Friends Stripes and Ruff are in the Emerald Hill Zone; Ruff has seen something troubling him and he drags his badger friend to witness it for himself. Sure enough, they reach the source of the problem - Sonic the Hedgehog seems to have gone insane and is ripping up the Zone's Star Posts. However, as the two friends run away in terror, all is not as it seems as 'Sonic' is actually a Badnik designed to look like him.
Later, Tails gives chase to a speedy Sonic. After much exhaustion and springing around, the fox finally manages to catch up with Sonic and informs him what Stripes and Ruff have seen, worrying about what other people will think. Disgruntled, Sonic agrees to take a look. As the sun sets, Stripes and Ruff are still discussing what they've seen, although Stripes wonders whether it was Sonic at all. Their argument is interrupted by the appearance of several Badniks. Before they can escape, the pair are dragged in to the metallic bodies to become organic batteries.
The next day, Sonic discovers that a Star Post is indeed missing. Tails deduces that the imposter must be long gone, just before the robot smashes through a wall to attack. Sonic is quickly overpowered, becoming groggy after a head-on collision and getting grazed by a spike trap. Tails decides to help, climbing to the top of a pillar and performing a Spin Attack on the robot. Unfortunately, Sonic decided to at the same moment and the heroes crash into each other. In the confusion, Sonic is dragged into the Badnik's body and the hedgehog becomes one with the Badnik. Realising it's all his fault, Tails vows to save Sonic, but is quickly discouraged by the appearance of several other Badniks. Doctor Robotnik quickly follows (in a "fancy" metal suit) and proceeds to capture Tails once more, eager to turn him into a Badnik. Robotnik also explains that he needs help collecting the Star Posts, the only way to get to the Special Zone where Robotnik's new Egg Fortress base is. On hearing this, the Sonic Badniks lifts up its master threatingly. Sonic seems to have overcome the Badnik programming and orders Robotnik to free his friends, or else suffer a supersonic spin. The tyrant reluctantly agrees, before flying away on his jet boots, promising revenge. Sonic shouts back, vowing to be ready for anything.
- Sonic Badnik
- Stripes Badnik
- Ruff Badnik
- Tails Badnik
- Bat Brain (silouhette only)
- This is Nigel Kitching's very first strip for STC.
- The Tails Badnik suit first appeared in Robofox, but was quite different in design to this one. It would return in Lost in the Labyrinth Zone, looking more like the original shell.
- Robotnik's metal suit never made a reappearance.
- In Issue 223, Kitching revealed that this story, his first for STC, was an "unremarkable" one and that he was already running out of ideas by this point.