Author's Note: This is a continuation from the one-shot, Torment. Shadow is Black Doom's prisoner after an alternative ending to the Shadow the Hedgehog game.
Shadow paced around his small room of imprisonment. His wound had healed, but he was left alone to wallow in his torturous emotions. He was clutching his head with his hands, digging his fingers into his skull. He faced the floor as he paced. Eventually, he tipped his head back, looking at the ceiling with wide, traumatised eyes. He grit his teeth and breathed erratically. He flicked his head to the side to glance at the door. Still closed. Then he continued pacing.
The hedgehog's core trembled. His mind raced. He grit his teeth harder and harder the more that he wished he could just… shut down. But the initial shock had worn off, so it wasn't enough to make him pass out again.
He'd been awake for 2 days now. Days of non-stop panic and anguish. He kept fighting his mind… he kept telling it that everything that happened wasn't true. It had to be a dream or false memories. He couldn't actually be going through this hell. All life on the earth couldn't be that… destroyed.
The door opened. Shadow stopped and stared at it. His breath stopped. He just stood, tense and on edge. This was the first time in what felt like days.
"Shadow. You seem troubled."
It was Black Doom. The alien overlord floated into the room. Shadow shuffled to the wall at the back and leant against it. He looked up at Black Doom with wide eyes and his ears drooped.
"I can read your mind, Shadow. I know you're suffering. I want to help."
Shadow swallowed thick saliva down his dry throat.
"You're weak from hunger. I have something to offer you," he said. A small footsoldier walked into the room, passing underneath Black Doom and stopping in the middle of the floor. It dropped something, then walked out again.
Shadow warily looked down at the lump that was in front of him. It made his stomach twist. It looked like… a steak of… dry, dishevelled meat. Shadow covered his mouth with his hand and closed his eyes.
Shadow couldn't say it.
"-Human flesh?" Black Doom finished for him. "Yes."
Shadow's muzzle paled. He turned his back to stare at the wall.
"Shadow. You require this sustenance."
"I don't eat meat," Shadow asserted.
"You will. You must. To survive."
"No," Shadow said through gritted teeth.
"Shadow. You are a part of OUR species. You must act like us. I will not make changes or acceptions for you."
"I'm a hedgehog. We don't eat meat. Hedgehogs don't eat humans!" Shadow swung around and snapped. He glared up at Black Doom.
"You need your strength. Eat."
Shadow felt famished.
"I don't want it. I need water. I-I need to use a bathroom. I-I'd rather do a million other things before I go anywhere near THAT!" Shadow pointed at dried out flesh pile that was sitting in front of him.
Shadow's eyes widened when he felt himself walking towards it anyway.
"N-no. Black Doom! Please don-" Shadow's voice stopped. He couldn't even speak. He dropped down to his knees and bent forward. His stomach twisted when the rancid smell of raw, old flesh filled his little black nose. He scrunched his eyes tight and tried to do the same with his mouth. But he felt it open.
His eyes stung. Tears began dripping from them.
'PLEASE! STOP', Shadow screamed out inside of his head.
His tongue touched the surface of the meat.
Immediately he gagged and felt bile and stomach acid coming up. He regained control over his body, collapsed to the side, facing away from the steak. He vomited onto the floor.
"There is nothing wrong with what I am feeding you! You have only reacted that way because you're thinking of the humans that you bonded with."
Shadow was still on his hands and knees, trembling and retching.
"I… I didn't choose to throw up," Shadow rasped. He clutched at his stomach and rested his face on the floor, completely hunched over in pain. "I told you."
"I'm not feeding you anything else."
"We're still on Earth, right? Get me… plants. I'll eat… any of those."
"All life on that planet is dead."
Shadow covered his eyes with his other arm to hide the fact that they were leaking.
"Shadow. You are overreacting."
"Over-?" Shadow snapped. His words got caught in his throat. "You're being completely unfair. You destroyed… everything I care about."
Shadow felt Black Doom's presence depleting. He looked to the door and noticed her was no longer there. The door slid shut. Shadow forced himself to his feet and ran towards it. He punched the door. But it was a thick, solid material that Shadow couldn't manage to dent.
"BLACK DOOM! COME BACK! I'M NOT FINISHED TALKING TO YOU!" Shadow roared.
"When you have finished the food, I will return. We can talk then." Black Doom's voice came from outside.
Shadow turned around and looked at the steak in disgust. He had to wrap his arms around his stomach, tight, to stop himself from retching again.
2 Days Later
Shadow was hunched up at the doorway, looking away from the rancid pile of rotten meat. He covered his nose with his mouth. He looked pale in the face.
"BLACK DOOM! I CAN'T FUCKING EAT IT! IT'S ROTTING!" he called out.
The door slid open and Black Doom floated in. Shadow cowered as the alien was literally just above him.
"I will take the… hazard away and we can… negotiate."
"Will access to a bathroom be a part of those negotiations?" Shadow remarked. He winced and shifted aside when some foot soldiers walked into the room.
"I do not know what that means," Black Doom said. Shadow looked at Black Doom, imploringly. "Ah… you need to… relieve yourself."
"Yes…" Shadow hissed while his cheeks burned in embarrassment.
"There is no where on this comet for… such a task," Black Doom said.
Shadow glared up at Black Doom in frustration.
"What the hell? Wh-what about… your offspring… where do they-"
"We do not have the same digestive system as… Earth's kind. We do not need to… expel…" Black Doom sounded a little disgusted.
"... fuck…" Shadow muttered. He stumbled to stand up. "What am I meant to do?"
"You will not disgrace this comet," Black Doom warned.
Shadow's core trembled.
"I can't… not."
"I have full control over your body. You WILL not," Black Doom said.
Shadow grit his teeth and glared at Black Doom.
"G-great… just great," Shadow hissed. "What if I went back outside?"
"You will not leave this comet. Besides. We will be leaving soon."
Shadow looked at Black Doom with wide eyes.
"No. W-we can't leave. Th-this is my home. Th-this is where I... - the ARK. I can't leave the ARK."
"Those are pieces of your past that you are leaving behind. Think of this planet and the ARK as your origins. You have a different, better life ahead of you."
"Better?" Shadow gaze turned to a glare. "Explain to me how it's better to be trapped here in a place where I'm… forced to eat the species I considered my friends and… forbidden from… relieving myself." His cheeks burned a deep red, and he was beginning to shake in anger." That sounds far from better. It sounds like a… hell of an existence where my basic needs are… violated."
"Shadow…" Black Doom contemplated. "I… could have let Mephiles kill you. I could have killed you… as punishment for your betrayal. Instead, I have taken you in because… you are my son. My offspring. My special offspring… one that I put effort into creating. You're different. I care about you. Shadow… my child. You have to accept this way of life. It's better for you."
"If you'd let Mephiles kill me… I would have been better off than I am now."
"Come now… little one… do not fret like that…" Black Doom sounded genuinely sympathetic.
"I'm gonna 'fret' as long as I stay alive." Shadow turned his back and walked to the back of the room. He faced the wall and sulked. "There's no way you could undo the suffering I've gone through. Everything worth living for is gone now. If you truly care about me… you'll kill me."
Shadow's stance was stiff and tall, trying to keep a shred of integrity.
"Shadow. You could be a great warrior. We have more planets to conquer and strip for resources. If our species is to survive."
"Your species," Shadow grabbed his arm, seeming tense. "... I should have destroyed your species. I would have if it weren't for… that Mephiles." Shadow spat in disgust.
He turned to face Black Doom, with a soul piercing stare. "If I could… I would slaughter every last one of you, to wipe your disgusting existence from this universe." The hedgehog was rattling in anger. Each of this breaths hissed from between his gritted teeth. He began glowing red.
Black Doom held out his hand. Shadow suddenly froze and dropped to his knees. He clutched his head, eyes fixed at the ceiling… irises fading in colour… eyelids drooping… breath going from erratically furious… to panicked and fast… to, slow and hopeless.
"Without your ambition for saving this planet… you have no strength to fight against my mind control, Shadow. Stop your attempts at defying me, Shadow, if you want your suffering to end," Black Doom glowered.
"Just kill me…" Shadow cast a blank stare at the floor. His hands dropped from clutching his skull, to the surface of the floor. His arms trembled, struggling to support him. "I am no good to you."
"You are wrong," Black Doom said. "I must leave you now. The comet will leave the Earth before sunset."
"N-no!" Shadow snarled. "I can't leave. I WON'T leave."
"You cannot survive on this planet alone, Shadow. All life is destroyed," Black Doom.
"I don't plan to stay here to survive," Shadow whispered. "I'm going to join them. My existence is pointless… without the very people I was made to protect."
"Your purpose was to help me to take over this planet. You gathered the chaos emeralds for me. You fulfilled your purpose. And you will do it again. You will join me on my conquest of other planets."
"There is no refusal under me! Only compliance!"
Shadow gasped and tensed. He suddenly raised his torso upright and contorted himself, as though in a sudden wave of agony.
"S-s-s-stop!" he rasped, eyes widened in terror.
"I have tried to win your compliance with affection, but that was unsuccessful! So now I will have to make you obey through other means!" Black Doom threatened.
Shadow grunted in pain. His breaths shallow and erratic. He collapsed and his back struck the floor. He could hardly tell what kind of pain his was in. It was just… white hot agony all over his body.
"Come with me…"
Shadow scrunched his eyes up tight as he bit back the urge to say yes. He was willing to do anything to make the pain stop, apart from that. Escape plans, ways around it, solutions, all passed through his mind, but were all ruled out just as fast. Black Doom could hear them all. There was no way Shadow realised he would never get away with any of it.
"Yes. Okay!" Shadow cried out, voice hoarse.
The pain died down. Shadow gasped again, heaving… sobbing. He turned over on his side and curled, up, then wrapped around his stomach, shivering. The tenseness died down and the arm closest to the floor just dropped, like he had no energy, no will to keep it up. The other arm wasn't so much wrapped around his stomach anymore… just flopped over it. The hedgehog looked at the world sideways, but all he could see was the floor. Not that his brain registered it.
His mind couldn't process. The hedgehog felt so drained to exhaustion that he was just… numb.
"We will begin our travel tomorrow."
Shadow didn't want to resist. Not this time. Words of agreement were in his head. It felt as though they reached his chest… his heart… but then gave up in his throat. He lay there in silence. Black Doom left with an air of satisfaction. At least Shadow didn't need to speak… with his mind reading creator constantly inside of his head.
"Stop yearning for death, Hedgehog… I will not let you do that to yourself," Black Doom said. The door closed.
Shadow was left in a soul-deafening silence.