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Here it is, guys!! Hope you like it!!! Tell me if I should change anything.

Battle music: link


Outskirts of Topeka, Kansas - USA 05:45 AM


The lonely fields of the farms were calm and peaceful under the still-dark sky. The sun was going to take a few more minutes to rise, and there was little to no activity on the nearby farms. But there was something happening under the silent morning sky, there was just no one to witness.

A group of three Mobians, inhabitants of Sonic the Hedgehog's home-world, Mobius, were wandering through the fields. One of them was a flying squirrel with dark red fur and light-blue eyes, wearing a blue jacket, blue-and-white shoes, and green fingerless gloves. The other Mobian was a fox very similar to Miles "Tails" Prower in appearance, even spotting the same blue eyes and white-and-red shoes, however his fur was red and he could control fire at will. The last one, the leader, was identical to Shadow the Hedgehog in appearance, but instead of Shadow's red and white patches, they were green and yellow, his eyes were red with a green tint to the rest, and his shoes were blue. Each of his arms had an orange inhibitor ring, and he carried a gun with him.

These were the members of Team Explosive: Jake the Hedgehog, Fly the Fox and Francisco the Flying Squirrel. The three were on a mission to investigate a mysterious crop circle which appeared on a cornfield around the area, which spotted a peculiar shape.

"I don't get the meaning of those things..." said Francisco. "Why do these people keep doing those? It's obviously a hoax!"

"And this place's been having a ton of those, lately..." said Fly. "Why is this one so important?"

"I don't know, but it was important enough to draw Shadow's attention." said Jake. "He said to meet him a few miles ahead."

The group walked through a short patch of tall grass, until they reached an open area where the grass was lower, with a cornfield not far away. On the low grass stood Shadow with his arms crossed, waiting for the group. When he saw them coming, he looked at them, maintaining his serious look. He was holding a paper on his left hand.

"You showed up..." he said. "About time."

"What's the situation, Shadow?" asked Jake.

"Nice! They're all here!"

They were all taken by surprise by the new voice, which made them all look back to see a man standing a few meters away. The man had a strange appearance: his hair was completely frizzled and upwards, as if he just received a big electric shock, and while the hair had a brown color, it got whiter on the hair tips. He had glasses over his brown eyes, and he was wearing a lab coat with a collar that completely covered his neck, dark jeans and red-and-white shoes that resembled Shadow's.

"I'm sorry if I had to lure you here like this..." he said. "But a man's curiosity may drive him crazy if not soothed. Especially if this man is a scientist, like myself. In case you wanna know, I made this symbol. Trust me, I was bored when I chose the shape, but I like how it turned out..."

"So you did it??" asked Fly. "Just to get our attention??"

"Exactly. Shadow, you didn't say my name to them? I told you it was okay!"

He pointed at the trio. Jake looked at the man, then at Shadow.

"You know this guy??" he asked.

"So it seems that Shadow knows you, too... As I suspected" said the scientist as he fixed the glasses on his face. "I've heard quite a deal about you on the news... A Shadow lookalike with the wrong color pattern... So, what are your names?"

The hedgehog stood before Shadow in a defensive stance.

"I'm Jake the Hedgehog! The Ultimate Apprentice!" he announced.

The other two stood besides him.

"I'm Fly the Fox!"

"And I'm Francisco the Fl--"

"Whoa, wait up!" said the man, with both hands raised in front of him. "Apprentice?? Shadow has an apprentice??"

"That's right!" said Jake. "All who defy Shadow will answer to me!"

The man then began scratching his chin in thought.

"Tell me..." he said, concerned. "Your appearance... It was Black Doom's DNA, wasn't it?"

Jake's eyes widened in surprise.

"H-how do you know??" he asked.

The man suddenly sighed and then giggled.

"Personal experience..." he said. "And it seems you reacted well...! Plus, if anyone should be saying that statement, kid, that should be me."

"And what makes YOU so important?" asked Francisco.

"He..." said Shadow. "Helped with my creation..."

"WHAT!?" said Fly, looking at the man. "Your name! Tell us!!"

"Dr. Johnathan von Neuron." said the human. "Geneticist, inventor and researcher. The youngest mind to ever work for Dr. Gerald Robotnik! A survivor of Space Colony ARK! The co-developer... of the Ultimate Lifeform."

The trio gasped.

"He's a survivor??" asked the fox.

"One out of three..." said Shadow. "We met another one before, Jake. A man named Ryan Weever."

Jake remembered that fight above the ARK. The man with the cane and expensive suit.

"But unlike Weever, this one is an ally." said the ultimate lifeform.

"Then why did he do this?" asked Jake.

They all looked at Johnathan, who was grinning with his eyes closed.

"To see you all for myself, after all those rumors I've heard..." he said. "You see, Ryan isn't the only one to gain powers after Shadow's accident years ago... He was just the most exposed one to that Chaos Blast... I had less side effects, but I have enough power to face the three of you. Especially you, Jake."

"What for?" asked the flying squirrel.

Johnathan opened his eyes to reveal that they were fully white and shining, as he suddenly began levitating above the ground, his arms still behind his back as the wind flowed through his lab coat.

"To test you." he said. "To see your potentials, and see how powerful you REALLY ARE! Especially YOU, Jake the Hedgehog!!!!"

Rocks, boulders, haystacks and nearby tractors suddenly began flying towards the man and circle him, forming a huge tornado of objects and dust around him.

"Well, Ultimate Apprentice!!" he said. "Can you and your allies defeat your master's CREATOR?? A member of Project Shadow?? The one behind the ULTIMATE LIFEFORM??"

Jake and his team took an offensive stance.

"We can darn well try!" he said.

"Then let the test begin!!!!" shouted Johnathan. "But one rule! NO GUNS!"

He began by throwing a rock at Jake's hand which held the gun, disarming him immediately.

"Fine! If you wanna play it like that, bring it on!!" said Jake.

Fly was the first one to attack as he threw fireballs at Johnathan, who covered himself with a barricade of rocks. He then threw the tractor at Fly, who blew it up on midair with another fireball.

"That's some good telekinesis!!" he said, impressed.

Francisco was next as he entered Power Stage 1 and used his Aerokinesis to create tornadoes, which he threw at Johnathan. The scientist merely floated away, his huge barricade following him as he moved. He then began firing rocks at Francisco at the same rate a machine gun would, but the squirrel created an Air Shield around him, which protected him from the rocks.

"I had teachers at Harvard who were more of a challenge than you guys!!" taunted the scientist. "Show me some good stuff!!!"

Jake took off his Inhibitor Rings and created a blade made of pure Chaos Energy as he charged at Johnathan. The scientist immediately dodged all of the slashes and counterattacked by throwing some haystacks at Jake, who also dodge them all.

"Subject presents powers of his own, but still depends on Shadow's mechanics..." said Johnathan while he dodged and fixed his glasses at the same time. "High speed and agility, along with increased dexterity. Shadow taught him very well..."

"This is REALLY a test to you, isn't it?" asked Jake as he attacked.

Francisco achieved Level 2 of his abilities and created a huge weather storm, darkening the sky above with clouds. A lightning bolt descended from above and hit the barricade, but Johnathan didn't even flinch. Fly threw a bigger fireball, but it only blew up another tractor that was on the barricade, the explosion finally causing Johnathan to flinch for a second. Francisco then unleashed a huge hurricane which focused around the tornado, spinning on the opposite direction. This raised a lot of dust, blinding everyone. When the dust cleared, Francisco didn't see the tornado or Johnathan. Only Jake, who was looking around frantically.

"Where did he go??" he asked, panicked.

"Nice storm! Seriously, that was a really good combo there, guys!"

Johnathan and his "shield" were right next to Shadow.

"Get out of that and fight us for real!!" taunted Fly.

The barricade then spun even quicker around Johnathan.

"You asked for it!!!!"

He quickly threw the whole darn thing at them, and even when they dodged it, the boulders and rocks managed to land a few hits, but only causing some minor injuries on the process. However, they all fell on the ground despite the minor damage, and when they got up, they saw that Shadow was not even concerned, his eyes closed and his arms crossed together.

"Hey, won't you do something about this???" shouted Francisco. "He's your developer, isn't he??"

"Forget that!" said Jake. "He knows how to block all of our attacks and how to evade them! It's like he already knows us!!!"

Suddenly, the trio was lifted from the ground and brought close to Johnathan as he fixed his glasses, still floating as well.

"That's because I'm also a mind-reader." he said. "And yours is an open book."

"You traced all of those attacks back then, didn't you?" asked Fly. "Even Franc's hurricane..."

"I'm a very AVID reader."

With a single hand movement, Johnathan mentally pushed them away. They fell next to Shadow, who calmly walked towards Jake and helped him up.

"Think of the damage he did to you until this moment, even with his most dangerous attacks." said the hedgehog. "If he wanted to end you, don't you think he would have done it by now? Besides, his powers are all psychic, so he depends on his focus to execute them. Without that, he's an easy target."

Jake widened his eyes when he noticed what Shadow said. The whole "test" thing was true. As powerful and intentional those attacks seemed to be, Johnathan was perhaps not even trying to hurt them too much, as if he knew they were going to block or evade. And the "focus" thing finally put it all together. He finally found a way to beat the doctor. When Fly got up, Jake wasted no time with executing his plan.

"Fly, the fireballs!!!" he shouted. "Use them again!!!"

"But it didn't work!!" he shouted back.

"Trust me, I have a plan!" Jake replied.

Fly shrugged and began throwing his fireballs again. Johnathan obviously dodged them all and tried to throw some rocks at Fly. That was the proof Jake needed: the scientist was resorting to weaker attacks again. He was literally not even trying anymore.

Johnathan began raising another barricade of stones before him.

"This has been fun, kiddos!" he said. "But someone's gotta win this fight, or else we're gonna stay here forever!"

"Hey doc! Guess what??"

Johnathan looked away from Fly, causing his barricade to fall back on the ground as he lost focus. All he saw now was Jake with his arms crossed and grinning.

"You were right about Shadow!" he said. "He taught me well!"

Johnathan then noticed something above his head and gasped when he saw four Chaos Blades above him.

"CHAOS BARRAGE!!!!"

The impact was precise as Johnathan was finally hit with full force, falling to the ground with a loud "THUD!". Jake walked towards the fallen scientist and stopped before him.

"You alright there, doc??" he asked.

Johnathan moaned in pain and fatigue.

"My head hurts, but I'm fine..." he said before laughing nervously. "Hey, I know it seems that I tried to kill you and your friends, but trust me, I would never do that..."

Fly and Francisco also walked towards him.

"After all that struggle, you really want us to believe that?" asked Fly.

"Look, you have every reason on the world to doubt me..." said Johnathan. "But I know that Shadow trusts you, and I fought hard for his freedom back at the ARK. You want to chase the evil scientist, then Ryan is the one to blame. Unlike him, I respected Gerald, as Shadow told me you would remember, Jake... But if I'm reliable or not, it's up to you..."

Jake grinned and extended his hand to him.

"Ryan mentioned you before..." he said. "Said he had a partner who was 'unavailable' at the time. Guess he meant you, right??"

Johnathan held his hand and got up just when Shadow also approached them.

"Unavailable because that liar told me that Maria had been kidnapped..." he said. "He wastes no time in seeing us suffer..."

"Maria??" asked Bullet. "Wasn't she dead??"

"Actually, she is alive..." said Shadow. "Johnathan made sure of that..."

The trio looked at him as he knelled on the ground and put his hand on Jake's shoulder.

"And I want you, Shadow, to make sure that this guy right here is well trained!" said Johnathan. "I'm sure you can be a good master, and that he's a good pupil. I mean, after an attack like that, I'm lucky to be alive...!"

Shadow nodded.

"I will..." he said.

Franc scratched the back of his head.

"Sooo..." he said. "How exactly did you save Maria, again??"

"And what happened at the ARK?" asked Fly.

Johnathan got back up and fixed his glasses.

"Well, do you have enough time to hear me out??" he asked. "It's a long story..."

The trio nodded.

"Well, okay then. But let's talk in a more appropriate place..."

He took out a remote from his coat's pocket and pressed a button, opening a portal to a cafeteria in São Paulo, Brazil.

"Anyone in the mood for a soda??"