This is the seventh chapter of Flashfire212's Book Two: The Sickness, the second Will the Echidna series book.
Chapter Seven: Search for a Cure Edit
Tails sat in his laboratory, fiddling around with his microscope. Kyle sat at a separate bench playing around with the security system’s targeting systems, setting Jacob and Dark Legionnaires as the priority targets. Both were just stalling for the other great minds of Mobius to arrive: Dimitri, former grandmaster of the Dark Legion, and Rotor the Walrus, former technician in the Freedom Fighters. Dimitri arrived first, greeting the two foxes politely and formally.
“Good day, Doctor Miles. Good morning, Kyle. I only wish that we met under more enjoyable circumstances,”
“As do we, Dimitri,” Tails replied, giving a polite bow. Kyle looked up, smiled, waved to the floating robotic head that was Dimitri, then got back to fiddling with the targeting systems. Dimitri walked over to the cryo tube, where Will lay asleep.
“Ah, great-grand nephew. I am sorry that you are in this condition. Dr. Miles, is it ok if I take a blood sample for examination?”
“No need. I’ve got some being separated at the moment, and I’m looking at this weird reaction of a pair of Chaos Emerald Shards that Knuckles and Shadow tried to use on Will to heal him. They’ve turned black, almost as if something’s corrupting the energy within the Emerald,” Tails muttered, focusing on the shard through his microscope. Dimitri walked over to the separator, watching it’s control panels until it rung, then withdrawing a blood sample with a robotic dreadlock, then floating over to a microscope set.
“If only Doctor Fineventus was here,” he murmured. Tails’ head flew up.
“Fineventus! Of course! I knew we forgot someone! Kyle, could you…”
“Dad, I just sent him a request. Also, Rotor’s here with some gear,” Kyle yelled over his shoulder, opening the doors for Rotor to enter.
“Tails! Kyle! Good to see you two again!” Rotor cheered, then frowned when he saw Dimitri, “Oh, hello Dimitri,”
“Good day, Rotor Walrus. It is a pleasure to work with you. If only it was a more enjoyable reason.” Kyle stuck his hand up over his shoulder and waved, keeping his attention on the computer. Rotor walked over to Will, then looked at Tails.
“Have you collected a muscle sample, Tails? His muscles might have been damaged by the freezing or by the sickness itself.”
“Good point, Rotor. Go ahead,” Tails muttered, as Sonic’s Uncle Chuck entered, as he had been for the last couple of days.
“Rotor! Dimitri! Nice to see you two again!” he shouted. Dimitri smiled as much as a floating robotic head could.
“You too, Charles.” He said, as Rotor lifted his head.
“Oh, hello Chuck! I’m just getting a muscle sample. Be right with you!”
“Um, dad?” Kyle called out, having already seen Chuck over the last couple of days.
“Fineventus isn’t coming, said he can’t make it to this session. Also, we have an interloper,” Kyle yelled. Instantly, Tails leapt into the air, spinning his tails so rapidly that he created a downdraft on everyone beneath him as he flew to Kyle.
“Who or what is it?” he asked his son. Kyle looked at him bleakly.
“It’s a Mecha version of you,” came the inevitable reply. Instantly, Tails was in command mode.
“Power down external weapons! I’m going to get prepared to fight!”
“Dad, you aren’t a fighter! You’re a genius and a scientist! Sure, you can fight, but it doesn’t mean you should!” Kyle protested. Tails smiled.
“Son, you haven’t been home for two years, and I’ve been training just in case we have to fight to get to you. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve.”
Mecha Tails was having a very easy time sitting outside, with its white flag flapping besides it. It had gone into sleep mode, with Eggman watching it’s surroundings through a micro camera fitted into one of the ears. Suddenly, the robot found itself being awoken by both Eggman’s signal and a proximity alert. It opened its ‘eyes’, and spotted Tails, who stood by the door with a swirling blue ball of energy in his hand.
“It appears to be an incomplete attack, so withdraw your flag and reveal it to him!” came the voice of Doctor Eggman within the unit’s head. It raised its right arm, with the white flag clenched within it. Tails appeared to freeze, powering down the Rasengan he had been forming.
“I take it you are a messenger from Eggman, aren’t you?” Tails asked, watching carefully.
“Affirmative,” it responded, with a metallic buzz.
“Well, what did ol’ Robuttnik have to say?” Tails pushed, ready to attack if required.
“Is that any way to speak in a truce, you miniscule little pest?” Eggman yelled through the speakers in Mecha Tails’ head.
“What’s this about, Egghead?” Tails countered, glaring at the robot.
“Oh, come, come, Tails! I would have thought that you would be welcoming me with open arms! I mean, you have the greatest minds of Mobius there, and I’m not invited? How very rude of you!” Eggman returned, and Tails had to admit it was true. Aside for trying to take over Mobius, Eggman had actually proven himself to be a genius, although lacking in the intelligence to realize he couldn’t conquer Mobius.
“I guess, Robuttnik. Are you going to come in person, or is this ugly piece of junk going to be remote controlled by you?”
“Ugly? I designed it off you! I will be coming myself, I think. Mecha Tails, return to base. Tails, I shall be there shortly,” Eggman muttered, before cutting the connection. Mecha Tails looked at Tails for a few seconds, before orienting it’s tails at the ground, revealing them to be rocket boosters. It flew off, but Tails didn’t feel any more secure with that knowledge. Instead, he turned and reentered the Monolith.
Eggman arrived a half-hour later. He took massive strides with his long spindly legs, and looked altogether like a walking egg with a moustache. “Dimitri. Rotor. Charles. I am pleased to be working alongside you fellows,” he proclaimed.
“Doctor,” Dimitri muttered.
“Hello, Robotnik,” Rotor grunted.
“Good morning, Ivo.” Uncle Chuck nodded at Eggman, before looking back at the black shard of the Chaos Emerald that Tails had been examining. Tails was now napping across the corridor in a dormitory, with Kyle collecting results of all the tests. Eggman examined the cryo tube, intrigued by it’s complexity.
“Ingenious! Tails is a genius for thinking of this!” Eggman cheered, attracting looks from the other four people in the room. Kyle opened up the combined results, just as Tails staggered in, looking exhausted.
“Ok, what do you guys have?” he asked, using a desk to support himself. Kyle turned on his projector, revealing the results to everyone. Charles, Rotor and Dimitri stood up.
“Well, it appears that this poison is functioning as at least a two-stage disease. Stage One is infection of the body’s natural Chaos Energy levels. In this case, due to Will’s impossibly high Chaos Energy reserves, the aforementioned reserves limited access to his Chaos Energy to stop the disease from progressing to Stage Two. However, he still used that Chaos Energy, and also was Chaos Controlled twice, allowing the poison to proceed to Stage Two. Dimitri?” Uncle Chuck finished, motioning for Dimitri to proceed.
“Stage Two attacks the body. It focuses on destroying and infecting cells, including blood, muscle and fat cells. It attacks indiscriminately, annihilating the body’s ability to function, but only can do so while it has access to the main infection, the Chaos Energy.” Dimitri nodded to Tails as Rotor continued.
“By placing Will into cryogenetic suspension, the poison is cancelled out, and cannot resume it’s assault on his body until he is defrosted and awake, drawing on the Chaos Energy in his day-to-day life as we all do. However, I cannot see a cure to this at the present time. I just hope…” It was at this point when a second Eggman entered. He was identical to the Eggman in the room, except for the gigantic obnoxious grin and the rubber glove stuck on his head like a chicken’s comb. Everyone turned to face the intruder.
“Who did this!” Eggman roared, turning red with anger. The new Eggman kept grinning.
“I Chicken Man. I hatched,” he said. Everyone looked at each other in confusion.
“Wha…?” Kyle muttered, head whirling.
“I Chicken Man. I hatched,” he repeated, before diving onto a chair leg and gnawing at it like a dog. Dimitri reached out with a mechanical dreadlock and grabbed Chicken Man, with Tails and Kyle contributing by dragging him over to a cage that Rotor and Charles had dragged into place. As soon as Chicken Man was shut in, Rotor locked the door rapidly. Chicken Man contented himself with gnawing on the bars as Eggman glared at Tails.
“Was it you? Did you clone me, and make this, this, this OAF?”
“Why would I do something like that? I mean, isn’t one Eggman enough?” Tails countered. The two of them appeared to be ready to fight when Kyle piped up.
“We have a visitor.” Indeed, there stood a black two-tailed fox with green fur on his chest and tails. He looked around, taking in the chaos around him.
“Um, you wouldn’t have seen a guy with a rubber glove on his head and an obnoxious grin, would you?” he asked.
“Yeah, we have him. Who are you?” Tails asked. The fox smiled.
“The name’s Ronan. I’m from an alternate reality to you guys.” Ronan walked in, and looked into the cryogenetic tube where Will was sealed.
“It appears that you have a frozen echidna in your lab,” he said dryly. Tails faced him.
“He’s really sick. Now, if you could remove the delusional Eggman from my laboratory, we can proceed in finding a cure for him.” Ronan looked at the motionless body of Will, then back at Tails.
“What’s wrong with him? Has to be bad, because he’s frozen. What symptoms does he have?” he pressured. Tails sighed, unwilling to bring an unknown quantity into the mix, but Ronan was already analyzing the data on Kyle’s computer screen.
“Hmmm. Energy levels corrupted, disease feeding off the corrupted energy, theorized two-stage condition.” Ronan turned to talk to everyone there. “I know this disease. It was a plague on my world for ages. We call it Power Sickness. Normally, people get sick but do not die due to small levels of energy in their veins. However, with people with irrationally high power levels, like the echidna in the tube there, the disease wouldn’t burn out, but keep attacking him until he died. If someone made it into a poison, then he has a problem.”
“Is there a cure?” Dimitri asked, watching as Ronan smoothed out the fur on his muzzle.
“Yes, there is. However, it is risky and very dangerous. Basically, eight Inhibitor ‘gates’ have to be implanted directly onto his spine. After that, he needs to be woken gradually, then over time, taught how to open the gates to tap into more and more power.”
“You’re telling me that these gates block off the flow of Chaos Energy into his body that he can use?” Kyle yelled. Ronan looked at the young two-tailed fox with intrigue.
“Yes. If he could access all that energy, he would burn out rapidly. Very rapidly. The disease is actually a three-stage infection. You guys got one and two right, but stage three is an infection of the mind. Luckily, from the signs left in your results, it hasn’t reached that.”
“What do you want to do all this, if you are going to do that?” Tails asked suspiciously. Ronan raised his hands almost as if in self-defense. “Access to the lab with help to build the gates, then access to an operating theater to install them. That’s it. No money, no fame, nothing.” Tails still looked unconvinced.
“I’ll help build the gates,” Kyle put in.
“As will I,” Uncle Chuck added. Ronan smiled.
“What about the rest of you?”
“I’ll help install them.” Dimitri waved a mechanical dreadlock at Will’s tube. “I know echidna physiology.” Tails saw where he was outmatched. Theatrically, he threw his hands into the air.
“Oh, fine. I’ll help install them, and pull strings at the hospital to get an operating theater. Ronan, begin immediately. You can use this lab.” Eggman had been taking notes all through Ronan’s lecture, scratching his head for a while before seeing how brilliant it was.
“Amazing! Have you ever though about working for the Eggman Empire?” Ronan laughed.
“All the money in my world couldn’t make me decide to, Ivo.”
Will the Echidna (present, but not present)