Chapter 13: Protector's Destiny ~Setting the Bond~
Once Alter made it into the sky, he accelerated his speed. Chaos spotted him in the distance and began to roar. Seconds later, spouts of water infused with dark energy shot up at Alter. Alter aimed his hand at the spouts, sending a cold vapor from the palm of his hand that completely froze the attack. Angered by this, Chaos began to fire energy projectiles infused with dark energy from its back at Alter. Alter boosted his speed to get closer to the projectiles, then fired ice shards infused with Chaos energy at the projectiles. The Chaos energy appeared to have cancelled the effects of the dark energy, and successfully destroyed them. Alter flew right in front of Chaos and stared him right in the eye, looking very determined and confident.
Alter: I know you can hear me, Mephiles. Your plans, your ambitions, they end now.
Chaos roared again, then used its tentacles to attack Alter. Alter dodged the attack by moving up and down, then fired Chaos shards at Chaos. Chaos absorbed the shards, then fired them out of its mouth. Alter wasn't really expecting that, but he quickly protected himself by creating a shield made completely out of Chaos energy that surrounded him instantly. While in the shield, Alter flew right into Chaos, rammed into its brain, and then out through the top of its head. The shield's energy caused heavy damage to Chaos, as it yelled in pain the second it made contact with Chaos' brain.
Alter: Oh, so you don't like that? Looks like I found a weak point. Prepare yourself.
Alter intensifies the energy in his shield and attempts to ram into Chaos' brain again, but Chaos defended itself by flinging its tentacle at Alter, knocking him back a bit. Alter flipped backwards in the air, and tried to ram into Chaos again, but this time, Chaos quickly created dark tornadoes from the ground up, making Alter stop his move to fire Chaos shards at them. However, the dark energy caused the tornadoes to spin faster and faster with each passing second, spewing energy off the tornadoes that destroyed the Chaos shards before they could make contact with the tornadoes. More dark tornadoes began to appear around Chaos, and they moved out. Alter knew that he couldn't destroy the tornadoes up close, so he started to fly down towards the surface of the water, where the tornadoes originated. Alter aimed his hands at the water and shot a massive stream of vapor at the surface. However, the dark energy prevented the water from freezing, unlike it did on the water spouts. This puzzled Alter.
Alter: Huh, why won't it work? Maybe I should...
Alter increases his Chaos energy, and fires a stream of vapor at the surface of the water again, this time the vapor was infused with Chaos energy. It managed to destroy the dark energy, and then freeze the water, but the dark tornadoes didn't freeze or get destroyed. Instead, the heat from the energy resonating from the tornadoes caused the water to melt, and the dark energy returned to the surface. Alter looked at the dark energy, frustrated. The tornadoes got closer to Alter, almost hitting him with a wave of dark energy. Alter flew back into the air, and then approached the tornadoes that were now growing in size due to the dark energy. Alter charged his energy up again, and then flew right above a tornado and fired Chaos shards through the eye. Once the shards got to the base of the tornado, the energy from the shards damaged the tornado, causing it to collapse from the inside out. Alter smirked at his discovery, and continuously repeated this attack on the other tornadoes until they were all wiped away. Chaos became infuriated and began to send water spouts up to attack Alter and it fired more projectiles as well. Alter looked at the incoming attacks, and waited until they got very close to him. Once they did, he used Chaos Control to teleport right in front Chaos. The attacks pursued Alter, homing in on him, when suddenly, Alter boosted himself higher in the air, making the attacks hit Chaos instead. Chaos' body broke down the second it was hit, then it regenerated in another location. Alter looked over at Chaos, who was now charging up an attack from its mouth. Alter prepared himself as Chaos fired a massive energy beam from its mouth towards the island that Silver had created. Alter created a colossal wall of ice powered by Chaos energy to stop the attack. The beam and wall interlocked, and the battle became a battle of wills. Chaos used as much force as it could to break through Alter's shield, but Alter remained calm and focused on keeping the shield intact. Both sides began to tire down when suddenly, Chaos was attacked by a powerful lightning bolt that came from the sky, ruining Chaos' concentration and ending its attack, and then its body broke down again.
Tikal: Oh, Chaos... Not again...
Tikal: Alter, please help Chaos! Destroy the darkness that is controlling him!
Alter: You got it, Tikal. I'll end this now.
Chaos regenerated in a different location again, this time, right in front of the island that Silver had created. Chaos looked down at the inhabitants of the island, preparing to attack them. With most of everyone else either too beaten, and Silver focusing on keeping the small island floating, Syber had no choice. He started walking forward to face Chaos and protect the others. Mephiles looked through Chaos' eyes, and his rage for Syber was apparent. Chaos gave off a very powerful, distorted roar right at Syber, who didn't so much as flinch.
Syber: Is a roar all you have? How dull.
Chaos roared again, and fired energy projectiles from its back. Syber dashed forward, and jumped in the air. Instead of avoiding the projectiles, he made them targets, using a razor homing attack on each one deflecting them before heading to the next one. When he got close enough, he used a plasma whip and strikes Perfect Chaos in its brain, and followed up by electrocuting it. Chaos cried in pain, before Syber sent a massive electrical pulse into its brain making it explode, and Chaos' body fell apart. Syber hovered in the air and turned to Alter.
Syber: I will protect them. Finish this.
Alter: Thanks, Syber. Now that I know you will protect the others, I can go all out.
Chaos regenerated in yet another location and began to charge a more powerful beam from its mouth. Knowing that he wouldn't be able to stop this one, Alter used Chaos Control to teleport above Chaos, and proceeded with bashing Chaos with multiple Chaos shards, causing smoke to form around Chaos and ending its concentration. Alter ceased fire, and began to create a small ice ball. Before the smoke could clear, Chaos sent its tentacles after Alter, attempting to strike him down. Alter didn't wait for the attack to come to him. Instead, he shot the ice ball right into the smoke cloud. When the tentacles got to Alter, they had already froze at least 2 inches from Alter's face. Alter stayed in his spot, motionlessly, waiting for the smoke to clear. Once it did, it was revealed that the ice ball had phased into Chaos, freezing it instantly. Chaos was now petrified, unable to move. Tikal appeared in front of Alter and looked at Chaos in awe.
Tikal: Alter, you really are the one...
Alter: What? What are you talking about?
Tikal: I will explain momentarily. Right now, I have to deal with Mephiles.
Alter: Allow me.
Alter used the power of his transformation to force Mephiles out of Chaos' body, making the dark energy in the water and in Chaos fade away. The moment Tikal saw his gaseous form, she shot a lightning bolt at him, paralyzing him.
Mephiles: Ugh! You can't hold me here! I am Mephiles! Mephiles the Dark!
Tikal: Mephiles the Dark, you will be punished for your actions. Unfortunately, we cannot truly destroy you because like Chaos, you are a god, and thus, cannot be destroyed. I will however strip you of your will.
Mephiles: You and this whole entire world will suffer by my hand. Alter, this isn't over. I will rise again. And when I do, you will be mine.
Alter: That's enough of your mouth. I've heard enough of it.
Tikal: I agree.
Tikal uses the power of the Master Emerald and the power of the Chaos Emeralds that were still aiding Alter in his transformation to cast a judgement on Mephiles. His gaseous form now became pure light, and it was transferred into Alter. Alter felt dark power becoming a part of him, permanently.
Alter: W-what did you do?!
Tikal: As I said, Mephiles cannot truly be destroyed, so I had to seal him within you. He has been stripped of his will, and his personality has faded away as well. Only his power remains.
Alter: But, I can't control his power! What if it overcomes me again? I might become the Dark Fang!
Tikal: Relax, Alter. The only reason you lost control of the power, was because Mephiles' personality was influencing you. Now that his personality is gone, you should be able to control the power just fine.
Alter: Okay, then...
Tikal: Alter, can you do me a favor?
Alter: Yes, of course.
Tikal: I need you to unfreeze Chaos.
Alter: Are you sure? Will it be safe?
Tikal: Yes. Now that Chaos has been freed of Mephiles, he should be fine now.
Alter: If you say so...
Alter focuses on the ice that kept Chaos frozen, and soon, it all melted. Chaos raised its head and cried out happily, making Alter smile a little.
Tikal: Chaos! How are you feeling?
Chaos looked down at Tikal, and reverted back to its first form. Tikal clasped her hands together, and smiled at Chaos. Alter, seeing that everything was fine now, ended his transformation.
Silver levitated the island over to them, and landed it carefully. Syber remained in the air. Alter, Tikal, and Chaos stepped onto the island and approached the others. Everyone began to hug and congratulate Alter for a job well done.
Tikal: Everyone, may I have your attention? I have an announcement to make.
Sonic: Fire away!
Tikal: Protectors, there is something that I was not truly being honest about. It concerns your titles of Protector of Chaos.
Rouge: Well, this should be interesting.
Tikal: You see, only one of you can be the true Protector of Chaos. The qualities that I was looking for was someone who could not only handle Chaos while he was in absolute rage, but also the the qualities of befriending Chaos the way that I can. I supplied a task to each of the Chosen Ones, and that was to guard and protect the Chaos Emeralds that I gave to you. Alter, I believe that you are the true Protector of Chaos. You were the only one who could keep your emerald out of harm's way, even when you yourself became harm.
Alter: Tikal, look, this isn't fair. We all did everything we could to protect our Chaos Emeralds. If it wasn't for Mehpiles, we would still be doing that. I never would have attacked the Protectors.
Shadow: And now that you bring up Mephiles, how did he get in your Emerald from the beginning?
Alter: I really don't know...
Tikal: It was my fault. I sealed him in your Emerald awhile ago. I gave it to you without removing him. But in the end, my mistake helped you and everyone else, Alter. You became stronger in your journey across time and space. You have learned what it is like to wield the dark power.
Alter: What are you expecting from me?
Tikal: Alter, as the true Protector of Chaos, I have a little gift for you.
Alter: A gift?
Tikal: Yes. Please, give me your hand.
Alter gives Tikal his hand, Chaos steps next to them, and the Chaos Emeralds began to spin slowly around them.
Tikal: Chaos Emeralds, the Protector of Chaos is in your presence. I ask that you forever link him to Chaos, give them a bond.
As if in answer, the Chaos Emeralds each began to glow very brightly. Alter and Chaos began to glow in correspondence to the Emeralds. The light dyed off, and when it completely faded away, Alter had a mark on his forehead that resembled an "x" that glowed amethyst just like the amethyst Chaos Emerald. Alter placed his hand where the mark was, and looked at Chaos who shared the same mark. Everyone stared at them with interest.
Alter: Tikal, what did you just do?
Tikal: You and Chaos are now bonded. The mark on your forehead represents the bond between you and Chaos. It is the symbol of the Protector of Chaos. It only appears when you and Chaos are linked together.
Tikal: Yes. In order to link with Chaos at will, you must summon Chaos by placing your hand on the ground and accessing the Chaos Force. The ritual that I just put you through gave you the ability to access the Chaos Force without the need of a Chaos Emerald, but you can only use the Chaos Force to summon Chaos. Once you summon Chaos, you are free to use any Chaos ability that you wish to use, and the mark will appear on your your forehead, signaling that the connection has been established. While Chaos is summoned, he will aid you in battle and assist you in any way that he can. Though summoning Chaos is not very exhausting once you get the hang of it, you will need to be careful. If you overuse this ability, you will harm yourself greatly. I ask that you only summon Chaos if it is absolutely necessary. Chaos will be with me in the Master Emerald while you two are not linked. You now have the full role of the Protector of Chaos. Please, protect Chaos and the Chaos Emeralds. Did you understand all of that?
Alter: Yeah, I think so. I'll do my best.
Tikal: Good. We'll be on our way. Are you ready, Chaos?
Chaos didn't acknowledge Tikal. He just stood there staring at Alter.
Alter: It's okay, Chaos. I promise that I will protect you and the Chaos Emeralds with my life.
Alter and Chaos looked each other in the eye, then Chaos turned away and walked towards Tikal.
Tikal: All of you, we'll meet again. And Protector of Chaos, take care.
Alter: You too, Tikal.
Everyone watched as Tikal and Chaos floated into the air, and then disappeared in a flash of light. The mark on Alter's forehead vanished, ending the current connection with Chaos. Alter continued to stare at the spot where they vanished.
Alter: (No way... I'm the Protector of Chaos? Just me? Unbelievable...)
Rouge: Mmm... Well, I'm getting bored.
Rouge: What? We're just standing here doing nothing. Well, I don't know about you guys, but I got my eye on that big gem over there. I think I'll get a closer look to it...
Knuckles: Wait, what?!
Rouge flies off in the direction of the Master Emerald with Knuckles not too far behind her.
Sonic: I guess we'd better get going too Tails!
Tails: Okay, Sonic!
Sonic: Alter! Good luck with your new duties!
Alter: Thank you, Sonic. I will do my best.
Sonic fists bumps with Alter, and then he and Tails ran off to start another adventure.
Amy: Oh, no! Sonic's getting away! Let's go Cream! See ya later, Alter!
Cream: Take care, Mr. Alter!
Cheese: Chao, Chao!
Alter: You guys be careful out there.
Amy: No need to worry!
Without another word, Amy, Cream, and Cheese ran off in pursuit of Sonic.
Shadow: Hmph. So you're the true Protector of Chaos. You might have your work cut out for you. Think you can handle it?
Alter: I know I can.
Shadow turned his back to Alter.
Shadow: I believe you, Protector.
Shadow: Let's go, Omega.
Omega: ROGER, SHADOW.
Shadow: Chaos Control!
Shadow and Omega warped away.
Blaze: Alter, Silver and I owe you a huge apology.
Silver: Yeah, I never should have acted so selfish. Taking your life wouldn't have been the right thing to do.
Alter: I am glad that you two have learned to trust me, but I know it wasn't easy.
Silver: Heh, well, we had better get going too. I'm pretty sure the future has altered since the events of this timeline are now going for the better.
Blaze: We'll see you again, Protector of Chaos.
In the blink of an eye, Silver and Blaze were gone. Alter looked up at the sky one more time.
Alter: Protector of Chaos...
Alter watched as the sun setted, and night came into view. He stared at the stars and the moon, wondering if his life would ever be the same again. Alter didn't care though. So long as he had the stars and the moon, he would be just fine.
END OF CHAPTER 13
Thank you for reading!