Ebony and Ivory
Author's Notes: It seems as though the main focus of the account has been nothing but In the End and Crimson Twilight for forever... Which is both good and bad.
On the one hand, a nice long story where you don't have to constantly keep readjusting your frames of time reference and character backstories and such is good... and it allows for a much deeper plot. However, there's been little experimentation other than Sonic the Parody 2. It was for this original reason I decided on the concept of the Mini-Project, something to occupy myself while I took a breather from Crimson Twilight and worked on something else.
There was some fan opposition to this in the poll I conducted, but I decided that I needed the break myself, and that it would give me some momentum to work on something else for awhile.
This is my first (and probably last) attempt at a full fledged Shadouge story, with lots of my own styles injected in to delude it and make it so that it is not sickeningly sweet... like watering down concentrated syrup so that you actually have something consumable. As opposed to the usual barfworthy fluff and vomit enduring erotica, I'm actually attempting to create some palpable literature here by blending the genres of romance, suspense, action, tragedy, and comedy.
The original concept came about because I was rereading An Ultimate's Legacy, and I realized that while it was a brilliant story in its own right, it was incredibly sabotaged by its predecessors. And yet the story was incapable of functioning as a stand-alone romance! So I began playing around with the idea of what would happen if it were to be rewritten to be a stand alone fiction... and after changing the concept around a lot, walla.
I intend to attempt to write a story like this that includes the trademarked fight scenes featured in the Ultimate's Saga, In the End, and Crimson Twilight: a fusion of two distinct styles which I love.
If you're looking for action and romance together, look no further. I hope you enjoy the story.
Chapter 1- Shadow Says Goodbye
High in the obsidian, starless night, a supernaturally large, bloody crimson moon shone brilliantly. The swirling cerulean planet itself had been constricted by titanic, hellish, serpentine tendrils which stretched out in every direction from the grotesquely pulsating heart of the Black Comet.
The world was helpless and terrified, and everything, everyone's lives, their hopes and dreams were riding on the solitary strength of one lone warrior, one dark bastion of valor.
Suddenly illuminating the almost material blackness, a glaring golden light that burned with the brightness of the sun appeared on top of the comet, like a twinkling diamond submerged in a sea of darkness. Separating itself from the comet, the solitary star flew it a wide arc underneath its cursed, grimy bulk. Snarling with a heave and a wince, Shadow the Hedgehog harness the incredible power coursing through him, and used his trademark ability.
"Chaos Control!" he shouted, making himself and the comet disappear in a flash of pure white light.
They reappeared in the cold, cruel depths of space, floating aimlessly on the edges of Earth's orbit. The golden star shot through the sky, leaving a trail of blazing light and dazzling sparks in its wake.
Shadow approached the Space Colony ARK, his former home. He had made countless memories in this place, that he'd only recently come to understand. Not all of the mysteries of fifty years ago had been solved, but they didn't need to be. He knew his purpose. He knew why he was here.
Teleporting himself effortlessly to the central control room, Shadow cracked his knuckles and began entering targeting information into the weapons system. He would only get one shot, and he wanted it to be precise to ensure the comet's destruction and eliminate any chance of a misfire.
The entire colony had to rotate in order to face its target. This created a strange and entirely new sensation: Shadow felt like he was standing at an angle, and yet the ARK's artificial gravity held him upright in his new position.
Through the observation window, the Ultimate Lifeform could see the beautiful sapphire orb of Earth shining below, a canvas of inky darkness behind it, glowing with points of iridescent light. Maria had loved the view from this place, and they would often come here together and spent countless hours staring at the Earth below.
"Maria... I still remember my promise to you. For the people of this planet, I promise... to give them a chance to be happy," he quietly spoke to the memory of his departed friend.
Finishing with the targeting information, the colony locked onto the hideous comet, the cannon opening its protective sheath in preparation for the coming blast. Lightning coursed down the length of the tremendous super-weapon as lights flashed and machines deep within the colony whirred to life.
A blindingly bright cobalt energy began to gather at the tip of the cannon, as Shadow placed the Chaos Emeralds into the console, one by one.
"Black Doom, you can't control me any more! Your plan will be unraveled by the very gems you hoped to use, your race destroyed by the very hands you made to gather them," he mocked the defeated tyrant in defiance of his failed plan.
Finally, all seven mystical gems were arranged in the console, glowing with a myriad of brilliant colors. The golden and ride streaked hedgehog was ready to fulfill his purpose.
"Even the Eclipse Cannon was created with a purpose, was made for good, despite being a weapon... Maybe there's hope for me after all, Professor."
Shadow pressed the button, smashing the protective glass covering, and making an alarm whoop loudly throughout the station. A black skull glowed ironically on the red button, and there was a great, momentous pause before the weapon thought to have been made to destroy the world, saved it.
A beam of convalescent light tore across the sky, illuminating the heavens like a thousand strikes of lightning in a single instant. The burning, purging energy smashed into the Black Comet like a rain of holy fire, tearing it into pieces on impact. After moments of concentrated fire, explosions rocked the larger fragments, which began to crumble to dust. All life on the surface was liquidated by the tremendous heat generated by the beam, and the rest was incinerated in seconds.
After the comet was destroyed and nothing remained, Shadow allowed his Super Form to fade, returning him to his regular jet black coloring. As always, the moment the Chaos Emeralds weren't powering his Super Form, they dispersed, teleporting randomly with Chaos Control.
"Yes... now I understand. I am Shadow the Hedgehog, created about the Space Colony ARK by Professor Gerald using Black Doom's blood. I made a promise to Maria to protect this planet, a promise I intend to keep. I am guardian of this world: This is who I am!"
After the destruction of the Black Comet, Shadow lingered for awhile on the ARK. He was standing idly in the observation room, where he and Maria always used to spend time together. They'd spent countless hours watching the mysterious blue orb spin ceaselessly by, and wondering what it was like to live there on that wonderful, terrible world.
In his hands he clutched an ancient grayscale photograph of the Professor and Maria, who was younger, and proudly cradling a newly created and infantile Shadow in her arms. From the moment he was "born," she loved him unconditionally as her own brother.
He no longer cared about revenge, because he knew that was not her wish. There were still mysteries in his past, but he wouldn't be consumed by them any longer. He knew who he was, and that was enough. Now he would put the past behind him, and never turn back.
Slowly opening his fingers to allow the faded picture to flutter to the ground, he stood for a moment in profound and respectful silence. The ARK was a graveyard, hauntingly quiet, and still as a tomb. He was the lone survivor of the colony, but it was no longer his home.
Somehow it felt right to have it remain there, empty, as a memorial to the genius of Professor Gerald and the superhuman kindness of Maria.
Glancing down for the last time at the decades old picture with his burning crimson orbs, a lone tear glimmered at the edge of his vision. Staring out at the Earth set against the vast expanse of the universe, he let the single droplet of salty moisture drip down his cheek, and fall to the floor with a dull clang.
"Sayonara, Shadow the Hedgehog."
Shadow stood in ARK's docking facility, which amazingly still housed a few older vessels which although no longer suitable for long range space exploration, wold suffice to ferry him back to the Earth's surface.
Glancing about the lonely chamber with its high vaulted ceiling and cold metal walls, he walked slowly towards a pair of abandoned freighters that had been used to deliver supplies and mail to the ARK before G.U.N. had attacked the facility.
Coming up to the door of the first ship, the obsidian hedgehog turned the air-lock mechanism, wrenching the heavy steel door open, and stared into the dank, musty interior. With vision acute enough to see even in the dimmest light, Shadow climbed inside, blowing to clean a thick layer of half a century's dust from the control panel.
Not actually possessing the keys, and doubtful as to whether they even existed anymore, Shadow reached under the console, popping off a steel plate to reveal a tangled mass of wires. Grunting in frustration, he scanned the wires for a moment before selecting two, and digging in the glove box for a pair of wire-clippers.
Finding these buried behind a miniature pin-up that was rolled up in the box, he cut the wires he'd chosen, and touched them together, igniting a spark to hotwire the shuttle. The engine faltered for a moment, but miraculously coughed to life, sputtering like someone who had been punched in the stomach.
Lifting off slightly, the ebony hedgehog struggled to navigate the craft evenly through the dock and out of the exit hatch.
'I've never flown anything before, and certainly not a craft this clumsy,' he grumbled inwardly. 'Well, never hotwired anything either, so I guess there's a first time for everything.'
As the mammoth freighter navigated out of the gaping mouth of the ARK and towards the slowly turning world below, his head didn't for a moment turn, as he flew away, never to return.
"Space Colony Ark... Professor... Maria... my past... goodbye, forever."
Author's Notes: Alright, now go listen to "Never Turn Back" by Crush 40. Okay, now that you've got that out of your system, as you can tell, this story takes place directly after the events of SHTH. I could've just posted this in story notes, but I wanted to be more original and provide my own rendition of the events at the end of the game.