Disclaimer: I do not own Sonic the Hedgehog or Mega Man X. Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man X, and all related characters are copyright: Sega and Capcom. So in a way this fanfic belongs to them, even though I am writing it. This story is available free for reading by the public. Dr. Trek and "The Maverick" are copyright me though; I did essentially make them up. All rights reserved.
Notice: This fanfic does contain violence, (nothing ultra gory though), and minor harsh language.
Chapter One: The Cylinders
"Is it ready to go, Doctor Trek?" a purple armored maverick stands behind a worn-out human in a dirty and a bit torn lab coat. Despite only being in his early thirties, this human stands as if he is sixty. The fact his hair is gray and done in a ragged mullet does not help improve this image. Even the light from the monitors in the room fail to enhance his haggard complexion.
"Yes Vile," the doctor states tiredly, "it's ready to go. It'll grant you the 'freedom' you so desire."
Vile Mark VI, the lasted version of the infamous maverick, takes a couple of steps forward. He looks up and admires the machine before him. As stated before, his armor purple with yellow trim much like the first Vile. Much like his predecessors, this Vile sports a large cannon on his back that leans over his right shoulder. He also has two fully automatic machine pistols holstered at his waist. They maybe a bit retro, but they are still effective weapons.
The machine Vile is admiring is a tall cylindrical device that reaches all the way up to the ceiling. A myriad of lights, spread all across in 90-degree patterns, glow in a fade-in/fadeout manner. Around the center of the cylinder, the blades of a turbine can be seen in a circle around the machine. Vile looks down at a monitor and notices the power gauge for this cylinder is sitting at 5%. This is normal since the machine is currently in standby mode.
"May I return to my cell now?" Dr. Trek asks.
"Don't you wish to see your creation's first activation?" Vile retorts, one can just imagine a smirk forming behind the dark shadow of that helmet.
"Not under these circumstances," Dr. Trek shallows as if he is in need of a drink of water.
"Very well," Vile motions to another maverick. "Return the doctor to his cell."
Dr. Trek takes one last look at his life's work in the hands of mavericks before he is escorted out of the room.
"At last!" Dr. Eggman raises his hands in triumph. "This could be my greatest creation!" He marveled at the results of his labor, or more precisely the labor of his E-series robots and EggRobos. "Isn't it beautiful?"
Before him is a tall cylindrical machine that reaches all the way up to the ceiling of the laboratory. An array of lights, spread all across in 90-degree patterns, glow in a fade-in/fadeout manner. Around the center of the cylinder, the blades of a turbine can be seen in a circle around the machine. Eggman leans back in the chair of his Egg Mobile. He glances down at a tiny monitor. The power level is at 5%, appropriate for a machine on standby mode.
Eggman pilots his signature flying machine towards a small glass dome connected to the cylinder. The quiet hum it gives off creates a tiny and short lived, echo in the large room. He smiles gleefully as he takes out the cyan colored Chaos Emerald.
"Doctor Eggman," one of the E-series robots chimes in. "The blueprints that you received did not mention the use of a Chaos Emerald."
"Silence," Eggman dismissed the robot's warning. "I know what I am doing. I am a genus after all." He opens the glass dome and places the Chaos Emerald inside. The glow of the gem of power shines and reflects in the sunglasses. Eggman smiles again. "With this machine I will have the power of all seven Chaos Emeralds, and that is without possessing any. Now imagine how much power I will have if I actually use a Chaos Emerald to power it even further." The rounded scientist lets out a boisterous laugh.
"Assuming the machine works as intended," the same E-series robot states in a dull tone that mimics a sarcastic tone.
A thump echoes through the room as Dr. Eggman slams his fist down, "do NOT speak to your creator is such a manner! Now start the sequence! That's an order!"
The E-series robot follows its order and presses a button. The cylinder makes a humming noise that quickly begins to sound more like a jet or helicopter starting up as the turbine turns.
"Active it," Vile orders calmly. He crosses his arms and he would have held his breathe if he actually had the need to breath. The sound from the cylinder starts as a quiet hum before becoming louder like an aircraft. The turbine spins as Vile watches the power gauge go from 5% to 10%, then 15%, then 20%…
"It's awfully loud," another maverick state but his words can only barely be heard by his own artificial ears.
30%, 40%, 50% Vile nods in approval of the steadily climbing power levels. He then notices, as well does the other mavericks in the room, the cylinder begins to give off a light blue glow.
"Why is so loud?" Eggman yells as he puts on a pair of sound dampening headphones. While no longer deafening, the headphones do not keep the noise of the cylinder from being heard loud and clear. Eggman cannot help but note the red glow the machine is giving off. 'I hope that's normal,' he thinks to himself.
The red clad genius looks at the monitor showing the power level of the cylinder… 80%, 90%, 100%, 110%… Eggman gasps in shock. That is definitely not normal. 120%, 130%, 140%, 150%! The noise of the cylinder begins to hurt his ears again through the protection of the headphones.
Vile cannot believe his own optics. The power level of the cylinder is now beyond 200% and still rising at an alarming rate. He smashes a button that activates an alarm that is almost drowned out by the screech of the machine. He motions to the mavericks that heard the alarm to get out, fast. After letting many of his fellow mavericks leave before him, he takes off running. Not before taking a quick glace at the massive cylinder that is now glowing an intensely bright blue and mutter an inaudible swear.
Vile is one of the last mavericks to exit the building that sits in the middle of the large mothballed industrial complex they call home. He does not have anytime to ask questions or to demand Dr. Trek be brought before him. He just has time to see a bright dome of light phase through the walls of the building and shallow everything in its path. The entire complex, except for a few tiny buildings on the outskirts, is covered by this dome. A pillar of light the same color shoots outward for a brief moment, and then all of this blue light fades away.
There are only two witnesses to this event. The first is a satellite in orbit. It sends a report to Maverick Hunter Headquarters that describes it in the best possible way it can, as an explosion.
The other witness is a reploid in blue armor, a Maverick Hunter by the name of X. He watches a blue pillar of light from the horizon shine and pulsates before fading out of existence. Dust rises off the ground as X hits the accelerator of his hover bike, called an Aldion Ride Chaser, and heads in the direction the light was coming from.
E-series robots rapidly press buttons in as much of a panic as their robotic minds can allow them. The machine is so loud now that is actually cracking the screens of the monitors in the room and causing the less advanced EggRobos' circuits to fry. The angry red glow makes everyone in the room look as if they are inside of an oven set to its maximum temperature. The E-series robot that warned Eggman of the dangers of not following the blueprints earlier turns ready to give a quick report of the situation. However, the egg shaped doctor is no there. The E-series can only look at its fellow robot before the cylinder disperses it dome of light. However, this glow does phase through the walls, it destroys them and anything else it touches.
Dr. Eggman has already converted his Egg Mobile to an Egg Hornet and taken off. Flying away form the underground base, he was in Eggman flails his arms in frustration. "GAAAHHH! I can't believe this! If I ever find who sent me those bluepri… AHHHHH!"
Eggman has to fight to control his Egg Hornet as a shockwave blasts past. The thunderous pop rings in his ear. He looks back to see the location of his underground base looking like a dirty volcanic eruption. The thick cloud of dust and dirt is pushed away by a red dome of light. A red pillar of light bursts out before it all fades away.
"My base… completely destroyed," Eggman laments, but then sighs. "At least it wasn't because of that accursed Sonic, and at least I still have…" Eggman's sunglasses drop down his nose and his eyes grow big. "Where is it?" Eggman frantically searches his person and the cockpit. "GAH! I forgot the Chaos Emerald!"
On Angel Island, Knuckles the Echidna grimaces as he watches the Master Emerald glow and shake. Throughout his arms and legs a dull pain is felt, similar to the growing pains a child endures from time to time. However, this pain signifies not growth, but a surplus of negative chaos energy entering this world. The guardian of the Master Emerald calmly looks at his charge, glowing and shaking, "I know… I feel it too."
"Sir," an operator at Maverick Hunter HQ looks up at a reploid in black and gold armor. "We've just received a report from Satellite Tango 211."
"Relay the report," the reploid, by the name of General Signas, politely orders.
"Yes sir. Have detected large explosion in sector 14. Classification: Unknown."
"Unknown?" Commander Signas rubs his chin. The fact that the satellite classified the explosion as unknown is puzzling. Usually explosions are classified as either fragmentation, incinerating, chemical, nuclear, or natural. This is the first time a satellite has not been able to properly identify anything. "Who is the closest we have to that explosion?"
"Commander X, sir," the same operator responds. "He appears to be headed there already."
Signas sighs. "Patch us through to him."
"Yes sir," the operator types in some brief information and taps the enter key. "This is Maverick Hunter HQ to Commander X, do you copy?"
"This is Commander X, I copy," the famed Maverick Hunter responses.
"This is General Signas," the leader of the Maverick Hunters takes over. "I can see you don't need to be briefed on the explosion in sector 14."
"I don't think it was an explosion."
"How can you be sure?"
"Well," X has to delay his response for a split second due to having to maneuver his Ride Chaser around some minor obstacles, "I'm was less then fifteen miles from where it occurred, but I didn't feel or hear any shockwave."
"That's odd," Signas again rubs his chin. "Well, proceed to the area and report back whatever you find. We'll be sending you some backup just in case."
"Roger, Commander X over and out," X steers his Chaser left to cut through part of the forest of reploid trees. In his world, even much the plant life is artificial.
"Contact Commander Zero," Signas stands up from his seat, "have him report back here and prepare for teleportation to X's location." He then notices a female reploid enter the control room… a reploid that is supposed to have the day off. "Alia, why are here on your day off?"
"Sir," Alia salutes at attention, "I came here as soon as I heard about the situation."
"Been tapping into the satellite feeds again have we?" Signas sighs, but also chuckles a bit. "Very well, take your position."
"Yes sir," Alia takes the first unoccupied seat she can find. Signas shakes his head. He knows the real reason she is here, Commander X. She will never admit it though, obviously.
Meanwhile, in a part of Abel City, Zero is facing off against a "maverick" he is not used to fighting.
"Put down the weapon," he warns the mechaniloid. His opponent responds by throwing his "weapon" at Zero, half a dozen hotdogs.
"Hey!" Zero dodges the meaty projectiles and rushes the malfunctioning vendor mechaniloid. He lunges for the bulky, but not overly large, machine and manages to grab on to it. While it may not be gigantic, it is still too big to tackle to the ground. It reacts by flailing its appendages wildly and spinning around. "Damn it, stop already!" holding on to the box shaped mechaniloid is hard enough without it dancing about like it is.
Zero manages to open a panel on the back and unplug a wire inside. The vendor mechaniloid instantly shuts down. The red maverick hunter does a quick sigh of relief, "there we go. Now let's see what caused you to go maverick."
Zero inspects the inner workings of the mechaniloid, "that explains it."
"Is it the Sigma Virus?" the mechaniloid's owner, who came out from behind a mailbox, asks.
Zero makes an annoyed sigh, "yes it was. We just uncovered Sigma's latest evil plan to beat all humans to death with greasy junk food."
Obvious sarcasm is obvious. The owner frowns and glares at Zero, "you don't have to give me attitude!"
Zero shakes his head and thinks, 'you don't have to ask stupid questions.' "Its circuitry was overheating and that was causing some wires to melt."
"Oh that worthless piece of junk!" the owner fumes.
"Hey! It's your responsibility to maintain your mechaniloid," Zero stands up and literally looks down on the man, who gulps. "In this heat without a working cooling system or even a lousy umbrella attachment to give it shade, what the hell do you expect?"
"Hey that stuff costs money!"
"So does the penalty for not maintaining a mechaniloid properly."
"WHAT!" the man's voice becomes more like a mouse's squeak as he continues on a ranting fit.
"Look…!" Zero sighs as his communicator begins to beep. Ignoring the man, he answers the call, "this is Commander Zero."
"Zero," Alia is on the line, "we need you to return to HQ and prepare for immediate teleportation to sector 14."
"What's going on?" Zero asks while still filtering out the man's bickering.
"An explosion of unknown classification has occurred there. We need you inspect the area. Commander X is already there."
"Roger that, I'm on my way. Zero over and out." 'Anything to get away from here.' "Hey!" Zero whistles and motions for a maverick hunter recruit that responded to the vendor mechaniloid call over to him.
"Yes sir?" the recruit asks in a rather professional manner.
"I've been called back to HQ. You think you can handle things here?"
"Good," Zero runs over to his Aldion Ride Chaser. "Oh, and make sure to sight that guy for failure to maintain a mechaniloid."
"Yes sir!" the recruit smiles as the sound of the mechaniloid's owner screaming enters his ears. Zero puts the hammer down and his Chaser rockets towards the nearest highway on-ramp.
Dr. Eggman fidgets worriedly as he flies towards what remains of his underground base. "I hope the Emerald wasn't vaporized. Wait… it's a Chaos Emerald it should of survived the blast."
Eggman circles the crater coughing a bit from the remaining dust in the air. He is just hoping he can find it before the media, G.U.N., or that blue hedgehog shows up. He then spots something in the cloud of dust… something red and glowing.
Floating in the center of the crater is they cylinder. A red shield seems to have formed around it, and despite not being plugged into anything, it appears to still be operational. "That's impossible. That thing was at ground zero of the blast. It should be dust."
Eggman then turns on his Chaos Emerald tracking device built into his Egg Mobile pod. The distinct sound of two, not one, but two bleeps are heard. "What?" His device is telling him that there are two Chaos Emeralds in the crater. Though relieved to know the cyan Emerald he had is intact, Eggman can't help but he perplexed. "But I only had one. How can this be detecting two unless… no that can't be."
X stands at the edge of a crater with only his Rider Chaser and an odd silence to accompany him. He notices how the surrounding trees and buildings are standing completely undamaged instead of being in pieces that are spread all over the place. He kneels down and feels the edge of the asphalt where it was cut off. It is smooth and not jagged. He grabs some dirt from the side of the crater, it doesn't have any blast residue in it. "This definitely was not an explosion."
"Maverick Hunter HQ to X, come in X," the sound of Alia's voice is instantly recognized by the blue armored reploid.
"Alia I though you had the day off," X has started a habit of talking with Alia in a more casual manner.
"Oh you know me, can't stay away from work," and vice versa.
X laughs a little at the comment.
"What did you find?" Alia asks now that the casual greetings are done.
"Well, I can confirm that this wasn't an explosion. All the structures and trees around the crater are intact."
"That pretty much proves your theory. If it were an explosion then all of that would be leveled. But then what the hell was it?"
"My guess, a teleportation."
"Wait, what? Are you serious? That would take a huge amount of power! A thousand times more than what is required to power all of Abel City!"
"I know it sounds crazy but…" X spots something now that his attention is on to more of the crater, "what is that?"
"You spot something?" Alia feels a chill run through her like a bad omen.
"Yeah, give me a moment," X retrieves a pair on binoculars from his hover bike. Looking through them, he finds what he saw earlier. In the center of the crater, floating, is the cylinder. A blue shield has form around it and it is operational even though it is not hooked up to any power source. "There is a strange machine in the center of the crater."
"A machine? You mean a mechaniloid?" Alia feels that same chill run through her reploid limbs.
"No, some kind of computer I think. Hard to tell from this distance," X takes a white pack from his Ride Chaser and attaches it to his back. It is a first aid kit with supplies to help hurt humans and reploids. He has gotten into the habit of always taking on with him. "I'm getting a closer look."
"Wait X! Wait for Zero! He's being sent in to back you up."
"I'm just going to take a look. Just have Zero teleport to my location. I'll be careful, I promise. X over and out."
"No X," Alia lets out a perturbed huff. "Damn that reploid."
X jumps down into the crater and starts a steady jog towards the cylinder. Still carrying the binoculars, he looks through them again. He notices a series of large thick, and smoothly cut, cables dangling from the bottom. "This just keeps getting weirder and weirder."
X soon finds himself standing in front of the cylinder. The glow of the blue shield gives him an elongated shadow, and forces him to squint his eyes. He then hears a sound that makes his metal gut sink. The cylinder starts to hum, which goes from quiet to progressively louder. The turbine in the middle of the cylinder also starts to spin, in unison with the increasing volume of the hum.
A robotic arm from the Egg Hornet digs into a pile of debris, and grabs hold on something. Whatever it got a hold of make a "tink" sound when it was gripped by the arm's claw.
"Ah ha! Got it!" Eggman cheers. The claw comes out of the debris pile holding a mildly scorched, but otherwise intact, cyan Chaos Emerald. Eggman grabs it with his own hands the moment it comes into reach. Eggman gently brushes the soot and dirt off the Emerald. He then smiles at it, grateful that the gem is still in existence. His glee is interrupted when he hears the cylinder start up again.
Eggman makes an "eep" sound, stores the Chaos Emerald, and pushes the Egg Hornet's throttle as far forward as he can. The boosters of his aircraft light up and belch out flames that propel it forward. The doctor grits his teeth as he hears the cylinder become louder and louder again. He exits the perimeter of the crater but does not stop. The further away from that thing he is, the better. He hears what sounds like a volcano erupting violently and the Egg Hornet is jostled about again, though not nearly as bad as before, by another shockwave.
X attempts to run away from the cylinder, but the sound it making is so intense it is literally crippling to him. He tries to muster up the strength and will to get up and move. "Alia!" he tries to contact HQ, but it is no use.
He sees the ground around him light up, and his shadow grow even longer and more faded. The Maverick Hunter looks back, and is blinded by a bright blue light that engulfs him.
"X? X? X!" Alia yells into her headset.
"What happened?" Signas asks in a loud, but still calm, tone.
"W… we… just… lost contact with Commander X…" Alia struggles to say those words.
"Satellite Tango 211 reports another…" the operator next to Alia hesitates to continue for a moment, "…'explosion' of unknown classification in sector 14, but much smaller. Same location as the last time."
"Where's Zero?" Signas asks.
"He just teleported out to X's location, sir," an operator to his left answers.
"Damn it," Signas clinches his fists.
Alia remains motionless as she stares at the "no signal" status for X's tracker on her screen.
(To be continued…)