GeneX Chronicles - The Twilight Cage
Chapter 1 - Mysterious Marauders
Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA and
Sonic Team. You knew that, right?
This story is based on the video game: Sonic Chronicles - The Dark Brotherhood.
GeneX and related fanchars are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.
For more info on GeneX, see 2BIT's other stories: GeneX - Tails the Fox, GeneX - A New Beginning, and GeneX - Soleanna Struggle.
WARNING! This story contains spoilers of the game it is based on, even on this first chapter! If you haven't played the game already, I suggest you not read this story yet! You've been warned...
The universe is a vast place. It stretches further than the furthest reaches of the imagination. Still, a single universe doesn't even scratch the surface of what's out there. Hidden in each universe is an entrance to countless other universes, dimensions, and realities. Some are nearly indistinguishable from others. Some have only slight variations from others. Still others are drastically different. Among the many alternate realities are a group inhabited by intelligent animals. A common factor in many of these dimensions is a powerful force of good, an incredibly fast blue blur known in all such realities as Sonic the Hedgehog!
In the dimension of GeneX Prime, the world has long been threatened by Dr. Ivo Robotnik, AKA Dr. Eggman. His diabolical schemes for world domination might actually succeed if not for the intervention of Sonic the Hedgehog. Some time before this tale begins, Dr. Eggman attempted once more to conquer the world. However, with the help of the military organization known as the Guardian Unit of Nations (GUN), Sonic and friends defeated the mad scientist once more, destroying his new Egg Carrier warship. While Sonic and his friends escaped, Dr. Eggman was never found. He has been presumed dead for some time now...
Chapter 1, Act 1: Foes New and Old (Dark Brotherhood: Hostile Reception)
Punchy the Echidna was in an unusually good mood. For once, he had managed to outwit the very echidna he was cloned from, Knuckles. He hadn't achieved his ultimate goal of taking the Master Emerald, but he and Rainbow had managed to do the next best thing. They'd stolen the green Chaos Emerald, without Knuckles even noticing them! Punchy admired his prize, which was sitting on a table in Rainbow's underground, temple-esque house. "I knew we'd get past ol' Red eventually... He's slippin' lately. After all, I'd heard he was guarding ALL of the Chaos Emeralds, but there were only a couple left." Punchy said. Rainbow picked up the Chaos Emerald and compared it to Punchy. "Neat, it's as green as you are, One! But it's much prettier... No offense!" she grinned. As she placed the emerald back on the table, a loud banging was suddenly heard at the door! "Eeek! I think we made Knucklehead mad and he followed us here!" Rainbow shouted. Punchy clenched his fists in preparation for a fight. "If he knows what's good for him, he'll turn back now!" he growled. Suddenly, the door was flung open! "Strange... It was unlocked!" said a feminine voice at the doorway. "Huh? Who's that?" Rainbow said curiously. Three figures wearing black armor and odd helmets entered the room. They looked like aliens, and with that armor, Punchy figured they weren't there to talk. "All right, punks! What do you want here!?" he said impatiently. The female in the trio glanced at Punchy and Rainbow, then gasped as though shocked. "Echidnas? I was told that red echidna was the only one left!" she said. Rainbow scratched her head. "Gee, who told you that?" she said. The female intruder looked thoughtful for a moment, then removed her helmet, revealing that she was an orange echidna! She wore a black headband with a strange symbol on it, and had light purple eyes. "I am Shade of the Nocturnus Tribe. We have need of the Chaos Emeralds, and I request that you turn over the emerald you have peacefully. You do not look like warriors, so I would be very sorry if we had to harm you..." she said, wasting no time getting to the point. Rainbow looked worried. "Well... Gee, Shad--" Punchy covered Rainbow's mouth. "I know you called Shadow Shade, but FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD, don't call her Shadow!" he shouted. After he let her go, Rainbow sighed sheepishly before continuing. "Um... Nocturna... Why do you want the gem?" she asked. Shade put her helmet back on. "I cannot say. Simply hand it over, and we'll leave peacefully." she insisted. Punchy stepped between Rainbow and Shade. "Sounds to me like you're threatening us... And I don't take kindly to threats!" he warned. Shade sighed regretfully, then motioned to her underlings. "Procure the emerald. I will remove this obstacle from our path!" Punchy, realizing that using Chaos Avalanche here would cause damage to Rainbow's home, simply threw a punch at Shade, which she easily avoided! Shade's underlings ran past them and reached for the Chaos Emerald, but Rainbow got in their way. "I'm going to have to ask you guys to leave!" she yelled. One of the Nocturnus pushed her aside while the other grabbed the emerald. "How rude! You're really bad house guests!" she shouted. Meanwhile, Punchy was preoccupied fighting with Shade. She was tough, but Punchy was holding his own fairly well. Unfortunately, the other Nocturnus were not going to settle for a fair fight. The one that wasn't holding the emerald attacked Punchy from behind, knocking him over! Rainbow attempted to attack them herself, but the other Nocturnus knocked her down! "We should terminate them to prevent them from getting in our way again!" one of the Nocturnus suggested. Shade shook her head. "We take them prisoner. There's no need for senseless violence." she said. "You'll be taking them nowhere!" came a voice from the doorway! As the three Nocturnus glanced towards the doorway, a flurry of Wrongos flew into the room, surrounding and attacking them together! "Ahh!! What is this? Procurator Shade, orders!" Shade's lackey shouted. "We have what we came for! Retreat!" She ordered. The three Nocturnus pressed a button on their belts, and vanished in a flash of light! "Well done, Wrongos! Begone." said the voice in the doorway, prompting the Wrongos to vanish as well. Punchy and Rainbow climbed to their feet and ran to greet their rescuer. "Great timing, Illusi!" Punchy said to the shrew waiting in the doorway.
Meanwhile, at the GUN headquarters in Central City, Richard Gunner was busy filling out paperwork at his desk. With Dr. Eggman gone, things had been quiet for some time, so Gunner found himself mired in the more boring parts of his job. As he put down his pen and took a sip from his coffee mug, the phone on his desk began to ring. "A call? This better not be Spy calling about that raise he wants again!" he grumbled as he answered the phone. "Gunner here." The voice that responded was that of the GUN Commander. "Hello, Richard. Your agents aren't all busy are they?" he asked. "They can never be too busy for you, sir. What are your orders?" Gunner replied. "We've received reports of strange activity in the vicinity of Green Hill Zone. Of course, this isn't news; there's been a lot of strange occurrences there lately. Unfortunately, most of GUN's resources are tied up dealing with the mysterious Marauders that stole the Chaos Emeralds and captured Knuckles." the Commander said. Gunner tightened his grip on his coffee mug at the mention of Knuckles. "Perhaps we're better off without that animal..." he muttered. "Not likely. We'll need all the help we can get dealing with the Marauders. However, we recently received reports of a different nature. Our reports seem to indicate morph activity somewhere in Green Hill Zone. Experiment 3 may be on the move! Since we cannot ignore this possible threat, even with the Marauders, I'm requesting that you investigate this matter. I await your findings!" Once the Commander had finished speaking, Gunner accepted the mission and hung up the phone. He then walked to the door of his office and opened it to find a GUN agent with sunglasses standing behind the door. He had apparently been eavesdropping, but Gunner ignored this fact. "Agent 16... Good timing. Find Guard and send him to Green Hill Zone to search for Experiment 3, the morph! Capture him, if possible! It's about time that freak showed himself, and I don't want to let him get away again!" As Gunner re-entered his office and slammed the door behind him, Agent 16 look a bit startled. He started running down the halls of the base, but he wasn't searching for Guard. "A morph? That's impossible!" he muttered. Suddenly, he tripped, and his sunglasses fell off, revealing the glowing yellow eyes of a morph! "Darn human feet..." he muttered in his real voice. Agent 16 was actually Kosmo! "It seems my attempt to get back at those humans who are hunting me has yielded an interesting mystery. Perhaps I will check this out myself..." he said, transforming into Guard. "I just better try not to run into the real Guard. Uh... Grrrrr!"
After some talk, Illusi had led Punchy and Rainbow on a trip to Central City. On the way, he told them what he knew of the Nocturnus "marauders." "They appeared a short while ago. Knuckles had been guarding the Chaos Emeralds as well as the Master Emerald, and the marauders began stealing the Chaos Emeralds. Recently, Knuckles and Tails set a trap for the marauders, but their advanced technology took out the trap easily, and they captured Knuckles." he explained as they neared Tails' new Central City workshop. Punchy frowned at the news. "They captured Knuckles? What did that jerk Tails do about it? Nothing!?" he wondered angrily. Rainbow shook her head. "No way! I'm sure he did everything he could! He's like Two!" she reasoned. Illusi pointed to Tails' Workshop. "He called in help. Look there." The door to the workshop opened, and Tails stepped out with Sonic and Amy in tow. Rainbow's eyes lit up. "Ah, Speedy! He's back! That's good. He'll fix those nocturnal marsupials!" she said. "Nocturnus marauders!" Punchy corrected. Suddenly, an older model of Eggman's robots stomped towards Tails' workshop! It resembled a futuristic suit of metal armor, and was called a Swat Bot. Punchy, Rainbow, and Illusi all looked shocked to see it. "Eggman's robot!?" Punchy gasped. Rainbow looked confused. "Didn't they wreck Tubby's base? I thought he was gone!" The Swat Bot, accompanied by two small sentry drones, quickly began attacking Sonic and his friends, but the three of them quickly took out the out of date robots. "Hmmm... Not some of Eggman's best work... Do you think he could really be back, Illusi?" Punchy wondered. Illusi crossed his arms and glared at the busted robots. "It certainly is suspicious, at any rate." he said. Rainbow jumped excitedly as an idea came to her. "I know! Let's find Two! Maybe he knows something!" she suggested. Punchy nodded. "Yeah, he has that plane Eggman gave him. Maybe it has some technology in it we could use to look for Eggman!" As Sonic, Tails, and Amy finished talking among themselves and left to act on what they'd decided, Illusi started walking away from Punchy and Rainbow. "I suppose you should start by searching this city. I'll try to find some info on these strange happenings myself. Good luck!" he said before disappearing in a puff of smoke. "How does he do that? Oh, well. Let's go, Rainbow!" Punchy said before noticing that she'd already took off. "What are you waiting for, One? Follow me!" she shouted. Punchy looked around in the direction of Rainbow's voice. "Hey!! Wait, I didn't see which way you went!"
Once the area was clear, a blue and green robot hovered down from the sky above the broken Swat Bot. It was E-2X Alpha! Char the Chao flew down beside him and glanced at the wrecked robots. "Sonic always leaves litter everywhere he goes! Isn't that illegal?" Char chuckled. Alpha's head spun around once before stopping and focusing on Char. "Maybe we should call the coppers on him! Then maybe they'll invite us in for cocoa!" he said, still as kooky as ever. Char ignored his remark and pointed at the Swat Bot. "Analyze these parts, Alphie. Tell me what you can find out." he said. Alpha scanned the parts for a moment. "Those toys are older than me! How come I never got to play with them, but someone else did?" Alpha asked like a child who felt he was being treated unfairly. Char looked confused. "Someone else... What? What do you mean?" he asked. Alpha stomped on the floor like he was angry. "Dr. Eggplant never lets anyone else play with his toys! It must've been stolen! No cookies for them!" he shouted. Char understood what Alpha meant now. "Eggman wasn't controlling this robot... It was someone else. Aw, I thought maybe Eggman was still alive after all... How dare someone give me false hope! C'mon, Alphie! I say we find 'em and show them what Eggman would do about this if he was still around!" he said angrily. Alpha jumped excitedly. "Yay, payback! How much do we owe them? Wait, Eggplant robots detected! I say they're that way!" the robot said, flying off. "Cool! Let's go get 'em, Alphie!" Char grinned, following him.
Upon his arrival at Green Hill Zone, Kosmo took a moment to survey his surroundings. "Green hills and fresh air. At least they picked a nice spot to think they're seeing morphs. Unless it's true. Could it be that I'm not the only one?" he thought as he began to explore the area, still disguised as Guard. Though the area seemed peaceful at first, Kosmo soon noticed something strange. The animals in the area seemed aggravated by something. "What's you critters' problems? It too hot around here for you?" he wondered. Though the wildlife looked dangerous, Kosmo did his best to ignore them. However, he soon crossed paths with a trio of enraged armadillos! Without any provocation, the armadillos jumped towards Kosmo, attempting to bite him! Kosmo quickly jumped into the air, hovering just high enough for the animals to miss him. Then, he dropped to the ground and kicked at the angry animals. "Try to bite me, will ya!? I oughta..." Suddenly, one of the armadillos jumped at him again and bit his finger! "Yeow!! Why you.... Take this!" He violently flapped his gargoyle wings, kicking up a mighty breeze which blew dust from the ground at the armadillos, impairing their vision! Next, Kosmo ran towards them, ready to attack! The armadillos, however, were startled by the dust, and decided to cut their losses and run away! "Yeah, you better run, pests!" he yelled. As the armadillos retreated, Kosmo heard someone lightly clapping behind him. Turning around, Kosmo spotted someone mockingly applauding him from a nearby ledge! It was a furry, blue creature, with a long, thin tail and glowing yellow eyes. A morph! The morph had loose hairs on his head, like Kosmo, but his were brushed to the sides. "Bravo. Small woodland creatures flee in terror before you! Well done, fellow morph!" he chuckled. Kosmo flew up to the ledge the morph was standing on, which was at the edge of a waterfall. The blue morph backed away slightly. "So, do I know you?" he asked. Kosmo transformed into his normal, purple form. "No, no one knows me. I'm Experiment 3, Kosmo the morph. And I thought..." Before Kosmo could finish, the blue morph interrupted. "You thought you were the only one of your kind? Sorry to disappoint you. Not a great master of disguise though, are you? Revealed our existence to the world, I bet. Great. Way to mess up. I didn't think a morph could be so pathetic! Well, I guess I'll tell you that my name is Nova. And on that note... Farewell!" Nova began glowing as though he was about to transform, then melted into a puddle of water! His aquatic form slithered into the river and escaped down the waterfall before Kosmo could do anything. "Water!? He can become liquid!? Impossible... And, what was he doing here? Blast it! I have to catch him!" Kosmo growled before transforming into his purple gargoyle form and flying away...
Chapter 1, Act 2: Return to the Mystic Ruins (Dark Brotherhood: The Search For Knuckles)
Punchy and Rainbow had begun searching for Copter in Central City, though Punchy knew full well that it was unlikely that Copter would be hanging out in the same city as GUN's headquarters. After all, the experiments were still fugitives. Punchy himself was rather uneasy being there, but the few GUN soldiers patrolling the city seemed to not recognize him, so they explored the city unhindered. Soon, they found a familiar face near a shop in the city. It was that strange, blue-haired man wearing an alligator suit, Gator. Rainbow ran up to him excitedly. "Hey, Bluehair! Long time, no see!" Gator's face lit up as he saw his old friends. "Hi, shipmates! Have either of you seen Gator's horse? I think I left him near this place... But maybe I left him in Soleanna..." he said unsurely. Punchy shook his head. "I didn't even know you had a horse. Anyway, we really can't deal with your silliness now. We've gotta find Copter!" he said, starting to walk away. Gator teleported in front of him. "Copter? I know where he is, Chomper! We were traveling together, but we split up when we got close to this city..." he said hurriedly. Rainbow smiled at this news. "Cool! Lead the way, Bluehair!" she said. "Are you sure you know where he is if you split up..." Punchy said skeptically. Gator nodded quickly. "I left him in the Mystic Ruins. He's gotta still be there! Where else would he go? Somewhere? Come on! Maybe we'll spot my horse along the way..." Punchy reluctantly followed Gator to the road that would lead from Central City to the Mystic Ruins, but soon found their path blocked! GUN soldiers had set up a blockade, preventing anyone from entering the Mystic Ruins! "Hey! Let us through! We gotta go to the jungle!" Gator demanded. Spy, who was among the GUN agents at the blockade, walked over and pointed back into Central City. "The Mystic Ruins are being guarded due to the disappearance of the Master Emerald guardian. Turn around or I'll turn you over to Gunner!" he threatened. Punchy raised his fists. "Make us, GUN stooge!" he growled. The GUN soldiers at the blockade pointed their guns at them. Suddenly, a voice was heard overhead! "Grrrr.... Put the guns down! I'll handle this!" Guard dropped down from the sky and pointed his scythe at Punchy. "Aaaah!! A sharp thingy! That's much worse than guns! Run!!!" Gator shouted before speeding away! Punchy smacked himself in the forehead in frustration. "Great. We needed Gator. He knew where we were going..." he groaned. Guard remained motionless. "I suggest you go after him. Grrrr... I wouldn't let you leave normally, but I have a more important mission. Grrrr..." Rainbow looked from Guard to the GUN soldiers, and then started running after Gator. "I say we don't waste Six's generosity! Follow me, One!" she said. Realizing she was right, Punchy turned to follow her. "We'll have to find another way into the Mystic Ruins..." he thought.
Kosmo searched Green Hill Zone thoroughly, but found no sign of Nova. As he walked towards the center of the zone, wondering what to do, he spotted Sonic, Tails, Amy, and Rouge entering a room that he himself had searched earlier. It was one of Eggman's old hideouts. "Hmmm... Maybe Nova spotted Sonic and decided to leave to avoid being spotted. He did seem a little... secretive." he said to himself. Realizing that it was pointless to stay, he started heading back towards Central City. "I guess I can get back to my spying and sabotage. It's kinda fun making those chump GUN agents look bad!" Kosmo thought as he snuck past some of the raging wildlife and headed towards the path to Central City. As the exit came into sight, however, Kosmo spotted Guard entering Green Hill Zone! Thinking fast, Kosmo transformed into an armadillo and quietly waited for Guard to pass him. "Drat! That gargoyle got his mission. GUN might suspect something, since I didn't give him the mission like I was supposed to. Might be tempting fate to go back to their base now..." he thought, somewhat frustrated. Once Guard was out of sight, Kosmo reverted to his true form. "Well, I guess I've annoyed people enough for one day. I'll take a break in that mystical jungle place. Maybe I can find something to amuse myself there..." Since Kosmo was already aware of GUN's Mystic Ruins blockade, he transformed into a small flicky bird. "This should get me past those chumps! Silly humans always ignore little animals! Hee hee... Idiots..."
It took a bit of reverse psychology, but Punchy managed to convince Gator to teleport himself and Rainbow past the GUN blockade and into the Mystic Ruins. "Wow! Teleporting sure is handy! No wonder Illusi keeps doing it!" Punchy remarked as he glanced around his surroundings. "Kinda disorienting, though..." he added. The Mystic Ruins were looking foggier than usual, similar to the way it was when Shadow discovered Shadow Arc. Suddenly, Punchy and Rainbow noticed a foul smell, coming from the gas clouds in the area. "Eeew! What happened to this place? It's all stinky!" Rainbow groaned. Gator scratched his head in confusion. "Stinky? I don't smell anything." he said. "Those creepy marauders released the gas into this place. So don't blame me! I'm no skunk!" said a voice in the fog. Punchy recognized the voice right away. "Copter! Where are you? I can't see a thing!" he shouted, stepping through the fog towards Copter's voice. Luckily, the fog had begun dissipating, but not before Punchy walked right into Copter! "Ow!! Watch it! You could knock people into those poison gas clouds like that!" Copter groaned as he picked himself up off the floor. "Don't be mad, Two. One didn't do that on purpose!" Rainbow said as she and Gator joined them. "I wouldn't be so sure of that. He's been kinda grumpy today!" Gator said. Copter ignored Gator and turned to walk away. "Tell Gator I haven't seen his horse and we can all get back to what we were doing." he grumbled. Punchy, Rainbow, and Gator started following him. "We didn't come about that. We want to know if your plane could help us find Eggman. If he's back, he might know something about those echidna marauders!" Punchy explained. Copter stopped a moment. "Those marauders are echidnas? I thought they were aliens or something...." he muttered. Rainbow looked thoughtful. "They said they were from the Nocturnus tribe. I thought they were gone, but I guess not." she said. Copter turned to face the others. "Say, Punchy. I heard the marauders caught Knuckles. Did you ever think about using this opportunity to get the Master Emerald?" he asked. Punchy had a look of alarm on his face. "Hey, you're right! Why didn't I think of that!? I better get to Angel Island!" he said excitedly. "That could be a problem... That's that floating island, right? Shouldn't it be over there!?" Gator said, pointing up at where Angel Island should have been! They all gasped at once as they noticed this. "Where'd the island go!?" Rainbow asked worriedly. "I got it! I'll call the Hurricane, and we'll search for it!" Copter suggested. Punchy frowned. "It only has one seat! I want to go, too!" he whined. Copter rolled his eyes. "You can stand on the wing! And Gator can stay here with Rainbow. OK?" he asked. Gator sighed sadly. "I'll never find my horse..." he said. Rainbow patted him on the back. "No problem, Bluehair! I'll help you look for it!" With the plan decided, Copter pulled out the Hurricane remote and called his plane.
Meanwhile, Kosmo arrived elsewhere in the Mystic Ruins, still in flicky form. He flew over to the edge of a river, then transformed back into his normal form. He had flown right through some of the gas clouds, and sneezed once he was back in his normal form. "Ick! What have those humans been doing to this place?" he growled. Looking around, he noticed a small building atop a cliff in the distance. The fog was mostly gone, and Kosmo could even see some marauders entering the building. "Hmmm... Black suits. I wonder what those guys are up to..." he muttered thoughtfully. "Intruder spotted!" shouted a voice behind Kosmo! Turning around, he saw a marauder scout running towards him! "Intruder? You're an intruder, too!" Kosmo protested. The marauder stopped a few feet from Kosmo and pulled out a stasis bomb from his pocket! "Take this!!" he shouted, tossing the bomb towards Kosmo! He jumped out of the way, but the marauder had more bombs! "Fine. I'll fix you!" Kosmo growled. He morphed into his fox form and used Chaos Whirlwind to blow the bombs back at the marauder! The bombs knocked the marauder over, and his helmet fell off, revealing his identity as an echidna! Kosmo morphed into Sonic and mimicked his speed to snatch the helmet before the echidna could grab it. "Nice. I bet this helmet would fit me, too!" he said. The echidna looked exhausted, as the effect of the stasis bomb became active. "You'll... be sorry..." he muttered as he pressed a button on his belt, which teleported him away. Kosmo wasn't safe yet, though, as several more marauders began running into the area, having been alerted before the first marauder attacked Kosmo! "I don't suppose you guys would leave if I just gave this helmet back, would you?" asked the morph. Before a fight could begin, the water in the river began to stir, and a giant, monstrous octopus jumped out and began attacking the marauders! "Bwaaaa!! A monster!! Our gas must've mutated something! Retreat!!!" shouted one of the marauders as they all began to scatter! Kosmo backed away from the monster slowly. Its glowing yellow eyes looked familiar to him. "Wait a minute..." he muttered. Once the marauders were gone, the monster confirmed Kosmo's suspicions by transforming into Nova! Without a word, Nova quickly ran over to Kosmo and grabbed the helmet from his hand. "Thanks, Kosmo! This should come in handy!" he said, morphing into a marauder without a helmet. "Whenever I try to morph my own helmet, the eyes still glow yellow. Now I got a disguise! See ya!" Before Kosmo could say anything, Nova used the belt on his new form to teleport away! "Wh-what just happened?" Kosmo muttered in confusion. "Wait... I get it. Nova's interested in those sneaky echidnas. They're the key to this whole thing!" he realized. With no other ideas, Kosmo started heading for the marauder base on the cliff.
From the sky, it didn't take long for Copter and Punchy to spot Angel Island. It was indeed moving, but neither of them could tell where it was going. Punchy had suggested trying to land on the island, so Copter was now flying towards it as fast as the Hurricane could travel. The island was still over the Mystic Ruins as they reached it. "Where should we land?" Copter asked as he took the plane over the island. "Maybe near the Master Emerald shrine. Hey, wait... What's that!?" As Copter looked where Punchy was pointing, he spotted a laser heading towards them! "Since when does Angel Island have..." Before Copter could finish speaking, the Hurricane had been hit! It wasn't hit directly, but it was enough to send them spiraling out of control! "Hold on, Punchy!! We're going doooooooooown!!!"
When Copter regained consciousness, he was still strapped into the cockpit of the Hurricane. However, the plane had landed on its side. "Great seat belt..." he muttered, unbuckling himself from the plane and falling out onto his head. "Ooof!! Lousy landing... Punchy! Are you alive?" he yelled, climbing to his feet. Punchy was walking towards the crash site, apparently having landed elsewhere. He was soaking wet. "I'm sure lucky that lake was there..." he muttered. "Where are we?" Copter asked, looking around. Punchy pointed behind the Hurricane. "Home." he said. They had landed just outside Shadow Arc! Looking in the open doorway, they spotted a grey rhino wearing a yellow bowler. It was Crash! As the rhino approached them, Copter let out some mock laughter. "Ha ha ha, I get it. Send Crash to investigate the crash. Bucky's hilarious..." he groaned. "Actually..." Crash grinned, "It was Zipp's idea." Punchy scoffed at him. "Figures." he muttered. Panicked shouting was suddenly heard from the nearby trees. "One! One!! Aha! You're alive!!" Rainbow ran into the area and squeezed Punchy tightly. "I thought you were gone!! Don't do that One!!" she shouted loudly, hurting Punchy's ears. "Aaaa!! Rainbow!! Lemme go!" he yelled. Gator was right behind Rainbow. "What a ride! That looked like fun! Can I go next?" he asked. Copter rolled his eyes. "Fix the plane and it's a deal..." he muttered. Vortex and Zipp were now standing in the doorway of Shadow Arc, looking impatient. "Since you're here, Bucky would like to see you. Come along, and maybe Vortex and Zipp will fix your plane!" Crash said. Since their options seemed limited, Copter and Punchy decided they'd have to take this offer. Following Crash, the group entered Shadow Arc once again.
To be continued...