After traveling in claustrophobic quarters, sweating in anticipation, we finally made it to Floor 12. I kicked the vent hood down and we descended from the shaft. This particular lab was a giant chamber, as large as a military-grade garage. Soldiers and scientists were ready for us, but so were we. Jaden zapped the scientists into paralysis while the children and I mopped up the guards. Jaden ran to the nearest computer and locked the lab down.
“We have a few minutes before they burst in here! We have to work quickly!” Jaden exclaimed.
Once I punched the last guard down to the ground, I frantically looked around. No blue hedgehog in sight. What I did see however, was the machine again, the seven Chaos Emeralds locked inside. Then, I grew increasingly alarmed. I noticed an elevated platform, with giant wires connected to it, and a large, steel gateway. The Chaos Emerald machine was connected to it. I had seen this before…
“Luana, there!” Jaden hissed.
He pointed to a tall box-like metal container, wires coupling with both the machine and the gateway. It appeared to be sealed. I grew increasingly suspicious and my heart raced. The children and I exchanged glances and I rushed towards it. Jaden’s hands flew across the keyboard, then pressed a big red button. The container hissed. A steel, outer layer was raised. My heart nearly stopped. There was Sonic.
His arms and legs were stretched out in and “X” formation, his hands and feet clasped over with metal. His head was slumped forward, unconscious and pale. I ran up to the glass and pressed my hands against it. He was right there, right there and he still remained out of my reach!
“Jaden, get him out!” I exclaimed.
“I’m trying! It’s locked behind a top security password, it’ll take hours to crack!”
“Wow…that’s Sonic? I…thought he’d be taller” said Chelsea.
“Chell! Don’t say that!” Amia scolded.
Suddenly, I bent down. I pressed my hands against the wall and began heaving upward. It was a struggle, but slowly, it was lifting.
“Luana, what’re you doing!?” Amia cried.
“Getting my best friend back!” I announced.
Chelsea ran over to help, Tanner followed behind. Though I was the one with super strength and carrying all the weight, the glass was lighter. Finally, the wall was lifted all the way up.
“Good job, but it’s not gonna hold for long! Hurry!” Jaden warned.
I ducked inside. I put my fingers in between the clasps and pulled them apart one by one. Soon, he was in my arms. I pulled him out just before the wall closed shut.
I carefully lowered to the ground. I cradled him in my arms, stroking his head and scratching his ears. He was so cold. I held him closer.
“I’m here, Sonic…! I’m here now…!” I whispered, “Please…! Open your eyes…! Please…!”
I wished he would wake. I needed him to know that everything was going to be okay. Amia signalled to Jaden. Jaden pressed some keys. Meanwhile, the children were whispering amongst themselves, staring at the gateway.
“What’s wrong?” Tanner inquired.
“Time…” Chelsea mumbled.
“I remember a tv show I watched a long time ago before I came here. It had a gate in it where they went into travel to other worlds. I was thinking…Maybe that’s what this is…!”
“That’s impossible! That kind of stuff only happens on television!”
“But what if it is real?” Chelsea argued, “Mr. Sonic’s a fairytale creature! Why not?”
“Whatever Commander Stone’s up to, he must’ve been using Sonic to obtain power from the chaos emeralds. But why couldn’t he have extracted power from the gems by himself?” said Tanner.
“The gems can only be used by a South Islander. Commander Stone is a human, so he couldn’t have; And since they had already captured a South Islander, he decided to use Sonic for other purposes other than why he was brought to S.E.W.D.D.”
Suddenly, Jaden’s eyes widened. I noticed.
“What? What’s wrong?”
There was a huge whir. On the other end of the wall was a large cargo door that began to ascend. I stood up, and faced towards the door. Sunlight streamed through, blinding my eyes. Despite needing to shield my eyes, that light was a sign that we were closer to freedom. I nudged Sonic.
“Sonic, look! The sun!” I breathed, turning around “We’re going to see the sun again!”
He didn’t move. The children watched in eager anticipation, then shielded their eyes from the light. The door lifted, wider…and wider…
Suddenly, Tanner screamed.
When my eyes adjusted, I could see a slender, coned object flying towards me. Tanner lept in the way of me and threw up a forcefield. The missile exploded. The impact sent Tanner and I flying back. I lost grip on Sonic and he tumbled limply off to the side.
“TANNER!” Chelsea shrieked.
I scrambled up. I saw a black helicopter hovering miles above the chamber, aiming for us. I was about to rush towards Sonic. However, as I spotted Chelsea and Amia were bent over Tanner, who was trying to recover, I saw another missile flying towards us and Chelsea screaming in terror. Miraculously, as the missile was about to impact in front of me, I somehow managed to grab it. The force was colossal, and it was hard to bear my feet into the ground. With all my might, I turned it around. Then, I released it. The missile impacted the chopper and it began spinning out of control. It spiraled out of sight, and there was a ground-shaking boom.
Soldiers piled in and began to fire. Tanner managed to stand and shield us. They began opening fire. I ran for cover. A soldier with a large gun on a stand fired some kind of sonic boom towards Chelsea. Chelsea failed to get out of the way. She flew into the wall.
“CHELSEA!” Amia yelled.
She ran over to her, punching through guards. I lashed two bolts of electricity and zapped about a dozen men. I jumped out of my hiding spot and ran into the thick of it in an attempt to cover Amia. I jumped up and kicked one, swept out another.
I whirled around. I didn’t know what to do. We were outnumbered. There were so many bullets that we just barely avoided. The children were growing overwhelmed as they desperately tried to protect each other.
Suddenly, I felt a throbbing pain in my arm. I glanced over. It began bleeding red. I had just been shot with a bullet. I started to fall back. The rest of my team was out of sight. I panicked. I was suddenly alone. There was another pain, this time in my leg. I fell to the ground. I squinted my eyes shut, grinding my teeth in an attempt to tolerate the pain. There was quiet. I pulled my head up to see Amia, Tanner, Jaden, and Chelsea surrounded by soldiers. I tried to get up, but my injured leg fell out from under me. They stared at me with terrified eyes. Commander Stone calmly walked up to me, gloating over my shivering live corpse.
“Your usefulness has run out, Luana Dockinson,” He said, “The only reason I didn’t kill you sooner, was because you were the krank to control the Blue Blur. But now, your job is done.”
He pulled out a pistol from his back pocket and slowly pointed it at my head.
“Now I can eliminate Dr. Dockinson, and anyone else who dares oppose my progress before they even become a threat!”
“Eliminating Grandpappy before he even becomes a scientist? What did he mean by that?”
Then, it clicked.
“You’re…” I stammered, wincing at the pain, “You’ve built a time travel device haven’t you?”
“What makes you say that?” Stone inquired.
“It all makes sense now!” I said, “You studied what the effects of the Chaos Emeralds could do, and one of them was the power to stop time! Being the only power source that could do that, you used Sonic to channel that power to use for the time travel device! Because the chaos emeralds could only be controlled by a South Islander!”
Commander Stone smirked.
“You’re very smart, Ms. Dockinson, but I’m afraid you won’t live long enough to test your theory.”
“LUANA!” Chelsea cried.
The voices echoed. Every sound was amplified and banging around in my head. I forced my eyes open. The room was spinning and blurry, but I could see Luana’s dirty-blonde hair clear as day. She was knee-first on the ground, looking up at Commander Stone.
“Lu…Luana…?” I croaked.
But I was too quiet to be heard. The soldiers had all their focus on Stone, as well as four kids, one I recognized as Jaden. They too were being surrounded and held down. I could hear Luana say something, though it was muffled:
“You studied what the effects of the Chaos Emeralds could do, and one of them was the power to stop time! Being the only power source that could do that, you used Sonic to channel that power to use for the time travel device! Because the chaos emeralds could only be controlled by a South Islander!”
“A time machine…?” I thought.
I could see the giant metallic gateway to my right.
“A time machine…I…” My brain scrambled to think, “He…He could stop World War III! He could travel to the day Dr. Dockinson was born, the day that Luana was born, the day that…!”
An insane thought popped into my head. I was distracted. As my eyes adjusted, I could see Luana was bleeding on both her arm and leg, and blood was streaming down. I had to save her! Slowly, I attempted to pull myself up.
Suddenly, I could see Commander Stone draw a pistol from his pocket and point it straight at Luana’s head.
“LUANA!” One of the kid’s screamed.
BANG! It all happened so fast. I didn’t have time to think properly. But I knew what I had to do.