Puzzle Pieces

Chapter Ten

Coming back to reality, I found myself half laying on the ground and half leaning on the motor cycle. Really bad timing to have flashbacks Cat. Even if they end up helping you. I told myself, pulling myself to my feet. Screams filled the air, my head snapping up in response, ears perked up to the sky. Shit!

"Shadow!?" I called out for him, running towards the crumbling building ahead of me. He came into sight and glanced over at me. I sighed in relief.

"I can't get in. There is a magical seal all around the building. The Commander never mentioned anything about this." He growled lowly.

"Those screams mean we are too late. We should have knocked them off their course and took the kids! We shouldn't have followed them here!" I was upset with how things were playing out.

"Even if we ran them off the road, they could have crashed and killed those kids. They could have shot them. We don't know what they would have done." He continued to investigate the magical barrier.

I focused and used my powers to create an opening through the barrier and into the building. I grabbed onto his wrist and pulled him through, cautiously keeping quiet. I led us down the stairs to where the ritual was taking place. We were just in time to witness the same demonic goop I once had laid eyes upon grab hold of a human being; it twisted and formed with the body, devouring it, taking its shape. The biological goo slipped in through the mouth as they had screamed, it went for their eyes next, crawling in through the smallest of cervices. The ears were subjugated as well. Soon there was nothing left of whom it once had been, and there was now a fully-fledged demon. Dark wings that matched the black of the night spread from his back, matching horns sprouted all along the sides of his skull. His skin was a maroon colour, he lacked any hair, and his eyes were a soulless black.

My leg felt as if it were on fire, where he had once grabbed me, two years ago. A loud snort came from him, a cloud of demonic smoke slipped from his slits for nostrils. One of the cloaked members in the room had stepped forward only to kneel down on one knee, arms out to either side of their body. The other cloaked ones follow suit, showing their respect. The burning in my leg increased, my lips pursed together.

"Fools." The demon spoke, his voice doubled up, his dark and deep. With a wave of his hand the cloaked humans stirred, only to later be seized up; wisps of their life force was drawn out of them and turned from a smoky white to a devil red. The demon devoured their life, I could sense his power becoming stronger, more placed in this world.

The burning caused my vision to blur. I fell to one of my knees; I pulled up my pant leg to discover a burn mark of a hand imprinted into me, my quills singed. I noticed a ripple of movement, a sudden connection to the demon spiralled through me, tugging at my mind, my body, my soul.

Out! I cried. I instantly reacted, without much thought, and slipped my knife out of its sheath. With one swift movement, I sliced off the flesh of my leg that had bonded with his so long ago. Directly after, Shadow's reaction time being a hint too late for him, his hand had grasped my wrist tightly, his other hand prying my knife out of my clutch.

"What the fuck Cat?!" He growled through a low whisper.

"I'll explain later, not now!" I hissed under my breath.

The flesh that I had cut from my leg flailed, twitching in such a way that it wormed its way over to the demon. A twisted smirk formed on his face as the flesh latched onto him and formed into his being, his new body. He cooed, as fangs slipped beyond his lips.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are. My little vessel that slipped away. I can smell you." He breathed in deeply.

I growled lowly, forcing my knife from Shadow, back into my hand; slowly showing myself, blood soaking the rim of my sock and shoe. Shadow watched, his expression slightly confused at first, until a sense of realization washed over him. He seemed to understand what had been going through my mind on the bike, with my flesh.

"You're the one they never found… you're his daughter." He slipped next to me, facing the creature.

"I guess so." I got in a fighting stance.

"Now isn't that nice," the demon scoffed, "Watch as the world burns." He called out, disappearing directly after.

"Where is he going?" Shadow asked me, believing I had the answers.

"I don't know. After I was touched, I woke up at GUN. I don't know why, or how, but I did." I sighed. "Well… we really fucked this one up huh?"

Shadow checked the pulses of the humans, and then took a few pictures with his multi-purpose communicator. He nodded in response and grabbed my hand. "We will fix it. Even if it means getting Faker and his friends involved, who I'm sure, by now, they already are." He reassured me, "Chaos Control!" We were back at GUN, in Abraham's office.

He peered up, "Hmm? Please tell me it went well."

Shadow shook his head and tossed his communicator in front of him. I tensed up, "The demon was unleashed. He is now roaming freely." I breathed out, not wanting to admit it.

He sighed, rubbing his hands into his face, his expression turning distraught. "What happened? How did my two best agents let this happen?" Dread was carried in each word.

"I ended up having badly timed flashbacks… I'm the child you couldn't find two years ago involving this same incident." I muttered.

"I couldn't get into the building due to a barrier I was not able to break. Before that I didn't want to risk running them off the road, just in case they got killed." Shadow grumbled.

For once, the Commander was speechless for a fair amount of time. When he did speak, all he said was, "You're really the daughter of him? He died a year ago." He thought for a moment, "Why are you not human now?"

I shrugged, "Just because I remember, it doesn't mean I have all the answers. Before I was born here, I was created on ARK, so explain that one to me." I muttered. "It's not important now. That creature is."

He nodded, "I know. I'll send out the troops." and he did just that.

"Come, let's go get your Faker." I grabbed onto Shadow's hand.

Despite the small growl of protest, he Chaos Controlled to his home. "Faker!" He yelled out, his tone immediately dark and deadly.

A blue streak zipped down the stairs, stopping in front of Shadow. "What's up Shadow?" He was in one of his signature poses. "Hmm? Hi, I'm Sonic, who are you?" Sonic stared at me.

"Cat. We are here because a demon was set free on the world. A powerful one." I jumped right to the point. Time was of the essence.

"A demon you say? Hey Tails!" He zipped off into another room of the house in which we could not here him.

"I hate him." Shadow grumbled.

I kissed his cheek, "You're just gonna have to be a big boy and deal with it."

He glared at me in response. "I'm not a child." His voice was strict.

"If you say so." I toyed.

The whole gang showed up: Sonic, Tails, Amy, even Knuckles. "Where is this demon?" Knuckles asked, punching one of his fists into his opposite hand.

"We don't know." I replied. "If I were him though, I would be collecting as many human souls as I could to gain in strength and power, so his form becomes more in tune with ours."

"That's not good. We better hurry then!" Sonic dashed out the door, Amy chasing after him, calling for him to wait.

"I'll try to see if I can find anything." Tail pulled out a device and began using it.

"I'll watch over the Master Emerald and insure that he doesn't get his filthy hands on it." He took off out the door.

I grumbled, "Common Shadow." He nodded and left the building with me. We began the search for the creature.

"Do you see anything yet?" I asked Shadow. We were on the top of the highest skyscraper we would find in one of the human cities. I glanced back at him.

"No… Wait, that there." He motioned, taking a step forward.

I walked over next to him, peering into the distance. Faint red wisps of human souls were fluttering to a centralized location over the city. "That must be where he is. We need to stop him, before he gains anymore power."

I spread my vampire wings and grabbed a hold of Shadow. Ensuring I had a tight grip on him, I started flying us over to the location. "I'm contacting the others." He called them on his communicator. Their faces popped up on his small screen.

"Did you find anything?" Sonic asked urgently.

"He is in Station Square. We are approaching now." Shadow stated. The blue blur disappeared off the screen.

"We are on the way!" Tails gave a thumb up before disconnecting from the call. Shadow disconnected as well.

I shuddered as we continued to get closer. I could sense the demonic power radiating off him. My senses all of a sudden caught something heading towards us. I saw a glint of something for a moment and swayed off to the side in the nick of time for the object to miss. With a low growl, the determination to slaughter started to overtake me. I took a breath and refocused, turning my determination towards the true enemy; I will destroy him.

A few more projectiles flew at us, each one I dodged until our destination had been reached. With certain carefulness, I set Shadow down on his feet, catching the next projectile. It was a small horn-like needle. I heard clapping as I set my feet on the ground, slipping away my wings.

"Well done on getting this far. Too bad it will all be in vain. None of your friends, not even you, shall stop me." The demon spoke with ill intentions. His from was becoming more grotesque and large with each soul he devoured. Hair had begun growing on him, more horns protruded from his skin in several areas. His teeth were a sharp, menacing mess of fangs.

Sonic suddenly appeared next to Shadow along with a rush of wind. A low rumble of a plane- the Tornado- could be heard off in the distance as it approached. I smirked at this; I also spotted a few G.U.N. helicopters and land vehicles approaching from both above and below.

The demon laughed, "Even if you have me surrounded, this is not enough." Amusement had consumed his demeanour.

"Why don't we find out for sure then?" Sonic charged at the demon, Shadow and I following suit.

With a snap of his fingers, the demon sent a burst of power through the air, sending us flying backwards. Shadow flipped and burrowed his feet into the building, stopping him from flying over the end. I managed to hold onto the rim of the building, stopping myself from falling. Sonic had been blown off completely. Tail nose-dived, caught him on the top base of the plane, and levelled out quickly, before he had hit the ground. I sighed softly and pulled myself up onto the solid roof of the skyscraper.

With suddenness, the creature flew up into the air creating a powerful gust of wind, threatening to blow us over once more. Without another wasted moment, he darted off into the distance; a G.U.N. helicopter pursued him, firing at him. Each bullet missed, however he slowed down and crashed himself into it. He grabbed hold of the body of the helicopter and forced it to smash into a building, an explosion quickly following, sending debris of the helicopter, and parts of the building in all directions.

"Shadow!" Sonic called out.

Shadow looked over, and nodded, jumping off the building and landing on the tornado. I once again spread my wings and pushed myself into the air. Thrusting myself forward, I slipped up next to the Tornado, ensuring I did not get too close. We pursued him, the Tornado going as fast as it could, and I remained along side it the entire time. I glanced at Sonic and Shadow a few time.

"Hey! Blue one! Shadow!" I called to them, "I hope you both have the other six Emeralds. Here!" I tossed my red Chaos Emerald to them. Shadow skilfully caught it.

"Thanks!" Sonic pulled out the few he had, Shadow pulled out his as well.

"You're going to need all the power you can get." I muttered, my words being lost in the wind.

My eyes narrowed upon our target. I saw a green floating Island past his figure. Angel Island. Is he going for the Master Emerald? I questioned myself as panic settled in my bones. I glanced over to the crew; each one of them had concern evident on their faces. I looked forward just in time to see the creature dive down through the trees. I growled and sped up; within moments, I had reached the island and dived down where I last had seen him. Glancing around I was unable to spot him.

"Stop right there!" I heard Knuckles call out. I could only assume he was talking to the demon.

I darted towards his voice, finding myself in a clearing, the Master Emerald on its rightful pedestal. The demon had approached Knuckles; in turn, Knuckles had lunged at him, throwing his fist towards him. I rushed towards the two, catching the demon's arm before he had the chance to slap knuckles away as if he were a fly. Knuckles fist hit him hard; I held onto the demons arm, slipped my knife from my side, and stabbed between the flesh of his arm and shoulder. I drug my knife down and in a circle, ripping his arm off. I turned, his arm instantaneously growing back, lashing out at me. Just before it could strike my chest, he was blown back into a surrounding tree, Shadow now standing where the creature once had been, small spots of blood staining the grass. The arm that had been torn off, and still grasped firmly in my hands slowly turned into ash.

Sonic dashed beside us, "Looks like we are going to need to do something either than try to destroy him." Sonic rubbed his nose for a moment.

"Send him back to where he came from, or erase him from existence. Sound good?" I asked.

Shadow nodded, tossing the emeralds he had into air, Sonic doing the same. They spun around us, their energy filling us. We all closed our eyes, accepting them, allowing ourselves to be transformed into our super forms. Sonic glowed with gold, his eyes a dark red colour; Shadow a white-gold, his eyes remaining the same along with his stripes. I turned approximately the same colour as Shadow, my wings being replaced with a mist that glowed red.

The demon pulled himself from the foliage, a low rumble of anger exploded from his chest. Sonic and Shadow darted towards him first, attacking him from multiple sides, trying to keep him busy. I looked to Tails, wondering what sort of gadgets he happened to have on him.

"Fox, happen to have anything that could rip open time and space and create a portal?" I asked him.

"Working on it!" He called back, landing his plane.

I joined in the fight, interjecting my attacks when I knew it was safe, but let Shadow and Sonic do most of the work. They had a rhythm, and I was unsure how to fit into it, without causing the beat to fall out of place. All of a sudden, Sonic was kicked into the ground; Shadow was caught off guard and was punched back with such a force it sent him through a few trees; this left me. I dashed towards him, ready to land a blow, and suddenly he moved out of the way faster than my attack could reach him. Instead, a solid blow to my gut caused me to topple to the ground, my body threatening to vomit, my air cut off from my lungs for a brief moment.

I forced myself to my knees, one hand to my gut, the other gripping the grass. I searched for our foe, finding him knocking back Knuckles, badly damaging him once more. The demon grabbed the Master Emerald, I heard a faint chant of a few words, the Master Emerald began to darken, a black mist forming in its center, tainting it. A wave of red energy bursts came from the Emerald, the sky turned dark, a miasma of unnatural clouds hanged over the world. A crimson glow from the land in the distance as well as the ocean started; it split the world open, different species of demons poured through by the thousands. I started to feel weak; the Chaos energy within me was being drained. I looked to my arms, my glowing fur turned back into its regular tan coloured state. I looked over at Sonic who was pulling himself out of the ground; his quills turned blue. I then peered at Shadow, his quills now black; he was pushing some tree branches off him.

A grim feeling took hold for a moment, but then I noticed Knuckles' figure crawling up behind from the Demon. With a swift punch to the Master Emerald, it shattered, the dark mist pouring out and dissipating into the air as the emerald shards shot across Mobius. The portal the multitudes of monsters were climbing out of sealed up, however the toxic clouds still remained. The demon was about to turn his attention to Knuckles, but I tossed one of my throwing knives at him, sticking him right where a human heart would be. Now, his attention was on me.

"Come get the one who delayed you return." My voice was calm, my words held a chill. He removed the knife from his chest and let it drop to the ground, the tip of the blade sinking into the soft dirt. I flew towards him with great speed.

The demon smirked, flying at me as well. We clashed, slicing at one another with everything we had in the sky. Sonic and Shadow tossed one another into the sky, using one another's bodies as tools to stay off the ground to occasionally swipe at and distract the demon. Once the demon had enough of their annoyance, he flew up high enough so that they were unable to reach. I however, flew up with him, not letting him escape.

Once he had stopped to hover, I kept going, trying to land a blow on him; he twisted in the sky and grabbed hold of my wing, dragging me down with him. A loud snap and an excruciating pain burned from my wing, spreading throughout my body. I cried out a little, trying to get free of his grasp, trying to fly once more. I was unable to move my wing.

It's broken! He broke my wing! My thoughts echoed in my head with anger. I twisted my body to see what we were falling to. The ocean roared below; I can't swim well! I'll drown if I landing the water!

I grabbed a hold of the demon, refusing to let my grip slip. We swooped down, just above the ocean; a large wave temporarily consumed us, before he flew out the other side of it. He tried to shake me off; however, I only gripped tighter. One of my hands slipped so I pulled a separate, smaller knife out and swung myself at his body and dug my knife into the back of his shoulder to hold on. He grunted and flew back towards the island, only this time he slammed my into the rocks just below the solid land, his hand wrapped tightly around my neck. As he choked me, he used his free hand to pull out my knife and stabbed it into my wing, right where the break in the bone had been created.

He laughed as my measly grunts of pain entertained him. "I could do this all day. Watching all of you suffer as this world is transformed into our new, twisted home." He tightened his grip on my neck.

I fought to breathe, my vision begging to become blurry from the lack of oxygen. I managed to catch a glimpse of the Tornado. A few bullet shot towards us with precision, hitting the demon, and only him, causing his grip to loosen. I fell, coughing, breathing once more, the air spinning me due to my damaged wing. Arms wrapped around me, breaking my fall. I dizzily looked at them, discovering they were Sonic's, and that we were firmly planted on the Tornado.

Tails flew back to the island, swooping close to the ground; Sonic hopped to the ground, setting me down once we were on solid ground. I inspected my wing and pulled out the knife, blood squirting out for a brief moment. I wiped the blade against my shirt then slipped it back into its holster. I took in a deep breath and used my multitude of powers to fix, and heal my wing completely.

"Are you okay?" Shadow was terribly concerned for my well-being.

I gave him a weak smile as he helped me to my feet, "I've been better…" I looked for our enemy, setting my sights on him high above us. I slipped off my inhibitor rings, letting massive amounts of raw Chaos energy escape me, and handed them to Shadow. "Take care of these for me."

"Cat." Saying my name was all he needed, I understood how he felt, what he wanted.

I just ruffled the quills on his head for a moment before spiralling into the sky, reaching the level in which our enemy had taken refuge. He smirked, ready for more action; he held his arm straight out, muttering a few demonic words. I kept my guard up, readying myself for what was coming. A red light formed vertically where is hand was, a spear forming for him. He grasped it with a hand then extended the point towards me. A moment later, he lunged for my torso. I dodged and began trying to kick, punch, or even tackle him; his summoned spear blocked all of it.

Before I knew it, he had lured me out over the wide-open ocean, Angel Island hovering a couple thousand yards off in the distance. The defensive and offensive roles switched between us multiple times, dragging on into a bloody-red sunset. My body was weakening, my energy was running low, and my breathing had turned into tired pants. I had decided that it was time to end this, despite wanting to avoid this method of destruction. The next time he had lunged his spear towards me, I let it stab through the middle of my chest. The demon smiled wickedly, believing he had won. I grabbed onto him coughing up blood.

"Chaos Obsidian." I called, using the last of my power.

The creatures smile disappeared, as his flesh turned into a glass-like crystal. His arms and legs were the first to go, then to his torso, his wings and head followed after. We fell towards the ocean once his wings had seized up. The moment after the crystal had taken his body, it had shattered into dust, wiping him from all of existence. The staff began to crystallize. I closed my eyes, too weak to do anything.

I looked around, the field that Shadow and I had discovered, the one that appeared from a rip in time-space, was my surroundings. I spun around, the Professor and Maria stood there, seemingly waiting. I was taken aback from this, wondering what they were doing there, and then remembering that they were dead.

"My child, we have been watching over you, as well as Shadow." The professor spoke softly.

"Thank you for trying to protect the world, along with everyone on it." Maria smiled softly.

"When that demon touched you, we used what little essence we had left in that world to transport you, and change you back to your original form. We never meant for you to lose your memory. We're sorry, we just wanted to protect you." The professor explained, his words remained gentle and soothing.

"Thank you for protecting me but why am I here, now?" I asked them.

"We cannot stop the crystal that you made from consuming you; however, since you are immortal, not even you have the capabilities of destroying yourself. We are keeping your body safe, along with your spirit, and perhaps that connection has brought you here, even if it is for a short time." He stated.

I hugged him tightly as I started to feel their presence fade, the visuals blurring out of sight.

I looked to the sky, my body stiff; a small smile formed on my lips. The crystal washed over my eyesight, it being the last thing I could see before the darkness took over.

The water cradled Cathy's body that was encapsulated in crystal. It swept her along the stormy currents until the waves nestled her safely in a dark, air-pocketed cave. The cave glowed blue due to the water. Two soft blue glowing mushrooms illuminated her crystal stasis keeping her company as she slept. The spear that had pierced her body shattered into dust. The crystal healed her wounds and built her strength, but she remained, trapped, and comatose.


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