Darkness. Everything Shadow the Hedgehog could see at the moment. He began to slowly open his eyes, allowing the light rays to clear his vision little by little. When he finally opened his eyes, he tried to take a look at wherever he was.
Apparently, it was some sort of research laboratory, easy to tell due to the circular room he was at, with a big observation glass above him on the wall. He was bound to a chair by some sort of rope that completely restrained him. He searched for a possible sign of Rouge or Omega, to no avail.
"Enjoying your stay, hedgehog? Sorry for the lack of comfort, but I thought chaos-proof material was just your 'thing'"
A voice was heard coming from the room. It was heavily altered and metallic, as if the person was speaking through a radio or transmitter. The owner of the voice appeared as a silhouette in a TV screen that disconnected from the ceiling, standing against a white background. Shadow could only see a figure with spiked hair, speaking with an accent he couldn't identify.
"My dearest apologies, hedgehog, if you feel uncomfortable like this." he made a brief pause. "You see, your current state is, indeed, one of my doings. But I assure you there IS a reason behind it: revenge, to be frank."
"Revenge? Then why don't you come down here and do it the right way?" taunted Shadow.
The figure chuckled a little, still keeping his proud tone.
"Why, Shadow! You kept your trademark hostility! How delightfully forgettable! You see, revenge does not require close combat or violence at first glance. Besides, don't worry about seeing my face, it shall be revealed in due time. After all..."
His voice tone changed from outspoken to dark and menacing.
"When you are rotting into oblivion, I want you to remember my face."
"What are you talking about?! You're gonna leave me here until I die of starvation? Because I don't know if you know, food's no big deal to me!" asked Shadow, showing for the first time a genuine, but minimum amount of panic. He couldn't explain, but something about that figure gave him goosebumps.
"Dear lord, no!" said the man. "I'm going to gather some of your DNA and test the results on you. And about dying, you still can be shot, right?"
"What the heck is your problem!?" asked the hedgehog in a fit of rage.
"YOU, YOU IGNORANT LAB RAT!!" he shouted in absolute anger. He then cleared his throat and proceeded. "I apologize for that outburst. Anyway, enjoy your stay."
The screen faded to black, leaving nothing but silence.
Shadow kept looking for a way to leave the chamber. Now he REALLY needed to get out of there.
February 3, 2011
São Paulo, SP Brazil
Christopher Thorndyke was very nervous. In a few moments, he would make a speech about Mobius in front of a whole audience of an elementary school. What's worse, it was a school in São Paulo, Brazil. He didn't know how the country's educational system worked; he didn't even have time to read about it anywhere. But on the other hand, it was just a bunch of 8th graders. He could talk to them and get the speech over with really quick.
He just needed to find the right words.
"So, Chris... Are you ready?" his grandfather, Chuck Thorndyke, asked him.
"I'm not sure, grandpa
I know it's just a bunch of 8th graders, but even so, I can't bring the words to my mouth!"
"Oh, come on! You already had that age before, you know. It can't be that hard..."
A confident look appeared in the young man's face.
"...Yeah, you're right. I can do it! I will get over it!"
Chuck then glanced at his watch with a serious expression.
"I'll have to leave you alone, now, Chris. I must make a speech myself at UNIP. Call me if anything goes wrong." said Chuck as he went to the stairs that leaded to the exit.
Chris had grown up a lot since he came back from Mobius and the Metarex battle. He was now 22 years old, wearing a lab coat over a red and white shirt (much reminiscent of his old shirt), jeans and black shoes. His hair remained the same, although it was a little less spiky than during his childhood.
He climbed onto the stage and waited for the students to calm down.
"Boy, this is gonna be hard." he thought.
The audience had stopped talking, but there were still some whispers between one or two students.
"Hello students of São Paulo Metropolitan!" he began. "I am Dr. Christopher Thorndyke, and I'm an astro-physicist, which means I'm a scientist in both the physical, AND astronomical departments! So, how are you all doing?"
The crowd remained silent.
"...I'm fine, too!" he said awkwardly. "So, I'm here to talk about my recent disco"
"You're that guy who met Sonic some years ago, aren't you?" one of the students interrupted.
"Well, yes! Yes, I am! It was because of those incidents that I decid"
"How come he's not around, anymore?" another student yelled.
"Well, you see, if he and his friends were to stay here for too long, there would be an interference in time and"
"Yeah! We want him back!" another one yelled, this time a girl. "If I remember, he was the one who made the portal that took him home!"
"So he must know how to bring him back!" another one yelled. "Come on! Tell us how you did it!"
The crowd began to press him on the matter further and further, until
"Quiet, students! Where are your manners?"
A big, imponent voice spoke through the microphone. Chris looked at the stand to see the voice's "owner". A very imposing figure indeed, wearing a very expensive dark green suit and pants, much like an executive, complete with black leather shoes. His hair was blond, and had a somewhat spiked shape. Also, he was holding a cane on his hand, which had a golden ornament on the top, with a shape that Chris couldn't define very well because his hand was gripping the ornament so tightly it was difficult to see, but he did see some details around the ornament's base, looking like small, rectangular panels. To complete his expensive wardrobe, he had a long cape behind him made of some sort of pelt, with white borders and some black lines over it.
"I told you to remain silent until the end, when you would ask your questions!" he then turned to Chris. "My apologies, Mr. Thorndyke, they rarely do so. I suggest you take a break to regain your confidence, while I let these students have their so-desired recess."
"Thank you, mister
"Doctor, dear boy. Doctor Ryan Cornelius Weever, PhD. Call me Dr. Weever." he said in a thick British accent.
He then returned his attention to the students.
"You may now have your recess, and we will continue shortly after." and right after he said that, the students rushed to the exit, straight to the schoolyard.
He turned his attention to Chris again, still keeping his pose.
"Again, I must apologize, Dr. Thorndyke. May I refer to you like that?" he asked.
"I don't see any reasons to forbid it." consented Chris. "So, in which department do you work at?"
"I work for the biological department at the moment, but as I mentioned before, I am graduated in psychiatry, and I'm also pretty good at robotic engineering. You can say it's 'in the family'."
"So what are you doing teaching in this school?" asked a curious Chris.
"...Let's just say that some events happened on my life that left big traumas, one after another. In fact... you might have heard about Dr. Gerald Robotnik, right? Well, I worked for him, before."
At the sound of those words, Chris immediately froze in place.
"You... don't... mean..."
"Yes, Dr. Thorndyke. I was one of the scientists from Space Colony ARK. And as you can see, I had the blasted bad luck to survive".