Disclaimer- I don't own Sonic and co. If I did…well, some characters may or may not be sent to their graves. (insert evil laughter here)
A/N: Hey guys! Welcome back to this ongoing rollercoaster! Put your seatbelts back on because trust me, this ride isn't over yet! This story is going to pick up from where it left off…quite literally XD So if you're new here, I highly suggest reading the prequel Alternate Reality first so you won't be confused for 99.999% of the fic.
Warnings: Throughout the story, there's gonna be cursing from a certain hedgehog and some good ole violence, but most of y'all already know that ;)
Enough of my rambling, go on and enjoy!
Chapter 1- Prologue
"S-Seriously?" A stuttering voice asked, choking on mirth-filled chuckles, "You called him Faker, and he called you a-" Boisterous laughter echoed around the small room, drowning out the constant high-pitched beeping, "And then that fight! You would've lost if it wasn't for Silver! Oh man I wish I was-"
"Wha-? Aw come on! You gotta tell me the rest!"
"I'm not obligated to do anything."
"But why? I'm sure Rouge laughed when you told her!"
"One, she didn't interrupt me, and two, I'm more tolerant of her than you."
Emerald eyes rolled, "Yeah sure," a smug smirk grew on a tanned muzzle, "You just don't want to share about the other times you've lost to me."
Blazing red irises narrowed as a low growl emitted beneath a white furred chest, "Goodbye, Faker."
Sonic's grinning face greatly contrasted Shadow's scowling expression. The blue speedster shrugged, "It's fine if you wanna keep it to yourself," he hopped off of a cream-colored chair and stretched his back, hearing a couple pops. Sonic then turned his attention to the window showing a busy Station Square, cradling his chin with his hand and raising a brow, "I'm sure Rouge would be more than happy to fill me in with the rest."
"Don't bother her."
The azure hero returned his gaze to his agitated rival, trying to ignore the white bandages around the darker one's head. Sonic remembered when the doctors first wrapped them around Shadow, the workers at the hospital not being able to throw the blue hero and Rouge out of the surgery room. He also remembered being notified that the other's chances weren't good. Sonic never wanted to feel that amount of anxiety in his life again.
The speedster shook away those memories. No point in thinking about them now. Sonic waved off his rival, "I won't…right now, anyway," he snickered at the poisonous glare sent his way. Sonic took a few steps toward the hospital room door, the soles of his shoes tapping against the white tile floor. He grasped the handle and glanced back over his shoulder with a lopsided smile, "But I'll leave, since being in someone else's company seems to give you hives," Sonic gave a short wave as he slid the door open, "Rest up Shads! And pick up your shattered pride while you're at it."
Sonic heard the exasperated sigh even after he closed the door behind himself.
He let out a single chuckle as he scanned up and down the hallway he was in. No one was traversing the floor from what he could see, so, not giving up the opportunity, Sonic sped to where the stairs were, almost running straight into an empty gurney when he turned the corner. His speed didn't decrease when he found his exit and practically flew down the three flights.
However, Sonic then aired on the side of caution when he got down to the first floor. It was the busiest one, and he didn't want to be responsible for any tragic accidents. The sound of his footsteps quieted and slowed as he walked out into the open, silently observing the occupants of the hospital, both working and not.
Sonic took a half-step back when a team of nurses wheeled a critical looking guy past him. It seemed like a car crash victim, with scrapes, cuts, and bruises everywhere. When they passed, the hedgehog grabbed the attention of a worried woman trailing after them.
"Hey," he calmly called to her. She paused and Sonic saw tears in her eyes. The hedgehog put a hand on her arm, giving her a soft smile, "Don't worry. He's gonna make it, okay?" Those words felt familiar on his tongue, and he knew why. He had told Rouge this numerous times while she was a trembling mess the day of the incident. He was sure he was trying to reassure himself as well.
Sonic saw how his words affected her, draining most of the tension away. The woman gave a shaky smile back, "Th-Thank you," she managed to get out before following the hurt patient once more.
The blue speedster took in a deep breath and let it out, continuing his way toward the front door of the building. He passed by the reception area, and waved at the kids who saw him, momentarily brightening up their stay. Sonic loved that he had that effect on people. He caused smiles and laughter. When people noticed him, he saw hope and joy in their eyes. Being a hero was risky at times, but Sonic wouldn't have it any other way.
As soon as the hedgehog felt the sunlight on his face outside, the gentle breeze carried all of his concerns away. Shadow was fine. He was alright. He was alive. Now Sonic could run without thinking about anything or anyone. He could just go. And he did.
Sonic sped down the sidewalks of Station Square, carefulto not go so fast to interrupt the daily commute of pedestrians. He swerved between groups of people, more than ready to get to the city's limits and just let loose.
When he was clear of any buildings, cars, and citizens, the speedster went into overdrive, a sonic boom signifying his departure. Sonic just ran, not knowing where he was going or how long it was going to take to get there. The thought of Tails worrying where he was showed its head for a quick second, but Sonic immediately disregarded it. The kit was busy fixing up the Tornado, so he wouldn't think that Sonic was out for too long until tomorrow. An excited shout escaping his throat, the hero tore across the landscape, racing the wind. The constant drumming of his feet against the ground was somewhat soothing to him.
Sonic whooped when he sprinted down a hill, gaining speed and feeling the cool wind whipping across his face. Two blue ears then twitched when they heard a distant horn of a train. He held his hand over his eyes to shield them from the sun as he looked around, slowing his decent slightly as he searched. The hero grinned when he spotted the locomotive in the distance, dark smoke rising up out of it. Sonic changed his path and made a hard right, determined to catch up with the train.
It was a cargo train, he noticed as he got closer. It wasn't long before Sonic was running alongside of one of many large containers traveling the metal track. He glanced up at it and stiffed a laugh when he saw the graffiti on the side. It was the iconic symbol of his head, colored a solid blue.
"Usually breaking the law doesn't sit right with me," he muttered to himself with a snigger, "but I don't mind this time." Muscles tensing, Sonic grunted as he jumped high into the air before grasping the corner of the moving rectangular box. He easily pulled himself up and made himself comfortable on top of the slightly bumpy container. He sighed as he crossed his legs and leaned back on his hands, enjoying the view of the plains he was passing through.
Sonic sat for a handful of minutes, observant eyes taking in anything and everything. The fluffy clouds floating by, the swaying grasses down below, the various animals peacefully grazing, the flock of birds flying overhead, the white glowing ball in the sky…
Sonic blinked before sitting up straighter, seeing that the white light was gone, but now falling figures replaced it. The hedgehog's reaction was instant when he realized that the figures were actually tumbling bodies. He recklessly jumped off the moving train, landing on his hands and feet to reduce the chance of injury. He then tore up the grass when he took off. His gaze was focused on nothing but his targets, which were hard to make out because of the sun behind the bodies.
He was running toward them, but what was he going to do? He couldn't catch but one of them if he remained on the ground. Sonic gritted his teeth as he pushed harder. They weren't falling for long. They weren't that high up…What was he thinking? Someone could break a leg if they fell on it the wrong way! Who knows what would happen if they hit the ground from where they appeared in the sky!
Sonic bit his lip as he got closer. He couldn't let them hit the ground…not at the speed they were currently freefalling. A plan forming in his head, the hedgehog ran for a few more seconds before jumping high and wrapping each arm around each waist. His breath was then knocked out of him when something bumped against his chest. Still in the air, Sonic glanced down only for his lungs to fail him.
Against him was a dead Chao.
The hedgehog, caught severely off-guard, forgot what position he was in and promptly crash landed, flipping head-over-heels and getting a mouthful of dirt. Sonic, having let go of the bodies when he made contact with the unforgiving ground, quickly peeled his face from the dirt to regain his bearings. When he did, he whipped his head around, his brain and body and soul freezing at what he saw.
His eyes weren't tricking him in the air, there was indeed a dead Chao. But now…But now Sonic could recognize it as Cheese. And the two the hero had held could now be identified as Vanilla and Cream…both unmoving like the Chao.
Heartrate raising and thumping hard against his chest, Sonic slowly crawled over to the youngest bunny, picking her up in his trembling peach arms. He didn't care that he was getting blood on him; all he cared about was that she was cold.
It felt like Sonic's world was crashing down around him. He stared at her closed eyelids, mouth opening and closing in shock, "C-Cream?" he eventually managed to get out, waiting for the other to wake up and answer him. She couldn't be dead…she couldn't… "Cream?!" Sonic rose his voice a bit, ignoring the bullet wounds in the bunny's head that were still leaking, "Oh Chaos," the hero choked out, holding the child closer to him, "Who did this to you…?"
Damp emeralds slowly focused on Vanilla and Cheese, seeing that they had died in the same horrid way. He stared at the mother longer, wondering why she had on a GUN suit, but that was quickly pushed to the back of his mind. He was trying to figure out who would murder this trio of Mobians who never wished any harm on anyone. They were the most innocent people Sonic knew and…and they didn't deserve this!
Sonic's first answer was Eggman, but he just couldn't fathom the doctor stooping so low to kill someone who would never even pose a threat. Sure, Cream had went on adventures with him and the gang occasionally, but she mostly stuck by Amy's side and hadn't done anything to cause this fate. Or maybe…Eggman did it to get to him? To lure him in, knowing that he would show up to get payback? There was a lot of things Sonic didn't know, and he couldn't think straight right now. He needed another brain. Sonic needed Tails. He knew the cub would be as shaken up as he was, but…Tails could think things through better than he could.
Sonic swiftly dug into his quills and grabbed his communicator.
Tails hissed under his breath when he hit his head on the underside of the Tornado, reacting to a rather startling static sound coming from his left. The yellow kit rubbed the throbbing spot, smearing oil there in the process, before shifting to the side and standing up. Ocean blue eyes searched the junky – he wouldn't call it that, but others would – garage/laboratory before zeroing in on his communicator sitting on his workbench propped against the wall.
Berating himself for being scared like that knowing there was going to be a bruise on his head in a minute, Tails abandoned his touch-up job for a moment and jogged over to the bench, putting his wrench and screwdriver down on top of it.
"I wonder what Sonic wants…" the kit thought aloud as he picked the device up, "He doesn't usually contact me unless something's up," Tails suddenly had a sinking feeling in his stomach. Sonic was supposed to be visiting Shadow, right? Rouge had said that he was awake (the cub wanted to go, but the bat told him she didn't want too many people in the hospital room), so why was his big bro calling him? Did something happen to Shadow?
Anxious to know, he pressed the button on the side and held the communicator up to his mouth, "Sonic?"
The fox was right to be concerned. His brother was upset, very upset. Tails swallowed thickly and responded, "Sonic? What's going on? Are you okay?" Is Shadow alright?
"Y-Yeah…I'm fine. But…" There was a long pause and Tails did nothing but wait, biting the side of his cheek, "It's Cream…"
Cream? Tails wasn't expecting that. He was so shocked that all of his nervousness was momentarily forgotten. Why is he calling about…wait a second. Sonic's voice, it sounded like he was crying. And Sonic…Sonic never cried. Worry washed back over the vulpine and Tails had to keep himself from dropping the device in his quivering hand.
"W-What about Cream?"
"She…She isn't…" He heard the other take a deep breath, "I found her Tails, with Vanilla and Cheese. They all fell from the sky and-"
"Fell from the sky?" Tails really didn't like the sound of that. He leaned more on the workbench in front of him, "What…What do you mean?"
"They appeared in the middle of a white light or somethin', I don't know, but they started to fall and I caught them before they hit the ground… Tails."
The fox hated the way Sonic said his name. His breath began to quicken, "Yeah?"
"…Lil bro, I'm sorry. They're…They're all…"
Tails didn't want to hear anymore. He knew what was coming next. The kit sank to the floor, wrapping his namesakes around himself. He clutched the communicator in his hand so hard that his fingers hurt. Sapphire irises stared unblinkingly forward, wetness staining his cheeks. He heard Sonic say it, that they were dead, that someone shot them, but he didn't – couldn't respond. Cream was…She was his close friend. Maybe even closer than Amy was to him… And she was gone? Just like that? Why would someone hurt her? Or any of her family? Cheese! What was the point of killing…a Chao…?
He let out a hard sob, and there was nothing but silence coming from the device. I had talked to her earlier this morning…
The kit was left alone for a moment before he heard Sonic's voice again, "Tails I…know this is hard, but I need you."
The fox blinked away some of the tears, sniffing, "N-N-N…" he swallowed another sob threatening to come up, "Need m-me?"
"I don't know what to do Tails," if he didn't think that it wasn't serious by this point, he would now. Sonic always knew what to do. It didn't matter if he thought of a plan or was thinking on his feet, he could find heads or tails of any situation. "I'm too far away from the city and-"
Tails jumped out of his skin when a shrill ringing impinged his ears. The half shout/half cry stunned Sonic on the other side. "Tails? What's going on?"
"N-Nothing," the kit was slowly and steadily bringing his pulse down. He stood up on wobbly legs and trudged over to the phone hanging on the wall, namesakes dragging on the ground behind him, "It's just the phone…" Tails figured that he would answer it so his brain could recuperate and function beyond making the fox hyperventilate. "I'm gonna answer it," he grabbed the phone with his unoccupied hand, the communicator in his other being lowered a bit, "H-Hello?"
"Tails! I'm so thankful that you answ – sweetie? Are you alright?"
The yellow vulpine nodded against the phone as he futilely wiped his face. He then remembered that the other couldn't see him, "Y-Yes Ms. Vanilla, I'm fi-" Tails' whole system went stock-still. He glanced down to the communicator in his hand. His finger was still pressing the button and Tails could feel the surprise coming from Sonic. He held it up so the hedgehog could hear the conversation clearly.
"I'm fine," the kit finished his sentence. His voice was calm, but on the inside, he was freaking out. How? What? Who am I talking to? Who is Sonic looking at? "Um…" he used his arm to wipe under his nose before sniffing, "Do need something? Is Cream okay?" This is crazy! Tails was trying to think of an explanation, but his mind was blank.
"Oh yes Cream is alright, but I need a favor of you. Are you able to come over right now sweetie?"
Tails furrowed his brow, "Yes I could, why?"
"Because one of your friends, Espio, needs to desperately get to the hospital. I would have called an ambulance, but I knew that you would be able to get over here quicker."
"Espio?" Tails couldn't remember the last time he'd seen the guy. A few months ago maybe? What have the Chaotix gotten into that Espio needed to go to the hospital? "Uh…What's wrong with him? Are Vector and Charmy there too?"
"I don't know where his friends are but, oh Tails…he's so hurt. There's blood all over him. It's all coming from the cuts and…his eye needs to be taken care of before it gets infected…"
"That sounds critical…" the kit furrowed his brow, wanting to be concerned but he wasn't sure yet. The gears in his brain were turning now. The Vanilla he was speaking to could easily be an imposter and going over there could be a trap. Or, the trio Sonic was with could be pawns of a trap as well.
Tails held the phone away from him, "Sonic-"
"Tails, you're not going over there."
"But what if Espio's really hurt? And that…that you're with the phonies?" Tails was hoping that the former question was true. Not that he wanted the chameleon hurt, it was that he wanted Cream and Vanilla alive.
"I think I know a robot from a real person Tails."
"Eggman could've made them look real, somehow…" the kit whispered to his best friend, setting his resolve, "I have to go Sonic; Espio could be in real trouble." And Cream would be waiting for me, breathing.
Tails let go of the button and put the phone back against his ear, "-ails?"
"Sorry Ms. Vanilla, I had to step away from the phone for a minute. I'll be there, don't worry!"
"Thank goodness! Please hurry!" The line went dead.
The kit hung the phone up and sighed, running a hand down his face. I mean, she sounded sincere enough. She acted like she usually does, caring on top of caring. Nodding to himself, Tails jogged over to the workbench, grabbed his screwdriver, and hovered over to the plane. He flipped back up the flap guarding its inner workings and screwed the screws in place.
He threw the tool away before hopping up into the Tornado, starting it up and opening the garage simultaneously. The yellow Mobian then brought the communicator back up to his mouth, pressing the button, "I'm going over there Sonic. Stay where you are until I drop Espio off and find you. Then we can solve this mystery!"
There was silence on the other end and Tails was scared that the other wasn't going to answer, that it was a trap Sonic had run into, but then his brother's familiar voice rang out, "…Look at you, growin' up on me!" Tails' lips twitched, "Go, but just be careful, alright?"
"Got it Sonic! And you be careful too, Eggman can be up to anything."
"Have you met me?" Tails rolled his eyes, "And remember that you have weapons in that plane of yours. If you need to blow somethin' up, blow somethin' up."
The fox managed to laugh as he took off, The wise words of Sonic the hedgehog.
We're hitting the ground running! Hope that you guys liked it!
Next chapter…The appearance of the chameleon we all love to hate.