© Beloved Doll
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EDIT July 29 2008
I forgot to mention that this chapter was mostly inspired by "Open Your Heart" from Sonic Adventure 1.
A big chunk of the Sonic gang are walking through White Jungle today. Yes, walking. Running would catch the attention of all the robots that still lurk in the jungle. There aren`t as many as there once was but the few that are here are much more dangerous. If they stay quiet and don`t draw attention to themselves, they will be able to pass through with no problem.
Those in the group today are Sonic, Amy, Knuckles, Tails, Rouge, Mighty, Vector, Charmy, Cream and Silver.They are in White Jungle today because when a few days ago, Amy had her birthday party, Espio gave everyone the news that he branched off for his own home in White Jungle but needed help with getting everything finished so he could live there. Being friends, of course everyone piped up with their desire to help. However, Big was out on a fishing trip at the time of the party and still won`t be back for a while. Blaze was ill this morning so she couldn`t come.
White Jungle is a great place for chameleons like Espio to live in. Warm temperatures, the humidity. It`s just perfect. Luckily, the temperature and humidity is not bad enough to keep the others from coming. They will be able to see their friend.
So far, their travel goes uneventful. But Sonic is getting impatient. He so badly wants to run like how he used to be able to do through this jungle. He wants to hurry and get to their destination. Taking things slow just isn`t Sonic`s style. He starts fidgeting and Amy makes a mock swat at him to non-verbally tell Sonic to settle down. Sonic does settle down but only for a few moments and then he`s back to fidgeting. Mighty pokes Sonic in the arm to get his attention. When Sonic looks at him, Mighty puts his index finger to his lips, reminding Sonic of Amy`s earlier non-verbal message. Sonic begins to finally get himself calmed down by reminding himself why they are walking.
Unfortunately, the peace of Sonic being calm doesn`t last for long. While running through his head the reasons of why they must walk instead of run, he doesn`t watch what his feet are doing or going. He trips over a tree root that has risen a little above ground. He stumbles with a "Whoa!" but manages to keep himself from falling. Just as he is regaining his balance, Vector looses his patience with the impatient hedgehog. He quickly turns around and shouts at Sonic,"Will you stop fidgeting?!"
For a moment, everyone is quiet and still. Then a rumble ensues. The fears that the Sonic gang previously entertained are now unfolding before their very eyes.
The very robots they were trying to avoid are rushing to the scene. These robots are different from the ones that were here before. They are much bigger and appear to be not only faster but more mobile, too. The robots are all armed heavily with one fashion of weapons or another.
Without wasting time, the Sonic group split up. Tails, Cream, Rouge and Charmy take flight. Knuckles dives down into the ground, rapidly digging. The rest of the gang have no choice but to run. The gang has chosen to flee due to that they have never battled these new robots before and they don`t want to chance getting themselves too roughed up before getting to Espio`s place.
Why oh why has this chameleon chose this place to move to?
As always, Amy tries to leave with Sonic but in the scramble to escape from the chaotic attack, she gets left behind. Luckily only 5 robots made an appearance and currently they are busy going after the others. Amy takes this opportunity to slip away quietly. If she does get lost in White Jungle (and it will happen), the others will find her. She knows they won`t leave her alone in such a dangerous place. She starts running down a trail unsure of where exactly it will take her.
She looks around her as she runs. The trees are still standing tall despite the blast they received years back. The greenery has done well growing back all over the jungle. It almost looks exactly like it did before the explosion. (See Sonic Adventure 2.) The vines have all grown back out and dangle from all over the place from the tree tops. If it weren`t for the fact that she was in danger at the moment, she would stop and take in the scenery in detail.
Speaking of danger, one of the robots bursts through the trees behind Amy.
She lets out a quick scream right when the robot makes it`s sudden appearance. It comes straight for her. Amy runs as fast as she can, hearing the robot`s large footsteps drawing closer to her from behind. She tries to slow the robot down by darting between trees, making sudden turns, and leaping over fallen trees that seem like they would be large enough to trip the robot. But nothing is shaking the robot off her tail.
Amy begins to feel like the gazelles that cheetahs hunt down on the African plains. If she was the gazelle and the robot was the cheetah, it`s only a matter of time before it would catch her. And then what would happen? Is the robot going to kill her? Would it just take her captive? She`s not even sure of who owns these robots, Eggman of GUN? Maybe even someone else? Either way, she doesn`t have time to stop and examine the robot`s manufacturing information.
She leaps over top of another fallen tree and looks behind her as she continues to run. Like all the fallen trees before, this robot merely steps over the tree. She curses at the robot having higher intelligence than the past robots she`s dealt with.
After making another sharp turn in another attempt to shake off the robot, how close the robot is behind her is realized. It`s slamming step on the ground behind her actually bounces her a little in the air. She makes another short scream when she is bounced. Oh it won`t be long before the robot will do whatever it is going to do to her. Amy is now at a heightened terrified moment. Without really thinking of what the consequences would be, Amy screams. She screams as loudly as she can for as long as she can. Surely Sonic and the others must have noticed her missing and are looking for her?
Back in the last place where the Sonic gang was altogether, the remaining members of the group are gathering back together. The flying members land softly back down on the ground. Knuckles climbs back out of the escape tunnel he dug. The other members are walking back to the area from various directions.
Sonic looks around at everyone,"Did everyone make it ok? Is everyone here?"
Knuckles nods his head,"It looks like it."
Tails looks around,"Wait, where`s Amy?"
Sonic looks at Tails,"Amy`s missing?"
Rouge looks among everyone in the group,"Yeah, you`re right. She must have gotten lost."
Sonic raises a fist,"We better find her fast. Those robots are still out there and she didn`t bring her piko-piko hammer with her."
Sonic takes off in a burst of speed. Everyone else does their best to follow him and keep up. Luckily, via flying, Tails is fast enough to keep Sonic in his sights and be in sight for the others to follow. But they also must keep an eye and ear out for Amy. Who knows where in this thick jungle she could be at this point.
If the robot is planning on killing her by stepping on her, it is merely a second or two away from doing so. If only she brought her hammer which she could have used to save herself long ago. Amy`s extended scream begins to die down as she continues to run. The shadow from the robot`s foot comes over top of her. This is the end!
Before she even realizes it, Amy is quickly whisked away from the path of the robot`s foot. The foot slams down on the empty ground and stumbles down, falling forward onto the ground. It splits a tree in half that it falls down on.
Amy opens her eyes to discovering that Shadow is fleeing from the robot with her tucked under his arm like a loaf of bread. Her mouth drops open realizing that it`s Shadow who has saved her. She is not surprised because she was expecting it to be Sonic to save her and instead Shadow is her saviour. She is surprised because she hasn`t seen him in months and this is a sudden appearance without word from him.
Amy had for the longest time looked forward to seeing Shadow again but now that he`s here, she doesn`t feel joy, she feels fear. He has not harmed her but he is still unpredictable and he has a history of violence and sudden outbursts. If she is not careful, he could turn on her. Or so everyone says. Amy has never had a chance to sit down and get to Shadow personally. Most of the time that they crossed paths, Shadow was there to just assist in ridding the evil and maybe have an argument with Sonic. So, his visits were short and during busy times. Then he would disappear again without a trace.
Shadow`s sudden jerk to the side snaps Amy from her thoughts and back to reality. He`s skating through the jungle pretty quickly, weaving between trees. Amy looks behind them and sees not one robot, but four coming after them. There are even more of these robots? This is very strange. The robots that were here before the explosion did not make such attempts to chase after critters. These new ones will definitely chase you down and don`t give up easily on doing so.
Amy looks back up at Shadow. As always, he has a pretty serious look on his face. Then again, you can`t really blame him. He is fleeing for his life and Amy`s, afterall, and that serious look has been a part of Shadow as far back as Amy can remember.
Their path now takes a sharp downhill turn. The length of this hill is pretty long. Shadow barrels down it effortlessly, thanks to gravity. The robots are coming up behind but they seem to have a little trouble adjusting to the sudden change in vertical direction. Down and down they go. It seems as though Shadow has picked up speed from the downward motion. The gap between them and the following robots is beginning to widen a little.
About half way down the hill, the flooring changes. It is now resembling half of a tunnel. The floor curves up on both sides to form rounded walls that are just a little taller than Knuckles. The ceiling is lacking, leaving the top wide open. This half tunnel begins to drift to the side. Shadow follows suit of the direction of this tunnel and begins to run on what would be the equivalent to a wall, but the half tunnel`s twist makes it still the floor. Behind them, Amy can hear the splashes of the robots failing to execute through this half tunnel properly and falling off to the large lake below.
Their path is about to drop off into the lake. A spring is at the end of their path. Amy only sees it a split second before they hit it. The spring launches the two hedgehogs up and forward right over the open water. Amy begins to panic.
Whether it was pure luck or it was planned, a vine is hanging over the water in their flight path. Shadow grabs a hold of the vine with his free hand so that his remaining hand holds onto Amy. The vine swings around a massive tree and to the other side where there is dry land for them to land on.
Soon as his feet touch the ground, Shadow is off again like a shot. They pass through an opening in what was once a walled block made of wood. It was apparently destroyed in the explosion. Passing by through this, they come to another spring that launches them up to an upper floor. A few steps and they are going downhill again.
A robot leaps out from some unknown hiding place from above and lands on the ground behind Shadow and Amy. Since this downhill strip of land is another half tunnel, the two hedgehogs are easily shaken up from the robot`s landing. Shadow quickly looks behind him and sees the robot coming after them. Shadow makes a short growl and then quickly jumps a little to the side. Before Amy knows it, Shadow is grinding down what she would describe as a vine-rail. This is giving them even more speed being coupled with the downward motion.
This half tunnel connects to another platform of land. Shadow doesn`t stop or slow down. He jumps over a fallen tree and then begins to skate around the base of another massive tree. Amy looks behind them and sees the robot slowing down and ceasing to follow them. That`s odd, a robot that is meant to pursue and chase stops doing so? Something`s not right.
Amy looks ahead and her mouth drops open. Now she knows why the robot stopped following them. There`s a mass of robots ahead of them. Amy points to the upcoming robots,"Shadow, watch out!"
Without a word or a moment`s hesitation, Shadow heads straight for them. Amy panics again and begins to scream. Now the robots begin to fire their weapons at the two hedgehogs. Shadow darts from side to side to avoid being hit and skates straight through the middle of the small army of robots. Thankfully their large size makes them clumsy in this current situation. Ones that try to shoot Shadow and Amy either end up shooting another robot or themselves and destroy their own foot.
Amy`s screams continue the rest of the way through. This is all too much. Amy was used to Sonic`s roller coaster rides. Sure he was fast and had loops, dips, twists and turns. Sonic`s running was steady and he always ran away from whatever the danger was. But Shadow...Shadow is running straight to the danger! His skating motion makes Amy feel really unstable throughout all this. His whole "roller coaster" style is much more uncertain than Sonic`s. It scares Amy. She can`t tell which direction they are going, except for head-first towards an enemy, or which way is up. Shadow`s wild and maniacal movements are terrifying! It`s Amy`s first time riding with Shadow and it is nothing like what she has been through before.
A dash panel suddenly launches them up into the air. The two hedgehogs are soaring over open water once more. But there are no vines to grab a hold of this time. As Amy continues her fearful screams, she can feel her heart just slamming against her rib cage. If the robots don`t kill them and Shadow`s suicidal motions don`t kill them, she will surely have a heart attack that will do her in.
Shadow changes how he is holding Amy while they are soaring through the air. Instead of carrying her like a loaf of bread, he now has Amy in both of his arms bridal style. Just in time for him to execute a tactic, too. They are now falling towards a tunnel that is in the side of a hill. As they fall, Shadow`s hold on Amy tightens up, preparing himself.
He changes the angle of his body so that he hits the ground first. His arms wrapped tightly around Amy take the hit for her as they make impact with the ground of the tunnel and skid across the ground for a bit before coming to a stop.
Amy ceases her screaming for a moment, breathing heavily as she takes notice that this is the first time they have stopped. The two hedgehogs begin to stand up when they look up and see a robot squeezing it`s way into the tunnel. Amy is immediately on her feet with another scream. She is about to run but Shadow grabs her wrist and pulls her with him. He`s not skating nearly as quickly as he was earlier, he wants her to be able to keep up with him.
They begin a short series of jumping up and up onto small platforms that ascend up the side of this odd tunnel. The robot finally breaks through the tunnel opening and comes after them. It`s a little clumsy with the platforms but that doesn`t stop it from chasing after Shadow and Amy. At first it tries to grab them but this fails as Shadow continually jumps about to avoid either him or Amy being grabbed. Amy is having a little trouble with the platforms, herself. She isn`t used to having to so much jumping in such a short time, but she pushes herself to keep up with Shadow who is still pulling her with him via her wrist. Sure her wrist hurts, but that`s a small price to pay if he saves her life.
Finally, they come to the top when the ground levels off into a larger area. Soon as they make it over the edge, a shot is fired by the robot. The shot clips the edge of the ground just as Amy is pulled away from the edge. Shadow doesn`t slow down but he has noticed that the tree in the back here is no longer open like it used to be. It must grown over the hole it had and closed up since he was last here. This would mean that they are trapped.
These next few moments seem to occur in just a second to Amy as it happens all so fast.
Shadow reaches the tree and quickly whirls around to put his back to the tree. As he turns around, he swings Amy back as well, quickly putting her behind him. He pulls out a gun of some sort that Amy could not identify (she is no expert on guns, afterall) and points the barrel of the gun at the robot, which is just starting to climb over the edge of the ground. Shadow pulls the trigger and the robot seems to have exploded on impact. Bits and pieces of it shower the ground and the robot collapses backwards and falls down to the bottom of the tunnel. It occasionally smacks the edges of the platforms Shadow and Amy were jumping through.
Amy watches as the remains of the robot disappear over the edge. She hears the bangs and clangs of the robot as it falls until a final loud crash before silence falls over them. She releases a breath she did not realize she was holding. Amy looks up to Shadow. She can only see the edge of his face being that he is still holding her behind him. But she does notice something about him. He`s panting softly. Not from fear but from exhaustion. She can tell by how his eye lids are now slacking. She can see his torso expand several times through his quiet pantings. His arm lowers his gun down slowly. This is very odd. She has never seen him tired since he fell towards Earth from ARK. What could be exhausting him?
She would ask him, or even say his name to just get him to look at her, but now shock is settling in over her. She makes a small squeak sound that is barely audible but nothing more comes out. He must have heard her squeak, though, because Shadow`s ear twitches slightly and he looks back at her. Amy is looking straight back up to Shadow, being that he is 10cm taller than her. (AN: That`s right, I used metric measuring instead my native USA measurement. As a side note for the westerners, I looked on official Sonic sites about character height and there is approx. 4 inches difference between Amy and Shadow`s height.)
Being in shock now, Amy could only look at Shadow`s face. In her peripheral vision, if she were to pay attention, could see that his arm is moving to put the gun away, but she would not be able to tell where he is putting the gun.
In the distance, Shadow can hear Sonic and his other friends calling for Amy. He quickly puts an end to his panting, even though his body screams out that it needs more rest. He picks up Amy in his arms and skates off to bring her out of this tunnel. If she`s in the tunnel, her friends may never find her.
Once outside the tunnel, Shadow sets Amy down on the ground next to the tunnel entrance. Form the sounds of the continuing calls for Amy, it sounds like the Sonic gang are drawing closer to this area. Good, they will be here real soon. Still in a state of shock, Amy is still staring at Shadow. Shadow looks at Amy a moment in total silence, holding back his exhaustion. He takes a step towards Amy but then stops. He turns back around and quickly skates away from the scene.
Moments later, as the voices become louder, the Sonic gang come upon Amy with Espio in tow. Sonic if the first to her. He rushes up to her and stands before her,"Amy, are you all right?!"
At first she doesn`t react to him. Sonic grabs her shoulders and gives her a short shaking,"Amy!"
Amy finally snaps out of her shock,"Sonic!"
She quickly throws her arms over Sonic and cries into his shoulder,"My god, it was so scary!"
Sonic looks utterly confused,"Scary? What happened?"
Amy throws herself back from Sonic and quickly spits out to everyone,"I was running away, hoping to find a place to hide. Big robot-big robot comes out of nowhere and chases after me! I tried running away, I tried hiding but it kept chasing me. It got closer and closer when suddenly-! Shadow appeared and snatched me up!"
Sonic tilts his head to the side with concern,"Shadow-?"
Amy cuts in continuing her recap of her adventure,"He was insane! Absolutely insane! He was doing twists and turns and swinging around up in the air while he dragged me along and he ran straight to the army of robots! I swear the guy has no fear! Terrified I was, terrified! But then-!"
Sonic steps forward to Amy,"He didn`t hurt you, did he?"
Amy looks at Sonic,"Who? Shadow? No! He didn`t, actually."
Rouge blinks,"Are you sure it was Shadow?"
Silver puts a hand on the back of his head,"Yeah, he`s disappeared quite a while ago."
Amy spreads her arms apart,"I don`t know of any other hedgehog that`s black with red stripes and wields a gun!"
Sonic is on instant alert,"A gun?! He came at you with a gun?!"
"You need to be careful, Amy."
Sonic looks seriously at Amy,"You need to be very...very careful, Amy."
Amy looks at Sonic a moment in silence, taking note of how serious he looks. She rarely sees happy-go-lucky Sonic look serious. Instead of getting into an argument with him, she decides that for now, she`ll comply with him. She nods her head.
Espio steps in,"Let`s hurry. It`s too dangerous to be out here."
Sonic responds,"Right! Let`s go, everyone."