Stage 3 - Castle Town
Castle Town, Soleanna - September 19, X014, 2:24 PM UTC
After a lengthy trek through the woods, Silver eventually found himself at the very edge of a large town that appeared to be well-decorated for some sort of special occasion. Shortly after entering the town, he found banners that were inscribed with ‘Festival of the Sun’. “A festival...?” the psychokinetic had asked himself upon laying his eyes on it.
As he traversed through the district, he found himself at awe at the beautiful decor and how prosperous the town and its people were. As he continued to look on, he did not catch any sign of Solis being around. As much as he wanted to look for the lioness, however, he was short on time as the Iblis Trigger would cause all this to fall to ruin in a few days time.
“I don’t have a lot of time,” Silver muttered to himself with a sigh as he began to walk further into the bustling town. “Hope you don’t mind me getting a head start, Solis.”
Elsewhere in Castle Town, a pink hedgehog with a dominantly-red outfit could be seen leisurely strolling through one of the districts in town, making the most out of the festivities before the main event that would take place the following evening - something she was wholly looking forward to with excitement, especially since it involved the crowning of Princess Elise Soleanna III, the late Prince Albus Soleanna’s only daughter and the successor of Prince Friedrich Luminosa, who had taken the former’s place after his unfortunate passing.
“Oh, this is gonna be such an exciting night!” the pink hedgehog, Amy Rose, cried excitedly. “I just wish Sonic were here to celebrate it with me. Oh, I can only imagine how romantic that would be.”
Nothing of note had been going on ever since the Black Arms incident was resolved a few months earlier. While she was more than happy with all the peace and lack of any disastrous activity so far, Amy was once again bored from the lack of action and, more importantly, having not seen any of her friends, who always seemed to be off doing their own thing the whole time; Sonic was either going on another adventure on his own or on a casual stroll, Tails was probably in his workshop at the Mystic Ruins working on whatever invention he had come up for the week, Knuckles was busy guarding the Master Emerald, Shadow and Rouge were busy with their work at GUN, so on and so forth, while she was stuck living a generally-uneventful day-to-day life in Central City, where she had been living after Station Square got wrecked due to Chaos’ rampage some time ago.
“Such is the mundane life of a normal girl,” Amy sighed as she reflected on how much of a common occurrence such an inconvenience was. “At least Cream is still as great a friend as ever. I wonder how she, Vanilla, and Gemerl have been these days...”
Just as she thought about paying them a visit once she had returned home, the pink hedgehog failed to notice that someone was right in front of her and fell down to the ground with a quick yelp after bumping straight into them. “Oh, my apologies, miss. Are you alright?” a somewhat-deep voice belonging to a woman asked Amy in a concerned tone as she held out her hand.
The young hedgehog then looked up to see a female Mobian sheep clad in the uniform of the Soleanna Royal Guard and seemed to recognize her. “Y-you’re Bianca Helios, aren’t you?” she asked the guardswoman as she took her hand and pulled herself up. “One of the most well-respected soldiers of the Soleanna Royal Guard and bodyguard of Princess Elise!”
“Indeed, I am, little girl,” Bianca replied with a soft laugh. “I have been informed several times that I sport a particular reputation among my peers.”
“Oh geez, where are my manners? I’m Amy Rose,” the hedgehog quickly remarked as she quickly took her hand and began shaking it frantically. “Sorry if I’m being weird, it’s just that I’ve heard a couple of stories about you for a while now, especially how you achieved the prestigious position you have now through nothing but your own grit and ability. I guess you could say that you’re quite the inspiration for a young girl like me.”
“Oh, please, Miss Rose. I am undeserving of such praise,” the guardswoman responded once more. “I am as much of a humble servant to the royal family as the rest of my fellow guardsmen - a soldier simply fulfilling their sworn duty to Soleanna... and I do come from a family that has done so for generations now, so that also had something to do with it.”
“Aw, don’t be so modest! The point is, you’ve done great things for your people and you deserve recognition for it,” Amy cheerfully argued back to the guardswoman. “I was serious when I said that you’re an inspiration to me. I want to become a woman of your caliber someday... though, I guess my reasons for such an aspiration are a bit more... selfish, you could say.”
“How so?” Bianca asked the hedgehog inquisitively, one of her eyebrows raised in curiosity.
“Well, see, there’s this guy that I’ve admired for quite some time now,” the pink hedgehog began nervously. “When I first met him, I couldn’t really do much on my own and... well, he ended up having to rescue me. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to become more than just a liability to him and the rest of my friends.”
Bianca continued to listen on with clear intent as Amy, now looking more determined, continued, “I’ve made progress overtime, but... I still feel like I have a long way to go before I can really consider myself a real asset to my friends... be of actual use to them... and truly earn his respect and admiration in return for my own...”
The two women maintained a brief silence when the guardswoman finally replied, “Well, just from that determined look in your eyes, I can tell that you’ve come quite a long way from back then... and for the record, seeking the respect of another in itself isn’t a terrible thing. In fact, it’s actually quite noble in its own way, especially if the ultimate aim is to grow as an individual. It won’t be an easy journey, but I promise, you’ll make it to that point some day if you just keep at it.”
Amy immediately beamed up and was about to give her thanks when Bianca, with a genuine smile, suddenly added, “Oh, and if you ask me, I think there’s already plenty about you for this boy to respect and admire.”
Instantly turning red from the implication behind that final statement, the young hedgehog, trying to laugh off the sudden rush of heat in her face, stammered, “O-oh, t-thank you s-so much, Miss Helios! T-that actually means q-quite a lot f-from you!”
“You’re quite welcome, Miss Rose,” the guardswoman replied in earnest, humored by Amy’s reaction. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must return to my afternoon rounds for the day. It was a pleasure meeting you, Amy Rose.”
“Y-yeah, same to you!” the young hedgehog replied back, her face still red, as she waved goodbye to Bianca. “Buh-bye, now!”
A deafening silence, apart from the chatter from the townspeople in the background, pervaded Amy’s immediate environment as the bright red blush on her face began to fade. “Oh my god, I actually talked to Bianca Helios,” the hedgehog whispered to herself as softly as she could, attempting to process the conversation that had just occurred. “I actually talked to the Bianca Helios!”
Trying to stop herself from exploding from happiness and good cheer all the while, Amy continued strolling through the town, her afternoon just about having been made. She’d definitely be in a good mood this evening...
Sunlight Plaza, Castle Town, Soleanna - September 19, X014, 7:21 PM UTC
Several hours later, the sunset was well on its way and Silver had not made any progress on finding the Iblis Trigger at all - not even finding any possible leads on who it may be. On top of that, he had seen zero sign of Solis’ presence throughout the afternoon, which he had to admit was rather disheartening. Ever since he had first come across her that one day, he’s repeatedly found her to be a pillar of support whenever his morale stooped too low and was just a good friend to have around.
“Perhaps our separation extends to time itself,” the psychokinetic remarked as he looked upon the large flame that was lit up at the center of the plaza. Normally, he’d associate the flames with Iblis, given his moniker of ‘The Flames of Disaster’ and all. However, the lioness had been the first thing to come to mind this time around. Then again, he didn’t find it too strange since flames were once also seen as a source of warmth and light, much like with the comforting radiance Solis seemed to exude with her very presen- Wait, where the hell did that come from? Silver suddenly thought to himself in shock, having unexpectedly thought about the heliokinetic in a manner that he never really did previously.
“No, no, that’s ridiculous. Solis and I aren’t that close,” the psychokinetic said to himself as he tried to shake off his train of thought. He did wonder where the lioness was, however, as well as where and when she would turn up - if she even would, that is. What would Solis think of how different the darkened skies of the night were compared to those back from their tim- Augh, there you go again! Damn it, Silver, focus! the grey hedgehog angrily thought to himself, smacking both sides of his face as he did so before rubbing his temples as if it would make these strange thoughts go away. You’ve got a job to do. There’s no time for such trivial matters.In his attempt to shake off his thoughts, Silver failed to notice that a barrage of missiles had just landed on the plaza, causing the ground to shake from the impact and the populace to immediately flee in terror!
“Oh no, don’t tell me...!” the psychokinetic cursed under his breath as he immediately began to look upon the devastated plaza, hoping not to spot any dead civilians as he did so. “Don’t tell me this is the work of the Iblis Trigger! Shit, there was a lot less time than I thought.”
As he continued to examine the environment below him, Silver soon spotted what appeared to be a blue streak blazing through what appeared to be strange, mechanical creations that he had never seen before as if it were a homing bullet moving at light speed. “Whatever that thing is, it sure is fast,” the psychokinetic commented before coming to a startling realization. “Kind of like... the wind.”
Just as he had said that, the blue streak slowed down and landed smoothly on the ground, revealing its source to be a blue hedgehog with a pair of red sneakers with a white strap adorned with a golden buckle on the outside, which certainly stood out. Could this be who we’ve been looking for? Silver asked himself as he continued to pay attention to what the hedgehog would do next.
Just as he had come to that decision, however, a small group of the mechanical minions suddenly landed from behind him and were about to attack. Instinctively, Silver grabbed them with his psychokinesis and quickly crushed their limbs before blasting them into the distance in one swift maneuver before turning his attention back to the blue hedgehog, who seemed to be now doing battle against a much larger creation that seemed to be piloted by a strange-looking man with a rotund figure, a large mustache, and a stark red coat.
Sunlight Plaza, Castle Town, Soleanna - September 19, X014, 7:37 PM UTC
Amy was quite upset at the sudden turn of events, simply put. She had wanted to have an exciting evening of celebration, but then Eggman of all people just had to show up. So, instead, she found herself now fighting off as many of the Badniks as she could with her Piko Piko Hammer. Her little chat with Bianca earlier turned out to have been really good for her confidence in her combat ability, however, as she smacked and thrashed the robotic minions of the mad doctor with not nearly as much difficulty as she did before; she was on fire tonight, as one would say.
“H-hey, miss! It’s too dangerous here, you’re only gonna... uh...” one of the guardsmen called out to the pink hedgehog, only for his voice to trail off as he watched her swing her hammer at the incoming Badniks, knocking them away with ease.
“Oh, sorry. Did you say something, mister?” Amy asked the guardsman after noticing him. “I, uh, couldn’t hear you with all the smashed robots here.”
“Um, well, you seem to be more than capable by yourself. I’ll just let you do your thing,” the guardsman awkwardly commented before heading off. “You be careful, though!”
“Will do, mister!” the pink hedgehog replied as she quickly waved at him before turning back to the devastated plaza and all the robots she had smashed. “Hm. I guess they’ve begun to run off. That honestly kinda sucks.”
As she began to walk off, thinking how Eggman owed her for her ruined evening, she spotted the silhouette of what appeared to be a Mobian hedgehog. Though she couldn’t quite make out the details of the hedgehog in question, she immediately asked herself, “Could it be? Sonic’s actually here?!”
Out of pure excitement, she began dashing towards the hedgehog she believed to be her beloved Sonic as she cried out, “Hey, Sonic!”
Sunlight Plaza, Castle Town, Soleanna - September 19, X014, 7:39 PM UTC
Silver looked upon the now-injured blue hedgehog as he said to himself, “I’ve finally found him... the Iblis Trigger.”
Wanting to fulfill his mission as soon as possible, Silver immediately leapt off of the building he had been hiding at the whole time and began to follow the blue hedgehog. If I can get the jump on him while he’s hurt, I can finally put an end to the wretched world of ruin he will bring upon us all, the psychokinetic bitterly thought to himself as he channeled some of his psychokinetic energy onto the palm of his hand, clearly intending to kill him right then and there. I can lay this nightmare to rest, once and for all!
“Now, I’ve got you, Sonic!” a voice belonging to a young girl suddenly called out from behind Silver, who then suddenly felt some latch onto him from behind.
“H-hey! Let go of me!” the psychokinetic frantically cried as he tried to shake the girl, who turned out to be a pink hedgehog, off of him as he thought to himself, Damn, this girl is strong! That grip of hers is tight!
“Aw, do you know how much I’ve missed you? I’ve really been wanting to see you again, y’know,” the pink hedgehog continued as she kept holding onto him for a few moments, having not heard Silver’s cries. Meanwhile, the psychokinetic simply remained silent and kept his arms at shoulder level, not wanting to touch this strange little girl that had literally just leapt onto him from nowhere and apparently mistook him for someone else, before she finally looked up towards him.“O-oh no, not again...!” the girl cried as she promptly shoved Silver off in embarrassment, leaving him to tumble for a few seconds before regaining his balance. “I am so so sorry! This is the second time this has happened!”
Wait, ‘second’...? The psychokinetic immediately thought in disbelief before turning to the direction he was heading, only to see that the Iblis Trigger had already disappeared. “Ugh, damn it all. He’s already left,” he groaned in frustration.
“Oh no, did you just miss someone because of me?” the pink hedgehog asked Silver. “Aw, now I’m really sorry. Lemme help you out to make up for it!”
“Wha-? Are you sure?” the grey hedgehog asked the girl, caught by surprise at her sudden offer. “I don’t really want anyone else wasting their time for me. I’m sure you have plans of your own.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it! I’m a sweet pea like that,” she insisted as she cutely planted her index finger on one of her cheeks with an earnest smile. “Kind of part my charm, if I do say so myself. I’m Amy Rose, by the way.”
The grey-furred hedgehog glanced at Amy’s hand, which she held out for him, and then to her face, which he figured was genuine enough, before reluctantly taking her hand and replying, “...Silver... and I actually could use a place to sleep, now that I think about it.”
The pink hedgehog looked at Silver with a curious expression for a few moments - probably to detect whether he had some ill intent with the request - before answering, “Well, I’m sure you won’t do anything weird while we’re asleep. Come on, follow me.”
Once more with some reluctance, the psychokinetic followed Amy to wherever she was leading him. Still, the Iblis Trigger had managed to elude him tonight, and that didn’t bode well for anyone, as far as he knew. You got lucky this time, Iblis Trigger, Silver thought to himself. You’d best savor your last day on earth, if I were you.
-Silver: Stage 3 - End-