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Chapter 25 - Security Breach

Knuckles battles mysterious new foes bent on stealing the Master Emerald!

Meanwhile, Punchy and Rainbow have discovered Rainbow's sister... But is she an enemy?

Chapter 25 - Security Breach

Chapter 25 - Security Breach
GeneX - Knuckles the Echidna
Chapter 25 - Security Breach
Stage 15(Hero 8) - EggSecurity Tower
Minor Boss 11 - Jolt & Freeze

Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA and
Sonic Team. You knew that, right?
GeneX and related fanchars are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.

The story thus far:
After escaping Sandopolis, Sonic met up with Knuckles before leaving Angel Island. Their group decided to head for Eggman's base in Troblusk City to see what the doctor knew of the Covenant of Despair. As they arrived, however, they saw Despair agents heading into the sewer and heard a loud tremor coming from Eggtopia! They decided to split up, Knuckles chasing Despair while Sonic went to check out Eggtopia...
Now, on to the next chapter!

"Hey, Eggman! What's all the ruckus!?" shouted Sonic, looking around as he entered the small base. However, all he found was a certain orange coati. "Gah! Ridley!" he groaned. "Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert!" BAS shouted. "Some alarm." Ridley grumbled as he turned around, seeing Amy, Tails and Silver catching up to Sonic. "Uh, hey dudes. What's the 411?" he chuckled awkwardly. "Where's Eggman, you maskless raccoon!" Amy shouted, holding up her hammer threateningly. "Raccoons don't wear masks, Amy..." Tails muttered. "I JUST got back from Sandopolis, guys! I was trying to figure that out myself." Ridley stammered. "Well... What about all that noise earlier?" Silver asked. "Obviously, that was Eggman's fleet taking off. You might not have noticed them because they look just like clouds." Ridley explained. "I don't trust this guy!" Amy growled. "He's telling the truth about the cloud fleet... I've seen that before." Silver said. Sonic rolled his eyes. "C'mon, Ridley. Don't tell me Eggman didn't let you in on where he was going." he grumbled. "He doesn't trust people so much anymore. Something about Knuckles and Experiments turning on him over and over." Ridley shrugged. "You know, there's a good reason for that." Sonic smirked. "You sure you can't help us?" Tails asked. Ridley grinned at them mischievously. "What makes you think I'm not stalling you?" he sneered. Suddenly, a familiar voice startled them! "BOO!! Heeeelloooo, do-gooders!" Zipp the hornet appeared from the nearby stairs to the basement! "For the glory of Bucky, or was it the Covenant of Despair? I have just finished planting a feisty little virus in this base's computers!" he grinned. Suddenly, red lights started flashing and BAS went nuts. "ALERT!! ALERT!! Debug mode engaged! It's magically delicious!" the alarm system shouted. "That's just great! Now how will we find Dr. Eggman!?" Silver groaned. "You won't... Not before we do!" Ridley grinned. As Zipp and Ridley started rushing past them toward the exit, Knuckles and SPOT arrived. "Uh... Sonic?" he muttered. "Knuckles! Good timing! Tackle Ridley for me, will ya?" Sonic shouted. However, before Knuckles could react, Ridley struck! "Chaos Splatter!" A burst of Chaos-charged water erupted from his body, smacking away anyone near him and granting him an opening to escape! "GAAAAAH!! WATER!!" Sonic yelped, growling as he shook himself dry, "We gotta find Eggman! Quick!" he grumbled. "Well... Um... Maybe he's at his Tree Fort?" Knuckles suggested. "Tree Fort? What's that?" Tails wondered. "Rainbow told me it was in the Mystic Ruins..." Knuckles explained. Just then, BAS started babbling. "Daisy~~ DAisY! Gimmie yer ans-er do~~ Egg-man's tak-in ov'r~~ Secrity Tower~~ too!!" it said in a clearly distorted voice. "What'd he say? Secretary Tower?" Sonic mumbled. "The Security Tower! A GUN building in Station Square!" Amy said, remembering hearing about it on the news back when Copter and Punchy broke into it. "Eggman's... gonna take over a secure GUN building? Are you sure the virus doesn't just have the alarm saying crazy stuff?" Silver wondered. "On the contrary, I think the virus made the alarm spill the beans!" Tails grinned. Knuckles didn't look so sure. "I think the Tree Fort might still be worth checking out, Sonic..." he said. Sonic nodded. "We might as well split up again. You're cool with checking out the fort, right Knux?" he asked. Knuckles nodded, and they started to set out for their destinations...

Meanwhile, Bucky the rat had returned to his ship, Shadow Arcangel. He was seated at the controls, with Crash the rhino standing close by. "So, how did it go, Zipp?" he said into a communicator. "Ummmm... Sonic showed up. Dunno if he knows anything." Zipp replied from wherever he was now. "Right... And what about you, Talon? Report!" Bucky said into a separate com device. "I found another Chaos Emerald! Oh, by the way, um... Red bird mean anything to you?" Talon asked. Bucky's eyes went wide as he contemplated this. "Get back here! Now!" he ordered. Crash looked similarly shocked. "You don't think he means...?" he mumbled. "...I never recovered the body... I'm a fool!" Bucky muttered, turning in his seat. "Crash, get to the capital city! I need eyes and ears down there!" he growled. "Um... What about Vortex and Zipp?" Crash wondered. "There may not be time. Everyone's stretched thin. Go, go, go!" he shouted. "Y-yes sir! Right away!" Crash said hastily, rushing out of the control room. "What have I done..." Bucky muttered, distressed. Suddenly, a somber, strained voice spoke to him. "Do I... detect... sorrow in your voice? Yes... it is unmistakable..." Bucky looked around with a start. "What? Who's there? The ship hasn't detected any new life forms aboard..." he growled. "Just a voice... in your head... Your guilty conscience plaguing you, perhaps?" the voice said. "...rubbish... What voice is this supposed to be, then?" Bucky grunted. "Oh... Let's say... Your old colleague... Nevin Crimm..." the voice replied. "...Crimm?!" Bucky gasped, alarmed. "I sense your sorrow... Care to discuss it with me...?" Crimm offered. Bucky had a cautious look on his face. "I don't care to speak with ghosts..." he sighed, "But... You are on to something. Did I ever tell you about how I met...her..."

A long time ago, Bucky Stein sat in a hallway within an apartment complex. His head hung low, tears flowing down his face like rain. As he sobbed, someone soon approached him. "Are... Are you crying?" asked a voice that was sweet and full of kindness. "N-no..." Bucky sniffled, looking away to hide his face. "Yes you are! ...What's wrong? Are you hurt?" the stranger asked. "Yes... Now leave me be... I'm a monster... And monsters should be left alone..." Bucky sighed. The stranger stepped around in front of his face so he could see her. She was a raven, with beautiful black feathers and loving blue eyes. She wore a purple shirt, white pants, and a necklace made of cyan gemstones. "You're not a monster. Why would you say that?" she asked. Bucky's eyes swelled with tears as he thought about it. "My own family believes it. My mother and father... Just cast me out... Just look at me. I'm a freak." he growled. "How could they say that!?" the raven shouted. "H-huh?" Bucky gasped as the kind girl started to dry his tears with her sleeve. "You're not a freak! Actually... you look kinda... cute." she smiled. "You... you really think so...?" Bucky gasped. "No more tears now. My name's Hope. What's your name, friend?" the raven smiled. Slowly, the heartbroken rat began to smile back. "I... I'm Buck. Buck Stein... It's nice to meet you... Hope..."

"Hope... Where is she... now?" Nevin Crimm's voice asked. Bucky sat slumped in his chair. "Let's just say... I'd rather she were the ghost I was speaking to now..." he said, a tear escaping his eye, "I only pray that she has found peace..." he sighed. "You should know... One's soul never knows peace!" Crimm declared deviously! Bucky growled, standing up. "Haunt me no longer! I have work to do! And no foul spirit is going to distract me!" he roared. "Hmmm... Very well..." said Crimm, falling silent as Bucky fell to his chair, wiping the tear from his face.

Sonic, Tails and Silver hurried towards the Security Tower upon reaching Station Square, going off ahead of Amy, but catching the eye of a certain rabbit. "Mr. Sonic? What's up?" Cream wondered, only to be ignored. "...Cheese, think we should follow them?" she asked, getting an enthusiastic response from the Chao. Near the forest trail to the Security Tower, Sonic's group was stopped by familiar foes. "Sonic! Stop right there, you disgusting princess!" Spiny the porcupine growled. "You realize he's just you with less hair gel." said Zeke the dragon, who was also standing guard with him. "Go shoot yourself!" Spiny snapped. "Hey, spine-puss! Is Eggman home? He left his base in such a hurry he didn't get to see me pretend to trash it!" Sonic chuckled. "Did Zipp trash it? Once he gets here, guard duty's over and we get to rejoin the Covenant of Despair! RAWR!!" Zeke roared excitedly. Spiny stared at him, stunned. "What!? You mean you're actually WITH those insolent pansies!?" he shouted. "Yeah, they bad..." Zeke chuckled, "Wait, what'd you say!? You aren't actually on Eggman's side are you!?" he gasped. "I think he is. And uh... I'm not sure who to root for here." Sonic shrugged. "SHUT UP, Sonic! I'm not on Eggman's side! I'm on my own! That's the only side worth fighting for!" Spiny snapped. Zeke growled at him. "Why you! You traitor! Eat flames!" he yelled, blowing a fireball at Spiny! The porcupine dodged it, and glared at him. "Oh, no he didn't!" he growled. As Spiny and Zeke started brawling, Sonic and the others just continued past them. "Later, guys! Lemme know who wins!" Sonic waved. Cream went skipping by as well, flapping her ears to evade a Chaos Spear as she went. "Hee, so far this is easy!" she giggled.

Sonic, Tails and Silver stopped soon after entering the forest surrounding the Security Tower. Squinting up at the tower, they could see a ship of Cloud Carnival hovering around the roof. "Outta the way, fake Sonic!" they heard Amy shout from somewhere behind them. "Oh, hey Cream..." she said as she ran over to the group. SPOT was with Amy as well. "Huh? Oh... Guess the gang's all here now." Sonic sighed. "SONIC!!! You left me at Eggman's Eggtopia!!" Amy shouted angrily. "So did Tails." Silver pointed out. "How is that helpful?!" Tails groaned. Amy glared at Sonic and Tails. "I bet Silver's the only one who wanted to wait for me, isn't he!? ISN'T HE!?" she snarled. "Amy, please calm down..." Cream said nervously. Sonic glanced at Silver. "Well, maybe you should follow him around then, if he's so great..." he said grumpily. "W-well... MAYBE I WILL!!" she snapped. Tails, who'd had his fill of getting yelled at, checked out SPOT's monitor to find that the robot was detecting something. "It's settled, then! SILVER will be my boyfriend now!" Amy said, linking arms with the bewildered hedgehog. "Wait... what!? D-do I get a say in this...?!" Silver stammered. "No, I don't think you do. I sure didn't." Sonic teased. "S-Sonic!! YOUUU!!!" Amy growled, held back by Silver and Cream as she went to hit him! Tails interrupted them. "Guys! SPOT says he detects Chaos energy in Eggman's base! Errr... The Security Tower!" he reported. "A Chaos Emerald?" Silver wondered. "Or maybe the Chaos Gauntlets..." Tails figured. "Negative. Cannot be the Chaos Gauntlets." the text on SPOT's monitor displayed, but no one paid attention. "Outta the way, Sonic! My new Team Rose will nab the Chaos Gauntlets without you!" Amy shouted. "Huh? Do you think Mr. Big would mind being replaced by Mr. Silver?" Cream mumbled. "Grrr.... No one ever pays attention to the robot. Assessing whether it is important enough to get their attention..." SPOT's monitor displayed. "I have a better idea, Amy. You stay and get acquainted with your new boyfriend while Tails and I check out the Security Tower!" Sonic smirked. "I'm NOT her boyfriend!" Silver groaned. "We're going, too!!" Amy insisted. "Oh, brother... I miss Knuckles..." Tails sighed.

They started through the forest, Amy steering Team Rose ahead of Tails since they couldn't outrun Sonic. "Why do I get punished for Sonic's problems...?" he growled as he walked at the rear of the group. Cream put a hand on his shoulder. "We could walk together!" she smiled. "HEY! No fraternizing with the enemy!!" Amy shouted. "Tails doesn't work for Eggman!" Cream protested. Suddenly, Zipp popped out of the trees. "Oh, hey... Have you seen Zeke?" he asked awkwardly. Amy growled at him. "Silvy! Swat that bug!" she shouted. "S-silvy??" Silver stammered. "Short for Silvy-wilvy! You love it, right?" Amy giggled. "Um... Errr... Go on, Silvy." Sonic said, trying to keep from laughing. Zipp frowned. "I don't know what's going on with you guys, but aren't you usually trying to stop Eggman? Why are you hassling me?" he pouted. "If you're so noble, then why get in our way at Troblusk City?" Sonic pointed out. Zipp shrugged. "You ask too many questions. Do you have time to fight me? Or would you rather climb the tower together?" he offered. "No deal. Bye!" Sonic said, speeding ahead and prompting Team Rose and Tails to chase him! "H-hey!! Come back here!!! HOW DARE YOU OUTRUN ME!!!" Zipp shouted, firing several shots in their direction before calming down. "Eh, I shouldn't waste ammo on ya..." he grumbled. As they neared the Security Tower, Egg Pawns started to get in their way, but Sonic easily took out most of them as he went, while Silver tossed the stragglers into the trees. As they reached the front doors, they found them locked tight. A note was attached to the door. "No hedgehogs allowed! By order of Col. Gunner!" it read. "This place stunk even before Eggman got here." Sonic remarked. "I could try to rip the door out... If we want Eggman to immediately know we're here." Silver said. Tails pointed to a small building nearby. "Look, there's a bridge linking that building to the main tower! Maybe we can get in that way?" he suggested. Amy nodded. "Good idea. I'm sure Silvy thought of it...he was just being gracious enough to let someone else speak up!" she chuckled. Silver frowned. "Help me..." he whimpered.

The smaller building was the Security Center, a warehouse that existed before the larger tower was built. The door to the center was open, and inside they found that Eggman had likely already taken over the main tower. Freeze the Gizoid had come this far down from the roof, and was busy talking to, of all people, Lospecter! Sonic, Tails and Team Rose attempted to sneak around the GUN crates in the warehouse and avoid being seen so that Freeze wouldn't sound the alarm. "I will ask one final time. What are you, and why are you here?" Freeze said to Lospecter. "I told you. I'm just visiting my old stomping grounds before paying a visit to the ol' commander in chief at Central City. Would you believe I voted for him?" Lospecter grinned. "What's King Boom Boo doing here?" Sonic muttered. "That's Lospecter!" Tails and Cream said at once. Lospecter smirked and turned to face them. "Hey, who's skulkin' behind those boxes? Oh, Soooonic the pain-in-the-smoke. Pleasure to meet you all proper and stuff. I'm Lospecter the Lost!" he said, waving. Their cover blown, Sonic and the others stepped out to face Lospecter and Freeze directly. "Confirmed! Creature is one of the Lost Ones! Advise treating as hostile! Jolt! Get over here!" Freeze shouted. "But I'm guarding the dooooor!" Jolt whined as he flew down from the staircase leading out of the room. "Jolt! I owe you one for... letting me escape!" Sonic said, realizing partway that Jolt was only his cell guard. "Um... You're welcome?" Jolt muttered. Lospecter grinned now that everyone was out in the open. "Hey, Sonikku, wanna play cards? I don't have long. I have a meeting with the prez in a few minutes." he said, shuffling the Chaos Cards in his hands! "The President!? Hold it, buster! I won't let you lay a smoky paw on him!" Sonic shouted. "Wait, Sonic! I just realized you insulted me! I'll get YOU!!" Jolt babbled, his body sparking. "Dr. Eggman is busy establishing his new base here. He has been waiting a long time for this chance. You will not interfere." Freeze added, cold air emanating from his hands! Sonic paused and groaned. "Why is EVERYONE always against me?" he sighed.

Freeze immediately started firing icy beams from his hands, swiftly encasing SPOT in a frozen block! "Oh, no! My icepick is inside SPOT!" Tails gasped. "I could thaw him... And/or crush him to kibbles and bits." Lospecter sneered. "Oh, no you won't! Get him, Cheese!" Cream shouted, but the Chao simply flew right through Lospecter! "Ew. Chao cooties. I was thinkin' of sparing you for old time's sake, but... Nah." Before he could attack them, though, Sonic jumped through his smoky body! "Oooh! Blue boy's got a bone to pick with me! Too bad I got no bones..." he said, drawing some cards as he turned to Sonic. "I'll keep Casper busy! You guys can handle Eggman's robots, right?" the hedgehog said. Silver grabbed several GUN crates with his psychokinesis. "I'll manage..." he said. "Silvy and I are a real team, not like when YOU were my boyfriend!" Amy shouted, clutching her hammer. "Oooh, awkwardness..." Jolt chuckled, "Well, One, two, three, four!! You ain't gettin' through this door! Five, six, seven, eight!! I... ummm... ohhhh, great..." the bot chanted, throwing off sparks to keep anyone from getting close. So, instead of approaching, Amy threw her hammer at him! "Ow! Hey, can she do that!? I call foul!" Jolt yelled. "Get in there, you clown." said Freeze, who was busy blasting the GUN crates with ice as Silver tossed them. Meanwhile, Lospecter was casting spells with the Chaos Cards to keep Sonic on the run, blasting him with flames or tossing balls of water as he kept waving 2 different cards back and forth. "Make up your mind! Fire or water!?" Sonic shouted. "How about flying skulls?" Lospecter smirked, tossing another card that turned into a trio of Loskulls! As they started to surround Sonic, Cheese flew over and started knocking the skulls aside! "Hey, I don't beat up your minions, do I Chao? Wait, don't answer that." Lospecter muttered. At that moment, Jolt was keeping Amy on the run by flying out of her reach and attempting to zap her, while Freeze started targeting Tails and Cream while they were trying to free SPOT, making Silver's job of defending them difficult. "Hold that thought, Mr. Specter." Sonic said, running off in the opposite direction and quickly bouncing from the distracted Freeze up to Jolt, and then using this momentum to smash the Loskulls with some swift, well placed homing attacks!

Lospecter watched Sonic's display and whistled. "That's one bouncy ball there... Can't wait to deflate it." he grinned. "Huh? You make no sense." said Sonic, who was standing in front of him again. Silver had buried Freeze in GUN crates once Sonic gave him an opening, and the Gizoid was sparking a bit as he climbed out. "Zzzzzt!! Security breach!" he yelled. Jolt nodded. "Code blue! Red sneaks are sneaking in the base! All units respond!" he babbled as the two robots fled up the stairs. "Buh-bye, you unlost scamps. I gotta train to catch!" Lospecter chuckled as he flew out through a wall! "Thanks a lot, Sonic! You scared 'em off and now the base is on alert!" Amy scoffed. SPOT finally managed to break free of the ice, and Tails sighed in relief to see that he seemed to be functioning normal. "Lay off Sonic, Amy. Let's just follow those bots to Eggman!" he said. "Only if Silvy thinks it’s a good idea..." Amy pouted. Silver sighed and joined the others in heading up the stairs without a word. "Huh? Uh... Wait for me, Silvy-Wilvy!" Amy stammered, chasing them. "If this is only temporary, you better not call me Sonny-wonny..." Sonic grumbled. Upstairs, they found a small room leading to the bridge to the main Security Tower. Halfway across the bridge, they found Gator chatting with a GUN agent with purple shades, Agent 77. "...Captain Gator? Why are you here?" Sonic mumbled. "Ohh... That reminds me of the romantic cruise to Eggman's base I took with... Err... I don't care!" Amy said, still pouting. Gator shushed them. "You trying to get me fired for piracy? Sweeping this tower's my day job!" he said. "...And we're the only GUN employees left here." Agent 77 whispered. "Huh? What happened?" Tails asked. Agent 77 frowned. "Everyone was called to HQ very suddenly. Something about an attack by the experiments..." he began, "I was stuck here to keep an eye on the place. And of course, Eggman shows up. As if my day hasn't been crazy enough..." Gator shrugged. "At least Agent 32 didn't flush YOU down a toilet!" Gator grumbled. "Don't worry. We'll stop Eggman. But you should probably get outta here. It's not safe." Silver suggested. Agent 77 nodded. "There's an elevator ahead, but I can only vouch for the first floor as safe." he said. Sonic nodded. "You've been helpful... GUN should try that more often!" he said.

Exiting the elevator and arriving at the main entrance, they found that Eggman had already made the tower his own! A new red and black paint job and defenses upgraded to include spike traps were among the first things they noticed. They also spotted EggRobos flying around, patrolling the base! "Hello, Sonic!" said Dr. Eggman over the PA system! "I don't like this..." Cream whimpered, holding Cheese close. "Hey, doc! What's up?" Sonic grinned. "You're just in time! I've finished just enough renovations that I can welcome you to my new EggSecurity Tower! Much more spacious than Eggtopia, right? You remembered to wipe those muddy sneakers before coming in, didn't you?" Eggman said. "And what if I didn't?" Sonic smirked. "NOOO!! I just cleaned that floor!" shouted Gator, who had apparently followed them down without anyone noticing. Everyone chuckled awkwardly before leaving Gator to his mopping. Eggman's latest scheme was now underway, and Sonic was determined as ever to stop him!

To be continued...


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