July, Sonic x Shadow
Mission Street, a trendy place for business and shopping, with a full moon in the starry sky. On the rooftop of a store building along the main street, Sonic was looking up at the night sky.
He had come here tonight to watch a little astronomical show.
As usual, Sonic came too early, and to pass the time, he looked down at the bustle of the city... He saw a black hedgehog fighting with something in a back alley. It's Shadow.
Shadow is one of the most formidable opponents to Sonic in every way.
He is not necessarily evil, but his cold-hearted nature and willingness to use any means necessary to achieve his goals has a dangerous purity that sometimes makes him an enemy of Sonic and the others...
What is Shadow doing in a place like this?
When Sonic, who was suspicious, landed near Shadow...
There are a couple of wrecked Beetle military scouting drones lying around, emitting black smoke and sparks. This is no ordinary thing.
Sonic asks, with a hint of "Did you do this?"
"Hey, Shadow. Are you having fun?"
"It's nothing to do with you. Don't get in my way."
If he answers carelessly, Shadow will disappear into the darkness in an instant... But Sonic isn't about to lag behind. A high-speed chase ensues through the front and back of Mission Street.
From wall-running to jumping across the roof of a building, to fighting in the air while crossing at high speed in a tunnel... A few moments later, Shadow's axe kick, delivered at terrifying speed, flashed, and Sonic caught it with both arms.
"(He could stop it...?)"
"(I couldn't avoid it...)"
After a moment of stiffness, he jumps away and gets some distance, and Shadow speaks up in annoyance.
"Why do you keep following me?"
"I don't want to be blamed for your misdeeds again."
"Hah, you're being self-conscious, aren't you? I'm busy. If you'll excuse me, I have to go."
Shadow parts with Sonic and then pulls out a flickering stone. ...A Chaos Emerald.
"Wait! Hold on!"
For a moment, there is a blinding flash of light...! When the light ceased, Shadow disappeared from the scene.
"Chaos Control"... Shadow's signature move is using the power of the Chaos Emeralds to warp space.
As expected of Shadow, he was able to do this with the Chaos Emerald, which had used up all of its power in the previous battle and was not at its best. Sonic, left alone, could only look up at the night sky.
...A few minutes later.
Behind the main street, Shadow noiselessly broke into an unnaturally large bank building. The wreckage of a newly busted Beetle lay at his feet.
"It's here. There's no mistaking it."
He destroys the armed Beetle that appears from the back, and proceeds to the vault on the second floor, knocking down the guards who return fire. When he reaches the central vault, what he sees in front of the strong door is...
It was Sonic, standing there with a grin on his face, flicking the keycard for the vault door in one hand.
He had used the energy detector he had borrowed from Tails before to locate Shadow, and had snuck in through a different route.
The fact that a military-grade Beetle was in the city, that it had been destroyed and hadn't set off a single alarm, and that it had even opened fire without warning...
Whatever the case, something unusual was going on, Sonic thought.
"So what do you need in exchange for that keycard—
...No, that's a silly question. You just want to know the whole story of this intriguing situation."
With a short sigh of displeasure, Shadow looked up and began to explain what had happened.
"This place is ostensibly a bank, but that's a fake... In reality, it's a weapons laboratory of some sort. They are researching the mysterious power-generating capsules that were seized from the Doctor's base during the last battle. Even if it's just a disguise, developing weapons in the city is something to be feared."
As he says all this, he continues, taking slow steps.
"I was informed that this capsule was a time bomb in disguise, and that it would explode at 24:00 today. It's supposed to be powerful enough to wipe out half the city. I told them, but they didn't believe me. That's why I'm here. What about you?"
Shadow stopped in front of Sonic and gave him a challenging look. A pause of several seconds passes.
"I don't even know what to say."
It was all too sudden. Just as Sonic was wondering how to respond, that energy detector detected an unusually high energy signal and emitted an alert sound... The signal is in the vault.
"...I'm going to trust Tails's mecha."
Looking over at Shadow with a grin, Sonic put the keycard through the card reader on the door. The heavy metallic sound of clanking could be heard from inside the door.
And at that moment, Shadow put his hand on the door knob with an indifferent expression.
The door opened from the inside, and a large group of researchers rushed out, looking frantic.
"Run!" "It's gonna blow up!"
People were running for cover, and the emergency sirens echoed throughout the facility. The whole area was in an uproar.
When Sonic and Shadow leapt inside, they found that it was much larger than they had expected, and at the back of the room, on a lab bench, they could see a capsule-shaped glass body about one meter in diameter and two meters long, protected by an electromagnetic barrier, emitting an intense light.
And then... In spite of this, a large number of guard Beetles were stationed in the room, and they spotted the two intruders and attacked them.
"Man, they've got some serious work ethic... Shadow, get the bomb!"
Sonic clears away the three bots in front of him in a flash. Shadow runs furiously out of the blast. The electromagnetic barrier, which emits electric shocks when it detects approach... disappears just before Shadow touches it. In this split second, Sonic found the barrier's generator and destroyed it. And then...
A ring of light overflows from Shadow's Chaos Emerald and covers the area. And when it disappeared... The bomb was gone. A few seconds later...
A huge explosion occurs far above Mission Street.
A huge fireball, as if another moon had formed. A roar followed, caressing the surface of the earth. Sonic saw it while jumping out of the window, and gave a thumbs-up in delight.
On the other hand, Shadow, who was already outside with Chaos Control, was watching this with a frustrated expression. In fact, he wanted to fly it into space. But this is as far as the malfunctioning Chaos Emerald could go.
Shadow releases the Chaos Emerald and gives it to Sonic.
"I don't need anything less than a fake. If I give it to someone good-natured like you, you'll resurrect it or something, won't you?"
Sonic replied with a stunned expression as he accepted the Chaos Emerald with one hand.
"...I was going to say thank you, but I decided not to."
"Why do you keep following me?"
Walking down a deserted back lane away from Mission Street, Shadow asked Sonic, who was following him, grinning, without looking back. Sonic put his hands behind his head and looked up at the night sky as he asked back.
"I'm the one who wants to know why. When did you become the guy who secretly works for everyone's peace?"
"...I'm not interested in peace or anything else. I don't care what happens to others.
I just don't like it when foolish beings do whatever they please on this planet. Whether it's the Doctor or anyone else, including you. Don't misunderstand me."
...A few seconds of silence followed. Shadow is pouting, and Sonic is still grinning.
"OK. Gotcha. I'll try to be careful. But I'm sure there are a lot of people who would like to thank you for something like today."
"That's just nonsense..."
When Shadow finally stopped in his tracks, he turned back to Sonic to tell him to shut up, and...
There, with the distant lights of the city in the background, was Sonic standing with his right arm outstretched, looking towards Shadow and pointing towards the night sky, and a shining full moon at the point he was pointing towards... they could also see the Space Colony ARK floating just above it, looking down at them.
In the midst of the transcendental scene, Shadow had his breath taken away at the sight of the ARK, which looked short of divine in the moonlight below.
The ark of hope and mistakes. This is the place where Shadow was once born, where he gained and lost so much of his precious things and time. A ruin floating in the vacuum, where too many things were given up to protect this planet...
Once a year, due to the orbital alignment of the satellites, there is a night when the ARK can be seen directly above the full moon.
Mission Street was one of the best places to see it, and the astronomical show of two cold, dignified moons floating in a sea of warm city lights was Sonic's favorite.
Shadow looks up at the ARK in silence.
No one knows how much memory and truth is left in his heart about what happened in the past, or what he is thinking now. But this silence seemed to be the answer to Sonic.
As if in response, Sonic slowly lowered his hand.
When Shadow follows the meaningful movement with his eyes...
Sonic pointed his hand directly to his face and smirked.
"This is absurd!"
As he said this, Shadow straddled a motorcycle that was behind a thicket on the side of the road. It is a large military motorcycle. He must have prepared it here in advance.
The engine roared as if to reject Sonic's attempts to say something...
"...The second one's too many."
He starts going at full throttle. The expression on Sonic's face was the usual grin, but he also looked vaguely disappointed.
Mission Street, a trendy place for business and shopping, with a full moon in the starry sky.
From this warmly lit, peaceful city, a shadow seemed to be shuffling away.
It was so small that no one paid it any attention... Only the "moon," which looked down on the bustling city, seemed to be watching over the shadow forever and ever.