Sonic is © to Sega

I am…
By: Iris Sweetheart

This life I live…it's not so simple. There once was a simple time when all I did was run for the sake of running. Going from one place to the next… Admittedly, it was fun and I didn't have anyone at my back. There was no need for anyone to be there. Then I came across one…two…three…all the way up to seven jewels, and suddenly the world is resting on my shoulders. Many times would I find myself looking down on the world waiting for the grand finale and I would give it to them in a glorious flash that would end in a tiny twinkle and I would be among the world once more…running. But the first time the grand finale came…I thought it was just me. Not giving any heed to the one who was at my back and always has been ever since.

Looking up at the menace machine that Eggman had created, I knew something had to be done. There wasn't a single doubt in my mind. All that mattered was stopping him and giving the world the grand finale. Then they appeared…the emeralds I had collected along the way. I wasn't sure why I had picked them up as Tails and I followed Eggman's trail of destruction. It never occurred to me to stop and consider their existence as they came to me after we completed a great, and usually, unnecessary, feat that uncovered their hiding place in the lands we traveled through. But they seemed drawn to me, that much I'm sure of. Floating around me like I was some sort of magnet, the emeralds resonated and deep within me I felt a power grow. So much that it overwhelmed me and before I knew it…I took off in a flash faster than lightning.

The battle was a blur of metal and explosions and then an even greater explosion occurred from within the ship Eggman had created sending me out into the cold reaches of space…but I felt neither space's cold grasp or the heat from the explosions. Just the flow of energy that had empowered me. Drifting through space high above the planet…I watched as Eggman's destructive vessel failed with each explosion slowly drifting towards the planet. And I drifted to the planet as well with the battle won, the grand finale completed. Allowing the gravity to pull me in, I fell through the atmosphere neither burning or in pain but rather in a peaceful well-earned rest from the intense battle. The skies surrounding returned to the familiar shade of blue and I began to slow my decent using the last of the flowing energy within me. Then it was gone and I was back to my normal self picking up speed from the descent, but I didn't fear or doubt. I never do. The familiar red plane came into view, with Tails piloting, and I fell onto the wing and we sped off to places unknown.

The emeralds? Probably returned to me after the battle. The one standing at my back? Still unknown to me and would be for quite some time.

The next venture we had took us to an island that was a world within itself. Feeling a surge of energy within me, I leapt off the plane and, in a brilliant flash, raced across the shimmering waters and onto the white beaches of the island. A hop, skip, and jump later and I was traveling through the thick jungles of the island taking in the exotic scenery…and suddenly the venture came to an abrupt halt. An explosion occurred and my head was filled with dizziness that had me wondering where the sky ended and the ground began. The smoke cleared and there he was. Red, proud, and with my precious jewels floating around him as if they had found a new master. A snap of his fingers and they disappeared and off he ran deeper into the thick jungles. If Tails had called out to me I didn't hear him. For I had chased after the thief to claim what I thought was rightfully mine…but soon I would learn.

Tails did the best he could keep up with me as we chased and fought the thief throughout the island, encountering Eggman's attempt to rebuild his fallen glory. Eventually he and I were separated but I continued on striving to reclaim that comforting power that had grown on me. By the time I had caught up with the thief, it was in an ethereal place underground that brought back memories of space, lights shimmering all around me…yet I was too focused on what belonged to me. The emeralds. The feud ended quickly and I raced to find the emeralds safe and sound…along with a larger one that seemed to be their mother. Eggman escaped with the larger emerald, the thief chasing after him. I gave chase once the emeralds returned to me, knowing that soon I would have to give the world another grand finale. Hours later high above the atmosphere, same space, same situation, same battle. A blinding light occurred and in no time Eggman's fortress of destruction was going down in flames…and I was drifting towards the planet staring up at the stars again. Those magnificent twinkles in the sky.

I didn't know the fate of the mother emerald or the thief and I didn't care. I was reunited with the power that had embraced me so lovingly during the last grand finale. However this time, something different occurred. I may have blacked out, maybe, I'm not sure. All I knew was that everything around me faded and I looked around noticing that I was no longer powered by the emeralds yet they floated around me. I turned and behind me…was me…or him…? He stared back at me with his piercing red eyes, glowing a brilliant shade of yellow and then with a wave of his hand, the emeralds scattered into the darkness. I wanted to go after them, honestly, but he stopped me and pointed to my heart. Slowly he began to fade and wanted to ask him more questions…but soon I was back in my world falling as usual until Tails flew by in the Tornado and whisked us off to the unknown again.

Ever since then, I no longer felt the power of the emeralds resonating within me. I had to seek them out in order to use them. I didn't understand what that strange…dream meant. Not until I found myself up against the aquatic beast known as Chaos. It was then when we met again in that dark realm. Only this time the roles were slightly reversed. He was the one surrounded by the Chaos Emeralds, not me. Then it all became clear to me. All this time, it was never supposed to be my choice as to when I could have the power, but rather his. The other me that was born the first time I transformed. When I needed that power, it was up to me to seek him out. To go out and recover the emeralds from their hiding places. Building up the will I would need in order to access the positive energy resonating from the emeralds. I had to do all of that in order to see him and ask him to help me put on the grand finale for all to see. So in actuality… it was us working together.

Nowadays, we see each other often when the world needed a grand finale. Of course getting to him is never easy. Once a show is over, the emeralds would scatter and I would have to run after them again. But it never bothered me for running is what I live for. You would think that now that I'm so acquainted with him, I would at least referred to him by his name. Sure, my friends had given him a special name…or rather given that form of me a special name. But seeing as how he and I are separate, we're obviously two different people. Although, on one occasion I did ask him what his name was.

He smiled and said, "I am…"

…A flash cut him off and I found myself in the heat of a grand finale. I guess he is who I want him to be. The one forever standing at my back.