Silver made sure the others were back in the cave they had agreed on before heading north of Metal Sonic's lab as Tikal had requested. Eventually, he approached a large rock formation that looked not unlike a large humanoid with its fist pounding the ground. This must be what she was talking about, he thought, and called out, "Tikal! Are you here?"
A sudden powerful force knocked him into the rock, and Tikal's voice half-whispered, half-shouted from the other side of the formation, "Shhh! Be quiet!" Silver nodded, and the force released him. Carefully, he stepped around the rock and approached Tikal, who was leaning against it. "I'm sorry about that," she stated, "but I can't let anyone else know I'm here. Specifically Sonic."
"Sonic knows about you?" Silver asked confusedly.
"Sonic's the only one currently alive who knows about me," Tikal responded. Silver nodded respectfully. "Anyways, I brought you here so that I could ask something of you."
Silver shrugged nonchalantly. "Depends. What is it that you're going to ask?"
Tikal leaned back and faced the formation's face. "Do you recognize the shape this formation has taken?" The psychokinetic turned up and looked at the figure.
"Vaugely," he replied. "The face is familiar, but the rest of it is just out of place as stone."
Tikal turned to him. "Where have you seen the face before?" she asked before turning back to it.
Silver thought. "Somewhere in Zyx's building. That was the last time Blaze let the Flames of Disaster burn. That was also the last time I dared to question Zyx's power."
The head of the Echidna princess snapped towards him. "Slow back there, cowboy. Did you say Flames of Disaster?"
Silver turned. "Yeah," he replied. "Also known as Iblis or half of Solaris. Blaze is one tough pyrokinetic. Which is fortunate, because one teardrop will turn into a huge burst of fire that becomes a large magmic monster of destruction. Only Blaze can seal it, and only with at least two of the Sol Emeralds. Although I'm unsure if she could use the Chaos Emeralds instead.
Tikal was silent for a few moments. "Alright, I have got to pay more attention to what Sonic's going through. Anyways, I recently had the chance to speak with Mephiles, the other half of Solaris. He noticed Iblis' reawakening, and he's requested that Iblis be brought to him at the core of Mobius. You think you can do that?"
Silver nodded. "It might take a bit of persuasion, but I can do it. Just how do I get to the core of Mobius?"
"Talk to Sonic," Tikal replied. "Mephiles said that he had spoken with blur boy."
"Alright." Silver nodded and started to shoot off, but stopped himself and back to Tikal. "One question, though. You're not going to be able to hide from Sonic forever. When are you going to show yourself?"
Tikal closed her eyes. "When the time demands it," she stated with an air of finality. There was a flash, and in Tikal's place was an orb of light that shot away quickly. Silver watched it fly off, then turned away and coated himself in psychokinetic energy before speeding away.
Sonic had Amy in his arms as he and Merlina dashed back to the cave to find Shadow, Blaze, and Infera already there. Silver, however, was nowhere to be seen. Sonic didn't pay it any heed and carefully laid Amy onto the single bed that was in the cave.
Immediately, he took utmost care to make sure she was cared for. Every second that wasn't occupied healing her was occupied looking for the stuff. Shadow, surprisingly, turned out to be very knowledgable in herbs used for healing. Infera revealed a useful type of healing flame that, in conjunction with Shadow's herbs, had Amy nearly conscious by the end of the day.
Time passed. Night fell. The others did the best they could to find sleep, but Sonic, on a hard chair next to Amy's bed, refused to close his eyes to do any more than blink. When one of the others offered to watch her for him, Sonic refused, saying that he couldn't leave Amy's side even if he had wanted to.
Eventually, his efforts brought forth a result as Amy slowly started to wake. Sonic didn't bother to rouse the others. Instead, he just sat there calmly as Amy's eyes slowly fluttered open. Although the pink hedgehog seemed unfocused for a second, she eventually looked up into Sonic's eyes with a weak smile. "Hey, blue boy."
Sonic returned the smile with one of his own. "Hey."
Amy looked around the cave. "Where... where am I?"
"Remember Silver's cave?" Sonic replied, and Amy nodded. "He gave it to Zyx. Since Zyx set up at that building, Silver took the cave."
"Alright," Amy stated. "I'm just glad that we've got a place to stay." She closed her eyes and laid back, and Sonic bowed his head. Both of them were silent for a long time.
Finally, Amy broke the silence."Sonic?"
Sonic looked up. "Yeah?"
Amy's eyes had tears in them as she said, "I'm sorry... for all the stuff I've done to you." She opened her eyes, then looked to Sonic. "I'm not just talking about while I was on Zyx's side. Everything, since hell broke loose. I'm sorry."
Sonic reached out and brushed the tears away from her eyes. "It's alright," he stated. "I forgive you. But just answer this one question. Why did you side with him? Why did you believe him, saying I was a liar?" Amy closed her eyes again as she thought about it.
"He used everything about you against me," she said finally. "You gave your heart to that liar? His words paralyzed me stronger than his darkness ever did. He doesn't love you. All he wants is for you to fight with him. After that, he's off running again, with you struggling to keep up. I was shocked by his words, because you had always run from me. And I completely forgot our little... meeting at Angel Island." She closed her eyes and cringed away.
Sonic put his hand under her chin and turned her head back towards her. "It's alright," he said quietly, then slowly leaned towards her.
His face was inches from hers when Silver shot into the room, shouting, "Hey, guys! I got..." Sonic's head jerked to the side as Silver fell silent. "That was loud, wasn't it?" he said tenatively
"Only an earload, Galahad," Caliburn's voice called from behind. Sonic turned to see the rest of them rising stiffly.
"What did you get?" Shadow continued angrily.
Silver shook his head. "All I'm going to say is that Sonic, you're going to have to show us how to get to Mephiles."
Sonic's eyes stretched. "What?" he shouted. "How do you know about Mephiles?"
Silver paused, as though to weigh his chances, then stated, "Let's just say that there's a high chance you're going to have to kill me after you find out. Just do it."
Sonic sighed. "Alright," he shouted, "Come with me!" He started to dash out.
Merlina's voice wasn't angry, but it had enough purpose in it to stop Sonic. He turned to see Merlina looking lethally weak. Sonic ran up to her. "Merlina, what's happened to you?"
Merlina seemed to actually strain to speak. "I can't survive for much longer in this world," she replied. "Mobius saps my strength. I'm sorry, Sir Sonic. But I don't belong here. I need to return to my story."
Sonic closed his eyes. "I'm sorry, Merlina, but I don't know how to return you."
A cheerful voice from behind called, "You don't need to know."
Sonic spun to see the familiar figure of Shahra floating at the entrance to the cave. With a smile and a wave of her hand, white energy looped itself around Sonic's hand, taking the form of a ring.
"Just make a wish."
Sonic paused for a moment. "You can do that much?" Shahra nodded, and Sonic sighed, then rubbed the ring. "Alright, Shahra, do your stuff." Shahra closed her eyes and waved her hand, coating Merlina in a white magic. The Royal Sorceress slowly started to fade.
"Thank you," she said as her figure fully vanished. Sonic smiled, relieved, then turned to Shahra.
"How are you here?" he asked
Shahra sighed. "When I was returned to my world, some sort of mystic force revived me
The legendary blue hedgehog shrugged, then turned to Silver. "We left the bikes on that island, didn't we?"
A few minutes later, Shadow, Infera, Silver, Blaze, Sonic, Caliburn, and for the first time in a long time Amy, were flying across the rocks headed for Zyx's base. It was risky, but it was the fastest way Sonic knew.
Before long, Sonic jerked into a skid that the others followed through in. After coming to a complete stop, Sonic leapt off his bike and slowly stepped forward, tapping the ground with his foot regularly. After not long had passed, his actions resulted in a hole forming; too narrow for his wingspan, but almost too wide for their armspans.
"Alright, Silver," Sonic stated. "Why did you want us here?"
Silver closed his eyes. "You may as well know. Alright." He beckoned to Blaze, who slowly stepped forward. "Mephiles wants Iblis back."
Blaze screamed. "WHAT!?!" A Sol Blade appeared at Silver's throat. "Why didn't you tell me this earlier? Why the hell didn't you tell me this earlier?"
Silver eyed the blade, then carefully gripped its hilt, taking it from Blaze and letting it dissipate. "I think that's the first time I've heard you swear," he stated. "Because I didn't want you freaking out and refusing it. Think about it. This means we're going to have an interdimensional sun god on our side. Do you have any idea how useful that will be?"
Blaze considered it. "Alright. But I want to talk to Mephiles first." She turned to Sonic. "So we just dive?" Sonic nodded, and Blaze turned to the hole. "Here comes the magma," she stated, before leaping into the chasm. Silver reached out after her and fell in. Shadow shook his head.
"Wow," he stated. "He's still naive." He and Infera locked arms, and they leapt into the hole together. Sonic gripped Caliburn.
"Are you ready, Sir Sonic?" the sacred blade asked.
"Please," Sonic replied. "What has their been that I haven't been ready?" He turned to Amy. "Would you leap in with me?"
Amy smiled and took his hand. "With pleasure, my knight." Sonic turned to the hole and carefully leapt in, trailing Amy behind him.
When it seemed as though they were going to hit the centre of Mobius hard, there was a massive energy fluxuation, and Sonic and Amy found themselves standing unharmed on a crystalline surface, the other four around them. An instant flash illuminated the area, to reveal a black hedgehog streaked with amythest, with no mouth and purple where the whites of his eyes should have been.
"Sonic," he stated. "And you have brought the bearer of the Flames of Disaster with you, I presume."
"Glad to see you too, Mephiles," he stated, then turned to the others. "I may as well introduce you to my friends." First, he beckoned to Shadow. "This guy used to be all buisiness. Now he's all hell. Meet our resident Chaos Artist, Shadow."
"Pleased to meet you too," Shadow stated in an honest remark. "A pleasure to meet the conscious mind of Solaris."
Sonic pointed to Infera. "A firefinger with a fiery temper and a deadly variation that represents her status with hellboy. The pyrokinetic of dark fire, Infera."
"Don't mention anything," Infera warned before Mephiles could speak.
Next, Sonic motioned to Silver. "A psychokinetic with the slightest hint of perfect naivety and an unfound nack for Sol Arts. The mindblancher, Silver."
"Hey," Silver called. "Although I can't blanch minds yet."
Blaze was the next in line. "The fiery princess of another dimension, and holder of the Sol Emeralds and the Jeweled Scepter. The Sol pyrokinetic, Blaze."
"I'll get back to you on that," Blaze said quickly.
Sonic next raised Caliburn and rubbed the ring on his finger. "Also, before I forget, meet the sacred sword Caliburn, and Shahra, the Genie of the Ring." Shahra appeared as Caliburn opened his eyes, and nodded their respects to Mephiles.
Finally, Sonic turned to Amy at his side. "And last, but most definitely not least, the pink hedgehog who'll pound your head into the ground with the slightest storytelling provocation. Amy Rose."
Amy, blushing, slowly said, "Hey, it's not my fault you forgot to meet me at Casino Park."
Sonic laughed, then beckoned Blaze towards him. When Blaze approached, Sonic turned back to Mephiles and said, "Now to business. As requested I have brought Blaze, who is the holder of the Flames of Disaster."
Mephiles nodded. "Very well. Are you capable of releasing Iblis at will?"
Blaze closed her eyes. "No," she admitted. "It would appear that a single teardrop will release him, but I cannot otherwise."
The Soul of Darkness cursed. "Well, then..."
That was all he managed before a sudden black blur shot down. It was almost identical to Shadow, but the streaks of red and the red on his shoes were replaced with gold. Quicker than feet, the figure struck Mephiles unconscious with three fingers to the neck, then grabbed him around the neck and shot out.
Shadow appeared in the figure's place, raging. It had all happened so quickly, Sonic was in shock. Then he turned to Shadow. "What the hell was that thing?" Shadow cursed a few times, then turned to Sonic.
"That was a Shadow Android."