I do not own Sonic X etc...
Well here it is. I'm glad so many people liked my previous fics so here's my movie fic. This could be the end of my Sonic X series, but I'm toying with the idea of carying on anyway.
Updates are gonna be slow at first.
It's probably a good idea to read my other Sonic X fics before as this follows on from them... so, let's get on with it...
Bandits, rebels, guerrilla fighters; G.U.N had it coming from all directions. But since the new controllers of the law, the Hexagon organisation weren't being targeted they did nothing to chance the situation. The army kept marching out to unite the factions fighting with each other all over the planet. Before too long most of the Earth would be under their direct control, which couldn't come at a better time.
The threat of invasion by hostile aliens proved a very good motivator for the public. The average citizen was scared out of their skin and complied with everything they being told to do. Lock their doors at night, obey the curfew, hand over their weapons, support the troops…that sort of thing. People didn't like those new rules but since it was the G.U.N peacekeepers enforcing them those that made them up didn't get flamed in the media. The invasion threat was also very good for business. The economy always functioned best in war time and thanks to the constant state of warfare produced by Doctor Eggman, Metal X and the Black Arms military hardware technology had been pushed beyond all expectations and Hexagon was on the forefront. The northern hemisphere had been fortified with forests of ground to orbit guns, at least in the regions G.U.N had reclaimed dominance and thanks to salvage operations of crashed Black Arms ships new technology would soon be on the way.
True they had not been successful in locating the Blue Typhoon and it's crew that deserted from the G.U.N fleet but all in all, Hexagon was having a very good time.
So of course when one of their depot's came under attack it caught them completely off guard. In the dead of night a single intruder with speed the likes of which baffled their security robots tore through the front entrance and began ripping it's way through the entire complex, hardly leaving a single defender standing. Fleets of squad cars and vans marked 'SWAT' were tearing their way through the streets towards the depot almost instantly while G.U.N deployed a Yahger Mech to investigate.
Searchlights from choppers darted from left to right over the ground as several of them circled in the sky above. The devastation caused in such a short amount of time was unbelievable. Crumbled buildings lay everyway, piles of bricks and crushed robots were scattered across the compound. Small fires were burning in patches everywhere as the only other sources of light.
"This is headquarters, chopper five report." The voice on the radio barked and the pilot reached for the com.
"This Chopper five, have arrived at scene." He replied while another G.U.N member leaned out the side door with a camera. By now the cops had arrived at the entrance and were quickly setting up a perimeter to corner off the area from the public while the Swat police quickly advanced into the rubble to check it out. "Reporting back complete devastation…" He didn't get a chance to say anything else. Coming out of the darkness below a black shape smashed head first into the underside of their chopper causing it to tilt to the side violently. The man in the rear staggered back as the tip of a long sword lanced up through the metal floor to almost impale his foot. "May day, MAY DAY!"
Chaos erupted again as the chopper came down hard against the ground, exploding on impact into a fire storm. The parachutes from the pilots open up in the sky as those who had jumped off in time floated to safety. The swat police looked off in that direction, several of their number running over armed with heavy machine guns. They all froze as out of the flames came a dark shape; the blade of a long sword glinting brightly at it's size. Mobian in shape, it was apparently feminine and sleek and streamline; a long feline tail swaying out behind it.
"Open fire!" Someone yelled and instantly the air was lit up with bullets. The mobian brought it's sword up and deflected off some of the bullets with single motions of the blade before darting swiftly to the right and behind some debris from the chopper. With the stealth of the darkest shadows, it run through the fiery rubble using the obstacles around to their fullest effect to deflect the projectiles. Before the swat could do anything, the mobian was coming in hard for the attack .Their armour and shields and even some of the new protective technology Hexagon had developed for them did nothing as the tip of a sword lanced through one of their number running him through. Blood flew out into the air before the body collapsed to the ground. The weapon he was holding was scoped up in a second and used to slam bullets through several heads at once, the mobian showing that it was a trained marksman.
Those that could drew back to behind a row of squad cars at the entrance. Those unlucky few who didn't were brought down by streams of bullets and slashes with a blade. Finally when it was over, a total of seven men lay dead on the ground with their killer standing over their corpses. With contempt and without much further use for it, the mobian tossed the gun aside.
A loud hissing from thrusters erupted through the air and behind the police barricade one of G.U.N's Mech's landed with a loud thud. The Yahger reared itself up on mechanical bi-pedal legs and towered into the sky. Just above the cockpit a set of lights rose up from a sealed compartment and a search light cast down onto the ground lancing out of the gloom to fall on the mobian standing there. Revealed in the light the police could see it was a cat. A pair of sharp yellow eyes glared without blinking once at the humans behind the cars. The fur was faint purple and darkened at the end of the tail and the head. In the centre of the forehead was a single red jewel no bigger than a finger tip, the surface of the tiny gem stone sparkling brightly in the intense light. She was obviously a girl as her figure revealed. She was dressed in tight fitting leather armour with metallic straps across her arms and legs.
"You are under arrest." The voice of the walker's pilot boomed out as a pair of machine gun turrets on the underside of the cockpit pivoted around to point directly at her. "Drop the weapon and put your hands behind your head now!" The female cat simply smirked, before sheathing her sword in the scabbard strapped across her back. Swiftly she drew her hands together and arched her fingers around one another, muttering almost silently some incantation. Then she simply disappeared completely, vanishing from sight.
The next second she reappeared out of nothing in the space above the Yahger Mech. She landed silently on the metallic surface, catching the corner of one of the missile launcher pads to steady herself. Her free hand she held out and instantly the sword flew out of it's scabbard and the hilt connected to her waiting hand. "Holy SHIT!" The pilot exclaimed as the cat sliced open the top of the Mech with a single swipe. Once a sizable hole had been carved, her eyes glowed bright yellow like a distant star and some invisible force picked the pilot up like a rag doll and dragged him up into the air. Outside the confines of his Walker the pilot was completely defenceless.
"Now listen here Ape." She spoke, tightening her hand into a fist. The pilot felt a constricting pressured around his throat, cutting off his air supply. "You tell your masters they brought this on themselves. Unless they return the Arcanum then I'm going to keep hurting them and there's not a thing they can do to stop me." She snarled at him angrily, a pair of fangs glinting in the star light. "Do you understand?" The pilot wasn't able to answer, he was struggling at whatever was strangling him but with his fingers clawing at air it was futile. His face slowly turning blue. "Good." Without a second thought, she tossed him violently off the side of his own Mech and down towards the police below; before disappearing completely.
Without someone at the controls, the Yahger Mech creaked forward before finally toppling over completely. The police had just enough time to run before the Walker cast it's shadow over their squad cars, coming crashing down on top of them. Flames bellowed up into the air, a pillar of smoke slowly rising up towards the stars.
"Back up, requesting Chopper backup!" One of the officers on the ground yelled into the radio on one of the few cars felt in one piece.
"Hey sergeant look!" A voice called over. Some of the swat were looking over a patch of flames on the floor. Someone had drawn something in the ground with a sharp object. Defined grooves running through the tarmac. Blood from the fallen men was running into it and now written in blood was the word….
GO, GO, GO, GO, LET'S GO
Breaking the rules up until yesterday,
today being just generally loose,
With a punk philosophy,
saying to no longer run
towards the best goal,
that there is no meaning elsewhere.
With my biorhythm doubled,
the scenery is just countless lines
as the wind surrounds me.
I don't want to be
attacking Inside, Outside,
surpassing absolutely everything,
leaving nobody and nothing ahead.
Inside Outside GO! SONIC!
Absolutely Everything Yes! SONIC!
"Look Out!" and "Have a Nice"
the difference is paper thin.
Throw away the boredom, and just start running.
The rhythm of a carved heart -- that's my ism.
Being somewhat impatient.
Even if I no longer sleep, I keep running within my dreams
I am a runaway 365 days a year.
Things I want to do today, is what I will do tomorrow.
There's no difference, if I can feel it, I'll ride the beat.
Because I believe in you.
Takin' Take it GO! SONIC!
Thoroughly Yes! SONIC!
"Let's shake" and "Action Show"
Both are for friends.
Kick away the restraints, and do what your heart wants
I don't want to be attacking Inside, Outside, surpassing absolutely everything, leaving nobody and nothing ahead.
Inside Outside GO! SONIC!
Absolutely Everything Yes! SONIC!
"Look Out!" and "Have a Nice"
the difference is paper thin.
Throw away the boredom, and just start running.
GO, GO, GO, GO LET'S GO!
Sonic X: The Movie, DRAGON BLOOD
Lifeon Angel Island would never be the same and Knuckles the Echidna could not be happier. For once he could have the best of both worlds. He could get on with his job of guarding the Master Emerald and enjoy the company of Rouge the Bat. Of course, he would not admit that out load; especially not to his new resident. The flying landmass lacked the fast city life Rouge was used to and enjoyed, but she seemed to adapt well to the solitude of the island. Although he had caught her watching the Master Emerald longingly more than once; as if her own magpie instincts were coming back. That became worrying as the only jewel on the island kept it from crashing into the ground.
"Off…you ….go!" Knuckles grunted to himself before with one finally shove, he pushed the last of the militaries equipment over the side of Angel Island. Against his better judgement he had let G.U.N install a radar device so they could monitor Doctor Eggman's Eggmoon from the higher altitude. Having no more wish to even associate with the military or government in general, he decided he could no longer tolerate the presence of the stuff.
He watched as it disappeared through the clouds before turning to walk back towards the trees. Rouge was waiting for him in the branches of one nearby watching him as he walked back through the opening underneath onto the forest path.
"That was worth some heavy cash ya know. You could have sold it." She commented, before dropping down to the ground to follow him.
"Rouge, what would I do with money?" He asked, folding his arms behind his head as he walked. "I've got everything I need right here on this island." Suddenly he felt her arms close in from behind the drawing herself close to his back.
"You say the sweetest things without trying sometimes." He blushed realizing how his words could be interpreted.
As always the Master Emerald sat aloft in it's place on the ruins of the shrine, it's steady glow radiating outwards over the clearing. The ruins were gathered in it's light. A crumbling set of stone rings encircling an ancient set of stairs to a pedestal above;. It wasn't much, but it was home.
"How does it do that anyway?" Rouge asked as Knuckles began his way over towards it.
"Do what?" The echidna asked turning around and walking backwards.
"Makes the island fly, controls chaos energy… you know the whole thing that makes it different from other jewels it's size." She replied flying after him.
"Are there other jewels it's size?" Knuckles asked feigning a surprised look. Rouge's expression turned flat. "Well to tell the truth I don't know." He paused, then laughed. "I've been guarding this thing all my life and I haven't the slightest clue as to how it works." Everyone considered him an authority of Chaos energy effects and manipulation and true he knew more about it than most people but still, his knowledge was miniscule compared to stuff that baffled him about the emeralds. Questions like where they came from and who made them escaped his explanations.
"You could always ask it." Rouge stated as they reached the bottom of the stone steps that lead up to the top of the shrine.
"Somehow I don't think I'll get much in the way of an answer." He replied sitting down on the first step and making himself comfortable. He stared up towards the sky. It was clear completely. Being so high they were above the cloud cover it was nearly always this way. In fact, Knuckles reminded himself that the plants on the island were going to need a good soaking before too long. It seemed all he had to do was ask the Master Emerald and it would lower the flight path of the island to duck below the clouds and absorb some of the rain.
Another of the oddities of the emerald he had yet to figure out.
His lips pushed themselves into a frown, reminded all of a sudden of the Emerald's prisoner. Like Chaos before, trapped inside the Master Emerald was the spirit of the Destroyer. Well, half his spirit anyway. In the final battle with Krish, his essence had been ripped in two and while the Master Emerald had taken one half, the Precious Stone belonging to Queen Illumina of Maginaryworld had taken the other.
He sat up and looked at the jewel from where he sat. It seemed darker than he remembered it. Perhaps that was just his rendering of it. Now that it contained a part of the being that gulled his people into destroying themselves he felt like it was…contaminated in some weird way.
Still perhaps he was letting his personal feelings get the better of him. Chaos and Tikal had been stuck in the Emerald for eons and he had never felt a thing.
"Something wrong?" Rouge asked, peering over him blocking his view. He blinked once, coming back from his thoughts.
"Oh…it's nothing really." He stated before stretching out to make himself more comfortable. "Just thinking about things." Rouge watched him carefully, an eye narrowed.
"What to talk …" Before she could finish, the glow from the Master Emerald pulsated before turning blood red.
"What on?" Knuckles began turning to stare. The Master Emerald, the entire thing had changed from emerald green to scarlet. Sparks of purple lightning began sparking around it like a thunder storm and everything around it seemed to darken, black seeping in distorting everything in sight. In this state it remained for several seconds before as if nothing had happened at all, it reverted and returned to normal.
"What was that?" Rouge asked looking a little stunned. Knuckles just stood there with his mouth agape.
Being so close to the Emerald in terms of relationship he had seen more than she had. For a moment, one brief moment the Master Emerald had linked itself with another power; a power equal to itself in power. A symbiosis of power that stretched beyond his imagination but as soon as the link was established it vanished. But that wasn't all. Through that one moment of insight he had seen it. Giant wings spread aloft, carrying the massive scaly bulk into the sky. Thousands fled as it's shadows filled the sky, mothers clutching at their children, multitudes tripping over each other in mass panic. A set of raven black eyes in a horn rimmed face stared down at the ground below and the futile attempts to stop it made by the soldiers before a wide mouth with several rows of dagger like teeth that tore itself open and fire began bellowing out like a tornado.
Knuckles had seen visions from the Master Emerald before and they were all prophecies of doom. What this one meant he could only guess at.
The Blue Typhoon was a ship created jointly by Miles Prower and Doctor Eggman. It was built as a war vessel that would allow them to reach Mars, where the Metal X Machine Federation had terra-formed the planet for some purpose as yet unknown. Now it was a ship on the run.
For some reason the G.U.N army considered the ship their property and seemed adamant about seizing it back. Which was partly the reason Major Koji Naoko Okida had chosen to hijack the vessel and pilot it out of the militaries service station before the Government commission could take it away. He and many others had lived, worked and fought on the ship for many months and considered it special to them. It had been conceived by Tails, their friend who along with Cosmo had sacrificed their places in this dimension in order to give Sonic and Shadow their chance at beating Krish Kra Pal or better known as the Destroyer. It was this that prevented anyone who had so much as set a foot onboard from handing the ship over to the Government.
The sun was slowly rising over the horizon on the African coast, the shadows of the night being chased over the bow of the ship as it flew close to the ground, travelling in an easterly direction towards the island of Madagascar in the distance. The African continent was one of the few places G.U.N had failed to reclaim territory. Here all they would have to deal with would be the remnants of former local Governments of the region and bandits.
Most of the tasks onboard were tended to by robots, Eggman's creations of course, so all the ship crew had to do were a few of the more important ones, those that required a living crew member present in order to fix.
"Energy bypass system, incredible!" Charles or Chuck Thorndyke remarked for the tenth time from underneath the Chaos Energy generator. In the original design, the Typhoon drew it's energy directly from a Chaos Emerald. Adapting salvaged Black Arm technology that given them a generator that produced the energy without one. It wasn't as good or reliable as a Chaos Emerald, but until they found one of the Emeralds it would have to do.
Even so Chuck found the alien device fascinating. With the most technical knowledge of anyone onboard, he had self appointed himself engineer and had taken to dissecting the generator and the putting it back together again once every couple of days, each time making him faster at it.
Black Arm technology was a fusion of metal and organic flesh, allowing the alien sect a sort of telepathy with their constructions. While humans and Mobians couldn't enjoy that symbiosis but thanks to his varied experience in biology and mechanics Chuck could understand the technology behind it. "Oh ingenious, how did they come up with this?"
"I think you're getting a little obsessed with this." Topaz remarked, leaning over the side.
"Quiet, once I understand how this technology works I'll have the entire ship outfitted with it. The Typhoon will be invincible." As if the fates heard him, part of the device had a discharge and a good deal of smoke spat itself down onto his face. "What in…damn it!" He exclaimed, hitting his head on the bottom of the machine. Topaz giggled to herself.
Omega raised his arms and several compartments on the outside of his barrel sized limbs opened up revealing hidden missile compartments. Several of them flew through the air towards their target. Flicking her wrist Amy Rose summoned her hammer into her hand as she ran, her emerald green eyes locked onto the incoming projectiles. As soon as they were within a few feet of her, he turned and spun her hammer around in an arch using the entire length to bat each of them away. One impacted on the floor, another the wall and the last two directly into the ceiling.
Omega reloaded preparing to fire again and Amy used the spilt second to move in for a close ranged attack, bringing her hammer around sharply trying to hit the battle android across the head. A round red metal arm swung up and parried her blow before Omega switched from ranged to close range combat, lashing out with his talons repeatedly. Using intense amounts of agility she ducked and dodged around the swings, using the handle length of her hammer to block some of the attacks.
Seeing that her strategy wasn't working, Amy switched battle plans backing off to put herself out of range of those metallic claws but still too close for him to fire missiles safely.
Unable to use either weapons, Omega left himself open to a couple of bashings as Amy circled him smashing her hammer repeatedly against his metal armour. Forced to adapt, Omega shifted into mobile mode; his legs retracting inside his body and a pair of tank like threads taking their places. Using his arms to block her swings, the battle android soured forward with surprising speed out of her range and as soon as he was far enough away his torso rotated around to face back to front and he raised his arms.
"Target locked." His metallic hands rotated to the side to reveal a hidden pair of missile launching platforms within the arms themselves. Two heat seekers soured forward, ready to strike hard at the pink hedgehog.
Amy forged a smirk, before swinging her hammer around in an arch and batting both of them around in the air at the same time. The missiles seemed to do a u-turn in mid air and before Omega could order them to self destruct they ploughed right into his body and sent him souring back into a far wall.
At this point, Chris tapped the top of the stopwatch
"How was that?" The pink hedgehog called over, taking a napkin out of her pocket and whipping her forehead with it.
"One minute ten." Chris replied resetting his stop watch. "Definitely faster." Amy smiled then turned to her sparing partner.
"Hey Omega, you ok?" With a loud metallic grunting, Omega's legs reappeared as he heaved himself up from the floor. The missiles had all been duds and not the kind used in actual combat but they still managed to pack a wallop.
"Damage assessment: Minimal, system compensating." Sparing with the android had become a daily practise for her. It was part of preparation, or at least that was the way she saw it. The Confederates, the main Fesonian Empire would be arriving within the solar system in little over a year and a half. The entire world was preparing for the inevitable battle that would erupt once that invasion force got here so why shouldn't she?
"Hey, didn't Sonic say he was going to practise as well?" Sam Speed asked looking around for the blue hedgehog as he pushed several boxes for ammunition refills in Omega's direction. The empty hanger bay that they had quickly converted into a practise space was empty apart from the four of them.
"He was." Chris replied as Amy stepped down to take a short break. "But Shadow got to him first, they went out for training of their own about half an hour ago." Shadow had been pushing Sonic hard for the past few months. Each time Sonic had come back exhausted, pushed beyond even his physical limits. Amy reminded herself to speak to Shadow about that. She didn't want Sonic worn out before he planned to pull off her strategy to claim his heart.
"Order now and get…"
"Oh Brad, what will a do…"
"Who wants to be a…."
"Peek performance at…" No one sentence completed itself as Hare couldn't find a single channel to his liking. Not there was much choice to begin with. After that whole Black Arm thing most television satellites has stopped functioning along with many TV stations. Himself, Bean and Bark were lounging around in the recreational centre. Bark was lifting weights while Bean amused himself with a treadmill. Hare had already done his workout so he could afford a little time to relax.
"Ah forget it." The rabbit like Mobian finally sighed standing up from the couch and stretching out his wide arms. "Only thirty channels are left and there's still nothing worth watching."
"Don't turn that off." A voice stated from behind him. Bark put the weights back on the metal holder and looked up to see the Major of Freelance Division enter. Okida was a Mobian vampire bat, his fur a golden brown and eyes flaxen yellow. On his chest he wore a white shirt with a sleeveless brown leather jacket over it. Wrapped around his shoulders was a blood red drape. His pants were raven black and boots brown. He never seemed to change his attire at all. With Tails gone Okida had assumed the acting role of captain of the ship.
"What for, there's nothing worth watching on." Hare told him as the bat took the controls and changed channel. He flipped over to one of the few constant news channels that remained functioning after the satellites went down.
"Government officials have today released a statement regarding the terrorist attacks conducted on military targets over the last few weeks in Central City." The female news speaker announced, behind her were captions showing utter destruction of several buildings which according to the reports had been both Hexagon and Military property. Even Bark put down his weights and paid attention at this point "According to a spokesperson for the army, the intelligence agency has reason to believe these terrorists are a Mobian militant group."
"Oh come on." Hare remarked callously. "We all wanna take a few pot shots at G.U.N at the moment. Me included."
"There's a difference between wanting to and actually doing it." Bean told him, wiping the sweat off his feathers with his bandana. Suddenly the newsreader held a hand to her ear piece.
"I'm being told that our report has arrived on the scene of the latest attack, let's go to him now." The scene buzzed for a moment through one of the few remaining satellites links before clarifying. There was a man with a microphone standing in front of a smouldering pile of ash and broken, twisting metal pieces.
"I'm standing on the grounds of what used to be a military depot belonging to the finical organisation Hexagon, frequently used by the G.U.N army to store oil and other resources needed for the fleet. At around midnight last night it came under brutal attack from what police have dubbed 'Blaze'." A photo shot of the signature left behind by the feline that had devastated the entire place was shown. "As of yet, police are still unsure of whether this title refers to a single person or an organisation but whatever the case; 'Blaze' is wanted for destruction of military property, grand arson and finally the murder of several SWAT police responding to the distress call from security." Okida showed no emotion at the scene of several men being sealed up in body bags and put into the backs of several ambulances. "This is just the latest in a string of attacks that began last week. So far a Mech refuelling station, military outposts and now Hexagon property has been added to the long list." The press hadn't made a big a deal of these attacks so far, that is until something belonging to Hexagon got attacked. Since the organisation was now pulling G.U.N's strings, it was doing everything it could to play the martyr. "Police officials have told me today that if these acts of terrorism reflect the feelings of the mass majority of Mobian kind then military action may have to be considered."
"They can't do that!" Amy exclaimed loudly once everyone onboard had gathered on the bridge of the ship. "They can't blame the rest of us for something one person did!"
"I think you'll find they will." Hare remarked with a flat expression. "No offence to any humans present but from what I've seen of your history, you spent most of your time coming up with excuses to bash each other's heads in."
"None taken I'm sure." Chuck replied, folding his arms and fixing Hare with a stern glare.
"But can they do that?" Topaz asked. "I mean really blame all Mobians for this? The people won't allow it." Sam Speed suddenly burst out laughing, running his fingers through his red hair.
"Are you kidding? Half the time 'the people' don't get a look in." They knew he was right. Hexagon, the true force behind G.U.N was now in almost total control of society on Earth. As such, IT dictated the rules. Hexagon said jump, the police said how high.
"Look we're jumping the gun a bit here." Chuck stepped in trying to cut back to the point. "I mean really this is all speculation for a worst case scenario."
"Still, it's probably best we cap these 'Blaze' people before they give Mobians any more bad press." Okida muttered stretching out his wings.
There was a shunting as the door to the bridge opened and staggering came Sonic, his blue quills a mess. His arms and legs covering wit dirt and scratches and cuts lancing over his ankles. "Sonic, what on Earth happened to you?" Okida asked as the blue hedgehog swayed there gently, before collapsing to the floor, Amy quickly rushing to his side.
"You look like you ran from one side of Africa to the other without stopping." Chris remarked as the pink hedgehog helped Sonic into a chair.
"I did." He replied, whipping some of the sweat off his brow. "Shadow wouldn't let me stop."
"Here." Amy handed him a ring and as soon as it was in his finger, it glowed brightly yellow for a single instant before disappearing complete; it's energy absorbed into Sonic's body. Some but not all of the injuries disappeared and even his quills snapped back into place. The blue hedgehog stretched out until his bones snapped then he relaxed.
"Thank's Amy I needed that." He said giving her a thumbs up. Amy just smiled back at him.
"Man Shadow's been taking this training thing seriously." Chris muttered, then looked around. "Speaking of which where is he?" Sonic shrugged.
"He said he had something to do and shot off."
"Come to think of it." Chuck started. "I haven't seen Tikal for a while either."
It had taken months of browsing through records, going through files and digging through reports long since buried and forgotten but finally Shadow had found it and now, he stood before the gates of a long abandoned estate. The grounds were several acres in width and length and surrounded by a tall stone wall. Parts of it were crumbled and most claimed by a think entanglement of vines and creepers. Directly in the centre was a large mansion, rotted by time and in ill shape after decades of abandonment. Here it had stood in the French countryside alone for fifty years, conveniently separated from civilisation by miles of open wilderness and forestland.
The rusted metal plate identifying the property was still riveted into the gate at the northern entrance. Most of the writing on it had been weathered away by time but one word still stood out through the rust.
The wooden sign outside said no trespassing. But the metal plague clearly showed…
The Professor talked of his home on the Earth often, had once even shown a picture of it to the developing hedgehog, but for some strange reason had neglected to inform him of where it lay. He had asked Maria of it, but the girl had only smiled and told him she didn't know where it was either. She had spent her entire life on the ARK but imagined the manor to be a beautiful place.
She was right, the picture Gerald had showed him revealed pristine lawns and cut hedgerows, with a beautiful central building with freshly pained outer woodwork. But now thanks to neglect the place was ugly, a dried up corpse of it's former self. The central manor stank of wet wood even from this distance. The walls were blackened and those made of stone crumbled under the incessant pulling of vines. The ground crunching underfoot he made his way up the thick gravel path towards the house.
He knew Tikal was following him. She had made no attempt to hide her presence and now he could hear her crunching footsteps on the path behind. Just how she managed to keep up with him, even when he ran and used Chaos Control was something he would have to put thought to sooner or later.
"So this is the home of the Robotnik family?" She asked, finally speaking to him. Shadow nodded once without turning around, his gaze locked on the house before him. It was here he would find the answers he sought. Not anything to do with him, he was done with that. But the Professor had more secrets to divulge. Like how he knew all he did, about Mobius and Earth merging, about how events would transpire even after his own death and finally just how he became informed of Krish Kra Pal, the Destroyer, in the first place.
The space colony in orbit could reveal nothing, so instead; he turned his attentions here.
The door fell inwards as he pushed it open, the hinges rusted to the breaking point finally giving way. The slammed of rotted wood against a dust covered floor echoed through the empty rooms of the house and echoed for several minutes.
"I didn't know they were hiring Dracula as an interior decorator." The black and red hedgehog muttered to himself, wandering across the hall. The whole place was a classic renaissance manor, everything fitting the time period perfectly. Wooden walls with stone pillars several couple of feet, mahogany floors and even a spider web ridden chandelier hanging from the high ceiling above. A set of stairs ran up to a balcony on the right hand side, the walls going up lined with old portrait frames; the pictures either gone or long since faded.
"No one has been here in over fifty years." Tikal said, joining his side and casting her gaze through an open door into a side room. It was too dark beyond to see what lay inside.
"But why?" Shadow asked out load, the puzzlement clear on his face. If Tikal was right, then the Robotnik family had abandoned this place after the events on ARK. Why were they compelled to do this? Had there been more to what transpired than he already knew? Shadow growled to himself and made his way past the stares towards the back of the house. Every time he thought he had the story pieces together, some other thing came along to break up the picture and add more jigsaw puzzle pieces.
Tikal wandered into the room she had seen earlier, leaving Shadow to his own business. It was a dining room of some kind. A long wooden table stood directly in the centre, the chairs around it covered in sheets of white clothe. Another door at the far end lead into another room, most probably the kitchens. What drew her attention was the item that sat on the cabinet nearby. It was a small picture frame with a photograph encased behind the glass.
Prof. Gerald Robotnik and the young Maria she recognised instantly, but there were more people in the photo. Standing beside the professor were two younger men. One was tall with thick sideburns running down his face and a pair of thick spectacles. He was dressed in rugged clothing and had a canvas cowboy style hat on his head. The other was shorter with a thick orange moustache, a shock of fiery red hair and this one was holding a small boy on his shoulders. The child was probably about seven and had to be the man's son. They shared the red hair and eyes. Like the first man, the child wore thick glasses. On his T-shirt were the words 'I LOVE SCIENCE' and cradled in his arms was a small bronze trophy. Engraved on the plague at the bottom was "first place Science award."
Tikal went to put the photo back in it's place, then hesitated. Again she glanced at the boy in the photo, with thick glassed and red hair. Then at his father, the one with the very so familiar shaggy orange moustache. Given family traits and adding a few pounds and years, this boy could very well be…. A foreboding sense of da-ja-vu stole over her at the thought and she put the frame into her pocket.
Shadow found most of the downstairs devoid of anything of interest. All the furniture was covered with white sheets and anything valuable that could be carried away practically was gone. Silver ware, pots, pans and seven cutlery was missing from the kitchen. Besides, if there were answers here; he doubted he found find them amongst decades old spice racks.
Suddenly there was a loud noise echoing through the ceiling, a crash that shook the walls and sent fragments of plaster dust falling down. Shadow cast a glance up; he knew Tikal was in the other room so that couldn't have been her. They were not alone in the house.
Quickly he shot back to the hall to find Tikal waiting for him. She had heard it too. Silently the two of them ascended the large stair case and were quickly on the landing. Several doors on the right over the kitchen lead to other rooms, one of which was open. The dust on the floor had been recently disturbed, two trails of foot prints leading off through the door.
In no mood to creep around, Shadow simply walked over to the door and looked inside standing in clear view.
"I don't believe it." He snarled stepping through the door frame with Tikal following. The room inside was one of the master bedrooms. A canopy bed ran in the far corner with furniture placed all around. "What the hell are you two doing here?" Trying to move one of the dusty cabinets were two very family robots.
Becoe dropped his side of the furniture when he sighted the hedgehog, dropping it down on his foot and was now hopping around the room in pain. Shadow scowled. It seemed Eggman's flunkies were making off with whatever they could carry here.
"Never mind us, what are you doing in France?" Decoe asked in reply, looking surprised.
"Sightseeing." Shadow stated sarcastically stepping forward. "Care to explain why you're taking the furniture?"
"We're not taking anything." Becoe said, rubbing his foot one last time. "We're just looking for a key."
"A key?" Tikal and Shadow asked in unison. Shadow narrowed his eyes at the two robots.
"What key?" He asked.
"The key that opens my grandfather's secret laboratory of course." Stated a familiar voice from behind them. Turning to look back over his shoulder Shadow saw Doctor Eggman standing in the doorway, his hands pressed against his hips. His eyes, hidden behind thick glasses squinted down at them both. "Even here I can't be rid of some pesky little Mobian getting in the way." The scientist muttered, running his fingers through his moustache.
"Just what do you think you're doing here?" Shadow asked confrontationally. Eggman feigned a hurt look.
"Is a man not entitled to visit his family home?" The black and red hedgehog set him a flare that could have dissolved stone. He knew from long experience the good doctor was not the sentimental type. "Look let's not beat around the bush. I'm here because I want the same thing as you I'd wager."
"And what might that be?"
"Answers mainly. My grandfather set down a plan to combat the Destroyer even before the invasion of ARK." Eggman paused to adjust his glasses. "I want to know exactly how he became privileged to information by all rights he could never have had."
"And possibly acquire some Black Arm technology while you're at it?" Tikal asked with a raised eyebrow. Most of the Professor's achievements had been done due to his researches at the crash site of the space station Armageddon. The Eclipse Cannon, the ARK itself and perhaps even parts of Project Shadow had come from his studies of the ancient science. Eggman managed a thick sadistic smile.
"What secret lab?" Shadow asked.
Hidden beneath the house was a military style complex, built by the Professor even before he started construction on the ARK. According to Eggman, not even the military knew of it's existence. Everything Gerald had wanted to keep hidden from them he stashed there. A lifetime of secrets concealed behind a door that despite the Doctor's best efforts he had been unable to open.
Leading them around the back of the house to the west wing, he revealed a secret passage down behind a false wall. Behind which was a flight of stairs that lead downwards into the earth.
"If you're so desperate to get in there…" Tikal began. "Then why not simply tunnel down through to get past the door?" Eggman's expression didn't change.
"Believe me I would if I could." He replied. "But that's out of the question. The entire complex is concealed under bedrock, that's how it managed to evade notice for so long. If I start tunnelling through the roof I could bring the whole thing crashing down." He shook his head as they descended the stairs. "No, I have to go in through the door. Which, it pains me to admit, I can not open." He stood aside to reveal a tower metal barricade blocking the path. A complex metal door made the tunnel at the bottom of the stairs a head end. It looked air tight. Nothing had been out of there since it was sealed, which had to be a good couple of decades. The entire door was covered from top to bottom in a thick layer of dust.
Shadow walked up closer and put his hand against the metal frame. The dust had been whipped away near the ground level, revealing a large pad on the side. This had been a locking mechanism of some kind.
"So you've been searching the house for the key to this door?" Tikal asked and Eggman nodded once.
"For over five hours now, without success." He sighed angrily folding his arms while his two robots looked rather defeated.
"And you're not going to find it." Shadow told them all without turning around. "This door doesn't require a key to open." He turned his hand to look at the pad nearby. "This is a palm scanner. The Professor was working on it on the ARK, I remember seeing him with it." The good doctor and his robots shot each other a glance. No wonder they hadn't been able to find the key. There wasn't one to begin with. It could only be opened by one person, the lock could be deactivated by the one with the right palm print.
"Well, who's palm print opens the damn thing?" Eggman asked impatiently. Shadow was silent for a second, before he reached over and whipped away the thick cobwebs and dust just above the pad. There he revealed an icon about the size of a dinner plate engraved into the metal. A yellow circle, surrounded by three red rectangular shapes in a triangle. It was the all too familiar icon of Project Shadow.
"Mine." The black and red hedgehog stated, before he removed one of his gloves and then reached out slowly with that hand and placed it gently on the pad. For a moment nothing happened, then the entire pad lit up bright pink and a soft bleeping echoed from behind the door. There was a sudden shunting noise as old devices and gears began twisting inside and then finally the door parted down the middle and pulled itself aside scrapping against the bottom of the floor loudly.
End of Part 1