Authors Note- I know I promised twenty-two chapters, but I decided that instead of giving you three rather short chapters, I'm topping off this story with one long chapter. So, ladies and gentlemen, kick back, relax, and enjoy the final chapter of the five-story long Ultimates Saga.

Chapter 20

Long, orange rays shone through the large windows of Rouge and Shadow's mansion. A feeling of tranquility would fall upon anyone that entered the mansion. One could sense the happiness, and the peace in the atmosphere.

It had been five years...

Five years since the children of the greatest heroes on Earth had been born. Robotnik was no more, every foe that had threatened Station Square and Earth had been defeated by the legendary heroes, and they had taken their leave.

Traveling farther into the house, one came upon a large sliding glass door leading out into the yard. Commotion, laughter, and voices filled the air outside, for Shadow and Rouge had decided to throw a barbecue, and everyone came, even Tikal, the ancient echidna that resided within the Master Emerald on Angel Island.

Never far from the cream colored female was Chaos, the mythical god of destruction. His liquid form stood directly behind the echidna princess, his emerald eyes scanning the area for impending danger.

At the grill, an azure hedgehog with peaceful jade eyes stood, occasionally flipping a burger. At his side was his counterpart, sporting black and red fur, the ultimate life form, Shadow the Hedgehog.

They had been enemies once, the two hedgehogs, when they met for the first time in Station Square, which was followed by their meetings and battles on space colony Ark, which was no more thanks to Shadow.

Past the two, at the newly installed pool, three females tanned in the blazing sun; a bat and two hedgehogs. The three had one rather revealing bikinis, showing off all of their voluptuous curves and assets.

Knuckles, the famed guardian of the Master Emerald was conversing with Tikal on a bench, with Chaos' eyes never leaving the crimson echidna.

Inside of the actual water-filled pool, three small forms could be made out, all that had hedgehog-like features to them.

The first, who was playfully splashing a female, was a small hedgehog with cool, sky-colored fur and beautiful jade eyes. He had the same attitude as his father, always getting into mischief but being a good being at heart. The day he was born, his parents, a beautiful rose colored hedgehog and a energetic sea colored one, had decided to name him Dash the Hedgehog.

The second child, wrestling with Dash, was a peach colored hedgehog. By the way she wore her quills in a small ponytail and her other features pointed out that she was obviously a female. Playful violet eyes shinned back upon Dash as the small female giggled every time she hit Dash with one of her splashes of water. Her parents had named her after the all-knowing and life-giving blanket that clouded the heavens, she was Sky the Hedgehog

The third child could had been mistaken for a miniature clone of his father. He was adorned in midnight black fur with crimson marking his quills, arms, and legs. His eyes, although lighter than his father's, were a bloody innocent red. It was as Rouge's genes and traits had been denied a say in her son's physical appearance, for he was the son of the ultimate life form and of the famed treasure huntress, he was Storm the Hedgehog.

The young ebony hedgehog laughed as he jumped out of the water, taking a running start towards the edge.

"CANNON BALL!" the young hedgehog shouted as he jumped into the water, his arms grasping his legs to give him the appearance of a little black cannon ball.

The other two children laughed when the wave their friend sent up washed over them, drenching their quills and faces completely.

"Storm," an ivory bat scowled, "Play safe, I don't want you to get hurt!"

The young hedgehog re-surfaced from the water and hiked a thumb towards himself while wearing a bright smile, "I can't get hurt, I'm the ultimate life form!"

Rouge rolled her eyes at her son's antics and laid back down, "You're just like your father."

Speaking of his father, the ultimate life form was currently in another tussle with his long-time friend and rival, Sonic the Hedgehog.

"I'm telling you Shadow," Sonic growled, his face mere inches away from that of the ebony hedgehog, "Chili Dogs are the best!"

"And I'm telling you," Shadow retorted, his eyes glowing with anger, "Steak beats Chili Dogs."

Sonic sneered and turned back to the grill, muttering some words about Shadow's mother.

The ultimate life form smiled triumphantly before he turned his head slightly at a faint sound, "Tails and Cream are here."

Sure enough, the young fox and rabbit, which were now both at the age of fourteen came through the glass sliding door, hands intertwined.

Sonic whistled, "Look at my boy go! I've taught him everything he knows."

Tails smiled at his friend's comment and lead Cream, who was also in a small bikini, to the pool, where she was greeted by the other females.

"Nice catch there Tails!" Sonic complimented, slapping the younger fox on the back.

Tails smiled unsurely and rubbed the back of his head, "Thanks Sonic."

Shadow also managed to muster a small smile, when he suddenly felt someone tug at his leg.

Looking down, crimson met crimson.

"Hi daddy!" the young Storm exclaimed happily, "Can you and Uncle Sonic come play chicken fight with me and Dash?"

Shadow smirked and picked his son up into his arms, "Only if Uncle Sonic doesn't mind losing."

In a second, Sonic's jade eyes flared as he handed the spatula to Tails, following Shadow to the pool.

"Hey, wait a second!" the fox screamed out in protest, "I don't know how to cook!"

"Just flip the burgers, genius," Knuckles said, coming up beside him with Tikal.

Tails shrugged and did as he was instructed to.

"TAILS! THEY'RE SUPPOSE TO LAND ON THE GRILL, NOT THE GROUND!"

With a leap, both Shadow and Sonic were in the pool. Shadow lifted Storm onto his shoulder as Sonic lifted Dash onto his.

"Ger ready to lose!" Sonic sneered, pointing his index finger at Shadow.

"Ladies first!" Shadow retorted with a shark-like grin.

In a second, the fight between the two hot-heads and their sons was on.

The two minors wrestled and tried to subdue each other on their father's shoulders while both Shadow and Sonic were attempting to kick each other in order to get the other to fall.

Amy and Rouge laughed at the sight of their husbands.

"They're still so immature," Amber noted with a laugh.

"Yeah," Amy agreed, "But that's what I love about them."

"Storm," Shadow called, getting his son's attention, "Do the trick daddy showed you to get Dash off Uncle Sonic's shoulders.

With a large smile, the young one eagerly nodded, "Chaos Control!"

Sonic blinked in surprise before he felt a tug on his back, the little weasel had planted himself directly on his back!

With a yelp, Sonic lost his footing on the slick floor of the pool as he and Dash fell into the water with a splash, Storm reappearing on Shadow's shoulders with a smile.

Sonic and Dash both resurfaced, the blue hero pointing a finger accusingly at Shadow, "No fair! I didn't know he could use Chaos Control!"

Shadow shrugged, "You snooze, you lose, moron."

-

The ebony and crimson ultimate life form smiled warmly at the sight. Everyone of his friends, his family, eating together under the setting sun and enjoying themselves. How had he come so far? How had he been able to conquer so much?

Flashback

Shadow was running, running through a long metallic hallway, ignoring the shouts for surrender by the soldiers chasing him. His only concern was focused on the small blond girl that was holding his right hand.

"Halt or we'll open fire!"

Shadow looked back and growled at the soldier following him. With his free hand, the hedgehog launched a small Chaos Spear, knocking the soldier to the ground. Finally, the duo made its way to the escape pods in a small room.

Shadow let go of Maria's hand and sealed the door. Immediately, loud pounding sounds and gun fire could be heard on the other side, obviously from the soldiers trying to break in.

The hedgehog turned to his companion,"Maria, we have to get out of here!"

The young girl nodded,"Alright Shadow, you stand over there!" she said pointing to a small lighted ring. Shadow did as his mother told him and stood in the center of the circle.

The young girl pushed some buttons and put her frail arms upon a lever when the door burst open, with at least twenty heavily armed soldiers all pointing their guns at Maria.

"Don't do it girl!" one of the soldiers warned.

Maria's face tensed up as she looked as Shadow, "Shadow, I beg of you!"

The dark hedgehog's angry gaze switched from the soldiers and to Maria, where his face immediately became softer.

Maria continued, "For all the people on that planet!"

Maria's arms tensed up as she pulled the lever and a large glass tube fell over Shadow. The dark hedgehog's eyes widened in shock as he pounded on them. "Maria!" he shouted.

"That's it girl!" the same soldier from before shouted as he pulled out a small handgun.

Time seemed to freeze for Shadow as a single bullet was fired from the gun. Maria didn't even have time to scream as the bullet pierced her fragile chest.

Time sped up again as Maria fell to the ground with a heavy thud. Shadow's eyes widened in anger and frustration.

"MAAARIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

With her last bit of strength and will power, Maria raised her head up to face Shadow, "Sayonara, Shadow the Hedgehog.

And with those final words, her head fell lifelessly to the ground.

The soldier who had shot her turned to him, "Now that that girls done for, it's your turn!"

Shadow faced the soldier with a dark, sadistic look. A dark aura started to surround him as his eyes gradually glazed over from ebony dotted crimson to a complete black.

The soldier who had shot Maria turned to one of his colleagues, "What's he doing?"

A bead of sweat ran down Shadow's forehead as his fur blinked to complete ebony, matching his new eyes. A loud black explosion rocketed the entire space station as the capsule Shadow was in burst in a huge black inferno.

The soldiers backed up out of instinct as the black light cleared, revealing the transformed ultimate life form. Every part of his body save the white fur on his chest and his muzzle was now completely black.

The soldiers backed up in fear.

Shadow's deadly gaze locked onto the soldier that had shot Maria.

"You!" he spoke, his voice totally abnormal from what it was before. He now sounded like some kind of demon.

One of the soldiers raised his gun and fired a shot at the hedgehog. Shadow didn't even bother to notice as the bullet bounced right off, courtesy of a garnet aura that sparked.

The soldiers backed up slightly as Shadow advanced upon the entire group. An evil smile made its appearance on his face as two black energy orbs surrounded his hands.

The demented, hell-bent Shadow spoke again, "Welcome to oblivion!"

End Flashback

Flashback

Burning…

My entire body was burning…

My vision became foggy…

The smell of burned flesh…

The pain…the excruciating pain

"Maria," I whispered. "This is what you wanted right? This is my promise I made to you…"

I fell…fell from Ark after defeating the monstrosity that dared challenge my worth as the ultimate life.

It was vanquished, with some help from my counter part…

The deed had been done, my life's purpose had been fulfilled…I had no more reasons to live.

The fur singed from the ferocious heat of the atmosphere. This was it…my demise; the ultimate life form will be no more.

My face cringed up as the heat intensified. "Maria, I will be with you soon…"

Those words left my dry lips in what I thought to be my last statement as a living creature.

I closed my eyes and smiled, awaiting and welcoming death.

I suddenly felt cold metallic arms wrap themselves securely around my damaged and now defenseless body.

Wait…this is wrong…it isn't suppose to happen.

I had eluded death once again.

End Flashback

Flashback

Eclipse shook one of his clawed fingers.

"WHY SHOULD I? I LOVE WATCHING YOU SUFFER! AND I KNOW JUST THE WAY TO GET TO YOU SHADOW!" he said while smirking and looking at Rouge.

Shadow followed his gaze and saw he was looking at Rouge.

"No…"

Shadow immediately tried to dash for Rouge to protect her when Eclipse beat him to her. Rouge didn't even have time to scream as Eclipse lifted her with his left claw and elevated himself far enough so the rest didn't reach him.

Shadow looked totally despaired and Eclipse loved every second of it. Shadow watched in horror as Eclipse held Rouge in his tight grip.

'No! It can't be!' Shadow thought. It was all just like his nightmare.

"THIS IS WHY YOU WILL NEVER BE A TRUE ULTIMATE LIFE FORM SHADOW," Eclipse bellowed at the horrified Shadow. With those words, the beast took one of his claws and stuck it forcefully into the white bat's stomach.

Blood erupted from the wound as well as the bat's mouth as Shadow watched on in horror. The beast let go off the bat with a smirk plastered on his face.

A primal scream echoed through the sky. Shadow then realized that it was his own.

"ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUGE!"

End Flashback

A small smile graced Shadow's lips.

"Eclipse," Shadow muttered, remembering his brother. He had been brought down a road which he did not want to follow, the ebony hedgehog regretted having to kill him. He could've been here with them, laughing and enjoying himself.

The dark hedgehog suddenly grimaced as another memory flooded into his mind.

Flashback

Shadow smiled as he gathered a golden Chaos Spear in the hand pointed towards the Chaos Comet, "I just wish we could've met under different circumstances," Shadow murmured slightly,

"I'm sure we could have been allies, maybe even friends. Perhaps one day, we will," Shadow said hopefully.

The Chaos Spear in his hand was now full charged up. With his free hand, Shadow gave his brother a two finger salute.

Shadow smiled as energy sparks danced across his body. The rest of the group below had ecstatic looks plastered on their face as they all shouted up to the hedgehog in unison, "DO IT!"

More energy sparks danced across Shadow's body, "Sayonara, Eclipse the Hedgehog."

And with those final words Shadow released the final, battle-ending attack.

"HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

With that scream, the giant Chaos Spear was launched at the Chaos Comet. With a huge explosion of sound, the attack made impact and sent the Chaos Comet, along with Eclipse, flying away.

Through the atmosphere they went, burning flesh and bone. Eclipse didn't bother to recover. He knew it was over. The attack continued and soon reached space, heading directly for the floating space station, Ark.

As the impact drew closer and closer, a final realization hit Eclipse. Meters before impact, Eclipse spoke again while smirking a little, "I GUESS YOU ARE THE BEST SHADOW, YOU ARE THE TRUE ULTIMATE..."

And with those final words, the Chaos Comet carrying Eclipse crashed into the Ark, totally annihilating the space station, as well as Eclipse in a fiery red inferno accompanied by a scream of defeat and pain that shook the heavens themselves.

End Flashback

He had conquered everything from his past, the Biolizard, Black Doom, Eclipse, and...even himself.

Flashback

A machine…

Built for war…

Useless…

Heartless…

Without a soul…

Unable to protect her…

It will happen again…

You cannot stop it…

Maria…

Amber…

Rouge…

Can't…protect…

The darkness…you cannot escape it…

It will consume you…

You will slaughter them…

Darkness…

Hate…

Power…

Chaos.

"HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Wires ripped under the pressure of the energies that Shadow was giving off as the hedgehog levitated off the seat, his eyes shinning an unnatural black. The dark hedgehog clenched his fists as a dark outline of energy surrounded him. Black crackles of pure energy danced across his body as the entire room began to shake. The dark hedgehog's teeth clenched with such force, they were on the point of cracking.

This was it...Shadow's darkest form.

Sonic's eyes widened as he yelled to the others, "TAKE COVER!"

"CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAST!"

A huge black inferno of energy shot out of Shadow's body, consuming everything, metal and organic alike. The entire base was consumed by the black light, obliterating everything and anything.

Metal and equipment was flung into the air before gravity took its effect and brought it back down into the devilish black light. No screams were heard, only the loud sound of the attack, along with the sound of Shadow's new, demented laugh.

The last thing seen before the light consumed it all was the new Commander's horror stricken face, finally realizing that he had pushed Shadow beyond his sanity, and it would cost him his life.

G.U.N. was no more.

The light cleared to reveal the inconceivable damage the dark one had done. There was hardly anything left. The entire underground base had been wiped out, along with all who resided within.

All that was left was a huge crater with some piles of metal. The ground was also void of any technology, only covered in fine rusty sand.

Through the miniature Armageddon, a small golden ball of Chaos energy shone through all the metal and dirt.

Amber breathed out heavily as she lowered her hands along with Sonic, causing the shield they had put up in last minute to disappear.

The still super powered hedgehogs turned to the others, who were completely unharmed. Sonic smiled out of relief when a loud crashing sound snapped him back to attention. The hero directed his gaze to a small black crater covered in a pile of metal.

Suddenly, multiple black lights shone through the cracks in the metallic dome as they were sent flying into the air, coming down on various spots, digging into the dirt.

Everyone's eyes widened.

Standing before them was a hedgehog, one which they had never seen. His fur was completely black along with his malicious looking eyes. In fact, the only color besides black that was on his body was his white chest fur, his tan muzzle, and the whites of his eyes His mouth was turned into an angry snarl as he gazed at the small group.

His quills stood totally vertical, pointing towards the harsh sun that was beating down on all of them and they slowly wavered in unison with the dark energy he emitted.

A deep black flame of pure energy surrounded the hedgehog, and with his white gloves clenched by his sides, it looked like he was ready for a battle.

On his feet were the shoes everyone recognized, red and white hover shoes, as they all came to the same conclusion.

Shadow had transformed into his Chaos form...the fate of the planet would be now decided...

End Flashback

Everything was behind him, everything has been beaten and conquered. The only thing left for him now, was to live a prosperous future with his wife, his child, and his friends.

"Come on honey," Rouge beckoned, pulling her husband to the table and sitting him down next to herself.

And so, Shadow the Hedgehog, the ultimate life form, born and raised upon the space colony Ark, sat among friends and family, conversing, laughing, and enjoying himself. He, along with everyone else, had earned what they have received, a beautiful, prosperous future.

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

(Whoa, yeah...)

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

(Yeah...)

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

It's been a long, rough road

And I'm finally here

I move an inch forward

It feels like a year

Everything I feel seems so unreal

Is it true? Is it true?

I take one step forward

And two steps back

Got a hundred-thousand pounds

Sitting on my back

Up, down, all around

Don't know quite what to do to get through

But I'm on my way, on my way

On my way, on my way

Here I am (here I am)

I made it to the end of you

Never had a chance while I'm around

No! No!

No, no, no, no!

And now I'll never turn back

I'll never turn back

I'll never turn that way

No matter how life tries to face me

I'll turn the other way

Now and then (now and then)

My head starts to spin (starts to spin)

But I never turn back again

No! No!

From this moment on (moment on)

I am moving on (moving on)

And I never turn back

No!

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

I guess I'm doing all right, and I'm on my way

Facing every moment day by day

Take a chance, slip on by

Got no time to answer why

Head straight, I head straight

And what will I become if I don't look back?

Give myself a reason for this and that

I can learn, no U-turn

Gotta stay right here where I'm at

Where I'm at!

But I'm on my way, on my way

On my way, on my way

Here I am (here I am)

I made it to the end of you

Never had a chance while I'm around

No! No!

No, no, no, no!

And now I'll never turn back

I'll never turn back

I'll never turn that way

No matter how life tries to face me

I'll turn the other way

Now and then (now and then)

My head starts to spin (starts to spin)

But I'll never turn back again

No! No!

From this moment on (moment on)

I am moving on (moving on)

And I'll never turn back

No!

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, oh, yeah!

I!

I!

I'll never turn back!

The End

Author's Note- There it is, over a year in the making, the Ultimates Saga is complete and finished. I would like to thank all of my dedicated readers and reviewers of their feedback and support.

You have definitely not seen the last of me though, so keep your eyes open. Until then, peace out, enjoy life, and get ready for...

"Shadow..."

"Oh Shadow..."

An ebony and crimson hedgehog stirred slightly before his eyes opened, revealing inferno-mimicking orbs. Blinking to clear out the small amount of moisture in his eyes, the hedgehog looked around to his best content, all the while still laying on the pitch black ground that seemed to stretch around him endlessly.

The rest of this place was no different, totally dark save for a small light that seemed to illuminate the small space the ultimate life form occupied. Grunting slightly, the ebony warrior used his arms to push himself up so that he was positioned on his knees.

"Look at you, you're pathetic..."

"Who are you?" Shadow asked groggily.

The voice laughed, but not one that was heard as a result of joy or fun, but one that was manifested from evil and sinister intentions.

"Elise really did extinguish the flame then, didn't she?"

"What are you talking about?" the ultimate life form questioned again, wearily standing to his full height.

"Hm hm hm hm, you shall see soon enough, my dear Shadow..."

The dark hedgehog's questioning and curious attitude immediately switched to one of anger.

"Reveal yourself!" Shadow commanded.

"As you wish..."

Looking around for any sign of the creature mocking him, but finding only darkness, Shadow's temper flared again.

"I said come out!" Shadow shouted again.

"I'm right here," a voice from behind the hedgehog spoke.

Shadow's eyes widened slightly. Why hadn't he been able to detect him? Whirling around to face his adversary, Shadow caught his breath.

Before him stood an exact mirror image of himself. The surrounding darkness would not show the phantom's true colors, but he could tell that he had highlights just like himself. There was only one major difference between the two:

The fake hedgehog had green, snake-mimicking eyes.

In the End