Inside his latest secret lair, Dr. Robotnik was hard at work on his latest villainous machine. After wiping the sweat from his brow, he looked down from his platform to Orbot and Cubot.

"Make yourselves useful, you two!" Robotnik called out, holding out a piece of paper. "I'm out of supplies."

Orbot flew up and took the paper.

"500 pound supervillain seeking female companionship," Orbot read off.

"Oops," Robotnik let out, snatching back the paper. "That's… for another… project," he pulled out another paper. "Here's my supplies."

Orbot took the other paper.

"Three tons of extra large nails, five hundred cans of spit and sparkle varnish?"

"Wow, you know how to buy in bulk," Cubot remarked.

"Oh that reminds me," Robotnik recognized. "Add about two thousand surplus bulk heads while you're at it."

Both bots groaned loudly at that.

"Sir, wouldn't it be more efficient to send bots with a bit more…" Orbot flexed his thin, metal arm, "...bot power? Cubot and I can't possibly haul this much equipment on our own."

"Yeah!" Cubot agreed. "And it's real heavy too!"

"I'm not going to waste my better bots on menial errands. That's what you two are for! Not move it! Left! Right! Left! Right!"

The two hung their heads as they floated off.

"He says that even though we don't have feet," Orbot noted.

"He knows just how to make it hurt," Cubot replied.

At the Birnbaum house, Cream was picking flowers in the garden, humming to herself as she did so.

"Mama is going to love the flower crowns I can make with these," she mused.

She suddenly felt like there was something behind her. She turned around to see Emerl holding a bunch of flowers, causing her to smile.

"Emerl, did you pick these for me?" she asked.

"Yes," Emerl replied in the male version of Cream's voice he always used around her. "I hope you like them."

"They're lovely. Thank you."

Emerl rubbed the back of his head, and Cream got the impression that he was smiling despite his lack of a mouth.

Meanwhile, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Keith, and Kat landed the X-Tornado outside the SSTV studio, quickly leaping out and heading inside.

"So, any idea why the President wants us to meet us here?" Knuckles asked.

"Your guess is as good as mine," Sonic replied, "but if I had to wager a guess, it's probably got something to do with Eggman."

"He must have some sort of attack plan and needs our help to execute it ," Tails hypothesized.

"Unfortunately, I think he missed his window," Keith lamented. "GUN units were scouring the sewers after the base was found, but Eggman packed up and bolted."

"Doesn't mean he doesn't want another crack at him," Kat pointed out, propping her bat on her shoulder. "This is Eggman we're talking about."

"Fair enough."

They all headed towards a room they were asked to wait in, surprised to see Team Dark waiting inside as well.

"You guys?" Sonic let out.

"It's a surprise for me too," Shadow replied. "The president must have a heck of a plan in mind if he needs you guys too."

"Any clue as to this big plan of his?" Knuckles inquired.

"Wish I could say," Rouge replied. "Even we're being kept in the dark."

"Might as well make yourself comfortable," Chessie suggested, gesturing to the large couch that was seemingly reserved for them. "We've already been here for a bit."

Team Sonic took their seats, waiting for answers to arrive.

Just outside the room, Scarlet Garcia was setting up for a broadcast, getting the go ahead from her cameraman.

"This is Scarlet Garcia for SSTV news. Continuing our top story, the notorious Dr. Robotnik is still at large after his daring escape from prison. The President has stated a plan is in place to bring him in, but details are scarce. All that is known is that it involves Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends and allies."

Scarlet then turned and saw the President and Christina walking towards them.

"Mr. President!" Scarlet called out. "What can you tell us about your plan to defeat Eggman?"

"I'll be happy to, once we get inside," the President informed her. "I want to say this to everyone."

Christina opened the door and everyone went inside, getting the attention of the two groups.

"Ah, good, you're all here."

"That we are," Keith confirmed. "So what's this big plan of yours?"

"To put it bluntly… a tournament."

That caught everyone off guard.

"A tournament?" Sonic questioned.

"Yes, with you and your friends and allies if they're willing to participate. To determine the best combatants out there and then use them as a basis for our future counter attack against Dr. Robotnik."

Everyone looked at each other with reservations and uncertainty. After a moment, Chessie raised her hand. "Sir.. I hate to say it, but…"

"This whole idea seems kinda screwy," Knuckles admitted.

"A waste of time and effort," Shadow added.

"Is that what you all think?" the President asked.

There was a slow murmur of affirmations, everyone looking uneasy and concerned.

"I might consider it," Rouge commented, much to everyone's surprise. "If ya make it worth my while."

"I think I can arrange that. I forgot to add that the winner of the tournament will receive a very special prize… a Chaos Emerald."

That got everyone's attention.

"You have acquired a Chaos Emerald?" Omega questioned. "And your decision to utilize it is to offer it as a prize in this tournament? The logic does not compute."

"Does that mean you're not interested, Omega."

"... negative. A Chaos Emerald is too valuable to trust to flesh based lifeforms. I will enter this tournament and secure the Emerald."

"Actually…" the President let out, rubbing the back of his head, "I was thinking about making this a martial arts tournament. Hand to hand combat, not weapons. Otherwise, it wouldn't be fair."

"Don't worry Omega," Chessie reassured. "One of us will win the Emerald for ya."

"Outcome undesirable… but tolerable."

"A martial arts tournament," Sonic mused, rubbing his chin. "I'll admit, it does sound like fun. And if there's an Emerald on the like, I'm definitely in."

"Well…" Shadow considered. "If Sonic's in, so am I. At least there will be some competition."

"I look forward to it," Sonic told him.

"I'm in too!" Tails declared. "It sounds like it could be fun."

"Hey Keith," Kat interjected with a grin, "maybe you and I can enter. We can't let the Mobians have all the fun!"

"I'm game," Keith replied, turning to the president. "If that's alright."

"Of course. Anyone is welcome to enter."

"Great! How about you Knuckles?"

"What?" Knuckles scoffed. "Put my search for answers on hold just to fight for one measly Chaos Emerald? Sorry, but you can count me out."

"Sounds like gloomy gus here is afraid I might beat him," Rouge remarked.

"Hey, I'm not afraid of anything! I just have better things to-"

"Oh come on, Knux," Kat insisted. "It's a tournament! You'll love it! C'mon, can't you take one day off on your little search?"

"I'm not saying I can't, but-"

"It would certainly be a treat for the hundreds of Knuckles fans out there," Scarlet chimed in. "I can only imagine how disappointed they'd be if you weren't in it."

Knuckles looked like he was breaking, but doubled down, shaking his head. "No. I can't do it."

Kat eyed him for a moment, then let out a dramatic sigh. "Oh very well. I suppose I'll need to call someone to take your place then." She fished out her cellphone, flipping through her contacts. "Hello, Chaotix Detective Agency?"

Knuckles went wide eyed at the mention of that name.

"Oh hey Vector. Is Espio there?"

Knuckles eye twitched at that.

"Great, can you put him on the line?" She sat there for a moment. "Espio! Long time no see! Listen, there's this martial arts tournament coming up and I was wondering if you wanted to participate."

"You're seriously asking HIM?!"

Kat ignored him. "You'll come? That's great! Yeah, sure the others can participate too. See you then!" She hung up, then turned to Knuckles. "Sorry, what were you saying?"

Knuckles just growled, before finally speaking again.

"I was saying that I changed my mind. I'm entering the tournament. And I'm gonna win it, too!"

Kat gave the group a cheshire cat grin as she laced her fingers together, resting her chin on them. "So glad to hear that."

"That was easy,"Shadow noted.

"Knux is what I like to call a first class sucker," Sonic remarked. "Espio is only the third person I've seen able to get under his skin that easily."

"Who are the other two?" Chessie questioned.

"Rouge and me."

"I can attest to that," Rouge confirmed.

"Well sir," the President's attendant let out, "it seems the tournament is a go."

"Looks like. One question," he proceeded to whisper. "Do we actually have any Chaos Emeralds?"

Christina nodded in reassurance.

"You've heard it here first, folks. Sonic and his friends will be participating in a Martial Arts Tournament. The grand prize being a genuine Chaos Emerald. The tournament will be held at the Station Square civic event center. From the looks of the line up, it's shaping up to be the sports event of the century!"

At the Kent house, Keith was informing everyone about the tournament.

"I know it seems a little weird, but it sounds like a good place to test our skills. Plus, it'd be cool to actually win that Chaos Emerald."

"Maybe Emerl could enter," Cream suggested. "It could be a ton of fun, right Emerl?"

"Absolutely," Emerl declared, sounding like a mix of Keith and Sonic.

"I know I'm gonna take a swing at it," Amy declared. "It'll be a great way for me to get some practice in."

"Don't act like you're doing this for any other reason other than showing off to Sonic," Kat quipped.

Amy blushed a little in response. "Well… so what?!"

"Take it easy, Amy," Keith reassured. "Kat's just teasing. I'm sure you'll do great."

"Thanks, Keith."

"You know, I'm actually thinking of entering myself," Chuck commented.

"Really dad?" Keith questioned.

"Hey, I may be a lab geek," Chuck responded, standing up and miming some punches. "But I was a heck of a pugilist in high school. Back then, they called me Kent the Crusher."

"O…kay, I guess."

"I too would like to participate," Mr. Tanaka chimed in, striking a martial arts pose.

"Oh this is gonna be good," Kat snickered, hiding behind her hand.

Meanwhile, Robotnik continued hammering away at his latest machine, accidentally hitting his own hand as a result.

"Yeow!" he let out, nursing his injury. "A true genius shouldn't have to be reduced to manual labor. What is keeping those nincombots? Bokkun!"

Bokkun suddenly flew down towards Robotnik.

"You called, Doctor?"

"Orbot and Cubot haven't returned yet. Find those two slowpokes and bring them back here right away!"

"Yes, sir!"

The little bot then flew off, laughing the entire way.

The next day, the tournament was finally underway at the event center. Humans and Mobians alike were filling the stands, cheering for their favorite fighters.

Backstage, Keith was looking out, amazed at the turnout. Not to mention the list of competitors.

"Heck of a line up," he commented.

"I know," Sonic replied, walking up to him with a chili dog in hand. "Should be entertaining," he took a bite of his chili dog. "I gotta say, one of my favorite aspects of Earth, Chili Dogs."

"Don't let Ella here you say that," Keith quipped.

The two of them shared a chuckle as a pair of familiar faces walked up.

"Hey Sonic!"

Sonic and Keith turned to see Bunnie and Antoine walking up, much to their delight.

"Hey guys," Sonic greeted. "You two competing as well?"

"Oui," Antoine confirmed, drawing his sword. "I pity the poor fool who ends up having to cross my blade."

"And there ain't nobody on this planet or ours who stands a chance against me!" Bunnie declared, flexing her metal arm.

"Of that, I have no doubt," Sonic commented. "Good luck out there."

"Back at ya," Bunnie replied, winking as she and Antoine went off.

Meanwhile, Knuckles was surveying the competition from the crowd, looking around and sizing everyone up.

"Some heavy hitters," he noted. "Still, nothing I can't handle."

"I hope not," a familiar voice responded.

Knuckles turned to see Hawk approaching him.

"Hawk?! What are you doing here?"

"Heard about the tournament, and figured since you don't need it to go home anymore, I'd take a crack at winning it."

Knuckles smirked in response. "Ok, then. Just don't feel too bad when I kick your butt."

Hawk chuckled. "I may not look it, but I can hold my own in a scrape. I got this."

"I'll take your word for it."

Out on the arena, Elmer Johnson walked into the center ring, a microphone in his hand.

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first ever Chaos Emerald Martial Arts Tournament!" he declared, eliciting cheers from the crowd. "Let's welcome our first two combatants. In this corner," he gestured to one side of the ring. "Knuckles the Echidna!"

Knuckles stepped out into the ring, much to the delight of the fans.

"And in this corner," Elmer continued, gesturing to the other corner. "The President!"

The President stepped out, boxing gloves on both hands and a determined smile on his face. Christina rushed over to the edge of the ring, looking concerned.

"Sir, what are you doing? You're not a fighter! And Knuckles is super strong!"

"I may have a paunche, but I still pack a punch. Besides, this tournament was my idea, no reason I should be the one to kick things off."

The President punched his fists together as he and Knuckles approached the center ring.

"Let the match begin!" Scarlet declared, ringing a bell on a table.

The President moved forward, throwing the first swing. Knuckles easily dodged it, easily evading more blows the President was dealing him. Finally, Knuckles held out his hand, catching the first in his hand. The President went wide eyed at the sight, with Knuckles smiling as a result.

"I'll try to pull this punch," Knuckles reassured before winding up his fist.

Just then, a towel was thrown over the Presidents head, prompting Elmer to blow a whistle.

"Looks like the President's aide has thrown in the towel," Scarlet reported. "The winner of the first round is Knuckles."

Everyone cheered as the President slowly got up, walking out of the arena in shame.

"Sorry sir," Christina told him. "But I think you do better with power lunches than power punches."

"Now let's move onto the next round," Scarlet continued, ringing the bell again.

The next match up was Keith against Kat. Keith took a breath before taking a fighting stance. Kat smirked, popping her neck before twirling her bat in her hand.

"Don't worry," she chuckled. "I'm not using any special balls. Just good ole brute force."

"Good to know," Keith muttered, gulping as he did so.

The bell rang, prompting Kat to charge forward. She took a swing at Keith, prompting him to roll out of the way. As Keith got back to his feet, Kat ran up to him again, swinging her bat wildly. Keith quickly dodged and evaded, weaving left and right. He stopped when he realized he was on the edge of the ring.

"Oh boy," he let out.

"Just tap out, Keith," Kat urged him. "You know how this ends."

"I guess- oh, your shoes untied."

"Huh?" she looked down to check.

Keith took this chance to grab her arm and swing her off the edge of the ring. She hit the ground hard as the bell rang.

"And through quick thinking, Keith Kent has won the match!" Scarlet reported.

Keith let out a breath of relief before looking down at Kat.

"Uh, no hard feelings?" he asked.

Kat was lying on the ground, her hair covering her eyes. Slowly, she sat up, her eyes remaining shaded as she brushed herself off. Keith braced himself as Kat approached him, raising a hand. However, she just brought it down on his shoulder, smirking.

"Nice feint with the shoe thing," she commended. "Good luck in the tournament!"

"Uh… thanks."

With that, Keith went backstage, seeing Chuck warming up for his match.

"Hey Dad, you ready for your turn?"

"More than," Chuck replied. "Wish me luck."

With that, Chuck started making his way towards the ring. As he approached the stage however, he tripped over the cord for the speaker system. He hit the ground hard, prompting Keith to rush out.

"Dad, are you ok?"

"I'm fine I-" his leg suddenly flared up in pain. "Ow. I think I twisted my ankle."

"Seriously?" Keith let out. "That's some rotten luck, Dad…"

Suddenly, a chirping sound rang out, prompting Keith and Chuck to turn and see Lucky being crowned the winner. Both of them deflated slightly at the sight of the little bot.

"That… explains a lot."

"And due to Charles Kent suffering a pre-fight injury, Lucky gets to move onto the second round," Scarlet informed.

"Wow," Cubot commented from backstage. "Who knew Lucky would be so lucky."

"Well it is in his name," Orbot informed.

"Who's name?"

"Never mind. Just wish me luck. I'm up next."

"Hey, that's funny," Cubot replied as Orbot went out. "So am I."

Cubot floated out, him and Orbot realizing they were going to fight each other.

"I promise you, I won't hold back," Orbot informed, striking a pose.

"Neither will I," Cubot retorted, striking a pose of his own.

The bell rang and the two instantly charged at each other. As they approached though, they immediately went into a slap fight, pathetically trying to hurt one other. They were even grunting slightly as they continued their "fight", much to the amusement of the crowd. They eventually started grappling with each other, rolling on the ground comedically as a result. After that, they got back up and started circling each other.

"Rock, donut, Thursday, shoot!"

Orbot made a circle with his hand and Cubot just held out a flat hand.

"Aha!" Orbot declared. "The donut shop is closed on Thursdays!"

"You forgot leap years," Cubot argued.

The two then proceeded to start slapping again, only to stop at the sound of sirens. The two looked out to see several police cars surrounding the ring.

"Freeze!" an officer called out. "You are completely surrounded! Get down on the ground and surrender!"

"... you know it dawned on me that this was an ill conceived notion…" Orbot let out.

"Nah, it was just a bad idea," The two paused for a moment. "Run!"

Orbot and Cubot quickly took off, with all the police cars giving chase.

"How the heck did those two even get entered in the first place?" Amy wondered.

"My guess, dumb luck," Rouge replied. "Emphasis on Dumb."

Peaking out from under a table, Scarlet got back to her feet and resumed her announcing duties.

"Uh, sorry about that folks. Up next we have our hammer wielding hero, Amy Rose against the pint sized powerhouse, Charmy Bee."

Up on the stage. Amy and Charmy stared each other down.

"Ready when you are," Charmy challenged.

Amy pulled out her hammer and spun it around in her hands.

"Bring it, buzz boy!" she challenged back.

Charmy flew forward, zipping around her before she could land a proper hit.

"Hold still!" she demanded, swinging her hammer wildly.

"Nananana! You can't hit me!" Charmy taunted.

He dove in and stung her in the back, causing her to yelp before trying to hit him. He kept zipping in and out, stinging her repeatedly and ticking her off to no end. When she finally realized wildly swinging her hammer around wasn't going to get the job done. She took a breath, looked up, and saw Charmy coming in hot. Thinking fast, she chucked her hammer into the air, actually nailing Charmy in the face. The poor kid was completely dazed and ended up just sort of buzzing in place while groaning. Amy took this chance to leap up into the air, grab her hammer, and with a yell, bring it down hard on Charmy, causing him to hit the ground hard. The bell rang and Amy grinned, holding up her hammer victoriously.

"And the winner by a knock out is Amy!" Scarlet declared.

"Way to go Amy!" some fans cheered.

"We love you!"

Amy chuckled before giving a peace sign. "Back at ya, everybody."

Next on the stage was Hawk facing off against Tails. The treasure hunter smiled when he saw the two-tailed fox extending a hand.

"Pleasure to meet you in the flesh, Tails," he greeted. "Knuckles told me about you a bit."

"Same here. I'm looking forward to this match up."

They shook hands, then the bell rang. Hawk struck first, unleashing a flurry of strikes and attacks. Tails used his twin tails to block the attacks with relative ease. Hawk then raised his leg, preparing to kick. Tails however crouched down and prepared his tails to attack. Seeing the tails as vulnerable. Hawk called off his kick attack and just grabbed the tails, much to Tails' unease.

"Got you now, kid," Hawk declared.

From the crowd, Sonic hissed. "Oooh, bad move."

"Think again!" Tails declared.

Tails then started spinning his tails at high speeds, spinning Hawk at the same time. After a minute, Tails managed to flick him off, sending off tumbling to the ground in a dizzy stupor. The bell rang and Tails was declared the victor.

"I did it! I won!"

"Way to go, pal!" Sonic cheered. "I knew you could do it!"

Tails couldn't help but smile wide at the praise he was getting.

Up next were Bunnie and Antoine. Antoine drew his swords as Bunnie stretched her limbs.

"Ready when you are, sugar," Bunnie boasted.

"I shall not insult you by holding back, mon cher," Antoine replied.

Antoine charged forward, swinging his sword at her. She quickly brought her metal arm up to block the blade.

"Come on, sugar. Is that the best you can do?" She shoved him back and jumped into the air, coming down for a kick.

He quickly rolled out of the way before taking a fighting stance. "Hardly."

He lunged forward, prompting her to duck under the strike before trying to attack herself. Antoine quickly dodged, spinning behind her and elbowing her in the back. This sent Bunnie tumbling towards the ground. She quickly picked herself up as Antoine thrusted his sword forward. Bunnie quickly caught the blade in her robotic hand, doing her best to hold it back.

"Having trouble, chere?" Antoine remarked.

"Hardly.," Bunnie replied.

Bunnie jerked her arm upwards, tossing the sword out of his hand. It landed on the other side of the ring, much to Antoine's chagrin.

"Uh… I don't suppose you'll let me fetch that…"

His answer was a roundhouse kick that sent him flying out of the ring.

"I… should have seen that coming…"

The bell rang and Bunnie was declared the winner.

"And with Bunnie Rabbot taking victory, the first round of the tournament comes to a close," Scarlet announced. "We'll be taking a short intermission so stay tuned."

During the intermission, Knuckles was signing autographs for some excited fans.

"Here ya go kid," Knuckles replied, handing a kid a signed paper.

"Thanks Mr. Knuckles!" the kid replied before heading off.

He wasn't the only one signing autographs, with the rest of Team Sonic posing for photos and signing them for their own fans. Tails had just finished posing for a picture when Hawk approached him.

"Hey, Tails,. Just wanted to apologize for the tail grabbin earlier. Sonic told me you were sensitive about that. Sorry."

Tails smiled back at him. "I appreciate the apology, and it's alright. You didn't know."

"Well, good luck out there," he flashed him a thumbs up. "Hope you make it."

"Thanks," Tails replied, giving a thumbs up back.

Not too far from the autograph zone, Keith was drinking some water as Kat came over and draped an arm around his shoulder.

"Hey Keith," she greeted with an ominous tone to her voice. "Good luck in the next round."

"Uh… thanks," he paused nervously. "You sure you're not still sore about losing to me?"

"Me? No, not at all." The ominous tone remained. "You totally deserve to keep going in the tournament."

Keith just gave her a look. She gave him an innocent smile.

"Well, I think the next round's about to start. Better go find a good seat." Her innocent smile became somewhat sinister. "I don't wanna miss a moment."

She walked off as Sonic approached, curious about what was going on.

"What was that all about?" Sonic asked.

"I don't know," Keith admitted. "But I feel very uneasy all of a sudden."

The second round was quick to begin, with Knuckles facing off against Espio. Knuckles just smirked as he pounded his fists into his palms.

"Ready when you are, ninja boy," Knuckles remarked.

Espio just smirked in response. "Let's do this."

Knuckles charged forward as Espio took a fighting stance. He leapt up as Knuckles approached, kicking him in the face. Knuckles tumbled to the ground before planting a fist on the ground, stabilizing himself. He quickly darted forward, throwing a punch right at Espio. Espio quickly ducked under it, throwing a strike of his own at Knuckles. Knuckles grabbed the fist and threw him across the ring, causing him to skid close to the edge.

"Is that all you got?" Espio taunted.

"I'm just warming up!" Knuckles reassured.

Espio ran right at Knuckles, punching and kicking as quick as he could. Knuckles blocked the attacks in rapid succession, doing his best to return the blows in kind. Eventually, Espio grabbed Knuckles' wrist and twisted it so Knuckles was on his knees.

"You know, if you wanted to tap out, I'd understand," Espio jeered.

"Not. A. Chance!"

Knuckles then twisted around and uppercutted Espio, knocking him back. Knuckles quickly leapt towards him, tackling him to the ground and pinning him to the ground. Espio grunted as Knuckles shoved his head into the ring, pinning his arm behind his back.

"Now then. You were saying something about tapping out?"

Epsio resisted for a moment, but gave in and tapped out. The bell rang and Knuckles released the chameleon.

"Looks like Espio's chances of winning disappeared along with him as Knuckles wins the match," Scarlet reported.

Keith stepped out into the ring, mentally preparing himself for his next match up.

"Alright, Keith, don't let Kat get to you. You got this."

Just then, Vector stepped out, cracking his knuckles.

"Hey kid!" he loudly declared. "Looks like you're my first opponent!

Keith went wide eyed, looking out into the crowd and seeing Kat grinning like a Cheshire Cat. He just narrowed his eyes before turning back to his opponent.

"Don't expect me to go easy on ya," Vector told him. "I've seen what you can do."

"Right."

Vector raised his fist and tried bringing them down on Keith. He quickly dove out of the way, rolling on the ground as a result. Vector looked behind him and whipped his tail towards Keith. Prompting him to leap back.

"Come on Keith. You can do this."

He got back onto his feet and ran right up to Vector, attempting to punch him in the chest. The impact did little as Keith held his hand in pain.

"Ouch," he let out.

"Heh, nice try kid. But it's gonna take a lot more than that if you're gonna-"

Thinking fast, Keith punched Vector right in the snout, causing him to stagger back in pain.

"That was a cheap shot!" Vector accused.

"No, this is." Keith aimed a kick right between Vector's legs.

Vector winced in pain as he dropped to his knees, before finally falling over. The bell rang, declaring Keith the winner as Kat shook her head, sighing slightly. Keith just turned towards Kat and winked.

Up next was Shadow and Chessie. Chessie whipped out her cables as Shadow took a stance.

"Don't think because I like you I'm gonna go easy on you," Chessie remarked.

"I'd be insulted if you did," Shadow retorted.

Chessie then charged forward, snapping her cables like whips in an attempt to catch Shadow. Shadow easily dodged and weaved between the cables as he rushed towards her. He leapt forward and tried to punch her, prompting her to dive to the ground, sliding under him in an attempt to trip him up. He quickly leapt up into the air, trying to kick her in the face. She easily dodged the blow before shooting out a cable right at his leg. She whipped him to the ground, causing him to impact hard as she approached. Thinking fast, he grabbed the cable and pulled her towards him, swinging her around in a circle. He then pulled her in close, prompting him to kick her in the chest, knocking her to the ground and sending her sliding off the ring.

"Looks like the cat's out of the bag, and out of the ring, as Shadow the Hedgehog wins the match," Scarlet commented as the bell rang.

Chessie pulled herself up as she looked towards Shadow, giving him a thumbs up. Shadow smiled back as he looked out at the arena, seeing Helen and Cream in the audience. The two were smiling widely as they waved to him. He gave them a small smile before heading off stage himself.

"And due to the robots being on the run, Lucky wins by default," Scarlet announced as Lucky was named winner. "Lucky guy."

"You know," Keith commented. "Someday we're gonna have to open that guy up and see what makes him tick."

"Agreed," Tails said with a nod. "There has to be some sort of probability matrix in him or something."

"Whatever it is," Knuckles commented, "he's an oddball to be sure."

Up next, Topaz and Tanaka took to the arena, taking their stances across from each other.

"Come on!" Topaz declared, taking a fighting stance.

Tanaka said nothing as he walked forward, holding something behind his back. He finally approached her, whipping out a jeweled necklace, much to her surprise.

"Is… is this for me?" she asked in disbelief.

"Yes," Tanaka confirmed, giving her the necklace. "And so am I."

Topaz suddenly started smiling intensely, falling into Tanaka's embrace. The others watched on in disbelief.

"Uh… what just happened?" Keith let out.

"I think Tanaka just flirted his way to victory," Kat replied. "That's… impressive."

"Very."

Up next was Bunnie going up against Emerl. Bunnie cracked her neck as she looked down at the bot.

"Gotta say, I'm glad to be fightin' a bot that ain't out to destroy everything. Refreshin' change of pace."

"I look forward to this fight," Emerl replied, sounding like Knuckles.

The two combatants immediately ran towards each other, with Emerl trying to sweep Bunnie's feet out from under her. She leapt over the attack, attempting to bring her metal fist down on Emerl. Emerl brought up fists to block the blow, pushing Bunnie aside as she skidded across the ground.

"Not bad," she commended. "But I ain't done yet."

Bunnie ran towards Emerl, striking and punching in rapid succession. Emerl did his best to block and deflect the attacks, his body beginning to move faster and faster. Eventually, he was on the offensive, unleashing a rapid series of attacks that Bunnie tried to defend herself from the attacks. Eventually, Bunnie tried to sweep Emerl's legs out from under him, but Emerl leapt over the attack and tried to bring his fist down on her. Bunnie brought her arms up to block the attack, but Emerl withdrew his fist as he landed, kneeing Bunnie in the gut, knocking her to the ground. Emerl planted his foot on her, pinning her to the ground. With that, the bell rang, declaring Emerl the winner.

"Way to go, Emerl!" Cream called out as Cheese chirped happily.

"Hot dang," Bunnie declared as she was finally let up. "You are one tough bot."

"Thank ya kindly," Emerl replied in an accent much like her own as he tipped his head, as if tipping his hat to her.

Bunnie was slightly taken aback by that as he walked off.

Up next was Rouge fighting against Tails. She just smirked in response.

"Not exactly what I'd call a challenge," she remarked.

"Don't underestimate me," Tails retorted, spinning his tails. "I'm tougher than I look."

"If you insist."

Rouge then darted at him, prompting Tails to veer out of the way. He took off after her as Rouge darted upwards. She tried kicking at him, but he quickly swerved out of the way as he flew in close, trying to ram into her. She quickly dove down, barely avoiding the blow in time.

"Come on, Tails!" Sonic called out.

"Show that batgirl who owns the skies!" Knuckles added.

Rouge quickly landed on the ground, skidding near the edge as she stared Tails down. "You got moves, kid, I'll give you that. But this ain't amature hour."

Tails wiped some sweat from his brow before charging right at her. Rouge just stood there, holding out both her hands as Tails approached. She grabbed Tails' hands and pulled him in close, kissing him on the cheek. Tails freaked out as Rouge flung him over the edge of the arena.

"Well it looks like Rouge gave Tails the kiss off," Scarlet commented. "Making her the winner of the match!"

"Hate to smooch and run, but I gotta touch up my lipstick," Rouge retorted as she went backstage.

"That was a cheap move," Sonic commented.

Knuckles was utterly fuming as Kat leaned in. "Don't be jealous, Knux. You know she only has eyes for you."

"If she even thinks of trying that on me, she's gonna walk away with a black eye," Knuckles insisted.

Kat gave him a pat on the head. "Whatever you say, Knux."

Up above the arena, Dr. Robotnik was on the lookout for Orbot and Cubot.

"Where are those two nincombots?" he wondered.

Just then, Bokkun flew through the air, right up to Robotnik.

"Tell me you found them."

"No… but I can tell you where you can find Sonic," Bokkun promised.

Robotnik went wide eyed, before finally cracking a sinister smile. "Then by all means… show me the way."

"Ladies and gentleman," Scarlet announced. "We're down to the final matchup of the second round. Amy Rose versus Sonic the Hedgehog."

Amy pulled out her hammer, giving it a good spin as Sonic began stretching.

"I hope you know that just because I like you it doesn't mean I'm gonna go easy on you," Amy informed.

"Frankly, I'd be a little insulted if you did," Sonic commented. "Bring it on."

Amy ran forward, swinging her hammer with all her might. Sonic easily sped out of the way, avoiding the hammer before it made contact. She turned around to see Sonic standing behind her, smirking before thumbing his nose.

"Almost had me there."

Amy immediately moved towards him and swung again, only for Sonic to move out of the way, ending up right behind her.

"Getting warmer."

Amy growled and spun again, prompting Sonic to duck under it before leaping out of the way. While this back and forth was playing out, Robotnik was watching from high above as to stay out of sight.

"So, Sonic and his friends are in a tournament, are they?" he mused. "Personally, I prefer a game where no one wins… except me."

He lowered himself down as Amy continued trying to swing at Sonic.

"Having trouble over there?" Sonic remarked.

Amy was breathing in and out heavily, leaning on her hammer a bit. Eventually, pushing herself back on her feet and gripping her hammer.

"I'm not done just yet," she promised.

"I don't doubt-" he was suddenly cut off by the sight of Robotnik hovering over them.

"Say goodbye," Robotnik let out, firing a laser.

Seeing that it was heading right towards Amy, Sonic reacted, running straight forward and pulling her out of the way just before the laser hit. He flipped through the air before landing on the ground, still holding Amy.

"You ok?" he asked.

"Yeah, I'm okay. What just happened?"

Instead of answering, Sonic set her down. "I forfeit!"

He then took off when he saw Robotnik was flying away, instantly giving chase. Amy got back to her feet as he ran away, feeling a bit confused and shocked.

"What was that all about?"

"What an upset folks," Scarlet responded. "Sonic has forfeited the match. With that surprising development, we're down to the final eight! Knuckles the Echidna, Shadow the Hedgehog, Rouge the Bat, Amy Rose, Emerl, Keith Kent, Lucky, and Mr. Tanaka. Who will be taken out, and who will bring home the gold? Tune in next time to find out!"