|Knuckles the Echidna #20|
"The Forbidden Zone" Part Two of Three: "Once Upon a Time in Mobotropolis"
In a flashback of the past at their home, Locke notices that Lara-Le is packing up her things. Locke tries to get Lara-Le to discuss it, but she refuses that he never listens. They bring the conversation to Knuckles and Lara-Le demands that he will be coming with her. Locke tells her that he can't force her to stay, but Knuckles has to stay with him to become the Guardian. In the present, Lara-Le and Locke are talking to each other about meeting again, which leads them to kissing once again.
At the Royal Compound, Geoffrey demands to know who Elias is. He tells them his name and asks Mrs. Sommersby if she is alright. Geoffrey is curious about him being the spitting image of King Acorn. Elias is shocked that his father is alive. Geoffrey tells him that the king never said anything about his son and only wanted to know about the queen. He adds that it would take a lot of convincing for him to believe Elias. Colonel Sommersby steps in and states that he can be certain that he is the true heir of the House of Acorn. Geoffrey still wonders why his father would forget about him, but Elias invites them to stay the night and will lead them to Haven to find their answers.
Day Two, the Echidna Security Team craft is taking Remington, Wynmacher, Knuckles and Julie-Su to the distress signal from Lara-Le's craft. Remington tells them that they will stay there while he secures the area, but Knuckles objects that Remington and his troops will stay onboard and he will go and find Lara-Le. Remington and Julie-Su try and fail to convince Knuckles otherwise as they land. He explores the craft to find it abandoned. Meanwhile, Locke is escorting Lara-Le back to Haven in his craft with Lara-Le discussing about how he left. The flashback is continued with Locke saying that Knuckles will be taken back to the Floating Island to begin his training. Lara-Le refuses stating that Knuckles likes it there and the Floating Island is a wasteland. Locke begins packing his things in a bag while stating that he needs to immerse Knuckles into his new duties, because he has been called to Haven. Lara-Le is confused about Haven and wonders why he never told her. The flashback ends as they arrive on the edge of the Forbidden Zone, but is unable to receive a guiding beacon.
At the Royal Compound, Elias prepares his homing rod in his room when Geoffrey appears through the doorway. He tells him about the rod given to Queen Alicia to link her with the king. He asks where he got it and Elias answers that an echidna called Sabre gave it to him when they head back with the others. They enjoy breakfast with Mrs. Sommersby and the Colonel when he notices the homing rod.
Geoffrey remembers that Colonel Sommersby was a member of the guard on the lost mission and the Colonel confesses his story. He has a flashback of Ian St. John saying goodbye to Geoffrey before they set off from Mobotropolis. Ian told him that they needed to prepare Elias to travel with them, but not the princess. He further states that if anything happens, the House of Acorn will still be safe with the king and Sally, even when the existence of Elias and Sally is classified. They set off to the Floating Island to take Queen Alicia and Elias to the Royal Compound when they are attacked by Overlanders. They crash the plane onto the isand and the Colonel was unable to find any survivors. Years later, he tells them that he found Elias outside of the compound, but was suspicious. Elias showed him the royal birthmark on his arm to prove his identity to him. Geoffrey demands to know how Elias survived all the years before, but Elias gave his word that he wouldn't reveal their secret but will show them where they left him, calling them the Brotherhood.
Meanwhile, the Echidna Security Team's craft takes off from the crash site with Knuckles trying to think how Lara-Le disappeared in the snowstorm. Remington tries to talk with him, but Knuckles doesn't trust anything he says, believing that he isn't being told everything by him. They are suddenly hit by a bolt of lightning and head towards the ground. In Locke's craft, Lara-Le notices that the change of weather could link to the Tomes as the Day of Fury. She believes that Locke wouldn't understand with his lack of faith. He manages to find a signal from the scanner and heads in the opposite direction. Lara-Le objects that she didn't come for adventuring and wanted to discuss Knuckles and his lousy job as a parent. He tells her that they have a more serious case on their hands. They look down and see Geoffrey, Elias, Hershey, Valdez,Wombat Stu, Heavy and Bomb desperately holding onto trees while trapped in floodwater.
Meanwhile in the EST craft, Knuckles regains consciousness and checks the damage outside. He is shocked and remembers that they are at the location where Locke left him. He moves forward until he reaches a barrier and disappears behind a wall of fire. He is transported to Haven, where Sabre, Thunderhawk, Sojourner, Spectre, Archimedes and Moritori Rex (disguised as Tobor) confront him.
- This issue's cover is the second part of a three-part image.