Wow, I can't believe this is the last time I'll work on ARK. This is the epilogue. With 29 chapters and 274 reviews, this is my longest and most successful fanfic to date. Thank you all for your support and input and ideas! Without you guys I would've just stopped writing this. I have honestly never gotten over 100 reviews (I've come pretty close, though) so for this fanfic to get nearly 300 is groundbreaking for me! I'm so excited!! XD Maybe after the reviews for the epilogue I'll get 300, and then I may have a heart attack, lol. ;) Anyway, thanks again!

Anime2videogames: Thanks for all your reviews and support in this fic!

Daniel 'Chiryu' Ernston: Sure you may! (allude to my fic) If it's anything major just please make a note that it came from my fanfic. Ooo, a basketball player? That's interesting! Lol Thanks for all your reviews!

Master Metallix: Yep, there's all sort of different scenarios! Thanks for all your reviews!

Cassy the Hedgehog: Yeah, it was sad to write. :'( Thanks for all of your support and reviews!

Rhetorical Ducky: Well, I am going to do something, I'm glad you're interested! I'll tell you after the epilogue. XD Thanks for all your reviews!

CleverPhoenix: Yep, I've been too fond of GUN. Thanks for your reviews!

Dark-Illusion-Detective: Thank you very much for your support and your reviews!

Farming Chick: Thanks for all your reviews for this fanfic! I'll see you in my other one. ;)

LilyRosetheDreamer: I know, I just want to hug poor Shadow! Thanks for all your reviews for this story!

Scarlet the Hedgehog 2009: I'm very sorry about your grandad. I also lost a relative to cancer. Thanks so much for all your reviews!

RoseintheShadows7: Thanks so much! And thanks for all your support and reviews!

Laras Dopplehoe: I'm so glad you enjoyed this so much! Thanks bunches!

Disclaimer: I don't own Sonic


She was there when he was born. --

He had created the Ultimate Life Form.

What had he done?


"Shadow. That's neat. I'm Maria." She held out her small hand.

Shadow took it and they shook.


They were faced with a large round room. The entire far wall was a window overlooking the earth.

"Wow," Maria gasped, running up to it. "It's so beautiful."


They watched it sail over their heads and crash through a window.

Stunned silence ensued.

"Shadow!" she gasped. "Why didn't you run and get that?"

"I honestly didn't think you'd hit it."


It dawned on her just then that maybe Shadow's strength, agility, and speed were meant for violence. Maybe there was a lot more to him than the Professor let on. Maybe there was something he hadn't told anyone about, not even her.


Two months in advanced of Maria's birthday, Shadow knew what he wanted to get her.


The boy was, by all means, average.--

But Shadow resembled the black alien.

And the boy knew he wasn't safe.


Then Shadow landed smoothly and surveyed the scene. He turned to his friends, seeming to question if that was all he had to do.


The hedgehog said in a low voice, "What do you think you know about me?"

The boy returned a cold stare. "What do you know about yourself?"


Maria put her hand on his cheek. "You're still good. Nothing will change that."


"Remember this one: Life isn't about waiting out the storms, it's about learning to dance in the rain."


His grip on it tightened as he let the power flow into him. It felt so normal, so natural.

He growled, "Chaos Control!"

He didn't stop moving, everything else did.


The two stopped.

The man held up a hatchet, and began walking towards them.


The fire was still there and Shadow yanked a water jug from the fridge, ripped the side open, and dumped it on the oven.


She laughed. "Grandfather calls it the Biolizard. It's a prototype."

"For what?"

"You, silly."


"Yeah. What do you think?"

"It's repulsive."


He was almost there when the robot slammed into him from behind. They both went flying into the hall, barely missing Maria, and crashed into the wall.


He shrugged, shook his head, but said anyway, "GUN called."

She was stunned. "GUN?"

"Yes, apparently Mr. Clawson is trying to turn them against us. He's just saying stuff."

"About Shadow?"

He nodded.


He smiled and embraced the two tightly. "Merry Christmas."


Maria hugged her small friend. "Happy New Year, Shadow! You are my best friend and I'm happy to have spent another year with you!!"



She nodded ruefully. "Revenge is evil. But when people seek it they usually aren't thinking straight."

He leaned against a tree. "I would never do something like that."


Her dream was to see Earth, to be able to go down there and not become fatally ill. But for now, she loved the ARK, her grandfather, and Shadow. They were her family. Maybe her life was unfair, but she didn't care. It wasn't about waiting out the storms.

And she had dancing in the rain down to an art.


Her stomach twisted at the same time her throat closed up. If her grandfather had deleted the file, then it wasn't good.


"How could you? You've put the planet in danger after you've spent so much time trying to save it!" She felt her eyes burning with tears. "How could you do that to Shadow?!"


I'll teach him a lesson, the boy thought. Then he went to report to GUN.


Shadow had barely collected his wits when he was hit. He was sent hurling back, crashing through glass and metal as he smashed through rooms. He struggled to stop himself, trying to grip anything he broke through.

At last the ARK's gravity brought him to the floor in the middle of an empty room. He hit the ground, his momentum rolling him over and over.

Finally he stopped, face down. He slowly pushed himself up, seeing blood along the ground. It took him a moment to realize it was his own.


Shadow looked up at her. "Why won't you let him focus more efforts on you? If you're in trouble you can't just sit idly back. What am I suppose to do without you?"--

"We have so little time in life, and I want the world to be a better place when I leave it."--

Shadow looked to him, wondering why everything was blurry. Then he felt the tears roll down his face and realized that, for the first time in his life, he was crying.


"They think what I've created is too dangerous." He hung his head. "And they are right."


Shadow physically felt his heart split. The air seemed to suck from his lungs as Maria dropped to the floor, red beginning to stain her blue dress. The sound of the shot and him shouting her name reverberated down the hall.--

Maria was dead.

After the escape pod had gone to Earth, at the ARK's Earth base, it hadn't been long until GUN had caught Shadow. Instead of killing him, which he was sure they'd do, they ran tests on him and locked him away on Prison Island.

He spent fifty years there, alone with his pain and anger. His whole life, everything he loved, had been destroyed in one day. He swore that when he got out, he'd get his revenge.

When he was at last released by Dr. Eggman, coincidentally the Professor's grandson and Maria's cousin, Shadow created a trail of destruction. He was so powerful, he realized, and nothing could stop him.

But Shadow recovered from that dark stage of his life and helped make the planet safe. When Black Doom, the evil alien, at last came, Shadow destroyed his comet and kicked him off the planet.

He'd put his past behind him now. It no longer consumed him. He was brought into the world to do good, and no matter what obstacles he faced, that's what he intended to do. He would to it because he was the Ultimate Life Form, because he could. Yes, he could just as easily use his power for evil, but his time with Maria had seen to it that he never would. She was an angel, too good for this world.

He had put his past behind him, but he hadn't forgotten. He wasn't crying because she was gone, he was smiling because she'd been there, and they'd had wonderful times together. And he was positive that one day he'd see her again, and that made all the difference.

Life wasn't about waiting out the storms, it was about learning to dance in the rain.

The End

Well, once again, thanks to all you guys for your reviews! For those interested, I will be posting in a week or so a new fic. It'll be Shadow-centric, but will have other Sonic characters in it. It'll have lots of allusions to the ARK, Maria, and this fanfic in general and will contain an original bad guy from this fic and the adult version of the boy, the Commander. It will be called The Antecedent. I hope you guys check it out!

Again, thanks for all the love! God bless!