There was a rumble. The delicate remains of what was holding together in the facility began to fall. A shining light pierced our vision. It wasn’t the Chaos Emeralds this time. The gateway roared to life, a swirling golden vortex that shook the earth. Commander Stone snapped a lever and pressed a button. I lashed out my hand and zapped him, sending him flying into the wall and finally knocked out.
“What did you do!?” Sonic exclaimed.
Jaden appeared and ran to the control board.
“The gateway! He’s overridden the controls! I can’t shut it down!”
The Chaos Emeralds shook violently within the glass dome of the engine. My eyes widened.
“The Chaos Emeralds! They’re trying to leave!” Sonic proclaimed, “If they aren’t freed, it’ll cause an even greater explosion than what I just did!”
“Amia! Tanner! Get Chelsea and the rest of the test subjects as far away as possible!”
“Right!” said Tanner.
“What about you!?” Amia exclaimed.
I looked around. I noticed Sonic was staring at the gateway. He was thinking intensively. I turned back to Amia.
“We’ll join you!” I replied.
Tanner and Amia exchanged glances, and Amia reluctantly nodded. She ran to grab Chelsea’s hand.
“Luana!” Chelsea cried.
Amia whispered something to her before they took off.
I looked back at Sonic.
“Sonic?” I asked.
He continued to stare at the gateway. I glanced at Jaden. He gestured me to him, anxiously. I ran over to him.
“Luana, the gateway…!” He breathed, “Stone set it to South Island, several years ago…!”
My eyes widened. I turned back to Sonic. I put a hand on Jaden.
“Go with the others,” I ordered, “Go!”
He nodded, and ran after the children. I walked back up to Sonic. I bent down to his level and put my hand on his shoulder.
“Sonic…?” I asked.
“I could save them…!” He breathed.
He turned to me.
“I could save them, Luana! Tails, Amy, Knuckles, I can save them all! All I have to do is get into that time machine!”
“That sounds dangerous! How do we know if it’s even safe!?”
But I couldn’t say that. I understood his dilemma. He had the chance to change time, a chance to save his people from extinction. Who was I to object to that?
He looked at me.
“I could save them…but what about you?”
“What do you mean, what about me?” I asked.
“If I save my friends, S.E.W.D. might never exist; and if S.E.W.D. doesn’t exist, your grandfather wouldn’t have worked there, and if he wouldn’t have worked there, I would never meet you!”
“Who cares about me?” I asked, “I’ll be fine!”
“I don’t want to have not met you, Luana!” Sonic objected, “You’ve been my best friend! You’ve done so much for me, I can’t do that to you!”
“Sonic…!” I breathed.
Suddenly, there was a loud crack. I looked up. A huge chunk of the roof broke off and was falling right towards us!
“SONIC!” Luana screamed.
She grabbed me and threw me. Her strength sent me flying.
I was disoriented for a split second. My ears rang, and my vision blurred. Then, that’s when I saw Luana. Her eyes were closed, palm limply out, and pinned under the rubble.
“LUANA!” I shouted.
I dashed over to her. I shook her.
“Luana, LUANA!” I cried.
Luana stirred, and began coughing. Blood leaked from her mouth. She peeled her eyes open.
“Sonic…” she whispered.
My eyes furrowed.
“I’m going to get you out! Just hang on!” I exclaimed.
I looked over to the Chaos Emeralds and my heart sank. The engine shook more and more violently. There wasn’t much time before they would blow this place to smithereens! It would be impossible to try to use them in this state!
“No! No, no, no, no!”
I attempted to raise the rubble with my own strength. Then, Luana started crying out in pain. I stopped.
“Stop! Stop!” she shouted.
My heart raced. My vision grew distorted with tears. I fell to my knees in front of her.
Suddenly, she grabbed my hand. She was gasping for breath, but I could hear her plain as day.
“Go…! Save your people…!”
“No, I can’t-!” I squeezed my eyes tight for a moment, “-I won’t leave you!”
“It’s too late for me. I…I won’t be able to get…out of this…! But you can…!”
She put her other hand on top of mine.
“Don’t waste this chance…!”
“And the children…! Please…! Don’t let them fall prey to S.E.W.D….! They don’t deserve this life…! And neither do you…!”
I wept. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t leave her here, not like this. I felt her hand raise to touch my face, and slowly stroked my fur.
“Sonic…It’s okay. My life has been fulfilled…because of you…Go save your friends…! Give them fulfilled lives too…”
I looked at the gateway. The gateway began to shake. I could hear shearing of the metal as it was beginning to tear itself apart. I had to make a decision. Time was running out. Finally, I resolved. I turned back to Luana.
“I’ll find you…! I’ll see you again…! I swear it…!”
Luana coughed, then smiled.
“I know you will…Thank you…Sonic…the Hedgehog.”
Her eyes closed, and she drew her last breath. I closed my eyes again, squeezing her hand tightly. I pressed my forehead against hers for a moment. Then, I let go.
I dashed to the front of the gateway. I took one last look at Luana, and the crumbling facility. Then, I stepped through the portal. The Chaos Emeralds broke free from the engine, and disappeared from sight. The gateway, along with everything else, was turned to dust.
“I’ll see you again, Luana Dockinson. I will not rest, nor stop running, until I find you again…”