Knuckles sensed an emerald shard close by. He picked up his pace through the thick bushes, hastily making his way to the diminutive power source. He moved swiftly, being mindful of any particularly low branches, as the chaos energy grew stronger. He was getting close.

The bushes began to thin out some; he pushed another bush out of his way and found himself at a small clearing. Once he was free of the bushes he immediately kneeled to the ground, placing his large gloved hand on the spot where he felt the energy.

He only used one hand to dig; soon he found the little shard. He held it up close in front of his face watching the emerald light radiate form the small fragment.

His focus left the shard glancing up for a second. He had a double take realizing what he was glancing at. The sight of the thing made him fall back from his kneeling position though he still kept hold of the shard in his fist.

There he sat bewildered at what he was looking at. He blinked and gawked at the thing. There, in front of him was this HUGE…gigantic…two times bigger than him, flower bud.

It was…surprising, to see such a thing grow so big. He kept looking at it, cocking his head to one side not knowing what to make of it. He stood still staring skeptically at the oversized flower bud. He slowly stepped toward it, examining it with intent.

The bud wasn't sitting on a steam or anything; it just seemed to be resting on the ground with a few leaves sticking out from under it. It was pudgy at the base and slimed out at the tip. It was a nice color though. Pale blue with a darker shade of blue near the bottom. He was sure it would be a beautiful flower when it does bloom.

And with that thought he toughed it.

A feeling washed over him. It hopped in his chest and rolled down to his stomach. It sort of made him queasy and he didn't like it. He pulled his hand from the bud and turned to leave.

Walking back in the direction he came, he opened his fist taking the emerald shard from it and tucking it deep in his glove which is were he always kept most of the smaller shards he found.

He walked back trough the bushes looking back at the humongous bud one more time.

He saw it move.

Or at least he could've sworn he saw it move but, buds don't just move like that, do they? Well he knew about regular sized ones. Maybe in this region they…

His thoughts were interrupted when the bud began to twist open.

'Ah, it's blooming. But so fast?' Knuckles thought as he watched it bloom rapidly. He turned his whole body to witness it as the inside of the flower came into view. The petals were white with pastel blue blotches, and golden yellow stamen. He gave a small smile and just as he blinked he saw a flash of red from inside the flower.

This made his brows draw in and he tipped his head up some, his nostrils flared out a bit with his curiosity.

As he looked on more red came into view. It looked like…a shoulder, an arm. It moved, and it almost made Knuckles jump back. The petals began to lie down and he saw even more red, a red which rivaled his own color. When it finally finished blooming Knuckles gasped at the creature it held.

Inside the newly bloomed flower, Knuckles instantly recognized the scarlet creature as an echidna.

'…How?.....I'm the only one left….'

He watched the echidna turn on its back still lying in the giant plant. Knuckles just knew this was and echidna, its features were all too familiar. Broad chest and brow, a thick muzzle and wide nose, and unmistakable dreadlocks. It was completely nude. Well, so was he, but this. This creature's anatomy was so profound, it might as well be considered nude. Even as it rested, every muscle, every crease was in plain sight. Its arms and legs seemed more powerful than his own. It's flat well muscled chest indicated it was male.

His arms were long and his hands and fingers were slender. Trailing down to his legs Knuckles noticed his thighs were fairly thick.

The echidna shifted and made a small noise. Knuckles watched, utterly amazed as it appeared the pistol of the flower was sitting the echidna up. It finally opened his eyes and toke in a deep breath through his mouth, making Knuckles hold his. The first few breaths the echidna toke were unsteady and labored.

Despite himself, Knuckles felt a lone tear role down his face. What were feelings of loneliness were replaced with excitement and uncertainty. The sickening feeling rose on his stomach again and he sneered some at the unwanted sensation.

His attention was pulled back to the other echidna when it started to get itself up.

It sat up on his elbows pausing for a moment. He stretched out one his smooth legs, his foot going between two of the giant petals and touching the ground. When it did various smaller flowers and plants sprang to life on impact.

The flower born echidna cocked his head to one side, seemingly amazed at his own achievement.

Knuckles watched on in equal astonishment. He noticed the others eye color to be a lighter shade of purple than his own. They seemed almost innocent as the other looked at himself over unsure what to make of itself even.

The other echidna pushed himself up even more stretching out his other leg, touching the ground, getting the same effect as the one before it. He sat up all the way and he lifted himself until he was standing, thought he did stumble bit. He tried to steady himself on his legs as a slightly determined look came on his face and attempted to take a step. He toke one then another, and another each one bringing more flowers and plants to life. The steps were all unstable resulting in him falling face first.

Knuckles watched the strange event take place as even more flowers grew all around the fallen echidna. He frowned up at the echidna's clumsy actions but was taken aback by the other echidna's sudden out burst of laughter.

The echidna appeared to be laughing at himself. Knuckles listened intently to it. He noted that even though its laughter was deep and warm, it was…childlike in manner. In fact the way the echidna moved reminded him of a new born calf taking its first steps.

The echidna's laughter stifled a bit he and pushed himself up again. He almost fell backward when he pushed himself up to fast but soon steadied himself for another attempt. He balanced himself and toke step. When he didn't fall he toke another couple awkward steps, each still birthing new flowers. All the while he grinned at his simple achievement. He made small noise of pleasure as he continued to self teach.

Knuckles couldn't describe what he felt toward this clumsy being. Was what he was looking at really an echidna, an over-sized child of an echidna? But being born from a flower, and to have flowers grow under its footsteps? Was it truly an echidna or some kind of ethereal being?

He continued to study him from his place in the bushes. He then became aware of the white markings on the other echidna. They went from his shoulder blades and elegantly twisted down his back to his hips curving around to his front and literally pointing down to his… Knuckles immediately stopped himself from looking any further. After all it was plain to see that this other echidna was male (much to his dismay) and that he shouldn't be feeling…any of what he was feeling for him right now.

Knuckles attention was yanked back to the other echidna once more when it suddenly started sprinting off in the opposite direction. Before he could stop himself, Knuckles leaped from his hiding place and gave chase. The other echidna never seemed to notice.

Knuckles actually had a bit of trouble keeping up with other echidna's swift strides. It seemed as if the other echidna's footsteps never touched the ground as flowers still sprang to life after each one.

They were coming to another clearing and the considerably nude echidna came to a sudden halt. Knuckles did the same a ways behind him and immediately ducked behind more bushes.

The echidna had stopped at a lake with a gathering of rocks near it's middle. The echidna stood, looking over the water not moving.

The echidna's actions were really beginning to confuse Knuckles, but he couldn't bring himself to leave or disturb the other.

The other echidna looked up and so did Knuckles, curious as to what the other saw.

A very steep hill made from large boulders. Suddenly the other echidna ran to the would be cliff and immediately began to climb it.

Knuckles just watched as the other echidna, who pretty much just taught himself to walk, scale the side of a cliff as if he had been doing it all his life.

The echidna finally reached to the top and boldly walked to the very edge of the cliff high above the water leaning forward a bit looking over the edge.

Knuckles felt a sudden pang of fear for the other since it was obvious the other didn't seem to know what would happen if he kept leaning over like he did. Surly he wouldn't just…

He froze and actually reached out when other echidna let himself fall from the edge. Knuckles just couldn't believe it, he was about to lunge up to catch the echidna but stopped himself when he saw the other go into to somewhat irregular diving position.

The echidna tore into the water with a soundless tiny slash.

Knuckles was not relieved yet and held his breath as fro the other to come up.

'Please be alright.' He pleaded for the others safety. Knuckles held his breath staring at the spot the echidna dove into.

Knuckle eye catch a flash of brilliant red nearly shoot out of the water near the gathering of rocks toward the middle of the lake. He let his halted breath go once he realized it was the other.

Knuckles was unsure of what force could possibly bring him care so much for the echidna in such a short amount of time. Why'd it have to be male and why was he so beautiful!?

Knuckles felt that feeling his stomach once more as the echidna pulled himself up on the rocks, and sat grinning blissfully toward the night sky shutting his eyes.

Knuckles was truly beginning to admire the innocence in the others mannerisms.

Knuckles noticed the other echidna's childlike grin slowly wash from its face as it brought his head down. He slowly opened his eyes, and they grew confused, and then sad. His demeanor was not longer innocent, but now it appeared as if he he'd seen everything, knew everything. His eyes showed wisdom, a greater mental age. It almost broke Knuckles heart.

He opened his mouth as if to speak but a small noise that was barley audible cam instead. He made another noise that sounded like, 'I'.

"I…I feel like I've been asleep, forever." he spoke slowly.