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"I... guess I should get something nice on too then." Soma says. "But... I don't have anything for a date..."
"It's the thought that counts, Soma!" Maria says.
"Well yeah, but that doesn't just give me new clothes!" Soma replies. "I should have asked Honey for a set to wear on dates but again, I never planned to date anyone..."
"I could take to the city to get new clothes for this and back, if you want." He says. "But there's no way I'll be able to help you decide what to wear."
"No, I don't want to take you away from Maria so soon..." Soma says.
"Oh, then I can go too!" Maria suggests. "I do need new clothes since all of mine were left behind..."
"Now you have no more excuses to use, Soma." Shadow says.
"F-fine, since you're being so pushy about it!" Soma responds.
Shadow takes them both to Honey's for clothing shopping, don't ask how. After some time, they come back to see Raoul waiting presumably for Soma.
"Sorry to keep you waiting!" Soma says, now wearing something casual yet formal for the date. "Shopping is not my specialty, and I'm really bad at making such simple decisions..."
He smiled a bit, his tail wagging back and forth happily, and he bowed as well, having some manners. “This place is quite bigger than you think...” he said, and stood up again. “However, I cannot stay and chat, I do need to make sure I have a spare outfit ready for them.” He said nervously, and she could hear a slight whirring when he moved his arms but before she could question it, he walked off, and when he got to his room, he immediately took off his shirt and vest, along with his gloves, revealing his cybernetic arms, which had resulted from the collapsing house he survived. “I hope she doesn’t reject me if she finds out...” he told himself, then after a while, he got his outfit on and made sure to put his gloves on to hide his robotic arms, that way she didn’t freak out. And at exactly noon, he was waiting in the main room, waiting for Soma to join him.
[i There's... there's a restaurant here?] Soma thinks then looks around, looking for it. [i I really need to have a look around soon then...]
"Oh, you haven't- o-oh." Soma says as she turns back to Raoul then is suddenly handed the flowers. "...Well, you don't need to worry since this will be a first for me because I've never dated before, ever..."
Maria gets a surprised look at what Soma just said.
"I know I'm one to talk but, you've never dated before?" Maria asks.
"No... wasn't exactly able to at the orphanage..." Soma answers. "Besides, I never thought about me dating anyone until well, now."
"Sounds like you need to discover for yourself then!" Maria says. "At least, that's how I look at it."
“Maybe here? He asked, his ears peeking up a bit, and the shaking slightly lessened, and he had a hopeful look on his face. “I-I um...I hope this isn’t too sudden...it’s just...I’m not used to being the one asking to go to lunch with other people...” he said, chuckling nervously. “I...I want you to have these...” He said, handing her the bouquet carefully, having a more upbeat tone than earlier, as he hoped that he had found a person that he could finally be able to have a relationship with that might last
"A-again, by personality t-too, Maria would be-" Soma tries to say then Shadow shoots her a death glare, causing her to stop from saying more about Maria. "Er, I mean u-uh..."
[i This is so sudden, I can't possible think about dating at a time like this!] Soma exclaims in her head. [i But I don't want to hurt his feelings since he's being so courageous here...]
"I-I... lunch, sure!" Soma says. "D-do... do you have someplace specific in mind?"
[i This would be my first time ever thinking about dating... not even back on Earth did I ever think about it.] Soma thinks.
“I speak truthfully...and I don’t always mean how one looks either...true beauty is what makes one different, personality can make a difference, he said, smiling a bit, and she could see he was shaking, as the flowers seemed to be shuddering. “I-I was wondering...if you would like to have lunch with me later?” He asked, stuttering here and there, hoping she wouldn’t be like the others. That was when she realized that he was practically asking her on a date, but he seemed to be almost a nervous wreck about it.
"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.
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