IMPORTANT! Read this before you read the story, or you may be lost!

Author's Note/Disclaimer:

**This story is a sequel to/alternate version of Splitting Truth. It is *highly, highly, highly* recommended that you read Splitting Truth first!** I can not repeat that enough, but I won't keep repeating it because it may be considered spam. =P

The first chapter of this story is extremely similar to the first chapter of Splitting Truth, but afterwards, things take a sharp turn away from the original storyline. Splitting Truth may be better, but I hope this is still enjoyed by someone, for all it's horror.

Beware: character deaths occur! Also note that some characters may be slightly OOC, or seem OOC due to certain unmentioned circumstances. Shadow especially, so pay close attention. Over all, I did my best to keep them in character…

Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters © SEGA! That's Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, Shadow, Cream, and Rouge… All the other miscellaneous people belong to me, namely Thorn and the Voice … Though the Voice is not so miscellaneous this time. 3 I love that character to death even though he's a big meanie in the stuff I've posted here so far. =(

All reviews are appreciated. R&R, please. =)

Merging Lies

By Maria Springer

Never, as far as he could remember, had everything seemed so dark. Stars littered the sky and the moon shone bright, but it still seemed horribly black around him. It was not very late five o' clock in the afternoon, perhaps but it seemed as if it were the darkest hour of the night.

There was no sound. All was deathly still and silent.

The Earth could feel his lust; the lust for destruction and revenge. Rage was burning within him at this very moment. It was difficult to hide. It screamed like a demon, clawing and scratching, begging to be let out. Begging to be set free and unleash havoc.

He denied this passionate desire. He had to arrange this disaster carefully. A mistake, he knew, may very well ruin everything. Anything from a slip in controlling his emotions to a serious error in his actions may foil his plan to destroy the world.

Shadow the Hedgehog was tired of all the hate, hurting, sickness, and war. All anyone ever seemed to want to do was attempt to defeat each other, in some way or another, and try to make themselves superior to everyone else around them. He noticed that such behavior was especially directed towards him. GUN abused his usefulness, continuously sending him off on missions without much (or any) regard of how he felt about the issue, or about the fact that he hadn't had eight hours of rest in the entire week. In the previous week, that had been the exact case. This week, he had been out the last two nights.

Tonight, it seemed perfectly clear to him what all these missions really meant. In fact, he realized they weren't even really missions at all. His spy work was more than satisfactory. He was the Ultimate Life Form. He had never met an enemy he couldn't defeat. Anyone who survived in a battle against him had been purposely left alive, or else he had slacked off and not bothered to kill them. He was also an excellent actor, when he tried. With strangers a perfect liar, and he could stalk his targets without ever being noticed. He was silent and deadly.

The humans were afraid of him.

Not just his enemies; GUN, too. Which was why they wanted to kill him, now. Even as their best agent, they valued their lives more than him. And it wasn't just simple fear. He could see it in their eyes that they hated him. They hated him for his… almost perfect existence. As much as he liked to say that he was without fault or flaw, he knew it was not true; but he was good enough to be hated for that reason.

People don't like when they see anyone better than themselves. Shadow was better than them all, even with his flaws. He was a shining city on a hill, even though he had no religious practice whatsoever. Was the world created, or did it evolve? He didn't know, or care. It existed, and that was all that mattered to him.

It existed, and he despised it. His plan for destruction was rather simple; he would use the Eclipse Cannon, and load all seven emeralds into it. He would take the emeralds at any cost, and stop at nothing to have them. He just would have to be careful not to draw any attention to himself, so no one would try to stop him. Once the cannon fired, they would all die. Every last one of them. Himself included, though he wasn't sure exactly how. He figured his chances for survival were extremely low. Pieces of the planet could impact the colony after the explosion, or the colony might have nothing to orbit around and drift to where he would freeze to death or die of heat…

He had lost his immortality, so he would die quite easily. He felt it to be worth the cause. The end of all sadness, all pain, all hopelessness, sickness, greed this would come with destroying the planet. Maria had wanted him to make the humans happy, but they had played him like a puppet. They had destroyed everything that ever made him happy, and that seemed to be the only thing to satisfy them. They were a selfish, cruel race. If Maria had only realized that, she would never have asked him to bother helping them. She had been just a child. An idealist. She wanted to see the best in everything, and she couldn't understand that there was simply no good in them.

She had never even gotten to see this place, because they killed her…

If only everyone had been as she was, her death would never have happened. Neither would he have need to do this. However, he realized, such a thought was idealist, that anyone else could ever be like she had been. It was pathetic for him to ever think such a thing. The humans all had hearts of hatred and evil. They needed to be done away with.

"Shadow? You've been standing there the last three hours… Are you feeling okay?" Shadow nearly flinched at the voice. Rouge.

Even if his 'best friend' was ill and helpless, she was the worst traitor of them all. She helped the humans. She loved the humans…

She had to die. He had to kill her before anyone else. If he didn't, she would betray him. He knew it was true; he hated her.

The black and red hedgehog turned around calmly, concealing his emotions. He feigned a smile. "I'm alright."

"…Okay then…" The female bat was trying not to cough. She had started to get sick the week before, and now she was very ailing. GUN had given her leave because of it… Right now she was extremely concerned; however, Shadow noted that it didn't seem self-centered. "Are you sure you're alright? Maybe you should sit down awhile so—" Selfless worry flooded her tone.

"I don't need to sit down." He answered quickly. For some reason, her anxiousness aggravated him. He did not like to be treated like a needy person. Here she was, probably about to die of illness even if he didn't kill her, yet she treated him like he was the one who needed help. Though his tone remained calm, the façade slipped. He glowered ever so slightly.

Rouge heaved a sigh. This caused her to cough, but after clearing her throat, she attempted to explain herself. "It was just a suggestion… I'm sorry, it's just I'm really starting to worry about you… GUN has been sending you on missions almost," she coughed again. She was wrestling with her sentences, and already starting to lose as the illness slowly stole her voice away. "…continuously, you've hardly slept, you haven't eaten much, and you've been spending all your spare time staring out that window! You didn't used to be like that, but the last few weeks… it's like…" The bat trailed off sadly. She could see that Shadow was extremely unhappy, but she didn't have the slightest clue of what was going through his brain.

"Don't worry about me, Rouge. I would worry more about myself if I were you…" Rouge suddenly felt nervous as he said this, but logic criticized her for the needless paranoia. "You should be asleep. I can tell that cough of yours is getting worse…" Something about Shadow seemed off, but he was acting, for the moment, as he used to… This was her best friend, kind and caring. He was smiling at her like she was the only girl in the world who he cared about… That was what she loved about him. He made her feel special.

She turned with a nod, when a thought suddenly crossed her mind. She whirled back around again. "Shadow?"

"Yes?" Shadow now struggled to control himself. He wanted to hit her. This is getting irritating… Make up your mind!

"How come you never give anyone a chance?"

Shadow dropped his act, giving her a puzzled look. "What?"

"You're nice to some people… but you're not nice to most people. If someone you don't know… asks you a question or tries to get to know you, you snap at them…"

A pause. "Why should I be kind to strangers? I don't know them."

"What reason is there not to be kind? …Shadow, a lot of people are hurting. Just because they are strangers… doesn't mean they're not people. Sometimes if a stranger is nice to them, it makes them feel… a little better." Rouge shivered from cold.

Shadow looked skeptical. Maria's way of thinking had been the same. But she had been wrong. So wrong… "I don't see why I should be kind to strangers. They're never kind to me. Most of the time, I don't see why I should be kind to anyone! They stare at me like I'm some sort of disease and treat me like I'm inferior! They wouldn't even stand a chance against me if they tried to prove it. Pathetic… For all I care they can burn!"

"You're so… cold-hearted!" The bat practically shouted the instant he finished the sentence. Angrily, she turned away from him and ran up the stairs to her bedroom. What's with him?

Shadow scoffed at her repulsive behavior. The humans were the cold-hearted ones. All they deserved was death. They didn't need his pity. If he offered them pity, they would take advantage of him and stab him in the back. He had given them chances time after time. Second chances. Third chances. Fourth. He had continued to give them chances, but did they change? No. Maria would understand his reasoning, if only she were here to see this. If only she were not quite so much of a child…

The Eclipse Cannon was a humane weapon. He felt certain that no one would feel a thing. If they happened to look up and see it as it was firing, they might feel several seconds of terror, but no pain.

Shadow thought over his plan. It would be best to get the emeralds that did not need to be stolen first. No one would really notice it. Then, when he would need to steal, Chaos Control would come in handy in getting from one location to the next. With a little bit of research, he would probably be able to find out where all the owned ones were…

Be-Be-Be-Beep! Be-Be-Be-Beep! Be-Be-Be-Beep!

Shadow was ripped from his thoughts. It was time to take his medication. Five thirty, two pills. Everyday. He'd had a slight problem with hallucinations, and the medication seemed to effectively prevent them from occurring. He wandered into the kitchen and opened the cabinet, reaching for the prescription…

He stopped. Hallucinations should not get in his way. The world would end in a few days… Only about 24 hours, in fact, if he worked quickly from midnight until sunset. Until midnight, he could look for information on the Chaos Emeralds…

Hell with it. Shadow closed the cabinet. If I have anything that seems like a hallucination, I'll just ignore it.

I'll die soon anyway…

Let's find out where the Emeralds are.

He glanced at his watch, then headed towards the office where the computer was. He would murder Rouge in her sleep.

11:43. Shadow looked at the computer's clock. He had 17 minutes until midnight… It was a bit early, but there was nothing wrong with that. He was tired of trying to find information on the Chaos Emeralds. After finding information on four of them, he had little hope of finding anything on the other three… He hated to think he would have to hunt for them. He had a queer eagerness to end it all as soon as possible…

Oh well. Now was not the time to worry about Chaos Emeralds. There was someone he needed to kill first. Let's get this over with…

The computer monitor clicked off.