Chapter 1

Me: Okay, third try! I'm going to make it more Sonic-oriented this time. The Kingdom Hearts stuff seemed to ruin it for me. But anyway...

-- -- -- -- -- --

"Wohoo!" Locke, a bluish-purple hedgehog wearing jeans and a black T-shirt with a flame cheered as he burst out the school's front doors at sixty-five miles per hour. He was followed by a mob of Mobian students. He was the first student to be out of the school building for the summer, and Locke loved summer more than any other time of the year. To Locke, summer meant non-stop fun and excitement…he was not one to sit around at all. He skidded to a stop and let the crowd pass while he waited for his friends.

It wasn't long before the first of them extracted himself from the crowd: it was Janus, his best friend. He was a black hedgehog with plum-purple streaks along his quills, and dull gold-colored bangs wore a simple white tank top with jeans and brown hiking boots. A pair of thin spectacles was perched on his nose, giving a deserved look of intelligence. His eyes were unusual…one was an emerald green, and one was a light blue.

Janus was followed closely by his younger sister Nadja, a perky peach-colored, short-quilled hedgehog with an elegant white shirt with web-like cuffs and neckline. She wore light blue pants, and wore, no matter the season, black boots with faux fur on them. She seemed to radiate happiness and excitement at almost all times.

"At last…summer!" Locke said triumphantly to his friend. "Man, am I excited!" Janus rolled his eyes. Locke was always this exuberant about summer vacation, even though he was going to spend half of it doing chores and yard work. Janus reminded his friend of this, but Locke wagged his finger.

"Not this year…" With a flourish, he presented his report card for the year to Janus. The black hedgehog nodded thoughtfully.

"B's all the way across the board…that's the best you've ever done!" Janus said. "I'm proud of you!" He patted his friend on the back. Nadja simply cheered a little and jumped on Locke, knocking him down. Janus couldn't help but laugh. The three soon went their separate ways for the time being.

-- -- -- -- -- --

"Mom, I'm home!" Locke called to his mother as he stepped inside the large apartment the two had. A purple female hedgehog wearing a simple dress and blouse poked her head out of the kitchen. Her quills remained in the position they were when she was young. But she was no ordinary hedgehog mother. She was Tahra Streakin, widow of the hero Sonic and a heroine herself. Of course, she never revealed this to her son. For all Locke knew, she was an ordinary mother who was trying to raise her son right.

"Oh, hello Locke…how was your last day?" she said as she finished wiping a dish. Locke simply strode up to her and proudly presented his report card. Her eyes widened with joy…her son actually did well this year. So much was her joy she couldn't help but hug him as hard as she could. Locke struggled a bit in embarrassment. Once the teenager had been released from his mother's embrace, he asked her the question that he had been waiting to ask for quite some time.

"Mom, can I go with Icarus and his dad on their vacation?" he asked excitedly. Tahra looked his report card again, thought for a moment, and smiled.

"Of course you can, Locke…you've earned it." At this, Locke pumped his fist and hooted before racing up to his room. He immediately plopped down on his bed and began to call his friend Icarus. Eventually, a high, slightly nasal voice came from the phone.

"Hey, Locke. What's up?"

Locke could barely contain his excitement "My mom…she said I could come!"

"That's great! Wait till I tell my dad!" Icarus replied. "I guess our little study sessions paid off, didn't they?" Locke nodded, despite the fact that his friend couldn't actually see him.

"So…who else is coming along?" the hedgehog then asked.

"Let's see…Janus and Nadja are coming and I think Scarlet's coming too. I guess it's the whole gang! My dad has something awesome planned this year…we're leaving tomorrow, so I think you should start packing."

"I'm gonna do just that! See you then!" With that, Locke hung up his phone and began to gather clothing for the trip…

-- -- -- -- -- --

"Isn't this soooooo exciting, Janus?" Nadja squealed with barely contained excitement when they reached the doorstep. "We're going to see the world! It will just be you, me, and all of our friends!" Janus simply nodded and opened the door.

"Aunt Maria! We're back!" he called. After Shadow's death, Amy, their mother, sent the two to live with her husband's sister Maria. Of course, Janus and Nadja got to see their mother on a fairly regular basis, usually on the last three days of every month. Amy also came for special occasions and holidays. Other than that, their aunt Maria was the only living family they had. The siblings were extremely close, so much that Janus joked that if they were any closer, incest would probably result.

"Hello, you two!" Maria called from the kitchen. "I hope you two have everything packed for your big trip tomorrow!"

"Yeah, yeah, Nadja and I packed last week!" Janus replied with a slightly annoyed tone in his voice as he plopped down in front of the television. He turned it on and began flipping through channels. Finding nothing, he turned off the set, pulled off his brown shoes and laid back on the couch, taking up two thirds of it. Nadja sat down on the remaining third and looked over at her older brother.

"What are YOU looking forward to seeing, big brother?" Nadja asked in a voice that still had some excitement in it. Janus sighed.

"Frankly, I don't really know," he replied. "With the exception of a few field trips, we've never left the area of New Sylvania. We don't know what's really out there. So, I suppose the whole trip excites me." Nadja let out a barely audible squeal. But then Janus turned over on his belly.

"But right now, I'm gonna take a nap. You go do whatever." Janus tried to close his eyes, before he heard a pounding on the door. Nadja, being more able, got up and went to the door. She peered out to see a black and red fox wearing black pants, a blue-green tank top and dark shoes. Like Janus, she had a pair of spectacles perched on her nose. She appeared to be very annoyed. Nadja opened the door and the fox came storming in, right up to Janus.

"Janus! What's the heck were you thinking, ditching me!" the fox yelled at him, making him wince. "Don't tell me you forgot?!" The black hedgehog sat up and groaned a little.

"Okay, I'm sorry, Scarlet," Janus groaned. "I was just so excited with the summer fever and all that it must have slipped my mind. By the way, where are your bags?"

"I left them with Icarus and his folks last night," Scarlet replied. "But anyway, don't EVER ditch me again, got it?" Janus nodded. The fox smiled and sat down on an adjacent chair. "So…I'm sleeping in Nadja's room, right?"

"Actually, I don't know if that's going to work out." Janus said nervously. "I forgot to mention that she loves to keep all her stuff on the floor, and my room is the only one that has room. You can always sleep on the couch."

Scarlet dismissed that. "I'm sure one night wouldn't hurt. It's not like we're a couple, right?" Janus seemed a bit dismayed as he nodded in agreement.

-- -- -- -- -- -- --

The sky was red when the star fell down

A monster lied inside it, eating the world

With it came an angel and a devil, one and the same

Eternally warring and eternally one

Twelve sacred items the light did forge

To guard the bastion of all things live

Thirteen hearts of hope and justice will rise

To wield the twelve and the book

Twelves hearts will form twelve knights

And banish the evil forever.

-- -- -- -- -- -- --

Me: And so ends Chapter 1. This story will probably be at least one-and-a-half times the length of the first one in the number of chapters. It will also feature the characters of many of my Internet friends, whom I have recieved prior permission from.

Nadja: I wonder what adventures we'll have.

Scarlet: And that poem…it HAS to do with the plot.