Disclaimer: I do not own shadow of the colossus or Sonic the Hedgehog.


In a place that lies beyond the governance of time, a land beautiful and unblemished, sleeps a great power. A power which protects the land and keeps it from falling to whatever corruption may come. It is a power both great and terrible which permeates through the air, across the emerald plains, into the rocky canyons, below the deepest dungeons and above the highest mountaintops. It is the power to defy all the laws which the gods themselves had set to govern the universe, capable of miracles beyond the scope of mortal imagination.

Yet many of these same mortals have sought to obtain this power and to harness it for their own purposes, for good or ill. And because they are mortal, they cannot understand how truly dark this power must be, to defy the will of the creators.

Then again, being immortal doesn't help much in that regard either. Not if the need is great enough.

This is the story of a dark guardian, serving those who he should have every reason to hate, but for the wish of one little girl. Happiness for a world she had never truly known, for a people who had ended her dreams forever.

This is the story of how he would grant this girl her wish.


Shadow the Hedgehog stood before the ancient staircase with a look that told the world that there was absolutely nothing that would stand in his way. Not in this.

There was nothing unusual about him on this day, in this place. Same upturned style to his spines, same red eyes, same patch of white fur on his chest.

The only item of note was the sword he held in his right hand.

His ebony black spines swayed softly with the wind as he looked to the staircase, and beyond that to the cliff which rose up before him. But of course it would not be a problem. But first, he had to reconfirm his target.

Shadow held the blade high above his head, catching sunlight on its metallic surface, and forced his will upon it. The light of Sol seemed to come alive, dancing along the surface of the sword. And although no one else would be able to hear it, to Shadow's ears did the sword give its song. A light, rhythmic hymn, in tune with the dancing light on the blade's surface.

But Shadow cared not for the song, the beauty, or the joy that the ancient keepers would have felt under this very same light. A single, thick ray of light headed towards the surface of the cliff face before him, and seemed to pass through the obstacle of dirt and stone.

Shadow closed his eyes, concentrating, ignoring the sounds of the beautiful, forbidden land. And sure enough, the ultimate life form's heightened sense of hearing picked up the sound of lumbering steps.

Shadow sped forward, air shoes flaring.

You'll be the first…


Shadow leapt above the giant's clumsy strike, noting with no more than a cursory glance the way chaos energy seemed to crackle wildly across its club.

Shadow evaded more chaos fueled strikes, almost pitying the creature for thinking it could truly avoid its second end. Even as large chunks of land were torn violently from the ground, Shadow did nothing more than watch for the sign. The sign his faceless guide had told him would reveal itself…

to thine blade's light.

Shadow focused his will on the blade again, watching the monstrosity before him as it now crackled with chaos energy, desperately calling upon more of this new, unknown power to save itself.

There was no hope for the giant.

Shadow did not care for its clumsy showing of power. Instead, he made one great leap towards the colossus' head, and latched on tightly to its fur. Tiny sparks of chaos energy seemed to explode around him, but what did the hedgehog care. Chaos was more his than it would ever be any other living thing's.

Shadow saw before him a glowing glyph, burning brightly with the same kind of light that had danced across his sword. This was it then. The giant's only weakness. The only way to end its existence.

And to grant Maria hers.

Shadow held on more tightly to the thing's fur as it started to buck wildly. It knew what he was about to do, and so the black hedgehog saw no reason to delay any further.

He raised his sword…

Stab.

The giant gave a shrill cry of pain and fear, this feeling familiar. The black ichor that passed for the giant's blood gushed from the wound, covering Shadow from head to toe. The one to whom the injury was given redoubled its efforts to shake off the one who had brought it pain anew.

Shadow did not oblige.

Stab.

A cry of anguish and horror. More black blood flowed. The giant could feel its life slipping away once more. It would NOT end this way. Not again.

Not again!

The walls of stone on either side of the two combatants had served to limit the area of the battle, but the giant saw them now as its last chance.

Shadow readied for another blow, so focused on his task that he did not see the great wall of stone come rushing to greet him. Fortunately, Shadow himself was one of the few beings he knew personally who could survive such a collision without being reduced to nothing more than so much paste. Though a certain homicidal robot and particularly thick headed echidna would have been much more well suited for experiencing such a blunt retort.

But that would not stop him. And the giant felt this too, as the hedgehog had not let go.

So it rammed the wall again.

And again.

And again. Until Shadow was struggling just to keep his vision straight, not to mention trying to keep his grip on his blade.

Sadly though, the hedgehog was not able to keep his hands on the brown mat of thick fur, and so he fell. As he struggled to remain conscious, he hear the ragged breath of his quarry, and he knew it was raising its weapon to crush him in a very satisfying matter.

Lo and behold, when Shadow opened his eyes, he saw that the creature did indeed have its weapon raised. It was a strange creature really. At first, Shadow thought that the stone that covered some parts of its body was worn as armor. But they seemed too naturally situated on the creature's body… almost as if the stone itself were a part of it. Perhaps nothing more than a strange kind of bone? After all, something so large would need tougher bone to support its own mass, right? Maybe?

Strange, the things you can think about with a chaos enhanced mind trying to cope with excruciating pain. And the things you could notice too. Such as the stone that served as some sort of armor for the giant, constituting leggings, boots, arm bands, shoulder armor and a face mask. And it was somewhat human shaped as well, with a masked face somewhat akin to some bearded man who looked somewhat like a bear. Or perhaps some kind of flat nosed bull? It's those small protruding horns, as stone-like as its masked face, they…

Shadow leapt from his comfy spot on the ruined ground roughly one E-100 model second from obliteration. And those were some quick seconds.

Curling into a ball and rolling at a fraction of supersonic speed, Shadow sped to the edge of the small plateau where he had found his first target.

Shadow could see its eyes behind the mask of stone, a deep blood red where they had once been a less threatening yellow. Crackling with chaos energy and looking very pissed, Shadow was wondering if his ultimate life form body could hurry the hell up and recover from its recent abuse.

Then the thing charged forward, much, much faster than Shadow would have thought possible for something of its size. The ground shook with each explosive step forward.

Shadow, on reflex, fired of several spikes of yellow chaos energy, but his trademark chaos spear seemed to be doing little damage. But his legs were not going to move him another inch at the moment, so he fired of another several blows. They connected, even seemed to push him a bit, but they barely slowed him down.

This was when Shadow decided to try his luck tripping up the giant. After all, the bigger they are…


The colossus was unimpressed with the tiny creature's flashes of light. It would crush both it and the glowing shard, ridding the land of their threat once and for all.

If the colossus even knew how, it would probably have laughed when the creature started throwing lights from all sides. At the feet. Most were thrown from the creature, and some simply came into existence behind. But what did it expect to…

PAIN!


The ancient giant had learned, to its dismay, that even the smallest of creatures could be deadly. Once, it had sought to simply swat aside the small, pale creature that had shown itself a nuisance, sticking its great hide with tiny, wooden needles. But the small, pale thing had not stood still, had not let itself be ground into the dirt like so many other unfortunate little creatures. The giant had sought to end the confrontation quickly, so that it may return to its wandering ways.

But instead, there had been pain.

At first, the giant had noticed nothing, but then he had felt a tiny tickle at its furry hindlegs, just above its stone hooves. Even if its mind had been capable of more quickly grasping the situation, it never would have considered the tiny being a threat. Surely something so small had no chance of causing one so mighty any injury.

But pain is supposed to be a lesson. A reminder that one is not invincible, and a guide as to where one should protect themselves. And as the giant fell for the very first time, it could only wonder, in its own unique, wordless way:

Why?

Perhaps it would have been interested in the story of Achilles, if it had ever been so inclined. But alas, its peaceful existence in the forbidden land was cut short.

Decades later, having barely been able to enjoy its most recent rebirth, the giant had forgotten its lesson.

Once again, its life would be claimed in the name of love.


Shadow didn't know what to think when he saw the thing lose its footing just a few feet from smashing him, but the hedgehog was glad. He dove out of the way of the raging giant and watched as it tried to reorient itself, failed miserably at that, and fell.

There was a loud boom that resonated all across the peaceful valley. Birds fled their trees in a flurry, trees bore early fruit to appease the angry earth gods, and lizards scuttled into their dark hiding places, fearing what it might have been which had caused the very earth to shake, lest they be trodden underfoot like so many of their brethren once upon a time long past.

The black hedgehog limped slightly towards the edge and peered down at the giant as it tried to right itself yet again. It seemed… dazed somehow, as if it was having difficulty figuring out which side up the world was.

Understandable, it had landed on its head.

Shadow looked down below at the creature, between the glowing glyph on top of its head and the singing sword in his hand. There was only one thing on the hedgehog's mind at the moment.

I miss chaos control.

Alright. There were only two things on the hedgehog's mind at the moment.

Chaos control or no, Shadow would not let this opportunity slip. He made a short run to the edge despite his body's very vocal complaints, and leaped off over the cliff face and down towards the giant.

One moment, the colossus was wondering why the world would not stop spinning. The next thing it knew, it had.

Shadow reacted with slight distaste at the black blood that spurted from the wound over the glyph, but noted with satisfaction that the colossus had suddenly gone slack. It was falling again, and this time it would have no further need to worry about a headache.

Shadow rode the colossus all the way to the ground, and when it was over, he took a moment to wipe its blood of his fur, and to look around for a good place to sit down and recuperate. The thing may have been horribly slow, but Shadow had to be careful not to let his guard down. This was a mission he could not afford to fail.

As Shadow silently chastised himself for underestimating his foe, he did not notice that the giant seemed to be losing its color at an alarming rate. The body turned pitch black, losing something of an edge to its features as it also lost its color, somehow becoming less real as the color kept fading. The dark energy which seemed to rise from the colossus formed a mass of dark tentacles, wildly moving about, seeking a host.

Shadow noticed all of this, but not before he noticed the raw, squelching sound of flesh being pierced.

Shadow lost his grip on his sword then, as he noticed the half a dozen or so dark tentacles wriggling before him, they having calmly passed through his chest as if that were perfectly all right. The hedgehog could not breath, could not move, could not even feel the horrible pain he was certain he should be experiencing at this point in time. Surely being stabbed through the chest should hurt more than simply being crushed bodily against a wall by a giant.

No! Not now. I can't... fail... now...

The world around him faded to nothing.


Shadow opened his eyes again… except what he saw before him was not the strangely beautiful landscape of the forbidden land, but instead a mass of tiny lights, speeding past his very being, all across a background of pitch black. There was no sound, no touch, no smell, and certainly no taste. Shadow was not even certain if he was seeing what was before him rather than feeling.

Then there came a voice. A small, melodic voice, too faint to make out. The black hedgehog picked up on it straight away, having nothing else around to interfere with his senses. As quickly as the voice had come, it had now gone, with not even an echo to show it had been there at all. But Shadow knew he had heard it, that sweet, angelic voice. Familiar somehow, though he did not know what it was it had been saying.

Finally, at the end of the starry highway there lay the exit, a point of brilliant light which grew with each passing second, until the essence of what is Shadow the Hedgehog passed through, and returned to the land of peace, beauty and darkness.


AN:Short, but this is only the beginning. The first was rather easy anyway.

Hope anybody who read this enjoyed it. If you enjoyed it well enough, drop a line or two. And if you didn't… drop a line or two. Criticism is good for the soul! (lots of fiber ya know)