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You know the drill: What If Threads are about discovering the weird possibilities of alternating plot points. If you want to give your own full spin on an idea also look into the WWYD threads. These mainly explore stories in their context and how a single plot point changes things, Want for A Nail style.

 

@WarTravellerand I have been discussing this one. Wanted to share:

What would have happened in the Zombot arc if Shadow or Rouge successfully assassinated “Mister Tinkerer?”

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3 hours ago, TheRedStranger said:

What would have happened in the Zombot arc if Shadow or Rouge successfully assassinated “Mister Tinkerer?”

  • Well first of all it's 100% Shadow who does it. Rouge is a thief but she's got enough heart to avoid murder.
  • Sonic and co angrily, and rightfully, attack Shadow for the action. Because Shadow shouldn't be a diet Vegeta like Boom and IDW forces him to be, he actually loses against Team Sonic, Amy, Silver, Tangle and Whisper. Ultimate Lifeform or not, he's outnumbered heavily. and no that bit where he takes on a million Mephiles clones at the end of his story in 06 doesn't count
  • Rather than kill him too, Amy places him on trial for the murder of Eggman.Sonic posits that Eggman, as the Tinkerer, could have been rehabilitated, resulting in a powerful ally to mop up Metal's mess. To kill him would to be worse than him. Shadow doesn't care, considering him just another bad guy dead and defeated for good. Nothing too different to Black Doom or Gerald or Mephiles or FinalHazard...or Infinite, come to think of it. Appalled by his lack of real ethics, the team decides he needs to go. Too powerful to kill but too dangerous to keep around, they force Shadow into exile; he's booted from Team Dark (to be replaced with Traveller, because yeah I'm shoving OCs in there), and forced to roam the remains of the world while they deal with what's going on.
  • While roaming the world with the words of his old friends ringing in his head, Shadow's mental state declines. He realises he went against what Maria would have wanted, even if it was for the greater good. Eventually his warped mind comes to the conclusion that Maria's words and ways rung hollow after all. Eggman is gone, and with it his threat to the world is extinguished. This is just better. He sets out to create his own band of vigilantes, determined on ending the evils of the world, by force if needed. It doesn't take him long to get his gang together, and they plan their next course of action off of the map...
  • Without Eggman, the Zombot Arc simply doesn't happen. Metal Sonic Neo, dropping his Eggman disguise once Eggman's death is common knowledge, continues with his old plan of obtaining power and a fleet from the Master Emerald and destroying the Resistance that way. He picks up a distraught and revenge-seeking Starline along the way. While he tests the Zombot goo at first, he's smart enough to figure out how unstable the compound is and how easily they'll slip out of his control. THAT, and the Deadly Six exist and as long as they do, he's in enough danger already. Incinerating the goo to remove it from existence, he turns his armada, temporarily, against the Deadly Six. Zavok and his pals with their technopath abilities are simply too dangerous to keep alive.
  • Besides...it's what Eggman would have wanted, for sure.
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/19/2020 at 4:01 PM, WarTraveller said:

. Eventually his warped mind comes to the conclusion that Maria's words and ways rung hollow after all. Eggman is gone, and with it his threat to the world is extinguished. This is just better. He sets out to create his own band of vigilantes, determined on ending the evils of the world, by force if needed. It doesn't take him long to get his gang together, and they plan their next course of action off of the map...

I think a rejection is something he would psychologically avoid due to how engrained Maria is in his psyche. Here would be my idea:

Shadow wonders with a bounty on his head for his escape, and fear of his ability. He's seen as unhinged, and perhaps he becomes aware of a plot to steal him via a double agent in some nuthouse. After getting nearly brain washed and psychologically tortured indirectly by the plotting of a vengeful Doctor Starline (so he could weaken him enough to infect him with his new virus perhaps, as well as get inside info on GUN?) he escapes an Inception style situation akin to Star Trek: The Next Generation's: Frame of Mind.  While he wonders in the wilderness, escaping, and knowing of the Zombot and/or revenge plot of Starline, he gets stuck in the middle between a Romeo and Juliet style family feud and brings his anti-romantic notions to that romanticized situation, Fist Full of Dollars style. Bonus points if you can make relevant somehow to some post-Sonic Forces politics and current narrative context. You can help me with that part. This will be your comic where he battles with a rejection of Maria. Due to the brain-washing, he is still hallucinating and keeps hallucinating Maria. They argue over what he did and such. The plot can mirror their relationship and his backstory. The outcome he comes too at the end, will be a bittersweet ending, where his cynical position ends the quarrels at his profit, but with some bitter costs. An analogue of Maria is injured, but does not dies. Others do, perhaps rather almost needlessly. But he solves the issue. The analogue for Maria lives, but lives through distortion of his original promise. It's not a matter of rejection, but perversion, a misdirection from her promise. Before something is fully damned, there is always first corruption after all. The intoxicating part, is that this pragmatic compromise of previous worldview shows results. Of course its not pretty, in this case it has costs. But Shadow now has resources, injuries recovered from asylum torture, and his strong again, strong enough to save this Maria analogue even. Of course she is maimed or fractured somehow physically or psychologically, but unlike Maria - she is alive...and she can live her life. Perhaps this analog comes with him. The start of his band, his philosophy that speaks of a third road between the constant cycle between Eggman and Sonic, a fresh tertiam quid.

  Obviously this is a witty homage because Shadow is somewhat based off Clinton Eastwood in his portrayal.

On 9/19/2020 at 4:01 PM, WarTraveller said:

Without Eggman, the Zombot Arc simply doesn't happen. Metal Sonic Neo, dropping his Eggman disguise once Eggman's death is common knowledge, continues with his old plan of obtaining power and a fleet from the Master Emerald and destroying the Resistance that way. He picks up a distraught and revenge-seeking Starline along the way. While he tests the Zombot goo at first, he's smart enough to figure out how unstable the compound is and how easily they'll slip out of his control. THAT, and the Deadly Six exist and as long as they do, he's in enough danger already. Incinerating the goo to remove it from existence, he turns his armada, temporarily, against the Deadly Six. Zavok and his pals with their technopath abilities are simply too dangerous to keep alive.

Let's explore the possibility space here more. I see three options, all of them relevant to my above idea.

1) The Zombot virus is destroyed. Perhaps it infects the asylum with Shadow, but Starline sees its trouble and him or his proxy villain is forced into reason to defeat it.

2) Starline sees the flaws fast, and tried to keep it lock and key. But fails to keep it fully contained. It's out...released into the world. Just a tiny bit, a moat of chaos...on a slowburn. This is a much slower and insidious infection, one more akin to The Thing. No one knows who has fully given into the virus. Paranoia slowly grows in the background of more peaceful standalone episodes.

3) We get our token Zombie apocalypse, shorty after the above mentioned plot. Perhaps it changes the balance of power in that plot and is somehow relevant to it. It's Fist Full of Dollars meets Night of The Living Dead at its end. The IDW plot line continues, but without Eggman and with this new take on Shadow. How that changes the original plot is up for debate.

 

@Mike Arcade want to help us out with these possibilities?

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