When we last saw our heroes, they were planning their next move. However, Raidra abruptly found herself plunged into a dream or vision. In the cabin situated in this vision, she found a computer with files on the sad being called The Halloween Man and the sinister being called Stan. After the vision ended, she began to tell her comrades about what she had seen.
Raidra told the others, “I had a vision of some sort. It was about The Halloween Man, and about Stan.”
“We should find The Halloween Man, then,” Tristan responded. “He might be in danger.”
“Yeah. Do you think Stan is the one responsible for cursing him?”
Before Tristan could answer her question, Shadow the Hedgehog teleported to them with a Chaos Emerald. “Wow, where did you come from…” Tristan asked.
“He’s also corrupt,” observed Gtd.
Jack sort of shrugged. “I’m not even surprised at this point. Let’s get him!”
Raidra asked, “Do we need to destroy his gem?”
“Yeah, we totally should,” Tristan replied.
Shadow teleported. Raidra looked around so Shadow couldn’t ambush them. She saw a glow. “Over there!”
The warning turned out to be useless as Tristan got kicked in the back. He swung his sword everywhere in an attempt to hit Shadow.
“He’s invisible,” observed Gtd.
Raidra called out, “That’s not entirely true! I saw a faint glow, like light shining from a gem! His body is invisible, but his gem glows a little before he attacks!”
“OK, I’ll try to find him.”
Raidra called, “Jack, cut the lights!”
“Right!” Jack called back.
He flicked the light switch and the room became dark. Tristan cut the Chaos Emerald as he saw it.
“Yes!” Raidra exclaimed in satisfaction.
“GET HIM!” commanded Tristan.
Raidra and Jack grabbed Shadow’s weakened, invisible body and pinned him to the ground. Shadow’s body flickered.
“Good, we got ‘im!” exclaimed Tristan!
Raidra observed, “Cutting that Emerald is weakening his power! We can see him now!” She held out a hammer. “Who wants to do it?”
“NO, DON’T DO IT!” Shadow screamed.
“What?” questioned Raidra in a gentler tone. “Do you want to repent and join us, like Jack did?”
“Yeah, I’ll do it…” he replied in surrender.
“Why did you attack us? Was it because of Stan?”
“Yes, he made a deal with me.”
“Why do you keep accepting!?” asked Tristan, frustrated with people making deals with Stan.
“What did he offer you?” asked Jack.
“The 7 Chaos Emeralds,” replied Shadow.
“I see,” observed Raidra. “That one you have was a down payment, huh? Are you even sure it’s real?”
“HE SCAMMED YOU!” announced Tristan.
“Ugh, I think you’re right…” realized Shadow.
Gtd scanned the damaged gem. Raidra, feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole situation and nervous by his initial lack of response, gently took Gtd and mimed him saying, “Yes, this is fake.” Gtd, showing the patience of a saint, did not attack her for her misguided action.
“Then how…” began a confused Shadow.
“No, not that gem,” explained Tristan. “The other 7.”
Gtd piped up, “Yeah, it’s like if someone took over my actions…”
“You just broke the fourth wall,” noted Shadow.
Raidra looked confused. “Oh, that’s a real Chaos Emerald he has?” She suddenly realized the seriousness of what she had done. “Oh, sorry, Gtd! It won’t happen again.”
“Mistakes happen,” replied Gtd.
Tristan addressed the roguish hedgehog. “Okay, you know what, Shadow? You’re in our team, then.”
Jack offered, “Maybe we can do a public service announcement about Stan being a liar you shouldn’t make deals with.”
“Good plan,” responded Gtd.
Jack paused thoughtfully and then noted, “Of course, it might get preempted if another story about traffic cones pops up.”
“All right, so the map is broken…” Tristan announced.
Raidra noted, “In my dream, there was a computer. It’s interesting that I dreamed about a computer, and then Shadow showed up, and now the map is damaged. Do you think the electronics are being messed with?”
Shadow was distracted. He reflected, “Stan tricked me… I haven’t felt this low since the lights went out and people started disappearing at my birthday party.”
“Wait, your birthday had that?” Tristan asked, as if he was familiar with that kind of situation.
“Yeah. I wonder how often that kind of thing happens.”
“Wait, you have a birthday?” asked Jack.
Tristan replied, “Yeah, of course! Everyone does!”
“Okay. Invite me next time. I’ll keep away any troublemakers.”
Shadow explained, “My attackers were a bunch of cultists wearing masks, holding a happy birthday paper.”
Jack stiffened at the mention of cultists. Raidra asked, “Could you describe these masks?”
“One was a red smiling mask and the other was a grey skull mask.”
“Does that sound familiar to anyone?”
“To me it does,” answered Tristan. “I created them as characters.”
“Hmm. That’s interesting. Do you think someone’s manipulating them?”
“Most likely,” replied Gtd.
Tristan explained, “They’re trying to summon Stan’s slave, the Puppet.”
“I’m sorry that someone is using your creations to cause chaos,” offered Raidra sympathetically.
Jack added, “You know how I feel about cultists. You guys saved me, so I’ll do whatever I can to help you!”