Hi there everyone. Thank-you for kindly taking time out of your busy lives to read my 2nd story for the Sonic The Hedgehog category.

This story is about Shadow the hedgehog given a second chance to save Maria. That's a quick way to sum it up-so quick it's not completely accurate. I'm just going to stop talking now and let you read to find out what this story is really about.

Disclaimer: I do not, REPEAT do NOT own Shadow the hedgehog nor do I own Sonic and co. or Mobius ect. They'll all belong to SEGA.

Now then, on with the show…

Chapter One-The Haunting Memory

The shouts of the government soldiers filled the ship. Startled shouts of fear sounded in every room. The black hedgehog held tightly onto the young girl's hand as they ran as fast as they could through the ARK. The sound of many footsteps followed the red-striped hedgehog and the blonde-haired girl.

"Shadow, they're catching up!" the girl panted fearfully to the black hedgehog.

"Hang on Maria, don't let go of my hand" Shadow answered the frightened girl over his shoulder.

"Hey, you there, HALT!" A soldier shouted to the two runaways. Shadow felt Maria's pace slowing rapidly.

"Shadow, I can't keep up" she cried.

Shadow glanced back at Maria. She looked exhausted. Behind her several government soldiers were gaining on them. Shadow took one last look at Maria's fearful expression before stopping suddenly. He swept Maria off her feet and carried her bridal style.

"Don't worry Maria, I've got you" the coal black hedgehog assured the young girl as he accelerated his pace. Within seconds the soldiers were far behind the speedy hedgehog.

"We've lost them" Shadow said slowing down. He put Maria (who had regained some of her strength) down and led her through a door.

"Shadow, what about grandfather? I think those soldiers have captured him!" Maria said. She feared the worst for her grandfather. Shadow also feared for the Professor's safety.

"Don't worry. I'll go find him once you're safe" Shadow promised. Shadow quickly led Maria through a maze of corridors. Several times they almost ran into more soldiers.

"Shadow, we need to get to the escape pods" Maria whispered. Shadow nodded in agreement. The two friends silently crept by the research labs. In each laboratory soldiers had rounded up all the scientists and were now carefully shutting down the experiments. Eventually they came to the open door of the last research lab in the corridor. Shadow peeked inside to make sure no one was looking. When he made sure the soldiers weren't looking, he and Maria ran past the open door.

The movement caught the eye of one of the G.U.N soldiers. The soldier, somewhere in his late twenties, turned his head in time to see a young, blonde-haired girl run past the door.

"Hey, STOP!" he yelled and ran after the girl.

Shadow and Maria ran as fast as they could to the escape pods. They didn't see the soldier coming after them until Maria glanced back to see if they were being followed. She gasped when she saw the soldier chasing after them.

"Shadow, there's a soldier coming after us!" she cried. Fear gave her more strength to run faster. Shadow felt Maria's pace quicken. A door was coming up.

"The escape Pods are just ahead" he told her over his shoulder. Shadow reached the door with the soldier less than twenty metres away. The red-striped hedgehog quickly typed in the code to open the door. As soon as he and Maria were inside the Escape Pods room, he locked the door.

Maria knew that the government attack was to capture her friend, Shadow. Feeling a great need to protect Shadow, Maria quickly pushed Shadow into an Escape Pod. Before Shadow realised what Maria was doing, the Escape Pod's door sealed closed. Shadow looked through the clear wall of the Pod to Maria who had already set his Pod's course to Earth.

"MARIA!" Shadow cried. Maria had her hands on the lever that would eject the Pod. She had her eyes on Shadow.

"Shadow, we've always dreamed of going down to Earth together, but it looks like you'll have to go there without me." Shadow felt himself tensing up.

"No Maria. Don't do this!" Shadow begged her. Before either of the two friends could say another word, the door to the Escape Pods room opened. A soldier took in the black hedgehog in the Escape Pod and the girl with both her hands on the lever.

"Stop! Back away from that lever!" the soldier ordered. Maria looked at the soldier and his gun that was pointed at her. She looked down at the lever then at Shadow. His pleading eyes begged her not to pull the lever.

'Shadow. This is for you' she thought. Then with both hands, Maria pulled the lever. A single gunshot went off.

Maria gasped in pain.

"MARIA!" Shadow screamed.

The soldier dropped his gun.

"What have I done!" he thought horrified. Too ashamed of himself to help the girl, the soldier ran off, leaving Maria to die.

Shadow looked in horror as Maria, his only friend, fell to the ground.

"MARIA!" he cried in agony. Maria lifted her head to look at her closest friend.

"Shadow, please promise me…that you'll help people and be friends with them." The young girl lifted a shaking hand to Shadow.

"MARIA!" Shadow cried again. He couldn't bear to watch Maria slowly die.

"I'm sure you'll be very happy down there Shadow. I only wish that I could go along with you. The world looks so beautiful from up here in space, but my grandfather says that the people who live there have to face many problems. That's why you were created, to help those people and to be their friend. Please promise me this" Maria begged the black hedgehog.

"Maria, I…I promise" Shadow promised his dyeing friend.

"Shadow, I could never have asked for a better friend than you. I'm sorry this is how our last chance together is. But don't worry. I will always be with you, Shadow" Maria finished.

"No. Please Maria, don't leave me!" Shadow begged the girl.

"Sayonara, Shadow the Hedgehog" Maria said before the Escape Pod ejected.

"MARIA!" The cry of Shadow was the last thing Maria heard before she closed her eyes forever.

Shadow collapsed to the floor in grief. The pain he felt was too much for him.

"Maria" he whispered her name one more time for the fifty years to come. Then he passed out.

"MARIA!" Shadow sat bolt upright in a flash. He felt himself sweating and breathing hard. Looking around, he realised he was still in the same cave he had chosen to spend the night in. The fire he had made was completely out. Calming himself with slow, deep breaths, Shadow repeatedly told himself it was just another dream. The mouth of the cave was beginning to lighten up as dawn chased the night away.

Shadow slowly got to his feet. He felt unsettled by his dream. Walking over to the mouth of the cave, Shadow tried to forget the dream. It was just an old memory, haunting him.

"That's the fifth time I've had that dream over the last seven weeks. Why can't I get it out of my head? I've chosen to move on from Maria. Why do I think about her now, after so many years?" the black hedgehog wondered. Looking out to the horizon, Shadow noticed the sun was halfway up, above the land. The cave in which Shadow had slept in was surrounded by thick forest. Far off in the distance, towns populated the planet every few miles. Not far from the closest town, a space ship called 'Foreigner' was being loaded with fresh supplies. A line of different creatures from a variety of different planets were signing up for safe passage on the ship. The space ship carried passengers and cargo to different planets. Shadow had secretly been stowing away on the ship as it journeyed through the many galaxies of the Universe. Ever since the coal black hedgehog had chaos controlled the planet egg along with himself to the middle of no where (Sonic X Season 3 episode 78 4kids version), had been trying to find his way back to Planet Earth. He wasn't sure why, but he had a great urge to return to his home planet. The travelling had gone faster than Shadow had expected the ship to travel.

You might be, on the slightest chance, wondering how Shadow had survived the chaos control that had taken up all of his remaining energy (as it says in the 4kids version of Sonic X episode 78). Well, a split seconde after chaos control, the planet egg exploded. Shadow had appeared a safe distance away from the exploding egg. When he saw the great explosion, he passed out. He floated out in space for an hour or so before he was picked up by a passing ship. After quickly recovering all of his strength, Shadow returned back to the planet in which the girl Molly had lived. And as it shows in the Japanese version of Sonic X, Shadow put a rose down by Molly's marker. Not far off from the area, the Foreigner was just taking off. Shadow had managed to hold onto one chaos emerald, and he then used it to chaos control onto the ship as a stow-away. Ever since then, the red-striped hedgehog had been stowing away on the ship as it travelled to planets across the Universe.

Shadow stood still for another moment before running/skating through the thick forest to the Foreigner. When Shadow arrived at the ship, he went over to the person signing up passengers.

"Where is the ship off to?" Shadow demanded. The person looked up at Shadow.

"It's on course to Mobius and the Planet Kijad. After that we're circling back to Planet Whisp" the person answered.

"What about planet Earth?" Shadow asked.

"Planet Earth? We skip that planet, everyone does. The inhibitors there are really protective of their planet. They capture any foreigner that goes within an inch of their galaxy" the person said. Shadow walked off without another word.

"Strange little fella" the person thought to himself before continuing on with his job.

Shadow felt a great wave of disappointment.

"Will I ever find a way back to Earth?" the coal black hedgehog wondered.

"Attention all passengers boarding the Foreigner, the ship will leave in five minutes!" the pilot of the space ship shouted. Shadow continued to walk back to the cover of the forest. After going deep enough into the thick vegetation so that no one could see him, he took out the green chaos emerald.

"Chaos Control!" the red-striped hedgehog said in a strong voice. Immediately the black hedgehog disappeared from the forest and re-appeared in the cargo hold of the 'Foreigner'. Shadow ducked down behind a pile of crates as the last of the supplies were loaded. Then the big doors of the ship closed, leaving Shadow shrouded in darkness. Making his way over to the side of the ship, Shadow soon found a window large enough to match the size of an African Elephant's head that he had discovered on his first trip in the Cargo Hold. He moved the crates blocking the window to let what little light there was, evade some of the darkness. It didn't help a real lot, but it was better than nothing.

"Attention all boarding the 'Foreigner', the ship is leaving in one minute!" the pilot bellowed again. Shadow made his way over to the middle of the cargo hold where the back landing wheels of the ship was positioned. There was an opening for the wheels of the ship for when they folded into the ship. Shadow looked out through the open space and jumped into a spot in which he could stand on the wheels for the take-off. 60 seconds later, the big space ship's powerful engines started up. The Foreigner started its take-off by slowly gathering speed along a runway. Shadow felt the wind slice through his quills. It whistled in his ears. The space ship slowly took off from the planet's soft earthy ground. When the ship was above a mile up into the sky, the landing wheels folded into the ship. Shadow jumped off the back wheel and made a makeshift chair out of crates. He let the gentle humming of the Foreigner's engines send him into a light sleep for the Space ship's long journey to Mobius.

Well there you have it folks-chapter one.

I forgot to mention that the lines that Maria says before she dies are mostly from Sonic X. I wrote everything else. I hope you liked it. If you didn't, bit of a shame I still hope you review. Please please please please please review! Every author loves reviews whether it's good or bad. Please press on the blue button down there…

T.T.F.N (Ta Ta For Now)