Fight for Past, Present, and Future
In a lab underground, Joseph Iblis was talking with a young man.
"The world turns on us, Joe. Everyone sees us as the ultimate enemy. Do you want that?" The man in his twenties shook his head, frowning.
"If that is my future, I'll do anything to change it."
"Then trust me. I will give you the power to change it all." He pulled out a syringe that had an oily black liquid in it.
"My gratitude, Joseph," Mephiles, newly created, smirked. "Now I have a universe to destroy. Care to join me?"
Mephiles laughed as we approached, powered up by the emeralds.
"You fools. You . . . utter idiots. I turned this world upside down, didn't I? I manipulated time. I froze it, stone cold, ripped it so I could have some fun, and now? Now you all are going to die."
"I don't think so," I said. "We'll beat you. There's no way you could win." He laughed and out rose hundreds of inky clones of him.
"Think again. I brought reinforcements." Then robots began to emerge from around a corner. There was one huge fire monster in the middle of it all.
"And my counterpart, Iblis, is here," he smirked. The bird then blew fire.
"Wait-Iblis? Your counterpart?" Shadow asked. Not Eggman, I thought.
"Yes. You see, Joe Iblis found it . . . entertaining . . . that he remembered this all. He envisioned a world that he could create, his own land. His own universe. So he studied the organisms found in the comet again. He'd kept samples of them, of course—he tested the effects of radiation, of different temperatures, of certain chemicals. He carefully made his calculations and created a serum out of the organisms and other substances.
"Shadow was the first attempt. And he was pleased—the inhibitor rings you have there keep you from fighting at top potential, and still you can defeat mighty monsters. He adjusted the formula, though, because he couldn't be unable to control his power. And so he took himself from the past, and injected the serum. Here I am," he laughed.
"Mephiles, the devil, the Dark, the Time Eater. I live to destroy," he chuckled, "And send all your souls to oblivion!"
"Wouldn't count on it," Tails said. Younger me stared up at the enemies, terrified.
"I . . . how . . ."
"Guess. Like the games, mini me. Everyone spread out and fight!" I told them.
Mini me went with Knuckles, Tails, Scourge, Rouge, and Omega. They began blasting through the Mephiles clones. Blaze, Amy, and Cream headed for the fire monster. Espio, Vector, and Charmie charged into the robots.
That left Shadow, Silver, and I to deal with Mephiles. He sent glowing crystal daggers at us, only to have Silver send them back.
"Nice try," I said.
"DIE!" he screamed, and there were a lot more glowing things thrown at us.
In minutes, it was over, and Mephiles was on his knees. Iblis was burning itself to nothing. No clones remained, and the robots were scraps. Mephiles turned into his human form—a pale, scrawny teenager.
"This is Joe Iblis?" asked Shadow, scoffing.
"One last chance, Shadow. Join me?" Shadow furrowed his brow.
"You lost. Why would I-"
"No. I just won. Eggman!" he shouted, pointing skyward. A huge robot flew in, landing squarely behind Mephiles. The teen floated up and backwards into the open center, which closed to look like a red, glassy gem. The bot was otherwise gold and white, shaped like a bird or an angel.
"I will create a perfect world. And who better to team up with than myself?" A voice echoed the last word, and there were two Joe Iblis voices echoing from the machine. A golden light circled it before exploding outwards—everyone crash landed, powering down, except me and mini me.
"Just you and me, eh Egghead? Just like always." Younger me shook.
"I think you should know better . . . it's just me. Or it will be in a minute or so." Eggman-Mephiles laughed.
"Was he always that insane?" younger me asked.
"You bet." Another blast sent us flying.
"Come on, Sonic! Eric! You can do this!" shouted Amy from I didn't know where.
"Got it," I grinned. Mini me looked up at the robot in awe.
"Dude, we're Sonic. We can handle anything." He looked up at me, and the nervousness went away. Jeez . . . had I changed that much?
"Let's do this. On three, we spin attack the gem center, then we go on autopilot. Try and keep up, okay?" He nodded.
"One. Two. Three." We both started spinning.
When we made impact, the gem cracked, but the robot continued slashing at us and glowing. It burst into flames at the edges.
"Again! Go!" he said. We smashed again, and the gem shattered, glowing gold.
"Follow the wings! Find the joints and smash 'em!"
He went left, I right, and we took out the wings. The bot morphed into a snake, writhing on the ground, but that didn't slow us down. I spun right along its spine, splitting it open. That only left Eggman and Mephiles, stumbling around the rubble.
"You take Egghead," I said. "Knock him out at least. I'll take care of Mr. Creep," I said.
"You got it, me," he gave a thumbs-up and a smirk. Heh, maybe I hadn't changed that much at all.
"It's over. The nightmare is done. You're not taking any more time," I punched Mephiles in the gut. The black ooze melted away to leave a random, lost-looking kid. Both he and Eggman were out cold.
"Now what?" I wondered, the world still frozen.
"Something's missing. We beat them. Everything should go back, right?" Silver asked.
"Almost," said a voice I barely recognized, "I'll take care of things. Sonic, Sonic-both of you come with me. Still got the emeralds?" I blinked, turned around.
A man of about thirty stood in front of me. He had my same eyes, blue hair that was kind of shaggy but not super-long. He had a leather jacket, jeans, a blue t-shirt, and familiar red shoes. His easy smile reflected at me.
"Time to finish this." We crossed arms with the emeralds in hand—and when we'd transported ourselves away, we landed in a temple-like room with three altars.
"Past, present, future," older me confirmed.
"Mephiles, Eggman, Iblis. In order. You see, the comet's organisms came from a planet that has a lot of wormhole activity. The dimension where Iblis came from had released the strange organisms onto the comet. Then it brought them here. Eggman, Iblis, and Mephiles—all the same, but all completely different. The organisms rot the mind and take it over, sending madness into his head and a need for power into his heart. Initially, Egghead figured it would work on Shadow. He was wrong—because the madness part of it only happened with one species of the alien bacteria. The kind he injected into his younger self to create Mephiles. So he lost his powers, turned into an old, bitter man. And the power built inside his body long after he died, turning into the flame monster that kept his name, Iblis. So if we destroy the power in all times . . . everything will go back to normal."
"Will we never meet, then?" asked mini me. I frowned and looked at my older self. He shrugged.
"Beats me. I remember this all happening. So I imagine not."
"I don't remember it, though," I said, looking at the younger me.
"If it means turning the world back to normal, why take the chance? Look. I know how the future is for us. Egghead is still stupid enough to keep trying. Other things come up but we deal with them. And . . . life goes on . . . and everyone knows who we are and accepts us. Sure sometimes the media got annoying on date night . . . and the kids have no idea what it's like not to be hounded by media . . ."
"Wait, kids?" both of us asked. Older me smiled sheepishly.
"I'm a grown man with a wife, what do you think?"
"Wife?" Both ideas seemed way too foreign. He sighed.
"You can guess all you like. It doesn't matter much right now for you two anyway. It'll happen. Anyway, these altars. See the candles on them? All we have to do is blow them out at the same time."
Each candle flame was tinted slightly—the first was kind of yellow, the middle one was orange, and the last one was red.
"Future me . . . are things really . . . all right, then?"
"Everyone's fine where I am. I'm Sonic, remember? Wouldn't let anything happen to my friends if I could help it," he chuckled. "I've learned something though. I'm not Sonic because of the emeralds. I've always been Sonic. I just didn't know it. You just didn't know it. You still don't . . . probably. When everybody else realizes it, though, it gets through your skull. You're Sonic, Eric. You're me." He smiled, somewhat wearily. I knew that smile.
"Why do I let it out that I'm Sonic?" I asked. He shrugged.
"Not much choice. The blue hair's a dead giveaway at school, and it's not like I could change it back."
"It doesn't change anymore?"
"There's no real difference," he said, brushing his bangs out of his eyes.
"Now, are we gonna save the world or not?" asked mini me anxiously.
"Heh, right," I laughed. We each stood in front of an altar—I got the middle one. Mini me was on my left; older me was on my right.
"Ready, set . . . go," older me said. We blew out the candles all at once, and all was darkness.