From Dusk 'till Dawn

"Hey dad? Can I have a pet?" Dad looked up from bathing our dog Shad and looked at my younger brother quizzically.

"You already have a pet," he said just before Shad started to shake to get the soap and water off of him, soaking him and my sister Maria.

"But I want a smaller pet," Aries said simply. "Something I can carry with me but has an IQ level of a bird, which are intellectual animals."

"So, you're saying that Shad has a low IQ level?" I asked with a raised eyebrow. "If so, you're wrong. Shad was smart enough to know beforehand that Mom was in labor and ran to get help. Didn't they tell you how you were born?" Aries pouted.

"I already know that. Mom told me that story long ago, and I'm not saying Shad is stupid. What I'm saying is that I want a pet of my own that's small and doesn't need a lot to be taken care of. Shad is the familiy dog." Maria stopped scrubbing Shad for a minute and started pondering on what Aries was trying to say.

"Aries wants a pet that's small, yet smart. I'm thinking that he wants a small rodent like a hamster, or possibly a mouse," she said.

"We might as well get him a hedgehog then," Shadow, my Dad, chuckled.

"Isn't that like paradox or something?" I asked. "I mean, we're hedgehogs, right? So, if we keep a hedgehog as a pet, then...isn't that wrong? It's like we're enslaving our own species or something!"

"Not necessarily," Maria said thoughtfully. "I once saw a Mobian cat with a pet cat. It didn't seem wrong."

"So you're sayin' that if Uncle Knuckles wanted a pet, then he can go out, find a wild echidna and keep it for his own and there will be no negative repercussions behind that, right?" Maria shrugged.

"Just saying." Aries sighed and averted his attention back to our dad.

"Dad, I know we're a bit spoiled and you know how much I hate asking you guys for stuff, but I really, reallywant a pet that I can call my own. My own lil' buddy. I just want a small pet, nothing big like another dog. Please?" Dad hummed a bit as he dried his hand off with a towel. Aries was practically on his knees begging, well, not really. He was just giving dad those puppy-dog eyes that mom used to pull off with granpa when she was our age. Eventually, Dad let out a small sigh and ruffled up Aries' fur.

"I'll discuss it with your mother, and if she says it's ok, then we'll get you a pet." A wide smile spread across my little brother's lips as he nearly glomped our dad while saying "Thank you!" over and over again. Dad just smiled again as he pushed our youngest brother off.

"Cinos, can you, your brother and sister finish washing Shad for me? After you're done, you all are free for the rest of the evening."

"Sure thing!" I replied. "Shad'll be spotless by the time we're done!"

"Unless, of course, he decides to destroy the garden again," Maria added innocently. I ended up rolling my eyes without trying to, because she was telling the truth. The dog loves that garden so much; he digs in it whenever he got the chance! Mom and dad were desperate so they put if a wired fence around the garden, but Shad somehow managed to chew through it. Dad said that he might build a little sand pit for Shad to dig in when he gets the chance. He doesn't want Shad to dig in it anymore because he's trying to grow mom's favorite flowers in it; multicolored roses.

Aries finally let go of Dad before our ebony father went inside to see what was mom doing. If you don't know yet, my name is Cinos. Actually my full name is Prince Cinos the Hedgehog. My sister's name is Maria, and my little brother's name is Aries. Maria is a princess and Aries is a prince too. I bet you're wondering how can an ordinary looking family can be part of a kingdom. Well, it's simple. My grandma is Queen Sally Acorn, and my grandpa is the famous hero of Mobius, and the king, King Sonic the Hedgehog. Grandpa became king after he married grandma years ago. Months later, grandma got pregnant with my mom who is Princess Dawn the Hedgehog, but my mom's story is very, very complicated. I'll give you the short version. The original story turned out to be a big elaborate lie grandpa cooked up, so I don't know much about it. I'll only give you what I was told:

In the first story, Mom had her embryo transferred to a human's because Sally died for some unknown reason and she was born a human. But in the real story, mom's embryo wasn't developing like it should in grandma's womb, so to save her from dying, granddad found a human couple who were willing enough to carry Mom's embryo until she was born. After Mom was born, some stuff happened, and Sonic had to give mom up to the human couple to protect her. I don't know how true that is, but that's all I really know.

Anyway, I'm the oldest of my three siblings. Actually, Maria and I are the same age, but I'm the oldest because I was born ten minutes before Maria. Aries is clearly the youngest since he was born months later after Mom and Dad got married. I know this because I was the ring bearer and Maria was the flower girl. Anyway, it's kinda hard to determine our ages. Y'see, our dad, Shadow, was artificially created on some top secret laboratory in space called the Space Colony ARK. He was created to be the Ultimate Lifeform, and since we are made up by his DNA, we're growing faster than any other kids our age, and maybe a little smarter. If one was to look at us, you would estimate that Maria and I are probably thirteen or fourteen, while Aries looks like he could be eleven or twelve.

We all took the genes from both of our parents. I'm ebony like dad and has his tan muzzle, but instead of red stripes, the tips of my quills are white, which is the same tone of white as my mom (she's all white by the way). But I have a white strip going down my right eye. My eyes are colored weird two. I have my dad's red eye and my mom's icy blue eye. I don't wear gloves, but I usually wear some faded jeans that are ripped and some white boots. I don't think I'm gonna grow any chest hair like my dad, because if I was, it would have grown in already.

Maria looks like me, but not really. If we were younger, you would say we were twins, but not anymore. Maria is ebony too, and has a tan muzzle and torso. However, she doesn't have stripes on her quills either. Instead she has red rings at the ends of her quills. Her eyes are dark blue though. Also, since she's a girl, her quills had gotten longer, so she usually has them up in a ponytail with a bang. She style her quills occasionally; one day she wears a ponytail and a few days later, they're hanging with a headband. She usually wears a small blue tank top with shorts and sandals and blue gloves with the fingers cut off.

Aries looks a little weird compared to the two of us. First off, he's black all over. No muzzle, no torso, just fur, unless you don't count the inside of his ears. And his eyes are orange, which is a little strange since no one in our family has orange eyes (that we know of anyway). He just wears jeans and tennis shoes. He's like the family's version of Tails, only weirder. But he's our little brother, so we accept him regardless.

We were able to finish bathing Shad without a hitch, so we dried him off and went back into the house.

"Hey Cinos," Maria asked "did you finish the homework assignment from Friday?" I looked at her.

"We had a homework assignment?" My sister face palmed and made her way upstairs to her room.

"Duh! You didn't hear what Ms. Chung said? We to finish page forty-nine in our Geometry books, remember?" I remember now...

"Whoops..."

"Dad's gonna be steamed if you come home with another F on your paper," Aries added.

"I know! I'll try and finish tonight, but if I can't, I'll take on dad's wrath and hopefully survive..."

"I'll help you with it if ya want," Aries offered.

"Ya mean it lil' bro?"

"Well, if I do it, you'll have to buy me candy after school tomorrow when you come and pick me up."

"Deal. Just don't tell mom and dad that I bought it for you. I'm already on the ropes after my last report card."

"What did you have on your last report card?" Maria asked with an eyebrow raised.

"I got an F in Biology. Dad was steamed because that's my best subject. If I get another F in any of my subjects, I'll be grounded for life!" By now we were already on the second floor, and Maria went into the bathroom to have her shower, so Aries and I went into my room to get started on my late assignment. I'm not bad in any of my subjects; I can get all A's without trying, but my drawback is that I'm a procrastinator. Aries and Maria, however, are angels as Mom put it. They're on the Honor Roll and always get all A's. I can pull off the same thing if I didn't like to goof-off so much.

The funny thing is that I really didn't need any help with the assignment. All I had to do was draw certain shapes like a trapazoid or a shape with perpindicular lines and I was finished. Still, I promised Aries that I would get him some candy after school, and if I didn't, he would tattle on me. He wouldn't really do it though; the three of us are like, super close. If one goes down, we all go down. Besides, I don't mind buying Aries candy. I'm actually in the mood for some fudge myself.

I was glad I was able to finish the assignment before it had gotten too late. Aries went back to his room to get ready for school while I got ready for a shower. Aries like to take a shower in the morning while Maria and I like to take a shower the night before. He said something about he would like to wash to dirt off just before he gets covered with it again that same day or something...I know it had something to do with science but I don't really remember what he said.

Well, once I was clean, I went straight for bed. There was no way I was gonna risk staying up when I had to get up in the morning. The last thing I need is for Mom to get that God forsaken whistle again...

. . . . .

"Cinos! Wake up! We gotta get ready!" Maria pulled the duvets off of my body and started shaking me furiously on my shoulder. I groaned as I grabbed my pillow and used it to cover my head.

"Cinos, Mom's gonna get a blow horn if you don't get up."

"But it's still early..." I complained. "The sun's not even out yet."

"Cinos, it's 7:00! We have to be at school by 8:30, and you know how long it takes you to get up!" Groaning loudly, I sat up on my bed and rubbed my eyes.

"Fine! I'm up!"

"Good. Now get ready before Aries gets out of the shower and eats everything and you won't get to have French toast today." Darn. Now I have to get up. Maria left the room while I remained sitting on my bed. I know I was delaying the inedible, but you can't blame me for trying. I eventually got up, groomed my fur, got dressed and went downstairs. When I got to the kitchen, Mom was at the stove while Dad was at the counter drinking coffee...while looking into a box with holes? Maria was standing next to him trying to peek into the box.

"Hey, what's in there?" I asked curiously as I walked over.

"Something for Aries," Dad replied casually.

"Can we see?" my sister asked.

"No. If you did, it would ruin the surprise." As if on cue, Aries came down into the kitchen with his bag slung over his shoulder. He saw us gathered around dad and came over.

"Hey, what's going on? Why is everyone over here? What's in the box?" Dad just smiled as he move Maria and I aside so Aries could get to the box.

"Well, why don't you find out?" Aries tilted his head a little before he took the box, put it on the ground and looked inside. I wanted to see what was in the box too, but Aries' big head blocked the view.

"Oh cool!"

"What is it?" Maria asked. Aries stood up and showed us what was crawling around in his hands. It was a rat; it was while all over with black spots all over its face. It looked young, and it was crawling up and down Aries' arm and going back and forth on his shoulder.

"Cute," Maria cooed "can I hold it?"

"No," Aries said, holding the rat defensively. "Get your own."

"When did you guys get it?" I asked, trying to coax the rat onto my palm.

"Well, after your mother and I discussed it, we decided that he deserved a little companion. We were lucky to find this little guy at the last minute."

"Is it a boy or a girl?"

"Boy,"

"I'm gonna call you...Buddy." Aries said petting "Buddy."

"Alright you three," Mom said "you better hurry and eat or else you'll be late."

"Ok!" Dad got rid of the box while the rest of us sat and ate. Aries kept feeding Buddy his breakfast; Mom didn't want him to eat anything sweet since she didn't want Buddy to get sick, but Aries confirmed that rats will eat just about anything, if they're not spoiled. After we ate, the three of us bid our parents goodbye and left the house. But before we could actually leave...

"Aries, you're taking Buddy with you to school?" Mom asked. Aries grinned nervously.

"I'll keep him hidden, I promise! My Science teacher has rats in her class! I have Home EC too! I'll make some sort of transportation carrier for him and-"

"Ok Aries, you can take Buddy with you," Dad sighed. "But please make sure you come home with him. Alive." I held back a laugh.

"Now that's just cruel," Mom said while giving Dad a blank look. Said ebony hedgehog grinned nervously as he pretended to read the newspaper.

"I will, I promise!" And then we left for real.

Our school was near the border of Knothole and Station Square, but it was a good walking distance away from where we lived. The school also happens to be the high school mom went to when she was our age. But we had to pass up our school to get Aries to his school, which was a block away. We would have walked there, but we provide our own faster ways of transportation.

We all inherited our parents' speed and powers, but we have some drawbacks. I can run fast like granddad, but I can only run in a straight line. I'll have to slow down in order to turn. Because of that, I don't try to run. Instead I use my Extreme Gear (Hover Board from Sonic Riders) as my transportation. Maria has no problem running. She even uses rockets on the bottom on her sandals like Dad does. But she can't use Chaos attacks like Chaos Spear. She can't even use Chaos Control without our assistance, and she can't Spin Dash. But she can form these type of tornadoes that have a hint of Chaos energy in them.

Aries can only run in short bursts, and if he runs too long, he'll get tired quickly. However, he inherited dad's ability to teleport himself with and without a Chaos Emerald, while Maria, Mom and I need a Chaos Emerald in order to teleport. And he can also use Chaos Snap, an ability only Dad can use. The ability itself is unknown, and no one knows how its used. All we know is that the user simple snaps his or her fingers and one or multiple targets bursts into flames or explodes.

With all of us riding boards and skating, to took us no time at all to drop Aries off and then go to our school. We were on time; we got there fifteen minutes after the hour. As Maria and I went to our lockers, a pink echidna in glasses came up to us.

"Hey guys," she greeted.

"'Sup Lara?" I greeted. Lara-Su is Knuckles' and Julie-Su's daughter. We met her in third grade. We've been best friends ever since.

"Did you finish your homework?" she asked us.

"I did, but Cinos decided to slack off and tried to finish it at the last minute," Maria teased.

"HEY! I got it done, didn't I? Besides, it's not like I'm dumb or anything, I just like to goof off!"

"And you're admitting that?" Lara asked with a raised eyebrow. I just shrugged.

"You're better off admitting it than denying it."

"Whatever you say, big brother..." Maria said as she turn and started walking for our first glass (which was ironically Geometry). But she wasn't able to make it since something, or rather, someone blocked her path. Well, that someone didn't really block her path since they sorta ran into each other. Maria fell but had an iron grip on her bag. Can't say the same thing for the other guy though.

"Oh jeez, I'm so sorry!" she cried before picking up the other person's paper.

"Don't worry 'bout it. No harm done," Maria gave the paper back to the other guy, and he gladly accepted it. We never saw him before...He was a dark green hedgehog around our age. Had a peach muzzle and torso, wore ripped jeans, a black jacket with green flames, had blue eyes and had a pair of blue and dark blue goggles around his neck. And then there was his voice...It sounded like granddad's younger voice only it was deeper. But we didn't get to get anymore details from him since he rushed off as if he was nervous. We watched him leave, but I was the only one to ask the question that was in all of our minds.

"Who the heck was that?"

"Dunno," Maria said thoughtfully. "He looks nervous...is he new here?"

"I did hear rumors of an exchange student coming but...I don't know if that's him or not," Lara said.

"Well, whoever he is, we'll have to find out later. We better get to class or else we'll be late." Maria and Lara had no arguments there, and we went to our first class. When we got there, class was about to start. The three of us always sat in the last row in the class. It made it easier for us to pass notes when we're bored. It was when we got our homework out when the teacher came in, with a visitor. It was the same hedgehog we saw in the hallway!

"Class! May I have your attention please!" The entire class went silent and all eyes were on the new kid. "Everyone, this is Dusk. He's and exchange student and just enrolled into the school."

"His name should be our brother's name," I whispered to my sister, who gave me a look that told me that she couldn't agree more.

"I want you all to make him feel welcome to the school. And I will also need a volunteer to show him around the school so he won't get lost." Count me out. "Hmmm...Cinos! Why don't you be our volunteer?" Well, crap.

"Uh...I get lost in the school too sometimes. I think Lara-Su would do a better job than me." Some of my classmates giggled.

"Lara-Su actually has some business to take care of for the school Science Fair," said echidna teased.

"Well, my sister knows the school like the back of her hand! She can do it."

"Ahem...SOMEone whille have to go to our next class to tell Mr. Ben why you will be late, remember?"

"Skye?"

"Nuh-uh! I'm not in this, Cinos! Besides, you owe me!" exclaimed a yellow fox two rows in front of me. Skye is Tails' and Mina's's son. He's also one of our best friends, but he was right about one thing. I did owe him ever since Ms. Chung caught him passing me the answers to a test, and we both got in trouble for it.

"Cinos, are you that lazy?" Ms. Chung asked while giving me a disappointing look. I thought about it for a minute before I said "yes." Insert class laughing here. "Well, I'm afraid you have no choice. And this will count as part of your grade. So if you don't do it, you will fail." Double-crap! I can't go home with another F!

"Ok, ok...I'll show him around after class is over," I sighed.

"Excellent!" Ms. Chung directed Dusk to an empty seat on the left side of the room next to a window before class started. I spent the whole class hour doing my work (I really couldn't slack off, plus I was too mad to even think about it) and ended up finishing my homework without knowing it until the last minute. Class ended eventually and I stood outside the door to wait for Dusk. He was the last person to leave.

"Alright, ready?" I asked as I slung my bag over my shoulder.

"Let's get it over with," he said coolly. I started out guiding him through the first floor, second floor and the basement, covering each class and that other crap. The school's pretty big, so it was going to take a while before we completely covered the whole school.

"...and that leads to the pool, but it's closed for repairs. Down that way is another exit and...around the corner from here is another office I think."

"...Was that girl your sister?" I turned towards him and gave him a look.

"Yeah why?...Hey, if you're trying to pull anything, then I swear to God-"

"H-Hey! Dude, chill, I was just askin'."

"You better be..."

"...So...uh...I heard that like, you and your sis are part of the Royal Family, huh?"

"Yep."

"That's cool. We're like, I dunno, kinda related 'cause my dad's a king too." I turned towards him again and gave him another look.

"Who the heck is your dad? As far as I know, only my granddad is the only king around here!"

"Yeah, but my dad is the king of, like...er...an alternate dimension of this planet or somethin'? It's all weird..." Wait a minute...I remember mom and dad telling us about something like that...An evil king of an alternative version of this planet...but what was his name? It started with a S...

"What's your dad's name?" Dusk shrugged.

"I dunno...he told me his name but doesn't want me to call him by his first name. I forgot what it was though. Started with an S." I just said that! "I was 'Scott' or "Scuge" or something like that." The second name kinda rang a bell in my head, but then it didn't.

"Well, do ya have a mom?"

"Yeah?"

"What's her name?"

"Midnight." I don't even know who that is. "Why, you know my mom and dad?"

"Well...not really, but I heard my parents tellin' my bro and sis and I about a king from an alternate dimension. But I can't exactly remember what they told me."

"Oh." I decided to push those thought aside for a while since I knew I would be pondering on that the rest of the day if I didn't. By the time I had finished showing Dusk around the school, my second hour class had already ended. He showed me his schedule and asked me if he knew which way his next class was, and I had to point him in the right direction. The rest of the school day went by pretty fast, and we didn't see Dusk either. By the time I started thinking about him again, school was over and Maria and I were already on our way to pick up Aries. That kid gave off a weird vibe, that's for sure. And that's when I started thinking about what he said. His dad is a king of an alternative dimension of this planet...Mom and Dad told us about this! Why can't I remember!

"Hey, Cinos, you ok?" I looked up and saw Maria waving her hand in front of my face.

"I'm awake! Quit it!"

"Well jeez, sorry! But, you kinda zoned out on me. Is something wrong?"

"Well, yeah, and no. It's that Dusk kid...something he told me had me thinkin'..."

"What'd he say to you?"

"Remember when mom and dad, and even grandma and granddad told us about an evil king who ruled an alternative version of our planet?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Well, he said that, that guy is his dad."

"What? ! No way...I bet he's lying."

"I dunno...He wasn't boasting about it. In fact, he was really calm and casual about it. He might be telling the truth." We had made it to Aries' school, and he had ran over to us looking as cheerful as ever. But then I noticed something blue ad round following him at his heels.

"Is that a hamster ball?" Maria asked, looking down at the object at her feet.

"Yup!" our little brother said proudly as he picked up the round object...with Buddy inside of it. "I made it in Home EC. I can alter its shape to any kind of transportation device for Buddy. So now it'll be easier for me to carry him around. Look! He's even following me now!"

"Hey, lil' bro?"

"Yeah Cinos?"

"Do you remember what Mom and Dad told us? About an evil king from an alternative dimension of this planet?"

"Yup. He was Sonic's evil twin, and he was also after mom when she was younger."

"Do you remember his name?"

"Yeah, but I'm not telling you. I'll give you the definition and you'll have to figure it out." Maria crossed her arms.

"Why do you do these things to us?" she asked innocently.

"Because I'm your little brother and it's my job to torment you. And, ironically, that word also happened to be the very adjective that defines that evil king's name. His name means that he is someone who is perceived as an agent of of punishment, destruction, or sometimes severe criticism."

"Well jeez did you have to give us the exact definition in the dictionary-" I snapped my fingers, cutting my sister off.

"Scourge! His name was Scourge! Now I remember!"

"Wow, you actually nailed it."

"You shut up."

"Wait a minute...Cinos, are you saying that Dusk is Scourge's son?" Maria asked with wide eyes. Aries soon shared her same expression as he looked at me.

"Wait, wait, wait! Did I miss something? You're telling me that Scourge, granddad's very evil twin and king of Anti-Mobius, had a son named Dusk?"

"Well, I'm not very sure," I replied honestly. "But Dusk said that Scourge was his dad since he was also a king, and granddad is the only king king around here! And there's no way he could be granddad's son! He looks nothing like him!"

"Too bad we don't know how this guy looks," Maria said thoughtfully. "If we did, then maybe we could confirm if what he said was true or not."

"Wait, what's his mom's name?" Aries asked.

"Ahhh...someone named Midnight?"

"Well, that name draws a blank."

"Regardless," I said seriously. "We're gonna have to do some checkin' around, 'cause if what Dusk says is true, then we might be in trouble. Scourge is one bad dude, and the last thing we need is to be friends with his kid!"

"Well! If it's information that you need, then leave that to me," Aries tucked Buddy-in-a-Ball under his arm. "You know I'm practically a master hacker. If he's on Mobius, then I can sure find a way to get some information on him. But If I can't, I'll look up Dusk."

"We'll go into your room together so we can see the results for ourselves," Maria suggested. "I don't think it would be a good idea to print out the results. If we did and Mom and Dad finds them...Weeeeeell let's just say that we will have a lot of explaining to do..."

"We won't tell Mom and Dad...yet. If we find out that Dusk is indeed Scourge's kid, then we tell them. If not, then we overreacted."

"Well, we better head home. The last thing we need is to be late, and we do not want Mom and Dad to flip out."

"I do wonder why they're so protective..." I just shrugged as we started to make our way home. I couldn't shake off the uneasy feeling I had gotten ever since I met Dusk...And I get the feeling that we're going to find out a lot about him, and possibly his parents, when we start snooping around...


End Notes [EDIT]: Oh-em-gee! Did Scourge really have a kid with Midnight? Or did something else happen? Well...find out in the next part...which will be in the sequel!

Yeah, I ended it off here, but never got around to editing it, saying that it did. Sorry people who was expecting another chapter.

No idea exactly WHEN i'm gonna make the sequel, since I have a lot of incomplete stories I either have to finish or not do at all. Besides, I'm feeling like some of my more recent stories aren't as good...

Well, that's the end, folks! See ya next time, and God bless you all!