This story features portions from the Sonic Underground television series mixed with parts of the Sonic the Hedgehog video games. You don't really need to know that much to enjoy it, particularly if you've played at least one of the video games, but I would suggest for those of you who've never seen Sonic Underground that you read up on it a bit before you start. Trust me: It will definitely make the story more enjoyable. The recommendations I have listed below are short (maybe two-three minutes reading, tops) and will fill you in on everything you need to know.

Profile webpage: http : // www . angelfire . com / scifi / manicpanic / Profilemanic . html

(note: don't go by the picture of Manic at the top, that's not really how he looks, that's an artist's rendering; I have a real picture of him from the show referenced below)

Picture webpage: http : // www . angelfire . com / scifi / manicpanic / ScreenShots . html

(Manic is the green one; Sonia is the pink one; and Sonic, of course, is blue)

!!!Don't forget to take out all the spaces when you copy and paste the web addresses above!!!

And yes: ALL of the poems in this or any other of my works are 100% original. This includes the four line "disclaimer" poem just beneath here.

~ For those of you curious, the bold text is for people who are skimming ;) ~

NOTE OF IMPORTANCE: In this story, Knuckles is seen by the people of Mobius as the one and only god. For this reason, the word "Guardian" can be compared to "god." Therefore, when one says "Oh Guardian," it is an expression similar to the widely popular "Oh god!" that people use today. I would also like to apologize in advance on Manic's behalf. He's got a dirty mouth . . . the little bastard.

As always: don't forget to have fun.

Sonic the Hedgehog is not my creation,

His story belongs to the Sega Corporation.

This fanfic is made with humble intention,

To honor their art and brilliant invention.

~ Lael Adair

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Eternity ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Written By: Lael Adair

I : Lost and Found

"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."

~ Murphy's First Law

You know, I don't even know why I take vacations. Seriously, the one weekend I take off to visit my only sister, Sonia, those stupid rookies back at my mechanics shop call and tell me there's been an accident; something involving a practical joke, a tub of gasoline, and a match that was lit "by itself." Just great. I'm not even gone for a day and Manic's Mechanics is already in mortal peril.

I roll my eyes and continue down the shadowed path through the woods. It's almost midnight, and thanks to the thick, black clouds blocking the sky, I can barely see three inches in front of my nose. It's not really anything out of the ordinary, though. The sky's been this dark since before I was born . . . since before anyone was born for that matter. Ever since Sonic the Hedgehog defeated Robotnik over four hundred years ago, it's never really recovered.

Everyone knows the story. We're all taught it when we're little, even before we know our own names. It was 5032 and Robotnik had held Mobius under the terrible shadow of the roboticizor for nearly twenty-eight years. King Acorn was lost forever in the Void, the Acorn Kingdom was in ruins, and the only people with free will left on the entire planet were the Freedom Fighters, led by Princess Sally Acorn. For years, the Freedom Fighters and Robotnik had been caught in a deadlock; each winning a few and each losing some, but in 5032, it all came to a head.

In that year, Robotnik decided he was through playing games. With the help of some spy in the Freedom Fighter network, he figured out the location of Knothole and drew all his forces together for one huge, all-or-nothing attack. Sally and her army fought pretty well, but one after another they failed, until only the Princess and a few fighters were left. Realizing they were almost sunk, Sally came up with one last desperate plan: They would destroy Robotropolis, Robotnik's empire, with one massive explosion; killing the enemy, but also sacrificing the lives of all the roboticized Sally and the others had fought so long to save. With heavy hearts, the Princess gave the green light and they set the plan into motion.

The bombs were made from old parts and chemicals stolen from Robotnik's factories. Several more fighters lost their lives setting them up, but eventually --- mostly thanks to Tails --- the charges got set. The Freedom Fighters evacuated as many people as they could and, with tears in their eyes, pressed the button. Unfortunately, nothing happened. They guessed there was some problem with the wiring, so they got ready to sneak back into the city and recheck the circuit job, but before they could do it, Robotnik got wind of their plans and attacked.

It was then that Knuckles, the Almighty Lord, descended from Heaven and shone his grace on Mobius by basically coming in and kicking holy ass. With a single sweep of his hand, the Almighty was said to have melted Robotnik's army dead in their tracks. While he kept the robots busy; Sonic, Sally, Tails, and the other Freedom Fighters made their way into the city where they were confronted by Julian Robotnik himself --- and a mob of his robots, of course. I'm sure I don't have to explain that a fight broke out, but just to be thorough, a fight broke out. In the middle of the struggle, Robotnik saw an opportunity to kill the Princess and, being the resident 'evil bastard,' he took it. As Robotnik lunged at Sally with his blaster drawn, Sonic --- in an act of sheer valor --- unsheathed the Sword of Acorn from its hilt around Sally's waist and impaled Robotnik on its tip, sacrificing his life to her with a gunshot wound to the heart. Tails died a little later when he traveled alone into Robotropolis and set off the bombs by hand.

The explosion sent tons of black, chemical smoke into the air that was so thick, it blocked out the sun's light from the surface of Mobius. The battle won, Lord Knuckles the Almighty gave his blessing to the dead and then returned to his palace in the sky where he reigns over Heaven. Sonic was given a knight's ceremony for his sacrifice and was buried in a secret location so his memory could live on forever. To this day, lovers all over the planet build dreams upon this tale of sacrifice, and all wedding vows are made under the wishes that they'll be as strong and true as that of the great Hero and the Princess of Acorn.

I always loved that story as a kid. Well, me and everyone else on the entire planet. I still get a chill of awe at the thought of Sonic. People say I'm related to him, his great-great-something-or-other-grandchild, but people say a lot of things. I don't look anything like him if you ask me. Sonic was said to be tall, muscular, thin, smart, bold, blue . . . I'm short with spiky green quills that look like they're styled with an electrical socket every morning. My ears are pierced more times than I can count, I can't run for crap, and I'm far from an angel. My name isn't even cool enough to be up to standards. People hear the name Sonic and they're like 'Sonic, wow. I bet he's fast.' People hear my name and they think, 'Manic, huh. I bet he's crazy.' Granted, though, hedgehogs are pretty rare to see around anymore, and sometimes it gets me wondering if there was anything deeper to that story about Sonic and Sally. . . .

The woods are bone-chillingly cold tonight. Mobius pretty much stays in cold temperatures all year round since the dark clouds block out the sun, but for some reason tonight seems downright freezing . . . probably because I didn't take an extra jacket like Sonia begged me to. Murphy's law strikes again. Against my better judgment, I left her house alone in the dead of night to make the journey through the woods back to my shop. Sonia nags that I do a lot of things against my better judgment, but I love her anyway. She's the only sister I've got.

I give a shiver and hunch my shoulders a bit more into the folds of my leather jacket. I'm so busy with trying to keep warm that I don't notice the large rock sticking up on the path in front of me. With a gasp, my foot catches and I fall flat on my face into the dirt.

"Aw dammit!" I curse out loud. A few birds give startled squawks and take off from the trees above me. I get up and brush the dirt off my clothes and then start to work on getting the crap out that's found its way into my hair. The gel I use to spike my quills is like super glue, meaning it cements anything that touches it and holds it there until I shampoo with paint thinner. As I'm struggling with the pine cone from hell, a strange noise catches my attention. At first, I think it's another pissed bird, but then I realize the sound's coming from a person. It's a strange gasping sort of noise, almost like someone panting who's out of breath. My ears prick up. I don't know why, but my instincts are telling me something's not right. After a few seconds of strained listening, I realize why. The sound is of a child crying.

Now, I'm a pretty nice guy. Granted I did do some stealing back in the day, but I only stole to fulfill my need for adventure, my hunger for excitement, my. . . .

All right fine, so I was a klepto, so sue me.

Anyway, I'd hate to think of some kid lost in the woods with one of his arms hanging off of him or something. I know if I was lost in the woods with one of my arms hanging off of me, I'd want someone to have enough balls to check it out, even if that someone was an ex-klepto.

So with that happy thought dancing around in my mind, I step off the path into the forest. The cries get louder and louder the deeper I go, turning more and more frantic with each passing second. By the time I stumble into a tiny clearing, I'm freaked out of my mind with fear for this kid's safety.

I make one quick pass with my eyes around the area looking for anything dangerous --- it's a thieving habit, I guess. The space is small, barely ten feet across, but fortunately it's lit with a silvery glow. If I knew for sure what moonlight looked like, I'd swear that was it, but most likely the glow is coming from some Illumibells growing in the area. Those flowers are pretty much the only source of natural light you can find at night since the moon hasn't been seen in, oh, four hundred years. Thankfully, there's nothing threatening around that I can see. With that done, I turn my attention to where the cries are coming from.

Just on the edge of the other side of the clearing is a fox kneeling on the ground with his back to me. The kid's young, barely 15 is my guess from his size, and he's really upset. His bony shoulders are heaving up and down as he cries, and he's rocking back and forth hypnotically with his arms hugging his front. The kid's orange-ish I think, it's kind of hard to tell with all the light on him, but at the moment I could care less about his color. I'm too busy staring at the kid's tails. He's got two! It's the freakiest thing I've ever seen in my life! Even though the kid looks like something that belongs in the circus, I decide to try and pretend like I don't see his mutated tails. I'm sure the little guy gets teased a lot about it, the freaky little thing.

"Hey kid" I call out, trying hard to keep the word "freak" out of my vocabulary. "You lost?"

The kit gives a particularly forceful sob but doesn't answer. I start to inch my way towards him.

"Hey. Hey there."

I reach out a hand to calmly touch his shoulder and then my blood turns to ice. . . . My hand passes right through him.

Fear smothers me like a blanket, choking off my air. Now that I'm this close, I can see that the light bathing the clearing isn't coming from Illumibells . . . the kid's glowing. A snaking cold starts to work its way up my hand, making me gasp out in pain and draw back.

As if the noise awoke him from a trance, the fox slowly looks over his shoulder and I get a close-up look into two large eyes bleached completely white. My breath stops like a weight in my chest. I realize I can see the tree behind him right through his head.

The kid blinks slowly and, with eyes wide, turns his shoulders towards me. His hands weren't hugging himself like I thought. They were cradling something in his lap.

My mouth dries up when the 'something' comes into view.

It's a head.

There . . . is a fucking . . . head in this kid's lap.

Even though the fox is a pale-white, I can tell by the dark tint on his legs and chest that he's covered with something. His hands, his arms, his face, his legs; everything drenched in a sickening syrupy liquid. A coppery smell reaches my nose . . . blood . . . and the kid's soaked in it.

The head tilts a little on his lap, disturbed by the kid's movements, and my horror-widened eyes slowly shift to it.

It's a hedgehog head, a blue one . . . a head that, from the looks of its bloodied, mutilated neck, was forcefully severed from its body.

"He killed him" the fox whispers. The words literally seem to float through the air and prick my skin. He hugs the head like a brother lost and then holds it up. The glassy green eyes stare at me like a fish. I take a timid step back but that's as much as my fear will let me move.

"He lied" the child moans painfully. "He killed him! He lied! HE KILLED HIM! HE LIED!"

The sobs become cries, the cries become wails, the wails become screams; and before I know it, the sadistic little shit is lunging at me with his fangs opened in a terrible howl like death itself. The head goes tumbling off his lap in another direction, completely forgotten now that the fox has something else to torment. I shriek and backpedal into a tree, adding my own screams to the chorus of banshee wails coming from the fox. The kit's claws flash in the light and I feel them scratch my right shoulder. Claws?! What the hell?! He was wearing gloves a second ago!

In a clatter of earrings and quills, I dive for the ground. An unholy scream tears through the darkness, and I see huge chunks of bark spiral off like rockets while I pick myself up and run. A glance over my shoulder reveals that the bottom half of the tree I had been up against is completely destroyed. Oh yeah . . . and the little shit's giving chase.

"Shit shit shit!" My feet pound against the forest floor like thunder. Claws bathed with a ghostly glow flash off to the side. Fuck! That little shit is fast!

"HE LIED!" The scream comes again, accompanied by another silvery swipe of claws. Without even thinking about it, I see them and dodge. Thank Guardian I was once a thief! It looks like I did learn something from outrunning all those cops. I break through the trees lining the path and start to sprint now that I've got clear space, but it's not long before I somehow manage to trip on that exact same rock that made me fall the first time. Damn you Murphy!

Sweaty and panicked, I try to catch myself and stumble to the ground on my back. Before I can even start shouting out the Guardian's prayer or something, the little psycho is on me.

"He promised!" the fox screams, "HE PROMISED!" There's a flash of silver and then there's pain near my ear. I cry out and reach a hand up to fend the little shit off. Of course, my arm goes right through him.

It doesn't take me long to abandon fighting back. Blindly, frantically, I somehow turn over on my stomach and scramble to my feet.

Damn it, Sonic! If you really are my great-great-whatever, you better as hell lend me some speed right now!

I run and run for what seems like an eternity, the sound of slashing claws and undead screams driving me far beyond my endurance point. And then, just as I'm about to drop from exhaustion, I break through the forest at the end of the path and there, in the distance, is Sonia's house!

The fox/psycho thing screams and makes one last attempt at me before I reach the door. He gets me, but I don't care anymore. All I want is to get inside. The second my fingers touch the cold doorknob, the ghostly shrieks stop as if shut off by a switch. I manage to get one last good look at the psycho fox before I slam the cabin door. He's on his knees again in Sonia's lawn, rocking hypnotically, sobbing. "He killed him . . . he lied. . . ."