I do not own Sonic and Archie Comics. I do own Kate.
Soon after Max was taken prisoner for questioning, he was released only about a day later, which deeply confused him. All they said was 'they had what they wanted', he hoped they meant something else, besides what he thought, well… more like feared. When he got back to the orphanage, as he expected, things were still in disarray. He searched for the familiar human face he'd risk his life to protect, though could neither see nor hear her. Unfortunately, his fears were correct.
Liend-Da and another echidna, Dimitri, who was now no more than a mostly mechanical head in an orb, were in the main room, Lien-Da holding a wine glass and smiling somewhat maliciously. Her son, Rutan, snuck from his room and slipped halfway down the stairway to hear what they were talking about.
"… And I haven't had a better evening in my life, grandfather! Chief Enforcer Knuckles arrested his best friends, that little human girl, and daughter! I get praised by King Shadow! And I had a hand in finally bringing down the line of Edmund." Dimitri simply gave her a look as though he hated her.
"You are despicable, Lien-Da! I have not been ashamed of my bloodline since I worked with Doctor Finitevus." She calmly took a sip from her glass and turned to face him.
"Give it a rest, Dimitri." She quietly set her glass down, and then continued. "This is the way things are now. The only three who could change things are now locked away."
Rutan turned his head away from the two, a slightly ashamed expression on his face.
The Catacombs Beneath Castle Mobius…
Sonic, Miles, Lara-Su, and Kate were locked up and pinned to the wall by some kind of electric cuffs. The air around them carried a horrible stench, and water leaked through some cracks in the brick walls. A few voracious insects even made their livings here; scurrying around and searching for scraps or preying on things smaller than them, sometimes even on those who… don't make it back out of these prisons.
"Brings back memories, doesn't it?" Sonic smirked and broke the silence, then turned to Miles.
"Yep. You, me, and a prison that will surely lead to our end." The two-tailed fox, whose tails were also pinned to the wall, smiled back. Soon, Lara-Su decided to join in.
"I can't believe Dad locked me up! When I tell Mom, she's gonna flip!" The echidna yelled out in agitation.
A walrus, who is called Rotor, was also pinned up with them. His light purple fur was ruffled and stained, scars littering him, spectacles cracked, and one of his tusks was broken. Whenever he spoke, he spoke with a tone that said 'We're done for. It's no use…'.
"How can you all joke at a time like this? King Shadow will show us no mercy. There is no hope for any of us now." Sonic and Miles simply gave a confident smile at him, though Kate blinked. She didn't get it either. Were they so used to danger like this?
"I'll say. Rutan will never let me hear the end of this." Lara-Su shrugged and spoke calmly, though slightly worriedly, not really because of their impending doom, but because of the never-ending taunts from Rutan.
"How can you act like that at a time like this?" Rotor's brow furrowed and he looked at her as though she was insane. They all quickly turned to the door when they heard it open.
"Because she's the daughter of a guardian." The red echidna, Knuckles approached them with a hard expression.
"I'm not surprised a couple of lunatics like you would wind up like this." Sonic and Miles smirked at him, knowing who he was talking about. "But my own daughter…" Lara-Su quickly glared at her father angrily.
"I did what was right, and you know it! I won't apologize or ask forgive-"
"I couldn't be prouder." Lara-Su blinked in surprise as Knuckles brought out a kind of remote and pushed the button on it. Suddenly, most of them nearly fell to the ground, for they were no longer pinned to the cold, brick wall.
"Wait… You planned this all along?!" Miles asked the question like he was talking to some stranger who helped him.
"Of course we did. Did you really think I'd arrest you for real?" Knuckles quickly helped Rotor to his feet and smiled slightly at them.
"Me? Sure. Miles and Lara-Su? Nah." Sonic quickly smirked back at him and stretched for the fight he knew would come.
"I'll hack into the castle's system and make sure you and Knuckles have a clear path. He'll Queen Sally to safety so the monarchy remains somewhat stable. That leaves…" Miles quickly glanced at Sonic with a determined and serious expression.
"Shadow for me. Got it."
After deciding, their plan, they quickly split up into three groups. Knuckles and Sonic, Miles on his own, and the other three quickly leaving the castle to find medical attention for Rotor.
"You have your father's strength." Rotor somberly complimented.
"Umph! Good thing too." Lara-Su almost fell over several times trying to support him. All of them quickly sprinted, or in Lara-Su and Rotor's case, hobbled while Kate walked beside them so she wouldn't get too far ahead of them.
Miles hacked into the castle's system with little time and effort, smirking as he examined his work on the wires and a few computers. Quite fortunately for Lara-Su, the nearest hospital was only a few blocks away. After dropping off Rotor, the echidna caught her breath and began jogging back to the castle.
"I'll take you to where my dad probably took the queen. I have a feeling I'll be needed there!" Kate simply nodded in agreement and had to run nearly to her limit, which thankfully, she didn't need to run far.
"Who ordered the extra-large butt-whooping, heavy on the poetic justice?" Sonic yelled out defiantly after he kicked open the doors of the throne room, with Knuckles snickering at him.
"You've been working on that since you were arrested, haven't you?"
"You better believe it." Knuckles stepped forward and requested Sally would come with him, which she barely hesitated to follow. Sonic kept taking steps forward, gaining small glimpses of the room he was in. Above the throne, there was a statue of the girl Maria with angel wings. There were several passages along the throne room, though right now, where they lead to was irrelevant, only the queen and Shadow seemed to matter.
"It's about time you returned, King Sonic. No love lost, my queen?" Sally stopped and quickly turned to Shadow with a shocked expression.
"You know about the other timeline?" The king briefly shot an irritated glance towards Sally, then back to Sonic.
"Of course. Lien-Da aside, I am the master of time and space. Remember Chaos Control?" Shadow glared daggers at the rightful king as soon as Sally was out of the way.
"Now that Sally's safe-battle royal time! Um…" Sonic quickly charged and landed a punch on Shadow, though he merely glared back and growled, then tore off his cape, preparing to fight to the death.
"You are old past your prime. I am the Ultimate Life form. I never age." The black hedgehog spin dashed Sonic then kicked him in the chest and landed other hits.
"You were barely a challenge twenty-five years ago. Today you are nothing." He spat out those words as he threw the cobalt blue hedgehog to the ground.
"Try picking on someone your own age!" Lara-Su glided over, surprising Shadow, as he almost fell to the ground.
"Are you what counts for a cavalry?" The king missed almost every time he attacked.
"I'm tops in my class, if that counts for anything." She kicked at Shadow, which he quickly blocked.
"What's the matter, Ultimate Life form? Shouldn't you have beaten me by now?" King Shadow's hands were quickly surrounded by a yellow-green aura.
"You have your father's arrogance… But I control the powers of Chaos." Lara-Su snickered as her own hands were surrounded by a green aura.
"Join the club." She quickly retorted after adjusting her glasses.
Shadow threw Chaos Spear after Chaos Spear while Lara-Su chanted under her breath.
"Nngh! Chaos Control!" Shadow growled in agitation and was frozen in that spot as their aura's withered.
"Way to go, Lara-Su! How long will that last?" Sonic shakily stood up and gave a brief thumbs up.
"I'm not sure… But I don't think my great-great-great-great-grandkids will have to worry." She painfully smiled back.
Lara-Su and her father quickly met up and after a brief look-over, they exited the room, Kate soon following to attempt to find Max. She stopped and looked back to see Sonic meeting up with Sally, then silently and some-what submissively turned and exited. She felt her lips twitch and pull themselves into a small smile. For the first time in quite some time, she had something to genuinely smile about.
(A/N: Sorry for the wait, readers. I hope this longer chapter will be an appropriate apology, though this is the last chapter… Anyways, thank you for your patience!)