Shadow tries to find clues to explain a seemingly pointless act of arson committed by an unknown person.
Shadow surveyed the burning house, emotionless as always. Turning to the GUN agent standing nearby, he said, "You should have called me."
"We did call you," said the agent nervously. "Just as soon as we—"
"No, I mean when this all started," said Shadow. "The moment a flame appeared, you should have called me in. Then I'd have been able to come, stop the fire, and find the evidence. This way, we have nothing. No clues, no way to trace anything, and most of all, no professionalism. This situation is a disaster if you ask me." Turning around, Shadow started walking off.
"But, Shadow," stammered the agent, "we do have some evidence. That's why we called you."
Shadow turned around. "Then why didn't you let me see it? The instant I arrived, you should have shown this to me." He raised his voice with anger. "All I saw from the moment I arrived here was a burning house and you standing to the side with that same stupid expression on your face! And nothing! No reason to believe that I should have been here, or that anything useful would have come out of this!"
The agent waited for Shadow to cool down. He'd been briefed on the fact that Shadow was prone to fits of anger, but that didn't stop him from finding Shadow intimidating. Once Shadow had stopped talking, he said, "If you've finished, we found something that you might find helpful…It's a Black Arm."
Shadow stared at the agent with disbelief. "You found an entire alien near this house, and you detained it as evidence? Huh. You're more intelligent than I thought."
"N-no," said the agent. "It's not a whole Black Arm alien. It's an arm of a Black Arm…that happens to be black…so it's a Black Arm black arm…I mean…"
"Just get me the arm," said Shadow.
The agent walked over to the side of the house. When he didn't return, Shadow followed him there. The agent was standing next to a thick black arm, looking anxious.
"It's too heavy," said the agent.
"It's not too heavy," said Shadow, picking it up. "You just didn't want to pick it up because you're too squeamish." He turned over the arm. "Hmm. Curious. No signs of blood. This wasn't someone's arm. Somebody made this to look like an arm. Let's see if…huh, there are screws in the shoulder. Some idiot made this."
"Everyone's an idiot to you, aren't they?" said the agent quietly.
Shadow half-turned to the agent. "Yes, they are!" he said angrily. "I'm living in a world of idiots where I'm the only rational person! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a job to do." Using his powers of teleportation, he summoned a cellphone out of nowhere and pushed a few buttons on it. "Rouge, I need reinforcements. Send one guy with a screwdriver and another guy with a bucket of water. No, I do not need a tank. No, I do not need anger medication. No, I do not need a box of breakfast cereal. Where do you come up with these ideas? All I want is a screwdriver and a bucket of water. Now." Shadow hung up the phone, returned it to where it had come from, and continued poking at the arm.
When the reinforcements arrived, the screwdriver was dutifully passed to Shadow, at which point he unscrewed the screws in the arm. "This is hollow inside," he observed. "Except for this one—"
Shadow was cut off by a voice coming out of the inside of the arm. Apparently, it was not as empty as he thought.
"Agent Shadow," the voice said. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am—"
"Looks like there's a speaker inside this arm," said Shadow.
"—and I have a message for you. I know it's you, because no one else would have fallen into this exact predicament. I have an important message for you, and I will contact you in three seconds from your phone…"
Shadow pulled out his phone again, dropping the arm. Three seconds later, it rang.
"Is this Shadow the Hedgehog?"
"You know it is," said Shadow. "Now quit wasting my damn time. You're here for a reason. Spit it out."
"Shadow," said the voice, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but—"
"TELL ME ALREADY!" yelled Shadow.
"In an alternate timeline," said the voice. "You're placed into captivity in about 50 years for apparently wrecking the world. You're innocent, but your attitude makes you the perfect scapegoat. I'm warning you now so that you'll have a chance to avoid this happening in your timeline."
Shadow lost his cool. "So you set a house on fire, created a fake arm, and sent a nitwit to fetch me, all just to try to warn me about this possible future? Oh wait, it was the nitwit who set the house on fire and created the fake arm…wasn't it. You're off in your alternate timeline, doing your alternate future predictions, so you hired this guy to do your dirty work for you. Typical. Was that all you had to say?"
"Yes, it was," said the voice. "I needed to make sure that it got to you. This could change the world."
"The world will change whether or not your message got in it," said Shadow. "Maybe I'll change the world. Maybe I'll rot in captivity, just like in your alternate timeline. But either way, your efforts are just stupid. Appreciated, but stupid. Next time, video-chat me. It works better." And with that, Shadow hung up the phone and walked off in a huff.
Characters Who Speak
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- An unnamed GUN agent
- An unnamed voice
- Rouge the Bat
- Two unnamed GUN agents
- Unlike my other stories, I did not use an outline for this one. I just wrote it as it came into my head.