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Sirens rang in Tails ears as he stood not ten feet away from the crumpled heap that used to his mother’s car in a state of shock, trying to cope with the conflicting feelings. It like a kind of cognitive dissonance between his emotional instincts crying out at the idea she was dead in every clinical sense and what that should mean, and his rational mind reminding him that she was an immortal and thus her death was only temporary.  



“Hey bro, are you still with me?”



His best friend’s voice partially awoke him from his shock. Even if the situation wasn’t quite as dire as everyone else was forced to assume he was once again glad Sonic had refused to leave his side from the minute he got the phone-call, and insisted on tagging along for support.



“Yeah, I’m just a little shaken up, but I’ll be fine,” Tails replied, carefully choosing his words.



“I know it’s hard and I know you’re scared, but I’m gonna be right here next to you the whole time and we’re going to get through this, okay?” Sonic’s voice was calm, but carried an uncurrent of nervousness.



“Thanks, I know I tried to blow you off but I was just upset and I really don’t want to do this alone,” It wasn’t a lie, despite every rational thought telling him it would be okay he couldn’t will away his emotions and having his surrogate big brother there helped to calm him.



“It’s no problem, I promised you I’d always be here and I’m not going to break that because things get hard,” Sonic gave a sincere smile.



Tail’s noticed one of the emts out of the corner of his eye, a female cat with blue fur, as she climbed out of the ambulance and looked around before setting her attention on them and approaching.



“I know it’s probably dumb I even have to ask, but your Sonic and Tails, right?” she asked, “My name is Cassie and I was the responder here.”



“Nice to meet you, Cassie,” Sonic said, “to bad we have to meet like this, though.”



“I know, I never like meeting new people under such horrible circumstances,” Cassie said, looking down.



She didn’t stand much taller than Tails, but still crouched down in front of him and looked up at his face.



“I’m sorry, honey,” she spoke sweetly in a soothing voice not unlike a mother speaking to her child, ”I know this is hard, but I need you to come with me and verify that it’s her, and collect the belongings we found on her person”



“Can Sonic come with me?” Tails asked.



“Of course, I’m not going to make you go in there alone,” Cassie smiled, “ready to go?”



“Yes,” Tails said.



Even though it couldn't have been more than a few seconds long, the walk to the ambulance felt like an eternity and he found himself closing his eyes and taking a deep breath as he climbed inside with Sonic right behind him. He felt a hand on his shoulder guiding him to what felt like a bench running along the wall and felt Sonic sit down beside him.



“Just open your eyes and look when you’re ready, I won’t rush you,” he heard Cassie say from the other side of the cramped space.



“Just try to relax and take your time, buddy.” Sonic spoke softly and Tails felt an arm around his shoulders.



For several moments he merely kept his eyes closed and mentally reminded himself over and over that no matter he saw she would be okay and he merely had to make it through this and hold out for a few hours until she woke up, and somehow re-grouped with him. It was just like they had planned in case something like this ever happened.



He finally opened his eyes and looked up, wincing when the blood streaked down her face from a gash in her forehead and soaking through the thin-sheet from he assumed was a severe wound on her chest.



Sonic’s arm tightened around his shoulders and he looked up to notice him averting eyes from the stretcher.



“It’s gonna be okay, bro. I’m gonna be right here and we’re going to get through this, I promise,” he said softly, “I’m not gonna leave you.”



“Tails, honey. you can talk to her and say goodbye if you want. There’s nothing wrong with that,” Cassie said.



Sonic helped him to his feet and he leaned over, bringing his mouth close to her ear.



“I love you mom, just please wake up soon because I’m worried about what’s going to happen next and I just need to talk to you, real bad,” he whispered quietly enough to keep anyone else from hearing.



“Cassie, can you give us a minute?” Sonic asked.



“Of course, take as much time as you need. Her things are in this bag. “Cassie motioned to a cheap duffle-bag bearing the hospital's logo as she stood up, “and no-one is touching the car until you guys give the go-ahead so you’re welcome to take anything you need from it.”



Cassie looked back at Tails one last time before stepping outside, “I’m sorry about all this, but if makes you feel any better her neck broke when it rolled, so it was quick and painless.”



“Thank you,” Tails said.



Cassie merely gave him a reassuring smile before stepping out and closing the door behind her.



“Tails?” Sonic asked, “Turn around and look at me for a minute.”



Tails took one last deep breath before removing his hand, which he had just fully realized has been resting on his mother’s shoulder, and turned to face Sonic. The expression on his brother’s face was almost alien to the kit, confusion mixed with what he could almost swear was pain. It was jarring seeing it on the face of someone was almost always boundlessly happy and carefree.



“Sonic, are you okay?” he asked.



“Come here, buddy.” Sonic stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Tails, hugging him tightly.



“Thanks, Sonic.” Tails returned the hug, carefully avoiding Sonic’s quills as wrapped his arms around him. Even knowing she would be okay, he couldn’t deny how nervous standing right next to her clinically dead body made him and that hugging his brother was making him feel better.



“Feel better?” Sonic asked as they finally broke apart.



“Yeah, I think I needed that.” Tails said



“You know, I’m gonna miss her to. She was a really good person and I don’t know if mission prep is ever going to be the same without her correcting us and threatening to throttle me if I let anything happen to you,” Sonic looked over Tail’s shoulder with a mournful smile, “of course I knew she’d never do it and it was just the mother in her talking,”



“I think she decided the day you drug me home and promised to protect me that she could trust you,” Tails said.



“I remember mistaking her for your sister and asking where your mom was,” Sonic said, “I couldn’t tell if she was insulted or flattered.”



Tails watched as Sonic reached over and shifted the sheet out of the way so he could hold her hand. Sonic motioned for him to hold it as well and he complied, flinching at how cold she already was.



“Hey, whenever you feel weirded at people thinking you’re my little brother, just remember that some people think your Uncle Kai is my dad even though I changed his diapers,” Melinda chucked.



It was a random and irrelevant memory brought on by Sonic’s comment, but he still couldn’t help but smile as her words echoed in his head.



“Something wrong, bro?” Sonic asked.



“No, that just made me remember a funny joke she once told me,” Tails said, “I know it seems wrong to be smiling right now when I’m still standing next to her but I couldn’t help it.”



“Hey, she wouldn’t want remembering her to hurt and I bet she’s smiling right now, too.” Sonic reached out and ruffled Tails’ hair, “Is there anything you needed to do before we go out there?”



“No, I think I’m ready,” Tails slid his hand free and watched as Sonic reached over and grabbed the bag.



“Is there anything you need from the car?” Sonic asked.



Her sword, Tails mentally noted that it wasn’t it anywhere in the ambulance and she didn’t go anywhere without it, keeping it hidden under the back seat. He just hoped he could come up with some excuse for it because there would be no hiding something like that from Sonic.



“Yeah, there actually is,” Tails said nervously.



“Come on then, I’ll help you,” Sonic opened the back door and motioned for him to follow.



Tails noted as they approached that the car had landed right-side up and the back door had been ripped off. It was a small relief because he knew it would be easy to fish the offending item out without drawing too much attention. A knot rose his stomach and he willed himself not to get sick when he got close enough to see the blood soaking the light-colored fabric of the driver’s seat and the dashboard.



“Oh man,” Sonic muttered the words, but Tails still heard them as he leaned against the frame and looked into the back of the car.



He barely noticed the sound of Sonic messing with something upfront when he saw a familiar piece of tan fabric pinned in the broken seat. Careful as not to tear it, he gently pulled the trench coat free and brushed off the dust and broken glass clinging to it. A smile crept across his face as he held it against his chest and smelled the faint odor of her perfume.



It was an article of clothing that he had grown to associate closely with his mother and memories being safely nestled under and snuggled up to her flooded his mind and left him happily spaced out until Sonic got his attention.



“You okay, bud?” Sonic gently nudged his shoulder, “you’ve been that way for a while, now and I was getting worried”



“Yeah, I’m fine, just trying to think about happy memories,” Tails gave a weak smile.



“Just wanted to make sure you we’re still with me,” Sonic reached out and offered him an object he quickly recognized as the knob off the gear-shift, “It may seem dumb, but I thought you might like to have this since you and her worked on this car together. I thought maybe you could rig it up to the Tornado for luck or something.”



“Thanks,” Tails took the handle and turned it over in his hand for a moment before remembering what he was looking for, “hold on, I almost forgot something.”



The inside was dark and cramped, but he felt around until his hand found a leather wrapped handle and carefully slid the sword out of the wreckage. He held it close his chest in some attempt to hide it.



“Whoa,” Sonic let out a long whistle, “that looks something out of Braveheart, what was it doing in there?”



“My mom studied history, remember? She liked historical weapons and this one was one of her favorites because she had Scottish blood. I remembered she had taken it with her this morning to have an expert look it over so she could learn more about it’s history,” It was a quickly made-up lie, but a simple and believable one.



“I guess I know what I could’ve gotten her for Christmas this year, even if it’s a little late,” Sonic closed his eyes and shook his head, “This still all seems so surreal, like a bad dream.”



“I still don’t know what to think,” Tails absent-mindedly hugged the coat even tighter.



“Oh God, this is horrible!”



Both boys were brought back to reality by a screaming pink hedgehog running towards them.



“I heard about what happened, is it true that she’s…” Amy trailed off.



“It’s true, Melinda’s gone,” Sonic said quietly.



“Oh God, No,” Amy’s voice shook as she spoke and she quickly brought her hands to her mouth, “are they sure it’s her?”



“Yes, Amy, it’s my mom in there,” Tails mumbled



“God, I’m so sorry,” Amy sobbed and wrapped her arms around Tails so tight he thought he could feel his ribs cracking and wheezed as the breath was forced from his lungs. He was thankful he had managed to quickly move the sword out of the way



“I’m gonna miss her so much,” Amy sniffed



“Uh, Amy. I know this all very upsetting but Tails still needs to breathe,” Sonic said.



“Oh, Sorry,” Amy tearfully let go of Tails and placed her hands on his shoulders, “please, don’t think twice about calling me if you need something or even just need to talk, okay?”



“I’ll keep that in mind, Amy,” Tails said



Shock, fear, and the burning urge to just scream it to everybody that she wasn’t really dead had put him on the verge of just shutting down because he could barely stand seeing how painful it was for everyone else and couldn’t even reassure himself when he had to keep playing along.



“Sonic, I think I’m ready to go home,” Tails said.


“Sure, buddy.” Sonic put an arm around his shoulder before turning to Amy, “Take it easy, Amy.”
Melinda Chronicles: Bonus Chapter Two
This one takes place right before Revelations, when Tails was called the scene of the wreck and is written from his PoV.
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Kai sat on the altar, his eyes locked on the front of the church and his ears listening closely for even the faintest footsteps, click of the door’s handle, or creak of it’s hinges.

The wait was excruciating, it had already been a couple hours since he called Melissa had called still no sign of either her or the children coming through those great doors.

It was not in his nature to be cynical, but fear had began to wear at his mind and every horrible thing that could’ve gone wrong cycled through his head. Were they okay? Was one of them hurt? Was she now trapped with them? Anger began to set in and he took a deep breath, willing himself to stay calm despite the impulse to hunt down Isa himself and make the monster pay for hurting the people he considered his family.

He had to calm the rage because he couldn’t abandon his post and had to be ready for anything. Whether it be just simply comforting them or treating wounds, it was his responsibility to take care of them and the fight with Isa was Melissa’s.

*creak*

The door began to open and his eyes locked onto the darkness at the front of the church as light from the street lamps out front began to pour in. He anticipated the worst until a nervous voice called inside.

“Uncle Kai? Are you there?”

“I’m right here, it’s safe.” relief washed over him as he nearly bolted halfway up the aisle and watched the two figures slink inside and make their way over.

“Come on, Cream. We’ll be safe here. I promise.” Miles guided Cream up the aisle.

“Are you both okay?” Kai crouched down and placed on a hand on Miles’ shoulder, glancing back at Cream, who was hiding behind him.

“I think so, just a little shook-up,” Miles answered before turning to Cream, “I think you’ve meant my Uncle Kai already.”

Kai smiled warmly at her as she cautiously stepped out from behind Miles and eyed him curiously.

“Yes, her mother is a good friend of mine,” Kai carefully reached his hand out to her, “Is everything okay, Cream?”

“Yes, I’m still a little scarred but I think I’ll be okay.” she stepped close enough or Kai to gently place his hand on her shoulder and looked up at him, “Aunt Mel says you’re like her, I heard Tails call you immortals,”

“That’s correct, it’s why she sent me to protect you.” he smiled, “You trust me to do that, right?”

“You’re friends with Tails and Aunt Mel, and even if you weren’t you’ve always been nice to me and my mother,” she looked down for a moment before smiling at him, “So yes, I trust you.”

She stood on her toes and wrapped her arms around Kai’s neck, and he gently returned the hug.

“I’ll make sure you get home safe once it’s all over and Melissa get’s here, okay?” he said quietly.

Cream stepped back and looked at him with confusion, “I thought Aunt’s Mel’s was Melinda?”

It dawned on him that no-one had likely had the chance to explain things more thoroughly to Cream about immortals yet.

“Melissa is just what I call her because she used that name when I met her. I guess I grew accustomed to it.” he smiled.

“I guess it’s like the way you’re the only ones that call Tails Miles.” she said.

“Something like that,” he laughed, “maybe I can explain if there’s time tonight.”

“Okay,” a look of realization and worry flashed across her face, “Cheese was with me when that bully grabbed me, is he okay?”

“He’s fine, safe at home with your mother,” Kai assured her.

“Thank goodness, I was afraid something happened to him,” she sighed, “at least I know he’s safe now.”

“I’m sure he’ll be happy to know your safe as well,” Kai playfully rubbed her head, “but for now, why don’t we wait in the back where it’s more comfortable and maybe a bit warmer?”

“That sounds nice,”

Kai began to lead her towards the back office until he noticed Miles not moving and turned to face him, “Are you coming with us?”

“In a minute,” he answered.

“Cream, why don’t go ahead and wait for us. I want to talk to Miles for a moment,” Kai motioned towards the door to the office.

“Okay,” she quickly made her way inside.

Kai watched the door for a moment before turning around and crouching in front of Miles, noticing for the first time that he was clutching Melissa's coat in his arms and hugging it, “Do want to talk about it?”

“I’ll be fine as soon as she makes it back,” Miles said quietly, his expression betraying that has was on the verge of tears despite his calm tone.

“Miles, I know you’re afraid and upset. You don’t have to hide it from me,” he reached out and placed a hand on the kit’s shoulder.

MIles’ merely looked away and held back a whine in response.

“I’m worried about her as well and I thought maybe it would help if we talked about it.” Kai said, “I only want to help you make the wait less difficult.”

Kai noticed Miles tearing up and gently pulled him into a hug.

“I’ll be fine, I just need a minute,” Miles said, putting an arm around Kai’s back and taking a deep breath.

“Don’t be ashamed. A warrior isn’t afraid to cry because tears come from love and that’s the strongest emotion you can fight for and the most worthy”

“Thanks, but I think I’m okay now.” Miles sniffed.

“Are you sure? If you need to let it out I’m right here.” Kai said, “It won’t make think any less of you, I promise. I just want to help you”

“Yeah, I’ll be okay,” Miles broke away and stepped back, taking a deep breath, “Let’s go check on Cream.”

Kai shook his head as Miles walked off and wondered how he became so stubborn and why he seemed almost afraid to open up to him. Had he accidently given the false impression that the kit had put on some display of toughness around him?

Maybe he really had gotten a little distant and needed to spend more time with him.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Do you really live here?” Cream asked as her eyes wandered around the dusty office.

“Not in this room, my bedroom is up in the attic. I only use this place as a study when I need it.” Kai pulled out the old desk chair and sat down, making sure he could see both the door and the couch where the two children sat clearly.

“Is that why it’s so dusty?” Cream asked.

“I guess I don’t study much,” he smiled, “Though I should to keep up with Miles when science happens.”

Cream giggled and Miles managed an uneasy smile.

“I guess you’re feeling better, Cream?” Kai asked.

“Yes, but I’m still worried about Aunt Mel.” she looked down, “I hope she can beat him like the heroes in movies always beat the bad guy.”

“She’s tougher than she looks,” Kai said, “and she did beat him once before.”

“She told she saved a little boy from him,” Cream smiled, “She’s a hero just Mr Sonic.”

“She is a good person, as long as I’ve known her she’s had no tolerance for bullies and always protected people,” Kai gave Miles a smile before turning back to Cream, “That’s why I always looked up to her so much.”

“Aren’t you a lot older than her?” Cream looked him over with confusion.

“It does seem that way, doesn’t it?” He laughed, “Tell me, how old to think we are?”

“Well, you look like you’re the same age as my mother,” Cream scrunched her face, “I remember Aunt Mel’s 29th birthday, but she looks a lot younger than that. It’s hard to tell though because Foxes and Wolves are so tall and makes you look older, at least to me.”

“She explained to you a little bit about Immortals, correct?” Kai asked.

“Yes, she said you guys heal really fast and if you do get hurt really bad you always wake back up,” she answered.

“That’s true, and it’s also true that we stop aging the first time we get badly injured, so most of us are a lot older than we look” Kai leaned back, “You were correct in a sense about me being around your mother’s age because I was 33 years old when it happened to me. That means I look like I did when I was 33 and always will.”

“So how old are you?” Cream asked curiously.

“I was born in 1772, so that makes me 243 years old.” He grinned.

Cream looked over at Miles, who managed to smile and nod his head yes, “and Aunt Mel is even older?”

“Well, the further you go back the harder it is to keep track of dates but she thinks she was 20 when she was hurt for the first time, so you’re right that she does look very young,” Kai began to explain.

“I thought she looked really young for a mom, like the old pictures of my mother from High-School.” Cream said, “When was she born?”

“As I said, she’s not completely sure because dates were hard to keep track of for the lower-class back then and she was the adopted daughter of a poor farmer. The closest she can get is the early 9th century,” Kai noticed the girls’ confusion, “That means sometime around the year 800, which makes her around 1,200 years old.”

Cream looked back and forth between Kai and Miles, the later of which managed a nervous smile and a shrug.

“That’s a really big number,” she spoke quietly after a moment, “I don’t know if I can even count that high,” she started giggling.

“What’s wrong?” Kai asked.

“Nothing, I just realized why Mr Sonic keeps calling her Grandma,” she smiled.

“and now with Grandpa back there we have the full set.”

Everyone turned to the door and noticed Sonic leaning on the doorway, grinning at Kai.

“Of course, since you said Tails here is sort of like your little brother that might mean I have to start calling her great-grandma,” Sonic laughed, “It just doesn’t roll off the old tongue, though.”

“So I guess that makes us all family, then?” Kai chuckled, “You and Miles are like brothers, after all.”

“A hedgehog, an immortal wolf, and a two-tailed fox. If that isn’t the strangest family I’ve ever seen, “ Sonic smiled, “but I’m a little rusty at this family thing so what do I know?”

Cream giggled at the exchange, attracting everyone’s attention.

“What’s so funny, Cream?” Kai asked.

“I guess now that everyone is friends, even Mr Sonic has a big brother to keep him out of trouble.”

“As long he is doesn’t break a hip, I’m always happy to have more back-up,” Sonic grinned.

“I think I’ll be fine,” Kai chuckled and shook his head, watching Sonic turn to Miles.

“Hey bro, you okay?” Sonic sat down on the arm of the couch next to Miles.

Kai watched as Sonic turned his full attention to the kids, smiling as he thought about how close the truth all that was. Melessa was something in-between a mother and a sister to him, Miles like his little brother despite the habitual use of the title Uncle, and he could see that Melissa was beginning to treat Sonic like a son just as much as Miles treated him like a brother.

One big, strange, slightly dysfunctional family full of love.
Melinda Chronicles: Bonus Chapter One
This chapter is the events that happened when Miles and Cream showed up at the church told through Kai's POV (takes place roughly the time as the later of half of Chapter 9 of Cold as Ice)
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The doors of the church creaked open and Melinda stumbled in. She grabbed one of the back pews for support and brushed her soaked hair out of her eyes. Every muscle in her body ached but that would soon pass if she gave herself a few minutes to rest.

“Melessia, are you okay?” Kai emerged from the back of the church and hurried across the hall to her side.

“Where are the kids?” She asked as he put an arm around her and helped guide her towards the back.

“In the office, I thought it would be safer than sitting out here in the main hall.” Kai said.

“Are then okay?” she asked.

“Yes,” he answered, “but are you okay? Is Isa...”

“I’ll fine, and yes. It’s finally over. Well, almost. There’s one last thing I need to do before I go home but I wanted to spend a few minutes with them first so they know I’m okay,” she smiled.

“I’m sure everyone will be happy to see you,” Kai said.

“Everyone?” she asked.

“Sonic showed up a while ago to check on everyone when he found out, he’s just been pacing the floor waiting for you,” Kai answered.

“At least I get a welcoming party, huh?”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Mom!?” Miles almost jumped off the couch in excitement

“Aunt Mel!?” Cream asked excitedly.

Melinda made her way over to the couch and the two kids slid apart for her to sit down between them.

“You two okay?” Melinda put an arm around each of them and pulled them close, smiling when she looked down and noticed MIles still clutching her coat.

“Mr Kai and Mr Sonic we’re here, so I wasn’t scarred,” Cream said.

“I’m glad,” Melinda turned to Miles, “Aren’t going to say something?”
“I’m fine, I just need a minute.” he had closed his eyes and buried his face in her side, “are you okay?”

“I’m fine, just a little sore and in need a warm shower,” she said.

“Shouldn’t you know by now old people like you shouldn’t be straining themselves?” Sonic finally spoke from across the room with a laugh.

“What’s that? I can’t hear you clear down there?” she chuckled, “You might have to stand on something.”

“Maybe you just forgot your hearing aids, Grandma? Do you need to borrow some from Grandpa over there?” Sonic teased, motioning towards Kai.

It was at that point that the entire room finally erupted in laughter, relieved at a normal moment.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Melinda stood staring at the gravestone, smiling despite the tears streaming down her face.. The name read Maxwell Blake and the date reflected a long life, 1807-1880. Next to this was a stone bearing the name Violet Blake that read 1805-1875. In the center of the connected stones was the year 1823 when they married.

To anyone else this stone was just a reminder of the past, but her it was yet another life she had nurtured and watched bloom. She was there from that terrible night in the warehouse, holding him her arms and stayed with him as a mother figure from that day on.

When his first child was stillborn there came a moment they were alone and away from judgement, and he broke down in her arms once again. He had spent too long trying to be strong for Violet and couldn’t lock it all away anymore.

She remembered him hugging her with joy and telling her she had become a grandma when Violet gave birth to his second son, and despite being a naturally smaller species and peaking at barely 3’ 10’, he still almost managed to lift her off the floor. It was times like the moment that followed, holding what she considered to be her grandson that she felt one of the greatest gifts of being immortal.

So much to think about in one moment, an entire lifetime flashing through her mind. Joy, sorrow, pleasure, pain, life and death. Emotions somehow simultaneously both conflicting, yet somehow still accentuating one another via the contrast.

“It’s always bittersweet, isn’t?” The voice coupled with the familiar tingling and static in the air pulled her from her daydream.

“Yes, but it’s hard to describe even after all these centuries. The pain of losing them cuts so deep, but at the same time you feel such happiness thinking back on the lifetime spent together. It’s almost like a warm blanket shielding you from cold or a beacon in the dark,” She took a deep breath and looked up at the night sky.

“You know, some believe that the the spirit world is somewhere out there in the heavens, and that each and every worthy soul rests among the stars,” Kai smiled as her gaze met his.

“Are the kids okay?” She asked.

“Miles ran off with Sonic and I made sure Cream was safe at home with her mother.” Kai replied.

“I’m surprised you’re not there with them,” Melinda said with a grin.

“I’m only friends with Vanilla, it’s nothing serious and-”

Melinda cut him off, “Come on now, I’ve known you for over 200 years. I can tell you like her,” she teased.

“Nothing like that, besides I’m too old and I’m not sure I’m cut out to be a parent,”

“You’d make a great father, you’re good with kids. I mean, you’ve been like the cool uncle to Miles his whole life,” Melinda said.

“That’s different because, well it just is,” Kai said, starting to turn red.

“Nonsense, and what do you mean too old? Unless you plan to find one of us that ship sailed about 180 years ago.” Melinda teased.

“Is this what it what feels like for mortals when their mothers keep asking them for grandchildren?” Kai asked.

“I dunno, ask Miles in about twenty years,” Melina chuckled.

Kai merely laughed in return and shook his head.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The first thing Melinda noticed upon entering the house was Miles on the couch, reading a technical manual, her coat laid across the back of the couch next to him.

“Had to wait up for me?”” she smiled..

“It’s really not that late and I couldn’t sleep, anyway” he said.

“I guess it’s just been one disaster after another, huh? Kind of hard to relax after all that.” she took a seat next to him and cracked her neck.

“Yeah.” he said.

“You okay?” she asked.

Miles stayed quiet and closed the book, placing it in his lap.

“You wanna talk about it?” she asked, putting an arm around him.

“Just give me a second,” she could tell he was holding back tears.

“Come on, it’s okay,” she hugged him tighter and he buried his face in her side, “It’s just us now, let it out.”

“I thought I’d lose you today,” he began to sob into her shirt and wrapped his arms around her, his body shaking.

“I know, honey, but I’m here now and it’s going to be okay.” she spoke in the most soothing voice she could manage, “so just let everything out.”

“I was just scared that I wouldn’t see you again,” he choked, “it was torture waiting for you to come through that door back at the church.”

“I was afraid to, afraid of having to leave you.” tears started to flow down her face. It had finally hit her full-force that this moment may have never happened, than those moments back in the warehouse could’ve been the last time she ever got to hold her son in her arms and she could’ve been ripped away. That he could’ve been crying for her instead of with her if he even made it out it all.

They cried together as she took her own advice and let it go, letting the pent-up emotions she had spent the last several hours since he was taken barely hold back wash away with her tears. Now that he was safely in her arms the time to be strong was over.

After a few moments they had both calmed themselves and she noticed Miles taking a deep breath.

“Feel better, now?” She asked.

“Yes, I kinda wish I had listened to Uncle Kai now,” Miles sniffed.

“He said you seemed to scared to talk to him,” she said.

“I was afraid I might start crying in front of him, but when he saw me start tear up he hugged me and told me that a warrior isn’t afraid to cry because it’s a sign of strength. He said tears come from love and that’s the strongest thing you can fight for. I think I understand now.”

“He gave me that one 200 years ago, it’s still one of the wisest things I’ve ever heard him say,” she smiled.

“I guess he’s always been smart,” Miles said.

“He says he learned it from me, but I sometimes I think the student has surpassed the teacher in that department,” she laughed.

“Did you mean all that stuff you said, about wanting me to the last thing you saw?” Miles asked.

“I meant every word. I’ve lived a long and full life and seen things most people can only dream of, and so I’m not afraid of death,” she kissed his head, The idea of leaving everyone behind is what scares me and that’s why it meant so much to me that I got one last smile out of you so I knew you’d be okay.”

“Is that why you told me to close my eyes, so I could remember you the same way?” Miles asked.

“Yes, and it’s why I made sure to tell you how much I loved you when I thought those were the last moments I’d spend with you. I wanted your last memory of me to be happy.”

“Thank you for saving me,” Miles said, still huddled up to her.



“I’ve got an idea,” she picked up the remote off the coffee table and flicked through the channels until she found an old movie they used to watch together. She then pulled down her coat off the back of the couch and covered Miles with it before placing her arm back around him, “I think we both need this tonight.”

Miles merely smiled and curled back up next to her.

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“I’m here, you son of a bitch.” Melinda spat the words as she stepped out of the shadows.

“I’d say I was worried, but I knew you care to much about the worthless mortals you surrounded yourself with. Especially the mutant brat you consider a son,” Isa didn’t bother standing up from the crate he sat on.

“Watch yourself, Isa,” She didn’t bother hold back her anger and her voice dripped with venom.

“Or what? I know you won’t attack and risk endangering those two brats,” Isa looked up and gave a wicked smile, and call me Frost. I’ve grown to like that name far more.

“If you’ve hurt him, I swear to God…” she clenched her fist until her knuckles ached.

“They’re fine, I assure you,” He finally stood up, “I figured I’d wait until you got here before starting the party.”

The rage continued to build away inside her as she watched him lean down and reach for something next to him. Her eyes were drawn to what at first appeared to be a pile of random junk covered by a cloth.

The realization of what it really was hit her as she saw something moving under it and she ripped it off the reveal MIles and Cream tied up, blindfolded, and gagged under it.

Miles was closest to him and he reached down and ripped the duct tape off his mouth.

“Mom, is that you?” His said, confused.

“Yes, I’m right here and I’m going to get you both out of here, somehow. Just hold in there.”

“You seem optimistic,” Frost finally stood up and stepped around behind them, ripping the tape from the girl’s mouth.

“Aunt Mel?” Her voice shook.

In one fluid movement he reached down and jerked the blindfolds off both of them, “Won’t be needing these anymore. I wouldn’t want to miss out on the show.”

Melinda locked eyes with the two children. Cream was obviously on the verge of tears and she could tell by MIles bloodshot eyes and uneasy expression that he had been crying as well, even if he tried to hide it.

“Let them go,” she stepped forward, only to have Frost quickly circle around and block her path.

“Ah, but I thought we could have a little fun first?” He beamed, “I just have so many ideas that I don’t even know where to start.”

A looked of realization spread over his face and he reached under his coat, drawing his sword. Melinda flinched as he approached her and placed the blade’s tip to her throat.

“I could start with you and make them watch,” he lifted his foot to step closer, but then backed off and turned around while rubbing the side of his neck, “I’m not giving you chance to try that trick again.”

With one fluid motion he spun around and sliced across her stomach, sending her to her knees gripping the wound, “maybe if you’re a good girl and let me have my fun, I’ll let them go.”

“Mom!” Miles shouted.

Cream merely held her eyes shut and sobbed.

Before Melinda could speak, Frost once again pressed the point to her throat and used it to force her to look up at him.

“You really do have such beautiful eyes. I know they say an eye for an eye, but I can’t bring myself to starting cutting on them,” He smirked and lowered his weapon.

“I swear, someone will come after you if you kill me. Especially if you hurt either of them,” blooded dripped from her mouth.

“Like they have a chance,” Frost kicked her square in the stomach, sending her sprawling on her side, “Besides, it just means I get to have more fun.”

Without warning he brought the sword down on one of her now out-stretched hands, impaling it.

“Damn you,” she hissed as he ripped it out.

“I’m sure that happened a long time ago,” He grabbed her hair and pulled her to her knees.



She felt the cold edge of the blade against the neck and fought back a tear as the realization of her fate hit her. The revelation that it would happen not 20 feet from Miles and Cream, and that they would be left to his mercy with her gone because the chances of him keeping his word were slim, yet he would also kill them if she fought back

She had failed them and played right into his hands.

“Please,” she almost whispered.

“What’s that, are you begging?” He laughed and and stepped aside where both her and the children could see each other.

“At least let them go and let me say goodbye,” tears began to stream down her face.

“Why should I, keeping you apart only makes it more fun. No last hug from mommy or auntie Mel to remember her by. Watching you dye as you beg me for mercy will the way they remember you” he pressed the blade closer, “although, these displays of emotion amuse me enough I guess I can let you live long enough to say goodbye from right here, so long you keep entertaining me.”

She looked up and noticed Miles barely holding it together while Cream buried her face in her hands and wept. Tears streamed down her face, but she forced a smile and spoke clearly despite the pain.

“Miles, I need you to listen carefully.” She said.

“Okay,” His voice shook.

“First I need you look up at me, please, Miles.” She hoped Frost was enjoying this enough to let her finish.

He looked up at her, and she locked eyes with him.

“I know it’s hard, but please give me a smile. It would mean the world to me if that’s the last thing I saw,” she spoke with a soothing voice.

“I’m scared,” he barely spoke above a whisper.

“So am I, that’s why I need you do this for me.,” she took a uneasy breath, “Do it for me, okay?”

“I love you, mom,” A smile forced it’s way across his face.

It hurt her, it hurt her bad knowing this was the last time she’d ever see it. The last time she’d hear him say those words. She only prayed someone would show mercy on her and allow her soul to go free, so she could at least watch over him from the next world instead of being trapped inside this monster like some kind of sick prize.

“Miles I love you to. I love you more than anything and I always will. That’s why I want you to close your eyes, and remember me like this no matter happens, let me smiling at you right now and only crying because I love you so much be your final memory of me, just like I’m going to close mine and let your smile be my last memory of anything,” she watched for a moment for him to close his eyes tight, before closing her own and letting her head hang as the blade pulled away, “Goodbye, kiddo. Tell Cream goodbye for me and that her Aunt Mel loves her.”

She braced herself, but the strike never came and instead she heard pacing footsteps, causing to her open her eyes.

“Damn it, I can’t do it. My pride won’t let me,” Frost was visibly frustrated, “I need to know I can beat you.”

Melinda took a deep breath and let the relief wash over her before speaking, “I’ll only fight you if you let me turn them loose and send them to safety,” she said.

Frost barely held back the frustration in his voice. “fine, do as you want and meet meet in the hangar next door and we’ll finish this.”

She watched him leave and waited for the slam of the side-door before approaching the kids.

“Can I open my eyes?” Miles said, his voice still shaking.

“It’s clear, for now,” She crouched down and drew her knife, thankful Frost wasn’t smart enough to take her stuff, “hold still a minute.”

Being careful as to not cut him, she set to work cutting his hands and feet free of their bindings and then moved on to Cream.

“Aunt Mel,” she said quietly, tears still streaming down her face.

“I’m right here, honey,” she finished cutting the ropes and Cream quickly threw her arms around her.

“Why did he want to hurt you like that?” she sobbed, “Why do you have to fight him?”
Melinda fell silent and just sat there rubbing the girl’s back for a moment before finding the words to speak, “a long time ago I caught him hurting someone, a kid not much older than you named Max, and I fought with him over it because he wouldn’t stop”

“So you were trying to protect Max?” Cream sniffed. “Just like Mr Sonic and Tails protect people from Eggman and it makes him angry.”

“Yes, just like that.” she answered.

“So you have to stop from hurting anyone else, now?” Cream looked up at her.

“I have to try my best,” Melinda pulled away and patted her on the shoulder before turning to Miles and holding out her arm, “Come here a minute.”

MIles complied and scooted over her to give her a hug. She held him tightly and took a moment to breathe and enjoy the moment, like the calm in the eye of a passing storm.

“Oh God, I thought you were done for,” he finally said, breathing heavily.

“Don’t get too comfortable, you still have to get her out of here and somewhere safe,” Melinda said, rubbing his back.

“But I don’t want to leave you here,” he said.

“I know, and I know you’re scared but Kai’s waiting for you to at the church and she’s gonna need your help getting there,” Melinda said, “Holy Ground, remember?”

“Immortals can’t hurt anyone, there.” Miles’ answered.

“Right,” she nodded, “there’s also one last thing.”

Melinda carefully removed one of her arms from around MIles and reached out for Cream, coaxing her into the hug as well. Once again, she fell silent and just held them both for a few seconds before finding the words.

“No matter what happens, I want you both to know I love you, okay?” Melinda teared up a little as she spoke, “Miles, you know the drill in case..”

Melinda trailed off at the last sentence, the thought to painful for her finish. Even then, she could tell by his arm tightening around that he understood.

“Don’t think that way, Mom!,” He said frantically, “I know you’ll win, because you have to. You’re too strong to lose to someone like him.”

“There’s always a risk, and I just want to make sure you know that you can depend on your friends and that Kai will be there,” Melinda said.

“That doesn’t matter right now, though. It doesn’t matter because you’re gonna win and come back for us,” Miles said.

“Yeah, Aunt Mel, please promise us that you won’t..” Cream barely choked out even that much.

“I can’t lie to either to you and say I’m not in any danger, but I can promise you both that I’m going to give it my all and fight as hard as I can,” Melinda said, hugging them both tighter.

“Okay,” Miles said, taking a deep breath, “I love you, Mom. Just please try to your best to come home safe.”

“Just try to stay calm, okay? It doesn’t do any good to worry about what might happen, just to be prepared,” Melinda directed her attention to Cream, “Cream, are you listening?”

“Yes,” Cream squeaked and hugged her tighter, “and I love, you.”

“You know Kai, right?” Melinda asked.

“Yes, he’s a friend of my mother. He’s really nice,” Cream answered.

“He’s also one of my friends, an immortal like me,” Melinda said.

“Is that why he’s so smart?” Cream asked.

“Something like that,” Melinda chuckled, “Miles is going to take you to the old church, he’s already there and he’ll protect both of you.”

“I’m scared, but I trust you and I trust Tails so I’m be okay,” Cream said, “I also know that Mr Kai is a good a person.”

Melinda held onto them for a while longer before finally loosening her grip, “You both ready?” Melinda asked.

“Yes,:” they both said almost in unison.

The three broke apart and Melinda suddenly had an idea as she noticed Miles’ still worried expression and remembered something he told her about the night of the car wreck. She shrugged off her coat and haphazardly folded it up.

“Here, hold onto this for me,” she handed the coat to Miles, who held it close to his chest, and leaned into to whisper in his ear, “Don’t be embarrassed to hug that thing like a teddy bear if that’s what it takes to stay calm. Your mental state is more important than your pride and Kai is the last person that would judge you.”

The coat was something she knew symbolized her to him because it was the one thing thing that always stayed the same no matter how much she radically changed her dress or appearance. It was the same coat she used to let him cuddle up under on the coach when he was little and they watched TV, and always remained a part of her because it was not only a way to conceal her weapon, but just as much of a security blanket to her because of those memories attached to it.

“Thanks,” he whispered back.

“Now come on, Mr. Hero, it’s time to go escort the girl the safety,” Melinda smiled and ruffled his head fur.

“Okay,” he smiled and began to help Cream up with his free hand, “Come on, Cream. I’ll hold your hand, would you like that?”

Melinda continued to smile as she watched them make their way to main door. Even on foot the church was only about 30 minutes away so she assumed they’d be fine.

The night was over for them, but she still had one last thing to finish before she could follow, and she prayed silently that whatever guardian angel watched over immortals would see her through the rest of the storm and deem her fight just.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“I’m here, let’s finish this,”

Melinda held her sword so tightly her hand ached and rubbed against the wood beneath the leather wrappings of the handle. She stood strong despite the fear gripping her, all doubt was erased from her mind and she silently promised that it would end here.

“You’re afraid, aren’t you? I can taste it in the air,” Frost took a step forward and drew a deep breath.

“Are you going to fight, or stand around talking all day?” She readied herself, spreading apart her feet and holding her sword in front of her body, ready to either strike or defend.

“I just want to savor it for a moment, enjoy the anticipation before I come in for the kill. Let the feeling build up to that final climax and surge of power,” he closed his eyes and spoke the words almost like they were a twisted form of poetry.

“You’re sick, you know that?” Melinda spat

“You still love to pretend you’re so different from me, I guess the little talk we had the other day fell on deaf ears, and I was so hoping you’d come around see things my way. Set yourself free like I have,” He said.

“Are going to shut up and attack me, or are you enjoying the sound of your own voice a little too much?” Melinda smirked.

“So eager to die, I wonder if a part of you enjoys your pain as much as I do,” he stepped forward and closed the distance.

“Who said anything about me being the one dying tonight?” She said.

In one fluid motion she stepped forward and struck for his good leg, but he dodged the blow with a quick jump back and countered by lunging forward and swinging his blade down, an attempt she easily blocked and and deflected by catching the blow against the flat of her own sword and and forcing it away.

An attempt to run him through easily side-stepped and and countered with a swing from the side towards her mid-section, which she easily flicked her blade up up to block once again before before twisted around behind him.

She followed up with a swing towards the back of his exposed shoulder, but he managed to shift his stance enough to reach up with his cybernetic arm and grab her blade.

“You know, these things aren’t for show and I guess I really should thank you for putting me on the waiting list. I never dreamed that someday we’d have this amazing technology that let me get replacements for the old ones that were better than the real thing,” He turned to face her and forced her back where he could stand right up against her and hold his sword to her neck, “losing your edge? Getting soft?”

“No, but you’re getting stupider to giving me this opening,” In one violent movement she drove her knee straight into his groin with all the force she could muster, sending him sprawling backwards and clutching himself.

“Son of a bitch,” he groaned in pain and attempted to straighten himself, “you sure fight dirty for someone that likes to play little miss guardian angel”

“I may try my best to play the hero, but I’m no saint and I have no delusions about honor being of any use against butchers and cowards like you. Honor is only for for friends and real warriors.” she lunged forward and and sliced him across the stomach before he could guard and sent him to the floor.

“You’re so much like me, maybe you’d be less bitter if you stopped denying it” He spat out the blood collecting his his mouth.

“I’m nothing like you,” Melinda swung for the kill, but he implanted his cybernetic foot into her stomach lifted her over his head, sending her flying with a powerful kick of his leg.

She caught herself and quickly rolled back onto her feet just as he jumped back up.



“You keep saying that, but you haven’t been able to give me one good reason to believe it,” he wiped his mouth with his sleeve and idly examined the blood staining the white fabric, “there’s something romantic about the way blood so quickly corrupts and stains the color white, don’t you think? It say’s something so poetic about how fragile and useless purity is.”

“Give me a break,” Melinda groaned.

“It’s true, it’s such a useless measure that’s changed so much from era to era, that’s I’m glad I stopped caring about petty human morality. I mean, isn’t so tiring watching the very concepts of good and evil change right before your eyes? Shifting so easily from saint to sinner in the eyes of this world?” Frost said, “It’s so much simpler just to live by your own rules and live for your own pleasure.”

“I’ve learned to find it quite inspiring, the mortals find a way to keep growing and learning right from wrong, bettering themselves with each passing generation as I grow alongside them. It’s comforting to see all the evils that were once encouraged by mankind's ignorance fading into distant memory,” Melinda stepped forward, ready to strike, “I also don’t deny my sins anymore than you do, but the first difference between us is that I’m ready to answer for them.”

“Like I give a damn, anyway. Keep holding on to your self-righteous delusions,” Frost lunged forward and threw a punch with his cybernetic arm, which she dodged and let narrowly slip by her head where she pinned his arm without letting go of her sword.

“You’re the only delusional one here, too blind to see that you’ve done nothing more than poisoned yourself with hate and sadistic self-indulgence” she drew her dagger and stabbed it into his stomach before twisting it and bringing her muzzle to his ear, “Which brings us to the second thing that what really separates us, I have a son that I love dearly, and friends that I love just as much. That means unlike you, I fight for love and that’s a kind of strength you could never understand.”

“Go to hell,” he spat as he fell to the ground.

“I hope I don’t, I have too many people waiting for me upstairs, and that’s what I pray to be forgiven for what I have to do,” she raised her sword over her shoulder and swung with closed eyes, landing the final the blow and listening as his body hit the ground with a thud.

A white mist drifted up from his remains and enveloped her as the static began to build in the air like the tension before a storm erupts, “I’m not afraid, you can’t consume me when I have so much giving me strength. No amount of darkness can snuff out love’s light.”

All at once the the room erupted with energy and she fell to her knees as the storm tore the room apart and her world with it. Light fixtures shattered into a rain of sparks and wooden crates splintered into flames as if consumed by hellfire.

“I won’t give in,” despite the lifetime of twisted memories rushing their her head she forced herself think of Miles, and to think of all her friends. Her memories fought to burn through his and she struggled her hardest to concentrate on them and the voices drowned out his hateful screams.

“Mom!, this is my favorite part of the movie!.”

“Aunt Mel! I finally baked something all by myself today!”

“Come on grandma, age before beauty,”

“Wow mom, you’re just like a real-life superhero!”

“Happy 29th birthday!”

“I guess now that we’re alone I should say happy 1100-and-something since we’re not sure on the whole year thing. I love you, mom.”

The conflict within her heart reached it’s peak as the sprinkler system finally cut loose and soaked her, like the apex before a storm ends and one final and recent memory floated the surface, one symbolizing the true extent of her love, his smiling face showing through the tears when she was using what she thought her last moments to comfort him.

“I love you, mom.”

“Miles I love you to. I love you more than anything and I always will. Goodbye, kiddo”

Just like that, it was over and and the world once again went silent save for the hissing of a few remaining fires being quenched. She just sat and thought about how oddly soothing the cold water was, almost like some kind of baptism washing away the last of her doubts.

It was finally over.

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Night had fallen by the time the two headed for home, leaving them alone on the empty streets with nothing but the glow of streetlights for company.



“Man, I still can’t believe you got the high-scores on all those cash-in games they made about Sonic and me,” Miles happily walked along next to his mom, his tails wagging behind him.



“Maybe I’m just that awesome,” she grinned, “and I guess the free home copies the developer always sends us may have helped.”



“I didn’t think you played those, I kind of assumed they collected dust after me and Sonic played through them once or twice for fun.”



“What, you think I’m too old to play with toys?” she feigned a hurt expression, “aren't I allowed to have fun?”



“It’s not that, it’s just that I didn’t think liked video games as much as I did outside of those racing ones,” he gigled, “If I knew we could’ve played a lot more together”



“I need something to do when you leave me all alone and go save the world,” she gave a playful grin, “besides, it’s kind of cute seeing that little sprite of you flying around the screen and beating up robots.”



“I mean, the graphics aren’t even that good and..” he blushed.



“Ah, come on. That cute little cartoon of you is almost as adorable as the real thing,” she teased.



“You like to embarrass me, don’t you?” he smirked, still blushing.



“Hey, it’s a mother’s job,” she chuckled, “besides, you know I only do it because I love you.”



“I guess I’d miss it if we didn’t tease each other,” he chuckled.



“It beats being ser-” she was cut off before she could finish by a loud boom and a splitting pain in her skull before everything went black.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



“I think she’s waking up,” unmistakably Amy’s voice, laced with something between worry and relief.



“Tails’ told me immortals could come back from almost anything, I guess he wasn’t kidding.” Sonic’s voice, carrying a mixture of shock and excitement.



“She’s just lucky it passed completely through, if our healing factor actually has to kick out foreign objects it takes far longer and consumes a large amount of energy to heal,” Was that Kai? “Thankfully that only happens when a small object like a bullet interferes with healing an inherently fatal wound like one to the heart or brain.”



“You mean like a battery?” Sonic asked.



“Not exactly, I mean as in the bodies natural resources. Calories, nutrients, sugars. Anything the body metabolizes for energy,” Kai answered, “Our life-force maybe borderline magical, but our bodies are still flesh and blood that can be strained just like yours”



“Wait!? Someone shot me?” her mind realed as she managed to find her bearings and put together what had happened, “Oh God. Miles was right next to me. Is he okay?”  



“Melinda, are you okay?” Amy asked.



“It’s Miles okay?” she groaned, sitting up and rubbing her head.



She watched as everyone in the room traded uneasy looks and and Kai took a deep breath. He was holding back anger and she could tell it.



“I heard the gunshots and when I investigated I found you dead with Miles nowhere to be found, Knuckles is out looking for him but there’s something you should know,”



“I’m already sitting down, so spill it,” she was nearly going into shock, to numb to really be upset or angry at any of this.



“Cream is also missing and I found this stabbed into your heart,” Kai pulled out an all too familiar object and she froze.



It was unmistakably the same knife Isa had used on Maxwell two centuries ago and an even more familiar blue ribbon was tied around the handle, the one usually tied around Cream’s collar.



“Oh God,” she felt the tears burning her eyes as she dug her nails into her palms, drawing blood that dripped over her fingers.



Every fiber of her being screamed out in fear, anger, and pain. Isa had them both and now she would have to face him to have any hope of saving them. He had backed her against the wall and now she had to fight just like a cornered animal.

“Kai told us everything, well I guess told me and Knuckles everything since Sonic already knew it all except him being an immortal,” Amy stepped forward, “I guess this is your fight, but we’ll do everything we can to at least track him down.”



“Yeah, no one messes with my little bro or kidnaps defenseless little girls on my watch, and we’re going to do every we can to help save them,” Sonic looked at her with a look of determination and anger that she rarely saw from him.



“Thank you, but promise me one thing” she forced a smile and tried to hide her eyes, “promise you’ll keep your distance if you find him.  I don’t want anyone else getting hurt.”



“I’ll try, but using this on him myself is pretty tempting,” she reached back and pulled out her hammer, “and it’s gonna be even more tempting if I find out he hurt Cream.”



“I have no objections,” Sonic smirked, “I know a ticked off mother protecting her son is something far more scary than I could ever be.”



“I just pray we find them in time,” she glanced up at Kai and her voice grew quiet as she continued, “I can’t lose them like this.”



“I’m sure we will and by this time next weekend Cream will be shopping with Amy, and you and I will be taking Miles on that camping trip we talked about.” he smiled.



“I pray you’re right,” she cracked her neck and leaned forward, “I guess it doesn’t do us any good to be pessimistic, we need a plan for finding them.”



“He didn’t leave a note or anything, just that thing and Cream’s ribbon,” Amy spoke with disgust.



“Yeah, if he wants you so bad why didn’t he leave a trail?” Sonic asked.



“I guess he’s just trying to screw with me and make me sweat, the bastard’s a sadist like that,” she sighed, “he wants me to have to hunt him.”



“I’ve never met him and he already makes my skin crawl,” Amy shuddered, “creep.”



“Trust me, you’d call him worse after being introduced,” Melinda cracked her knuckles, “He’s one of the worst people I’ve ever met, Mobian or Human, and that’s saying a lot when you’re pushing 1200.”



“He makes Eggman look like a saint,” Sonic added, “something about that look of joy on his face when he almost broke you.”



“If there was such a thing as a demon in a flesh and blood body, it would be him,” Melinda sighed, “I remember looking into his eyes and seeing nothing but hatred reflected in them, so hauntingly beautiful on the surface but concealing nothing but darkness underneath.”



“The worst of it is that he doesn’t look much older than me,” Sonic mused, “I wonder if he was born evil or whatever killed him that young broke him.”



“I don’t know anything about his past, nor am I sure I want to know how deep the trail of blood goes,” Melinda idly watched the cuts in her palm fade away.



“It doesn’t matter. A man like that is long past atonement,” all eyes shifted to Kai as he spoke and Melinda noticed a look somewhere between pain and anger on his face, “You spent even longer with my tribe than I did, so I’m sure you know we considered the needless spilling of innocent blood a point of no return, especially the blood of children.”



“I guess I was just surprised because I’ve rarely seen you even start to get angry,” she looked down, “I guess none of this can be easy for you, either.”



“It isn’t,” he sat in silence for a moment, “I’ve always considered Miles like a younger sibling in some ways, and I also promised Vanilla ’d make sure Cream got back safely.”



“I guess Tails has one heck a family for back-up then, doesn’t he?” Sonic smiled, “A 1100 and some year old Scotswoman, a blue hedgehog that can run faster than a 747 can fly, and a nearly 250 year old Wolf-Pack warrior.”



“Don’t forget me and my hammer,” Amy smirked, “Knuckles is pig-headed, but I’m sure he cares as well.”



“I guess that’s a hell of a cavalry, huh?” Melinda gave a soft chuckle, “I guess it’s time we rescue those kids and I know where to start for help.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



“You sure this a good idea?” Amy looked up at the worn down old house in front of them, “I mean, The Chaotix have no idea what’s going on and we don’t have time to explain.”



“Also, I’m not sure they could find money in a bank, let alone a deranged immortal serial killer and his hostages,” Sonic chimed in.



“I’ll have to take your word for that since I’ve only met Vector in passing, but every extra pair of feet helps and he seems trustworthy despite his faults,” she stepped forward, “besides, I have a cover story.”



“Cover story?” Amy questioned.



“Which reminds me, as far they’re going to know I’m my sister, Melissa McLeod from down south that moved here to look after Miles”



“Is that why you’ve been dressing like you’re going to cut a Country CD?” Sonic asked.



“I dunno, I think the tomboy look suits her,” Amy added.



“Sonic: yes, I’m surprised you noticed,” she turned to Amy, “and thank you, Amy. I also think Red suits you well, but we all have more pressing matters than my fashion choices.”



“Right,” both Sonic and Amy said in unison.



“Let’s get this show on the road,” Melinda took a deep breath and knocked on the door.



Several moments passed before the door lock clicked and it creaked open to reveal a nearly 6ft tall crocodile with a large gold chain around his neck.



“Hello, Ms. Prower, need some-” the color suddenly drained from Vector’s face and he kept mouthing words that never came out, words Melinda could make out to be things like “ghost” and “dead”



“Oh, OH! ah’m so sorry for scarin’ ya’ll like that. Melinda Prower was mah sister and ah I guess ah’ve been told ah’m the spittin’ image of that girl. Name’s Melissa.” she smiled, glancing back and noticing the horrified expressions of the hedgehogs and the barely concealed amusement on Kai’s face.



“Phew boy,” Vector sighed with relief, “I was about to have a heart attack.”



“ah do forget sometimes. Ah guess ah’m slow to react because it’s hard to accept mah poor sister is gone,” she looked down and rubbed her shoulder.



“It can’t be easy. I really can’t imagine what that poor kid going through and I’ve been meaning to pay my respects,” Vector frowned, “I don’t what I’d do if I lost my ma and I’m no hatchling.”



“That’s sort of why ah came to y’all, mah poor nephew gone and got kidnapped along with his friend Cream and-” she was cut off.



“WHAT!? Everyone get in here and let me get Espio. Some creep grabbing kids ain’t gonna happen on my watch,” Vector ushered them inside while stealing a quick glare at Kai, “ESPIO! WE HAVE A BIG PROBLEM!”

“There’s no need for shouting, Vector. I’m right here,” Espio called.



Melinda followed the voice to a nearly invisible form in the corner and her eyes sparked with curiosity when she recognized it as a natural form of camouflage some species of mobian are born with.



“GAH!” Vector jumped, “Would ya stop scaring me like that?”



“Maybe you should learn to be more perceptive, Vector,” Espio shimmered as his body faded into it’s natural colors of purple and tan, “You ARE a detective and an enemy spying on you so easily would not end well.”



“So familiar,” Melinda found herself staring into Espio’s golden eyes and trying to place him, unable to explain to herself how it felt like an old memory even though he was mortal and clearly around Sonic’s age. She looked over and noticed Kai looking at him the same way.



“Yeah, yeah, I’ll keep that in mind.” Vector said, “but I guess that means we don’t have ta repeat ourselves.”



“Correct, I heard everything and I suggest Melissa tell us everything she knows. It might aid us in assisting them.” Espio stood and approached the group, holding out his hand to Melinda, “I am Espio, pleased to be of service on such an honorable mission.”



“Melissa McLeod, pleased to meet y’all,” she shook his hand and noticed a look of curiosity flash by when he heard the name.”



“May I say that’s a beautiful name, one of my ancestors was called that,” he smiled.



“Maxwell?” the image of the green chameleon when he was Espio’s age briefly flashed through her mind and for a second she was looking into his golden eyes, eyes the same color as this kid’s, “You’re his descendant, aren’t you?”



“Thanks,” she caught herself smiling and tearing up, “I really can’t thank y’all enough for helping hunt down mah dear nephew and that sweet little girl”



Her eyes wandered to Kai and she noticed the look of realization on his face, he had

figured it out just as quickly as she had.



“It’s no trouble at all, just tell us everything you can,” Espio said.



“Not much to tell y’all, ah took the poor dear the video arcade tah help cheer him up and some lowlife wacked me good upside the back of the head. He was nowhere tah be found when this gentlemen and some of Miles friends found me.” Melinda said.

“And Cream, was she there as well?” Espio asked.



“No,” Kai spoke up. “Vanilla called me upset because she had gone missing and I was out looking for her when I found Melessa.”



“How do we even know the two are connected? There could be two whackjobs out there.” Vector said.



“No, I found this discarded near her,” Kai pulled Cream’s ribbon from his jacket pocket, “the kidnapper must have dropped it.”



“Any ideas who it might be?” Espio asked as he took the ribbon and examined it



“Ah do have this low-down skunk of an ex-beu that ah I wouldn’t think to good ta get back at meh like this.” she spat, “That weasel would rob his own mother at gunpoint.”



“What does this scumbag look like?” Vector asked.



“Little taller than meh, white, fur, white clothes, and the bastard only had one eye that’s a cold blue. The varmint also has some of them there fancy phoney body parts, a leg and an arm.”



“Cybernetic implants?” Espio asked.



“Yeah, them fancy thangs. The dumbass lost the real ones in a street race,” she smirked, “never could keep track of his thangs”



“That couldnt’ve been cheap,” Espio said.



“His parents were rich folk,” Melinda said, “I guess they bailed him out of trouble one too many times instead of letting him learn.”



“I’ll check every dirty hole in this city for him, you have my word,” Vector saluted “The Chaotix are on the case.”



“Then let’s move out, the cavalry is ready to come riding in!” Sonic spoke up from behind Melinda, attracting everyone’s stares, “What? I’ve always wanted to say something like that and it’s hard to make it sound cool when you have only have like two teammates.”



Everyone merely groaned in response.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



“I know where this road leads, but I don’t know if I can face him again,” Melinda finally spoke up after hours of walking with Kai around the grimy back-streets of station square searching for any sign of Isa.



“You already defeated him once, I’m sure he’s no more a match for you now than he was then,” Kai answered as he peeked inside a window.



“It’s not that, it’s just... I know it has to end this time and I’m sure I can, nor if I want to,” she looked down, “not if it means becoming like him.”



“You could never be like him,” Kai answered without turning around, “He’s nothing but a butcher and you’re a warrior protecting innocent lives.”



“Maybe now, but I’m afraid of what taking his head might awaken inside me,” she signed, “I can’t deny that everyone has darkness in their heart, whether it be a faint shadow or unrelenting blackness like his.”



“That’s why you hesitated the first time, wasn’t it? You were afraid of seeing into his heart when you took his quickening,” Kai looked back at her.



“Yes, like i said. The hatred and evil I saw in his eyes was horrifying because it was so absolute and he was confident in it. Not a shred of remorse or compassion,” she felt the fear set in.



“You thought it would break you,” Kai turned around.



“I mean, how do I know it wouldn’t consume me and make me like him? How do I know I’m stronger than him?” she felt tears flowing down her face, “I don’t want to lose myself to him and risk hurting anyone like that”



Before she could say anymore Kai wrapped his around her and pulled her close, where she buried her face in his chest. She couldn’t hold back anymore.



“As I said before, you are nothing like him and nor could you ever be. You have to trust yourself, and trust your friend of almost two and half centuries,” he spoke softly.



“How do I know I can? What stands between me and him?” she choked, “especially if he’s hurt them and driven me that much further over the edge?”



“I know because love can drive out even the deepest darkness, and I know there’s more of that within you than he could ever snuff out,” he gently tightened his grip.



“How do I know for sure, though?” she managed to choke out.



“Melessa,” he voice was soft, yet firm, “I saw the kind of mother you were to Maxwell, and the kind you are now to Miles and how much love them both. You would do anything to protect them.”



“Kai..”



“but more importantly, you were there for me when I was a pup found by the tribe. You were often the one to tuck me in at night and the one who held me when I had nightmares,” he closed his eyes, “and even more importantly, you were the first thing I saw when I woke up from my first death and remained my teacher and friend for the last two centuries.”



“I loved you like a son, and I still do.” she smiled and looked up at him.



“...and you’re like a mother to me. That’s why I have so much faith in you,” Kai finished.



Of course they both knew that, but it had largely become an unspoken bond over time and was the the thing she needed to hear that made the final piece of the puzzle click, and gave her the strength to fight on and put an end the monster that haunted her nightmares.



“Thank you, Kai.” she hugged him one last time before they broke apart, “I still wonder how it’s always me needing advice from you.”



“I guess I have a talent,” he smiled.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  



“Noone’s here, yet.”



It was nearing nightfall and Kai had insisted Melinda head home, where everyone had agreed to meet at dark while he kept looking. He said she was the pivotal member of the team and if any of them had information to bring back it would be best for her to be there to receive it.



“What’s this?” her foot collided with something as she approached the door and she knelt down to find a package, “A part Miles ordered? Feels like someone dropped it, to. It’s wet. I guess I’ll finally have to talk him into standing up to that moronic delivery service when this is all over”



She froze as soon she got the door open and the light from inside glinted off the red stain, blood.



“Oh God,” her heart skipped a beat and her hand shook as she opened the unsealed flaps. The thing inside made her drop the box and nearly her lunch with it as she collapsed and sobbed.



Miles’ head.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Melinda awoke in a cold sweat to the sound of a ringing phone and thanked God it had just been another Nightmare, while at the time cursing fate for deciding it was time to rub more salt in her wounds. She had stumbled in to wait for the others and must have passed out in her chair.



Willing her heart stop beating like a drum, she dug out her phone and read the Caller ID, it was Kai and she quickly answered.



“Find something?” she asked hopefully.



“Yes, and all because the talk we had with Rouge bore fruit,” he said.



“I don’t understand,”



“She noticed him dragging Miles off when she was flying overhead and followed when her conscience got the best of her. She trailed him to an old warehouse at the docks and managed to track me down a few minutes ago.”



“Which one?” she asked.



“She said it’s got a large pentagram graffitied on the door, you can’t miss it,” Kai answered.



“So I guess this is it, even if I could be walking into a trap.” she took a deep breath, “it’s all about the end one way or the other.”



“Are you ready to face this?” Kai asked softly.



“Yes, it’s all clear to me now and I’m ready as I could ever be.”



“Then good luck, Melissa. I’ll be waiting at the church,” Kai said.



“I’m going to try to send them there before the fighting starts, somehow. Keep them safe,”



“Of course.” he said calmly, “between me and the holy ground they’ll be safer than a pup in his mother’s arms”



“Thank you, hopefully I’ll see you when it’s over,” she stopped for a moment and thought before speaking. “I love you, Kai.”



“I know you will, take care and I love you as well.”



*beep*



It was time. the storm had come and she was ready.  Ready to answer the call and do whatever it took to save her son and to save Cream, and to make sure Isa never claimed another victim.
Seriously though, I actually remembered to upload something here, even if it was a one-shot fanfic.
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: I Stand Alone from Quest for Camelot
  • Reading: An X-Files Novel Called Ground Zero
  • Watching: The X-Files.
  • Playing: Half-Life 2 (PC)
  • Eating: Nothing ATM
  • Drinking: Iced Tea

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shobonimaster
Chris Snook
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
Current Residence: Iowa, USA
Favourite genre of music: Country, Rock, Soft-Rock, Hair Meta;
Favourite photographer: Robert Kenneth
Favourite style of art: Anime, Furry, Cartooning, Fantasy
Operating System: Windows 8.1
MP3 player of choice: N/A
Shell of choice: 12Gauge(works great on zombies)
Wallpaper of choice: Furries
Skin of choice: That depends, what can I say without being called racist? Does polymimetic alloy work?
Favourite cartoon character: Sally Acorn, Bunnie Rabbot, Rouge, Vector, Espio, Charmy, Lupe, Sonic, T-bone, Razor, Callie
Personal Quote: Theres morally wrong, and then theres "I don't have bail money" wrong
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Sapphire-Ashesx Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015
Happy birthday!
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shobonimaster Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks
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Sapphire-Ashesx Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015
You're welcome. How's it going?
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shobonimaster Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Not bad.
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shani-hyena Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fav!
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No prob.
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iriscup Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2015
Thanksforfaving by AudraMBlackburnsArt
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shobonimaster Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
No prob
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BroDogz Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2014
Thx for the fav!

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No prob
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