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//////////Clove couldn't believe this creature, this brutish being that stood a good foot taller than her, one clothed in a dark blue jacket and a ridiculous looking red scarf wrapped around his face and chest. How his eyes squinted in a form of tranquil fury towards the pronghorn with his webbed blade clutched in his left hand. He had not spoken to the girl, having only just cleaned the blood of the Chinchilla off of both himself and his weapon, approaching Clove in a shambling manner. Clove cleared her throat, "What are YOU doing here? State your business, cretin!" The creature stopped, standing upright and stock still, staring at Clove directly in the eye. He spoke, his voice deep and bridled with an unusual accent, "My name is Traveller. Is that enough for you?" "No," Clove grimaced, "STATE. YOUR. BUSINESS. Or I will bring down the wrath of the-" "The Egg Bosses?" Traveller growled, "Oh yes, that worked out so well for your little chinchilla friend there, didn't it?" Clove looked over Traveller's shoulder to see the chinchilla, Thunderbolt, or at least what remained of her perforated and slowly burning carcass. Clearly, this Traveller being did not screw around. Not that it affected Clove. She never liked Thunderbolt anyway. She stood her ground, "So? She was just a training phase! The rest could take you down, easy!" "...Heh, cute," Traveller grumbled, a small smile poking up from the top of his scarf, "Alright, Chives, you want to know why I'm here? I'm here to find my, uh...alternative. Oh yes, it's a big multiverse out there. A million copies of me and you scattered across it. Funny, really. You're not supposed to exist." "What?" Clove was confused, her mind racing to find the meaning behind this creature's words, "What are you saying?" "I am...not of this world," Traveller explained, "Not even part of this sector. I travel the multiverse, righting wrongs and fighting evil-doers. As well as, well, keeping my past selves out of trouble. It is complicated. Now if you could just let me pass..." "Certainly not..." Clove growled, spreading her limbs to cover the hallway, "This is the restricted location of our great leader Eggman. You are NOT allowed here!" She had hoped her boastful barking kept this creature at bay, but he advanced regardless, "Disgusting creature! Don't you know who I am?!" "...Clove," Traveller sighed, causing Clove to jump in quiet shock, "Clove Pronghorn. Sister to Cassia, who contracted a fatal disease at the age of eight. You were desperate to find a way to keep your sister, any and every way to let her live was attempted." "So what of it?!" Clove got on the defensive, "I love her. Cassia was and IS all I have left! I would do ANYTHING to make her happy and keep her safe!" "So you turned to Eggman..." Traveller said, his tone displeased, "The god-mode manchild of the multiverse." "He was all I had!" Clove screamed, tears in her eyes, "Who else could I turn to? Those Freedom Fighter scumbags couldn't help me! They were too busy with that princess bitch and her 'relationships'!" "That is true," Traveller said, "They are indeed scum. But turning to the one faction that is worse? The fact Eggman has such a leash around your neck only seals your fate. I am fairly sure you know what will happen if Eggman becomes displeased or bored with you or Cassia. ESPECIALLY Cassia." "I know..." Clove sighed wearily, "But, I owe him the life of my sister." "You owe him NOTHING," Traveller's voice turned demonic for a split second, "Because whatever you give him, he will squeeze dry and throw on the pile in the pursuit of power. And that WILL include your sister. He knows how much she means to you. What if he wants you to suffer, huh? With that bomb inside her head?" "You lie! Eggman doesn't do that!" Clove continued her accusations, "Have you ever heard of the concept of Cyberization before, buddy?" "What you call Cyberization, I call Legionization," Traveller growled again, "And I say to Hell with it!" "You're not getting past me!" Clove yelled, "And you're not killing my sister!" "I never planned to," Traveller sighed, "Only if Eggman was planning his little magic trick. The magical vanishing head...you can only do it once. Now get out of my way and I won't hurt you..." Clove wouldn't budge, to which Traveller sighed towards, advancing and simply pushing Clove out of the way with his arm. She was knocked aside and crumpled to the floor, getting up on her damaged leg and screaming at the slowly vanishing Traveller, "SCREW YOU, YOU WASTE OF GOOD OXYGEN! You don't know what it's like! I bet you never had a family to call your own! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO FEAR FOR THE LIFE OF YOUR SISTER!" Her teary-eyed outburst seemed to have some sort of effect, as Traveller stopped dead in his tracks. She seemed pleased, if only for a short time, before she noticed his off-hand curling up into a shaking fist. Suddenly, without warning bar a flash of white light, Traveller had turned and dashed almost instantaneously towards the pronghorn, grabbing her tightly by the neck and lifting her up, slamming her into the wall with tremendous force. His face screamed of fury, with his eyes now two black dots swimming within a black void alongside an almost mechanical breathing escaping his throat. "You think so, do you?" Traveller growled, his voice almost demonic in nature, "On the contrary. YOU would not know. You do not know what it is like to LOSE a sister! To see her drowned for some warlord's sick and twisted pleasure! You have never had to see the lights in her eyes slowly dim to the joyous squeals of a lunatic! What else created the murderous being slowly choking the life out of your pathetic muggle body?!" "P-Please..." Clove responded weakly, her own vision fading, "I...I'm sorry! Let me...let me go!" Another switch flicked in Traveller's eyes and he complied, dropping the pronghorn to the floor. She landed in a crumpled heap, gasping for air and too weak to stand but very much still alive, looking at this monstrous being as he slowly calmed and reverted to normal. He looked apologetic, perhaps feeling a sting of regret, but kept his original calm tone. "Perhaps...perhaps you are right in some manner. Perhaps I don't know what it's like to know a sister the way you do. You fought to save your sister. You had a choice. Mine was...taken away from me," he looked sadly down at the gasping pronghorn, taking pity on her and digging an odd business card out of his jacket, "Look, I shall be on my way, and maybe when this is over, I'll come back. Open up the throat of that manchild Eggman and perhaps..." he edged closer, to the point they were face-to-face, laying the card on her chest, "I will help you to live a better life." He got up and left. The weakened Clove could only gasp for air as this being faded from the hallway, before she finally went limp and all went black.///////// Another story from DeviantART, for the archives. Also a test of implementing pictures into a topic. Not sure if it has worked (I'm actually sort of new to this "forum" stuff. Yes, I know). Regardless, have a story with one of the few post-reboot characters (and an Egg Army character at that) I don't hate; Clove the Pronghorn. Mainly because of her design, her backstory and her personality. Even if the backstory is completely fulla holes since she decided to go after Eggman for help rather than...well, ANYONE else. And now her sister is not only a toaster with a Swiss Roll for a hairdo, but also has a bomb in her noggin that Eggman (and, in a meta sense, Ian Flynn) can detonate at any time for cheap torture (or cheap drama, in Flynn's case. And he WILL do it, I'm sure of it). And if you're wondering who Traveller is, well; remember that Freedom Dies With Me Prologue with a being called "Master" in it? That's him. I decided halfway through the story that Master was an awful name for what was supposed to be a somewhat balanced OC, so I changed it to something badass but more humble and fitting. He is, after all, a traveller. One does hope you enjoy. DeviantART Link: http://masterperrymartin.deviantart.com/art/Pain-and-Fear-595259792