Okay, here we go! Probably THE most detailed backstory of Shadow the Hedgehog ever to be written down in fanfic. Seriously, just count the chapters. :p The actual re-telling starts in chapter 3, chapter 1 and 2 are...providing the frame story. Hope you'll want to buckle down for one hell of a ride, featuring drama, fluff, action and humour in equal measures! :D
Life could have been so different
I can't remember what I used to be -
Something's turned me all around…
Chapter 1: Death of a Friend
Sonic stared at the rain outside, grey water droplets spattering against the window. His face was expressionless, although if someone knew him well enough, they might have seen something that once could have been fury in his eyes. And if someone looked even closer, it was hard to tell whether the trails of water were only reflected upon his face...
It was days like this one that were the worst; it had happened during a storm much like today and memories were something that even at supersonic speed you sometimes were unable to outrun.
And so, whenever dark grey clouds covered the sky, Sonic the Hedgehog, once the fastest thing alive, was forced to remember. A lightning bolt briefly illuminated his face and the bleak room behind him and the resulting thunder completely drowned out a name he permitted himself utter only ever so rarely these days.
"Sonic! He's right behind us!" the two-tailed fox already sounded out of breath, it was only a matter of time until he would need to slow down.
"I know, lil' buddy! We need to get out of here and fast!" his nervous blue companion responded, towing the smaller kitsune behind him. The red lights flashing everywhere and the sirens blaring did little for his comfort. The sound of their feet clattering on the metal floor pounded in his ear.
Robotnik in his egg-shaped hover car was quickly catching up, since he knew his own fortress better than the both of them by far. Still, they had to get to the control room before him, or else…
The sound of his own door opening interrupted the stream of pictures that kept replaying before Sonic's eyes, the hedgehog for a moment not sure whether he should be grateful or not. He hadn't bothered locking his door, since there was hardly anything in his house worth stealing, he wasn't particularly concerned for his safety anyway, and, of course, visits from his friends had also stopped quite some time ago. No, nowadays there was no one that bothered coming in any more, apart from...
"Everning, hedgehog! What's up? Feeling... should I say 'under the weather'?" the newcomer asked before closing the door, obviously finding his own pun more amusing than it merited.
The Mobian in question turned angrily back to the window. That black hedgehog again, of all places!
"Go away, faker."
The other raised an eye-ridge "What is it with you? The name is Shadow, S-H-A-D-O-W. You know, the Ultimate Lifeform, the Black Blur, the fastest thing alive?" the dark hedgehog regarded his own fingertips smugly as he listed his various nicknames. "And besides, the weather outside is terrible. Don't tell me you would cast me out into that?"
Sonic only receded into an angry silence, feeling the other was defiling the memory of his friend. Once again he could not help recalling those final moments…
"Tails! You have to disable the countdown of Eggman's rocket, I'll distract him!"
The small fox only nodded, his breath now coming in rapid gasps. Sonic dropped him in front of the console where the red numbers were growing ever smaller and sped away to face the would-be world conqueror.
He had only made it to the next room when the human already arrived, fully geared up and ready to fight.
"Your scheme ends here, Doc!" Sonic yelled, leaping into a spindash. Robotnik had been prepared, however, and the hedgehog rebounded harmlessly from a force field around the Egg-O-Matic. Playing with the controls, he glided just a little bit out of Sonic's reach.
"Tsk, tsk, Sonic, I really would have expected something more original from you…what happened to creativity these days? Your dialogue sounds as if you had watched too many Saturday morning cartoons..."
In truth, the blue hero only wanted to distract his enemy, buying Tails time to stop the rocket with the nuclear power core from crashing into Station Square. The impact would wipe out the entire capital, not to mention the radioactive material getting blasted into the atmosphere…
"I don't have time for this, Egghead!" the hedgehog shouted not quite truthfully and leapt again, only missing the hovercraft by inches. "Now give up before I crack you wide open!"
"Is that so, Sonic?" the doctor retorted and simultaneously fired a cluster of missiles at his bouncing nemesis. Sonic dodged them easily enough and only realized his mistake when something else hit him from behind.
"Oh yes, Sonic, oh yes…" Robotnik chuckled maliciously, watching the now helpless hedgehog struggling futilely in a floating bubble. It was one of his masterpieces, the idea had come to him when he had seen the pesky rodent running around in one of his ball-shaped shields – just make the thing float and ta-daa! A prison that even those infamous blue spines could not penetrate.
Even now, Sonic remembered the terrible feeling of being suspended in midair, unable to get a firm hold, unable to create even the slightest bit of friction so he could use his speed or his spin attack…only able to wriggle and squirm as the doctor made his way into the control room, easily navigating the portable prison and his captive using a magnet beam.
Present Sonic squeezed his eyes shut, trying to shut out what came next, but to no avail.
"Hold it right there, fox boy!"
Tails stared at the pair, his hands still in a mess of wires where he had opened up the console. Pearls of sweat stood upon his forehead and the countdown was only a matter of minutes.
Robotnik laughed- the glint of triumph in his eyes. In his red garments, he looked like a horribly distorted version of Santa, delivering a dead puppy for Christmas.
"Yes, your friend is in quite a predicament! But so are you, which you have already found out, no doubt," he bent down to the hedgehog still floating in front of his vehicle with an evil glint in his eye. "You see, rodent…I've rigged the console. Whoever decides to stop the countdown without knowing the password and just cuts the trigger cable…will be blown to bits! A carefully contained blast, now what could be of more entertainment?"
Sonic punched the bubble wall in front of him in sheer fury, not being able to bear the thought.
Robotnik only chuckled over his oppenent's exclamation, cutting into and drowning out Sonic's muffled speech. "Now, now, let's not mar this beautiful moment with foul language, shall we? As for you Tails…I might be persuaded to let you go, if you step carefully away from those cables now. As I told you, it'd be your death otherwise…"
The young fox looked from the scientist to his friend, then at the console and felt his pulse racing. He was well aware of the fact that during all this talking the last precious minutes were ticking away.
"Tails!" Sonic's voice jerked him back to the present. "Tails, leave! I can deal with him! I don't want you to get hurt!"
The hedgehog knew that his friend probably saw right through his words, he himself could see that in his current situation he had no chance of "dealing" with Eggman, but he just couldn't stand letting his adopted little brother die...
"You want to say good-bye to your friend now?" Robotnik interjected with a horrible grin, drawing a laser-gun from his belt to point at Sonic. "There's no way you'll ever interfere with my schemes again, Sonic the Hedgehog…"
"You hold it, Robuttnik!" Tails' hand with the wire-cutter hovered over the cable that would both stop the countdown and detonate the bomb when he cut it. The voice of the kit was trembling, but his eyes shone with a death-defying seriousness that seemed much too old for his child-like face. The human had claimed that the blast would be contained, but the young technical genius could see that this was obviously not quite accurate...
"Let him go, Robuttnick, I mean it! Or else…" The two-tail took a deep breath, preparing himself for what he was about to do.
"Tails, don't!" Sonic threw himself against the boundaries of his prison, pressing both his face and palms against it. Robotnik himself was obviously stunned for the moment that the fox would even think of doing such a thing.
Tails smiled at his friend for the last time and sliced through the cable.
To be continued...