Shadow the Hedgehog

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The border was more abrupt than (Y/n) had thought it would be. She could practically see the color change just ahead, as if someone had drawn a solid line in black charcoal, and once you stepped over it, you stepped into from blue to orange, from freezing to burning.

"Welcoming, isn't it?" Tails murmured as the approached said charcoal line. It was just charred undergrowth, but it was still intimidating all the same. And not in the least bit comforting.

"Very," the (a/t) responded, taking measured breaths to steady herself.

"It'll probably just feel like a hot summer day to you," Tails said. "I might join you over there for a few moments of respite."

"I don't know if that would be good for you, going from intense cold straight to intense heat. Especially with your hand." She glanced sympathetically down at him. "I'm sorry."

"You're probably right. And Knuckles can build a killer fire, for whatever reason." He tried to smile, but it was forced. He looked up at (Y/n). "I'm really gonna miss you. You were the first bit of hope we've had since the world succumbed to disaster. let me see Sonic again. The real Sonic. I can't thank you enough for that." Before the (a/t) could respond, the fox had wrapped his arms tightly around her, trembling. She let out a breath, her hands coming to rest lightly on his back.

"Just survive, okay? I'll be back before you know it," she said a moment later, pushing Tails back to look at him. "You gave me hope, too. Keep it up with your friends and with Sonic. For me." He smiled softly, a real smile, and nodded. She pulled him into another hug. "Okay. See you soon."

With goodbyes all said and done, (Y/n) turned to the border, the burning zone, and stepped over the line.


It was a strange feeling, but not too bad. At least, that's what she told herself for the first five seconds. That was before the actual heat set in and she debated on jumping back over the line to prep herself more fully. She glanced back and saw Tails watching her with wide eyes. No going back, she told herself.

So she shed her coat, looked ahead, and started moving. It was familiar, almost like de ja vu, when she felt the tug pointing her in the right direction.

"Okay, Tikal," she said. "I have one question: do the monsters look the same in the burning zone? Maybe with a few different colors to match the overall orange theme?" Didn't seem practical, though. To have a huge coat of fur in a place that could burn the skin off a normal Mobian. She grimaced. She couldn't wait to reach the formerly populated areas. It would probably be a load of fun.

The feeling in her gut was response enough. No, the monsters here looked very different. She'd know them when she saw them.

At the moment, it was a completely barren space of land. The earth was cracked like a desert, no plant or animal life in sight. She wondered if this had been a desert, but then thought of the abrupt change. There had been a few trees in the frozen zone right at the border, then the black line of charred plant life.

It was strange, really. The change hadn't been gradual at all. Add that to the list of crazy things that had become possible overnight. She sighed, shaking her head. She had too much to think about and too little to distract her from morbid thoughts.

"Maybe I do want to see a monster," she said out loud. "Then I can just fantasize about it the rest of the way there. At least I knew what they kind of looked like before I went looking for Sonic." Another gut feeling. You don't want to see them. "But I'm going to run into them, aren't I?" Rhetorical. Of course she would. They were forms of torture. If tales of Shadow the Hedgehog were anything to go by, there would be thousands of monsters roaming the burning zone. She'd just been lucky enough to come straight from the border where they probably didn't want to linger. Not to mention there wasn't any food for them out here.

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