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Fanfic / Resounding Echoes AU

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Bastette the Cat, a character endemic to the Resounding Echoes AU, and a member of Team Trove. Image courtesy of Monochromayhem, used with permission.

Seven chimes, call me back to the place before...

Resounding Echoes is a currently-ongoing Sonic the Hedgehog T-rated Gen fic AU series that follows the plot of Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog written by Archive of Our Own and DeviantArt user monochroMayhem. Currently in its fourth part, it follows the story of the main protagonists throughout the franchise as well as a few new cast members. It is centered around darker themes such as grief and closure, but that doesn't mean it necessarily has a Downer Ending. It is a Sonic fanfic series after all!

It also deals with darker topics meant for an older audience, such as transitioning, guilt, trauma, and identity. Strongly LGBT, the AU derives its drama from many topics in the author’s own experience and the experiences of the people around them.

The AU can be found here. Part 1, From The Heart, is complete.Part 2, Fears of the Future, is now complete as well.Part 3, Outside Looking In, is complete.Part 4, Thy Vengeful Asymmetry, is currently in progress.


The Resounding Echoes alternate universe provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: Bastette's family before most of them passed away included her, her parents, her brother, and her sister, the last of which is the only living member left after the Black Arms incident.
    • Subverted as it turns out Jolt is transfemme.
  • Acting Your Intellectual Age: Tails, as usual, is the practical team member and assesses the situation through observation before making a call. When it's revealed that Bastette was forced into a ransom deal with Eggman, he's the one to recognize she had no choice. When Sylphic switches teams partway through, he's the first to determine that he isn't there to hurt them as soon as he catches a glimpse of them.
  • All Is Well That Ends Well: While Part 1 sets up a bunch of things for Part 2, it still ends on a hopeful note.
    • Outside Looking In subverts this, as Sonic cracks under the pressure of wanting his friends not to worry about him.
  • Badass in Distress: Sonic is captured by Eggman, threatened with the death of a trio of children if he doesn't comply with his evil schemes, and still manages to get free and thwart his plans.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: Invoked by the cast when fighting the first form of Sylphic.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: In Fears of the Future, the conflict that sets the trajectory of the fic is presented the night of Bastette's 18th birthday.
  • Chekov's Gun:
    • Bastette's ability to break things with a strike from her forehead is what ultimately what saves her sister and her from drowning in a makeshift fishtank.
      • The implanted discs that let Robotnik control whether Sonic is allowed to make a particular movement are also capable of emitting a massive and possibly lethal amount of electricity. When Eggman's plans inevitably backfire the heroes (mostly Sonic) decide that the best course of action is to kamikaze the threat in front of them with a massive electrical shock from the same discs.
      • During the final chapter, Sylphic explains why he was given his name. It's a callback to the ballet Giselle and its themes about the nature of revenge and forgiveness.
    • Fears of the Future uses a Chekov's Gun that was set up in From the Heart, specifically the half-awake babbling Sylphic did after Shadow punched through his illusion. He said that Maria's blood type was O, and when he recalls this he gets a confirmation from the Echo Sapphire through a flash memory that Gerald's method of treatment of blood transfusions. Why is that important? Well, we learn that Maria was O-, a universal donor but not receiver. Therefore, to get working transfusions, Shadow's blood needed to match. But more importantly, that means that Shadow is a universal donor who can save Briar.
      • The Glowing Eye on Nyx's forehead turns out to be a sign that she is in fact one of the eight parts of Luneria.
    • Outside Looking In has Sonic and Shadow switch places. A few times throughout the narrative Shadow comments about how much more exposed and vulnerable he feels, and he's stabbed through the chest in the climax when he's the most vulnerable he's ever been- right in Blue's arms after learning the truth.
      • Not helped is that Sylphic gave Shadow painkillers on the way up to the ARK, ones that are anticoagulants. Sylphic sees it as more serious of a fatal injury than the others because of this.
      • Cross-part Chekov is back, and this time it's because Akshi picked up the one chipped piece of Rouge in the Dreamscape at the end of Fears of the Future, allowing him access to her "island" of dreams when she's asleep in Outside Looking In.
  • Crossover: Silver arrives in Part 2, but it's Sonic Universe Archie Silver.
    • Chrome has gone on record saying that Part 5 is going to be a crossover due to dimensional travel.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Brine the Cuttlefish from Chapter 2 of Fears of the Future corrects Bastette when she assumes gender based on clothing, explaining it as a lack of a proper wardrobe.
  • Empathic Environment: Subverted by Sylphic's hydrokinesis during the climax.
  • Encouraged Regifting: How Amy justifies gifting her canteen to Sylphic to herself.
  • Flower Motifs: In From The Heart, flower symbolism plays a role in the character arc of Sylphic. First, the scent of lilac is associated with Maria. Lilacs are a funeral flower meant to symbolize youth and innocence, a theme that certainly fits her personality. Then, in the last chapter, Shadow asks to offer a black rose to the facsimile grave of Maria (and Gerald), which represents both grief and rebirth. Given The Reveal within the same chapter, the flower's symbolism takes on a new meaning.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: As usual, Tails is a child prodigy with a knack for his inventions, but his feats within the series include creating a pair of skatelike devices that can be worn around the ankles while in storage mode and hacking into a secure government burner phone and jacking up the reception on the device, allowing him to call Rouge even when she's on the ARK. Oh, and he did the latter in the time it took her to reapply her makeup in the bathroom.
    • By Part 3, she has the foresight to predict a robbery and plans accordingly using the fake Emeralds she uses to power her machines.
  • Ghost Memory: Before The Reveal, Sylphic appears to invoke this trope while aboard the ARK.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Part 1 was Chrome's 2020 quarantine project, and through online conversations they have stated that they aren't sure if they haven’t gone completely mad.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Sylphic didn't get his story straight with Eggman upon departure to the ARK and when he and Eggman meet again, the Doctor Out-Gambits Sylphic and Bastette upon noticing the inconsistencies, namely the number of Emeralds, the way that Shadow was able to get to the correct coordinates after being fed false information, and Sylphic's new canteen being different than the one he had when he left.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Sonic and Shadow during Phase 2 of the fight against Sylphic. The latter realizes he needs to meet him halfway by entering his dreaming mind.
  • Ill Girl: In Fears of the Future it is revealed that Briar has Neuro-Immune Deficiency Syndrome, the same incurable illness that Maria Robotnik suffered from.
  • Improvised Weapon: Bastette's ability to break things with her skull combined with her ability to discern the weak points in things means that she can weaponize things such as metal wall panels if she can get them dislodged.
  • It Was a Gift: Amy when she gives Sylphic her canteen.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: Team Trove bears this triad theme.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Bastette has hair so long that, if not put up into a ponytail, would normally fall past her feet easily.
    • Subverted later in Part 3 when she loses about half the ponytail, where she openly implies that she's learned that her femininity is more than that.
  • Making a Splash: Sylphic's weapon of choice is water from his canteen, which he can freely and easily manipulate. Doubles as an Elemental Weapon since he can also turn it into ice.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Eggman's exploits throughout the series.
    • In From The Heart, he manipulates Bastette into tricking her friends by holding her sister hostage. Later, he manipulates Sonic into hunting down the Chaos Emeralds by threatening to drown his friends in front of him. After discovering Sylphic's plans, he proceeds to manipulate him by forcing him to watch the same friends plus Bastette drown in front of him to engender his grief.
  • Memory Palace: Sylphic's dream world is akin to this.
  • Most Fanfic Writers Are Fans: Chrome has made it evident through their writing, artwork, and interactions online that they are a huge fan of Sonic The Hedgehog.
  • Original Character: Bastette, Sylphic, Nyx, and Brine are all original characters in this AU. Nyx is the original OC, as it appears that she is based on an OC Chrome had when they were 10 years old.
  • Past-Life Memories: Sylphic has a form of this thanks to Gerald inadvertently transferring a copy of his consciousness over to the hybrid.
  • The Power of Friendship: A staple of Sonic Gen fics.
  • Power Gem: Various gems of power make an appearance in the series.
    • The canonical Chaos Emeralds are utilized in this AU.
    • The Eyes of Luneria, eye-shaped gems with mysterious powers that aren't exactly made clear. They tend to be more malicious, able to act on their own without interaction in some cases.
      • The Echo Sapphire, a black-blue sapphire with the ability to recall memories of people and spaces and even weaponize those events to incapacitate targets. It's strong enough to force Amy and Tails back into the memory of watching Sonic's capsule explode from Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic into the capsule itself, and amplify their feelings within those memories past their original intensity.
      • It stopped Knuckles from throwing a punch mid-swing with a memory that the reader never actually gets to see.
      • It stopped Chaos from attacking Sylphic, likely with a memory such as the ones involving the flashbacks from Sonic Adventure.
      • It tries to incapacitate Shadow by calling forth Maria and superimposing her likeness over Sylphic like an emotional shield but he punches straight through because he knows it isn't real.
      • It has a mind of its own, capable of causing episodes even without physical contact or direct invocation, as evidenced by Bastette having to get rid of it or Brine directly telling her that it gives him nightmares.
      • The Opal, a black opal with, as Nyx puts it, "the power of desire". Whatever it does, Nyx can immediately tell it's bad news.
      • It's strong enough that upon Bastette asking Silver to not look at her with his expression of concern, he is physically incapable of looking at her until she retracts her demand.
      • It's twisted enough to forcefully give Bastette the more feminine appearance she yearns for without painkillers or anesthetic, which also doubles as Body Horror.
      • It, like the other eyes, is sentient and houses a spirit named Aria. What this entity's plans are is currently unknown, but given their ability to erase people by crystalizing and shattering them, world domination might play a part.
      • The Wisher's Garnet, which turns out to not be one of the eight sisters that comprise Luneria, but rather Akshi's little sister, Sonata. The entity housed inside reveals the truth that the music-based names of "Aria" and "Concerto" and "Requiem" aren't the names of those respective gems' spirits, but the name of the spirits' victims whose power they took.
      • The Wisher's Garnet's powers act on necessity and need, but often work in a roundabout manner or very literally, as evidenced when Rouge uses it to "change Shadow's mind" and ends up bodyswapping him and Sonic.
      • The Garnet is the first instance of a gem that we see get broken and then fully repaired in the end.
      • Doom's Paragon, a diamond that houses the Lunerian sister named "Concerto". Equally as nasty as her sister, Aria, Concerto feeds off of trauma and spite.
      • It's later explained that Concerto chose the Black Arms race due to their resilience and ability to works with Chaos forces, and situated herself inside her host, Black Doom. It's also implied that Black Doom was merely a facade or a persona, meaning that the host who existed long ago is probably dead.
      • She's also capable of lying dormant for decades within a host and even manipulating other host bodies while sequestered away elsewhere, as evidenced by where she's found hiding in the climax.
      • The Phantom Ruby is considered an Eye in this AU, as its powers deal with Your Mind Makes It Real, which covers all eyes. The one Zero has in Thy Vengeful Asymmetry is a prototype, just as it was in the games.
      • Nyx said that she threw it into another dimension in a previous life. This is the first indication that Nyx isn't always nice to everybody.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Invoked twice in From The Heart, both by Shadow.
      • The first time it happens, it's after Shadow's fight with Sylphic when the latter begins listing details about Maria Robotnik that aren't relevant to his mission or knowable by most people.
      • The second time, it happens when Shadow confronts Sylphic in his dream world.
  • The Reveal:
    • In From The Heart, it's revealed that Sylphic was given Gerald's memories as a means to ensure that he carries out his revenge. But later on, we find out that he has enough memory left intact that he is in one sense or another the Professor himself.
    • Fears of the Future drops that Jolt is alive.
      • Aria is one of eight gems that were crystallized people who conspired to take down Akshi
      • Akshi’s body is the Master Emerald and he has been trapped in the Dreamscape for millennia.
    • Outside Looking In introduces the mysterious character of Blue the Darkling. She's an amnesiac ful-bloodied Black Arms Super Soldier, and when she finally recovers her memory, we learn that Maria's blood transfusions linked her to the Black Arms Hivemind and her consciousness got taken by them right before she could pass away. Dire Doom, the facade that Concerto uses to control her subjects, has been keeping Blue from learning that she was once human.
      • Concerto was never a physical entity, instead opting to psychologically manipulate Blue through hallucinations all while hiding in the one place nobody would dare look: embedded in Shadow's skull.
  • Rising Water, Rising Tension: This is the driving force behind Sonic going on an Emerald hunt for Eggman, since failing to comply will mean letting Cream, Cheese, and Briar slowly drown.
  • Starting a New Life: Sylphic chooses to do this after The Reveal that he has enough of Gerald's memories to be a continuation of his consciousness.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: Downplayed and Justified by Knuckles during Chapter 2 of Fears of the Future when he decides to test Sylphic's mettle in a quick bout.
  • Transgender: It is casually and lightly implied in a conversation between Brine and Bastette that Brine is a trans man still trying to purge his old clothes. Bastette also replies with "can't say I haven't been there before", which could either be about the difficulty in finding clothes or the pain of misgendering.
    • Jolt Briggs is trans, and the sealing of her files is exactly what led Bastette to believe that she was dead to begin with.
    • Tails later on, after being told by Akshi that Luneria was lying to her.
  • Wham Line:
    • From The Heart's Wham Line comes when Shadow breaks through a wall in Sylphic's dream world in a moment of pure angry anguish, complete with an aforementioned Precision F-Strike.
    • Fears of the Future drops one early on when Sylphic tries to express to Bastette that her sister is sick with NIDS. Shadow drops the bad news since the medic can't even bring himself to speak.
      • Akshi when asked by Rouge where he'd seen her before. Doubles as a reference to canon, as it's the second line Rouge says in Sonic Adventure 2
        "You just don't know when to give up, do you?"
    • Outside Looking In's big ones including:
      • Blue's identity:
        “ It rains and snows there. Kamarkia has some lovely weather, doesn’t it?”
      • Akshi yelling at Rouge:
        “Rouge, I’m going to shatter like this!”
      • Syll after Shadow is on death's door.
        "She killed my son."
  • Your Makeup Is Running:
    • Bastette in Part 2, when she finds out her sister has an incurable fatal illness.
    • Rouge in Part 3, though it's less because of crying and more from burying her head in a pillow.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real:
    • The power of the Echo Sapphire is its ability to weaponize memories of people and places. It can transport you back into a traumatic memory and force you to experience it again, and it can amplify the pain of that memory past the pain it originally had.
    • The rest of the Eyes have similar powers, and in the case of Aria, those realities can be excruciatingly painful.
      • As of Part 4, it's confirmed that the Phantom Ruby is an actual Phantom Gem and it's implied that it's another one of the Eyes.
  • Your Worst Memory: Shadow and Sylphic have an extended conversation on the ARK's observation deck, all leading up to a scene where the latter invokes the power of the Echo Sapphire to learn what really happened to Maria. Shadow is there the whole time and sees what happens as well, reliving the memory.
    • Bastette in Fears of the Future, when she learns what happened to her sibling when the building collapsed.