Disclaimer: All characters related to Sonic and Shadow are copyrighted to SEGA.
Chapter 2: Oil Crisis
Tuesday came to Station Square just as planned, surprisingly, without any interruptions. The weather was better since the boring yesterday's gray clouds moved out of the azure sky, letting the sun peer at the ground below, warming up the city and its ill-tempered citizens. The day truly began just like any other seemingly normal day at school and both students and teachers were going inside to meet their destiny. Knuckles, the Tech Ed teacher and Tails, the school's mathematician, were also going through the schoolyard, chatting.
"So how did you manage to get out of that hole?" the yellow fox asked his companion.
"Big came with a ladder and sent it down to ground zero," Knuckles responded and sighed once the painful memory came back.
Shadow and the others were getting impatient in the hole, as Big, the janitor, went in search of a ladder and hadn't returned for over an hour. After a long time of settling differences the captives cooled down to about 370 degrees Kelvin. Luckily, Big brought the ladder that was used as a fire escape before anything worse could happen.
"Remind me to ask you where did you get that after I get out," Shadow said with a suspicious look on his face.
"Okey-dokey," the cat sounded back with his frog hidden in a white janitor's cap.
Sonic wanted to go first but was pushed away by Shadow, who wanted to give the lead to Rouge. The bat blushed and ascended first to Sonic's displeasure and Shadow's enjoyment. She was almost to the top when Big's fateful friend hopped off his head and into the gap.
"Froggy!" the cat yelled, seeing that his friend flew down with his cap.
The cap and its inhabitant fell on Rouge's head.
"You should be more careful, Big!" the bat took the hat off revealing the frog, which had also gotten on her head.
"Ribbit," the frog croaked, oblivious to the malicious situation it could cause.
"Frog! Get it off get it off get it off!" the white bat screamed in fear.
She had lost her balance and began wobbling. The frog on her head couldn't hold on as well and it fell onto her chest making the female forget about keeping balance completely and turning her into a human cannon ball for the others below.
"Oh no…" Sonic, who was climbing third exclaimed, seeing Shadow and Rouge lose the battle against gravity and dive down at him.
It was a chain reaction.
"I'll catch you!" Knuckles was still on the ground so he extended his arms in order to catch the falling angels.
To his never-lasting fortune, he caught all four of them, including the frog that caused this mess.
"Don't worry, Froggy! I'm coming to get you!" the janitor shouted and stepped on a rung of the ladder.
Unluckily, his tremendous mass caused the ladder to break, sending him downwards at high speed as a consequence. The echidna's eyes opened widely as the behemoth was seen plummeting right at him.
"Mommy!" Sonic exclaimed and closed his eyes as the large cat landed on him and everybody else.
Knuckles couldn't bear the weight that plunged on his shoulders with great force, so the creature fell on the ground dropping everybody. Exclamations and swear words came out as the result.
The principal was exasperated by the fact of such problems falling onto him.
"Faker!" the dark red-striped hedgehog bellowed below the sea level.
However, the chaos hadn't finished by then. The ground beneath the feet of the grounded team began shaking.
"Oh, boy…" Sonic said with a hint of annoyance in his voice.
Unluckily, his annoyance level increased when the quaking ground made a part of the ceiling above him fall out. The heavy projectile moved down at high velocity, caused by Earth's gravitational pull until a sudden crash stop on the object that happened to be Sonic's quill-covered azure head.
"Serves you right, faker…for starters at least."
"Yeah, right. You're welcome," the bluish hedgehog said with irritation and began mumbling something about his boss.
Alas, that wasn't the end of the events for the group. The hole Knuckles dug out was deep enough to disturb something underground, something that was silently sitting there for a very long time. All of a sudden, a fountain of an oily dark liquid sprung out from below their feet.
"Ugh…Sonic! You or whoever's responsible for this is going to pay big time for my red Gucci suit!" Rouge broke the silence with her complaints.
"Faker…do you know how much this is going to cost you?" Shadow asked with a half angry, half satisfied tone.
"Oh, great! Now it's my fault again!" Sonic whined as he glared daggers at his hateful chief.
"So what happened out there exactly?" Tails asked over, being relieved that he wasn't the witness of the interesting event.
"Shadow said that it was a sewer pipe and that Sonic will have a lot of trouble… Luckily, he forgot to mention me," Knuckles responded. "But Eggman found out that it wasn't sewer water but crude oil."
"No way!" Tails exclaimed with disbelief. Something like that would have never came into his mind, as he was sure that the ground the building was set on had no special value.
"Well, you'd better believe it! Somebody built a school here without checking what's below the future fundament," Knuckles said with a smile, imagining the oversight the engineers made, not knowing that his foxy friend was responsible for it too
Station Square always was a great city with all of its glory. However, being a large city had its drawbacks. The big number of people inhabiting the area made it also a dangerous place. Both good and evil had a dwelling there. This time the dark side was walking on a crowded street of the snowy city center, ignoring the traffic jam on the road and other signs of human existence. The being had a newspaper in its silvery gloves. The piece of literature had all of the creature's attention in its grasp. It seemed that something very interesting was written in Station Square Daily and it was an article about a local 'catastrophe', which took place in a school.
Then, the life form entered a high, dark skyscraper. The gloomy building was higher than other structures of the city, but its appearance was no different from theirs on the outside, while an evil, money-hungry organization was set in the compounds of the skyscraper. The dark-tinted glass doors pushed themselves wide open and a long corridor with the receptionist's table at front and a few elevators in the end appeared before the being's eyes. Cream-colored walls with different pictures of factories hung all around the hallway, attracting no attention what's-so-ever. The person looked at the receptionist, who happened to be a purplish female feline dressed in a maroon suit. The female pushed a button on her desk and one of the elevators opened, letting the being get into it, however, just as the elevator door was within the newcomer's reach, it closed, squeezing his large nose. He turned around to face the receptionist with the bruised nose in its grasp. The female chuckled and pushed the button again, allowing entrance to the hurt individual. Seconds later the elevator came up its shaft and stopped at the top floor, yet it didn't open. The annoyed creature waited impatiently, but waiting was seemingly not one of its strong sides. Thirty seconds later its top exploded.
"Open the door, Blaze!" he panted out.
There was no response, making him attempt to open the steel shutters manually. The being found a small opening between the doors and began pushing them aside. The action was succeeding at first, but the force of machinery ended up victorious and the anxious jail bird got his fingers shut. A loud pain-filled scream was heard on all levels of the building and the elevator finally let out its hostage.
There was a dark room with little illumination before the hurt furry this time. A small lamp on a wooden desk served as the only source of light. A brown leather office chair was behind the desk; somebody sat in it. Without any further ado the solemn creature paced forth to the desk, slipping on the ceramic-plated floor and sliding to the writing desk headfirst.
The chair spun and a hand crept out of the shadows, showing the seat to the clumsy oaf. Consequently, the individual took a chair, set near a dark gray wall and put it near the table to set its bottom down.
"I think that we both know the big news," the shadowed person spoke with a deep masculine voice.
"A great new business in this funny town."
"I need that piece of land before the government acts. That's why you must think of a plan to get it or things will get ugly for you, get it?" threatened the man, as a grin appeared on his face.
"That's why I thought up this brilliant scheme! All we need to-"
"That won't do," the man negated, making his companion's mood swing for the worse.
"How about-" continued the thinker.
"But-" the creature tried to defend the idea that was not yet announced.
"I've got it!" another bright thought came.
"Okay, this is the last idea I have," the proposing party got a little annoyed.
"Good. Now don't return until you succeed, or else."
The unfortunate creature stood up and got ready to leave when he slipped on the floor again. It was a direct hit in the elevator. Another bruise was gained as a result. The room got filled with silence as the shady man was left alone and the elevator went down. He let out a silent chuckle; it got louder and then turned into a demented evil laugh.
Shadow sat in his office as for usual, with the normal hint of annoyance resting on his face. Although Sonic made a lot of troubles lately a phone call was causing it at that moment. A concerned parent was whining about its child being bullied at school and asked to take serious measures about it.
"Yes, ma'am…yes, ma'am…I'll take care of it ma'am…" the troubled hedgie spoke, as he had no other choice than to listen. He thought about getting an answering machine for those kind of people.
The annoyance stopped blabbing, letting the principal sigh with relief and get to his favorite thing at this position: teaching people a lesson they wouldn't forget. Two bullies were called into the principal's office.
"Hey man!" one of them greeted Shadow and the other one snickered; the hedgehog was not pleased.
He stood up and walked over to the two.
"You think you're very tough, right?" asked the principal.
"Yours got that right," the second one replied as a cocky grin appeared on his face. With a dramatic fight for public funding, expulsion was the last thing on their mind.
The headmaster grinned as well, and he was the one laughing last at work.
"I need help of two guys like you. Doctor Robotnik has a little trouble tidying up the laboratory and the chemical locker. Why don't you come over to the chemistry lab and help him?"
"No shit, Sherlock! We isn't doing anything for four…I mean free."
"Tell you what!" Shadow resumed when he jumped back onto the chair and set his legs on the desk, crossing them. "You two go help the doctor and I'll make sure that your abuse records get a trimming," Shadow offered slyly with a devious glint in his eye.
"You got it daddy-o!" the two exclaimed and ran out thinking about the easy task made by the gullible principal.
Meanwhile, the cunning hedgehog got out his cell phone and called Espio.
"We have two vacancies for new students. Make sure to make noise," ordered the hedgehog and hung up with satisfaction written all over his face.
The new helpers were soon introduced to Doctor Eggman and began working in the lab immediately on the next break. The large white lab had a lot of equipment inside: from heaters to distillers and beakers of all sizes. Not to mention a large collection of chemicals the lab could not exist without.
"Now you two boys be careful here. Do not open any of the jars and especially do not take out anything from inside them," the teacher told them in a serious tone, making two mischievous grins appear on the boys' faces. "Put the substances in alphabetical order on the shelves and you're done for today," said the fat man as he showed a table full of various labeled bottles. "I'm trusting you…but don't mess up!" the doctor said, waving his index finger threateningly.
The two nodded with fake understanding and watched the doctor walk out of the chemical storage room. The door got shut and the bullies were left alone in a small room with metal-covered wooden shelves fixed on walls. Everything required for Eggman's lessons stood on these shelves - everything dangerous, and dangerous things attracted the pair like a magnet.
Ten minutes later, the notorious doctor pushed the door to the storage room behind the lab with a ready-to-clean janitor behind him. Two multi-colored puddles were on the floor with a broken jar between them.
"Do your duty," Eggman ordered the purple feline.
"Okey-dokey," the violet cat acknowledged merrily and started working with the mop, leaving nothing but cleanness.
"Ribbit," the frog that sat below the white janitor's cap peered at the world around it and got back inside seeing a huge, frightening predatory Eggman before it.
Shadow's obligation to one worried parent was done. Now he could address less mind-bogging issues.
A chair, a newspaper and a cup of tea – a combination for relaxation, which the principal used that day. He was spending the dull time set for learning to catch on the local news and prevent dehydration of the body. But as the sad doctrine of his life stated, nothing like that continued for long. This rule hadn't had an exception yet. This didn't seem to be the time for the waited exception as well as a collision has occurred in the territory. The hedgehog sprung up to the window and looked outside. A black limousine arrived to the school's parking lot and caused a car accident.
"My car!" Rouge exclaimed when she joined the disturbed headmaster.
It was well known that the bat had been very fond of her yellow M3 convertible. Since she appeared in it nobody but the owner was meant to even touch it. Everyone remembered the fateful day when Sonic bumped into it while making a regular runaway from his most annoying but loving pink hedgehog.
He thought it was too bad that wasn't not faker. He'd like to see round two of his face versus Rouge's roundhouses. Shadow grinned as his mind flew into the world of dreams.
Espio was outside during the incident and just thought about the outcome of the situation. The chameleon got his mobile phone ready to call for an ambulance.
In the meantime, a conversation took place in the culprit's car.
"The mayor took the bribe but didn't sign the contract… O'Really is on vacation and the only legitimate person left is Shadow," the individual inside declared to a listener on the phone line.
"Uh huh… make it happen. Get rid of him or myself…Okay," the person gulped as the discussion continued. "Got it. Don't worry, sir, he'll get it," the one sitting on the back seat ended the conversation and opened the door revealing, who it was.
Silver the Hedgehog, a very awkward person in Shadow's book, with a peacock's fan for a hairdo. Overall, he thought the bozo to be as worrisome as Tails, only neither smart nor useful, therefore an irritating waste of space. The principal saw the guy only twice in his lifetime, but it was enough to know whenever he appeared, someone truly time-consuming was out to make a thrashing entrance.
The director rushed out of the room, but couldn't catch up with Rouge, whose only current goal was to maul someone's grill into a real barbecue.
The limousine's driver had gotten out of the car and looked at the damage that was caused to somebody's silly vehicle.
"Who is less important of you guys?" Espio took the chance of straightening the situation with the Sunday drivers before a violent fury could come and damage him by accident.
The driver looked at the hedgehog and vis-à-vis. Both shrugged, confused by the question. While Shadow's helper tried to fix the problem at least slightly, Rouge arrived in the possible battlefield and so did the head teacher. The plaintiff approached the driver with a highly annoyed face expression, which made the guy feel awkward.
"Did you hit my car?" she asked slowly, so even a retard could understand.
The driver wasn't too bothered to answer, "Is this car yours?"
"Yes, it is… Do you know how much are you going to pay for this?" Rouge asked again with anger building up in her voice.
"I have insurance, so that's not a problem."
"I hope you meant life insurance…" Rouge smirked and got closer to the doomed creature with her mind switched to kill mode.
Although the scene Shadow took part at that moment wasn't as bloody as Rouge's, it still wasn't a jolly good one.
"What are you doing here?" Shadow asked Silver.
"Yeah!" Espio added.
"Don't interrupt," Shadow ordered him.
"Umm…nothing?" the furry replied acting dumb. "Want to make somebody happy?" he asked to introduce the real idea stealthily.
"Yup. I'll be very happy to send you back to GUN, where you came from or wherever you came from," Shadow retorted, folding his arms.
"Yes. It is. I like the way your chauffer is being beaten up," Shadow said as he glanced at Rouge, who was beating the stuffing out of the careless driver.
"Whatever… Look! You won't have to work for as long as you live…maybe longer if you sign this contract," Silver showed him a sheet of paper with a ready agreement, only without one party's signature.
He knew that the approach was a sure failure but it was the only thing left at that time.
Shadow shrugged, "Okay, I'll sign."
"Really?" the gullible furry asked naively.
"No," replied Shadow, snickering at the victim of his wit.
"Because…you're more gullible than Knuckles and will bring evil upon this school. Is that a good explanation?" Shadow explained.
"Ugh! Man, you're dumb!" he shot out from lack of other words.
"Relax, Silver. Your plan was meant to be ruined before your family tree appeared."
"Do you know what am I going to do to you if you don't sign?" he asked, slightly wondering whether a really quizzical tone fit.
"You are going to leave kindly with your half-dead servant before he's entirely dead or I'll call the cops, the navy, the military and GUN," Shadow continued the tirade that was gaining a threatening attitude.
His companion growled, "You haven't seen the last of me!" he said irritably and went to help the bruised and wounded driver.
"Good riddance," Shadow sighed and walked back to the warm school building with Espio behind him.
"And if I see you here again I'll skin you!" Rouge said, starting to tone down, her offender already missing a few frontal teeth.
"O-okay!" the scared creature mumbled out and jumped back into the limo at light speed, locking all doors.
"Hey, you forgot me or something!" Silver exclaimed, forcing the driver to unlock a car door and let him in. A second later, the car left the school grounds.
Rouge was happy: she managed to destroy the car's brakes while bashing its driver.