Trouble in Time
I was on my usual run, checking the nearby towns for any extra activity. There was a fire in the city of Soleanna, started by Iblis's rogue bots during a parade. I put out the fire, no trouble, but the robots weren't like the scrap heaps that got loose on occasion . . . it was like they were new.
In seconds I was hit in the back of the head, and knew no more.
Shadow, Rouge, and Omega were working on their first mission together. More robots, more work—but so far, there wasn't any trouble. Then some sound echoed through the area. Rather than going away, though, it got louder. Laughter. Deep, demonic laughter.
"Don't remember me, Shadow? I'm afraid I'll have to remedy that. But I can't afford to let anyone get in the way this time. This will be my revenge." It echoed from everywhere, a disembodied evil. A floating, inky creature began to form in front of Shadow. A purple light flashed, and then there was nothing.
Silver and Blaze were researching disappearances—specifically, theirs, and Eggman's. Where could they have gone? And where was he now?
"Got anything? At all?" Blaze asked.
"Iblis's disappearance would normally suggest a plot. But what's strange is no one's been able to find him—and he isn't exactly conspicuous," Silver replied.
"I may have an answer," said a whispering male voice.
"Hm?" A teen walked out of the alley—Silver shuddered, for it was the alley that he'd disappeared in so long ago.
The guy had kinda greasy black hair and a thick leather jacket. His eyes were an odd green—sickly looking. But his face looked a lot like Shadow's, despite his lips being so pale they were almost imperceptible.
"But in order to do so, I must open your eyes to what you truly did in the other world—in the future," he said. Silver's eyes widened.
"That couldn't have been the future! Everything was destroyed!" The guy smirked.
"Maybe my name will remind you of it all. My name is Mephiles. Mephiles the Dark."
Everything was frozen, black and white, and utterly creepy.
"Hey! Anyone out there?" I asked. "HEY!" Just an echo. I was in Green Hills Valley, the nearest prairie preserve. I was in color, thank goodness-my sight hadn't gone away. I was human Sonic right then, and there was no one around.
"What's going on . . . which game . . ." I muttered.
"Who're you?" a voice behind me asked. I spun around to find—Eric Sarali, scrawny kid who'd never dreamed of being a hero.
"Oh. My. God." I stared for a minute. That was me.
"Uh . . . how do I explain this?" I scratched my head.
"You're Sonic the Hedgehog. Right? Sonic in real life," mini me said. I was a good couple of inches taller than him, and he wouldn't recognize me, I was sure of it, even if I went back to normal.
"More than that. I'm not just a hedgehog, as you can probably tell. I'm also a normal person. Look . . . uh . . . I think Eggman pulled some time travel strings. I know you, and you're not in the right time period."
" . . . what the . . ." he stared at me.
"My thoughts exactly. We've got to get moving. Looks like we have to save the world."
Silver and Blaze gasped, even as Mephiles melted into black ooze and disappeared. Immediately, new memories surfaced of their past that had been fuzzy before.
Six-year-old Jason screamed. There was fire everywhere, and the only people there were a little girl his age and a teen with slicked back hair. Mephiles.
"W-what's going on?" whimpered Jason.
"Sh, it's okay. I'm here to help you. I'm Mephiles."
The teen helped them turn into a hedgehog and a cat, trained them with their powers, and raised them for a month or so. Then he left them in the hands of a band of humans for some time.
Years passed, and Mephiles sometimes visited and helped them out. He said little, but he saved them from the fire on many occasions.
And then one day . . . he took them to an abandoned factory that still had some old working machinery.
"There is a reason this world is coated in fire. The spirit of fire and doom, Iblis, was set free by someone in the distant past. He was the Iblis Trigger—a blue hedgehog that could outrun sound itself. There is a way we can end the horrible destruction, though." Mephiles pulled out two glowing gems.
"The Chaos Emeralds. You told us about them some years ago, right? They can allow travel between time and space."
"Precisely. There are seven of them in existence—and I have found two."
"Then . . . we can stop this all from happening!" Blaze concluded.
"I can bring you to the past where this all started. But, in case you run into another version of yourself, I have to disguise you slightly. Can't have people running into their past selves and causing a paradox by knowing it."
"And how would you do that?" Silver didn't like the idea of deceiving anyone.
"Just an illusion to set you apart. . You won't feel a thing." Suddenly, Silver had markings on his face and arms that glowed like when he used his psychokinesis, just like Mephiles explained.
"Find a blue hedgehog. He is the Iblis Trigger, the destroyer of the world—obliterate him, and this future may not happen. Here." He handed Silver one of the Chaos Emeralds. Silver and Mephiles crossed arms, holding the emeralds.
"Blaze, please keep things safe here while we are gone.
Silver turned to Blaze—"We've got to help them."
I ran and ran and ran, now human Sonic, and I had to carry younger me on my back.
"This is so weird . . ." he said. We were in town before he finished the sentence.
"You're telling me. You get used to it though. If there's a fight, don't get hurt." Everything was still in black and white. So Sonic Generations, then? I could have sworn the comet meant Black Doom . . . Tails ran out from a street corner. "Sonic! And—Eric?!" he stared. "Um, what's going on?"
"I could ask you, buddy. Have you seen anyone else around?"
"Hey, Tails, uh, I'm Eric Sarali. From the past, apparently."
"I can see that." Suddenly, a table went flying past my head, just missing.
"What the—Silver?" It was him, but it wasn't. He looked shorter, and had weird tribal tattoo markings all over him. He glared at me.
"How do you know my name?"
"More time travel problems," Tails confirmed, "Silver, do you know who we are?"
"I know that the blue hedgehog is responsible for all of this!" he snarled.
"What? No! I have no idea what's going on here!" He shook his head.
"Argh, don't lie to me!" And with that, he threw a manhole cover at my head. If I wasn't so fast, then I would have been decapitated.
"Sonic! We should get out of here," Tails warned. Eric—past me—had followed my earlier advice and hid behind a tree.
"Tails, stay back," I warned, cracking my knuckles and dodging another piece of metal.
Amy was confused. No one was around. Suddenly, she heard yelling. She ran down the alley she had woken up in and stopped to find a kid hiding behind a trash can—Eric? But he looked different, like he was before they'd all found the Chaos Emeralds.
"Hey, Eric," Amy asked, still confused.
"Amy?" he looked so relieved, but still nervous. "Are you from the past with me or are you with Sonic and Tails?" he asked. He was so scared. Amy didn't change into hedgehog form, but she sighed.
"I'm with Tails and Sonic. Remember Amy Rose?" His eyes widened. "Then . . . Tails . . . Miles?" She nodded.
"Then who is Sonic?" He definitely didn't seem to guess it was him. Not confident enough to believe anything like that.
"He didn't tell you? That's not like him." But as Amy frowned, she knew better. Eric was scared—scared that his past self wouldn't accept what he would become, and scared that he wasn't hero enough.
"Don't worry too much about it," she shook her head, "Right now we've got to help them. Silver is our friend—but he doesn't know that yet. You've played Next Gen, right?" He nodded.
"That's kinda what's going on . . . sort of."
I was trying not to hurt Silver, but Silver was most definitely trying to hurt me. I wanted to just give up—everything I tried to explain didn't work. He had no idea—just kept at it.
"The future is up in flames because of you!" he said.
"No—It's not me—I don't even know what you've seen or what this is about. I woke up with the world in black and white with Eric—" He stopped in his tracks.
"What did you do to Eric?"
"Nothing, he ran when the fight got rough-"
"What did you do with him!" he shouted, ignoring me. He was glowing like crazy, and the concrete around him was coming up.
"Hold up, hold up, I didn't—" He sent a flurry of chunks of asphalt and metal at me, and one piece caught me in the head. The world spun and shook. When everything stopped moving, he stood over me.
"It's over now," he said, preparing a sharp piece of rock to save the future.
"Silver! Stop! JASON!" Amy's voice rang out, and I looked over to see her and mini me, staring in shock at the hedgehog.
"Amy, Eric, get out of here," I warned, "He's not the same Jason we know," I added. Meanwhile, Silver stared.
"Eric? Amy?" Eric stopped dead in his tracks.
Shadow woke up with Rouge and Omega at his side. They were in a dilapidated factory, but it was clear that some of the computers still worked. Rouge immediately hacked the nearest one to see what was going on.
"I think we're in the future. This date on the computer . . . it's hundreds of years from our time!" she exclaimed.
"Hey, who's there?" called a familiar voice. Blaze.
"Blaze? Eliza?" called Rouge. The cat came through the doorway.
"Who are you," she asked, glaring.
"Shadow, Rouge, and this robot is Omega. Blaze-"
"How do you know me?" she demanded.
"Chaos control can allow time travel, can't it?" Rouge said, exasperated. "We've known you for a while, but you haven't met us yet. Can you tell us what's going on?" Blaze was silent for a minute.
"How do I know I can trust you?" Rouge then told Omega to shrink. Shadow sighed.
"You were tossed through a portal when you were six into this time right? This isn't your real home. You know that. Mephiles brought us here without our permission. Hm . . . all that fire outside. Is this what the world comes to?" Blaze looked at him.
"Every day we fight for our lives. The fire demon sometimes attacks, and other days the lava and crumbling world is enough to almost kill us. Sometimes dark creatures crawl up during the night and we can get no sleep. But sometimes Mephiles jumps in and teaches us about our powers or brings us to a troupe of humans that are also trying to survive. He comes and goes. Silver is naïve, and thinks that doing what Mephiles says is right because he always helps us. I'm not so sure. If he has the power to save us and to block off Iblis, the demon, then why doesn't he fight it? Why doesn't he help more? I feel as though that blue hedgehog he showed us isn't evil at all . . . and if Silver does the deed he intends to, we may be in more trouble than I thought . . ."
Rouge grimaced. "Honey, you have no idea. If Sonic, that blue hedgehog dies . . . I don't think any of us could make it.
"Much as I hate to say it, I agree," said Shadow. "Rouge, G. U. N. headquarters likely has some leftover Chaos trackers, even in this age, hidden away somewhere. We might be able to fix things."
"I'll help," said Blaze," I'd rather not sit around and hold on to this building. I know where that old place is. Let's move."