CHAPTER 2: EXPERIMENTS

I think I put a strong language and violence warning at the beginning of this story, but I better reinforce it again anyway.

This story is not for the young. It only gets darker from here on out.

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"This isn't the way to Shadow's cell,"

"I prefer the term, 'artificial habitat'." Patrick said.

Maria scoffed. "Hardly."

"We're going to one of the recreational rooms to test something. You've noticed his limp, have you not? His leg muscles were severely damaged."

"Yeah? What are you testing on him?"

"A type of hover shoe." Patrick said. "We want to let him walk normally again. It works like being on roller skates...he uses less energy and we're hoping it's more efficient than limping everywhere," he opened a door with a security card. "We were hoping your presence would make him a bit more cooperative."

They stepped into a large room. Basketball hoops were set up on either end, the court markings painted onto the floor. A group of scientists were standing nearby, Shadow standing a few feet away. He was wearing some sort of shoes with red and white stripes and golden rims. They looked clumsy and awkward, and he appeared to have difficulty moving in them.

"Cool shoes," Maria said.

Shadow caught her eye but didn't respond. He instead tugged at a metal collar around his neck.

"What's that for?" Maria asked Patrick.

"He is still Euclid class," he responded. "We're not sure what he's capable of. If he tries anything, a painful shock will stop him. It's not enough to harm, just stun,"

Maria nodded. "And I suppose if you don't do what you're told, you get kicked in the balls. Not enough to harm, just stun,"

Patrick visibly restrained himself from replying. Maria turned back to Shadow, who had taken to sitting and ignoring the other scientists. He began pulling on one of the shoes, but couldn't get it off.

"Maria, get him to run a few laps," Patrick said stiffly.

"Sorry I pissed you off," she said sweetly before walking over to Shadow.

He fixed her with an odd look as she sat across from him. "Why are you here?" he asked in a low voice.

"To try and persuade you to run around." Maria said. "Although, I don't think I'm doing a good job."

Shadow scoffed and tugged at the collar again. "Get this off me."

"I can't."

Shadow snarled and tugged on it with both hands, with enough force to produce bruises. A loud shout rang out.

"HEY!" Patrick yelled sharply, striding over and pulling a small remote from his pocket. "Don't mess with it!"

Shadow had stood and dropped into a fighting stance; eyes narrowed at the man in front of him, fists and muscles clenched.

"Shadow, stop. He's not worth it." Maria said. Much to her surprise, he relaxed slightly and drew back a few paces, glancing from her to Patrick and back, settling on the S.C.P. agent.

"Now...I need you to run a few laps," Patrick said slowly. "To test the shoes' ability."

Shadow crossed his arms and glared.

"If you refuse to obey, I will be forced to...persuade you." Patrick held the small remote up again.

"So much as put your thumb on that button and I'll make certain you will never start a family," Maria hissed, standing up beside him the SCP. Shadow's lips twitched in a slight smile.

"Continue with this unnecessary behavior, Maria, and I will restrict your access from both him and the other!"

Shadow's ear twitched and his hard expression softened. "Other...? What other?"

Maria didn't get a chance to respond before Patrick pressed the button on the remote. Shadow pitched backwards, pulling at the collar, writhing and gasping for the breath that was knocked out of him.

"Stop! Patrick! STOP!" Maria knelt by Shadow and attempted to keep him from hurting himself, only to receive a harsh shock that made her fingers go numb. Patrick pressed the button again and Shadow stopped flailing. He sucked in a huge breath and lay shuddering and twitching.

"No questions," the man said flatly.

The feeling was beginning to seep back into Maria's hand and she helped Shadow sit up, feeling his body shuddering uncontrollably. Not harmful...?! Just to stun...?! Hah! That's a joke... Maria thought, furious. "Are you ok?"

"F...fine..." Shadow grit his teeth.

"Now before I do that again, you should really think about testing those shoes." Patrick said.

Shadow struggled to his feet, knees shaking. Maria cast him a worried glance, but he ignored her and began walking, trying not to let his legs give out. Twice he fell before Patrick shouted, "That's not what we designed them for! Run!"

Maria cast him a murderous glare. "Who do you think you are?! You can't force him if he can't!"

"He is property of S.C.P.. He will do as he's told," Patrick said plainly. "And if you mention one word about SCP-7039 to him, I will personally retire you. You read the paper. You will be discontinued under the label, 'Uncooperative',"

"And you'll be discontinued under the label, 'Unable to sexually reproduce'," Maria hissed, happy to see a vein popping in Patrick's neck.

Shadow had started skidding around corners at a fast pace, tiny lights under the shoes activating and propelling him along. He already looked exhausted, and his damaged leg looked as though it would give out any second.

"Faster!" Patrick commanded.

Shadow grit his teeth and tried to gain speed, only to stumble and sprawl a short distance. Patrick pulled the remote from his pocket...

"NO!" Maria grabbed his arm and slapped the remote away. Instantly, the scientists waiting on the sidelines jumped into action and dragged her back. "LET GO OF ME! LET GO, YOU ABUSIVE, EVIL, TWISTED FREAKS!"

Patrick retrieved the remote and held it in Maria's sight before pressing the button again. Shadow, who was struggling to stand again, was thrown back to the floor. His limbs jerked in painful looking spasms and his face was contorted in pain, mouth open in a silent scream. He thrashed wildly, a shoe striking the wall with an extremely loud BANG.

"STOP! STOP IT!" Maria cried. "HE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING! STOP HURTING HIM TO HURT ME!"

Patrick pressed the button and Shadow's wild movements ceased as he regained control over his own limbs again. He curled into himself, shuddering and shaking, sides heaving for oxygen. The scientists released Maria and she ran to him, kneeling by his side. She put a hand on his back in a comforting manor, muttering quietly, "Are you alright, Shadow?"

"..." he still couldn't form words. Only small gasping sounds.

"I'm sorry. I really am. And yes, there is another like you here...Silver. As far as I know, he's not being tortured like he was with that man—"

"Maria, pick him up and follow me," Patrick commanded.

"S...Sil...?" Shadow managed to say.

"Yes. Don't let Patrick know I told you," Maria muttered, gathering him into her arms and standing. Shadow didn't weigh as much as she thought he would. The shoes probably made up half his weight. He drew in another shaky breath before burying his face in the crook of her neck, shivering. Maria held him close and followed Patrick out of the room and down a couple halls until they reached their destination.

"You have five minutes with him," Patrick said, unlatching the prototype shoes from Shadow's feet.

"Fine," Maria walked into the cell, hearing the door shut behind her. "Shadow? You alright?"

Soft, even breathing answered her. She gently lay him on his mattress pad, pulling the blankets over him as he squirmed to get comfortable. Maria sighed and sat nearby him, stroking his coarse quills.

"Sorry I let this happen," she sighed. "I'm sorry I made him hurt you."

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"I have a request and a question." Maria said firmly.

"Yes?" Patrick asked.

"Why did you do that?"

"Sometimes, pain is the best motivator," he replied. "You can control anything or anyone with it,"

"My request is you don't ever do anything of the sort to Silver. He's already scared to death of this place...of humans. Don't add to that fear,"

"We will not if he cooperates." Patrick promised, opening the locked door.

Maria walked in to find Silver sitting in the far corner, a small tray of food in front of him. He stared at Maria as she walked in, and then turned back to the nourishment as she sat a few feet away. His injured ear had a fresh bandage on it and he had a small device wrapped around his ankle instead of an ear chip.

"Sorry I had to come during lunch hour," she said.

Silver crammed his mouth full of fruit, leaving a single, perfect strawberry. He nudged the tray toward her.

"For me?" Maria asked, a bit surprised. "Don't you want it?"

He shook his head and concentrated on chewing. Maria picked up the berry and popped it into her mouth, giving Silver a smile as she did so. "Thanks."

He swallowed the rest of what he had in his mouth and locked eyes with her, tilting his head to the side slightly as though concentrating.

"What?" Maria asked. She felt slightly uncomfortable, as though he could see directly through her. Silver unsteadily stood and ever so slowly approached her, one hand out as though reaching for something. He gently picked something off her shoulder and drew back again, staring at the object.

Maria inwardly sighed. A small clump of dark fur was being examined by the white creature in front of her. His eyes lit up and he gave her a hopeful look.

"...S...Shadow...?"

Maria blinked. "You can talk?" she asked stupidly.

It was as though a spark of life had ignited itself in him. His eyes shown brighter and wider, ears and quills straight up. He dropped the fur and faced her again, making his way to her.

"What are you doing?" Maria asked as Silver's hand brushed over her forehead. He hesitated and then did it again, coming in contact with her for a longer bit of time.

It felt as though her memories were ripped apart, duplicated, and then once copied, moved. Maria wondered if this was what it was like to be a computer. Everything she knew about Shadow and S.C.P. was transferred to Silver. She couldn't hold it back. And as he stole her memories...a few were transferred to her. But they seemed so natural to her...as though she had had the memories for a long time.

Silver stumbled back, slight fear on his face. "Y...You're a friend..."

Maria nodded. "I told you, I'm a prisoner too,"

The door was opened behind them. Silver shrank back to the wall, quills and ears flattening themselves against his head as three armed guards walked in and took aim at the room's two occupants.

"Maria, exit the room," one of them said.

"Why? What happened?" Maria asked, slightly afraid.

"His power levels were off the charts. Sudden spikes in mental concentration and physical power."

Silver sank down the wall and drew his knees up to his chest, glancing in fear from one soldier to another.

"We're going to run a few tests on him,"

"No," Maria said firmly.

"You don't make the rules here. We can guarantee no harm will come to him if he cooperates," the guard motioned to the door with his weapon. "Go now. Patrick will lead you back to your cell,"

"Can I go with him?" Maria asked.

"No. Please move along,"

Maria unwillingly made her way to the door, where Patrick was waiting. A shuffling noise made her turn to see Silver duck under one of the soldier's legs and bolt clumsily to the exit.

"Stop it!" Patrick shouted, raising a weapon from a holster.

Silver didn't attempt to run past him too. He instead clung to Maria's pantleg, staring at the undercover agent with wide eyes...like a child.

"Patrick, stop..." Maria said in a low voice. "Or you will force him to become violent...even it is to just protect himself," she didn't quite know how she knew that...it must have been a side effect of the memory exchange. "He has a reserve of power mainly for self-defense,"

"Does he now?" Patrick grinned.

Silver shuddered and pulled closer to Maria's side.

"How do we access these powers?"

"Just keep doing what you're doing, and you'll learn the hard way,"

Patrick fixed Silver with an unnatural grin. He, in turn, shrank back behind Maria like a small kid meeting an unknown adult. In a way...Silver was still a child.

"Maria, if you will accompany me," Patrick said again, turning to the door.

"No. I won't let you hurt him."

"Then we'll have to hurt you," Patrick took a few steps toward her again.

Silver pushed himself between the agent and the prisoner, a scared but determined look in his eyes. His body began glowing a light aqua. The guards raised their weapons, saying, "His power levels...! They've spiked again, sir!"

"Silver...! Stop before you're injured...!" Maria said, putting a hand on his shoulder. He stiffened, but began to relax. The glow faded.

Patrick laughed. "Wise decision."

"I...I don't want to go alone..." Silver said in barely a whisper. "I don't want to be hurt again...!"

Patrick hesitated for a bit before speaking again. "Fine. She can come."

Silver, still clinging to Maria's side, followed her out of the room after Patrick. They were lead down three halls and across a small balcony suspended over a computer lab. The guards eventually opened a door with a keycard and pushed them into a plain white room. Two thick, double doors lined one wall. Another wall had a staircase built into it leading to a smaller door up above.

"Maria, if you will be so kind as to accompany me," Patrick took hold of her arm and pulled her to the stairway.

Silver tried to follow, but a guard grabbed his arms and roughly yanked him back. He fell to the ground and tried to break away back to her, fear clear in his eyes.

"Silver, it'll be okay!" Maria called. "Just listen to them and you won't get hurt!"

The terrified SCP shrank into himself, trying to get away from the guards that were now gathered around him. Maria lost sight of him as Patrick pulled her into the small room and securely shut the door.

"What are you going to do to him?" Maria demanded, hands balled into fists. "Answer me, dammit! I have a right to know!"

Patrick held up a hand in a gesture to be silent. "You can watch." he said, motioning to a wide computer screen next to a window that was secured by a thick wall of steel. The picture showed the inside of the empty room.

"What are you doing to him?" Maria demanded again.

"It is a simple test." Patrick said. "But unfortunately, one that takes days. We secure him in a darkened room. He won't be able to see anything. He will be attacked by a few of the other prisoners here. He will have to defend himself."

Maria bit back a stream of profanity.

"We'll monitor his power levels and abilities. Depending on how many foes he defends himself from, his meals will vary."

"You're limiting his food now?!" Maria nearly screamed. "You're driving him into desperation?!"

"It is a simple test," Patrick repeated. "and no real harm will come to him." he assured. "The other scientists are preparing him now."

Maria sat down heavily in a nearby chair. "As soon as I get out of here, I'm bringing this place to the attention of the authorities. These SCPs cannot continue living like this."

The twisted grin Patrick gave her very nearly made her heart freeze.

The door to the test room opened, turning the spot on the camera to a blinding white. Silver was thrown into the room, tripping over his own feet. He sprawled and hastily stood, running back to the light that was slowly vanishing. The doors shut. He was left pounding on the metal. There was no sound, but Maria was certain he was terrified.

"The nightvision cameras are of the highest quality. It looks like there's a light, doesn't it?" Patrick grinned.

Silver felt his way to the corner, where he curled up and didn't move. Patrick flipped a few switches, one activating sound and another bringing up a small monitor in the upper right corner.

"This is his power level," he pointed to a small bar that was currently in the 'stable' range. "We have no concern that he can't defend himself,"

Maria wasn't listening to the man beside her. She instead was focused on the tiny sounds that came from the room. Silver was pleading to an invisible audience. He was trying hard not to lose it completely, but Maria could feel the desperation in his voice. He wanted to go back to his cell. It broke her heart.

"Patrick, please stop doing this to him." Maria said. "He doesn't deserve this. Not after what he went through."

Something on screen caught her attention. A humanoid figure was making its way toward the shuddering SCP. The figure was wearing glasses, and it appeared he knew where he was going.

"How can he defend himself if he doesn't know what he's defending himself from?" Maria demanded. "How do you know he won't kill them?!"

Patrick remained silent, eyes fixated on the screen. Maria had no choice but to do the same.

Silver still didn't know of the human in the room with him. He was still whimpering for help, which must have been drowning out the sound of approaching footsteps. The prisoner slowly reached out and grabbed the SCP's leg, throwing him easily into the center of the room. The monitor beside the screen skyrocketed. A bright glow circled Silver, and he scrambled away into the far corner, panting. Maria heard him call for the identity of the person in the room with him. The human didn't answer.

He instead lunged for the small creature and pushed him roughly to the ground, knocking the air out of his lungs in a heavy whoosh noise. Silver struggled and kicked at the human pinning him down, screaming for help. His power level decreased sharply and he curled as best as he could, clawing at the hand planted forcefully on his chest.

"Attack him, you stupid creature! Attack!" Patrick hissed.

Maria watched, horrified. Silver must have been recalling what Dune had done to him...he was beaten and tortured for fighting back against his captor. He must think he was reliving the pained horror...

"Stop that man, Patrick," Maria whispered.

The prisoner slammed a fist into Silver's stomach, making the SCP choke and cry out in pain. He twisted under the agony and received another strike to the head. A tiny whine escaped him.

"Patrick...!" Maria said again.

Another punch. Silver spat blood out of his mouth and writhed under the human suffocating him.

"PATRICK! STOP HIM! STOP HIM NOW!" Maria slammed her hand on the keyboard under the monitor.

The screen lit up white and the steel covering the windows retracted, allowing her to see into the room. The prisoner had retreated from Silver, struggling to get the nightvision glasses from their eyes in the blinding light. The SCP was lying on his side, shuddering and whimpering violently. Patrick roughly grabbed Maria by her arm and shoved her to the door.

"What the fuck were you thinking?! You could have opened the door!"

"You can't do this to him! You can't! And if the door opened, then that would be for the better! You can't force him to do this!" Maria hissed.

Patrick came at her again, fist cocked back to strike her across the face. Maria acted quickly, catching his fist and then gripping him by said appendage and twisting his arm around. Patrick dropped to his knees and bit back a stream of curse words.

"Don't ever come at me again like that. Next time, I will break your arm."

Patrick pressed a button on his watch and said, "Take the little witch back to her cell. Now."

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Maria punched the wall, getting only sore knuckles from the act.

"Dammit!"

She sat on her bed, burying her face in her hands, and cried for the first time in years. Silver was going to die at the hands of his so-called saviors. Shadow was probably not going to receive a better final chapter to his life either.

And she couldn't do anything but sit in her tiny holding cell. She was helpless to their pain.

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And that concludes this chapter. More on the way.

I'm glad so many of you enjoy this so far! And as a sneak peak, more Sonic peoples will be mentioned in the next chapter. Remember to review, too, please!

So until then...

Hasta la Vista, Readers.

Lordoftheghostking28