|Open Chat in External Client|
|Chatroom Information and Help|
Well, after a short hiatus, I'm back with a new fic. It seems like it's been a long time since I first began with the Blazing Dreams saga, and I know I've improved at lot since then. Just looking back at the previous saga, Blazing Dreams: Legends of Sinnoh brings back a lot of not so fond memories. However, although it might be a good idea to read that before continuing on to The Eternal Night (TEN for short), I've inserted as much backstory as I could so as to keep new readers aware of everything, and previous readers from banging their heads after reading the same thing again. So feel free to read without any prior knowledge, okay?
Reviews are welcome, although certainly not required. And concrit is welcomed with...a welcome. And a thank you, as well.
Anyway, enough talk. Enjoy.
blazing dreams: the eternal night
by duncan mcneil
this fiction is rated pg-13 for elements of violence and profanity
volume one: the awakening
Nothing belonged, yet nothing was out of place.
It was a small thing, the beat of a heart. The small sound spilled out of his chest, dissipating into the silence around him.
Another beat filled the air. Life slowly began circulating through his body, and he began to come back to life.
A gentle feeling settled down over his eyelids, releasing the powerful feeling of nothingness that was plaguing him.
His lungs expanded, slowly inhaling life-giving air. Each breath felt like an eternity, yet was gone before he was aware of its presence.
His eyelids opened slowly, pulling up the shutters on the darkness. His dark blue eyes merely stared upward, still unseeing.
Slowly blood reached his extremities, and he was fully awake. Everything was dark, and no sound could be heard.
His mind was numb, and couldn't register what his newly working senses were telling it. He just laid down, eyes gazing up at the depths of darkness.
Many seconds passed. His heart continued to beat dutifully and his lungs continued to exchange air. But his mind was completely and utterly blank.
The slow seconds melted into minutes, yet nothing changed. The darkness was impenetrable, and the silence resolute.
Slowly, his mind began to awake. One image floated by his mind's eye, but it was obscured by a deep fog that dulled his senses.
A second image drifted by, and the darkness and silence began to give way. White noise reached his ears, and jumbles of color flashed by his eyes. It was all meaningless.
The thought came to him. It grasped his mind, but no answer came.
Who am I?
The second question entered his mind, yet still no answers came. The noise began to calm, and the images began to fade.
Slowly, the white noise morphed into words. The words melded into sentences, and the sentences turned into memories. The pictures became less of blurred color, and more of actual memories. They mixed with the noise, and everything began to make some small sense.
Without any warning, his muscles began to lift him upward. He became aware of acute cold that penetrated his very bones, and this was motivation enough for him to stand up.
All was dark, yet he seemed to know the way. His legs took slow, tottering steps at first. Yet they quickly grew stronger, walking down a path that his mind was not yet aware of.
Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the darkness began to fade. A soft corona of light was ahead, and with every step forward it brightened. He had no control over his movements, but the small part of his mind that was functioning noticed the light.
I wonder what that is...
Several minutes passed until he finally reached the dull light. It was coming from a small opening in the darkness, a prick of light in the darkness.
His legs stopped, leaving him staring at the light. He wondered dully about what he should do next. The biting cold was still assaulting his flesh, but he could think of no way to stop it.
Besides, what was the cold? It was detached from him, as was the rest of the surreal scene. He was watching from afar, as he had always been.
His arms reached upward, subconsciously tearing at the small hole.
A strange sensation tingled up his fingertips. What is this?
The small prick of light began growing with each tear of the earth. It grew steadily larger, until it was big enough to walk through. He frowned slightly, wondering what he should do next.
So far, everything had come naturally. All of his movements had happened almost without his influence. But now, he paused.
The voice rang out, clearly, inside his head. He was inwardly grateful of the voice, grateful not to have to think on his own.
Go out. Into the world.
He seized on this thought. He took a step out of the newly dug hole, and entered the world of the living.
The soft sounds of the breeze gently awoke her from her sleep. Slowly, her eyelids fluttered open. A dull pallet of grays and blacks filled her vision. Nothing new here, then.
She slowly drew a breath. How luxurious it seemed, lying in bed with absolutely nothing to do. The illusion was oh so comforting.
The breeze picked up, and the cool wind blew gently across her face. She stretched her arms out underneath the bed sheet, smiling to herself.
Did she really have to get up? The warm comfort of the bed seemed infinite, but she knew that Hell laid just outside the confines of her illusion. Steeling herself, she cast the blanket off and opened her eyes.
She was in nothing more than a hollow shell of a building. Naked steel girders lay exposed over head, slowly being eaten away by rust. A harsh wind whistled through the building, making all kinds of eerie noises. Above the girders lay the sky, a light gray that was much brighter than it should be.
She took a deep breath and looked down from the bleak scene overhead. A sea of humanity surrounded her on all sides. Thousands of waking bodies were shuffling around her, some on rusting cots, most sleeping on the hard, cracking concrete.
This was life, now. Dejected faces filled her vision, tired beyond belief. They had endured nearly forty years of this harsh torture. There was no possible way to escape it, no easy way out. The loving hands of Death could not take them away from this place.
Michelle McNeil stared out at the people with pitying eyes. Her heart had not hardened to the suffering, and yet she was threatened to be overwhelmed by it everyday.
The woman, though she should be nearing seventy years old by now, still remained in her thirty year old form. Her long, brown hair was rattier and her clothes consisted of torn gray rags, but besides that she looked just like she had when the world had been plunged into Hell.
One thing, however, was vastly different. Her eyes. At one time, they twinkled with a sort of life that distinguished her from most everyone else. Now, however, they were a dull gray. They were soulless, as if they had seen so much that her spirit had been sapped away. It wasn't far from the truth.
The woman stepped out of her cot, trembling as she walked by the mass of people. Many lay against the support beams, simply staring forward. They had no will to live. Some had not moved in years.
The woman shuddered. More and more people preferred this to the horror that lay outside. She continued to wade through the people, occasionally stepping on them. They didn't flinch, but merely continued to stare blankly ahead.
After a few minutes of this, she finally reached the end of the building. She paused for a moment, before finally walking across the threshold and out into the world.
A curious feeling of warmth enveloped his body. His tensed muscles relaxed, and he looked up.
Everything was a different shade of gray. Clouds roiled by, occasionally dropping a bolt of thunder. A round black object hung in the sky, seemingly absorbing the surrounding light. It was a pure black, something his newborn mind had never seen before.
Then again, everything was new to him. The monochromatic world was much bigger and older than him. His curious eyes rolled over his new surroundings. Dull gray trees stood in front of him, not moving at all. It was in stark contrast to the very warm wind that was blowing all around him.
If the wind is blowing, why are the trees not moving?
The thought entered his mind, foreign in all ways. How could he answer any of these questions?
He looked sideways, curious as to what had made the sound. A group of bushes shivered, standing out in contrast to the rest of the still trees and foliage.
He frowned, silently examining the phenomenon. The bushes rustled again, and a piercing sound followed.
It was rather unpleasant, so he cringed and looked away. Behind him, he could see a sheer rock face. It, like the rest of this dreary world, was colorless. A large hole was directly behind him, and it occurred to him that he must have come from it.
Another rustle from behind him sounded, and he turned to it again.
“What are you?”
The voice spilled from his lips. It sounded light and soft, and was unique among the sounds around him.
Another loud cry came from the bushes, and they were flung out of the way. A creature rushed at him.
He frowned once more, examining the creature that was approaching. It looked to be the same height as he, but was covered in patches of dark skin over most of its body. It had two arms and legs, and long hair coming from the top of its head.
The sound, somewhat similar to the sound that had come from him, assaulted his ears. The creature continued coming toward him, liquid pouring out of its eyes.
“What are you?”
The question came easier this time, as he knew what would happen now. The words, however, had a different effect than what he had expected. It stopped, its eyes bigger than they were a moment ago. It frowned, looking at him in confusion.
This prompted him to look down as well. He was pale, and also somewhat gray. He was different from the other creature in a few places, however. His body was uncluttered with the dark patches of skin, and was a single, uninterrupted sheet of pale gray. He had two arms and legs as well, though they were quite thin and lanky.
He looked up again. The creature was beginning to sob. A strange feeling was spreading through his chest. He looked down curiously, but no indication was on the outside of his chest. He looked back up again at the sobbing creature.
“Why are you crying?”
The creature jumped and looked back at him. “Duncan...is it you?”
He frowned. “Duncan? Is that my name?”
The creature walked closer. “I think so...tell me. Do you remember me...?”
“Perhaps.” he said. He closed his eyes and thought about it. Vague memories were just waiting to come back. They were buzzing on the edges of his consciousness, waiting to be released.
The creature looked up hopefully. “You do? But...I believed it would...”
“Do you want me to leave?”
“No!” cried the creature. It rushed up to him and grabbed his shoulders roughly. “What is going on? Are you back? For real?”
He blinked, not replying.
The creature released him, falling on the ground. It began making loud sounds. Crying.
“You...” A sudden memory flashed by his eyes. “You're Michelle?”
The creature jumped up. “DUNCAN!” she screamed, embracing him. At first, he was unsure of how he felt about this. Another flood of memories began to flood his mind, and his knees weakened.
He fell to the cold, hard ground and all went black.
Michelle fell to the floor, panting. D***, she thought. He's heavy.
She turned her head to the silent teenager beside her. He was haphazardly lying on the floor, completely naked. She smiled slightly. Okay, so the trip back wasn't that bad.
The woman chuckled softly. It still seemed surreal, having Duncan back. How it had happened...she had given up many years ago. Yet here he was, in the flesh. She chuckled again, tearing her watering eyes away from the unconscious Duncan.
They were in a sparse, one room cabin. What should have been warm, inviting browns were cold, hard grays, which made the place seem much more intimidating than it needed to be. A roughly hewn wooden door stood behind her, and a pile of blankets sat in the corner opposite the door. A window was the only source of light, it's dulled and scratched surface letting precious little light into the cabin.
Sighing, the woman stood up and walked over to the blankets. She picked two up and walked back to Duncan. She paused, taking in his appearance once again. He was exactly the same as she remembered him, and yet something was different.
He was still the same on the outside, however. When standing, she guessed he was about 5'9". Something like that, anyway. His long, untidy brown hair fell across his now closed dark blue eyes, in a way she knew he hated. His normally cut physique was still there as well, she was happy to note. But still, something felt off.
She frowned, kneeling down and tenderly tucked one of the ragged blankets around the teenager. She laid down beside Duncan and threw the second blanket over herself.
How had she gotten to this point? She relaxed her head, allowing a wave of memories to wash over her...
A thumbtack and a splatter of blood fell to the floor.
Cursing, Michelle withdrew her hand from a cabinet. A stream of blood was issuing from her index finger.
She looked around the cramped kitchen, looking for a bandage. Nothing was in it, besides a small refrigerator, oven, sink and the small cabinet that she currently was standing in front of. “Duncan! I need some help here!”
The sound of footsteps filled the girl's ears, and a moment later Duncan walked in. “What did you do?”
“That d*** tack got my finger...”
He smiled, walking over to the girl. “Here, let me see.”
Michelle offered her finger to Duncan, who took it gently. “Let's get this cleaned up.” he said quietly.
The pair walked over to the sink, and Duncan turned on the water. He pulled her hand underneath it, chuckling.
“What?” she asked defensively.
“Oh, nothing.” he said, grinning at the girl.
Michelle opened her mouth, then closed it and smiled. “Thanks.”
He nodded, still grinning. He reached forward and turned off the water. “There, that should help. I'll go find you a bandage.”
She nodded, watching as Duncan left the room. “Thanks...”
The woman smiled, turning around to face the newcomer. A tall man sat down on the small bench beside her. He looked to be nearly six feet tall and in his early twenties. An untrimmed mustache and beard covered much of his face, and long, slicked back brown hair sat atop his head. A black traveling coat covered the rest of his body.
“Tay.” said the woman, smiling and hugging the man. He chuckled, gently pulling away and looking around at the scene. It was mid-winter in Rustboro, and their surroundings showed it. The trees were bare and snow-covered, the ground was hidden under several thick inches of snow. A walkway had been cleared inside the park, and they were alone.
“It's been a while. How is Junior?”
Michelle smiled. “He is a handful, let me tell you. He's about to turn four, actually.”
“I'm glad to hear it. I really do apologize for not being around to help you out. It can't be easy, without...him.”
The woman shook her head slowly, looking away. “It's fine. We've been managing.”
Tay nodded, patting the woman's hand gently. “Well, I have a lot to talk to you about. I'm sorry I haven't been able to talk to you lately, but I've been...busy.”
The brown haired woman laughed softly. “I would say so. I haven't seen you since what? Duncan's first birthday?”
“It's been about that long. Well, the real reason I came was that I need your help. I've spent the past couple years looking for something, and I've finally found it. The thing is...what I need to do with it is dangerous. If I fail...I need you to get it back for me.”
Michelle remained silent for a moment, still contemplating the snow that surrounded them. “What are you saying, Tay?”
The man sighed deeply. “I...don't want to get into the details. Look, I won't be going for another week. If...I end up needing your help, then it will be a simple deal. I'm not entirely sure where to go right now, but soon enough I will be able to tell you. Once you get to...the spot, look around. There will be two scrolls of paper and a katana. Take them, and guard them with your life.”
The wind picked up considerably, and a stony silence fell over the pair. “We're not kids anymore.” said Michelle quietly after a moment.
“We're not kids. Not like...back then, when we were busting up Team Rocket and flying around Sinnoh like lunatics. Things are different now. Look...what happened to Duncan,”
Tay flinched, looking away from the woman and remaining silent.
“If he hadn't been so...gung ho, I suppose, do you think that he wouldn't still be here with me? He always liked the dangerous life, and so do you. Have you ever paused, just for a second, to think about how your actions impact other people?” She broke off, taking a deep, shuddering breath.
Once again, the pair fell silent. Nothing but the whistle of the wind filled their ears. After a few moments of this, Tay stood up.
“Well...I'm sorry you feel that way. Goodbye, Michelle.” He paused for a moment, but the woman did not look up at him. He sighed, then turned and walked away.
Slowly he opened his eyes. A sleeping Michelle lay in front of him, carefully wrapped in a blanket. He smiled contentedly, pulling his own blanket closer to him. It had been so long since he had been able to do this...
His eyes flashed open. “What the hell?!” Duncan yelled, leaping to his feet. He was in a small, dark cabin. One grimy window was all that let light in, and what it illuminated was far from what one might describe as nice.
The woman woke up, looking at the teenager with a smile on her face. “Hi.”
He fell down on the ground, panting heavily. “What,” he started. “The hell is going on?”
She sighed softly. “I wish I could tell you. I really do.”
Duncan looked down at his shaking hands. He was more scared now that he had ever been in his life. “Why...is everything...gray?”
“Why...is everything gray? A good question...”
He took a deep breath. Something clicked, in that moment. The whole moment had seemed so...dreamlike. In that moment, he felt like he had woken up. A sad smile curled his lips as the realization hit him.
“Things are different now, huh?”
Michelle softly looked up at the teenager. “They are," she agreed. "Duncan...I missed you.”
He smiled at the woman. “I wish I could say the same, but the last thing I remember was...seeing you. Then I fell through that...portal," he said softly. "But this...this scares the living s*** out of me.”
Softly, the woman laughed. It penetrated the deep silence that surrounded the pair. “I can't even begin to explain...” she said sadly.
“Well...I don't really know. But...Giratina did this. He must have cracked your...tombstone. Then everything turned...gray.”
“You aren't making sense.”
“It's the Eternal Night, Duncan. It...no one can die. People have been here for years, but no one can die...”
He blinked. “Giratina did this? But...”
“Get out here! Now!”
The voice penetrated Duncan's head. It was loud and harsh, and it brought him back to his senses. “What's that?”
The woman started. “Oh my God,” she breathed. “They've found us!”
“What?” exclaimed Duncan, jumping to his feet. “Who?”
“Th-them! Just run!” cried Michelle. She leapt to her feet and looked out the grimy window. “There's ten of them!”
Duncan shook his head. The mystery of who these people were could wait. Without pausing to think, he grabbed Michelle's hand and slammed open the door. He pulled her outside.
It was like entering a new world. The monochromatic setting was much louder than he was expecting. The wind blew furiously, and the gray and black trees slowly creaked as the wind blew them to their limits.
Ten heavily armored men stood in front of the cabin. They were dressed in black armor, similar to something like ancient Chinese armor. Tall spikes rose from their shoulders, and grooved masks covered their faces. Long, sharp swords sat in hilts in their waists.
Instantly Duncan knew he had done the wrong thing. Three of the men moved forward, grabbing both Duncan and Michelle. Two grabbed Duncan, pulling his arms behind his back without a word. He didn't resist, as the pair were much larger than he. A soft grunt told him that Michelle had been grabbed as well.
Roughly, the men pushed the pair to their knees. It was amazing. These men were ruthlessly efficient. It had taken less than ten seconds for them to capture and subdue the pair.
One walked forward, chuckling softly. “Plotting against Our Lord is not wise, my friends...”
Duncan felt his head being jerked downward, forcing him to speak to the ground. He had to be careful with his words, because he doubted these men would hesitate to kill them.
“Of course we weren't plotting against Our Lord.”
Big mistake. Instantly, he felt a foot collide with his chest. He fell backward, collapsing onto the ground.
“How dare you speak to me like that?” came an angered reply. “I should kill you both right now!”
“We-we are sorry!” came Michelle's frightened reply from beside Duncan.
“It is too late for such apologies! Kill the woman!”
Duncan's heart stopped. All rational thought was extinguished from his mind. His training kicked in, and he leapt into action. He pulled his arms forward, but the guards held him fast. He then pushed upward with his feet, causing the guards to lose their strong hold on him.
With one swift motion, the teenager pulled the guards off their feet and sent them crashing to the ground. He pulled his fist back, starting toward the man in front of him. He looked up with a roar, and locked eyes with the man in front of him.
He had neglected to notice before, but this man was nothing like the others. He wore no visible armor, only a loose fitting black robe with a sword in a scabbard on his waist.
Time seemed to slow. The man slowly looked upward, his face looking full on at Duncan. His first thought was that the man looked incredibly tired. Long, pale bags surrounded his sunken eyes. He had short, black hair and striking gray eyes. When he saw these eyes, he knew he had made a fatal mistake.
“I daresay it's been a while, Duncan.”
The scene froze entirely. The trees stopped blowing, the wind stopped howling and all the guards froze, along with Michelle. It was as if time had stopped.
The man smiled widely, opening his arms in a gesture of peace. “How...boring it has been without you...I am glad to see you.”
He attempted to look away from the man's gaunt face, but to his horror he found that he couldn't move a muscle.
“I can't exactly say the same.”
The man dropped the smile. “But of course. Our last meeting...was not my finest hour. However, I have been busy...”
“What do you want, Dusek?”
“Only to say hello, of course. I missed our games, my son...but this...is no game...”
Suddenly the world fell back into motion. Duncan fell to the ground at the man's feet, and he was quickly forced back to his feet by another pair of guards. He was thrown backward onto the ground.
“Now, my son. I have waited fifty long years to do this...” The man pulled the sword from it's sheath, slowly walking over to where Michelle laid.
It all happened in a split second. The woman looked up in horror, watching as the sword arced downward at her.
She slowly turned to Duncan.
A tear dropped from her face, taking an eternity to fall to the ground.
Then a sound, a terrible sound, filled Duncan's ears.
The tear hit the ground, and was quickly covered by a splatter of blood.
Michelle slowly began falling to the ground, her graceful body coming to earth with the smallest of noises.
“At the dawn...the death will come...”
The words uttered from her mouth spilled out just as the blood had, cascading over Duncan like a river of water.
Her mouth curled into a smile.
Then her eyes closed, and she fell silent.
Okay guys, here is Volume Two. Lots of huge plot in this one. Enjoy.
blazing dreams: the eternal night
by duncan mcneil
this fiction is rated pg-13 for elements of violence and profanity
volume two: the broken dream
Rage laid waste to his heart.
An inferno blazed in his soul.
Fury overwhelmed his mind.
He fell to his knees, his eyes unseeing.
A beast raised its drowsing head.
Something...new was here.
With a sudden flash, a figure stepped out of the darkness. It paused, looking around for a moment. Then it tossed something down onto the ground, and the figure melted into the darkness.
Curiously, the beast approached the place where the figure had appeared.
A small, gray key sat on the black floor, looking totally unremarkable.
It slowly reached down for the key, picking it up with its underdeveloped arms.
It looked at it for a few moments, then closed its hand over the small key.
Instantly the key turned jet black, and the beast opened its hand again.
Satisfied, the beast raised the key to its chest, where a dull black gem laid dormant.
It instantly came to life, glowing a vivid blue.
The key shuddered as the beast pushed it toward the gem.
After a moments struggle, the key touched the gem and lit up with a flash.
It disappeared, and the beast closed its hand, satisfied.
Duncan's glowing blue eyes flew open. An unbelievable power was coursing through his veins. With each new beat of his heart, more and more of the power spread.
Gently, he rose up off the ground. His entire body was bathed in blue light, contrasting sharply with the dull pallet of grays that surrounded him.
Fury dictated his thoughts, leaving nothing left other than the death of those who had killed her.
The energy enveloped his arm, extending down beyond his fingers. With one broad, slicing motion of his arm, the energy ripped through the awestruck guards.
With a soft whisper, they fell into dust.
"Now...we shall play."
Dusek looked up from the graceful body of Michelle silently. "About time." he said curtly.
Duncan didn't flinch. The power was crashing through his body. It felt...good. It was if he had lost something a long time ago, and had now finally found it. Without pausing to think, he inhaled deeply and opened his mouth. With a roar, a coarsing blue beam shot out of his mouth, straight at Dusek's slight frame.
It happened so fast that he didn't know what hit him. A shimmering pink shield appeared in front of Dusek, absorbing the blast as if it wasn't even there.
"No. This is not a game. This..."
Dusek raised his gaunt face up, staring Duncan full in the eye.
"Is a slaughter."
The skies will burn
With firm, powerful step, a man turned down a corridor. He wore long, black robes that covered his entire body.
The Deity shall try in vain to end what he started
He reached into his pocket, fingering a pair of stones in his hand.
The Overlord shall take the Eternal barrier
A large door brought the corridor to an abrupt halt. It was large, standing at over fifteen feet tall. Two spheres rested on the door. One, a vibrant blue. It was cut like a diamond, with the small amount of light glimmering off of it's many faucets. The other, a vivid pink. It was perfectly round, and bore a resemblance to a pearl.
And smash it to his whim
The man raised his arms without a word. He rested his hands on each of the spheres. Instantly, his left hand was enveloped in a blue light. His right lit up in a pink light. The spheres responded, and slid into the door.
The Great Phoenix will try again to be the Savior
"Far too simple...It's almost as if you wanted me to enter..." The man pushed the door open and walked inside.
And fail miserably
The room was totally empty. Nothing but a fist sized hunk of crystal was in the room. The man approached it, kneeling down in front of it. He looked at it closely. It was a single piece of crystal, looking totally unremarkable.
The second Eternity will come to an end
Except one thing.
Just as the Deity had planned
It, unlike the rest of the monochromatic world, was filled with vibrant color. "Now...it is my turn."
All will be lost
He chuckled softly to himself, pocketing the crystal and leaving the room.
All but one
He opened his eyes, only to find darkness staring back at him. "DUSEK!" he roared.
Anger was surging through his veins, clouding his judgement. Nothing else mattered, not the infinite darkness that surrounded him on all sides nor the absence of the blue energy that had, only moments before, engulfed him.
"If I knew killing Michelle would make you this furious, I would have done it years ago."
Without pausing a second, the teenager spun around and flew at the calm voice. But nothing but the impenetrable darkness was there.
"Where are you, you b******!"
"Get a hold of yourself,"
He spun around again, but it was futile. He was alone.
"You have no idea where you are, do you?"
Duncan inhaled deeply, trying to calm his rage. Dusek's sneering voice washed over him from all sides, yet he was nowhere to be seen. No matter what he did, the darkness did not lift.
"I see you are calming down. But don't bother. All you think about is fighting. Here...it is different."
"I'm sure it is. Come out and show me, then..."
A mocking laugh filled his ears. "You...amuse me. More than before. You used to be an almost worthy aversary. But now...now you are nothing more than a shell. An angry shell, I might add."
Rage built up in Duncan again. He clenched his shaking fists, doing his best to stay calm. "What the hell is going on?!"
"Something you will never be able to comprehend, my son."
"Where is Michelle?!"
"She is dead."
"NO! People can't die here! She said that!"
"You will never see her again."
The darkness began descending on him. He began gasping for air, clinging to his last strands of sanity. "No..."
"How...I enjoy seeing you lose it, one last time. I was right. You are weak."
"No..." he mumbled. His eyes began darting around erratically, his entire body trembling. "No..."
"I believe that is enough. Goodbye, Duncan..."
"I...won't..." The world continued spinning at a feverish pace, and every gasp of air cost a terrible effort. The suffocating darkness closed in on him, attempting to strip him from the very life he clung to.
Instantly the darkness lifted and the spinning stopped. His feet slammed down on the hard ground, and all was quiet. He looked up to see the scene as he had left it, with the silent body of Michelle lying at Dusek's feet.
The sharp sounds of shoes walking on hard stone echoed around the corridor. It was large, much larger than it needed to be. Dark gray stones covered the ceiling, walls and floor. It gave the corridor a very eerie feel, something that wouldn't go unnoticed to the casual passerby. A tall man, dressed in an even larger black robe, ignored it completely.
He walked to the end of the corridor, stopping in front of an immense black door. It swung in easily at his approach.
He stepped forward into the room, and was plunged into semi-darkness. The door closed behind him, cutting off the remaining light.
The man cleared his throat. "My Lord. I have...interesting news."
"Which would be...?"
"Duncan...is out and about. He...has met up with the Mortal Michelle McNeil." said the man quietly.
"Of course, My Lord," continued the man. "They were confronted by some of the Shadow Corps. Dusek just...happened to be with them,"
The man fell silent, waiting for a reply. After several seconds, he continued.
"He did something to Michelle. I...don't entirely understand it, but she is dead." said the man, in a voice that barely rose above a whisper.
"I see...You do not understand this, of course?"
"You do not need to. I shall deal with Dusek later. What of Duncan?"
"That is the interesting part. He was engulfed by a...blue energy," said the man. He had to choose his words very carefully.
"Do not play me as a fool. You are, though you may be ignorant of them, in possession of the Powers of Time and Space. Even you would recognize them."
"I did, My Lord. My apologies. He activated his powers of Time, and proceeded to attack Dusek."
"Which, of course, failed miserably. What did the scum do to Duncan?"
"He...froze matter. They are still fighting at this moment."
The man fell silent. He had been very convincing, and nothing about his performance had been overdone. Everything happened just as he had planned.
"Very well. Leave."
"Of course, My Lord." With a swift nod, the man turned on his heel and exited the room.
"How I underestimate you, time and time again..." said Dusek quietly. He sighed deeply, looking down upon Michelle.
Duncan fell to his knees, panting heavily. "What...was that...?"
"It is of little matter, now," said Dusek quietly. "Now...I shall have to resort to something a little...different." With that, he took his foot and kicked Michelle's body, pushing it out of the way.
"You!" cried Duncan. He clenched his fists again, as his anger overwhelmed him again. Dusek smiled sadly as the blue energy engulfed Duncan once more, blazing around his slight figure.
"Enough of this," said Dusek. He clenched his fist, and it became enveloped in a vivid pink energy. His fingers seemed to melt together, and his arm ignited with the energy. "Enough of your meddling. Just...DIE!"
With a scream, the man thrust his arm forward toward Duncan. The pink energy rushed toward the teenager, an instant from obliterating him.
With a flash, the leading edge of the energy exploding, sending Duncan flying backward. He slammed to the ground several feet back, blazing energy receded.
"What?" hissed Dusek, turning his head around.
"Back away, slowly."
Dusek turned his head around to see a man walking out from the trees beside the cabin. He was tall, with a broad gray plate over his chest. Black shoes, pants and helmet covered the rest of his body. His face was covered with a beveled white mask.
Dusek froze, glaring at the newcomer. "Who are you?"
The man slowly and purposefully walked over to Duncan, keeping his face to Dusek. "It is none of your concern."
Without another word, the man picked up the injured Duncan and slung him over his back. "Do not attempt to follow us, or the Resistance will kill you without mercy. Got it?"
"I asked, who are you? Surely no common soldier?"
The man stopped, staring at Dusek for another moment. Then, he started backing up toward the treeline. "Remember, do not try to follow us."
Dusek launched toward the retreating man, but he leapt backward into the trees and was quickly enveloped by the greenery.
"No!" exclaimed Dusek, scanning the trees for the man, but to no avail. The Resistance had Duncan, now. There was no turning back for either of them.
"To the end, Duncan...to the end..."
Okay, well starting to get caught up here. Enjoy Volume Three.
blazing dreams: the eternal night
by duncan mcneil
this fiction is rated pg-13 for elements of violence and profanity
volume three: pieces
My Lord...I beg for your forgiveness..."
"Silence, scum! You attempted to kill Duncan! Do not lie to me..."
Dusek looked up from the floor, panting with fear. The room was totally pitch black, as before. In his mind, he knew he had no escape. "I...did, My Lord..."
"You traitorous scum! Do you not realize the consequences of your actions? And you did kill the other Mortal!"
"I...apologize, My Lord. Let me be the first to tell you that it shall never happen again-"
"No, Dusek. It won't. Have you any idea what you have set in motion? By showing Duncan your final weapon in the first place was beyond foolish. Then to let him live, so that he can learn it himself? The Resistance will have him trained to bring us down in mere months now."
"Please, I beg you My Lord!" cried Dusek. "I did not mean for it to happen! Duncan was a liability! You had to release him, and I tried to take care of him myself!"
"You underestimate me. If I did not wish to release Duncan, then would I have? Of course not."
"Then...why did you do it?"
"It is not of your concern. Thanks to your actions, many people saw your final weapon today, three of which survived to tell about it. No...I find that you are no longer required..."
"NO!" screamed Dusek. He leapt to his feet, raising his hands in a fighting stance. "I will not go there!"
A cold laugh filled the room. "You may be strong, Dusek. But you are a mere peon to me. Enjoy Hell, won't you?"
"NO!" screamed the man. "No...no..."
With a final soft noise, the man fell silent and said no more.
The sword dropped.
A sound, a terrible sound filled the air.
Blood splattered onto him.
He raised a trembling hand that was soaked in blood.
He flew upward, his scream carrying over from his dream to real life. Panting, he began swiveling his head around to see what was going on.
He was lying in a small cave, with nothing but a small fire to keep him warm. It crackled merrily, casting a warm orange glow all around the area. A small shelf of brown rock kept him off the ground, but raised him up so that his head was brushing the rough ceiling.
He took a deep breath. It was only a dream...
Then the harsh reality crashed into him like a physical blow. It wasn't a dream. It was real. All of it.
Trembling, he eased his head against the rock wall. How...did this happen?
He closed his eyes, thinking back. He hadn't had a second to breathe since arriving in this hellish place. Many thoughts drifted to the front of his mind, but only one really, truly mattered.
Michelle...she was always there. Through good and bad. No matter how horrible things had gotten, she always brushed herself off, put on a smile and kept going.
But now...she was gone. The truth was threatening to set in at any moment.
A single tear dropped to the hard stone that lay below the teenager. Then another, and another.
As quickly as the tears had started, they stopped. Wiping his eyes, the teenager took a deep, shuddering breath.
As many bad times as there was, surely just as many good times were there too. Smiling, he sat back and thought back on the past.
The Pewter City sign gleamed in the bright sunlight. A teenager, looking to be around fourteen, blasted down the narrow dirt road that led away from the city.
The teenager looked to his shoulder, panting. A dimunitive Pokemon sat there, looking distinctly sick due to the jostling around. It's yellow feathers stuck out against it's orange fur that covered it's entire body, giving it the appearance of a small chick. It gazed forward with huge black eyes.
"They should be over there..."
"I know," panted Duncan. "I'm running as fast-"
He broke off in mid-sentence, looking forward at the small field that laid in front of him. A pair of figures sat in the tall grass, embracing each other.
The teenager came to an abrupt halt, nearly causing Torchic to fall forward off his shoulder. His face grew dark as he stared forward at the pair.
Leaving the question hanging in the air, he rushed forward again much to the displeasure of Torchic.
Only a few steps later, however, he stopped again. The figures, on closer inspection, were kissing. One was a tall boy with a bowl shaped haircut. His white T-shirt and blue jeans looked distinctly out of place in the tall, green grass. The girl, however, was somewhat shorter and had long brown hair. Both seemed to be quite enjoying themselves.
The teenager remained silent for a moment. "It's Allen and Michelle...come on. Let's get back."
With a last dark look at the pair, Duncan turned back and headed back.
"No time to explain, just help me look!" exclaimed Duncan. He was several years older now, and looked very raggard. His once white T-shirt was stained with blood and dirt.
Another teenager nodded. He was older still than Duncan, looking to be in his late teens. A camouflage ghillie suit covered his body, and dark green paint coated his face.
The pair bolted out of the small, dark holding room and out into the hallway. It was little better, covered with grime and lit with a flickering bulb. Dark stains were splattered across the walls, and echoes of screams could be heard in the distance.
Without slowing, Duncan rushed forward and grabbed the handle of the nearest door he found. He slammed it open and entered.
A woman was lying, motionless, on the floor. Her arm was covered in blood, and the liquid was pooled all over the floor around her.
The teenager walked up to her and raised her head off the ground, his eyes huge. The woman stirred and looked up at Duncan.
"Mom, I'm here..."
She squinted at Duncan, then shivered. "Cold..."
"I'm sorry Mom..." he said, his voice cracking. "Here, let me get you out of here."
He made a movement to pick her up, but she weakly pushed his arm out of the way. "Leave me alone."
He froze. "What?"
"I don't...know...who you are...go...away..." And with that, her eyes closed and she spoke no more.
A gentle pressure released from his eyelids as he pulled up the shutters on the darkness. The brightly lit cave wall stared him in the face, just as it had a moment ago.
With a deep sigh, the teenager pushed himself into a proper sitting position and began looking around. How had he gotten here?
Dusek. They had fought, and he had won. Again. He clenched his fists tightly, his knuckles showing white. He had gotten the best of him...this time for real.
An overwhelming sense of anger overtook him. "I'll get you...that is a promise..."
Duncan jumped, whipping his head around to where the voice came from. A tall man stood at the entrance of the cave. He wore all black, with the exception of a broad armor plate that covered his chest and a round white mask that was beveled around the edges. Two black holes served as eye holes, and a horizontal slash ran across the bottom for an opening for the mouth.
"Who are you?" asked Duncan, glaring down the newcomer. He jumped down off the ledge and brought himself up to his full height.
The man chuckled and pulled off his mask. He had short black hair and a huge smiling face. "I'm a friend. So calm down, and please don't kick my a**."
Duncan continued glaring at the man, ready for a fight. "How do I know that?"
The man bit his lip, thinking over he question. "Well," he said after a moment. "You really don't. However, seeing as I helped you out back there I really don't think I mean you any harm. Please, sit."
Duncan stood silently for a moment, then nodded stiffly and sat down, not taking his eyes off the man. "What is going on?"
The man chuckled, sitting down against the wall. "I must admit, this is very strange for me. You...are Duncan, right?"
Duncan blinked. "Of course I am. What I want to know is, who the hell are you?"
The man laughed. "River is my name. So...you really don't know anything?"
Duncan ground his teeth. The time for being polite was long gone by now, and continuously being out of the loop was not helping matters. "No, I don't."
"I suppose I should start from the beginning, then..."
River chuckled again. "Well okay then. How much do you know about the Eternal Night?"
"Everything is gray, people can't die and apparently I've been gone for about fifty years. That sum it up?"
River shrugged, rubbing his face with a gloved hand. "That's the basics of it, I suppose. Left some important little bitties out, but no big deal. I can fill you in from there.
"Well, about forty years ago Giratina decided, in all his infinite wisdom, to take over the world. Something like that I'm told. I wasn't around back then, so I couldn't tell you."
"Wait," interrupted Duncan. "You weren't around back then? I thought that no one could die or anything?"
A knowing smile found it's way onto River's face. "Yes, well...things are different where I come from."
The fire cracked audibly, and the man paused. He stared into the warm flame, clearly thinking back. Duncan, in all his impatience, continued asking questions.
"And where would that be? In fact...where the hell is this?"
"This? We are on the edge of Johto, right now. You battled that demon near Rustboro City, I believe," said the man, pausing. He looked Duncan up and down for a moment. "Interesting..."
"Would you quit that!" exclaimed Duncan. "I'm d*** tired of being out of it. You didn't answer my question. Where are you from?"
River shifted uncomfortably, looking intimidated. "I'm from the Resistance. It's in what you call Johto."
Duncan smiled. The sight of the man slightly cowering in front of him felt very good, giving him a small measure of control for once. "What is the Resistance?"
The man shot him a look as if he had just announced he was a space alien. "It is a group of people who knew of the Eternal Night before it happened. They erected a barrier to protect Johto from the Eternal Night. But...I thought you knew about the Resistance?"
Duncan glared at the man. "Haven't I already told you? I don't know a d*** thing about the Eternal Night, or anything like that."
River frowned, as if that was not the answer he wanted to hear. "But...you are a part of the Resistance."
This made Duncan pause. "What?" he asked sharply. "I am?"
"Yes, of course. It started a few years before your birth, of course, but you entered soon after."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Your mother was the head of it, Duncan. I...Johto...the world owes her a great deal. As we owe you."
The teenager's eyes grew huge, and he slightly backed away. "No...way..."
River smiled. "Yes," he said, amused. "Team Knight was the beginning of the Resistance."
"Are you f****** kidding me?"
"I assure you, I speak the truth," said River, chuckling at the teenager's reaction. "I guess it's safe to say you didn't know."
"But...what?" he said, shaking his head adamantly. "No one ever told me anything like that."
"Well," said River. "It's safe to say that it's true. If not, I wouldn't be here to talk about it, would I?"
Duncan's mind was reeling. The idea that his entire life had actually been spent trying to protect a country, fifty years in the future, from an attack by the Overlord of Death...was a bit out there. Then again, what was going on couldn't exactly be call "normal". "How could that be? We cloned Mewtwo, after all. What was that about, then?"
River chuckled once more. He was really getting sick of that. "Mewtwo was the last piece of the puzzle, of course. You see, it was not easy to create a barrier so large and encompassing. I am not aware of all the details, but somehow they used Mewtwo's power to create the barrier. I am not the right person to ask, in that regard."
He shook his head. It all seemed so fantastic. Yet...the more he thought about it, the more the pieces fit. So much of what he did was shrouded in mystery, and he merely followed orders. Many times he was left wondering why he was told to do such, in his mind, crazy tasks. Before he could unravel his train of thought, River spoke.
"And your friend Tay was an instrumental part of things, as well."
He snapped a look at the man. "What?"
"Again, I do not know the details. You'll have to look it up when we get to the Council."
Duncan buried his face in his hands. It was a lot to digest at once. "I...need a minute."
"Of course," came River's cool reply. "As soon as you're ready, we'll meet with the Council. They have been waiting for you for quite some time now."
I feel like I'm going to explode...so many things are going on at one time...
Then a flicker of light flashed by on the other side of his fingers. It seemed normal enough, but something about it didn't seem right. Frowning, he pulled his hands back and looked forward.
It was the fire, burning up the last bits of wood on the fire. Something about it seemed off, however. He continued looking at it for a few moments, as the orange flame licked the last burnt log.
What was it? Something about the fire seemed very odd, but he couldn't place it.
Then it hit him, and the shock was so great that he jumped backward and yelped.
The fire had color, unlike the rest of the world so far. Startled, he looked around. The rest of the cave was gray. How could that be? He leaned in and squinted at the rock.
On closer inspection, the stone was light brown in color. That could only mean...
He was out of the Eternal Night.
Oh yeah. I'm going to explode.
"Quite a nice place, compared to the Night, isn't it?"
Duncan stepped out of the cave, looking around. The outdoors was, like the cave, fully colored. The first thing that hit him was the color of the trees. They were absurdly green, and trees were absolutely everywhere.
The smell of bark wafted across his nose, making him smile. She would have liked this.
Suddenly, his eyes began to water. Taking a deep breath, he rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands and looked back out at the vista.
River stood, only a few feet in front of him, staring out at the trees as well. Duncan joined him, looking out at the expansive forest. The trees were quite thick here, so it was difficult to see very far at all.
After marveling silently for a moment, he looked up. A brilliant blue sky sat over their heads, with a single lazy white cloud passing over. The vivid yellow sun was almost directly above them, and even though it's brightness burned his eyes, he stared at it like he hadn't seen it in fifty years.
"Yes..." said Duncan quietly after several minutes of staring out at the scene. "It is beautiful..."
The man sighed, turning to the teenager. "I-I saw the woman...was she a friend?"
Duncan didn't reply, merely staring up at the sky. A calm breeze blew through the area, causing a single leaf to fall from the nearest tree.
The brown haired teenager watched the green leaf spiral slowly down to the ground, before finally touching the ground. "Yes," he whispered a few moments later. "As close a friend as I've ever had..."
River nodded slowly. "I'm sorry. Truly. If she was a friend of you, then she was a friend of mine."
The teenager nodded slowly. "She would have liked this, you know. Days like this...she would be out in the sun...it was nice, you know?"
"Yeah. You know, people take the sun and sky for granted. Take it away, and..."
The pair remained silent for a few more moments, enjoying the last few moments of sunlight.
"Okay," said Duncan, swallowing and taking a deep breath. It was bittersweet moment, but he knew it was time to move on and get going. "Let's meet this Council, shall we?"
A large landscape of shimmering white buildings lay at their feet. It was at the bottom of a valley, with a small mountain range that lay to the south and made for some quite spectacular views of snow capped mountains in the distance. Many thousands of houses filled the area, along with several skyscrapers at the other end of the town and, what looked to be from Duncan's view, a tall radio tower.
A long, winding train track ran through the heart of the city, winding out into the surrounding hills. No, it looked just like a normal city, save for one small detail. Everything was a reflective silver. All the buildings were coated in some silvery coating, making it look quite futuristic.
River laughed, clapping the awestruck Duncan on the back. The pair stood on top of a large green meadow that overlooked the large city. "A bit of an understatement, but I'll take it you like it?"
The teenager swallowed, nodding. "This...is amazing. Where is it?"
"Goldenrod City, my friend. I suppose it's a bit different than what you remember?"
"Hell yeah. I remember...it being a lot different. Is that the radio tower over there?" he asked.
"Not quite. Yes, it's the radio tower, but it no longer transmits radio waves. It is the most important piece of equipment in the city," said River. He seemed to be quite enjoying himself, and quickly continued his story. "You see, there are a number of these towers throughout Johto. They...well I don't have an idea how they do it. But somehow they project the barrier against the Eternal Night. Again, I'm not a good person to ask about that. Better left to those brains in the control room."
Duncan nodded silently, then frowned. A slightly disturbing thought ran through his head. "Normally this would sound odd, but not a whole lot does anymore so what the hell? Please tell me you're talking about people, and not brains here."
Immediately River laughed, which made Duncan feel better. Slightly. "So...I want to get to this Council. I can admire the city more later. Where is the Council, anyway?"
The man's laughter slowly faded away. Still grinning, he pointed down. "Near as I can tell, we're standing on it, pal."
"Yeah. The back entrance is over here. The Council is waiting for you. Hopefully they can answer all your questions," said River. He reached back into his bag and removed his mask. Winking at Duncan, he made a shushing sound before putting it on. "I didn't take this off, by the way."
Duncan nodded. "Yeah. Well, they better. If I don't figure out what is going on soon, I will explode."
The man didn't laugh, but merely stayed silent. "Let's get you some answers, then. And please...try to keep your temper, will you? Don't want you killing anyone, do we?"
With that, the man strode off toward the edge of the meadow, leaving a very conflicted Duncan behind.
"This...is quiet, actually."
The man nodded silently, watching Duncan examine the elevator. It was, like the rest of the city, covered with a shimmering silver coating. It was all very tech looking, with a sloping arch where you walked in and out and with a pair of TVs inside the doors. A commercial was playing at that moment, advertising Fisker's brand-new used cars, which Duncan was relieved to see looked very much like normal used cars. So not everything had changed, then.
"You'll see things are quite a bit more advanced now," said the man. "You'll be able to get used to it, though."
The teenager nodded slowly, looking away from the screen. With a soft whooshing sound, the elevator came to a stop and the doors retracted.
The pair stepped out, only to find themselves standing in a small room. It was not much bigger than the elevator that they had just stepped out of, and it was completely bare save for a large door that sat in front of them. It was tall, reaching up to the ceiling and was decorated ornately with gold leaf and red rubies.
A large picture of a massive Phoenix sat front and center, carved deeply into the door. It's rainbow plumage stuck out against the gold of the door, and it almost seemed to be flying at you. It's long, golden beak contrasted sharply with it's red face and black eyes. It was flying over a smiling child, who was waving happily up at it.
Duncan froze, staring at the ornate picture on the door. "That's Ho-Oh..."
The man chuckled softly. "Yes, good eye," Duncan shot him a glance, then turned back to the door. The picture had to be eight feet high. How could he have missed it?
"Well, the Council is right behind this door. Are you ready?"
Duncan paused, giving the question some serious thought. "No, I'm not. Let's go."
"You called, My Lord?"
"I did. I have good news...for you, at any rate."
"You do? What is it, My Lord?"
"I have taken care of Dusek. He will no longer bother us. Now...I have to tell you something life changing."
"With him gone, you shall be heir to the throne of the Second Eternity. Within a very short time period, the Eternal Night shall spread to the last reaches of the Earth, and everything will be mine. Everything..."
Something I've been doing lately is showing deleted scenes. I'll start with an old deleted scene, taken from Michelle's flashbacks in the first chapter. I cut this one out...because it really didn't fit in well with the rest of her flashbacks, and I wanted to paint as accurate a picture of the past as I could, so this one had to go. It does give a little information on Michelle before the first saga, something I don't think I've ever gotten into before. Oh yeah, and I never edited it so it's not all that great either. XD
A girl walked along the quiet streets of Pallet. She looked to be fourteen, with a blue sweatshirt and jeans on. The street was deserted, and she was alone outside the occasional house and rows upon rows of trees that flanked the road.
It was early morning and the sun was just beginning to color the horizon. She stopped, smiling at the scene. Michelle had always loved sunsets, and this morning was particularly beautiful.
She looked away, back to the quiet sidewalk. Tomorrow was the day she was finally going to leave Pallet and become a Pokemon Trainer. The thought curled her lips into a smile.
If only she had someone to travel with...she knew a journey would be so much better with a partner, but in truth she had no friends. No one that would want to go with her, at any rate.
Sighing, she continued on her way.
Well here we go with my slow catch up job. Just a short note: This chapter gave me a lot of trouble. It took the better part of two months to finally finish this one. Enjoy.
blazing dreams: the eternal night
this fiction is rated pg-13 for elements of violence and profanity
volume four: the resistance
His dark blue eyes looked up, taking in four people sitting on a raised platform directly in front of him. Each were dressed in long, dark robes, and were all looking down at Duncan with a kind of fervor, as if they weren't believing their eyes.
"Hello." he said sarcastically.
"Duncan, this is the Council," said River, ignoring the sarcastic tone in Duncan's voice. "On the far left is Murdock Whitney, chief builder of the New Johto Alliance."
The teenager's eyes found the man sitting in the far left chair. He was a stout old man, in his sixties. He wore large glasses, with thin white hair covering much of his head. He gave a small smile to Duncan, who nodded curtly.
"Next is Bertha Greenwich, who is our esteemed Council co-chairwoman."
A woman in her forties nodded at Duncan. She had short blond hair with a kind, gentle face, and was dressed in the same black robes, apart from a red collar.
"Next would have been the Council head, but he is absent at the moment, so..." said River, motioning at the empty middle seat. "Next is Timothy-"
"Look, I don't care about their names!" snarled Duncan, clinching his fists and glaring at the taken aback members of the Council. "Just...get on with the reason why I'm here."
Several looks and whispers were exchanged in the Council, but River didn't miss a beat. "Yes, that might be prudent...Ms. Greenwich, if you please...?"
The woman nodded sharply at River, then turned her gaze on the teenager. "Duncan, you do not understand what is going on, so I do not blame you for your outburst. Let me explain.
"About thirty years before the Eternal Night, your mother was...a thief, if I should put it so bluntly. One day, so it goes, she stole a prochecy made by none other than the divine Deity. It told of the Overlord's plot to take over the world, and so she created this Council. Two others that knew of the plot joined her, and together they created Team Knight. Lily knew little about the prochecy or it's implications, but she knew how to do what needed to be done.
"Which was simple. One man was to be chosen by Palkia. With him, the Overlord could take over the world with the Eternal Night. All that was...required, was for this person to be killed, something she was only too eager to do. The other two looked down on Lily with disdain for... her lust for killing. So, they split along their seperate ways. Lily took control of the new organization, and the other two fell into the shadows, giving her instructions on how to deal with the plot as she went along."
A palpable silence fell over the room as all eyes fixed onto Duncan. His face remained impassive, but inside the words were creating havoc.
A prophecy made by none other than the divine Deity...but she knew what needed to be done...one man was to be chosen by Palkia...with disdain for...her lust for killing...
The words came, quieter than the grave. A chill ran across the room, and a wave of apprehension washed over the Council. "Where does Tay come into this?"
The Council remained silent, all visibly nervous save for Greenwich. She cleared her throat and spoke.
"He was in it from the beginning. We, that is to say the previous Council, paired him with another from our order, Hanaka Shinoku. They went looking for the Shadow Blade, a katana with frightening powers. You see, it posesses the power to banish whatever it slices into a shadow realm. It was originally made by Giratina, actually."
Again, the room fell silent. "Okay. What happened then?"
As if they all didn't know.
Greenwich nodded. "They were sent to dispatch Giratina, once they had found it. Then...they failed."
A surge of fury, deep in the pit of his stomach, flared. The teenager clenched his fists, trying to keep his mind away from the truth that had been looming. "He...failed?"
River stepped forward, setting a calming hand on Duncan's shoulder. "It's okay," he said quietly. "Perhaps we should finish this later...?"
Heavily lidded eyes looked up, staring Greenwich straight in the eye. "Tell me," he said quietly, his tone colder than ice. "What happened to Tay?"
"He died, Duncan."
Suffocating darkness descended upon her.
Shards of death ripped into her body, prizing flesh from bone.
Make it STOP!
Blood spilled from her body, falling into the depths of Hell.
I CAN'T TAKE IT!!!
Slowly her screams petered away and with a final whisper of shadow, the woman fell silent.
"Now...to have some real fun..."
"We need your help."
It wasn't happening.
"To avenge your friend."
It couldn't be happening.
"Without you, Giratina will have won!"
"What we need of you..."
"Is to go into the Eternal Night, and find Tay's journal."
"Without the katana, we can't survive. The barrier that protects us from the Eternal Night is crumbling!"
"Will you let it happen, Duncan?"
"Will you avenge them?"
Everything was liquid, or perhaps he was liquid. Nothing made sense, and yet the universe seemed at his fingertips. All he had to do was reach out, cast aside the shattered threads that held him firm to the world, and it would all be his. All.
Will you avenge them?
The call of revenge filled him up and emptied him out, and made it all the easier to choose. Of course he could leave, destroy the last feeble vestiges of bonds he had left...
It was what he had to do...perhaps this way he could even meet up with them again...the Beast of Time roared its approval... yes...that is the way it will be done...
The sound of a thousand jackhammers awoke him. Cringing in pain, he reached out to block the wretched noise from his tender ears.
After a moment, however, the sound softened enough for him to open his eyes. A gray ceiling lay over his head, and for a moment fear overtook him. Was he in the Eternal Night again?
"Good morning, Duncan."
The teenager furrowed his brow, raising his head to look at the source of the new noise. River sat on a chair beside his bed, a book in one hand and a glass of water in the other. The rest of the small room was dark and empty, save for a table with a lamp on it beside the man.
"Not really..." he groaned, forcing himself into a sitting position. "What's going on? How long was I out?"
River chuckled. "You...fell over. And not all that long. A few hours, or so."
Duncan fell silent for a moment, knowing full well he had done more than fall over. "I imagine the Council is p***** at me, no?"
"Actually, not really. They sympathize with you, and understand what you've been through," He paused, looking thoughtfully at Duncan. "Although I feel you've been through considerably more than they know."
The teenager nodded, running a hand through his hair. "So...what exactly am I going to be doing?"
River sighed, looking over Duncan. "Let me say something to you, off the record. Personally, I feel that the Council could send any number of other people to go and retrieve Tay's journals, wherever they might be. But I trust them. If they think you should go, then you should. Even if they don't share all their reasons with me..."
Duncan chuckled, shaking his head at River. "Poor neglected you. So...care to enlighten me?"
"Sure. Well, we'll go and take a look at some of the old spots where Tay might have hidden his journal-"
"Wait a minute. We?"
River smiled. "Yes. Apparantly the Council is too p***** at you to leave you alone...or something like that."
Duncan laughed. It felt good, like he hadn't done it in a long time. "Okay, sounds great. Honestly, I'm only a little bit away from insanity, you know?"
"Yeah, somehow I can believe you there," said River, chuckling. "Duncan...I'm sorry about Tay. Honestly, I didn't know."
The smile slid off Duncan's face. "Yeah...I know..."
"Here, I brought something to cheer you up, though." said River, reaching down and handing him an aged yellow folder.
Duncan frowned. "What's that?"
"Some of Tay's old journals. Go ahead, enjoy. We're going to be up to our necks in it come tomorrow, so relax, okay?"
With a smile, River stood up and left the room, leaving something in Duncan's hands that was more valuable than he could have imagined.
His heart racing, he thumbed open the folder and slid out the first page.
Entry # 3084893244444
Okay, so the entry name is wrong. Sue me, why don't you? This is my first journal since I joined the Council, so you better be ready to be amazed. Earlier, the Council paired me up with this hot chick, Shinoku something something. We're going on a mission to find some sword, I think? I was too busy looking at the girl's a** to pay much attention...
Ah...this...is...god....I mean good....
I can't think...It's too awesome...xD
Getting closer to being caught up now. Got some Author's Notes first, though.
This chapter represents somewhat of a turning point in TEN. The first four chapters were played on the defense, but this is where the tide begins to shift.
Also...I had a blast writing this one. My main focus was improving my lackluster description, and by reading the first scene the improvement should be clear. Not perfect of course, but better I feel.
And lastly (and most importantly), I have created a TEN LiveJournal. There (and be careful of spoilers, as I'm a chapter ahead there. Shouldn't be that big of deal, though.) I post all kinds of behind the scenes info, like short character bios, previews for new chapters, and much more. And anonymous posting is on, so feel free to comment even if you don't have a LJ, okay?
Okay then guys. Enjoy the nice big chapter. :)
blazing dreams: the eternal night
this fiction is rated pg-13 for elements of violence and profanity
volume five: a hero to die for
The white clouds, contrasting brilliantly with the vivid blue sky, began to part. A beautiful, willowy figure stepped forward, just out of reach. Her long, brown hair gently flowed in the breeze and a long, white dress rippled around her body.
Kind hazel eyes smiled at him.
"It's been a while..."
"Indeed." The figure nodded. Her vibrant eyes found his dead ones, and for a moment she was not looking at him, but rather inside him.
"I missed you..."
"I did too. But I'm here, now."
All the pain, the anger, the frustration that had formed a tight knot in his chest seemed to loosen. "...You are? Really?"
She smiled slightly, inclining her head. "Really. We have so much to talk about..."
He chuckled softly, casting his eyes toward her again. Just gazing at her filled him up with a sense of euphoria that was far more intoxicating than any drug. Her eyes, twinking like a far off star field, were enough to make his knees tremble.
The pair stood together, drinking in each other's company. The moment was pure perfection, and nothing would or could change that.
Time was distorted, could they have been there for a minute now? An hour? A day? An eternity?
"I can't stay, you know."
A sad smile found its way on his sullen features. "I do..."
She smiled and leaned forward to whisper in his ear. "I'll always be with you, though. Always..."
She was fading, leaving again. His heart sped up, and pain threatened to overtake him again. It wasn't right...she had just returned to him...how could she leave already?
"Always..." he whispered.
He jolted awake, heart beating out of his chest.
The teenager squinted up at the figure standing over his bed. River's smiling face loomed above him.
"Hey...um...back off a bit?" grumbled Duncan, pulling himself higher up on the bed.
This got a chuckle out of River. "Fair enough," he said, backing away a few steps. "Bad dream?"
Duncan frowned. "Yeah. The worst. What are you doing here?"
"Have you forgotten the whole save the world as we know it mission you volunteered us for?"
"Oh yeah, that one."
River laughed, clapping Duncan on the back. "I thought not. Get dressed and we can get ready for the duel with the Overlord, mate!"
"If you say so..." yawned Duncan. River laughed again and walked out of the room, leaving Duncan with his thoughts.
He ran a sweaty hand across his face, sighing. It was a dream...it had felt so real, though. Almost as if she really was...
He shook his head, repressing the emotions boiling in his chest. He knew that he couldn't keep it in forever, but it was certainly not the time now.
Pulling off the blanket, a yellow folder fell onto the floor beside his bed. Remembering, he walked over and picked it up.
Surely the Council wouldn't mind if he kept it...? A small price to pay, in his mind. Tucking it underneath his arm, the teenager walked out of the room.
"Got any guns?"
"No. We destroyed them all years ago, after the Great War."
Duncan frowned. "Great War? What's that about?"
River straightened up from his bag and looked at Duncan. "Well...about thirty years ago...there was a Great War."
The teenager blinked. "Okay? How the hell did that happen? Who were you fighting?"
River brushed him off with an airy wave of the hand. "Doesn't matter now. So, what all do you need? What kind of weapons do you use? I've heard you were pretty good with them back in the day..."
Duncan shrugged, looking around at the small armory they found themselves in. The dark gray paint over the lockers and walls gave him the uncomfortable feeling of being in the Eternal Night, but as he constantly had to remind himself, it looked the same as any other armory in the world. "Well...I'll take a knife. And some of those throwing stars. Maybe a sword for good measure..."
River chuckled. "Now that scares the hell out of me. You better know how to use this stuff..."
A huge grin unfolded itself on Duncan's features. "Oh, I don't."
"Great..." muttered River. "Okay, here's a knife, standard issue. And it's case, which you need to keep out of sight. Remember, although I really doubt we'll be able to walk in and not get into ten fights, we need to look like we're not crack commandos, okay?"
"We aren't." reminded Duncan, sliding the knife out of it's case and examining it.
"That's the spirit!" exclaimed River. "Okay...here are some of your "throwing stars", and a case for them as well. Believe me, keep the latch closed on those. It'll make a right mess out of...just keep it closed..."
Duncan took the small pouch of throwing stars, chuckling. "Will do. What about a sword? I've got to say I'm pretty clueless about that..."
"Okay," nodded River, opening one of the lockers and withdrawing a short katana. "This here is a katana, not unlike what we're looking for. Except...I wouldn't advise stabbing Giratina with this one. Anyone else is fair game, though."
The teenager took the katana, testing it's weight in his hands. "Okay...I really don't know how to use this, though. I prefer my pistol...but this will have to do. Any pointers?"
"Surely," said River, pulling out an identical katana of his own. "Lift it up, and slice the hell out of anyone in front of you. Got it?"
Duncan chuckled, shaking his head. "Yeah...so what do we do when we find...a guard or whatever?"
River frowned. "What do you mean?"
"What do I mean? People can't die in the Eternal Night!"
The man paused. "What are you talking about? Of course people can die, those soldiers died when you killed them didn't they? And so did...other people..."
Confusion was etched all over Duncan's face. "I...what? Soldiers?"
River chuckled and stood up. "Don't worry about it. Everything got pretty hectic there in the heat of the moment. It's okay. Finish packing whatever else you want and meet me outside, just up the elevator here."
With that, he left the room. Duncan shook his head.
"What the hell have I gotten myself into...?"
"Good," said River, looking Duncan up and down. "Let's hit it, then."
Duncan nodded, watching as the secret elevator descended back into the ground above the Council. There were so many questions he had...
"Okay, so we're going to travel the whole day, I'd say. We have to be there by midnight, though. Hope you don't mind walking."
"Midnight? Why? And not really."
"You'll see." said River cryptically. With a quiet chuckle, he began walking, Duncan at his side.
As they began to walk, the teenager took in the scenery. Goldenrod City quickly fading behind them, the land was almost immediately overtaken by forest, with only a small, narrow path cleared to serve as the path.
The trees, Duncan noticed with a smile, were a vibrant green. The forest seemed alive with movement and noise, but something seemed off. He couldn't quite place it, but something was definitely different.
"Look," said the teenager. "The forest...there's something missing..."
River paused, frowning. The pair looked around quietly for a moment, until River broke the silence. "It seems normal to me. Why, what's the matter?"
"I don't know..." He thought back, and the answer hit him almost immediately. "Pokemon! There aren't any Pokemon! Surely we should have seen something yet?"
River laughed. "Pokemon? There haven't been Pokemon around since the Eternal Night, not even in Johto."
"What?" frowned Duncan. "No Pokemon? That's screwed up. Where are they?"
The man shrugged. "I dunno. They all just disappeared, didn't they? Come on, let's get moving. Can't be late."
Shaking his head, Duncan began walking again. A world without Pokemon? What was going on here?
"Whew, I think this is a good place to take a break, don't you?"
"Yeah. Nice place, this," said Duncan, looking around. They had been traveling for about three hours now, and couldn't have picked a better place to rest. They were on the top of a cleared hill overlooking a vast valley of untouched forest. Mountains flanked them on three sides, but their path was clear. None of this was weighing on his mind, though. "What happened with Dusek?"
River jumped and shot Duncan a look. "What?"
"After Michelle...died...my memory's a bit hazy...what happened? What did you do to him?"
River frowned. "Dusek? I don't know what you're talking about."
The teenager frowned. "Of course you do. Don't give me that s***, River! What happened?"
"Drop it, okay?"
This surprised Duncan. Not the words, but the soft tone River said them in. "No, I won't. What did you do to drive him off?"
River paused, scutinizing Duncan as if to decide to answer him or not. After a moment, he sighed. "Duncan, I didn't drive him off. You did."
The words drove into Duncan's subconsious like a thunder clap. "What?" he asked, his voice sounding weak and far away.
"Let me tell you a very long story that should clear you up. Thousands, maybe millions of years ago, the first Eternity was created by Arceus, the divine Deity. He created Dialga, to marshal all of Time to create order. He created Palkia, to marshal all of Space to create a place to have order. Earth was created, and people and Pokemon were put upon it.
"Yet there was still a flaw in the plan. People prospered, and there was peace. But...as the centuries stretched on, old men and women who had been there from the beginning began questioning everything. You see, there was no death, no afterlife, nothing. Just the same life, the same things happening day after day forever."
"Are you serious?"
"Very. Realizing this, Arceus, who believed the best in everyone, created Giratina to create an afterlife, or middle life. Immediately, people began dying, going off to the middle life. Everything was restored to order again, and everything worked as it should.
"But there was conflict between Dialga and Palkia. Each believed they were superior to each other. So they began to fight, a battle that disrupted time and space and ultimately left the first Eternity in shambles.
"Furious, Arceus cast the pair in an alternate dimension, taking their power from them to use to create the second Eternity. Again, everything prospered. But the tainted power from Dialga and Palkia's great clash still remained, causing mistrust and hate among both Pokemon and humans.
"However, the squabbles never got to a level that was beyond control. While Arceus silently tended to the second Eternity, Dialga and Palkia continued fighting, their power slowly weakening without a base. Arceus realized this, and embodied two people with their powers.
"The first was Marvolo Dusek. He, given his lineage, was granted the Power of Space. Unknowingly, he anchored the world to Space. His first born son was to be given the Powers of Time, and therefore the second piece of the puzzle would be put in place. Duncan, you are that son."
“The truth sets in! You are no longer bound by the restrictions of your heart, the foolish part of you that dictates right and wrong! There is no good and evil, merely the workings of the universe! There are two sides. Space, represented by me. And Time, represented by you.”
The man's eyes grew wide. "You do?"
“I understand now. It was destined for us to be here. But the outcome will be far different than what you believe,”
“Yes. This is not about us. It is about the Legends of Time and Space!”
"Yeah..." The teenager shook his head, as if to dislodge the memories bubbling to the surface of his subconsious. "Why do you say it?"
River shook his head, and suddenly a shadow fell across his face. "Why? Are you truly ignorant of what gift has been bestowed upon you? Think, imagine, what all you could do! Dusek has power beyond belief and you have the same potential! Yet you ignore it?"
Fury exploded inside Duncan faster than he thought possible, and the truth dawned on him. River's friendly facade...had been just that. "Have you paused to think that maybe I don't want these powers? The responsibility?" snarled Duncan.
River's eyes flashed with anger. "Don't you understand?" he asked coldly. "If I had your powers, I could become a great hero of the people of Johto! I could use your powers to hold the barrier up longer, to rid the world of the cursed Eternal Night!"
"You don't understand!" yelled Duncan, closing his eyes. River's words cut deeply, and in return his arguments seemed feeble and weak.
"I don't understand? I don't understand? I've lived my entire life in the Eternal Night! The world is horrible! Think back, think about Michelle! Think about the millions of people who are sitting comotose right now, with not enough will to move. For years at a time! And think, think about you, who refuse to even acknoledge the fact that you could change it. Duncan, people would kill for that kind of power."
"Is that a threat?"
"What if it is?" asked River quietly. "How does that make you feel?"
"I don't have to listen to this."
Lies. Lies. Lies! LIES!
"Yes, you do. If I don't get some sense into you, people will continue to die! Duncan, this is the only way! What do you think our chances of finding the katana are? Of course Giratina got it, of course he's destroyed it by now!" exclaimed River passionately.
"What makes you think that I can do anything in the first place?"
Yes, yes, nothing I can do...
"How can you not try? Believe me, this is a better way than what else could be done to you."
A threat...yes...he lies...
Duncan's eyes snapped open, and he flew to his feet, fists raised. River hastened to his feet as well, drawing his katana as he went.
The moment stood still, and neither so much as blinked. Suddenly everything sounded louder than it was; the wind, the trees, his breathing, his heartbeat. Everything.
"...If you want my powers so badly," said Duncan quietly. "Then come and take them."
River raised his katana a fraction of an inch, but didn't move toward Duncan. Regret had made its way onto his face, and with a sigh he lowered the katana and the tense moment passed. "No, I don't think that will be nessessary. We need to get moving."
Duncan lowered his fists as well, and gave River a curt nod. "After you," he said with a hint of malice.
The moon was bright, lending the night sky a pale glow. Stars twinkled in and out of vision, and not a cloud was in sight. The wind had died down, and the night air was refreshingly cool and crisp.
Duncan took all of this in as he stepped out from the thick trees and looked up at the night sky. "It's getting late," he said tiredly. "Why do we have to be there by midnight?"
River nodded at the top of a sloping hill that lay directly in front of them. "Once we get to the top of the hill, you'll understand."
Frowning, Duncan stepped up his pace. The long days' trek had taken its toll on him, and he was aching for a bed. Or piece of flat ground. Maybe even a soft rock...
Without fully realizing it, he stepped over the top of the hill and kept going. After all, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. They were now in hill county, where one large green hill ran into the next, and the next.
Only a moment later he realized his mistake. He stopped in his tracks, mouth agape. "Are you kidding me?"
River stepped up next to him, shaking his head. "No. This is the boundary between Johto and the Eternal Night."
Duncan shook his head and returned his gaze to the field below. There was no physical change, but a massive line divided the field into two. One half, the one they were on, was normal in all ways. Past the line, everything was devoid of color. Completely. The long, ghostly line ran down the side of the hill and off to the left and right as far as he could see. It was an amazing sight, no doubt.
"Holy s***..." muttered Duncan in awe. "This...gives you a scope for the thing..."
"Yes it does," said River, not sparing the phenomenon a second glance. "You see, on our side the barrier weakens for a few seconds at midnight, every night. Just long enough for a couple guys to get through. Works the same way back, as well. But besides that...it's like running into a wall."
"I'll take your word for it..." said Duncan. "What time is it?"
"11:55. Lucky for us, we barely made it. If we didn't, we'd have had to camp out here until tomorrow night." said River, consulting his watch.
"This...is...yeah..." said Duncan quietly.
"I agree..." muttered River absentmindedly. "We need to be standing directly in front of it, so that when midnight strikes, we'll be ready."
The pair walked down the rest of the hill, coming to a stop just a few feet away from the barrier. A sort of energy was eminating from it, making the hairs on the back of Duncan's neck stand up. They remained silent for a minute, Duncan still absorbing the idea of the barrier.
"Okay, thirty seconds. Get ready, now."
"Yeah," said Duncan, clearly anxious. "Midnight...a fitting title, no doubt."
Going back in...
The Eternal Night awaits me...
And will I meet it?
Can I meet it?
Is there a question?
This is for you.
Finally caught up. I've been meaning to save this one, as I haven't even begun on the next chapter at all, but what can I say? I'm impatient, and it has been a little while.
Before I start, I had a blast writing this one. It was done in a bit of a rush (okay...from the time I sat down to when I originally posted it was less than 24 hours), but the quality is at least as good as normal chapter, maybe better. It's about as close to a filler chapter as I can get, and even now it's still got a decent amount of plot in it.
Enjoy, guys. And mercilessly lay into me about how bad this one was, okay? :)
blazing dreams: the eternal night
this fiction is rated pg-13 for elements of violence and profanity
volume six: the guardian of eternity
Your first...task, as my new High Council, will be a simple one...yet absolutely tantamount to my success...
The door was left ajar. With a heavy sigh, a tall robed figure walked forward through the door. He stepped into a small, musty room with a row of bookshelves against the walls and a small clock that had stopped altogether.
"As if Time had stopped..." he muttered softly.
Infiltrate the so-called Council...and retrieve me a journal...
The man took a few steps forward, reaching out a pale hand to the bookshelf.
Retrieve me all the information about the Mortals...
The door reopened, and the man stepped out of the cramped room clutching a handful of files. He cast his dark blue eyes upward, taking in the grim scene. Blood was spattered against the walls behind the corpse of a young woman sitting at a desk, her eyes vague and unfocused in Death.
With another sigh, the man closed his eyes and felt a familiar power overwhelm him once more. His body lit up with a vivid pink flash, and he was gone.
Tay...and Shinoku Hanaka, as well...
He was back. The place he had sworn to never set foot in again...and he was back. Looking at the bleak, gray scene, memories of Michelle overtook him and emotion began to boil up.
Dusek...killed her, just as he had killed everyone else in his life. There was nothing left but him. Visions of revenge raged around his thoughts, but his life as an avenger had started long before the death of his last loved one.
What if...what if he just stopped? While he still survived? Wasn't his life more important than anything else? Of course it was, of course he should come first before all else. And yet...he set his life on the line because of love time after time. But this...while he certainly sympathized with the Council, he was not doing this for their sole benefit, Eternal Night or not.
No...his real motives had become startlingly clear. He would help River find the journals...but after that he would leave him and find Dusek. Yes...he would finally end his tyrannical rule over his life, and complete the last thing of his in one brilliant masterstroke.
"Duncan...are you okay?"
Hooded eyes locked onto River's softer, now gray eyes. "Yeah. We need to get moving, every second I'm in this f****** Eternal Night I feel like I'm losing a part of my soul."
A harsh wind razed the hillside, bending the frail vegetation over backward and sending chills down the mans' spine. He frowned and drew his traveling cloak tighter to his body. "Duncan, I'm sure you've noticed before...but the Eternal Night can have some serious sway over your mind."
A small chuckle escaped Duncans' lips. "The Eternal Night has had some serious sway over my mind for a while now, really."
"No, seriously," said River quietly. "We will likely be in the Night for days, perhaps weeks. It...has a way of dropping your spirits, eventually making you feel nothing but emptiness. It will make you revert to your worst instincts, filling you with anger and hatred and warping your thinking. It is a dangerous thing, being here. That is why you must not succumb to it, you must keep yourself concentrated on what you need to be concentrated on, and nothing more. You understand?"
Duncan fell silent, and for a moment nothing was heard but for the howling of the incessant wind. "I understand fine. Believe me, I will be focused on exactly what I need to be focused on..."
The man nodded, then paused. "You know...I have a feeling that you have more things to do here than what you told the Council. Do you?"
"Yeah," said Duncan quietly. "I do."
"I thought as much...you're still going to help me, though?"
"I'll do everything I said I would."
River nodded. "Fine. Will you be needing a bit of...help, with whatever you have planned? We have common enemies here."
The teenager contemplated the man for a moment, before shaking his head. "It is something I must do alone. Oh...and don't think I haven't forgotten earlier. Just because we have 'common enemies' doesn't mean we have the same agenda. Believe me, you don't want to bait me into using my powers..."
River laughed softly, nodding. "No problem. Just as long as we're on the same page...shall we?"
The ghost of a smile played itself on Duncans' lips. "Yes. I think we shall."
Your requiem is here.
Slowly, he cracked open his eyes. Nothing but darkness surrounded him on all sides, yet it was more. Firm, unmoving, resolute. It was physically holding him in place.
Which path will you choose...?
He didn't even try to strain against it. He knew it was futile. All that was left was to savor the last few moments of his life.
The wrong one again, I'm sure...
Slowly the tendrils of Death wound their way around his body, making his skin weep tears of scarlet.
How you are nothing like your father...or even your son...
The pressure increased, and the droplets became a cascade of blood, falling into the depths of Eternity.
Oh...and welcome back to the Eternal Night, Duncan...
With a small noise, the shadow collapsed in on itself, leaving nothing in its wake but a pool of blood. The blood erupted in fire, quickly engulfing the very edges of sanity...
Duncan slammed awake, eyes spinning around in a panic. Instead of seeing burning Eternity, he was greeted with the bare facade of rock walls on all sides. Panting, he laid his head back down and closed his eyes, willing the image burnt into his eyelids away.
"You look like hell."
The teenager snorted. "We're in hell. What do you expect?"
River shrugged. "Fair enough. Come look; I guarantee this is a sunrise you'll never forget."
Grudgingly, Duncan followed the man out of the small, gray cave and out into more of the dark hill country. The faint outline of dawn was splashed across the horizon as light slowly began to stretch out over the countryside.
After a few moments, white light began pouring out over the area, brightening it dramatically. Duncan nodded and made to turn to leave, but River laid a hand on his shoulder.
He shrugged and turned back. A moment later, a small dark blot appeared on the horizon, looking distinctly out of place in the middle of the semi-bright sky.
"What's that?" asked Duncan, pointing toward the sliver of darkness.
The man chuckled. "You'll see."
Slowly the sliver grew larger as the sky grew. Once the sliver resembled more of a half-moon shape, Duncan gasped.
River laughed loudly, clapping Duncan on the back. "If that isn't anti-climactic, I don't know what is. Yeah, that's the sun. Or what passes for it here, anyway."
The teenager opened his mouth, but thought better than to ask and merely continued to watch the sunrise. After another five minutes, it was over and the black sun was hanging lazily over the far mountains.
"It sure is something, isn't it?"
"What? This...is disgusting. How...why could Giratina do something like this?" asked Duncan, temper starting to flare.
A vague kind of half-smile found its way onto Rivers' face. "What makes you think Giratina created the Eternal Night?"
With that, he slung his bag over his shoulder and stepped out into the pale morning light. Duncan shook his head.
"Oh yeah, what was I thinking?" he muttered darkly, shaking his head.
"Okay, we must not draw much attention to ourselves up here."
"Where are we going, out of curiosity?" asked Duncan as the pair stopped at the bottom of yet another rolling hill.
"What's left of Rustboro City, on the far edge of what used to be Hoenn. It's where Michelle's old house was." River added to the questioning look on Duncan's face.
"Michelle's house...she moved to Rustboro?" asked Duncan quietly.
River paused, then nodded. "Yeah...she settled in there after your...erm, death. The reason we're checking it out first is mostly due to the fact that it's the closest, but also because she had a good relationship with Tay for the most part."
Duncan frowned, getting a sinking feeling in his chest at the thought of his best friends drifting apart in his absence. "For the most part? Damn it, Tay was one of the last people Michelle had. What are you talking about?"
The man stopped, scratching his head nervously. "Well...after a while, they had it out. It...had to do with Tay leaving to help the Council...but don't worry. It's just our first lead."
Duncan sighed, running a hand over his face tiredly. "Yeah. Well...anything else you need to tell me? Any more about how the world has fallen to s***? How about what kinds of guards are running around and all?"
"Guards? No no, we really won't have to worry about guards. There are only a few hundred in the entire Eternal Night, and they mostly just guard Giratina and his places. We should be fine, but still. If we do draw attention to ourselves, I wouldn't be surprised if somehow we had some visitors looking for you." River paused, throwing a meaningful look at Duncan. The teenager caught the hint.
"Are you serious? It would be that easy to have Dusek come for us?"
"Oh no no," said the man. "It still could be those guards, or at the very least they would be aware of our presence here. All in all, I'd say it would be better for us not to catch anyone's attention. So...are you ready? Rustboro lays right over this hill."
Duncan sighed. He had not truly seen the horror of the Eternal Night yet...and in truth, he really didn't want to. Yet...he knew there was no choice. He wanted, no he needed to see the destruction that had been caused by Dusek and Giratina.
"Yeah. Let's go."
It looked like a war zone.
That was the first thought that ran through Duncan's mind as he finally laid eyes on the hollow shell of a city. The once grand sign that proclaimed "Welcome to Rustboro" was laying at his feet, burns clearly visible all over its surface. What were once homes were now completely dilapidated piles of debris. The streets were littered with more of the debris, so much so that they looked barely recognizable.
Looking farther on, huge skyscrapers still hung over the skies, but were only hollow shells of their previous forms. Huge, gaping scars gave each a distinctly pockmarked visage. Windows were shattered everywhere, and more than one building looked to have succumbed to the force of gravity and collapsed.
Duncan's stomach churned at the sight of the once proud city now only a ghost of its past. He felt as though he were staring at a train wreck; it was horrible, and yet he couldn't tear his eyes from it. The more he looked, however, the more things didn't make sense. The Eternal Night had been around for less than forty years. How could everything have fallen apart so quickly?
His numb mind hit upon the answer almost immediately.
It was a war zone.
Looking carefully, he could see craters where bombs must have, at some point in the past, blasted apart pieces of the road. Black char marks left their distinct marks all over everything, leaving much of the debris to be completely unrecognizable.
"What the hell happened here?"
River sighed. "Believe me, I would tell you. But now that we're in sight of the city, we need to move as fast as we can, okay? I believe Michelle's house is just up here..."
Duncan nodded quickly, clearly angry at the destruction that lay before him. "Fine, let's go then."
The man nodded and nodded toward the debris strewn street. "Come quickly, it's just down this street and to the left. We need to search fast, just flip through everything that might be a place to hide journals. It's probably not here, but just keep this in mind; the sooner we find the journals, the sooner we can get the hell out of here."
"I got you there..." muttered Duncan as the pair started down the hill and into the city.
The harsh wind that had been so bitter and cold out in the hills was somewhat abated by the shells of the buildings, but it was of little consolation. It was still difficult, Duncan was finding, getting used to the lack of color that went along with the Eternal Night, but that was the least of his problems with the place.
Quickly, they reached the war torn street and started along it, stepping over debris as needed. The detritus that was unrecognizable from farther back was now painfully clear. Stuffed toys, faded from years of weather and pieces of long forgotten video games were crushed underneath large pieces of drywall that now lay in the street. With a pang of remorse, he realized that this was the remains of a child's bedroom that had since collapsed.
He shook his head and crawled over the large chunk of drywall. Now was not the time to get choked up over what had happened years in the past. What he needed to concentrate on now was making sure that this wasn't repeated again.
After a few minutes of crawling and climbing, the pair reached the end of the silent street and Duncan spoke. "So...left?"
"Yeah," panted River. "Two blocks down, past this...cemetery..."
The teenager cast a glance over to an old, dilapidated cemetery. It looked mostly untouched, save for high weeds and one jet black tombstone having been cracked in half. "Yeah...you're right. I feel like I'm being watched...let's hurry."
"I won't argue with you on that one..." muttered River as they turned the corner onto a less destroyed street.
It took only a few minutes to reach the end of the street. On the whole, it looked considerably better than the first, with nothing but age having tried to tear it down. Not much more than broken windows and busted doors was wrong with the small homes along this way. It gave Duncan some hope that they might be searching through a house, rather than a debris field.
They started to walk, but both quickly found themselves sprinting down the short way. The paranoia of being watched motivated their tired legs to make the last run to the house on the far end.
Duncan looked up at the place that Michelle moved to, all those years ago. It, like the houses beside it, were relatively intact. The roof had some fairly serious rotting damage, all the windows and doors were gone and there was a bit of a burn mark on the side of the house, but all in all it looked in reasonable shape for having sat up for all those years.
"Okay, let's find this thing, yeah?" asked Duncan.
River cracked out in a grin. "You know, I don't know if I ever told you this or not..but I like you. You bring some cool to the table, you know?"
Laughing, the man stepped forward through the doorway. Duncan smiled.
"I bring a hell of a lot more than just cool to the table..."
"My Lord, I have returned."
"Excellent, excellent...I'm sure the barbarians gave you no trouble?"
The man smiled. "Of course not. And as you requested, I didn't hesitate to...take a few of them down..."
"Your conscience amuses me...but know this. I shall take better care of them in Death than anyone ever did in life...rest assured..."
"Yes, which is why I am not burdened by killing for you. Anyway, I retrieved seven journals from the Council vault room. However...the one pertaining to their failed attempt at the Shadow Blade was no longer there. It had been...stolen, I believe. May I ask...why do you require it?" asked the man quietly.
"It is none of your concern...none at all. So it was not there...and it was stolen...why would someone steal a journal like that? To the normal person, it wouldn't be all that useful at all...and to go through the expense of stealing it..."
"I do not know, My Lord, but...you do know Duncan has crossed back into the Eternal Night?"
"Yes. Why do you say it? You think he is the thief?"
"I see no other person that would have had access to it and have a possible motive to steal it. I may not know of that motive, of course, but you do?"
"I do. Leave me, you have done well..."
The man smiled widely. "Of course...My Lord."
"It's been searched before."
River scowled, casting a sideways look at Duncan. "Maybe, but let's still look anyway. There has to be something in here worthwhile..."
Duncan clenched his fists and nodded. They stood in a den, with broken windows to the back and a hallway on the side. The room had been ransacked in a time not so far gone, if the fresh rings of dust were any clue. A couch had been upended, a TV shattered over the floor. A fireplace stood in an inch of dust, pictures laying upon its mantel.
Curious, Duncan stepped forward around the couch to look at the pictures. He picked up the first frame and wiped the thick dust away. It was a picture of him and Michelle standing on the Lilycove pier, smiling in front of the dark night sky. It seemed to him that it had only happened weeks ago, yet it had happened nearly fifty years ago. How much he had missed...
He popped out the back of the frame and pulled the picture out, sliding it in his bag next to Tay's journal from the Council. He straightened back up and picked up the second picture. After dusting the front off, his eyes grew wide.
It was a picture of a young boy celebrating his second birthday, if the large banner proclaiming "Happy Second Birthday!" were anything to go by. Elaborate streamers ran all along the room, and a large cake had been set in front of the small boy. A smiling man (who, he vaguely realized, was an older Tay) kneeled next to the boy, apparently trying to show him how to blow out the candles. A woman, a much older looking Michelle, sat on the other side of the boy.
"I'm sorry, Duncan."
The teenager rounded on River, who sat behind him with a genuinely sad look on his face. "Sorry? Are, do you mean...Michelle had a baby with...Tay?!"
River chuckled sadly. "No no. She had a baby with you."
Duncan stumbled backward, eyes wide with shock. "What...the hell? I...we...no way...you're kidding me, right...?"
The man shook his head sadly. "No. Duncan Jared McNeil Junior was born about nine months after you 'died'."
Duncan fell flat on his rear, still plainly in shock. "What...one time...one...what happened to him? Is he...?"
River closed his eyes and spoke quietly. "Duncan Junior disappeared on the day the Eternal Night descended on the world. No one has seen him since."
Aha. A new chapter, nearly a month later. And who said I take too long? XD
For real though, I don't know about this one. It's a bit of a bridge chapter, between the beginning of the fic and what is to come. Order? Psh, out the window. I needed more chaos anyway.
Another good thing is that I have now completely plotted out TEN. The exact number of chapters isn't positive yet, but I'd say twenty at the minimum. Lots of new stuff coming.
Just about done. This chapter ended up right about at ten pages, which feels right to me. Longer and I feel there's too much information to process at once, whereas when you have less you can be left with a feeling that I cheated you. XD
And a quick warning, plenty of foul language in this one. Nothing too bad or anything, but plenty of it.
Anyway...enjoy the chapter. :)
blazing dreams: the eternal night
this fiction is rated pg-13 for elements of violence and profanity
volume seven: the final act
"Duncan...what will happen next?"
He looked up silently. The night sky was crisp and cool, with an infinity of twinkling stars stretching out beyond them. A vast lake stretched out below them, with a blanket of green fields surrounding it.
The girl smiled, running a hand through her long blond hair. "Everything, huh? Sounds nice..."
The brown haired teenager turned to the girl. "I mean it. Everything...why not, Michelle?"
She chuckled. "Why not...it's all out there..."
Duncan sighed, laying back in the grass. "It's all there...everything. See that star? It's a dream of yours...of ours...all we have to do is reach out and grab it..."
Michelle nodded, laying her head on his chest. "I can't reach it. How can you reach them?"
He inhaled the delicate scent of lilies on her. It expanded in his chest, filling him up in a way nothing else could. "You can't, not by yourself. But together..."
He wound his arm around hers and the pair reached skyward. "...We can do anything."
The word sounded hollow, empty. He had a son with Michelle...the last part of her left...and he was gone.
River laid a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Duncan, I'm sorry that this came out now...but we do need to get the hell out of here, you know? Will you be okay, or...?"
The teenager took a deep breath, stowing his emotions in the back of his mind. Long ago he had realized that repressing emotions was very bad, psychologically speaking. At the same time, he also learned that not repressing your emotions, especially at a critical time such as on a mission, can potentially be much worse. "Okay, yeah...let's look real quick and get the hell out of here..."
The man flashed a brief smile and stood up, taking a look around. "Okay, here's the deal. You go down that hallway, see what you find. I'll finish looking in here and over in the kitchen, okay?"
The teenager shook his head, forcing himself to concentrate. "Yeah yeah...on it..." He stuffed the picture in his bag and walked back over the upturned couch toward the hallway. The smell of burning dust assaulted his nostrils with every step he took on the old carpet, giving him a welcome distraction from his thoughts.
It had been torn apart. Michelle's old bedroom had been ransacked as well, the bed upended and the furniture splayed all over the room. A dull gray video game lay on the floor, in between some long forgotten empty pill bottles.
Duncan took another deep breath, stifling a cough. He slowly walked straight to where the bed had been, taking in the moldering room. The light gray carpet was an inch thick in dust, but it didn't seem to matter to him. He ran his hands across it, sending plumes of dust into the air. Quickly he grabbed the carpet and pulled up, bringing up a square of the carpet.
He smiled widely. "Guess you were sometimes listening to me..." He moved closer, looking down at a safe that had been hidden underneath the carpet. He twisted the dial back and forth a few times until a loud click was heard.
His heart was racing; could this be it? Could Michelle have left the katana to him this easily? As he looked down, his hopes quickly fell. It was small, filled only with paperwork. The teenager picked up the several thick folders.
"Deed...will...pictures...journal...?" He picked up the thick manila folder and opened it. "Tay's journal of all kinds of awesome s***" was scrawled on the cover. Duncan chuckled and slid it, along with the rest of the papers, into his bag. Closing the safe, he put the carpet back down and stood up.
Something felt wrong. True, he hadn't really expected that the katana would be here, but still. Thinking everything over, it wasn't adding up. The revelation that he had a son, who had went missing had undoubtedly thrown him for a loop. Could he have missed something crucial?
He looked down, thinking of River. It was clear that his true allegiance lay with the Council, anything else be damned. He was smart, too. Couldn't he come up with a likely story? He would have known that, by letting Duncan know about his son, it would send him off into dangerous territory.
I can't trust anyone, thought Duncan bitterly. Especially not River.
The teenager walked out of the room and back into the living room, where River was still looking. He straighted up and looked at Duncan. "Find anything?"
Duncan shook his head. "No. We need to get going."
The man sighed and nodded. "Yeah yeah...I wasn't expecting we'd kind the katana, but I was hoping we would find something at least..."
A cold smile fell on River. "Guess we can't win them all."
Duncan sighed, sitting down. "Sure. But...tell me more."
"Yeah," said River quietly, sitting down in front of the teenager. They were back in the same cave as before because as River pointed out, it made a good base for spreading out and looking for clues. "Well...I wasn't there or anything, but from what I heard Michelle did alright for a while after Duncan Jr. was born."
"Wait a minute," interrupted Duncan. "Did you say Duncan Jr.? She named him after me?"
The man chuckled, nodding. "Yeah. After a while, Tay died. She was understandably upset for a while, but got on well enough."
Duncan nodded slowly. "What...really ended up happening to him?"
"On the day that he was going to begin his Pokemon Journey, the Eternal Night descended on the world. The Council had secretly been keeping an eye on him through a Professor by the name of Birch. But when...it happened, neither of them were ever seen again..."
The long haired teenager cringed. "...They never found out what happened? No...bodies...?"
"No no," said River flatly. "The thing that got us was that the Eternal Night was already here when they disappeared. People couldn't die, so...we thought they were still alive. If they are, we haven't heard from them since. And believe me, we've looked."
Duncan looked up slowly, scrutinizing the man. "We? I thought you said you weren't there?"
River blinked confusedly. "I only meant my predecessors."
Dark eyes burrowed into light silver ones, searching for a sign of weakness. "Fine. So...there's a possibility of Junior still being alive, is there...?"
The man shrugged. "Maybe. I'm sorry this all got brought up, though. We really need to be focused on finding the katana, right now..."
"Of course. Seeing as there's still plenty of time left today, have any ideas about where to look next?"
"There's a gathering place where some people live not too far from here...I suppose it's a good place for us to go look next..." said River thoughtfully.
A Cheshire Cat grin unfolded itself on Duncan's face. "Excellent. I've got some business of my own to take care of..."
The tall man paused, frowning at Duncan. "What business?"
The teenager chuckled mirthlessly. "Why the hell should you care? I've got some things to do. We can meet back up here before sunset."
"Yeah...Duncan, don't get me wrong...but I'd feel a lot better if you stay here, at least today. A hell of a lot has happened today, I just think it'd be better if you clear your head for a while is all."
Duncan glared at River, standing up. "You do not tell me what to do. But...you do have a point..."
The man quickly got to his feet. "Yeah...of course not...I won't be long, don't worry..." He flashed a brief smile at Duncan and stepped out of the cave quickly, visibly glad of his luck.
Duncan sat back down and took a deep breath. He sat quietly for a minute, then broke out in a wide grin. "Way too easy..." He reached into his pack and pulled out Tay's new journal.
The tall, cloaked figure looked back nervously. He stood out in the rolling hills, eerily devoid of color. The sun hung in the sky over his head, a dark blot in a sea of gray. His long, dark cloak blew in the harsh wind, intent upon abandoning its' owner as quickly as possible.
"How is it going?"
The figure jumped, turning to face another similarly dressed figure who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. "All...as planned..."
The newcomer nodded, affixing his black mask tighter to his face. "You let him know all about his son, no?"
"Very good River, very good...any unforeseen developments?"
River nodded, running his hand through his long black hair. "Yes. He found one of Tay's journals at Michelle's house...I imagine he's reading it now..."
The figure remained silent. "The...Council needs the journal back, River. We now believe it contains the whereabouts of the katana."
River frowned. "I don't understand. If it does, why don't we go ahead and get it?"
"...Duncan's safety has been compromised. There is...reason to suspect Giratina may be influencing him now. We're not going to take any chances. Incapacitate him, and bring him back to the Council. Once we can decipher the katanas whereabouts, you'll be sent back in to retrieve it."
River sighed, running a hand down his face. "Damn it. Damn it. I sure as hell didn't want it to come to this...you do realize that if he is being influenced by Giratina, he won't hesitate to kill me if I don't get it absolutely perfect? Hell, he might kill me by himself..."
The figure looked away, staring out at the vast wasteland. The wind tore across the hills, bending the frail vegetation over double. "It wasn't always like this."
"What do you mean?"
The figure kneeled down, picking up a handful of dead grass."This...the Eternal Night. Look at these winds. They are far worse than ever. There used to be at least some...life here. But it's all withering away..." He crumpled the grass, tossing it out to the winds' mercy. "The end is coming...I can feel it..."
River grimaced, pulling his cloak tighter to his body. "I've got to go. If everything goes to plan..."
"Very well," said the cloaked figure.
River turned and began walking toward a small dark dot that interrupted the hills in the distance. After a few moments, the figure took off the black mask and sighed.
"The end is near...for everything..." he muttered softly, closing his hand around the Eternity Crystal that lay in his pocket. "But perhaps not as soon as before..."
Tay's journal of completely awesome s***. That give you an idea of what this is about? I don't particularly want to chronicle my life or anything, but those always polite people at the Council (because they're reading this) asked me to. So yeah. Here it is.
I first joined the Council back about three years before the fall of Knight. Lily brought me in, got me up to speed with what Knight was about and sent me on my way. I was in a bad way back then, though. But I got the job done, and quickly I rose through the ranks to be one of her top operators, like that b****** Dusek.
But she singled me out, about two years after I had joined. She, along with an old man and woman, told me all about what the Council was about. I won't lie, I didn't believe them at all at first. They then told me some about how it had already begun, and how the Eternal Night would be imminent and showed me the real proof.
I would still continue to be part of Knight, her top advisor. But my real purpose was to gather parts for what will become the generator. The generator, I'm told, will protect a region (or regions, I dunno) from the Night. They told me lots more, but I blanked out during the technical crap.
So I did it. I found almost all the parts they asked for, one at a time for an entire year. It was mostly useless junk, like a hundred pounds of aluminum and stuff like that. But sometimes they asked for harder to find stuff that I've never even heard of. Took me a week to figure out what the hell Boron was. Other times it was easy kind of stuff to find, but they needed huge quantities. I spent an entire month getting as much hydrogen I could get my hands on. You try covertly stealing tons of hydrogen. Did I mention it's the lightest element on Earth? No? Well it is.
Shortly afterward, Knight fell and I had to go into hiding. Occasionally one of those old people (I never bothered to learn their names. I doubt they would have given them to me, though.) asked me for something, but that only happened twice in the two years after the fall.
I don't like to think about what happened after I finally found Duncan and Michelle. I'll just say this. That night in the cave was the worst damn thing I've ever been through.
Michelle and I left and went into hiding for about a month afterward. But the Council found me again, and I told them all about what had happened, including the fate of Lily (they had, like me, presumed that Lily had died when Dusek destroyed the base). They asked me many times about Duncan, as if not believing it. I admit, back then I wasn't totally believing it myself. With all the powers and immortality that were swirling around, I couldn't help but wait for him to just come back one day.
They told me to go ahead and go back to Michelle, that they would handle everything for a while. So I did, and I took care of her the best I could. Only a little while later she quietly told me she was pregnant, which shocked the hell out of me. (And yes, I was afraid I had done it accidentally. No idea how the hell I could accidentally do it, but hey) Duncan Jr. was born a few months later.
Michelle and Duncan didn't have any money, but I had plenty from Knight and a few other lucrative deals from my past. We lived on that for another year or so. By then, Michelle and I had really gotten close, although Duncan was always on our minds. Especially because I was afraid he'd barge in the door someday, nothing ever happened.
On Juniors' second birthday, the Council contacted me. Told me it was time to get ready again, as the Eternal Night was getting closer and they had a job for me. It really hurt to have to say goodbye to Michelle without telling her where I was going, but the Council told me I couldn't tell anyone. Especially because I would be gone for a long time.
So I left for Blackthorn City, meeting up with them in a place called the Den of Dragonite, or something like that. Turned out they were related to Lance, the Champion, and had been using that as a place to prepare. There, I met a woman named Shinoku Hanaka. I was told that I was her new partner, and that we were to train each other in the mountains North of Blackthorn.
We stayed up there for a few months, and damn let me tell you they were a few of the best months ever. We shared a small, one room cabin. With one bed. Unfortunately, she kicked my a** onto the floor, though. Ah well.
We trained up there, I taught her how to camouflage herself effectively and use all kinds of firearms. She taught me how to use a katana, which is just a slimmer, lighter sword. She also showed me how to use martial arts more effectively, in a very cool style. By the end, I was doing all kinds of ninja crap. Very cool.
After we both felt trained up, we returned to the Den of Dragons. The Council then told us about a shadow katana (why the hell can't they be swords?) that has the power to kill Giratina. I was skeptical as to why Giratina needed to be killed, but I went ahead anyway. The pair of us left out and searched for it for at least a year.
But by then I had another problem. I was seriously going crazy for her, and she seemed to be
Duncan flipped the page over, only to find that one was missing. "S***..." he mumbled, looking around for the missing page. "Must have dropped it along the way..."
He looked up, listening for a sign that River had returned. All was still quiet, however, so he continued reading.
here about to kill Giratina. She's with me, and to be honest it really takes a load off me. But still, I have to write this journal. If something goes south, and I guarantee it will, this journal will be my last story. The only way for anyone to ever know what happened to me, and her.
Really, I can't believe that. It's not that I'm afraid to die (that much). It's just...what the hell will happen if we lose? Allen died trying to fight this. Duncan died trying to stop this. Lily died trying to end this. If I die...what the hell will I have done? Tried to poke a little sword into Giratina, hoping that will end it all? What's worse, what if it doesn't do anything? What if, after all this, I stab him and he just laughs and kills me?
I don't think I could take it. We've both worked way too hard to get this far, just to be screwed over by something like that. But the chance, and it's a big one, that we won't walk out of here is huge. I've got a last ditch plan if all else fails, but I don't see any other way.
I'm rambling now. Tomorrow we're going, so I better get some rest. Hopefully Michelle or the Council will come retrieve these if we don't make it. Wish us luck.
"Wish us luck..."
River paused, watching as the teenager sat down the journal and whispered his friends final words aloud. He shook his head, sitting back against the wall with a soft sigh.
The man looked down at the katana in his hand. Duncan looked nothing like the embodiment of evil, but he knew he couldn't fall for that. In all likelihood he was not, but underestimating him wouldn't help anyone stay alive.
He crept up slowly as Duncan buried his face in his hands. Closer and closer he got, his arms trembling. This was wrong...he knew it...yet he kept coming...
His arm slowly raised behind the teenagers' back, lifting the short katana into the air. He took one last breath and thrust it down...
...Onto another blade. River did a double take at the speed at which Duncan had blocked his blow. He stumbled backward, cursing himself. It wasn't that Duncan was that fast, it was that he was ready. And River had fallen right into the trap.
Duncan leapt to his feet, slashing his own katana across his opponents, sending it flying through the air. River took a step backward, but the teenager would have none of it. He kicked him to the ground and centered his blade on the mans' neck.
River flinched at the words, knowing in that instant he had made the wrong choice entirely. "I...was told to..."
A rough bark of laughter echoed around the small cave. "You were told to kill me? Isn't that just perfect?" the teenager spat. "I should kill you now!"
River braced himself, ready for the final blow to smite his life. After everything...this was the way he was going to go...
After a moment of silence, he opened his eyes. Duncan was frowning, katana still aimed at his throat. "Do you hear that? What is that?"
River frowned. "I...I don't know..."
"Liar," said Duncan coolly. "Get up, we'll see together. I'm warning you, if you're pulling something..."
"Of course..." mumured River, shakily getting to his feet. Duncan nodded toward the opening in the cave and the man slowly walked toward it. He looked out the entrance and fell silent.
"What?" barked Duncan. "What is it?"
The man shook his head. "See for yourself."
The teenager narrowed his eyes. "If you try anything..."
He slowly walked toward the entrance and looked outside. "Oh s***..." A veritable army of shadow soldiers had surrounded them, with one fully cloaked man standing at the lead.
"My Lord...requests your company, Duncan..." he said quietly.
(Meh, I've been doing this to the other fics posted in both here and Serebii forums incase one blows up, so this shouldn't be different. :P)
Hehe, I love the beginning. That part reminds me of this one scene from the movie “A Beautiful Mind” (sorry if you hadn’t seen nor heard the movie XD).
I also have to say, Tay’s journal is well, awesome, especially the title. XD Also, very funny he thought he accidently got Michelle pregnant. XD Seriously, there should be a Blazing Dreams spinoff of Tay’s adventures. XD I admit though, this part I thought was great that shows how nervous Tay is about on his adventure:
One other thing is a couple grammar errors. Not too major, though.
Well, so far so good. Seriously, you improved in both descriptions and emotions, so good job. ;) I say I’m now very excited and can’t wait what happens in the next chapter!
:) It never really made any sense when I did that, did it? Thing is, with all of everything coming down no one ever really has time to sit down and think about it, so they have to stuff the emotions way down for later.
And a Tay spinoff, huh? Hmm...something like that, maybe...
Ah. I was afraid of that, yeah. What I did was put that whole scene on one detail.
And thanks so much for the review. :) I'm chipping away a little bit every chapter. About the next chapter...I don't think it's a stretch to say plenty of battle scenes (and I'm also going to expand on the switching POVs during it).