Never Turn Back.

‘He can’t be serious! Shadow’s actually going to do it!’ Sonic thought as he shielded his eyes from the sudden flash of light that came from Shadow. As the light dimmed down he looked upon his new and improved opponent.

Shadow was still standing in the same spot, except he was now hovering about a foot off of the floor. His black fur had become an almost metallic silver, but his red had stayed the same, and he had a slight golden aura round him. “Super Shadow. Nice to meet you again.”

“Ahh, so my data of Shadow’s death was accurate. Therefore, you know what this form is capable of.” Super Shadow said, flexing his fingers.

“Definitely, it’s not like I can’t do it myself. Speaking of which…” Sonic had just noticed that, although Shadow had just used the Chaos Emeralds to go into his super form, that they hadn’t disappeared like they usually did. Instead they lay in a circle at his feet, the color drained out of them. “So, he only used the negative energy.” Sonic said to himself.

Super Shadow must not have noticed, because he simply looked at Sonic and said, “Still think you can beat me? Especially since you can’t use your super form right now.”

“Oh, I can, and even the “real” Shadow wouldn’t know what I know.”

“And what’s that?” Super Shadow asked, now interested in something Sonic knew about the emeralds that he didn’t.

“Well, if you let me near those emeralds, I’ll show you.” Sonic said, hoping Super Shadow would be intrigued enough to just let him walk over and grab the emeralds.

He wasn’t. “As if I’d let you just take them! You’ll have to beat me to them.” Super Shadow then disappeared, and reappeared behind Sonic, elbowing him in the back. Sonic flew, colliding face first into the wall. He pulled himself out, but Super Shadow was already there, ready to fling him back to where they were before. Sonic was about to land near the emeralds, but Super Shadow grabbed him before he fell. “Hmm, I can tell this is going to get boring rather quickly. You know what, I’d like to see you actually try and beat me with your super form. I’m sure it’ll still be no match for mine.” Super Shadow pulled Sonic up, and then threw him back to the ground.

Sonic landed next to the emeralds, and quickly pulled himself to his feet. “Heh, you’re gonna regret that Shadow.” Sonic said as he closed his eyes and started focusing, the emeralds spinning around him their color duller but still noticeable. Sonic’s wounds, from this fight and the previous one began to heal as he gathered more energy. His head spikes began to move into a similar fashion to Shadow’s, and then there was a flash of light as the transformation finished.

The Chaos Emeralds had now disappeared, and hovering there was Super Sonic, his fur a deep gold in contrast to Super Shadow’s silver, and his eyes changed from their usual green to a burning red. He floated up to Super Shadow, his cocky smirk on his face. “So Shadow, you ready for a real fight?” he asked as he examined Super Shadow more closely. One of the first things he realized was the state of his body. While Super Sonic could definitely tell he had healed from his wounds, Super Shadow’s were still fairly visible.

“A real fight you say? We’ll see about that.” Super Shadow said as he charged at Super Sonic. Super Shadow launched a series of lighting quick punches, which Super Sonic dodged and answered with some of his own. The pair of super powered hedgehogs soon appeared to be nothing more than a flurry of movement as they fought, hardly moving from the spot they were in.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, Metal Madness was finding it harder than he thought to beat Perfect Chaos. His attacks just weren’t fast enough to actually harm the water beast. He would launch missiles, but Perfect Chaos would either sink into the water or simply absorb them and send them back. Energy blasts would either go straight through him or simply power up Chaos’ own. And he didn’t even bother using his flamethrower.

However, Chaos was having no problem beating Metal Madness. He wasn’t doing that much damage, instead he was holding off and waiting for the robot to attack. Since all his power was being focused from the Master Emerald, he wasn’t sure how much he’d be able to do.

As Perfect Chaos charged up another energy beam in his mouth, Metal Madness realized something. ‘Wait a minute… if I’m guessing correctly, his attacks can’t reach very far upward. So all I need to do to win is…’ Metal Madness unleashed a giant roar as he started to move around. Suddenly, wings sprouted from beneath him and he lifted off of the building, flying into the air. “Let’s see you try and reach me now Chaos!”

* * * * *

Super Sonic quickly warped behind Super Shadow mid punch and knocked him away as far as he could. He then warped over to where Super Shadow was and punched him in the face. His fist passed through, and Super Shadow’s after image quickly faded. Super Sonic turned around just in time for Super Shadow to spin kick him in the face. He went flying and slammed into the tree trunk coming through the building. There was an explosion of wood chips as Super Sonic blasted through it and then circled around, warping over to Super Shadow and kicking him in the side, then teleporting behind him and elbowing him in the back. Super Sonic blasted off towards Super Shadow and caught him, flinging him back into the air, and then warped above him, slamming him down towards the ground.

Super Shadow smashed the floor, dust and debris flying everywhere. He almost immediately blasted out of it and blasted up towards Super Sonic. They continued this series of rapid teleportation, slowly wearing each other out. Eventually, Super Sonic pulled away and floated, trying to catch his breath. Super Shadow was also gasping slightly, but seemed more or less unfazed. “Heh… you’ve… definitely… got a lot… of energy.” Super Sonic said.

“I’m an…android. We obviously don’t… tire as easily.” Super Shadow replied.

“Oh yeah… you’re an ‘android’ now. Well, whatever, let’s do this.” Super Sonic blasted at Super Shadow, going into a flurry of punches like before, and Super Shadow blocked and dodged, as before. The momentum of their fight was slowly making their way towards the wall. Soon enough, Super Shadow felt the concrete pressing against his back. He twisted to the side just as Super Sonic launched a stronger punch. He stumbled forward, and Super Shadow grabbed him by the neck and slammed him into the wall. Super Sonic reached up and tried to get Super Shadow’s hands off him, but his grip was too tight. He started to gather energy into his hands, and an evil smirk spread across his face.

“Chaos… spear!” He yelled, releasing the energy, but still gripping Super Sonic. There was an explosion of energy and Super Shadow floated back from the wall. Super Sonic fell a few feet before he caught himself and came back up, rubbing his neck.

“Neat trick you’ve got there. Here’s one of mine.” Super Sonic dashed at Super Shadow and grabbed onto him tight. He turned and kept moving, straight up towards the ceiling. As they neared it, Super Sonic threw Super Shadow up at it, and then quickly channeled energy into his hands. “Sonic wind!” he yelled, flinging his arms towards Super Shadow, a blue whirlwind flying out from them. It caught Super Shadow and slammed him repeatedly into the ceiling. Super Sonic then came up and slammed his fist into Super Shadow’s stomach, and the two blasted outside. They quickly resumed their rapid fire fighting, though Super Shadow quickly stopped as he noticed the other fight that was going on.

“Is that… Perfect Chaos? Hmm, and Metal Sonic has transformed into his Overlord form. That could be a problem, I can tell he starts getting lofty ideas when he’s like that. Oh well, I’ll deal with him later.”

“If there is a later!” Super Sonic yelled as he charged at Super Shadow. He was caught off guard and Super Sonic quickly began to assault him with attacks. Eventually Super Shadow managed to dodge and block a few attacks and began launching his own. They were slowly working their way towards the fight of the monsters, and Sonic was gaining the upper hand. Super Shadow couldn’t seem to keep up for some reason, and Super Sonic quickly delivered an uppercut to Shadow’s stomach. Shadow’s body arched and he bent forward, hacking, not blood, but some other strange liquid.

Super Shadow slowly recovered enough from the shock to reach down and grab a hold of Super Sonic’s hand. He pulled it away from himself and spun around, sending Super Sonic flying. He warped over to him and started unleashing his own fury of attacks. They were now almost right now next Perfect Chaos’ and Metal Overlord’s fight, and could feel the force of the attacks coming from it. Super Sonic twisted away from Super Shadow and roundhouse kicked him in the back. As he flew downward, Super Shadow warped behind Super Sonic and slammed both fists down on his head. Super Sonic recovered and dashed upward, spinning down and slamming his leg into Super Shadow’s head. He then grabbed him before he could fly anywhere and spun around, launching him towards Metal Overlord.

Super Shadow slowed himself down and landed on Metal Overlord’s head, just above his second eye. Super Sonic floated down and landed on Perfect Chaos. “So Super Sonic, it’s come to this.” Super Shadow said, crossing his arms.

“Yes it has. I’ll give you one chance Shadow. Enough with the android stuff. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten Maria, and the promise you made her.”

“Maria…” Super Shadow contemplated, and then suddenly fell to his knees, gripping his head as memories flooded into his mind. ‘Maria… the ark… yes, I promised her… I’d help everyone… but, no, that can’t be right… Shadow already fulfilled that promise… and I…’ Super Shadow started shaking with laughter as he stood back up. “Nice try hedgehog! Did you really think those implanted memories would mean anything to me? No, Shadow the Hedgehog already kept his promise to that human girl. Now Shadow the Android will keep the promise he made to himself, to rule this world!”

“So, you’re really convinced. Fine then, be an android for all I care. But now you leave me no choice, I have to beat you. There’s no way I’m gonna let someone take over the whole world.”

“Fine do what you will, I’ve never planned on going back on this! It’s all or nothing, no turning back!” Super Shadow then knelt down and quickly muttered to Metal Overlord, “Just in case anything happens, initiate operation S.” He then stood back up and turned to face Super Sonic and Perfect Chaos. “Alright hedgehog, bring it!” Metal Overlord flew up slightly before going into a deeply angled dive.

“You asked for it!” Super Sonic yelled as Perfect Chaos charged up an energy beam and lunged forward to meet the oncoming attack. Metal Overlord swung down with both arms at Perfect Chaos as it unleashed the energy beam, which hit Metal Overlord straight in it’s core. At the same moment as their attacks were launched Super Sonic and Super Shadow jumped off of their allies and flew towards each other, each pulling back a fist for the final attack.

They both let out yells as their fists came forward. Each on landed right on the other’s forehead, just above their eyes. The moment they hit, it seemed like the world had reached a standstill, almost as if they’d activated Chaos Control. Metal Overlord quickly began exploding from the combined effects of Perfect Chaos’ beam and his own self-destruct program, which Super Shadow had told him to activate before they charged, and the water summoned by Perfect Chaos was quickly receding back to the ocean. Super Sonic and Super Shadow’s super forms were slowly fading as they stared at each other. Just as they were reaching the last of their strength, after what seemed like an eternity, Shadow finally muttered, “I am… the ultimate…” as what looked like a crack began to form where Sonic’s fist was, and blood trickled from Sonic’s forehead were Shadow had hit him.

Tails, Knuckles, and Omega got outside just as the water was low enough in time to see one of the two floating figures fly off and the other begin plummeting straight down. They watched for a short while, their attention on the nearest one, before Tails exclaimed, “That’s Sonic!” He immediately jumped off the ground and flew for his falling friends as fast as he could. Knuckles surveyed the rest of the area, and spotting Metal Overlords debris pile and the strange puddle nearby, quickly began to run for it, shouting about the Master Emerald. Omega simply stood there.

Tails managed to catch Sonic before he hit the ground, but the force of him falling caused Tails’ landing to be a little less smooth than he’d hoped. As they skidded to a stop, Tails gently laid Sonic down. “Come on Sonic, you can’t be… you can’t have lost.” Tails checked for vital signs, and they were there, so he started to try and gently shake Sonic awake. After a little while Sonic started to shake and sat up, hacking loudly.

“Ah, man, why’d you wake me up, I just got to the top of the chilidog mountain,” Sonic said as he opened his eyes.

“This is no time for joking!” Tails yelled, punching Sonic on the top of his head as he stood up.

“Ahh, ow, sorry dude. You know me though.” Sonic said, rubbing the spot where Tails had hit him, which was still throbbing from when Super Shadow had pounded him there. “Speaking of Shadow,” Sonic said, looking around, “where is he?”

“I saw him fly off in that direction. He shouldn’t have gone too far.” Tails pointed towards where Shadow had gone.

“Alright, let’s go.” Sonic said, running off.

* * * * *

“Well, the Master Emerald seems to be all in one piece, and not to beat up from you using it.” Knuckles said as he examined the Master Emerald. The puddle of water next to him then moved and touched the tip of the gem, and started to disappear into it.

“No… I cannot…” a raspy voice came from in the pile of Metal Overlord’s rubble. A robotic hand suddenly shot out and grabbed a hold of Knuckles’ ankle. It was attached to a mostly destroyed Metal Sonic, back in his original form. “I am supposed to rule… I am the greatest robot ever.”

“Would you just shut up already!” Knuckles yelled as he crushed Metal Sonic’s head beneath his foot before miniaturizing the Master Emerald and carrying it off.

* * * * *

Sonic and Tails came up on the site of Shadow’s body. They could tell they were getting close because of the large crater that had been created which made a line from his point of impact to where they were now. They slowed up and looked slowly into the deepest part of the crater. And what they saw shocked them.

There were various fires dotted throughout the whole, but the biggest was located in the center. There a small pond of some sort of blackish brown liquid had formed, and in the middle of it was Shadow. Or at least, what appeared to be Shadow. Because this Shadow was missing some limbs, which upon closer inspection could be seen in the other small fires, and down its center head spike was a large crack, revealing, as the other parts did, complicated circuitry.

“This can’t be possible. Tails, what is that stuff?” Sonic asked, his face clearly showing his shock.

“Uhh, um, well, judging by the color and the flames, I’d say it’s some kind of oil.” Tails replied, also shocked.

“So, with all that robotics stuff, that means. That Shadow is actually…”

“Yeah, he’s actually an android.”

“But how? I mean, he didn’t seem anything like the other androids that Knuckles was fighting.”

“When I came in I heard them say something about him being the most advanced Shadow android. So maybe he’s a one of a kind model, better than the other ones.”

“But, he could use a Super form… but then again, so did Metal Knuckles, and according to Knuckles, Mecha Sonic too.”

“And considering Eggman made those a while ago, he could have easily improved the Chaos engine he used.”

“That is not all there is to it.” Omega said as he came over to them. “It is true that many of Robotnik’s previous inventions could have been used to make this Shadow android, but the Shadow androids are more than just mere robots. They are mechanized clones.”

“Clones?” Tails asked. “But that’s impossible. Especially since Shadow is…”

“As I have told Rouge the Bat, Eggman could not make the Shadow androids from nothing. The original must exist somewhere.”

* * * * *

A new day is dawning on a small island far away from the action that has been taking place in the rest of the world. The clouds of the past few days are gone, and a lone, black figure is standing on the beach, enjoying the sunrise. His body appears to have been greatly injured recently, yet he’s already managed to heal fairly well, the only signs of it remaining being a few bandages here and there. He raises his hand out in front of him, as if he were holding an object, and mutters something to himself, closing his eyes. He laughs, and then opens his eyes, looking out, beyond the sea and the sunrise.

“Just you wait. I’ll be back soon enough… faker.”

————————————————————————————————————

Previous Chapter.

Index.

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