A shockwave carrying the virus spread out rapidly from the point of detonation. It grew quickly, and looked rather like an expanding white dome (Eggman had made sure that it was clearly visible so that he could watch it from a distance and know that it had worked). It spread out affecting anything and anyone it came in contact with.
Sonic was helping Tails carefully lower the last piece into place on the giant machine. Tails’ tails were spinning rapidly, keeping the young fox aloft, while Sonic had to rely on a tall ladder propped up against the machine. The ladder wobbled slightly, and Sonic lost his grip for a second on the large piece of equipment, but Tails’ reacted quick enough to adjust his grip so that it wouldn’t drop.
“Careful!” Tails hissed, “This mini-particle accelerator is the most delicate piece! If it gets even the slightest bit damaged before I properly install it, the entire machine could overload and explode!”
Neither Sonic nor Tails had time to even register the explosion before it overtook them. The impact of the shockwave forced them several feet over, knocking Sonic far from the ladder he had been perched on. As they fell, both literally and into unconsciousness, the last piece fell with them. It hit the ground moments after they did, and promptly exploded. The force of the second blast pushed them across the room in opposite directions. Tails was blasted into a pile of cardboard boxes in the corner, while Sonic was less lucky and sailed out the door into Tails’ kitchen and right into the door of the open dishwasher. As they both lay unconscious, with Tails’ body spread out and Sonic’s cramped tight, Tails’ machine blew up as well, leaving behind smoking debris and a large scorch mark on the nearby wall and floor.
Amy was walking down the road towards Tails’ house, and could just see it in the distance when it disappeared and she heard a huge boom, followed quickly by a second smaller boom. She then saw what appeared to be a tremendous white wall approaching at high speed. She stopped in her tracks and spun around to run away at speeds usually reserved for chasing a love-fleeing Sonic. Before she could take more than a step or two, the white wave passed over her as well, pushing her forward a few feet. She too dropped into unconsciousness, at the side of the road. The last thing she heard was a third boom, about the size of the second. One coherent thought managed to pass through her mind before she passed out:
“Now what’s Tails’ gotten Sonic and himself into?”
Rouge the Bat was taking the day off. She’d decided that today would be the day she’d finally relax a bit. Surprisingly, this is something she doesn’t get to do that often. Instead of booking a retreat at a spa or someplace like she normally would, she decided to just enjoy nature for a bit. Actually, she would have preferred the spa, but her last few heists had not paid off as well as she’d planned, so money was a bit tight at the moment. She was lying out on a branch up in a tree, fantasizing about “the good life”. In her little fantasy she saw herself, lounging on top of a pile of jewels. At her feet was everyone she’d ever known or even met. They were all bowing repeatedly, and offering her even more jewels. She laughed slightly, synchronizing with the maniacal laughter of her dream self. She was so absorbed in the fantasy that she didn’t notice the trio of explosions or even the shockwave. When the wave hit, it just managed to dislodge her from the branch she had been laying on. Even as her mind faded into sleep, her wings instinctively opened, slowing her fall to a graceful glide to the forest floor.
Knuckles was a fair distance away from everyone and that’s how he wanted it. Today had not been one of his better days. He had woken up in an inexplicable bad mood and it hadn’t abated. The tiniest things were making him really annoyed and frustrated. He had been taking a walk through a small grove; trying to calm down a bit after he nearly exploded in rage when he walked into a low hanging branch. Coming up to a large boulder, he leaned back against it. He closed his eyes for a minute to try and relax, when he heard the annoying buzzing of a pesky fly. Greatly annoyed, he slowly opened one eye. Perched on the end of his nose was an incredibly ugly horsefly. Knuckles batted at it slightly, and it darted away, only to then try to land in his ear. Now really annoyed, Knuckles got off the rock and aimed a sharp smack at the offending insect. It dodged again; causing Knuckles to hit himself, and began orbiting Knuckles’ head like a buzzing comet. Enraged at this point, Knuckles began lashing out in all directions, hoping that at least one blow would hit the blasted fly. Ever quick, the fly dodged Knuckles’ wild attack and landed on the rock. Seeing his chance, Knuckles’ quickly took careful aim at the spot on the rock where the fly was and punched at it with the full force he could muster. The fly reacted too slow and was crushed, as was the entire boulder behind it. Instead of a large rock formation, a pile of rubble remained. With a satisfied smirk, Knuckles turned away from his victory just in time to hear a loud explosion, followed by two smaller, barely audible ones. He climbed on top of the rubble (the top of which was still above the tree line) to get a better vantage point. What seemed only a mile or two away was a large dome-like shape seemingly emerging from the ground. As it grew closer, Knuckles braced himself. Having been around enough explosions in his time, he knew a shockwave when he saw one, and judged that he was far enough away that it wouldn’t push him much. He tensed his muscles as the wave hit. He was right, the impact had barely made him sway, but something seemed wrong. His muscles were un-tensing without him telling them to. He felt himself start to pass out, but fought it. A tough guy like him, passing out from a little shockwave? Unthinkable! He fought to stay awake, even as he collapsed and the ground came up to meet him. A little bruised from the fall, he was physically alright, but the impact had been just enough to make him loose focus, allowing his mind to slip away before he could do anything. Like all the others, he lay on the ground, dead to the world, while strange forces, part biological, part mechanical, and just a touch magical, began to do strange things to his body and clothes. Altering flesh, fur, and fabric in ways that no one, not even Eggman, could have expected.
As he lay in quiet oblivion, Sonic body began to change. First, his quills began to retract into his head, shorter and shorter, losing their rigidity and becoming soft and smooth. They kept retracting until they reached only about to his neck. His face shifted next, as his devilishly handsome face softened and smoothed into a rounder form, with more delicate features. Behind closed lids, his eyes underwent a minor change to a slightly brighter shade of green. His body then began to shrink, starting in his extremities. His hands and feet began to get too small for his gloves and shoes, while his torso and limbs diminished as well. His waist seemed to shrink a bit more than the rest of him, leaving a slightly girlish figure. Ripples could be seen through his flesh, as his internal organs shifted and rearranged themselves. His “man parts” were (as with many animal-like species) kept internally within a retractable sheath, ready to be “extended” should the need arise. But not for much longer. Within his body, that special part of him began to dissolve away, smaller and smaller until he qualified as a genderless being. But of course the, new DNA in his body would take care of that soon enough. Like a finger pushed into a soft cheese, a new hole formed itself in between Sonic’s legs. This opened to a new organ inside of him, which officially made the use on the pronoun “he” grammatically incorrect. His, or rather her, clothes were not spared the transformation. Her running shoes began to twist and morph, reshaping themselves to fit her now much smaller feet. Her gloves shriveled up as well, while the wrist piece thickened into a golden band. Starting from her waist, more fabric began to appear. It spread, widening out as it went down, and staying tight as it went up. Within moments, the new girl was wearing a mini-dress, backless with a halter style top. To top it all off, a small headband materialized on her head, holding back her shorter quills in a familiar fashion. The changes complete, her body settled back down as her mind began to slowly awaken.
Amy was the first to awaken. She picked herself up from the side of the road, holding her head in her hand.
“Owww…my head,” she moaned, as she rubbed her scalp slowly, “What was that? I feel like I just got hit by my own hammer.”
As the throbbing in her head lessened, she took stock of her surroundings and herself. She bent over to brush off any lingering dirt or leaves from her dress, when she noticed something odd.
“Hey… why is my dress pink?” Amy mused, puzzled at how her once vivid red dress now seemed a rather pastel pink. “Either there’s something wrong with my eyes, or that…whatever-it-was that hit me did something to it. Oh, I really hope it’s my eyes and not the other. I can’t wear the same color as my fur, it’s a fashion catastrophe! I need complimentary colors, not identical ones!”
Before she could get into too much of a fit, she recalled where the blast had originated, and more importantly, who was there.
“Oh my gosh!” she gasped, raising her hands to her mouth, “That blast came from Tails’ lab! My darling Sonic’s there! What if something happened to him in the blast!? Wait for me Sonic! I’m coming!”
Her picnic basket forgotten, she began to run to Tails’ lab. Well… at least, she tried to run there. Although her mind had recovered from the blast, her body was still sore from the impact. Her run became more like a limping shuffle.
“Don’t worry Sonic,” she said grimacing, forcing herself through the pain, “I’ll get there. I’m coming.”
Though slow and painful, each step was just a bit faster than the last, and thus Amy, now wearing a pink dress, slowly made her way to where Tails’ and Sonic still lay, passed out on the floor.
Like Sonic, Tails was not spared a transformation. Also like Sonic, his fur was the first to change. The fur on his face retracted, shrinking his whiskers and shortening the long bits on his forehead. The fur which counted as his hair began to grow out, longer than Sonic’s had, until it reached down his back a bit. All across his body, his fur lightened in color a bit and became smooth and soft. His face softened and rounded, though not much. His body shrunk, but only a bit. His hands, feet, legs, and arms all shrunk and slimmed down. His waist caved in and his chest pushed out, but only marginally. His organs shifted and he too became a she in her nether regions. Her gloves shrunk to fit her hands as the wristband turned black. Her shoes shrunk as well, and gained a bit of heel, becoming more boot-like. As with Sonic, fabric began to form around her waist, expanding as it went down and remaining form-fitting above. Soon she was also wearing a short dress, very similar to Sonic’s. Finally, a hair band formed around her head, holding back her longer hair. A black scrunchie also formed, holding back her longer hair in a high ponytail. As the mutagens in her bloodstream began to shut off and dissolve away, her eyes flickered. Having had many experiments explode in her face before, Tails was recovering quickly. In fact, she was quickly waking up!