Protector of Chaos 2: The Rising Nebula – Chapter 5: Clash of the Leviathan ~Unveiling the Darkness~
A hard downpour appeared as the inevitable battle commenced. After an earsplitting screech, the Voltage Kraken stretched its open mouth wide and projected several orbs of plasma energy at the opposing G.U.N. soldiers. Some were able to dodge the incoming attacks while others defended themselves with their advanced technological shields. Racing forward, Shadow zoomed through the sands of the beach while avoiding more Plasma Shots from the Kraken. As he neared it, the savage beast charged a tentacle with electricity and slammed it down powerfully over the moving hedgehog.
At the last second before the impact, Shadow used Chaos Control to warp above the Kraken's massive cranium and unloaded a barrage of Chaos Spears. Instead of taking damage, the Kraken's metallic body had absorbed the attacks and swung another tentacle at the hedgehog, who warped once more and reappeared by Alter's side.
"It appears this creature is able to absorb energy-based attacks and use that energy against us," Shadow verified.
"Interesting... That's very similar to Malchior's power," commented Alter.
"If we can take away that armor of his, I can go all out."
"That might be a job best suited for Gizmo," Alter replied, turning to the red-haired wolf.
"Me?!" Gizmo asked in surprise, pointing to himself.
There was no time to debate however, for the Voltage Kraken had once more reinforced its lengthy tentacles and swooped two of them across the grounds, demolishing nearby buildings and trees. The sounds of people who had not yet escaped or were simply enjoying the show could be heard screaming in terror as everything collapsed around them, putting them in immediate danger. Shadow gritted his teeth in frustration.
Facing his fellow G.U.N. soldiers, he commanded, "Go evacuate the remainder of Titanic Resort. It's too risky for any of them to be here right now."
"Sir!" the soldiers answered, leaving at once.
"Silver, go assist them," Shadow continued.
"But I'm sure I can be of much use here!" the psychic hedgehog argued.
"Don't quarrel with me now," the black hedgehog said sourly. "Do as I say."
Silver growled lowly, but replied, "Yes... father..." and levitated away.
Alter felt a wave of awkwardness and astonishment come over him after hearing the brief dispute between the two hedgehogs. Shadow is Silver's father?! What the--
Lost in the muse, Alter barely had time to avoid an incoming hit from another tentacle. With him, Shadow, Omega, Blaze and Gizmo working together, they might just be able to pull this off. But they had to act fast. The real battle was only just getting started.
Omega looked down at Gizmo. "Follow my lead, petite lifeform."
Keeping in mind to not use any energy-based attacks, Omega launched forward with his rocket boosters while morphing his hands into a set of platinum coated drills. Gizmo's eyes widened as he interpreted Omega's plan. The Voltage Kraken unloaded more Plasma Shots from its mouth after the speeding battle robot, who swerved and drifted to evade the long-ranged attacks with advanced calculations.
Raising two tentacles, the Kraken lunged them forward but didn't count on Gizmo using his magnokinesis to lift Omega above the appendages and landing him on top of one. From there, Omega activated the drills and delved them through the Kraken's armor, sparks flying in every direction. Once the metal was weak enough, Gizmo focused his power and tore the armor off the tentacle, exposing the Kraken's raw flesh, leaving the remaining five armored tentacles next on his list.
Shadow smirked. "So that was Omega's plan."
"Let's not slow the momentum," Alter advised. "Here it comes!"
Enraged, the Voltage Kraken shifted its attention to Gizmo and projected two of its tentacles at him. The red-haired wolf extended his hands forward, forcing the tentacles to stop moving, then crashed them down on either side of him. The Kraken attempted to regain control of its limbs, but Gizmo kept them immobilized. Taking a chance, both Alter and Blaze vaulted onto both tentacles and proceeded to pierce through their steel-plated defenses using ice shards and charged flame kicks respectively until they were battered enough for Gizmo to remove with his magnokinesis.
Not waiting for the Kraken to attack again, Shadow darted upon the surface of the water and shredded through the last three armored tentacles with an augmented Homing Attack, making Gizmo's job a lot easier as the tentacles were each stripped of their armor. Only the metal of the head remained.
"It's time to wrap this up," Shadow declared.
Teaming up with Omega, the black hedgehog curled into a spiraling ball and hovered into Omega's empty arm socket. Taking aim, the battle robot fired Shadow into the Voltage Kraken's head, a streak of pulsing light in its wake. Shadow rammed powerfully onto the Kraken's skull, causing the armor to crack. The leviathan whimpered in pain as it rebounded from the force of the attack. After Gizmo dispatched the last of the armor, Shadow finished the Kraken off with several enhanced Chaos Spears, securing their victory.
Alter was impressed. Wow... He's gotten much stronger in the last two hundred years. I suppose that's no surprise.
Having witnessed the Voltage Kraken's demise back on Marduk, Volt and Trinity gazed down at the victorious Mobians.
"It would seem that the Voltage Kraken was not successful in stopping those fools or securing the Nebula Emeralds," spoke Trinity.
"No matter," Volt replied calmly. "Release the rest."
The group of Mobians watched in horror as Trinity dispensed three more capsules; two in the air and one in the water. In multiple flashes of light, a triplet of Voltage Krakens were summoned from the vials. The Krakens that were materialized in the air continued to hover in the direction of Titanic Resort, which was still being evacuated by Silver and the G.U.N. soldiers.
"This isn't good," Shadow stated, running off to pursue the flying Krakens followed by Omega.
"They might need my help," Gizmo said. "Good luck, you two."
Alter and Blaze nodded at Gizmo, then assumed their battle poses as he departed.
"This will be just like Gimme Shelter," Blaze spoke, recalling the time she and Alter fought against Dr. Eggman's forces within his not-so-secret base in Night Babylon.
"You and I remember Gimme Shelter very differently," Alter responded with a smirk.
The two raised their concentration as the Voltage Kraken shrieked its battle cry.
Meanwhile – Defending Titanic Resort
Scouring the abandoned sections of Titanic Resort for any signs of life, Silver paused in mid-flight as he picked up cries of help originating from under a pile of fallen debris. While the psychic hedgehog used his psychokinesis to levitate the rubble, the G.U.N. soldiers assisted the vulnerable civilians in exiting Titanic Resort safely. Everyone stopped what they were doing as two massive shadows loomed over the tropical estate, darkening every stretch of the land and expanding. Silver couldn't believe his eyes as he inspected the skies.
Two Voltage Krakens were soaring at great altitudes amongst the gloomy clouds. Consecutively, they proceeded to raze the resort with multiple Plasma Shots and strikes from their electrified tentacles. Infuriated, Silver lunged his held rubble at the Krakens with the soldiers following up with ammunition fire from their aimed guns. The attacks did little to no damage however, and the airborne beasts continued to level Titanic Resort uninterrupted, both drifting in separate directions.
In the distance, Silver could see Shadow, Omega and Gizmo heading his way. He ran up to meet them, the soldiers staying behind to continue firing at the Krakens.
"Please tell me I'm suffering from a hallucination and that there aren't two Krakens flying over our heads blowing everything to pieces..." Silver sighed.
"We managed to stop the first Voltage Kraken by using Gizmo's magnokinesis to remove its armor and destroying its exposed flesh," Shadow explained. "I believe you can do something similar if you work together with him. You two take down the Kraken heading towards the east while Omega and I handle the one going towards the west. Accept no casualties."
"Right – leave it to us!" Silver replied boldly.
With that said, the pairs disbanded, pursuing their assigned Krakens. Silver and Gizmo bolted underneath the Kraken, gathering as many objects as they could carry with their kinetic abilities. They simultaneously lunged their projectiles at its base, successfully drawing its attention from annihilating the resort to assaulting the two Mobians with Plasma Shots. Gizmo defended himself with a wall constructed of nearby scrap metal boards while Silver evaded the blasts by outmaneuvering them while levitating.
Going back on the offensive, they both manipulated three of the Kraken's tentacles each and tied them in several knots. Losing balance, the Kraken descended headfirst into an unpopulated area of the resort compiled of sand, crashing through a series of palm trees. Silver and Gizmo approached it cautiously, ready to finish it off for good. To their surprise, its entire body began to emit with sparks of electricity. They attempted to retreat, but they were too late. The Voltage Kraken released a powerful discharge that repelled the two Mobians away.
Meanwhile, Shadow had warped himself and Omega to the peak of their targeted Kraken and were pummeling it into submission. The Kraken attempted to swat the brutes from its body, but only struck itself as they dodged the tentacles and resumed where they left off. While Omega used a various of his tools and weapons to his disposal, Shadow ricocheted in the form of a spiraling ball from one section to another, cracking its armor each time he bashed against it. Nearing its limits, the Kraken induced an Electrical Repulse from its body, casting away both Shadow and Omega reminiscent to Silver and Gizmo's incident.
Back to Alter
Alter and Blaze had to stay on their toes as they swiftly and carefully fended off the Voltage Kraken's mighty tentacles. One tentacle was chasing Alter from behind while he dashed towards the right; another tentacle was on Blaze's tail as she raced to her left. When the duo met up, they both sprung into the air, resulting in the two pursuing tentacles crashing into each other. Landing on top of them, Alter and Blaze darted side-by-side as they made their way to the Kraken's head.
Seeing them draw nearer, it ejected a series of Plasma Shots. They both did their best to avoid getting hit, but they were caught off guard when the Kraken lifted its tentacles suddenly, damaging them both as the spheres collided with them. Blaze was knocked back onto the sandy surface of the beach, but Alter managed to save himself with an ice platform and proceeded to circle the Kraken in midair.
"You managed to hurt my friend, you foul creature," the wolf spoke, keeping his eye on it and staying out of range of its tentacles. "I'll have to teach you a lesson. Lucky for you, I have a brand new, never before-seen trick that I've been saving up just for a moment like this. So maybe you're not so lucky."
Still on the move, Alter aimed his hand at the water surrounding the Kraken and shouted, "Mistral!" Everyone present watched in awe as a stream of cold vapor flowed from the wolf's palm, petrifying the ocean's water in solid ice, but not completely just yet. In an attempt to regain mobility while the water wasn't one-hundred percent frozen, the Voltage Kraken generated massive surges of electricity in the water, causing geyser after geyser to erupt around it and melting the newly created ice, but Alter wasn't ready to give up just yet.
He extended both hands to the sides, holding them in a horizontal positional. A howling, blistering, frigid gust of wind was summoned, imprisoning much of the ocean and the geysers in solid ice once more. Unable to move or manifest more geysers, the Kraken moaned in despair. At Marduk, Volt was tensing up with frustration as Alter slowly snagged his victory.
"Don't worry, my sire," Trinity spoke, noticing her master's irritation. "I have an idea." Raising her hand, a bright light enveloped it until an object came into view. Holding it out in front of her, the gems of the Jeweled Scepter sparkled intently under the lights of the ship's control room.
Blaze immediately spotted it, her temper peaking. "The Jeweled Scepter!!"
The white rabbit smirked. "This is what you're looking for, correct? Come and get it!"
"With pleasure...!" the Sol guardian growled.
Still continuing his attack, Alter gasped as Blaze clenched her flaming fists, falling for the bait. He tried to warn her, but his words had fallen on death ears. The cat ignited two powerful fireballs and lunged them at the Voltage mother ship. To her surprise, a mirror appeared in front of the ship and deflected the blasts in Alter's direction, resulting in two things: the sturdy ice melting from the ocean, and Alter falling deep into its depths.
Blaze's eyes widened after realizing what she had done. "B-but how...?!" Sharply turning back to Trinity, the Voltage agent cackled madly as the Jeweled Scepter vanished from her hold. It was just a hologram and the real thing was likely far out of her reach. She returned her attention back to her fallen comrade, rushing up to the edge of the shore. "Alter!!" She attempted to dive in to rescue him, but the now mobile Kraken unleashed a devastating wave of electricity onto the surface of the water that quickly traveled all throughout it, shocking Alter in the process.
Descending lower and lower into the darkening abyss, barely conscious and partly stunned, Alter grimaced as he tried to move. The combined paralysis and the pressure of the water that intensified the lower he sank made it near impossible for him to do anything. Another pulse of electricity sheared through the water, doubling the pain he was already enduring. Feeling himself slip into unconsciousness, Alter squinted his eyes as he gazed at the Necklace of Darkness dangling from his neck.
He reached out to it with a stiff hand, the two jewels of the necklace beating a soft but reassuring light that tempted his curiosity. Once he made contact with it, a dark, sinister aura began to outline his form. From the shores of the beach, Blaze could see a circle of purple light bubbling and expanding the closer it got to the surface. Emerging was Alter cloaked in the shadows of darkness, a sight she hadn't seen since Mephiles' departure from his body.
Observing him, Blaze could see that his emerald green eyes were now a mysterious blue-violet, and the circuitry on his attire had changed from red to purple. The jewels of the Necklace of Darkness shined with a brilliant radiance. The wolf appeared calm and tranquil; no sign of rage or any form of hostility. Blaze wasn't sure what to make of it. During his Dark Alter transformation, he would normally be wild and out of control with a thirst for combat. But this time, something was different. Was it possible that Alter could now control the power of the very spirit that attempted to manipulate him?
Hovering over the water, Alter curved in the air while extending his arms. A circle of symbols appeared on his back, a burst of power in its wake. Stretching from it were two translucent wings – the Ailerons of Lunaros, granting him flight without need of his ice platform.
Volt eyed the dark transformation. "This could be troublesome..." he muttered, leaning forward to the ship's microphone. "Calling all Voltage Krakens. Return to Marduk immediately."
Digging themselves out of the sand, Silver and Gizmo witnessed as the Kraken they were fighting untangled its tentacles and soared away from them. They exchanged worried glances, then proceeded to follow it. After regaining their composure, Shadow and Omega raised their fists as their opposing Kraken prepared to swoop down on them, but it suddenly changed directions and joined up with the other Kraken. The two G.U.N. agents pursued it, crossing paths with Silver and Gizmo once again.
"What's going on?" the psychic hedgehog asked.
"Your guess is as good as mine," Shadow answered.
They trailed the two flying Krakens back to the shores of the beach and inquired Blaze for an update, but the cat was speechless. She simply kept staring out into the sea where the three Krakens had reunited, encircling a figure besieged in an illuminating aura.
"Who is that?" Gizmo requisitioned.
"Is that...?" Silver uttered.
"It can't be...!" Shadow said in disbelief.
"But it is," Omega chided in. "Alter has achieved complete control over the dark power bestowed by Mephiles the Dark, and nothing can get in his way. I estimate this battle will reach its conclusion in approximately five seconds."
"I second that," Blaze concurred.
All at once, The Voltage Krakens ceased all movement and opened their mouths. Aiming at Alter, the trio channeled massive surges of power and unleashed it, three perilous Plasma Lasers coursing after the wolf, who remained where he was. Snapping his fingers, a pillar of darkness spewed around him, holding the attacks off. The Krakens surged more power into the lasers, eventually succeeding in breaking through the defense, a dark cloud appearing in the collision.
When it evaporated, everyone wasn't too surprised to see that Alter was no longer present. While the Krakens scanned the area to identify his whereabouts, he abruptly appeared from above a Kraken with two Shadow Blades originating from the gems of his gloves. Diving down, Alter pierced through its cranium with ease, finishing it. He then swiftly composed a Dark Disc and lunged it at the tentacles of the other Krakens, severing their limbs and causing them to cascade into the ocean below, a gigantic wave surfacing in the aftermath.
To end the conflict, Alter produced a dark void below the floating heads in the water, drawing them into it and swallowing them whole. Once the deed was complete, the portal vanished and Alter reassembled with his friends on the beach and retired from his dark form, his normal colors returning. Shadow was the first to greet him.
"I see you've finally learned to control that dark power," the black hedgehog spoke.
"Yeah... It was almost instinctive..." Alter said, almost distantly as he held the Necklace of Darkness.
"You were so incredible, Alter!" Gizmo cheered. "I've never seen anything like that before!"
Alter rubbed the back of his head with a shy grin. "I could hardly believe it myself. But I don't think we're done here just yet."
Everyone turned to the Voltage mother ship, Blaze marched forth. "Hand over the Jeweled Scepter," she demanded with spite in her tone.
Trinity sneered. "Do you really want to try that game again, hot head? Get lost. We've no time to play with you now."
Seeing that Blaze was about to lose her temper again, Alter cut in front of her. "Blaze, we have what we came for. Now is the time to retreat and begin searching for the next Nebula Emerald."
"I don't care about the Emeralds!" the cat snapped. "My mission is to retrieve the Jeweled Scepter to save my dying world!"
"But Blaze," Silver began, jumping in the discussion. "I thought we had an understanding. If you stay with us and help with collecting the Emeralds, we could help you get closer and closer to the Jeweled Scepter."
The cat grunted. "I will not simply stand by and run with my tail between my legs when the leader of the Voltage Empire – the organization that stole the Jeweled Scepter in the first place – is not but a few feet in front of me. I will force him to take me straight to it."
"You are more than welcome to try, my feline friend," Volt spoke from above.
"We are not friends...!" Blaze snarled, flames crackling from her hands.
"Blaze! Don't!!" Silver pleaded, but the Sol guardian had made up her mind.
She rushed forward and leaped in the air, preparing to bombard the Voltage mother ship with multiple fireballs. However, she was instantly intervened by Alter, who not only defended Marduk with a shield of ice, he also counter-struck Blaze with a flip-kick, plunging her back down on the beach. Everyone present – especially Volt – gasped in surprise. Why had Alter protected them?
Blaze gripped the sand between her fingers as she got back on her feet, Alter standing opposite her. "So you are still working for them...!"
"No, Blaze," denied Alter. "I just--"
Before Alter could explain himself, Blaze retaliated with a charged flame kick, sending Alter flying in the air and also causing the newly recovered moissanite clear Nebula Emerald to fall into the ocean. For a moment, it seemed like time had frozen at the sight of the Emerald slipping out of possession.
"THE EMERALD!!" Volt shouted from his mother ship. Seizing the opportunity, Volt boarded a submarine at lightning speeds and departed the ship. Gizmo took notice and held the submarine in midair with his magnokinesis, but was quickly forced to release it as Trinity teleported from the mother ship and knocked the red-haired wolf away with a kick. While she single-handily warded off the group of fatigued Mobians, Volt delved into the waters after the long-sought out Nebula Emerald.
On the undersea monitor, a dial was circling its radius. A tiny but faint dot could be seen fading in and out as the submarine pinpointed the location of the Emerald, and the signal was getting stronger by the second. At last, he could actually see the Emerald declining before his eyes. The operator of the ship controlled a crane on the exterior of the submarine and used it to capture the Emerald. Volt immediately commanded him to deliver it inside. Before he could, a figure appeared by the crane and disconnected it with a powerful kick, setting the Emerald free to Volt's dismay. Taking the Emerald for themselves, the figure departed back to the surface.
The operator turned the submarine to pursue them, but the ship was tackled without warning by a group of blue whales. Suffering internal damage, Volt knew he wouldn't be able to escape with the submarine in this condition. He sighed. "It is customary for the captain to go down with his ship... Fortunately..." he paused to smile. "...I'm not the captain of this ship." He then teleported from the submarine and returned to Marduk, leaving the captain to his fate.
Spotting her sire's return without the Emerald, Trinity stopped fighting. "You win this round. But next time will be different, and there will be a next time..." She vanished in a puff of smoke and reappeared by her sire's side. The ship then took off, leaving to fight another day. Gizmo rushed over to Alter, who still hadn't recovered from Blaze's attack. In fact, he was unconscious.
Using that dark power earlier must have really exhausted him...
Silver ran up to him. "Where's the Emerald? I didn't see Volt leave with it."
"I was wondering the same thing..." Gizmo admitted.
Shadow snorted. "There's only one person who can steal a gem from under everyone's noses without getting caught. Isn't that right... Rouge?"
"Better believe it!" a feminine and sassy voice answered from above.
"Of course..." Silver groaned.
Descending down from the sky, wings spread wide, a white-furred bat wearing a dark colored body suit made her presence known. She had twisted red designs on her head and along the corner of her eyes, which flashed with a warm topaz hue. As she landed on the sands of the beach, she held the moissanite clear Nebula Emerald to her face.
"My, my! What beautiful facets you have, my little angel..." the bat said in wonder, her curiosity piqued after seeing a passed out Alter. "Mmm, hmm... Did you boys start the party without me again?"