Click! Kchak! The sound of metal sliding over metal was loud, as Shadow racked the slide on his handgun, after checking his ammo, before glancing up at his current company, as they checked their own gear. Wave stood over near the edge of the building, her gun in her holster, as she checked did a final check over her Extreme Gear, Storm was putting a final shell into his shotgun, before strapping it over his back, and Jet...
“Keep your head in the game, Shadow...” the green feathered hawk exclaimed, as he twirled his own pistols around his fingers, before holstering them, and adjusting his small backpack. “...this is the big score, the one that'll really cement us in the history books as the only band of thieves to ever get away with a heist of this scale... if you screw this up for us, you better hope that GUN puts a bullet in you, because otherwise I'll do it myself...” Jet threatened.
“What if you mess up, Jet?” Shadow tilted his head, raising one eyebrow, and quirking his mouth up in a smirk. “Can I put a bullet in you?” Jet scowled, clenching his fists, and Wave snickered over at the edge of the rooftop.
“He's done great on every job he's done with us, Jet... maybe you should pull your head out of your hind end and stop acting like a jealous high school student?” the purple feathered swallow exclaimed, lifting a pair of binoculars and peering down at a building across the street below. Jet scoffed, grinding his teeth before standing up and picking up his own Extreme Gear from it's spot beside him.
“He's been with us for four months! We've never heard of him, but he's some incredible thief who can run equal with us? It's a load of bull!” Jet practically spat, glancing over his shoulder at Shadow, who merely let out an uninterested hum. “He's too good to be true, and you know it! There's something off about him, and I don't trust him watching my back!”
“He hasn't done anything to us, boss... I think he's cool...?” Storm piped up, hefting his Extreme Gear up to rest on his shoulders, as he stepped up beside Jet. The green hawk turned to look at Storm, a look of shock coming over his face, as his best friend disagreed with him. Shadow couldn't help but hold back a smirk. Et tu, Storm? Jet opened and closed his mouth, looking like a fish out of water, glancing back at Shadow with an angry glare, before turning back to look down at the building too.
“What's the situation down there?” The hawk managed, anger still obvious in his tone. Wave lowered her binoculars, the moonlight glinting off the lenses.
“All the guards are in their proper positions, and there's a handful of patrons in the lobby... we should go in the next minute or so, it isn't gonna get much better than this.” Wave stood up, letting out a sigh of satisfaction. Jet let out a slow breath, staring down at the building, and a slow grin broke out over his face as he got more amped up for the job.
“Alright, alright... the Babylon Rogues are gonna be so hot, they're gonna be making movies about this heist in the future, I know it...” Jet practically shivered in anticipation. “Okay, everyone take their places... we swoop across tram line, and hop off onto the fire escape of the building... Wave, you stop there, use your gadgets and gizmos to shut off their alarm, then go in the fire door, and handle the guard watching the cameras in the security room... me, Storm, and Mr. Coolbreeze back there are gonna bust into the rooftop suite, and work our way down to the vault, take out any guards in our way.”
“Mr. Coolbreeze? Nice. I think you should start calling me that permanently after we walk out of that building with the fifty million rings worth jewelry collection.” Shadow snickered dismissively, as he picked up his own Extreme Gear, and stepped over to the edge of the building with the trio of birds. Jet grunted in annoyance, shooting Shadow a distrustful glare, before looking back down at the building and taking one last calming breath.
“Everyone get on their Gear...” Jet instructed, hopping onto his board, which thrummed as the thrusters activated. Shadow followed suit, glancing down at the building with focus, as Wave and Storm did the same beside him. “...and... go!” At Jet's command, the four of them activated the forward boosts on their Extreme Gears, and practically launched off the edge of the building. They were in freefall for about five seconds, before they all landed on the raised tram line in the middle of the street, and flawlessly grinded down the thin metal, before hopping off as they reached the target building, and landed on the large fire escape on the side. Wave stopped, as Shadow, Storm, and Jet continued, riding upwards along the stairs with extreme precision, as the swallow started to hastily unpack her gadgets, meant to disable the fire door alarm, so she could enter without alerting anyone.
One down. Shadow reached the top of the fire escape, which ended on the building rooftop, and hopped off his Extreme Gear, as Jet and Storm came up behind him doing the same. Storm immediately unstrapped his shotgun, and Shadow and Jet both drew their pistols, the trio making their way to the rooftop suite, passing by the large swimming pool that was on the roof. Almost time for two and three. Shadow reached the door first, and was reaching down to open it, when his eyes widened in surprise, as Jet shoved him aside roughly. “No, I'm the one who goes first!” the hawk growled, as he reached down. Shadow tensed, glancing backwards at Storm, his grip on his pistol tightening- hurry up, hurry up...!
Almost as if hearing his thoughts, suddenly, with the softest of swishes, a dart embedded itself into Storm's neck, just as Jet opened the door. Storm gasped, and dropped his shotgun, the firearm making a loud crack as it hit the floor, and Jet spun around, eyes widening as he saw the thick dart stuck in Storm's neck. “What the fu-?!” Jet was cut off, as Shadow, with a blur of motion, spun on his heel and kicked the first pistol out of Jet's right hand, and in the same motion as he spun back into his original direction, he wrenched the other gun from Jet's left hand. Jet didn't even have time to let out a squawk of surprise, before Shadow elbowed him in the face, knocking the hawk backwards and through the open door.
Dropping Jet's pistol, Shadow took a dashing step through the door after the stumbling hawk, and grabbed one of his flailing arms, twisting it around behind Jet's back, before jerking the hawk to the side, and slamming him against a pillar in the suite, face first, pinning him there. Jet could only let out a breathless wheeze of shock, as Shadow leaned in from behind, keeping Jet pressed firmly against the pillar, unable to move. “You're only ever gonna hear me say this once...” Shadow whispered smugly into Jet's ear. “...you were right about me.” Not giving Jet time to say anything, Shadow raised his foot, and kicked down at the back of Jet's knee, making the hawk let out a shout of pain, and fall to his knees against the pillar. Shadow released Jet's wrist as he went down, and pressed his gun to the back of Jet's head. “I'm a GUN agent. You're under arrest.”
Jet could only let out a shaking, thick breath as he was still reeling from the sudden and decisive attacks he'd just been dealt, leaving him on his knees, with his body pressed against a pillar, and a gun pressed to the back of his head. Shadow looked over to the still open door, and watched as a white furred bat landed gracefully on the rooftop, right beside Storm, who had fallen to the ground, unconscious from the drugged dart in his neck. “The idea was to let me hit both of these boys with the darts, Shadow...” Rouge chuckled, her voice sultry as she knelt down, producing a pair of handcuffs and starting to lock Storm's wrist's behind his back. “You let Jet get out of my sight.”
“Hmph.” Shadow grunted, shrugging. “Situations change. Adaption becomes necessary. Did you grab Wave?”
“Darted her as soon as she stepped in the fire escape door...” Rouge confirmed, as she stood up, and produced a second pair of cuffs as she stepped into the suite, making her way towards the hedgehog and the hawk. Jet let out a ragged sound, fury in his choked voice.
“You're with GUN, you bastard?!” Jet gasped out, his voice shaking with rage. “You...! You stole hundreds of thousands of rings with us, you ransacked a museum with us, you shot at guards with us, how the hell are you with GUN?!”
“Well, when a band of thieves has gotten so notorious that ' people are gonna be making movies about their heists in the future', GUN tends to take notice... and GUN gets quite generous with what they'll allow their undercover agents do when they want to nab those thieves.” Shadow answered nonchalantly, as Rouge knelt down to start cuffing Jet's hands behind his back. “I'm still stunned that out of the three of these 'master thieves', only you were suspicious of me.”
“S-Storm, Wave...!” Jet let out a choked sound of grief, before nearly snarling in anger. “You're not locking us up! I promised them we'd never end up in a GUN cell!” Jet screamed, sounding almost as though he was trying to hold back tears, before starting to thrash, as Shadow yanked him to his feet. “I'll kill you Shadow! I'm going to kill you if it's the last thing I ever do, I swear it, I SWEAR IT!” the hawk screeched hysterically, struggling against Shadow's grip.
“Looks like you're already making promises you're gonna break again...” Shadow said, cruelly calm, as he raised a fist, and clocked Jet over the back of the head, knocking him unconscious. Rouge let out a sigh as Shadow let the hawk fall over, out cold.
“I almost feel bad for him.”
“Don't. None of them had any issues shooting their way out if they got caught, or killing anyone who got in their way. If they'd realized that this was a trap, they'd have emptied a gun into my head and probably left me on the roof for you to find.” Shadow stepped over Jet, and stepped back out onto the roof with Rouge, as she held up her wrist, speaking into a communicator.
“The albatross and the hawk are apprehended, waiting for extraction on the roof.” Rouge waited for the customary 'Roger that, Agent Rouge', before continuing to follow Shadow, as he made his way over to one of the pool chairs, sitting down in it and leaning back, looking up at the night sky. Rouge sat down in the chair across from him, turning slightly as GUN soldiers entered the rooftop from the staircase, and waving them in Storm and Jet's direction, before turning back to Shadow. “You did nice work... four months of undercover work in the Babylon Rogues was something that people would have considered impossible.”
“Kinda helps when you've got GUN's blessing to 'do anything necessary to earn the enemy's trust'...” Shadow grunted, glancing down at his 'heist outfit' with distaste. “I helped them steal priceless art from that museum, and I shot at city guards... if it wasn't for my... 'assisted' accuracy, I might have actually hit them in fatal spots.” Rouge let out a sigh, as she noticed Shadow emphasize 'assisted'.
“I may not be... the same as you, Shadow, but I don't see why you resent yourself for something you have no control over...” the bat leaned back in the chair, reclining and looking out over the gently rippling surface of the swimming pool. “...you're a good agent... you do things that other agents can't.”
“I'm genetically engineered to be a 'good agent', Rouge...” Shadow's voice sounded smooth, monotonous, but Rouge could detect the subtle bitterness in it. “How could anyone expect the Ultimate Lifeform to be anything less than perfect at GUN work? It's what they had Gerald grow me for after all... near perfect accuracy, cells that are immune to illness and disease, better vision, better speed, all my genes are built to be superior... and let's not forget what I can do when I take a Chaos Drive.” the armrest of Shadow's chair creaked subtly, as he gripped them tighter, though his tone of voice didn't change. “...I'm just a bio-weapon, with a hedgehog paint job.”
“That's not true.” Rouge replied, her tone firm and confident. “Gerald made you so that he could use your genes to try and make a cure for his granddaughter's ailment... he had to sign you off as a military expense in order to get the funding he needed from GUN, but you were never intended to be a weapon, Shadow...”
“Oh, that's better I guess. I'm a living panacea, who just also happens to be excellent at doing GUN black ops work. Purely by happy accident.” Shadow turned his head slightly, watching as a GUN flying transport flew overhead, lowering down onto the roof, as the soldiers waiting below prepared to take the two unconscious birds on board to be taken to Prison Island. Rouge slowly inhaled, letting it out in a soft sigh of disappointment, before sitting up straight again, and turning to face Shadow in her chair.
“I can only tell you that I don't think of you as a science project or a weapon, Shadow... but you're the one who has to feel it too, for yourself, if you ever want to get out of your own head for once.” she said softly after a moment. Shadow let out a soft hum at that, before Rouge continued. “But because you're excellent at GUN black ops work, you've already got another deep cover assignment from the Commander himself. We're gonna be briefed on it when we get back to HQ.”
“Another uncover assignment already? I'd say I'm surprised, but that would be a lie.” Shadow sighed, as he sat up himself. He turned and watched as the GUN transport took off, just in time for another one to arrive, slowly starting to land. “Our ride's here.”
“Let's get going then.” Rouge stood up, flexing her wings a little, before the two of them started to head over to the transport.
“You ever get tired of helping GUN keep their iron fist on top of everything?” Shadow asked, glancing to Rouge. Her lips worked into a firm line, and she sighed.
“Well, when the options are Prison Island, or GUN wetwork? I'll have to admit, I'm gonna play for the winning team. Fine wines and pretty jewelry beat prison food and an inmate collar any day.” she answered carefully. Shadow let out another hum in response. Rouge turned to give him a subtle smile. “Besides, if I ever jumped ship, I know they've got guys like you to send after me.” A rare humored smile tugged at the edges of Shadow's mouth.
“That they do.”
- - - - -
Rouge knocked on the door of the Commander's office, as Shadow stood beside her. He glanced backward at the main room of the command center, catching a few of the GUN officers staring at him, and they quickly looked away as Shadow narrowed his eyes.
“Enter.” came the strict tone from within, and Rouge opened the door, stepping inside, with Shadow in tow.
“You've got a briefing for us, sir?” Rouge asked, standing before the Commander's desk, as Shadow merely sat down in one of the chairs near the desk. The Commander glanced at Shadow with his mismatched eyes, and then back to Rouge.
“Yes, I do. Follow Project Shadow's example, sit.” Rouge did so, folding her hands in her lap. Shadow's mouth twitched slightly at being addressed as Project, though he kept silent. The Commander opened a drawer on his desk, and pulled out a large file, setting it down with a heavy flop on his desk. “We've got a problem... a big one. A so called 'resistance' cell, buried at the outskirts of the city, in the Knothole and Mystic Ruins regions, and we're unsure of how deep and well hidden they are, entrenching themselves into GUN territory, and threatening the sanctity of our control on the cities.”
Shadow tilted his head, one brow raising. “A resistance cell? Whatever could they be resisting? GUN is the most benevolent organization there is, I don't see how anyone could want to oppose us...” the dry undertone of sarcasm in his voice wasn't very subtle, and Rouge visibly tensed, as the Commander narrowed his eyes slightly.
“How haven't we heard about this resistance cell yet? Most resistance groups are very showy and bombastic about letting people know they're around, to try and rally support...” Rouge spoke up, and it was rather clear that she was trying to divert attention away from Shadow's insubordination with an honest question. The Commander drummed his fingers along the file.
“This group is different. We suspect that they've got some kind of technology that could be on par with Dr. Robotnik's work with us... and they've been good at hiding it.” The Commander slid the file over to Rouge. “We've had a few of our science outposts get breached... they tried to disguise it as the work of vandals, defacing the property with graffiti, and popping tires on the transports and vehicles. But... in each case, we've found a breach in the secure server rooms, with evidence that information was hacked and stolen from them... this was already alarming, but recently they've stepped up their efforts.” The Commander spun his chair slightly, picking up a remote and activating a display screen to lower from the ceiling off to the side.
“This is footage from outpost SA7AM... we'd come into possession of a powerful energy source, and were holding it there... a Chaos Emerald.” Shadow blinked at the mention of the Emerald, sitting up slightly straighter, as the screen displayed a number of different camera angles of the outpost, one of which showed a bright green gemstone, being held in a special containment room. “Professor Gerald used one as an essential part of your creation, Project Shadow... they hold immense power, and Dr. Robotnik assures me that he can use one to create even more powerful technology for GUN. As I'm sure you understand... we can't afford to have these Emeralds held by just anyone.”
On the screen, near to the front gate of the outpost, there was a sudden blur of blue flashing past the two guards on duty, and both soldiers fell unconscious as it passed by them. The flash of blue then dashed up the side of one of the gate walls, and flipped over it. Shadow leaned forward in his chair, red eyes locked on the screen, as the blur appeared on the next camera angle, not stopping, as it hit the ground inside the base, and dashed towards one of the transport vehicles parked there, sliding underneath it, and out of sight. As the blur remained hidden, there was more motion at the front gate. Two figures in dark, tactical looking attire, approached the gate, one of them wearing a backpack. Though the gear concealed their faces from full view from the camera, it was apparent that one of them was a female squirrel, and the other was a male fox... interestingly enough, he seemed to have two tails.
As the two approached the control console of the gate, there was movement from under the truck inside the base. The blue blur suddenly dashed out from underneath the truck, striking two more patrolling guards unconscious in a practical blink of the eye, before dashing for the nearest building, the barracks. As the blur vanished into the barracks building, practically smashing the door off the hinges, the fox at the gate did something to the gate console, and in a moment, the gate opened, with no breaching alarm... both the fox and the squirrel hurried into the outpost, making their way straight towards the science building. As they moved inward, the fox seemed to point a remote at each camera they passed, and one by one, the different angles went black as the two moved by.
“The cameras in the science building are protected with a special outer shielding... whatever device he's using, high tech enough as it is to breach the camera security, wasn't strong enough to fully disrupt the science building footage.” The Commander exclaimed, as the two came into view, entering the science building. A guard saw them enter, and before he could even raise his weapon, the squirrel had dashed into his personal space, one foot coming up to kick the gun upwards out of his hands. Shadow quirked a brow, as in the same motion, the squirrel pivoted on her heel and she thrust her other leg forward into the guard's chest, sending him slamming against the wall, where he dropped to the floor unconscious, before the squirrel drew her own sidearm, and continued on through the building.
“They're definitely not your usual vandals...” Rouge murmured, as the squirrel efficiently took out the other guards in the building as she and the fox advanced. The two of them reached the main Emerald chamber, locked behind a thick steel door. The fox stepped over to the high tech lock, and started to fiddle around with it, while the squirrel raised her hand to her ear, apparently communicating with someone on the other end of a communicator. The fox turned, giving her a thumbs up, and pressed a button on the lock. The steel door opened like he'd just given it proper credentials. The fox removed a small box from his backpack, as he stepped into the Emerald room, and gingerly took the Chaos Emerald from it's container, placing it into the box.
“Whatever that box is, it managed to dampen the energy readings off the Emerald... we couldn't track it through Robotnik's energy reader...” The Commander explained. “...the level of technological prowess that would be required to build such a device, would have to be on par with Dr. Robotnik's own.” Shadow watched, as the squirrel and the fox made their way back to the entrance of the science building... the door closing behind them was the last frame. The Commander pressed a few buttons on the remote, recalling still images of the blue blur, and the fox and squirrel.
“So... what we've got here, is an organized resistance cell, a fox using technology capable of cracking through our own, and most troubling of all, an engineered Mobian of some kind... based on how fast it was moving, we can only speculate that it's got similar abilities to Project Shadow, capable of incredible feats when using Chaos Drives. And now they possess a Chaos Emerald.” The Commander finished. Shadow didn't even react to being referred to as 'Project' again... his gaze remained on the blur of blue.
“Can you zoom in on it?” the dark furred hedgehog asked after a moment. The Commander shook his head.
“We've tried, but it's moving too fast for any clear images.” The Commander stood, turning to stare out of the window in thought. “This is unheard of. It's already ludicrous that they have tech rivaling ours... but the fact that they've managed to create a bioweapon like ours, pushes this past mere 'search and destroy' tactics, and calls for stealthier methods, deep cover.” The Commander turned to look at Shadow and Rouge, a stern edge in his mismatched eyes. “Project Shadow... you'll infiltrate this cell, and find out everything about them. Where they get their tech, what their plans are, and if they have any other cells working with them, and how they developed a bioweapon on par with you... GUN needs to know it all, whether or not we've got a mole in Robotnik's Science Division feeding this cell our data.”
“...” Shadow settled back in the chair, still staring at the blur on the screen... how was it possible for some random resistance cell to have the capability to create... a being... that had the same abilities he possessed? “What happens after I find out everything?” the dark hedgehog asked finally. The Commander turned his head, looking back over his shoulder at Shadow.
“Eradication of the bioweapon, and the enemy.”
- - - -
“Y'know, I figured if I was ever gonna chain you up, it would be in a bedroom, and not a GUN transport...” Rouge chuckled, as she clamped the metal bracelets around Shadow's wrists, before sitting back in her seat, and looking Shadow up and down. The dark hedgehog was wearing a grey tank top, and black pants, with both hands shackled behind his back. Shadow sighed, turning around and sitting on the bench again.
“Just put the tag in, and we're set.” Shadow instructed, leaning his head forward to present his ear to the bat... Rouge hummed in response, picking up the piercing gun off the bench beside her, and bringing it to Shadow's ear... there was a quick click, and Shadow's jaw clenched for a moment, as the prisoner tag was pierced into his ear.
“There...” Rouge brought a small medical pad forward, wiping away the little beads of red that welled up around Shadow's new ear piercing. “...black tag, designation 'X'... you're now officially a top level prisoner of GUN, with the highest tier threat rating, congratulations.”
“That would be a lot more funny if it wasn't a metaphor of my real life already.” Shadow replied, unamused, as he settled back on the bench. Rouge settled back as well, glancing out the window as they flew over the city below.
“What did you do to end up here, Prisoner?” the bat asked.
“I destroyed a GUN mech warehouse in Westopolis, and took out one of the GUN strike teams you sent after me, before I was captured.” Shadow answered without missing a beat. Rouge nodded in satisfaction.
“Good, story straight, as always.” The bat crossed her legs, looking Shadow over again. “I've seen you play a prisoner before, but not like this mission has you playing it... if this resistance group decides it doesn't need a new member, then we're kinda out in the cold here... IF they show up at all. Even if the word we leaked, that we've got a stash of Chaos Drives at this base, we don't know if they'll come to snag it.”
“If their engineered Mobian is the same as me, then they need Chaos Drives to give them the enhanced powers that they were using on the footage, just like I do.” Shadow looked out the window himself. “Even if they're using that Chaos Emerald to make their own drives, they can't pass up a chance to snag a shipment of them for free... they don't need to waste their own resources to power up their weapon, and while they're burning through the drives they steal from us, they can build up their own stock. It's a practically irresistible opportunity.”
Rouge crossed her arms, a touch of worry entering her expression. “Even so... you're up against someone who can supposedly do the same things as you, Shadow. If things go south, you're going to be at a big disadvantage...” Rouge checked her wristwatch, seeing the ETA counting down. “...if you get caught, and they sic their engineered Mobian on you, chances are, you're not gonna have a Chaos Drive yourself... how can you fight someone like that?”
“I've never been made on a deep cover job.” Shadow stated, completely unworried. “But if it comes down to that, I'll find a way to deal with it.” Rouge raised an eyebrow.
“Don't get overconfident, Shadow... this isn't like anything you've handled before. If you underestimate them, it could end up biting you in the ass.” The bat warned, as the GUN transport started to descend to the base.
“It isn't overconfidence.” Shadow said. “I'm the Ultimate Lifeform, it'll take more than some knockoff version of me to take me out.” Rouge was quiet for a moment, as the transport landed, and the bay started to open to let Shadow out, the GUN soldiers on the base coming out to escort him to the cells.
“Good luck, Shadow. You know how to contact me with reports, I'll be waiting for them.” Rouge reached over to rub Shadow's shoulder, before the dark hedgehog stood up, giving her a nod, before making his way down the ramp and towards the soldiers. As soon as he was within arms reach, one of them gave him a shove forward, and Shadow turned to glare at him, as the GUN transport closed again, and flew off.
“Get moving, prisoner!” the GUN soldier shouted. Shadow glared for a moment more, before turning around and starting to follow the surrounding soldiers, heading towards the holding cell building once more. His red eyes shifted, glancing at the fence perimeter of the base, a spot that Shadow had identified as the best breaching point for intrusion during the planning phase of the mission... if this cell was gonna make a move for the Drives on this base, they'd do it soon. Shadow's ear flicked, as he heard the GUN soldier behind him step forward, likely to shove him again, and this time, the dark hedgehog turned in place, bringing one leg up in the same motion.
As the soldier missed his shove, stumbling forward in surprise, Shadow swung his raised leg up, and kicked the soldier right on the behind, sending him falling forward face first onto the ground, head down, and butt up, dropping his rifle in the process. The other guards turned around, weapons raised in Shadow's direction, as the red faced soldier hurriedly stood up, grabbing his rifle off the ground.
“You little bastard!” he spat.
“You should watch where you're walking.” Shadow replied, shrugging. The soldier bared his teeth, hand coming down to draw his baton, when one of the other soldiers spoke up.
“C'mon man, we've got a job to do.”
“He just attacked me!” the soldier growled, as he sparked his baton. “I'm gonna fix his attitude problem!” Shadow closed his eyes, fighting back a sigh... not even on the base for five minutes, and some asshole was already throwing a wrench in the gears of his plan. The soldier stepped forward, raising the baton, and Shadow merely stepped to the side, dodging as the soldier swung it down, missing him by a few inches. The soldier, further embarrassed as he missed completely, swung again, horizontally this time.
Shadow took a step forward, giving a casual hop, and bringing his knee up to chest level. The soldier's wrist swung directly into the dark hedgehog's raised knee, a nasty crack sounding out, as his wrist fractured against the tougher bone, and the soldier let out a scream of pain, dropping the baton. “That probably hurt. You should drink more milk, calcium will do your bones some good.” Shadow's nonchalance made the soldier practically snarl, before one of the other men stepped forward, and grabbed him by his good arm.
“Infirmary, now!” he barked, pulling him away from Shadow, and heading off to one of the other buildings. The dark hedgehog turned around, looking at the other soldiers, some of whom looked worried, some impressed, and some holding back smiles at their fellow soldier's embarrassment.
“Keep walking, prisoner.” One of them piped up, gesturing towards the cell building with his rifle. Shadow took a deep breath, and let out a sigh, before starting to move again... now that the distraction was dealt with, he could turn his thoughts back to- the fence. Shadow faltered for a slight moment in his stride, as he looked at the fence perimeter again... there was a gash in the metal that hadn't been there before, a big enough slit for a Mobian to fit through. Shadow's mind immediately forced down his surprise, tactics and plays starting to form.
Okay... they were already outside the perimeter when the transport was landing... they probably watched me get out, and breached the perimeter while the guards were watching the fight I had with that soldier. Smart... Shadow turned his gaze from the breached fence, and towards the lab storage building... that's where the Chaos Drives were being held, and it's where the resistance members would be heading... it was only a few yards away from the holding cell building. If I'm gonna make my move, make myself appealing to these people, I need to do it now.
As Shadow took another step forward, he kicked the fallen baton that the uppity soldier had dropped, sending it straight up into the air. Spinning on his heel, Shadow kicked the airborne baton, and sent it flying right into the back of one escorting soldier's head. As the soldier dropped unconscious, and the others jolted in surprise, Shadow rolled into a tight ball, bringing his hands down from around his back, and passing them under his feet, to bring his locked hands around to his front.
All in that one somersaulting motion, Shadow rose to his feet, bringing his hands forward just as one of the soldiers was bringing his rifle up. Shadow snatched the weapon right out of the soldier's hands, spinning his body, and swinging the gun like a baseball bat. He cracked the soldier right in the chest, sending him falling back, and knocking over the soldier behind him, as Shadow flipped the rifle around to its proper position. Taking quick aim, Shadow fired the weapon at a set of helpfully red marked crates of fuel.
The explosion rocked the base, and a high pitched alarm began instantly, as soldiers began to panic, not knowing whether or not to try and put out the raging flames, or to go after the prisoner who'd started them. Shadow spun around, and kicked the guard he'd knocked over as he tried to get to his feet, bending down to snatch his handcuff key from his belt, freeing himself, before sprinting towards the holding cell building, firing blindly over his shoulder as he did so, and ducking slightly to try and avoid the few shots of return fire that whizzed past him.
The door to the cell building burst open just as Shadow approached it, and the dark hedgehog slammed into the emerging guard with a drop kick, sending both himself and the guard back into the building. Landing on the floor, Shadow quickly got to his feet, bringing the rifle up and firing at the front desk control panel, responsible for keeping the cells locked... in case of malfunction, the cell doors were set to open for safety, and Shadow hummed as he heard the telltale metal clang of all the doors opening at once, freeing any other prisoners that GUN was holding here... a mass escape attempt would distract the guards even more, and would further promote the illusion that he was trying to fight against GUN. Shadow could hear the whoops and hollers of the prisoners down the hall as they ran free from their cells, and the dark hedgehog spun around, bursting back out the doors he'd come through, and back into the main base yard.
He saw a few soldiers running towards the still burning fires with extinguishers at the ready, and the dark hedgehog fired at them, blowing holes through the extinguishers and rendering them useless to stop the spreading flames... anything to slow them down, would be better for his mission. Running towards the lab storage building, Shadow caught a flash of blue in the corner of his eye, and he turned his head. His eyes widened as he saw the same blue blur from the footage, dashing across the yard, bowling over a couple soldiers, before smashing into the infirmary of the base, right through the window. The mark is confirmed. Shadow inwardly smiled as he made his way to the door of the lab storage...
If their M.O is the same as the last time, then they've got the blue blur causing havoc and taking out guards in the main base, while the fox and the squirrel are obtaining their actual target... Shadow glanced back at the yard, watching as the freed prisoners fought with the soldiers, all the while as the fire burned, and alarms blared... it was the picture of anarchy, and it was the perfect distraction. Shadow kept his rifle up, as he opened the door of the lab storage building and ducked inside. The first thing he saw was a fallen guard on the floor. They're in here all right. Time to make an introduction.
Shadow stealthily made his way down a row of shelves, and peered around the corner... the Chaos Drives were in a crate in the back of a GUN truck in the storage buildings loading bay... as he crept closer, he could hear the sounds of a light beeping, one that he recognized as a handheld energy reader. They were searching for the right crates... Shadow ran forward, and purposely knocked a box off one of the storage shelves, so that a clang sounded out, alerting the intruders that someone else was in the storage building with them. Shadow could hear the beeping of the handheld reader stop immediately, as the fox and the squirrel undoubtedly were tensing up, preparing for an attack, hiding somewhere near the GUN truck.
“Bingo! My way out!” Shadow exclaimed, hearing his voice echo slightly, knowing the two could hear him. “Hope they left the damn keys in there...” the dark hedgehog ran towards the GUN truck, and opened up the driver side door, leaving it open as he climbed into the seat. He made a show of searching for the keys, before finding them tucked into the glove box. Putting it in the ignition, Shadow turned the keys and started the engine of the truck. He caught movement out of the corner of his eye, something coming towards the wide open driver door in his direction. Turning in the seat, Shadow shot his arm out, and wrapped his fingers around a pistol that had been pointed at him, and twisted it out of the wielder's hand, before lashing out with a kick.
He felt his foot make contact, and heard a surprised 'oof!' as his ambusher stumbled backwards, and Shadow jumped out of the driver seat, spinning the pistol around in his hand, and pointing it at his attacker... the female squirrel from the footage. “Nice try, but this bus is leaving with me behind the wheel...” Shadow exclaimed, cocking the hammer on the gun. “I'm not getting put back in chains!” The squirrel held up her hands quickly, shaking her head.
“I'm not here to put you in chains!” She replied, gesturing to the truck. “GUN has something we want in this truck, and we're not leaving without it! Just get a different truck, and we've got no trouble!”
“Sorry, I'm running a little low on trust...” Shadow gestured at the truck as well. “This is the only truck in this building, I'd have to fight through the riot outside to find another one. I've got the gun, so I think I'm the one who gets the final say in this...” Shadow tilted his head. “...did you say, 'we'...?” As the words passed his lips, Shadow heard a soft scuff behind him, and he spun around, ducking, as the fox from the footage tried to hit him with a taser of some kind. Shadow brought a hand up, catching the fox's wrist, and flipping him down onto the ground with a swift tug. The fox gasped as he landed, and Shadow saw the squirrel quickly pull out a second pistol, aiming it right at Shadow, as the dark hedgehog brought his own pistol back around to aim at her again, keeping his grip on the fox's wrist.
“Let him go!” She shouted.
“Just give us the truck, and we've got no trouble?” Shadow mimicked her earlier words. “Right before you try to taze me? Not gonna happen! You put your gun down, and then you two can walk out of here and find some other way out!” The squirrel narrowed her eyes at that.
“We found the truck first!” she insisted. “Now let him go!” Shadow shook his head.
“It doesn't matter who found it first, what is this, kindergarten?” Shadow scoffed. “First you ambush me, then when that fails, you lie to me and try to knock me out! Negotiations are over, drop the gun, I let you both go!” There was a sudden burst of air in the room, like a breeze had just swept through it. Shadow jolted, as suddenly, before he could react, his own gun was yanked out of his hand, and a rough grip was around his waist, tossing him backwards onto the ground, letting go of the fox in the process. Shadow grunted as he hit the floor, but reflexively rolled backwards, and up onto his feet again, standing in a fighting stance.
Standing in front of him, was a blue furred hedgehog, wearing a dark jacket, with flames on the arms... he had green eyes, and a smile on his face, looking very relaxed. “Hey guy... those were some nice moves out there...” the blue hedgehog chuckled, as he helped the fox up. “But I can't let ya go using them on my friends here!”
Shadow narrowed his eyes... this was the engineered Mobian... he's a hedgehog too. What a coincidence. “I'm getting out of here, and it's gonna be on this truck! I've come too far to let some lowly thieves steal my ticket out of GUN's custody! Get out of my way!” Shadow took a step forward. The blue hedgehog turned into a blur, dashing forward almost faster than Shadow's eyes could see, and the dark hedgehog grunted as he felt his arm get twisted around behind his back, being held in a tight grip. “Wh-What the?!” Shadow gasped, pretending to be stunned at the supernatural speed just displayed... though he'd been expecting it, it was still a little jarring to be on the receiving end of his own abilities. Is this what it's like for the people I've used them on? The blue hedgehog chuckled.
“Sorry, but that's one fight you're not gonna win, pally...” Shadow turned his head as best he could, trying to look at the blue hedgehog behind him.
“What the hell are you?!” Shadow shouted. This close, he could feel the familiar buzz of Chaos energy... it only confirmed that this hedgehog had recently used a Chaos Drive. He gets his abilities the same way I do. The blue hedgehog only smiled.
“Just a hedgehog who wants to bring down GUN... I guess you're not a fan of them either, judging by the whole riot thing...” The blue hedgehog slowly released his grip on Shadow, letting the dark hedgehog step away from him. Shadow spun around to face him rubbing his wrist, and glancing back between the squirrel and the fox, and forward at the hedgehog... he was boxed in. “Why don't you come with us? Now that you've escaped GUN, they'll be looking for you... and The Freedom Fighters are always grateful for anyone who can give GUN a kick in the rear!”
“The Freedom Fighters?” Shadow asked. “What, like... a resistance group?” the dark hedgehog let out a forced laugh. “You do realize, that GUN has brought down every group that has ever tried to fight back against them right? And by brought down, I mean, crushed completely, and their members imprisoned or executed...” The blue hedgehog only grinned wider, shaking his head.
“Trust me, Stripes, this isn't just some resistance group... we've been hitting them for months, and we've got numbers, technology, and the will to match! Not to mention, we've got yours truly, the fastest hedgehog alive!” Another blur of motion, and the blue hedgehog swept right past Shadow, spinning the dark hedgehog around from the force. “We can give you a place to hide... which is more than you've got right now, I'm guessing? Think fast, because we're gonna take this truck... you can ride with us, but after we get out of the base, you'll be on your own, unless you decide you could do with some new friends!”
And there it is. Shadow inwardly grinned, as the blue hedgehog made the offer to join them. Outwardly, he grit his teeth, glancing at the truck, and then back at the blue hedgehog's smiling face... “Not much of a choice.” Shadow replied after a moment of 'contemplation', lowering his fists. “Fine... I'll go with you.” The blue hedgehog grinned wider at that, gesturing towards the back of the truck.
“Then hop on in the back with me! Sally and Tails here will handle the driving!” Shadow sighed at that, following the blue hedgehog as he turned to head around to the back of the truck... the squirrel gave him a distrustful look as he stepped past her.
“Are you sure about this?” She asked the blue hedgehog.
“You saw him fight, Sal! Even if he's not our biggest fan yet, we know he isn't on GUN's side! Check out the jewelry!” the blue hedgehog pointed out Shadow's prison tag, black with an 'X'... “They save the really fancy earrings for their biggest superstars, heh!” The squirrel, Sally, frowned.
“We don't even know what he's done... he could be some serial killing psycho or something!” she protested. Shadow sneered at her.
“Brilliant deduction. I'm a crazy serial killer, that's why I didn't blow your head off when I took your gun away from you.” the dark hedgehog deadpanned, as he climbed into the back of the truck, sitting down on one of the crates. He saw the blue hedgehog snicker, giving the squirrel a reassuring wink, before hopping into the back with Shadow, and sitting down on the crate across from him. Shadow looked the blue hedgehog up and down, as Sally and the fox, Tails, got into the cab of the truck, and the engine thrummed as they started to drive.
“So, what's your name, Mr. Crazy Serial Killer?” the blue hedgehog asked, amused, as he relaxed against the wall of the truck. Shadow looked out of the back of the truck, watching as they pulled away from the base, leaving a trail of dust behind them, along with the smoke and fire, gunshots and shouts echoing in the air.
“I'm Shadow.” the dark hedgehog answered, looking back at the blue hedgehog... he seems so carefree, even though he just raided a GUN base... like it's just some casual thing.
“Oooh, that's edgy...” the blue hedgehog teased, chuckling. “I'm sure they named you for your sunny disposition!” he tucked his hands into the pockets of his jacket. Shadow let out a 'hmph', crossing his arms.
“And what about you? What's your name?” Shadow asked. “Sky? Azure? Blue?” The blue hedgehog laughed at that, shaking his head.
“Nope! Good guesses though, and you get an 'A' for your sarcasm skills!” the blue hedgehog snickered. He smiled at Shadow, taking one hand out of his jacket pockets, and extending it to the dark hedgehog. “Call me Sonic! It's nice to meet you, Shadow!”