Storm's Shadow is a stand-alone midquel story that serves as the sequel to both Storm's War and Storm's Battle. Like the aforementioned stories, this story shows Storm's POV on the events of a previously made story, this one being The Lost Fox. It also shows what Storm perceives to be his failing friendship with Austin.
While on a patrol sent to stop a strange plan Finitevus has set into motion, Storm finds that it threatens his old friend Austin. Storm and Austin have grown distant since Austin's temporary exile and his accompaniment of Rokky the Krokorok, but the young Buizel still feels a certain loyalty toward his old friend, and when Austin is injured, he and Storm become closer than ever.
Detailed Plot Summary:
Prologue: Taking place directly after the Prologue of The Lost Fox(in which the Spirits of Torch and Maako argue over Finitevus' plans), Maako sneaks forward-unseen thanks to his status as a Spirit-and manages to overhear Finitevus reveal his motives. A suspicious Scourge point out to Finitevus that he'd tried this before with Knuckles, and that it had failed. Maako silently agrees with a twitch of his ears, noting that while he had been alive and had been in Soleanna Forest, he knew that Fox and Sonic had defeated Enerjak in the War of Time. Finitevus states that this time, he is using Fox to destroy the Alliance he worked hard to create. Maako flinches and cautiously slinks forward a bit more to hear their conversation. Finitevus also states that he will use Fox to catch Austin and bully the brown-and-black warrior into giving him what he wants. Pelt bristling, Maako turns and runs off, wanting to tell Austin, but Torch blocks him. Maako snarls at Torch to get out of his way, but the older fox says that Austin and Fox must find out themselves. Maako howls that Torch is a coward, demanding to know how the older fox is "helping" his son by keeping knowledge from him. Torch insists that Spirits cannot do everything for the living, and that Finitevus' hex means that no one from the Four Worlds can save Fox. Torch then says that "Someone from outside the Worlds must be the one to break it."
Main Story: Storm snaps out of his thoughts when his name is called out as he is chosen for the patrol heading for Angel Island to stop Finitevus. The Buizel glances at Austin, wanting to walk beside his old friend, but Austin is walking with Rokky, and the pair are deep in conversation. Instead, Storm finds himself next to the old warrior Longmire the Cat. They soon arrive at Angel Island, and after a patrol that comes up with nothing, they settle down. Storm tries to take his usual place next to Austin, but the young dog instead sleeps next to Rokky, leaving Storm to sleep near Longmire. The white tom tells him to give Austin some time, telling him that he'll come around soon enough. Storm thanks Longmire(calling him "'mire"), before he drifts into sleep. He later wakes up in time to see Austin's tail disappear into the undergrowth. Wanting to know what's going on, Storm follows. The Sea Weasel Pokemon then spots Austin crouching in the undergrowth, and slips off to find his own hiding spot. Storm witnesses Fox get captured and Austin sneaking off after him. Afraid for his friend's safety, Storm follows as well, finding his own place to hide and watch the exchange between Fox and Finitevus. When Fox loses control of himself, Storm equates this to getting kicked in the stomach. [Storm] then realizes that while he had a different leader, he still deeply respected the short-tempered fox and admired Austin's stubborn loyalty to him. Storm gasps when Finitevus orders Feral Fox to get Austin, silently urging his friend to run as fast as he could, and Austin pelts off. Storm remains hidden, shocked at how quickly Feral Fox caught Austin when the controlled Charizard soon returns with Austin. While Austin and Finitevus are talking, Storm finds out why Finitevus had this planned, and flinches when Finitevus reveals his criteria for freeing Fox, finding it eerily similar to what he and Austin heard before the fight on the Shrine Isle during the War of Time. Fox leaves for a short bit-during which Finitevus tries to coerce Austin into talking, but the young dog remains silent-and Fox returns quickly, reporting on the death of a black wolf(Officer Coal), and Storm is horrified when Finitevus mocks Austin's outrage at Coal's demise and those of Forrest and Locke. Storm soon spots the furious patrol, accompanied with the Chaoitx(minus Mighty and Ray, who were watching Dallas and Dakota). Braveheart gives his announcement, and a fight breaks out between the patrol and the Destructix, while Storm rockets toward Finitevus, furious at the villain's attempts to bully his friend. Finitevus is caught completely off-guard by Storm's Aqua Jet, but grabs' the Buizel's tails when he tries to pull of a Sonic Boom. Storm launches a Water Pulse, forcing Finitevus to let go. After breaking apart, Finitevus disappears into the fray, then Storm gets a cold feeling. He hurries over to where Splash and Michael are facing down Feral Fox with Finitevus nearby. Storm spots Austin lunge in front of a Thunder Punch, and is hit by it. Storm rushes over to his friend's side while Master Splash fights Feral Fox. Soon, Austin is put atop Bushel's back, and the Torterra gently carries him home with Storm and Michael beside the unconscious warrior.
Epilogue: An unknown time after the battle, Storm hesitantly enters Austin's room after the brown-and-black warrior-having regained consciousness-requests him. Austin thanks Storm for being at his side after he was hurt, and Storm-emotionally hurt-says that Austin was hanging out with Rokky more, now. Austin sighs and says that Rokky was great, but he wasn't as great as [Storm]. He then goes on to say that no one in Rogue Squad, not even Silver can compare to him. Storm thanks him and decides to stay in Austin's room, happy to know that his friendship with Austin wasn't over after all.
So far, the full cast is unknown. Below are the known characters.
- Austin Smith: A young brown-and-black German Shepherd Dog with blue eyes and thick, shaggy, long fur. He has a deep, paralyzing fear of Finitevus.
- Fox the Brave: A tall, thick-pelted red fox with green eyes. He is well known for his short temper and arrogance.
- Feral Fox: A transformation of Fox's, undergone under extreme stress. Resembling a Mega Charizard X, this form heightens Fox's aggression and anger, but also makes him vulnerable to being controlled.
- Storm the Buizel: A cool, cocky, and confident Buizel. He is Austin's closest friend, but grows distant when Austin begins spending more time with Rokky. After Austin is injured, Austin proclaims the truth, and they grow closer.
- Dr. Finitevus: A mysterious and mad Echidna with an obsession with Austin Smith because of the young dog's vast knowledge of the Worlds. He's the one who sets the plot of the story in motion.
- Longmire the Cat: A tall white cat. He is Dallas' mentor, and served as a temporary companion for Storm when he was distant from Austin due to the dog's choice to hang out with Rokky.
- Torch the Fox: A thick-furred red fox todd with unusually bright orange fur. He is Fox's father, and was killed when his son was a cub. He still watches over his son and daughter, and tries to adhere to the Spirits' unspoken rules.
- Maako the Fox: A thick-furred red fox todd. He is a cubhood friend of Fox, as well as Karra's sister, making him Braveheart and Midnight's uncle. Maako apparently harbors a deep hatred for Finitevus, especially after learning that the villainous Echidna was partly responsible for the banishment of Maako's fellow red foxes when Enerjak threw the Red Fox Pack from Angel Island.
- Rokky the Krokorok: A snarky Krokorok who is in Rogue Squad with Storm. He accompanied Austin on his temporary exile to Angel Island toward the end of Austin's Terror. It is because of Austin and Rokky hanging out together that Storm grows distant from his old friend. Later, while Austin admits Rokky's a great guy, he says his true friend is Storm.
- Destructix: A group of criminals(referred to as thugs by the Storming Alliance) responsible for capturing Fox and bringing him to Finitevus(similar to Knuckles in the short story at the end of Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 181)
- Michael Smith: A thick-furred white German Shepherd Dog with green eyes. He is Austin's younger brother and is very close to his brother.
- Bushel the Torterra: A Torterra in Rogue Squad. He was mentioned to help bring an unconscious Austin back to the Base.
- Locke: An Echidna formerly of the Brotherhood of Guardians, and Knuckles' father. Mentioned by Austin when he rages to Finitevus about Forrest and Locke's deaths
- Forrest Wolf: A gray wolf who once worked for the NCPD; killed in a previous incident that Finitevus was involved in. Mentioned by Austin when he was raging to Finitevus about Forrest and Locke's deaths.
This is the sixth story to have the word "shadow" in the title, the others being Malo's Shadow, World of Shadows, Shadows of Madness, Shadow of Sonic.EXE and Zorro's Shadow.
The title of this story is remarkably similar to the Warrior Cat name Stormshadow.