Sonic GeneX - The Series: Chaos Tournament!
Episode 10 - The Chosen
Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA and
Sonic Team. You knew that, right?
GeneX and related fanchars are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.
Previously on Sonic GeneX...
I'm Omochao, and I'm here to bring you up to speed on the Tournament of Chaos, Sponsored by GUN! Designed by Illusi as a test of worthiness for the Chaos Relics, the first round of the tournament was a battle round, with 100 competitors duking it out to get to the second round! Some matches were funny, others pretty tense, and at the end, 50 competitors were left for round 2, a road race! Only 20 racers could move on to round 3, and the competition was fierce! In the end, Blaze won the race, with the other finalists including Shadow, Jet, Tails, Copter, Knuckles, Punchy, Zavok, Lucky, Tabitha, Metal Sonic, Shade, Felicia, Heather, Cream, Conan, Lospecter, Katie, Amy and Tommy!
Round 3 turned out to be a maze of illusions created by Illusi. Whoever claims each Chaos Relic shall win it! After defeating Zavok in the maze, Knuckles became the first winner, and got the Chaos Claws! There are 8 Relics left, who will be their lucky owners!?
I know this isn't Tournament news, but during the race, Sonic found his long-missing Uncle Chuck, who had been robotisized by Dr. Eggman! Now Sonic's gotta find a way to cure him! But first, he, Omega, Silver and Mighty have to escape a trap set by Firepaw at Eggman's old base!
Now, let's begin today's story!
Lucky the cat found himself at a hall resembling an echidna temple. At the end, the Chaos Sword awaited. "Wait... I found one?? Me? Me-yow!! I never expected to WIN this thing!" Lucky stammered. "Then might I suggest you stand down and let me take my rightful destiny?" Arriving behind him was Conan the raccoon, the former owner of the blade. Lucky looked at him awkwardly. "Well... I'd rather not fight you..." he said. "Smart boy..." Conan smirked, stepping past him. The hall suddenly became dark, and a wicked cackle rang through the darkness. "I'm afraid the power of this blade is too good for mere mortals such as yourselves!" taunted Tabitha as she emerged from the blackness, somehow already in front of Lucky and Conan! The raccoon tried to charge past her. "Once I have my sword, we'll see who's the mortal!!" he shouted. Tabitha smirked and hurled a sparking spell at the raccoon, only for Lucky to dive into its path! "Nooo!!" he cried! A bright light surrounded both Lucky and Conan, protecting them from Tabitha's spell! "Gah!? That black cat... Has an utterly pure heart?? What jokes the fates play!" Tabitha sneered. Conan looked around the protective field of light, and decided to make a break for the sword. "Distract her, would you?" he snickered. Tabitha once again hurled a spell at Conan, but this time he jumped to avoid it! "I can't harm the cat with simple spells, but I can still finish you off!" the witch crowed. Conan started to leap and dodge as she flung spell after spell at him. He had no way of fighting back without his sword. He wouldn't risk his picture frame against magic the way he had against the Battle Bird Armada's weaponry. Fortunately, he didn't have to. As Tabitha prepared to hurl two deadly spells at Conan at once, hoping to cut off his escape, Lucky stepped into her path again, this time brandishing the Chaos Sword! Swinging it, he repelled her magic and knocked it back! Her spells struck her, and she screamed before vanishing! "I'll be baaaack!!" she yelled as she disappeared. Lucky then turned to Conan, a stunned look on both their faces. "It... it called to me..." Lucky stammered. With that, the cat vanished from the maze as well, likely arriving back outside the temple the same as Knuckles. Conan was still there, however, and struck the wall in frustration before resuming his search. "Very well... The sword wasn't helping Emily anyway... I'll find another..." he muttered.
Shade the echidna and Heather the phoenix were traversing the maze together, hoping there'd be strength in numbers. They found themselves in a corridor that brought back memories of Shade's time in the Twilight Cage. The place resembled the Nocturne, her former home! "I don't like this... This place is in my head..." the echidna murmured. "Got something to hide? Heather... It's been a while..." The phoenix gasped and turned to find Mephiles the Dark following them! "You!? No... You're an illusion!" Heather stammered. "Yet the maze sees fit to bring me here. You miss me... Don't you? Our bond as Solenix... We could have been GODS!!" Mephiles roared. Shade was faced with a similar problem on the other side. Imperator Ix was standing in her path. "Shade... You've failed your people! We're all dead... Murdered by Enerjak! And it's your fault!" he snarled. Shade looked clearly saddened as she remembered the fate of her comrades. "...I was knocked off of Angel Island... What could I have done? Heck, being an illusion, I figure you don't know any more details than I do." she sighed. "I know you blame yourself plenty, for why else would I be here? Now, take your punishment!" Ix roared. Mephiles chuckled. "Yes, I will punish you for breaking our bond, Heather..." Then, Mephiles Biters and Nocturnus Marauders filled the corridor! Shade began to awkwardly fight the illusory ghosts of her comrades, while Heather desperately tossed fireballs at the biters. "I don't want to fight you, my friends! Please, it was Ix who led us to ruin!" she pleaded. Heather turned and grabbed Shade's arm. "They can't hear you... Shade, let's switch! It'll be easier!" she suggested. Glancing at the Mephiles Biters, Shade knew she was right. She went at the monsters with her leech blades, while Heather poured the flames at the illusory echidnas, rapidly making them vanish. She had no remorse for those ghosts, and Shade had no fear of the monsters, so they made short work of each other's demons, and then Ix and Mephiles vanished. Following that, the corridor turned into an echidna temple, and they found the Chaos Gauntlets. "Who gets them?" Shade wondered. Heather backed away. "You, Shade... I feel I have enough power. Mephiles was right. I could've been a god with him. I don't need MORE power." Nodding, Shade accepted the Chaos Gauntlets, and the pair was transported out of the maze as "the Gauntlets" spoke to the echidna. "You have chosen this power. Guard it well, and protect the weak..."
Amy, Cream and Felicia continued together and soon came to a shrine-like passageway ending with the Chaos Cards resting on a pedestal. Something was off, however. The walls were covered in slimy goop...which was slowly moving. "...You think this is part of the test?" Felicia asked. "I don't like it..." Cream shivered. "Don't worry, girls. I'm here!" Turning around, the girls saw Shadow. However, something seemed off about him, too. "Shadow? Uh... You sound...chipper..." Amy muttered, "You're not Kosmo, are you?" she growled, raising her hammer. Shadow smirked. "Worse, I'm afraid..." he said, his body melting away as he was revealed as Loskeletor! "Eeeek!! Gross!" Cream yelped as she hid behind Amy. Lospecter popped up from behind Loskeletor, too. "Don't worry about Shadow, friends; Loskeletor just helped himself to some ultimate life DNA last year when he was undercover as the bat lady... Had to use it now or it'd 'expire', you know." he chuckled, "Now, let me collect my cards and maybe we'll let you go..." he said. Amy glared at him. "They're not yours yet, Casper!" she growled. Cream shivered as bloblike losol started to drop from the walls. "A-a-amy!!" she whimpered. Lospecter sighed. "Are too mine, I found them hidden in Pumpkin Hill first, nya nya na-na nya! So... Laser-eye them, 'skelly!" he ordered, flying after the cards while Loskeletor gazed threateningly at Amy. "And thus falleth the curtain on your tournament..." he sneered, blasting her hammer to pieces with his laser-eyes! "Uh...oh... This is a problem..." Amy gulped as she hastily grabbed another hammer and went to battle the shifty skeleton. Meanwhile, Cream and Felicia chased after Lospecter, trying to avoid the losol as they went. "We can't let you take those cards, Mr. Ghost!" Cream shouted. "Oy, I'm gettin' scolded by a cuddly wabbit. Save me from the cute!" Lospecter said mockingly. "Hey! Don't we at least get a quiz?!" Felicia shouted. "This bland persona ill befits you, wolfie. Hope you get your memory back soon!" Lospecter quipped. Cream gasped as she stepped on a losol and felt it pulling on her, sucking at her very soul! "H-help meee!!" she cried. Felicia turned. Amy was busy, so she rushed to Cream's aid. She tried pulling, but the creature wouldn't let go. "...Cream... Run. There's only one thing to do..." Felicia sighed, looking almost at peace as she thrusted both her feet into the slimy creature and pushed Cream away! The losol shifted its focus to Felicia, freeing Cream. "Noo!! Now you'll...!" Cream gasped. However, just before Lospecter could touch the Chaos Cards, a light surrounded them, and they leapt to Felicia! Their light frightened off the losol and Loskeletor, and Felicia heard a voice. "Your sacrifice is proof of your worthiness. The Chaos Cards are best charged to your compassionate soul..." Felicia then vanished from the maze, but Lospecter looked oddly calm. "Fera... I can live with that. Ooookay, time to shop for my new toy!" he said, floating away. Amy and Cream panted in exhaustion. "Let's quit..." Amy sighed. "Well, the race was fun, anyway..." Cream smiled.
Racing down a path resembling the upper floors of Darkegg Fortress, Jet and Metal Sonic were competing to see who would reach the next Chaos Relic first. Punchy was chasing behind them, panting as he pushed his feet to their limit in order to keep them in sight. "If I knew we could...bring stuff like Extreme Gear in here... Maybe I'd have prepared for this!!" the echidna angrily panted. "What's that? All I can hear is you EATING MY DUST!!" Jet taunted. Metal Sonic turned and fired an electric blast at Jet, shorting out his board and knocking him down! "Both of you are insignificant! Once I've powered up with a Chaos Relic, nothing will stop me!" the robot declared. Suddenly, the corridor went dark, as though the electric blast managed to short out the lights as well. However, not even Metal Sonic's glowing eye monitor could be seen in this blackness. This was a different kind of dark. "Shoot! Well, I guess walking's better if I can't see..." Jet groaned. "My sensors can still track the relic! ...Uungh!!" Metal Sonic groaned as he walked right into a wall. The maze was an illusion, and Metal Sonic couldn't detect it. Punchy stumbled into Jet as he tried to keep moving. "Watch it!" the hawk growled. "What is it with Illusi and darkness!?" Punchy groaned. Just then, he heard Rainbow call out to him. "One!? One, are you there? I think I found it!" Looking towards the voice, Punchy could see Rainbow clearly, a light seeming to emanate from her. Jet and Metal Sonic pushed past Punchy, heading the other way. "Where's that voice?? Did someone bring backup??" Jet grumbled. "Sensors jammed... What is wrong with this place??" Metal Sonic growled. They couldn't see the light, only Punchy could. He hurried to Rainbow, and she led him to the pedestal where the Chaos Boots awaited. "I should give them to you, Rainbow. You're my light...you always lead me right. Plus, y'know, you found 'em." he muttered. Rainbow kissed his cheek, blushing. "I lost the race, One. You take 'em." she smiled. As light returned to the halls, Jet and Metal Sonic were startled as Punchy sped in and ran circles around them using the speed of the Chaos Boots! "Ha ha! Eat your heart out, Sonic!!" Punchy chuckled. "Rrrrr... NO FAIR!! That should've been mine!!" Jet yelled. Punchy and Rainbow were then transported out of the maze as Punchy heard the voice acknowledge him as the Boots' new owner. Rainbow hugged him once outside. "Now that that's over, we can start planning that wedding...right, One?" she giggled. Gunner stood nearby with a sour look. "Hey, how come it was cheating for the Zeti to all go in but not for him to bring his...mate?!" he asked. Illusi glanced at him. "Rainbow didn't try to hurt anyone. I'd pull certain monsters out of the maze, but the shrine won't let me... Probably can't get a fix on them due to their lack of souls..." he muttered. "All I see is a double standard..." Gunner scoffed.
Blaze the cat found herself seemingly outside the maze. She was walking along a high cliff, overlooking a city. "...How did I get here?" she wondered, shivering to be so high up, "Ugh, I hate heights..." A ledge jutting out from the cliff held the pedestal where the Chaos Crown was kept. "...No, this is part of the maze..." Blaze realized. Emerging in front of the pedestal, a shadow resembling Blaze appeared, its glowing red eyes fixed on her. "Are you worthy of the power you seek?" the shadow asked. Blaze approached, and gasped as she saw the city below bursting into flames...familiar flames. She backed up a step, breathing hard. "I-it's only...an illusion..." she whispered to herself. "Oh, it's real. It's your real nightmare! A world in flames... I wonder, did you cause it?" the shadow mused. "No! Shut up!" Blaze shouted. "Still, I sense guilt in these dreams... You can't hide the truth from the Dream King!" the shadow proclaimed as the flames climbed the ledge, and a monster could be seen amidst the fire, savoring the destruction. Blaze sighed. "My efforts didn't make any difference... Iblis lives on... within me..." she said, and began to move forward towards the crown. "But this burden was my choice. I will control my flames... They won't control me!" she declared, passing the dream king and taking the Chaos Crown from its pedestal. Her surroundings changed into an echidna temple, and she heard the voice of Tikal in her mind. "Take great care... The immortal power of the crown can corrupt one's heart. Don't share the fate of its previous owner..." Blaze nodded, and turned while holding the crown, only to gasp as a different shadow came barreling toward her down the corridor! The shadow had taken the shape of the villainous Darkseeker, Howler, and let out a snarling groan as he clawed for the crown, only to vanish inches away from Blaze! The cat shuddered. "Another burden... But I'm strong enough. This world won't fall like my first one..." she whispered as she was transported out of the maze with the other Chaos Relic chosen ones thus far. Three still remained.
Tommy the porcupine had somehow made it this far, as did Katie the coyote. Realizing they'd largely been coasting by on luck, the two of them found each other in the maze and traveled together. Soon, they found the corridor leading to the Chaos Key, sitting on its pedestal. "Wow! I can't believe we found one!" Tommy gasped. "This'll be a heck of a story!" Katie said excitedly as the duo headed for the key. However, bats suddenly dropped down from the ceiling and swarmed them! Not ordinary bats; These were losoar! Lospecter emerged through the wall as Katie and Tommy tried to shoo the bats away. "Now THIS is a big win for me! Ol' Illoser's key, plus two souls to melt down into losol!" Lospecter said darkly. Katie and Tommy valiantly fought the losoar, but there were too many, and soon one of the bats had knocked Tommy down! "No! G-get away from him!" Katie shouted, leaping in front of the young porcupine while the bats charged them! "Yeeeah, this oughta be good!" Lospecter smirked. Just as it looked like the pair were finished, Chaos Spears flew into the corridor, shooting several of the bats out of the sky as Shadow sped onto the scene! "Hey, I thought your disguise ran out, Loskeletor..." Lospecter muttered. "What was that!?" Shadow growled threateningly, tossing a spear at one of the straggler losoar as they tried to flee. Lospecter backed away. "Hey, pop quiz! What's the power of the Chaos Key?" Lospecter asked, quickly snatching the key up! Shadow moved to give chase, but Lospecter quickly turned the key, opening a portal in front of him and escaping! "Time's up! We'll play some more next time, kiddies!" he shouted as he disappeared into the closing portal. Shadow grunted. "That's probably gonna come back to bite us..." he said, turning to the nervous Katie and Tommy. "...I'll escort you to safety. Hmph... Kids shouldn't have entered this thing..." he grumbled. "Hey, we beat YOU here!" Katie pointed out. "...Wish you hadn't, I bet." Shadow retorted as they started on their way. Tommy sighed. "Still a good story, I guess..." he muttered, making Katie smile.
Conan scrambled through the maze, becoming desperate as the relics were disappearing from the maze. His surroundings shifted to resemble a hospital, halls lined with patient rooms twisting in all directions and stretching out seemingly forever. He had an unpleasant look as he hurried along, trying to find something, ANYTHING. The sound of a voice in the distance stopped him in his tracks. "Conan...help me..." A startled look crossed over his face. "...Emily?? Where are you!?" he called, his new purpose to find the source of the voice. He heard her calling, crying out for help, but look as he might, he could not find her. "Emily!! Don't stop calling! I'm here... where are you!? EMILY!!" Conan screamed, anguish in his voice as he stumbled over his cape and collapsed, sobbing as he sat there. "Cruel illusion... She cannot be here..." he growled. "She can't be anywhere..." a voice responded. Conan looked up to see the red-eyed shadow of himself...the Dream King. "She is dead. It seems your nightmare is all too real." he mused. Conan stood up, glaring at the shadow. "I can change our fate! All I need are the relics!" he shouted. "Your task may be beyond completion. Do you dare defy prophecy and take them from the chosen? Your actions may imperil the world..." the Dream King warned. Conan snarled. "The world can kiss my tail!!" he screamed, lunging at the Dream King! The shadow tripped him, but he got right back up and started punching at the Dream King, determined to make his point even without a Chaos Relic to aid him. The Dream King matched his every move, chuckling. "What's the point of success if your love will only burn in the apocalypse?" he taunted. "I WILL save Emily!! Nothing is going to stop me! Not prophecy, not damnation, and not you!!" Conan shouted, leaping and kicking at the Dream King, passing right through his shadowy form and emerging at an echidna shrine, where the golden cape known as the Chaos Wing waited on a pedestal. Conan looked around in bewilderment. "Go on then... Challenge fate. I look forward to watching you try." the Dream King's voice rang out. Conan nodded, and left behind his old cape in order to slip on the Chaos Wing. "I will be master of Chaos... and I will save you, Emily!" he declared as he was transported out of the maze.
The final relics in the maze were the Chaos Tailbands. They were contained in a room resembling their former resting place at the Chaos Shrine, and soon a familiar scene played out as Tails and Copter arrived. "Back off, Tails! If they can only go to one of us, the tailbands are mine! They were always mine!" Copter warned. Tails looked at him with concern. "Is power really so important to you? ...I saw how rough you got with your own girlfriend back in round one." he stated. Copter grunted, not answering. Then, a growl was heard from outside. "I'm afraid I can't let either of you take those..." Flying into the room came Guard the gargoyle, swiping his scythe at Copter as he entered and forcing the fox to duck! Tails stood in the gargoyle's way. "I definitely can't let Gunner have them!" he shouted. "Grrr? He can't even use them. He's got no tail." Guard grunted. "He could build you some band-worthy tails, android!" Copter retorted, and whipped his tails at the distracted gargoyle's back! "Graaah!! I'll fight you both!!" Guard roared, swinging his scythe at Tails to fire an energy beam at him before turning his attention to Copter! Tails flew over the blast and hurried to Copter's aid, kicking the gargoyle as he dropped! "Grrah!! Now I see where Copter gets his annoying streak!" Guard grunted, lashing his pointed tail at Tails while he hurled an energy blast at Copter! The black fox smirked. "Have fun, you two! Chaos Whirlwind!!" he shouted, blowing them both backward with a chaotic wind that left Guard landing on top of Tails! "Ooof!! I-I was helping you, Copter!" Tails stammered as his clone approached the tailbands. "And I appreciate that. Thanks for enabling me to get what's mine..." he said, reaching his hand toward the golden bands. However, his own black shadow suddenly emerged in front of him and smacked him back with a tail whip! "Ooof!! Y-you! The Dream King!!" Copter gasped. The Dream King glared at him. "Your heart is changed... You are not worthy of the power you crave!" he declared. As Tails and Guard stood up, the gargoyle lunged toward the tailbands, only to also be repelled by the Dream King. "You seek this power for another... Begone." he stated. Finally, Tails approached. "Shadow Tails? I should've guessed you'd be here..." the fox sighed. The Dream King moved aside, allowing Tails to claim the tailbands. "You...are the true chosen one!" the Dream King proclaimed. "N-noooo!!" Copter cried as all competitors and Guard were transported out of the maze, the Tournament of Chaos having concluded. "...Such a pity...Dark Fox..." the Dream King sighed, vanishing.
Sonic, Silver, Mighty, Omega and the robotisized Uncle Chuck made their way through the basement of Eggman's Eggtopia base, taking out the remaining robots that stood guard there, mainly Egg Pawns. Firepaw's face taunted them from monitors positioned throughout the area, ever aware of their location. "Meowr! Run, run, run! You'll never escape from here!" he laughed. Omega blasted one of his monitors, but it didn't discourage him one bit. "That's not helpful. Can you like, scan for an exit or something?" Mighty asked. "...Are you being humorous, or are you just a fool?" Omega replied. Sonic sped back quickly from somewhere ahead of them. "I think I've found an elevator! We can get back upstairs!" he stated. "Good... I'm tired of using my powers to hold your uncle still..." Silver grunted as Chuck growled. They followed Sonic through the base, soon finding the rather large doors of the elevator Sonic spoke of. "Looks like a GUN tank could fit into that thing..." Mighty muttered. As the doors opened, they realized why it was so big. A huge, robotic octopus was sitting in the elevator, piloted by Metal Eggman! "Hey! We wrecked you!" Sonic shouted. "No...that was the fake Eggman. I am the real Eggman!!" Metal Eggman exclaimed. Firepaw sighed. "Why'd the doc rebuild that nut? He should've given me a robot body! Meowr..." he complained. Metal Eggman sent the Octo-bot crawling out of the elevator towards the group. "I was just taking my Octoegg for a walk by the harbor! ...This is totally not ripped off from Boom Eggman's Squidbot." he stated. Sonic rolled his eyes, and Omega started firing at the robot. "I don't care! Eggman must be destroyed!!" he shouted, only to find the robot bulletproof. "Keep an eye on Chuck!" Sonic told Silver, dashing toward the Octoegg. "Sure. Because I haven't been doing that all day..." Silver sighed. Mighty tucked himself into a ball and joined in charging at the robot, which started lashing its metal tentacles at the group. "Heh! You’re finished this time, Sonic! I'm gonna make sushi out of you and feed it to my Octoegg!! Heh heh heh heh!!" he laughed. "That doesn't make sense, but go ahead and try!" Sonic retorted.
The tentacles picked up Mighty and tossed him at Omega, stunning both of them at once! "Get in my way again and I'll treat you as an enemy!" Omega warned. "Do that at your own risk!" Mighty grunted, frustrated. Meanwhile, Sonic was busy trying to pass the tentacles to get at the Octoegg's vulnerable cockpit, but it had seven more tentacles free to block him from several directions. Sonic tried to approach from different angles, but even his speed couldn't get around them as they covered every side of the machine. "What's wrong, Sonic? Afraid of getting squeezed like a sardine?" Metal Eggman smirked. "Do octopuses even eat sardines?" Sonic asked. "It's pronounced Octopi!" Silver corrected. "Who CARES??" Sonic and Mighty snapped. Omega started firing at the robot again, forcing the tentacles to lash out towards him in an attempt to stop him from targeting the cockpit. Sonic watched this and smirked. "Alright. Mighty, you take him from the other side! I'll help Omega!" he suggested, rushing over as the raging robot was lifted by the Octoegg's tentacles. "Sure, I can't stand Omega anymore anyway..." Mighty said, hurrying behind Metal Eggman. "Is this one of those tired old 'let's keep Eggman so busy that he can't keep up' stratagems? Puh-lease!" Metal Eggman laughed, flipping a lever to spin the Octoegg around, hurling Omega across the room and whipping Mighty with the robot's tentacles as Sonic leaped into the air to avoid them! He landed on top of a tentacle as the machine stopped spinning, and waved at Metal Eggman. "Hello, iron-face!" he grinned. "Oh, scrap..." Metal Eggman frowned before Sonic launched a homing attack at the cockpit, hitting it just right to send the Octoegg crashing to a heap of spare parts! Metal Eggman scrambled out of the ruins of the machine only to run into Omega. "Farewell, Eggman..." the robot said darkly before blasting Metal Eggman's head clean off as he screamed. Firepaw groaned. "Know what? Robot bodies are overrated. Meowr... Bye!" he said before his screens turned off.
Sonic and Mighty looked at Omega unhappily. "We needed him to tell us where the real Eggman was, Omega..." Sonic growled. "The computer will know." Omega stated. "It better! I'm tired of restraining Chuck...So tired..." Silver complained. Just then, the monitors turned back on, this time depicting the real Eggman. "You killed Metal Eggman AGAIN?!" he said indignantly. "This is the fate that awaits you! Where are you!?" Omega shouted. "Hmph... Throwing in with Omega, Sonic... You MUST be desperate! Well, I have no time for your nonsense right now. My plans still have quite a bit of work yet to go before I can properly unveil them to you! Even if you had whole forces of friends to help you, you couldn't stop me this time!" the doctor smirked. "We might test that theory if you don't fix my Uncle Chuck, Eggman!" Sonic warned. Eggman stroked his moustache and held up a big red button. "Tell you what, Sonic. You've been working so hard to uncover even the tiniest scrap of my plans, I'll leave you with a reward. I'll unlock your uncle's free will!" he said, pressing the button! With that, Uncle Chuck blinked a couple times and started to groan. "S-sonic? Why can't I move? Ugh... I feel horrible..." he grumbled. Silver released him, and he fell to his knees, prompting Sonic to race to his side. "Unc! Y-you okay?" he asked. Chuck nodded. "Could use an oil can, but I'm me again..." he muttered. Eggman smirked at them. "Touching reunion. Enjoy it while you can, Sonic! Soon, the world will be my own personal Eggmanland! Hoo ho ho ho ho ho!!" As he laughed, Omega blasted the monitor, ending the conversation. "This is where we part ways, Sonic..." the robot said, heading for the elevator. "Yeah, I'd better be going, too." Silver sighed. Sonic nodded, and he and Mighty helped Chuck stand. "I'm okay, Sonic. Just a tad disoriented..." Chuck stated. Sonic hugged his uncle, tears in his eyes. "Let's get you home, Unc... Then, I promise, we'll stop Eggman and find a way to make you a real hedgehog again." he said. "Glad to be back, sonny..." Chuck smiled, hugging him back. Mighty smiled and joined them as they headed for the elevator. "Great! I'll make dinner! So, do robots eat chili dogs?" he asked. "This robot does!" Chuck smirked. Sonic couldn't help but smile as well. His work wasn't done, but at least he had his family back. For the moment, that was all that mattered.
Most of the tournament winners had gathered outside the Dream Shrine, but Lospecter was gone. Many of the other competitors had started to leave already as well, but some stuck around to see what Illusi had to say in closing. "I congratulate you all on being chosen. The Dream Shrine is a special place, and here the relics were able to choose their masters based on the strength of their hearts... Though I find it a bit concerning the Lospecter has absconded with the Chaos Key..." he stated. Conan scoffed. "I'll find it. And don't get too attached to your relics, fools, for I'll be taking them from you, as well..." he warned, glaring at Lucky and the Chaos Sword. Illusi cleared his throat. "I'd advise strongly against trying that. The powers entrusted to you by the Chaos Relics are strong, corrupting, and not to be used lightly. They can be a source of great hope or great destruction." he warned. "You don't have to tell me...That's why we gave 'em to you!" Knuckles stated. Illusi shrugged. "I decided it's wiser to split them up." he told him, "Now, contest is over... Excuse me..." he mumbled, and headed for Felicia as she turned to leave. "So, you won the cards... Impressive." he said to her. "Hm? Oh, yes... They're all blank, though." she muttered. Illusi chuckled. "You have to know how to use them... Perhaps the two of us can work it out?" he suggested. Felicia looked at him carefully, as though nearly remembering him. "...Perhaps... You're not hitting on me, are you?" she asked, to which Illusi shook his head vehemently. "No, no! I mean, not that you're not lovely... There, um... Age difference." he stammered. Felicia chuckled. "Good. Alright, then..." she smiled, walking off with him. Gunner watched them with disgust. "...I should launch an attack and scoop up these relics... but this tournament's on the books, and GUN would take an ill view of the idea." he snarled, glancing at Guard, "As for you... You'll never see that feline friend of yours again..." he said darkly, turning and walking away. Guard growled back at him. "Rrrr... We'll just see about that..." he grunted quietly.
Copter was there, too, and watched the winners start to leave while sitting on his knees. He punched the ground in his anger. "They've taken... everything...from me!" he growled. He then heard a metallic scuttling behind him. "Look at you. Pitiful." said Cancer as he crawled in front of the fox. Copter glared at him. "You! You dumb bot! You messed with my head! And now look at me! This is your fault!!" he yelled, standing up and lunging at the robot, smashing it to pieces with a tail whip! "Are you alright, Copter??" Tails called to him. He was holding the tailbands, and awkwardly hid them behind his back. Gemini emerged from the woods as well. "Hey? Where's Punchy and Rainbow? How'd everything go?" she asked. Copter stared at them, hesitating to respond. Then, a shadow was cast over him, and someone dropped from the sky beside Cancer's robot parts. "Such anger. You should put that rage to use where it can do some good..." Copter's tails stood on end as he recognized Cancer's voice. Turning around, he met a large vulture with sinister eyes. "It was you...controlling that bot. You're Cancer!" Copter stammered. The vulture nodded. "It was time for me to reveal myself..." he said. "You're Cancer??" Gemini stammered. "Who's Cancer?" Tails asked. The vulture ignored them. "Copter... your power has been taken from you. But I can teach you true power. Come with me, and I will give you the tools so that you may never be hurt again..." he offered, extending his wing to the fox. Tails stepped forward. "Don't do it, Copter... This guy doesn't know what he's talking about. He probably wants to use you like Eggman did!" he warned. Gemini nodded. "You can't avoid hurt with power. Believe me, I know. You've messed up a lot, Copter, but I know you're a good person. You don't need Cancer!" she told him. Copter glanced at them. "I can't be a hero without my tailband..." he sighed. "...You don't have to be. It'll be alright, Copter." Tails said. Cancer chuckled softly. "You don't have to decide now... Consider my offer... Until we meet again, Copter!" he said, flapping his wings and flying away. Tails smiled at Copter and started to walk away. "If you ever need me, just call!" he said in parting. Copter looked to Gemini next. "Why are you even here?" he asked. "Everyone I live with came to this thing. You should be asking why I'm late. Copter... we haven't really talked since you broke up with Violet..." she sighed. He shrugged. "Anything to talk about? You're ashamed of me, she hates me. Katie's back with Chet, so even death turns back to keep me alone." he grumbled. Gemini crossed her arms. "What? Is that a list of your girlfriend options? NOW I'm an option?" she scoffed. Copter's eyes wandered back and forth awkwardly. "Um... I'm not sure what answer you're looking for..." he mumbled. She let out an exasperated sigh. "Maybe you ARE hopeless... Look, you're on the rebound Copter, so take it easy with the dating... Get your head on straight, because this mad obsession with power that you have, that's what makes you end up alone." she said plainly, turning to leave. "...How can I protect those I care for if I'm weak like Tails!?" he shouted. Gemini stopped short. "...It looked to me like Violet needed protecting from YOU before!" she snapped, stomping off. Watching her leave, Copter clutched his heart. "Okay, yeah, I messed up, throw it in my face forever why don't ya..." he grumbled, walking off alone. Still, he was left with a lot to think about. Cancer would be watching...he'd have to make his choices carefully from here...
To be continued... BZZZT ZZZZT... FUN...IS...INFINITE... BZZZT!!!
Copter found Shadow as he made his way through the woods, dejectedly heading home. The hedgehog glanced at him with his arms crossed. "What's your problem?" he grunted. Copter looked at him. "YOU want to know?" he asked. Shadow scoffed. "Not really. You just look pitiful there. It's disgusting." he said with a superior tone. Copter glared at him. "And what's YOUR problem? Pouting 'cuz you didn't win, either?" he smirked. Shadow balked at his assumption. "I don't need a Chaos Relic to make myself worthwhile. I'm the Ultimate Lifeform, remember?" he smirked. Copter made a "blah blah blah" motion with his hand to mock him. "Like you ever let anyone forget that..." he grumbled. Shadow took a step away from Copter, staring up at the moon. "And yet, that Sonic... He has no respect! Everything's all about him! Every crisis is HIS show... I thought for a fleeting moment that maybe his time on the run last year had taught him something... but no. That smug hedgehog doesn't even have the decency to face me in this tournament! It would be too big a blow to his ego to even have a chance at being publicly defeated!" he said, his voice gradually getting louder the angrier he got. Copter rested a hand on his hip and smirked. "Now you're talking my language. I think we both know a bit about disrespect." he said. Shadow turned to him with a growl. "Shut up! You're not my 'Tails', Copter! I don't need a damn sidekick!" he shouted, stomping off on his own. Copter stuck out his tongue. "You'd be MY sidekick!" he said, a bit quietly so as not to pick a fight. He was all too aware that he'd get his tails handed to him without his tailband. And so, Copter headed off on his own in a separate direction. The dark fox and the dark hedgehog, each of them feeling hurt and slighted in their own ways, their minds in vulnerable states. They would try to cool their heads in their ways... but what if it didn't work? Dark forces were moving, that may seek to use the vulnerabilities of ones like these two to their advantage. What would become of them, then?
To be continued... in Sonic Forces!