Maria takes Eggman forward in time, and shows him the future of a world without him. He does not like what he sees.
Suddenly, Eggman found himself in a room he never hoped he'd see again-one of the labs on the ARK.
"But... Shadow is gone? How could they have found their way up here without him?"
"Some computer genius hacked the encryption on Grandpa's journal, which explained everything in much more detail than Shadow was able... with one exception."
Eggman looked across the room. Two Hedgehogs-a pink female, about 30 years old, and a small lavender boy, were holding onto each other in a corner, staring off into the shadows. A dark figure in some manner of mechanical walker waited there, gun trained on them.
"If you don't come here," the figure said into a communicator, "Your wife and child will die."
"I'm comin," a familiar, but deeper voice said, "You freak. Hold your damn horses."
"Is that Sonic?" Eggman asked, looking toward the mech.
"You'll see him in a few seconds." Maria began counting on her fingers... and once she reached five, the door to the lab opened.
A blue furry, perhaps 3'6", walked in, his head held high. His face hadn't changed much at all between the sophomore track star and the creature he was now, but his attire was considerably different. His sneakers had been replaced with combat boots; his body was now covered with a jumpsuit rather than nothing at all. "Metal Cheetah to base; I have intercepted the criminal and will now proceed with negotiations."
"There isn't much to negotiate, jock boy," said the voice from the shadows. Eggman noted how cold it was... A deep voice, calculated and unyielding. "You hand over the Emerald... I don't discharge my weapon, and allow your precious little family to stay here while I discharge the canon on your pathetic little city."
Sonic sighed. "Very well."
"Bring it here. No sudden movements; hands where I can see them."
The middle-aged hedgehog made his way toward the center of the room, a yellow emerald held in front of him... Eggman could see that his hands were just barely shaking, just as they had been when he had been the man with the weapon.
"No... Sonic, don't fall for it!" he pleaded, watching his nemesis walk into the familiar trap.
With a series of beeps, and an evil laugh, the capsule came down on Sonic the Hedgehog. The figure in the shadows laughed. "You thought you could fool me with my own fake emerald? You really are a dumb jock, Sonic the Hedgehog."
"His own?" Eggman's jaw dropped. "Could it be..."
The walker stepped out into the light...revealing the visage of a very dashing young fox.
"The fact is, I know that your wife has the real emerald concealed on her person, and that you were supposed to give me the decoy so that I'd blow up my own canon with it. Imbecile. For your arrogance... well, you die. I owe her a favor from high school, so I guess I'll let her live."
Eggman fell to his knees. "Oh god, no..."
"You won't win, Prower." Sonic said, smirking. "My squad is already on their way to the cannon."
"Oh yes, but they don't have the master emerald... the only thing that would have the power to stop the cannon at this point." He pressed a few buttons. "Sayonara, Sonic the Hedgehog. Have a nice trip..."
Eggman screamed, and the capsule shot out of the station. He could barely hear the explosion over his own voice, his own horror... And as it happened, a new sound mingled with his screaming... an evil laugh that somehow scared him more than anything he himself had ever done.
"I wanna go home Maria... I want it to be over..."
"We're almost done, Ivo."
"Then make it done! What happens? How do they save the world without Sonic, Shadow, Knuckles, and Rouge?"
Maria sighed heavily. "They don't."
Eggman sobbed, and the ARK faded away.