(Final?) Update (July 3rd, 2009): As of right now, for all intents and purposes, I consider this story to be obsolete. What that means is that I no longer desire that anyone review it (even though the reviews have long stopped anyway) or offer advanced criticism. While I certainly wouldn't call this a bad story, there were definitely some huge oversights in its creation and, seeing as how I'm a rather self-conscious writer, I feel that it doesn't demonstrate my abilities properly. Maybe some day I'll come back and rewrite it in a more capable way, but for now I'll leave it up here as a reference for plotpoints that I hope to develop in the sequel.

Update (12/28): The third "season" is finally done. It's been a very busy month for me. I've had finals, the holidays to worry about and I've been recovering from having my wisdom teeth out this past week. To commemorate the occasion, I've gone back and edited the previous chapters of the story. About 90% of the edits are strictly technical in nature (punctuation corrections and the like). I've added a little more exposition, description and dialog attributing here and there, but if you've read through the first 30 chapters already you're not really going to find any new information by reading through it again, so it's not really worth your time to do so.

Important Message/Apology: I realize now why the number of reviews I've been getting has been declining: I haven't been replying to all of them. Although I'm no stranger to writing, I'm unfamiliar with the etiquette around here since I've only been a member for a couple of months, although I suppose I should have known better anyway. Generally I'd only reply if I wanted to clarify something or address someone's question, but from now on I'll try to reply to every meaningful comment (as in, something more than a handful of words in length). I guess I've been a hypocrite for saying that reviews are appreciated here, but now I'm going to try to show my appreciation.

Author's Note: Welcome to my story. My purpose in making this was to address, what I felt were, the flaws in the Sonic X series. I didn't hate Sonic X, but I thought that it didn't fully live up to its potential. Rather than start from scratch, I've decided to continue from where the series left off and continue the trends that were started in the final season.

if you want to know more about what to expect from this story, feel free to check out my profile, which has a brief list of key points about this story as a whole (no spoilers). I don't think FFnet would like it too much if I just submitted an outline, there wasn't enough room in the summary for it and I didn't want to clutter this first chapter any more than it already is, so that was really the only good place where I could put it.

I'd like to remind new viewers that this is not a Chris story. I do agree with the general consensus that he was a bit of a spoiled, whiny brat in the original show (especially in the first seasons). Rather than take the easy way out and write him out of the story, I've tried to make him more mature and at least somewhat likeable. In spite of that, Sonic and friends will still take center stage in this story. Think of this chapter as a prologue for the story, rather than a true beginning.

Not even the sturdy, planet-spanning shield could contain the wrath of the Chaos Emeralds. The two most gifted disciples of the stones, Sonic and Shadow, perforated the massive shell that the remaining Metarex had cloistered themselves inside of.

The energy that the Metarex had hoarded within the planet's core now began to erupt. The mantle's boiling reaction split the spotted crust in half. The planet lost its spherical shape and became a white-hot smear on the cosmic plain.

As the crew of the Blue Typhoon began to celebrate their victory, the splattered planet drifted back together and began to condense.

"Hmm, that shouldn't be," Eggman, looking on from his own spacecraft, mused as his henchmen panicked. "It appears that the planet's energy is inverting. At this rate, the whole thing is going to implode."

"Foolish fleshlings," a voice emanated from the planet itself. "You've only stalled our plan to purify the galaxy. Our only recourse now is to wipe out all life, to ensure that your kind won't corrupt or exploit it any longer."

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"Oh my, that sounds like quite the predicament," the man gasped.

"Well, I'm sure everyone at home knows how it all ends. But anyways, there were many foes that we had to overcome while we were together. Of course, most of the time we were dealing with Dr. Eggman. I don't think even he took himself seriously. We had our share of troubles along the way, but there were also peaceful times. Out of all the places I've been in my life, their world was the most relaxing."

"How so?"

"Well, it's full of forests and lakes. It's virtually untouched by any technological influence. Just a few cottages here and there and the tower that Eggman built."

"Is this why you've been so secretive about your latest scientific endeavors? Are you worried that some business mogul is going to buy the rights to your device and start industrializing this world?"

"I haven't thought that far ahead," the younger man chuckled, "right now I'm just trying to get back there."

The two men sat, facing each other while the looming cameraman tried as hard as he could to make his presence unnoticeable. At one end sat an impeccably groomed pundit, who are about a dime a dozen these days. Across from him was a young man with chestnut hair. His face had a glowing sheen, as well as a few cuts. Today was the first time he had shaved in months. He had an imposing odor of cheap cologne about him, which he splashed on in a half-hearted attempt to cover up the fact that he hasn't bathed. He was draped in a crumpled, faded lab coat and stain-covered slacks. Half of his hair was frizzy and standing straight up, while the other half was gelled down.

"Tell us more about the difficulties that you're having with this process. Most of the viewers at home are probably wondering why you can't go back if you've been there before."

"Well, I hope I don't bore anybody, but the problem is that traveling requires the perfect conditions. It's like this: the two universes can be thought of as rotating spheres covered in holes; we can only travel between universes when two holes match up at precisely the right time. We think we've found a way to anticipate when these windows of opportunity occur, and unfortunately there don't seem to be any that are within our immediate spatial or temporal reach. However, I have been toying with the concept of using the openings to other universes as 'stepping stones' to reaching Mobius."

"Mobius?"

"Oh, that's just what we call Sonic's world back at the lab. It's the only name that we could use that didn't sound too clunky or technical. But anyway, what I have in mind is to find a different universe; one that's connected to our world, as well as Mobius. That way we won't have to wait for a direct opening between the two primary universes, we'll just use other universes as a bypass."

"That sounds risky. What if you were to, say, travel through a dimension that was full of deadly radiation?"

"That is a concern, but if this turns out as planned there will be no risks. The time that we'll spend in any third universe will be negligible. The portal will create a wormhole-styled shortcut between the two inter-dimensional rifts, making inter-universal travel instantaneous."

"Ok, I think I speak for the viewers at home when I say that you're going to have to try to explain that again."

"Well, let's just say that we'll be going so fast that we won't notice any malignant environments that we may come across."

"Fair enough. One final question before we're out of time."

"Shoot."

"At such a young age you've given so much to science. When you first enrolled in college you had already built an operational prototype of the device that has gained such notoriety. You almost single-handedly laid the groundwork for every major inter-dimensional scientific theory, you've been nominated for virtually every award that there is and you have more than enough money to retire, so why do you still press onward?"

The young man hesitated, gathering up his thoughts. "I'm happy with all of the advances that I've made so far, but there's still so much to do. It's true that I have great friends and a great life, but most of my closest friends aren't here today and I want to make them a part of my life once again."

The Pundit nodded in agreement, and then smiled as he stood up to shake the young man's hand. "Thank you for letting us chat with you, professor Thorndyke. We'd like to wish you the best of luck in your endeavors."

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The institute was shutdown for the night, and only Chris was still in the building. He was scribbling on a notepad. He was hastily making a goodbye letter, just as he had done when he last activated the portal. He glanced towards the two framed pictures on his desk. One was an old, beat-up picture from long ago of Sonic, Tails, Amy and himself. Next to it was a panorama of the surprise party that Cosmo threw during their last adventure. He wondered how Tails was coping with the loss. The young prodigy was one of the few scientific minds that Chris had any respect for these days.

His month-long cram session in the lab was almost unbearable. All of his assistants, who were far older, were literalists that were only obsessed with regulation and pointless minutia. Having his grandfather on the team was a plus, even if he was only a minor consultant.

Now was as good a time as any, so he began the preparations to activate his famed portal. After half an hour of warm-up procedures that he had to jerry-rig by himself, he stood silently before the swirling disk of energy that now appeared before him. He took a few steps forward until he was stopped by a familiar voice.

"You know, you should really learn a new routine. Isn't this exactly how you did it before?"

Standing behind him was Chuck, Chris's wily grandfather.

"Well, it worked just fine last time. And, if anything, this portal is safer than the old one was. So are you here to try to change my mind?"

"No no, I just wanted to say goodbye this time."

"This isn't a goodbye. I'll be back just like before."

"Well of course I know that, but that doesn't mean that I won't miss you. Besides, I figured I'd double-check your figuring. My name is attached to this project too, you know, I don't want to get blamed if something goes wrong."

"Nothing can go wrong. The first model was already perfect. I couldn't wait forever for the committee to give it the ok. Even if I tried to shave down the time, it would probably be ten years or more before this thing was legally approved for human transportation."

"Hey I'm not debating here; I'm just sending you off."

"Oh, sorry grandpa," Chris said in an embarrassed tone.

"Well, if you still plan on going you better do it now, I'm sure someone is gonna notice all of the power that we're using on this thing. I've got everything all set."

"Thanks," Chris said as he blushed slightly.

Chuck shooed him off. "Yeah yeah, get going."

Chris took a moment to catch his breath and think things through. Earlier today he had just announced his plan to reach Mobius, and no sooner did he find the perfect inter-dimensional pathway that would open up at precisely this time. Was it really best to be jumping the gun like this? Would another opportunity like this ever arise again? Playing it safe wouldn't be the worst thing. After all, time travels much slower in Sonic's world than it does here, so it's not as if he'd be missing a whole lot if he decided to wait. And what about getting back? His plan was to share the portal's specifications with Eggman, hoping that he'd be generous enough to build one of his own. He knew that this was way too much to hope for, but he didn't care. After all, if it weren't for Eggman Chris wouldn't have had the foggiest clue about the existence of shifting inter-dimensional barriers. Tails was another possibility, but engineering was more of his specialty than quantum physics.

No, Chris had already waited long enough. When he last left Mobius, he didn't get to say goodbye to his friends. He owed it to them to come back. Besides, there's also the slight possibility that Eggman may one day get himself killed in his antics. The sooner Chris gave him this information, the better.

It was settled. Chris took a deep breath and stepped through the portal.