Eggman finds out about the political climate of a world without him, and just what happened to Shadow
"In a world where you never existed, cousin, no one would have blown the island up."
"I see... That was horrible of me..."
Maria let go of her cousin and walked over to the water. "It's beautiful, isn't it? Nature... Trees as far as the eye can see, and big bugs, and this lovely beach..." She turned. "Barbed wire and landmines... motion sensors and tripwires..." Eggman turned, and sure enough, the jungle they had beamed down to was littered with military paraphernalia, even moreso than it had been before. Barbed wire fences lined the edge of the beach, and the hum of a patrol vehicle could be heard not far away.
"I don't remember it like this."
"At least it's here, right? Since in this world, you never existed. Since here, the Robotnik line ended when I died."
Eggman blinked. "So why is it so heavily guarded?" A mine went off in the distance.
"I'm not going to deny that you were evil... In our world, all the nations of the world banded together to stop you from hurting anyone. They opposed you and tried to stop you, because you were a major threat."
"Don't be obtuse, Ivo. You know that the government has enemies. Without you around as a unifying force, someone to focus resources on, the nations of the world started the same petty squabbles they've done for hundreds, thousands, of years."
"And the wheel goes 'round..."
"Station Square has been attacked a couple times... So they went off the warpath. A lot of the world is really angry with them right now. A few countries have struck back. Right now, Station Square is at war with two separate countries."
"Has the war spread onto our soil?"
"Not really except for a few isolated incidents... But national security has become a public priority. As is military security. Prison Island security was increased to protect all the weapons stored here, and the chaos emeralds."
"So the emeralds are still here."
"Six of them."
"And... what of Shadow? Who busted him out?"
Maria looked out to sea. "No one did."
Dr. Eggman sighed. "So he's still safe in the pod."
Eggman raised an eyebrow. "WHAT? But I didn't free him.. he couldn't give his life to stop the ARK because the ARK never plummeted to Earth..."
"No. But he was dangerous to have around. If he fell into the wrong hands... why, Station Square could be in danger!"
"He was incinerated a few weeks before you would have come for him."
"His last waking thought... occurred almost 50 years ago. His last waking thought was, 'I hate humans.'"
Eggman whimpered. He had watched Shadow go from being angry, vengeful, brooding, to courageous, even noble. He hadn't seen Shadow up close before his death, but he had heard in the hedgehog's voice a change... a strange sort of peace and happiness... A sense of closure that had warmed Eggman's heart.
"In a world where you existed... Shadow died with meaning, purpose. He died happy. In this world... his death meant nothing."
"But the people who died on Prison Island when I attacked..."
"Twenty times as many have died in one of the wars Station Square is fighting alone... and that war has only just begun."
Eggman sat down on a rock, sighing. He couldn't believe it...
"In a world without you, there was no one evil for everyone to oppose... So people did the same thing they always did. They fought and squabbled... The world needs a heroes and villains, or it falls back into the same state... If people don't have a cause to die for... they die for stupid, silly things that mean nothing."
"Like Shadow, and like Grandpa Robotnik before him. Like me. People dying for no good reason. In a better world... people wouldn't fight like this. But even a world without you isn't that much better."
"Shadow died for no reason."
"Ivo, every Robotnik has died for no good reason. Except you, until today."
"No matter how you slice it."
"And either way it's my fault."
Maria knelt down and picked up a worm. "But Shadow's remains went into the soil.. In dying, he's feeding all these beautiful creatures..." She set the worm down.
"He would like that."
"Not this Shadow. A Shadow who never met you just wants to kill everyone." A seagull swept down and ate the worm. "Just like everyone else."
Eggman sighed. "Is that all? Can I plummet to my death now?"
"I have more to show you."
And in a flash, they were gone again.