Hello, everyone! This is Umbra the Hedgehog signing back in! Well, here's the next chapter, just as I promised. I hope it's everything you expected. Let's skip the commentary for now and get down to business!
-I do not own any of the characters or scenarios presented in this story.
Sonic's Trip to Anaheim
Chapter 4: Kicking scrap metal.
"Seriously, two and a half years 'til the latest update? And now we had to make people wait for this new chapter?" Nosedive was aiming at the enemy. "That is just cheap!"
Tanya replied, also pointing her gun at the black hedgehog's group. "Well, it's better than a dead story."
"Save it for later, guys." Wildwing's left hand balled up into a fist. "It's time."
The Shadow imitator lifted his arm again, pointing at the group.
"Robots, take care of the others." He put it back down. "But the blue one is mine."
Without so much as a compliant response, the other Shadow lookalikes began to dash towards the group.
"Let's rock!" Sonic and Wildwing yelled out in unison.
Time for another action sequence!
The team rushed forward, ready to fight with the hedgehog and his robot troop. The two opposing factions got closer and closer, until they finally clashed. The ducks split up as per Wildwing's orders: Mallory, Duke and Grin kept going forward, while the rest remained behind.
The two rapid-firing robots were faced with the two brothers, Wildwing and Nosedive. The heavy shooters found themselves fighting Tails and Tanya, and Sonic found himself forced to do battle with the imitator.
"Be careful, little bro. We're not dealing with laser guns this time around."
"Don't sweat it, Wing! RoboClod here's gonna be a breeze."
The pink android shot several rounds at Wildwing, but he easily blocked them with his shield. Both he and Nosedive began to fire at the two, but the blue robot shot the incoming pucks, causing an explosion between the two sides. The younger duck kept on firing, while the team captain began to charge towards their enemy. Blocking all incoming shots with his shield once more, he finally tackled the pink mecha, forcing it to fall on its back. Diverting its machine gun arm, he managed to get in a few punches to its face, before getting kicked off by the robot.
"Hey, scrap-for-brains! You've got worse aim than a Stormtrooper!" The blue android and Nosedive kept firing at each other, bullets flying everywhere while the pucks just bounced off the machine's body.
Duke stood in front of the gray Knuckles robot, blocking its fist with his saber.
"Alright, let's dance."
The robot withdrew its fist, ready to hit Duke with the other one, but this strike was stopped by the duck's saber as well. This was followed by a kick to the machine's chest, shoving it back a little. In response, it began to rush forward, ready to deliver another punch, only for Duke to dodge it and use his saber to cut off the spikes on its hand.
"Watch the spikes! I've already lost one eye." He twirled the blade a little, a smile present on his beak.
The robot jumped back away from Duke, who got back into position. It then began to open its mouth, which revealed some sort of red round object. Before Duke had any time to think about what it could be for, the robotic animal fired a huge missile from its mouth, followed by several more. This did not faze him, however, as he managed to evade the first four, finishing off by slicing the fifth one right through the middle.
As the two missile halves exploded behind him, he noticed the robot was opening its mouth again. Before it could fire again, he shot the grappling hook on his wrist at it, which attached itself to its head, forcing its mouth to close and blocking the missile's only exit. Without a way out, it soon exploded inside the robot's head, blowing it off. This seemed to get the job done, as the headless body just fell down, completely still.
"You shouldn't go around spitting at people." As he laughed to himself for a bit, he retracted the hook and deactivated his saber, returning it to his shoulder.
Mallory kicked the red Knuckles robot in the head, which it didn't seem to react to. The redhead then followed this up with a series of punches to its chest, finishing it off with a strong kick, which forced it to step back a little. As it resumed its usual fighting pose, Mallory loosened her hands.
"Let's see if this guy can measure up to a Hunter Drone."
The red mecha jumped up into the air, diving at Mallory with both of its arms stretched out. As it approached her, however, she leaned back, the attack passing over her as her hands touched the floor. Not even landing, the machine suddenly turned around, ready to hit her in the head with its spikes. This didn't come to pass, as Mallory lifted her legs, performing a handstand, and then used her arms to spring up into the air. As the robot finally hit the floor, she landed right behind it. Two lasers shot from the soles of its feet, surprising her, but she managed to avoid them with a backflip.
"Huh, what do you know? Earth-style martial arts are pretty useful."
The red machine got up and turned around, while Mallory resumed her original fighting stance, not a drop of sweat on her forehead. It quickly ran towards her, delivering two quick punches that were quickly blocked, followed by a jumping uppercut. This attack did manage to hit her, but she seemed pretty unaffected by it. The robot then turned itself upside down in midair, both of its hands pointing down at her.
As it shot down towards the redhead, she jumped back and took out her Puck Blaster, firing a single explosive puck at her mechanical enemy. As she hit the ground, the puck hit its target, immediately exploding on contact. Picking herself back up, Mallory tried to see through the smoke caused by her attack. Once it cleared up, she noticed two things: there was a hole in the ground, and one of the robot's arms was lying next to it, severed by her explosive puck. She put her gun away, went to pick it up, and then she just stood still.
She knew what this meant. The robot had burrowed underground, and was trying to hit her from where she couldn't see it. But if her training at Puckworld Special Forces had taught her anything, it was to expect the unexpected. Once it revealed itself, she would be the one delivering the surprise.
Soon after, she heard some rumbling behind her. Just as she expected, it was a surprise attack from behind. Swiftly turning around, she found the red mecha diving at her, its single arm aimed straight for her head. Reacting quickly, Mallory pointed the severed metal arm at him. As she had planned, her enemy ended up being impaled through the head by its own fist, puncturing its energy core and shutting it down.
"I really hate machines." She tossed the inert robotic body away, and then she rubbed some dirt off of herself.
Grin and Silver Sonic tussled, the super strong duck somewhat surprised by the robotic hedgehog's strength. As far as he could remember, only their old foe Siege could give him a difficult time. He didn't allow this to worry him, though, and he kept struggling against his enemy. As he fought, he couldn't help but notice that the machine continued to stare at him intently, like it was trying to study him or something.
"ANALYSIS COMPLETE." Now he knew why: Silver Sonic was analyzing him. "SPECIES UNKNOWN. NO SIMILAR SPECIES FOUND ON AVAILABLE DATA BANKS."
This distraction gave him a momentary edge. "The universe is full of mysteries."
Grin punched the robot in the chest, which sent it flying a couple feet. Knowing that this wouldn't be enough, he sat down on the ground, entering the lotus position in order to meditate. Meanwhile, Silver Sonic was getting up, finally recovering from the duck's strike. As its systems began to return to top condition, its optics caught the image of his attacker, who seemed to be completely still. Seeing this as him surrendering, the mechanical hedgehog lifted its arms, aiming straight at him.
"TARGET ACQUIRED. ENGAGING MISSILE LAUNCHERS." Its wrists opened up, revealing several missiles ready to be launched. "FIRE."
With that command, the robot fired six missiles at the still-meditating Grin. He didn't even flinch as they got closer and closer to him. Silver Sonic remained in the same firing position. As the missiles approached their target, however, the gentle giant finally made a move. If his enemy had any degree of basic emotions, it would have been surprised at seeing its target capture the six missiles between his fingers. Opening his eyes at last, Grin followed this by turning his hands around and spreading his fingers again, causing the missiles to go flying back towards Silver Sonic.
The mecha responded by simply bending its arms backwards, revealing two cannons located near its elbows. Using them to fire two laser beams, it destroyed the incoming missiles. Once the smoke cleared up, it noticed that Grin was now standing tall again. Putting one arm down, the other was bent back so its hand was pointing at him. A hole opened up in its palm, firing a grappling hook at the duck, which tied itself around one of his arms. The robot then proceeded to rush towards him at high speeds, using the boosters on its feet.
"TARGET SECURED. INITIATING PHYSICAL CONFRONTATION."
"You are making a mistake." Grin gave him a simple reply.
As the enemy quickly approached, he lifted his arm very slightly. Reacting at just the right moment, the duck delivered one powerful blow to the robot, and Silver Sonic found its chest completely ripped through by Grin's fist. It began to crackle with electricity, its eyes flickering quickly before finally shutting off.
"Never underestimate the power of spiritual living."
Tails and Tanya found themselves having to deal with the grenade-launching Shadow robots. They had an advantage in that they were both very proficient at complicated tech, but it was hard to handle their enemies when they possessed not only the skills of their template, but also an apparently infinite supply of explosive weapons. Right now, they found themselves forced to hide.
"We haven't been able to get a single hit on them! And they destroyed my mini-EMP generator! What do we do?" Tails couldn't even try to hide his insecurity.
Tanya wasn't much better off. "I don't know, Tails! Our-our weapons are not doing any damage, and w-we can't get close enough to do anything else! If only we had a way to stun them..."
"Well..." There was something he hadn't mentioned. "I have some Dummy Rings. They've worked on Eggman's other robots, so they should work on these guys, but I can't use them if we don't get close enough!"
"Can't you just, you know, load them into your cannon or something?"
"I... I've never done that before." Tails took a good look at one of his rings. "Do you really think it'll work, Tanya?"
"It had better, because I can't think of anything else right now!" The female duck took out her Puck Blaster. "I'll distract them. You just... you just take that shot, OK?"
Nervous but willing, Tails began to load his cannon with Dummy Rings, while Tanya came out of their hiding spot. As he did his job, all he heard was his friend taunting the two robots, followed by a lot of firing, both from her gun and from their grenade launchers. Trying his best to keep his composure, he decided to ignore it as much as possible and continue loading his weapon.
"You missed me!"
Tanya could only run around, firing at the robots only to avoid their response. Her plan was simple, but it currently depended on her lasting long enough to use her tools and skills, not to mention Tails being able to strike either one or both machines with his rings. All in all, not the most secure of strategies. Still, it was the only chance they had, so she had no choice but to hold on until the little fox did his thing.
Just as luck would have it, as she barely avoided another grenade, she noticed Tails was coming out and pointing his cannon at them. The two androids aimed their grenade launchers at Tanya, but then they found themselves frozen in that exact same position when the young fox fired at them. They looked as if they had been hit by electricity. As the two approached them, Tails still looked a bit nervous.
"OK, it worked. But what do we do now? They won't stay like that forever."
Tanya lifted her right arm, and he noticed she had a tiny chainsaw on her wrist. "Don't worry. We only need a few seconds."
She proceeded to use the chainsaw to open a hole on both of their heads, and it was quickly replaced by some kind of lock pick. Tails could only watch as she did some work on their internal circuitry. Once she finally finished, she stepped back, rejoining him.
"What did you do?"
"Oh, you know, I just switched their priorities around a little. As soon as they can move again..."
And just in time, the effect of the Dummy Rings wore out. As soon as they recovered their mobility, the two androids lowered their weapons.
"Hey, there's a robot next to you." Tanya spoke very calmly, not referring to any of the two in particular.
Both machines turned their sights to the side, each noticing the other standing at their side. Acting in perfect unison, they both turned around, stepped back a little, and aimed their grenade launchers at each other.
"They attack robots now."
Tails looked very impressed. "That... that's amazing!" And then he remembered something. "But shouldn't we-"
"Run away?" Tanya was not oblivious to this. "Uh... yeah, we probably should."
The duo then began to run as far away as possible, as the two androids destroyed each other in a powerful grenade explosion.
Wildwing and Nosedive still had their hands full. Both of them had run out of ammo, while the blue and pink androids were still firing at them without difficulty. The younger Flashblade sibling hid behind his older brother, the two ducks only being protected by Wildwing's energy shield. The team captain was trying desperately to figure out a strategy that could turn the tides in their favor, when he was suddenly distracted by Nosedive.
"Hey, big bro. I've got an idea."
Given his track record, Wildwing was skeptical. "Nosedive, I really don't think-"
"Come on, man. Trust me on this one." But his brother kept insisting.
Remembering the fact that their options were pretty limited, he had no choice but to comply.
"Alright. Do what you have to do."
For some reason, the robots stopped firing, which gave Nosedive the chance to stand up.
"Hey, toaster twins!" He lifted his hands into the air. "We surrender!"
In his shock, Wildwing inadvertently switched off his shield. "Nosedive! What are you doing?"
"Yeah, we obviously can't beat you guys. How about we just end this right here and now?" He just kept going, completely ignoring his older brother.
This seemed to compute for them, since they lowered their weapons as he slowly walked towards them, his hands still in the air. Once he was halfway between his sibling and his attackers, though, he suddenly let his arms drop back down.
"Fell for it!" The teenage duck began to run towards the two machines. "Ducks rock!"
As he got there, he suddenly tripped, falling down on his face and skidding right between them. While getting up, he noticed the robots aiming their arm weapons at him. They followed him as he straightened himself up, even using their hover shoes to float and still be able to aim at his head. Wildwing couldn't help but watch in horror, knowing that whether or not he ran towards them, they would still gun his little brother down. He felt his heart stop as the two cocked their weapons.
His grief, however, was quickly replaced by shock when he saw what happened next. Just at the right moment, Nosedive let himself drop down like his legs were weak, which left the two robots firing rounds only at each other. After a few bullets, they both suddenly stopped shooting, their heads full of tiny holes and electricity crackling around them. Their arms dropped, their eyes flickered out and their bodies landed in the same standing pose, signifying their mutual destruction.
Wildwing tried to comprehend just what exactly had happened, when his brother suddenly got back up, a cocky grin on his beak.
"And that..." He lightly pushed them both, the two inert bodies dropping down to the ground. "...is how you do it."
"Dive, I... I can't believe it. You..." For once, his sibling found himself at a loss for words.
His response was a thumbs-up. "Come on, bro. You can say it. Nobody's looking."
"You're a genius!"
The younger duck shook his fist in victory. "Alrightski! He said it!"
Finally, Sonic found himself locked in battle with the black-and-yellow hedgehog. The blue blur was quite surprised by how the fight was going. For a guy who was very obviously not Shadow, he sure fought like him. He found he had to avoid several strong punches, Spin Dash attacks, Homing Attacks and even Chaos Spears. As much as he hated to admit it, he and the imitator were pretty evenly matched. However, this still didn't stop him from trash-talking him.
"See what I meant, Mr. Knockoff?" He delivered a kick which his opponent easily dodged. "It's just you and me now. Whoever it was that got you those 'bots, he played you for a fool."
The fake Shadow wasn't even fazed. "I don't care about them! They were merely disposable distractions! All they did was making sure no one interfered in my battle."
Sonic just laughed again. "OK, seriously. Do you even listen to yourself? All you're missing is the twirly mustache!"
"Don't you dare mock me! I am the ultimate lifeform!" His enemy shot a Chaos Spear at him in response, which he easily avoided.
The two hedgehogs then began to tussle, which was just as evenly matched as the rest of the fight. Before the fight could go anywhere else, however, Sonic suddenly heard Wildwing's voice.
"Sonic!" He turned to where that came from, and was met with the image of the reunited group. Wildwing had his hands at the sides of his head. "He's one of them!"
Tails suddenly followed that up. "He's a Shadow robot!"
"Oh, great!" Sonic had a huge grin on his face. "No more holding back!"
In the middle of his struggle with the fake Shadow, he lifted his leg and kicked him in the chest, sending him flying backwards. He wasn't even done landing, when the blue hedgehog started spinning in place, which was followed by several little lights converging at his location. Once he was done, he was surrounded by blue light, still smiling. The android managed to get up, only to be met by said sight.
Not being able to use that technique, he was shocked. "What the...?"
"Well, this is it." Sonic spoke to him one last time. "It's been fun, but now we're done."
With these last words, the blue hedgehog disappeared from sight. Before the imposter had any chance to wonder about what was happening, he suddenly found himself getting hit from several different angles and directions at light speed. As the others watched, he kept receiving blows from whatever it was that was attacking him, until he finally blacked out. Tails and the ducks could only watch as he began to fall apart into several pieces, with Sonic suddenly reappearing next to said pieces as the head hit the ground.
He crossed his arms once again, this time with his index fingers pointing at two different places. "Way past cool."
"Nice job, Sonic." Wildwing complimented him on his victory.
Mallory was the next to speak. "Why do you think these robots came to Anaheim if they were looking for you guys?"
"I'm not really sure." Tails replied to her question. "Is there any way we can find out?"
Tanya began to walk towards Sonic's location. "Well, this one was leading the whole thing." She picked up the robot's head. "This seems mostly intact. Maybe we could use Drake One to tap into its visual records."
"Yeah, come on!" Nosedive seemed pleased with the idea. "Let's head back to HQ! This chapter is getting way too long already!"
Wildwing didn't disagree with any of them. "Alright, team. I think it's time to go home."
After these last words, the group quickly boarded the Aerowing and made their way out of the stadium, their current mission finally complete.
5 minutes later...
The remains of the great battle that had taken place at Angel Stadium were still lying on the ground. The place was mostly at peace.
But that changed when something new landed on the stadium. It was a small, round flying object, mostly colored black and gray. Out of it came a tall figure, with slim, long limbs and a slightly portly figure.
He examined the area, and took a look at each one of the destroyed machines.
"So, you came this far." He brought his hand to his chin. "Interesting..."
Well, here it is. Hoo, boy! This was one heck of a long chapter. I really hope you're happy with it, because I've been trying to get it done ever since my old creative spark finally returned. I only wish it hadn't gone missing for a whole freakin' year! I really didn't want to leave any of my stories to die or anything. I just hope that everyone's pleased with how this turned out, and I once again want to sincerely apologize to those who were patient enough to have waited this whole time. If you have any comments, be they responses or suggestions, please leave me a review and tell me what you are thinking.
What's the story behind this robot troop? What will happen now? Are any future chapters going to turn out this long? Stay tuned to find out!
This is Umbra the Hedgehog signing off.