Chapter 1: Robotnik’s ultimate machine
For many months, Julian toiled and slaved at perfecting his new invention to inflict the maximum blow at his enemies. Now, all of his hard work had finally paid off.
“At last!” he exclaimed, holding his hands together with dripping glee in his vile voice to his nephew Snively, who was standing behind him. “My new machine is ready to go.”
“Um, not to put a damper on your enthusiasm or anything, sir” his nephew commented hesitantly, “But what makes you think this machine will be any better than your previous ones?”
Normally, Robotnik would have violently grabbed his incompetent lackey and thrown him across the room for such a remark, but he instead had a better way to get his point across. He instead gently grabbed Snively by his neck collar and held him close to his face, flashing a very sly grin. This grin no doubt caused Snively to sweat many bullets, fearing the worst.
“Because, my pathetic stooge… this machine is not like any I’ve ever built before.” Julian retorted chuckling. “Its capabilities are FAR SUPERIOR to theirs.”
”How so, sir?” Snively inquired, still deeply afraid inside.
“I think it’s better if you see it for yourself.” The vile rotund villain replied.
Julian then carried him over to the pod that held his new invention and dropped him nearby it. After that, he pressed a large button, causing the pod to open, revealing a very large, state of the art Mecha Sonic robot, colored primarily midnight blue with some black and yellow stripes as well.
”This thing again?” Snively commented with arched eyebrows, glancing at it from top to bottom. “Sir, you already tried a robot like this before on that meddlesome hedgehog. It was a complete disaster.”
Julian thumped his nose to bounce up and down, retorting with that same grin as before, “Careful, Snively, you know what they say about looks can be deceiving.”
Snively no doubt hated it when Robotnik did this, but instead said to protest while holding his nose to steady it, “You can’t possibly think this machine will beat Sonic, sir.”
“Oh, so you really think I didn’t learn anything from my previous battles, do you?” Robotnik again grabbed him, saying now in an a fierce tone of voice near his face, “Perhaps I should give you a demonstration up close and personal of what it can REALLY DO.”
“That… won’t be necessary, sir.” The small lackey squeaked, now deeply scared for his life. “I’ll take your word for it.”
”Oh no, I insist, Snively.” Julian shot back, glaring at him. “You’ll learn to never doubt me again.”
And with that, Robotnik pressed a button from a remote he pulled out of his pocket, causing it to come to life. Its eyes glowed a piercing crimson red color, glaring intently at the small lackey. During this whole procedure, Snively could barely keep his composure, even softly sobbing inside.
“All right, my fearsome fighting machine,” Robotnik ordered with a vile smirk on his face, “show this pathetic lackey of mine just what you can do.”
His machine promptly gave a whirr and a nod, showing it was complying with his order.
“No, sir, please... I beg of you, have mercy…” Snively pleaded in deep trembling.
”SHUT UP!” Julian shot back at him. “Now just sit tight and watch…”
Snively could not even do that, as he quickly clenched his eyes tight in paranoia. His ears though heard a very strange robotic sound from it, but didn’t know for sure since he refused to look.
Robotnik however did and was chuckling at what it had done, inquiring, “Well, Snively, what do you think of that, eh?”
“It’s uh… very nice, sir.” He replied to his Uncle nonchalantly. “Can you spare me now please? I swear I won’t question you again.”
It was then Julian saw he was keeping his eyes shut the whole time. He then smacked his lackey with his non robotic hand across the forehead, shouting, “You moron! You didn’t even see it!”
”I can’t, sir.” he replied, still keeping his eyes shut in spite of his pain. “I don’t want to see it kill me.”
”Oh, for crying out loud…” Robotnik quickly let out a very annoyed groan and roll of the eyes, again shouting at him, “I’m not going to have it kill you, Snively!”
“OF COURSE NOT!” For a third time, Julian grabbed Snively and held him close to his face, telling him with a growl, “but I will kill you myself if you don’t look at my machine now. You get me?”
“Loud and clear, sir.” He whimpered.
Finally, Snively looked at his Uncle’s machine after the sound it made, and there it took his breath away in complete shock at what he saw.
”What…? It…. It can’t be!”
“What’s the matter, Snively?” Julian taunted at him gleefully. “I thought you said this was just another of my failed robot experiments.”
What Snively saw was none other than Robotnik’s machine had somehow transformed into an exact replica of himself. It made him nearly speechless to put it lightly.
“Oh, but the fun doesn’t stop there.” Robotnik stated. “Just wait until you see what it can do next. He then ordered his robot, “Say something to your new twin.”
Robotnik’s machine again complied, now saying in the exact same tone and voice as Snively’s, “Robotnik is the greatest Overlander of all. No one can stand up to his might and power.”
By this point, the small lackey’s jaw drop nearly dropped to the ground. He eyes and ears even could not comprehend what he was witnessing.
“And now for the final test…” Julian announced. “Mecha, demonstrate your true power to him.”
Before Snively could even ask what he meant by that, the robot swiftly grabbed him out of Robotnik’s hand and violently flung him clear across the room, causing the small lackey to crash into it squarely from head to toe, slowly dropping onto the floor in a heap. Seconds later, the machine returned to its original form.
“Excellent…” Robotnik commented, rubbing his hands together. “The test was a complete success. He soon turned towards Snively, who was now groaning moderately in pain from a distance, “Well, my pathetic lackey, any more doubts about what my new invention can do?”
“None, sir.” He replied weakly.
”I thought so…” Julian chuckled evilly. “And the best part about the test was, I didn’t even have my new robot at full power then. He again flashed a vile smile, saying to his nephew, “Just imagine what it’ll do to those pathetic Freedom Fighters once I unleash its complete fury on them.”
“Yes, I can hardly wait…” Snively muttered, now picking himself off the floor. As he began to walk over to his Uncle, he asked him, “Sir, I must know… how did you get that thing to turn into an exact replica of me? No robot has ever been able to do that before.”
”That’s because it isn’t like any robot before.” Robotnik explained with a look of beaming pride. “In fact, it’s not even made like any robot I built before either.”
”I don’t follow.” The small lackey said deeply confused.
“Obviously not.” Robotnik retorted. “This machine isn’t made of the typical metal and circuits you see of most robots.”
”No? Then… what it is made of then?” Snively inquired, now puzzled then ever.
Wanting to savor this, Robotnik finally answered after a long pause, “Liquid metal.”
“L-LIQUID METAL?!” Snively could not believe what his ears were hearing. “But, sir, that is not even possible! Metal cannot become liquid and then turn into different forms.”
“Under most circumstances, you’d be right, my dear lackey,” Julian replied. “But I had a major breakthrough. After a long and thorough study of nanite composites, I finally was able to develop one that could make a metal structure that could morph into any organic shape at will.”
“No kidding…?” Even now, Snively was still baffled by this.
”As you just saw demonstrated awhile ago, it copied your body structure and voice to the T.” Robotnik said. “But it can do far more than that. It can also even copy any person’s special abilities to its database within seconds. THAT is how lethal my new machine is going to be against my enemies.”
”My word…” Snively stated overwhelmed. “Does this machine even have a weakness?”
”Unfortunately, it does have one major weakness,” Robotnik explained with a deep frown, “One that could even obliterate it completely if it ever made contact with its structure. Thankfully though, that one weakness is a very rare material on this planet, so I’m not too worried for the most part.”
”So what is that weakness then?” the small lackey inquired with curiosity.
Robotnik however just gave him a sly grin, answering, “That is going to be my personal little secret.”
”WHAT?! You’re not going to tell me. Why?” Snively asked with confusion.
”Because the less you know, my pathetic lackey” Julian retorted smugly, again thumping his nose, “The better it is for me.”
Needless to say, Snively was to the point he couldn’t stand his nose being thumped any longer. Before he could say anything in response however. Robotnik again addressed his robot, ordering it, “All right, Mecha Sonic X, your first task is to go find me some Chaos Emeralds around Mobius. And then after that, bring me at least one of their top Freedom Fighters to me alive. Do you understand?”
As before, the liquid metal robot nodded its head, swiftly flying out of Robotnik’s lair in a hurry.
“You mind explaining to me what you’re planning to do at least?” Snively asked with furrowed eyebrows.
”Oh, I suppose I can do that much at least.” Julian replied with a shrug. After a long pause, he told him, “The Chaos Emeralds as you are well aware are a great power source. I want Mecha Sonic X to bring me some to install as its main battery. With that power at his disposal, his liquid metal abilities will be increased 100 fold.”
”That makes sense, but why do you want him to bring you a top Freedom Fighter alive?” the small lackey asked. “Didn’t you make this robot to kill them all?”
”All in due time, Snively.” Robotnik explained, rubbing his hands together again. “But for now, I need an ace up my sleeve, especially when those Freedom Fighters find out what I’m planning. If I have one of their filthy furry friends at my mercy, they won’t be so eager to try and stop me, now would they?”
“I suppose I can’t argue with that…” Snively commented. “Although, I don’t see them backing down so easily against us, sir, especially with them recently joining forces with Sparkle and her comrades. They make quite a formidable team to say the least.”
”Pah! Don’t me laugh…” Julian shot back arrogantly. “As good of fighters as they are, they won’t even be able to slow me down once they see what I have in store for them and their precious Freedom Fighter’s network.”
Snively however was still very skeptical inside, as he saw first hand from their last battle how much they had strengthened the Knothole Freedom Fighters as a unit.
Chapter 2: Mecha Sonic X’s major strike
The following morning, Robotnik’s new secret weapon continued to monitor around Mobius in the air, looking for the perfect opportunity to carry out Phase 2 of his master’s plan. Within an hour, he finally saw it. From the west, Mecha Sonic X picked up sputtering sounds with its metal ears, from none other than Tails’ Tornado 2.
“Aw, c’mon, not now!” The two tailed fox, trying to get the plane back into gear.
Unfortunately though, it was futile. The engine was now completely overheated due to the excessive power used from the Chaos Emerald as its main power source. Seeing he had no other choice, Tails carefully glided the plane to the ground near the Great Swamp in order to repair it.
Mecha Sonic X meanwhile craftily flew towards him, but very discreetly in order to keep from being spotted. Tails during this time got out of his toolbox from his cockpit and began to inspect his plane’s engine after removing the cowling.
“Man, I guess I’m going to have to install some bigger radiators.” He commented with a frustrated sigh. “This engine is nearly cooked.”
While he continued to survey the damage to the engine, Mecha Sonic X finally landed onto to the ground, hiding in some bushes about 20 feet away. However, the rustling noise from this did not go unnoticed. Tails’ ears perked up from the sounds of it, making him look in that direction a bit startled.
“Is someone there?” He asked in a loud tone of voice.
Being extremely crafty, Mecha Sonic kept completely still, biding its time.
Tails then walked over there to check it out, as he strongly suspected something or someone was in those bushes.
”Ok, joke’s over, whoever you are.” He called out sharply as he walked. “So just come out already and quit playing around.”
When Tails got within five feet of the bushes, Mecha Sonic X knew he would be spotted if he came any closer. And so, he took drastic measures.
Seconds later, Tails inspected the bushes very thoroughly, but found nothing.
“Huh… must be my nerves I guess.” He commented with a shrug. “I could have sworn I heard something in that shrubbery.”
And with that, he got back to work.
Once he was tinkering with his plane again, Mecha Sonic X returned to his standard form. He had fooled Tails by morphing into part of the bushes’ exterior. He soon began to monitor the two tailed fox very closely, now coming up with the perfect plan.
An hour later just outside the Great Forest, Sonic was returning back to Knothole, completing one of his standard morning runs around Mobius.
“Ah, nothing like the wind in my face and open road to make one feel alive…” he stated, stretching his arms a bit. “Well, I better get back home before Sal gives me one of her usual lectures about being late again.”
Before he could take three steps however, he heard a very familiar voice yelling his name. It was none other than Tails’.
”Sonic!” he cried out loudly, flying towards him.
Sonic quickly turned his head, inquiring, “What’s wrong, T2? And how come you’re not flying in your plane?”
“Robotnik destroyed my Tornado 2!” the two tailed fox exclaimed in horror. “It was a sneak attack. Swatbots and Mega muck machines everywhere! I barely escaped with my life.”
“WHAT?! You mean he got the Chaos Emerald in it too?”
Yes, he did, Sonic.” Tails answered solemnly. “There was nothing I could do to retrieve it. They would have captured me if I tried.”
The blue hedgehog’s expressions changed from shock to fierce anger, “That despicable tub of lard… he’ll pay for this!” He then took Tails by the hand, saying, “C’mon, let’s get the others. We’ll show Robuttnik what happens he messes with us!”
Tails however wrenched away from his grasp, declaring, “No, Sonic, there is no time for that! We got to move now!”
”What do you mean there’s no time? What are you talking about?” Sonic inquired, now looking at him conspicuously.
“Because, Sonic, I was on my way towards the Mystic ruins after learning a Chaos Emerald was there. Robotnik though intercepted my plans halfway there. He now knows there’s a Chaos Emerald in that area too. That’s why I came back flying towards you.”
”That still doesn’t explain why you don’t want to get the others to help us out.” The blue hedgehog countered. “Why are you so against them lending a hand?”
”Because every second counts now, Sonic.” Tails explained with a look of frustration. If we don’t get a move towards there this instant, Robotnik will no doubt have another Chaos Emerald to use against us. Is that what you want?”
Sonic couldn’t argue with that, replying with a heavy sigh, “Oh… all right then. I guess when you put it that way; it would take too long to round up the team.” He then looked Tails in the eye, saying, “Ok, let’s boogie. No way am I letting Robuttnik get that Chaos Emerald before we do.”
Tails now flashed a smile at him, a smile that ironically creeped Sonic out a bit, as he said, “Great, let me just get out my new Emerald radar device so we can track it down easier.”
“Wait, you actually built one of those?”
”Duh, of course, Sonic.” The two tailed fox shot back with a frown. “How else did I find out about the Emerald in the Mystic Ruins?”
”I guess that makes sense…” Sonic soon shook his head, adding, “Never mind then. Just hope in my pack and let’s race, ace.”
Tails quickly nodded its head and did just that, now tightly inside.
”Whoa, did you put on some weight, lil bro?” Sonic inquired with a grunt after he was in. “I don’t remember you being this heavy.”
”Sonic, please, enough small talk already. Robotnik could be within minutes of finding that emerald right now.”
“Uh, right, Tails…”
And with that, Sonic charged up his legs and blasted off.
Twenty five minutes later, the two of them arrived at the entrance to the Ruins. Sonic quickly stopped once they did, asking Tails, “Ok, where exactly is this Chaos Emerald according to that radar thingy of yours?”
Tails did another check with his radar device, where a ping sound and flashing icon appeared on its screen.
“According to this… one mile north, five hundred feet west and fifty feet east.” The two tailed answered.
Sonic now arched his eyebrows at this info, asking again, “Wait… that thing can also track how far it is from us?”
“Sonic, this is a state of the art Chaos Emerald radar tracker.” Tails told him sharply. “Don’t underestimate technology.”
His answer left the blue hedgehog a bit perplexed inside, but commented, “So, I take it my Uncle Chuck and Rotor helped you build this then.”
“No, I built it myself.” Tails replied, now completely out of patience. “Look, can you just get us there already? Don’t forget Robotnik is already here and searching for it.”
By this point, Sonic could not help but feel something was off about this whole expedition. He soon looked around the Ruins, not seeing a trace of his enemy anywhere.
“If Robuttnik is here, he sure is keeping a very low profile.” Sonic muttered. “You’d think we’d see a Swatbutt or two stumbling around.”
“Trust me, they’re here.” The two tailed fox reiterated. “And if you don’t stop wasting time, they’re going to find you and use that Chaos Emerald against us. Is that what you want?”
“All right, all right… Sheesh, drop the tude, lil bro.” Sonic shot back frowning. “It’s really getting on my nerves.”
Sonic again revved up his legs again and took off, following Tails’ directions to the T. During that time, Tails didn’t say another word until they were within twenty five feet of their hunt, where he then spoke up loudly, saying, “Stop, Sonic!”
Sonic did as he was told, asking with suspicion, “And why are we stopping exactly?”
Tails responded by pointing a finger towards a small cave covered with shrubbery, “It’s in there.”
”Are you sure?” the blue hedgehog inquired, not convinced.
“My device is flashing a bright green icon on my screen.” Tails answered. “At least check it out before doubting my directions.”
With his curiosity getting the better of him, Sonic did just that, using his spikes to cut inside after letting Tails out of his backpack. The split second he entered inside of it, he saw something glowing within a broken down rock structure.
“Huh, could this be it?” Sonic pondered, putting his hand inside to grab it.
Sure enough, it was. Sonic now had the Green colored Chaos Emerald in his possession.
“Well, that was easy.” He commented, slowly adding with a frown, “A little too easy now that I think about it…”
Tails soon entered in the cave as well, saying with an arrogant smirk, “See, I told you it was here.”
”Yea, yea, so you did…” After a brief pause, the blue hedgehog inquired after some deep thought, “Hey, Tails, I’m curious about something… just how did you escape Robuttnik’s forces all by yourself anyway? No way would he actually let you go if he had the chance to take you prisoner.”
“Funny you should ask that, Sonic.” Tails replied icily, now walking up behind him. “But I shall be glad to show you how I was able to pull that off.”
That comment ironically left Sonic with a chill up his spine, as he soon looked back at the two tailed fox, asking with unease, “Uh, why are you looking at me like that, lil bro?”
Chapter 3: The Chaos Emerald hunt
Meanwhile back at Knothole an hour later, Sally was now pacing around her hut, feeling very anxious inside. She soon let out a heavy sigh of concern, saying, “Where is that blue hedgehog? He was supposed to be back over an hour ago!”
Bunnie, who happened to be inside with her, replied to try and calm her down, “Relax, Sally girl. I’m sure Sonic is fine. He probably found something important and went to check it out. You know how he likes to explore around Mobius.”
”But why didn’t he at least tell us about it?” Sally countered. “If he did find something important like a Chaos Emerald, he should have informed at least me. I’m the leader of this team.”
“He’ll be back soon.” Bunnie said with a smile. “Trust me. Have some faith in him.”
Sally sadly didn’t have much, especially knowing how reckless and irresponsible Sonic could be at times. She then commented after a long pause with arched eyebrows, “Speaking of being late, Tails is too. He was merely going to give his Tornado 2 a standard flight run today. Something is definitely not right about all of this”
“Sally, sometimes things happen.” The cyborg rabbit told her. “Besides, they’re only a little late. Give them at least another half hour before worrying yourself sick about it.”
Realizing her best friend had a point, the squirrel Princess finally settled down, answering with another sigh, “Very well then… I should check on how our new recruits are doing anyway. They’ve only been a few days.”
”Yea, you do that, Sally girl.” Bunnie said with a giggle. “Get your mind off of it for now.”
Sally quickly nodded her head and walked out, looking for them. Their new recruits were none other than Sparkle Fox, a fiery tomboy Princess with super sonic speed from a neighboring kingdom of Mobius, Aurora Belle Echidna, one who could utilize Chaos powers with relative ease, and Kinetic, an intelligent hedgehog who could craft some brilliant inventions with his hands.
The first one she ran into was none other than Sparkle, who unfortunately was getting her first taste of Antoine’s pathetic attempts at trying to impress her with his arrogant boasting about how strong he was as a Freedom Fighter.
“It is really true.” He said, trying to pour on the charm. “I have time and time again played a big part in zee war against that tub of lard Robotnik.”
“Do tell…” she replied, clearly annoyed at this.
Antoine sadly did just that, as he went into great detail about the time he helped Sonic defeat Robotnik, even how he helped save Princess Sally from being crushed by one of his machines during a sneak attack. It was all Sparkle could do to keep from sticking a finger in her throat and gagging.
”You know, as good as those accomplishment are, Antoine.” She told him bluntly with a frown, “No girl likes a braggart.”
“Oh, non, non, I am not bragging at all, my dear.” He countered with a warm smile. “I am merely explaining that I can be depended upon in the line of fire.” He gently grabbed Sparkle’s right hand soon after saying this, adding softly, “In fact, if you ever get into a pickle, I hope am zee one to save you.”
“Uh, thanks…” she replied, trying to get him to let go of her hand.
Being the hopeless romantic he was however, Antoine passionately kissed her right hand before she could, deeply angering her in response. She then wrenched it away with force, saying in a loud tone of voice while placing her hands at her waist, “Ugh! Don’t you ever do that to me again, Romeo!”
“What? I do not understand.” The French coyote said a bit offended. “I was merely being a gentleman to you.”
”Well, I don’t want any of that from you, ok?” the blue princess fox reiterated. “I am taken, so do me a personal favor… go get your own girl and do that to her instead.”
Before Antoine could even respond to her sharp words, Sally could not hold in her giggling any longer, as she soon let out a loud one in front of them. This no doubt led to a mixed reaction, with Antoine feeling deeply embarrassed, and Sparkle shaking her head annoyed.
”Ok, Antoine, I think you better get back to your post now.” Sally told him. “I need to talk with Sparkle personally anyway.”
“As you wish, my Princess.” The French coyote answered a formal salute. “I shall not let you down.”
However, as he walked away, he could not help but shoot a dirty look to Sparkle, trying to show with his body language he was too good for her. Sparkle on the other hand didn’t pay any attention to it, where she instead looked at Sally while letting out a frustrated groan, inquiring, “Sheesh, is he always like that?”
“Unfortunately yes.” The squirrel Princess answered solemnly. “He thinks he’s some hot shot ladies man and has to prove to us just how attractive he is.”
“He’s more like a Class A dork if you ask me.” Sparkle muttered with a frown.
Sally could not help but giggle again at that statement, which in turn annoyed the blue princess fox even more than before. Sally eventually cleared her throat, now saying in a serious tone of voice, “So, anyway, how are you doing? You and your comrades enjoying Knothole?”
”Other than Antoine’s antics, I like it here a lot.” Sparkle replied with a faint smile. “It’s really a nice place to live. Even the residents here are nice too.”
“I’m glad to hear that.” Sally stated with a smile of her own. “You guys have definitely been a welcomed addition to our team.”
By this point, Sparkle could not help but smile big at her words. She then asked a bit of an odd question, “So, um, do you think it’s a bit weird I have super sonic speed like the blue dude?”
“Not at all.” Sally answered. “If anything, it helps our war efforts because now Robotnik has to account for two instead of one.”
“Yea, that is true…” Sparkle couldn’t help but flash a grin soon after, commenting, “You know, maybe I ought to race that guy sometime when things settle down. I’d love to beat him in a match.”
“Oh, how I’d love to see you do that.” Sally said, giggling loudly a second time. “I can already see his face now.”
The two of them now giggled together in unison, as not even Sparkle could resist enjoying such a thought.
”Speaking of Sonic, where is he?” Sparkle inquired with a look of concern. “I thought he was supposed to be back by now.”
“Yea, he should be… him and Tails both…” Sally commented, showing the same concern on her face. She than looked at the blue princess fox intently, asking, “Listen, I hate to ask this of you, but could you go look for them for me? I’m really getting worried now.”
“Sure thing, Sally.” Sparkle nodded. “I want them here back safely as much as you do, so just leave it to me. It shouldn’t hopefully take too long with my speed.”
Sparkle however could not even set her feet to take off, as Sonic finally showed up, now running towards them.
“Hey, ladies, sorry I’m late.” He greeted with a wave, now standing nearby. “I had some personal business to take care of.”
“And what kind of business was that exactly?” the squirrel princess demanded, placing her hands at her waist. “Do you have any idea how late you are?”
“Relax, Sal, it was very important.” Sonic replied with a smirk, blowing off her concerns. “Just look what I found.”
It was then he pulled out a green colored Chaos Emerald, making both gals gasp in disbelief.
”Sonic, where did you find this?” Sally inquired, now holding it in her hands.
“Oh, it was in a jungle with a bunch of busted rocks and such.”
”You mean the Mystic Ruins?” Sparkle asked him, now deeply intrigued herself.
“The one and only, babe.” The blue hedgehog answered with a sly wink.
“Don’t call me that.” She told him bluntly with a full blown frown.
“Ah, you’re no fun at all.” Sonic retorted nonchalantly.
Before Sparkle could respond to that, Sally asked him, “Sonic, have you seen Tails by the way? He’s very late.”
“No, I haven’t.” Sonic answered calmly. “But, I’m sure he’ll turn up eventually.”
“Well, I rather you go look for him.” Sally replied, feeling a bit perplexed by his response. “I don’t have a good feeling about this.”
“Oh, all right, if you insist…” Sonic shrugged.
Ironically though, like Sparkle, he didn’t even have to bother. Seconds later, Tails finally showed up as well, but unlike Sonic earlier, he was deeply frantic.
“Sonic, Aunt Sally!” he cried out. “Come quick!”
”What’s wrong, Tails?” She asked him with deep concern.
“Robotnik's machines stole the Chaos Emerald from my Tornado 2!”
This led to everyone nearby except one shouting in shock, “WHAT?!”
Sally quickly ran up to him, asking, “How did he even know it was in there? That was supposed to be top secret.”
“He must have some special radar for the Emeralds now.” The two tailed fox.
“Oh come on…” Sonic commented with a frown. “You honestly don’t believe Robuttnik is capable of something that mondo big, do you?”
“Sonic, I saw it with my own eyes!” Tails shot back, angry at his response. “His metal Sonic robot swooped down while I repairing my plane and snatched it from the engine compartment. It even did it right in front of me.”
“Wait, it did that right in front of you?” Sparkle inquired, now furrowing her brow “Something about this doesn’t sit well with me.”
Sonic surprisingly sneered at this, retorting, “I think more likely my little bro here is trying to cover up for the fact he lost the Emerald due to his carelessness and blame it on Robuttnik.”
This statement soon made Tails’ eyes well up with tears, as he was crushed by what he was hearing.
”Sonic, shame on you!” Sally scolded with a heavy frown. “You really think he would lie about that? You know Tails is one of the most honest people of us all.”
”Come on, Sal.” The blue hedgehog shot back. “If Robuttnik did send his metal faker to steal his Emerald, don’t you think he would have captured T2 as well?”
That argument no doubt left Sally without much of a rebuttal, as she had to admit that was something Robotnik would no doubt have done.
”I’m not lying about it!” Tails yelled, still deeply upset inside. “Robotnik even left a note on my plane!”
”Wait, he left a note…?”
”Yes, he did, Sparkle.” Tails quickly pulled out the note and showed it to them. “Read it for yourself.”
Sally did just that once it was in her possession. It read:
Hello, Freedom Fighters...
I’m leaving this note to let you know I’m having my Metal Sonic robot search around to find the rest of the Chaos Emeralds not currently in your possession. And once he has found them, I’m going to launch an all out attack on your home.
If you think if you have what it takes to stop me, then I strongly suggest you get a move on and find them before Metal Sonic does. It already has three of them and it won’t be much longer before he has the others too.
See you real soon, furballs.
By this point, everyone except for Tails was nearly speechless.
“See?” Tails countered. “I told you he was after them.”
”Indeed you did…” Sally acknowledged with a sigh. “Well, I guess this means only thing… Robotnik is building something big, something that will require a lot of power to operate.”
“Well, in that case, I say we get a move on and smash this mondo machine of his.” Sonic stated psyched up, smacking his fists together.
Sparkle however was furrowing her brow intensely about the note.
“Something wrong, Sparkle?” Sally inquired.
“This note smells… bad.” The blue princess fox commented frowning.
”Well, it is from Robuttnik.” Sonic quipped.
“No, not that.” She replied. “I mean this whole plan of his. It just doesn’t add up. If that slime ball really is after those gems, why would he tell us? You’d think he wouldn’t want us to know what he’s up to until it’s too late.”
Sally couldn’t deny Sparkle made a strong point.
”Eh, maybe he likes to keep things interesting.” Sonic suggested with a shrug. “I mean, he does like to toy with us.”
”Yes, but this to me looks like he’s baiting us into a trap.” Sparkle countered. “We know how crafty that creep is. He wouldn’t just challenge us to find those powerful gems before he does.”
“No, he wouldn’t…” the squirrel princess admitted, now in deep thought. “Still, we cannot just sit back and ignore this. If Robotnik really is after the Emeralds, we must take action ASAP. At the very least, we need to investigate about this powerful machine he boasted about in the note.”
Sparkle finally relented once she heard that, saying with a sigh and a roll of the eyes, “Oh, very well then… I suppose we should check this out, but let’s not be reckless about it. No telling what Julian has in store for us.”
“Ah, c’mon, babe,” Sonic quipped with a smirk, “What’s a little hunt without some action and danger?”
”Sonic, I told you not to call me that!” the blue princess fox interjected, now losing her patience with this pet name.
“What? It’s a compliment.” He said with arched eyebrows. “Sheesh, you should be flattered.”
”I only like those compliments from my boyfriend, ok?” Sparkle shot back, crossing her arms together. “If you want to call someone that pet name, do it to Sally since she’s obviously your girl.”
Sally instantly blushed at her words, turning several shades of red, as this was something she didn’t like to talk about openly. Sparkle then added with a sad sigh while looking at the ground, “Man, I sure wish Wind was here. Why did he have to pick this week to go visit his family?”
“Well, perhaps it’s best he isn’t.” Sally commented, now composing herself. “After all, we have a job to do now, do we not?”
”Yea, I know…” the blue princess fox replied solemnly. “Still, I sure do miss that guy.”
Just then, Bunnie and Aurora came walking by, with the cyborg rabbit asking, “Hey, ya’ll, what’s going on?”
“Oh, just Robuttnik up to his usual antics again.” Sonic answered with another smirk.
“I see… so what are we standing around for?” Aurora inquired. “Shouldn’t we be preparing to head out?”
“I’m afraid it’s not that simple.” Sally explained. “Robotnik is after the Chaos Emeralds. He’s planning to use them to destroy our home. So, we’re going to need some personal transportation to help us find them quickly before he does.”
“Yea, and my Tornado 2 is useless without a Chaos Emerald.” Tails added with a sigh. “I don’t know what we’re going to do.”
”Wait, did you say your plane needed a Chaos Emerald to run?” Sonic asked.
”Because I just managed to snag one not too long ago.” He answered, now showing it to his lil bro.
“Of course!” Sally said, slapping her forehead. “I almost forgot about Sonic bringing one back after getting Robotnik’s note. She then told him, “Sonic, go with Tails right away and find out where the Tornado 2 currently is. If that plane really is still in one piece, it should be good to go for us to begin the hunt.”
“Can do, Sal.” The blue hedgehog replied with a thumbs up.
However, before he could take another step, Aurora quickly frowned once she got a closer look at the Emerald.
“You ok, Sugar?” Bunnie asked, confused by her expression.
“There is something not right about this gem.” She stated bluntly.
”What do you mean?” Sparkle inquired.
”I mean, it’s giving off a different kind of energy than the one I’m used to absorbing.” Aurora explained.
“Does it really matter?” Sonic asked, arching his eyebrows. “I mean, a Chaos Emerald is a Chaos Emerald.”
“Sonic, you don’t understand.” The female echidna argued. “I think that Chaos Emerald you got here might be a fake.”
”A FAKE?” Nearly everyone said this in unison.
”Oh, come on, that’s ridiculous!” the blue hedgehog shot back. “We only know there are seven in existence. You can’t just create another gem like this.”
“True, you can’t.” Aurora replied. “But it is possible to make a counterfeit one.”
Sally was now torn inside, as she didn’t know what to think.
”Look, we don’t have a lot of options.” Sonic told Aurora. “Robuttnik’s planning on swiping the rest and using them against us. This gem I found here can help power T2’s plane, so I say we use it and quit wasting time.”
”It’s too risky.” Aurora argued again.
“Oh, for Pete sake, I don’t have time for this.” Sonic said with a frown. He then looked at Tails and said, “C’mon, lil bro, let’s get going.”
Tails though was very hesitant to do so now, asking, “Are you sure it’s safe to use? Maybe Aurora has a point.”
“She’s just being paranoid.” Sonic explained with a warm smile, reaching his hand out to him. “Trust me, lil bro. I wouldn’t have you do something if I thought it was unsafe.”
In spite of his cutting words earlier, Tails did feel he could still trust Sonic to know what’s best for him. And so, he grabbed his hand and got into Sonic’s backpack, with the blue hedgehog blasting off within seconds.
“I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.” Aurora commented.
“Sadly, I do too…” Sparkle chimed in with a look of concern, looking at her friend. “I know you wouldn’t make something like this up, with you hating liars and all.”
”Well, they should at least test the Emerald to find out.” Sally said, trying to be optimistic. “I mean, if that Emerald is a fake like you said, Aurora, it shouldn’t work at all for a plane.”
”Yes, but counterfeits can be deceiving…” the white echidna explained. “For all we know, it might just work temporarily.”
”Well, we don’t have time to stand around and worry about it now.” The squirrel princess replied. “Let’s prepare to move out right away and stop Robotnik at all costs.”
”Right.” Sparkle nodded. And with that, the four of them set out in different directions, getting their combat gear ready to go.
Sparkle quickly revved up her legs and headed for Rotor’s workshop, looking for him and Kinetic.
”Guys, we got a big mission to take care of now.” She announced after coming to a stop inside. “I’ll need some weapons from you on the double.”
“Sure thing, Sparkle.” Kinetic nodded. “Just tell us what you need.”
The blue princess fox did just that, as she soon was given two EMP grenades and a pipe bomb.
“Never hurts to be prepared.” She stated, putting them in her pockets.
“So, what is this mission exactly?” Rotor inquired curiously.
”Robotnik apparently is after the Chaos Emeralds to power some new machine of his, even daring us to find them before does.” Sparkle explained.
”He said that?” Rotor quickly furrowed his brow, commenting, “That sounds very suspicious if you ask me.”
”I know. That’s what I thought too.” Sparkle reiterated. “But like Sally said, we cannot ignore this either, especially if Robotnik really is up to no good.”
“Well, do what you gotta do.” The purple walrus replied. “If you need anything else for the mission, let us know. We’ll do all we can to assist the team.”
“Thanks, but this should do.” She said with a faint smile. “You guys hold down the fort in the meantime, ok?”
After Rotor nodded at her words, the blue princess fox was about to blast off, when Kinetic stopped her, shouting, “Wait a second!”
”What is it?” Sparkle asked him.
Kinetic handed her what looked like a handle of a busted sword, saying, “Here, take this.”
”What for?” She inquired deeply puzzled.
“It’s a new invention of mine.” Kinetic explained, pressing the button on the handle to reveal its blade. “I’d like you to try it out to see if it’ll help you on your mission. It’s a nanotech sword I dubbed the Cyber Blade. It’s an extremely sharp and can cut through just about anything.”
“Oh wow… thanks.” Sparkle now could not help but feel a bit psyched up inside.
“Well, good luck to you, my friend.” Kinetic said to her with a faint smile.
”Thanks, Kinetic.” She replied back with the same smile, putting the weapon in her right pocket. “Take care.”
And with that, Sparkle revved up her legs and blasted, heading for the exit of Knothole to prepare to leave.
Once there, she saw Aurora nearby, as she was ready to head off too.
“Wow, you already beat me here.” Sparkle commented. “I’m impressed.”
”Well, I don’t use standard weapons like the rest of you.” the white echidna remarked.
”Yea, that is true…” It was then Sparkle asked her close friend, “So, are you absolutely sure that Chaos Emerald is a fake?”
”Well, I admit I’m not 100% sure about it since I’m not a master of the pure Chaos energy, but from what I can sense, it felt off, very off if you know what I mean.”
Sparkle knew from her personal experiences with Aurora that she wouldn’t make something like that up. Nevertheless, she couldn’t help but wonder how a counterfeit gem could look so authentic.
Ten seconds later, while she continued to ponder this over, the Tornado 2 then screamed overhead, as Tails managed to fly it back with Sonic in tow.
”Hey, you all, we’re back!” the two tailed fox announced loudly with a big smile on his face.
”What in the…? They got it back here already?” Sparkle was nearly speechless by this to say the least. Aurora was even more.
Tails then quickly landed the plan near the team, saying psyched up, “Wow, that gem worked great, Sonic! My Tornado 2 never ran smoother.”
”See, I told you it was legit, lil bro.” The blue hedgehog remarked grinning.
"Before Sparkle or Aurora could say a word about it, Sally and Bunnie finally showed up on the scene as well, as they too were nearly speechless about this. Sally was now changed into her newly built combat attire she wore on the missions, colored dark blue, with black and white stripes on the sleeves.
“Oh mah stars!” Bunnie exclaimed in disbelief. “Would you look at that? They sure got that plane back here in a hurry.”
”They sure did.” Sally added with the same expression on her face. “That’s got to be a new speed record.”
“Well, I think this proves that the Chaos Emerald I found is not counterfeit.” Sonic bragged to the others. “So, shall we get moving, everyone?”
”Hold on a second, Sonic…” Aurora interrupted.
”Oh, what is it now?” he asked, shooting her an out of patience look.
”This doesn’t prove anything.” The white echidna stated. “As I said earlier, the energy from that gem does not feel right to me, so I don’t think we should use it on our mission.”
”Are you insane?” Sonic demanded, nearly snapping at her. “This gem is perfectly safe. If anything, Tails plane ran even better with it.”
”Then that proves that gem is not authentic.” Aurora countered, crossing her arms together. “All Chaos Emeralds have the same amount of power. Not one of them has more than another.”
“Would you stop with all of this mumbo jumbo already?” Sonic barked. “There is no time for a debate. If we don’t get a move on now, Robotnik will destroy our home. Is that what you want?”
Before Aurora could argue back, Sally finally spoke up, saying with a heavy sigh “I hate to admit it, but Sonic is right in this case. We have to get going in order to save Knothole.”
“But it’s too risky.” Aurora countered. “It might get us into deeper trouble.”
”It’s a risk we’re going to have to take.” The squirrel princess replied with firm resolve. “I cannot and will not let Robotnik destroy our home.”
”But, but, but…” By this point, Aurora finally gave it up, saying with a frustrated groan “Oh, FINE! But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“Ok then, let’s juice and cut it loose, guys!” Sonic responded, pumping his fists.
And with that, most of the team began to board the plane, with Sally and Bunnie sitting in the back and Aurora sitting in seat behind Tails.
”You got your gear for the mission?” the two tailed fox asked them.
”10-4, Tails.” Sally answered nodded, patting her pockets.
"Same here, Sugar.” Bunnie chimed in, flexing her robotic arm with her specially built laser cannon by Rotor. “Let’s go get that nasty Robotnik!”
“Ok, hang on, ladies. I’m taking off now.”
While that was going on, Sonic and Sparkle would follow them on the ground with their super sonic speed.
”Well, I guess you and me will be keeping watch from below then.” Sonic commented to the blue princess fox with a sly grin.
”Yep.” she replied with a solemn nod.
Sonic then got into position to take off, saying to Sparkle with another grin, “I sure hope you’ll be able to keep up with me, doll, because I’m gonna be jetting from here on out.”
”Sonic, I swear if you call me one more pet name,” she told him firmly with a heavy frown, “I will slap you… hard.”
”Sheesh, always the serious one…” he quipped, chuckling at her threat. “But, I suppose that’s what makes you fun to banter with.”
Sparkle this time decided to ignore his words, saying with another nod, “After you, blue dude.”
Sonic didn’t have to be told twice, as he revved up his legs blasted off, with Sparkle quickly following suit. Tails meanwhile took off as well, following closely from behind in the air thanks to the extra power from the Chaos Emerald Sonic found.
Meanwhile, in Robotnik’s lair, Julian was keeping a close eye on the Freedom Fighters via his spy bots. Once he saw they were officially on the hunt for the Emeralds, he said in a vile chortle, “Excellent… they’re falling right into my trap as planned. At this rate, I’ll soon have those filthy Mobians right where I want them.”
Even Snively had to admit this plan was going better than expected.
”Sir, do you think one of them will figure out the red herring you planted?” he asked.
”Perhaps…” Robotnik answered nonchalantly. “but it won’t matter in the long run. And besides, even if they do, they’ll never see coming the REAL red herring of my operation. It will too little, too late by that point.”
And with that statement, Julian began to laugh heartily.