The Doctor Robotnik Appreciation Tribe (D.R.A.T.) is a fanatical cult who revere Doctor Robotnik in a seemingly godly light. Led by Grand Chief Whip, D.R.A.T. are determined to make the people of Mobius view Robotnik as they do and to prepare the planet for the doctor's inevitable return to power. The cult's motto is "Bring back the Doctor!"
D.R.A.T. made their debut in Sonic the Comic Issue 103 in the complete Sonic's World story, Crawling From the Wreckage. The tribe had established themselves in the Metropolis Zone, hiding beneath the ruins of Citadel Robotnik after converting the basement armoury into a temple. There, the group conducted initiation rites for new members and prepared themselves for war against the enemies of their "Great One". The temple was discovered by the Freedom Fighters and the cultists took up arms against the intruders. Their latest initiate - Brother Norman - attacked the heroes in an Egg-o-Matic equipped with spring-armed fists. He attempted to crush them but was knocked out of the cockpit when the springed fist bounced back after hitting the ground. Although Norman was defeated by his own incompetence, he did buy enough time for the other D.R.A.T. members to escape.
Although D.R.A.T. were scattered after their temple was discovered, they were far from finished. D.R.A.T. agents all across the planet began conducting numerous acts of civil disruption and terrorism. All known D.R.A.T. operations are documented below.
Channel Hoppers - In Issue 112's single Tails story Channel Hoppers, three D.R.A.T. agents took control of a TV studio and broadcast a children's programme called Channel Hoppers. During each broadcast, a subliminal message would be sent out on a frequency only young minds could pick up. The message would make the viewers believe that Robotnik is wonderful, creating a new generation of pro-Robotnik citizenry. Their plot was foiled by Tails, who called upon the services of Tim Tuna to block the Channel Hoppers' message and place a new one in its place. The new message told the viewers all about D.R.A.T.'s plan and the children turned on the Channel Hoppers when they went out live and met their 'fans'. The D.R.A.T. agents began fighting amongst themselves after their discovery, and after being beaten by Tails they skulked away in defeat. No authorities appeared to arrest them, however, so what became of them afterwards is unknown.
Clean-Up - In the Issue 117 story High in the Sky, Grand Chief Whip and a number of his followers commandeered a garbage van and tried to kidnap Norris Wimple, who had photographed what he believed to be a UFO. Concerned that it might be one of Dr. Robotnik's new weapons, Whip and his brothers grabbed Wimple off the street to stop him from getting his film developed. Amy and Tekno were on hand to rescue Wimple, but D.R.A.T. attempted to stop them by deploying several frisbee-shaped weapons which flew after the heroes. Tekno managed to catch the lead flying disc and reprogrammed it to go after Whip's van. The discs backfired and Whip and co. abandoned their vehicle before it exploded, leaving Wimple and his film with Amy and Tekno. As it turned out, Norris's photo wasn't a UFO or a Robotnik weapon; it was Tails.
Dither's Centre for the Undecided - In Issue 120's Sonic story Riot Resolution, D.R.A.T. agent Wally Dithers opened up a Centre for the Undecided in the Emerald Hill Zone. Several Emerald Hill folk could not decide on New Year's resolutions and so visited the centre for Dithers to make their minds up for them. Dithers resolved for the townsfolk to destroy Sonic, which - spectacularly - the group actually fell for. And so, these undecided folk found Sonic and attacked him, even though they had no hope of defeating him. As it turned out, this attack was merely a distraction; Dithers and Grand Chief Whip wanted Sonic out of the way while they attacked the Freedom Fighters Control Centre in a huge tank. Sonic turned up at the last moment to stop them, but when Whip ordered Dithers to open fire, Dithers couldn't decide which weapon to use. The situation became moot as Sonic swiftly destroyed the tank before Dithers could make up his mind.
Metropolis Badnik Attack - In Issue 121's Hobson & Choy Part One, a group of D.R.A.T. terrorists had obtained blueprints of several first-generation Badniks from Robotnik. With these designs, they built their own squadron of Badniks and set them loose in the Metropolis Zone. Since these designs were so outdated, Sonic and Tails had no trouble dealing with them. The Metropolis Police then turned up to arrest the D.R.A.T. members.
Death From Above - In Issue 134's Hyper Sonic, a D.R.A.T. chapter had somehow acquired two missiles (which may or may not have been nuclear). Both missiles were launched just as Sonic attacked their hideout, heading in different directions. Sonic was forced to push himself beyond his limits in order to reach both targets (Hill Top and Metropolis) in time. The Hill Top-bound missile was thrown into space as Sonic created a mini-tornado to catapult it out of harm's way. The second missile was too close to its target to stop, but Sonic was able to create a speed cocoon around the missile as it detonated, forcing it to implode on itself.
Chaos Snatch - In the Knuckles story The Take-Over, a D.R.A.T. chapter invaded the Floating Island in order to steal the Chaos Emeralds. Their plan was to have their four new members take down the island's shields and distract the Guardian Robots whilst the others made for the Emerald Chamber. The new members consisted of Ms. Alpha, Mr. Beta, Mr. Gamma and Mr. Delta. These four were out for themselves, however, and intended to plunder the island's treasures (excluding the Chaos Emeralds) for themselves. They abandoned their D.R.A.T. cohorts as soon as their ship landed and the D.R.A.T. team were captured by the Guardians.
Sleek VS. Tails - D.R.A.T. member Sleek the Panther sought to battle against Tails and very nearly defeated him. Sleek only lost due to interference by a local ant colony; the ants weakened the soil beneath Sleek's feet, causing him to collapse into a pit.
In STC Issue 149 in the Tails story Forbidden Island, the Kintobor Computer managed to locate D.R.A.T.'s secret headquarters on an island ten miles out to sea. Tails and Shortfuse attempted to invade the island, but it was protected by a force field that disabled any electrical hardware that approached it. To overcome this obstacle, Tails called in Charmy Bee to help him. The two heroes took turns flying over to the island whilst carrying the other, and eventually they made it. After landing, they were attacked by Grand Chief Whip and his followers, who were wearing hi-tech battle-suits. Tails fled the battle to sneak into the D.R.A.T. base and reverse the polarity of the force field generator. This resulted in all technology on the island shutting down, including the battle-suits. With their suits left powerless and prone, Whip and his group were captured and taken back to the mainland to answer for their crimes.
Sonic the Comic Online
D.R.A.T. remain active in Sonic the Comic Online, even without Whip. In Sonic the Poster Mag 2007's story, The Night Before Christmas, they held a peaceful protest at midnight on Christmas Eve, saying the Freedom Fighters were mean to Robotnik by locking him up when he was mentally ill. Tails and Police Chief Bodger supervised the protest, which, as they expected, didn't turn violent. They took a more aggressive stance in Sonic the Summer Special 2009's Brotherhood, disguising themselves as Metallixes, kidnapping citizens and almost killing Tails when he tried to put a stop to the kidnappings. Naturally, their attempts were thwarted.
Below is a list of all known tribe members.
Grand Chief Whip - Esteemed leader of D.R.A.T. Whip is an overweight rooster who wears regal-looking robes and a neck chain adorned with a golden carving of Robotnik's nose and moustache. He is responsible for organising the majority of the cult's activities.
Brother Norman - Norman was undergoing initiation when the Freedom Fighters first discovered D.R.A.T.'s temple beneath the ruins of Citadel Robotnik. He attacked the heroes in an Egg-o-Matic vehicle, but failed due to an apparent flaw in the weapons design. He stumbled away after his brothers had fled, it is unknown if he went back to them.
Brother Barry - A grey dog who dressed as the blue Channel Hopper.
Brother Percy - A canine of some sort who dressed as the red Channel Hopper.
Green Channel Hopper - Out of costume, he is a chimp. His name isn't revealed.
Brother Brian - A pig who is a member of Grand Chief Whip's chapter.
Wally Dithers - A hyena who operated the Centre for the Undecided in the Emerald Hill Zone. He coerced a group of residents into attacking Sonic the Hedgehog so he could attack an undefended Control Centre and destroy the Kintobor Computer. When Sonic caught up to him, he couldn't decide which of his tank's weapons to use to kill the hedgehog. In that moment of indecision, Sonic destroyed the tank. A hyena who may or may not have been Dithers also appeared in Issue 149's Forbidden Island story, donning a battle-suit along with Whip and his other comrades.
Sleek the Panther - Equipped with some kind of energy pack which delivered an electrical charge into his boxing gloves, Sleek challenged Tails to a duel in order to make the public lose faith in their heroes. He would have won as well if not for a local swarm of ants collapsing the ground beneath him.