Chapter 1: The Home away from Home
"That's it Silver," Knuckles Echidna encouraged his new apprentice as he tried to use Chaos See. "Just relax into it."
Silver Hedgehog had been at it for nearly three hours, holding his white emerald and staring into its center. He had been Knuckles apprentice for six months. Silver already perfected Chaos Heal and Chaos Control, but Chaos See was different. No matter how hard he looked, he couldn't reach it.
He and Knuckles were sitting in the grass and under an old cotton tree. Knuckles had noticed that Silver focused better out in the open air, but when the time came for Silver to learn how to use the Master Emerald, he would have to learn in the Emerald Chamber.
Silver did as Knuckles suggested and relaxed his body, breathing slowly to not tense up again. He then noticed that everything around him blurred and faded. He ignored this and continued looking at the emerald, feeling he was closer this time. He focused harder, determined to it right this time. He felt himself almost sinking, but he wanted to get it right. Silver soon lost track of time and his eyes drooped slightly.
Suddenly, a hand covered the emerald and a firm voice was calling him.
"Silv! Wake up Silver!"
Silver came back to himself and looked at Knuckles. The echidna had a worried look on his face as he looked at Silver.
"What's wrong Knuckles?" Silver asked.
"You weren't answering me," Knuckles said. "It had been thirty minutes since you last spoke and I didn't like that blank look on your face. You okay?"
Silver nodded and stretched, feeling like he had slept for two hours. "I'm alright. I couldn't reach it though."
"You'll get it, kid." Knuckles assured him. "You ready for lunch?"
Silver nodded and stood. His legs and back was stiff from sitting for so long so he stretched again. Soon he and Knuckles were walking back to the village. Silver loved the Island as much as Knuckles did and was honored when Knuckles said that he had chosen Silver to be his apprentice. But Silver had to admit it bothered him that he couldn't control some of the emeralds. He knew it would take time, but sometimes he had to lay in bed with a warm washcloth on the back of his neck to relieve him of headaches and muscle stiffness.
When they walked inside the hut belonging to Knuckles, Saphron, Silver's blue parrot, greeted them. Silver had found him with a broken wing and had nursed him back to full health, but now Saphron liked living here so much he always came back. Saphron squawked and flew to Silver's shoulder. Silver stroked the parrots' bright blue feathers as he walked into the kitchen. Knuckles served some pineapples, grapes and nuts for lunch. Pineapples had become Silver's favorite food along with walnuts. Silver gave some of the grapes to Saphron and ate the rest.
Knuckles ate the same thing but with more grapes and an apple. He looked at his apprentice. Silver was young, but he was a fast learner. He already memorized all the tunnels in the island matrix and new the care system for the plants and gardens. Silver also knew the emergency devises in case they had unwanted company. But Knuckles knew that it was easier for Silver to control chaos energy when Emily was with him. With the two of them being Protectors, they balanced each other out and strengthened each other.
"You in the mood to see Knothole?" Knuckles asked.
Silver looked up from his meal and nodded. "I haven't been there since a week after we got home. When are we going?"
"After lunch," Knuckles said. "I need to help Tails with the finishing touches on the Blue Typhoon and you need a break from training."
Silver looked back at his plate. They were going to use the Blue Typhoon to take Emily home to Earth. It was a trip he wasn't looking forward to. When Emily went back to Earth, it was a big possibility that he would never see her again.
He looked back at Knuckles and smiled. "I'll get ready to go then and I'll put Saphron away."
The wind tugged at my hair as Sonic and I raced through New Mobius. It was an amazing city to be in; the people were nice and always said hello when you looked at them in the face.
It had been another six months since the team and I came back from fighting Mephilis. I had grown to like Mobius and felt quite at home there. But I still missed my home on Earth with my family.
I look to my left, where Sonic was keeping up with me easily. "Hurry up, slow poke!" I said as I extended my legs into an easy gliding motion, each stride sending me fifteen feet.
Sonic pulled up ahead of me and turned so he was running backwards, not missing a step. "Slow poke?" He asked. "Emily, Emily, you should know by now that's not my game."
With that he turned again and raced off. I roll my eyes and pick up the pace. I loved racing Sonic. It was my favorite thing to do besides riding my horse, Isabelle. And, racing kept my mind off of home and off of Silver. Silver had gone back to Angel Island for training and I had stayed in Knothole. I thought about Silver often; I haven't heard from him for nearly a month now. But I knew he was training to become the next Guardian of the Master Emerald.
Soon Sonic and I came to a stop at an Ice Cream Parlor called Chucks. It belonged to Sonic's uncle, Uncle Chuck, and it was the best place in Mobius to get ice cream and chilidogs.
Sonic gave me a thumbs up as we stopped. "You're getting better with those shoes." He commented. "I'll bet by the time we get you home you'll be breaking the sound barer."
"I doubt that," I said as we walk into the parlor. "These shoes may help me keep up with you, but there's no way I can break the sound barer."
Sonic and I take a seat at the bar as an elderly hedgehog came forward. His grey mustache and his grayish-blue fur giving him an air of wisdom around him.
"Hey Soni-boy, hello Emily," He greeted. "What can I do for you?"
"Hey Unk," Sonic said. "The usual for me; Chilidog on the warts."
"And a regular Mint Ice Cream Cone for me," I said, laughing a little at Sonic.
"Coming right up," Uncle Chuck said, walking to the back.
I look at Sonic and just shake my head. "You and your chilidogs,"
"What?" Sonic asked. "I like chilidogs, what can I say?"
"You have one every time we come here," I said.
Sonic shrugged. "I can't help it if my uncle makes the best chilidogs in Mobius."
I smile and look out the window. Sonic and I had become good friends over the few months that I stayed in Mobius. Maybe because I was one of those few people that could keep up with him when he's running (as long as he doesn't break the sound barer), or it's because we were both Christians. Sonic had come to Christ while he and the others were staying at my place on Earth. He was a different hedgehog ever since. He lead prayers, fought off Creatures in the Valley of Shadow, and he was building a small church for Knothole with Eli as its pastor. At least half of the Freedom fighters where Christians now; Sally came to Christ while Sonic was taking her for a walk and both came back with tears in their eyes. Knuckles also came to Christ as well as Cream and Amy. Rouge was still skeptical about our faith and felt she didn't need it. I could tell Shadow was sad for her, but he tried not to show it.
I look down at the small cross that hung around Sonic's neck. He and Tails had made some after we got back from fighting Mephilis and they never took them off. Silver also wore one, but he made his out whittled oak that grew on Angel Island.
"Here you go you two," Uncle Chuck said, handing us the food we ordered.
"Thanks Unk," Sonic said and took a bite of his chilidog.
I took a bite of my mint cone and simply melted at the taste. Mobian mint was stronger than Earth mint because the Mobians didn't add extra things to the flavor or the ice cream.
"Have you heard anything from Knuckles or Silver?" I asked.
Sonic swallowed his fist bite and grinned. "Nothing from Silver," He said. "But Knuckles checks in now and then. He says that Silver is doing good and he's already at Chaos See, but the kid's having trouble controlling it."
"I'm sure he'll get it," I said. "He did figure out Chaos Heal and Chaos Control practically on his own."
"True," Sonic said.
Suddenly, Sonics' wristwatch buzzed, making Sonic almost fall out of his chair. We both laugh as Sonic looked to see who was calling. It was Tails who was back in Knothole determined to finish the Blue Typhoon.
"Yo, what's up lil' bro?" Sonic asked when answering.
"I think she's ready to go," Tails said. "There's a few tweaks I need to make and we still need the Chaos and Master Emeralds, not to mention the food stores, but I think she's fit for flight. I was wondering if you and Emily wanted to see it."
"Sure thing Tails," Sonic said. "We'll be there in a Sonic Second."
"Man, when Tails wants something done, he gets it done." I said. "Wasn't he planning to get her done by Monsoon?"
"Yup," Sonic said. "He's right on time. You want to see you home in space?"
I nodded and finished off my cone as Sonic downed his Chilidog. I left a tip for Unckle Chuck and Sonic and I raced off toward Knothole.
I whistled at the shear size of the Blue Typhoon. It was much bigger than I imagined from the Sonic X series. But just like on TV, she was silver and blue in color and with artificial palm trees.
"Well, she's impressive Tails." I said. "I never imagined her to be so big."
"I've added a few things so it will make the trip easier." Tails informed us as we walked inside through the hangar. "But I'll show them to you guys in a moment. First, I think you'll like this while we're up there, Em."
Tails flipped on the lights to reveal several space jets. I recognized them all from Sonic X; Amy's jet, Cream's jet, Rouge's white and pink jet, and Tails' X Tornado. But one was different; It looked like a silver and hunter green X-Wing fighter from Star Wars.
Tails led us up to the green one and ran his fingers on the hull. "I call it the Nova. She used to be Chris', but she needed a tune up and thought you would like to have her. Shadow and I can show you how to fly it once we're up in space, then you can join Shadow and Rouge on Scouting missions. What do you think?"
I was awestruck. I walked up to the X-Wing and ran my hand along its side. The metal was cool and smooth to the touch. "Tails," I said after a while. "This is amazing! I don't know how to thank you."
"Just take care of her for me." Tails said. "That will be thanks enough. Ready to see the rest of the place?"
"We know we are,"
The three of us turned at the gruff voice to see Knuckles and Silver walking up to us. Silver was now only a bit shorter than Knuckles, but his eyes were still bright gold. He smiled when he saw me and came over to greet us. "Hey, how is everything?"
I embrace Silver. It had been too long since I last saw him. I pull away and smile at Silver. "Everything is good. Tails said that the Blue Typhoon is practically ready and we just need the Emeralds to power it up. He was just taking us on a tour, care to join us?"
For a moment, I thought Silver looked almost sad, like a cloud came over his face for only a second. But it was gone before I could really think about it and he covered it with his crooked smile. "Sure, we'd love to."
Tails grinned and began the tour. He first showed us the newly build bridge. It looked like the original bridge from the TV series with five control seats. Then Tails took us bellow deck to where the rooms where; he had to add a couple to fit Rouge, Silver and Shadow, but the rooms were cozy. Tails said I could have Chris' old room. The infirmary was next as well as the Emerald Room. The Emerald Room had been improved so it can use more energy without burning out the emeralds.
"I think with the improvements we'll be in Emily's galaxy in a months time." Tails said. "That is if we don't run into trouble along the way."
"Knowing us, Tails," Sonic said. "Its usually trouble running into US."
We all laughed lightly at Sonic's joke, but I had that tight feeling in my spine. Danger. I lightly look around so not to alarm the guys if it was a false alarm. I saw nothing, so I shrug off the feeling.
Above us looking in the hangar window was a green hedgehog with large scars on his chest. He smiled behind his sunglasses and pulled his leather jacket closer as he heard distant thunder roll.
He slid down the side of the hangar and landed nimbly to his feet. A rustle in the bushes nearby brought his girlfriend out of hiding. She was a red fox with black cloths. The hedgehog grinned at her as she approached him and knelt, both watching the freedom fighters and the human girl with them.
"What are they up to now, Scourge Honey?" Fiona Fox asked.
"They're planning a vacation to space, sweetie." Scourge replied. "Tails already has the Blue Tub-boat ready for flight and all he needs is Reds Master Emerald."
Fiona looked at the group as they left. There was a white hedgehog with them, and he and the human were always walking beside each other. "How're the new kids?"
Scourge shrugged. "Beats me. But what dose it matter? Ixis said he wanted them for some reason, both her and the albino. But if they're going into space, then we need a bounty hunter or something to go after them."
"Maybe Ixis can give us a hand in those aspects…" Fiona suggested. "I mean he has everything else."
Scourge was quiet for a moment. Ixis had called him and Fiona for a job against Sonic. The job was to retrieve the Albino Hedgehog and the Human girl unharmed and without leaving a sign that they were taken. So far that job had been impossible. The girl was always with Sonic and the others and this was the first time Scourge had seen the Albino.
Finally, Scourge nodded and the two of them walked back to their motorcycle that was left outside of Knothole and drove back to Ixis' base; which was in the Great Jungle. It was an old Eggman base, but it was sufficient.
The two walked inside and met with Ixis Naugus, who sat on his thrown with black cape draped under him.
"You two are back early," Ixis commented. "Did you catch them?"
"'Fraid not, Ixis." Scourge said. "Seems the girl is going home on Tails' Blue Typhoon, making it harder for us to get her and the Albino. Think you can give us a hand in ships and possible someone who can track them in space?"
Ixis rubbed his chin and smiled, showing several pointed teeth. "I'm already on the matter." He said. "I have a ship with several space jets that would chase down the Blue Typhoon easily. As for a hunter… You may enter now."
Ixis waved someone inside. Scourge and Fiona turned to see a Mobian Golden Eagle step out from a dark corner. His scarlet eyes were like gleaming rubies as he regarded Scourge and Fiona. Around these eyes a black mask making him look twice as evil. At his side was a gleaming sword that looked dangerously sharp even for the bearer. His feet were sandaled and each toe was tipped with a razor sharp talon. The eagle smiled at Scourge and Fiona, but it sent a cold shiver down their spines.
"Scourge and Fiona," Ixis said. "Meet your bounty hunter, Creek the Eagle. From what I hear he is the best in his trade and is famous for his tactics. You think you can catch these two, Creek?"
Creek looked at Ixis and nodded. "If I can hunt a single target around the globe, then I'm sure I can catch a weakling human and her albino hedgehog easily. I look forward to this job… It sounds like a 'fun' one."