Sonic GeneX: Doomsday
Chapter 31 - Trials of Illusi
Stage 16 - Raisol Sanctuary
Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA. You knew that, right?
GeneX and related OCs are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.
"Team Chaotix! They're detectives you want on your side!
Team Chaotix! Their directive's tracking down your crime!
Come along for the ride.
Truth can run, but not hide,
For long, the game is on, now..." - Team Chaotix, Sonic Heroes
Previously on GeneX…
Having survived the destruction of the Troblusk Clock Tower, Punchy and Heather had been hanging around the city, checking on their allies for a while. During that time, they caught a communication that showed them the location of Rainbow and Guard, so they started heading in that direction to catch up to them. However, a message from Rainbow set them on course to meet her at Station Square, where they would pick up the Chaos Crystal.
There, they met Guard and Team Chaotix as well as Rainbow. Prof. Pickle was down in the Raisol Sanctuary as well, studying some restored runes from the ruins while a machine repaired the Scepter of Darkness. Lospecter dropped off Freeze and some possessed robots, sending them after the Chaos Crystal, and capturing Rainbow to show them the way.
Rainbow was frozen solid before Punchy and Freeze faced off. Once the robot was destroyed, Mephiles arrived to collect his soul, along with Dark Heather, calling herself Soleil. They escaped, and though Heather could thaw out Rainbow, she remained unconscious and unable to point the way to the crystal. So, Team Chaotix took on the case to find it...
Now, our tale continues...
Talon anxiously headed for the lab inside Shadow Arcangel. The griffin was carrying something resembling a Wisp capsule, but inside it was a Lost One. Talon carried it into the lab, where Bucky pointed to an examination table. "Place it there, thank you." he stated. "Why do I have to collect Lost Ones for your experiment??" Talon stammered. "Vortex is too vital to ship maintenance. The others aren't as well equipped to capture them quote-unquote 'alive.'" Bucky stated as Talon glanced at his glowing talons. While the rat was prepping for his experiment, Gideon peered into the doorway. It took the form of a shining ferret, exactly why none could be sure. "Are these experiments...safe?" it asked. Bucky already had a previous experiment set up on another table. The remains of a now-inert Lost One's slime bubbled in a test tube. "I've said it before, but charting new scientific territory is never necessarily safe..." Bucky said, tapping the test tube. Talon grimaced as the slime quivered in the Wisp capsule. "So, you think you can bring people back from live Lost Ones... What about dead Lost Ones?" he asked. Gideon looked at the test tube sadly. "Those souls are no longer in our realm. They have passed into the beyond." it stated. Talon gulped. "So...is it bad to kill Lost Ones, then?" he questioned. "No worse than putting down a terminally ill patient when a cure doesn't yet exist for their condition..." Bucky murmured, "Especially when said patient is deadly contagious. But I'm hoping I can spark the soul back into the inert slime, too..." the rat stated, "You'd both do best to wait outside... This could get rather messy. Don't concern yourself with me... I'm not about to die here!" With that, Talon scurried out of the lab, but Gideon remained near the door, watching anxiously. "These souls are counting on us..." it whispered.
Punchy carried the unconscious Rainbow home, leaving her to rest in a soft couch inside. Heather and Guard revisited Professor Pickle while Punchy was in there. "Looks as though we're staying down here for now. With Rainbow out of commission, it'll be harder to find the Chaos Crystal." Heather told him. Pickle nodded. "Understood. Yes, well, I'll stay hunkered here and keep watch over Miss Rainbow's door..." he said. "Grrr, no offense, but I'll stay and keep watch as well. If there's any danger, I will protect you both." Guard grunted. "Oh? Yes, I see your point. Thank you, my boy." Pickle nodded. Espio and Charmy came out of Rainbow's house a moment later, and met Vector across the road. "No sign of the crystal at home, Vector! But Rainbow has an awful lot of the same dress!" Charmy reported. "We were very thorough..." Espio murmured. Vector gave a light chuckle. "Of course it wasn't in there! That'd be too easy! ...Ya didn't find any clues where it might be though, yeah?" he asked, to which Espio and Charmy shook their heads. Punchy finally stepped out of the house shortly after that, looking rather glum. "I hope Rainbow will be okay here while we're gone. I'd like to stay with her, but there's no time to waste. Those dumb monsters are spreading as we speak!" he grumbled as Heather and Team Chaotix rushed over to him. "Don't worry, Guard will be here in the meantime." Heather told him. Punchy glanced at Guard and Professor Pickle sitting together and munching little sandwiches. "Guard, right... I'll just block out the fact that he's died before already..." he grumbled. Vector snapped him out of his troubles with a hearty pat on the back. "Don't you worry, Punch! I'll have this solved in no time! First thing's first, we gotta rule out the next most obvious hiding place, and that'd be where the Crystal was found in the first place! Follow me!" he announced, heading off on his way. "Hey! Leading the way when ya don't know where to go is Rainbow's thing!" Charmy shouted.
So, they headed to the great, golden door that had once held the Chaos Crystal behind it. "See, I knew where I was goin!" Vector said, "But, ahh...let's not bring up what I went through to get here last time..." the crocodile murmured. "Hey, wait! I remember now! You were cap-mmph!" Vector placed a hand over Charmy's mouth to stop him there. "Yeah, yeah, we all remember what a miserable day that was." Punchy grumbled, stepping over to the unlocked door and punching it off the wall! "That seemed unnecessary..." Espio murmured. "Come on, let's look around!" Punchy grunted, heading into the dark chamber. The room was covered in gold, and there was an elaborate pedestal at the back where the Chaos Crystal likely rested before. Vector squinted through the dark at images carved into the gold walls. "These are like, uh, hieroglyphics! Hmm... They look like the Chaos Relics..." he murmured. "No mystery there, the Crystal is the Relics' controller." Punchy stated. Heather held a small fireball in her hand to light up the room, but there didn't seem to be anything there. "...C'mon, green Knuckles! Don't ya know where your wife would hide a thing?" Charmy asked. "Call me green Knuckles one more time!!" Punchy growled. Looking over the glyphs on the wall, Heather noticed something odd. There was a coin among them. But there was no Chaos Coin. "This isn't a relic..." she murmured. Espio took a look. "It resembles Kosmo's coin that turned out to be a key to the door." he pointed out. It seemed to be jutting out of the wall a bit, so Heather reached out and...pushed it in. Then, with an odd flash of light, the back wall vanished! "Wha?! That wall was...fake?" Vector stammered. Punchy's eyes narrowed, looking into the new passage. "It was an illusion..." he said.
They found themselves in a large, seemingly empty room upon going through the passage. A projection of Illusi the shrew appeared in the center of the room. "One who would seek the treasure within..." Before the shrew could continue, Punchy shook his fist. "Only Rainbow can call me One... He's not really here, is he?" he muttered. "I'm not really here." Illusi confirmed, "But I used my most powerful illusions as protections on this place. To reach the treasure, you must conquer three trials..." he said before vanishing. Punchy groaned, stepping forward. "You and your trials, Illusi! When am I gonna be done with tri-OOF!!" He smacked into what appeared to be an invisible wall, and when he did, a Wrongo appeared and gave him an electric jolt! "Gyaaah!! Oh, this is the first dumb trial he gave me all over again!!" Punchy yelled. Charmy held his hands out as he carefully flitted forward. "No fair! How are we supposed to know where the walls are?" he wondered. "I got my intuition! Follow me!" Vector grinned, stomping into the maze, turning once, turning twice, and then...bopping his nose against a wall and earning a zap! "Yooow!! Was that shrew always this sadistic?!" he complained. "Why don't you go, Heather! It won't kill you!" Punchy suggested. "So, I'm supposed to just sign up for all the pain because it won't kill me!?" she scoffed. Espio stood with his eyes closed, holding his hands in an almost meditative stance. "Allow me..." he murmured, dashing into the invisible maze! "Whoa! Slow down! You'll get your horn stuck in a wall!" Charmy giggled. Espio ignored him, and in a few moments, he had expertly navigated the maze and arrived at the other side! A check-mark-shaped Righto appeared at the exit to greet him. "Show off!" Vector snapped, "How are we gonna do that!?" he shouted. "Maybe the maze is gone now..." Punchy hoped, only to smack into the invisible wall again! Fortunately, he didn't get another shock. "We can touch the walls! That'll make it easier!" Charmy smiled. "Yeah...fan-flipping-tastic..." Punchy groaned.
In the next room were a set of statues with small pedestals in front of them. Illusi appeared at the center of the room, copies of the Chaos Relics appearing at his feet. "The second trial! You must match each Chaos Relic to their ancient master." he stated. Punchy recognized one of the statues as Astra the fennec. "Oh, great. Gemini would know this..." he murmured. Espio looked at the statue of Aya the chameleon curiously. "I...don't even have a guess." he admitted. Heather's eyes rested on the statue of Rex the hedgehog. "These are the heroes who fell... But how do we figure out which relics they had?" she questioned. "Deductive reasoning!" Vector smirked, picking up one of the Chaos Tailbands, "Astra knew an awful lot about this bad boy, yeah? Let's give it to her!" Punchy picked up the Chaos Boots. "Right, Astra did tell me about this walrus..." he murmured, bringing the boots to the statue of Paul. Espio pointed to Spiro's statue. "This is Lospecter. Does he get the cards...or the key?" he mused. "Neither! He's jealous Blaze got the Crown!" Vector stated. "How do you even know that!?" Punchy stammered. Each correct placement was accompanied by a Righto appearing, so they knew they were on the right track. Punchy brought the claws to the statue of Luna. "I believe this came up when Knuckles was cursed... the claws were held by a wolf-turned-pumpkin." he said. "The leader gets the sword..." Vector reasoned, giving it to Rex. That left the key, gauntlets, cards, wing and second tailband. Vector looked thoughtful and tried giving the tailband to Bard the Fox's statue, but a swarm of Wrongos appeared! They started zapping everyone in the room, so Vector raced to figure it out. "Other tail guy, raccoon!" he grunted, giving the tailband to William. He left the gauntlets with Monty's statue, the wing with Red the sparrow, and tried the key with Aya only for Punchy to get zapped harder! "Don't GUESS!!" he yelled. Vector swapped the key for the cards, and then raced to give the key to Bard! The Wrongos faded and another false wall vanished as well! "Haha! See, easy!" Vector smiled, glancing awkwardly to see the others a bit charred. "Right, easy...ughh..." Charmy groaned.
The next room featured a grand statue of Radia the echidna holding the Chaos Crystal, while smaller statues of Brutus and Cleo the dragons skulked in the shadows. "Well, I'm getting a vague history lesson today..." Heather murmured. Illusi once again appeared in the center of the room. "The final trial is a battle! You must face my friend here... Fighto!" Beside Illusi, a creature comprised of Wrongos and Rightos appeared! The Rightos formed the arms, legs and neck of Fighto, while the Wrongos comprised the head, hands, feet and torso. The Wrongos on the hands were spiked as well, making Fighto more imposing. "You must also fight with precision...or die. Hit a Wrongo, and the floor will fall." Illusi warned before vanishing. Punchy looked at the creature awkwardly as it shuffled towards him in a boxing stance. "I'm fighting a stick figure, and I can only hit its limbs!" he groaned, stepping forward and raising his fists. He dodged out of the way as the spiked "hand" of Fighto swung at him, and then he tried punching back, but he forgot himself and hit the torso! Pieces of the floor collapsed, and Vector let out a shout as he fell, barely grabbing onto the edge in time! "He's a sadistic MONSTER!!" the croc yelled as Heather and Espio helped him up! Charmy flew out towards Fighto, a serious look in his eyes. "You need precision! Watch how I sting 'em! Just keep him distracted, Punch-punch!!" he shouted. Punchy smiled and nodded. "Right, come at me, Freak-o!" he yelled, throwing a false punch toward Fighto! The creature angrily swung its spiked "hand" back, distracted with Punchy! Meanwhile, Charmy flew behind it and gave its other arm a quick sting! The Righto vanished, and the detached Wrongo went spinning toward Charmy with its spiky body! "Whoa!! I didn't know he'd try to sting back!" he yelped, flying away! Punchy took advantage of the opening on that side, giving Fighto's leg a kick and causing it to wobble with only half a body! "Alright! Let's wrap it up, Charmy!!" he shouted, prompting the bee to turn towards Fighto again! The creature spun around, flailing its spiked "hand," but Charmy flew under and took out its other leg, while Punchy hopped up to punch its neck! This left just the arm and the body floating with a bunch of Wrongos around it. A fireball from Heather quickly took that out! "Let's finish this up already! Everyone's waiting on us!" she shouted. With that, the Wrongos vanished, and so did Radia's statue, revealing a final passageway...
To their surprise, they found what appeared to be a cozy nursery at the end of the passage. There was a crib with a mobile dangling over it, rattles and a bottle sitting on a nearby table, and seated in a rocking chair was an elderly chipmunk, holding a certain baby. She looked up with a start as the group entered. "Ah... Shh, the child is sleeping. You must be Daddy." she said to Punchy with a smile, "I'm Rosie. I used to look after young Rainbow when she was left alone down here in this lonely place as a child. She needed someone to look after little Aurora here, so naturally I was pleased to help." the chipmunk explained in a soft, gentle voice, careful not to wake baby Aurora. "D'awww, that's sweet..." Vector sighed. "Uh, but what about the crystal?" Charmy whispered. "I suppose the real treasure was Punchy's family all along." Espio mused. Rosie chuckled softly. "Perhaps, but the crystal's hidden in the cupboard back there. I know there were defenses left in place, but better safe than sorry." she murmured. Punchy stepped over to Rosie, and he patted his sleeping daughter's forehead. "Thank you... Even with everything going on, I have been worried out of my mind about her..." he said, wiping his eyes before a tear could make itself known. "How touching! And I should thank you!" The sneering voice of Soleil woke the baby, causing her to cry! Punchy turned to find Soleil forcing her way past Team Chaotix with her flames, heading for the cupboard! "Oh, dearie me! Please, the baby!" Rosie cried, holding Aurora tightly. "I don't want your dumb kid..." Soleil scoffed, opening the cupboard and taking the Chaos Crystal! "Hold it!" Heather warned, stepping into her doppelganger's path! Soleil smirked and struck Heather with her own flames, clenching her fist and controlling the fire in a way that caused Heather to choke! "I'd be careful. You CAN die for good, you know..." Soleil sneered, dashing off with the crystal while Heather collapsed, Punchy racing to her side! "You alright!?" he asked. "I-I'll be fine..." Heather huffed. "C'mon! Let's go after her!! Hurry hurry hurry!!" Charmy shouted.
With Illusi's traps disabled, it was a pretty straightforward trip back into the underground city. They caught Soleil racing through the roads towards a group that was prepared to back her up; Punky, Vanitas, Zapp and Thrash, the dark forms of Punchy and Team GeneX! "I don't care who's in my way! You ASSHOLES threatened my family!" Punchy shouted, charging ahead to be met by Punky. "It's my family, too, and I'll take what I need from them!" he snarled. Each of them were lined up to clash with a dark counterpart, and as the fight started to break out, it quickly became apparent that some of these matchups were quite unfair, as Charmy fled from Zapp's gunfire and Heather once again started to choke from Soleil's pyrokinetic control. "You've only ever scratched the surface of our power! Shame, because now I'll snuff out your flame!" Soleil sneered. Before she could make good on that threat, however, she was distracted by energy beams hurled from Guard's scythe! "Grrrr!! Don't think I'll let her face you alone!" he growled. Soleil smirked and tossed a fireball at him, which he flew up to avoid. "You've died before, too. But me, I haven't begun to fight for myself..." she sneered. While she started fighting with Guard, Punchy was busy exchanging blows with his own dark side. "We've done this dance before! Don't you know I always win?" Punchy teased. "Then why'd ya need me to beat Howler?" Punky retorted, hurling a darkness-infused punch at his doppelganger! However, his other arm was suddenly tugged! "Leave my One alone!" It was Rainbow! Punky scoffed and shoved her to the floor! "I've always wanted to kill you..." he growled. Punchy then grabbed his other arm. "Not so fast... Dark One!" he said, igniting fire in Punky's eyes. "My...name...is not... ONE!!!" he roared.
While Vector was having a fairly even grapple with Thrash, Charmy and Espio were struggling against the powers of Zapp and Vanitas. "Hey, Espio! Switch partners!" Charmy said suddenly, catching Vanitas off guard as he dive-bombed him with his stinger! Espio reacted quickly as well, tossing a shuriken to knock the gun from Zapp's hand! "Hey! You can't just switch like that! Rrrrgh, wait'll I get my gun back- uh oh!" the hornet gulped as Espio rushed over and grabbed his wings. At the same time, Guard and Heather were keeping Soleil well occupied, pressuring her from two sides. Frustrated, the dark phoenix tossed the Chaos Crystal away. "I can't kill you with my hands tied! Someone else grab that dumb rock!" she shouted. Punky rolled his eyes and turned toward the crystal. "Much as I wanna mop the floor with you, fam, I gotta pick that up in the interest of self-preservation. Don't wanna end up like Despair or the Battle Birds." he grumbled. However, as he approached the Chaos Crystal, Rainbow blocked his path. "I wouldn't be much of a guardian if I let ya take that, Dark One!" she said. Punky snarled furiously at that name. "You AREN'T much of a guardian, Colors!!" he roared. Punchy tried to grab his attention away from Rainbow again, but a dark shockwave tossed him away swiftly! "Aaagh!! Rainbow, get outta there!!" he cried. But it was too late; Rainbow was lifted by the throat! "Eeep!! P-put me d-down!!" she squeaked. Punky grinned darkly. "After I'm done with you...and daddy... Little Aurora is next..." he whispered. Rainbow clenched her fists, and the Chaos Crystal glowed behind her, her eyes glowing blue at the same time! "NO YOU WON'T!!" she shrieked, a large burst of energy ejecting from her body at that moment, knocking everyone over and sending the Chaos Crystal tumbling away! A portal opened in the crystal's path as it rolled, and Lospecter watched as it rolled neatly into said portal! "Hole in one! See, who needs to touch it? Nice display of power, Rain-dance! Too bad you'll never quite get a handle on it! Let's go, darkies!" Before Punchy could get up and try to stop them, Lospecter and the Darks escaped into the portal, leaving the heroes defeated once again. "...What even was that, Rainbow?" Punchy asked. "I... The crystal... It was like something awakened in me..." she babbled, rubbing her neck. Heather and Guard looked to the place the portal had been anxiously as Team Chaotix climbed to their feet. "So...what happens now?" Heather wondered.
Bucky had been unable to solve the problem of curing the Lost Ones. His latest attempt at least hadn't killed the test subject, but he was losing faith in his ability to figure this out. "Maybe I've gone as far as I can go... Maybe it's time for the next generation to take over... I'm all washed up." he murmured, turning to the door to find Gideon there. "Ah, I thought you'd gone... Say, why have you taken that form?" he asked. It was still in the form of a ferret. "I...don't know." Gideon replied. Rubbing his chin, Bucky turned to the confined Lost One. "Let's try something...."
In moments, Gideon was hooked to the capsule, and as Bucky fed electricity through another set of wires hooked to himself, Gideon began to glow, feeding its own energy to the capsule! Before they knew it, the capsule burst in a flash of bright, white light, and when the light faded, Capricorn the ferret was sitting on the table! "Unngh... Wh-where am I?" she murmured, rubbing her head, "...What am I doing here?" she questioned. Bucky smiled at her. "You're helping save the world, my dear." he declared.
Back in Station Square, the very earth shook, startling Punchy, Rainbow and the others as they made their way above ground! "Good grief! I almost fell and dropped the Scepter of Darkness! Breaking it again would be a travesty!" Professor Pickle stammered as Guard helped him climb out of the sewer. Another tremor followed. "What's happening??" Vector gasped. "Eeek! Look out at the ocean!" Rainbow pointed. A familiar shape was starting to rise out of the water. The pointed spires of a castle. Despair Castle! Lifted with it, Demon Island was rising from the depths, still in pieces. Great tethers of ectoplasmic slime burst forth from the holes in the earth where the caves would have been, and those tethers linked the broken pieces of the island together as it returned to the sky! "It's as the runes said. The stolen Chaos Crystal has been used to raise Demon Island once more. The Lost Ones are clearly planning something..." Pickle observed, voice wavering. Punchy watched the island rise with a grave expression. "We need to get everyone back in the fight... Where are they?" he wondered.
To be continued...
"Is friendship a mirage? An illusion of the heart?
When things start getting rough, will it all just fall apart?"
Alone and sad without the Deadly Six, Zim slowly made his way out of the jungle. A dark corridor appeared before him at the edge of the jungle, and both Zeke and Spiny emerged. "There you are!" the dragon smiled. Zim looked at him with immense relief at first, but then charged at Spiny. "Hedgehog!! Get away from my best friend!! Take ZIM'S WRATH!!" he shouted. "I'm not even a hedgehog!!" Spiny shouted, struggling against him.
"No, your true friends don't leave you when your eyes fill with tears.
They gather beside you, and together face your fears..."
Katie, Mia and Tommy were all together at the GUN bunker. It was a fearful time, but they felt confident that things would be alright. Then, they saw Ridley approach, with Chet, Bill and Bob following. The coati had utter heartbreak in his eyes, and he was holding Razor's police cap. "What happened? ...Chet?" Katie asked, tears forming in her eyes. Her boyfriend took her in his arms and broke down crying himself. Tommy stared at the hat in Ridley's hand, which the coati handed to him. "I...don't know what to say... I-I've failed you all..." he sniffled. "No, y-you weren't there..." Bill started, only for Ridley to raise his hand and silence him. Tears started to stream down Tommy's face, and he hugged Ridley tightly, crying into his chest. "R-razor!! N-no!!" It was getting harder to keep the hope with each passing hour within the bunker...
"And around me I see not the mirages that faded away!
You're all gathered beside me, my friends here to stay!"
Though she wanted to search for Sonic, Amy ended up following GUN's trail out of Troblusk City, aiming to reunite with her friends at their bunker. Along the way, she came across Big on the side of the road, Froggy sitting on his head. "Oh, gosh, Big, I'm glad you're okay! But what are you doing way out here?" she asked. Big rubbed his stomach. "Froggy and I can't catch any more fish, and we're hungry. Do you know what happened to all the fish?" he frowned. Amy could venture a guess, even without knowing anything about the river of slime in the Mystic Ruins. She took the cat's hand. "Come with me. I'm sure GUN has some food." she said sympathetically. She didn't want the Lost Ones catching him, either.
"If you stay true to me, I'll stay true to you,
That's what friendship means, it's what true friends do..."
Though scattered across the world, our heroes and friends had not given up yet. Be they Freedom Fighters standing vigil over the Gaia Wellsprings, Rogues soaring through the sky searching for old allies in need, a robot mechanic biding his time within his creator's old base or lab-created experiments searching for a way to save the lost... The fight to stop Doomsday would go on until the last.
"And this was the last random bonus sequence...barring Gator's adventures." - 2BIT