VS. Universe File 1: The Fated Trio ACT IV: Secret of The Assist CrystalsFor Those of You Just Joining Us... (Recap Theme): ~Briefing 1 (The Wonderful 101)~Xero here. For those of you just joining us, let me explain.
Some time ago an interdimensional warlord known as Fuse had begun ripping away parts of of other worlds and bringing them to another dimension known as the Versus Universe.
To try and stop this, I began recruiting heroes from the worlds Fuse wrecked to help put an end to his plans and return their worlds to normal...
The first three heroes to answer this call, Raleno Cinoten, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Mario, have traveled across the Green Hill Zone, freeing it from the control of Fuse's forces led by the mad Dr. Eggman.
However, Eggman fled the scene as the battle ended, leaving behind a strange crystalline device.
As Sonic investigated the device, the Crystal within broke free, growing in size and shining brilliantly.
Our story resumes as we learn that from the light emerged...
The Trio could only stare dumbfounded at what had just unfolded before them, none more so than Sonic; It was one thing for Eggman to force small animals into his machines, but to trap and use his best friend
as a power supply, of all things?
Before the team could try to make sense of what just happened any further though, the laws of physics suddenly remembered that gravity was still a force in the universe, and Tails, who had hung in the air for quite some time now, began to fall. Immediately, Sonic rushed forward to catch his falling friend, snatching him out of the air seconds before he hit the ground.
"C'mon, Tails! Are you alright? Speak to me, bro!" Upon making sure he wasn't harmed, Sonic attempted to jostle him awake. Though Tails began to awaken, he wasn't completely conscious, speaking in a groggy, slurred voice. "I'monlyfourandahalfyearsold...Idunnohowtowriteyet..." Sonic shook him even harder, trying to get him to respond with coherent sentences. "Snap out of it, buddy! It's me, Sonic!"
Eventually, though, Tails slowly stirred back to his old self as he opened his eyes with clarity, "Sonic?...Is that you? What happened? Where am I?...And why are my nose hairs tingling again?" Sonic helped him to his feet as he began to explain. "You're in Green Hill Zone, buddy!...Or, what's left of it..."
"What do you mean what's left of it? What happened to the rest of it?"
Sonic wasn't one for long winded speeches, but he felt his friend deserved an explanation, so he prepared himself to explain.
"It's kind of a long story...you see, what happened was..."
The trio then recounted what had transpired since they entered the Versus Universe; about Fuse's plans, Xero and the Guardians, and the presence of their worst enemies in all of their old familiar locales.
By the end of it all, Tails was left completely shocked. "So...that's what happened. To think, all of our worlds are getting torn apart. And our friends...I don't even know what to make of all this!"
Raleno tried to bring the conversation back to getting some answers. "Maybe you can start by telling us what you remember. Do you know how you got stuck in that crystal, anyway?
Upon hearing this, Tails' face lowered and his eyes narrowed. Whatever it was he was thinking about, it wasn't pleasant. "Well...Now that I think about it...Let’s just say the ones who did this to me made it pretty hard to forget..."
He closed his eyes as he recalled the sordid memory of how he and his friends became trapped...__________
A Memory Filled With Fear and Confusion: ~Id ~Dilemma~ (Fire Emblem Awakening)~
After that crazy storm, me, Knuckles, Amy, and a bunch of other people I didn’t recognize woke up in some weird factory...
"The next thing I know, a bunch of weird purple polygon things grabbed us. They started shoving us into these pods with crystals on top...While I was in there, I thought I could hear Eggman talking with some other guys. That’s when it happened....They started trapping people in the crystals, and Eggman’s robots were taking them away! Knuckles...Amy...All those other people...They got everyone, including me."
Images of the machines forming cages of light around his friends flowed through Tails' mind as he struggled to remember the details of his capture.
"...And just before I was trapped, I could see some big scaly turtle thing take one crystal for himself. And Amy’s I saw get stuffed into...something...
Everything is a blank after that..."__________
"That egg-headed creep! First, he sticks small animals in his machines, Now he’s doing it to our friends with crystals!" Sonic pounded his fists together, incensed at the way his friends and others were so callously abused. Mario was more concerned about the "big, scaly, turtle thing" Tails had spoke of, and Raleno was lost in the thought that his own brother and friends had suffered the same fate. "So if what Tails said is true...Regen, White, Rona...this could’ve happened to them, too..."
Xero, who had heard Tails' story using telepathy, spoke in response to Raleno's concerns. "It does seem to be the most likely outcome. And to think, if one crystal was capable of issuing orders to such a large squadron of robots...With several of these crystals in the wrong hands, the results could be catastrophic.
" We Know What We Must Do: ~Briefing 2 (The Wonderful 101)~
Sonic remained undeterred by the possible results of the villains' plans; in fact, he seemed more determined than ever to stop Eggman and Fuse. "Then we’re just going to have to beat down more of Eggman’s toys ‘til we get them all back!" Just as Raleno was about to question where they would start in their mission, however, Tails snapped out of his flashback-induced stupor. "Wait a second! Something just came back to me! In that factory, I saw Knuckles, and a bunch of other guys get taken to some kind of airship..." As Mario asked if said airship was the Magna Doomship that just fled the scene, Tails responded. "Yeah, I think it looked like the one you said took off earlier..."
Sonic's determination seemed to be rubbing off on the team, as Raleno chimed in with much more confidence. "Which means we need to catch up with that ship and get some answers. and our friends!" Sonic, meanwhile, gave Tails their usual high-five. "Alright, Tails! Way to get us a lead!" Tails simply grinned in response to Sonic's praise "Heheh, Thanks, Sonic!"
Before the team could celebrate Tails' newfound companionship however, a light began to form around Tails' body, slowly morphing into a cage and shrinking steadily. "Wha!? Sonic! What's--what's happening?!"Shock, Horror, and Dismay: ~Disquieting (One Piece Pirate Warriors)~
"Tails! Guys, we've got to help him!" Despite Sonic and Mario's best efforts to pull Tails away from the cage of light, as well as Raleno trying to cut through the bars with his sword, the cage repelled them, eventually carrying Tails out of reach and causing him to disappear slowly. Sonic could only shout in frustration. "I don't get it! What's happening to him?"
It wouldn't be long before the light engulfed Tails completely, though it was enough time for Tails to work out what was going on. "Sonic...I can feel the crystal's power! Whatever force kept me trapped in there; it's pulling me back!" "So, then, what do we do? Just let it get you? C'mon, Tails, fight it!"
Tails began to revert to the light that he appeared as the moment Sonic freed him earlier. "It's no use...I can't stay out here much longer...need to rest..." Though Tails was fading fast, he still had enough strength to continue his words. "...You...you guys keep going, and don't worry...about me...find our friends.....stop Fuse!.........." With that, the light glowed too brightly for the team to continue watching, and the cage of light finally shrunk down and transformed back into the crystal it started out as, falling back into Sonic's hands.
"Tails...don't you worry...I'll get you out of there again...somehow..."
Raleno, meanwhile, sought to find some sort of answer to freeing Tails and anyone else that suffered the same fate. "Xero...think you and your Guardians can find a way to get him out of the crystal and keep
"Rest assured, I'll definitely get to work on finding a means to break this curse the crystal has over him...but as it stands, you all have more important matters to attend to.
Mario then pointed out that their only lead, the Magna Doomship, was currently making its way west of Green Hill Zone, toward what appeared to be the Mushroom Kingdom off in the distance.
Raleno summoned his wings, preparing to move out. "He's right. We've spent enough time talking! It's time for us to catch up with that ship!"
Sonic revved up his feet. "Then what the heck are we waiting for?"
Mario straightened his cap and boots. "Let's-a-go!"
The three took off across the wooden bridge leading out of Green Hill in the direction of the airship.
The chase had begun.
__________The Magna Doomship: Main Bridge: ~Battleship (Paper Mario: Sticker Star)~
In the hangar of the Magna Doomship, Eggman was putting the finishing touches on the repairs of his beloved Eggmobile craft. Though the damage Sonic inflicted on it during the Green Hill Zone battle was easily repaired, it still annoyed the Doctor that he had let that hedgehog get close enough to damage him so carelessly.
Once he was finished with his work, he decided to head to the control bridge to find out who's in charge of this ship. As he made his way above-deck, he passed several Koopa Troopas, Moles, and Hammer Bros. running about, trying to keep the ship in top shape. Eggman wasn't used to seeing walking, talking animals that weren't trying to smash his technology to pieces, but even he had to admit Bowser ran a pretty tight crew. Before long, he walked through the door to the main control room.
Within the control room, a number of Koopas and Paragoombas were operating the controls, surveying the deck below and monitoring the status of the ship. "Primary and Auxiliary thrusters at optimal output!" "Weapons stock and defense systems at full capacity!" "Looks like our new engines are purring like a Toad with a Super Bell, sir!"
As the control crew kept an eye on the flickering monitors, one koopa in particular kept his eye on a holographic map of the Central Plane in the center of the room. This koopa looked the strangest out of all of them; He wore a blue robe with a matching conical hat, his face was adorned with spectacles, and he had no visible shell to speak of (though he hunched over as if he still had one). As he watched the large blip on the map representing the ship move toward the Mushroom Kingdom, an evil grin crossed his face.
"Keehehehe! That Darkeno fellow was right! With these crystals as a power source, the Doomship is operating splendidly! At this rate, it'll only be a matter of time before we reach the Mushroom Kingdom! What little resistance we're dealing with there will be crushed under our new power!"
He was promptly shaken out of his thoughts by the sound of the door opening and Eggman entering the room. He quickly turned to greet the Doctor.
"Ah! If it isn't the notorious genius, Dr. Ivo Robotnik! To what do I owe the pleasure of your newfound company?" Eggman didn't seem like he was in a mood to discuss matters with him, but he got his answer regardless. "You can thank your little plumber friend, the hedgehog, and that pointy-haired sword-swinger for that. I need to speak with Bowser, where is he?"
"Ah, unfortunately, he had business elsewhere...Theme of Kamek: ~The Blue Wizard (Paper Mario: Sticker Star)~
But he left me in charge of the operations here! You may call me Kamek..."
"Yes...well, at any rate..." Eggman continued. "...those three somehow managed to discover and get ahold of one of the Assist Crystals. I need to get back to my base and warn the others of this! If I know them, they'll find a way to use that crystal to track the others..." Kamek didn't seem as concerned with the heroes as Eggman would think, however. "Well, that sounds disappointing, but I'm not too worried about those goody-goodys! After all, we're safe inside this glorious machine on a beeline as far away from them as possible! By the time they realize the secret of the crystals, they'll be too late to stop us from reaching the Mushroom Kingdom!"
Just as Kamek was about to let loose a smug chuckle of self-appreciation, a koopa at one of the monitors cut him off with a sharp yelp. "Sir! We've got a problem! We have three targets following us from behind on the ground, closing in fast!" Kamek spun to face the holograph while pointing to the koopa. "Well, put them on screen already!"
The holo-map changed to provide Kamek and Eggman with a view of the ground outside. Much to the surprise of Kamek and the annoyance of Eggman, the monitor indeed showed Sonic, Mario, and Raleno racing across the plains toward the airship. Their position on the koopa's radar screen showed they were still quite a distance off, but that didn't matter; the three of them were faster than Kamek had given them credit for, and sooner or later, they would catch up.
With a clearer view of their opposition, Kamek lowered his head to think. "Hmm...perhaps I have underestimated them somewhat. It may still be possible to reach the Mushroom Kingdom before they can catch up with us...Still, why take the risk of leaving them alive? After all, it is what Lord Bowser would want..."
He turned back toward Eggman.
"Well, then, Doctor, perhaps you have a point. If you're done repairing your craft, I suggest you make your way back to your base, and allow us to deal with these interlopers!"
Very well. I'll leave this in your hands...Do not try to underestimate them, Kamek." Eggman turned and left the room, heading for the hangar. Even with all the functions and defenses he had seen aboard the ship, he had a bad feeling it wasn't going to matter against the trio. At the very least, it would stall them long enough to warn Bowser and Darkeno to tighten their defenses as well as his own.
After the door had closed, Kamek grabbed his scepter from the nearby wall, and pointed at another nearby koopa. "You there! Start the loudspeaker! I have an announcement!" The koopa pressed a button on the console, and a microphone came down from the ceiling in front of Kamek.
"Attention! All hands on deck! Prepare to repel any and all potential intruders! Troopa Corps., to your designated battle stations! By my mother's pointy hat, this is as far as Mario and his motley crew will ever get!"
__________VS. UNIVERSE FILE 1: THE FATED TRIOEND OF ACT IV