The Fire Rises:

Chapter 11: Ignition

Fiona was being led through the belly of Prison Island, waiting to be put into one of the thousands of cells. She was back in her "favorite" orange inmate outfit and some very uncomfortable handcuffs. Other inmates whistled and called to her in an attempt to intimidate her.

"So who is she?" asked one of Fiona's guards.

"She's a tricky one, Andy!" the other guard said. "She evaded arrest for multiple crimes for about a year… and on top of that she escaped No Zone!"

"Naw! Really, Jones?" Andy replied. "You think she'll be okay here?"

A rather "enthusiastic" inmate tried to reach out and grab the fox, but he missed by a few inches. "Oh, I'm Sorry! Did you want to hold my hand?" Fiona cooed sarcastically. She grabbed the inmate's hands and performed a cartwheel- twisting the man's hands with it. The inmate shrunk back into his cell, and Fiona continued on her way.

"Yeah, I think she'll be just fine!" Jones replied.

0ooOoo0

Everything was especially busy at GUN's headquarters in Station Square. The soldiers and operatives were preparing for an all out attack on the reptile known as Bane- who apparently stole all of their heavy equipment and most of their small arms. Soldiers were dashing to and fro, going over schematics of the city and prepping their weapons. Rouge walked into the busy control room and made her way through the maze of soldiers to Commander Abraham Tower. He was the leader of GUN's forces, but he still had to answer to the President of the United Federation.

"Tower, Sir?" Rouge asked.

The grey-haired human looked over to her and awaited an explanation. "Yes, what is it Rouge? Make it quick, though. As you can see we are on a tight schedule!" he replied.

"Sir, the body of Renfield Rodent was uncovered in a dumpster this morning…" she began. "In his clothes the Police found construction permits relating to the new sites we've been seeing all over Station Square," she explained.

Tower looked at her for a moment. "Nothing unusual there, Rouge. He does have a construction business," he replied, slightly confused.

"No, there is something weird here! According to the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix, Renfield was working with Bane at the time he was murdered!" the bat said. "Renfield's crews are up to something and I believe that its Bane's doing. What's worse… is that Sonic the Hedgehog has disappeared…"

Tower thought the information over for a second. Now that she mentioned it, the occurrences with Renfield and Bane did seem to connect in a mysterious way. "Was this confirmed?" he asked solemnly. The bat nodded in silence. "Alright, Rouge," Tower addressed. "I'll let you investigate these matters further- while we assault Bane with what we have managed to scrounge up, you can question the people at those construction sites. Here, I'll give you a warrant to do so," the human explained and handed Rouge a small slip of paper- which allowed her to legally question anyone she wanted.

"Thank you, sir! I'll get right to it…" she thanked him, and exited the room.

Commander Tower turned to his men below and addressed them. "Attention!" he yelled. All of the soldiers stopped what they were doing and turned towards him in attention. "Men, the time has come to rid our proud city of the mercenary known as Bane, and his pet mercenary army!" he proclaimed. The soldiers cheered and fell silent. "We will reclaim our weapons, and restore balance to Station Square!" he explained further. "We know where he is! The tunnels and sewers below the city! We will go there and smoke him out!" Tower exclaimed. The soldiers cheered again, and this time they also clapped. "We have declared war on Bane!" Tower exclaimed. The crowd went wild and some even let out war cries. "Move out!" Tower ordered, and the soldiers obeyed him. Tower looked away from his men for a minute, thinking about his plan of action. "This time, we will surprise Bane…" Tower thought.

0ooOoo0

Sally, Rotor, and Tails quickly walked through the halls of Castle Acorn. They were on their way to the Council Chamber to discuss their recent decision to have all of New Mobotropolis' citizens evacuate to Station Square. The reasoning behind the evacuation was that the citizens didn't feel safe from danger within their own city after hearing what happened to Sonic. Some feared that he was dead, and others believed that he simply abandoned them again.

They had already evacuated and had been in the city for only a few hours. It seemed to work out perfectly, on account that they were going to hold an emergency Freedom Fighter conference in Station Square to discuss Sonic's disappearance and the one who seemed to be behind it- Bane. After finding out what he did to the Chaotix, Freedom Fighters worldwide had sized him up to be a viable threat. Elias was still in Station Square, though, so they could be close to him even though they were at a conference.

Sally, Rotor, and Tails had to see to it that the council members and anyone still left in the city would evacuate peacefully. After all, not everyone wanted to flee to Station Square, but the lack of citizens and government in New Mobotropolis would prove to be quite a mess. The three walked into the main hall outside the Council Chamber, and flung open the doors, hoping to see the council members getting ready to leave.

They saw the council members alright, but they weren't getting ready to evacuate. In fact, they looked quite nervous. The three Mobians' eyes scanned the room and to their surprise and shock, who else should be standing before them other than Bane. The komodo dragon, who was wearing combat fatigues and a thick wool and leather coat turned to them and leered. "Ah, Princess Acorn!" he mused. "I am so glad that you and your scientist friends could join us!" he growled as two Mobian mercenaries closed the doors behind them.

Sally looked back at the doors and then towards Bane. "We know what you did to Sonic!" she growled back at him, not showing any fear in the slightest. "Mark my words, Bane! I will find him and bring him back, even if it means going through you!" she swore to him.

Bane cocked his head. "I certainly hope that you know where to look…" the masked reptile replied.

"Please, Princess!" hollered Dylan. "Please don't make him angry! Just do what he says…" he added weakly.

"SHUT UP, DYLAN!" Sally yelled back at him. Rotor and Tails were standing there, shocked at her outburst and the current situation they were in. She turned back to Bane with anger in her eyes. "Fine, what do you want from us?" she asked grudgingly.

Minutes later Sally, Tails, Rotor, Chuck, and Dylan were leading Bane and some of his mercenaries down the tunnels that led to the laboratory. Things quickly took a wrong turn, though. The group soon came to a dead end. "Oops," Rotor said meekly. Everyone looked at him and awaited an answer. "I forgot. This is the wrong way to the lab…" he said cautiously.

Bane looked at the walrus, and then at the wall in front of them. "No matter," he said casually, and motioned for some of his mercenaries to plant explosives on the wall. After they were done, everyone moved back and Bane reached inside his coat and clicked a detonator on his vest, activating the explosives. The wall exploded and as the dust settled, it revealed that it was indeed right beside the lab. Everyone entered and walked over to the sphere-shaped energy generator in the center of the room.

"You two… activate the machine!" Bane ordered Tails and Rotor. The two grudgingly complied and activated it with their thumbprints. The machine started to activate, but didn't turn on all the way. Bane looked at the two council members and pointed to the machine. "Now it is your turn," he said. The two didn't move though.

Bane continued to glare at them and moved his arm. "I only need two council members… there are three more waiting upstairs!" he warned. Dylan realized this and reluctantly complied. Uncle Chuck did the same, and by verifying their prints the machine activated, letting off a strange humming sound. Bane motioned for a scrawny, shaking human to come forward and pointed him towards the machine. "Do your work, Dr. Pavol," he ordered, and sat down on a nearby stool. The human scientist took off his jacket and began tinkering with the machine.

Sally leaned against a table, and realized that Nicole was nowhere to be seen. She would have blocked their access to the lab, but obviously she didn't for some reason. She spied a small hand held device next to her, which looked familiar. She picked it up and inspected it. It was almost identical to the old hand held console in which Nicole originally resided in. To verify her suspicions, it came to life as she held it in her hand. "Sally… What is going on?" the electronic voice asked in confusion.

"Nicole? Is that you?" she asked with interest.

"Yes, it is me," replied the device. "What is happening? Is the lab being raided?"

"Unfortunately yes," Sally whispered. "It's Bane, and they're doing something to that invention of yours, Tails, and Rotor."

"I feared so, and I can't do anything!" exclaimed the device. "Something they are doing is rendering my programs useless! Ergo, I am constrained to this small device for now…" she explained with frustration.

"Ah, it is done!" they heard someone exclaim. It was the human scientist, Dr. Pavol- who had just finished his work on the device. He had not only tinkered with the machine, but he also applied some pieces of Xorda technology to the sides of the sphere. "This energy generator is now a ten megaton nuclear bomb!" he explained. "With Xorda technology attached for some reason…"

"Good," Bane mused, and motioned to his soldiers. "Remove the core from the machine!" he ordered. A look of concern spread across Pavol's face.

"Wha, wait! No! You can't do that!" he shrieked as the mercenaries took out the radioactive core from the sphere shaped machine. "If you do, then the bomb will become unstable! You will only have a few months until it detonates on its own!" he explained fervently.

"Five- by my calculations…" Bane corrected.

"No! You're actually thinking of letting this thing go off?!" Pavol exclaimed, no longer timid or nervous.

"Well I hope for your children's sake, Dr. Pavol…" Bane replied as he got up from his seat. "That it does!"

0ooOoo0

Rouge drove her squad car into a rather seedy looking part of Station Square. As she rounded a corner, she came to a dismal-looking construction zone. This place happened to be one of the places marked on Renfield's construction permits, so she decided to take a closer look. Ahead of her, she spotted two Human construction workers- one of which seemed to be standing guard. It was suspicious to say the least. The workers seemed to immediately notice her as she parked and stepped out to confront them. "Hey, you?" she asked in a rather polite manner.

The worker standing guard acknowledged her, and strode up to her. "How can I help you, miss?" he asked.

Rouge waved some of the permits in his face. "I'm here to question all of you about what you're doing here. And don't worry, I have a warrant!" the bat replied. The human worker wasn't visibly flustered, and he ushered her deeper into the site where the other worker was.

Rouge walked toward him at a brisk pace, intending to question him. The man gave her an uninterested look, until she threw some permits in his face. "I need to know exactly what you're doing here! Now! This is very important!" she asked him forcefully. Instead of answering her, Rouge noticed the man shoot a strange look at the other worker behind her. She reacted in a moment's notice and ducked as the worker behind her attempted to strike her with the butt of his concealed pistol. She roundhouse kicked him in the groin, sending him flying to the ground. Then she evaded the other man's quick punches before returning a few back to him. He also fell to the ground, dropping a concealed pistol as well.

"Okay, so these guys definitely aren't builders…" Rouge thought. She looked over at the materials they were working with, and discovered something startling. There were large amounts of motor oil being mixed with potent samples of Thermite. "These guys weren't pouring concrete…" she said, and stepped back a few feet. "They were laying explosives!"

The bat took out a map of where the construction zones were, and saw that explosives were being laid at hundreds of points throughout Station Square. She raced back to her car, and contacted Abraham Tower as quickly as she could.

0ooOoo0

Abraham Tower was directing his men by the hundreds down into the sewers. His plan was to smoke Bane out with as much firepower as he could- increasing his chances of taking him down. Most of his men were already deep inside the tunnels, combing every area they came across for the elusive Komodo dragon and his mercenary army. Just then, he realized that he was being contacted by Rouge.

The commander answered with a victorious demeanor. "Ah, Rouge! I was about to call you. We are-," he began to explain, but was suddenly cut off by the frantic bat. "Tower! Bane's men have been pouring concrete laced with explosives all over the city!" she yelled as she drove frantically towards Tower's position.

"Are you sure?!" Tower responded with bewilderment.

"YES! They've implemented explosives all around the tunnel system! Your men will be stranded down there if he detonates them! They're heading into a trap!" she yelled. Tower launched into action and contacted the rest of his men.

"PULL OUT! I said pull out! We're headed into a trap! Retreat!" he announced to his soldiers. Every one of them began calling their squads out, but the clock was beginning to tick. They felt that Bane would pull the trigger any minute, and that they had all been played for fools. "Dammit! Get everyone out of there! Where's Bane then?!" Tower questioned, but no one knew for sure.

0ooOoo0

Near the center of Station Square, the Central Coliseum was abuzz with activity. It was the beginning of Mina Mongoose and the Forget Me Knots' World Tour, and Station Square was the first stop. Of course, the most anticipated tour of the year held by Mobius' most famous band was bound to see a full house. The coliseum was packed with people from all over Mobius, eager to watch the first performance of the highly anticipated tour. Even a good portion of the evacuees from New Mobotropolis found that watching the Forget Me Knot's concert was the way to help them cope with the sudden evacuation. After all, it was helpful to turn something bad into something good.

Simultaneously, a Freedom Fighter conference was supposed to take place later that evening to discuss the character known as Bane and what he might have to do with Sonic's disappearance. Some of the Freedom Fighters wanted to steal a peek of the Forget Me Knots' show while they waited for the conference to get set up as well. Even the Chaotix, most of whom were injured by Bane a week ago also wanted to attend the conference. Knuckles, Vector, Mighty, and Espio were all making a speedy recovery, and wanted to know more about how they could take down the masked maniac.

All of them and the remaining members of the Chaotix walked in to the conference dome that was located next to the main coliseum, and said hello to Bunnie, Amy, and to their surprise- Antoine. "Yo, Ant!" Vector exclaimed. "You're finally starting to feel better?"

The coyote nodded weakly. "I just woke up from my comatose state last night," he explained. He was using crutches to walk, but he seemed competent enough to keep up with everyone else. "As soon as my beloved explained to me what had happened to you and Sonic… I had to attend zis conference and support all of you," he added with conviction. "Bunnie also informed me of what happened with ze show-off before he disappeared… I ave known him for so long… zere was a reason behind zis!" he explained. Bunnie sat him down in a nearby chair and kneeled down next to him.

"We were all shocked by what happened to Sonic," Knuckles reassured him. Amy stood there in silence, trying to put on a brave face while fearing the worst for her friend.

"Where IS Sally-girl?" Bunnie asked them. "And Tails, Rotor, and the Council?"

Julie-Su stepped forward and scratched her head. "They told us that they would arrive here with you guys…"

0ooOoo0

Meanwhile in the coliseum, the stadium lights dimmed and the crowd began to cheer. Cameras of all kinds that were broadcasting the event across Mobius came to life, and began filming. The stage that was erected in the center began to emit all sorts of effects like fireworks, smoke, and confetti. "Hello, Station Square!" a mellow voice enthusiastically greeted the crowds over the microphone. The crowd went wild with anticipation. On the stage, a group of recognizable Mobians ascended from a compartment under the stage itself. It was Mina Mongoose and the Forget Me Knots, shrouded in shadow as the crowd cheered, waiting for their big reveal. The lights on stage blazed forth, showing Mina and her band mates in all their glory.

The crowds screamed in excitement, chanting the band's name. Mina walked closer to the edge of the stage to address her fans in the stands. "Hey, guys! Great to finally be here!" she said, and the crowd cheered some more. "We've worked really hard to bring you all our next tour, so how about we stop chatting and start rocking?!" she yelled as the audience was getting pumped up. They responded with unwavering cheers, and clapped loudly. As all of this was happening, a certain Komodo Dragon was climbing out of a tunnel and into the maintenance entrance of the coliseum. Soon he was joined by some mercenaries, and he leaned against a nearby wall in the shadows as if he was merely watching Mina's performance.

The music started up, and the Forget Me Knots began to perform their first song. Mina led the band and began to sing.

"Beautiful baby, don't hold me down!

Isn't it wonderful, when love comes to town!

It seems that promises, can never be broken…"

The situation was much more tense for others, however. Rouge sped through Station Square, hoping to get to Tower and his men in time. Tower was frantically trying to pull everyone out of the tunnels, but they were very deep down.

"I must be out of my mind, jokin'!

Or baby you're just out of the blue!"

Bane listened to the Forget Me Knots, and tilted his head slightly. "That is a beautiful voice…" he mused.

"You keep me hoping, and now I'm roped in!

You've given me something, you've given me something real good!"

Bane motioned for one of his accomplices, and he was handed an explosives clacker.

"Beautiful baby, don't hold me down!

Isn't it wonderful, when love comes to town!

It seems that promises, can never be broken!"

The crowd went wild as they finished their first number. Mina and her band mates were graciously accepting the rounds of applause and cheers. "Thank you all! Thank you!" she replied, and waved her hands. Now they were getting ready to start their second song, and they got into their positions.

"Let the games begin…" Bane growled, and took a firm hold of the clacker. More fireworks and smoke erupted from the stage, and Bane squeezed the trigger on the clacker.

0ooOoo0

As the GUN soldiers were retracing their steps through the tunnels, hundreds of nearby explosions could be heard. They tried to run away as fast as they could, but concrete and debris began filling up all of the entrances to the tunnels. They narrowly escaped being crushed, but now they were cut off. Commander Tower cursed as he saw the entrances collapse, trapping his men inside. He also saw and heard hundreds of explosions rock the city- tearing down entire buildings, freeways, and streets. He began to fear the worst for Station Square's citizens.

As the explosions rocked Station Square to the core, military personnel from Metal Harbor watched in horror as their city was hit by numerous deadly explosions. They thought that it was some kind of foreign attack, so they began to take their battle stations. Just then, a call came in from Commander Tower. The harbor's manager and sergeant picked up the phone and heard a very distressed Tower. "Gale! Bane has been pouring concrete laced with explosives all around the city! He just detonated them, and now my men are trapped underground! We need assistance!" he yelled. The sergeant was about to respond, when he remembered that he had crates full of the supposedly tampered concrete laying all around his harbor. "Shit! NO!" he yelled, but before anyone could react or figure out what was going on, the concrete exploded, and in turn began to sink entire ships and installations all over the harbor. Tower heard the mayhem on the other end of the line, and looked toward the bay to see all of Metal Harbor in flames. "DAMMIT!" he screamed, and threw his communicator on the ground. He was about to turn away from the awful site, when he saw that even the large bridges connecting Station Square to Central City and the mainland were exploding! Each of the bridge's midsections exploded and fell into the ocean, effectively cutting Station Square off from the rest of the mainland. People were screaming and trying to flee in panic as the explosions continued to devastate their city.

Rouge was startled by the sudden blasts as she drove her squad car through Station Square, but she kept driving- trying to maneuver around the debris and explosions. She wasn't that lucky however, and a nearby explosion propelled her into the air and back down to the street with a crash, as her car rolled and flipped on its side.

The people in the coliseum didn't notice the explosions at first, due to the concert's firework display- but that soon changed. Not long after the explosions around the city went off, smaller explosions inside and around the coliseum erupted. The blasts frightened and startled everyone in the stands, including the band on stage, and all of them ducked for cover as quickly as they could. While the confused audience members were screaming in terror, the VIP boxes around the stadium also exploded. Bane's mercenaries began storming the stands, pointing their potent assault rifles at everyone to make sure they wouldn't leave. This frightened people even more, but they knew they couldn't leave while the armed thugs kept watch over them.

Soon enough, Bane and some of his soldiers came onto the stage where the Forget Me Knots were huddled. He took the microphone from the terrified Mina's hands, and tapped it to make sure it still worked. The soldiers behind him ushered Sally, Tails, Rotor, and the Acorn Council members to stand behind Bane. Ash, Mina's boyfriend and manager, rushed on stage and asked if she and the band members were alright. They told him that they were shaken, but okay in the long run. Bane's soldiers told him to stay quiet and keep still with the rest of the band as Bane tried to get everyone's attention.

"People!" he boomed over the microphone. "People! Take control…" he said as the confused and scared crowd began to settle down. "Take control… of your cities!" the komodo dragon proclaimed. "Now we come not as conquerors… but as liberators!" he boomed, and motioned for his men to bring forth the bomb they had engineered. "Behold! The instrument of your liberation!" he said as they wheeled it out onto the stage. Dr. Pavol was also dragged onstage and forced to kneel down next to Bane. "Introduce yourself to the world!" the brute ordered him.

The frightened and frustrated human begrudgingly complied, and spoke into the microphone. "Doctor Lennid Pavol. Nuclear physicist," he said.

"And what Is this?" Bane asked him, motioning to the device.

"This is… a ten megaton nuclear bomb. With a blast radius of fifteen miles!" Pavol explained.

0ooOoo0

As the events in the coliseum unfolded, they were broadcast all over Mobius by the camera crews. A stunned world looked on in confusion, while on the other side of the destruction the President of the United Federation demanded answers. "What is going on over there?!" he asked fiercely. "Is that Bane?!"

One of his aides nodded, and showed him surveillance footage of the attack. "Sure enough… and whatever he has on stage- its nuclear!" he explained.

"Sir! This Lennid Pavol gentleman supposedly died in a plane crash six months ago," another aide explained. "Although this appears to be him…"

0ooOoo0

Back near the coliseum, the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix watched in bewilderment as Station Square was rocked by the explosions. They were able to see Bane and the ones he kidnapped on the stage since the conference room had a large display showing whatever happened in the coliseum next door. "What the hell?!" Mighty exclaimed.

"Shouldn't we go do something?" Charmy asked meekly.

"No. It's too dangerous!" Knuckles replied. "He has this entire city at his mercy- and it doesn't look like he'll kill anyone yet…"

In the coliseum, Bane continued to speak with the audience's attention. "And who is capable of disarming such a device?" the komodo dragon asked Dr. Pavol.

"Only me…" the human replied timidly. Bane chuckled at this and scanned the area with his predatory gaze.

"Only you…" Bane repeated so that everyone could understand him. "Thank you for your time, Doctor Pavol!" he added, and proceeded to violently snap the human's neck onstage in front of everyone. Gasps and screams filled the stands, but quickly died down as the mercenaries brandished their weapons again. "Now because the responsibility associated with this bomb is so important, I have refused to hold its trigger! The truth is, that one of you holds the trigger!" he explained to everyone's shock. "And at the first sign of any outside interference, this anonymous citizen… this unsung hero… will detonate the bomb!" he explained further. "So take heed! We are here for you! The people of Mobius! Do not fear!" he boomed. "For now, go home. Hold your families close. Our service to you will begin tomorrow…" he announced, and dropped the microphone unceremoniously and walked away with his men and the bomb. They left their hostages on the stage with the band and Dr. Pavol's lifeless corpse as the mercenaries began dispersing, allowing people to finally leave.

0ooOoo0

On a somewhat busy city street, Rouge was climbing out of her overturned police car- and was surprisingly unharmed. She staggered through the damaged street, trying to help anyone she could- until she realized that Commander Tower was trying to contact her. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her communicator- which still worked. "Tower?" she asked softly.

"Rouge! I just got a lead that some of Bane's men are headed to Station Square General Hospital! They have orders to capture and kill someone- do you have any idea of who it could be?" he asked with urgency in his voice. Rouge knew for sure that King Elias was still in the hospital. "I know who it is, sir! I'm going now!" she said, and ran up the street. She spotted a man who was standing next to a car in good condition, who was obviously shaken up by what had just happened. She approached him and held up her identification. "GUN agent Rouge! I'm with GUN, and I need your car!" she explained to him.

Meanwhile at the hospital, an unmarked van drove up to the front entrance, and dropped off two Mobian mercenaries that were armed with sub-machine guns. They broke in through the entrance, and fired off warning shots at the people in the lobby. The frightened nurses and visitors moved out of the way of the thugs as they made their way to the elevators.

Rouge sped as fast as she could until she made it to the hospital. She jumped out and ran through the lobby- hot on the trail of the mercenaries. Up ahead, the two thugs were advancing on the room where Elias was. Rouge was close behind them, when she heard two loud thuds. She rushed ahead, fearing the worst for Elias when she burst into his room. She was surprised to find the two thugs unconscious on the ground, and Elias nowhere to be found. Then she felt a heavy chair leg being pointed at her head. She turned slightly to see Elias out of bed and recovering nicely, to her amazement. "Sometimes people forget that I also served on the battlefield…" he said, and flashed her a smile as he put the chair leg away.

0ooOoo0

Meanwhile at the United Federation central command, the military's top authorities were watching surveillance footage of the entire ordeal in Station Square. One of the chief commanders analyzed the information, and notified one of his assistants. "The President ordered us to start low-level reconnaissance flights," he said. "And to send a task force to the Route 101 Bridge to negotiate with Bane's men."

Jets and news helicopters were flying around the perimeter of Station Square, but took great care to never enter its airspace. Simultaneously, a task force comprised of GUN soldiers drove their vehicles to the halfway point of the divided Route 101 Bridge. They erected a temporary span to bridge the gap between the two halves of the bridge so people could cross. Some mercenaries on the Station Square side came forward, and one of them had a megaphone. "Send an emissary to discuss terms of aid and supplies!" he ordered. In compliance, a GUN commando came forward to speak with the mercenary.

"Look," he said. "I don't know what you're trying to do, but you don't have enough men to keep twelve million people from leaving Station Square!" he scoffed. The mercenary paid no mind to him, and kept a calm demeanor.

"No," he admitted. "No we don't. But you do..." he replied coolly.

The commando was confused. "And why the hell would we help you?" he asked angrily.

"Because if anyone tries to leave the city, we blow it to hell," the mercenary replied.

The commando's previously confident façade dwindled into dread. They had no choice but to help these monsters fulfill their sick and twisted goals.

0ooOoo0

That day, there was only one story that dominated the air waves on news channels- the city held hostage by the masked mercenary, Bane. As Mobius watched in despair and confusion, the President of the United Federation addressed the world. "The severity of this situation has become nothing less than apparent to me…" he said on the broadcast. "We do not negotiate with terrorists, but we do recognize realities…"

Back in Station Square, Rouge was driving Elias to the rendezvous point for the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix. They happened to be listening to the President's broadcast on the radio while they made their way through the ever darkening streets as the city's power began to fail and the evening turned into night. "Despite what has happened, people of Station Square- know this; we have not abandoned you…" he said.

Rouge looked at Elias for a split second to see how he was doing. He was still in pain, but was on the way to recovery very soon. "What does that mean?" she asked the king. The young monarch groaned and looked out the window. "It means we're alone…" he sighed heavily.

End of Chapter 11…

A/N: I'm truly incredibly sorry for how long this took. Almost six months? Crappy. I have a list of excuses, but I'll just tell you the biggest ones. I was wrapped up in a bunch of stuff for school, and this chapter was the longest so far in the story… Yeah.