Chapter 2

"Uggh... man, those stupid posts weren't that bad to travel through last time."

Scourge groaned as he lifted himself up from the ground, falling into a sitting position as he took in his surroundings. He was in a peaceful looking clearing filled with beautiful wild flowers and a cool crisp breeze. Behind him was the beginning of a forest, the trees looking bright and lush with a few berry bushes in scattered clumps around the tree bases. Some small woodland critters watched him curiously for a moment before scurrying off to complete whatever goals they had set for themselves. It was lovely and peaceful.

So where in the hell was Freedom HQ?

A grumble beside him caught his attention. Fiona Fox's prone form started to shift as she regained consciousness. Scourge couldn't help taking in the sight of her. Her leather outfit made the red of her fur look luxuriously bright and striking. Her top was short and showed off her furry mid riff. The gloves on her hands were long, leading to her elbows and left her fuzzy little fingers uncovered. Her tight black pants left little to the imagination, but those stupid enough to try and cop a feel on his girl would be deterred by the twin spiked belts she had looped around her hips. Atop her soft brown hair, the only part of her outfit that didn't scream 'I'm a badass' was the lovely little yellow bow she had tied in. As much as she likely wouldn't appreciate the comment, Scourge certainly thought the little yellow piece of fabric looked incredibly cute on her, especially as her fluffy tail started to wave back and forth. A small, genuine smile crossed the Hedgehog's face. Whatever else Fiona might be, she was definitely a hotty. And she was all his.

The fox blinked her eyes and shifted her head, turning to see Scourge sitting beside her.

"Scourge… what happened? Last time we went through those posts we didn't black out."

Scourge gave an unsure shrug as he helped the fox up, letting her lean against him as they took in the sight of the clearing.

"I dunno babe. Maybe whoever turned it on must'a screwed with it or somethin'. Might explain why we're in the middle of nowhere instead of the Freedom Freaks HQ."

The two sat close for a few minutes taking in the natural beauty of the clearing, before finally, they rose to their feet.

"Well, nice as this place is, we ain't gonna get any answers sitting around doin' nothin'. Let's see if we can find a village or somethin' and figure out where the heck on Mobius we are."

Fiona nodded in agreement, "Hopefully someone can give us a clue what that weird whiteness was. Plus, we're gonna need a new crew if we plan on taking Mobius. Without the Destructix or Moebius' resources, we aren't going to get very far in our conquest. Not with the Freedom Fighters at the top of their game fighting Eggman."

At her words Scourge just smirked, wrapping an arm around Fiona's waste and pulling her close. She made no move to resist, wrapping herself around her Hedgehog beau.

"Don't worry babe. We may not be in prime position to take over Mobius right now, but we will be soon enough. After all, that blue bastard has made just as many enemies as he has friends. I'm sure there's plenty of folks who'll be more than happy to help us take him down. Besides," he leaned in close, his smirk as alluring as ever and his eyes full of passion and determination. Fiona could feel herself grow lighter just staring into those blue orbs, "You and me can take just about anyone. We fought off the Suppression Sissies and the Freedom Flunkies alone until that blue punk got involved, and we busted out of a prison no one has ever been able to escape from. You and me Fiona, together we can do anythin'. We see Sonic and his pals and they won't know what hit em'."

Feeling her own smirk upon her muzzle, the fox closed the distance between her and Scourge, their lips meeting in a passionate kiss. Her man always knew just what to say.

Scourge gave a moan of appreciation feeling the fox's soft lips pressed upon his own. His blood pumped hard and his adrenaline spiked. He'd kissed plenty of hot babes in his life, but none of them could compare to the feeling of kissing his Fiona. Pulling himself closer, Scourge looped both his hands around her waist, bringing her body to press completely against his own. In turn, Fiona wrapped an arm around his neck, while another stroked one of his head quills lovingly. Their embrace was filled with passion and lust. Nothing could beat the feeling they had when they were with each other.

They held each other for a while more, their mouths intertwined and their bodies as close as they could be pressed together, before finally the need for air became too great and they were forced to break apart. Breathing heavily, their smirks were strong and their eyes filled with satisfaction.

Eventually, after he had regained his breath, Scourge stood tall, gesturing lightly to the forest behind them.

"Come on sweet thing, let's get a move on. We've a world to conquer and a blue pest to eradicate."

Nodding with a smile, Fiona joined her boyfriend as they turned from the clearing and started making their way through the tree line, hoping to find a path or road.

Unbeknownst to either of them however, one of the berry bushes gave a rustle and a figure rose up shaking off unconsciousness. They shook their head to wash away the discomfort before trailing their eyes after the pair as the couple left.

A wicked smile cross the figure's face before they silently scuttled after the two.

Trees blew gently through the forest alongside a stream flowing along at a leisurely pace. This stream sat quietly in a small grotto shielded by the lush foliage of the forest around it. Some small field mice scurried out from the bushy hiding places for a drink, while beautiful rainbow fish followed the current on their grand journey. It was peaceful, with only the gentle sound of distant birds and the soft splashes of the water bubbling around pebbles large and small.

This was all interrupted however as a great flash of light flooded the area and a damaged metal figure fell straight into the water. A large spark cracked through the air and exploded throwing Shard into a tumble. His face grated through the dirt, scattering the startled mice and denting his face even further. A few minutes passed after the dramatic entrance before the grotto's quiet peacefulness reasserted itself, and calm silence was all that could be heard.

The damaged metal mobian gave a groan before rolling onto his back, ensuring his precious cargo, Nicole's pad, was undamaged and safe.

"Uggh… well… any landing you can walk away from I guess… uggh…" Shard just stared up at the sky as fluffy clouds blew passed. Warning messages flashed through his optics, telling him how the water short circuit had even further damaged his already wrecked systems, but he ignored them, letting his repair systems slowly kick back in. It was going to be a while before he had could replace his leg and he still had severe damage to his chassis, but as long as he kept himself safe for a little while, his internal systems should be able to patch up a little and get him into a more stable position. He at least had the comfort of knowing his canon had been prioritized by the self-repair subroutines and was now partially operational again, so he could keep Nicole safe if any further threats appeared.

Realizing he hadn't heard anything from the AI Lynx since they landed, Shard turned to her pad.

"Nicole, are you alright?"

She didn't immediately respond which caused worry to flare through the robot hedgehog. Slowly however, the digital pixels were projected from the pad creating her avatar on the physical plain. The digital Mobian had turned herself partially away from Shard, her head low and her arms held tightly to her chest.

"I... am unharmed Shard... You're quick thinking saved us... Thank you."

Shard was silent for a moment, before he slowly moved forward and placed a hand on the AI's hard light shoulder.

"I can tell what you're thinking Nicole. For someone without sleeves, you sure wear your heart there a great deal." the light joke brought a flicker of a smile to Nicole's muzzle before her melancholy forced it away, "There was nothing either of us could have done. Our team and team Freedom couldn't do anything to stop whatever that force was, and it even consumed your nanobots. Running was our only option."

Pain and grief overwhelmed the Lynx and she swung around to Shard, knocking his hand from her shoulder. "But I'm the guardian of Mobotropolis! It's my job to protect the city and the citizens from attack! I should have been able to do something, anything to help them!"

She attempted to say more, before virtual tears slid down her cheeks and she gave up the fight to hold back her sadness. She collapsed against Shard, wrapping her arms around him as tightly as she could, hiding her sobbing face against his chest. Shard didn't hesitate to wrap his arms around her in turn. Nicole dedicated herself to protecting the citizens of Mobotropolis, even when they banished her from the city in fear. It was her purpose, her self-driven goal in life. And in one swoop, the city and all of its people were gone, wiped out of existence like the light from a dying candle. To know that this had happened and she couldn't do anything to prevent it hurt more than anything.

Shard held her tight, his green eyes and power core seeming to dim in her sorrow. The holographic tears flowing down his chest hurt more than all the damage Metal Sonic had managed to inflict on him. Slowly though, his eyes hardened with determination and he pulled Nicole back just enough that she could see his optics.

"Nicole I know this is a heavy blow, but we need to be strong. We have no idea what just happened. For all we know, the citizens were just teleported somewhere, or they are stuck in some different zone. Plus, we know that Sonic and his team weren't in the city. They're on their mission to stop Eggman's latest attack. We still have allies out there that can help us."

His words seemed to be having an effect on the AI as her tears slowly came to a halt and her grip on him began to relax.

"You haven't failed Nicole. This is just a lost battle. But together we will find some help and we will win the war. I don't know what happened, but I won't rest until we can find out. I know that whatever happens next, I will have you here with me, and with someone as brave and strong as you, I know we will be ok."

She tried to fight it, but the coding within her forced a blush to her cheeks at Shard's kind words. He always seemed to be able to make her smile.

"Very well Shard. I will stay strong, and together we will find the answers we seek."

Shard gave a bright smile as his metal fingers gently wiped the tears from her face, letting them fade back into nothing but coding.

While she was in reality just a collection of photonic particles being projected from the pad that housed her coding matrix, holding the hard light projection in his arms like this always felt so nice to Shard. While his capacity to feel objects in a physical sense was far more limited than an organic being, it mattered little to him. Nicole's presence overcame any limitations in his design. He could hold her like this for hours and still feel more content by the second. For all of the dark memories that haunted the metal hedgehog, every memory with Nicole always brought joy to his power core.

Nicole stared up at the warm smile on Shard's muzzle, the blush being displayed across her digital cheeks as strong as ever. In this moment, all the pain and regret that still filled her seemed to gently wash away. She wished the moment could last forever.

It wasn't meant to be however as a new display crossed over Shard's optic view screen. It showed that his internal scanning mechanisms had been patched up by his self-repair subroutines, and were now detecting several life signs nearby.

"Heh, sorry Nicole. As much as I love bringing that lovely little blush to your cheeks," said blush grew brighter after the smirking robot's acknowledgment of it, "We need to get a move on. I've detected several Mobian life signs nearby, and with any luck, they can point us in the direction of Sonic and his team. Then we can get to work finding out what the heck happened and how we kick the butt of whoever was responsible for it."

Feeling a tad disappointed (and very embarrassed to realize she felt disappointed) Nicole pulled away from the Robian and gave a nod. "Yes you are right. We have no time to waste. We need answers, and you still need repairs. Hopefully this group can point us in the right direction, or at least tell us where we are."

With a last, confident smile shared between them, Nicole downloaded herself back into her pad to conserve power while Shard booted up his flight systems. His power transfer systems were still damaged and the damage to his chassis still made movement difficult, but he slowly rose into the air in a wonky pattern.

Clutching the pad tightly to his chest, Shard took off, praying that whoever up ahead was friendly and willing to help.

Sonic let out a relaxing breath as he lay under the shade of a tree. The small park he was in always felt like a great place to chill out and let the worries of the day fade away. He watched in contentment at the scattered grouping of friends before him.

Sitting on a picnic blanket with a basket beside them was Amy and Cream. The pink hedgehog was preparing a sandwich for the young rabbit beside her, smiling as Cream gleefully told her about how her week had been and playfully rubbing the head of Cheese the Chao as he chirped along.

A little further away Tails the two tailed fox was unsuccessfully trying to show off his latest invention, a small box like device that would supposedly translate any language into English, to a bored looking Knuckles the echidna. The guardian of the master emerald had his spiked gauntlets crossed across his chest as he gave Tails an unimpressed look before telling Tails that as neither of them, or any of their friends, spoke a different language, what exactly was the point in showing this device off?

As Tails started to sputter in embarrassment, Sonic gave a quiet chuckle before closing his eyes and letting his mind wander.

The dream from earlier was still in the back of his mind, but he was ignoring, letting himself focus on events he knew had definitely happened. Like the time Eggman had taken control of an ancient time creature and he had had to team up with a younger version of himself to save his friends and fix the damage to the timeline that Eggman and his own younger self had unleashed.

Then there was the time that Eggman had chained up the little planet and had Metal Sonic kidnap Amy. Sonic gave a smile as he thought over his first meeting with the hedgehog girl, when her crush was still in the 'hero worship' faze rather than the 'deeply in love with' faze.

There was the time Knuckles had been manipulated into thinking Sonic was a thief while Eggman stole away the master emerald and the time Sonic had been forced to free dozen of animal critters Eggman had imprisoned over the land and turned into engines for his badnik robots for some ridiculous scheme. Heh, that was his very first time kicking the mad scientist's butt.

He had dozens of memories. Racing through the green hill zone with Tails at his side. Twisting and turning through the pipelines of the chemical plant zone. The freezing snow and ice of the ice cap zone.

So many memories he knew had happened, that he had lived through and experienced.

And yet the dream still seemed to haunt him. That, admittedly very pretty chipmunk princess that Eggman had turned into a robot to make him fight, the memory of a nanobot city he was fighting so hard to protect, the faces of so many different people, some familiar and some he had no clue about.

It had all felt so real.

It was more than just images that flashed through his mind. There were emotions linked to them. Friendship, regret, love, anger, sadness. Emotions so strong they felt almost tangible. Looking in his mind at the dream image of Tails, and the memories of the one here at this picnic, gave him the same feeling of brotherly love and affection.

Why was this dream affecting him so much? Why did it feel so powerful… so real?

With his eyes closed and his mind so lost in thought, he didn't see the incoming projectile before it was too late.

A green ball slammed into his stomach with such force that all the breath was knocked from his lungs. He eyes went wide with pain and surprise, getting only a brief glimpse of the attack and the sheer shock displayed from his friends before the force of the impact smashed him through the tree he had been laying beneath and grinding him into a hard groove in the ground.

His body rag dolled before coming to a hard stop, dirt and splinters now caught in his quills and a rapidly forming bruise over his torso. He gave a pained wince, his arms wrapping around himself in reflex before squinting up at his attacker.

The green ball bounced back, unfurling to reveal another hedgehog of Sonic's height. In fact, physically he looked almost identical to Sonic. Long quills sprouting from his back and head, the same build and shape and even exuding the same level of cocky confidence.

But for all the similarities, there were several important differences too. The hedgehog's coat was green instead of blue, and his eyes were blue instead of green, like a complete reversal. Instead of the same smooth beige stomach fur, the assailant had two deep scars that crossed his chest. He was also garbed in clothing beyond simply gloves and shoes. He had a black leather jacket with images of flames on the shoulders, and a pair of sporty red trimmed sunglasses on his head. The smirk on his face was far darker then Sonic's own and it was further offset by his sharp, shark-like teeth.

As Sonic looked the hedgehog over, something within him, within the memory of his strange dream, seemed to recognize him. He couldn't place a name or even a memory of ever having met the attacker, but something within Sonic told him that the other hedgehog was familiar and dangerous.

"Hey what's the big idea jerk!"

Behind the two hedgehogs, the rest of Sonic's friends had gotten over their shock and had now pulled themselves into ready combat stances. Knuckles had uncrossed his gauntlets and held them out ready, just waiting to pound the intruder into mulch. Tails' namesakes were twirling about like propellers, slowly lifting him from the ground, ready to assist his friends from the air. The one who had spoken, Amy, stood firm, her piko piko hammer pulled from the ether and held up aggressively, holding herself in front of Cream and Cheese who looked scared and confused by this sudden turn of events.

The angry question actually seemed to confuse the hedgehog, who half turned himself toward the group, still keeping himself primed to move should Sonic get back to his feet.

"What'ya think the big idea is genius. Revenge obviously!"

This seemed to stump the group for a second before Sonic himself spoke up.

"Revenge? What the heck did I ever do to you? I don't even know you!"

This really got the green hedgehog angry, turning himself full on to Sonic and growling with his hands now balling into fists.

"Don't know me! Don't know me! HOW THE HELL DON'T YOU REMEMBER ME!"

Before anything else could be said, a figure leapt from the trees, metal tip boots slamming into the back of Knuckles head. As the echidna collapsed to the ground with a solid thump, the figure used the kick as a spring board to flip through the air and land in front of a startled Amy. The figure, revealed to be a red vixen clad in leather, had landed with her body facing the pink hedgehog, a hand placed on her hip in a bored gesture, but her face was turned to Sonic with an annoyed inquisitiveness on her muzzle.

"A good question Blue. After all, I was pretty certain that trying to take over Mobius and snatching away your Freedom HQ were attention worthy feats."

Silence filled the area before, with a groan; Sonic pulled himself to his feet drawing the full attention of the enemy hedgehog and fox. He looked the two over for a moment before raising his hands in a calming gesture.

"Ok look. I think there's some kind of misunderstanding here. My friends and I here don't know you guys. I have no idea what a 'Mobius' is or why we would have someplace called Freedom HQ, but it's obvious you have been misinformed about us somehow. Look my name is Sonic, Sonic the hedgehog, and my friends and I here have no beef with you guys."

A pained moan cut him off as Knuckles pulled his face out of the dirt and dragged himself back to his feet. "Speak for yourself." He growled, wincing as he gingerly rubbed the large bump on his head.

Sonic just shook his head before turning back to the two aggressors ensuring he had their full attention.

"Look, if you calm down and explain what is happening here, maybe we can help. I don't know why you're so angry, or why you think we should know who you are, but I promise we will listen and do our best to help you."

Sonic felt proud of himself for his words. Being civil and trying to talk things out wasn't one of his strong points, but these two were clearly just confused. Surprise attack aside, they obviously had the wrong guy in their sights and had been misinformed. He still had no idea what the heck the two had been talking about with a 'Mobius' and a 'Freedom HQ', but they obviously had a pretty severe grievance with somebody.

Still though, the sense of familiarity felt so strong. The green hedgehog and the fox were setting off warnings all through him, but until he could figure out what the heck the dream was all about, he wasn't about to just up and attack someone.

Both intruders definitely seemed to have calmed down at his words, but his concern rose slightly when it appeared they were completely baffled.

"You don't know what a Mobius… Why you'd have a Freedom… Misinformed… the hell?"

The green hedgehog looked completely lost and starting to get annoyed again. The fox, seeming just as confused, stepped away from Amy, who at the lack of aggression being displayed had lowered her hammer slightly, though hadn't made it disappear yet.

The vixen strolled over until she stood beside the green hedgehog, now placing both hands on her waste and leaning forwards to look Sonic over with sharp eyes. After examining him for a moment she leaned back and spoke.

"Does Mobotropolis ring any bells for you?"

Again the strange dream seemed to let him recognize the word. The image of the nanobot city seemed to briefly cross through his mind before it was gone once more, lost in the dreams haze. Unsure and confused, Sonic simply shook his head at the question.

The fox nodded before raising a hand to her chin and speaking again, even while the hedgehog beside her watched her curiously.

"What about Moebius? The No Zone? The Zone of Silence?"

Once more, brief hazy images crossed through Sonic's mind, still unfocused and without true context. He once again shook his head in the negative, even with his confusion mounting more and more.

His response seemed to satisfy the fox as she nodded her head and turned to her companion.

"Ok Babe I think I know what's going on here."

While the term 'Babe' seemed to show that the two partners were clearly close to Sonic and his confused friends, the jacket clad hedgehog just crossed his arms looking more and more annoyed by the events going on.

"Alrighty then, care to share or are we just gonna keep playing twenty questions with the chump?"

While Sonic took some offense at the name calling, the vixen smiled and leaned in close to the scarred hedgehog. "It's actually not that complicated. I'm kind of embarrassed it took me this long to work it out."

She gestured at Sonic, but her gaze remained firmly on her companion.

"Clearly Kintobor must have changed the zone coordinates somehow on the globe posts. This isn't Mobius Prime. We're in some different Zone entirely. This is Sonic and his lame friends, but these versions have never met us, or left their Zone, and they likely have a different name for their planet instead of Mobius. They aren't the Sonic and pals we're looking for."

The green hedgehog blinked for a moment before giving a loud groan and face palming, while the vixen just crossed her arms with a smirk.

Sonic meanwhile was even more confused, as were the rest of his friends. "What the heck are you guys talking about? Mobius Prime, different versions of us? Look I don't know what's up here, but I can tell you that there is only one Sonic the hedgehog and you're looking at him."

At this statement, both newcomers gave a sharp laugh before turning to Sonic, both now looking very smug.

"Heh, sorry Blue but that's where you're wrong. See I go by Scourge now, but my real name," the hedgehog flipped his sunglasses up so his eyes were completely uncovered as he stared straight into Sonic's own. "Is Sonic the hedgehog."

The group all gave a sharp gasp at this revelation, while Sonic looked annoyed.

"Wait what? What are you talking about? I'm Sonic the hedgehog!"

The green hedgehog gave a chuckle and tilted his head coyly.

"Sorry Blue, but that's where you're wrong. See you lot are a bit out of touch with the majority of the zones. There's a vast multiverse of different worlds out there, all of them strange and different. And a constant through almost all of them, is that there is a spiky blue annoyance named Sonic the Hedgehog. I however dragged myself out of the pointless quagmire of existing as a Sonic. I got myself an upgrade with Mobius Prime's master emerald. Turned myself into the mean green machine you see before you. I have reached the full potential of what a Sonic is, and I did it by not following your stupid moral code and dumb heroics. Instead I used my skills to become king of my world and have everyone on it give me the respect I deserve."

All niceness from Sonic's expression left, leaving only an agitated frown. "Let me get this straight. So there's a multiverse of worlds and they all have a Sonic. You are some different version of me and you took over a planet. Ok setting all the craziness of that aside, why in the heck are you mad at me… or a… that other Sonic you mentioned?"

The smug grin on Scourge's face fled, replaced by a nasty expression filled with loathing. "You wanna know why I hate him. I'll tell you why! Right when I had my world and his in the palm of my hands, that cheating blue prick managed to trick me and took it all away! Then the bastard had me locked up in the No Zone, the multiverse's most heavily guarded prison designed to hold criminals so bad they had to be taken from their worlds for the safety of all! If it hadn't been for my Fiona here, I'd still be in that hell hole!"

The fox, now addressed as Fiona, stepped over and draped herself over the fuming green hedgehog. Her presence seemed to calm him somewhat, but his angry glare didn't leave his face. The vixen tickled a finger under his chin sultrily, turning her smirking gaze over to Sonic.

"Mmm, yes, adding breaking out of the most heavily guarded prison in the multiverse to my resume was certainly fun. After all, no reason for the best Sonic of them all to be left out of play. He certainly knows how to have a good time better than other Sonic's."

Before Sonic, outraged over learning of Scourge's actions and feeling belittled by Fiona, could say another word, high pitched giggling echoed from behind everyone.

"Ooh, so you're the one who brought back my Scourgey Wourgey. You're so nice!"

Sonic and friends watched perplexed as Fiona moved away from Scourge with immense concern on her muzzle, while Scourge himself stood ramrod stiff, his eyes turning to pin pricks and all the color draining from his face.

"Oh please no…"

He, and everyone in the park, turned to see a new figure had emerged from the tree line behind Knuckles and Tails. They all blinked in shock at the sight of a pink hedgehog girl clad in a white shirt with a large tutu like green skirt. She was the same height and build as Amy, sporting the same green eyes, same lovely fur color and even sporting a cheery expression on her face. Her quills however were spiked back, rather like how Amy used to keep them in her youth, instead of kept short and curled down like she now preferred.

The Amy lookalike gave another giggle and waved enthusiastically at Scourge who had taken a step back, even seeming to shake slightly in clear fear.

Everyone stared in silence for a moment, before Amy suddenly brightened and chirped up. "Oh, I get it. You must be an Amy from Scourge's world. Ooh that's so sweet. You came all this way to our world to see your Sonic. You must love him just like I love my Sonic!"

Scourge looked panicked at this while everyone else kept glancing back and forth between the two Amy's, the green hedgehog's fear and the newcomer's cheerfulness giving them all a feeling of unease.

"Whenever I see my Scourgey we have just the bestest time don't we?" the hedgehog girl asked, holding her hands together in a sweet gesture and rocking back and forth gently on her heels in a childlike manner.

Scourge just backed up more until he was right next to Sonic, almost using the blue hedgehog as a shield. "Bestest time my ass! Stay the hell away from me Rosy!"

Amy watched the pair with glee, a bright smile on her face as she watched the romance of another Amy and Sonic.

This came to a rushing stop however as Rosy gave a demented laugh and produced a piko piko hammer from the ether, a spiked version that looked far more deadly than her own hammer.

"Ooh I can't wait to smash you to mush!"

With her eyes crazed and with laughter only someone psychologically deranged could produce, Rosy took a flying leap, hammer swung high, ready to crush Scourge to pieces.

Her attack however was cut short as Fiona intercepted her with a high kick, slamming into the crazy hedgehog's gut and sending her tumbling to the ground in front of Amy.

"Sorry sweetie, but you'll have to get your smashing kicks someplace else. Scourge is off the table."

Rosy gave a grumble then pulled herself to her feet, giving Fiona a childish glare. "You're a meanie pants! I thought you were nice but you kicked Rosy!"

Amy, extremely confused by this turn of events, reached out and took a hold of her counterpart's shoulder.

"Um Rosy, maybe you should calm down a little…" her sentence was cut off as Rosy swung around, slamming her hammer into Amy and hurling her away to the shock and outrage of her friends.

"You no touch Rosy! Rosy remembers you from last time! I never got to smush all those hedgies so now I'll start with you!"

"Hey leave her alone!" Sonic yelled, moving to knock the crazy girl out, only for a hand to grip his arm. He turned to see Scourge smirking at him malevolently.

"Heh, you may not be the Sonic I got issues with, but right now I need to decompress a little."

With a mighty swing, Scourge hurled Sonic air born, causing him to slam into a surprised Tails and forcing them both to collapse in a heap. They both groaned, looking up to see Scourge strolling towards them, cracking his knuckles, his smirk even wider.

"And nothing lets me relax more than beating down on an obnoxious blue hedgehog."

Suddenly an energy blast slammed into the jacket clad hedgehog's back, sending him crashing painfully into a tree. His glasses now sitting askew on his nose, Scourge gave a growl and turned to see who had suckered him in the back.

A damaged robot stood before him, missing a leg and with scraps and dents littering his chassis, but he held a cocky smirk and his left arm was converted into a canon which was aimed square at him.

"I may not be blue, but I've been told I'm exceptionally obnoxious but loads of people, so how about you and I take a dance and leave Sonic and his friends alone."

Scourge just glared, his teeth bared in a snarl, but before he could move to counter attack, Tails' translator machine sailed through the air and slammed into the metal hedgehog knocking him flat on his back.

"What so you can take us on yourself! Fat chance Eggbot! You don't look like a normal Metal Sonic, but we all know an Eggman machine when we see it!"

Shard glanced up to see Knuckle bearing down on him, fists raised to strike.

"Wait what!? I'm on your side! What are you doing!?"

He tried to defend himself, only for a spiked gauntlet to slam into his face, denting and scraping his exterior even more.

"Our side! Don't make me laugh!"

The echidna moved in to issue another punch when a green spin dash slammed into his back and bowled him over. Knuckles looked back up at Scourge, who smirked down at him in menace.

"Sorry bub, but that metal moron is mine. No one takes a swing at Scourge and walks away unscathed."

"Oh yeah, well I don't like it when loud mouth punks decide to hit me either!" Knuckles roared back throwing himself at Scourge in a dive, spiked gauntlets ready to pound him to bits.

Meanwhile, Amy had managed to pull herself up from the ground, only to utter a startled eep as a spiked green hammer came hurtling at her face. Acting on reflex she brought her own hammer up, just managing to deflect Rosy's attack before it could make contact, but she didn't get a moment to breath before the deranged pink hedgehog was back on her.

"Ring around Rosy! Smashing makes me cozy! A smish smash! A crish crash! I'll crush you all down!"

Rosy laughed and sang, having herself a great time as Amy desperately duck and wove around the Moebian's heavy strikes. However despite her evasion efforts, Rosy performed a twirl and swung her hammer low, catching Amy off guard and tripping her up, knocking her onto her back. Rosy smiled at this, raising her hammer high for a finishing blow when suddenly she felt someone shove her from behind making her drop her stance and nearly trip.

Turning to glare at who dared to push Rosy, the hedgehog froze to see Cream, looking nervous but determined.

"Y-you leave Miss Amy alone."

Rosy's response was to giggle and hug her hammer close. "Ooh you look sooo cute! I'm gonna cut you open and stuff you full of cotton and take you home with me for tea parties!"

Cream looked terrified at this as Rosy raised her hammer for another strike, only for Tails to tackle her to the ground with a surprise attack.

"You leave Cream alone you weirdo!"

"*Gasp* Don't call me names stupid head! Now Rosy's going to squish you dead!"

As the two wrestled out of the way, Cream helped Amy to her feet. However, before she could completely get her bearing, the pink hedgehog was kicked square in the ribs by Fiona who gave a laugh.

"Whoops, sorry sweetie, but I've had some aggression for Amy Prime for a while now. That happens when someone tries to flatten you with a hammer."

"I'll show you flattened with a hammer!"

The fox laughed and flipped away as Amy hurled herself from the ground and charged after her screaming and waving her hammer about menacingly.

Shard groaned and pulled himself up, doing his best to ignore the sparks now buzzing from the new cuts on his face.

"Well… that didn't go very well. Nicole, any idea why Knuckles would attack me? I mean I know we haven't officially met, but I figured Sonic would have told him about me by now."

Nicole's face appeared on the pad looking very alarmed at Shard's battle damage.

"I'm not sure. Maybe Sonic didn't tell him, or his dislike of technology is clouding his judgement. Perhaps if you speak with Sonic he can clear up the mess and you can work together to deal with Scourge and Fiona."

"Sorry, no idea who you are, but after the last greeting we just had and my experience with Eggman's robots, I'm gonna go with my gut on this one."

Shard looked up only for Sonic's kick to nail him in the face, further cracking his optic covering and sending his head for a spin. Before he could right his head back into the correct position, Sonic spin dashed straight into Shard's chest, throwing him back. Unfortunately the attack landed against Shard's power core gem, which released a spark of energy as it cracked. This spark danced along Sonic's nerves and caused him to frizz out and collapse in a twitching mess.

"Sonic! Damn you robot menace!"

Knuckles tried to make a charge at Shard, who was trying to flip his head around, only for Scourge to shoulder charge the guardian and force him to face plant in the dirt harshly.

"Worry about yourself Knuckle brain."

Knuckles just growled and then threw himself at Scourge. The scarred hedgehog laughed and dodged, but Knuckles managed to get a swipe in at his back. Scourge stumbled, but it didn't break the smirk on his face.

"You call that a punch? You're old man hits harder than that. I should know, he did give me these." He pointed to the twin scars on his chest, which Knuckles suddenly realized matched with the spikes on his gauntlets. This gave Knuckles pause.

His whole life, the only other echidna he had ever met was the ghostly Tikal imprisoned alongside Chaos within the master emerald. He had never known his parents or any of his family, only what ancient wisdom the echidna race had passed down, and his duty to protect the master emerald in their stead. Even if it was knowledge of a parallel world, the gaining any kind of knowledge of his family would be amazing.

"What do you know of my father?" he asked wearily, preparing to have his question ignored and have the jacket clad hedgehog re engage the fight.

Scourge however gave a laugh and held himself up haughtily. "His name was Locke or somethin' like that. I don't really care. All I know is he was a complete douche. He managed to get a swipe in at me, but the joke was on him. I powered up with the master emerald and became my glorious green self and then I wailed on the loser. Beat the old geezer senseless. He got what was coming to him soon enough. I heard he had to kill himself to save everyone from you after you fused with some energy dude and started trying to kill everyone. Not gonna lie, if I knew you were my son, I'd have killed myself too."

As Scourge started to laugh, Knuckles was seeing only red. How dare this other worlder insult the memory of his father, even a version he had never met.

Roaring with fury Knuckles slammed his fist into scourge's face, shutting him up, but the green hedgehog was quick to right himself and get back in the fight, and now he was pissed.

Sonic, meanwhile, gave a groan and pulled himself to his hands and knees.

"Man, why does stuff like this always happen when we're just trying to have a relaxing day. Jeez, what else could go wrong?"

Sonic had yet to truly grasp the concept of 'not tempting fate', but it was a lesson he really hoped to get down eventually as a large metal claw slammed down on his back and ground him into the dirt.

"Ho ho ho, what have we here? Sonic and his little pals having a party. And you didn't invite me. How rude Sonic, and here I brought you all gifts. Maybe dealing with my robots will teach you some manners. "

Sonic winced and looked up to see the metal claw was attached to one of several metal tentacles branching off from a spherical octopus-like machine . Around it were dozens of motobugs, robo wasps and other badnik robots.

And of course, sitting in a cockpit atop the machine was the laughing, Doctor Eggman.

As everyone started to realize they had another party to deal with in their struggles, the mad doctor pointed his finger down at them all, his teeth wide in a sadistic grin.

"Badniks attack!"