Live and Learn

Prologue: Enter the Ultimate Lifeform

Prison Island: Inside the Base-

"Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Security breach at gate 3! Intruder has been located in the North Quadrants and is moving in the direction of the underground base! All unite prepare to engage! Emergency battle formations! Standard Battle Procedures initiated! Locate and stop the intruder from entering the security area! This is not a drill! Repeat: This is not a drill…"

Dr. Ivo Robotnik, otherwise nicknamed by his arch nemesis and probably forever doomed to Eggman, just recently broke into a tight security prison. Only he knew the reasons behind his intrusion, sealed by an evil smirk. No mere security walls were a match for his Egg Walker, blowing up everything in sight.

"Mwahahahaha! That was all too easy!" he cackled as he fought his way deeper into the prison. "Let's take a look at what my grandfather was working on…a top secret military weapon! The military shut down the research because they feared it!"

That bit of info was enough to make Eggman giddy with joy- a weapon that even the military feared? All they had to do was look at and he could take over the entire world! He let out another bellow of a laugh before shooting down another door and continuing to make his way through.

"Level 1 security door breached."

"Nothing will stand in my way…" Eggman growled. Security robots arrived to stop the intruder, but they were blown to pieces within seconds of entering Eggman's sight. Boxes were knocked down, after being left deserted for who knew how many years, and Eggman descended to a lower part of the floor. He made a left and destroyed another round of robots with his missiles. It was so nice of the prison warrens to put red arrows on the walls, leading him straight to where no one should be headed in the first place.

"Lever 2 security door breached."

Eggman stepped into the second level, onto an elevator that started to descend. More machines appeared to stop Eggman, so the doctor had his blasting-work cut out for him. One came in on the left- bam! Another one on the right- pow! One behind him? It was history! One falling down from the sky? Not anymore! Eggman rocketed over to a hidden sector, where normal intruders couldn't reach without a flying machine. More red arrows vibrantly stood out on the walls, and Eggman smirked before detonating another Level 2 door.

"So much for the top criminal facility around!"

Eggman blasted a security camera and kept an eye on those red arrows. At the end of his current hall, a Level 3 door slid shut. Eggman rolled his eyes and removed that "threat" also.

"Level 3 security door breached. Intruder has breached sections 3-8. Get him."

Obviously nothing could get him because he was charging right through and getting closer to the top secret destination. The Level 4 door wasn't too far away, and the robot guards certainly didn't add to the challenge.

"Level 4 security door breached."

Another elevator type-platform was at the entrance to Level 4, and Eggman waited semi-patiently as it took him way down. Those blaring sirens were starting to make Eggman's head ring, and the robots in the area weren't helping matters either.

"Away with you, you pests!" hissed the doctor, shooting all robots to their doom. Once the elevator stopped, Eggman marched proudly toward Level 5. Crates became nothing but practice targets, and that Level 5 door- wait, what Level 5 door?

"Lever 5 security door breached. Switch to emergency defense mode. Lockdown final security doors."

Eggman paid no attention to the broadcasting voice and demolished a door with a "Level 6" on it. Beyond that was another door exactly like it.

"Is this really the best they can do?"

He stormed into a lower area, more than ready to obtain that ultimate weapon. Robots in the area were taken out, and the same could be said for yet another Level 5 door. Just as Eggman was about to make another comment, a stronger security door with a "G" on it slammed shut and prevent any further access. Eggman just gave a minute nod.

"Hmph. At least they stepped it up a little."

Eggman got past the first door by activating a "G" missile- why that was there to counteract the whole purpose of the door itself was beyond him. Unless, of course, only geniuses should be able to figure out the code to activate the missile in the first place. The Egg Walker jumped down, and Eggman silently cheered; he had reached his goal.

Eggman was feeling so joyful he unintentionally burst out with one of his enemy's catchphrases- "Hahaha! Piece of cake…"

He now stood before a huge rusty door with a large yellow "Level 7" on it, and Eggman already knew that no amount of explosives could get through that thing. He had hacked into the system before he entered the base- unfortunately not able to turn off the alarms- so he was able to get through the door anyway.

"Oh ho!" he gasped in awe. His walker stomped up to some sort of containment device, glowing in neon blues and greens. "So this is the military's top secret weapon? It's a lot smaller than I expected. Enter user data…aha, enter password…" Eggman reached out of his ride and started typing on a nearby keyboard. "Password is MA-RI-A. Maria! Now all I have to do is place the Chaos Emerald into this console…"

He pulled out the white Chaos Emerald and placed it into said console. Once he did, the room suddenly got dimmer. Eggman jumped down into a deeper part of the room as a containment unit of some sort arose out of a sparking mist of electricity. Eggman sighed deeply in hypnotized awe as the thing reached the top.

The last thing he expected was a hedgehog to pop out and boldly fold his arms in the doctor's presence.

"What's that! Is that you, Sonic? Are you trying to spoil my plans again?" Eggman boomed.

The hedgehog did resemble Sonic slightly- but he was far from being Sonic himself. First off, this mystery hedgehog had black fur, red eyes, turned up quills with red streaks, hover shoes instead of racing sneakers, a white patch of fur replacing a furless tummy, a tanner muzzle, and finally, four golden rings bound around his wrists and ankles, fasten with red and black cuffs.

"Wait a minute…" Eggman finally said, noticing the differences. "You're not Sonic! This is impossible!"

The hedgehog just looked down at Eggman with a slight glare- definitely the opposite of a smirk from Sonic. He began to speak in a smooth, yet dark voice. "My name is Shadow. Since you've been so kind to release me, my master, I will grant you one wish."

Eggman suddenly snapped out of 'Shadow's' sudden appearance and turned to look behind him. "Now what!"

"Behold the true power I possess!" Shadow exclaimed, now flying in the air due to his hover shoes. With a quick spin, he vanished in a blue streak of light.

"This is Scorpion Troop's Hot Shot. Enemy movement has been detected." A military robot had been sent to dispatch the intruder- aka Eggman. "En route to intercept and destroy."

"Copy that."

Hot Shot rose into the air as Shadow appeared to take him on. He moved with swift speed that would be actually comparable to Sonic, but that was only due to the boost from his shoes. Shadow jumped onto top of the crate and struck a fierce fighting pose while staring up at Hot Shot. It flew over head and went to the other side of the fighting area.

"Witness my true power…"

Hot Shot came swooping toward Shadow, getting ready to strike him right off the crate. Shadow, however, was faster and jumped up, spinning straight into Hot Shot and dealing quite the blow. Eggman watched with wide eyes as Shadow did a light speed dash to charge up for the next attack.

"He's very similar to Sonic…but his outlook definitely betrays that."

Shadow skidded around a corner and went flying onto another stack of crates. Hot Shot was currently trying to target Shadow, but its efforts were completely useless. A weak orb of power was easily dodged by Shadow and ended up blowing up a stack of the crates.

"Pathetic…" Shadow huffed as he took off into the air and struck Hot Shot once more. The security robot shook as its power was slowly being drained. As a last resort, Hot Shot flew all over the place dropping bullets, and Eggman was slightly impressed when he saw that Shadow wasn't phased. He made sure to take notes of the battle.

"Hmm…he doesn't just throw himself at the robot- he waits for the right time to strike! And he strikes different places with several small hits instead of just plowing into it with one massive blow! Interesting…"

Shadow stood in one spot, allowing Hot Shot to fire missiles at him. With a scoff, he jetted forward, allowing the projectiles to hit where he just was and attack the bottom of the robot.

"This is Scorpion Troop's Hot Shot! The enemy is stronger than expected! Request additional support!"

"No one can stand up to me!" Shadow said acidly, taking off high into the air and crashing straight down onto the hot Shot. A pained scream came from the inside.

"He is too strong!"

"There's no time to play games…" Shadow grunted while turning to Eggman for his reaction.

Eggman just had his jaw dropped. "Destroying that guard robot was spectacular!"

He coughed, then glanced at Shadow who had turned away, lost in thought. "So, Shadow…YOU are the military's top secret weapon? But what did you mean when you said you will grant me a wish?"

Shadow hardly turned, yet Eggman felt like he was staring straight at him. "Bring more Chaos Emeralds."

"Shadow, wait!"

Shadow just gave a grin of other intentions. "I'll be waiting for you in the central control room on the Space Colony ARK…"

He started to walk away as Eggman slammed his fists on his dash board. "ARK?"

Shadow said nothing more and went about his own business. Eggman couldn't sit back down, couldn't close his jaw, and he was struck speechless.

Later that very night-

In the heart of Station Square, now mainly fixed up from the damage that the "Chaos Flood" has caused so long ago, was the Federal Reserve Bank- the only one in the city, to be in fact. In the heart of that bank, was the green Chaos Emerald, on high display and under tight security.


Within seconds, the glass was broken and the Emerald was stolen. By the time the thief made his way back outside, the military was surrounding him. A sinister grin came next, directed at the unworthy challenge. Lasers were blasted, but the purloiner was too fast for them. Every laser was easily sidestepped. Once the barrage stopped, the culprit started up one of his own- it was like spears were raining down from the sky, taking out any and all military machines on the spot. In the midst of the confusion, then Emerald-poacher ran…knowing he'd have to keep it low for awhile. No matter how long it would take.

It has arrived earlier than expected! Yay! Ah, what a love-hate relationship I have with this story...I love it because it was incredibly fun to write, but I hate it because at certain parts I got confused (but I believe I've straightened myself out) and I'm just afraid I've messed something up. That's just me being negative- this'll will be great! But, I must say, I still think I like Open Your Heart a little better. Hopefully this one will be just as good. ;)

And a note- there's a TON of song references in this story, most noticebly in the next chapter. ^^; (and there's at least one in this one)