Sonic GeneX - The Series: Countdown to Doomsday
Mini Episode - Ch. 2.8 - Echidna Training
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 - Knuckles and Punchy are in training to use the Chaos Claws and Chaos Boots, respectively. Each of their training has been delayed, as Knuckles was afflicted with the curse of the Chaos Claws and Punchy was getting used to fatherhood and his new daughter, Aurora. The curse of the Chaos Claws has been lifted, so Knuckles can finally train properly.
Time was passing quickly. Training for most of the holders of the Chaos Relics was going at a slow but steady pace. Knuckles and Punchy were a bit behind the others, for various reasons, so Gemini came up to the Master Emerald shrine to see that they got some catch-up training done. They ended up bringing baby Aurora along as well; Rainbow had some errands to run and there was no one willing to babysit. "Some friends I got..." Punchy grumbled, holding the baby and trying to rock her to sleep as she babbled playfully, not wanting to sleep. Knuckles shrugged. "Just put her down on the grass. She won't get into much trouble here." he said. "I'm not leaving my baby in the dirty grass!" Punchy growled. Gemini rolled her eyes. "Morphikadabra!" she sighed, casting a spell that changed the entire floor into styrofoam! Knuckles stared as Punchy shrugged and set Aurora down. "You baby-proofed the Master Emerald shrine!! ...It is gonna change back, right?" Knuckles babbled. Gemini nodded. "Yeah, yeah. Get focused, you two. Knuckles, you need to learn to control the Chaos Claws' weird clingy powers. Put 'em on." she said. He groaned softly. "What if I can't get 'em off again?" he asked. Punchy tickled Aurora's belly as she laid on the foam floor. "Uncie Knux is a scardie cat! Yes he is!" he said in baby talk. Knuckles glanced at him with a grouchy grunt and turned to head up the steps of the shrine and get the claws. "The whole shrine is foam!! Gemini!!!" he shouted. The fennec scratched her head sheepishly and looked at Punchy. "As for you... You know the boots are more than just speed, right?" she asked. Punchy frowned. "Um... No." he muttered. Gemini shook her head, sighing. "According to Astra, they'll let your feet take you anywhere, whatever that means. Maybe Astra should be the one training you..." she murmured. Punchy looked at the winged boots on his feet. "So... Can they teleport me, then?" he wondered. "I...don't...know." Gemini said through clenched teeth. She had no idea how to train people when she herself didn't know what she was training them to do. Knuckles returned with the Chaos Claws back on his hands. "Hey, if I slash up the foam shrine, will that affect it when you change it back?" he asked. "Don't do that." Gemini warned. At any rate, it was now time for their training to get back underway...
While Punchy practiced running around the area with the Chaos Boots, Knuckles was busy trying to stab the air with his Chaos Claws. "C'mon... stick! Catch something! Stab nothing!" Knuckles grunted. If he could gain mastery over this power, he could climb around literally anywhere without the need for a surface to climb on. Gemini watched him and hummed thoughtfully. "Remember, you're using creation energy. It's probably not so much about stabbing through some invisible thing as it is actually creating a foothold to stab... hand-hold?" she murmured. Knuckles took a breath. "And how do I tap into creation energy anyway?? All I remember about before is being cursed and mad!" he complained. "Maybe you gotta be mad!" Gemini suggested. Knuckles glared at her in annoyance. "No, because I've been mad since you turned my shrine into foam..." he grunted. Gemini sighed and decided to turn her attention to Punchy. "How do you feel?" she shouted. Punchy was running circles around the shrine while Aurora sat up and watched, giggling. "I feel like this is stupid!" he shouted. She nodded. "Yeah, sure is..." she murmured. She didn't tell him to do this. "Try to see if you can use the energy from the Chaos Boots! Figure out what the creation energy will allow them to do!" she shouted. Punchy gulped. "I don't wanna run through time or any nonsense like that!" he shouted. "You watch too much TV, Punchy!" Knuckles shouted, trying a different, more casual motion with the Chaos Claws. The tips of the claws started to glow as he moved them forward, and stopped glowing as he pulled them back. "Hmmm..." he mumbled. Meanwhile, Punchy thought about what Gemini had said earlier. The boots would let his feet take him anywhere. He decided to try running up the wall of the nearby shrine. "Alright, I'll... OOF!!" Fortunately, the shrine was currently made of foam, because otherwise smacking into it at high speed would have caused serious injury. Knuckles smirked and extended his arm forward, managing to stick the claws into an invisible mass of energy that they'd created. He twisted his hand a little. It felt securely stuck. He tried sticking the other claw somewhere above it. "Oh! You're getting it!" Gemini clapped. Knuckles smiled proudly, but that smile quickly turned to a frown. "Uhhh... How do I pull them out of the hand-holds?" he asked, grunting in frustration as he tugged at them.
Punchy couldn't help laughing at him. "While you're stuck there, I'm gonna master these boots!" he taunted. Knuckles scoffed. "I'm ahead of you, at least I've figured something out beyond the obvious!" he sniped. Punchy shrugged. "Big deal. The boots are clearly way better." he said, dashing back to his course around the shrine. During all this, Aurora had gotten bored, and began crawling off on her own. The baby seemed curious about how high up they were, and was crawling towards the ledge of the area. As Knuckles grunted against the claws, he turned his head and gasped. "B-baby!! Look out!!" he babbled, yanking his hand right out of one of the claws and trying to run, only to find the other hand still stuck, and stumbling around into Gemini, causing her to drop her wand! "Aaaagh! I'm such a klutz!!" Gemini gasped. "No, no, my bad... PUNCHY!!" Knuckles yelled. Aurora was getting dangerously close to the ledge. "Oh, god, baby's gonna fall!!" Knuckles cried loudly. Punchy heard the commotion as he was running and reacted without thinking, turning straight in the direction of Aurora, which happened to be right through the shrine. He ran without a thought, and somehow, he passed right through the solid styrofoam shrine and popped out on the other side, speeding straight for Aurora! "Wait, what? WHOA!! I was trying to go up the wall!! AAAAAAAAAAA!!!" Punchy shrieked as he kept going uncontrollably, the Chaos Boots creating a shimmering path under his feet as he ran off the edge and across the sky! Aurora stopped moving and clapped as she watched her father speed away like a rocket. This gave Gemini time to act. "Aeroft!" she stammered, casting a levitation spell with her wand that she used to draw Aurora back to herself, catching the baby in her arms. Knuckles stood with his arms crossed and the Chaos Claws stuck in midair, staring out at Punchy, who was standing on a shimmering island suspended by the Chaos Boots. "Hey, Gemini!!" Punchy shouted, "Save me!" Gemini sighed and glanced at Knuckles, her eyes darting between his stuck claws. "Agh, hold the baby, we'll figure out this weirdness later..." she said, handing Aurora off to Knuckles, who held the baby awkwardly. "H-hey! I don't want...!" He smelled something unpleasant coming from Aurora. "Gemini!! Come back! Save me!!" Knuckles groaned. Gemini shook her head as she stepped towards the ledge and pointed her wand at Punchy. "I can't believe I'm the only adult around here. Aeroft!" she said, drawing Punchy back with the same spell. He was...much heavier to catch.
Needless to say, Punchy had to appoint a babysitter for the future.
To be continued...