Warnin’ o’ author’s note, whatever. N-E-ways, yeah yeah yeah, dere gonna bes some sexual stuffa, profanity anna violence wit all da blood anna stuff. Sooo, U kiddies bewares ‘kay? Not is dis one though, *Grumble grumble stupid warnin’* Anna Sonic, Tails, anna Sally anna all related characters are copyrighted by Sega and/or Archie Comics and/or DIC Productions. Spells (C) offa Squaresoft such assa Ice3. Randy (C) ta himself. All other copyrighted bya mes anna da City Keepers!! BTW: though some Japanese words are used, their not used inna da way offa japanese grammar.

Emerald and Brass Chapter 5 by Nin’nako Foxie
Let the Hunt Begin...

“Okay,” said Dimitri. “You know, if we really really wanted to we could blow the planet into pond scum.”
“Pond Scum?” Asked Sally, raising an eyebrow.
“Perhaps we should at least consider Chaonen’s proposal,” said Lacoria, brushing her red hair from her green eyes. “After all, the city is huge and there are six of us and Draca and Chita. Chaonen said there would be four of them right? I mean who else would be a match for us but him and Mecha Knuckles?”
“We shouldn’t take this insane chance. We have no idea who his two other chosen ones are,” replied Sally. “It’s too much like a game.”
“To Chaonen, it is a game,” growled Dimitri.
“I’ll will have to think about this,” said Sally. She turned and left the room.
“This is such a hard decision,” said Tails.
“I know buddy,” said Sonic. “But man o’ man do I want a clear crack at Chaonen!”
“Who doesn’t Sonic?” Smirked Dimitri. “Who doesn’t.”

Thunder could be heard from a distance. Chaonen flinched slightly. Thunder meant lightning. He walked away from the window and sat by the fireplace in his living room, waiting for their answer. He could have sworn he heard a crow cawing.

Socara followed her Shadow servant to the weapons chamber. It spun lazily and said, “Chaonen-daimyou has said for you to choose a weapon. A weapon of skill, a weapon of swift, a weapon of light, a weapon at your command.” She blinked at the Shadow, not sure what to do. “Close your eyes, and let the energy of your mind choose the weapon of its choice.” Obediently, Socara closed her eyes and emptied her mind. At first there was silence. Then a clink. And a long object landed in her out stretched hands.
She opened her eyes to find that in her hands was what appeared to be the pummel of a sword, no blade. It was about the length of her forearm and had several claw like extensions from the side. Cradled in the claws, was a smooth crystal. Suddenly, a blade of light shot out from the crystal. Socara screamed and dropped the sword.
The blade flickered then went out. “Hmmm... Nin’nako crystal,” noted the Shadow as it floated around it. “Pick it back up.” Hesitantly, Socara picked it up. “Will the blade.” The blade appeared again. “Will it off” The blade went out. “You have your weapon.”

        “Tomorrow is our big day,” said Sally. “It’s a direct order that all of you come back alive. You hear me?”
        “Yes!” Shouted all the Freedom Fighters at once, ready for action.
        After all the others had left, Sonic walked over and hugged Sally.
        “Did I make the right decision, Sonic?” she asked.
        “Right enough, never know these days,” he replied.
        Sally sighed and relaxed in his strong hold. “Tomorrow then, may the Ancients bless us.”
        “Righto,” Sonic smiled, then went to his room.
        Sally stood for awhile, alone in the war room. Then laughed. “You’re not going to win this one Chaonen. Your arrogance is finally going to prove you’re downfall.” She pushed her hair away from her face, and went to her room as well.
        Metal floated by the window beams supporting the ceiling, not quite as confident as Sally.

        More thunder, more lightning. Chaonen wiped the sweat from his face. Laying by his feet was an unconscious Socara, a large bruise beginning to turn blue by her left eye. She had put up a huge fight this time and Chaonen hadn’t been in the mood. Chaonen checked the last details of the spell, then slumped into a chair.
        The Shadow appeared by his arm. “Do you need anything, Chaonen-daimyou?” It asked. He waved it away. But it appeared again with a cup of tea. “Was this one more strenuous, Chaonen-daimyou?”
        He nodded. “It will last longer,” he said, drinking the tea. The bitter taste told him that the Shadow had added some extra herbs to help him regain his strength. Which caused Chaonen to fall into a deep asleep before he noticed the Shadow had covered Socara with a thick blanket.

        The next morning, the rain hadn’t stopped, nor the thunder and lightning. Sally wrapped her cloak thicker around herself, and motioned for the Freedom Fighters to stay where they were.
        “It’s a bad omen,” Dimitri muttered to Lacoria, looking at the dark sky. Lacoria gently squeezed his hand.
        They watched as Sally walked up to the palace gate. She spoke briefly to the guards. One of them shouted to another guard, then they opened the gates. Sally motioned for only Sonic to come with her.
        Sonic followed Sally passed the gates. He noticed one of the guards was Chita, who made no move to show that she knew them. Inside, it was warm. A nice feeling after being out in the rain, but it also had a cold feeling to it. More mental than physical. A guard was leading them to the Throne room, and another guard following them. They passed several indoor ponds surrounded by plants, even with live fish. Sonic was surprised to see these. It gave the halls a pleasant look especially with the bright tapestries lining the walls. The guard stopped at the Throne Room doors and told them to go in. Then closed the doors after them and returned to his post.

        Tails fidgeted by Lacoria. She gave him a warm, reassuring smile, then looked back at the castle. “Hey, where’s Metal?” asked Tails.

        Sally was astounded to see a large walkway above a pond that cascaded into waterfalls, filling the lower half of the throne room. The pillars in the water where lined with ivy. It was so beautiful. But Chaonen’s presence ruins the affect. She thought bitterly.
        As usual, Chaonen stood in the middle of the throne room with a smirk on his face. “I suppose it would be the proper thing to bid you welcome.”
        “I doubt you would want to lower yourself to our level,” Sonic said sarcastically.
        “Now, now, no need for that type of attitude,” Chaonen replied. “I trust you have your own prepared.”
        “Yes, just set out the ground rules and who your people are,” said Sally.
        “Rule #1: None of you may leave the city. Rule #2: No unnecessary killing of citizens. Rule #3: You must stay for a full 48 hours,” Chaonen said.
        “And your troops?”
        “You already know them,” Chaonen hissed with a smile. Mecha Knuckles teleported beside him.
        “That’s one.”
        “I am number two,” said another metallic voice.
        “Metal?!” Shouted Sonic. “Traitor!”
        Metal flew by them and landed by Mecha Knuckles.
        “Also, no guards or citizens will be attacking or getting in your way,” explained Chaonen. “The third is behind you.”
        Sonic and Sally both whirled around, and gasped. To them, she barely looked older, though it had been nine years and her legs were no longer robotitized, but her bangs and dreds were white as ever and eyes still that emerald green. Socara stood leaning on a pillar by the doors, sword hanging from her belt, and a large bruise now turning black. “Socara?” gasped Sally. She turned back on Chaonen. “You monster! What have you done to her?!”
        “Nothing of your concern,” laughed Chaonen. “You have a half hour head start.”

        Sally stormed out of the palace, passed the gates, and to the waiting others. “We’re getting that Chaos Emerald! You got me?”
        “What’s got you going Sally?” Asked Tails.
        “The enemy list,” said Sonic.
        “Who’s on it?” asked Dimitri.
        “Metal...Mecha Knuckles...and...,” said Sonic, he sighed. “And Socara.”
        “What?!” shouted Dimitri. “Socara?! And Metal?! Hell! She’s alive?”
        “Yes,” growled Sally. “Please, try not to hurt her too much, but she’s still an enemy. We have a half hour head start.”
        “Split up,” said Sonic, “ and meet at out usual rendovou place at midnight.”
        “Dimitri and I, Sonic and Lacoria,” said Sally. “Tails, are you okay with being by yourself?”
  “Sure, Sally. After all I have my illusions,” he said with a reassuring smile.
        “I wish you all luck, and see you later,” smiled Sally. And they went their separate ways.

        Dimitri and Sally wondered towards the market place, perhaps all the people would make it harder for Chaonen, or whoever to spot them. As usual the market was bundling with people. Merchants shouted out their wars, and buying shouted out what they were willing to pay.
        “Sally, you okay?” Dimitri asked suddenly.
        “Yes, why do you say so?” Sally replied.
        “You know, ‘bout Socara. I remember she was like a daughter to you,” Dimitri said.
        “Ever since Knuckles and I found her. Abandoned and all alone on the Floating Island, she was my daughter, though I wish it were in better times.”
        Dimitri nodded thoughtfully, “Think Chaonen cast that mind spell on her?”
        “Maybe. I hope so.”
        “You hope so?” Dimitri asked, surprised.
        “If he didn’t and she really is against us, I think my heart would break. When Sonic was under that spell, my heart was screaming inside. But I tried to stop him, ‘cause I remembered that he once said, ‘If I even turn bad, Ancients help me now and kill me.’ With Socara, I never really understood her thinking. So...”
        “15 more minutes.”

        Lacoria and Sonic walked toward the park, less people to spot them. “15 minutes,” said Lacoria.
        “Worried?” asked Sonic.
        “How could I be with the Cool Blue around?” Smiled Lacoria.
        “That’s the attitude, girl!” Sonic grinned back. “We’re gonna kick their butts huh!?”
        “Even Socara’s and Mecha Knuckles’?”
        “If push comes to shove.”
        “I’ve never encountered a friend who had been robotized. I don’t know if I could fully attack them.”
        “I have. It sucks, but then you realize, they’ll kill you if you don’t kill them.”
        “How harsh.”
        “That’s the way it is. But Chaonen didn’t robotized many of us cool Freedom Fighters. Kinda liked to kill.”
        “I remember when I joined. Chaonen had attacked my village, like so many others. I wanted revenge so bad. I hated him for all he’s done. But that also brought me to Dimitri.”
        “He’ll be fine. Guy’s got a lot or spirit for someone hundreds of years old.”
        “What if this battle invokes Enerjak?”
        “Don’t worry girl,” reassured Sonic. “He’s in check with himself. And like you said, the Cool Blue is here.”
        “1 minute.”

        “1 minute,” Tails said to himself. He had taken the direction of the central square. In the center was a lovely fountain, water merging with the rain. To his left began the market, with Sally and Dimitri only two blocks away. To his right was the park, Sonic and Lacoria only a ways behind the trees. Infront, a couple of shops. To his back, the castle. Many people milled around the area chatting with each other. In the spring, there usually was a festival here, the place to see others. He walked under an overhanging to get out of the rain. Two others were also there. A red skylander fox/cat with black wings was lighting fire cracks. A blue winged-fox was laughing and jumping up and down as the firecrackers popped.
        “Whacca fun! Isn’t it bes Randy?” She asked, with a big grin on her face.
        “Yeah, I suppose,” sighed Randy. “I’m out offa here.” The skylander fox then walked out into the rain and turned the corner out of sight.
        “Bye Randy!” The fox shouted. She bent down to pick up the remaining firecrackers, but then tripped on the large black robe she was wearing and slammed into Tails, causing them to fall into a mud puddle.
        “Ow!” Shouted Tails!
        “Ack! Sorries!” Shouted the fox, quickly getting up and helping Tails up as well. “Mes sorries, Mr. Fox peep!”
        “That’s alright,” Tails said, brushing mud off of his cloak. The fox helped brush some off too, then stuffed the firecrackers into her sleeve. She handed Tails a towel. He accepted it and wiped the mud from his face. Must have had the towel in her robe, he thought. “Thanks.” He handed the towel back. “You might want to wipe your own face, Miss...ummm...”
        “Mes na Miss! Mes Oni!” She said, taking the towel and wiped the mud on her face, but only getting more mud on herself.
        “I’m Miles Prower, but everyone calls me Tails”
        “’Cuz U kitsune rights!?” Oni grinned.
        “That’s ri-” Tails stopped in mid-sentence. Then said, “Your eyes don’t match.”
        “One is light green and the other light purple.”
        “Oh yeahs, mes knew dats! Yeppers uh huh! Yacca can makes lots o’ funny faces!”
        “No offense, but why do you talk so odd?” asked Tails.
        “Na knows, justa learn likies dis mes guess o’ somethin’s yacca, blah...merf.”
        Tails laughed. “Well it was nice meeting you, Oni. I have to go.” He stepped out into the rain. Oni suddenly ran up and shoved a small gem stone in his face.
        “For U ‘cuz mes get U all dirty!” She smiled.
        “Thanks, Oni. But I can’t take this! It was an accident!”
        “Yacca, dry cleanin’! Pleeeeezes takies!”
        “Alright, if you insist. Thanks! Well, I really have to go now, bye!”
        “Byebye Mr. Tails peep!”
        Tails laughed again, and headed out.
        “Going somewhere?” Come a voice from above.
        “Shit! Mecha Knuckles,” hissed Tails, looking up. Indeed Mecha Knuckles was hovering a few feet above him.
Prepare to die.” Mecha Knuckles aimed his blasters at Tails and fired.

        In the park, it was empty of everyone except Sonic, Lacoria and Metal Sonic. In the center was Metal Sonic against Sonic and Lacoria. Sonic shifted into a fighting stance, as did Lacoria.
        “This revenge will be sweet,” laughed Metal.
        “Careful, or you’ll get a toothache,” Sonic smirked back and charged. He slammed Metal in the head in a split-second, and would have taken his head off if Metal hadn’t tilted his head just a centimeter to the side. Metal retaliated by kneeing Sonic in the stomach and uppercutting him.
        As the battle went on, Lacoria stood ready with her gun, waiting for a moment where she could fire without hitting Sonic, but they were going too fast. Suddenly Lacoria dove to the side, just in time to avoid what would have been a fatal blow from Socara’s sword. “Socara!?” exclaimed Lacoria. “It’s me! Lacoria! Your friend!”
        Socara just growled and leaped at Lacoria, she dodged again and landed a blow with her fist against Socara’s face. Socara stumbled back, because Lacoria and hit her in the face where her bruise was.
        “Socara, please,” Lacoria said, with a friendly smile. “There’s no need to fight. We’re friends remembers?”
        She didn’t move. Lacoria took a step closer, with one hand behind her back holding a very small plastic ball with knockout gas. “It’s okay,” she continued. Socara took a step back. When Lacoria finally believed she was close enough, she lunged at Socara.

        The market place grew unusually quiet. No one had ever seen a fight quite like the one that was about to start. Sally shifted her knife and blaster. Dimitri stood in a fighting stance as well with his sword and mental preparation to launch a spell at their enemy. Ancients, why him? Dimitri grumbled to himself.
        Chaonen stood with a smirk, of course, across the street from them. He had no weapons except the claws on his hands and feet. “Fancy meeting you here,” he smiled. “Shall we?”
        “Don’t know, Chaonen,” Dimitri retorted. “You might get hurt.”
        “I think you should show some concern for yourselves as well, after all, you were both stupid enough to accept this hunt,” Chaonen said in response.
        “What is this?” asked Sally. “A match of wits?”
  “Hardly,” Chaonen hissed, then casually stepped to the side to avoid the spell attack Dimitri had thrown at him.

        Tails had dove to the side just in time to evade Mecha Knuckles’ attack. He aimed then fired back, but Mecha Knuckles was ready and blocked it. A fireball formed between Mecha Knuckles’ knuclaws, then shot at Tails. Tails rolled to the side, then smelled something burning. He looked at his tails, the tip of one was on fire. “AHHHH!” He screamed and beat it out. But then Mecha Knuckles swooped down and punched Tails across the face, dizzying him. Mecha Knuckles draw his had back to deliver another blow when something landed on his back.
        “Stop hurtin’ Mr Tails U meanie!”
        “Oni?” Tails said groggily.
        “Stay out of this,fox,” shouted Mecha Knuckles.
        “Na! U go aways first!” Oni shouted back, pounding on Mecha Knuckles head.
        He stood up and Oni fell off. “
Leave now or be destroyed.”
        “Oni! Get away!” Shouted Tails. “This is my fight! You’ll get killed.”
        But Oni suddenly spun around and roundhoused Mecha Knuckles, causing him to hit a wall.
Retaliating,” Mecha Knuckles fired another fireball at Oni. She ducked it and tripped Mecha, who fell into the fountain by them. Before he could get out, she jumped on his back, then drew a sword from her sleeve and stabbed Mecha Knuckles in the back.
        Mecha Knuckles shouted in outrage, not pain, and managed to grab Oni, shoving her head under the water. “
You’re going down once. Staying for two, and never coming up for three.”
        He’s drowning her! Tails thought. He ran up and shoved the point of his blaster into the hole Oni had made in Mecha Knuckles, then fired at maximum. Mecha Knuckles let go, made some short circuiting sounds and fell into the water. Oni coughed and got out quickly. But Tails was still standing in the water when electricity in Mecha Knuckles ripped through the water and into him.

        Socara made a small yelp when Lacoria knock her to the ground. Lacoria took this opportunity to shove the small plastic ball into Socara’s mouth, then forced her mouth shut. Lacoria could hear the plastic ball break, releasing the gas. Socara gagged and started coughing uncontrollably. She clutched at the nearby wall, trying to control herself, but to no avail.
        “I’m sorry, Socara,” Lacoria said softly, kneeling by Socara after she had fallen to the ground and stopped moving, to make sure her pulse was still normal. But then she felt a horrible pain in her stomach. Socara had still been conscious, unknown to Lacoria and had just stabbed her. Then she finally fell unconscious. Lacoria stumbled back, clutching the knife, and quickly janked it out screaming from the pain. I’m going to die with this wound... Desperately, her ripped the small device from the back of her head. One last hope, she thought. Have to turn into a werewolf, their healing power will heal me. Lacoria had never liked her ability to turn into a werewolf. Under a full moon, she couldn’t control it, otherwise she could change at will. The device she wore prevented her from changing during full moons or any other time.
        Lacoria dragged herself to the side as she changed. Her fur became longer, thicker. The claws on her hands grew longer as well. Her muzzle extended and teeth were now far larger and deadlier. In full werewolf form, she could feel her wound begin to heal rapidly. But as always, there was the uncontrollable rage she always felt in this form. Upside, she could heal very quickly in crucial situations. Downside, she killed the first thing she saw without one of her friends around to put the device back on her.
        The first thing she saw was Socara. Her vision was now red with rage, her saliva running for blood, anyone’s blood. The werewolf growled and grabbed Socara, about to rip out her throat. Then something hit her in the back. Though, not only hit, but hit and went through her back. The last thing Lacoria saw was blood running from the hole in her chest where her heart should have been, and black energy in the form of a lance.

Dimitri jerked his head back in shock. Suddenly, it felt like part of his soul had been ripped away. In a moment, he knew she was dead. “Dimitri?!” shouted Sally. “Are you all right?!”
        “No,” Dimitri said in a very long dark voice.
        Sally looked at him again in surprise. She had never heard him use that voice before.
        “YOU KILLED HER!!!” Dimitri suddenly screamed at Chaonen.
        “Me? You’re hallucinating, I obviously haven’t killed anyone yet,” Chaonen said, but with a tinge of surprise at Dimitri’s sudden rage. “Ah, I see,” he said after a second. “ Your lifemate is down for the count.”
        “Lacoria,” gasped Sally. She turned to Dimitri, then edged back. His expression was now darker than she had ever seen. His fists were clenched tightly and burning with Chaos Energy.
        “BASTARD!” Dimitri shouted, and throw a huge blast of energy at Chaonen.
        This time, Chaonen took it seriously and dove to the side, but the energy grazed his left leg. He clenched his teeth against the pain and a fencing sword formed in his hands. “Looks like you’re finally going to give us a real fight.”

        The Shadow fretted over everything in its charge. It always did. But right now it was fretting over Socara. It was levitating a piece of cardboard over her face to keep some of the rain off while it fretted over what to do. The werewolf had fallen over Socara’s legs, then returned to its normal form.
        Smaller, good. Lighter but still too big.
        Finally, after a few more spells, it got the intruder off. Though the body was now nearly unrecognizable. That didn’t matter though. After all, it was about to kill Socara. Now the problem was how to get her out of the rain before she caught a cold or worse.
        Think think think. Chaonen-daimyou busy. Can’t call him.
        It looked towards Metal Sonic as he battled with Sonic, which had now been taken to the air and rooftops.

        Sonic would have heard Lacoria screaming if thunder hadn’t been roaring at the same moment, and if Metal hadn’t slammed his face into the mud at the moment. He dove at Metal, and got a hit before he swooped out of range. A cat and mouse game. Hit and run. Metal hovered several feet from Sonic, several slashes and damaged circuits. Sonic wasn’t so good himself. Metal was far more quicker, more cunning than before.
        Suddenly Metal turned and flew back down to the street and disappeared into an alley. Surprised, Sonic landed on a rooftop but still alert in case it was a trick, when he was thrown from it by some kind of shockwave of energy.
        “What the heck?!” Sonic exclaimed, looking towards to what he believed to be the source. “Could be Chaonen, if it is. However is there will need help.” Sonic got back up and ran for ground zero of the wave.
        Chaonen got back in his defensive stance. Must be some way to use that rage to my advantage. Sally had wisely gotten out of the way. Dimitri was a danger to both of them now. Don’t know enough Chaos magick.
        Sally stood ready behind some crates. Damn. Enerjak must be taking over or maybe it’s his sorrow and anger for Lacoria’s death. She hid trying to come up with some kind of plan as Chaonen and Dimitri fought. Chaonen’s fast, faster than Dimitri. But Dimitri’s mainly focusing on magic based attacks. Chaonen’s using physical, magic, and indirect attacks. Someone’s going to wear out soon at this rate. She took out Nicole. “Nicole, scan Chaonen for any physical weak points if you can.”
        “Scanning,” said Nicole. “Detected. Leg knee supported by leg brace.”
        “That’s all?” asked Sally, but not entirely disappointed. She hadn’t really expected an answer. Hmmm...Nicole’s right. With his left pant leg torn badly she could barely see this leg brace. He’s limping just slightly too. But I know he has healers and doctors. Why isn’t his leg healed? “Dimitri!” She shouted. “Go for his left knee!”
        Dimitri looked at her for a moment, but without the usually warmth in them. He turned back and pointed his hands at Chaonen. “Ice3!”
        Chaonen screamed from pain when a sudden explosion of ice hit his left knee. It would have hit the rest of him if he hadn’t leaped to the side. But his knee gave out and he collapsed on the muddy ground. Yes! Though Sally.
        “Ultima!” A black-green fog like thing shot at Chaonen, but then suddenly dissipated a few feet from him. Dimitri shouted in surprise.
        Chaonen was surprised too. He hadn’t cast any shield or barrier. Lightning flashed across the sky again and he flinched. Thunder followed but he could have sworn he heard the cawing of a crow.
        He looked up and slowly pulled himself up to a standing position. It was his Shadow. “Chaonen-daimyou! You are hurt! Many damages we all have! Enemies following!”
        “How’s Socara?!” Chaonen demanded to know. When Metal landed beside him. He was carrying Socara. “Is she dead?!”
        “No, Chaonen-daimyou. She was knock unconscious but is cold.”
        “Who cares! Of course, it’s cold! It’s raining!” Chaonen shouted and leaned more heavily against the wall. He new was going to pass out if he didn’t get some pain killers soon. His leg hurt too much and had to be broken at the knee.
        “Surrounded,” Metal said.
        “Sonic the Hedgehog is coming from the North. Dimitri and Sally are at the South. Tails and another are coming from the West. East is this wall.”
        Socara groaned and stirred slightly.
        “Where’s Mecha Knuckles?” Chaonen asked, thinking about what to do.
        “Location found. Fountain in the central square, badly damaged, and operating systems down.”
        “We have you surrounded,” said Sally, running up. The other Freedom Fighters around too. They had had enough time to regroup and had them surrounded like Metal had said.
        “You won’t get a Chaos Emerald if you kill us,” said Metal, charging up his blasters.
        “We won’t need one when you’re all dead and six feet under,” said Sonic.
        “Give Socara to me,” Chaonen said suddenly. “Go get Mecha Knuckles and bring him to the castle. Then wait for farther orders.”
        “Yes, sire,” Metal said and flew away.
        “Are you that confident?” Hissed Dimitri.
        Chaonen held Socara closer. “Yes.”

        When all the Freedom Fighters woke up, they were lying on the ground, and vaguely being able to remember the sudden huge energy blast from the sky. Night was now falling and Chaonen was gone.

End of Chapter 5

        Preview: Wells, part offa da day over, butta still a day anna half ta goes wit one peep down. Lookies likiers mes be ins! :) Yet, wha’ Chaonen gonna do? Wha’ wit Dimitri? Can da freedom fighters possibly survive?! *sounds like some Sailor Moon preview :P* It seems Oni joins wit da group, butta one offa her ideas onna wha’ ta do may get dem all killed o’ perhaps save them.