“I KNEW I couldn't trust you! Dropping out of the sky, injuring Sonic, leading him to Robotropolis...you somehow roboticized him!” Sally glared at Shadow. “You probably even are leading the combots here!”
Shadow's own anger was starting to rise. “Now wait just a damn minute, Princess, I did no such damn thing!”
“HEY!” Sonic shouted, drawing the two's attention. “We don't have time for this, those combots are gonna be here any minute!”
“And you could turn on us any minute,” Sally pointed out. “I can't risk you attacking us again like last time.”
“I'm not going to turn, I can promise that!” Sonic protested. “I can fight the combots!”
“I can't believe you Sonic, you could be programmed to lie to me.” She turned to the others. “Rotor, you know that device you been working on in these kinds of emergencies?”
Rotor paled a bit at the mention. “The...the EMP Cannon?”
She nodded. “...go get it. We're going to need it.”
Absolute chaos erupted in that moment as those with technology background knowledge were immediately appalled at what Sally was suggesting.
“EMP? As in Electro Magnetic Pulse? That thing that can shut down machines and wipe out programming?” Shadow asked rather angrily.
“Sally, that could kill him!” Chuck spoke with fear.
“You CAN'T DO THIS, Aunt Sally!” Tails protested.
“Sally, I don't even know if the cannon works! It could still backfire!” Rotor responded. “I can't use it!”
“QUIET!” Sally screamed, to shut everyone up. She looked at them, frowning. “Sonic is DANGEROUS now. Did you all forget what happened the LAST time Sonic was roboticized?”
The argument was interrupted by the sounds of crashing, the Great Slide shattering and leaving a gaping hole, as combots invaded the village. Chaos ensured as freedom fighters either ran or tried to fight back, with combots shooting at and grabbing them.
One combot went over and began to form a cage made of pure energy, tossing the first of freedom fighters within.
“We got to stop this, now!” Sally yelled out. “Take them out!”
“On it, Sal!” Sonic called out, warming up and aiming his laser towards a few combots.
Suddenly Shadow looked up, before calling out in warning. “Sonic, watch out!” he tackled the robot hedgehog, narrowly missing being hit by a laser blast. Sonic and Shadow looked up to see the commanding combot approaching them, laser aimed at them.
Sally ran over to check on them as the commander spoke. “Well well, I see we have a deserter in our midst.”
“Who are you?” Shadow demanded.
The commander scanned him for a moment in thought. “I don't have you in our database, so I'll believe for the moment that you really don't know who I am. I am Commander Cor, and I'm in charge of all offensive officers in the robotic army. Combots, SWATbots...even former recruits like Mecha Sonic...”
“I don't remember you,” Sonic said, as he stood up, his laser aimed at the combot in defense. “But that's because time outside Knothole has changed.”
“Your memories are in error then. Where are the children?! You couldn't of moved them all out of here without notice.”
Sally stared. “Ch-children?!”
“They think this place is someplace called Sanctuary. Hate to break it to you, Commander, but this isn't the place you were looking for,” Sonic responded, glaring at the combot.
“Explain yourself, recruit!” Cor demanded.
“Time has changed, Commander,” Shadow spoke up. “Between recent events in our timeline, its created a change. This place, Knothole? It's in a protected time bubble. Time around it changed. We must of entered your timeline, replacing the area you call Sanctuary.”
Cor, still keeping his laser aimed at them, took the time to scan the area. “I cannot confirm your story...but neither can I deny it. But tell me something...” He looked at Sonic. “How were you roboticized? I have no record of your re-enlistment.”
“Complicated,” Shadow answered for him. “It's not important-”
There was a sudden explosion, followed by yelping as nearby, Rotor fell back, a smoldering mass of metal near where he WAS standing. Cor looked over. “What was that?!”
Suddenly Cor had a laser blast him in the shoulder that stored his laser, damaging him greatly as Sonic held his smoking laser arm. Knowing the next shot could trash him, he quickly drew a kick to Sonic to knock him away and take off before Sonic could shoot him. Shadow ran over to help Sonic. “I got you!”
“Don't worry about me, stop him!”
Shadow nodded and started to stand up, only to jump back down as another combot came over to attack. “Maybe not.” He pulled Sonic to the side to avoid another shot, inadvertently rolling the roboticized hedgehog on top of him. Sonic quickly raised his arm and aimed to shoot down the attacking robot.
Shadow groaned. Good thing he was strong, Sonic was really heavy as a robot. He looked up, catching Sonic's eyes for a moment. Before either had a chance to react, Sonic, felt hands tugging at him from above to pull him off Shadow. He used his own power to get off the black hedgehog, looking to Sally, who was the one to help Sonic off. The robot hedgehog looked at her. “Do you believe me now?”
“GET DOWN”! Shadow yelled, and Sonic grabbed Sally to duck, narrowly missing another laser blast from a combot approaching. Sonic fired at it, destroying it.
“I'm starting to...” Sally admitted begrudgingly as they got back up.
Sonic looked around. “Cor's trying to distract us while he escapes. We're gonna have more combots attacking us any second.”
“Sally!” Rotor called, running towards them. He was still sooty from where the explosion occurred. “Sorry, I tried to use the weapon, but as I thought, it wasn't ready.”
“It's okay Rotor. I probably asked too much for that,” she responded as Shadow got up. “Sonic, we need to destroy the remaining combots. We'll worry about Cor later. We also need to get the others freed of the energy cages.”
“I can help free the others,” Shadow spoke up.
Sally looked at Shadow warily, still not trusting him, but realized she could not afford to deal with more problems than they already had. “...fine, see what you can do.”
Shadow nodded and looked to Rotor. “You, let's go find Tails and find a way to disable to cages.”
Sonic looked to Sally. “Thank you...”
“Just go, you can thank me later!”
He nodded and took off to the sky, using his thrusters.
Left and right, Sonic was able to target and shoot down combots, helping those who were cornered and close to being captured.
Not too far away, Bunnie and Antoine were being surrounded by combots, with the coyote cowering and the half robot rabbit aiming her pulse blaster to try and ward them away. She would shoot one, only to duck being shot and turning on another.
Suddenly Sonic landed beside her and immediately shot one that nearly enclosed on her. “You guys look like you could use extra firepower.”
“I more than welcome it, sugar!” Bunnie responded with a grin. “Let's show these tin cans not to mess with Freedom Fighters that have big guns!”
On the other side of the compound, Shadow, Rotor and Tails were ducked behind a building corner, watching as the one combot was forming more energy cages for captured freedom fighters. Shadow whispered. “It looks like its only one combot doing this. If I had more ammo for my gun, I could take it out.”
Rotor whispered. “I know how you feel, I don't even have an experimental gun to fire.”
Tails continued to watch the combot. “Where's the power for the cages coming from? If we can disable it, that should make the cages go away.”
Shadow scanned the area for a bit. “I don't see any kind of generator...”
“Wait, look at the combot,” Rotor pointed out. Sure enough, there seemed to be a large, bulky attachment attached to the backside like a backpack.
“That's our target then. I'll distract it. Tails, while I have its attention, you fly up and disable toe generator on its back. Rotor, you help get the freed fighters to safety,” Shadow said, standing up.
“Got it,” Tails nodded.
“Ready when you are,” Rotor added.
Shadow nodded and surged forth, yelling. “Hey, over here!”
The combot turned, spotting the black hedgehog waving his arms, and began to move after him. Aiming its arm, it began to shoot an energy net at Shadow, who merely dodged. “Too slow!”
Tails, using his two tails, began to fly up and sneak behind the robot. When he found an opening, he landed on his back, holding on tightly. The combot realized something was on it, and was trying to throw the fox off. “Whoooa!”
Shadow stopped and tried to draw the combot's attention. “Hang in there, Tails!”
“I'm trying!” Tails yelled as he reached for the generator panel.
Shadow shifted his position, trying to get closer to the combot and tempt it to try and grab him. For a moment, it worked as the combot stopped trying to buck Tails off long enough to grab Shadow with its large hand. Focused on wanting to cage the hedgehog, it began to move towards an energy cage where others were, before it suddenly stopped. Not only did it suddenly fall over, but the energy cages disappeared, and Shadow was released from its grip.
The collapsed combot had wires ripped from its generator backpack, Tails hovering over it with a grin. “Too easy!”
“I'll say,” Shadow nodded, watching as Rotor was helping the others get out of the area. He looked back to Tails. “Let's go check on Sonic and the others.”
“No need,” Sonic called from above, landing before the two as the others approached from behind. “We're just mopping up what's left of the combots now.”
Shadow nodded. “Sorry I couldn't of been much help. If I only had more ammo...”
Sonic waved him off. “It's okay, you helped freed the others, that's help enough. Besides-” he looked behind to Bunnie. “We had more than enough firepower.”
“We sure did, sugar! We blasted those bots right out of Knothole!” Bunnie cheered, along with the others who clapped.
“Now we need to build up the defenses of Knothole. That commander's gonna bring back reinforcements,” Sally said, approaching.
“Not if I stop them first,” Sonic said, looking at her.
Sally looked at Sonic, not sure if this was such a good idea. “Sonic-”
“Sally, I can do this. I got the firepower, speed AND strength now. I can wipe what's left of Snively's robot army and you will still be able to send the excursion team into the city,” Sonic tried to reason.
“I don't like the idea of you doing this alone!” Sally protested.
“He won't have to be alone.”
Sally and Sonic turned, looking at Shadow who spoke up. He looked at them. “Get me some guns and ammo, and I'll show you what I can really do.”