Chapter 1: Incarceration
Location: Camp Connelly, Tarsonis
Disorientation welcomed Sonic with open arms when he suddenly regained consciousness, finding himself sprawled upon the floor of a prison cell. Pushing himself into a seated position, the hedgehog could do little but study his new surroundings. He was surrounded by three walls of concrete, with electrified bars that looked far too nasty to even consider touching. With growing claustrophobia, Sonic rose to his feet and noticed that an electronic device had been attached to his ankle.
"What the hell!?" he asked groggily.
"Sonic?" a voice called out.
Glancing around, Sonic discovered Amy seated in another cell that was located directly across from his own.
"Amy...? What happened?" he asked, having difficulty remembering.
It had been just two weeks since Sally's attempted assassination of the Prime Minister, since that time the Terran Republic had descended into chaos. Anti-Mobians sentiment had spread like wildfire, likely exacerbated by members of Humanity First. In an attempt to avert a potential armed conflict, the Council of Acorn had publicly denounced Sally for her 'actions'.
"I think we were drugged," she stated, distracting Sonic from his thoughts.
"What was the last thing you remember?" he questioned, concern edging its way into his voice.
"Um...," she began, trying to retrieve those memories.
"We were paid a visit by Anthony Godheim; the President of the National Assembly," another voice interjected.
Sonic instantly recognized the voice as belonging to Rotor, though from his position he was unable to see where the walrus was.
"Yeah. I remember now."
Charged with helping supply weapons to the notorious Sons of Korhal biker gang, the Deputy Prime Minister had been arrested during a pre-dawn raid on his villa. With Jorgensen incarcerated and the Prime Minister indisposed, it fell to the President of the National Assembly to lead the country.
"I'm guessing Sticks had the right idea when she fled the Prime Minister's estate," Rotor commented.
"Yeah. Looks like she's proven that her paranoia wasn't misplaced," Sonic admitted, glancing around the drab interior of his cell.
"At least Chris is headed back to the United Federation," Amy stated.
Due to unstable situation in Augustgrad, Jorgensen had managed to negotiate safe passage for Chris to leave. Chuck would be waiting for him in Soleanna to take him back to the relative safety of Station Square. The X-Tornado would also be sent back with him, as Tails had claimed it was technically property of Thorndyke Industries. This was of course a lie fabricated on his part, as it was a means of preventing it from falling into the wrong hands.
"Any clue as to where we might be?" Sonic asked.
"I think it's some kind of military prison," Rotor answered.
"And you would be correct," confirmed another voice.
Having been too focused on their conversation, Sonic hadn't noticed the newcomer entering into the cellblock. Stepping into view was a black hair man with thick sideburns, and dressed in pair of black pants, a grey dress shirt with a red necktie, black shoes, and a brown and black overcoat. It only to a moment for Sonic realized that it was Vasillj Tatarin; the Prime Minister's military advisor.
"You!? You're the one behind all this!?" Sonic asked in disbelief.
"Indeed. It was your arrival that has provided Humanity First with the means of ridding the Terran Republic of your kind," he said, clasping his hands behind his back.
"So Humanity First really was the one involved," Rotor stated.
"Why are you doing this to us?" Amy asked.
"Because you're far too dangerous to be allowed to remain free."
"What did you do to Sally?" Rotor demanded.
"As if you're in any position to make demands," Tatarin commented, scoffing at the walrus' arrogance, "Very well. If you must know, we subjected her to neural resocialization."
"Resocialization?" Rotor questioned.
"It's a procedure that involves the alteration of a person's brain, wiping away their memories and making them completely obedient," he explained, "We utilized an experimental form of resocialization that allowed us to implant within her subconscious the impulse to assassinate the Prime Minister."
"Y-You monster!" the walrus roared in outrage.
"I've be called far worse," he said dismissively.
"So you used the National Assembly as a means to turn the public against her," Amy accused.
"Except your plan failed," Sonic added, "The Prime Minister is still alive."
"He lives only because I permit it. It wasn't enough for her to kill Carmichael the moment the opportunity presented itself. No, we needed to make it a public spectacle, something that would be viewed by the entire Terran Republic."
"Did you also frame the Deputy Prime Minister?" Rotor asked.
"Indeed. Though I would've much preferred it if he was left to struggle with this 'international incident' a little while longer. Unfortunately my hand was forced."
"What are you talking about?" Sonic questioned.
"Your princess escape from the psychiatric facility that she was being held at," the General stated.
"S-she escaped!?" Amy asked in disbelief.
"Four days ago."
"We weren't involved in that!" Rotor shouted, "We've never left the Prime Minister's residence and you know it!"
"I have no idea what you've been up to," Tatarin stated dismissively, turning his attention to Sonic, "You've got super speed, who's to say that you weren't slipping by while no one noticed?"
"Now you're just grasping at straws," snarled the hedgehog.
"You needn't worry though," he said, ignoring the jab, "We'll eventually recapture her just as we'll capture your badger friend."
With that, Tatarin whirled around, the tails of his overcoat flapping, intent on making his departure.
"That's it? You're gonna leave just like that?" Sonic questioned.
"I have nothing more to say to you, hedgehog," he stated, turning to face Sonic.
"Or...maybe you're just afraid," he accused.
"Like I have anything to fear from a fleabag like you," Tatarin said, marching off in the direction of the hanger entrance.
"And I wouldn't tamper with that anklet if I were you," the general called to them, "They're meant to subdue uncooperative prisoners, but we've modified them to explode if you attempt to remove them."
"You think he's telling the truth?" Sonic asked after a moment.
"I'm not prepared to test out his claims," came Rotor's reply.