Shadow's Odyssey 2: The Chaos Continues

The boarding ramp was barely lowered when Rouge bolted off the ship. She went straight for Shadow's room and found it empty.

"Shadow, where are you?"

Her shout drew Leia's attention. "Rouge?"

"Where's Shadow?"

"I don't know. I don't know where anyone is. They all seem to have disappeared."

Rouge went back outside where everyone else was just getting off the ship. "Shadow and the others are missing!"

"Maybe Sidious still has Shadow under his control." Bo-Katan suggested.

"Impossible." Petro countered. "There's no way that he can control Shadow now that we've removed him. Whatever Shadow's doing, he's doing it by his own choice."

Han shaded his eyes as he looked into the distance. "Hey, isn't that the red one and blue over there?"

Rouge flew over to them. Sonic was asleep on Knuckles's back.

Knuckles regarded her with exhaustion. "Oh good, you're back. Can you give me a hand here?"

"Where's Shadow?"

"How should I know? Last time I saw him he ditched us in the middle of nowhere! And he took an Emerald for some reason."

"The Emeralds?" Rouge flew back to check on the Emeralds and discovered they were all missing. She flew back to Knuckles. "He took the Emeralds."

"What could he possibly be doing with all those Emeralds?" Petro asked.

Rouge's eyes widened with horror and realization. "He's going to use them to blow up Mandalore."

"We need to stop him." Bo-Katan said grimly.

"We have to find him first." Petro pointed out.

"I can find him." Knuckles finally joined the others.

"And how are you going to do that?" Han asked.

Chewbacca took Sonic off Knuckles's hands. Sighing in relief, the echidna went on. "If Shadow took the Master Emerald, I can find him. It's that way." Knuckles pointed confidently towards the destroyed city.

Rouge, Petro, and Bo-Katan went to find Shadow. Everyone else was in desperate need of rest and retired to the temple.

The laser was almost complete. It wasn't much to look at. Just a tube with a small cockpit and stubby wings attached. But without the bells and whistles of the Death star, it was far more power efficient.

"Is it ready yet?" Shadow growled.

"Almost, we just need to install the Emeralds." Eggman reassured. But then he spotted the others coming. "I think we've been found out!"

"Get those Emeralds inserted. I'll deal with them." Shadow ran out to confront them.

"Shadow, what are you doing?" Rouge demanded.

"What needs to be done." Without mercy, he drove a fist into her face hard enough to knock her out.

Bo-Katan tried to shoot him but he was too fast. Tails, seeing the commotion, jumped Shadow from behind and clubbed him with a wrench. Shadow glared at Tails, more angry than anything. He picked up the fox and threw him at Bo-Katan. She was knocked down and it was just Petro left.

"Don't do this Shadow."

"Why not? This will solve everything!"

"It isn't just Sidious on that planet! There are civilians! Families! People who are completely innocent in all this! We're not even sure this will kill Sidious for good anyway! It's not worth it."

"Not worth it? Have you forgotten how many innocent people have died because of him? Do have any idea how many more innocent people are going to die because of him? If there's a fraction of a chance that this kills him, then I am taking it."

"It's ready!" Eggman called.

Shadow turned and began to walk towards the ship.

"Lesson number one!"

Shadow stopped. "What?"

"Lesson number one." Petro repeated. "What was it?"

Shadow looked away again. "It doesn't matter now."

"Any plan that involves killing innocent people is automatically a bad plan! That's what you said!"

"Yeah? Well, here a new lesson: There's an exception to every rule and that exception is Sidious!"

"We built our new Jedi Order based on your rules. Now you're going to tell me that even you don't believe in them?"

Shadow's voice grew remorseful. "I'm sorry, but I have to do this."

He started walking again, Petro used the Force to hold him in place. "And I'm sorry, but I won't let you do this."

Shadow took a deep breath and sighed. "You can't stop me." Then he vanished from Petro's grip and reappeared inside the cockpit on the laser.

Bo-Katan shot at it, but the blaster bolts did nothing to hinder the odd ship as it took off. Rouge woke up just in time to see it disappear.

Eggman flopped on the ground, exhausted. "Glad that's finally over with."

Bo-Katan turned her blasters on Eggman. "This is all your fault!"

"Excuse me, but I just helped save the galaxy. You're welcome."

"You doomed my entire planet!"

"Your planet was doomed anyway, this is the best-case scenario."

Bo-Katan had officially had enough. She silenced him permanently with a blaster bolt between the eyes.

"We need to go after him." Petro announced.

"I'll do it." Rouge declared.

"Are you sure?" Tails asked. "You're pretty banged up and-"

"If anyone can stop him, it's me. Just get me a ship."

Shadow dropped out of hyperspace at Mandalore. He began charging up the super laser but noticed another ship that dropped out of hyperspace behind him. The computer beeped, indicating he received a transmission.

He slammed his finger on the button to ignore the transmission and checked the progress of the super laser. 78%.

The other ship flew directly in front of the laser cannon and came to a stop. The computer said he received another transmission. Shadow clenched his teeth and this time slammed his whole fist on the ignore button.

He grabbed the flight controls and maneuvered the laser around the other ship, aiming at the planet again. 89%. But the other ship got in his way again. Another transmission came in.

Shadow begrudgingly accepted this one. Rouge's image appeared onscreen.

"Get out of the way."

"Shadow, I know you don't want to do this."

"I never said I did."

"Then don't! We'll find another way."

"We don't have time to find another way. Every second we waste, people are dying."

Rouge went silent for a moment.

"You lost people on your trip to Iego, didn't you?"

"We lost L3 and Lando and Rex. All of us have been injured in some way. Omega lost his entire body and now all we have left is his mind."

"Because you did exactly what Sidious expected you to do. You're never going to win against him if there's a limit to what you're willing to do."

"We can't sacrifice an entire planet just to kill one bad guy!"

Shadow clenched his fist and narrowed his eyes. "It's your fault that I have to! I wouldn't be doing this if you had just killed me like I told you to!"

"You wouldn't have done it either!" Rouge yelled back. "If it was anyone else who got possessed, you wouldn't have done it!"

"I would if they had told me to."

"Oh, you listening to what someone else says? Since when? You would be too stubborn to accept it! Because you hate watching innocent people die!"

"If it meant stopping Sidious, I would!"

"Well, here's your chance to prove it."

"What are you talking about?"

"You've got your super laser all charged and ready to go. Take the shot. Kill me, and you can finally put an end to Sidious."

"Rouge, don't you pull this bullshit on me!"

"I'm not pulling anything. Over the course of these last few weeks, you've come back from the dead, only to be possessed by this evil Sith guy, who uses your body to go on a murder spree, the whole city gets wiped out just so we can save you, only for you to hate us for saving you, I lost half of my new friends, most of Omega, and now you want to throw away everything you've ever stood for just to kill this one guy! I am not taking anymore of this! So just go ahead and do it then."

Shadow checked the meter. 100%. His thumb hovered over the fire button. Then he looked back at Rouge. Tears were pouring out of her eyes. Shadow felt tears filling own eyes in response.

"God-damnit Rouge."