Sonic: Stage 1 - (Un)Ceremonious Arrival
Sunlight Plaza, Castle Town, Soleanna - September 19, X014, 7:02 PM UTC
Amongst the massive crowd of people wearing similar outfits, one could make out a blue streak that somewhat stood out with its faint brightness speed past them if one looked closely. Some of the folks in the crowd had attempted to take a snapshot of the speeding blue blur or film him, though the shots they had obtained were quite blurry to their dismay. The blue streak being left behind belonged to none other than Sonic the Hedgehog, world-renowned hero and an adventure-loving thrillseeker.
He had come to Soleanna upon the request of his best friend, Tails, who wanted to witness such a widely-announced and grandiose event for himself. Normally, he wouldn’t have been too interested, but the fact that it was Tails who had requested, as well as him having been curious to explore regions beyond what was familiar to him for a while now, had ultimately convinced him to come along. It had only been a few months since the Black Arms incident - one of his less stellar performances - and a change of pace was needed, he figured.
Right now, while his two-tailed buddy was elsewhere watching the ceremony, he was zooming around the plaza at what he considered to be a leisurely pace, trying to take a closer look at all the unfamiliar sights around him. One thing he definitely knew for sure upon laying his eyes to his surroundings was that the difference between Soleanna and almost all of the cities he’s been to prior was night and day - quite literally, considering how time zones work. Must be the whole “other-side-of-the-planet” thing, the blue hedgehog thought to himself.
As soon as he found a suitable spot for him to properly watch the ceremony without having to worry about a random bystander running towards him for... whatever it is fans ask their idols, Sonic simply stood there and continued admiring the beautiful sights.
“Man, Soleanna sure is quite a sight to behold,” the blue hedgehog remarked to himself as he began pondering. “Maybe I should come around here more often.”
However, Sonic could no longer focus on that idea as he then noticed what seemed to be a small armada of airships closing in towards the plaza.
“What the...? Aw, don’t tell me...” the blue hedgehog said to himself before he took notice of an all-too familiar insignia on one of the airships, which then proceeded to fire off a barrage of missiles directly at the plaza! “Damn, Eggman’s back to his old tricks already?! Better get movin’.”
With barely any time to lose, Sonic then quickly leaped down from his spot and began to zoom right for where the missiles had landed!
Sunlight Plaza, Castle Town, Soleanna - September 19, X014, 7:17 PM UTC
Elise had already been at it for over ten minutes now. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could take having to constantly wave at other people with a fake smile on her face... but for their sake, she continued to put up with it. Thankfully, the boat she had firmly planted herself on had finally made it to the very heart of the plaza, where she then approached the shrine where she was to recite a short prayer as part of the ceremony.
Just as she was about to do so, the world around her suddenly went ablaze. In but mere moments, all of Soleanna had caught on fire and, at the center of the devastation, stood a gigantic behemoth. Upon laying her eyes on the beast, she instantly felt paralyzed in fear right as it made eye contact with her. Unable to even so much as move a muscle, all she could do was continue standing there as the monster bellowed out a terrifying roar.
“Milady!” Bianca’s voice suddenly rung out, snapping Elise out of her momentary hallucination. “...are you alright?”
The young princess, through soft shudders, sheepishly replied, “Y-yes... I’m fine. Just nervous is all.”
The princess then went on with the ceremony, bowing before the elderly bishop, accompanied by her uncle Friedrich and two other guardsmen, in front of her as he handed her a torch. She then recited as convincingly as she could, “We show our gratitude for the continued life of the blessed flames. May our people continue to know peace and harmony. Sun of Soleanna, we pray that you will continue to guide and watch over us in the grace of your eternal light...”
Elise then stepped forward and lighted the cauldron with the torch, after which the citizens of Soleanna once more cheered loudly. As she half-heartedly waved towards them in response, still trying to maintain a smile, the celebration was quickly interrupted by a barrage of missiles suddenly landing directly onto the shrine and all around the plaza, prompting the princess, as well as almost everyone around her, to shriek in terror.
“Damn it, we’re under attack!” Bianca cursed and quickly drew her sword before promptly turning to the guards men behind her. “Make sure the people are unharmed and get them to safety! You two, you’re with me! Be prepared for anything, and keep the princess safe.”
“I’ll join the other soldiers in the evacuation and relief efforts,” Friedrich spoke up promptly as he began to take his leave. “I trust you’ll handle the situation quickly, Helios.”
“With all due respect, we’re the Soleanna Royal Guard, milord! We were made to handle situations like these quickly,” Bianca replied with a slight smirk plastered on her face before leading Elise away with assistance from the other two guardsmen following close behind.
“Bianca, what’s going on?!” the princess inquired loudly as she tried to keep up with the ram, scared for her life.
“I don’t know, and I honestly don’t care,” the guardswoman answered curtly as she continued running. “All that matters is that you’re in danger, and getting you to safety is priority number one!”
Elise was about to cut her off, but their path was quickly blocked off by the sudden appearance of a small squad of suspiciously egg-shaped automatons, each armed with a spear and shield. The two quickly turned around, only to find that the other two guardsmen that were with them had just been skewered by more of the same robots. It was apparent that they were now surrounded.
“Stay close to me, milady,” Bianca informed Elise, to which she could only nod. “Don’t make any sudden movements.”
At that moment, the two could see what seemed to be a small hovercraft, also sporting a distinct egg-like shape not unlike the robots that were now preventing their escape, lowering itself only a foot or two just above their level. On top of it stood the mad scientist in a stark red coat and an unmistakable grin.
“A pleasure to finally make my acquaintance with you, Princess Elise Soleanna III,” the mad doctor spoke. “I am Doctor Ivo Robotnik, but feel free to simply call me Eggman.”
“‘Eggman’? Pfft. Explains the whole egg theme in your robots and pod,” Bianca casually retorted with a slight smirk on her face.
“Silence!” Eggman commanded as the egg-shaped robots primed their lances towards the two. He then turned his attention back to the redheaded princess. “I have come to obtain the secrets to the Flames of Disaster, and the key to unlocking them - you.”
Bianca widened her eyes upon hearing Eggman’s statement. “How the-!? Where did you learn that!?” she growled angrily as she steeled her blade. “It’ll be a cold day in hell before Elise is taken by some scumbag like you!”
Eggman kept up his trademark grin as he silently commanded his robots to further approach the two. However, right at that moment, another voice - clearly belonging to a younger male - sounded off, “Heh. That's some impressive smack talk for someone who hasn’t tangled with the Egghead!”The mad doctor, Bianca, and Elise all turned towards the rooftop of a nearby building, and there they saw a Mobian hedgehog with blue spines and fur, as well as a pair of red sneakers, each with a white strap and a golden buckle. It was none other than Sonic himself who had arrived!
“Pretty snazzy performance there, if you ask me,” the blue hedgehog continued as he flashed his cocky grin.
“You damned, irritating hedgehog! Will you ever stop following me right in the middle of my schemes?!” the scientist angrily questioned the hedgehog as he shook his fist at him.
“Hey, I came here for the festivities like everyone else here,” Sonic replied with a shrug. “If anything, it kinda feels more like you’re the one who followed me in the middle of my fun.”
“Bah! No matter, I’ll just have to obliterate you right here! Badniks, blast that menace to smithere-” Eggman loudly commanded his robots, only to be cut off by Sonic before he could finish.
“Too slow!” Sonic quickly declared as he quickly leaped down and started to make quick work of the Badniks with several homing attacks. Seeing this as her chance, Bianca quickly rushed into battle and began fighting off whatever Badniks that Sonic had missed.
However, all the while, Elise looked down on the ground and couldn’t help but feel even more worthless than she already did. Here she was, the next sovereign of Soleanna - the beautiful land she had called her home for eighteen years, and she could do naught but simply stand around like a kitten paralyzed in fear, when she should have been doing something about it. She had already thought herself unworthy of the crown, and this whole disaster had only proven her right.
She was suddenly snapped out of her thoughts when she heard a pair of feet land onto the ground directly in front of her. She then slowly turned her head up and saw the blue hedgehog standing rather confidently in front of Eggman.
“Wh-who are you...?” the princess asked weakly, barely able to get the words out.
The blue hedgehog then turned towards Elise and, with a confident smile and his trademark finger wag, replied, “I’m Sonic! Sonic the Hedgehog!”
-Sonic: Stage 1 - End-
Next Chapter: Stage 2 - Crossfire