G.U.N. HQ, Laboratory

"Don't worry about a thing, Sonic! The lock that Dr. Kai put on this suit is tricky, but it's nothing I can't handle!" Tails assured his big brother, who was sitting in a dentist office-style chair as Tails was working on his suit with Chuck nearby. Chuck would hand Tails the tools he needed, but stayed back so Tails could have enough working room to look over the inner workings of the suit.

During the trip back to Earth, Sonic found that he could not remove his suit the way Dr. Kai told him he could. After receiving clearance to land at the airfield Hangar, Tails was the first to greet him, followed by everyone else. While he was talking with Tails, he asked the fox if he would take a look at the mechanisms in his suit. That led to Tails discovering that it was possible to manually deactivate the lock.

"It's not that I don't like this suit, but I'd really like to be back to my old self now. Besides, I know if anyone could figure out how to undo a mechanical lock, it's you, buddy!" Sonic reassured Tails. This brought a smile to the fox's face as he worked, knowing that Sonic had faith in him. Sonic sat patiently through the whole process, knowing it would go faster if he didn't start squirming, as well as just enjoying a nice quiet moment without having to be alert every second.

Soon, Tails spoke, "I think I got it! Is your HUD saying anything, Sonic?" Sonic glanced at his visor, which displayed, 'Security lock disengaged. Mind link enabled.'

Sonic replied, "Let's see..." He glanced over at his left arm and focused his thoughts. Suddenly, pieces of the suit began to gravitate away from his arm, revealing his regular arm underneath. He then focused again, causing the bits to return to normal. Sonic said, "Yeah, I'd say you got it, Tails!"

Tails smiled, "All right! I knew I could do it! And what you just did was pretty awesome!"

Chuck nodded, "I have to agree with Sonic, Tails. You did an excellent job with removing the lock. Certainly not an easy feat for most people. And I must say, I am impressed with the technology in that suit."

Sonic stood up out of the chair and slipped off the helmet, shaking his head a moment to get his quills the way he liked them before saying, "Yeah, it's something, all right. Even the helmet's got a lot of stuff in it. Wanna take a look?" Both Tails and Chuck nodded, Sonic handing the helmet over to them.

While they were looking it over, Commander Tower walked in and said, "Well, while I'm relieved that you're okay and back to normal, Sonic, I believe you have quite a bit of explaining to do."

Sonic asked, "Explaining? About what? ...Oh wait, I know what."

Commander Tower nodded, "While I myself am opposed to some of the research that was being done aboard the SRL Station, there is no denying that there was plenty of other research being conducted that was important. Since it seems that the station was destroyed, along with SR388, all of that research is now lost. I would like to know what possessed you to do such a thing."

Suddenly, Chuck asked, "What's this?" Both Sonic and Commander Tower turned to look at both him and Tails, both of them looking at Sonic's helmet curiously. Chuck reached inside the helmet and pulled something out. It appeared to be a little black object that had what looked like a speaker attached to its side. After examining it a moment, he said, "It's a mini-camera! And it was attached in such a way that it could see things from Sonic's eyes!"

Tails turned to Sonic and asked, "Sonic, did you know that was there?"

Sonic shook his head, "No way, Tails! This is the first I'm hearing of this. Guess those guys were spying on me the whole time I was aboard the station. Must've been for Dr. Kai's research or something." He then had a thought and turned to Commander Tower, saying, "If that's really the case, then what's been captured on that camera would probably explain what happened better than I could!"

Commander Tower nodded, "I agree. I'll take the camera and have one of our staff retrieve the film. While we're doing that, head over to the medical ward and have the doctors look at you." Sonic nodded and took his helmet back from Tails, putting it on and following Commander Tower out of the lab with Tails and Chuck following. After he was told where the medical ward was, he headed in that direction while Tails and Chuck followed the commander.

Later, the Briefing Room

Sonic strolled into the Briefing Room without his suit on, munching on a cookie while holding a can of juice. His left arm had a bandage on it partway up, but otherwise, he seemed just fine. As he leaned against the doorway, he noticed that Commander Tower, Tails, Chuck, Topaz, Shadow, and Rouge weren't the only ones there. Knuckles, the Chaotix, Amy, Cream, Cheese, and Chris were there as well. He then stole a glance towards the opposite walls, seeing the moment when he was fighting the Yakuza when the power was out, taking another bite of his cookie as he watched.

Tails and Chris, who were sitting near the back, heard him chewing and turned to look, their eyes brightening as they saw him. Noticing them, Sonic walked over and leaned on the side of Tails' chair, whispering, "So what's the situation so far, little bud?"

Tails whispered back, "I don't know, Sonic. The commander hasn't said much during this whole thing, though it looks like you might be getting his support. You've already got Shadow's, after all."

Chris asked, "Sonic, why do you have a bandage on your arm? Did you get cut while you were aboard the station?"

Sonic glanced at it a moment before replying, "No, nothing like that, Chris. The doctor just took a blood sample from me while they were looking at me. Something about making sure that everything was okay or something. Not sure." He then took a sip of his juice as the three of them turned their attention back to the recording.

A while later, the recording ended and the lights came on inside the room. Silence ruled the Briefing Room for a few moments, the commander soon turning towards Sonic. After a moment, he spoke, "Sonic... Under normal circumstances, destroying something like a space station without a plausible reason would be grounds for discharge or arrest. However, this was certainly anything but normal. And, as you said, the S.O.N.I.C.X. were underestimating these X and surely would've killed every living thing on the Earth and allowed them to spread even farther throughout the universe. As such, I agree that you did the right thing to resolve that situation, so you are innocent of any possible charges."

Amy cheered and leapt towards Sonic, just about strangling him when she hugged him. "Oh Sonic! I'm so glad you're okay and that you stopped those icky things!"

Sonic laid a hand on her back and replied, "Uh, thanks Amy. I just did what I thought was right."

Commander Tower then spoke up, "I'd just like to remind you not to make a habit of doing such things. Destroying Dr. Eggman's creations is good, but don't start destroying space stations and planets as well."

Sonic grinned nervously, "I'll be sure not to, Commander Tower. After all, I'm a hedgehog, not an intergalactic bounty hunter. By the way, what's going to happen to the Etecoons and Dachoras?"

Commander Tower replied, "They were originally found on Planet Zebes. For now, we'll find an environment for them to live in here, but if Zebes is better for them, I'll send out a team to return them there." With that, Sonic and the commander saluted each other before everyone except Shadow and Rouge left the room, Knuckles saying that he wanted to get the Master Emerald back to Angel Island as soon as possible and Commander Tower saying he would contact Sam Speed and let him know that the Chaotix did their job. Sonic and Shadow shared one last respectful look to each other before the blue hedgehog left the room.

Rouge looked at Shadow and teased, "That was quite a look you two shared. Thinking about anything in particular?" Shadow just looked back at her, not really wanting to play along with her teasing at the moment.

Commander Tower spoke up, "As for the both of you, we are currently keeping the alien Drakon in a high security area with plenty of water and examining the data that Omega collected. Do either of you know what this Drakon Empire was looking for on Planet Alinos?"

Shadow replied, "No, commander. However, it seems that there is talk of some sort of power being kept within the Alimbic Cluster. Perhaps the Drakons were searching for this power in an effort to expand their empire."

Commander Tower nodded, "I see. I will have a team look into this matter further to determine the truth behind it. As everything else has been explained between the both of you and Sonic's testimony, that is all for your debriefing. Dismissed!" Both Shadow and Rouge saluted Commander Tower, who saluted them back, and left, heading for the Recreation Room, Rouge teasing Shadow a bit more on the way.

Meanwhile, aboard the Blue Typhoon

After everyone had boarded the Blue Typhoon, Tails set a course for the Mystic Ruins so he could put the ship back in its hanger until it was needed again. Afterwards, Sonic promised to help Knuckles take the Master Emerald back to Angel Island while Tails flew the Chaotix back to their detective office before heading back to the Thorndyke mansion.

Along the way, Sonic, who was leaning next to Amy's control panel, turned to Tails and asked, "You know, I never asked, but what happened to those S.O.N.I.C.X. guys? I know they didn't get away with their plans, but what are they doing now?"

Tails replied, "Probably figuring out what it's like to have to pay for your crimes. All of them are gonna be in a prison for a long time!"

Knuckles nodded, "Yeah, that commander guy personally gave them their sentences. Li Yan will probably be the first one back on the street. He's mostly in jail now since his gang has caused people trouble in the past. That's about it; he didn't really do anything wrong while he was with the S.O.N.I.C.X., so he'll probably be out in a couple months at least."

Sonic chuckled, "Yeah, he didn't really have a personal vendetta against me like the rest of them did. It's no wonder he never really took an active role in their plots. Who's gonna be locked up the longest?"

Espio answered, "It's a bit of a three-way tie between Card Passer, Captain Westwood, and Dr. Kai for the longest. Card Passer was already jailed for launching that unauthorized attack against Dr. Eggman, so this is his second offense. Considering it's conspiracy, that just makes his sentence that much longer."

Vector then spoke, "Yeah, and that Westwood guy... what was their nickname for him? Cowboy? Well, whatever. He's obviously not getting off easy since he started that group in the first place, plus all that law-breaking he did before that. Like that whole deal with that alien weapon he uncovered? All that's adding onto his time!"

Charmy then piped up, "Yeah, and that Kai guy is definitely going to be in jail for a long time! He did some of the worst things out of that entire group! What a rotten guy!"

Sonic nodded, "Well, that's what happens to people who are ungrateful, I guess. And I'm guessing that Hector Dragg, Howard Watcher, and Jerome Wise aren't getting much better?"

Chuck nodded, "You would be right about that, Sonic. Hector is probably getting the worst out of those three, considering he kidnapped the president that one time. Watcher's probably not going to be in as long as Jerome is, considering that he went rogue just for losing his job while Wise lost his job for negotiating with Dr. Eggman. I'm sure the commander was thinking about that when he had them sent to prison."

Sonic chuckled, "I'm sure he was. So how did that raid go?"

Chris said, "It was kind of tense, since we weren't sure whether we'd run into any trouble while we were inside the complex, but otherwise, it was kind of boring. So it wouldn't have been very exciting for you, Sonic."

Tails shrugged, "Doesn't matter now. But I wonder what happened to the Metroid samples that Dr. Kai said were missing? He said that they were in the holder with the other test tubes that were recovered and he knows they didn't break, so what could've happened to them?" No one was sure how to answer this, so everyone stopped talking for a little while.

A little later, they reached Tails' workshop in the Mystic Ruins, the hidden hanger doors opening to the Blue Typhoon's hanger. After it had landed and was locked in place, they disconnected the Master Emerald from the energy chamber and rode the elevator back up to the main workshop. Sonic carried Knuckles back to Angel Island afterwards, since the Master Emerald was too big for him to glide with, while Tails and everyone else climbed into the X-Tornado, heading for Station Square.

After Sonic dropped Knuckles off, the two rivals shared a friendly wave before Sonic started running back towards Station Square on top of the water, Angel Island beginning to float in the sky above the water again. Upon returning to the city, Sonic saw that the S-Team had been called out and ran up to Sam's car, asking what was going on. His rival explained that Dr. Eggman was attacking with his Egg Walker again and that Tails and Amy were already there. Grinning at the opportunity to get back to business and catch up with Eggman after not seeing him for a few days, Sonic ran on ahead to go meet up with Amy and Tails.

Meanwhile, G.U.N. HQ Medical Ward

The doctor that had looked Sonic over was standing over a microscope, looking down at part of Sonic's blood sample when a scientist came up to him and asked, "Does Sonic's sample still contain the Metroid DNA he received from the vaccine while he was in the hospital?"

The doctor looked up and said, "Yes, and it contains the DNA of everything he absorbed while he was aboard the SRL Station. With the proper techniques, enough could be extracted from each of the bits in the blood sample to recreate all the creatures he encountered."

The scientist nodded, "Perfect. There's still that other station with the simulated environments. It would be a perfect place for new bio-weapons to grow..."

Meanwhile, on an unknown planet

The group of aliens from the space ship above Prison Island were walking down a hallway, heading for their leader's chamber. As they walked, two of them were each holding a test tube that was small by their standards, the green liquid inside glowing...

Later, back on Earth

Sonic was sitting on the balcony railing of the Thorndyke mansion while Tails and Chris stood nearby, all of them looking up at the stars in the night sky. It had been a pretty good day for all of them. After defeating Eggman's Egg Walker, Sonic and Tails went off on a little run around the Neo Green Hill Zone before meeting up with Chris and his friends at Pop's ice cream parlor. Thankfully, they were there at a time when Milan Ramada wasn't, so they were able to enjoy ice cream and frosty chocolate milkshakes without having to deal with Chris' nemesis.

As they looked up at the sky, Chris asked, "Hey Sonic... While the military was apprehending the S.O.N.I.C.X., we saw what happened during your fight with the Omega Metroid. Dr. Kai said that you shouldn't have been able to use that beam you used to defeat it. He said it was due to your cellular makeup or something. Do you think he was lying?"

Sonic replied, "I don't know, Chris. After all, he did say the same thing to me before I went to Sector 5 for the first time. I'm just glad it worked against that Metroid, and the fact that the STH-X healed me as well was great too."

Tails snapped his fingers, "I think I've got it!" Both Sonic and Chris turned to look at him. He explained, "Even though the X could mimic any living thing they came across, the STH-X was an X that was specifically mimicking Sonic. When you absorbed it, you must've basically absorbed yourself, Sonic. In other words, the part of your being that was damaged by the X infection was fixed when you absorbed that Core-X, which reset your cellular structure back to the way it was, thus allowing you to use the Ice Beam!"

Sonic scratched his a head a moment before replying, "Uh, that's a lot of information, Tails. But that would explain why, after I absorbed it, I felt more like myself than I did throughout that whole mission."

Chris nodded, "It does seem kind of complicated, but I think I get it, Tails. Though I wonder why the Omega Metroid attacked Sonic in the first place while the Metroids that were in the Restricted Lab ignored him?"

Tails shrugged, "Yeah, that's something I don't get, either. Maybe the Omega Metroid could see that Sonic wasn't really a Metroid, even if he had the DNA of one inside him..."

Sonic patted the fox on his head, "Ah, don't worry about it, buddy. You can think about it if you want to, but unless we run into any other Metroids, I don't think it'll be much of an issue." Tails smiled at that.

Suddenly, the sliding door opened and Amy walked out, saying, "Hey! Ella and I just got done making some pie! Are you guys interested?"

Tails said, "I know I am! How about you, Chris?"

Chris nodded, "Sure, sounds great! What about you, Sonic?"

Sonic replied, "You guys go on ahead. I'll just be out here another minute or two."

As she turned around, Amy said, "Okay, I'll make sure to save a slice for you!"

After Tails and Chris went inside, Sonic turned his attention back to the starry night. As he gazed up at the stars, his mind started wandering, wondering what other adventures could be found out there in the universe. Obviously, keeping the people of Earth safe from Dr. Eggman was his most important duty, but if there was ever any down time between Eggman's attacks, he was definitely interested in finding other planets to explore.

THE END.

SEE YOU NEXT MISSION.


Music:

Cracking the Lock - Pokémon Lab (Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness)

The Decision - Title/Menu Screen (Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2)

Getting Back to Normal - Gunship Theme (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)

Secret Plots - Those Who Come Closer (Final Fantasy X)

Looking to the Night Sky - Dreams of an Absolution (Starry Night Remix)

And that's the end of my first attempt at writing Sonic the Hedgehog fanfiction. I have to say, the ending didn't come out quite the way I wanted it to, but I'm not going to fiddle around with it forever either. I hope you guys get what I was going for, at least.

So yeah, I included those two extra scenes in case I ever wanted to expand on this story. Make a possible sequel believeable. At this point, I'm undecided, but based on the story overall, I could have a plot based on the Metroid Prime Trilogy, MP Hunters, or Metroid: Other M.

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed this. As nice as it is for me, I like it when people read my work and enjoy it. Guess I'll catch you later!