GeneX - Soleanna Struggle
Chapter 24 - Solaris
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.
"As the sun shines down on me,
I hold the key to give.
Take hold of the destiny.
I may give you life." - My Destiny, SONIC the Hedgehog (2006)
Using the Hurricane, Copter, Cream, Cheese, and SPOT made their way to the remains of the Egg Carrier, where SPOT had detected one of the Time Stones. The ship was a terrible wreck, but the back of the ship was far less damaged than the front, and it even seemed relatively safe to walk on. As Copter and Cream explored the ship, Cheese soon called them to a window. Looking outside, they could see that the seven Chaos Emeralds had already been collected! "Show offs! If the Time Stones weren't flung so much further than the emeralds, we'd have finished first!" Copter said, half joking. The emeralds had been arranged so that they formed a circle around Sonic. Elise was now ready to do her part. She folded her hands, as though praying, and called upon the power of the emeralds. "Oh, Chaos Emeralds, gems of miracles... Please heed my call. I wish to save this world. I wish to cleanse my father's sin, and I wish to talk to Sonic... Once again!" In response to her call, the Chaos Emeralds were lifted into the air, carrying Sonic with them. Elise walked over and stood beside the blue hedgehog. "You have given me so many things. Now, it is my time to return the favor! I care not what happens to me, but please heed my voice! Sonic... Come back! To me... to us!" Elise begged, leaning in close to Sonic and giving him a kiss! As she kissed him, the Chaos Emeralds flashed a dazzling light, and when it faded, Sonic stood before his friends once more, now in his super form! Elise began to collapse with relief and exhaustion, but Sonic caught her before she fell. "Thank you, Elise..." he whispered. Everyone who was watching cheered happily as they saw Sonic was back, but there wasn't time to celebrate, and despite having been unconscious, even Sonic realized that. After helping Elise back to her feet, Super Sonic turned to Shadow and Silver. A brief glance was all it took for them to understand. Sonic held his hands out to Shadow and Silver and began transferring some power from the Chaos Emeralds to them! In moments, all three hedgehogs glowed a brilliant, golden hue! With no time to waste, they launched themselves into the air to chase Solaris. This would be their only chance, so everyone waved and wished them good luck as the super hedgehogs raced to save all of time!
Copter and Cream wasted no more time. They quickly resumed their search for the Time Stone, which went largely unhindered due to the fact that Eggman's robots were destroyed in the crash. SPOT led them to a large platform on the underside of the ship, not unlike the place where Sonic battled Eggman to rescue Elise moments before the world fell into its present state. The green Time Stone was there, but they were too late! Fera was waiting for them, already clutching the stone in her hands! "Sorry, Copter, but I can't allow any of you to attempt to stop Solaris's plan!" she declared. "But, all of time will be destroyed if we don't..." Cream said worriedly. Fera laughed at her. "You honestly think Solaris would do that? That would destroy him, too! No, he's just going to take a moment to use his powers to destroy the humans who tried to take those powers for themselves!" she said. Copter glared at her. "I don't think so. Besides, that's no justification! Either way, countless innocents will die! That isn't right!" he growled. Fera continued holding the Time Stone in one hand while she began charging her dark power in the other. "I can see you simply can't bring yourself to understand! So, I'm afraid you'll have to die as well! Take this!" She fired a beam of dark energy a second later, barely leaving Copter with enough time to move out of the way! "Cream, Cheese, SPOT! All of you, stay back! I'll take care of Fera!" Copter shouted. Cream backed away slightly. She didn't like it, but she could feel that Fera was not one to mess around with. "Be careful, Copter!" she said. Copter ran to attack Fera, but was quickly knocked away as Fera tossed several balls of dark energy at him! Backing away slightly, Copter decided there wasn't time to mess around dodging attacks. "Chaos Whirlwind!" he shouted, trying to use the chaotic wind to knock Fera off balance! Fera simply warped away from the attack and behind Copter, slamming him in the back with her fist! Copter fell over, and Fera stomped on his tails to prevent him from standing up! "YOWWW!!! Th-that's fighting dirty!" Copter growled. "The method doesn't matter, only the result! If you show mercy in any way, you're weak!!" Fera shouted, preparing to end the battle. Suddenly, she herself was knocked over by laser fire! "Aaaah!!!" she shouted, dropping the Time Stone! Copter scrambled to his feet and spotted Char and Alpha flying overhead, waving to them. Wasting no time, Cream rushed in and grabbed the Time Stone. "That was fun! Threaten someone again!" Alpha said, aiming at Fera. The wolf stood up and glared at the robot. "Miserable machine! Fine, take the stone! There's no chance of you stopping Solaris, anyway!" she growled, warping away. Char flew down to Copter and Cream. "You guys OK? Sorry we took so long getting here. Alphie was a little scared!" the Chao explained. "I see dead batteries..." Alpha said with fear. Cream patted the robot on the back. "It'll be OK... But we have to hurry back to the castle!" she said. Copter nodded in agreement. "Right! Can't keep Heather waiting!" he said.
The sound of speeding hover boards could be heard through the halls of Aquatic Base. The Babylon Rogues were busily searching for the next Time Stone from atop their extreme gear, while Illusi joined them on his own, illusionary board. "Wh-whoa!! These things are dangerous! How do you fly around on these all the time!?" Illusi said, struggling to balance himself on the board. "Ha! It's not dangerous for people with our talent!" Jet squawked, leading the pack as they flew into a long hallway. They all put on the breaks for a moment as they found that Lost Ones had teamed up with Solaris's monsters to block the path! "OK, this looks dangerous!" Storm said with concern. "Suck it up, Storm! We don't have time to be cowards!" Wave insisted. Illusi grinned confidently. "No need to worry. I'll keep these guys in check!" he said, snapping his fingers to summon an army of Wrongos! "All right, my friends! Keep those fiends busy for us! Let's go!" The Wrongos sped ahead of them, tackling any monsters in their path so that the Babylon Rogues and Illusi could move on! The monsters far outnumbered the Wrongos, but they made the trip much easier as the Extreme Gear boards dashed through the hall, carefully avoiding any obstacles that attempted to impede their progress. It wasn't long before they found their way to the room Eggman Nega had used as his meeting place with the Babylon Rogues, where they found a Lospirit Lord waiting for them! The creature's crown contained the blue Time Stone, so they'd have to fight to get at it! "Distract the beast! I'll retrieve the Time Stone!" Illusi shouted, hopping off his imaginary board as it vanished. Jet flew up to the Lospirit Lord and taunted it. "Nya nya! You can't catch us!" he shouted, leading Wave and Storm as they swarmed around the creature, sending it into a frenzy as it frantically tried to swat them with its six hands! Once Illusi was sure it was distracted enough, he produced an illusionary sword in his hand. "OK, this is my cue. Take this, Lospirit!" he said to himself, disappearing in a puff of smoke before reappearing atop the monster's crown! He pulled the Time Stone from the crown and sliced his sword into it! "Consider yourself de-throned, lord!" he yelled, teleporting back to the ground as the Lospirit Lord died in a slimy explosion! The Babylon Rogues landed beside Illusi, covered in slime. "WHY DIDN'T YOU WARN US THAT WOULD HAPPEN!?" Jet shouted, trying to shake the slime off himself. "Ooops... Never crossed my mind..." Illusi said sheepishly. "Well, you can find a place to wash off after we get this stone back to the castle. Let's go!"
Furthest from the castle was the resting place of the final Time Stone, Onyx Island! Gemini was joined by her fellow Freedom Fighters, Fred, Adam, and Evelyn, as they searched frantically for it. The world seemed to be getting more distorted by the moment, but they knew exactly where to find the last Time Stone. They quickly made their way to the temple of Losipher, battling their way past an army of losol and loslime as they went! They'd seen many of their friends die here last time, but the stakes were far higher this time, so they weren't about to run away again. As they made their way through the Lost Temple, they could hear a mournful song coming from the organ in Losipher's room. As the melody grew louder, they knew they were getting closer, and soon they faced Losipher once again! The dark lord finished playing his song before standing up to face the Freedom Fighters. "I... assume... you are here.... for this?" he said, holding up the red Time Stone! His voice was very tense, and full of rage. "I crave death. Solaris will obliterate everything, and I will be satisfied. But first... I will kill you meddlesome wretches!!" he bellowed, already transforming into the same horrific shape he'd taken the first time they encountered him, growing to an immense size in the process! His tentacles spread through the room like wildfire, but there was one piece of good news. He'd dropped the Time Stone! "All right, everyone! Don't bother with Losipher! Get the Time Stone!" Fred shouted, prompting the group to scatter and begin going after it! Evelyn quickly found herself in trouble. "Yaaaa!! Too many tentacles!" she shouted. She was nearly grabbed by them, but Adam flew in and rescued her! "Now, now, no dying! We're too close for that, now!" he said. Gemini and Fred quickly made their way to the Time Stone, when suddenly, one of Losipher's tentacles grabbed Fred! He struggled to get free, and Gemini hesitated to continue. "Teacher!!!" she shouted in fear. Fred tried to get her to focus. "Don't worry about me! Get the stone!" he shouted. She froze. She couldn't leave him like this. Losipher sensed her fear and laughed at her. "What are you to do? If you grab the stone, I will kill him. If you don't, I will retrieve it. You cannot defeat me, you never did. I escaped. And now, I shall have my revenge! Now, what do you say, you weak, pathetic creature!" he roared. She covered her ears as he spoke, and tried to focus. As she did, the answer dawned on her. "I don't have to defeat you... And I don't have to choose!" she said, pointing her wand straight at Losipher's giant face! "Solare!!!" A giant beam of light erupted from her wand and blinded Losipher, causing him to drop Fred as he screamed in pain! Meanwhile, Adam flew Evelyn to the Time Stone, and flew her away as she grabbed it! As the light from Gemini's attack faded, Losipher could see the four of them standing in front of him with the Time Stone. "Fool! Even if you have the stone, you will never escape!!!" he growled. Fred and Gemini held up their wands as Adam and Evelyn held onto them. "On the contrary, Losipher. You can't catch us! Now, Gemini!" Fred shouted. With her friends there to back her up, Gemini remembered the one spell that would help here. "Galaporta!!" she shouted along with Fred. The group was suddenly covered in a huge beam of light, which took them away from the temple as it faded! Losipher shrieked in pain as the light hit his eyes. "Blast!! Light!!! N-N-NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"
The spell they had used was the most powerful warp spell, capable of sending groups of people great distances, especially when more than one wand cast the spell. They'd used it to warp straight back to the Soleanna castle, where everyone was waiting. "We got it!" Gemini cheered, taking it from Evelyn and adding it to the other six that the groups had left on the floor in front of Heather. "Is it time? Can I use them to get us out of here?" the phoenix asked. Bucky stepped forward. "Not until Sonic and his companions weaken Solaris. We want to be sure to have every advantage we can get!" he explained. As everyone watched the battle going on high above them, Sonic, Silver, and Shadow appeared to be making progress. Solaris was a large creature that appeared to be made of a glasslike crystal substance. At the start of the battle, he had been wearing armor that appeared to be made from hardened lava, but during the battle, the super hedgehogs had managed to destroy the armor on his arms. Now, Super Sonic was ready to tackle the rest of the armor! As Shadow and Silver kept Solaris busy defending himself against their attacks, Sonic began flying around, building up speed until he was ready. Faster than Solaris could react, Sonic charged into its chest, shattering the rest of his armor to pieces! The creature began to collapse, appearing to be defeated. "Is it over?" Silver asked hopefully. As a bright light flashed from Solaris, Shadow replied to Silver's question. "No, it's not over yet!" In a moment, Solaris reemerged from the light, transformed! He now had giant wings made of the same material as his body, and a large red sphere lodged in his chest. "I guess it's not gonna be that easy." Sonic said, noting that Solaris seemed more powerful than ever now! Dr. Eggman groaned in frustration. "Is it impossible to defeat a super-dimensional being after all?" he said, shocked by Solaris's power. Suddenly, Princess Elise noticed something. "No... Something's different... I can feel a large, powerful consciousness coming from Solaris!" she said. Eggman looked from Elise to Solaris. "What? A consciousness? Hmm... That's it! That's his core! Even if we can't stop his form, we can stop his consciousness!" he realized. Amy pointed up at the sphere lodged in Solaris's chest. "Look! There's a strange thing in the middle of Solaris! Isn't that the core?" she said. Super Sonic pointed to the red sphere. "Right, we know what to do then! Let's get that core!" he said to Silver and Shadow.
Thus, the final showdown began! Solaris began firing lasers from his core, but the super hedgehogs had no problem avoiding them. Additionally, Solaris hurled meteors at them, which seemed a bit harder to dodge. As Sonic and Shadow rushed out of the way, Super Silver used his psychic powers to grab the meteors before they could hit him! He then hurled them back at Solaris, but the laser coming from its core destroyed most of the meteors before they could hit! Still, some of the meteors did hurt Solaris, and Super Sonic attempted to attack him while he recovered. However, Solaris recovered quickly, and smacked Sonic away with his crystal hand, causing Sonic to drop some rings as well! "Sonic! Be careful, will you!? We just used up a lot of time saving your life!" Shadow shouted. Sonic grinned sheepishly at him. "Right... Sorry... I'll go find some rings!" he said, flying out of the line of fire. Super Shadow took his place on the offensive. "Time to unleash the ultimate power! Spear Storm!!" he shouted, unleashing a barrage of Chaos Spears toward the core! Solaris took the hit, but seemed unfazed as it quickly fought back with a laser, sending Shadow flying, along with some of his rings. "Aah!! He seems to be speeding up!" Shadow said as he flew in search of rings. Silver flew back into the fray, grabbing meteors as Solaris threw them. "All right! It's just you and me, Solaris! Take this!" he shouted, hurling the meteors back at Solaris. The creature spun around in the air, swatting the incoming meteors with his wings! "Hey, I didn't know you could do that!" Silver groaned, starting to feel a bit helpless. Solaris began firing lasers at Silver, which he was having trouble dodging, but stopped after his core was struck by more Chaos Spears! Shadow and Sonic had already returned, ready to fight! Shadow immediately began shooting spears rapidly to keep Solaris busy. "This isn't going to work fast enough!" he said, realizing that Chaos Spear wasn't causing much damage. "We need to try to hit him all at once! That should do it!" Sonic suggested. Silver looked worried. "I can't seem to even hit him. And I'm running low on rings!" he said. Sonic pointed in the direction of the rings he'd found. "You go, and we'll keep Solaris busy!" he said. As Silver left, Sonic raced towards the core, while Shadow had unleashed another barrage of spears! As both attacks approached Solaris, he retaliated by firing several lasers in all directions, making it impossible for Sonic to hit him! As the two hedgehogs scrambled to escape the attack, Sonic knew there was only one way he was going to hit Solaris. "I'm gonna need to fly away for a minute! Think you can handle Solaris for now?" he asked Shadow. "No problem..." Shadow muttered. As Sonic left, Silver returned. Shadow was busy avoiding Solaris's attacks, so Silver used his power to grab the meteors and make it easier for Shadow. "Silver! Go and grab as many of those meteors as you can!" Shadow told him. "What for? Solaris just keeps destroying them when I throw them!" Silver said. "Then grab more than he can destroy!" Shadow replied. Super Silver wasn't sure if it would do any good, but he decided to give it a try. Solaris's lasers made it difficult to keep the meteors from being destroyed, but Shadow did his best to keep Solaris distracted. In a moment, he could hear an object approaching at high speed. "Now, Silver!" Shadow shouted, firing as many Chaos Spears as he could towards Solaris. Silver threw all the meteors he'd collected, and as Solaris fired the laser to destroy most of them, Super Sonic came speeding towards Solaris's core! He pushed some meteors Solaris had missed along as he charged at the core at speeds only he could pull off, and as a result, all three of the super hedgehogs' attacks managed to hit the core at once, with extreme force! The impacts created a large explosion, and as Sonic rejoined Shadow and Silver, they peered through the smoke to see what happened to Solaris. At first, it seemed that Solaris was only shaken, but in a second, the creature began screeching in pain as the red sphere began to crack and shatter!
From their vantage point below the action, it seemed to those watching that the light containing Solaris was breaking up, sending dozens of glowing meteors flying as Solaris was apparently destroyed. Everyone gave a cheer as they believed it was finally over, but Elise continued praying until Super Silver, Super Shadow, and Super Sonic emerged from the light, landing in front of them. As the light began flashing brighter, Copter and Gemini stood beside Heather. "It's time..." Copter said, glancing back at Bucky to be sure. Bucky nodded. Knowing what she had to do, Heather called upon the power of the Time Stones, causing them to levitate around her. "Time Stones... grant me your power! Show us the way to completely stop Solaris!" she shouted as the Time Stones began to lift her into the air! Copter flew into the air to follow her. "Aeroft." Gemini whispered, using her wand's power to float along with Copter and Heather. As the Time Stones began glowing, they seemed to catch Solaris with their power, making it appear to change shape. As everything went dark, Heather could see a single, tiny flame amidst the darkness...
Princess Elise found herself floating in the darkness, glancing around in search of anything she could find. In a moment, she found Sonic floating near her. As a soft light began shining behind them, Elise had to ask a question. "Did you destroy it?" Sonic glanced at the light behind them. "...No." he said, motioning to a time portal behind them. Sonic could see something on the other side of the portal. "That is the true Solaris." he realized. Elise followed Sonic as he floated over to the portal, disappearing into another time. Heather, Copter, and Gemini arrived moments later. Gemini was holding the Time Stones. "What do we do now?" she asked, unsure of what had just happened. Copter glanced at the portal. "We see where it takes us. It should lead to a way to stop Solaris... Right?" he said, looking over at Heather. The phoenix nodded. "Yes... That's what I asked for..." she said. Without any further debate, the three of them followed Sonic and Elise's trail, floating into the portal. They didn't notice that someone else was following them from the shadows...
Sonic, Elise, Copter, Heather, and Gemini each saw a glimpse of the past. The former king of Soleanna stood before an altar, along with a young Princess Elise. A tiny flame sat inside a small barrier. "Look, Elise. This is Solaris, the Flame of Hope." the old king said. Young Elise gazed at the flame with wonder. "It's so beautiful..." she said. Her father smiled at her. "When the flame has grown large enough, our world will change. Solaris will allow us to control time, and move through history. People will be able to rectify past mistakes, and avoid bitter fate." he explained. Elise looked up at him hopefully. "Will we be able to see Momma?" she asked. The king smiled warmly. "Yes, Elise. We'll both be able to see your mother once again." he said. As the king led the young Elise away, the room appeared to become black and white as Sonic and Elise entered. Copter, Heather, and Gemini stayed just outside the entrance, watching them. Elise walked up to the altar. "This is where everything began. Who knew such a tiny flame could bring such devastation." she said, tapping her fingers on the barrier around the flame and causing it to vanish. She reached out and took the object the flame was burning on. "If we put out this flame, Solaris will never exist, and then we'll never have to worry about the Flames of Disaster, right?" she asked, glancing at Sonic. The hedgehog nodded. It sounded like an ideal solution. However, Elise thought of something. "But our encounter..." she said, turning to Sonic. He knew what she was thinking as he looked up at her, but he didn't say anything. "You and I will never meet!" Elise realized, sadness entering her voice. A tear ran down her face as she continued. "I... To tell the truth... I don't care what happens to the world!" she shouted. "Elise..." Sonic said. She looked down at him, waiting to hear what he had to say. "Just smile." Sonic told her. His words filled her heart, and a second later, she did find herself smiling. Neither of them spoke another word. Elise looked down at the flame, then slowly began to blow it out...
"No!" gasped someone behind Copter, Heather, and Gemini! They turned around to find Fera, who looked horrified by what was happening. "You... you fools!! You'll give the world back to those humans! I... I can't allow that to happen!" she shouted. Copter was unmoved by Fera's words. "It's over, Fera. Give it up!" he said. Heather nodded in agreement. "This is for the best." she said. Fera growled menacingly at them. "For... For the BEST!? You say it's for the best!?! You fake furries!! This is the worst! But I can still set it right... Give me those Time Stones!" she shouted, reaching for the Time Stones in Gemini's arms. "No! Stop it! Get away from me! Fera!!" she shouted as Copter and Heather rushed to help her! As they began to struggle, the Time Stones started to glow, and in a sudden flash of light, all four of them were carried to another point in time!
With Solaris's flame blown out, the future changed, but not completely. The Sun Festival was still as magnificent as it had been before. Crowds gathered all around Soleanna's Castle Town to watch the festivities. Just as before, Elise was being transported on a large boat to the Festival Torch as dancers pranced about and fireworks dazzled the crowd. Still, there was one difference. As the boat carrying Princess Elise passed under the bridge just before the Festival Torch, Sonic the Hedgehog ran through the streets! He stopped for a moment to look at the boat, then ran across the bridge, stirring up a mighty wind as he did so! The wind was so strong that it blew one of the feathers from Elise's hair! The princess looked startled for a moment. "Miss Elise?" called one of her attendants, wondering what was wrong. Elise gazed up at her feather as it blew away. "It felt like... Someone was calling me." she said. Her attendant smiled. "I'm sure it's just the wind." she said. "Of course." Elise replied, her mind trying to recall a distant memory that was now lost to her. "But it felt so... familiar somehow..." As her feather flew across the sky, it passed Sonic, who had run up to a rooftop high above the city. He smiled as he watched it blow high into the sky. Though he couldn't remember his adventure with Elise, his heart could recall what his mind couldn't...
Elsewhere, Copter the Fox was exploring the city of Soleanna, searching for someone. He'd never met the person he was looking for. All he knew was that it was Experiment 7. Even the Doomsayer had seemed unsure of this experiment's significance, but Copter came to search for it anyway. As he wandered near the gate to New City, he recognized her immediately, though he didn't know how. Heather was standing with the crowd, looking around like a lost child. She glanced at Copter for a moment, and stared at him for a few seconds, as though she thought she recognized him. In another moment, though, she looked away. Originally, the Doomsayer had made Copter believe that Experiment 7 was dangerous, but as Copter saw her now, his heart told him otherwise. He walked toward her, hoping to make a new friend. However, a pair of sinister eyes watched them from the shadows...
To be continued...