Tails the Fox
Chapter 12 - The Secret of Shadow Arc
Stage 06 - Shadow Arc
2BIT: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA and
Sonic Team. You knew that, right?
Shadow the Hedgehog walked carefully through the fog. By strange chance, he had gotten lost in a forgotten area of the Mystic Ruins. He could not recall why exactly he came to the Mystic Ruins, and all he could think of now was getting out of the fog that he had been lost in for hours. His vision was so impaired that he couldn't see his hand in front of his face, much less the wall that he soon smacked into, causing him to fall over!
"Ow..." Shadow grumbled, slowly standing back up. Just then, the fog seemed to mysteriously subside enough for Shadow to see what he had hit. It was a large, temple-like building. Its walls were composed of a sort of black metal or diamond. Giant stone statues in the shapes of gargoyles and dragons were along the walls, many carved into the walls. The statues held torches with blue flames in their hands. Around the temple there were large towers made of the same black metal. The towers looked like torches themselves, with "flames" also made of the black metal. Shadow looked for the entrance, and near the front door was a sign that read: "Shadow Arc Laboratory. No trespassing."
"Shadow Arc..." Shadow read aloud. "My presence at a place with such a name cannot be mere coincidence. Perhaps this is why I am here..." So, Shadow entered the dark laboratory...
The interior looked much like the exterior. There were more dragon statues inside, and smaller versions of the "torch-towers" from outside. Other torches with blue flames were along the walls, and provided the only source of light. Although the place seemed empty, Shadow couldn't help feeling like he was being watched...
Soon, Shadow found a small computer room. One of the computers had been left on, and a document called "X Experiments Log" was displayed on the screen. Shadow read the entry aloud: "I will procede with my plan. I will create 4 new experiments, Experiments 2, 3, 4, and 5. I will chronical my experimentations into the X Experiments report, along with Experiment 1. Afterwards, I will have to plan my next move..." That was all. Shadow decided to see if he could find anything else out, and started pressing buttons.
Suddenly, the loud noises of machinery at work were heard throughout the laboratory. Shadow ran out of the computer room back into the entrance room. The torch statues began to spin around, and their metal flames began to glow white. Shadow looked around and found that sections of the back wall were sliding back, forming a staircase. "What have we here..." he thought.
"What was that all about?" came another voice. Shadow jumped, startled, then turned around to see Espio the Chameleon standing behind him. "Were you following me?!" Shadow wondered angrily.
"Sorry to sneak up on you, Shadow." Espio said calmly. "I came here as part of a job. I need to find information on this place."
"Is that so?" Shadow said. He turned to the staircase. "Perhaps the information you seek is up there..."
So, Shadow and Espio climbed the stairs in search of answers. It took some time, but they soon found a fairly large room, filled with many of those spinning torches. Dragon statues on the walls held more blue flame torches as well. On the far side of the room was a computer terminal with a flickering screen. Espio stepped over to it and began pressing buttons, looking for information. Shadow remained strangely quiet. He couldn't shake the feeling that something was watching them.
"Here's something!" Espio said at last. Shadow looked at the screen. A file called "Research Notes" was onscreen. Once again, Shadow read the text aloud: "The government has found me. They will come for me, soon. But it is too late. My plan has been set in motion. I have sealed Experiments 4 and 5 in here. When I return, it will be with the completed Experiment 2, and I will give them their orders. Those foolish humans will pay for what they did to the ARK, and to me! My experiments will see to that!"
"That's chilling." Espio said. "Who do you think wrote it?"
Shadow turned around. "Maybe it's you. The one watching us!"
A few feet in front of Shadow, a black chameleon appeared out of nowhere. It had orange eyes and wore purple and red shoes. It looked a lot like Espio, but had a second horn above the first one, and its tail was straighter than Espio's. Beside the chameleon, a red and black hornet dropped down from the roof, and hovered next to the chameleon. The hornet wore a helmet with a black visor that hid his eyes, and wore orange shoes. As the hornet hovered in midair, its wings emitted a constant buzzing noise.
The hornet was first to speak, with its "buggy" voice. "Clever intruders! I can't believe you knew we were here! I'm Experiment 4. I call myself Zipp the Hornet!"
The chameleon was next. It had a snake-like voice. "I am Experiment 5, Vortex the Chameleon. And I know who you are, Ssssshadow!"
"Wasn't there supposed to be another experiment here?" Espio wondered aloud.
"That'sss what we thought!" Vortex replied.
"It's been too long. Something must've happened!" Zipp added.
Shadow stepped forward. "If you two are experiments, then who created you?" he asked.
Zipp pointed a gun at Shadow. "I'll ask the questions around here, trespasser!"
Vortex tapped Zipp on the shoulder. "We don't have time. If the massster isss in danger, we musssst resssscue him!"
Zipp turned to Vortex. "We can't just let these clowns get away!" he protested.
"They won't. The lossssol will ssssee to that!" Vortex replied.
With that, Zipp lowered his gun and followed Vortex out of the room, but not before saying, "Survive for me, Shadow! That way I can shoot you dead myself!"
Espio and Shadow gave each other a puzzled look. "What's a losol?" they both said at once.
As if in response, a small, blob-like creature dropped from the ceiling. It was a clear, bluish slime, with ghostly black eyes. The word "Losol" could be heard coming from the creature, despite its lack of a mouth. It had a ghostly voice, but it was small and seemed unthreatening. Shadow chuckled. "What harm could one of those things possibly..."
He was interrupted when Espio pointed to the roof. A swarm of those creatures were on the roof! They dropped one by one, and began to fuse together, forming a giant creature comprised of many parts! A Losol Golem! Shadow chuckled again, more nervously this time. "OK, this may complicate things..."
To be continued...