Sonic, Tails, Amy, Cream, Cheese, Rouge, and Vector all looked at this new voice which had appeared before them. It was Shadow. The black hero stood fearless with dignity, but his left arm was still in a cast. Tails exclaimed, "It's Shadow!"
Sonic and the others surrounded Shadow with joy. Rouge ran up to him and hugged his neck. Shadow was slightly embarrassed by all of the attention. He quickly regained himself and asked Rouge, "What's the current situation?"
Rouge answered, "Knuckles, Metal Sonic, and everyone you see here have been fighting your brother, Saturn. However, despite our efforts, we have been unable to damage him in the slightest. He's pretty much made a joke out of us. He killed Metal Sonic, and he took the yellow Chaos Emerald that was powering the robot. He also got Sonic's Emerald. Now, he's become complete, and he calls himself Infinite Saturn. He materialized the Chaos Emeralds for us as a display of cockiness, but he made someone stay back as his hostage. Knuckles decided to take the job. We left the two here, but now they're nowhere to be found."
Shadow contemplated aloud, "Infinite Saturn, huh? I guess that makes sense in reference to his current level of power."
Vector asked, "What exactly do you mean by that?"
Shadow looked at the crocodile. "To put it simply, Saturn was designed by Gerald Robotnik as an artificial Master Emerald which amplifies the power of the seven Chaos Emeralds in order to reach an amount of chaos energy equal to infinity."
Sonic clenched his fist. "Infinity! You've got to be kidding me! No wonder Dr. Eggman referred to his complete form as a god! By the way, where is Eggman?"
Shadow said, "He's hiding out under the clock tower waiting for the battles to subside."
Amy intervened, "Hang on! You said that Infinite Saturn has an infinite amount of chaos energy at his disposal, right? If that's the case, then there's no way we can defeat him! It's impossible!"
Sonic looked at Amy and gave her thumbs-up. "Nothing's impossible. We just need to figure out a way to weaken him."
Shadow said, "Good luck with those Chaos Emeralds."
Tails asked, "Shadow, why aren't the Chaos Emeralds working?"
Shadow looked down at the youngster. "You naïve brat, it should be obvious. Those are nothing more than fake Chaos Emeralds. They're worthless rocks that Saturn infused with negative chaos energy in order to disguise them as the real Emeralds and toy with all of you."
Vector raised his finger. "I knew it!"
Rouge asked, "Wait. If they still have chaos energy in them, then why can't Sonic still use them at least to a lesser extent?"
Shadow turned to Rouge. "It's because Sonic's use of the Chaos Emeralds focuses solely on the Emeralds’ positive energy. Negative chaos energy is useless to that blue faker."
Sonic was insulted. "Shut up, you faker! You can't use negative chaos energy either!"
Shadow gritted his teeth and glared at Sonic. "What was that?"
Amy stepped between the two. "Cut it out, you two! We can't argue at a time like this!"
Tails pointed to the sky and exclaimed, "Incoming!" Everyone looked up to find a flying, red object coming directly at them at high speed. They scattered out of the way. The impact of the object made a crater in the ground, and the fake Chaos Emeralds were scattered around the crater.
At the center of the crater was Knuckles, who was limp and had been beaten senseless. Knuckles tried to rise to his feet, but Infinite Saturn appeared in front of him, and he grabbed Knuckles by the neck with his right hand. Sonic shouted, "Saturn! Leave him alone! You've done enough to him! He isn't a threat to you anymore! We're back now, so you don't need a hostage!"
Infinite Saturn looked at Shadow and said, "Hello again, Brother, did you reconsider my offer?"
Shadow was unhesitant to answer, "No."
Infinite Saturn sighed a little. "That's a shame. I suppose you're here to help these pitiful whelps in their suicidal attempts to stand in my way." Shadow did not answer, so Infinite Saturn sighed again and continued, "I suppose I'll just have to kill you too then."
Sonic yelled, "Hey! Are you even listening to me? Let Knuckles go! You don't need him!"
Infinite Saturn faced Sonic for a moment. Then he turned to Knuckles. "Yes, I suppose you're right. I don't need him." Infinite Saturn squeezed his hand around Knuckles's neck. There was a snap. Knuckles went limp, and the evil hedgehog dropped the lifeless echidna to the ground.
Rouge and Amy screamed. Cream covered her mouth with both of her hands. Cheese squealed in fear. Vector and Shadow were shocked. Tails yelled, "Knuckles!" in hope for a response, but no answer came. Sonic dropped to his knees.
Infinite Saturn looked at the gawking mass. "What are you all so surprised about? I told you that this was the fate which awaited you all. Knuckles was just the first to receive a god's judgment."
Sonic clenched his fists tight. The blue hedgehog's muscles were shaking in anger. The fake Chaos Emeralds began to glow. Dark energy emitted from the Emeralds, and it started to flow around and into Sonic. The color of Sonic's fur began to darken. His quills spiked upward.
Tails looked to Shadow. "What's going on?"
Shadow cringed at Sonic's newfound fury. "I don't know, but I've never seen Sonic like this."
Sonic mumbled, "First Metal Sonic… Now Knuckles… You…" He looked up and screamed at Infinite Saturn, "You bastard! You're no god! You're a devil!" Sonic's irises and pupils vanished, leaving the hedgehog's eyes as empty whites. His fur had completely darkened to a deep navy blue, almost black. A dark aura surrounded the newly-corrupted hedgehog. The dark aura swerved around Sonic and created a great gust of wind in all directions. Cream held onto Cheese and struggled to fight being blown back. Rouge shielded her eyes. Tails held a large rock which had sprung from the ground when Infinite Saturn created the crater with Knuckles. Amy and Vector shielded their eyes from the intense wind as well. Shadow flinched a little, but remained altogether motionless. Infinite Saturn was the only person unfazed by this release of Sonic's new power.
Vector asked Shadow through the wind, "What is this?"
Shadow said, "I'm not sure. It looks like Sonic has been completely corrupted with negative chaos energy. He's become a darker version of himself, a Dark Sonic."
The wind calmed down into a gentle zephyr. Dark Sonic stood and raised his head to face Infinite Saturn with a sinister grin. The dark hedgehog said, "Let's get on with this already. I can't wait to spill some of your blood."
Amy looked horrified. "Is that my Sonic? No, there's no way that's my darling sweet Sonic. What's happened to him?"
Infinite Saturn looked at Dark Sonic curiously. "Something's changed about you, Sonic. It's as if watching your friend die before you has awakened your inner fury and transformed you into a bloodthirsty monster." Infinite Saturn sported a sinister, toothy grin that matched Dark Sonic's exactly. The red monster licked his lips. "I like that."