"'Name: Subject H
Species: Mobian Hedgehog
Native Location: ####### #####
Hight: 3 feet 2 inches
Weight: 74 pounds
When Creating a Hybrid, you need more then one blood...
It was quiet.
The old laboratory was silent. The air was still and musty. The old equipment untouched by living hands for decades. The only circle door was shut tight on the far side of the room.
The lights were dead and, left the room in darkness. The sudden sound of old gears grinding against each other cut through the lab. The door slowly opened.
A ray of golden light flooding into the lab, and a slim silhouette of a mobian bat entered.
Her heels clacked on the hard tile floor. Her black wings and white ears twitched with anticipation. She was sent to this lab to retrieve any files that are salvageable.
Commander Tower's orders were purposely vague this morning, so, she didn't know exactly what her superiors wanted from this place.
She stopped, and glanced around. The lab was large. Multiple monitors were to the left, and a large glass window looking in to another room on the right.
An observation chamber, maybe? She turned towards the window; her curiosity peaked. Was something kept here?
The heavy footsteps of her teammate rang through the eerie quiet, as he entered. His large metal frame blocked most of the light from the hall.
His red glowing optics scanned the room, searching for anything to destroy.
He turned to his partner, "Hacking the station's system was not necessary. I could have just blown the door down." His monotone electronic voice sounded.
"Omega, we can't just blow the door down," her voice jazzy and smooth, "We here to retrieve files, not blow the joint and Old Abe, specifically told to do as little damage as possible.
This is still government property after all."
"Rouge, why we not we permitted to take Shadow with us? He has much more experience with the interior of this facility."
"I miss him too, big guy, but commander Tower told us that what we find here might be upsetting to him. You know?"
Rouge sighed and shook her head, remembering how blunt Omega could be, before continuing, "These files could be linked to the original Project Shadow and you know how he is with his past.
Commander Tower doesn't want him to get distracted with any information we find on these files, especially now with everything that's going on."
Omega didn't need to answer. She knew he understood. The big guy may have been blunt, and normally focused on destruction, but deep down he cared.
When something was troubling Shadow, he'd have little changes in his behavior that to people who didn't know him well would go unnoticed. Such as having trouble sleeping and loss of focus.
Rouge and Omega knew that a troubled shadow was something that no one needed right now.
"Come on let's recon. We need to make sure this room is secure before I start hacking those things that used to be called computers."
Omega brought out his blasters, just in case, and continued deeper into the lab, using his built-in lights to see. Rouge, flicked her large ears back towards window; she couldn't resist.
Heels clacking, she made her way towards the dark green entrance door, that was next to the window.
She used her flash-light to get a better look at it.
The latch was broken clean off, and the handle didn't seem to be attached to any sort of mechanism in the door that held it in place, it just loosely hung there.
The heavy metal door itself was in bad shape; scratches, dents and chips, were etched all over its paint. What had happened here?
She grabbed the handle or what was left of it and pulled. The metal screeched as it was dragged against the floor; the hinges must have warped.
What had happened to this thing? She drooped her ears and grit her teeth and pulled again at the handle.
She continued to pull, much to the discomfort to her sensitive ears, until the door had opened enough for her to slip through.
Just as she suspected. On the other side of the door was a short, narrow hall that led to the second entry door of the observation room. The hall's condition was similar to that of the door.
Her flash light illuminated the scratches and claws marks that riddled the walls. What made these? The scratches were shallow and came in groups of four; sometimes five.
Some type of mobian's, maybe? She shown the flash-light down the hall, causing several shards of broken glass, to shimmer.
The window on the second wooden entry door at the end of the hall, was shattered, and the metal mesh that had once rested inside the glass was torn.
The door creaked as it slowly opened; this one's handle broken just as the others was. Her blue crystal eyes widened in shocked.
The flash light revealed a small room, maybe 8 by 6 feet. Besides for an unkept bed resting in the corner it was completely void of furniture. The walls, were scratched and cracked.
The floor, charred, cracked and covered with dust and...
She kneeled down, getting her black stealth suit covered with decades worth of dust something she would usually find disgusting but her discovery was more interesting.
She shown the flashlight on it. A small, needle? Claw? No, that wasn't it. She had seen something like this before, she rubbed it clean, a quill. A hedgehog's quill.
She had cleaned the apartment when Shadow was shedding enough times, to recognize it.
Sure, they weren't black and red tipped like his, but rather a dull auburn tipped with dark brown, but they were similar enough.
They were everywhere; on the floor, on the bed, some even stuck sticking out of the walls. Clearly whoever was kept here, was here for long time.
She got up and continued to look around the room.
The bed wasn't just unkept, the sheets and mattress were shreds and the lower half of the covers and floor was stained with blood that had blackened with time.
She pulled the remaining covers off, to find more quills and even more stains of blackened blood.
She looked at the quill in her hand, "What did they do to you?" she whispered.
"Rouge?" her commlink activated, startling her.
"Omega? You okay Tin man?" She answered, her voice shaky. She was still unnerved by her discovery.
"Affirmative. Have you come across anything hostile?"
Rouge shook her head, knowing this was the way Omega asked her if she was alright, "I just found something that's defiantly going on the mission report.
And sorry big guy it's nothing that's needs to be destroyed with big guns."
"Disappointing. We must continue with the mission objective."
"What's got you in such a hurry?" She clacked down the broken hall.
"Shadow had informed me that Andrews, would be testing a new experimental laser cannon this evening."
"Oh, well we can't miss that now can we."
Rouge had managed to hack one of the computers. The others were too damaged. Another nail the in coffin, that whoever was kept here did not go easily.
It had some power issues at first, but Omega volunteered to share his power core, much to Rouge's disagreement.
She didn't like her teammate sharing the thing that was keeping him online, but Omega was one stubborn robot.
The screen blazed to life. Several different files appeared on the glitching screen. The commander was right, they were all for Project Shadow.
They were all labeled Subject H, then a sequence of numbers, that were most likely dates.
"Subject H?" Rouge's brow creased with confusion.
"Information missing. What is Subject H?" Omega queried.
"Let's see if we can find out big guy. We'll you be good for a few moments of research?"
"Affirmative. My power core will provide as much required energy as needed."
Rouge selected the first file. It appeared to be a written log. Parts of it were glitching and some of the words weren't able to load.
However, for an over fifty-year-old file, it was in much better shape than she expected...
"'Subject H Day: 1 This is Dr. Judy Markle. I'm one of the scientists that's watching over the specimen known as Subject H, for the second attempt of Project Shadow, or creating the ultimate biological lifeform.
The Project included taking living DNA from a specimen known as ####### ## (A being rumored to be very powerful, although has never been officially identified) and growing a new being from it.
The first attempt at this was somewhat successful, however the Creation (a large salamander creature) was unstable. It required machinery to stay alive, and its mind was that of a wild animal causing its ability to manipulate chaos energy to be unpredictable; sometimes surging with it, other times completely depleted.
It was a massive disappointment and took weeks for us identify the problem. ####### ##'s DNA was unstable.
Professor Gerald Robotnik decided to start from scratch and make some changes to the formula. We believe that by introducing a second chain of stable DNA, from another specimen, we might be able stabilize the second attempt.
This specimen has been dubbed Subject H, and has already been selected. These loges will be tracking, the health of Subject H. Unlike ####### ##, who's DNA is kept in storage, Subject H will have to be kept here, conscious.
The containment quarters have been prepped and a collection team has been sent. Within the hour, we will have ### ####......'" -Dr. J. Markle'"
"'Subject H Day: 4
Subject H has been difficult. Being selected based upon physical health and strength, insured that the second attempt at the Ultimate Lifeform, would not be born sickly. However, these attributes have made it difficult to handle.
Subject H has been unwilling in practically in every single test and an examination. At least we don't have to force food down her throat, but most of the handlers have exited the containment room, cover in scratches. My coworker Jerry almost lost his ####.
I thought that mobians found using their claws as rude, but I guess deep down their all still animals. Resorting to savagery when they feel threatened, I hope that mental trait doesn't pass on to Project Shadow. At least we've gotten the first round of DNA samples we needed. -Dr. J Markle.'"
"'Subject H Day: 7
...Both Subjects DNA has been successfully merged and placed in replication chambers. 6 combinations have successfully been conceived in total. However, Combination Four, had passed away only a few hours after conception; the others are still holding out.
Subject H has been none the wiser to the developing combinations. She is to focused on tearing my men apart, and damaging her cell. Probably for the better, I don't want to know what kind of instincts would activate if she knew what we were doing with her DNA. -Dr. J Markle'"
"'Subject H Day 11
Combinations, have begun to grow, and use vital organs. However, combinations five and six's organs were faulty, and have been terminated. If we lose one more combination, we are required to collect more samples, from Subject H and began again.
Subject H condition remains unchanged. Still hostile to everything, that approaches her. Most of the handlers are scared to enter the chamber at this point. After Subject H, blinded my coworker Mitchel, we had to drug her and install a feeding slot. We're not going to confront her unless samples are required, which might be sooner rather than later.
As I write this report, I can hear Subject H banging on the window, and walls of her chamber. I honestly wasn't expecting her to last this long. When you remove an animal from its home it will expectedly be hostile at first, but after a period of time its movements grow slower, as it tries to conserve energy and focused on its own survival.
I thought her will to fight back would've broken by now. Guess we selected a stubborn one. -Dr. J Markle.'"
"Subject H Day 17,
Combinations 2, and 3 suffered various organ failure, at 0300 last night. Only Combination 1 is currently still growing, however we have been noticing slight abnormalities with its pulse and other various systems. No doubt it won't last two more days, if we're lucky.
Within the hour, we will collect more samples from Subject H. I hope she doesn't kill some one before we can administer the sleeping drugs to calm her. It's no longer safe to collect DNA with her awake and aware. Not after she tore a guy's ear off.
Her behavior is only growing more aggressive. I'm getting tired of this. I understand why Gerald chose this specimen, but I don't understand, why we can't keep her in a coma. It would certainly save us a lot of trouble.
I guess he still has some respect for creatures like this one, left. I can't know for sure, but he'd better have some kind of back up plan if this round of combinations fails. ####### ##'s DNA just might be too unstable to create hybrids. -Dr. J. Markle."
"'Subject H: Day 36
Two more rounds of combinations have failed. Various of reasons, from organ failure, to mutations and defects. Most of the crew is getting discouraged. People are starting to think this is a lost cause. I don't think that entirely but we need to change something. Subject H remains unchanged.
Earlier today Professor Gerald proposed a slightly different, process for the conception Project Shadow. I understand the logic behind it, and at this point we're willing to try it, but this is practically insanity. Gerald must be really desperate to save his granddaughter, and I don't blame him; that sweet girl doesn't deserve what she got.
The process takes a much more natural approach, to the early gestation process. It involves, ######### ## ###### ## ## ####### #'s ####. Gerald's reasoning is that a creation chamber doesn't offer the same...environment...as the natural equivalent. We'll be beginning the process in a few hours, I guess we'll see if it works. -Dr. J. Markle.'"
"'Subject H Day 67
We're shocked, or at least I am. The combination, using the method that Gerald suggested, has lasted longer than any before. Of course, it will have too. The embryo will have to develop at a normal rate, rather then at a faster rate it would in the creation chamber.
Subject H, much too everyone's relief, has actually begun to grow more docile. She doesn't try to attack us while we frequently check on her. She been sleeping a lot more often, and with all the nausea she's been having recently I can't blame her.
I'm thankful for the peace and quiet and things are looking up. This crazy plane of Gerald's might just work. -Dr. J. Markle.'"
"'Subject H Day 152
Subject H is continuing to remain docile, thankfully. I think she's finally realized her delicate situation. Although she's begun to refuse food, now of all the times! Now when she needs nutrition the most, she starts refusing to eat. She's determined to get on everyone's nerves, one way or another. Even if it means risking her own health.
The developing fetus is more stable than I thought. Looking at the 2-d scans you would see nothing but a normal Hedgehog fetus, but I know for a fact that it's not. It blows me away that something so small and premature that it can't even keep itself alive, will become one of, if not the, most powerful creature on the planet below.
Gerald has been so excited. I think he might be getting a little to hopeful. We still have to complete the natural gestation process and then move it into a creation chamber to speed up the maturing process. Anything could still go wrong. -Dr. J. Markle.'"
"'Subject H Day 301
We had to move Project Shadow to the creation chamber, early. We weren't expecting to move it to this station of this process, for at least two more weeks. However, fate decided that Project Shadow was going to be early.
The natural equivalent may have worked, but it's a time bomb. Last night, most of my coworkers were sure that poor thing was already dead when we first saw him in person, but thankfully we got him into a creation chamber in time to save him.
Though premature, Project Shadow was still born a healthy male that looked very much like a hedgehog, with black and red quills. Looking at the, small infant now flouting in the creation chamber, I do see a few similarities between him and Subject H; specifically, the ###### #######.
I'm guessing that his color scheme came from ####### ##, although his species was confirmed, that doesn't mean he didn't pass on traits to Project Shadow.
Subject H is doing well, considering the fiasco last night. Due to the medication, she's been drowsy and mostly just sleeps. I'm not upset with her current behavior; she needs the rest. If she starts attacking people right now, she'll rip her ######## and most likely die, within an hour.
I'm not sure what Gerald will do with Subject H. If this infant hedgehog is the Ultimate Lifeform, then he has what he wants and has no further use of Subject H.
I honestly don't think we can just let her go, even though she's an animal she's still sentient, she could talk to people. I think that the order to terminate her will be issued by week's end. -Dr. J Markle.'"
"'Subject H Day 304
Subject H, has escaped. Last night at 0400 hours, Subject H had managed to break through the defenses of the observation chamber. How she managed this, is still unknown, it might have been system failure. Everyone had been sleeping in their quarters at the time of her escape, meaning that the least amount of people got hurt and the least amount of people were there to stop her.
Fifteen minutes after the alarm system went off, we only found a few scratch marks and a large scorch mark on floor in front of the Eclipse Cannon's power module. Subject H wasn't found, not even a body was found. -Dr. J. Markle.'"
"'...Subject H wasn't found, not even a body was found.'"
Rouge read the last line of the final log. Her ears drooped and her breath grew shaky. What had she just read? Someone had been kept...no tortured here. Shadow rarely spoke of his life on the Arc, but when he did, he always spoke so fondly of it. It's hard to believe that something so despicable had happened here. She leaned her elbows on the edge of the table and put her face in her hands. She took a deep breath.
Omega turned his flat head, and his beady red optics, enlarged. "Do we inform Shadow?"
Rouge snapped her head up and dropped her hands into her lap. She faced Omega, "Inform him of what? That another modian had been kidnapped, tortured, and possibly killed to create him? How do you tell someone that? Especially when that someone is like Shadow! You remember how much finding out about Eclipse affected him. How are we going to tell him that he had," she took another deep breath, "a mother."
Omega remained still, "Do we not inform him?"
"I don't know if we can, 'not' tell him. If we keep this a secret. I know you, big guy, might not slip with this secret, but if shadow gets suspicious, he'll stop at nothing to get me to crack or find out another way. If we strait up tell him, who knows how he'll react. Either way, he'll find out."
Rouge unplugged the downloader, and helped Omega unhook his power core.
"Subject H's current position?" Omega asked.
"I don't know. The logs ended with her escaping, and judging by what was written, I'd say the researchers didn't know what exactly happened. She might still be alive, but it's been over fifty years, so it likely that she died."
They left, leaving with more questions then answers. What had truly happened to Subject H? Was she still alive, if so, where was she? And most importantly, who was she?
She sighed, and gazed in to horizon. The sight of the setting sun, above the shimmering sea, never ceased to amaze her. She felt the strong, yet gentle breeze; it ruffled her long, streaked with dark brown, auburn quills, that had begun to grey a few years back. She flicked her perched ears, the sound of children's laughter filled them.
She glanced over to the sound, and gazed at the number of children that were her nieces and nephews. They were playing on the shorefront, their smiles and laughter always made her happy, but always sad at the same time. She had never married, or had any children of her own. Well that last wasn't entirely true...
"Auntie Saphira?" a small voice spoke.
She turned, noticing that Laurie, her youngest niece, was standing next to her rocker. Laurie had the same auburn quills as her, only her stripes were white. Her sweet worrying blue eyes, looked up. "Auntie Saphira are you okay? You seem sad."
She flashed a warm smile at her niece, and patted her lap. Laurie, quickly climbed up on to her lap, and hugged her.
"Yes, I'm okay. I'm just remembering someone." Her voice was gentle and warm, and like always was encased a whispery echo.
"Who?" Laurie asked.
"A little boy."
"What little boy Auntie?"
"You had a son?" Laurie asked in shock.
She chuckled, remembering that Laurie was only two and of course, was never told, "Yes I did."
"But how? You never got married."
"I had him through very unusual means, dear."
"What does that mean?"
"When I was a young lady, I was walking along the beach..."
I remember a time, long ago. When I was a beautiful strong and smart girl that had just blossomed into my womanhood. Everyone had always said I had a bright future ahead of me. It had been early in the morning. The dawn was just coming over the horizon. Mist had been heavy in the air. I had been daydreaming and that made it easy for them to sneak up on me. I was alone that morning.
A creature that was wearing a full body white suit. I had never seen a human before, so I thought they were monsters. He jumped up and tried to pin me down. I scratched him, with my claws and quills trying to get away. I know that this was seen as savagery but I wasn't going to let him take me.
If I had things, I could use to defend myself, I was going to use them, but it was in vain. Four more of them jump out of nowhere. I tried to fight them, I tried to run away. But I felt a sudden pinch in my left leg, and the world started to blur and eventually fade to black. And they took me away.
Laurie stared at her in wonder, "Where did they take you?"
"I remember waking up. Feeling like I just run six miles..."
The room was bright. I closed my eyes again, wondering where and when my mother had bought, bright white lights. But when I my vision refocused, I realized, I wasn't in my home. The room I was in was small, white and clean. No windows that I could see, only a brown door, that always remained locked.
For months I was stuck in that room. For a while people would enter the room to give me meals, but after some time they began to use a feeding slot. I fought against them. I was scared. I didn't want them near me. Sometimes they would give me something to make me sleep. I don't know what they did with me then.
He niece was wide eyed. Shocked but clearly enjoying the story. "They gave you a son?"
"Yes, they did. I don't know how, but they did."
"Then, where is he? Why isn't he here playing with us?"
"If he were here, I don't know if he'd want to play your games. He'd be all grown up now. Maybe with kids of his own."
"But why haven't I seen him? Doesn't he come visit you? You're his mommy."
"I don't know if he knows about me. When I left the place the people took me, I couldn't take him with me."
Alarms filled my ears, as I ran. The only light I had as I ran were the red flashing warning lights. I remember hearing footsteps that weren't my own and ducking into another room, to hide. I was curled into a ball under a desk not daring to breath, until I was sure they had left.
I crawled out carefully. I was tired and didn't know how I managed to get out that room. I looked up and stomach dropped. Tears stung the corners of my eyes. It was him.
He was locked in a round glass chamber, floating is some kind of fluid and wires and tubes were attached to every part of him. I reached out and touched the glass. Tears pouring down my cheeks. I didn't need any sort of test. I knew. He was mine.
He was perfect. His perfectly black fur and quills, with their bright red stripes; much like mine. I couldn't see his eyes. He looked like he was asleep. He had the sweetest little face; he kind of looked like he was wearing red eye liner. It made me smile, turning my tears bittersweet. My heart slowly cracked and shattered into thousands of microscopic fragments; I couldn't take him with me.
Why? Why were they doing this? Why did they need this child? My child. I leaned my forehead against the glass. My tears ran wild. As much as I didn't trust these people and as much, I wanted him. I was too young. I didn't have my own house or a way to support us. I couldn't relay on my family; they might not accept him.
I took a deep breath, and did the hardest thing I ever had done. I turned around and walked away. Regretting my decision, the moment I stepped outside of the room.
I don't really remember what happened next. Everything felt shattered. My mind wasn't there and my body took over. All I remember is running into another room, a bright flash and I was suddenly back home. I smelled a mix of sea air and summer flowers. I was in the garden outside of my home. I heard my mother call my name. I ran over to her, collapsing in her arms, sobbing.
Laurie hugged her auntie, tighter. She knew she should be quiet now but, "Where is he now?"
"I wish I knew sweety."
"Laurie? What are you doing?" said an older hedgehog that looked like Laurie or rather Laurie looked like her, "It's time to come in, darling."
"Okay mommy," Laurie said as she crawled off of her.
Her mother, picked her up and took her inside. "What were you and Auntie Saphira talking about honey?"
"She was telling me about her son."
"Oh no sweetheart you don't talk about that with her."
"Well, you see dear. Auntie Saphira doesn't have a son. She's sick and just thinks she has one."
She heard them talking at the left. Her ears drooped. From the day she came back to this very moment, no one had ever believed her story. Not even her own family. For years afterward she was sent to therapist after therapist, mental ward after mental ward.
Everyone thought she was crazy, that she was living in a delusion that she had been captured and had a son. The bright future everyone thought that was waiting for her, vanished.
She stared back out at the horizon. The sun had got to bed, underneath the blue blankets of the ocean, leaving the sky a rich velvety purple. Another day of being in the dark had passed. Another day of being labeled a crazy person. Another day of regret.
"If you're out there. I'm sorry. I never stopped looking," She whispered, "I will always regret my decision. I will always prey to one day see you again. In this life or the next."
"'Name: Subject H
Species: Mobian Hedgehog
Native Location: ####### #####
Hight: 3 feet 2 inches
Weight: 74 pounds