(A/N) Just a short reflection of Shadow's. Did this for a class project. Set after the death of all other Sonic characters.

Disclaimer: Sega and Sonic Team character. GO THEM! YAY!

Forgiveness…I know well about it. Something one doesn't deserve, but gets from the mercies of another's heart. A free feeling, being off the hook for an act so heinous, or maybe simple. So simple in fact, that only the offender knows of it. Or perhaps everyone knows, but has not a soul to blame. Yes, I know forgiveness. I've asked it before, from everyone. I ask of it still. I try, unlike so many, to atone for the acts I've done. To them, to Earth, to her…

This planet isn't worth Maria's forgiveness. She did nothing to them. She never cursed their being, never raised a hand to their stupidity. She only wanted to visit their planet, get to know them, learn to love them. They took her away from me. Her dieing breath, a helpless plea to save them. From what? Themselves? I can still hear her. Every word sucking precious energy from her young, innocent body. Each utterance pouring on me as a horrible reminder of what she asks of me. To watch over this planet as a Shadow. Help them, know them, learn to love them.

Love them. I could never love them. Not after what they did, and what they do. A place to call home, they burn it. Trash this planet and leave the mess only to accumulate with the next generation. Defiling their neighbors' land, poisoning the very air they breathe. Laugh at the small few that care; attempt to save what little nature is left.

Killing, gossiping, lusting, raging. Husbands leaving home or beating wives. What an example to put into the minds of their young. Tortured, disturbed children growing up to pass on that legacy to their off-spring. Violence rules their day and its partner is the sexual desire born at a juvenile age. Their brood consists of money hungry, materialistic individuals. Each spreading lies to wound the mortal soul of another living life form. I don't see why I don't just aid the murders in this inevitable process. They will all die weak. Either by nature, or at the hands of other men. They fight what they can not grasp, their own ignorance to see what is really happening around them. What is really happening to them. With all the abilities I posses, I am unable to see the true reason for their existence.

But the few, that small number. Maria knew they existed, and I encountered one. Someone who didn't fall into the disfigured category of man. He was ill when I found him. He had been involved in a bombing. To this day I know not who did it, nor do I care. This little boy had discovered more in his life time, then all the knowledge this planet has to offer. Unlike Maria, I got to hold him his last moments. He looked up at me as I carried him from the wreckage. He wanted me to go back for his mother. She had made it out, she was waiting for him just over that hill. He was thinking more about her than anything happening to his frail body. I didn't run fast enough. He never made it to her arms . . .

Humans did this to him. Humans did this to humans.

Children seem so innocent, goodhearted, and simple… They are soon molded, crafted to hate and plan destruction. They are the few Maria loved. The ones she never met, and never will.

They're whom I'm to protect. Despite the evil corruption of man, they deserve a chance. A chance to regain what they lost. Being children. And perhaps that will lead to mercy. They may not deserve it, but they have my forgiveness.