(Disclaimer: Sonic and all other canon characters are copyrighted by Sega. The plot is the only thing that is owned by me, and no money is or will be made in any way.)

Author's Note: These are Shadow's thoughts regarding Sonic.

Reflections, Part II

He was another hedgehog, one who looked almost like me. He could match my every move, and I could match his. It was like he was my own reflection.

While I was in the capsule in that military base, I was thinking about Maria and how she died, when a new image suddenly appeared. It was very faint, almost like a blur. I was not sure what it looked like, except that I knew it was blue.

During my trek down the highway, my images about the blue blur appeared, but they were a little clearer than before. It looked like a hedgehog. He was my height and had the same abilities like me. He was like the spitting image of me.

Maybe that was why I was not surprised when I saw him in the center of Station Square later that night. I was able to depict him through my images that it was like I never met him before. In addition, I thought he was more like a waste of time rather than a reflection. Therefore, I left the area… but not without humiliating him in the process.

When I sensed him again at Prison Island, I felt like he would try to get revenge on me for embarrassing him in Station Square a couple of nights earlier. In addition, I started to hold some sort of grudge towards him. I did not know why this occurred, but I knew that if this blind anger took over, it would rattle my concentration. As a result, I decided to taunt him the moment I saw him. I was hoping that my trick would rattle his confidence as well as regain my composure. It seemed to work, for I gave him a few scrapes here and there.

As I used Chaos Control to help both Rouge and me escape the island, I thought why this odd feeling took place. I was already used to being angry, for I still vowed revenge on the Guardian Units of Nations for murdering Maria 50 years ago, but this one was a little different. It was like any time I heard about him, this feeling of anger took over. It was like I was in some sort of blind rage.

However, after arriving at Space Colony ARK, I decided to think about Sonic once again, but this time, I was not going to let my anger get a hold of me. There, I thought about how similar he and I were. From what I recalled, he had part of my personality, my speed, and my agility. He was almost exactly like me, like he was my own reflection. That made me curious.

As time went by, my anger towards him returned, but it was not as bitter as it was once before. I had a guess why that happened, but the longer this hint of animosity I had, the more it grew. Unlike last time, this tension kept on growing to where I got so mad, that the next time we met, I was going to destroy him.

But as I ran to the lower halls of the colony, my conscience asked my why I felt so angry at Sonic. I thought about what it "said" to me, but when I sensed Sonic's presence nearby, I had to push it aside and concentrate on my job.

To be honest, I did not know why I actually grew curious of Sonic or why I asked his name. It was like my brain was just telling me to ask him, and I could not stop myself. However, the other part of my brain was telling me one thing and one thing only: destroy the hedgehog and prevent him from getting to the Eclipse Cannon before it fired.

During the beginning of our fight, he was able to run faster than me and fight better than me. Whenever I tried to counter his moves, he was able to outdo them. I started to become extremely angry. It was like he was trying to show me off, and I just could not stand that. But when he continued countering my actions, I became reckless, and I used my Chaos Spear several times at him. He was able to dodge them, as well, and he escaped from my grasp.

What he did in the lower halls made me so mad at him. It was like he was better than me; he acted like he was more powerful and quicker than me. As a result, I told to myself that the next time we met, I was not going to destroy him; I was going to maim him! I could not stand thinking about him; the thought about him made me want to scream in anguish.

However, as I walked slowly up towards the control room, the feeling of anger changed. A different emotion crept up inside me. I felt hurt, not physically or emotionally, but mentally. It was like my ego was bruised. I was proud to call myself the Ultimate Life Form, and Sonic made me look like a weakling. I felt that I was merely nothing more than one of Gerald's old experiments, that I was not the Ultimate Life Form after all.

But after Amy gave me that pep talk, I reconsidered my thoughts. What she said reminded me about many things, mainly Maria and Sonic. For some reason, whenever I heard Maria in my head, I heard Sonic, too. It seemed like there was a connection to them. Possibly, it was because of their goodwill and their pure hearts. From what I remembered, Maria had a good, caring heart, and she would have died to protect the ones she loved… something that she did 50 years ago. And maybe, just maybe, Sonic would have done the same thing.

Yes, maybe that was why I was so mad at Sonic. Perhaps, it was because Sonic had some good in heart, and I lost it. At least I thought I did. It was just that I held my grudge against the world for so long, I did not see that. Well, that was no more. Once I avenged Maria's death, I would move on and put it behind me… something that Sonic seemed to have done throughout his life.

Perhaps, my thoughts about Sonic might have been correct, because during out battle against the Final Hazard, my anger and hatred for him had vanished. I actually started to admire him, mostly due to his courage and determination. What he did gave me a lot of strength, and I was not willing to let that slip away. It was like he was giving me the chance to avenge Maria's death, and I was not going to let this opportunity slip away.

And with me losing strength rapidly, I felt that I had to avenge Maria's death as quickly as possible. The reason for this urgency… was that I was starting to die.

When I heard Maria's voice, I knew that my time was about up. So, using every last bit of my strength, I helped Sonic teleport the ARK back to orbit… and sacrifice myself in the process.

And as I fell towards Earth, my thoughts were on both Maria and Sonic. I avenged her death and made her proud, for I could hear her voice ringing inside my head, thanking me that she had someone to look after her as she was dying. And I believed Sonic was proud, too, because during my fall towards inevitable death, I heard him talking about how brave and heroic I was, how I sacrificed myself to save Earth.

As it turned out, Sonic was not so bad, after all. He was not really my own reflection to begin with. He was a good person with a kind, determined heart. He was someone who was not going to give up, no matter what.

And it was his determination that made me realize that I was the Ultimate Life Form, after all. He helped me show off my true power; and it did not come by brute force and anger: it came from the good inside my heart. He gave me the willpower to help defeat Gerald's experiment, and he helped me avenge Maria's death. Thank you, Sonic, for helping me complete my quest.

The anger and sadness no longer loomed from inside my heart anymore. The shadows had vanished, and the dark cloud that hung over me no longer existed.

My soul was free at last…

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