putting Statyx onto the back foot. The golden super form only just managed to leap backwards as Scourge’s shadowy claw scraped his chest, only for a follow-up left hook to throw him backwards. Scourge stepped forwards, focusing on Statyx.

“This ends here.” With that, he started to run around the Ultimate Guardian, his body forming into a blur as Statyx ineffectually threw lightning-fast punches, kicks and even the Flames of Iblis, to no effect. Then, as he began to tire, Scourge suddenly appeared from behind and rammed his shoulder directly in between Statyx’s shoulder blades, transferring all of his momentum into that small area. Statyx was suddenly thrown forwards, slamming into a tree and passing out all at once. Scourge spun to face the remaining three.

“Well, it’s down to three choices. Who do I thrash next?” he muttered, as Sonic suddenly clicked his fingers.

“That’s IT! I figured it out!”

“Wha…?” All three of the people within earshot looked at Sonic, with Scourge looking annoyed, the two Mobians more quizzical.

“I figured out why we’re losing. We were fighting as individuals. Scourge said it himself, divided we fall. By fighting him on our own, because only one of us gets the chance to fight him at a time, he’s been able to pick us off one by one.” As Sonic explained, his quills began to curl upwards and his fur started turning pink. Shadow instantly picked up on Sonic’s idea, and his own fur began to change to the same tone of lilac.

“So by joining bodies into one…”

“We fight as a unified front!” Sonic exploded, his Ultra transformation complete, Shadow’s barely a second behind. “Ready, faker?”

“I’m going to ignore that one, Blue, for the sake of this technique. Ready.” The two hedgehogs closed their eyes, and each crossed their arms across their own chests.

“CHAOS CONTROL!” they roared, the scream reaching over the entire forest. Blood and Scourge both watched in surprise as Sonic and Shadow glowed pure white, and their bodies seemed to flow into one another as a typhoon of energy engulfed the duo. The light reached a blinding pitch, and Scourge found himself covering his eyes for protection. When the energy started to die down, he uncovered his eyes, and froze. Before him, stood a single being where the two had stood barely a second before, his fur the same pink as the Mobian duo’s Ultra forms, with the quills a combination of the two forms. It bore Shadow’s streaks on the top and bottom quills, the others untouched. The rest of the body was indeed between the two, Shadow’s eyeliner-like red marks on the back part of each eye, Sonic’s smirk adorning the face. The chest had Shadow’s remarkable fur, while the arms had Sonic’s skin tone with red marks underneath Shadow’s inhibitor rings, now showing an unusual dual-slash design – one black, one blue. The being spoke, the voice being both Sonic’s and Shadow’s at once.

“I am Ultra Shadic, the fusion of two of Mobius’s finest heroes! United, we can’t fail!”

Blood shrugged. “Meh, you could, but that’s where I come into it.” Blood held his right hand out in front of him, raising it up to his face gently as Tsukiakara’s blade gently sunk into the soil before him. He suddenly whipped his right hand out behind his body, and Scourge was amazed by the formation of an intimidating mask over his face. Blood’s voice emerged from behind the mask, dark and echoing.

“Surprised? Meet the power of a Hollow!” With that, Blood’s mask revealed a mouth, and fired a bright blue beam out of that point, slamming into Scourge and sending him flying backwards. “That’s right! I’m the only Blazing Blue Hollow ever to exist! Against a fusion and a Vizored of this caliber, there’s no chance of us failing!” With that, Blood flicked Tsukiakara back into his hands, holding it in a new stance as Shadic entered a combat stance.

“Together, we shall beat you.” Blood crowed. Suddenly, a massive energy presence emerged from the castle, and began to approach their direction at great speed.

“And should we fail; the final member of our team shall end your reign with ease.” Shadic finished.

“What? Who is this final team member?” Scourge burst, astonished by the sudden change of fortune before him.

“You know him already, Scourge. Knuckles’ son is no pushover, and now he’s coming for you.” With that, Shadic and Blood both began to run towards the massive-haired Moebian. Scourge shifted his stance, his unease forgotten as he reminded himself that he was still more powerful than any of them.

“Let’s settle this. That way, I can savor in the defeat of all my hated foes in this last week!” With that, he dashed towards them with an instant sonicboom, and the battle shifted into the next level.

Dramatis Persona

to be compiled

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