Stage 3 - Wave Pursuit
Castle Town, Soleanna - September 20, X014, 8:27 AM UTC
Sonic was casually making his way through the streets of Castle Town, taking some time to breathe after how the night before had quickly become hectic thanks to Eggman’s sudden appearance.
In all honesty, the hedgehog was kind of upset that the mad doctor had chosen now of all times to strike; his last few adventures had been taxing on him in more ways than one and he would have liked to have spent a few more months taking a breather.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t find it in him to simply slow down especially when trouble was afoot; he’d have to put a stop to whatever Eggman was up to soon enough, anyway.
The hedgehog remained lost in his thoughts when he heard a familiar, boyish voice suddenly cry, “Hey, Sonic! I’ve been looking all over for you!”
Snapped out of his train of thought, Sonic quickly turned to where the voice had come from and saw a young Mobian fox cub with twin tails, Miles “Tails” Prower - his trusted partner, running towards him. “Oh, Tails. Long time no see,” the blue hedgehog greeted the fox, albeit not with as much cheer as he intended.
“...you okay, Sonic? You don’t sound like you today,” Tails replied, an expression of worry visible on his face.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just a little annoyed about last night is all,” the blue hedgehog replied as he pinched his forehead in frustration. “Anyway, what’s up?”
“Oh, one of the guards came up to me and asked for you, actually,” the two-tailed fox answered. “He said something about Prince Friedrich wanting to meet you for some reason. He didn’t really say anything else beyond that.”
“Well, I take it the big guy won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Might as well humor him,” Sonic replied as he began to stretch his body in his typical manner before speeding off towards Castle Soleanna, where Prince Friedrich was likely to be at around this time, as his two-tailed comrade followed close behind.
Courtyard, Arce de Solis Magna, Castle Town - September 20, X014, 8:35 AM UTC
Sonic and Tails had just arrived at the courtyard in front of the crown jewel of Castle Town, Arce de Solis Magna. The two had only gotten a brief glimpse of it when they had first arrived at Soleanna. Needless to say, to see the castle in all of its glory - which was only bolstered by the rays of the morning sun reflecting itself off of it - was quite an experience for them.
“Man, I gotta give whoever designed this place some mad credit,” the blue hedgehog began as he examined the castle. “I don’t think I can think of enough words to describe this place.”
“Okay, let’s see, uh… ‘beautiful’, ‘magnificent’, ‘grandiose’, ‘divine’, ‘splendid’, ‘spectacular’, ‘majestic’, ‘breathtaking’, et cetera, et cetera,” Tails replied immediately in a fit of dry wit while the blue hedgehog could only look on with exasperation. “Should I keep going?”
“Oh, shut up. It was hyperbole and you know it,” Sonic snarked back at the two-tailed fox as he lightly nudged his shoulder. Just as he did so, the blue hedgehog could see that the Mobian sheep he had encountered the previous night was approaching them, maintaining an aura of formality and discipline. “Glad to see you’re alright, uh...?”
“Bianca Helios, young hedgehog. Thank you for coming over on such short notice,” the guardswoman replied as she held out her hand for a proper greeting, which the hedgehog took in kind. “Now, if you’d be so kind as to follow me into the throne room. The child can come along too, if he wishes.”
Without further delay, Sonic and Tails followed Bianca into the castle to meet with the duke himself. Meanwhile, the two-tailed fox tried to assess what had gotten his best friend in a sour mood earlier.
The Silver Throne, Arce de Solis Magna, Castle Town - September 20, X014, 8:43 AM UTC
The interior of the castle was just about as magnificent as its exterior, if not even more so. They unfortunately weren’t able to spend a whole lot of time admiring its beauty, however, as they did have some business to attend to. Not to mention, Eggman was up to his usual evil schemes again. The three soon arrived at the throne room, where Prince Friedrich, accompanied by a small number of guardsmen and Princess Elise standing right behind him, was waiting for them.
“Ah, you’ve finally made it. I was afraid I’d have to announce a manhunt for you if you had taken much longer,” the duke of Soleanna began with a soft chuckle as he approached them before turning to Bianca. “You’ve done well, Helios.”
As the guardswoman gave Friedrich a firm salute before stepping aside, Sonic stepped closer to the prince and asked, “So, why’d ya call me over? No disrespect on ya or anything, but I don’t have all day.”
“Of course. I simply wanted to give you my sincere thanks for your sudden intervention when that doctor arrived, Sonic the Hedgehog,” Friedrich began, maintaining his stiff and formal tone. “Soleanna owes you a great deal of gratitude for that.”
“Hey, it’s no problem,” the blue hedgehog replied quickly with a confident smirk. “I’ll take on that Egghead any day of the week.”
“Which brings me to my next point,” the duke immediately replied back in a stern manner. “I’m afraid I must request that you remain uninvolved with the matter from this point forward. Dr. Eggman’s concern is with the royal family alone, and especially my dear niece, Elise.”
Sonic found himself caught off guard by the proposition. Granted, he never considered himself truly aligned with any authority; it was just that his interests just so happened to overlap with theirs. Nonetheless, he was rather upset about Prince Friedrich’s request for a number of reasons. All the while, Elise simply continued to stand behind her uncle in silence, having nothing substantial to add apart from an inaudible sigh.
“Sorry, Freddie, no can do,” the hedgehog responded firmly. “Again, no disrespect, but I’ve seen Eggman go toe-to-toe with GUN forces pretty easily, and don’t think I didn’t see what he did to some of your men too! Trust me, you’re not gonna get anywhere without my help.”
“We understand your concern, young hedgehog, and we do appreciate it, but it is as milord says - this matter concerns the royal family, and it is our sovereign duty as the Soleanna Royal Guard to deal with threats that may befall them...” Bianca argued with him, in favor of her liege. “Besides, I heard from him that the doctor got the jump on with that machine you fought, so you’re in no room to talk from where I’m standing.”
The blue hedgehog visibly flinched at the mention of his embarrassing defeat against Eggman the night before. Being his closest confidant, Tails predictably took notice of how Sonic tightly clenched his fist and subtly gritted his teeth. If there was one thing about him that he absolutely knew, it was that he hated losing, especially when the stakes were all on him. So, that’s what Sonic was frustrated about... the two-tailed fox thought to himself as he processed it all.
The silence continued until another guard suddenly burst into the throne room, catching everyone’s attention as he announced, “My apologies, Prince Friedrich, but I have just received reports of a large airship, as well as a large number of his mechanical soldiers, being sighted by the coastal area!”
“Are the units stationed there in pursuit?” Friedrich asked the guard, to which he firmly nodded in reply. “Good. I’ll begin overseeing their progress shortly. Dismissed.”
The guard immediately saluted in response before departing from the room. Not long after, Sonic began walking off too as he chimed in, “Alright, then. I’m heading out.”
“What!? You dare defy a direct command from Prince Friedri-” Bianca stormed off after the blue hedgehog in an attempt to stop him.
“I don’t take any command from anybody! Everything I do is by my own choice,” the hedgehog quickly bit back, cutting off the guardswoman, in a brief fit of rage. “In this case, I’ve chosen to call bullshit on your liege’s orders and go after Eggman anyway. I won’t play nice if you try and stop me, I can promise you that. Tails, you comin’ with?”
“You bet!” Tails replied with a firm nod. Without any hesitation, Sonic immediately sped out of the castle with the two-tailed fox following close behind.
“Hey, wait!” Bianca called out as she saw the two depart from the castle only to see Friedrich signalling her to stand down.
“Let them go, Helios. The hedgehog’s made up his mind,” Friedrich spoke firmly, prompting the guardswoman to relent in response. “Besides, I do wish to see just what this hedgehog is capable of. For now, escort Elise to her quarters. The rest of you are all dismissed.”
Promptly, Bianca and the rest of the guardsmen in the room gave the prince their salutations before exiting the throne room, with Elise following the guardswoman. Just as he was left alone, Friedrich let out a slight smirk with a soft, “Hmph. Interesting, indeed.”
Wave Ocean Coast, Soleanna - September 20, X014, 9:04 AM UTC
By the time Sonic and Tails had made their way to the nearby hills around the coast, the Egg Carrier was already a ways away, though it appeared a number of Soleanna’s forces were in pursuit via aircrafts of their own. “I’ll go on ahead, Sonic,” the two-tailed fox informed the hedgehog as he lifted himself into the air. “See if I can get some recon in.”
Sonic gave his pal a thumbs up, which he returned in kind before flying off, and stretched his body for a few moments. “Alright, Eggman. You’re not gonna get away this time,” the hedgehog muttered to no one before blasting off into the distance!
Sonic had no idea why he had not expected Eggman to put up a fight in the first place. The moment he reached one of the nearby islands, he was greeted by a wave of Badniks - likely meant to slow down his pursuit. Not happenin’! The hedgehog thought to himself as he quickly dispatched the mad doctor’s minions before continuing forward.
As he continued chasing after the aircraft - running into more Badniks along the way, he couldn’t help but find himself quite thankful that was now fast enough to traverse through water simply by running on top of it. If that weren’t the case, he’d have a much harder time keeping up, he had to admit. “Huh. Why do I have this weird sense of déjà vu?” he asked himself as he kept running. “A beach area with a bunch of hills, lighthouses, wooden piers... I’ve definitely seen this before.”
At that exact moment, he caught sight of what seemed to be an orca seemingly chasing him! “Okay, I’ve definitely seen that before!” Sonic remarked with clear panic as he barely dodged the orca. He then spotted a nearby wooden pier and made his way towards it, only to see another orca suddenly leap out of the water. It was then when he realized that he somehow ran straight into one of the marinas as he ran across the wooden piers, only for one of the orcas to begin smashing it from behind as it pursued him.
“Of course. Why am I not surprised?” the hedgehog remarked once more after nearly falling over from the sudden impact. After a brief sprint, he leapt off the edge of the pier and high into the air. Unfortunately for him, there was no nearby land he could simply dash his way towards. Just as he thought that he was about to have another harrowing underwater experience, however, the hedgehog heard Tails call out, “Hang on, Sonic!”
Sonic then turned his head to the sky above him and say that his two-tailed comrade was flying down towards him, his hand outstretched for him to hold on to. Thinking quickly, he stretched his hand out and grasped tightly onto Tails’. After grabbing hold of his other hand, the fox quickly lifted themselves up and proceeded to fly their way towards the closest hill they could find.
“Thanks for the save, buddy,” Sonic remarked upon planting his feet on the hill. “I owe ya for that one, big time.”
“Hey, that’s what friends do,” Tails replied as the two bumped their fists together. Meanwhile, the two could see that they had gotten a lot closer to the Egg Carrier, while the Soleannan forces still maintained their pursuit. However, they seemed to have decreased in numbers; no doubt Eggman had sent more of his Badniks to deal with them. The hedgehog then noticed that the Egg Carrier was beginning to pull away. Somehow, the orcas chasing after him had done a better job of keeping him occupied than the doctor’s Badniks had, he had realized.
“Well, you know what to do,” the two-tailed fox commented, to which Sonic simply nodded without another word before blasting off ahead once more while he tried to follow behind as closely as he could.
Sonic kept up his momentum in his pursuit of the Egg Carrier as he made his way to another set of islands. There, he found a large wave of Badniks standing in his path, ready to fire once he got close. “Damn it, I’m not gonna make it at this rate,” the hedgehog cursed under his breath before narrowing his eyes with determination. “Fine. Time to speed up!”
The blue speedster then took a deep breath as he channeled energy from deep within all around his body as brief but very audible crackles of blue electricity to sound off until, with a loud boom, he blasted off right through the Badniks at near-instantaneous speeds, ripping them into scrap metal!
Though he could very well move at the speed of sound, what he had just pulled off was something else entirely - essentially, he used the sheer momentum generated from his movement to turn himself into a living bullet that would tear through everything in its path!
It proved to be one of the most exhilarating experiences he had subjected himself to, what with all the pure adrenaline flooding from within him due to such speed and power, acting purely on reflex as he continued to blaze through the islands. Unfortunately, he had also lost conscious control of his body as he found a slight difficulty in regaining it and, upon doing so, immediately ended up tripping over himself and crashing face-first onto the sand.
Sonic laid there for a few moments before struggling to get back up, the sudden burst in speed having completely rendered him exhausted. On top of that, he saw that the Egg Carrier was now out of reach. “Ugh, damn it all,” the hedgehog cursed under his breath as he fell back down on the ground, this time facing up, while Tails had just caught up.
“Sonic! What happened?” the two-tailed fox cried out to the hedgehog with a mix of worry and wonder as he ran to him. “What was that sudden burst of speed you fired off just now?”
“Just... a little trick... I’ve been trying to... develop... for a while,” the speedster replied through heavy, exhausted breaths. “Didn’t work... as well... as I’d hoped.”
“Well, try not to go all out when using it next time then,” Tails remarked as he lifted Sonic up on his feet. “We’re just gonna have to wait for the Egg Carrier to land and strike him there.”
“Yeah, sure, okay,” the hedgehog replied as he quickly slipped into unconsciousness. Not a moment later, one of the Soleannan aircrafts landed right by the two before a small group of guardsmen stepped out of it and approached them. “You two look like you need a ride,” one of the guardsmen commented. “Right this way, kid.”
Tails then followed the guardsmen into the aircraft, still holding onto to Sonic’s unconscious form. Once they had settled themselves inside, the aircraft lifted itself into the air and flew its way back to Castle Town.
-Sonic: Stage 3 - End-