The golden speedster calls out to his rival, drawing his attention to a rather large crack in the Bio-lizard’s armor that he had managed to successfully breach. The two unlikely companions had been going at the lizard for several minutes while making no progress, so the newly exposed spot was a relief to the silver being who attacked the weakened area with renewed vigor. Yet all the while he still could not fathom how he, of all people, got caught up in this situation with his most hated enemy. He tried to kill the azure hedgehog, multiple times actually, from the moment they met. That cocky hedgehog was so infuriating, so full of himself, so happy.
He kept getting in the way with all of his little friends. All he had wanted to do was to fulfill Maria’s dying wish, never mind the fact that getting revenge and destroying the world hadn’t actually been her wish, but rather protecting it and ensuring the peoples happiness. However, he hadn’t known that at the time so even though his misconception had been cleared up, he couldn’t help having the smallest bit of ill will toward the blue hero.
Honestly, he should be thanking the faker for stopping him from making such a grievous mistake. Alas, knowing the feeling was misplaced, he grudgingly shoved it aside to help his unlikely companion, though it was more to complete his dead friend’s wish than anything else. Throwing powerful chaos spears one after another as Sonic attacked with devastating kicks and sonic winds, they were able to break away the damaged armor and were now focusing on the experimental lizard’s soft exposed flesh.
Further enraged due to the agonizing pain and its breached armor, the creature morphed to its second and final form, Finalhazard. Forcing more power into its attacks, Finalhazard desperately lashed out at the two glowing hedgehogs before it with new metallic limbs, intent on their annihilation. Sonic, who was completely focused on attacking, did not notice one such limb heading his way until it was too late.
Knowing that he would not be able to dodge in time, he closed his eyes and curled up in hopes of lessening the damage. Feeling no blow, he immediately uncurled and opened his eyes to see Shadow in front of him within the beasts grasp who began squeezing before brutally slamming the silver hedgehog into the side of the ARK with a sickening thud as Shadow cried out in pain.
“Ugh! D-damn it Faker! Pay attention, even in this form it can still hurt us!” Shadow gasped as he was finally released.
“Why did you protect me? I would have been just fine!”
“Shut up and attack the red spot! It should be glowing now since we’ve done enough damage.”
“Right! On it!”
Speeding off, Sonic began attacking a large glowing tumor-like growth in the center of the Finalhazard’s forehead, joined a moment later by Shadow who proceeded to throw chaos lances in great quantities. The space lizard, having no chance against the luminous hedgehogs now that its sensitive power source had been exposed, made a last ditch effort by initiating its internal self destruct mechanism in hopes of taking the two fighters with it as well as the added bonus of the blast breaking up the ARK in to smaller pieces that would rain down on the helpless blue planet below as well as exterminating all of the small creatures that had taken up temporary residence within the large space station.
Shadow, realizing what had just taken place the moment Finalhazard began pulsing a strange shade of red, shot Sonic a warning look who had turned to him in confusion before also realizing what was going on. Suddenly the ear pieces Tails and Eggman gave them began cracking as the young kitsune's voice came through sounding desperate and on edge.
“Guys, we really need you to wrap this up! The ARK is going to hit Earth's gravitational pull in about two minutes! Once that happens the ARK will pick up speed and we won't be able to stop its decent!”
“Hurry you damn fools! I can't take over the world if it gets destroyed!” Eggman ranted.
“I believe in you Sonic! You can do this!” Amy chirped.
“You two better come back alive and well.” Knuckles grumbled.
“Come on Shadow hun, there’s still so many jewels I haven’t yet acquired!” Rouge joked.
“You heard them Shads! They’re all counting on us! What do you say we kick this thing into high gear and finish this up?”
“Hmph, whatever you say Faker. I don’t need you to tell me what to do.”
Seeing as how the Finalhazard had ceased attacking in favor of conserving energy, the two super hedgehogs focused on it and gathered their energy just as the space lizard was about to explode and chaos controlled it and the blast into oblivion, believing that their job was done. However, even with the creature gone, the ARK still seemed intent on reaching its destination. This was confirmed with another crackle of the comm system and the sound of Tails' voice.
“The ARK is still headed towards Earth! It hasn’t slowed down at all, in fact it has only sped up! According to my calculations, we will reach Earth's atmosphere in less than 30 seconds! I can't stop it, so it's all up to you two!”
“Got enough juice for one more Shads?”
“Shut up Faker. Let's hurry up and get this over with.”
Staring at the place I was created in as the massive structure barrels towards us, I begin taking up my position feeling Sonic doing the same next to me for one last chaos control. With another glance towards the hedgehog beside me, I can tell that with all the energy we have expelled, we don’t have enough left to successfully warp the ARK back to its rightful position in space. Glancing at the peaceful planet behind us, I realize what I have to do.
'Damn, I hadn’t wanted to do this but it doesn’t really looked like I have much of a choice.'
Focusing on my chaos, I hear the faint click of my inhibitor rings releasing and feel the sudden rush of power flooding through my system giving me the boost we need to pull off a successful chaos control. Taking a deep breath, I begin gathering the energy in the palm of my hands, feeling Sonic do the same through our link. With a last look and nod towards him, we release the pent up energy in a concentrated wave as we simultaneously shout the command and with a blinding flash, both us and the space station disappear, only to reappear within its original position, creating a shock wave that pulsed outward from the space having to suddenly re-accommodate such a large object.
Catching himself from the blast, Sonic waits for several seconds in silence when Tails' voice comes through. “You did it! The Ark is in a stable orbit!”
Through the comm link, both super hedgehogs could hear the group cheering and celebrating a job well done along with Eggman in the background proclaiming that just because he helped them, doesn't mean that his 'taking over the planet' days are behind him and the moment that they get back to Earth, he would be splitting with the group of friends. Grinning wildly and chuckling at his mad scientist's antics, Sonic turns to Shadow to congratulate him on their success but is confused when the glowing ebony is nowhere to be seen. Turning, he sees him falling back towards the blue planet they just saved.
With Shadow already so close to the planet’s atmosphere, Sonic is confused until he notices the dazed blank look on his face and the slight flicker in the glow of his pelt and immediately begins to panic. Shadow, though dazed, is still lucid enough to notice Sonic racing towards him and attempts to speak but all that comes out is a hoarse whisper. A moment later Sonic is at his side grabbing a hold of the ebony fighter to begin towing him back to the station. Feeling the tug, Shadow starts struggling in the azure's grip.
“Damn it, Shadow hold still will ya?”
“Let go!” the silver hedgehog demands in a gruff voice.
“Sorry bud, no chance of that happening till we're safe aboard the ARK again!”
The glow of Shadow's fur is almost nonexistent and they both know that Sonic's super form will only last a few more seconds but even knowing this, Sonic still tries to haul them both back to the station. Knowing the idiot can be just as stubborn, if not more so than him, Shadow forces himself out of the hedgehog's grip in an attempt to save him.
“Faker, you don’t have time for this! My super state won't last much longer and you don’t have enough left to get us both back!”
“No! We will make it Shad-
“Shut up Faker! It's too late and you know it! Getting yourself killed as well won't solve anything!”
“It's never too late! I won't leave a friend behind to die!”
“Heh, I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m not one of your groupies who follow you around nor do I have anyone here waiting for me. GUN saw to that long ago.”
Before Sonic could continue, Shadow gathers the last of his fading chaos and focusing it into the jets on the bottom of his shoes, he kicks Sonic, forcing them apart, him closer to the planet's atmosphere and Sonic the ARK. The silver hue having already left his fur and caught within the planets gravitational pull that was adding to the distance he had forced between them, Shadow gazes at the flickering golden form of his azure counterpart before settling on the place of his worst and best memories.
Reluctantly, and with a last tear streaked and tormented glance, the golden hero spins around, shooting off towards the ARK, leaving his ebony counterpart to be pulled closer to the planets surface.
Feeling the tug of gravity grow stronger with each passing second and his fur beginning to burn, Shadow closes his eyes with a contented sigh, whispering,
“I’ll be home soon, Maria...”