Sonic Series Fan Fiction ❯ Verisimilitude: Invasion ❯ Chaos Match ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Kiraa: This chapter was a pain to write. It was just awkward in general while the other two went down on paper smoothly. Oh well, can't win `em all.
*hums* Why do hedgehogs need rings and what are rings really? Well…it's a looooooong story, that will eventually be told. If somebody can catch Sonic and tie him down long enough to do the telling. *prods Shadow*
I knew it would come though. Somebody dropped a review asking why I made Shadow so weak. Well, I kinda did and didn't. Don't worry though, Shadow will get his glory, just not right now.
On a separate note, I swear that the new 'Sonic the Hedgehog' game ate my ideas. I started plotting this story a while back, and now along comes this game that has a monster eerily JUST like a monster I invented specifically for this story. Che, they say there's no such thing as an original thought in this world, guess their right. Either way it kind of works for me. An easy way to start tying THAT game into my little Alternate Universe here. *cue ebil laughter*
Disclaimer: I do not own Sonic the Hedgehog, or any of the other character from this franchise. They belong to Sega and the people that created them. This is a work of fan-written fiction by Stari Zmaj studios and is in no way being used to make monetary profits.
The Third Era of Mobius
The Third Era of Mobius provides very little concrete history for scientist to study due to the fact that so little of its great length is recorded. The skills of reading and writing were only retained by a select few, like religious persons and organizational leaders, and their records are often extremely and heavily biased.
The unique conditions of the Third Era, being an extremely long dark age, has lead to this time period being more well known for all its legends and fantastic stories then anything else. The greatest epics and works of storytelling originate from this era.
A major impact this era had on future development was the fact that it evened the playing field for all the races. The world was no longer ruled by a select group or race, with the rest having to fend for themselves. Everybody was in the same boat. So when human's initiated the great Renaissance, all the races quickly caught onto the development, benefited, and participated in it.
Chapter 4: Chaos Match
Going out to search for Robotnik/Chaos Emeralds with Sonic and Tails wasn't quite what Shadow had expected it to be. Mainly he'd thought it wouldn't have such a slow start, not that he was complaining. The daytime was, for him at least, a horrid time to be active. It also gave him plenty of time to think, and there was a lot that needed to be thought over.
The first `break' was actually quite fast in coming. A train ride to Metropolis to get back to Tails' workshop to fetch the foxes plane and Chaos Emerald. Of course this made no sense at all to Shadow.
“Why do we need the brat's plane?” Sonic had become a permanent fixture between him and Tails, as far as Shadow was concerned he was quite happy pretending said fox wasn't within his immediate vicinity.
“Becaaaauuuse, we can cover a lot of ground easily in the jet, and the Chaos Emerald will help us find other Emeralds by resonating with them.” He resisted the urge to cringe at Sonic's tone of voice. The way the blue hedgehog had spoken, it was as if he'd been talking to someone particularly slow on the uptake.
Shadow didn't bother pointing out that he and Sonic would be faster running, then either a train or an airplane. He also didn't bother mentioning that HE had a Chaos Emerald. If Sonic was going to pretend he didn't, then it was alright with the dark hedgehog.
That didn't mean the train ride was anything but boring. Not only that, but they didn't even ride IN the train. Both hedgehogs took to jumping a free ride as it pulled out of the station in preference of dealing with all the people inside the thing. Shadow because he made a point of avoiding the majority of the populace in general, and Sonic because he didn't feel like starting on an impromptu autograph session.
Riding atop the train wasn't all that unpleasant. Not slow enough to make Shadow feel like it was too big a waist of time, but not too fast to be uncomfortable. Sonic almost immediately settled down for a nap, arms behind his head and legs crossed as if he didn't have a care in the world. Shadow made his seat on the opposite side of the same car and used the ride to sort out the piled up series of events.
Firstly there was Eggman and whatever new gig he was running. Shadow was sorely lacking in information on that situation. He knew that the old fool had some great new plan broiling and a monster strong enough to STILL be running around loose even after having encountered the blue hedgehog's hero squad on apparently multiple occasions.
Of course that wasn't the only monster; those Black Arms were a whole 'nother can of worms. Shadow just didn't see the logic behind such a fancy entrance only to vanish right after. And the way the eye had talked, it had definitely implied that they were going to do a lot more then frisk over a random hedgehog that they'd just so happen to come across.
Worst case scenario, though Shadow had no way of judging how bad, would be if they joined forces with Robotnik. An idea slightly supported by the loose resemblance Chaos had to Black Arms.
But what were the Black Arms? Shadow gave a growl, leaning back on his arms to stare at the sky as he tried to piece out some clue from his memories to answer that question. Above, the newest addition to Mobius's sky hung dark black and red even in the bright light of day. The newcomer to the solar system had grown far larger in the sky during his 'sleep.'
Shadow stared at the wandering red planet. Red and black planet, red tornadoes with black (couldn't describe it any other way) chaos energy, red and black creatures, hey it was crazy enough to make sense. By all that was holy, unholy, and in between, he had enough cliches in his life that adding alien invasions to the list wouldn't seem all that much out of place.
Shadow glanced over to Sonic. He had a funny feeling that possible alien invasions were just important and bad enough to let the other hedgehog know about it. Then again...he was grasping for any string and straw of logic and and it wasn't very likely that even Sonic would believe something that ridiculous.
Alright one problem at a time, Shadow was going to keep his 'alien' ideas to himself. Which of course left him with the only one other major concern on his mind.
Those dreams, delusions, whatever they were. Shadow pulled out the violet Chaos Emerald from his spines to look at its surface. It was shining brightly in the sunlight and humming ever so slightly with Chaos Energy. The maroon hedgehog in his dreams had been wearing this stone, but there was little to say that the relation was anything more then delusion itself.
In fact, it was the hedgehogs that stood out the most to Shadow out of all his dreams. They all struck his instinct as important, in particular the silver-white one. Though he couldn't quite figure out why, they each made a discordant note in his mind. There was something familiar about them and the more he tried to figure out what the more he was running into a mental wall. The same wall that blocked off most of his memories of Arc.
With a sigh he slipped the Chaos Emerald back between his spines. Too many questions and not enough clues or answers. He could try to psychoanalyze his own dreams, but he'd just end up chasing his own thoughts in circles. He knew that, from experience, and this just added to the ever mounting feeling of things being ever so far out of his hands.
He was getting picked up by a storm, he recognized the feeling well enough, and unlike the last time when he'd had a goal set in mind (blow up the planet) this time he had no idea where things were going.
Shadow had resolved little by the time the train pulled into Metropolis. And it became quite clear that within the city he wouldn't get to do much more thinking at all. The place was big, noisy, and, at least within the area that the station was located in, disgustingly filthy and odorous. Shadow and Sonic leaped off the train before it pulled into the large glass roofed station, to much surprise and pointing from the people that witnessed it.
Neither hedgehog hung around long enough to be cornered by a curious crowd, both vanishing in dashing blurs to the Stations front entrance. There Shadow and Sonic stood to the side of the stairs that led up to the glassy doors. The place was far to crowded for Shadow's liking, though Sonic was having no trouble chatting up some school kids that had noticed him and begged some autographs from the blue hedgehog.
Before long tails finally appeared atop the stairs calling and waving his hand for Sonic. Unfortunately the foxes appearance was accompanied by the sound of sirens and a line of Fire Trucks and police cars blazing through the street. Inevitably they caught Sonic's attention fare more then Tails could, and before the last wail of the vehicles had faded out the blue hedgehog was gone and chasing after them.
Shadow glanced up at Tails who was staring at the turn in the road beyond which Sonic had vanished. Oh hell no, he was not putting up with this anymore. Following the insanity of sonic was one thing, but babysitting the other hedgehogs sidekick was a whole other. The black hedgehog also maid his escape, in the opposite direction. Why the heck had he agreed to this anyway? He wasn't going to waste time by waiting for the hero squad any longer, Shadow the hedgehog was quite capable of finding and beating Robotnik on his own.
Half an hour later Shadow was outside Metropolis though not by a lot, and still trying to figure out where to START looking. Alright, so maybe a little more research, and less impulsiveness, would have served the situation better. Truth was, Shadow had just wanted out off the overcrowded place.
But it hadn't all been in vain. Currently he was in the middle of a circular patch of cleared ground. A patch that still held a faint echo of the dark chaos energy that had marked the tornadoes a month ago. The area had been well scowered since then, by life, weather, and time, and Shadow could not find any clues as to where the Black Arms, which he was sure would have shown up with this tornado as well, had gotten too.
More markedly, this meant that the arrival of the aliens, if that's what they were, hadn't been restricted to station square. Shadow lost himself in pondering this new issue, just how many of the things were there? Supposedly, a planet-full according to his 'alien' theory.
“Hey, Shads!”
“ARGH!” Shadow swung around with a kick, all his fur and spines bristling, but Sonic had already retreated the necessary three feet for the retaliation to miss. God damn it, where'd the blue idiot come from!
Shadow stood glaring and growling, while Sonic just continued on as if he hadn't almost surprised the black hedgehog right out of his fur, though the wicked grin on his face showed that he had fully meant to do so. “Me an' tales are going to go after Eggman's new flying toy, if you wanna come along you shouldn't disappear like that.”
Sonic gestured behind himself with his thumb where Shadow could see the X-Tornado curve skyward over the buildings of Metropolis and then turn toward them. Of all the bad luck, had they bugged him while he was out?
“I don't need your help.” Shadow growled, trying to calm his frazzled nerves down. Whatever deity existed in this world it really seemed to have it out for him nowadays. He should've heard Sonic coming a mile away, ten feet at the very least even with bad hearing conditions.
“But we already have a pretty good idea where Eggman is. Actually we have know exactly where he is, but that's in the details.” Oh, now that information was tempting. “How'd you figure it out so fast.” Shadow questioned sarcastically, easing out of his immediate flight or fight stance slowly. Sonic's grin in the meantime diminished.
“He kidnapped a friend of mine, Amy Rose. Set her hole house afire.” Huh, so that's what the police cars and fire engines had been about. Shadow continued to glare at the other hedgehog suspiciously. Hello convenient coincidences, this course of events was just too simple.
As if fully aware of Shadow's suspicions Sonic offered him a helpless shrug before nodding back towards the city. “So you coming or not.” The rumbling of the approaching X-Tornado as it decelerated and dropped low enough to pick up Sonic was setting the entire ground shaking.
Shadow snorted and stood straight, watching the approaching jet. “Don't think it's out of a sense of pity. Tagging along with you will just get me to Robotnik faster.”
The jet was almost atop of them, “I told ya it would, why would I have lied.” Sonic leaped, and Shadow followed both hedgehogs landing atop the X-Tornado's wings, the jet immediately beginning a fast ascent to the skies.
Amy slowly opened her eyes only to close them right after as a glaring ceiling light nearly blinded her. Turning her head to the side she opened them more wearily this time. Here eyes beheld an odd scene. She was apparently in some kind of futuristic room or building. The sofa she was lying on was within a circular indent in the floor, and occupied one half of the circle. Directly in the middle of the indent was a small round Plexiglas table, and even the entire structure of the room was circular. Accordingly the rest of the furnishings matched the theme, bookcases and a table that lined the surrounding wall were appropriately curved to fit the curvature of the whole room.
She sat up, looking around herself with confusion. Her last memory was running home clutching the Chaos Emerald she'd just found lying around in the park. She'd intended to call Tails or Sonic, but when she had gotten home she'd been ambushed. The pink hedgehog shivered. Mecha Sonic had appeared almost out of nowhere, and her attempts at fighting the monster had been fruitless, the thing had punch straight through the head of her hammer.
It'd also landed a decent hit on her head, which had knocked her out, and now she was in this strange place. Had Mecha brought her here? It didn't seem like Robotnik to take such good care of his prisoners.
“Finally awake, huh?” She turned around, the perfect semi-circle of the room was broken by a cut out in the wall behind the sofa that led into a long hallway. Her surprise was complete when she saw who stood within that doorway now.
The X-Tornado was incredibly fast, even Shadow had to admit to that fact. Easily fast enough to match him or Sonic on foot. And now they were using all that speed to catch up to the large war ship that seemed to putter through the air in comparison. As the distance between the two aircrafts shrank the jet rose above Eggman's craft into a convenient high altitude layer of clouds. Hopefully the cover would give them an element of surprise, though this high up Shadow discovered that it was extremely cold and extremely hard to breath. He resisted to urge to summon up some chaos energy to protect himself. He didn't want to give Robotnik any more warning then was necessary.
Soon enough even the roar of the Tornado's jets was drowned out by the war-ships far larger and louder propulsions. “You ready!?” Shadow turned his head at the question. Sonic was on the other wing, crouched down like him and ready to spring, and looking like a kid who'd just been told everyday was his birthday. He didn't bother shouting back a reply, didn't have the chance to one way or the other, as the Tornado dove almost straight down at that point.
They burst out of the clouds, and only a few seconds later were assailed by a wave of defensive fire from the war-ship that was now directly below them. The X-Tornado began to change mid-air, it's jets pulling forward to imitate feet and slow its headlong rush toward the other ship.
Sonic and Shadow didn't bother waiting for it to land though, instead leaping off the wings and arriving on the Robotnik's ship via free fall. As soon as he saw that both hedgehogs had landed safely on the Egg Fort, albeit in two separate locations, Tails transformed the X-Tornado back to its jet form and tried to put some distance between himself and the war machine before it landed a serious hit on him.
“Pathetic.” Shadow muttered as he watched another robot fall twelve feet short of laying a single scratch on him. Thus far, the only difficulty that he'd found in this place was actually figuring out which way the bridge, cockpit, or whatever it was called, was. The inside of the war-craft was one giant overgrown maze, and though the robots weren't at all difficult to deal with they were annoying, and at times slightly dangerous, just because of their numbers.
Shadow had landed near the rear of the warship and had since been progressively working his way through its insides in the general direction of the front and upward. Eventually, and inevitably, he'd find the bridge at some point along that route he figured.
He turned a corner and was met by yet another mechanic door. He'd blasted through quite a few of the things, and had every intention of doing so now but as he approached it slid open off its own accord. Beyond the door was not another hall though, instead a large dome ceilinged room greeted him.
Really, it would have taken a retard not to see the trap from a mile away, but then again Shadow was pretty confident that he could handle whatever Robotnik could throw at him. Predictably, as soon as he stepped inside the room the door hissed back shut behind him. Across the way, on the opposite side of the room, was another door and that one, he doubted, he would be allowed to pass through as easily.
More hydraulic hissing drew his attention to the domed ceiling where a panel was pulling back to reveal a grate. Shadows almost aloof stature changed immediately. As soon as he saw the water seep through the opening he moved into a low battle ready crouch. Sure enough, as the grate closed back up, the water that had spilled out of it began to coalesce and take on the familiar and unwelcome shape of Chaos.
For a few hanging seconds the two foes glared each other down. Well, Shadow glared, Chaos just blinked tiredly at the black hedgehog. Or at least appeared to be blinking, the way a thick layer of water moved over its eyes. Almost in slow motion the monster lifted its arms upward, the intention of whipping them forward at the black hedgehog all too clear.
Of course, being a hedgehog of his caliber, Shadow didn't take too well to 'slow.' The monster's limbs had only just begun to stretch towards him before, in a blur of movement, Shadow was on the beasts right side. In the next instant his foot had landed a solid sideways kick into Chaos' chest.
Shadow had learned from his last encounter with the monster, this time his kick was augmented with the chaos energy drawn from the emerald upon his back. Instead of bouncing his foot aside, the water practically exploded under the impact sending Chaos staggering away from the black hedgehog.
Chaos didn't seem quite so tired anymore. It's green eyes were practically bulging out as it regained its balance and its watery body began to reform. Shadow stayed where he was, smirking at the beast all the while. Alright, so the damage he'd done seemed temporary at best, but it was a far cry from how the previous battle had played out.
This second face off ended as abruptly as the first. Shadow moved with blurring speed back to Chaos' side, this time from the opposite direction. Feinting another kick at its chest, he ducked below the taloned left arm it brought up to defend against the blow to sweep, more like blow, out the legs from underneath the monster.
He paused his movement long enough to throw another victorious grin over his shoulder as Chaos fell to the ground without legs to hold it up any longer, and was rewarded by a gashing blow from its right arm talons sending him rolling across the smooth floor and into the wall with three deep grooves cut into the side of his head. Shadow cursed, quite prolifically as he scrambled back to his feet.
Although the center of the circular room was smooth and flat, towards the walls the floor angeled downward into a ditch. And within that ditch Shadow crouched now, keeping a weary eye on Chaos, as the monster regrew its legs, while bringing a hand up to inspect his own wounds. Three narrow and short gashes ran along his head just behind and below his left ear. Though small, they were deep and stung like hell.
Chaos rose up on newly reformed legs and turned towards the black hedgehog literally bubbling with anger. At that point the fight became a blur of movement from both combatants. Neither dared stand still long enough for risk of getting struck by another heavy blow from the opponent. To this extent Shadow held the advantage, while Chaos only got in glancing scratches and blows everyone of Shadows strikes sent a little more of the monster's body splashing to the floor.
It was when the black hedgehog aimed a kick for the monster's head, after both of its front limbs had been sent splattering away and were only just beginning to reform, that he saw his chance for victory. Chaos, during the course of the fight, would re-assimilate water that had been blown off if given half a second's chance from Shadow. To that extent, the monster held an advantage. All it had to do was wait until Shadow had worn himself out on the offensive, reform, and strike a killing blow.
But when Shadow's kick landed, and blew off Chaos' head, he noticed that the small brain-like organ that had been floating there suddenly dropped into its abdomen. Shadow quickly put A and B together. To control a body made of liquid Chaos needed a core, a nexus for that control. Even as the water clouded to hide the precious organ from him, Shadow struck out with a punch for its new location. He missed it again, but only barely, and then only because one of Chaos' reformed taloned hands came down for his head and forced him to dodge or have his skull cleaved open.
Shadow skipped away from the monster, then began circling it at a run, looking for the elusive core. Chaos must have realized that Shadow knew its weakness now, as its previously crystal clear liquid body began to take on the appearance of dirtied brown water. The monster had also lost a good foot of height, now about the same size as Shadow himself, since much of its former body mass lay scattered around the battlefield.
Shadow's grin returned in full force. Even if Chaos hid its core, if he kept beating on it long enough it would eventually run out of places to hide its brain-thing. Ultimate life form indeed, this battle was Shadow's for the win.
Shadow changed his full brown frontal attack to a hit and run tactic, never striking from the same direction or angel, as he continued to circle the monster and striking at the best places to blow as much of the monster away, in one hit, as possible. Chaos on the other hand could do little against the speeding hedgehog other then defend itself and hope for Shadow to run of steam. Eventually Chaos stood a full foot shorter then the black hedgehog, cornered into the ditch at the edge of the room, with the only part of its body large enough to hold its core being its chest.
There was no longer a need for him to keep speeding around. Shadow approached Chaos directly. Alright so he was a bit out of breath, more from having to constantly channel chaos energy from the chaos emerald into his limbs then true physical exhaustion.
A hiss of hydraulics interrupted his victory. Accompanying the sound, the ditch around the room began to fill with water. The room had been built specifically to give Chaos this kind of advantage in battle, the monster had purposely let itself be cornered against the wall.
There wasn't much time to react, Shadow delved into the chaos emerald's energy, far deeper then he'd dared to before, “Chaos Spear!” He'd been avoiding using his skills as much as possible, not wanting his new emerald to end up as useless as the last one before he could figure out what exactly had gone wrong. Even as the bolts of chaos energy descended toward the water monster he could feel the core of his emerald waver. Three off the six bolts he'd formed vanished mid flight, the other three struck home into Chaos' chest, and hopefully the monsters core.
Chaos' body completely disintegrated, but not before Shadow, caught just a glimpse of the core. The damn beast had expelled it before the chaos spears had a chance to impale it. Shadow rushed forward, he could still maybe deliver a final blow before the core had time to reform a new body.
The brain-thing landed in the waters of the built in ditch with a light plop, Shadow jumped after with his fist already pulled back and humming with the light flow of chaos energy that would let him destroy the annoying thing, the only kind of chaos energy the emerald seemed capable of sustaining at that point. In the next instant the chaos emerald tucked between his spines blazed into life and Chaos' upper body emerged like a vengeful tsunami from the ditch. The monsters eyes glowed wrathfully green and Shadow didn't even see its right arm before it backhanded him across the entire room to the opposite wall's ceiling lights.
The lights, and part of the wall, crumpled from the impact, metal and cables falling into the water of the ditch below. Time seemed to slow. Shadow collapsed to his hands and knees, refusing to fall completely even as his head bled from five new gashes and rang like a chapel bell. He lifted his eyes to glare back at Chaos as the monster, now twice the size it had been at the beginning of the battle, moved out of the flowing water at the edge of the room towards him. A spark at the corner of his eyes drew his gaze, and between the debris still falling around him in that suspended moment of time was the writhing electric form of a live wire.
Shadow tried to push himself out of the water, but the blow Chaos had dealt him had been harsh, and not even desperation could get his feet to move properly. The cable splashed into the water and time resumed its normal pace of movement just in time for Shadow to be fully assaulted by an overwhelming blaze of agony.
Published on: June 13th, 2007