- This issue takes place between Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 26 — Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 27
Under unknown circumstances, one of the most potent power sources in the universe, a Chaos Emerald, has come into the hands of Dr. Robotnik. He shows off his new-found jewel to Crabmeat as he laments over his plans to take over Mobius with it. He puts the emerald on his three-pronged power inducer and activates it, intending to use it to power his latest Mega-engine that will pollute the whole planet in a matter of days. As he laughs with glee over his plan, Crabmeat realizes it set the controls for a six-prong inducer, hence, it creates an imbalances and begins to explode. As alarms start to go off, Robotnik panics and runs away, crushing Crabmeat while he leaves his lab. He is able to escape just as the Chaos Emerald explodes, breaking into two, and launching itself out of the lab and into space. With the Chaos Emerald pieces in halves and unstable due to the split, the doctor decides to call on a bounty hunter to retrieve the emeralds for him before the Freedom Fighters can get them.
In Knothole Village, Sonic is fixing up some Chili dogs when Tails rushes into the kitchen, asking Sonic to join him in Rotor's lab. He follows, asking Tails if it's about the submarine Rotor's making. Tails notes he is making the submarine, but something appeared on Knothole's radar. They arrive as Rotor, stationed at a radar display, shows a large power signature that can only be generated by a Chaos Emerald. Rotor is able to modify the screen to show video of one of the Chaos Emerald halves heading for Mobius like a meteor. It crashes right into the Great Forest. With the power of the Chaos Emerald, the three witness as the entire area that the emerald landed into is morphed into an entirely different zone. After the creation of the zone is done, Rotor loses the video feed. Before Rotor can react, Sonic dashes off and out of Knothole to investigate the new zone himself. As he leaves the entrance to Knothole, an unknown being watches him run off, intent on chasing him down.
Elsewhere, on the Floating Island, Knuckles is relaxing in the sun. Suddenly, the red sun that he was facing turns green for a few moments. He gets up and notices a green meteor passing by the sun and over his island. He looks over to see the green meteor, the other Chaos Emerald shard, crash into Mount Osohai in the Dragon Spine Mountain Range, a mountain that has never been climbed. Rather than climb the mountain, he decides to jump off a cliff and glide to it. After some time, he arrives, digging his pointy knuckles into the mountain-side for grip. He looks into the hole caused by the meteor and notices it is a Chaos Emerald, and that it is continuing to dig into the mountain. Suddenly, the whole mountain starts to rumble, causing him to loose grip. He starts to glide away, but is hit by a rock and knocked unconscious, sending him plummeting to the ground below.
Part Two - Zone Sweet Zone!
Back at the Great Forest, Sonic arrives at a small building which leads to the new zone, titled "Triple Trouble". He dashes in as the unknown figure from before reports to Robotnik with a 2-way, 3-d holo-wrist radio. Robotnik starts to go crazy as Sonic gets closer to getting the shard every second the figure waits. He mutes Robotnik and prepares the enter the new zone with his hovering sky-cycle that is programmed to mimic Sonic's movements. Inside the Triple Trouble Zone, Sonic effortlessly jumps and dashes through the various zones, from Great Turquoise Zone, Sunset Park Zone, Meta Jungura Zone, Robotnik Winter Zone, Tidal Plant Zone, and, finally, the Atomic Destroyer Zone. With the final sub-zone defeated, Sonic exits and sees the Chaos Emerald. Using his Super Peel Out, Sonic quickly enters the room and shuts down the machine holding the fractured Chaos Emerald. He picks it up off the machine holding it, realizing its only half a Chaos Emerald, understanding the weirdness of the zone. Sonic is then hit with a neural disruptor pulse, knocking him to the ground. The being from before enters the room, holding a Neural Disruptor over the down-and-out Sonic, introducing himself as Nack the Weasel.
Part Three - Echidnapped!
Nack heads outside the Triple Trouble zone, with Sonic, and ties him up against a stone. Using his communicator, Nack notifies Robotnik of his success, along with capturing Sonic. Robotnik is quick to put up a plaque to hang Sonic's head on, until Nack says he will only bring Sonic in for double the bounty. Despite the steep price, Robotnik reluctantly accepts the new offer. Nack ends the communication and boards his sky-cycle, with Sonic in the back, and detects the second half of the Chaos Emerald on the Floating Island. He sets a course to intercept it over the ocean.
On the Floating Island, Knuckles, worn down from his fall, wakes up and finds himself in a cave with a bowl in front of him. He fully comes to and sees a number of weird figures in the distance. He freaks out at first as they surround him, but he then realizes that they are the Ancient Walkers from the Book of Myths. One of the Ancient Walkers approaches Knuckles, wielding a very sharp stick. Fearing for the worst, Knuckles tries to convince the Ancient Walker to back off, until he sees the Ancient Walker pick up the bowl, which is full of paint, realizing he wants to paint on the wall. The Ancient Walkers begin to tell their story through paint.
They set up the setting, on the Floating Island. They then show the Chaos Emerald that powers the Floating Island. The events that occurred earlier (the falling Chaos Emerald) are then shown, as they reveal to Knuckles that it was only half a Chaos Emerald. The Ancient Walkers describe that the Chaos Emerald half acts like a magnet, trying to find its other half. Since it is so powerful, it is magnetically attracted to the full Chaos Emerald in the middle of the Floating Island. If the half Chaos Emerald reaches the full Chaos Emerald, it will cause an energy imbalance that can destroy the entire island. With his island in danger, Knuckles demands to be returned to the surface. One of the Ancient Walkers approaches Knuckles with another bowl and puts it up to his nose, despite his protests. The odor puts him in a woozy state, eventually knocking him out.
Knuckles wakes up again, noticing he is suddenly back on the surface of the Floating Island. He looks over to see Nack approaching him in his sky-cycle, so Knuckles hides in a bush, suspecting he is related to the current problem. As he drives by, Knuckles leaps out of the bush and gives Nack a powerful uppercut, knocking him out of his sky-cycle. The vehicle, however, drops into a nearby pond, with Sonic still in it. Knuckles shrugs off the vehicle and focuses his attention on Nack. Sonic comes out of his doozy state, slowly sinking into the pond. He uses his Sonic Spin to escape the ropes he was tied in and starts spinning towards the surface.
Part Four - Blue Blur vs. Rough and Red!
Sonic jumps out of the water, making Knuckles think that Sonic is involved with the emerald issue. Sonic leaps at Knuckles in anger over not helping him and accusing him of the problem, giving him a strong punch to the jaw. Knuckles responds by grabbing one of Sonic's quills and slamming him into the ground. Sonic flips his legs up, giving Knuckles a strong kick with both his feet. He gets up, as the two rivals face each other. Knuckles ups the ante by charging up his knuckles by rapidly spinning them. Sonic is not impressed, until he gets punched hard by the echidna. Sonic uses his Spin Dash and jumps at Knuckles, until they hear a familiar voice nearby, stopping their fight.
The two of them hear Robotnik's voice coming out of Nack's wrist. They walk over and see Robotnik's likeliness appearing as a hologram on the wrist communicator, trying to get Nack's attention. To figure out what exactly Robotnik is up to, the two decide to treat Nack like a puppet to get Robotnik to fess up. They lift him up, as Robotnik asks if he has located the second half of the Chaos Emerald. Knuckles nods Nack's head, making Robotnik reveal that he wants both halves of the Chaos Emerald and Sonic. He ends the communication. Sonic, meanwhile, opens Nack's backpack, finding the one half of the Chaos Emerald. With the other half approaching the full Chaos Emerald, there is not much time. Knuckles opens a secret hatch in a nearby tree that will lead them to the Chaos Chamber.
The two enter the hatch and Sonic quickly drags Knuckles down to the Chaos Chamber to make it in time. They reach the chamber, just as the Chaos Emerald half breaks the chamber wall. The only way to stop the half from reaching the full Chaos Emerald is if it can get attracted to the other half. Knuckles grabs the half off of Sonic and puts it in front of the other half, causing them to merge in a large blinding green glow.
Suddenly, Sonic and Knuckles finds themselves back on the surface of the Floating Island, with the Chaos Emerald gone as well. The two instantly suspect foul play on each other, but they quickly put aside their rivalry and decide to part ways. Using a remote control on the still unconscious Nack's wrist, Sonic calls up the sky-cycle from the bottom of the pond. Sonic ties Nack up and puts him aboard the vehicle. The two part ways, still not trusting each other deep down.
Elsewhere, in an unknown area, the three Ancient Walkers draw a circle in sand in the ground. They look upwards, as the Chaos Emerald from before appears in mid-air, dropping right into the center of the drawn circle, as the narrator announcing an age-old prophecy has been fulfilled.
Rotor and Tails are at a dock near Knothole Village. Rotor introduces his newest creation to Tails: the Sea Fox, a submarine he made solely for Tails to play in. Tails is instantly in joy, jumping right into the submarine, designed after Rotor's previous submarine design, the Bathysphere. He tries to start it up, but he cannot, as Rotor did not put any oil in it. Sally Acorn told him that Tails was too young and did not want him running it, only playing in it. As Rotor walks away, Tails instantly yells out in anger, feeling like he is being treated like a child, despite all the work he is done. As he prepares to fly away, he hears somebody nearby needing help.
He flies back down and sees an oil-soaked and very tired sea gull hanging onto the Sea Fox. Tails helps gull up to the dock and asks him what has happened. He tells Tails that Robotnik got his henchmen to fix the underwater roboticizer that the Freedom Fighters had destroyed some time prior. The gull demands Tails help, but even though he can see the oil trail to the roboticizer, he cannot run the Sea Fox to it. The animal then notes about the oil he is covered in, and how he is going to get rid of it. This gives Tails an idea.
After some time, Tails is able to get the Sea Fox running by draining the oil off of the gull and into the Sea Fox. He follows the oil spill trail and finds the new roboticizer easily. He turns a corner around the building and see Octobot grabbing sea animals for roboticization. He turns the Sea Fox on a collision course and slams into the Octobot, hitting it with the drill at the front of the sub. This frees the animals, and knocks out Octobot. He then pays his attention to the factory itself. He aims the Sea Fox and fires a torpedo. The torpedo destroys the roboticizer, sending both Tails and Octobot up in a huge waterspout. He sets a course back for port, as Octobot swears vengeance for the loss.
Tails returns to port, with the gull happy to see the victory. Tails ties up the Sea Fox as the gull prepares to head off to meet up with his 'gull friend'.
Knuckles is helping his friend, Vector the Crocodile, get around the island. Unfortunately, the path that Vector wants to take nearly takes the gliding echidna into a lava pit. They reach the end of the lava pit and reach the ground. Knuckles lets Vector go, as he walks off, thanking him for the service. Knuckles thinks to himself why he helps Vector, when he realizes something is up. He hears a low noise and smells something, so he decides to investigate.
He walks along, past a bush, and sees a rock with the word "Archimedes" on it. The rock is giving off a little bit of smoke, causing the smell. Noticing the arrow on the rock, and a possible intruder on his island, Knuckles decides to investigate. He follows the arrow's direction, walking along a clear path on the island. He reaches a tree and notices Catweazle. He asks the bird if he has seen anything unusual. Catweazle only notes that it has been a peaceful day, not able to help out. Knuckles continues on, thanking him for his help.
As he thinks to himself that Catweazle could never help anyway, a large burst of fire hits nearby. He glides away, hiding behind a rock, as he sees Fire Breath setting the area on fire. He realizes that Robotnik has returned, and that he may be the Archimedes. Not wanting to be tricked by Robotnik again, he lugs some mud at the bot, destroying it. He then decides to take on Robotnik himself, but must find him. He walks on, and comes upon another robot that resembles Hey Ho. It swings at Knuckles with its large axe, but misses as he jumps aside. He then jumps up and grabs Hey Ho's axe, using it for leverage. He flips himself over and kicks it right in the face, causing it to explode. He drops to the ground, dusting himself off in preparation to meet Robotnik. He takes one step forward and is swallowed into the ground.
He falls down into the Chaos Chamber and is greeted by an unknown voice. He gets up, thinking the voice is Robotnik, looking around to find this unknown person. The person, however, states that it is neither Robotnik or Sonic, but rather the Archimedes as stated on the stone. Knuckles asks why he does not show himself, Archimedes states that it is part of his lesson, for once he can find him, he will be able to see the answer in his question. Confused, Knuckles asks for clarification, to which Archimedes replies that he is too quick to react, and does not reflect. He leaves, leaving Knuckles to ponder what he has said.
That evening, Knuckles is sitting on a cliff-edge, with Vector hanging out with him. Vector is wondering why Knuckles is so quiet. He takes a seat beside Knuckles to comfort him, as the echidna reflects on what was said, and that he must solve the puzzle that is Archimedes.
- Sonic, Knuckles and Nack the Weasel, debuting in the employ of Robotnik, struggle over the pieces of a broken Chaos Emerald.
- Knuckles has his first encounter with the Ancient Walkers.
- Tails receives the Sea Fox and takes it out on a maiden voyage, encountering Octobot for the first time.
- Knuckles encounters Archimedes for the first time, though his future mentor remains unseen.
- This issue is a tie-in to the game Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble.
- This is the first appearance of Nack the Weasel in the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
- The term used for Robotnik's Japanese name, "Eggman", is used for the first time in the comic series as Sonic defeats the boss in the Triple Trouble Zone. This is likely to distinguish the boss from Robotnik, who is not in the zone at the time.
- This is the first time where Sonic attacks Knuckles, the second will be Super Sonic vs. Hyper Knuckles.