Dark Creatures, Dark Secrets.

Westopolis, just a few months after the Impact. The United Federation had quickly moved the government operation to this city, far from the former capital. The president had been evacuated from his home prior to the disaster, and many other government officials and citizens had left the city, not willing to hope on a miracle. They were the smart ones. But things hadn’t gotten much better. Westopolis was a city well known for its crime rate, and in the aftermath of the Impact, the government was struggling to maintain its grip on the masses. G.U.N. was doing its best to police the city. With the survivors of the Impact fleeing to the city with nothing, many wound up on the streets, and most had lost faith in their leaders’ power. Gangs were rising up, and anarchy was brewing in the streets. And some just waited for the next disaster; after all, as they thought, it was only a matter of time until Dr. Robotnik attacked again and finished them off. Soon news would come that would increase all of these feelings.

Amy Rose was walking along the sidewalk towards the homeless shelter where she was volunteering. Chasing Sonic for so long, it didn’t even faze her that she was homeless herself. Technically, her last home had already been destroyed in the Chaos incident, and it was a short time before Eggman unleashed his last plan. Her ears perked up as she heard someone cry out behind her. “Thief! Someone stop him!” Amy turned to see a bat running down the sidewalk, a purse in his hands. Seeing Amy, he spread his wings and jumped into the air.

“You’re not getting away from me!” Amy said, summoning her Piko Piko Hammer. With a powerful swing she flipped into the air, bringing the mallet down on the bat’s head. He fell to the concrete, and Amy quickly snatched up the purse.

“Oh, thank you!” the woman said as Amy returned the purse.

“It was no trouble, really. People like this guy are the real problem with the city these days.” Amy glanced back at the bat, who was stunned, wobbling back and forth with his hands on his head and his eyes screwed shut. He wore baggy, torn jeans and a t-shirt with the word “VAMPS” emblazoned in a graffiti font on the front. “If everyone would just band together in times of trouble instead of just thinking about themselves, we could pull through this.” Amy looked up to see the woman looking at her thoughtfully. “Sorry about going off like that, I’ve had a lot on my mind.”

“No, no, I understand what you mean,” the woman said. “You actually remind of that Sonic the Hedgehog a little bit.”

“What?”

“He was always such an independent fellow, but he really cared for people. After all, he did beat that Robotnik so many times. It’s too bad what happened to him…”

“Yeah, I…” Amy began, but the woman cut her off.

“Getting arrested, and then breaking out of jail… twice! And then nothing.” Amy’s face turned down. Of course no one would know what had really happened to Sonic. All they heard and seen were news broadcasts and wanted posters. “Of course, I don’t believe G.U.N.,” the woman continued, leaning a little too close into Amy’s personal space. “I doubt Sonic would do the things they claimed he did. Between you and me, I have pretty good feeling that the hedgehog in the news wasn’t really Sonic, and the government was trying to cover something up. You know what I mean?”

“Um.. er, yes ma’am, I understand,” Amy stammered out.

“Well, you take care now dear,” the woman smiled and walked away. Amy stood there for a moment in bewilderment. Shaking her head, she began to walk away, when someone else yelled from across the street.

“No! This is not happening!” Amy turned to see a young frog, probably about Miles or her age, standing by the window of an electronics store. The window was filled with various television models, all of them set to the local news. Amy, and everyone else in the vicinity, rushed across the street to see. A reporter was reading off a report while the headline scrolled along the bottom of the page; “ROBOTS SIGHTED IN CENTRAL CITY RUINS.”

“We go now to G.U.N. footage of the sighted robots,” the reporter said. The screen changed to show a view from a surveillance jet showing a group of round humanoid robots nearby the coastline. “At this time it is not positive what the purpose of these robots is. They appear to be building some sort of dike along the fractured coast. Their designs appear different from those last used by Dr. Robotnik. However, it is unlikely they come from a different source. We will keep you updated as more news arrives.”

A horrified murmur arose from the crowd. “Well, folks, that’s it!” The frog said, turning to face the crowd. “Show’s over. Go home and await all of our impending dooms!”

“Hey kid, why don’t you go home yourself,” one of the adults there said.

“I wish I could, man…. I wish I could,” the frog muttered before walking away, hands in his pockets. Amy followed him.

“Hey, do you need a place to stay? There’s this homeless shelter…”

“Nah, I’m fine,” the frog replied, still walking. “I’m hanging in some place outside of town. The other inhabitants are kinda creepy…” the frog glanced at the bat Amy had stopped, who was just now coming to his senses. “… and apparently criminals. Hmm, that would explain the gang name, and the guy with the awesome bike, and the chick with all the computers… and the guy with all the explosives…” the frog stopped and faced Amy. “Perhaps I’ll reconsider your offer. What’s your name?”

“Amy Rose.”

“Hmm, that sounds kind of familiar.” The frog looked Amy over carefully, his hand beneath his mouth in the closest he could get to a thinking pose without a chin. He walked around her completely before returning to his original position. “Well, I guess it doesn’t matter. I’m Hopper, and yes, I know it’s not very original.”

“It’s better than some other names I’ve heard,” Amy said, thinking of Big the Cat’s friend Froggy… and most of her friends’ names as well.

“So, where is this homeless shelter of which you speak?” Hopper asked.

“Just a few blocks that way. Follow me,” Amy said, leading Hopper towards her original destination.

* * * * *

About a week passed, and the robots continued to work diligently, and with incredible speed. Just overnight from the first sighting they had completed the wall to block out the ocean and turned the sunken area into a “man-made” lake. By now their numbers had increased dramatically, and swarms of the small droids were working constantly all over the city, restoring what had been destroyed by the ARK. Government officials released no information about the robots other than surveillance footage, and G.U.N. stated that they were holding off an attack until they determined the robots’ ulterior motive.

Amy was sitting with Hopper in the overflowing homeless shelter, watching the television. The reporter had just finished the latest on the robots, which had now restored nearly the entire southern half of the city, and were now continuing north. Currently they seemed to be filling in the crater surrounding the ARK, which now sat as a large hill in the center of the city. “In other news,” the reporter continued, “today witnesses the return of the Black Comet, seen for one night every fifty years.”

“Huh, that sounds cool, I’ll have to check it out,” Hopper said. “But right now I’d better get going.”

“Where to?” Amy asked.

“Well, I was thinking just in case even more chaos broke out, I should learn to fight or something. So I found this cool martial arts place. The master is some old rat, I think his name’s Sliver or something. Anyway, my lesson is soon, so I’ll see yah around.”

“See yah, Hopper,” Amy sat, waving as Hopper walked away. However, as soon as the doors closed behind him, his voice rang out through the building.

“Okay, something is not right here!” Amy, and most everyone else, ran outside to see what was happening. The sky, perfectly sunny just moments before, had suddenly become dark as thick, black clouds rolled in. They began to form a cyclone shape over the center of town, glowing red. And then, something began to fall from the clouds. But it wasn’t rain. Strange creatures, black, red, and very much alien, descended on the city. Some were humanoid, carrying strange guns, others massive in size and crushing everything with purple swords or just their fists, and small dragon-like creatures flew overhead. G.U.N. troops, already patrolling the streets, immediately jumped into action while back-up arrived. The city had erupted into a war zone in a matter of seconds.

Amy was about to charge into the street as more of the black aliens mobilized, when just as suddenly as the aliens a small jet plane flew in. Bullets began to trace the ground, and the aliens quickly fell. The plane flipped over, did a barrel roll, and came to a stop in front of the crowd of people watching. The pilot, a young fox, immediately jumped out of the cockpit, a massive wrench in his hands. He charged at one of the surviving aliens, a giant. It lumbered towards him, its glowing sword raised. The fox swerved around the blade as it slashed downward, building momentum until he reached the giant’s leg. He slashed with the wrench, cutting off the giant’s leg at the knee. The giant fell to the ground, and the fox jumped on top of him, ran to his head, and bashed it in.

The crowd stood there completely speechless. “T… Miles, is that…?” Amy stammered, but she was interrupted by Hopper who was running up to the fox.

“Dude! Hardcore!” Hopper called offering the fox a high five. He didn’t take it. “So where did you swoop in from all of a sudden?”

“I was coming here for business,” Miles replied. “And these aliens decided to come for a visit as well. And it looks like we have more visitors.” Miles turned to look down the road, where another group was approaching. From a distance they appeared to be G.U.N. soldiers, but as they marched closer their shape was the only similarity. It was a squad of robots, tall and sleek, with a smooth curve to them. But each armed with powerful weapon systems. With aliens on one side and robots on the other, Miles turned to the group he knew he had something against. “Here to take advantage of the alien attack? I’d expect that from you Eggman. Bring it on!” He got ready to fight, but was shocked when the first row of robots marched past him, and the second, and the third, and so on, without so much as raising their guns. As soon as they had passed the group of onlookers they armed their weapons and eliminated any aliens in sight. They then quickly moved on to find more aliens.

“The robots just… saved us?” Amy questioned. “Why would they?” Just then, someone still inside the shelter ran outside, frantically waving their arms.

“He’s on the show! Dr. Robotnik!” the man yelled. Everyone ran back inside, and sure enough, the television screen showed Dr. Robotnik.

“This is a message to all whom it should reach, especially those of the United Federation. No doubt I am the last person you want to hear from; I don’t blame you, but hear me out. Earlier today my Egg Pawns, busily restoring Central City, were attacked by a strange alien force. Their leader, who came to my headquarters, said his name was Black Doom, and these creatures were the Black Arms. I believe they are somehow connected to the Black Comet. I quickly engaged in battle with them, but I soon detected more of their forces landing on the planet. I have sent out some of my finest battle robots to help your military fight. Please do not attack them; they have been programmed only to attack alien life forms.” Dr. Robotnik paused. With a deep breath, he continued. “I know this may seem like a feeble excuse for my actions of the past, and I doubt any will believe me so soon. While it is true that I terrorized your land and attempted to destroy your government, I had no intention of causing the ARK to crash into the planet. My grandfather, Dr. Gerald Robotnik, had placed that programming into the Eclipse Cannon’s system, and I had no way of starting it. But after witnessing the horrors that came out of my actions, I have realized that no true utopia can be made through force and imperialism. I have decided to change my ways, beginning with the reconstruction of your city. While I still expect none of you to trust me, I am opening the city up to anyone who needs shelter. All the Egg Pawns throughout Central City are unarmed and peaceful, and the number of military robots is no more than the number of soldiers your military employs. Please, I ask you, consider my offer carefully. Now is the time to forget past differences and join together in pea…” Robotnik was cut off by a wrench flying through the screen.

“Don’t believe his lies,” Miles said. “He’s probably just planning on capturing everyone who moves back into Central.” Miles walked over, pulled his wrench from the television, and walked towards the door.

“Miles, wait!” Amy called, grabbing him by the shoulder.

“I have places I need to be,” Miles said, shaking Amy off. He walked out the door and jumped into his plane. The side now read Tornado 4. No longer was there any mention of the original Tornado’s owner.

* * * * *

Earlier, deep inside the supposedly abandoned ARK. The once great space station now sat in a crater in the center of the city, which was currently being filled in by Egg Pawns. Still, it held many secrets, least of which were seven mystical gems, last used to power the ARK’s ultimate weapon. Now another evil sought them for its own purposes. Outside, black clouds swirled in the sky and alien forces began to descend upon the city, including their leader. Black and red like his offspring, Black Doom had distinct features that set him apart from the lesser Black Arms. He had three glowing red eyes, and the skin on his face seemed to fold inward where his mouth should be. Two long horns extended from each side of his head with numerous smaller horns in between. He wore a flowing robe and strange jewelry, and he seemed to lack a lower half. With his ability to control space he could teleport and move through anything, even right into the cannon control room of the ARK.

“Foolish humans,” Black Doom spoke in a deep, rumbling voice, “leaving all 7 Chaos Emeralds in one place. Just waiting for me to take what is mine.”

“I don’t think so,” a calm, cool, and slightly metallic voice said from behind him. Black Doom turned around to see a familiar figure standing behind him.

“Ahh, perfect, it would appear you have brought the emerald here for me.”

“No, Black Doom, just the opposite,” the figure said, before disappearing. Not even the powerful alien leader could keep up with him. The figure reappeared behind Black Doom, holding a gun to his head. “I make my own destiny.”

* * * * *

True to his word, Dr. Robotnik’s troops helped fend off the alien assault, and they were quickly eliminated. As soon as all the aliens had been killed the combat robots returned to Central City, though no one followed them. A few months passed, and the Egg Pawns finished restoring the city, even improving it in a way. All the construction was perfectly and precisely put together, and everything seemed to give off a futuristic grow. The Pawns even went outside the city and restored the surrounding landscape. Finally, they moved onto the remains of the ARK, and built more of the city, primarily government buildings, on top of the hill. To someone who had been living under a rock, it would appear to be a perfectly normal city. More time passed, until about a year after the Impact. At that time the President announced that, after extensive talks with Dr. Robotnik, he would be moving all government operations to New Central City. The United Federation would keep the same system they had used in the past, and Dr. Robotnik would be placed in charge of city maintenance, as well as contributing to G.U.N.’s Research and Development department.

Soon people began to move back to the city, and life seemed to pick up right where it had stopped. Dr. Robotnik had even built a memorial to all those who had lost their lives that day. And as people began to move to New Central City, Robotnik’s Egg Pawns were deployed to other parts of the country, soon helping people throughout the world. A sort of utopian feeling began to settle in, now that fighting had ceased, and, with help from EggCop police robots, crime was at an all time low.

However, on an island just a short train ride from Station Square, Miles Prower sat and waited. He knew this peace wouldn’t last long. Eggman had to have another motive, and once the time was right he would reveal to Doctor as the villain he truly was. He only hoped that when he did, people would believe him. Soon, however, he wouldn’t have to worry about doubt towards his actions. Soon, Eggman himself would reveal why sometimes things are too good to be true.

———————————————————————————————————————

Previous Chapter.

Index.

Next Chapter.

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