Somewhere in an unreal world...
“Let’s give it your best shot!” The Egg Pawns are paralyzed. Their bodies were phased through by a blue blur, and then they explode.“Heh heh.” He would let out in a cocky attitude. “C’mon, step it up!”
In response to his boasting, Hunters, robotic grunts made by GUN, appeared out of nowhere and began chasing him. They were able to catch up with him with their newly added jet rockets to match his speed. Despite these upgrade however…“You’re too slow.” He made a breakthrough in the sound barrier with a Sonic Boost and the Hunters exploded, leaving behind trails of Chaos Drives. “Heh heh. Uh oh…”
The F-T6 Big Foot or simply Big Foot, another mech made by GUN and piloted by a human soldier, made its approach. It was the same machine the blue hedgehog had face in his escape from the city. It opened its shoulders to launch missiles against the target. The hedgehog jumped and dodged through the barrage. When he got close, Big Foot fired a Gatling. Sonic had to run past the bullets to perform a jump and aimed the cockpit with a homing attack, leaving the mech out of commission and the pilot injured.
“It’s that all you got?” Sonic cried out. His answer came with a big robot with a large hammer, dubbed by the Doctor as the Egg Hammer, appearing out of nowhere from the sky. The blue blur jump and did homing attacks to it, but it didn’t budge. He tried speed boosting towards it, but he ended up getting damaged and began losing all his rings.
“Oh no! I’m done for!” He would cry out while lying on the floor. And within matters of seconds, the hammer flattens him.
Egg Pawns performance against the hedgehog: Rank E
GUN Hunters performance against the hedgehog: Rank D
F-T6 Big Foot performance against the hedgehog: Rank D
Egg Hammer performance against the hedgehog: Rank A
Overall performance against the hedgehog: Rank C
Sonic simulation ended. End transmission.
“Don’t bother playing with that thing.” Eggman said to the activator of the simulation room within the Egg Carrier. “It always has that same result, failure.” He let out a clutched fist, “especially when it comes to actual performance with that annoying pest.” The player of that simulation was Mod, former GUN scientist and now-defector/newcomer to the Eggman Empire. He was testing out both of Eggman’s infantry and also that of GUN. If neither of them could outlast the rodent, he pulled out the heavy machines from each faction with one of Eggman’s succeeding ahead of the government military’s.
“But the Egg Hammer performed flawlessly,” the former GUN scientist remarked. “If this robot can finish off Sonic, he would’ve been gone long ago.” He had looked into the unit’s history knowing that the Egg Hammer had been built long before his arrival into the Egg Carrier.“Watch this,” the egg-sized scientist pressed a red button with the insignia of a particular echidna. The simulation reactivates with Sonic confronting the Egg Hammer again, but this time with an ally.
“I got this.” The red echidna pounded his knuckles and dashed towards the giant robot. The robot smashes his hammer on the ground to create an earthquake. This tipped off the balance in the surrounding, but this didn’t bother Knuckles at all. He was gliding in the air, pulled his arm, punch straight through the robot’s head, and decapitating it. The robot got an E rank in its performance against Sonic and Knuckles.
“Like I said; failures,” the fat, mad scientist retorted.
“Indeed,” the middle-aged scientist in white remarked while pushing back his glasses with his middle finger. “It has been on both our parts,” recalling on how GUN made attempts against the hedgehog and his associates when they were once framed. “And we spent millions of tax dollars just to apprehend him and his friends.”
“You and your GUN create mediocre mechs.” Eggman said insinuating an insult to the new accomplice.
“Hmph, like you could do any better.” Mod scorned with arms folded. “At least we managed to have him cornered and taken into custody. Something you couldn’t at least have accomplished.”
“And it cost millions just to catch one hedgehog? Bah, I can do the same thing, but,” Eggman lifted a finger, “without having to put all that extra cost.” He had the other hand behind his back with the intent of showing the GUN defector how he makes his own machines.
“Oh, and that will be?”
“Behold.” The egg-sized scientist let out his other hand to show files, blueprints, and schematics of an unused model for the Eggman Empire, the Egg Gunner.
“They look just like our Hunters,” the man in white said browsing through the designs. “Have you been mimicking us?”
“If you want learn from your mistakes and correct them, you first had to learn from your enemies.” Eggman replied. “And yes, I have been creating designs based on your flawed creations.” He began downloading the schematics in the simulation. Mod looked further on its capabilities.
“I do see that they have the capacity of being given additional weaponry such as plasma, laser fire, and/or heavy missile support. Our Hunters are equipped with semi-auto arms and the additional armament is limited only to a riot shield; this one can have automatic fire and missile launchers simultaneously on each arm.”“Yes, and while your ‘Hunters’ have rocket jets to catch up with Sonic, they have to remain stationary to take aim. My Gunners on the other hand,” Eggman compared, “have been given a more pragmatic approach; they can fire when in flight.”
“That would suffice, if we’re to encounter a primitive culture that is,” Mod said with the schematics downloaded and settings readjusted in the simulation. It created a scenario where the Egg Gunners are faced up against cavemen equipped with rocks and clubs. The virtual cavemen couldn’t reach their targets with their clubs when the robots take flight. Even if they were to throw their rocks and clubs as projectiles, their effort will remain fruitless as the robots were equipped with rocket jets designed to catch up to Sonic. Gunners then circled the cavemen and slaughtered them, giving itself a performance of Rank A from the simulation machine.
“Even in contemporary times,” Eggman pointed out and rearranging the setting from primitive to modern, “these machines can achieve just as much.” In it, the Gunners fought against GUN soldiers. With their fast mobility, the soldiers have a hard time taking aim against their adversaries. As the machines dodged bullets, the Gunners moved in closer for the kill. “Even when they’re covered, these GUN are no match for my robots.” One scenario showed the Gunners flying past soldiers covered in trenches and fired from behind. Another had soldiers taking cover in a bunker. All the Gunners had to do was fire their missiles semi-automatically to bring the building down and lure out its denizens for the slaughter.“An excellent weapon of war,” complimented Mod.
“Yes, they will serve as infantry to the Eggman Empire and retire the Egg Pawns, who are better suited in doing labor and guard duty.”
“Receiving transmission.” A signal from a nearby intercom alerted, “from units: Cubot & Orbot.”
“Patch them through.” Eggman ordered. "Report."
“Houston! We have a problem!” Cubot shouted.
“Oh pipe down, will you!” Orbot pushed Cubot aside to send the message himself. “We seem to have had a little trouble here at the castle here, boss. We tried to reconstruct it into a fortress of your desire, but some of the workers went missing.”“Missing?!” Eggman cried out in surprise and frustration of his incompetent automatons.
“Well, the Egg Pawns did gather their building materials, but while fixing the interiors they disappeared.”
“Something attacked us?”
“Well, no. The missing Egg Pawns happened to be alright. We’ve been tracing their signals and it shows that they’ve been dislocated to different areas of the castle. This place could be filled with traps, and at the same time the place is falling apart with Egg Pawns in greater need of repairs.”“Grr. Why must I do things myself?” Eggman grumbled to himself. “Assistance is on their way,” he said out loud to the intercom. He then ordered Mod, “Go take care of the castle.”
“This is…somewhat beneath me.” But the GUN deserter complied. "A little field research shouldn't be much of a problem, with the whole place filled with traps and falling debris," sarcastically speaking.
“Just one thing,” Eggman said before the turncoat scientist could step outside the automatic door to leave the Egg Carrier for the ancient castle. He’s been meaning to ask ever since he saw what his assistant looks like. “What is Mephiles. Why does he look like-?”“Shadow,” continued the former GUN scientist. “Mephiles is a weapon bio-engineered by GUN, designed to eliminate both hedgehogs, Sonic and Shadow.”
“Hmm?!” Eggman was confounded and flabbergasted. Sonic has saved the day countless times enough to be Earth’s hero and Shadow is a government agent, why would GUN want them both eliminated?
“Back when he was framed, Sonic was shown to be capable of dismantling the military all by himself, just as Shadow did when he was unleashed.” Mod reminded events of Sonic’s arrest, the incidents that had happened in Prison Island thereafter, and concluding with the Space Colony Ark. “Even though Sonic was the hero of the day, the leaders of the United Federation feared his potential of becoming a threat again. With Shadow supposedly gone, the Commander was relieved and went on to propose the President in signing the bill to allow GUN to create countermeasures against the hedgehog should he go rogue. This gives us an opportunity to develop new a weapon at good pace, and it was enlightening.” He pushes back his horn-rimmed glasses, “looking through research notes used to create Project Shadow and have it recreated under another name, Project Mephiles.”“Mephiles, what kind of name is that.” Eggman was having that same déjà vu feeling whenever he hears that name when he first saw Mephiles bearing resemblance to Shadow.
“I didn’t come up with the name,” the defector said with a shrug. “One of the developers went to Soleanna for vacation and study their culture in his spare time. There they have this mythology of a sun god being called Solaris whom they worship and celebrate in their festivals. According to their tradition, the sun god was comprised of two entities, Iblis and Mephiles; Iblis was the raw power and Mephiles was its cunning mind. After his vacation, he thought the name Mephiles was fitting due to the nature of the Project and in contrast to Shadow’s raw power.”“The government plotting against Sonic in fear.” Eggman understanding this conspiracy on GUN’s part. “And you were using the schematics for Project Shadow to create Mephiles?”
“If it was one the thing that can match the hedgehog, it would be something Gerald Robotnik had created. But while we have the composition and the designs laid out-”
“You were missing the fundamental component that made Project Shadow possible,” Eggman knows where this is going. “You needed the blood of the Black Arms...”
“That’s where they come in with their attack on Westopolis. During their invasion, we recovered from their corpses blood samples and found them compatible with Project Mephiles just as it did with Shadow. At the same time however, the Central Information Agency confirmed reports of Shadow alive and in action within the city. The Commander suddenly out of rage,” and much to the weapons researcher’s surprise, “demanded that the weapon be developed right away and have it programmed to designate Shadow as the primary target with Sonic as secondary whenever ordered. Our production with Project Mephiles was rushed, so we haven’t had the time to run tests or research the blood samples on the abnormal differences from the original used in Project Shadow.”
“But Mephiles came through,” seeing as how he came to be.
“Indeed he did, though we were expecting to have another copy of Shadow with the same color scheme and then paint him to distinct him from the original. Turns out we didn’t need to thanks to impetuous results,” confirming the differences between Mephiles and Shadow from the color of the eyes and spikes and lacking a mouth. “Therefore, it is more fitting to give him a title similar to the Ultimate Lifeform: Mephiles, the Incomplete Lifeform, the Imperfect One, or rather, Mephiles the Imperfect.”“Yes, and by the time Mephiles was created,” Eggman guess, “Shadow had already saved the day and killed Black Doom and the rest of the black aliens.”
“And the Commander recruited him as a GUN agent,” the defecting scientist said in disbelief. “Leaving our work wasted and almost in shambles.”
“Originally, the Commander wanted to terminate Project Mephiles and delete any info regarding it to avoid any inconsistent embarrassment. I didn’t want our work go to waste, so I told him of the possibilities of Mephiles being more of an asset than a liability. Despite his appearances and a rushed production, he has shown to be just as capable as the Ultimate Lifeform. The Commander agreed to have him as my research assistant instead, but in return no one, especially Shadow, is to know of Mephiles or see him.”“What about his programming,” Eggman asked. “The one targeting Shadow as primary and Sonic whenever ordered?"
“The Commander wanted it deleted. I complied by making it look like he won’t attack an image of Shadow or enraged by any mention of him.”
“He is a weapon, and I rather have him built as a one than to have Mephiles be a mere lab rat. His purpose is to eliminate both hedgehogs and I’m willing to see it through. Of course,” Mod added with heavy cynicism, “the Commander had doubts of my claim, so he had agents watching our every move to make sure we keep it under control and our mouths shut; lest our lives be compromised.”“Seems like a good time to quit if you ask me,” Eggman said empathically. “Then utilize your talents to your own purpose and do whatever you want regardless of what society think. Society can think what’s best for itself, but we scientists know what’s best for it.”
“Admittedly,” Mod agreed, “that was the approach I was looking for, but there are three problems. One is that the government is the one providing funds and resources for my projects and I can’t exploit them on my own even with my own savings. Two, if I do announce that I’m quitting, and I said this before, they’ll terminate my contract. In other words, they’ll end my life. Three, if I do survived their termination; they’ll blacklist and hunt me down and thus preventing me from doing any work done while I'm on the run.”
“But didn’t you say you wanted to your work done easily under me more so than come here for protection.” Eggman remembered his wordings upon realignment.”
“I did. You got me; guilty as charged,” the GUN traitor played around. “Though honestly, it’s frustrating to be watched over all the time. This in turn hinders my performance when doing my research on further weapons development and from making my project done its purpose. My work cannot be done and the agents threaten me with death should they be suspicious or whenever I go against their ‘orders.’ So when we were sent to capture your robots, I have to come up with a ruse that a whole team of agents is needed for the potential of the robots being armed and dangerous. They fell for that, and I shot them in space and align myself to you.”
“But what about Mephiles?” Eggman asked. “What does he gain from this?”
“The elimination of hedgehogs Sonic and Shadow, of course. That was his original programming,” Mod reminded. “It’s very unlikely he’ll be able to do that while we’re under GUN even in top secrecy.”
“But what does HE gain from this?” The ruler of the Eggman Empire repeated.
“For him? Hmm, from what Mephiles said about himself upon learning his creation and purpose,” the researcher interpreted,” as long as either Shadow or Sonic is alive, he is a nobody. He probably didn’t like the idea of being an Incomplete Lifeform, so he's Mephiles the Nobody in his mind. But if either one of the hedgehogs is eliminated, he’ll be able to take their place and form an identity from there.
“Green with envy it seems.” Eggman commented.
“Mephiles the Green is more like it," Mod Joked. "After all, he does have green eyes.”
A signal alarmed nearby showing a video camera of one of their scouting parties returning with more animals.
“My time is up. Guess that means I’ll be doing field research on the castle. And while I’m up there, you got more animals to deal with.” Mod said from seeing Mephiles, Gamma, and Egg Pawns with a lion-like beast and six colorful horses through the camera.
“Yes, hopefully they’ll be less troublesome than that rabbit the robots have caught along with bags full of small animals,” Eggman said.
“I do hope our talks have been worthwhile.” Mod let out as a finish to the conversation.
“It has; something worth thinking over.” By the time Mod steps out the automatic door, their conversation has Eggman thinking. “Mephiles is almost like Metal in every way, but in this parallel,” he compared, “his competition is with Shadow. Perhaps their recruitment can be useful after all once I’m done with world...Still, I don't trust them.” Eggman then readies his schemes on what do to with the scouting party’s arrival.
Meanwhile as Mod steps out of the door, he passes by the vacant room he recently turned into his research facility. From there, an echo came, heard only to Mod.
“We have intruders in your plane of work?” Mod asks the demonic sound.
“Well you managed to scare her off. If she didn’t see your face, it won’t be much of an interference.”
“Another one came?”
“If that’s the case, they will be dealt with...with permanent consequences.” He then moved on to his next objective. He was about to take a vehicle that can transport between inside and outside of the Egg Carrier, but then he remembers seeing a platform with similar purposes. “The robots," referring to Cubot and Orbot, "did say this also lead to the outside, so why does he need this cable car if there’s an elevator for that?” He steps on platform, then his feet became stuck onto it. “What the-” he struggles to get off but to of no avail. The platform began floating upwards.
“For your safety,” a recording of Eggman responded. “You are now bolted to this elevator. That way you’ll be less concerned of broken bones and more so on nausea and vomiting. Please use the cable car instead, since this platform is designed for robots.”
“Damn you-Egg-m-a-a-a!” Mod begins to scream as the elevator spins him around and around, sending him up to outside the Egg Carrier.
“If you went to the elevator without warning,” the PA continued, “do know that this probably your fault for setting foot on it. If you’re Sonic and his disgusting friends, then it is your fault for coming to the Egg Carrier in the first place. If you’re neither a robot or a hedgehog, THEN YOU’RE A COMPLETE IDIOT!”