Previously on Rage Against the Empire

The Rebellion of Blue has just gotten a new recruit, Lyn Salazar, who seems to be more than ready to take on the Eggman Empire and win the world back! Shortly after, they then receive some good news - many of their lost comrades have been discovered to be alive but have long been subject to torture and other demoralizing acts. However, they have been held prisoner in an orbital prison, where they were subject to torture and other demoralizing acts, prompting the organziation to steal a shuttle from the Spaceport in the Chemical Plant in order to get there and bust him out! Little do they know, another enemy awaits them...

Stage 2 - Spaceport Heist

Spaceport, Chemical Plant, Egg Sector Foxtrot - November 24, X017, 5:47 PM PST

The first phase of their big rescue plan was underway. The squad sent for this mission consisted of two separate teams. The first team, consisting of the Chaotix, along with Aqua, were elsewhere, keeping the enemy forces distracted and focused on them. Meanwhile, the second team, which consisted of Amy, Glacier, and the Rebellion of Blue’s newest recruit, Lyn, would take advantage of the situation and sneak into the launch pad of the Spaceport to steal one of the shuttles stationed there.

However, Lyn wasn’t entirely too fond that she didn’t get to join the other team, who seemed to be getting in more of the metal ass-kicking than her team. She shrugged it off, though, since the squad for this operation was made in extremely short notice. In addition, stealing a shuttle was the whole point of this heist, and she was sure she could do that just as easily. At the moment, however, she was just waiting by the edge of a nearby building for the greenlight for her group to get in there, which soon came.

Espio here. Our team’s engaging enemy forces in the orbital tunnel, over,” the chameleon chimed in to the second team through his communicator.

Seems like almost all of them Badniks here are going after us!” Aqua commented as well. “Should be safe enough for you guys to get in there.

“Thanks for the head’s up, you two,” Glacier answered through her communicator before ending the transmission before turning to the crimson feline. “You sure you’re ready for this, Lyn? I know it’s a relatively simple mission, but-”

“Yeah, yeah, ‘one wrong move could spell my doom’, I get it,” Lyn bluntly cut her off, visibly eager to get some action going.

“Alright, if you say so,” Amy replied as she prepped her hammer. “Glacier, if you would, please?”

The she-wolf then immediately nodded before pulling out what she figured was an intricately-designed wand of sorts. As Lyn stared at it in awe, the wand began to glow a bright, sky blue. As the light faded away, she saw that a floating platform suddenly materialized out of nothing, as if it were done by magic!

As Lyn was asking herself what Glacier just did and how she did that, the she-wolf and Amy got on the platform before the former briefly remarked, “Since this will be your first mission, you best stay close to us. Got it?”

After the she-cat nodded at the she-wolf’s question, Glacier began to move the platform towards the route to their objective. Lyn then proceeded to launch the grappling hook on her bracelet towards another ledge and winched herself forward, so as to catch up with the rest of her team. As they began to make their way, however, they saw that there were still a fair number of Badniks roaming around.

“Heh. Looks like I’m gonna get to have some fun, after all,” Lyn quietly told herself as she saw the Badniks approach her. She then latch onto one of them with her grappling hook and pulled herself towards it, knocking the robot and a few other robots behind it away. Soon enough, the team of three began fighting off the swarms of Badniks!

Glacier was easily cutting through the robots with her shortsword and dagger, while Amy was smashing more of them with her hammer like no tomorrow. Meanwhile, Lyn was knocking over several more of the robots with little trouble and easily dodging their attacks with her impressive agility. As the the number of Badniks attacking them began to lessen, however, the three suddenly received another transmission!

Watch out, guys! I just caught a visual on a man with a mask!” Espio chimed in quickly through his communicator. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that that’s the bastard who took Sonic down!

What!? Where is he!?” Lyn cried out violently. “I’ve got a score to settle with that son of a bitch!”

No, rookie! Stay focused on the mission,” Vector hastily responded. “Remember, the point of this mission is to steal a shuttle so we can rescue our captured comrades!

“Vector’s right, Lyn,” Glacier added with a stern look. “Right now, we can’t afford to have you jeopardize the mission!”

“Not to mention, he managed to take Sonic down without a sweat!” Amy commented in agreement with the she-wolf. “What makes you think that you stand a chance against him!?”

Upon hearing them make their statements, Lyn begrudgingly doubled back on her hastiness to confront whoever slaughtered her friends and family. After a long moment of silence, Lyn decided to forget about the masked freak who ravaged her home, and prioritize the mission at hand.

Fine,” she calmly replied before running off towards their mission objective, with Glacier and Amy following close behind.

Meanwhile, Espio’s team was busy dealing with a large number of Badniks. Vector and Aqua were having a relatively easy time tossing the Badniks around with his massive strength and her skill in martial arts, respectively. Charmy, on the other hand, was simply flying towards several robots, left and right, destroying each of them in a single strike.

As Espio managed to take down more Badniks by throwing a couple of shuriken and kunai at them, Charmy suddenly called out, “Guys, I think that guy’s coming this way!”

“Prepare yourselves, everyone!” Epsio responded, steeling himself for a fight. “Considering how much power over the world Eggman has, consider whoever comes our way a high-level threat!”

“Don’t need to tell me twice, man,” Aqua answered in agreement, as she got into her battle stance while Vector and Charmy soon followed.

At that moment, a mysterious figure slowly approached the four, without uttering a single word. As the figure came closer, however, they could make out that the man approaching them was, in fact, not the same monster who defeated Sonic that fateful day.

Instead of a dominantly-black outfit and a mask that covered only one of his eyes, as was described to them, they saw another Mobian sporting a primarily white outfit, metallic armor plating around his upper torso and shoulders, and a mask that concealed both of his eyes but left his lower face somewhat exposed.

“So, we finally meet,” the unfamiliar face calmly stated as he ceased his approach. “You three must be Team Chaotix, but the girl with you, I am not familiar with.”

“...You’re not the man who defeated Sonic,” Espio commented, staring down at the unfamiliar entity in front of his team. “Who are you?”

“Straight to the point, huh? Very well,” the man in white answered. “I go by Rubeus, also known as ‘Crimson Slayer’. In case the insignia on my chest is not enough of an indication, I serve the Eggman Empire.”

“You must be new then, cuz I don’t recall seeing you around before,” Aqua quickly replied, clenching her fists tighter, ready for a fight.

“Relatively speaking, you are correct,” Rubeus calmly answered. “I began serving Dr. Eggman only around three months earlier.”

“Wait a second, did you just call yourself the ‘Crimson Slayer’?” Vector suddenly asked the man confronting them, as if he had just remembered something quite important. “I feel like I’ve heard that name before...”

“Ah, I do recall telling some soldiers in your resistance who chose to flee like cowards to inform them of my existence,” Rubeus replied with a slight smirk on his face. “If you’ve been wondering who exactly has been slaughtering many of your men... you’ve found him.”

“Well then, if that’s case,” Vector began to speak, his expression suddenly turning unusually cold. “Looks like we’re about to get ourselves some personal payback for that!”

“Try it then, if you dare! If necessary, I shall end your lives here as well,” Rubeus bluntly answered back as he began to assume his stance before taunting the group of four in front of him. After a brief moment, the team began to rush towards Rubeus, and the fight was on!

Back with Lyn’s team, the three were making rapid progress towards the launch pad, where they could find a shuttle that would allow them to fly to wherever Sonic was and bust him out. However, the she-cat soon realized that she had somehow gotten herself separated from Glacier and Amy, probably due to the confusion caused by the sudden swarms of Badniks.

“Dammit, Lyn. You had one job!” the feline angrily muttered to herself as she realized this. “You had one goddamn job, and you fucked it up! Nice.

Hey, Lyn! Where’d you run off to?” Amy suddenly called through her communicator. “We didn’t realize you weren’t with us until we got past those Badniks.

“My bad, Amy. I must’ve gone a bit too far while dealing with them robots,” Lyn answered, a little ashamed of her current predicament. “Might be a good idea to go on without me. I’ll find my own way through.”

Lyn has a point, Amy,” Glacier commented promptly. “We haven’t much time to waste.

Well, alright. If you’re sure,” Amy replied to the feline, sounding visibly anxious. “Just be careful, alright?

“Will do!” Lyn answered through her communicator before continuing her way towards the objective. She was sure she could find her way through, even without their guidance. Her instincts have yet to fail her, she believed.

A short while after wandering around the Spaceport to find a route to the launch pad, she found herself at a bit of a dead end. It seemed she was out of ground to go around on, which seemed to annoy the she-cat quite a bit. However, just a few seconds right after, she spotted a cargo transport approaching near her a fair distance away.

“Alright, I’m gonna need to time this just right,” Lyn quietly muttered to herself as she prepped her grappling hook. However, the transport seemed to be approaching faster than she initially thought! She’d really need to fire her grappling hook just right or risk falling to her death. As it began to draw ever closer, she began to count down in her head.

Three... two... one... NOW!

With one swift motion, Lyn launched her grappling hook towards the farthest ledge she could reach and attempted to swing herself to the top of the transport! Unfortunately, her landing was off by a tiny bit, causing her to nearly fall off to the ground way above her.

"Shit!" Lyn cried to herself as she tried to hang on to the edge of the transport with her hands before attempting to climb back up. Thankfully, she did manage to make it back to the top of the transport. However, it was now approaching a tunnel that seemed to be closing in real fast!

With some quick thinking, Lyn managed to winch herself to the ground above and avoid falling off again. However, she quickly descended directly into the path of another cargo transport!

Oh, come fucking on! The feline quickly though to herself just before her reflexes kicked in. In a split second, she found herself flying away from the train’s path. While flying through the air for a moment, she spotted what she believed was the building where the launch pad containing the shuttles was located. She then promptly launched herself towards it, managing to make a smooth landing once she got there.

“Hey, guys! I managed to get to the building where the shuttles are... I think,” Lyn called over through her communicator as she examined her surroundings.

Yeah, you’re getting a little closer towards our current position,” Glacier responded through her communicator, relieved to hear from the she-cat. “Go ahead and make your way to the launch pad. We’ll meet up there.

As Lyn nodded at Glacier’s reply, she began to make her way towards the launch pad. As she did so, she thought to herself, I wonder how the Espio’s team is doing...

Back with Team Chaotix and Aqua, they were fighting their hardest against their new foe, Rubeus. However, he proved to be quite the formidable foe throughout the fight, as he has been able to keep up and fend off many of their attacks, despite being outnumbered.

“Damn, just how strong is that guy if he’s able to keep all four of us back!?” Aqua asked the rest of her teammates, an expression of frustration evident on her face.

“I can’t say for sure, Aqua,” Espio calmly replied as he tried to catch his breath. “Even worse, it seems that Rubeus is not fighting at his full strength.”

Are you serious!?” Vector cried out in surprise. “We’ve been giving it our all against this guy, and he’s just been toying with us?”

“So, you’ve noticed, chameleon. Quite perceptive of you,” the man in white remarked with a smirk. “Also, I’m honestly impressed none of you have sustained any serious injuries during our battle.”

“I simply sensed an incredible amount of energy flowing within you, yet none of your attacks seemed to make use of them,” Espio commented. “You are capable of using ki, right?”

A long moment of silence befell the team of four and the man in white. Espio couldn’t see Rubeus’ eyes still, but he could feel the cold, menacing glare piercing right through him, despite them being covered by his mask. Eventually, however, the man gave the chameleon a rather confident smirk.

“Very well. Since you have managed to catch my intrigue, I shall honor you with a proper battle,” Rubeus replied with an earnest tone. “Just you and me, one-on-one. Your friends are free to do as they please, as long as they do not interfere with our battle.”

“You sure about this, Espio?” Charmy asked the chameleon worriedly. “Remember, the guy’s working for that Egghead!”

“Worry not, Charmy. He may serve the Empire, but I am sure that he is a man of his word,” Espio answered the bee as he steeled himself for a fight. “You best catch up with the rest while you still can.”

After a brief moment, Charmy nodded to the chameleon before he, Vector, and Aqua quickly dashed towards the launch pad, where Lyn, Glacier, and Amy are most likely getting close to at this very moment. As the three disappeared, Rubeus and Espio simply stood still for a few moments of silence before slowly assuming their stances.

“With this battle, you shall be the first to know the reason they call me the Crimson Slayer!” Rubeus called out as an aura of energy taking on a menacing, blood red coloration began to envelop him. However, Espio could see that the aura seemed to begin transmuting into something else. He could feel the intense heat emanating from the man in white, as if his very aura were a raging fire. That was when he realized...

“Wait... you don’t mean to tell me-!” Espio began to speak but got his answer before he could finish asking, for Rubeus appeared to have enshrouded himself within a violent, crimson flame! Espio then figured that he was in for a truly dangerous fight.

“Yes... Espio, was it?” the man in white promptly replied, a wider grin appearing on his face. “If I were to sum what I've just done up in a few words... I am violence incarnate!

-Stage 2 - End-

Previous Chapter: Stage 1 - A Fiery Newcomer
Next ChapterStage 3 - Flames of Violence

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