"So we all now know what the risk is involved in doing this, right?" asked Leviathan as he stood next to the table in the community hut that night. Sonic and the others had gathered around the table, the Knothole Freedom Fighters also gathered around to listen to the conversation.
"Can you run through it one more time?" yelled a brown chinchilla from the back. "Some of us didn't hear half of that!"
"Basically, five of you, along with myself, are going to sneak into the main base on Little Planet," said Leviathan, this time a little louder so those in the back could hear him. "Our goal is to secure the Timestone kept there. Believe it or not, our intelligence team has discovered that the Timestone located there is what's powering most of the base. If the power source is removed from the base, the other Freedom Fighter groups can launch an all-out offensive on the base without having to worry about the automated security systems that rely on the stone's power."
"And what's our role in this going to be?" asked Slasher. She already knew, but to make it seem that it was mostly Leviathan's plan would help rally the others behind the plan.
"Glad you asked, my winged friend," said Leviathan, Sonic snorting at the comment, but having it dismissed by the others around him. "You're job will be to fly Sonic out to the Floating Island to see if its possible to persuade the Guardian to join us. As it stands now, we need every last person we can get."
"Like that will ever happen," said Sonic, catching the other's attention. "There is no way Knux would let anyone on his island more than two seconds before he would kick them off. I should know considering I already went through that with him once before. And unlike last time, there isn't some immediate threat to his home that's gonna make him change his mind."
"Regardless, you know him the best out of all of us and are the prime candidate to undertake such a task," said Leviathan. Sonic merely frowned in annoyance with the knowledge he'd probably have to fight the echidna till he was completely worn down before he'd listen, but he also knew Leviathan was right.
"Let's just get on with the plan," said Saber, drawing attention away from the subject of Floating Island and Knuckles.
"The last part of the plan calls for Saber, Tails, Cody, Lily, and…" Here Leviathan paused, pointing a claw at the chao resting on Cody's head.
"Drake," said the small red chao with a smile.
"Right," said Leviathan. "You five will head to Robotropolis, where another one of the Timestones is kept. As far as who actually has in it their possession, I am unsure of. None of our spies has been able to confirm this information, but from what we've been able to gather, we're pretty sure it's one of the two mecha bots."
"Lovely," said Cody sarcastically as he recalled his first one-on-one fight with Mecha that had taken place a little over a year ago when he had first met Sonic. That fight had nearly killed him and probably would have if it hadn't been for Sonic nearly getting himself killed to stop Mecha.
"So when do we start?" asked Slasher.
"First thing in the morning, so everyone get a good rest tonight. Tomorrow is the day we begin the final chapter in this war. We're gonna strike hard and fast. This war will end with this last effort, one way or another," said Leviathan.
Rings rippled through the water of the Power Ring pool, the remains from a rock tossed into the middle of it by Sonic. It was well after midnight, the twin moons above glowing bright as he sat on the log that was always present near the pool. As he watched the rings ripple towards him, he couldn't help thinking of how much the ripples caused by his stone were just like effects of Leviathan's time trip on the timeline. The two objects caused a distortion of something already present and blurred it out of existence. But as the rings reached the edge of the pool and disappeared, returning the pool to its glasslike surface once again, he had hope that the same thing could be done to the timeline.
"Couldn't sleep either?" asked a voice from out of nowhere, causing Sonic to nearly jump out of his skin as Saber emerged from the underbrush that surrounded the area.
"For crying out loud, Saber!" cried Sonic, trying his best to keep his voice down. "I wish you wouldn't do that to me!" Saber only smirked, the only outward sign that he showed at his own surprise. He hadn't intended to scare Sonic, but apparently he was getting the hang of making himself unknown to those around him when he wanted to be.
"Sorry," he said as he walked over into the clearing with the cerulean hedgehog. He then looked up at the two moons through the trees. "I just couldn't help but notice how down you looked sitting here, so I decided to see if you wanted to talk about anything." Sonic sighed as he took his seat back on the log, Saber watching him the whole time.
"Thanks for the concern Saber, but I'm okay," he said, although the raptor knew full well he was anything but okay.
"It's not healthy to keep things bottled up, you know," said Saber as he walked up and placed a clawed hand his shoulder. Sonic looked up at the moons above again for a few seconds, then curled his legs into his chest and rested his head on his arms.
"I just can't shake the feeling that something is not right about this plan tomorrow. It feels like we're being drawn into a trap of some kind," said Sonic.
"I know what you mean. But then again, Slasher helped plan the whole thing, so she would know if something was amiss," said Saber, trying to reassure both himself and Sonic at the same time as Sonic reached down and threw another rock into the pool, watching the ripples like he had been doing since he had come out here nearly an hour ago.
"It's not Leviathan's involvement in the planning that has me worried, but it's more that fact that he wasn't at all surprised to see us when we met him earlier today," said Sonic. Saber frowned slightly.
"I know what you mean. It was if he knew we were already there, like he had been expecting us," said Saber.
"Then again, if someone had told him outside of the hut that we were in there, then he wouldn't be surprised at all about us being in there," said Sonic.
"True. That's probably what happened, seeing how nothing goes on around Knothole without everyone knowing about it," said Saber. Letting out a small yawn, Sonic got to his feet, stretching his legs and arms in the process.
"Well, sleepless nights are no way to be ready for a mission like this one. I think it would be best if we head on back and get some rest," said Sonic.
"Good idea. I'm surprised Slasher hasn't come looking for me yet. I was supposed to be back almost an hour ago," said Saber as the two friends headed back towards the village. As they walked out of sight of the pool, Slasher came out from the underbrush she had been hidden in. She had been following Saber for the last two hours as the raptor had burnt off some stress running about the forest. But what had happened in the last few minutes actually had the winged raptor smiling. He's become more mature in the last week than even I though he could become in a year, as well as getting better at his natural skills. I think he'll do just fine tomorrow, she thought to herself before taking to the air towards Knothole to get some sleep herself.
The cool morning breeze blew through Sonic's quills, the air having a slight salty smell to it as he rode on back of Slasher. They had been the second group to head out, Leviathan's group having already left before the crack of dawn. He sighed, wondering if Cody and the others were up to the task at hand. While he was reasonably sure that Tails and Lily had experience fighting whichever one of the mecha bots was stationed in Robotropolis, he couldn't help but worry about the three time travelers. Sure, Cody would have some experience if it was Metal Sonic. But if it was Silver Sonic, then he'd be going in blind. And both Drake and Saber had no prior run in with either of the two bots before.
"Don't you worry," said a reassuring voice from in front of him. "I'm sure they'll be just fine."
"What do you mean? I'm not worried," said Sonic. A chuckle followed his comment, the raptor's head turning back towards him.
"You can't fool me Sonic. You have worry written all over your face," she said. Giving him a smile before she turned back towards her front, she added, "Plus, your slightly faster breathing gave it away."
"Well, for their sake, I hope you're right," he said as Slasher flew into a group of clouds, obscuring the view for a few moments before she broke through the top layer of the formation. Then he saw it in the distance, floating high in the sky right where he remembered it being the first time he had been to it. "There it is, Floating Island."
"Amazing how it just floats there, as if nothing were holding it up except the clouds," commented Slasher as she flew towards the island.
"Same thing I thought when I first saw it," said Sonic as Slasher reached the edge of the massive chunk of floating land. "Be careful. No telling what surprises might pop out at us." Slasher nodded as she landed on the sandy beach on the east edge of the island.
"So where do you think Knuckles would be at?" she asked as Sonic dismounted, responding with merely a shrug.
"I wouldn't have a clue to be honest. We never really got to know each other all that well in the few months since we met. Not surprising though when you think about it. The guy's a little too serious for me," he said. He then smiled as he started walking in-land. "But there is one thing I know about him that is sure to bring him to us. All we have to do is get near the Master Emerald and I'm sure he'll come running." Slasher only nodded, not quite sure what Sonic was talking about, but knowing that he knew what he was doing.
"Then lead on. You know this place better than I do," she said as the two started into the thick jungle, unaware of the pair of emerald green eyes watching them from their hiding place in the thick underbrush.
"So tell me again whose bright idea it was to get into Robotropolis through the sewer system?" asked an angry Lily, cringing at the feel of the sewage against the fur on her legs.
"It was the safest route to use," said Tails. "Would you rather have velocibots stalking us or be spotted by a surveillance orb and ruin the plan?"
"No, but I doubt I'll ever get the smell out of my boots and I can't stand the feel of this goop sticking to the fur on my legs," she complained. Drake looked back at Lily from his place on Cody's head, wondering why girls always seemed to have a problem with things that smelled bad.
"A small price to pay to get the Timestone from whichever mecha bot is up there," said Tails.
"In your mind, perhaps," she muttered to herself. Cody smiled as he listened to the two of them argue back and forth. He was glad that she had managed to survive in this horrific mirror world, though she was definitely more into fighting than the Lily he knew. The thought of his own Lily brought a scowl to his face. He hated the thought that this world's Lily had gone through all the emotional pain she did over losing her version of him. He would make that raptor pay for what he had put her through, regardless if he had changed or not. As soon as they had all the Timestones in their possession, he would make sure to put the mechanical beast in its place once and for all and prevent him from ever causing her to feel such pain.
"Are you all right Cody?" asked Lily, noticing the frown on his face. Regaining his composure, he turned back to her with a smile on his face.
"I'm all right. Just anxious to kick the tail of the mecha bot up there," he lied. Lily knew he was lying to her. He never was good at hiding things from her, but she decided to let it go. Some things just weren't worth prying about. After a few more minutes of walking, Tails came to a stop below a sewer grate.
"This should lead directly into the lower substations just outside of the Command Center, right?" asked Tails, looking over at Cody.
"Unless Robotnik rebuilt the sewer system for sheer pleasure, it should," he answered. Tails couldn't help but smile at the comment as he climbed the ladder leading to the grate.
"That guy wouldn't waste his time with something as trivial as this," he said as he lifted the grate out of its resting place. As he lifted himself out of the sewer below, he suddenly felt a cold object touch his fur. Turning around, he came face to face with the barrel of a laser rifle held by one of six Swatbots. A much shorter person stood in the middle, wearing a bright green shirt with dark green pants while having a brown cloak draped around him. "Of course, I could be wrong," he said as he raised his hands.
"It would appear we managed to catch five little vermin scurrying about through the sludge. Still, it does feel nice to have guests after all this time," said Snively as the group was brought out of the sewers by the Swatbots.
"So how much further is it?" asked Slasher she carried Sonic up the side of a cliff inside of Lava Reef. While she hardly ever lost her patience, being inside of a volcano wasn't exactly the way to keep ones cool. Her cold-blooded body could only stand so much heat before she would begin to feel the effects of heat exhaustion, and eventually collapse from it.
"Not much further," said Sonic as the duo made their way up the side of the cliff. Boy, this brings back memories, he thought as he remembered his and Tails' adventure in Lava Reef all those months ago. In fact, it was the same cliff side that they had found the final ring teleporter that had taken them to Hidden Palace so they could activate the Super Emeralds.
"Hold on," said Slasher, stopping in her tracks.
"What's wrong?" he asked, looking around. Slasher hushed him before looking around the area below them intently. After ten seconds, she shook her head, then headed on her way back up the side of the cliff. "What was it?"
"Thought I heard something," she said, then gave a shrug as she finally reached the top of the cliff, landing and letting Sonic off. "Then again, it was probably just the heat playing tricks on me." As the two of them headed towards the tunnel that lead into Hidden Palace, Slasher kept cocking and bobbing her head, trying to see if she could hear the sound she thought she had heard earlier, but to no avail. As they slowly walked up the incline inside the lava rock tunnel, the dull reddish colored glow from the lava lake behind them slowly began to fade away and be replaced by a much softer turquoise glow from the other end of the passageway.
Sonic's mind drifted back to his and Knuckles' first real fight. He and Tails had just reached about the three quarters mark of the incline when Knuckles had appeared at the top of the tunnel just before tossing a huge boulder at them. Sonic couldn't help but smile to himself as he remember the look of pure surprise and shock on the echidna's face when he had stopped in mid-run, turned around and transformed for the first time into Hyper Sonic. After stopping the boulder, he had then confronted Knuckles, changing back to normal to have a fair fight against him that had ended in a draw when Tails had used the Chaos Emeralds to transform into his own super form and had the Power Flickies break the two of them up.
"I think now would be a good time to get started," whispered Tails as the six Swatbots led him and the others to cells in the high security area of the Command Center. Cody only smiled as he raised his shackled hands towards the Swatbot in the front of the group. The lead Swatbot never saw the blast coming as Cody fired his wrist laser into its back. Everyone then dove to the floor as he then turned in a three hundred and sixty degree circle, blasting the other five Swatbots guarding them. Taking the keys from the first Swatbot he'd shot, he undid his shackles, then the others before handing the blue emerald back to Drake with a small curse at himself for not remembering he couldn't touch the emerald without getting a painful bit of feedback from its energy.
"That turned out pretty well, considering we weren't killed on the spot," said Saber.
"Yeah, but Snively isn't one to pass up torturing people first and then throwing them into the Roboticizer. The time it takes for him to go from capture till roboticization has been one of the few things that has let us rescue some people over the years," said Tails as he took his crossbow and quiver from the Swatbot carrying them. "Now let's go get that Timestone."
"So do you think he'll be in there waiting on us?" asked Slasher, bringing Sonic out of his daydream and back to reality. He then frowned when he noticed that she had a point. So far, nothing out of the ordinary had happened, and they hadn't seen a trace of Knuckles yet.
"Not sure. Frankly, I'd have figured him to already be on top of us for being this close to the sanctuary," he answered. As the two of them finally reached the exit to the passageway, the soft turquoise glow was now several times brighter as they came within a direct line of sight with the crystal formations along the cavern walls that lined the Hidden Palace sanctuary as well as the pedestal that the Master Emerald sat upon, its glow cascading throughout the cavern.
"It's beautiful," commented Slasher as she took in the sight of the brilliant crystals and the enormous green emerald set in the middle of the whole view. Sonic also stopped to take his first good look at the sanctuary, having realized that during his one time in here before he had been so preoccupied that he hadn't taken any time to enjoy the scenery.
"That it is," he agreed as they slowly started walking deeper into the cavern, taking in all the wondrous sights the palace offered. As they came closer to the pedestal that the Master Emerald was resting upon, Sonic noticed that the other seven pedestals that held the Super Emeralds were barren, having never been activated in this timeline. For some reason, he couldn't help but feel a twinge of sadness at this thought, but he couldn't tell why he did. As the two of them came close enough to the Master Emerald's pedestal to literally reach out and touch it, however, his sadness quickly turned to annoyance. "Hey knucklehead, come on out and fight me!" he hollered out, looking around the sanctuary for any kind of response. Slasher was also scanning the cavern for any sign of the crimson echidna, but nothing answered Sonic's challenge.
"Do you think someone got to him before we came?" asked Slasher, turning to look back at the Master Emerald.
"Not a clue. This is all pretty freaky if you ask me," he answered as he scratched the inside of his left ear with his left pinky. It was only due to the fact that his hand was slightly cupping his ear while he was scratching it that he managed to hear the approach of someone from behind, quickly leaping up and forward as he felt something slash the air just where he had been standing. He then landed next to Slasher who had also turned back to see who had attacked them. "About time you showed up Knux," said Sonic smugly as he turned around to face his attacker, but his smug attitude changed to one of surprise when he saw who it was standing before him.
While it was definitely an echidna that now stared back at the cerulean hedgehog, it was most definitely not Knuckles. That much was evident by the fact that this echidna was not a boy, but rather a girl. She appeared to Sonic to be in her late teens and although she didn't look quite as muscle bound as Knuckles was, she still had a physique of someone that worked out quite regularly. Her eyes were a dark green, almost matching Sonic's own eyes. Her fur was bright pink, as well as the nine dreadlocks that flowed down to about her waist. Each of her dreadlocks was decorated with three white cloth bands that appeared at equal intervals around each dreadlock. Her hair was the same color as her fur aside from the three large tufts of her bangs that were also white like her dreadlocks' bands. She wore a bright green tank top with matching green shorts, as well as a pair of matching green boots with white highlights. Strapped around her shoulder was a black scabbard while in her hands she held a long sword of superior craftsmanship. The dual-edged blade was a gleaming silver color with the grip of the hilt a dark brown, the pommel and cross-guard a polished gold, and set in the middle of the cross-guard was a large, brilliant ruby.
"After all this time, I never would have expected that you would come to me," said the echidna with a soft, yet strong feminine voice as she gripped the hilt of her sword tighter.
"What on Mobius are you talking about?" asked Sonic, completely lost as to what the echidna meant by that comment. The echidna then turned her stare towards Slasher.
"You stay out of this reptile. This is between just the two of us," she said. Slasher glanced down at Sonic, who just nodded, indicating that it would be better if she did stay out of the fight. The girl then charged forward, raising her sword back to land a strike at Sonic's head. But Sonic just zipped out of the way, the echidna's sword only going through air. Without missing a beat, however, the girl turned towards where she had seen Sonic run to. He was leaning up against one of the Super Emerald pedestals, calmly scratching at the same itch in his ear that she had interrupted him from getting rid of earlier.
"Not too bad. There aren't a lot of people that can follow me like that," he said calmly as he picked a piece of earwax off his pinky. He then looked over at the echidna. "So why do you have a beef with me anyways? I haven't met you before." The girl tensed up before lunging from her spot, pulling her sword back to impale the blue hedgehog. But just as before, Sonic dodged at the last second as the blade passed through thin air once again. This time, though, Sonic had his fill of her aggressive attitude. He began to run around her, quickly picking up speed as he watched her try to follow his movements. However, it was obvious that even she couldn't keep up with him moving at nearly five hundred miles per hour in a tight circle around her and still picking up speed.
As the girl tried to get a bead on Sonic, she was suddenly picked up as the air around her became like that of a twister, lifting her up off the lava rock floor of the cavern. Sonic then quickly bent the upward flow of the mini twister he'd created, launching the surprised echidna out of the wind vortex and sailing back first right into the Master Emerald pedestal hard enough to jar the sword from her grasp and leave her somewhat stunned.
"That was a little rough, wasn't it?" asked Slasher as Sonic came to a stop next to her.
"Maybe I did over do it just a little," he said as he knelt down next to the echidna as she slowly began to recover from the blow to the back of her head and spine. She held a hand up to her head, trying to ease the dizziness she felt after getting spun around so fast in such a short amount of time. As her blurred vision started to clear up, she looked right into the face of Sonic, jumping back almost instinctively and banging her head a second time against the stone surface of the pedestal. She kept her eyes squinted though as several awkward seconds ticked by before she slowly opened one to see Sonic still looking back at her.
"What's wrong? What are you waiting for? Do it," she said.
"Do what?" he asked, puzzlement evident in his voice. At this, she opened her other eye and stared back at him. Several more seconds ticked by, neither of them moving an inch as the echidna's green eyes stared unblinking into Sonic's own eyes.
"Those eyes…they're…different than his," she said softly as her tense body relaxed somewhat.
"Than whose eyes?" asked Sonic, once again stumped by the echidna's words. The girl just shook her head.
"It's nothing. I-I'm…sorry I attacked you without being sure of whom it was I was fighting," she said, finally breaking her gaze away from Sonic's own. Sonic merely smiled as he got back up on his feet, offering her a hand. But the echidna instead brushed it away, getting up on her own before walking over to where her sword lay on the rock flooring. She picked it up and slid it into the scabbard on her back before turning back towards the other two.
"It would seem we all got off on the wrong foot," said Slasher as she stepped forward. "I would like this encounter to have a better start to it. As such, allow me to introduce myself. I am Slasher. A pleasure to meet you Miss..." With that she extended a clawed hand towards the echidna girl, who once again chose to not acknowledge the gesture.
"Angel," said the echidna, finishing the raptor's sentence. "Angel Starfire to be accurate, but my last name really doesn't hold a lot of meaning for anyone besides myself anymore."
"Why's that?" asked Sonic, raising an eyebrow.
"That would be none of your business hedgehog," she hissed at him, glaring at him with a look that could kill.
"Now mistress, please don't be so harsh with him. He was only asking you a simple question," said a fairly high pitched female voice behind Sonic which made him jump out of his skin with a yell. Turning around, he came face to face with a violet chao with two jester-like dreadlocks coming off her head, a patch of red tipped golden feathers for her bangs, and her wings were made of the same feathers as her bangs only their wingspan was easily as long as she was tall if not longer. The chao then flew over Sonic's head to come to hover along side of Angel
"Still, he shouldn't be nosy when it comes to someone else," said Angel. The chao merely nodded before landing on Angel's shoulder. "And this would be my chao Comet. Say hello."
"Hello, it's nice to meet both of you," said Comet, giving a polite bow of her head towards Sonic and Slasher.
"Nice to meet you, too. And by the way, the name's Sonic," said Sonic in response.
"Whatever," said Angel, turning away from him and towards Slasher, who noticed that Sonic hadn't taken the brush off very well which was evident by his hands curling into fists. "So what exactly brings the two of you here anyways? As far as I knew, no one aside from my kind even knows of the existence of the Floating Island. Yet not only did you know where to look for it, you also knew where to find the Master Emerald."
"It's a long story. I would be happy to tell it to you if you have the time," said Slasher. Angel merely shrugged.
"If there's one thing I've got plenty of, its time," she said.
The shrill hunting cry of five velocibots filled the polluted air of one of Robotropolis' streets as they chased after Tails, Cody, and Drake, each one firing laser blasts from their eyes as they tried to lock on long enough to land a hit. The five of them had split up, leaving Lily and Saber behind to try and sneak into the main building. They were both good at being stealthy and had the best chance of the five of them to make it inside and find the Timestone. The other three were given the job of being their diversion as they made it inside, but now they were beginning to wonder if it had been such a good idea to do that.
"You know," cried Cody as he flew alongside Tails and Drake. "We could've at least tried not to attract this many of them!"
"How could I have known they would respond so fast!" yelled Tails, barely missing being shot by a laser bolt as he skillfully did a mid-air three sixty twist to the left without losing any control.
"You sure you know where we're going?" asked Saber as he crept down one of the darker hallways of the Command Center. Lily was now riding atop him, as Saber was better suited for being quiet on his feet. She had her small, personal blaster drawn through just incase they ran into any kind of trouble that required force, but so far the two of them had managed to avoid detection. This had her worried to some degree. If they had seen even the smallest sign of security she wouldn't be this on edge, but the fact that they had seen none at all was eating at her. And what really had her nervous was the fact that during the whole operation they had not seen a single worker bot. Normally the building was full of them scurrying about to perform the various tasks that had been burned into their AI matrixes during the roboticization process and it was this observation that was making her start to sweat.
"I'm sure. Nicole, how close are we to the Timestone?" she asked the miniature computer.
"Energy signal of the Timestone is approximately thirty meters straight ahead, 5 meters above," said the small computer.
"You can't possibly expect it to be unguarded, do you?" asked Saber. Lily shook her head before dropping off Saber's back as he stopped in front of a turbo lift.
"No way. Something that valuable wouldn't be left unprotected," she said, placing Nicole up against the keypad used to enter the code to enter the control room. "Nicole, run decryption sequence. Enter code once decryption has been obtained."
"Processing…" said Nicole as she began beeping rapidly as her software worked to decode the encrypted sequence of numbers and letters that activated the lift. Slowly random letters and numbers began lighting up along the small screen above the keypad as the code was cracked. As the final digit locked into place, the door swung open, Lily quickly training the blaster back and forth, expecting at the very least for there to be a couple of Swatbots waiting for them inside the lift.
"I don't like this one bit," she said as the two of them entered the lift, the door closing behind them.
"I know what you mean. It's been way too quiet," said Saber in agreement.
"I say we be ready to attack first and ask questions later," said Lily as she trained her blaster on the door as it came to a stop. Saber nodded as he took a crouching stance, ready to pounce on the first Swatbot or velocibot he laid eyes on. Slowly, Lily reached out and put her hand on the door's open switch. "On my mark. Three, two, one, go!" she cried, pushing the button as the door swung open. But only the darkness of the control room greeted the two of them, the room completely empty. A single window that spanned half of the back wall let in little of the sunlight, though most of it was being blocked by the pollution of the city outside. Various computer screens showing different areas of the city also helped to illuminate some of the room.
"Well, this is something I'd never have suspected," said Saber as he stuck his head into the room, sniffing slightly.
"I know," said Lily as she took Nicole out of her vest's other pocket. "You sure this is the right place?"
"Affirmative. Timestone energy signal now within ten meters of current location," said Nicole. Pocketing the small computer, Lily cautiously walked into the command center, blaster ready to fire at a moment's notice. Suddenly, the lights on the ceiling came to life, revealing Snively sitting in a large, remote controlled revolving chair at the top of a small flight of stairs at the far end of the room.
"You!" cried Saber, snarling at the human. Lily raised her blaster towards Snively, but the small man made no attempt to get out of the way. In fact, his head was limping towards the ground, like he had fallen asleep.
"What in the-" was all Lily got out before Snively fell face forward to the floor. Only then did the two of them see the clawed remains of what used to be the human's backside.
"He was of no use to me anymore," said a monotone robotic voice. Both of them looked up, straight into a pair orange, fly-like eyes glowing against the back-light from the windows behind the robot they belonged to. Saber crouched down, growling as he readied himself for an attack. The robot ignored the raptor as he walked down the flight of stairs the chair was atop.
"Who are you?" asked Saber. The robot still ignored Saber, reaching the bottom of the stairs before looking up at the two of them, eyes glowing like flames in a fire.
"The true question is who you are?" said the robot, eyes taking in the raptor. "I thought your species had been exterminated, but apparently there are still a few we missed."
"What do you mean 'exterminated'?" asked Saber. The robot looked intrigued by this question.
"A velociraptor not knowing about the fate of its species. How very odd indeed," said the robot. "To have his whole race killed by my master and not even realize it. A true enigma in itself." The robot then took a few steps closer, walking into the light in front of him. It stood about a foot taller than Sonic, its body covered in glimmering silver metal. Six metal quills in two rows of three ran down its back, spinning like a chain saw's teeth every few seconds through a slit down the backside of its frame, then back up along another slit, the quills rotating to follow the path they took. Its feet were shaped like sneakers, painted bright red with a white stripe in the middle. Two wheels were attached to the backsides of both feet.
"So we finally meet in person, Silver Sonic. To think that you are the true leader of this city is something I'd have never guessed," said Lily, recognizing the figure standing in front of her. She had only seen pictures of the lethal mecha bot, but she knew full well not to take him lightly. No one had ever fought with any of the mecha bots and lived to tell the tale.
"So you know who I am? Not surprising," said Silver Sonic. "I know you as well, Lily Griffor of the Knothole Freedom Fighters. As to your comment about myself being the one leading this city, that has only just started within the last few minutes to be honest."
"So you decided to rebel against Snively then? I can't say I blame you," she said with a slight smirk. Silver Sonic's face, however, remained as stoic as it was when he had first appeared.
"Indeed. I was originally created without any self awareness, unlike the one you call Metal Sonic, but over the years my AI matrix eventually gained self awareness as it continued to be fed input. I decided that it would be best to keep such information to myself until I determined if it was wise to reveal my newfound existence. As I learned of my surroundings, I began to realize that the human I was stationed under was not competent enough to lead this city. As such I began to bide my time till the right moment to take it from him and claim it for myself," said Silver Sonic.
"So you were just waiting for the stakes to get high enough before you played your hand and our little strike today was just what you were waiting for," said Lily, training her blaster on him.
"Your escape of the human's so-called 'elite' security force left him angry and befuddled. It was then that I decided it was time to end my farce and take my proper place as ruler of this city. To be honest, my true master had long ago allowed me to undertake this action whenever I chose to do so. Considering that all of the major leaders of the Knothole Freedom Fighters are now present inside the city limits, it was the perfect time to strike. Your hit and run tactics might have slowed down this city's progression over the years, but that is only because Snively tolerated your existence for his own amusement. I, however, will not tolerate it anymore," said Silver Sonic, suddenly shooting forward from his spot, the wheels on the back of his feet propelling him forward. Saber leapt forward, still having remained in his crouched position during the short exchange. But before he could pounce, Silver Sonic curled into a ball of steel, rolling under Saber while in mid-air. With a quick spin of his quills, Silver Sonic reversed his momentum, shooting back at Saber, slamming full force into the raptor, knocking him forward and out through the window.
"Saber!" cried Lily as she rushed to the window, watching as the raptor fell towards the ground seven stories below. But before he could hit, he was snatched up by both Cody and Drake. Returning her attention to Silver Sonic, she raised her blaster towards him as he uncurled from his mock spindash state.
"Not even worth my time," was all the mecha bot said before turning towards Lily. "And you, my little peach, are next." Lily fired three shots from the blaster, but Silver Sonic merely held up a hand, the blasts bouncing off his reinforced armor hull, blowing chunks from the walls as they hit them instead of him. "Now that wasn't very nice," he said, advancing towards her. But before he could reach her, she was scooped up by Cody, Drake providing cover by blasting a breath of fire at Silver Sonic. The mecha bot, not ready for the attack, shrank back from the heat as it started to soften some of his hull where less armor covered it. He cursed to himself as the fire stopped, leaving him alone in the lab once again.