|Sonic the Hedgehog #237|
Steven Butler (Loyalty, Part One)
Anthony Gaccione and Cindy Chau at SEGA licensing
- "Loyalty," Part One. Team Fighters links up with Grand Chief Lupe as they track down the Death Egg. As they deal with the ferocious Felidae Warriors and Dark Egg Legion, a mysterious figure tracks them. Meanwhile, in "Heart to Heart," Nicole and Mina finally confront each other!
Loyalty - Part One
Having arrived in Soumerca with the Death Egg Mark 2, Dr. Eggman, now targeting both the Pais Misterioso and the Wolf Pack Nation, is outraged to discover from Drago and Razorklaw that their base is behind schedule. Drago and Razorklaw claim that, due to the alliance between the wolves and the Felidae, they are two much for the DEL to handle, but Eggman furiously refuses to believe it with their weaponry and cybernetic enhancements. At that moment, however, Orbot and Cubot end the transmission in the middle of Eggman's rant to preserve their dwindling oxygen and supplies. Recalling that the Wolf Pack and Felidae are only at peace because of Sonic and Sally's efforts, Eggman questions Mecha Sally on how she would ruin the peace between the two. Mecha Sally states that the truce between the Felidae and the Wolf Pack is maintained by their leaders, and if they remove the leaders, the two tribes will turn on each other. While Eggman goes to refuel and restock the Death Egg, Mecha Sally successfully captures Lupe and Queen Hathor.
Later, Sonic, Tails, Amy, and T-Pup enter the Wolf Pack Nation to warn them of Eggman's coming and recruit Lupe to their cause. However, they come across Leeta, Lyco, and Lupe's children eavesdropping at a nearby window. The children explain Lupe's disappearance, and Lobo believes the Felidae are behind it and they are currently planning to go to war. Both Sonic and Tails are skeptical that the Felidae are behind it, and Leeta and Lyco admit that they don't believe it either, stating that the Felidae are not subtle and they would know if they were behind the kidnapping.
Amy and Tails quickly deduce that Eggman is responsible and reveal Sally's roboticization; both Leeta and Lyco are aghast that roboticization works again. Knowing that Lobo is too worried and grief-stricken to listen to reason and that the other pack chieftains are eager for any excuse to attack the Felidae, Team Fighters decides to go save Lupe themselves before the meeting between the chieftains is over. Leeta and Lyco agree to lead them to the Lost Temple of Shazamazon, where Eggman's minions are hiding.
On their way, they witness Hathor (minus her queen robes) being pursued by a group of Dark Egg Legion soldiers led by Razorklaw. Just as they have her cornered, Sonic and co. spring into action and fight them off. When Hathor states that she is not the queen, but merely an emissary, Sonic, remembering that the Felidae queen is only the queen when she wears the robes, steps in and presents himself as an ambassador.
Hathor explains that she and Lupe had been captured by Eggman's robots; knowing that their respective tribes would most likely blame the other for their disappearances, Lupe nobly decided to help Hathor escape through an air vent to get help, while she remained behind to face possible roboticization. Hathor, however, was forced to leave her robes behind to do so.
At that moment, however, the group is confronted by a group of Felidae warriors, who are skeptical of Hathor's story. However, when Hathor reminds them that the wolves and Freedom Fighters are their allies and that she bears the queen's will, the Felidae agree to help, but it will be up to the wolves to listen.
<Meanwhile, back at the Shazamazon Temple, Eggman remarks to a restrained Lupe that, even if his Roboticizer functioned, she would likely retain the Bem immunity to roboticization. Undaunted, Eggman decides to Leginoize Lupe instead...
Heart to Heart
Mina enters Freedom HQ, asking [[NICOLE] to speak with her. Mina begs NICOLE to come back to the city, but NICOLE, speaking through text on a monitor, states that Mina got exactly what she wanted and that NICOLE is now where she can no longer hurt anyone and vice versa. Upset, Mina insists that she never wanted things to turn out this way; she only wanted to inspire people and never intended for fear to take over the city, let alone turn the public against NICOLE. However, NICOLE still refuses to return to New Mobotropolis, believing that she has failed her friends. However, Mina reminds her that Rotor and Sonic, despite their own recent failings, are continuing to fight, and she wants nothing more than to set things right.
With that, NICOLE materializes in the lab in her Mobian form, and forgives Mina for her mistakes, vowing to move forward, while Mina quickly starts making plans for a new concert to change the public's minds and get NICOLE back into the city.
At that moment, Harvey Who, who had heard everything, enters, saying that he is glad to hear NICOLE say that. After apologizing for eavesdropping, he explains that he needs NICOLE's assistance for "a certain project of his.