By Formerly Known As

Author's Note: Wow, been a while, hasn't it?
I'm afraid to say, I'm fearing for this story. I think it might be losing continuity. And I think we can all agree that that would be a bad thing. I just hope I'm wrong and that this story will take even me by surprise.

Eh, one can always hope.

Also, big mucho thanks to everyone who stuck with me. It really does mean a lot.

Chapter 11
Melodies in the Dark

On the darkened streets, Sonic walked alone. The street lights buzzed and hummed. A few ghostly cars made ethereal tracks along the road. Once, the late night monorail rattled past above him, crying a tune of lost passengers, trapped on an endless course in the dark across a city that didn't really care.

The tune sounded familiar to Sonic. It spoke of that lost feeling you had deep inside when you knew that at the end of the line, home wasn't waiting for you. There was no loving wife, no dinner on the table. Not even a decent bed to crawl into. For Sonic, there was nothing but an empty room in a filthy hotel, somewhere in the middle of the city. And currently, Sonic wasn't even sure where that was.

Sonic's lonely thoughts turned towards other, possibly darker matters. In his confused mind one thought rang clear and bright.

Shadow was alive.

Sonic was uncertain as to how he should take this news. He remembered watching in horror and silent agony as Shadow fell, plunging towards absolutely certain death. Sonic remembered the fight before that, against the biolizard, when two had acted as one. Sonic had never felt more power than in that moment, when fighting with Shadow rather than against him. Shadow had said that together, the two of them could spread an incredible wave of chaos and darkness. And Sonic couldn't help but agree. Together, Sonic and Shadow were an incredible force, the likes of which Sonic had never even imagined before.

But that meant little if the two didn't work together. No matter how much power they could have, if the two of them were unable to find a common ground to fight on, then there would be no power. So, Sonic supposed, the two of them should join together. A force like theirs shouldn't be denied.

Then again...Sonic wasn't really all that interested in spreading waves of destruction. It always seemed like it would be rather...depressing.

Besides, it had always been Sonic's life mission to save people. Shadow's plan seemed to...go against that.

Sonic liked to make people happy. Liked to see people's lives a little better off because he was around, saving them from evil tyrants so they didn't have to. But then again...how did that actually make people happier? Certainly they were still free, but free to do what? In general the same things they had done yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that. And the same thing they would do tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that. Sonic's little victories over Eggman weren't making anyone's lives better. He was just allowing them to go on as dismally and horribly as they had before. Pretty depressing really.

And now Sonic had the chance to work with Shadow to make people's lives better. By...making...them...worse....

When phrased like that, it didn't make any sense.

Then again, the very fact that Shadow as alive didn't make any sense either.

Shadow himself, with all his dark moods and sudden changes of face, didn't make a lot of sense.

Sonic wasn't making much sense either, right now. Of course that could be because of the fact that it was very late at night and Sonic hadn't slept well all week.

Now that he thought about it, Sonic really should find his way back to his motel room. And sleep. Or try.

Sonic twisted this idea around in his head, letting it take the place of other more depressing ideas for a time. Yeah, sleep would probably help. Make everything clearer. Things often made sense in the morning's light. And it would be easier to get there if he slept through at least most of the night.

Sleep, Sonic thought to himself, would most likely be the most beneficial thing I could do right now.

Sonic immediately turned in the direction he assumed would lead him towards his hotel.

Three blocks later, he decided he was most definitely lost.

Another two blocks and Sonic turned into a nearby bar to get directions. And if he couldn't get directions, at least he could get a stiff drink.

Alcohol or sleep. Whichever came first.