|Sonic the Hedgehog #177|
- "Home, New Home": Sonic the Hedgehog has saved the day yet again! Or has he? With Doctor Eggman's Egg Fleet bombarding the city from the outside, the jury's still out! To make matters worse, a group of escaped convicts is on the loose on the inside! What's a hedgehog gotta do to get a happy ending around here? Perhaps the brilliant NICOLE has the answer!
Home New Home
NICOLE pondered the situation; taking control of A.D.A.M.'s nanites, she had recently created the city of New Mobotropolis and given herself a physical form. All this had been intended as a surprise for her friends, but she had been forced to reveal it ahead of schedule as Dr. Eggman had destroyed Knothole and captured its residents; but by reconfiguring the teleportation beam used to capture everyone, NICOLE had them all instead sent to the safety of her new city. However, Eggman had tracked the altered frequency and was en route with his Egg Fleet; furthermore, a group of convicts were among those rescued. This group consisted of Ixis Naugus, Nack the Weasel, Bark the Polar Bear, Bean the Dynamite and, to NICOLE's greatest concern, Mammoth Mogul.
With the Egg Fleet on the way, Mogul wasted no time in attempting to sway the escapees under his rule, saying that if they relented command to him, they may all survive the upcoming conflict. NICOLE simply replied that she had created the city with a contingency for such people, and quickly teleported the five into a specially-constructed prison (much to Nack's indignity and Bean's amazement). Sonic and Sally congratulated NICOLE on her quick-thinking and -acting, but she suddenly looked pained and her form temporarily dissolved as laser fire boomed overhead. Alarmed, Sally grabbed NICOLE, but the AI reassured Sally that she was fine; she merely needed to divert the city's power to its energy shields, and thus could not spare the energy to maintain her physical form. As Sally lamented the unfairness of the situation, NICOLE insisted it was temporary, telling Sally that she would always be around even if not physically.
Composing herself, Sally took charge, saying that she trusted in NICOLE to keep them all safe from the Egg Fleet. Elias announced to everyone that they should find their rebuild homes and keep their loved ones close, adding that they should all be thankful to be reunited. He and Sally then ordered Sonic to get medical attention, despite his protests. Sonic found Rotor, who had injured his back saving Tails from the collapsing roof of Freedom HQ, laying on a stretcher. Sonic apologized for having not been fast enough to help, but Rotor dismissed it, saying that for once he got to be an action hero and adding that he was more concerned about Charmy's condition. Nearby, Dr. Quack tested the bee with a few questions and received disoriented, childish responses. Upset, Saffron asked if Charmy remembered who he was and who she was; to her immense relief, he answered that he of course knew who she was and hugged her. Sonic asked Dr. Quack whether this was a good sign, and the doctor replied that while he was still unsure of the extent of the damage, he said that Charmy was better off than he had hoped. Dr. Quack then examined Sonic, noting that all the residual magic ring energy he'd amassed over the years was not only keeping his injuries to a minimum, but seemingly improving the rate of his healing, as well. The doctor then dismissed him, wanting to spend time with his reunited family.
Meanwhile, on Angel Island, Dr. Finitevus was performing a ritual on the Master Emerald. His chanting was interrupted by Scourge the Hedgehog, who announced that Dimitri had left them, adding the possibility of him leaking their plans to Knuckles the Echidna. To the hedgehog's surprise, Finitevus was pleased with this information, saying he had hoped Dimitri would take this path and that it was all going according to plan. Shrugging off his confusion, Scourge left while Finitevus muttered that the return of Enerjak could not be stopped.
Back in New Mobotropolis, the Egg Fleet continued its ineffective assault, its lasers doing no damage to the city's energy shields. Sally and Bunnie sat in a tree while the former admired the city, saying it looked almost exactly like the Mobotropolis of her childhood and adding that it was what they had been fighting for for so long. Antoine, somewhat nervous of the height, joined them in the tree, adding that they would be able to better admire the city if Eggman weren't constantly blasting the shield. Sitting together, the three reflected on their pasts as Freedom Fighters and how far they'd come from fighting from the Great Forest and thinking they were orphans. Antoine added that he had been extremely cowardly back then, but Bunnie assured him that she'd known he was brave deep down, saying that if it wasn't the case, not only would she not have married him, but Sally wouldn't have allowed him on so many missions. Speaking of her leading the Freedom Fighters in the past, Sally got quiet before bitterly adding that that was before she was made the acting monarch, forced to marry and deal with other formalities before trailing off. Noticing her change in tone, Bunnie questioned Sally's mood. Sally suddenly stood, asking Bunnie if she remembered her past aspirations when she first joined the Freedom Fighters. Amused, Bunnie recalled that she wanting nothing more than to be the royal hairdresser. Grinning, Sally said that she hoped she hadn't completely written off the idea, as she had a favour to ask...
Meanwhile, aboard Snively's flagship, Eggman screamed at Snively through radio transmission, demanding that he destroy the shield while he re-armed the Egg Beater. Annoyed, Snively replied that he was working on it when he noticed shots outside. A nearby Egg Pawn announced that they'd suffered no damage and that it had a lock on the attacker; a single small aircraft. Shocked, Snively demanded it to hold fire as he contacted the pilot; his step-sister, Hope Kintobor. Over the radio, she yelled at him while continuing to fire upon the flagship, saying that for the few weeks they'd been together in Knothole, they'd been like family. She went on to explain that she'd left Knothole on Snively's suggestion, only to return and find it completely destroyed, and as she'd trusted him over the Mobians, she was too ashamed to show her face to them. Finally, she declared that she would return to the United Federation and become a great engineer in order to fight the Eggman Empire, adding then that their family name might be worth something. As she tearfully flew off, the Egg Pawn announced that it still had her plane targeted by the ship's weapons and asked Snively's command to fire. Snively, tears in his eyes, did not respond.
In New Mobotropolis, the Prower family watched the bombardment of the shield, and Amadeus noted that it may be a blessing in disguise, saying that the Mobians of the kingdom needed a "shake-up" in order to accept his future proposals. Merlin warned him that the monarchy may be too tightly wound to react well to any suggestion of reform, but Rosemary insisted that she had confidence in Amadeus. Tails added that he believed in his father "no matter what," which Merlin considered another cause for concern. Just then, the Egg Beater slammed against the city shield, as Eggman demanded that those within come out and face him. He released attack after attack upon the city's shield, claiming that the city, composed of nanites, belonged to him, and that after conquering Mobotropolis and destroying Knothole, he would not allow them to rob him of his victory.
Sonic, appearing outside the wall, called to Eggman, casually asking him if he was enjoying throwing a tantrum while ineffectively attacking the shield. Eggman, pleased at the acceptance of his challenge, nevertheless called Sonic a fool to face him alone, as the Egg Beater was specifically designed to counter the hedgehog. Sonic smirked, admitting as much before adding that it meant the suit was not designed to combat anyone else. Sally, her hair cut short, then ordered the Freedom Fighters and Chaotix (sans Charmy and Saffron) to attack.
Knuckles, Vector the Crocodile and Mighty the Armadillo moved in first, damaging the suit's arms while Bunnie took aim with her arm cannon. Telling Eggman that he should not have provoked them, she fired a massive beam, tearing apart the upper body of the Egg Beater while Mighty ripped off its last arm. Exhausted, Bunnie announced to Sally that the "heavy hitters" were done, and Sally instructed the second line to move in. Antoine slashed at the Egg Beater's legs with his sword while Julie-Su and Espio the Chameleon attacked with projectiles. Tails and Ray the Flying Squirrel flew above Eggman and distracted him while Amy Rose destroyed the remains of the legs with her Piko Piko Hammer. During it all, Sonic, with confidence, explained that Eggman had made a mistake in thinking that any of them would give up easily, adding that even if he could not fight, his friends always would. He then delivered the final blow, launching a Spin Dash into the remaining pod and destroying it, leaving Eggman on the ground. Finally, Sonic added that if Eggman considered their conflict nothing more than a game, they had simply chosen to continue playing. Sally then coldly informed the doctor that he was trespassing on royal ground and ordered his retreat. Infuriated, Eggman instead ordered the Egg Fleet to fire. The city's outer wall quickly reformed itself, extending and shielding everyone from the blast. NICOLE's form projected from the wall, telling Eggman that her friends were showing more mercy than he deserved and suggested he retreat. Indignant, Eggman escaped upon a robot, swearing that he would fight even more seriously than before and promising to annihilate them all. As they watched the Egg Fleet's departure, Sonic commented on Sally's hair, and she replied that it was symbolic to show her mind and heart were "back on the right track." The group then celebrated Eggman's defeat, with Sonic adding "It's good to be home, Sal."
- The Egg Beater armor is destroyed by the combined might of the Freedom Fighters and the Chaotix.
- Eggman is forced to retreat after his attempted missile attack on the Freedom Fighters and the Chaotix fails.
- When all of the citizens are gathered in the new city listening to Elias Acorn, Bernadette Hedgehog is mistakenly colored as Amy Rose.
- Bunnie Rabbot's dream to be Sally's hair dresser (first mentioned in Sonic the Hedgehog #3) is referenced, and Bunnie actually gives Sally a hair cut, restoring her short-hair look which was changed to be long in Sonic the Hedgehog #130.
- The fate of Hope Kintobor is left ambiguous for some time. Writer Ian Flynn did not reveal her true fate on his forum, as he was unsure whether or not to have killed off the character at the time. However, Hope reappeared for the first time in Sonic Universe #1, confirming her survival.
- The reason for Eggman's victory being short-lived was forced on writer Ian Flynn; SEGA only permitted Eggman to be victorious in the previous issue as long as he was defeated in the next two.