It was sunset and the sky was filled with the majestic colors of gold, orange and pink. Just over the tip of the horizon, long, glowing, luminescent rays of the days last stokes of sunlight could be seen brushing out from the golden orb, starting from an bright, solid amber and slowly fading away into the night as the distance increased. Truly the scene was one to which thousands of people would journey hundreds of miles just to get a glance at it. It reflected what one would call 'the mirror of paradise.'
However, the view was obscured by a large sandstorm. Flowing pieces of sand, each given the look of a garnet thanks to the diminishing sun, were hurtling around the desert, giving an eerie feeling of a sandy tornado. Althought it would seem like a sandstorm, it was slightly different. The relatively large storm had very clear edges. The storm's pieces would be churning about in one place, and then, no further than an inch, would the air be clear once again.
The cause of the storm, although it could be thought of as natural, was clearly created by a force. Two foggy shodows could be seen through the countless billions of rock particles.
"Give me the chaos emerald!" A blue being yelled through the churning waves of sand, clearly talking to the being near him.
"Stay away, bearer of impure chaos." A deep voice rumbled. "We have aided you, only when we have seen fit. Now is not the time of us to help you gain power. Be gone."
Sonic's eyes glowed and crackled, power obsession clear. He would not be denied something by a pathetic voice. He was far superior than anything or anyone else, and it was his right to own the powerful jewels.
He channeled a wave of energy through his body, making him glow an eerie blue. He thrust his hands forward and called,
"Sonic wind!" A blizzard of blue winds barreled forward toward the outline of the shadowy figure, but his winds did not go far before a curtain sand flung itself up in front of the figure, taking its damage instead.
"We know who you are, Sonic the Hedgehog," the voice said. It was a deep voice, but not deep enough to be male. The being was clearly a female. "We also know what has become of you now. You are demented, unworthy of ever possessing one of the seven servers. Try to obtain us in our element, you shall fail. Take us by force, destruction shall reign. Remember this, possessed being."
"Destruction huh?" the azure hero asked. "Heh, you just convinced me to take the emeralds all over again. Now where is it?!"
He took a step forward, and that did it. The desert sands started whistling with new-found ferocity. Sonic halted in his steps and clamped his eyes shut and covered his face with his arms, cowering from the sea of miniature rocks. The sand formed waves, creating sharp, lethal looking forms, heading for the cringing hedgehog. They swiped at him profusely creating small cuts and scratches beneath his ruffled-up fur.
Sonic gave a mighty roar and flung his hands out blindly, keeping his eyes tightly shut, trying to swat away the powerful, small bullets. But the sands were ceaseless. He quickly rolled into a ball and started spinning away, but he hadn't gone far when he felt a dropping sensation in his gut; the sensation of falling.
He quickly snapped open his eyes and flung out his arms, and felt contact with hard ground. Glancing down, he saw a large, never-ending black void just under him. He clung on tighter to the ledge, then started to heave himself up. Once he was out, he sprung to his feet, anger swirling in his eyes. Suddenly, he felt a presence behind him and swiveled around.
The shadowy figure had emerged so that he could see her clearly. She was in the form of what looked like a tall, sandy brown desert fox. She looked like an Egyptian queen. Long, white robes ran down her slim figure. A large, heavy-looking gold necklace hung around her neck. Her long, almond shaped eyes were lightly lined with black. A curtain of silky ebony hair ran down to her shoulders, her shorter bangs running till they just brushed her eyebrows. Elegantly positioned on her head was a golden tiara. In her hand, she held a scepter with a yellow, perfectly smooth, spherical, amber-like gemstone shining on the top.
"Foolish mortal," she said impassively with her same cool voice. "I warned you, had I not, that to involve yourself with the elements will be fatal. It was of your decision that you disobeyed my warning, and now, you will meet your end."
With a swing of her staff, a strong rain of sand charged at Sonic, hitting him like a blade would swipe through water. The blue speed demon cried out in pain as he clutched his wound, maroon already beginning to stain his glove and fur. He fell to his knees, his jaw clamped shut, his teeth bared as unbearable pain swept through his body. With another rough push, and adding another flood of pain through his body, a wave of sand knocked him backwards back into the void he had just climbed out of.
He was just about to open his mouth in a yell when he felt a pull on his hand. Looking up, he saw a black creature, his duplicate with several variations, pulling him up and onto safe ground. Dimly looking around, he noticed that the storm and the powerful, sandy goddess had disappeared. Suddenly, the feel of unbearable pain overcame his curiosity and anger. He felt very faint, barely able to stand without help from his savior.
"What happened?" Shadow asked.
Sonic barely registered his voice as he panted softly, still aching severely from the large wound. Then, without another thought, his world turned black.
"Tikal, there you are!" A red echidna exclaimed as he found the beige furred princess looking out over the sea which surrounding the lush green land of Angel Island. She turned and gave a beautiful, warm smile at the guardian.
"Yes, friend Knuckles. I take it you were searching for me?" she asked, looking at him.
"Yeah, I want you to look at something." Knuckles said. He thrust out his palm which held the green emerald. He watched her features turn from mild curiosity, to utter astonishment.
"Where did you find that, Knuckles?" she breathed, her eyes even brighter with the glow of the emerald.
"Somewhere nearby. But that's not the point. Tikal, I thought you said you'd taken the emeralds away!" Knuckles said. Tikal raised her eyes from the emerald to look at Knuckles' amethyst-like eyes.
"I had." Tikal replied, fear in her eyes. "Something happened, I don't know where or when, but something triggered fear into the emeralds, causing them to spread."
Knuckles looked at her, then his eyes widened as a thought struck him. "Oh yeah, Sonic had an emerald too, which was stolen by Dr Eggman. That's why I had to go on that mission, to help them get it back."
"What? Sonic had an emerald and you never told me?" Tikal asked.
"Yeah, it sort of slipped my mind. Sorry?" he said, more as a question than an apology.
"Knuckles! How could you have forgotten? This means disaster is on the way, and you tell me you have forgot?!" Tikal asked, outraged. "After all that training, all those warnings I gave you, I-"
"Hey, come on Tikal, if you stay angry, you'll ruin that pretty little face of yours. Not that you look bad now or anything." Knuckles said, a small grin on his face. Tikal blinked.
"What?" the beige princess asked, not sure she heard him properly.
"Oh never mind."
Tikal sighed. "I will have to go and visit your friend Sonic and question him about the emerald." She said.
"Wait, can't I go?" Knuckles asked.
"No, you have a duty over here and have already skipped out on it last week. You stay here, I'll go." Tikal said sternly. She turned around and focused the ancient enchanment of her forefathers to run through her veins, an echidna method that was passed down to every guardian of the Master Emerald.
"Eiko Vanisia." She chanted, then disappeared, Knuckles staring at the spot where she had been a second ago.
"I'll never get used to her doing that." He mumbled, the emerald in his hand twinkling in seeming agreement.
"Tikal!" Sonic said, surprised. The echidna princess paused and swept her eyes over the three figures of the group.
Her cerulean orbs travelled over the first hedgehog. The black hedgehog was giving off a mixed reading of chaos. When she had first met him, he had given the chaos colors of red and black, anger and a cruel personality. She had warned Knuckles against this new menace. But now when her eyes studied him again, she saw a large change. He now radiated blue and green chaos with areas of red, meaning friendship and care with slight anger every now and then. Though she could see his outward appearance hadn't changed much. He was still distant with his expressions.
Her eyes travelled next to the white bat next to him. She radiated off a bright yellow, showing she was strong willed, as well as a hint of violet, meaning affection. Tikal smiled slightly. She remembered her and the black hedgehog working together, showing the evil qualities of greed, deceit and a cunning personality. It amused her to know that anyone who spent time around the good heroes always changed their ways, becoming softer at heart, and more caring.
Her eyes then travelled to the blue hedgehog, the one which the world called Sonic. He always radiated yellow, white and purple standing for determination, purity and courage. Her eyes widened as she observed him. Now, he was filled with a solid, unwavering gray. This was a chaos so strange she couldn't read it. She had come simply to question him about the chaos emerald, but now she found herself crossing lines with this; extra chaos. She had only heard of this from the legends, but never experienced it before. She barely even knew the legend itself. She had only heard of extra chaos and merely knew that it should never be encountered by a living creature.
This was not good. Someone had messed up this hedgehog's chaos, which could result in serious turmoil. This could be why the chaos emeralds had split up. They had sensed the imbalance in this powerful do-gooder and had scattered.
"What are you doing here?" Sonic asked. Tikal stared at him. He seemed perfectly normal, happy even. She scanned the grounds, taking in the chipped walls and churned up soil. She raised her eyebrows. It looked like a battle had just been fought here.
"With whom were you having a battle?" Tikal asked the threesome.
Rouge smiled and rubbed her arm nervously. Shadow unfolded his arms and glanced at Sonic, who merely grinned.
"We weren't having a battle. Why would you say that?" Sonic asked, clueless. "Unless you count Rouge hitting people over the head a battle, then yeah, we were having one."
Tikal looked from the sapphire hedgehog to the white bat. "Why did you 'hit him over the head'?"
"Oh, uh, well, he was…acting kinda weird I guess." Rouge said. Tikal opened her mouth to say something, but Shadow cut across.
"Why are you here?" he asked sharply.
Tikal looked at him. "I shall tell you, of course. But you must tell me how that soil got upturned and the cracks in the wall came to be." She said, pointing at the respective places. Sonic looked at them as well.
"Hey yeah! How did those things get to be like that?" Sonic asked.
"We'll tell you once you tell us why you're here." Shadow continued talking to Tikal, ignoring Sonic. Tikal nodded her head.
"As you wish, hedhehog. Not too long ago," the female echidna started. "I gathered all the chaos emeralds and hid them away, as I had promised my father. He said to do so, for it would prevent a worldly disaster that had been said to come years from his time. Hence, I did so. But Knuckles has told me that the chaos emeralds have separated from each other once more. He told me that you came to be in the possession of one, and today, he has found one as well."
Her eyes travelled to Sonic, who had perked up slightly at the mention of 'chaos emerald'.
"Does it arouse something within you, Sonic, when you hear the words 'chaos emerald'?" Tikal asked innocently, watching Sonic's reaction carefully. His ears flicked slightly again, but he said nothing, his eyes narrowed very slightly at her.
Tikal continued staring at him for a while longer before continuing. "I was told that the emeralds would only separate when they sense danger coming, so that they will not be found together and fall into the wrong hands.
"The next part I believe I will be able to tell once I know how your yard came to be like this. I believe it has something to do with your blue friend over here, am I right?" Tikal said.
Shadow and Rouge looked at each other, then at Sonic, who looked utterly bewildered.
"What do you mean? Are you saying I'm the one who trashed the yard?" Sonic asked, surprised.
"Sonic had come under the control of something when a chaos emerald was brought within his surrounding area. He was doing everything in his power to try and get the emerald, not caring about who he hurt on the way." Shadow said. Sonic stared at him like he'd grown another head.
"I see." Tikal said. After a pause, she started talking again. "There is a legend, one about extra chaos. I am not familiar with its details and story, but I know its main facts. Everyone has their own special amount of chaos that lives up to their personalities. If injected with extra chaos, his or her personality will change drastically, or so I remember."
She turned to Sonic. "You, Sonic, have been injected with extra chaos."
All heads turned to the speed-loving hedgehog. His mouth was hanging open slightly, his brow furrowed in confusion and disbelief.
"Well, what – what am I supposed to do? How do I get rid of this 'extra chaos'?" he asked, almost as if he was begging the serene princess for some sort of consolation. She merely looked at him with sad, sky blue eyes. She didn't know.
Sonic diverted his gaze from her and looked anywhere else but his surrounding companions. "I am sorry, Sonic. I will have to find the scrolls that tell of this legend and see if there is some sort of remedy or set of instructions. Until then, you will have to stay away from – did you say it was a chaos emerald that affected him?" she asked, directing her last statement to the other two. They nodded.
"But – but what if something comes up?" he asked, worry in his eyes. "Eggman, evil robots, what if something happens and I need the help of the chaos emeralds?"
"You will stay away from them Sonic, unless you want to put your friends in danger." Tikal said, a bit of force in her voice. "When I find something, I shall tell you." With that she turned around and disappeared, Sonic staring after her, disbelief and melancholy in his eyes.
Suddenly, Tails walked back into the yard, followed by Amy, Vanilla and Cream. Tails scanned them with his bright, innocent eyes.
"So, Sonic's back to normal?" he asked. Three pairs of eyes turned to look at him, one holding sympathy, one holding despair, the last void of any emotion. "What? Did I say something wrong?"
"Sonic! Sonic! Where are you?!" Amy called, looking for the blue speedster. She quickly opened the door to the roof giving it a quick scan then turning back, but stopped and looked again as she saw the hedgehog she was looking for.
He was sitting out on the ledge, staring out into the landscape, lost deep in his thoughts. Amy slowly walked up to him, not knowing what to say. Something was obviously troubling him, and she had never been in this situation before. Sonic usually never had problems.
She tentatively sat down next to him, her back facing nature, her head turned to him. "Sonic?" she asked softly.
His head snapped to her, surprise evident in his eyes. "Amy! I didn't hear you coming."
After getting over the fact that she was there, he turned back to the distant lake ahead. The rosette hedgehog didn't know what was bothering him, but she had to find out what it was.
"Sonic, what's wrong?" she asked softly, gently placing a hand on his shoulder. She felt him take a sharp intake of breath and the muscles under her palm tense up. She removed her hand, wondering if it was her causing his problem. "Is it me? Did I do something wrong?" she asked.
He sighed. "No Amy, you didn't do anything." He said softly.
"Then what is it that's bothering you?" Amy asked, desperately wanting to know.
There was a pause, then he replied. "Let me tell you a story Amy." He said suddenly. She looked at him, curious.
He blinked, as if gathering his thoughts. "There was once a man, but not just some commoner," He started. "This guy was a world renowned actor, a savior who had brought joy to everyone through his movies. Everyone knew his name, everyone loved him. And he was happy with his life, or so he thought. He had legions of fans chasing him around, but he took it in his stride."
Amy frowned. What was he telling her this for?
"He had everything, or so he thought. But one day, he met a girl. This girl had been … his neighbor … for years but he had never really taken notice of her. But when he saw her one beautiful, brightly-lit night, he saw her in a new light, and he realized, over the time, he had fallen in love with her."
"Sonic, what are you-"
"Please, Amy, let me say this." He said, giving her a side look. She nodded, still frowning. "This girl used to tell him all the time … how much she admired him, how much she cared for him … but he always shunned her away." Sonic looked down. "So now that he had realized his feelings for her, he observed her, and noticed that her behavior towards him had changed. Obviously the girl had lost interest in him."
By this time, Sonic's voice had become very low, so low that Amy had to strain her ears to catch what he was saying. She scooted closer to him to be able to hear him better.
"So he tried reliving his life, trying to keep her out of his thoughts, absorbing himself in his work. And she never even knew of his feelings."
"That's so bittersweet." Amy said softly, slightly confused, not knowing what to say. Sonic continued.
"Not long after that," Sonic continued. "The man had been … diagnosed with cancer. A cancer with a treatment that was very rare, that had barely been researched about…he realized that he might not stay with his friends much longer…" Sonic trailed off, leaving a thick silence in his wake.
"What did that mean?" she asked.
He suddenly moved his eyes up to make contact with hers.
"It meant that he had to do what he always wanted to. Live life to its fullest." he murmured.
Amy's breath caught as she absorbed the enormity of his words. It was strange, but this story reminded her of real life, a life she maybe had once lived.
"Don't ruin the moment, Ames." He breathed.
She felt her heart skip several beats. She hadn't realized how close she had moved in towards him in order to catch what he was saying. They were barely a foot apart and his deep emerald eyes seemed even bigger and brighter than usual. She stared into them, drowning, losing herself, staring into an emotion she had never picked up in Sonic.
She felt herself drawn to him, literally. She started leaning forward, not thinking, following her heart and switching off her brain completely. She forgot about everything, what she'd been looking for him for, that the rest of the group were downstairs, that they were on a ledge on the rooftop under the moon and stars, that this was one of the most romantic situations she had ever been in around Sonic.
All she was aware of was how the heat from his body warmed her skin in the cool night, how she had closed her eyes, awaiting something she had been yearning for six years. He was so close she could feel his breath mingling with hers, so close that their noses were touching, so close she was mere millimeters from his lips.
They both jumped apart, Amy standing up cursing whoever ruined the moment, Sonic positioned so he was now facing the door where the noise came from. They heard a muffled sound come from downstairs:
"Sorry folks!" Came Rouge's voice echoing through the house. "Just clumsy old me dropping a cooking pot! Carry on your business!"
Amy fumed. Carry on your business?! She thought. She couldn't get that back with Sonic, not ever, he would never-
She froze. Sonic! She turned around and glanced at the handsome blue hedgehog. He had his eyes set on the door, looking as if he wanted to burn it down. Could it be that he was also mad at the white bat downstairs? She folded her arms in front of her, not knowing what to say. This was definitely the most awkward moment of her life, at least, the most awkward moment around him.
She finally moved her head up so she was facing him. He had one leg on either side of the ledge and both hands were in front of him, lying there, unmoving, his head turned once more to look out at the view. She sighed.
"Sonic," she started quietly. "What was that all about? I mean, what was that story?" She said, making her point clear, blushing slightly as she thought. What was that all about? Sonic glanced back at her, then once their eyes met, diverted his gaze somewhere else, clearly wanting to look at anything but her. He shrugged in response to her question. Amy sighed, half annoyed, half uncomfortable.
They heard another clatter of dishes and smashing plates, then the voices of an angry Rouge telling off someone. Amy sighed, then smiled softly. "I've got to go help Rouge make dinner, before she destroys the whole kitchen."
She turned and started heading back downstairs, not noticing that Sonic had his eyes fixed on her, returning her smile.
So that was the next chapter, folks. I know it's been a while since I updated, but you can not believe that work I've been getting in from school. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and if you have anything to say, feel free to say it!