GeneX - Nightmare Zone: Act VII
Paranormal Chaos 2
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.
Princess Sally, Antoine, and related non-Sega characters are (c) DiC and Archie comics.
There are many dimensions in the multiverse. All of them are filled with both good and evil. The planet Mobius, nestled in the dimension of GeneX Spectre, had long been dominated by darkness. The evil Dr. Robotnik had used his sinister technology to conquer much of the planet, leaving only small groups of Freedom Fighters to oppose him. Ghosts began to haunt his empire, and the Freedom Fighters branched out into ghost-catching "Phantom Fighters." As the pollution of Robotnik's robot factories caught up with him, he hatched a plan to use the Phantom Fighters' own ghost catching technology to cheat death and rule the planet for eternity by re-engineering one of their Paranormal Chaos Devices, or "PCDs", into a machine that would recover his departed spirit from beyond the grave. Betrayed by one of their own team mates, the Phantom Fighters fell into a trap, but with the quick thinking of Sonic and his Uncle Chuck, they managed to beat Robotnik's ghost, reversing his machine and sending him back to the spirit world! Mobius was free! Or so they thought...
The Freedom Fighters were assembled inside Rotor the Walrus's laboratory, which had been largely dedicated to the study of paranormal activity in recent years, and as such looked quite a bit like a mad scientist's laboratory. Six of the seven PCDs were propped up on a table in the back, each fitted with one of the seven Chaos Emeralds. Princess Sally had set up a map of the surrounding areas covering Rotor's blackboard, and was briefing the group on recent developments. Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, Antoine D'Coolette, Bunnie Rabbot, Copter the Fox, Gemini the Fennec, Punchy the Echidna and Rainbow the Echidna were assembled in the crowded room, while Uncle Chuck helped Rotor with some technical stuff elsewhere in the lab. Dulcy the Dragon, unable to fit in the room, observed through an open window. Sally cleared her throat before starting the mission briefing. "Okay, so as you all know, the reconstruction of Mobotropolis has hit a few... snags." she began. "You sure we can't just build a new Mobotropolis over Knothole?" Copter mumbled. "Don't be silly, Two. Then where would everyone flee in the event of another coup? Robotropolis?" Rainbow said. Sally shrugged. "Well, either way... We're being haunted on two fronts. First, a lot of spooky happenings have been reported around the vicinity of... Dr. Robotnik's ancestral home, Kintobor Manor." she shuddered. "The 'ol House of Ivo itself, huh? Could Ro-butt-nik be back?" Sonic growled. Sally crossed her arms, looking troubled. "That would indeed be disturbing. So much so that Knuckles left his post on the Floating Island to check it out. He hasn't been heard from since." she reported. Antoine shivered. "Oh no! Perhaps he has been captivated by goosts!" he yelped. Sally nodded. "I'm afraid you might be right, Antoine. That's why I want you and Tails to check it out and rescue him if possible! Rotor has perfected a teleporter that will get you there quickly, and should be able to pull you back if there's trouble." she said. Tails smiled. "Cool! The ghosts won't know what hit 'em!" he said. Antoine, however, had a look of abject horror, and Sonic had a look of protest. "Hey, Sal! Are you serious!? I should be leadin' this mission! Robotnik could be there! And you're sending Antoine and TAILS!? No offense, there, little bro." the blue hedgehog said. Tails did look a tad annoyed, but Sally spoke up before an argument could begin. "We need you here, Sonic. There's a much stronger paranormal signal coming from the Dark Swamp than Kintobor Manor. The rest of the Phantom Fighters are going there to check it out, and that includes you!" she said, pointing to the Dark Swamp on the map. Gemini nodded. "Sounds like business as usual! Time to get geared up!" she said. While everyone went to grab their PCDs, Punchy stayed back. "Hey, Knuckles took my PCD! How am I going?" he wondered. "You're not." Sally told him, "But I am. I'll be leading the Dark Swamp mission. Any objections, Bunnie?" she asked. Bunnie sat back in a chair and yawned. "Anytime you wanna give me a vacation from ghoulies is fine, Sally-girl." she said. "I hope Robotnik ATE Knuckles." Punchy grumbled.
While Sonic, Sally, Copter and Gemini were gearing up for their mission to the Dark Swamp, Rotor was getting Tails and Antoine prepped for their journey to Kintobor Manor. "Here you go, Antoine. Get yourself strapped in to your PCD." Rotor instructed. Antoine shook his head, clasping his hands together as though in prayer. "Oh, no, pleeeease, Rootor! Do not be sending me to the terrible Houses of Ivo! Anythings but that!" he begged. Uncle Chuck shook his head. "It won't be so bad, Antoine. We're ready to bring you back at any time with Rotor's teleporter. Look!" he said, motioning to the machine. It looked like a large claw reaching up from the floor, holding out a laser nozzle. After handing Antoine his PCD, Rotor held up the remote to the teleporter. "It's really great. With the remote, all I'll have to do is tell the machine to retrieve you, and the satellite will pick up the signal from your PCDs and pull you all back, no sweat." he explained briefly. Tails looked amazed. "You built a satellite, too!?" he gasped. Rotor shrugged. "Well, Robotnik built it. I repurposed it. Ready to go?" he said, pointing the remote at the teleporter. Antoine started to freak out. "No, no, NO!! I am telling you, this is not a good idea!!" he shouted. "Get a grip, 'Tony! Sheesh, and they let YOU be a Phantom Fighter." Dulcy mumbled from the window. The teleporter fired at Tails, sending him on his way in a flash, and then started to target Antoine, but he was dead set against going. "Rotor, I am still begging you!! Turn off your internal machine, you kooky scientist!!" he yelped, grabbing onto the walrus and shaking him violently. "A-ant!! Get off me!! I can't get sent with you!! ANT!!" Rotor hollered, but it was too late. The teleporter beam fired, and in a flash, both Rotor and Antoine were gone! "Uh, oh... That can't be good..." Dulcy gulped, "Well, at least I didn't bust up the lab this time!" she giggled, though Uncle Chuck was looking much more worried...
Tails was startled as Antoine and Rotor emerged together a few feet away from him, Antoine's PCD plopping to the ground beside them! "Ant! Strap on your gear already! This mansion's haunted!" he shouted, "Wait... Why is Rotor here?" he wondered. Rotor rubbed his side and looked around. "I'm gonna register a complaint against you, Antoine..." he grumbled, holding up the teleporter remote, "Uh... This isn't good." he gasped. "What? It is not broked, is it?" Antoine asked, hastily strapping on his PCD. Rotor shook his head. "No, it's WAY out of range! I don't know how we're going to get back to Knothole!" he whimpered. The communicator attached to Tails's PCD laser beeped a bit, so Tails answered it. "Are you boys all right?" It was Uncle Chuck! "Um...Sorta." Tails reported. Chuck nodded. "Without the remote, I don't know how to work Rotor's machine, but I'll work on it. Otherwise, it's a long walk home! And tough, since the ghosts may not let ya leave! Careful in there, kiddos. Rotor's defenseless, so look out for him." he said. Tails nodded. "I'll do my best. Tails out!" he replied. As they all looked around the foyer of the mansion where the teleporter had deposited them, they shivered a little. It was dark, dank, dusty and covered in cobwebs. Those cobwebs were crawling with tiny, ghostly spiders, so they knew they had their work cut out for them. "Gosh, even the bugs here are ghosts. Should we zap 'em, Rotor?" Tails wondered. Rotor shrugged, but Antoine started firing wildly all around the room. "I will not be sneaked up on by teensy bug goosts!! Take that and that and that again!!" he yelled. When he stopped, the spider ghosts seemed to have simply fled. However, they soon noticed something peek out of some tiny holes in the walls. "M-mice?" Tails mumbled. Several ghostly mice scampered across the floor, some stopping to stick their tongues out at Antoine before diving into another hole. Antoine yelped, while Rotor sighed. "We better get moving. It's only going to get tougher, so we better fill your containment tanks with the dangerous ghosts." he reasoned.
The Dark Swamp was much closer, and Sonic, Sally, Copter and Gemini didn't require a teleporter in order to get there. Still, Sonic might have preferred it, since hiking with the others put a strain on his impatient nature. "Hey, Sal, are we there yet!? It's startin' to feel swampy, but the transition's so slow walkin', I can't tell when the forest ends and the swamp begins!" he complained. "Maybe we should've brought Antoine instead. HE wouldn't be complaining about how slow we're moving!" Copter grumbled. Sally rolled her eyes and pulled out her personal computer, Nicole. "Picking up any paranormal signals yet, Nicole?" she asked. The computer lit up in response. "Scanning, Sally... There do appear to be spirits hiding in the surrounding area. Caution advised." Nicole warned. Gemini looked around cautiously. "Could the ghosts be laying a trap for us?" she wondered. Sonic glanced at the crooked, spooky trees of the swamp and rolled his eyes. "What kinda trap could they set out here? HEY! Spooks! Get your ghostly behinds out here so we can fry 'em!" he shouted. Copter scoffed. "Yeah, like that'll work." Suddenly, from out of the trees, a small ghost appeared. A ghost with cyan gloves, a greenish muzzle, and blue eyes with green whites. "Hey, live-wires! I'm Lospecter!" he waved. Gemini clutched her PCD's laser tightly. "I know you... You terrorized me and my friends in the early days of the coup!" she growled. Lospecter crossed his arms. "Hmm... Doesn't ring a bell. Guess I've been busy ever since Robotnik started all his ghost research. Thought he'd rule forever as a spirit, didn't he? Ha ha! Well, now he's gone. Guess I'll establish a nice new castle for myself to rule from. Ironlock Prison looks cozy." he chuckled. Sonic looked confused. "Any of you able to make sense outta this guy?" he asked. Sally looked at Lospecter suspiciously. "What are you saying? You're plotting... To take Robotnik's place?" she wondered. Lospecter laughed at her. "Well, I'll be getting nice and cozy at Ironlock if you need me. Go play with my losolanturns for now!" he said, flying off! Gemini tried to fire at him to prevent his escape, but a losolanturn intercepted her shot! Several more of them started to emerge, surrounding the group! They looked like ghostly pumpkins, with even ghostlier faces. Sonic pulled out his trusty flashlight to try to stun them, but they already possessed lights inside their bodies, so it didn't bother them! "Ah... Lanterns... I get it." Sonic mumbled, rushing away to avoid getting burned as they started spitting fireballs at him! Copter just started shooting at them, trying to weaken them and then pull them into his containment pack. "Their... 'shells' are tough... Try hitting them with two laser streams!" Sally suggested. Gemini shrugged. "Worth a try." She fired at the target Copter was aiming for, while Sonic helped Sally. This seemed to work, and Copter and Sally quickly managed to suck up at least one losolanturn each, but the others hurled fireballs at them quickly! "Sal, look out!" Sonic shouted, speeding over and pulling her out of the way! Copter simply twirled his tails and flew over the shot. "This isn't gonna be easy... I wonder how Tails is doing...?" he muttered.
Tails, Antoine and Rotor had found an old elevator inside the mansion. "We will be taking the stairways." Antoine said. "Agreed!" Tails added. Rotor scratched his head, but followed them without argument. He didn't see what happened last time, so he'd just have to assume they knew better. Now, their exploration of the mansion truly began. Wandering the halls, they were assaulted by some paintings hanging on the walls, the images of Robotnik's ancestors laughing at them until Antoine zapped the paintings, revealing some small, wispy ghosts had been possessing the pictures! They were easily dispatched. They came upon a ballroom some time later, and found a crazed chandelier swinging around and trying to swat them before long! Rotor managed to grab onto it, climb up and unhook it from the ceiling, caught by Tails before he could fall. The ghost behind this trick was a familiar, spiky-eared spirit, and Antoine quickly caught him before he could escape. They even had a scare checking out a mere closet, but as Antoine freaked out and started zapping at mops and brooms, the so-called "ghost" in the closet called a time-out. "Stop!! Uncle!! I'm sorry to startle you! I have been trapped in that closet since 2010!" the man yelped. It was the same strange fellow in the gator suit that they'd met before entering Robotropolis to ultimately face Robotnik's ghost. "What're you doing here?" Tails asked. Gator sighed. "I got LOST. You guys don't think I like haunted houses, do you?" he said. Rotor shrugged. "I guess you better come with us, then." he offered. Gator shook his head. "No way. My cameo quota for this year has been met! So long, Luigi, Toad and E. Gadd!" he said before vanishing in a burst of purple smoke! "Heeey... He said he was not a goost and that he was trap-ed!" Antoine grumbled. Despite this distraction, they continued exploring the manor, fending off ghosts and escaping traps as they went. Eventually, they arrived at a spacious library. There, they finally found something suspicious. Browsing the bookshelves was the stringy haired ghost of Robotnik's former assistant, Snively! "Aha! There's our bad guy! What'd you do to Knuckles, Snively!" Tails shouted. "Ummm... P-please do not be doing it to us..." Antoine stuttered. Snively turned around and, seeing PCDs aimed his way, shrieked. "The Phantom Fighters!! Why can't you twerps leave me to rest in peace?!" he yelped, floating up and hurrying away from Tails and Antoine! "We can't let him get away! C'mon, guys!" Rotor said, charging ahead. "Swatspirits! Get them!! Keep their infernal machines AWAY from me!!" Snively yelled. At his command, ghostly SwatBots emerged, quickly surrounding Rotor! "Umm... Ooops. Hey, guys. Need an oil change?" he asked sheepishly. "Oh my! Rooter is dead beet!" Antoine cried. Tails rolled his eyes and fired at the ghosts. "Any time, Ant!" he said. Rotor had gathered some things as they were exploring the mansion, and now hastily cobbled some gizmos into an old lantern and set the device off. A huge flash of light went off, startling the ghosts and making them back away from him! "Yow... I wasn't expectin' that to be so bright..." Rotor mumbled, rubbing his eyes. The Swatspirits fled behind the bookshelves, and began hurling books like projectiles to fight back! "Oh, yeah? I don't think so!" Tails fired his PCD through the opening where some books were removed from a bookshelf, and snagged a spirit! "All right! Now you try it, Ant!" he said. Antoine appeared to be buried in a pile of books. "Swatboots! I am no longer jokings around! Come out, and fight, you cowards! Ha ha! I have frightened them away..." he laughed. Rotor sighed. "At least take that book out of your face..." he groaned.
While exploring the Dark Swamp, the rest of the Phantom Fighters observed some unusual phenomena. The swamp itself was being transformed! Strange structures and statues had seemingly sprung up from the ground, even knocking over trees in their way. They seemed to be monuments to the supernatural, the statues resembling hideous creatures that obviously weren't of the mortal world. "Whoever's been redecorating without a permit should have a room reserved for them at Ironlock..." Copter mumbled. "I think they're planning to take over the prison, so that won't do a lot of good." Sonic pointed out. Sally pointed Nicole at one of the odd structures nearby. "What's your analysis of these... shrines, or whatever they are, Nicole?" she asked. The computer beeped a bit before responding. "Ghostly energy resonates from the structures and the statues. They appear to have been erected to channel paranormal frequencies for some unknown purpose." it stated. Sonic groaned. "English, Nicole!!" he snapped. Sally scratched her head. "I confess, I don't really get it either." she sighed. Gemini nodded and pointed around with her wand. "These creepy objects the ghosts put out are siphoning spirit energy and sending it to a specified point, like power lines." she said. Everyone stared at her. "What? I'm our magic expert. Makes sense I'd have learned a thing or two about ghosts by now, too." she pointed out. Copter looked around. "And, uh, where is it siphoning spirit energy from? It's not sucking up our souls is it?" he asked. Gemini shook her head. "Paranormal energy exists everywhere in small amounts. Anywhere something has lived or died. Lospecter must need a lot of it for something..." she explained. With these unsettling words, the group continued on their way to the prison, unable to shake the feeling they were being watched. They passed by a stream surrounded by a dense fog, and noticed that the strange structures were even jutting out of the water. It was getting colder as they walked, and as Sonic shivered, he took another look at the water and noticed something. "Hey! The ol' river's frozen!" he realized. Sally squinted through the fog and realized he was right. "This isn't right... The river never freezes in these parts." she said. Copter pointed his PCD around frantically. "Great. It's THOSE things... I've run into these kinda ghosts before. Keep your distance, do NOT let 'em breathe on you!" he growled, "We lost Spiny that way..." Suddenly, the group could see something moving in the fog. Rather, the fog ITSELF seemed to be moving in places! The fog was actually made up of several wispy ghosts, which they could now see had bulging, rainbow colored eyes and two long, jagged fangs in their mouths. The group was surrounded by these ghosts, and their long, fog-like tails made it difficult to see! "All right! Take this!" Sonic shouted, firing at one of the ghosts, only to have his shot go through the tail! "Apparently, you have to hit their heads!" Gemini shouted. "No kidding..." Sonic mumbled. One of the ghosts stopped to grin at him, and then opened its mouth to spew its breath in his direction! Sonic sped out of the way quickly as the ground where he stood was instantly turned to ice! "Whoa! Freeze-ghosts??" he gasped. "Told ya!" Copter yelled, struggling to wrangle one of the frosty-fogs into his PCD. Sonic tried shining his flashlight around, and it seemed to cut through their foggy tails a bit. "Ha! We seeeee you!" he taunted, prompting the ghosts to chase after him angrily. "Yaaaah! No! Don't breathe on me!!" he yelped, running off. "That's good, Sonic! Keep them busy!" Gemini said, leading Sally and Copter in picking off the ghosts Sonic was distracting. While the Phantom Fighters were dealing with these icy spirits, they were unaware that Lospecter was nearby, watching them. "Not bad... They might get to Ironlock on schedule after all..." he murmured, floating away.
Meanwhile, at Kintobor Manor, Tails, Antoine and Rotor were chasing after the ghost of Snively. They were chasing him up a winding stairway, firing their PCDs at spectral bats that came at them to slow them down on the way up. Finally, they arrived at a large observatory built at the top of the mansion. "Wow... Get a load of that huge telescope pointing out of the roof!" Tails said. "Tres magnifique!" Antoine remarked. "Hey... Where's Snively?" Rotor wondered. Looking around, they spotted Snively hiding atop a model solar system in the corner of the room. "You think you've cornered me! But I've got otherworldly forces ready and waiting! Don't just hide around in the shadows! Get them! Geeeet theeeeem!!" he shouted. A pair of small, round, purple spirits started to rise from the dark corners of the room. They had bloodshot eyes, big toothy mouths, and seemed to have small meteors orbiting around them. "Wha-wha-whaaaat is this now?" Antoine mumbled. Tails scratched his head. "Surely the weirdest ghosts I've ever seen." he said. Rotor backed away a bit. "I got a bad feelin' about this. Good luck, guys!" he said, heading for cover. The meteors started rotating around the ghosts faster, and the ghosts laughed as they each hurled one at Tails and Antoine! They hurried out of the way and tried to zap the ghosts, but the meteors blocked their PCDs' blasts! "Hahahahaha! Yes! That's it! Smash those pesky busybodies!" Snively cackled from his perch. Tails tried flying around to find a clear shot at the ghosts, while Antoine ran frantically to avoid the meteors. "Ah! No! Stop it! Snipley! Please to be calling away these thing-a-ma-boos!" he cried. Rotor peered out from behind the telescope and called to him. "Psst! Ant! Look, the meteors regenerate...but not too fast. It must take some energy for the ghosts to create them. If you make them waste their ammo, you'll have a clear shot!" he said. Antoine nodded and glared at the ghosts. "Hey! Goosty! Naa-haa! You can never catch the amazing Antoine!" he taunted, goading them to hurl meteors at him faster while he evaded them. Meanwhile, Tails fired at one of the ghosts from above, zapping past the orbit of the meteors! "Gotcha! Now hold still and lemme pull ya into your new home!" he growled. While Tails was struggling with one of the ghosts, the other started to aim for him! "Sacre bleau! Watch out, Tails!" Antoine yelped, firing his PCD hurriedly to snag the other ghost! Now that the ghosts were caught in their beams, it was only a matter of time before they'd be contained, so Snively started looking for an exit. However, he quickly found Rotor in his path! "Bah! You don't scare me! You don't have a ghost-catching weapon!" he sneered. "How about me, then!?" Snively gasped as he turned to find a PCD pointed in his face, and the one holding it was none other than Knuckles the Echidna!
"I've been chasing this twerp through this mansion since I found out he was here." Knuckles explained once the other ghosts in the room were out of the way, "This place was pretty full of reinforcements for him, though, so I'd never have cornered him without backup." he explained. "Why didn't you contact us?" Rotor asked. "Communicator got busted." Knuckles grumbled. Tails glanced at Snively, keeping his PCD pointed at him. "All right, SLIME-ly, how'd you get back from the spirit world?" he interrogated him. Snively looked a bit embarrassed, but all the lasers pointed at him seemed to persuade him. "Well, I... I had unfinished business in this house, all right! Ghosts can come back if they have innocuous unfinished business." he said. "Seems to me they normally come back to make trouble!" Knuckles growled. Snively shook his head. "Robotnik was responsible for that. He shook the spirits up and made them angry. And you didn't exactly help, capturing ghosts and all. Why wouldn't we fight you? Robotnik himself had unfinished business, but his was evil, so he needed the PRD to return. That's how it is." he explained. "So, what IS your unfinished business?" Tails asked. Snively frowned. "Do I have to...? Well... I just... couldn't rest in peace without this book my dear mummy used to read to me..." he mumbled in embarrassment, holding a children's book in his hand. "Twelve little duckies...?" Antoine murmured. "Shut up!!" Snively sniveled. Knuckles scratched his head. "Wow, I feel like my time's been well and truly wasted..." he sighed. As they stood up to leave, however, Snively stopped them. "Wait! Th-there is something I should say!" he stammered. They stopped to glance at him. "I was in the spirit world for a bit...and I know that there are some evil spirits plotting something terrible. They're seeking to destroy the world! And... they might have a way out of the spirit world. Have a look through the telescope! It may have already begun!" he said, panicked. They glanced at Rotor, so he went to the telescope and started adjusting it to look around the surrounding area. "Not sure what I'm looking for..." he muttered, "Wait a second... There's a huge dark cloud!" Rotor could see a sinister cloud of black and purple, looking more like a sort of strange energy more than weather. "I think its some sort of paranormal cloud... It's hanging over the Dark Swamp!" he realized. Antoine gasped. "No! The princess and the others are there right this moment!" he said. "We gotta get over there then!" Knuckles added. "You get all that, Uncle Chuck?" Tails said over his PCD's communicator. "Lucky for you guys, I think I got Rotor's teleporter figured out! Someone hold on to Rotor, all right? This thing only locks on to PCDs!" Chuck reminded them. "If you tell anyone about my book, I'll haunt you but good!" Snively threatened as the Phantom Fighters teleported away.
The ghostly cloud was hanging directly over Ironlock Prison, and as Sonic, Sally, Copter and Gemini arrived there, they stopped to gawk at it. "Your magical genius got anything to say about THAT?" Copter asked. Gemini shrugged. "Chance of rain?" she joked. "The ghostly energies are condensing around this point." Nicole chimed in, the signal apparently being so strong that Sally didn't even have to point the computer at the cloud to pick it up. "Can anyone else say trap city?" Sonic grumbled. Sally nodded. "You're right, but we still have to go in there. We won't find out anything just standing around out here staring." she said. As the group started to go inside, Copter scratched his head. "Wait a minute! Shouldn't one of us stand guard out here?" he asked. Gemini grabbed him by the arm. "Come on, you coward! I can use magic to warp us out if we get trapped in there!" she pointed out. "But what if you get possessed!!" Copter protested as he was dragged inside. Once they'd entered, the doors creaked shut behind them, and they started to look around. The gloomy interior of the prison had gotten a bit of a ghostly makeover, and the true nature of the structures in the swamp seemed much more clear as the Phantom Fighters entered into what resembled a mad scientist's lab. It still featured a few of those creepy statues, which appeared to actually be torch holders to light up the room. In the center of the room was a strange device holding up several electrodes. "Well, now we're trapped in some evil torture chamber in the prison. Good job, princess." Copter groaned. Sonic shined his flashlight around to get a better look at everything. "Well, no one seems to be home. Doesn't seem so bad." he said. "On the contrary! The guest of honor has arrived!" Suddenly, Lospecter flew into the center of the room between the electrodes! "Princess Sally! Good to have ya with us! I've been waiting on you." he grinned. Sally backed away a step. "Huh? What do you mean you've been waiting on... me?" she asked. Lospecter chuckled softly. "I've been gathering energy to open up a little portal here... To free all the evil ghost friends that'd help me take over Mobius! But I need one little thing to complete the portal-making ritual dealie... A royal soul! So... I gotta sacrifice you! Ha ha!" Sonic immediately started shooting at Lospecter, but he simply flipped out of the way. "Okay, I can see you need convincing. Mind the torch-monsters!" he giggled, flying up out of reach. While he did that, the creepy, monster-shaped torches in the room started to stir! The flames hovering over them revealed themselves to contain angry eyes, while the statues themselves came to life! "Clever... The flames are the ghosts, controlling physical statues that our lasers likely can't harm." Gemini said. "Now's not a good time to be impressed with 'em!" Sonic snapped. The demonic statues, which resembled little devils, were advancing on them quickly. The Phantom Fighters quickly started shooting at them to try to slow them down, but their lasers indeed had little to no effect on the statues. "I guess we'd better aim for those teeny ghosts on their heads!" Copter sighed, taking flight as a statue attempted to claw at him! Sonic ran to get some distance from the statues, while Gemini took to blasting them back with some potent magic. This, however, left Sally on her own. "Ha! I got one!" she said, having a strangely easy time on her own. While she was busy trying to pull the ghost into her containment unit, though, Lospecter was sneaking up on her! Sonic quickly noticed this, and tried to dash to her aid, but the statue-demons blocked his path! "Hey! Outta my way, rock-heads! Sal! Look out!!" Sonic shouted. However, it was too late! Laughing, Lospecter snatched her up and pulled her over to the electrode machine! "Aaaah!! Let me go, you slimy creep!" Sally yelled. struggling. "Now, now, those are such angry last words. Ah well. Night, princess! I'll think of you during my victory speech!" Lospecter sneered, letting her go as the machine turned on! Purple lightning shot forth from the electrodes, zapping Sally before she could fall! "Sal... NO!!!" Sonic shouted, while Copter and Gemini stared briefly in disbelief before resuming their fight with the statue ghosts. In a moment, Sally's spirit was separated from her body, screaming as a massive vortex began to open up in the back of the room! Sonic forced his way past the statues and caught Sally's lifeless body as it fell, only to watch her spirit get hurled into to vortex by Lospecter! "Now this portal should hold! Okay, guys! C'mon out to plaaaay!" Lospecter called, laughing triumphantly. Immediately, dozens of ghosts of all shapes and types started swarming out of the portal and hurtling through the walls of the prison, ready to terrorize Mobius! "Oh, shoot... We failed... It's a prison break!" Copter gulped. "Now what do we do...?" Gemini wondered.
Tails, Knuckles, Antoine and Rotor had made it back to Knothole Village, but they didn't have time to stay and chat with Uncle Chuck. They had to hurry to the Dark Swamp! As they made their way there, they could see the ghostly cloud hanging over the general direction of the prison. However, before they could get far, the horde of ghosts had escaped from Lospecter's portal, and rapidly spread through the swamp! "Yeeeep!! G-g-g-gooooseses!!" Antoine shrieked before falling over into Rotor's arms. "H-hey! Snap out of it, Ant!" Rotor said, slapping him awake. Tails and Knuckles stared in shock themselves. "Where are all of those ghosts coming from??" Knuckles murmured. "Snively was right... And we were too late to stop 'em!" Tails realized. Antoine stood up, shivering. "So, what are we to be doing?" he asked. Knuckles held up his laser and smirked. "We charge in there and rescue the others!" he said, leading the way as Tails and Rotor followed him toward Ironlock. Antoine hesitated. "R-RIGHT INTO THE GOOST ARMIES!? Are you all out of your brains!?" he shouted, chasing them while continuing to attempt to talk them out of it. On their way to the prison, it didn't take long for the swarming ghosts to notice them, and soon the four of them were being surrounded by spirits of all types! Losolanturns came at Tails, trying to burn him with their fireballs, round Boom Boos tried to sneak up on Knuckles and take him off guard, other ghosts possessed the statues that were built outside and were chasing after Rotor! Other ghosts were coming to make matters worse as well, and while Tails and Knuckles were busy trying to fight them off, Antoine was shivering behind a tree, hugging his knees. Rotor ran behind the tree to get him. "Ant!! We're in trouble out here, and I don't have a PCD! I just came along for technical support! We need you, man!" he shouted. "No... I am knowing that this was a big mistake. I am no Phantoom Fighter! I am a big Freud!" Antoine cried. Rotor scratched his head. "Huh? A fraud...? But, you've caught ghosts..." he said. Antoine shook his head. "I cannot do it! I am too frighted to go on with the goost-busting!" he admitted. Rotor ducked to avoid a Boom Boo and ran behind another tree. "Ant! I'm... I'm scared, too! But you know you can't let that stop you! That's what being a Freedom Fighter's all about!" he pleaded. Antoine glanced at his PCD laser, then back at Rotor. He then shook his head and ran off screaming! "I must flee for my young and handsome life!! I quiiiiiiits!!" he yelled. Rotor gulped, looking at Tails and Knuckles as the ghosts were surrounding them. "This could be... problematic..." he whimpered.
Sonic, Copter and Gemini were backed to the wall at the prison. Lospecter was glowing red after the portal opened, and he was giggling with glee. "Thanks to that lovely surge of spirit energy, which I drained some power from with my nifty devices, I'm invincible! Go ahead, try to zap me!" he challenged. Sonic stepped forward. "Ha! You'll be sorry! Take this!" he growled, firing directly at Lospecter! Copter and Gemini quickly joined him, only to find that their lasers passed right through him! "Ha ha ha! Not even your precious chaos energy can touch me now! But I can touch YOU!" Lospecter laughed, pointing his fingers like a gun and firing bolts of energy at the Phantom Fighters! They scrambled to get out of the way, and as they dodged, one of the bolts destroyed the door! "Well, at least there's a way out now..." Copter mumbled. "Go ahead! The other ghosts will get ya eventually!" Lospecter taunted. "No! We have to figure a way to stop him! Try to zap him again!" Gemini insisted. While they exchanged blows with Lospecter for a bit, Tails, Knuckles and Rotor found their way into the prison. They had been run a bit ragged by the ghosts outside, and were forced to do quite a bit of fleeing to get to the prison, but now that they were here, Rotor went right to work assessing the situation. "So, that machine there created this portal, powered up that ghost, and summoned the swarm..." he said. "Hey... What happened to Sally!?" Knuckles gasped. "And... Sally was used as a sacrifice." Rotor concluded. "Sonic! We're here to help!" Tails shouted. Copter glanced back. "Good! Add to our laser blasts! Maybe we're weakening him!" he suggested. Gemini shook her head. "No, it's no use! We're not touching him!" she cried. Lospecter chuckled. "An astute observation. Now that I've got you all here, I think I'll wipe you all out at once and take over Mobius unopposed! Sounds kinda boring, really, but I'm sure I'll find a way to spice it up." he said, balling up his hands and creating a larger energy bolt between them, getting ready for a more serious attack! Rotor had picked up Nicole from Sally's body, and seemed to have gotten an idea. "Guys! Don't aim for the ghost! According to Nicole, the portal itself could be affected by chaos energy, too, since it was made of spirit energy!" he said. Sonic glanced at him and nodded. "All I need ta hear! Eat laser, portal!" He ran ahead and tried zapping the portal, but nothing seemed to happen. "The portal is made of a large concentration of paranormal energies. It will take a combined concentration of chaos energy to effect it." Nicole explained. "What!?" Copter snapped. "We need more lasers. Cross your laser streams and fire them at the portal! This should reverse the portal, causing it to suck all the ghosts back up!" Rotor said. Lospecter fired his blast at Rotor, hoping to shut him up, but Gemini deflected the blast with her PCD's laser! "What do you know, your attacks are still affected by our PCDs!" she grinned. "Well, I'll never let you cross your streams!" he growled.
Sonic fired his laser at Lospecter to get his attention. "Come and get me, smoky!" he said, running around to distract the ghost while the others tried to combine their lasers. "Here I go... Laser number one!" Tails said, flying ahead to zap the portal. Copter flew up to add his laser next. Gemini came soon after. However, Lospecter hadn't exactly fallen for Sonic's trick. He stopped chasing Sonic and quickly turned to fire bolts at Knuckles, forcing him to deflect the bolts with his PCD. "No ya don't! Go back to picking on Sonic!" he growled. "Gee, thanks Knux." Sonic chuckled. The two of them quickly added their lasers to the large blast, but still nothing was happening! Lospecter laughed at them! "Boy do you guys look stupid! I guess since your princess is down for the count, you just don't got the juice to reverse the portal. Aw, too bad." he said mockingly, "Ah, well. Prepare to die!" However, as Lospecter was preparing to fire a blast at the busy Phantom Fighters, another PCD laser went through him, catching his attention! He turned to find Antoine standing in the doorway! "Hey, why didn't it work...?" Antoine mumbled, yelping and stumbling out of the way as Lospecter started shooting at him! "Ant! Why are you late!?" Sonic shouted. Rotor smiled. "I knew you'd find your courage, Antoine!" he said. Antoine stood up straight after a moment and nodded. "Yes, this is true. Also, Knotholes is crawling with goosts, too, so who will save Bunnie and Ducky and Rainbows and Punchy if I does nothing? No, and no again! Antoine D'Coolette will not be remembered as a yellow-jellied coward!" he declared. "ANTOINE!! GET OVER HERE!" everyone shouted. Rotor had equipped Sally's PCD as well. "Sorry to bother you so much, Sal, but I know you'd want Mobius saved..." he said. Lospecter tried to build up energy to zap all the Phantom Fighters at once quickly. "You won't get away with this! I'll get you all!" he chuckled. "Hey, Lospecter! Abra-ka-blastra!" Gemini said, conjuring an explosion from her wand with her free hand, distracting Lospecter long enough for Antoine and Rotor to join their lasers to the other five! With the seven emeralds powering a single laser fired at the portal, the portal began to reverse! First, it got very windy in the room. Then, all the ghosts that had been released started rapidly flying back, as if a hugely powerful vacuum had been activated! Even Lospecter himself seemed to be struggling against the suction! "No!! N-n-n-NOOOO!! Bad portal!! Stop it!!" he shouted. As the last of the ghosts released were pulled in, Lospecter finally was unable to fight the suction and went shrieking into the portal! Before the portal was finished, however, it ejected a single spirit. The portal then promptly collapsed, exploding into a purple fog! Looking around, Sonic could see the single spirit enter Sally's body. He rushed over to her and lifted her head up. "Sal! Sal, you okay?" he asked. She coughed a bit before opening her eyes. "S-sonic...? Ugh... Robotnik says hi. Don't ever let me be a sacrifice again..." she moaned. "I promise, Sal." he smiled, hugging her tight. Seeing that they'd won, and all was well, the rest of the group let out a cheer! They then began to exit the prison, finding Dulcy coming in for a crash landing with Uncle Chuck and Punchy in tow. "I'm home, ma..." Dulcy groaned. "Everything okay? Oh, hey Knuckles. Guess I owe everyone Chili Dogs..." Punchy grumbled. Uncle Chuck sighed. "When ghosts popped up in Knothole and no one came back, we feared the worst. Any reason why this ghost is still hanging around, though?" Chuck wondered, revealing Snively inside Dulcy's pouch. He jumped out and shook hands with Tails and Knuckles. "Well done, all. I'm very pleased to see this crisis averted! This calls for a story!" he said, pulling out his book from Kintobor Manor! Sonic groaned as Snively started reading a nursery rhyme in a disturbingly pleasant tone. "Please, can I zap him?" he asked. "Aw, but I always wanted to meet a friendly ghost. Even if it is Snively. This might bode well..." Sally smiled. Sonic scratched his head. "You bump your noggin' when your spirit flew out?" he asked. Tails tugged Sonic's arm. "C'mon, Sonic! Let's get home so we can take off these heavy PCDs! And maybe play some dirt hockey for a change!" he grinned. So, the group started off for Knothole, accompanied by Snively, oddly enough. At last, the paranormal activity seemed to be defeated enough that they'd be able to commence with Mobotropolis's restoration. The Phantom Fighters had once again freed Mobius from Paranormal Chaos!
...OR WILL THERE BE A THIRD ONE??? GWAHAHAHAHA... who knows?