Sonic GeneX - The Series: Countdown to Doomsday
Episode 3 - Ray's Oddysey
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 - The Series...
Mighty left on a journey after Punchy's wedding, planning to reconnect with his old pal, Ray.
The holders of the Chaos Relics are being trained by Gemini and her friends.
Shade the echidna has been keeping a watchful eye on a number of artifacts recovered from Eggman's base after his and Infinite's defeat.
Bucky is working on new Experiments in anticipation of troubling times ahead.
Eggman's invasion led to GUN's prisoners escaping.
Fera chopped off Gunner's arm during Punchy's wedding. He was looking into a prosthetic...
Under guidance from the voice of Howler within a Despair Seal, Fera is rebuilding the Covenant of Despair, while trying to suppress the Felicia half of her personality. Anubis recruited Conan under her orders, seeming to have his own plans for the covenant...
Now, resuming the countdown to doomsday...
Mighty the armadillo had reconnected with his old friend, Ray the flying squirrel, who had been traveling abroad for a few years. Mighty had brought him back home, the younger squirrel eager to see his old friends again, and maybe meet some of the new friends Mighty had made. However, they had gotten separated while passing through Troblusk City. Meeting up again at the Station Square burger shop, Ray looked a bit worried when he sat down. "Sorry about that detour, Ray. Hey, why the long face? Did you run into trouble in that dirty city? Man, I knew we should've gone around..." Mighty grumbled, feeling bad about the whole thing. Ray rubbed his head nervously. "W-well, you see, the thing is..." he was cut off by the manager, Dave, talking to a customer behind them. "Wha? It's your birthday?! BIRTHDAY ALERT!!" he called. Ray looked alarmed as the staff ran out to start singing to that customer. "Happy happy birthday! Happy birthday, to you! Here blow out a candle, and may all your dreams come true!" Mighty shuddered as he heard them sing. "I thought they only did this at fancier restaurants... Uhh... Ray?" he mumbled, staring at his friend. Ray had hopped out of his seat, a vacant look in his eyes, and began to tap dance uncontrollably while the staff were singing. "H-hey, Ray... Snap out of it!" Mighty went to shake him, but Ray wouldn't stop until the singing ceased. He shook his head dizzily as Dave walked by. "At least someone likes our singing!" he said with a coy smile. Ray blushed in embarrasment and sat down. "Oh no, it happened again..." he murmured. Mighty blinked a couple times. "Again? Ray, what the heck was that?" he asked. Ray twiddled his thumbs, his head looking down. "Ya see, in that dirty city, I ran across a witch. I guess I annoyed her quite a bit, because she cursed me. Now, every time I hear something like music, I go into a trance and start dancing..." he mumbled. He then started to cry. "I can't go on like this! I can never go in a store again! They always have music in the background! Waaaah!!" as he started to sob, Mighty placed a hand on his shoulder. "Okay, okay, take it easy. We'll track down this witch and make her take off the curse. I wonder if that Wendy Witchcart is back?" he murmured, lost in thought for a moment. Just then, from the other booth next to them, Gator poked his out and looked at them. "Can I come, too?" he asked. Mighty glanced at him with annoyance. Gator always seemed around to bug him when he came to this town. "No." he said blankly, taking Ray's hand and leading him out the door. Gator sighed. "Awww... Well, happy birthday, Travis." he said to the guy two seats down, who happened to be Lucky's friend from some other world. "This is not how I envisioned this day..." Travis sighed.
Blaze was sitting silently in a meditative pose at the bottom of the steps leading to the ledge below Tails' Workshop. She needed to control both her flames and the Chaos Crown at once in order to properly use the Chaos Crown. It would take immense focus. However, she seemed to be making progress as vines grew up around her, thriving. Then, Mighty and Ray passed by, talking loudly. "I can't believe Charmy's a detective now! Like, wow, I can't even imagine!" Ray said. "Well, they tracked the guy we want to here, so I guess they know their stuff." Mighty chuckled. The vines around Blaze burst into flames, covering her with their ash in mere moments. "Son of a..." she growled. Up the steps, Ray spotted Tails smacking an Egg Pawn-shaped scarecrow with his tails. Turning, he smiled to see him. "Ray! Oh, wow, it's been forever!" he said excitedly. Ray ran up and playfully hugged him. "Tails! Wow, you've really grown, haha!" he chuckled. "Gosh, you think?" Tails asked bashfully. Mighty found Knuckles nearby with his claws stuck in the air. "Mighty! Good to see ya back! Wanna help us train?" he asked with a smirk, removing his hands from the still-hovering claws and doing a few practice punches in Mighty's direction. The armadillo playfully punched back, but sighed. "Nope, we're lookin' for that guy." he said, pointing at Timothy, who was having a little talk with Punchy about the Chaos Boots, apparently. Knuckles tilted his head. "Why?" he asked. "Well, I seem to recall an impressive bit of magic he performed at the green guy's wedding." Mighty stated. Just then, Copter stepped out of Tails' garage, holding his bass guitar. "Ladies and gentlemen, my next number is a song I've been working on for a while..." he smirked. "Hey! Put that down, Copter!" Tails stammered. "Gah! Please, don't!" Ray gasped. Snickering, Copter started to strum the guitar, playfully making some noise. "Ohhh, I'm a dark angel, a captive from the light! The dark angel, flyin' through the blackest night!" Copter started to sing, which prompted Ray to do a moonwalk, followed by some twirling. Tails watched him with surprise. "Wow, Ray... You got skills, unlike Copter..." he murmured. "S-stop meee!" Ray whimpered. Gemini walked out from inside Tails' workshop and gasped. "Oh no! You've been cursed!" she stammered, "Stop playing, Copter!" she said. Copter's eyes darted back and forth, and he grinned darkly as he kept playing. "I'm flyin' as a dark angel for all eternity, yeah!!" he sang as Ray kept dancing. "Quit it!" Mighty yelled. Copter finally stopped and Ray collapsed dizzily. "Oh no, I'm hallucinating. There's two Tails, two Knuckles, and two... uh... fox ladies." he said, pointing at Gemini as Astra stepped out from behind her. Astra looked him over with a serious expression. "This curse can only be lifted by the witch who cast it. Take this." she said, handing Mighty a bronze coin. It looked similar to the coin that was able to detect Chaos Relics and opened the door to the Chaos Crystal. "This talisman will lead you to magical energy. Use it to find the one who cursed him." Astra said. Mighty nodded, and propped Ray onto his feet. The squirrel waved. "Nice meeting you, guys..." he said as Mighty carried him off. Copter carried the guitar down and smirked at Punchy. "Leave music to Tails." Punchy groaned. Knuckles rubbed his chin. "Hmm... Y'know, Duditude hasn't done a concert in a while..." he muttered.
They had to go a good distance away before the talisman would stop detecting Gemini and Timothy's magic. They hopped the train and found themselves back in Station Square, where the talisman led them to the Raisol Sanctuary under the city. "I hope it's not detecting the spell used to transform this place..." Mighty said as they looked around the undreground city. Ray looked around in wonder. "Whoa! There's another city under the city! Do people live in all these houses? Are those crystals glowing?" he babbled. As they walked, the talisman glowed brighter the closer they got to a particular building. Before they could approach, though, Talon dropped down into their path, his talons glowing as he pointed at them threateningly. "Who dares trespass on the realm of mystical beasts?" he said, making his voice sound deep and menacing. A certain purple dragon landed next to him, making Ray jump and hide behind Mighty. "Turn back now, or face our furious wrath!" he warned. Mighty turned to Ray. "Anyone look familiar, pal?" he asked. "Nope! Let's get outta here!" Ray whimpered. "Guys, lay off!" came the voice of Carrie inside the building. As she stepped out, the dragon shifted back into Kosmo's default form. "Hey, it's my house they're walkin' up to!" he complained. Mighty tapped the talisman and shook it. "Sorry, this thing's supposed to lead us to magic, not experiments." he murmured. Carrie sighed. "Oh, is it? Well, um... I did spend about a year hanging around Gemini and Timmy, using their magic to jump back and forth through time. Maybe I stink of magic to that thing. Wonder if there's any way to wash the stink off...?" she murmured, blushing awkwardly. Kosmo rolled his eyes. "Wherever I go, people's problems find me..." he groaned. Talon folded his wings and retracted his glowing talons, looking at Mighty and Ray curiously. "Is there any way we can help you guys?" he asked. Ray shook his head. "Nah, no thanks, we're good." he said nervously, not too keen on possibly seeing that dragon again. Mighty shrugged. "Right, then, sorry to bother you. C'mon, Ray..." As they walked away, Carrie crossed her arms, shaking her head at the two boys. "What?" Kosmo grumbled. "With how often I'm coming over, I'd say this is my place, too." she smirked. Talon stepped away from them. "Hey, y'know, I think I hear Bucky calling..." he murmured, running off on his own to give them privacy. Kosmo crossed his arms. "You saying you wanna move in...? That'd practically make us..." he trailed off. "A couple." Carrie finished. They both stood blushing for a bit. "Talon's not moving in?" Kosmo clarified. "No, dummy. We're a couple." Carrie said, sticking her tongue out at him. Well... That settled that, it seemed.
Ray hovered in the air next to Mighty, gliding on the gentle breeze as they followed the talisman to Central City. It was glowing brightest outside a particular house, so, shrugging, Mighty knocked at the door. Shade the echidna opened up. "...Hello... Can I help you?" she asked, looking a bit drowsy. Seemed she overslept, possibly explaining why she wasn't at training with the other Chaos Relic holders. Mighty looked a bit awkward. "Errr, sorry to bother you, ma'am. Do you have anything magical in your house? It might be messing with our tracker's um... tracking." he said. Ray tilted his head. "You know, maybe we should have just started where I got cursed." he pointed out. Mighty had a stupid look on his face as the obvious was just pointed out. "Right. That'll be next, maybe." he grumbled. Shade shrugged and showed them in. "I've got magical doodads cluttering up everything. See anything you need?" she asked, "You can't take my Chaos Gauntlets, though." she mumbled. Sitting here and there in her living room were a number of artifacts that Shadow had entrusted her with guarding. There was a certain scepter, a conch, some inactive Phantom Ruby prototypes, too. Most interesting was the Mask of Enerjak, which Shade had reassembled after it had shattered into Twilight Shards when they found it. Ray looked at it as though mesmerized. "Yes, I shall release you, master..." he babbled, at which Shade snatched up the mask and swatted him on the head. "You can't take this, either." she said. Mighty looked around. "Weird. Why do you have so much magic junk just cluttering the place?" he asked. "Eggman had collected it when he conquered the world. We found it after his defeat, but there are people at GUN who... let's say we don't trust them with this stuff." Shade stated. The door opened again, and as the trio turned, a pair of glowing eyes greeted them. "I've been looking all over for you..." His body rippling in a watery form, Nova the morph stood in the doorway! Shade grabbed the Chaos Gauntlets and fumbled to put them on while Mighty and Ray took on defensive positions. "Stand down, boys, this need not concern you. I've given up everything to get that mask. I've killed, been exiled, and don't get me started on that Kosmo..." he ranted. Shade tried to fire a bolt from the Chaos Gauntlets at him, but his liquid chest opened up to allow the shot to pass through him! He then extended his arm to grab the mask, and began to slither away to escape! "After him!" Shade shouted. Mighty nodded, and Ray gave chase first. He leapt into the sky, gliding on the wind to chase Nova as he slipped away fast like a wave, eventually slipping into a crowd. Ray landed just outside the crowd, and Mighty soon caught up. "What are all these people gathered for?" he asked. Spotlights pointed to an outdoor stage, and the crowd cheered as Sonic stepped to the microphone. "Helloooo, Central City! Ready for the Duditude Reunion Concert!?" he shouted. Knuckles sure worked fast. Ray gulped hearing this. "C-concert??" Shade pushed past them, searching for Nova. "Never mind that, we can't let him escape with that mask!" she grunted.
Mighty started to drag Ray through the crowd, hoping to keep him focused as they went. However, when Duditude started playing, Ray started dancing again, and soon squirmed out of Mighty's grip. "Aaaah! I'd love to dance to this but not now!" Ray said awkwardly. Mighty fumbled through the crowd, trying to catch him, and bumped into Chet the cheetah. "Ooof! S-sorry..." he muttered. "No prob. Hey, you know that guy dancin' with Mia?" Chet pointed. Mia had taken Ray by the hand and started groovin' with him to the music, which he seemed rather embarrassed by. Katie stood beside Chet and shook her head. "Same old Mia... Maybe we should dance, Chet?" she grinned. Mighty groaned at what he realized he'd have to do to get Ray out of this. "Cutting in!" he said, and to Mia's surprise, danced off with Ray. "Ahh, well, d-don't be a stranger!" she waved, "...They're not coming back, are they? Too bad Guard's not into this." she muttered. Mighty and Ray then waltzed past Cosmo and Zooey, who were holding up signs that read "U rock, Tails!" as they listened to the concert. They stopped next to them. "Enough, Ray! Let's try plugging up your ears..." Mighty said, sticking his fingers in there. "It's no good, it's too loud!" Ray groaned, tap dancing on the spot. Cosmo and Zooey glanced at them, raising their eyebrows. "What are you doing?" Zooey asked. "It's not what it looks like!" Mighty babbled. "What does it look like?" Ray asked. "Like, uh... Like we should move..." Cosmo murmured, taking her sign and edging away from them awkwardly, followed by Zooey. Shade caught up to them next. "Any sign of that morph?" she asked. Mighty and Ray shook their heads, and Shade frowned. "He got away then... Now what?" she groaned, looking up onstage. "Maybe I should tell Knuckles when he's got a moment." she murmured. Mighty nodded. "Sounds like a plan. We gotta run, though!" he said, lifting up the squirming Ray and trying to head out of the crowd. "Oooh! I love this song! I wanna fly high! Doot do do..." Ray murmured. On the way out of the crowd, they found a small group that had come to boo, led by Spiny the porcupine. "Get off that stage! You're blocking traffic!" Spiny shouted. "That song's lame!" yelled Zazz, who was also there to boo. "Play Gotta Go Fast!" shouted Char the Chao. The music stopped playing at that point, and Amy yelled at them from the stage. "Scram, losers! We got a whole crowd here that's against ya!" she snapped. With the music stopped, Mighty put Ray down and the pair began to run. "Thanks for being jerks!" Mighty said as he passed Spiny. "Uhhh... anytime?" he murmured. "Cute little fella!" Ray giggled, patting Char as he passed. "Hey! No touchy!!" Char growled. A police car pulled up, and as Razor and Ridley stepped out, Zazz decided to beat it. "Later, suckers!" he laughed, making Spiny jump in surprise. "Dude, I thought we were in this together! Gaaah! Coward!" he yelled, taking off in another direction while Char flew off too. "Kinda breaks my heart to have to tell the crowd they're blocking traffic..." Razor murmured. "Let's chase those guys first." Ridley smirked.
So, Mighty and Ray started walking towards Troblusk City next. About halfway there, they found Shadow Arcangel parked, and the talisman glowed. "Well, that's a witch's lair for sure." Mighty said. They headed inside, but didn't get far before Vortex and Crash found them. "And jusssst where are you two going?" Vortex asked. "This isn't a public lab." Crash grunted. "It's a lab? Like, Frankenstein?" Ray asked, looking around curiously. Mighty sighed, holding up the talisman. "Looking for a witch. This thing led us here." he murmured. Crash rubbed his head under his bowler. "Witch? Do we have magic here now? I have been gone a spell..." he muttered. Vortex looked a bit nostalgic for a minute. "You mussst be getting tracesss of Whisssk'sss magic from her lasssst visssit." he said. Just then, Zipp flew into the room. "Guys, guys! Boss just finished givin' Experiment 18 the 'ol check-up! We can meet him now!" he said with a snicker. Ray pointed as if to say "Aha," and grinned. "I knew it! Frankenstein! I bet he has neck-bolts and everything! Let's check it out!" he said, following Zipp. "R-ray, wait! Aw, geez..." Mighty groaned. They soon found themselves at Bucky's lab, where the rat himself was packing up some of his equipment. "And with this, I have brought all of Hope's children into the world... Every creation she wished to give life with me..." he sighed, reminiscing about his lost love. Sitting on the lab bench was a cyan colored unicorn, with a beautiful silver mane and a lovely horn on her head. Well, one would be forgiven for thinking it was female, but in fact it was a boy. Zipp chuckled at him. "Let's put him in a dress!" he snickered, to which Crash swatted him aside. "Respect our fellow experiments!" he grunted. Vortex sighed. "Why Whisssk's fur color?" he asked. "You try being creative after 18 experiments." Bucky retorted. Ray looked around the unicorn curiously. "Hmm, where's the bolts?" he asked. Eighteen blushed at everyone staring at him, awkwardly stroking his mane. "Hi there, everyone..." he murmured. The door opened, and someone else started to enter. "Ah, seventeen, there you are." Bucky smiled. Looking, Mighty gasped, and Ray pointed. "Frankenstein!!" they both yelled. Experiment 17 was a mish-mash of different creatures. Contained in a turtle shell was some sort of mammilian body. His head was that of a bat, and his bushy tail was a chinchilla's. Also, he had bolts in his head like a certain famous monster. "Please, we call him Frankie. Frankie Stein." Zipp chortled. The turtle creature groaned. "My name is Bolt." he said. "Bit on the nose, isn't it?" Mighty murmured. Electricity started to spark from Bolt's head, and he growled angrily, but then, Eighteen started to sing. "Hush little Boltie, don't you cry. Nothing's gonna hurt you when I'm here nearby." As the unicorn started to hum in his beautiful voice, Bolt relaxed, while Ray started to slow dance. Everyone looked at him, and Bucky folded his arms. "He's cursed, huh?" he asked, "Yeah, we had the Lost Ones on this ship a while, I know something about curses..." the rat sighed. "Ship? This is a ship? Cool! Can I fly it?" Ray asked excitedly as Mighty lifted him up. "Nope, we're getting you fixed somehow!" he grumbled. "This is a ship? What's a ship?" Eighteen asked. "Firssst thing'sss firssst. You need a name." Vortex said. "Rainbow D-" Zipp started to say, only to get swatted again. "Please don't be violent..." the unicorn sighed.
After a bit more wandering, Mighty and Ray somehow wound up at a military checkpoint. General Gunner was looking over a map of the area, sticking little toothpicks in it with his good hand to mark said map. "We'll find all those freaks that took advantage of Eggman's invasion of the world to escape the Hopebringer Center... God, I wish we could change the name back to Death Row..." he grumbled as Shadow the hedgehog stood close by with a bored expression. "'Scuse us! Passin' through! Sorry to disturb ya!" Ray babbled as they stepped past the checkpoint. Mighty gulped. He'd hoped Ray would be quiet. Gunner turned to them and pointed his other arm in their direction, which was now sporting a very menacing looking laser cannon instead of a hand! "You boys are trespassing! Shadow, be a good soldier and arrest them!" he ordered, smirking. He loved bossing around Shadow. However, the hedgehog didn't exactly jump to it. "We put our checkpoint in the middle of the road, on a crazy tip that the Battle Bird Armada was in the area, and you want to arrest civilians for trying to pass said public road?" he stated. "It's not your job to think, just obey your general!" Gunner snarled. At that moment, Spy ran up, out of breath. "Sarge! Colonel! Whatever!" he shouted. "I'm a GENERAL now, you twit! Learn the chain of command!" he shouted. Spy panted and held up something sparkly. "S-sir! General Gunner! Look! What I found!" The pink stone in his hand was unmistakable. Spy was holding a Phantom Ruby! Gunner took his attention away from Mighty and Ray, pointing his gun arm around. "Gah!? Is that jackal freak around?!" he stammered. "Infinite wouldn't be a threat without the Phantom Ruby." Shadow pointed out, "On the other hand, there were two functioning rubies at the end. Neither were ever recovered." he explained. A whoosh was heard, and the ruby was gone from Spy's hand. "Huh?!" he gasped. Rouge flew above them, admiring the ruby. "It's lovely, for something so lethal. I think I should hold on to it!" she grinned. "You'll do no such thing! It's going straight to Dr. Nammad so GUN can weaponize it for the good of mankind!" Gunner shouted. "Uh huh, I'll be sure to inform the Commander so that it doesn't get misused like Project GXterminate..." Rouge said with a sly glance. Gunner snorted angrily. "Now, as for you two... What!?" Mighty and Ray were gone. They'd left in the distraction. "Shadow! Where'd they go?!" Gunner snapped. "Sorry, sir, the Phantom Ruby seemed more pressing." he said. Gunner grit his teeth, turned, and fired a blast at the map he'd been using. "You're...right... Let's get that ruby off the field..." he growled. Shadow looked at the ground as Gunner's forces started prepping to return to base. "Working for Gunner is like working for the same kind of people who took Maria from me... This has to stop..." he whispered to himself.
Soon, Mighty and Ray were drawn to Troblusk Plateau, where a set of black tents were pitched here and there up the mountain path. This was the temporary gathering place for the new Covenant of Despair until a suitable replacement for Despair Castle could be found. Tabitha could be seen sitting outside one of the tents. "That's her! That's the witch that cursed me!" Ray pointed. Mighty looked at the path to her, and could see that Fera was holding a bit of a meeting along that path. Nova was there, along with Nack the weasal, Bark the polar bear, Bean the duck, and some of the Battle Bird Armada, including their leader, the Battle Lord Kukku himself, all apparently getting orientation from Fera and Anubis. Mighty gulped. "We're gonna have to sneak our way there, Ray. These are NOT friendlies..." he said. "I'm the master of stealth!" Ray grinned. Mighty gave him a flabbergasted stare. "Is that why we've gotten mixed up in like, five misadventures on the way here?" he asked as Ray sheepishly rubbed his head. As they began their tense hike up the mountain, Fera and Anubis addressed the group. "Some of you are here looking for sanctuary against the law. That's fine. Those laws are human constructs. Just remember our mission... We exist to bring down humanity and put furs on top!" Fera told them. "Why not just say Mobian? That's more inclusive!" Bean said, raising his hand. Fera scoffed. "I'll consider it when you can prove humans didn't come up with the term." she said. Anubis grunted. "Unfortunately, we don't have uniforms for you now. Our resources have been depleted. But with your assistance, we'll regain those resources and more..." he grinned. "I expect my rank among the Battle Birds to afford me certain leadership privelidges here..." the Battle Lord announced. "Pah, he wants to go straight from jail back to king? Put in some work, pops!" Nack grunted. As some mild arguing started up there, Mighty and Ray crept past by hiding behind some boulders near the edge of the cliff. "They're building a new army..." Mighty whispered. "I didn't know they had an old army." Ray muttered. "Shh..." Mighty looked around, and motioned for Ray to follow. They crawled by, heading past a few tents towards Tabitha. A rock was tossed at them as they passed by, and they looked to see Dark Copter peering at them from within a tent. "Be careful boys... If I get the order, you two are being torn limb from limb..." he said with a wicked smirk. Ray chuckled nervously. "Uhh, th-thanks, we'll be...careful...haha..." he babbled. Mighty grabbed him by the hand. "C'mon, lets's make this quick..." he said, not wanting to stick around any longer than necessary.
Upon reaching Tabitha, the orange feline smirked at them. "The little pest is back with a friend. How are your lessons proceeding, hm? I think I want to see how you perform..." she cackled. Mighty raised his fists. "This isn't funny! You remove the curse you put on my friend, right now!" he shouted. "Yeah, or we'll get tough with ya!" Ray warned, jumping back and forth in a boxing stance. Tabitha snickered at them. "Quiet, child, the adults are talking. Patch, dear! Play us a little song, will you?" she called. Patch the fox hopped over with a manic chuckle. "Hee hee! I shall play the most fiendish instrument of them all... the TRIANGLE!!" he giggled, lifting up said triangle and starting to ding it, causing Ray to start breakdancing for some odd reason. Who could figure out why he picked certain dances. At any rate, Tabitha took advantage of the brief distraction to hop on her broom. "Now, I'll cast you both out of this place! Good bye!" she sneered, hurling some sort of green sparking spells down at Mighty, who turned around so his strong armadillo shell could take the blow! "Ugh! You can't curse me so easily! Now, come down from there!" Mighty said, picking up rocks and throwing them up at Tabitha. Ray whined as he helplessly danced. "Please stop, Mr. Fox..." he babbled. "Hee hee... I could knife ya instead!" Patch smirked. Sweating, Ray kept spinning around on the ground. "K-keep playing! Keep playing!" he gulped. The commotion easily drew the attention of the Covenant of Despair, who were mostly just watching for now. Conan stepped calmly over to Fera. "Well? Orders, madame boss?" he asked. Fera grunted and started heading up there, looking like she would deal with this herself. However, she moved a bit slowly. "So, what, we're killing our own kind now?" a voice in her head asked. It was Felicia. Fera growled. "Butt out..." she huffed. "I can see your memories now, you know. You used to stand for something. But I guess you're just twisted like Howler." Felicia said. "I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions without voices in my head, yours or his!" she snapped. Dark Copter scratched his head as she passed by. "And they say I'm nuts..." he mused. Finally, Fera arrived at Tabitha, who had created a ring of fire around Mighty and Ray, and was prepared to finish them off. "Halt!!" Fera shouted. "Hee hee! Intruders, boss..." Patch babbled. Mighty pointed up. "We're only here because she cursed my friend!" he stated. Fera glanced from the moronically dancing Ray up to Tabitha. "Tabby... we don't curse fellow furs. Put him right and let him go. You'll have plenty of opportunity to work your dark arts on the humans..." Fera ordered. Tabitha sat on the broom, rolling her eyes. "Fine... I'm bored anyway..." she grumbled. As Fera turned to leave, she heard Felicia in her head. "Nice show of compassion." To which Fera groaned. Lower down the mountain, Conan glanced at Anubis. "She has gone soft..." he whispered. Anubis smirked. "The others will grow discontent with her leadership, and I will be primed to take control..."
Finally freed from the curse, Ray was quick to glide away from that mountain, keeping an eye on Mighty from above as he followed. Using the talisman, they found their way back to Gemini and Astra, who were now resting after training back in the Raisol Sanctuary, where so many of their friends without proper homes had found sanctuary. They returned the talisman and told their story, though omitting a few details here and there. Gemini looked at Astra with concern. "Fera's got the Chaos Cards, and now she's building a new Covenant of Despair, too. As if we didn't have enough to worry about with the Lost Ones building their own fortress..." she murmured. Astra nodded. "Training our heroes is becoming all the more important. They may be needed to take on this covenant." she said, glancing over her shoulder at Copter, who was chatting with Timothy and Punchy just outside Rainbow's house. "I think you need to train him, too." Astra said. Gemini looked where Astra was looking. "...Timothy?" she asked, but that wasn't who Astra meant, "...Copter?" That was it. "Not sure how he'd take to that. He's... prideful." Gemini stated. Astra nodded. "But it's his dark form they spotted on that mountain, now, isn't it?" Mighty and Ray glanced at each other, feeling like third wheels now. "Hehe, maybe we'd better go..." Ray chuckled, "Thanks for the coin thingy, though!" he smiled. "You're welcome to stay and help us." Gemini told them. Mighty tilted his head. "Magic's not our thing. Knuckles will know how to contact us if you really need us." he said with a sheepish grin. They nodded, and waved as Mighty and Ray started towards the ladder leading to the surface, and Station Square. "So, Ray, you think you can dance that good without a curse?" Mighty asked, slapping his back playfully. "Ah ha ha! I have no idea. I'm all danced out for now, anyway. Let's do something else fun!" he said with a big smile. Mighty nodded. "Well, alright... How about singing? I bet Vector would love to get our old band back together!" he chuckled. Ray flapped up into the air protesting. "No way! Vector's TERRIBLE!! I wanna sing for once! Let's us two do karaoke!" he shouted. Gemini watched them leave with a wistful sigh. "I wonder if the extent of my problems will ever be that mundane again..." she murmured. Astra placed a hand on her shoulder. "Believe. The world can be set right. And until then...you might want to think about who you'd like to spend that mundane time with, once you have it..." she said, once again glancing over at Timothy and Copter, with a knowing smile.
To be continued...