The author of The Flames of Hope/Episode Sonic: The Best That Ever Was considers this page to be unfinished. As such, some sections may change.
Sonic sat on the roof, one leg dangling off the side, watching the procession go by. There were several boats on the canal, all so wide they had to go through single file and flat enough for them to go under the low bridges. Having spent most of his time in the United Federation (and occasionally other dimensions) since leaving his home island, he’d never really got to see Europa. He’d always wanted an excuse to see the world, but at the end of the day he didn’t really need one. After all, he could run the whole thing in about a day if it wasn’t for the fact that he could get tired, something Tails had noted he’d never seen.
Speaking of his best friend, Tails was sitting next to him, tinkering with some kind of tablet.
“You done with that thing?” Sonic asked “You’re probably going to miss the whole thing.”
“Sorry,” Tails muttered, putting the wires and metal to one side “Just wanted to make sure a few things were up and running.”
“I didn’t want us to fly halfway round the world for you to fix your IPad. You’ve always wanted to see this, right?”
“Yeah, sorry,” Tails said, looking at the lights covering the canal.
“What’s this about, anyway?” Sonic asked “This Festival of the Sun?”
“The Soleannans worship a sun god called Solaris. It’s said that, every year, Solaris demands worship from his followers and must be honoured in the form of a festival in his name.”
“Gotta say, the man’s got good taste. So...what happens if the festival doesn’t happen?”
“It’s said that Solaris will destroy the universe.”
Sonic sighs “Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to meet him. Last time I met a god it wasn’t fun.”
“This one’s not made out of water, though.”
“I guess. Still, nothing a good Super Sonic can’t handle! I’d bet he’d be floored in no time with the power of the Chaos Emeralds!” Sonic stood up. “I’m going to go grab some food from down there. You want anything?”
“Not really, no,” Tails replied.
“Alright,” Sonic said, turning his back to the canal “See you later!”
Sonic then fell backwards off the building.
Turning in mid air, the hedgehog’s feet landed on the wall and he started to run, building up speed before hitting the ground and jumping straight over the canal. A few people looked on in shock, some filming the arrival of the hedgehog that had changed the world. Sonic took of, weaving in and out of the busy crowds, trying not to be seen despite his love of the limelight. He wanted this night to himself, his best friend and the magnificent lights that filled the sky.
Sonic dashed down into a backstreet where a chilli dog vendor was serving to a few customers who had wandered that way, away from the crowds. The hedgehog placed a couple of coins on the counter.
“Just one, please,” Sonic asked. The vendor nodded and got to work. As he did, Sonic looked back over his shoulder at the parade, where the cheering of the crowd had intensified. A boat was passing, one of the more ornate boats in the parade, and in the middle was a Mobian cat with green fur, a white dress and 2 feathers in her hair.
“Who’s the girl?” Sonic asked, keeping his eye on the figure.
“That ‘girl’ is princess Elise!” The chilli dog vendor said “The current monarch of Soleanna!”
“Why princess and not queen?”
“Apparently queen Elise didn’t have the same ring to it.”
Sonic kept watching the boat go past, slowly. The girl was waving, but she seemed to take little joy in the parade. Like it was something she was just meant to do.
“Your chilli dog is ready, sir,” The vendor said. “It has been ready for 2 minutes.”
Sonic spun round hurriedly and grabbed the chilli dog.
“Thanks!” He said quickly “Er...sorry about that…”
“No need,” The vendor replied “Although I am not Mobian myself, I know many who say the princess is a stunning woman.”
“That she is,” Sonic muttered to himself as he walked back onto the main street, slowly eating his chilli dog and getting as much pleasure out of it as he could. He looked up into the sky as just an almost blinding amount of fireworks had covered it in light. Then the fireworks cleared. Screams rung out from around the town, people pointed to the sky in horror. Sonic simply smiled.
The Egg Carrier floated above Soleanna.
Princess Elise the 3rd of Soleanna hated her job.
On a normal day, her job consisted of very little. Soleanna was a constitutional monarchy, after all:it’s not like she could pass laws or make decrees all that often. All she could do was avoid being hounded by paparazzi and the people of Soleanna who, despite apparently loving her to bits, wanted to harass her at every turn. This made it so much harder to walk out onto the boat at the head of the Festival of the Sun and wave to them, acting like she was some innocent girl who couldn’t think for herself.
Why couldn’t I have been someone else’s daughter? She’d sometimes thought. Why do I have to be the adopted daughter of a mad scientist and a woman who could do nothing but die? Even then, this was her lot in life, and she guessed that if her playacting made people happy, then it had to be worth something.
So here she was, waving to the crowd as dancers swirled around her and musicians let their sweet music flow through the air, as the water glistened and the people cheered, as the fire danced round her hands and the buildings lit up, as the people screamed and the river turned to magma.
Elise took a step back in shock, but she kept waving. She’d always suffered from hallucinations, ever since she was little, usually occurring once every few months. The doctors and psychologists didn’t know what it was or how to cure it, so she simply got used to them, act like nothing was happening. That didn’t make it any less terrifying when the monster rose up from the ashes and the sky turned black.
Soon, she snapped back to reality. A world that wasn’t on fire, no monster, no rivers of magma, just the slightly too enthusiastic embrace of Soleanna. Everyone on the boats acted like nothing was happening: they’d been briefed on this and Elise told them she knew how to handle it. Apart from a few odd looks from some of the more eagle-eyed members of the crowd, the precession kept on going.
Then the world was on fire again, and this time it was real.
The Egg Carrier hung above Soleanna like a dark cloud, releasing armies of thin, spindly robots into the crowd bellow and blasting the onlookers with gunfire. Some missiles fired into the crowd, forcing the onlookers back. And in the middle of it all, a man in a red coat floated down on a small, silver vehicle that looked like a floating tray.
“People of Soleanna, I am not here to declare war,” The man said through a loudspeaker which was likely built into his vehicle. “I merely seek to capture the princess. Afterwards, your festival can continue normally. Any compensation claims should be sent to Meteo-”
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” Elise shouted at the man. Even though there were still gunshots and missiles exploding, he clearly heard her and flew towards her, standing up in his flying tray as if to greet her formally.
“I’m kidnapping you, of course!” The man said “But where are my manners? My name is Doctor Ivo Robotnik, but you may also know me as-”
“I know who you are, idiot,” Elise snarled at him “Why do you want me?”
“I simply want the Flames of Disaster. After they’re released, I have little use for you.”
“I’ll never give myself up to you!”
“I didn’t plan for you to.”
Elise turned and ran, as did the dancers surrounding her who hadn’t leaped to the bank already. However, soon she felt something grab onto her arm and she was yanked to the ground. The other dancers escaped quickly, completely unharmed. Typical. She thought. They act like they love me and ditch me at a moment’s notice.
“Did you expect me to not have anything to kidnap you with?” Eggman told her. “I outfitted my new Egg Mobile for such an occasion. Not only does it have grappling hooks, it’s also a two seater! Do you think they’d do well commercially?”
“LET ME GO!” She shouted, yanking at the cord that held her even though she knew it wouldn’t budge even slightly. She tried to stay strong for her people, but in truth she was terrified. What could she do?
“I’d listen to her, Eggman,” a voice said. “She may decree you to death or something.”
Suddenly Eggman, who had been so in control before, looked scared, looking around quickly for the sound of the voice.
“Do you have to follow me EVERYWHERE?” Eggman shouted.
“Hey, I was here for the show. If anything, you followed me here.”
A blur crosses Elise’ field of vision and a blue hedgehog now stood before her, one that anyone on the planet could have recognise miles away.
“Sonic...Sonic the Hedgehog?” She muttered to herself, bewildered.
“Save the fanfiction for later, Princess,” The hedgehog said, keeping his eyes on Eggman “We’re getting you out of here.”
“You could have done that sooner, you idiot!”
“I was saving the people of your country that you so dearly love,” He glanced over his shoulder, looking her in the eyes. “I’m sure you would have done the same.”
Else fell silent. The hedgehog then returned his attention to Eggman.
“So, Egghead,” He said “What’s the deal with the princess?”
“Why would I tell you?” Eggman snarled, standing at the front of his Egg Mobile, hands gripping the rim. He did not want to deal with Sonic right now.
“Because then I could stop your plan?” Sonic replied in a very matter-of-fact tone, one hand waving a finger in mid air, the other behind his back “Also, it would give Tails enough time to prepare his laser cutter so the grapple cord could be broken.”
“I’m not an fool, Sonic! I would never reveal my plan to-wait, what?”
At that moment, another explosion rang out, this time from above. A yellow fox with two tails flew down, dodging through gunfire with exceptional reflexes for a child of his age, before drawing some kind of laser sword and slicing through the grapple cord on Elise arm. Soon, she was in Sonic’s arms and racing through the streets of castle town, the sound of battle behind them.
“PUT ME DOWN, YOU FREAK!” She shouted at him “WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME?”
“To safety,” The hedgehog replied, keeping his eyes on the streets ahead and not on Elise, “Oh, by the way, saving your life and the entire population of people watching the festival requires no thanks at all, and, yes, my best friend is risking his life to save us, but clearly it’s nothing to you, is it?”
“Where is ‘safety’, exactly? I’d imagine we have two very different interpretations of the word.”
“Lady, did you not hear any of what I just said, or are your people skills just that bad?”
Sonic glanced at her for a moment, but that moment was all Eggman needed. A missile flew towards them at high speed, so fast Sonic almost didn’t notice having been focused on Elise. He slid under it at the last second, but he soon tumbled over and Elise fell out of his arms. The Princess of Soleanna tried to run, but she was soon grabbed by two of Eggman’s grapple cables and lifted up into the air.
“Unfortunately, Sonic, you lose this time,” Eggman said “See you soon!”
Sonic scrambled to his feet, but soon the Egg Mobile had disappeared into the sky and the Egg Carrier boosted away at an unbelievably speed for such a large craft. All Sonic did was stand there, watching the Egg Army disappear from Castle Town, leaving nothing but a smouldering wreck in its wake.
“You won the battle, Eggman,” He said “But you haven’t won the war.”
Sonic and Tails worked with the construction crews through the night to rebuild Castle Town. Eggman had only destroyed the area around where Elise’ boat was and where he’d chased Sonic, which meant the construction didn’t take too long, but it still took a long time to build with the construction crews being called in on such short notice. As people started to return to the Town as the sun dawned and some kind of normality resumed, Sonic walked through the town, keeping to the back alleys to avoid anyone recognising him.
Today, he would have to go and get Elise back. He did not like the girl one bit, seeming to care more about herself than anyone else around her and even objecting to being rescued. However, he had to stop whatever Eggman was up to, and to do that he had to save Elise. Even if she wasn’t such an asshole, he wouldn’t leave anyone else in Eggman’s clutches: why should he leave her?
He met with Tails near the edge of the town, looking out over the ocean. The fox was fixing his tablet when Sonic arrived.
“Tails. Long time no see.”
“Sonic, we literally saw each other 3 hours ago.”
“Sorry. Force of habit. Anyway, do you know where Eggman is?”
“I’ve located the Egg Carrier,” Tails said “It’s currently flying over Wave Ocean, a series of small islands just off the coast. They turned it into a beach resort not so long ago, and it’s become quite a popular tourist destination. It was evacuated half an hour ago because the Egg Carrier arrived.”
“Do you think it will still be there when we arrive?”
“If we move fast enough.”
Tails smiled “And that’s not going to be a problem, is it?”
Sonic smiled back at his best friend “Nope. Never is, never will be.”
“You run on ahead. I’ll get the Tornado ready: I think we’re going to need it. See you on the other side.”
Tails flew back into the town and Sonic looked out into the vast expansion of ocean in front of him. He’d seen Wave Ocean on the flight over here, and looking at it it had reminded him of Emerald Coast back in Station Square. He’d been hoping he would be able to relax by the beach at some point. It seems his life was never that simple.
A few seconds later, Sonic the Hedgehog was sprinting across the ocean towards his target.
What neither Tails nor Sonic knew was that they were being watched, and had been for the past 3 minutes. A white hedgehog with knee high boots and gold rings around his arms watched them through a pair of high tech binoculars. As Sonic left, the hedgehog lowered his binoculars.
“I’ve found you at last,” The hedgehog said “The Iblis Trigger.”
Silver the Hedgehog surrounded himself with green energy and prepared to shoot off in pursuit.
The morning Sun shone down on Wave Ocean, the sky completely cloudless, yet a huge shadow still covered the resort despite this. The Egg Carrier was trundling along above the resort, seemingly having slowed down since the huge blast of speed it had given out to escape Castle Town. Clearly, Sonic thought, Eggman had forgotten who he was dealing with.
The hedgehog flew across the water like a missile, having only taken 15 minutes to get here from Castle Town, and eventually hit the sand of one of the resort’s many island beaches. It was an extremely small island, only large enough for him and the three Egg Gunners who were currently facing him. Behind them was a spiraling formation of rock which eventually fell off into the sea.
“Hey, guys,” Sonic said to the robots, well aware they didn’t care what he said “I work here at the resort. You need any sun cream or…?”
The robots opened fire almost immediately. Sonic quickly spindashed under them and homing attacked them in rapid succession, blowing them up at lightning speed. Using the momentum he had gained, he flew off towards the rock formation and hit the ground at a run, spinning around the rock and eventually hitting the water with enough speed that he didn’t even need to run: he simply rode it like a surfboard towards another of the islands, this one with a lighthouse to the left, a large rock hill in the centre and several robots shooting at him even before he hit land. Sonic dashed under the robots and ran up the side of the lighthouse: he didn’t have time to deal with them right now. Once reaching the top of the structure, he got his first good look at the Egg Carrier since he’d arrived. Eggman must have noticed his arrival, as the Carrier had just unleashed a huge blast of speed and was pulling away from Sonic at staggering speeds for an aircraft of that size.
More Egg Gunners flew up in front of Sonic, opening fire on him. Sonic homing attacked them and flew towards what looked like a twisting wooden walkway on the ocean, surrounded wooden huts for people who were staying at the resort. Sonic rushed down the path, keeping his eye on the Egg Carrier all the while. Soon, he was running across water again. It seemed that the robots were already pulling back: Sonic guessed Eggman wasn’t about to engage in a fight he knew he could win, and one that had no impact if he did. This gave Sonic more of a chance to catch up, running onto another wooden platform, keeping up with t-BAM!
Sonic nearly fell over as an orca crashed through the wooden platform behind him, seemingly intent on pursuing him. Sonic started to speed up, but even then the orca chased him across the wooden platforms that dotted the ocean, being able to keep up with the lightning fast hedgehog.
“Do your kind have a vendetta against me or something?” He asked the orca despite the creature presumably not understanding the English language. The orca chased him across the water once he was running on it again, but was unable to chase him across the large island Sonic reached not long after.
The hedgehog looked up into the sky. While he was so focused on what was quickly becoming his most disliked species of aquatic mammal, the Egg Carrier had started to pull away. A line of robots now stood in his way; there would be no way to continue up the island without going through them.
“Looks like we’re not going to make it at this rate,” Sonic said “Let’s shift gears!”
A sonic boom sounded as Sonic blasted through the robots in his way, turning them to shreds. A blue glow enveloped Sonic as he ran at a speed he’d never truly experienced before. Sure, he’d broken the sound barrier before, but this was something different: channeling the kinetic energy into his body to make him a living bullet capable of destroying anything he touched. He’d never done it before, but it had been something he’d wanted to try and he had been experimenting with the concept for a while. He didn’t expect that running at this speed with so much power would be so thrilling. The adrenaline running through his veins was the only thing allowing him to react to the rocks, trees and bullets he had to dodge. His conscious mind could barely keep up: he was acting almost entirely on reflex.
This quickly proved to be the move’s biggest drawback. As Sonic tried to regain conscious control of his body, his feet fell slightly out of place: enough to stop his incredible speed and slowing back to his normal rate. Surprised by the sudden drop, he tripped on a rock, sending him careering forwards and landing head first into the sand. He looked up into the sky: the Egg Carrier had blasted on ahead, way out of reach for him and the Tornado to catch up.
“Darn,” Sonic said to himself and rolled onto his back. That last technique had exhausted him, but he doubted he would have kept up with the carrier if he hadn’t used it. That said, even if he had made it to the carrier, he felt so tired now that he probably wouldn’t have been able to fight afterwards: reaching the speed to arrive on the Egg Carrier would probably have made him fall asleep.
He lay there, high on adrenaline, until Tails arrived in the Tornado.
“Sonic?” He asked, sounding more inquisitive than worried “What happened to you?”
“Eggman was moving too fast for me to keep up with,” Sonic replied “Had to try something new. It didn’t go so well.”
“I can guess. Well, it looks like we can’t keep up with the Egg Carrier now. Guess we’ll have to see where it lands and go attack Eggman from there.”
Tails helped Sonic stand up and the two jumped on the Tornado, Sonic much more unsteadily than Tails, and they headed back to town.
Despite the hallucinations, Elise wasn’t used to nightmares. The visions of destruction only seemed to come in her waking thoughts, seemingly deliberately wanting to torment her. However, considering her situation, she thought a nightmare shouldn’t have been too unexpected. Even then, she didn’t expect what she saw.
She was running down the backstreets of Castle Town. The sky was a dark purple, the moon was falling apart as she watched it, and there was no sun to speak of. Buildings were falling apart, everything was turning into dust. She turned down a backstreet and saw a red Mobian of a species she didn’t recognise leaning against a wall, also turning to dust, revealing a blue glowing light within his chest. Beside him, gripping his hands into the ground, was the yellow fox who had broken her free from Eggman barely 10 hours ago.
“Where’s Sonic, Elise?” The red Mobian shouted, despite half his mouth having already disintegrated “WHERE IS HE?”
Elise staggered back in horror and ran away down another backstreet. She came out in one of the larger squares that dotted the town. The only people there were a black hedgehog, a robot, and a female bat. The robot and the bat were almost completely disintegrated, and the black hedgehog (who seemed to be mostly unaffected) was cradling the bat in his arms.
“This is all my fault…” the hedgehog muttered “I did this.”
“Don’t blame yourself,” The bat replied, reaching up her only remaining arm to stroke his face. “You did what you could.”
“But...I couldn’t save you…I couldn’t save anyone...I did more damage than the Black Arms ever could…”
Elise put her hands to her mouth in shock until she heard a voice behind her.
She spun round and saw a white hedgehog holding hands with a pink cat. Fire spun round their bodies and their eyes glowed bright red.
“Take my hand, princess!” The hedgehog said “It’s the only way! Take my hand Elise! TAKE MY HAND!”
Then she woke up.
Elise jolted upright on the metal plank that constituted as a bed. She looked around hurriedly, checking her surroundings were the same as they were before: a shoddy prison cell in what looked like an ancient desert temple. She breathed a sigh of relief, or at least as relieved as you could be when captured by an evil scientist who looked like an egg.
“You up now, Princess? Because we can’t rescue you while you’re asleep.”
Elise jumped up in surprise and looked out of the prison bars to see Sonic leaning against them, with his friend working at a panel in the wall in order to unlock them.
“Took you long enough!” She replied, crossing her arms.
“Believe us, we wouldn’t mind leaving you here, but I hear the people of Soleanna like you. Plus, there was a huge sandstorm about 40 minutes ago, and we’re not that devoted to saving you.”
There was a beep as the bars rose up and Elise stepped out of the prison. It seemed they were in an ancient arena of some kind: much of the stonework was falling apart to the point there was barely any ceiling.
“This is my friend, by the way,” Sonic said, gesturing over to the fox “Miles Prower. Just call him Tails.”
“Nice to meet you,” Tails said to Elise.
“Pleasure,” Elise said, not even glancing at Tails as she walked past them. Sonic looked at Tails behind her back and rolled his eyes before they looked forward again. What they saw was slightly unexpected.
Before them was a massive, black and red mechanic dog with a metal spike protruding from his head.
“Ohohoho!” Said a voice out of a crackling loudspeaker, seemingly from the robot. Sonic and Tails stepped forward; they both knew that voice all too well.
“Eggman!” They said in unison, getting into combat stances.
“Unfortunately, I have other matters to attend to, so I won’t be able to capture the princess in person. I hope this is a...satisfactory replacement. Fetch, my Egg Cerberus, fetch!”
The mechanical dog growled and rushed at the group.
“Tails, get Elise out of here!” Sonic said. Tails grabbed the princess and flew up to the stands.
“Hey, put me down!” The princess shouted at the fox carrying her. Tails said nothing in return.
As the dog charged, Sonic quickstepped to the side, trying to get the creature to hit one of the arena walls. However, it had fast reactions, and soon the Egg Cerberus has spun round, ready to charge again.
“Not bad!” The hedgehog replied before running straight at the machine. Egg Cerberus let out a mechanical bark before rushing towards Sonic again. This time, however, Sonic dashed up one of the arena walls, giving him enough height to jump onto one of the Egg Cerberus’ front legs. The machine’s head spun round, trying to bite him and throw him off it’s body.
“Sonic!” Tails shouted from the sidelines “The spike is a radio receiver! Destroy it and you can shut it down!”
“Got it.” The hedgehog replied. Sonic leaped up onto the machine’s back, trying to stay on as the Egg Cerberus twisted and turned, trying to throw him away. However, Sonic stayed on, reaching the metal spike and spindashing through it. The spike flew off and hit the ground as Sonic fell of the machine’s head, landing on his feet and turning to face the Cerberus again.
“Aren’t you supposed to fall down and explode at this point?” He asked the robot, which was seemingly unaffected by the destruction of it’s receiver.
“ERROR,” A voice replied from the robot:not Eggman, but the Egg Cerberus itself. “DISCONNECTED FROM CONTROLLER. AS PER PREVIOUS ORDERS, ENTERING AUTOMATIC MODE.”
The Egg Cerberus leapt forward with a blinding burst of speed, knocking Sonic over. The hedgehog tried to roll over, and while he avoided being trampled by the Cerberus’ hind legs, he was kicked away by the creature’s back legs, being kicked through one of the arena’s pillars and hitting the ground. By the time he got up, the Cerberus was already charging at him, but this time Sonic had enough time to dodge to the side.
“Sonic, I’ve just realised!” Tails shouted “If it’s on automatic mode, it’ll try to attack anything that enters the arena!”
“So what do I do?” Sonic asked, dodging another one of the machine’s charges.
“We leave it here.”
“Yes, seriously! If we leave it here, it will keep running around the arena until it runs out of power! We don’t have to fight it at all! Just get up here and we can run away!”
“I second this plan.” Elise said. She didn’t want to stay with Eggman’s creations longer than she needed to.
“Guess I’m outvoted.” Sonic said. He ran towards the wall, the Egg Cerberus bounding in pursuit. Sonic quickly ran up the wall and grabbed Tails in one hand, Elise in the other.
“What’s this for?” Elise shouted.
“Because any minute now,” Sonic said “The Egg Cerberus will hit th-”
The group were sent flying forward as the Egg Cerberus crashed into the wall, sending up chunks of rock and knocking the group onto the ground. Sonic and Tails were too stunned to get clear in time as the rocks fell down on them.
Elise, however, wasn’t as stunned as the rest. She felt something inside her, a power she’d never felt before. Instinctively, she raised her hand, and a red force field surrounded the group, the rocks hitting the field and being knocked away into the arena. The Egg Cerberus whimpered in disappointment, and Sonic and Tails looked shocked.
“What was that?” Tails asked as both of them stood up.
“I...I don’t know.” Elise looked at both her hands: she could still feel that energy flowing through her, though it was getting fainter by the minute. She was the most surprised of all three of them. Soon, however, the Egg Cerberus was falling back, preparing to ram the wall again.
“We can talk about it later.” Sonic said. “Let’s move.”
Sonic, Tails and Elise walked out into the bright sunlight. Before them stretched a desert, dotted with old ruins and patrolled by Eggman’s robots. Elise and Tails raised their hands to block out the bright sunlight, but Sonic seemingly didn’t need to. They were currently standing on top of a raised chunk of the ruins that had steps behind them leading up to the arena.
“Damn,” She said “I’m wearing this flimsy thing and I’m still boiling.”
“Trust me,” Sonic replied “Volcanoes are way worse. There was this one time where I-”
“SONIC, LOOK OUT!”
The Egg Cerberus bolted out of the arena, it’s head so damaged from trying to break out it’s internal parts were showing. Sonic was so caught in reminiscing he barely had time to react to Tails’ warning. The three Mobians threw themselves to the side and the Egg Cerberus fell off the platform, falling into the sand below. As it scrambled to get up, the group watched as it started to be absorbed by the sand.
“It’s quicksand?” Tails said in surprise as the machine fell deeper and deeper into the sand “That’s...that’s a problem. I can get over, but how do you two get over?”
“Did you guys seriously arrive here without an escape plan?!” Elise asked, bewildered.
“Can’t you pick us up and fly like we did with Knuckles?” Sonic asked Tails, ignoring Elise’s question: clearly she didn’t know his reputation for making stuff up as he goes along.
“I wouldn’t be able to fly far enough. No offense to either of you, but it would be too heavy to fly this kind of distance.”
“Maybe…” Elise muttered to herself, before speaking up “Maybe I could use that shield thing I used to block Egg Whatchamacallit?”
“Can you control it?” Sonic asked “Because I’m trusting you with my welfare here.”
Elise tried to call on that power and found it surprisingly easy: a red orb of energy surrounded her.
“Alright,” Sonic said “I’ll carry you across the sand. Before you say anything, I can get us out of here faster if I carry you.”
Elise begrudgingly agreed, seeing she didn’t have many other choices.
“Tails, meet us in town,” Sonic said. Tails nodded and flew away, leaving Elise and Sonic alone apart from the army of robots they were about to face.
“Hold on tight,” Sonic told Elise.
“Are you trying to imply something?”
“Look, lady, no matter what the shippers tell you, it’s not true. Now let’s go.”
Sonic stepped off the raised platform, beginning to fall toward the quicksand, keeping Elise firmly in his arms. Elise, for her sake, screamed as they jumped off.
“SHIELD!” He shouted. Elise almost instinctively activated the shield and they hit the quicksand. The sand seemed to become solid in the shield’s presence and Sonic could run along it easily, quickly coming to the first ruined area, an island in a sea of sand. Elise disabled the shield.
“I don’t think I can hold this thing for long,” She said “I can only do it in short bursts.”
“Understood,” Sonic replied, keeping focused on running across the ruins. He couldn’t homing attack any of the enemies here, nor could he spindash them: that would be impossible with Elise in his arms. Instead, they had to twist and turn through the ruins, dodging bullets, pulling up the shield to dash across quicksand as quickly as she could. Elise had a surprisingly fast reaction time, although naturally she was a bit slower than Sonic. Soon, they came to a rock formation that spun round, forming a loop. They seemed to do that a lot in Soleanna.
“Hey, Princess,” Sonic said, smirking “Have you ever ran round a loop at 50 miles an hour?”
“What? No of cour-”
“Scream if you want to go faster!”
Sonic increased his speed, running around the loop as fast as he could without risking harming Elise. The Princess of Soleanna was screaming like crazy, initially horrified, but by the end the adrenaline rush was worth it. It didn’t help that they were being shot at the entire time.
They continued to run, reaching another raised platform, although this one was surrounded by steps leading up to the top. Four pillars stood on the platform’s corners. Eggman’s robots had seemingly stayed put; for now, they were clear. Still, the desert continued to stretch out before them, and it would be a long time before they got home. Elise pulled herself out of Sonic’s arm and fell down to the floor.
“Can we rest?” She asked “Using my powers...it’s drained me a little.”
“Sure,” Sonic said, sitting down “But we have to get moving. Eggman is very persistent.”
Elise lay on the ground for a few moments while Sonic just sat there. Within 5 minutes he was already bored out of his mind, but luckily Elise asked him a question at this point.
“Sonic,” She asked, “Your powers...and your friend’s...where do they come from?”
Sonic shrugged in response.
“I hear there are these things called Power Genes which gives people superpowers. Honestly, I know very little, it’s more Tails’ area of expertise.”
“When did you first discover them?”
“I...think I was 12? I was racing one of my old friends on South Island. Started the race and suddenly shot off like a lightning bolt and flew through a wall. Uncle Chuck was not happy about that.”
“Is it...unusual for it to come out now?”
“Again, ask Tails. Not my speciality.”
And now she got to the question she meant to ask.
“Sonic...did you ever have...hallucinations before you discovered your powers?”
Sonic remained completely silent.
The hedgehog got up and held a finger up to his lips. Elise quickly stood up, realising they were in danger again.
“Alright, you can come out now!” Sonic shouted to seemingly no one. “You think I haven’t kept my eye on the sand?”
As he said it, the sand erupted right in front of where Sonic was standing. Instead of falling back down, it hung in midair, controlled by the white hedgehog floating in the air before them. He had gold bracelets around his arms with a blue neon light running through them, knee-high boots of black and white and a leather satchel dangling at his hip. His forehead was covered in a crest-like formation of hair, looking almost like a leaf, and bellow it sat golden eyes that bore into Sonic.
Elise slowly edged away in horror, realising she’d seen this hedgehog before. Sonic simply folded his arms.
“I’ll skip the whole “faker” thing for Shadow’s sake,” He said “So what’s your name?”
“I am Silver the Hedgehog! And it’s time for you to die, Iblis Trigger!”
The two hedgehogs glared at each other as Silver landed on the platform. Sonic backed away, but only to give him space.
“So, you want to kill me,” He said “Is this the standard ‘you’re interfering with my plans’ kinda kill me or...?”
Silver smiled to himself, but not in any way that came across as malicious.
“You really don’t know, huh?” He said. “It’s a shame. You are a hero, I know you are. I’ve seen what you do. But even then, you have to die. I’m sorry.”
“Why do I have t-”
Before Sonic could say anything, Silver raised his hand. Sonic was surrounded by a green light and thrown into the air. Silver then flew up and kicked him into the ground.
“I wanted to give you a quick death,” Silver said “But it looks like that’s no longer possible.”
Silver flew towards the ground, fist outstretched, but Sonic rolled to get up at the last second. Silver looked surprised as his fist hit the ground and Sonic kicked him away. The white hedgehog spun in midair and flew straight at Sonic again. Sonic dashed towards him and the two both went for a round kick to the head, blocking the kick with the hand on the same side in perfect synchronicity. Sonic went for a flurry of punches, and Silver could only block a few before being hit by them. Sonic then dashed behind Silver and kicked him in the back, throwing him into a pillar.
“Why do you want to kill me?” Sonic asked “You don’t sound like a bad guy. We can talk this ou-”
Sonic was cut off as he was lifted into the air again, surrounded by green light. He struggled to move, but was unable to.
“It’s no use,” Silver said “My psychokinesis is more than capable of holding you.”
Silver then hurled Sonic towards the quicksand. Sonic used the homing attack to get towards Silver and back above the platform, but the white hedgehog caught him in mid air with his powers and threw him into the ground. Silver flew at him again, once again going for a flying punch. Sonic again rolled at the last second, but this time Silver vanished momentarily, before appearing behind Sonic and kicking him into a pillar.
Darn it! Sonic thought. He can teleport as well? Let’s hope it’s not Chaos Control or we’ve got a problem on our hands.
Sonic got up to notice that Silver had vanished again, only for the pillar behind him to be smashed down on him like a hammer.
Elise didn’t care what happened to Sonic, but he was the only way out of here. At least, that’s what she told herself when she shouted his name in shock. What was worse is that the hedgehog Sonic was fighting was from her dream, or rather nightmare. But she’d never seen him before...could it have been a coincidence that they looked alike?
Silver’s head spun around to look at Elise.
“Princess, look out!” He shouted.
“How the hell do you know I’m a-”
Before Elise could finish, a grappling cable snagged onto her arm. It didn’t take a genius to figure out who’d arrived.
“Please,” Eggman said “I’ve seen Big the Cat pull off better rescue attempts.”
Sonic climbed up from the rubble just to see Eggman pull Elise away, flying over the desert. He looked at Silver.
“Let me get her,” He said “Please. One more job and you ca-”
Silver held Sonic in mid air with his psychokinesis.
“I don’t care what you have to say! I have to do what I have to do! Anyone can save the princess, but only Sonic the Hedgehog can free Iblis and destroy the world!”
“Who the heck is Iblis?”
Sonic was bombarded by stone before he could get an answer. As soon as the bombardment stopped, Silver threw him into the air again and teleported up to him. However, this time Sonic was ready: he punched Silver before kicking the hedgehog downwards. As Silver hit the ground, his satchel opened up and several items came out: a pair of binoculars, a phone-like thing...and the blue Chaos Emerald.
Sonic fell towards the ground, trying to grab the Chaos Emerald, but Silver kicked him away before he could reach it and teleported behind him while he was in mid-air. The white hedgehog then bombarded Sonic with punches before grabbing his face and smashing it into the ground and then picking him up with his psychokinesis again and then throwing him away, with Sonic landing near the Chaos Emerald. He reached out for it, but Silver stepped on his wrist, a psychokinetic energy blast forming in his hand.
“Goodbye, Sonic the Hedgehog.”
Silver pointed his hand towards Sonic, but before that happened a pink blur pulled Silver away. The hedgehog, caught off guard by this new arrival, fell to the ground and rolled to get up and saw the girl who saved Sonic’s life: a pink cat with a purple dress and fire spiralling around her.
“Blaze?” Sonic shouted “How are you here?”
“You’re a stranger to me, Sonic the Hedgehog,” She said “I’ve never seen you before.”
She glanced towards him, and Sonic saw in her eyes that she genuinely didn’t recognise him.
“Run, Iblis Trigger,” She said “I hear you’re good at it.”
“Blaze!” Silver shouted “Get out of my way!“
Before Silver could act any further, Sonic grabbed the Chaos Emerald. There was nothing more he could do here.
Sonic vanished, falling through the void like he always did when he used this power.
Castle Town. He thought. Everything spun as he returned to realspace.
Tails looked round in shock as Sonic appeared. He’d been preparing the Tornado to find him and Elise but had no idea he’d return by Chaos Control. Sonic stood up as quickly as he could, taking in his surroundings. He’d never used Chaos Control much to travel long distances, and the feeling was disorienting, especially seeing the Emerald had a habit of spitting you out wherever it wanted within the given parameters. He also hadn’t noticed that night was falling while he’d been in the desert.
“Sonic?” He said, bewildered “What happened? Where’s Elise? Where did you get the Chaos Emerald?”
“What’s an Iblis?” Sonic asked. Tails looked even more bewildered.
“It’s...a name for the Devil in certain Arabic texts. Why are you asking?”
“Some dude just tried to kill me. Said I was the Iblis Trigger or something, that I was going to destroy the world. Eggman snuck up on us while we were fighting and took Elise. And them Blaze showed up.”
“Wait, Blaze? The girl from the other dimension? How did she get here?”
“I don’t know, she said she never met me before.”
Tails thought for a moment before getting out his tablet.
“The person who attacked you,” He said. “What do they look like?”
Sonic gave a rough description of Silver and Tails put it in the Miles Electric.
“Did he look like this?” Tails asked, showing him an image.
“Nope,” Sonic replied “Didn’t have the scar.”
Tails looked back at the tablet.
“Then nobody of that description exists,” Tails said “I think they’re time travelers.”
“Time travel?” Sonic replied “Are you kidding me?”
“Think about it. A man turns up and tells you you will destroy the world, he has no record anywhere, and he has a Chaos Emerald, an item known to have time manipulation powers.”
Sonic thought for a moment.
“He did teleport a lot. That may indicate he had Chaos Control. But it didn’t look like Chaos Control and he never took the Emerald out of his bag. And even then, how does Blaze fit into all this?”
“I thought he might be from an alternate dimension like Blaze, but that doesn’t explain the Iblis Trigger thing. And neither description explains how she lost her memories. I’m just confused.”
“One step at a time buddy. I know you’ll figure it out,” Sonic looked at the Tornado “Let’s focus on saving Elise again first...honestly, between her and Blaze I’m helping princesses so often I should start calling myself M-”
At that moment, Tails’ tablet beeped.
“Receive,” He said. An image of Knuckles in a city appeared on the screen.
“Oh, hey, it worked,” Knuckles said “Neat!”
“You act like you have little faith in my abilities, Knuckles,” Tails replied “Why are you calling?”
“You and Sonic had better get over to New City. Eggman’s robots are here and demanding your presence.”
“Understood,” Tails said “We’ll get the Tornado ready. End call.”
The image disappeared.
“What’s he doing here?” Sonic asked “Isn’t he supposed to be guarding the Master Emerald?”
“Yeah, we really need to ask him about that,” Tails replied “Let’s get out of-“
“NOT SOOOO FAAAAST!”
A group of Soleannan guards appeared on the Tornado at a speed so fast that Sonic was convinced they teleported. Standing on the highest point of the Tornado was a guard in captain’s uniform.
“So, you want to leave to NEEEW CITY?” The captain bellowed “Then you must complete this FIENDISH PUZZLE!”
Sonic and Tails looked at each other and raised an eyebrow.
“You must find out WHICH ONE OF US IS THE CAAAPTAIN?” He continued “I am NOTTT the captain, I am merely wearing a CAPTAIN’s UNIFORM! So, WHO IS THE CAAAPTAAAIN?”
“You are,” Tails said almost immediately.
“Firstly, the uniform of the Soleannan royal guard is tailor made, so you’d have to find someone exactly your build to get a uniform that fits, and no one here fits that. Secondly, I doubt you’d be able to make an intelligent puzzle without it being a trick question.”
“Er...Let me think up an-“
“Of course, once Elise gets back and we tell her about this, we could have you tried for obstructing the course of justice which I think in Soleannan law would result in a fine of 100 Rings and fire you from any position related to the government or royal family.”
The guards looked at each other.
“DAMN!” One of the guards said “He is FAR too CLEVER for us! We must find...SOMEONE ELSE!”
Every guard nodded and then proceeded to leave. The captain tried desperately to stop them from leaving, but eventually sighed and left with them.
“...The heck?” Sonic said to Tails “Do they have something against Elise or something?”
“Probably,” He replied, “Let’s just get out of here.”
Tails and Sonic nodded and jumped on the Tornado.
Knuckles had had his arms folded for the past 10 minutes staring at the two robots in front of him. Behind him was a police barricade, blocking off the road. The policemen were out of their cars with weapons raised. Two skyscrapers stood to either side of the road.
“Could you just show me the message?” Knuckles asked “I can tell Sonic.”
“SONIC MUST SEE THE MESSAGE FOR HIMSELF,” The robot replied in monotone.
“Ok, Google Translate. I have a phone here, and it has a camera. I can video it and send it to him.”
“SONIC MUST SEE THE MESSAGE FOR HIMSELF,”
“Ok. Is the message an item or is it recorded into you or something? Because I am finding it really hard not to punch you.”
“THE MESSAGE IS RECORDED ON THIS DATA DISK.”
The robot got out a thin slab of metal with a glowing blue circle in the middle.
“Great, so what you’re saying is that you’re just disposable?”
“YES. Wait a minute-”
Knuckles ran forward and uppercut the robot holding the data disk. The robot was knocked back, the item falling out of it’s hand. Knuckles dived down and grabbed it before spinning around and punching the other robot through the chest. The other robot prepared to fire, but Knuckles was already on top of it and punching it into dust.
Machine gun fire came from the sky as another robot bombarded the police. They quickly took cover in their cars, but Knuckles easily ran up the skyscraper next to him and glided off of it, landing on top of the disk-shaped robot. He smashed through the robots top armour and yanked out a metal sphere which he assumed was some kind of power core. He guessed correctly, as the robot fell towards the ground and exploded.
It was at this point that Sonic and Tails arrived, walking past the police barricade.
“Yo, Knux,” Sonic said casually, barely giving a glance to the ruined robots “Long time no see. What’s up?”
Knuckles walked out of the flaming wreckage of the machine, brushing dust off his shoulder.
“Not a whole lot, to be honest,” Knuckles replied just as casually. While the police looked shocked, Team Sonic barely battered an eyelid at what just happened.
“Why are you here?” Tails asked “Aren’t you supposed to be guarding the Master Emerald?”
“Yeah, Vector said he’d take over while I went to find you guys. I know he wants money, but I’m his boss, so he can’t exactly take it without facing my retribution.”
Knuckles showed Sonic and Tails the data disk.
“This is what the robot wanted to show you.” Knuckles said “How do you turn it on?”
“Maybe voice activation?” Sonic said. He was proven correct when a blue hologram of Eggman popped up on the blue disk.
“Ah, Sonic,” The hologram said “It seems during your scuffle with the white hedgehog that I managed to snatch up the princess again. I will consider giving her back on a condition. A Chaos Emerald has been taken from me as of late, and it would be nice if you could return it to me, or alternatively give me any Chaos Emerald, seeing they’re all the same. Meet me at the White Acropolis base, we will be prepared for your arrival.”
The hologram vanished.
“Do you have a Chaos Emerald?” Knuckles asked. Sonic nodded and showed him the Emerald in question.
“I think we should go,” Sonic said “We can launch a surprise attack on Eggman.”
“You know there’s no way this won’t be a trap, right?” Knuckles replied.
“Yep. We just spring our trap first. And with this thing in hand, we have an infinite amount of time to do it.”
“White Acropolis was a G.U.N base until recently,” Tails said, looking at his tablet “Eggman claimed the base during the scuffle after the Black Arms invasion. It’s heavily fortified.”
“Guess we’ll be doing more people than just Elise a favour.”
The policemen got out of their cars.
“You’re kidding, right?” One of them said, “You’re going out of your way to save that jerk? Even if the public loves her, anyone who knows her knows she’s an ass.”
A couple of policemen who were willing to speak up in Sonic’s presence nodded.
“I would save her if she was anyone else,” Sonic said as he walked past the barricade, the rest of Team Sonic in tow. “If I don’t save her, perhaps I should consider not saving you next time.”
Sonic made sure to sound as deadpan as possible to increase the effect. Sonic wondered if Elise knew about this loathing from her associates. Would she still act like she did if she knew?
Tails and Knuckles put their hands on Sonic’s shoulder and the group Chaos Controlled away, leaving some stunned and slightly terrified policemen in their wake.
Sonic had never expected the door to Eggman’s base to be open for him. He walked in holding the Chaos Emerald, every spotlight and robot bearing down on him but not firing, countless lights bearing down on him through the black, cloudless sky. At least, they weren’t firing yet.
“Sonic the Hedgehog will be guided immediately to station 19,” A robotic voice said from the base’s speakers “Ergo, he will give the Chaos Emerald to Eggman. Ergo, the tra-I mean, Princess Elise will be given to the Hedgehog. Ergo, Eggman will punish me for that Freudian Sli-”
The message ended abruptly. Sonic sighed. Then again, it wasn’t like he hadn’t known what was coming.
They were guided up to a large armoured building at the top of a snowy hill overlooking the compound. As the door opened, Sonic nodded to both Tails and Knuckles. They nodded back.
Time froze around Sonic. He ran past Tails and Knuckles, grabbed two of the robots, and gave them a slight push towards their comrades: enough to knock them at a force capable of destroying every robot lined up next to them once time returned to its normal speed. Sonic slid down the hill to the searchlights as time resumed.
“Sonic has destroyed robots,” The robot on the speakers said “Ergo, the new arrivals will die immediately.”
Knuckles and Tails just heard an explosion behind him and saw that Sonic was gone, but that was enough to tell them what was happening. They spun round as robots fired on them from overhead. Tails drew a laser cannon and fired on the robots, taking them out with auto-guided precision. Knuckles, meanwhile, dashed up the base’s high walls and glided towards the robots, drill driving through them. More robots came out of the base, but Knuckles quickly turned around and flew straight into the ground, destroying a chunk of them and sending snow in their faces. Tails shot any survivors.
Sonic, meanwhile, dashed up the metal searchlight tower and ripped the searchlight off with a tornado, throwing the lump of metal into another robot flying to intercept him. He was soon being shot at constantly, but Sonic homing attacked the group of robots and dispatched of them easily.
“Oh, Sonic, you really are incredibly stupid,” Eggman said through the loudspeaker “I knew you’d try this, so I planned for it. You must have seen it by now. I’d expected at least Tails to get it.”
“So, what’s the deal Egghead?” Knuckles shouted, uppercutting a robot in half.
“It’s a clear night. Where are the stars?”
The Egg Carrier’s lights turned on, revealing it hovering directly above the base. Within seconds, missiles flew down, aiming at Sonic. Sonic dodged out of the way, but the group split apart, trying to corner him against a wall. Sonic ran up it only to get a missile in the face, knocking him down. He felt a jolt of electricity as the missile paralysed him. Knuckles dived out of the way of a missile aiming for him, but a robot shot him in the leg and another missile paralysed him a moment later. Tails had already destroyed ten missiles, cutting them down with a barrage of lasers, but soon the whole facility was bearing down on him: a robot with huge hands pinned him to the ground before a missile crashed into them, destroying the robot but paralysing Tails. Soon, alarms stopped blaring. It was only at that point that Sonic realised they had lost.
“Bring them in,” Eggman said. Several robots dragged Team Sonic through the snow into the base. They were in a circular room, glass walls on each side, and some kind of circular machine on the roof. When the door closed, the paralysis wore off and Sonic jumped to his feet, only to see Eggman and Elise staring at him through the glass.
“What’s the big idea, Egghead?” Sonic asked “You know this can’t hold me for long!”
“I know it can’t,” Eggman replied “That’s why you won’t be here long.”
Elise just looked horrified. Sonic was about to Chaos Control away but soon realised the robots had taken the Chaos Emerald.
“This is a time machine,” Eggman continued “It is programmed to send you 200 years into the future. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it there. If you get back, which you won’t, bring the future’s best coffee machine with you, I’d love to try it.”
Tails and Knuckles got up, taking in their surroundings. Tails looked more scared than Knuckles did.
“It’s a shame,” Eggman said “I genuinely would have given you the princess. Of course, I’d steal her back again, but I would have.”
The machine above Team Sonic whirled to life.
“Elise, do something!” Sonic shouted in desperation “You have powers, right? Use them!”
“I…” was all Elise could say as Team Sonic rose into the air and vanished in a flash of blue light.
“Don’t worry,” Eggman told Elise “They’re not dead. In fact, they won’t be for another 200 years.”
Elise just sat there, looking horrified. Sonic was gone, and she had nobody to rely on. Nobody except herself.
“What’s…” she whispered, but piped up the strength to speak up “What’s Iblis?”
“An unusual question, but I see no harm in answering it,” Eggman replied as he walked away to attend to other matters “Iblis is a fallen angel responsible for evil in Islamic texts; their version of the Devil, if you will.”
The devil? Elise thought. That hedgehog called Sonic the Iblis Trigger...so does that mean he will release the devil?
Elise brought a small orb of flame into existence.
Maybe he’s got it wrong. Elise thought. Maybe I’m the Devil Trigger. Maybe it’s this power. Having the power of the devil inside me…
She smiled to herself
I can work with that.
Sonic went from just above the floor to the room’s roof. Team Sonic yelled in surprise as they fell towards the floor. Sonic landed feet first, Tails floated down to the floor and knuckles glided to the nearest wall and climbed down. Sonic looked around: he was in the same room, but it was an absolute wreck. The glass wall had almost completely vanished, and chunks of the wall beyond had gone missing.
“What happened?” Knuckles asked “Where are we?”
“The future,” Tails said “Eggman was right. He’s found a way to travel through time!”
“Let’s hope it was only in the experimental stages,” Sonic replied. Soon, the group heard footsteps approaching from another room.
“Who’s there!?” Knuckles shouted.
“Oh, good, it’s you,” A female voice said from the shadows. Rouge the Bat stepped out of the darkness “I was worried that it would be someone capable of harming me.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Knuckles replied, angrily.
“Calm down, Rouge,” Another voice said: a calm voice with the tone of a whisper. “They’re here to help.”
Shadow the Hedgehog walked out of the corridor and looked straight at Sonic.
“Long time no see, Shadow,” Sonic said, waving. “So did Eggman send you here, too?”
“No,” Shadow replied, “We were sent here by...different means.”
Sonic wanted Shadow to answer, but knew that when the hedgehog didn’t want to talk about something it was probably something from your worst nightmares.
“How long have you been here?” Sonic continued.
“An hour at most. But...there’s something you need to see.”
Shadow got out a Chaos Emerald; the green one, to be exact.
The group vanished in a flash and appeared in a ruined city: skyscrapers toppled over, shadows of monsters dancing in and out of the flames that lit up the city. The cloudy sky was the darkest shade of black Sonic had ever seen.
“This was New City,” Shadow lamented “200 years into the future.”
“My God…” Sonic muttered to himself. He turned round and looked at Shadow “How did this happen?”
“A monster called Iblis destroyed a large chunk of the world,” Rouge said, sounding just as sad as Shadow and Sonic “We don’t know much else.”
“Iblis…” Sonic muttered “The Iblis Trigger...He was right.”
Sonic fell to his knees. Is this what he was going to do to the world? Is this the nightmare that Silver had foretold? Was he really going to do this?
“Please, Sonic,” Tails whispered, putting a hand on his shoulder “This isn’t your fault. It can’t be.”
Sonic looked at Tails sadly, nodded, and got up. He looked at Shadow.
“We need to get back to our own time,” Sonic said “How do we do that?”
“We can fix Eggman’s time machine,” Tails suggested “I’m sure there must be materials for it somewhere. Shadow?”
Shadow nodded, put his hand on Tails’ shoulder and vanished. The group were sitting around for half an hour before Shadow reappeared.
“We have a starting point,” Shadow said. “Rouge, do you have a spare G.U.N communicator? I gave Tails mine.”
Rouge nodded and handed Sonic a communicator wristband which he wrapped around his wrist.
“Alright, people, listen up!” Tails said through the communicator “This machine is pretty banged up, but I can get it working. I need a few materials, though. Firstly, I need a power source of some kind. I’ve located energy signatures in a volcano 30 miles away, but it’s way too dangerous to get there from your current position.”
“Me and Rouge can get those,” Shadow said “Chaos Control will get us there safely.”
“Luckily, the other thing I need is in the city. I need a plasmapheric energy conductor, and I have a reading on one. Sonic and Knuckles, I’ll guide you there.”
“Alright, got it!” Knuckles said.
“How many jumps to the past can we manage?” Sonic asked.
“Two at the most,” Tails replied “If the first one doesn’t reduce the area to ash, the second definitely will. Luckily, you’re the only life signs for miles around.”
“Ok,” Shadow said “Let’s get moving.”
Rouge nodded and put a hand on Shadow’s shoulder and the two vanished in a flash. Sonic and Knuckles nodded to each other as they fell off the side of the building and began their mission.
Sonic & Knuckles turned in mid air and started running down the building. Bellow them was a toppled skyscraper leading off into the rest of the ruined city. Sonic pulled off a rusting piece of metal jutting out of the side of the building they were running down and, as they reached the bottom, jumped on it and used it to surfboard down the toppled building. Knuckles simply leapt off and started gliding alongside him.
“A surfboard?” Knuckle said, surprised “At a time like this?”
“You’re not the first person to have said that to me,” Sonic replied. A dog-like creature made of fire came into existence at the bottom of the burning building, but Sonic flipped the front of the board up and broke it’s head apart, leaving molten lava behind. The hedgehog grinded on a rusted metal rail on the side of the building, but soon 2 birds made of fire appeared above him, spitting out fireballs. Knuckles flew at them, but he leapt back and held back a yelp as his hands were scorched.
“I can't punch this thing with my fists!” Knuckles said in shock.
“Just ignore them and keep going!” Sonic replied. He jumped off the board and threw it at the birds, destroying them all easily. “We can beat these things with weapons. There’s gotta be a lot of scrap metal round here.”
Knuckles nodded as Sonic jumped off the rail and onto the side of another fallen building which ended abruptly, leading onto chunks of road that had been crushed together to form a sort of half pipe, crawling with monsters. Sonic ran round quickly, using his Tornado Attack to throw the monsters up into the air. Knuckles drill dived into the ground, sending up a chunk of concrete that blasted the monsters apart. The two kept moving before reaching a massive circular piece of metal that formed a loop.
“They even have loops here?” Knuckles said in a surprised tone. He landed and started to run alongside Sonic.
“Some things last forever,” Sonic replied. The two ran round the loop, building up speed, before being flung out into an empty area with nothing but the lava below them to break their fall. Knuckles started gliding and winced as Sonic jumped on top of him, giving him enough height to Homing Attack a nearby rail and start grinding it. Knuckles quickly got ahead of Sonic as the rail twisted and turned, and the blue hedgehog had to stay on his toes to dodge the fire bolts from the nearby fire birds. He hit a part of the rail that was rusted and quickly gave way, but Sonic was quick enough to jump over to a nearby building and dashed across it before jumping over to a chunk of broken road, where Knuckles was battling more lava monsters with a metal pipe in each hand. Sonic landed next to him and flipped up another piece of metal with his foot, catching it in his right hand and getting in a swordfighting stance
“You’re good at this Knuckles,” Sonic said as he slashed through one of the firebirds that was trying to dive at him “You ever thought of taking up swordplay?”
“Trust me,” The Echidna replied “This is the only time I haven’t be able to solve a problem with my fists.”
“Suit yourself,” Sonic said. He threw the piece of metal into the air and kicked it at the group Knuckles was fighting, cutting a path through the monsters. The creatures of fire weren’t fast enough to react before Knuckles and Sonic were already out of their reach, jumping between the broken sections of road.
“Tails!” Sonic shouted into the communicator “How close are we?”
“Well, um…” Tails replied.
“That’s a good start.”
“I won’t try to mince my words: it’s now in a tornado.”
Sonic and Kunckles looked up as the building they were running towards had it’s rusted frame pulled apart by a massive tornado.
“So this energy generator…” Sonic said “What does it look like?”
“It’s a metal cube with a glowing purple core, about twice the size of your hand.”
“Cool. Knuckles, throw me into the tornado.”
“SERIOUSLY?” Knuckles replied “You can’t get it from in there!”
“Sure I can. I just have to be fast. You keep an eye on this thing. When I jump out, follow me. If I don’t, you go in.”
“That sure sounds like you,” He replied. He grabbed Sonic’s legs and began spinning him round, building up speed before launching him into the tornado.
“BLAST AWAY!” Sonic shouted, as he landed on a piece of road in the tornado. He searched around quickly for the generator and saw it: it wasn’t hard to find a bright purple object amidst all the grey. He homing attacked the thing, grabbing it with both hands and having just enough momentum to launch himself out of the tornado. He landed on a straight section of road, one of the only ones left in the city seemingly, and started to run.
“Ok,” He said into the communicator “I have good news and bad news.”
“Good news?” Tails replied.
“I’ve got the energy generator.”
Sonic glanced behind him before looking forward again.
“I have to outrun a tornado.”
Sonic ran across the road as the tornado came up behind him. Debris flew at him from all angles, and even with his extreme reflexes he was having trouble dodging them. He slid under a car only to have to sidestep a shipping container.
“Humanity falls but cars survive for 200 years?” Sonic shouted to no one in particular. “The environmentalists must have died of a heart attack before the apocalypse got to them.”
That was all he could say before he was back to dodging everything the city could quite literally throw at him. The tornado was slowly gaining on him, too, and he was feeling it’s pull. He flipped over a piece of scrap metal only to have to throw himself to the side to avoid another of those fire monsters, this time a giant worm of some kind. He managed to recover, but that small slip up had allowed the tornado to get closer. Sonic sighed as he realised the only chance he had would be to use his new found technique.
Sonic closed his eyes for a moment. Then they flickered open and he flew forward with a sudden burst of speed, once again being covered in a blue aura that ripped apart whatever it touched that wasn’t Sonic himself. The hedgehog finally managed to gain ground from the tornado, and soon was pulling away from the vortex.
That’s when the road ended.
Sonic was moving so fast he didn’t notice that he reached the end of the road, giving way to a sheer drop down into a pit of lava. Sonic spun in the air, skydiving towards the few chunks of rock that rose out of the lava. Just as he was about to land, Knuckles flew in, grabbing Sonic and allowing the two to float safely to the ground.
“Thanks for the save,” Sonic said “So, we getting out of here or what?”
The two looked up to see the tornado disperse above them and junk fell into the lava pit, although it was nowhere near the two Mobians. However, before they could move further, they felt the plinths of rock they stood on begin to break and crack. A massive worm-like being made of lava and rock rose up from the lava. It was too far away to damage them, but it seemed intent to. Sonic handed Knuckles the energy conductor.
“Get this to Tails,” He said “I’ll be right behind you.”
Knuckles nodded and flew towards the wall of the pit and started climbing it. The creature glared directly at Sonic.
“Judging by how you’re bigger than the others and you insist on making such an entrance, I’ll bet you’re Iblis,” Sonic said, folding his arms. “So, me releasing you...what’s the deal with that?”
Iblis only glared at Sonic. Then a howling laughter filled Sonic’s mind: the monster was communicating with him telepathically. Sonic winced at the sound, but remained steady.
“So you’re not talking, huh?” He said as he prepared to fight “I guess I’ll just have to beat the answer out of you!”
Elise sat against the cell wall, extremely bored. It had been a few hours since Sonic was flung into the far future, presumably to never be seen again. Eggman had stuck her in a cell to make sure she didn’t try anything funny. She kept an eye on the robot guard outside who had been keeping an eye on her for the past hour. Then it turned around and flew away: Elise assumed it had been given some sort of command from Eggman, maybe a changing of the guard. Now was her chance to get out of here.
She called up her powers and blasted the door off its hinges with a fireball when she was fairly sure the coast was clear. She walked out, looked up and down the corridor, and started to run. She had no idea where she was supposed to go, so she just kept moving through the labyrinth that was Eggman’s base, ducking behind objects when robots flew past.
Why am I doing this? She thought. They’ll find me anyway. I’ve got nowhere to run too. I’m stuck out here. But she knew she had to at least try something. Sonic was gone, and no one else had decided to come and rescue her, so even if escape failed she would lose nothing. She just had to run down the seemingly endless hallways.
Eventually, Elise found a window. Of course, the lab was in the middle of the base, so she’d still have to traverse the frosted wastes in a short skirt while being hunted by a legion of robots, but she was getting somewhere at least. She threw a fireball at the window and jumped out. At this point, alarms started blaring.
“Alert, all units!” Eggman’s shouted through the base’s speakers “The Princess has escaped! Capture her immediately!”
Searchlights searched the early morning darkness for Elise, but she already had a massive head start: she slid down the snowdrifts to the bases walls, quickly blasting her way through them and once again vanishing into the night. She ran until she was sure she was out of Eggman’s reach and too out of breath to run any further before slumping down against a tree. She held a small fireball in her hand, trying to warm herself up. She smiled to herself: no one had come looking for her. She’d outrun Eggman, at least for now.
She wondered why Eggman’s robots hadn’t hunted her down more efficiently: maybe there were preoccupied by something else. Her thoughts drifted to her new powers. She started to wonder what the full extent of her power was, whether she’d ever be as strong as Sonic. She could bust out of Eggman’s base fairly easily, so there had to be more to it than that. Maybe she’d find a way to test it once she returned to civilisation.
She knew the area they were in: she’d gone skiing here once or twice, even though she hated doing it and only did it to be “one of the people”, as her advisors put it. She knew there was a ski resort nearby: maybe she could get back to Castle Town? There must be a train or something that will get her there, and even if there wasn’t she’d invoke her royal status. Maybe then it would be useful for something.
She stood up and kept on walking.