I'm sorry if my last chapter was too sad or violent. I was trying to portray Snively as a real villain, not a clown. In any case, this is the chapter you've been waiting for, the final confrontation between Shadow and Scales. After this, the Dark story will begin. Thank you for reading my story, and enjoy the rest of the ride. Disclaimer: Need I say it?

Day X, 11:44 PM

Knuckles walked down the hallways inside the ARK, whistling happily to himself. He was on top of the world. He had gotten the Master Emerald back, and what's more, he had finally found an end to his longtime loneliness as Guardian of the Emerald. He would be sure to call Rouge up the minute he got home, unless he saw her before he left the ARK and convinced her to come back on the shuttle with him. However, he was a little uneasy. In his mind, he could just picture a little cartoon angel and devil Knuckles arguing about what he should do about Rouge. Here is how he imagined the conversation.

ANGEL KNUX: I think he should leave well enough alone. DEVIL KNUX: What are you talking about? He should get together with Rouge! ANGEL: He has a job to do. Guardian of the Master Emerald is a full-time job. The Guardian cannot stop to form a lasting relationship. DEVIL: If that's true, then how come every Guardian ends up having kids? ANGEL: Er, you have a point. Well, uh, he can't form a relationship with a bat! DEVIL: Why not? ANGEL: They're of the wrong species. DEVIL: Oh, don't give me that! If we echidnas hadn't branched out with different anthropomorphs, we would have died out long ago! Lots of anthropomorphs date outside their species. As long as the significant other isn't human, there's no conflict. In almost all cases, the children are not crossbreeds but are simply deriving from one of their parents' species. ANGEL: Well, yes, but as Guardian, Knuckles has a different obligation. He has to find an echidna female to continue the traditional line of Guardians. If his firstborn male is a bat, the tradition will be broken. DEVIL: Tradition's already been broken, pal. The Guardian isn't supposed to leave the Island for any reason, isn't that right? Well he's done it several times now, without repercussions. Another old tradition was that the Super Emeralds were to remain on Angel Island, but after the Death Snivel incident they were scattered around the globe. These are only two of many examples of this. ANGEL: Well, yeah, but she's a thief! He has to stay committed to his job, not to a gem-obsessed female who might steal the Master Emerald again at any time, no matter how attractive she might be! DEVIL: I think there's something you're forgetting. ANGEL: What? DEVIL: We are both only figments of Knuckles' imagination and conscience. As of such, we both have the same feelings about things that he does. ANGEL: So? DEVIL: So that means since Knuckles now seems to be in love with Rouge, we are as well! ANGEL: Are not! DEVIL: Oh yeah? (Pulls out a picture of Rouge in only her underwear) ANGEL: (Silent because he's too busy drooling over the picture Devil Knuckles pulled out)

Knuckles chuckled to himself over the imagined antics of his conscience, before snapping out of his humor when his Chaos senses went off. "What? Impossible! I have the Master Emerald, what could be setting off-" There was a flash of green light and Shadow appeared right above Knuckles, falling onto the echidna. Shadow quickly got up. "Whoops, sorry buddy." Knuckles grunted and got up. "It's okay." Knuckles noticed Shadow holding a large green jewel. "Isn't that-" "My Chaos Emerald? Yes, it is." Said Shadow. Knuckles was confused. "But I thought you said GUN confiscated the Emerald!" "They did." Shadow replied. "Then how did you get it?" Knuckles asked. Shadow looked at the Chaos Emerald. "I was about to shut down the cannon for good with a fake Super Emerald designed to disrupt the power of the real ones, when Snively informed me that he had captured Robotnik and the Chao and was waiting for me. I rushed over as fast as I could, after telling Amy to meet me there. When I arrived, Snively demanded I give him the Super Emerald or he would kill the hostages. I thought I would just give him the Super Emerald and be done with it, but he tricked me! He knew I had a fake Emerald, and launched me into space in a bombed escape pod after wounding the doctor, killing Eggchao, and destroying the unborn child of Angel and Devil." "Oh man." Said Knuckles, distraught. "I was desperate. I knew I had to escape, to finish the job and not let Amy be heartbroken. I tried to use Chaos Control with the fake Super, and I failed. I was about to give up hope when there was a flash of Chaos Control, and my Emerald appeared! I grabbed it and warped out of the escape pod, right before it blew." Said Shadow. "How did the Emerald warp by itself?" Knuckles asked. Shadow shrugged. "I really don't know. I should count myself lucky, I wasn't really picking any place in particular to warp to, just onto the ARK." He frowned. "What time is it?" "I think it's maybe a quarter to midnight." Said Knuckles. Shadow nearly jumped. "Damn! I don't have much time. I can't warp anywhere near the control room, the energy from the Super Emeralds interferes with that of the Chaos." Knuckles suddenly got an inspiration. "Wait! Maybe you can race to the tip of the cannon and slam dunk the fake Super Emerald in at the last minute, disrupting the combined energy of the Super Emeralds and stopping the firing sequence!" Shadow stared at his friend for a minute. "Knuckles, that may be one of the craziest ideas I've ever heard. Unfortunately, I don't have much of a choice." He thought a moment. "I can only Chaos Control to a place that I've seen before. I haven't seen the area around the cannon needle, so I'll have to get there on foot. Where's the nearest hatch to space?" "Right over there." Said Knuckles, pointing to a door labeled, "THIS WAY TO ECLIPSE CANNON" right behind Shadow. Shadow turned around. "Oh, how convenient." He headed for the door, which opened automatically, revealing a long passage out into space. Right in front of the entrance was a rocket, waiting for use. Shadow turned around. "Knuckles, could you please do a favor for me?" "Yeah, what is it?" the red echidna asked. "Could you please get to observation deck B and tell the others that I'm still alive?" Shadow asked. Knuckles nodded. "Sure, I can do that." Shadow was about to grab the rocket, when he turned around again. "Oh, and tell Amy I love her, all right?" "Gotcha." Shadow smiled and grabbed onto the rocket, shooting down the passage. Knuckles was about to head off when he suddenly realized something. He ran over to the door and yelled, "Wait! Where's observation deck B?" at Shadow. The black hedgehog was too far away to hear. Knuckles sighed and walked away, hoping he would be able to find the observation deck.

Stage 13: Final Run. Mission: Hurry and find the point the cannon.

Shadow let go of the rocket as he reached the end of the passage, dropping onto a long, curving rail. He grinded down the rail, passing through a dozen spinning rings that increased his speed, and jumping from the end. He landed on another rail just ahead and to his left, grinding across it and towards a vertical rail. He jumped off the current rail at its end and used a Homing Attack to get onto the rail, grinding up it to a platform with a spring. He ran down the platform and onto the spring, bouncing off it and onto another platform with a dash panel placed in front of a rail. He ran onto the dash panel, speeding onto and across the rail, jumping off at the end and landing on another rail to his right. He grinded down the rail and landed on a catwalk. He ran down the catwalk and onto a rail, grinding along its length to another catwalk. He ran down the catwalk, which extended into a long path. He ran between two metal boxes and down a hill, hitting some dash panels on the way and going into a triple loop. He ran along the three loops, hitting a jump plate at the end and launching into the air. He fell for several seconds before landing on a purple rail. He grinded down the rail, landing on a platform with a spring. He bounced off the spring in the middle of the platform, hurtled through the air, and landed on a long, twisting rail, passing through many speed rings as he grinded down its length. At the end was a catwalk with two Artificial Chaos. As the robotic blobs fired their lasers at him, Shadow jumped up and hit them with Homing Attacks, destroying them. He ran down the catwalk, jumping onto the rail at the end and following it down. After grinding along a few twists and turns, coming close to hitting the walls of the towers jutting from the colony's surface, Shadow landed on another long path. He ran down it and was attacked by a Hornet holding nine missiles. As the robot prepared to fire, Shadow eliminated it with a Homing Attack and kept going. He ran down a hill ahead of him, running over a couple of dash panels and going through four loops, something he had never done before. He hit a dash plate at the end of the fourth loop and was launched into space. He activated his hover shoes, slowing his fall and landing on a short rail. He grinded down the rail and onto a catwalk. He ran down the catwalk and onto the next rail, grinding down its curving, downhill length and landing on a catwalk leading to two vertical rails. Shadow ran to the end of the catwalk and used a Homing Attack, jumping onto one of the rails and grinding up it. He jumped off at the top and ran down the catwalk before him, coming to a single vertical rail. He Homing Attacked onto the rail and grinded up it, jumping off the top and landing on a catwalk leading into a tower. He ran inside and found a small room with two Artificial Chaos and three colored holes in the ground. He killed the Chaos and peeked into the three holes. The two on the right and left only led to springs at the bottom. The middle hole opened onto space. Shadow dropped through the middle hole, falling out of the bottom of the tower and landing on a rail. He grinded down the rail, following its twists, curves, and turns, passing through dozens of speed rings and avoiding the laser fire of Artificial Chaos, before finally reaching a catwalk. He ran along the catwalk and down a steep hill, running over three dash panels in succession and going through a total of five loops before hitting a jump plate and launching into the air. He landed on a catwalk and ran down it, bouncing off a spring at the end pointing at a floating spring. Shadow bounced off the floating spring, hit a spring attached to a wall, bounced to hit a spring higher pup, and was finally bounced onto a ledge right below the spring with a rail leading away from the side. He jumped onto the rail and grinded down it, turning left and passing through lots of speed rings before turning right at the bottom a steep incline, going straight for a while. He eventually reached a catwalk and got off the rail. He ran down the catwalk and onto a steep hill. He ran down the hill, hit five dash panels, and ripped through no lees than six loops before coming to the end, a platform with three dash panels in front of three very tall vertical rails. Already moving fast, Shadow ran over the dash panel and onto the rail, his extreme momentum carrying him all the way up the rail. He leaped off the top and landed on a catwalk near a large blue building. He saw a vertical rail at the right edge of the catwalk. Shadow ran over to the edge and performed a Homing Attack, getting onto the rail and grinding upward. The rail came to a point, then went horizontal and downward, leading towards the blue building. It stopped at a tunnel going through the tower. Shadow ran through the tunnel and came out onto a ledge. In front of him was a rail. He jumped on the rail and started grinding down it, heading downwards and to the left. It leveled out a little and curved to the left, towards another building. The rail passed under the building, stopping at a platform. Shadow got onto the platform and saw two other platforms next to him. He jumped across tot he second platform and saw a rail going up and away from the platform, over the end of the tower. Shadow used a Homing Attack to gain the momentum allowing him to go up the rail, which went a short distance, clearing the underside of the building. It stopped on a platform, near a chain of floating blobs of Artificial Chaos. Shadow Homing Attacked along the robot blobs, landing on a rail. He grinded down the curving rail, picking up speed by passing through rings. He jumped off the end of the rail and grinded up the vertical rail in front of him. He leaped off the top and onto another rail, grinding down it towards another vertical rail. He crouched down to pick up speed, so he was launched off the end of the rail and went right up the vertical one. He jumped off at the top and went down a long, twisting rail, passing through several speed rings and finally stopping on a catwalk. He jumped onto the rail at its end, grinding down its length and between two buildings. He crouched on the rail, picking up speed as he also gained more speed by passing through rings. It twisted and curved a bit, finally stopping and launching Shadow into the air. He fell, slowing his descent with his shoe's jets, landing on a platform with a rocket on it. He grabbed the rocket and was launched across space, dropping onto another platform as he started to pass over it. He jumped from that platform to the one ahead of him, bouncing off a spring on the platform and onto a catwalk. He ran down the catwalk, towards a set of vertical rails. He Homing Attacked onto the rails and grinded up them, landing on another catwalk with a rail leading between another pair of buildings. Shadow grinded down the rail, picking up speed by crouching and passing through rings. He jumped off the end of the rail, plummeting. Far below him, he saw a couple of horizontal rails, set close to one another. Shadow slowed his descent and tried to position himself so he would land on a rail. If he missed, that wasn't too bad. He could just use Chaos Control to warp right onto the rail if he missed it. He landed on a rail and started grinding along it, passing through a lot of speed rings, going by lots of floating Artificial Chaos, and taking lots of twists and turns before finally reaching a catwalk. He saw another catwalk set at a lower level. He used a Homing Attack to jump across the gap between the catwalks, falling onto the platform. He walked forward along the catwalk, dropping down to another one with a vertical rail at the end. He Homing Attacked onto the rail and grinded up it, reaching yet another catwalk. He ran down the catwalk and onto the rail at the end, grinding along its length and into an alcove inside a building. He ran inside and found a room with three holes, two Artificial Chaos, and a giant weight that raised and fell over the middle hole. Shadow quickly killed the Artificial Chaos, then timed the weight. Just when it began to rise, Shadow somersaulted under it and fell down the hole, praying that there wasn't actually a spring at the bottom that would send him right back up the hole and into the weight, which would smash his head. There was no spring at the bottom. Instead, he fell onto a steep hill. As he started to run down the hill, he heard a rumbling noise. He looked behind him and saw a huge mass of scrap metal rolling towards him! Apparently, this was a garbage chute, and if he wasn't careful, he could be incinerated by the furnace at the bottom or crushed by the junk! He ran as fast as he could, staying ahead of the garbage. He saw a spring up ahead. Dodging a piece of scrap twice his size, Shadow hit the spring, bouncing through a hole in the ceiling of the chute and ending up back outside. He landed on a long catwalk and started running down it. At the end was a rail. He jumped onto the rail and grinded down the metal object, heading straight for a field of asteroids. He tensed as the rail twisted around and around the field, bringing him dangerously close to colliding with asteroids. He saw an Artificial Chaos blob ahead, hovering to the side of the rail. It started firing lasers. Knowing that if he were hit, he would fall off the rail, Shadow jumped off and hit the blob with a Homing Attack. He then immediately did a Homing Attack backwards, hitting a spring on a nearby asteroid and bouncing back onto the rail. He grinded down the rest of the rail, ducking whenever he came close to getting his head knocked off by a space rock, finally coming out of the field and stopping at a catwalk. He ran down the catwalk and into a tunnel leading through a tower. He came out on the other side on was on a ledge. He looked at what was facing him and moaned. The huge expanse was filled with Artificial Chaos blobs, all of which looked eager to kill something. Shadow could see no platforms or rails anywhere between him and the next building. There was only one thing to do, and he had to do it before the Artificial Chaos took notice of him. He curled into a ball and started spinning in place, lights swirling around him. He got up after a few seconds and started glowing. "There's no time for games!" he yelled, unleashing the Light Attack. It took him a whole minute, even moving at the speed of light, to wipe out all the enemies. He came to the end, landing on a ledge on the building at the other side of the gap. He entered the corridor facing him and saw the Goal Ring, hovering in front of a long, wide green hallway that opened up onto a bridge. He leaped through the Goal Ring, ending the level.

(STAGE CLEAR. RANK A.)

Shadow started walking towards the start of the green hallway when he heard a machine noise. He turned around, seeing for the first time a set of elevators next to the corridor he had just exited. One of the elevators opened, and somebody stepped out. That somebody was Scales. Shadow tensed, ready to attack if she made any threatening moves. The cyborg lizard smiled. "I thought I'd find you here, Shadow. I commend you on making it through the last section. It was almost as hard as what I had to get through to arrive here." Shadow frowned. "What, you couldn't just warp here with Chaos Control?' She chuckled. "I could have, but I wanted a little warm-up before our battle." Shadow cocked his head. "So, how did you know I would come here?" Scales shrugged. "Let me put it this way. There is nothing on this colony that I cannot see, if I wish to see it." Shadow sighed and looked down the hallway. "Look, I'd love to talk, but I have a planet to save." He started to walk down the hallway. Scales called out to him. "Shadow, wait!" He turned around. She walked over, standing beside him. "Go out there if you must, but please listen to me first." "I don't have much time." said Shadow. "I know, this will only take a minute." She said. Shadow sighed and folded his arms, listening. "Right now, you are at a crossroads, Shadow. You have a choice to make. You can either go out there and try to stop the cannon from firing or you can stay here and talk with me." "Great, I'll just go now." Said Shadow, taking a step forward. "Hear me out!" said Scales. "If you go out there and stop the cannon, you will undo something that I have been waiting fifty years for, and allow hundreds of people who do not deserve to live to keep going on with life." Shadow blinked in surprise. She was over fifty? "And if I stay here?" he asked. "Then I will make good on my promise of explanations. I will tell you everything, Shadow. Why this place seems familiar to you, how the Chaos Emerald got into your escape pod, how you got to be in the cryogenic capsule you were discovered in, how we know each other, why I am doing all of this, who made you, and most importantly, why you were made. I will tell you all of this if you just stay and listen to me. Please, Shadow," said Scales, her eyes filled with desperation and hope. "Please don't do this. Grant me this one favor, and don't try to stop what I'm doing." Shadow thought, not sure what to do. He wanted to know the answers to the questions she had listed, badly. He didn't know how she knew them, but he needed to know. But at the same time, he thought he had to save those lives. What right did Scales have to say those people deserved to die? It was this that spurred his decision. "I'm sorry." He said. She looked crestfallen. "I have to at least try to save those people. I do want to know the answers to those questions, but when last we fought you promised you would tell me after this was over. And I'm holding you to that promise.' Scales looked very sad. "I was afraid you would decide to do this." She said. She looked up, a fierce look in her eyes. "But I cannot let you succeed. The cannon has to fire Shadow, it absolutely has to. And to that end, I will do everything I can to ensure it will, even if it means hurting you." She closed her eyes for a moment, opening them again and staring directly into Shadow's. "You can Chaos Control if you fall of the edge of the bridge ahead, right?" "Uh, yes." Said Shadow. "Good, I will do the same." She closed her eyes again, as if making up her mind. She stared into Shadow's eyes again, a piercing gaze that made him feel like he was seeing into his mind. Maybe she was. "As I promised last time we met, I will not kill you Shadow." She flexed her muscles, and suddenly blades shot out of concealed folds on her body. Three shot out of the back of her neck, three appeared on both her upper and lower arms and two more appeared on each back-bent leg. "I may, no, will hurt you Shadow, but I will not kill you." She said, sounding like she didn't really want to go through with fighting him. Shadow hesitated. "And I will try to extend the same courtesy to you Scales." She nodded. They walked to the beginning of the green hallway and crouched down, getting ready to run. Shadow turned to the lizard. "Just out of curiosity, how do we know each other? Were you an old girlfriend of mine or something? Because if you are, I have to warn you I'm with Amy now." Scales stared at him for a second, startled. Then she burst into laughter. "Okay, I'll take that as a no. We were not boyfriend and girlfriend." Scales wiped her eyes, which were tearing from the laughter. "Heheheh. Woo, that was a good one. I haven't laughed like that for a very, very long time. Thanks Shadow. No, we were not boyfriend and girlfriend." Shadow nodded. "All right then. Are you ready?" She nodded. "I'm ready." "Then let's-" he started. "GO!" she yelled. They took off, running down the hallway and onto the bridge ahead.

SCALES

They started running down the length of the bridge. It was a very long bridge, going about half a dozen miles in distance before stopping fairly close to the Eclipse Cannon. Even with the speed of these two runners, it would take a little while to reach the point of the cannon. "Before this is over, I will show you the ultimate in Chaos Control!" Scales shouted at him. "Speaking of which, what's with the Emerald in your back? I thought there were only seven Chaos Emeralds!" Shadow yelled back. Scales smiled a little smugly. "All I know is this thing's what keeps me going, and there's some legend behind it. That's all I can tell you now, Shadow. I suggest you start watching yourself." "Oh? Why is that?" he asked. "Because of.THIS!" Scales instantly launched into a Homing Kick, hitting Shadow with the talons on her feet and blades on her leg. She knocked him over with the attack and kept running down the bridge. Shadow grunted and got up, running after her. When Shadow caught up to the lizard, he was amazed with her speed. Even with his frictionless air skates to make him super fast, Scales was able to move every bit as fast as he could. Incredible. He slowed a little, letting her move ahead. Then he launched into a Homing Attack, striking the dome on her back. She stumbled, nearly falling down. Shadow ran past her, intent on his destination. Scales ran after him and hit him in the back with a Homing Kick. She ran past him as the hedgehog got up. He curled into a ball and started spinning. No, lights did not swirl around him. He shot forward in a spindash, racing towards Scales. She heard the whine of his rolling and jumped up, allowing him to pass underneath her. When Shadow stopped and uncurled, Scales hit him from behind with her bladed tail and kept going. Shadow growled and ran after her, launching into a Homing Attack. Scales jumped up, deflecting Shadow in midair and nearly sending him off the bridge. Shadow started his spindash again, but he did not roll right towards her, but rather beside Scales. She watched, bemused, as he slowed his roll to match her speed. That's when Shadow suddenly veered to the left, slamming into her. She caught herself before she could go over the edge and watched, a little angry as Shadow sped off, still rolling. She curled into a ball as well and started spinning. Her spikes stayed out as she launched forward in a spindash that was arguably a little more dangerous than Shadow's. She caught up to him, a rolling black ball leaving a trail of yellow light besides a bigger red- orange ball leaving a trail of green light. She rammed into Shadow, her spikes sparking upon impact with his sharp quills. He leaned back into her, trying to move her over. Sparks kept coming up from the contact of either opponent's sharp protrusions to each other. Shadow moved a little away from Scales, then slammed back into her, causing her to forcibly change course, rolling right towards the edge. Shadow kept going. Scales couldn't uncurl in time and rolled off the edge. She uncurled and quickly yelled, "Chaos Control!" There was a green flash, and she reappeared on the path just ahead of the rolling Shadow. Before he could stop rolling, she swung her tail, knocking him off the bridge. Shadow uncurled and quickly pulled out his Emerald. "Chaos Control!" he vanished in a flash of green light, reappearing on the bridge just as Scales ran by. He ran after her, quickly catching up. She smirked at him. He scowled back and clutched his Emerald, summoning a variation of his usual technique. "Chaos Control!" he yelled. Instead of warping, everything took on a green tinge and Scales stopped moving. Shadow had used a variation of the Chaos Control, instead of teleporting he temporarily froze time. He started running down the bridge. He saw a flash out of the corner of his eye. He turned around and saw Scales running towards him! He quickly looked around. The greenish tinge was still there, so how had she gotten active? "How did you do that? You're supposed to be frozen!" Shadow yelled at the approaching Scales. "I know everything about Chaos Control that you do, Shadow! All I did was take myself temporarily out of synch from the time stream, like you did!" She launched into a Homing kick, hitting Shadow in the chest. She started running down the bridge. He got up and ran after her. Suddenly, the greenish tinge disappeared; showing Chaos Control was no longer in effect. However, Scales had disappeared from the path ahead of him. Where had she gone? He suddenly clutched his chest in pain and fell over as Scales appeared in front of him. Of course, she used the time freeze technique after he did, so it lasted a little longer for him, allowing her to get in an extra hit. "Hey Shadow, how about we don't mess with time freeze techniques and just try to knock one another senseless?" Scales called at him cheerfully. Shadow got up, recovered. "That works for me!" He ran towards her. She went back to running away, down the bridge. He stopped moving and aimed his Chaos Emerald at her, charging up his special attack. It had been a little while since he had used the attack, so it would take a little longer than usual to charge it up. After that, it would become subsequently quicker to fire. "Chaos Spear!" A massive bolt of green lightning burst forth from the Chaos Emerald, hitting Scales in the life support system. She gasped and fell to her knees. Shadow ran past her, taking the lead. Scales picked herself together and stood up. "Two can play at this game, Shadow!" she yelled. She ran after him, charging up her own special attack. She caught up with the hedgehog, running by his side. She cupped her hands and thrusted them at Shadow. "Serpent Strike!" She shouted. A huge green energy blast shaped like a serpent's head shot forth from her hands, hitting Shadow and driving him off the edge of the bridge. Shadow immediately warped back onto the bridge, surprised by the strength of the attack. "I'd better be more careful." He muttered to himself. He ran after her, charging up his Chaos Spear as he went. When they were once more side by side, Shadow aimed his Emerald at Scales as she aimed her hands at him. "Chaos Spear!" "Serpent Strike!" The attacks ran through each other and hit their intended targets, knocking both off of the bridge. Both quickly warped back on the bridge and went back to running. They charged up their attacks again, both of them trying to see who could do it faster. As they unleashed their Chaos- fueled attacks once more on one another, it seemed they could both do it at the same speed. They fell of the bridge and warped back on once more. As both of them started charging their attacks again, Shadow got an idea. He stopped running, allowing Scales to go past while still charging up her move. Shadow curled into a ball and started his spindash charge-up. When Scales turned around and fired the Serpent Strike, Shadow let loose the spindash and ran forward, rolling under the Serpent Strike and hitting Scales, knocking her off her feet. As she tried to get up, he uncurled and hit her with his fully charged Chaos Spear. As she screamed in pain, Shadow started running forward, recharging his Chaos Spear. Scales stood up, recharging the Serpent Strike, and waited a few moments before running after Shadow. When he turned around and fired the Chaos Spear, Scales jumped over the lightning bolt and shot forward with a Homing Kick, hitting Shadow and knocking him down. She ran forward, leaving him in the dust, so to speak. Shadow cursed and got back up. He raised his Emerald. "Chaos Control!" He warped to the path ahead and just to the left of Scales. He stuck out his foot and tripped her before she saw him, knocking her over. He ran forward, getting closer to the cannon. Scales fumed and got up. "Chaos Control!" she yelled, vanishing. Shadow saw a flash of light far up the bridge and wondered what Scales was up to. He kept running for a few seconds, then he saw a bigger flash and the green serpent shooting towards him. Shadow quickly somersaulted under the Serpent Strike and a Chaos Spear down the path, striking Scales. He clutched the Chaos Emerald. "Chaos Control!" he yelled, warping all the way down the bridge, a little past Scales, who was just recovering from the Chaos Spear. He kept running, knowing Scales was right behind him. As she launched into a Homing Kick, he jumped up, deflecting the attack. He kept on going, knowing he had probably a minute and a half left. Scales appeared ahead of him in a flash of green light. Shadow quickly somersaulted, rolling into Scales and knocking her over. He continued running. He could see the huge cannon up ahead, the needle taking up most of his line of sight. Very far ahead, he saw Scales appear in a flash of Chaos Control. Getting an idea, Shadow curled into a ball and started spinning, lights racing around his body. After a few seconds, he got up and started glowing. "There's no time for games!" he yelled. He shot forward at the speed of light, thinking the Light Attack would be the only way to finish this battle and get close to the cannon at the same time. Unfortunately, he didn't realize that Scales knew the Light Attack as well. She raced towards him, once more a spinning, spiked red-orange ball leaving a trail of green light heading for his black ball with a trail of yellow light. The two objects, both moving at the speed of light, collided with an incredible crash, leaving both anthropomorphs stunned and senseless. By the time Shadow and Scales were able to pull themselves together, every clock in the USA struck midnight. Snively's deadline timer went off. The needle slowly, ponderously began to open. Shadow gasped. "The cannon! I've got to stop it! Chaos-" Scales grabbed his leg, flipping him over and dangling him above the ground. The Chaos Emerald fell from his hand, bouncing a few feet away, stopping a little down the path. "Too late. Game over, Shadow." Scales said as the cannon opened completely. The energy started to gather in the center of the cannon. Shadow struggled fiercely, punching Scales in the gut. More surprised than hurt, she let go of him. Shadow rolled over and grabbed the Chaos Emerald. He quickly shouted, "Chaos Control!" and warped to the end of the bridge before Scales could do anything. He reappeared at the very end of the bridge and pulled out the fake Super Emerald. He wound up, ready to throw it. His best guess was that if he threw it at the exact right time, when the collected energy started to fire the fake Emerald would collide with the beam and disrupt it, preventing the cannon from firing. He spun his arm forward, throwing the fake Super Emerald, only to find there was nothing in his hand! He spun around and saw Scales behind him, holding the Super Emerald. She had warped behind him and grabbed the fake before he could throw it. She shook her head, making a "Tsk tsk" sound. Shadow spun around in time to see the energy fire outward, streaking for the planet. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" He yelled.

And that's the end. No really, that's the end of the Hero Story! To find out what happens, you'll have to see the Last Story, and I won't have that up until I'm done with the Dark Story. I'm sorry to leave you with a cliffhanger, but it helps with the suspense and will hopefully make you want to read the next story when it comes. In any case, the first chapter of the Dark Story will be up by tomorrow, so I'll see you then. And please review to tell me what you thought of this!