A PLANET with the Name of HOPE
"I looked high to the lamps of artificial light that cross-hatched the sky…
"What's it like? To be in outer space…to live in a space colony?
"Well, I found out the hard way.
"I was one of the millions of children taken from Earth by GUN's Space Force to live in this titanic of the cosmos…called Antilia…
"This is home, now."
The Antilia Incident… 2172 A.D. …Part One
Sonic stood out in the middle of a broad walkway, staring up at the eternity that was the universe. Antilia was a residential space colony originally constructed on Jupiter's moon, Europa L5, as a support base for the excavation of Jupiter's resources, but by orders of GUNSF, or GUN Space Force, it was remodeled to house Earth civilians and other interplanetary foreigners.
Sonic was one of those Earthling children that dated, ten years ago that very day, the Earth Incident--when BAHRAM, the anti-Earth Mars government, declared war against Earth; GUNSF ordered all Earthlings and Neo-Earthlings to hand their children and pregnant families over to the authorities, for they knew they were losing the battle. The valiant souls left on Earth were soldiers that fought as the war raged over the planet and evolved into an invasion of destruction and death…
Sonic's memory flashed back to seeing his mother's tearful, frightful eyes. He blinked, and the memory faded. He sighed.
"Sonic!" a shrill, girlish voice cried out his name.
Sonic's eyes veered from the artificial sky over to a girl about three years his junior running towards him. She threw her arms around him and embraced him tightly.
"Oh, Sonic, I was searching all of Antilia for you! You don't know how worried you've made me!"
"Amy, can't I get a little peace to myself?" Sonic wondered hopelessly.
"Amy, Mr. Sonic just wanted to be by himself for a little while," another small girl's voice called out to Amy. She came up the nearby stairway with a fox boy, hand in hand.
"Yeah, Amy, Sonic just wanted some alone time," the fox boy added. He smiled awkwardly.
Amy felt ganged up on, but she respected the two of them because they were young…
"Okay, Cream and Tails, you got me…but I can't live without seeing him at least once every fifteen minutes! I hadn't seen him all day!"
…and because they were born after the Earth Incident, making them oblivious to its existence for the time being: Cream was the result of a distressed childbirth, for her mother was distraught about the incident and losing her husband during the invasion. Stress bombarded her and she died after bequeathing Cream her name; Tails was another orphaned child, with intellect far superior than most teenagers older than Sonic's sixteen. He also lost his mother to death by childbirth, and found something he had in common with Cream. The two of them really liked each other, and vowed to keep each other safe.
"Amy, get a hold of yourself!" Sonic said then, trying to get Amy off him. He strained to pull himself free…
…before the alarms began to blare all over the colony.
Sonic and Amy looked up into their artificial sky, while the children held each other close, looking around in fear. Their eyes widened.
BAHRAM. Their Orbital Frames were closing in on the colony fast, with the colony defenseless.
"Oh no… Not them again." Sonic muttered horridly. He could clearly remember the sight of the invasion being somehow televised on a surveillance monitor when he was younger. He recalled the horror and the bloodshed…
"Oh, Sonic, what're we going to do?" Amy cried.
We have to evacuate… Sonic thought automatically.
The Orbital Frames flew over their heads as they ducked down, and started firing down at the civilian blocks.
"They've gotten through the LEV forces and the Space Port!" Tails cried, motioning Cream to get behind him.
"Sonic!" a strange voice cried out.
Sonic sharply turned his head towards the stranger's voice and saw that it wasn't a stranger after all. A red echidna in the distance waved over to him.
"Knuckles!" the children cried out thankfully.
"This way!" he cried out to them to follow him. "Hurry!"
And they did, in consecutive timing. The four of them ran for cover as the BAHRAM forces made their way explosively inside the colony.
"How did you find us?" Sonic asked as they ran.
"Hah, instinct told me…" Knuckles responded, "not to mention Amy's high-pitched squeal."
Amy's cheek bubbled.
"What's going on? Why is BAHRAM attacking us now?"
"I heard that there was an Orbital Frame taking refuge here, ordered by the GUNSF officials, until a new Arctic base was finished being built. And now BAHRAM's on some kind of rampage to find it."
"How do you know all of this?"
There was a slight pause before his response. "I'm slightly interested in the military and government, okay?"
BAHRAM forces fired more of their lasers down at helpless civilian colony blocks.
Knuckles led the four of them to a hangar-like building and told them to hide inside. "Quick! In here!" he ordered.
Inside, there was a grayish-blue and beige mech. It didn't seem fairly old, and it looked to be quite powerful. Next to it was a fighter jet mech of beige color, as well as strange shape.
"Knuckles…" Sonic waited for a reply from him.
"I think those are the new Orbital Frame and LEV that I overheard Commander Blaze talking about protecting… The Orbital Frame is what the Mars government's after."
There was a loud explosion heard in the background. Cream instantly clung to Tails and shivered nervously.
"Quick, what do you think we should do, Knuckles?" Tails asked, anxiousness on the tip of his tongue.
Knuckles paused in thought. "Sonic, Tails…you two take the Orbital Frame and LEV." His face became stern. "I will protect the girls."
Then a crashing sound rumbled through the hangar.
Surveying above the destruction was an orange-pink iridescent feminine-looking Orbital Frame. Inside its cockpit, a woman snickered.
"Destroy them all," she commanded all of her squadrons of Raptor, Mummyhead, and Cyclops Orbital Frames…
Sonic and Tails climbed into each of the cockpits of the Orbital Frame and LEV respectively. Knuckles and the girls watched them carefully.
Sonic looked confusedly at the controls and blinked nervously. "How do I operate this thing?"
"You can start by finding the COM link," Tails' voice emanated within the cockpit. His face appeared on a visual monitor on the console. The boy waved. "Hey!"
Sonic did so, placing it on his ear. "Okay, Tails, do you copy?"
"I read ya loud and clear!"
"All right! It's hero time!--"
Another crashing sound could be heard and felt. Unfortunately, this one put the others in danger: Rafters from above came tumbling down. Knuckles prepared himself, getting the girls away from him. He caught one of the impending bracers.
"Amy…" he started, "it was a bad idea to keep you and Cream with me. Go…and take her to a safe place."
Amy obeyed and made her nimble escape with Cream struggling behind her.
"Knuckles!" cried Sonic and Tails.
"Don't worry, Knux! I'll help you!" Sonic insisted, but then hesitated. The controls looked so complex, he started to panic. "Oh no, what do I do?"
Tails was already ahead and maneuvering his mech to reach out for the fallen rafter, but he couldn't reach far enough.
"Quick, Sonic! Maneuver your arms so that you can reach out! You're closer to him than I am!"
"I can't! It won't move!" The controllers for the arms were indeed immobile. He tried them over and over again, but--"They just won't budge!" No… No…!
Knuckles strained to hold up the rafters that were steadily piling up. He fell to one knee. "Sonic…Tails…I'm sorry…and I love you guys…" One more dangling rafter fell upon him…crushing him.
"Knuckles, no!" The two pilots screamed together.
…Blood pooled from under the pile of weighty metal. It was captured by Sonic and Tails' visual monitors.
Tears climbed into Tails' eyes, as the boy cried silently. Sonic was paralyzed with shock.
Amy and Cream were outside of the hangar when the loud crash was heard. They instantly turned around to look back. Then they looked to each other.
"Should we go back?" Amy asked Cream.
"I've got a bad feeling in my tummy telling me that we shouldn't…and Knuckles said to find a safe place." Cream fearfully responded.
"There are no more safe places! C'mon, we've gotta go back! And don't worry…" She held tight to Cream's hand and they proceeded running back to the hangar. "I'll protect you, just like Knuckles protected us!"
The girls made it back to see the hangar completely wrecked. Inside, the bracers that held the ceiling were now on the floor, and the two boys hadn't moved an inch after seeing Knuckles get crushed.
"Tails! Sonic!" Amy called out to the boys.
Tails looked up from his tears and gasped. "Cream… Amy, what're you and Cream doing back here? Knuckles told you two to find a place to hide!"
"There aren't any more safe places to hide!" Amy yelled back. "And because I just realize something: I'm Sonic's girlfriend! Why would I leave his side just to be safe?" She shrugged her shoulders.
"Because it was an order, and because you have a minor with you!" Sonic yelled out his reply. "Nevermind! Just get over here, and be careful!"
Amy and Cream nimbly crossed through the wreckage. They spotted the place where Knuckles was crushed, nearly stepping in his blood.
They ascended a staircase that led them to the cockpits, Amy heading towards Sonic's, naturally, and Cream heading for Tails'. Their hinged cockpit doors flew up. Cream and Amy entered the cockpits and sat on the only seats left: Sonic and Tails' laps. The hinged doors were closing before a huge shadow loomed over them: A giant Raptor Frame was preparing to slice its energy-rapiers through the building…
"What are your commands, Chosen Runners?" a mechanized humanoid voice belled out harmoniously with another.
…The energy blades struck through the remains of the ceiling, slicing it away.
Tails, Sonic, and the girls braced themselves as the remainder of the ceiling came crashing down.
Afterwards, Tails blinked. "Huh?" He looked to Cream as if wondering if she said anything. She caught his eyes staring at her, read them, and shook her head.
Amy looked around the cockpit for the source of the voice. Sonic looked down at the console. He blinked. "Commander…Blaze…?"
"Incorrect. I am ADA," Sonic's console spoke, "the advanced battle AI of Jehuty."
Sonic blinked. "Who or what's Jehuty?" He looked at Amy, who shrugged her shoulders.
"And I'm AVA of the V2-Vic Viper!" The voice in Tails' cockpit sounded girlish while Sonic's sounded more stern and womanlike. "We're here to help you!"
"Then why didn't you help us earlier?" Sonic yelled, "We could've saved our friend's life!"
"Sonic…" Amy held closer to Sonic. She didn't like it when Sonic yelled.
"We were not programmed to awaken at that time, so we could not assist you." ADA replied.
"It did feel like I was moving in my sleep," AVA added wonderingly.
"Eh-heh… That was me," Tails admitted.
"Oh… Sensors indicate multiple enemy sightings--including those!"
The Raptor Frame had retreated to signal other Orbital Frames to the hangar…
The woman smirked. "Anubis, I think they found it…"
The Runner codenamed "Anubis" smirked as well…
Sonic sighed. "Quick, ADA, how do I work this…Jehuty-thing?"
"Engage the left and right stabilizers," ADA instructed a little indirectly.
"How do I do that?"
"The activation keys are located under your fingers."
"Oh, like this?" Sonic curled his fingers tighter on the two glowing green orbs. A bright flash emanated from them before returning to their natural light. Sonic blinked. "Cool!"
"I see my Runner already has the hang of this!" AVA exclaimed happily.
"Uh, excuse me, AVA," Tails shyly spoke up. There was another crashing sound; the sound of more BAHRAM Frames landing… After having braced himself and Cream, he went on. "But how do we get rid of them?"
"Oh, to get rid of those nasty buggers, just have your friend use his Geyser missiles to stun them!"
"I heard her, Tails!" Sonic reassured the fox boy. Sonic looked down at his control panel. "ADA?"
"Select which weapon you wish to utilize by pressing this green button." She flashed it so Sonic could find it. Sonic did so, and a screen displayed only three types of weaponry he could use. He selected the Geyser missiles.
"All right, whatever-you-are--"
"Visuals identify the enemy to be a Cyclops Orbital Frame of Mars origin."
Sonic's eyes blanked. "Uh, Cyclops Frame…" He readied Jehuty's arm, leveling it to aim towards the incoming Cyclops. "Prepare to be beaten…"
Sonic fired the Geysers with full intent, and paralyzed the Cyclops and--
"The Raptors nearby have also been immobilized," ADA announced.
"Now that's what I'm talkin' about!" Sonic happily exclaimed. "Now, let's get outta here!"
"Oh, Sonic, my hero!" Amy gleefully said.
Tails and Sonic maneuvered their mecha out of the hangar. They floated there, taking in the destruction.
"No way… This can't be…" Sonic muttered.
Suddenly, his impulse took control and he boosted into the air. There, he surveyed the area and its current condition. His eyes widened at the sight of blazes and bloodshed all over the place. Amy's eyes began to tear up as she also took in the sight.
"Our home… The only place we had left in the entire universe to call 'home'…destroyed." Amy spoke dismally.
"I refuse to give up," Sonic said softly. He gritted his teeth.
Amy looked to him with tears still falling from her eyes.
"I'll save the people that are left… ADA, what's the status of the colony?"
"There is a percentage of a three point nine survival rate throughout Residential Block S02. It is most logical to assume that the inhabitants were evacuated soon before the tirade began--"
"But it was so sudden, and once everyone started to evacuate, they started to attack! But basically all you're saying is that everyone is dead?"
There was no consecutive reply from ADA.
Amy looked worriedly to Sonic, then to ADA.
"The most logical reasoning is telling me to respond 'yes'." ADA replied after the long pause.
Amy gasped, her hands fleeing to cover her mouth. "Mommy…Daddy…no…"
"At least you had parents, Amy…" Sonic lowly muttered.
Amy's ears flattened against her head as she looked downward. "I know… I'm sorry, Sonic. I…well…"
"There's no need to be sorry, Amy. All you need to know is that…I will protect you."
Amy smiled, tears still flowing from her eyes.
Jehuty flew over the colony blocks as they were being destroyed. Spheres of fiery doom could be seen from their altitude. Amy looked at the discomforting sight.
"Isn't there anything we can do, Sonic?" Amy wondered.
Sonic scanned over the area and spotted an unharmed cathedral a little ways ahead below him. His brows furrowed. "If there was any place of immediate refuge, it'd have to be the church. Let's see if anyone is down there."
Jehuty landed in front of the church. The cockpit opened and Amy hopped out, landing on her feet. She made a dash for the church doors. They flew open at her command and saw that no one was there…except for…
She ran towards them with open arms…but then there was a loud crashing sound. She turned around…to have a bullet graze her cheek. Her pupils constricted at the sound of the gunshots. She ducked down and held her cheek. She looked back to see her father falling to the floor, leaving her mother trembling in fear. "Daddy!" she screamed.
The gunman snickered…and fired another shot. Firing at her mother's head…
"Mommy!" Amy cried. She gasped as she suddenly felt a cold ring against her head.
"Don't say anything more," the gunman whispered deviously.
Sonic held his head, finding that Jehuty was now on the ground. He looked around and saw that nothing was there…until--
"C'mon, entertain me, boy!" a woman's voice commanded belligerently over the airwaves. "Race you to your helpless little friends!" she sneered.
"No!" Sonic yelled.
Then she--the orange-rose Orbital Frame--vanished…
"Incoming transmission. I shall patch it through," ADA announced.
On the visual monitor appeared Tails and Cream's faces. Tails seemed to looked panicked. "Sonic, get back over here! There's an enemy Frame within perimeter of me! Help me!"
"Help us, please!" little Cream cried.
"I can't see it on my monitor--"
The transmission was cut.
Sonic panicked. "Tails! Cream!" Jehuty started to rise. Sonic looked back at the church, and furrowed his brows again. She should be safe there. I'll return for you, Amy… He started up the boosters and jetted off to the source of Tails' SOS.
"No, stop it! No, no, no! Please, I don't want this! Please stop!" Amy screamed helplessly. "Sonic, help me!"
Her parents lay bleeding on the floor as their daughter was being asaulted.
The gunman then halted and gripped her hair tightly and dragged her towards her parents' corpses. He threw her down and aimed his gun at her.
"You're an Earthling child, aren't you?" the gunman's tenor voice hummed provokingly.
Tears flooded from Amy's eyes. "Y--Yes…" He said he would protect me…
"Well, well… You're going to wish you had never been born." He aimed for her head…
Sonic was close to where Tails and Cream were. He looked around for them, only to be greeted by a blast from a halberd laser. It missed him, but its resulting blast blew him back, causing his to land in the ruins that was the hangar.
"What the…?" Sonic looked up to see the orange-rose Orbital Frame again. Jehuty quickly stood up. "Who are you?"
An image of the female pilot was displayed on Sonic's monitor by ADA, showing him a white-haired bat woman.
"I am BAHRAM's First Lt. Commander, Rouge, and Orbital Frame, Nephtis. And you must be the unscheduled Runner my General Anubis has, somehow, known about."
"So, you're the one who orchestrated all of this!" Sonic shouted to her angrily.
"Yes, but I wasn't alone…" She snickered seductively.
"Where're Tails and Cream?"
"We're here, Sonic!" Tails cried fearfully. The visual and audio were spaced with static. "We're hidden! The Vic Viper has transformed into a fighter jet and AVA is trying to recuperate. She's really strong, Sonic… Please, be careful."
"I will admit, the kid's not that bad of a fighter." Rouge snickered seductively again.
"Damn you! What's your plan? What are you trying to do? What do you want?" Sonic interrogated her.
"All we want is that Frame," Rouge responded calmly, pointing at Jehuty. "Its potential is a great need of ours, and will be of great use. It will be a burden lessened from your shoulders, right?… Hand over Jehuty, or else…you will be killed just like your precious colony civilians."
A swarm of Raptors, Mummyheads, and Cyclops teemed around them.
Sonic readied himself…
"Rouge!" Anubis' voice pierced through her ear. "Don't you let them lay one finger on Jehuty. He is mine, understand?"
"Sir…" Rouge conceded. "…Huh?"
"You bitch! You'll pay dearly for what you've done!"
Sonic was on the offensive and headed straight for her. He abruptly halted, blade at Nephtis' throat. "Where is he? Where is Anubis? Is he the one who's conducted all of this destruction?"
"Why, yes, he is. And…like I'd tell you. You'll just have to find him yourself." She cackled and made a slice outwards, but missed.
"Rouge! Not one scratch…"
Rouge growled. "It's just a kid inside it! I can take care of him in no time flat!--"
"Yes, but Jehuty is mine for the taking. I don't want any bodily harm done to it…yet." Anubis huffed in aggravation of having to repeat his plans to Rouge over and over again.
"He's not a kid, you witch!" Tails yelled out, jetting towards her with Vic Viper. "Transform, now!" Thus did the Vic Viper, within succinct timing to kick her aside, sending her flying.
"Tails, are you all right?" Sonic said. "You and Cream?"
"Yeah. But she's coming back--"
Nephtis vanished. Then reappeared behind Vic Viper, slashing away at him. Tails and Cream panicked.
"All systems read a sixty-seven percent damage report!" AVA sounded slightly panicked herself. "Are you two all right?"
Nephtis' onslaught ceased, vanishing again.
Tails breathed hard. "Yeah, we're okay…"
Cream looked to him with apprehension. Subtle tears made their way into her eyes.
Sonic became heated after witnessing the assault. He gritted his teeth and seethed. "You conniving bitch, attacking my little brother… You'll regret that!" He charged at her with full speed and intent, ready to attack…
Only for her to vanish again.
"Ergh! Where'd she go now? Stop fleeing!" Sonic yelled.
The gunman walked calmly out of the chapel, placing his pistol in its holster. He pressed the COM link hooked to his ear and waited.
"Rouge, come in. This is Shadow…"
He pulled out a trigger and pressed its red button…
An explosion caught Sonic's attention. He sharply turned around and observed the fiery blaze that came into his view. That was where…
"Amy!" he cried loudly.
His instinct cued the boosters and he blasted away towards the location.
Vic Viper turned to see Jehuty boost away. Tails and Cream watched him go. Tails' eyes watered a little bit. I'll do the best I can here, Big Bro… I'll keep Cream safe…
"Incoming transmission, Tails. Shall I patch it through?" AVA asked.
"In just a moment. I've gotta lose Nephtis first. Does Vic Viper have a cloaking device?"
"Sorry, but no…" AVA said sorrowfully.
"Darn… Maybe we can sneak away from her…" Tails looked to Cream for reassurance. There was a positive response for her: a smile. He smiled back at her.
He quietly ignited his boosters and glided away…
Nephtis caught him at the corner of her eye, but another transmission grabbed her attention as well.
"Rouge, come in. This is Shadow…" came the voice. "Rendezvous back with me at the chapel. You'll be able to find me."
"Forget the LEV! Just get over here…"
Rouge growled. She looked back towards Vic Viper silently flying away. She snarled disdainfully. "I'll be back for you, fox boy…"
Vic Viper stopped, hovering above the colony. Tails and Cream looked below them.
"Residential Block S02; that's where we lived. Right, Cream?"
Cream nodded, saying, "Right…" sadly in response.
"AVA, that last transmission, patch it through now."
A connection came through successfully. Tails' monitor showed a familiar face.
"Miss Blaze?" Tails cried out in surprise. Cream blinked a little.
"Yes, it's me, Tails," the cat woman reassured him over the airwaves. She smiled. "Listen to me, now, Tails. Knowing you, do you know how to get to the warehouse?"
"The one under the dam? Of course, but why?"
"Go find Sonic, because I already know he's in Jehuty, and bring him and Jehuty here to the Atlantis. It's a civilian carrier that needs to get Jehuty to Earth and locked up for good. We're midway into rebuilding a GUN military base for it somewhere in the Arctic Circle."
"How'd you know he was in Jehuty?"
"Knuckles radioed me while you guys were inside the cockpits. He was...one of our military trainees, you know. He had hopes of becoming a soldier… May he rest in peace."
"Cream's with you! Why don't you go ahead and bring her here, okay? I'll be waiting for you."
Vic Viper transformed again, into fighter jet mode, and flew towards its destination.
Jehuty stood before the blaze that was the church. Sonic sat in the cockpit in shock and despair. He slammed his fists against the armrests. Tears climbed into his eyes.
"Amy…no…" Sonic whispered her name. "I shouldn't have left her alone! No…!"
Nephtis landed a little ways ahead of him, where Anubis stood, its mechanical arms crossed. Rouge and Shadow smirked in their cockpits.
"We've chosen not to kill you yet, kid," Shadow addressed his decision to Sonic.
Rouge sharply looked over to Shadow and grimaced.
Shadow saw this, and snickered, saying, "Easy, Rouge, you'll get your chance…but for now--"
"So you're Anubis, huh? Why are you doing this? Why are you senselessly killing everybody just for this…this Frame?" Sonic yelled.
"We have our reasons, boy. Now surrender that Frame or we'll just have to beat common sense into you," Shadow growled. "I'm sure Rouge here stated our reasons…"
Rouge nodded. "And I'm not as patient as I look, kid!"
Anubis threw an arm before Nephtis. Shadow smirked… Anubis vanished.
Sonic swapped his sights back and forth, vainly searching for Anubis. "Dammit, he can teleport, too? Where is he?"
Rouge snickered, smirking deviously…
"This is just a taste of what my Orbital Frame is capable of--!"
Anubis reappeared behind Jehuty, armed with his battle staff. Jehuty did not move… Sonic's eyes slowly looked around behind him, but before he realized it, Jehuty was soaring towards the Factory. He collided with one of its towers, debris and smoke billowing out. The tower collapsed, taking Jehuty under…
Anubis appeared again with Nephtis above the wreckage.
"Rendezvous with me to the Space Port later, Rouge. For now, I need you to monitor our forces' progress on destroying this colony--"
"We're destroying the colony?" Rouge asked a bit worriedly, having Nephtis look over to Anubis.
"Is something the matter with it?" Shadow had Anubis look over to her. He slightly grimaced.
Rouge looked down, her face hardening. She frowned. "No, sir… It just that Jehuty will--"
"--Be fine," Shadow finished with his own thought. "Even if Antilia was to explode this very second, Jehuty could tolerate it… I know Anubis can already."
Rouge blinked. She looked back down at her console… Her ears perked.
Anubis was already on course to the Space Port…
"Rouge," came Shadow's voice within Rouge's cockpit, "don't let your personal feelings get the best of you. Remember, I'm here for you…" The connection was lost.
Rouge smirked. "You jerk… I hate you, but I love you…" Nephtis took off to the sky, to another locale, but before she could…!
Jehuty struck out…with his blade connecting to Nephtis' torso. Inside, Sonic had blood going down his face, from his forehead, down the bridge of his nose to his right cheek. He huffed his breaths gruffly. "Bitch…"
Rouge looked up to see that Nephtis' abdomen had been struck. She panicked…but relaxed. "Shadow, I'm sorry…but I guess we'll never be like we've planned… My primary focus was to please you, and make you happy…but I failed even to do that. I'm so sorry, my love…"
Sonic paused, his mind going blank; He had heard her self-talk over the airwaves.
"Go on, boy… Kill me. Claim my life as your prize!"
"No, I won't! You…your military has gotten everything twisted over this Frame! There's no reason for me to kill you!"
"To avenge your friends…"--!
Sonic viciously removed Jehuty's blade from Nephtis' abdomen, leaving her to descend. Nephtis landed softly in a pile of wreckage, her body sparking and electrically surging. Jehuty landed a bit away from her and held his blade against her throat.
"Ya know, kid," Rouge started, "you'd make out to be a pretty good soldier for BAHRAM. Why don't you just come with us?"
"I'd never join you!" Sonic insisted.
Rouge snickered. "I had a feeling…"
"Incoming transmission," ADA announced. "I shall patch it through."
Bzzt--"Sonic, this is the Vic Viper calling Jehuty! Are ya there?"
"Yeah, Tails…" Sonic replied. He had Jehuty remove his blade from Nephtis' throat. "I'm here. Where are you and Cream?"
Tails and Cream stood by a rather large purple male feline in a blue sweater, brown open vest, and dark-brown boots and gloves. The Vic Viper stood away from them.
"We're here at the Metatron Warehouse by the Dam in the mountainous area. We need you here now, because Miss Blaze wants to put Jehuty in safe keeping. We're here waiting for you."
"I'm on my way. Don't move!"
Jehuty hovered over Nephtis for a moment before rocketing away…
…leaving Nephtis to recover with the uncovered Metatron Ore she had found. Rouge snickered away, while Nephtis' gap in her torso was being replenished…