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Gemini

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"MAMA!" I reached out, fingers trembling in pained agony. Then blood... so. Much. Blood. My eyes were wide with distress. I watched as mother was impaled by a pale purple spiked tendril, right through the heart as the crimson fluid painted the concrete.

"Daddy! Please, sa-"

More bloodshed. Followed by flames. Within seconds, life had changed for me. Both of my parents had ceased to exist within mere seconds. What once were bodies that held me tight, were now reduced to ash upon the rubble. I had no one to blame for this aside from myself and those impaling spikes. The tendrils of rocky fire that dripped molten lava onto the crimson concrete, flames that licked the walls of my once easeful home. The cursed Flames of Disaster known as Iblis, and the one who seemed to "control" them, Mephiles.

I stared, amber eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep, cheeks stained with trails of tears, clutching bits of ash-dusted rock in my hands. They shook. I screamed until I couldn't speak. I didn't have the strength to save them. I didn't have the power to seek justice for them. I was weak. I did not have any power.

I was powerless.

Powerless until verdant met amber.

"Pity how frail mortal bodies are." His words cut the silence. A loud voice in my head as stillness surrounded the rest of my being.

A limb was held out to me, crystalline and radiated a coldness similar to the arctic winds of winter. His face held no expression, his mouth was barren, his eyes were such a deep shade of emerald, like two pools of vile poison. That crystal limb began to liquefy into something somewhat human- a hand.

He would appear to me as a black and verdant green-striped hedgehog. He had bright green eyes, odd bracelets on his wrists and below his knees, some special shoes, and spikes that pointed upwards. He did not have a mouth, instead, he opted to speak to me telepathically.

If only I knew what he wanted with me back then.

He took me in, keeping me locked up in some sort of crystalline prison. It was dark, contrasting the suffocating heatwave of vermilion I would wake up to. Coldness was nice for a change, but it was too cold. Too... hostile.

Not free, I was never free.

Friendly and protective became a two-faced manipulator as time went on. I was so... alone, the only company being the walls of the prison, my reflection in the violet crystals that surrounded me.

It was then that I could not remember where I was, let alone, who I was.

I didn't know freedom. I never was a friend to her. Instead, I only knew one being, and that was Mephiles. It was always Mephiles.

"You must wear these to control your powers." He said to me.

The feeling of harsh coldness wrap around my wrists and the top of my shins; metal bracelets sealing seamlessly into place. By him. Always by him. His leash, his puppet, his toy.

I told him that I did not have any, to which he only laughed.

And then vanished.

I lay on the cold crystalline floor, staring at the gold bracelets that adorned my joints. Strangely, there was a dark line in the center of all four bracelets.

I did not question it. Strange things like this happened.

My memory is so broken up, so foggy of life in his prison. But I do remember my escape. My return to Crisis City. Bleak and thick with smoke, but somewhat free from his grasp.

He began to show me things, teaching me about something called the Iblis Trigger, explaining how that because of the Iblis Trigger, my future was this broken. They're the reason that my parents...

I was forced to watch families die, children are killed, molten lava flood my home city. His spiked tendrils held me in place, forced to stare from the sky at all the turmoil.

No, those poor people did not deserve this.

"You amuse me, Silver." The dark one spoke via telepathy.

I tried to shut my eyes, tried to turn away, tried to do anything than see another person fatally hurt.

Crystal spikes tore into my flesh every handful of seconds. I could feel the blood trickle down my arms and hands, tears mixing with the blood from my mouth as blunt crystals would punch my abdomen.

"You do not reply to me. Are you scared?"

A pause as another crystal jabbed my stomach. I bent over (as much as the tendrils allowed me to), nearly retching from the pain. I felt my mind starting to go blank. I began to feel... nothing.

"No, not scared- disconnected. As if a part of your brain has ceased functionality." The dark one submerged himself in the shadows, now becoming nothing.

I was so hurt and angry. At him, at myself, at Iblis, at the world. I felt like I was reliving it all... reliving the death of my parents, my psyche finally cracking after years of Mephiles' taunting and abuse.

The crystals around me shattered as I cried out from the tsunami of memories. My body burned, my hands and feet tingled with such an odd surge of chaos energy. Neon teal colors burst to life through those dark indents in his bracelets. My powers were no longer dormant. It was as if my body was on autopilot as I felt all emotion drain from me. Feeling this new rush of energy take hold, scarlet energy swirl around my body like an aura; I destroyed Mephiles' lair with a single thought, "go away." He was surprised at this power I held. I wonder why. Perhaps, a piece of him feared me, or he was just trying to psych me out.

Shards of crystal rained down upon me, pelting my quills as the red energy radiated from my being. The teal light from my bracelets were no longer teal, instead, they were scarlet. This new energy was... indescribable.

Do I owe him thanks for my power? Absolutely not. This power is mine. All Mephiles did was activate it. The other one, however... took longer to realize his strength.

He went to sleep.

And I awoke in his place.

"You keep impressing me, Silver." He reformed from the shards of crystal, appearing completely different from his previous appearance. "The orphan of a dystopian world wrecked with misery. Despite your tragic life, you continue to persist."

I levitated (an ability I never knew I had) past him. Starting into my reflection, I noticed something: this body is not mine. It was his. Of course, it was his. Regardless, I turned to the crystal figure.

"...Yes, I see."
"What do you see, Mephiles?"
"I see the beginning of a story- your story, Silver."

Then, the shadowy-being vanished into a cloud of mist. I could only scoff as I turned away, looked to the threatening black clouds that rained ash, and took off.


This world was devastated before I was born. A harsh, bleak place, where we live in eternal darkness. Life is a struggle, and people live without hope. How did this happen? No one will answer me directly. But they always point... to the flames.

I landed on a platform of shattered building, my psychic energy fading as I watched the fires burn. It rained ash, the fog was thick with smoke. Misery was what this scene was described as.

"Silver."

I turned to face the familiar voice, my spirits lifted as I saw Blaze. She was the only living connection I had in my life, the only person holding together my hope to fix the future. If it wasn't for her words and honesty, I would be too lost to try and find a way to defeat the fires.

"Coming, Blaze." I smiled at her as she nodded in acknowledgment.

We began to walk away, towards the smoke and raining ash.

 

Chapter Text

The flames danced as the princess twirled elegantly from the large rubble. Teal light shined brightly with concentration as the hedgehog kept his teammate's platforms steady. They were so close. So close to finishing off Iblis. Well, this incarnation of it.

"Silver!" Blaze cried out as she jumped high into the air.

"Right behind ya!" He called out, readying a large boulder from the ground.

With a graceful spin, the princess burst into flames. In synchronicity with her, Silver forcefully shattered the boulder and threw it into her fiery aura. Blaze waited until the perfect moment to strike, carefully aiming at her target. She knew its weak spot, she's hit it before.

"C'mon ya flaming freak! Over here!" Silver shouted to the lava monster.

A demonic bellow echoed the silence of Crisis City, turning its attention to the levitating hedgehog. He was being as annoying as a fly, a pest you cannot get rid of.

"Hyah!"

With a final twirl, the princess sent multiple flaming rocky projectiles at the enemy, pelting it constantly until it gave a final roar of pain. Silver watched in wide-eyed amazement at his friend's perfect aim. The beast began to sink into the lava pool, bubbling and swirling mass of molten rock meeting in the center. Blaze landed on the ground as did Silver.

"Blaze, that was amazing!" Silver exclaimed, staring at her like a sugar high kid.

The princess gave a sheepish grin before turning her attention to the lava. She placed her hands on her hips and turned on her heels.

"I am just glad that this appearance of it is finally defeated." She spoke, slightly out of breath. In her chest, she couldn't help but feel as if she was lying.

Silver followed, catching up to her.

"Yeah but give yourself credit where it's due! I doubt I could spin that many times without getting dizzy!" He laughed in honesty. "It's as if with every battle, you teach me something new."

"Oh? What did you learn back there then?" The cat gave him a kind grin, raising her brow. She'd be lying if she wasn't amused in testing his knowledge.

"Uh..." Silver hesitated as he crossed his arms, looking down in thought.

Behind both of them and little to their knowledge, Iblis was far from defeated. The beast began to rise from the lava once more, this time appearing more scaled by molten rock. As if it was using said rocks as some sort of armor from blunt attacks.

Blaze's ears turned from the noise, eyes going wide at the larger and more protected this incarnation appeared.

The entity raised its blazing limbs, then quickly brought them down towards the duo. Burning rock bullets fired at the two of them suddenly.

"Look out!"

Her shout caught Silver by surprise as he was too into his own thoughts to acknowledge the noise. Turning and raising his arms, he cloaked himself and Blaze in a shield, protecting them from the rocks.

"What?! I thought it was finished?!"
"It appears as if it is using the rocks as some sort of armor."

With a mighty roar, the lava monster thrust its fiery limb down on the two of them. Luckily, Silver's shield was too powerful albeit painful to hold up against such pressure. Shaking off the pain, the hedgehog released a surge of psychokinetic power before jumping to high ground with Blaze.

"Dang it! Why won't it stay dead?!" Silver hissed, protecting himself and blaze in his teal energy.

"It is made of fire, Silver. This world is nothing but fire now. It always has the energy to keep coming back." Blaze answered, letting go of his hand as she stepped onto a broken skyscraper.

"Do you think you can do that twirly thing again? That seemed to stop it!"

"It seems to only give it more rocks to use as armor."

"Of course... This stupid flame demon..." Silver sighed, landing on a platform in front of Blaze. "I can probably kill it, I just need a moment to focus." He tightly shut his eyes, breaking his psychic aura for a moment.

[Boulders... cars... broken pillars...]

Teal energy began to grow around the large objects, picking them up with ease.

[Focus, Silver... Focus. That large slab of road, those cars, those rocks...]
/Blunt objects won't work. You heard her./
[I know that! But if I can distract him for just a second with them, then maybe I can... wait! That's it!]

Silver opened his eyes, smiling as he jumped into the air. He levitated and held his hands up, something beginning to surge to life within his grasp. He shouted as he threw his arms down, a psionic wave of sharp cyan energy hurled in Iblis's direction. It sliced one of the beast's horns off, turning it into ash. Still holding onto the large objects, he threw them at the beast, watching in delight as Iblis melted back into the lava.

"Haha! YES!" He did a backflip in the air at his own excitement. "Sharp things work, Blaze!" He turned to face her, oblivious to the fact that a large golf ball-sized rock was being shot right at him.

"Silver! Look out!" Blaze shouted, raising her hand to try and deflect the projectile.

Not even given a chance to react, Silver found himself struck in his temple by the medium-sized rock, burned and partially molten. His unconscious body fell from the platform and plummeted into the ground, creating a large thick cloud of dust from the impact.

"Silver, are you alright?!" Blaze immediately jumped down to her friend, falling to her knees to his aid.

Iblis screeched, rocky fanged maw opening as flames spouting as it did so. Multiple flames shot towards the two of them, to which flames burst from her fingertips, pushing back Iblis's projectiles.

"Silver, please wake up!" She shook her friend, noticing the bruise on the side of his head. She winced at the pain he must be in, growling to herself and standing. She turned to face Iblis.

Blaze jumped from the high platforms, embers dancing around her being as they targeted Iblis. She jumped and danced all around the beast, keeping it distracted from her injured friend. She jumped to lower ground after a while, dodging the fiery rocks and limbs that rained towards her. With a lash of her tail, the princess launched herself into a spin, sending forth an Axel Tornado to the monster.

She landed hard on the ground, giving a fanged grin as the beast recoiled from the pain. Her smile didn't last as Iblis roared once more and with a swift motion, swung its arms down, spawning a multitude of lava monsters.

Too easy, this is too easy. C'mon, you can take it. Blaze began using her body to her advantage, precisely kicking and dancing around her opponents. She made use of her tail, lashing the creatures into ash, swinging her hands out and raising walls of fire. All of her strength being put to the test, and still, Silver hasn't moved from his spot. Please, Silver... please get up! I don't know how much longer I can keep this up! She thought, letting her guard down as she glanced at Silver's body.

Bad mistake.

With a cheeky growl, the lava monster lashed its claws at her, forcing her back on the soles of her shoes. The princess cried out from pain, ignoring her bleeding cheek from the claw marks. Blaze shouted as she ran into the crowd of lava monsters, embers trailing behind herself as fire engulfed her body. Not a second went by until Blaze released a powerful surge of Fire Boost energy. Slowing to a halt on the other side of the road behind Iblis, she panted heavily, completely out of energy.

Iblis, however, was far from finished.

Blaze jumped up onto a skyscraper platform just in time to dodge another rain of molten rocks. She fell to her knees, exhausted. To her horror, she watched Iblis make another sixty or so fire monsters, heading straight for Silver's body. She raised her hand to try and send a fireball but stopped upon feeling her own hands singe with a lack of energy. Everything burned, and not in the way she was used to. Wanting to never see the sight of her friend's last moments, Blaze tightly shut her eyes.

The lava monsters began to surround Silver until his entire body was obscured by fire and flickering embers. The heat was excruciating, almost overwhelming. So many beings, so much burning, so... much...

[My body..! I can't move]
/You can't move./
[No. don't even think about it— HNGH!]
/Think about it./

He starts to feel it. The eyes that were his but not. He wants to scream.

"..It hurts. P-please." He weakly mutters to himself, his voice low and drowsy.

/It hurts?/
"Yes. I don't.. it feels like before."
/Before./

He feels his anger suddenly swell, a tugging at the back of his mind. The darkness of his mind never felt so safe, so... comforting.

/He will win if I fall./
".. He will win if I—Ngh! It burns!"
/Burn./

He feels sleepier, his body going cold despite the heat surrounding him.

/Always. Burning./

He can not stop him.
He opens his eyes.
But he doesn't know it.
He was already sleeping.

He opened his eyes. Gone was the lively innocent gold color in them, and now they were a bright, almost glowing sky blue. The lining in his bracelets brightened from neon cyan to a harsh and rich crimson color. As the monsters engulfed him, a large scarlet orb of light began to shine brightly through the cracks in the monsters, before it blasted them into nothing but pure ash and dust. Silver's body was alit with a bright scarlet aura, wisps of the energy encircling objects as he then threw them towards another large mass of monsters.

The beast raised its fiery limb, swinging it at high velocity at Blaze. Before it could strike her, however, a blade of scarlet energy shot from behind the beast, slicing the molten limb into nothing but ashes. The monster bellowed, turning to Silver and breathing fire. Silver dodged it, forming another psychokinetic blade and slicing the other limbs off.

Iblis roared in agony, turning its attention to the shooter and prepared to strike. It was unable to as another scarlet blade of pure concentrated psychokinetic energy sliced the being in half from the base of its body. It was no longer connected to the fires, rather, split in two and now was nothing more than additional ash on the asphalt.

Blaze, finally opening her eyes, went wide-eyed. He was levitating as if there was nothing wrong with him and was able to perfectly pull off this whole attack, despite being in a practical coma. She knew that this was Silver, to which a part of her was greatly relieved, but his entire being was... off. Not that this was the first time she's seen this side of him.

Silver looked to his friend, seeing a piece of concrete she had jumped on began to crack before breaking off and sending her falling. He caught her before she could even scream from the surprise.

"Precision. That's what you taught me." Silver spoke as he caught Blaze from falling in an aura of warm red. He faintly grinned to his friend, who only gazed in awe at him.

Slowly and carefully, he landed and set Blaze down. The redness faded as they looked at the less-aggressive bubbling pool of lava. The princess releases a shaky breath, crossing her arms as she looked down.

"Good work, Silver."

"Don't thank me. You taught me all I know."

Silver placed a hand on his hip, staring at the lava below. Blaze took a long look at Silver, before turning back to the lava.

"It's so creepy though." He began, closing his eyes as he spoke. The bright red energy that pierced his bracelet linings began to shift to a melancholic purple, then back to bright teal. "We will never fully put an end to it, will we?" He opened his eyes, golden hue back as opposed to the bright and threatening sky blue.

"Silver," Blaze looked to her friend. She noticed this change but said nothing. "We will find a way."

"How then? How will we ever put a complete stop to these flames?" He asked, looking worriedly at his friend.

His question was met with a soft touch on the side of his head. He winced, ears turning back from the pain to which Blaze removed her hand.

"Apologies, Silver. But you are hurt badly."

Silver blinked at her, confused by her statement. Wanting to confirm it, he placed his fingers to his temple and grit his teeth from the pain. He looked down at his fingers, seeing faint bloodstains on the tips of his pristine white gloves.

"Oh... I guess you're right..."

Blaze thought for a moment before looking around the city. Her ears perked up at a sign that read, "Grins Chemist".

"There, we should be able to find something to patch you up in there. C'mon."

In no mood to deny the princess's help, the hedgehog nodded and ran to her side.

* * *

"Now stay still. This will only sting for a second." She warned, sitting on the bench outside with Silver. She poured some hydrogen peroxide onto a cloth and placed it tenderly on his wound.

"Gah!! Ouch!" Silver pulled back, wincing from the sharp burning sensation.

Slightly annoyed, Blaze sighed, "Yes, yes, I know, but please. The sooner I clean it, the faster it will be over." There was a hint of softness to her tone, one of a mother and concerned friend.

"R-right, right. Sorry." Silver apologized, feeling a pang of guilt in his chest for making Blaze help him like this. He leaned forward again, allowing Blaze to properly clean and disinfect the scar.

[I should be stronger.]
/If you let me control the body, then you would be./
[I can't risk it, you know that.]
/It isn't the first time she's seen me, Sliver./
[Stop calling me that! I don't care how many times she has seen you, no means no!]
/Hah. You're just afraid of what I'd do to your body, aren't you?/
[Yes. I mean, no! I can't trust you, Venice.]

The metaphorical fog cleared, revealing a face to go with this 'Venice' individual. He wasn't a hedgehog, but a mink. More than likely taken after Silver's father.

He stood at the same height as Silver with the same quill style but was so different. His chest fur was a royal goldenrod color that stood out against his snow-white fur. His bracelets were black and red instead of gold, as were his gloves save for the three golden bars on his boots and gloves. His eyes were sky blue and his aura was scarlet.

He glared at Silver who stood in front of him.

This was Venice.

/Can't trust me?! I'm the one who saved you and Blaze from Iblis just now, and you're gonna still say you can't trust me?!/
[How can I trust someone who keeps taking control over me?!]

Now seeing the clarity of this... other person, Venice, his expression dropped from angry to smug, crossing his arms and approaching Silver's eyesight.

/Oh but you like it when I take over./
/If I didn't, then we would've died back there./
[You don't know that! I could easily have gotten up and--]
/No you couldn't./

Silver screws his eyes shut, trying to block out the overwhelming dizziness that grips him. The pain from the wound doesn't bother him anymore, instead, it's the vertigo from him trying to be aware at the same time. He puts his palm to his forehead, his body shaking slightly as he tried to push Venice away. He felt so tired yet so awake. What an awful feeling.

To the cat, she knew her friend was acting different. It isn't like this was the first time he has been so silent. Blaze was more than used to the quiet spells when Silver would stare off, and most of the time, he'd snap out of it. To her curiosity, she wondered what was going on with him, yet she never pressured him. That was probably the most unique thing they had together-- knowing when and when not to bring up certain things. Where "normal friends" would ask if another was okay at the first sign of strangeness, to Blaze and Silver, it was more of a mutual agreement to not question it.

She won't lie, she was piqued to ask what that change in him was back there. It wasn't the first time he's changed to that form, but it made her even more interested in him. Blaze did resort to automatically assuming that the change in him had to be biological. Perhaps it was some sort of form that kicked in if he was too hurt to battle.

/Remember? It burned. You said so yourself./
[Venice... stop, please...]
/Burned like when you saw--/

"I said stop it!" Silver shouted eyes shot open as a violent psychic energy pushed away a stray cabinet he was idly staring at. The cabinet, made of pure metal, crushed in on itself, folding in ways one would think was impossible.

Caught in the wave off to the side, Blaze was pushed back, sliding on the soles of her shoes before balancing herself against the linoleum. She mentally thanked herself that she was finished dressing his wound, but she was more concerned than ever now. She opened her mouth to speak, but the look on Silver's face told her to keep it shut.

"Blaze! A-Are you okay? I'm so sorry!" Silver's expression was nothing more than guilty, jumping to his feet and running to her side.

She stood, staring at him questionably. She knew there was something wrong, something was going on with him. She had to ask.

"Silver... What is wrong with you? You're acting strange." Her question was both blunt and gentle at the same time. Her eyes were stern but worried.

"I..." He began to say but stopped himself, tightly gripping his arm as he stared down. "I think that rock hit my head a little too hard, that's all." He half-heartedly smiled, trying to lie his way through it.

The look on Blaze's face told him she didn't believe him, and she would certainly let him know that. It made him feel even more guilty, breaking his smile and looking away.

"I don't know, Blaze. It's like there's this annoying nagging in my head that I can't block out..." His voice is soft as he runs his fingers through his quills. "It feels like it keeps--" he was cut off, groaning as his head pounded with a migraine.

Blaze gave a heavy sigh, and, against her better judgment, she tried to pass it off. The princess looked to his bandaged head wound, lightly putting her hand on it.

"It is alright if you can't tell me. Or well, if you can't that is." She noticed Silver's innocent golden eyes as he stared into her amber ones. Realizing that she has been far too forward with her actions, she quickly pulls her hand away and clears her throat nervously. "Let's hope you aren't too hurt. If you are, tell me."

"I will Blaze. I promise." Silver watched her walk into the darkness, catching up to her.

"Um... Is that any better?" Blaze asked, her tone was much more smooth, looking to her friend with a raised brow. For a second, she turned to the empty space in front of him where he was staring before it dawned on her that he was simply spacing out. "I hope that rock didn't cause any permanent damage."

To that, Silver blinked a few times, closing his eyes and shaking his head to break his dissociative spell. A wave of vertigo overcame him, then left, as did the slight sting in his eyes from finally blinking.

"No, I'm okay Blaze." He spoke before opening his eyes, smiling at her with that dorky naive grin. "Thank you."

Blaze hated that grin. She hated to love it. His endearing nature was so impossible to miss or pass up, but she made a sound of acknowledgment before standing up and looking around the decrepit pharmaceutical store. She felt... uneasy. As if the very shadows were getting closer.

Feeling unsafe with the shadows, Silver used his telekinesis to light the umbra, piercing the corners with the palm of his hands. There was a heavy sort of mist hazing on the tile floor. It felt like the walls had eyes, all around the two of them they stared from the shadows. Darkness never felt so threatening, yet so welcoming.

"Blaze? What is this?" Silver stopped, slightly kneeling to fan the mist around as it grew denser.

"Most likely smoke from outside." Blaze replied to him, watching as he did so.

"It seems too thick to be regular smoke..."

Silver couldn't help but feel as if he was being watched, somewhere in the shadows. Was it a monster? Some sort of helpless victim?

He thought ahead, stepping in front of Blaze and holding his hand out to illuminate the way. His eyes widened at the sight of two void-like emerald eyes as a black and green hedgehog stepped out of the darkness.

Blaze was instantly alarmed, ears pinned back and tail lashing with uncertainty. She took a step back, as did Silver when the hedgehog approached the two of them.

"Finally. I have been searching for far too long." He "spoke" with no mouth. "It is a pleasure to finally meet you."

Silver blinked, glancing a confused expression to his friend before looking back to the hedgehog. "Um, excuse me, are you lost?" He asked, trying to ignore the state of shock in his chest.

The hedgehog slowly looked up to Silver, gold meeting rich emerald. "I see..." He spoke, "You're the hero of the future."

"What are you talking about? Who are you" Blaze replied for Silver, standing next to him and glaring down the hedgehog.

"Ah yes, forgive me. My name is Mephiles and I know why your world is in such a chaotic state."

Chapter Text

"The Iblis Trigger. That is the one responsible for your collapsing future." Is what Mephiles told Silver. Despite the annoying screaming at him from Venice, Silver agreed to help, determined to put an end to all the suffering and chaos of his world. Perhaps he can stop the flames from ravishing his future, or maybe he could prevent them from ever existing. What he wasn't counting on was the teleportation orb created by Mephiles, sending him through a strange tunnel fully powered by chaos energy.

He managed to just barely land on his feet, panting heavily from the vertigo that coursed through his body. He kept his eyes shut, not wanting to look at the spinning world around him. He heard the portal close and fell on his back. His world was tilted with new smells, different noises... it was all constricting his senses . He didn't know such an intense feeling of disorientation could exist. His stomach felt sick and his head ached from the portal’s chaos energy. It would fade, it has to.

When he was certain that the world was no longer spinning uncontrollably around him, he tried opening his eyes. It took him a second to focus his vision, but when he did, his eyes widened. The sky wasn't black and warm with volcano ash, instead, it was blue. Bright cerulean!

/A blue sky./
[ It... It’s beautiful... ]

Both he and Venice were speechless, laying in the lush verdant grass and staring at the clear blue sky. White strips of fluffy clouds drifted by as the faint sound of wind rustled the leaves on the trees. His fingers traced the blades of grass he was laying on, taking in all of this overstimulation. 

This was grass. He muttered as he picked a blade of grass from the ground, staring at it curiously. The rich green hue of just one strand was mesmerizing! Such a sturdy piece of vegetation! It was so interesting! The hedgehog let it fly off into the breeze, eyes drifting back to the blue sky.

[ Did we really travel back in time?]
/We had to. Grass and blue skies don't exist where we're from./

Silver carefully stood up, balancing himself on a nearby tree and waiting for any remaining dizziness to fade. He continued to stare at the beauty of this world.

"This place is... unbelievable." He muttered. "Blaze, what do you--"

He turned back, his ears going back slightly before he took a few steps forward.

"Blaze?" He waited for a reply before taking a few more steps forward, calling out her name. "Blaze!"

 

No response.

 

/We got separated.../
[ Right, okay, get it together Silver! Remember what Mephiles said, "destroy the Iblis Trigger."]
/You're so stupid... you’ll really believe some stranger who approaches you and tells you to kill someone?/
[ He said if I do that, then he can save our future, Venice!]
/Do you even know who that is?!/
/Aha, I forgot, you don't remember what he did to.../

Silver stumbled back from the disorientation as Venice yelled at him. He could feel it, the burning in his wrists and legs, the feeling of being pulled back, the exhaustion. It's burning again, the narcolepsy, wanting to sleep. His back hit a tree with a soft thud as he shut his eyes.

/No! You won't kill anyone! You don't know what you're doing by listening to him!/
[ Venice, stop... !]
/You know who he is too! Remember? It burned? Yeah, he was the cause of.../

 

"Um... excuse me?" A soft female voice spoke up from the dissociated haze.

 

As Silver opened his eyes, he moved his hand away from his face. He blinked a few times, noticing that the once cyan circular symbol engraved in his hands were now scarlet. He was asleep, that's right...

"Are you feeling alright? You look tired. Do you need help?" 

Finally, Silver-- no, Venice-- looked in the direction of the voice. He saw a bright pink female hedgehog, close to his age with a red dress and matching boots and a hairband. Her eyes were a soft green hue and her hair was short, framing her face perfectly.

"Oh," Venice spoke before clearing his throat. He had to get used to speaking again, especially in front of strangers. "Yes, I am fine." His voice was less like Silver's, about a few pitches lower and with a stern tone. Thankfully, it didn’t give him too heavy of a feeling of derealization.

"Are you sure? You look confused." The girl wondered, tapping her finger on her cheek. "Do you know where you are?"

Venice nodded, looking around. The place was the same before they switched, the same blue sky and green grass. The hedgehog felt the breeze against his own skin, not feeling it through Silver this time. He took a deep breath in, admiring how clean and crisp the air was. It wasn't heavy with smoke! This place was... wait, what was this place?

"This place, what is it called?" He looked to the young girl who still watched him carefully.

"Soleanna. Well, we're in the forest just outside of the city."
"The forest..?"
"Yes, the forest. Soleanna Forest. Do you remember how you got here?"

Venice thought before smiling and snapping his fingers. "Right! A forest! That’s what it’s called!" He turned away from the hedgehog, about to run off towards the large bout of trees in another direction. If Mephiles brought him here, then he must be in this 'Soleanna', right? He might be able to put an end to him!

"Hey! Wait a second!" The girl exclaimed, grabbing his arm and holding him back. "You aren't going anywhere until I make sure you're okay!"

Venice glared at the girl. Why was she getting in the way? Why did it matter what he did? The only person who ever cared was Blaze, and chaos knows where she is! Maybe he could find her, too..? Before he could get more into his thoughts, the stranger spoke up again.

"Now, are you okay? Does your head hurt?" She asked with a genuine tone. "When I saw you, you were clutching the sides of your head like you were in pain. Did you hit it on anything?" 

Venice turned to face the girl, rubbing the sides of his head as she mentioned. "No? I'm fine."

"Well yeah, now you seem to be! But you didn't look like you were." She insisted. "...How did you get here? I don't think I've ever seen a white hedgehog before."

He didn't make eye contact this time, looking at his arms in order to confirm that, yes, that was Silver's fur color, albeit a tad light gray. Venice's fur was warmer in tone, a very pale white orange. He could feel that separated feeling again, that dissociation.

"What's your name? Have you been here before?"

"Sil--" he stopped the other one from answering, shaking his head before pinching the bridge of his nose in irritation. "Venice. And no." He had grown far too used to pretending to be Silver for Blaze. But here, he was with people he didn't know. He could be honest, and maybe keep Silver from following that betrayer's words.

"Venice? That's a nice name. I am Amy." She smiled, tilting her head at his actions. "Maybe you should come with me, I can show you around."

She took his hand, gently guiding him as they began to walk off.

 

***

 

The city of Soleanna was gorgeous, to say the least. Besides the blue sky, there were numerous buildings that lined the roadsides, all decorated and expertly crafted. There were nautical vessels surrounding the edges of the sidewalks, a marina of sorts, most likely used for trading and fishing. Many people were walking around with smiles on their faces as they held the hands of their loved ones. Things neither Venice nor his host had seen before. It took all of his willpower to keep from jumping into the ocean or running around with wide-eyed childish wonder, amazed at all the new scenery.

“Does this place seem familiar?” Amy asked, spinning to face him, her eyes bright and smiling. She watched as the hedgehog stood a few steps away from her, eyes fixed on the sky before he looked at the marina.

"Wow..." He finally spoke, nearly breathless. "This place is absolutely stunning." A smile spread across his face, sky blue eyes shining with amazement as he ran up to Amy like an excited child. "This architecture is like something I'd read in old fantasy books! The air is crisp, the sound of water is so captivating! How did you find such a wondrous place like this? Do you live here?"

"I see that you certainly aren't from Soleanna!" Amy could only giggle at how excited he seemed to get at such small things. She looked at him and shook her head, responding with, "Oh no! I don't live here. I'm visiting with my friends for the Festival of the Sun!"

Venice nodded before tilting his head to the side and screwing his brows together. Despite his confusion, he still had a smile. "What's the Festival of the Sun?"

"It is a local festival where the whole city pays respect and worship to Solaris, some sort of sun god!" She laughed at his expression.

"A sun god?" Venice scratched his cheek, his smile fading as he tried to think.

"Hmm... I can explain it to you later. What do you say we visit the marina?"

"Oh! Yes! Can we please?" His grin reappeared, as perky as ever.

Something about this odd fellow piqued Amy's interest. She hasn't been this curious about someone since she met Shadow! Someone who didn't seem to understand such a simplistic city? Or small things like changes in air or seeing the seas? Maybe this Venice guy was new or a tourist! If that was the case, then she should show him the best spots in town!

With care and glee, she took his hand and lead him to one of the many docks at the end of the city. The large water vessels were moving up and down gently from the waves, the splashing of the ocean hitting the legs of the dock, the gentle hues of sea-green and cobalt blue were mixed so delicately in the water, not to mention how clear it was for an ocean.

"From what I heard, Soleanna is called the City of Water because of all of the ships and docks that surround it."

Venice leaned over the railing at the side of the dock, staring with disbelief at the water below. It was so alive, so animated! Ocean spray was cold and wet, a stark contrast from the heat and ash of his world. This was... beyond breathtaking. He could hardly believe he was in reality right now-- this was like a dream!
The only thing he disliked was his reflection. It wasn't his own. The body was Silver's, and yet, despite the change in eye and energy colors, this body felt and looked nothing like his own. He touched his chest fur a handful of times as if to confirm that, yes, this was Silver's body and not his own. It made him feel dizzy for a moment from derealization. He reminded himself that Silver was asleep, that their bodies were different, and so were their motives. His train of thought seemed to have been cut off by a discomfort in his stomach as it grumbled.

"Oh? Are you hungry?" Amy asked with a slight snicker.

"Uh..." Obviously embarrassed, Venice rubbed his arm as a slight blush tinted his cheeks. "Um, I, well..." 

"We can go get some lunch! I'm feeling kinda hungry too!" Amy gave him a kind grin, taking his hand and leading him away from the docks.

 

***

 

The niche outdoor-style restaurant was slightly speckled with customers here and there. Many were humans, so Amy and Venice definitely stood out from the crowd. This place was a pretty popular lunch spot for Soleanna, it had a great view of the ocean as well, which made it a very elegant spot to be in. Soleanna was, in and of itself, just that: elegant. 
Amy watched as Venice finished his second plate of salad and readied to dig into his third. She was taken aback by how ravenous he was, almost as if he hadn't eaten in a while. It made her wonder if he was homeless or poor? It would make sense, he was in the forest and looked pretty lost…

“This is amazing! I know I keep saying that, but who knew you could throw these round chewy things--”
“Berries.”
“These weirdly shaped hard things--”
“Almonds.”
“Some circular red slices of… some weird looking rings--”
“Tomato. It’s a fruit.”
“On top of some green crunchy water plates and make it into food?!”
“Lettuce.” Amy corrected, taking a bit of her own salad, “Have you really never had a salad before?”

“Oh! Is that what this is called?” He put all four things he listed onto his fork and took a bite, happily muttering something about how delicious it was. He finally looked at Amy who was giving him a slightly demeaning look. “What?”

“No offense, but do you have no manners?”

Venice tilted his head, giving her a questionable look to which she sighed and shook her head. Something about her demeanor made him feel slightly embarrassed.

“You boys…” She took a sip of her water before looking at his hands and bracelets. It made her curious, it seemed quite interesting like a piece of new technology… if it even was a technological set of jewelry. “So, where did you get those bracelets? And please swallow your food before you say anything.”

Venice swallowed his food and paused for a second, looking down at his wrists. The crimson chaos energy seemed to glow and dim with his heartbeat. It was easy to miss if you weren’t paying close attention to it; but it always reminded Venice of something-- Mephiles made them. He locked them into place, he infused them with some sort of power that limited overuse of his powers. But how? How did he know this body, Silver’s body, had powers? Or himself? How could Mephiles know that? Let alone know the exact location where his psychokinetic power points were in order to cast that unique color?

Amy hummed, thinking to herself, “Hmm, I wonder if it was from a secret jeweler! They’re so pretty, I’m sure with them being the same color as rings, then they would certainly get Sonic’s attention!"

[ Venice, give me control back !]
/I can’t, not yet. Not until I make sure he isn’t here./
[ Who? Mephiles ?]

The hedgehog looked around at the restaurant in mounting anxiety, seeing the dark shadows in the corners made him incredibly afraid… and antsy. He clenched his fists, scarlet energy beginning to wisp around his hands slightly. His stare was distant, glaring at the darkened corners of the room. He felt so enclosed, just like back then, in his prison. Those crystalline walls, the darkness, the cold air. Just those memories made him feel sick... sick and terrified.

 

[ Mephiles isn’t a bad guy, Venice. He just wants some help .]
/You’re stupid if you actually think that./
[ How would you know? You weren’t even there !]
/Yes I was!/

“Venice?” Amy waved her hand in front of him, getting his attention. “You alright?”

“Yes, I am.” His voice was distant and not at all there.

“Venice?”

“I’m just making sure that--”

“Venice!”

His eyes finally left the dark corners as awareness finally smacked him back into reality. He looked to Amy who was staring in shock at what she saw. The plates, silverware, and cups were covered in a psychic crimson energy, levitating them off of the table. Upon realization, he quickly dropped his power, causing the objects to fall on the table with a clatter.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!”
“Y… You did that?”
“You’re not hurt, right? I don’t even remember doing anything, I--”

Venice’s attention was then brought to the customers and staff who stared at him in confusion and astonishment, which only heightened the embarrassment. His ears flattened as he fidgeted with his fingers in nervousness.

“That was so cool!” Amy spoke up, staring at him with a wide grin. “I didn’t know you had powers!”

“Yeah, I…” He stopped himself. He was starting to become hyper-aware of this timeline. This was the past. Things like telekinesis couldn’t be heard of back in here, right? There was no one else with powers like his. He couldn’t just sell himself out in front of total strangers in the past, it could cause some sort of anomaly, right? It was beginning to seem that there were so many questions and not enough answers.

Amy looked at the crowd that was beginning to grow around them. Customers and staff asking about his powers and wondering if he could move things again, followed by the manager demanding what the issue was. Sensing her friend's anxiety, the pink hedgehog kindly apologized and pardoned herself and her awkward friend as they left the restaurant.

 

***

 

It was harder and harder to keep conscious now for Venice. He felt like he was fading from being awake, most likely due to the slight discomfort in his stomach from having eaten so much food in one sitting. He wasn't used to meals, let alone an entire plate of food to himself. It made him miss Blaze, making his mind wander as he stared at the ocean from the marina. He wondered if she was hungry or if she was safe.

Amy enjoyed the cool sea breeze in the air as she sat next to Venice, their legs hanging off the dock's side swinging idly.

"Aside from having mind powers," the hedgehog spoke up, "what else haven't you told me?"

Venice kept his gaze on the ocean below as waves elegantly splashed against the pier. He was finding it much harder to focus, feeling like he would fall asleep at any given moment. No, he didn't want Silver to kill anyone! He couldn't risk it, now wasn't the time to fall asleep.

He groaned, putting his hand to his head as dizziness washed over him.

"Oh dear, are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just a little tired."

Amy thought for a moment before smiling and standing up, helping Venice to his feet.

"C'mon, you can rest at my camp. I have someone I need to go talk to anyway."

Venice shook his head nervously, "Oh no no! You don't need to do that! I-I'll be alright!"

"And just where will you go then? Do you have a safe place to rest at?" She gave him a teasing yet knowing smile.

Venice looked down, defeated as he rubbed his arm. "No…"

"Thought so! Now, as long as you don't lift my tent into the air while you're asleep, then you're welcome to rest there!" She stated, taking his hand and guiding him back near the forest.

 

Once they were back, Amy fixed up her tent and made him a niche little bed made of spare blankets.

"There! Take as long of a nap as you want, okay?" She smiled, then laughed as Venice stared at the sky again.

"Oh uh, right, thanks." He returned her smile, crawling inside of her tent.

Amy gave him one last giggle before zipping up the front panel and running off.

 

/This is amazing. Who knew that a piece of long cloth held up by sticks and weighed down by rocks can make a shelter?/

 

He felt the softness of the blankets, smiling to himself and he curled up within them and wrapping them around himself. This was so different from Crisis City. Everyone is happy, there's no fire, no pain… not to mention how nice complete strangers like Amy are. Never before has he met someone so warm and kind other than Blaze.

/Blaze.../
[Go to sleep .]
/Silver… don't hurt these people./
[ Hurt .]
/Don't… Please don’t./
[ Let me wake up .]

Chapter Text

"This city is home to Iblis, the monster that had killed your family." The shadow spoke as the shorter, skinnier hedgehog stood on the barren apocalyptic street. "Iblis has caused immense disaster among the land, as you are quite obviously aware of."

Silver, no more than around eight-years-old, was right beside the darkened area next to him. The young hedgehog took in what he was saying, trying to think through everything he was being told. Picking up a piece of charred rock, he felt each side. Ashy particles stripping off the corners as his fingers lightly touched it. 

"Why? Why would it destroy things?" His voice was soft, pondering.

"Because Iblis wishes to see mortal life come to an end." The mobian-like being stepped out, arms crossed as it looked at the ashen sky. "It is a mindless killing machine hell-bent on the extinction of mortals." His eyes fell to a lone group of survivors in the distance.

"If all it cares about is killing us, then how do we stop it?" He stood, turning to face the being. "Is there a way to stop it?"

A pregnant pause, a gust of embers wafting through the wind, heat trailing close by. The shadowy being turned to face him, rich verdant eyes locked with his golden ones as he replied, "You. You have the power to stop it." 

This wasn't the first time Silver had heard this answer. Every question he asked about Iblis came to some sort of prophecy talk. It was getting annoying never having a straight answer.
"But... But what can I do? I don't have any powers."

Mephiles hummed before taking a step back into the darkness, vanishing into nothing. "We will see about that."

Suddenly, a bright white-hot flash of light appeared in front of the hedgehog. As the light faded, three minions of Iblis appeared, a fiery demon-like hellspawn with a maw of razor-sharp teeth, a bird with a flame body, and a molten rock golem. Flames bursting from blisters on the entities, embers forming a thick haze as the heat increased.

Silver felt his heart nearly stop when he saw the towering beasts. Fearing he would be killed, he desperately cried out, "Gah!! M-Mephiles! Help!" He backed up as the darkness behind him faded from the light of the fire. He was alone with monsters.

His heart raced, his breath was labored as he grabbed some stray rocks, eyes squinted to try and alleviate the heat as he concentrated. Despite being so young, he was taught by Mephiles to be a relentless warrior, never giving up until he was on the brink of death. Even if he didn't have powers, this was his life. This was how he had to survive. He counted himself lucky that he had so many rocks to throw. But still, that anxiety of not having enough power to destroy these minions seeped into his chest. He felt alone, facing a world no one can possibly live in.

...Then he heard the screams of the survivors. The people begging for help as the fire crackled. He couldn't see them, but he knew they were there. Monsters don't make human noises. It gave him a reason to fight, a reason to destroy these beasts to make it safe for other unfortunate victims of this post-apocalyptic world. This would be his chance. A chance to prove that he can save these people and prove that he's strong!

"A-Alright, Iblis..." He grabbed more rocks, as much as he could hold, "come and get me!" He shouted, throwing them at the three beings.

He had to save them, he had to, he needed to save these poor people. After All, that was what gave him hope, encouragement from Mephiles to save his world. That with his endurance and perseverance, he'll save his future.

The victims screamed in agony before flames and rock enveloped them. The air smelled of sulfur and burning flesh, ash rained thick as smoke draped the street. The blunt force from the rocks didn't do anything but give them more armor, of course... Iblis was made of magma.

"No! You will not take another person!" Silver shouted, grabbing a handful of rocks and hurling them at the minion. It was at this moment he desperately wished he had some sort of power, something of use other than screaming, throwing things, and putting himself in danger. Not to mention Mephiles-- where the heck was he? Usually, when he's stuck in situations like this, he would bail him out! Why not now!?

All the while, an entity watched from the darkness. A being perfect at exploiting the kindness and naivety of others. His verdant eyes stared with amusement as the not-yet-awakened psychic tossed sharpened rocks at the "enemy". 
Little did the hedgehog know, the "enemy" was an illusion. A couple of darkened instruments created by Mephiles to create some... fun for the puppet master. A tool manipulated by the shadow demon.

That unsettling voice spoke up from the darkness. "Silver." Green eyes lit from the darkness like night vision, peering with an unreadable expression at the child. It was beginning to seem impossible to force the awakening of this hedgehog's power. He had tried everything except for psychological torture. Perhaps that is the next step.
"It is over."

Silver coughed as the smoke thickened around himself, forcing him to shut his eyes. It began to fade at his command, revealing the horrific scene-- three survivors, the ones that he previously saw, lay disfigured and bloody on the street. Cause of death: lapidation, third-degree burns, and blunt force trauma.
He stared at the blood that painted the asphalt, rocks, and debris scattering onto the pool below. The reality of what he had just done began to sink in. He was... tricked into murdering survivors of Iblis, a "playful prank" conceived by the shadow that lurked behind him. The heat of the remaining embers felt so cold.

"Wh... what is this...?" He backed up a few steps before feeling the chill of darkness at his back.

"Yes, Silver. Bravo." the shadow clapped slowly as the form stepped out of the thick darkness of the heavy smoke. "You are starting to understand the first rule of survival: kill or be killed."

"I... Mephiles!" He turned to face him, eyes full of panic and trauma at what he had just done, "I'm seeing things, aren't I? Those WEREN'T people! They were monsters! Iblis's monsters!"

"Monsters? They look like monsters to you?" The shadow's stare was non-judgemental, stoic almost. "What monsters look mobian?"

Silver clenched his fists as he growled. He knew Mephiles could distort certain things but it was never... like this
"No! They weren't mobian, they were monsters! Hellish abominations cloaked in rock and fire, just like you said before!" He ran at the shadow but soon found himself restrained by invisible dark ropes, forcing his body to the ground.

Verdant eyes brightened through the pitch-black void, staring into the young hedgehog's yellow eyes.
"Oh Silver... how pathetic you are. Mistaking the appearance of those who are alive for those of monsters." The shadowy ropes tightened, almost choking the child. "You're the worst person in this future. I saw your smile as you threw rocks at them. You enjoyed spilling their blood and listening to them suffer. Face it, you may have just snuffed out the lives of the last remaining survivors of your future." The ropes vanished, darkness slowly lifting as Silver coughs and tries to catch his breath.

Is that... Is that what happened? Did I do that? No, I can’t mistake that! They looked so real, they were monsters! They weren't... they weren't...

The young hedgehog turned to the gruesome scene, noticing that these once "monsters" were indeed real mobians. Not magma or sharp obsidian, but once flesh and bone. Memories and personality. Survivors and citizens just like himself. He took a step back as he tried to grasp the severity of what he just did. He began to question his sanity, his own understanding of what he thought monsters were.

Murder. A hero isn’t supposed to murder. I murdered people. I murdered three people. They looked like monsters, they WERE monsters. They were Iblis's minions!... Right?

Mephiles stood in the shadows, watching and nodding slowly to himself. His manipulation was working, surely twisting his puppet inside and making him doubt his vision. How intriguing the minds of mortals were, so easy to believe that their eyes deceived them, even if it wasn't their eyes or minds that tricked them in the first place. Especially this naive child. Surely breaking his mental stability will make him more likely to do his bidding.

Silver couldn't speak, rather his breath hitched as he fell to his hands and knees,  retching at his disgust at himself for his actions. Tears fell from his eyes as he tightly shut them. He couldn't stand the sight, the mangled bodies, blood leaking from the wounds, the third-degree burns. The sight was nauseating, pure abhorrence-- vile.

How could I do this..?

The shadow walked closer and stopped a few inches in front of the tortured teen. He snapped his fingers, shadowy appendages crushing the rock and bodies into ash, dragging them into the molten earth below. The being then turned to Silver, eyeing his weakened state as he reached a hand out, rubbing his back to lure in a false sense of safety. He looked at his inhibitor bracelets, still seeing no color, which meant no chaos energy. He wasn't ready.

"What's the matter, my weapon? You said you are willing to save the future..." the darkness began to expand, engulfing the young hedgehog into the sea of black, "at any price." The figure knelt in front of the child. “You may be pathetically weak, but I will show you how to awaken your true potential. Do you believe me?”

Silver sniffled, shaking his head as he resisted the urge to vomit. “I can’t… I…” He threw his hands to his face, screaming and crying from the overwhelming emotions swirling in him. "There are more survivors, right? P-please... I need to know..." He sniffled, looking up at his inconceivable ally.

“Is there anybody else around here? Come now, you are smarter than that.” The voice was so… coldly soothing. Gentle, yet gruff. Very manipulative. But he had a point. Who else was left? Those survivors, they may have been the last in Crisis City. Now that they were… well… gone, he had no one. No one else to go to. He couldn’t just fly off or run away. 
No, not with Mephiles. Mephiles was…

Silver stifled a sob before shakingly wrapping his arms around the shadow. He cried into his arms, shaking and clinging onto him. His only other connection to life, the only person he had to help him grow up, to teach him how to properly live in the city. If he didn’t have Mephiles, he had no one… and that is what he feared the most. Being alone.

“Little weapon,” Mephiles cooed to the small child, stroking his back quills down from their defensive and spiked position, “you still have so much to learn. Living in a destroyed future… I will make sure that you grow up learning how to protect yourself.” He gently pulled Silver away, wiping the tears from his cheek and staring down at him in pity. “And you will follow my lessons. Understood?”

“Y… Yes, Mephiles....”




...

"Venice?"
...
"Venice?"
...
"Venice!"


*splash!*


Venice gasped from the shock of cold saltwater having been splashed onto his face, coughing and sputtering as he rubbed his eyes. Sky blue was back to bright gold, scarlet energy colors reverted to bright mint. He tried to recall this person's name but it was escaping him. How long has he been asleep?

"Oh, thank goodness you're awake! I was getting worried!" Amy gave him a relieved smile, setting her small cup down in her tent, "sorry for splashing you, but you kept screaming and weren't waking up."

Amy curiously took the hedgehog's hand, inspecting the bracelet and the color. "Wow, it's like the red color changed based on your emotions! You still need to tell me who made these for you!" The giddy hedgehog took his hand, rubbing the metallic sheen of the bracelets.

Panicked, he throws his arm out defensively, cloaking the hedgehog in a bright cyan energy. He levitates out of her tent, holding her in the air as she squeaks in fear.

"Who are you and where am I?" He demands.

"W-what..? You know who I am!" She struggles against the psychokinetic grip, green eyes locked onto the silver hedgehog.

"Enough! Where is the Iblis Trigger?!"
"Iblis… Trigger?"
"Don't play stupid! Where is--"

/Stop! Let her go!/

"Agh!"

A painful surge of discomfort to his temples forced Silver to weaken his grip on the girl. She panted, able to breathe a little bit easier within the aura.

"Venice, enough! Let me down!"

[Venice? She's met you?!]

No response.

His fingers relaxed, dropping Amy to her knees as she looked at him in a unique mix of fear and fury. Once her heartbeat became regulated and no longer quick and panicked, she stood up.

"What was that about?!"

Silver looked away feeling that dissociated fog lift once more. Venice knew this girl, but how? He was here the whole time, right? But he didn't remember anything… that seemed impossible. How did he lose an entire half a day of memories?

Amy put her hands on her hips, stopping over to the light gray hedgehog, "If you suddenly have your memories back or something, that's fine, but don't you ever--"

"Silver."
"...What?"
"My name is Silver. Not Venice."

Amy blinked a few times. This person, Silver, admittedly was quite different from the Venice she had met just three hours ago. It was beyond strange, so many questions and yet no answers. Her eyes fell to his bracelets and the colored energy pulsating softly. She reached her hand out to touch the faintly glowing hue, but he pulled away apprehensively.

"I’ve always had them." He, Silver, finally spoke. His voice was different from Venice's in terms of weightlessness and calmness. There wasn't that slight gruffness added, instead a more carefree and kindhearted individual was present. He looked at the colored lines of subtle pulsating aqua energy. 

They were a different color, that's what this girl said... was Venice in control of the colors? He looked at Amy quizzically. And who is this girl? Why did Venice know her?

"You mentioned memories." He added, gold eyes staring through Amy.

Amy blinked then thought for a second, "well, Silver, you uh seemed very lost and confused when I met you."

"We aren't confused." He stated, almost cutting her off. "I… I'm not confused." He corrected himself. "I'm looking for someone known as the Iblis Trigger. Do you know where it is?"

"What is an Iblis Trigger?"

“It’s something that destroyed my world.” He stated coldly, his eyes dark as he clenched his fists. "I was told by someone named Mephiles that the Iblis Trigger is responsible. Whether it is a living person or some sort of event, I need to stop it."

Amy paused, thinking for a second before clapping her hands together. "I know who can help!" She smiled, taking Silver's hand as she continued, "Sonic! He knows everyone! He can help you find this troublemaker and put an end to it!"

Silver stumbled forward as he was practically dragged along by his acquaintance. 

/Amy isn't a bad person./
[Why did you have to take over?! I told you to not do that!]
/Well I won't let you kill someone just because that liar says to!/
[Mephiles said that the Iblis Trigger is responsible for the state of our world, Venice! What about that don't you understand?!]
/Oh, I understand it, I understand that you're too naive to make decisions for yourself!/

"Silver!" Amy raised her voice, squeezing his hand. "Are you alright?"

The light gray hedgehog shook his head, clearing himself of that thick haze of dissociation. He blinked a few times before looking down at the hand Amy was holding. His eyes then met her own, making her smile slightly.

"I... Yes, I'm fine. Just..." He groaned, frustrated as his state of confusion and fugue-induced state. "I need to find the Trigger then go back home." He took some steps ahead of her, wanting to lose her so he would no longer be bothered. 

"Wait, Silver!" Amy called out as she caught up to him.

Too much wishful thinking.

He didn't low his stride, rather he continued to walk even as Amy walked in front of him, her bubbly smile and cheerful personality wanting to help this lost Mobian in a sea of humans. While he wasn't bothered by humans (having been used to them in his future), Amy was quite insecure about being alone in Soleanna especially without Sonic. Not to mention, Silver was lost. That begged the question...

"Where exactly is your home?" Her voice was softer than before as she looked up at the partly cloudy sky. 

Silver looked at her before uneasily fidgeting with his fingers. He wasn't even sure how to respond to such a question. This was the past. Time travel would seem completely imaginative, right? 

"Somewhere far away." He replied as he looked at the beautiful nature to his right. This time was so alive, so vibrant... it almost left him speechless.

"How far away? Do you know how you got here?" She turned to look at him, now walking backward as if she traveled this path before.

"I..." He stopped himself, swallowing back his anxiety before speaking up again, "I traveled through time. My home is called Crisis City. Well, I've always called it that. I don't know if it has an actual real name or..." 

His voice trailed off as he stopped walking. Now he was face to face with a wide-eyed and more-amazed-than-ever Amy who was in a state of pure shock. 

"No way!! You're a time traveler?! I didn't even know that was real! I thought it only existed in fairytales!" She squealed, taking his hands and jumping up and down. "Promise me you'll take me to a cool timeline sometime soon?"

Silver nervously chuckled, taking a step back. "W-Well I would, but it's not that simple."

"Nonsense! You came from the future! Surely you can take me back in time or-- OH! Maybe you can bring me to your future! I would love to see what type of--"

"No!" Silver interrupted her, his voice rose slightly as he grit his teeth. "I mean... no. It's too dangerous."

"Oh.. I'm sorry." Amy rubbed her arm and looked away.

Sensing her disappointment, he gave her a slight grin. "But if we can find the Iblis Trigger, and destroy it, then I will take you to a safe timeline." He chuckled, scratching his cheek in uncertainty. "If I can figure out how..." He muttered under his breath.

Amy nodded, making a pinky promise with him. "It's a promise then!"


* * *


 
Through an oasis known as Dusty Desert came a place in Soleanna named Castle Town. The town was quiet, relaxed, and had a large amount of space for what seemed like an outdoor area. A Beautiful harbor at the forefront decorated in silver architecture and bridges, accompanied by the occasional gondola rides from one part of the harbor to another. This was truly the city of water, and it was gorgeous. It caught Silver's eyes and made him fall in love with the past. It was so different, so... not on fire.

 

 

"I wonder where Sonic is..." Amy murmured, walking carefree and totally relaxed through the city. "He told me to meet him here..." She stopped, looking out to the harbor with her finger on her chin.

 

Footsteps. The sound of two voices. Getting closer.


"Sonic!" Amy took notice of the noise and ran to meet one of the beings.

Silver turned then went wide-eyed at the people: a human female and a blue mobian hedgehog.

 

"To fix this present timeline, you need to change the past." Mephiles gazed upon the very young teenager he had met so long ago. He guided them into his database on the outskirts of the city. "In order to change the past, you must eliminate the individual who has awakened Iblis. The Iblis Trigger."

"The Iblis... Trigger?" Silver wondered, thinking as he closed his eyes.

"Yes. They are responsible for the Day of Disaster." 

Silver looked to Blaze who glanced away as Mephiles resumed speaking, "That day is when everything fell apart, when Iblis was freed. All because of one person and their selfish desires."

/You can't trust him Silver, don't!/
[Venice, I need to! He knows so much about Iblis and the past. If I do something about it--]
/He's tricking you, you idiot! He can't be trusted!/
[And someone who can take over my body can?]
/.../

Silver closed his eyes now that his mind was quiet. He thought, taking everything in.

"If I eliminate this guy, will our world be saved?"

Mephiles nodded before turning on one of his monitors.
"This was when Iblis was freed and his flames were released into the world." Images of a once perfect city burning in flames flashed by, burning bodies, collapsed buildings... apocalyptic.

"This is horriffic." Blaze said softly, watching the images on the screen. Granted, they were used to such dark imagery, but this...

The shadowy being pulled a violet chaos emerald from his quills and turned to Silver. "And you have this person to blame."

Apprehensively, Silver took the emerald and gazed inside. An image of a blue hedgehog with red sneakers and green eyes appeared in his mind's eye. 

"That blue hedgehog is the cause?" He turned to Mephiles.

"Blue hedgehog...?" Blaze questioned, crossing her arms as she gave Silver a quizzical glance.

           



"Watch out!" The blue hedgehog shouted, picking up the elegant female human and jumping out of the way of a psychic blast. 

"Silver! What're you doing?!" Amy shouted as she grabbed Silver's arm.

The light gray hedgehog shoved her off, making her fall back as he cloaked himself in a light teal aura and levitated in front of the two beings.

"I've been looking for you. You're the Iblis Trigger." He landed in front of them, bright energy glowing in his palms as he pointed to the one Amy called Sonic, that blue hedgehog. "Your actions will condemn us all."

The one named Sonic got in front of the female, protecting her as he took in Silver's appearance and voice. "Who are you?"

"My name is Silver. For the future of the world, I will destroy you!" He clenches his fists, getting into a battle stance.

Sonic looked to Elise, gesturing her to back up before flashing her a snarky grin. "Alright then, Silver," he started flicking his nose in overconfidence, "bing it on!" 

Amy watched in disbelief, unable to do anything as the two dashed at each other.

Silver threw his hands out, grabbing a multitude of objects and throwing them at Sonic. Some hit, making him trip, but he managed to counter with a well-timed spindash that knocked Silver back. Using his telekinesis, he grabbed Sonic and flew upwards. He then grabbed his telekinetic 'rope' that held Sonic and threw him into the ground, causing a resounding rumble and multitude of rocks from the now destroyed concrete and pavement propelled upwards. He grabbed the rocks with his powers and began to throw them at the blue hedgehog.
Sonic groaned from the impact but quickly got up to avoid further injury. He jumped, using the rocks as a sort of platform before kicking Silver to the ground, leaving him vulnerable. 

With a quick movement, Sonic dashed away from Silver, skidding on the pavement as he picked up a piece of rocky debris. "Throwing things is the way you wanna go, eh? Well alright then! Two can play that game!" 

Surprised, Silver grabbed a nearby table to shield himself from an attack. Sonic lept into the air, jumping off of the table Silver had lifted, and chucked the rock at his temple, immediately dropping all telekinetic ability. Sonic landed and ran towards him, but didn't count on being thrown to the side of a building with a harsh psychic energy. 
Weakened, Sonic fell to his hands and knees, gasping for breath as Silver (ignoring the bruise on the side of his head) walked over to him.

"Hmph. Is this some sort of joke?" He bent down to Sonic's level, quite surprised at how weak this guy was. Surely he wasn't this easy to beat, right? "How could someone like you cause the destruction of our world?" 

"W-What do you mean?" Sonic lifted his head to the other hedgehog.

"It doesn't matter." Silver shook his head as he began to power up a psychic ball of concentrated light in his palm and straightened up, "For the sake of the future, the Iblis Trigger must be destroyed!" 

His concentration was thrown off by the harsh sound of screaming. Screaming from that elegantly dressed woman that caught the attention of the two hedgehogs. Robotic arms grabbed her and lifted her into the air, chuckling from a hearty man in the mobile that controlled said arms echoed as he began to fly away. 

"Elise!" Sonic jumped to his feet, running after the girl.

Swiftly, Silver threw his hand out, sending a blast of telekinesis at Sonic, tripping him. "Don't you dare turn your back on me!"

Sonic struggled to stand, his green eyes glaring straight into Silver's golden ones. "Look, I don't have time for this! I have to save Elise!"

"Save her? You can't save anyone! You're only here to destroy!" Silver cloaked himself in teal, charging another blast in his hands, "It's time I finally put an end to this!"

"STOP!" Amy shouted as she finally stepped in, guarding Sonic from any further attacks from Silver.

Surprised, Silver lost his concentration and clenched his fists. "Get out of the way, Amy!" His patience was running thin, but he didn't want to hurt her. He couldn't.

"Absolutely not!" She was putting her foot down, she had seen her hero be beaten down enough.

Sonic finally managed to stand, panting before looking to her.

"Thanks, Amy."
"Leave it to me!"

Sonic nodded, glanced at Silver, then took off running.

Silence hazed over the two of them, increasing the weight of the situation. Their stares were cold and harsh, one of sheer disappointment and the other of misaligned justice. Debris of broken tables and chairs were strewn about the once neat and tidy outdoor area. Broken spare supply boxes and barrels were shattered and splintered, spilling a multitude of fruit and vegetables around. The sound of the ocean behind them was louder than anything else, ambient and tempestuous.

"The person you were looking for was Sonic?" Amy finally asked, keeping her guard up as she looked saddened at him, "Were you planning to kill him...?"

Silver looked away. "You don't understand. He's responsible for destroying my world!"

"That isn't true at all!" Amy stomped her foot, keeping her distance from her once well-liked ally, "Sonic would never do that!"

"But it's true! In the near future, his actions will cause the devastation of my world and your world!" He kept his eyes on her before taking a step forward, "In order to prevent that, I must--"

"No!" Amy took a step forward, making Silver back up a bit, "I don't believe it. Even if that was true." She shook her head and placed her hand on her heart, "If I had to choose between the world and Sonic, I would choose Sonic!" She shot him a glare.

Heavy silence again. There was nothing more to be said, nothing left but destroyed trust and a cold resentment. As Amy began to run off, presumably after Sonic, Silver tried to say something, but he couldn't. He was stuck now. No Blaze, no Amy, no one to fall back on. Once again having to rely on himself for survival in a time he's unfamiliar with. He... had no idea what to do now...

[I'm... that's it then? I failed?]
/Silver. We need to talk./
[...okay.]

Mint turned to scarlet as Silver began to make his way towards the harbor, somehow familiar with the layout of Castle Town. Rather, someone else, Venice, was. As he sat on one of the steps overlooking the marina, he sighed heavily and shut his eyes.

Fall back.
Back into the mental metaphorical fog.

He sees the glass, his reflection as it morphs to Venice who appears less angry at Silver. He sits next to the glass, motioning for Silver to sit with him. 
He does.

Everything is quiet as they both listen to the ocean.

/Do you understand now?/ Venice started, his voice was calm but heavy with grief.

[I... don't know. Why was she so mad at me? Doesn't Amy know I was trying to stop the world from--]

/You tried to kill someone who means a lot to her./ Venice didn't look at Silver, instead, he gave a heavy sigh. /What if someone tried to murder Blaze? Someone we have known for most of our lives. Would you go back to trusting them so easily?/

He had a point, neither himself nor Venice would trust anyone who tried to harm Blaze.

/Amy, she and I.../ Venice started, /we got along so well. It hurts to know that you destroyed our trust./

Silver's ears flattened, feeling beyond guilty for ruining something like this.

[Venice, I'm--]

/Don't be./ He looked to Silver, his eyes were cold again. /There's a reason why I didn't intervene, why I couldn't just stop you from doing what you did./

The naive teen looked to his copy, confused.

/Mephiles is a liar. He takes your innocence and twists it in a way that makes you pity him, which will make you do his bidding./

Silver growled, shaking his head, [No, Venice. He needs my help to save our world. If he didn't want that, then why would he have been seeking me out?]

Venice sighed after a while, /You truly don't remember. I wish you did./

[Just tell me what I don't remember! You claim to know all of this stuff about me!]

/Sure, want me to just break your mind while I'm at it?/ Venice huffed, shaking his head.

[Damn it Venice, why can't you just...!]

"So this is where you are. I've been looking for you." 

That voice, so soft and mature, warm with familiarity. Blaze took a couple of steps over to him, giving him a warm smile. He opened his eyes, turning quickly to face her. He thought she had been lost in the past, somewhere... else. He couldn't control himself; he excitedly stumbled to his feet and ran to her. He was so... overjoyed to see her. He truly thought he had lost her. He wanted to hug her, but no, that wasn't their way. There was a strict 'no touching' rule that was only broken when either one of them needed first aid. Instead, he awkwardly stood a distance away from her, giving her a gentle and relieved smile.

"S-Sorry I just..."
"It is nice to see you as well, Silver."

Silver nodded as he turned back to the marina. Blaze stood by his side, putting her hands on her hips as she looked at the sky. There was no more tension, no more loudness in his mind. Having his partner back was more than comforting, better than an acquaintance who didn't understand him...
No, he couldn't pass judgment on Amy so easily. He couldn't ignore everything Venice experienced, he was a part of him. A person sharing his body. Someone whos views and values were just as important as his own. But as much as he respected Venice's acquaintanceship with Amy, he couldn't let it blind him from his own need to destroy the Iblis Trigger. Now that Blaze was back, it would surely be easier to track him down and fix their world.

He stared at the ocean as he felt his presence in his mind. As if he was standing right behind him.

[Venice... what was it that happened? Why do you hate Mephiles so much?]

/Because he's the reason why we're split./

Silver blinked a few times, looking down at the pavement.

[What do you mean?]

/...Silver... Do you remember when you were a child? When things bur--/

[Don't. I... I don't want to remember.]

/If you want to know, you'll need to listen to me!/

[If it involves.. that... then I don't want to!]

"Have you had any luck in finding the Iblis Trigger?" Blaze's voice broke the physical silence between them, unaware of Silver's heavy thoughts.

Taking a deep breath and forcing himself to push Venice aside, he nodded, "Yes, I have, but he got away."
"I see."

"If I had to choose between the world and Sonic, I would choose Sonic!"
Silver could recall Amy's expression, disappointment and shame. He had to ask someone who wasn't Mephiles, as he would not give a straight answer, and the only other person who was exceptionally smart and well versed in terms of morality was Blaze. She had lived in Crisis City much longer than Silver and had to survive from the very start. She had to know what he was getting at.

"Blaze?"
"Yes?"
"To kill someone to change the world... is that really the right thing to do?"

She spoke up after a moment to think. 
"You're so naive." Her voice hinted with disappointment before continuing, "Whether it's right or wrong, I can't say."

Silver looked to her, clueless at what she was getting at as she kept her focused gaze on the blue sky. 

"What I do know is if we do not take this chance, then the future will remain exactly as it is." She looked to him, a grim expression that he knew all too well.

With her answer, Silver nodded and began to walk down the street, Blaze by his side. "There was a guy controlling robots who took a girl. The Iblis Trigger, Sonic is his name, went after him."
"The name of that guy is Doctor Eggman." Blaze replied, glancing around the town. "From what I have seen and ran into, he is notorious for making robots to wreak havoc on people. He is after that woman, Princess Elise, so that he can awaken Solaris." 

"Dr. Eggman..." Silver thought for a moment before nodding and turning to Blaze, "right, let's go find the Iblis Trigger!"

Silver runs off close to where Sonic had previously run off before. Blaze nods and she follows close behind.