Dark Web

Cemetery night
Sonic.EXE: Final Round
*NOTE this is not an official sequel to Sonic.EXE. It is merely a fan fiction.*
After a series of failed attempts, I have managed to break free of the Hellish dimension I was trapped in. By now, I would think that this nightmare was over, but little did I know, that it was just the beginning. In case you haven’t known, I am Sonic the Hedgehog and I have escaped from Exe’s realm where I’ve been trapped. Now that I’m out, I should be relieved by now, but I’m not.  Ever since my imprisonment, I have learned that there has been a series of murders occurring in the real world. Each of these killings were somehow related to this video game called SONIC.EXE. That’s right! Sonic.EXE, the haunted video game that everybody’s talking about, has been passed around, killing innocent people after they’ve played it. Aside from that, I’ve also learned about a strange cult referred by The Cult of X. Yeah, that’s right. The Cult of X has been worshiping my demonic doppelganger for some time and they’ve been recruiting new members everyday.  Like I need any more problems.
I decided to take upon myself to investigate this matter. So, I decided to take a job as a police detective and try to find out who this cult is and what it has to do with the Sonic.exe game. I’d figured I would start out with asking the people who knew about the murders relating to the game and the cult. The first person I went to was Bob Richardson, a recently demoted police officer who informed about his deceased friend, Derek Green and his sister Chelsea. He told me that they were working on a case pertaining to the Sonic.exe Murders, as they were dubbed. He even gave me Derek’s diary which contained numerous journal entries about the Sonic.exe game and the Cult of X. From what I’ve read, there seems to be a whole lot of information relating to his investigation. In the diary, I’ve read about Derek’s encounters with members of the Cult as well as his chats with some guy named Cole. It seems that Cole knew more about the Cult of X than anyone else. I asked Bob if I could get into contact with this Cole person, but he told me that he was trapped inside X’s dimension, the same dimension I escaped from. So, the trail ended there.
However, that didn’t stop me. I continued reading Derek’s diary and it had some information about some boy named Tom who received a copy of Sonic.exe through the mail from his late friend, Kyle. There was even a note attached to this journal entry. It was a message from Kyle and it was addressed to Tom. Although Kyle’s handwriting seemed a bit too rushed to even read, I began to realize that Kyle was warning Tom to destroy the disk. He rambled on about how it was too late for him and then he warned Tom not to play the game. It’s what he wants. Who was Kyle referring to when he said “it’s what he wants”? Could it be X? I have a hunch that X, or Sonic.exe, might have murdered Kyle just after he sent the disk to Tom. I’d figured that I should talk to Tom about his encounter with the game. From what I’ve heard, Tom attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself, but failed. Then, I’ve been told that Tom now resides in a mental institute located on the other side of town. I asked Bob if he could give the address of the institute and he told me how to get there.
I took a detour down a narrow road that leads toward the mental hospital; I’d figured it was more appropriate to take the long way since I’ll probably get there in record time without worrying about traffic. What can I say? Running at super speed beats the hell out of driving.  Anyway, as I reached the hospital, I began to feel this dark presence lurking as if I could be walking into one of Dr. Eggman’s death traps. I was very cautious as I walked inside the building. The front lobby seemed a bit too normal for an insane asylum. All I saw were patients walking around, the nurse is sitting at the front desk as she fills out forms, and the doctors are monitoring the patients’ habits to see if they’re taking their medication. I can even see some tough security guards who carry stun guns in their utility belts. Yeah, it’s just a normal day at the office, or something like that. And yet, I still get that strange feeling that something isn’t right. I guess it’s my intuition. I must be getting close.
As I walked up to the front desk, I was greeted with an awkward. The nurse looked at me as though she’s never seen a blue hedgehog before.
“Can I help you?”, she asked. 
I simply replied, “I’m here to see a patient who was admitted here. His name is Tom. Is it okay if I see him?”
The nurse still looked at me with this blank expression on her face.
“I’m sorry. But you have to be a family member or a doctor to see our patients. I’m afraid you’re just going to have to leave.”
“It didn’t have to come to this, but…I’m Sonic the Hedgehog and I’ve heard that Tom used to be a big fan of mine. I just want to pay him a visit just to cheer him up.”
I think when I dropped my name, the nurse jolted up with excitement. Her eyes widened when I introduced myself.
“Are you saying you’re the Sonic the Hedgehog?!” She asked in excitement. “Why didn’t you say so?! I’m a huge fan of yours. I used to love playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2 when I was a little girl.”
Now, I am starting to regret my actions. I came here just to talk to a fan of mine and I get some fangirl who probably has some shrine to me in her house. I’m betting she has all my merchandise and games. And she prays to me every night before bed, thanking me for the life she’s been given. Dear God! I hope she doesn’t have sexual fantasies about me. That’d be downright creepy. AND outlandishly wrong on so many levels. But, that is not my main concern right now. I came here to see Tom and ask him about Sonic.exe. 
“Hey,” said the nurse. “Is it okay if I take a picture with you? I need to update my Facebook profile.”
I rolled my eyes at the question but I couldn’t refuse. Besides, I would never say no to a pretty girl, especially a nurse. 
“If I take a picture with you,” I replied. “Then can I see Tom?”
“Sure,” she answered. “Just let me get out my phone.” 
She takes an HTC Android with a selfie stick. Yes, she has a selfie stick underneath her desk. I know it sounds ridiculous. Well, it is! However, this is my only chance to speak to Tom. 
“I need to get you into frame,” she said as she started setting her phone up. “Hey, can you do that thing with you index finger?”
I rolled my eyes again. I can’t believe I’m actually doing this. I waited as the nurse quickly set her phone onto the stand. She held the stick up in the air with the phone attached to the other end. I reluctantly got in the shot. Yes, I held my index finger up just like from the title screen of the original game. This nurse, somehow, did her impression of Tails from the second game and balled her hand in a fist, much like the sequel’s title card. At this point, I’m waiting for Dr. Eggman to drop in from the ceiling in one of his robots and end this whole ordeal. 
After all that, I was shown to Tom’s room. The nurse was still at the front desk, possibly updating her profile picture. 
“This is going on Instagram,” she said as she posts the picture.
I made my way down the hall which led me to Tom’s room. I can hear the sounds of screaming from the other patients down the hall. It’s none of my concern at this point. All that matters is getting the information I need from Tom and I’m on my way. According to the nurse at the front desk, Tom has been put in intensive care following an attempted suicide to which he tried slitting his wrists. The doctors has to restrain him to his bed to prevent him from harming himself. I was told that Tom might be in some heavy medication so he probably won’t be able to give me the information I might need later on. I’ll take my chances.
Anyway, I have reached the intensive care ward where Tom is being held up in. I slowly crept into his room to see if he’s alright. All I see is Tom, just sitting at his bed, not moving. I’d expect him to act more, well, crazy. I’d figure he’d pitch a fit or have some sort of nervous break down at the sight of me. I could only how he must be feeling after playing Sonic.EXE. He must have been terrified beyond comprehension. I mean, how could a video game, especially a fan made one, could effect someone mentally as well as physically. And this is a game with my name on the title.  This is the moment of truth where I can finally get the answers I have been searching for from someone who had experienced the whole ordeal firsthand. I would know what Tom knows, what Derek and Chelsea failed to know, and what Kyle probably knew before his untimely demise.
As I slowly walked further into Tom’s room, I began to notice sudden movements from Tom himself. He started to flinch at the very sight of me. I tried to be very discrete about this little scenario. I didn’t want to cause any alarm. I just had to maintain a certain composure, just so Tom won’t freak out or try to kill me. As I said before, I could only imagine what he went through after playing the game. I did manage to bring Derek’s diary with me as I made my trip all the way here. From what I’ve read, Derek mentioned something about an evil Sonic plushie. When I first read that part, I was like, “Really?! A Sonic plushie?!” 
It might sound ridiculous at first. All I could think about is the players of this game might as well have won a free toy. But when I kept reading, Derek wrote that Cole informed him that the doll was used as some spy for X to monitor his victims’ gameplay. Okay, it still sounds ridiculous. I mean, it’s just a doll! And not only that, it’s a doll of me, with the exception of black and red eyes and the fact that it appears from out of nowhere just as soon as the victims played the game. However, that doesn’t matter right now. I really need to speak to Tom. I’ve got a lot of questions to ask him.
At this point, Tom might be on the offensive from the moment he first saw walk in the room; he looked hysterical, and that’s saying something. I feel for Tom right now, especially after having to play the same game twice. Yeah, I’ve heard about his second encounter with another .exe port called Sally.exe. I watched the video log which consists of his experience with the first game and how his family disowned him following his nervous breakdown. That must have been torture on the poor guy. And having to relive the exact same experience might have damaged his psyche. Even though it was just a game, it still managed to have a lasting effect on this poor kid’s mental state. I knew I had to approach this delicately for Tom’s sake.
“Hi, Tom,” I said. “You probably heard about me. After all, you used to be a fan of mine. I’d take that as a compliment had I known you any sooner.”
Still, Tom did move. He just sat that with a blank expression on his face. I knew this was going nowhere. Tom was heavily medicated and cannot respond. I don’t blame him. I don’t blame the doctors for prescribing him the medication. As far as I’m concerned, Tom is probably a vegetable by now.  I attempted to reach Tom again.
“Tom, can you hear me?” I kept asking. “Tom! If you can hear me, just give me a sign. Anything!”
Tom turned his head to face me. He met my gaze with this deranged look on his face. I’m finally getting a response. Tom is actually looking at me, although he’s kinda creepy. Then again, what are you going to expect from someone who’s been institutionalized after suffering a mental breakdown from playing a mysterious video game? 
I was getting a little uncomfortable, just sitting in a room alone with a potential maniac. I had to muster up whatever courage I had just to inform Tom about this police officer named Derek Green who wrote about this case pertaining to Sonic.exe and how it relates to the Cult of X. I told him how Derek receive a message from a stranger named Cole who informed him about X’s dimension and the seven guardians for whom are the extensions of Sonic.exe. I even told Tom that these seven guardians were derived from human emotions.
Kito (Faith), Aishu (Sorrow), Kofuku (Happiness), Gekido (Rage), Kyofu (Fear), Kirai (Hatred), and Yukubo (Desire). 
I know that these names sound like something straight from Japanese Manga, but these were the names, according to Derek’s diary. I told Tom that these so-called guardians were responsible for his mental illness. When he received the game disc from Kyle, Yukubo tricked him into believing that this was some ordinary Sonic game. Kofuku took advantage of his happiness as soon as he started playing the game, Kito gave him a false sense of security once he first saw the title screen from my first game, Kyofu brought out his worst fears as he played the game, Kirai clouded his judgement, and Gekido finally took advantage of his anger which caused him to lash at everyone around him. After their task has been completed, the seven guardians would retreat back to X’s dimension, and X would send his spy to observe Tom in the form of Sonic plushie.
Of course, their first attempted was a failure since Tom had undergo an entire year of therapy and he returned to what seemed to be a normal life, or at least it seemed normal for a brief period. X knew that he needed to remind Tom that he was not done with him yet. So, X gave Tom a gift, which was Sally.exe. The name did remind us of Sally Acorn from my Saturday Morning cartoon. 
How did I know all this? Well, according to some of Tom’s video blogs and his online journals as well as some police reports, Tom received another hacked game in his computer which was supposed to be a sequel to Sonic.exe. It included characters like Sally Acorn, Amy Rose, and Cream the Bunny as they are being transported to X’s realms. From what I’ve read from Tom’s blogs, he was forced to watch the many different ways these characters were brutally mutilated and were changed into flawed copies of their former selves, much like the previous game. I even told Tom about the police report where he attacked the Sonic plushie who was stalking him after he’s played the game. The police found him with a knife on him. This was after Tom made a distress call to 911. After being reminded about his previous incidents, Tom started to take notice of me. It’s as though he was listening to every word I said. 
Now that I’ve got Tom’s attention, I informed him about Derek’s encounters with the Cult of X and how he was sacrificed after this cultist named Shannon Goldman inserted a copy of the game in a computer drive, summoning Sonic.exe. Tom kept staring at me with this menacing grin. It’s as though he is being possessed by a demon. I started to take notice his eyes were starting to change. They’ve turned black and red, much like my demon doppelganger. Tom started to flash a sinister where his mouth revealed rows of razor sharp fangs. He started crying tears of blood.
“Hello, Sonic,” Tom spoke in a demonic voice. “Ready for Round 2?”
Those words sent a jolt of fear down my spine. Tom is no longer himself anymore. He is now a product of Sonic.exe’s creation. Tom started to laugh maniacally. It sounded like the exact laugh from the game, except it sounded more realistic and menacing. 
“So many souls to play with in so little time,” he said. “Wouldn’t you agree, Sonic?”
Tom lunged at me with lightning speed. He pinned to the ground and proceeded to choke me out. I stared directly at his eyes, which were pulsating at this point. His smile stretched so wide that it was extremely painful for Tom. I really wish I could describe Tom’s demeanor but I don’t think I have the words. If this were some work of art, a disturbing work of art, I guess the word I’d use would be ‘hyper-realistic’. Yes, like the game itself, Tom’s facial expression was akin to the “hyper-realistic” Sonic displayed on his computer.  Under his hoarse breath, Tom began to mutter these three words: “I AM GOD!”
Luckily for me, the remote to call the staff was right next to me. I furiously tried to fight off Tom before I could get to the remote. Once I had it in my hands, I pressed which alerted the security and staff. They rushed through the door and pulled Tom off of me. The doctors jabbed Tom with syringes. After Tom was subdued, I walked out of there unharmed. 
My encounter with Tom left me with no clues to where the game originated. However, this experience left me with a new set of questions which are needed to be answered and I know the right person who can help me.
I rushed over to my buddy Tails’ apartment. Tails is an experienced computer programmer and a self-proclaimed genius. He has the IQ of 300, which is way higher than Dr. Eggman’s. I ran halfway across Downtown Station Square until I reached Tails’ apartment building.  I swiftly raced inside the building where I am met with the Tails Doll. However, this isn’t the same Tails Doll that terrorized us for some time; in fact, this is a very different Tails Doll.  It seems Tails managed to hack into the dolls mainframe by replacing his red gem with a blue one which not only reprogrammed him, but it gave him a personality. 
“Greeting, Sonic,” said the Doll. “Master Prower is waiting for you.”
I followed the Tails Doll up the stairs and to the second floor elevator which led me to the Penthouse, AKA The Base of Operation. As soon as the elevator door opened, the Tail Doll hovered over to where Tails is working on his computer.
“Master Prower will see you now, Sonic,” said the Tails Doll. 
“Hey, Sonic,” said Tails from across the room. “I take it your little visit with Tom didn’t pan out as you’d hope.” 
“Tell me something I don’t know,” I replied. “On the other hand, I saw something in Tom that might give us a clue to the case Derek and Chelsea were working on.”
Tails turned away from the computer and I met his gaze.
“Does this have to deal with Tom being possessed by Sonic.exe?”
“And you knew about that?”
“X is not the only who likes to play with dolls.”
“Don’t tell me you replicated the Tails Doll and stashed it inside Tom’s room.”
“I thought it was necessary at the time.”
“You’re always one step ahead of the curve.”
“Hey, it’s what I do.”
“Okay, since you’re busy, I’d thought you’d might want to take a look at some of Derek Green’s notes.”
I handed Tails the diary. He skimmed through the pages as if he were looking through a manuscript. 
“It’s useless junk,” Tails replied as he looked through the dairy. “I have to give the late Detective Green some credit. He definitely wrote a lot. And I mean a whole lot. Every page is filled with journal entries pertaining to the case he and his sister were working on. I’m surprised their former employer allowed you to keep it. He really must want you to finish what Derek and Chelsea started.”
“I suppose you’re right, Tails. You always are.”
“That is true, Sonic.”
“Are you two still working on that case?” a voice from behind us.
We both turned around to find Amy Rose, Cream the Bunny, and Knuckles the Echidna standing right behind us. 
“You know, Sonic,” Amy said. “There is a thing called sleep. You should try it some time.”
“Amy,” I replied. “If you don’t mind, Tails and I are still trying to solve the mystery of…”
“The Sonic.exe Murders,” Amy interrupted. “Yeah, I know. But I worry about you, Sonic. You’ve been trapped in X’s dimension for almost a year. You’re lucky to have escaped.”
Amy’s words seeped into my brain. She’s not wrong. It was hell for me, being inside X’s world. Although it’s been a year since my imprisonment, it almost felt like an eternity. Each day, I had to outrun all sorts of monsters who crawled at my feet, pulling further and further into X’s domain. And whenever I saw that blinding light, I’d assumed that was the portal, which was my ticket out of X’s dimension. But whenever I try to run towards it, that blinding light grew dimmer and dimmer. And just before I knew it, the portal would close. Since then, it became a pattern that kept repeating day after day, night after night. And each time I try run towards the portal, it will always close and I’d repeat the process over again. It turns out that whoever plays Sonic.exe would somehow open the portal and X would send the seven guardians to retrieve his prize. The last time the portal opened was when the Cult of X abducted Derek Green and Shannon Goldman inserted the disc in a computer console, summoning X. I knew this was my only chance to escape. I had to take it. So, I mustered whatever strength I had left and I ran so fast that I reached my limits, but I kept running until I could run no more. The portal manage stay open longer this time. I assumed that Cole was probably reaching out to Bob while Derek made his final stand against the Cult of X. This game me enough time to actually make through the other side and I was successful. I was finally free. However, I was introduced to newer problems on the other side.
The murders doubled in numbers. This game, Sonic.exe, has claimed more lives than any natural disaster. Now, I’m working on the same case that claimed the lives of two detectives who were so determined to bring this cult to justice; and yet, their efforts were in vain. Since I decided to take on this case, I began to work nonstop in finding more clues pertaining to the cult’s whereabouts.  Perhaps Amy is right. I really do need my rest. But the cult is still out and I need to put to X’s reign of terror. 
“Sonic,” Amy exclaimed. “Can you hear me?”

The sound of Amy’s high-pitched voice snapped me back to reality. 
“Yeah,” I answered. “I can hear you, Amy. And you’re right.”
“I was?” Amy asked confusingly.
“I was lucky enough to escape X’s dimension. Had it not been for Cole and Derek Green, I would’ve been trapped in there forever.”
“That’s not what I meant, Sonic. I said that you need your rest.”
“I’ll rest once I solve this case, Amy.”
I turned to Tails who is still looking through Derek’s diary.
“So, Tails,” I said to Tails. “Have you overlooked some of Derek’s journal entries.”
“I’ve looked through some of Derek’s notes,” he replied. “All I can find are  a series of grammar errors and misspelled words along some useless information about his daily activities with Chelsea.” 
“And what about about the audio recording?” I asked.
“I’ve listened to the audio recording,” Tails replied. “It’s just a conversation between Derek Green and Shannon Goldman, followed by Goldman contemplating about how X wants to make this world his own, then Derek pulls out a copy of the disc Cole gave him, and he smashed it. A confrontation between Derek and members of the cult ensues, Shannon stated that the disc he got from Cole wasn’t the real disc, she then pulls out what seems to be the real disc, and she inserts it into a computer drive. There is loud screaming, followed by Sonic.exe asking Derek if he’s ready for Round 2, then the audio becomes distorted, and it fades out.”
“So,” I continued. “You found absolutely nothing. Could you at least hack into the audio file or something”
“I wish I could, Sonic. The database is encrypted. Even with my superior intellect, I wouldn’t be able to hack into a simple audio file.”
I began to feel that the trail just went cold. For a moment, I thought of taking Amy’s advice and put this case to bed.
“However,” Tails responded. “I might know some people who can help you, Sonic.”
My spirits began to lift. Maybe I can solve this case after all. 
“Really?” I asked. “Who?”
“Wait a minute,” Knuckles interrupted. “I heard the autopsy report confirmed that the victims of the Sonic.exe Murders were perfect health despite the fact that they’ve been declared dead.”
“I know, Knuckles,” Tails replied. “It’s written in Derek’s diary.”
“Wait a minute,” Amy rebuked Knuckles comment. “Derek said that the victims were dead. I just hope that’s meant because you can’t perform an autopsy on a comatose patient. That would be illegal and could be considered murder.”
“I think the victims were in a coma,” Cream said. “But they’re dead to the world. They’re organ seemed to function properly, even though they’re dead.”
Cream had a difficult trying to figure it out.
“Oh great!” Cream exclaimed as she crossed her eyes. “Now, I’ve gone cross-eyed!”
“No, no,” Knuckles commented. “The victims seem to be mostly dead, but not all dead. CSI stated that they were in some vegetated state.”
“Oh no, Knuckles” Amy exclaimed. “Let’s not go through this again!”
At this point, I’m starting to get a little aggravated by all this talk about comatose being half dead. I just simply asked who Tails who might help solve this case. 
“Everybody,” I yelled. “Just shut the hell up!”
Everyone fell silent. They all stared at me. I was furious for the moment, but now I’m calm.
“I just want to know who can help me,” I said in a calm voice.
“Shadow and Silver,” Tails answered. “They’re experts in the paranormal. They’ve played the game before everybody knew about it. As a matter of fact, you should go see them.”
All of a sudden, my cell phone rang. The ringtone was the original theme song from my first game. I took out my phone and answered.
“Hello?” I asked.
The nurse from the mental institute was on the other line. Her voice sounded a bit hoarse. I assumed she must have been screaming. Her tone sounded as though she was crying.
“Whoa,” I told the nurse. “Calm down. I can’t hear.”
“It’s Tom,” she screamed. “He’s dead!”
I was shocked. I just spoke to Tom earlier.
“How did it happen?” I asked. “How and when did he die?”
“It was just after you left,” the nursed answered. “The doctors took Tom to the operating room to perform a lobotomy, just to drill out the voices in his head.”
My tone suddenly changed as well. 
“What happened?” I said in an angry tone.
“Just soon as they were about to perform the lobotomy, Tom grabbed two ice picks from the table and jammed both of them in his eyes. They penetrated his skull and he dropped dead on the operating table.”
At this point, I was beyond furious. I  am seething with rage. Tom had committed suicide and I did nothing to save him. X has claimed another victim and I didn’t put a stop to it. This has gone too far. 
Tom’s funeral was on a Friday. I and my friends attended the service just to pay our respects to Tom’s family. I saw that Kyle’s family managed to show up. I’d figure this would be fitting since Tom and Kyle were good friends. Bob Richardson and members of the police even attended, which was strange since they had no further relations other than having to apprehend Tom when he relapsed. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to Tom’s parents, nor did I say hello. I didn’t Tom that well other than he was a fan of mine until he played Sonic.exe. I started to blame yourself for Tom’s death. Had I known what I was up against, Tom would still be here right now. The comfort I could find in this is that Tom has finally reunited with his friend Kyle wherever they are.
I walked up to Bob and asked him more about the game. He didn’t provide much, except that he received a package in the mail. It was a copy of the disc, but Bob didn’t open the case, nor did he play the game. He knew that it was too risky. He didn’t want to end up like the other victims. So, he decided to give it to me. I told Bob that I had some friends who are experienced in this sort of thing. However, I didn’t tell him about Shadow and Silver. I only implied that my friend told me that they played the game before people knew about and I was going to see them after the funeral. 
Four hours have passed and the funeral was over. I was on my way to Shadow and Silver, who live on the other side of town.  I reached their townhouse and proceeded to step inside. I walked through the front door and I was greeted by a bookshelf filled strange relics. I felt like stepped into a horror film. The inside of their townhouse resembled that of the Warren’s Occult Museum. I’m surprised they don’t an evil raggedy Ann doll, or a mirror that can summon evil spirits. As I moved further into their home, I was caught by surprise when I saw a Sonic plushie, much like the one that was found in Tom’s room. Why did Shadow and Silver keep this thing? From the looks of it, the doll looked harmless. I’d assume that Shadow and Silver must have performed an exorcism to cleanse of the evil that possessed it. 
“Sonic, I knew you’d come,” said Silver from the other side of the room. 
“Oh hey, Silver,” I replied. “I came to talk about…”
“The Sonic.exe game,” Silver interrupted.
The way Silver talked as almost as though he knew what I was going to say right before I even said. This is no surprise to me, given the fact that Silver is from the future.
“Don’t worry about the vase by the door,” said Silver.
I saw a vase by the door and I tried my best to avoid breaking it. I bumped into the bookshelf and a much larger struck on the head. I fell down.
“I was talking that vase,” Silver as he helped me up.
“I did not see that coming,” I said while rubbing my head.
“That’s my line, Sonic,” Silver said smirking. “Pull up a seat.”
I sat down in the nearest chair I could find. I fell back. Silver, on the other, sat down on the love seat behind. I quickly got back up on the chair and I was met with Silver’s gaze.
“So, what brings you here, Sonic?” Silver asked. 
“Tails informed me about your business with the paranormal.” I answered.
“That is true,” Silver said. “While Tails is experienced in all things technological, Shadow and I deal with things relating to the occult.”
“And speaking of occult,” I said. “I have a copy of Sonic.exe and I was wondering if…”
“You want me to take a closer look at it.” Silver interrupted again.
“You see,” I continued. “I have here with me the diary that belongs to…”
“The late Detective Derek Green.”
“Yeah, I was just about to say that. Anyway, I’ve been reading up on some of Derek’s notes and I found out about the…”
“The Cult of X. I know, Sonic.”
Shadow the Hedgehog stepped into the living room. He picked up the remote from the coffee table and turned on the TV. He tuned into Sports Center. There was a football.
Silver and I turned our attention towards Shadow who was sitting on the couch next Silver.
“Uh, Shadow,” Silver said.
“I’m watching the game,” Shadow responded.
“Do you mind?” Silver asked.
Silver rolled his eyes and let out a big sigh.
“It didn’t have to come to this,” He said. “The Packers will win in the fourth quarter.”
Shadow turned off the television. He got up from the couch.
Now, we’re back to our little conversation.
“Okay, where were we?” I asked Silver.
“You were talking about the notes in Derek’s diary.” Silver answered.
“Oh yeah,” I remembered. “We were discussing about the Cult of X.”
“Silver and I have been following those psychos for quite a while,” said Shadow, joining the conversation. “Believe me, L. Ron Hubbard ain’t got nothing on these guys.”
Now, I’ve turned my attention toward Shadow.
“So, you’ve seen them before?” I asked Shadow.
“Yeah,” Shadow answered. “I had a few run-ins with a few members. I barely escaped with my own life.”
I told Shadow about the disc and how I got the it from Bob Richardson, Derek’s former boss. In return, Shadow informed that the Cult of X have recruiting more and more people lately. Well, this is nothing new. Derek did mention something like this in his diary, but Shadow experienced the whole thing firsthand.  Silver asked if I still had the disk. I told I did and I pulled it out from my bag along with Derek’s diary and Chelsea’s notes. I handed Shadow Chelsea’s notes and I gave Silver the diary. Silver handed me his laptop and I inserted the disc inside the computer hard drive. The game booted and the title screen appeared.
Of course, the title screen from my first game appeared on the screen. As soon as I started the game, the image changed to a more demonic look. My eyes were black with red irises. I seemed to be crying tears of blood. The ring gold ring from where I’d usually emerge from was dull and rusted. The sky behind me appeared black as if a storm was brewing. And there’s the river of hyper-realistic blood. On the far right corner, the SEGA 1991 logo was replaced with SEGA 666, of course. It was the same title screen that shocked Tom. Anyway, the screen and the 8-bit laugh could be heard.  
We were introduced the character select screen. To my surprise, it wasn’t what I expected. Instead of having Tails, Knuckles, and Eggman, it had Silver, Shadow, and me. I couldn’t risk playing as Shadow or Silver, so I decided to play myself. Then, we could hear that menacing, which sounded like Kefka’s laugh from the original Final Fantasy games.
The screen went black again for 2 seconds. Then, something appeared. It looked like a movie playing. On the screen, the Demon Sonic was holding me by the neck. I was afraid he was going to snap my neck or rip my head off. But, no, he didn’t do anything like. Instead, he carried around as he ran at super speed. He entered the Green Hill Zone where he dangled me in front of the woodland creatures.
“Look at your at your savior,” he said. “Take a good look at him. This is what happens when you worship such false idols.”
All of a sudden, a portal opened and Sonic.exe tossed inside. The screen went black again and the level title card appeared onscreen which read: “Act I-No Escape!”
There was static. Then, the screen went black and a text box appeared. It read: “READY FOR ROUND 2?”
Oh no! Not this again! More static appeared. Now, there’s a picture that appeared on the screen with subsequent writing. In the background, I could see an image of the Demon Sonic. 
The text box read:
“There is a way to release ourselves. A spell to obtain our souls once more.
But we must speak it-when we speak-
No sound. We are all deaf.
So failure is inevitable. And I regret ever entering my internal bet  
with the devil inside of me.
Immortality vs. soul snatching
Gary Crook vs. Jack Stanley
Ambition is overrated.”
The whole thing sounded like sort sick and twisted poem. Then the static reappeared, except it got heavier. Then, within the static, I was alone, running in a field of static. There was no background, just pitch black. It’s as if I was running inside a lifeless void, trying to escape. Then, there were strange shapes appearing in the static. They looked like the Devil’s Machine from Earthbound. The background somehow changed to what looks Giygas when he was going through his second after being wounded. Am I supposed to fight him? Then, it hit me. This level is the post credit level that appeared in Version 5 of Sonic.exe. Fans speculated that this was how I became possessed by the demon. Then, more static appeared and the screen went black. The title screen and there was a picture of me, not the demon version. It’s weird because I’m just staring at myself and I have this look of concern. Now, I’m being introduced to character select screen again and I was the only one available. No Shadow, No Silver. It was just me. Again, I selected myself and the Kefka laugh could be heard. 
Stage 1 starts with the subtitle that reads: NO ESCAPE. 
The level starts with me trapped inside a hellish dimension, much similar to the one I was trapped in. There were dead bodies displayed the area. There were mountains in the background, black mountains. I was surrounded by rows and rows of jagged spikes.  I had to be cautious not to fall through. There were TV boxes with numbers on each screen. I figured I’d have to smash each box, perhaps there might be a clue. Also, I was tasked to collect as many rings as possible. In fact, I had to collect all the rings if I’m ever going to escape. After I collected all the rings and smashed all the television sets, I was presented with a large gold ring at the center of the level. It was my ticket out there. I had to jump through that ring. So I did and I was free.
The screen went black and a text box appeared which read:
The Level title read: AISHU ZONE Act 1.
I found myself inside a desolate graveyard. It’s dark and scary. The music in the background sounded like the Halloween theme song in reverse. The scenery is a night sky with a full moon. Some clouds were passing by. There seems to be a cold wind blowing.  I could see some shadowy figures roaming around. As I ventured further in the level, I could see more of these shadow people emerging from the darkness . Aside from these specters, I began to take notice of the gravestones in the background. Each gravestone was lined up in numerical order, much like the victims of the Sonic.exe Murders. I kept passing each gravestone one after the other until I reached four tombstones that actually had names engraved on them: Kyle, Tom, Chelsea, and Derek. Suddenly, it hit me. The tombstones represented the victims of the game. It wasn’t just a coincidence. I stopped for a moment just look at the graves. I was starting to feel a bit sentimental towards their loss. In the game, I noticed my sprite was starting to looked teary-eyed. I almost felt the same way. My sprite starting looking more forlorn as if it were grief stricken by the deaths of these people. I began to hear whispers in the game. As I pressed on, the whispers began to get louder and were filled with malice. They sounded like they were in pain, as though they lost something or someone close to them. The whispering turned to screaming. Then, screaming became loud, blood-curdling cries for help. It’s kinda weird, but I was starting to understand these cries. It’s as if they were crying out for me. How is this possible?!  This is the work of Aishu, the Guardian of Sorrow. It has to be. He or she is forcing me to live through the horrendous torture these people endured. And then, four spirits appeared right before my eyes. There were two boys, a man, and a woman. All four were wearing tattered clothing and were covered in blood. They had black eyes with red dots, crying tears of blood. Oh my god! These were the ghosts of Tom, Kyle, Derek, and Chelsea. They just have to be! 
They all started circling around me. They began to cry out in unison. 
“Why did you give us to him?” They cried. “You could’ve saved us!”
The voices started to get louder and louder, echoing through the speakers. I was starting to feel scared for a moment, but I had to gather what ounce of courage I had left to keep going. I started running at full speed. The spirits kept ganging up on me. I knew I couldn’t outrun them no matter how fast I run. Each spirit appeared in front of me as I moved forward. I had to outflank them somehow. 
I performed a barrel roll attack on the ghosts which them to evaporate in a puff of smoke. I performed more barrel rolls to attack the shadow people in my way. Aishu was no pushover though. I had to stay focused if I’m ever going to survive this round. Once I have reached the end of this level, I am met with a television box much similar to the ones from my classic video games. Instead of Dr. Eggman, the character on the screen was X. I flipped the screen and my image appeared. This indicated the end of the Act.
The screen fades to black and a text box appeared.
“It’s not your time, Sonic. You have to be patient.”
The level titled appeared: AISHU ZONE Act 2.
I am still inside the graveyard. The tombstones are now in my pathway. I started moving forward until I was met something emerging from the ground. Oh great, this game has zombies. I should’ve known. To my surprise, I was confronted by a zombified version of Tails from the first Sonic.exe game, with his black fur and bleeding eyes. He charged after me.  I had to fight him off. He charged at me again. Zombie Tails was much stronger than I expected. I performed a barrel roll and knocked him down. After that, I kept moving forward. Another hand rises from the grave. This time, it was Knuckles. His fur was a reddish grey and his eyes were black and red with tears of blood. Knuckles also charged at me, punching me to the ground. He was laughing as I fell to the floor. Each time, I attempted to get back up, Knuckles kept punching me to the ground again. The Zombie Tails rose from the ground from behind me. He grabbed me from behind and lifted me in the air, much like when the actual Tails used to lift me in the classic games. Knuckles jumped up and punched me out from Tails’ grasp. Then, a zombie version of Dr. Eggman emerged from his grave. He ran after me. I performed a barrel roll and knocked him down. 
Before I knew it, I was surrounded by zombie versions of my friends and enemies. They all charged after me. I did my barrel roll attack to knock them all out so that I can proceed with the game. This was part of Aishu’s elaborate plan to throw me off guard. As I reached the end of the level, I was met with Aishu. His fur was light blue and he wore a white kimono with the letter etched on his chest in blood.
“This is as far as you, Sonic.” He said. “You cannot escape. Your guilt is what keeps you here in my domain”
Aishu opened his arms wide. No, this can’t be! He’s summoning the ghost of the previous victims of Sonic.exe. Tom, Derek, Chelsea, and Kyle appeared behind him. Their spirits have descended in the ground where their graves are. They started to rise up and are now zombies, much like my friends in this realm. The shadow people plunged into their graves and came out as zombies also. Tails, Knuckles, Eggman, Amy, Cream, and Sally crept up from behind me. They’re all crying tears of blood. Then, they started pointing at me.
They chanted, “You did this! This is all your fault, Sonic! You left us to die!”
Their words kept repeating over and over in my head. I was beyond terrified at this point. Aishu laughed as the zombies kept blaming me for their deaths. My sprite is now kneeling to the ground, crying. I was crying as well. It only took a slap in the face from Shadow to snap me back to reality. 
“Pull yourself together, Sonic!” He exclaimed. 
I’ve regained my focus and went back to playing the game. The zombies kept screaming at me and Aishu was laughing. However, that didn’t stop me. My sprite began the stand up. Now, I’m angry, just like my sprite. 
“I cannot let my guilt get the best of me!” I said. “I have a job to do. I must put an end to this.” 
I did a barrel roll at Aishu, knocking him back. He started retracting his claws and lashed out at me. I had my sprite dodge his attacks a couple of times. I made my sprite perform a few more barrel roll attacks on Aishu. His health was suddenly dropping. As Aishu was at his weakest, I was prepared to strike the final blow. As soon as I defeated Aishu, his body turned to stone and abruptly exploded into dust. The level was complete and the zombies disintegrated into dust as well. I have finally beat one of X’s guardians and I was filled to the brim with confidence. I kept playing.
The screen went black and the text box with the title of the level: KOFUKU ZONE Act 1.
The level started with my sprite in what seems to a carnival, almost to one from previous games. There were rides, booths, and neon lighting. This probably signifies the presence of Kofuku, the Guardian of Happiness.  I just know that I’m gonna be running into something creepy. I trekked throughout the carnival and everything seemed normal. The happy-go-lucky music played in the background and I hadn’t encountered anything out of the ordinary. So far, we’re off to a good start. But then, I was reminded that Kofuku is manipulating me to think this was a normal carnival. 
I was right to not fall for his illusions because I was confronted by a deranged clown with a hatchet. He was laughing maniacally as he charged at me with the ax. Like the last level, I had to use the barrel roll attack to defeat the clown. As I continued my quest throughout the level, I was met with more clowns. Some clowns threw pies at my face while others sprayed seltzer at me. To be fair, I wasn’t terrified at the slightest. Instead, I was a little bit annoyed. I mean, really? Pie and seltzer? Is that the best Kofuku had to offer? I did what I had to in order to beat this level. However, I still had to go through two more acts of Kofuku’s Realm. I performed my barrel roll attack on any clown charging at me. There were some brief moments where I had to jump on spring-loaded platforms to retrieve the rings. Yes, this game does have rings I need to collect. I proceeded with the level, fighting off crazed clowns and collecting rings. 
I reached the end of the level where I flipped the television screen from X’s face to mine. Then Act 2 begins and I was inside the fun house. Yes, this level has a fun house. What’s really weird is that I still haven’t found any hyper-realistic blood or dismembered bodies in this level. Once again, I was met with killer clowns at the entrance. They charged at me with hatchets and I defeated them with my barrel roll attack. The next room had a wall of mirrors. These were not the silly mirrors people see at any carnival. I was greeted by X, who appears in my reflection. He’s just staring at me with those demonic eyes, bleeding and pulsating. He flashed his wide, sinister grin with razor sharp teeth. 
“You must be patient, Sonic,” he said. “All will be revealed in due time.”
He eventually vanished from inside the mirrors. Then, my reflection was changed back to its normal self. I exited out the room. The next room was a spinning tunnel. There were rings there. I had to speed run towards the end while I collected rings.  Now, the third room took a turn for the dangerous when spikes protruded from the ground. I knew this had to be handled with precision. A giant ax shot out from the ceiling. Now, I have to act quick if I’m going to make it to the other side. I ran at super speed and I made it to the exit. The fourth room was a narrow bridge over a pool of piranhas. On it were more rings. I ran across the bridge, dodging piranha attacks while collecting rings. It wasn’t easy to evade jumping piranha and collecting a few rings while crossing a bridge that looks like it’s gonna collapse on me at any minute. Luckily, I did make it to the other side in record time.
The fifth room had giant buzz saws swinging back and forth. This is where I had to go all out. I sped past the swinging buzz saws and made it to the other sides. The sixth and seventh rooms were horrendous at best. The sixth room had a wall of spikes that were closing in on me. The seventh room was a room where the floor is made of lava and I had to leap on the black tiles. However, I made it to both levels before I reached the end of the second act. Act 3 was the final act, which takes place in the Big Top. Here is where I finally fight Kofuku. As I moved throughout the level, I am faced with killer clowns with hatchets. There were also these cannons that fired at me. It wasn’t until I was met with a blue creature who was dressed like a court jester. That creature turned out to be Kofuku. Finally, I was able to face the second guardian of X. He was a fighter. He was juggling fireballs, which he threw at me. The only way for me to survive his attacks is if I could dodge the fireballs and sneak up from behind him to perform my rolling pinball attack. It took me several tries but I did manage to defeat Kofuku, who, like Aishu, turned to stone and popped like a firecracker. 
The next five levels consisted of two to three acts and they each were somewhat representations of the seven guardians. Yokubo’s Zone took place in a brothel where I am being attacked by escorts. Gekido’s level was an abandoned factory full of disgruntled workers. Kirai’s world was in a suburban neighborhood where I had to run from a mob of angry civilians who carried torches and pitchforks. They chased me down the street. Kyofu’s level was inside a haunted house where I had to fight off ghosts and goblins, walk through ten rooms of torture, and face off against a wraith in a trench coat and hat. Kito was the final level, which took place inside a church. This was no surprise since Kito was the guardian of faith.
The one thing that each level had a peculiar Easter egg that stood out like a sore thumb. I had to take a closer look to see what it actually was, which turns out to be a lighthouse that appears in the background. Shadow did a quick Google search on the lighthouse and found out it was an actual lighthouse that is located on a remote island on the shore of the Atlantic. I stopped playing the game and I called Tails.
“Hi, Sonic,” he answered his phone. “What do you need?”
“Tails,” I said. “I need you to hack into the newsroom and spread the word about Sonic.exe and the Cult of X.”
“Oh, come on, Sonic,” he replied. “Give me something worth challenging.”
“Alright, I just found out that each game is specially made for the victims where their favorite characters are turned into horrible parodies of their former selves.” 
“Tell me something I don’t know, Sonic.”
“The Cult of X is using the game to hunt for their next victims and X sucks out their souls through the computer screen.”
“I’m gonna need a little more than that.”
“Somehow, there’s a copy of the game that was made especially just for me and it features the seven guardians of X.” 
“Okay, I’m listening.”
“You remember the guardians are an extension of X, right?”
“That I know, Sonic.”
“Well, each level of this game I played incorporated these guardians in several different levels. And in these levels, there’s a surprise Easter Egg appearing in the background. It’s a lighthouse that is located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. I’m beginning to think that this lighthouse has something to do with the game’s developer. Also, there’s this little poem that was featured in Version 5 of Sonic.exe that’s about some spell to release souls. I think it’s about freeing the souls of the victims of the game. There’s also something about how failure is inevitable and ambition is overrated. It even talks about two games named Gary Crook and Jack Stanley. Do those names mean anything to you?”
“Those names don’t seem to ring a bell. I’ll do a quick search later on. If I find anything, I’ll let you know, Sonic.”
“Thanks, buddy. I’m gonna go check out that lighthouse. Be sure to get on that broadcast.”
“I’ll see what I can do, Sonic. And good luck.”
“As if I ever needed it.”
While Tails got to work on hacking into the local news station, I went to my old friend, Chris, who let me borrow one of his speedboats. I went off to find the lighthouse but I was met with open water and a wall of fog. I was literally in the middle of nowhere. Then I heard the sound of a bell ringing in the distance, followed by a loud foghorn noise. That could mean that I’m finally getting close.
I was starting to see some inches of land appear in my peripheral vision. The image started to become clearer, then I saw it, the lighthouse. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I actually found the light house. I shut off the boat and began to trek on foot. I reached the surface of the island and I started to climb atop the rocks until I reached the entrance of the lighthouse. As I opened the door, I was blinded by this bright light as I walked inside. Then I found myself in a large room filled with monitors. Each monitor had my face on them. There was a black chair in front of me.
“Hello, Sonic,” a voiced called out from behind the chair.
The chair started to turn around and the person sitting in it was an elderly man in a white business suit. I don’t know what it is about this guy, but he kinda reminds me of Malcolm McDowell, the actor.
“I am the Architect,” he said. “You have so many questions.”
“Let’s get to the point, old man,” I said. “I’ve been to hell and back to find out how and why is Sonic.exe being used for these murders? Who made this game and why does it depict me as a murderous demon who kills his best friends?”
“Do you want the short answer or the long one?,” he asked.
“What’s the long answer?,” I asked.
“Take a seat,” he said. “You’ll probably be here for a while.”
Another chair appeared from behind me. I decided to sit down.
“Here’s the full story,” he began. “My wife and I wanted a child, but there were some complications which prevented us from ever conceiving.”
“So, you decided to adopt?,” I asked.
“We never knew where this child came from,” he continued. “We used to think he was a miracle child. Eventually, we would soon realized how wrong we were.”
He went on to describe who this mysterious child was and how he and his wife loved him as if he were their own son. He then described the sudden changes this boy, who was named Xander, went through as he matured.
The architect informed me how Xander was a big fan of mine. This was nothing new to me since I have known certain people who became fans of mine. 
“He had all your video games and merchandise,” he said. “Every Halloween, Xander would always dress up as you.” 
“That’s nice,” I said. “But what about the changes this kid was going through?”
“First of all, my wife and I knew that Xander was different from the other children in the neighborhood. He didn’t have any friends, aside from my wife and me. He would always get in trouble with the other kids in school. And he had different interests than most people. Over the years, Xander would become a hermit in his room and he’d start to resent the outside world. We tried getting him some help, but no doctor or psychologist would ever speak to him. We even resorted to spiritual purposes, but our efforts proved futile. He would act out in church, screaming at the top of his lungs, desecrating church property, and even taking the lord’s name in vain. It wasn’t until I was met with a stranger who claimed to be Xander’s biological father who informed me that Xander was not human. In fact, he told me that he was a demon from another dimension who spawned from The Goddess Lilith.”
When I heard all this, I started to question is actually telling the truth or is he just a delusional. Then, I was reminded by all the events that transpired in the game, such as the hell dimension, the graveyard, and the haunted house. I also remembered when the possessed Tom attacked me. That image couldn’t escape my mind. It was starting to make sense. I mean, that could explain the demonic presence and references to the devil. It took a lot of courage, but I did manage to ask The Architect the obvious question.
“What happened to Xander?” I asked. “I mean, how does he relate to the game?”
“As I told you before,” he answered. “Xander was a huge fan of yours. So much that he’d like to play a game his own spin on the game called Hide and Seek.”
Hide and Seek? Wait a minute, that was the name of the Angel Hill Zone level where the Demon Sonic chased Tails right before he killed him, in the game, of course.
“He would torture the neighborhood children into playing his games,” The Architect continued. “He picked each child randomly. First, he’d lead them on this trail filled with dead animals, then he’d surprise them, stating that he’s found them. There have been cases where a child would go missing. It wasn’t until the bodies of the children were found in the most gruesome way.”
Then it hit. Whenever Sonic.exe killed each character, it symbolizes how Xander murdered each of the neighborhood kids.
“It was on Halloween night,” The Architect said. “Xander went as you. We’d assumed that he would be too old for this sort of thing, but we didn’t want to break his spirits. He even had a Sonic plush doll with him. He always liked to carry it around with him, he’d slept with it, he’d play with it. That doll was the only friend Xander ever had.”
“That explains the evil Sonic plushie,” I said.
“Anyway, when it was revealed that Xander was the murderer,” The Architect continued. “The Townspeople formed a lynch mob against Xander. They chased him down the street throughout the neighborhood. He led them through the grassy hills on the outskirts of town, then into an abandoned steel mill, and finally he ran inside and abandoned castle where they cornered him. They chased him down this stairway where eventually killed him on the spot. They eventually burned his corpse. He still wore his Sonic costume and he still carried his Sonic doll when the townspeople murdered him.”
“Wow, that’s brutal,” I said. “I’d figured a simple slap on the wrist would suffice.”
“Just when I thought the whole ordeal had passed,” he pressed on. “I was mistaken. After Xander’s demise, his evil was imprinted on a video game disc. I’d never expect for it to get out, but…”
“What happened?” I asked.
“Well,” he started to explain. “I placed the disc inside the wrong case and returned it to GameStop, instead of my copy of Sonic 2006.” 
“So, it’s been circulating and killing since,” I said.
“Much like Sonic 2006,” he said.
“But what does this all have to do with the Cult of X?” I asked.
“Do you know Shannon Goldman?” He asked.
That named sounded familiar. It was the name of that cultist who paid Derek Green a visit at Chelsea’s funeral. 
“What does she got to do with this?” I asked.
“She was our old neighbor,” he answered. “She used to come over our house to play Sonic the Hedgehog with Xander.”
“I thought you said Xander didn’t have any friends,” I reiterated. 
“That was a lie. In fact, Shannon was practically the only friend Xander ever had. To be fair, she was more than just his friend. They did partake in torturing the local children. She always did follow Xander around like a puppy dog.”
“And that explains why Goldman was chosen to be X’s loyal servant.” I said.
“Shannon always remained loyal to Xander, even after his death,” The Architect informed me. “She was one of the first people who played Sonic.exe. After that, she started to claim that Xander was talking to her through the game.”
“So, Shannon decided to form a cult dedicated to Xander,” I pressed on, “or should I say Sonic.exe?” 
“Now, the Cult of X are planning to use the game to resurrect Xander,” the Architect said. “They’ve made several attempts, but their efforts proved futile.”
“They’ve been searching for random victims to be offered as sacrifices to appease X,” I concluded. “And they’ve been targeting these victims with the disc.”
“Now, you know what must be done, Sonic,” said The Architect. “You must destroy the disc.”
So, I darted out of there and raced back to the speedboat. I made my way back to the city. I ran towards Tails’ house. 
“Tails, did you send that message?,” I asked as I burst through the door.
“Not yet, Sonic,” Tails answered. “I still need to bypass the security mainframe.”
“You might want to hear me out,” I said. “Because I have some more information on X.”
I told Tails all about the game disc I played and how the different levels represented the seven guardians. I even said to Tails that X was the spirit of Xander and how he was a big fan of mine. I went on and on about the gruesome murders he and Shannon Goldman committed; I didn’t leave out the gruesome details to how they were murdered. Tails began listening more about Xander’s tragic backstory and he even started drawing up each connection between each child murders and the murders of the characters in the game. He even went on the computer and looked up on each murder. He then realized that the characters in the games represented the children Xander murdered; he confirmed that these children shared key characteristics of each character from my games. 
“Okay, Sonic,” Tails said. “You might want to sit down for this. I’ve done some digging in these murders and you were right. Most of these children were killed in the same fashion as the characters in the game. For instance, the first victim was a young boy, no older than 6, was found dead in a forest that was burned down. It was revealed that Xander led this boy on a trail filled with dead animals. He then set the trees on fire right before he started chasing the kid. His next victim was a 13-year-old boy with red hair. Reports confirmed he led the boy inside an abandoned steel mill where he tortured the boy before killing him. The third victim was an obese child, 10, where he led him down a flight of stairs in an abandoned castle estate. Then, he pounced on the boy, killing him on the spot. More and more murders were reported at either an empty community park or an abandoned carnival. Then it says how the neighborhood watch chased Xander inside an old mansion where they killed him and burned his body.”
“I know,” I said. “The Architect told me. But what can you find on Lilith?”
Tails began typing. He came across a website that has information about Lilith.
“Lilith was the first wife of Adam right before he met Eve,” Tails read on. “However, she refused to submit to his will, so she left Eden and God put a curse on her which caused her to lose her children. She was then changed into a demon of the night and preyed on the children of Adam and Eve. She later took on the form of historical female figures, such as Cleopatra of Egypt and Helen of Troy. Recent iterations of Lilith’s presence came from cases relating to sexual alienation. Some include domestic violence against men and stories indicating Hollywood socialites who use their looks to get what they want.”
“Wow,” I exclaimed. “Talk about girl power!”
“Here is a story,” Tails kept reading. “There was an incident in Cedar Sinai Hospital in June of 1972 where a strange woman arrived in nothing but a blood-covered gown. She had the appearance of a mannequin and the body of a normal woman. She had a kitten clamped in her jaw. She tossed it aside and collapsed on the floor. Doctors and nurses rushed her to the ER to prep her for surgery. The woman fought her restraints and stared directly at the doctor. She darted at him and bit his neck. As the doctor was choking on his own blood, he asked the woman who she was. She just said these three words: I am God. She went on to feast on the remain staff and patients. The only survivor of the attack was a female nurse named Erica, who named the strange woman The Expressionless. There was never another sight of her.”
“Well,” I said. “So, that’s where Sonic.exe got that line. But what does got to do with Lilith and the Cult of X?”
“Think about it,” said Tails. “There have been several myths about Lilith that predate before the time of Christianity. The term Lilith or ‘Lilit’ is derived from the Hebrew scripture that means ‘creature of the night’ or ‘demon in the night’. And these cult murders take place around 6:00 PM and midnight. Also, in the Book of Genesis, it talks about how Eve was compelled by a serpent to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree. The King James version associated the serpent with a snake, but other texts say otherwise. In the Hebrew scripture, the term ‘serpent’ can be translated to ‘nachash’ which refers to any living speaking through a demonic entity. It could also be associated with Lilith. Nachash is derived from the term ‘nechash’ which means ‘to whisper’ or ‘to hiss’.”
“Okay,” I said. “But it still doesn’t explain how this relates to the game?”
“I was getting to that part, Sonic,” Tails explained. “You see, the myth of Lilith indicates that she became a lover of demons to which she spawned many children, but she was cursed to lose each child because she disobeyed and was punished. Since then, the myth of Lilith could associated with serpents, birds, or any creature that has an ounce of symbolism. In other folklore, Lilith can also be depicted as a succubus, or demon woman who preys upon man. In most cultures, Lilith can be associated with matters of the occult and Satanism. To put in lament terms, she is the symbol of evil to some and a representation of freewill to others. Pick your poison.”
“And what the phrase ‘I am God’?” I asked.
“The word ‘God’ refers to the term ‘creator’ or ‘creation’,” Tails continued. “In most mythologies, the creation of the Earth is  with one or many divine beings who gave birth to life on an external plain. In the Book of Enoch, the word God is short for God-ree-ale, which means Satan, or King of Kings. If you take in consideration the names of God and Satan, you would come to the realization that the term ‘I am God’ actually means ‘I am Satan’. Take a look at the Sega 666 logo on the far right corner of the title screen. In the Bible, the numerical sequence 666 is usually associated with the Antichrist or the Devil. That would explain the demonic presence inside the game.” 
“Wow, Tails,” I said. “You know more about this than I do.”
“If you’d read some more,” Tails replied. “Then you’d learn more about this sort of thing and maybe you would finally solve the case a lot sooner.”
I could not believe that I just got schooled by my best friend. There is so much that I needed to know and perhaps if I did more reading, I’d finally solve the mystery to this case. Tails had more information that he’d like to explain to me in detail.
“Also, Sonic, the letter X can have a wide variety of different meanings,” Tails discussed. “It can be the Roman Number for 10,  the missing quantity of something, or it might have a spiritual meaning to its origin. X could be an abbreviation for Christ, but I highly doubt the Cult of X has anything to do with Christianity. No, the Cult is more ideal to the aspect of external entities, such as pagan gods and ancient deities. Take for instance, the Cult of Cthulhu was based on a belief system that was derived from H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘Call of Cthulhu. The cult was designed to worship the ancient deity we all know as Cthulhu. The Cult of X is no different.”
“Still, that has nothing to do with Sonic.exe!” I exclaimed.
“Maybe this whole ordeal is beyond that of a corrupt rom hack,” Tails said. “Perhaps, there is more to this than meets the eye.”
Suddenly, it hit me. These shocking revelations have been leading up to this very moment. From the time I’ve been trapped inside X’s dimension to the recent scenarios that have transpired, it was all starting to become clear to me and there is only one absolute: I must put an end to Sonic.exe once and for all. The disc itself was merely a test of my will. This hack was purposely designed just for me and me alone. Kyle, Tom, Cole, Derek, and Chelsea were never meant to play that game. They didn’t have the will power as I do, neither of the other victims did. This game was damaging innocent people’s sense of self because they did not possess the skill that I have to beat it. It’s no wonder these victims were being picked off. The Cult of X just sought out the few people who were much stronger than most human beings. Luckily for me, I’m not human. I’m Sonic the Hedgehog and it’s time for me to go fast, faster than I’ve ever gone before. The reason why no one else was ever fortunate to escape X’s dimension was because they were not as fast as I was and I am extremely fast. It took me at least a few hundred tries before I managed to push beyond my limits to reach my full potential, to unlock my true power. All I had to do was keep running. That’s the purpose of the game. I had to overcome all my fears, my self-doubt, to battle my inner demons, and to move faster beyond my limitations.
“Tails, get on that broadcast feed,” I said. “I need to talk to Officer Richardson.”
“I’m on it, Sonic,” Tails replied.
I made a dash outside the front door on my way to the lobby. I raced out to the streets with lightning speed. I made my way throughout the streets as I headed toward the police station. I saw men police officers rushing in and out of the building. I wanted to ask what their hurry was, but they ignored without giving me a reason. I decided to head inside where I was met with Bob Richardson. 
“What’s going on here?” I asked.
“The situation with the Cult is becoming way out of hand,” he answered. “The Chief has set up a massive task force to catch these cultists.”
I took a look around and saw SWAT teams marching down the halls of the police station. Each police officer was dressed in tactical assault gear and body armor, carrying AR-15 assault rifles. 
“I’m confused,” I said. “Didn’t Derek say that the chief was a member of the Cult of X?”
“That was the old chief,” Bob answered. “This new chief just came out of nowhere and is determined to finding this cult as much as we are.”
“What are we waiting?” I asked. “Let’s go talk to him.”
“He’s busy at the moment,” Bob reiterated. “He’s been held up in his office all morning.”
I decided to ignore Bob for a moment and made my way toward the chief’s office. I was not prepared for what comes next. 
“Alright, chief!” I exclaimed as I burst through the door. “Tell me what the hell is going on here!”
To my surprise, the man behind the chief’s desk was none other than Dr. Eggman, my worst enemy. I cannot believe my own eyes. Dr. Eggman, the man whose life pursuit was to destroy me, is the new chief of police?! 
Eggman turned around as he saw me. He was on the phone.
“Pardon me,” he says to the person on the other line. “I’m going to have to call you back.” 
“Eggman!” I exclaimed. “I should’ve know you had something to do with this case!”
“Sonic,” Eggman replied. “You are so naive. Nevertheless, I am as determined to solving this mystery as much as you are. Who was it that provided you with the diary of the late Derek Green? Who was it that informed you on Tom’s whereabouts? Who told Officer Richardson to hand you the disk? And more importantly, who was it that helped you escape from X’s dimension?”
I stood there in silence. 
“You just don’t get it, do you?” Eggman continued. ” Your pride, your delusions of grandeur are your greatest weakness, Sonic. Years and years we have spent in a senseless conflict to determine who is the greatest. No how many contraptions I’ve constructed in my attempts to defeat, no matter how many times you’ve foiled my schemes for world conquest, we just keep repeating the same process over and over. It’s become a pattern. You want to know why? We are the representations of good and evil, we are the embodiment of right and wrong, yin and yang, life and death. Now, there is a greater threat that neither you nor I can defeat on our own. Dark forces are at work, Sonic. The Cult of X has conspired to summon their demon lord and I am in need of your help.”
“What makes you think that I can trust you?” I snarled.
“You wouldn’t.” Eggman answered.
“Hello, Sonic,” a female voice spoke from behind me.
I turned around to see who is that behind me and to my surprise, it’s Sally Acorn. She is dressed in a SWAT uniform with ballistic bulletproof armor. I was surprised to see her again after all these years. But why is she working with Dr. Eggman of all people? 
“Sally, how is this possible?” I asked Sally.
“A lot of things have been going on since you were gone,” she explained. “More and more people have been dropping like flies and Eggman informed me of a way to open a portal to X’s dimension. You should consider thanking him for aiding in your escape.”
“I thought Cole helped me escape,” I said in a confused tone. “Or was it Goldman?”
“You are wrong on both counts, Sonic.” Eggman replied. “However, Cole and Goldman provided me with some time to unlock the portal and keep it open for a longer period of time, allowing you to escape X’s dimension.”
Nothing has left me more confused than the fact that Dr. Eggman, my worst enemy, is responsible for my escape from X’s dimension. I know he is capable of almost anything but this is a little too far fetched, even for me. No one in the freaking world would ever be in their right mind to work with a deranged lunatic who is hellbent on plotting my destruction! Dr. Robotnik, or Eggman, or whoever he wants to call himself these days, is the root of all evil for God sake.  Then again, there is a much greater evil out there that’s more sinister than Eggman could ever be and now he needs my help to stop him. I guess if I ever want to solve this case, I’d have to choose the lesser of two evils. Anyway, Eggman had more information on the Cult of X than what I’ve gathered from Tails, Shadow and Silver, Derek, Tom, and the Architect. 
Later that day, Eggman skyped me over my smart phone. I had to exchange my contact information with him for the duration of this case. He told me that X has the power to control all reality in his world and he’s unable to do the same in our realm. I told him what the Architect told about his adoptive son who imprinted his evil on the game disc which was responsible for the murders and the fact that this child was the Antichrist. I even told him about The Expressionless and her relationship with Lilith as well as the name of God and Satan. Eggman informed me on the myth of the evil lords of the underworld and their willingness to claim our world. I had no idea what this has to do with anything. But given the circumstances, I am obliged to believe in anything at this point. Eggman told me about the dark lords’ plan to corrupt our very sense of self in an effort to enslave us and the Cult of X was created as a means to support this ideology. He even said that X is one of the dark lords and his seven guardians were the others. Their main purpose was to toy with our minds and making believe things that we could never believe. It’s like what Cole said about the seven guardians manipulating our emotions. He even informed me about some audio recording pertaining a corrupted file pertaining to a fragmented image of a mysterious figure whose face cannot be seen. He was able to send me a link of the recording and I brought it to Tails to transcribe, or make a copy, of the audio feedback. It wasn’t that difficult for Tails, but he had some trouble piecing together the fragments of the image which went along with the audio.   We both listened to the audio and was the voice of a man who seemed a bit distraught about something he encountered with a copy of a game, possibly Sonic.exe. He was talking about Sonic.exe and his past discretion with the gameplay. He didn’t seemed to be afraid about anything. In fact, he was curious about the original copy of the game. He even said that a person named ‘Gamma’ added him as a friend on Steam. This sounds a lot like Derek’s encounter with Cole. Could this Gamma person be Cole? The person behind the audio recording was a man named Chris Laurence. In the recording, Chris talks about how Gamma knew who he was and the response was strange at the least. He went on about how Gamma wanted to take him back after he was intrigued with what he did. He then said that Gamma was deceased, which was weird. He talked about how his computer screen was being torn apart as words started to be scratched onto the monitor. There was strange feeling creeping up on this guy as he claimed. He talked about how he had this dream where he heard about the gameplay of Sonic.exe and how the characters seemed to have some realistic look to their features. He also talks about the rounds of static and the screen fading to black, much like the actual gameplay. Now, there is something pertaining to a voice speaking directly to Chris. It was X, or Sonic.exe. X was making claims that Chris was responsible for the deaths of the characters in the game. He wanted to see Chris, to talk to him in private. He even talked about the victims of X and he rants on about how people are responsible for the massacres through the use of fan art or fan made creations. He informs the viewers to stop feeding X. He goes on about how X cannot be destroyed, nor will his influence be subdued. This person is in great distress at point, encouraging the viewers to stop feeding X, giving the power he keeps using on us. He rants about how something wanted us here. He goes on about how he survived for the sake of being apart of this madness. And here is what I’ve gotten from this audio recording.
“If this is some kind of home for Sonic.exe, then we are the Anti-Sonic.dll and we will continue to be a thorn on his side until our last breath.”
The term .dll is an acronym for Dynamic Link Libraries.  The audio started to become to sound distorted at the end. There seemed to dialogue between the narrator and some unknown source, possibly X or members of the Cult of X, followed by gunfire. This could mean there was a struggle between Chris and these cultists. The audio recording began to get more distorted until we heard the faint sound of laughter emitting from the speakers. It was X and he got Chris.  
That night I decided to take a breather. I crashed on Tails’ couch and started to drift off. I wish I hadn’t because I had a terrible nightmare. In the dream, I was trapped inside some astral plain where I’m unable to make contact with anyone. I was dead to the world, or it seems that way because I see Amy and she looks forlorn as if she is in mourning for my passing. I tried touching her hand but all I felt was a gust of wind blowing in the distance. I was unable of feeling something. The next phase of the dream takes me to Tails’ townhouse where Knuckles, Cream, and everyone were concerned about Amy’s sense of self. They were all mourning over my death somehow. However, it was Amy who was undergoing a deterioration of sanity. She was grinning maniacally. The dream panned to the next morning where I saw Amy standing at her bathroom mirror and she has this look of anger and anguish. Cream crept through the door and tried to console her, but she withdrew from the little bunny. She looked enraged with grief. In my dream, I was at my own funeral, or at least in spirit. I see Knuckles, Silver, Espio, Vector, and others carrying my casket. Everyone I knew attended my wake and Amy was resentful of my passing. Once she saw my lifeless body, she began to cry manically. She wouldn’t let go of my casket. Knuckles tried to pry her away from my me. She went on pleading to be buried with me so that we could be together in the afterlife. Knuckles held her as she sobbed uncontrollably. I tried to bring myself to cry as well but I couldn’t produce any tears due to the fact that I was a ghost and I was incapable of feeling any emotion of any kind.  The dream panned to a few hours later after the funeral and Amy is standing at my grave with what seems to be a book of the Occult. There was a small tremor which caused Amy to drop the book at my gravestone. To my horror, I saw the book cover. Its eye changed to black with red irises. I, or X, rose from the grave and embraced Amy before gouging out her left eye. The dream pans out to an apocalyptic nightmare where Amy, with her eye sewn shut, stands before the graves of X’s victims. I saw the apparitions of Tails and Knuckles grieving for their deaths. Then Knuckles pointed Amy to an open grave with her name on it. Suddenly, X murdered Amy and placed her in her grave. And then I woke up with beads of sweat rolling down my face.
I looked up and saw Amy standing at the foot of the couch. 
“I’m sorry,” she apologized. “Did I wake you, Sonic?”
“No,” I replied. “I was having a bad dream.”
I sat up on the couch and she sat next to me. She looks a bit worried.
“Is this about Sonic.exe?” She asked.
“I guess you can say that,” I said. “It’s just I’ve been working too hard on this case.”
“You really need to pace yourself,” Amy demanded. “You’re losing sight of what’s important.” 
“I know, Amy. But X is still out there and I have to stop him.”
“I know, Sonic. I know. But you need your rest. You’ve been at this for days since you’ve escaped from X’s dimension and it’s eating at you.”
Amy got up from the couch. She took my hand and lead me upstairs.
“Come,” she commanded. “We’ll discuss this in the morning. But for now, let’s just go to bed.”
I protested to the idea of sharing a bed with the girl who used to stalk me, but I was too tired to object. Right now, I don’t see the lovesick fangirl I used to avoid. All I see is a caring friend who wants to help me. I followed Amy upstairs to her bedroom. I guess nothing seems right at this point. As I laid there next to Amy who was fast asleep, I began to ponder over my nightmare and the Cult of X as well as the audio recording I heard earlier. I decided to put it off until the morning and started to drift off. 
The next morning, I met up with Sally at the police station. She had a look of empathy. I was curious to what was going on.
“What’s the matter, Sally?” I asked.
“The police found something,” she answered. “Ten mass graves were discovered last night.”
Surprised, I began to wonder what had happened. Something tugged at to ask.
“How many victims?” I asked.
“Ten for each grave,” she answered.
I was shocked to hear her answer. Ten bodies in ten graves. The Cult of X must be calculating their kill counts in numerical order from 1 to 10. I knew it sounded weird to me but the number 10 seems to click somehow. Maybe it had something to do with the game? It would eventually come to me later on. 
It was 10 in the morning and Sally got a call that there was another murder in a suburban neighborhood not far from the police station. The victim was a 26-year-old man named Leon who played the game 10 weeks ago. His neighbor found him sitting at his desk with slash marks on his face and chest. What I found on his laptop was the game file to Sonic.exe along with a Sonic plushie at the foot of his bed. Sally and the rest of the officers took the computer and the doll to police headquarters for further examinations. Leon’s neighbor said he had been acting erratic since he bought some strange game disc from a local pawn shop. He isolated himself from the rest of the outside world after playing the game. He claimed that I was talking to him, urging him to play the game. Leon’s neighbor stated that Leon has been playing Sonic Dash on his laptop to stay sane. Now, Leon has become a slave in X’s realm. As Leon’s body was being hauled off to the coroners, the neighbors gathered around his house to see what the commotion was. I started to take notice there were some strangers in the background who seemed out of place. Ten people dressed in black robes were surveying the crowd. They seem to be gazing in my direction. They looked unnerved when they saw me.  Sally took notice of me.
“What is it, Sonic?” She asked. 
“I thought I just saw something,” I answered.
I looked for the cult members, but they were nowhere to be seen. It’s as though they vanished into thin air. 
“It was nothing,” I replied. “Just nothing.”
After the police confiscated everything from Leon’s house, we packed everything and left.  Sally and I walked to the patrol car. I was shaking off the feeling of dread. Sally took notice of my facial expression. She knew something is wrong, but she decided not to ask. 
We headed into the city. We made a stop at a hot dog stand and ordered a couple of chili dogs. Of course, every Sonic fan knows that I love chili dogs. But this time, I wasn’t feeling that hungry. I acted as though I was oblivious to the fact that I haven’t touched my chili dog. As Sally and I sat at a park bench nearby, she saw that something was bothering. 
“Are you okay, Sonic?,” she asked. “You haven’t touched your chili dog.”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I’m just not that hungry.”
“Something is bothering you,” she said. “Do you want to talk about it?”
I gazed at her worrisome expression. It was the same look Amy gave me the other night. I had no choice but to fess up and tell Sally everything. 
“It’s been driving me crazy for about some time,” I began. “Ever since I escaped from X’s dimension, I started to have this overwhelming feeling that something bad is going to happen and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Last night, I had this disturbing nightmare that I was trapped in this astral dimension and I was dead to the world. I could hear the cries of my friends who mourned my death. I saw them at my wake, carrying my lifeless body into the forest. One thing led to another and I heard X’s sinister laugh. He emerged from my grave and he slaughtered everyone I knew.”
After I told Sally about the nightmare, I was on the verge of tears. Sally placed her hand over my head and caressed my quills.
“It was just a dream, Sonic,” she said, comforting me. 
“That’s not all,” I continued. “Earlier today when the police went to haul Leon off to the morgue, I saw members of the Cult of X in the crowd. They saw me. They knew I escaped from Hell. Now, they’re scared.”
“You must be getting close,” Sally said. “The Cult of X is now aware of your presence and they know that you’re the only one who can stop X. It’s only a matter of time before you have to fight Sonic.exe head on. Why else did he allow you to escape from the very hell you were trapped in? Why else did he make the game especially for you? Why else did the Cult of X go after the other victims who played the game? They knew you were the one to defeat the evil Sonic. They knew that you were the one to break the curse of Sonic.exe. They knew you were the one to win the game.”
I was rather disturbed at Sally’s words. It became apparent to me that she was right. I have to see this through to the end. I took my chili dog and scarfed it down with lightning speed. I needed the fuel. 
I raced out of the park and made my way through town. I arrived at Shadow’s and Silver’s townhouse. I kept knocking on the door.
Shadow and Silver opened the door. They had the game ready for me. As I continued on with the game, I found myself back in the Green Hill Zone much like my first game. I was surrounded by dead animals, followed by the corpse of Tails, Knuckles, and Robotnik. Then, I stopped for a moment. The sky tuned red and an eerie noise could be heard in the background. I shrugged off the feeling of dread and pressed on. I pressed on the keyboard and moved forward. The trail led me to the Angel Island level from my third game and I could see that everything was on fire. The corpse of Tails reappeared in front of me. This was where X slaughtered his first victim. I heard that awful Kefka laugh. X stood in front of me and the screen went black. 
Then X’s face appeared on the screen. He seems to be looking toward the left as if he was facing someone. There was a caption written on the screen that said:
Then my image appeared and it looked as though I was staring right back at X. A caption was written over my face. It read:
My image stared back at the screen as though I was looking at myself in the mirror. The expression on my face was that of confidence and determination. A text appeared on the screen that said:
Then the level started and the music played in the background. It was the boss fight music from my classic games. X was hovering over me. I had to evade his attacks. Although, I wasn’t going to keep this up forever. I had to strike when the time comes. I performed a few barrel roll attacks on X and he cowered in defeat. The screen went black again and X’s image appeared. A text read:
The gameplay resumed and X fled the scene. He leaped inside a giant ring that appeared on the screen. I followed after him. I was then transported to the Scrap Brain Zone with the dark reddish sky from the previous game. I was met with Knuckles’ lifeless body. I had to keep going. X appeared in front of me again. A text read:
I said, “I will never give up until you are dead!”
X hovered over me again and I performed a few barrel roll attacks and defeated X. He fled the scene as he leaped into another giant ring that appeared on the screen. I followed him. The screen went black. 
There was cut scene that played. One showed Green Hill Zone and Angel Isle changing back to its normal state. Then, the Scrap Brain Zone was restored. Tails and Knuckles were somehow revived. I knew what this means. If I defeat X in these levels, I get to revive my friends. I was so happy at this revelation. Tails and Knuckles jumped through the giant rings which transported them to my location. I was so relieved to see my friends alive and well.
They were happy to see me. 
“Are you ready?” Knuckles asked.
“Let’s finish this,” Tails said.
Tails and Knuckles followed me throughout the remainder of the game. We’re inside the hallway where Robotnik met his end at the hands of X. We raced down the flight of stairs to meet up with X, who stoop over Robotnik’s carcass. 
“This is absurd!” he shouted. “How is this possible? How are you two still alive?”
“Once Sonic has defeated you in the previous levels,” Tails replied.
“He freed us from your imprisonment,” Knuckles followed up.
“Now, it’s three against one,” I yelled in excitement. 
All three of us were fighting off X. We all performed spinning attacks, trapping him. When we struck our final blow, X fell down. However, he was not done. My demon doppelganger escaped into the portal that appeared on the screen. We watched as Robotnik started to wake up. His little hovercraft descended to ground level. He leaped inside. 
“You may have freed me from X’s dimension, Sonic,” he said. “However, this game is far from over. You still need to finish off X once and for all.”
“I’d like to thank you for all your help,” I said. “But I have to do this alone. You’re safe where you are at this point.”
“You still have to free the others,” Tails cried.
“Amy, Cream, and Sally are still trapped within the game,” Knuckled followed up.
“Don’t worry,” I replied. “I’ll save them.”
I disappeared into the portal right as soon as the screen turned black.
I was then transported to what seemed to be Green Hill Zone, except the background was pitch black and the grass was dull and withered. I was faced with X once again and he disappeared into a dull grey ring. I leaped in after him and I found myself in one of the levels where the Chaos Emeralds are found. The background was a dull pink and grey color with shattered hearts. From the corner of my eye, I saw Amy’s broken and battered corpse. Her body was flailing around on one of the four red and white spheres. X flashed on the screen and I balanced myself on the gold spheres. That was where I had to attack. I performed spinning attacks repeatedly and I defeated X. Just before I knew it, Amy was somehow revived and she was able to balance herself on top of the spheres to meet up with me. The background changed as well. We both dove into one of the gold rings that transported up back to Green Hill Zone where we are met with Tails, Knuckles, and Robotnik. 
“Sonic, my love,” Amy shrieked in her lovey dovey tone. “You saved me!”
She ran up to me and gave me a kiss. A big pink heart appeared on the screen.
“I have to find the others,” I said. “Stay right where you are.”
The gold ring appeared in front of me and I leaped inside. The screen faded into black again. I found myself in a level with a background that resembled the Casino Zone from my second Sonic game. I did a spin dash to a TV box which had a boost upgrade. I kept going faster and faster until I came to a screeching halt. I was met with X who stood before Cream’s mangled corpse. 
“This has gone far enough,” I shouted angrily. “Your reign of terror ends!”
“Come at me, bro,” X said with a sinister smirk.
X hovered in the air and I performed a spin dash at him. I kept hitting him over again until his life faded. Following his defeat, X retreated into the grey ring and Cream was restored to her former self. I led her to the gold ring which transported us back to Green Hill Zone.
“Thank you , Sonic,” Cream said. “You saved my life.”
“I’ve got to find X and save Sally,” I said.
I hopped inside the gold ring and the screen faded to black.
I found myself in what seems to be a silhouette of the ground appeared in front a background of X with a tortured form of Sally, with eyes sewn shut and a twisted smile on her face. The walls closed in on us. X hovered over me and I had to do a spin dash to defeat the evil Sonic. I kept spinning around and hit to walls that collapsed on X, causing his life span to deplete. I kept bashing into the walls until X was buried underneath the debris. Sally was revived and her eyes opened wide.
“Sonic, you have to stop X,” she said.
All of a sudden, X burst through the rubble and he looked furious, even more furious than ever.
“Why won’t you die?,” he screamed.
“I saving my death for you,” I answered.
A grey ring appeared in the background and X jumped through.
A gold ring appeared before Sally and me. We both jumped through it and returned to Green Hill Zone.
“X is still out there,” Tails said.
“We need to stop him once and for all,” Sally added.
“It’s time to fight,” Knuckles shouted with enthusiasm.
A  big gold ring appeared before us and we all jumped through it. Then screen faded.
We were all transported to a level in what seems to be a hilltop graveyard, not like the one from the Aishu Zone. No, this graveyard overlooks an ocean of blood and a red sun appeared in the background. We are met with our deformed selves. X appeared before us, along with his seven guardians. 
“Well, well,” Knuckles said. “If it isn’t X and his little butt buddies.”
“Let’s get this show on the road,” said X. “Be prepared!”
“Let’s end this,” I yelled.
I made a spin dash and charged after X. I knocked him into the river of blood. The seven guardians went in after him. They circled the area where he was plunged. X emerged from the blood ocean and joined his brethren. They descended into the pool of blood. Suddenly, the ground was shaking. Out from the depths, a large talon emerged from the crimson red water. X’s head appeared from the blood and was transformed into a grotesque serpentine entity. Six other heads emerged from the red ocean and were transformed as well. Each head had a distinct number of horns, which added up to 10. Great, I knew what this was referencing. The Beast with Seven Heads and Ten Horns from the Book of Revelations. This was way too much for an 8-bit game. 
“Ready for the final round?” The beast asked.
“This is gonna get ugly,” I said.
Shadow and Silver appeared on screen.
“Hey, guys,” Shadow shouted.
“Are we late for the party?” Silver asked.
“No, you’re just in time,” I answered.
“Let’s take this sucker down!” Shadow exclaimed. 
Shadow, Silver, and I went Super Sonic. The color pallet on our fur changed to a glowing gold color. We were illuminating in a bright yellow burst of energy. We hovered over the Beast as we prepared to fight off the demon. 
The Beast charged at us with lightning speed, but we were faster. We evaded the attacks and countered with a series of speed dashes along with brand new moves. Silver emitted a fiery blast like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Shadow conjured a powerful energy blast from his body as he made a spin dash against the Beast. I created a series of cyclones that slowed the Beast down. 
As we prepared to strike the final blow, Silver, Shadow, and I fused together to create a giant hedgehog made of bursts of energy. Our final form was an amalgam of a hedgehog and the Phoenix. We fought valiantly against the Beast with Seven Heads. Our final attack was an ultimate spin dash mixed with a fire blast and a vortex. 
The screen faded to black. Now the Beast appeared on the screen. Bursts of plasma burst through its body as if it was going to explode. The Beast reverted back to Sonic.exe. Now, his power is gone. The souls escaped from his body as beams of light emitted from him. He was going to explode. 
Before I knew it, X was destroyed and the crimson blood was change back into a clear blue ocean. The red sky also reverted back to blue. All the dead animals are alive once again. Everybody started to cheer me on. The picture of Sonic.exe is now changed back to my picture. The screen faded to black with a caption that reads: 
Then the character selection screen appeared. It featured me, Tails, and Knuckles. There was a text above the menu that reads: NO JUMP SCARES HERE.
I could not believe that I actually beat the game. I was so relieved. Now, it’s time to take my new found confidence and apply it to the real world. I got up from the computer and darted out the door. I Skyped Tails on the phone.
“Sonic,” he answered. “I just finished with the encryption. I’m ready to hack the news feed.”
“Good,” I said. “I’m heading over to the police station.”
I made an actual speed dash toward throughout the streets.
I met up with Sally Acorn and Dr. Eggman.
“I did it,” I exclaimed.
“You beat the game,” Sally guessed.
“At least that’s one less thing to worry about,” Eggman said. “Anyhow, there is something you might want to take a look at.”

Eggman pulled out a tablet and showed me a .jpeg image of a little girl standing in the middle of the forest, almost like the forest from my dream. I took a closer look at the image and I noticed she was holding a book in her hand. It’s the same book that was in Amy’s possession in my dream. 
“It was Shannon Goldman,” Eggman said. “This was taken on the day of Xander’s funeral. He was buried in an unmarked grave deep within the forest.”
“So,” I began to speak. “Shannon was trying to resurrect Xander?” 
“At a terrible cost,” Eggman answered. “Upon his resurrection, Xander shed his mortal form and was changed into the malevolent entity we know as Sonic.exe.”
“The Architect did say that X imprinted his evil on a game disc,” I said. “That would explain how it came into his possession.” 
“Just after you demonic counterpart made his debut,” Eggman continued on. “A massacre ensued in Xander’s hometown, to which Shannon Goldman became an accomplice to. After her task was done, X forced Shannon to be his prophet and spread his evil throughout the world. She would later find others who followed in X’s footsteps. Serial killers, rapists, sadists, and masochists were recruited to take part in this bloodbath that we referred to as the Sonic.exe Murders. Their mission was to collect as many souls needed to summon their dark master. They took pleasure in stalking and tormenting potential victims who played the game. They used corrupt copies to instill fear into the hearts of those who have played Sonic.exe. Once their fears are exploited, X would drive his victims to the point of insanity before he claims their souls. And it all started with Xander’s hometown.”
“You remember the mass grave the cops found,” Sally added on. “It was the most recent killing. Another mass grave was found on a hilltop that overlooks the ocean. Tombstones of X’s first victims inhabited the area. And out at sea, there’s a lighthouse that over looks the shore. It’s the same lighthouse you paid a visit to.”
“Xander’s adoptive father was the only survivor,” I said solemnly. 
I raced toward the hilltop cemetery where I saw the massive number of gravestones. The red light emitting from the lighthouse caught my eye. I started to have visions from my dream. I’ve come to a conclusion that this massacre took place right at this very spot. Sonic.exe claimed the lives of these people as part of his ongoing mission of death and destruction. I balled my hands into a fist and clenched my teeth.
“Goddamn you, Sonic.exe,” I snarled under my breath. “Goddamn you back to Hell!”
In a speed of light, I raced back into town and made my way for the woods where Xander’s tombstone. I noticed that hole in the ground from where he rose from the grave. 
“So, this is where it all began,” Amy said behind me.
I was surprised to see her standing there. She slowly approached me.
“It’s hard to believe that all this started because someone missed her friend,” she continued. “And she took part in a massacre that claimed the lives of an entire cul-de-sac.”
“The impasse was closed off from the rest of the town,” I said. “City officials condemned the entire area. Some say you can hear the cries of the victims within throughout the streets in the dead of night. Neighbors issued several noise complaints but the city council claimed there was nothing they could do about. They said that just because they didn’t want anybody to know about what happened here. An outcast is turned into a monster, a recluse in turned into his servant, innocent people died, and now this cult is using a hacked game to harvest souls to summon their dark master. Something’s gotta give.”
“It wasn’t your fault, Sonic,” Tails said from behind me. 
Knuckles, Tails, and Amy joined me to ponder over the horrendous events that transpired. Cream, Shadow, and Silver arrived as well. All my friends came to comfort me in my time of grief. I felt guilty for the people who ostracized this little boy for being different. But I remembered that this was no ordinary boy. This was not even a boy at all.This was an evil monster from another dimension who took the form of an innocent child who turned out to not be so innocent at all. And once he met his demise, he shed his mortal form and became the very evil that is responsible for the genocide of millions around the world. 
Here we stand in this desolate wasteland that was once a rich neighbor filled with people. Now, it’s nothing but bitter memories and broken homes. It’s a reason that city officials closed this area off. They didn’t want what happened here to happen anywhere else. That planned failed. Now, we have a cult whose main purpose is to cause death and despair to the world, so that their dark master would made grant them absolute power. And on top of that, there are these seven guardians inhabiting X’s dimension and they’re manipulating human emotions in an attempt to maintain power and control in his realm and cause trouble in this world. This was all too much for me to handle. It looked easier in the game, but reality was a different story. This revelation came apparent to me that I have to put an end to X’s plans to claim this world as his own. The Cult of X is still out there, probably claiming another victim at this point. The time of grieving is done and I have to stop X in his tracks. Although, Bob Richardson showed me the disc, it became apparent that it was not the original copy of the game. It’s still in Shannon Goldman’s possession and I have to destroy it. 
“Goddamn you, Sonic.exe!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.
I raced back into the city where I met with Sally and the SWAT Team as they prepared to hunt down the Cult of X.
“It’s time to end this,” I said. 
“Let’s go get those cultist freaks and destroy that disc,” Sally said.
Tails, Knuckles, Eggman, Amy, Cream, Shadow, and Silver followed us as we made our way through the city. The secret hideout of the Cult of X could be located in an abandoned chateau on the outskirts of town. As soon as we burst through the door, we realized that the entire place was empty. Nobody was here. It’s as though they all just up and left. Suddenly, a man in a cloak came out of the shadows with his hands in the air. He surrendered immediately. I wasn’t convinced that he’d give himself up too easily. I bolted after him and grabbed the guy by the arm. He was about to snatch the apprehending officer’s AR-15 and kill everyone in the vicinity. However, I stopped him from succeeding. Shadow pulled out his M-TAR and held it up to the guy’s head.
“Okay,” he said in an intimidating voice. “Where are all your butt buddies?”
“You will never stop X,” the man said threateningly. “At this moment, we are conspiring to help him to claim this world. There is nothing you can do about it.”
Shadow cocked his gun and aimed it at the guy. 
“I’m going to ask you again,” he said, pointing the gun. “Where is the Cult of X?!”
The man was reluctant to answer. Shadow pointed his gun towards the man’s lower member.
“All the guys in your little group had their ceremonial castration and are now eunuchs,” he went on. “All except you, I’m guessing. You wanted to keep your pride because you’d thought you’d get lucky with one of the female members of the group, namely Shannon Goldman.”
“I would do anything for that woman,” the cultist replied.
“So, she’d give up her panties for you,” Shadow continued. “What makes you special? Why do you think that Shannon Goldman would ever have sex with a worthless lowlife like you?”
“We’ve engaged in sexual intercourse on numerous occasions,” the man answered. “She said that I must be the vessel for her desires. I must give myself to her because X told me to. My purpose is to grant her my power to sustain her life force.” 
“Through sex,” Shadow said as he held his gun up to the man’s crotch. “I can see you were just her little boy toy, but she was just using you. She only has feeling for her master. She doesn’t love you.”
The man was angry at Shadow, but he remembered that Shadow still had the gun pointed directly at his crotch. He jumped a little.
“By now,” Shadow continued. “You would be of no use to anyone unless you tell me where the Cult of X is making their next move.”
Itching to pull the trigger, Shadow trained his gun on the cultist until he could get a response. 
“Okay, okay,” the man shouted. “I’ll tell you where they are! Please, don’t shoot my penis. It’s all I have!”
“Where are they heading?” I asked. 
“Up the hill,” he answered. “They’re heading up the hill where the graves are at.”
“Thank you for your cooperation,” I said. 
“I have failed my mistress,” the man said as he pulled a knife from his robe. 
The SWAT team tried to stop the man from stabbing himself, but they were too late. The man plunged the dagger into his stomach and dropped dead on the scene.
I raced out to the hillside cemetery where men and women in black cloaks chanted repeatedly. From the corner of my eye, I saw Shannon Goldman with a laptop in one hand and the game disc in the other. I raced onto the scene to stop her from summoning X. Shadow and Silver followed me. We charged after the cultists who attacked us. We fought our way through the first wave of the cult members. Shadow opened fire on the skirmishers who came at us with machetes. Silver used his telekinesis to levitate the gravestones and threw them at oncoming cultists. I performed a spin dash and knocked a few people off their feet. Then I punched and kicked more members along my way to retrieve the disc from Goldman’s grasp. I darted after Goldman and snatched the disc from her hand. I retrieved the disc in my hands.
“Finally,” I shouted. “Now, I will finished what Tom was reluctant to do, to succeed where Derek Green failed. I am going to destroy this disc and end this madness once and for all.”
I turned to Shadow and Silver as I threw the disc in the air. Silver used his telekinetic powers to steady the disc as Shadow prepared to open fire. Shadow fired a round at the disc and shot it into tiny pieces. I turned my attention toward Shannon Goldman who seems to not be a bit surprised.
“It’s over, Goldman,” I shouted. “We’ve destroyed the disc. Now, X will never cross over into our world again!”
Goldman let out a loud cackle. 
“You foolish hedgehogs,” she said. “What makes you think that was the real disc?”
We were shocked at her reply. Shannon Goldman pulled out the Book of the Occult from with her robes. She took out a computer disc from the sliver of the back cover. She picked up her laptop from the ground, which was still in mint condition after being dropped throughout the melee. She inserted the disc into the drive and the game booted. 
Suddenly,  the ground was shaking. Gravestones are being tipped over, cultist lose their balance, and the ocean started to boil as though an underwater volcano was about to erupt. Shannon Goldman was transforming into the Demon Queen known as Lilith and something was emerging from the ocean. It was Sonic.exe. My doppelganger stood hovered over me with his black and red eyes, grinning maniacally. Lilith and her son hovered over the Cult of X. Both Mother and Son towered above the masses. Shadow, Silver, and I stood back as the duo descended to the ground. They both smiled at us. Each had jagged spikes for teeth. Lilith, with her mannequin-like features, gazed at us and the Cult of X. Sonic.exe smiled at his mother with his wicked smile. As The Expressionless, Lilith cuddled her son like a child would embrace his or her favorite stuffed animal.

They said in unison, “WE ARE GOD!”
Their grins were savage and wild. They look as though they’re about to feast on the cultists. That explains why Shannon Goldman needed that guy to please her. She was Lilith in disguise. Lilith was known as for invoking sexual desires, according to Tails. Lilith set X on the ground. They looked at one another in approval.
“Make yourself at home, Mother,” X said to Lilith.
Lilith produced giant bat wings that protruded from her back. Her horns reemerged atop her forehead. Her fangs were sharp and viscous as she eyed the members of the cult. She darted after the cultists, feasting on them one by one. After all the cult members dropped dead, Lilith licked her fingers and looked toward Sonic.exe. 
She then turned her attention to me, Shadow, and Silver. She looked back at her son.
“Okay, son,” she said. “Ready for the Final Round?”
X looked at us. 
“Hello, Sonic,” he said. “Ready for the Final Round?!”
He charged at Silver, knocking him into one of the gravestones.
Getting back up, Silver shouted in pain, “ow, ow, ow, ow, ow! How did I not see that coming?!”
Shadow and I fought X. We punched and kicked, but X kept deflect our attacks. Silver decided to go after Lilith.
“Hey, she-bitch,” he called out to her. “Let’s go!”
Silver and Lilith fought in the air while Shadow and I fought X on the ground. Shadow reached for his M-TAR and opened fire at X. He charged at Shadow, able to dodge his bullets. He kicked Shadow in the face, still gripping on his gun. Silver used his telekinetic abilities to throw more gravestones at Lilith, but she dodged his attacks. I had to sneak up from behind X and attempted to use the element of surprise on him.  Sonic.exe countered my attack and tossed me at Shadow. I fought against my demon doppelganger. He used telekinetic powers to lift seven graves from the ground. X took the gravestones and molded them into the image of the Seven Guardians of his realm. The Seven statues came to life and were turned into the Guardians. 
“Oh, great,” Shadow exclaimed. “It’s X and his seven little butt buddies!”
X divided himself into seven entities who inhabited the statues, giving life to them.
The statues came to life a became the physical embodiment of the Seven Guardians. Silver had to cut his little dogfight with Lilith short to join us in our fight against the Seven Guardians. The three of us had to face these entities on an uphill graveyard while X and Lilith watched. Silver had to use his psychic powers to shake the foundation the Seven Guardians were made from. Shadow used his M-TAR and shot at the weak points on the walking statues as a means to shatter them to pieces. I just used my spin dash and rammed right through them. After we’ve destroyed the statues, we resumed our conflict with X and Lilith. 
“Fools,” X said. “You really you can defeat us. We are the ultimate life force. We are the universe. We are the alpha and the omega. We are life and death. We are God!”
I shouted, “don’t you ever shut up?!”
“Sonic,” Silver shouted. “The disc!”
I remembered that the only way X could be destroyed is if someone destroyed the disc. But the disc was already inside the laptop and there was no way to get it out. We have to destroy the laptop. Silver, Shadow, and I raced to retrieve the laptop. X and Lilith used a series of attacks to prevent us from reaching the laptop. Lilith sent out volleys of fireballs while X conjured more Guardian statues. We had to evade each of their attacks in our attempt to destroy the disc. As soon as I reached the laptop, X used telekinesis to snatch the computer from my hands. He disassembled the computer and grabbed the disc. X took the disc in his hands and placed it to his chest. It’s as though X and the disc merged. Lilith used her dark magic to transform her son into a much sadistic version of X. The souls of the dead cultists ascended into the air. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we see the ghosts of Tom, Kyle, Cole, Derek and Chelsea Green as they joined alongside Sonic.exe. 
“I don’t need to souls of your friends to attain absolute power,” X said. “Once I have merged with the lost souls of the victims of my game, I will be invincible.”
The souls circled X as though they were controlled by either X or Lilith. They spun round and round at a rapid rate. A beam of light illuminated the night sky. It had a red glow. A loud explosion occurred and the hill collapsed on itself. Silver surrounded us in a protective bubble from his psychic power. 
X was transformed into a much sinister version of himself. His face looked nothing like me. In fact, his entire body was covered in quills which crystallized somehow. His eyes are now red with green irises, his mouth is covered in spikes, and he has tendrils protruding from his back. He looked vaguely similar to Mephiles the Dark, except he still has my color palette. 
“Now, I know how this is about to go,” I said. 
“Is it just me or has X gotten uglier?” Shadow asked.
“We have to get to the surface,” Silver said. “We have to end this.”
Silver steadied up to what remained of the hilltop graveyard. We made it onto the street corner where we are faced with Lilith and X. 
“I got something for him,” Shadow said as he pulled out an AR-15 with a built-in grenade launcher. 
“Courtesy of Miles Prower,” Shadow said in zeal.
Shadow aimed the AR-15 at X and opened fire on him. He kept shooting at the monster repeatedly. He even used the grenade launcher on him. His efforts were not his best because X is still ganging up on us. 
“You guys split up,” Shadow instructed us. “I got this.”
As X charged at us, Shadow reloaded the grenade launcher and aimed at the demon.
“Come on, you son of a bitch,” he antagonized X.
X swiftly snatched the gun from his hands and tossed it aside. He then grabbed Shadow by the neck and lifted him in the air.
“That’s my mother you’re talking about!,” he snarled.
X threw Shadow to the ground. Silver and I raced to his aid. We quickly picked Shadow up on his feet. 
“You really had him on the ropes, Shadow,” Silver said.
“Shut up, Silver,” Shadow snapped.
“I hate to break up this conversation,” I interrupted. “But we got company!”
Sonic.exe was charging at us with lightning. We had no choice but to use Chaos Control.
Shadow took out the Chaos Emeralds and used them against Sonic.exe. It was time we use Chaos Control. 
A beam of light surrounded us as a fur changed to gold. Now is the time to strike the final blow. Sonic.exe would have finally met his match at the hands of the Super Hedgehogs. 
Three Super Hedgehogs against a demon queen and his devil spawn would be a fight of the century. Now, we are ready to fight for the fate of the world. 
Sonic.exe and Lilith soared directly at us with ramming speed. Silver used a power force field to deflect their attacks. Silver and Shadow went after Lilith in the air while I face X on ground level. Sonic.exe was a fierce fighter, even in his demon form. However, the Chaos Control gave me super speed which allowed me to counteract his attacks. We wrestled each other to the ground. X had me in a chokehold, but I managed to break free. I started delivering a few punches and kicks to X. 
“You are too slow,” X said. “Wanna try again?”
“I’m just warming up,” I replied. 
I dropkicked X in the chest, knocking him to the ground. I tossed him around a few times. I performed an uppercut to his chin, knocking him in the air. 
“I guess your new form hasn’t improved on your fighting skills,” I chuckled.
“You fool,” X snarled. “This isn’t even my final form!”
Red lightning emitted from X’s body. He’s going through another transformation. This is where he’s at his weakest. This was my chance.
As Sonic.exe undergoes another change, I did a spin dash and knocked him in the ocean, just like in the game. Like what happened in the game, I knew that Sonic.exe wasn’t finished with us. As the seas started to boil, I saw the crimson red fire erupting from the depths of the ocean which indicates that Sonic.exe has assumed his true form, except he’s not the beast with seven heads. 
I saw a giant talon arise from the ocean, followed by a pair of bat wings and a tail. Sonic.exe has transformed into a giant dragon-like monster with blue scales and black horns. His facial features looked skeletal with an elongated black tongue, piercing red eyes, razor sharp fangs, crystalline quills all over his body, and smoke-like tendrils emitting from his body. This was no longer the Sonic.exe I was more familiar with, this was his true form. This was the Beast. X let out an ear-splitting roar that shook the sound barrier. Smoke billowed from under his hot breath, tears of blood rained down from his face, and the quills rose from his back. Shadow, Silver, and I were petrified once we saw the monster X had become. The beast lowered his head toward us.
“Ready for the Final Round?!” X snarled.
We are now fighting the battle for all hope and we know it won’t be an easy one. X has the power to control all of reality in his world and now he’s accomplished this feat in our world. It became apparent to me that the person who made the game had made it only for me, no one else. That very person was trying to send the world a warning that no ordinary human is worthy of the evil and corruption this game possessed. The creator, AKA The Architect, made the game so that I could only play because he knew that I was the only who can stop Sonic.exe. He knew that I was the only one who is capable of winning the game. Sonic.exe was not meant for humans, it was meant for Shadow, Silver, and me.The poor souls like Kyle, Tom, Derek, Chelsea, and the other victims were the martyrs who tried to fight this battle alone. In the end, their efforts were in vain. They were only humans, not hedgehogs. They hadn’t the knowledge to defeat X because they weren’t worth of the power this game possesses. There was a reason why Shadow and Silver survived from their encounter with Sonic.exe. They were the only ones who had the knowledge of the game’s true intentions. I was the only who was capable of playing the game all the through from beginning to end. X imprinted his evil on this game for one reason and one reason only. He wanted to claim the souls of humans in his lifelong mission to attain enough power to assume his ultimate form. The man who was once known as Chris Laurence and his army was not the AntiSonic.dll, we were. Shadow, Silver, and I would continue to be the thorns in Sonic.exe’s side until our last breath. X is a monster from another world and the cult made into his image conspired to summon him to claim our world, despite their efforts being in vain. Derek Green and Tom tried to fight this battle alone and no one did anything to save them. They will be avenged, along with the other victims of Sonic.exe and the Cult of X. Now, it’s the time to utilize the power of the Chaos Emeralds to their fullest potential. Now is the time to become the Anti.dll. With our powers combined, we will achieve this goal.
I looked to Shadow and Silver with a look of determination. They nodded their heads slightly.
“It’s time to combine our powers,” I said. 
“Good idea,” Silver replied.
“Let’s do it,” Shadow followed up.
We yelled out in unison, “Chaos Control! Form of Anti.dll!”
Silver and Shadow transferred their powers into me and we became one Mega Hedgehog. We became the AntiSonic.dll. We took the form of me with light blue fur and blank white eyes. We were a force to be reckoned with here in our world and X’s. 
“We are the AntiSonic.dll,” we yelled. “It’s time for the Final Round!”
We made a spin dash toward X. We did a lot of damage to the monster. Our power was too much for the beast and he knows it. Lilith was shocked at the sight of his son being beaten by an ultimate life force. X clawed at us, but we were able to dodge his attacks. As the Anti.dll, our power became too much for Sonic.exe. We knew his weakness and we will exploit it. Lilith stood helpless as we kept beating up her child. It was only a matter of time before she loses another child. We flew in the air, performing spin dashes against Sonic.exe.
We noticed the disc-shaped insignia on X’s chest, the source of his power. The only way to way to destroy Sonic.exe is to destroy the disc. Destroy the disc and we will destroy him. We dove downward toward the beast’s chest at rapid speed. We were too fast for even X. Like a speeding comet, we became untraceable to the naked eye. We impacted his heart with an awesome force. We ripped the disc from X’s chest with brute strength. As we retrieved the disc from X’s grasp, we retreated to the surface and reverted back to our normal selves as Shadow, Silver, and myself. As X raced to retrieve his power, I held the disc in my hands. He tried to reach out for the disc, but he was too late. I snapped the disc in half, destroying his power and his life force. Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Cream, Eggman, Sally, and the rest of the police force arrived as soon as Sonic.exe went into a catatonic state of self-destruction. Molten lava spewed from X’s body as if he was a living volcano about to erupt.  A beam of energy escaped from X’s open wound as his body was deteriorating. 
His screams of agony filled the air. His body was going to explode. 
Now the light has subsided for one last time before X’s body was completely destroyed as he explodes into a million pieces. Remnants of flesh and blood showered the streets as Sonic.exe blew up, much like the aftermath of every Mortal Kombat boss battle.
Grief stricken and forlorn, Lilith had a nervous breakdown. The ground opened up and Lilith submerged herself inside the porthole to Hell. The portal closed and everything went back to normal.
Sonic.exe was no more and I was the savior of mankind once again. However, the victims’ families were never aware of the incidents that sparked these chain of events, until now. The police informed each relative about their lost loved ones about the murders. Eventually, they all had the courage to move on. Funerals were prepared the following day and the remnants of the hilltop graveyard were restored as a memorial for the victims of the Sonic.exe murders. At the memorial service, I spoke about my experiences in X’s dimension, my encounters with a possessed Tom, and the entire battle with the Cult of X. After the service, I met up with Shadow and Silver.
“Hey, Sonic,” Shadow said. “After everything you’ve been through, you’ve made it out in one piece.”
“Just know that bleeding eyes are not scary,” Silver said.
Bob Richardson came up to me. He seems happy. 
“Sonic,” he said. “Congratulations on your victory against Sonic.exe.”
“Thank you, Bob,” I said.
“It’s Chief Richardson, now,” he replied. “After Dr. Eggman resigned from his position, he appointed me as the new Chief of Police.”
“So, I guess we’re back to being rivals,” I said.
“You never know,” Bob said. “Well, I’ll see you around.”
After that conversation, Bob finally walked away. Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Cream, and Sally walked behind me. They were so happy to see me.
“So,” Tails began. “Now that you’ve won the game, I guess you’re back to collecting rings and spin dashing Eggman’s minions.”
“Not yet,” I replied. “For now, I’m just going to enjoy this moment while it lasts.”
“Nothing lasts forever, Sonic,” Sally said. “You still have to deal with other forms of evil.” 
“Maybe,” I commented. “What do you have in mind?”
“Well,” Tails added. “There’s a disturbance at a local university after a college student acquired some haunted game cartridge at a garage sale. He claimed that it belonged to a boy named Ben who drowned.”
“Shadow and Silver can handle that,” I replied. “What else is there?”
“Well, there was this thirteen-year-old boy named Jeff who went psychotic after three bullies burnt him alive,” Sally added on. “He just killed his family and is now on  a murderous rampage.”
“That looks like a job for some guy who dresses like a nocturnal creature,” I rebuked. “Next?”
“Well, the Tails Doll informed me about an eerie incident with a chain letter of a photograph of a smiling dog,” Tails went on. “Anyone who receives the message has to spread the word or risk being haunted by the Smile Dog.”
“Yawn,” I groaned bored. “Is there anything else?”
Shadow and Silver came up to me.
“Shadow and I have been following around on a case involving a number of disappearances,” Silver said.”Eye witnesses claimed that a tall, shadow-like entity might be involved with these incidents.”
“Locals referred to this creature as The Slender Man,” Shadow added. “Personally, I think it’s an urban legend.”
“Heard before,” I said dauntingly.
“Well,” Silver went on. “Some guy complained that his crazy girlfriend smashed his XBox while he was playing Call of Duty. She even threw away all his games and threatened to cut off his….uh, Shadow can fill you in on the rest.”
“All in all,” Shadow added on. “This crazy bitch threatened to cut off this guys’s dick for ignoring her for three years. He’s been a big gamer for thirteen years and he’s been going out with a psycho bitch for three months. Now, she’s complaining that he’s not giving her the D because he has been playing Call of Duty and Minecraft with his friends. Can you believe that?”
After hearing that, I shot up in excitement. 
“What the hell are we waiting for?” I shouted. “Let’s get moving!”
Shadow, Silver, and I raced out to save that poor soul who was victimized by a jilted lover who threatened to rob him of his manhood over a video game. But that’s a tale for another for time. 
For now, let’s take a moment to revel in this debauchery of utter nonsense, trolling, and idiocy. If you thought the other two Sonic.exe stories, this might take the cake. Keep in mind that  story was written as retaliation for the moronic pretentiousness and lack of creativity. The reason this story was written was to silence all those furry fangirls who fantasize about these characters in a sexual manner. And as for JC-the-Hyena, the author of Sonic.exe, he should be ashamed of demonizing this iconic character for his story. I mean, why would I, Sonic the Hedgehog, kill my best friends in a  hacked game? Who in their right mind write a horror story this? And on top of that, the use of blood and gore in this story was unnecessary, even for an 8-bit game. Sonic.exe is so stupid and it’s not even scary! 
THE END! Now, go home!
(Keep in mind, this story was written as a parody of a story that is so bad that it’s not even that terrifying. It was written as dramatic monologue, told in the perspective of a video game character. Sonic.Exe: The Final Round is a rebuttal to JC-the-Hyena’s so-called masterpiece of mayhem and terror. It’s supposed to take the concept of a horrible story and poke fun at it for entertainment purposes.)
(*P.S. Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are trademarks to the Sega Corporation and Nintendo. I do not own the rights to any of these characters.*)
(*Also, Sonic.EXE is a Creepypasta/Trollpasta written by JC-the-Hyena*)
(*So is Sonic.exe/Round 2: Electric Boogaloo*)
(If you want to read the original stories, the links are down below. Keep in mind that I don’t own the rights to any of these stories, nor do I own the rights to the characters.)’m_Back…
(*That’s all.)

With Halloween around the corner, I thought I might want to start it off with a little scary story. Now before I begin, I just want to let you guys know that I used to love Pokemon when I was a kid. I had the merchandise and I played the games. I even watched several episodes of the Pokemon animated series and I did watch several of the Pokemon movies. Over the years, I began to lose interest in Pokemon as I grew but I still remembered those days. But then, I started reading up about Creepypastas recently. If you don’t know what a Creepypasta is, a creepypasta is like an urban legend or ghost story being told all over the internet. There are so many Creepypastas on the internet right now and they’re usually about serial killers, scientific experiments, supernatural entities, lost episodes, and haunted games. The Creepypasta I am going present is one that I recently heard. You’ve heard about the stories pertaining to Pokemon and how several episodes caused epileptic seizures in children under all across Japan. There’s even a darker secret behind the popular Pokemon franchise. There have been a large number of Pokemon based Creepypastas that I have begun to know about and some of them might be far fetched than others. As I said before, this Creepypasta that I am going to display is one that I recently heard about and liked. It has become my recent favorite. It’s called Pokemon: Come Follow Me.

Here is the story:

“During the first few days of the release of Pokemon Red and Green in Japan, back in February 27, 1996, a peak of deaths appeared in the age group of 10-15.

The children were usually found dead through suicide, usually by hanging or jumping from heights. However, some were more odd. A few cases recorded children who had began sawing off their limbs, others sticking their faces inside the oven, and choking themselves on their own fist, shoving their own arms down their throat.

The few children who were saved before killing themselves showed sporadic behavior. When asked why they were going to hurt themselves they only answered in chaotic screams and scratched at their own eyes. When showed what seemed to be the connection to this attitude, the Gameboy, they had no response, but when combined with either Pokemon Red or Green, the screams would continue, and they would do their best to leave the room it was located in.

This confirmed the authorities suspicion that the games, somehow, had a connection to these children and the deaths. It was a strange case, because many children who had the same games did not show this behavior, but only a few. The police had no choice but to pursue this, since they had no other leads.

Collecting all the cartridges these children had purchased, they kept them sealed away as strong evidence to look over later. They decided the first thing to do was to talk to the programmers themselves. The first person they met was the director of the original games, Satoshi Tajiri. When told about the deaths surrounding his games, he seemed slightly uneasy, but admitted nothing. He lead them to the main programmers of the game, the people responsible for the actual content.

The detectives met Takenori Oota, one of the main programmers of the game. Unlike Satoshi, he did not seem uneasy, but very kept. Explaining that it was impossible to use something like a game to cause such deaths, and also bringing up the point that not all the children were affected, he brushed it off as some kind of odd coincidence or mass hysteria. It seemed like he was hiding something, but he wasn’t giving way. Finally, he did say something interesting.

Takenori had heard a rumor going around that the music for Lavender Town, one of the locations in the game, had caused some children to go ill. It was only a rumor, and had no real definite back up, but it was still something to look into.

He directed the detectives to Junichi Masuda, the music composer of the series. Masuda had also heard of these rumors, but again said they had no evidence that his music was the cause. Even to prove a point he played the exact song from the game completely through with no effects to anyone, the detectives nor Masuda himself, feeling anything different or odd. Although they still had their suspicions of Masuda and the music of Lavender town, it seemed they had reached another dead end.

Going back to the cartridges they had seized from the homes of the children, they decided to take a slightly more direct look at the games. They knew that it was these games that gave the children the ill effects, so they took extreme caution. Popping in the cartridge and turning the console on, the game screen booted. The title screen appeared, and the option to continue or create a new game appeared.

When they chose to continue the game, stats of that game appeared. They saw the names of the children who had played, usually “Red” or another simple name. However, the interesting thing was the time played and the number of Pokemon they owned. On every game, the time was very low, and all of them had only a single Pokemon in their inventory. They came to the stunning reality that it could not have been the music from Lavender town that had caused such ill effects in the children, since it was impossible to reach that part of the game in such small amount of time and with only one Pokemon in their inventory. This brought them to the conclusion that something early on in the game had to be the cause.

If it wasn’t the music, nor the title screen, it had to be something within the first few minutes of the game itself. They had no choice but to turn off the game now and go back to the programmers. Asking for a list of all the programmers from Takenori, they found, surprisingly, that one of the programmers had committed suicide shortly after the game was released. His name was Chiro Miura, a very obscure programmer who had provided very little for the game. Even more interestingly, he had requested his name did not appear in the credits of the game, and so it was not.

Looking over the evidence found at Chiro’s apartment, they found many notes written in bold marker. Most of it was crumbled, or marked out, making it very difficult to read. They few words they could find in the mess was “Do not enter”, “Watch out” and “COME FOLLOW ME” in bold. The detectives were unsure what these meant, but knew they had to have a connection. Further searching, they discovered Chiro was good friends with one of the map designers, Kohji Nisino, and this was probably the only reason Chiro had given a part in making the game.

Kohji Nisino, since the release of the game, had locked himself in his apartment, barely leaving in the dark of night to fetch anything he might need. He told his friends and family he was mourning for his dear friend Chiro, but they didn’t believe this, since Nisino had locked himself up the day the game was put in stores, a few days before Chiro had killed himself.

It was troubling, but the authorities finally persuaded Nisnino to sit down and speak with them. He looked as if he hadn’t slept in days, dark rings under his eyes. He stunk, his nails had grown black and his hair was greasy, sticking to his forehead and neck. He spoke in stutters and murmurs, but at least he had something to say.

When asked if he knew anything about the children who had died after exposure of the game and if it had any connection to the game, he answered them seemingly carefully, choosing his words thoughtfully before answering. He told them that his friend Chiro had an interesting idea with the game, something he had wanted to try since he heard the project was starting. Nisino himself knew Takenori, the director and main programmer, for a long time, so he could easily get a mediocre programmer in on the project with a little persuasion. It seemed Chiro had convinced Nisino to get him in on the project, and it had worked.

The detectives knew they were on to something. This unknown obscure programmer, Chiro, had to have something to do with it, something… They asked what Chiro’s idea was, why he wanted so badly to have a part in making this children’s game. Nisino told them that Chiro never told him much about it, other than a few details every now and then. He wanted to insert a special Pokemon in the game, one completely different from all the others. It would serve as an extra, a kind of out of place thrill for the player. It wasn’t, however, Missing No. It couldn’t be. With the gameplay time recorded on the cartridges, it was impossible for the children to have time to meet that Pokemon.

Nisino, throughout the entire conversation, seemed to break down even more with every question. The detectives pushed him more and more, searching through his mind for any and every scrap of knowledge this man had no game and Chiro… and Chiro’s intentions…

It was when they asked about the notes found in Chiro’s home that he snapped. From under the couch Nisino was sitting on he whipped out a pistol, pointing it straight at the police while backing away a few steps. Then, just as quickly, he brought the pistol to his face.

“Don’t follow me…” muttered Nisino as he stuck the pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger. It was too quick for the police to react. It was done. Nisino had killed himself, repeating slightly differently what was written on one of Chiro’s papers…

It seemed all leads had finally died. The team who had created this original game were splitting up, becoming harder to find. It was as if they were keeping a secret. When the police finally managed to talk with anyone who had parts in the game, even the obscure character designers or monster designers, it seemed they had nothing of interest to say. Most of them didn’t even know Chiro, and the few who did only seen him once or twice working on the game itself. Throughout all of this the only confirmation they had was that Chiro was indeed the one who had worked on the very early parts of the game.

It had been a couple of months after the original children suicides and the death rate had dropped dramatically. It seemed that the game was no longer giving any ill effects to any children. The call back of the games that was planned was canceled, since it seemed the game was no longer harming any children. They had began to think that maybe Takenori was right and it was all just a very odd coincidence or mass hysteria… Until they received the letter.

It was given to one of the detectives himself, quite directly out on the street. It was a woman who gave him the note, a very frail, thin, sick looking thing. She gave him the letter quickly, telling him it was something he needed to see, and without waiting for a response or another word, she disappeared into the crowd. The detective brought it to his office, and calling the others in, he brought it out and read it aloud.

It was a letter written by Chiro himself, but it wasn’t one found at his apartment. They had thoroughly searched and cleared out the place, so wherever this letter had come from, it wasn’t kept at his home. It was signed to be given to Nisino. It started off quite formal, a hello, how are you, regards to the family, and such. After one or two of these normal paragraphs, they reached a section that requested Nisino to get him into the game team, to get him a programming position in Pokemon Red and Green.

As the letter continued, the handwriting seemed to grow more jittery. He talked about a glorious idea he had, a way to program something unseen in any game before. He said it would certainly revolutionize not only the gaming industry, but everyone. He went on to say that it was a very simple procedure to program this idea into the game. He did not even have to add any foreign programming, but could use what was already given in the game itself. This would, the detectives agreed, make it impossible to notice any obscurities in the programming itself. It was a perfect way to hide whatever this was.

The letter ended abruptly. There was no goodbye, no say hi to the family, no write back, or thank you. Nothing like that. It was just his name, written hard in the letter where the paper almost broke through. It was only his name. “Chiro Miura.”

This was the nail in the coffin for the detectives. They had no more suspicion about the cause. Chiro had programmed something into the early parts of the game, something maddening. To further increase this streak of success, they discovered that the programming team had worked in pairs, even Chiro himself. He had worked with another programmer, Sousuke Tamada.

If anyone knew what the secret in this game was, Sousuke Tamada would be the man. This was their final hope of unraveling this mystery once and for all.

They learned Sousuke had provided a lot of programming to the game, and seemed to be an average, good guy and worker. They were easily allowed into his home, a fair place, and they entered his living room where they sat. Sousuke did not sit, however. He stood by the window of the second story floor, looking out onto the busy street. He was smiling a little.

There is no direct witnesses to the events that followed. The only thing from this conversation that remained was found on a voice recorder sitting on the table in front of the two detectives assigned to talk to Sousuke. What follows is the unedited recording:

“Sousuke Tamada, what part did you have in the games Pokemon Red and Green?” asked the first detective.

“I was a programmer.” His voice was light, friendly, almost too friendly. “That’s all.”

“Am I right in knowing that the programmers working on the game worked in teams?” asked the detective.

One could hear the voice of feet moving on the floor slightly. “You would be right,” said Sousuke after a moment of silence.

“And your partner, his name was–” The detective was quickly cut off by Sousuke eerie voice.

“Chiro Miura… That was his name. Chiro Miura.”

Another silence. It seemed the detectives were a little uneasy about this man. “Could you tell us if Muira ever acted strange at all? Any particular behaviors you observed while working with him at all?”

Sousuke answered them. “I don’t know him that well, really. We didn’t meet up frequently, only every once in a while to trade data, or when the entire group was called up for a meeting… That’s the only times I really ever saw him. He acted normal, as far as I could tell. He was a short man, and I think this affected his consciousness.. He acted weaker than any other man I met. He was willing to do a lot of work to gain recognition, this I do know. I think…”

Silence. “Yes?” asked the detective, pushing for him to continue. “You think what?”

“I think he was a very weak man. I think he wanted to prove himself regardless of this point… I think he wanted to make himself known for something special, something that would make people forget about the way he looked and pay attention to the powerful mind that lay inside his skull.. Unfortunately for him, however.. heheh.. He didn’t have much of a mind to back up that reasoning.”

“Why do you say that?” asked the second detective.

“Well it’s the simple truth,” answered Sousuke quickly. His feet could be heard moving across the tiled floor. “He was nothing special, even if he wanted to believe so. You can’t become greatness, even if you believe it. It’s impossible… Somehow, I think Chiro knew this himself, somewhere deep in there, he knew it.”

The detectives were silent again, not sure how to steer the conversation. After a moment, they continued. “Can you tell us what Chiro’s part of the game was? What did he work on exactly?”

Sousuke answered more quickly than before. “Nothing… I mean, nothing important. He worked on some obscure parts of the beginning of the game.” A pause, then a little more information. “It was Oak’s part to be exact. He worked on some of Oak’s parts… When he’s seen first, you see..”

“What else?” pushed the police. They could hear it in Sousuke’s voice. He knew something. “We know you know about the children and the deaths. We know it was Chiro who did it. He programmed something in the game.”

“What are you implying?” asked Sousuke. It sounded like he was trying to maintain his voice.

“We’re implying that since your his partner, if you’re hiding something from us then you could just as much be responsible for those children’s deaths as Chiro is himself!”

“You can’t prove anything!” Sousuke shouted.

“Tell us what Chiro did to the game!” they shouted back.


Silence. Complete silence.

“You want to know, huh?” asked Sousuke finally, breaking the eerie silence, but replacing it with his voice. “You want to know what is this all about? Chiro was an idiot. He’d do anything for a bit of attention, anything at all. He couldn’t program worth a shit either. The one thing he could do, however, was be manipulated. You could tell him what to do, and he’d do it. He wouldn’t even question it, he’d do it. Just to hear that “thank you” when you received the finish product, that was his reasons. That’s all he wanted.”

Two clicks from the detective’s guns could heard.

“I could control his flawlessly. He’s a lot like Takenori… Of course none of you knew this, but I was the one who brought up the idea of the game, the idea of the entire operation. I just told the fellow what to do, and he followed me without doubt. He knows nothing, just like Chiro.”

A sound of a window opening could be heard, follow by the detectives.

“Don’t move or we’ll shoot!”

“Let me tell you about a mechanic in the game,” continued Sousuke. His voice was more rushed, but it still held that slyness. “Consider it a hint, alright? If you walk around in grassy areas enough a Pokemon will appear, and you’ll have the chance to go into battle with it. It’s a necessary part of the game overall, you see?”

“Step away from the window! We won’t warn you again!”

“At the start of the game you have to walk into the grassy area before Oak appears and you receive your first Pokemon, understand me? Under normal circumstances, it was programmed that even though you’re in a grassy area, no Pokemon will spawn… I made it different. I manipulated that Chiro, told him what to put in the program, gave him all the instructions on how to do it, and he did it flawlessly. It’s rare, but it can happen.. Stepping into that grass, one can spawn…”

“Sousuke, we don’t want to shoot!”

“Shoot me?” asked Souske, laughing at the same time. “Shoot ME? You’re as dumb as Chiro was! Once he found out the truth, he had to end it! It was his fault after all! He shot himself because of it! If you’re so determined to finish that case of yours, if you want to know, play the damn game for yourself! Roll the wheel, and who knows? Maybe you’ll learn the secret for yourself!”

A shot could be heard, loud enough to distort the audio. Sounds of screaming, murmuring could be heard. The table the recorder was on crashed. Ear shattering distortions. Silence. Then laughing. Sousuke was laughing, and then words. “Come follow me… Come follow me…” And then nothing.

The recorder continued to record until the tape ran out. There was nothing else on it. The police arrived on the scene quickly, and to their horror they discovered Sousuke and the two detectives dead. They had all been shot, but not after struggling. The detectives had been shot multiple times, at least ten each, before dying after being shot in between their eyes. Sousuke himself had clearly died of two shots to his chest, straight through the heart.

This game was causing a massacre. At least a hundred children were dead. Nisino, the unsuspecting friend, dead. Chiro, the manipulated toy, dead. The two detectives, dead. And now, even the creator, the cause of this atrocity, Sousuke, dead. This game was stretching far over it’s original intentions. It was killing anyone and everyone who got involved.

The lead detective had decided to put this case away. The man who committed the crime was dead, so there was no longer any reason to continue the case. All evidence, all the cartridges, all the notes, all the letters, they were locked away, kept in the darkness where they belonged. There were talks about the entire thing, small conversations every now and then, but over the years even these began to fade away. Eventually, the case was only a memory in the minds of those who experienced it first hand.

Ten years passed. February 27, 2006 was the date. The lead detective, the man who locked away the original evidence ten years previous, was reminded of the awful event that occurred. Although he was no longer in the force, he still had access to files and was helped when he could. The reminder of the event caused him to look back, to open the sealed container that held all the evidence collected.

He read through the letters and the notes. He remembered the woman who had appeared to him on the street that one day and handed him that letter that lead to the change of the entire case. He wondered who she was, and where she had come from. Perhaps she was Chiro’s mother… or maybe Sousuke’s. It was far too late to pursue any of this. Far too late..

Sealing the container again, he saw a second one directly behind it. Pulling it out, he read the note on top of it. “Evidence #2104A” He opened it up, and looked inside. Filling the container were exactly 104 Pokemon Red and Green cartridges, each one in perfect condition, untouched since the day they had last checked them ten years ago.

He reached in and pulled one out, Pokemon Red. He hadn’t seen one in a long time. He didn’t know what he thought next, but he reached in his desk and pulled out an old Gameboy. He received it a long time ago, but it still worked. It was his son’s, but he had died a few years ago. His wife was gone too. That was then though. Popping in the cartridge in the back of the Gameboy he turned on the system.

The title screen. Then the option to continue or start a new game. “Tanaka.” That was the child’s name, the one who played it first. He was probably dead, along with all the others. He pressed New Game, and started a new game. It was normal, average. He walked around, talked to his mother, went outside. He started walking towards the grass.

In his head, he could still hear Sousuke’s words. Even though he was not there, even though he had never seen the man in his life, he could still see him, hear him. “Come follow me.”

He was getting closer and closer, only a step or two away.

“Roll the wheel, and who knows? Maybe you’ll learn the secret for yourself!”

He entered the grass. The screen did nothing at first. Nothing at all. It just sat there, and so did the detective, completely frozen, as if time had stopped just for them. The screen went black. and then lit up again, the iconic green background with black text appearing.

The lead detectives weary eyes grew wide. He couldn’t help but read out what was there in front of him.

“Come follow me, come follow me, come follow me. I miss you dad, I miss you my husband, I miss you so much.”

Tears formed in his eyes, falling down his cheeks. Screens and screens of text appeared and he rapidly clicked the A button to continue it. It was his wife and his child. They were speaking to him, calling to him, crying with him. They wanted to see him, they loved him, he loved them.

“I love you too,” muttered the man in a hoarse, scratching voice.

“Come follow me, become new again. We want to see you and hold you, and be with you forever and ever and ever and ever.”


“Don’t stay away. You can see us too.. We miss you.. Come follow me. We love yo–”

A black screen. The detectives eyes grew wide, his jaw dropping. The screen lit back up, and Oak was leading him out of the grass. “Come follow me,” said Oak.

“NO!” shouted the man, dropping the game onto the floor. He quickly fell forward, reaching for it, bringing the screen back to his face. “Bring them back, bring them back to me!” The game continued on as usual, not responding to the detective at all. “My wife, my child, listen to me! Bring them back to me, I said!”

Voices… He heard voices, hundreds of voices. He turned around from his seat, looking behind him, and standing in his small room were children, many children. Some had no eyes, some had rings around their throats, some were burned all across their body. They were screaming, reaching towards him.

“Bring back my mommy, bring back my daddy, bring back my pet!” they all screamed out, reaching for the game, their mouths agape with horror and pain. “I don’t want them to go away, bring them back to me, bring them back to me!”

“No!” shouted the detective. “It’s mine! My family is here, don’t touch it!” Horror was across his face.

“Come follow me…” said a voice. The lead detective looked over, and in the corner of his room, next to an old desk, was Sousuke. He stood in the corner, tall, handsome, clean. A smile was on his face, stretching across his face. “Come follow me…”

The lead detective jumped up, stepping back, trying to force away the children crawling towards him, reaching out for the game held tightly within his hands. “Wh-what’s going on here!? What’s going on!? Where is my family!?”

Sousuke smiled generously. “I’ll show you. I’ll help you get away from them, you see? Just follow me.” Sousuke reached down, and opened a drawer on the old desk. The lead detective, pushing through the crowd of children, trying to get away, looked inside.

Sitting there, covered with dust, was his old gun from when he was on the force. He had not used that gun in many years and had put it away, not wanting to remember the things he had to do with it. But right now he didn’t see it as something that caused pain or that killed. It was shining, it was light. It was something that could set him free.

“Just follow me,” said Sousuke, picking up the gun and putting it in the lead detectives hand. He formed his hand to hold the gun, then brought it up to his temple. “Just pull the trigger. That’s all.”

The lead detective turned around. The children were crawling at him, grabbing his legs and pulling at him. They reached for the game. He turned back towards Sousuke, and smiled.

“My family… I’ll follow you.” He pulled the trigger. Bang. His brains spread the wall as he fell to the ground, dead.

It was a few days before the body was discovered. It lay on the floor, blood everywhere. In one hand held an empty gun, and in the other was a classic Gameboy with Pokemon Red on the back. The battery had long died, and only an empty, black screen was left.

This was the final murder that the remaining authorities would allow. The last detective who was ever a part of this case personally carried all 104 cartridges away, and burned them all, making sure not a single one survived. There would taunt no more.

However, this is not the end of the story. The code was said to have survived, and was even passed on to other language versions of the games. If you have an old Pokemon game, you can place the cartridge in the back of the classic Gameboy, turn on the system, and roll the wheel who knows? Maybe you’ll learn the secret for yourself.”

If you want to check the original story for yourself, here is the link:

Happy Halloween (I know it’s too early but I just wanna get a head start.)

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