You don't know what we've been through...
Brynn vs Erratt
Hanso? Vera? It bothered her that she couldn't feel the others' minds. Brynn had been warned about the Tyranitar, of course, but this was entirely new for her. The combination of Dark and Dragon's Blood couldn't be the only reason for this...environment. Could it?
The Gardevoir was alone in the darkness, with a feeling that breaking in had been the easy part. What am I thinking? Of course breaking in is the easy part, just about every time. Still, Brynn could not help but lift a hand to rub at the gem around her neck. What to do next?...
"You..." A voice from out of the darkness. A deep, noble voice, filled with anger. "You didn't listen... You were supposed to kill the girl, and you failed..."
"Failed?" Brynn turned calmly, but she still did not see anyone else. She'd known that someone would appear in time. It was just usual that the Pokemon whose mind she'd enter was already there in the first place. "I don't see how I can fail at something I did not know of in the first place." Which of the three was this? Sovereign, the ten-year prisoner, or the monster?
A pair of yellow eyes glowed from out of the darkness. "Wait... You..." As he came out of the veil, it could be seen that he was a very old Garchomp, his face scarred. "Those eyes... they're different." He moved in close, uncomfortably so, so he could examine her. "Who are you? Why do you trespass in my son's mind?" He held up one of his blades to her throat as he spoke. "Those eyes... You're a TrueStriker."
A Garchomp. That would explain both the Dragon's Blood and the Outrage monster. Brynn remained still as the Garchomp held his blade to her throat, examining him as he did her. She sensed that words would do more to help her than trying to fight back. Some Pokemon thought that a 'battle', per se, staged within the mind did nothing to affect them. Technically, it wouldn't affect the body, but it could damage the mind, perhaps beyond repair if it was severe enough.
TrueStriker, though. "I suppose I am," the Gardevoir replied, with only a tiny tremor audible in her calm voice. "It's been a while since there have been any real TrueStrikers in the SharpEye lineage." She cleared her throat. "I'm here mainly at the request of another." Who was this girl the Garchomp had mentioned?
"It's been a very long time since I have seen your kind. Back in the days when I was in the Gold Tribe. But now is not the time for stories." He pushed the blade ever closer to her throat. "Perhaps I might have welcomed your arrival at another time, but today, you are intruding where you don't belong. So I will ask you again. Who are you?"
"Can't talk if you press too hard," Brynn retorted, taking a tiny half-step back from the blade. "I am Brynn SharpEye." She did a brief curtsy, enjoying the feeling of standing on her legs. Even if it was only in the mind. "I was under the impression that it was to help an acquaintance, ser...?"
"'Help?' This is your idea of 'help?' Do you have any idea what you've done? Sovereign has harbored darkness for so long, and now, thanks to you and your friends, he's made contact with the worst darkness in all of Valkeria." Erratt had half a mind to slit her throat where she stood.
"Brynn, eh? If you are a TrueStriker, then perhaps you will recognize my name. I am Erratt Chronos, keeper of lost knowledge, and guardian of Draco Temple." A short pause, a hesitation in his thoughts as he held the blade to her throat. "...or at least I was," he said with a great sadness that did not quite overcome him.
The Garchomp wanted to end it there and then, she could tell. "I'm not sure I know exactly what you speak of concerning the darkness, Ser Chronos," Brynn replied, opting to simply nod her head in respect this time. "I have not been with the Gold Tribe for a while now, and I only learned of this...situation just today. I don't see how I would've had a part in it."
The Gardevoir did recognize his name. Draco Temple had been a place for dragons to gather in times past, but Brynn did not know for certain how long ago that had been. "...However, if you speak of that which corrupted those now called the Sentinels, then I can assure you we're working to stop it." I wonder... "...Does this...Varren, have something to do with it?"
"Varren is a parasite!" He screamed, spinning around quickly to face the other direction. "He is a remnant of what Sovereign could have become had I not intervened. He wants Sovereign's power as his own, and so I have kept him separated from the dragon blood that flows in Sovereign's veins. But now..." His voice was somber now. "...now all seems lost. Sovereign's mind has been infected by a power far beyond what Varren is capable of. And it is YOUR fault! You, that Gallade, and the Blaziken are all responsible for this!"
"Our fault?" Brynn's voice grew hard as she replied. "You're gravely mistaken if you think that was our intention. I have no intention of letting him run free when he's being controlled by some freak prisoner or consumed by a monster lusting for power. Nor will we rest until the power controlling the Sentinels has been destroyed."
She paused, then resumed, her voice softer now. "If you want Sovereign to be cleansed, then either help me...or step aside."
"... you know, I've been trying to free him from this burden for so long. All I've wanted is to free him. Do you know what it does to you? This place? It sullies your mind and leaves you with nothing but a grim visage of who you once were. I tried to push him over the edge, so I could give him release, but really, it was just me being selfish. I want out of this place, and Sovereign's insanity was the only way to do so." he turned to look at Brynn once more. "The shadows have already begun to bond with his Dragon Blood. How do you propose we separate them?"
The Gardevoir's eyes closed as she attempted to reach out with her mind again. Brynn still could not exactly sense Hanso or Vera, but there was a sort of disturbance, faint to her mind. "Well, for one thing, it would help to have a visual of what we're tackling." These shadows would be much tougher to deal with than any Dark Pokemon's mind. If they somehow had the same Dark resilience, then it could be nigh impossible.
No, no such thing as impossible. Just, not done before by Psychics alone.
Erratt smirked. "I think I may have an idea. Follow me!" he yelled as he took off running into the darkness. "Back in Albia, Vera shoved a crystal into Sovereign's body. It had an effect on his mind as well, kept Varren and me away until its power dissipated. If you could reactivate it, it could help us deal with this darkness as well!"
Had Hanso told her about that crystal? Brynn quickly followed the Garchomp into the darkness, sifting through her knowledge of crystals and stones in general. She wasn't hitting on anything relevant at first; maybe it was something obscure. A crystal that dampened or smothered a Pokemon's Dragon-Blood? Only that didn't seem to quite explain why it would also keep Varren away. Either way, Brynn would see what it was once Erratt led her to it, then see how she could reactivate it.
Erratt stopped. "It's here," he said. But nothing seemed to be in sight. There was only darkness in all directions.
Stopping beside the Garchomp, Brynn reached out with her senses to find the crystal, or some representation of it. There was nothing to see with her eyes, it seemed, but this was the inside of a rather messed-up mind, or so she thought of it. Not everything would be visual.
"Do you know what kind of crystal?"
"It's a shard, taken from the Ice Rock. Eevee travel to the Ice Stone to become Glaceon. It is able to do more than that though. It is pure, if you could recharge it, we could purge Sovereign of this darkness before it takes hold of him." Errat reached out, and touched something in the darkness. "It only needs enough energy to last a moment. But I don't know of any way to use it. It's felt cold, ever since you got here. Are you hiding something, Truestriker?"
"Something that I normally hide from anyone." A slight smile appeared on Brynn's face. "It's rather fortunate, what the crystal is. Makes it easier for me to recharge it." As she focused on the shard of the Ice Rock, she added,"I'd stand back from the shard if I were you."
Barely after she finished speaking, the area began to feel colder. The Gardevoir raised her hands as small orbs of ice-blue energy began forming in a ring around her. Moments later, they coalesced into one larger orb, which seemed to form specks of ice along its edges. Brynn then stepped forward to where she felt the shard was and began to feed her Ice Hidden Power into it.
Erratt, stepped back and watched as energy poured into the crystal. "Impressive." The crystal began to flicker, producing a light blue glow upon the area. As the light spread, Erratt cried out in pain, and fell to the ground. "I do not belong to the light any more." He turned his face to Brynn, revealing his true nature. A disfigured, hideous face was looking up at her. "What have I become, Truestriker?"
Brynn did not turn away from the crystal until she was sure it was charged. She wasn't surprised by Erratt's cry of pain; Ice was a known weakness of Dragons. At his next words, however, the Gardevoir turned to face him, then recoiled in startlement, one hand going up to her mouth. Eyes wide, Brynn couldn't speak for a moment.
I didn't realize this before now... Hanso! Vera! They needed to leave now, before whatever had done this to Erratt got to them as well. Wait, the crystal. Brynn turned quickly to make sure that it was charged.
Light pulsated through the area, revealing horrors unseen before, and burning them away. The energy spread, but there was no way to know if it would really help until they left. "You should go, Truestriker, while you still can. There is no hope left for me. I failed my only son, I'm nothing but a monster now. An empty shell of what I once was. But there's still hope for him, please help him like I couldn't. Tell him the path he takes is not the one he needs. Tell him he needs to go home. Please, do it for me..."
Lowering her hand to the gem around her neck, Brynn cleared her throat and quietly said, "I will."
Erratt seemed to pass out after that, though that term really has no bearing in a world created in the mind. In the light of the crystal, the way back to the outside appeared to Brynn, but it was not what she had left. The city was marred by destruction, and the buildings were in ruins.
Were they too late? There was only one way to find out. "Hanso, Vera!" Brynn's eyes lit up with relief, the Gardevoir approaching the way back out. Her telepathic connections to them were back up. "It's time to go."