|Dreams of an Absolution
Author: NetRaptor PM
Silver the Hedgehog shows up on the Floating Island just as the Black Arms aliens invade Mobius. As Knuckles leaves to help Sonic, island defense falls to Talon, Silver, and the two island chao. A short story.Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama/Adventure - Knuckles - Chapters: 5 - Words: 19,907 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 08-17-08 - Published: 04-04-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3476146
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The house was very messy, Talon and Silver discovered. It seemed to take ages to fold blankets, stuff them back into shelves and in cupboards, pick up random toys and books and figure out where they came from. After that they had to tackle the kitchen. The fruit that was not half-eaten had fermented, and they had to haul it all out to the mulch pile in the back yard.
Silver used his hands more than he had in years. Using telekinesis made his head ache, and he was afraid that using it too much would injure his brain again. And if the Master Emerald's power hurt him so badly, how could he trust it to heal him correctly? So he dirtied his clean white gloves and fur helping Talon clean house.
Around nine o'clock that night, Knuckles called to let them know that the egg had hatched, and it was a boy. He, Zephyer and the baby were all coming home.
"What does a baby echidna look like?" asked Silver nervously as they all waited in the living room.
"I don't know," said Talon, equally nervous. "I think this is the first one in, like, forever."
"If it's anything like a baby chao, it'll cry a lot," said Chimera disdainfully. "I know I'll hate it."
Talon sat on the couch, and Silver paced back and forth across the room. He paused behind the couch. "Why is this thing so ripped up?"
"Knuckles used to get mad and tear it up with his claws," said Talon. "I wasn't here then, though. He said it was when he was a teenager and Sonic drove him so nuts."
"Why doesn't he get a new one?" asked Silver, fingering the stuffing that was hanging out.
Talon grinned at Zinc and Chimera. The sofa was a family joke. "He likes this one," said Talon, and left it at that.
The front door opened, and the four spun around. Zephyer stepped in with a blanket-wrapped bundle on her shoulder, followed by a beaming Knuckles. Talon,
Silver and Zinc hurried over to look at the baby, but Chimera hung back, arms folded.
The baby echidna was a pink, wrinkled thing that was not particularly cute,
but it was interesting. It looked up at them with enormous blue eyes that shone with wonder and curiosity.
"What's his name?" asked Silver.
"Simoon," said Zephyer. "It's echidna tradition to name the firstborn after the wind. Where I'm from, anyway."
Knuckles smiled. "I get to name the next one."
Zephyer still looked exhausted, and headed for the bedroom. They all followed her, and watched her lay Simoon in the long-vacant cradle beside the bed.
Simoon cooed and looked around at the cradle.
"He's not crying," Talon remarked to Chimera, who was tentatively peering around him into the bedroom.
Chimera immediately turned his back. "So? It's just a stupid baby. I don't care." He scampered toward his room.
Talon awoke the next morning to the distant sounds of Simoon crying. He lay and listened until the baby's wails had stopped, then he got up and put on his shoes. He felt as if today the sun had come up in the west. Everything was different now.
He went in the kitchen and got breakfast. As he was eating, Silver came in,
his hair even more wild than usual. "The baby woke up every hour and cried"
he groaned to Talon, collapsing into a chair. He waved his hands and summoned cereal with his telekinesis.
Talon watched him. "You head must feel better."
"Oh." Silver looked at his glowing hands. "I totally forgot about that. Yeah,
I'm back to normal. Except for not getting enough sleep."
"Get used to it," growled Knuckles, walking in and heading for the refrigerator. He rummaged around in it and said, "Did you kids eat all the food?"
"Not all," said Talon. "We brought in some fresh stuff yesterday. It's on the counter."
Knuckles pounced on the fresh fruit and began peeling a mango. "Well, I'm officially a father. And you guys officially have a little brother."
"Not me, though," said Silver.
Knuckles smirked. "You're having to put up with Simoon, so you might as well be. Apparently this phase passes after a few months."
A little brother. Talon hadn't thought of it that way before. First he felt stunned, then he felt warm inside. A little brother! Sort of like a chao, only better.
"So," said Knuckles, bringing his mango to the table and sitting down. "Tell me how you fought the aliens. I want details."
Silver and Talon went through the story again. Zinc and Chimera came in in the middle to add their viewpoints, and even Zephyer and Simoon showed up, Zephyer with dark shadows under her eyes, and Simoon looking like a fat sausage in a nightgown.
Their story branched into Talon's healing exploits in Hidden Palace, and then the harrowing story of fighting the aliens in the mine. Zephyer and the chao had not heard this part of the story, and stared at Knuckles, Silver and Talon in astonishment.
"You're lucky to be alive!" cried Zephyer. "If I had known what you three were out here doing ...!"
"Shh," said Knuckles, patting her shoulder. "We're all fine now, no harm done.
Except that one of my favorite mines is gone."
"Do you think you'll ever dig it out again?" asked Silver.
"No," said Knuckles. "All those aliens are buried in there, and I don't much want to deal with their corpses. Let them stay there. There's other mines I can work." He sighed.
A few days later, Knuckles was walking along the river, inspecting the levees,
when he came upon Talon, sitting alone on a big boulder, watching the water flow.
"Hey," said Knuckles.
Talon jumped. "Oh, it's you, sir. I didn't hear you coming."
"Hard to hear anything this close to the river," said Knuckles, climbing up on the rock. The river made a soothing rushing sound, and while not loud, it did mask most other sounds from the trees behind them.
They sat for a few minutes without speaking, watching the sun glitter in the water. Knuckles waited for Talon to tell him what was wrong. Talon always did,
if left alone long enough.
After a while, Knuckles's patience paid off. Talon said, "Simoon's pretty neat, huh?"
"Yep," said Knuckles.
There was a pause. Then Talon said, "He's like ... really your kid. Not just adopted."
"Yep," said Knuckles. He could see where this was headed.
"So," said Talon, keeping his eyes on the river, "am I still ... you know .
do you and Zephyer still want me?"
Knuckles put an arm around Talon's shoulders. "Of course we do, Tal. You shouldn't even have to ask."
Talon looked up at him, still uncertain. "You sure pay more attention to him ..."
Knuckles laughed. "He's a newborn, Talon! Of course we pay more attention to him. The bigger he gets, though, the more independent he'll be, and he won't take up so much time."
"Oh." Talon returned his gaze to the river, somewhat soothed. After a moment he asked, "What about Silver?"
"What about him?"
"Is he going to stay here forever?"
Knuckles sighed and shook his head. "I don't know what to do about Silver. You know, when he woke up, when you fixed his brain ... I thought for a minute that his memory had come back. He was talking about somebody named Blaze. But he's forgotten it all again."
"I know," said Talon. "I even asked him about it, and he doesn't remember what he said."
"I'm thinking about seeing if they'll take him down at Knothole," said Knuckles. "Maybe just for a while. But you know ... he kind of fits in with us."
Talon smiled. "He kind of does. We're all so weird up here, his weirdness just fits."
Knuckles laughed again. "Maybe we'll keep him around, then."
Zephyer sat in a rocking chair in the living room, nursing Simoon, who was falling asleep. The house was quiet. Knuckles and Talon were off somewhere, and the chao had been farmed out to Knothole for a few days. Silver was in Talon's room, humming softly to himself. Zephyer rocked and listened to the quiet, enjoying the peace.
After a while Silver emerged from the back room, a pencil in one hand and a stack of paper in the other. "Hi Zephyer," he whispered, seeing that the baby was asleep.
"Hi Silver," said Zephyer softly. "What're you doing?"
Silver walked up and held out his papers. They held drawings of a mobian cat, and were surprisingly good. "When Talon fixed my brain," he told Zephyer softly, "I woke up talking about somebody named Blaze. Talon told me. When I think about that name, I kind of remember somebody. A cat. But it's like remembering a dream, and I'm not sure how much I remember and how much I'm making up." He laid the sketches on the coffee table, sat on the couch, and sighed.
Zephyer rocked and nodded, not sure what to say.
Silver stared at the drawings a moment. Then he murmured, "Why can't I remember? Why do I have to forget like this?"
"I have a theory," said Zephyer. "But I have to tell you the story that goes with it."
Silver looked at her expectantly.
Zephyer gazed at the ceiling, remembering. "A long time ago, when I was still roboticized, a hedgehog and an echidna from the future showed up and gave Sonic and Knuckles a box. They said to destroy it. Sonic, being Sonic, opened it instead and got himself into a real mess. We wound up getting picked up by the same two kids and being taken to the future. It was a bad future. We had to travel to the past and change something to keep that future from happening. Now, when we returned to the present, Sonic and I still remembered it. But nobody else did--or they only remembered it like you remember a dream."
"But you still remember," said Silver.
"Yes," said Zephyer. "Because we didn't change my time. We changed someone else's. Everyone who was in the time that was changed forgot how it used to be. And I think that's what happened to you. Your time was changed, and ... I don't think you're supposed to exist anymore. But you do. So I think that your time is now a parallel world, and not part of this world any more. But it ruined your memories, because it was all changed so drastically."
Silver pondered this, gazing at the floor. "Does that mean that Blaze doesn't exist any more?"
"I don't know," said Zephyer. "Maybe. The only way to find out would be to somehow get back to your world, but I don't think that's possible. You'd have to talk to the Time Rippers, and we haven't seen them in years."
Silver sighed, picked up his drawings and looked at them. "I hope I do find her, someday. Or find out what happened to her."
"I think, someday, you will," said Zephyer.