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ERMAGERD it's Christmas again! Guess that means I have to celebrate it! And I will do so, with this rather neat little story I cooked up. I apologise if it's a little...rushed, but I didn't start it until the first of this month, so...yeah, didn't have a lot of time. We'll be doing this by chapter, one a day, until Christmas Eve. Ready? Here we go! This Story will Contain: Scenes of Violence Some scenes of a somewhat sexualised nature A plot taken mostly cribbed from Payday 2 And a lot of Anvilicious Crimbo warbling Chapter 1: HudHox Perry Martin Presents... A Very Merry Perry Christmas! Chapter 1 - HoxHud "Your contact will be with you shortly. Whatever you plan within him, we WILL know. So don't try anything clever...alright. SH-XXX Meeting Room 024 - Warmongers. Just the sorta place for people like you." "What, you mean upstanding members of society?" "Funny. Now get in there before you meet my telescopic baton. These things hurt a lot more since last time you were here." "Alright, alright. Geez. The only version of Sonic that can't take a joke." The dirty-brown hedgehog grunted softly as he thrust into the room, falling to his knees and emitting a louder and more pained grunt as he fell. There was an eerie creak as the door to the questioning room was slammed shut behind him, rippling the folds in his prison jumpsuit. War Master got back to his feet, trying to struggle out of the handcuffs his hands had been put on and around his wrists. To no avail, of course; even he knew exactly what they were made out of. Even the most powerful Warmonger in the multiverse like him could not break out of handcuffs made out of cable ties. Growling, he tussled at the power-limiting ring clamped around his neck; how could he - War Master, the Warmonger that made those craved violence tremble - be captured in such a miserable manner? On the road to Christmas, of all things! The one time he probably could have cracked a smile, let alone be nicer to people for a change! He sighed, walking around the tiny room and listening to his own loafer-enhanced footsteps clonk and echo against the hollow walls and floor. It was what the No-Zone laughably called a "questioning room", but War Master himself knew exactly what is was. An interrogation room. One designed to break the spirit and the will of anyone who would enter it. Not War Master, though. Not him. He had been broken long, long before. He finally took his place within the room, setting himself down at the chair that gave him a view of the doorway, still locked tight and shut, with another chair and the table between them the only other thing in the room. Well, aside from the photo frame. War Master scowled at the photo within it; it had clearly been put in there to mock him and tank his morale. It was him, well the younger him before all this started, and his ex-sister Amber. The two were cuddling together in the image, an ornately decorated Christmas tree behind them, with Amber in a purple jumper and Master in his old black jacket. War Master stared at the picture, a tear or two in his eyes. "H-Hey, Amber..." he whispered, his voice already cracking under the feelings, "I...hey, it's Crimbo again, eh? Merry...merry chri..." he sunk into his arms and sobbed, "I'm sorry...I'm so sorry..." There was a powerful thud of a knock at the door and War Master instantly bolted upright. It seemed like his "contact", whoever that may be, was about to enter the room. Lord knows no-one could see War Master like this, so he brushed himself off and set the photo face-down so he wouldn't have to see it. There was a buzzing noise as the locks disengaged and the door opened with a silent slither. In stepped someone somehow very familiar but also quite different at the same time. It was that Half-Zeti again, all distinguishable features buried under a ton of black fur, including his purple skin and the three scars that were doubtlessly across his chest. He looked a lot less...feral than the Half-Zeti War Master remembered, though. This one had his horn, but it was not cracked or wrapped in gaffer tape, nor was he naked aside - instead wearing a rather fetching two-piece suit. He strode into the room, red eyes focusing on the maniac in front of him, before he put his briefcase down and sat on the chair opposite him. He spoke up, clearing his throat with a cough, "So, Mr...Mr Pederso-" "It's WAR MASTER, ta," War Master sighed, "So...Franky, I presume? The one dating one of my creations? Or perhaps the one whose world I completely decimated, killing off all your little friends?" "Not your Franky, no," the Half-Zeti crowed in an unusual accent that somewhere in the multiverse would be called 'Canadian'. He straightened his tie and spoke up again, "Zanky the Zeti, No-Zone Attorney at Law." "Well that's...interesting," War Master hummed, pulling at his orange jumpsuit, "Shame about the name, though. Still, can't exactly win them all with the naming conventions of this shi-" "Mr Master, Sir..." Zanky spoke up, "I'd much rather you keep the profanity to a minimum. For once. I have been your contact for the last few days, as well as whatever can really pass for your lawyer. I mean, with your credentials no-one else in the whole No-Zone really wants to step up, ya know? So, how'd you get caught?" "You don't know?" War Master asked, to which Zanky shook his head. War Master sighed, "It's...sort of a long story. Not one I really like to talk about. It wasn't...daring, or anything." "Oh? They told me it was," Zanky nodded, "They said you went down in a blaze of glory robbing the Second World Bank, but you got caught in the crossfire and your teammates had to leave you behind!" War Master sighed, "Is THAT what they told you? It was Amelia who said it, wasn't it?" Zanky nodded again, "'Course she would. The truth is a little bit...well, I was asleep in one of my safe houses and they just showed up and arrested me. Straight up dragged me out of bed and into a sodding prison cell. Didn't even wake me up," he sighed, "Anyway, never mind about me. Why are YOU here?" "Hmm? Oh!" Zanky said quickly. He grabbed his briefcase and opened it up on the table. He grabbed something small and flat out of it, then gave it to War Master. It was...him, wearing an unusual mask and a black suit, holding a sub-machine gun while burning money bills surrounded him, "Your Christmas Album. Exactly how you managed to convince Amelia and the guards to even let you do this, I don't know. And considering how you work, I'm not even sure I WANNA know. Good songs, though," Zanky cracked a smile, "The lyrics are genius. Did you come up with them?" "I did..." War Master paused, "...OR I cribbed them from this universe where there're these guys in masks and suits and they go robbing places. Can't remember, pretty sure it's the same thing." "Oh. Guess that explains some of the, uh...choice lyrics, then." "Well, the satire behind those words bite harder than my Hellblood creations ever could," War Master looked just a little bit smug, "As the song says, if it has to be Christmas for you to be nice, you're an arsehole. Anyway, I suppose I should thank you in some...reasonable manner, if you're really my contact. I couldn't have gotten those musical whatsits across security without your legal skills." "Well, I do my best," Zanky chuckled, "...Though for the record, we DID find your Staff of Chaos in the piano. It's currents in pieces and in the science lab for testing purposes. AND we moved your Blade thing to about half a mile away from both your cell and the recording studio. Nice try, buddy." "Eh, worth a shot," War Master shrugged, "Anyway. That's all good. That means you're the right kind of guy to bust me out of here." "What?" Zanky gulped, twiddling with his glasses, "Mr Master, you DO know you're here for a reason, right? Besides, I'd think you like this place, from what I've heard. The fights, the madmen, they're all here." "And what, you think I'll just fit right on it 'cause of what I am?" War Master rolled his eyes and leaned back in his chair, "I suppose you've got a point. I mean it's not like I can't handle this place, far from it. But, y'know, a bird's gotta fly. I mean it's not much of a help that all sorts of worlds are out there that might have a way to get my...my sister back..." he went silent for a while, then cleared his throat, "Sorry. Emotional baggage. And I know that someone out there is going around as me, leading my crew with my freaking name." "That's all fine and dandy, Mr Master," Zanky sighed, "But...well, the No-Zone got you good this time. Even you can't deny that. Lord knows the CCTV footage from countless labs and military outposts across the multiverse as you searched for weapons of mass destruction." "Yeah, but-" "You left witnesses all over the Autoverse as you found that Genesis Device. And honestly, do I really need to mention the sort of evidence from the Fall of the Primeverse?" "And HOW would you get some of that?" War Master accused, "That whole universe was wiped clean off the maps! How on earth did you know I was behind it and not one of those God-Mode Eggmen?" "You told us." "Oh yes..." War Master sighed, "I did. Alright then. Anything else to get me locked up here for good?" "Well THEN..." Zanky shifted a bit, "You decided to beat the stuffing out of that green hedgehog, Scourge I think. How many times did you do THAT?" "Twenty seven," War Master looked incredibly smug now, "That backstabbing son of a female canine..." he shrugged, "I guess it's a good deal of karma. Of all the cell blocks in this limitless world, they put me in the exact same one as the specific Scourge from the old Primeverse. Guess it was a Elder Master given sign that I should just give the guy a few less teeth every once in a while. That two-timing, corrupting, womanising sleezebag deserves much worse, even IF they throw me into isolation every time I do it. They must find it amusing though; they keep putting me back in the same cell block, every time." "Then why do you want to get out?" "..." War Master shrugged, "I got bored. I'm restless. I want to get out there and make my sister proud...and alive again. Oh, and train my student to take over when I inevitably become that overly altruistic Traveller git. That bit's important, alright? Get me out of here." "...I'm not sure I can. I'm not too sure how you're own world sees you, but the No-Zone don't take kindly to this sort of thing. You do this, you get locked up a long time, simple as." War Master was clearly getting impatient, "Oh for fu-you're a lawyer, aren't you? Work your magic!" "Sorry, friend. Out of mana." "...Mana?" War Master tilted his head to the side like a child, "Does that mean you require...economic motivation?" Zanky looked disgusted, "I'm...going to pretend I didn't hear that." War Master looked smug again, "I see, so you prefer a whip to a carrot!" Zanky sighed and got up out of his chair, "Right, we're getting nowhere. Mr Master, this conversation is over." As Zanky turned to leave, he heard a loud, ear-splitting thumping followed by a splintering sound as the table crumbled into fragments behind him. He turned in fear to see War Master standing over the shattered remains of the table, brows furrowed in fury and his hand encased in a powerful green aura. Somehow War Master had managed to defy the limiter around his neck and was using the sheer power in his being to destroy the table and even snap the cable ties wrapped around his wrists. He glared at Zanky, shaking under his infamous temperament, "THIS CONVERSATION IS OVER WHEN I SAY IT IS. STAY. WHERE. YOU. ARE." Zanky gulped, fearing for his life, but remained calm and stayed in the room. He had been told about the device around War Master's neck by Amelia, which even now was emitting a silent red light as it seemed to charge something; once any trace of extreme power was used, the collar would charge up and floor the attacker with a single, powerful and well-aimed shock. So Zanky knew that all he needed to do was keep talking. He did so, "Well...uh, wh-what do you want me to do about it? A-any questions?" "Yes," War Master growled, "So, are you saying that the only way to get out of here...is to break out?" "Mr Master, sir..." Zanky stammered, "As your lawyer and contact, I cannot suggest or condone such actions on your behalf. I find it...unlikely you will just escape. Your powers are inhibited by that collar and your staff is in the science labs!" "Yeah, yeah..." War Master sighed, as the collar around his neck began to crackle, "Well, there goes Plan A. I tried to be nice, but the door got slammed in my face. I guess I'll have to leave this to my...associate. And that gem in my staff." Zanky looked confused, "Who? Who's your associate? And...what gem?" War Master smirked, "...This conversation IS over." And with that, the collar released a powerful shock directly to his neck, sending lord knows how many volts through him and causing purple sparks to emit from his person. He grunted momentarily, then went limp and collapsed to the floor. Zanky breathed a sigh of relief and he sunk into the corner of the room, trying to catch what breath he had lost from the ordeal. There was a thumping sound as the zone cop from last time bust into the room, being a blue hedgehog wearing the standard red suit and green armour of the No-Zone cops. "That maniac's always fulla surprises..." Zonic growled, "I'll have to get the others to haul him back into the prison. Let's see how he likes a full week in isolation for this sorta thing," he turned to Zanky, "You okay?" "I am, thank you..." Zanky sighed as Zonic pulled him to his feet, "What was, uh...what was he talking about? What about that gem?" "I have no idea..." Zonic mused, "MasterSelves are incapable of interacting with any other type of energy outside of their own, unless they train for years on end. Chaos, Sol, Chronos, Crisis, none of them are usable to him. So it can't be them. So..." There was an odd ringing filling the room soon after, coming from Zonic's utility belt. Zonic himself looked a small fraction unnerved at the prospect, for he recognised that tone with a specific fear; it was his otherwise rarely used Emergency Contact Device, used for the really big emergencies. The last time it sounded off, it sparked the chain of events leading to the destruction of the Primeverse at War Master's own hands. Only he would know exactly what would happen this time. He sighed and reached for the device, plugging it directly into his helmet, "Yes?" "Mr Zonic, sir!" came the panicked voice on the other side. It belonged to Zilac, and she seemed to be fearing for something very important, "Th-the gem! The gem from the staff! It's going haywire! We've got three No-Zone Cops knocked out already! GET DOWN!" There was a crashing sound, followed by a few more, then the unmistakable sound of the fabric of reality itself tearing at the seams. Zilac spoke up again, "It's gone! Zonic, the gem from that staff is gone!" "Damn it!" Zonic growled, "War Master's tricked us again! I'll be there as soon as possible. Get Ziona on the scene to take care of the fallen!" He didn't even wait for 'yes sir' that Zilac would inevitably give him and disconnected the device from his helmet, "Looks like War Master tampered with the gem he built into the Staff of Chaos." "Uh...what IS this staff?" Zanky asked. "One of his most powerful creations, is what it is," Zonic sighed, "One of the first things he created, and whatever that gem is it gives that staff the power to split worlds directly in two. He had it on him during the Fall of the Primeverse and...well, now there isn't a Primeverse. That dang thing should have been destroyed by now...but it seems it held so much power that he could control it subconsciously." "You mean it's travelled dimensions?!" Zanky asked, to which a sour Zonic nodded, "Oh no! Where's it gone?" "Best guess? He probably sent it homing in on his associate for further instructions," Zonic sighed, looking at the Emergency Contact Device again. The device was shaped like a rather large stopwatch, with a decently-sized screen built into it. It showed an image of War Master's 'pupil', his supposed associate; a purple dragon with those same damning black and red eyes. "And I think I know exactly where that is..." ==Meanwhile, in Another World Entirely== The sound of wood splintering at the basic material level rang out throughout the forest as War Lilac plunged her bleeding dagger over and over into the log. She was tired, bored and ready to fall asleep at any possible time, but she couldn't. She had to keep going, for whatever reason she didn't even remember anymore. She just had to keep training, keep getting stronger, keep working towards...whatever she was even hoping to accomplish. Hell, even now she couldn't even remember what she was supposed to do. Outside of try to get her Milla back, of course. That bit was ESSENTIAL. But otherwise? She still didn't know, and it was driving her even-more nuts with the stress of it all. Finally, she called it quits and stabbed the Blade directly into the ground by the side of her, the the green poison-blood from it slowly bleeding pooling around it on the ground. She shambled a few steps forward and slammed down onto the sleeping bag she had set up only a few hours before, tussling and wrestling with it until she was finally within it. It had long turned night in the Dragon Valley, and War Lilac had settled down within the creek area lower down in the valley. She had thoroughly wished she hadn't as she shivered even with the relative comfort of the sleeping bag, as thin and as cheap as it was. It was December...or whatever passed for December on Planet Avalice, War Lilac just couldn't remember, and the temperature had plummeted accordingly. She grabbed the nearby digi-clock she had set up and checked its lower corners to see what the temperature was; -2 degrees Celsius, or 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit...whatever THAT was. She growled and set the clock down, shivering in the sheer cold and only listening to the winds that seemed to drop the temperature further. She couldn't even listen to the relative peace of the running water within the lakeside she was by, as the water had long frozen into a bed of ice, something even that idiotic Neera couldn't stay near for long. War Lilac turned over, a frozen tear racing across her sideways face; even for her standards, this was a low point in her life. Alone, unloved, an exile across the multiverse and positively freezing to boot. Nothing to think of, no-one to care for (or care for her, at least) and no way to keep warm outside of this rubbish sleeping bag. She bunched herself up in the sleeping bag in a desperate attempt to keep warm, but nothing came of it. She gave up and stared at the moon peaking out of the trees instead, shivering and sniffling and suffering silently. She was hoping, pleading, praying even. for something or someone to come along. Even if it was an enemy, just SOMEONE to pass the time and give her some semblance of warmth. She sighed, knowing the truth; she had alienated pretty much everyone. So that was never going to happen. "W-Well..." War Lilac sighed to herself, "A-At least this is better than spending your end-year months in that No-Zone jailhouse..." "I would...disagree with that..." came a ghostly, ethereal but almost certainly familiar voice. War Lilac perked up almost instantly and looked up to find the source of the voice. To her surprise and joy, it was indeed War Master, looming over her in his blue jacket and black-red eyes. He seemed to be...somewhat amused for once, staring over War Lilac like a mentor probably should. War Lilac scrambled out of the sleeping bag - it wasn't like it was keeping her THAT warm anyway - and saluted, "Master! You came back!" "WAR Master, Lilith," War Master reminded, "And I...haven't come back per se..." War Lilac looked confused until she looked closer at his form; he was transparent, a bit like a ghost, and floating like some sort of projection, "You know I told you of Astral Projection? Emitting a somewhat subconcious form of yourself when your real body is UNconscious? Yes, that is what I'm doing. I'm trapped in the No-Zone Jail and I'm finding it hard to...get out." "You are?" War Lilac asked, "They just let me out after about a week of being there. They kinda have to. Why not you?" "Because that wroughtful little creation Amelia has managed to find a way to keep me locked up until Traveller emerges himself," War Master sighed, "Without screwing up the timeline, of course. So unlike you, they run no risk of creating paradoxes if they keep me locked away. They even put this stupid little collar around my neck that shocks me into submission if I use my powers. Heck, how do you think I'm talking to you right now? I tried to be nice, myself knows I tried. But they just rejected my Plan A. I wanted to do it logically, legally, something that would keep me OUT of the No-Zone for good. But they didn't buy it. Said I left too much evidence. So now I have to move on to Plan B." War Lilac looked confused, "Hang on. What about Blade?" "In quarantine." "And the Staff?" "Taken apart and tested it in the Science Labs." "Dang..." War Lilac scratched her head, "They've been pretty thorough, haven't they?" "Well..." War Master looked just a little smug, "That's what I wanted them to do. Because I've got plans with the gem I put on the end. You know, the Chaos part of the Staff of Chaos." War Lilac was about to ask about this, before a loud noise split through the air and War Lilac covered what passed for her ears until it passed. She arched her head upwards to look at what caused the noise, and her jaw dropped in response. It almost looked familiar, being a purple orb with a ring of eeriness towards it. War Lilac took the orb in her hands; she felt a warm, somewhat pleasant feeling as the orb resonated within her cupped grasp, emitting an aura of purple energy that she swore was intertwined with that of a skull and crossbones. It positively reeked of something...but War Lilac could not for the life of her figure out what that was. She turned to War Master, "Uh...I don't quite follow." "Of course not," War Master said, his face unchanging, "You lack vision. For the moment, at least. All you need to know is that it will guide you on your quest. That is, your quest to set me free. That bit's important. You know where your alternate lives, right?" War Lilac nodded, "Good girl. Now, your task is incredibly simple, alright? All you have to do is go over to your alternate and...live with her. Celebrate the season with her. And then show her the gem as a sort of present from...an anonymous donor, shall we say. Only then shall she see the light, and we will become truly strong!" he arched closer, "Any questions?" "Yes, Master," War Lilac stuttered, juggling the gem in her hands, "One...what do you mean by 'celebrating the season'?" "What do you mean, what do I mean?" War Master cocked his head to the side, "Have your people ever heard of Christmas?" War Lilac paused for a second, then shook her head. War Master looked a tad unimpressed, "Bah. You Avalice natives are as hopelessly uncultured as you are brainless. Right then, I don't suppose you have the time for me to explain it to you..." "Oh no," War Lilac shivered audibly, "I can sit here, freezing my butt off while you lecture me. Go right ahead!" "Well..." War Master had a smug look on his face, "If you say so." War Lilac gulped, "Oh nice going, Lilith..." ============== DA Link: http://fav.me/das5vqv