Thanks ApocalypticSalad, I wanted to find a screengrab but I couldn't locate a link. I wondered if it may be some kind of rocket to access the conquered Little Planet quickly (Or in an emergency, perhaps), or even if it was the new 'Metallic Madness Mk. II' of sorts, but neither seem particularly plausible. While the background for Act 2 of Lava Reef is reminiscent of both the original concept for the zone and Quartz Quadrant, it seems clear that Robotnik is building something sinister, akin to the reconstruction site of Launch Base Zone. Perhaps it would have played a transitional role, tying in with the quantative cut sections of the level found in Debug mode? Incidentally, this is my 20th post as a trial member. Assuming I don't get promoted to full member status, it's been cool hanging, discussing, and hypothesising with such a mature Sonic community. Thanks guys!