*Chapter 2: Project: Shadow*
Later that night, Maria was reading a book in her room, but a knock was heard. She told whoever it was out there to come in. In came Gerald still in a lab coat. Maria can figure he is working late again.
"Hello, my dear." Gerald said by sitting beside Maria. "How was your day?"
"Same as usual." Maria said. "Sorry that I didn't drop by."
"It's alright. I want to come and tell you goodnight, so you don't have to send either Abraham or Mardic into my room or lab." Gerald said. Maria smiled at him. "You feeling okay so far? No dizziness?" Maria shook her head.
"Good so far." She said. "Grandfather, how long you gonna be up for my cure? I mean, I...I hardly see you and I know you don't want me in the lab because of the experiments."
"Just for tonight, Maria." Gerald replied to her. Maria puts down her book and turn back to him.
"And...were my parents the same?" She asked.
"You know, looking for a cure? Before they died?" Maria asked. "I...I know you don't want to talk about my parents, but...I don't know much about them." Gerald sighed a little. Since he was raised her, Maria doesn't know much about her family, and she doesn't have pictures of them, only her and her grandfather. Even though, Mardic and Abraham are the only ones who have parents up here. Maria is the only one left in Gerald's family. "Grandpa?"
"Maria..." Gerald spoke. "Your parents... They were...good people." He said. "Your father was in the military, and your mother was...an Overlander." Maria listened to him without saying a word. Gerald continued. "Your father, Tron, was one of my children. He was...in love with your mother, Hope. She has...long blonde hair and blue eyes."
"Just like me." Maria said with a smile.
"Yes. Exactly like you. You have her hair, her eyes, everything..." Gerald said. "But, you do have my son in you."
"Really? Like I'm strong and brave like him?" Maria wondered. "I'm not really a strong type. Or...brave. But, I'm not scared of anything!" Gerald chuckled at her.
"You sound just like your father right there." He said. Maria giggled a little. "Anyway, they were looking for the cure since you were born and...they are gone."
"How do they die?" Maria asked. Gerald grew silent for a moment. He doesn't want to tell her how Hope died. He got up from the bed to leave her room.
"I think it's time for you to sleep, Maria. And I should be back in my lab." He said. Maria frowned a little, but did as she was told. She got under the covers and said goodnight to her grandfather. After the door slid shut, Gerald rubbed his eyes under his glasses. "She cannot know about that evil Professor Veldon." He muttered. He walked away from the door to return to his lab where his unfinished project is kept.Maria was laying in her bed, thinking about her parents. She imagines what Tron looked like, and she can easily imagine what Hope look like. Tron was in the military, and Hope was a beautiful woman. If Gerald had photos of them somewhere, Maria will keep them.
After hours of working, Gerald and Black Doom look at their creation. Inside a pod that is filled with liquid, is a black hedgehog with red stripes and a white chest fur. Black Doom gave the creature his blood to complete for the exchange of the Chaos Emeralds, but that won't happen until the next 50 years as promised. Gerald looked up at the alien leader.
"He's perfect. Pure. The Ultimate Life Form is complete." Gerald said. "Thank you, Black Doom. The blood you gave him is immortal, and this creature won't age."
"Yes. Shadow won't ever age." Black Doom spoke. "Now, I gave him my blood you requested, and he shall remember the promise the exchange." Gerald frowned a little. He felt a little guilty, but he had to do this for Maria.
"Of course." Gerald said in a low voice. Black Doom looks at the hedgehog with his three eyes.
"I shall remember your face in the next 50 years, Shadow the Hedgehog." He said before disappearing. Now Gerald is alone with the project. He looks at the hover shoes and gloves that were sitting on the desk. Those are for Shadow to wear when he wakes up.
"Shadow. The Ultimate Life Form. You shall be awaken..." Gerald said. He press the red button and sounds were heard. He knew it's too soon, but he wanted to test Shadow first to make sure he was truly successful.The liquid began to drain and creature slowly sink to the bottom of the pod, and he began to open his eyes. There are red as blood. The pod opens and Shadow slowly stood up to gain his balance. Gerald smiled a little, but he contains his excitement. Shadow stepped out of the pod and look up at Gerald in silent and confusion.
"Shadow the Hedgehog, the world's Ultimate Life Form." Gerald spoke. "I am Professor Gerald." Shadow didn't say anything back to him, but gave him a nod of acknowledgement. "You seem to understand quickly." Gerald grabbed the gloves and shoes. "Here, Shadow. You need these. The shoes can help you run faster, and you can skate pretty quickly. And these gloves to protect your bare hands. But, that is not all." He took out a box and opened them. There are gold rings. "These are power rings for your wrists. When you're in a battle, you won't grow weak and you will be powerful with your power of Chaos."
"...Hmm." Shadow murmured. He took the gloves and put them, and then the rings. Then, he felt the energy running through his veins. Gerald was right. These rings have power. Shadow then puts on his hover shoes. Gerald brought the mirror out and Shadow looks at himself in silent. The hedgehog touches his spikes and ears.
"What do you think, Shadow? Are those gloves and shoes comfortable?" Gerald asks. Shadow gave him a nod.Outside the door, Abraham was looking through the window to see Gerald with the black hedgehog. The boy shook a little when he sees the sight of those red eyes. Abraham never imagine to see something so creepy.
Maria was awaken by Abraham the next morning. He was shaking her arms to wake her up. Maria rubbed her eyes to see him in pajamas, but his eyes are wide with fear.
"Abraham, what's wrong?" Maria asked. "It's 6 in the morning."
"I saw it! There's a monster in the professor's lab!" Abraham said. "It has red eyes, and it's black!" Maria didn't say anything to him. What is this kid talking about? A monster?
"It might be just grandfather's work." She told him.
"No! It's a monster! I swear I'm not making this up!" Abraham exclaimed.
"If you say so, but please let me go back to sleep. Luckily we don't have class today since it's the weekend." Maria says as she was about to lay down, but Abraham stopped her by climbing on the bed.
"Maria, please! I'll show you what it looks like! It's a monster!" He said.
"Abraham, get off!" Maria told him by gently pushing him off the bed. Coming in the room is Mardic in his pajamas, but laughed a little to see Maria and Abraham talking over each other.
"What is this? A morning slumber party?" Mardic asked. "Next time you guys should invite me."
"Boys, can you please get out of my room. I need some sleep." Maria said.
"Kiddo, it's morning." Mardic said.
"Abraham woke me up." Maria told him.
"Mardic, you're not going to believe what I saw in-" Abraham was about to say until Maria got up from bed and push the boys out of her room. "Maria, come on! You gotta believe me!" Abraham said.
"What? What did you see?" Mardic asked.
"Let me sleep for a little while." Maria said. She pressed the button and the door slides shut. She sighed a little and fell on her bed. "Does anyone sleep anymore?"
Abraham and Mardic walk down the halls to get to the professor's lab to see the "monster". Of course, Mardic would see it for himself before he could say anything. Abraham stopped by the door, letting Mardic look through the window. Gerald wasn't around. And there is nothing inside but a pod and a working desk. Mardic press the button to get the door open. He walked in slowly and looked around.
"Careful, Mardic." Abraham said.
"Relax, Ab." Mardic replied. "I won't be long." He walked around the lab to look in every corner. So far, nothing in sight. "I don't see anything, dude. Maybe you were just seeing things."
"No, it's here." Abraham said by peeking through the windows. "...It was here." Mardic walked out of the lab and closed the door. The boys walk down the halls. They were unaware that there are six four legged creatures watching from the shadows, they have red eyes, and they growl hungrily...