“Shadow the Hedgehog?!” I blurted out as I flew over a city under fire. Down below me was an all out war between the government and a race of aliens. Cars were flipped over, fire had spread everywhere, and Shadow the Hedgehog was doing what else, but murdering officers of the law in cold blood.
I shrugged and touched down next to him just as he pistol whipped a GUN Soldier in the back of the neck, shattering his collar bone and crippling him for life.
“Hey, kid,” Shadow spat out without looking at me. “Take this!”
And then he threw an entire honkin’ telephone pole at me. Somehow, the steel was as light as a feather in my hands, so I did the obvious and slammed a GUN Soldier in the stomach with it. He flew up against a wall and died, vanishing into nothingness.
“Holy shit,” I murmured, not expecting to feel such a heavy responsibility for the future of the planet in this moment.
“They got Keith!” one Soldier screamed as he watched the man whom I guess was called Keith die.
The pole clattered next to my feet as I fell down on all fours, sobbing. I had always feared giving into the beast within and committing the irreversible. But this was me. I thought this was going to be a fun day, hanging out with my pal Shadow the Hedgehog. But I guess that’s what happens when you go from the Rated E for Everyone life to Rated T for Teens.
The devastated Solider was charging at me, ready to murder me for the death of Keith. I could hear his steps getting closer and closer and I couldn’t help but smile as I saw his shadow loom before me. Finally.
“Kid!” Shadow blurted in a panic. Pulling his gun out in a hurry, Shadow shot the Soldier right through the helmet.
“They got Charlie!” a Soldier shouted from across the street, dropping everything he was carrying. Shadow rolled his eyes and shot him too.
“They got Ash!” another Soldier proclaimed, falling to his knees to weep. As well as to die. Because Shadow shot him mid-bending down.
“They got BOB!”
Shadow lazily shot another Soldier and pulled me up to my feet, picking the telephone pole off the ground and shoved it into my stomach. “You need to keep your eye out.”
I blinked. He thought I didn’t know that the Soldier was about to kill me. He didn’t realize that I…
“What are we doing here?” I asked in a hollow voice as the fighting continued.
“Oh, y’know, killin’ again!” Shadow said gleefully as he shoved a soldier to the ground. The Soldier cried as he thought about his imminent death at the hands of an angsty hedgehog.
“Isn’t this a little—dark?” I asked.
“You get used to it,” Shadow said as he shook with rage, staring down at the soldier who had just opened his wallet to unfurl a stream of photographs of his children. I don’t think I need to tell you what Shadow did to this soldier.
(He harnessed the power of a Chaos Emerald to use a Chaos Blast that was so insanely powerful it literally tore the soldier into millions of unidentifiable pieces, his remains scattering throughout the world. A Soldier in the background may have screamed “They got Henry!” but it was unclear because anyone observing the death of Henry would have been too taken in by the violence. Shadow then took the stream of photographs, drew a silly mustache on each face, and personally mailed the photos to the family of the deceased with a letter attached reading, “This is what he thought of you.”)
“You came here to help me, right?” Shadow asked, pulling out his gun and firing bullet after bullet at the invading soldiers.
“Uh…not really.” I said as I kicked one soldier in the head and like any video game character that just got kicked hard enough to empty his health meter, he died. “I figured we could just hang. Why are we fighting these guys?”
“Well,” Shadow said with a deep breath. “I’m still trying to figure out my moral alignment here, like if I am going to help Black Doom or not, so yeah, I’m killin’ these guys.”
“You know, where I come from, if you kill just one of these guys, it kind of makes it impossible for the world to recognize you as a good guy,” I pointed out as I slammed the telephone pole into a soldier’s head. Being a weapon that doesn’t have a high usage rate, it shattered in my hands. “Hey, do you have a second gun or something?”
“Yeah, but it’s better for killing the aliens, y’know, in case I change my mind about my allegiance again,” Shadow grunted, shooting another soldier through the heart. Didn’t matter where he shot him though, just mattered that he hit him.
“FIRE!!!!!!!!111” a GUN Soldier shrieked as he charged at me with his knife. I kicked him in the chest and despite all of his SWAT Gear, he died.
“Let me show you my real power,” Shadow moaned, convulsing as he grabbed onto me from behind. “CHAOS CONTROL!”
Suddenly we were warping through time and space, throttling through the city before us, passing through buildings and even people. Looking up as we blasted through the city, I saw Shadow clenching his teeth, his body gyrating with the pulse of the Chaos Control. A quiet lover’s mumble escaped him. “Maria.” And then he gyrated harder and I had to look away.
When we landed in a quiet park, I found myself bleeding uncontrollably from my side. I screamed, clawing at my dress as I watched the blood seep through. Looking up from the ground, I saw Shadow walking away, brushing his hand against his mouth. And as his hand fell to his side, I saw fresh blood caked on his knuckle.
“Oh, dude, what?!” I spat, weakening by the second.
“Sorry, I get antsy when I cease killin’ for too long,” Shadow murmured. “Anyways, after killing all those soldiers, I think I’m actually going to check out the Neutral mission,” Shadow shrugged. “Hey would you happen to know where that DAMN fourth Chaos Emerald is?”
“No,” I said abruptly. I froze as I felt my innards tearing up with my voice. Wincing, I looked Shadow in the eye. “Hey, how do you deal with being emo?”
“This is how I deal with it!” Shadow laughed, cringing as he said so, holding yet another telephone pole that he would later use to beat officers who only wanted to help people live better and safer lives.
“Shadow,” I said seriously. “I ran away from home one month ago.”
Shadow stopped in his tracks and looked at me seriously.
“I told myself I wasn’t going to do anything—then all of a sudden, I almost jumped in front of a bus.”
Shadow blinked, blood dripping from his mouth like spaghetti sauce from a messy child’s mouth.
I continued. “And now I listen to Komm Susser Tod from End of Evangelion every day.”
Shadow went a little cross-eyed, his lips barely moving as he swung his finger around as if he were a conductor.
It took me a second to realize what was going on.
“I wish…that I could turn back time…” I sang softly.
“Because now the guilt is all miiiiine—got it. How many times a day?” Shadow asked, his voice wracked with concern.
“Too many to count,” I admit.
“Hm,” Shadow frowned and looked up at the sky, staying silent for a long time.
“Um…” I motioned for him as if to say, What’re you doing? but I didn’t want to be rude. This was Shadow the Hedgehog after all. What if he decided he was going to do the Bad Guy mission after all and murder me with his telephone pole.
“Hey, what the Hell is that?” Shadow the Hedgehog shouted while gesturing to the distance. I turned my head only to find nothing. Looking back, Shadow was gone. Probably off to find that damn forth Chaos Emerald.
“Well, ding dang doodle dong,” I said to myself, kicking the dirt. “Ain’t that just the way?”