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Old February 10th, 2012 (2:26 PM). Edited February 11th, 2012 by apenpaap.
apenpaap apenpaap is offline
    Join Date: Oct 2011
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    Posts: 79
    Originally Posted by destinedjagold View Post
    What? Black didn't even said a word yet... o.O
    Aw well.

    Remember, Brycen is a man of little words. He basically just assumes that if a trainer walks into his Gym like that, he's there to challenge him and there's no need for banter.

    So they can understand Pokémon language, but just hiding it?
    Pretty much, yeah. They want to prevent N from feeling any kinship with any human, including themselves so he can fight on their side while still remaining enough of a "hero" that Zekrom can respond to him. That's why they make him believe he's actually a pokémon in human form too, and also why Ghetsis had Diego teach N and raise him instead of doing it himself; to prevent N from forming a bond with him, a human.

    Aqua's gonna be 'rid off'?
    No! >=(
    I'm afraid so.

    Wow, Boreas' won, but the tower exploded, it seems.
    Not quite yet; just an entrance was blasted into it.

    Incidentally, I drew a map of Unova based on the descriptions in my fic so far:

    Part Eight: By Inferno's Light

    Chapter Fifty: Day of the Dragons

    Icirrus' streets were full of surprised and frightened people and pokémon who had gone outside to gawk at Dragonspiral Tower, now surrounded by a veil of smoke. “Go back into your homes,” commanded Brycen as he and Black rapidly made their way to the other side of town. “Close your doors and windows, but don't panic. You will be alerted if there is any danger to you.”
    Among the bewildered people of Icirrus, Boreas was glad to recognise a curvy blonde girl and a thin, black-haired boy. “Black!” said Bianca as she recognised his trainer. “What's going on?!”
    Bianca, Cheren,” Black greeted them. “We don't know, I'm following Brycen to help him deal with whatever it is. And if that is what I think it is, we could really use your help. Come on.”
    Cheren grinned. “I'll gladly come with you and show both you and the Gym Leader how powerful I have become! I may have lagged behind you for quite a while, but I've gotten so much stronger in that time.”
    Black grinned. “Glad to hear it, you'll need some extra power to defeat me.”
    But Bianca was hesitating. “Um... I-it might be very dangerous... That explosion and all that smoke it made are giving me a very bad feeling...”
    Cheren sighed. “Not this again. If you're going to be like that again...”
    Like what?” asked Bianca, angrily.
    Like a co-”
    Bianca,” Black tactically interrupted Cheren, “if you don't dare, you don't have to come with us. But we could really use your help. You're much stronger than you think.”
    You- you think so?”
    I'm sure of it. You defeated Skyla, didn't you?”
    Well, yes...”
    She was very powerful. I could barely defeat her myself. You're strong, Bianca. And I'm sure your pokémon trust you. How is Oshy?”
    Great! He evolved to a Samurott a few days ago!” Bianca said happily. “I just returned my team to their pokéballs to protect them from dangerous things that might happen. I'll let them out again! Go, Oshy, Puppy, Munny, Pansy, and Wicky!”
    Bianca's entire team; Samurott, Herdier, Musharna, Simisear, and Lampent appeared from their pokéballs as Bianca released them. Black's pokémon cheerfully greeted Bianca's, whom they hadn't seen since Nimbasa. Toxica seemed scared of Wicky the Lampent, while Selene seemed very interested in her.
    Honestly, Bianca,” sneered Cheren, “what's the point of giving your pokémon nicknames if you're going to be that unoriginal with them? Just don't bother with nicknames, like me.”
    Brycen had finished instructing the citizens, so Black and his friends followed him to Dragonspiral Tower while Cheren too released his team; Emboar, Liepard, Unfezant, Simisage, and Boldore.
    Boreas nudged Octa. “Hey, looks like Bianca and Cheren have already evolved their starters fully. Looks like someone has spent too much time worrying and not enough time training.”
    Be quiet,” said Octa with an annoyed frown.
    By the time they reached Dragonspiral Tower, much of the smoke had already cleared, showing that a great hole had been blasted in the tower's base, like an entrance into the otherwise closed-off tower. They entered through the hole and found themselves in a large, semi-lit hall decorated with amazing statues and with bizarre, complex architecture. But the most important detail about the hall was the three humans and eighteen pokémon that surrounded the entrance. Boreas ignited in fury as he saw the murderers of Capella to the left; Ryoku the bearded skeleton in the green robes who had given the order, Tangrowth who had held her so she couldn't escape, Cradily who had fired the Hyper Beam that killed her, Lilligant who had distracted them so much Tangrowth had been able to sneak up on them, and their other companions Exeggcutor, Ferrothorn, and Shiftry. To the right Giallo, who looked a bit like a giant, moustached grapefruit in his yellow robes, stood with six powerful steel-types: Klinklang, Magnezone, Scizor, Lucario, Bastiodon, and, coiled up behind them and looking over them with metallic malevolence, an enormous Steelix. Finally, between them, stood Ghetsis with his team. It didn't seem he specialised in any type: he had Escavalier, Spiritomb, Bouffalant, Seismitoad, Eelektross, and, inside a standing swirl of water that was maintained solely by its own powers, a Kingdra. All twenty-one were grinning malevolently.
    Well, well,” spoke Ghetsis. “If it isn't the Gym Leader, Brycen; and Black.”
    Ghetsis,” Black spat, “what's Team Plasma doing here?”
    Didn't N tell you yet, boy?” Ghetsis laughed. “We're here to capture Zekrom! N is at the top of the tower right now, resurrecting it from the Dark Stone. And we are here for two reasons: first to prevent anyone from interfering with him, and secondly: to give all of you one last chance to liberate your pokémon.”
    You know the answer to that, Ghetsis,” snapped Black.
    Toxica gasped. “This is it. The big battle Golurk talked about... Everything depends on us now; if we lose this, the world'll be Team Plasma's oyster, but if we win, we can stop them forever!”
    Their opponents grinned even more malevolently. “Indeed I do,” said Ghetsis. “Which is why we prepared a little surprise for you. Giallo, if you please?”
    Osmio,” the fat Sage commanded his Steelix, “Screech!”
    The monstrously huge metal snake opened its maw and emitted a sound like a quadrillion nails all scraping over chalkboards. Most of those present clutched their ears in pain. A moment after the Steelix stopped screeching, Bianca, who was the farthest to the back of all of them and still at the door, shouted: “They're attacking from behind! Dozens of grunts outside!”
    Boreas cursed as he saw she was right: they were completely surrounded, Sages on one side and grunts on the other. Bianca and her pokémon turned around to defend against the grunts outside. “I'm sure you could probably defeat them,” Ghetsis grinned, “but that'd take time. Meanwhile, they nicely keep you all here so we can finally get rid of you.”
    Terror struck Boreas like a mallet. They were trapped and would certainly die now. A single Sage was powerful enough, but the thought of taking on three at once seemed like suicide. Especially with Giallo's steel-types, and Ghetsis' pokémon having barely any weakness... He realised, at least, that he had figured out Ghetsis' speciality: pokémon with little or no weaknesses. That only made it worse: Plasma had a type advantage, outnumbered them, outflanked them, and they were just plain more powerful. Realising this was the day he was going to die, he looked Octa in the eyes, even more fearful to think that his best friend would die here as well. But he didn't see panic in Octa's eyes, but acceptance.
    I'm glad to die fighting side-by-side with a friend, my dear fellow,” said Octa with a smile that reminded Boreas of the smile Capella had given him before she sacrificed herself.
    W-well, I'd rather not die,” Boreas responded. “But you're right, if I have to, it might as well be fighting side-by-side with you.”
    At that moment, all hell broke loose as the Sages attacked. The entire hall was an intense flurry of furious battle. Boreas immediately had to parry several attacks and dodge some others. Brycen's pokémon were using Blizzards to attack the opponents, so Boreas chipped in and helped make the air colder and blow harder. He saw Eelektross fire off a beam of electricity, and barely managed to parry it before it reached Octa's head. Octa had no time to thank him, as he was engaged in a blazing-fast battle with Shiftry and Escavalier. Boreas wished to help him, but he barely had a moment to spare to Ice Beam one of Octa's opponents because Lucario attacked him.

    Finally,” whispered N. “The Dark stone... Finally I will be friends with Zekrom and make my perfect world a reality... I have waited so long for this moment...”
    The tower's uppermost room was also the most magnificent one. There were hundreds of statues of dragon-types; Diego recognised Dratini, Zweilous, Druddigon, Salamence, and many more; though there were also dragon statues he didn't recognise at all. And in the centre of the room was the Dark Stone, which was now brimming with energy as N touched it. The sounds of the fierce battle in the tower's base resounded even here.
    Excellent,” he smiled. “At last the world will be as it should be. Go on, release Zekrom!”
    N held the Dark Stone in his hands and looked deep into it, and a pulse of power emanated from the stone, rocking the entire tower. “It'll take a while...” said N. “I need to communicate to Zekrom inside and make it recognise me as the hero. It could take quite long.”
    Hmm, that sounds dangerous; you could be disturbed by our enemies. I think I should go downstairs to make sure no-one gets past the Sages. Don't worry about me, just leave the moment you catch Zekrom, I'll easily find you again. Aqua, why don't you join me?”
    Sure,” she said as she followed him. Diego smirked, seeing the perfect opportunity to kill the stupid little traitor. He let her go in front with a courteous gesture, though he really did it so he could find the perfect moment to end her life while at the same time enjoying the view of her rear. As they walked through the maze of rooms that the top of the tower was, Diego reflected things really seemed to be going his way. In an hour, N would have captured Zekrom. Then soon, he would bring Ghetsis' plan to completion without realising it. They came into a large room where both the white and the black spiral staircase emerged. Each of the staircases was very broad, about five metres wide, and its stairs were made of marble that gleamed even after all these centuries. The staircases rotated around each other widely, each forming five full circles before they reached the tower's base. Considering the staircases and the walls around them were all that held the top of the tower up, they had to be very strong.
    As they entered the long, white spiral staircase leading down, Diego wondered if he should just do it right here and beat Aqua to death on the stairs. Maybe throw her off them to see how far she'd roll? But, he realised it would be so much more fun to wait and kill her in front of Boreas. His grin became even wider as he imagined the look on the smug little Glaceon's face as he saw his great love die before his eyes... Diego could barely keep his laughter in at the thought that he would get to see his soul shatter before his very eyes. It would be hilarious, that was certain. It had already been so hilarious last time...
    He remembered the day he had first seen the lone Vaporeon crying by the river while he was looking for pokémon to join N. Realising she would never be attracted to a Zoroark, and was more likely to be terrified of him, he had quickly used his illusion to mask himself as a Jolteon. He had started talking to her, to try and convince her to join N, and more importantly, to seduce her. When he had discovered, to his great surprise, that he had by chance run into Boreas' girlfriend his resolve to do both of those things had only increased, of course, realising how hilarious the results would be when Boreas found out. Unfortunately, he had only been half-successful. While he had convinced her to join Team Plasma, he had never managed to convince her to mate with him. Which was a shame, as that would probably have been even more crushing to Boreas, and of course it would've been quite fun to do. But it was too late now anyway; at least he would get to kill her before Boreas' eyes; that more or less made up for it.

    Boreas jumped out of the way of Steelix's tail, which came crashing down like an avalanche of metal. The ground trembled when it was hit by the mighty steel-type. Boreas saw his chance and jumped on the metal tail, hoping Octa would realise he wasn't covering his back any more. The enormous metal snake lifted its tail back up, taking Boreas with it. He let go the moment it started slowing down, launching himself over the enemies. He landed hard on the ground behind them, but Steelix turned around before he could attack the Sages. The mighty steel-type wrapped its metallic body around him. He tried to attack it, but no attack of his stood any chance of harming the gargantuan metal-coated monstrosity. The edges of its steel armour sharply cut into his flesh as it squeezed tighter; he was being squeezed so hard he heard his bones creak, about to snap under the immense force. It wasn't even using any of its strength at all; the moment it'd do so, Boreas knew his bones would be ground to dust and his flesh and blood would be nothing more than a disgusting smudge on its armour. Steelix's enormous, grinning head looked down malevolently. It was hit by a few attacks, but nothing came even close to hurting it.
    Suddenly an intense inferno of flames washed over Steelix, instantly heating its conductive metal armour up to temperatures so high it glowed red. Boreas screamed in pain as the steel touching him was baking his skin, but Steelix, who was of course surrounded by that same metal, was in so much more pain. It squirmed in agony and let Boreas go as it rushed for its ally Kingdra, desperate to get cooled down by its water. Boreas stood up, though his skin hurt badly wherever it had touched the Steelix and he felt bruised by its crushing grip. He looked up and squinted as he looked straight into the Sun, which had somehow entered the tower. But its light dimmed, and he saw it was it was not the Sun but a large, furry moth with six orange wings. “A Volcarona?” he said in wonder.
    Team Plasma!” said Champion Alder, who had just entered the tower together with Bianca, presumably having driven off the grunts outside. “That's enough. I will not let you continue this and break all the wonderful friendships between humans and pokémon!”
    Ah, Champion Aldel,” said Ryoku over the sounds of battle. “You are a powerful trainer, but so are we. You stand no chance against the three of us.”
    Boreas saw Ryoku was right: Alder's pokémon seemed about as powerful as those of the Sages. His Bouffalant had locked horns with Ghetsis', both struggling to defeat the other mighty beast. His Volcarona flew through the hall, unleashing its blazing infernos on its enemies. Alder's other pokémon, a Druddigon, an Accelgor, a Vanilluxe, and an Escavalier, joined the battle as well. But there were only six of them, while the Sages had eighteen pokémon of similar strength. And the other pokémon, including Boreas, on their side were clearly less powerful than the Sages'. “Ha!” shouted Black. “With Alder here and your grunts gone, we outnumber you!”
    Black!” Bianca yelped as she told her pokémon to retreat from the battle and turn around again. “the grunts are back! I can hold them off, but there's a lot of them outside!”
    We can still win this, and end all this right now!” Black said determinedly.
    No,” Alder stated. “They're only trying to keep us away from N! Black, take your pokémon and go to the top as fast as you can! I'll take your place in the battle, and I'll try to create an opening for you!”
    Alder's powerful pokémon all attacked Magnezone, Bastiodon and Spiritomb. Their line reformed, and Octa, Toxica, and Black managed to sprint through, joining Boreas on the other side. But Lucius nor Selene was anywhere to be seen as the line closed again. That is, until Lucius suddenly made a great jump over Seismitoad, a Honchkrow holding on to his horns and flapping her wings as fast as she could to extend his jump. He laughed as he landed and gave the Honchkrow a friendly smile. “Ha, beautiful, you crazy bird! Who'd have thought you'd ever be good for something?”
    Who indeed?” Selene asked, in a voice similar, but somewhat deeper than her old one. “And who'd have thought you'd ever give a compliment, if a backhanded one?”
    As they ran away from the battlefield, up the staircase and through various corridors and chambers, Black and his other pokémon congratulated Selene on evolving. Lucius said, still smiling: “Well, who'd ever have thought you'd stop looking like a feather duster?” he said, referencing Selene's suddenly uncharacteristically well-kept and organised feathers. “Or that you'd learn to fly better than a chicken?”
    Well, who'd have thought you- Hey, look, it's Boreas' friend Aqua!”
    Terribly mixed feelings filled Boreas as the person he loved most and the person he hated most stood next to each other, awaiting them and guarding the wide double spiral stair that led up. Suddenly the entire towered trembled with intense electric power. “Boreas!” Aqua yelped in surprise. “I didn't know you were here!”
    Boreas smiled. “Fancy meeting each other again so soon, my love.” He said to the others: “Take the stairs; Toxica and I will fight Diego and Aqua here.”
    Me?” Toxica yelped. “But I'm supposed to do something really important in this battle!”
    Look,” Boreas explained as the other rushed up the white stairs, “I can't fight Aqua, no matter what. Octa is too powerful and too important a team member to leave down here; Black will need him upstairs. Lucius is weak to water. That leaves you or Selene, so- ARGH!” While explaining, Diego had suddenly rushed forward and slashed at his flank with his sharp claws.
    Hey!” snapped Aqua. “That's not fair! Let him finish speaking and be ready to fight you!”
    Now where's the fun in that?” said Diego as he tried to kick Boreas, who had already jumped away and Ice Beamed his loins. “Argh! I'll break every bone in your body for that!” Diego howled.
    You'll have to catch me first!” Boreas said as he rushed up the wide, spiralling black staircase to put some distance between himself and the enraged Zoroark. His enemy's heavy footfalls were very close behind him, so he suddenly jumped to the side instead of climbing on, making Diego suddenly trip and land hard with his face on one of the stairs. Seeing his chance, Boreas realised he could win this right now; he jumped on Diego's back, intending to chill his brain down with a continuous Ice Beam to the head and make him faint instantly like that. But he hadn't counted on the Zoroark's phenomenal strength: he was launched off his back as Diego jumped to his feet. He hit the side of the staircase hard, plummeted three metres down, landed painfully hard on the stairs, bounced off due to his great momentum, and landed back in the hall as a heap of bruised, groaning Glaceon.
    Are you alright?!” the two startled females, who were having a much more civil duel in the hall, asked.
    Argh, I'm fine...” Boreas groaned as he managed to get back to his feet. The stone stairs had scraped several patches of skin off when he had bounced on them, and he'd probably get deep bruises from them, but at least he hadn't broken anything.
    You won't be for much longer!” Diego's voice snapped out of the staircase. “Come here and let me finish this!”
    Ignited in fury, Boreas rushed up the stairs, seeing Diego waiting for him after half a rotation. He Ice Beamed the Zoroark immediately, aiming once again for his vulnerables. But Diego was expecting it this time, dived under the Ice Beam, and landed on top of Boreas. The stairs were painfully digging into his back as eighty kilos of Zoroark pressed on the other side. Diego grabbed his head and smashed it into the stairs with an impact that resounded through Boreas in pain. His vision went all kinds of colours and rotated madly; he heard bizarre, otherworldly noises as he felt blood dripping down his neck. He was very nauseous and dizzy, and in severe pain. But at least Diego got off him. After a while, his senses returned to normal, though he still lay on the stairs, panting in pain.
    So,” Diego spoke. “If you're done already, maybe I should find another nice place to hang you up?”
    Argh,” Boreas groaned as he got up, momentarily feeling the back of his head. It was swollen and bleeding, but at least it didn't feel as if his skull was broken. “You really are a bastard, Diego. I had almost forgotten that. Thanks for reminding me.”
    Diego, who was standing higher on the stairs, made a mocking bow. “My pleasure.”
    Boreas Ice Beamed a point a bit above his enemy's head, so that when he got up from the bow it hit him right in the throat. He collapsed, gargling and clutching his throat. Boreas rushed over as quickly as he could and pounced his opponent, digging his claws into the much larger fox's flesh. He quickly charged up another Ice Beam to end both the fight and Diego's life, when a force like a battering ram hit his stomach as Diego punched him there, launching him into the air and over his head, landing higher up the stairs. He felt incredibly sick after the punch and the earlier hit to his head, and lost his lunch on the stairs; concerned, but not very surprised to see some blood in it too.
    Grr,” Diego growled softly, still clutching his injured throat with one paw and speaking hoarsely. “You realise this doesn't matter at all, don't you? N will soon reawaken Zekrom, and with just three pokémon your captor stands no chance at beating him. All you accomplish here is hurting yourself!”
    Boreas fired a double Ice Beam, one of which hit Diego in the chest and left a frozen white trail there that made the Zoroark roar in pain. “And I'm finally giving you some payback for the hours you had me hanging by my tail!”
    Diego stormed up the stairs, so Boreas retreated further up them as well, determined to stay out of his much stronger opponent's vicinity. A beam of darkness gathered in Diego's hands and fired at Boreas; he could only barely dodge it. Diego smirked. “I'm sure you think that hanging by your tail was the worst pain you've ever been in. Let me assure you: in a moment I'll far outdo that. I'll begin with breaking all four of your legs, so you can't even run away!” As Diego made a sudden dash up the stairs, Boreas Ice Beamed the stairs in front of him, which were now suddenly were slippery. Diego slipped as soon as he stepped on the frozen stairs. He made a spectacular twist of almost one hundred eighty degrees in the air and landed, face first, on the stairs. He groaned and kept lying there for a while. While Boreas felt a lot like just Ice Beaming his head now and ending the fight, Diego hadn't continued attacking him when he was in a similar state, and the idea of acting less courteous than Diego was not one he fancied. He did continue to retreat up the stairs, to put more distance between him and Diego.
    Diego slowly got up; bleeding from his nose and mouth. He spit out two bloody teeth. “You'll beg me to kill you before the end,” he said. “I'll make sure of that. I'll tear your every appendage off your body.”
    Not if I freeze you to a lump of evil ice before then, you bastard!” Bores roared.
    Boreas froze more of the stairs between him and Diego, but the Zoroark jumped over them in a great jump, suddenly standing in front of him. Boreas Ice Beamed Diego's stomach as his enemy slashed at him. At that moment, a massive roar echoed through the tower, which trembled as there was an earthquake, and then the staircase began collapsing.

    Octa hurried into the majestic, simulacrum-filled chamber of gargantuan, one might even say Brobdingnagian proportions. The simulacri of various pokémon of the dragon-type seemed to have been created by a true master of the arts; their similitude to the pokémon they were based on was quite aesthetically pleasing. Yet the most impressive sight of the entire cavernous hall was the viridian-haired Homo sapiens holding a small anthracite-black stone. The intense power emanating from the dark mineral was felt by any creature in the room. Then, with mighty sparks of electricity, the stone floated from N's front limbs and into the air, engorging and taking on a draconic shape. Finally, Zekrom roared and the entire tower shook on its foundations. Octa could distinctly hear the sound of falling debris below him and fervently hoped the tower wasn't about to collapse and that his dear friends Boreas and Toxica hadn't been hurt or killed by the debris.
    Neither N nor Zekrom moved, engaged in telepathic conversation. Octa realised what needed to be done. “We need to stop them, right now! We can still win this if we do!”
    But as they rushed to N, his team blocked the way, a pokémon made up of two large metal gears blocking his way as he drew his Leaf Blade.

    Boreas focussed on not getting hit by the falling stones. The intense tremors had taken their toll on the tower's bizarre architecture: the two staircases that spiralled around each other were rapidly losing integrity. Large parts of the roof had caved onto the stairs and the walls had mostly fallen off, pretty much leaving Boreas on a spiral staircase in the open air now; with the ground very far beneath and a very heavy stone top above him that looked less and less supported by the two spiralling stairs. Fortunately the white semi-tower that contained a staircase had remained more or less intact; it was mainly the black one that was deteriorating fast. The Sun was setting in the valley between the mountains, colouring everything red. Suddenly something very heavy fell on top of him and crushed him into the stairs; but it wasn't a part of the ceiling but Diego.
    You bastard! Don't you see we have better things to do than fight right now? We need to get the hell away from here before these stairs collapse too, or the tower collapses, or the parts of the stairs above us collapse and fall on- gak!”
    Diego's powerful claw grabbed him around his neck, lifting him up by it. “First I'm going to end this. Any last words before I throw you off the tower?”
    Boreas tried to articulate: “Yes: I learned Ice Beam,” but the powerful hold Diego had around his neck prevented that. Instead he just fired an Ice Beam from his forehead to Diego's, making the Zoroark curse in pain and drop him, nearly off the tower. Boreas managed to stay on the stairs and jumped back as Diego threw his crushing weight almost on top of him. But, while he managed to avoid Diego falling on top of him again, he couldn't avoid Diego grabbing one of his hind paws. He was lifted off his feet by the larger fox, who punched him in the face, making him bleed and feel like he had been run over.
    You're a very annoying opponent!” Diego roared. “This will stop you from running away!”
    He swung Boreas over the side of the stairs, but kept holding him by his right rear leg. He laid it over the edge of the stairs, above Boreas so he couldn't see what was going on. But then he felt the pressure of Diego's large foot on his shin and realised with terror what he was about to do. “Please, don't!”
    Boreas felt the pressure lift and closed his eyes in anticipation of the pain. The Diego's foot came down with great force. Boreas screamed in agony as the bones in his leg broke like twigs under the great impact as two loud snapping sounds sounded. He moaned in pain as Diego lifted him back up by his broken leg. He could barely even see, so overwhelmed was he by the pain. He was aware Diego changed his grab to his throat again. He tried to Ice Beam the cruel beast, but the pain just overwhelmed him and made that impossible. “Oh, did that hurt you?” Diego whispered. “You know, last time we fought, you did something quite painful to me too. Let me show you.”
    Boreas howled in pain as a crushing impact hit his loins. “I wonder, what hurt more? That or the leg? Maybe I should let you try it again so you can be sure.” Another crushing impact send a wave of torturous, nauseating agony through Boreas' body. “Oh dear. I think if I do that a few more times you'll have to disappoint Aqua next time you two get together. Then again, you'll never get together, because I'm about to kill you both...”
    B-both?” Boreas groaned as he tried to focus on his enemy and not his pain.
    Yes...” Diego grinned. “In fact, I might kill her first. I'm having far too much fun to end your suffering right now. Mind the drop!” He tossed Boreas over the edge of the spiralling staircase. He landed with a very painful impact on the stairs one rotation and about seven metres lower, rolling down them still further. He tried to get up, to try to fight Diego, but he was in so terribly much pain that it overwhelmed his entire nervous system. After a while, he heard Diego's footsteps as he had walked down the entire rotation of the staircase. “Do you know what's so great about this?”
    Argh... We're both getting our cardio in for today?” Boreas groaned.
    I get to do my duty to Team Plasma and have enormous fun in the process.” Boreas felt even more pain as a kick like a sledgehammer broke some of his ribs.
    Leave him alone, you cruel bastard!” said Aqua's furious voice.
    Boreas still could barely register what he saw, but his ears worked just fine. “So, you finally show your true loyalties,” said Diego.
    Suddenly a veil of water surrounded Boreas. “Don't worry, you can breathe it, my love!” said Aqua. “It's Aqua Ring, it'll ease the pain and help cure your wounds!”
    Though his instincts told him to hold his breath, he trusted Aqua enough to ignore them and draw a breath of the water. Aqua was right: it filled his lungs even better than air, and his pain was indeed slowly subsiding.
    My true loyalties?!” snapped Aqua. “My true loyalties are to him, and also to all pokémon in this world! But not to cruel filth like you! To think I thought of you as my friend!”
    Though the Aqua Ring helped, Boreas was still in too much pain to even see properly, and he only heard the sounds of fighting. He longed to help Aqua and to save her from whatever death Diego had planned for her, but his pain took so long to lessen... But finally he thought it had healed enough that he might try standing on his good legs. Though it was very painful, he did manage it and stepped out of the Aqua Veil, only to see Diego just winning the battle by picking Aqua up and holding one paw at her neck and one at her hip. He had several wounds that were clearly burns from hot water.
    Don't take another step, Boreas, or I'll break her. And no more of your boiling water please, gorgeous, unless you want me to snap you like a twig.”
    Boreas had no choice. “Diego, don't hurt her, please! Do to me what you want, but let her go! I'll kill you if you kill her!”
    You're in no position to make threats. I will do to you what I want, yes. But first I'll do to her what I want.”
    You're a monster!” said Aqua, furiously. “I've been an idiot not to see it!”
    Perhaps,” Diego said with a chilling grin. “But now it's too late. I'm going to kill you, Aqua. And then I'll kill your lovey-dovey. But, I'll make you a deal: you can enjoy the view from up here for a bit longer before I kill you, if you kiss me.”
    Aqua spat in his face. “So that's how deep your depravity goes. AAA!” she screamed in pain as Diego bent her spine so far backwards it creaked.
    That was not very nice of you. And don't worry, I'm merely curious, not really interested in anything more after a kiss. You might as well indulge my curiosity and live a bit longer.”
    Aqua!” Boreas desperately said. “Please, do it!”
    Perhaps picking up on the desperate idea in his voice, Aqua said: “Fine. Let's get it over with, you murderer.”
    Diego eased the pressure on Aqua's spine and brought his face to hers. “Try anything, and I kill you.”
    As Diego kissed Aqua, his attention wasn't on Boreas. Boreas picked up a large piece of debris, aimed it for Diego's head, and threw it. But at that moment, Diego broke the kiss off and saw the rock flying to his head. As Boreas screamed in horror, he bent Aqua's spine back. Several noises of something breaking hurt Boreas far more than anything else Diego had done. As the rock hit Diego's face and he staggered back, Aqua's limp body, twisted in a bizarre angle, fell on the stairs. Roaring in fury, Boreas ran up the stairs on three legs, all pain forgotten as he simply wanted to kill Diego in vengeance. He pounced the fallen Zoroark and Ice Beamed him in the head, intending to keep going until Diego died. But Diego grabbed his throat once again, stopping the Ice Beam, and lifted him up, staring at him with a demonic grin once more.
    This is the end of the road, Boreas. I'll send you after Aqua right now.”
    Let him go!” a new voice commanded. Boreas and Diego both looked in surprise at the lower parts of the stairs, where a Flareon, his collar flaring fierily with anger, stood. “Let. Him. GO!”
    And who might you be?” Diego sneered. “Another guest to my little party here?”
    The Flareon pounced Diego, who was so surprised he dropped Boreas, who landed on the stairs. Confused, bewildered thoughts raged through Boreas' mind as he watched the Flareon fight his arch-enemy who had just murdered Aqua. While he knew Flareons were very strong, actually seeing one display similar strength to the much larger Diego in battle was quite amazing. Boreas enjoyed every attack the Flareon used on Diego and every howl of pain from the Zoroark.
    Bo... Boreas...” he heard Aqua whisper. He rushed to her immediately.
    Aqua... You're still alive? I-I'll get Nurse Ebola! Right now! I will-”
    No...” Aqua whispered with tears in her beautiful eyes. “Boreas, it's too late. Don't leave me... Please, I don't want to die alone...”
    Boreas heard a scream of pain and saw Diego run up the stairs while the Flareon pursued. “No, let him go!” Boreas yelled. “Please, run down and get the nurse!”
    The Flareon stopped and ran down. “Of course!” he exclaimed. “I'll get her right away!”
    Boreas couldn't help his curiosity as he thought he recognised someone familiar in the Flareon's face as he passed by. “Wh-who are you anyway?!” Boreas exclaimed as the Flareon passed by.
    Don't you recognise your own brother?!” the Flareon laughed. “It's me, Zeph!”
    But...” Boreas stammered as he shouted after the Flareon who was now running down the stairs below him. “I saw you die... How?!”
    I'll tell you the whole story later!” the Flareon shouted just before entering the tower's base. “For now, I'll just say I was very lucky to be found by a very skilled Audino who managed to reanimate me!”
    Boreas...” Aqua cried softly. “I... I'm sorry for trusting him... If I hadn't, we could've lived together yet... But now I'm going to die...”
    Boreas cried as he softly stroked her finned head. “No, you won't die. Zeph, or whoever he is, will get the nurse... Everything will be alright...”
    No... It's too late...” Aqua said as she closed her eyes.
    No, it's not! Don't close your eyes, stay with me! Don't leave me behind, please! Hang on to life for me!”
    Aqua nodded softly as she opened her eyes again. “I'll try... But it won't help... But at least you're with me... I've been alone for so long... I don't want to die alone too. Stay with me until the end... And kiss me, while my lips are still blue...”
    Boreas softly kissed her as he cried for her.

    Octa was ducking underneath his metallic opponent's grinding gears advancing towards him when it happened. After lengthy telepathic communication with N, Zekrom roared and extended its wings as lightning bolts struck. N turned around to the pokémon battling his own pokémon futilely. “What do you think? Do you like the powerful form of the pokémon who appears before and fights beside the hero who will lead the way into the new world? Now Zekrom and I will head to the Pokémon League and defeat the Champion! This will be the last of the battles that hurt pokémon so much. A perfect world for pokémon alone, it will finally be a reality!”
    N climbed on Zekrom's back as he returned his pokémon to their pokéballs. “Please!” said Octa. “I implore you not to do this!”
    If you want to stop me,” N said to Black as the tower trembled more and more and the roof began caving in, “you must become a hero as well! When Zekrom's counterpart, Reshiram, recognises you, we will finally be even, and then you can try to stop us!”
    Zekrom emitted a pulse of power, making the collapsing roof explode outwards instead of falling inwards, and then it flew away. “Damn!” Black cursed. “We could've ended it right here if we had won!” The tower rocked dangerously. “...We'd better get out of this tower now before it collapses...”
    They ran through the labyrinth of rooms, which now rocked dangerously as an ominous creaking resounded through the tower. When they reached the room where the two stairs came out, Octa saw to his horror that the black staircase, and its support to the tower with it, had completely collapsed, while the white staircase looked heavily damaged and about to collapse too now that it alone held up the tower. They rushed through the damaged staircase, which was missing its roof and walls for the most part. The tower swayed terrifyingly, as if the enormous, heavy top could come down at any moment. They rushed over the five rotations of the staircase and ended up in the base, where the stairs both ended up. None of the combatants were in the room, and Octa fervently hoped Boreas nor Toxica had been on the black stairs when they collapsed. They rushed down through the base's corridors and entered the hall where the Sages had stopped them. It was empty now, though it bore the marks of the battle. They ran out of the entrance that Team Plasma had blasted and continued running, wanting to put as much distance as possible between them and the tower as possible.
    On a small hill nearby, Bianca, Cheren, and Alder had congregated with their pokémon.
    Boreas?!” Octa called as he rushed into the group, looking for his friend with a sense of dread. “Boreas?!”
    But then his heart made a jump of relief as he saw Boreas, who was looking very bruised and roughed up and bloodied and clearly had a broken leg, as well as Toxica. Boreas and a Flareon were watching Nurse Ebola treating Aqua, who was lying there mangled and apparently with a broken back, but still breathing. Boreas embraced him when he joined them.
    My dear fellow, how is she?”
    Nurse Ebola says she has a chance of surviving and recovering...” Boreas sniffed, in tears. “We were so lucky the nurse was already in the tower to help the pokémon hurt in the battle at the entrance... I-I could've lost her otherwise...”
    What happened?”
    Diego happened. To both of us.”
    Octa looked back to the tower just in time to see it happen: the heavily burdened white staircase snapped at its third rotation. Because the tower was so big, it seemed to fall down in slow-motion. Only then did the sound of the snap reach Octa. The helical stairs ground against each other as the top fell down, the stairs breaking into a myriad pieces and releasing dust. The top rotated slightly as it collapsed, so it reached the base diagonally. Enormous clouds of dust erupted as it did so, obscuring most of Octa's view of the rest of the collapse, but he did hear the infernal sound a second later; a sound like the motions of the Earth itself as Dragonspiral Tower collapsed to a pile of rubble. Octa found himself thoroughly sad to see the end of such an ancient and odd piece of architecture and all the ancient art inside, lost to civilisation forever...

    At that moment, every television and every radio in Unova was suddenly displaying the same message: “Attention, trainers of Unova. My name is Ghetsis, and I represent Team Plasma. Over the past year, we have endeavoured to make clear to everyone that the way humans treat pokémon is evil. We force them to fight our battles, we force them to do our work, we keep them locked up in little plastic balls... Yet these are intelligent creatures! Every single trainer is guilty of slavery! And it has gone far enough. Team Plasma has shown its good intentions by using only words, never force, to persuade you, and many have indeed seen the light and released your pokémon. I thank those that did. But there are still highly selfish trainers who have refused to release their pokémon, even after we opened their eyes! Seemingly normal people, Gym Leaders, even the Champion! But no more. This is the end. Team Plasma's king has befriended the legendary pokémon Zekrom and he orders you all to liberate your pokémon. We will not allow anyone to continue suppressing them. Team Plasma hereby declares war on everyone owning even a single pokémon. If you continue enslaving them, we will have no mercy on you. I will give every trainer a simple choice: liberate your pokémon, join Team Plasma, or die. Any trainer who doesn't liberate their pokémon will be considered an enemy from today on. So I implore you: do not cause needless death, especially not your own. Liberate your pokémon.”
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