A/N: Sorry for the big delay between chapters, folks; university gave me lots of work as a present, and obliged me to complete it. Anyway, time to pick up from where we left off- with another prompt from yours truly.

Disclaimer: Sponsored by The Laws Of Physics. They're even weirder in real life! Unless you're playing '06. Then...yeah.

"Fear the man who knows not where he goes, for he may appear anywhere". An old saying in the forgotten parts of the world, it rang curiously true for Shadow, when he first escaped captivity. Released into a world fifty years advanced from his making, the blurring greys and blacks of the city streets were a far cry from the pleasant green and blue orb he had seen aboard the Ark. All he knew were the Chaos Emeralds, their siren song echoing in his soul, and the revenge they promised.

He stretched out his hand at the window; from the dizzying heights of space, it seemed as though the earth were no more than an apple. He tried to close his hand around it, to understand the sensation from the motion. This orb, turning serenely...he wanted to control it, to hold it in his fist and crush it between his fingers. It seemed as though it was his purpose, his birthright, written in his very DNA.

Later, he grew to know the Earth and its inhabitants; the roguish, the wily, the ineffectual. Of secret agents and scientists, he knew much, but of newspaper stands and train conductors and compulsive gamblers, he was still ignorant. At that time, his memory still eluded him, and he searched for it in glades of amber wheat, in the jungles and in the deserts, in long forgotten ruins all crumbled with age and in the ever-expanding cities which threatened to breach the future itself. Slowly, he learned of the blue planet, and the people on it; slowly, he was born.

She saw him, at the window, his red eyes filled with a hate from without. She put a hand upon his shoulder, and shook her head; wordlessly, made him put down his hands, then stretched out her own. Overlapping each other, it was as if she cradled the Earth within them; and for the first time, the Ultimate Life Form began to realise what his destiny was to be.

His memories returned to him, he realised that he could never do what she had done, to carry the vast blue world in his hands. His were too covered in blood, and rightly so, for some battles needed to fought. And in fighting, he saved the world, with those hands wrapped in blood and golden violence; Black Doom fell.

Shadow the Hedgehog felt himself fulfilled then, and walked away with a smirk he would come to be familiar with. For whilst he could never carry the planet in such stained hands, he knew that someone, travelling the planet at the speed of sound, were a pair of hands very much like his.

Not, of course, that he had any intention of admitting it.

A/N: Just a short little alternate take on Shadow's backstory.

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