I glared at the albino echidna, with sheer hatred, as he stood there smirking, with Devdas slung loosely under his arm. "Did I stutter?" I hissed "Put him down now!" I yelled unsheathing the knife from my boot for emphasis.

The echidnas smile grew wider amused by my challenge, but to my surprise he bowed slightly and released his arm, making Devdas fall to the ground. I stood there shocked as Finitevus started to back away.

At first, I shuffled forward nervously my knife still pointed at the echidna, then once I decided he was far enough away I put the knife away and sprinted to Devdas' motionless form. I skidded to a halt I fell to my knees as I examined my friend.

He was in bad shape, he had cuts and swollen areas all over his body. His shirt was in tatters and his pants were ripped in multiple areas. My heart beat with horror as I grabbed his hand, palm facing upwards, and brought my fingers to his wrist to see if there was any pulse.

Time seemed to stop around me, for at first I didn't feel anything, then relief spread through me as I finally felt a steady, thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump come from his wrist. My relief however, was short-lived since not even a moment after I found out Devdas was okay I felt a cold hand on my shoulder. I suddenly wished that I didn't put my knife away as I heard Finitevus speak "I never wanted it to come to this you know?"

I chuckled darkly "A little too late for that ya think?" I then shook off his hand and as quick as a flash, grabbed Devdas limp body and ran a safe distance away from Finitevus to remove my friend from any danger. I laid his body against a tree and turned back to the Echidna. "And why the hell should I listen to a word you say after what you did to Devdas?"

Finitevus walked forward calmly with an innocent smile on his face "Believe me child-"

"Nicki.." I corrected snidely.

His eyes narrowed but he kept his calm composure "Very well then…" He sighed "Believe me Nicki… I was not the one to do this to your "friend". If anything I saved him from a cruel fate of falling victim to Predator and Scourge."

I bit my lip, so Scourge finally did catch up…. I looked back to Finitevus, his face was unchanged in his solemn, almost fatherly look. I balled my fists with frustration "Don't think I actually believe that crap! I know how good you are at lying!"

Finitevus threw his head back and laughed "Ah yes! But you must keep in mind that you are not a dim witted guardian, or a power hungry kommisar!" He snapped his head back down and his eyes bore into mine "And besides, from what I've been hearing your hands have not been the cleanest with the truth either…"

My face reddened "That's none of your business!"

His smile widened "Oh? well I make it my business anyway…. Especially since that proves that we're more alike than you think!"

"I'm nothing like you!" I hissed

"I know you've seen it" he said ignoring my statement "The corruption of this city, the foolishness of Naugus, the easily deceived citizens, and especially the filth of Eggmans technology. You've lied to keep the ones that you love safe from those things am I correct?"

"…."

He walked closer "My ambitions are hardly what you believe they are Nicki, you and I have both seen this world for what it truly is." He stopped only a few feet away and offered me his hand. He smiled warmly "Nicki, together we can accomplish great things. We can dethrone Naugus, and eliminate the threat of Eggman and anyone tied to him. Nicki, together let us skip all of the fighting and do what's truly best for the world."

Man his hand looked tempting…. Suddenly my mind flashed back to when he tried to hex me. I remembered he played at my weaknesses last time he used Aurora, this time he was working off of my hatred of Naugus and Eggman. I grit my teeth "You know what I think is best for the world?" I quickly turned my foot and swung a powerful kick at the Doctor's head. Unfortunately, he drew his hand back and jumped out of the way to avoid my kick, his smile vanishing. "I snapped into a fighting position "I think you should leave this planet and never come back!"

His eyes narrowed with anger, I could tell that his "nice guy" act was over "This is your last chance Nicki!" He yelled "If you come willingly now you will be treated with respect, the Destructix will not be allowed to place a finger on you, and I will spare you friend's lives. However, if you don't your friends will die, The Destructix will be allowed to beat you as they see fit, and…" He smiled revealing his sharp teeth "I will not hold back with my experiments!"

My blood suddenly froze and I took a few steps back, was he serious? I looked over his face again and, as per usual, I couldn't tell if he was bluffing or not. "What if he wasn't?" Something inside me said. The thought of my friends getting hurt, a beating from the Destructix, or even getting experimented on by Dr. Finitevus was all too horrible to imagine. Just giving up and sparring myself and my friends pain was extremely tempting… But that was the easy choice… not the right choice. I narrowed my eyes, If I just gave up now there would be no chance of me escaping him, I smirked "None of those things are going to happen Finitevus, because I'm not going anywhere."

His eyes narrowed as he walked to the side "I see how this is going to be then.."

I didn't say anything I only mimicked his movement steadily walking, so I would be directly across from him. Our circling continued for a few moments until almost completely out of instinct we stopped right across from each other. Everything, for the first time ever in New Mobotropolis, seemed to be Quiet. No noise coming from any people, no birds chirping even the battles in the distance seemed to wait in anticipation for this one moment.

By the time Finitevus made his move I wasn't sure if five seconds or five minutes went by, but I was ready for him. As quick as a flash his arm raised up in the air releasing a small wave of chaos energy. I narrowly avoided it, but not before a warp ring opened behind me revealing Finitevus with an outstretched fist aimed for my face. I quickly turned my head so his fist would only graze my cheek, I then used the side of my fist to whack the back of his skull as he made his way infront of me. Due to the sudden impact he fell forward a bit but regained his balance. He slowly turned shocked but then smiled maliciously. He charged forward at me going on the offensive.

I dodged, parried, and blocked many of his attacks before I went on the offensive myself. I noted how good Finitevus was at fighting for being just a scientist, he was able to get anywhere he wanted with those warp rings (which got annoying after a few unwanted strikes to my stomach) his movements were also very unpredictable. I wasn't able to do anything about that until I was finally able to sense his warp ring open behind me. I quickly balled my fist and swung behind me randomly.

Suddenly I found us in a position where he had caught my fist and I had somehow managed to grab his. We were caught in this stand still trying unsuccessfully to overpower each other. We struggled like this for a few moments before he spoke "It appears you have gotten better since last time…"

I wasn't able to respond because right at that moment both of Finitevus' hands erupted into dark chaos energy. I screamed with agony as I let his fist go and tore my other hand from his grasp. I quickly jumped back and examined the burns to my hands.

I heard The Echidna chuckle "… But it's going to take much more than physical brutality to defeat me!" I only glared at him menacingly "You haven't seemed to use any chaos energy yet. What's the matter?" he taunted "Last time you seemed more than eager to use your chaos energy against me what makes this time any different?"

I barred my teeth as Finitevus fired three blasts of chaos energy at me. I dodged all but one, I screamed with pain as I was blown backwards by the shot, accompanied by Finitevus' insane laughter.

I grit my teeth and started to force myself up, when Finitevus emerged from a warp ring in front of me "You cannot win Nicki!" he said this as he struck my side with his foot. I yelped and was knocked a few feet away but suddenlyI felt a small flame light inside me. "And do you know why you can't?" he said walking up to me with slow menacing steps. He reached down grabbing my face and forcing me to sit up and look up at him. "Because you are weak!"

I felt the fire spread as I gritted my teeth with sheer hatred for Finitevus. "NO….." I balled my fist and uppercut him straight in the stomach, forcing him to let go of my face and stumble backwards.

"I…" I sprung up and thrust my palm at him, and supported it by grabbing that arm with my other hand.

"AM…" My palm started to glow brighter than it ever had before, and I felt the fire expand.

"NOT!" Chaos energy released from my palm, but suddenly as fast as the energy had been released it changed shape. The energy started to flicker with light and had small tendrils of light emerging in strand then dissapearing. What I was looking at was a huge inferno of silvery white flames, all blasting from my palm at the area Finitevus was. Amazed, I quickly cut off the energy and examined my palm mystified by what had just happened.

All that was left of the inferno was a small glowing spot on my palm that soon went out and returned to regular skin. I was to wrapped up in what just happened that I didn't notice a bandaged hand reach out form a warp ring behind me, grab me by my hair and pull me through.

I was thrown down on my butt but was thankful to see the Lake of Rings. I looked up with a mixture of anger and surprise on my face to see, a slightly singed, Finitevus who was standing by his warp ring proudly. "That right Nicki!" he laughed "Show me your true power!"