Chapter 3: Shock and Disbelief
An eerie silence was best to describe the setting inside the Sonic Starfighter; home of the Sonic 7. A terrible had happened, judging from the news that showed throughout the channels on holovision. No praise for the team was seen or mentioned anywhere, as there usually would. Not even a single mention of their success against the large scale balatroid invasion on Oltanis.
A mixture of outrage and despair plagued the news, including the famed Channel 64 news which was viewed by the majority of the galaxy.
It appeared to be that history had repeated itself; a planet was destroyed from an unexplained source of quantum energy. That planet happened to be Bolden 3. The galactic government was quick to put the blame on the Sonic 7 as they were the only known people within the galaxy to have a weapon capable of such destruction, and they had just used their deadly weapon against the balatroids. Only the blarg had technology capable of destroying an entire planet, but their super weapons had since been seized and dismantled and they were currently in no conflict with any other planets, after Ace had defeated them a year earlier.
Ace stood there by the window, in his room on the Starfighter, staring out into open space. He couldn’t understand. How could this have happened? Somehow it made no sense to him at all.
The team was light years away from his home planet, so how could their weapon have possibly been responsible for such a disaster, so far away? Frustration and disbelief plagued his mind constantly, giving him no chance to clear his head. He continued to stare out into space, and tried to think of how a disaster could have occurred in any other way. Blatantly refusing to believe it was his team’s fault.
”Ace, please come out…”
The calm and sympathetic voice of Kurt said from his doorway. Ace wasn’t willing to turn around and reply, but at the same time he didn’t want to keep ignoring his teammates.
He reluctantly turned and looked at Kurt, who was standing there at his door. Kurt could see the anger and tension in Ace’s eyes yet he knew it wasn’t directed towards him. He walked closer to speak with Ace,
”We will get through this Ace. What happened today isn’t your fault, if that is what you’re thinking?”
”I refuse to believe it! Are you sure this isn’t some kind of sick joke somebody is playing on us?”
”No it isn’t, unfortunately. We checked the news over and over and it is true, even the Solana Police Force is trying to track us down as we speak… we need to hand ourselves in, so we can try and-“
”I don’t believe it could have been us, it makes no sense! How could our weapon destroy a planet that wasn’t within out range to begin with? And why is the government quick to assume that it was us without any solid proof?!” Ace snapped, clenching his fists together tightly at the thought of it all.
”Ace… I told you before that the energy used is highly potent and unpredictable. Even being able to alter time and space if the conditions are right. What I believe happened is that the blast was able to fire much further into deep space than we anticipated… eventually hitting a planet which happened to be-“
”That’s enough!” Ace shouted, and turned his back to Kurt “I don’t need to hear that again…”
Ace stood there looking at the ground as the rage continued to build up inside of him. He wasn’t sure what to say or do at this point, but he was determined to find out the whole truth behind this ordeal. One way or another.
Kurt returned to the lounge area where the rest of the team stood there waiting. They were struggling to come to terms with the disaster themselves, while they waited for Ace to come out to talk with them.
Kurt walked over to where Jake and Aster were standing. Jenna was too upset to speak, as she huddled up close to her animal companion Leera. The maulkat didn’t understand what had happened but she could sense the negative feelings the team was going through. Bettilena was sitting near Jenna, trying to comfort her after being shut out and ignored by Ace earlier, even refusing any meals she had offered him.
”He still doesn’t want to believe what has happened. I tried to get him to come out but-“
”That’s okay Kurt. I don’t even want to imagine what he’s going through. But he can’t keep pushing us away. A whole day has passed and he still won’t come out…”
Replied Jake as he took a glance towards the hallway entrance. He hoped that Ace would come out sooner or later.
”Poor kid. What if he’s right though?”
Aster questioned Kurt. He turned around to respond,
”Right about what?”
”Well he seems to be very convinced it wasn’t us who accidentally destroyed… Bolden 3”
Aster responded, Kurt sighed and looked down at his feet, before looking up at Aster,
”I’d like to believe that, but there is just nobody in this galaxy who has a weapon as powerful as ours. You already know what happened with the Planet Buster that the blarg created, right? It was dismantled and destroyed. We need to find out more to be certain…”
”Oh yeah, true, true… I wish we never used our ultimate weapon now... but if we didn’t, we probably would have gotten destroyed and-“
”And the balatroids could have won. I just think this whole ordeal is one big coincidence, one big accident… which I hope Ace can get through. I am very worried about him…”
Kurt stopped speaking for a moment to take another glance back into the hallway. He was deeply concerned with Ace’s state of mind. What were he, Ace and the team going to do from now on? Nobody knew the answer to such a question at this moment in time.
Ace switched on his holovision screen. He still couldn’t believe what had happened. Determined to find more answers, he dared to look through the holovision channels again; despite it being somewhat difficult to watch.
It was the same sight as before; the Bolden 3 disaster was all over the news reports, and they continued to blame the Sonic 7. Slandering, bashing and criticizing them to an extreme. Some channels even displayed eyewitness accounts of the quantum energy blast, which seemly headed in the same direction in which Bolden 3 was at. However there was no actual footage of the planet being destroyed.
People were being interviewed by reporters from many different planets on the channels. Even the Galactic President Clint Carlson made statements; saying that Ace and the Sonic 7 will be captured and brought to justice - forcing Ace to glare at the screen angrily.
How dare they! After all the work we did for them!
Ace switched off the screen, unable to handle seeing anymore of the news. He simply would not take any more of it. Still frowning, he turned around and looked at his door, before grabbing a key off the desk nearest to him.
Knocking was heard on Ace Hardlight’s door several minutes later. It was Kurt again.
“Ace, it’s me again… may I come in?”
He tried to knock again but like before there was no answer, not even a single sound. Kurt was unsure if he should open the door or not, but his gut-feeling beckoned him that he should; his worries for Ace growing even more. He opened it and was glad to find that the door wasn’t locked but he could not see Ace anywhere, not even standing near the window. He looked all around the place, but couldn’t find any trace of him.
”Kurt, Ace is gone! We saw him leave on his ship outside!”
Bettilena said, rushing into the room where Kurt was. Bettilena sounded worried, panicking at the thought of Ace rushing off without notice.
”This is all my fault... I should have tried to be more supportive with him!”
”Bettilena, this isn’t your fault okay? None of this is…”
”But what are we going to do about Ace? Shouldn’t we go after him?”
”No. I think he needs some time out to clear his mind. He will be back, I know it…”
”I hope you’re right Kurt…”
Ace piloted his spacecraft through the Phyrox sector of the Solana galaxy - the sector where the Sonic Starfighter was currently located within. He switched on his navigational unit to set course for Bolden 3’s location. He looked at the screen for a moment; clearly deep in thought…
is this a good idea?
Thoughts ran wild through his mind. Anger was still there, clouding his judgment on the whole situation but determination was dominating over that. After a few moments of hesitating while flying further from his home, he set the course. Taken at high speed, he disappeared from the Phyrox sector instantly.
With each passing minute of speeding through hyperspace, Ace was now more worried than determined. As he came closer to his destination, he closed his eyes for a moment as the scenery of hyperspace brightened up and suddenly vanished, the hyperspace course coming to an end.
Coming out from the high speed flight, he could finally open his eyes. At first, all he could see was deep space as it usually would appear. Dark, with a distant sun and many stars surrounding the view - but no nearby planets were in his view. After flying in closer to his coordinates, he could now feel that something really wasn’t right. There definitely was no planet in this area of space, not even the two moons of Bolden 3. He flew in even closer and now he could see things clearer from his spacecrafts window.
It was somewhat… disturbing.
He could see fragments of a planet floating around aimlessly in that particular area of space. It was all charred and black. Not a single sign of life on any fragment of land as he passed by the large chunks of them. He could also see some of the planet core’s fragments, broken but still glowing slightly… as did some of the other larger chunks of land and rubble he saw, burning slightly.
He suddenly felt a sort of sick feeling, a very sick feeling. Cruising through this area was a very uncomfortable and ghostly feeling for Ace but he continued to fly on through, avoiding any of the blackened landmasses he passed. He double-checked his navigational system, to make sure it really was the destination of Bolden 3.
It showed the same status as before… it was the exact centre of the planet’s origin… almost.
He slammed his fist down on the screen.
”No… why… WHY did this have to happen?!” He shouted alone, before slamming his fist down again “Why of all the planets, Bolden 3? If only I was here then…then this would have never-”
It was hopeless and he knew it. He decided to fly out of the area, which felt more like a graveyard… giving him more uncomfortable feelings about the people who once lived there. It was a haunting feeling, flying past the debris.
He left the scene of the destruction, knowing that his foster home planet had truly perished. His rage and hatred started to weaken as he flew off again into the darkness of space.
He thought back to good times, when he was first adopted by the Sonic 6 team 12 years ago. He also thought about all the people who once lived there.
He would often visit Bolden 3, even after being adopted. His visits became more frequent as he got older and had become an intergalactic superhero. The children who were at the famous orphanage would always be thrilled when he came to visit and he liked to give the other children their support and hope for finding their own families someday. Ace and the Sonic 7’s support were so great, that the numbers of orphans being adopted by people across the galaxy had risen sharply. They would even donate much of their earnings to the planet.
Ace carried on thinking about everyone there; all the people he met and helped. Especially all the children. But now, they were all gone. Dead. Leaving not a single trace. They had no chance of being rescued. It was a cruel fate to the innocent, and Ace felt even more distraught thinking about it.
Ace even had thoughts of guilt. He now wished he had not suggested the use of their top weapon, but at the same time he also still had a suspicion of a conspiracy at the back of his mind. But he had absolutely no proof to support that… and he knew it.
However the tragic loss of the whole entire planet was too much to bear. Ace looked down at his navigational unit. His emotions were out of control now, and the guilt was choking him. He readily grasped on to the navigation unit control and pulled it tight, tearing it out of his ship’s dashboard. The unit stopped working as it flickered and sparked from the ripped wires and then he dropped it on the floor. His navigational holoscreen went dead. His hands and arms continued to shake slightly and he tried to place them back into piloting position. It was now near impossible for anyone to track down his ship, which also meant that he was flying blindly through space. Ace did not care. He flew off at an even higher pace, further from the scene of the disaster. His spacecraft was heading into an unknown part of the galaxy.
He didn’t want to think about it anymore but he could not help it. The thoughts of all those lives lost played over and over inside of his head, haunting and hurting him at the same time. He felt defeated.
Feeling broken and very weak, a deep sadness took over him now. Tears started to stream down his face.
He didn’t know what to do.