Episode One: Our Story Begins
Sally ducked under the laser fire and rolled behind some nearby rubble. "Sonic, over here!" she shouted as she pulled out her portable computer NICOLE from her boot. "Nicole, any ideas on how to get past these Dark Egg Legionnaires? We're coming under heavy fire and I can't find Sonic anywhere." Just as the final words came out of her mouth a blue blur appeared beside her and cocked his head.
"Whaddya mean you can't find me? I've been around here the whole time!" Sonic replied as he ducked down beside Sally and began stretching his legs.
"Sonic, this is no time for games," Sally said tiredly. "We have to get past these Legionnaires or we'll never be able to get inside Eggman's base and see what he's up to." She pulled Sonic back down behind the rubble as he tried to stand up and get a look at the hooded echidnas firing at them. "Not now Sonic. Anything yet Nicole?"
A small face popped up on the computer screen, the face of a lynx. "I may have something Sally, but we will need everyone's help."
Sally peered out at her Freedom Fighter group, still in the thick of the fight. "Antoine! Bunnie! Tails! Amy! Fall back and regroup!" Antoine ducked under an echidna swinging at him and clonked the legionnaire on his head with the flat of the sword.
"Let us go mah Cherie!" Antoine called over to Bunnie as he set off at a trot, keeping an eye on his friends in the battle. He quickly lunged at an echidna getting close to Tails as Bunnie returned fire from her arm cannon. No echidna dared go near Amy however, as she hovered threateningly near her friends while brandishing her oversized mallet. It wasn't long before they were all gathered behind the rubble with Sally and Sonic.
"Okay guys, here's the plan," Sally began as she pointed towards Nicole. "Nicole says there's a tunnel underneath here that connects to a ventilation shaft used in the old complex. With it we will be able to enter right under Eggman's nose in the middle of his base, we hope."
"That sounds perfect," Bunnie said as she brushed some dirt off of her hat. "But where do we enter this heah tunnel?"
"That's the... tricky part. You see, all those guys are standing right over it," Sally replied as she pointed toward the DEL, still blasting away at the rubble with their lasers. "Almost right in the middle of that group is a small depression in the ground. If one of us, say Bunnie, were to fire a large blast of energy at it, the tunnel would collapse and we would fall right into it."
"I could probably hit it with my hammer," Amy said happily as she swung her mallet wildly, almost knocking Tails out of the sky.
"Hey, watch it Amy!" Tails exclaimed as he crawled away from her and closer to Sonic. Tails may have been one of the smartest people in the group, but he still looked to Sonic as a protector of sorts. Even from Amy.
"Sorry Tails," Amy replied sheepishly as she put away her hammer and smiled at Sonic.
"Amy, we'll need you and Antoine to clear a path for us towards the middle," Sally broke in as she put Nicole away.
"What about me?!" Sonic asked almost desperately. "You aren't cutting me out of the action now are ya Sal?"
"Of course not Sonic," she sighed as she shook her head. "You and Tails get the ever-important job of being bait to draw the Legion's fire."
"Alright!" Sonic shouted as he jumped up and high-fived Tails. "Let's go do it to it team!" he said as he sped off with Tails following close behind him in the air, leaving behind a collective groaning.
"I can't believe he thinks saying that is cool..." Sally muttered under her breath. "Let's go then guys!"
Nicole's plan was quickly put into action as every echidna began focusing on Sonic and Tails, probably because of the various faces the two kept making at them and the insults they hurled. "Nice hoodie egg pawns, still think the urban look is cool?" Sonic hooted as Tails pointed and laugh. The echidnas continued firing at them, never speaking a word. Antoine and Amy easily knocked the legionnaires away with each swing of their weapon, clearing a path for Bunnie as she flew just overhead, charging her arm cannon. Sally followed just behind, keeping everyone focused on their mission as she kicked a few echidnas away that got too close.
"Almost there guys, just a few steps ahead!" She shouted over the din. Looking around she noticed briefly that none of the echidnas seemed to be putting up much of a fight. Even the ones firing at Sonic and Tails seemed to be aiming at points around the two. Sally quickly shook her head and went back to focusing on the mission.
"Are we proceeding as planned Snively?" A loud, grating voice spoke from the shadows. Snively, a short, balding man with only six hairs to his head nodded and cleared his throat.
"Yes Uncle, of course. Though I hardly see how this is, well..." Snively drifted off, knowing that criticizing his uncle's plan could be dangerous.
Doctor Eggman stood to his full, imposing height and strode over to the console Snively was hovering over. "I know what you're thinking Snively, you're wondering why I could possibly want Sonic to enter my domain, aren't you?" Snively cowered and nodded his head almost imperceptibly. "Hahaha, it's perfectly alright to wonder what sort of ingenious plan I have come up with this time. Now come, let's go to the main room. We must greet Sonic when he... arrives." Eggmna laughed heartily as he walked off with a spring in his step that was far too unlikely for someone his size. Snively followed muttering various curses and complaints, most hurled against his uncle's 'fool' plan.
Bunnie aimed for the depression as Amy and Antoine held back the echidnas. Most took one look at Amy's glare and ducked behind the nearest legionnaire. Antoine had a harder time, but he managed to hold them off with the promise of a slice from his sword. Sally glanced around to make sure all was clear, then motioned for Bunnie to fire from her vantage point in the air. A loud explosion filled the air as the concussion knocked Sally, Amy and Antoine off their feet and sent the Dark Egg Legion running in panic. Sonic raced to the main group with Tails close behind. "Everyone okay?" He asked with a hint of concern. "Whoa, cool hole Bunnie!" he said just as quickly.
"Ah hope ah didn't hurt no one," Bunnie said as she came down to the ground. Antoine coughed as he stood up and put an arm around Bunnie.
"I am doing fine dear, but are you alright?" He asked with concern.
"Oh course ah'm fine," Bunnie replied defensively. She immediately softened and planted a light kiss on Antoine's cheek, making him blush. Meanwhile, Sonic helped Amy back to her feet just before she threw her arms around him.
"Hey, Amy! Cut that... cut that out," he laughed half-heartedly as he returned the hug then left her grasp to check on Sally. Amy fumed silently as he helped Sally to her feet and made sure she was alright.
"Well guys, can we go in?" Tails asked as he hovered over the opening. Sonic answered his question by jumping in, with the rest of the group following. "I... guess that's a yes!" As Tails ducked inside the tunnel, he noticed that it didn't seem to be naturally made. The walls were too clean, the ceiling too stable. The floor was virtually free of debris as the group easily made their way into the ventilation shafts and pressed on.
"Man, who would have thought getting into Eggman's base would be this easy?" Sonic asked as he stretched his hands, cracking his knuckles in the process.
"Something's wrong..." Sally said in reply as she looked around her. "Nicole," she asked as she opened her computer, "are you picking anything up on your scanners?"
"No," the lynx replied. "Everything seems quiet. Perhaps it's too quiet?"
"Perhaps," Sally said under her breath as she put Nicole away. "Everyone stay on their toes. I don't like the looks of this..."
"Prepare the machine Snively," Eggman said coolly as he sat at the system controls. Snively quickly began flipping switches and turning knobs as the hum of the device began.
"S-sir... not that I'm questioning your judgement, but is this safe? You know, for... for us?" Snively asked as he dared not look up from the console.
"Bah, of course it is," Eggman said quickly as he dismissed Snively's concerns with a wave of his hand. Just then, an echidna female entered the room and cleared her throat. "Ah, Lien-Da! It's about time you showed up."
"Oh of course, sorry for not having my soldiers almost die in the heat of battle sooner," Lien-Da sneered as she bowed mockingly.
"It's quite alright! Your soldiers did the best they could out there leading Sonic into my trap," Eggman replied as he sneered right back and went back to his control panel. Lien-Da rolled her eyes as she took her place next to Snively.
"Well Snively, your uncle may be absolutely insane, but this plan... I'm wondering if it will actually work," Lien-Da whispered as she made a show of fiddling with various knobs and buttons.
Snively snorted. "I doubt it. Sonic's far too smart for that fat old egg. He may not look it, but that hedgehog's brain works at ten times the speed that ours do. Honestly, I'm more concerned about our own safety. This machine could easily kill us all if we don't watch these readings," Snively said quietly as he tapped the screen.
"And how are those readings Snively?" Eggman asked, making Snively and Lien-Da jump.
"Oh! Ah... yes. Just... just fine uncle. Sir," Snively gulped as he worked even more hurriedly.
Eggman laughed and tugged on his mustache. "Perfect. Now come on Sonic. I've made a path for you. SO COME AND GET ME!" He shouted as he slammed a fist down on a panel, shattering a dial that went unnoticed...
Sonic spun against the grate covering the shaft's exit, knocking it loose. Without looking, he jumped into the corridor and stretched his back. "Aw man, that was cramped. Everyone okay back there?" He received some muffled grunts and groans as the rest of the Freedom Fighters tumbled out.
"Give us a little warning next time, won't you Sonic?" Sally mumbled as she brushed the dust from her fur and straightened her hair. "Alright gang, we should be very close right now. Everybody be careful."
"What ah don't get is that we know this is a trap, but we ain't worried or nothin'?" Bunnie asked curiously as she steadied Antoine on his feet.
"Well, we've known for awhile Eggman was planning something, we just didn't know what," Sally said quietly, "and to be honest we still don't really know. But everyone remembers that Eggman sent several attack robots to New Mobotropolis yesterday. Thankfully his attack failed." Everyone nodded in reply as they continued on, being sure to stay in the shadows. "But one of his robots did leave behind something suspicious which Nicole analyzed as part of some sort of new weapon Eggman was building."
"Which led us straight back here to Eggbutt!" Sonic shouted as everyone shushed him.
"But... if thees is ze trap, then why is no one worried?" Antoine whispered.
"We are worried Antoine, that's why we're being cautious," Amy whispered back. Suddenly a red light flashed around the group as a siren began. "Everyone duck!" Amy shouted as she jumped toward the source of the sound and swung her hammer, knocking the speaker and light off of the ceiling. The sound stopped around them, though they could still hear it elsewhere in the corridor.
"Now what guys?" Tails asked timidly. He leaned against the wall next to them, causing it to mysteriously slide open. "Uh... I think I found Eggman guys..." he said as he peered inside the room beyond the wall panel.
Sonic instantly rushed in before stopping dead in his tracks. The rest of the group gathered around him in attack formation, but not before gazing in awe at what was before them. The walls of the room were lined with various computer monitors and machinery. But the only thing in the middle of the room was a large circular ring that stretched from the floor all the way to the ceiling. In front of the ring stood the mastermind behind it all, Dr. Eggman.
"Welcome Freedom Fighters, it took all of you long enough!" He laughed as he clapped his hands almost gleefully. "What do you think Sonic? Impressed by how easily I led you all here? Unless you really think your pathetic team was capable of routing my Egg Legion so easily and finding that 'abandoned' tunnel?"
Sonic grinned as he punched his hand with his fist. "Heh, whatev Eggman. It doesn't matter if you wanted us to be here or not, it's still not going to stop us from kicking your sorry butt!"
Eggman looked at Sonic in mock horror as he shook his head. "Oh dearie me, what shall I do? I know, how about before we get started I at least give you the courtesy of telling you what I plan to do! I'm in such a pleasant mood today after all."
"No way Eggman!" Sonic shouted. He quickly revved up for an attack, before Sally put her hand out in front of him and coughed. "Sal, what the heck are you doing? He's trying to trick us!"
"I don't know Sonic. I think maybe we should listen to what he's saying," Sally said quietly as she glared at Eggman. "Now, what are you up to?"
Eggman laughed as he gestured around the room grandly. "What you see here before you is a transport device. This large ring is a gateway to other worlds and... Well, let's just see what happens when I flip this switch," Eggman said as he did just that. Immediately a bright light appeared in the center of the ring and spread out to cover the entire ring. The light swirled with every color of the rainbow as it stretched out along the ring. "Now, what do you think of that Sonic?"
"Heh, nice light show." Sonic grinned as he clapped. "What next? Some cheap lasers?"
"Oh no, I wouldn't think of such a thing! I've got something far worse... SNIVELY!" Eggman glanced over at his cowering nephew and nodded ever so slightly. Snively's hands shook as he pressed a button on the console in front of him before running out of the room with Lien-Da close behind. "Tsk, cowards..."
A loud humming noise filled the room as the colors began swirling faster and faster. Bunnie shouted over the din, "Sal! Ah think we bettah shut down that machine 'fore it does whatever it's supposed to do!"
"You're right! Amy, Bunnie! Front and center! Antoine you–" She was cut off as Eggman began laughing gleefully.
"There's nothing you abhorrent Freedom Fighters can do now! This machine will transport each and every one of you to another universe, another dimension! And I have no intentions of going along with you! For now that is, not until I conquer this world!" He glared at Sonic as he smiled a cruel smile. "I was once the ruler of the world, but you... you've always stopped me. It doesn't matter where I go, you stop me. But now, I'm removing you from the equation. So Sonic... how do you like them apples? HMM?" He was about to laugh again at Sonic's frustration when an electrical spark from his console caught his eye. His glee turned into horror as he realized the danger he was in.
Sonic masked his rage with a smile as he spoke, "I don't care what you THINK you can do Eggman, but I do know that you can never get rid of me! I'll always be here, kickin' your butt!"
"No, not now! I have to get out of here!" Eggman screamed as he flailed his arms wildly and ran straight towards the Freedom Fighters. Antoine immediately pulled out his sword and jabbed it towards Eggman's nose, causing him to halt.
"Fairst, you will tell us how to stop zees thing," Antoine whispered harshly as the machine continued to shine brightly, the hum growing ever louder. Eggman hung his head.
"I'm afraid... all of us are doomed..." He whispered back as the rainbow-colored light filled the entire room, blinding everyone as electricity crackled everywhere, causing explosions throughout the base. Then, just as suddenly as the light appeared, it vanished.
All was quiet in the room, except for the occasional spark of electricity from a shattered console. The dust began settling in the rubble-covered room as a noise came from the corner. It was again quiet, until a hammer exploded out of the rubble with a pink arm attached to it.
"ARGH!" Amy shouted as she jumped up and looked around. "Sonic! Sally! Anyone?" Hearing a sound, she quickly turned around and saw a flash of yellow. Running over, she began grabbing at the rubble as Tails pushed through, coughing.
"A-amy, where... what happened?" Tails asked as he got to his feet shakily. He looked around at the room. "Where's Sonic? And Eggman? Everyone?"
"I don't know Tails," Amy replied softly.
"Where's that machine of Eggman's?" Tails asked as he started panicking. "Where's Sally and Bunnie and Antoine? Where—"
"TAILS!" Amy shouted. Tails' ears fell back as he began wringing one of his tails. "I'm sorry... I didn't mean to yell," Amy said quietly as she put an arm around him. "But I don't know where anyone is."
"I think I might," a soft feminine voice called out. Amy and Tails perked up.
"Nicole? Is that you?" Amy called out as she moved towards the sound.
"Yes! I'm over here Amy!" She called back. Amy and Tails quickly found her and wiped the dust from her computer screen. "It seems Eggman's machine did exactly what he said it would, transport people to another dimension." Amy and Tails' eyes widened in shock. "Right before they disappeared I was able to take a reading of the room. It seems Eggman's Stabilizer Module was crushed, somehow. When he fired up the machine, there was nothing holding back its power. So when it fired it randomly chose people to teleport."
"And... where are they now?" Tails asked. He was answered by silence from Nicole. "Nicole? Where are they? Can they get back?"
"I... I don't know Tails. I can't find their biological signatures anywhere on this planet. They're... they're gone." Heavy silence filled the room as the situation sunk in. "As to where they are... it's wherever Eggman sent them..."
Sonic bolted up off of the ground and immediately noticed something was wrong. He felt... shorter than usual. And thicker. He rubbed his head before noticing that he had no fingers on his hand; or a hand on his arm. Or an arm. He screamed before trying to run off, tripping over his feet. He began gasping for breath on the ground until he heard a familiar voice call out. "Sonic? Where are you?"
His ears immediately perked up. "Sal? Is that you?" He turned around and screamed again. "GYAH PONY WHAT WHY!?!" The brown pony looked around confusedly.
"What pony?" She looked down at herself and screamed, causing Sonic to scream again. "I'M A PONY! WHAT THE-"
"Wait, Sal?" Sonic asked as he stretched a leg out towards her. It was then that he finally noticed himself. And screamed again. Sally reached over and slapped him. "Thanks Sally, but, um... why are we... ponies?"
"I... I don't know," Sally replied as she stood on all four legs and walked around in circles, trying to get a good look at herself.
"Well ah certainly want to know," said another familiar voice. Sonic and Sally looked around to spot Bunnie helping Antoine to his feet; both of them ponies as well. "What the hoo-ha happened here?"
"NOOOOOO!" A loud voice shouted. This time everyone turned to see... Eggman. Except he was now a pony as well, and by the look on his face he was clearly not enjoying it. "I... I'm a... pooony! HOW? Why? Maybe... AUGH! This is all YOUR fault Sonic!"
Sonic stood to his full, shorter height. "Yeah? And just how did I cause this? Eggpony?" Everyone snickered as Eggpony's mustache sagged.
"WHY YOU LITTLE—"
"Hey, I've never seen any of you around before!" A voice called out that was not at all familiar. Again everyone turned, to see a bright pink pony standing right in the middle of them. Her mane was fluffy and pink, and sort of looked like cotton candy to Sonic. "Are you guys visiting Ponyville?" she asked brightly.
Silence overtook the group as they stood there and tried to process what was going on. "Uh, maybe?" Sonic answered.
The pink pony gasped as she jumped in the air. "YAY!" She instantly dashed off quicker than anyone could blink, leaving everyone in stunned silence.
"So," Sally began as she put on a brave smile. "Shall we go visit Ponyville?"