|Dragons of Mobius: New Beginnings
Author: DragonKnight159 PM
Arc 3. Sonic is settling into his new life in Xenodome but some things refuse to change. From mad scientists and crazed sorcerers to power-hungry politicians and insane swordsmen he can't help but wonder if things will ever be different. While dealing with all this he still has the mess of his personal life to fix. / Contains BLEACH elements. AU from here outRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Sonic & Mina - Chapters: 16 - Words: 52,123 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 05-20-13 - Published: 01-12-13 - id: 8901120
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: I'm feeling generous as I have a new puppy! This is NOT one of the chapters with questionable material. The chimera designs, I admit, is based on Final Fantasy. I suppose you could say Fullmetal Alchemist too but these aren't just mindless monsters or the result of alchemy, just good ol' fashioned science. Hope you enjoy!
Even with his eyes closed Sonic could still see the searing white light through his eyelids. He'd tried sitting but the lights made the floor too hot to sit on. Standing around presented the same issue. At least it did for him as Mina had no issue sitting on the floor like nothing was wrong.
"Why don't you just relax?" Mina asked, surprisingly calm. "It's not that hot."
"See, that doesn't work for me," Sonic replied snappily. "I can't absorb heat like you can."
"What is wrong with you?" Mina replied back, now just as annoyed as him. "It's only been a couple hours since that woman locked us in here. You're acting like it's been days."
"It feels a lot longer when you can't sit or stand still for more than twenty seconds," he replied. "I'd explore this place more but I'm not sure if I could find my way back."
"Why isn't she doing anything to us?" Mina asked curiously. "If this woman is as twisted as you say then we should be being tortured right now."
"She's twisted alright. But she's too smart to just physically torture us." Sonic looked around again. His eyes were bloodshot from the bright lights and Mina's weren't any better. "Don't get me wrong, this is torture. But if she breaks our wills then we're easier to manipulate."
"I'm actually feeling okay," Mina said with a shrug. "My eyes hurt but that's the worst of it. Maybe a little sleepy."
"Damn Flame Guardian powers," Sonic muttered. "Fine, she's going to break us one-at-a-time. Still, from what I've heard of her this does seem a bit tame."
"Didn't you mention something about stupid questions earlier?" Mina asked. "Or how if you ask if something can get worse it does?"
"Yeah, thinking straight is just a bit difficult right now." Sonic closed his eyes and tried pushing through the pain to reach his Guardian abilities. As he reached through he could glimpse it, just beyond his grasp. The further in he reached the more the pain intensified. He dropped to one knee, his head throbbing worse than ever.
"Are you okay?" Mina asked, standing and running over to him. "What happened?"
"Damn it, that's what I thought," Sonic said grimacing. "She's given us some kinda drug that stops us from using our power altogether. The harder we try the more it hurts."
"I'm not sure I fully understand," Mina said, genuinely concerned for him for the first time. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"I swear when I see Cidana I'm gonna tear her a new one," Sonic snarled. Maybe it was the light but Mina could have sworn that she saw his eyes flash green.
"I'm afraid that you won't have the opportunity to do that, Sonic," Cidana's voice said over the intercom. "As much as I hate to do this you two are starting to bore me. Usually by now my test subjects are a babbling mess or at least screaming to be let out. But you two, Mina anyway, are as calm as can be. I was hoping to find out more about how your kind reacts to external stimulus like this but it's not worth my time if these are the results. Goodbye."
With that the floor underneath them opened, dropping them into a room filled with red light. Mina managed to land on her feet while Sonic face-planted. She couldn't help but snicker but then took a moment to look around. There were three large cages set up in one corner of the room. They were massive but at this angle she couldn't see what, if anything, was in them.
"You conscious, blue boy?" Mina asked, looking towards Sonic.
"Kinda wish I wasn't," he muttered as he stood, "but at least I can see again." He looked at the cages off in the corner. "Something tells me that we don't want to know what's in those."
"How do you know anything is?"
"Because this place reeks of blood and death," he replied, baring his teeth. "We need to get out of these cuffs, now." Before Mina could reply they heard the sound of metal-on-metal as the cage doors swung open. Sonic bristled, his hair quills shaking. "So much for getting ready."
There was no way to prepare for what came out. Three beasts lumbered out of their pens, each of them the size of a small house. They had two heads apiece, each with either a goat, lion or eagle. The bodies were a mix between lion and eagle with a massive snake tail, complete with head and fangs.
"What...what the hell are those?" Mina asked, slowly backing away. One turned its head to face them and let out a loud roar, the force of it shaking the air. It charged at them while the other two stalked the outside of the room. Sonic jumped into the air, swinging his arms under his legs. Mina followed suit once the shock wore off. Sonic slid under the first beast, barely dodging its claws. Mina tried to follow but the beast lowered its front so she ran up its back. When the snake tail came down she jumped off and it bit into its own back. The beast violently convulsed before falling to the ground, foam pouring out of its mouth. She looked to Sonic to see him smashing his hands into one of the heads of another beast. When the other head went to bite down he caught its upper jaw in the cuffs. He jumped up higher than Mina would have imagined possible, lifting the beast up and over himself before slamming it into the ground. There was a sickening crack and splat as both heads exploded, the rest of the body stiffening before falling limp.
"Uh, where'd the other one go?" Sonic asked panting. Mina looked around, realizing that she'd forgotten about it. The sound of flesh tearing and being chewed caught her attention as well as Sonic's. They looked at the beast that Mina had taken down to see the remaining beast eating its carcass.
"That...is...disgusting," Mina said, bile rising in her throat.
"Just a bit of an understatement," Sonic agreed as it continued eating. "Why the hell is it doing that?" As the words left his lips its skin started to shift and crawl as dragon wings violently ripped through the back, the flesh reforming around the base. Another head popped out between the other two, giving it a lion, eagle and goat. The scales on the tail thickened and the head changed from snake to dragon. All three heads roared in unison, knocking them back. "That was both disgusting and incredibly disturbing," Sonic added as they recovered. "Try to get it to bite itself like the first one and I'll go for the heads."
"You're insane, you that?" Mina commented before they charged it. Sonic smacked one of the heads as hard as he could but the beast barely budged. Mina used the distraction to jump on its back and the dragon tail took immediate notice. It coiled back and struck out but Mina dodged, noticing out of the corner of her eye that like before it had bitten its back. Unfortunately this time there was no convulsing or thrashing. When the jaws let go she saw that the fangs had retracted, only returning when they were clear of the skin. "Oh crap." A flap of its wing threw Mina against the wall with enough force to dent it.
"Mina!" Sonic yelled and ran past the fangs and claws. Blood was smeared on the wall where she had slid down. Sonic checked for a pulse and felt relief wash over him until a searing pain in his back reminded him of the creature still in the room. Its claw had ripped his shirt open and blood flowed freely from the wound. "Burn in hell you monster!" he yelled and batted away another swipe. The dragon tail was next and Sonic's hit managed to break off one of the fangs. He grabbed the tooth, venom still dripping from the tip, and ran at the beast. Dodging another swipe put him only a few feet away from the heads and he started to swing, intent on driving the fang into one of them. The wing threw him back a bit only for one of the paws to pick him up and pin him against the wall. Flecks of blood flew from his mouth as the beast ground him into the wall and it chuckled. The dragon tail coiled back, its black eyes staring into Sonic's, and struck.
After that, everything was dark.
2 DAYS EARLIER
Sonic examined the tablet, trying to find out from the readings why they were still receiving a signal from the Highwind but weren't seeing the lab itself. Mina was still meditating like he had instructed but he could tell that she didn't like it.
She's starting to be a serious pain in the ass, Sonic thought as he went over the readings again. Why doesn't she already know all this? You showed me how to do most everything within the first few days of being a Guardian.
[Mina...well Volcarras really isn't really the sharing kind, as you could tell when you were here,] Sylvanix replied. [Even though Mina is part of his bloodline he feels that she should earn her place rather than have it given to her. You, on the other hand, were in the middle of a war and needed a little extra help.]
Odd as it might sound I never thanked you for having me go through the Encroachment, Sonic said. Yeah it hurt like hell but Kuroc's saved my life more than once already.
[And it seems that he has no issue helping you and letting you retain control now,] Sylvanix added. [So, how was it using his power against Mogul?]
Exhilarating, Sonic admitted. Being able to take him down without hesitating was liberating. For once I was able to win without taking a beating.
"God, this is BORING!" Mina yelled, standing up in frustration. "What's the point in just sitting around and thinking?"
"That's the problem: you're thinking," Sonic muttered, ending his conversation with Sylvanix. "The point in meditating is to clear your mind so that there are no distractions when you reach for your powers."
"I've told you that I've never had any!" Mina replied, getting in his face. "Why won't you listen to me? Besides, I hate fighting. The only reason I'm a Guardian is by accident and even then it's only in name."
"It's never an accident," Sonic told her. "For whatever reason we're chosen. Sometimes it's out of desperation, sometimes because it's in our blood." Mina seemed surprised at that. "Yeah, Sylvanix told me that Volcarras is your ancestor. And believe me, the guy is an ass."
"No, he just doesn't want me to become dependent on him like you are on Sylvanix!"
"Bull!" Now Sonic was actually mad. Something about this girl infuriated him every time she spoke. "Tell me this: when have you ever had to fight just to survive?" Mina said nothing. "That's right. You weren't born into a war. Sylvanix knew that and gave me the help I needed. Once, ONCE, did I ask him for help. Why not ask Volcarras how many times I've ignored Syl's advice."
"Really?" Mina asked. "I suppose it was his bright idea for you to use a technique that would kill you. And to leave the woman you loved just because you weren't-" Mina never finished as a wall of air slammed into her, throwing and pinning her against a tree. Sonic's eyes were glowing grey with rage as the air rippled around them.
"You do NOT want to finish that sentence," he growled. "You have no idea what he and I have sacrificed in order to protect this world. Sally was the one good thing in my life and I wasn't about to just give that up. So don't you dare blame what happened with her on him. My mistakes are what screwed that up, not his! You hear me?" Mina quickly nodded and Sonic let her down. She coughed as she started breathing again, watching him walk away and sit down by the equipment again.
Holy crap, she thought. Is...is that what a Guardian can do? She hoped for an answer but none came, as usual. In truth she was jealous of the relationship Sonic had with Sylvanix but she knew how Volcarras was. He refused to help her until she fully awakened her abilities on her own. She looked to Sonic to see that the area around him was shimmering. The air was literally alive with power while he just sat there concentrating. But how? How is he able to do that with just a thought?
"I know what you're asking yourself," Sonic said from where he was seated. "That there has to be something that triggers it, something that finally makes everything click. For me, it was wanting to protect my friends. My father wanted to protect his home and wife. That's what Guardians do: guard." The air around him returned to normal and he opened his eyes, taking Mina's breath away. Somehow he was different than before, like he was completely different than what she normally saw when she talked with members of the military. "Think about what you have in your life that's worth protecting. It could be a boyfriend, friends, family, home, whatever you would be willing to lay down your life for." As Mina thought about her life, she fell to her knees with tears in her eyes. Sonic knelt next to her, unsure of what was wrong.
"Just stay away from me, you bastard!" she yelled, tears now flowing freely. She stood up and ran into the forest sobbing. Sonic just stared after her dumbfounded.
"What just happened?" he asked as he stared after her.
Mina came back several hours later much calmer than when she'd left. Sonic had made a fire and was preparing something to eat. Mina sat down and ate, not saying a word to Sonic. He wanted to say something, anything, but couldn't find the right words. Maybe it was what she had said earlier but he didn't want Sylvanix's help on this.
"I'm...I'm sorry," Mina said finally, looking up into the night sky. "I shouldn't have snapped at you like that."
"No, something I said struck a chord. I should be the one apologizing," Sonic replied with a shake of his head.
"Can we agree to disagree?" Mina asked and Sonic chuckled, giving his approval. "Thanks."
"Do you mind if I ask what it was I said?" Sonic asked. Mina looked to him, her green eyes quivering in the light of the fire.
"I don't have anything worth protecting, not like you were saying," she explained after a moment. "Didn't Sylvanix tell you anything about me?"
"Yeah, that you're the Flame Guardian," Sonic answered. "He doesn't know much more than that."
"I guess I should've seen that coming," Mina sighed. "The only family I have worth protecting is my older brother. Our parents died when we were young and we were kicked out of our town not long after."
"What the hell for?" Sonic asked, anger boiling up at the thought of them kicking kids out. "What happened that they thought it was okay to banish two kids?"
"You should probably first know that I've been a Flame Guardian since I was six," Mina started, catching Sonic off-guard. "Do you know where Mercia is?"
"Yeah. Border of Mobotropolis and Azosarria, not far from the Wastelands." Mina nodded.
"Well, our town had this little shrine we'd visit regularly. It was built in honor of the Flame Dragon and many viewed it as our town's protector. One of our traditions was to take children to the shrine and see if they were worthy of becoming Guardians. Nothing ever happened, though. My mother and brother got it to send up a couple sparks but that's it. That's probably because of our tie to Volcarras."
"I take it something changed all of that," Sonic said, passing her the canteen. She took it and nodded before taking a drink of water.
"When I went to pray at the altar there were initially just a few sparks," she explained, handing the canteen back to Sonic. "Then it burst into flames, eventually burning the entire shrine down. No one was hurt but we were sufficiently scared. A week later they performed the Guardian ritual on me." Sonic shuddered as he remembered going through that. Magus had removed a part of his soul, replacing it with power from the Wind Dragon. It had been almost as bad as the Encroachment. But for a child to go through that was unthinkable. "I see you remember yours," Mina said, watching his expression. "I don't actually remember mine. Our doctor said that I probably blocked the pain out along with the memory. If I remembered it my mind would likely shut my body down. Anyway, I was supposed to become the town's new protector, based on what the old traditions were. Not to say there weren't animals that were upset because the shrine was destroyed because of me."
"It's not like you planned it," Sonic interrupted. "I mean, they had to have gotten that much."
"They knew," Mina agreed, "but it didn't mean they had to like it. Besides, you never expect old legends to pan out. And since no one there knew how to actually teach me to use my powers they just kind of stayed dormant." She closed her eyes, remembering what came next. "Then about a year later our town was attacked by these robots. Some fat guy was leading them, capturing my friends and loading them into transports." Sonic immediately recognized it as Robotnik but let her continue. "My parents refused to be taken prisoner and fought back. He just...he just..." Tears filled her eyes. "He told the machines to kill them and before Ash and I could do anything they were gone. When he finally left the townspeople blamed me and Ash, saying that because I had destroyed the shrine we were attacked. We wanted to help rebuild but they threw us out, threatening to kill us if we ever came back."
Sonic sat back as her story sunk in. He had thought his childhood sucked but hers put it to shame. Being forced from your home was one thing, being blamed for its destruction and thrown out was far worse. "I had no idea," he said finally. "Why didn't Azosarria send help?"
"The fat guy came in waving the Azosarrian flag," Mina explained. "Looking back he probably did it so that we wouldn't go to them for help. It's the main reason that Ash and I hate the military since they were the only ones who could've helped. Still, if I ever find him..." She clenched her fists in anger and Sonic swore he saw the fire grow for an instant.
"The guy you're talking about," he told her, "you don't have to worry about him anymore. His name was Robotnik, the same one that took over Mobotropolis. One of his creations killed him and took over the city." Mina looked at him, unsure whether to be ecstatic or furious.
"Then he can never answer for his crimes against my home?" Sonic shook his head.
"I can't even begin to imagine what it is you went through," he admitted. "But on that I know how you feel. The Freedom Fighters wanted him to pay as well but Kinos took that from us. Can't honestly say I'm sorry about it, though."
"At least he won't hurt anyone else," Mina said. "Thank you. I would've spent the rest of my life chasing him down. And now that I think about it I'm not sure what I could've done about it. No matter what I do I can't seem to awaken my powers."
"You mentioned your brother," Sonic suggested. "I hate to say it like this but isn't he worth protecting? What about your bandmates?"
"The band is like family but I can't say that I'd die for them," Mina answered. "As for Ash, well, he and I have never seen eye-to-eye on a lot of things. We get along but he thinks we should stick to the pacifist image we've built over the years. I like to think that I would do whatever's necessary to protect him but sometimes he just makes me so angry."
"You wanna protect him and beat his head against the wall at the same time," Sonic said with a smile and Mina laughed.
"Siblings, right?" she said and Sonic shrugged. "Sorry, forgot again. You didn't find out you had a sister until fairly recently. That's gotta be really weird."
"A bit," he admitted. "You must at least have a boyfriend you want to protect." She shook her head, her mirth faded.
"I've only ever had a couple boyfriends," she explained. "A lot of it is because we move around so much. Well, that and what happened to the first guy I tried to be...intimate with." Now she was blushing, further fueling Sonic's curiosity so he asked what happened. "Well, things were getting kinda heavy and he went to...you know." Sonic nodded. "Well, he was right there and then it just kinda caught fire. I mean, he ended up being okay but wanted nothing more to do with me after that." Sonic couldn't help but laugh and imagining the scene made him laugh even harder. "What? It's not funny, it was traumatizing!"
"I'm sorry," he apologized, still laughing. "I really am but it's just really funny. Do you know what most parents would pay to have that kind of assurance for their daughters?" Mina thought about it and a smile crept onto her face.
"Okay, maybe it's a little funny," she said with a giggle. "But the point is that while there are a lot of people I want to protect there aren't any I'd be willing to die for." She sighed and stared at the ground dejectedly. "I'm sick of having to deal with all this crap on my own. Just for once I'd like to be normal or something close." Much to her surprise she felt Sonic's arms wrap around her and pull her close to him. She was shocked at first but eventually returned the gesture.
"There's nothing wrong with you," he said quietly. "Yeah, our lives as Guardians can suck but it's not one that you chose. All the crap you've been through isn't because of something you did." Mina squeezed him tighter. No one had ever spoken to her like this and hearing those words made her happier than she'd ever been. Tears of joy leaked from her eyes as the two of them sat there. Sonic said nothing else but just let her get everything out of her system. After a minute or so her sobs slowed and she looked at Sonic with newfound respect. As they stared into each other's eyes something drew them closer and closer. Mina made the final push, locking lips with him and he gladly reciprocated.