This is my second fic here in PC. It's a bit lengthy from that of the original version... And yes, it's actually a revamp from a plot a friend of mine had me look over four years ago. I found it within the deepest abyss of an old USB and I decided to revise it. There was nothing at first, but as I changed most of its contents, it started to have a future.
I would gladly accept positive or negative feedback (& as I mentioned on the Announcement thread, please be constructive.)
Summary: Hoenn was caught in a dark conspiracy involving the downfall of the Republic. The administration was thrown in chaos, with the greatest political figure murdered... The evil organization wielding this threat started with the Champion's assassination. He couldn't help but think: retribution or sacrifice?
:The true road to destiny is often the hardest one to take:
Twenty passive, peaceful and prosperous years -- moments in time in where it slipped away without an instant’s notice. Hoenn’s active and pleased inhabitants have not been aware of its smooth flow over its short course; time seemed to pass by hurriedly nowadays. To say the least, they were particularly fortunate from one’s point of view: they had a leader, a liberator.
His period of influence had changed Hoenn’s economy considerably over the course of his few two decades, thus commerce and trade had begun to develop: wealthy shareholders and stockbrokers bought and sold securities, shares and sub-prime mortgages owned by major corporations and credit markets — the prime foundation of the rise of its own capital delineate. Due to this, trade routes were flooded with various shipments of all varieties of an extremely wide assortment of products from all over the globe. Manufacturing firms and industrial depots had been erected throughout the region to supply the growing general populace as well as the rising number of tourists and Pokémon. Commercial infrastructures and business chains had begun to sprout as well due to the increasing regard and rivalry between analogous enterprises.
In addition, there were further favorable traits.
Regardless of Hoenn’s bustling activity and partially democratic nature, crimes rates these days were extraordinarily low due to the fact of its unique method of law enforcement — the use of its own exceptional military structure to frame the region’s higher-than-average lifestyle and enforcement of its policies.
Of course, not only humans were given the chance to flourish and subsist in peace: but also local and migrating Pokémon have been under protection of the affirmed consensus and decree. Construction was immediately ceased once a disturbance in their natural territory and habitat was established.
His Excellency not only felt that security was of utmost concern but Pokémon were to be treated as equals and deserved a decent standard of living as well. His principles retracted this situation.
Hence, reputation and status were built, giving a favorable notion in Hoenn’s national figure: experienced trainers and coordinators from other regions began to train and contend in various competitions throughout its state such as enhanced gyms and neighboring contests. Reputation draws expertise and significance alike.
Composed, competitive and active, it is –and will always be– an idyllic status for years to come.
However, Hoenn’s serene and flourishing nation at the present wasn’t as triumphant before his regime. In fact, the past administration was thrown into anarchy, for they were mindful of a crisis of epic proportions that was about to befall any and all within its liberated borders, perhaps even the entire world in the course of time: The Great Diverge. It all started when two large, secretive and separate crime organizations stole precious artifacts and threatened to use these relics to awaken the armaments of the past.
The Ancient Guardians.
All in all, these were two large, lethal behemoths with the wrath of nature at their command: the ideal weapons to carry out their ruthless requests. Either side with their own egotistical desire to execute their perverse objective at the cost of any: expand their own element and bring the whole world –fearful– to its knees—
That was the predicament though: both desired –and sought– to accomplish their goal without one getting in the way of the other’s conquest. Hence, constant skirmishes were established between them every time they made contact, like two desperate rivals with one great ambition, each as determined as the other. The only other difference was that their ambition was sheer and utter anarchy.
Despite the regular sabotage of one to the other before, during and after significant operations, they both astoundingly managed to gather momentous intelligence and a small number of remnants –with a few blunders and abuse in the middle– to carry out the ultimate resurgence.
The only thing standing in the way was each other.
And, contemptibly, an eleven-year old who would constantly interfere and foil there underhanded operations. A nuisance, both state. And the future Champion who would afterward bring Hoenn to the peak of its achievements. Providing, of course, that he could thwart and bring to a crashing halt the two syndicates who wielded destruction at their fingertips.
True to form, he knew the penalty should he fail: a whole region (perhaps even the whole world) would end up paying for it. And now, he stood between annihilation and the ultimate conquest of greed. However, he had a distinct advantage that meant everything in the end: he knew both organizations would feud, trying to regain supremacy over the other.
The perfect opportunity to exploit.
Both consortiums were equally matched: skillful, silent and strong. Either side as fierce and vicious as the other. No one wavering. No one displaying signs of defeat. Their Pokémon speaking their raw rage and resolve. It was a magnificent sight to behold: Flamethrowers, Shadow balls, and Hydro pumps crossing the middle length of Monsu Island. For now, the leaders of opposing sides had dismissed to obliterate their adversary once and for all -- using the wrath of The Ancients.
Too soon. Too early.
And without regret and remorse.
Without any hesitation, they managed to awaken the Guardians: each grasping equally destructive authority over the brute ferocity of nature. Needless to say, Hoenn’s destruction was now close at hand.
It was on the brink of its own Armageddon.
It was time.
He knew when exactly to take advantage of the rage and thoughtlessness on behalf of the two leaders and how much a risk they were taking by not having the patience to remain vigilant — a fatal judgment.
And that advantage was now: when they were most exposed.
He was right.
Unsurprisingly, their wicked endeavors were brought to a standstill, stopped even before damage beyond repair. The destruction of the artifacts brought considerable effect: the slumber of the Guardians once more. As a result of this failure, both organizations broke up. Financial support was completely withdrawn from their various sponsors and their criminal activities that plagued Hoenn ceased.
Within a few weeks, Hoenn had a new Champion: the unsung eleven-year old redeemer. A few years after his rise to power, he began to reform his region without change in custom. He established leverages and considerable transactions first, with the companies such as Devon within Hoenn’s borders, then, other powerful corporations all over the world. Stockholders and industrialists admired his way of thinking and trainers and coordinators envied his skill and talent. A Champion is not a Champion for nothing.
Tranquility throughout Hoenn was now certain and definite, all because of his valor and the display of highest standards. Nothing now stood in the way of advance and progress.
Reticent conspiracies, illegal trade and conscription, involving one massive organization were rumored to work beneath the awareness of the national and metropolitan authorities. This, of course, provoked nationwide alarm. For the first time in two decades, Hoenn had a new threat with one perverse aim as its ultimatum: to cause the downfall of the Republic and force the entire region into submission. Order was desperately needed.
At first, the National Security Bureau elevated security and defense in various areas of the country and dispatched numerous officers to ensure protection. However, over the course of three months, no likely criminal activity was reported, even within the most illegally active locations in the region. It was evidently clear that they were lowering their guard.
A mortal mistake, for it was then that they struck.
At the conclusion of the post-defense, a private flight was reported to have crashed, claiming the lives of five individuals. Furthermore, the most prominent person in Hoenn’s regime was one of seven passengers aboard the flight — the Champion. Terrible accident or multiple counts of murder? Either way, it was the ideal chance to utilize. This would mean turmoil and mayhem for the next few years: a sadistic struggle of supremacy.
Without their president, the Senate essentially a body of legislatives or the second most powerful ranks in the administration was thrown into chaos. Assassinations would follow, and many would lose their lives in the process. In addition, a civil war would shred the great nation apart.
And such was the issue thirty years ago: Hoenn at the threshold of catastrophe, both politically and meteorologically at the course of its events and as well as its predictable unseen liberation – the past and the present, both concepts certain to ensue alike.
I turn for an instant –and only for an instant– as I see the shadows of formless black prowl behind me with the sadistic desire to lunge and dig away at my vulnerable and weakened corporal form. I felt the dark hallways on either side shifting, turning as the shadows began to sink within their walls.
I had to run, flee from this morbid realm of darkness that never ceased to end: passages without exits, doors without ways out. There was no light to secure my beaten steps, no hope to incite me to move on and no exit to end all this madness and torment.
Every step I took demanded my breath, my life. I was blindly running away from a fiend that surrounded me, overwhelmed me as the fatigue viciously drained me of strength. My frenetic steps upon the creaking wood beneath my feet fed there insatiable hunger for my certain defeat. But my resolve denied to: even though the advantage favored my opposition, even though all odds were against me, it didn’t mean I would fall.
Even so, I knew at the back of my mind it seemed I was only delaying the inevitable…
Before me, a small, pale corona imposed itself distances ahead -- hope at last. The infinite passages further had now ended: a herald of freedom. I leaped towards it, eyes bright and filled with genuine anticipation. I could feel the shadows being pushed back from wherever they came for those few slow seconds. Salvation at long last.
Then, it all happened…
The pulsating glow of faint white died away into nothing more, and my fingers slipped through its ghostly nature. My entire body –in mid-air– plunged onto the soiled floorboards below. At one impulsive instance, I felt the darkness grip my feet. Its cold grasp upon the surface of my flesh sent my heart twinging in fear. I reached out, trying to get hold of something, anything that could prolong my existence.
I dug my nails into the dusty, wooden boards -- only to find my frantic attempt served pointless as the shadows pull me even further. I could feel finger-like extremities creeping over my skin. I shudder to respond against it. The physical manifestation of grief surged smoothly onto the surface of my cheeks — tears of agony and prime instances of fear.
I let out a scream. Nothing was heard. No words came out. The option of death danced painfully on the edge of my mind.
My eyes unwillingly flicked open, fastening my desperate stare upon the murky passage beyond. My gaze had met the gaze of another. At the far extent stood a vaguely memorable figure: behind it, no light could penetrate its thick, smothering darkness, and before it shone a vibrant blaze of emerald green.
An ominous shade of black and violet paced behind the dark outline, reaching out to me with its outstretched appendage. I felt oblivion beckoning me as the shadow enveloped what was left of my physical form. This was it, then: darkness faded into dimness.The skies had darkened into an abyss of fierce thunderclouds and fog.
I found myself laying there, in its complex, staring impassively into the heavens tinted in dismal white while my body was unable to execute the actions I would array. I shuddered, the numbing cold dousing the scorching sensation coursing through me.
My senses began to drift far afield. The sky became an endless ocean of blazing red and rubble-laden ruins. Urban residences were toppled and sent ablaze. Shadows emerged – viciously slaying multitudes of the unarmed with fluid grace. Their crimson eyes gleamed against the fire; the forlorn cries of their victims generate their sadistic growls and laughs; their weapons of butchery were stained with blood and hunger for more. The ghoulish clatter of gunfire against them was distant, frequent, and mingled with the harsh shrieks of fear and affliction.
Desperate cries of the innocent…
I closed my eyes -- shut them firmly -- only to see further sights of which I feared: beneath the havoc and death, surfaced immense behemoths exchanging earth-shattering blows, one to the other;raw embodiments of nature’s wrath. Colossal, rolling walls of water and spheres of bright vivid red pound heavily against each other, turning what was once everything into nothing in their wake.
The once rich, luscious fields of annual emerald and scarlet had turned into a dark, barren and dying earth. Towering trees and thick succulent foliage once sown were now stripped bare, violently hauled from there perpetual pose of wisdom. Mountains were cleaved; cities, towns and structures were brought beneath their own foundations which once supported them in a panorama of authority and victory. Fires raged across the ruins while waves raced towards the mainland. The sky was set ablaze, torrential rainfall and fiery meteors showered above as an acknowledgment for their beholders…
But then I had realized there was more, much too more behind this apocalyptic chaos…
Formless, dark figures lay athwart and strewn amongst the scarred landscape: they were corpses, both of human and Pokémon alike — fatalities of the horrific butchery before my eyes.
Why was this happening?
Nausea had struck without a moment’s notice, and misery began to fill every fiber of my body. I could see their torn, decomposing facades flicker and stir against the bright fires that still envelop the smoldering wreckage. The shadows fed on their decaying bodies in a revoltingly content manner. At that dark moment, sheer and utter fear clasped me with its cold, and iron grip as I subsisted to comprehend the occurrence before me—
My stomach churned, and my eyes began to water. I struggled violently, trying to free myself from the shadows that gripped my body and poisoned my mind with sour, abysmal imagery.
I was running out of precious time. I had to draw my arms free for only one brief moment – but only for one brief moment –before all the lights weakened before me. It would mean everything, everything in the very end.
But all the indistinct, pale lights faded before my eyes—
Darkness has triumphed.
The horrific illusions before me were all gone, and soon, all the lights went out with them.
I hear shrill wails of pain and grief…
Only to realize, they were my own…
The sting of blades and ammunition rave across my body…
I fall towards the blood-stained earth in demise and defeat…
The faces of my allies and partners were now succumbed to the burning light of the Necropolis…
And now, fragmented memories are all that I possess…
A nightmare is all that it is.
I could have woken up from this gruesome nightmare. I could have seen the brighter future ahead of me and the dreams that spurred me to move on. But no, I was succumbed to the darkness even before they were totally realized. My memories were all but shattered, lost within the deepest confines of my mind. Why was this happening to me?
It was that world in where death and destruction held no sway…
I gasped desperately for breath as the faceless beasts began lurking behind me once more. Nothing more seemed so essential than to live in the light of pure, genuine salvation. Those warped shadows of shapeless black were around me now. I was losing the strength to resist, but I couldn’t give in, not now, not ever. But how long would I suffer this dreadful ordeal?
I was, for that dark moment, the epitome of survival.
Dimness…and absolute silence. I had no thought of what exactly would occur or where I actually was. Just when it seemed my horrid nightmares would haunt me out of the deepest depths of anguish yet again, the light of cracking dawn shone down upon me — atrue hope and luminance. I felt its warm rays caress the surface of my facade and somehow most, but not all, of the physical and emotional pain diminished.
I slowly opened my now tear-filled eyes, hoping it was all but a nightmare. The warm luster stung my eyes after those extended periods in blinding darkness; the indistinct white ceiling was immediately visible as it contrasted the early morning radiance…
It was a nightmare and nothing more — never had I been so relieved that true light awakened me out of the ominous realm of shadows.
I had soon realized I was over a long, supple stretcher, tucked beneath thick, white sheets. The pure light of dawn filtered through my window which was adjacent to the bed, altering the unlit corridors of emergent darkness into secure, insipid quarters of an infirmary. Meanwhile, my right arm was covered in white dressing and hooked to a small, hanging bag sealed with transparent fluid. Somehow, all these gave me comfort and reassurance beyond comprehension.
Still, I had no thought of what exactly happened to me or where I currently was. I could see nothing beyond this moment. My past was nebulous, vague and indistinct. And it struck me to why they aren’t known to me. What I had seen before seemed so undoubtedly authentic: endlessly running within pitch-black hallways with my most melancholic nightmares stalking me with relentless tenacity… Nevertheless, as with all things, there had to be a reason.
I tried to sit up. However, my entire body ached tremendously, as if it underwent strenuous activity without pause. My limbs were unspeakably sore, and the pain intense. It was like I had been struggling desperately against an entity I could never conquer. Thoughts of the dark nightmare still lingered, and somehow, the deep terror of not being physically-competent to save my allies resurfaced. Apart from that, I knew I was now secure.
I steadily ran my left hand (which wasn’t bonded by the white dressings, unlike my right) through my long, jade-colored hair. But doing this, I caught something else in the corner of my eye, one that almost made me stifle of such surprise: traces of small lesions, lacerations and bruises around the length of my left arm. All of which seemed treated.
This made me consider the position I was currently in.
At my near left was the large, clear rectangular window with white curtains hanging between its sides and warm light filtering through. I eagerly peered through it, hoping I would find one or any straight answer to all these. Nothing but one intimation written in great inscription: I was merely confined at a customary sanatorium, though it was one I knew to be one of the best in the whole region.
Petalburg Hospital for the Chronically Ill.
What was I doing in Petalburg City? Despite the thought of this hanging over my head, it didn’t really matter. Nothing appeared more essential than to know what had ensued that my memories served futile to illustrate.
At this moment, the echoing sound of footsteps was heard in the hall beyond.
Answers at last.
The door at my far right began to creak open, and a man in his late thirties slowly appeared. He had long, grey hair, and his dark, slit-like eyes immediately locked onto mine once he stepped onto the threshold. A dark formal coat with two violet, lightning-like symbols, adjacent at both ends, was at once noticeable and his slacks contrasting to his coat. Two iron rings at either side of his arms gleamed instantly and was quite an odd article of his attire.
He didn’t dress like standard medical personnel which made me doubt his presence here.
“So, you’ve finally awoken, Matthew Versil.” The man spoke with his deep voice at the same time reassuring then bowed earnestly before me. “Is the first-class treatment enough?”
“Who are you, and how do you know my name?” I asked firmly, ignoring the question and leaning back. “Where did you take my partners?”
“Oh, goodness me, my manners! I’m Steven Stone, president of the Devon Corporation,” the man replied with a comfortable smile on his face, “You’re a high-rank official of the Inquisition. It would be extremely difficult to not miss your name in the database.”
A thousand different thoughts fluttered through my mind at one spontaneous instant. Thoroughly confused, I looked at him as he responded. How did he know my name, and what did he mean by that unusual remark?
“You must’ve had quite an experience my friend.”
“I am fine,” I responded adamantly, disliking his inclination towards me.
“Well, I can clearly see that.” The man smiled. “I’m here to personally explain almost everything since the treatment center mentioned you may or may not recall the past events to a short term extent.”
“But you’re clearly not a doctor,” I strongly remarked, my innate suspicion kicking in. “How would you know what happened?”
Under normal circumstances, I would’ve forced this strange man into fearful compliance and questioning. But I was not in the situation to do so. I was wounded and powerless to do anything otherwise. In addition, my partners weren’t here with me and probably the stranger had more Pokémon at his disposal.
And at those few seconds, my mind began to whirl in confusion and suspicion as well. I had felt an immediate uncertainty to him the moment he had entered. I had really no idea how this person I had never heard of or seen knew what came about when the medical staff did not. Still, I forced myself to keep in vigilant silence, knowing he probably knew the answers to my questions.
“True, I know nothing about medicine and that entire sort, though I do know what happened to you.”
“Keep it short.” I gave him a sharp gesture, still wary.
“You’re a very cautious boy aren’t you?” He grinned, analyzing my expression. “Very well, then. You seem prepared in any case for that point, let me take this slowly then. And your partners — they’re in good hands and under the careful supervision of the local Center.”
“A few locals of Whales Island found you unconscious and badly wounded by its shores after the explosion,” Steven continued, “any other normal fifteen-year old wouldn’t have survived, but because you’re so unique, you surprisingly endured this ordeal. You were covered with scrapes, bruises and cuts along with small debris. Various parts of the wreck—“
“A wreck?” I abruptly interrupted him.
He disclosed this explicit information with certain fluency, and it seemed he was ready to willingly share intelligence to someone such as myself; perhaps selective disinformation to an extent? But what advantage could that even serve for a captor? It appeared he wasn’t concealing the truth from me, and this wasn’t preferred notion. Nonetheless, it relieved me beyond conception that my partners are alright and this information was what I needed at the moment, providing it is –and was– the genuine truth.
“Yes, a plane wreck in point of fact,” he continued with a short sigh. His positive expression moments ago began to fade steadily into sincere importance, reasonably what I was not expecting. “The local coast guard spotted a plane explode and then crash in flames a fourth of a mile from where you were. Recovery and rescue teams made an extensive grid search around the entire radius for more possible survivors, but…you and two others were the only ones.
“Whales lacks the medical equipment to tend your serious injuries along with those of your companions, so they brought you to the nearest contemporary infirmary for treatment, which is Sootopolis. After two days, they flew you here to conduct a variety of tests. Any more and you would have died…
“You’ve been in comatose for a few days until now.”
“But…I don’t understand.” I glanced at him, bewildered, yet I spoke my words with utmost caution. “What was I doing on a plane over Whales Island?”
I detested the position I was in: a position of feebleness and vulnerability — that and the fact that he had this much knowledge. Regardless, he had information –which maybe permissible– and I, on the other hand, did not.
“That plane left Ever Grande three hours after its departure and was bound for Fortree’s airport,” he softly replied before he sat steadily on a white, monoblock beside my bed. “Eight people were on the plane in catalog including you and the pilot. Three bodies were found according to the mortality index taken by the recovery teams, three of which were high-ranking League officials and two were regarded battle analysts. One of each had survived like you, though with injuries less grave.”
“That could only mean-” I spoke and I could feel my voice tremble with the unwanted response taking hold of its quarry.
“Yes, two more bodies were missing, and as I said earlier, the recovery team searched within a five-mile radius without finding anything.” Steven’s face was solemn with a bit of uncertainty strewn with his expression.
“…And?” I hesitantly asked, slowly tilting my head. I had heard there were eight on the plane in passing reference.I was the eighth, and he had mentioned six. “Let me ask you, what are the names of all seven aboard the flight?”
The room was silent. Neither of us moved. Neither of us spoke a word.
“Robert Myres…Ishiro Sigimori…Mike Andrews…John Daniels…Ken Saitou.” Steven broke the few minutes of deathly silence, pausing with each interval. A mix of concern and hesitation manifested itself upon his facial features. “The pilot’s identity remains unknown…”
Silence abounded yet again: they were signs of faltering. He turned away for a moment and slowly placed his hand on my shoulder. The force upon it was as heavy to bear -- I knew somewhat that I wasn’t entirely ready for the response I was soon going to get.
“…and Brendan Birchwas the seventh passenger aboard the flight.”
At those words, the forbidding memories flashed rapidly before my eyes: what was once lost was now found. It greeted an unwanted sentiment that flared within me for those few unbearable moments. This solitary emotion crept within my body, clutching it with its entire agonizing embodiment and imparting onto me the affliction I would have to bear throughout time.
How you have not received any reviews for this yet, I don't know. Due to time constraints and me being not on my best game due to Late Night Syndrome, I'll be reviewing the prologue only for now.
And it was spectacular. Your narrative voice was incredible: effectively and confidently portraying the cycle of disaster with the perfect mix of suspense and description. Your grammar was perfect as far as I could see (but then again, I may have missed something due to it being late at night). I quite like dark settings, so I suppose I'm a little biased in that respect, but all-in-all, I really enjoyed it.
I found myself wavering beneath cold regret and desolation. It was all but a nightmare from which I could not get myself to stir. The memories I had found were bitter and painful and as if they were very much still thriving within me. My chest started to tighten, and my throat began to dry up as a manifestation of the deep wound time could never mend. The overwhelming urge to shed my tears was too much to handle. The pain was agonizing. It was like those few intolerable moments were meant to flow through time again and again, each coupled with greater sorrow every sole instance they came back…
The nature of grief.
My dark nightmares reappeared, primed and eager to viciously dig away into my soul, mocking me with the desolate realism it wielded—
He was gone.
My fists were shaking. Rage and anguish both blazed within me. I struggled to recall those memories, no matter how excruciating they were. My chest was thinning even more, and tears were brimming at the corners of my dark-brown eyes. At that very instant, I had realized…
Nothing but the tranquil sound of waves washing over my frail body was heard. I was indescribably weak, my injured body unable to stir. The throbbing blaze all over me was doused with the cold empathy of the rolling sea. I simply lay there, thoughtless, senseless and paralyzed as I inanely gazed into the heavens painted in darkened gray. The deafening outbursts and the loud, unanswered cries for help were subdued in the background, but they still rang ominously when those dark moments were long gone in history’s course.
Strident explosions, and collective shrieks of panic, and disarray roughly followed after. Time seemed so dawdling then, on those dark moments of chaos and havoc. Credentials, shrapnel and communal pieces of luggage soared within the slowly degenerating confines of the blazing husk of steel and aluminum.
I firmly grasped the dark-grey seat before me. The right division of the plane had quickly broken off, leaving us bare and vulnerable to the intense vacuum of air within the rows as we plummeted to our deaths.
Seeing every single horrific detail slow to a complete crawl within those moments of panic mightily struck fear in me, smothering me with its fundamental essence. It was a fear that prevented me from even acting in response. The shrill voices and noises faded and the flashing sights and colors weakened. My perception was at last leaving me to the cold reassurance and sympathy of the growing darkness.
A mistake I would regret evermore.
Before oblivion finally embraced me with all its strength, this sentiment of warmth and compassion rapidly gripped me. Steadily, I opened my eyes seeing an indistinct and peculiarly memorable figure with a true appearance of decision before it—
A vibrant blaze of emerald green.
And ardent words alongside the swiftly vanishing spectacle reverberated in my mind.
“You have enough. You know enough. You are enough.”
In this moment, the numbing fear was finally parting my physical form. However, before I could regain all command for my part and conception, I saw the large fiery shell of deteriorating metal dive farther and farther away before me… The callous wind wept through my jade-colored hair, suspending me above the harsh, dreary heavens as I slowly fell towards the security of the shores below.
Nothing was in my mind then, nothing apart from the prior events occurring within an instantaneous second -- so much within that small quantity of time. A torrent of memories began to slowly fade with the constant stir of the shadows. I slowly closed my eyes, grappling the only thought of action that made sense to me.
“Why interrupt my training?”
“The answer is known to you, isn’t it?” He smiled.
I leaned back on the dark-grey seat, considering his logic and looking towards the extensive pavement and the soaring commercial infrastructures of Ever Grande Airport. It had become clear to me.
He sought my presence — a simple verity to acknowledge.
He never has.
“Was it the battle then?”
“Would I trouble you for a mere battle?” His emerald eyes shone with true consideration.
No, he wouldn’t. He wasn’t like that. He knew my training at LaRousse was thorough and rigorous. After all, it was he who recommended that I take my course there. He called to meet and converse on this private flight. It must be something of utmost importance for him to consult me on such short notice. Nevertheless, I am positive it isn’t the battle that came to mind. It’s more than that trivial concern.
Though, the sight of him battling with the challenger raised a lot of questions in my mind: it was unusual and yet an outstanding spectacle. My perspective of him changed entirely, all because of what he displayed before me and those around him that I truly found myself altering my perception.
Nonetheless, this was not what he wanted me here for.
“Tell me. Are you aware of the incident in relation of the NSB’s general defense issue?”
“Yes, neither viable evidence of a threat or trading was found, but why ask this?”
Silence. He turned for a moment, a look of solemnity fixed itself upon his serene countenance.
“This was what I wanted to inform you about,” he replied, shattering the momentary silence while giving me a soft gesture.
Three months have passed since the start of the post-mortem and elevation of nationwide defense. In addition, there was no reported verification of the noted movement and trade. Why would he take interest on such a subservient case?
And yet, he knew this.
“But why could you not tell me over the receiver?” I asked, puzzled by his manner of contact.
“Such methods are traceable and would arouse suspicion. Talking to you personally was the only way to avoid them.”
“The syndicates that managed to evade extensive investigation. They do exist and, by some means, penetrated the administration and cloaked their identity within the Confederates - a dark uprising is against my administration...” he responded with a bit of strain in his voice.
“How does all that involve me?”
He beamed. “I require your assistance in opposition to the rebellion.”
“I? Now? I do not think my training was extended to match these assignments,” I started, looking down on the dark lavender carpet in discontent and frustration. “You know as much as myself that I lack the training and experience...”
I admitted to this. Three months isn’t adequate, but it was enough to convince any and all that I was still in the progression of becoming an Elite.
Let alone a Champion.
I felt his gentle hand on my shoulder and heard the ardent words that told me otherwise.
“You have enough. You know enough. You are enough.”
I raised my head to meet his composed gaze. The same gaze he gave others –including his challenger– on the Ever Grande Coliseum that day.
The deafening cheers of jubilation shifted all my awareness towards him and only him. It was at that precise moment that I saw the special trait he possessed, the unique attribute which separated him from the long line of gallant trainers: valor and honor. At those very few dawdling moments, awe and high regard had drowned me with his presence. It was like a thin coat of vibrant luminance blanketed him, and a corona of influence and power emanated along with it. The aura of a true victor.
Still, he waved his hand with much grace and grinned with much modesty, despite his brilliant victory. He held it out toward the fallen and defeated contender. As he helped him up, a gentle smile etched across his face, as if telling the challenger, “Don’t quit. Look how far you and your partners have gone.”
I knew long ago that pride had not corrupted his heart, and the rank he was at did not dominate his thoughts. They did not hold him back.
His outstanding accomplishments couldn’t have possibly been attainable if it were not for the tireless aid of his loyal partners: his Pokémon. He cherished them most, trusted and believed in them until the very end. They would never let him down. They never had.
I had been blessed with much fortune to study under his hand. Learning from his strategies, pursuing his legacy, and growing from his morals — these were all I could ever ask for. And at this moment, I was finally acknowledged by Hoenn as more than just a trainer. He knew my potential was far beyond its limits and without false judgment. Why could I not realize this sooner? Those succinct words hounded every fragment of discontent within me. He knew my abilities could assist him in cases such as this. And I trusted his resolution. I was legitimately honored...
“Matthew, you are now a Militant Wing of my Inquisition. You now have the right to access any administrative information or database at your discretion and full admission to prohibited sectors,” he stated, looking at me with eyes that flared with high-expectations and trust. “I know what you and your partners are capable of.”
This was it then: my status was even superior to that of the standard Militant Wings of the Senate, equaling the rank of a regimental commandant. “Thank you, Your Excellency…”
I was truly gratified beyond comprehension.
“Understand that my decision takes precedence and authority over all, and your Militant certification has already been approved. However, many in the Senate do not feel that this rank is not to be given to you. I will confer to you now the medallion recognizing you as an official bureaucrat of the State.”
He attained a small, dark box from beneath his seat. It possessed carved and embossed features on its smooth surfaces that bore the official crest of the Republic: three, different-colored, bright stars in a triangular formation enclosing a twisting dragon with yellow runes on its surface. Within the chest was a large, circular, emerald medallion with what seemed to be the dragon from the Republic’s crest carved on its shimmering surface. He then placed it upon me, and I felt it: a genuine sense of realization and conformity, residing in this moment as a true official of the Republic.
A faint grin of resolve was all I could muster. It spoke the silent words of gratitude that my lips refused to utter. He smiled warmly in response. That radiantly emergent sentiment took away all the uncertainties and fears I had from me and the ultimatum of the upcoming — it was what altered my perception of him all along.
He truly is and will always be a great leader, a redeemer and a Champion. However, at this lustrous moment and probably throughout my life, he is more than those collective remarks and ranks.
@_@ Finished reading everything up until the end. Excellent, excellent work. Brilliant description and characterisation, a level of which I some day hope to be able to achieve. ^^ Just a few minor issues I picked up, all in Chapter One:
Originally Posted by . R e ð e m p † i o n
one to the other;raw embodiments of nature’s wrath
Just a spacing typo here. This should be "one to the other; raw embodiments of nature’s wrath"
Originally Posted by . R e ð e m p † i o n
“Is the first-class treatment enough?”
Hmm, I know you're trying to convey that the treatment is first class and not ordinary, but this seems a bit unnatural to me. :/ It's your call, but I'd probably put this in out-of-dialogue description.
Originally Posted by . R e ð e m p † i o n
Various parts of the wreck—“
Punctuation error here - probably Microsoft Word's fault. It should be "Various parts of the wreck—”"
Originally Posted by . R e ð e m p † i o n
passing reference.I was the eighth
This should be "passing reference. I was the eighth"
The bitter surge of melancholic memories began to fade into nothing more than grief and overwhelming, unwanted nostalgia. I struggled to fight the firm sensation striking at my chest, the urge to break into tears. They were but mere indications of weakness. But I couldn’t resist. The severe certainty both manifestations were riding on took control of me, and conquered my will. And now I felt it: cold, harsh tears flowing promptly on my cheeks, the cruel pain emptying into my heart, filling it with more misery than it already had. A suffering I could never accept.
“I am deeply sorry, Matthew,” Steven spoke, considerate about my situation. “I am sure you would want this back.”
He steadily reached into his right pocket and, on his hand, lay the emerald pendant once given to me. It was the medallion that acknowledged me as a Militant Wing, a rank that I would have served by his side, but, it didn’t matter to me. Very few things do now. He had given that to me for the reason that he knew –and truly believed– that I was more than just his student. I was a reliable associate one could count on…
I slowly reach towards the emerald pendant, steadily grasping it. The warm radiance imbued within it welcomed a stir that struck me in a whir of hesitant reaction. I could feel it remain and quiver along with the memories and nightmares I had refused to recapture.
“I understand,” Steven started, gazing sincerely on the object that had fleetingly captured my vision. “It is my responsibility to look after you until you have completely recovered, and…I suppose you deserve to know more than what had just been said.”
I turned to meet his uncertain gaze, not knowing what truth existed besides the one I then knew of. And I could strongly sense it was of same severity and anguish as before.
“Steven, what do you mean exactly?” I asked him, puzzled by his statement.
“The Senate recommended that I look after you during your confinement here in Petalburg and give bare details if you had happen to forgotten,” he replied. “They were amazed that you managed to survive despite your extremely critical situation, so they sent me to aid during the process of your treatment. I was relieved you had woken up without that much damage to your memory.”
Somehow, this wasn’t how I felt. The relief and liberation built up within me in abundance once I had realized my dark tribulation was a mere nightmare and the present condition of my partners, but that all changed considerably when the past had revealed the dismal truth it had long concealed from me. Still, the sinister bond between my torment and my memories was of no concern to him at the moment.
“But as for what you have to be informed about,” Steven continued, “we have considerable reason to believe that what had taken place a week ago was far beyond a terrible accident.”
At this moment, I had realized the connection. It instilled a strong and fleeting emotion that overruled others and blazed furiously within me. I clenched the medallion firmly, and then turned my thoughts towards it
“Multiple assassinations made to appear like an accident, correct?” I responded resolutely, thinking about the dark correlations.
“Yes, but was only meant for one.” Steven replied, even more tentative than before. “The three that were killed may have been a valuable sideline since their ranks were significant.”
It made me shudder both in genuine antipathy and disgust. How could someone do such a vile act of execution without hesitation and remorse? Thoughts of the dark nightmare came back to me, seeing the decaying bodies of people and Pokémon that lay in enormous heaps of decomposing abhorrence. The contemptible intention was no different from the images I had seen so clearly during my coma…without any significance or regard for life.
“Why make it look like an accident?” I asked.
“Whoever did this didn’t want to stir commotion and suspicion too early. The death of the Champion isn’t much as necessary to cause the Republic’s fall. Other political eliminations are necessary and many would surely loose their lives in its progression,” Steven noted before turning towards me. “But these are just baseless theories. Don’t let these thoughts concern you, Matthew. We are capable of handling it.”
But it did concern me above everything else. I remember when he had given me the principled status of a Militant Wing. I accepted this rank with all my soul, and I was truthfully determined to achieve the task I was given, and despite the fleeting rage then coursing through me, I was resolute to put an absolute end to the wicked organization bent on the fall of the Republic through ruthless execution.
“I won’t let him down,” I told Steven. “It won’t happen again.”
“Matthew?” he asked in a momentary appearance of puzzlement. Then, he waved his hand dismissively. “You should get more rest. You’ll probably need it to regain your strength.”
Steven stood and started to leave. “It isn’t compulsory for you to get involved Matthew.”
“Yes it is.” I spoke in a solid tone.
Steven stopped and ogled at me curiously.
I took hold of the emerald medallion and held it high. “I, Matthew Versil, am a Militant Wing of President Brendan Birch’s Inquisition, and I bear the legal responsibility and course of action of his confidential inquiry under his resolution which takes precedence over all.”
“No,” I adamantly interrupted. “Five innocent lives were lost that day because of the twisted objective of whoever had infiltrated the administration, and as you said, a lot more may lose their lives at their corrupt hands if not stopped. I made the same mistake then, and I definitely don’t intend on letting it ever happen again!”
To say the least, Steven was astounded. He turned to me, trying to decipher my unwavering intentions at that moment. I wanted to prove that this title was worth my capabilities and that I didn’t want to let Brendan down -- not now nor ever. I didn’t want any more lives to be lost that way -- only to further their perverse cause.
I had thought this assassination was prompted by political or military reasons, but I was terribly mistaken, they weren’t after one public figure — they were determined to execute the majority of the administration…only to gain supremacy, retribution and command in exchange…
“Well, I can see there is no use in concealing this from you…”
“Brendan was an exceptional individual Matthew; he had seen what the Bureau acknowledged as non-existent.” Steven smiled, then his momentary grin began to fade into sincere concern, “A month back, Brendan had informed me concerning his thoughts about this through private, system conferences. At that time, we were the only individuals who were material witnesses to the transgression movement. He had shown me recent, chronologically ordered index lists of shipments from Slateport’s docking piers. The anomalous thing was, there had been a few empty slots on that catalog and, there was an irregular interval of time between these slots. Obvious contentions of the contraband dealing conspiracies.
“But that wasn’t all. He had found excessive leveraging within the Senate’s confederate branches. These martial administrators would hardly ever do such, considering there hasn’t been national turmoil in decades. Proceeds from these leverages would then transfer into the NSB’s backing inventory. Someone higher up, noticeably within the Confederates, was corrupting the Bureau slowly, like a disease. Of course, the Bureau and the Senate’s third branch had an extremely close mutual connection. And only the President had the legal, overruling supremacy to cancel their sovereign authority, something they didn’t want. But now, they are most likely aiming to terminate a few specific National Assembly bureaucrats to prevent an immediate constitutional election — two procedures to establish a premeditated revolution.
“And to fund such a revolution, financial revenue had to be effortless and enigmatic — this is where the illegal trade comes in. This sluggish yet deliberate procedure is where the Confederate infiltrators get there proceeds from.
“Though, he urged me to keep his findings classified until sweeping measures were to be taken. These were not to be made public, for the effect would be catastrophic: panic and restlessness among the citizens which would lead to a revolt and the exact cause of the insurgents — the literal rationale why he kept this for so long.
“But what we are up against is far beyond any crime organization. They coordinate their actions with precise timing and do not exercise strength. They will kill you if the chance presents itself. Doesn’t that concern you?”
“I need to take this chance to prove I’m worthy of my rank,” I replied. “I am resolute to end their violence before everything will interweave into and result in more slaughter and mayhem. I could never wait and sit around knowing deaths within the Senate or even most probably civilian inhabitants are imminent.”
My willpower was steadfast and committed. I wasn’t about to shatter the promise I had made since I had acknowledged and accepted my rank as Militant of the State, knowing what dreadful corollary this choice could have brought. And to the vow I made to Brendan… not only had I accepted this on his behalf, but I felt it was now up to me… And that if I had failed, a thousand innocent lives would be lost in the same sickening and heartless method I had already experienced.
“Are you sure of this, Matthew? The Senate cannot impede your choice because they have no command over His Excellency’s resolution, regardless of his absence. No one may take away what has already been given to you.”
I knew that because of the course of this whole incident, there was nothing more I would have wanted to find out, although it seemed as if there was more in the wake of the flight accident. It was even darker than anything I could have ever imagined. A nightmare made real.
“But if this is what Brendan would want and for you to truly accomplish, we can help you…”
Still, I had no idea who we were up against and what their next actions were. I knew it was more than a monetary profit they were after, but regardless, we still had a chance against them. There was no collective conflict here, only definite executions meant for high ranks within the Senate. As dark and merciless as their methods were, I had survived, and a lot more would fall if their cold-blooded acts would persist. How selfish and craven would I be if I had accepted the status of militant, knowing their cruel methods of dealing those who oppose them?
“I’ve decided,” I told Steven without tension in my voice, “I want to stop them even if it means death in the course of action.”
I closed my eyes in thought, reliving the dreadful nightmare that would most likely unfold into the dark realism it already is. But a genuine force within me had conquered that fear. Some time ago, I had felt it give strength to my weary limbs at the time of darkness and utter hopelessness. That same energy was with me once again, and it was more dominant than ever before.