Welcome to a world where second chances are a myth. Join Silver as he pursues his dream through ice, flame and the nightmare that is reality without Blaze. Expect to find all your favourite characters in this major production.
Feedback is golden.
Disclaimer: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are copyright SEGA.
Chapter 1: Postponed
Fate never intended him to be lucky. That's why he was so difficult to convince it existed.
Silver the Hedgehog stopped counting his failed trips through time and space. No world or era offered him the one thing he wished to attain. Ever since devilish flames had taken her away, Blaze the Cat became unapproachable.
The hedge tried not to sulk. Not that he could, fatigued and dehydrated from the previous warp. Silver must have lost his ride, a Chaos Emerald, somewhere. Regardless, it would be found again and again, until life was drained from him by time itself.
For now, he decided to take a breather. The latest trip took more than the teen could have expected. Resting back against a wooden box, he did everything he could to whirr away memories of disaster. The world he had previously visited was perfect…no eternal evil lurking around, without death plaguing everyone he loved. It had but one problem: his Blaze had already found her Silver in that universe.
Tears must have been flowing out of his eyes for a while, because sight was blurred, marred up in green. Rubbing his lids to help the sore sensation, the hedgehog felt different in general. He glanced down and found that his looks changed, too. His spiny grey hedgehog physique was clad in camouflage wear; he saw an earpiece and some wired electronics. The gear seemed heavy, especially the thick combat vest on his torso. What caused the change? Why did teleportation fail? Silver had accomplished many time travels, but never returned altered. So many questions, and no answers. Felt like home. A buzz in his ear suppressed a ready sigh.
"Had enough time travel, eh?"
"…What happened to me?" he asked hesitantly.
There was a giggle on the line, but why couldn't she sound more like her. "A nice way to greet your superior officer, me, Colonel Rouge. You'll get in trouble with Vector if he finds out."
Silver just groaned. The world was difficult enough to understand on normal days. "Look, I'm lost. You're not helping."
"Oh…the drug is still in effect," Rouge's whisper came from his communicator. Tugging on it didn't help because it was somehow attached to his head.
Sensing the hedgehog's discomfort, the female bat continued: "We don't have much time. The military saved you from Eggman… Just know that you are the property of G.U.N. now."
The time traveller remained silent for a moment. If Rouge hadn't helped him in the past, he'd have been eager to find the off switch. Her voice was causing him a nauseating headache.
"I must find Blaze first. Favours will have to wait," he mumbled weakly.
One thing for sure, he couldn't stand up. Limbs wouldn't respond strongly enough.
He could then feel a smile forming on her face somewhere far. "Don't worry, the relaxant will wear off soon. You agreed to this for a reason," she explained in a rather seductive manner. Had Silver been less dazed, a hint of innocence would have spilled over his cheeks.
Clatter could be heard. Multiple mechanical sounds reached him. Alarmed, Silver asked her to stop explaining.
"Watch yourself, you're on bandit territory," she murmured. A click shut off the communications uplink.
Toy soldiers. I have more important things to do, Silver thought. Truly, his single constant ordeal to find a long lost friend remained priority one for...how long now? The youth looked down: his eighteenth birthday would come soon. Another year of hoping someone would hear the wish.
"I miss you, too," he spoke to the shadows under his breath.
The body felt even more awkward now. His legs tensed, muscles contracting. Fingers, once limp like rubber, regained their sensitivity. Silver shot up to his feet and was about to stretch out, but an approaching beeping noise forced a different style of behaviour upon him.
At first, the hedgehog couldn't understand its meaning. Using telekinesis, Silver raised himself off the ground to noiselessly peer from behind a cargo crate. The building he had appeared in was a warehouse of sorts. It looked rather new and important. Barred windows, sturdy concrete walls, rows of containers and crates.
Movement above. A crane shifted position on the ceiling. Its claw raised some supplies to slowly transport them outside, letting Silver take notice of the path. Being trapped indoors did not feel nice and it got worse when his eyes spotted Doctor Eggman's menacing moustachio logo on the shifting container.
So that was the villain's outpost.
Levitating further, Silver caught sights of a metal-spine hedgehog. Several odd-shaped humanoid figures stood near the steel robot. The noise was coming from him. Silver attempted to recall something about that…thing. It resulted in a bitter revelation.
Something went off in the left side of his head, coming from the earpiece. Then, miraculously, the mechanical beeps were replaced by regular voices as if under translation.
"All E units report current mission status," ordered the recognisable robot.
Other machines in the room replied in unison: "Diversion. Master registration: Metal Sonic."
"Confirmation recorded. Initiate stealth mode. Doctor Robotnik must be saved for master unit's plan to proceed."
"Moving," acknowledged the subordinates before disappearing completely.
The menacing blue mech stood still for a short moment in complete silence. Its stalker waited impatiently for Metal Sonic to leave the premises. That evil doctor was probably up to no good if his robotic alpha lackey was allowed to roam freely once more. Hopefully, Rouge remained on the line and would soon instruct him on what to do next. Silver tapped the communicator to get her attention. Sound was offline, and further tinkering gave him only deafening static. They deserted him with, Silver gulped down a large painful nerve lump at the thought, Metal Sonic.
Silver began hyperventilating from the responsibility thrashed on his young shoulders, heart racing while the skin boiled in its own sweat. The hedgehog's breath sounded so loud in his ears he shut the mouth and nostrils in hope a scream hadn't blown his cover.
Exactly what has happened. Metal's head turned, one electronic iris fixated on the intruder. The hedgehog wanted to run and find a better hiding spot, yet he had lost contact of the hostile. To his misfortune, Silver couldn't even move, until a dull hit set his petrified body skidding to a hard container.
Knocked down face-first, the furry creature couldn't see the attacker, but he could hear a trigger being tensed for a quick shot.
"Silver the Hedgehog," Metal Sonic identified him, quickly analysing the eavesdropper. His gun returned to an idle stance, as the youth's gear posed a threat to the action plan. "Termination postponed. All life form readings are to remain constant."
Instead, the machine hoisted the immobilised stalker, locking his neck while using the other arm to latch onto Silver's communicator. The hedgehog whined from a burning sensation deep in his hearing canal, as if the whole thing was setting sparks to his brain during a rough short-circuit operation.
"Let go of me," the stoned puppet groaned.
"G.U.N. probe located," said Metal, ignoring the hostage's weak squirming. Silver could smell smoke while an extremely loud sizzle was out to pop his eardrum.
"All uploads on halt. Your employer will not interfere."
With that, the robot let go of him, moulding the durable claws into their default state. Silver turned to face the opponent, now conscious that he could move again.
Looking at Metal from the ground was a scary experience. The AI's body was built with huge precision to turn every angle and edge into a melee weapon. Even the abdominal turbine that enabled limited flight could easily be used to slice an attacker's fist off. Eggman or Robotnik, as he liked calling himself, knew how to make a psychological attempt to destroy a foe.
"What are you talking about?" Silver complained, looking at Metal slightly below the eyes.
"You wear the enemy uniform. Your kind are a threat to Doctor Robotnik and Metal Sonic by proxy," explained the collected voice.
The hedgehog rose up to his feet, making the robot step back and aim a laser at the threat. Silver raised his hands apologetically and sighed. "Look, I just want to find a Chaos Emerald and return to Blaze."
Metal turned off the weapon and whispered something very fast. At one point, the voice turned to static. It probably meant that the robot searched for something in a memory server. When it stopped, the machine's front panel opened and a shiny green emerald appeared in Metal's claw.
"Is this what you are looking for?" the fake hedgehog asked, extending his arm.
Silver's eyes flashed of hope and he tried to nick the jewel. Too slow, as the robot pushed him back to the floor before he could take a hit.
"Give it back!" he exclaimed, searching for something fit to drop on the unfair enemy.
The look in Metal's eye diodes made him stop. Metal Sonic did appear like a certain blue friend of Silver's in many ways, even if he was just a manufactured steel clone. Hurting that thing with an intelligence programmed after a living being would have been wrong in the first place. Maybe he'd settle it peacefully? After all, it didn't sound like the awkward companion meant any harm. His goal was just to save something important, too.
Silver delved in thoughts, waiting for a reply. Silence always reminded him of moments with Blaze, the only serene episodes in life. A lot of things reminded him of Blaze, now that the teen thought about it. He smiled, somewhat oblivious to the fact a killer robot stood next to him.
Such idleness came to a halt when the aforementioned bot stepped forward, pacing to arm's length distance, levelling to Silver in height. "Negative. Aid E units in reaching Delta Complex to receive payment," the voice chip bleeped out, nearly touching the hedge's nose with the desired gem.
"I'm no mercenary," huffed Silver, pushing the hand out of his personal space.
Metal had little understanding of emotional gestures, much like his organic prototype. Moreover, he perceived Silver's complaint as a logical fallacy that hindered progress. It initiated the aggressive defence protocol. Metal poked the boy's chin with a very sharp fingertip…like a bully.
"Ancient proverb, hedgehog: 'Actions speak louder than words.' This unit requires record of allegiance," shared the robot, tapping Silver's chin some more. "Friendly entities are crucial. Enemies are obsolete."
Noticing that the hedgehog got annoyed enough to lift a huge cargo box via telekinesis, Metal stood back, taking aim of the teen's head once more.
"Which are you?" asked the bot.