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Okay, the first chapter. Things may get interesting later on, just so you know.

Chapter One

It was a beautiful sunny day in Portal, just the right day for a walk - if it weren't so crowded. A light breeze was blowing throughout the city, cooling it's pedestrians, most of which who were rushing to work. Several blocks felt like a giant can of sardines, especially to a certain burgundy chameleon. 

Nudging her way through the sea of humans and Mobians and pets, the chameleon Juanita slowly tried to make her way to her destination - which was a local law firm. Suddenly someone bumped into her and she let out an exclamation of surprise.

"Sorry, ma'am!" said the person who bumped into her, who then ran off somewhere.

Juanita looked around in surprise. She could have sworn that the person was a female kitsune, but it happened so quickly she wasn't sure. "Huh..." She shrugged and started off in the direction of the law firm once more, pushing through the vast crowd.

Hecate was sitting near a fountain, her blind eyes blank, staring off into nothing. She then quickly blinked, pulling herself back into reality. The she-hog stood up and started towards Castle Möbius, a disturbed expression on her face.

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Hikaru felt bad for that little incident as she ran. That person she bumped into must have been a female chameleon, but she felt no need to check; she was too focused on following that albino echidna she saw.

Finally managing to catch up to him in a forest, but not close enough for him to actually spot her, Hikaru looked down and struggled to catch her breath.

She was never a very fast runner, anyway.

Hikaru noticed a figure nearby as soon as she looked up. Making a quiet squeaking noise, she hid behind the nearest tree.

The figure, who was more than a little fat, limped towards the echidna. "Did anyone see you?" he wheezed, which was followed by a fit of coughing.

The echidna looked around. Hikaru quickly hid further behind the tree, making sure she was out of sight as much as possible.

"No. I think. Why do you ask?" said the echidna. When he looked back at the figure, his expression changed to one of alarm.

Hikaru relaxed and thought, Good, he hasn't spotted me.

"You looked nervous," the figure answered after he caught his breath from all that coughing. "Now you look almost terrified."

Hikaru slowly peeked out from her hiding spot. I don't think this tree would work...

She looked around for a few minutes and quickly ran to another tree to hide behind, though she caught the albino echidna's attention (and possibly the figure's attention, as well) by accidentally stepping on a twig.

The echidna, startled, looked around again, looking for the source of the noise. "On second thought..." he said. "I think someone did see me!"

He paused and amended with, "And from that sound, must have followed me."

Hikaru stiffened with fright. Oh, hell! I must have given myself away!

"It could have been an animal," theorized the figure, "but let's not take any chances..."

The echidna started looking around, muttering something that sounded like "Right..."

Great. Just great. Hikaru thought to herself.

Nearby, a wood finch was pecking away at a tree limb. It suddenly went stiff, and plummeted out of the tree. It quickly stood up, its eyes now glowing red. The finch leaped into the air, squawking and pecking at the albino echidna and hooded figure.

"What the deuce-?!" Clearly the figure was caught by surprise.

The bird continued to assault the duo, screeching frantically, occasionally glancing in the direction Hikaru was hiding, telling her to get out of here before they catch her.

The echidna tried to swat the bird away. "Stupid little-!"

The figure tried to swat at the bird too, only for it to be in vain.

Hikaru quickly ran from her hiding place and in the direction of the city of Portal.

The Hecate-possessed finch dived and scratched at the duo, then decided to mess with them. It landed on the albino echidna's head, pulling and tugging at his quills.

"Hey! Stupid bird!" the echidna yelled, trying to swat the bird away.

It seemed to laugh at his attempts to get rid of the small avian. It suddenly latched onto the echidna's finger.

The echidna proceeded to wave his hand around in an attempt to get it off.

The bird opened its beak, being sent flying into the air and landing (almost) gracefully on a hanging tree limb. The bird then turned around and shook its tail feathers, taunting the two mobians below.

"I hate birds," muttered the cloaked figure.

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"Another day, another case put to rest," Juanita said to herself as she walked down the street towards her home. "I swear, I think that the one defense lawyer is getting more stupid by the-" Juanita suddenly bumped into a black female echidna. "Oh, I'm sorry! Are you alright?"

"Yes, I'm alright." the echidna said rather bluntly, rubbing her head and staring at the chameleon. "Have you seen a female kitsune with silver fur around here?"

The red-eyed finch from earlier dashed out of the trees, screeching frantically when it saw Clara. It landed on her shoulder, looking up at the echidna with large eyes.

"Hm?" Clara looked at her shoulder, seeing the finch. "What is it, little bird?"

The Hecate-possessed bird hopped up and down, slightly tugging at her quills, trying to tell her to follow.

"Nevermind, ma'am, I think this bird is trying to tell me something." said Clara, walking away and gesturing for the bird to to lead the way.

The finch took off flying at a suprising speed, occasionally glancing back to make sure Clara was still behind it.

Juanita just scratched her head confused. "Okay... I'm gonna go see an eye doctor now, and possibly a psychiatrist. Because... this is getting weirder and weirder by the hour..." With that, Juanita walked towards the eye doctor's office, muttering something about hallucinations.

The bird lead the black-furred echidna to Hikaru's hiding spot, landing on the kitsune's shoulder.

The kitsune looked like she was out of breath, likely from a lot of running to her current spot. She glanced at the bird for a little bit.

"There you are, Hikaru!" said Clara, drawing Hikaru's attention. "I've been looking for you."

The small finch tapped its left foot. That's when either of the girls would notice a sliver of white fur clutched in the bird's talons.

Clara noticed the fur. "How'd that get there, bird?"

It chirped, trying to tell Clara about Hikaru nearly getting caught by the two strangers.

Clara frowned. "I don't speak bird."

"I think we may need to get to Castle Mobius." said Hikaru, after catching her breath.

"I suppose you're right." Clara replied. She turned around, motioning for the kitsune to follow.

Hikaru slowly got up, saying to the bird, "You can come along, if you like."

The finch nodded, flaring its wings and taking to the sky, to Hikaru's suspicion, somehow knew where it was going.

Clara and Hikaru, both suspicious, followed the bird.

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The bird flew through the gates of Castle Mobius, through many corridors and onto Hecate's shoulder, who was sitting in a chair with a ghostly blank expression. She looked at the finch, who dropped the fur sample into the sorceress' hand.

A moment later, Hikaru and Clara stopped at the gates of the castle, the kitsune only stopping to catch her breath.

Afterward, the two girls opened the gates (with some difficulty) and ran down the corridors where the bird had flown through.

Hecate waited for the duo to enter the room before giving a warm smile, "Back so soon?"

Hikaru tiredly waved at Hecate, sitting down in the nearest chair.

The bird on Hecate's shoulder shook its head, its eyes stopped glowing. The she-hog stood up, walking over to the nearest window. When she opened the window, the bird immediately flew away.

"What was with the glowing eyes?" Clara asked.

Hecate chuckled slightly, "Well, looks like the cat is out of the bag," she said, walking back over to the chair. "I, being a sorceress, can possess and see through the eyes of any living being."

"Interesting." Clara simply commented, while an impressed Hikaru chuckled.

"There are many more things I can do," Hecate's expression hardened, "by using this, I've discovered possibly important infomation." 

"Was that bird's weird behavior caused by you?" Hikaru asked, curious. "If so, uh... thanks for distracting those strangers from finding me?"

"Yes. I sensed that you were in danger," Hecate explained. "Go get Sonic. He might want to hear this."

"I'll get him. You stay here, Hikaru." said Clara, before running off to get Sonic.

While Clara was gone, Hecate rubbed the ring on her finger. Her head hung, her expression unreadable. "I know this isn't how you really are," she muttered.

Hikaru frowned, wondering what Hecate meant by that.

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"Sonic!" said Clara as she almost literally burst into the room.

Tyron shot up from his small nest of metal objects he found around the castle, startled by the echidna's sudden burst-in. He stared at Clara for a moment, before curling up in his shiny nest.

Sonic, who had been sleeping on a couch, shot up startled. "Ack! It wasn't my fault, Sally, I swear! Antoine-" That was when he saw Clara and calmed down. "Oh, it's you. What's up?"

Clara made a "Follow me" gesture. "Hecate says she has learned important information. As to how she learned that, you have to ask her."

"Let me guess," Sonic spoke as he followed Clara, "she used her mumbo jumbo animal stuff to do it? That's usually how she finds important info."

Clara chuckled at Sonic's description. "Yeah, when you put it that way..."

"What info did she find anyway?" Sonic asked.

Clara shrugged. "I don't know. She didn't say."

Sonic frowned at that, but decided to save the rest of his questions for Hecate.

Hecate's head jolted upright when the duo entered the room. She shoved her left hand in her pocket, hiding the silver ring. "I found out about some blueprints, possibly for a machine," she started.

"Whose blueprints?" Sonic asked, glancing at Hecate's left pocket for a second before looking her in the eye.

"Shadow's. I used my powers to spy on him. He wasn't alone, though," Hecate continued. "A blue-eyed albino echidna and someone in a cloak."

"An albino echidna?" Sonic asked. "Well, it can't be Doc what's-his-name, since the one you're talking about has blue eyes. And there was a guy in a cloak there? Hm... I wonder what Shadow's up to..."

"I do have one question," Hecate interupted, "What is a Thermo-Isolator?"

"A thermo-what?" Clara and Hikaru asked at the same time.

"Thermo-Isolator," Hecate repeated, "This weapon could be very dangerous, if the construction of it isn't stopped. However, I know not of where Shadow's base is."

"Well," Sonic spoke, "Tail- er, I mean, Miles Prower is the best tech geek I know. He might be able to tell us what the Thermo-Isolator is for, and we could go from there." Sonic then frowned considerably. "Problem is, he's in Mazuri right now with the Chaotix."

Hikaru frowned, recalling Sonia mentioning the Chaotix once. "And how long is that going to take?" she asked.

A small smirk grew on the psychic hedgehog's face. "I can teleport. Though, I may not be able to get us back to Portal," she claimed.

"That's reassuring," Sonic muttered. "But hey, we gotta save the world, right? Let's go!"

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