Disclaimer: All of the main characters are owned by "Sega". No copyright infringement is intended.

This is my first fan fiction story, so please be sure to review, rate, and give me feedback, along with constructive criticism! This story takes place roughly a couple years after the events of season 3.

Not that many forms of life are awake at five o'clock in the morning in the distant forests of Mobius. Most creatures are still asleep in their nests, houses, or other shelters. With the exception of a few early morning predators, there was one peculiar being that ran, or more specifically, "flew", through the forest. Gliding across the small, cleared path, Miles "Tails" Prower was lost in his own train of thought while performing his daily exercise routine. This consisted of waking up at a quarter to five in the morning, having a small, nutritious snack (like a banana or an apple), and racing through the forest at a moderate pace. The one who inspired him to perform this task every morning came from none other than Sonic the Hedgehog, Tail's best friend and greatest motivator. Of course, Tail's did tweek the routine up a bit, like changing his breakfast. Instead of having Sonic's favorite meal, which consists of a half a dozen chilidogs, Tail's decided that it would be more beneficial to have a more nutritious breakfast instead.

But the inspiration for Tails to start working out did not just come from his best friend. He also started to realize that, especially being cooped up in his underground garage for long periods of time, he wasn't getting adequate exercise for the average kitsune of his age. Also, he wasn't getting enough vitamins from the sun; therefore he acted more drowsy and tired. And having to drive a very fast biplane at very fast speeds would be even more reckless then it already is when being tired. So, after doing a tremendous amount of research on the topic, and getting a couple tips from Sonic, he developed his very own exercise schedule.

But this particular day seemed to begin just as every other day on the quiet planet of Mobius. Tail's alarm rang at 4:45 in the morning, and he got up slowly from his bed. For receiving only about six hours of sleep, Tails was unnaturally wide awake (this may be part due to his custom alarm clock, in which he modified to make it sound several times louder than it did before.)

After getting out of bed, Tails looked out of his bedroom window to be greeted by yet another average day. Only a small portion of light coming from the sky showed evidence that the sun was only just beginning to rise. Although the lighting wasn't very good, he could still see the cliff that his home/workshop overlooked, and the runway that he installed for easier entries and departures with his Tornado, his signature biplane. Observing the sky, Tails concluded that today would be a great day to perform his daily exercise routine. The amount of clouds that were in the sky seemed to be very minimal, and the temperature seemed a little cool, but that would soon change by the time he begins his workout. So with that, he made his bed, and made his way downstairs.

The way that Tail's house is organized is rather simple. The main room is actually quite spacious. It contains the main living room, and the somewhat small kitchen, which was not separated by any wall. From there, a hallway led to the stairs, a couple of extra rooms, and a bathroom. In the kitchen, Tails decided to scavenge through the refrigerator to find some breakfast. "Hmm…," Tails pondered, trying to determine what he should choose. After a whole twenty seconds of debating with himself, he resorted to a fresh apple, freshly picked by Tail's good friend, Cream the Rabbit. He remembered suddenly how he unexpectedly found the apples in a perfectly and expertly weaved basket sitting on his counter. A note on the basket indicated that the apples were a gift from Cream herself.

Apple at hand, Tails decided to check his mailbox. He walked out the door to find that the day continued to be very beautiful, and still the perfect day for a run. Tails opened the mailbox, which is located on the left side of his door, and found the latest edition of "Natural Science", a science magazine in which Tails really enjoys reading. The front cover indicated a story in which caught Tail's slight attention, entitled "Sudden Changes in Radio Waves". "Sounds interesting," he thought to himself, while setting the magazine on his counter. "I wonder if this would affect my inventions at all." So after devouring the apple that he had in his hand the whole time, he departed for his long awaited jog.

He began the jog from his home, and eventually entered the more dense forests near his own house. While exercising, Tails was pondering new invention ideas. This is a process that he became accustomed to. He was thinking mainly of a more efficient way of increasing the power of the Tornado, without using as much resources. Being the scientific prodigy that he is, he was able to make his Tornado more efficient and better for the environment by the use of solar power. He implanted solar panels to his plane, which would then store energy for later use. That way, if it was a rainy and/or cloudy day, then he wouldn't have to worry about crashing his plane, an occasion which he has experience several times over the course of his life. But he was pondering a way to convert oxygen gases into some sort of fuel that could power his plane with little to no effect on the environment.

As Tails jumped over a fallen tree, he began to smirk at the brilliance of his idea. He could make the plane function similar to that of the respiratory system. He would somehow make the plane take in oxygen, but then expel CO2, similar to that of himself, or just about all of the Mobians that inhabited the planet of Mobius. "Chuck would be proud," he pondered, with clear memories of the fun times he had working with the grandfather of young Christopher Thorndyke on new inventions in his laboratory.

His ideas were coming to life in his head, when his train of thought came to an abrupt stop when he spotted a figure up ahead. Tails thought, "That's strange. I use this trail almost every day, and rarely do I find anyone else using it."

To his enlightenment, it was Knuckles the Echidna standing in the way of his path. Tails stopped suddenly a couple of yards behind him. Knuckles looked as if he had something on his mind. One hand was rested on his forehead as if he was thinking hard, or had a severe migraine. Tails was surprised at how Knuckles was unable to sense his presence. "Wow," Tails thought to himself. "Knuckles must really have something big on his mind. In fact, why isn't he guarding the Master Emerald right now?"

Ever since Knuckles could remember, he has been guarding the Master Emerald from thieves who would have the zeal to steal such an amazing stone. But it is not just any fine crafted stone. The Master Emerald, along with the seven regular Chaos Emeralds, holds mystical powers that can be used for both good and evil, which has been displayed countless times. From Sonic and Shadow's super forms, to Eggman's evil inventions, these Chaos Emeralds have been exploited for countless reasons.

Tails quietly approached the echidna, and greeted him. Tails said, "Hi Knuckles," in a soft and subtle tone.

Knuckles, having no idea that his personal privacy has been invaded, instinctively turned around at a fast pace, and was about to throw a punch at the intruder, when he suddenly stopped in mid-punch when he found that it was Tails that would be at the receiving end of his fist. Knuckles seemed frozen for a moment, and then finally gathered up the courage to say, "Oh….uh….hey Tails! I wasn't expecting you to be up this early!" His accent sounded a little off. Usually, when he addressed a friend, he would sound more enthusiastic and clear, however, the decisiveness in his voice was at an abnormally low level. Tails noticed this almost instantly, but didn't bother to say anything. He figured that Knuckles was just surprised that he was about to attack one of his best friends who arrived very unexpectedly.

"Same goes for you. What are you doing up at such an early time of day, while leaving the Master Emerald unguarded?"

Knuckles seemed to take that last comment personally, and in the wrong way. He angrily replied, "Oh yeah, let's see you guard a big emerald for 24 hours a day for just…let's see…your entire life!"

Tail's previous suspicion came back to him; the suspicion that Knuckles was acting very odd and peculiar. Tails replied, "Sorry Knuckles, but I'm just a little surprised that you're not guarding the Master Emerald right now".

Knuckles slowly softened his voice, and replied back with less emotion. "My bad," he said, with a slight agitation to his voice. "I'm just a little stressed out right now."

Tail's, being the kind and generous person who would help out anyone at any given moment, was itching to help Knuckles with his current predicament. "What's the problem?"

Knuckles stopped for a moment to gather his thoughts and replied, "It's that damn Master Emerald. I was resting on my floating island, when…"

It was getting pretty late. The sun was setting, and the temperature was beginning to drop dramatically. But this didn't stop the heavily motivated echidna from finding a sufficient meal to feast on. Not only does Knuckles have to hunt game for subsistence, but he also has to hunt at this time of night. Knuckles came to the conclusion a long time ago that most thieves would more than likely attempt to steal the Master Emerald during the day time, when they could actually see. Knuckles, not being as intelligent as Tail's, or someone with a decent common sense, did not realize that the main thief, Rouge the Bat, has the ability to use sonar to travel while it was nighttime.

He was walking in a stealthy style through the dense woods, when he heard the sound of a twig snapping in half, obviously from someone, or something, stepping on it. Knuckles instantaneously looked around. He found a white-tailed deer starring at him. "This deer may have never seen a red echidna before," Knuckles thought to himself. If he had a fellow hunter with him, he would have safely assumed the same thing, especially with the awkward facial expression on the deer. Knuckles then began to establish eye contact with his prey, and the deer just stood there. Knuckles made one little step, which caused the deer to jump slightly. He stopped for a moment before going in for his kill.

He dove at his prey with a swift dive and with his knuckles pointed directly at it. Before the deer could even think about running away, it was already too late. The spikes on Knuckle's knuckles have already killed the deer, piercing through its flesh. With that, Knuckles picked up his meal, and walked back to the resting place of the Master Emerald.

Satisfied with his earlier meal, Knuckles was resting by the steps to the Master Emerald like he usually did. His body felt lukewarm by the combination of the early morning coldness, and the warmth of his fur. He was half awake when he felt a disturbance. Knuckles, supposedly having a sixth sense for danger, slowly came out of his sleep, and wobbled up. From behind him, he heard a soft humming sound. Getting angry with the prospect of a slight change to his environment, he walked up to the Master Emerald with not enthusiasm, but a slight anger. This anger subsided, getting changed to curiousness, when he found the humming noise coming from the Master Emerald.

Knuckles mysteriously said, "I wonder why the Master Emerald is making such a weird noise." He continued to approach the emerald, till it started to glow. It glowed so bright, that Knuckles had to shield his eyes from the intense brightness. When the light finally subsided, and he was able to see clearly again, Knuckles began to open his eyes. Everything appeared to be perfectly normal, except for an image that was inside the Master Emerald. Knuckles observed the image, and he was shocked. He observed some sort of purple rift in a forest with a dense population of trees. It was like a rip in a piece of paper, floating in the air. What Knuckles was shocked by the most, was the appearance of a couple of human beings crawling out of the mysterious rift, falling to the ground in the process. The people had on white lab coats, but the image in the emerald was too far away to give a good physical description of each person.

Slowly, this image began to fade, being replaced by a strange message. A feminine voice uttered the phrase "Those who seek prosperity, shall be damned in the end".

Knuckles was absolutely dumbstruck by this, and began to ponder the reasoning behind this message. "Those who seek prosperity…shall be damned in the end," he repeated to himself. Knuckles continued to ponder this quote, when he remembered something.

"I think I know where that rift is located," he exclaimed. From there, he jumped down the stairs that led to and from the Master Emerald, and began to run through the dense forests of Mobius.

"And that is when you came across me," Knuckles said, getting to the closing statement of his brief summary of his experience from late last night, which seeped into the early morning of today.

Tails was still trying to swallow all of what Knuckles just explained to him when he said, "Hmmm… very interesting. Was the emerald more specific upon the location of this rift?"

Knuckles then circled the tiny area in which they stood. He then said, "It didn't say exactly, but I know for a fact that it was here. The trees and plants were all in the same place."

The two Mobians stood still for several minutes, explored their own thoughts, and (to no success) tried to come up with a logical solution to their predicament: Who were those people, and how did a riff between their world and Mobius open up?

Tails then decided to walk over to a tree, which was only a few steps from where he was standing, and sat down right by it. While he leaned against the tree and stretched out his legs in tiredness, he slowly began to formulate some questions in his head for the echidna. Meanwhile, Knuckles found a tree just a few steps away from where Tails was sitting, and leaned against that one, while crossing his arms. He slowly lowered his head, and closed his eyes, also trying to come up with reasons as to why those humans came out of that rift.

After a long silence, Tails finally spoke up. "Wait. Didn't you say that those people had on white lab coats?"

Knuckles slowly raised his head, and opened his eyes. He replied, "Yeah. They did have on white lab coats, but what does that have to do with anything?

Tails replied, "Well, maybe we could've known one of those scientists."

Knuckles began to turn his head so it was facing Tails. "A scientist we know? Apart from Dr. Eggman, the only other scientist I know is…"

Tails then leaped off the ground in happiness and surprised, and exclaimed, "Chuck!" Happy and fond memorize of Tails and Chuck spending time together, while working in his lab back on planet Earth came back to him.

Knuckles saw the change in Tails' attitude, and said, "But we are still not sure if this event even happened. It could be something that happens in the future, or it could have already happened. We do know that it will eventually happen, if not already, because the Master Emerald never lies".

Tails looked back at Knuckles, and replied, "Yeah, I guess your right about that. If only we had more information though."

So with that, Tails bid farewell to Knuckles, and he continued his jog through the paths. "That was very strange," he noted to himself. "If the Master Emerald is infallible, then why did it show that image? Could this be something that happens in the future, or perhaps something that has already happened?" After running and pondering this to himself for awhile, he eventually decided to drop the topic, and continue with his run. His mind switched back from thinking about the scientists, the rift, and Chuck, back to his thoughts on a more efficient way to power the Tornado.

Unfortunately for the half-tired kitsun, his reckless train of thought caused him to lose his way. Before he knew it, he discovered that he had somehow made a wrong turn. He looked around his surroundings and found that the trees appeared to be even denser than before. What made his even more worried was the fact that the sun was starting to disappear from the sky, getting replaced by big, dark darks. And one of the only things that Tails was scarred of is dark clouds, for dark clouds brought lightning.

And the sight of these unwelcome, lightning bearing clouds brought back not-so-fond memories of his earlier childhood...

Back when Tail's was only at the age of six, he was, of course, a wonderer. Not so much a "hunter and gatherer", but a wonderer. At that time, Tail's did not have a home, or any place to call home. His recent escape from his previous foster home left him with some confidence, because he was ridiculed and chastised for his twin tails, and his unnatural intelligence. He was fed up with the constant bullying of "fellow" foster home room mates, and decided to make a run for it. Now, he has been out on his own for a few months now. Despite the fact that work was hard to find, food intake was reduced, and lodging consisted of finding a good enough tree or cave, he was slightly happier than staying at the place in which he had never really considered a home. Although he at least had a warm and relaxing bed and a good diet at the foster home, he had at least a little bit of pride in living on his own. Yes he was still very shy and scared at times, but he compared the thought of even stepping a foot back into that foster home to his current condition to be Heaven.

"Thank you very much, sir," Tails responded to his recent customer. He had just completed another job, which consisted of fixing electronics for a decent to low pay. He found work simply by going door-to-door, sometimes in the big city, and sometimes out in the forests. This particular customer happened to live very deep within a very dense Mobian forest.

He helped his customer replace some of the necessary components for a GPS. The old ones got fried somehow. Tail's concluded that it was possible from some sort of water damage, but he didn't bother to ask.

"Your welcome, young man," said the customer, which was a middle age skunk. Walking on two legs, and using his tail for a little support, he walked over to the young kitsun, and handed him a $20 dollar bill. Tails was almost shock at the generous pay that he received, but didn't question the customer's generosity.

Before Tails was successfully out the door, the skunk worriedly asked, "Do you have a place to stay tonight? The weather doesn't look so good."

Tails immediately looked up into the sky to make sure that the skunk's concern was logical. He replied, "Nah. I'm used to the outdoor weather at nighttime. Besides, I wouldn't want to stay here and mooch off of your resources."

The skunk was quick to reply to the kitsun's bold statement. "Are you sure? I have an extra bed you know."

Tails then replied, "I'll be fine."

But of course, he was everything but fine. Having only been out in the wild for only a couple months, Tail's did not have the advantage of experiencing a thunderstorm while staying outdoors. So he left the skunk's house, something in which he occasionally would reflect back on as a "naive" move, and he continued on.

After walking on for a couple miles, he saw a flash of white and yellow light erupting from a very dark cloud. The pointed shaft seemed as if it stemmed from the clouds, and worked its way down to Mobius's surface at the speed of, well, lighting! If that site didn't frighten the young fox, the next event more than likely did. A few moments after the terrifying view of the stream of energy hitting the ground at a distance, he heard a booming sound. The tremendous sound caused the two-tailed fox to start to run in panic. This running led him to one of the worst spots to be at during a thunderstorm...in an open field.

Tails, still very frightened from his vantage point of the lightning and thunder from just a few moments ago, looked up into the clouds in which were just over his head, to find many parts of the cloud to be glowing. And then, Tails encountered his first "near-death experience".

Tails was standing there, in awe of what he referred to as "energy balls" in the clouds. "This is very beautiful." Tails thought aloud. The site did seem pretty amazing, especially for someone who didn't know the extreme risk of being out in the open during a terrible thunder storm. After about a minute, however, a bolt of lightning came down, and nearly hit him. In fact, the bolt was nearly a couple yards from him. Of course, this scared the young kitsun to the point of running off into a random direction, while tears clouded his vision.

Nearly a half hour of running however, led him to the place in which he departed from. The skunk, sipping his tea while reading a big piece of literature, heard the cries of distress coming from the outside of his house. He dropped his book, and set his tea down immediately, and ran for the door, to see the kitsun-in-distress lying on all fours, with a big river of tears flowing down each eye. And from there, he was placed to bed, and was taken care of for that night.

This particularly bad memory that rushed into Tail's mind led him to the conclusion that he needed to act fast before the lightning started to develop. Fortunately for the clever fox, he carried with him a very unique piece of technology in which only few explorers actually bothered to obtain and carry with them into the wild...a compass.

It turned out that he was going the completely wrong direction. He could travel south back to his house, but then he started to calculate the amount of time that he traveled in the wrong direction, and formulated the amount of time it would take him to get to one of his friend's houses. After he finished calculating in his head where he should go, he took off while wondering if going to her house would be such a good idea...

So where exactly does Tails decide to go, in which he has doubts about? And also, just how/when exactly did the rift appear, if it had already, allowing the human scientists to enter Mobius? Find out in the next chapter, which will be available soon!