Sonic Fan UniverseCharactersHeroesAnti-HeroesAnti-VillainsVillainsTransformationsObjectsItemsWeaponsLocationsAreasLevelsFanfictionsFan GamesRoleplaysComicsGroupsSpeciesGroupsCommunityForumContact an Admin
Sonic Fan Universe
All Contributors
Avatar
This post is locked.

The Race Against Time

The people of Mobius are at peace with each other. Almost everyone is happy and there is hardly any conflict. However, deep within the heart of the Soleanna forest lies a great power that if found, could spark the greatest war known to the world and one person seeks to control it.

0 1
  • Upvote
  • Reply
Avatar

Prologue


It was midnight, and the streets of Central City were silent. The street lamps that scattered themselves down the various roads all shone brightly. One of the street lamps shone into a once darkened alleyway. It allowed one brown furred cat to be seen standing idly against the wall of a building. Astrid was watching him from a rooftop directly opposite to the alleyway. She knew something wasn't right. No one is usually on the streets at that hour. As she watched, someone in a navy blue hoodie walked up to the cat from the other end of the alley.

"S, it's me," the hooded person stated.

"Ah, V, so very nice to see you," the cat replied.

It seemed that the two of them talked to each other by only using their first initial. Astrid quickly noticed this and realised that this was more than what she thought it was.

"You going to give me the info?" the hoodie asked.

"Money first, V."

The hooded man handed over big pile of cash and the cat placed it in a suitcase that he'd brought with him.

"Good. Now, the Warrior Stones are very, very dangerous my friend. You do realise this, right?" the cat asked.

"Yes, I do. Continue."

"The stone are extremely hard to locate, V. But fortunately for you, my crew and I have managed to obtain the location of two."

"Good, more to add to my collection. Where are they?"

"The first, somewhere in Soleanna. The second, is located on Springbreeze Island in Armonia."

Astrid listened extremely closely to the conversation, paying extra attention to the locations of these Warrior Stones.

The hooded person nodded and said, "It's been nice doing business with you, S."

"Likewise," the cat replied.

Astrid walked away from the edge of the building and stood next to the entrance of a stairwell.

"I need to get help," she said to herself before running and jumping across the various roofs of Central City.

Chapter 1: Building the Team


A few hours later, Astrid found herself sitting on a rooftop in Station Square, looking at the gentle rise of the morning sun. She swung her legs back and forth across a window. It was about seven 'o clock in the morning.

"Beautiful," she said as she watched the sun rise, "But, despite it's beauty, I must leave it. I need to find people to help stop that person," she continued to herself.

In the Mystic Ruins, Pyro was sleeping, dreaming of what would probably happen today. Just the usual, talk to Pravus, walk around the forest, then go back to sleep. It seems like it was the same thing every day. However, when he woke up, Pravus wasn't there. Instead, he looked around and there were ice trails surrounding him. Pyro was confused, and decided to follow them. These trails led to the train station that leads to Station Square.

At the Station Square, Crya runs through the city, more specifically slides as she leaves ice trails, dashing through. She didn't know why, but she felt as if something bad would happen, and that she had to come to Station Square to help stop it. It must of been pretty bad since she came all the way from Holoska to help. Crya sees someone on a roof looking out at the horizon, and stops. Pyro kept following the ice trails to meet up with Crya, and he as well notices the person on the building. "Hey, what are you doing up there?", Pyro asks, ignoring Crya who was obviously the cause of the ice trails that he had been following.

In an apartment room somewhere in Station Square, a young wolf swordsman was busy sleeping in. His room was a mess: clothes were scattered everywhere, pizza boxes were stacked to the ceiling, his boots hung off the ceiling fan (How those got there is anyone's guess), and his favorite comic books (Flash Dodgers) was scattered over his bedside table.

The swordsman in question snored loudly, his arms lazily spread around his head. Apparently he was having a good dream, because he kept mumbling things about various food items and utensils and such. His alarm clock and phone rested on his table under the pile of comic books.

The only thing that wasn't part of the pig sty in his room were his beloved sword, Bloody Rebel, and his guns Ultra & Violet and the Stryker residing in the closet in their protective cases. Apparently, being a massive slob didn't mean his weapons had to suffer the same treatment.

The wolf continued to snore, unaware that he would be called to service soon.

Astrid looked down at Pyro and stared at him for a brief moment. "Waiting," she said to him.

Pyro decides to rocket himself up onto the roof so that it'd be easier on his lungs to speak to her. Being on the ground instead of near her meant that he would most likely need to yell, plus the cars made it somewhat dangerous. Crya decides to follow, unsure of how she would do that. She decides she would make platforms of ice and parkour up to the roof. "Waiting for what?", Pyro asks, as Crya gets to the roof finally.

"People to assist me," Astrid responded.

Pyro was not amused. "Assist you how?" Crya steps in, "Maybe I could help you, if I knew what you need help with."

"Good. I am glad you're interested. Someone plans to find powerful objects known as the Warrior Stones. You may not have heard of them, mainly because they are very rare, but these things are dangerous even more so than the Chaos Emeralds. He is on his way to the city of Soleanna right now. I wish to stop him," she stated.

Crya's eyes go wide, "I will definitely help you!" Crya was very concerned and knew this is what she came for. Pyro looks skeptical, "Something more 'dangerous' than the Chaos Emeralds? I don't believe it."

"Fine. But once this person has all of them, this world is done for," she warned Pyro.

Kanji, Naoto and Metal are seen walking though Station Square. All three of them seem to walk past Astrid, as if interested in something else. They stop and take a look around.

Astrid continued to look at the sunrise. This was until something else caught her attention. As she was looking into the city she had noticed the three of them in the road below her, Metal especially. She suddenly felt happier at the sight of him and began hopping across the buildings to slowly but safely reach him.

Metal looked up in surprise. He had noticed Astrid. Kanji and Naoto looked at each other then looked up at Astrid, then both looked across at Metal. "Who is that?" Naoto and Kanji asked, glaring at Metal. "S-She's a friend of mine." Metal answered, blushing slightly.

Astrid jumped down and landed in front of the three of them. "Metal!" She said happily before running over to hug him.

Metal hugged Astrid back. "What you doing here?" Metal questioned, he wanted to know why Astrid was here. The other two stood and watched both Metal and Astrid, looking completely surprised.

"I'm waiting for people to help me with something," she started, "Last night I saw two people making a deal. One gave money and the other person gave information. This information were the locations of two deadly items known as Warrior Stones. I need help to stop him from getting to them."

Ember was in a coffee shop that had just opened and had a perfect view of the four of them outside. He was surprised when he saw Astrid and Metal hugging that he had put away the laptop that he had just got out of his bag and proceeded to go outside, making sure to grab his coffee on the way out.

Metal nodded and replied, "Sure, why not? I'll happy to help. As long as my friends are able to come, that's fine by me." Naoto and Kanji both nodded in agreement.

Kanji turned round to notice Ember. He glared at him and asked, "Excuse me, but who are you?"

Ember got shy pretty much instantly. "Uh, Ember."

"Ember, I haven't seen you in months," Astrid said.

"Yes, you haven't," Ember replied in a disappointed tone.

"You sound disappointed, Ember. What's wrong?"

"It's just you're always away now and a lot of my friends at school don't talk to me out of school now. I just need someone to talk to, y'know..."

Astrid walked over to Ember and gave him a hug too. "I'm sorry," she said shamefully.

"I overheard you speaking about some stone," Ember said.

"Yes, I need help," Astrid replied.

"I can help," Ember said enthusiastically.

"Ember, you don't have the skills for this stuff and I don't want you to get hurt."

"But, Astrid, I want to go with you. Central City is boring," he said.

Kanji continued looking over at Ember. "You know, kid, you could probably come and get better at your skills. It surely can't be dangerous." Kanji turned to Metal. "Right, Metal?"

"I'm not sure." Metal responded back, quite unsure of what to do next.

"What he does next is up to her," Naoto said to Kanji.

"Fine. You can come, but stick close to me at all times," Astrid said.

"C'mon Astrid, I'm fifteen. I know how to look after myself," he said before sipping his coffee.

Astrid sighed as he said this. She then turned to face Kanji and Naoto, "Just so you know, he has near zero fighting skills. Although his technological skills could come in handy."

Crya turns to Pyro, "Well you don't know! They could very well be more powerful than the Chaos Emeralds!" Pyro chuckles, "Only thing more powerful than the Chaos Emeralds is the Master Emerald, which can actually make these emeralds become even more powerful. So really I highly doubt that anything can be more powerful than 7 Chaos Emeralds that can be transformed into Super Emeralds.", Pyro explains as Astrid had walked away.

"Super Emeralds?", Crya was confused.

"See, you don't even know! What's the point in helping someon-", Pyro was slapped mid sentence. His cheek was blue, and he now somewhat sagged. It went numb.

"Shut it! You seem to think that just because something can't possibly be more powerful than the Chaos Emeralds, it means that they are less dangerous! That is completely wrong! These Warrior Stones sound very serious, and it was apparently serious enough for me to come here. Now whether you want to help or not, I really don't care. But remember that you are part of a problem, if you don't help to solve it!" She seemed quite annoyed at Pyro.

Pyro looked at Crya. What he understood is that Crya just felt that if she didn't go help these people, she's only helping in these stones being used for evil purposes because she's not trying to stop them from being used like this. Pyro actually kind of understood this. He then notices Astrid had left, grabs Crya's hand, and dashes after Astrid. Within a few seconds, he is right behind Astrid. "Did we miss anything?", Pyro asks, chuckling awkwardly.

"I've found some people that actually want to help," Astrid said to Pyro. She then turned back to see Ember on his phone. "Ember, who are you calling?"

"Some mercenary dudes. They might be quite-" Ember was cut off mid sentence by Astrid.

"What?! Mercenaries cannot be trusted Ember," she said sternly.

"You do know that you're basically a silent mercenary, right?" Ember stated.

"Hm, you do have a point there. I know there's one that lives here in Station Square. I've never met him, but I know of him," Astrid replied, giving in to Ember.

"Okay, what's his name?" he asked.

"He goes by the name of Blitz. Anyway, how did you get the number of a mercenary group?" Astrid asked, worried about his safety.

"I saw it in a phone book in a coffee shop once," he replied.


Suddenly, the phone on the wolf's bedside table let out a loud ringing, causing him to wake up, yell, and fall off the side of his bed. He hit the floor with a CRASH! and caused a few pizza boxes to fall down, as well as jolt the phone reciever off the hook to dangle by his head.

"Aaaargh... what is it..." he answered into the phone groggily. Who the hell calls people at like seven in the morning? he thought irritably.

"Yeah, me and my group kinda need you for something," Ember said on the phone.

"And that 'something' is..?" Blitz inquired, getting up slowly and scratching his head. Damn, that hurt. His side throbbed slightly since he fell on it during the whole fiasco.

"There's some evil guy that kinda wants to take over the world with some powerful rocks called Warrior Stones," he said.

"What, is it Eggman?" Blitz said blandly, as he started to get dressed. Thankfully the phone was on its speaker setting, so he could hear and talk to Ember without having to carrying the reciever.

"Eggman?" Talking could be heard in the background. "Oh, the fat one," Ember said. A faint 'yes' could be heard. "No. Not Eggman, some other guy that goes by the name 'V'," he said into the phone.

"'V', huh." By this point, he had gotten his shirt, pants, and coat on, and was looking for his boots and gloves. "Anything else I should know about this V dude?"

"Astrid, anything else?" he asked. More faint speaking can be heard on the phone. "Cool. Right, this 'V' dude is on his way to Soleanna."

"Alrighty. I'll be there in a moment." And with that, Blitz ended the call, putting the reciever back on the hook. Opening his mini-fridge to grab an energy drink and down it, he crushed the can and threw it in the trash. Alright, let's go.


"Alright, that mercenary guy should be here in a minute guys," Ember announced. He then walked over to a bench got out his laptop and continued writing a program.

Astrid looked over his shoulder. "What is that program Ember? You've never told me."

"All I'm going to tell you is that it's called Project: Alpha. Everything else about it is classified," he stated in a very formal manner.

Pyro looks over to Ember, and Crya stays by Astrid. "We would like to help.", Crya had said finally. She didn't want to interrupt anyone while talking was going on. Pyro crosses his arms as he waits for the mercenary, "Anything else I'm going to need to know before helping? I need to know everything I can about the situation at hand." Crya looks at Pyro, as she makes her hand meet her face. "I thought you genuinely wanted to help, Pyro." Pyro turns to Crya, "I do want to help, but I can't help if I am lacking information." Crya sighs.

"You're not lacking too much information. I don't know much about this person other than the fact that he goes by the name of 'V' and is looking for the Warrior Stones," Astrid turned to face everyone else, "Also, I only know the names of two people here. Those two being Ember and Metal."

She turned to face Naoto and Kanji. "Who are you two?"

As Astrid was asking who they were, James was flying over them. He noticed them and yelled out, "YO, EMBER! ASTRID!" and waved to them.

"Hi James!" Ember shouted back.

"Hi James. Could you come here, I may need your help," she shouted to him, "And another person I can trust..."

Pyro looks over to James with surprise, though he was interested. Astrid knew a few people here, and that's a good thing. Meanwhile, Crya turns to James, and doesn't seem to care that he's here. She looks like she's wondering why he's here, and that's strange since they never met.

Some time later, the wolf that Ember had summoned had arrived. He opened the door and entered the area, yawning and stretching his limbs. "Hey," he said simply.

Crya gives her attention to the wolf, "So this is the mercenary, I'm guessing?" Pyro didn't notice the wolf. Things seemed to go quiet between James, Astrid, and Ember for a bit. Pyro looks to Astrid, "So you only know the names of two people here? Well my name is Aidan Winchester, but people call me Pyro."

Blitz nodded at Crya. "I'm Blitz."

Kanji looked over, "Oh yeah, I'm Kanji and that's--" Kanji was stopped mid sentence by Naoto. Naoto continued on from Kanji's unfinished sentence, "Oh Kanji, I can say my own name you know. I'm Naoto, a detective." She continued and gestured across to Kanji.

Metal stood there grinning. "Oh and of course, I'm Metal otherwise known as Wolf boy or hybrid. I'm a ex-G.U.N soldier and a street fighter. I'm just some average fourteen year old kid, who has powers and is a hybrid." He looked across at Astrid. "Now Astrid, we're coming whether you like it or not. Maybe I could teach Ember to stop being such a coward. He's scared of me for some reason." Metal laughed and gave Ember a cold stare.

He paused for a few minutes before continuing. "Now we going or not?" Metal crossed his arms and his eyes started to glow a darker red. "If you guys stand here all day, we won't stop this guy. Don't just stand there?" Metal sighed. "Why don't I go deal with this guy myself?"

"He's right," Astrid said, "We either go now or he gets the second stone."

"Second? I thought he had none," Ember said with surprise.

"I forgot to mention that he had one already didn't I?" she said shamefully, "Anyway, we must go now or we aren't going to make it at all." Astrid began walking to the nearest airfield rather than the docks where most people would think to go.

During the introductions, Crya turns toward the rest of the group, "My name is Belen, though some call me Crya for some odd reason." Pyro turns toward Astrid after she admits her mistake, "Remember what I was saying earlier? Well that would of been good information to know!" Pyro and Crya then follow Astrid.

Metal nodded to Kanji and Naoto and followed Astrid. They both followed behind Metal afterwards.

"Pyro, no offence but, you're quite annoying," Astrid said openly, continuing to walk quickly to her destination.

Blitz tagged along, his curiosity piqued.

Crya chuckles after hearing what Astrid said to Pyro, and Pyro growls. He was getting annoyed by Astrid.

"Hey, uh, Astrid?" Ember said.

"Yes?" she replied.

"Why aren't we going to the docks? We can't take a plane to Soleanna," Ember stated.

"Ah, yes. We can't take a plane, but, we can take a helicopter."

"Where'd you get that?" Ember asked, with a surprised look on his face.

"I have allies within the United Mobian Armies," she stated continuing to walk to the airfield.

The group would eventually arrive. The security guard asked for a pass in order to get to the helicopter landing pads and Astrid showed one. The guard let the group through. At one of the landing pads, Sergeant Cadmon Greene, a lion in military clothing with a muscular build, stood waiting for Astrid and the group.

"Everyone, I'd like you to meet Sergeant Cadmon Greene of the U.M.A. He'll be taking us to Soleanna," Astrid said, facing the group.

"Please, call me Cad," he said, putting his hands behind his back.

"Yo," Blitz greeted.

"Hello Cad," Pyro and Crya greeted in unison. They looked at each other, and rolled their eyes. Their motions seemed to all be mirrored, even when they turned their attention back to the sergeant. It was almost creepy.

"Hi." Cad walked up to Astrid, still with his hands behind his back. "Okay, if you want to go after this guy, we may have to go now. I got a report a few minutes ago that there's unusual activity in the Soleanna Forest and that the U.M.A are sending people to investigate," he whispered.

"Wait, I thought the U.M.A didn't operate in Soleanna," Astrid said with surprise.

"Exactly," Cad said opening the door to the helicopter cockpit.

"Damn," she said to herself, "Guys, into the helicopter. We're running out of time."

Immediately, Blitz hopped in and strapped himself into one of the seats, carefully laying his sword on the inside wall of the copter.

Pyro and Crya rush into the helicopter and strap themselves in. They were behind Blitz on the copter.

Just as Pyro and Crya entered the helicopter, James can be seen looking through a sniper rifle at the chopper. "Well... Looks like a certain someone has a chopper. I might as well follow.," James said as he put his sniper rifle away and flew towards the chopper.

Ember hopped into the helicopter and strapped in and Astrid followed straight after. "Alright Cad, we can go now," Astrid yelled through the sound of spinning helicopter blades.

Ember had spotted James flying towards them and poked Astrid. "Wait a sec, Astrid," He yelled to her. He then pointed at James so as to let Astrid know where he was.

Metal walks into the helicopter and sits down. Kanji and Naoto followed then both looked over at Metal. They both sat down beside Metal, and both strapped themselves in. "Metal, you know you could run over there.." Kanji said to Metal. "That would take forever, I'm not fast at running," Metal responded back then strapped himself in.

"Taking off," Cad said over the radio as the helicopter lifted itself from the ground, "ETA, two hours guys."

"Wait for James, guys," Ember said, worried that they might leave him behind.

"He can fly into the helicopter," Astrid assured.

Blitz leaned into his seat, putting his arms behind his head. Might as well relax before we get there.

The helicopter was then fully off of the ground and gently flying towards Soleanna, the city of water.

Chapter 2: The City of Water


The helicopter that the group was in began to fly over the Soleanna coastline and was eventually over the Soleanna Forest. It would still be a minute or two before the group got to the New City's Airport.

"Okay guys, we'll be there in a couple of minutes," Cad said on the intercom.

Blitz merely nodded and sat back in his seat, hands behind his head.

"Can't wait to finally see what you get up to Astrid," Ember said excitedly.

"I can wait for you to see," she replied quietly.

Metal unstrapped himself out the seat, and walked over to the door. "I suppose, I could jump out there..and survive," Metal said, thinking to himself.

"Metal, strap yourself back in. You won't survive that without injuries and I need you to be at your best," Astrid said trying to stop Metal from jumping.

Metal jumped off, surrounding himself with a layer of ice. He knew that he might get injuries, but he was determined.

"Metal!" She yelled, then sighed, "I hate it when he does stuff like that."

"Wait, this isn't the first time he's jumped out of a helicopter?" Ember asked.

"I don't know about helicopters but he has pulled off various stunts. Lived through all of them, some with quite bad injuries," she replied.

Metal continued falling down for a few minutes, before hitting a tree directly, he lucky landed in it, and fell out of it, a bit dizzy from the fall.

"Uh, did someone just jump?" Cad asked.

"Yes, Metal did. I have no idea what he's up to though," Astrid replied.

"Hm, well anyway, E.T.A is about a minute so sit tight for a bit longer," Cad said, switching to a different comm network.

"...does he always do that?" Blitz inquired, watching Astrid and Ember converse about the boy in question. He was pretty reckless himself, but he knew that jumping out of a helicopter was a bit... much.

"He does stunts like this sometimes. As I said to Ember, he also survives. Sometimes with some really bad injuries," Astrid said.

Pyro had blanked out, bored by the trip as he was now just staring off into space. Crya looks at Pyro, rolls her eyes then they stay quiet. She was not wanting to offend them, who were having a conversation, and honestly had nothing to say anyway.

Kanji looked over at Astrid, "Uh, yeah, he's been like that since he was like really young. I've known for that long, and he's been extremely reckless."

Naoto looked over at Pyro, "Who are you meant to be? You seem quiet, and that's usually a bad thing."

The helicopter began to descend into the city.

Blitz leaned back in his seat, waiting for when they would arrive at their destination.

Pyro heard Naoto and waking up from his daydreaming he shook his head and looked around, "Wait what?", Pyro yawns as he was confused about what exactly happened. He then looks at Naoto, "Oh. Well I'm Pyro. Now who the heck are you?" Crya, without even looking at him or Naoto, punches his leg which causes it to go numb from the cold, and anyone on the plane could visibly see this on Pyro's face.

Astrid looked at Pyro, "You seem very hostile towards people. Why?"

"Well, why should I answer? It's my business. In my opinion none of you are worthy of my trust, and I'm only helping because of Crya here.", Pyro answers Astrid.

"Well, trust is needed if you are going to assist," Astrid replied.

The helicopter had finally touched the ground and the blades began to slow down.

"Alright, everybody out," Cad said, flicking some switches in the cockpit.

"Finally," Ember said with relief.

"Sweet!" Blitz remarked, automatically unbuckling himself from his seat and moving to exit the helicopter.

Astrid walked to the front of the helicopter. "Thank you for the ride, Cad," she said.

"No problem. Anyway, I'm gonna take her back home once everyone's out," Cad said, leaning against the helicopter door.

"But what about the U.M.A forces?" Astrid asked.

"Don't worry, you'll be fine. It's only a few investigation teams."

"Good," Astrid said with relief.

Pyro and Crya exit, Pyro now thinking of what Astrid said earlier and Crya staying by Pyro to make sure he behaved.

Blitz stood on the ground, stretching his arms and putting his sword on his back.

Astrid looked towards a beach that was nearby and sighed. "After this, I'm going there," she whispered to herself.

The wolf took a cursory look around, checking his surroundings. "Hm... this place looks spiffy," he commented.

Astrid walked so that she was stood in front of everyone.

"Right, we don't have much time, guys. This 'V' person could do anything with that Warrior Stone at anytime. There are two things when retrieving the stone however. One, do not let it smash and two, do not touch it without wearing gloves. If you hold one, who knows what will happen. Everyone understand?"

The swordsman nodded at Astrid. Okay, gloves... well, fingers are exposed, so that's a no-go. Maybe I could keep it in my pocket or something.

Pyro nods, looking at Crya. She decides to put on her gloves, and Pyro looks at his own. Crya stares at Pyro, "Remember Pyro. If you hold one, don't smash it." Pyro chuckles, "Don't get me mad, or otherwise I just-" Crya punches Pyro's left arm again before he finished his sentence, "I mean it." Pyro grrumbles as he rumbs his arm, which was once again numb.

"So is everyone ready?" Astrid asked.

"Yup," Ember said simply.

Blitz smirked. "I am ready to rock and all all night and par-tay everyday, if need be."

Kanji and Naoto got off the helicopter and looked over at Astrid. "I think it would be best if we go now," Kanji said then looking over at Naoto. "Yes, I would agree to leaving soon too."

Metal got up, walking over to Astrid and the rest of the group. "I must admit, that hurt a bit." Metal sighed. It seemed he was still surrounded in his ice armour from jumping off the helicopter.

"I can imagine. You jumped out of a helicopter. Still, that was fairly mild compared to the other stunts you've done," Astrid said to Metal.

"We're ready," Crya responded before Pyro could screw anything up this time, "we'll do all we can to help." Pyro looks over to Blitz, raising an eyebrow.

"Good. Let's go, we cannot waste anymore time," Astrid said turning around and walking towards the entrance to the forest. Ember followed closely behind, holding the straps to his backpack nervously.

Blitz followed the others closely, itching for action.

"I'm gonna go ahead and after this guy," Metal said before pulling out a sword and running ahead into the forest.

Kanji and Naoto watched Metal run off and they both walked off towards the entrance of the forest, following Astrid closely behind.

Pyro and Crya follows the group to the entrance of the forest, Pyro running ahead of Crya.

Astrid sighed. "Damn it, Metal. Why do you always run off...?" she asked herself.

Chapter 3: The Private Army


A few minutes later, the group were deep into the forest. Astrid felt awkward, which was meant that something very unusual was going on.

"Hm. We should have seen a civilian by now. Something is wrong. Keep your guard up," Astrid said to the group.

"That is weird..." Blitz commented. Maybe this isn't a hikers' spot or something?

Metal continued running ahead ahead of the group. "So where is this guy huh?" Metal said to himself, before pulling out a handgun. He continued going through the forest.

Kanji looked over at Astrid, "So did Metal run off?" He said before looking off in the distance, into the forest. "He is reckless, isn't he?"

"Indeed," Astrid said, "We do not anything about the enemy. If he proves more powerful than us, we may need Metal's help."

"Metal isn't that powerful, sure...he can take alot of damage, and punch stuff...but that doesn't make him powerful, you know," Kanji said and crossed his arms.

"I was talking about this "V" person, not Metal. Although, Metal is powerful. He can withstand damage and deal damage that most other cannot without the assistance of powers or machinery."

"Anyways, do you think Metal went far? Besides, if this person is here....wouldn't it of been reckless to of let Metal go ahead? We don't know how strong this person is. We need to get there fast."

"I agree," Astrid said.

Then, somewhere nearby, a voice yelled at something. "Damn it!" the voice yelled.

"There is someone near. Hide," Astrid said.

Astrid and Ember ran quickly behind a tree. When they got behind it, Ember began fiddling with a device which he had gotten out of his bag.

Kanji and Naoto went to hide behind a tree opposite the others. Kanji pulled out a shield, and Naoto then went to pull out a pistol.

"Naoto, when I say go, do it." Kanji said, looking over at Naoto.

"Alright then, Kanji." Naoto responded back.

Blitz automatically dived behind a tree wide enough to hide his person, and waited for the voice to pass.

"I can't get the damn mag in the gun," the voice said, getting closer.

"Then you're idiot," a second said. "Pfft. Why are we here anyway?"

"I dunno. Why don't you ask the boss."

The two of them were then in plain view of the group. "Uh, no. The boss'll probably torture me for asking. You remember what happened to the last person that asked." "Yeah. Poor Jimmy," the second person said.

The two of them were dressed in full military-like armour. They were also carrying assault rifles. "Ember, you stay here. I do not want you to get hurt," Astrid said.

These guys sound dangerous... Blitz thought as he looked at the two without giving himself away.

Metal stop and raised his ears, listening to the sound of the soldiers nearby. He dashed back within a few minutes, sneaking up behind a few soldiers. "You know it's bad to patrol a area, right?"

"Oh my god! You scared the living crap outta me," the first soldier said.

The second soldier simply pointed his rifle at Metal and asked, "Who are you and what are you doing here?"

"Me? I'm your worse nightmare. Don't point a gun at me, ever." Metal points the handgun at the soldier.

"I'm outta here. Good luck, man," the first soldier said running off.

"W-what?! You can just ditch me!" the second soldier said.

"Yes I can!"

Metal puts away his handgun, and then pulled the rifle out the second soldier's hand, and then proceeds to pick up the second soldier up by the scuff of the neck. "Now, your going to tell me, what your up to, or I'm going have to kill you right here."

"No, I won't tell you," the second soldier said sternly.

Well, this is a pretty big change in the plan... Blitz pondered as he entered the area, figuring that stealth wasn't needed anymore.

Astrid walked from behind the tree towards Metal and the soldiers. "You will tell us. What does your boss want with the Warrior Stone?"

The soldiers remained silent.

"You will tell me!" Metal then attempted to punch the soldier in the face. "Is Ember there? Tell him to pick up that gun and defend himself."

"Oh geez," Kanji sighed watching them.

Blitz watched as Metal tried to get information out of the soldier. Try not to punch him so much we'll lose him, dude.

Metal looked over at Blitz, "What are you staring at, dude?" I don't like the audience I'm getting...

"Just watching what's going on," the wolf said truthfully. "Uh, Astrid," Ember said.

"I'll go talk to him," she replied.

The soldier was hit in the face. "Agh, god damn! My nose!"

"Oh crap, dude. I think it's broken," the first soldier said.

Astrid came out from her cover and walked over to Metal and the soldiers. "I would advise you tell him, before you get even more injured."

"I advise you do tell me, or your death will soon follow." Metal looked over at the other soldier, growling at him. His eyes seemed to glow a dark red, making him seem intimidating. His markings also seemed to be glowing a blue colour.

"I-I-I dunno, man. Something about a stone and-and uhh gaining the power from it. That's it, man. T-tha-that's all we know" the second soldier said, now terrified.

"Huh. It was violent, but it worked," Ember said to himself.

"Oh no. He's attempting to gain power from the stone. The consequences of that can be catastrophic," Astrid said, quite worried now.

"Now, tell me where he went. Spill it, now!" Metal seemed angered, and pressed his claws against the soldier's chest.

"I-I don't know. Don't kill me. Please!"

"Metal, calm down," Astrid said, "Okay, where do you think you last saw him?" She asked the soldier.

"Uh-uh, the um, the... The field i-in the mi-middle of the forest," the soldier replied.

Metal dropped the soldier and ran off, "I'm going after this dude. Deal with things from here." Metal continued running as fast as possible through the forest.

Naoto and Kanji both stepped out at the ready. "Which one of you punks want to go down first." Kanji said, reading the shield he had.

"I would agree to that too. So you gonna just run away?" Naoto said before looking over at the soldiers, pointing the pistol at one of them.

"No blood shed," she said to the two of them. Astrid the turned to the soldiers. "If either of you two tell anyone of this, I will hunt you down, and will kill you. Both of you."

"U-uh yes-yes ma'am," the first soldier said, scared out of his mind.

"Good, now go," Astrid said.

The two soldiers then ran off, unknowingly leaving their rifles and ammo behind.

Blitz smirked as he watched the soldiers take off without their weapons. "Shall we appropriate these?" he inquired, looking at the fallen rifles and ammunition. If they were going after "V", they would need all the firepower they could get their hands on.

"Take them if you wish. I certainly do not need them. Firearms are too loud for me," Astrid said.

Ember walked over to Astrid saying nothing.

"Are you okay, Ember? You have not spoken much since we got onto the helicopter," Astrid inquired.

"I'm fine," he said simply.

"Hm. I think that it is best we go now. The soldier mentioned a field and I know where it is. Follow me," Astrid said to the rest of the group before running off to the field.

Blitz scooped the rifles into his arms before setting off after Astrid. Wonder what awaits us.

The black bat followed the group with his eyes. "Seems like they're not gonna get in the way." he muttered to himself.

"Aww, I wanted to give them a good fight..." Kanji sighed then walked off with Naoto, further ahead. Kanji narrowly looked over at Blitz, noticing he had a rifle in his hand. "Hey Wolf boy, not to be rude or anything, but honestly, how old are you?" Kanji asked, watching Blitz carefully.

Blitz looked over at Kanji. "Thirty-seven," he said truthfully. He pointed the rifle in his hands down at the ground so it wasn't aimed at anybody.

Astrid stopped at the edge of the forest. As she looked onto the field, she saw something never before seen in this beautiful country. An army was gathered in the forest and they were protecting something.

"Oh... This is worse than I thought," she said with slight worry in her voice.

"Soldiers everywhere. Are they good?" Ember asked Astrid.

"No," she said staring at the flag that flew above one of the tents, "The flags don't bear the U.M.A or G.U.N insignias."

"So that's bad," Blitz concluded.

Pyro and Crya had been following the group, though Pyro had blanked out as usual. However, something peculiar happened. Crya also blanked out, like an idiot she followed the closest person she thought to be important, Astrid, as she learned what it's like to move without consciousness. Pyro and Crya wake up, and look around, now confused.

"Right, this needs to be done quickly and quietly. We cannot face this many soldiers on our own," Astrid said to the group, "We need to take the stone without letting any of the guards know."

Over in the base, a soldier is being shouted at by the "V" person.

"You are an idiot! I told you to have a squad of soldiers at each of the gates, not just one!" he shouted.

"Sir, with all due respect-" the soldier said, before being cut off.

"Does it really look like I care about your god damn opinion! Someone has infiltrated the forest because of your poor judgement!"

"Excuse me? I do not have poor judgement, sir," the soldier said frustratedly, "I am trying to protect your hide and some rock!"

Then, without warning, "V" used his electrokinesis to fry the soldier.

"It's not just "some rock, captain," he said to the charred corpse on the grass, "It's a rock with the power to destroy entire countries."

Back with the group, Ember and Astrid had heard and seen the lightning strike.

"Uh, lightning? What's that about?" Ember asked.

Soldiers could be seen reinforcing the base after the captain had been killed.

"This... might be interesting..." Blitz commented upon seeing "V's" electrokinesis power. huh. Gonna have to watch ourselves.

Metal had heard the lightning strike, and had stopped and looked over at Kanji. He walked over to him. "I need to do that uh, thing.." Metal said, quite worried.

"Oh yeah, the thing. Not a good idea to do it. You don't know how long your be able to do it for." Kanji answered back.

"I'm doing it. I'm going to try to use it." Metal said, putting the handgun into a holster around his waist. His hands started to radiate with a blue aura, then a blue aura started to radiate around him.

"What thing is this?" Astrid asked in a firm tone.

"Thing? What thing?" Blitz inquired, curious.

"Uh..thing yeah...I don't want to really explain this thing...Let me just put it this way, It's something to do my species. That is all I guess.." Metal said sighing.

"Hm, alright then," Astrid said to Metal, still unsure of what the "thing" is.

"Uh... hey, guys. I think I might have an idea," Ember said, strangely to the whole group.

"I'm all ears," Blitz replied.

In the treetops above the black bat stood staring down at the group, his ears perked.

"Well, uh, i-it's kinda dangerous too," Ember said nervously.

"You can say it, Ember," Astrid said.

"Well, I was thinking that maybe you guys could distract the soldiers whilst I get the stone," Ember said.

"No, you are not going on your own," Astrid said.

"Astrid, come on. I'm not a kid anymore. I want to help," he said back to her.

"Make a ruckus? Easy peasy," Blitz commented, cracking a grin.

"Look, Blitz doesn't mind me on my own," Ember argued.

"Yes, but he has not known you for most of his life," Astrid replied.

"Just, trust me Astrid," he said, beginning to become frustrated.

Astrid looked to the ground and shook her head. "Fine. But if they so much as lay a finger on you, you are going back home."

"Thanks, I guess. So who's up for this plan then?" he asked the group.

Blitz raised his hand almost immediately. Can't wait to make some noise!

" I'am up for it... " " Me too~! " two voices were heard behind the group , coming through the forest towards them . The showed themselves .

One of the two who were most likely the person who talked first , Was wearing a black cloack and most of his body was covered with it , his cloak also had a hood he was wearing but he didn't seem concetrated on hiding his face at the moment so his face nad pupilles blue eyes could be seen . This person had a demonic aura coming out from him . His face suggested he was a hedgehog

The other one who mostly likely talked second with a bright voice and was smiling . He was a cat . He was wearing a white shirt with some arm wrappings , He was also wearing some black pants . Unlike his freind he had a warmer , silent and more welcoming aura sorrounding him

" We happened to be following you for long time , but unfortunately... " the hedgehog looked at the cat . " eheheh...I got distracted and made us late...Sorry~ " the cat said scratching the back of his head with a bitter smile .

As soon as the words "following" and "you" were said, Astrid turned to them almost immediately. "Following us? Why?"

" Well... " the hedgehog started off the explanation. " We were chasing each other when you group met in station square " Kenas said . " I overheard your conversation when i was being chased by this guy but after our chase was finished all of you were gone" the cat followed the hedgehog's story . "I heard the story from my friend after we were done chasing each other and settling the arguement so we decided to go after you to meet up with your group " the hedgehog replied again. " But i was distracted by other stuff so we had to wait around multipel times making us late in meeting up with you " " it may not be that beleivable but atleast its true~ " The cat ended with a smile.

"Hm... fine. But I get the feeling that some else is here now too," Astrid said.

The black bat in the tree tops sighed. "Well, these lot are gonan royally f**** up my plan." And with those words said the bat flew down to the group. "If it's time for sudden introductions, then hello! I don't know any of you, or frankly care about this stone, but it's in my best interest to assist you."

"I knew it," Astrid said, "Also, you should care about this stone because it could result in your death."

"Whatever, everything breaks at some point." Damien responded, kneeling down and stroking two cats beside him.

" Yup... ,It's a good idea to break the stones you speak of or seal them away if possible if they happen to be more powerful than the chaos emeralds" Kenas said as Ark nodded to his comment.

"Not what I meant, at all. But whatever." Damien muttered.

"If the warrior stone broke, Soleanna and part of the mainland wouldn't exist anymore," Astrid said to Kenas.

Metal looked over at Kanji. "Well do it, hit with me with all you've got." Metal stood there, waiting. Kanji quickly fired a blast of lightning at Metal, Metal taking it head on, absorbing the electricity that hit him. He then looked over at Astrid, as well as his right hand started to radiate with orange electricity. "Well, not the result I expected...I expected it not to work."

Astrid turned to Metal. "Hm. How are not injured by that?"

"Um, Astrid. Wasting time," Ember said.

"Right, right. Tell me afterwards Metal. Let's get the stone," she said to the group. "And Ember, be careful."

"I will, don't worry," he replied.

"Good. Let's go," Astrid said.

"One distraction, coming right up!" Blitz said, and eagerly dashed ahead of the group towards the soldiers, his guns in his hands.

Damien flew after Blitz, his two cats getting into the pockets of his coat. As he flew forwards his body transformed into a type of metal, as did his cats.


"Kanji, Naoto. Help them out. I'm going after this stone." Metal looked over at Ember. I'm wondering what sort of power this stone holds, he thought to himself.

Kanji and Naoto nodded, before charging at both the soldiers. "Hey punks! Want a punch in the face?!" Kanji said, attempting to hit one of the soldiers with the shield, while Naoto fires a shot using a pistol at another one.

The two guards guarding the camp instantly saw them. "Holy crap! Sound the alarms!" one of the guards yelled. As soon as this was said, alarms polluted the area.

"Ember, go," Astrid said.

"Okay," he said before running off to another gate.

"Right, I need a vantage point," Astrid said to herself. She saw a wooden sniper tower and began running to it.

Chapter 4: Stone Theft


As Astrid was getting to her vantage point a trio of soldiers blocked her path. She quickly grab her bow, picked off two of them then ran at the last. He fired and missed before Astrid pounced on top of him and stabbed him in the throat. She then finally made it to her vantage point and began sniping the soldiers.

Ember on the other hand had just made it to the other entrance. There were two guards facing towards the commotion. He unzipped is backpack and retrieved a stun gun. He slowly walked up to one of the guards and stunned him in the back of the head. Because of this, the other guard quickly turned around and aimed his gun at Ember.

"Move along, kid," the guard said.

"Sorry," Ember said before running at the guard and stunning him too. He then continued with the plan by carefully sneaking around the outer edge of the base to find the stone.

"YEEHAW! COME AND GET IT!" Blitz called loudly, apparently having a good time raising hell while Ember and Astrid were busy. Gunshots, explosions, and metallic clangs could be heard as he was presumably tearing through the soldiers.

The hedghehog who was wearing a black cloak had two swords in his hand and multiple blue fireballs around him , His fireballs were going around wrecking havoc as darkness poured out his body to disable some soldiers . He also was running around with his two swords doing not so lethal strikes on soldiers to keep them occupied .

The cat had a scythe in his hand he was easily cutting through the soldiers . A Angel wing and dragon / devil wing had also grown out from his back making him capable of flight .

Two red orbs of some kind of energy flew out at the cat and hedgehog from behind.

The hedgehog saw the orbs but he had no time since he was already occupied with something . The cat aswell saw it but he was attacked when he tried to do anything resulting in both of them getting hit .

The commotion outside forced "V" to finally come out and see what was going on. He walked out of one of the tents with a carbine in his hands. He looked around and saw the various people decimating his small army. He then looked up towards the sniper tower.

"Astrid?" he whispered to himself. He then turned around to go back into the tent. As we walked in he said to one of his guards, "Prepare the chopper, I'm leaving." When he walked in, he noticed a leopard in there, trying to steal the stone that was laid carefully in a briefcase.

"Hi, kid," he said.

"Uh, hi," Ember replied.

"You trying to take my stone?" "V" asked.

Ember remained silent. "V" then walked over to him and grabbed him by the throat. Despite being the same age, "V" was much taller and stronger than Ember. "V" dragged him along the ground and out of the tent, taking the stone with him.

"Hey, Astrid!" he yelled.

Astrid turned and as soon as she saw "V", she recognised him. "Joseph?"

"Ugh, how many times do I have to tell people? It's Voltric. Vol-tric," he finally announced, "Anyways, as you can see, I have your little thief in my hand."

"Put him down, Jos-," Astrid said before being interrupted.

"Voltric," he reminded her, gritting his teeth, "Now for your stupidity, I will give a demonstration." After he said this, he opened the briefcase revealing the shining red warrior stone. "Ah, pretty."

"Voltric, no. I know what you going to do," Astrid said, pointing the bow at him.

"Too bad you're not wearing anything on your hand, kid," he said to Ember, "Now, hold the stone. Hold it."

"G-go to hell," Ember said whilst still being chocked.

"Hold it or I'll fry you, how 'bout that?" Voltric threatened.

"Ember, don't!" Astrid yelled.

Voltric then forced the stone into Ember's hand. As soon is it made contact, it shone very brightly. So brightly, everyone nearby would've been blinded by it.

Blitz stopped attacking the mooks of V to notice a bright light shining nearby. Turning, he noticed it coming from the building Ember was in. Huh... what's going on there... He decided to enter.

Immediately, he was blinded by the intense light and had to shield his eyes, unable to see anything. "Crap!"

After getting hit by the red orbs the cat and the hedgehog turn around to see the blinding light. They both cover and back off.

Astrid covered her eyes as the blinding covered the whole field. The light then quickly dimmed, revealing Ember curled up on the floor, unconscious. He was surrounded by a fiery dome. Astrid finally regained her sight and saw Voltric waving goodbye to her sarcastically in a helicopter. He was also holding the briefcase with the stone in it.

"Oh, you're not getting the stone that easily," she muttered before flinging an arrow straight to his hand. As the arrow went through his hand, he screamed in pain and dropped the suitcase from the helicopter.

"Oh, damn it. Quickly, someone catch the briefcase!" she shouted.

Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere a black and purple blur flew over to briefcase and caught it. The blur flew up into the helicopter and handed Voltric the case. As what was formerly a blur stood still, revealing him as a black batlynx wearing a long purple coat. "I'll deal with 'em for a little while. Get out of here." the batlynx growled to Voltric.

Voltric grunted with pain as he grasped the briefcase. "Thank you, kind sir."

"No! What the hell are you doing?!" Astrid exclaimed, "Anything could happen if he keeps that stone!"

The Batlynx grinned at Astrid. "I know that."

"Bye Astrid! Have a nice life!" Voltric yelled sarcastically.

The fiery dome around Ember began pulsing, as if it were angry.

Astrid growled and fired another arrow at the chopper. The arrow missed and hit the chopper's door.

"HEY!" Blitz yelled, firing a gunshot at the copter. However, he missed, and he watched as his target flew away.

The Batlynx lept out of the helicopter, as he fell he tapped the landing gear. After falling a little way he spread his wings and flew in place, two red orbs began forming around his hands.

The dome around Ember continued to pulse, getting louder and louder and more and more violent.

"Just who are you?" Astrid asked the batlynx.

Blitz noticed the Batlynx floating in the air with two orbs in his hands. "Crud..." He then turned to the female fox. "Astrid, go on and help Ember! I'll keep this dude busy!" he said to her, holstering his guns and unsheathing his sword.

Damien stared up at the batlynx and muttered "Found you, Raen."

The Batlynx apparently known as Raen motioned his hands toward Blitz,sending the two around basket ball sized orbs flying towards Blitz. After firing the orbs Raen began forming two more in his hands, and proceeded to fire them in the same manner at Blitz.

"Whoa!" Blitz yelled as he leapt to the side, avoiding the first barrage. He saw the second wave coming and instead stood up, raised his sword, and swung it in front of him, which would hit the second orbs and cause them to dissipate.

Astrid nodded at Blitz and ran over to Ember. Once she reached him, she felt an intense heat coming from the dome. She picked up a twig and tossed it onto the dome. The twig burnt up and turned to embers instantaneously.

"Ember wake up. Please," she said. Ember did not respond.

Raen continued firing barrages of arcane orbs at Blitz, this time however he was circling him from the air, meaning arcane orbs would be coming at him from all directions.

Blitz was struck by one orb and sent backwards a few meters, before getting back up and growling. "Alright, flyboy... let's dance!" he grunted as he started running towards his airborne foe, slashing and dodging incoming orbs along the way.

Raen kept on circling Blitz and firing orbs at Blitz.

Blitz kept running towards his opponent, eventually reaching him and taking a leap upwards. With sword raised, the wolf aimed a Helm Smasher move down at Raen.

Raen barely managed to move to the side of the attack, however his wing was not spared. A chunk of it fell to the ground as Raen shouted obscenities.

"Haha! You got your wing clipped!" Blitz laughed as he fell to the ground and landed on his feet.

Raen's flying became a lot less balanced, however he still managed to stay up. Raen's eyes started glowing a bright purple. The red orbs in his hands growing, he brought the two orbs in his hands together creating a large orb and fired it towards Blitz.

"Hmph. You don't know anything Astrid!" Voltric shouted, "The dome will only pulse a few more times."

"Then what?!" Astrid shouted back.

"This entire field becomes an inferno," he replied chuckling.

"Oh no... What about Ember?!"

"Either he lives or dies. That is uncertain. Either way, I'm leaving. Bye!" Voltric yelled. The helicopter began to rise even higher.

"A-Astrid..." Ember muttered, still laying on the floor.

"Huh," Astrid looked over to him.

"Get e-everyone out of here. N-now..." he said.

"What about you?" Astrid worryingly asked.

"Y-you know me. I'll be f-fine," he said smiling, "Go, g-get out of here."

Astrid nodded at him and yelled over to the group. "Guys, we have to go! The dome around Ember is about to explode!"

"Wait, what?! What about Ember?" Blitz objected, which let Raen's super orb get him smack in the face, knocking him down.

"You heard the man. Get out of here." Raen laughed, flying after the helicopter.

Damien had already flown away from Ember and the others.

Astrid ran over to Blitz and helped him up. "No time, we have to go. Come on everyone!"

Blitz stood up with Astrid's help, grunting. "...okay," the wolf said in a defeated tone. Though he had just met Ember, he couldn't help but be concerned for the leopard's safety.

"You two! We need to leave now!" Astrid yelled over to the hedgehog and the cat.

The dome covering Ember began to expanding whilst continuing to pulse.

As soon as he heard Astrid's voice he turned aroudn to see ember , It appears that a part of his trench cloak was gone due to Raen's arcane orb and there seems to be a wound there aswell . Kenas stared at ember for a few moments before turning around and running towards blitz and astrid , " Right " He said as he helped blitz as well.

Ark finsihed up the remaining soldiers after he heard astrid and quickly ran towards the group as he already knew that there was no way to help Ember in this situation since his freind has not already helped him. " Right, If there was only something we could do... " He told as he came to a halt near the group with his scythe.

"Wait. Where's Metal and the other two?" Astrid asked the group.

Naoto and Kanji came running over after they dealt with the soldiers. They looked over at Astrid and then looked over at Ember.

Meanwhile, a gunshot went off nearby.

"Kanji, Naoto, where's Metal?" Astrid asked.

"I really don't know....He said he was going to look for Ember, did he not?" Kanji said.

"I don't know too, but I just heard something." Naoto said, looking around.

"That's why I asked. It sounded like a gunshot," Astrid replied. She was worried now. "We cannot go back there. The dome could explode any minute... Damn it!" She yelled.

"We have to leave Metal here, he'll be fine..." Kanji said.

"Hm. I guess you are right. Let's go," Astrid said running from the base. I hope you two stay safe, she thought to herself.

"Right, behind you." Kanji said following Astrid. Naoto then went to follow Astrid as well.

However, Raiden walked up to the group holding a sniper rifle in his hands. "Well hello there."

Blitz looked up at the new arrival. "Who the hell are you?" he said gruffly. That last attack had made him slightly dizzy, and his vision was slightly blurry. He could still make out Raiden, however.

"Me? I'm just your worse nightmare, little wolf." Raiden said, pointing the sniper rifle at Blitz.

"Leave, Raiden. We have no quarrel with you," Astrid said."

"Maybe not, but I want the so called Stones." Raiden said.

"I wish you luck in trying to locate one then. The only stone that has been discovered is in the hands of a madman," Astrid said.

Then suddenly a massive tornado of fire filled the sky, turning it from beautiful light blue it once was, to a dark and evil fiery red.

"What is happening?" she asked.

The fire tornado dissipated, but the sky was still filled with fire. The dome surrounding Ember was now pulsating at an alarming rate. The dome continued to pulse faster and faster, slowly getting bigger and bigger until finally, it collapsed. As it collapsed it let out a violent explosion, engulfing the entire military camp. The blast was so big that it just about reach the group. It created enough force to knock them off of their feet.

Astrid flew into a tree and collapsed onto the floor. "Agh! Oh god..."

"Mutherfu-" was all Blitz could say before he too was knocked away, flying into the same tree Astrid was in. He fell down next to her, snarling as he felt something crack. Dammit!

Chapter 5: Embers


The sky was now clear again, however, the grass and trees that surrounded the now incinerated base, had been either charred or turned to embers. The driest grass had set alight and was gently burning away. In the middle of the blast zone, Ember was standing on the only green patch of grass in the area, as if nothing happened. To the left of him was a helicopter. This happened to be the same one as Voltric's. He walked over to it with an angry look upon his face. He opened the burning helicopter and found Voltric in there with a rather deep cut down the left side of his face.

"Huh... H-How did you...?" Voltric asked.

"Survive? I resisted. I resisted defeat. I do like my life and I'm not ending I here," Ember stated. He then helped Voltric out of the helicopter. When they were outside, Ember smacked him around the face with his fist. Volric grunted and fell to the ground. He was fairly weak at this point.

"That was for trying to kill me," he said shaking off the pain, "Now, if you give me the stone and tell me where the other one is, I'll let you free."

"Fine... take it..." he said, hesitating to give Ember the briefcase. Ember snatched it from his hand.

"Thanks. Now, where's the other one?" Ember asked.

"Uh... Springbreeze. In Armonia," Voltric replied.

"Good. It was... a pleasure doing business. You can go," Ember said, gesturing his hand towards the forest.

Back with the group, Astrid saw Ember "dealing" with Voltric. She quickly got up and began running over to him.

"Agh, son of a..." Blitz snarled as he held his side. Dammit, he didn't know if he broke anything or just hit his side too hard. It hurt quite a lot. Sitting up, he watched Astrid run off. "H-hey! where ya going?" he called.

Astrid turned her head, still running, and simply pointed at the intact leopard in front of her.

Blitz grunted in annoyance, but forced himself to stand up, pain knifing him in his side. He ignored the pain however, and proceeded to follow Astrid at his own slow pace.

Astrid had reached him at this point and hugged him. "You're alive."

"Yeah. 'course I am. I wouldn't just want to die right before I begin travelling," Ember replied.

Astrid chuckled. She then saw Voltric limping away in the distance. "You let him go?"

"Yes," Ember replied simply.

"Why?" Astrid said sternly.

"I'm not one to kill, Astrid. Neither do I want to. It's not right."

"He could kill many innocent people, Ember."

"Then you need to find a way to protect the people from him. Quickly too."

"Me?" Astrid asked with an angry look on her face.

"Yes, you. You were the one who said "I will protect the people". I never said that. I said I would help them," Ember replied.

Astrid sighed. "Come on. You need to go home."

"No thanks," Ember replied.

Blitz managed to reach the two and staggered next to a fallen tree, using his free hand to support himself. "Hey, what happened, fire cat dude?" he inquired of Ember. Despite feeling like his side was on fire, he still felt jolly.

"Voltric, like the idiot he probably is, thought he could kill me. Obviously he failed. Why? Because I'm awesome. And I don't really like dying. I'm kinda allergic to it," Ember replied.

"So why are you not coming?" Astrid interrupted.

"I want to travel around. Meet new people, go to new places. I don't really want to be babysit anymore either," he replied.

"Babysit?" Astrid was confused.

"Astrid, you know how you've treated me. You were always kind to me and you looked after me, but I don't need that anymore. I'm 15 now and it's only half a year until I'm 16," Ember replied.

"Oh..."

"Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate it a lot. You've helped me out in many situations. But I don't need much help anymore," Ember said, resting his hand on her shoulder.

"Hm... Well how are you feeling?" she asked.

"I feel slightly weird, but I'm sure it'll wear off," he replied.

"Okay..." Astrid didn't know what to say. She had always acted like an over-protective older sister towards Ember and now she finally realised that he doesn't need much help anymore. "I'll be leaving now..."

"Hey, Astrid. Give me a call sometime, okay?" Ember asked.

"Yeah... sure..." she said before walking off into the forest.

There was a brief moment of silence before Ember turned to Blitz. "You okay, Blitz?"

"I feel like crap," Blitz replied. "I'll get better, though. Frankly, I'm surprised at what you did before the big bang," he added. He truly was surprised at how Ember seemed to have survived that explosion earlier.

"I'm surprised too. Honestly, between you and me, I have no idea how I lived. Still, I managed to get this off of him," Ember replied, looking at the briefcase.

Blitz looked at the briefcase. "So it's over? V's gone and the Warrior Stones or whatever they're called are safe?"

"I guess so. I mean Voltric doesn't know where the rest are. He's a criminal now anyway. He'll be on the run rather than trying to find the rest. Actually, that reminds me, I need to give this to the police," Ember said.

"Sounds like a plan," Blitz commented. Then he started walking forward before sharp pains made him realize his mistake, and he stopped. "Don't suppose you can call a taxi or something too? This