Hey guys :) Figured that I go on ahead and wrap this story up. Thanks for the love, and enjoy the last chappie!

Maria Robotnik came to sharply with a hoarse gasp, her eyes snapping open. Breathing heavily, her blue eyes searched frantically around the unfamiliar room, and the questions began to eat at her.

Where am I? Aren't I supposed to be dead? Why is my body propped up? Why is-? She gasped, catching her reflection from across the room. I-Is that me?

It was. She...she could feel it. She could see a little of herself in the blonde hedgehog that stared back at her. The blue in her eyes, the blonde in her quills. But how? Why was she here? This wasn't the ARK...


The voice that haunted her came from down below. Just then, the restraints snapped open and her new body fell to the floor face-first. Chaos surrounded her, and she was befuddled from her fall. "What...What is this?" she thought aloud, using her palms to hoist herself up. Since she had a smaller, more lightweight body, she could move more swiftly. And with a new body...I'm cured.

"SEIZE THE GIRL!" a robotic voice commanded, and her head snapped up. The world was still spinning. She saw a blue, pink, and black blur all at once, moving in front of her.

Instinctively, she ran. Her bare feet pattered against the slippery floor as she slid out of the small room, running blindly down the corridor, red lights flashing and alarms blaring. She didn't think, she didn't plan-how could she have one? She thought she was still dead. Her racing heart proved her otherwise.

Maria slipped as she turned a corner, her body slamming into the corner of the wall. With an injured side, she was no good, but she kept pushing anyway. Her hand held her hip as she continued to race for her life.


"Well, wasn't expecting that," said Sonic. "C'mon, guys!"

The three hedgehogs sprinted to find the runaway.

Sonic found her first, running backwards alongside her. "Hi, how are ya?" he greeted with a cheeky grin.

Maria panicked and ran faster. Sonic slowed down, even though he could've caught her. He didn't wanna scare her even further.

"Wait!" Amy called, her hand outstretched. "We're here to help you! We're here to save you!" But Maria didn't listen. Her ears were ringing, the alarms now deafening to her sensitive senses.

Sonic held Amy back fast. "Go get 'em, Shadow!"

"Hmph!" Shadow advanced his speed, effortlessly gaining momentum. He was smooth around the quick turns and curves that a stumbling Maria made. The darker countertpart to the Blue Blur was in grabbing distance of his old friend; he wasn't gonna get separated from her this time. This time he was never letting go. A gloved hand shot out, scooping her up and off her feet with one arm, and he increased his speed even more. He was determined to get her out and to safety.

Maria screamed in the stranger's arms, her body hanging off on both sides like the space of it was a ring. She raised her head to see who had grabbed her all of a sudden, and when she did, she could only gasp and gawk. S-Shadow? That's...that's impossible! How can he-?

The blue hedgehog was there again, this time carrying a rosy someone in his arms, and moving as fast as Shadow.

"Hello, there!" Amy waved sheepishly, twiddling her fingers. "You'll get used to it after a while," she added, seeing Maria's dumbfounded look.

"Shadow, do you not know how to carry a lady?" said the blue speedster. "Show some manners!"

Sighing heavily, Shadow hooked his free arm under Maria's legs without breaking stride, then hoisted her up bridal style; he did all of this without breaking stride, and Maria was both shocked and impressed.

"Copy hog," Sonic grinned, maneuvering Amy to hope on his back instead.

Amy mentally rolled her eyes, feeling her hero speed up; Sonic and Shadow were always competing, intentionally or not.

She loved it, don't get her wrong, but there were times when she just wanted to grab them by the quills and bang their heads together.

And that's actually kinda tempting...

"You okay?" Shadow asked, stooping down to her height. Maria was trying to catch her breath, hand over her still-racing heart. Eggman's fleet had just exploded, and that didn't settle well with Maria's nerves. She sat on the green grass, her legs sprawled out in awkward positions. Shadow's friends were talking to each other, occasionally looking in her direction; if she caught their eye, they would smile at her. A two-tailed fox, a bunny rabbit, a tough-looking red echidna and a flirtatious bat joined the group a bit later.

Maria nodded, speechless for the moment. She still had her questions, and the fact that Shadow was here with her, in front of her, alive, well, and hadn't aged a day, was still difficult to process.

"Shadow..." Her own voice even sounded alien to her; she hadn't used it in sixty years. "What...what's going on? What's happening? Where's-?"

"I know you're shocked, but don't overwhelm yourself," said Shadow. "Gerald must've had a plan B before you died, and your cousin, also our enemy, got a hold of it. He was going to make you evil."

"Evil? But...but I'm not-!"

"I know you're not," he interjected, leaning in intently towards her. "You're anything but evil. That's why I had to save you as soon as I heard what was going on. I couldn't live in a world where I have to hurt you."

She shook her head. "Me neither."

This was what fresh air felt like, she mused as she enhaled. The sky was clear, scattered white clouds like puffy cotton candy. The wind tickled her fur, and her eyelids fluttered.

"Will...will he be okay?" Maria asked, in spite of herself. Enemy or not, this Eggman was still her cousin. And she still had to love him, despite barely scratching the surface.

"He'll be fine," Sonic answered for her, hands on his hips. "He'll be back."

"And we'll be ready!" said Amy confidently, and Sonic smiled at her.

Shadow put his hand on Maria's shoulder, and her blue eyes gazed deeply into his.

"You're safe."

She believed it.