- “Inside Job” Part Four: The explosive finale to the Scourge Arc! Sonic’s evil twin is running with the Destructix, and they’re fighting for their lives to escape Zone Jail! If the rioting prisoners don’t get them, the Zone Cops will! In the mad dash for freedom, who will escape – and who will be left behind?
Inside Job Part Four: No Holds Barred
- Writer: Ian Flynn
- Pencils: Tracy Yardley
- Inks: Jim Amash
- Colors: Steve Downer
- Letters: Phil Felix
- Editor: Paul Kaminski
- Editor-in-Chief: Victor Gorelick
- President: Mike Pellerito
- Special thanks to: Cindy Chau at SEGA Licensing
Warden Zobotnik teleports into his Zone Jail office in a rush and asks for a status update. On a screen, Znively reports in a panic that all the prison cells have opened and a riot has begun. The Wardens orders him to turn off the artificial gravity, but the control center has been damaged; he asks if the Control Collars are still active, and Znively replies that they are... save for six.
Within the prison itself, chaos reigns; prisoners are attempting to flee while guards move in. Scourge, free of his Control Collar, is taking every opportunity to exact revenge on those who tormented him during his time in prison. However, Sergeant Simian soon reins him in, saying that they need to focus and keep the guards distracted while Fiona Fox attempts to recover their personal possessions. Simian says they need a plan, and Scourge points out that they need two things. One is an exit to the prison's yard. When Simian asks what the other thing is, Scourge smiles and tells him to find Verti-Cal and Horizont-Al.
Within the Prisoner Processing area, a couple of inmates are looting the area. Fiona ignores them, searching for her own things, as well as those of her teammates. However, she finds the assigned cubby empty. Incredulous, she wonders who would have tried to take their things specifically; outside the room, Jeffrey St. Croix is making off with a box, wearing Scourge's sunglasses and jacket no less.
Meanwhile, Predator Hawk has located Al and Cal and delivered the two to Scourge. The pair are in a panic, desperately trying to appeal to the hedgehog. He tells the two that he hasn't forgotten that they were the only two to treat him decently within prison—and so, while he's out getting revenge, they should as well. With a snap of his fingers, he orders Simian to break their Control Collars. Al and Cal frantically protest, saying that the collars are keeping them from "reverting"—and thus when Simian snaps their collars, he's surprised when the two suddenly transform into their monstrous, robotic forms. The Destructix look on in shock and confusion as the now-gigantic Al and Cal begin to attack, breaking through a wall. Scourge comments that they merely needed to "loosen up," and now they have their exit. Of course, seeing this, several other prisoners make their way towards the hole in the wall; Scourge and the Destructix easily tear through them, making their way out, only to find Fiona, who announces that they've got a problem.
This is the last thing Scourge wants to hear at this point, but Fiona explains that someone has run off with their things. Predator Hawk offers to track down the thief, but Lightning Lynx stops him, listening carefully. Using his superior sense of hearing, he's able to determine that several Zone Cops are arriving as backup. Simian says that while they had the element of surprise on their side, plus the confusion of rioting prisoners, they won't be able to fend off all of the Zone Cops. Fiona points out that they need their things to make their escape; they won't be able to get far in the No Zone, especially with its abnormal gravity.
Scourge thinks a moment, and then announces that their things are probably still in the processing area, reasoning that a thief would only get themselves into more trouble anywhere else. He orders Lightning to keep an ear out for anyone having trouble with the Warp Ring, and for Predator to just "do his thing" when it comes to tracking others. He tells the rest to stick with those two and that if they have to fight for their stuff to make it quick. Fiona asks what he plans to do; Scourge replies that he's going to provide cover. With that, he takes off.
As the Destructix head back in, Simian apologies to Fiona for having had doubts about re-recruiting Scourge. Fiona insists that she always knew that Scourge would come around; however, she adds that she hopes he'll remain a team player after they escape, saying she doesn't want to betray him again.
Meanwhile, Scourge has charged back into the cellblocks, attacking anyone in his path and leaving a trail of destruction behind. He tells himself that, while he is technically covering from the others, the fact is, he simply wanted another chance to get back at everyone in the jail. With his confidence and ego restored, he loudly announces his superiority to his victims. Elsewhere, in a quiet room, King Maxx talks about how, once he escapes, Moebius will have already been primed for his take-over. Jeffrey, searching through the Destructix's things, mutters that he'll eventually dance on Maxx's grave, but quickly plays it off when Maxx turns his attention to him. He resumes digging through the box of possessions, sure that there must be some kind of device hidden within; after all, he reasons, Fiona and the others had planned this, and therefor they must have some method of escape. As he tosses aside what looks like a Power Ring aside, he points out that it's not easy to reach the Cosmic Interstate; with that thought in mind, the ring suddenly expands into a portal. Maxx congratulates Jeffrey for figuring it out; unfortunately for them, the Destructix have tracked them down. The group bursts into the room and quickly beat down the two Moebians. Flying Frog graciously offers Fiona her old clothing, promising to not try to wear them. Fiona tells the boys to grab the Warp Ring and get their things together.
Within the cellblocks, the Zone Cops have finally gained a foothold. Warden Zobotnik orders his guards to fire F.O.E. Inhibitors upon the monstrous Al and Cal; in pain and shock, the two are forced down to their imp-like forms. Like many other prisoners, they've been subdued. The Warden calls down to Scourge; he angrily tells him that he'd truly thought he'd been reformed. Hefting a F.O.E. Inhibitor, he offers Scourge one chance to surrender. Off to the side, Al and Cal beg Scourge not to leave them. Scourge mockingly weights his options: escape, get revenge and conquer worlds, or risk himself to save two "annoying worms." He cruelly announces that he's going to leave them behind, and jumps off the catwalk, dodging the shot from the Inhibitor. Enraged, Zobotnik authorizes the use of "anything" to stop Scourge; Fiona, wearing Scourge's glasses and jacket, calls out to him, waving the Warp Ring. As more Inhibitors are fired, the Warp Ring is opened; the Destructix pile through while Scourge waves mockingly and jumps through the other side. The ring disappears just as the Inhibitor shots make contact.
Later on, after the Zone Jail is back under control, Major Znively reports to a defeated Zobotnik; he explains that 60% of the cells were damaged, forcing them to place prisoners in temporary containment in the yard. Zobotnik thanks and dismisses him; then, he comes across Zonic the Zone Cop, who's looking over the yard. Without turning around, Zonic reminds Zobotnik that he had warned him about Scourge; annoyed, Zobotnik merely asks how long until Zonic tracks him down. Zonic bluntly explains that their forces had already been spread thin thanks to the "mess" in the Prime Zone as well as the war with Dr. Nega, and that this disaster in the No Zone hasn't helped matters. He adds that they aren't sure how Scourge escaped, but that they assume he returned to his home world; right now, they can only hope that he stays there.
In the Grand Forest of Moebius, Scourge changes from his tattered prison uniform back into his usual clothing. Fiona explains that she brought them here because their employer has a job for them. "Too bad," Scourge tells her. "This gang's got a change in plans." Fiona protests, saying that dropping their deal with Dr. Finitevus won't go over well, especially since she'd had to convince him to allow her to rescue Scourge in the first place. Scourge dismisses this, saying he can deal with "Dr. Spooky Von Evil." He announces that they're now his gang, and that he has big plans for both his world and Mobius.
Scourge once again sees a Horizont-Al and Verti-Cal puppet show. He tells them that the puppet thing wasn't funny the first time and questions the running gag. However, Sonic the Werehog appears behind the stage, revealed to have been controlling the puppets and glares at Scourge. Scourge changes his mind and says that he loves the show. Despite this, the Werehog knocks Scourge away with a punch.
- Horizont-Al: Don't escape without us! We helped you all this time!
- Verti-Cal: Don't leave us, ol' buddy, ol' pal!
- Scourge: I dunno... I could escape, get sweet revenge and bring worlds to their knees... or I could risk it all just to save you two whiny, annoying worms. I think I'll leave you all choking on my dust. Yeah, I like that one. Later, losers!
- Flying Frog: Your clothes, m'lady. And I won't try to wear them this time.
- Fiona: Very good, Flying. We don't have enough time for me to smack some sense into you.
- Flying Frog: More's the pity.
- Scourge: You let me worry about Dr. Spooky Von Evil! Right now, you're my gang, you follow my plans. And believe me, I've got plans for both this world and Sonic's!
- Red from the Angry Birds franchise makes a cameo in the issue.
- Scourge seems to be doing the same pose as Sonic's on the cover of Sonic Universe #8, but with his hands open.
- The color of the lenses on Scourge's glasses are blue on the cover, rather than their usual red.
- Scourge is at one point described as "unleashed", which may be a nod to Sonic Unleashed.
- In the room that held the prisoners' belongings a cabinet named SU 25-28 can be seen, which is a reference to the previous The Silver Saga arc. The cabinet even had the gear from that arc's villain, Dark Enerjak. The Destuctix's belongings were filed under SU 29-32, the arc's issue numbers. A hammer similar to Rosy the Rascal's was also seen along with a hat similar to Nack the Weasel's and a fishing pole similar to Big's.
- This issue marks the final on panel appearances of Scourge, (not counting his cameos in Sonic's flashbacks in Sonic the Hedgehog #236 and Sonic Universe #50) Fiona Fox, the Destructix, Zonic, and all other No Zone characters, before removal of Ken Penders creations and other old reality characters and the 2013 reboot.