"How long has it been since that very day? The day I started assisting her? A few years, perhaps?
Anyway, the Cores have been restored and it seems that the world may begin recovering. Although, it may take decades..."
An old, wrinkly lynx stepped up the deeply cracked brick steps of Suzuna's home, carrying a small envelope. The wind itself was frostbitingly cold and the sky was dark, as dark as it had been for the past several years. Not even a star shone in the sky and the entire city seemed... empty.
"Message for Suzuna Tenshi." The lynx knocked on the door patiently.
The door was opened by a female kitsune with blue-tipped black hair. "Oh, hello." she said.
"Message," the old lynx repeated, lifting up the envelope.
The kitsune gently took the envelope, nodding in thanks. Another kitsune stared, curious as to what was going on.
The old lynx nodded and turned to leave, muttering, "The things I do for a living..."
"Who was that, sis?" the younger kitsune asked as the other kitsune closed the door.
"A messenger, apparently." said the older kitsune, opening the envelope and reading the letter.
The letter said: "Dear Suzuna Tenshi,
I have a very urgent matter to discuss with you that simply cannot wait. Knuckles will be there too, unfortunately. I apologize about that, but he insisted that he come. Anyway, I'd appreciate it if you could get here as soon as possible. Thanks.
- Yours Truly, Jani-Ca
Location: Portal City Square
Suzuna sighed irritably at the mention of the former Enerjak, given that she distrusted him. The younger kitsune looked worried.
"My apologies, but I can't stay here." said Suzuna, much to her sister's chagrin.
"But-" Audrid tried to say.
"No 'buts'." said Suzuna, feeling bad that she was interrupting her own sister. "I'll be back as soon as possible, okay?"
Audrid nodded, tearing up. "Okay..."
"And I said no!" Jani-Ca argued, very angry at Knuckles. Evidently they were not agreeing on something. "I will not do that! The answer is simply no!"
"Excuse me, but am I interrupting something?" said a female voice.
Both echidnas turned to see Suzuna. "Sorry, family feud. Glad you're here, Suzuna," Jani-Ca replied, red from shouting at Knuckles.
The kitsune chuckled. "At least, I don't have to go through the whole family-feud thing with my own sister."
"Ditto," Knuckles finally said, his eyes seeming somewhat dull and his wrinkles rather deep.
Suzuna glanced at Knuckles briefly. "So..." Suzuna said to Jani-Ca, yet the kitsune was unsure of what to say.
"Why did I have you come here?" Jani-Ca spoke. "It's pretty big matter. There's something I heard that might help speed up the process of Mobius's healing."
Suzuna's blue eyes widened. "Really?"
Jani-Ca nodded as Knuckles exclaimed, "Excuse me! It's a myth for crying out loud! Are you really going on a wild chicken chase for-" Jani-Ca raised her hand, silencing Knuckles.
"Yes. It's an ancient underground city known as Serinan." Jani-Ca frowned considerably. "But it's pretty chancy, this is."
Suzuna simply remained silent, thinking what she heard over.
"I heard it was said to have been located deep in the crust of the planet-"
"Are you really serious?!" Knuckles interrupted, fuming. For a crippled old man, he certainly got mad pretty easily. "Children!"
Suzuna angrily glared at Knuckles. "Will you shut up and let Jani-Ca speak?!"
Knuckles grumbled something under his breath. Jani-Ca glared at Knuckles as well and growled out, "You're even worse than my daughter. Why did I even bring you here?!" Knuckles did not respond.
Jani-Ca sighed and continued with, "Anyway, I hear it's located deep in the crust of the planet. More specifically, underneath Downunda. Or whatever is left of it."
"It's not my fault Downunda sunk!" Knuckles snapped. Jani-Ca glared at him again and he shut up.
Suzuna rolled her eyes, clearly annoyed with Knuckles.
"Anyway, the point is, we're going to go find that city!" Jani-Ca declared.
"And you said the magic words," Knuckles muttered sarcastically. Jani-Ca decided to ignore him at this point. He just wouldn't be quiet.
Suzuna also decided to ignore Knuckles. Why won't you be quiet?
"There's a docking bay not far from here," Jani-Ca told them, walking in the direction she was pointing to. "Follow me."
Suzuna nodded, following Jani-Ca to the docking bay.
Knuckles hobbled behind, looking very much like a penguin waddling.
Meanwhile, somewhere far from the trio's location...
A Super Warp Ring appeared on a barren field surrounded by thick trees with next to no leaves on them. From the ring came a white hedgehog, tripping and falling onto her face when she exited the portal. The she-hog warily rose to her feet, scanning the area for any nearby inhabitants. She was covered in cuts and bruises, with the occasional light claw marks.
Khione tried to keep herself on her feet, her injuries making this difficult. The Warp Ring behind her shrunk and fell to the ground, Khione stumbling over to it and snatching it. She slipped it into her pants pocket, continuing to glaze over the area. As much as she hated to admit it, Khione needed someone's help. Even though she had been separated from her 'friends,' the cryokinetic was far from helpless.
Spotting a nearby shed, Khione slowly made her was over to it. The tool shed looked like it hadn't been used in years, not exactly what Khione wanted. She pried the door open and stumbled inside. She needed some rest, as her muscles felt as if they were on fire. Slumping against a bag of old mulch, she closed her eyes and quickly fell asleep.
Ten to fifteen minutes later, Suzuna, Jani-Ca, and Knuckles reached the docking bay. Jani-Ca spotted a good boat that could fit two people and some supplies and she started getting it ready immediately.
"Jani-Ca, how did you know of this city?" Suzuna asked, curious as to how the echidna knew of it.
"Remington said that he heard about it once from a friend during the Great Traverse two years ago. I didn't believe him at first..." Jani-Ca picked up a crate and set it into the boat. "But now, I'm willing to believe it."
Suzuna didn't say anything, instead opting to simply nod.
"You've gone crazy," remarked Knuckles under his breath. "Very crazy."
Suzuna ignored the old echidna, pretending she didn't hear that.
Knuckles went silent after that. The only sound you could hear was the clanking of rusted hooks and the sloshing of the water.
"Okay, it's ready," Jani-Ca said, gesturing to the boat.
Suzuna again simply nodded, walking to the boat before stopping to look at Jani-Ca. "Are you coming or are you staying?"
Jani-Ca glanced at Knuckles. "He has a tracker on him. Remington and Lien-Da can fetch him up. So yes." The female echidna tapped a button on her wristband and climbed in the boat.
Suzuna smiled, also climbing in the boat.
Khione awoke to the sound and vibrations of the ground shaking. She quickly got to her feet, cringing in pain, as her wounds had yet to heal. Is it an earthquake? She asked herself. She wish it was. The quakes became louder and ruptured the ground. Khione instantly took refuge behind an old crate, hoping whatever was out there didn't find her.
The door parted, and a large crocodilian snout peered through the doorway, sniffing. Khione didn't dare to breath. It didn't matter, as the creature smelled her and grabbed the box she was hidding behind and violently pulled it out of the shed.
Khione screamed when the jaws returned, only this time they were going to grab something edible.