Don't Let Me Fall

Chapter Six: According to Plan

Previous Day 7:33 pm – GUN Headquarters

The atmosphere was cold, metallic, and dark. Careful ears perked up, carefully listening to any incoming danger to signal an escape. The silence was deafening in the computer room, but the woman knew she couldn't let her guard down. Blue-green eyes moved as fast as they could, reading a computer screen as information flowed. She analyzed the information quickly and thoroughly, switching screens whenever she was done with the current page. Her eyes narrowed as she stumbled on information about Shadow the Hedgehog. It had been true after all, what the Doctor and the Commander had told her… he was alive.

Rouge continued to read the screen as more information about her target appeared. The only words that described the hedgehog in the files identified him as a dangerous threat, a weapon, not a word referred to him as a living being. When it came down to it, GUN overlooked Shadow's actions during the ARK incident and had not taken them into consideration with their current plan to dispose of him— this was shown by the various methods of eliminating him that were displayed in the screen.

The bat woman finished reading the information and set everything back how it was. She opened an air vent and entered it, sneaking out of the room quietly. As she traveled down to her next destination, her thoughts troubled her. The Commander had given her orders to find and retrieve Shadow so that he could not be used against them. However, he had not informed her of his true intentions once the hedgehog was captured. Now, fully aware of the truth, she knew she couldn't possibly work for their mission. If their plans involved disposing of Shadow, the reason they were still alive to that day, she did not want to be part of it. He had saved the world! And yet, to GUN… he was nothing more than a weapon.

Light entered the vent; she was closing in on the next exit. Once at the end, she took out the metal cover with ease and came out on the upper right corner of a white room. The small room contained a single bed, a table, a couple of writing boards, a single piece of chalk… and a strange looking man with black glasses and a messy mustache.

"I see you're back," the egg-shaped man stated, his back to her.

Rouge glided down behind the Doctor and placed her hands on her hips, "You really were telling the truth."

"Why would I lie, my dear Rouge?" his black specs shone because of the multiple bright lights in the room.

The blue-eyed bat crossed her arms and began to think about his earlier offer to help him escape GUN and save Shadow in exchange for a Chaos Emerald. The offer itself was tempting, but she knew that Eggman could turn against her at any given moment if his true plan called for it. But if she allowed GUN to get their hands on Shadow, they would kill the ebony hedgehog without remorse. She began to weight the sides, which one benefited her the most? And when it came down to it… how did it benefit Eggman? Rouge narrowed her eyes and spoke, "Why do you want to rescue Shadow?"

Eggman turned to see the white bat behind him and began, "Shadow was my grandfather's greatest creation! I can't possibly let GUN destroy him. Shadow, the Ultimate Lifeform, is his legacy!"

Rouge stared at the doctor, trying to find any hint that may lead her to believe it was a trap. However, the doctor seemed to be honest with his words and he had told her the truth about Shadow being alive before GUN had; not only that, but he informed her of their true intentions. She didn't have a reason to oppose his proposition… and there was also a chaos emerald involved as a reward for helping him.

"Besides," Doctor Eggman continued, "Shadow saved the world. He saved me and you!" He turned around, back to the board he had been writing on, "You can say that in a way, you owe him a favor."

Bat ears perked up at the sound of his words.

10:02 am - Tails' Workshop

Amy Rose leaned against the door that separated her from the crimson and black hedgehog. She felt her knees grow weak as she stood quietly outside the room. After a few seconds, she gave in to the pressure and slowly slid to the floor; she then moved her hands to her palpitating heart and closed her eyes to hear the loud thumps that seem to cause her immense delight.

After a few minutes, emerald eyes peeked from their hiding place and looked down at the pair of hands on her chest. The image of her hands gratefully grasping Shadow's came rushing back. She remembered those bewildered ruby eyes, puzzled by her actions, fixed on hers; deep pools of red, dark and mysterious, yet bright and captivating.

A smile spread across Amy's face as she closed her eyes once more. She allowed her body and mind to absorb the sensation that love caused. Taking small sips of it, like sweet nectar that fueled her existence. And although she had felt lost in love before, the feelings seemed somehow different. Perhaps this was caused by the unexpected source of emotions.

"Shadow the Hedgehog…" she muttered, hoping that his name would guide her mind to the reasons why her heart had so suddenly grown attached to him. But trying to apprehend the concept of affection and infatuation of her heart was like trying to catch a fish in water.

Inadvertently, the forming attraction the rose hedgehog felt towards the onyx male was caused by many factors. One of them being the fact that the young girl was that, young; her age caused her to be innocent, naïve, ditzy, and even fickle. Barely a teen, her world constantly changed in a day to day basis. It was a fact that she sustained silly notions of 'possible' futures with whom she believed was the love of her life, but she was beginning to realize that things were quite different outside her fantasies. Her world had suddenly taken a wild turn, her emotions and thoughts at play.

Other elements adding to her affection were the protection the dark hedgehog offered during the frantic chase; especially his willingness to sacrifice his life for her, knowing very little about her. As well as the comfort she felt while around him. Although the male was cold and distant at times, she felt strangely at ease with him; the solace of his presence being enough to get her through their troublesome ordeal and even leading her to stay with him after it.

Despite not being aware of her true emotions, the pink hedgehog couldn't deny what she felt was strong affection and made no efforts to dismiss her beating heart. Love, she believed, wasn't something to be ignored and instead deserved to be nurtured— even when it came from the most unusual places. It had certainly caught her off guard but as confusing and strange as it was… the satisfaction it brought was mesmerizing.

Amy's eyes slowly opened as her thoughts and feelings stumbled upon an obstruction: she had already handed her heart out, long ago, to the blue blur. She was certain she loved Sonic… it was clear, wasn't it? He, more than anyone, had rescued her from danger. His irresistible charm could send her immediately to cloud nine. They had shared many adventures; he was her hero. Could she possibly love two with one heart?

The young girl was unable to answer her question and grew troubled. She didn't want to deny what she felt for the ebony hedgehog, but acknowledging her feelings made matters difficult. But more than anything, she was sure that her heart wouldn't lie to her! She was certain by 'the signs' that she was falling in love with the unlikely hero.

A sigh escaped her lips; it was becoming increasingly obvious to her that love was more complicated than she could imagine. Two individuals, different from one another, and yet sharing the same magnitude in her beating heart.

Amy Rose stood up and, to her dismay, came back to reality at the sound of footsteps down the hall. Her eyes moved to see who the visitor was and her already sensitive heart jumped at the sight of the blue hero that approached her.

"Hey, Ames!" greeted Sonic with a grin on his face. His emerald eyes and body pose reflecting his carefree personality and charm.

The rose girl's heart was being worked down to its core; the overload caused her to feel flustered and confused. The bright presence of the hedgehog before her caused her as much pleasure as turmoil. Trying to quickly piece herself back together she responded overtaken, "Sonic..."

"I was just coming here to see if Shadow was awake," said the blue hedgehog, oblivious to the conflict the girl felt. He continued, "I have something very important to tell him."

Amy nodded and stood still in front of him. He observed her curiously and scratched the back of his head. His emerald eyes carefully watched her, and he began to tap his foot nervously. He opened his mouth and tried to speak before shutting it again. She felt her heart work even harder at that moment; it had already been continuously beating faster than usual, without rest, since she had left the room. She gazed at the hero and she too grew nervous, not knowing what the blue hedgehog wanted to say.

The blue hero looked at the ground and then back up at the girl before trying to speak, "Um— Amy…"

This is it, she thought, a love confession! The long awaited confession from the one she had given her heart to long ago! Just on time, to stop her heart from beating for another! Although she had always waited for it, at that moment, he had caught her off guard. So many emotions in one day…! She wasn't sure if she was ready at that moment but she waited patiently for the male to speak.

"Could you please—" he continued nervously, his foot tapping faster on the floor.

'Go on a date!' she completed his sentence in her head.

"Uh— Amy, you're blocking the door…" he finally said.

Surprised and embarrassed, the pink hedgehog grew red. It had certainly not been what she was thinking…! She hesitantly moved out of the way and watched Sonic go inside the room. His back to her… The romantic encounter, like many before, shattered in her mind. However, for the first time she was glad nothing had happened, for it would only add more confusion to her already overwhelmed heart.

12: 25 pm – Unknown Location

Shadow the Hedgehog skated across the land as a helicopter chased him rabidly through the woods. A shower of bullets rained down on him, but his fast reflexes and speed allowed him to dodge them without breaking a sweat. His eyes watched the aircraft carefully; the attack upon the arrival to his destination was unexpected. The ebony hedgehog narrowed his eyes, "It's time to end this chase once and for all." Without hesitating, the hedgehog sharply turned around and began to run towards the chopper. The bullets grew more accurate as he approached his enemies, but he never flinched. He picked up speed and powered up his legs before jumping into the air. He moved his hand in front of his body, getting ready to attack with a chaos spear, but stopped his attack once he caught a glimpse of a familiar white bat in the cabin.

Aboard the plane, with GUN soldiers, was Rouge giving commands and carefully examining the hedgehog as he headed towards them. Her blue eyes met with ruby red as the male hedgehog landed on the helicopter's hood. Only the bullet proof glass separated them. A grin spread across his face, "I thought it was you."

The bat woman opened the door of the chopper and jumped out into the air. She spread her wings and flew next to the aircraft as she approached Shadow in the hood. She pulled out a pair of glowing neon blue ring, capable of extending and capturing him, and aimed at the hedgehog.

The crimson and black hedgehog saw this and jumped off the hood; the handcuffs barely missing him. He curled up in a ball and then landed safely on the floor. He turned around to see the aircraft pass him by and the bat fall behind, heading towards him. The woman landed on the floor in front of him and assumed a fighting pose, "It's time you give up Shadow!"

Behind the two old allies, the GUN chopper landed. Soldiers ran out of the aircraft and surrounded the black hedgehog. He took a battle stance and prepared to fight the woman before him. He narrowed his eyes as a response to the sight before him and said, "I should have known you'd betray me…"

"I will turn you in," she said as she ran towards him, "and obtain my reward!"

Shadow jumped in the air to dodge the attack, but the bat saw through this and jumped after him. She extended her wings, trying to take advantage of the wind to catch him on the air. However, he pulled out his chaos emerald and warped back to the floor before he was able to catch her. A malicious grin spread across his face, knowing he had the advantage over her, but it was soon erased when he felt the floor underneath him move, "What the-?"

"Perfect!" said the white bat as she headed down to the floor and saw her trap capture her target. The ebony hedgehog was now at her mercy; he was trapped by a crystal box the moment he landed on the ground. "I knew you would be warping around… so I decided to lure you into a trap."

The dark hedgehog still held the red chaos emerald firmly in his hand and prepared to warp out of the box. However, nothing happened once he harnessed the power of the emerald. He remained inside in the crystal box and watched as a grin spread across the bat's face.

Rouge walked towards the box, "This box is made from a special material that neutralizes the power of the chaos emeralds… especially designed by Doctor Eggman." The bat turned around and headed to the helicopter, "There's no way you can escape."

Shadow watched the woman walk away and give a signal for the GUN soldiers to approach the crystal box. He was then carried into the air as the soldiers headed inside the aircraft. Once inside, a screen lit up and displayed the image of the GUN Commander.

"Good job agent Rouge," his eyes watched the box with the dark hedgehog inside. "You will get your reward once you make it back safely to HQ."

"Yes, sir," the white bat responded before the screen turned off on its own.

Inside the box, the ebony hedgehog grinned, his eyes locked on Rouge. Their performance had been successful at convincing the Commander that she had captured Shadow. Without any mishaps, they were ready to go to the headquarters and carry on with their plan.

Earlier 10:15 am - Tails' Workshop

The morning breeze entered the room through the open window. The white sheets of the bed were placed to one side and the skates belonging to the Shadow, and the hedgehog himself, were missing from the small room.

Emerald eyes moved to the window and narrowed at the sight, "He's gone…!"

Outside the room, pink ears twitched at the sound of the words and Amy grew alarmed, "But he was just here!" She walked in the room and spotted the open window. "But where did he go?" she inquired running to the open window and looking outside, hoping to see him.

"To GUN's headquarters no doubt!" the blue hero clenched his fist and continued, "If he had only waited! He's heading right to a trap!"

"What?" the rose girl exclaimed, turning to see the male.

Sonic narrowed his eyes as he spoke, "Eggman is trying to capture Shadow and is most likely going to do it when he tries to go after GUN at the headquarters!"

"But what does Eggman want with Shadow?"

The blue hedgehog turned around and began to walk out of the room, "I don't know yet…" He turned around to see the pink girl, "In any case, we have to stop Eggman from capturing Shadow!"

Amy nodded and followed the blue hero out the room. Her thoughts traveled to the ebony hedgehog that had saved her life and the unexpected trouble that awaited him.

1:45 pm – GUN Headquarters

The smell of smoke filled the white room as wires were being connected to green chips with bits of melting metal. Doctor Robotnik carefully worked on his new creation, his specialized glasses never separating from it. After a few minutes, he backed away from the work-in-progress and moved to check the time on his wrist watch.

It had been close to three days since he had been captured, and although GUN soldiers regulated and limited the amount of metallic material he was allowed to have in the room at once, he had managed to make more with few. He had created various tools to aid him on the making of his new device. He truly was a genius, the egotistical man boasted in his head, for managing to work on his true doomsday device in limited quarters and with nothing more than piles of scrap.

Black specs moved down to the object before him to resume their work. Although cameras watched him carefully, the soldiers in charge of surveilling him knew very little about the projects he was supposed to be working on. The Doctor worked in the open, without a worry about anyone suspecting anything. And even in case anyone grew suspicious, he didn't really care… for he was going to escape soon from his cursed prison.

According to his calculations, he had enough time to finish working on the prototype for his ultimate weapon before Rouge and Shadow arrived at the headquarters. If everything had gone as planned, there was the probability that they might even arrive sooner than he anticipated! All in all, he expected perfection from his team! They were quite a pair, capable of many incredible tasks. It was a shame that he had to turn against such a formidable duo to achieve his true goal… capturing Shadow the Hedgehog.

The ebony hedgehog was essential for his current plan to build the Eggman Empire. After a year devoted to vigorous study of the chaos abilities displayed by the hedgehog, Doctor Eggman realized the potential of using such abilities to conquer the world! By merely watching his abilities, the crazed man had been able to build blueprints for a prototype capable of imitating Shadow's power… but to a much lesser degree. He knew that in order to make his device more potent he needed the hedgehog himself, to study the genetic components that made him so formidable.

In a year's time he developed a plan that would allow him to reach his goals. The first step was to build the prototype itself. In order to that, he had to infiltrate GUN's base and obtain a special military cloth-like material that made his device flexible and strong enough to handle the vast amounts of energy that was emitted by the chaos control. The second step was to capture Shadow to study his genetic make up and abilities to use chaos control to further develop device. And the third and final step was to put the components together and build a machine… some sort of robot, capable of using chaos control to take over the world. Knowing this, Doctor Eggman had manipulated the course of events from the very beginning. All in an effort to obtain the various pieces that were indispensable to his ultimate plan.

Doctor Ivo Robotnik, a mad scientist that dreamed of world conquest could see his plan coming together without any unforeseen problems. Stage one was complete, he thought as he finished the device before him. He took the cloth-like material and equipped himself with what he called 'The Chaos Control Glove', capable of manipulating time and space. He clenched his hand and his black specs shone with the light of the white room. One step down… two more to go! And the second was coming right to him…

1:57 pm – GUN Headquarters

The helicopter landed safely on a landing pad at the GUN headquarters. After coming to a complete stop, the platform where the aircraft stood began to descend, taking it underground. Lights turned on alongside the platform and the 'elevator' moved down faster until coming to a complete stop.

Rouge stood up and walked out of the chopper once the door opened; GUN soldiers with the crystal box and the black hedgehog followed closely behind. She stood in front of a door with a keypad and quickly entered the password that allowed the door to open.

The underground passage was cold and metallic. Bright lights illuminated the tunnel as the group walked down the quiet hall. The only sounds heard were the steps of the GUN agents as they headed down to a room with a single prison cell. The GUN soldiers placed the crystal box with Shadow on the floor of the cell and ran out before the white bat entered another code on a keypad that closed the cell with two electric barriers.

The bat woman observed the crimson and black hedgehog in the crystal box inside the prison and walked away. It was time for her to do her part of the job in order to allow him to escape from the cell and rescue Doctor Eggman. Although initially she was supposed to tell him the plan before she brought him to the headquarters, she did not count on the Commander sending his own men with her instead of the androids controlled by Eggman. That was the reason she was forced to ambush Shadow at the determined location. However, thankfully the hedgehog was smart enough to figure out that there had been a change of plans.

Rouge continued to walk down the hall and began to laugh quietly. The dark hedgehog was very creative and quite an actor. From the moment he saw the female inside the cabin of the helicopter he knew something had gone wrong. Trusting his instincts, he lost their fight on purpose and even allowed himself to be captured by the crystal box. He even gave her the idea to say that the box had the ability to neutralize chaos powers! He knew that there was nothing special about the trap and thought quickly to downplay their fight. By stopping his chaos powers on the spot, he hinted that he understood the situation, allowing her to improvise to decrease the wasted time.

The woman had to admit that the dark hedgehog was quite admirable. He had full control of his chaos abilities… In a way she could see why GUN saw him as a threat. Her rouged lips formed a frown at the thought and her determination to help her ally grew. Soon, she began to walk quickly down the main hall. Her heels clacked on contact with the metal floor as she continued to walk to her next destination.

Meanwhile, back at the cell, Shadow leaned back against one of the walls of the crystal box that contained him. He placed his hands behind his head and crossed his legs. His ruby eyes moved up to see the ceiling of the small jail, past the crystal container… "Capable of neutralizing chaos powers…" said the hedgehog out loud.

The black hedgehog closed his eyes and waited patiently inside the cell. The quiet atmosphere that he would usually welcome made him feel uneasy at that moment. He opened his eyes and turned to one side, expecting a pair of emerald eyes to be watching him like they had before at the cave or in the room at Tails' Workshop. Instead of vivid green, there was an empty corner of the cell… The company that the rose girl had brought during the chase seemed more gratifying than the silence that now made his acquaintance.

Author's Notes: Thank you for reading chapter 6! Initially this chapter was supposed to be a lot longer... but I divided the idea into two separate chapters seeing as I ran out of time and I needed to update. There are certain parts of the chapter I liked, and certain parts I didn't (such as Sonic's dialogue and Amy's reaction). Overall, this chapter was mostly done to advance the plot line, although I threw in a bit of subtle romance from Shadow at the end.

I would like to receive more feedback and reviews for the story, especially this chapter and chapter 5. Please, if you read the story I would appreciate it if you can take a moment of your time and review. Any comments, suggestions, ideas, or simply an opinion over the chapter or the story overall are welcomed! As always, a special thanks for those who read the story and reviewed!

ALSO, a super special thanks to Jazzy B. Real who drew an amazing fan art based on chapter 5's battle aftermath scene. You can find the link to the fan art on my profile in the description of 'Current Stories- Don't Let Me Fall'; there you can also find information on the progress of a new ShadAmy story I'm currently writing titled Carpe Diem.

Chapter 7 Preview: Betrayal

Doctor Eggman carefully plotted every step that would lead to his ultimate plan and its success. With all the pieces in play like he had anticipated, will he succeed at capturing Shadow and conquering the world? Will the Sonic Heroes arrive on time?

Until Next Time!