Race You through the Shadows


I'm not really sure why I'm here, fighting countless robotic legions, putting my life in danger. Come to think of it, I haven't been sure of much of anything lately. Everything's so confusing, like I started reading a story in the middle. I know who I am – the ultimate life form – but I don't know why I'm here. I know that I'm angry – past angry, furious – but I don't know who I'm angry with. When I try to look back, there's only darkness and emptiness inside. Constantly, layers of hate from my past torment me, but the past itself has dissipated, dissolved. I'm in the middle of my life, and I don't know the beginning or end.

Some things, preprogrammed procedures, survived whatever monster murdered my memories. It takes only a fraction of a second for me to react to a missile or punch. Amazingly, my senses are still sharp, my speed unmatched. But I am dangerously impulsive and harsh. The essence of who I am, the recollections that drive my actions, are gone. I'm a powerful slave to an anonymous past, blindly following a master that I don't even know. Shifting to follow its lead. Like a shadow.

My fury isn't just from the past, though. It's partly a reaction to my amnesia – the lack of memory fuels my unexplained rage. I still have vague scars from my earlier days, but no one to blame them on. So I turn violent. Maybe that's why I'm on this wild robot-killing rampage. They're something to hit.

I also take my anger out on time. Technically, it was time that stole my memories. Time is a good thing to blame because I can take revenge on it. It only takes two words, but they are words of power – of commanding, majestic might. "Chaos… control!" Then time is at my mercy, warping and bending and stopping as I wish.

The bat girl – Rouge – claims that my real enemy is Eggman, that it was probably he who shattered my past. Supposedly, I fell from some "Space Colony ARK" thing. Whatever. I don't care – I don't care about anything anymore. I'm starting over, beginning from scratch. All I care about is obtaining a new reputation and indomitable strength. But I do like Rouge, though. She's outgoing and witty, with clear goals, not to mention killer battle skills. She's pretty hot, too.

Then there's Omega. The E-Series battle machine. Truthfully, I don't really like him, and not just because his first action after reactivating was to try and kill me. He's just dead, robotic, driven by a computer brain and instinctive self-preservation instead of lifelike emotions and desires. Even worse, his vocabulary sounds like he swallowed a dictionary. When enemy robots come, he doesn't say, "I'm gonna shoot 'em! Get out of the way!" He blathers, "Eradicate! Step aside, primitive life forms, or be annihilated!" Even though we both have anger issues, Omega's… distant.

I admit, we're quite a diverse trio. But for now, our paths are intertwined. We're a team, entering dark, treacherous places together in unity. That would be a good name for our force. "Team Dark."

Maybe I'll strike out on my own eventually. But for now, I'm confused; I need someone to follow. Most of my own aspirations are lost in my past, so I'll join Rouge's quest and fight this random Eggman guy. For now, I'm a follower. A shadow.

One of these days, I won't miss the past, because I'll have created a great future. I'll stand on the earth's highest mountain peak, my midnight spikes and crimson stripes illuminated by firelight; shoes shined and glittering; red eyes piercing; arms crossed; hands clutching the seven chaos emeralds and their invincible power. My power. All creatures will acknowledge my victory and total independence. Finally, I won't be just a shadow. I will be the shadow. The shadow who depends on no one. The shadow who none dare to defy. The shadow I was and hope to become. I will be the unstoppable shadow of strength, skill, speed, and preparedness.

Shadow the Hedgehog.