The Dmgirl: A novelisation of Shadow the Hedgehog's past, just before he got into cryogenic stasis. I was listening to "Get Out Alive" from Three Days Grace and this came out. Unfortunately, school got in the way and, along with that, I wasn't able to produce a satisfying escape scene. Repetitions accompanied with progression, like Shadow running with Maria, was complex to write down. The atmosphere too, was difficult to get as I have never ever wrote something as dark as this. I had to ask for help for this and I'm extremely grateful to this person. I will not name him here as he demands to stay anonymous, but thank you.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters here. Not even the kid, Marc. He's Commander Graves. And all of them belong to Sega.
Get Out Alive
The gentle call made the man stop and turn. Even in the darkness, he could see the metal cage in the corner of his laboratory and those wide eyes were still visible, filled with childish curiosity. Yet, he couldn't miss the streak of maturity, nor the way those ears kept moving upon the black head.
He was so accustomed to seeing the young, anthropomorphic hedgehog now, so used to see the dark one huddled in that cage for the past two years. He wished he could start over, make sure that no one ever met or saw the creature. Too late. He had become important, too important to be shut away like a mere object.
"What is it, Shadow?" the human sighed with a small smile. He knew that it was too late to ignore and leave. The young one was persistent, never giving up until he had gotten what he had set out for. Then again, wasn't he the same? Wasn't it for the exact same trait that this little one had come out of that test tube? He could only blame himself. Blame himself for being an influence, a parental-figure.
"Did you mean it?"
He blinked. The innocent tone was overflowing with silent hope and happiness, along with a small tilt of the head that could only come from being around his granddaughter too often. But that wasn't the reason why all of his thoughts were coming to a stop. That wasn't the reason why he was staring right now.
There were so many things that he hadn't calculated and discovered from the moment that he had freed this little creature. Like the fact that he could talk, act, think. He could still remember the day that he had tested the young male hedgehog. He had stunned the professor when the latter had handed him a mirror and "Shadow" had recognized himself.
Another of those things was the memory, the impeccable memory that he had. He could probably remember everything, even down to the moment of his first breath, the first moment his eyes opened. As par for the course, Shadow would remember everything that had been said today.
"I did," the human stated as he got closer, not missing the happy gasp and smile that came from the small hedgehog. "You are part of my family, Shadow, and forgive me for trying to keep my distances. I was only trying to..."
"I understand," the young creature cut him off while his hand reached for the human's. "You're a scientist. To keep your distances from your experiments is normal."
The professor couldn't help a smile. Intelligent, comprehensive and mature, the creature – no – Shadow was incredible. He was the perfect companion for his granddaughter.
"Thank you, Professor."
The human snapped out of his reverie and looked at the hedgehog which was smiling softly, gratefully at him.
"For what?" he asked in incomprehension, only to watch Shadow smile even more, looking as innocent as the first day of his creation.
"For creating me."
He laughed softly, mustache moving slightly as he watched the young hedgehog. Ever since yesterday, Shadow had been even more willing to help, even carrying things back to the professor from the moment he would turn around to look for something. He had even outright refused to follow the general today, using exactly what military training had taught him. He had been cold, unyielding and had even scared the human for, at least, a minute or two.
"Aren't you happy," stated the professor with a laugh as Shadow climbed onto a clinical bed before grabbing an elastic band and starting to tie it around his arm.
"Someone told me that I was part of a family, yesterday. It wouldn't be right to let them down," replied the hedgehog as he pricked himself with a needle and began making a blood sample. He cringed as the vivid red liquid began to fill the syringe, not liking the sight.
"You could have waited for me," commented the human as he frowned. "I would have done it."
"We would have wasted time and you wouldn't have been able to continue your programming for the blood sample," Shadow retorted, grimacing as he took out the needle. "I have been through enough pain and seen enough blood to be able to do this by myself, anyway."
The professor's head dropped. He knew that. He knew that the military had a lot to do with the way the hedgehog was. There was a reason why he was able to do his own blood samples. Why, even though his very low pain threshold, he didn't howl every time he got a shot. Why he didn't faint at the mere sight of blood even though he had said so many times that it smelled foul. The military had changed him, had morphed Shadow from the gentle young hedgehog to a half cold-hearted creature who could watch a person die without feeling.
He was snapped out of his sinister reverie when a hand came to lie on his shoulder, making him look at Shadow. The hedgehog was smiling comfortingly, trying to reassure.
"It's alright. I'm a creation, after all, and you told me that some people are more selfish than others. Some people will want to use me. It's alright, I will survive," he said softly, his smile not leaving his face. For a moment there, the human had the impression that his own granddaughter was standing at Shadow's place, using her wisdom that clearly went over her twelve years. Gently, he took the hedgehog into his arms, repeating the same words that he had said the day previous. Shadow wasn't just a creation anymore. He was an intelligent creature, a member of the Robotnik family.
"I'm glad to…"
Shadow's words were cut off by alarms sounding off, and both broke the embrace to stare at the ceiling as the red lights came on, the others dying in an instant. The hedgehog immediately frowned, snarling as the sound assaulted his oversensitive ears.
"That's the emergency alarm," stated the professor, wondering the reason behind it. Only the military was allowed to use this alarm, and under danger of death. So why? His musing was cut short as a young girl rushed into the room, completely out of breath as she crashed against Shadow with a light huff.
"It's Marc! He told something to the G.U.N.! He said it was something about Shadow!" she wheezed even though the creature's efforts to get her to relax. He sighed slightly, knowing that it wasn't good for her health to be running like this.
"Calm down, Maria," he tried with a smile, earning her panicked gaze.
"You don't understand, Shadow! He said something about an alien!" she nearly shouted, causing the professor get up so quickly, his chair fell behind him.
"Professor?" asked the hedgehog as the human rushed through the lab, gathering papers. "Professor, what's wrong?"
The old man didn't answer, simply looking at the both of them with a worried look. It was over. Everything he had worked for to help his granddaughter and help the world, it was over. All because of one kid, one little kid that had seen the truth.
"Shadow, Maria, head for the escape pods. I will follow you there shortly," he managed under the overwhelming stress. Shadow wasn't Shadow anymore, at least for the military. He was a threat, a threat they had to control or eliminate.
"But Professor…" tried Shadow as he frowned, not understanding. Of course, he remembered the alien the boy talked about, but how could that be dangerous? He had only been here once, and it was the day he was finally freed from the pod.
"No discussion, Shadow. Right now, and please, don't hate me for it, you are my creation and, as your creator, I order you to get Maria to the escape pods and go to Earth with her. This is no time to be sentimental."
The demanding stare was met by disbelieving red eyes, the alarm being the only sound surrounding them. Then, slowly, the look narrowed, changing to cold as Shadow nodded roughly, accepting the order. The human took no time, opening the service door as the principal entry opened, giving the hedgehog a glimpse of the tall man in military uniform, looking at the professor in near disgust.
"We're here for Project: Shadow," the creature heard even though the door had just closed. The cool voice was filled with hatred and professionalism, something the overly stressed professor couldn't deal with right now.
"Over my dead body!"
His hand clasped over the girl's mouth as a gunshot resounded and Shadow immediately looked at the now crying Maria who struggled against his grasp, mumbling out for her grandfather.
"I'm sorry, Maria. But he did this for you," the hedgehog stated sadly, trying to soothe her from the emotional pain. He hadn't missed the look of despair when the professor had ordered him around. The human had sacrificed himself for the safety of his granddaughter and his creation. If, at least, those two would survive, then his life wouldn't have been in vain.
"We have to move, Maria. We have to get to the escape pods," he declared as the girl looked at him, tears drying on her cheeks. A porcelain doll; and it was his duty to get her to safety.
They ran as shots resounded around them, nearly hitting them every time they took a sharp turn. Shadow gave a quick glance behind him, snarling at the sight of the military following them. They had to get out of here. They had to reach the escape pods. He couldn't have cared less if he got shot, but if Maria were to get hurt… He shook his head, trying to get rid of the thought. He had to believe. He had to make sure both of them made it out safely.
He blessed his knowledge of the structure of the colony and his exceptional memory as he took another turn, finding Maria's gaze on him for a moment. Only a few meters. Only a few more minutes and they would reach their destination. Then it would only be a deal of how long it would take to program the pods for the descent to Earth. The professor would not have died in vain. Only a few more…
A gunshot took off and a small gasp made his thoughts halt. His head whipped towards Maria and his eyes could only widen as her hand reached for a bloodied shoulder, whimpering slightly in pain. A snarl slowly made its way to his face as he slowly stopped. How dare they? How dare they hurt Maria? She had never done anything to hurt them, had she?
Her calm, always smiling voice called to his attention. His gaze left the guilty for the young girl as she nodded to herself.
"It's alright. Let's keep moving."
"But Maria…" he protested. They had to take care of this as soon as possible. An infection, no matter how small, could prove itself lethal if it met her body.
"We'll take care of it once we get to Earth, okay? Promise."
His eyes went from her shoulder and back, before he nodded and carried on forward. She was right. They couldn't stop. Not now. It would have meant a fight, and Maria probably wouldn't have survived. They had to keep moving, they had to keep running. They were so close to their escape now. It was not time to turn around or stop, if only for the shortest moment.
The doors opened, and both of them lost no time in slipping in, Shadow breaking the inner keypad. Minutes. It would only give them minutes more before the military opened the door manually, which would probably mean an explosion. The young hedgehog turned swiftly back to the girl as she tried to overwrite the program. Black ears flattened sadly. He couldn't help. In all the time he had been onboard the ARK, he had never had the time to grasp the intricate details of programming. His only feat when it came to electronics was the one that currently lay in the keypad.
A smile illuminated sickly features as Maria turned to Shadow and a pod slowly came down from the ceiling. His heart swelled, and he looked at the girl happily. One more, one more pod was all they needed.
Cat-like ears flicked and he spun before being propelled against the board by the sudden explosion. Blue and red stared at each other in dread. No more time. They wouldn't be able to get that second pod even if they tried. They would never make it down to Earth together.
A glass door slid shut in front of him, making his eyes widen as he watched Maria rush for the emergency lever. He banged against the glass, unable to find the strength to break it. It couldn't be. It couldn't end this way!
She only smiled, reaching for the lever as he kept trying to free himself in vain.
"Shadow, I beg of you. Please, do it for me... for a better future!"
His hand laid flat against the glass as he called out for her, silently pleading her not to do this. She was the one who was supposed to be in this pod, not him! He could deal with the military. If she stayed behind...
"For all the people who live on that planet... give them a chance to be happy... Let them live their dreams. Shadow, I know you can do it. That's the reason you were brought into this world."
Her words pierced him through and through as he saw her resigned expression and his ears drooped sadly. Her smile illuminated the room as she spoke again, "Sayonara, Shadow the Hedgehog."
The lever slowly lowered and a gunshot resounded. His eyes widened as Maria fell to the ground, hole in her forehead, yet unable to do anything as the escape pod flew out of the colony, making a course towards Earth. It was over. Both the Professor and Maria were gone.
He slid to the floor of the escape pod, unable to believe it. The last survivor. The one the military was after had survived where innocents had died. Because of him. Because of how he was born. Because he was created. He curled, vivid red slowly turning to dried blood. Over. He would never see any of them. Tears slipped out of a dead gaze as he mindlessly repeated his last words. Maybe if he kept calling, she would answer. Maybe if he kept calling, she would tell him what had happened. Maybe if he kept calling, she would be next to him, alive.
He couldn't believe it. He couldn't believe what the military had done.
The weak, desperate call had been resonating for hours throughout the smallish laboratory, a mockery of what he used to have on the colony. But he still turned to the one lying lifelessly on the clinical bed who kept repeating on and on the name of his granddaughter. Shadow, the Ultimate Life Form, was destroyed, completely, utterly.
The girl was dead, dead because of the creature lying on the cot and because of its creator. Because of one little attempt at saving the poor girl of a disease, she had been shot down as if she was a criminal. Because they had wanted to save her, she was killed. What was the use of Shadow now? What was the point in having Shadow around? What was his reason?
Glasses flashed at the change of light and turned back to the hedgehog. Of course. Why hadn't he seen it before? Shadow was the Ultimate Life Form, he could survive anything. He could be of some use. A smirk grew on the scientist's face as he thought of what was left on the ARK. Now, if only he could access it... A small chuckle escaped his lips. He was the primary scientist, the one in charge. He would have access to those files. He just had to ask.
A hand landed on the hedgehog's shoulder as a sadistic grin formed on the Professor's face. They would pay.
"Don't worry, Shadow. You'll find a reason to live. You will be of use. I will give them the Ultimate Weapon, and they will regret ever making that wish."
He chuckled as the creature repeated his granddaughter's name once again. They would pay. Those ungrateful humans who had taken everything away from him would have a taste of his revenge. And it would be delightful.
The Dmgirl: For those familiar with the Sonic Adventure 2 games, I'm sure you find a few sentences that are taken out from the game. Maria's final words and the last sentences are perfect examples of that. I'm not kidding you guys, I was working with a video of the cutscenes and wrote the whole diary down along with Maria's and Gerald's final words. It was nuts, but I made it. I hope I don't make any of you cry or disgust you with this. See you next time for a chapter of Dim Lights!