The eleventh chapter of Flashfire212's Book Two: The Sickness
Chapter Eleven: Train and Interrogate Edit
Shadow grunted, struggling to hold four heavy bags on the angled ground, failing to look around himself. Will and Maddy had no such trouble, as Maddy helped Will down the same steep ground through the beautifully scenic forest.
“Whoa! See that flower? It’s amazing!” Maddy cooed at the large orange flowers sprouting from a tree. Will smiled; gently plucking one from the tree with his free hand, then wrapped it in Maddy’s long blue hair. Her smile broadened as they continued down to the area where Knuckles and Ronan stood shouting at each other.
“What’s up?” Will asked, watching carefully as Knuckles gestured wildly at the trees all around them.
“Ronan’s location gear can’t pinpoint where we are! And I just got word of where the Dark Legion is based at the moment, so I can go have a word with Lien-Da. I swear, if this fox’s useless technology ACTUALLY worked we could be outta this forest!”
“Excuse me? My technology, useless? That’s what’s keeping your son alive, mate, as well as many other things. Besides, it’s these trees. They’re emitting a weird electromagnetic resonance, and I can’t get a lock on anything.” Ronan yelled back. Will gave a smile that broadened when he recognized a certain clearing.
“It’s the Forest of Light! I was here with Crystal before I got sick.”
“Crystal.” Maddy growled, and Will felt a shiver down his spine.
“Anyway… Blood fought an Egg Chopper in that clearing, and destroyed it single-handedly. There’s a tonne of debris that would have to be cleared, but other than that, it’s a perfect clearing for our camp. All the scanners would work, and your Chaos senses too. Something about these trees jams all forms of Chaos senses and scanners.” Will said, looking at the moss-covered trees that glowed with bioluminescence, and the bright clearing ahead. Ronan and Knuckles glared at each other, than set off again. Will and Maddy heard a thump, then a series of curses. Maddy turned to see the source, but it was only Shadow falling over and landing on his face. Sonic came up from behind with Blood, and both helped Shadow up and grabbing a bag each, leaving Shadow with two. The three hedgehogs made their way into the clearing, while Ronan chased off a large flock of Flickies that sat where they wanted to set up camp.
“I hate Flickies.” Ronan muttered, with Shadow nodding at the comment as he set up a tent. Knuckles closed his eyes, appearing to meditate.
“What’cha doin’, Dad?” Will asked, eying off a red Flickie that appeared to be sneaking up on Ronan. Knuckles didn’t even open his eyes as he responded.
“I’m getting my bearings. I know where Lien-Da’s main camp is; it’s just a case of getting there. Got it.” Knuckles stood and pointed to the north, towards what appeared to be an extremely dense clump of mossy trees. He opened his eyes and then examined the area.
“Ok, maybe I should head AROUND that clump.”
“Good idea.” Will smiled, than gave his dad a hug. “Thanks for all this, Dad. I mean, you came out here to train me with someone you can’t stand. It means a lot to me.” Knuckles nodded, letting his dreadlocks swing.
“It’s my pleasure, Will. I’m going to have to go see Lien-Da now, so I’ll leave your training up to Shadow and the others. But first, here.” Knuckles bent down and pulled out a glittering purple emerald from a bag. Will froze, as did all the others.
“Chaos Emerald!” Shadow yelled, diving for the precious gem. However, Knuckles hit him on the head just as he reached it.
“No, Shadow, this is for Will.” Knuckles turned to face his son. “Will, son, look. With those gates in place, we don’t know how well you’ll be able to connect with the Master Emerald. Therefore, I feel that as your father, I should give you this. My own Chaos Emerald. It’s a Mobian Emerald, not an offworld set like all of Shadow’s…”
“Hey! I have a Mobian Emerald too!” Shadow yelled indignantly. Knuckles glared at him, then continued.
“Therefore, it has a tighter bond with the Master Emerald. Keep it, until you’re healthy enough to tap into Chaos Energy like you could before.” Ronan tore his gaze away from the gem long enough to realize just what Knuckles was doing.
“Wait, you’re giving him something that useful just as a training aid?”
“That’s what I said, isn’t it?” Knuckles retorted, looking at the ground. He turned and gave Will a hug. “I’ll be back in a couple of days. First, I have to pay a visit to Lien-Da.” He dived into the ground, his long knuckles and well-toned upper-body muscles dragging him into the ground straight underneath the clump of trees. The occasionally shaking trees gave insight into his progress. After about five minutes, Shadow shook off his surprise and daze from the strike on the head enough to look at Will.
“OK, since I was left in charge, let’s try out what you can do, considering that you are out of practice.” Shadow shot straight forwards in a spindash, glowing green from Chaos Energy. Will was only barely able to dodge when Shadow spun around, hurling a golden Chaos Spear, which hit Will straight in the chest, knocking him to the ground. Will tried to draw himself to his feet, but even trying felt like something was crushing him. Gradually, Will drew himself within his body, finding a trio of barriers. One felt natural, a warm organic energy barricade blocking him from certain abilities passed down by his family. The next felt soft, a spongy membrane that would take energy in and out. The final one was a colder, more metallic feeling wall. Will assumed that this was an Inhibitor Gate, and struggled to open it. Will could feel the strain on his body externally, but ignored it as the gate finally yielded, giving him an energy rush. He stood, the sensation of being crushed passing off of him with ease. Sonic, Maddy and Ronan all stared at Will, while Shadow looked bored. Blood appeared to be still fixated on the Chaos Emerald. Shadow spoke first, although Will could see Maddy and Ronan both wanted to.
“You’re slow. Slower than me, and I’m in my nineties now,” he turned and glared at Sonic. “And no, that does not make me an old fart. Blood’s over four thousand years old, and he still looks like he’s in his 20s.”
“Shadow, I wasn’t going to comment.” Sonic replied as Maddy rushed over to Will, checking his chest for wounds. She couldn’t feel any under his blue fur. Shadow rolled his red eyes.
“Oh, sure. You think I hurt him. Well, guess what? I know how to limit energy in attacks too, you realize.” Will stood back, making it clear that he was ok.
“I know. My reflexes aren’t what they used to be. That’s because I would increase them with Chaos Energy, OK? I’m still strong, at least, I think I am, but I’m slow and have slowed reflexes, plus I’m struggling to open the gates. Can you help me?” Ronan stood forward now, his gaze making Will feel like an animal in a zoo.
“You managed to open an Inhibitor Gate?” he asked, bluntly. Will nodded.
“Just one. I didn’t go any deeper, because one gate was all I needed.” Ronan met Will’s eyes now, studying them for any signs of being bloodshot or damaged.
“That’s impressive. I’ve seen people who are unable to open the gates for years. I’m not one of them, but I never had that disease.” Ronan parted his black and green fur, revealing a set of scars where stitches had been. He slid his hands up, revealing more sets of scars.
“I have four gates. I don’t use them to limit my energy, in a way, but I use them to limit my rage. If I open them, I automatically transform.” Now Blood looked up from the Emerald, deciding it didn’t have what he was looking for within it.
“I’d say the reflexes and speed are something your father struggled with as well. I mean, I saw him as a child. Heck, I saw Sonic’s ancestors as children. Anyway, your dad couldn’t keep up with his father, and could barely move fast enough to block any attacks thrown at him. He trained around the Master Emerald constantly, and I think he built up an energy reserve similar to you, but there was one more thing: he trained away from the emerald as well, and he had become much faster. I guess you just have to…”
“Train. I know.” Will looked Blood in the eyes, almost losing himself in the impossible depth of the black ‘whites’ of his eyes, before making himself speak. “Still, some of the fastest beings on Mobius are here, so if I can’t increase my reflexes here, I won’t be able to anywhere.” Everyone was quiet, as a bright white Flickie flew up and landed on the tent. Ronan turned and all of a sudden, the Flickie vanished. Shadow twitched again, the same as he had in the hospital. Everyone looked at Ronan, and a bright white Flickie upside-down in the bushes behind him.
“What? Let’s get to work!”