Disclaimer - I do not own sonic or any other characters. They are property of SEGA and anything Sonic the hedgehog affiliated with it.

Well well, its been a while. I'm not back fully, but I have a little bit more time to write than I used to. I've been writing this chapter for a long time. I'm not giving up on this story, I just don't know when I'm going to have time to write. I write when I get a chance. And with that, I hope you enjoy!


Two days later…

A day before, The Freedom Fighters had spent a full day preparing for their mission to stop the Marauders. Though they needed to be resting, they worked through the pain and got everything set up and ready for themselves when they were ready to leave. Today, though, it was a day off for them, a day of relaxation. The injuries they had sustained had hurt indeed. Bunnie was the only Freedom Fighter who dodged being hit by the Marauders' blades, so the effects it might have had on her limbs were still unknown. They definitely hurt yesterday, and the inflammation had gone down a little when they woke up this morning. But because their conditions had not improved since yesterday, Nicole had been busy with Tails, Rotor, and Dr. Quack, to create something that would help them heal faster.

As they were in no condition to go on a mission in their current states without a few more days of healing, which they did not have time for. So, with some quick thinking and Nicole's technology, they came up with a modified high-frequency ultrasound. With the technology of the current time, it could heal their internal wounds, but it would take quite some time. So, Nicole beefed up the machine and now it could heal them with near one hundred percent accuracy. They tested it on Knuckles first last night as he had the most injuries and his inflammation was much more painful than everyone else's. Luckily, it healed him completely, and he felt no pain any longer. Initial scans showed all his tissues had healed. And in his rejuvenation, Knuckles went off somewhere in New Mobotropolis to train and prepare for the mission alone.

It made them much warier of the Marauders and how dangerous they were because of the amount of damage their weapons seemed to do to them…

They were more dangerous than expected…

And the rest of the Freedom Fighters, excluding Bunnie, that had injuries, followed suit the next morning, which was right now. Unfortunately for Amy, she was the last to get her healing from the high-frequency machine because she got to Castle Acorn late. And she became more infuriated when she found out why Sonic was missing. In fact, she was the last Freedom Fighter to show up… she blamed her alarm for not going off…

Well, she might have knocked it off the table because she was still tired… whatever…

Her object of affection, Sonic, was missing, and he was with Sally…

Amy's eye twitched as she sat on the operating table with the only other Freedom Fighter left, Nicole, with her mind going wild. They had been the only occupants of this room for a while now. She had to find out what Sally wanted to talk to him about…

An irritated expression on Amy's face made Nicole pause as she looked up from the clipboard in her hands. If anyone was a threat to forever happiness with Sonic, it was Sally. Sally was popular, charismatic. She was the princess, for goodness' sakes! Of course, she had to be pretty too. Amy fumed in her mind why couldn't she be an ugly princess. With all those factors combined Sally, was a triple threat, and there had already been some instances where she got Sonic's attention and once…

She and Sonic shared an elevator! Who knows what they were doing!

Amy donned a fake smile. "So how are my results, Nicole?"

Nicole kept a raised eyebrow as she looked down at her clipboard. "Everything checks out good so far. Only I will need to take more tests after your continued encounters with the Nocturnus Clan. After looking over your results specifically, I think there may be-"

Amy cut her off mid-sentence though, waving a dismissive hand her way. A look of frustration washed over her face as she spoke. "Yeah, yeah, science and junk. Nicole? Do you know what Sally is talking to Sonic about?"

Nicole's expression became neutral. "No, I do not. It is most likely nothing of concern. But I believe your test results reveal some interesting-"

Amy cut her off mid-sentence yet again, keeping her look of frustration. "Look, Nicole, this is serious business. I need to know what they're talking about, point blank."

"Amy, I am certain an interaction with Sally will not disturb your fondness for Sonic…"

But Amy interrupted her for a third time, crossing her arms in a pout. "I have to find out a way to sneak into that room and hear what's being said…"

Nicole's eyes suddenly widened though when she and Amy's eyes locked. A slow and devious smile crept onto Amy's face, and Nicole, without warning, dematerialized her holographic out of the room. Her clipboard fell to the floor, clacking onto it as Amy hopped off the operating table.

"Get back here, Nicole! I need your help!" Amy yelled aloud into the now empty room.

Nicole responded through a nearby speaker on the ceiling; her tone neutral "I don't want to be a part of this."

Amy then groaned as lines of worry rushed across her face. "Come on Nicole! You're the only one who could possibly get in there with no detection at all!"

Nicole responded in hesitation despite her always neutral tone, "This is an invasion of privacy. My protocols would not allow for such…"

"Please, Nicole! Please! Please! Please!" Amy pleaded as she turned to look at a camera on the wall.

The camera turned towards Amy and Nicole zoomed in on her. Amy's cheeks puffed out, and she held her fists at her sides as she irritatingly stared into the camera lens. Her pout seemed to get the better of Nicole as this was not the first time, she had done unruly endeavors with her. Amy had convinced her to take many… objectionable actions…

She had had many unsavory tales of Amy convincing her to do things she would never dream of, just to satisfy the girls' hyperactive emotions. They got away with it, but Nicole did not condone it. She went along with Amy, if only because the things she convinced her to do were mostly harmless in all cases. Amy had just the right amount of gray area to always trap her in. So, she decided to humor Amy once more as she knew the conversation with Sally was non-important, certainly not the overblown imaginary romantic scenarios Amy always seemed to be stuck in. She wondered one day if Amy would ever grow out of it, because what was really happening was never as bad as you imagined it to be. She wondered if there would ever be a day when Amy saw what everyone else saw standing on the outside…

There was a bit of a pause as Nicole processed what was about to happen, but soon she responded, "… Amy… no one can know of this. I am supposed to keep proper records of all security throughout the city. I must follow these rules for the greatest good of all."

But Amy just grinned at her, dismissing the seriousness of her convictions. "Same as last time?"

"I will erase evidence of this interaction." Nicole said as she rematerialized back into the room.

Amy then picked up Nicole's clipboard and flung her arm around Nicole's neck, squeezing her close. "Just you and me Nicole, we can take on the world!"

Nicole's holographic faced donned a sarcastic look. "It is a shame your vision is tunneled into such a minor aspect of it."

"Well, Sonic is my world!" Amy giggled excitedly.

"I would sigh if I could." Nicole responded as her expression became neutral again.

Amy gave her back her clipboard, and they entered a small office in this medical area. The office had blinds, and since Amy and she had continued to be the only occupants while Nicole was testing Amy, there was no one to see them sneak into this room or even hear their… well Amy's plans…

They didn't know whose office it was, but there was a desk, computer, and a few chairs, everything they needed to spy on Sonic and Sally. Amy locked the door with glee on her features as Nicole began taking over the computer in the room. Nicole sat down and began typing as Amy grabbed a chair and sat it down next to her. Despite no one being around, they still needed to be quick, and Nicole could see through the cameras everywhere if someone was coming so they would not be caught.


Meanwhile…

Unbeknownst to Sonic and Sally, they had just sat down to have their conversation, which Sonic was infinitely curious about. Since they had put their conversation on hold to help Knuckles the day before. And Sally refused to tell him why she wanted to speak to him. Or why even they were being served a fancy meal and a somewhat secluded area in the castle. They sat in a room where diplomats and politicians discussed business over a meal.

The room itself was fancy. It was a combination of a small office and a small kitchen. The aroma of food waft through the air, filling Sonic's and Sally's nostrils. It was an open area. There were no doors and there were people who occasionally entered and exited by them out of this room. Only people of higher-up positions usually came into this area of the castle. Sally had it all set up before he had his check-up with Nicole. They sat across from one another at a small table with a fine red silk tablecloth, and fancy utensils, plates, and glass cups. There was another pair of high-ranking officials sitting a few tables away from them as well.

A chef in high quality white and black silk uniform quietly prepared food across the room while bland music softly played in the speakers above in the ceiling. Though Sonic was skeptical because the setting was… intimate…

Sonic grinned, leaning an arm onto the table, staring down Sally, her sly smirk, and her sitting prim and proper in her seat. This little sit-down was very intentional.

"So, are you going to finally tell me what this is about?" Sonic spoke in an inquiring tone.

Sally wore her usual attire, blue jacket, and boots, but what was different was her demeanor. Coming from a life of royalty, she sometimes carried upper-class mannerisms. Sally's poised posture conveyed attention, but not stiff as she sat in her seat. She was speaking more eloquently as well, annunciating her words more than usual. She didn't do it as much as she used to, not feeling the need to act in such a way from pressure in the upper-class environments she used to always be in. Hanging out with normal people, like the Freedom Fighters, she began acting just normal, like normal people now, most of the time anyway.

But not today though, as Sonic figured sitting across from her. She was showing it off in a big way and he wasn't sure exactly why…

Sally kept strong eye contact, holding a wryly smile before she tore her attention away from him. In front of her on the table was an orange envelope, and she pulled out a dossier and slid it across the table to him.

Sally lost her smirk as Sonic picked it up to read it. Her features became somewhat serious. "Other than our Marauder issue, we've got new intel on something we've thought wasn't true but unfortunately is."

Sonic read it. Flipping a few pages before a frown formed on his lips, he looked up at Sally. "That didn't take long."

"The Mysterious Cat Country aren't the only ones who've heard about it. Many of our enemies know now of Angel Island's compromise again. We've got our work cut out for us, and we've got to solve this Nocturnus Clan business soon. They're going to go after Angel Island while it is vulnerable." Sally spoke, raising an eyebrow.

Sonic put the papers down. "This is getting way more serious than I thought."

Sally's features softened as she spoke again. "I didn't want to freak everyone else out about how dangerous this situation with the Nocturnus Clan is becoming. If we don't stop them, they could literally destroy this entire planet…"

Sonic leaned back in his chair almost unable to control his grin "Well it's a good thing you got me on your team. I'm not fooling around on this one, I'm going to stop them." Sonic winked at her. "I don't know if you told the guys worse things than that. But I guess you got 'your reasons 'for telling me alone."

Sally's eyes widened, and she momentarily blinked in shock at his response "I… well, I suppose… maybe I haven't told the team something on this level before…" she finished stumbling on her words, but her eyes softened again, and a smile spread across her lips as she spoke "Yes. I guess I have my reasons…"

Sally giggled in a dainty manner and Sonic smirked as a server came by their table and served them a fancy-looking purple drink in two glasses. Sally picked up her glass and swirled the liquid as she locked eyes with Sonic yet again, smiling suggestively. "When something comes up again, maybe we'll discuss matters over dinner again sometime…"

Sonic raised an eyebrow with an amused smirk. "For business?"

Sally nodded gently. "Yes. For business…"

Sonic finally picked up his drink and took a sip. He knew there was more going on than what Sally was telling him, but he let it go. This advance wasn't much different from other females and his opinion hadn't swayed one bit, but he thought it was a nice try on Sally's part. He certainly would not lose his freedom to a life constrained by rules and politics.


Back in the office with Amy and Nicole…

Nicole cut the video feed and the computer monitor in front of them went dark. It was silent for a few moments as Amy and Nicole looked at one another. Nicole with a neutral expression and Amy curiously blinking her eyes.

Amy rubbed her chin, looking somewhat underwhelmed. "Oh… so it was just business talk…"

Nicole stood from her seat. "Yes. That seems to be the case."

Amy looked slightly embarrassed. "You know, Nicole, that WAS kind of unnecessary. Maybe I should stop eavesdropping in the future."

"Maybe we could cease all unauthorized activity from this point forward." She spoke hopefully.

Amy shrugged, "Me too. I hope so… maybe…" But suddenly a look of accusation crossed Amy's face and her brows scrunched together, "But she flirted a little! I knew it!"

Nicole remained silent as Amy held an air of triumph as she stormed out of the room. That wasn't the answer Nicole was hoping for as she followed. Her expression remained neutral as she began deleting any evidence of this interaction. She really hoped she wouldn't be doing this again, but she didn't think she did a good job of convincing her to stop. Or convincing her that her particular pursuits about Sonic were fruitless for the type of person Sonic really was.


Some minutes later…

Other than Knuckles, the rest of the Freedom Fighters reconvened to the situation room, inside the main control room. They all stood at the doors of the situation room waiting for Amy. Once she appeared, Sally opened the doors and walked inside. Amy and Nicole gave each other a quick glance, not acknowledging what Amy just dragged Nicole into doing. With everyone present, they walked through the doors, acknowledging one another as they took their seats around the table.

Sally smiled directing her attention towards Amy being late "Glad you could make it Amy."

Amy felt a pang of worry and embarrassment, worry because of what she had just done, and embarrassment because she was late yet again for the second time today. Amy chuckled nervously as she took her seat. "My checkup was interesting."

"Really? How so?" Sally now looked curious.

And so did the rest of the Freedom Fighters as they glanced over at Amy. And Amy, realizing the consequences of her words, smiled looking towards Nicole. "Ah! No, it's just all the science stuff about the Marauders… yeah… right Nicole?"

Nicole blinked her holographic eyes, keeping her neutral expression, but Amy swore if Nicole could express emotions, she would be livid right now. As she continued to drag her into her messes "Yes. I informed Amy of new information I discovered about the Marauders blades from further analysis and the damage it can cause to the physical body into a helpful guide that might aid you as you continue to fight them."

"That sounds interesting. You'll have to update us on that later, Nicole. Now onto business." A serious expression came over Sally's face as she rummaged in front of all the paperwork in front of her.

Everyone remained quiet, doing the same except Nicole and Amy. Nicole stared at Amy a bit longer before she looked away, and Amy looked sheepish, knowing she had to come up with a new lie just now. And on top of that, she was going to have to make those guides now because they didn't exist. Soon, though, their meeting started, and they discussed all manner of things. Their checkups, what was next on their missions, and what they had informed their allies of, they were now aware of the Marauders and the Nocturnus Clan. They would leave tomorrow to collect the Chaos Emeralds and their allies were also on the hunt now as well. Also, with good news from Nicole, nearly ninety percent of their injuries had healed. They were prepared to go face the Marauders once more.

The Freedom Fighters also inquired to Nicole if it was possible that she could come up with something to counter the energy blades of the Marauders. To which she replied, no. She needed to get more data after more encounters with them, then she might come up with something.

Next, Rotor stood from his seat and walked over to a whiteboard scribbled to the brim with words. With a metal pointing stick, he extended it as he pointed at the first bullet point he wanted to draw attention to. He spoke seriously, "On our next mission, we will travel to Marble Zone on South Island. With our allies, we have determined with certainty that a Chaos Emerald has landed in the confines of the zone since the last time they scattered. It's also possible that the Marauders could head there as well. Although Angel Island is far from most land, South Island is still in the surrounding islands out there. We don't know if the Marauders have transportation or any way to detect the Chaos Emeralds, but let's just assume they do. Marble Zone is the first place they would start as it's a jumping point from Angel Island and we know there's a Chaos Emerald there now. If they can track them, then you know…"

"They would only need one to get enough power to unleash an army." Tails said with apprehension.

Everyone around the table nodded in unison as Rotor continued with his own nod. "Unfortunately, our allies won't be able to aid us. From our projections, we will arrive first so this battle is gonna be ours."

Everyone suddenly felt dread in their stomachs as their minds processed what this new information meant. If this was true, the Marauders were already close to getting their hands on an Emerald. No one thought they would encroach this fast on their goal of getting the Emeralds. It made them sweat a bit…

Sally spoke as she read from papers in front of her. "Our enemies are not aware of the Marauders or their intentions to gather the Chaos Emerald's as of now. Our next mission is simple. We get in, grab the Emerald, hopefully without incident, and we get out with no one noticing. It's certainly possible if word got out about the Marauders and their intent, our enemies would see a need to gather the Emeralds as well."

Sonic leaned an elbow on the table with a raised eyebrow. "No splitting up, right?"

Everyone considered what Sonic meant, too. It was obvious they shouldn't split up because they had strength in numbers, just like the Marauders. They needed to stick together to fight them but they had to find that Chaos Emerald before them. They were sure they could communicate with one another, so if one of them got the Emerald, they could simply fall back and disappear.

Seriousness enveloped Sally's face as she was about to open her mouth and say, DUH, they should stick together. If Knuckles couldn't stop them by himself, they certainly couldn't. But Sonic brought up a good point she or anyone else hadn't considered.

Amy piped up though just as serious "Teams?"

Her word lingered in everyone's minds for a moment as Tails spoke "We could split up, and if we need help, we can assist each other and get back to our teammate as well."

"It's still risky, but we can't let them get that, Emerald." Antoine rubbed his chin.

Sally blinked her eyes as she remembered something. She glanced over at Bunnie. "Speaking of which, Bunnie, you will join the team for the entire mission. Since they did not hit your cybernetics, we still don't know what it would do to you, but we need all the help we can get…"

Bunnie nodded, looking apprehensive, "I undastand…"

Bunnie was most likely in the most danger out of all of them because they were all thinking those blades might do exactly what they think they might do to her. They knew she was putting herself in great danger.

"On a final note, I'll let you take over Nicole." Rotor spoke as he took a seat.

Nicole nodded as the lights in the room suddenly dimmed. Nicole did not stand, instead, a holographic image of a nebula colored of blue materialized above the table in front of everyone. There were two dots that were a different color than the others, a glowing red which they figured was Mobius and their enemies' location. Everyone looked on with curiosity as Nicole spoke. "Since our first encounter with the Nocturnus Clan, I have been analyzing what I can from afar from this place the Imperator has called the Twilight Cage. There have been occasional attempts to infiltrate our systems since, originating from this place. Which I assume is still a coordinated effort to silently infiltrate us."

The nebula zoomed in again, away from Mobius to the space nebula with floating pieces of landmasses, the Twilight Cage. "What I am saying is, we have been under constant attack since our first interaction with them. Their attacks are becoming more poignant, leading me to believe they have more knowledge than we were previously aware of. Although, I am more than adequately able to fend them off. I've also been able to access their systems a few times and pulled vital information they might not have wanted me to have. Though I need to go over what I have accessed, still it is much…"

Then the holographic map zoomed away from the Twilight Cage and back to Mobius as Nicole continued, "I have observed something odd about the attacks, though. I have previously spoken about spacetime theory, the time inconsistences, and the Twilight Cage being in another dimension. Well, I have confirmed that the Twilight Cage is indeed in another dimension, although not fully…"

Everyone around the table looked at Nicole with serious expressions as she finished, "The Twilight Cage resides in a pocket dimension."

Everyone's jaw dropped at the revelation as Nicole continued, "How or what has created it is unknown. The being called Argus, that Imperator Ix says has imprisoned them, is not anything I have data on. If Argus made this pocket dimension, that is even out of the realm of my abilities to comprehend. It, whatever it is, would be better as an alley I surmise."

Everyone nodded in agreement. You wouldn't want to be on that things bad side as Nicole said in not so many words. Whatever abilities it had, if it could do that, it need not say it was probably extremely dangerous. Nicole continued as dots all over on the holographic of Mobius above the table glowed red. "Since our first encounter, I have been analyzing data, uploading, and downloading from the Twilight Cage to and from here. That is how I have confirmed the Twilight Cage resides in another dimension. Along with the consistent time inconsistences, and the energy waves analyzed from there, it is taking mere days for my information to reach them. Data from them takes weeks or months to reach us…" there was a pregnant pause from everyone. "We experience it differently as we are in different dimensions. But the wavelength data does not lie. The data coming from there is taking exceptionally longer to reach us consistently. And from this knowledge, I believe we have another issue…"

Nicole said as a frown came across her holographic face. Sonic was the first to realize as his eyes lit up "Oh man…"

Everyone looked confused until Tails locked eyes with Sonic "Oh…"

Nicole spoke, "They've made contact."

And everyone's faces lit up in understanding. The Phase Shift technology there working on was slightly functional. And if they contacted them, that meant they could interact with anyone on Mobius!

Nicole continued, "They are trying to invade. Who's to say they try to contact our enemies or infiltrate their systems. The Nocturnus Clan seem to be indiscriminate about their invasion."

Then Amy blinked her eyes "Wait! I thought they didn't have any energy left to do any more Phase Shifts?"

Nicole shook her head. "That seems to be the case. But as they can still send out and direct attacks, it seems they might not need a Phase Shift or much energy to send data. That or Phase Shifting differs from sending data or a Phase Shift to send data is not as taxing since they can still do it even though they have exhausted all their energy to shift to our dimension themselves."

"Everyone is in danger. Our allies are vulnerable…" Rotor said unevenly.

"I will start working with them immediately. It is another layer of threat we must deal with." Nicole stated finally.

Everyone around the table nodded in agreement. They now understood the details of the mission and were ready to go. And with everything settled, the meeting looked to be over for the time being.

Sally ended the meeting with a brief statement "Bright and early."

Everyone nodded silently in agreement as they all stood from their seats. Sally began gathering papers around the table and Rotor began gathering other materials around the room. Antoine and Tails began engaging in a conversation while Bunnie was first to leave out the exit. Nicole dematerialized out of the room, returning to run the city. Sonic was getting ready to leave the room as well, but Amy, who held a nervous smile, blocked his exit.

Sonic cocked an eyebrow in amusement as he spoke, "What's with you?"

Amy twirled one of her pink quills with a finger before she put her hands behind her back "… Hey Sonic… I wanted to ask you…" Despite all her progress and all the years chasing him, she was still quite nervous asking about their date. It was ironic, as she was always so confident with him. But like anytime something actually began happening between them, she got nervous because she couldn't believe it was really happening "… What time are we heading out for our date?"

Amy's nervousness made Sonic smile as he was looking forward to their date, despite her overbearingness at times. "Meet me at Tree Shade Hills. I'll give you three hours."

With widened eyes Amy nodded her head fervently, speaking in a quickened fashion "Yeah, yeah, sure, uh huh, I'll be there..."

"Cool, I'll see you in a few." Sonic nodded at her as he left the room.

Amy's eyes remained wide as she watched him walk away. "Alright, great nice, I'll see you soon…"

Rotor and Sally snickered in bemusement at Amy's reaction, but she didn't notice them. She blinked her wide eyes, staring at where he left with a pause. Instead, she was caught in the corners of her mind. As her adrenaline calmed down, she felt demure. She rarely became timid, but she looked it outwardly as she pressed a finger to her lip, looking curiously out the door.

He really had a spell on her. Though it was more so that she got another date with him. She'd had quite a few with him over the years, but this time was different. She was seeing things differently and trying things differently. And she couldn't stand chasing him any longer. She wanted it…

So, she was going to continue her new method of chasing him. It was working more than anything she'd ever done. She let him go to have him…

Wasn't that a contradiction? It frustrated her on the inside because she wanted to touch him, but it was working to get his attention if she didn't touch him. So, she had another chance at him…

That's what made her nervous…

She didn't want to blow this…

But Amy blinked her eyes again as she came out of her thoughts. She had to get ready and there was someone's help and advice she needed to pull this off. Amy suddenly ran out of the room, chasing after Bunnie. "Bunnie! Are you still here? Hey! Where are you!"

This startled the guys remaining in the room temporarily, as they were just getting ready to leave. But they all smirked in amusement, wondering how Sonic's and Amy's date was going to go this time.


Meanwhile...

Shade and her Marauders were trekking on foot after having to discard the makeshift gliders they had used to escape Angel Island. Their gliders had carried them over a few islands and to the landfall they were currently in. Unfortunately, they could not fit their gliders with any kind of propulsion, as there was a lack of resources available at hand. But that was fine as they could glide to the destination with the Chaos Emerald energy source they had detected, which was an island. Although they had taken what they could from the dilapidated base, they had scrapped it good. Whoever salvaged from it did a thorough job...

They glided as far as they could and touched down near a beach, rested, scavenged for food and wood, then continued on their mission. From Angel Island to this island they were currently on, they had spent a day traveling to get where they currently were. This was their second day of traveling. Traversing a barren and arid landscape. Much of the vegetation was dead and the thin soil, sand, and rocks contributed to a sense of melancholy as Shade and her Marauders walked through these rocky plains. From the beach they touched down on, they could see some kind of destroyed ruins in the distance, with magnification from their visors. It was where the energy signal they detected was emanating from, but it was still a long distance off, even from where they were walking now. It was still daylight, but it was dark, dreary, gloomy, and grey out this day. Rifts of cool air blew through the plains, creating a slight chill inside the Marauders' armor as they walked in silence. Constant and infrequent rain showers made the conditions look like they wouldn't stop, and didn't look like they were letting up soon.

Shade was in the lead as her Marauders followed her. There were ventilators equipped with their armor, and hers were open at the moment to breathe some fresh air into her suit. She could smell the wet dirt and rain through her helmet as her foot crunched a rock, and strangely to her, she couldn't believe the thoughts coming to her mind lately... but it smelt... wonderful...

After being trapped in the Twilight Cage for so long, her senses were still being bombarded. The colors here were so much better than the endless darkness of space. Even though they traveled to the other landmasses in the cage to fight…

They saw different things from time to time, but that was the extent of their journeys. And to experience the same places for centuries over and over, being on Mobius was the first freedom and variance she'd ever tasted.

The earthy tones she was smelling from nature were distracting her...

She had no other thoughts of her own for so long. She only had one thought at all times. Complete the mission...

Unlike in the past, she had to force herself to focus on the mission these last few hundred years. When she was younger, she was hyper-focused, and nothing distracted her. But with time comes wisdom and awareness, and it was still growing, as was she…

And she noticed what she hadn't before…

That's how she became the leader of the Marauders...

She was not one but many of Marauders. There were thousands of Marauders, and she beat them all to attain her rank. She had been the most ruthless, dedicated, and deadly. She had not failed one mission...

There was to be a sizeable force of her Marauders that was supposed to make it through the Phase Shift. Alas, only she and four of her best Marauders had made it through and on a mission of this scale, she quickly saw that it was going to be increasingly difficult because of the enemies they had encountered and the circumstances presented. Even when she encountered foes that hindered the mission, she usually eliminated them swiftly. But with the Guardian and that speedy blue hedgehog, it was going to be a problem. Also, that pink hedgehog was now a thorn in her side, too.

This mission was a task, unlike any mission she'd ever done. She discussed with Imperator Ix beforehand. This mission was larger and more important than anything in recorded Nocturnus Clan history. It was a mission on a worldwide scale, securing the means they needed to escape their cage. If all their forces had made it through, they would have scoured this world and she was sure they would have had no problem claiming the Emeralds.

Escaping from their abduction by the being Argus had to be the single most important goal they ever strived to achieve. Escaping the grip of thousands of years of imprisonment would be their greatest achievement.

With the technological advances they made in the Twilight Cage, they certainly surpassed anything on Mobius, and they had the means to dominate anyone they encountered now. At least...

Shade frowned inside her helmet. At least, that's what Imperator Ix told everyone…

She was born in the Twilight Cage, so this was really the first time she'd been out of the cage, the first time her feet touched the sacred homeland of Mobius where her clan was from. Her first-time home...

Raised from children, they were taught that they were liberators, that they were the good guys, and that's why they fought. Shade supposed at some point in time that might be true when the clans were battling here on Mobius. But that didn't seem to be the case any longer. Divorced from history, it now seemed they were just fighting just to be fighting. Did they really need to kill so many...

It was overkill…

Their clan already had more than enough power now. Make no mistake, when they were first pulled into the Twilight Cage, it forced her clan to change from tribal sticks and stone technology to technophilic enthusiasm and imperium to survive. The other races in the cage were hostile, and her clan would have faced elimination if not for their adaption. Her clan had done great and should be proud of their ability to survive. As they grew stronger, they achieved victory through strategic alliances or direct subjugation if their enemies did not comply. And as such, the Nocturnus Clan were able to dominate all other races inside the Twilight Cage.

And with everyone under their rule Imperator Ix next plans were to return to Mobius with the power of the Master Emerald or Chaos Emeralds. That was all fine and good, but the fighting amongst the clans had ended long ago. And all the races inside the cage were under control. So the eternal beating of the war drums sort of seemed out of place for her… something was amiss…

Didn't that mean the conflicts that were the basis for their reason for war… their reasoning to keep fighting… were gone…

The clans were gone…

The races of the cage dominated…

Why were they still fighting …

Even after they were number one in the cage… they continued to fight…

For thousands of years, they remained in constant conflict with the cohabitants of the Twilight Cage. If not, insurrections they were stamping out, keeping those they subjugated was war within itself… a war that never ended…

To this day, they were still fighting to keep everyone under control…

It almost seemed like they sought out many conflicts that they were involved in. Couldn't they use their resources and power for something else? But Shade knew better never to voice such opinions out loud. Having thoughts other than orders showed disobedience, and that wasn't tolerated. Especially as the leader of the Marauders, the consequences would be dire...

So, she didn't question it as her stomach churned...

She hadn't really thought about why they fought. Why she was fighting...

She didn't really know why she was doing any of this. Why she took pride in killing...

She actually never really thought ... for herself… everything she was… all she knew was to follow orders… all she thought about was the mission… raised and trained to kill… so she just… did it…

She didn't really think about it…

She knew killing was bad, in a moral sense. She always felt something about it didn't feel right. But those were also personal thoughts she kept to herself lest she be stripped as her title as a Marauder. Whatever she was told to do, she had obeyed. She didn't question orders because she didn't think too… only follow...

It wasn't until recently when she got the news that they might escape the Twilight Cage did her mind wander more than it ever had. Not that she had no thoughts of her own ever, but it dawned on her since, most of her life, she had been following orders and she never questioned what she was doing, and why she was doing it.

The revelation still shook her. Had she been in a stupor so long...

That she was just now starting to question herself or her actions. She was not uneducated. She was top in her classes...

Shade stopped walking and her Marauders followed suit and awaited her orders. "Let's take a break. We should reach our destination on time tomorrow if all goes well."

Her Marauders nodded quietly as they all lowered their selves to the ground and let out sighs of relief. She knew they were tired as she did the same. The soft terrain depressed as she fully sat down, making an imprint of her suit. One of the Marauders was carrying a tied-up bundle of wood and they untied it and put it in the middle of them on the ground. They set it ablaze with their blue energy blade. It glowed a bright blue and a pulse of energy escaped it as they touched the wood with the blade.

A burst of flame erupted from the dry wood they had scavenged on the beach and they sat around the circle in silence. Shade dipped her head, staring into the fire as her thoughts quickly drifted back to her dilemma.

Why had she not questioned anything for so long...

Might it be the harsh penalties for disobedience? The torture or beatings for betrayal, treason, or simply disagreeing with leadership. Yes, those things certainly made her think twice as to never question, as they were good deterrents to maintain certain trains of thought.

And she didn't know if it was because she was free from the grip of the cage, and punishments therein, or her leaderships influence as they could not touch or reach her at the moment, or her longstanding repressed free will of all aspects of her being but...

Shade held a troublesome expression on her face. She felt like she was just waking up...

She obeyed… but now she was starting to question it…

Shade glanced around at her Marauders who were silently staring into the fire or pressing buttons on their wristbands. Imperator Ix told the entirety of the Nocturnus Clan his goal for this mission was to return his people to their original world. To escape their imprisonment from the being Argus. For the Nocturnus Clan to return to Mobius, their home. They had fought and conquered the Twilight Cage, and now it was time to go home.

Though there was a fight to get back, once returned, they would negotiate and not start conflicts again like they had to do in the cage. Imperator Ix swore once they left the cage their ways would change and there would be no war any longer…

Although Shade wasn't sure if her brothers and sisters in arms cheered because they were happy that all the fighting would end or if they just blindly followed. She personally looked forward to the conflicts ending. Shade hoped it was true because she would hang up her war boots and explore the world, explore what else life had to offer other than hurting others…

Because after getting out of the Twilight Cage and seeing the world again for the first time in centuries, after nonstop fighting and killing… she had other interests on her mind than fighting… she always had…

It was a given the Guardian or anyone would not be willing to hand over items of such value willingly. The Nocturnus Clan were going to be seen as hostiles invading, regardless. So, in order to negotiate, they had to get home first, willing or unwilling…

It's what Imperator Ix had promised as much anyway. She wanted to get her clan home faster so she could stop fighting…

Probing the Guardian to find out what the other clans were up to was hostile… but necessary for them to get home…

They wouldn't be using the information from the Guardian to pursue any more conflicts anyway… so it wouldn't be a problem…

Shade lifted her head, glancing around the fire circle. One of her Marauders poked the fire with a stick and another stared into the dreary gray skies above. It was quiet among her Marauders as they traveled. It always was. They knew little about each other, only that they were comrades in battle, and that was all. Some Marauders had personal relationships with one another, but having feelings beyond the mission was frowned upon. It made you distracted… her training told her only the mission held importance...

She herself was who she was because she disregarded everything but the mission. She was almost emotionless sometimes …

Why did she fight so hard to be leader… now that she thought about it, she didn't really know why she fought so hard to be the leader… they were told to be the best… so she just kinda did it…

She didn't have any personal aspirations to be the leader of the Marauders… she just… did it…

She didn't think about it…

For this mission, all they knew was that they needed the Emeralds to return home. That's all they were told… it seemed forcefully taking the Emeralds was a hostile action as well, though…

Shade paused inside her suit… and she began to think… for herself…

The Emeralds were very powerful… they would not use them for more conflicts or to harm others anymore….

Right….

Imperator Ix said they would change…

Shade paused again as something she rarely experienced popped in her mind and suddenly felt throughout her body… doubt…

He had never led her astray before… but then again; she had never led herself…

Shade's nose twisted in disgust at these revelations coming to her. Feeling a heaviness in her gut as a new thought that she thought for herself came to her. She did not have friends, family, or anyone who knew her personally. All she was, was the leader of the Marauders. And something felt wrong about that… something was wrong… who was she…


Back in New Mobotropolis …

At Amy's house on the east side of town. She'd tracked Bunnie down before she left Castle Acorn and pleaded her case. To which Bunnie happily replied yes, as she had no plans for the evening. They made their way over to Amy's house and spent about an hour getting her prepared. It was around six p.m. and Amy was almost ready to go. The sun would set in about two hours, so she had to get a move on.

They were in her room at her vanity mirror and sit-down dresser adorned with all her essentials to doll her up. Amy sat down staring at her reflection and Bunnie was standing behind her, putting the final touches on her hair. Despite Bunnie saying she was an amateur hairstylist, she was pretty good at it. Amy was not wearing her usual red dress. After an hour of discussion, they both decided what she was currently wearing would be the best for her date. Seeing as it was pretty casual, she should dress appropriately.

She wore a pink and white tank top, pink pants with a horizontal white stripe, and instead of her gold bracelets, she wore red and gold. She also switched her boots to shoes of a similar red and white striped design like Sonic's. Amy smiled brightly at herself in the reflection in the mirror. Her heartbeat fast as she reveled in how she looked. She still wore her red band on her head, but Bunnie was making her quills silky and shiny, brushing her quills with special hair ointment made for her quills.

She looked amazing, if she said so herself. She was sure to turn heads. Bunnie spoke with a concentrated expression behind her, "So, what do yiah do if he offers you somethang?"

"Don't mention marriage." Amy stated.

"If he mentions yuer looks?"

"Don't hug him, say thank you."

"And if anythang about ya'lls relationship comes up?"

Amy's smile faltered a bit. "Do not talk about it…"

Bunnie finished brushing her hair looking satisfied with her work, and she smirked at Amy in the mirror "Dang girl, looks like yiah might be able to pull it off this time. If yiah want to get a man's attention, give him some space to breathe and think." Bunnie giggled, placing a hand up to her mouth. "These are yuer rules, anyway. Yiah look great."

"I know, it's just not the way I wanted it to be." Amy sighed first, but then put on an enormous smile.

Bunnie leaned down to her level, raising a curious eyebrow. "Knaa, are yiah sure you got this? We done argued the last hour or so. Yuer looks are one aspect, yuer behavior is critical. Yiah have to follow through or this probably won't work."

Amy donned a sheepish grin. "I know I've been defensive."

"Aight now, it's time for yiah to skitter out of here." Bunnie smiled, placing the brush in her hand down on the dresser.

But Amy suddenly questioned Bunnie, looking slightly suspicious. "Why are you helping me again? You can get his attention much better than me."

Bunnie gave her a wise look and Amy stared back, and it was silent because they understood why she asked for her help, obviously. Most likely, Sonic would not bite.

"You know he's not going for it." Amy's mouth pinched into a pout.

"I might try to get his attention like any other girl, but I don't stress it. It's not really up to you or me…" Bunnie kept her smirk.

Amy opened her mouth but closed it because Bunnie was not being sassy. Bunnie was right, and she was learning a lot from her. She wanted to control HOW she got Sonic, but obviously, that wasn't working. She had to try new ways like she was right now. She was going to continue to listen to her since she was further along with Sonic than she ever was, and she was trying to help her. So Amy's exuberance came back, seeing as she might have the same chance as everybody else.

Amy slammed her fist into her hand with a determined expression. "All right, let's do this!"

"That's the spirit!" Bunnie patted her on the shoulder.

So, after a little more fussing between them about her outfit and how she should act, Amy left out for Tree Shade Hills. On the way there, Amy at least took pride in the fact that she was the only female member of the team that had actually gone on dates with Sonic. Bunnie nor Sally had actually scored proper dates like she had right now. Shed known Sonic longer than they too. Though that was most likely because of her brazenfaced behavior forcing Sonic into such thing sometimes… all the time…

Sonic turned down dates from Sally and Bunnie…

He didn't want to be tied down. He was content with the way he lived his life. So it made sense why he turned them down. But then she was special right… or was he just indulging her…

This evening she was going to find out!

The sun would get low in the sky soon enough, but by the time Amy reached the sloping hills, it was still bright and vibrant. Verdant slopes greeted her. Three levels, to be exact. Sparse as it was, there were still plenty of people here, as usual, at this elevated area in New Mobotropolis because of the magnificent views it offered. The reason they called it Tree Shade Hills. The area contained a few buildings, like restaurants and souvenirs. People populated the cobblestone path Amy traversed as she looked for Sonic. She went up the path to the second slope to get better eyes on Sonic. Couples sat on benches, on the grass with blankets or under the large trees around them.

Amy neared one of the stone verandas built onto the edges of the hills and leaned her hands on the railing, she took in the view, looking up at the light of the big sky against the hillsides of New Mobotropolis dotted with lights not far away as evening set on the city. Yellow hues mixed with the darker tones of twilight, grey, and azure made a smile appear onto Amy's lips. A gust of wind blew by as Amy turned away and walked back onto the path and continued to search for Sonic.

Amy didn't know what dating was like in other parts of Mobius, but here in this region, where New Mobotropolis was, dates were not always romantic. What she knew and was raised with, they could or could not be, but culturally, as far as she knew, dates were more of a bonding experience. Amy smirked to herself as she recalled her previous dates with Sonic. They always turned out to be a whacky affair. Some of them were ok, but most went horribly wrong in the most comical of fashion.

Amy stopped walking and twirled her head left to right, still searching. With her last date being one of the worst with the boat catching on fire. She would never tell anyone how that happened and hoped Sonic would do the same. She continued walking.

Despite all that, though, Sonic always stayed with her to the very end. By any standard, he could have left and not put up with her and all the horrible things that went on, on their dates. But he never did, and he stayed with her until it was over. Amy felt flutters in her stomach at his actions. It made her feel special and showed he cared…

With still no sign of Sonic, Amy turned her attention to the third and final slope incline and walked up it to the highest point of Tree Shade Hills. Once she reached the path at the top, she looked around once more, spotting more of the same, just couples were spread out a little more. But she caught a certain shade of blue in the distance. He caught sight of her as well and began walking in her direction.

Amy smiled as she picked up her pace towards him. He raised his hand, waving at her as they neared. Amy was about to open her mouth to scream his name in overblown excitement, as she usually did. But she caught herself trying her new plans and toned down her tendencies. She really wanted to…

But instead, with great strain and her eyebrows furrowing as she maintained her smile, she waved back at him calmly, "Hey Son-"

She cut off mid-sentence, stopping mid walk as suddenly a lone female approached Sonic stopping him in his tracks. Sonic rubbed the back of his head as he spoke to her. By the looks of it, Amy knew it was some kind of fangirl…

Amy paused as her brows knotted together, looking irritated. She knew she was calling the kettle black… but… Whatever!

Amy's temper flared as her hand, shaking with rage, slowly reached to her Piko Piko Hammer pole on a strap on her back. She may or may have not done something similar on a previous date…

And ruined it completely…

Sonic looked more hesitant and nervous the longer he spoke to the female. For obvious reasons, Sonic knew what might and what could happen. And although Amy's temper was at a high, she and Bunnie argued while she was getting ready on whether she should take her hammer. Bunnie insisted she take it, even though she was initially against it. She said if you wanted to test a woman's character, give her power. If she used her hammer, she failed. Because if she used her power in the wrong way, it exposes her true intentions. It showed who you really were. Power gave you choices, and showed the choices laid before you, and what choices you chose to make.

If she couldn't use her hammer for good choices, what were the chances she will make good choices, honorable choices for herself in the future if she didn't do it now? Absolute power corrupts absolutely. In this instance, her Piko Piko Hammer was her power.

Amy's hand was mere inches away from the strap on her back. A look of irritation still covered her face as she glared at the female. Did she have good intentions? If she couldn't control herself now, how would she be in the future? If she couldn't control herself now, how would she ever get Sonic?

Amy let out a shaky breath as she lowered her hand away from her hammer. She slowly let the irritation slip away from her face and crossed her arms as she waited for them to finish talking. Her expression became neutral. This was so much harder done than said. This was going against everything she liked to do.

Soon enough, though, Sonic could shoo away the female and finally approach her. Immediately Sonic looked sheepish as he figured Amy would explode at him. Though with some lickety-split thinking and hiding irritation, she instead smiled brightly. And doing things different not even bring up the female; Amy winked at him. "Hey mister, I've been looking for you."

This did not go unnoticed by Sonic. Blinking his eyes, he looked taken aback, raising a single eyebrow. He did not expect her to just drop it. A small smile formed on his lips "… Me too… I was just taking in the views up here… you ready to go?"

Amy knew he was half expecting her to still blowup, which he would be right about, she definitely wanted to do that right now. But she didn't because of what she had talked about with Bunnie. Amy smirked at him. "Sure am."

After a few more moments of slight confusion from Sonic, he just went along with it. Attributing her out-of-character behavior to her having a good day or something. Sonic grinned. "All right, I actually wanted to try some food at a new restaurant that opened up here. Let's go!"

Amy nodded as they began walking together. It was taking all her will to not jump him. Small talk started up between them as they began heading down to the lower slopes. And Amy glanced at him, still holding her big smile. But unlike other times, she noticed he was way more into talking to her. He genuinely was interested in their conversation. Just like with Bunnie…

Amy's adrenaline rushed as she saw with her own eyes that it was working…

As Sonic held an earnest smile at her as they spoke to each other. It was something she only saw on rare occasions with him directed at her. It was most likely because she was pestering him most of the time…

And she knew that… but she loved him…

She wanted to continue on with her plans, because giving Sonic some space was working as much as she hated to admit it. It was happening so fast she didn't believe it. It was just like that, like the snap of a finger. He didn't seem so annoyed with her all of a sudden. Letting him go and not giving him her special brand of love burst hugs was working. But Amy's heart fluttered again, seeing him finally respond to her authentically after all these years, and she lost a little control.

Amy's cheeks formed a little blush as she suddenly grabbed a hold of his arm and held him close as they walked. And she knew she was getting thwarted by her own behavior again, as Sonic's smile lessened a tad bit. But she held onto him until they reached the restaurant. She just wanted to hold him, even if she was losing points.

Amy sheepishly relinquished her grip on Sonic's arm once they arrived. Knowing she had to follow through. She began carefully regulating her behavior again. There was a short line outside the restaurant. It was a square building shaped like a shoebox. The outer frame of the building was mixed with metal, stone, and wood of more contemporary design with large glass windows and large square window grills on many of its windows. There was also an enormous banner that hung from the entrance declaring there was a discount, as it was its grand opening.

From what they could see from the outside, it didn't look too busy. It didn't take too long for them to get a seat in the restaurant either, and once seated, something came up not too long after that triggered Amy again.

Soon they were next to go in and the smells of smoky foods being cooked on hot grills waft from the entrance. The greeter took them in as the line behind them grew. The outside differed greatly from the inside. It's rustic décor with heavy wood furniture taking the place of traditional dining tables. The natural color pallets of warm earthy browns and grays took centerfold as you entered. Indistinct chatter filled their ears as their greeter brought them to an empty table and informed them that their server would be with them shortly. They took their seats.

"Say Amy, what's the best meal you've ever had?" Sonic asked curiously.

Amy stammered out a stifled puff of air "ah-a!" she wanted to say that he was, but she pivoted. "I… ah… nothing beats a cozy, warm meal during winter! What about you?"

Sonic nodded. "Depends on my mood. Right now, I wouldn't mind sipping a tall cold drink on a hot beach somewhere. Do you still have that cottage?"

Amy smiled brightly at the question. "I do actually! I was thinking…" Amy saw the look of interest Sonic was conveying of what she was going to say next and her enthusiasm deflated, her smile lessened as she spoke "… Once I go back there and get it fixed up sometime in the future we could go hang out there for a while…"

Sonic nodded enthusiastically; he was digging Amy's new behavior "That sounds great!"

Then their server came over to their table with a wooden tray with wheels. Filled with dishes on the bottom shelf. A few white rags on the side and fresh cups with various liquids on top. They gave them their menus as well.

They weren't ready to order yet though, so their server gave them two cups of water off the top as they walked away. "Now you two don't get too serious while I'm gone."

Sonic looked a little cautious still because Amy was still Amy. And on their dates, her amorous nature amplified tenfold. But he still joked against his better judgment, "What do you say, Amy?"

And it was very obvious that he was joking. Sonic looked nervous though at the joke because across the table, Amy's eyes were wide. Her hands twisted together under the table as she changed course. Her face softened as she spoke "… Sure… uhhh... let's give them a show!"

And she giggled and laughed, not mentioning the status of their relationship or marriage. Sonic again looked shocked and taken aback, never seeing Amy act this way. Of her just dropping it and not mentioning romance and love and junk. But he liked it…

Sonic quickly laughed with her and it felt comfortable, but as their laughter died down, Sonic noticed something. Amy smiled, but beads of sweat were rolling down her head. Sonic looked concerned. "Hey Amy? Are you ok? You're sweating."

Amy blinked her eyes responding quickly, "Hmmm? Oh, no… it's just… hot in here. Yeah!" she fanned herself with her hand, looking around the restaurant. "It's been pretty hot today…"

"But the a/c's pretty cold in here."

Amy's eye twitched, and she forced a smile as she picked up her menu. She spoke in a quickened fashion. "Yeah, they should turn it up some more. Now, what was that thing you wanted to try?"

Sonic didn't really notice her deflection; he was enjoying Amy's new behavior too much. He picked up his menu and went on about the food he wanted to try. All the while, Amy was fighting the angel and devil on her shoulders. She couldn't believe the opportunity she just missed to roast Sonic about their marriage and coupledness that she wanted to ensure would happen someday. It was literally just handed to her on a platter, no pun intended.

But Amy swallowed her pride. Because… it was working…

Sonic was so much more engaged with her the whole evening than all the years she chased him and it kind of bummed her out…

Because it made her come to a realization. The few hours she spent with him, she had a few missteps falling back into her old behavior. But she kept it together for most of the evening. Whenever she wanted to hug him, she didn't…

And he seemed to like that…

Whenever he complimented her looks, she said thank you, and nothing more…

He smiled when she did that…

All evening she spent trying to stop herself all culminated when they both ended up on the highest slopes of Tree Shade Hills sitting together under a tree as the sun set. Dappled sunset rays scattered throughout swaying tree branch leaves from the strong winds on this highest slope. The shadows danced across the ground and on their bodies, but the orange tinge of the sky was fading into night. Other couples and people also populated the area around them as they watched the sun disappear over the horizon. Dark red hues showered over them all as the evening came to a close.

Sonic's arm was wrapped around her waist and her head rested on his shoulder. Amy and he remaining quiet, watching the sun go down. With a stoic expression, Amy felt startled about it all. Their date went… great…

This was the first one where nothing went really wrong. After all these years…

This is what she had to do….

To her, something about it didn't feel right. It wasn't chaotic. She didn't express her love in the way she wanted to. She didn't pull out her Piko Piko Hammer once…

But it wasn't really those things. Out of the corner of her eye, she glanced up at him, grinning as they watched the sun disappear. She felt like she made the most progress with him she had ever had. But…

It wasn't romantic…

All that had transpired this evening was of a friendly manner. They only acted like friends…

And Amy looked back at the sunset with a slight frown. It was always a possibility that he would friend zone her. That was her worst nightmare. And she came to the realization of not just about Sonic but herself…

Had it been her behavior all these years that chased Sonic away? It just couldn't be. Sonic loved her Piko Piko Hammer. She realized this evening after getting Sonic to engage with her more than she ever had that he was much more engaged with her just being friends than lovers…

Amy blinked her eyes after the thought, realizing how strong that word was. Did he only want to be just friends…

And Amy felt her stomach drop as, for the first time since she fell madly in love with Sonic… she questioned him…

Sonic was not what she thought he was…

That was not a fault of him… but herself…

Despite her pessimism, deep down in her soul, there was still a burning passion for him. A resolve for him. Amy snuggled up closer to him, not liking her own feelings at the moment. She still loved him, and she would always love him, no matter what.

Sonic returned the gesture, tightening his grip around her waist as the sun was almost out of sight. Amy's eyes fluttered, and a smile came across her lips as she closed her eyes. He cared for her... if she only knew that him being there was enough for her…

She would continue her plans to wrangle Sonic. She would continue being the mvp and stopping the Nocturnus Clan to get his attention. And she prayed at the end of it all she would have his love…

If she didn't, she was going to break…

And unfortunately, she was already feeling some cracks as this new doubt about her love for Sonic exposed this evening…


Looks like a brawl is about to happen! Will the Freedom Fighters and Knuckles be able to stop Shade and her Marauders? What else does the Nocturnus Clan have planned? What else will Shade awaken to? Amy still loves Sonic, but how have her feelings changed? Is her love still unyielding? Find out next time! Later.