955: Secrets of the Master Emerald – Chapters Three and FourPosted: February 5, 2015
Title: Secrets of the Master Emerald
Media: Video Games
Topic: Sonic the Hedgehog
URL: Secrets of the Master Emerald: Chapter 3
URL: Secrets of the Master Emerald: Chapter 4
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck
Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back to Secrets of the Master Emerald. Well, patrons, from here I get the feeling we’ll be in for more and more increasing amounts of dumb, so…
Yeah. Let’s not waste any time, shall we?
Our chapter starts with the usual disclaimer dance, and then we move on to the story itself:
The night sky was beautiful. There were millions of start in the sky that twinkled down to earth. If only Rouge could enjoy it.
Don’t worry, Rouge: I suspect your lack of enjoyment might have something to do with the beige filter you’re viewing that through.
*fiddles with Rouge’s telescope*
There you go! Good as new! Just remember not to dip it into orange juice and you should be fine.
She was flying to Angel Aisle to, once again, talk to Knuckles. She hoped waking him up would cause enough drowsiness for him to tell her about the emerald.
What the shit!? She hoped that him being drowsy would be enough for him to pipe up? Even though that feeling passes in a few seconds!? What? I—are you—is this—!?
Calling it now: through this positively foolproof method, she will—
She wasn’t counting on it though. Just seeing her might anger him and wake him up completely.
That’s assuming he even gives you valid information, Rouge!
Come on, you’ve been in this black ops business for a while now! Surely you’ve done enough interrogations to know why the “let them be drowsy” approach is stupid as hell, right?
Rouge sighed. How can she make amends for one little mistake in the past?
Ah yes, the one little mistake in the past. That she expressed a desire to repeat. And that she did repeat, even if it didn’t involve stealing the Master Emerald.
She was nearing Angel Aisle when she heard an odd sound.
How the hell she was able to hear this odd sound over the sound of the chopper she’d logically have to ride to be able to fly to Angel Island is anyone’s guess. I’ll assume the chopper was fitted with a blown-up version of Beethoven’s hearing horns or something.
She landed with grace and silence then crouched behind a bush. Knuckles was wide awake, and throwing some sort of tantrum.
Not that I can blame him: seriously, Rouge, why not just do this if you’re gonna fly in with the chopper:
Rouge frowned and closed her eyes. She let her bat ears take over. She could sense every vibration and every motion.
Including the vibration of the surface beneath her feet. And the vibration of the air particles around her. Also, she could feel the colors of the wind.
It would be better if she could use echolocation, but that would require making noise and giving herself away.
You know, because it’s not like bats in the wild can use echolocation that brings them several hundred thousand Hertz above the range of human hearing or anything.
She’d have to rely on the noises from Knuckles.
“Why can’t I just forget?” He yelled, tossing a piece of rubble at nothing in particular, “I have before! What have i done to deserve this? Why are you- argh!” He plopped down and grumbled. his voice was so low Rouge couldn’t hear it.
Hm… Well, it’s convenient that she stumbled on him in the middle of his tantrum… But on the other hand, I could actually see someone raging like this. ‘Cause let’s face it, how many people would really spout out plot-critical quotes while they’re raging at something, amirite? So I dunno. I’ve certainly heard dumber things out of dumb fanfics, so I’ll give this fic a pass here
Rouge stepped out but moved so silently Knuckles didn’t notice her until she was a couple yards away.
“Hey big guy. What’s the fit for?” She purred with her seductive voice.
Rouge, I know you’re a black ops agent who doubles as a thief and all, but jeez! You see Knuckles throwing a rage fit, and you talk to him seductively? No!
Knuckles jumped and held his fists up, “Jeez Bat Girl! I almost turned you into bat burger!”
Uh… You’re gonna have to help me on that one, Knuckles. Mostly ‘cause I don’t see Mrs. Lovett’s meat grinder anywhere in the immediate vicinity…
Rouge shrugged and stopped within arms reach of the Master Emerald, “As long as you avoid the face Hun, that’s fine with me.”
Oh, okay then. I’ll just tell Knuckles to take sword-fighting lessons from Christian Bale so he can do this:
Knuckles rolled his eyes and crossed his arms, ‘What do you want? It better be important since you’re here at this hour.”
So it would be less important if Rouge visited in the afternoon? Huh, I didn’t know Knuckles was acquainted with the flowers.
Rouge smirked, “Yeah I could tell you’re busy redecorating,”
Wait, what? Um… Is there a joke there? ‘Cause I honestly can’t tell if there is one…
She took a single step back and leaned on the emerald casually. Just as her weight supported it, Knuckles lunged for her.
It was too late. Rouge felt the power course through her.
“Ahhh!” She shouted and backed up. She looked at her hands. Even through the gloves she could feel the anger held up inside that thing. What was that?
An aside that had no reason to be in the narrative? A random comment without quotation marks? Just random word jumbles?
Place your bets, patrons!
Knuckles placed a mitt on the emerald with a frown, “Great!”
Rouge bared her teeth, “Don’t worry I didn’t do anything to your precious emerald! I think it did more damage to me than I did it!” She removed one glove painfully. It didn’t want to come off and her fingers didn’t want to work either. She hissed in pain as it finally slid off, “See?”
Wait, so the Master Emerald causes second-degree burns now? Um… Okay. That’s… um… interesting. I guess. Maybe?
Knuckles gently took Rouge’s hand and examined it. It looked like a burn with an odd, water- like pattern, “Great,” He said again.
“Now you’ll never come back here and I can live in peace! Hooray!”
Jeez, Knuckles, I know you’ve got the whole belligerent sexual tension thing with Rouge going, but come on, dude! You’re not an insensitive prick!
Rouge yanked her hand out and stomped over to the emerald. Knuckles held her back, “You want more?”
“Get off me!” Rouge shouted, pulling on him, “I’m only looking to see what damage I’ve done!”
Just from leaning against it? I know the Master Emerald can be pretty fragile, Rouge, but come on! I’m sure it’s durable enough that it could withstand the weight of one adult resting against it!
Knuckles sighed, “You can see that on your hands Rouge. This thing’s dangerous,” He let go and took a step back, “How selfish do you think I am? You think it’s the emerald I care about”
Well, you’ve been doing nothing but bitching about how hard your life is. And as true as it may be, you have been saying everything to the effect of “me me me me me”, so I’m not sure it’s “the emerald” that she thinks you care about. Just sayin’.
Rouge replaced her glove with a wince of pain, “I was convinced it’s all you care about.”
Knuckles looked away and sighed, “You and everyone else. You should go before you hurt yourself again.”
So you’re going to tell Rouge to leave so she doesn’t hurt herself… instead of telling Rouge why she should go and why the emerald is dangerous.
Meh, still not as bad as Ulrich-Stu. At least Rouge has some idea of why the Master Emerald is dangerous, even if Knuckles didn’t say anything.
Rouge wasn’t sure what to think. Was his freak out about her hurting herself?
I don’t know, should you have italicized that bit that’s obviously her train of thought?
She was still slightly convinced he thought she’d cracked it. She pondered this when she realized something, “You called me by my name!”
Well, of course he did! He does that on occasion, don’t you remember?
Knuckles frowned, “And?”
Rouge smirked and walked seductively to the echidna, “It’s a first. You should do it more often,” She ran a slender finger along the white of his chest.
Now now, Rouge, please drop the seductress act. You know it won’t work on him, and you’re not one to try various tactics on him when you know they won’t work.
Knuckles backed up and crossed his arms. This surprised Rouge, but not very much.
“You should go.”
Isn’t that Shepard’s line? And ain’t that also the wrong pronoun there?
Rouge hid the hurt his actions caused with a smile, “Sure hun. I’ll see you soon though,” She blew him a kiss and flew off. After Angel Aisle was a while off, Rouge let the pain of Knuckles’s rejection show on her face. How much anger had she caused from the little incident tonight?
Well, he did tell you to go after the Master Emerald caused you pain, Rouge, and you are in the middle of a dumb romantic badfic. Really, Rouge, what do you think the answer to that question is?
“Rouge, come in.”
Rouge talked into her glove, “I got a lot of info Shadow.
A lot of info? You basically saw one thing happen on your hand, and that was it! How the fuck is that a lot of info?
I’ll be there shortly. This thing’s not just some large chaos emerald. It’s dangerous. I’ll show you why when I get there.”
Shadow didn’t respond. Rouge flew a little slower than she could so she’d have a few precious minutes alone. She needed them to compose herself.
Yeah, but Rouge, aren’t you worried about fuel and things like that?
When Rouge arrived at G.U.N. headquarters, she showed Shadow the markings on her palms. Shadow scanned them and observed. The last thing he did, was touch them.
“There’s no texture! It’s like I’m touching glass!” Shadow said with awe.
Wait, did the Master Emerald seriously glass Rouge’s hands?
Good gravy with a side of biscuits!
He looked over the scans on the computer, “It seems this was caused by some sort of energy that is usually found from a powerful creature.”
And it originates from the Master Emerald? Gee, I wonder what it could be…
“What does that mean?”
“It means there’s something, or some odd power inside the emerald and it’s angry. You might have caused more anger when you touched it.”
You know, ‘cause there was never an angry spirit inside the Master Emerald at any point in its history, am I right?
Rouge looked at the markings and frowned, “So that’s why Knuckles was so angry. I thought it was just defensiveness for the emerald,” Rouge said softly. She felt bad for snapping at him when he was concerned for her.
“I’ll show this to the President. I think this emerald is a huge problem. I don’t yet know what it has to do with the explosions in the photographs, but we’ll find out,” Shadow said as he walked out.
Whoah, what!? Explosions? When the hell were there explosions in the photographs? Or was that referring to the nonsensical energy bursts that somehow emanated from the photos even though energy doesn’t work like that?
I’m not even going to question that at this point.
Rouge didn’t even bother responding. She looked over the scans and data, which was now analyzing the patterns of the marks. There seemed to be a continued pattern but it wasn’t familiar.
Well of course it’s not familiar! You’re seeing it for the first time, lady!
Surely Knuckles would know…
And what makes you think he’ll talk?
Rouge printed the scans out and folded it up. She tucked it into her glove and left. Maybe Sonic knows what this pattern means. if not, Tails might. And if he doesn’t, then She’ll beat the answer out of Knuckles!
Well, I guess that’s one way to deal with that. Not that it’ll work, but hey, if you think it’ll do the job, whatever.
Anyway, after this, we get the obligatory author’s note:
Not my longest chapter, but it should begin to explain what’s going on with the emerald. Please review.
Well, it was a short chapter, and stuff…
You know what, guys? I think we’ve got time to deal with another chapter. Yeah, let’s go ahead and do the next chapter as well!
Only gonna say this once. Only provide constructive criticism. One more review like the last one and I will take this story off so don’t ruin it for everyone else.
Whoah, what? You decided to threaten your readers to take the story down just from one negative review? Hm… Well, we know bad fanfic authors around here, so she’s probably just overreacting like all the rest of ‘em.
Seriously, what does the review say? ‘Cause I’d love it if it was a review that told her all the flaws of—
Jason Griffith sucks and so does this story
On second thought, author, never mind. That so-called “review” is inflammatory, unhelpful, and completely fucking worthless. Sure, it’s not a good idea to threaten to discontinue your story because of it, but seriously? That was completely uncalled for on the part of the reviewer.
In fact, I might be persuaded into letting you borrow Alma for a little bit to use against that useless feedback that doesn’t even tell you what’s wrong. So there you go.
Anyway, after that we get the usual disclaimer dance, and then it’s off to the actual chapter itself.
Sonic looked over the printout carefully, “Hmm… it doesn’t look familiar to me Rouge. Why, what is it?”
“Oh, I just expected you to know. Somehow. Even though you’re not really familiar with anything about the Master Emerald. Thanks anyway, though.
Rouge took the paper and slipped it into her glove again, “It’s nothing. Thanks hun.”
Wait, Rouge! Come on, really? Knuckles was charitable enough to let you know, dude! I mean, if it’s something to do with Knuckles, you should tell Sonic!
“Wait Rouge! If it’s something to do with Knuckles, you should tell me. He seems to be getting worse!”
Um… yeah! What Sonic said!
Rouge hesitated in her step but she plastered a smile and winked at Sonic, “I’ll let you know if I hear anything,” And then flew off.
Huh. Rouge sure loves taking her chopper with her everywhere she goes. Ten bucks says she’s made up a sizeable chunk of [Error: Nation Not Found]’s deficit by now.
She glowered at the print as she neared Tail’s lab. He had to know something! He’d developed a curiosity for old things lately. Maybe he’s seen this too.
Wait, what? He’d developed a curiosity for old things, and that somehow means he might be well versed in stuff relating to the Master Emerald? You know, because there’s totally no way that “old things” could refer to antiques or fossils or the shirt that his great-grandmother wore when she shook hands with JFK or somethin’! Nope, the only possible application for that is a giant green emerald that most of the people in the world won’t even see in their lifetimes!
She landed gracefully on top of his lab and lie on her stomach with her legs crossed, “Hey Tails. been a while.”
Tails looked up, startled, and smiled, “Hi Rouge! What are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m just dallying around. I’m still wondering why you thought it was a good idea to make your roof completely see-through.”
“It helps me detect when bombs are about to fall on the house. It’s the world’s most easily-implemented security system!”
Rouge held up the paper with a mischievous grin, “I have something I want you to see. If you can’t make sense of it, I’ll try someone else,” She held the folded up paper between her pointer and middle finger then tossed it to the fox. Tails caught it easily and opened it, “Look familiar?”
What Tails should say: “Um, no, lady. Please go. And please don’t send anything down that chute ever again, please.”
What he actually says:
Tails raised an eyebrow with confusion and concentration, “Kinda…”
Rouge flew down and sat on Tails’s table with her legs crossed, “Kinda?”
Yeah, I’d be interested to see how Tails knows what the fuck is up with this. I know he’s the resident wiz kid, but c’mon, he’s not that good.
Tails nodded, “Yeah, it’s a little hard to tell because most people saw this as wear on buildings, but it’s a symbol of wrath in just about everything that’s powerful. It was the pattern of Chaos’s skin.. er water… I guess. But that’s all I know about it.”
Wait, what!? What the fuck patterns are you talking about? Chaos had no fucking patterns on the watery substance that was its skin! And you know, it wouldn’t be so bad if we actually knew what the fuck was being shown to him! All we know is that it’s a similar design to what Rouge endured on her hand and that’s it!
And wait, this story just mentioned Chaos, right?
You’ll see why I’m storing this quote in a bit, patrons. You’ll see once the shit hits the fan, believe me.
Rouge thought about this interesting bit of information. So the Master Emerald isn’t angry, it’s furious.
Oh God, is it gonna do the Homura Afterstory bullshit where the thought bubbles are written down but they’re not clearly delineated as thought bubbles?
Rouge took the paper back and ruffled Tail’s fur, “Thanks Tails.”
What Tails would probably have said: “Aaaah, god, what the fuck are you doing? Why did you ruffle my ass!?”
What he actually says:
As she turned to go, Tails asked, “Can I ask where you got that from?”
What she should say: “The PCC, dear. Don’t question it.”
What she actually says:
Rouge thought a moment. This was technically a personal matter, but the second she gave the prints to G.U.N. it was theirs, “It’s a G.U.N. matter, but as soon as I can, I’ll tell you. I promise.”
Tails nodded with a smile, “Thanks Rouge.”
Rouge threw a wave as she walked away, “No problem hun.”
Hm… Well, Rouge does have a point. Given that it’s a G.U.N. matter, I imagine her superiors wouldn’t be too happy if she leaked that kind of information to people not affiliated with G.U.N. unless she had a damn good reason to do that. So in this one case, I’ll let Rouge off the hook for not mentioning anything. Confidentiality is kind of an important thing for maintaining employment, after all.
Now I have to talk to Knuckles! Rouge flew off for Angel Aisle, certain Knuckles would tell her now.
Sorry, Rouge, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. After all, we’re only four chapters into a ten chapter romance fic with hokey writing and a possibly dumb plot twist somewhere down the road. Knowing how fics like these unfold, I imagine he still won’t pipe up.
As she landed, her hopes were high. However, she found Knuckles was sleeping! Rouge stood beside his head with a contemplative expression.
At least she doesn’t have a dagger with her. The last thing I need to see is to watch a fic sully Lully’s Armide without knowing it exists.
“Did he sleep at all last night?” Rouge crouched down to see his face. The skin under his eyes was darker than normal and his sleep was restless. It appeared he was having bad dreams.
Or he could have just been up all night trying to play League of Legends. I can’t say I blame his lack of sleep, considering the fact that LoL players can be major douchebags.
Knuckles rolled over and clenched his fist, “No.. not… Ellie…”
Rouge froze, Ellie?
Ellie? When the fuck did this turn into a crossover with Dead Space?
Knuckles tossed and turned on the ground, “Don’t… hurt her! NO!”
He shot up and his head came right into contact with Rouge’s.
So their heads came together… Was it as in this:
Or as in this:
‘Cause if it’s the latter, then that would be absolutely hilarious. So, what’s it gonna be.
“Ahh!” They both shouted in surprise. Rouge fell back and Knuckles sat up, rubbing his head.
And option one it is!
Dammit, I had so much money on the second one!
“Why are you here? And why were you watching me sleep? That’s so-“
Creepy? Hey, at least she hasn’t hit Edward Cullen levels of creepy yet! For fuck’s sake, dude, she literally just got there! Seriously, Rouge should be telling you to calm down for that!
“Oh calm yourself echidna! I needed to ask you something!” Rouge snapped
Oh. Thank you, fic.
as she handed Knuckles the paper, “Don’t pretend you don’t know what this means!”
Knuckles snatched the paper up roughly and glanced at it, “Hoorah. You took a photo of your injury. Good for you.” He tossed it back to Rouge, “Is that all?”
What Rouge should do: “Bitch, please, there’s more going on here, I need answers, and you’re gonna tell me what the fuck is going on! Don’t play dumb with me!”
What she actually does:
Rouge stuffed the paper back into her glove and narrowed her eyes, “It’s a symbol of Wrath brought on by power and I got it from that emerald!” She pointed at the Master Emerald, “Son’t play dumb with me Knuckles!” Rouge rarely shouted, but she was on fire now.
Well, the spontaneous combustion wasn’t exactly called for, but yeah, she basically did what she should have done. Good for you, author, your characters’ actions actually make sense half the time.
The mention of some other girl in his sleep pushed her over the edge.
Really? Twice in the same installment of snark?
Knuckles straightened out, “It does mean that if it came from a creature.
Except, you know, for a particular creature that may be relevant to this whole involved rigmarole…
It’s how it was drawn. But it also just meant a lot of power and that’s what caused your injury. Now will you pleaseleave me in peace?”
“I have some terrible Dead Space fanfiction I need to write!”
Rouge crossed her arms and glanced at the emerald. For once, she found a gem she wanted nothing more to do with, “Who’s Ellie?”
Good Jesus, dude, the whiplash! It’s so strong!
Knuckles’s eyes hardened.
Do I need to bring cure-alls to the riffing chamber the next time I look at this? If his eyes are going to turn into stone every time he gets pissy, that’s gonna get annoying real fast.
Rouge could see he’d put his guard up, “I don’t know. Who’s Ellie?” There was a slight hesitation as he said the name.
Rouge walked slowly closer to the echidna with an angry, yet seductive look,
Wait, an angry yet seductive look? Wow, Rouge, I didn’t know you were into BDSM hate sex!
“The woman who’s name you said in your sleep. Who was she Knuckles? Or maybe, who is she?”
Knuckles turned away from Rouge, “Go!”
“You shall never talk about my love life ever again!”
Rouge didn’t even hesitate. She tackled the echidna to the ground and pinned him down. Her eyebrows pushed together with her angry growl, “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on here Knuckles!”
Again, Rouge: chapter four of ten. As much as you want it to, the fic is working against you on this one.
Knuckles’s growl was just as angry, “Dream on Bat Girl!” He rolled over so that he was on top pinning her down.
Rouge took hold of his forearms firmly, “So rough? And we haven’t even had a proper date!” She switched positions again. This time, she sat on him and planted her heels into his arms.
Okay, that was pretty good banter there. And I could also buy Rouge saying that, even in this situation. So screw it, I think a quarter of a redemption cookie is warranted here.
“Ahh! What the hell are you doin?” He snarled up at her. His purple eyes were full of hatred. Rouge realized what she was doing and hopped off, her adrenaline coursing through her veins. What had she done?
Flirted with an echidna who you’re trying to get answers out of? And then got into a fight with him because cheesily-written belligerent sexual tension?
Knuckles sat up, rubbing his arms. Rouge realized he could have pushed her off with ease with his super strength, but didn’t for some reason.
Ten bucks says that the sexy saxophone solo out in the back has something to do with it.
Rouge looked back at the Master Emerald, glowing oddly more brightly than before. Knuckles saw this and rushed to it. He placed a hand on the emerald and the glow dimmed slightly.
Rouge rolled her eyes, “Oh I get it, the green rock’s name is Ellie and that’s your girlfriend.”
And Rouge doesn’t make any comments about how creepy it is that she figured out that Knuckles takes a fucking gemstone for a girlfriend? Well, lots of strange things happen in the Sonic universe, but I didn’t think those things would be strange enough that Rouge has almost no reaction to something like that!
Knuckles ignored her, every muscle taunt.
Ew! Author, this is Sonic the Hedgehog, not Uzumaki! Kindly keep the creepy imagery where it belongs, please!
He didn’t even look at her or shoot her an angry glare. This was odd. Rouge walked closer, but he turned to her suddenly.
“Have you had your fun yet? Will you go? Because I can make you if you won’t Rouge!”
Ouch. Knuckles looks like he’s not happy about this at all. So I guess that means it’s time for more badgering from Rouge, right?
He said Rouge.
Rouge saw the pain in his eyes where the anger had been before. Reluctantly, Rouge nodded and took off, flying into the afternoon sky. She wouldn’t ever admit it, but as she took off, a single tear fell from her face. What she didn’t notice. was the throbbing pain in her palms.
… Or she’ll run away, while taking part in the “single tear” cliché. Huh, turns out the author does show some restrain while writing a dumb romance fic. Huh. Imagine that, other authors!
Anyway, that ends the chapter. There’s another author’s note that says this:
Any thoughts? Predictions? Ideas? Suggestions? Or just want to say something about it? Review and let me know :)
Hm… Well, I would have something to say about it, but… well, I’m doing it as I go. It’s old so it may not have much of an effect, but I guess we’ll see what happens, you know what I’m saying?
I guess we’ll leave it here for now. I’ve been Herr Wozzeck, and I’ll see you guys next week!