AN: For those who do not know 'Eclipse the Darkling' is a character from Archie Sonic comics. He's a member of the Black Arms and technically Shadow's brother...and that's about everything you need to know about him. Now you can start reading! Enjoy!
Special thanks to HardSonadowFanGirl for betaing this story.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.
Shadow had many questions. The most important of them being—how the fuck was Black Doom alive? The second most important being—how the fuck was Black Doom alive? (Because he really needed an answer to that one.) And the third one being—why the hell had Doom seemed so hell-bent on getting to know him over a cup of freaking tea?
"What about your childhood? How was it?" Black Doom asked as he raised the tiny pink tea cup in his massive claw-like hands and sucking its contents with the weird wrinkled orifice of his, the display in Shadow's opinion being in equal measures both unbelievable and disgusting.
"Spent on ARK being a lab rat and training how to kill a man in 1001 ways," he said simply as he crossed his arms over his chest, making no move to touch the tea before him; considering how their last encounter had ended, he expected his portion to be poison rather than anything drinkable.
Black Doom made a weird rumbling noise that Shadow presumed was meant to be a hum of acknowledgment.
"Hmm, I've had expected humans to come up with much more ways considering how vicious they seemed when we first met." The overlord sipped his tea. "How disappointing."
"I know more disappointing things." Shadow's lips pressed into a thin line, the agent trying not to grimace as he continued to watch his biological 'father' 'drink', unsure whether the sight or the sound was more revolting.
Black Doom pointedly ignored his remark. "How are you these days, Shadow?"
"Awful." Shadow wore a perfect poker-face. "I'm currently trying to decide which of the remaining 1000 ways could possibly kill you—making you into a skewered meat with dozens of chaos spears is surprisingly ineffective."
Black Doom exhaled roughly, looking agitated. Shadow was sure that if the overlord had had a nose, right now he'd be pinching the bridge of it in annoyance.
Black Doom forced his expression to turn impassive once more as he cleared his throat. "Your hostility is misplaced."
"How?" Shadow raised a questioning brow. "You've tried to commit genocide on the people of Earth. My home. And you tried to manipulate me into helping you do it with mind-control."
"You were confused about who you were, you needed to be shown the right way."
"You mean the Black Arms' way."
Black Doom scowled at the accusation as he laid down his cup. "My blood runs through your veins. You enjoy destruction and violence just like all of my off-springs—I could sense that in your mind. You know it is the right way; it's only your pointless human-infused morality that is stopping you from seeing the truth."
Shadow's scowl deepened. "Something being pleasant, doesn't make it right."
"All things that are pleasant are right—that's the Nature's order."
"Pleasure is subjective," Shadow retorted. "Each person finds pleasure in different things."
"That applies only to earthlings and other imperfect species," Black Doom rumbled, scowling. "The fact they procreate solely through gene exchange shows they're inherently flawed and defective species."
"Odd how this defective species seems to be doing much better than the perfect Black Arms," Shadow said, sarcasm dripping from his voice at the word 'perfect', "who are essentially going to be extinct once I figure out how to kill you."
"You are mistaken, Shadow," Black Doom replied, taking another sip of his now cold tea, "Black Arms are far from extinct."
"Truly?" Shadow raised a skeptic brow, not believing the alien overlord's words one bit. "I blasted the Comet into smithereens and not even Black Arms can survive the cold of space," he said, pointing out the flaw in Doom's statement.
"That is true." Black Doom nodded. "However, it would be foolish of our species to have all its members in one place; there are dozens of Black Comets in the vastness of space and one of them is currently heading to Earth."
"Your attempts are pointless."
"Shut it," Shadow growled as he continued to listen to the insistent ringing of the cellphone that he had been using for the past few minutes, hoping to finally hear his colleague's voice. The planet was about to suffer another invasion and Rouge couldn't even for once pick up the goddamn phone—!
It was at that moment that the New Black Comet pierced the clouds and promptly landed, the impact shaking the ground with enough force to tear it open and send Shadow crashing to the ground, the unexpected change in position making the agent lose his hold on the phone. He quickly lunged after it, but before his fingers could wrap around it, it had already rolled over the edge of the newly formed abyss.
Shadow cursed loudly under his breath as he watched it descend into the nothingness.
On the other hand, Black Doom looked extremely pleased with this turn of events. "Here they are," he rumbled and began to float towards the massive Black Comet. When he noticed he wasn't being followed, he stopped and turned to look at him over his shoulder. "Stand up, Shadow. It is the time for you to meet your twenty-two thousand siblings."
From his still very much horizontal position on the ground, Shadow looked up at the alien overlord as if he had grown a second head—which considering what most of the Black Arms looked like wouldn't be that much of a surprise at this point. "My what?"
"Siblings," Black Doom repeated as he urged him closer to one of the biggest Black Arms that were exiting the Comet in groups of five, the massive army making the previous invasion look like a joke attempt.
Shadow slowly raised himself from the ground, his lips pressing into a thin scowl. I swear, Rouge, if the fact you haven't picked up the call gets us all dead in the end, I'm killing you again.
He slowly approached the overlord deciding to play-along with his crazy whims for now to keep Black 'Lost every single one of his marbles' Doom busy—as long as he did that the overlord wouldn't be able to effectively command his army and allow him a surprise kill once he figured how to kill—
Black Doom's guttural voice interrupted him before he could finish that thought.
"Shadow, meet your older brother—" The overlord gestured to one of his 'brothers', a seven-foot monstrosity with giant horns and dried up blood encrusting its claws. Shadow wondered if Black Arms soldiers even had names and if they did, what they could be like. Black Doom was called, well, 'Doom' so the others surely had just as menacing names, right? Probably something like 'Havoc' or 'Bane' or—
...he had hit his head somewhere and was now having the weirdest comma of his life, there was no other acceptable explanation in Shadow's opinion.
"Touch is a very important factor in mammal interaction," Doom's eye read aloud in the voice of Black Doom—who himself had floated away to who knows where—a copy of 'How to connect with your rebellious and aggressive child in 5 easy steps: Earth edition,' held in its tentacles. "A hug is one of the most preferred ways in which bipedal mammals reinforce their emotional bond with one another..." The Eye looked up from the book, giving him the most serious look a six-armed levitating eye could give, Black Doom's voice utterly serious as he said, "Shadow, come here. We shall perform this ritual earthlings refer to as a 'hug' to reinforce our bond."
Shadow rubbed the bridge of his nose. He had no idea from out of where Black Doom had taken the book—well, he knew and, trust him, he'd rather wouldn't—but he was starting to have an idea from where most of Black Doom's crazy ideas had come from today—though that still hadn't explained why the overlord was even carrying them out.
(You know what? Skip the explanation. He just wanted the day to finally stop being so bizarre.)
"I'm currently massacring your army, if you haven't noticed," he emphasized, gesturing to the army—only the more resilient Black Arms were still standing, which, however, GUN was doing a quick work of—Black Doom was too preoccupied with his book to give out any actual orders and so GUN (and him) had seized the chance to decimate as many Black Arms as possible.
"I have noticed, Shadow. Now come here and finally let me perform the ritual."
"One step closer and I'm cutting off all your tentacles."
The Doom's Eye immediately stopped moving, its single skin-brow furrowing. "...I understand. You're in the development stage where you feel like you need to distance yourself from your father and spend more time with your own age group." The Eye looked into the crowd and motioned with one tentacle. "Eclipse, come here!"
The crowd parted to let someone through and Shadow was surprised to see an alien about his size, the unique physique and spark in his eyes telling him this wasn't a common member of the Hive.
"This is your brother Eclipse, Shadow. He was made a year ago and I believe you two will find you have a lot in common."
"Hello, brother." Eclipse gave him a toothy smile and a small wave. "I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun!"
Shadow looked at Eclipse, then at Doom's eye, then Eclipse again. How exactly was someone who was made a year ago his peer? Why the hell did Eclipse look so cheerful to meet him when he had massacred about half of his 'brothers'? And why—
"You know what? I'm done," Shadow announced, deciding he had experience enough bizarreness for today. For once GUN will have to handle it on their own. "I need a drink."
Eclipse immediately piped up at this comment. "Can I join? I've heard a lot about this al-co-hol," the alien was struggling to pronounce the word for some reason, "I'm curious to try it."
"...If you want." Shadow shrugged his shoulders; he honestly didn't care at this point.
"What the...?" Shadow breathed as he woke up with a jerk, clutching his blanket to ground himself in the present as he looked around himself and was relieved to see himself, in his own room, lying in the bed he remembered going to yesterday night after beating Rouge in a competition of who would manage to drink more tequila shots before passing out.
He let himself droop backwards, letting out a relieved sigh as he closed his eyes again. It was all only a bad dream... He massaged his temples to ease some of the headache that was forming there. "I'm never drinking so much ever again..."
"Likewise," Eclipse's voice announced from below the bed.
Shadow's eyes shot open so fast they broke the sound barrier on their own.