Disclaimer: Shadow the Hedgehog and all related characters belong to Sega.

Author's notes:I have thought Shadow was probably alive and well since the end of SonicAdventure 2.However, this story was written before official confirmation of his survival, and I thinkalternate universes are fun, anyway. The story's rather old now, and my thoughts on Shadow have changed some, butI stilllike thisstory enough toto keep itup.
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It's funny. Here I am, dying alone in a forgotten forest... all for a world that has shown me nothing but cruelty and betrayal... but I suppose there must be something good to it... after all, Maria was born on it...

Ah! Oh, it hurts... suppose it fits, though, after what I almost did... Maria... why didn't I remember my promise to you? Why...

Something's... coming back to me... chair... forgetting... Gerald! It was you... wasn't it... you used me for your own ends... I never was much more than a simple lab animal to you...

After nearly killing them all, is there anyone who will miss this pathetic, broken creature once I'm gone...? Ivo... Rouge... Sonic...

Huh? What's this? There's some bug or other on my nose... I may as well look at it...

I... I know this creature... oh, what was the name... ... ... ...Butterfly. Yes, that sounds about right... I've never seen one this close... it's out of focus, and my vision is growing weak... but still... it's beautiful...

I wonder... does this creature have any sense of how close it and all it knows were to annihilation? Does it know it's giving comfort to a dying hedgehog...? What does a butterfly know, I wonder? I think... I think it has something to do with worms and flowers...

What? What's... what's that? Maria? Maria, is that you? You're calling my name... Maria, it is you! I'm coming... to you... Maria... coming... Maria...

Shadow's rasping breath began to come slower... and slower... and slower still... until it mercifully ceased. The black hedgehog's battered body and mind no longer felt any pain.

The butterfly, oblivious to the drama she had just witnessed, decided a dead hedgehog's nose has no nectar in it and fluttered away to her own business.

Sayonara, Shadow the Hero.

May your tortured soul rest in peace.