Sonic GeneX - Infinite Crisis
Part 1 - A World Without Sonic
Sonic Forces & all related characters, scenarios and elements are (c) SEGA and Sonic Team.
GeneX and related characters belong to 2BIT.
"When everything you know has come and gone,
(You are at your lowest, I am rising higher)
Only scars remain of who I was,
(What I find in the ashes, you lose in the fire!)
When there's no one left to carry on,
(This is an illusion, open up your eyes and...)
This pain (persists), I can't (resist),
But that's what it takes to be Infinite." - Theme of Infinite, Sonic Forces
PREVIOUSLY ON SONIC THE HEDGEHOG AND SONIC GENEX...
(Sonic 5x5-Dimensional Clash & Sonic Mania)
The evil Dr. Eggman has been scheming for a year or longer. After events that took both he and Sonic across the multiverse, Eggman began researching a power known as robotisization, introduced to him by his counterparts from other worlds. A more sinister method of turning flesh into robotics than what he'd been doing, Eggman saw great potential in this. Soon, however, a greater power came to him... and this is where our story begins.
(Sonic GeneX:the Series-Season 3 & Sonic Forces Episode Shadow)
While Eggman performed tests on his new power and perfected the robotisization process, Sonic hunted for his missing Uncle Chuck, discovered to be an early victim of robotisization. To keep Sonic placated, Eggman restored Chuck's free will once Sonic found him, letting the hedgehog believe he'd scored a victory. Meanwhile, the Tournament of Chaos took place, an event where Illusi the Shrew sought to test the worthiness of those seeking to claim the Chaos Relics. Upon losing the tourney, Copter vanished, and Shadow joined Rouge and Omega in working for GUN's recently established Strike Force in order to work through is own frustrations. In time, the Strike Force went missing as well... Some sensed impending danger, and the heiress of AcornCorp, Sally Acorn, began gathering allies to combat the coming of Eggman's robotisizer. Silver came back after a visit to his own time to warn Knuckles of impending danger as well.
We now join the story, one month before the disappearance of Shadow and the Strike Force...
"I'm ready now..." an impatient voice chastised from behind a mask. Dr. Eggman sat in his Egg Mobile, tracking a signal. "Let's not rush into things. I mean, I'm brilliant, so I'm sure you are ready. But before you rush after your revenge or my revenge, let's just deal in practicalities. Today's target could be a real danger to me-- us... if you aren't able to defeat him." he stated. A signal was picked up, and the pair headed into Emerald Coast in search of it. Their target soon came into view: Kosmo the morph, relaxing in a quiet area of the beach. The masked one scoffed. "He looks pathetic. But if he frightens you, I will remove his head from his body..." Kosmo sat up as a shadow blocked his sun. "What are you supposed to be? Hooded dudes graduate to masks now?" he mumbled. "I am your reckoning. Say good-bye..." the masked one stated. Kosmo morphed wings to his back and flew up to meet the floating figure, but with a flick of the masked one's hand, a strange energy erupted from him, and flung Kosmo backward! "Ugh!! What was that? Huh??" Before Kosmo could think about it, his opponent had sped over to him, and began to move around him at a fast pace, beating him mercilessly! Grunting, Kosmo growled and morphed himself into dragon form! A distance away, someone was witnessing the battle. It was Punchy the Echidna, and though he was much too far to see the masked one, he could see Kosmo in pain. "I'll have to disagree with Rainbow on this being a good honeymoon spot... After I check this out." he said, leaning down to...take his shoes off? Meanwhile, Kosmo tumbled into the sand, grunting as he reverted back to his normal form. "Ha ha! Yes, you ARE ready!!" Eggman cackled, "Now, finish him!" The masked one looked prepared to do just that, but a green streak suddenly whizzed by and carried Kosmo off! "Huh? ...Oh, whatever. Sonic's next on MY list..." Eggman mumbled. The masked one adjusted his mask. "Shadow's next on mine..." he mused. Punchy set down Kosmo a good distance away, where the morph could see the Chaos Boots sparkling on his feet. "Ughh... I guess I owe you one..." he grumbled. Punchy scratched his head. "What WAS that?" he asked. "...Nothing good..." Kosmo groaned, clasping his chest.
Two months later...
"SONIC!!" Tails had just witnessed the unthinkable. The masked one, joined by Chaos, Zavok, Metal Sonic and Shadow, had savagely beaten Sonic into a sound defeat, while the fox had utterly failed to analyze the strange energy coming from the masked one. In spite of the odds, Tails couldn't let Sonic die. He had one trump card left, though he never wished to use it. He grabbed his Chaos Tailbands and thrust them onto his twin tails, his body glowing with the power! "Oho! Look at this! Tails has the Tailbands of Chaos! Remember when I cared about those things Shadow? Metal Sonic?" Eggman chuckled from his Egg Mobile, "But can you properly use them, fox boy? Too bad you won't get the chance to show us. Break him, boys!" the doctor ordered. As Tails rushed in to try to fight, things spiraled out of control quickly, with each combatant overwhelming him, and the masked one brutally smashing him into nearby structures as Tails struggled to trigger the full power of the tailbands. It was over in an instant, and Tails lay in a heap, still conscious, as the masked one hovered over him. Eggman stroked his mustache. "Well, might as well end him. Don't need him hanging around..." he stated. As the masked one raised a hand to do this, a rain of hail stopped him! Out of nowhere, the Doomsayer stood between Tails and Eggman's forces. "My prophecy states... That a twin-tailed fox's demise will signal the end times. This is not yet that time. Not quite." he announced. Eggman growled. "You don't tell me when my enemy dies! Get him!" he growled. The masked one fired a rapid beam straight at the Doomsayer, but he swiftly sidestepped it. The masked one growled and then dashed to the Doomsayer, attempting physical combat, but despite his speed, the Doomsayer dodged and weaved away from each strike. "You cannot fight fate. Begone!" the Doomsayer boomed, blowing the masked one back with a powerful gust of wind! Metal Sonic lifted up Sonic and began to carry him as Eggman scowled in frustration. "Twice now, your judgement has been stopped! We need to power you up after all, it seems... We need your power to be... infinite!!" he proclaimed. The masked one nodded. "No one will stop me ever again... So don't get in my way after this..." he warned, following the doctor. The Doomsayer looked to Tails. He was shivering. "S-save Sonic... You have to..." he pleaded. "...No." the Doomsayer stated, vanishing in a sudden hailstorm just as he'd appeared.
In the months that followed Sonic's defeat, Eggman began to rapidly conquer the world. Naturally, early in Eggman's invasion, the world's armies offered resistance, but the doctor had somehow attained superior numbers...and with his powerful agents lead by the masked one, the defeat of even GUN seemed inevitable. As a Death Egg Robot menaced the ocean offshore of Station Square, Knuckles the echidna and Silver the hedgehog gathered a group of friends hoping to rally them. "Everyone! I know Eggman's gotten crazy strong, and it's looking pretty scary with Sonic missing, and GUN falling apart! But we can't run! If there's no one else to fight, it's up to us!" Knuckles declared. "Why should we listen to you?" Charmy Bee shouted from amidst the crowd. Amy Rose stood up beside Knuckles. "Hey! That's rude! Don't we all remember how Knuckles beat back Despair a while ago? If anyone's qualified to lead us, he is!" she shouted before turning to Knuckles, "...You better be, anyway..." she whispered. Meanwhile, offshore, a biplane was fleeing the Death Egg Robot. Punchy was struggling to pilot it while Rainbow and Gemini held on to the wings for dear life. "Curse that Hoover! We should've known he'd side with Eggman if and when he came back for Darkegg Fortress!" Punchy growled. "Less talking more keeping-from-crashing!!" Gemini babbled. "I hope Two doesn't mind us taking his plane...Wherever he is!" Rainbow whimpered. Two, or Copter, had been missing for months. The Death Egg Robot started to target the biplane directly, when suddenly, a wild purple energy struck the robot, sending it reeling! "How do ya like a dose of Kosmos power!?" Kosmo flew up in gargoyle form, punching the robot in the eye while it was dazed and cracking its sensors. He then flew after the biplane, the Hurricane. "Guess we're even!" Kosmo grinned. "Have you been stalking me for a couple months waiting to do something like that?" Punchy muttered. As the plane skidded to a halt behind Knuckles, the red echidna jumped before clearing his throat loudly. "...What was I saying again?" he babbled.
Meanwhile, Sally Acorn was having a meeting at an AcornCorp office near Spagonia. Her allies were present, including Antoine D'coolette, Bunnie Rabbot, Rotor Walrus and Dulcy the dragon. Two visitors were entering the office: Charles Hedgehog and Dr. Bucky Stein the rat. As they entered, they were engrossed in some scientific discussion until Sally cleared her throat. "Ah, it's good to see ya, Sally!" Chuck said, shaking her hand. Antoine looked at him suspiciously. "Can we be trusting a robot, princess?" he asked. Sally grimaced. She hated the nickname "Princess." Everyone called her that because she was set to inherit the AcornCorp empire from her father. "Chuck has his will...And he works for my father's company. We can trust him. How's global communications coming, Charles?" she asked. Chuck shrugged. "We're callin' but no one's answerin' yet. Without my nephew, people are losin' hope. GUN has fallen, too, it seems." he sighed. "No way... That's horrible!" Dulcy gasped. "Oh, mah stars, what is this world we're livin' in?" Bunnie gasped. Sally shrugged. "We knew it'd be bad... Fortunately one of our technicians has cooked up a little something." she said, turning to Rotor, who was holding an odd gun. "I call it a Wispon. It uses the energy from the Wisps that migrated to our world while Eggman held their world prisoner. I can make different versions...maybe mass-produce them..." he stated. "Do it." Bucky said, looking around grimly, "Spagonia is under attack, Miss Acorn. You and yours need to get out of here, because Eggman's looking for you. I... lost an agent getting this information..." he said with an uncertain look. Zipp the hornet was flitting in the doorway. "Still no word from Crash, B-T-W!" he shouted in, "Think he's dead, boss?" Bucky groaned at Zipp's attitude. "I'll let you all board my ship, Shadow Arcangel. We keep mobile, and we fight back against Eggman as we go." he offered. An explosion rocked the office, making Antoine yelp. "Invading force has arrived, Sally." said Nicole, Sally's computer. "Thanks for that... Looks like we have no choice. Let's go!" Sally said, hurrying everyone out of the room.
Back in Station Square, Knuckles' rallying speech was soon interrupted by Tails. Cream was with him, and she looked quite worried as the fox stomped in front of Knuckles. "What are you doing, Knuckles!? You think just because you showed up at the last minute of the Despair thing, you can take Sonic's place!?" he snapped. Knuckles looked taken aback. "N-no, this isn't about taking Sonic's place, Tails..." he mumbled. "You'll lead these people to die!! You can't... You can't win this war without Sonic!!" he shouted. "That's one man's opinion!" Kosmo retorted. Tails glanced at him. "If I could beat you, but I couldn't... I couldn't..." he couldn't say it, "What chance do you think you have!?" he cried, tears in his eyes. "Tails, try to take it easy..." Cream said, taking his hand. Tails' eyes widened as he felt Cream's hand in his. "You'll die... No... I can't let you die... C-come on, Cream!!" he stammered, pulling her away. "W-where are we going??" she stammered. "Tails, wait!!" Knuckles shouted. Rainbow looked on with concern. "...I'll go talk to him. Poor guy lost his best friend. I can sorta relate..." she said, rushing to follow Tails. "Yeah... Where IS Copter?" Punchy wondered. Knuckles watched as most people gathered to hear his speech started to leave. "W-wait!! Guys! ...Argh, how can I rally the people without Tails? Maybe it is hopeless..." he sighed. Silver patted his back. "It's not hopeless. It's just not. I couldn't be here if it was. I'm from the future...there has to still be a chance at a future for me to exist, right?" he smiled. Knuckles nodded slowly, and smiled as he saw Amy and Team Chaotix still there. "Alright, let's get to safety and start up this Resistance!" he proclaimed. "...What's taking Rainbow?" Punchy wondered. As Rainbow walked after Tails, she quickly found she had lost track of him, and found herself lost. A group of robots started coming her way. "Oh no! One, h-help!!" she cried, backing up. In the next instant...everything went black.
All the chaos and action of Eggman's invasion would seem like a party to the Lost Ones, the ectoplasmic entities bent on devouring all the souls they can take to increase their ranks. However, their de-facto leader, Lospecter, had a new toy to play with that was causing him to miss the whole thing: the Chaos Key that he'd snatched from the Tournament of Chaos. It could open anything; Even the unseen pathways between the dimensions themselves. Lospecter was exploring countless worlds, seeing what was out there...and then one world drew his attention. It was a world he was aiming to create: one where the Lost Ones had complete dominion of the planet. "Now this... Is something..." he said in awe, for once struck speechless by what he was seeing. He searched for his other self; he'd found every world with the Lost Ones had its own Lospecter. Finding him upon a throne in a palace of fire and slime, Lospecter bowed to his apparently superior self. "Nice digs you got here, me!" he said with a chuckle. The other Lospecter looked down at him with initial shock, but then sat back with a smirk. "Want it all for yourself, eh? Jealous much? I'll tell ya, it wasn't easy gettin' here." he grinned. Lospecter Prime nodded, looking up at him with urgency. "I just GOTTA know...what IS your secret?" he asked. The kingly Lospecter snapped his fingers, and in came... Gemini. Her fur was slimy and greenish, and her eyes soulless. A collar around her neck symbolized her servitude. "How may I serve you, my lord?" she said calmly. Lospecter Prime stared at her enviously. "I can't do this particular thing... My little wand witch found an immunity to becoming lost." he said in frustration. The lordly Lospecter tsked with a pitying expression. "Too bad. She's been just, the best minion... But maybe she can help you?" he said, floating over to the soulless Gemini. "Pookie, tell daddy's other self... Gemini's secrets... Her goals, her worries...her weakness..." he grinned. Lospecter Prime floated closer with a grin. "Yesss, do tell..." he chuckled.
"There is no reason to resist. Your savior is no more." The masked one was sure to spread the news of Sonic's defeat as time passed, and he went from city to city, decimating the fledgling resistance. Rotor's prototype Wispons were mass produced quickly, but the masked one's power was simply too much. During an attack on a particular city, Felicia the wolf watched as several animals were cut down by the powerful masked warrior. She was hiding behind cover when she saw a prototype Wispon drop to the floor. She raced toward it, only for the masked one to taunt her. "I can taste your terror, child." he said as she scrambled to pick up the weapon, "All that anxiety and doubt...it's delicious." Felicia trembled as she pointed the weapon at him, but he simply had to fire at her feet to knock her over. "Give in to your fear. Flee, screaming, and I'll let you live." he said, laughing at her. Felicia scrambled to run away, as the masked one watched. "E-every place I flee to... Eggman's forces are there! C-can I really run...forever?" she stammered nervously, "I hope my friends back in Central City... are alright..." she whimpered. The part of her that was Fera seemed to be long gone now... And without the friends she'd made in Central City, all that remained was a scared pup...
Meanwhile, Sally's group, calling themselves the Freedom Fighters now, had set up a moving base within Shadow Arcangel. Being that this was Bucky's ship, they stopped to pick up some of his experiments when a distress signal was sent to them. Punchy, Kosmo and Heather entered the old containment room, now acting as a war room. "Where'sss your wife, Experiment 1?" Vortex asked as Punchy entered. "Not my wife just yet. You're not invited to the wedding, by the way... But finding Rainbow is kinda why I'm here." he said unhappily. Kosmo nodded. "Any of you seen Carrie?" he asked. Experiment 14, Carrie the Mirage, was Kosmo's good friend. "Sorry, she hasn't turned up. No one regrets more than I..." Bucky told him as he looked at war maps, "She's not the only one, either. The little family I've built is torn apart..." he added. "We could really use you guys in our corner. Eggman's not an easy enemy to crack." Sally told the trio. Heather shook her head. "I'm... done being peoples' weapon. First Mephiles, then Despair, then Battle Lord Kukku. I just want asylum here." she said. "All of that was a darlin' like y'all? I don't believe it." Bunnie said in surprise as she stood beside Sally. The chipmunk crossed her arms. "It's not really a matter of if, but when you're left no choice but to fight, you know. When that time comes, I want to know that we can count on you to use your power for the right cause." she stated. Everyone glanced at Heather, and she sweated a little. "I... errr... I'll help around here, I guess." she said awkwardly. Sally nodded. That was all she could ask, for now.
In another part of the world, as hidden away from the conflict as possible, Tails led Cream deep underground. Explosions could be heard above them, but the corridor they were walking through seemed safe enough. Opening a door at the bottom, Tails led Cream into a room with her mother, and several others. Cosmo the seedrian, Big the cat, Bill from the Neon Tavern, Dave from the burger shop, Talon the griffin, even a few humans like Agent 77 and that oddball Gator. "This is the weirdest party I've ever been to." Gator babbled. SPOT stepped next to Tails, and the fox nodded to his robo-puppy. "Tails... why are we down here? Why's my mom here? Is... Is that Chocola back there, too?" she whimpered nervously. Tails nodded again. "I've brought you all to this bunker... Because you'll all die if Eggman catches you. I'm so sorry I couldn't find your brother, Bill." he stated, punching a code into a keypad by the door, "...Gotta protect the weak... Keep them safe... Right, Sonic?" he muttered to himself. Cream's eyes widened as she realized what Tails was doing. "N-no, Tails! Take me with you!" she pleaded, grasping his arm, "We can protect each other! M-maybe together, we can beat Eggman... You can't do it alone! Y-you might die, too!" she cried. "Don't lock us in here! I can't go fishing in here!" Big whined. "Please, Tails. We didn't ask you to do this..." Cosmo added. Tails shrugged Cream's arm off himself. "There's plenty of food and water in this bunker. You'll all be fine...just don't let Big eat it all at once. Make sure of that, SPOT? And... keep everyone in here, SPOT. It... it's for the good of everyone. Right, Sonic? That's right..." he babbled. "Kid, Sonic ain't here. Have you gone loony in the head?" Bill asked. Tails stepped through the door, and before Cream or anyone could follow him, it slid shut behind him, sealing them in. SPOT blocked Cream as she approached the doorway. "Master Tails has not authorized you to exit the bunker!" his monitor read. "Tails!! TAILS!!" Cream shouted as her mother watched with a conflicted expression. Tails started walking away calmly. "Where should I go now, Sonic? Please lead the way for me..." he said with a sniffle.
The remnants of the Covenant of Despair were hunkered down in the Kingdom Valley ruins of Soleanna. It seemed a good place to hide out. Their squads were patrolling different areas of the ruins, and Basker and Eddie had worked through their differences to become the dual-masters of the Covenant. Anubis was back, too, his mental faculties largely returned. He sat in seclusion, plotting the murder of Eddie and Basker so he could take over Despair for himself. He had an unexpected visitor, however. The masked one stepped in as he sat in quiet meditation. "...You're a jackal..." Anubis said bluntly. "And you're a disgrace. Or did you think I forgot you? Did you think Jackal Squad forgot you? Once... WE were the Covenant of Despair...but you let that hooded wolf take our very identity from us..." Anubis looked up at him, and raised a hand, summoning his black mummies to surround the jackal. The mask came off, and Anubis stared at him. "It is you. Still angry that I had to cast you out to remain with MY Covenant? It's not my fault you were weak." he growled. The other jackal sneered. "No longer! My old self is dead! You may now call me Infinite!! Or... master will do."
Anubis' screams startled the agents of Despair outside. Then, robots began to storm Kingdom Valley, swiftly rounding up dogs, bears and bats to be robotisized later. Eddie and Basker scrambled to rally their own troops. "Agents! Control your fear or I'll GIVE you fear!" Basker shouted. During the chaos, two figures approached Basker and Eddie. One was Cancer, the vulture. The other was covered in armor, his helmet adorned with ramlike horns. "Eee hee? Who are you supposed to be?" Eddie chuckled. "I am Cancer. This is Aries. We have come to save one member of your covenant from the horror of becoming a robot." he explained quickly. Patch and Daisy approached, glancing at Aries. "...I... know you... Don't I?" Daisy asked. Aries crossed his arms, saying nothing. "Whatever! Take me with you! Hee hee! These bozos'll make good robos!" Patch cackled. "No, no! Take me! I... I never wanted to hurt people in the first place!" Daisy pleaded. Cancer turned to Aries, who spoke in a cold, gruff voice. "Go save yourself." Cancer nodded, turning to Basker and Eddie. The hyena chuckled. "I could easily escape on my own. Eee hee... Need an illusionist?" he asked. "Traitor!" Basker grunted. Cancer nodded, and extended his wing to Eddie. "Welcome, Scorpio..." he smirked. Cancer then warped the trio away, Eddie cackling as robots approached Basker, Patch and Daisy...
Tails returned to his workshop, muttering to himself as he approached the portal to Blaze's world. He turned the machine on and stepped through it, finding its counterpart in her world. "I'm sorry, Blaze..." he sighed, setting explosive charges around the portal device. "Sorry for what? ...Tails, what are you doing?!" Blaze asked as she approached. Tails turned to her with a frown. "Eggman has won... I can't let him use my portal machine to invade your world. So, I must destroy it... It's for the best, right Sonic?" he said, murmuring the last part. Blaze could see Tails was grappling with some trauma and reached for his hand only for him to pull away. "Whatever this is, Tails, I can help you. Just let me go back with you!" she told him. Tails held up the explosive trigger. "Stay back! The explosion might hurt you! I... I'll miss you, Blaze. Maybe... if I find a way to beat Eggman... We'll meet again... But I have to keep your world safe." he said, pressing the trigger as he leapt back into the portal! Blaze gasped as she saw the link to their worlds destroyed, tears forming in her eyes. "Wh...what's happened over there? Is... Is Sonic okay...?" she stammered, taking the Chaos Crown concealed in her coat and looking it over. "Did Tails do this...to keep this from Eggman?" she wondered. As Tails emerged on the other side, the explosion followed him a bit, wrecking the other half of the portal device. "...I know you're not here, Sonic... But I hope I'm making you proud...keeping everyone safe..." he said as he walked away, "I'll just keep talking to you anyway... Maybe...you'll hear me..." he sniffled, his heart aching for his lost friend.
Finally, it had been about six months since Sonic's defeat. With Infinite's help, Dr. Eggman now held nearly complete control of the world. In the weeks leading up to the Freedom Fighter's latest mission, an unexpected ally had joined them in the person of Richard Gunner, the highest ranking GUN official that the Freedom Fighters or the Resistance had been able to contact. Between him, Sally and Bucky, the Freedom Fighters had their leaders. Now, it was time for real missions. Gathered in the war room on Shadow Arcangel, Sally addressed the troops. "Our Freedom Fighter group has been at this for more than half a year. I'm sorry that we seem to only be losing ground, but chins up! There's good news today! Intelligence has located a prison facility in Spagonia. It is quite possible that the prisoners have not been executed or robotisized yet!" she announced. "Slim hope." Gunner grunted, "But we can also try to access Robotnik's computers from his Spagonia base in order to get even better intel. The prison break will be a diversion for that." he announced. "Excuse moi, but would that not present great danger to ze prison breaking teams?" Antoine asked. "Obviously Gunner made the plan." Kosmo said through gritted teeth. "I'm not thrilled to work with you either, freak!" Gunner snapped. "Hey, hey! Let's not fight each other!" said Lucky the cat, who had joined the group recently. Sally sighed. "The plan is mine. Sorry to say, but risk will be a part of any operation. Kosmo and our Chaos Relic weilders will take point. Antoine, Bunnie, you'll go with them." she stated. Zipp twirled a Wispon. "And I'll be our expert spy, as per usual..." he said. Heather watched the briefing nervously. She'd seen a lot over the past few months. She was finally starting to have enough. "I'll go, too!" she announced. Sally looked at her with a smile. "Great. We leave as soon as everyone's ready. Eggman waits for no one..." she announced.
"Who is it we're fighting for,
Inside this blazing firestorm?
Where no one's left to save the world?
In the distance I see the light of hope... Shining...
Can't give in or we'll lose it all. - Spaceport, Sonic Forces
Spagonia university had been converted into a huge base by Eggman's forces. The Freedom Fighter forces split mostly into twos, as they had no plans for the remodled facility, and it'd be best to explore in small groups. Punchy and Kosmo indeed took point, the Chaos Boots letting Punchy zoom ahead and clear a path. Kosmo helped, too, taking the form of a purple, Sonic-esque hedgehog. "C'mon and get us, bots!" Punchy shouted. "These guys are so slow, how is it Sonic lost to 'em?" Kosmo wondered...though he had an inkling. Antoine, Bunnie, Lucky and Heather followed behind stealthily, soon reaching the metallic front door. "All right. I shall be cracking ze entry codes!" Antoine announced, only for Bunnie to rip open the door with her robotic arm. "Sorry, sugah, clock's tickin!" she stated, heading in quickly with Antoine. At the first fork in the path, Lucky and Heather split away from them. Lucky nervously held the Chaos Sword he won from the Tournament. "I never expected to be USING this thing..." he stammered. Swarms of buzzbombers flew in to greet them, and Lucky yelped at their sudden appearence. "Me-YOW!!" he gasped, swinging the sword wildly and flinging Chaos Spears randomly with it! Heather jumped aside, barely dodging a spear as it whizzed by. "Careful..." she stammered, creating fire in her hands to assist. On the other side, Antoine and Bunnie were sneaking around the latest model Egg Pawns, "Phantom Pawns" as we'll call them. Antoine fumbled with his burst Wispon while Bunnie extended her arm to punch a bunch of them before they noticed them. "Haven't you trained with that thing, Antoine?" she asked. "I am not needing training! I was Spagonian General before Eggman's takeover!" he insisted. "General pain, maybe..." she sighed. With a few robots gone, Zipp flitted by overhead, finding his way to an air duct. "Like I even need a diversion, hehe..." he snickered, "Spying stinks, though. When do I get to shoot things?" he babbled. "When you get caught." Vortex retorted over the comms. "Me? Caught? Who am I, Crash?" he murmured. "Ssshut up!" Vortex snapped.
Heather and Lucky managed to get past the bees, mostly thanks to Heather. As they got deeper into the base, though, their noise in fighting clearly got the wrong kind of attention, as Chaos soon emerged to block their path! "Meee-yow!! What is that thing!?" Lucky gasped, pointing his sword at it. Heather gasped nervously. "It... It's made of... water! Lucky, you have to take it! It can kill me!" she stammered. Suddenly, dripping down from the ceiling came... Shadow Chaos? "N-now there's TWO of them!?" Lucky yelped, not sure which to aim for. Shadow Chaos went to grapple with Chaos, apparently having some sort of bone to pick with it. "Umm... Let's use this opportunity to sneak by." Heather suggested. Lucky nodded, speeding past quickly. Heather stepped by carefully, trying to avoid getting wet. But that didn't help, as Shadow Chaos flung Chaos right at her! She gurgled as Chaos surrounded her body, starting to drown her. Before she could be snuffed out, though, something came from above and sliced through Chaos, freeing her from the water! She expected to see Lucky, but looking up, Heather saw Guard the Gargoyle extending his hand! "Grrr! Come on!" he said, helping her up. Heather panted hard. "Wh-why are you here? You're not on this mission!" she gasped. "Grrr... Prisoners. I'm looking for... for Mia." he stated. Mia the cat was in a coma when Eggman took over. To think that she'd be here was a longshot, but Guard had exhausted much of his hope over those six months. Chaos and Shadow Chaos had continued to grapple, so Guard swung his scythe, sending energy beams at them. Soon, Chaos simply...disappeared. After that, Shadow Chaos let out an annoyed sound and dissolved into black water, slithering away. "Rrr... Strange..." Guard mumbled. Eggman was watching the Chaos brawl from a monitor, and shared the sentiment. "Blasted Shadow Chaos! I can't use Chaos because he keeps turning up wherever I send him! I guess Shadow Chaos emerged during my first test with the Phantom Ruby and the Master Emerald, while Knuckles was away at the Tournament. Test was a failure, but I guess it stirred Shadow Chaos somehow..." he grumbled. "That makes total sense and is in no way a stretch to claw out of a corner the writer wrote himself into!" Cubot remarked. Eggman shrugged. "It's of little consequence. Infinite is really all I need now..." he sneered. "While we're filling plot holes, boss, want to discuss the wherabouts of Professor Pickle?" Orbot asked. "Not really... He must be cowering in a 'safe house' somewhere. As if anywhere's safe from my Empire!" Eggman smirked.
During the distractions that Heather, Bunnie and the others were creating, Zipp neared the computer room. There, he bumped into Rouge the bat, of all people. "Hey! I was spying here first!" he snapped. "Cute. Thanks for the diversions, by the way. Our forces really need to communicate more." she stated, sitting at the computer and starting to type away. "For the record, I WAS here first." Zipp snapped. Rouge shushed him. "My gosh... Everyone needs to see this. It's a prison surveillance feed...But not this prison?" With a click of a button, the feed was put on the full screen. There was Sonic...alive! His hands and feet were bound, and he was struggling to pick up a chili dog on the floor. "I got it... don't help me... Seriously, don't. Your breath's horrible." Sonic muttered. Finally, he took a bite. "GAH!! You monsters!! Of all the tortures you've concocted, this is the worst!! TOFU!?" he cried, gagging. "I don't like seeing him like that..." Rouge murmured. "Yeah...why the heck isn't he dead?" Zipp added, "Guess what, dudes! Sonic is actually alive!!" Rouge pressed another key and frowned. "And here's the bad news... Those prisoners..." she sighed. Antoine and Bunnie had found the prison, and could see what Rouge meant. "Sacre bleu... We are too late..." Antoine sighed. The prisoners had been robotisized. Among them were Patch and Daisy, looking quite metallic and in no mood for laughs. Bunnie backed away. "Eggman'll pay fer this! C'mon, Ant! We gotta git outta this chicken coop!" she grunted, grabbing his arm and pulling him along. It was a good idea to get running, too, as the prison doors opened, sending the robotisized people out to capture the Freedom Fighters! Punchy and Kosmo had already run back, and Guard and Heather were quick to catch Lucky and start their retreat, too. Eggman might have won this round, but they'd live to fight another day...and now they knew Sonic was alive.
The intel of Sonic's survival hadn't reached the Resistance yet. They met in their war room, facing their harsh realities. Things were going poorly, for certain. However, Knuckles had pursuaded someone to join the cause, and now led her into their HQ to meet everyone. "Knuckles! What's the sitrep, Commander?" Silver asked as he entered. "Happy to see you're all still alive..." Knuckles said grimly, "Eggman's forces have chewed through our defenses at Green Hill, and the resistance in the city is reporting that whatever it is that finished Sonic... Sorry, I'm still not used to saying that... Whatever it is has got them running in fear. All except this brave kid, who survived the battle and made it here in one piece. Meet our newest recruit!" With that, the door slid open, revealing a nervous-looking Felicia, her clothes tatty and worn. She had been barely hanging on. As Knuckles and the Chaotix were meeting and greeting her, Amy and Silver exchanged worried glances. "Isn't that...?" Silver asked. "Yeah, that's Fera. She had a bout of amnesia last I saw. She won the Chaos Cards at the big Tournament, wonder if she has 'em?" she murmured. "Why are we whispering?" Knuckles asked. "That's Fera, Commander." Amy stated bluntly. Knuckles glanced back at her. "No it isn't. Fera's dead. Her name's Felicia." Knuckles stated. "She survived, Knuckles. She has amnesia. Wouldn't it...be bad if she...got her memory back?" Silver stated. Knuckles rubbed his head. "Okay, to avoid slipping and calling her Fera, let's all call her 'Rookie.' She looks too young to be Fera, though!" he babbled. Felicia was looking over a Wispon that Knuckles gave her, and at her Chaos Cards. "You know how to use those?" Vector asked. "Not really..." Felicia sighed. "Maybe Rotor can whip up something to help you." Espio suggested. Knuckles cleared his throat. "Okay, let's get going, everybody! The world's not gonna save itself!" he said. As most of the group started to clear out, Uncle Chuck suddenly appeared onscreen. "Yoohoo! Anyone there?" he called.
Knuckles and Felicia were the only ones left to respond. "We're here, Chuck. Good to hear from you." he said, glancing at Fera/Felicia. "Hmm... Hey, Rookie, how do you feel about handling communications with the Freedom Fighters? They're a separate group from us, but we have the same goal." he asked. Felicia nodded. "I can do that." she said. "Alright, but you're both gonna wanna hear this. Ready for it? Best news ever... My nephew's still alive!" he grinned. "Don't toy with me, Chuck." Knuckles stammered. Felicia smiled. "That's good...right?" she asked. Chuck looked in her hands. "Hey, the Chaos Cards, hm? But from the Wispon, I guess you can't use 'em. Send 'em our way. Between me and Rotor, I bet we can work somethin' out for ya." he said. Felicia nodded, and Knuckles smirked. "Tell us all you got about Sonic. Right now." he said excitedly.
Punchy was watching Uncle Chuck talk to Knuckles and Felicia, and shuddered. "They got FERA over there? FERA!? Are we screwed?" he asked Kosmo. "Hey, we got Gunner over here. At least I'm fairly sure Fera would be on our side." he stated. "I'm on your side because Ivo is against me!" Gunner quipped from across the room. Dulcy leaned down to glance at the screen. "Why are we freaking out? ...She looks nice enough." the dragon stated. "Ever hear of the Covenant of Despair?" Kosmo asked. Dulcy smiled. "Nope, can't say that I have!" she said cheerfully. Punchy let out a sigh, leaning against the ship's wall. "Well, if Sonic's alive, I guess there's hope. I just wonder...what happened to Rainbow..." he said with worry.
Little did he know, Rainbow was looking right at him. Through the Chaos Crystal she was charged with guarding, she found that she could see the locations of the Chaos Relics, including the boots in Punchy's possession. She sat in a crystalline room, while Illusi the shrew watched over her. "I know you wish to go to them, but you're safer here. If I hadn't saved you months ago, the Chaos Crystal might now be in the hands of the enemy." he said seriously, "Believe me, there are those I'd like to fight with, too. But... she's better off without me..." he added. Rainbow frowned. "We were supposed to be married by now..." she sighed, "And what about Two? And Wanda? I can't just abandon everyone..." she insisted. Illusi sighed. "You have a duty, Rainbow. You have not abandoned them. You are merely seeing to that duty." he stated. Rainbow watched Punchy in the Chaos Crystal, a look of longing on her face. "...Feels like abandoning them..." she sighed. Illusi frowned, but tried to speak comfort. "They'll...be okay. The power they're up against is like... large-scale illusionism. Except as weak as illusions are, my Wrongo pets have more soul than Eggman's dreamed-up forces..." he stated. "You send critters with souls to die!?" Rainbow asked him. Illusi scratched his head. "It, uh... It's more like they become unstable and phase back into their dimension. We just call them destroyed when that happens to simplify it." he stated. This talk wasn't really cheering Rainbow up. She watched Punchy through the Crystal wistfully, wishing she could help him...
In six months, Dr. Eggman had conquered the world.
Now, the surviving heroes would risk everything to get it back.
To be continued... BZZ ZZZT!!... our writer forgot something between this chapter & next...
Felicia was directed to a clothing bin, where the Resistance had collected what they could to send to refugees. Felicia dug through the bin to find something to replace the threadbare clothes on her back. Her gaze rested on something that pulled in her attention. It was...a Covenant of Despair uniform. She didn't know why, but something about it was familiar. She was compelled to try it on, while no one was looking. Checking herself in a mirror after trying on the tight uniform, she felt strange...like it was somehow right. She heard someone coming, though, and hastily grabbed a white karate robe out of the bin, tying it closed so the uniform was hidden. "Hey, uh... Rookie. We gotta get movin'. You ready?" Knuckles asked Felicia, shyly looking away from her in case she wasn't dressed, "You know you could've changed in the bathroom..." he mumbled. "Uhhh... Dunno where that is." Felicia said bashfully, "I'm ready, Commander! What should I do? Communications, like you said?" she asked. "...Maybe later. We're shorthanded right now. Gonna need your help...to save Sonic!" Knuckles announced, "...So, uh... How do you feel about checkin' out a Chemical Plant?"
To be continued...