Ah-ha! Ladies and Gentlemen, it's that time! Time to break out your end-of-story reviews! Yessir, the ship has sailed. That's all I have, and I must say, I guess it is longer than I expected. Well. Good to know. I have to admit, and everyone, you're all going to have to help me on this, I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. I mean, I was kinda going for an end-of-game, we-did-it-so-let's-party feel, but it feels weird. Maybe because the rest was so, like, intense. Tell me what you think about this. This is why I ask for reviews. And before anybody asks about this, I did go back and change a few things that were bugging me, like spelling and grammar errors, formatting issues, and using asterisks as thoughts in the first few chapters. Since I favor story consistency, the asterisks have gotta go. But no, I am not rewriting the whole thing. Dear Lord, I just got done with it, I don't want to go back and do it all over again! Anyway, I'm going on vacation to Mexico here in just a few days, and it's a family tradition to have a drink to honor/make fun of everyone who is not here right now. I want you to know, you will all be in my mind while I'm having that drink. So. No more. Everybody please read, review, and thank you for putting up with me these long 13 chapters! I had fun writing this, and I hope to write something new soon!
A crash resounded throughout the base as long tentacles failed yet again to miss their mark, their owner instead forced to vent its fury in the form of another scream. Tails and Cream covered their ears and winced, the sound like nails on a chalkboard to them. Sonic just smirked.
Several more missed attempts were fired and hit the other battleships and submarines, their debris littering the water.
The squid shot tentacles ahead and behind of where Sonic was headed, hoping to let him run straight into his grip. Sonic didn't lose a step, simply slid on his knees for a brief instant and let inertia do all the work. "Alright, then, grown some brains, Stumpy?" Sonic laughed.
The creature shrieked again, as if it could actually understand Sonic was mocking it. It lifted itself almost completely clear of the water, dangling by a few deceptively thin yet strong tentacles. With a cry, it loosed all but three of the powerful arms and slammed them down on the ground in front of Sonic, unbalancing him, before shooting them towards him and managing to latch on to his chest. This time, the noise it made was of triumph, and began to pull him towards the edge of the mooring.
Sonic's cockiness immediately vanished with the first tug, as he had learned from their first encounter just how hard it was to break free once it got a grip. That, and he had no desire to go for another arctic swim. Sonic was no idiot - he knew he would not survive another exposure, especially since his chaos emerald had been confiscated soon after his recapture.
As the creature tugged on the spiny prey that had caused it so much agony before, it couldn't help but notice a fearful twitch, one that had been absent during its arrival, but now was present once it pulled him closer to the water. Despite its one-track mind, the creature managed to make a connection between the water and fear. It tugged harder.
Sonic's fear was growing. He was pulling with all his might, but the squid was stronger, and was pulling him steadily towards the water. Just when it seemed to Sonic there was no way out of another sub-freezing pool party, Tails and Cream both grabbed a hold of the tentacle attached to Sonic. The fox grinned. "Sorry, but we're not letting you sucker him into this!"
With that, he quickly snapped the arm up and down like a whip, the wave he created traveled towards the squid, slamming against it and causing it to lose its grip on everything and plummet into the water. The splash it made washed up on shore and froze instantly.
Sonic turned to Tails. "'Sucker' me into it? I don't get it."
"Y'know, sucker! Like, he's a squid, so he has suckers on his arms, but also sucker, like, sucker you into something?"
"...I still don't get it."
"Look, it's very simple-"
"Mr. Tails, Mr. Sonic! It's back!"
Both brothers turned in time to jump away as the tentacles of the creature once more began to attack. It seemed madder than ever. Sonic timed his chance perfectly, leaping up while its arms were poised for another slam and using them to bounce to the head. As he half kneeled in order to maintain balance on its thick, slippery skin, the creature raised its tentacles and made a grab for him. This time Sonic was ready for it. Swiftly, he grabbed onto one tentacle, wrapping it around another one and tying the new arm to a third. In moments, he had a grip on almost all the tentacles.
Sonic asked, "Calimari, anyone?"
Tails shook his head. "That was awful."
"It was better than yours!"
"Mr. Sonic! Be careful! Look out!"
Sonic whirled around to see an arm he wasn't holding snatch him up and lift him upside-down above its head, his arms pinned to his sides. Sonic grimaced. "I was only kidding about the calamari thing, but..."
His teeth clamped down hard on the tentacle and dug in deep. Sonic tried not to gag. The creature tasted like a salted tire. About as rubbery as one too, Sonic thought. Nasty. But, the unorthodox method worked, as the squid cried out and thrashed, trying to lose Sonic's hold on its arm.
The squid, being a sea creature, was slightly slimy; Sonic's teeth quickly lost their grip and he was flung against the wall.
Now the creature was angry. It had lost an arm to this spiny prey before, and now it had almost lost a suction cup. This prey was simply too much trouble to bother with. Time to take its meal and leave. Two tentacles wrapped around both of the creatures with two tails and pulled them towards it, the both of them making strange squeals in protest. One of the two tailed creatures was squealing at a higher pitch than the other. Perhaps it was a female.
Sonic sat up from the wall where he had hit his head. Feeling quite dizzy, he shook his head a couple times, trying to clear it. A scream from Cream and Tails brought him back to reality.
Sonic stumbled to his feet, assessing the situation even as he lunged forward at a blinding speed. His instinct would guide him better than his brain would anyway. Somehow he caught the two even as they were dragged forward, one of his arms wrapped around Tails' chest, the other around Cream's. He fought and pulled with all his might against the squid. There was more than his life at stake now. He could not afford to lose.
As he resisted the tug, one of his feet slipped on the ice by the shoreline made by the splash from earlier, and his feet shot out from under him, sliding towards the water. With a gasp, he tried to regain his footing, and braced one foot against a piece of metal wreckage. It groaned and slid ominously, but otherwise held. Beads of sweat slid down his head as he continued to fight the squid's incessant tugging. Annoyed, the creature jerked harder, and the wreckage slid a little. It tugged again, and this time it slid all the way. Sonic cried out one more time as he tried to find friction on the ice and the three shot towards the water that would be their doom...
Suddenly two arms closed around Sonic's chest and locked him in an iron grip, not yielding an inch to the creature. With a roar, the squid shot two more deadly tentacles, encompassing them all and threatening to pull them all into the ocean. A blinding white light shone all around them just as Sonic was aware of someone yelling two familiar words in his ear...
Sonic was the first to stir. With a groan, he sat up, holding his head. It felt like someone had grabbed his feet and ran him twice around the world at supersonic speeds, with tons of sharp turns and slamming into walls. As he waited for his head to clear, he was aware of feeling something he hadn't in a while.
Blinking, he glanced up in surprise, gazing up at the golden orb that he had missed shining in the sky. His headache was disappearing fast and his freezing cold body was quickly warming to the sun's gentle rays. He simply sat there for a minute. A breeze, not the biting wind he had endured earlier, but a nice gentle breeze played across his fur. In short, everything felt completely normal. As if it had never happened. As if the whole thing had been one crazy dream.
He seemed to be sitting on a sandy beach to what looked like a lake. A tall mountain lay beyond. It looked like something out of a postcard, and yet Sonic had a feeling he knew the place. He just couldn't put his finger on it...
"Are you going to sit there and stare at the sky all day, Faker, or are you going to thank me?"
Sonic couldn't help but smile. "Shadow." He turned to face the ebony hedgehog.
Shadow was standing over him, a scowl on his face. Silently Sonic groaned. He knew what was coming. The only one who could be more long-winded with his lectures and scoldings was Eggman. Still. He did technically just save him. "Why'd ya save us, Shadow? I mean, not that it's not appreciated or nothin', but I'm curious."
His tone was carefree and easygoing, just like the speedster himself, and it annoyed Shadow to no end. He bristled. "Because you're an idiot who can't save himself, that's why! You're such a fool as to go off on your own without giving anyone any warning, and then you go and get yourself kidnapped, and send everyone in a freaking panic over you, and make everybody try and help you because you just can't help yourself! And you!"
This was aimed at Tails, who just woke up. "Do not try and follow in this moron's footsteps! Do you have any idea how stupid it was to head to Eggman's base on your own? Did you think you were so clever you could outwit him? Or were you just not thinking straight because you couldn't live without your precious older brother?" Shadow demanded, putting as much scorn as he could into the phrase precious older brother.
"Did you think it was just luck the base happened to explode and clear a way for you? Did you think your girlfriend's pathetic little pet could protect himself against an entire robot army? And do you really think you could have escaped the alarms for as long as you did if I had not specifically asked Rouge to hack the system for you? Well? Do you? If I hadn't been there to play chaperone for you all, you'd be dead!"
Sonic remained calm all throughout the lecture, not because of him liking anything the other hedgehog had said, but because he realized, despite Shadow's best efforts to hide it, his anger was born of fear, and not rage. Shadow had been worried, and that made Sonic feel better in a way, that he had cracked the hedgehog's shell just a little bit, if only on accident. "Hey." he said suddenly.
Shadow looked at him. "What?" He snapped.
Sonic winked. "I get what you're trying to say. Thanks, Shads."
"My name's not-!" Ebony growled. "I...I'm taking the emeralds, Faker! You're not gonna stop me!"
Sonic smiled and shrugged easily. "Alright then."
"...What?" Shadow stared for a second, thrown off guard.
"You heard me. You did just save us, and do all that other stuff you just said, so, well, I guess fair is fair. Take the emeralds."
Now Shadow was suspicious. "This is a trick."
Sonic shook his head. "Nope. But hey, where did you take us, anyway?"
Shadow didn't answer, only scooped up the two emeralds and started to walk away. After a second, he stopped, turned around, and answered tonelessly, "Angel Island."
There was a flash as he teleported away, and Tails turned to Sonic. "What was that? I've never seen you like that before, giving Shadow something without a fight! I mean what...?"
He trailed off because Sonic was suddenly on his level, urgently putting a finger to his lips as if the four's life depended on it, and yet smiling mischievously. Tails gulped. He knew that look.
"I knew it!" He said triumphantly. "We're on Angel Island! Quick, run, before Knuckles finds us here!" With that, he grabbed Tails and Cream's arms and started pulling them along impatiently.
"Come on, Tails, let's go!"
"I'm coming! Keep your fur on!"
"Why are we running, Mr. Sonic?"
"Well, it just hit me; Shadow chaos controlled us, right?"
"Yeah, so?" Tails snapped, annoyed at being rushed without a good cause. A shout echoed behind him. It sounded like Knuckles. Sonic sped up the pace.
"So, when you use chaos control, you end up teleporting everything you were touching - whether or not you wanted to bring it. And since Shadow was pulling on Stumpy when he teleported...!"
"Oh, yes. Shadow helped us pull off the ultimate prank on Knuckles!"
"Mr. Sonic, shouldn't we go back and help him?" Cream glanced back towards Knuckles, looking worried. "I don't want that bad monster to hurt Mr. Knuckles."
Sonic hesitated. He was sure that Knuckles could take care of himself, yet Cream had a valid case in point. He would feel bad if Knuckles was injured during the fight. He slowed, indecisive, and probably would have gone back if Knuckles hadn't chosen that moment to yell, "SONIC! If you've touched one thing out of place this time, I swear I'll have your head!"
The four glanced at each other. "Chao?"
"Erm...Never mind," Tails commented, looking nervous. While he was a good friend in general, it appeared he was still upset over a certain event that had happened a few weeks ago that Tails had worked very hard to not think about. "I, uh, think he's still mad."
"We'll all make it up to Mr. Knuckles when he calms down later."
"It's for the best." agreed Sonic.
And the team shot off for the edge.
Now Knuckles was furious. It was bad enough he had chosen to come here a few weeks ago, but now the blue moron had returned. With friends, by the looks of it. Well, this time, he had the hedgehog! This time, he'd grab a hold of him, and wipe that little smirk off his...! Ah, what was the point? Knuckles cooled down quickly. Not only did he have next to no chance of beating Sonic, he also knew deep down all he had to do was get him to laugh, and he, the so-called guardian, would calm down just like that. But it wasn't like he could help it. Sonic seemed to have a natural gift for putting down people's guards and helping them relax.
Still, he'd pretend to be mad for a little bit longer. He cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted at the top of his lungs, "SONIC! If you've touched one thing out of place this time, I swear I'll have your head!"
Still, he hoped despite the threats (or perhaps because of them; Sonic was never good with rules) they would come back soon. Things got lonely up on Angel Island. There was no one to talk to, and he knew every inch, every stone, every living thing on this island- What?
There was something in the water. Something huge. Knuckles knew that the lake was deep and, despite its size, easily rival Loch Ness in terms of depth. But what could it be? He knew all the native species, and there was nothing that big. As the thing rose up, Knuckles simply stared, mouth agape. Then suddenly the power of speech was restored to him.
"SON-IC! What did you do this time?"