The ruins of Mobotropolis creaked and moaned, threatening to crumble at any moment. Chunks of rubble balanced precariously, rocking back and forth in the breeze which blew ever stronger. A ruby-red sky teemed with heavy clouds, threatening to drown the remaining survivors in an imminent downpour. Another normal day in the broken city.
Suddenly, a dark purple disc appeared out of thin air, growing larger by the minute. It grew to the size of a small truck, then stopped. Enfolded by a strange cyan glow, it was forced smaller and smaller until finally; Shzzwhp! No trace of the purple remained.
“That seems to be the last one in this area,” said a silver-furred hedgehog surrounded by the same cyan aura. His golden yellow eyes scanned the surroundings for a suitable place to land. Settling down atop an old library, he checked the holographic display emitting from the cuff of his glove. As he watched, a point appeared over a map of the city. “That one’s over the ocean, it won't harm anyone. Might as well leave it to fizzle out on its own,” he said, turning off the display.
Gazing out across the horizon, the hedgehog let out a sigh, wondering if he'd ever find a way to save his home from its disastrous fate. “HEY! Get off of my roof you hooligan!” Snapping back to attention, he looked down to see a familiar crotchety old echidna glaring up at him. Leaping down, he slowed his descent using psychokinesis to stand in front of the elder. “Hello, Edmund.” “Oh, it's just you Slivers. I'd remember that crazy haircut anywhere,” said the old echidna, squinting through his glasses as he pointed his cane at the hedgehog. “It’s Silver,” the hedgehog fingered his quills; 'I don't think it's crazy'.
Edmund headed back inside the library, Silver in tow. “Where have you been anyway, Slipper? Haven't seen you in a couple weeks.” “It’s Silver” he said, rolling his eyes. The echidna never did seem to get his name right. “I told you, I’ve been closing those inter-dimensional portals that keep popping up everywhere. I would hate it if someone fell through when I have the power to close them.” Edmund glanced back at him, “You worry too much, when did you last have a proper sleep?” “I'm fine, the portals seem to be winding down anyway. I can take care of - oof!” Silver was cut off by Edmund shoving him onto an old sofa with the tip of his cane. “You sit down, I have to check on something”.
Silver reclined and started thumbing through the old historical records, trying to find some clue as to why his world ended up this way, shattered in an eternal gloom. He stopped on an account from around 200 years ago; it stated that somehow, the world had broken apart, whole continents floating above the planet's mantle. Silver felt a glimmer of hope, 'Maybe this is the event that started this whole mess!' But as he turned the page, he found that the crisis had been solved, fixed by Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends.
Friends. Edmund seemed to be Silver’s only friend here, and the echidna couldn't even remember his name. ,Maybe I should go for a visit…' He summoned a yellow gem to appear in his hand. The time stone. Long ago it had been a gem of great power, able to transport the bearer through time and space; now, the last of the original seven, it's power was diminishing, evidenced by a large crack splintering down one of its larger faces. Silver had vowed to use it only for emergencies.
He looked back at the photograph in the record. 'We didn't exactly part on the best of terms, either;' he thought, closing the book and setting it back down.
“You're thinking about it again, aren't you?” Silver hadn’t noticed Edmund come back in. “Th-thinking about what?” he stammered, quickly closing his fist to send the stone back. “Your friends. You've been doing it more lately; you pull out that gem, stare at it for a while, then send it back.” Silver looked down sheepishly, the old echidna was right; he missed the friends he had made in that time. He wanted to see them again, to enjoy the world with them as it once was, peaceful and lush. “You ought to go, you said it yourself the portals were winding down. Go see your friends, maybe you'll finally find out how to fix this mess.”
His eyes downcast, Silver tried to come up with a reason to justify the journey; but couldn't come up with anything substantial enough. “I can't, the time stone can't be fixed… What if it stops for good? I-I can't take that risk… I can't leave this world unfixed.” “Bah!” Edmund exclaimed, “You're such a worry wart! Have you ever thought that maybe those friends or yours could help you fix the stone?”
Suddenly, a shrill alarm sounded from Silver’s left wristband as the holographic display came up on its own. Edmund peered in confusion at the hologram. “Has it ever done that before?” “No, I set it up in case something really bad happens…” Silver started to navigate the city map, typing commands with his free hand, searching for the cause of the alert. “What kind of big?” “Dangerously unstable portals, giant monsters coming through, that sort of thing.” Silver searched again, finally finding the troublemaker. Edmund looked down on the map. “I don't get it…” he stated, “All that fuss over one measly little portal?!”
It's the level one portal from earlier… Silver recognized the point situated over the ocean; looking closer, he discovered the problem. “Edmund, it's not the portal itself, it's what's going on inside the portal.” The elder stared at him, awaiting an explanation. “I'm detecting at least twelve level three portals and….” Silver started, checking again to make sure he’d read it right, “.... seventeen level nine portals.”
Edmund’s face became stern and serious; “You need to go help them.” Silver looked down, “Edmund, I-” “No excuses young man! You and I both know that those poor saps don't stand a chance without your help!” Silver stood up and looked him in the eyes, “I've never successfully closed a level nine portal! The worst I've managed was a level six, for Chaos’ sake!” Edmund stared him down, waving his cane in Silver’s face; “Don't sass me boy! And who said anything about closing the portal? Just get those people out of there.”
Silver looked away, frustrated. Edmund was right, those people needed him, and if he didn't move quickly, the small portal would close. Summoning the time stone, he walked towards the entrance and stopped. “I'll fix this,” he stated, looking back at his friend. Once again surrounded by a cyan glow, Silver flew towards the portal, to the world on the other side.