Even Angels Fall
Chapter VIII

Written by Takato Metallium
Disclaimer: I disclaim all rights to Sonikku-tachi. They belong to SEGA, Sonic Team and others. I also disclaim rights to the Al-Bhed language; it belongs to Square-Enix. I also don’t own the spells Martina uses; they are copyright to whoever created Slayers. I only own these versions, the fic, the idea and not much else.
Chapters: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII



Shadow roamed the hallways of the Black Comet, searching for his mate. His encounter with Espio had made him think more than he wanted to admit and the more he thought, the more he couldn’t help but agree with the chameleon.

It wasn’t Sonic.

It just wasn’t the hedgehog he’d fallen in love with.

When he’d left the chameleon standing where he was, he’d gone off to look for his other. The skyscraper where the Emeralds rested had displayed signs of a battle and familiar scrapes in the concrete were the telltale sign that Knuckles was the challenger. But the echidna was nowhere to be found and that was when he knew that his mate had gone back to the comet.

‘I thought I could fool myself by pretending that the Sonic from before never existed,’ Shadow thought to himself as he stared at the entrance to the dungeons. They were normally reserved for the more out-of-control soldiers or those that refused to obey, but this was the only logical place... ‘It was senseless of me to even try. How could I forget that smile, those eyes...? All those wonderful things about him that attracted me to him in the first place?’

Sure enough, he found his mate standing in front of a cell, arms crossed over his chest and a curious expression on his face as he leaned forward slightly, studying the cell’s contents intently. He looked up when he felt Shadow’s gaze though, giving a coy smile and walking forward to link his fingers through Shadow’s own. Sonic kissed him softly.

"We have our first prisoner of war," he purred lightly, trailing his fingers through Shadow’s dark fur. He lead his other over to the cell, leaning his head on his shoulder to make him look to the right. Even though the dungeons were as dark as ever, he could make out the amethyst eyes glaring tiredly at him and hear the low thrum of a growl from the back of the echidna’s throat, as though questioning his actions.

Shadow merely smiled coldly at Knuckles as he played his part and wrapped his arms tighter around his mate, squeezing his hip possessively. "Excellent, my beloved." He nuzzled the other hedgehog’s neck, dipping his tongue out to taste the fur there. He felt Sonic shiver beneath his hands as he looked into the cell again and, seeing the echidna watching, allowed his eyes to soften and a sad look to appear on his face.

The action itself made Knuckles’ eyes widen as he nodded slightly in understanding.

Neither the two of them, nor Sonic, noticed a slit appear horizontally on Shadow’s forehead through the red streak and open, revealing a hint of gold before it closed itself and disappeared.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"So what’s the deal, Lina?"

The teenagers and one preteen were seated around the game room deep within the Blue Typhoon; eyes on the red-furred kitsune as Diamond did the talking. Their parents were currently working on a way to get into Eggman’s old Rail Canyon base. "Why’re the oldies so worked up about these aliens?"

Lina sighed and leant back against the Ping-Pong table next to Waffle, running a hand through her cowlick. "You all remember the time my parents had that fight because we found those old photographs up in the attic?" They all nodded, shivering at the memory of Tails and Amy’s marriage on the line. Those two were by far the scariest of the adults when angry. Lina dug into the pocket of her jeans and pulled out an old newspaper clipping, passing it to Martina who sat perched on the pool table.

"Wait a minute..." The chameleon re-read the title of the clipping. "I remember having to do a report on this in grade school cram class. My folks were pretty reluctant to tell me anything, so I had to find out about it for myself."

Bandit blinked, crossing his arms over his chest as he looked over his best friend’s shoulder. "Oh yeah. I remember now. History class, right? They made us learn about that Sonic guy and Uncle Tails got all mad at us when we asked about him."

Lina bowed her head a little as Waffle left her side to join the others, looking at her sneakers. "Dad told me about it after the Blue Typhoon left ground; he and that guy were best friends and mum used to have a huge crush on him. Something happened twenty years ago the first time that comet appeared, something I don’t know about –" she glared at her friends as they gasped in mock horror, "– and they lost all contact with him."

"Hey, you don’t think those black creatures came from that comet, do you?" Diamond asked, tilting her head in thought. "Don’t give me that look. Anyway; do you think that Sonic guy’s disappearance has anything to do with them?"

"You might be onto something, Di," Martina mumbled, crossing his arms over his chest as he looked at them. "Your parents were more involved with the Shadow incident than mine were, right? And I don’t think Waffle’s parents were either."

"Shadow...?" Bandit blinked in confusion and they all sighed in annoyance. Everything was flying over his head, as usual.

"Don’t you remember anything?" Lina rubbed her temples, rolling her eyes at his stupidity. "Uncle Eggman told us a story one time when we were younger about his grandfather’s creation, PROJECT: Shadow, and the tragedy aboard the Space Colony ARK over seventy years ago. He included, might I add, how he released Shadow from Prison Island as a part of one of his plans."

The echidna hybrid scratched the back of his neck just below his short dreadlocks, still confused. "I thought that story was just to help us get to sleep..."

The teenagers and one preteen sighed and looked at each other; back to square one again...

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Knuckles."

The whisper of his name and a rattling of keys woke the echidna up from his slumber. Ruby eyes stared at him through the darkness of his cell and he tilted his head up, yearning to rub sleep from his eyes but couldn’t considering they were shackled to the ground.

"Shadow; what the Hell...?"

"You need to get out of here," the black hedgehog continued, already unlocking the chains and taking him by the arm to haul him up. "Now. Before anyone else wakes up."

Knuckles snatched away his arm with a glare and stood on his own, rotating his shoulders and neck. "No. I want answers and I want them now. Why did you see a need to lie to us?"

Shadow sighed and bowed his head, knowing the stubborn echidna wouldn’t budge otherwise. "I was ordered to, alright?" he snapped in a low hiss. "Black Doom is still alive; just dormant in my body. Professor Gerald created me to be a vessel for it when he died. I can’t do much, but I can get you back down to the surface to warn everyone."

"Warn them?" Amethyst eyes narrowed although they still displayed some disbelief. "Warn them about what exactly? As far as I can see, there’s nothing to warn them about."

"The Chaos Emeralds are amplifiers of a great ritual only Sonic knows how to do. They are planet destroyers...and my mate is their pathway."

"Start talking sense, Shadow," Knuckles ground out, gritting his teeth. "When you say ‘pathway’, do you mean like a channel for their energy?"

"Yes, exactly. Sonic and I are both created from pure Chaos, but only he was created at the same time as the Emeralds," Shadow continued, now beginning to pace the dank cell. "He can draw on their power without thinking about it whereas I need to concentrate. Super Sonic was never really a hidden part of his soul – it was his true self, who he was always supposed to be..."

"Well now. This I never expected to see." The two jumped at the voice and the clanging of metal that indicated the cell door being closed. Crimson-tinted emerald eyes narrowed at them and a cold smile curled. "Betraying your own people, Shadow?" Sonic purred darkly, smile curling a little more as he leant against the bars of the cell with one arm. "Betraying me? I expected better of you, my beloved."

"Sonic..." Shadow faced his mate, trying to take his hand through the bars as he pulled away from them. "Sonic, this isn’t real! None of this is! We aren’t supposed to be here!"

"You’ve forgotten our one purpose, love," the other hedgehog continued as though he hadn’t even spoken, shaking his head as if reprimanding a child. "To bring perfect order to planets under the rule of the Black Arms." He grinned, raising a hand. The cell keys rattled on the floor before they flew into his grasp, his fist curling around them. "Perhaps you need to be reminded of that fact."

"Sonic, please! Listen to me!" He made a desperate reach for his mate’s arm through the cell bars, only to fall short by a few inches and looked up pleadingly into his eyes. "This is fake! This isn’t...this isn’t you!"

"It’s funny." Sonic smirked bitterly, running a hand through his quills. "I thought I could trust you...you betrayed that trust, Shadow, when you brought me here."

Knuckles gaped, finally speaking up as he approached the barrier. "You...you remember...?"

"Of course I do, you fool," he snarled, eyes narrowing as he turned to face them. "I remember you. I remember Tails. I remember Amy. I remember everyone. Lord Doom didn’t erase my memories like he thought he did. I still had my sack...and in it were my albums. I spent days and nights trying to remember who you all were...and why you betrayed me."

"What...what are you talking about? We never...we never betrayed you!"

"But you did," Sonic purred, chuckling forlornly. "You didn’t see through his lies. You let him take me without a second thought. And now you’ll suffer the consequences." He turned to leave, closing his eyes. "You’ll all suffer."

"You see?" The deep rumbling voice made the two of them look at Shadow, only for Knuckles to be shocked at what he saw. The black hedgehog’s normally crimson eyes were burning gold and narrowed, and a third eye had opened on his forehead – a sign that Black Doom’s spirit had finally succeeded in taking control of his host. "I made a mistake in removing his memories, but he’s still loyal." He looked at the other hedgehog. "You have a task to do. Get to it."

"Yes, Lord Doom."

Shadow’s eyes and voice returned to normal but the third eye stayed where it was. "No...no; this can’t be happening!" His hands flew to his head, doubling over as if in pain. He raised his head slightly, meeting his mate’s gaze. "Sonic...Sonic, please; don’t listen to him! I...I..."

Sonic stared at him coldly, looking down at him with contempt. "You what?"

"I...I love you..."

That dark smile returned and he laughed, throwing his head back. "You love me? What kind of a fool do you think I am! I don’t fall for the same lie twice!"

"But I..." Shadow was cut off as his other turned swiftly and stalked out of the dungeons, leaving behind a broken soul and a confused echidna.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"...And we’re in." Eggman wiped his face with a handkerchief as the group of adults managed to pry away the last piece of wood covering the entrance to his former Rail Canyon base. Rouge was starting to get worried about her husband, as was Vector about Espio. It had been over an hour since their escape from Station Square and the bat was muttering something about ‘should have given him his communicator before he left’.

"So what are we looking for?" Charmy grunted as he pulled the large plank away, tossing it over to the other pile. Cream coughed as dust rolled up out of the entrance, covering her nose as the smell of damp and rusty things reached them.

"Something that looks quite similar to the Eclipse Canon aboard the ARK," the ex-mad scientist grumbled, placing the handkerchief back into his jacket pocket. "And activate any mechs you find; we’ll need all the help we can get. I’ll reprogram them, the rest of you find what we’re looking for."

They agreed and split up, unaware of the glowing red eyes watching them.

End of chapter eight
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