Shadow: Third Eye
The silence was deafening.
What is this? What is this place? Shadow struggled to think. He couldn’t move, he could barely breathe. Wait, am I breathing? There was nothing but a void of darkness around him now and everything was so still. He strained to hear a breath, a heartbeat, anything! His chest felt heavy, like he was being smothered, yet there was nothing there. There was nothing anywhere. Am I drowning? Shadow thought. Am I…dead?
Years passed as Shadow drifted in a limbo. It was cold, dark and silent, but he’d learned to deal with it. He’d been through this once before, he could do it again. He just had to be patient and try not to think of anything. Thinking made the time move slower. Thinking would drive him mad. Madness, heh, as if it really mattered. It’d be a long time before he got out and what did he care if he was a little crazy? Besides, something was bothering him that he just couldn’t place. Something about what he’d just thought? His mind was so numb now, it was hard to recall. Something about time maybe? Time, time, what about time? What does time matter in a place like this? There’s nothing here! No reason to worry about time. Shadow slowly let his mind slip back to a blank, defeated. Well that was a waste of energy. Just forget about it. Forget it… Forget her…
A sudden realization Shadow like a lightning bolt, burning its’ way through his consciousness. It hurt like hell yet as soon as it reached him he gripped it as though it was life itself. MARIA! Damn it all! He’d almost forgotten Maria! And this place, this place which he’d been in for an eternity, it wasn’t real! He was stuck in a nightmare of the past and had to wake up!
“YOU CANNOT ESCAPE.”
Shadow froze. The voice had come from everywhere and nowhere at once; its’ deep resonance striking him to his very core.
“NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU MAY STRUGGLE YOU WILL NEVER GET FREE. YOUR BLOOD IS MINE! SOON I WILL RETURN TO THIS WORLD, AND YOU WILL BE MY VESSEL!”
Pain exploded through Shadow’s body. His blood was boiling! If he had been on solid ground he would have surely fallen to his knees. It took all his willpower just to keep his hold on his consciousness.
No! Have to get free! Shadow thought, desperately clinging to the life line he’d been given. It was just a small thread now, but still holding. The fire in him became an inferno ‘till he was practically writhing in place, but still he hung on. Spots of light soon danced before his eyes; no doubt a sign he would soon lose consciousness. He watched helplessly as they popped in and out of existence; then noticed that a group of them appeared to be clumping together. Their brightness was intensifying as well, and soon they didn’t appear to be spots at all, but rather a sun surrounded by dark leaves...
“Wake up.” the sun told him, “Wake up. WAKE UP!”
Shadow gasped as every one of his five senses suddenly clicked on and he was bombarded by the brightness of the sun; the cool, moist feel and smell of the grass; the rustling of leaves in the breeze; the very sensation of being alive. Sweat beaded on his black fur, and after a couple of seconds he released the death grip he had apparently placed on a nearby rock. Heart still pounding he eased himself upright against a nearby tree, his muscles immediately objecting to the movement.
“Uhh, that damn dream again,” Shadow breathed as he clutched his aching head, “And always with the headache. It’s seriously starting to piss me off.”
It had been four months since Shadow had defeated the evil alien overlord, Doom, and he’d thought he’d finally laid his past to rest. Yet still he was haunted by nightmares. It always started the same; Maria would try and speak with him, then suddenly he’d be catapulted forward in time and she’d be gone. This was the first time, however, that the darkness had engulfed him, and he shuddered at the recollection despite himself. That voice, the one that had attacked him, he was certain it was Doom. Doom wanted him, wanted to control him. If he hadn’t woken up when he did…
Shadow shook his head to erase the thought.No, it was dream, there’s no way Doom could have killed me. Yet... Shadow held his hand out before him, the action helping him to focus. Maria was obviously trying to warn him of something, and he’d be a fool to dismiss it.
Shadow had discovered much during the Black Arm alien invasion, most important being he had been created from Doom’s blood. This had given Doom some power over him, but, despite it all, Shadow had been able to break free of the alien’s mind control and was able to slay the tyrant. Still, the battle had been a difficult one, and, though he’d never admit it to anyone, his Chaos Powers hadn’t been the same afterward. It was like there was some kind of dampener on them. Even with the aid of a Chaos Emerald it just wasn’t the same. Were the dreams and lack of power connected?
A sudden prick of the hairs on his neck caused Shadow to snap out of his rumination. Someone was watching him. Alert, he scanned the area. All seemed still, save for the leaves rusting in the breeze, but something about the shadows under a tree several yards away didn’t look right. Then, sensing it’d been spotted, it flew out: Doom’s eye.
The strange starfish shaped alien eye didn’t even pause as it sped across the grassy field making a beeline for the wreckage that had once been the city of Westopolis. Being one of the first cities to fall under alien attack, Westopolis was little more than a collection of crumbling buildings now. A perfect hiding place…
“Well, well.” Shadow mused, a wicked grin crossing his face. “Maybe there was more to that dream after all, and here I thought he was dead. Should have known he’d be more stubborn than that. Oh well-” Shadow paused as he stood, “just means I’ll have the honor of killing him again.”
With that he sped away in pursuit. If Doom’s eye was here then there was a good chance Doom himself couldn’t be far off, and if he was… Shadow grinned. Suddenly everything was starting to make a lot more sense.