Lovely to see you again, Boomers, always a pleasure!
Loads of exciting stories this issue, eh? And with a cast of characters like ours, there’s something for everyone. We’ve got heroic hedgehogs, wily weasels and even a beautiful bat (if you’re into that sort of thing, and I’m not judging- my girlfriend’s a telly monitor after all!).
Speaking of Rouge, she’s not the only sneaky thief STC has featured in its pages! Today’s flashback is all about a gang of crooks who pushed Knuckles to his limit!
Script: Nigel Kitching
Art: Nigel Dobbyn
Lettering: Tom Frame
Flashback Zone Report Filed by: L.T. Fletcher
Though it was a fine day on Planet Mobius’ surface, things were about to get very interesting on the Floating Island! D.R.A.T. (that’s the Doctor Robotnik Appreciation Tribe, for all you uninitiated Boomers!) were planning a raid on the Island to steal the Chaos Emeralds as a gift for Doctor Robotnik. Naturally, the island’s Guardian Robots put a stop to their scheme, but the group’s four newest members had betrayed their comrades and scarpered in the conflict!
Knuckles caught up with the would-be thieves and learned they were going by alphabetical codenames Ms Alpha was joined by Messrs Beta, Gamma and Delta and each of them evidently had a very specific role in the gang- as Knuckles found out when Mr Beta was all-too-willing to meet him head-on in a fist fight! When that didn’t work out too well for the gruesome gorilla, Mr Delta employed the use of a specialised beam that temporarily blinded our heroic echidna!
Ms Alpha explained that the effects would only last a few seconds- but that was ample time for them to hurl Knuckles off the island! She continued to explain that Knuckles would have plenty of time to safely glide to the planet’s surface- but they’d be long gone by the time he returned!
Fortunately enough, Knuckles managed to grab onto the island’s underside and- after a few close calls- was able to make his way back via the island’s ancient tunnels- something the thieves would have no clue about!
Meanwhile, Porker Lewis was being his usual, nervous self! He’d been monitoring the thieves activities remotely and, not realising Knuckles was safe, he didn’t much like the idea of being alone with the thieves on the island! Porker realised, of course, that wasn’t alone at all as long as he had the Guardian Robots at his command! The Robots were quick to make their presence known, surprising the thieves!
For his money, Knuckles was far from pleased! He was seething at the fact the thieves had turned up to swipe the Chaos Emeralds, just as he’d managed to get the island how he liked it (which, if memory serves, means lots of grapevines and not very many hedgehogs). Knuckles vowed to make the thieves sorry they’d ever heard of the Chaos Emeralds!
Porker’s plan was starting to come unravelled too- Mr Gamma had used another gadget, a chameleon circuit, to render the crooks completely invisible and inaudible to the Guardian Robots! Things weren’t looking too good… and they were about to get worse!
Managing to cut the bad guys off, Knuckles was quickly able to deal with Mr Beta, who no longer had the element of surprise on his side. However, Mr Gamma fitted Knuckles with a shock collar- a collar that Ms Alpha held the remote activation device for! She warned Knuckles to stay out of their way and let them finish what they came to do!
Knuckles warned the villains they were out of their mind to want the Chaos Emeralds… and to his surprise, Ms Alpha agreed! As it turns out, they couldn’t have cared less about the Emeralds all along! They were much more interested in looting the island’s vast riches! Knuckles could hardly believe his ears (speaking of which, where are his ears anyway?): they were nothing more than common criminals- though Ms Alpha was quick to point out they were hardly common!
Knuckles was livid! He’d have probably been able to handle the situation if only the thieves weren’t so… well, smug! Knocking the shock collar device out of Ms Alpha’s hand with a well-placed rock, Knuckles swiftly dealt with her allies. However, Knuckles hadn’t destroyed the collar’s remote and Ms Alpha scrambled for it…
But she was stopped by a Guardian Robot! The alphabuttheads couldn’t believe it- the robots shouldn’t have been able to detect them! Realising there was absolutely no way they could ever hope to defeat the robots now, the group surrendered and Knuckles had the Guardian Robots round them up with the D.R.A.T. members.
Knuckles was starting to get concerned for Porker’s well-being as he wasn’t in the Emerald Chamber when he returned. However, Porker revealed he’d been piloting one of the Guardian Robots manually! The other robots simply followed Porker- they really had been unable to see the criminals all along! If the thieves had just stuck to their plan, they’d have probably gotten away with it! As it was, though, Porker and Knuckles were happy to have their island back to normal and everything was just fine again.
Well, except Knuckles couldn’t get the shock collar off!
All’s well that ends well, I guess! Those jerks really put Knuckles through the ringer but, as it turned out, Porker was Knuckles’ greatest secret weapon!
I think that about wraps things up here, dear readers. Ooh, hey, actually, speaking of wrapping things up, I’d better get my Christmas presents wrapped up- it’s pretty blooming hard when you don’t have any hands, I can tell you! Mighty wasn’t at all fooled when I gave him that teapot last year!
Anyway, Boomers, have a cool yule and a happy hedgehog-manay (sorry, Megadroid, I've wanted to say that for years!) and I'll see you in the new year!
See you next space-time!