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The prologue of Book Four: Insanity. This covers an underground deal between "Shadow the Hedgehog" and a familiar face...

Prologue

He strode into the dark, shadowy bar, using a hat and full-body length jacket to hide his identity. Lots of hedgehogs had his quills, so there was little chance of anybody recognizing him in here. The bartender took one look at the dark figure, and nodded.

“What can I get you, stranger?” The hedgehog pursed his lips, considering the selection before him.

“Give me a shot of Col’nesian whiskey, and tell Mr. Blackmane that he’s got someone interested in his services.” The skunk behind the bar nodded, pouring a shot of amber liquid from a bottle marked ‘Col’nesia’s Finest’, something the hedgehog appreciated and showed with a curt nod to the young lass. Finally, the skunk nodded to a small private room, with the door beside the bar.

“Drink your shot before going in. Leon doesn’t like having people drinking while talking with him.” Again, the hedgehog nodded his thanks, draining the shot in a single gulp, and showing the bartender a flash of black and red quills.

“Appreciated,” he grunted, leaving a five Mobium note on the bar-top, a sizable tip for the young skunk, as he entered the room. Within, a tan lion, probably about twenty years old, with a recognizable black mane, sat behind a wooden desk, as if waiting for someone.

“I hear you’re contacting my kinds of people. Mercenaries. Not to mention your connection to the Black Arms, and others. What, you plan to take of Mobius and turn on your current bosses?” the lion grunted, knocking the hedgehog’s hat clean off with a swipe of his claws, revealing the features of Shadow the Hedgehog. The G.U.N agent shrugged.

“I’ve been looking into it. After all, I don’t age, so why leave this world in peace, when I can simply take over?” Leon took it in his stride, before countering with a question.

“You’re asking me to help with your army? I mean, you know I’ve worked with some of your enemies before. Jacob, for one. I attacked Will, four years ago, drove him away. Now he’s getting married. The Knuckles Clan gets all the glory, and my family has nothing but the riches of illicit deals.” Again, Shadow shrugged, this time punctuating the shrug with a piercing glare.

“I honestly couldn’t care less. You’re a mercenary. You work for cash. No grudges here. I’m offering to pay for your organization when I take command, with a down payment.”

“Of what?” the lion countered. “You’re dressed like a gangster, but you don’t have anything on you to continue the impression. No briefcase full of cash. No visible bulges in your jacket suggesting riches. What, did you come to pay me with your word?” Shadow’s response was the formation of a deep purple portal of Chaos Energy, from which he produced a case.

“How does Black Arms technology sound?” The lion was speechless as he accepted the case. He opened it, and inspected the trio of three-pronged energy blasters.

“You have a deal, hedgehog. But keep your word. I would hate to have to destroy you using one of these beauties.” Shadow raised an eyebrow.

“You wouldn’t be able to, but whatever. I’m gone. You’ll know more when I contact you next.” With that, the hedgehog stood and walked out, replacing his hat as he left the bar, a slight nod to the bartender the only contact with others he gave as he walked back out into the rainy night. One hand vanished into his pocket, and emerged with a strange communicator. Shadow hooked the speaker into his ear, then held the microphone, fitted to the cuff of his jacket in the guise of a button, to his mouth.

“So, Nazo, how’d I do?” Through the earpiece, he heard a burst of laughter as the ancient demon considered his reply.

“Rageik, you had Shadow down pat. These last two years of practice have really helped!” Shadow smiled.

“Thank you, old friend. I’ve done this pathetic body some help as well. I mean, all his wife would have noticed was him losing interest in smoking strange plants and getting drunk. Now, I’ll contact you soon, I have to get back to Rouge.” Nazo once again laughed, but this time, it was less jovial and a lot darker.

“Yes, Shadow, go back to Rouge. But remember, boss, Mobius will know eventually that Shadow’s been possessed.”

“Don’t worry about it, Nazo. I have a plan……

Dramatis Persona

list being compiled

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