I never finished my ongoing drama, Game Over, but I've decided to scrap it altogether. It's a shame considering it's easily the one fanfic I put the greatest amount of effort into, but as I developed Zenith, my primary character, over the years, the resulting bio just conflicted so much with the events in Game Over that I felt I needed to go in a different direction when it came to writing a drama starring one of my favorite Sonic characters. Not to mention I lost all the drafts long ago when I disappeared for too long. Consider Game Over finished.
"Where are we going?!"
He should know, he's dragging me there. I can barely keep up with him even with his grip on my dominant right hand crushing it, reducing it to recessive basically overnight.
It's my idea to begin with. Some goofy men with guns have paid us a visit. I have a bad sense that they're after the creature in front of me, a link in a long lineup of specimens who only exist because of me, brought into the world as I know it so that I may someday pay a visit of my own to that wondrous blue planet that frequently occupies my daydreams.
Otherwise known as Shadow the Hedgehog.
But I know they will do anything to win. I am a mere obstacle in the path ahead of them, literally. In their eyes, the creature and I are black and blue targets in sporting clays, whereas it seems to me that we're all running into a lake of fire. How fitting considering that I'm very quickly losing my breath already.
"Stop them! We can't let them get away!"
It doesn't take a booming voice from behind us, nor the sound of footsteps tailing me and the ebony hedgehog to understand that he and I are supposed to get away. I can tell that we are doing just that. Every second or so, Shadow and I gain an extra step ahead of what sounds like a trio or so of G.U.N. men. I haven't had the opportunity to actually look behind me to see who all is on our backs. All I can do is run, run, run.
I hear the screeching metal and come to my senses. The creature and I continue to hot-foot it straight through an entryway that leads us into... well, I don't know at first. I quickly peer into the room ahead of us, but I don't recognize anything I see, save for a few of the old experimental creatures, which include a specimen that very closely resembles Shadow, but slightly taller, covered in a pinch dullish red fur, sporting an admittedly tacky purple hairpiece. At least, I assume it's fake.
Then it hits me: oh, yeah.
"Stop right here!" I shout just as the black hedgehog and I both pass through the entryway, prompting the metal screeching noise to return, closing off the short gap between us and the men chasing us. I dart towards the computer and find a deep crimson button laced with the word "LOCK", printed in bold such that a young girl who has just nearly lost her senses can read it. I instinctively depress it.
My heart is racing by now.
"What are we doing in here?" presses the ebony hedgehog.
At first it's a question as good as any other. As soon as I lay my fuzzy eyesight on an escape capsule on the other end of the room, another quick sprint away, I remember why I asked him to lead me here.
"Get in the pod, Shadow."
The control center. The one room in the Space Colony ARK that commands every other, including the ARK as a whole. I've never been allowed in here, for obvious reasons. On this occasion, I have only one goal in mind: get Shadow to safety.
"Why?" is all I get in response.
Like when a woman's motherly instincts kick in, I give Shadow a rough nudge towards the pod.
"I don't have much time, Shadow, but you need to get to safety."
And as a little kid who knows he'll get in trouble if he disobeys his mother, the creature scuttles reluctantly as I guide him into the capsule.
Otherwise known as "because I said so".
I quickly wave the glass door in such a direction that it latches onto the escape pod, locking itself so that the door cannot be opened from the inside.
A single tear drips from my right eye.
"Let me out!"
I quickly locate another computer in the control room. This one is accompanied by a distinctive giant vertical lever that might resemble a joystick. Once I get in front of the lever, the unpleasant sound of metal collision returns. I pay no mind to whoever may be blocking the entrance that separates the large hallway from this off-limits area.
"Are you following me, camera guy?" I can imagine the goofy guy whispering if that now damaged entryway is really a confession booth.
Knowing what I must do, without really pondering if this is something I should be getting involved with, I place my left hand on the lever.
How convenient that I get the sense that I'm being aimed at the moment I start to hear an agitated, "official" voice.
"Take your hand off that lever."
"What are you doing, Maria?" I hear a far more familiar voice snap.
The combating voices go mute as if waiting for my next line. I feel like they should still be combating, but I am not about to complain about that.
"I wish I could go with you, Shadow, but I'm too frail..."
I have never used the word "frail" in a sentence before. But I've known my whole life that I'm a walking definition of it. My affliction certainly isn't helping that matter.
"Besides, you have a far greater purpose for the people on that planet."
I tighten my grasp, now having both hands on the lever.
"No, wait! Don't do this to me!"
"I'm not fooling around here!"
Without even batting an eye towards either voice, I beckon, "I'm afraid that's my final answer."
I'm only kidding. What I actually say is, "I'm afraid you'll have to take my place."
Another tear falls from my left eye as the seething anger on the creature's face strikes me.
"Sayonara, Shadow the Hedgehog..."
As if that is indeed my final answer, the lever conveniently goes down.
Immediately I'm inundated with a deafening swarm of noise all over, coming from nowhere or so it seems, drowning out the two previous voices. I glance towards the escape capsule, ebony hedgehog inside, to see that it has been released. It hasn't.
Shit. This is going to mentally disturb him.
On the other end, the goofy man, clearly irate that he didn't get to do his job, takes out his frustration by firing a point blank shot at the camera guy. Of course, that's how you would see it. A security camera caught the ugly mess that followed, but I'm sure someone has destroyed the tape by now.
I feel a sharp blow to my left side, as an archery arrow piercing me, the target, missing the bullseye by a hair. My vision becomes clouded in blood red. My legs go completely numb, and I fall to the frosty metallic floor. I can hardly feel the blood spilling, as I'm very quickly falling out of my senses once again, coupled with a burning desire to rest from all that running.
I think of everything I've said to Shadow in the last thirty seconds. About how we always wished to visit the planet someday. About his true purpose for being here. About taking my place in the future. Then I think about how he might use my imminent death as grounds for revenge. He always seemed to have that demeanor written over his face. This thought gives me chills, as if I'm not already chilled enough from the metallic floor on which I lie.
I use the little arm strength I have left to pry my upper body up, giving me one last chance to look up. To my bewilderment, I find that the capsule is still here, the ebony hedgehog now staring me with an expression on his face one might describe as nothing short of horrified.
"Shadow, I need your help..."
Maybe I'm already dead, and I'm just giving out a message from beyond.
"Everyone's fate depends on... you."
My arms give out, and I plant my face on the metallic floor. The numbness by now has extended to my face such that I don't feel the blow even there.
Only then is Shadow's pod released. I don't hear him call out my name once more. I've never seen him cry, and thus I find it hard to picture him in such an emotional state. I have to think he is indeed bawling his eyes out. I would be as well, but I'm sure it'll all be over soon. I'll be able to watch over him like I always said I would, maybe stay with him in his heart. This thought makes me smile, still in a sad way.
I must be all alone. The ebony hedgehog, safely headed for the blue planet. The man who shot me, nowhere to be heard from. The clanking of metal, gone mute. All I have to listen to now is the strange, possibly toxic liquid flowing through the remaining experimental creatures, all in a comatose state. I wonder if they can hear me. Maybe one will awaken from his stasis and rush me to a doctor. Or, since I'm already dead tired, I can stay here and wait for the end to find me.
I close my eyes and rest.