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Sonic the Hedgehog: Two Steps Back- Special Edition is the sixth Free Comic Book Day issue. The issue contains a reprint of "Two Steps Back" from Sonic the Hedgehog #230, as well as a small collection of new literary stories titled "Genesis: Awakenings".
"Genesis" may be over, but that doesn't mean Sonic has saved the day! The Death Egg II still menaces New Mobotropolis, and Dr. Eggman has one more sinister trick up his sleeve. It's a desperate race against time as Sonic and Sally try to prevent another world catastrophe, and the ending will leave you speechless.
- "Sonic: Genesis Awakenings" (-Miles "Tails" Prower-)
Tails watches from the Tornado as Sonic grabs on to a passing rocket headed for the Death Egg. Inspired by Sonic's bravery, he heads for the Wing Fortress. Determined to take the flying fortress out, Tails realizes he never equipped the Tornado with weapons. He narrowly manages to dodge the fortress's laser fire and is beginning to panic when the world fades white.
Tails regains his senses and wonders why he feels unnerved. The Freedom Fighter Special passes by the Tornado and he remembers he was supposed to be attacking the Death Egg Mark 2. Tails notices that the Freedom Fighter Special appears to be flying rather casually and the Death Egg has stopped defending itself, sitting in the air, and feels as if the whole world had stopped to think about something else.
The battle suddenly begins anew, and Tails passes by the hole he had blasted in the Death Egg's shell. (StH #225) He wonders how he could possibly have attacked the flying fortress without any weapons, but realizes that the Tornado actually is equipped with several missiles. Trying to clear his thoughts, Tails shoots a few missiles at the Death Egg. The flying fortress stops firing back and an explosion erupts from the inside, smoke and fire pouring out.
- "Sonic: Genesis Awakenings" (-Knuckles the Echidna-)
Knuckles stands in the Hidden Palace, looking at the Master Emerald as he reflects on his role as its Guardian. Wondering if he'll ever understand why he needs to protect the stone, he jumps on to a teleportation device and is whisked to the Sky Sanctuary Zone. He jumps from the sky-high ruins and glides down to the surface of Angel Island, finishing his patrol for the day, when he notices an egg-shaped thing in the sky that fills him with dread. Suddenly, Knuckles' vision is clouded by a white haze, and he lands in the Red Mountains to clear his mind.
Knuckles wakes up in a panic, finding himself standing next to the Master Emerald on Shrine Isle. A dazed Julie-Su approaches him, telling him she felt like she was in the Twilight Cage. Knuckles tells her he feels like when he returned from the Chaos Force. (StH #125) Julie-Su reminds him that he promised not to talk about that when Charmy Bee flies towards them.
Noticing that Charmy isn't flying quite right, Knuckles asks him if he's okay. Charmy groggily responds that he just dreamed he was a detective with Espio and Vector. Knuckles is skeptical, but Julie-Su is spacing out, staring at her hand. Knuckles asks again if she's okay, but Julie just tells him that she had a strange dream as well and doesn't feel like herself. Knuckles tells her she'll be fine and gets ready to go on patrol, but gets the feeling that he searched the island that day. Certain that something must have happened, Knuckles ponders what could have made everyone feel so strange.
- "Sonic: Genesis Awakenings" (-Amy Rose-)
Amy Rose calms herself and begins a tarot reading. Placing the cards in order and studying them, she's overjoyed when she realizes she's fated to meet the world-famous hero, Sonic the Hedgehog. Seeing that the cards tell her she'll meet him in a "magical place" that she knows, she realizes that the cards must be pointing her towards Little Planet. Paying no heed to the cards' warning that she would meet two Sonics, Amy spins around in excitement until she becomes dizzy. She sits down in the grass as her vision blurs white.
She blinks and snaps back into focus, wondering where she is and why her clothes are different. Amy quickly remembers that she's aboard the Freedom Fighter Special, guarding the traitor sitting across from her, Geoffrey St. John. She considers that he might have cast a spell on her to make her lose focus, but decides against it when she notices that Geoffrey's eyes are glazed over as if he's lost in thought.
Amy checks in on the cockpit and sees Bunnie and Antoine snapping out of their daze. She heads back and tells Geoffrey not to try and trick anyone, threatening him with her Piko Piko Hammer. He gives her a bit of lip, but doesn't protest. The Freedom Fighter Special begins flying erratically again as the laser fire outside resumes. Amy grips her hammer tightly, overcome with a feeling of dread.
- "Sonic: Genesis Awakenings" (-Bunnie D'Coolette-)
Bunnie sits in a Prison Egg, surrounded by a group of Mobinis. The Mobinis look to her for support, and Bunnie tells them a story about a group of Mobians helping animals like them. Bunnie silently fears that help won't come for them and hopes that the Freedom Fighters will at least protect her little cousin, Cream. Wondering if she was getting tired, Bunnie closes her eyes as a white light fills the Prison Egg.
Bunnie shakes herself awake and, for a moment, believes that her body is entirely organic once more. She soon remembers that her arm and leg were replaced with cybernetics long ago and is nearly overcome with feelings of regret. She remains a bit fearful of her surroundings until she remembers that she's co-piloting the Freedom Fighter Special with Antoine.
Amy calls out to Bunnie and Antoine, and Bunnie tells her they're fine before shaking Antoine awake. They realize that whatever affected them must have affected everyone, as they see the Death Egg sitting calmly in the sky. The Death Egg lets out another flurry of laser strikes before going quiet again. Bunnie and Tails discuss the situation on the radio when an explosion sounds out from inside the Death Egg.
- "Sonic: Genesis Awakenings" (-Rotor Walrus-)
Boomer looks up at the sky from the command office of the Oil Ocean Zone, noticing a flash of light. He feels like the light must be connected to Sonic when he notices that the white flash is beginning to cover the sky and fill the corners of his eyes. With the world disappearing around him, Boomer runs over to Sally on the observation deck, finding her perfectly calm and holding a Pecky in her arms. She tells him trust Sonic and smiles. Fighting back his fear, Boomer watches as the white void covers the world.
Rotor wakes up, adjusting his glasses, to find himself in a daze halfway changed out of his councillor's uniform. Spotting the Death Egg in the sky, Rotor's memories come rushing back and he recalls the Royal Guard taking the people to the safety of a bunker. He managed to slip out of sight so he could grab his Nanite Suit and help the Knothole Freedom Fighters fight the Death Egg.
Rotor wrestles with his conscience, wondering if he can keep risking these fights with his poor physical condition and if the threats on the city will ever not be dangerous "enough" to give him an excuse to use the suit. Seeing the Freedom Fighter Special and the Tornado zip around the Death Egg, Rotor decides not to put on the suit. He reasons with himself that his friends can handle fighting Dr. Eggman on their own and he has his own duties to fulfill. As he puts his uniform back on he thinks to himself, "What was the worst that could happen?"
- Knuckles: "I'm here. You okay?"
- Julie-Su: "Yeah, I just have this strange feeling...like I was back in the Twilight Cage."
- Unlike most Archie Sonic stories, the "Sonic: Genesis Awakenings" stories are entirely told in text, lacking any sort of original illustrations.
Cameos & References
- In Amy's "Awakenings" story, her tarot cards tell her that she is soon destined to meet Sonic at a place that she presumes to be the Little Planet. This is reference to her first appearance in the Sega CD game, Sonic CD.
- In Knuckles' "Awakenings" story, Knuckles sees the Death Egg from the Sky Sanctuary Zone, which is a reference to the ship falling on Angel Island after its defeat in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which kickstarts the plot to Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- After the planet is returned to normal in Knuckles' "Awakenings" story, Charmy tells Knuckles he had a "dream" where he was running a detective agency along with Vector and Espio. This is a reference to the Chaotix being detectives in the Sonic video game franchise.
- In Bunnie's "Awakenings" story, the Mobinis in the Prison Egg with her are incorrectly referred to as "Mobians". This typo contradicts a later line explaining that Bunnie is the only Mobian in the Prison Egg.
- All five "Genesis Awakening" stories span across the end of "Genesis: Part 4" (StH#229) and the beginning of "Two Steps Back..." (StH#230).