Disclaimer- I don't own anything related to the games or the show.
Hey, I'm back? Okay, the length between the last update and this update was way too long, and I'm sorry again. You probably don't want to hear my excuses, but I have a job in the heath care field and the world's…kinda gone to shit in that aspect. I never wanted to go this long without updating, but…y'know.
I can't give a time frame for the next update, but just know that I'll try hard not to have it go on for this long again.
Enough of me distracting you though, here's It wasn't Me, it was the One-Armed Hedgehog!
Silver stretched his arms over his head, getting as comfortable as he could in his chair. Since the thing hadn't teleported him back to the future, he should milk this experience for all it was worth. He hadn't been able to enjoy himself like this in a long while. It was pretty fun watching the show, even if the others didn't share his opinion. He guessed that being trapped in here for an extended period of time would bother some people…
Silver looked around the ruined room, at the charred carpet and burnt confetti pieces littered around. Bother might not be a strong enough word. "So uh, I'm curious. What happened to the room, and what's with the confetti…?"
Sonic grinned. "Well, the confetti came from Metal when he was still a robot. He tried to attack us before we became buddies-"
"We are not friends."
Metal went ignored.
"-and instead of frying me with a laser, he decided to surprise us with confetti instead." When Silver nodded, throwing Metal an amused smile that the former robot surely didn't appreciate, Sonic continued, "The room looks the way it does because Shads got high on sugar and nuked the place."
Silver didn't say anything for a moment.
Amy completely understood. "Yeah, it's been a rough day."
Silver was silent for a couple more seconds before muttering, "Shadow's got a weakness for sweets. Noted."
Shadow shot him a glare. There was no reason for that unfortunate observation to be remembered. "I don't have a weakness for them, and what in the hell do you mean by 'noted'? There's nothing to note, dammit."
Silver bit back a smile; he didn't want to be preemptively attacked by Shadow today. "I mean, if the future's still not right when I get back, there's always an option to throw a few chocolate bars at you to see what happens."
"Murder. What happens would be murder."
"And then he'll eat the candy," Metal added.
"On top of their cooling corpses, yes."
Silver slowly blinked. "…noted."
"Like I said-" Amy giggled. "It's been a rough day."
"Right, so let's get this show on the road so we can end it," Knuckles said. Each completed episode was another step toward precious freedom. "And I want to forget what happened last time as soon as possible."
Tails agreed that any episode with any sort of 'romance' in it was headache inducing, but, "The last one wasn't terrible…"
"That's because your double was barely in it, Tails."
"Yeah, you're not wrong." Tails couldn't argue that, instead tapping his chin and gazing at the title of this episode: 'It wasn't me, it was the One-armed Hedgehog'. "I wonder what this one is about, though. Mistaken identity, maybe?"
Sonic chuckled, glancing at Shadow and Metal. "Looks like one of you might make your grand appearance!"
Amy wanted to get excited, but she was cautious. "Unless Eggman cooks up another robot like Swifty again…"
Eggman wished with all of his heart that he didn't. Was it too much to ask for two episodes without his twin showing up?
The scene stared inside Eggman's evil lair, the doctor singing while he dusted off some of his inventions.
Yes, apparently it was.
"Here we go." Knuckles braced himself for this one. "Apparently, having one episode without Eggman was way too kind."
Silver wanted to laugh already. "A singing Eggman, huh? Never thought I'd see the day!"
"You sound too happy."
"Well, if I had a choice between an Eggman blowing up cities with a flicker of a finger and an Eggman who sang showtunes, my answer would be obvious."
"Pretty, pretty, pretty! My toys so full of evil! It warms my stony hear to think of the bad that we'll achieve-il!"
All eyes landed on Silver.
He shrugged. "My answer still stands."
He danced over to another machine. "You're much more fun, oh so much fun 'cause I am your creator! From tiny robot pickpockets, to my particle-" He turned around and slumped in shock at the sight of an empty pedestal. "-accelerator? My particle accelerator?!" He held his hands to his head and screamed in shock.
Knuckles sighed in relief. "Thank Chaos he's done."
"Took the words out of my mouth," Eggman muttered, not sorry at all that his twin was missing an invention. He deserved it for those off-key notes.
Disregarding the singing, Tails was a little confused. "Hold on, who would just steal a particle accelerator and nothing else?"
Sonic agreed with that. "Yeah, if you made it in, might as well go crazy in there. Take everything, trash the place, or blow it up! Leave Eggy a nice fiery gift!
Eggman grumbled at the numerous labs lost to that blue menace. "And you'd know all about that, you annoying pincushion?"
Sonic smirked and finger-gunned.
Outside, a few birds flew away from the base. Eggman screamed again. "My birds!"
"It is better to be free than to be trapped with that disappointment," Metal commented. "I can relate."
Eggman gave a knowing grin. "Don't forget, Metal. In the future, you-"
"There will be no such future, Doctor." Metal threw him a glare, eyes glowing in a way that had Eggman readjusting his priorities at the moment. "Do not kid yourself."
Not wanting to be killed via heat vision, Eggman left it alone for now. Actions spoke louder than words, anyway. Eggmanland would come to be.
A while later, Eggman was listening to a beaver police officer. "So, Doctor Eggman." The beaver looked up at him from a notebook. "Does this particle accelerator have any distinguishing features that would help us identify it?"
"Huh?" Amy had to be missing something here. "Why would they want to return that thing to him?! Keep it away! Do they forget that Eggman's evil or something?"
"It's the villagers you're talking about. They're idiots." Shadow reminded. "So, yes."
Eggman furrowed his brow in thought. "Let's see…it has a small scratch on its left side, so there's that, and also – it's a particle accelerator!" he yelled with a glare. "You got a lot of those roaming your village, hmm genius?"
Silver stifled a laugh, and Metal sent him a pointed look. The psychic's smile was wide. "What? You can't tell me that wasn't funny!" The other dimension's Eggman had a mouth on him, for sure.
"I will let it pass, this once." Metal conceded. "The insult was respectable."
The beaver scratched his head, and the doctor slumped his shoulders, holding his face in his hands. "I'm sorry…I'm just so upset!"
Sonic, who was sitting on a couch behind Eggman, bit into his chili dog and said, "I've never seen him like this." He grinned. "I kinda like it!"
Sonic slowly blinked. "So…he's just there now?"
Knuckles felt a little better. "At least this isn't an Eggman only episode." Hopefully, he didn't just jinx himself.
"Maybe he's the one who stole it?" Tails answered Sonic's question. "But then again, like you said, things would've been blown up by now if he had."
"Plus, neither copy is anywhere near smart enough to work a particle accelerator."
"Am I wrong?"
Over in a nearby hallway, there was a group of tourists with Orbot and Cubot leading the way. Orbot motioned to a side door. "And this is Dr. Eggman's Thinkcubator, the room where he hatches his brilliant ideas. Get it?"
"Boo!" Tails and Amy simultaneously exclaimed, giving the TV a thumb's down.
Sonic kept quiet because he didn't think it was terrible.
Silver frowned at the familiar robots. "Orbot and Cubot are here too?" He guessed that he shouldn't be so surprised.
"'Too'?" Eggman whirled on him, hoping that he heard that incorrectly. "Meaning that I rebuilt those two heaps of scrap metal?!"
Silver looked at him in confusion. Did he hate those two also? "Yeah…?"
Eggman took a deep breath to calm himself. "Sacrifices have to be made to achieve your dream…"
The crowd gave him a long deadpanned look. Orbot put his hands on his hips and muttered- "Pearls before swine" -before continuing the tour. "And it was from here…" He led them to the large room. "…that Dr. Eggman's particle accelerator was stolen."
The tourists loudly gasped.
One of the villagers, Mike the Ox, grumbled, "Not his particle accelerator…I was hoping to get a picture with it. This tour bites."
"No wonder why his stuff got stolen. He's giving public tours."
"He's got to get his income from somewhere, Knux. Cuz it's not from winnin'."
Eggman was still describing the stolen item to the cop. "It was about yay big, it was made of polished titanium, it accelerated particles…" He pondered to himself. "Am I leaving anything out?"
Sonic slurped a drink from a cup, looking extremely bored. "Someone wanna remind me why I'm here?"
Sonic nodded. "Yeah, please."
Eggman whirled around and pointed at him. "Because you stole it!"
Tails saw that one coming. "That makes sense. He would think that Sonic took it…wait!" He tapped his chin. "Going by the title of the episode, does that mean that Sonic didn't take it? And that someone is using Sonic as a scapegoat?"
Amy snapped her fingers, smiling at him. "That's definitely gonna happen! Good one, Tails! Now-" She eyed Shadow and Metal, pursing her lips. "Which one would possibly do that?"
"I dunno." Silver hummed. "Both of them could be equally as petty…"
He received twin glares for that. He held his hands up innocently.
"Yep." Sonic emphasized the 'p'. "And they've both worked with the ol' omlette too." He tapped his foot on the ruined floor. "I mean, if this is a setup made by Eggy, then I'd say that it's Mets. If he really thinks it's my twin, then Shads is behind it."
"Given that Metal isn't a toaster, and Shadow isn't a completely different person," Knuckles brought up. "He could be some hippie for all we know."
A shiver traveled down Shadow's spine.
Sonic would pay to see that.
"Or it could be neither of us." Metal dove into his memory. "It could be that buck-toothed fast-food working irritation."
Knuckles groaned. He'd forgotten about him. He glanced over at a lost Silver before asking, "You don't know anyone in the future named Dave, do you?"
Amy filled him in. "Because he works at a disgusting fast-food restaurant, is a fan of Eggman's, and reverses the way toilet paper is supposed to be faced on the roll."
"Oh." Silver didn't expect that. "He's a monster."
The tourists gasped once more.
Sonic wasn't as affected. "That's nuts."
Eggman huffed. "If it wasn't you, then why was my lair littered with chili dog scraps?" Said crumbs were shown scattered all over the floor.
"Okay, that's very telling evidence. Sonic does leave scraps wherever he goes."
"Whether that's true or not, you didn't have to tell them that, Tails."
Tails cheekily smiled at him in revenge for the amount of times he'd have to vacuum after chili dog days. And they were common.
Yet again, the tourists gasped.
Amy's brow twitched. "Can we get duct tape for them or something!? They've been doing nothing but gasping all this time! It's like Just a Guy all over again!"
Sonic swallowed the rest of his chili dog. "I dunno," he answered before flinging the remaining breadcrumbs on the ground.
Another gasp from the tourists.
"Or super glue," Knuckles gritted out.
"And look at these footprints!" Eggman gestured to the polished floor. There were blackened footprints surrounding the littered crumbs.
The tourists, unsurprisingly, gasped again.
Shadow scowled. "Or a shotgun."
The police beaver frowned at the floor before going over and maneuvering one of Sonic's shoes over the footprint, finding them to be a perfect match.
"Okay…" Tails believed that this was starting to get a little freaky. "It's not Sonic, but…how in the world did they do that? Did they already know that Sonic was going to sit there?"
The evidence was too damning. "I think Eggman's totally in on it," Knuckles said. "And that Metal probably stole Sonic's shoes at some point to do that."
"But, even if he did steal it," Silver started, trying to wrap his head around this. "The villagers would throw Sonic in jail? Just for that?"
"He has been banished from the village before simply for losing a race against a robotic shrew."
Silver processed Metal's words. "So…the answer to my question is yes, then."
The tourists gasped, and Sonic glanced askance at them. "Would you stop gasping dramatically?" They didn't listen, doing the complete opposite of that.
Amy itched to jump into the screen and bring out her trusty hammer.
Sonic gestured to himself. "Seriously guys, I'm the hero, he's the villain." He pointed over to Eggman. "I mean, he has an evil lair, he has mindless henchmen!" He regarded Orbot and Cubot. "No offense."
"Yeah!" Sonic leaned forward in his seat. "Get them to listen to common sense!"
Cubot shook his head. "No, I think you're on to something here."
Silver cleared his throat to disguise a chuckle.
The beaver looked up at Eggman. "Sorry Dr. Eggman, I'd love to close this case, but before I can arrest Sonic, I'm gonna need more. Like uh…if this was part of a pattern?"
Another policeman walked in, a wolf, carrying a medium-sized box. "Sarge, where you do want me to put this crate of recent photos of crime scenes where partial eaten chili dogs and Sonic-shaped footprints are found?"
"That's the only things they found?" Sonic huffed. "That's more evidence that someone's tryin' to frame my twin! He doesn't eat chili dogs everywhere he goes!"
"Yeah, and we all know where this is going." Knuckles really wondered how the village stayed functional for this long. "They're gonna use their negative IQ to jail him. Even though they should be jailing Eggman who's right there for trying to conquer them in the past."
Eggman didn't understand it himself, honestly.
"Maybe they see Eggman as nothing but a joke too?" Silver assumed, given what he's learned so far.
Shadow shook his head. "That's giving them too much credit."
The tourists gasped.
Everyone in the room took a calming breath.
The beaver nodded. "That'll do it." He approached Sonic, and the blue speedster held up his hands innocently. "Sonic T. Hedgehog, you are under arrest! You have the right to remain silent."
The tourists gasped.
Sonic did it again.
Eggman laughed victoriously.
"A hundred percent he's in on it," Amy grumbled.
Sonic frowned. "You leave me no choice! I'll find the real thief and clear my name. Know why?" He pointed to himself. "Hero!" Sonic then ran past the crowd and out of the lair.
Orbot tried to take charge of the tour again. "So um…who wants to see the rumpus room?"
The tourists gasped again, hopefully for the last time.
The scene changed-
Amy slumped in relief. "If we never see those tourists again, it'll be too soon!"
-to the Mayor's mansion, where another crowd was gathered in the lobby.
"I demand action!" a wolf with a brown top hat yelled at the Mayor, "Sonic stole my walking stick!"
"And my jewelry!" Lady Walrus added.
Amy had the very sudden and violent urge to yell. So she did. "What's the point of Sonic saving these people all of the time if they act like this!?"
"It's probably less about them and more about seeing Eggy's hilarious defeat," Sonic brought up with a snicker.
Amy paused, lowering her voice. "I mean, that's true, but I know I'd be tired of being constantly jailed and banished for no good reason. While Eggman is still walking free, just because."
Tails played with his namesakes. "The other Sonic doesn't seem too bothered by it though, so, I guess it's okay…?"
A garbage man stepped up. "He stole my keys and hid them in my sofa cushion!" After a moment, he admitted, "Okay, I lost my keys and found them three days later in the cushion…but we should get him anyway!"
Eggman refused to be reminded of the times that he'd done the exact same thing.
Sonic smirked over at Tails, and Tails averted his gaze.
He'd sworn he checked the couch first when the TV remote went missing…
Dave was there too. "We should totally form a posse."
"That's the toilet paper flipper?" Silver eyed him. "He looks so…unimposing."
"Funny, coming from you," Shadow uttered.
Metal exhaled sharply out of his nose.
Silver pouted while glaring at them, not helping his case at all.
The Mayor held up his hands. "Everyone, please calm down! This is not the time for rash behavior!"
Soar the Eagle spoke up, taking out his planner. "When would be a good time? I'd like to plan my rash behavior in advance."
"Whoever this thief is really can get around…" Tails mused. "There are so many people here."
An elderly wolf raised her voice, grabbing their attention. "How about I bake up a batch of my famous cookies and put them on the windowsill? Sonic would smell them and come to steal one, but he won't know that they're laced with poison, so…"
"All of a sudden, I like her."
"Of course you would, Shads."
The Mayor blinked in surprise, interrupting her. "We're not trying to kill him!"
"Oh?" The wolf chuckled sheepishly. "I'm so embarrassed." She pulled out a plate of cookies. "Have a cookie."
"Bold," Metal complimented.
Shadow wondered what her exact recipe was.
The Mayor didn't get a chance to answer, for a high-pitched screeching sound filled the air, causing him to cover his ears.
The noise had been coming from Knuckles, who was grinding his nails down a nearby chalkboard with a crude drawing of Sonic on it.
Silver perked up while Knuckles sunk lower in his seat, bracing himself again.
Knuckles pointed at everyone when they looked at him, saying, "I'll catch this hedgehog for ya!" He caught his fist with a palm. "But it ain't gonna be easy…"
"Now he believes that Sonic – you know what? It's not that surprising actually." Amy mended her words. She was disappointed, but not surprised. "Since he's here now, I want the other Tails and my twin to stop this madness."
Knuckles scoffed. "And interrupt the nonsense? No way in hell."
The Mayor raised a fist. "Don't worry! We'll all pitch in!"
Knuckles shook his head. "No! Unlike tying my shoes or brushing my teeth, I have to do this without any help!"
Amy recoiled at the thought that followed. "He doesn't-? But then, who…?"
"Sticks," Knuckles answered with a drawn-out sigh.
Silver laughed behind his hand. "She would! And…" He lowered his hand. "And imagining her screaming while-" His words were cut off by his own chuckles.
Metal exhaled a little harder out of his nose. "This is not supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Stop."
"Mittens and Sticks are hilarious, and no one can tell me otherwise."
He confidently marched over to the front door and immediately struggled to get it open. Knuckles grunted as he tugged over and over again until the Mayor helped out with a, "Uh, you have to pull and jiggle the knob!"
Knuckles would've just punched the door down at this point.
Knuckles propped his foot up to help pull, putting his back into it. "I am pulling and jiggling!" After trying for few more seconds, he stopped with a defeated frown and jabbed a thumb over to the side. "I'll use the window." He then proceeded to dive headfirst out of it, crashing, and the front door cracked open outwards.
Sonic laughed along with Silver that time. "Okay, I'll give him that one! Everyone's done that at least once, right?"
"And it wasn't even his fault!" Silver hoped that Mittens didn't hurt his head too much with that dive. "The Mayor didn't know is own house!"
Amy giggled. "Honestly, if that doesn't tell you all about this village, I don't know what will."
The scene cut to a shed sitting along the edge of the village. Sonic was gathering up a stack of crates, quickly carrying them inside. He ran back out and did the same with another stack, passing by a worker wearing a yellow hard hat.
"Whoa, slow down there, Bob!" he said, making Sonic slid to a stop. The worker smiled. "Making the rest of us look bad!" A bell rang overhead, and he led Sonic – who was wearing glasses and a green bandana – to a place to sit outside for lunch.
"Whoa, whoa, wait. Let me take this all in." It was a lot for Knuckles' mind to process all at once. "So, Sonic got a job for some reason, changed his name, and is wearing a disguise that does nothing to hide his identity?"
It was definitely not the step Sonic's would've taken. "…Yep."
"Well, the disguise is doing something at least," Silver defended even though the bandana was a bit tacky. "The guy doesn't know who he is."
Amy's priorities were elsewhere. "Sonic, let's say, if I asked you to wear glasses-"
Sonic sighed as the worker took out his food. "Sorry, Earl. Just trying to finish so I can knock off early." He jumped up on the crate Earl was sitting on.
Tails knew that this was an alternate reality were anything could happen, butwow. "I never thought I'd hear Sonic talk about working an actual job." He barely did chores around the house.
Earl was holding a sandwich from Meh Burger.
"Big plans tonight? Not like there's much to do around here except play horseshoes." A horseshoe then whacked Earl against his head, bouncing off the hardhat and making him drop his food. A co-worker apologized offscreen, and Early waved him off.
"The luck balance of the universe tested him just then," Knuckles said.
Silver wasn't going to ask.
Sonic frowned. "I'm on the trail of a man that did me wrong."
Earl took off his hat, raising a brow. "That so? You know, a fella just came through town. In a real hurry, too." He pointed over to the side. "Heading toward the East Forest, yonder."
"A fella?" Tails repeated, horribly butchering Earl's accent. "So…not a robot? Is it actually Shadow?"
Shadow drummed his fingers against the arm of his plastic chair. Honestly, at this point, all he wanted was to see himself so he knew that his being here wasn't a complete waste of time and sanity.
Amy gasped when a thought came to her. "Or! Or! What if it is Metal, but he's a real person!" She faced the former robot. "Then it would make sense why you're like this now!"
Metal nodded. "That is a thought. The supernatural being does not delve much into coincidences."
Sonic looked in that direction, frown deepening. Earl crumbled the bag his lunch came in.
"Wait, so did he even eat?" Silver asked, wondering if he'd blinked and missed something.
Sonic chuckled. "I mean, he did drop the sandwich on the ground, but that wouldn't stop me. Five second rule, y'know?"
Metal rose a brow at him. "Five…second rule? Is that another contrived rule similar to dibs?"
"Eh…kinda? It's the rule that you can't-" Or rather, shouldn't, but Sonic wasn't a big food waster. "-eat food off the floor after five seconds. That's when it gets too dirty."
Metal frowned. "That is not a proper amount of time. Food should be treasured and should be allotted a longer timeframe."
Sonic shrugged. "Hey, ask the germs, not me."
"Well, them crates ain't gonna stake themselves. Unless they're self-stacking crates." Earl hopped down from his perch. "Heh. That'd be sweet." He picked up his hat but got hit by another horseshoe before he managed to put it on.
"And…there it is." Knuckles had a feeling that this was going to happen as soon as Earl took off that hardhat.
"What kind of intense horseshoes are they playing, though?!" Amy asked, worried about how many brain cells Earl just lost.
Knuckles scoffed. "There's no intensity. The guy who's playing it in is a terrible shot.
"I wonder if he goes to where all Eggmen go to learn how to aim," Sonic jeered, and Eggman ignored him. He'd gotten a lot better at doing so as this horrendous day dragged on.
Earl collapsed on the ground, unconscious, as the same co-worker passively apologized again.
Sonic tan over to him in worry. "Earl? Earl!"
Somewhere deep in the forest, Knuckles hacked a leaf in half and jumped over a root. "Phew!" He wiped sweat off his forehead before focusing on a twig on the ground. He picked it up with a hum. After looking the stick over for a moment, he sniffed and licked it. "Mmhmm!" He pointed the twig at the dirt. "Sonic was here!"
A violent shiver ran down Amy's body as she cringed in disgust. "That's disgusting! You don't just…just lick a stick in the middle of a forest!"
Silver was worried about something else. "Hold on, how does he know that Sonic was there…by sniffing and licking a stick? Does that mean…?"
Multiple eyes widened.
"No," Shadow shut down that idea then and there. "No, and never speak your thoughts again. Ask for damn permission first."
"I'm genuinely sorry."
Knuckles then heard a creak from a distance. He looked over before turning around, screaming when he realized that there were a few citizens standing right behind him. He pouted after screaming. "Aww, how did you track me?"
Soar easily answered, "We followed the trail of twigs covered in spit."
"That…" Tails whispered, still traumatized. "That'll do it…"
Knuckles glanced at the soaked stick and ordered, "Stop following me!" He slowly started to sink. "I don't need help!" He then noticed that he was indeed sinking, courtesy of the quicksand he was standing in. Knuckles blinked up at the staring villagers. "This is a shortcut."
Laughter bubbled out of Silver, unable to keep it in, and caused Metal to hide his face in his hands, shoulder's shaking.
"It is so idiotic, why am I…?" the former bot didn't get to finish his question, laughs cutting off the rest of his words.
Knuckles wished he could feel joy.
Sonic was now standing in a doctor's office with Earl laid out on a table. A wolf doctor wearing a stethoscope was examining him. Sonic looked at the wolf and asked, "What is it, Doc?"
The doctor answered, "Well, the scientific term is he got hit in the head with too many horseshoes."
"You gotta help him!"
"Oh, sure," the wolf said, drawing out the word. "Let me just…whip up some anti-horseshoe elixir."
Sonic whistled lowly as the giggle duo gradually contained themselves. "Anyone else chokin' on the sarcasm there?"
Amy puffed out her cheek. "He didn't have to be so mean!"
Sonic narrowed his eyes. "Hey, if you can't help him, just say so!"
The doctor looked at him in confusion. "No, seriously. I've got a recipe for anti-horseshoe elixir. I just need some pink orchid root." He jabbed a thumb over his shoulder. "But it only grows in the west forest."
"An anti-horseshoe…" Tails stared in confusion. "It's not a bacterial infection or a virus! He got a concussion! All he needs is water and rest to heal!"
"Yeah, I get the feeling that he's not a real doctor." Knuckles wouldn't be surprised at this point. Mittens had been a mayor for the village earlier. Anything was possible.
Sonic sighed. "Oh. I don't suppose it's anywhere near the east forest?"
The wolf walked away with a sharp glance.
"That's the dirtiest look I've ever seen in my life," Silver said. "And that's saying something since I know Shadow."
Shadow threw him a glare.
"…still not comparable to his."
The speedster glanced down at Earl. "If I'm gonna catch the guy who framed me, I gotta go east. But if I'm gonna help you, I gotta go west…"
Shadow drummed his fingers harder. This was getting too drawn out. "There's no immediate danger here. If that worker was going to die, he would've done it the second he was hit on the head."
"All Sonics are bleeding hearts," Metal replied. "You should know this."
Sonic then looked to the side when a very familiar voice filled the air. "Excuse me, ma'am." It was shown that Knuckles was talking to a goat woman, showing her a picture. "Goes by the name Sonic, and he's very fast." Sonic then sprinted past him, and Knuckles pointed. "Kinda like that guy. Hey wait a second…" He gasped. "I bet that guy knows Sonic!" He ran off as well.
Knuckles took a deep breath.
"This Mittens guy…" Silver's smile was wobbly, threatening to release some chuckles. "He really knows how to throw in those sudden turns, huh?"
"It's an unfortunate talent."
Deep in west forest, Sonic skidded to a stop in front of a patch of flowers. "Found a pink orchid!" He snatched one out of the ground, smiling. "Well, that was easy! I was expecting some kind of complication."
Sonic smirked. "Wait for it…"
A wooden basket then covered his head.
"There it is!"
"Kinda like that. Knuckles, is that you?"
Knuckles held the basket in place. "Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But it is. Who's this?"
"Sonic," Sonic said, exasperation clear in his tone.
"Oh, sorry!" Knuckles removed the basket and put it on the ground. "Didn't recognize you with a basket on your head."
"That doesn't…make any…"
"It's my twin, Tails."
Sonic put a hand on his hip, emphasizing, "Dude, I didn't steal anything!"
Instead of arguing, Knuckles agreed with him. "I know! But there's a posse on your tail!" He placed a hand on Sonic's shoulder. "I don't want to lose you."
Amy clasped her hands together, eyes glistening. "Aw! Okay, forget about all Mittens did beforehand because this makes up for it! He wanted to find Sonic to help him!" She smiled over to Knuckles. "Come on, Knuckles, you gotta give him credit for that at least!"
Knuckles rolled his eyes but couldn't argue. "Yeah, I can admit that he's a good friend." Most of the time. "But can you blame me for wanting to give him a good punch a couple times?"
Multiple 'yes's and 'no's bounced around the room.
"You're a valuable member of Team Knuckles!"
Sonic barked out a laugh at that. Tails smiled knowingly while Knuckles rolled his eyes again.
"Team Knu-" Sonic held up a hand and shook his head. "I'm not even gonna argue."
"I'm glad we're on the same wavelength!"
"Let's get this orchid to Earl."
"Right! Just one question!" Knuckles tilted his head. "Who's Earl? What's an orchid? And…" He looked around, completely lost. "And where are we?"
Knuckles glanced over at Amy and gestured at the screen.
She shrugged. "Eh."
Back at the doctor's place, Sonic handed over the flower. "Here ya go, Doc. Am I too late?"
The wolf took the plant. "Don't worry, Bob. I'll fix up Earl newer than a summer cricket whistling on a fallen dewdrop." He winked. "Know what I mean?"
"I think I just had a stroke."
"I think we all did," Silver told Knuckles.
"Not at all," Sonic said with no hesitation. "But we got no time to waste. Come on, Knuckles."
The duo began to run off, but they were immediately stopped by the arriving posse. Knuckles smiled. "Hey! I know those guys from somewhere!"
Knuckles looked at Amy again. She chuckled nervously.
Sonic grabbed the echidna's wrist and sped off with him. The Mayor pointed at the fleeing pair. "There goes Sonic! And he's taking Knuckles hostage!" A horseshoe then came flying out of nowhere, crashing against his head. He was unconscious before he hit the ground.
There was a round of applause.
"You all have been through a a lot, huh?" Silver muttered under his breath.
The posse gasped dramatically.
The clapping stopped.
"Sorry!" said that same co-worker from before.
Now in the east forest, Sonic and Knuckles ran until they found a secret hideout: some dilapidated shack. Knuckles pointed at a window where they could see the faint outline of someone. "Hey Sonic, it's you!"
The figure then vanished from the window.
Shadow and Metal narrowed their eyes. There had been no way to tell with that shadowed silhouette.
Sonic looked around wildly. "Where'd he go?"
A blue robot with red eye suddenly popped up in front of the heroes, glaring at them.
Amy and Tails gasped in surprise while Metal critically scrutinized his double. "Hm. He does look similar enough to myself before the transformation." He wasn't going to say aloud that he was somewhat disappointed that his twin was a robot. "I wonder if he actually is working for the doctor?"
"Probably," Shadow grunted. At least probably of him being here for a reason had gone up. If Metal had a twin, there was a good possibility that he did as well.
If not, something was going to break.
"Yeah, to bring Sonic out here and trap them." Tails speculated, wondering how this fight was going to go. "And the shack was just…convenient?"
"I bet you're real relieved now, huh Mets?" Sonic grinned over at him. "He's not a toaster!"
"It depends. If my copy is pathetic in this upcoming fight, then I would rather him be a toaster."
Sonic glared, body tensing. "Metal Sonic!"
Knuckles clenched a fist. "Allow me!" He charged Metal and started wailing on him, only for the robot to not budge at all, tanking every single hit.
Metal hummed, not impressed yet. He had performed grandiose feats in the past, and with how long this episode had been running, there was not enough time for that.
Knuckles bit back a groan. He would've at least put a dent in him, sent him flying, something.
Metal then started to float, his midsection lighting up.
Sonic snickered. "Get ready for the confetti!"
Metal wished he could wipe that event from everyone's memory.
Sonic blinked. "Oh, that can't be good." When the light finished charging and when Sonic realized that Knuckles was the one he was aiming for, the speedster held out a hand. "Knux! Look out!" He ran forward to knock Knuckles out of the way only for the laser ball to hit both of them, hurling them backwards.
Sonic winced. "Yeah…gotta keep reminding myself that they might not have our level of experience."
Again, Eggman felt that he was cheated not being born in that dimension. He would've taken it over ten times by now if that was all it took for those rodents to get hit by a very predictable attack.
Silver kept memories of cities being shot down by that robot at bay. That future wasn't going to happen anymore. Focus on the funny, focus on the funny…
Sonic used the momentum to flip and land on his feet, but Knuckles was sent crashing into a nearby tree. He sank to the ground with crossed eyes. He slurred- "My cupcakes are missing, grandma!" -before slumping over, out cold.
Silver chuckled. "At least he was thinking about something good before he passed out?"
"Unless those cupcakes were made by that wolf lady from earlier."
"Shadow, I know it sucks to be stuck here, but can't you find light in-"
Sonic gritted his teeth, refocusing on Metal. "You're gonna regret that!" Metal charged up another laser, but before he could launch it, Sonic spin dashed over to the shack. He ran across the wall as a red-hot beam nipped at his heels, carving a line into the rusted metal.
Again, nothing special. "My copy knows the basics at least," Metal said. "The doctor was competent enough to install that into him."
"But I want more!" Sonic bounced in his chair. "I need more high-speed actions, more destruction, more quippy one-liners! There's so much missing here!"
"Maybe it's coming?" Tails guessed, swinging his legs back and forth.
Sonic landed on the ground, avoiding the attack, and Metal was taken aback that he missed. However, their attentions were then on the weak and creaking shack. "Uh oh!" Sonic watched, frozen in place, as its walls and part of its roof collapsed on top of him.
"That's…not the destruction I wanted."
Amy nodded, knowing that she would've been able to move out of the way in time. The shack practically fell in slow motion. "That was pretty avoidable, but is anyone else kinda weirded out that Metal isn't talking?"
Metal was ashamed that he just now noticed it as well. "Yes-"
Eggman huffed with a grin. "Maybe my other self knew better to give you an annoying voice simulator. He didn't want to hear you run your mouth. Something I need to do when we get out of here."
Metal glared at him while Silver said, "The Metal in the future didn't talk either. So, I guess you did follow in your twin's footsteps. Er, wait, well not anymore…" Time stuff was still so confusing to him.
Nothing was set in stone yet, and Eggman was giddy at the prospect of his victory.
Metal silently celebrated until Sonic jumped up out of the debris, spinning over the robot's head and landing unharmed.
Metal narrowed his eyes. "I would never celebrate until I held my copy's head on silver platter. An unacceptable flaw."
"Don't forget what we're watching," Shadow reminded.
Metal turned to face him and charged up his laser, but he then looked down in surprise when the light died out.
Silver wished that had happened during the war. He snickered. "Looks like someone ran out of batteries."
Sonic smirked. "Don't you just hate when that happens?" Not wasting any time, the blue hero sprung up and spin attacked the robot, sending him crashing to the ground. He did it over and over again, his smirk widening. "I can do this all day!" He attacked Metal once more, and the robot was sent sprawling into the debris.
Even though Sonic was used to more action, he couldn't say that wasn't satisfying. "Just like old times, huh Mets?"
Metal refused to acknowledge them. "Unless you would like them to come back, I would advise you to hush, copy."
He shakily stood up before digging through the rubble and pulling out a metallic ring exuding purple energy.
"That's the particle accelerator!" Tails pointed out.
Knuckles eyed the invention. "What exactly does it do, Tails?"
"It accelerates particles!"
Knuckles turned to see the kit's sly grin and grumbled, "You spend way too much time with Sonic."
Sonic's eyes widened. "Eggman's particle accelerator?!" He frowned. "Well, that's just cheating! How do you live with yourself?"
"Poor choice of words to ask a robot, other me."
Metal held the accelerator up, and the purple aura spread all over his body. He floated high into the air, his heated eyes focused on nothing but Sonic.
Sonic's frown deepened. "Uh oh again." He turned on his heel and sped away. Metal instantly started chasing him, throwing out lasers that barely missed every time.
"He's using the particle accelerator…as a charger." Tails almost felt insulted as a scientist and inventor. "He's not moving faster, creating stronger lasers, or anything!"
"Maybe it's the only thing it can do. The other Eggman made it, after all." Knuckles was surprised that it, or the other Metal, hadn't exploded yet.
"He also made a Doomsday machine."
Silver opened and closed his mouth in shock before whispering over to Amy, "Should I be concerned about that? Eggman didn't copy down those blueprints, right?"
Amy giggled. "Don't worry! It got destroyed by a special plunger, and our Eggman wasn't too impressed."
Sonic ran full speed out of the forest, through the canyon area, past the warehouse where Earl got hurt, and didn't stop until he reached his beach-front home.
He put his hands on his knees as he caught his breath. He faced Metal when the robot lowered closer to the ground. "I guess when you get tired, you can just recharge." Metal held up the device and did just that, the purple aura brightening. Sonic wasn't put-off; actually, he grinned. "That's the difference between you and me, Metal. I don't get tired!"
Sonic whooped. "Now that's a good quip! Let's go, other me! Kick his head off!"
Shadow glanced askance at him. "You're proud of a lie, Faker?"
"Shhhh! Let us have this!"
With newfound energy, Sonic charged Metal while the robot did the same. They rushed each other, and when Sonic got close enough, he pulled out a horseshoe and chucked it at Metal. It stuck magnetically around his wrist and shorted out the particle accelerator, affecting his whole body.
Tails opened his mouth to refute everything that just happened, Metal was made out of metal too for crying out loud, but he decided to let it pass. The physics in that dimension were always a little…off.
Metal stopped midair, his limbs twitching as purple sparks jumped between them. Eventually, the malfunction became too much for his body to take, and he exploded in a white light.
Silver, Sonic, Tails, and Amy cheered.
Eggman just shook his head.
Metal wasn't surprised in the slightest at the loss. "Should have been a toaster instead. He would have a higher chance of burning than with those pathetic shots."
Even Knuckles felt that in his core. "Damn, he's already destroyed, Metal."
"Sorry!" Sonic shouted, not apologetic at all as Metal careened away, the device falling to the hero's feet.
Sonic was then seen speeding toward the Mayor's mansion, where the Eggman, the Mayor, his posse, and the beaver cop were standing.
"I got a little something for you, Eggy!" Sonic came to a stop in front of the doctor, carrying a bag over his shoulder. "I found your particle accelerator." He held it up with one hand as Knuckles ran up behind him. "And all the stuff that was stolen from the village and brought it back." Sonic tossed the bag onto the ground. "Which proves that I didn't steal any of it! Case closed."
The singular thought of – Technically, it doesn't – was shared around the room.
Knuckles nodded with a grin. "He's got you there, Egghead!"
Eggman wasn't backing down that easily. "Case not closed!" He pointed at Sonic. "You got it. Therefore, you must've stolen it! Now case closed!"
Knuckles glanced at the speedster. "He's got you there, Sonic!"
Knuckles made a face, and Silver placated with a grin. "It's just the concussion talking."
Eggman held his head high. "Officer, arrest this man!"
Sonic began to back away, but then Metal Sonic appeared, blocking his path. It turned out that Metal wasn't activated, for Earl was carrying the robot over. His head was wrapped in bandages. "Bob!"
Amy beamed. "Yay, he's okay! He recovered from that concussion pretty quickly!"
Tails couldn't believe he was saying this, but, "That anti-horseshoe elixir has to be a real miracle…"
Sonic gaped. "Earl?"
Earl dumped Metal onto the ground. "These parts landed by the warehouse, and I thought you might need 'em."
Sonic put his hands on his hips, regarding the police beaver. "That's the real thief!" The officer began to arrest Earl.
Eggman wondered if it was possible to loss brain cells through association.
Sonic stopped him. "Not him! My robot duplicate that Eggman used to frame me!"
"All lies!" Eggman refuted before picking up Metal's lifeless body. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'll take my metal duplicate of you, suitable for framing, and my particle accelerator-" He snatched it out of Sonic's grip. "-and go."
Eggman walked away.
"Just…like that?" Knuckles knew that he shouldn't be questioning this, but he couldn't help it. It was too ridiculous. "The beaver was so eager to arrest Sonic and Earl, but he just watches Eggman walk away?"
Sonic didn't really get it either. "No real evidence, I guess?"
Sonic turned toward Earl. "Thanks, Earl."
He smiled back. "It's the least I can do after you saved my life! I was deader than a peapod in a mud-bucket tea kettle after flippity-hoodledoop fazzle-bazzle!"
A horseshoe whacked Earl in the head again.
"Good," Shadow said. His mind wasn't at its usual sharpness to attempt to process what the worker had said.
Sonic caught it after it bounced off. He and Knuckles looked at each other before bursting out in laughter.
Later that night in some forest, the Mayor was walking with his posse. "We're closing in on him, boys! And we're not leaving this forest without him!"
A wolf howled in the distance.
The Mayor gulped. "Or we could go home now."
"I am not going to ask who they are looking for because it does not matter anymore," Metal watched the screen fade to black. "I would be glad if my double does not make any more appearances."
Sonic snickered. "I still wanna see him as a toaster. Maybe Eggy might melt him down into one after this."
"That would be one thing I would praise him for."
"It would be hilarious!" Silver smiled, imagining the other Metal burning the toast, no matter how quick Eggman cooked it for. The psychic then looked inquisitively at the TV. "I wonder if I can stay for more episodes, though…?"
Static suddenly filled the air, and then white words appeared on the screen, saying:
"Time to go."
Silver blinked in surprise. "Guess that answers that."
"Aw, already!?" Amy pouted. "But it seems like you just got here!"
Tails laughed a little. "It's alright, Amy! We'll see him again!" He looked at the psychic. "Right, Silver?"
Silver confidently nodded. "Right! I'll see all of you pretty soon, actually." Barring Eggman. He wanted it to be a while until he saw that doctor again. He trained his smile over at Metal and Shadow. "Hopefully you two, too! Y'know, without violently attacking each other."
Shadow grunted in affirmation. "You wouldn't catch me dead on Eggman's side." He nodded in return. "See you then."
"Could not have said it better myself." Metal saw freedom in his future now. "Enjoy the better future."
Silver was going to take a nice, long nap as soon as he could. "I will!" He glanced over at the doctor. "And Eggman…"
Eggman glanced at him. "What?"
Knuckles barked out a laugh at that one. "Insult of the year!"
While Eggman blocked out the resulting laughter, Sonic gave Silver a two-fingered salute. "Nice talkin' with you again, Silver! We'll catch back up with ya down the road!"
Silver returned the gesture, and a familiar white light blinded everyone in the room. It lasted a couple of seconds before fading away, leaving behind eyes that struggled to readjust.
"So uh…" Sonic was the first to speak, looking suspiciously around the room. "Did anything change? Or did the thing just blind us for no reason?" He honestly wouldn't put that past it at this point.
Tails searched the walls, ceiling, and floor, brows creasing in confusion when nothing stood out. "Everything looks the same…"
"I'm really going to go blind at this point," Knuckles groused, rubbing at his eyes.
Amy scratched her head. Something was pulling at the back of her mind, something right out of arm's reach. "I dunno…does – does anyone else feel like they're forgetting something?"
"Hm." Metal hummed, gazing up at the TV. "Not necessarily. Though, I wish I could forget my pathetic excuse of a copy."
Eggman tapped his chin. "You know, Metal, maybe I should melt you down into something more useful when we get out of here instead of-"
"I will melt off your fingers."
Eggman grinned too widely. "You say that now, but-"
"Let's get on with it," Shadow interrupted. He refused to let more time be wasted. "Start the next one."
The feeling was still there, but Amy shrugged and grabbed the remote.
It must be nothing important.
When Silver returned to the future, he was standing in the exact spot he had been teleported from. He instantly recognized the metallic walls of the underground bunker, dirt streaks that stained the floor, and the whirling fans that substituted much-needed air conditioning.
All happiness drained from Silver's system, shock causing his heart to race. "You have to be kidding me!"
Wrapping himself in his powers, Silver shot himself down the humid corridors, passing by small rooms and branching hallways. The base wasn't too big, so Silver made it to the main room they used for strategic meetings within two minutes.
The door was open, and Silver darted into the room, pressing the breaks upon seeing familiar faces that he thought…were going to be different.
Knuckles, Tails, Amy, Rouge, and Sonic were all there. They were all sitting around a small table in the middle of the room, watching a projection on the distant wall as Tails typed away at a tablet. A map of Eggman's takeover was blown up on the projection, showing damaged cities, the locations of robot armies, and the conditions of scattered resistance safe zones.
His friends were all in the same conditions he was, bruised, a little dirtied, and in dire need of a brush; Sonic has had it the worse, though. It was only recently that he'd been rescued from Eggman, after all.
"But…" Silver whispered to himself. "It shouldn't have happened…"
Sonic was the first to notice the psychic. He was lounging in his chair, scuffed shoes propped on the table. Cracking a grin, he greeted, "Heya, Silv. Sure took your sweet time gettin' here."
The rest noticed him then.
"Yeah." Knuckles frowned at him. "Where the hell have you been? I thought you were nearby when I called the meeting."
"I…I was, but-" Silver swallowed thickly. "But why is everything the same? It thought the future was supposed to change!"
Rouge crossed her arms, raising a brow. "What are you on about, hon?"
"I was taken back to the past!" Silver rushed to explain. He looked at Sonic, Tails, Amy, and Knuckles. "I was forced sent back to watch your other dimensional selves on a TV! I told you guys what was happening here, and I thought it would change things!"
Tails stared at him like he'd gone crazy. He was starting to feel like he had with the amount of confusion aimed at him. "Another dimension…?" The fox slowly repeated. "Like Blaze's or something?"
"You don't remember?" Silver stepped more into the room, resisting the urge to pull at his quills. "You were supposed to remember!"
Amy stood from her chair, concern written all over her face. "Come and sit, Silver. I'll get you some water so you calm down a bit, okay?"
Knuckles pinched the bridge of his nose, wearily sighing. "Dammit, this isn't the time for you to be losing it."
Silver took a deep breath to steady his nerves. Yelling wouldn't help much here. "I'm not losing it, seriously." He went over to the table, leaning against it. "Come on, remember. Remember Mittens? And Sticks? And Perci? And…And Dave? The toilet paper flipper?"
Rouge's brow rose even higher. "That last guy sounds dangerous."
"…I'm going to get the water," Amy said, but Silver held out a hand before she could talk a step.
"Wait! I'm telling the-"
Static suddenly filled the room, coming from the one small speaker they had. Everyone snapped their attention up to the projection. It was filled with white noise until black words popped up:
"I guess it's time to get your memories back."
Silver stared, stunned, because was that…was that the same…?
All of the occupants of the room were silent, silent until Knuckles shot up from his chair, scrapping the floor underneath. His expression was eerily calm as he said, "I'll be right back."
He stiffly walked out of the room. Silver watched him as he left, and then focused on Amy, Tails, and Sonic. They were all staring at the center of the table with wide eyes. Rouge did the same, released a tired sigh, and asked, "I remember being trapped for a bit. But what do you all remember that's so important?"
No one got to answer before there was a yell outside, actually multiple yells accompanied with loud hits to one of the walls. After a moment, Knuckles returned and sat back down in his seat. His eyes were even more tired than before.
"We knew," he simply said.
"We knew…" Tails whispered, voice wobbly.
Amy covered her mouth with her hand, eyes moistening up. "We…knew…"
Sonic let out a chuckle; it wasn't as lighthearted as usual. "You know what? I'm not surprised. Even out of that room, the thing managed to pull another prank on us."
"Is this even a prank?!" Amy shouted, emotions going haywire. "People have died! Families torn apart! This…This shouldn't have…!"
"Follow your own advice and calm down, Pinky," Rouge advised. "What happened, happened. Now-" She looked around the table. "-what exactly did you remember?"
Tails' voice was still soft, fingers trembling now. "How to prevent everything. Infinite, the war…"
Silver then nearly jumped out of his skin when an alarm blared, coming from the speaker. Tails stared wide-eyed at the tablet. "I-It's an incoming call! From…one of Eggman's factories!"
"Do we answer?" Silver asked, guard immediately up. This could be a virus, a threat, anything.
Knuckles clenched his jaw before nodding.
Tails answered it, and they all watched with bated breath as a slightly glitchy face appeared on the projection. Two faces, actually.
Knuckles frowned. "Shadow, and-"
Amy gasped. "Metal! Our Metal!"
Their word rang true, for Shadow and a very Mobian Metal were staring right back at them.
"I'm the real one, in case you doubt me," Shadow said after scanning the room. "I remember every damn thing, and I assume you all do too."
Sonic tilted his head. "The real one?"
"Physical Illusions. Infinite is capable of making them," Shadow stated, straight to the point. "That's what I've learned sneaking under the radar."
"Illusions…" Tails murmured. "That makes sense. It explains why there's a robot Metal flying around too…"
"What we have learned," Metal corrected Shadow, both looking worse for wear as well. "We were busy gleaning info about the inner workings of this factory when the memories hit. I am sure the doctor is laughing away right about now."
Sonic scoffed. "Yeah, I bet."
There was a moment of silence. Amy had sat back down, holding her head in her hands. Knuckles and Rouge were staring at the call, taking in the room the duo must've snuck into. Sonic was just slowly shaking his head while Tails clasped his shaking hands together.
The knowledge was a heavy hit, but they couldn't wallow in it. Since Silver was the one to bring it up, he felt slightly at fault. He had to lighten the mood…somehow. At least a little.
Focus on the funny, focus on the funny…
"So, Metal," Silver started, looking up at the blue hedgehog on the screen. "You've been working with Shadow, huh? During this whole thing?"
Metal adjusted his black, tattered gloves. "Yes, I have."
Silver managed a smile. "Then, which one of you is the perpetual second banana?"
That was so bad, Silver. What the hell.
However, apparently Metal didn't think so, for he tried and fail to stifle a laugh. He held a hand over his mouth and stepped to the side, out of sight. His muffled laughs were still heard, though.
Shadow deadpanned at the former robot before leveling that same stare on to Silver. "We are on a stealth mission."
"What?" Silver withheld his own snickers. "What kind of banana you are is very important."
There was an ugly snort on the other end. Shadow sighed.
Sonic and Tails were giving varying smiles now, and Amy was repressing her own hiccup-y giggles.
Knuckles was shaking his head in disappointment.
Rouge was lost. "Is that an inside joke?"
"A terrible one," Knuckles breathed out before saying, "Come on, we can't go back, only forward, so let's get ourselves together. Shadow and Metal are on a timer, so we have no more time for Mittens and his dumb-"
There was another hysterical snort from Metal.
Silver mentally patted himself on his back.
A little look into their future. Hope you all enjoyed that little tidbit!
Next is Designated Heroes!
Reviews and constructive criticism are welcome!