|Sonic the Hedgehog #218|
Ben Bates and Jamal Peppers
- "Thicker than Water" Part Two," It's Sonic versus Bunnie in a no-holds-barred battle! The prize: the sprawling Oil Ocean Refinery! Two factions stand poised to attack as hero turns on hero - but is everything as it seems? There will be as many revelations as explosions! Then, in "Hindsight," Dr. Eggman calls Snively in for questioning. What is the conniving little man up to this time?
Thicker than Water Part Two
In the badlands of the Great Desert, outside the Oil Ocean Refinery, the Sand-Blasters sit in their jeeps while the local chapter of the Dark Egg Legion awaits in their saucers nearby. One of the Sand Blasters, Jolt, asks his leader, Jack Rabbit, why they aren't moving in to take over the refinery. Jack, lounging in his vehicle, replies that the two people who arrived in response to their call for help - Sonic the Hedgehog and Bunnie - are busy beating each other up inside the refinery. Since the Sand Blasters dislike both Sonic and Bunnie for past incidents, Jack is happy to sit back and enjoy the show for the time being.
Among the watching DEL, Matilda the Armadillo calmly asks Grandmaster Beauregard "The Baron" Rabbot how long they'll maintain their position. Watching through binoculars, The Baron replies that they'll wait until Bunnie either has the situation under control or needs their assistance. Lowering the binoculars, he smiles and remarks that his "Li'l Buns" is all grown up and proving herself a match for the famous Sonic the Hedgehog.
Inside the refinery, Sonic slides down a chute of oil as Bunnie rockets towards him. He leaps aside as she bursts straight through the chute, destroying it, and calls out that she's making things harder than needed. He clings to the side of a silo, saying that they should only have to destroy Dr. Eggman's base and call it a day. He dodges again as Bunnie punches through the silo with her telescoping robotic arm, spilling more oil. She retorts that the situation isn't that simple; if the Sand Blasters take over the refinery, Eggman will severely punish The Baron and his Legionnaires. Before Bunnie can retract her arm, Sonic uses it to jump over her head, snatching her hat in the process. He points out that the Legionnaires were the former Robians programmed to attack Sand Blast City, and once they were restored to normal, they willing went right back to working for Eggman, which Sonic considers "not cool." Frustrated, Bunnie retorts that the Sand Blasters abused the former Robians, and that they'd had no choice but to go back to Eggman for protection. Sonic drops in the air, casually twirling Bunnie's hat on a finger while she rockets after him; he admits that that makes sense, considering their own past dealings with Jack's cruelty. As Bunnie catches up to him, he places her hat back on her head and says that the Legionnaires are still considered the bad guys and that they can't do their dirty work (fighting the Sand Blasters) for them. Bunnie tells him that the Legion's leader, Beauregard, is her long-lost uncle; she can't lose him after having found him again.
The two land in a grapple. Bunnie grimaces, admitting that Sonic is right; they can't just leave the Legion to maintain a base for Eggman. Sonic also agrees that Bunnie has a point; it's not right to let the Sand Blasters take over and leave the Legion in trouble. With looks of realization, Bunnie says it would be different if it was just a matter of them doing their usual heroics, and Sonic agrees, saying that then, it'd only be them to blame. The two slowly grin...
Bunnie throws Sonic a great distance, the hedgehog dramatically lamenting "Oh dear! I have been thrown with excessive force!" and spindashing through several pieces of equipment. Making his way to the top of a tower, he loudly vows revenge, his over-acting amusing Bunnie. She dodges his next spindash, allowing more of the refinery's structure to be damaged.
Outside, the Sand-Blasters are all watching through binoculars, except for Jolt who has none. He pesters the others, wanting to see what's going on, and Shift E. Wolf, annoyed, hands over his own pair. Jolt brings up the binoculars and cheers eagerly, noting "They're really tearing the place apart!" Jack slowly agrees, frowning as he realizes the ruse. Enraged, he orders the others back to the jeeps, announcing it's time to move in.
From their saucer, Matilda remarks that the Sand Blasters have finally decided to move in, and Beauregard says it's time for them to do so as well. Matilda adds that they'll hopefully be able to put a stop to the fighting before the refinery is damaged any further; The Baron pauses and brings up his binoculars again. Through them, he sees the "fighting" Bunnie and Sonic; both are grinning as Sonic teasingly pulls Bunnie's braid. Lowering the binoculars, Beauregard quietly remarks to himself that he should have expected this; after all, Bunnie had told him she was both a Freedom Fighter and had married "a D'Coolette."
Sonic and Bunnie see the advancing Sand Blasters and Legionnaires and realize the jig is up; Sonic feigns disappointment, saying he was having fun "fighting [Bunnie] for [his] very life." Bunnie idly remarks that it'll probably be soon enough that Eggman brainwashes him again and they can fight some more, and Sonic agrees but adds that they don't know when "that tired scheme" will be used again. Bunnie announces it's time to stop playing around, saying that they've got to do as much damage as possible before they're overwhelmed. Sonic tells her to watch her back, and the two charge in among the fighting Sand Blasters and Legionnaires. Sonic sends several people scattering when he drops among them in a spindash, and Bunnie deflects laser fire with her energy shield. Jolt uses his enhanced speed to run around Sonic, hitting and taunting him about not being able to stand up to real speed, but Sonic quickly turns the table on him with his much superior speed, easily overwhelming the roadrunner. As a disoriented Jolt falls to the ground, Sonic remarks that it seems he's always fighting green annoying birds. He is then caught off guard by Tex, who knocks him over with his own spindash, but Bunnie quickly arrives and sends him flying with a punch from her mechanical arm. Bunnie teases Sonic about telling her to watch her own back, and Sonic assures her he had the situation under control. As a bear trap clamp suddenly locks around Bunnie's robotic arm, Sonic smugly points out that she wasn't watching her back. Annoyed, Bunnie simply breaks the clamp (tearing her jacket sleeve in the process) and tells the one who threw it, Shift, to get a life. Shift, indignant that "brute strength" has foiled his "genius," flees in tears. Bunnie is disappointed over having torn her jacket, but Sonic assures her that Rosie will be able to fix it.
As the two talk, unbeknown to them, Avery takes aim at them with a rocket launcher. Jack tells him that if he has a clear shot, he should take it, but Avery wonders if that won't just further damage the refinery. Jack pauses to consider, and then says it'll be worth it. Grinning, Avery prepares to fire, but he's suddenly struck in the head by Beauregard's cane, much to Jack's shock; as Avery is hit, he pulls up on the launcher, firing the rocket into the sky. Jack calls Beauregard an ungrateful backstabber and is cut off when Beauregard grips his hand and pulls it upward with his robotic arm, forcing him to drop his gun; Beauregard snarls "Don't you dare lecture me, Jack." Bunnie calls out to her uncle, running over to him. As he continues to hold Jack up by the arm, he coldly turns to her. He says that he thought she had understood their situation; it doesn't matter what Eggman wants the refinery for or that he's building a huge refueling station, the Legion just has to keep protecting it until he says otherwise. Angry, he finishes by saying she's just put the lives of the entire chapter at risk. With Beauregard's attention elsewhere, Jack attempts to recover his gun, but Bunnie grabs it before he can. She tells her uncle that he put all their lives at risk the moment he sided with Eggman. Beauregard calls her cold-hearted, but is caught off-guard as Sonic spindashes towards him; he deflects the attack with his cane. Suddenly, the missile fired by Avery comes back down...
A massive explosion throws everyone away. As fire blazes and smoke pours over the refinery, Beauregard cries "Now you've gone and done it, 'Missus D'Coolette'! You've doomed us all!" Bunnie replies that she hasn't. Crushing Jack's gun in her hand, she says that what she and Sonic have done was prevented the Sand Blasters from taking control of the refinery, struck a blow against whatever Eggman's plans were, and shifted all the blame from the Legion. Beauregard is confused, but Sonic adds that Bunnie's right; all Beauregard needs to do is tell Eggman that Sonic the Hedgehog was involved and he'll be off the hook (he adds that Eggman has "a bit of a complex" when it comes to him). As Legionnaires arrive, Beauregard flatly tells his niece that she can't play both sides forever; one day, she'll have to face him as a Freedom Fighter. She admits that that's true, but not today. As Legionnaires hold her at gunpoint, she tells her uncle that they hadn't seen each other in so long; she didn't want it to end in another fight. Beauregard orders the Legionnaires to stand down. He strokes Bunnie's face with his normal hand, and they say good bye, addressing each other no longer as "Buns" and "Uncle Beau" but rather "Missus D'Coolette" and "Grandmaster Rabbot." Both pulling their hats over their eyes, they walk off.
Stepping outside the refinery, Sonic points out that the Sand Blasters decided to escape while the Legion is leaving as well, and in addition to that, despite the smoke, it looks like most of the mess will stay inside the refinery and not spill out into the environment. Sonic puts his hands on Bunnie's shoulders and tells her that they technically helped a group of Freedom Fighters, helped some people in a bad situation, and stopped the plans of "various jerks" - this makes it a good day. Wiping away tears, Bunnie agrees; she suggests it's time to go home.
In Castle Acorn in New Mobotropolis, Alicia Acorn apologizes to Dr. Quack, saying that today had been shaping up to be "one of this better days." Dr. Quack says it's fine, and, as he leaves, that he'll see her tomorrow. Alicia turns to her husband, Maximillian Acorn, and says that he can't keep shutting everyone out. He asks if she would fetch someone for him. Delighted, asks who it is he wants to see - perhaps Sally or Elias - but he tells her instead of bring Geoffrey St. John to see him.
- The secondary story, "Hindsight" could have been a clue to Snively's attack on the Eggman Empire later on in Sonic Universe #36.