An echo from beyond the void.
Can you hear his moans?
Can you hear his sorrows?
She can. . .
. . .
It's only a matter of time.
A world around her.
The surface of a white planet, that has no ground, but is found somewhere beyond the Universe in space.
The crashing sounds echoing from beyond her.
What does it mean?
You can know.
If you look into the darkest corners of your heart.
The secrets can be revealed.
You might just even find out who you really are.
Ahh, such fails.
It's only imminent I suppose.
Aren't all endings dry like this?
Doomed before they begun.
It's such a mystery.
How. . .
Good can triumph over evil.
It takes a lot more work.
But ah. . . .
Someday you will understand. . . .
. . . .
That it never lasts. . . .
The rays of the warm sun stroked Suki's face as the cool morning air brushed over her bedroom floor. She smiled as the sun's golden light danced with the sun dust, floating in the air around her. A quite and serene morning, such was the beginning of the tale of a favorite little girl.
She snuggled her pillow just a little bit more before a bird hoped through the window to greet it's sleeping friend. He took only a quick, uplifting glance from the bedroom floor before hopping onto her bed, and looking into her face. No movement could be detected outside of small breathing and an occasional deep exhale. The little birdie, also known as a flicky, only continued to stare at her before finally breaking the silence with a soft chirping sound. No response. Another flicky who had just landed in the window added a small whistle, thus joining in the attempt to wake her up. These efforts did not go unrewarded, for behold, a small victory was granted. In response, Suki turned over, but only to reveal that she was asleep on the other side as well. Stirring in the motions, a slight smile spread across her face as if she knew and was playing some sort of game. Either that or she was consumed in some sweet dream. Who knew what was going on inside her mind?
Suki slept peacefully, stirring only a little bit more. It appeared that the bird's efforts had done nothing other than make her dreams more sweat- or more active. How thoughtful.
The blue bird sighed. It was no use. Turning around he saw his other friend being accompanied by it's mate. She snuggled him in the neck much to his enjoyment before the first bird flew out the window. Chirping, he tried to snap the other two out of it, that they might get along with the day's journeys. Since Suki was peacefully remaining asleep, there was no cause to remain here anymore. Finally, they snapped out of it and went their way into the skys. Leaving the sweet little hedgehog behind, whose name was after snow so white. . .
The hedgehog stirred.
Her eyes peeled open.
"Huh?" She asked under her breath.
Her eyes came into focus and the blur began to disappear. She stared down the electronic clock in front of her:
She had wanted to wake up early and make some pancakes for Omycid, and had even requested her bird friends to wake her up before 6:15 so that she could do it in time.
The white, long quilled hedgehog flew out of bed! She got dressed as fast as possible and rushed downstairs. She wasn't allowed to set the alarm on her clock, since that might disturb papi; the reason she had relied on her airborn allies, though cautioning them not to wake her by force if her body needed the rest. After all, she couldn't afford to be tired on a day as important as this.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Suki walked around the corner into the kitchen. There was her "Auntie" Or "Nana" who had taken care of her since she was a little girl. She had taught her to how to cook, clean, and be a lady. Something that uncle Omycid couldn't do. She saw that the flour, mixing bowl, and other essentials had already been laid out amongst the table, ready to be used in any fashion one might please. Suki's eyes met Nana's whose were bright and open in spite of her older age. She was wearing an apron and setting a large bowl on the counter. Looking at Suki with her frailing blue eyes, a kind of happiness was portrayed. She was thankful that Suki had come down in assistance that morning, a sign showing that she truly did care. Even to this day, Suki rushed in and moved the footstool in place so that she would be able to reach the bag of flour. Being shorter than others was a hindrance if you lived in the same house as humans, but Omycid had gotten her a special low counter to work on when she needed. It wasn't long before the flour was mixed with everything else and the yellow, golden pancakes arisen from their plain. Eager to please the mouth of the father whom would soon be down for his meal.
After the first two batches had been completed, uncle Omycid finally arrived. He was straightening out the collar on his suit, which detonated him as an elite Viasor in the Latise. Sitting down at the table, he immediately pulled the jar of jam over to his plate. Smiling in slight gratitude of Suki's kindness to help his wife in this morning's early duties.
"An excellent meal Suki" He complemented the chef once again. Such words were common as Suki had honed her skills, but it nothing be undelighted in.
"Thank you Omycid! But I only did part- It was Nana who was up before me and got all the stuff out!"
"Of course." Nana smiled.
"Well, either way" Omycid coughed. "You are a distinguished cook." He finished. Bringing a napkin up to his lip and patting it in gentlemanly fashion, wiping his small grey mustache, and preparing for another indulgence in such culminary process.
Omycid was an older male with hairs of the color grey. He had a mustach that was not too thick, and he paid utmost attention to his actions in public and around others. Even so, Suki knew he like to relax and be himself when he came home at night. Getting into his robe and often smoking a pipe, but nothing too precarious. She enjoyed spending time around him.
Nana's hair was a bright, brown- red color. Of which would come an inch or two down below her shoulders. The room that they had eaten in was a simple dining room with a living room not far behind. Filled with wooden cabinets and a glass door leading to a porch, which Suki had spent more than one night out stargazing in. The floor was black and white checkered, and a chandelier donned itself from the ceiling, ever so charmingly in Suki's eyes since she was little.
It was so nice to be here, and her parents cared about her so much. It was wonderful. And Suki never forgot it. Ever.
"This jam is more evidence of such handy work. You should have seen your mother when she first started." Omycid continued. Alluding to another story about him and Nana during younger days.
"It was all burned." Mama input as if about to laugh over such an old mistake.
"Trying to get it to cook faster by turning it up to 800 degrees, to get done before the wedding wasn't a great idea either." Omycid made a slight chuckle.
"I suppose." Nana smiled pessimistically.
*ding dong* the doorbell rang, announcing the accompaniment of a visitor once again. Suki was already certain of whom it would be.
"Oh, I'll bet it's Chryssy!" The happy girl exclaimed.
"Hmm?" Omycid asked with a mouthful. Not speaking though, as that would be impolite- especially for a Viasor.
Suki jumped out of her seat and ran- walked over to the door- she couldn't run in the house if Nana was watching. But Omycid wouldn't mind- if she didn't run to much. . . . As Suki opened the door, her eyes were filled with enthusiasm, for in front of her stood her lifetime and bestest friend, otherwise known, as Chryssy the Ocelot.
"Hi Suki!" The more bubbly girl exclaimed once the door was opened. She was in her day clothes and a purse hung across her shoulder. "Thought I'd come over a bit early so I could see your stuff!"
At this moment, the difference between the two characters might be seen the greatest, in both appearance, and personality. Suki was a white hedgehog of female gender. Her eyes were white and her quills came down lower than Amy's. A mark of a girl who endowed her hair. The smile on her mouth was joyful, and her face was simple with eyelashes. Although she would typically be seen wearing a black uniform on the job, Suki donned a black coat over a white morning's dress. Not quite pajama's mind you- as Nana would be quite upset having Suki open the door dressed in such a fashion.
Looking back out the door into Chryssy. Suki saw the makings of a wonderful Ocelot warrior, or mechanic. Whatever she assumed herself to be. Chryssy was an Ocelot, who often walked around town in her periwinkle outfit. A shoulderless dress with a waist belt, and a purse often hanging at her side. Chryssy was more optimistic than Suki, and bubbly. She often reacted to things to where as Suki was more calm. But both loved eachother like sisters and never parted without a hug. It was a family like relationship.
Suki immediately got into the conversation.
"Oh, you mean my drawings? Sure!" The white mobian exclaimed.
Suki opened the front doors even more and turned the other way. Leading her friend up the stairs and into her room. "This is a character I drew for Vercoa." Suki said proudly, displaying the picture with arms stretched out in front of her and eyes closed, then handing it to Chryssy.
"I like that series!" Chryssy said. "The episode with the refueling station was really funny!"
"Yeah! How Bangel tried to get just a few fries and they kept messing up the order. I like the expression on his face after he found out that he had ordered sweet potatoes by mistake!"
"Yeah." Chryssy agreed.
"Or Acove, when He tried to escape the ship so that he could quit being a soldier and maybe sell pizzas at the cafeteria."
"It was funny when he got caught. Maybe he should voice his thoughts out loud before escaping?" Chryssy laughed.
. . .
"Hey Chryssy. . . I. . . need to. . . ask you something. . . " Suki stopped speaking as she looked at the ceiling. Spinning a small necklase on her finger that the natives of this island had made using clam shells and oysters. Various materials.
. . .
"How do you. . . feel about Michad as of late. . . ?" She finished. The question posed in front of her like a handshake from someone she didn't want to touch.
"Uhhh. . . " Chryssy was taken aback. That was a curious question, but not one they hadn't visited before."I dunno. . . sometimes. . ." Chryssy started to tell the truth but quickly put it away. ". . . . Nah, not really." She finished. "Once I got better at computer mechanics, and I started fixing the Gizoid glitches and helping program the AI routes for the other robots then I got some more respect. I'm sure Michad is just. . . "
"-Thaaaaats all I need to know!" Suki suddenly caught the necklase she was spinning and changed the subject. So Chryssy isn't feeling any different about Michad. Okay. Maybe I am the only one who has any suspicions, but either way. She began to ponder.
Dream or no dream. Something is up with Michad. Even if others will deny it. And I want to know what.
Suki decided that she'd watch herself and take care. Having placed the rest of her clothes into the suitecase. She dragged the zipper along the edge, sealing her fate.
It was time to go.
Suki walked out into the brisk morning sunshine. The city was bustling with all kinds of activities, both humans and mobians. This was the Sol dimension after all, and the city that Suki was a guard of consumed half the small island. Suki knew about a small chain of islands that were actually probably part of a long peninsula at one point in time that she could hop across to a larger nearby island. It had a jungle and some nearby ruins. But nothing too special. The city took after something like Spagonia from Sonic Unleashed, but it was centered around a high tech castle of sorts, themed on the color black, dark grey, and white. She used to guard there every day for five days a week as part of her training. Now she was fully equipped and made into a soldier- which meant she didn't have to sleep at the base/castle anymore. She could return home, as it was only ten minutes away and she didn't have to be up as late. But trips away from home still left her heart sick.
Suki tried to put a smile on her face as she walked through the town. She and Chryssy were both in their everyday clothes waltzing about. Taking in the soft, warm, and contrastingly cool air, refreshing them with every breeze. It was wonderful. Soon, Suki's worries slipped away. . . for a moment, as her and Chryssy stroke up another conversation.
"So, what do you think of lipstick?" Suki asked.
"Yuck! That can stick with humans! It doesn't do me any good!"
"I agree." Chryssy nodded her head a little. "I don't understand what people see in that stuff."
"So, do you think that they'll find it in time?"
"I don't know. . . Michad has been looking for it for a long time. I have no idea."
"Maybe he has it all planned out and will find the last piece right on the ceremonies eve!"
"I doubt it, it's coming up soon and we still need three pieces"
"But with you we've been finding them faster than even the Gizoid's help!"
"I know!" Suki laughed "But still, those things aren't easy to find, they take a lot of work just to get a hold of them."
"Huh?" Chryssy started walking backwards with Suki and began to take in her surroundings.
"Chyrssy, I think we're being followed." Suki whispered after a few moments.
_Error Processed Narabot as Suki and Chryssy became more aware of his spying presence. It wasn't easy to gather data ever since they got better awareness training, or at least Suki did. He couldn't be near as lax anymore, and listening on these two was a pain, particularly because of how they went on and on and on about pointless information. . . It was greatly indifferent to his programming. Motionlessness helped as he eavesdropped from the nearby tree, but Suki and Chryssy began to walk backwards out of his range. His audio pickup was having a hard time focusing in on the two with all the back chatter. Great. There they go. Another lost opportunity. But another one would come. Eventually. . . he thought in terms more closely resembling human or mobian speech.
"What was that? Chryssy asked after her and Suki had walked a ways. Looking back frantically with Suki.
"I don't know. But I think it was Narabot. I've noticed he always shows up whenever I need him and stuffs." Suki started.
"Really?" Chryssy asked.
"Oh yeah." Suki explained. "One time I was pushed into an alley, but some guys who I think were stalking me. They wanted my money I guess, then Narabot showed up and saved me- well sorta, just cause I was in my everyday clothes didn't mean that I wasn't unequipped!"
"Wow you were lucky!"
"Nah, I could have handled it. But now I want to know what Narabot was doing there. Was he just running some errand around of something for Michad?"
"I dunno. . " Chryssy responded as they both walked up the steps alongside the stone statue that marked the front of the base and training academy. Narabot jumped down behind them and joined their little conversation.
"Hello Suki, Chryssy." Narabot greeted. Not in any particularly upbeat fashion.
"Narabot!" Chryssy stated in surprise!
Narabot was a special military robot produced my Michad, the leader of the Latise to help with dream crown piece hunting and advanced robotic development. He had two modules in his series, the first ultimately being put away because it was too glitchy and the intelligence program had to be remade from scratch. Advanced robots were nothing new in the Sol dimension. In fact, many islands with a governable populace had chosen them over flesh and blood soldiers for their easy production. Narabot however was built based up the secrets of the gizoids, minus their metamorphic ability. A new generation identitiy. Narabot had some pride in himself, that was easy to sense, however, things like pride he seemed unable to understand. In fact, if a human emotion wasn't of some use to his main program. He often didn't have knowledge of it, making it difficult to relate to him along with other things. He could occasionally grasp metaphors, and figures of speech, something Michad ultimately programmed in just because of how often his own military had used them. Not because he liked them or anything.
"My codename is Aranoid." Narabot stated in his usual pessimistic tone.
"Yeah, but Narabot sounds more friendly." Suki said with a smile.
"So be it, but 'friendly' does not make menacing."
"So." Suki began as she walked up the steps. "Have you been. . . stalking me?"
"What?" Narabot asked in surprise.
"Cause somebody has been watching us. . . and You always seem to be close by at just the right times. . . "
_ Organics are confusing.
"Directive." Narabot stated. " What is function, 'Stalk?' No program exists for 'Stalking' therefore, I cannot execute it."
"Uh huuuhh. . . " Suki teased. She stopped outside and turned to face Narabot.
"Stalk, is what you do when you like someone, but you're too shy to ask em out!" Chryssy jolted in. "But a robot like you wouldn't like Suki now would you. . . " She finished almost giggling over it, but she didn't want Narabot to catch on that they were not serious. Or else he would cease talking to them because joking would be viewed as a "waste of time" to him.
. . . .
"What is command, 'like'?" Narabot asked in mechanical fashion. Sometimes he would do this when Suki and Chryssy would tease him. Suki remembered when Michad proudly displayed Narabot to a local reporter as an advanced reconnaissance and destructive robot as part of an interview. Narabot asked a load of questions about very simple words that apparently Michad never had the time to program in- or he didn't care to.
"Like. . is when. . . ummmm." Suki stopped for a moment and looked down at the ground. "Michad never programmed the word like into you?" She asked in surprise for a moment before realizing that to like something wasn't really necessary- at least from Michad's perspective.
"I know what like means, as in, apples are like pears." Narabot stated. "But the way you have used the word does not match it's current function in my dictionary." Narabot explained.
"Oh!" Suki looked thoughtful for a moment. "I know, Narabot, what about when you complete a mission? How do you feel?" She asked excitedly.
"Terrible." Narabot stated.
"Terrible?!" Suki exclaimed. How did that work?!
"My circuits need repairing, as does my armor. Often times, I need a new infared coat after coming from the Ifrit dimension. . . Do people stalk people who make them feel terrible?"
"Uh no, quite the opposite actually . . . "
"Perhaps stalk means to harm."
"No actually . . ."
"But I would not harm you. Ergo. You are confusing me."
. . . .
"Umm. . . . How do I. . . " Suki began to try to think of a way to explain it to her "big brother." Not that Narabot would care for that title, but It was kindof official at this point. As much as it was that Chryssy was her little sister. Narabot started walking forward again, as did Suki and Chryssy to keep up with him. They entered the building and continued down the hall. The conversation continued as they moved.
"Perhaps stalk means like to hunt." Narabot finally grasped having searched his dictionary for possible substitutes and similar words that may come at least close to what Suki was talking about.
"Yes!" Suki exclaimed.
"But I do not even need to eat you." Narabot concluded as he walked ahead of them. Leaving them behind, frozen in the hallway over his last statement.
"But-" Suki started to complain. "Whaaaaatt? She started to think
"HELLO SUKI. HELLO CHRYSSY. HELLO AURANOID. WELCOME TO BACK TO BASE." ID said as his interface came down in front of the three. ID, the base intelligence robot was nothing more than a screen with two hands who hung down from the ceiling. He was in charge of equipping groups and special soldiers with the information that they needed as well as base superiors, supplying them with whatever info they might need. He was also, a general joy to have around too actually, always making Suki feel a little bit better, even on off days.
"Hi ID!" Suki smiled and greeted back."
"Yeah, Hi!" Chryssy chimed in.
"THANK YOU. TODAY YOU ARE GOING INTO THE IFRIT DIMENSION. I WISH YOU LUCK ON YOUR WAY TO THE EXTRACTION POINT."
"Thanks ID." Suki said as she smiled again. "Right Narabot. . . ?"
Narabot waited a few seconds before responding.
"Ah yes. The Ifrit dimension. I like going there. Thank you ID."
"NO PROBLEM." ID stated as the words appeared in all caps on his interface. "I MUST GO NOW" it informed. "GOOD-BYE" The robot left, a signal of a hand waving appeared on his interface.
"Bye ID." Suki and Chryssy said at the same time.
"Hmm. . . Suki thought to herself as Narabot walked off in another direction. she began to think about her earlier conversation with Narabot and his last words before walking off. . . subconsciously putting it all together now. . .
"Ah yes. The Ifrit dimension. I like going there. Thank you ID."
. . .
. . .
. . .
"I'm busy." He said in a half mocking tone as the turned into a room and disappeared out of sight.
Suki and Chryssy made it into the locker room and got their uniforms on. It wasn't long before both of them caught sight of Narabot again inside the briefing room. Suki shook her fist and gave him a mean expression, causing Narabot to step back and put his hands in the air. Everyone began to settle down in the room as the mission was certain to get an explanation here shortly. The instructor finally took the reigns. Stepping up behind his stand and speaking to the troop.
*Ahem* Went the instructor as all the Mobians got into lines and ID presented the screening. The room was colored white inside and was very clean. Chairs with silver legs and white topped tables were available. Not being used beyond the support of a few items which everyone would collect before moving on with their mission. Special supplies that they would get an explanation for here in a bit.
"As you can see today," The instructor started. "White Ghost was able to bring us back information regarding the less than exact location of a piece to the dream crown. But getting it will be tricky. The piece is moving, and that means someone has it with them."
ID showed a green grid pasted over landscape with a green dot marking the location of the dream crown piece. The dot fumbled around on the map before completely disappearing beyond sight. Suki was familiar with the grid and map system, it wasn't the first time they had hunted someone down to acquire those ever important trinkets.
"With the gizoids, we are very limited in our ability to seek out the dream crown pieces, charging them with the Phykosis Emerald allows them to sense the dream crown piece only temporarily. So we will be using Suki, as you already know. Since she can sense the dream crown parts at any time."
Some of the soldiers looked at Suki, who in return just waved and smiled, blushing a little. She saw a familiar purple bird just roll his eyes as he looked back at the instructor.
"Up to this point, we hadn't sent very many mobians, or humans into this forbidden realm, but now it has become a necessity." He stated enthusiastically. "Whoever has the dream crown piece is hiding it from us, and I don't need to tell you how important it is that we get it. We are not certain what lies in wait for us once we catch them. But we did obtain one picture.
ID flashes a picture of something like a shadow echidna from the Twilight Cage. But this echidna is made out of lava, and a lava beam was proceeding out of his arm- striking the taker of this picture. The splash effects coming up from the bottom of the photograph made a eerie glare. A fate was being portrayed upon them. A fate they wanted to avoid.
"The gizoid that took this pic sent it back via transmission before it was destroyed. We sent three more to back it up, but we were not able to recover it.
"So that's what happened." Suki heard someone say from within the crowd. She wasn't sure who it was, it sounded like it might be Jake, a crow she was familiar with from previous missions. But she couldn't say for sure.
"As you know, the Ifrit Dimension is very hot, and although your bodies can withstand the high temperature fairly well, we are taking precautions. Each one of you has been granted an ice ring gathered from our last mission. You can use it to keep someone alive who comes in contact with the lava. I recommend that you keep the rings in your mini packs until you are ready for them." He added.
Suki looked at the table in front of her. There was the mini pack that she had seen earlier. Now she would get to see what was inside. As she opened it and pulled it out, she met a beautiful, white, blue ring glowing with arctic power. It let off a cold aura that was ideal for a mission such as this. It would be great in the event of an emergency. Possibly even saving a person's life.
"I only have one thing to say to you all." The instructor finished. "Don't split up into very small of groups. Stick together as much as you can, I don't want these. . . creatures to single you out and kill you as they did our first unfortunate gizoid. There aren't very many of these lava creatures. They are few in number, that is why they want you to be foolish and venture out on your own. Does everyone understand?" The instructor asks presumptuously.
. . . .
"Good." He stated. Happy to hear no complaints. "Let's warp." And with that, he turned around and began walking for the door.
Warp time. Suki thought as she slipped on the mini pack as she had been instructed earlier. Everyone poured out of the briefing room and into the warping hall. The hall was dark, lit with blue lights at the bottom, and red lights at the top. It was almost like entering a theater, but this was no show. Shortly, they all came into the warp room itself. A larger room found at the top of the base.
A single warp ring lay in the center of the room. Floating in space and beckoning for adventurers. A haze came off the edges of it's orange matter, wanting to make hot those who entered it. Taking them to a dungeon, from which they may not return.
"Let's go." Said Jake as he lead everyone forward. The commander of this entire operation.
"Yeah yeah." Said the purple bird from earlier as he walked up behind him. Jake's companion and number two. A character whom Suki knew but did not enjoy.
The ring lit up and slowed it's spinning to a halt. An eminence began to come from it's material, like a glow so soft, yet brimming with gold. The portal was clear, and you could see through to the other side, but it rippled like water if touched within the center. Suki took a deep breath as everyone prepared to come in.
"Come on, what are you waiting for?" Jake asked with a smirk crawling up his beak. "We don't have time for stalling!" And he jumped in. His remark almost making Suki laugh, they all piled in after him. Suki had done this before, but it was still really zanny.
As she entered, it felt like she was soaked by water. Lava surrounding her at all sides. It was as if she were traveling through some kind of a glass tunnel, which kept the amazing and yet harmful material just outside. Everything got darker, and consciousness started fading away as she moved further throughout the void. It was as if. . . She were entering a dream. But without having to close her eyes. Soon, the very last bits of senses started to fade away, and Suki felt as though she had fallen asleep. She knew she would awaken on the other side with a mission on her mind. Now it was merely getting to it.
Finally, she fell into unconsciousness. Suki. . . was on her way.