This is the sixth chapter of Flashfire212's Book Two: The Sickness, the second Will the Echidna series book.
Chapter Six: Dark Prognosis Edit
“I’m sorry sir, but your son has a disease that we have never seen before,” the doctor said. Knuckles appeared to calmly reach down and pat the doctor on the shoulder, before lifting him up and violently shaking him.
“How dare you!” he roared. Julie-Su placed her hand on Knuckles’ shoulder, making him put the doctor down. A pair of nurses raced in, helping their friend into a chair.
“I’m sorry about my husband. He has anger problems. Look, can you treat out son?’ she asked the fox. All he could do was shake his head.
“I want him to be kept here, until we think of a way to cure him,” he blustered. Knuckles instantly leveled the poor doctor with a punch to the head, knocking him out!
“I don’t want you to do that, and I have reason to believe that he’d just be an experiment in your hands,” Knuckles growled, baring his teeth at the nurses who raced in, “Look, if you want him here, I need your word that you WON’T be experimenting on him.”
“We’re sorry, sir, but we cannot give that word,” a cat nurse said, as the other one ran out. Knuckles looked ready to hit someone, as a new doctor walked in. However, this new doctor looked familiar…very familiar.
“Dr. Quack!” Knuckles cheered, clapping the duck across the back, making him stumble.
“Knuckles! What a surprise! And who’s this young man here?”
“That would be my son, Will. He’s sick, doc. Very sick. Can you help?”
“Hmmm, let me see,” Dr. Quack muttered, poking and prodding Will, with no outward signs of life in Will’s body, “Very shallow breathing, very low pulse and numerous stab marks in his chest. I don’t know, but this is a lot more severe than I was told. All his symptoms are signs of different diseases, but this is not something I have ever seen before. Nurse Hope, collect me the equipment for a blood test. Nurse Jennifer, Nurse Kathy, hook this boy up to a life-support machine. I’m sorry, Knuckles, Julie, but I must ask you to leave for now,” At that point, the cat nurse ran out, while a hyena and a hedgecat nurses stayed behind as Dr. Quack ushered Knuckles and Julie-Su out.
“You should be able to return within half-an-hour, I think,” the kind doctor informed his parents. As Knuckles and Julie-Su collapsed into the hospital chairs, they heard a familiar voice calling them. The pair of echidnas turned to see Rouge within the hospital, without Shadow or the kids.
“Rouge, what are you doing here?” Julie-Su asked.
“Oh, Shade was being a fool on a skateboard and landed bad, and he broke his leg. Shadow’s in with him now, with Dawn caring for the kids. I came here when Amy got through to me about Will. How is he?”
“It’s no disease that’s ever been seen on Mobius, we’ve been told. They’re hooking him up to life support as we speak.
“That’s terrible! Can we help in any way? Maybe the Chaos Emeralds…” Knuckles got up.
“Look, Rouge, I appreciate the offer, but I really think that the doctors should deal with this. I’ll be back soon, Julie,”
“Where are you going, honey?” Knuckles yelled over his shoulder as he walked off “Anywhere but here,”
Knuckles climbed up the final few meters to the top of the Monolith, the new training center that he had been a member of designing, building and using to teach. He sat, legs over the side haphazardly. There was nothing between him and falling, but he didn’t care. All the money, all the technology, everything within the Monolith, and it still couldn’t save his son. Even Dr. Horatio Quack, one of the best doctors on Mobius, still couldn’t even diagnose him.
“I thought I could find you here, Knucklehead,” came a very familiar voice from behind him.
“Sonic. Go away. I don’t need your help,”
“Just like I didn’t need Shadow and Silver to beat Mephiles? Knuckles, being alone hurts you more. Besides, we’re two parts of a team. Together, we can do anything!”
“Even cure my son?” Knuckles quipped, his voice carrying an acid tone. Sonic paled. He knew just how bad Knuckles had been over the last two years, even spending time in hospital for being foolish and entering fights he could never win to drown his sorrows. Now he had his son back, but at what cost?
“Knuckles, listen. Whatever it is that is hurting Will, they will figure out a cure. He will make it, do you understand?”
“I hear you, Sonic, but my heart doesn’t feel it,” Knuckles retorted, shedding a tear. Sonic stepped forward, attempting to comfort his friend, but he slipped, and started to fall off the massive tower. However, as soon as he lost his footing, he found a hand around his wrist, holding onto him as they glided down towards a nearby building. Sonic looked up at Knuckles, who had tear-lines down his face, as well a teary eye, although he landed them safely on top of the hospital.
“Knuckles…” Sonic started, but was silenced by Knuckles, who started talking.
“Sonic, look. I get it. I saved you, but right now, just leave it. And about Will, well, I guess Team Sonic might be able to think of something, epically Tails. Look, I want to get back to my son, and I’m sure you have other stuff to do…”
“Now, listen here, Knucklehead. Maddy’s at home crying her eyes out about Will, and that she couldn’t heal him. If anyone’s going with you, it’s her. Understood?” Sonic said, finding his voice. Knuckles blinked, then gave a faint smile, which both could see was obviously forced.
“Sure, Sonic. Get word to her, and you and Amy come too, if you want.”
“Alright, Knuckles,” Sonic replied, slapping Knuckles across the back in a friendly gesture, then started walking off. However, he didn’t get far before stopping.
“Hey, any chance of a lift down?”
Knuckles walked back down the hospital corridor, nodding to the nurses and doctors he knew. Sonic, Amy and Maddy followed him, until they reached Will’s room. As they entered, Dr. Quack gave a sad smile.
“Knuckles, I’m so sorry, but I cannot figure out the cause of this disease, and so how to cure it. I tried everything, even diseases with no known cure, but there were no matches. I’m so sorry,” Maddy turned, trying to hold back tears. Amy motioned to Julie-Su and Lara-Su, who were there with them, and wrapped them all in a group hug. Sonic stuck his hand on Knuckles shoulder, while Knuckles felt his insides start turning and churning, a sensation he hated.
“He started waking up while you were away, but he was in agony. I had him placed in a medical coma until we figure out a cure, which I think is a long way off, in my educated opinion,”
“But, Doc, wouldn’t a lab be better?” came a youthful voice from the corridor. Knuckles and Sonic turned at the same moment to see Tails walk in.
“Tails!” Sonic cried happily. Knuckles managed a weak nod at his friend.
“Dr. Miles Prower! I am pleased to see you,” Dr. Quack blustered.
“Dr. Horatio Quack. I am pleased that they got a talented doctor on the case, but I fear that that will not be enough,” Tails said to the duck.
“I am only one person! I cannot do this!” Dr. Quack groaned, and Tails nodded.
“Exactly. I’m thinking about clearing out some room in my lab, and getting some contacts together to think of a cure. It clears up a bed here, and your own busy schedule, Doctor,” Knuckles gave a faint smile, but Dr. Quack was harder to please.
“How are you going to keep him alive while he’s in your lab? I mean, you cannot have a life-support unit and anesthetic in your lab, so how will you keep him asleep?” To that, Tails had an answer.
“I beg your pardon?”
“I said, cryostatis. Keeping the body on ice. Putting the body into a frozen state until we think of a cure,”
“How do you freeze him without killing the poor lad?”
“Maddy, could you come here, please?”
“Me?” Maddy asked tentatively, confused by Tails’ request.
“Yes, you, Maddy. Have you been practicing with your powers? Namely, your control over water?” he suggested, being as gentle as he could.
“Umm, yes, why?”
“Maddy, this would be hard for you, but I’d want you to use your powers as a healer and as a water controller to freeze him,”
“To do what?!?”
“Freeze him. Guide him into cryostatis, but make sure he’s still alive,”
“I guess, if I really have to…”
“You see?” Tails pressed, spinning to face Dr. Quack.
“I suppose this idea has merit. If the family gives consent, then I guess that you can proceed,”
“Knuckles, Julie, I just want you to tell me whether you give me permission to do this. If you can, then Maddy and I can put him into cryostatis and transfer him to the Monolith’s laboratories where Kyle and I can instantly start work, and we can get help from some of the greatest minds on Mobius. What do you say?” Tails asked, putting force behind some of it but being gentle in others. Knuckles and Julie-Su looked at each other, allowing each other to weigh it up, before speaking in unison.
“We sure do!” Tails nodded to them, before ushering everyone out but Maddy, then brought in a small tub of water, with the nurses constantly bringing more.
Over two hours, Maddy froze more and more of Will’s body, until she was exhausted and he was completely frozen in a cryogenetic tube chamber. Tails nodded to her, switching on the machine he had had brought over from the Monolith to keep Will frozen. Maddy looked up at him, feeling her heart rate skyrocket.
“Go home, Maddy,” he said, gently.
“I’m needed here!” she protested, although she felt utterly drained. Tails frowned, his eyes giving away how much he knew.
“No, you aren’t, and you know it. Will’s being transferred to my lab in the Monolith, and I’m not leaving him until there is a cure for him,”
“That could be ages! How will you survive in your lab?” she asked feebly, both knowing she was stalling. Tails laughed.
“I’ll sleep in one of the dormitories, have Cream and Vanilla bring me food and Kyle will defiantly come help me study this disease. It also gives me a break from my family. I mean, having seven kids is pretty intense!” Maddy smiled. She’d visited earlier that week to catch up with the others, but the three youngest kids Micayla, Ron and Sasha ate up her time.
“I get it. I suppose I better go home,” she yawned. Tails nodded once, before throwing her a passcard.
“You’ll need this to visit him in my lab!” he yelled, before helping a pair of nurses move Will’s cryo tube onto a stretcher, taking Will away.
Will the Echidna (present, but not present)