Howls from the Past

He sat on the altar side, arms crossed, purple eyes closed. The Master Emerald was shining brilliantly behind him, as it sat in its place. He listened to the stirring winds before him, enjoying the comfort it handed him. Soon, he would be asleep. Oh man did rest sound good right now. He had a long day, after all. Traveling through the many halls that Finitevus owned, discovering and learning things he wished he could take back. He couldn't wait for G.U.N. to come now and do away with the base.

He wasn't alone.

His eyes opened, almost immediately. He stared up and around to the area which he sat in. The air had shifted, no longer was it broken only by him. There was another being which stalked the lands around him. For a change, the red echidna knew it was not a certain bat. She was too busy down on the planet to attempt another theft of his jewel. So who else was here?

He started walking down the staircase, his fists held high. Coming down to the endless green blades of grass, he combed the fields with his purple eyes.

"I know you're there!" he yelled out, "So go ahead! Show yourself!"

He didn't have to try hard. He heard hard breathing echoing behind him. He turned to the altar steps, seeing a woman of considerable age. She was wobbling on her feet, trying her hardest to keep standing. Injuries were rampant on her body, injuries which shined through her black body suit. The red echidna couldn't believe his eyes. It was an echidna, just like her. One with shining blue eyes and light, near golden, yellow fur.

She walked over to the red echidna, growling and muttering utterances under her breath. Then she fell forward, right into his arms. She was much to injured, much to tired, to keep moving. But where did she come from? And why did the echidna feel as if he had an attachment to this woman?

His eyes moved down to the markings on her suit. Akna-1, it said.

The hedgehog felt his ears move and bend, thanks to the call. He looked down to the Chao which sat opposed to him. He retained a momentary gaze of dissonance, before his eyes finally widened. It was, as if, the voice had triggered something in his mind. He now realized he was no longer alone. His luncheon was ruined; he would have to relocate. He grabbed his sandwich, his coffee too, and prepared to walk off for parts unknown. But a hand laid upon his shoulder. He was surprised; it takes considerable courage to place a hand upon Shadow the hedgehog' shoulder.

"No, please," her voice echoed again, "Don't go. I'm sorry, I truly am..."

His ruby eyes rolled around in his head; yeah, he heard that one before. He was still prepared to leave, no matter what this woman said. And yet, his eyes widened once more. He didn't know why, however. He didn't do it by his own fruition; his body did so alone. His ears began to twist and turn, listening out for the speaker. He should have brought his vision up, it was obvious she was standing beside him. But he kept his gaze down, as if things were better this way. For now, at least.

She sat down away from him, on the opposite end of the table. The hedgehog stared down to his sandwich, scanning all its fine details. But he couldn't stare down forever. He slowly began looking up, dragging his eyes along the table's steel gradient. His ruby eyes fell upon slender orange arms. His vision began to blur, slightly. He blinked, clearing out this blur. He saw the Chao again, sitting in the arms of the woman who sat across from him. Those green eyes were still gazing at him. The hedgehog continued looking up, until his eyes met orange.

No. It was impossible. Impossible. How impossible? To impossible to put into words. Yeah, that impossible. He was losing his mind, that was the only explanation for this. Finally, after all these years, Shadow the hedgehog had officially lost his mind. Because the person he loved sat before him.

"I'm sorry," she said again, a slight blush staining her peachy muzzle, "I didn't mean for this to happen. Chaos has a nasty habit of getting away from me, sometimes..."

How was this possible? How was he staring at her like this? She had the same tone in her voice, the same octave, the same wavelength, the same everything. It was as if, his beloved's voice, was placed in another woman. A woman who looked so much like her. She was orange furred, this mobian who sat opposed to him, with shining blue eyes. Shining blue eyes. She had dreads, which hung from her head, side by side. She was the same height, the same petite frame, hell, the same natural aura flowed from this woman as well.

This was Tikal. This was his Tikal. But there were differences. Visual differences. Her ears, sharp, triangular, they jutted from the top of her head. This wasn't like echidnas. Echidna ears are barely visible thanks to the dreads they have. But her's shot out from the top, and so naturally as well. And her tail. Echidna tails are slender, yet sharp. But her's was the exact opposite. This woman's tail was bushy and large, with a white tip at the end. She wasn't an echidna. No, this woman was a fox. No pun intended.

"Mister..." she whispered, her blush growing to embarrassing levels, "Are you okay? You... you're staring at me so intensely..."

Shadow watched her grab one of he dreads with both hands, and drag her hands down it. It was an action he remembered seeing Tikal do, so many times. His Tikal, might I add. He akin that pose often to deep thought, or startling embarrassment. Judging from the level of blush she had, he assumed she was embarrassed.

There were a lot of things the Ultimate Life form could do. He could have destroyed the land around him. Flared red with rage, killed thousands. Was this some sick joke passed down to him from the heavens? Were the gods poking fun at him for his charade as the Starman? Did, in some way, he deserved such cruelty? No. He was thinking too hard on things. Much to hard.

"I... uh... eat here... often..." she stated, still ragging her hands down her dreads, "But... I see you're here, so... I guess I'll take my leave then..."

He watched her, stand tall from the table with her Chao in her arms. Shadow just watched her, still not saying anything, still not moving, still retaining that face of dissonance. Was this woman really Tikal? He couldn't help but to think so, as he watched her walk of. If it wasn't for her tail, her ears, and her modern clothing, he would have thought so. But Tikal was dead. She had ascended to the heavens. She was one with the Chaos Force. He knew that, but, who was this then?

And why was he suddenly standing. Why was he walking toward her. Why did he grab her by the shoulder, and stop her in her place.

"Sorry for that..." why did he say that, "I was being rude..." No he wasn't. She interrupted him, she was the rude one here.

He watched her turn around to face him. Their red and blue eyes reflected one another, before both gazed down together. She was embarrassed, while he was merely scanning her. The sandals Tikal wore, gone. White tennis shoes were on this fox's feet. Her skirt was the same, though it had a more modern design to it, instead of the tribal one. She still had her belly button showing; her shirt was higher than that. She had blue bands around wrists, and white gloves of course. Around her neck, a necklace. It wasn't as grandiose as the necklace Tikal used to wear, however, yet it still retained some sort of tribal feel. Weird.

Who was this woman? How was she standing before him? What was her name?

"Who are you?" he asked, still as if his body weren't listening to him.

"Oh..." her blush returned, and she gazed off and away, "My name's Tikal..." she looked back up to him with puppy dog eyes, "Sorry if that sounds so... different... It comes from my lineage..."

"No..." Shadow said, "It... sounds wonderful..." Maybe we should start over... "My name isn't much better..."

"What is it?" she asked, as she stared up to him, her embarrassment fading a little.

"I'm Shadow. Shadow the hedgehog..."

The Master Emerald. A mystical rock it is. In many different ways, it works. It changes, it pulls, it works forces on our lives. Most don't even know it exists, despite the pivotal role it plays in the world. Many forces have attempted to use it. It's a vessel of infinite power, after all. For as long as the world has been alive, those echidna's have watched over it. Why? No one knows. They just do it. Maybe its a curse by the gods. Yes, they must look after it. Or else.

Or else...

Or else...


He fell below. His red eyes shined on, and they shined bright. An extreme sense of vertigo took over his body, as he couldn't discern up from down. But at least he was alive. At least, he believed he was alive. You know why? Because he remembered dying. It was so vivid and real; one does not forget death. But instead of going to some form of afterlife, hell appropriately enough, he ended up in here. Some liquid, aquatic area, elevated above the bottom. You know, it was another jar. He now spent most of his life inside these damned things. But it was who sat in front of the jar which had him so surprised.

Gone was the albino echidna he was used to seeing all these years. Instead it was a demonic blue machine, shaped like a hedgehog. The blue being lacked emotion on that silver muzzle, and its eyes were ember lit. It suddenly moved to the side however, allowing the head to see where he had been placed.

A man walked up behind the hedgehog. Large, fat, with blue eyes hidden behind circle glasses. He had a magnificent mustache, which he stroked accordingly. He walked up to the jar, crouched down, then flashed his signature sadistic smile.

"Your name," Eggman said as he snickered under his breath, "It's Dimitri, right?"

Fin Again

And so we are here. The end of Tribal Dance 2. The end of Howls from the Past. The very end of this long story. I wonder how i'm supposed to feel. How do you feel? Sad? Happy? Angry? Confused maybe? Who knows? I know how I feel, but I don't know how you feel.

So, how are we going to do this? I'm going to do what I usually do. I'm going to say thanks to everyone who followed this story from the beginning. Thanks to my favoriters, my followers, my reviewers of all kinds. Thanks to TheDivines, musicalocelot, Random Person, ultimateCCC, Dark Star of Chaos, ABSOselfRBED, Jason9000, Finvarra Faerie LiveOutLoud143, and Kurine. You all know how much I love to write my stories, but you also know how much I love reviews. Seriously, my eyes bright up when I get reviews for my stories, it warms my heart, ya'know. But I really like how you guys not only read this story, but also the original Tribal Dance. But, I suppose, you'd need to read Tribal Dance in order to understand this story, huh? Seriously though, thanks for telling me how much you love my story. I really like that.

Well, I hope you're ready. The last Maverick Talks for Howls from the Past.

I had the ending in my head for the longest. A different version of Tikal who seemingly falls into Shadow's life, from generally nowhere. This is actually me reversing the beginning of Tribal Dance. In the first story, Shadow falls, literally, into Tikal's life. The reverse is more symbolic, but you get the idea. And I'm sorry I changed Tikal's race from echidna to fox, but there's only one echidna. And that's Knuckles. And I guess the Akna clone, but specifically Knuckles. But there's more to this than meets the eye. Tikal is a fox. Remember a fox from Tribal Dance? Yup, little Millikan. I suppose you say this Tikal, Tikal the fox, is Millikan's four thousand year descendant. Hah! Put that in your pipe and smoke it! Oh yeah, if your confused as to how Tikal was perfectly reincarnated as this fox, without all that time spent and craziness, just hear me out. The Master Emerald has almost godlike powers in this story, so its best not to argue with it.

And you know, this story got super insane after a while. In fact, of all my stories, this ended completely different from what I originally had in mind. So, let me spin you a sick tale of how this story was supposed to end. First changes start with Julie-Su. I, originally, was going to have her role in this a little more emotional. I mean, yeah, she's important, but there was more to her in the original. She was, originally, going to fall in love with Knuckles, and vice-versa. You know, like in the comics. Didn't happen in this story because she died too soon. But, its obvious that she and Knuckles had feelings for one another. I like it that way. I also didn't make their romantic subplot more important, because this story deals with Shadow and Tikal. You know, the main characters. So, sorry Knux, maybe next time.

Another change happens with Tikal. In my first draft for this story, Tikal was a living Emerald. And, no, this wasn't a bad thing. Originally, Finitevus was a lying bastard, and she really was the original Tikal, reborn as an Emerald. She was just amnesiac of certain things. In that version of the story, Tikhaos never appeared, and Tikal and Shadow lived happily ever after. I grew to dislike that version. It's not that it's bad, it's just that it's generic. Well, if you ask me. Besides, I wanted the sequel to be bigger than the last, so I had to get the stakes high. Enerjak just wasn't enough for me. Speaking of Enerak.

In the original story, Dimitri wasn't going to hold Enerjak's power. The point was that Finitevus was going to turn Knuckles into Enerjak, like in the comics. I suppose you can see some of that in my story. I mean, yes, Dimitri did overshadow Knuckles and become Enerjak, but this wasn't the exact way I had in mind. Finitevus was going to use the whole ritual, and make Knuckles Enerjak. Then the Starman would have shown up, and clashed with Enerjak. But, once again, I felt it copied the last story. So, I ended up bringing both Enerjak and Tikhaos into this story. Yup! In that version of Howls from the Past, Shadow was supposed to 'die' yet return to face Enerjak somehow. I'm not sure how I was going to pull that one off.

Well, I guess that's it, huh. 32 chapters later, I've finished this story. Funny, I didn't think it was going to go on this long. I started it on December 31 (or Jan 1), only to end it now. 3 (or 2) months later. I feel kinda happy though. I like ending stories, it feels right to me. But how does it feel for you? I left you off with two, count'em, TWO cliffhangers. Cause, ya'know, I'm a jerk. Eggman has Dimitri, and Knuckles has found the Akna clone. Remember, I never specifically said Akna-1 was dead, just blown away. How does that make you feel? I said this story was going to be twice as explosive as the last!

How do you guys feel though? Did you like this more than Tribal Dance? Is Tribal Dance the better story? This is the last chapter, so I recommend you give your ideas now. They'll be taken to heart, I promise you this. To me, I can't really say which one I like more. This story doesn't feel as dark as Tribal Dance, yet it still holds a high level of maliciousness. I don't know, as a sequel, I think I did a bang-up job! I made a good sequel for a change! A-ha!

Well, goodbye my friends. Maybe we'll see each other again, maybe not. I don't know, I can't see the future. But I hope we cross paths.

So, until next time, this is Maverick Kay Prime, saying see ya latter. Farewell you guys. God bless.

And I wonder. If you know. What it means. To find your dreams come true.