Today is a special day, not just for the sake of this preview. Today marks the one-year anniversary from the day I first conclusively decided to write this story, which I marked by making this website. I was constantly questioning myself before then, but it was one year ago today that I knew I wouldn’t be going back. It was a few days later that I started writing Cast by the Light, in order to get the practice I wanted before getting started for real. Of course, the anniversary of The Chaos Project itself is still a full 5 months off, first published on June 23rd, Sonic’s Birthday. But this day is still important to me, and it really puts into perspective how big of a project I’m undertaking here. Anyways, without further delay, here’s your regularly-scheduled preview.
Unsure of where else to turn, Sonic has decided to enlist the help of the Black Cloak in his search for Shadow. But Black Cloak seems to have other plans.
Sonic stands high atop a building, perhaps the tallest in the whole city. Behind him, a huge red sign reads, “The Daily News.” Behind the sign is an incredible view of a great city, full of more tall buildings, and crisscrossing roads. But in the direction that Sonic stares off into, a different story is told. Just as many buildings are in shambles as in fair repair. Sections of road are torn from the ground, lying in rubble or twisted into all sorts of impossible ramps and loops. Massive fissures in the ground appear regularly, just a few of them with makeshift bridges stretched across. Wrecked cars still lie on many of the undamaged streets.
“What are you doing here?” The Black Cloak stands behind Sonic, cloak billowing in the wind.
Sonic doesn’t seem surprised at his sudden appearance. “The fact that you’re here tells me you already know the answer to that question.”
“How did you know I would come?”
“It’s a pretty tall building. You can see the whole city from here. Look.” Sonic points off to an area on the outskirts of the city, with a nearby welcome sign. “You can even see where we fought those robots together. If someone were in trouble, there or anywhere else in the city…you could see it from here. Seems like a pretty good spot for your line of work.”
“It’s certainly not the tallest building.” He points off to another building not far away, on the border between the thriving city and the ruined one. Many stories taller than the one they stand on now, the sign reads, “King Industries.”
“I figured you wouldn’t be thrilled if you had to hang out there often.”
“You aren’t wrong about that.” He is silent for a moment. “…I saw that you’ve brought a friend in with you. She shouldn’t be here. It’s too dangerous.”
“So you’ve been spying on me? No wonder you got here so quickly. Rouge can handle herself just fine. There’s someone else I’m worried about. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I want your help.”
“Help from a dangerous vigilante like me, for the great Sonic the Hedgehog? You must be desperate.”
“I’m not that kind of person anymore. There are things that matter a whole lot more than my reputation. Like my friends.” Sonic pulls out the folder the Commander gave to him, full of everything known about Shadow. He tosses it forward, and it slides across the building, coming to a stop at Black Cloak’s feet. He picks it up and begins looking through it. “His name is Shadow the Hedgehog, you’ve probably heard of him. Especially around these parts. He went missing a few weeks ago, without a trace.”
Black Cloak stays silent for a long moment. “…And you think this ‘Shadow’ is here, in Westopolis?”
“It’s the only lead we have.”
Black Cloak tosses the folder back. “I don’t do personal jobs. I have bigger things to worry about. But I’ll keep an eye out. If I see any sign of your friend, I’ll be sure to tell you. Do you have anything else to waste my time with?”
“Are you sure you don’t know anything about him? Where he might be?”
“I’m sure that I haven’t seen his face since…since before I started working here.”
“If I ever need your help again, can I meet you here?”
Black Cloak turns and starts to walk away. “Don’t count on it.”
“But how will I find you!?”
He stops on the edge of the building and looks back. “You won’t.” With that, he leaps off the side.