Hold On
By Skyblaze

Author Note: This is an AU. I always though the Earth setting for the later games was a bit
stupid, so I've moved it back to Mobius, with the humans featured in SA, SA2
and Shadow the Hedgehog' coming from a human colony on another continent.

Prologue

Stars blurred past him at dizzying speed, and the burn of
the atmosphere closed in about his body as he felt the last of the Chaos
Emerald-inspired energy drain out of him, his fur slowly dimming back to its
usual coal-black hue.

Red eyes flicked open as his body tumbled out of control,
the slow burning aurora of re-entry surrounded him like the embrace of a
traitorous lover. Beyond that, he could see Space Colony ARK, back in its usual
stable orbit…the Ultimate Lifeform sighed in relief…he had kept his promise to
Maria.

A star seemed to move…a streak of yellow-gold light moving
towards him like a shooting star, trailing golden fire as it moved.

Sonic…

SuperSonic rushed towards him, hands outstretched, his mouth
forming words, crying out against the inevitable. Shadow shook his head,
knowing it was too late. Sonic could never reach him in time, not if he wanted
to survive himself.

But then he remembered the look that had flashed between
them as they both drew on the ancient power of the Chaos Emeralds, that instant
of connection, of communion and understanding…kinship.

And now he saw open anguish in Sonic's eyes…eyes that were
currently as fire-red as his own, saw the pleading in them, the hurt…

Shadow closed his eyes and gathered up his remaining energy,
holding out his arms, his last thought was to wonder if the world would be better
had he never been created. Then he spoke.

"Chaos Control!"

Everything went Black.

Chapter One – Open Your Eyes

Pain. Burning pain that shot through every nerve in his body
whenever he dared to move so much as an inch, making him long to return to the
oblivion of unconsciousness. From somewhere beyond the agony, he could hear
voices engaged in soft conversation, he tried to open his eyes, to sit up and
see who was there and weather it was friend or foe… but his body screamed its
protest at his unwise movements.

"Hey!" A melodic female voice said, placing a gentle hand on
his chest to restrain him, "Try not to move, you'll only make it worse." Shadow
frowned, but try as he might, he couldn't recognise the voice…and the light
hurt his eyes whenever he tried to open them, adding more pain to his already
overloaded system, so a visual inspection was out, too. He tried to gain some
impression of where he was…but his senses felt overwhelmed…as if burned out. No
doubt that was due to his fall into the atmosphere. All he could gain was a
vague impression that he was outside somewhere, maybe a forest, judging by the
cool, vaguely damp quality of the air.

Again, he heard a murmured conversation…some words about
moving him, and someone who would be arriving soon…then a whirring and beeping
sounds from somewhere just above his torso…as if a medical scanner or small
computer were being waved over him.

Then, from somewhere in the distance, he heard the
distinctive sound of a sonic boom. His…rescuers? Captors? …both seemed to
breathe a sigh of relief.

"Don't worry," that same female voice now said, "We'll get
you back to the village and patched up in no time, now."

Shadow tried to respond, but lacked the strength. He could
feel his body urging him back towards sleep so he cold relax and let his
accelerated healing ability do its work.

Another sonic boom echoed, much closer this time. Shadow
almost smiled, despite the pain, he knew only one other being besides himself
who habitually made that noise. That thought comforted him immedietly, and he
quietly fell back into the arms of sleep to let his body heal.

Sleep had already taken him when words of surprise drifted
out across the forest in Sonic the Hedgehog's familiar voice:

"Whoa, Sal…who's this guy…and why does he look so much like
me?"

TBC...