Shadow stood up from the body of Dr. Eggman, fixing his gloves as he turned toward the robot standing next to him. “Dispose of this, Omega, and go rally the remaining troops. Destroy any who still obey him. I’m going to go wake him up.” Omega nodded slightly, then picked up the body and walked away. Shadow grabbed one of the Chaos Emeralds lying on the ground by him and held it up above him. “Chaos… control!” He was enveloped in a green light, and disappeared.
He reappeared on Angel Island, on top of a ruined pyramid surrounded by jungle. In the distance beyond the mountains loomed a large spire of land jutting up above the surrounding area. But although he felt the great power there, and knew what it came from, it was not his destination. He turned and jumped off the pyramid, landing by a cliff. A long enclosed walkway extended out before him, and he walked inside, lights flicking on as he did. When he reached its end he found himself in a large room. In it were three or four cylindrical containers. He walked over to one and examined the contents inside, a blue robot, with short blue spikes coming from behind it. “Hmm, right where I left you… perfect.” Shadow reached over and pressed a button one the side of the container and stepped away as the front slid down, the robot’s red eyes flickering on as it activated. It fell forward, kneeling down on the ground and looking up at Shadow. “What can I do for you… master,” Metal Sonic said in his deep metal voice.
“So, you already know, that your previous master is dead?”
“Yes, although I defied him long ago. He thought he could use me, but he was wrong.”
“Well then, on that account, I trust you still have all the data you acquired when we last met?”
“Good. One of your previous models is still contained here. Go absorb him, and then head to the Lava Shelter base to meet up with E-123 Omega. I have more work to do here.” Metal Sonic nodded, standing up. He spun around quickly, his body changing as he grew taller, and took on his alternate form, his long spikes sticking out behind him, half cape flowing. He then walked over to another stasis container where a silver Metal Sonic was contained as Shadow descended the stairs that led into the rest of the base. He opened a door to a shooting range and stepped inside.
The room was completely dark, and he proceeded with caution. And then he heard a strange whispering.
“The…sunshine… it burns… can’t stand… feeling it…”
“I know who you are, when Omega and I came here to seal Metal I looked through the base’s files, hoping I could find something about my past. But I also learned quite a bit about this base. The Metal Sonics aren’t the only creations from the Doctor kept here. He never had time to clear you out, but I have come to set you free, to do my bidding. Will you join us?” Shadow called out into the darkness.
There was a silence, and then the voice laughed. “Yes… I will…”
Smirking, Shadow, walked out, leaving the door open. He then went into a storage area, looking around for what he sought. He found it, hunched up against the wall. ‘This one hasn’t been used for ages. Fortunately his first mission will be easy.’
Knuckles sat on one of the broken spires surrounding the Master Emerald Shrine, his eyes closed in thought. “Those strange ruins… I’d hoped they’d have some secret about this island, and my past. I sensed Chaos energy, but it was just a Chaos emerald. And why was Shadow there? Said something about his past, I must not be the only one trying to figure things out, I guess. At least I helped get rid of some of those aliens.” He smirked as he remembered the battle there. “But I must remember not to leave the Master Emerald, I’m doing it too much lately. What if Eggman tries to get it again, or someone else.”
“Yes, what would happen, I wonder. You won’t have to worry about Eggman though.” A metallic voice said.
Knuckles whirled around to see a robot standing in front of the emerald shrine, it’s red covering glowing in the emerald’s light, the same color as it’s eyes. “You! From that race! What are you doing back!” He yelled, jumping down and facing off against his metal doppelganger.
“My new master sent me after this.” He turned around, hefting the emerald from his shrine. “So I’m going to take it now.”
“Not if I can help it!” Knuckles yelled, jumping at Metal Knuckles, who jumped up above him, engaging his boosters. Knuckles went up with an uppercut and hit the emerald just on the bottom. It shattered, many pieces falling nearby, many more flying away from the island. Metal Knuckles landed back on the ground and looked around.
“Target destroyed. Time to abort the mission.” Even as Knuckles charged at him he swept up a handful of shards and flew off.
“No! Where did he go! Headed towards the pyramid area… Eggman’s old base! That must be where him and this ‘new master’ are!” As the island began to shake like there was an earthquake, Knuckles picked up what was left of he emerald and threw into the center of the shrine. It reformed, about half the emerald being there. “Good, not as many flew off. This should slow down the island falling. Now to catch them before they evacuate!” He ran off towards where there was once a bridge, and then jumped off. He fell quite a ways, before breaking into a glide as the jungle below came into site. He flew over toward the base, which he saw now was starting to be demolished in places. He landed by the door and blasted it open, rushing inside. He saw Metal Knuckles and something else looking at a screen, but the image faded before he could catch who was on it. One of them slid away quickly, but Metal Knuckles stayed. “Surrender the pieces of the Master Emerald now!”
“These?” Metal Knuckles said, holding up the shards in his hand. “I have orders to return what I can to the base, if not the whole thing. I cannot abort this mission, or else I may be eradicated. But you can have this.” He punched the floor, and lifted up a section of it. He threw at Knuckles, who punched it away, but Metal Knuckles had already disappeared. Another explosion rocked the base, and Knuckles turned around and ran out the door. He made it to the end of the bridge just as it broke off, leaving only the portion closest to the land left there. Knuckles looked at the smoking wreckage beyond the cliff. Snarling, he pulled back his arm, punching at the remaining section of the bridge, sending it flying down below. The earthquake had begun to quiet, and he walked off through the jungle, headed to where he knew there was an easy way to get back to the shrine.
“I have to find the emerald shards, and more importantly the ones that Metal-me grabbed. Maybe the Emerald will be able to show me the location of their base.” He ran some more, thinking up plans, and then came upon something. “I better let Sonic know about this, if something hasn’t already happened.”
“You fool! How hard can it be to get past one echidna! You are supposed to be an elite robot!” Shadow yelled at Metal Knuckles standing in front of him. Shadow raised his hand, a yellow glow appearing at his fingertips, and he flung his hand toward Metal Knuckles, a yellow bolt of energy hitting him, severing his right arm. It dropped to the ground, emerald pieces with it. “Now go get repaired! And have them outfit you with a Chaos Tracker, I want you to go after the shards!” Metal Knuckles picked up his arm and hurried away as Shadow sat back down on the large chair behind him. Something then whispered in his ear. “Master… I wish to go… may I now…?”
“Yes, go as I told you. Good luck.”
Tails had been jolted awake by the earthquake. He’d been at his workshop, making some modifications to the Tornado so him and Sonic could go after the aliens that had started attacking. He ran outside to see Angel Island coming down and crashing into the small island. “What the? The Master Emerald broke again! This can’t be good! I better tell Sonic, I hope Knuckles is okay.” He was turning towards his hangar when he heard something whispering to him.
“Can you… feel it? The… sunshine?”
“Can I feel the sunshine?” Tails shook. The voice was creeping him out.
“Yes, it seems to brighten up many peoples’ days… I despise the sunshine.” There was flash of yellow and Tails found himself backed up to the wall by a floating doll, which bore a strange resemblance to him. “I’ve come for…revenge.” It reached up a hand towards Tails, but he spun around, whipping it with his tails.
“The doll! I didn’t think Eggman would’ve bothered keeping you around.”
“He did… though I care not about him now…”
“Well, whatever, I’m getting out of here!” Tails ran to his hangar, and jumped into the Tornado. He powered it up, and quickly flew out, Tails Doll looking up at him, before letting out a strange wail, and floating off.
“This so weird. I definitely need to tell Sonic.”
“Take this!” Sonic yelled, spindashing into a group of aliens. They flew into the air, and fell down, disappearing. “Heh, too easy.” Sonic looked around. He’d helped the GUN soldiers fend off the invaders, and it seemed like there weren’t many left. He was about to run off when he heard a loud noise behind him. He turned around to see Tails flying in on the Tornado.
“Sonic get in, there’s something I need to tell you!” He called, coming in closer. Sonic jumped up, landing behind Tails as he flew by and went up.
“What is it? Something about the aliens?”
“No, I think it’s Eggman. I just came from my workshop. Angel Island crashed again, and suddenly I got attacked by the doll.”
“You mean the one that looks like you. Red antenna thing, creepy stair, floats around…”
“Yeah, that one. Eggman’s probably launching his latest scheme while these aliens are attacking.”
“Yeah, he’s the kind of guy that’d do that. You said Angel Island fell again? Let’s get over there; we might be able to catch Knuckles. We might need his help.”
“Alright Sonic.” Tails steered the Tornado around, heading back towards the island.
Knuckles was standing above a cliff on one edge of the island. He felt fortunate he’d been floating near the island where Tails’ workshop was, as well as the railway leading to Station Square. “I can follow that and get to the continent. I’ll start my search from there.” He was just about to jump down when he noticed something flying in out of the corner of his eye.
“Yo, Knuckles! Fancy going on a journey with us? We’re gonna kick some Robo-butt!” Sonic called as they flew closer.
“Ahh, Sonic! Yes, Metal-me took some pieces of the Master Emerald. I must get them back from him. Who knows what Eggman could use them for.” Knuckles jumped onto the Tornado as it passed the cliff.
“So, he’s got some of the shards. Well, if we start finding them, it could lead to his base.” Tails suggested.
“I’d much rather just go follow any trail of robots…” Sonic started.
“Tails is right. I think he’s trying to get as much of the Master Emerald as he can. If we go after the shards, we’ll slow him down.”
Sonic sighed. “Fine, we’ll do it your way. But mine’s still more fun…”
“This isn’t a time for fun!” Knuckles yelled. “The Master Emerald is in danger!”
“Alright, alright, sheez. Didn’t mean to insult your precious emerald.”
“Would you two cut it out and just let me fly! Knuckles, can you find any of the shards?” Knuckles closed his eyes, and then pointed.
“That way, there’s a strong concentration of chaos energy in that direction.” Tails veered off, heading towards where Knuckles had pointed.
“Ahh, you’re finished with your repairs. Good, then I suggest you begin your search immediately. Tails Doll has informed me that that blue hedgehog may have been alerted to our actions by now. If you run into them again, I suggest you don’t fail me again.”
“Of course not, Master. I would never dream of doing that again.” Metal Knuckles bowed before dashing off.
“Shadow, if I may make a suggestion,” Omega said, leaning in towards Shadow.
“Of course. You are my second in command after all.”
“The life forms could already know of this base’s location. I suggest we head elsewhere, and leave this facility to simply be a factory.”
“Yes, that does seem like a good idea. I’d rather not stay in a base that still bears his image. It’s rather annoying. Yes, let’s move immediately. Tell the soldiers here to continue their work, and you…” he turned to Metal Sonic, who was standing just behind the throne Shadow was sitting in. “You will come with, I have plans for you.”
“Of course Master.”
Shadow laughed to him self. “Yes, if all goes well, we shall soon raise up a great new empire!”