*Master Hand's disembodied voice bellows through the darkness*
Master Hand: Spectrum, what is best in life?
*A spotlight shines in the darkness, revealing Rainbow Dash holding a broadsword aloft, and wearing a furred cape while smirking wildly.*
Dash: To crush your enemies, and see them driven before you!
*The spotlight glows brighter, revealing that Dash is holding a metal chain, and attached to it is a metal collar around Twilight Sparkle's neck. Twilight stares blankly into space, panting like a dog*
Dash: *wakes up gasping from her bizarre dream, seeing that she's in bed, in the Stadium, with nothing stranger than usual around her* Ugh. That's confusing.
*She floats from the bed to the floor, and starts stretching on all fours, singing softly to herself as she does.*
Dash: Okay, the world presents some problems and we don't know what to do. You've come to find your feelings aren't exactly what you knew.
*A knock is heard on the door*
Dash: Come in, Kevin.
Kevin: *opens the door and shuts it behind him, straightening his pointy hat* How did you know it was me?
Dash: *laughs* You knocked. Anyone else in this place would have just barged right in.
Kevin: Huh. Figures. Anyway, Dash, I've got some news for you, and it's probably pretty bad.
Dash: *shrugs* Pretty much everything's been kinda bogus around here lately. We're not exactly a huge success anymore. *waves Kevin over with a hoof* Come over here and I'll listen to the whole thing.
Kevin: Um, all right, I'll just sit next to then, I guess. *He says, walking towards her*
Dash: *laughs again* You're being a lot more awkward than usual, Kevin. No clever one-liners today?
Kevin: It's just, that, well, usually when I'm with you we're doing something. Games, work, something productive or competitive. Not really like us to just talk at random like this.
Dash: *smirks* Then make yourself useful. My hair's a mess, brush it.
Kevin: *waving his hands frantically* W-wait a second that's-
Dash: *giggles* Dude, relax. It's just a horse thing, I'm cool with it.
*After fifteen minutes of talking and brushing, Kevin has relayed the whole story of the current crisis to Rainbow Dash*
Dash: Hmm. So a bunch of the fighters aren't happy with the way we're running things.
Kevin: Well, we did accidentally cause several apocalypse level disasters in a row.
Dash: Point taken. And they're thinking of jumping ship to this "Awesome Attack Arena?" Sounds like a cheap ripoff.
Kevin: Yeah, but at this point, it looks like they're desperate enough to try anything. Sonic tried to reason with them, but they wouldn't listen.
Dash: If anyone would still be loyal to this place after all this time, it would be him.
Kevin: Yeah, and at least we've got a few other fighters standing with him. *Thinks for a few seconds* Dash, there was something else I needed to tell you.
Kevin: We've been "invited" to view a secret match. *shows Dash a note* Some anonymous challenger is going to broadcast their fight with Sonic on the big screen in that big empty room we never use.
Dash: Why do we have that again?
Kevin: It's something Metal wanted. So, who knows.
Dash: Right. Well, it's probably a trap that the AAA jerks set for Sonic. We'd better get going. *gently pushes Kevin's brushing arm aside with a smirk* And thanks for the grooming.
Kevin: Er, no prob, I guess.
*Ten seconds later, Dash has flown Kevin to the secret room atop her back. As Dash lands, Kevin hops off with a somersault onto the floor of the darkened room just before hitting a light switch*
Kevin: All right, let's see how this goes.
*The large wide screen monitor on one of the walls comes to life, showing Sonic walking into a brightly lit Stadium Armory, with many crates and barrels surrounding him*
Sonic: Okay, "secret admirer," let's throw down!
*Sonic stands with a smirk, crossing his arms, but after two and a half a minutes, there is still no surprise, and Sonic begins to frown, narrowing his eyebrows in frustration*
Sonic: I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiting!
*Suddenly the gravity in the room is shut off, sending Sonic upwards through an opening in the ceiling.*
Sonic: I'm weeeeeeeightlessss.
*Sonic floats through a series of tubes until he's finally dropped off in the upper half of the armory. The gravity is turned back on, and Sonic lands, noticing that this room is full of crates and barrels as well, but they are all arranged in a pyramid shape in the center of the room. Suddenly, Sonic notices a figure walking towards him out of the corner of his eye. It turns out to be none other than Ash Ketchum.*
Ash: *clenches his fists, and takes a fighting stance* Well, Sonic, are you surprised?
Sonic: *crosses his arms again and glares angrily at Ash* Not really. Why don't you just give up this immature obsession, Ash? You're just making yourself look weaker and wasting my time.
Ash: *smirks, maintaining his stance* Oh, I might, if I hadn't had this nice little trick up my sleeve. It's just you and me, in a place you've never fought before. I've got a couple of the SPs watching this, but they won't be able to interfere. You're out of options, Sonic.
Sonic: *points, narrowing his glare further* I am never out of options.
Ash: You're so predictable. *raises his fists higher with a laugh*
Sonic: Predict this. *curls up into a ball and slams into Ash with a Homing Attack*
Ash: *grunts and just narrowly manages to raise his shield as he blocks, sliding along the floor* Yeah, that's it, give me everything you've got!
Sonic: What the heck is wrong with you!? You've just barely made sense for months, it's like you're some kind of pod person!
Ash: Maybe it's that "maturity" you keep telling me to find?" *Ash grins wider and more dangerously, shooting a Poke-Fire blast at Sonic*
Sonic: I really, really doubt it. *Sonic winds up his forward smash punch just in time to knock Ash's blast back at him*
Ash: Urrrgh! *murmurs in pain as the blast burns him* Ha. Ha! Not bad. But you'd better watch yourself. The win condition is different this time. All I have to do to defeat you is send all those containers I've stacked crashing down on you!
Sonic: If you can catch me. *starts running in circles around Ash and landing light jabs*
Ash: *grunts from the pain of the punches, but sees a brief opening and takes it* MEGA PUNCH! *hits Sonic in the jaw and sends him flying into the ceiling*
Sonic: *as he starts falling down, towards the pyramid* Unmph. Lucky shot, but you forgot I can do this. *Sonic summons a spring, keeping him in the air while letting the object fall and bop Ash right on top of his head*
Ash: Nyargh! You're not the only one with a secret weapon! Poke-Thunder!
*Ash fires a lightning bolt towards Sonic. Sonic tries to dodge out of the way with careful spin maneuvers, but is unable to get out of the way of the homing projectile.*
Sonic: Got to make sure I land on my shoes, or I'll lose! *As the lightning knocks him towards the pyramid, Sonic spins a few more times and manages to touch down on top of a crate, both his legs and a hand balancing him* Phew! Made it!
Ash: WHAT!? *stares in disbelief* Ha! No matter! This one is so powerful even I can't control it! *fires another thunderbolt*
Sonic: *raises an eyebrow looking confused and mildly disturbed* Um, okay then, I'm not sure how telling me that helps you, but whatever.
*Sonic hops across the crates and barrels, the bolt chasing him as if it has a will of its own, but eventually he's able to hop in a loop across the pyramid, causing the bolt to spin out of control and soar back towards Ash*
Ash: No!!! *is slammed by the bolt into a nearby wall*
Sonic: Good thing I've played Tails' copy of Q-Bert. ENERBEAM! *A laser whip fires from the wrist of one Sonic's gloves, latching onto a nearby barrel* As a friend of mine would say, Banana Slamma! *uses the whip to swing the barrel above his head before tossing it at Ash*
Sonic: *frowns grimly* Are we done Ash?
Ash: *groans as he struggles to stand, grabbing one of the beam sabers that fell out of the barrel that hit him*
Sonic: *sighs* I guess not. *uses the Enerbeam to snatch up the other saber on the floor, motioning with a smirk for Ash to come after him.*
Ash: *narrows his eyes angrily and jumps onto the pyramid*
Sonic: *clashes blades with Ash as the two of them jump across the structure. To Sonic's amazement, Ash's anger seems to have temporarily given him enough energy to keep up with the hedgehog's speed*
Ash: You won't escape me this time!
Sonic: *After struggling between jumping, attacking, and parrying, Sonic leaps up to the very top of the makeshift pyramid* It's over, Ash! I have the high ground!
Ash: That won't stop me!
Sonic: Don't try it!
*Ash leaps up and tries to slash at Sonic, but Sonic is able to see him coming easily, and brings his blade down on Ash like a hammer. Ash slams repeatedly into crates and barrels as he falls, as all the containers begin to fall. Sonic, meanwhile, discards his saber and leaps down with a Homing Attack to get safely to the floor. Behind him, Sonic can hear Ash grunting in pain and anger as all manner of items explode and slam against the Pokemon Trainer. Sonic tries to think of a witty one liner, but he's too exhausted to come up with anything.*
Sonic: *sees Ash amid the pile of wreckage and walks toward him, panting* This is the end, Ash. You gave it your best and lost. There's no where left for you to go.*
Ash: *laughs bitterly* You of all people should know that nothing is ever as it seems.
Sonic: What are you talking abou-
*Ash disappears in puff of smoke, and then another cloud of smoke appears, veiling a shadowy figure in a dapper hat*
??: Allow me to make things even more confusing. My champion needs his rest, you see.
Sonic: Your champion?
??: Oh come now, old chap, surely you've heard rumblings of my exquisite "Awesome Attack Arena." The Ketchum boy is at the top of the rankings. He's made an excellent spy as well. He may not have defeated you in single combat this day, but the video footage of this encounter is ever such a welcome ratings booster.
Sonic: Enough talk. I may not like Ash, but he was at least brave enough to face me one on one. Come over here and show me you can fight with your hands!
??: Temper, temper, "Maurice". I'm afraid I have far better things to do then play with you. I am the editor of this story, now. There is far more at stake than your realize. Your precious friends? "Mario, Kirby, Megaman, , Donkey Kong?" All held captive in my detainment center.
Sonic: *points, growling slightly* Bring them back now!
??: Your bargaining position is dubious.
*The figure raises what appears to be a cane, and discharges a blast of blue energy from it at Sonic.*
Sonic: *stares grimly and silently, raising one of his hands* Sonic Wind. *A glowing whirlwind sprouts forth from Sonic's hand, blowing the energy blast back at the figure in the cloud*
??: Augh! Oof, oof, augh. Ha ha ha! I underestimated you. But no mere boy, not even one as strong willed as you, can stop what I have set in motion! Soon, all fame, all glory in Revanda will belong to NOCTIS THE DARK BEAR!
*Noctis disappears, leaving no evidence that he or Ash we ever there aside from the pile of items and broken containers*
Sonic: I'd better warn the SPs.
*Sonic hops down the whole back the lower part of the armory, then runs out the exit. Meanwhile Kevin and Dash are trying to process what they've just witnessed*
Kevin: Geez, I know things were bad, but not this bad! At least it looks like Sonic has everything taken care of.
Dash: *rubs her chin* Maybe not everything. Normally I'd think just having us and Sonic would be enough, but we don't know enough about these guys to be sure we can beat them. We'll need as many fighters as we can get, especially since we're, well, missing a view.
Kevin: *nods* Right. *charges lighting into a fist and punches it into the palm of his other hand* And the first thing I'm going to do once we're ready is give that dirty traitor Ash a good right hook!
Dash: *puts a hoof on Kevin's shoulder, looking a little sad* Kevin, easy.
Kevin: *deactivates his lightning bending and looks confused, scratching his head underneath his hat* Dude, I thought you wanted Ash's tail kick. I saw you smiling through every blow Sonic landed!
Dash: Yeah man, I know, but I just-I wanted him knocked around a little. I'm pretty sure I don't want mess him up in the head, well not anymore than he already is. *looks away sadly* A couple of years ago, Twi, she-I don't know how or why, but she got to thinking I was dangerous. That I'd grow too powerful some day. Organized this big secret plans with masks and everything to scare me. I haven't been the same sense. I do care about Twi and all, it's just that I've never found a way to totally stop being angry. Whatever Ash's crimes are, or whatever he's doing, I don't want to put him through what I've been through. Justice is one thing, humility is one thing, but some things are more important.
Kevin: *thinks for a few moments, looking up at the ceiling, before looking at Dash again* All right. I hear ya. So, about those reinforcements?
Dash: *smirks, starting to cheer up* Well, since you told Sonic was having trouble getting the rest of the fighters on our side, I came up with a backup plan. Zero can help us. He came from the future to try and fix whatever's screwed up our timeline, and I doubt most of the fighters are paranoid enough not to trust him.
Kevin: Good point! Might need a little extra convincing to sway King Dedede over.
Dash: But there's more! *She grins, getting excited* Zero put a tracer on Rock to make sure he was safe at all times. So we've got a way to find that secret dungeon of theirs! We may not be able to raid them right away, but we've got a way to know where to strike!
Kevin: Awesome! So, let's get going and-
Dash: Slow down, buddy, I've got one more thing.
Kevin: Okay. Listening.
Dash: *rummages around in her fur and pulls out some blueprints* I found this. Metal left it in a bathroom stall.
Kevin: *looks extremely ill*
Dash: *rolls her eyes* Kevin, it's cool. It wasn't touching the toilet.
Kevin: Ahem, er, great. Continue.
Dash: *displays the blueprints proudly. Written on them are the words "MII FIGHTER ARMOR. TOP SECRET. THIS MEANS YOU, FIGI.* These plans are designs to give fighting abilities to virtually anyone, even if they haven't had training. They re-purpose some of Sloa's old tech, and all they need to run is some of those weird purple Energon crystals beneath the Stadium. Even Mash could help us with the raid!
Kevin: Shazam! Now we're playing with power!
*The two leave to tell others of their plans*
TO BE CONTINUED