The author of The Flames of Hope/Episode Shadow: Heroes Rise Again considers this page to be unfinished. As such, some sections may change.
The snow fell down as the man in the trenchcoat walked through the forests of White Acropolis. He wasn’t used to walking so far, but the thick snow didn’t allow him to skate and any attempt to fly or Chaos Control to his destination would be picked up on enemy scanners. He was almost there now, though, just meters away from the wall that surrounded White Acropolis Base, an ex G.U.N compound under the control of Eggman since the Black Arms invasion of Earth.
He would know. He was the last one of the invaders’ race.
Shadow the Hedgehog threw away his coat and lifted the communicator on his wrist up to his mouth. He’d reached the entrance of the base, a large, badly paved road covered in thick snow. Above it, Egg Gunners floated, just high enough to keep them off the ground and above the snow. Shadow himself was in the woods nearby, concealed.
“Omega,” he whispered into the communicator “Go.”
“AFFIRMATIVE” Shadow heard Omega say, but not from the communicator.
E-123 Omega rose majestically out of the snow in the road and marched towards the Egg Gunners. His arms turned to rocket launchers just as the searchlights targeted him and the Egg Gunners opened fire, the bullets bouncing off his armour like nothing.
“PATHETIC CONSUMER MODELS,” the robot roared in what was probably his normal tone of voice. “LET ME SHOW YOU TRUE FIREPOWER.”
The rockets flew from his arms and blasted the Egg Gunners to shreds as more flew over the base’s walls. Good. Shadow thought. The distraction was working. That said, how long the distraction would last for was another matter entirely.
Shadow ran towards the wall, something he does very rarely, and fired up his jet boots, boosting over an unguarded section of the wall and into the base on the other side, falling down and landing gracefully on his feet. He quickly ducked behind a nearby barrel to avoid being seen by any searchlights. Now the hard part was done. Next came the easy part.
24 hours ago, Rouge the Bat had vanished on a mission to obtain a mysterious artifact. What it was Shadow had no idea: he hadn’t been disclosed the information, and seeing he was part Black Arms he kind of saw why G.U.N wouldn’t want to inform him. Her last known coordinates had been in Soleanna, and G.U.N was aware of Eggman’s presence in the nation, and seeing how they were all members of Team Dark, Shadow and Omega had been sent to investigate.
Well, “investigating” was pushing it a bit.
A searchlight spun past Shadow, not catching him behind the barrels. Just as it went past, Shadow leapt up on the barrels and boosted forwards towards the searchlight, grabbing onto the tower and quickly leaping up the metal framework before he was on top of the searchlight, looking over the base. It spread out for a mile, covering almost everything Shadow could see from here. He would have to search this entire facility for Route and hopefully not get spotted. He couldn’t Chaos Control either: he’d have to do this the old fashioned way. It wasn’t a problem, just not ideal.
The alarms stopped. Omega had retreated, hopefully having caused enough chaos to conceal Shadow’s entrance. Now, Shadow thought to himself, The real fun begins.
“ERROR. ACCESS DENIED.”
“Damn it,” Rouge muttered under her breath. She’d managed to get the wire box open and had been trying to open the prison door for the past 40 minutes. She had been sent to obtain an item on behalf of G.U.N, but she’d been spotted by Eggman’s robots: an exceptional feat considering her skill. Luckily, she hadn’t reached the object, so it would likely still be in the same place as logistics had told her it would be in.
The prison door swung open as Rouge put two wires together. She smiled and walked out of the cell, checking for guards before walking towards the exit. A robot stood outside the door to the outside, and spun round as the massive titanium door opened at a snail's speed. It flew inside: there were no robots in here, so a prisoner must have opened it, yet there was no one there. As soon as it was in position, Rouge drill dived down from the ceiling, slicing the robot in half. She checked the robot’s laser and swore as she found there was no trigger for it. Although she would have liked a weapon, she could manage with her own devices.
She stepped out into the freezing cold. She was in a canyon of some kind, with lasers blocking exit from the prison at ground level. Robots and searchlights dotted the area, keeping most of the canyon permanently lit. She was going to have to be sneaky about this.
She climbed up the canyon’s walls and ran along the top shelf, being careful not to attract attention from anyone. She could see the main base up ahead. That was her target, where she’d find the Scepter of Darkness. She was so focused on reaching the base quickly that she was caught off guard when a searchlight targeted her and sirens blared.
Several robots flew up to great her, aiming there weapons and opening fire. Rouge drill dived diagonally downwards, going straight through the searchlight and blowing it apart. Now she was on ground level but in almost complete darkness. She hid inside the searchlight’s metal frame as the robots flew back down again, unable to see her. She started to climb up the searchlight. One robot flew into the frame, but she kicked through it’s head with her heel. She kept climbing until she reached the top, leaving several confused robots in her wake.
At last, she reached the door to the main base. The door slid open automatically, and she stepped back in shock when she realised who was meeting her.
“Shadow?” She said in surprise “Why are you here?”
“You’ve been missing for 48 hours,” He replied “And HQ thought you were too good to have died on such a simple mission. I was sent to assist you.”
“I can assist myself, thank you very much.”
“If you could, you would have finished the job 30 hours ago.”
Rouge glared at Shadow.
“Fine,” She continued “But I’m leading this mission. You will follow my orders until the mission is done, no complaining. Is that understood?”
Shadow nodded. Rouge looked away and continued walking forwards.
“Commander Rouge?” Shadow said.
“What?” Route replied
“It’s good to see you again, ma’am,”
Rouge looked away and smiled.
“Good to see you too, agent. Now let’s get this over with.”
The base was a wide open area littered with robots and searchlights. On top of a hill was a large, grey compound. That was their target.
“What are we waiting for, then?” Shadow said. He skated towards the nearest searchlight and boosted up the side, kicking the light off the tower and into the ground. Sirens started blaring again and Rouge sighed.
“So much for Commander Rouge,” She said and raced after him. A robot aimed at Shadow, but Rouge jumped up and yanked it backwards, piledriving it into the ground. Shadow, meanwhile, was faced by a bipedal mech that was firing lasers at him. The hedgehog jumped up onto the machine and set one of his jet boots to maximum, roasting the machine to the point where it started to catch fire. Shadow jumped off and kept skating towards the base, with Rouge flying alongside him. A searchlight spotted them and spun round, but Shadow fired an offhand Chaos Spear that made the thing explode soon they were racing up the slope to the base.
“Luckily, Eggman’s not here,” Rouge said. “We haven’t seen him physically since the Black Arms invasion. Sources say he’s hiding in Adabat.”
“And those sources are?”
“HQ hasn’t informed me. So they’re probably anonymous source sent into G.U.N to keep them off his back.”
“So how do you know Eggman’s not here?”
“Trust me, we’d know.”
They reached the top of the base only to be greeted by a large number of Eggman’s robots.
“HALT,” One of them said “SHADOW THE HEDGEHOG. ROU-”
Before he could finish Shadow fired off a large number of chaos spears, destroying most of the robots there. A robot with gigantic hands walked towards Rouge and tried to punch her, but she jumped up onto the robot’s chest and ripped out it’s power core. She then threw it into another robot, turning both the power core and the robot to scrap metal. The two ran through the base’s interior, which was surprisingly mostly empty. The whole base had felt like it had been running on a skeleton crew for Shadow and Rouge, but they had no problem with that. Rouge guided Shadow down the hallways, towards where her target was meant to be located.
Eventually, they entered an octagonal room filled with laser tripwires. In the middle was a dark purple scepter, an orb covered by angel’s wings on the top. It looked like something out of a heist movie. Rouge smiled to herself and had to stop herself from giggling. She’d missed this part of the job.
“Wait here,” Rouge said and dived under one of the lasers, moving at a pace and with a reaction time that even Shadow admitted he’d have trouble with matching. Within seconds, the lasers turned off as Rouge removed the scepter from the plinth and walked back over.
“The Scepter of Darkness,” Rouge said, looking the scepter over and grinning “What a beautiful object. I’d love to keep it, but G.U.N requires me to give it to them.”
“Why?” Shadow asked. Rouge winked at him.
“I’ll tell you when you get back,” She said and walked past him, out of the room. She enjoyed teasing him.
The two continued through the base until they entered a large, circular area, almost built like an arena. Standing in the centre was a large dog-like robot with an orange spike on its head. It looked straight at them.
“IDENTIFY YOURSELF, INTRUDERS,” It said.
“I don’t think there’s much point introducing ourselves,” Rouge said as both her and Shadow got ready for battle.
Shadow flew forward while the robot was docile, kicking the orange spike clean off. The robot naturally saw this as an act of aggression and tried to bite Shadow’s shoe, but the hedgehog blasted away at the last moment. He didn’t expect the dog to charge at him with quite the speed it did, knocking him to the ground. Rouge easily dodged out of the way and the dog spun round before it hit the wall, running straight at Rouge again. This time, she was unable to dodge and was knocked away. Shadow stood up as the machine gained on him: considering they had blown their cover, he saw no reason to hold back now. He got out the Chaos Emerald he had been given by G.U.N: he couldn’t use it before because Eggman’s army would pick up the energy signature. They’d picked up more than the signature now.
“CHAOS CONTROL!” He shouted. The dog froze in time and Shadow rushed over, kicking each of its legs in turn. He then unfroze time and the dog tumbled to the ground. Rouge took this as an opportunity to kick the head, but the machine was barely dented. Shadow fired off a Chaos Spear at the robot’s head, but it seemingly took no damage. The robot jumped to its feet and charged at Shadow, knocking him into a wall. Rouge flew up onto it’s back and the machine tried unsuccessfully to grab her, spinning around like a dog chasing its own tail.
Shadow got up: this fight was going nowhere. He was going to have to act fast to get this done before Eggman’s other robots turned up. He was going to have to do something he’d never done before.
During the Black Arms invasion, Shadow had discovered his innate control of Chaos Energy allowed him access to 2 forms: Light Mode, which required an almost zen like state, and Dark Mode, which required a contempt and hatred for everything around him. He’d often wondered whether he could tap into this increased supply of Chaos Energy without the emotional connection. Now was as good a time as any to find out.
He stood up, channeling energy like he was about to perform a Chaos Spear, but keeping the power locked inside him, not leaving his chest. He felt the power build up until it reached its limit. Then he let it go.
Rouge looked round as a bright flash of red light radiated from Shadow. The mechanical dog she was on also stopped, turned around, and let out a mechanical growl.
“I’ll let you two talk it out,” She whispered in where the machine’s ear should be as she flew away. Shadow stood there, radiating red light from his quills. He felt energy coursing through his veins like adrenaline, and all of it was at his fingertips. He flew towards the dog at such a high speed he even surprised himself. He then unleashed a bombardment of kicks and punches, teleporting around the dog with Chaos Control. The machine snapped at it’s limbs, trying to keep up, but it was no use: Shadow smashed through the machine, destroying wires and tubes, sending sparks everywhere. He finished up by smashing the dog’s head into the ground and teleporting in front of Rouge, who was looking onwards in surprise. The machine then exploded behind him.
“You meant to look away from the explosion, didn’t you?” Rouge asked. Shadow nodded as he felt the power fade and his quills turned to normal: he clearly had to build up a lot of energy for this power to work. The duo were suddenly surrounded by Eggman’s robots, but they didn’t bother to fight. Missiles soon swept past them and blew the robots apart.
“GOOD EVENING,” Omega said stomping up to them “IF I HAD BEEN INFORMED THIS MISSION WOULD INVOLVE THE AMOUNT OF DESTRUCTION PRESENTED, I WOULD HAVE RESCUED ROUGE MYSELF.”
“It wasn’t meant to,” Shadow said putting a hand on Omega’s massive arm as Rouge put a hand on his shoulder. The now reformed Team Dark Chaos Controlled away.
Team Dark reappeared in a small cave area; a safehouse often used by G.U.N agents. The room was home to a high-tech computer terminal, what looked like some kind of teleport platform and a picture of a green Mobian cat on the wall.
“That’s Princess Elise III,” Rouge said, noticing Shadow and Omega were a bit taken aback by this out-of-place painting. Shadow was only able to teleport here because he knew it existed, he didn’t know the features of the room until now. Rouge was busy tapping away at the computer.
“ID SENSORS ENGAGED,” Omega said, looking at the painting “PRINCESS ELISE THE THIRD. ADOPTED CHILD OF DUKE DUNCAN AND QUEEN MIREYA OF THE SOLEANNAN ROYAL FAMILY.”
“Mireya couldn’t give birth,” Rouge said, still tapping away “They decided to adopt a child in order to continue the royal family somehow.”
“DUNCAN DIED TEN YEARS AGO IN A CAR ACCIDENT. MIREYA DIED TWELVE YEARS AGO OF CANCER. ELISE WAS SIX WHEN DUNCAN DIED.”
“Poor girl,” Shadow muttered. He knew what losing your family felt like all too well.
“Anyway,” Rouge continued. “I’m getting a line to G.U.N HQ to inform them of a mission complete.”
The computer screen turned to static and an image of the Commander eventually flickered on.
“Agent Rouge,” The Commander said “Team Dark.”
“GOOD MORNING, COMMANDER. HOW WAS YOUR COFFEE?”
“Exceptional,” Abraham said, not wanting to offend the robot or mass destruction but wanting to get the question out of the way as quickly as possible. “Rouge, we have a problem. The rendezvous point has changed. Castle Town is no longer safe.”
“Eggman,” Rouge replied.
“Correct. He attacked the Festival of the Sun occurring last night. It’s a wonder there were no casualties. Anyway, the new rendezvous point is located in the old castle. I’m assuming Shadow can get you there.”
The hedgehog nodded.
“Hand over the Scepter to the soldiers there,” The Commander continued “Then get out of there. Good luck, Team Dark.”
The image went blank.
“This old castle…” Shadow wondered.
“KINGDOM VALLEY,” Omega replied “ORIGINALLY THE HOME OF THE SOLEANNAN ROYAL FAMILY. NOW A FLOODED RUIN.”
“It has been for over a decade,” Rouge said “Anyway, Shadow, time to get over there.”
The group once again put their hands on Shadow’s shoulders as he Chaos Controlled away.