Crowds gathered in the fields outside the city of Westopolis to celebrate the Fire In The Sky Festival, preparing to witness an astrological event that only occurred every fifty years: The return of the Black Comet. Humans and mobians alike excitedly chattered amongst themselves, ready for the spectacle.
A black hedgehog stood alone, lost in thought. Only a month ago had he reawakened from cryostasis, yet could not recall any memories before that. Shadow the Hedgehog. His name the only attachment to his past life. From time to time, bits and pieces of his memory would resurface. However, from the moment he awoke, one memory was clearly ever present in his mind.
Shadow held the blonde girl's hand as they ran down the hall, desperate to escape. He heard a door open and turned to see three soldiers.
One raised his gun.
The girl looked to Shadow with fear in her innocent blue eyes.
A shot rang out.
The hedgehog grimaced and shook his head. ``Who is this Maria? Why can't I remember anything?'' His frustration turned into confusion upon noticing a sudden darkness.
Odd storm clouds gathered in the sky, and something appeared to be falling from them into the city beyond.
Shadow squinted. ``What is that...?'' Looking closer, he saw black, humanoid figures spreading out from within the city and running towards the people gathered outside.
The civilians panicked and scattered upon seeing the strange creatures. They had no chance, for they were overcome with numbers and attacked without mercy. The aliens' laser guns tore through the crowd. A young girl screamed in horror as her companion was snatched away and torn limb from limb.
``Look how pathetic they are! I don't have time for these humans.'' Shadow turned around and began to walk away.
The hedgehog was startled to hear his name and turned around to see one of the creatures approaching him. It looked like a floating starfish with one big ugly red eye in the middle.
It stopped in front of him, and a hologram projected from its eye. The image was of a large three-eyed being that appeared to be a floating torso with two red-tipped horns jutting out of either side of his head. It wore tattered black robes and strange ornate necklaces. Having no mouth, somehow it resonated a deep, menacing voice. ``As you can see, the day of reckoning will soon be here. Find the seven Chaos Emeralds and bring them to me as promised.''
Shadow stared blankly at the disturbing creature, completely baffled. ``Huh? Who are you, and how do you know my name? And what are you talking about?''
The hologram faded, and the floating eye flew away.
Shadow eagerly stepped forward to follow it. He needed more answers. Before he could make another step, explosions erupted around him, stopping him in his place and allowing the creature to escape. He looked at the ground, trying to process what happened. ``Just what the hell what that all about? If he says he knows the truth about who I am...then like it or not, I have to believe him.'' He sighed and looked over at the city now being destroyed by invaders. ``The only way I'm going to get the secrets to my past is to get those Chaos Emeralds!'' He clenched his fists and ran towards the pandemonium, hoping this mysterious visitor would be found within.
The invading forces tore through Westopolis like a natural disaster. The black creatures mercilessly killing all in their path, while laser blasts from above turned the towering skyscrapers to rubble with little effort.
The region's armed forces, G.U.N., retaliated and tried to push back the invasion with little success. The human army's weapons were effective but unmatched against the enemy's arsenal which could burn through flesh and tear through metal with ease.
As Shadow sped down the destroyed city streets, he was astounded at the creatures' extent of destruction in such little time. He noticed a familiar form at the end of the road and stopped.
It was none other than Sonic the Hedgehog, the local hero. He was fighting off a pair of flying creatures, but dispatched them quickly with a homing attack. The blue blur turned and waved to his prior ally. ``Hey, Shadow! Long time no see! How about you and me help out by taking care of these black creatures?''
Shadow shook his head. ``No, thanks. I'm just here to look for the Emeralds.'' With no interest for chit-chat, he sped off down the street, while followed shortly behind by the other hedgehog.
The pair quickly encountered more of the creatures but made quick work of them.
Shadow grabbed one of the dead and examined it closely. It's big yellow eyes disturbed him greatly. Aliens? What could aliens possibly want from these puny humans? Holding the creature gave him an unsettling feeling, although he could not quite explain why. There was something oddly familiar about it.
Shadow snapped to attention to see Sonic pointing farther down where a group of aliens and soldiers were fighting. A brief glint of green amidst the brawl caught his eye.
``Look! That's one of the Chaos Emeralds!''
Shadow breezed past Sonic and quickly spin-dashed through a group of aliens. Seeing soldiers in the vicinity, he beat them into submission as well before approaching the Emerald. Smiling, he took the glowing green gem.
Sonic stood beside the black hedgehog and frowned. He was taken aback by the sudden attack. ``Shadow! Why did you attack the G.U.N. soldiers?''
``They were in my way.''
Sonic scowled. ``No, they weren't!''
But he did not care. He had more important things to tend to. No longer being followed, he made his way through the city alone, following the fighting, wondering if he would ever find who he was looking for. Luckily enough, he soon found himself face to face with one of the aliens and stopped in his tracks. It was the starfish creature again.
The visitor's voice emanated from its presence. ``You are late, Shadow...''
Shadow crossed his arms. ``Alright, it's time to start talking. Who are you?''
``All will be revealed in time. Now, start by finishing off these soldiers who dare defy me!''
Shadow grumbled. ``Listen, I'm not your puppet.'' He walked away, annoyed. ``I have no interest in joining this conflict.'' He continued through the city, ignoring the mayhem around him. In the distance, he spotted an alien, noticeably larger than the rest.
The titan pummeled the soldiers with a large scepter. In the other hand, it held a large blue gemstone resonating a powerful chaotic energy.
Shadow grinned and leapt towards the beast, delivering a powerful blow to its head. He dashed around the now dazed creature, slicing it with numerous spin attacks until it collapsed onto the street in defeat. He pried the gem from the alien’s cold hand, its grip tough as if it was still alive. A shiver crept down his spine, as he noticed its eyes staring wide open, afraid that the alien may return to the life; However, he dropped his guard as his soon he looked at the second Emerald. Oh, how the two gems shined even in the gloomy darkness, he admired with an unspoken satisfaction. But his content was abruptly broken by an unexpected visitor. So, he finally comes at last.
The alien leader floated into view, his voice fuming with anger. ``You've deliberately disobeyed me, Shadow!''
The hedgehog looked straight ahead and walked past him. ``No one tells me what to do. I am not getting involved in your little invasion with the humans.''
``You really don't understand the situation here, do you?!''
Shadow took a breath. His body tensed, ready to beat the three-eyed parasite to leave him alone.
``Perhaps, Professor Gerald has done more to your memory than I imagined.''
Shadow stopped in his place and turned around in utter confusion. ``The professor...?'' Blurry thoughts began to stir in his mind. He couldn't make any sense of them, but they felt so familiar...
``Hmm...strange that you don't remember your maker.''
``What'd you say?'' `Maker'? What did he mean by that...?
The alien growled. ``Silence! The ramifications of your disobedience will be severe!'' With one motion of his arm, the two of them were teleported away in a blinding flash of light.