| Sonic Universe #43|
Secret Freedom - Part 3 of 4
"Unsung Heroes" Part Three: It’s a race against time as Silver’s squad must recover in time to rescue Elias and his squad! With Ixis Naugus’s master plan nearing completion, will the Secret Freedom Fighters be able to stop him in time?
Unsung Heroes - Part Three: Occupational Hazards
During the Forgotten War thousands of years ago, Ixis Mogul stands on a cliff watching the stormy weather while contemplating the current problem of the Order of Ixis and the Albion Knights of Aurora. Mogul then thinks of a way to solve the conflict when suddenly Ixis Vale, one of Ixis Mogul's Elite members, appears to him. She informs him the enemy has switch their plans. Abandoning valor, they are apparently committing crimes against nature itself in order to see their enemies defeated. Mogul, unsurprised, said that even a small army could any mortal from an Ixis wizard....
Meanwhile, in the present day Mobius at Windy Valley, Shard destroys the crumble that Geoffrey put them in by a trap. Shard, Silver, and Larry get out of the crumble and Shard suggests that they should go after Geoffrey. Silver and Larry then suggest a break and Shard's engines sputter, reminding him of his limitations. They all agree on taking a break, knowing that a tracker was put on Geoffrey's Extreme Board.
At the same time, Geoffrey barely makes it to the underground complex Naugus is at. Geoffrey, seeing marks from a recent battle then hears Naugus' moaning inside the cave. Geoffrey finds a hideous-looking Naugus, laying on the ground. He blames the doctor's doing of the Genesis event for his problems and tries to use his Chaos Emerald to fix his new look. Geoffrey is then question of his mission and tells Naugus that the Secret Freedom Fightersare up to stopping them. Geoffrey then gives Naugus the bag of Ixis Vale's bones. Naugus then reveals the place they're at is the Royal Military Headquarters. He then tells Geoffrey that his intention is to use a spell that will enslave the government to his own will, enabling him to exert full control over the city and use the people as an army to rebuild the Order of Ixis.
Geoffrey, horrified, then snatches the bones of Vale. He then reveals that his hope was that Naugus would benefit the city as king despite his "eccentricities", but accuses him of going too far in making this plan. Naugus, shocked of Geoffrey's behavior, then tells how much treason Geoffrey will commit if he was not to help him. Naugus then tells Geoffrey that no one would support the idea. A defeated Geoffrey then gives the bones to Naugus. Naugus condescendingly assures Geoffrey that with his total control of the city, the people will be prosperous, leaving him free to deal with his inner spirits. Geoffrey then falls on the floor, but Naugus advises him that once he has rested he will search the floor of the crater for the bodies of the previous intruders.
Back at the Secret HQ, an angry Harvey Who yells at Silver, Shard, and Larry for their failed attempt to catching Geoffrey. Silver is quick to defend his team due to Geoffrey's skill of espionage, something he was taught since his youth. He also mentions that a tracker was put on Geoffrey's board before they fell in the pit. Harvey then says that the tracker's location is at the same area Elias' squad, which included Elias, Leeta and Lyco, went to find Naugus. Noticing the team hasn't returned from their mission, Harvey sends Silver and his team to find them.
Silver and his team find Elias' squad while landing on a pit. Leeta says that their wing-suits protected their fall, but crashed into the pit anyways. After briefly reporting on their recent discoveries, the group quickly realizes that Naugus is planning something against the kingdom that will either eliminate the military as a threat or leave them under his control. Shard then mentions how maybe Naugus is using an old recipe for quiche, unaware that Geoffrey is watching from the shadows and recognizes his Power Core. Geoffrey recalls that the Secret Service had sent Geoffrey and his team to the dormant Mt. Mobius and had found the core, which Shard's data was put inside the power core and contained his programming.
Because of Dr. Eggman's rise of power, Geoffrey found the Power Core at Robotropolis and stole it. He gave it to Sir Charles Hedgehog which he made the Metal Sonic Troopers with the Power Core- which was never told to anyone. Geoffrey then mentions that because of Shard was assembled to be a Secret Freedom Fighters, then either Uncle Chuck or Rotor are double-agents. His advice is quickly interrupted as Elias determines that in order for them to gain the necessary information to make a move on Naugus, they need to interrogate Geoffrey. Elias suggests that the entire team attack Geoffrey in order to prevent his escape, but Silver then makes an unexpected suggestion: that they simply ask the Skunk. Elias is quick to dismiss the idea, but Silver persists, thinking that he can appeal to Geoffrey's better nature. Elias starts on a rant, but is defused as Lyco advises him to listen to Silver. The hedgehog continues, remarking that he has experience with going into a plan with good intentions only for it to fail, and he thinks that Geoffrey is the same way. Elias gives up his idea, deciding that they will approach him Silver's way, but that if that fails to work, they'll ambush him.
As the next day follows, they go to the Lake of Rings Silver spots Geoffrey and the skunk quickly leaves. He being flustered by revealing his knowledge of the Secret Freedom Fighters, but then invites Silver to speak. Silver confesses that he's not the best agent of the Secret Freedom Fighters, but also reveals that he's studied up on Geoffrey since coming to this time. He reveals his belief that Geoffrey is out for the city's greater good, and that he realizes that Naugus is on the wrong path. He also mentions that his wife wouldn't have gone the way Naugus is going, either. Silver stops, as he apologizes via bringing a sad subject. Geoffrey forgives him, but says it's "too late" for him. Geoffrey then reveals what Naugus is going to do to the city.
Geoffrey then asks Silver to "stop Naugus," as they are the city's only hope. As Geoffrey gets up to leave, again claiming that he is beyond redemption and that while Silver declines, saying that although he has a future to save, he doesn't. The other Secret Freedom Fighters then come out of hiding, and return to Secret HQ to meet with Harvey. The Owl remarks that Silver's methods were definitely not what he would have done, but that he is impressed nonetheless. Elias then remarks that Geoffrey seems unstable, and thinks that his collapse would help them and hurt Naugus, which Harvey takes as a sign that Elias is starting to take after his methods. Elias expresses his wish that they could reveal Naugus' plot to the city, but Harvey replies that Naugus would simply destroy the cavern and put the Secret Freedom Fighters, Uncle Chuck, and NICOLE for trial of treason. Harvey then says that Elias should get some rest before going. After so, the team packs up, and they set off to find and stop Naugus before it's too late.....
In his secret chamber, Naugus remarks in despair that his most hideous mutation yet has come about. Geoffrey objects that it can't be that bad, only to walk into the chamber and observe a "handsome" Naugus surrounded by hearts and flowers. Geoffrey screams in horror while Naugus responds "It's handsome time!"
- When Ixis Naugus says "It's handsome time!", this may be a reference to a quote from the Ben 10 series: "It's hero time!"