Chapter 1: Heroes fall

The Biolizard had absorbed a huge amount of chaos energy and performed chaos control. Sonic and Shadow were in their super form doing there best to save the world from disaster.

"Sonic listen…...", Shadow said, "by alternating our attack we might disorient the Biolizard and give us a chance to expose a weak spot."

"All right Shadow, lead on."

Shadow dashed in for the attack. The Biolizard blasted a laser beam at him but he used chaos control to warp out of the way. Now in range Shadow focused a great amount of energy in his hand and unleashed a devastating blast at the beast.

While no lethal damage was caused, Shadow still managed the unbalance the creature. Not giving any opportunity to retaliate Shadow warped out and Sonic was on his way for the assault. This time the Biolizard invoked a spherical field of energy orbs in the size of footballs. One-by-one the orbs started to rush toward the blue blur at great speed. Sonic made an energy shield around him and started evasive maneuvers. While the orbs didn't connect a direct hit they still exploded expulsing strong shock waves. Sonic reinforced the shield and continued toward his goal. The beast swung his head trying to swat him away, but he evaded the attack and delivered a powerful kick to the creature's jaw. The attack only succeeded in irritating the creature even more.

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Meanwhile, people worldwide held their breathe while following the events that transpired in outer space. Some of the mayor news and television networks even manage to broadcast the ultimate battle live with help of satellites orbiting the planet. They were able to transmit the signals to all electronic billboard and televisions throughout the globe.

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The clash of the titans went on with little chance on Sonic and Shadow's account. Because of the Biolizard's tough outer skin and now empowered with chaos energy, direct attacks had little to no effect. Sonic and Shadow even in there super form started to show signs of exhaustion. Nevertheless, their determination to stop the Biolizard was strong enough to fuel their will to keep on fighting.

"Sonic, Shadow, do you read me?", Robotnik called through the communicator Shadow and Sonic were wearing.

"Loud and clear, doctor…", Shadow replied.

"Tails and I have discovered a weak spot on Biolizard's anatomy. There should be a visible red swelling somewhere on his body. This spot reveals a great amount of stress. You should be able to utilize this weak point to your advantage."

"Roger that …………"

After a quick glance, Shadow spotted the swelling. Now their efforts were targeted on exploiting this weakness.

"Can you hear me, Sonic, Shadow? Everyone here is counting on you! Good luck, and give him trouble!" Amy cheered through the com-link.

The super duo powered up and went in for the target. After some skillful elusive moves, Shadow landed the first hit and indeed, it was effective.

Screeching, turning and twisting in pain the monster expulsed a great energy pulse blasting Sonic and Shadow out of balance. Both managed to get back in their bearings and went immediately into the defense.

"All right you guys…", Tails reassured through the com-link, "……it's working……keep going."

The monster, after noticing the heroes' intentions, began increasing his defense by shooting powerful blasts aiming randomly on the two hedgehogs.

After a few exchanges of blows, it looked as if the battle was near to an end.

"You two must hurry up, atmosphere entree in four minutes! You hear me!" Robotnik yelled panicked.

Sonic and Shadow focused there strength for the final attack. At the same time, they both rushed in. The Biolizard blasted a laser beam right at them, but on the last second, they warped out of the way. Warping right in front of him, they simultaneously gathered an immense sum of chaos energy and than delivered a devastating blow.

The blast ruptured the swelling causing a hole in the lizard's body. The creature gave his last agonizing roar and started to dematerialize.

That was the end of the monstrous creature but they were not out of danger yet. Even after defeating the Biolizard and detaching it from the ARK, the space station was still plunging down to earth, wrapped in fire at a great speed.

"Sonic, Shadow you've defeated the Biolizard but we're trapped in the earths gravitational pull…..." Robotnik informed, " …… if the colony hit earth everyone and everything will be annihilated."

Sonic and Shadow looked at each other knowing what had to be done. Both speeded toward the space colony, enveloped in a sphere of golden light.

"No way is that thing going through…" Sonic said with a firm voice.

Suddenly Shadow heard a familiar and soothing voice.

"Give them …a chance…………to be happy."

It was the voice of his beloved Maria strengthening him to carry out her last wish.

These last words engulfed Shadow in a righteous rage.

Both hedgehogs concentrated their remaining power and got ready for the final stand.

"Okay Shadow let's do this………………"

"Ready!"

"…C H A O S C O N T R O L…………", they both yelled in unison.

The space colony was encased in a huge ball of light and in a blink of an eye, it disappeared. A few seconds later, it reappeared in its original position.

It took a while, even after the light of the huge blast faded away, for everyone to realize that they did it. The earth is save thanks to the amazing efforts of Sonic and Shadow.

Everyone on the Arc was cheering aloud for the great victory.

"Yay, they did it.", Amy squalled while hugging Tails.

"We're saved, the earth is safe.", Rouge yelled and in her joy she gave Knuckles a hug. He was a bit shocked at first by this spontaneous action, but decided to join the joyful moment with a grin and a thumb up.

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On earth, everyone saw how the Ark reappeared back on its orbit. The people on the streets, in stores, at home went very euphoric at the fact that the planet was saved. The eminent treat was defeated by two brave hedgehogs with supernatural powers and a determination of steel.

"We're saved! They saved us! The planet is safe!" Those where the words you could hear all around the cities.

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Robotnik was staring silently through the window, noticing something was wrong. He turned to the group and said: "Silence, all of you! It looks like something is wrong with those two out there."

"What!", Amy exclaimed shocked.

They all ran to the window looking closely to what was going on. Just as Robotnik said, there was indeed something wrong with Sonic and Shadow. They were slowly losing their golden glow and the aura around them faded away.

Too weak to use chaos control they suddenly went back into normal form and started to fall toward the earth.

"What's happening?", Tails asked.

"That final attacked must have cost them too much energy. They don't have any power left to return to the Ark.", Knuckles said worried.

"No! It can't be.", Amy cried.

"If they fall into the earth's atmosphere they will….", Tails said, but didn't have the courage to finish his sentence.

"Burn to death.", Rouge said under her breath.

"Sonic, NO!", Amy yelled while staring through the window when her hero started to fall towards the earth.

"Do something, isn't there anything we can do?", Amy asked already sobbing, looking at Tails and the others. Knuckles just shook his head with his eyes tightly closed, feeling powerless to what was going to happen.

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Sonic was relieved to see that his attempt to generate a Chaos Control strong enough to stop the Ark was successful.

'I did it! The earth and my friends are save!', he thought. Then he realized that the final attack had taken a toll far greater than he anticipated. He was starting to feel tired, looking how the aura of chaos energy around him started to fade away.

"Must get back to the Ark but my powers are leaving me.", he said with a weakening voice trying to gather enough energy to use Chaos Control and warp back into the space colony with no avail. He continued to fall back slowly, going faster with the second.

'I won't make it. I hope the others won't be too upset though.', Sonic thought giving his last smile.

Shadow was not far away from Sonic and was also falling toward the earth.

'This is the end, I know.', he thought with no regrets in his heart.

After battling the Biolizard twice he knew this final battle might be his last, but that didn't bother him. He was determined on keeping his promise to Maria at all cost.

"I did it… I kept my promise to you, Maria. I protected the planet you loved so much and saved everyone."

He was now falling at a high speed with only a name left in his mind; 'Maria…'

Both hedgehogs took a last glance at the space colony which was turning smaller and smaller.

At first, the burning pain caused by entering the atmosphere was unbearable, but soon it subsided and the stress of the physical world was no more. No worries, no sadness, no pain, no memories, nothing. The last thing the two hedgehogs saw was a tunnel with a strange light at the end. It was shinning brightly and radiating soothing warmth.

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"Nooooo! Sonic!", Amy yelled to the top of her lungs. After seeing her beloved hedgehog disappear in the atmosphere she collapsed to the floor and continued to cry broken-hearted.

"Sonic….is….gone….", Tails stammered with a trembling low voice trying not to cry but tears were already pouring out.

'He was cocky and annoying, but he didn't deserve to end like this.', Knuckles thought, trying to remain strong in this hard situation. However, hearing how Amy was completely crushed by losing Sonic, he couldn't avoid a few tears to roll out.

'In the end your loyalty was stronger than your thirst for revenge, Shadow. Now that I think of it, I never got the chance to thank you for saving me back in that military base.', Rouge said with a low voice, still staring through the window.

'From that moment I knew that maybe deep inside you're not a bad guy after all. You have somewhat of a hero but in a different perspective compared to Sonic.', Rouge thought recalling this hole adventure with him. 'I'm sure going to miss you, Shadow.'

Trying not to let herself be overwhelmed in this atmosphere of sadness, she decided it was time to leave. She walked up to Amy and grabbed her by her arm.

"Come on, there is nothing left for us to do here. Let's go home.", she said gently. Amy didn't say a word. She stood up with some difficulty, feeling like all her energy was consumed by grieve. Rouge helped her walk toward the door. Amy was still weeping as if she will never stop.

"Are you guys coming? There is only one shuttle to get back."

Knuckles and Tails nodded silently and started to walk behind her.

"What about you, doc?", Rouge asked. Robotnik reacted shocked for a second, lifted up his head and said: "Uh, I've got my own ride?"

"Suit yourself than.", Rouge said short and guided Amy through the door with the others following.

"Knuckles, do you think Eggman would try something if we leave him behind in the Ark.", Rouge asked after the door closed behind them.

"I don't think he is much of a threat without the Chaos Emeralds and I have the Master Emerald.", Knuckles answered.

Rouge nodded relieved and continued walking along with Amy. Tails was walking with bowed head and ears, deep down in sadness, but wasn't sobbing like Amy. Knuckles was walking a few steps behind and stopped to gaze through the gigantic window into space with the earth creating a splendid view.

"Even if it might sound strange, I'm going to miss you, Sonic. I never had a chance to get to know that other hedgehog, Shadow. At first I thought he had to be pure evil to be working for Eggman, but in the end he showed a completely different side of himself."

He sighed, turned around and while looking at the planet he said: "Sayonara Sonic and Shadow…..."