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The Prisoner
Prisoner

Knuckles interrogates Zachary. Art by Adamis and Fast Ashadonic.

is a 2-part Knuckles the Echidna story, beginning in Issue 248 of Sonic the Comic Online.

Staff

Story

In the Emerald Chamber of the Floating Island, Knuckles the Echidna decides that today is the day he's going to get all his answers from Doctor Zachary. Porker Lewis is keen to keep Knuckles' hopes down and accidentally mentions Vichama, despite being warned not to. Ashamed, he quickly tells Knuckles that the forcefield on Zachary's cell might be weaker than it used to thanks to Vichama. Knuckles walks off, telling Porker not to worry, although he knows Zachary is the only way he'll find out about his ancient echidna family. Meeting up with Knuckles, the guardian immediately warns Zachary that he's learnt a lot recently and Zachary is running out of secrets. However, the interrogation follows the usual pattern of Zachary evading all of Knuckles' questions. Knuckles asks about his people, Vichama and where Zachary came from, but Zachary refuses to comply. Instead, he heavily taunts his counterpart, saying that he easily found his way to the Floating Island and the rest of his race must simply not want to come home. Knuckles loses his temper and smashes the forcefield, allowing Zachary to use his blaster to knock Knuckles out. With the hidden command S3K-Theta, Zachary commandeers a nearby Guardian Robot. Before he leaves the island, he also knocks Porker unconscious and steals the Master Emerald. Hearing Knuckles' aghast voice, a computer program activates with Zachary appearing on-screen, saying he'll be waiting in Megopolis City. Furious, Knuckles checks Porker's pulse before jumping into a zoom tube.

Arriving in Megopolis City, Knuckles' first priority is to separate Zachary from the Master Emerald. Behind him, Zachary and the Guardian Robot emerge from underground, taking the zoom tube with them. Zachary continues to taunt Knuckles as the two battle, but the old man urges Knuckles to look behind him. Strapped to a Master Emerald-topped pillar is Tikal, who had been exploring the city. Seeing Zachary, she froze in fear, proving to be an easy capture. Now Zachary has a choice to give to Knuckles; choose to save Tikal and Zachary will destroy the Emerald, condeming the Island. Choose the Emerald and Tikal will be killed. With an impossible decision to make, Knuckles chooses to save his home.

Fortunately, Tikal doesn't seem to mind and she orders the Guardian Robot to release her and protect her from Zachary. Zach is confused, his software should respond to only his orders. Tikal reveals that the robots always obey her and must have been designed to do so. With the odds levelled, Knuckles leaps in for a fair fight with Zachary and his gun. The villain pretends that his tormenting of Knuckles is simply helping him develop as a guardian, but Knuckles thumps him anyway. Defeated, Zachary makes his arm cannon disconnect and uses his jetpack to fly away from the island, sending Knuckles another warning as he goes.

However, it all was an elaborate plan. Before the events of the story, Porker had installed an implant into the Guardian Robot, which would plant a scanner in Zachary's bionic eye once inside the robot. Tikal's capture was part of the plan and, now that Zachary thinks his escape was a fluke, the bionic implant will now lead Knuckles right to where Zachary is hiding, perhaps to his people!

Trivia

  • Shaz wrote the script for both parts, but the story was heavily edited by Tom Huxley for the second part.
  • This story was set after the events of Vichama Is Coming Home, even though the third part of that story had not yet been released. This meant that certain aspects of this story, such as Knuckles being alive were rather confusing.
  • Vichama is blamed for Zachary's weakened forcefield, as he "tore through this part of the island". However, while Vichama did kill Knuckles in the Emerald Chamber, he didn't do any damage to the Chamber itself. Is Porker talking about Vichama's risen temple?
  • Zachary calls the echidna race "your race", suggesting they are not of the same people.
  • Zachary's hidden command, S3K-Theta, is partly an initialism of Sonic 3 & Knuckles. This command also suggests Zachary either knew which robots he had taken control of, or had altered all of them.
  • The line "Hello Knuckles" was accidentally printed twice, once on the previous panel, although it isn't in a speech bubble.
  • Megopolis City is mistakenly spelled MegApolis City in the second part.
  • The Guardian Robot has a green "eye" in the early parts of Part 2, suggesting it has absorbed the Master Emerald, but doesn't show such powers. Later panels show it to have the normal red eye.

Timeline

Both the previous and next Knuckles stories are Vichama Is Coming Home, Part 2 and Part 3 surrounding this story.

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