Rage Inside the Machine is a 2-part Chaotix Crew story, starting in Issue 251 of Sonic the Comic Online.



Vector the Crocodile reveals that the search for the Special Zone is over for the time being. Instead, Chaotix are to do what they were originally formed to do - fight the evil Doctor Robotnik. The crocodile explains to Espio the Chameleon that Doctor Kintobor set up The Internet when he was around, but now Robotnik has commandeered it to spread propaganda. It is up to Espio to enter the computer realm and destroy some of Robotnik's threats. Hooked up to the Omni-Viewer, Espio enters cyberspace and is immediately confronted by a multi-coloured world (much like the "weird bit" of the Special Zone) and many of Robotnik's security programs. Despite Espio losing his chameleon powers temporarily, Espio easily fights off his attackers until they suddenly freeze in midair and are then shot down. Espio turns around to face an old foe, and now current ally, Shadow the Hedgehog!

With a gun to his head, Espio retreats by becoming invisible. Watching on his laptop, Vector worries that Espio might get the wrong end of the stick, since the computer program only looks like Shadow. The hedgehog slows down time using Chaos energy powers, enabling him to look for the hidden Espio. He taunts Espio with the destruction of the Special Zone, but isn't ready for Espio appearing behind him, using his tongue to disarm Shadow of his gun. Shadow isn't too fazed, using the event of Espio reappearing as an opportunity to punch him in the face. As Vector pours sugar into the cup Omni is being stored in, Shadow reveals that he wasn't the who fought Super Sonic on top of the Death Carrier. Espio ponders the situation; this whole region is seeing Kintobor's old technology fighting off Robotnik's threats, with Espio and Shadow caught up in the middle. Shadow reveals that the person who has been maintaining him isn't the Kintobor Computer, but a living being going by the username of Ichneumon. Shadow then rips into Robotnik, not being worthy of the title of Kintobor's predecessor. Having heard everything he needs to, Espio promises to return to the Internet with a strike team to help Shadow clean the area. Shadow turns down his offer, perfectly happy to do things his own way.

Back in the real world, Espio discovers that Vector has accidentally drank the contents of his cup, including Omni! It's alright though, as things should put themselves right in about fourteen hours... The chameleon then reveals that the Shadow program is rude, arrogant, aggressive and socially inept, but they may have a use for him.


  • This story marked the return of Shadow the Hedgehog, although not exactly the same character. Many readers guessed the identity of Shadow before the second part surfaced, although not everyone was happy.
  • Many readers praised the difference in art styles between the two different worlds, but weren't so sure about the lettering. Vector's Internet speech wasn't used enough either, according to some.
  • It is unknown why the security program gained Shadow's form when he was only given physical form with the help of Sonic the Hedgehog's DNA.
  • Elements of this strip are similar to the Shadow the Hedgehog game, particularly the "Mad Matrix" level, which also features Espio in cyberspace.
  • Shadow refers to Vector as Snappy the Alligator, a reference to a Simpsons 'character' of the same name who Mr Burns confides in when he doesn't feel like talking to Smithers.


The previous Chaotix Crew story was Crimson Cobra Strikes. The next Chaotix story would be Mouse Compatible.

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