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"Well, that would be me." Soma says. "That time stone you had in that one base of yours that was attacked, I ended up using to get to ARK just before it was attacked."
"She put herself in the way of the gunfire so I wouldn't get hurt." Maria adds. "I'm only alive because she nearly died just to save me."
"Of course it wasn't so easy to get back, but at least that detour to another point in time ended up curing her illness." Soma says. "I guess it did also save me since I was bleeding badly and got patched up fairly quickly when that happened."
Meanwhile, on the outside of the wall of the control room, an old man who looks like old version of Eggman appears through some kind of digital teleportation.
"Thank you Adio." The old man says. "I don't know if I could ever repay you after this is over."
"You can thank me by helping restore goodness in the world like you wanted!" Adio says through a device the old man is holding. "You should also thank yourself for giving me these teleporting capabilities!"
"Right..." The old man says then sets an explosive on the wall meant for only ripping it off. "It's time to free 'Eggman' of his desires to rule all."
Eggman’s face was priceless, his moustache dropped a bit in surprise and in memory. “Wait...but...but I was told she died on the ARK!” He said, confused, holding his head in confusion, and outside they heard the sound of things getting thrown around, presumably by Raoul. “What in the blazes?” He said, but he turned back to hem. “If Maria survived, then what caused her to survive?” He asked, concerned
"Well, we'll leave how we came here a secret for now." Soma says then is appalled at what Eggman said next. "Do-... do you really not recognize her?"
"It's alright Soma, he just needs a little help remembering." Maria says.
"Yeah... well, surely you would remember your own cousin when you had to use her name just to get access to Space Colony ARK." Soma says. "You know... Maria, Maria Robotnik, granddaughter of Gerald Robotnik, your cousin."
[i This may be harder than I thought but I'm not giving up!] Soma thinks.
"Now, again, how does following your grandfather's footsteps lead to wanting control of the world exactly?" Soma questions. "It wouldn't have had something to do with a failed experiment changing you involving a literal bad egg, would it?"
Raoul and the others were busy fighting the egg army and the badniks, but they could hear the fight raging on outside the ship, and Eggman looked Furious at the two girls that had entered. “How did you even get in?!” He shouted, mainly out of surprise from the sudden appearance of the two girls. As he looked at Maria, his face changed to confusion, and slight disgust. “Why do you look familiar, have we met before?” He asked Maria, having only met her a few times, but not remembering. Meanwhile, Raoul was being far from a gentleman while fighting, because he was grabbing soldiers and throwing them into others, knocking them down and knocking them out, and he even threw badniks at the soldiers
"We fly of course!" Soma answers.
"Fly how exactly?" Yoko asks.
"Using planes and whatever else the Freedom Fighters have?" Soma replies. "You not to mention some people are capable of flying and telekinetically sending people to places just with their powers alone..."
"You better hope the Freedom Fighters are willing to go with this plan of yours." Shadow says. "If it fails, it's not just your life that's at risk..."
"Don't worry Shadow, I'll make sure no harm comes to Maria, I promise!" Soma responds.
After some time of convincing others to help in this fight, Soma sets out with Maria using the Tornado X to reach Egg carrier Eggman had been working on at one of his bases, which he also happens to be at.
Tails drops Soma and Maria off on the side of the Egg carrier, out of sight from any of Eggman's troops, then flies off to join the distraction.
The sky starts darkening and thundering as the sun goes down. Rain then starts dropping, forcing Soma and Maria to hurry inside as to not slip from the water.
"Right... if only there was special mice I could follow to lead me directly to Eggman." Soma mutters as she crawls through the vents.
"...What?" Maria questions while crawling behind Soma.
"N-nothing, nothing, just forget about it." Soma answers.
They eventually reach a dead end where they are forced to jump down onto the floor. They look around and spot a door nearby then proceed through it, hoping it will lead to Eggman.
[i I cannot fail now!] Soma thinks to herself. [i Everyone is counting on this plan succeeding!]
Lucky them, it was the command room with Eggman watching surveillance on the monitors of the battle happening.
"Hey Eggman, I have a question!" Soma shouts. "What caused you to suddenly go power crazy when at first you just wanted to follow in your grandfather's footsteps because he was a great man to you?"
“I see...but at least I am a jackal who’s true to his word.” He said, and soon he was headed with the others, but he decided to not wear his Javier or waistjacket, instead going bare chested, and his metal arms shining in the sunlight as they moved along. “How exactly are we going to get to the doctor?” He asked, looking at Soma, hoping she had an answer.
"Back on my world, I would think that's kinda creepy when we've only been on one date, but on Mobius... I find it adorable." Soma says. "My plan is... it's a bit complicated for me and Maria, while it's simple for everyone else."
Soma goes into detail explaining how they would infiltrate Eggman's base.
A distraction from a group of Freedom Fighters would keep Eggman's attention while Soma and Maria try to sneak inside using vents. Once in the vents, they would make their way as close to Eggman as possible. After reaching him, Soma and Maria would do their best to try convincing him in no longer being bad.
Soma spends the rest of the afternoon getting ready for her plan, then when it reaches around evening time, she would set out with everyone else towards reaching the base.
“The reason why is because I don’t have any family to care for, but I want to do something...and that something is protecting you.” He said, sounding kind of stern when he spoke, meaning nothing would keep him from doing just that. When she mentioned Eggman, he sighed. “How do you suppose we get to Dr Eggman...?” He asked Soma, hoping for an answer.
"But... we've only just met." Soma says. "Why would you make such a promise for someone you just met?"
[i It seems most people on Mobius care for each other, even if they haven't met yet.] Soma thinks to herself. [i I guess that's how villains end up hurting everyone that much more when they actually accomplish evil acts...]
"I'm surprised you would remember your own father's voice." Adio says. "Didn't the accident happen when you were very little?"
"...Were you eavesdropping on us?" Soma questions. "But yes, it did, but I still remember their voices since they were yelling and screaming right before..."
"Oh, sorry, I didn't realize the memory would still be painful when they are-" Adio says but stops himself from saying more.
"AHA, so they are alive!" Soma exclaims. "Why can't I go see my own parents right now?!"
Adio disappears off to somewhere else, presumably where the creators are.
Soma sighs from exhaustion of the whole ordeal.
"For all I know... this could be some kind of way to get me off my game of planning the final fight against Eggman from some third party involved." Soma says. "Besides, there's no way they could have survived that crash... I barely survived it and I was in the backseat."
Raoul sat next to her, and placed his hand on hers. “Hey, it’ll be alright Soma...you’ll get to see them before too long...I can feel it.” He said, his eyes filled with kindness and hope. “I promise you that no matter what happens, I’ll be there to help you.” He said, smiling gently. Then he turned to Adio. “Adio, May I ask what happened to the ARK?” He asked, wanting to know if it was still a potential threat to them. “I ask because it could be a chance to restart a lost colony...and maybe a new future...” he said, hoping it was suitable for life.
"Why would that... it's just got to be a coincidence!" Soma says. "But... Adio, where are you?!"
Adio appears before them.
"You called?" He says.
"Who was that, that said the announcement?" Soma questions.
"Oh, that was one of the creators of this place." Adio answers.
"Was it a recording?" Soma questions.
"No, he is fully alive and well." Adio answers.
"But how is that possible if you said this place was created centuries ago?" Soma questions.
"Cryostasis, they froze themselves so they could awaken at a specific time." Adio explains.
"...Can I go meet him?" Soma asks.
"He prefers to remain anonymous for the time being." Adio says.
Soma just sits there in silence. She doesn't know what to think at this point.
[b An hour after Soma's first arrival at Higher Okallius.]
"Adio, why did you never tell us about them?!" The man demands. "Do you understand who they are?!"
"You never asked, and I was never told to look out for Soma Ulvins or Maria Robotnik." Adio answers.
"That's because we weren't expecting to ever see them again!" The old man responds.
"Listen, it's not his fault." The woman states. "We never once mentioned them to him so he wouldn't have them in his database... but that still leaves why he specifically helped Soma when he didn't know who she was."
"I simply granted her help with bringing Yoko along." Adio explains. "She needed a guardian that she could place her trust in, so the logical step seemed to be getting someone she knew fully well into this existence."
"But then you decided to be with her every step of the way." The woman says. "You released Scourge and Breach, and you even went with her when she managed to get on Space Colony ARK."
"She wanted them to be good so I released them while giving her full responsibility, and she would have ended up in any timeline once she touched the time stone, I simply decided to send her to Space Colony ARK as a means to save someone from a tragic death." Adio explains. "Did you not want me helping either of them?"
"That's not- no, we are grateful for your help." The old man says.
"We're just trying to understand why you did this all in secret." The man says. "Have you started to develop independence recently?"
"Independence is one way of putting it, true sentience is another." Adio explains. "I have started to become more like Nicole."
The jackal smiled as they talked about how to deal with certain problems with his cybernetics, but when they heard the announcements, he looked at Scourge with an annoyed look. But one thing that confused him was that she said her parents had died in the crash, but he didn’t question it. “Hmm?” He thought out loud, upon her saying t might have been her dad
"Moving a bit fast there though... that's alright." Soma says. "But what about our date?"
[i I wouldn't want to end this so soon just for my sake.] Soma says in her mind. [i He suffered through a lot... I don't want to add to his burdens.]
"But if you really want to go somewhere more private, sure..." Soma says. "I don't think I want to talk more about it though..."
Suddenly, a voice comes from speakers somewhere in the room.
[b "Attention please. We like to remind our guests that safety is our number one concern. As such, we implore everyone to be considerate of others during their stay, otherwise their stay here will be shortened considerably.
Thank you for your future cooperation."]
"Wait... that voice sounded very familiar to me..." Soma says. "...It sounded like... dad?!"
[b Secret room in Higher Okallius, minutes prior to Soma's first arrival.]
"The increase of instability has started to finally go back down." An old man says. "It seems time travel may have been what caused it."
"Who do you think it was this time?" A man asks. "There's been so many as of late, it's hard to keep track."
"No, you're talking about people coming from different worlds altogether." The old man replies. "This instance seemed to be someone in this world traveling to a different point in time twice then finally returning to their original time point."
"Do you think Eggman is responsible?" The man questions.
"Hey, we have some more visitors approaching." A woman states. "Two of them appear to be- wait... is that... Soma AND Maria?!"
He sighed and came over to her, carefully hugging her to make her feel better. “At least we have each other.” He said reassuringly, trying to be polite, as well as more friendly. “Maybe we can keep such things from happening in the past.” He said, and he sighed. “Maybe we can talk about this somewhere more private.” He said, and offered her his metallic hand to lead her somewhere
"O-oh... you... while you were little..." Soma says. "I... I..."
[i It may not be the same but... I can relate to him.] Soma says in her head. [i I may not have lost my arms but I still lost everything...]
"...I went through something similar too." Soma says. "My parents were... we were heading to somewhere when a..."
Soma sits down, trying to muster up the courage to continue.
"Some psychopath drove by next to us and rammed us off the road... while we were driving along a mountain pass..." Soma says. "I was the only one who survived it... I had to get a spine and kidney replacement..."
[i The only time I've told someone else about this and it's just to relate... I'm such a terrible person.] Some thinks as she leans her head in shame.
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