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- What monsters lurk on the mysterious isolated island?? Find out for yourself in “Spark of Life” Part Two: Things are getting very creepy in the lab of Dr. Ellidy! His badnik defenses are going offline—which is bad news when there are Dark Gaia Monsters prowling the shores at night! Sally and Big investigate the mystery of the Red Star Rings as Tails and Nicole debug the system—where something, or someone—is waiting for Nicole! Featuring new cover art from Tracy Yardley and an interactive MATCHMAKER variant cover by rising Sonic star Jennifer Hernandez, where you can “ship it yourself”!
Spark of Life Part Two
- Plot: Ian Flynn
- Script: Aleah Baker
- Pencils: Tracey Yardley
- Inks: Jim Amash
- Colors: Matt Herms
- Letters: Jack Morelli
The issue starts with Dr. Ellidy giving a tour to Sally, Big, Tails, and Nicole. He shows them his latest discovery, a Red Star Ring. Big comments that it is pretty, while Nicole says she hasn't seen it before. He explains that it's power may be higher compared to other rings. Tails is impressed, and asks if it came from the Lake of Rings. Ellidy says it did, as it produces a magic ring on a daily basis. But then it went dormant, and stopped making rings. Ellidy is interrupted by Big, who mistakes the server room for a fridge. He continues, saying that he hasn't figured out why the ring formed. He plans to recreate rings like this since it has more potential. Sally notes that rings like that could be great for Nicole. She then explains that with the help of a Power Ring, Nicole is able to project her physical form for only a short amount of time. With a more powerful ring, her physical form mas last for a longer time. Ellidy is hesitant about that, while Tails examines more rings. Dr. Ellidy then says that after the ring was formed, he had his reprogrammed badniks keep an eye on the Lake of Rings, and notes that it has gone dormant again. Tails guesses that it is making another ring. However Ellidy says that yesterday he lost the video footage of the Lake of the Rings.
Sally notes that the badnik could have been destroyed by one of the Dark Gaia Monsters, but Ellidy says that it was still showing it was still active in his systems. He explained that he went to the Digital World to take a closer look. He notes that other feeds have gone offline as well. Tails guesses that it could be a hardware issue and that he would be happy to fix the problem. Nicole speaks up, noting that when Ellidy was in the Digital World, he was attacked by the monsters, and Nicole believes that it was done on purpose. She declares that something is trying to take over his systems. Ellidy reluctantly believes that there is a problem, but Tails assures him that they will get it fixed. Sally decides to take Big along with her to investigate the Lake of Rings. With Ellidy's help, they manage to get a vehicle. While riding, Big complains that stuff keeps flying in his mouth. Sally suggests to close his mouth. Sally and Big have a conversation about Nicole and Sally notes that Nicole is not organic. Big states that as long as they're nice, he does not care what anyone is. Sally notes that it takes time to get used to some people. A flashback takes place back in Castle Acorn. Aunt Rosie tells young Sally that she is late for her lessons, but Sally says that she doesn't need lessons anymore, because she has Nicole with her. She demonstrates by asking Nicole several questions.
Rosie then asks Sally what she would do when enemy forces attack from both sides of Westside Island when she has five hundred soldiers in command. Sally asks Nicole for the same question, but Nicole has trouble coming up with the answer. She suggests to focus the forces on one port and abandon the other port. Sally says that she wants to save everyone. Nicole says the forces are insufficient, and Sally asks for a different solution. Again, Nicole has trouble finding a solution due to insufficient data. Rosie wants her answer, and Sally admits she does not know. She apologizes to her aunt and says that she needs to be more self reliant, but asks if Nicole can be her adviser. Aunt Rosie says that position is for living beings. Sally and Rosie hug, while Rosie apologizes for giving her a tough question. Back to the present in Dr. Ellidy's lab, Nicole locks her handheld and enters the main systems, noting that they are still in contact with the Digital World. Nicole checks the firewall in Ellidy's systems saying that it is still intact. She notes that the badniks are still online, but not responsive. She continues looking into the problem, unaware that Phage is moving slowly towards her. Nicole notices something is wrong, and immediately turns around, only to find nothing. Tails asks Nicole if it looks like a virus. As Nicole walks around the Digital World, she is unsure whether it is a virus or not but knows something is here. She then suggests Tails to partition the system to limit it's movement, as she is going to search it directly. As Tails and Ellidy put the systems inside the server room, Tails tells Nicole to be careful.
Ellidy comments that the way Nicole has interacted with others is very impressive. Tails notes that he wouldn't know that he could pull off programming like that. He tells Ellidy that he built T-Pup and notes one embarrassing incident with him. Ellidy understands, saying that Nicole's creation created unique circumstances. Nicole interrupts, saying that they don't have to talk about her as if she's not here. Ellidy apologizes. While Nicole continues to investigate, Ellidy asks her if she remembers when she was first activated. She remembers everything but how she remembers it was different. Another flashback takes place in Mobotropolis. Ellidy is working on a computer and hears a voice in the computer, greeting him. Ellidy wonders if it worked, but the computer tells him that it does not have any designation. As Ellidy is depressed at that thought, Tails asks him if he is worn out from the earlier incident. Ellidy apologizes and keeps working. Ellidy asks Nicole if there was some catalyst that changed her outlook. Nicole doesn't think so, and repeats again that her connection to her memories are not that consistent. But notes that one of the memories made her feel how limited she really is. Another flashback takes place in Knothole Village Wood Zone, just after Eggman invaded the area. Sally notes that all of her friends have gone through so much and they are trying to be strong. Sally tries to be brave for them, but breaks down saying that she misses her father so much. Sally apologizes to Nicole, thanking her for being there, despite that Nicole could not do anything in her hand held state.
Back in the present, Sally and Big had reached the Lake of Rings. Big comments that Froggy would love the place. Sally finds one of Ellidy's robots and notes that it's not responding to anything. Big asks Sally if he can drive on the way back, and Sally says yes. Using the Miles Electric, she notes another reading, and an energy spike. Big immediately points to the lake, and Sally finds another Red Star Ring. Using his fishing rod, Big fishes the ring out and Sally catches it. Sally then decides to go back to the lab and show the ring. But then, Ellidy's robot comes to life and attacks Sally. She summons one of her Ring-Blades. Before she can attack, Big comes in and kicks the robot, destroying it. Big asks if she is alright, Sally says she is fine, but this is beyond creepy. She notes that whatever is affecting Dr. Ellidy's systems is aggressive and thinks they may be after the Red Star Rings. She also notes that there is an energy reading. Big notes that it's getting dark and that the Dark Gaia Monsters come out at night. Sally and Big go back to the lab. Back in the lab, Ellidy is impressed that they found a second Red Star Ring. Sally then tells what happened. Tails notes that he's not sure whether they are close to solving the problem. Everyone is tired, so Nicole tells them to get some rest and she'll keep an eye on things, letting them know only when something goes wrong. Sally decides to call Rotor while Ellidy escorts Tails and Big to rest.
Sally then contacts Rotor outside via Miles Electric. She tells Rotor on what has happened, and notes that the others are calling Rotor, and tells that she will see him tomorrow. Sally then realizes that she went to a shrine like location. Deciding to investigate, she goes closer, only to find Dr. Ellidy behind her, disappointed on the fact that her father failed to teach her better than to snoop around.
Sally is disgusted by a statue of Nicole made by Dr. Ellidy. He comments that it is just a sculpture and that he must have a hobby. Sally also finds sculptures of herself, Sonic, Big and Tails, questioning whether or not they were made of trash.
- Sally: You don't think it's weird that she's not organic, like us?
- Big: Uh...nope? As long as they're nice, I don't care what anyone is.
- Sally: I guess it just takes some getting used to for some people...
- When developing the "Spark of Life" story arc, the driving factor was not only to provide an origin story for Nicole, but also to explore the relationship between Sally and Nicole and use it to cover some past events.
- ↑ Aleah Baker (19 January 2016). Lea's Unimportant Farewell to BK Q&A!. BumbleKing Comics. Retrieved on 21 January 2016. “Serious question though how did you and Ian come up with the idea for Spark of Life? / Aleah Baker: Y'know, it's been so long... aside from "Nicole could use a new origin story" I don't remember a lot of specifics at this point. I know Dr. Ellidy didn't have a name nailed down for a long time during development. Something else that was a driving factor (and went through a lot of talk with Paul Kaminski) was exploring Nicole's relationship with Sally and using that to cover some past events, and I'm glad that those angles were able to be incorporated (even though stuff still got cut in the end... I'm getting better about avoiding those kinds of problems).”