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"I... what?" Soma replies, surprised at the sudden words spoken by Raoul. "You... you think I'm..."
Soma fully realizes what he said then starts blushing madly and quickly tries to hide her face with her shirt.
"Th-there's no way I'm the p-prettiest person you have ever seen!" Soma says. "I-I mean there's uh... th-there's Honey, R-Rouge, Blaze, I even th-think Maria looks prettier than me!"
One could see the twitching on Shadow's face from that statement and expect him to be thinking violent thoughts at the thought of someone trying to date Maria right now.
[i Oh frick, I didn't think before saying that!] Soma thinks to herself. [i I hope I didn't just piss him off so bad that he'll snap at Raoul!]
"Er, s-sorry, didn't mean to bring you into th-this Maria!" Soma says. "And sorry t-to you too Shadow!"
Shadow just lets out an annoyed sigh then Maria giggles and pats his head.
"B-but yeah... how c-could I be the prettiest-t person you have seen?" Soma asks.
The jackal smiled a bit, “I am Raoul, a rather down on luck jackal...” he said, frowning a bit, and he sighed, looking at her. “I was just looking around to see what this place was like after I woke up...and then I saw you...and to me, in all honesty, are the prettiest person I have ever had He fortune of setting my eyes upon.” He said, being kind and gentlemanly. His face was filled with some delight, but also nervousness, due to being rejected so many times.
"Wow Shadow, you are just so blunt, but I doubt you would be the same with Maria!" Soma says. "I bet if for example, she drew something she was really proud of but it looked terrible, you would say it looks like it belongs in a museum!"
"Well, I uh..." Shadow replies.
Maria starts giggling a little.
"If I had a terrible drawing, I would want someone to tell me because otherwise I wouldn't get better!" She says. "Though I don't plan on being an artist anytime soon, the general idea of what I said would be the same with anything I would want to improve on."
"Man, you both really are cute together!" Soma says. "You just bring out Shadow's soft side so easily!"
"Hey, I am not-... grrr." Shadow replies. "You two better not tell anyone else because I have a reputation to uphold still!"
Both Soma and Maria laugh.
"Don't worry, your secret is safe with us, right Soma?" Maria says.
"Yeah, I wouldn't dare trample on your cool guy atmosphere that you worked so hard to achieve- huh?" Soma says then turns to the new person who started talking to her. "I didn't expect so many people to be here- but no, I've only just arrived here yesterday for the first time."
"Was there a wedding here?" Maria whispers to Shadow.
"Not that I was aware of." Shadow whispers back.
[i Is this place a vacation spot?] Soma wonders. [i Or is it actually a city?]
"So... uh, my name is Soma!" Soma says. "Nice to meet you mister uh..."
The jackal smirked as she entered the completed desert base. “Alright boys, time to put our plan into action...” she told her soldiers, and they rallied near her. “We need to make sure hat every badnik in this place is dismantled in the quickest time possible, and by any means necessary...” she told them, and hey all grabbed tools and any kind of blunt object to smash the badniks with. Scourge and Breach both were getting some food, as they hadn’t eaten for a while, so both were enjoying some chili dogs in the food court. [pic https://78.media.tumblr.com/dd9efda31be0f9ff11584d4fbee3a175/tumblr_oufx4i6E4D1u5tcslo1_500.png]
Out of the corner of her eye, Soma could see a well dressed jackal, holding a bouquet of flowers, hoping to find someone to be with, but was down on his luck, as most rejected him after they found out about his arms, which were mechanical after an accident involving his family’s house collapsing on them, crushing both his arms, but he managed to hide it from people. When he saw the young lady, he smiled a bit, and came over to her, standing like a gentleman would. “Hello, I do not believe we’ve met quite yet?” He asked politely
"No no, no need for more spies!" Soma responds. "I think I might know just how this plan of mine should go..."
"And that would be...?" Yoko questions.
"You'll find out once I finish it in my head!" Soma answers. "I'm very good at planning since I managed to escape my orphanage and get to the next city that had an airpor-..."
"Orphanage...?" Yoko says. "You're an orphan?"
"All that climbing made me tired so I'm going to sleep early for today!" Soma says, ignoring Yoko's question. "Goodnight or... whatever!"
Adio leads her to her new room in this place and she quickly falls asleep in it.
Then the next day comes around.
Soma wakes up early and heads back to the shrine area. Maria and Shadow had gotten up early too and were sitting together, talking about all of what's happened to Shadow.
"You really did listen to my final words to you before your pod was sent down... I'm glad!" Maria says. "I don't care if you had a rough start to it, no one's perfect... I'm just happy you gave being a protector a chance!"
"I'll continue to do so, especially now that I have more reason to." Shadow says then notices Soma. "Oh, hey Soma, come join us!"
"Eheh... are you sure?" Soma asks.
"What kind of question is that?" Shadow asks back. "Why would I of all people not want you around after all you've managed to do in only a few hours?"
"I'm just worried that you're still cautious of me..." Soma answers.
"Nonsense!" Shadow replies.
Soma walks over and sits down with them.
"Soma, I would like to thank you personally managing to save Maria's life." Shadow says. "I thought she was long until yesterday..."
"Shadow, you're embarrassing me..." Maria says.
"Really, it's nothing, I'm sure anyone else in my shoes would have done the same!" Soma replies. "You have tons of fans back on my planet... maybe even more than Sonic... and besides, it wasn't all me, Adio played a major part in that too!"
"I... have fans on your world?" Shadow asks. "Oh right, Maria mentioned how you are... and I've already thanked Adio for his help too."
"I'm lucky to have positioned myself at just the right angle for the bullets to not hit me fatally." Soma says. "Otherwise, I would have just failed in saving Maria if I died right there and then..."
"Well Soma, you don't have to risk your life just for mine anymore!" Maria says. "I'm going to learn how to avoid such things in the future with the help of Shadow, along with learning more about diplomacy so I can talk people into stopping their attack."
"Huh... I would have thought you'd be a doctor or something." Soma says. "I mean, Eggman followed in Gerald's footsteps to begin with but he-... uhhhh..."
"Oh, I already know Eggman is my cousin, Shadow told me already." Maria says. "You made sound like I would be able to help stop Eggman which I assume is because he and I are family?"
"Yeah... I was hoping you could convince him to stop this madness if all else fails." Soma says. "He's only like this because of a failed experiment that happened, so we might be able to reverse the effects if we know just how exactly the experiment went wrong..."
"If only grandfather was still around, he might able to help." Maria says as she looks down to the ground.
"H-hey, you never know!" Soma says. "He could have made it out of there or jail like we did for all we know!"
"Not to darken the mood but that is most unlikely." Shadow responds. "Too many miracles would mean something much worse is coming."
Isis nodded, and looked at a holographic watch. “Oh my, I need to get back to spying on Eggman!” She said, grabbing her stuff and hurrying out, knowing her soldiers would be slacking off while she wasn’t there. Meanwhile, Scourge and Breach looked at Soma and Adio. “We could try spying on Eggman, but he’ll probably send Metal Scourge and Metal Sonic after me like he did when sonic and I ended up both getting betrayed.” The green hedgehog said. And meanwhile, at the Egypt base, Isis was barking orders for them to get the base rebuilt as quickly as they could go
"Well... time is a very strange thing I guess... I was going to question it a bit but I'm scared it would rip a hole or something." Soma says. "My arm and shoulder are fine for the most part but they certainly still feel sore."
Maria ends up walking around, marveling at all the shrines.
"Wait, you never told me you got hurt!" Yoko exclaims.
"O-oh, it doesn't matter, I'm fine!" Soma replies. "Just got shot a bit is all..."
Yoko just glares at Soma, a bit mad at how she never mentioned her injury to her.
"A-anyway, I think we're about to see something beautiful happen." Soma says. "I can only imagine how Shadow would react-"
"React to what?" Shadow questions as he comes down from an upper floor. "...Wait a second... you seem familiar."
"Oh, h-hi again Shadow!" Soma says as she turns to him. "Long time no see and all of that!"
"...You... you were on Space Colony ARK with Maria!" Shadow exclaims. "What happened to her?!"
"C-calm down would ya!" Soma says then looks over her own shoulder to Maria is had been hiding behind one of the shrines, peeking out. "You wouldn't want to frighten your dear friend over there!"
"Ma-... Maria?!" Shadow exclaims as he runs over to Maria. "What did- how did you- you're alive?!"
"Yes Shadow, you saw Soma nearly die just to save me after all!" Maria says as she gives him a hug.
"But I thought that you were-..." Shadow responds then starts to cry a little, holding her close.
[i It may have been only a day at the most for us since Maria escaped that place, but it was a lifetime and then some for Shadow... and it seems I managed to pull this off without a hitch!] Soma says in her head. [i Nothing major seems to have change at least aside from Maria being alive and well now.]
"Perhaps we should give them a bit of privacy." Yoko states.
"Yeah... hey Adio?" Soma says.
"Yes Soma?" Adio replies after appearing in front of her.
"Do you think maybe we could... use this place as a secret base against Eggman?" Soma asks. "J-just until we set up a plan against him!"
"You seem pretty certain such a plan won't take that long... you do know many plans have formed and successfully enacted only for Eggman to remain in his villainous ways, right?" Adio asks. "If you truly believe you can cure him of his madness then you can use this place as you wish for however long you need."
"Yes, I do believe I can, so thank you Adio!" Soma says as she tries to go hug him, only to end up going through him. "Oh right... AI..."
"I can activate my physical form but I prefer being like this so that no accidents can occur." Adio states.
Inside the pyramid, it was a fusion of futuristic technology fused with ancient architecture, but there was a room that was a shrine area, containing shrines for all the Egyptian gods. And Isis was at the shrine of Anubis, fixing her mechanical arm, and she sighed, remembering how she helped Maria and Soma after their time traveling adventure on the ARK. After a little tinkering, she reattached her arm and walked out into the main room, where she saw Maria and Soma. “How’s your wounds holding up?” She asked, smiling a little, and it slightly startled Soma to see Isis there, but she had her scar and her robotic arm. “You haven’t aged a day...” she said, looking her over.
After the battle was over, Soma, Maria, Yoko and the others made their way back to Studiopolis to find out info on the whereabouts of Shadow. Once hearing about how he's somewhere up north in some snowy mountains investigating some kind of temple, they get warmer gear and head that way.
After a day of traveling, they reach what they hope to be where Shadow is. They soon see a veil of clouds, that act like a blizzard, blocking the way to the top.
"I knew I should have gotten that special storm-chaser's hat!" Soma shouts of the loudness of the winds. "It had goggles with it and everything!"
"I don't think that would let you get through a blizzard like this!" Yoko shouts back.
"What do we do now?!" Maria shouts. "Should we turn back?!"
"No, we have to keep pressing forward through the thick of it!" Soma answers then pushes, trying to get further to the top.
Soma ends up battling against the winds as she tries to keep herself from being blown off the mountain while still moving forward. She ends up failing in that regard as she starts slip off towards the edge of a cliff.
"Soma, look out!" Yoko exclaims.
"Huh- WAAAAAH!!" Soma yells as she starts falling off.
Some mysterious force stops Soma midair and pulls her back up. The winds and clouds then disperse, allowing them to continue forward.
"...Let's just go before the storm comes back." Soma says.
They move onward until they reach the top. That's when they see the huge pyramid sitting on top of the mountain.
"How did someone build this up here?" Maria questions. "Aren't these supposed to be before modern technology existed?"
"You're right, it was built centuries ago." Someone unknown says from their left.
"GYAH, who said that?!" Soma exclaims as she looks to the direction where the voice came from.
An Egyptian-looking boy stands there, smiling at the newcomers then gives a bow to greet them.
"Welcome to Higher Okallius!" The boy says.
"Who are you?" Yoko questions.
"I'm Advanced Directives Intelligence of Okallius or Adio for short!" Adio answers. "Your friend Shadow is resting in one of our lodgings inside!"
"Wait, how did you know we were looking for Shadow?" Soma asks.
"Well Soma, I've been with you the moment you wanted to bring Yoko into this realm of existence!" Adio answers. "I'm the one who helped getting Scourge and Breach released early along with sending a minor EMP to help with your escape of Space Colony ARK!"
"Wait, that was all you?!" Soma exclaims. "Then that means you're also in this device..."
"Consider it be a special type of phone you can use that has me as an assistant!" Adio says. "Would you all like to come in and rest for a moment while I go send Shadow your way?"
"Yes please!" Maria responds.
"Ex machina much..." Soma mutters. "Then again, there's been ex machinas happening left and right all day..."
Maria nods yes to Isis' question.
[i Tails must be more brilliant than Gerald Robotnik since he managed to make the cure in only... a few minutes?] Soma wonders. [i All the while Gerald Robotnik took what I only guess were years to make one... especially since Shadow only exist because of that search for a cure... could he actually still be alive back in future- present- whatever?]
After Maria is given the cure, both her and Soma head towards the exit.
"Well, those worries are over now... but Maria, I still have to protect with my life so that you can reunite with Shadow during the correct period of time!" Soma says. "And who knows... maybe your grandfather may still be alive then too."
"Soma... you're the perfect example of why Shadow should protect humans." Maria says. "You are putting your life at stake for someone you barely know personally, for someone who knows very little about you in return."
"Well... I can only assume this is my purpose since I was sent here by seemingly other forces." Soma responds. "Besides, I barely have anyone who will miss me while you on the other hand, you have family out there who most likely think you're dead!"
"You make it sound like you don't have any family..." Maria states.
"I... l-let's just go now!" Soma says then turns to Isis. "Thank you for all of your help, and I hope I can repay you in the future!"
Soma and Maria wave goodbye to Isis then the stone glows for one final time, enveloping them both in its light once more.
And then... Soma and Maria are right where Soma was before she ran off for the time stone. She even sees herself running disappearing into the facility.
Yoko is about to chase after Soma before she is stopped by her reappearing behind her. She looks at her and Maria, wondering what just happened.
"How did you- what?!" Yoko exclaims. "And who's that?!"
Soma gestures Yoko to come closer and she does.
"This is Maria... Maria Robotnik." Soma whispers into Yoko's ear. "Don't tell anyone else until she reunites with Shadow."
"She's- what- what does she have to do with Shadow?!" Yoko exclaims.
"You know Shadow?" Maria asks.
"I would think everyone on this world knows who Shadow is... he has helped save the planet multiple times." Yoko says.
The jackal nodded, and sighed. “By being here ant talking to me, that has already changed something, it will most likely change my memory...” she said, and she sighed. “We need to wait for a few days, until Tails comes up with a cure for Maria’s...condition...” she said with a slight frown, knowing that Shadow would remember Soma too, along with Maria. “Let’s just hope that we get the cure in a short amount of time.” She said, and as if on que, her hawk returned with a vial of a clear liquid, and a letter from Tails telling her that it was a perfected cure. “Are you ready Maria?” The jackal asked
"I just said we have to make sure not to mess with anything while we are in the past!" Soma says. "There's also because... Maria needs to stay secret if Eggman is to finally be defeated."
"Who's Eggman?" Maria asks.
"I'll tell you once we're in the correct time." Soma answers. "You may be surprised at the answer..."
"Is... is it someone I know?" Maria questions.
"I would think so." Soma answers.
Soma stands up, having recovered enough to walk again and takes a drink from the water.
"I don't know if this thing has charges to it... and I don't know how to use it... so I have to hope it works when I need it to take us into the future." Soma says. "And after that, I'll probably hand the time stone over to you."
The jackal looked confused, but very reluctantly agreed to not tell Tails, and soon she sent a message asking him to develop a cure for a very deadly disease, and sent it via hawk, that way Tails could do something about it. “Would you mind telling me why I shouldn’t tell Tails about you?” She asked, hoping for an explanation for the whole debacle that was going on. “If you are telling the truth then you have a potentially dangerous gemstone in your hand if it isn’t used right...” she said, and brought her some water from a well
"We... that means..." Soma says. "Wait, no, you can't!"
"Can't do what?" Maria asks.
"We're... you're in the future while I'm still in the past!" Soma says. "We have to keep ourselves from interfering with as much as possible!"
"But what about Shadow?" Maria asks.
"He-... he'll be fine, and I promise you'll get to see him soon!" Soma answers. "But not now, not during this time!"
[i Maria still needs a cure though...] Soma thinks.
"Isis, I've met you in the future, but you have to not tell Tails who we are!" Soma says. "Let Tails work on a cure but don't tell him who it's for... if the cure is made then we'll get it in the future."
"This is all... so very confusing!" Maria says. "But you did risk your life to save mine, so I'll trust you, uh..."
"Soma, my name is Soma." Soma responds.
“I’m afraid I don’t know you...sorry...” the jackal said, and the girl realized that Isis didn’t have a mechanical arm yet, meaning she was still in the past. “I really don’t know who you are, but be glad I know how to do first aid and emergency first aid...” she said, and carefully took a blood sample from Maria. “Once we get this to Tails, he should be able to make a cure for your condition...and maybe we can find this Shadow you told me about before.” She said, referring to a random conversation with Maria from while Soma was unconscious.
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