Chapter 1: Dull Happiness
"A new day. . ." Silver the Hedgehog stood atop a tall building by the sea.
The sun was rising in the east, its light reflecting in the countless windows of the skyscrapers that made the majority of the city. Silver smiled happily as he gazed at the city from his viewpoint. The yellow morning sunlight warmed up his white fur. It felt wonderful.
He soon jumped off the roof and flew towards the city centrum. A bright cyan glow surrounded Silver like an aura, and the symbols on his gloves and boots started to glow as soon as he activated his special powers. Psychokinesis.
As the hedgehog calmly levitated past the many buildings, above the traffic of the vehicles commonly known as flying cars, a thought came to his mind.
Capital City, my home. I have been protecting this city and the rest of the world for as long as I can remember, saving it from disasters a citizen of this time would never believe. . . at first. On my last mission, I eliminated the being responsible for almost extinguishing all life on the planet. It was by no means simple, but in the very end I prevailed. The means to do so were extremely dangerous, however, I had no other choice. Since then everything has been perfect. Life is peaceful, and everyone is smiling. Not a single major disaster has occurred since I came back.
Silver slowly reduced altitude to land on top of a skyscraper with a long antenna in the middle. The wind blew through his long front quills. The sun shone on his back. He took a deep breath of the cold, fresh air and starred down at the tiny people making their way through the crowded streets. It was a normal 'quiet' day just like yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. . .
Silver closed his golden eyes and sighed. Every time he watched people in the city, he was reminded of how big the world in this time truly was. How many billions of lives - humans and mobians - depended on him. The thought used to frighten him: if he didn't win just once, who knows what would happen? Memories of the past suddenly rushed through Silver's head, how he failed to retrieve a highly advanced camera that could turn anything into cards.
"That has been done can't be undone," he told himself, "and if it can, what is the price?" He opened his eyes, realizing where this was going.
"Time travel. . . With that I can fix any of my mistakes!" Silver remembered the time he had to travel to the past in order to stop Eggman Nega before he unleashed Ifrit, a fire monster that could burn the world. However, when he came back to the present he promised himself this was the last time he did something as dangerous as changing the past. It was far too risky, furthermore, costly.
Suddenly, his memory flashed back to a terrified Eggman Nega begging for his help.
Silver covered his eyes with his gloved hand and turned to face the sunlight. "NO! GET OUT OF MY HEAD. . . YOU ARE HISTORY! NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW!!" His fingers separated a little, allowing him to glimpse a thick, black line in front of the sun - the antenna. Silver took a couple of steps forward and punched the antenna hard with his right hand. The sound echoed loudly, scarring a group of doves standing on the opposite side. He clenched his hand a few times in response to the pain from the impact.
Argh! Dang it! I still need to train my hands physically. Can't' rely on my powers too much.
He shook his head vigorously in an attempt to forget his former archenemy but to no avail. Whenever he thought of time travel, that moment in Ifrit's dimension came to mind. Silver and his then-partner Espio abandoning Eggman Nega in the fiery world before the gate closed.
"I had to do it. . . to ensure it wouldn't happen again. First time I brought him back I thought he had learned not to mess with time. I was wrong. Deadly wrong. But now that it is all over, why can't I move on with my life?" Silver looked at his hand, still feeling the pain a little.
"I did the right thing, didn't I? Everyone is happy, even if I told them what happened in the past it wouldn't change anything! He deserved it! He deserved to feel the terror and helplessness we went through all because of him. Yet. . . I feel. . . guilty. Why?"
He returned to his previous position on the edge of the building. Nothing had changed, everyone was still walking and driving to their respective destinations. The sun was still gradually rising, indicating morning was soon over. It was then he realized something.
Everyone is happy. . . except me.
That realization came as a shock to him. What he always wanted to see. What he was fighting to preserve. The reason he had embarked on the dangerous missions to the past. It was all to make everyone feel happy! But the problem now was he didn't feel happy. He couldn't feel happy.
"I left him to die in the fire." He spoke anxiously. "Was that. . . really the right thing to do? To kill someone to save the world. . ."
I wish someone could tell me.
The philosophy became too much for the young hedgehog's head. He had spent enough time speaking to himself and surrounded himself with another glowing aura before continuing to head for the centrum. But alas, that is what you get when you are the only hero with superpowers in your time. Silver felt lonely but making friends wasn't part of his basic knowledge. Born in this gigantic city with powers nobody else possessed, tasked to protect the world from forces of evil all alone didn't give him much time to think about playful activities, relaxing in the park, meeting new faces, and civil life in general. His only duty was to fight the nefarious Dr. Eggman Nega to preserve world peace and stability. Now that that over, Silver found it difficult to adapt to normal life. Every day he was scouting his home for criminals but found nothing worthy his time - the police could handle these ordinary thieves and troublemakers. What Silver wanted was action, someone in need of a hero like him, not just being called to stop a car from escaping or lift heavy objects to help complete a monument for a deadline.
Is this why I feel depressed? Because I'm no longer needed? Even G.U.N. has also been quiet lately, and they are usually always the first to take action.
"I guess this means the world is safe at last. Over two centuries of fighting mad scientists, rampaging gods, and monsters from other worlds has come to an end. And we are the winners!"
Silver wanted to savor the triumph but was suddenly interrupted by the sound of an explosion in the distance. Smoke emerged from between the buildings, which only mean something was on fire and people were running for their lives. Shortly afterwards, police sirens could be heard and several fast moving cars headed towards the smoke. Silver was startled at first but quickly reminded himself he had seen worse and this meant his day was going to be interesting.
"Looks like they could need my help. Alright, let's get going!" The psychokinetic hedgehog charged some energy and dashed forward at an incredible speed, faster than any car in the city. He had no idea what was going on, he would soon find out though.