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MATURE: Burning Souls, Burning Hope (danganronpa multi-crossover)

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Metal Academy has opened its doors to 16 unwilling guests, and the only way to escape is to get away with murder.

And so, the killing game begins. Who will kill or be killed? Who will survive?
Prologue: A Long Fall


Jul 26, 2021
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As the parenthesis in the title say, this is a danganronpa-based multiple-crossover story.
For reference, here are the franchises that will be used here:
• Sonic the hedgehog (video game)
• Skylanders (video game)
• Garfield (comic)
• Real Steel (film)
• LittleBigPlanet (video game)
• Biomutant (video game)
• Balan Wonderworld (video game)
• Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (video game)
• Looney Tunes (television)
• Digimon Survive (video game)
• Destiny (video game)
• Transistor (video game)

As this is a danganronpa fanfiction, expect blood, gore, and death.

Mild language, discussion of murder

Silver awoke to a bitter nip in the air, and the unpleasant sensation of his face pressed against a cold, flat surface.

Urgh… wha… where am I…?

He pushed himself up and looked down at what his face had been on. It was a large marble slab, but what really caught Silver’s eye were the two chairs situated next to the slab. Both were identical, rather… comfortable-looking chairs, and very posh at that: magenta cushioning with gold frames.

Huh… someone must have spent a lot of money on these.

Silver got his legs underneath him and slid off the slab, and found out that it was… actually a desk! It had dark wooden legs to support it, so of course it was a desk.

How did I get in a schoolroom?! Er-- wait, no, it’s called a classroom, right…

A small thorn of panic poked at Silver’s heart. Had he been kidnapped by Eggman for some nefarious scheme?! Was that what this was? If so, well… why him? Why not someone like Sonic, or Tails, or, heck, even Shadow? What use could Eggman possibly have for him? And… why didn’t Silver remember such a thing happening?

Okay. Okay, okay, calm down, Silver. If this is one of Eggman’s schemes, just… stay calm and see if you can figure out what’s what. You’re gonna be fine.

He walked over to the front of the room, and took in the entire place.

The room was rather spacious, and luxurious at that, with several rows of those huge desks and those super-fancy chairs, along with several full bookshelves towards the back of the room. The flooring and walls were identically pristine white tiles that, frankly, were a bit hard to look at for very long. At the front of the room, near where Silver stood, was what must have been a teacher's desk, as it was made of wood rather than marble, and had a plethora of additional books atop it. Some of the bookstacks looked as though they’d topple over at any moment… Finally, the windows: they were quite large, of course, but they all had metal plating over them, preventing any natural light from coming into the room.

Too easy.

Silver concentrated and set his attention on the nearest window. A surge of power flowed through him, and the telltale cyan aura of his telekinetic powers enveloped him. He shot one of his hands forward, and focused all of his energy on trying to rip the metal plate off of the window.

Nothing happened. Even when he imagined it happening, which usually strengthened his powers, nothing happened. It wasn’t moving an inch. Silver set his hand down and, as soon as his aura dissipated, nearly collapsed from the exertion.

My powers don’t usually take this kind of toll on me… what’s going on here?!

Silver looked around, though his brain felt like mush, and spotted a door he’d been stupidly standing with his back to.

He mentally chided himself, You big dummy.

Uneasily, he opened the door and stumbled out into a massive hallway. On one side, it nearly stretched farther than he could see, though there was a corner barely visible. The other side, thankfully, was much shorter, and a staircase was only a few doors down from where Silver was. Strangely enough, there was a wrought iron gate in front of the staircase, and a sign stuck to it reading ‘NO STAIRS FOR NOW’.

For now… huh?

Black and white streamers ran the length of the hallway on both sides, contrasting with the stone-gray corridor. It reminded him of a castle, if castles ever got festive for whatever reason.

These aren’t Eggman’s colors, and this definitely isn’t his kind of place… I gotta get to the bottom of this!

Silver looked back at the door he’d just walked out of. Next to it, a small sign bolted to the wall read ‘English’.

Uh…? So this really is like a school… a school-castle, though?

Despite himself, he let out a small snicker at the absurdity of all this.

As ridiculous as this was, he had to try and stay focused. He forced a somewhat serious expression onto his face and glanced around at some of the doors opposite him.

Small signs were next to these as well, ‘Science’, ‘Math’, ‘Storage’--

There was a shuffling noise from within the storage room, and the door was ajar.

Silver braced himself for anything that might be in there.

Dang it, why’d I have to use up so much energy on trying to get that window open?! …No, it’s fine, at least I tried, and now I know that won’t work, so that helps--

He jumped slightly as there was another, far louder noise, as if something heavy had gone crashing to the floor.

Alright, depending on what’s in here, I might get all the answers to all this!

Silver opened the door just enough that he could squeeze through. Once he was inside the room, he quickly turned around to where the noise had seemed to come from. He’d expected to see one of Eggman’s bots, or if this wasn’t Eggman’s doing, some kind of new enemy.

What– or rather, who-- he hadn’t expected to see was Shadow, rifling through the various boxes and containers strewn throughout the room.

Silver couldn’t stop himself from gawking.

“Wha-- uh– Shadow?!”

Shadow stopped and turned around, his ever-so-slightly widened eyes the only thing betraying his otherwise perfect emotionless facade.

“Silver…?” After a moment’s pause, he frowned. “Why are you here?”

Silver blinked. What was that supposed to mean? “Huh?”

“I hadn’t been expecting anyone else to be here, especially not anyone I know. Though, I’ll admit, on the off-chance that there was anyone else, I would have sooner expected someone like Sonic or Tails. Not you.” He shrugged. “You’re just not very close to anyone, so I figured you wouldn’t have been deemed important enough for… whatever this is.”

Silver’s ears dropped slightly. Being offhandedly rude was kind of Shadow’s specialty, but that didn’t mean it hurt any less. “…Oh, yeah, that makes sense.”

“Hm. So, since we seem to be in the same situation, did you also wake up in a room with no memory of how you got there?”


“And I’m assuming you also got one of these?” Shadow grabbed a rectangular tablet out of the box directly behind him. It was a strange device, with rounded corners, and some kind of symbol on the back… a knife and a gear within a square, whatever that meant. Whatever was on the screen, Shadow wasn’t showing him, but it was clearly very bright; the light cast from the tablet completely overtook the dim lighting coming from the singular lightbulb on the ceiling.

Silver squinted. “Uh, no, I… didn’t get one of those… what is that thing anyway?”

One of Shadow’s ears flicked. “You didn’t get one? Hmph. That doesn’t seem right.” He clicked a button on the side of the tablet, and it collapsed into a tiny cube. “Maybe you just didn’t see it. Where did you wake up?”

Silver stared dumbly at the cube-tablet-thing for a second or two before remembering that he should probably answer Shadow. “Uh, the… I think it was the English room?”

“Alright.” Shadow made to leave the room, but stopped once he was at the doorframe, and glanced at Silver. “Well? Aren’t you going to want to get your own tablet?”

“Oh-- Yeah, sorry!”

The two of them made the short walk across the hallway to the room where Silver had woken up.

Silver opened the door for Shadow, and noticed that the other hedgehog flinched briefly at the brightness of the room.

Huh… never noticed he doesn’t like light.

Regardless, the two hedgehogs went into the room, Silver looking around for where his own tablet could possibly be.

Shadow grunted in discomfort, and muttered, “I don’t like all this… light.”

A small blob of concern made its way into Silver’s heart. Aw, poor Shadow… I can tell this isn’t good for him, but… what can I do?

Then Silver remembered that the ceiling hadn’t been painful to look at, even for him. Maybe…

“Uh, hey, Shadow! You can try looking at the ceiling, I think that’s not as bright as, uh, everything else.”

Shadow immediately shot his head up so that he was intensely staring at the ceiling. “…You’re right.” His next word was so quiet Silver almost didn’t hear it. “…Thanks.”

Silver smiled slightly, but decided not to say anything back. He’d rather not make Shadow angry or uncomfortable… though, to be fair, when wasn’t Shadow angry?

He found himself stopping in front of the bookshelves, and realized that the walls weren’t visible from this spot. “Oh! Shadow, come over here! You might be able to look at these bookshelves without hurting your eyes!”

Shadow walked over and lowered his head, letting out a breath of relief when he could indeed look at the shelves. “Alright, let’s see…”

He immediately took to shoving aside every book, not really caring when some of them fell off the shelves.

Silver just watched, since he wasn’t entirely sure he’d be very useful or anything right now.

Eventually, Shadow found Silver’s tablet, though it took digging through every bookshelf to find it.

“Here. It was hidden behind the books.” He handed it to Silver. “Not sure why yours was hidden, but I found mine out in the open…”

Silver grinned. “Thanks, Shadow!” He had to stifle a chuckle at the way Shadow’s eyes widened slightly; he very clearly wasn’t used to being thanked for anything. To distract himself, Silver turned his attention to his tablet. “Huh, I wonder what’s on this?”

As if it heard his words, the tablet screen flashed to life. It displayed only one thing: in the top corner, a picture of Silver was visible, along with text that simply read: “Silver the hedgehog. Ultimate Psychic.


“What is this? Uh… ‘Ultimate’? I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m really great at using my powers or anything… Shadow, does yours have something like this?”

Shadow nodded, not taking his eyes off the bookshelves. “Yes, it does.” He looked up and turned around. “Let’s get out of here, first, though.”

“Oh-- right. Sorry for bringing you in here…”

He waved a hand dismissively. “Not your fault. You didn’t choose to wake up here.”

The two of them walked out of the room, and stopped in the middle of the hallway.

Shadow crossed his arms. “Remind me to never go back there.”

Silver chuckled. “Heh, yeah.” Then he remembered the business at hand. “Oh, right, uh… your tablet? What does yours say?”

Shadow had been holding on to his compressed tablet the whole time, and it un-compressed instantly. “Here. Take a look.”

He spun the tablet around so that the screen faced Silver, and it was indeed something very similar: a small picture of Shadow in a corner, with text reading: “Shadow the hedgehog. Ultimate Lifeform.

Silver tilted his head. What did any of this mean? Why was it so hard to figure out?! “Huh. Alright… well, I guess we’re not really going to get any answers to any of this just standing around here. Um… did you… wanna go exploring and check out the rest of this place, and see what we find?” Why did he feel so nervous asking? Maybe it was because Shadow scared him a little bit… maybe.

Shadow contemplated the question, staring at Silver for a few seconds. Finally, he said, “Alright. Let’s go.” And instantly walked off, down the hallway.

Silver caught up quickly, and fell into step beside Shadow. The two hedgehogs walked in silence for a while, ignoring the rest of the rooms, as they didn’t seem particularly important for now.

It was only once they turned the corner at the end of the hallway that they came across something interesting, in the form of a set of closed double-doors. A sign next to the doors read ‘Auditorium’.

Silver spoke first. “So… this room should be bigger than the others, right? Since there’s two doors…” He honestly didn’t know very much about school, only what he’d been told from Sonic and everyone else.

Shadow glared at the doors as though he could intimidate them. “Yes. But… I don’t trust this. There’s noises from behind those doors, and it’s not anything I recognize.”

Silver glanced uneasily at the door handles. There could be answers behind these doors, or… whatever else might happen. Maybe there’d just be a bunch of enemies, and nothing else.

Shadow grabbed onto one of the handles. “On three.”

Silver held onto his handle perhaps a bit too tightly, for his hand was starting to hurt a bit.




The duo flung their doors open in unison, but neither of them could have possibly prepared for what they saw beyond those doors.

A massive, rectangular room greeted them. The walls thankfully didn’t hurt to look at, as they were instead a very dull beige color that reminded Silver of sand. At the front of the room was a stage, with the only decoration being a lone, unattended microphone. Just in front of the stage were several rows of chairs that looked more like they belonged to a movie theater. Towards the back of the room, a singular table was surrounded by over a dozen chairs.

The overall appearance of the room wasn’t the attention-getter for the two hedgehogs, though. That honor instead belonged to what– or rather, who– was already inside the room, scattered around in several small groups.

Three humans, one of whom seemed to be almost entirely machine rather than flesh; a massive purple robot; a strange, gray-and-black creature that hung around one of the humans; a green, furry shark in a red coat; a… something in a green-and-red outfit; a four-armed humanoid creature with a cane; a rather lanky creature in a white suit; a quadrupedal dragon with a mechanical suit; and a quadrupedal reptilian creature with some kind of harness.

A glance over at the lone table at the back of the room revealed that a small, overweight orange cat was sat atop it, busying itself with devouring several piles of food.

Silver could only stare at the bizarre gathering that was going on. Obviously, he’d never seen any of these beings before.

Oh, I’m gonna get a headache from all this…

Silver gingerly stepped into the room, trying to avoid any immediate attention, since he didn’t know what any of them would do. He scanned each of the groups to see which one might be the safest to approach, and ultimately decided on going to speak with the overweight cat by itself.

After he quickly bade farewell to Shadow, Silver went over to the table where the cat was seated. It didn’t seem to notice him approaching, clearly too preoccupied with eating an absolutely massive sandwich.

Silver waited a few seconds before he cleared his throat.

“Um, hello… I’m not really sure if you can understand me or--”

The cat swallowed its bite in a clearly exaggerated manner, before it turned its head to look Silver up and down.

“Oh, great. Are you one of those ‘furries’ Jon’s always complaining about?”

Silver blinked. “What? I-- I mean, I have fur… and quills too, but I don’t know if that’s what you mean.”

The cat rolled his eyes. “Alright, so you’re some kind of hallucination that’s been brought on by my food coma, got it.”

Silver frowned. “Er… no, I’m very real, and you’re talking to me, and I don’t think people in comas can talk.”

The cat waved a paw dismissively. “Okay, okay, I’m dreaming, then, sheesh. Now leave me alone, there’s food that needs eating.” Without waiting for an answer, the cat immediately went back to devouring his sandwich.

Silver stared at the cat for a few seconds, and was about to turn away to go speak with anyone else, when he noticed a small cube on the table.

Hey, that looks just like…

He looked at his compressed tablet.

Yep. Exactly the same. I wonder if…

Silver tentatively used his powers to grab the tablet near the cat, and dropped it into his open hand.

He took a few steps away, then un-compressed the tablet.

As suspected, its contents were almost identical to what Silver had seen on his and Shadow’s tablets, except of course, the actual information present was different. Since this was the cat’s tablet, it read: “Garfield. Ultimate Glutton.

He glanced over at the cat, Garfield, who had now moved on to consuming a pile of hamburgers at a terrifying speed.

Yeah, I guess that sounds about right.

Silver floated Garfield’s tablet back to its spot on the table, before turning around to see who else he could talk to.

The little red-and-green creature was by itself, quickly pacing near the wall.

Silver walked over to the little creature, keeping his steps light so that he didn’t startle it… or something.

Once he was close enough, and when the creature seemed to not notice him, Silver gave a small wave to the creature. “Uh, hi! Are you… are you alright over here?”

The creature stopped and raised its head to stare at Silver. “Quite interesting phrasing… am I alright here? Why, yes, of course!”

“Er… well, I mean, I just meant are you okay in general, I-- nevermind, sorry.” Silver awkwardly ran a hand through his quills, at a loss for what to say. “Um… well, I guess I should introduce myself, since I was planning on going around and meeting everyone here…” He hesitated briefly before he jabbed a thumb at himself; the way Sonic might do something like this. “I’m Silver the hedgehog!”

Yep, nailed it.

The smaller creature blinked once, twice. “Well then, Silver. You claim to be a hedgehog, yet I must say I have never seen one that looks anything like you!”

“Oh-- well, yeah, I’m from Mobius, not Earth. Same goes for my friend Shadow over there!” Silver pointed to where Shadow was skulking by the opposite wall.

Truthfully, he didn’t entirely know whether Shadow would technically be from Earth or Mobius…

Wait, he was getting sidetracked. Right, he was talking to this little creature!

The creature squinted. “Hmm, Mobius…? I’ve never heard of such a planet. Where is it located, and would it obstruct my view of Venus?”

Silver frowned slightly. He… didn’t actually know where Mobius was in the galaxy. “Umm… I don’t actually know the answer to either of those questions, sorry.”

“I see. In that case, alien hedgehog who is clearly lacking intellect, continuing with that topic shall get our conversation nowhere. And as such, I believe I should introduce myself.” The creature cleared his throat. “I am Marvin the Martian! And this--” He pulled his own tablet out from somewhere, “--little device refers to me as the ‘Ultimate Scientist’, and I must say, that is a title I shall cherish!”

Silver’s ears perked up.

A scientist… so, sort of like Tails?

“Oh! That’s cool, you’re a scientist! Do you make anything or are you good with, um, chemicals and stuff…? Sorry, I don’t really know science-y stuff, those might just be the same thing, heh…”

Marvin puffed his chest out with pride. “If you must know, I make weapons for myself, so that I may destroy Earth!”

Silver absentmindedly nodded before the realization of what Marvin had just said hit him like a hammer to the face. “Oh, alri-- Wait, what?! You can’t destroy Earth! What would you even wanna do that for?!”

Marvin hummed, apparently completely unfazed by Silver’s change in attitude. “Simple! That pesky planet obstructs my view of Venus, so I must destroy it!”

“That-- Wh-- No! I’m not letting you do that!” Silver threw a hand out and telekinetically lifted Marvin into the air, completely restricting the alien’s movement.

“The hedgehog has psychic powers! This is very interesting, but this also makes me very angry, very angry indeed! Just you wait until I break free of these feeble restraints, you--”

“Alright, what’s going on here? Not fighting, are you?”

A voice sounded out from behind Silver, cutting off whatever Marvin had been about to say.

Silver turned and found himself having to tilt his head all the way up to see the face of who had just spoken. It was one of the three humans he’d seen earlier; the one that was almost entirely mechanical.

The machine-human glared at Silver. “I don’t like to repeat myself. Either of you want to explain what’s going on?”

Silver gawked only for a moment before collecting his courage and floating himself up to eye level with the human.

“This guy was saying he was going to destroy Earth, and I told him he couldn’t do that–”

“Stop right there. I want you to take a good look at him, and tell me you think he’s really capable of doing that.”

Silver turned to glare at Marvin, who was trying to get out of the telekinetic hold. He turned back to the human. “Yes, I think he’s--”

“No, he’s not. Not while we’re all in here, anyways. Maybe once everyone gets out, he can try, but then he’ll have me to answer to. So, the Earth is safe. Let him go.”


“I said let him go.” The human growled, and suddenly Silver found himself staring at the point of a giant, electricity-wreathed sword.

Silver floated backwards so quickly he almost gave himself whiplash. “U-Uh, okay, I’ll, um…” He quickly glanced at Marvin and released the alien from his psychic containment.

Marvin stormed off, muttering to himself about… whatever aliens talk about.

Silver looked back to the sword-wielding human. “Okay, you can put the sword away now, please…”

Thankfully, the human complied, sheathing his sword and folding his arms. “You should’ve just done it when I first asked you.”

“Y-Yeah, you’re right… uh, sorry.”

“It’s fine.” The human sighed. “So, seems like you're another of the misfits that are stuck in here for no reason. Care to tell me who, and what, you are?”

“Oh, sure! Um, my name’s Silver, and I’m a hedgehog!”

“Huh, so you’re like the loner over there, then?” The human jabbed a thumb over his shoulder in the vague direction of Shadow. “Alright. And just from what I’m seeing, I’m going to take a guess and say that you’re some kind of… what’s the word… a psychic?”

“Yeah, that’s right! I can do a lot of things, actually, heheh, i-it’s really cool… but, uh, what are you, then?”

“I’m Raiden. And I got a little… phone thing that claims I’m the ‘Ultimate Cyborg’, which… well, I guess that isn’t too far off.”

“Ooh, we don’t have too many cyborgs on Mobius! That’s cool! So, can you… I dunno, see through walls or something?”

“Heh. No, nothing like that. I’m just a hell of a lot quicker and stronger than… well, probably anyone in here, and there’s practically nothing in the world that can take me down. Watch, try it. Hit me.”

Silver frowned. “A-Are you sure? I mean, I know you just said you’re really strong, but I don’t want to accidentally hurt you--”

“I’ll be fine. Here, look.” Raiden went to the table where Garfield was still busy eating and carried a chair over before dropping it. “Hit me with this. I won’t feel a thing.”

Silver hesitated, glancing back and forth between Raiden and the chair.

Well, here goes nothing, I guess…

Silver flung the chair at Raiden’s head with all his might. The chair deformed upon impact, folding in half and clattering to the floor, which drew the attention of a few of the others that were around. Thankfully, it must not have been a huge distraction, for everyone soon went back to whatever they’d all been doing before.

Meanwhile, Raiden had barely even flinched.

“Told you.”

Silver could only nod weakly before he dropped to the floor much like the chair had. He’d used a bit too much of his power, and thanks to whatever was going on here, he was completely drained now. “Yep… you sure did…” He let out a weak cough. “Ugh, sorry, my powers don’t usually drain me like this.”

Raiden stared for a moment. “Hm. I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere.” He left so quickly Silver barely had time to blink and he was gone.

Woah, he’s like Sonic! …Okay, maybe not that quick, heh, nobody’s as fast as Sonic--

Raiden came back, holding a glowing, segmented, tube-like object in his hand. “Here. Crack this open and take a few drops.”

Silver did as instructed, and pierced a segment’s casing with his fangs, then quickly drank the bright blue liquid that came out.

The effect was almost instantaneous; all of Silver’s energy came back at once, and it was like he’d never over-exerted himself in the first place.

“W-Woah… what is this stuff?”

“I’m not entirely sure. It looks like the electrolytes I’d normally use, but they don’t work like that.”

I don’t really get it, but I guess I can’t complain or anything.

“Oh, alright. Well, um, thanks for that!” Silver said as he handed the partially-emptied thing back to Raiden.

“No problem.” Raiden paused briefly to glance around the room. “Say, it’s been nice meeting you and all that, but I should probably keep watch on the rest of these people. Don’t want anybody else getting into any more fights.”

Aw, the first stranger I talk to that isn’t rude, and he’s already leaving…

“Okay, well, you go do that! Thanks again!”

“Yeah. See you around.” Raiden walked off, and set himself in a far corner of the room, keeping a close eye on everyone.

Silver sighed. This is exhausting… how many more people do I have to talk to? I don’t know if I can--

“Oy, oy, what’re you doing here all by your lonesome, eh?”

Silver jumped slightly at the sudden voice by his side. He quickly turned and saw the little gray creature he’d seen when he’d first walked in.

“Um… I just wanted to take a break from having to talk to anyone, so can you please leave me a--”

The creature cackled. “Ohoho, that’s hilarious! What are you, some kind of recluse, hmm?”

“No! It’s normal for people to not want to talk to other people!”

“Heheh, sure it is. The only reason you’d want to avoid others is if you’ve got something to hide! So, spit it out, what’s with ya, huh?”

Silver was, thankfully, saved from having to answer any of that by the arrival of someone else; one of the other humans.

“Dracmon, you little shit! What did I tell you about not bothering anyone else?!”

The creature, Dracmon, turned to the human. “Eh? Oh, right, you said not to do it! But who says I gotta listen to you?”

The human clenched his fists. “You do have to listen to me, damn it! Maybe not all the time, but right now you do! And right now I’m telling you not to bother anyone!”

Silver watched this argument go on, unsure of what to do or say.

Wait, if I can just…

He quickly interjected, “Um, excuse me! Sorry for interrupting your argument, but can you both please tell me who you are? I’ll leave you two alone after that, I promise.”

The human and Dracmon both paused to stare at Silver.

It was Dracmon who spoke first. “Oy, the fleabag wants to know who we are? Alright, then! I’m Dracmon, and I’m this bastard’s Digimon partner!”

The human scoffed. “Digimon… such a dumb name. ‘Kay, whatever. I’m Kaito, and I’ve got a stupid tablet that calls me the ‘Ultimate Aggressor’, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean, and it calls this little gremlin the ‘Ultimate Mischief’, which isn’t too far off. There’s your introductions, now piss off.”

Silver quickly obliged and walked away, but not before throwing a quick “Thanks!” over his shoulder.

Phew, okay… well, I guess Dracmon kind of had a point. I can’t just be all by myself this whole time, it’ll seem suspicious.

He hardly had to look before he found the next stranger he could talk to. The massive robot was hanging back, away from most of the others. Next to it was the four-armed creature.

Silver walked over, giving a small wave as he approached the pair. “Hi! What’s going on over here?”

The robot simply turned its head towards Silver, and said nothing.

The four-armed creature made an odd clicking noise before speaking to Silver. “Greetings. There is nothing ‘going on’, though you are free to remain in our vicinity, if you wish. I believe it is referred to as ‘hanging out’, yes?”

“Um, yeah, that’s what hanging out is… anyways, uh, did you want to tell me who you are?”

“Certainly. I am known as Variks.” With one arm, he gestured to the massive robot. “This machine is known as Noisy Boy. Quite ironic, for it has no means of communication.”

Silver tilted his head. “Huh, really? This giant robot can’t talk at all? It can’t make noises or anything?”

Noisy Boy slowly shook its head.

“Huh, that must suck. But, no offense to either of you, I’m trying to meet everyone as quickly as I can, so, Variks, do you have one of those ‘Ultimate’ things?”

Variks growled. “Indeed. A primitive device refers to me as the ‘Ultimate Loyalist’. Fitting, though unoriginal, for my allies throughout the galaxy know me as ‘the Loyal’.” He huffed, before turning to Noisy Boy. “The machine has been given the title of the ‘Ultimate Boxer’. Admittedly, I am unsure how it obtained such a title, for it was not given a device.”

“Wait, can… can you understand it somehow?”

More clicking. “Yes. Difficult to explain. It is comparable to knowing another’s thoughts. The robot says nothing, and yet I hear it as though it has spoken to me, and only me.” A low, wheezing laugh. “Ah, to have a machine, any machine, speak to me…” He shook his head. “Forgive me. I reminisce of a time long-gone.”

Silver didn’t really know how to react to that. “Um, sorry…?”

“Nothing to apologize for. You have no way of knowing my kind’s history. Ah, I am getting ahead of myself. I wish to know of you. Inform me of what you are.”

“Oh! Right, I almost forgot, heh… I’m Silver, and I’m a hedgehog, though I don’t know if hedgehogs look like this where you’re from. And… my tablet calls me the ‘Ultimate Psychic’, which is true! I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m the best with using my powers, but I’m the only one who has them, so… best by default, I guess.”

“So you are akin to a Warlock, then…” A wheeze. “Thank you. You may leave now.”

“Okay, bye guys!” Silver said before he turned and rather absentmindedly walked towards whoever he hadn’t spoken to yet.

It turned out his next conversation partner would be the third and final human that was present.

As he approached, Silver couldn’t help but stare at the absolutely massive sword the woman carried-- well, more like dragged-- with her.

That thing’s almost as tall as she is! How does–

“Hey, are you going to keep staring all day, or you going to get a spine and say something?”

Silver blinked. Then blinked again. And a few more times for good measure, just to make sure he hadn’t seen-- or heard-- something in his imagination.

“Yoo-hoo, spike-head, talking to you.”

The woman’s sword was talking.

Silver gawked for a few seconds, before realizing that he probably looked really stupid doing so, and quickly regained his composure.

“Uh, sorry. I didn’t think that--”

“That I’d be the one doing the talking, instead of the lady handling me? Yeah, I know, that’s what they all think. Or, well, that’s probably what people would think, if there was anyone even left in Cloudbank… Shit, sorry, gettin’ ahead of myself here. Well, since I’m the only one here capable of speech, I better introduce everyone.” The sword paused briefly. “Okay, so, the lady dragging me around everywhere is Red, she’s kind of a badass.” Red smiled warmly and waved at Silver. “Then there’s me. I had a name, but I don’t use it anymore. But those Camerata sons of bitches called me-- or, well, the sword that I’m in-- something. They called it the Transistor. So, I guess that’s what you can call me.”

Silver didn’t really know how to process all of that information, especially considering he didn’t even understand half of it. But, he didn’t want to be rude, so he supposed he had to answer somehow.

He nodded weakly and tried to act like he knew what the hell the sword was talking about. “Uh-huh, okay…”

“Oh, I almost forgot! We picked up this little fella, since, y’know, didn’t want anybody steppin’ on him.”

A tiny brown doll-like figure waved at Silver from atop the Transistor’s hilt.

“He can’t talk, but he wrote up a little note for us that says his name is Sackboy, and that he’s the ‘Ultimate Creator’.”

Red raised an eyebrow and rapped her knuckles against the Transistor’s pommel.

“Huh? Oh, right, uh… Red’s got one of those weird titles too. She’s the ‘Ultimate Singer’, which… is kind of a mean-spirited joke by whoever’s running this whole… whatever this is, since… y’know.”

Silver’s brain again felt like mush, but for an entirely different reason than just over-exerting himself earlier.

This sword needs to stop talking so much…

“Um, okay, that’s great, and it’s nice to meet you all, but if you don’t mind, I’m just gonna go…”

He speed-walked away before the Transistor could bombard him with another massive speech.

Phew… okay, well, looks like there’s only a few more people to talk to…

The next pair Silver went up to was the furry shark, and the lanky creature in the white suit.

They seemed to be in the middle of an argument, which made Silver a bit hesitant about approaching them in the first place.

…Well, what’s the worst that could happen?

“…You seek to make a fool of me! Well, I say I shall not be your stepping-stool!”

“No, no, I’m only telling you that there can not be darkness in the world, for it would--”

“Silence! I shall not hear your reasoning, for you surely know that your argument is weakening!”

Is he… rhyming?

“If you will not hear me out, then why do you continue to engage in this conversation? Surely it would be more beneficial for you to leave.”

“Well, I simply don’t have it in me to be rude! Why, I’d hate nothing more than for anyone to be in a foul mood!”

Sensing that they’d only keep arguing, Silver stepped up, clearing his throat. “Excuse me--”

The lanky creature whipped around with terrifying speed, a wide grin stretching across his face. “Oh, hello there, little one! Are you perhaps looking for a bit of fun?”

“N… No, not really, I was just trying to introduce myself.”

“Ah, and introduce yourself, you shall! I’m certain it’ll be a great booster to the old morale!”

“O-Okay, then… I’m Silver the hedgehog, and I guess I’m the ‘Ultimate Psychic’.”

“Oho, a hedgehog, you say? Quite fascinating, and I must say, I’ve never seen a creature quite like you before! Why, it seems that this hall has new discoveries galore!”

The shark snorted. “All of the land’s creatures look like you, hedgehog, so this is nothing new to me.” He pointedly ignored an annoyed glance from the lanky creature. “I am Mito, the ‘Ultimate Lamp-Maker’.”

“Trying to steal the spotlight, are you? You are one of many here, that is true… But I am Balan, the ‘Ultimate Maestro’, and with all my skills, I shall best you!”

Mito blinked slowly, as a toothy smirk formed on his face. “You used the same word twice. I thought entertainers were all about originality? It seems you’re nothing more than a sham.”

Balan gasped and stomped, clenching his fists. “A fraud, I most certainly am not! Try to comprehend my true talent; you simply cannot!”

I get the feeling they’re not going to stop arguing anytime soon. I can probably just walk away and they wouldn’t even notice.

Silver left the two to argue, while he searched for the final two people that he’d yet to speak to.

He found them; the two reptilians, one mechanical, the other aquatic; conversing with each other, furtively glancing around the room, as though they were afraid of danger.

Silver waved as he approached, wanting to let them know that he wasn’t a threat. “Hi! What are you two up to?”

The robotic dragon tilted their head. “Salutations. We are assessing the situation at hand, and weighing our options as to how we will escape captivity.”

The aquatic reptile barked out a laugh. “Yeah, we’re gonna bust outta here, and we’ll get everyone home safe! Trust me, we’re professionals with this kind of stuff!”

Silver’s ear flicked. If these two really were heroes, then that was a weird coincidence, and that would make four– wait, no, five, since Raiden had implied he was a hero too– out of fifteen of the people here heroes…

But why would anyone want to round up a bunch of heroes?

“Oh, so you regularly rescue people? That’s cool!”

“Yep! I mean, it’s kinda more of a side thing compared to just kickin’ ass, but, yeah, we do all that kinda shit!”

The robotic dragon groaned in annoyance. “That is certainly one way to explain such matters.”

“Well, duh, I’m gonna say things my way! And you can have all your fancy mumbo-jumbo whatever. Sheesh.”

Before either of them could get off-topic, Silver interjected, “Hey, uh, sorry for interrupting, but can I just get your names and… whatever titles you two might have been given? Please?”

“Affirmative. I am Drobot, and I have been given the title of ‘Ultimate Engineer’.”

“And I’m Zap! I’m the ‘Ultimate Racer’, though it’s kinda dumb that they give me that, and then don’t have anywhere for me to race anyone! Total bummer, y’know?”

Silver nodded awkwardly. “Uh, yeah, I get that. Welp, thanks, you two!”

At the exact moment Silver turned around, one of the doors slammed open.

He turned back around just in time to see something go hurtling towards the new arrival.


Infinite, the one who’d tried to destroy the world only a few months ago…

Why is he here?!

Perhaps a more pressing matter than Infinite’s appearance was the fact that Shadow had apparently taken it upon himself to attack Infinite.

The two traded blows, mercilessly striking whatever they could get at.

Oh, this is bad… I’ve got to stop them!

Silver quickly focused his energy into telekinetically pushing Shadow far enough away from Infinite that nothing more would happen. Although Silver’s brain felt like jelly for the third time that day, he was relieved that he’d managed to stop the fighting. His legs wobbled, and he sat down far more intensely than he’d meant to.

Infinite tried to rush forward to keep the fight going, but was quickly stopped by a sword held to his neck.

Raiden glared daggers at both Shadow and Infinite, but kept his attention firmly on the latter. “Just got here and you’re already starting shit. Speak. What’s your deal?”

Infinite scoffed. “I see no reason to explain myself to the likes of you.” His gaze languidly wandered around the room, until it settled on Silver, who was dazed from his over-exertion. “Ah, the wannabe hero…”

Infinite darted around Raiden’s sword and made a frantic lunge for Silver. In an instant, Shadow appeared. He grabbed Infinite by the neck and slammed him to the floor.

Raiden appeared a split-second later. “Let him go. I can deal with him.”

Shadow complied, then turned to Silver, thinly veiled concern in his eyes. “Are you alright?”

Silver forced a weak smile. “Y-Yeah, I’m fine, thanks.”

I need to get my energy back… and I know exactly how to do that.

He saw Raiden, who’d moved decently far away, with one hand on the back of Infinite’s neck, and the other hand keeping his sword pressed to his throat.

Silver turned his attention back to Shadow. “Hey, actually, can you ask Raiden– the guy with the sword-- for his… electrolytes, I think they’re called? Yeah, just ask him for those, please?”

Shadow nodded and left. Silver watched him go, and didn’t take his eyes off Shadow until he came back with the segmented tube in his hand.

Shadow handed the object to Silver, who gratefully drank a segment with a quick “Thanks.” beforehand.

Once Silver was done, he realized that he felt oddly self-conscious about the fact that Shadow had watched him drink the whole thing.

He was about to try to awkwardly break the silence when Shadow extended a hand towards him.

Silver quickly took Shadow’s hand, and got up, not wanting to make things more awkward than they already were. He averted eye contact and mumbled out another thanks before releasing the other hedgehog’s hand.

He was then reminded that he was still holding the electrolyte tube. His gaze drifted down to it, and he frowned slightly. “I should probably give this back--”

“No. He said you could keep it, since he had the feeling you’d end up needing it more than he would.”

“Oh, uh, okay then.”

Whatever other thoughts he had at the moment were drowned out by the sound of static.

Silver flinched, his ears flattened against his head, at the sudden loud noise, and he looked around for the source of the noise until he found several small loudspeakers embedded in the ceiling.

He almost considered just blasting the things to smithereens so he didn’t have to deal with the noise anymore, but decided it wasn’t worth it to deal with being completely drained again.

He could almost hear some of the others complaining about the noise, but couldn’t really discern any specific comments, though he was almost certain he heard the Transistor say “Yeah, nice one, assholes.”

After a few more seconds of overwhelming static, it cleared, only to be replaced with a high-pitched, slightly robotic-sounding voice.

“Well, well, well! I see you’re all here, perfect! And it looks like there’s some bad blood already brewing, hmm? How fun! I’ll be with you all in one moment, but in the meantime, why don’t you all grab a seat over by the stage?” There was a brief pause while most of everyone started moving towards the theater chairs. “Hey, that means you too, fatty cat!” Evidently, Garfield either hadn’t heard or just hadn’t cared about the announcement. “And, hey, big guy, you can stand! I don’t want you breaking any of my chairs.” Noisy Boy paused, as if processing the statement, then moved to stand just behind the chairs.

Silver found himself seated between Shadow and Zap. The former was as still as a statue in his seat, staring straight ahead, while the latter fidgeted and wriggled in his seat.

He overheard scattered bits of idle conversation between various others, but didn’t really pay attention to any of it.

Next to him, he heard Zap muttering, “Man, if that’s their spokesperson, I ‘unno what kinda goofy shit they’re gonna pull on us…”

The anticipation in the room was so overwhelming, it was nearly suffocating.

Thankfully, the anticipation didn’t last much longer, because the lights in the room dimmed, and, in an inexplicable puff of smoke, appeared–

“Metal Sonic?!” Shadow hissed.

Silver stared at the robot on stage. Yes, it did seem to be Eggman’s least successful creation, but… it was different. Instead of the deep blue it usually was, it was colored in white and black, roughly divided down the middle with blots and splotches of the opposite colors, as if it were some kind of turf war.

The robot bowed to the crowd. “Hello, and welcome! As of right now, you all are honored guests at the most prestigious school on Earth: Metal Academy! As your very gracious host, I, Monometa, shall answer any questions you may have… right now! So, who wants to go first, hmm?”

“You claim we are on Earth, yes?” Variks’ voice sounded out from behind Silver. “That is…” He clicked several times. “Not possible. Explain yourself, machine.”

The repainted Metal Sonic-- no, Monometa– laughed, putting a hand up to where his mouth would be if he had one. “Oh, you really think we’re all in your galaxy? Think again, peabrain!”

Variks hissed, but said nothing more.

“So why are we here, huh? You obviously want something from us, so spit it out.” Raiden spoke up this time.

“Well, I sure wish I could answer that! But I can’t right now, so next question, please!”

Raiden sputtered in indignation. “What do you mean you–”

“I said, next question!” Monometa very clearly just didn’t want to deal with Raiden.

“Yeah, I got one.” Kaito, with Dracmon finishing the question: “When the hell can we all get outta here?”

There was a pause, and Silver got the feeling that if Monometa could smile, there would be a very dangerous one on his face. The thought of it sent cold waves down his spine.

“I’m so glad you asked! The answer is… never! You’re all going to be staying within these Academy grounds for as long as you all shall live, and I know for some of you, that’s an awful long time, maybe even quite literally forever!”

What?! No, he… he can’t be serious, right?

Silver risked a glance over at Shadow, who didn’t even bother to hide the anger in his eyes. Then to Zap, who was shaking his head, as if that would do anything.

Various exclamations and yells rose up from the others.

“Y-You can’t do that!” Kaito.

“How dull…” Infinite.

“Unlikely. You shall not contain us forever.” Drobot.

“Keep us forever? Oh, I think not, neither now nor ever!” Balan.

“That’s boring. There’s no way you’ll have enough food for me!” Garfield.

Monometa waved his hands, as if trying to quiet everyone down. When that didn’t work, he yelled out: “There is one way to leave, you know!”

Everyone quieted immediately, though there was an unmistakable tension behind the silence.

With bated breath, Silver waited to hear what Monometa was about to say.

The robot seemed to relish the silence, the anticipation… the fear of the unknown. Slowly, he began: “You see, the goal here is to let you all live out your lives peacefully. So, if any one of you disturbs the peace, you will be asked to leave the Academy.”

“…So all we have to do is hate everyone here? Done. Now let me out, it’s Friday, and that lasagna won’t eat itself.” Garfield, whose apathetic speech seemed to be his only attitude. It was… almost unnerving how little he seemed to care for anything or anyone here.

“Oh, no, stupid cat! I’m talking about something much more… severe. Go ahead and hate anyone you want, I don’t care. No, you’d have to do something especially disruptive, like…” Monometa paused for several seconds, scanning over everyone’s expressions. “…if you were to kill someone.”

More yelling, this time amplified with the fear of the known.

What?” Raiden.

“Surely you’re joking…” Mito.

“Oh, no, no, no, this isn’t happening…” Zap.

“Oh, dear, this isn’t what I expected at all.” Marvin.

Variks still said nothing, but growled loudly.

Silver looked over at Shadow, who had his jaw and fists clenched.

“Shadow… We’re not actually--”

“No. We’re not. And if I have anything to say or do about it, nobody is.” Shadow nodded at Silver. “We’re all going to be okay.”

Shadow’s reassurance put a spark in Silver’s heart, a fiery determination.

He’s right! Nobody’s going to get hurt, we just have to watch out, and stay safe together. Everyone’s going to make it out alright.

Monometa giggled maniacally, as if pleased with the reaction he was getting. “Well, I see you’re all enjoying this new piece of info! But don’t worry, none of you have to kill, just if you want to get out of here before you turn into a skeleton! If you don’t, great, you can just live here and never see the outside world again!”

Before Monometa could say anything more, a massive laser shot out from somewhere and punched a hole right through the robot’s metal body. He staggered briefly before crumpling, lifeless, as if he hadn’t just been telling sixteen people to kill each other for freedom.

Silver turned to see where the laser had come from.

Drobot, with his mechanical eyes smoking and glowing, had stood up from his seat. He shook his head to clear the smoke. “Threat eradicated. Now we may--”

Drobot trailed off, slack-jawed, as a second Monometa came out from behind the stage and kicked the first one away.

Monometa shook his head. “Rude!” He wagged his finger. “You just couldn’t wait to get the memo about not attacking your host, could you? Well, since that was only your first offense, I’m letting you off with a warning! Y’know, for a super-genius like yourself, you should know better! But, hey, if any of you try that kind of stunt again… you’ll get what’s coming to you.”

Everyone was stunned into silence after, well, everything.

“Is that all? No more questions or interruptions? Great! I’ll go ahead and update all of your tablets with the Academy rules, and I suppose that’s it for now! Toodle-oo, everyone!”

Monometa disappeared through a hole in the stage, and left everyone in complete shock.

“Well, now what? We just wait for someone to snap?” Kaito tried to sound tough, but there was no mistaking the waver of fear in his voice.

Silver got up from his seat and faced everyone, floating himself up in the air so that they could all see him. “No. We’re not letting anyone die, and that’s that. Everyone’s going to get out of here safe, and we all have to work together to make sure nothing happens to anyone, alright?”

“You try to speak wise words, but you forget the alternative. We can not remain here for our lifespans.” Variks squinted up at Silver.

Shadow spoke up before Silver could respond. “That’s right, but that’s why Silver said we’re going to get out. There has to be some way out. If we were all able to be put in here, then there’s a way out, and we just have to find it.”

Infinite waved a hand dismissively. “Oh, you foolish, naive imbeciles. You really believe none amongst ourselves have the will, or the means, to kill? You all may say that you shall not take a life, but when it comes down to the wire… who is willing to go through with it?

There was no response from anyone. Silver silently glared at Infinite for ruining what could have been an otherwise good rallying moment.

He looked around from face to face, taking note of who looked away, of who glanced from guest to guest as if analyzing whether they would be willing to kill… or maybe whether they would make an easy target.

It was at rare, desperate times like these Silver wished he could read minds. Somehow, though, he got the impression that he knew what most were thinking: anyone could turn upon another at any time. Nobody was safe.

Silver let his boots touch the floor again, and he took a long look at Shadow, searching his friend’s face for any signs of deception.

Shadow huffed. “Don’t be stupid.”

…Yeah, I guess it’s pretty dumb to think Shadow might betray me. I know he’s a good hedgehog.

Silver met Raiden’s eyes-- or, well, eye-- next. The cyborg’s gaze initially hardened, but then softened after a few seconds. He nodded, a movement so small it was almost imperceptible.

In that moment, Silver knew he could trust Raiden, too. The cyborg might have been intimidating, and had a huge sword, but he had been determined to stop any fighting before anyone had even known what was going on. That was a good sign in Silver’s book.

As for the rest of the guests, though…

It was hard to tell. Anyone, especially someone like Infinite, who was already a villain, or Marvin, who had already expressed a desire to kill before all this had been revealed, or even Garfield, whose complete apathy could be a weapon on its own… anyone could kill or be killed.

And yet, despite all of this, despite the fact that there would be danger at every step from now on, Silver didn’t give in to despair or darkness. No.

Burning in his heart… was hope. Hope and determination; that things would be okay, and the will to make it so.

I’m not going to let anyone die. Not today, and not ever.
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