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Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 285 is the two-hundred eighty-fifth issue of Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
The suspense builds for Sonic in “Panic in the Sky” Part Two: Sonic and the Freedom Fighters have faced a crushing defeat at the hands of Dr. Eggman and his entire evil Eggman Empire! Now it becomes a race against time to get back in the fight and save the day! But when Dr. Eggman uses Chip and the power of the Chaos Emeralds, are our heroes already too late? Featuring the second of four connecting covers by comics pro Dan Schoening plus a “Gaia Colossus” variant by the excellent Evan Stanley!
Sonic is seen plummeting to his doom along with Antoine, Bunnie and the Sky Patrol. Aboard the Battle Fortress, Speedy has encased Chip in a capsule and asks Battle Lord Kukku XV if they should move in for the kill. The battle lord, however, says that they are on a schedule and had no more time left to do so.
Sonic struggles in Bunnie's arms, wanting to get to the Battle Fortress immediately while Bunnie and Antoine struggled to cover any ground. Luckily, the Sky Patrol begins to fly once more, giving Sonic the encouragement to regroup with everyone and catch up to the Battle Bird Armada. Sonic finds a worn out Sally throwing two Battle Bird Armada soldiers into the brig. She expresses her disappointment at not being able to stop Speedy from kidnapping Chip while Antoine helps support.
They all head down to the engine room to find it barely holding. Tails, Rotor, Omochao and T-Pup continued with damage control and the former explained that Nicole's handheld was destroyed due to overheating. They all believed Nicole was lost until Tails got a shock from his MilesElectric. Nicole was able to upload herself into the Sky Partrol's systems and was keeping some of them, like the thrusters, online. Sally requests that her father should be contacted as soon as possible since Dr. Eggman would know where the Chaos Emeralds and Gaia Keys were due to Tails Doll's spying.
Meanwhile, Gemerl is still struggling to fight the Hooligans and the Witchcarters. Luckily, Cream, Cheese and Big all come to his rescue. They are able to drive the brutes away and then face the remaining badniks. Gemerl reports to the Sky Patrol on how Metal Sonic got away with the emeralds and the keys and he'll secure the city before checking on the king.
Rotor, Bunnie and Sonic begin to fix the engines while Antoine aids Tails to get the systems online again. Sally assumes that Eggman already made his move on Mobotropolis but knows that the emeralds, keys and Chip will take time to be delivered and they should take advantage of this time. She takes it upon herself to find out how much information Tails Doll had.
Hours later in Apotos, Eggman is waiting by with the captured Gregorios. Speedy and Metal Sonic arrive delivering the Chaos Emeralds, Gaia Keys and Chip. Eggman then asks Speedy and the Armada to take care of a G.U.N. flying carrier that may interrupt him while Eggman brought his stolen goods into the newly discovered Gaia Gate. Eggman explains to Chip that he wants to use Dark Gaia's energy to fuel his Death Egg for all the time, and could not do that if the Freedom Fighters succeeded. He then forces Chip allow access to the doors to all the Gaia Temples and allow his Egg SWATs to open the doors and place the Chaos Emeralds on the respective podiums.
The Gaia temples in Mazuri, Shamar, Adabat, Chun-Nan, Spagonia, Holoska and in the Stone Storm Lands Zone all rise up out of the ground and come to Apotos, to form Gaia Colossus. Eggman leaves Metal Sonic to keep the area secure and takes Chip with him to the Gaia Colossus. The evil dictator laughs at how he's now in complete control of both Light Gaia and Dark Gaia, almost to the point of where he would want to see Sonic attempt to stop him.
Sally contacts Amy to find out that she is having problems of her own. She lets Amy know that they were attacked on all fronts and Eggman now had the emeralds, keys and Chip and they were planning a counter-attack. However, the message was cut short and Sally sadly lets the team know that Nigel and Mobotropolis were indeed attacked. Rotor managed to get the primary engine running again but for only one quick trip. After data-mining Tails Doll, Sally reveals that Eggman had been gathering the Dark Gaia energy into his base called Eggman Land. He plans to recharge the Death Egg with this power, making it unstoppable. G.U.N. had informed Sally that the Gaia temples rose up and formed a titan, which was also on its way to Eggman Land.
Sally then sets the objectives: stop the Death Egg from reaching its new power source, break Eggman's control of the Dark Gaia energy, rescue Chip and take control of the Gaia temples. G.U.N could not help them as they had no carriers nearby and the closest one had to deal with the Battle Bird Armada. Sally then tells the Freedom Fighters that they should be ready to risk it all in order to prevent Eggman from achieving global domination.
Rotor and Nicole go to delay the Death Egg with the Sky Patrol while Tails, Bunnie and Sally go to release the Dark Gaia energy Eggman had stored. However, they are met by Dark Gaia fueled badniks and two super badniks they met in the past: E-108 Iota and E-106 Eta. Sonic is tasked with finding Chip but has to deal with the opposition of Eggman in his latest mech: the Egg Dragoon.
The Gaia Temples come together, but they crash into each other at high speed, destroying them. Eggman then asks if they should exchange insurance while Chip looks on in horror.
- The Sky Partol regains flight thanks to NICOLE.
- NICOLE's handheld form is destroyed.
- Gemerl is saved by Cream, Cheese and Big.
- Eggman uses the Gaia keys and Chaos Emeralds to assemble the Gaia Colossus.
- Sally comes up with another plan to stop Eggman.
- Sally: Listen, everyone--this is it. If we fail any of these missions, Eggman will win control of the world. He'll keep the countries divided. He'll use the Dark Gaia energy to power his armies and poison the people. I've never wanted to ask so much of any of you, but... We have to be ready to risk it all to save the world. I know I'm asking a lot...asking everything of you.
- Princess Undina makes another appearance in this issue. She can be seen in Adabat, taking a photo of the Gaia temple rising out of the ground.
- This story arc shares its name with the main story from the Sonic & Knuckles special.
- Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 285 at Sonic News Network