Dawn relished the feeling of the wind blowing through her quills. She drove through a lush jungle, the surroundings reminding her of the forest back home. In the distance stood tall mountains adorned in greenery, along with what looked like watchtowers, placed evenly apart.
Dawn slowed the Purple Lighting to a stop when she came to a massive, abandoned-looking factory. The exterior was covered in growing weeds and vines. She pressed the button on the motorcycle's handle bar, and it converted into a serrated gauntlet fitting snugly on her right arm-said button was now visible on the back of the palm. Despite its shape and material, she felt no extra weight, mostly thanks to her inherited super strength.
"Handy." she said to herself.
Using her knuckle spikes, Dawn cut away the wall of vines and flora blocking the entrance, and the sliding doors opened to let her in. She now stood in a maze of tunnels, with water running across the floor. In any direction, there were long hallways ending at doors to other rooms.
"Hmm, wish I knew which way to go." she said to herself. "I guess I'll just pick a path and see where it takes me."
So she headed towards her chosen destination. As she walked through the layer of water, her thoughts drifted back to her mother. If he were here, Sonic would be afraid of the water. But Dawn didn't mind it-in fact, she loved it. A memory from a few summers ago came back to her.
She was at the community pool with her parents and friends. She paddled around the deep section of the pool, stroking effortlessly, like a graceful sea creature. She dove under and resurfaced at the corner where her mother sat on a folding chair, far from the pool's edge.
"Come on it, Mom!" she said. "You know you can just hang around the shallow section."
"No way, Dawn." Sonic said. "I've had a couple of close calls with water over the years. I'm never going near it again."
Dawn had rolled her eyes at the time, but at home later that evening, Sonic explained the seriousness of his close calls-once during a fight with Eggman, and twice while traveling through a dark, twisted dimension. Both times Sonic had nearly been killed. Dawn felt sorry for her mother hearing this, and swore never to push the issue with his fear of water again.
Dawn opened the door to some kind of maintenance room. Several machines were out of order or broken down, but one or two still looked to be in working conditions. Her instincts telling her not to tamper with them, she exited the room and faced yet another tunnel. After traversing the maze, she came to a mostly collapsed staircase. Whole sections of steps were gone completely, but the landings remained.
Dawn spindashed up the staircase-the long gaps not discouraging her-and came to a large, bright room. Before she could take a look around, however, a strong blast sounded to her left, followed by an explosion that destroyed the wall. Dawn dove away from it and came up to one knee as she faced the disturbance. Her eyes narrowed with anger as she saw who it was.
"Why, hello, sunshine!" Eggman flew through the opening in his Eggmobile.
"Eggman!" Dawn growled. "Mom's told me all about you!"
"I'll bet he has. And I, at last, have the pleasure of facing his daughter in battle!" Several Crab Bots and Motobugs crawled in through the remains of the wall. "I hope you're ready for this, little girl. Your parents aren't here to help you!"
"I won't need their help. I've been practicing for this for years."
"We'll see about that. Robots, get her!"
The Badniks advanced on Dawn, but they posed no real challenge for her. She spindashed them to pieces and punched through them with her spikes. When there were no enemies left, Dawn grinned smugly at Eggman.
"See? Didn't need my parents' help at all." she said.
Eggman looked shocked at first, but then came up with a flimsy excuse. "Uh, d-don't look so smug! I, uh, I was just testing you! Yeah, that's it."
Dawn rolled her eyes, annoying Eggman even more. He then noticed cracked portions in the ceiling that looked barely stable, and laughed under his breath as he got an idea.
"What's so funny, Egghead?" Dawn asked with suspicion.
"Oh, c'mon! You call me that, too?! Grr, you're just like your mother! Anyway, see if you'll survive this, girly!"
With his Eggmobile's laser, Eggman shot at the cracked parts of the ceiling, causing them to rain down on Dawn, but she dodged them effortlessly. Suddenly, the floor gave way beneath her, sending her plummeting to the bottom floor. But she showed no fear at the fall-instead, she thought quickly and spindashed onto the ceiling chunks that were falling with her. Using them to get across, she landed safely on the lowest landing of the staircase, while the parts of the ceiling shattered upon hitting the bottom floor.
Unfortunately, her relief period was short. Eggman had flowed down to see the results of his attack, and he was furious.
"What?! You actually survived that?!" he fitted. "You're stubborn like your mom, too!"
Eggman shot at Dawn, but she dodged it and sped out of the factory. She converted the Purple Lightning back into motorcycle form and quickly drove off.
"Hmm, she shows promise." The unknown figure from the canyon had observed her from behind a tree she passed. "She might just have what it takes to be one of them."