Legal stuff: This story uses characters created and copyrighted by SEGA with the exception of a couple extras. I claim none of these as mine.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: This story was inspired by actual facts from Sonic Adventure 2, as written by Rouge in the report paper she held up to Shadow titled "The truth about 50 years ago". Why such crucial facts were left out of the game's main storyline is beyond me, but I have much thanks to Koji Chao for the translation of the article. Sorry, I don't have a copy uploaded anywhere. Do not ask me for it.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

So many years have passed by, I can feel my age with each passing day. Were they for the greater good? Or did I waste my life on petty ideals? I don't know. And I'm not sure I want to. The only thing I can truly say I am sure of, is that I only know what my goals were... And what they would eventually become.

Allow me to introduce myself; My name is Gerald, Professor Gerald Robotnik. I'm a scientist, one who had dedicated his entire life to world medicine and bio engineering. I was renowned throughout the entire world as one of the greatest scientific minds of my day. My ultimate goal was to make a breakthrough in the medical field. My greatest ambition was to create a line of superior anti-biotics. Ones that could fight the incureable plagues that threatened humanity... Cancer... Aids... I know I could have created cures...

I had to... For my grandaughter's sake...

My darling little Maria... She had brought such great joy into my life. It was a joy I had deeply missed ever since my sons, Garth and Randy had left the nest.Garth and his wife, Brook, had both died in a tragic car crash shortly after Maria's birth... with the young soul in the back seat. It was truly a miracle that she even survived. I took her in after my son and daughter-in-law's deaths. It was hard trying to tend to both my work and an infant, but somehow, I had managed to get by. Then not even before her first birthday, she fell ill to one of the very things I was trying to find a cure for... NIDS. Otherwise known as neuro immuno deficiency syndrome.

My work had become personal.

Such a sweet young girl... She didn't deserve this fate. I HAD to find a way to heal her! I would. I swore by it! But, my goals were never reached. As if God himself was laughing at me, my course of study soon took a drastic turn...

I was recognized for my genius expertise in attempting to bio engineer these medicines. My methods were highly advanced for their generation. For years the government had been requesting my presence to a private audience. They had, somehow, come to believe that I posessed the knowledge required to achieve one of mankind's greatest dreams--Immortality. I was just as stubborn as every ounce of persistence they displayed, denying their summons. Immortality? Ha! Such fools, that's what they all were. Death comes for us all no matter how hard we try to prevent it. Escape is futile.

Those were my thoughts for many years, at least.

Treatment was hard for Maria's illness, and no cure had yet to be created. It was either to sit back helpless as I watched my darling grandaughter's health slowly dwindle, or accept the government's proposal and face impossible odds to cure her. It's quite amazing how one can turn against his better judgment when faced with a personal dilemma.

My new home was the a space colony known simply as Ark. It's name chosen by the government, for I would become a modern day Noah. And should my experiments be sucessful, I would be responseible for the coming of a new era, carrying chosen life through the floods of human hatred. Humph, such a twisted and warped metaphor! It was mandatory I move there to begin my research. The government's suspicions were high, and they wanted no risk of any information being leaked to their enemies. The only way to prevent this was isolation in space. It was lonely, the earth from a distance and the stars can only please the eye so long, before it becomes the empty black void it truly is. Maria loved it however, for in her eyes, she lived one of the greatest fantasies a child could imagine.

While my intentions lay elseware, I couldn't deny the government's demands. They wanted a super weapon. A creature with intelligent mind, with a body able to withstand the apocalypse. This was the true reason for their wanting me. This was why they wanted immortality so badly. They themselves not only wished to live forever, but they wished to have their own pet to sic upon their enemies as well. To back down now would mean the execution of myself, Maria and all staff involved. Desperation for Maria's health had left me trapped. I would never be able to leave this vile space station. I would never be allowed to see the earth again. There was only one point to my existence now--My research.

Oh, I thought back many a time and wondered how crazy I must have been. How could I have allowed myself to give my life away to something so foolish? Whenever those thoughts would occur, I would think of that beautiful smile Maria had. Of her blond hair bouncing about when she laughed. And those crystal blue eyes... Ah, the wonderous eyes of a child. So innocent and pure. So untainted. I would never cease to marval at how much joy she'd brought to my life, she was the only source of light I had to my now dark existence. It was then I would remember my purpose for having made that decision. Someway, somehow, I would find a way to cure her. Nothing so innocent should die before their time. But then my eyes would fall upon the room I sat in, upon stacks of notes, and the odds I was facing would hit me like a ton of bricks. And I would wonder how long before the government would simply grow bored and toss us like ragdolls to the dogs...

Most of the creatures myself and my staff preformed our experiments on perished. It took alot of trial and error before we found what might just have been success. Using the energies from a Chaos Emerald, we managed to create the biolizard. It was a prototype for what we would use to create the ultimate weapon the government wanted so badly. The dinosaur-like beast was incredibly powerful, but it was also terribly slow and simple-minded. And along with that feral beast-like brain, came disaster. It was nearly impossible to control, it went wild upon the Ark and slaughtered many of my staff before we had finally managed to subdue it. It's size and strength made it impossible for further research to be done, the Ark just wasn't equiped with what we needed to contain the wretched beast. We decided then to seal it in a cryogenic hybernation where it would remain.

Using what data was forged from it we went back to the drawing board. I didn't know it then, but we were finally on the right track. We used a sentient species for our next experiment. A test tube baby of a hedgehog we had dubbed Shadow, after the project code name he was under. As time progressed, his system had begun to become unstable. We were afraid that he would perish like all the others. I admit that I did feel sympathy for the poor creature, knowing how bleak his future was. It reminded me of my own in many ways. It especially hurt me when he would simply curl into a shuddering little ball and whimper from the amounts of pain he must have felt. It hurt each time any of them died. For whenever they did, I saw Maria in their place, and a little more of my hope died with them.

Ah, but that was when Maria stepped into the scene. She had seen me with Shadow once, on the way from one lab to the other. There was a line of rules I had set before her when we came to live on this colony. One of which, an important one, was to never go near or interact with the creatures I experimented on. Unfortunately, when curiosity was sparked in her mind, there was no stopping her untill it had run it's course.

Late one night she had stolen one of my pass cards from my lab coat, as I slept slumped over my desk, gaining access to the room where Shadow was kept. To my knowledge, she had never attempted to make physical contact with the hedgehog. She would simply sit outside of his cage and just talk to him, occassionaly sneaking food to him. This behavior continued for almost two weeks, before she was finally caught and brought to me. I was furious with her! But she didn't care. She would protest that Shadow was lonely, and that he wished he could go somewhere other than his cage and the labs. Nonsense, I would tell her. The hedgehog was not a pet, I would tell her. I forbad her to ever see Shadow again.

There was a dramatic change in Maria after that day. No longer was she my sweet little grandaughter, but a snappy and defiant child who disobeyed my orders at every turn. She rarely smiled, her eyes no longer sparkled with that pure innocence, and most of her time was spent locked in her room. A phase, I concluded. It would pass. It didn't. Weeks stretched, and she showed no sign of letting go of her grudge. I began to become frustrated, I missed her terribly. I almost even began to reconsider my words. The nagging thought in the back of my mind was that there had been signs of progress and stabilization in Shadow during the short time Maria had spent with him.

It took awhile to come around, but the nagging finally lead me to one conclusion. I would preform a new experiment, one different from all previous. I would allow Maria to have her wish and spend time with Shadow when I didn't require him. Monitored, of course, and Shadow was to remain in his cage at all times. Maria accepted the proposeal in a heartbeat. After a short time, her attitude began to wear off. At the same time, progress began to show in Shadow, sometimes by leaps and bounds! I couldn't understand it, it was beyond what science could possibly explain. Somehow, Maria had become the medicine to the hedeghog's illness, where all the experiments myself and my staff had preformed proved useless. The bond these two had created was incredible!

Time passed, never had I ever seen Maria so happy! I eventually entrusted her to become Shadow's guardian without supervision. The hedgehog was removed from his cell, and given the same boundries aboard the Ark that Maria was allowed. From that point on, the two were inseparable, with the exception of when I required Shadow for testing. The hedgehog was even allowed to stay in Maria's room, where a makeshift bed was made for him. As I watched them, new hope bubbled in my chest. The ultimate lifeform was nearly complete. Soon, I would have what I needed to save Maria's life.

But that was when disaster struck. My fears of the government became a reality. They had grown tired of waiting for me to bring them results, and had also grown suspicious of my intentions. Their suspicion quickly multiplied into fear when I had failed to contact them for a period of time. Once fear had entered the mix, there was no stopping them. They decided that my research had to be stopped, and that they would do so the best way they knew how.

A mercenery organization known as G.U.N., short for Guardian Units of Nation, was commisioned to invade the Ark. Disguised as a supply rocket, they moved in fast and without mercy, assassinating everyone aboard. With precious little time to spare, I ordered Maria to take Shadow and together use the emergency escape pods to get away. That was the last time I ever saw my little grandaughter...

I was taken prisoner after that. Unlike the rest of my staff. I was grilled rigorously, but refused to answer their questions. That was when my worst fear of all was confirmed. As punishment for my lack of cooperation, I was shown several photos taken from the Ark before G.U.N.'s departure. Each photo was a graphic image taken of Maria, where she had been shot in the back of the head execution style.

I lost it then. Everything I had worked so hard for... The vow I had made had been wasted. All my hopes were shattered in that moment...

I was a broken man from that point on. A pale husk of a human being with no life and no future. The government decided they didn't need me to answer their questions anymore, there should be plenty of interesting documents aboard the Ark. My usefulness to them had expired. And so had my time.

I was proclaimed a traitor to my country. Facts were masked by lies, the public was kept ignorant to the greater truth of the matter. They cheered at my misfortune. Reveled in my pain. Accused me of crimes I didn't commit. I hated them. I hated all of them for how they allowed themselves to be spoonfed such lies. I hated the government for being the shepard to their herd. But most of all, I hated myself for allowing this to happen in the first place. If it wasn't for my own act of stupidity, Maria might have lived longer, and I wouldn't have to endure the pain of having her blood on my hands.

The end of my road had finally come. I sat there, chained to that chair. The executioner at my side, the camera man before me. I was to be publicly executed on live television. I stared at the ground, waiting for the inevitable. Any moment, several thousand volts of electricity would be surged through my body, and so would end my miserable existence. I was afraid, but I also felt calm. Somehow, death didn't seem as forbidding as it once might have been. Maria was there, waiting for me. Soon I would be at her side, and we would be together for eternity.

I was asked if I might have any final words. I looked up at the camera lens. I saw my reflection in it, I saw a man with nothing left to live for. I wondered once again what might have been if I'd simply declined the offer, and wondered if my research really might have been worth it. Such things, however, were now unimportant. A scowl deepened the aged lines on my face, and I repeated the words that had played endlessly in my mind since my capture, hoping that one day they might actually become reality...

"This is a death sentence to every human alive..."

The guard asked if I was finished. I was. The executioner fliped the switch. My body shuddered as electricity pulsed through. Strangely, it didn't hurt like I had expected. Time ceased to exist as my life flashed before my eyes, taunting me of my failure. Reminding me once again why I was there. One final thought ran through my mind before my life left and body became limp:

I will make all of you pay for what you have done...

~End