Sonic GeneX: Doomsday
Chapter 10 - Rouletar's Return
Stage 6 - Casino Park
Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA. You knew that, right?
GeneX and related OCs are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.
"I can feel your every rage,
Step aside, I'll turn the page,
Breakin' through your crazy maze,
Like a laser beam, my eyes on you!" - Sonic Heroes, Main Theme
Previously on GeneX…
Eggman had attempted to set up a base in Station Square from which to study the Lost Ones, but Punchy and his friends chased him off.
Professor Pickle told Sonic and Knuckles that, according to his research, a secret might be waiting at the former site of the Temples of Gaia which might help them against the Lost Ones.
When Shadow encountered Lospecter aboard the Arcangel, he was informed that the Lost Ones had stolen Professor Gerald's Ultimate Life DNA samples. During the same trip, Kosmo learned that he was actually of alien origin before Bucky revived his body from death years ago.
Now, our tale continues...
With a boom and a crash, Shadow the hedgehog dropped through a hole and found himself in the interior of one of Eggman's Cloud Cruisers, the airships that had formed up Cloud Carnival previously. Kosmo dropped through the hole behind him, followed by the purple chameleon, Espio, and a yellow furred girl with a forked tail and green shirt, Carrie the mirage. The four of them were planning to bring down the cruiser, crippling what strength Eggman still had so that he couldn't cause any more problems after what he'd done in Station Square. "Let's split up and get these explosives set..." Shadow stated, skating ahead on his air shoes. Kosmo shrugged and morphed into him, mockingly imitating his voice. "I get to say the obvious stuff so I can be in charge!" Carrie stifled a chuckle while Espio split off from them on his own. "Don't waste too much time making goo-goo eyes, you two." the chameleon grunted before vanishing into the background. Kosmo morphed back to normal, his cheeks a bit red. "Haha, it's not like you to get flustered like that, tough guy!" Carrie teased, heading off in yet another direction. She turned and blew a kiss on the way, "See you again soooon!" she winked. Kosmo sighed. "Oh, by the way, Carr, I'm an alien..." he muttered to himself as he walked off.
Shadow happened across the captain's room after he'd set his explosive. He heard Eggman's voice within, and decided to listen. "So, my first robotic shell didn't provide protection against Chaos energy. It was still a mighty merging of our talents! If I put my brilliant intellect to use, I'll surely solve your little problem... And of course in exchange, you'll leave me a small kingdom to rule..." The hedgehog's eyes widened at what he was hearing. He then kicked open the door and stomped in, seizing the startled scientist's collar as he stood on a table! "Gaah!! W-why Shadow! I wasn't expecting you today!" Eggman babbled, tapping a button on a remote in his hand to shut off the monitor he was communicating through. Shadow gave his collar a shake. "How could you go this far, doctor!? You're selling the souls of our world for your selfish desires!!" he shouted before slapping Eggman across the face! The doctor rubbed his cheek and growled. "You know, a little prudence mixed with self-preservation never hurt anybody!" he grunted. Shadow crossed his arms and scoffed. "I know one thing... Professor Gerald would be ashamed of what you've become." he said, hopping off the table and heading for the door. "You dare invoke my grandfather like that!? I'll have you know I... I've gone far beyond his wildest dreams! I have!!" Eggman shouted uselessly as Shadow left him there alone. "...I have..."
As Shadow was rushing to meet up with the others again, he heard Knuckles' voice over the comms. "Yo, Shadow! You busy?" he asked. "Kind of..." Shadow grunted. "Well, get un-busy! I was talkin' to this Pickle guy, and afterwards I was discussing it with Tails a bit, and we agree that you're closer!" Knuckles said hastily. Shadow approached the hole to the outside, but stopped short as a giant slot machine robot dropped through it! It was E-7X, Rouletar! Shadow groaned and backed up as the robot's slot reels started spinning. "Closer to what?" he asked, leaping back to avoid bomb blasts as Rouletar spat them from his mouth in response to the slot results! "Oh! The Pickle guy says there's some secret at some Gaia Temple place. Might help against the Lost Ones!" Knuckles reported. Kosmo's voice came over the comms next. "Professor Pickle?? That old goon's still living? ...I kinda met him while time was screwy." he said, "By the way, we're gonna crash any moment!" the morph added. Shadow cursed under his breath. Rouletar was blocking the exit pretty good. "Get Espio and Carrie out of here, Kosmo!" he shouted! "If we go down, I'm taking you with us! Your luck has run out!" Rouletar bellowed, his reels spinning yet again. Shadow leapt at the robot and struck him hard, causing the reels to stop on rings. "What, how did you do tha--" the robot gagged, spewing rings onto the floor. "Not my first dumb slot machine robot. Now, get out of my way!" Shadow shouted. "You guys okay up there?" Knuckles asked. "Define okay?" Kosmo gulped. Explosions suddenly rocked the Cloud Cruiser, the ship was starting to rapidly fall toward the earth! Rouletar was flung forward by the momentum, right into Shadow! "N-not here!!" the hedgehog shouted before everything went black...
A broken hunk of the ship was tossed aside by Carrie's psychokinesis, providing a path for her, Espio and Kosmo to step out of the wreckage. "Well, that was fun... Now where are we?" Kosmo sighed, dusting himself off. Espio shielded his eyes a bit as bright neon lights met his gaze. "This place... I know it. Casino Park!" he gasped. Indeed, the ship had crashed within a massive, brightly lit city designed as a gambler's paradise. The most striking feature in the landscape were the enormous pinball tables. Shadow suddenly emerged out of Chaos Control next to the others, rubbing his head and groaning. "How'd we wind up here? Hmm, and which way to the closest Gaia Temple?" he asked. "The closest what??" Carrie questioned. She didn't have a comms device. "I'll explain on our way." Kosmo said, "But I guess in order to figure out where to head next, we've got to pass through this city first." he reasoned. They all started to walk away from the downed Cloud Cruiser and into the bright city. Espio sighed softly. "I don't mind this, as long as I don't have to gather rings or casino chips..." he said, briefly glancing back at the cruiser, "Eggman never did pay us for all that nonsense." he grumbled. Though Shadow and Espio were reminiscing, Kosmo and Carrie were experiencing all of this for the first time. They passed through a glass tunnel leading to a large fan blowing upwards, a wall blocking their way forward. "What the...?" Kosmo murmured. "Do we have to teach them the triangle dive?" Espio questioned. "That sounds stupid. Just use me, Carrie." Kosmo said, morphing himself into an umbrella, his glowing eyes showing on the cloth part. Carrie shrugged, holding him by the handle and letting the fan blow them up, not realizing this was exactly how Big the Cat handled these fans. Shadow simply touched Espio's shoulder and brought him up with Chaos Control. Watching Kosmo and Carrie float down, Espio scratched his head. "You are a weird couple..." he murmured.
They glanced back over the wall, admiring the view for a moment as Kosmo morphed back to normal. However, they saw something unpleasant on the horizon. More Cloud Cruisers were approaching their position, a fleet that would be above Casino Park in no time and likely flood the park with Eggman's robots. "Well, c'mon, then! Let's not dillydally!" Carrie shouted, clapping her hands and pointing the other way. The quartet glanced at what awaited them in the other direction, and collectively groaned. They had to get past one of the giant pinball tables. Making it more challenging, there were fiery loskulls being bounced around the table like they were the balls. "The Lost Ones have spread this far..." Shadow realized. Espio stomped his foot and wore a defeated expression. "They'll have consumed the world in no time..." he sighed. This did feel a lot like they were losing. Would the so-called Sonic Heroes be able to stop the catastrophic loss of life these creatures were bringing with them? Kosmo growled softly and stepped towards a cannon designed to deliver flexible players into the pinball table. "There's no time to sit here hoping for a miracle. We've got to keep going!" he said, hopping into the cannon and morphing into a steel ball as it took aim. As it fired him onto the pinball table, Carrie glanced at Shadow. "Uhhh… How exactly does controlling the flippers work?" she asked him. Shadow scratched his head and glanced at Espio. "Y-you're asking me? I assumed Vector or Charmy...or Vector was working them!" he babbled, quickly realizing that if it had been Charmy they'd probably still be stuck on those tables to this day. Carrie shrugged and lifted her arm, using her powers to make the flipper knock Kosmo back into the air. "This'll be really hard when it's my turn..." she said awkwardly.
"Ouch!! Ooof!! Gaaah!!" Kosmo groaned as he bounced and spun through the pinball table. Having his body be made of steel really didn't help much. This seemed like the dumbest way to travel in the world, and Carrie wasn't incredibly good at pinball. He bounced off those loskulls, too, but his steel body cracked the flaming skulls without issue. It just made it take longer for him to reach the exit, and once he got there, he was dizzy and miserable. It didn't help that as he morphed back to normal and laid sprawled on the ground, he saw someone with wings just flying right over the pinball table! To his surprise, it was another morph, white in color with messy hair sticking out of his head. The white morph landed near him and helped him to his feet as its wings morphed away. "Hey! You look pretty woozy, there!" the white morph observed. Kosmo rubbed the back of his head, looking at this guy awkwardly. "Where did you come from? What are you doing here?" he asked. The other morph chuckled softly. "I suppose it IS weird to see morphs around here, huh? My name's Ozzie, and I'm looking for a shady guy called Nova..." he said, glancing around. Kosmo glanced around as well. "Nova? He's around? I ought to keep an eye out for that guy, too. He always acted like he knew me. I might have some questions for him about that..." he stated. Ozzie crossed his arms. "If you know Nova, there's just two possible reasons. Either he's messed with you...or you were in cahoots with him." he said suspiciously. Kosmo shrugged. "Pfft, looking for the worst in me, what else is new. After all, I am the 'evil' Kosmo…" he grumbled. At about this moment, Espio landed next to Kosmo, rolling onto his back dizzily. "Worse than I remember..." he groaned. Then, Shadow and Carrie emerged together via Chaos Control. "Can you move more than one person at a time, because if you can, I'm gonna punch you now!" Kosmo snapped. Shadow shrugged. "You can try it." he teased.
Ozzie continued on with them for the time being. It was a bit curious to see yet another morph wandering around, though. "Exactly how long have you been here in our world?" Shadow asked the stranger. Ozzie looked thoughtful. "Hmm, how to answer that..." he murmured. They would have to table this discussion for now, though. Espio raised his hand to halt the group, and pointed up. "Be on your guard!" he warned as they all looked where he was pointing to see the Egg Mobile floating their way! "There you are! You think you can knock down one of my Cloud Cruisers and just walk away??" Eggman shouted, "No, sir, I believe you all need to be reminded exactly who you're dealing with! Erm… So, Firepaw, you in?" he said, his attention turning to a monitor on his dashboard. The fiery feline who was now E-8X was onscreen, giving the doctor a wink. "This park is about to go viral! Meowr!" he reported. Shadow rolled his eyes. "The video game cat again? What can he do to us out here?" he scoffed. As if in response to his question, the neon lights of the park began to flicker, and the machinery running the attractions began to go haywire! Eggman laughed with glee at the chaos. "If you thought Casino Park was a wild ride before, try beating the odds against a glitched casino!" he taunted, "Oh, and my robots will be filling the park right about now, too. See you around!" he added, hovering away in his Egg Mobile. "You fellas sure ticked this guy off, huh?" Ozzie mused. "I don't think it's funny..." Kosmo grumbled. "Watch out!!" Espio gasped as a giant red dice block suddenly tumbled away from its intended area of the park, preparing to squash them all! While the others ran to avoid it, Carrie raised her hands and strained to catch it with her psychokinesis, grunting a little as she tossed it back the way they'd came, unwittingly blocking them from going back! "What the heck is up with that giant dice block??" she babbled, panting. "...Why is it physically exhausting to lift something with your mind?" Kosmo replied. "Shut up..." she groaned.
Indeed, the park was going nuts. Fortunately they were now smart enough to skip the pinball tables by flying or Chaos Controlling past them. But they could only do that so much, and they'd have to deal with some of the rolling dice, the bounding bumpers and the giant billiard balls that were there for...some reason. On top of that, robots from Cloud Carnival had flooded the casino. Granted, they were mostly Egg Pawns, not too far off from what Shadow and Espio had faced here before only with a different costume design. There were also spike-toting Orbinauts amongst them, a bit trickier to hit but still not too much of a problem. They were merely distractions meant to put them off balance while the glitched park tried to take them out. The chaos had caused them to split up a bit, Shadow and Kosmo finding themselves separated from the others and fending off robots atop an out-of-control roulette wheel. "H-how did they e-even get us on h-here?!" Kosmo groaned, hanging on tightly as the wheel spun with no sign of stopping. Shadow scoffed and leapt right off, launching a homing attack and smashing an Egg Pawn that had firmly planted itself at the center of the wheel! Kosmo could see Orbinauts coming for him, so he morphed his tail into a mace as he spun around. "I can get spiky, too..." he growled, letting the momentum carry the spiked ball on the end of his tail and smash it against the robots as he passed by! Shadow had landed on stable ground nearby and was busy shooting at some Egg Pawns with one of their dropped weapons. "Rrrgh! I should have captured the doctor when I had the chance! He was right in front of me!" he grunted, frustrated with how much time Eggman was making him lose. Ozzie flew in after a moment and plucked Kosmo from the spinning roulette wheel. "You CAN fly too, right?" the white morph asked. "Usually...when I'm not feeling like I have to puke..." Kosmo moaned.
They met up with Carrie and Espio again roughly halfway through the park. The bingo boards were up ahead. Espio shook hands with Carrie once it seemed apparent they were safe. "You fought well..." he said. "Good to see you made it..." Shadow huffed, looking forward intently. "I sure hope we're going in the right direction..." Kosmo pointed out. Unfortunately, no one was contacting them over the comms with information. So, all they could do was shrug it off and keep moving. Or, they would keep moving...if they didn't find Lospecter floating in front of them! He was twirling the single Chaos Card in his hand, smirking. "This is my kinda place... Too bad I don't have a full deck to deal from!" he chuckled softly. Shadow clenched his fists. "You! Whatever you're planning with Eggman, we'll put a stop to it!" he shouted. The ghost hid his card inside his glove and dusted his hands. "Like you stopped anything from happening to the 'ol professor's research? Hehehe..." he taunted, only making Shadow angrier. Kosmo glanced from Shadow to Lospecter and crossed his arms. "Ho, you don't wanna make us angry. Forget Sonic, we're the ones you should fear!" he smirked. Lospecter did a flip and pulled out the Chaos Key. "Oooh, really? Maybe I should summon the cavalry? Have you all torn soul from flesh by a ravenous swarm? Hmm, but I think I'd rather have a fun little race with you. Oh, who will reach the Gaia Remnants first? Who will uncover their secrets and put them to use?" he mused with a snicker. "Wait... The Lost Ones are interested in this, too?" Carrie asked. Lospecter pointed his key and turned it. "Talking time is over!" he said, opening a portal. Through the portal, Rouletar leapt out to block the group's progress! "What... This thing again?!" Shadow said with surprise. Lospecter chuckled. "Oh, we did a little experimenting without Eggman. Have a good game! Toodles!" he said, flying into the portal himself before closing it behind him! Rouletar then glared at them with greenish eyes above his slot reels. "It's time for a spin! But you will not win!" the robot declared. Ozzie lightly chuckled. "...Sorry. We're supposed to take him seriously?" he asked, "...Okay then..."
Rouletar's slots landed on three skulls, even as the others tried in vain to attack through his tough armor. "Your prize today is to burn away!" the robot bellowed, spewing a number of burning loskulls from his mouth! This had to be Lospecter's doing. Shadow immediately took off around the area, tossing Chaos Spears at the loskulls to try and eliminate them quickly. "We can't let that thing spawn more of these creatures! Figure out how to get through its armor!" the hedgehog shouted. Rouletar's reels were already spinning again, but Kosmo tried morphing into an elephant and ramming him with his tusks! The morph fell back, shifting into his normal form and groaning. "That's some armor!" At the same time, the reels landed on three sevens. "Here is your jackpot...of doom!!" Rouletar announced, spitting out dozens of razor-edged coins at the group! Carrie was quick to grab those coins with her powers and redirect them towards the loskulls. "Gotcha, gotcha… ack!!" One of the coins slipped by and gashed her arm, so Ozzie quickly ran her out of the line of fire with the speed of a cheetah. "Gah, you're bleeding, I hate blood..." he gulped, "B-but don't worry, I'll take care of ya!" he winced. This left Espio, Shadow and Kosmo to deal with the slot machine robot. Espio tossed a bunch of smoke bombs to mess with Rouletar's aim. "Guys! That robot doesn't use its mouth to speak, only to attack!" the chameleon observed. It had speakers for talking. "What's your point?" Kosmo asked. "The interior is past the armor..." Shadow realized. Rouletar's reels had landed on three cherries. "Tough luck! You're about to BOMB out of the battle!" the robot cackled. Kosmo leapt out of the smoke with a smirk, suddenly morphing into a trampoline that covered Rouletar's mouth! The robot made a gagging noise as the bombs bounced back down its "throat," their fuses lit. "Oh...fudge!" Rouletar groaned before he began exploding from the inside, sending the Kosmo-trampoline flying before the morph shifted into his gargoyle form to fly to safety! "See, I can fly..." he huffed. In the meantime, Shadow and Espio had finished off the loskulls, and Ozzie managed to bandage Carrie's arm. The battle seemed to be won.
As the group rested from the battle, though, they were surprised to see Mephiles float into the area! The crystalline entity was fixated on Rouletar's remains. "Strange, an absurd creation such as this possessed a soul..." he said, reaching his clawed hand toward the broken slot machine. A ghostly form of Rouletar appeared from the broken parts, and then condensed into a spirit orb that fit comfortably in Mephiles' hand. Shadow was staring at him with wide eyes. The Dark was still using his form. "Mephiles… How many times do we have to destroy you?" he asked with a low growl. The Dark gave him a somewhat blank glare, his crystalline expression frozen as his mouthless muzzle moved to speak. "So much have we been through, Shadow... I can see now how you've changed. The certainty in your eyes. I can see the folly it would be to attempt to ask you to join me this time." he said, lifting the spirit orb in his hand to admire it. "That's... a soul?!" Kosmo gasped. Espio drew a shuriken. "Put that down, fiend! Whatever plans you have for it cannot be pure!" he warned. Mephiles chuckled softly. "Well, have a look at what my allies have done with the Ultimate Lifeform blood. See the purity of their designs for yourself!" he cried, raising his arms to call attention to a group of creatures arriving behind him! They were Lost Ones... in Shadow's image! Their eyes were green with turquoise irises, and their lower bodies ended in ghostly tails much like Lospecter! They were monsters created from Gerald's research; exactly what Shadow feared would happen! The hedgehog leapt at Mephiles in anger, but the Dark simply hovered up out of his reach! "You had your chance in the past, Shadow. Now, watch as your image helps to destroy the world anyway. So many souls lost, in spite of your efforts! Haha... ha ha ha ha ha!!" he laughed, melting into naught but a shadow and fleeing the scene with the Shadow Spirits rushing off behind him! Landing atop Rouletar's wreckage, Shadow banged his fist against the broken machine in aggravation. He could not allow this. Somehow, he would see the Lost Ones defeated, and he would burn Gerald's research to ash if it meant keeping it from doing further harm!
To be continued...