Disclaimer: Sonic and co. don't belong to me. They belong to the dudes and dudettes at SEGA.
Author: Do I really need to say anything? No? Good. Anyway, this fic has been going on inside my head ever since I've finish Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. I don't wanna spoil you dudes and dudettes, so I'll keep quiet until you read the prologue and find out for yourselves what's going on. And do please R&R, I'd like that if it's okay... anyhow, enough of my rabble. Read on!
"__" indicates a character's speech
*__* indicates that the character is speaking through thought
(__) indicates an action between a speech or thought
Prologue: The Beginning...
From the outskirts of the Green Hill Zone, sounds of metal clanged and banged as a group of individuals worked diligently at building shelters of various kinds. These individuals are wanderers, at least as far as they were concerned after what they had gone through. But despite that, they only wanted one thing out of life; a place to call home.
They have suffered for a very long time, and it is only now that they have been given a chance to live their lives away from their dark past...
It was a subject they didn't want to talk about, nor they care for anymore. But that didn't mean that they were willing to let go of centuries of tradition. With that said, they kept the remnants of their past, and held on to what was left over after the fall of their 'glorious' leader... again, it was a subject they didn't want to talk about...
They were the Nocturnus Clan. A group of echidnas that once lived on Angel Island four thousand years ago. The history of their people were not pleasant to speak or even read about. They were a race of technologically advanced warriors, born and raised for battle and trained to kill without mercy or remorse. They were also the reason for why the world was once again plunged into chaos a few days prior, but that was behind them now. Thanks to a certain blue hero of course.
Despite it only being four days since they arrived at the Green Hill Zone, they have progressed well. Many houses have already been built, and a citadel was already underway, and was being built in likeness and in name to their once glorious base, the Nocturne.
Leading these people after the fall of their leader was the leader's second-in-command.
Her name was Shade the echidna. Her full title before, and even now, is Procurator Shade. The title of 'Procurator' was only given to one echidna of every generation in the Nocturnus Clan. It meant that the person knew the leader on a personal level and had skills that far exceeded any mere Equite or Triarius. Given her title, Shade was asked by many of her people to take the responsibility of being the current leader, for the time being. Though the title of 'leader' was not something passed around lightly, nor did Shade consider the title an honor...
Standing on the foot of a large hill outside her people's new home, Shade looked on with concern...
"They need a leader..." She spoke softly, clenching her fists lightly while narrowing her eyes into slits. She didn't want to bear the title of leader, she found it insulting on both a professional and personal level. Professional because only one person can bear the title of 'leader' in the Nocturnus Clan, and she did not earn that title. Personal because she never wanted to be leader. She was born and raised to serve and defend the leader of the Nocturnus, not become it.
But as Shade continued to stand alone in silence, footsteps ruffled the grass near her, and she turned to face whoever it was that will soon accompany her.
"Equite Xion, at your service Procurator Shade." A soldier of the Nocturnus said as he undid his helmet to reveal a male red echidna with white tipped quills tied into a ponytail. He then kneeled down and bowed before Shade.
"Rise, Xion. We have much to discuss." Shade said sternly, before she turned around to face the Nocturnus village once again.
"Yes ma'am." Xion replied, he then stood up and brought his hands behind his back and looked over his superior. "What did you wish to discuss, Procurator?"
"I need to talk to you about who will become the new leader of the Nocturnus Clan. To be more precise; the new Imperator." Shade explained without hesitation, not even bothering to face Xion.
The seriousness that Shade carried rattled Xion a bit, but not enough to lose face. He perfectly understood why Shade wanted to discuss this matter.
"I understand." Xion said, looking to his side a little as he thought of whether or not to voice his opinion on the matter. "Permission to speak, ma'am." He braved to asked, trying to be formal so as to avoid any unnecessary scolding from Shade if possible... she has a funny way of calling hand-to-hand combat 'scolding'...
"Permission granted. Speak freely, Xion." Shade said, still serious in her tone and still standing with her back turned, and Xion sighed mentally with relief.
"Yes ma'am. Well, I know you have declined the offer of Imperator several times, but..." Xion hesitated, and bit his lip lightly, his nervousness returning. "...can't you reconsider? You would make a great Imperator."
As Xion voiced his opinion, he was only met with silence. He sighed dejectedly and wringed his wrists nervously. "...Sorry ma'am... I... I didn't mean to impose..."
"It's fine." Xion heard Shade reply as she turned to face him with her steel clad eyes. "But again, I must decline this offer."
"But... if I may be so bold as to ask, why?" Xion asked, no longer nervous but now concerned. He and most of the other officers didn't quite understand why Procurator Shade didn't wish to become Imperator. It didn't make sense to him... Shade had the makings of a great leader. Why wouldn't she accept the highest mantle of the Noctunus?
As Xion asked his question, Shade's steel clad eyes narrowed as she frowned, obviously disappointed or angry at his words. But then, she sighed heavily and turned away once again.
"You and I both know why I can't be Imperator. And it's more then just because I don't want to..." Shade explained with a harrowing tone that sent a light chill up Xion's spine. "The title of Imperator cannot be taken through decision or vote. It is earned... and by our people's law, it can only be earned in one way..."
"Succession through combat..." Shade continued, then paused and turned her head to the side as she looked at Xion through the corner of her eye. "And you and I both know who de-throned lord Ix." Shade said, her glare steeled beyond its usual, making her seem even more unnerving to look at.
Xion cringed a little at her glare, but shrugged it off as he brought his thoughts to what Shade was saying... and as the words 'succession through combat' repeated itself in his mind, he then understood... he knew exactly what she meant... and who she meant...
"You mean... the blue one?" Xion asked, bringing his right hand up and placed it on his chin as he thought deeply. He recalled the blue one's exploits, along with his friends, as he took up the charge to face the Nocturnus not too long ago. He was the first in a long time that has ever stood up against them, and won... and the blue one was the first in any of Nocturnus' history to have ever defeated lord Ix as well. The idea of this person becoming the new Imperator gladdened Xion, and he smirked deviously at the thought.
"He would make an excellent Imperator." Xion said, his voice lined with anticipation.
"Indeed he would." Shade said in a pleased tone, followed afterwards with a small smile. She knew of no other person befitting the job. The blue one, Sonic the hedgehog, was the leader of the band of heroes that fought against them, the Nocturnus, and brought Imperator Ix down. Moreover, Sonic was the one responsible for the Nocturnus escaping the Twilight Cage. The Nocturnus owed him a great deal for that. But what impressed Shade the most about Sonic, was how well he displayed himself in not only in leadership, but also in combat. Shade has never seen someone handle himself so well against her as Sonic did.
*He is worthy of great respect.* Shade thought with a sense of pride that only warriors could feel for others of their kind.
"But Procurator..." Shade heard Xion say, cutting off her thoughts of the blue hedgehog. She turned to face him angrily for disrupting her. She eased up a little bit though when she saw Xion's expression... he looked a bit worried.
"...is it right for us to ask him to be our leader? He has already done so much for us... don't you think maybe we're asking too much already?"
Shade frowned once again at him, and turned away forcefully. She knew well enough the debt that her people owe to the young blue hero. But there was no one else to turn to...
Succession through combat... that was the law that their people followed when choosing who will become Imperator... and Sonic was the only one able to defeat lord Ix in battle...
"We have no choice on the matter, Xion. Sonic defeated Pir'Oth in battle. There is no one else worthy enough to take the mantle of Imperator but him." Shade said sternly, and as she did, she heard Xion gasp at her. She turned to him, eyebrow raised.
"That's the first time I've ever heard you call lord Ix by his first name..." Xion said, his eyes wide in shock and his hand half-way towards covering his mouth.
"Does it matter!" Shade growled, giving Xion a death glare. She has had enough of his antics and stupidity. "He's dead. He's no longer Imperator. Why would it matter if I called him by his first name!" Shade said coldly to Xion, which made the young man bow his head in shame.
"I a-apologize... its just... (sigh) y-you're right, Procurator..."
"Whatever... It matters not." Shade said, her tone still cold. She waved her hand dismissively as she turned her back at him again. "What matters now, is that we need to speak with Sonic."
"Of course." Xion said weakly as he kneeled down with his head still hanging low. "What would you have me do?"
"Gather a small troop of soldiers. I plan to speak with Sonic personally." Shade explained, which made Xion raise an eyebrow, not understanding why she would need a troop of soldiers just to speak with Sonic.
"Why would you need a small troop, Procurator? Sonic wouldn't-" Xion wanted to ask, but was cut off when Shade stomped her foot on the ground and activated the Leech Blades on her wrists.
"Do not question me!" Shade roared at Xion's words. She has definitely had enough of the imbecile. "Just do as I say, and ready yourself along with some soldiers! GO! NOW!"
"Y-yes m-ma'am!" Xion responded fearfully, his body shaking a bit as he stood up and ran towards the village barracks.
As Xion left, Shade was once again alone. She switched off her Leech Blades and raised her hand to her face as she stared at her palm.
"The Nocturnus WILL have its leader..." She said lowly, and then she clenched her fist tightly. "...and no one will stand in my way of getting him..."
To be Continued...