Sonic Future 100
Battle of the Dimensions
Chapter 19 FINAL
Alternate Shade opened his eyes to find a couple faces above him. He smirked as he made out his counterpart and Annabell, "Hey."
Annabell, now dressed in a red dress, smiled, "Hi, other Shade! Are you feeling better?"
Alternate Shade sat up on the bed and found he had several bandages wrapped around a good bit of his body. After taking that hit for Shade, he needed a lot of work. He smiled, "Yeah, I'm fine." Then he gasped, "Wait, what happened? I passed out before I could see. What happened with Nat? Did you beat him?"
Shade smirked, "Yeah, he's been sealed away. As for Devillish, King Black and the counsel are still deciding."
Alternate Shade was confused, "Devillish? Wasn't he sealed first? What's to be decided with him?"
Annabell smiled, "He's not sealed anymore and he says he's good now."
Alternate Shade gasped in fright, "What!? He's lying! He has to be! You can't trust him!"
Shade tried to calm him down, "Take it easy, we know, but he did help stop Alternate Nat. Look, that's what the counsel are taking care of. Along with Devil and Mepholtius, they'll decide what will be done about Devillish."
Alternate Shade sighed, calming himself, "Well, how long before we find out the judgement? How long do these things usually take?"
Shade shrugged, "Who can say?"
Then Zane walked in, "Hey. How are things in here?"
Alternate Shade gasped when he saw him, "Zane?"
zane looked a bit surprised, "Uh, yeah? I'm assuming you've met my counterpart before?"
Alternate Shade looked down at his hands, one wrapped in bandages, "Yeah. It was a long time ago. Though, unlike you now, he was sick and in a wheelchair. Apparently his grandparents are sponsors for the mining corporation, so one day they came by to see how their money was being spent."
Shade was confused, "Grandparents? Zane doesn't have grandparents. His father was a robot built in another zone, how could he..." Then he thought of it, "Oh, you must mean his mother's parents." Zane nodded.
Alternate Shade continued, "Well, while they and my boss Lady Aura were talking, Zane and I kinda talked a bit. He would ask questions about what I did there, if I enjoyed it, and even what I'd do if I were to leave one day."
He smirked as he remembered, "He always was very straightforward. He wasn't at all shy about telling me how big a coward I was for running away when the world needed me to help against Devillish. Of course, I told him it was none of his business."
Zane smirked, "Let me guess. He admitted to how he wished he could even have the choice to help like you did. How he dreamed of making a difference one day. What he would give for even one day to help another person."
Alternate Shade looked surprised, "Uh, yeah. That's it exactly. How did you..?"
Zane smiled, "It's what I would want in his position."
Alternate Shade smirked, "I guess everyone in this dimension has what we in my dimension want. Family, hopes, dreams they can follow." He thought back again, "He passed away about a year later."
Then the thought of Zane being gone forever returned to Shade for a moment. Zane was still sick, and in a matter of only months, he could die. Shade shook it from his head, even is Zane easily noticed.
Alternate Shade sighed, not seeing any of it, "Though, for some reason, his words always stuck with me after that day. A couple times, it haunted me to a point that I almost did go back to the C.I.A, but I just never could do it."
Annabell spoke, "Well, now you can go home and make things right! Do what he couldn't do!"
Alternate Shade nodded with a smile, "Yeah. I think I'll do that. For both of our sakes."
Just then, Lark peeked in, looking a lot better after the fight only so many hours ago, "Hey, guys, I heard the meeting is over. Blade and I are headed to the castle to hear what the decision was. You coming?"
Shade stood up, "Yeah, we're coming." He turned to Annabell, "Why don't you stay and keep Alternate Shade company? He's not recovered enough to go anywhere just yet."
Annabell smiled, "Ok!" She smiled at Alternate Shade, "I can tell him about when we first met! Then, when he goes home, he can find a wife that makes him happy too!"
Alternate Shade looked surprised, but smiled, "Sure. I'd like that." Shade and Zane left the two to talk and headed to the castle with Lark and Blade.
A short time later at Castle Acorn...
King Black sat in his throne, his own injuries already tended to, while his wife sat in the throne next to his. Devillish stood before them with his wife, Devil, and Mepholtius, ready to hear his punishment. Angelica looked worried as she held her husband's hand tightly. Their daughter stood off to one side holding Demon. She also held onto the crystal that held her dear Natty too, unwilling to let anyone take him from her.
King Black cleared his throat once everyone was there, "After long and careful consideration, the counsel has decided the proper punishment for Devillish Death is... no punishment at all."
Everyone, including Devillish and Angelica, were shocked, "What!?"
Black nodded, "We've decided to give Devillish a chance to redeem himself."
Scourge spoke, "Are you crazy? He tried to destroy the world, twice, and he's free to go like it never happened?!"
Black glanced at him, "You tried to take over, more than just twice, and what did King Sonic do when you started trying to have a life with your family in this zone?" Scourge was silent. Everyone knew the answer to that.
Black turned to Shadow, "Same with you. When you tried to hurt our planet so long ago and had a change of heart, what did the heroes do to you? They gave you a second, no third, chance. Maybe even more with your difficult history." Shadow sighed, knowing he was right.
Black smiled, "Even the third generation has young heroes who have either a bad history, made a terrible choice or mistake, or carry a family name full of evil, yet they've become some of our greatest heroes." Shade, Blade, Jaremiah, and even Extreme looked thoughtful, knowing they were a few of those people. He took his wife's hand, "Even my own wife and I have been down that path, having made mistakes in our past, yet here we are. How can we judge anyone after that?"
Black looked over everyone, "The fact is, everyone deserves a second chance, no matter their history. As fellow heroes as well as fair rulers, we couldn't punish him without giving him one last chance, especially when his family still need him and he did turn things around in the end."
Lark nodded, "Fair enough, unc."
Black continued, "Though, I'm sure Devil and Mepholtius can agree Devillish will not get this second chance back in his dimension, which is why Devillish will be, for the time being, in our dimension."
Shade was surprised, "Are you sure that's a good idea? I mean, what if it causes some dimensional time/space lapse?"
Scourge waved it off, "It won't. If it were possible, it would have already started happening the moment he first showed up, and would have grown a pretty good bit as the rest of them started pouring into our dimension. So, we're good."
Black turned to Devillish, "The Government of United Nations with be responsible for placing you in a town far enough away that no one will know of your history, as well as keeping an eye on you and your family. Understand, it was your wife who took responsibility for you, meaning if you mess this up, she will sadly have to pay for it with you, and I can't even attempt guessing what will become of your children if that were to happen."
Devillish was silent as he thought about it, then sighed, "Very well. I did promise my family." Angelica hugged him with a happy smile.
Devil spoke, "While that's all being done here, Mepholtius, myself, and the rest of the 'alternates' will return to our dimension and try to bring back the peace we lost so long ago. Max and the others have already started by going after the G.U.N. of our world. Once we go back and help them with that, we can begin fresh and build up our city to one day be as peaceful and safe as yours."
Black smiled, "And we wish you all luck with that. Until you do return, you're all welcome to whatever you need here. You are still waiting for your companion to recover if I remember correctly."
Mepholtius nodded, "Yep. Once he's back on his feet, we'll be on our way."
Evelin spoke up as she handed Demon to Angelica, "But what about Natty? Doesn't he get a second chance too?"
Black sighed, "Unfortunately, we couldn't think of what to do with your friend. We understand that the insanity of your father that was such a threat to us now lies in your Nat, meaning he's the real threat now. To free him now would be a risk we can't take at this time." Evelin looked down at the crystal, sad.
Nat watched, thinking to himself, then walked over, "Here." He handed her a scroll. She was surprised, but accepted it. Nat sighed, "Take the crystal to where this scroll leads. If you really want to help him, he needs proper training, and this is the only person who can do that. If anyone can, it's him." He smirked, "I should know. He'll be able to free your Nat and get some control over his power, but I can't say it'll be easy or quick. It took me ten years, so who can say for him. But if he really means so much to you..."
Evelin spoke up quickly, "He does! He means a lot to me!"
Nat shrugged with a smile, "Then you should think about giving it a try one day. I'm not saying it'll definitely work, but it may be your only shot."
Evelin nodded, "Ok. Thanks. I'll give it a try."
King Black turned to Shaderon, "Then if you would, Commander."
Shaderon walked over to Devillish and his family with a few of his agents, "Please come with me. We'll see about taking you to your new home."
Devillish glanced over at Devil, "Until we meet again, Devil."
Devil gave a nod as he smiled, "Until then, father." Devillish smirked and left with his family as they followed Shaderon and his agents.
Devil watched them go with a sigh, "It's not quite the end we hoped for, but I hope it's enough, mother."
Alternate Lark walked over with a smile, "If she was anything like my mom, I think it is." Devil smiled and pat his head, then turned to the other heroes, "Thank you again for everything."
Lark grinned, "No prob! We're glad we could help!"
Blade chuckled, "Even if this whole thing was a big accident!"
Extreme groaned as several eyes fell on him, "You guys just aren't gonna let this one go, are you?"
Shade scoffed, "Of course not." He turned and everyone headed out of the throne room.
Though Devil didn't follow. He waited until everyone had left before looking around, "I know you're still here."
He heard a chuckle and turned to see someone hop down from the ceiling. Reggie smirked, "I'm guessing you're the one who seems to know me so well."
Devil smiled, "Reggie, right?"
Reggie shrugged, "Depends. Who wants to know?"
Devil gave a short bow, "I'm Devil, and I was your counterpart's mentor before I met the Lark of our dimension." He sighed, "Sadly, he died during one of our missions. Though I know you're not him, it's still nice to see him alive somewhere, still fighting for what he believes in."
Reggie chuckled, "Well, if he's anything like me, I'm sure he's glad to know you are too."
Devil nodded, "Yes, that certainly sounds like him."
Reggie glanced where the others went, "Hey, do me a favor. Don't tell anyone about me, ok? In this dimension, Reggie the Vampire is a trade secret. The only reason I changed to Reggie earlier was because I got too close to your Demios friend there. His power caused mine to shift to vampire form. Luckily, no one who doesn't already know me saw it, or Jacob would have a lot of questions to answer."
Devil smiled, "I see. Very well." To Reggie's surprise, Devil hugged him, "Just take care of yourself, alright?"
Reggie decided not to fight it, "Sure. I'll do that." He gently pulled away, "You'd best get going too. I already healed your Shade, so you guys ought to head home and start patching things up in your dimension."
Devil nodded, "Yes, you're right. Thank you." With one last bow, Devil turned and left. Reggie watched him go, then smirked and flew off out an open window.
At the portal in G.U.N. HQ...
The heroes waved as the alternates stepped through the portal. Alternate Shade, who was healed completely out of nowhere glanced back at Shade and Annabell with a smile before he stepped through too. Devil was the last one to need to go through.
Scourge handed him a small device, "Here. This will let you travel back whenever you need to. I made a second one for your buddy, Mephity or whatever his name is."
Devil smiled and accepted them, "Thank you. We'll be sure to return one day. We certainly wouldn't wish to leave my father entirely in your hands as your burden, not after all you did for us." He turned to the heroes with a final, grateful bow, then stepped through, and the portal closed behind him.
Scourge sighed, "Well, at least that's finally over. What a headache."
Shade nodded as he put an arm around Annabell, "No kidding. I want nothing more than to go home and relax with my family. After this little adventure, I'm starting to wonder if I spent enough time with them."
Lark sighed, "I know the feeling. I'm going right home to mine."
Blade nodded, "Same. See you guys later!" With that, they all headed out and off to their own homes.
As Shade and Annabell headed for home, Annabell spoke, "Shade, could you tell me that story again?"
Shade looked curious as he held her hand, "Story? Which one?"
Annabell watched the ground as she answered, "The one about the bugs and the birdies."
Shade was confused, "Bugs and birdies?" Then he got it, "Oh, you mean the 'birds and the bees'." He stopped walking, surprised, "Wait, why? I thought you didn't like that story."
Annabell looked at him, "Yeah, but it's where babies really come from, right?"
Shade nodded, still confused by the conversation, "Yeah."
She smiled softly, "Well, I watched Angelica with little Demon and realized something important." She smiled at him, a blush to her cheeks, "Shade, I want a baby too."
Shade blushed, "Really?"
She nodded, "I want to know the story so I can have a baby of my own. I want to be a mommy, like Angelica, and I want you to be the daddy."
Shade looked into her eyes and could see she was dead serious. He smiled, "Well, are you sure? It won't be easy. Becoming a mom and dad is a lot of work. You sure you're ready for that?"
Annabell looked deeply determined, "Yes, I want this! More than anything! Please?"
Shade smiled and wrapped an arm around her, "As you wish." He kissed her lips.
Annabell smiled once he let go, "So, you'll tell me the story again?"
Shade nodded, "Sure. We'll figure things out together, ok? It's you and me, always."
She smiled, "Always!" With that, the two happily headed for home.