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Elixirs and Potions

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Zero was proud of his collection. Many people had taken up collecting things, but he had something those other people didn't: a collection of most of the elixirs in the world.

That's right: Zero collected potions. He'd make some of them himself, although the bulk of his collection was made of spoils from heists and payments from missions during his "ultimate mercenary" phase. He had almost every kind of potion, and, on this lovely day, he happened to be showing Amy his collection.

"As you can see, I have many potions, from the common potions to the rarest. This one," Zero said, picking up what looked like a perfume bottle, "allows you to temporarily overcome your fears. I got it as payment from a sketchy guy in Adabat. That bottle," he said, indicating a small bottle on a higher shelf while he put the other potion away, "supposedly contains a small sample of the Elixir of Life, given to me as payment for stealing a priceless jewel." He sensed Amy's interest, and let her down gently. "I don't know if it works. I've never tried it."

Amy seemed more interested in the Elixir of Life than her jackal friend. "You should! Imagine if it IS the Elixir of Life! You could live forever!"

Zero shook his head. "That just means I'd have longer to live with my mistakes. No thank you." He moved towards the bookend of his collection. "This is where I keep the potions and elixirs I make myself."

Amy looked up at him in disbelief. "You make potions?"

Zero shrugged. "Yeah, on the side. I needed something to do once I lost the Phantom Ruby." He picked up a bottle of what appeared to be an elixir of death and idly fidgeted with it in his hand. "Tell you what, I'm so grateful that you stuck up for me in front of the Resistance that I'll let you have one of my handmade potions."

Amy's eyes nearly bugged out of her skull. "You'd give me a potion? For free?"

The jackal shrugged. "Why not? Consider it a thank-you gift for sparing me."

Amy looked at the wide cabinet. She could tell which potions were Zero's because they had a small Phantom Ruby insignia on it, but the problem is that there were too many. "I can't choose..."

Zero took the opportunity to guide her through his mini-apothecary, grabbing bottles off of the shelf to illustrate. "Want somebody dead?" He held out the elixir of death he had been holding.

Amy shook her head. "Nah, not my kind of thing."

Zero frowned. "Plus, you don't need a potion for that. You could just kill the person yourself." He chuckled to himself and picked up the next bottle. "Want to be able to fly?"

Amy shrugged. "It seems tempting, but I'm not sure."

Zero left the bottle on the table. "We'll come back to that one."

One by one, Zero and Amy went through the entire cabinet. The only potions Amy found herself drawn to were one for temporary flight, one for temporary speed, and one for being able to temporarily shift your appearance (although Zero had muttered something about being able to make it permanent, thus catching Amy's attention). However, Zero had one more ace up his sleeve.

"Amy," he started, "it looks to me like you just want a potion to help you in your pursuit of Sonic." It was kind of obvious. Flight and speed could be used to catch up to him, or the appearance modifier could make her conform to the mold of what Sonic found attractive.

Still, Amy was apprehensive. "So what if I am? You said I could have any one of your handmade potions."

Zero smiled. "I mean, if you want to go the roundabout way of handling things, that'll work." He picked up an empty bottle and spun it between his fingers. "All of this talk about flight potions, speed potions, and appearance potions, and you haven't even asked me about love potions."

The weight of what Zero had just said hit her full-on. "Wait, you can make love potions?"

He smiled and twiddled the empty bottle between his fingers. "Of course. It only works for a limited amount of time, but it's great for kickstarting a relationship." He looked down, slightly embarrassed of himself. "Or at least, so I've heard."

Amy smiled, a sinister plan forming in her head. "Zero, I've made my choice. I'd like a love potion, please."

Zero straightened up his posture, putting on an act as if he were an old-timey snake-oil salesman. "Ah, the love potion, a wonderful choice!" They both laughed.

It was your stereotypical love potion setup. A lock of hair (in this case, one of her quills), combined with a bunch of magic ingredients. Amy tried to read the labels of the containers the ingredients were in, but they seemed like gibberish to her.

Finally, after lots of stirring, Zero emptied the mini-cauldron into a beaker and put the beaker upside-down at the top of a machine ("the concentrator", he had called it). At the bottom of the machine, a concentrated pink substance collected in the container. The whole process took around 30 minutes, but it was finished. He held it up for her to smell; it smelled like roses.

Zero talked about the basics: if you give somebody a dose of it, they'll be in love with you for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, though, there's no telling what happens. Either they still love you (in which case they probably at least had some feelings for you before the love potion), or they just go back to the way they originally were. No matter which outcome you got, they remembered what happened while the potion was in effect. The bottle had 4 doses in it, so that meant a grand total of 4 days with her Sonikku.

He also said something about giving multiple doses at the same time, but she didn't pay attention. She was lost in her own world, even as Zero explained that, paradoxically, giving more than one dose at the same time didn't extend the potion's effects, but could actually reduce the effectiveness of the potion.

Of course, she didn't hear that, but she nodded along as if she had (not wanting to seem rude). She asked him how to best use it.

"Well, I suppose you could mix it with a colored drink." He had a sinking feeling in his gut that she hadn't heard his warning, but he shook it off. "Lemonade and a chili dog?"

"I guess that would work..." Amy could see it already, she'd mix the potion with lemonade and just tell Sonic it was pink lemonade. He'd be none the wiser...

"Amy?" She blinked, as Zero waved his hand in front of her face. "You've been staring off into the distance for the last 5 minutes. Have you been paying any attention to what I've been saying?"

A small blush of embarrassment rose to Amy's cheeks. "Oh, sorry! Yes, I heard, I was just... daydreaming... Anyways, I gotta go! Thanks for the potion!"

Zero waved to her as she left. "You're welcome! Don't use it all in one place!" He snickered at his own joke, as he sat down on his couch. "I hope this doesn't come back to bite me in the butt..."