Chaos had never seen anything like it! An entire field of robots! Some were as tall as her, others taller than the mountains! Half of the robots appeared to be digging, as if searching for something.
That emerald..! The one Knuckles mentioned!
If they were causing this much trouble here, imagine what they'd do to the nearby village?! And in THOSE numbers!
Chaos thought about turning back to tell Knuckles and Athair, but stopped herself. There was no way she was going to ask that big jerk for help! He brought that mess here, she's gonna have to clean it up for him!
"What do we have here?" A robotic voice rang out.
Before she knew it, the face of a robot had knelt down to her eye-level. She freaked out at the sight of an eyeball consisting of two smaller robots at the helm.
"It looks like Knuckles!" said one of the robots, small, gray, and stout.
"If he were a little girl," responded a taller, lankier yellow robot.
"What's it matter? Let's get rid of her before the real Knuckles finds us!"
The robot stood back up and reared back a fist. Chaos wasn't stupid. She knew what it was about to do and jumped away before it could do it. With the robot's fist now planted into the ground, the little girl echidna took the opportunity to jab her own sharp knuckles into the arm, and quickly climb her way up. "Nobody can get rid of me that quickly!"
She was forced to hold on for dear life as the robot freed its arm and stepped back, trying to shake the little "bug" off.
"Chaos!" Athair cried as he and Knuckles raced out the cave.
"You idiot!" Knuckles shouted, watching as Chaos climbed her way up the giant robot.
"This is too much for her!" Athair stated, "There must be something we can do!"
"Stay here!" Knuckles ordered, jumping forward, "I'll take care of this!" He raced to the robot and attached himself to its leg, making his way upwards.
Athair watched. "Attacking just one won't cut it," he murmured, looking around, "To take out an entire group, you must attack the source..."
He spotted a mechanical safehouse far off in the distance. "Perhaps one that chooses not to fight is considered the most dangerous."
Chaos, meanwhile, finally made it up the arm and was under the robot's neck. Now how to get inside..?
There was a sudden barrage of gunfire, and the little echidna was forced to back away and shield herself as an opening was made. An army of battlebots marched their way out and towards her. At least there was a way in now! she thought as she dove forward and knocked out whatever robots were in her way.
Knuckles could hear the gunfire above him, having made it to the chest area. Fearing the worst, he climbed faster, preparing whatever gruesome sight he could come across. He tried to push the horrible images of a poor, dead girl's body out of his mind and stared at the reflection of himself to distract himself... and got a good glimpse of a laser being aimed right behind him. He pushed his feet against the robot, pulling his fists out, and dropped before the strike could hit him, and an opening in the chest was made. He jabbed his knuckles through the robot again, catching himself, and quickly made his way back up and into the opening.
There were not only one, but two intruders inside the robot now. Bocoe and Decoe sent out every security team they could. This head robot wasn't built for combat. The security droids were better handled for this!
"Okay! Enough's enough!"
The two cried out as a young echidna stormed in, towards the two. Chaos pointed a fierce finger. "Take these robots and get the hell out now!"
Bocoe and Decoe blinked at her, and released one another. "THIS is the cause of our troubles?"
"She's just a young girl!"
"And yet she took out all the security droids!"
Chaos laughed. "Don't underestimate me!" she chimed, "I may be a young girl, but I'm stronger than I look! And if you don't want to end up like those metallic losers, you'll take your sorry selves out of here!"
The robots laughed themselves. "You're obviously new, aren't you?" said Bocoe.
"We don't have just ONE army, you know," added Decoe, "What you just fought were the front runners. Even Tails could take them on his own!"
"Boy, she IS new..."
"You think you're on top now," sneered Decoe, "But you haven't faced the big guy yet!"
"What big guy..?"
Before she knew it, she was grabbed behind by a robot 10 times taller than her, using his crushing strength to hold her.
"THAT big guy," Bocoe continued, "E-5020 Bear!"
"Isn't he cute?" Decoe cooed, "He just wants to cuddle!"
E-5020, a large teddy-shaped robot, used his massive arms to hold Chaos even tighter, as she cringed and kicked her feet. "Dammit! You're just pissing me off now!"
"Let her go!"
Everyone turned to the doorway. "Knuckles?!"
Chaos groaned. "Oh great... this is embarassing..."
"I said let her go!" Knuckles shouted.
"Or else what?" Decoe asked, smug. That smugness went away quickly as Knuckles stormed over, smacking his fist into his palm.
"No, no no! WAIT!" Bocoe cried, "You don't want to do that!"
"Yeah! We have the Super Emerald!"
This stopped Knuckles in his tracks. "What? Where?"
"We'll never tell!"
Knuckles smacked his fist again. "Tell me or else!"
"Or else Girl-Knuckles gets it?" asked Decoe as Bear tightened his grip around Chaos. Knuckles froze once more, then glared back at the two robots. "What's more important, Knuckles? The Super Emerald? Or her life?"
Chaos struggled against the giant robot, but to no avail.
Knuckles could easily strangle the information he wanted out of these two numbbolts... but in the meantime, Chaos could seriously get hurt, or worse...
'Damn it!' Knuckles thought as he raced over to Bear, striking his fist hard enough to allow Bear to drop Chaos to the ground. The girl gagged and coughed as she struggled to get her breath back. "You okay?" Knuckles asked, taking her shoulder, but Chaos brushed him away.
"I'm fine!" she replied sharply, "I totally had it..."
Knuckles snarled. "Yeah, you were doing so great there."
The two got knocked into the wall by a pair of massive fists. "OW!" cried Chaos, "That hurt!"
Knuckles glanced over, to see the control pit empty. Bocoe and Decoe had made their escape! "Damn it!" Knuckles shouted, "This is all your fault, kid!"
"MY fault?!" Chaos cried, "I'm only trying to clean up YOUR mess!"
"What do you mean MY mess? I told you I was here to find a Super Emerald. I can't help it if these guys decided to look in the same place! LOOK OUT!" Knuckles grabbed Chaos' arm and yanked her out of the way before Bear could charge in, and nearly head-butted the echidnas through the wall, bringing it down with him.
"Never mind, stay put!" Knuckles ordered as he let go of Chaos and ran for Bear, his fist pulled back and attacked across the head. Bear was blown back only by a bit, however, and reared back for his own attack, which Knuckles easily dodged.
Bear straightened back up, and stared Knuckles down, who returned the gesture... when out of the blue, Bear was suddenly grabbed onto from behind. "Chaos?!" Knuckles cried, "What are you doing?"
"I'll handle this!" Chaos shouted, banging her fists over and over on Bear's metallic head. Finally done enough damage, the head suddenly detached itself from the body. Chaos leaped into the air, swung the head in several circles, and threw it back down with such force, when colliding back with the body, it created sparks large enough to ignite an explosion. The two echidnas were thrown backwards.
"Chaos!" Knuckles got to his feet and rushed over to the smaller echidna, "Are you all right?"
Chaos turned herself around, a big grin on her face. "Told ya I wasn't to be underestimated!"
"Are you out of your mind?!" Knuckles spat, "You could've gotten yourself hurt!"
"I told you I had it!"
The alarms suddenly went off. Loud and shrill, Chaos clamped her ears shut. Knuckles grabbed her by the wrist. "Come on, let's get out of here!"
They exited the control room, only to come face-to-face with an army of robots. "Waaigh!" Chaos cried, "Where'd they all come from?"
"Shit!" Knuckles shouted, "Those numbbolts must have targeted us on them!"
"So we just have to fight them, right?"
"YOU stay behind me!" Knuckles pushed Chaos behind himself and then launched at the first row, taking them all out with a swift hook.
"Yeah right!" Chaos chimed, blasting past Knuckles and taking out a good chunk of her own. Knuckles was about to shout at her, but stopped upon seeing her fighting skills... it was impressive! Better than he did when he was her age! Athair must have been quite the teacher, even for an old man...
Knuckles snapped out of it. Why was he watching an 11-year-old girl do all the fighting? He stepped back in and took out a round of robots himself.
Just when they had the upper hand, another army rounded the corner. "Crap!" cried Chaos, "How many are there?!"
"Forget it, we can't stay here all day," said Knuckles, "We'll take them all at once!"
"Can you glide?"
Chaos raised an eyebrow, "Can I glide..?"
"Okay, in that case, hang onto me!" Knuckles grabbed Chaos around the waist and raced straight for the wall, rearing back and punching through to the outside. Chaos shrieked and grabbed her brother tightly. "It's okay, I've got ya!" he assured.
The two hit the ground safely. The giant robot they were just in simply stood there, without a driver, and the smaller troops inside left without a way out.
"Now what?" asked Chaos.
Knuckles clenched his fist. "Now we attack that thing!" He grinned at her, "You ready?"
Chaos grinned back, clenching her own fists, "Got it!"
The two turned and charged right back at the robot, fast as they could, until they were right up in front of it, to which they leaped to the sky, high as they could, and came back down, their fists extended, plowing into the chest of the robot. "Super Combo PUNCH!"
Their combined punched drilled through the center of the robot, and out the other end. They each landed on a knee, as the robot, and all the other droids inside, fell to the ground and exploded.
"Woo hoo!" Chaos cried, as she and Knuckles grabbed each other's hands, squeezing tightly.
"No doubt!" Chaos pulled back and clenched her fists. "I am the strongest girl there ever lived! Nobody messes with me!"
Just as she said that, a larger robot snuck up from behind.
"LOOK OUT!" Knuckles pushed her to the ground and slammed his fist into the robot hard as he could, taking it out.
"Eeek!" Chaos cried, "There's still too many of them!"
"Don't ever let your guard down, kid!" said Knuckles, crossing his arms, "Boy do you have a lot to learn..."
Unbeknownst to him, another large robot was sneaking up behind him, ready to attack.
"Watch it!" Chaos cried. Knuckles looked back to see the robot drop its sphere-shaped foot on top of the two. The teen echidna, however, managed to push his younger sister out of harm's way, only to be caught under the foot.
The only thing keeping Knuckles from being crushed was his own strength. He had managed to catch the foot, only to be caught under it's sphere shape as he held it above his head, only a few feet away from the ground. But this robot wasn't letting up. It wouldn't be long before Knuckles' strength gave out.
-clang- -clang- -clang-
"Let go of him!" a little girl's voice rang out, "Let go of my big brother!"
Chaos tried desperately to punch at the robot's foot in attempt to free Knuckles, but during this, failed to look behind her once more.
"Chaos!" Knuckles cried, trying to force the robot off him, to no avail. He didn't know what the robot was doing to her, but he had just find out about his sister! He was NOT about to lose her now!
But it was no use. The robot wasn't getting any weaker, but Knuckles was...
"Damn it..!" he thought, "I'm not strong enough..." The thought of the young girl struggling to free herself to no avail entered his mind. "But... I have to save Chaos!"
Something else entered his mind... A giant, green, emerald... Glowing, offering it's power...
"Master Emerald... Please, give me more strength!"
He could feel it! The Master Emerald..! He was becoming stronger! Slowly but surely, Knuckles stood back up, lifting his arms high above his head, and managed to pick up the enormous robot, holding it over his head.
He glared over to find a second robot, with Chaos in its clutches, reared back, and threw his own robot at the second. Chaos was released, and Knuckles rushed over to catch her, as the two robots fell to the ground in destruction.
Knuckles landed back on the ground, Chaos safely in his arms, and suddenly fell forward, dropping the girl. "Knuckles?!"
"Argh..." Knuckles rubbed at his arms, feeling his strength giving out all the sudden. "What... WAS that power just now..?"
Through the smoke and debris came a clanging noise, and the sight of another robot. "Oh come on!" Knuckles shouted, "How many of these things are there?!" Chaos jumped in front of Knuckles, arms out protectively. "Chaos!"
Athair had felt everything. He had monitored both children's lifespans, and their power increased, including Knuckles' touch with the Master Emerald.
'The boy has much potential...' he thought to himself, 'But he has a long way to go himself. At this rate, neither of them will survive.'
Athair was old, but he was not useless. He had already broken into the mechanical safehouse and defeated the robots that stood in his way. He rounded a corner, in the center of the safehouse, where a giant, red Super Emerald awaited him.
"I found you..."
"Chaos, run away!" Knuckles shouted.
The girl shook her head. "No!"
"Run away, you idiot!"
"Never!" Chaos shouted back, "Why is it okay for you to protect me, but not for me to protect you?"
The robot that hovered over them was one of the digging teams, as noted by the giant drill on its hand. It had been reprogram to stop looking for the Super Emerald, and destroy the two echidnas. It revved its drill, and aimed it square at the young girl, defending her brother.
Chaos however stood her ground. "I will not let you harm my family!"
Before it could reach her, Chaos found herself being grabbed and jumping away a short distance before the drill could strike. The girl looked up at her savior, his arms still tightly around her body. "Knuckles!"
The older echidna panted hard. "Damn..." he muttered, "That's it... I can't move anymore..."
The robot hovered over them once more.
Athair placed hand on Super Emerald. "So much power... but I shall give you more than you need."
Knuckles pushed Chaos away. "Chaos, get out of here!"
"I won't leave you!" she cried.
"God, you're annoying!" he spat as the drill on the robot revved once more.
"The servers are the 7 chaos," Athair spoke, "Chaos is power, power that is enriched by the heart." He closed his eyes as the power of the Master Emerald swirled around him, "The user is the one that unifies the chaos..."
The robot aimed the drill at the two. As it began to strike, Knuckles could do no more than grab Chaos close and shield her with his own body.
"Please, protect my great-grandchildren! Let them live to fight another day!"
The Super Emerald, overwhelmed with the power of the Master Emerald, sparked, electrified, and overcharged, shooting enough power to destroy the core base.
All the other robots, powered by the Super Emerald, powered and broke down, including the one about to kill Knuckles and Chaos.
"What the..?" Knuckles looked around to see every robot in the vicinity fall over to death.
"What in the world just happened?!" cried Decoe.
"I don't know!" cried Bocoe, hoisting up a giant red emerald. "It's like our power source just up and failed us for no reason!"
"You don't think it has to do with introducing the new Super Emerald, do you?"
"I don't think so," said Bocoe, "We haven't even brought the two together."
"It must have been Knuckles, or Girl-Knuckles!"
"Well, lucky for us our troops found this second Super Emerald before they could! Wait until we have double the power source!"
The two jumped at the third voice. They slowly turned to see two echidnas standing over them, and immediately began shrieking. "Knuckles! Girl-Knuckles!"
"My name is CHAOS, numbbolts!" shouted 'Girl-Knuckles'.
"And seeing how she's okay now," said Knuckles, as he and his sister both slammed their fists into their palms, "You can tell me what you did with the first Super Emerald."
"Or else!" added Chaos.
"THE MECHANICAL SAFEHOUSE!" the two spat at the same time, "On the other side of the ruins! It's over there, powering the robots! Or was!"
"Thank you," growled Knuckles, "Now give us THAT Super Emerald."
"OR ELSE!" Chaos shouted.
The two robots wasted no time dumping their newly found Super Emerald onto Knuckles before turning tail and racing out of the ruins as fast as their programs allowed them.
Knuckles let out a low whistle seeing the destruction of the safehouse. "I know they're super, but hard to believe one emerald caused this much damage..."
"I hope Great-Grandfather's okay," said Chaos, "I haven't seen him anywhere."
"I'm sure he's fine," said Knuckles as he started rummaging through the remains, "I told him to stay by the cave."
"He's not the type to sit around when there's trouble though..."
"Don't worry, we'll look for him later." Knuckles blinked, having caught the glimmer of a yellow tint. "What do we have here?" He heaved a large piece of metal off against a cliff, and under it... "Found ya!"
The Yellow Super Emerald itself!
Chaos grinned and turned around, ready to head back home. That's when she found the horrific sight.
Knuckles turned to see Chaos racing toward what looked like the body of...
"Gramps! Great-Grandpa!" Chaos skidded on her knees up to Athair's body, and turned him around. There was no response, even after she shook him wildly. "Wake up! Come on, Gramps, you can't die here! Please! Wake up!"
No answer. Tears welled up in Chaos' eyes. "No... No!" she grabbed his tunic and buried her face into his body. "Noo...! You can't leave me! Please don't die! Great-Grandfather!" She continued to sobbed.
Knuckles watched. This all looked too familiar. He was only slightly younger when the last echidna elder on Angel Island passed away, leaving him all alone and no one to comfort him anymore...
He placed the emerald down on the ground and made his way towards the weeping Chaos, kneeling down and touching her shoulder in support. Without warning, she suddenly twisted around, and buried her face into his chest, weeping some more. It was a bit akward for him, as it had been far too long since anybody ever embraced him like this, but Knuckles managed to slowly wrap his arms around Chaos, comfortingly.
"It's not fair..." she sniffled.
"Great-Grandfather's dead... I'm all alone in the world now..."
"Dummy." Chaos glanced up at Knuckles' smiling face. "You've still got me, remember?"
"Really..?" Chaos sniffled, "But... I called you mean things like stupid, and you said I was annoying!"
Knuckles chuckled. "You're my little sister. How else are you suppose to act?"
Chaos teared up some more, but with a smile this time. Knuckles returned the gesture. And without warning, Chaos tackled Knuckles, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck.