Ninja of Spirits
The night was grand, like the vibrant colors of spring or the scene of a lush meadow full of every known color in the spectrum. Stars unable to be seen thanks to the bright lights of the city, a calm summer breeze making its way through the alleys and streets eastward, the smell of champagne, party poppers, mist from smoke machines, and a mixture of different colognes and perfumes made up the sensory scene of that night, two weeks after the summer solstice. I wish I could explain to you how miraculous the sight of a summer solstice celebration is, but I’m no storywriter or extremist in details. However, I can try my best. Let’s see…. Picture this. Massive city located right on the eastern coast of the Northern Mobius continent (since there’s also a Southern continent). It’s a rather unique city, for it actually is a collection of cities all colliding to form one big megalopolis, with each city representing a different ecosystem. There was a rainforest, a desert, a polar region, a city high in the mountains all thanks to a mountain range coincidentally being located there as well, a city on the beach, deep in dark chasms and caves, underwater, hidden in overgrown meadows, and then the center of the city which is known as the Heart.
The rainforest holds homes not only on the forest floor but also high in the canopy, like traditional dwellers of the forests. It always rains, but it’s artificial rain. Most of the time, that is. Plenty of sunshine, damp environment, tropical climates; it’s the perfect place for those seeking relaxation and adventure. The polar region is always frigid cold, snowing constantly but slightly during the reasonable seasons, There’s always a few inches of snow on the ground of the city of ice, and hot chocolate is served on every street corner. As for the desert region, it’s not as bad as you think. The city is literally sand buildings inside a luxurious oasis, blessed with plenty of water and flora. The people are blissful and adaptable to the heat, and it doesn’t even get that bad. The worst temperature is only ninety degrees or a little higher. Take the train up to the mountains, and the cold climates return. The steep mountainsides and cliffs are refuges for the most daring of citizens, for only those who didn’t fear heights or that any moment they could take a wrong step and fall off the mountain lived there. Travel back down to ground level and toward the beaches, and you can go one of two ways. One way leads deep in the dark, damp caves with glistening stalactites and home to those who hated sunlight and many colonies of bats and cave birds, making up the nightly lullaby to the children, and the other way leads down into the waters where the city is surrounded by a special glass that wouldn’t break even under the weight of a blue whale, built for those that admired the sea and all its wonders (and even coming with an above-surface part of the city).
Finally, there was the meadows where flowers grew in enormous sizes and housed the people more bonded with gardening and nature and beauty. Thankfully, giant butterflies and ants didn’t exist. One section of the city was above ground, on the petals and leaves of flowers as they gazed eternally at the sun. The other section was on the ground, shaded from the harsh sunlight and booming with shops of all sorts. The heart of this majestic wonder of the world wasn’t averagely built to resemble the cities of Earth. It held an original, proud design of skyscrapers that bent and twisted like Twizzler candy, and the color of the metal structures shined a shimmering burned gold. There were plenty of green spaces for recreational purposes and for the kids to release all their hyper energy on the playgrounds and ice cream trucks, and gardens were commonplace. Cars and heavy waves of people, Mobian and human alike, flooded the streets as they rushed from place to place. In the very center of the heart was the biggest, most majestic jewel of the crown: the Heartbeat they call it. It was home to the mayor of the city, Mayor Silverblade. Kindhearted, generous, honorable, and devoted to his job as ruler of the kingdom, he was a lovable mayor that all were pleased to have.
This was Syren City, the largest and capital city of the world, and it was having a party that night.
Located right under the Heartbeat was a large square, able to fit thousands of people, flashing with light beacons and filled up almost entirely with people originating from all corners of Syren City. Everyone was dressed in wild costumes and face paint of the most vibrant, exotic colors, but the colors and attire always had to follow the same regulations: the colors must be in contrast with one another, and the outfits must resemble summer somehow. All the costumes were of wild flowers and exotic birds with flashing feathers, and with every bright, light color came a dark but vivid color to contrast it, resembling the day and the night. This was, after all, called the Light of Darkness Summer Festival.
Picture this: It’s close to midnight, and the moon is wanting to show off its white glow and natural beauty by becoming a full moon. Thanks to dozens of light beacons, colored with yellow and dark purple, the stars hid in the darkness and watch in silence as if they were afraid to show their faces against the lights of the festival. Every living soul, Mobian or human, was shouting and cheering and celebrating like it was the last night they could ever get the chance, and some showed off their colors to others as if it were a contest to see who wore the best apparel. Masks hid the true identities of the people, but some had to paint masks on their faces because they didn’t own real masks. Confetti of all different colors, mostly bright yellows and whites battling with dark purples and blacks, littered the ground along with streamers and party string. Champagne bottles were being popped, and the idiotic men drank shot after shot to have a good time, or so I’ve heard. Children ran around with sparklers of golden yellow and royal purple that glistened in the night, and surprisingly nobody got burned from their playful rampages in between the adults. On a catwalk styled stage, massive in size and built for multiple performances, a DJ, Mobian no doubt with a well known name and reputation, was dropping the base and playing a catchy mix of dance music, well suited for a summertime party and enjoyed by all that listened, and believe me: it played so loud, every corner of Syren City could hear it. Even deep underwater. The beat controlled neon lights that flickered lime greens, lightning yellows, extreme oranges, vivid pinks, and orchid purples on the walls even though the walls had no lights on them to make it possible. It was almost magic. Being in the square and hearing such a high volume of music, along with the screams and cheers of the people and taking in bright lights, horrible smells, and large crowds with little any room to move around can give you a headache if you were the type that preferred peace and quiet.
If such a party was taking place, then one would expect a certain hedgehog to arrive. Cerulean blue in color, like the oceans, with emerald green eyes and red sneakers with white cuffs, this was definitely the famous Sonic the Hedgehog. The well known heroine of Mobius had arrived, and he brought with him several friends. His brother by spirit, Tails the Fox, walked beside him with a big smile on his face. A tribal red echidna, Knuckles, walked behind them with a drink of sparkling water at hand. Being merely teenagers and knowing better than to gorge on champagne or wine, they would always drink something like punch (that isn’t drugged) or sparkling water. Soda occasionally, but most of the time it’s just water or punch. Nearby was Amy Rose, a bubblegum pink hedgehog with spring green eyes and a feathery red dress with black tips and jewels along the hem, who was already chasing him down. The blue heroine, wearing a bright white, angelic outfit with black tipped feathers and diadem, only had to hear her voice and was already at top speed as he dashed through the crowd. Cream, a young rabbit of cream coloring and burned brown tipped ears while wearing a sky blue, midnight blue dress, was alongside her mother Vanilla who held a matching outfit but also a blue rose pinned to the left side of her shirt. It was from her husband, Spice, who died almost seven years ago while protecting Cream from Dr. Eggman and his invasion of roboticized soldiers. If only Cream had the chance to meet him…
Anyways, back on topic, on another end of the square was a black and red streaked hedgehog named Shadow, forced to attend and wear bright red and deep purple as his costume by Rouge. She, a white bat with purple wings and sea green eyes that held a few blue tints, was wearing a fancy dress of bright, bubblegum pink and dull, dark purple gemstones that glistened in the lights of the beacons and stage. She walked with a sway to her hips and a calm, sly smile on her face, her eyes narrowed calmly to show off the bright purple eye shadow and long lashes, to show off a rather seductive expression. Then, right in the middle of the crowd was a group of four. Leading the group was a tall crocodile in his twenties, Vector Holmes by name, lime green in color with orange back spines, sharp white fangs, and a muscular tail. His usual golden chain was gone, thanks to an incident that occurred some time ago, and was replaced with a neck piece embedded with bright gold and deep blue gemstones to match the theme of the party. He wasn’t the dress-up type of guy. Behind him was a honeybee named Charmy, dressed like a pretty orange bird of paradise with long tail feathers to cover his stinger and a crest that allowed the twilight purple feathers to sometimes droop over his honey orange eyes. He was far too excited to attend the party, for it had been postponed for some unusual reason. Now that the day of celebration had arrived, his joy had bursted like a grenade and continued to blow off steam.
Finally, there were our two main characters of the story. Zyscar, the cerulean blue chameleon with lightning yellow streaks on his crest and a black muzzle. He wore his usual black sweater with a lightning bolt on the front, his usual black boots with the white stripe going down the middle to touch the toes, and his usual white gloves with lightning bolts imprinted on the front. Standing beside him with a hand on his shoulder was Espio, a hot purple chameleon of seventeen years with pure golden eyes. He didn’t wear a costume that year, for he too wasn’t one to dress up for any occasion. Instead, his usual gloves and royal purple shoes did the trick, but on his tail was a new piece; two metal bands with yellow beads on the surface, connected by gray netting. He stood in silence, looking around at the flashing lights of the skyscraper walls and the intense population of civilians who were having a great time. As much as he hated being in tight spaces, loud music, and blinding lights that could make him hallucinate, he was relieved that he would finally have a chance to take a break from the rest of his worries.
Suddenly, the music stopped with a echoing fade into nothingness. The audience clapped and cheered as the DJ made his desk of pure lights disappear with a swipe of his hand and bowed to the people with a chuckle. The lights faded with the beat, and the atmosphere was a little more calm than it was moments ago. The DJ was a Mobian hedgehog, lime green in color, with telekinetic blue eyes that seemed to glow in the slight darkness of the square now that the lights have faded away entirely. If he had quills or hair, it was stuffed inside the navy blue ball cap he wore on his head that had built in headphones, something every DJ wanted. His festive apparel was feathery sky blue, a jacket with a very long back that covered up the backside of his legs almost completely, and tipped in pitch black that was surprisingly vibrant. His shoes, holding the same style. It was like Hermes, the messenger Greek god, had given him those shoes to wear just for this marvelous night.
“Good evening, Syren City!!” he cried in his lush, proud singer’s voice with a wave to the crowd. “How is everyone tonight?” The thousands of people shouted at the top of their lungs. “Good? Alright then. Well, I hope you all are still wide awake because it’s only one hour left ‘til midnight, and we’re gonna make it the best hour of your lives!!” Another cheer went to him, and he made his DJ desk reappear in bright blue lights, setting up a beat for the next performance. His smile was calm and blissful, the smile of a man who was enjoying his job. The smile of a man who loved making the people happy with what he did for a living. There weren’t that many smiles like that in the world. A finger went to his headphones, and he nodded slightly to the beat of the next song. The lights on the walls reappeared and followed his lead, changing their color scheme to starry golds and oranges.
On the other side of the catwalk styled stage, someone was rising up from a secret area under the floorboard, standing on a pedestal with his face down to the ground as it slowly brought him into the celebration. It was another Mobian man, a bat this time colored almost entirely in pitch black fur, and the whole crowd cheered madly at him. Some fangirls even rushed up to the stage to get a better look with arms extending towards him. He hid his head behind a golden fedora, larger-than-normal ears lowered to the sides of his head so it could fit. His golden jacket, gloves, and boots matched the fashionable hat and also fit the theme of the celebration. When he raised his head to see the crowd, the applause crescendoed in volume. He too had telekinetic blue eyes that glowed in the shadow of his fedora, and he gave off the same smile as the DJ.
The DJ was known as DJ Neon, and the bat was Pitch Black. Together, they were the greatest superstars of the generation. Pitch had an astounding singing voice, Neon was good at singing but also at rapping, both had a built-in metronome in their minds, and both were outstanding dancers. They invented their own style called Beatstep which was simply stepping quickly to the beat of the song in different variations from crossings of the legs to fast twirls. It was very impressive to witness but difficult to learn if one didn’t have a sense of beat and style. Pitch and Neon were experts.
In the crowd, their biggest fan was cheering away. Vector. He had a big smile painted on his face, showing off the white fangs in his snout, and there was nothing that could stop him from cheering away at his favorite two song artists. One time, he was crazy enough to sneak into their dressing room, just to try and get an autograph, but he never got the chance and was thrown out by the bodyguards. That’s where he lost his golden chain, and that was many months ago. However, he still was their biggest fan and went crazy during a live performance. This was a fact Charmy and Espio had to learn to overcome and just go with if they were gonna have him as a boss. Oh well, it wasn’t that bad. Just a few hours of ringing in the ears wasn’t the worst that’s happened to the two. As members of the Chaotix, they’ve been through MUCH worse.
Pitch began singing his song, showing blissful emotion and passionate feeling behind his words. Every original song he sang was from the heart and spoke about peace, happiness, and joy in the world. How everyone was talented and beautiful, how everyone had a voice to share, how one person could change the world, and how nobody was perfect. He and Neon weren’t the type of singers to write about girls or love or any of that nonsense. They always have a way of knowing what is critical to the people and what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. There was a big difference between the two. This particular song was about the start of a new beginning and the chance to fulfil your dreams. Such inspirational songs made them unique at what they do, their way with words always brings in a large crowd, and now they’re the most popular singers on Mobius. It was quite an honor to hold.
Eventually, Neon joined in the song as another main singer, for one was never more superior than the other. Some people say they’re best friends, others say it was a chance encounter that ended well, and some even say that they were adopted brothers. Whatever the story may be, Pitch and Neon were the perfect duo on the stage. Each step they made was synchronized and quick, their voices and perfect pitch made it seem like they were one person or two people with the same voice, and their passion for music was unmatched by any other singer in the world. Everyone clapped along while enjoying the hour before midnight, and the lights on the skyscraper walls flashed with the beat their neon colors. It was definitely the perfect night.
Or so everyone thought.
Twenty minutes into the final hour, and Pitch and Neon were still going. Their singing voices didn’t tire that easily, for they’ve been ruling the stages and spotlights for many years now. They waved to the applauding audience and bowed like the gentlemen they truly were. Nobody knew where they learned such respectful manner, but the people liked it. It made them appear as nice friends who love socializing and befriending anyone they come across. Pitch thanked the crowd for the support and appreciation in their performance, and Neon was already setting up the beat and music for the next song. At this point, Charmy had all his energy drained from him, and he was asleep in the crocodile’s arms. Espio didn’t take him, for he argued that Vector needed experience with a child. After a moment of fighting, Vector gave in and took the honeybee, and that was the end of that.
The two singing partners sang away, strutting their best dance moves of the night and strongest singing voices. It was as if they were enjoying the concern more than their fans were, for each would exchange a joyous smile and a heartwarming laugh every now and then. This new song was upbeat and cheery with a slight heavy base and beautiful moments when the music went soft and legato. Those moments didn’t last long, but they were unforgettable. It was during these times when the two showed off how diverse their styles could be, for they mastered the legato pieces with smooth, soft voices that made the crazy girls squeal. Trust me, any girl, Mobian or human, who was crazy for the two brothers would marry them in heartbeats.
Suddenly, Pitch stopped with a quiet gasp. His ears perked a little, as if he was hearing something. His eyes widened slightly. There was a moment when he stopped breathing. Very few people noticed. They were having too good of a time. When the moment passed, he quickly snapped his head to Neon who hadn’t noticed and covered up the microphone on his headpiece with a hand.
“Neon,” he repeated quietly a few times. It didn’t work. What did work was a harsh nudge in the shoulder that made Neon’s headpiece fly off and hit the ground, sending a wave of static through the air that everyone heard through covered ears.
“Hey, what was that for?!” Neon snapped, reaching to get his headpiece. There was a little irritation in his voice.
“He’s here.” That was his only answer.
“Sebeke, that’s who!”
Neon turned his head to Pitch, disbelieved and stunned in a negative way. “What?!”
“I don’t know why, but he is!” Pitch hesitated and took a deep breath. “We’re gonna have to cut it short. This is our last song anyway.”
The hedgehog growled. “Oh, I was afraid you were gonna say that…”
Then they performed their final act. Neon was quick to open up his desk and change up the music to play the ending while making sure it fit in with the song to avoid any suspicions. They performed their final dance moves to the awing crowd, smiling to their cheers and claps to the beat of the song, before performing their final, signature move. Pitch and Neon would hold their microphones in their right hands but hold each other's left hands, and they'd lean back as far as they could with only each other to keep them from falling to the ground. There was a final flash of light and the sound of confetti cannons firing for the final time, and the thousands of people roared in glee and satisfaction from the miraculous performance they had just witnessed. Pitch and Neon panted lightly but showed no exhaustion as they rose back up onto their feet and waved at the crowd, wishing them their good nights and hoping that nobody had noticed their change in the order of the concert.
However, there was one person that did notice. Their biggest fan, Vector, stared at the two pop-stars with high suspicions and curiosity. He of all people noticed. It was something major fans like him couldn't miss. "Wait.... why'd they cut it off?"
"What do you mean?" Charmy asked as he continued to smack his hands together violently, showing off his own energetic applause for the great performance.
"They never do that... Ever," replied the confused crocodile. He'd listened to all their songs, been to every concert ever since their career had begun, memorized all their dance moves but failed to perform them himself, and kept in touch with every album release or live performance during tours. They'd never cut short a song or performance before in their eight years of life in the spotlight. It was very unlike them to do such a thing. The crocodile's yellow orange eyes rested on the chameleon beside him who was watching Pitch and Neon, just as curious as he was about their actions.
Meanwhile, on stage, Pitch's oversized bat ears twitched rapidly in different directions, as if he were trying to hear something that nobody else could. Surely enough, that was exactly what he was doing. Unlike most people, he could hear thoughts, making him somewhat a mind reader.
"Yay!!! Pitch and Neon are the best!!" Nope, that was an adoring fan.
"One day, I'm gonna marry Pitch!! He's so hot!!" Nope, that was one of those crazy girls.
"Go Pitch!! Go Neon!! This is the best night ever!!" Another fan.
""That was their best song EVER!!" Yet another fan.
"Where are you, chameleon?" Wait, that sounded far too familiar. Could it be....
"Okay, I think I found him," Pitch whispered to Neon while covering up his microphone. "He seems to be looking for a chameleon."
"A chameleon?!" Neon instantly scoffed with one eyebrow arched. "Why?!"
"I don't know, Neon.... I really don't. I can't find anything else except that." Pitch's ears kept twitching, and he hoped to find more information from the thoughts of this particular person but found nothing but the same thought over and over again.
Neon was silent for a moment and looked off towards the horizon of the crowd. "Well, I'd like to see him try. The only chameleons on Mobius are the ones that live on island Shinobi. Like Valdez and Liza. And there is NO way a chameleon would live he-- he- here??" The lime green hedgehog stammered from his words when his eyes gazed upon two chameleons in the crowd. One was Zyscar. The other was Espio, talking to Vector for a moment before turning to the two performers. Thankfully, he didn't notice that they were looking back at him.
"O...okay then..... I stand corrected," Neon breathed in disbelief. What the heck was a chameleon doing here in Syren City, he wondered? "He seems to be friends with that crocodile...."
"The same one that tried sneaking through our room to get our autographs?" Pitch asked in a humorous tone. Both got a good laugh from it, remembering that day like the back of their microphones.
"Hahaha, yeah.... That one," Neon replied as he crossed his arms. His smile faded away into the air as he turned from humorous to serious. "So what now?" he asked his partner, meeting his gaze.
"I'm not sure... That croc must've figured out that we cut the song short. He's sending the chameleon to investigate," Pitch said. "If I could lead him away from the crowd, then maybe Sebeke will leave the city alone. At least there'll be one Pure Ninja against him."
"Pitch, I don't know about you, but that plan isn't smart or stupid," Neon remarked. "That plan is in a category all by itself."
"I know it sounds risky and dumb, but what choice do we have?" Pitch responded. "If I need anything, I'll tell you, alright? Right now, we have to keep the crowd occupied so that they don't suspect anything off the edge."
Neon sighed and adjusted his cap. "I hate it when you're right...."
Pitch smiled and took the skies without anything else for Neon. He flapped his purple wings that illuminated somewhat in the lights of the city square and looked down at the purple chameleon. Surely to goodness that was the one Sebeke was looking for, right? It had to be! Why would Sebeke target a child? A teenager would make much more sense, especially since this particular chameleon had pure golden eyes. The bat waited until the chameleon looked up at him and noticed that they were in locked eye contact before flying off towards the right. The hot purple chameleon instantly followed him, pushing through the crowd and keeping his gaze on Pitch. He sure was a determined chameleon, Pitch could admit. Determined and fazed by nothing.
With his ears still twitching, keeping their listening attention on Sebeke's thoughts, Pitch led the chameleon so deep into a nearby alley, nobody would be able to see them.
However, someone was watching them and smiled. This was his chance. Everything was working perfectly according to plan.
End of Part One.....