Sonic GeneX - The Series: Armada!
Episode 2 - Battle Birds
Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA and
Sonic Team. You knew that, right?
GeneX and related fanchars are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.
Previously on Sonic GeneX...
The re-emergence of the Battle Bird Armada led GUN to recapture a group of outlaws, intending to send them on the mission to West Side Island to stop the Armada and keep GUN's forces out of the line of fire (due to Gunner's desire to avoid getting involved in another war). The group was ultimately comprised of Guard, Spy, Rouge, Omega, Conan, Nack, Bean, Bark and Eddie. Meanwhile, Sonic realized his Uncle Chuck was missing, and set out in search of clues to his whereabouts.
Now, let's begin today's story!
A small GUN cargo ship carried the newly formed Strike Force to West Side Island, arriving at the coast of Emerald Hill Zone. Dr. Nammad had fitted the criminals with shock collars, so should they step out of line, all Guard, Rouge or Spy had to do was press a button on a remote to give the offender a jolt. Upon their arrival, Guard received a call from HQ. "Grrr... I'm afraid I'll have to go. A situation has arisen and Col. Gunner wants me to look into it. Until I return, Agent Spizzweld has been put in charge." Guard said, motioning to Spy. "Huh?" he babbled, as though he'd been asleep. "I'm in charge now? I can't be in charge! I've had no military training!" he stammered. "You're the only other one here Gunner trusts..." Rouge sighed, "And I use that term loosely." Guard shrugged and headed off the ship, flying off without delay. "Target... Chaos Claws. Last known sighting... Station Square. Grrr... Mission commencing." he muttered to himself as he flew across the sea. With Guard gone, Nack tapped Conan on the shoulder and led him to a secluded corner of the ship to talk. "We can take 'em now that they're down a goon. That Spy don't got a clue." he grinned. "I don't fancy a shock from this new accessory GUN's fitted me with." Conan grunted. "We got a ringer. The hyena has his ways of bypassin' the shock collar, don't he? We did time in the Hopebringer Center together. He'd wander out of his cell to the vending machine all the time. I think he WANTED to be in that dump for some reason..." Nack stated. Conan nodded. "I know Eddie... He's a loose cannon. Let me speak to him..." he suggested. "Whatcha whisperin' about!?" Bean shouted, jumping up between them and getting everyone's attention. Rouge had her finger on the shock button, and Nack looked a tad nervous. "J-just wonderin' when we're leavin' this cramped dingy." he babbled. They all looked to Spy, and he jumped in surprise. "Uh... Oh, yeah! You and Omega go out and um... get a lay of the land!" he said to Rouge, "We'll head out once we're sure the area's um... secure." he said awkwardly. Bark groaned and Eddie chuckled while Conan glanced at Nack. "You're right. We should strike while the moron's in charge." he whispered.
Meanwhile, Shadow Arcangel was landing in a secluded area just outside Troblusk City. Heather the phoenix had contacted Bucky, and now boarded the flying laboratory where she was created, though being there made her a bit uneasy. "I wouldn't have called, but I didn't really have anywhere else to turn..." she began as she entered the control room. Zipp the hornet was in the pilot's seat, and was starting to get the ship back into the air. "I'm your creator, not your enemy. I do apologize for the miscalculations that led to all your suffering..." Bucky told her. "Alssso, we were not really on the sssside of Dessspair during that conflict." Vortex the chameleon added, standing beside the lab rat. Heather shrugged, seeming unsure, but she didn't seem like she had much choice, either. "I'm being hunted. Some creeps calling themselves 'Battle Birds' are trying to recruit me. Very insistent. I barely got away the last time they came after me." she explained. Crash the rhino was sitting in the room as well, and looked a bit worried. "Again with people tryin' to catch Heather? How powerful is she, boss?" he asked. Bucky crossed his arms. "Less powerful since that royal feline took some of the burden of the flames of disaster from her during the Time Eater melodrama... but there is still some of that residual energy left in her. I know. I had a chance to check before we left that White Space. With the right science behind them, they could weaponize Experiment 7..." he explained, "We'll have to keep her safe." Whisk the divine teleported into the room at that point, startling Heather a bit. "Shall I show our visitor to her room? I'm real excited to have another girl aboard!" she grinned. "Don't ssstartle her, Whisssk. Sssshe'sss had a rough time." Vortex sighed. Little did they all know that outside the ship, a lone bird was hovering, tailing them. "Rats. She's got an entourage. Even as fast as I am, I'll need help to get her outta there..." said this green bird who was flying with a jetpack and wearing what appeared to be his eggshell still around his waist. There was a communicator on his wrist, and he dialed a number into it to call for assistance. "This is Speedy calling... I need some help, old friend..."
Soon, Guard had arrived in Station Square. The police had no leads on the Chaos Claws for him, so he decided to seek out an old feline friend, Mia the cat. As a cab driver, she surely had seen a thing or two around the city. He tracked her vehicle back to her house. "Gr... Maybe she won't be very helpful. She might be home sick..." he mumbled, but decided to knock at the door anyway. The door creaked open when he touched it, and found the interior of the house dark and ransacked. "Grrr! This doesn't look good..." he muttered. Stepping down the hall and into the living room, he found Mia resting on the couch, her outfit scratched in places. "Grrr! Are you alright?! Who did this to you??" Guard asked, rushing over to her. Mia looked up weakly. "...I did..." she whispered, and then held up her hands. They were attached to the Chaos Claws, her fingers stuck inside the pointed tips of the weapons like tight-fitting gloves. "Rrr? You have the claws!? I don't understand... Can't you remove them?" Guard asked. Mia's eyes suddenly went vacant. "Who says I want to remove them?" she said darkly, and leapt from her seat, slashing toward Guard wildly! He blocked with his scythe, and found himself parrying her claws with his weapon's handle as she clawed at him like a maniac! "Grrah!? Wh-what's wrong with you!? I-it's me! G-guard the gargoyle! S-stop it!" he shouted, kicking her in the stomach to knock her back onto the chair, and then pinning her down under his scythe! "Grrrr!! Are you mad!?" he shouted. Mia panted heavily, the color slowly returning to her eyes. "...Yes..." she whimpered, "I can't get these crazy claws off, and they're messing with my head... Making me turn into a psycho. Y-you've gotta help me, Guard! Please!" she pleaded, tearing up a little. Guard cautiously helped her up. "Grrr... I think I know what to do..." he muttered, first trying to yank the claws off himself. "I didn't think I could remove them... But I know where a Chaos Relic expert is..." he sighed, suddenly reaching around Mia's neck and fitting her with a shock collar! "H-hey! What's with the accessory?!" she yelped. "Grrr... We need to keep crazy-you in check. You're joining my Strike Force until we can get those claws off you..." he informed her. Mia looked at him angrily. "Some friend you are..." she huffed. "It's that or the Hopebringer Center." Guard grunted. "...Fine choices..." Mia sighed, following Guard's lead as they headed on their way.
Once Rouge and Omega returned safely, the Strike Force set out into Emerald Hill Zone. Conan had talked things over with Eddie, and he'd agreed to help if the others could surround Spy. Once they'd taken him hostage, it would be easy to take out Rouge, and Omega would follow...in theory. Spy led them past a waterfall and into a small cave. "I think... if we use cover like this, we can gradually sneak up on the birds..." Spy said uncertainly. Conan smirked. "Alright. This is the place to move in..." he whispered to Nack and the others. "Good. I hate sneaking up on birds. I'M a bird!" Bean grumbled. Rouge glanced at the whispering criminals suspiciously, but didn't get a chance to look into her suspicions as several explosions went off around them! The cave began to collapse in several places, trapping Spy with the criminals and partially burying Omega! Rouge came out unscathed, but found a band of birds had followed them from the entrance to the cave, led by an older bird with a big, bushy beard. "We got 'em! Good thinking rigging up those explosives, Dr. Fu... Furr... Fumm... Uhh..." one of the minions said, fumbling to pronounce the older bird's name. This angered him. "Rrrr! It is Doctor Fukurokov!! Fukurokov! I have been the Battle Lord's trusted advisor for decades! How is it I cannot command enough respect for my name to be learned!?" he shouted. He was a comical looking fellow throwing a goofy tantrum, but Rouge didn't have time to laugh. Her allies were trapped, and she was surrounded. "You feathered punks are gonna pay for that!" she growled, leaping into action to fight them off! Meanwhile, between the cave-ins, the criminals were panicking. "We're trapped! We're trapped!! STOP BREATHING!! I need this air to last!!" Bean shouted, punching frantically at Bark, who wrestled him back. Eddie appeared injured, and Nack shot at the rocks to no avail. "Great. You ain't the last people I wanted to see before I died..." he grumbled. Spy looked around calmly. "Now I feel at home. Gunner's always getting me in tight spaces like this..." he sighed, glancing at Bean, "Hey, where's your stockpile of explosives? Don't you ALWAYS have some with you? Intel says we gave up trying to find where you keep it all." he stated. Bean jumped and nodded frantically. "Oooh! Yeah! I'll blast this wall WIDE OPEN!!" he shouted, but Spy halted him. "Wait! You blast it randomly and we might get buried all the way! We need to blow just the right spot..." he murmured. "How we gonna find that?" Nack grumbled. Spy scratched his head. "Omega!? You hear me!?" he shouted. "I am... stuck." the robot muttered. "We'll get ya out! Quick, scan this cave-in for weak points!" Spy called out. "Acknowledged..." Omega muttered. In a moment, he spoke up. "I can only project structural integrity map from this side..." Spy then turned to Eddie. "Can you send an illusion over there to be our eyes? Does it work that way?" he asked. Eddie chuckled weakly. "I think I can muster one short lived illusion before I pass out... Hee..." he said. His illusion self emerged on the other side of the rock wall, waving at Rouge as she was busy kicking at any birds that neared her. Omega displayed the results of his scan, revealing a weakness in the wall projected in red light. Returning, Eddie quickly pointed. "Right there, chief..." he sighed. Bean ran up and planted a bomb on the spot, and everyone stood back as the rocks blew out of the way! Dr. Fukurokov gasped as they emerged from the trap, and turned to flee, followed by his battered minions. "That's right, run away!" Rouge shouted, turning around. "Huh?? How'd you guys get out!?" she stammered. Conan shrugged. "Shades here figured it out... Seems he CAN do something...also seems we owe him one..." he grumbled, glancing at the others, who nodded hesitantly. Rouge looked at Spy with a surprised expression. "Well... I may have misjudged you...a bit. Right, now let's dig Omega out..." she sighed. "Do not help me. I will escape once I am fully charged!" Omega stated. "Yeah, right. But we don't have time for that!" Rouge grumbled, pointing to Bark and motioning for him to get to work moving the rocks on top of the robot.
During all this, things had been fairly quiet aboard Shadow Arcangel. All that was about to change, as Speedy's backup arrived. He boarded the ship quickly along with his "friends", the Babylon Rogues! Jet the hawk, Wave the swallow and Storm the albatross were soon flying about the control room, taunting Team GeneX as they ran about trying to catch them. "Heather... Battle Birds... Babylon Rogues now!? That's it! I'm grabbin' my duck huntin' rifle!!" Zipp shouted angrily. "Just try not to get it mixed up with the boss's old NES Zapper again." Crash sighed. Speedy was quick to zoom over to Heather in the distraction. "Let's try this again, lady. The Battle Bird Armada wants you, a fellow bird, to join us! Look around, you're hangin' out with rats and bees. That's more like prey than pals, isn't it?" he chuckled. Suddenly, Whisk appeared behind him. "Prey on this!" she shouted, trying to club Speedy with Zipp's hunting rifle. "Hey! Don't do that to my gun!!" Zipp shouted. Speedy rushed out of the way, and Bucky fired jolts of lightning through the room to disperse the Babylon Rogues, clearing the birds out of the control room quickly. "Well, that wasss easssy..." Vortex sighed. Bucky looked around suspiciously. "Too easy... Zipp, have they left the ship?" he asked. Zipp made some adjustments using the controls on the side of his helmet before looking around. "Nope, they're flyin' around in here... Heading away from us... Weird." he muttered. Vortex gasped. "They... I know what they're doing!" he gulped, "Remember that big battle towardsss the end of our time in the white ssspace? Metal Ssssonic damaged our enginessss? One of thossse birdssss helped fix it!" he said hurriedly before rushing out. "...I still don't see where he's going with this." Whisk muttered. "It means..." Bucky began, only to be interrupted by the ship lurching forward suddenly and an emergency alarm blaring! Crash groaned and started to follow after Vortex. "They know where and how to wreck our engines!!" he growled. Heather started to go as well. "This is my fault... I have to fight those jerks off!" she said. "Wait, Heather! That's just what they want!" Bucky shouted, stopping to fire jolts into one of the power stations in the control room. "What're you doing??" Zipp asked. "Adding power to the auxiliary engines!" he shouted. "We have auxiliary engines!?" Zipp babbled.
Vortex and Crash soon arrived at the engine room, where Wave was leaning against the wall, holding a big wrench and looking a tad conflicted. "A good mechanic would rather fix things than wreck 'em. Plus this ship did kinda get us out of a jam before. Tell you what, give up the phoenix and I'll fix what I did real quick." she offered. Jet was hovering overhead. "They're not gonna do that! Let's just knock 'em out while they're divided!" he suggested. "I'm up for that!!" Storm shouted, charging forward! Crash ran out to meet his challenge, and was soon grappling with the large albatross. Speedy and Jet charged at Vortex, but he was ready. "Chaosss Camouflage!" he shouted, his body enveloping itself in Chaos energy, therefore becoming painful to touch. The two birds changed direction quickly, and Speedy was suddenly knocked out of the sky by one of Heather's fireballs as she arrived. "I'll never go with you!!" she shouted, running in and chasing after Jet. Vortex returned to normal and gasped for breath. Chaos Camouflage was an ability that seemed to get tougher on him each time he used it. He looked over at Wave, stumbling a bit as the ship lost some altitude sharply. "Thisss ssship isss my home... You will fix the enginesss promptly if I deliver Heather to you?" he asked. Wave nodded. "Of course." At this moment, Whisk teleported into the doorway. She watched as Vortex turned and fired a Chaos Inferno blast at Heather, knocking her down! "V-vortex!! What are you doing!?" she gasped. Speedy and Jet quickly swooped down and restrained Heather while Wave set to work fixing the engines. Crash hesitated in his shock, and Storm knocked him over. "Alright... Good thing we picked up flame-retardant gloves before making this trip!" Jet muttered as Storm joined him in carrying the struggling Heather away. Whisk was about to move to stop them, but Vortex stood in her way. "Whisssk... They would dessstroy the ssship... They're too fassst..." he hissed. As Speedy and the Rogues escaped, Whisk glared hatefully at Vortex. "You... you didn't even try... How could you? I... I need to get away from you... You're heartless!" she stammered, teleporting away, and even off the ship, flying off on her own to escape her troubles. Jet glanced at her briefly, but saw she was heading in the opposite direction. "Well... Is our business concluded?" Jet asked, "I hate working for your dad, squirt." Speedy shrugged. "I guess we're done. So, I'm gettin' pretty fast, huh? I'm thinkin' I can outfly you now!" he chuckled. "Dream on, kiddo! I'm still way faster!" he chuckled. "Ugh... Like we really need TWO Jets..." Wave sighed. Back on the ship, it wasn't long before Crash told the others what had happened. Bucky glared at Vortex, but then seemed unable to look at him. "Your actions were rash, and now two of our number are gone! You're confined to your room for the evening, Vortex! I don't want to see you for a while!" he shouted. Vortex nodded and walked away, not saying anything. "'Tex got duuumped! 'Tex got duuuumped!" Zipp teased, inviting glares from Bucky and Crash. "Too soon?" he chuckled nervously.
Sonic was not prepared to give up the search for Uncle Chuck. He had one more lead to look into: Chuck's workplace, a corporation known as AcornCorp. Maybe something he'd been working on had something to do with his disappearance. Sonic found that he couldn't get in during the day without an appointment, so he decided to sneak in at night. His speed made it easy to get past the security cameras and guards without being noticed. "Now, let's see... Where does Uncle Chuck work, anyway? Hmmm... this'd be easier if I... knew the old guy a little better..." Sonic admitted. As he looked around, he thought he saw a shadow round a corner. "Hmm... Maybe he's workin' round the clock on something?" he hoped, hurrying after the person to see who it was. He went from hopeful to alarmed as he found the black winged, black hooded being known as the Deathbringer! "Hey, you! You can't be sneaking around here! I'M sneaking around here today! ...Well, anyway, do you know where my Uncle Chuck is?? Talk!!" he shouted, speeding towards the hooded being without thinking much. The Deathbringer made some off gestures with her hands. "Sorry, Sonic, but I can't have you here right now... Perhaps another time!" she said in a mechanically disguised voice, not that Sonic would know who she was even if he heard her real voice. A portal appeared in Sonic's path before he could avoid it, and before Sonic knew it, he smacked right into... a tree? "Ooof!! Who put that in a building??" Sonic mumbled, looking back to see the portal closing. There was no time to jump back into it before it was gone. Sonic looked around. He appeared to be in the Mystic Ruins now. "Well, that's just..." Before he could finish his thought, he heard a loud roar overhead! Running out of the trees and glancing up, he saw the unmistakable draconian form of the Kosmogon, Kosmo the Morph's ultimate form! Nearby was Shadow Arcangel, but it was what Kosmo was fighting that really stunned Sonic. Super Tails and Super Copter were zooming through the sky, fighting the crazed dragon like the fate of the world depended on it! "Thaaaat wasn't just a portal to another location... Darn it, that hooded creep sent me back in time! ...Real original!" Sonic groaned, "Well... I'll finish watchin' Tails kick butt from this sweet vantage point... Maybe look for a slightly better place to watch, actually... And then... How the heck am I gonna get back to the future? ... Shoot..." Sonic would have a lot to think about that night. Somehow, he had to get back!
To be continued...