Sonic GeneX: Doomsday
Chapter 50 - Final Despair
Stage 23x - Ruined Castle
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 will be the one to set your heart free, true!
Cleanse yourself of evil spirits that got in you!
Won't be frightened, I'll stand up to all the pain and turmoil.
Just believe in myself, won't rely on others!
Freedom will be waiting when serenity is restored.
This is my planet, I shall not surrender!
Won't be frightened, I'll stand up to all the pain and turmoil.
Just believe in myself, won't rely on others!
Get this power to wipe out the havoc and anarchy.
This is my planet, gonna fight..." - Unknown From M.E, Sonic Adventure
Previously on GeneX…
Knuckles and his allies headed into Despair Castle to get the final Chaos Emeralds from the Darkseeker, Howler. The halls were guarded by Hyper-Peons, the crazed result of Howler's experiments on the stolen Wisps, but our heroes escaped the guards and arrived at the throne room.
Howler turned Knuckles' daughter, Lara, into a Hyper-Peon. However, Knuckles sensed Chaos energy in the transformation, and used the Master Emerald to stop it. However, overpowering the Wisp energy as well caused the Master Emerald to crumble into pieces!
The group fought with Howler, and united, they nearly seemed to have him cornered, but he took the Chaos Emeralds and used their power to draw ALL of the crazed Wisps into himself, initiating a terrible transformation that the Master Emerald could no longer stop!
Now, our tale continues...
Colorful energy was tearing Despair Castle apart as Knuckles, Violet, Lara, Shade, Rouge, Sally and Rotor all bade a beeline for the main gate. A chunk of the ceiling crashed down among the group, scattering them as they shouted in alarm! "Wh-what's going to happen?? We couldn't even beat any of those guys with ONE supercharged Wisp in them!" Violet stammered. "We need the Master Emerald pieces!" Rouge shouted, glancing back. Knuckles grabbed her arm. "Now is not the time! This castle is coming down!" He was right, as more chunks of the ceiling crashed down around them! Rotor covered his head as he dashed for the gate. "I'm, ahh, n-not cut out for all this runnin!" he huffed. Another piece of the ceiling was about to land on him, but Violet warped to him quickly, and then warped him to safety! "Everyone, hurry!" she cried. Behind them, a massive fist smashed through the castle wall, briefly shifting into a blue cube shape, and then a gray boulder before shifting back into a colorful clawed hand, which started to tear the wall open, revealing the massive shape of Howler attempting to chase them, his body covered in a rainbow of Hyper-go-on energy! "After beating Howler as a giant ink blot, I never thought I'd have to face him as the rest of the paint set!" Knuckles shouted, knocking away some rubble with his Chaos Claws as he stayed at the back of the group, thinking he might have to cover their escape. "We...are...Despair Wisp!!" Howler roared, twin lasers firing from his eyes to cause further damage throughout the castle! Sally grabbed Knuckles by the arm this time, urging him to join the others. "You can't fight him here! Let's go!" she told him. Nodding, Knuckles followed her lead to the gate.
Exiting the castle, Knuckles found the others blocked from going too far by Apocalos himself! "Well, if it isn't the other big bad!" he growled, pointing his claws at the toothy Lost One. Apocalos gave a light chuckle. "You appear to have bitten off a bit more than you can chew. If you need help, the Lost Ones will gladly provide assistance in destroying the traitor Howler. He stole one Chaos Emerald and hid the other from us." he stated, not seeming particularly surprised at the betrayal. Violet scoffed at the Lost One. "We'll never work with you! Rather than trade one monster for another, we'll find a way to beat both of you!" she shouted. Howler gave a shrug, lightning striking behind him as he chuckled softly. "Do as you like. I'm a patient immortal. You can destroy one another for my amusement. If either side comes out alive, their souls will feed my ambitions. Oh, yes, I'll be watching you... Best of luck." he said in his raspy voice, vanishing as the lightning struck once again. "Great, he's gone, can we get clear of the castle like, NOW??" Lara shouted, pointing back to show the central spire was crumbling as Howler's head burst out of the roof, the Wisp power causing him to grow to gargantuan proportions! Shouting in alarm, Knuckles and the others ran to put more distance between themselves and the castle, so that the collapsing rubble and the clouds of dust wouldn't harm them as the raging Howler, or "Despair Wisp," tore the former headquarters of the Covenant of Despair apart! Nothing would put the castle together again after this kind of destruction. Rouge watched the castle being destroyed with utter misery in her eyes. "The pieces of the Master Emerald are buried under all that!" she whined. Knuckles nodded in agreement. "And they may be the only way to win this..." he realized.
It was debatable if this was about to be the greatest danger any of them had faced so far that day. The Clock Tower explosion was pretty dire, and Losipher might have killed them all had Shadow not warped him away. Still, their luck sure felt about to expire, and it seemed best not to throw all their eggs in this battle-basket, so Knuckles suggested going it alone. "Howler wants me the most anyway. I can give you all the chance to escape and form another plan." he told them. Sally frowned. "I don't like it at all, but you're not wrong." she sighed. Shade glanced from the very anxious Lara to Knuckles, and arrived at a decision. "You're going to make it, Knuckles. Even if you'll be too stubborn to let me go along, you'll still have my help." she said, taking off the Chaos Gauntlets and handing them to him, "I'll remain with our daughter, and keep her safe..." Knuckles and Lara both looked a bit stunned. "OUR daughter??" Knuckles stammered, taking a good look at the two girls side by side. Lara did have mostly red fur, but looking close, Knuckles could see hints of orange in her hair and quills. Also, she had her mother's eyes. Knuckles started to blush. "I...should've realized..." he babbled. Shade blushed as well. "So, we know you'll be back, because she's here from the future." she winked. "I-it doesn't necessarily work like that..." Lara stammered, but Knuckles had equipped the gauntlets, and the claws over top of them. "I WILL make it back!" he promised, turning to start towards the Despair Wisp. As he started to go, he soon found Violet walking beside him. "What are you doing?" he asked. "I've gotta settle things with Howler, too." she smirked. Rouge stepped to Knuckles' other side. "And you'll need help reassembling the Master Emerald!" she smirked. Knuckles sighed, then smiled. At this point, he couldn't see doing this without them, anyway. "Come on, then!"
The collapse of Despair Castle was quite the spectacle, and was noticed across the island. Even Shadow, Kosmo and Starr, who were more to the edge of the island, couldn't help but stop and observe the destruction. "Wonderful, I didn't want to have to go back in there, anyway." Kosmo sighed. "Wh-what the heck is that thing destroying the castle??" Starr pointed. Shadow's eyes narrowed, observing the colorful giant smashing the area. "Another ghost of the past..." he murmured, turning away, "It's a distraction. The real enemies are busying themselves somewhere..." he grunted, not wanting to lose perspective on the real dangers.
Elsewhere, Copter and Gemini were also watching the destruction, joined by their friends once again. "I guess Knuckles found Howler..." Gemini stammered. "He's not exactly hiding..." Adam murmured while Evelyn and Timothy just watched the scene in shock. Copter growled softly and spread out his arms as he stood between Gemini, Chopper, and the danger in the distance. "Let him come! Let 'em all come! No one's layin' a hand on my family!! Hear me? Come closer and you'll see what happened to Ophiuchus!!" he shouted. Gemini placed a hand on his shoulder, giggling softly. "My hero..." she said playfully.
Punchy and Rainbow thought they'd found a bit of peace after having fought their way past countless Lost Ones. They'd been separated from their friends, but Heather and Guard would take good care of them. However, the sight of the colorful giant set Punchy off. "Howler, you giant ego!! Didn't get enough last time!? I'll come right down there and give you a taste of Dark Punky power again!! Lemme at him!!" he shouted, starting to stomp off toward the ruined castle! Rainbow followed along angrily as well. "He's stealin' my look, too, One! And I owe him a slap for my sister!" she yelled, eager to join Punchy's attempt to get involved in the fight before it's too late!
Sonic was rather close to the action. In fact, bits of the castle almost landed on his and Lucky's heads. "Meee-yow!! The sky is falling!!" Lucky yelped. "Get to safety! I'll take care of the glowy giant!" Sonic shouted, only for a familiar laugh to catch his attention. "Now, now, Sonic! Your fight's with me, not Howler!" Glancing away from the castle, the group saw the Egg Mobile hovering in the air! "Uhh, could you come back later, Eggy?" Whisk whimpered. Eggman sneered. "I'm confident our friend Knuckles will wrap things up here. Don't you want to know what I've got in store next, Sonic?" the doctor snickered. Amy stepped forward with her hammer. "We'll hold him...off?" she gasped as Sonic took off without waiting for her to finish speaking, chasing Eggman into the woods! "Hey!! What about the big monster, Sonic!!" Amy shouted. "Maybe we could help Mr. Knuckles?" Cream suggested. Lucky gulped. "I think we'd get in the way..." he murmured.
No one else would make it to help. It was all up to Knuckles, Violet and Rouge to put a stop to Howler, the "Despair Wisp." They crept through the rubble that was left of Despair Castle, and approached the giant glowing wolf, who glared down at them with hatred. "You pathetic fools! You think your puny Relics are a match for our power?!" Despair Wisp roared. Knuckles looked up at him and raised his fists. "Guess we'll find out, won't we?" he said, glancing at Rouge and giving her a nod. The bat took off in another direction while Knuckles started shadow boxing in Despair Wisp's direction, sending energy blasts from the Chaos Gauntlets his way in order to distract him while Rouge began her search for the Master Emerald pieces! Despair Wisp really didn't seem affected by the attacks, beyond annoyance. He glared down at Knuckles and fired cyan lasers from his eyes, forcing both him and Violet to rush out of the way! Knuckles kept the gauntlet blasts coming, his goal being to keep Howler distracted. "Maybe I just gotta hit ya in the right spot!" he shouted tauntingly. Despair Wisp balled his claws into a fist, and morphed that fist into a gray Quake ball, slamming it down towards Knuckles! He leapt up high and started to climb the sky using the Chaos Claws, escaping the crushing blow Howler gave to the rubble below! "Hold still, you red insect!" the Despair Wisp snarled. Violet warped atop his spherical fist, catching his attention. "Maybe the Relics don't bother ya, but how about this!?" she yelled, striking him in the chest with a beam of dark energy fired from her hands! His hand changed back to normal, and grabbing her in his massive grip, he tossed her in the air, opening his mouth wide as if to swallow her!
"Hang on!" Climbing up using the Chaos Claws, Knuckles was able to take hold of Violet's hand before she could fall into Howler's gaping mouth. However, a violet void appeared in his mouth, and started to pull them in with the force of a black hole! Violet's grip on his hand was quickly slipping! "He's too powerful! What do we do?" she shouted. "We get down from here and take that power away!" Knuckles grunted. Nodding, Violet used her dark power to warp them away, prompting the frustrated Howler to shut his mouth and stop the void. "Where are you hiding, pests?" he growled, looking around to see Rouge digging through the rubble. She lifted out a chunk of the Master Emerald, her eyes lighting up. "Come to mommy..." she purred. "So, that is your pathetic plan? As if it will save you!" Howler bellowed, balling up his other fist and morphing it into a mass of pink spikes before swinging those spikes towards the bat! However, after his spiked hand passed by, he could see no sign of Rouge, not so much as a skewered body on the spikes. A few feet away, Rouge burst out of the ground, brushing dirt out of her hair. "Whew, good thing I came prepared with my Pick Nails." she sighed, having burrowed underground to survive. Despair Wisp responded by transforming both hands into yellow drills! "Try to escape from this!!" he growled. "Hey, Howler, I'm the one you want!" shouted Knuckles, who was hanging from the Chaos Claws at eye level to the giant, over to his left. Howler glanced at him and scoffed. "I want you all! But since you insist, I'll start with you..." Before Howler could finish speaking, though, Knuckles had started to swing his body, detaching the claws from the air once he was ready to go into a glide! He pointed the claws right at Howler's eye as he soared towards him!
There was a bit of a cyan explosion right in Howler's face as Knuckles collided with his attempted laser defense! Rouge and Violet didn't have time to check on him as they gathered up the Master Emerald shards. "Good thing they all stayed fairly close together for once!" Rouge sighed. "I hope the Master Emerald has had enough time to recover after it was used on Lara earlier..." Violet murmured. The pair of them hastened to reassemble the emerald, while Knuckles tumbled to the ground close to them, groaning in pain while Howler clutched his eye. "Now... We will destroy you all at once..." the Despair Wisp snarled. Violet looked at Knuckles with concern. "You okay?" she asked. He staggered to his feet, approaching the Master Emerald. "Hold him off... I need to appeal to... the Master Emerald." he grunted. Violet and Rouge nodded. "Don't let me down, tough guy!" Rouge told him as she and Violet charged after Howler, both of them tossed away by a blast of ivory lightning, the villain smirking as he reveled in the notion of tearing them apart while Knuckles watched. He grit his teeth, knowing he had to focus. "The servers are the seven chaos... Chaos is power, enriched by the heart... The controller serves to unify the chaos..." Howler wasn't letting up, striking Rouge with his laser eye, and bombarding Violet with black bombs. Their desperate cries gave Knuckles pause, but he knew the only way to help them. "Master Emerald, I beseech you... I know there's a great power in your way... But I need you to stop the emeralds' energy...one more time!!" The Master Emerald started to glow brightly, working with all its might! The glow caught Howler's attention, and his limbs started shifting into various colored forms in his panic. "No... NO!! You cannot...take this power...from me!! The world is mine...MINE!! I earned it! I worked centuries for it!! I will not be denied!!" he shouted, howling in his defiant rage!
All of the Wisps flew out of Howler as he shrunk back down to his natural size, and those Wisps scattered off to escape their tormentor. Howler collapsed to his knees, panting in exhaustion and generally looking defeated. The Chaos Emeralds rolled away from him as Knuckles started to approach, pausing to look for Violet and Rouge. They were battered quite a bit, but the two girls seemed okay as they also started to approach Howler. The Master Emerald had also shattered again, but Knuckles couldn't worry about that now. "All that time. All those centuries you talk about... Why, Howler?" Knuckles asked, "Why did you never once try to move past your hate and learn to live with, and maybe even love, other people?" It wasn't just Howler, either. Ophiuchus, Mephiles, Apocalos, for whatever reason with as much time as they had on their hands, their only conclusion was selfish violence. Howler looked up and scoffed at him. "This may shock you, island boy, but there's nothing to love. There isn't really such a concept, and it is naïve to think otherwise. All people, all beings live with hate in their hearts, and they always will, and it will always drive them to destroy! They are the ones that should be destroyed!" he shouted, holding his side and groaning in pain. Violet crossed her arms. "That's a load of garbage and you know it! Otherwise, you wouldn't have exploited peoples' bonds to build your army! We were like a family! And I spent years trying to save the family I found with your Covenant! And I succeeded!" she shouted. "He isn't worth the breath, hun." Rouge sighed. Howler smirked. "And what brought your family together? It wasn't love, it was hate...for humans!" he pointed out. Violet looked taken aback for a moment, but she shook her head at him. "But only love could keep us together after the hate had passed. Looks like you'll never understand that, though." she sighed.
Howler growled in pain as his arm was forcibly tugged up, and a clawed hand grabbed for his Despair Seal! "It was quite a show, and I thank you for subduing this traitor! Now, watch what becomes of him!" said Apocalos, lightning crashing behind him as he tore the Seal off of Howler's wrist and crushed it in his clawed hand! "Noooo!!! Y-you can't, you... You monster!!" Howler cried, terror flashing in his eyes as his body rapidly deteriorated without the Seal's power! He let out a mournful, miserable howl as his rotted corpse crumbled into dust before the eyes of his enemies! "I hate to agree with Howler, but that WAS monstrous!" Rouge gasped. Knuckles raised his fists, glaring at Apocalos as a thunderstorm raged around him. "Kill a guy when he's down... You guys are nothing but cowards! I wanna settle this now!!" he shouted. Violet gulped as she looked around. "This might not be the best time..." she murmured, pointing out motion amidst the castle rubble. Various Lost Ones were rising up through the cracks, and Apocalos laughed softly at them as they were being surrounded. "You know full well he was already a corpse. But you, we offer eternal life...as Lost Ones!" he sneered. Rouge had picked up the two Chaos Emeralds, and now looked around for the best escape route. "Well, it's been fun, Knux, but I gotta fly!" she said, flapping her wings and taking off! Knuckles growled and then sighed. "A reckoning is coming!" he grunted, turning and hurling several blasts from the Chaos Gauntlets to knock out any creatures in his way so that he and Violet could start to run! They could see Punchy and Rainbow approaching the castle as they fled. "Aw, One, we missed the action!" Rainbow sighed. "No we didn't!" Punchy grunted, pointing to lospides and loskulls chasing after Knuckles and Violet! "We can catch up later, green! Let's shake these guys and find our friends!!" Knuckles shouted. The battle with Howler was over, but the war was still just starting...
Gator's Crazy Adventure!!
It took Gator a while to figure out where he had to go to contact 2BIT. Each world BIT Squad used to watch over still had a Nexus Point through which the Squad could be contacted via Blocky. In this world, that Nexus Point just happened to be one of the places he'd already visited. "It was the island!" No, Gator. "It was the Eggman island!" No island, Gator. It was the spot where he'd been run over by the train. "You really hate me, don't you, narrator?" I don't make the rules, I just work here. (I totally make the rules.) Fortunately, the train wasn't running anymore due to "Zombie Apocalypse Conditions." This left Gator all the chapters he needed since his last appearance to figure out how to access the Nexus Point. To be fair, it did involve a complex sequence of tapping bricks in the tunnel. "Why can't you be easy, phone call?! Obey me!! I am INFINITY BIT!!" After losing his temper and getting into a bit of a brawl with the wall, he somehow punched in the right code. A set of bricks pulled back to unveil a magic screen, and the polygonal form of Blocky could be seen. He appeared to be aboard a green pirate ship. "Hey!! You took my ship! Mutiny! Orrr...hey, can you pick me up?" Gator asked. Blocky beeped a couple times and turned his cubical head. "Boss! It's Gator. Should I hang up, blip boop?" he asked. "If you hang up, I'll, I'll...cry..." Gator whined. "What could Gator want now?" Approaching the screen, a certain light blue fox emerged, twirling a space blaster on his finger, "Sorry if I've been hard to reach! Been having some adventures!" he chuckled. Gator noticed some wooden chests behind the fox, implying that he may have taken his ship to more worlds than one. "Well, I've had one CRAZY adventure! Narrator, help me tell the story, it's a doozy!" Wha... I don't have time to retell fifty chapters now! I'm leaving! We'll have to catch up with these guys near the finale!
"Huh... Fifty chapters? Isn't that usually the end?? Oh boy, I get the feeling things have gone to pot without me to play god..." - 2BIT
To be continued...