Editor:Deborah TatePruduction:Sarah Colley
In the Mootant Village district of New Tek City, a villainous hippopotamus called the Yob robs a bank. Sonic shows up to stop him, but the local residents don't want Sonic's help: they have their own heroes, the Zed Monkeys! However, much to Sonic's irritation, rather than immediately stopping the Yob the Zed Monkeys stand around talking about their powers. Then, at 10 o'clock, they stop for "Hero Hour", in which they must pose and flex their muscles by the order of their mentor, Professor Zed. This is when all the crimes take place, but of course the Zed Monkeys are powerless to stop them. As the Zed Monkeys let the Yob get away, Sonic runs after him and takes him out with a single Spin Attack, leaving him for the police to arrest.
Sonic decides to visit Professor Zed's School for Gifted Monkeys on the outskirts of the city, where he finds Professor Zed to be a bodybuilding chimp teaching wannabe heroes to "follow a regular Hero Hour"! Sonic bursts through the door to confront Professor Zed, but he is stopped by the Zed Monkeys. While they try to stop him with their (rather pointless) powers, Sonic creates a vortex around Professor Zed... who is revealed to be a tiny weasel in a padded foam rubber suit. He is really Madmeano, the Zed Monkeys' old enemy, who tricked them into performing Hero Hour so that his buddies could commit crimes without the Zed Monkeys' interference.
As Madmeano is handed over to the police, the Zed Monkeys tell Sonic that they will stop performing Hero Hour... instead, they will have an Agony Hour every day, when they stand around feeling sorry for themselves because their mentor turned out to be a baddie. Sonic immediately leaves, more determined than ever to find a way to escape the Special Zone.
The mystical Elder Tree has been destroyed. In their rage, the Ancient Trees use their powers to create a huge forest in the middle of the Metropolis Zone. Omen and the two cyborg gorillas manage to ambush Knuckles, Ebony and Pyjamas.
However, the Ancient Trees see the conflict as proof that "the flesh creatures think of nothing but destruction". They decide to erase them from Planet Mobius altogether! Omen scoffs at the notion, but Knuckles respects the Trees' power and believes the threat is genuine. He expresses regret at the destruction that his kind has caused and points out that some of them have tried to do better (the protestors, in particular, had sought to help the Trees). When Knuckles asks them what the Elder Tree would have done, they accept that violence is not the answer. Instead, they merely use their powers to hurl Omen and his associates out of their park with a warning not to return. The heroes have won, but they were too late to save the Elder Tree. The Ancient Trees say not to grieve, though, as the Elder's time will come again. Ebony and Pyjamas are confused, but Knuckles smiles knowingly before he leaves.
Epilogue: Two days later, Doctor Robotnik has fenced off the forest with firm orders that none may enter. And in the spot where the Elder Tree once stood, new shoots and life begin to grow, indicating that he will some day grow there once more.