Welcome to Sandopolis.

The next day dawned a beautiful morning. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. As Alerak stood up slowly, looking around the cave they’d taken refuge in the night before, he noticed Ekajra wasn’t there. “Ekajra, where are you?” He called, putting his glasses on and walking towards the entrance of the cave.

“Right here.” Ekajra said, popping down in front of Alerak’s face, causing him to jump back. “Heh, sorry, just out getting breakfast.” He nodded at the cluster of fruits in his arm “You sleep in a lot, you know that?” He jumped down from where he’d been hanging on the top of the cave.

“No, not really. Are you sure these are safe?” Alerak asked, taking one of the strange fruits.

“Yeah, I tested them all, they’re okay. They’re not that great tasting, but they’re safe.”

“All right then, if you say so…” Alerak said as he put the fruit up to his mouth and took a small bite. After nothing happened to him, he continued to eat the rest of it, and they soon ate enough to get back they’re energy from the running they’d done the other night. Alerak packed the rest in a pack he’d brought with, and they left the cave and continued into the jungle.

“Hey, you think we should get some water.” Ekajra asked as they dug through the heavy undergrowth.

“It’d be a good idea. You know where there’s any?”

“I’d noticed a small lake earlier with a waterfall. This way.” He headed off a little to the right and soon the sound of rushing water could be heard. They stopped at the lake, filled some canteens and went back to heading in the direction they’d been headed earlier. Alerak looked at his mapping device. “Okay, if this is correct, we should be approaching Echidnaopolis.”

“I think I can see the jungle thinning ahead.” They ran forward, but were greeted not by a city, but by a vast dessert. “Uh, Alerak, care to elaborate?”

“I don’t know what’s going on, wait… no, don’t worry, Echidnaopolis is just past this dessert. If we head that way we should be there sooner or later.”

“For you and your little map’s sake I hope your right.” Ekajra mumbled as they headed off through the dessert. Unfortunately Alerak hadn’t entirely figured the immense size of the desert in his calculations when he’d said, “Sooner or later.” Because they soon figured out it was going to be later. It seemed like they’d gotten nowhere the first day, what with the heat, quicksand, and Eggman’s robot’s from long ago standing in they’re way, and day two was more of the same. “Augggghhhh! I can’t take this anymore. I’m getting sand stuck in my arm!” Ekajra yelled, shaking his cybernetic left arm angrily.

“How do you think I feel, I’ve got more metal than you, and it’s my legs at that! And I keep sinking!” He said, digging himself out of the sand for the second time that day. “We should’ve been out of here by now! I hate this cursed dessert! It’s like every things against us, the ground, the residents…” He pointed at the broken up Scorp behind him. “And the heat!”

“The fact were wearing all black doesn’t help. In fact, we’re gonna need to get rid of these eventually, why not now?” He pulled his Dark Legion robe off, shoving it into his pack. “Ahh, much better, now I can move easier.” He said waving his arms. He now wore a pair of jeans that hung down to his ankles, bunching up where they met his shoes. Wrapped around his left wrist and going up his arm slightly was a metal chain, and his left arm was metal, with a just above his wrist that his knife slid out of. As well as these, his knuckle spurs were now clearly visible, as well as the guardian symbol on his chest, now more fully grown.

Alerak did the same revealing his outfit, which consisted of jeans that went down and over his large black boots, and also covered his metallic legs. He wore a vest with pockets all along the front that held various objects, and on his left wrist was a metal gauntlet went back to a point just before his elbow, and rounded out at the front end.

“Shall we get going then?” He asked. Ekajra nodded and they continued to trek through the dessert, still struggling, but no longer weighed down with the weight of their robes. Soon night was falling, and to much happiness for the two, they found themselves in front of a large pyramid, the entrance open. “This seems safe enough. Let’s rest here for the night.” Alerak said and they went inside.

Late that night, Ekajra felt something strange, like somebody was watching him. He shrugged it off, but the feeling got stronger. He bolted up right and looked around in the dark, and the sight that met his eyes wasn’t at all inviting. He reached over and started nudging his still sleeping friend. “Uh, Al, we’ve got a problem.”

“Wha, what is it?” Alerak responded groggily.

“Look.” Ekajra said, pointing towards the site that had him stunned. Alerak looked at it and was immediately awake. Almost in unison, they turned towards each other. “GHOST!” And in fact in front of them there stood a white creature, it’s eyes, or want of a better word, slanted in an angry expression and what appeared to be two horns protruding from the top of it’s head. It started to fly towards them quickly and Ekajra drew his knife and slashed at it, causing it to disappear. “Okay, let’s get out of here before more show up.” He said turning around.

“Too late.” Alerak said, already looking to the entrance, where a multitude of ghosts had gathered blocking their only exit. As Ekajra surveyed the situation one of them charged and Ekajra slashed it while Alerak pulled a gun out of the side of his gauntlet and started blasting lasers at them. They quickly sliced and blasted their way through and ran out into the desert again. The ghosts, either out of lack of interest, or because they couldn’t leave, retreated back into the depths of the pyramid.

“All right, no more staying in pyramids.” Ekajra said, looking over at Alerak.

“Agreed.”

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

Previous Chapter.

Index.

Next Chapter.

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