White Acropolis Peaks, Soleanna - September 18, X014, 9:29 PM UTC
Several squadrons of Badniks were scouring the surrounding area on Dr. Eggman’s orders. Their task was that they were to apprehend a certain black-and-red hedgehog by any means necessary. Just as one of the Badniks had seemingly pinpointed the general position of their target, however, it was quickly taken out by a sharp projectile of raw Chaos Energy.The rest were then prompted to zero in on that direction, only to be slaughtered by a black-and-red blur zipping all around them at blinding speeds. One after another, the Badniks were quickly dealt with by the relentless onslaught. Soon enough, every single Badnik in the immediate area was nothing more than scrap metal, and alone among the rubble stood the same ebony hedgehog they had been sent to capture - Shadow the Hedgehog.
“These things just get easier and easier to take down,” the black hedgehog blankly remarked, unimpressed, just as he quickly continued his way forward. “The doctor better come up with some new tricks if he wishes to remain a genuine threat.”
At that moment, he hears the communicator on his wrist go off and, upon answering, hears a voice belonging to a GUN operator chime in, “Come in, Agent Shadow. This is a transmission from HQ. Do you read? Over.”
“Loud and clear. It shouldn’t be too long ‘till I make my way to the doctor’s fortress, over,” Shadow quickly replied as he continued to stroll through the snow.
“Make it short and sweet, agent,” the GUN operator responded back. “We’re still not sure of the full scope of our other agent’s current situation, over.”
“Roger that. Continuing the mission. Over and out,” Shadow curtly responded before terminating the transmission and speeding off towards the fortress.
Outside Eggman’s Base, White Acropolis Peaks, Soleanna - September 18, X014, 9:48 PM UTC
After taking down a couple of more Badniks with little difficulty, Shadow had managed to make it to the entrance of Dr. Eggman’s fortress. As far as he was concerned, it didn’t look like anything he hadn’t seen before. The doctor really did seem to be running out ideas, Shadow reckoned... However, he did have to take care not to get himself far too carried away and finish the mission as quickly as possible.
Granted, the ebony hedgehog could easily destroy the entire base if he wanted to. However, he had decided against it for a number of reasons, the most important among them being that he was on a search-and-rescue mission, with his primary objective being that he find and retrieve Rouge, a close friend of his, whom GUN was unable to make contact with some time after being sent there herself, and doing so would be deviating from the objective. In addition, he may run the risk of losing control over his power and/or end up inadvertently killing her in the process - the last things he wants in his life.
As Shadow made his way forward towards the fortress, however, he could hear distinct sounds of a large machine approaching. No doubt, another one of the doctor’s Badniks, and a larger one at that. He then promptly put himself on alert, making sure to keep an eye out for anything unusual. At that moment, the ebony hedgehog saw what was clearly a white Mobian bat swiftly gliding towards him.
“Heh, your timing couldn’t have been better, Shadow,” the female bat, Rouge the Bat, called out to him just as she had landed only a few inches near him.
“You’re not injured. Good,” the ebony hedgehog nonchalantly responded. “Come on. Let’s get out of here before more of them show up.”
“Yeah, about that...” Rouge sheepishly replied when, all of a sudden, a gigantic, canine-like robot leapt out from the same direction the bat just had. “This thing really does not want us to leave. It’s been chasing me all over the place!”“Hmph. Fine by me,” Shadow remarked as he and Rouge quickly steeled themselves for a fight against the Egg Cerberus! “We’ll just have to teach it a lesson then!”
Shadow & Rouge VS Egg Cerberus - Clash with the Guard Dog
The canine-like machine quickly leapt towards the two, prompting them to quickly evade so as not to get eviscerated by its razor-sharp claws. Shadow then quickly leapt upwards and, after channeling it into his hand, fired off a blast of Chaos Energy shaped not unlike a spear.
“Chaos Spear!” Shadow called out as he launched his attack, which directly hit the side of the Egg Cerberus’ chassis. However, despite the amount of damage it dealt, it seemed to have barely flinched from it. “Damn!”
The Egg Cerberus then made a mad dash towards the ebony hedgehog, who repeatedly managed to dodge its incoming blows and maintain an offense by throwing multiple Chaos Spears at it! Meanwhile, Rouge, currently gliding through the air, pulled out a handful of bat-shaped bombs and primed them to go off.
“Maybe a couple of explosions should keep it busy!” Rouge tossed forth her signature Bat Crackers at the Egg Cerberus. Upon impact, the rapid explosions managed to disorient the robotic canine, if only momentarily.
“Nice job, Rouge! Let me take it from here,” the ebony hedgehog remarked as he began to zoom right towards the stunned robot, launching it into the air with a powerful blow. He then follows it into the air and zeroes in on it with a hard-hitting homing attack right onto its head, knocking it straight onto the wall behind it.
“Awesome aim as always, Shadow,” Rouge complimented her ally as he landed back on the ground, but remaining silent and giving no reply. “Hm. It’s not over yet, is it?”
“Nope,” Shadow replied curtly as the Egg Cerberus slowly got back up on its feet and loudly roared at the two, clearly enraged at having been knocked around that easily. “Seems like it’s getting a bit desperate.”
“Sounds about right,” the white bat replied back to the ebony hedgehog, one of her eyebrows slightly raised. The Egg Cerberus then swiftly charged right towards them again, only to quickly leap to the right at the last moment before circling around them, as if it had suddenly increased its intelligence component!
“That thing’s suddenly gotten faster! Definitely getting desperate,” Shadow remarked upon witnessing the notable increase in the robotic canine’s speed. It then came right towards the two of them much faster than before, not that it was particularly difficult for them to continuously evade. It was just that they needed to finish it off before it could call for backup.
Shadow and Rouge tried to make it flinch by throwing more Chaos Spears and Bat Crackers, but it did nothing of significance to deter the robotic canine apart from leaving a couple of burn marks on its armor.
“Damn it, this thing’s armor is tougher than before!” Shadow exclaimed as he attempted to examine its chassis for any particular weak point.
“Tell me about it! None of my attacks are making so much as a dent on it either,” Rouge replied as she landed on the ground. At that moment, the ebony hedgehog then took notice of a peculiar antenna on its head. Maybe if he could get a clean hit at it...
“Rouge, flight formation, now!” Shadow called out to the white bat just as the Egg Cerberus began approaching them again, still maintaining its erratic movement pattern. Right at the last second, Rouge grabbed the ebony hedgehog and lifted him into the air.
“So, what master plan did you have in mind this time?” the white bat asked her friend as she carried him through the air when the Egg Cerberus suddenly leapt right towards the two. With some quick thinking, Shadow fired off a gout of flame from the soles of his hover shoes directly onto its head, disorienting it as it fell back onto the ground.
“As I suspected, its head is a particularly vulnerable spot,” Shadow commented as he saw the Egg Cerberus momentarily unable to move. He then nodded to Rouge, who then released him. The ebony hedgehog then landed directly on top of the robotic canine’s head and, after gaining a tight grip on its antenna, began to channel Chaos Energy onto his hand, only for it to suddenly get back up and get into a running start in an attempt to shake the hedgehog off!
“Hang tight, Shadow! I’ll keep this thing’s eyes on me,” Rouge called out to him as she hovered in front of the Egg Cerberus in an attempt to distract it. “You just focus on whatever you’ve got planned!”
Shadow barely caught a word Rouge had just said, still focused on channeling Chaos Energy into his hand. He figured that she was doing a good job keeping the robotic canine busy anyway, as not once did it rapidly shake its head to fling him off. As soon as he had channeled enough power into his hand, he immediately closed it into a fist and punched right through the top of the guard dog’s head, knocking it down onto the ground!
As soon as he was sure it had stopped moving, Shadow leaped off of the Egg Cerberus’ head and strolled towards Rouge, who commented, “That was a pretty gutsy plan there. One misstep, and it could’ve all gone to hell.”
“Well, it worked, didn’t it?” Shadow casually retorted with a friendly smirk. “Come on. Let’s head back.”
Just as they were only a fair distance away from the gate, however, they heard another noise from behind them and turned to see that the Egg Cerberus was not quite as incapacitated as they thought. However, its damaged interface had more than likely caused it to go berserk!
“Ugh, when will this damn mutt just let up?” the bat exasperatedly questioned with a sigh just as the robotic canine blindly charged right towards them!
Without missing a beat, Shadow responded by charging right at the Egg Cerberus and, just as the two were about to collide, launched it high into the sky with an upward kick coated in flame. He then proceeded to rapidly spin in placing, gathering energy as he did so, before utterly wrecking the robotic canine with multiple rapid homing attacks that left behind streaks of light - a Light Speed Attack!
As Shadow stylishly landed back on the ground beside Rouge, the Egg Cerberus found itself on the verge of exploding as it fell back onto the ground. “How about you get the last laugh?” the ebony hedgehog asked the bat beside her.
“Well, don’t mind if I do,” Rouge happily replied as she primed another one of her Bat Crackers to explode before tossing it towards the near-destroyed guard dog. The imminent explosion then caused the Egg Cerberus to be blasted into nothing more than scrap metal, effectively destroying it.
“Now, we can get the hell outta here,” Rouge remarked with a slight chuckle as she and Shadow continued their way out. “This cold weather’s really starting to get under my skin.”
White Acropolis Peaks, Soleanna - September 18, X014, 10:04 PM UTC
As the two GUN operatives were trekking through the mountains, Rouge went up to Shadow and asked, “So, Shadow? Wanna ask about this fancy book I was sent to retrieve?”. The ivory bat then showed to him a menacingly-ominous and rather ornate tome decorated with a large, purple stone that seemed to glow slightly on the very center of its front cover.
“It’s none of my concern,” Shadow curtly replied, eyes still focused in his forward direction. “All that matters is that you’re unharmed, nothing more.”
“Hmph. You’re no fun,” Rouge jokingly pouted at the ebony hedgehog. “I take it you’re wondering what’s next on the agenda then, hm?”
“Yes, actually,” Shadow immediately responded matter-of-factly, further exasperating the bat as she had only asked as a joke. “Is there any specific place GUN is expecting you to rendezvous at?”
“Actually, now might be a good time to check in with the boys back home,” Rouge answered and immediately booted up her communicator to contact a GUN operator from Central HQ.
“This is GUN Central HQ, Lieutenant Diaz speaking, over,” a fairly deep female voice chimed in upon picking up.
“This is Agent Rouge, reporting in,” the white bat replied to Lieutenant Diaz. “I’ve successfully retrieved the Dark Grimoire from Eggman’s base over at his base at the White Acropolis Peaks, and Agent Shadow is currently with me. I need a quick recap of our rendezvous point, over.”
“Roger. Good to see both of you are still alive,” the female lieutenant replied back. “Last time I checked, you’re expected to meet with a couple of GUN soldiers to stationed over at Kingdom Valley by tomorrow. You will meet another friend of yours there as well, as his repairs have been completed since the both of you were dispatched, over.”
“Oh, good to hear that Omega’s been patched up,” Rouge replied, relieved to hear that their walking arsenal was finally given a complete repair after his systems were quite beaten up after the Black Arms incident. “Thanks for the recap, Diaz. Over and out.”
The bat then terminated her transmission and turned to Shadow and continued, “We should head back to Castle Town for now and get some rest. Well, mainly me since I was on the field for longer, but y’know what I mean. It is late, after all.”
“Sure. Lead the way,” Shadow replied with a nod and began to follow Rouge’s lead back to Castle Town. However, he then took another look at the tome Rouge was carrying - the Dark Grimoire, she had called it. He didn’t know what, but something about it clearly spelled trouble...
-Shadow: Stage 1 - End-
Next Chapter: Stage 2 - The Darkness