(Part 2)

Before long, the tunnel turned very dark. Despite the impending darkness, though, Tails could still see where he was going, even when he was lying on his back against the water on his inflatable coat. Zooey and Mina simply relaxed as they enjoyed the ride, finding it to be peaceful and very quiet indeed.

Sonic, on the other hand, was hyperventilating with tremendous fear. To him, this felt like entering a world of oblivion. Nothing but water and darkness felt like his worst nightmare come true, and he longed for it to be over.

"Everyone okay?" asked Tails.

"Yes, we're alright, Tails," called Mina, "Just trying to keep scaredy-hog Sonic from causing a scene."

"Okay, good!" Tails called back, "Just make sure he doesn't puncture the coat!"

"Don't worry, he won't!" Mina replied, making sure Sonic stayed in her lap.

The tunnel seemed to almost go on in the dark, with very little light to be seen, and the tunnel entrance now seemingly miles away. However, some sheds of light did eventually come through the dark tunnel, via the rocky tunnel ceiling.

Holes of light shined through like spotlights, making the tunnel seem like a road tunnel, giving the family of four some light to help guide them through the dark water tunnel. It almost felt like being on a dark water ride in an amusement park.

After a little bit of silence, Zooey spoke up to break it.

"Um, it's a good thing we're not claustrophobic. If Sonic was stuck between a rock and a hard place over even a small puddle of water, we'd probably never hear the end of it."

Tails giggled at the little joke his girlfriend made.

"Hehe, good one, sweetie," Tails said, making Zooey giggle.

"Are you suggesting that I have claustrophobia?" accused Sonic, "I have astraphobia! Those are two different things and you very well know it!"

"Sonic, Zooey was just kidding with you," said Mina calmly, "Just calm down, honey. It'll be over soon."

"It'd better be! I can't stand this!" panted Sonic.

Mina just sighed in annoyance to herself and kept a firm grip on her panicking boyfriend. Ever since they stepped foot in this water cave, Sonic had been doing nothing but whimpering and panicking over puddles of water, and he was making a big fuss over having to sit on an inflatable coat made by Tails, as a makeshift boat to travel down a stream of water, heading into a dark tunnel to who knows where.

Trying her best to ignore her boyfriend's moaning, Mina looked around at the tunnel, and felt a little uneasy about something in it.

"How long does this tunnel go on for, Tails?" she asked.

"I'm not sure!" Tails replied back, "It seems to go on for some time! It's not like this tunnel has anything surprising for us!"

But no sooner did Tails say those words, something surprising did happen.

A sudden drop inside the rocky tunnel then caused Tails to float straight down a slide like drop, making the coat raft go faster, and chasing an unsuspecting Tails, Zooey, Mina and Sonic to scream in alarm as they felt a drop down what was apparently a water slide in the cave.

Sonic, though, was the loudest one to scream out of the other three in the group.

Then, as the slide came back down to a flat line ...


... a mighty splash was heard, as it apparently soaked the family of four with water, and it made Sonic shout in agony, feeling the cold water soak his fur and only further agitating him.

"AARGGHHH! I really hate this tunnel!" he shouted.

"Whoo! What a ride!" Tails exclaimed, surprised, "But that, to be honest, was an amazing surprise!"

"I wasn't expecting that to be honest, guys!" said Zooey, "But who would put a water slide inside a cave? And in the dark?"

"If it's my own guess, then I'd say it was the Ancients who made this cave?" suggested Mina, "Although, it couldn't have been them, so I can't really tell who did this. Other than that, it was definitely a big surprise."

"Not to me, it wasn't!" shouted Sonic, although no one bothered to listen to his very whiny complaint.

A little while later, the family of four had finally reached the end of the very long tunnel, and arrived at the end of the water stream at a small beach-like shore. The inflatable coat raft slowed down on the water, with Tails guiding it with his arms to slow down, before eventually coming to a stop on the small beach.

Tails made sure to use his arms to stop himself from digging his forehead into the sand, while Sonic, who was almost looking like a pale ghost after traveling on water for so long, looked quite relieved to finally reach land again.

"Well, here we are, guys!" caled Tails, "We've reached the end of the stream!"

"Oh, finally!" exclaimed Sonic, releasing himself from Mina's arms, standing up from her lap, jumped off the inflatable coat and onto the sandy beach with a spin dash, "I'm finally free from that pool of unforgiving water!"

"For now, at least," Tails muttered to himself, "All right, guys, if you can step off the coat, I can release the air from it."

Nodding, Zooey picked up the picnic basket off her lap, and stepped off the inflatable coat raft and onto the beach, where she placed the basket down on the sand. Mina then stood up and looked down at Tails with a smile of gratitude. It seemed that his creative genius had impressed her greatly.

"Smart thinking with your coat back there, Tails," Mina complimented, before jumping onto the sand, "You're certainly a very creative person."

Tails blushed a little and chuckled, feeling that Mina's compliment was sweet and generous. He then felt Zooey and Mina carefully drag him onto the small beach, before helping him stand up right, much to his surprise but appreciation.

"Hehe, thank you, Mina," said Tails as he reached for another button on his inflatable coat, "I was inspired by an animated TV show called 'Inspector Gadget', which had a cyborg human inspector with gadgets built into him. This coat was one of the many gadgets he wore on the show."

As Mina nodded in understanding, and while Zooey walked off to check on Sonic, Tails pulled the button on his coat, which then released the air from inside the material of the coat, deflating it back to normal and becoming all smooth and flat again. With his arms now back to his sides, Tails smiled as he patted his coat and made sure all the air was out of it.

The two-tailed fox then glanced up at Mina, who giggled and winked at him, smiling at his adorable nature. Tails grinned back in return, as the two friends walked over to see how Sonic was getting on, recovering from his panic attack on the water ride. He was starting to calm down slowly, but they were sure a chili dog would quicken the process.

"Well, apart from that surprise water slide, I think that was a pretty good boat ride," grinned Mina before teasingly asking Sonic, "Did you enjoy that ride, sugar plum?"

Sonic gazed up at Mina with a look that could be clearly seen as that he had not enjoyed that water ride at all. He was just glad to be out of that water.

"Do I even have to tell you the answer to that one?" he said, glaring with such a moody expression.

"Aww, come on, Sonic!" said Zooey, "At least we made it. There could've been a worse thing to happen in that tunnel."

"Yeah, me drowning," Sonic simply replied.

"Oh, stop being so self-centered on yourself, Sonic, and help us set up the picnic for our lunch together," said Tails, "A chili dog will at least cheer you up from your grumpy mood."

"I am NOT grumpy," Sonic hissed, "I'm feeling humiliated."

"All just because we made you come on that water ride, Sonic?" said Mina, feeling a bit annoyed at her boyfriend's negative attitude, "Look, just please stop complaining and set out the blanket for our family picnic."

Mina was actually starting to become a bit upset with her sugar plum for trying to bring down her little cave adventure. His negative attitude towards her didn't seem to help either, and it was trying to bring her down, but she did fight off the negative emotion that came with it.

With a frustrated grunt and without even acknowledging his own family, Sonic moodily helped set out the picnic blanket and other items, as the family of four sat down on the beach to have their lunch, with chili dogs, fruit and other foods they had packed.

Tails and Zooey ignored Sonic's bad mood, though Mina began to grow concerned for her boyfriend. She still had her new guitar slung on her back, although how it managed to stay dry during that water slide in the tunnel was unclear. She did think about playing some calm music on it to help get Sonic in a better mood, although it was clear that he was not in the mood to listen to anything calm right now.

With no words to say to his family, Sonic just quietly munched down on his two chili dogs, but his grumpy look didn't last for long, as he managed to get a quick glance at Mina, who briefly looked at him for a second, before sighing to herself and turning away while setting out her food. It was then that something clicked inside the blue hedgehog.

His bad attitude to his girlfriend was upsetting her.

His moody expression fading away, Sonic began to think about how he had been to his own family, ever since they stepped foot in this cursed cave. A small droplet of water dripped onto his head from above, but he didn't even flinch this time. He couldn't help but think about how much he was bringing Mina down like this.

Sonic knew that he had to stop being this moody hedgehog, and make it up to both Mina and his family. He started to think about something, as he continued to bite into his chili dog.

A little while later after having lunch together, the family of four were now walking further into the rocky water caves, with Mina leading the way, and Sonic walking along from behind, apparently looking deep in thought about seeing the slightly upset look in Mina's eyes. Tails and Zooey were walking in between the two of them, as they clambered over some rocks.

"So, what do you think we'll find in this cave, Mina?" asked Zooey.

"Which is not an exit," added Tails, glancing at Sonic briefly, who didn't seem to be paying attention.

"Well, I hear that there is a legendary cavern full of crystals and gemstones somewhere in these caves, guys," explained Mina as she stepped over a rock, "Apparently, it's a very beautiful cavern and it's very rare, too."

"How rare?" called Sonic.

"Um... v-very rare, r-really," replied Mina, a little hesitant to talk to her boyfriend.

Sonic seemed to notice this, and it caused him to start worrying about the love of his life. Did his negative attitude towards her earlier cause something to hurt Mina's heart?

Before long, Mina noticed a faint light ahead, and she froze in place and stared straight at it with curious wonder in her eyes.

Tails and Zooey noticed this, and stopped.

"What is it, Mina?" asked Zooey.

"I see something ahead," answered Mina.

Then, they all saw it; the faint light that seemed to consist of many colors, about a hundred yards away.

"Come on! Let's get a closer look!" shouted Mina excitedly, and she ran ahead with her three companions following closely.

"It just might be what I think it is!" said Mina.

As they got to the end of the tunnel and into a large cave room, they looked all around and gasped at what they saw. Even when Sonic saw it in his gloomy state, it was immediately replaced by utter amazement.

Dozens of crystals lined the walls of the cave, many of them different colors. They illuminated the room with their many colors and created such a beautiful scene. It looked like a sight for sore eyes. None of them could believe this to be real. It seemed like a dream, but this was no dream. It was all real. It was like a dream come true.

Mina almost teared up from the absolutely beautiful scene as crystals shined and sparkled along the walls. Tails and Zooey were in awe at seeing the wonderful cave full of precious gemstones and crystals, while Sonic was slowly beginning to change his mood from the sight of bright gems. He could see his family was excited at finding this possible treasure, and it started to make him rethink about his earlier attitude towards his family.

After a short awestricken silence, Mina finally spoke, in an excited tone of voice that almost made her sound like a young school girl.

"Oh, my gosh!" she squeaked excitedly, cupping her hands on the sides of her face, "Just look at this beautiful cave! It's absolutely gorgeous!"

"It's like a paradise of crystals in here!" Tails added, feeling as excited as Mina, "How come we didn't know of this cave before?"

"Maybe it's because whoever discovered it before us, didn't want to share it to the world or the village?" suggested Zooey, clasping her hands together as she stared at the crystals, "Either way, we've found the secret treasure!"

"It's very beautiful, I will say," admitted Sonic.

"Well, let's go inside and take a look for ourselves!" said Mina, excitedly dashing into the cave to take a look at the crystals.

Sonic, Tails and Zooey were quick to follow her inside, and no sooner did they step inside, they were greeted by the many crystals that shined on the walls and ceiling of the rocky tunnel. Mina had already gone ahead to look at the crystals deep in the cave.

"Isn't it beautiful in here, Tails?" Zooey asked Tails.

"Yeah, it's wonderful, sweetheart," Tails agreed, before turning to Sonic, "What do you think of this cave, Sonic?"

Sonic, however, didn't answer. He was staring at the many beautiful crystals, and their beauty and priceless looking shapes and sizes just seemed to melt away at his heart. Even when another drop of water from the cave roof dripped onto his head, the blue hedgehog didn't flinch.

The beautiful gems made him think about Mina, and how very unfair he had been to his girlfriend. He sighed to himself as he slowly rubbed a hand over his face, realizing just how selfish he had been for not keeping his promise to his girlfriend to staying calm around water.

"If only there was someway I could make it up to Mina," he murmured to himself, "I've been terrible to her and to my family."

"Sonic?" said Tails, bringing the blue hedgehog back around, "Are you okay?"

"Oh! Um, y-yeah, I'm alright," Sonic replied, before he sped off into the crystal cave, clearly feeling troubled.

As he ran off, Tails gazed at Zooey, who in return just shrugged her shoulders, having no idea what was going on with Sonic. The two foxes followed in after the blue hedgehog, taking in the beautiful crystals and gemstones that were lying around the whole cave tunnel, making a wonderful sight to see.

When they got to some different caves to look through, Zooey and Tails decided to temporarily split off to investigate some of the crystals that were around on the walls. Giving each other a quick kiss, Tails ran off in one direction, while Zooey ran in another.

Mina had gone off alone to look at some magnificently gorgeous red and blue crystals which shone around the cave she was in, making it look very bright and colorful. It warned her heart to see such amazing gemstones being hidden in a cave away from prying eyes, never to be found by anyone until today.

The blue and red colors seemed to remind her of Sonic, since he was blue and wore red shoes. Mina sighed to herself sadly, thinking about how her boyfriend's bad mood was bringing her down, just because she made him sit near water in that tunnel. Tears tried to spill from her eyes, but the mongoose girl fought against them.

Seeing a nearby gemstone which looked like a seat, Mina got her guitar off from her back, and sat herself down on it, holding her guitar in her hands, before giving it a bit of a gentle strum.

"Oh, Sonic," she sighed, strumming her guitar again, "I just wish that you could cheer up and enjoy this adventure. With you looking like a grumpy cat, I can't even seem to talk to you now, and all because of your aquaphobia getting in the way of enjoying this adventure? I wish you could be braver around water."

Looking around the crystals which seemed to resemble the colors of her boyfriend, Mina sighed again as a song idea began to form in her head. She didn't seem to need any words to sing this one, as she started strumming her guitar some more, getting an upbeat melody onto it. Then, she began signing to herself.

While Zooey had went off in her own cave of crystals, Sonic had gone into a cave of his own, which had beautiful crystals and gemstones seen on parts of the ground and hanging on the sides of the rocky cave walls.

The cave was filled with lots of purple, white, grey and lavender crystals, being seen as a magnificent sight that any treasure hunter or explorer would want to take back with them as their prized possessions, or potentially sell them to someone to become a millionaire in their lives.

However, these crystals didn't really make Sonic think about money, because he was not really the millionaire type. He was really thinking about Mina, because the purple and lavender crystals seemed to remind him of his girlfriend's beautiful purple hair, and they reminded him of her bubbly and adventurous personality, not to mention her fame and popularity as a celebrity on Bygone Island.

He had never dated a celebrity before Mina came into his life, and he was so lucky to have a sweet girlfriend like her, who's singing voice was so angelic and lovely that it could lift up anybody's spirits whenever they felt down. The songs she wrote and made, especially the 'Racing Hearts' song, was one of Sonic's favorites from the celebrity mongoose girl.

Looking at the crystals, Sonic sighed a little and thought about a way to make it up to Mina for his bad mood he had given her. Anything that he could get for her would surely make her happy, especially if it was a crystal.

"Oh, Mina," he said to himself, "What can I get for you to tell you how sorry I am for being rude to you? I know these crystals are beautiful, just as you are, but there must be an extra special one to give to you."

No sooner did Sonic say that, a glimmer of light soon caught in his eyes, which made him flinch a bit and rub his eyes, before he glanced up to see where that glimmer came from. When he looked up to the rocky cave wall beside him, he saw something that looked absolutely gorgeous ...

On top of the ledge was a big and shiny purple gemstone that looked bigger than all others. Its purple, glowing appearance easily reminded Sonic of his girlfriend, and the size of it looked huge compared to the rest. It looked perfect in Sonic's eyes as a possible gift for Mina.

"Whoa," he gasped, gazing up at the big gem, "That's a pretty big crystal, and it's a perfect gift to let Mina know how sorry I am to her, ... but ... how can I get it from up there?"

Determined to get that crystal, Sonic attempted to run up the side of the wall with his speed, but the wall's surfaces were so rocky and rough that it caused his footing his slip off consistently, and he ended up falling back down to the ground, where he got some bits of small stones and dirt smudged onto his quills.

When the running up the wall failed, he tried to simply climb the wall, but found that there was no grip on the sides to hold on to, so that made this attention pretty much pointless. Sonic landed back down on the ground with a frustrated grunt, and kicked the wall, which only made him hurt his foot in the process.

"Man, when did cave walls become such an enemy?" he lamented, looking up at the wall, "How can I get that crystal without injuring myself any further?"

Suddenly, he heard echoing footsteps walking into the cave he was standing in, which made him turn around and get into a defensive position, ready to fight a possible enemy. However, as the walking came closer, the figure approaching soon turned out to be none other than Tails.

"Ahh, there you are, Sonic!" he said, still wearing his coat, "I was wondering where you had gotten to! What are you doing down here?"

Sonic, not answering that question right away as he got out of his defensive position, glanced back up at the big purple crystal, before turning back to Tails.

"Um, Tails? A little help here, please?" he called to his brother, gesturing him with his hand.

Tails, knowing that Sonic's tone has changed following the picnic earlier, curiously headed over to see what was on his big brother's mind.

"What is it, Sonic?" he asked before chuckling with a tease, "I'm not quite sure you'll be needing my help from that grumpy attitude earlier."

Sonic glared at his brother for that teasing comment. While Tails may have most likely forgiven him, it wasn't really necessary to get a little tease from him, just because the crystals in the cave were cheering him up, and making him feel guilty for his attitude.

"Very funny, Tails," Sonic remarked sarcastically, before he looked back up at the big, purple crystal on the ledge, "Could you help me grab that purple crystal up there, please?"

The two-tailed fox looked up at where Sonic was pointing, and he, too, saw the purple crystal sitting on the top edge of the cave wall. It looked big, shiny and purple, almost like a priceless gem that belonged in a museum.

"What are you planning on doing with it?" he asked curiously, "I will say that's a pretty big gemstone you want to get from up there."

"You'll see," winked Sonic, "Now, let's go and get it!"

Tails then looked up at the high rock face, and he looked unsure about the height. The fact that this purple gemstone was sitting on the very top of the wall, looked almost impossible to reach. The wall felt big, and both the fox and hedgehog looked almost small compared to it.

"Gee, I'm not sure, bro," said Tails skeptically, "I could try lifting you with my tails, but I can only get so high carrying you. Not only that, but the combined weight of you and that big gem could cause me to fall down fast and hit the ground."

"Uh, ... how about that coat of yours?" suggested Sonic.

"Oh, what was I thinking?!" said Tails, slapping his own face, before chuckling, "How could I have forgotten! This inflatable coat could let me reach higher ground without even having to use my tails! I won't have to feel so tried then!"

"That's just what I was thinking," smirked Sonic, "And you're meant to be the genius of Team Sonic."

"Heh, very funny, Sonic," remarked Tails, rolling his eyes.

"Look, could you try getting me up there, please?" asked Sonic.

"Well, it's worth a shot," replied Tails, before grabbing him by the waist, "Here we go again."

Tails then pulled the button on his coat once again, activating the inflatable coat's ability just like earlier. Slowly, the coat inflated once again with the arms and material becoming like a soft cushion, as it carried the two brothers up to the height of the crystals.

Sonic was not interested in the inflatable coat earlier on when it was the group's raft through the water stream tunnel, but once Tails started using the coat again to fly, the blue hedgehog was starting to become impressed by the coat's soft, floating ability, as well as Tails' creative ideas.

Once they reached the top of the high ledge where the big crystal was sitting atop at, Sonic eagerly began pulling on the purple crystal to get it out. It took him several tries before he was finally able to lodge it out of the wall.

"Got it!" he said, and both his and the crystal's combined weight began to pull Tails back down, allowing the inflatable coat to gently float back down slowly.

"So, what do ya think of my coat now, Sonic?" chuckled Tails.

"You've really outdone yourself this time, bro!" commented Sonic, "I think you should use this handy gadget more regularly in the team!"

"Hehe, I'm glad you like it!" smiled Tails, "I really like the coat myself! I think it rather suits me really well!"

Just as the two brothers came down gently on the stone cave ground, Tails once again pulled the button on his coat to deflate it back to normal, before the fox let Sonic back onto the ground.

"You are one smart little brother, Tails," Sonic said with a grin, "Thanks for helping me out."

"You're welcome, big bro," Tails replied with a cute smile on his face.

The blue hedgehog chucked heartily, and gave the fox a brief hug before running off to find Mina. Tails simply smiled at him as he left the cave, before taking off his inflatable coat and putting it over his shoulder, as he walked off the way he came in to find Zooey.

Mina was still strumming on her guitar and singing to herself about the crystals that were surrounding her in the cave she sat in. Her guitar rifts echoed around the cave and her singing voice sounded angelic and magnificent that anyone would mistake the water caves as singing caves.

Her new song that she was singing without any songwriting paper sounded perfect and had rhythm to it. If anyone could perform such a song with energy and enthusiasm, then it was Mina Mongoose, celebrity star of Bygone Island, and the second fastest thing alive, next to Sonic the Hedgehog, of course.

Sonic quietly appeared in the cave his girlfriend was in, having overheard her amazing guitar rifts and her wonderful singing voice, as he carried the big purple crystal in his hands, intending to give it to her.

Sonic knew Mina was a great singing sensation in Hedgehog Village, and her voice and guitar rifts were what made her popular in the town, as well as kind and caring to those around her. Listening to his girlfriend's song made the hedgehog happy in his heart.

Taking a quick sigh, Sonic stepped inside and approached his girlfriend with the big crystal in his hands.

"Mina?" he called gently as he walked in.

Mina heard her name being called just as she finished playing the final rift on her guitar, although she already knew just who was calling her, judging by the teenage sounding voice. Sighing, she slung her guitar around her back, and turned to gaze up at her sugar plum, but before she could say anything, she gasped in stunned shock, her eyes beginning to sparkle from what her boyfriend was holding in his hands.

The mongoose girl saw that Sonic was holding a big and beautiful purple crystal in his hands, that matched the color of her hair, and it shined almost as brightly as the moon. Sonic could see Mina was shocked by the crystal he was showing to her, and he hoped that this would be enough for her to forgive him for his bad attitude.

"I found this big purple crystal, and I thought it looked just as beautiful as you are, Mina," Sonic explained as he walked over to Mina, carefully carrying the big crystal in his hands, "I thought perhaps I'd give this to you to show how very sorry I am for being negative to you on this adventure."

Mina couldn't even utter any words at all. She was so mesmerized by the beautiful crystal. It shined so beautifully, and even she could see herself through its reflections. She glanced up at Sonic and saw how sorry he was to her. A tear of happiness almost trickled down her cheek as a smile began to slowly form on her face.

"I'm very sorry for being such an idiot to you, Mina," said Sonic, "I hope that you can forgive me for it, and accept this beautiful crystal, as a symbol for our love. You're the most wonderful girl on the whole of Bygone Island, and I couldn't love anyone else but you only."

Hearing those words, Mina almost burst into happy tears, and she grabbed Sonic by the front of his neck chief and gave him a very special kiss on the lips, which caught the blue hedgehog off guard, but he was quick to return the kiss.

After a moment, Mina broke off the kiss and looked at him with happy eyes, while wiping off her tears of joy.

"Sonic, I forgive you with all of the love within my heart," she said, smiling in appreciation at Sonic, "This beautiful crystal is just enough for me to forgive you for all that has happened today on this adventure."

"I'm glad you love this crystal, Mina," said Sonic, smiling in appreciation that he was forgiven by the love of his life, "I won't be negative to you again, and I will most definitely not break anymore promises to you."

"That's all I can ever ask from you, Sonic," said Mina as she kissed the hedgehog's cheek, "I love you, sugar plum."

"Hehe. I love you too, Mina," replid Sonic, returning the kiss on his girlfriend's forehead, "Now, let's find Zooey and Tails, and go home with the treasure we found."

Nodding, Mina took hold of Sonic's hand, and the two made their way out of the cave to find their two companions.

Sonic and Mina had found Tails and Zooey, who had managed to get the empty picnic basket loaded with lots of crystals and gemstones, varying in different colors and shapes. After a little reunion together, they decided to find a way out of the water caves, so they took a nearby tunnel route and went to investigate it.

The tunnel seemed to stretch on for a while, a little longer than the water tunnel from earlier. There was very little light, and there wasn't a single intersection to be found. It seemed that they could be coming to a dead end, or the tunnel probably stretched on for miles.

"It's dark in here, guys," said Zooey.

"I can barely see anything in here, either," agreed Mina.

"You need some light, girls?" said Tails, "Don't worry, I have the solution."

A second later, with the push of a button, Tails had his tool belt, goggles and shoes light up with yellow light like an illumination, brightening up the tunnel. Sonic's neck chief, sports tape and shoes were also lit up, glowing blue. This was of course, Team Sonic's usefully bright Luminous Suits, and the bright lights greatly helped Mina and Zooey see better in the dark.

"Any better?" chuckled Tails.

"Much, thank you, Tails," said Mina, "And you too, Sonic."

"No problem," Sonic said with a thumbs up, "Now, we can look where we are ..."


Suddenly, before he could finish his sentence, Sonic heard himself stepping in something ...

He looked down, and he saw what looked like ... water.

"N-n-no!" he stammered as the horror dawned on him again.

"What is it now? More water?" chuckled Tails teasingly.

"Oh, please not more water! Oh, please no!" panted Sonic.

When they looked ahead, they saw another stream of water flooding the cave floor. The hedgehog panicked and took a few steps backwards before Mina grabbed him to prevent his escape. She knew Sonic was quick to break promises to her, but this time, she was making sure that he didn't try anything funny again.

Just from looking at the water stream, it was clear that the family would have to once again travel along it in order to find a possible way out, and not another beach.

"I guess we'll have to use your coat again, Tails," said Zooey.

"I don't think that will be necessary," Tails answered in reply, "My coat wont be required for this ride."

"And just what makes you say that!?" asked Sonic frantically.

Tails' reply was pointing over to what looked like a rubber raft with two oars accompanying it. It looked big enough for the four of them, including the big purple crystal and the basket full of smaller crystals.

"There's a raft over here," Tails pointed out, "It looks like it's big enough for all four of us. Let's see if it still floats."

Hearing that last word brought more chills to Sonic's spine. He breathed quickly and desperately tried to pull his way out, but Mina refused to let him go. He closed his eyes and begged for it all to be over, but when he opened them again, he knew that it was once again a true nightmare.

Tails brought the raft into the water and waited a few moments. The raft stayed afloat, and he gave the thumbs up to his three companions.

"The raft's good!" he said, "Let's get outta here!"

"Yeah! Let's!" agreed Sonic hastily.

"Calm down, Sonic," said Mina, "You really need to take swimming lessons."

The mongoose chuckled to herself as she noticed her boyfriend glaring at her like she had just made a very bad joke to tease him.

The four all got on the raft, and Tails grabbed two nearby oars and began rowing their way down the stream. Sonic panted as sweat ran down his face. He desperately hoped this would all be over soon, but with Mina keeping a firm grip on his arm, he knew that escaping was not an option.

While Sonic was forced to hold the heavy picnic basket full of crystals, Zooey took great care of holding the big purple crystal in her hands and lap.

The journey through the second tunnel of water was a bit longer than the first one, but the speed of the raft was a bit faster than when the group were sitting on Tails' inflatable coat.

After a little while, Tails looked ahead and saw what could only be light. It wasn't just light, though. It looked like more than just a light bulb in a faintly-lit bedroom ...

"Guys, ... I ... think we may have found our way out," Tails said a little cautiously.

"Really?" gasped Sonic.

"I see light ahead," said Zooey as Tails rowed a little faster to speed up the raft.

The light slowly grew bigger, and before long the fox was able to make it out as sunlight.

"It's sunlight!" shouted Tails, "We're almost out of here!"

"Alright!" cheered Zooey.

"Finally!" said Sonic.

"Just keep it steady, Tails!" said Mina, "We don't want to capsize this raft!"

"Please don't say that, now," muttered Sonic nervously.

Tails steadily rowed the raft until all he could see was the light. The stream traveled uphill just a little, but that didn't stop them from making their way out of the hole. They looked around and suddenly found themselves back in the jungle, surrounded by trees and sunlight.

The family of four reached the end of the cave stream, and the raft came to a stop. Mina finally let her grip on Sonic's arm go, and he was the first one to spin-jump his way out of the living nightmare he had to endure ... twice.

"YES!" screamed Sonic joyfully as he jumped out, "It's finally over!"

"Whew!" panted Tails tiredly, as he set the oars aside, "I think I've had enough rowing for one day. It can really make your arms ache."

"That was some adventure, wouldn't you say?" commented Mina, grinning happily, "Apart from the negative reception from a certain scaredy-hog, I absolutely loved this misadventure in the water caves!"

"We should do that again sometime!" remarked Zooey, which soon earned her a look from Sonic that said 'Never again'.

He really didn't want to do this again. EVER.

Tails stopped the raft midway down the creek, and they all got out and stepped onto jungle ground for the first time in what seemed like hours, very relieved to finally be out of that cave. Tails switched off his and Sonic's Luminous Suits.

"Say, Tails, those Luminous Suits you and Sonic have look pretty cool," Mina complimented with a grin, "Do you think you could make some for us sometime?"

"Maybe," shrugged Tails, "We'll just have to wait and see."

As they gathered up their things from their adventure, which included the picnic basket loaded with diamonds, crystals and gemstones, along with Mina's very special big purple diamond gemstone that Sonic gave to her, the family of four left the water caves behind them and they walked off home together, feeling glad that the adventure was now over and done with.

"So, what was that new song about, Mina?" Tails asked curiously as they walked through the jungle.

"You'll be surprised, Tails," replied Mina, smiling, "Once I get the lyrics written on paper tomorrow, I think you'll be very pleased to read them over."

"Do you think our friends in town will be very surprised by what we collected from the caves?" Zooey asked with a smile, glancing at the heavy picnic basket.

"Possibly," yawned Sonic, "But we'll talk about that later. I just wanna get home and take a nap."

"Well, at least we've had an adventure that we will never forget," said Mina.

"Sonic will most likely want to forget about this one," teased Tails, which earned him a glare from Sonic.

With their gemstones and crystals, they disappeared into the jungle with memories of this cave adventure to be remembered for quite a long time.

Well, perhaps not for Sonic, anyways.

Whew! Finally, we finished this nightmare of an episode!

This has been an incredibly difficult episode for us to write, because we have been struggling to get this finished for weeks, and we tried many different ideas for this one. So, in the future, we will be doing more easier family-based episodes revolving around the family of four.

This had become very complicated to write. In fact, so much that grimlock is considering this his least favorite episode so far. Add to that, I'm still working on my "Secret Love" rewrite, and that greatly slowed us down on this.

You might have guessed by now, but grimlock is an avid fan of "Inspector Gadget," and the inflatable coat was some fun idea he came up with. We may possibly use it again in the future.

Episode 7 will hopefully be much easier and simpler, and it won't be as long or difficult to write as this one has been, but we will take our time.

We hope you enjoyed it regardless, and we'll see you next time.