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Hey There!Fanboys and fangirls The person who asked me to rejoin the board (I got caught it the massive swipe, you see) for a particular reason has yet to proceed with said particular reason (looove you 83). I'm, er, not very talkative on a day-to-day basis, so Instead of lurking I'll just... post this here. For giggles. This fiction has everything to do with vampires and Shadow. Please give it a chance, though. I promise you won't walk away from it any worse off than when you clicked into this thread. I plan on maybe turning it into a comic...? We'll see. ... I'll at least prettify this topic eventually. Obligatorily Cheesy Synopsis!Because it wouldn't be Sonic media without one Shadow doesn't remember being bitten by anyone, but he certainly remembers dying- and living to tell about it. Thrown into the dark world of the undead, the macabre little hedgehog must now find a way to get back into the realm of the living- and do it all on the graveyard shift! Chapter Quick Links!Now with links ... Eventually... Let's Get Started!Character SELECT Prologue What the Hell... what the Hell?! His lungs began to flame, starved of breath, struggling to expand. His ribs spread, mouth gaped, nostrils flared, but still he could pull no air into his burning lungs. I can't... I can't!! His whole body writhed with panic and desperation- feet kicked, fist pounded, nails scraped. His heart raced, beating against it's airless cage, threating to break free and producing all the pains of such an escape. An inferno had erupted in his lungs, a jackhammer in his chest, and he could do nothing- nothing- about it, and it was at this realization that the hedgehog thought two words he had always been too proud to utter: Help me... His eyes and vision turned inward from the room and floorboards he hadn't even noticed; his head buzzed as every neuron fired off in death writhes of their own. Where was everyone? He couldn't even remember what he had been doing. His mind jumped to the blond-haired, blue-eyed Maria- no, things had happened since then. Sonic, a jungle- no, that was the past, too. Doom's eye circled- no. Club Rouge- no! Not a flicker of his most recent actions came to mind- nothing. He couldn't even remember waking up to witness his own death- and surely his body was dead, now. Somewhere he had heard of people staying conscious after their own decapitation- brain cells had enough energy to last a few seconds without oxygen, or so that was the theory. He took a quiet moment to confirm that he was in fact, dead; the scuffling and panic had stopped; He wasn't breathing; his heart had ceased all pumping... It was taking a long time for him to lose consciousness. It was getting ridiculous. What the Hell. Shadow's eyes flicked from under their half closed lids, adjusting to the pitch black room. He could only determine the fuzzy grain of the wood floor he was supposed to be decomposing on. Oh, how morbid, the obsidian hedgehog mused to himself. With little effort and much enthusiasm he pushed himself off of the floorboards, pausing to acknowledge the act; he hadn't died, and at that realization he let out a shaky sigh of relief. He fell right back into a world of panic; something wasn't right. His chest heaved, and there was no rush of air past his teeth or down his throat. He closed his mouth and tried again- not a sniff tickled his long nose. For a moment, he sat there, completely still, shocked beyond action, and it was in this complete inanimateness that a second something became not right. Trembling, he pulled his arm to his chest, pressed its palm against his fur, and felt not even a flutter of a heartbeat. Before he had a chance to rationalize his own state of being, movement stirred his furry ears, and the hedgehog spun toward its source. There, leaning against the plain wall, seeming perfectly small and meek, was a girl. She was dressed for the occasion: black shoes, a black dress, and a black bucket hat which hid half her face. She stood, pressed against the wall on the otherwise empty far side of the room, arms locked behind her. Caring hardly for her identity and wholly for the situation, Shadow dropped all formality in favor of enlightenment. “Wh... What's... what's happened to me?” She seemed to shrink. Lowering her head as if to mutter, the girl swallowed before opening her mouth, closing it, and tightening her crossed arms as if to brace herself. “You died. Right there. And.. You're here- standing, here- now. Because- you're not dead anymore. Because... you're... undead.” A moment of silence followed. Shadow's eye twitched as he took a step toward her. “I'm-” “Undead,” She hurriedly interjected as if to halt her audience's advance. “You were bitten- and now you're dead- undead, I mean.” The hero took a second to realize that his heart was supposed to skip at that juncture and that it hadn't. The girl turned her bucket-hatted head to look at the second blank wall, whispering off-handedly, trying very hard to ignore her own words. “You... were... bitten... by- another vampire.” Chapter 1: Enlightenment Sunrise was at 6:57 AM. The sun reached it's zenith at 1:05 P.M.. Station Square buzzed in its usual weekday hustle, each citizen contributing to the overall liveliness of the city. A few particular streets would receive an extra burst of energy as a particular blue blur rebounded from asphalt to traffic light, swinging around telephone poles and launching onto rooftops. Sonic the Hedgehog shot along the parapets as easily as he raced down the streets, soon hitting an intersection, ricocheting off a big rig, and rocketing down a lazy avenue. Downtown Station Square was, like the rest of the city, alive with the daily activity of its inhabitants. Dawn Cafe reflected the hustle and bustle of the times as waiters and waitresses tottered to customers and around tables. A certain pink hedgehog pranced along, a tray full of teacups and pastries balanced on one hand. She skirted tables with a genuine smile on her features, heading for a table at the far end of the cafe's patio. “Hey Amy!” A yelp and clatter of teacups and saucers followed the cat call, and Amy hurried to balance her tray before anything toppled to the ground. Smile gone, she turned to the source of the shout with heated abandon. “What?!” “Hey Amy,” Sonic repeated, running in place. His static gait was only complimented by his typical, overly smug expression. “Sonic?” the pink one asked, her angered facade melting into one of delight. “When did you get back in town?” “Five seconds ago,” he answered. After waiting a few moments for a reply, he added, “Maybe thirty; traffic was heavy.” “Have you finally come back to marry me?” “Ew, no!” He stopped his pacing, leaned on the wrought-iron fence that bordered the patio, and smiled as Amy rolled her eyes. “Tails called me.” “Is it about the vampires?” The blue hedgehog had already taken off down the street as she made her inquiry, but just as soon did he screech to a halt, finally coming to the stop in the middle of a crosswalk. Amy had time to calmly and smugly pass her tray of tea and pastries to her waiting customers and return before Sonic had backtracked to their previous meeting place. “Vampires?” “It's been 'vampires this' and 'vampires that' for a while now. People are being bitten left and right these days,” She explained, drawing her arms to her shoulders and shivering. “It's actually pretty creepy-” “Sounds like fun!” Sonic called from halfway down the street. He smirked before turning and shooting off toward the next intersection, leaving Amy to wonder why she even bothered starting conversations with him. The hedgehog continued on his way, running, bouncing, rolling, and drifting down the streets of Station Square. Not long after he left Amy, a voice crackled to life in his ear, projected by a hidden COM link. “Sonic,” came Tails' ever-childish voice. “How close are you?” “I'm just hopping on the train,” he replied, skidding sideways and shooting down into the train station. He jumped over the gates, slammed into the ceiling, bounced off of the platform and landed on the car of a departing locomotive. “This wouldn't happen to be about vampires, would it?” “How'd you know?” “A little pink-quilled birdie told me.” He spoke, glancing over the edge. His own cerulean quills flapped in the wind as his ever-optimistic eyes gazed at the surroundings. Vampires in Station Square: that was certainly different. Water Gods: sure. Vengeful black hedgehogs: yeah. Aliens: check. But, vampires? That was a whole other kind of party, and he was already fashionably late. “When do I get to meet these guys, anyway?” “That's what we need to figure out; no one's actually seen a vampire yet. We have to find them, and find a way to get rid of them- before anyone else gets hurt. Even we're at risk.” For a brief second, the blue blur's trademark smile faded from his features. “Eh; no Sonic Hero is going to become a vampire!” -- “WHAT?!” He screamed, crossing the distance between himself and the bucket-hatted girl, who recoiled at his volume and advance. “I don't like how 'another' got into that statement!” His previously congealed blood began to boil. They were face to face now, one wholly overbearing and the other completely inoffensive. This couldn't be happening; it couldn't be real! One minute he was... was... he couldn't remember what he had been doing, but he knew he had to have been alive: alive and damn well happy to be so! Now, now, he was a... a... The girl couldn't possibly have flattened herself any thinner against the wall, and, luckily, the undead hedgehog backed off, glaring straight through the darkness at his only company. His body trembled and eyes gleamed, rocked and lit by an inferno of anger and loathing. It was the utter helplessness of the entire situation; there was nothing he could do to rectify it! Had he even put up a fight?! He turned from the girl, fearing he would angrily rend a limb from a socket if he faced her any longer. “I'm a... a vampire.” He stated, glaring at the opposite wall. It was covered from corner to corner in a black curtain, as if the fabric were the wall, itself. “... Yes,” his young informer confirmed. It was the most concise response she had given all night. Shadow instinctively drew in a breath as if to cope with the news he had already known and feared. “And- you. Are you a-” “Yes- but I didn't... bite you,” The bucket hat lifted and just as quickly dropped again. “I don't know who bit you. I never see the other vampires.” “That was plural,” He muttered, turning on the spot and taking in his surroundings; anything to divert his growing anger. The room was especially stark, save for a clock in the corner and doors on both sidewalls. “How many vampires am I going to have to-” “Three-hundred and seventy-two,” she cut in. Shadow stopped his turning, ironically facing her again. “That's how many there are of us, in this city.” “Us? I'm not one of you!” He slammed a fist into the wall, inches from the black canvas of a particular girl's headpiece. A hiss shot from his mouth before he could shut it, and in the silence that followed, he backed away again, this time turning and pacing toward the curtained wall. “I'll kill every monster in this city before I say otherwise.” “You may want to wait two hours- until it's dark. You won't find us until it's dark. Besides... you'll just burn in the sunlight. That curtain is thick; it's stopping the daylight from getting in, even at the edges.” He stopped, a new fear bubbling up inside of him. All too suddenly he had been locked into the darkness of night, deathly allergic to the light of day. Presently, the only thing stopping a fate of live cremation was a simple curtain, which he had gotten unsettlingly close to. “This is a safe house for vampires. Every room in this building is curtained off so new vampires won't die.” “Why would they die in the first place?” “People who are bitten become vampires exactly twelve hours afterwards. Most vampires hunt at night, so their victims turn in the middle of the day. They burn before they even realize what's happened to them... It's... a way of controlling the population; if everyone we bit survived, we would double every night and run out of food.” “How do they pick who survives?” “It depends on the vampire.” Another moment of silence passed in the room. Shadow moved away from the curtain, letting his back hit the adjacent wall. Eventually, he slipped down to the floor, staring dejectedly at the empty ceiling. He wanted nothing more than for it to be a witless dream, for him to wake up and still have a pulse! The soft shuffling of the girl's footsteps caused her charge's ears to flick, and his eyes rolled around to find her crouching next to him. The hedgehog's fur rose as another awkward silence followed the sudden rendezvous. "You only have to feed on one a night." "One life a night," he corrected. "I just have to kill someone once a night. Heh; feed, one. You talk like you're not killing an innocent person. There's three-hundred and seventy-one of you. That's at least three-hundred and seventy-one lives a night. That's one-hundred-thirty-five-thousand, four-hundred and fifteen lives a year... not including leaps," his tone had dropped to that of defeat. "I can't do this." "Then, you can always burn." It was the most standoffish thing she had said the whole time. "Don't worry; a lot of people do it. You just have to open that curtain and you won't have to worry about anything anymore. You'll burn to death and then you'll be dead for good." She stood up, walking around him and retrieving the fallen wall clock. "You have two hours to do that." That's All For Now!Play Again?