The Dingo Knows No Sleet

Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue.

Author's Note: The writer of this chapter was Tazkol Master of Emeralds.

"Frank, I found 'em, the kids heading south through downtown" a huge muscle bound man said. He stood at 6'5 with huge bulking muscles that looked as if they'd tear his shirt to shreds if he so much as flexed. He had long blond hair and was wearing a set of sunglasses with purple lenses. He was walking through a crowded street trying to stay unseen, not the easiest task for a building with feet.

"Good Ed, keep on his tail, we'll be able to collect this bounty by sundown" Frank said. Frank was a smaller man that looked to be of German decent. He was 5 foot even, and wore a business mans suit. He and his partner Ed where bounty hunters, currently they where tracking down a high priority case. A runaway albino teen the boy was believed to be involved in a string of mysterious disappearances.

The boy in question was now officially a ward of the state, being that his mother had been killed in an accident with a runaway bus, and his brother, his last living relative had disappeared sometime earlier. They had been searching for the kid for well over a month but now luckily Ed had spotted him in the street. There was little reason to doubt Ed's eyesight as the man was incredibly reliable at spotting people. Frank headed to an intercept point while Ed tailed the boy. Neither man thought anything about it being a little odd that maybe the kid wanted them to follow him, nor did either man notice the smirk on the boy's face. Somehow Frank found himself tailing the kid with Ed, wondering how they had missed the intercept point, but the boy took off, and they both took off after him. The boy led the two of them through a maze of alleyways, eventually they found themselves in a dead-end. At the end stood the boy, as well as a weird looking man with green hair a pale complexion and purple sunglasses, he was wearing a green sports jacket over a white suit vest and pants.

Edward stepped forward with a set of handcuffs while Frank pulled out a piece of paper. He began to read aloud from the paper. "Michael Benson you are hereby under arrest, if you do not come quietly we have been granted the right to use brute force" but before Ed could get close, the man raised his hand, sending a blast of light at Ed, and then at Frank.

Ed's body began to ripple as his shirt was ripped apart by his bulging muscles. Orange fur began growing all over his body. Brown leather gloves appeared on his hands from the remains of his shirt. His blond hair became a blond mane as his head hunched over and his neck extended. His ears moved to the top of his head and extended outward. His nose became a small black dog like nose while his mouth extended to take up most of his face, his bottom canines grew into fangs. A small blond tail broke out the seat of his pants which ripped from the knee down. His left leg was encased in a metallic boot well his right leg had a worn leather shoe. Slowly his memory faded away, leaving in its place, Dingo, A huge dog Mobian with an IQ that competed with that of an amoeba for supremacy.

Frank's black hair lightened as it became a messy blue that followed all the way down his neck and back. His eyes became red with tiny black dots for pupils as his face pulled out into a long muzzle with a round purple nose at the end. Two huge ears grew from the top of his head as his human ones disappeared. Gray fur grew over his face and down the front of his neck, also right across his belly. A small gray tail grew out the back of his pants as his clothing changed from a suit to purple and blue armor with a gold skull pinning his blue cape on his back. Two similar golden skulls where attached to the edges of his shoulder pieces. His sleeves where yellow as was the bottom of his chest to his groin area. Frank also ceased to exist, replaced by the cunning wolf Sleet.

Mike laughed as he melted into a puddle on the ground before returning as metal sonic. Immediately Sleet and Dingo bowed.

"We are so sorry Master Metal! We did not realize it was you, your deviousness" sleet said

"Yeah, we thought it t'was sonic" dingo said

"Very well I'll forgive you this time, but next time you won't be so lucky, from now on you well be loyal to me first and Robotnik second", Metal ordered.

"Yes of course sir! Anything you say" Sleet said

"Also you well obey Void here before you well obey Robotnik! Now go before my 'father' realizes you are gone." Metal said before kicking the two bounty hunters through a vortex that had opened behind them. When they were gone void looked at metal.

"You're doing well, with your help we may not have to worry about anyone going to help those stupid fools" he said. The two villains stalked off to find there next victim.

Sleet and Dingo hurtled through the portal at almost blinding speed, as they went a ball of energy collided with sleets hand leaving behind a blue paneled remote with one red button in the middle. The remote worked with a special chip that had been implanted in sleets head, he just had to picture something and press the button, the remote would then release frequency that would alter Dingo's special genetic structure into whatever sleet imagined, the downside was that whatever Dingo became still had Dingo's base features, such as a face. Sleet landed on the solid metal ground of Robotropolis with a thud, seconds later Dingo landed on top of him.

"Sleet? Sleet? Where'd 'ya go?" Dingo asked looking around

"Get off me you fool" Sleet ordered from under his massive partner. Dingo quickly got off of sleet, only seconds later for sleet to morph him into a motorcycle. Hopping on Sleet headed off towards the center of Robotropolis.

"Hey Sleet? How do you think Robotnik is gonna' react to us coming back?" Dingo asked.

"Considering we failed again you mindless meat hound, he'll be furious!" Sleet yelled at the Dingo turned motorcycle. The two went unnoticed by the active robots. Sleet and Dingo were not considered something to be worried about. The only people who ranked below them are Grounder, Scratch, and Coconut. It was well known that they needed a major miracle to keep them out of the Roboticizer.

Sleet was wrong sadly, to say Robotnik was furious was a gross understatement. He stomped around throwing random objects around the base. "You had a simple mission a reconnaissance mission! And what did you do? You tried to capture Metal Sonic! Why would I send you to capture one of my own agents? Give me one reason why I shouldn't robotize you now?"

"Leave them alone Eggman! They are still of use to us" a voice said from the back as a pair of dark purple eye's stared from the shadows. Robotnik was about to say something but shut his mouth. He would let them go for now.

Ray flew through the woods, his mind reeling through a whole mess of things based on recent events. Sonic's parents and uncle and aunt had returned, his uncle was going on and on about some work of art he had made that could end the Roboticizor threat. Mighty's parents had returned and Mighty had finally began to take it a little easier. It seemed that everyone else's parents where coming back, but what about his parents? He hadn't seen them in so many years. He didn't even know what Eggman had done to them. Ray's mind was so preoccupied he did not notice his tail.

Robo-Knux was really pissed off, he had failed not once but twice in a row. He needed to kill something, and luckily for him he had found it. The small squirrel Mobian may not have been much of a challenge but he was still a registered Freedom Fighter/Chaotix member, therefore he was a high priority threat. Capture was of course a preferred option for most bots, but right now Robo just really needed to kill. The only problem would be luring the squirrel down, a problem easily remedied

"Hey Ray! Ray! Over here Ray!" a voice rang out from the ground just behind Ray. Ray recognized the voice, it was Mighty!

"Coming!" Ray shouted as he flew towards the sound before coming in for a landing near the ground. He got closer to where he thought he heard the sound. Almost instantly he found himself thrown against a nearby tree, a mechanical red claw holding him down as he looked upon the terrible glowing eyes of Robo-Knuckles. The mechanical monstrosity lifted his other mechanical claw aiming the knife like blades on the back of his hands. Ray closed his eyes preparing for a painful ending. The moment slowed as Robo's claw descended towards Ray. A fraction of a second before he made contact, Robo was thrown back by force. Ray opened his eyes to see a sleek blue figure standing in front of him, his arm stained red as blood poured from a cut that had been caused when his arm grazed Robo's blades. Standing there, blade raised, hat tipped over one eye, was Pine.

"Didn't Eggman ever tell you that the younger Freedom Fighters always have a tail?" Pine said. Robo-Knux got to his feet and prepped a charge; Pine turned his sword hilt sideways. He uttered a few words in some language Ray couldn't make out and the blade changed. going from the huge blade of a bastard sword that Pine had been using, the ground seemed to open up shooting a bunch of small stones that augmented themselves into a impressive looking blade, then what seemed to be long thin pieces of metal began to condense on the other end forming a symmetrical looking blade to the one made from stone. Ray took notice that in the center was a dark blue gem that resembled the emerald sonic had. The marten and the robot charged each other resulting in a death lock in the center. Robo's deadly blades locked with Pines razor sharp swords. The two retreated before charging again each raining blow for blow on the other. Pines fur had a purple ting from numerous cuts on his body; well Robo only had a few scuff marks on his body and one scratch on the chest area.

Pine was tiring quickly, which was very bad considering robots don't tire out. Even with the unnatural boost from his Chaos Blades, and the aid of his special enchantment it still wasn't enough to give him the needed boost. Pine looked back to Ray who was watching the fight in a mix of terror and awe. Pine reached into his subspace pocket and pulled out his kendo stick. Throwing it to Ray along with the dark blue chaos emerald he shouted.

"Run for Sonic and don't look back." He then blocked the robot from reaching the emerald as Ray took flight. The fight was quickly becoming one sided and if something didn't change soon things wouldn't look good for the blue Pine Marten. The two continued to trade blows, Pine found that on top of all else, he was slowing down thanks to blood loss.

Ray flew as fast as he could, trying to find someone before the worst happened. He darted around trees. It wasn't long before he heard a hum behind him. He looked back to see two of Eggman's robots heading for him. Without thinking he swatted at them with the kendo stick, the stick collided with metal, the metal cracked and dented as the bot was sent down in a column of exhaust. Ray kept flying swatting at the occasional bot along the way. He spotted a blur on the horizon. Thinking it was Sonic, Ray dive bombed on an intercept trail. He landed not far away, only instead of Sonic he found...

Shadow stopped running, there was a Chaos Emerald nearby, and he could feel it. He looked around cautiously before spotting Ray who looked on in fear.

"What are you doing here? Get out before someone see's you and I have to capture you!", Shadow said. Ray wasn't sure what to do but at this point he was desperate.

"Robo-Knuckles is attacking Pine, if someone doesn't do something soon he'll kill him" Ray pleads "please". Shadow was in a mental dilemma, he couldn't reveal what he was doing, but he couldn't let Sonic and the Freedom Fighters down by letting Robo kill one of them. Then Blair remembered, Eggman had never accepted that Shadow could betray him, it was a gamble but he would make it. Shadow headed in the direction Ray pointed while Ray headed off to tell Mighty about what happened.

Pine was barley standing in front of Robo-Knux, Pine had cuts all over his fur, his sword felt heavy in his hand, and he wasn't sure how much longer he could keep this up. Robo was completely full circle from Pine, having few if any scratches on his body and enjoying the thrill of the fight, he laughed in a psychotic voice

"Don't worry" he said "I'm not going to bring you back to Robotnik, every once in a while there's nothing like a good kill, first you, then that little brat"

"You see, that's where you're wrong," Pine said as the blades dissipated from his sword, replacing the two blades, water flowed over the hilt creating the paper thin blade of a rapier "You may kill me, but by the time you do, both Ray and the Emerald well be out of your reach, he's probably half way to the nearest H.Q. by now"

Robo didn't seem to notice that the foliage around Pine began to wilt as the moisture flowed out of them and into his body, closing cuts and replacing the blood he lost, since it wasn't the blood that mattered but the volume

"You really think that your friends can stop us? You can barely stand" Robo raised his knife tipped fist "and that little letter opener isn't going to save you" Robo charged Pine head on, his fists where a blur opening the cuts that had just closed and making new ones, Pine was sure a few tendons had been cut through

Robo raised his blood soaked knuckles to Pines neck, preparing for the death stroke. Pine closed his eyes, preparing for the blankness of death, and then a gunshot echoed through the area. Pine opened his startled eye's to look at Robo' blown off stump Shadow stood near the end of the clearing his gun raised

"Back off Robo, this guy is on Eggman 'capture alive' list, he's now property of the Eggman Empire"

"Stay out of this, Shadow. He's my prey now"

"I don't think you are in the position to talk over who gets to capture him" Shadow adjusted his gun, aiming straight for Robo's head "The doctor might forgive you for ignorance, but I doubt he would now."

"Fine, take him, I'll just kill him later" Robo used his one good arm to toss Pine in shadows direction "I'll see you back at base" Robo took off, the robot would not be one to cross.

Shadow bent over and picked Pine up, cautiously he headed off in the same direction as Robo before back tracking and heading in the direction of Knothole, it was the closest place but it was still far away, Pine lost consciousness, having only enough will power to replace the hilt on his neck

"So you're saying that Lord Shadow is bringing back a high level prisoner and he needs our help" Sleet asked the damaged Robo.

"Yes you blithering buffoons, and if you wish to avoid the wrath of shadow I'd suggest you hurry" Robo shouted

Sleet and Dingo boarded there tribute ship and headed off in Robo's directions, but partial way in Dingo noticed a bleep on the sensors

"If Shadow is headed this way, how come the sensors say he's headed toward Knothole?" the orange Dingo pointed out

"He can't you fool! It's obvious that he's planning on using the prisoner as bait for a trap"

"Oh! Okay, for a minute there I thought Shadow was actually a traitor who was working with the Freedom Fighters as a spy because Robotnik would never believe that he would turn against him," Sleet smacked Dingo on the head

"Lord Shadow is a demon; his heart is black and cold as anyone's. NEVER talk about him that way"

Shadow ran into Knothole Emergency Ward carrying Pine in his arms

"Mobian down! Mobian down!" he yelled placing Pine on a stretcher

"Sh-Shadow, what seems to be the problem?" Dr. Quack said running into the room, momentarily awed at who had brought in the marten.

"He got into a fight with Robo-Knuckles, I'm not sure but he must of lost more than a comfortable amount of blood and the tendons in his arms seem cut"

"Oh dear, you'd better get him in quick."

Dr. Quack rushed Pine away well shadow made some calls

Sometime later

"WHERE IS HE?" Violet yelled as she smashed through the door.

"Calm down Violet, he's in surgery, they discovered some internal damage well they worked on his more obvious wounds." Mighty said trying to calm the chinchilla, "Violet. We all get injured here; it's all part of being a Freedom Fighter. Although... I have to admit, what he did WAS awfully stupid."

"YOU!" Violet said pointing a finger at Mighty, for a minute the armadillo thought he'd have a fight on his hands, "If you hadn't asked him to watch over Ray, he wouldn't have been there."

"He'd have watched over Ray even if I hadn't asked him to. You know Pine. He does whatever he wants to.", Mighty pointed out, just a smidgen of guilt on the armadillo's voice, "I just told him so he wouldn't feel like he's doing things behind my back."

"You're welcome to stay here" Sally said "there's a hotel just over there, don't worry about the cost, tell them its Freedom Fighter business" this didn't seem to comfort Violet.

"Heck, Pines a hero, not many people can survive that long against Robo, Knuckles even has a tough time with him," Sonic said.

"I'm just scared his being a hero is gonna get him killed" Violet said grief dripping in her voice

"That's... just the risk a Freedom Fighter has to take." Mighty noted.

Sonic looked at the clock on the wall "I'm sorry Vi, but we gotta' juice, there's a gathering in Emerald Town in ten minutes" he noticed the look on Sally's face, "and we can't miss this one"

The Mobians, including Shadow filed out, Violet sat down in the waiting room, when she was sure they had left she removed a scroll from subspace, the kanji on it labeled it as Forbidden.

Outside, Sleet was pacing around the ship

"I knew it! I knew Shadow was a traitor"

"But you said that..." Dingo was cut off by a smack on the back of the head.

"Come on, we have to get back to Robotropolis and tell Master Robotnik!"

In Emerald Town, the Freedom Fighters had transformed tails' lab into a mildly compact party location the evening had gone off without a bang, there had been music, fun, food, and friendly conversation, some of the Freedom Fighters where kind of leery around Shadow, who felt just out of place about the time it was determined things should start to wind down as it was past cream bedtime the crowed began to shout in unison "Liberty"

After about two minutes Sonic Underground began setting up, Sonic grabbed the conveniently placed microphone.

"Hello dudes and dudettes!" he shouted getting a roar from the crowed "Before we bring out Lady Liberty, the sonic underground would like to send out a few shout outs"

"First we wanna say thank you to our awesome allies! A group that sure helps us all sleeps easier." Sonic motioned his hand as if to say a secret "and left our ears ringing, just kiddin guys, a round for the Chaotix people" the crowd roared with applause, Sonic motioned for them to quiet down now I'd like to mentioned our newly authorized Freedom Fighters, people who have earned the right to be mentioned in our ranks, one of which is not here to celebrate tonight" a lot of the crowed reeled back to their roots with the Freedom Fighters after about a minute the applause roared for the new Freedom Fighters "and a shout out to Barker Hound, our contact in the knothole news" Barker raised his glass to Sonic as a mild applause broke out "Now please help me in welcoming after popular vote in the poll for the last month, your Lady Liberty" as he said this he motioned the applause to the side, when he turned his head a look of shock hit his face Ben had not been allowed to see the poll, vote, or see Lady Liberty before the introduction, standing there in the spotlight, in a silver gown with a silver tiara stood Terra/Sally, she looked a little nervous, understandable since wearing a dress for her was an awkward event almost immediately Manic started up the drum beat, from somewhere a trumpet began to play as Sonia and sonic settled into a mild rhythm

"Lady Liberty salutes the green and blue" Sonia sang as Sally saluted Sonic and Manic "Liberty's working hard for me and you"

Sonic and Manic joined in "oh she always does her part, she's a Mobian at hear. Oh Liberty's working hard for me and you"

Manic gave a small drum solo "Manic" Sonia sang letting her green brother take the floor

"When Liberty drums Robotnik out of town, it's gonna be a thunderous sound" once again Sonic and Sonia joined in

"Oh first she'll make him pay then she'll send him on his way, when Liberty drums Robotnik out of town"

Sonic gave a guitar solo "Sonic" Manic passed on the torch to his older blue brother

"Liberty's gonna rock again someday! Liberty's gonna let the music play!" the three triplets started again.

"Oh every song she well allow be it soft or be it loud! Liberties gonna rock again someday! LADY LIBERTY'S GONNA ROCK AGAIN SOMEDAY!"

Then sonic led the crowed in a unanimous cheer "LIBERTY ROCKS!"