...all right, so maybe it's not QUITE the end. Actually, this little bonus epilogue only exists because of the fusion I did for that chapter with all the cutscenes, and I was a chapter shy of thirty. Plus, I wanted to work in Eggman's cutscene and find a way to tie it to Generations.
So, this is officially the end, and take this extra little chapter as a way for me to thank you to all of you who have loved this story and hate to see it end. ;)
I hate that hedgehog.
So, so much.
I knew he survived the implosion- he always somehow managed to find a way to beat out death, no matter what I did, or what happened to him! I know, I've tried everything! Robots, monsters, mega drones, drowning him and an entire city with him! I jettisoned him into an exploding canister into space, and he still lived! I threw him off my space base –twice!- and built a robot in his exact likeness with the intent to kill! I summoned every beast from every mythological book I could find, and still, nothing!
But ha, I've got him this time, for he thinks I succumbed when I was sucked into that unfortunate implosion the carelessness of my machines caused…but I have the last laugh, because instead of pulling me apart, the implosion happened to simply toss me out into space instead! Oh ho ho ho!
Still, there WAS the issue of returning back to the planet, but one thing at a time; there was limited air in my cockpit, and I had no idea how far we'd been tossed into space.
And yes, I mean WE.
Orbot and Cubot were my unfortunate company during this inconvenient journey, which was grating on my sanity, as Orbot insisted on pointing out my flaws in his passive-aggressive mannerisms, while Cubot was so thrilled by the return of his original and obnoxious voice that he would NOT shut up, no matter how many times I howled at him!
Oh, how I regretted creating them both…Orbot once served his purpose as my servant very well, but after witnessing me get tossed by Dark Gaia that day two years ago, he came completely out of his shell and heckled me relentlessly ever since! I built Cubot to put up with that instead of me, but that completely backfired, as they're practically best friends now!
Anger couldn't even begin to describe my emotions at that moment; I was merely annoyed at my robot minions, but Sonic? I had a fury reserved for him so great that when the day came that would allow me to unleash it, he'd be left a smoldering pile of ash with the intense heat it would give off…! What WERE the odds that he'd show up the very day I planned to open the park!? Why must he be such a hindrance to my plans?!
But literally, I've tried everything within my power to either gain control of the world, and/or take Sonic down…it was like I needed someone or something else's power to give me the upper hand…
But, good news is, even the "bad guys" get their fair share of luck…
Despite the fact that the boosters of my Egg Pod were completely out of commission (which was why Orbot and Cubot were currently pushing), all my scanners and radars and all my software were still working, and to my great surprise they were picking up incredible readings! Alarms started going off due to the intensity, thus I whirled around to face my dashboard to see if I could pinpoint the source.
"Hmm…hmm? Most peculiar…"
There was nothing up ahead.
Not anything I could visibly see, anyway.
But it was causing a HUGE surge of power in my vehicle!
Not only were the radars and scanners going off the charts, but the alarms started growing louder, enough to startle the two robots who were fruitlessly pushing my craft. I tried to regain control of everything, but whatever it was that was causing the disturbance…it was a powerful force indeed.
And I wanted to know what could cause it…
"Where is it?! What's causing this to happen?!" I cried, rapidly losing control of the situation to an unseen threat. "Argh…!"
As we approached, clearer readings started showing up on my screens amidst the chaos- huge surges of temporal power radiated from the source, along with the occasional spike of spatial readings…
"What is it, Doctor?" asked Orbot, poking around the cockpit to get a better look at the screens from outside.
"It appears that the purple mass before us contains unparalleled temporal and spatial abilities…" I mused, twirling a finger in my mustache as the gears churned in my head. "I just wonder what those entail-"
The Egg Pod suddenly started to rock, forcing Orbot and Cubot to smash into the window and me to grab onto my chair for support. I looked ahead out of instinct…only to find a purple hazy entity emerging from the depths of space…or was it time?
"My word…" I couldn't help but breathe under my breath, watching the significant display unfold before me. Apparently the entity took attention to me, and the next thing I knew, the stars and darkness of space were quickly turned into a whirlwind of my memories.
I saw my times as a misunderstood child, I saw memories of the few times I met with my grandfather and my cousin Maria, I saw the time all my happiness was taken away, and I saw the first time when I decided to change the world for the better, a world where I could dictate what was right and what was wrong…
And I saw Sonic, when he first ran thorough the emerald grasses of Green Hill Zone, being the first and only one to stand against my oppression all those years ago…
I saw him when he infiltrated the Death Egg, and when I sent him crashing down to the planet below, and I watched as my Death Egg fell out of the sky too, only to never hit the ground…
I remembered meeting Knuckles, subsequently tricking him, only to have that completely backfire when Sonic showed up…
I remembered being so furious that I now had three pint-sized enemies after me, so I built Metal Sonic to hopefully even the score…and I hadn't even intended to kidnap the young Any Rose, but she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and in the end, it drove Sonic even more to try and stop me…
…and when the Little Planet came back, two years after my first attempt of harnessing it, I planned to chain it again, with Metal Sonic's help, but Sonic came storming away from a vacation he was on to take me down, and was soon accompanied by Tails…
…and two years passed again, and I was left dehydrated of ideas and depleted of schemes…so I turned to the books.
Oh, many historic documents detailed many ancient deities that were said to be merely mythical, but my grandfather had based his research heavily on such findings, and thus I put faith into them too. There were enough monsters in his book to build schemes around for a lifetime, but one in particular struck me, seeing as I could kill three birds with one stone had it worked…and that was through pure Chaos…
…of course, THAT didn't work, and I was forced to assist in neutralizing the threat, although my beloved Egg Carrier II was brought down easily in that battle, forcing me to regroup myself again. I poured through my grandfather's book once more and came across with the idea of the ultimate life form…and I knew I could use it for myself!
…but no. Why, Grandfather, why was your greatest and ultimate creation a meddlesome HEDGEHOG?! Shadow was almost worse than Sonic, but at least he had been compliant with me for a short time… and even after he dropped from space fending off the Final Hazard, I still saw use in him, so when one of my robots found him barely alive in a field, I got straight to work.
I worked tirelessly in that five months, using my apparent hiatus from evil as a cover to work without interruption. I built an army of robots based on Shadow's likeness, but with the more I made, the more detail I included, and soon enough, I was mass producing androids, lifelike enough to resemble the real Shadow with minimal ways to tell the difference. I even had a fleet ready to dispatch my androids onto the world someday…
I just wasn't expecting Metal Sonic to get offended at this and lock me in my own flagship, or for Rouge to sneak into my base and free Shadow, or for Shadow to lose his memories, or for Metal Sonic to convince him that he wasn't who he was…
I didn't even do anything that time other than be a victim, and it still came back around to bite me in the butt…er, STING me, as I was forced to consult with the Chaotix in order to get myself free, and that wasn't a very pretty ending. Still, the idea of convincing Shadow that he was one of my own was a very enticing idea and if I played my cards rights, I would still have the Ultimate Life Form under my belt yet…!
…but heavens above, who could've EVER expected an alien invasion that fateful day, one that not only served to leave me as laughing stock in the eyes of the Sonic Heroes and untrusted by my potential pawn, but everything I spent eight months hoping to perfect had gone to waste, and I'm pretty sure I sprouted a few gray hairs over it (because that blasted black hedgehog had nearly killed me numerous times…!)
Thus, I went back to the books for a whole year.
The next scene that played was incredibly fuzzy, as if it wasn't my memory to have, but it was there, and I recalled flipping through that musty brown tomb, uncovering details of a certain Solaris Project…but I remember nothing of it other than a funny-looking princess and that hedgehog saving the day again- not alone, of course, but I'd been stopped…
…and I went back to the books just a few months later.
I found papers documenting a phenomenon that far outdated the Solaris Project…these manuscripts had dated way back…to the beginning of the planet itself; the very forces of good and evil, having a daily battle in the form of morning and night, fighting for dominance while struggling to maintain their balance…but every so often, the darkness would rise, and the light would oust it to rest again.
So I thought, "All I would need to do was awaken the darkness a little early and completely blot out the light!"
Oh, it was glorious! I used a fake scheme to get Sonic to collect all the Chaos Emeralds and lured him onto my satellite in space, in prime position for blowing the world into pieces and releasing the magnificent beast within…that hedgehog thought he was so clever and smart when he turned Super on me, but the joke was on him, and I trapped him in an energy field and siphoned the Chaos Energy right out of him!
I might've been sadistic at the time, as his pained and primal scream was music to my ears; a vibrant song of success I never had the fortune of hearing before. And to top it off, I turned him into a hideous shadow of his former self and tossed him into space, hoping to never see him again, and giving me plenty of time to manipulate Dark Gaia's power…
…and I ended up being the one that was tossed away, left to stew in my frustrations as Sonic put the world back together and gained even more glory the world over…and there was nothing I could do about it.
Then I found myself remembering today, finally finishing my Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park- aside from Planet Wisp, which I hadn't planned on letting anyone into anyway. But, blast it all, the day I planned to open the park and draw in everyone the world over in order to hypnotize them and put them under my rule…Sonic had to find the space elevator first, and my plan was doomed the moment he stepped foot on that elevator!
"ARRRRRGH!" I howled, pounding at the dashboard in front of me. That recent defeat was too soon to relive, and the sting of failure stung me once again. It was like reopening a fresh wound, and it made me want to just grab something and throttle it, but my only candidates were outside pushing my craft, and I certainly couldn't go out there…
I didn't have the time to worry about tomorrow or yesterday when there was something I could always do TODAY! Tomorrow never comes, and yesterday never was, so the only time to do anything was now…!
But now, just when I felt like giving up once and for all, almost unable to bear the pain of losing anymore, the memories and turbulence that the entity was causing suddenly vanished…only to be replaced with the vision of a brighter future.
…a brighter future for ME, that is.
I saw myself standing over a legion of robots, making my march across the world accompanied by six strong-looking minions…
…and no Sonic in sight.
That future…must've been made possible due to my next scheme; a scheme to get rid of Sonic once and for all; a scheme that had no place to fail this time…!
The visions cleared for real this time, leaving me face to face with the deity that had caused the whirlwind of scenes before me. I squinted at it, and knew it had to be somewhat conscious, seeing that it had what looked like the ghost of a face…
Whatever it was, it had amazing powers of time and space that I myself had never been able to control…it had ripped straight into my timeline and brought my past transgressions back to light, and had also shown me a glimpse of the future!
But also, whatever it was, it was primordial…meaning that, perhaps, just maybe…it could be manipulated.
"Yes…if I harness its power, I'll be able to do whatever I want with time AND space!" I chortled to myself, voice growing bolder and bolder with every word. "…I'll not only erase ALL my previous failures in the past, but I'll also remove Sonic from the fabric of time and existence itself!"
Oh, yes, oh YES…! An idea was taking shape in my head, and I couldn't help but giddily rub my hands together in anticipation.
"Combined with the time and space powers of the Chaos Emeralds…oh my…yes…IT'S BRILLIANT!"
I cackled and threw my hands upwards, chortling to the heavens as the vast expanse of my idea became apparent, the finer details growing like wildfire, and I almost couldn't keep up with it!
"Faster, you idiots! Faster!" I shouted at my robot minions, nearly beside myself with rampant thoughts. "Put your backsides into it!"
"Technically, we don't have backsides, boss," Orbot deadpanned, although he really wasn't putting much effort into his pushing, which only served the infuriate me.
"I don't care!" I yelled back, so tired of his constant sarcastic quips. "Just push! We have to hurry! I already have my next revenge planned out, and next time I will not fail!"
"Of course you won't boss! Of course you won't!" Orbot responded much more compliantly this time, but I wasn't an idiot- his sarcastic and crass nature was showing through like crazy right now! He didn't believe me; he never did, and his cubical buddy was too dumb to be of any use regardless…
"I feel like my old self!" Cubot shouted into space. "All I want to do is talk, talk, TALK! Hey, remember when we were chasing those little alien guys?! What's up with those guys anyway?!"
…and he started ranting, and I sank lower in my seat in an attempt to drown out his constant wailing.
"What I wouldn't give for the maddening silence of space…"
And in that moment…I realized I could have it.
With the temporal powers that deity before me possessed, not only could I rip events out of time, but entire places, and even people, and I could put them in a separate plane of space if I wanted to...and I certainly didn't need my two bumbling robot sidekicks to get THAT job done!
Better yet, with the powers of time…I could find myself a MUCH better partner to work with, one that would understand me completely, one with my similar thought processes, and one with the same undying hatred for Sonic that I had…
"Oh ho ho ho…Orbot, Cubot?" I asked sweetly yet sinisterly, turning around in my chair and grinning devilishly. Orbot and Cubot perked up upon being acknowledged. "…YOU'RE FIRED!"
Neither robot had the chance to respond as I activated my emergency thrusters (which I hadn't used to begin with because it would've increased the carbon dioxide in my pod as a result), but it no longer mattered, as the answer to all my problems had finally materialized, and I was not going to let this opportunity escape me!
Orbot and Cubot were left in space to drift alone, while I was pulled forward by the lure of the sweet taste of success that I'd never been able to try.
The thing about me is that when I lose…I never lose for long, but Sonic? He never wins for long.
But all I have to do is win once…and it'll be permanent.
My lips pulled up into an excited grin, once that I hadn't seen in such a long time. My ideas were bouncing around in my brilliant mind, waiting to bust out…waiting to hatch into the greatness that they were…like an unborn egg with a new life inside.
Hmph, Sonic claimed I had no respect for life, but that's a lie…I actually love the potential that life offers for us, as there's so many things to be done with a lifetime that I can't even count…I just see those potentials differently than Sonic, that's all…
…but it's enough to drive me to loathe him so! I've proven countless times that a life force can prove to be an invaluable power source for my creations, and if a soul has the power to do THAT, then is it really such a bad thing? I could never expect Sonic to understand something like that; take what you're given and help it to grow into something new, and something better, and something it was meant to be…
It's why I never cared much when he started calling me Eggman.
Sure, I was absolutely miffed at first, demanding my true name with each and every encounter, but my new "nickname" spread like wildfire throughout Sonic's friends, and no matter how many times I protested, they insisted on taunting me with it.
So instead of opposing it, I embraced it, and they could no longer use it as a verbal weapon against me. In the end, it no longer hindered me- it empowered me, instead serving as a reminder that no matter how many times I was broken, I could start anew, start fresh….
Not many people were given second chances like that.
So thank you, Sonic…for being the reason that I am able to continue striving after my dreams and ambitions, for being the reason that I can always pick myself up and put myself back together, and for being the reason that I never give up…
…but no matter how long it takes, we will face the day where I bid you good riddance…