Sonic, Shadow and co are © Sega; all the other characters are mine.

Shadow Of Oblivion: I was really, really happy when I got your review 'cause now I know that the personalities that Chaos and BioLizard are developing are good. Thanks!Anyway, that fic you're talking about, Hidden, is momentarily on hold until I get the will to go on. Actually, I'm planning to reedit the chapters and correct a few things, and maybe add something else to make the fic look better from the plot end. Also, I'm pleased that you like the wings thing.

PhiloWorm: There were other two people that said it, RichaCo and Dragon Master Naya.

Daisuke's Shadow: Normally, I would have killed whoever asked this since who actually read at least the first chapter would immediately know if this story is the sequel of Loyhal or not. However, lately I'm more relaxed and happy, so I'll just answer your question.No. It's not the sequel of Loyhal. Hope you enjoy this the same.For the sequel, I don't know when I will start it, but if you wanna read something from my hand, go to and look for a fic called "A matter of trust". It's under NamelessMoonshine's name since we write it together.

RichaCo: Do you know that I thought you were DEAD? I was quite worried and I often came to ask myself "Where is RichaCo?"
And yes, I like to do these things to them. MUAHAHAHAHAH.

Authoress' Note: I thanks all the others that have reviewed, I'm not thanking you all individually (unless there is a good reason) because you're so many that I'll eventually end up doing more pages of thanks than pages of fic, so, thanks to you all to stick with me and this fic. Thanks!

Authoress' Note2: I know you though I was dead, but I'm not. Sorry for the long delay, but lately real life really sucks…

Chapter 24

Dangerous Situations

By now, Knuckles had lost count of how many robots he had downed and how many remained standing; the time to count them was non-existent as the mechs had intensified the attack on him and Rouge.

He knew that all this was to lure him away from the altar, but he and his ally were not going to fall for that. This made the small squadron of humans quite frustrated as either the Guardian or the ex spy successfully stopped every attempt of approach to the big emerald.

If the echidna was using all his strength to fend off the assault, Rouge was using every trick that she could think of to beat her enemies; this way, she was less tired than her companion was.

However, she was coming to a point that she had to actually fight with her strength; not that she really minded. After all, she would do everything in her power to protect the Master Emerald from GUN; especially after what she came to know from its Guardian.

The bat finally dropped to the ground and ran towards the first mech she saw, jumping in the air and delivering a strong round house kick to its head, making it fly away almost effortlessly.

At almost on the other side of the altar, Knuckles had to quickly sidestep to avoid a laser blast from a robot; he cursed under his breath and resumed fighting. He had been attracted by Rouge's drop to the ground and had followed her as she attacked with that kick of hers.

He had to admit it; she was skilled…

On the other side of the battlefield, behind one of the many big rocks, the small group of humans was observing the fight.

"Lieutenant, any idea on how to retrieve the emerald?" One of them asked peering at the big gem sitting on top of the altar.

The leader looked at the Master Emerald with an almost gloomy expression on his face, "The Guardian and his ally are protecting it pretty well. It could be hard to pass unobserved from this point. Even with the coverage provided by the mechs."

"What about passing from behind the altar?" One of his subordinates suggested.

The lieutenant looked at the small temple, "Hmm… it can be done…" He said as he retracted his head behind the rock, "Garrison, you're the best amongst us for this job. Take the harness and reach the emerald from behind the altar."

The man known as Garrison too the tool from the hands of his superior, then ran out of the hide keeping himself away from the view of his enemies.

It took him more than ten minutes to successfully reach the back of the altar; it had been tricky… the Guardian had eyes everywhere even if he was busy fighting. More than one time he had risked to be seen or had to wait for more than a minute before he could move again.

But all the effort he had put into his task had paid off as he was now looking up at the ancient structure's back; the bricks and stone slabs, being more than two thousands years old, presented wide cracks here and there.

Perfect footholds for a small climb.

He just hoped that they wouldn't give in under his weight…

Five minutes later, Garrison finally placed his hand on the top floor of the altar; the one in which rested the big emerald. With a final effort he dragged himself up enough to pop his head and see his objective.

The man remained there, awestruck by the green pulsing light that the Master gave off; it would have made him space out if it wasn't for a peach colored foot, wearing a simple sandal, that appeared in front of his eyes.

He looked up, confused, and was staring directly into the deep blue eyes of a echidna girl, apparently dressed in ancient costume; she was bending down too look at him and she had a sad expression on her cute face.

"Please, leave the Master Emerald alone. " She said bringing her hands together in front of her chest.

The man stared for a few seconds, then he snapped back to reality, climbing onto the ledge and standing up, "My orders are to take the Master Emerald into custody and bring it back to the base. Step aside or I'll have to take action."

The ancient spirit watched as the human in front of her placed his hand over the gun into its holster at his side, ready to draw it and aim; she shook her head and refused to move from where she was.

"What the hell Garrison is doing?" The lieutenant asked to himself poking his head out of his hiding spot, "I swear…"

It was in that right moment that a flash of white light coming from behind the emerald, and a scream, made him understand that the man that he sent to secretly retrieve the Master Emerald had failed.

He sighed and crouched back down, "Ok, plan C. Let's knock that big gem out of its pedestal and retrieve from where the hell it'll land on the land below this floating piece of earth."

"Sir, we'll be still on Angel Island even down there…" One of the men complained.

"I know, but at least we'll have more probabilities on retrieving it down there than staying here… The Guardian and his ally are doing an extremely good job on keeping the mechs at bay…"

His squad nodded, understanding perfectly and one of them produced a few hand bombs.

Knuckles was now having a rather easy time defeating the GUN robots; yes, he was somewhat tired from all the fighting, but there were also less mechs around to destroy.

Rouge, even if she had taken the fight from the sky back to the ground, was still using more her brain than simple brutal force like the echidna was doing, taking a pause every time she destroyed a mech to think what she would do with the next one.

Both were so focused on the task at hand that nobody of them saw a small human reach the base of the altar and throw something on the summit; however, it took them only a few seconds to acknowledge what had happened…

Tikal had saw something land in front of the Master Emerald, but she never had the time to take it and launch it back that the tiny object exploded with a loud boom and an intense heat. It was just because that she was a spirit that she avoided being killed or wounded; still the explosion was enough to throw her backwards and down on the grassy ground below.

She stood up on her fours and shook her head, trying to clear it; it was the first time, after 'dying' that she felt so… dizzy.

The ancient spirit stood up and looked around, confused, then, like it was magnetic, she looked up at the top of the altar.

The old marble had survived fairly well the onslaught brought by the explosion, but something very important was missing.

And that something important was a huge green colored gem of great powers, namely known as the Master Emerald.

"Guardian," She commanded with stern voice, "Go after the Master Emerald. I'll be dealing with these… intruders."

Knuckles nodded and ran towards Rouge, grabbing her by the wrist and dragging her to the back of the altar.

"Knuckles, are you sure we can leave her here?"

The echidna glanced at her and lightly smirked, "You don't know what she can do. To tell the truth, neither I, but once I saw her lift Chaos from the ground effortlessly, and that is enough for me to trust her when she says that she can take care of things."

The bat raised an eyebrow, but shrugged it off, looking down at the distant ground, and forest, "Say, Knux, how this piece of land can stay afloat without the Master Emerald's powers?"

"You're forgetting that this piece of land, located almost at the center of Angel Island, is the piece of land that housed the Master Emerald for years. Thus it has been soaked into the power far more than the rest of the island. That is why."

"Can you sense the emerald from here or we have to land before you can track it down?"

The Guardian's small grin widened a little more, "You kidding, Rouge? Of course I can sense it!" He exclaimed shoving the bat into the void, then jumping after her.

As they slowly glided down, Rouge lecturing Knuckles about not shoving ladies off of a cliff, they noticed that the humans had their same idea as they launched themselves after them, using parachutes to slow their descent.

Shadow felt his younger version take a deep breath and open the door.

The room inside was barely lit and the sound of someone breathing raggedly filled the air; it was like listening to someone that had both asthma and pneumonia at the same time…

He walked inside and the door closed behind him; ignoring the faint swish of the pressurized mechanism, he walked onward, towards one of the two beds in the room and stopped three feet from the edge.

Suddenly, he could feel his mouth move, but he couldn't hear his voice; it was like watching one of those old films without audio.

This made the black hedgehog extremely frustrated.

Here he was, with his twin THREE feet from him, and he couldn't even hear what he was saying to him.

He wanted to remember, but why he was unable to do it? Who was the superior being that hated him so much to even prevent him from remembering one of the two persons that he cared so much about?

With a mental sigh, he settled on watching that little bump in the covers move up and down, emitting that awful sound.

"Sha… dow…"

He looked at the ill hedgehog in the bed as his ears picked up his name faintly murmured.

"It… burns…"

That was the most heartbreaking wail he had ever heard that he could actually remember.

He sat on the bed, right next to that figure heavily covered by the blanket and shrouded in darkness, and lifted his hands onto his twin's back, letting them move up and down, trying to soothe the pain that the other hedgehog was feeling.

He could feel him shiver under the blanket, under his hands, breathing haggardly, trying to survive the onslaught brought by the chemical that a group of GUN scientist injected into his system.

He could feel anger welling up in his heart; he wanted so badly to protect him, but how could someone weak like him be able to protect someone so strong?

Tears fell from his closed eyes, splattering onto the dark blanket, as he kept doing the only thing that he could do; help his brother feel better until Gerald came with the antidote.

Slowly, Shadow felt himself remember; he could remember that he was the only one that could soothe his twin's pain whenever he was hurt like that. Not even Maria could do it so well… It was like he had something that everyone else didn't possess…

Sometimes, if he concentrated enough, he could faintly feel, better say sensing, his pain; it was just a faint sensation in the back of his mind, but it told him how the other felt.

And it was awful.

Right now, he could sense it…

A fierce burning pain spreading from his lungs to his throat, his limbs cold and numb and a ferocious, splitting headache.

Then, suddenly, he felt something else; something that wasn't his nor of his brother. Something foreign to them.

It was… danger.

But who was in danger?

Shadow barely acknowledged the fact that both Gerald and Maria rushed into the room; the professor kneeling next to the bed and injecting something to his twin and his granddaughter dragging him away. He even almost missed his pleas to remain next to him…

Again, he was unsure of how much time had passed; it seemed an eternity, yet, at the same time, it seemed to have just passed a few minutes, a few hours at max. It was quite confusing.

But that was not what he was afraid of as there was something far worse than not knowing how much time had passed.

And that was the fact that every time he 'woke up' from a 'slumber', it took him some seconds before remembering what was happening, what happened or even who he was; and not only that, but every time it happened, it took him more time.

This had been one of them, and he was sincerely getting scared.

The creepy dreams/memories had stopped coming, leaving him again into total blankness about his past save for what little he could remember, which was very little. For some reasons he was grateful for that, yet he couldn't stop wondering what happened to him in his past and why he couldn't remember.

A heavy blow to his head perhaps, seeing as he had first woken up into the famous Green Hills full of cuts and bruises.

He was falling 'asleep' again when he felt something, in the back of his mind, that caught his attention. It was familiar, yet at the same time, it was not.

It took him several minutes to understand what it was, but when he did, he was only able to do one thing before darkness claimed him once again, and he hoped that Chaos would do the right thing about it.

Chaos clutched the bundle in his arms; why things had to be so hard?

He was in a city, under a torrential rain and staring at what was possibly the beginning of the most destructive war between three opponents; and all because they wanted to possess the same thing.

Sometimes he wondered why he didn't stay back on Angel Island…

"And now what we're gonna do…?" Asked the small fox that was hiding behind his legs, fear and desperation evident in his eyes even if he acted brave.

The water creature looked at him, then out of the alleyway they were in; that was right. What was he supposed to do now? The only way out was blocked by three enemy parties.

The BioLizard was strong, the humans were in many and the two mechs were fast and deadly.

Maybe the humans could effectively counter the huge lizard for a brief time, giving him the chance to get out of there, but while the two fought, there would still be those two mechs on his tail.

Well, maybe he could keep them at bay till he was down in the sewers; from there on things would be easier. The BioLizard would be cut off from the chase, humans could still follow them, but they were easy to beat without those huge machinery of theirs.

What could be still a threat would be the two metal beings even if he gained the advantage of tight space.

Chaos looked down at the two hedgehogs; by now, the bundle was drenching wet and cold. Not a good condition for them…

Still, they kept on fighting to survive; he had never seen such vitality and he tanked Nature to have provided them with it.

Looking around, he took a non-well defined piece of metal and launched it into the street; as soon as it clanged to the ground, hell literally broke loose.

The humans started firing their weapons at the BioLizard, while the aforementioned beast started to run towards them launching an outraged scream, bullets bouncing off of her skin and missiles doing nothing but further infuriating her.

Now that one end of the street was free, Chaos took the small fox's wrist into his hand and started running away from the battle.

Like he had suspected, the huge lizard was having a few problems against the many humans as the heavy artillery was successfully keeping her at bay. They weren't hurting her at all, but the force of the impact made her halt into her advance, or even smack her head to the side.

But again, right like he had suspected, the two robots landed in front of him shortly after he left the alleyway; the blue one standing a foot in front of the other, "Chaos, leave the two hedgehogs to us and we'll leave you be." He warned.

The water beast narrowed his eyes and raised his right arm in front of him, ready to swat away any sort of attack and defend himself, the two creatures in his care and the young fox behind him, which was trembling visibly now.

In that moment, time seemed to stop, the rain covering the sounds of the battle on the other end of the street, thus producing a silence that was not a silence. This unnerved both Chaos and Tails to no end.

They needed a solution to this situation, and fast too; the water creature could sense, since now they had intelligence, thus a will and a personality, that the two robots in front of him were on the verge of attacking. He could feel it in the air like it was fog; a malevolent fog that made him involuntarily shudder in his mind.

Then, suddenly, the Chaos Emerald embed into his right arm started reacting.

To what, he didn't know…