Sonic GeneX - Infinite Crisis
Part 2 - Forces Gather
Sonic Forces & all related characters, scenarios and elements are (c) SEGA and Sonic Team.
GeneX and related characters belong to 2BIT.
Previously on Sonic GeneX - Infinite Crisis...
Dr. Eggman set his latest, and most disastrous plot in motion. After spending months perfecting his greatest weapon, Infinite, he first tested him against Kosmo. The morph was defeated, but rescued by Punchy. Some time later, Infinite defeated Sonic and Tails, leading to Sonic's capture and leaving Tails greatly shaken. In the months that followed, Eggman conquered the world, while Knuckles rallied Sonic's friends to form a resistance. Sally Acorn, meanwhile, started a team of Freedom Fighters, joined by Bucky and Col. Gunner.
The Freedom Fighters discovered intel during a mission that Sonic was indeed still alive, being held prisoner somewhere. Meanwhile, Knuckles brought Felicia the wolf to join the Resistance, despite concerns from Amy and Silver that she may remember her past as Fera.
All in all, much happened in those eight months. For full details, it may be best to actually read the chapter in this instance...and all chapters of this story will be pretty long, too, so don't rely too heavily on the recap block.
But if you're ready to move on, let us begin today's episode...
"I've got a feeling you are there,
Somewhere here in the atmosphere.
I can't escape there's nowhere left for me to hide...
Nowhere to run... Nowhere to hide.
Destiny will vanish forever." - Prison Hall, Sonic Forces
"Hmm... That should've done it." Tails was still alive, after all this time. He was doing what he could on his own, and had managed to find the remains of Omega, who'd been destroyed by Eggman's forces, as far as he could tell. "I couldn't figure it out for you buddy." he said sadly as Omega sat lifeless, "I'm sorry I wasn't smart enough..." he sighed, his voice filled with regrets. Behind him, something was emerging from the city sewer. As he turned, he gasped in alarm. "Whoa! Chaos!" he cried, backing away and then crouching in fear, images of his beating at the hands of Eggman's forces flashing through his mind. "Sonic, help me!" he cried in desperation as Chaos reached for him. Surprisingly, Sonic came. A rift in the very fabric of time and space emerged, and a smaller Sonic sped out, swiftly jumping into Chaos and reducing it to a puddle! Tails turned, his eyes widening. "Sonic? You... you're alive!" he cried, overjoyed. However, he quickly realized it wasn't the Sonic he knew. "Wait, what?" he muttered, looking him over. "Oh, I know! You're one of those OTHER Sonics! Gosh, there's so many... Sorry, I can't quite tell which one you are." he chuckled softly. While they discussed how and why he might be there, Shadow Chaos slithered by, looking over the area Chaos had been. Tails noticed him after a moment. "Shadow Chaos, too??" he murmured. It wasn't paying attention to him. "It doesn't want my tailbands. Could it be looking for regular Chaos?" he wondered. Classic Sonic shrugged. "Yeah, we should probably find Eggman, anyway. That's a good place to start!" he stated. As Tails and Classic headed away, Omega's optical lights flickered. "...Recovery mode...activated..." his voice faintly said. Not too far away, a certain trio of birds broke out of an abandoned building, carrying bags of loot. "Not exactly treasure, but the world's loss is our gain!" Jet the hawk squawked. Wave stopped to examine the recovering Omega. "This bot has Shorty's fingerprints all over it. I wonder if he's nearby?" she murmured. "Who cares!?" Storm grunted, "Let's grab more loot!" The trio halted as a squad of buzzbombers noticed them. "Heat's on, boys! I'd say it's time for a tactical retreat!" Jet suggested.
Troblusk City didn't look great before Eggman's conquest. Now it was in ruins, with Eggtopia being the only building actually in better shape than before. Here, Tommy the porcupine was cautiously walking beside Ridley the coati. Gone was Ridley's police uniform. It seemed unwise to call attention to himself in that way now. "How long since you've last seen Razor?" the orange coati asked. Tommy sighed. "Over a month. You?" he asked. "Sounds about right. Lost track of him while we were evacuating the city... But don't worry, kiddo. We'll find him." Ridley said, trying to sound cheerful. Tommy knew their search wasn't too hopeful, but he smiled at Ridley's kindness in helping him. The two of them jumped as a sewer cover opened up nearby. Katie the coyote poked her head out. "Thought I heard someone up here... Come over here, quick!" she called. They obeyed, though they held their noses a bit. Katie led them down through the sewers. "It's dangerous above. I'll take you to a Resistance safe house. Man, I remember when I ran towards danger for a good story..." she sighed, missing her days of reporting. "I remember that, too..." Tommy groaned. They peeked out of another sewer cover near the town's clock tower. Unfortunately, they found robots attacking the doors, led by Metal Sonic! "If they don't surrender, end them! We're offering them a chance to become perfection, like me..." the robot said with its voice, restored to it roughly a year ago now. "Don't surrender, officers! Fend them off!" shouted former police chief Paynson from inside the doors. After a few shots inside, he changed his tune. "W-we surrender!" he cried. A Wispon flew out the door, clattering at Tommy's feet. He picked up the lightning-shaped weapon, shaking. Ridley then tossed a Chaos Splash attack at Metal Sonic's head! "Hey, bot! You're all washed up!" he yelled. "Tommy! Give me that and get to cover!" Katie stammered. As robots marched their way, Tommy lashed an electric whip at them, smashing a couple! "Uhh... Maybe you take cover, Katie!" he suggested. More shots came from the clock tower windows, angering Metal Sonic. "Don't think this place is safe... I may return with more of ME..." he warned, flying away in a rage.
A few robotisized citizens raged in the containment cell of Shadow Arcangel while Kosmo watched. "Not so fun, is it?" he remarked. "How do you even know? You were in suspended animation!" Punchy pointed out. "Bad dreams..." Kosmo muttered. Sally stood at the nearby war room setup, looking over some maps. "We need to make some sort of...de-robotisizer, or we've already lost. To do that, we need the plans for Eggman's actual robotisizer." she said, glancing across the desk at Uncle Chuck. "...I may have invented part of the technology, but I can't riddle the whole thing out. If I could, I'd fix me." he stated. "Would you, though?" said Zeke the dragon, Experiment 10 and recently added recruit. "Y'all better choose yer words more careful next time..." growled Bunnie, shaking her robotic fist at Zeke in response. Gunner walked over to the desk with Zipp and Spy in tow. "The nice thing about my spy, he's so incompetent no one expects him to sneak in anywhere." he stated. Spy nodded. "Me and Zipp found some intel!" he grinned. "Gunner just wants to give the human the credit! Eggman's storing the plans for his tech in the old GUN Fortress!" he snapped. "Glory hog!" Spy grunted. Sally rubbed her head in annoyance at their arguing. "GUN Fortress? If Eggman's smart he left GUN's security in place, and supplemented it with his own." she stated. Uncle Chuck nodded. "I can get us past Eggman's security. I AM a robot." he smirked. "And Guard can pass GUN's security. Easy." Gunner stated. The communications monitor flickered on at that moment, Felicia appearing on the screen. "Hey, guys... Taking a shuttle to the Death Egg to save Sonic... Um... Wish me luck!" she said nervously. "You'll do fine. I've received the Cards you sent me, Felicia. Rotor'll have a look at 'em while I'm on mission." Chuck stated, "...Save my nephew..." he added softly. As the monitor turned off, Punchy cleared his throat. "She's not going alone...right?" he asked. Vortex crossed his arms. "Knucklessss isss in charge. What do you think?" he hissed without confidence.
While the Freedom Fighters prepared for their mission, Felicia got pretty far into the Death Egg with just a burst Wispon to work with. However, she was soon surrounded by Phantom Pawns. She tripped as she backed away from them, but out of nowhere, Sonic arrived and smashed them to pieces! "Easy there! Everything's cool!" he said, helping her up, "Are you here to rescue me?" he asked, a little surprised, but not because he knew who she was; He didn't recognize her with her repaired eye. Felicia nodded. "Y-yes... It's nice to meet you, Sonic." she responded shyly. Sonic smiled. "Can't tell you how much I appreciate it. It's been a while since I've seen a friendly face." he said, motioning to the robots that had been his main company for six months. "Hey, rookie, you still in one piece?" Knuckles asked over comms. "Oh, sure, don't even bother to ask how I am!" Sonic joked, making Amy cry out in joy at hearing his voice and surprise him. "Hold up, Amy! We're all happy Sonic is alive! But he won't be for long if he doesn't get off that egg in a hurry!" Knuckles said seriously while Sonic and Felicia found their ride off. "Your concern is touching, Knuckles." Sonic said awkwardly as he and Felicia boarded the shuttle. "You can fly this, right?" Sonic asked. "Errr... I flew one up here..." Felicia stated, "Somehow..." she stammered. Sonic nodded with a chuckle. "Cool! You got this, buddy!" he smiled. Knuckles asked Felicia to hand Sonic her comms, so she did, and he whispered to Sonic so only he could hear. "Sonic...your pilot is actually Fera. Amnesia." he stated. Sonic's eyes widened and he started to sweat. "Uhmmm... Oh, whatever, I'm just glad to be outta that cell." he sighed.
To get into the GUN Fortress, a diversion was needed. Shadow Arcangel floated a good distance away from the base, and several groups of Freedom Fighters shimmied down from it using ropes, while Dulcy and Zeke flew out to the fortress directly, blowing fire and wind at the Eggman ships patrolling the airspace. "Catch me if you can, Eggy!" Dulcy teased, leading some ships away. Lucky watched as Zeke led more away. "He's scary, but effective." the cat stated. "Do not be distracting your own self!" Antoine grumbled. "Never mind Antoine. C'mon kid, best foot forward!" Chuck stated. Guard was flying Heather ahead, seeking to get through the initial GUN security measures first. "Grrr... Keep those bees off me, Heather!" he grunted as he flew with her on his back. Heather tossed fire at any approaching Buzzbombers, and soon they reached the fortress. "Retinal scan required..." Guard let the door scan his eye. "Welcome, Agent Guard." it said as the door slid open. "Errr... Guard's really your name?" Heather asked. Guard grunted as they headed inside. "I've always been simply called the Guard." he said. Heather frowned. "That's kinda... like you're a slave. You deserve a real name. Gary...nah." she mumbled. Guard grunted again, but then glanced at Heather. "...What sort of name do you think Mia would like?" he asked. Chuck, Antoine and Lucky followed into the fortress behind Guard and Heather. "How are we knowing when GUN's security ends and Eggplant's security begins?" Antoine asked. They heard an explosion overhead, followed by Dulcy's dizzy voice. "I'll clean up my room later, ma..." Chuck frowned at this. "Whatever we do, better do it fast. I don't think the Freedom Fighters can fight Eggman directly for too long." he reasoned. Lucky held up his sword. "Alright... Let's do it to it! ...Right?" he said awkwardly. "I am thinking ze sword would work better for me, yes?" Antoine muttered. "Use your Wispon, Ant..." Chuck sighed. Antoine looked like he was about to protest, but then frowned and clutched his Wispon. "Maybe ze blue boxy weapon will be working for moi..." he mumbled.
Aside from a few minor skirmishes, there wasn't much trouble in the initial halls of the fortress. As they entered a larger room, though, the doors shut around them, and a strange energy filled the room. Antoine and Lucky shielded their eyes as Firepaw the virus cat appeared in the room. "Meowr! Hello, intruders! Welcome to Virtual Reality! A place where even I, a lowly computer program, can fully exist!" he announced. "Uhh... Does he exist? He is floating in the hair!" Antoine babbled. "In the air, Ant." Lucky corrected. Firepaw was holding a pinkish stone, and gave a toothy, fanged grin as he activated it, sending more energy into a specific point in the room. From that point... Mephiles the Dark emerged! Guard and Heather were observing from across the room, and Heather was shocked. "Him again? No, it can't be!" she cried. Mephiles started to fire energy beams at Antoine, Lucky and Chuck, who each jumped to evade them. "Graaah! Chuck, we need you to pick Eggman's lock!" Guard shouted from the exit. Lucky was busy trying to shoot back at Mephiles with Chaos Spears from the Chaos Sword. "No, no... Don't... More robots will pop out any..." he babbled, to see a robot run by under Mephiles. "I'LL STOP YOU!!" he shouted, firing a spear at the robot! Chuck's groan followed, and then his body sparked, his grunts becoming more metallic in nature. "Sacre bleu-cheese! You zap-ed Uncle Chunk!" Antoine stammered. Lucky gasped. "Oh, what did I do?" he muttered. Chuck snarled at them, stomping towards them with glowing eyes. "Capture Freedom Fighters... Priority One..." he mumbled. "Oh, magnifique job, kitty-cat! Uncle Chunk is robot-ized once again!" Antoine said to chastise Lucky. "S-sorry..." he babbled. Heather had taken over fighting Mephiles, and grunted as his beams pushed her back. "Now what??" she yelped. "Now, you all get robotisized! Me-owr..." Firepaw grinned. "Not if I am having anything to say about it! Take zat!" Antoine said, trying to fire his cube Wispon. A blue cube surrounded Mephiles, but he broke right out. "...Can we be trading, kitty cat?" Antoine asked.
Guard flew over to block a beam from Mephiles with his scythe, protecting Heather as the dark chose to go after her. "Grrr... Can you take care of that cat? ...The red one up there, I mean." he specified as Lucky squirmed. While they fought Mephiles and now Firepaw, Antoine and Lucky tried to get Uncle Chuck under control. "Capture...Freedom Fighters!!" he snarled, pushing the cat and coyote down. "Off! I am warning you, Uncle Chunk, I have ze black and blue belts!" Antoine grunted. A tap on his shoulder made Antoine jump. "What's happened to Chuck?!" came the voice of Sally. Lucky looked at her sheepishly. "I...I messed up, princess..." he murmured. Sally nodded. "I can tell that, I heard the yelling over comms. You guys forget about them?" she asked. Antoine poked his ears. "I am thinking mines are not working both ways..." he murmured. Sally had her handheld computer, Nicole, out and scanning Chuck. A hologram of a Lynx appeared to communicate with her. "His circuitry has been jolted, causing him to revert to old programming. I can supply a counter-jolt that should return his senses." she reported. Chuck was shambling toward her like a zombie, and Sally quickly took a cable from her vest pocket, attaching it to Nicole before jamming the other end into Chuck's nose. "That is not an approved socket, Sally." Nicole stated. "We don't have time for finesse, Nicole!" Sally insisted. A jolt surged through Uncle Chuck, and with a pained scream, he fell over! "...Why are my nose hairs tingling?" he grunted. "Later. Let's get that intel, quick!" Sally said urgently. Meanwhile, Guard and Heather teamed up, sending an energy beam from Guard's scythe writhed in flame, which knocked down Mephiles, causing him to vanish! "Meowr... You can look around here, but all you'll get is the runaround. Bye!" the cat taunted as he vanished, too. Indeed, moments later, Sally returned with a disappointed look. "I have a location on the robotisizer blueprints...which means they weren't HERE." she sighed, "Time to fall back!" she ordered. "Whatever! I need a break anyway..." Zeke replied via comms. "Comin' home, ma..." Dulcy added woozily.
Tails and Classic Sonic had tracked down Eggman after some searching. After hearing that Sonic was alive and catching wind of a "Phantom Ruby", Tails watched Classic Sonic wreck Eggman's third Egg Dragoon. As the duo met up at the crash site of the Egg Mobile, celebrating their win, Eggman cackled at them. "Look at you, fighting like you've got a chance to win! It's adorable!" he said as his Egg Mobile slid over a bit on the ground, "Almost makes me feel bad that we're never going to do this little dance again." The doctor held up three fingers. "In just three short days, my plan will eliminate the bothersome lot of you!" he announced. Tails looked skeptical. "Three days? And what's this plan?" he asked. "If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise!" Eggman said as he began working his Egg Mobile around to be ready to fly again. "You know what they say, the anticipation of the end is worse than the end itself." he sneered as his Egg Mobile began floating, "Maybe not in this case, though. Mwa-hahaha!!" he laughed as he flew away from Tails and Classic. Tails glanced at his friend. "This isn't good. We gotta tell somebody, right, Sonic?" he asked. Classic Sonic shrugged, and started running ahead. Tails scrambled to catch up, his eyes filled with worry. "Eggman thinks he can finish all of us... Oh, I hope Cream will be safe where I left her... But, wait... Hey, Sonic!! Slow down!! I think we forgot something else Eggman said!!" he called, trying to slow down his companion. Earlier, Infinite had told Eggman WHERE Sonic had been. This was worth checking out!
Felicia was able to make a report with Uncle Chuck once both had returned from their missions. "That's excellent! Hey, is Sonic there? Can I talk to him?" Chuck asked. Felicia looked around. "I think he's busy right now. There's been a big to-do over here. I guess you get that when you come back from the dead." she smiled. Guard was glancing over Chuck's shoulder as he talked to her. "Grr... I guess you would know..." he muttered. "Huh? What did your friend say?" Felicia asked. Heather tugged Guard away. "C'mon. We're finding you a name. How about Greg?" she asked as Guard winced. Sonic stepped up behind Felicia. "Hey, buddy! 'Sup! Is that my Unc? Hey, Unc! Still fightin' the good fight?" Sonic said excitedly. Chuck nodded. "Juicin' and jammin. Or whatever. We're hot on the trail of the original robotisizer plans." he reported. Felicia stepped away while Sonic caught up with his uncle. "Way to go, Rookie! I'll make a fighter of you yet!" Knuckles smiled as she approached, "Oh, hey, this came in for you. That Rotor's a quick worker. It's a Wispon that draws on your Chaos Cards for ammo..." he said, showing a compartment that held her deck of magic cards, "With this...you have access to ALL Wispon abilities! Or so Rotor says. Use it well, Fer...uhhh...my feral wolf friend!" he chuckled, handing her the Wispon. Felicia examined it. "...Will this help me get stronger? And if so...is that my...destiny?" she muttered. Sonic, meanwhile, whispered to Chuck. "They sent Fera to save me of all people." he said. Chuck rubbed his head. "What, Felicia? What's wrong with her, sonny?" he asked. Sonic chuckled softly. "Forgot... time travel. I still don't know how much you know. Well, she tried to kill me once..." he said, glancing back at her, "But you know, Unc... I think that's in the past now. I dunno... She looks like... I can trust her." he said. "War has a way of uniting people just as it tears others apart, Sonic. Take the blessings of friendship you get." Chuck advised him. "I will Unc! And I'll see ya soon!" Sonic winked. They'd worked well together taking out Eggman's arsenal at Green Hill not long ago, anyway. Felicia stepped up next to Sonic after a moment. "I just got called to the city. Our forces are busy at Seaside Hill and they... want ME to beat back Eggman." she gulped. Sonic patted her shoulder. "Hey, don't be scared! This is your moment to shine!" he winked, "If you need me, I'll race out there. Gotta rest a bit after Infinite beat me up again. Gotta learn the secret of his power..." he mumbled. Felicia nodded. "O-okay... Thanks, Sonic." she smiled.
Tommy and Ridley were ultimately led to a GUN Warship, which was taking anyone willing to fight to the Freedom Fighters. Katie remained behind, intending to continue helping at the safe houses. "Not all of us are cut out for combat." she'd said. Sitting next to Tommy on the warship was Gemini, who'd still been searching for the long-missing Libra through Eggman's invasion, but now also had Copter to search for. "And your brother's missing?" she said after talking with Tommy, "This war is awful... Maybe I can do something..." she said, clutching her wand in her hand. She knew she shouldn't. The past was the past, and she being from the future, she shouldn't change things she hadn't come to change. But she'd grown attached to this world now...not fighting for it seemed even more wrong. The GUN Warship rendezvoused with Shadow Arcangel, and Tommy and Ridley went to check in with Bucky since Ridley happened to be one of his experiments. Gemini, however, was quickly met with a hug as she stepped into the ship. "Gem! It's great to see you!" It was Punchy. Kosmo was holding a map behind him. "See Rainbow by any chance?" Punchy asked. Gemini sighed. "I've found no one. Glad I ran into you, though. Can I help?" she asked. Kosmo nodded. "We have a mission. Right up your alley; We gotta check out Eggman's library." he said. Gemini looked at him funny. "Well, you always lug around that spell book." Punchy said. "...Jokes aren't your thing, Kosmo. But okay, I'll go." she said calmly. How bad could a library be?
Rainbow could see through the Chaos Crystal that Punchy and Gemini were reunited. "Wanda's safe, good..." she murmured, glancing at Illusi. He was curled up, asleep on the floor. Rainbow looked at the crystal again and sighed. "One's doing his best to help the whole world. I can't just sit here!" she said, getting up. "I'll leave the crystal with Mousy. He'll keep it safe..." she muttered, heading for the nearest door. She hurried out of it so fast, she didn't see beyond it. They were high in the sky! Illusi had placed her in a large tower in the forest. "How many Dream Buildings are in this forest, anyway??!" she yelled as she fell from the doorway that didn't lead anywhere! "Noooooo!!" She shut her eyes as she fell, only to stop falling suddenly. "Hey! I caught a falling rodent!" Opening her eyes, she found herself in the arms of Jet the Hawk. Wave and Storm were flying beside him. "Hey...birdies... What're you doin' up here?" Rainbow asked in bewilderment. Storm snickered. "Gotta go somewhere safe when we ain't lootin'!" he stated. "Drop her off, Jet. She'll only slow us down." Wave suggested. Jet looked at Rainbow curiously. "Think you can help carry some loot? C'mon, you owe me for saving your life..." he grinned. Rainbow nodded slowly. It wasn't like she had much choice now...
"Destiny lies before you.
I believe we have the power.
Can you see the horizon?
Victory’s for the taking!" - Park Avenue, Sonic Forces
"Why'd they send ME with you?" Rotor said, nervously following Punchy, Kosmo and Gemini as they headed for the library, "I'm our lead scientist, not a fighter." he groaned. "That's WHY you're here. We don't know robotisizer plans from toaster oven plans!" Punchy pointed out. Kosmo held them back as they neared the entrance. "Guards..." he grunted. The Deadly Six, all of them, were standing around the door. "Oh, how NICE of Dr. Eggman to give us this cushy library-guarding job..." Zik grumbled. "You didn't see the boss get CREAMED!" Zazz shivered. A seventh Zeti, Zim, was also there. "Worst part is we can't even control his robots anymore. It's like they're...fake." he mumbled. "How will we get past all of them?" Punchy wondered. "You won't." Looking up, they saw Cancer flying towards them. "Y-you!" Gemini gasped, recognizing him. She fired a bolt from her wand at him. "Go on ahead, I'll hold this guy off!" she cried. Kosmo nodded. "You guys run, I'll handle the Doofy Six..." he said, morphing into Zavok himself. "Stand aside, boys! That Zavok is an imposter!" he shouted. The other six Zeti jumped aside, giving Punchy an opening to speed Rotor into the library with his Chaos Boots! "You idiots! He's the imposter!! Do my eyes glow yellow!?" he shouted. Zomom looked at him. "...Kinda." he pointed out. "No, our eyes don't GLOW!!" Zeena hissed, turning on Kosmo. Meanwhile, Gemini saw Aries coming to aid Cancer. "Got a friend, huh? I don't care. I knew you couldn't be trusted the moment I saw you, vulture!" she shouted, firing a bolt at Aries, too. He repelled the first shot with a staff he carried, but the second struck his helmet, knocking it off! Gemini backed up, her eyes widening as she saw the face of Copter under the helmet. "Wh-what?? Copter...why!?" she stammered. Cancer grinned. "I offered him something your friends couldn't. Speaking of..." he said, glancing at "Aries." Copter saw Punchy running Rotor out of the library as he placed the helmet back on his head. "Take this..." he grunted, firing a blast from his staff that knocked them both over! Kosmo turned with a start, seeing Rotor holding his leg on the ground, the blueprints dropped beside him. "Let's go!" he grunted, rushing over to grab the blueprints while Punchy got back up to pick up Rotor. Cancer and Aries were fleeing when Gemini turned back around. "...What happened to you, Copter?" she whispered, warping her team away with her magic as the Deadly Six tried to pursue them. "...Eggman's gonna kill us..." Zazz whined. "We'll blame the Chao in the basement..." Zavok grunted.
Felicia had gone to Mystic Jungle, tracking a couple of life readings in the area. It was a treacherous trip through the Aqua Road, but she soon found her way to what appeared to be Eggman's lab. Outside the lab, she noticed something sparkling. It was a pinkish stone, which she picked up. It glowed a bit as she held it. "What is this? ...It's kinda pretty... I guess I'll hold on to it." she said, pocketing it, "But...where are those people I was looking for?" she murmured. Suddenly, Classic Sonic ran up, waving Tails over. "Hey... he looks like Sonic...like, a KID Sonic..." she babbled. Tails looked at Felicia carefully. "Have we met before?" he asked. Felicia nodded. "The Tournament of Chaos. I won the cards, you won those bracelet things." she smiled. Tails scratched his head. "No...it's not that... Or is it? When I flew up, I thought I recognized you from somewhere else. Weird..." he muttered. Felicia nodded, brushing her bangs with an awkward expression. "Yeah...weird..." she said, as though wondering whether it was actually weird at all. She glanced back at Tails. "I think I've been looking for you. Care to accompany me back to Resistance HQ? I think... Sonic might want to see you two..." she muttered. Tails' face lit up. "Sonic!? You know Sonic!? Well, sure, of course we'll come! Lead the way!!" he said excitedly. In the back of his mind, he felt weird about seeing Knuckles again after their fight, but his joy at being able to see Sonic outweighed it. Plus, there were more important things right now than who said what to who and why. They could have that out when Eggman wasn't about to destroy them. At least now, Mystic Jungle was officially reclaimed from Eggman by the Resistance!
After a while, Rotor was set up in a wheelchair back in Shadow Arcangel's lab, a cast on his foot. Much of the Freedom Fighters were gathered in the lab so Uncle Chuck could present his analysis of the strange energy they'd encountered back at the GUN Fortress. "At first, I couldn't tell anything about the energy signatures that Nicole happened to read while we were in that room with Mephiles; Thanks for naming that thing, Heather. But then Lucky reminded me that Firepaw said something about Virtual Reality. Turns out, that's what it is. A form of Virtual Reality." he announced. "So, Eggman can recreate people with Virtual Reality tech, now?" Bucky stated. A monitor in the room showed Rouge the bat's face. "Yep, you got it, rat boy." she said, "The Shadow working for the doctor was fake, too. His agent, Infinite, can create well, infinite copies of just about whatever Eggman wants." she stated. Gunner groaned. "Leave it to Ivo to keep data on that Dark freak lying around." he grumbled. Sally sighed. "Well, I hope the Resistance has a plan for this. We'll be working on the de-robotisizer in the meantime." she stated. Rouge shrugged. "Might not matter. According to Tails, Eggman's got a plan that'll wipe us all out in just three little days." she informed them. "Three days!?" Tommy stammered. "Who let a kid in my lab?" Bucky grunted. "His reaction is valid, though. How can he even do that??" Gemini stated. Sally crossed her arms. "We can't ignore that intel, but we can't let it rattle us either. Everyone take five. I need to think about our next move..." she announced. "WE need to think about it." Gunner growled. "...Your help would be appreciated." Sally told him. Gunner scoffed. "I'll bet..." he grumbled.
At the same time, Sonic found Shadow back at Resistance HQ. The real Shadow was with them now, but Sonic wondered why no one knew he wasn't working for Eggman before this point. "So, you're back, Sonic..." Shadow scoffed, "For how long, though? Do you know why I disappeared?" he said. Sonic shrugged. "It was because you dropped out of the Tournament. You haven't been taking this little rivalry of ours seriously. The only reason I entered that dumb tournament was to get a chance to spar with the only hedgehog that almost equals myself in power." he told him. Sonic sighed. "Well, gee, Shadow, sorry my uncle going missing wasn't CONVENIENT for you. It's not like I was avoiding you specifically." he pointed out, "And... I had no idea you missed our little play dates, Shadow." he winked. Shadow looked away from him. "Whatever... I buried myself in my work out of boredom, that's all." he said. Not far away, Tails and Knuckles were having something of a reunion, too. They both looked at each other a bit awkwardly. "...I'm...glad you're okay, Tails." Knuckles said. The fox nodded. "Yeah, me too. I... I'm sorry, Knuckles... I said some awful things..." Tails started, only for Knuckles to raise his hand. "I'm sorry too, buddy. I got so wrapped up in the Resistance, I lost track of your feelings. And lost track of you, too. We could've used you. Maybe if my pride was less hurt by you, we'd have worked harder to find you... Ugh, that didn't come out quite right..." he grunted, rubbing his head. Tails sighed. "Don't worry about it. We both messed up. Let's just try to work together now, deal?" Tails asked. Knuckles shook his hand. "Sure thing, heh!" he smiled.
Meanwhile, the Freedom Fighter recruits had a moment to rest and take in what they'd heard. "Three days?" Lucky whimpered, "And I thought I was nervous before..." Zeke laughed at him. "You should be! How'd a wimp like you end up with the Chaos Sword?" he taunted. Conan the raccoon sat across from him, having recently joined up with the Freedom Fighters. "I wonder that, too, dragon." he grumbled, glaring at his old sword in Lucky's hands, "I'll put my Chaos Wing to good use here, but...it's not the same." the raccoon grunted. A wild-haired human was making his way through the hall that the recruits were resting in, and saluted when he found Guard. "Dr. Nammad, uh, reporting for duty, uh, sir! I heard your chief scientist was, uh, out of commission!" he stated. "Grr... No, he's just gotta stay out of the field." Guard stated, "But whatever. Gunner's that way..." he said, pointing. Heather was sitting nearby. "Hmm... You sure you're happy with your name?" she asked. Guard shrugged. "Grrr... I think there are bigger things to worry about now." he stated. Tommy and Ridley were trying to chat with another recent arrival, Bark the polar bear, but he only responded in grunts and growls. "Not a talker, but I get the sense he's missing some friends, too..." Ridley sighed. Antoine was busy bragging about his last mission to Bunnie, overselling his contribution a bit. "Uh, huh... Real great, Ant. So, you're not worried 'bout the whole three-days-to-doomsday thing?" she asked. Antoine thought about it. "Wait... We are doom-ed? Are you sure!?" he stammered, nervous. "Uhh... Nooo, never mind..." Bunnie sighed, walking away. If he missed that detail earlier, best he not fret about it. Amidst all this, Gemini took a deep breath and looked for Punchy. She had to tell him exactly who hurt Rotor. She found him heading for the war room. "Punchy! Wait! ...I'm sorry you guys got shot at..." she sighed. "Eh, you froze. It happens." Punchy shrugged. Gemini tugged his arm. "I froze because of who was under that helmet..." she stated. Punchy stared at her. "What? We know that dude?" he muttered. "Punchy... It was Copter. He... he's working with that nasty vulture." she told him. Punchy stared at her. "What?? That...makes no sense. So, do they work for Eggman?" he asked. Gemini shrugged. "I don't know, but I don't think Copter's in his right mind... He wouldn't even talk to me." she said. Punchy nodded. "No choice. You'd better tell Bucky. He'll know what to do. Or he'll have some weirdly fatherly thing to say about it. Or he'll zap you. Dude's unpredictable as heck." he said, walking away. Gemini stared at him as he left. "Th-then why do I have to tell him!?" she stammered. "Because we want to watch!" said Zipp, flitting across the way with Vortex beside him. "Now we've lossst Crasssh and Copter? Jussst great." Vortex sighed. "Yeah, what's next, Whisk gonna turn up robotisized?" Zipp smirked. Vortex swatted at him. "You sssaid that jussst to upssset me, you pessst!!" he hissed. Gemini groaned as she watched them. "Fine, I'll spread the word..." she whined.
In the war room, Sally was in communication with Knuckles. "Eggman's base in Metropolis is vulnerable. I'm launching an attack to try and take it! I'm callin' it 'Operation Big Wave!' We could use your help, just in case Eggman puts up a fight!" he stated. Sally scratched her head. "Sounds kind of like a trap, Knuckles. Why would Eggman leave his capital vulnerable?" she pointed out. Knuckles nodded. "I hear ya, but with three days until annihilation, we can't afford to pass on any breaks there might be just to be cautious. You gonna help or not?" he asked. Sally looked unsure. "Is Sonic going?" she asked. "Well, uhhh... A Sonic..." Knuckles replied sheepishly. "I don't like how you said that. I really can't spare anybody. We wouldn't make it in time, anyway..." she sighed. "I can make it!" Punchy announced, coming up behind her, "I'll save your tail, red!" he smirked. Kosmo joined him. "I'm obviously not gonna find Carrie here. Might as well check the Resistance." he said. Knuckles nodded. "Great! Uh, you don't mind workin with, uhhh..." he said, glancing back at Felicia behind him. Punchy and Kosmo groaned together. "I'll swallow my pride. Maybe this is karma. Dark me did try to kill her." Punchy said. "I don't need your karma!" Kosmo sighed, "But I'll still come." Sally nodded. "Okay. Come back in one piece, you two. We could really use you back." she said, heading back to her maps to continue thinking of plans. Felicia approached the monitor to talk to Punchy and Kosmo. "Hey! Haven't seen you guys since the big Tournament! Glad to have you on our side! I was nervous Sonic wasn't gonna be here. Good to have other friendly faces! See you!" she said before hanging up. Punchy and Kosmo shared looks of shock. "We sure that's Fera?" Kosmo asked. "I'm sure of nothing these days..." Punchy replied. With that, the pair struck out to join Operation Big Wave. Could Eggman be stopped within three days? The gauntlet was thrown, and it was up to everyone to do their best to save their world now!
To be continued...