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  #26    
Old March 2nd, 2017 (5:52 PM).
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Aw, poor Koko. =< Doesn't sound too good, but hopefully she'll bounce back soon.

So we get a glimpse of Orville's personality and why he was used by Giratina. Going have to agree he's very rough on the edges, heh. Speaking of Giratina, looks like the gang will have to find him next time hmmm.
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  #27    
Old March 20th, 2017 (5:44 PM).
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Aisu Aisu is offline
     
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    author's drabble - bring on the fudging angst

    3.2. fear and love and loathing.
    part ii

    mel’s p.o.v.



    “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

    His thoughts wandered as he sat, hunched, in the slick leather chair of the pokémon center, hood drawn far over his head. Mew was a Pikachu again, curled in his lap with his hands on her stomach. The warmth was comforting, but only slightly.

    “Excuse me?” He looked up into the sympathetic eyes of a Nurse Joy. “Are you Melchior, Trainer ID# 00049?” He nodded and stood.

    “How is she?” he asked even as he knew the answer.

    “Not doing well. Follow me.” She led him down a long hall of recovery rooms. Some pokémon were practically back to normal, messing around with their Trainers, but others were encased in so much life support they looked otherworldly. “Did she evolve too quickly?”

    “No… I mean, I don’t know… Why?”

    “She has little control over her fire. Because of that, she’s emitting it constantly, and even though arcanine have the greatest fire-making abilities of many fire-types, she’s quickly wearing herself down. The stress of making and replacing flames is building up more and more by the second. She’s going to burn out, and soon.”

    “Isn’t there anything you guys can do?” he pleaded. She frowned and shook her head softly.

    “We’ve tried, but it didn’t help that her body was battered to begin with.” He thought of that Lucario and grimaced.

    “How long is Koko still gonna be here?” he asked quietly.

    “A few days, a week at best, but if I were you, I’d get my final words out of the way as soon as possible.” They stopped outside a door as plain as the rest and Nurse Joy rested a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry,” she said with genuine sympathy before turning away. His hands itched as he grasped the handle, and it was a herculean effort to open the door. When he did, he didn’t even want to look, didn’t want to see Koko in whatever condition she was in.

    “Arcanine…”

    He saw her half-curled on one of those flat beds designed for canine pokémon, her face in her paws before she noticed him coming in. There was a heart monitor next to her that was moving slower than it ought to have been, and a second one that measured her temperature, which was low by human standards, let alone arcanine standards. “Well,” he started softly, a wry smile on his face, “you went and disobeyed, Koko.”

    “Arc?”

    “You weren’t supposed to evolve, you know.”

    “Nine,” she murmured remorsefully. He took a step forward, then another, and another as his legs shook from the pain and now also from his emotional agony, until he was close enough to bury his hand in her head fur. She hummed under his touch.

    “You did it to save us, and I don’t know if you knew the risks then or not, but either way, you’re paying for it now.” Paying all the way to Hell. “Thanks. I owe you a lot more than I can give.”

    “Arcanine,” she said with a little smirk, which he took to mean ‘Don’t mention it.’

    “I’m sorry that you have to die for my sorry ass. Arceus, Linda’s gonna break after this,” he lamented. Koko whined at her name, shutting her eyes. He pressed the base of his palms into his eyes and detected some wetness there. It surprised him to realize that he wasn’t just crying for Linda’s sake, but for Koko as well. “You’ve really grown on me, you know? I’m gonna miss you…Arceus, I’m gonna miss you…”

    “Arc…” His weak legs finally gave out and he fell to his knees, gripping the edge of the mattress with wobbly arms.

    “This is all just psyducked up!” he exclaimed. “Just freaking screwed…” He reached out and cradled her head in his arms, leaning against her. “I shouldn’t care this much that you’re dying, and it’s mean, I know, but I shouldn’t. I wouldn’t care this much if it was Shady, I know that, but since it’s you…”

    “Nine?”

    “Y-You made me run when I never wanted to… A-And it’s m-mostly because of you that I can run now, that I got stronger instead of w-wasted away back home… Linda had a friend with you—no, you are—w-were more than her friend, more than our friend… I j-just…” He couldn’t catch his breath, was he having another attack? He hadn’t had one in four years, but maybe… Or maybe he was just crying too much. He couldn’t remember ever crying that much before.

    “Arc, arcanine,” Koko whimpered. He wiped his eyes on his jacket and rested his head on the bed. Despite the circumstances, she still felt a little warm, or maybe it was just his imagination going wild. Either way, he knew something for certain: He didn’t want her to stop being warm, for her body to go cold and stiff from death. But if the pokémon center couldn’t save her, who was to say that he could?

    “Mew,” he called. “Mew!”

    Melchior! She looked like a pikachu still as she appeared on the floor, then as she glanced up and down the hall, she returned to her normal form. You’re crying, she noted with some distress, flying closer. He pushed her away self-consciously.

    “That’s not the problem here. Can’t you help her?”

    Not as I am, Mew admitted, rubbing her head. Mel noticed for the first time that she, like him, was injured, with thick bandages wrapping around her small skull. I was concussed when the Lucario struck me in the head. If I was to use fire in this condition, it would just burn me instead, and I don’t have the concentration necessary to heal her injuries.

    “Damn it,” he muttered, rubbing his chest as he remembered his own pain courtesy of Aura Sphere. Mew looked at him curiously and, without any warning whatsoever, flew down and wormed up his shirt. “H-H-Hey, quit it!” he cried as she wiggled around under there. After a moment, her head popped out alongside his.

    You’ve sustained a lot of damage too, she noted. You took an Aura Sphere directly, didn’t you?

    “Well, yes, but it doesn’t hurt that much anymore.”

    Because the energy damages nerves. Just because you’re not feeling pain doesn’t mean you’re not hurt. You shouldn’t be up and around as you are—your body needs time to heal.

    “Says you.”

    I’m going to heal faster in the end. You, on the other hand, have a weaker constitution.

    Was I just called “weak” by a fetus? he thought sourly. She glowered at that but didn’t respond. “But we don’t have time for that, do we? Because the longer we lay around here and do psyduck-all, the higher the chance of more anomalies appearing.”

    Still, you’re not going to be much help as you are, she said, and neither will Linda. She left his shirt and sat next to Koko, whose chest was barely moving from shallow breaths. And without her, you’re down to just one pokémon.

    “You can’t summon any legendaries to help?” he said, hating how he was practically begging. She hesitated.

    I… Maybe, Mew admitted. I could put out a call of sorts, but—

    “Do it.”

    Melchior, they might not be—

    “Do it!” he repeated, louder. Mew’s eyes narrowed slightly a second before his throat tightened. He froze, thinking it was an attack, then he realized something external was stopping him from breathing.

    It’s almost certain that if a legendary pokémon comes into this world, it won’t be to help, she continued unhindered. Giratina is the main cause with his bad track record, however there are those that naturally despise the underworld. In fact, that is the reason it was so hard to find a pokémon to come resolve the anomalies in the first place: they either hate the world or hate the humans in it. They’re too cynical to do you three any sort of goodwill favor.

    “—But,” he gasped as he could breathe again, rubbing his throat. “You’re talking about a majority. A minority has to exist—you’re proof of that much, right?”

    A minority is referred to as such for a reason, you know. And even if I did find one of my friends, I myself am unable to create portals.

    “Really? Even you?” She started to speak but hesitated.

    It would be a gambit, she said after a moment. I can make a portal by discharging energy into the atmosphere, but there is no guarantee that the one who comes through will be friendly.

    “Then again, do we have anything left to lose? The cost’s the same whether we act or sit here.” Our whole lives have become a big game of “roll the dice,” he thought. How bad have things really gotten that we can put everything on one stupid chance occurrence?

    I don’t think the problem lies in your life itself, Mew said pensively. More because the circumstances around you have changed. And… He felt a little tingle like an itch on the back of his head as Mew hummed. You wanted the risks of a journey, didn’t you? What’s the problem now?

    “I didn’t consider all this sci-fi muk as part of the package!”

    A journey isn’t such without adventure, and adventure isn’t such without life perils, love and loss and the change that comes with it! She flew a loop-de-loop with a sudden excitement, eyes wide. That’s—excuse me for interjecting my opinion, but I think that to be the best part of being human: you can go and travel and experience and live as you please! Us, we’re confined to our worlds with few able to traverse up and down Yggdrasil, and the legendaries are not the most…amicable company, especially after some centuries spent together.

    He’s never thought of it that way, but still, things seem to tip in Mew’s favor. “Well? Are you up for it?”

    I… I’ll try, she said reluctantly, slumping. Mel realized after a moment that she wasn’t just slumping but falling from the air entirely. He reached out and caught her before she hit the ground. Tired, she breathed, blinking rapidly. She was so small and light, reminding him of how physically inept Mew really was.

    “…I’m tired too,” he admitted shortly. “…Been a long day. Both of us can use some rest, huh? Or I should say the three of us,” he added, glancing at Koko. “Or…the four of us. There’s a lot of us.”

    Mm.

    “This is like the calm before the storm,” he muttered, staring at Mew. She mumbled something under her breath before taking the form of a pikachu again. “Tomorrow, we either get an ally, or we all die. It’s funny in a grave sort of way.” He scooted back to rest his head against the mattress, and Koko curled her body around him, giving off the bit of warmth she still had.

    Do you regret leaving home, Melchior? she asked softly. He let out a breath.

    “I hate that name, you know… But yes, I do, and every second I see our situation get worse I regret it even more.”

    Mel, you shouldn’t hate yourself over this, Mew muttered. You were the driving force here, but maybe it would’ve been your sister in five years. I believe that the world functions upon certainty, and so while you were the cause now, anything would have caused it after any given amount of time. …Mel?

    “I like that logic,” he said with a short breath and a wry smile. “I really do.”
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      #28    
    Old March 20th, 2017 (10:24 PM).
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    Darkinium Z
     
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    Dang, sounds like Koko's getting worse there. I like Mel being vulnerable there when the nurse told him Koko's not going to make it. So Mel and the group will be going to Yggdrasil, huh? About time, heh.
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      #29    
    Old April 11th, 2017 (7:20 AM). Edited April 11th, 2017 by Aisu.
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    Aisu Aisu is offline
       
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      Spoiler:
      3.3. fear and love and loathing.
      part iii

      linda’s p.o.v.


      Linda would’ve been lying if she said she expected Mel to be there when she woke up, not because he didn’t care—in fact, it was because he cared so much she was certain he’d go out and do something stupid to try to help her—but it still didn’t sit right with her when she opened her eyes and saw she was alone. She was still exhausted however, and fell asleep again right after.

      “Hey, Lindy, are you sleeping? Wake up.”

      “Mel,” she murmured, opening her eyes to see him crouching close to her face. “Where did you go?”

      “The pokémon center.” He hesitated. “I saw Koko. And—no, don’t cry again—and I saw Mew. We’ve made…a plan.”

      “A plan?” she asked, wiping her eyes. He nodded once.

      “Giratina’s been captured, and we’re not exactly in a condition to help, so we’ve come up with the idea to get another legendary to help. If nothing else, they can fix Koko so we’ll have her back on our side.”

      “But Mel, the legendary pokémon aren’t nice.”

      “Not most of them anyway, but we’re hoping for the best. The alternative is that we sit and do nothing.”

      “I see that, but… I don’t know, Mel, I don’t like the sound of this,” she admitted.

      “I’m trying to believe that we can still have a little luck. It’s our last option, Lindy. If it doesn’t work, then well…” He just shook his head. “Anyway, I’m breaking you out of here.” He held up a bundle of clothes and flowery sandals. With some help from him, she managed to sit up without too much pain, and he pulled the hospital gown over her head. She managed the rest on her own and turned to him when he slung on a Trainer’s backpack.

      “Where are we going?”

      “Somewhere far from the city, in case…you know.” He shrugged a shoulder, trying to look passive, but there was pain on his face too. “Oh, and you’re going to need to change your face a little.”

      “Why?”

      “We’re a little…famous at the moment,” he said sheepishly, turning away. “You know, because Giratina was with us.”

      “Oh.” It made sense, but she couldn’t see herself drastically changing her appearance. “But you didn’t disguise yourself?”

      “I snuck around, but considering that we have to leave town, we’re gonna have to face some people. It shouldn’t be anything major—simple things can throw a stranger off our tracks. Like, uh…” He rooted through the backpack for a few seconds before pulling out a pair of glasses with a skewed wire frame.

      “Where did you get those?” she asked, wrinkling her nose as she tried looking through them.

      “The hospital’s lost and found. People lose some pretty nice stuff there.” He held up an MP3 player, scratched but in good condition, and a cellphone. “By the way, the stuff I picked up had been there six months or more, so I doubt the owners were coming back for them.” She looked up in surprise as he held the phone up to her face. It took a moment, but she recognized the number he had dialed. “If you want to… I mean, this may be the last time we’ll talk to them.”

      “They’ll be mad,” she whispered, swallowing.

      “Totally. But I think they’d be easier on you than me.”

      “At the same time?” she suggested. He nodded, but it took him a while longer to work up the nerve to press the dial button. The ringing tone filled the silent room and Mel muttered some sort of prayer about them not being home. At the last second a phone clicked on the other end:

      “Hello?” Tears welled in Linda’s eyes—it felt like she hadn’t heard her mother’s voice in years. Mel, too, looked stricken, but tried to hide it. “Hell-o?”

      “Mom…”

      “Wha— Linda? Linda, is that you?” Her mom’s voice cracked and static sounded as she dropped the phone. She picked it up after a moment, sounding completely breathless. “Linda, what happened? Where did you two go? Is Melchior there too?”

      “I’m here,” he said flatly. She took a few moments to compose herself, and when she returned she sounded more suspicious and angry than tearfully relieved.

      “Why did you two leave?” she demanded. “Do you know how worried sick I was?”

      “It was my fault,” Mel said, setting the phone down between them and wringing his hands together. “I wanted to leave, and…and she tried to talk me out of it, but she came along just to make sure I didn’t die or anything. It’s my fault, Mom.”

      “Why? Why would you want to leave?”

      “I didn’t— I wanted a journey.” He looked ashamed now, ashamed and pitiful. “It sounds pretty pathetic and selfish now that I say it out loud, but back then it was all I could think about. You were so paranoid about me that I’d relapse at any second, and I hated being treated like glass. I wanted…something normal, and being a Trainer is about as normal as things can get.” He squared his shoulders for a second, then all the energy left his body. “But things went…bad. Horrible. I wish I would’ve stayed. I’m sorry. Sorry doesn’t even cut it here.”

      “It doesn’t matter,” she said finally after a moment of silence. “When are you two coming back?” There it was, the hardest part of the conversation. Linda hid behind her hands, trying to choke down a sob. Mel’s hand was light on her shoulder as he answered:

      “We don’t know.”

      “You don’t know…?”

      “When we’ll be coming back.” And a pause, and both his arms went around her, holding her as if she was glass, but she could sense he was on the precipice of breaking too. “Or…if we’ll be coming back.”

      “You would really leave, leave and not come back?” she asked in a faint voice that cracked slightly. Linda shook her head even though she couldn’t see them.

      “It’s not that… We want to come back, but we might…we may…die,” Linda whispered. It was the first time either had acknowledged it, and it brought the crushing weight of reality down like a fist from god.

      It didn’t make sense, it made no sense. They were just thirteen years old, two thirteen-year-olds from an average town of an average province looking for an average journey. They were meant to go out, and Mel would realize he should go back after a lengthy period of his legendary stubbornness, and eventually they’d return home, and their mother would be cross but forgive them in time, and things would be fine, things would be normal.

      Instead, what they found was Giratina—Orville at the time—and he dragged them onto the adventure of several lifetimes. They’ve encountered Legendary Pokémon, Mew and Latios (the latter of which not being a pleasant one) that they’d never think of seeing, but not only were they proven real, they were just as powerful as they seemed. Just as apathetic as they seemed, too, or else the three of them wouldn’t have been in such a huge conundrum. She wished that the Pokémon were as friendly as the stories told, but they were just stories after all. She remembered the days of reading them and wished she could go back, both her and Mel, to the days of dreaming of a journey rather than being thrown under the bridge for one.

      They had a grand purpose. They were to help Giratina find and resolve the anomaly problem, which was Linda, which made their goals coincide. Maybe, then, if Linda had told him of her problem sooner, it could’ve been resolved sooner, and none of that would have happened. But it was all in the past and couldn’t be changed; they were in the future, and they were to put all their energy into fixing what they’d begun.

      “Die?” Linda and Mel’s mom repeated. “What? Why would you two… What’s going on, Mel, Linda?”

      “It’s a lot to explain,” Linda began, and Mel pulled away to give her a hard look. Don’t say it, it said, and she understood. Their mother was very down-to-earth, had never considered going on a Trainer’s journey even when she was younger and the excitement was at its peak. She couldn’t understand the importance of their situation—she’d demand them to come home anyway, or even if she didn’t, Linda still couldn’t risk her by going back. “…I’m sorry, Mom. We’re both so sorry.”

      “Linda, Mel—”

      “We wanted to talk to you one more time,” Mel said, scrubbing his eyes. “But hopefully, this won’t be the last time. We don’t want to do this, but we must, so please believe in us, Mom. Please.”

      “You two—”

      “We love you,” Linda said. “More than anything. And we’re sorry for leaving, again. Bye, Mom…”

      “Bye, Mom…”

      “I love you two too, but wait—”

      They hung up. Then they held each other for a long time in silence.

      ╬╬╬

      Linda’s back ached. It made sense considering what had happened, but what didn’t make sense was the sense that the pain increased with each footstep towards the train station. Mel was a few paces ahead of her, his shoulders slumped but his head high. Mew was flying next to him in the form of a togekiss.

      She thought of seeing Koko before they left, gently stroking her fur as she’d done a million times before, and saying her goodbyes. Perhaps it was because Koko knew she would be dying either way, but she wasn’t as distraught as Linda was, which was comforting. Neither said anything the whole time, until Linda was leaving and Koko spoke up: “You won’t die. I know you won’t.” Her certainty made Linda’s stomach turn.

      “Linda?” Mel asked in concern. She shook it off and clapped her hands to her cheeks, bringing herself back to the present moment and jogging to catch up with them.

      “I’m…not fine,” she admitted. “I can’t be.”

      “It’d be shocked if you were fine,” he said with a bitter smile.

      “How are you doing, Mew?”

      “Better,” she said, but she didn’t seem happy.

      “What’s wrong?”

      “I don’t like this, not at all,” was all she said before turning away. Linda looked at Mel, who didn’t have the strength to look back at her, and they continued.

      When they reached the station, Mel bought their tickets while Linda and Mew sat in a café that overlooked the hoary landscape around them. Linda ordered for the three of them while Mew rolled a pokéball between her wings. “Isn’t that Shady’s?” Linda asked. “When did Mel get him back?”

      “Before you woke,” she answered. “He had to go back to Orville’s room to do so, and it was none more pleasant than the first time, but with me it was easier.”

      “What did you do to him? Orville?”

      “I only put him to sleep. I didn’t want to hurt him, not after what Giratina had done…” She sighed and brought the pokéball to a halt. “Us legendary pokémon, we were created by Arceus to make humans’ lives easier, but all we do is lurk within our own realms and loathe them as humans loathe insects.”

      “Doesn’t it care though? Arceus doesn’t care?”

      “I wouldn’t know. We don’t see Arceus too often—it’s busy maintaining all existence majority of the time. We only really see him for gatherings, like the one we had before Giratina came. In fact, gatherings are where a lot of us reunite for the first time in decades. We don’t interact often, period.”

      “That’s horrible. I couldn’t imagine having that kind of relationship with Mel.” Mew laughed a little.

      “I envy you two’s relationship.”

      Mel returned just as the food arrived: watermelon for her and Mew, a gyro for Mel. He stared at it for a moment. “The hell is this?”

      “Mel!”

      “Sorry. What is this?”

      “It’s a gyro, I saw it on the menu. It’s chicken in flatbread with tomatoes and onion and tzatziki sauce—I thought it sounded exotic.”

      “And you just got it for me and not for you?” he deadpanned, frowning, as he unwrapped it and peered inside like a zubat was going to jump out.

      “Because you would’ve just gotten bread or something plainer. At least once, Mel, you should try something new. You’re not gonna get sick off of random foods anymore,” Linda said. He blinked, his frown deepening, then he picked up the wrap and took a bite with no further complaints and continued to eat in a concerning silence.

      “This is amazing!” Mew exclaimed after taking a bite of watermelon. “It’s so sweet!”

      “Right?” Linda agreed, beaming alongside her. “You’ve never had it before?”

      No, she said in amazement.

      “It must not have been in season when you came.”

      I’ve come a lot, she said offhandedly, the juice matting her feathers down. Maybe it was just a hidden gem. Like you two.

      Mel and Linda exchanged a look, then gazed at Mew, who was still enjoying the watermelon. “What do you mean?”

      I’m glad to have met you two, she continued, that’s what I mean. She swallowed, and for just a second she appeared in her normal form. It’s actually not that often that the universe is in danger and we legendaries can take direct part in the affairs. I believe that the last interesting thing that happened was with a Sceptile and an odd Zoroark, but my memory’s faulty sometimes.

      “But…didn’t we cause trouble?” They realized they were speaking in sync and broke apart. Linda continued timidly, “It’s because of me that the anomalies are happening in the first place. That doesn’t bother you?”

      Anomalies within themselves are common—every half century or so they’ll happen one way or another. As I’ve told Mel already, the fault doesn’t lie with either of you. It’s just something that happened, and fate chose it to happen to you. And when it’s over… She looked down at the half-eaten watermelon with a sour expression. If you two last that long, in any case.

      The pressure that had momentarily subsided returned in a heartbeat, smothering them once more. Maybe fate found it better to give them a break in the wake of what they were doing, because as a train pulled up Mel announced that it was theirs. Linda left her watermelon untouched—she didn’t much feel like eating anymore.

      ╬╬╬

      “You still remember the day we left?”

      Linda was surprised to see Mel’s clothes thrown through the doorway as she walked up the hall. Koko jumped out of her backpack and onto the floor, sniffing at them curiously, while Linda forged ahead into his bedroom. He had his drawers yanked out and all his possessions scattered except a few piled onto his bed.

      “Linda!” he exclaimed when he saw her. His face was flushed and his hair was wildly disheveled as he held his hands out. “Let me get your backpack?”

      “Yes, but—Mel!” she cried as she handed it over and he dumped her stuff out unceremoniously. He began packing his own belongings inside.

      “I’m leaving today,” he muttered as he went. “Right now, in fact. I’m leaving on a journey, me and Shady.”

      “You’re…leaving us?” she whispered. “Leaving me?” He hesitated, but just for a second.

      “It’s something I have to do, Lindy.”

      “You’re not going alone,” she interjected, stepping forward. He zipped up the stuffed bag and hauled it onto his shoulders with a huff, staring at her with wide eyes. Koko barked her agreement as Mel straightened. Then, slowly, he smiled.

      “Well, can’t argue there.”


      Linda hugged herself tighter as she watched Snowbelle City disappear into the wintry horizon. She wondered if she would ever see the city again—or rather, if she would ever see anything again.

      “Of course,” Linda responded.

      The trees of the forest were soon gone as well, leaving only piles and piles of snow. It almost looked like a scene from a dream, it was so abstract.

      “Feels like centuries ago.” Mel paused, then looked at Mew, who was taking up space in his lap. She had gone oddly silent since the ride began—Linda assumed she was meditating. “Meeting Giratina, the other hand, feels like seconds ago. I dunno, there are these weird blank spaces where I’d expect him to insult me and shove me around.” He paused again. “I miss him.”

      “Me, too.”

      “So the man, the real Orville,” Linda asked tentatively, “is he in pain?” Orville gave her a very odd look, like he felt an emotion that he couldn’t articulate on his face.

      “Is he…in pain?” he repeated. “Well…I said that he is, didn’t I?”

      “And you’re in pain too?” He just nodded, still bewildered. “It sounds cruel, that the both of you are in constant pain,” she said with a sad look.

      “No, no, no no no, please don’t pity me,” he sighed, slouching over again. “I don’t want it, nor do I need it. If there’s one thing Arceus can teach you, it’s that pain is just as irrelevant as time. There are worse things than pain, Linda, like…” He deflated even more if it was possible, then he turned on his heel and started walking again, muttering incomprehensibly to himself.


      The rest of the people in the car had gone to the dining cart. After a moment, Mew returned to normal, lining up with the window and watching the flat landscape turn to snowcapped mini-mountains. “Have you ever been captured, Mew?” Mel asked all of a sudden.

      …No, she said after a moment’s thought, turning to look at him. I don’t get caught off-guard a lot. Also, most of my time here is spent in Yggdrasil.

      “I thought that Yggdrasil was the portal or whatever that passes through here?”

      That’s the old name for it, yes. More modernly, it’s known as the Tree of Beginnings.

      “The Tree of Beginnings!” Linda exclaimed. “I’ve read about that! It’s a kind of sanctuary for all pokémon over at the edge of Kanto. But it really connects to other worlds?”

      It does, she confirmed. Although only legendary pokémon can access that portal, it is the Tree of Beginnings that holds it. Still, the pokémon within exist in a slightly different space than yours. It’s a beautiful place even without the Yggdrasil title. It’s equal parts sunny and rainy for all pokémon to enjoy, and there’s always plump and delicious berries to eat and the pokémon are friendly.

      “Asgard,” Mel muttered. Mew gave him a peculiar look and he shrugged. “I mean, it fits with Yggdrasil…”

      Hmm?

      “Never mind.”

      I want to know! she protested. Mel crossed his arms and looked away, at which she huffed angrily, but the effect was lost with her size. Melchior!

      “I told you I don’t like that name!” he snapped.

      Melchior!

      “Ugh!”

      Linda laughed with it, getting an exasperated expression from Mel, and she ruffled his hair in response. He glanced out the window and saw something that made his eyes widen.

      “We’re here,” he announced in a grim tone. She followed his gaze but couldn’t see anything but more snow and frost.

      “Where is ‘here?’”

      “It’s an old Trainer’s battlefield,” he explained. “It’s been abandoned for a long time because the area’s gotten colder recently. There’s nobody for miles around.”

      “Oh. —Oh.” She gently picked up Mew, who returned to a togekiss in her arms, and stood. Mel’s head was down as the train kept speeding past.

      “Mew?” he said quietly. She nodded and reached out, touching his outstretched hand with her wing. The colors of the train blurred and smudged around them, and for a moment Linda felt dizzy, then the ambient reds and browns were replaced by bright whites and greys and blues. She blinked into the sudden sunlight and watched the train continue on for a moment, then Mew moaned as a trickle of blood came from the corner of her mouth.

      I’m fine, she said, turning back and flying into the air, itching at her bandages. It’s going to take some readjusting. I’ll be fine.

      “Can you still do it?” Mel asked when Linda didn’t have the nerve to.

      Yes, just give me a second. After a few breaths, she closed her eyes as energy started sparking around her. This is the last chance for you two to stop this. When the anomaly opens, there is no telling who will come out. They may kill you on the spot.

      Mel and Linda grasped each other’s hands. He sighed shakily, his breath freezing into a misty cloud. “Two halves of one whole. Just like the sun and moon make up a day—”

      “—love and hate make up a person,” she said in response, squeezing his hand. They gazed at Mew, who was waiting with an expression that was equal parts anxious and exasperated.

      “Do it.”
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      Old April 12th, 2017 (9:40 PM).
      Bay's Avatar
      Bay Bay is offline
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      Quote:
      I’m glad to have met you two, she continued, that’s what I mean. She swallowed, and for just a second she appeared in her normal form. It’s actually not that often that the universe is in danger and we legendaries can take direct part in the affairs. I believe that the last interesting thing that happened was with a Sceptile and an odd Zoroark, but my memory’s faulty sometimes.
      I spot another fic reference there. =P

      Anyways, the scene with the siblings saying goodbye to their mother is sad, though I'm glad Mel explained to her as to why he wanted to leave home. The part where Mel got mad over his full name being called out was cute, heh. Now, to Yggdrasil!
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        #31    
      Old April 14th, 2017 (8:14 PM).
      Aisu's Avatar
      Aisu Aisu is offline
         
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        Spoiler:
        3.4. fear and love and loathing.
        part iv

        giratina’s p.o.v.



        It took a fair amount of time before Giratina discovered that there existed a meadow of those grassy rats. It was an entirely accidental discovery by means of Regigigas taking it on a “tour” of the northern reaches of Sinnoh, and stumbling upon the hidden Flower Meadow past the Seabreak Path. It hoped that it at least looked damn terrifying, coming in there roaring and stomping. To his immense pleasure, they all went flying at the sight of him.

        “You’re here?” a young voice said from over his shoulder. He spun around, jaws open on instinct, and a flying shaymin easily dodged with a peeved expression. “I’ve heard of you, Giratina of the Distortion World. You cause trouble for every generation of shaymin.”

        “It’s my fault?” he sputtered indignantly. “The story is twisted coming from your mouth.”

        “It was the word of Esteemed Elder,” he protested, flying close enough that Giratina could see fury in his scarlet eyes. “It never lies.”

        “The Elder, eh? Where is this old fart?” The shaymin bristled further but kept himself under control.

        “Why would I lead you over? So that you could eat it?”

        “Contrary to popular belief,” Giratina said coolly, “I am not a vegetarian.”

        “You—”

        “Yes, me,” it interrupted. “And anyhow, I’m here as a guest who also happens to be a
        legendary pokémon higher up the hierarchy than yourself, which also means I’m closer to Arceus’ godly ears. Maybe I’m not asking nicely enough,” it supposed, relishing that blasted shaymin’s incensed expression. “May I please have a word with this Esteemed Elder of yours?”

        “…As you wish, Giratina,” he grumbled. Giratina pretended not to notice the swarm of bladed leaves that went flying his way as he was led across the field of multicolored, nose-clogging flowers. The sun’s rays were extraordinarily powerful and beat relentlessly on his semisolid skin, and with every heavy step of his, the tiny pokémon nestling under the plants dispersed into the wind. Soon, the repeating backdrop shifted to miniature mounds and burrows that he assumed the shaymin slept in. They were banked by a lake so clear that Suicune would shrivel in jealously at the sight of it.

        “Could it be any brighter out here?” Giratina groused.

        “Some of us thrive in the sunlight, you chthonic ghost,” Shaymin muttered.

        “Yes, and other, better creatures thrive in darkness.”

        “Oh, you mean like moss?” he replied innocently, and had the gall to grow a bushel of the blue-green stuff and wad it up on Giratina’s mouth guards. Giratina let out a cutting laugh as he turned intangible, letting it fall to the ground.

        “Very amusing, Shaymin,” he said, eyes glinting. “In comparison, my talents aren’t nearly as versatile. I can only do a simple trick with mirrors…” As they passed the lake, Giratina brushed the tip lightly with his tail. The water rippled before sucking inwards, and bounced back with a large and blocky object that slammed Shaymin from the sky and onto the graciously soft bluegrass. While he struggled with the old television set, Giratina continued towards the largest cave in the area.

        “Look, look, it’s the Giratina that Elder is always talking about!” a smaller shaymin said to a whismur. He had to admit he was feeling pretty big, being a warning among the shaymin community. He opened his mouth guards and spread his wings to look extra terrifying as Shaymin grunted something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like “son of an itch.”

        To say the inside of the cave was a tight fit would be like saying Sootopolis City was a little wet. It was a formation made for things shaymin-sized, and Giratina was not that. Luckily, the advantage of being semisolid was that he could shift his general build within the confines of his Altered Form, and he shrunk down until the rocky walls were only a slight bother. Inside was even more fit to burst of foliage than outdoors, and the scents made his nose itch terribly, but he had a strong suspicion that if he sneezed, he would blow away the fragile skeleton that was their Elder.

        “Brother,” she said in a fatigued yet cheery voice, rising on shaky feet. She was in Sky Form like the others, but her feathers were ruffled and bent out of shape, and her leaves were wilted and browning at the tips. Still, those ruby eyes were as defiant as they were years ago. How many years ago would that be in underworld time? He felt sick not knowing.

        “I am not your brother,” he snarled, tucking his wings tightly among the ridges of his armor. Elder Shaymin tittered, utterly pleased with herself still. Her primary feathers vibrated with her laughter.

        “As you say,” she replied, jumping into the air. Her wings pumped slowly, but sadly there was no sight of her falling anytime soon as she hovered about his head. He snapped, or at least made his best attempt to, but the lack of space made it hard to connect with his target. “How have you been?”

        “Fine, until I found this place,” he replied edgily, his shoulders grating against the walls as he backed away and out of the cave. Shaymin watched him with wide eyes before following, flapping up to rest on the roof.

        “This is our home,” she said brightly, waving a paw around to the endless expanse of pasture and flora. “Hundreds of generations of us since the earth was conceived. Did you know that, before we were here, this was simply a mound of dirt in the water? But with us came the meadows, and with the meadows came thousands of pokemon species that now call this place home.”

        “Is that so,” he ground out. Envy was not his prime emotion when faced with shaymin, but knowing that their existence provided homes and lives while his did little more than convenience/inconvenience those around him was humbling. For a second, he wished they would trade places, then he swore at himself for thinking that nonsense. He shook his head with a low growl. “Shaymin, Elder Shaymin, whatever—how long has it been since we last fought within my world?”

        “Since then, it’s been…” She crouched and folded her legs beneath her, tucking her wings in. “Hmm… Somewhere in the range of one hundred years… No, wait, three hundred would be more accurate. Somewhere between three hundred and three-fifty.”

        Three hundred years. That was well through a shaymin’s existence, then again grass-types lived generally shorter lives than other pokemon, especially when said pokemon were legendary pokemon. It shook its head slowly in disbelief. “Time passes,” Giratina said absently.

        “Indeed it does.”

        “But, if all this time has passed, why haven’t you return—” Giratina cut off upon realizing the implications of what it was saying, but Shaymin understood nonetheless.

        “That is to say, you wanted me to be there fighting with you?” she said with a smile. “You liked that?”

        “I didn’t say all that!” She chuckled.

        “Well, I found more interesting things to do, no offense,” she replied a bit cheekily. “Some of these children are mine, you know.” There weren’t many legendaries that could freely reproduce—as a matter of fact, they were almost all genderless, including the ones who could reproduce, but some had special circumstances that exempted them from being infertile, such as the fact that grass-types reproduced by seeds and not physically—and envy for them was much more common. But Giratina was never one to buy into the whole family situation, perhaps because his own family had disillusioned him to the whole thing.

        “They look like you.” He paused. “That’s a stupid thing to say.”

        “Shaymin can look different,” she protested. “There are a lot of subtleties that a giant like you wouldn’t notice, I guess, but the more obvious differences would be in the types of grass and plants growing from our heads. Some grow barley, others bluegrass, others cotton, and the flowers can be poinsettias, daises, lilies…” She then jumped into a longer discussion of the species’ nuances, which Giratina found about as interesting as pulling teeth.

        “Nevertheless,” he interrupted as Shaymin got into “the good part,” “I do believe you have better things to do than to speak with me.”

        “You know what?” the Esteemed Elder said with a familiar, mischievous glint to her eyes, “I do have better things to do. There isn’t much fun to be had these days, being a legendary among pokemon much weaker than I. I constantly have to pull my punches. Now, if I was to fight someone on equal standing with me…”

        “In layman’s terms, then, you want to battle me again?” He’d be lying if he said his blood didn’t light up at the sound of it.

        “In formal terms, yes. In layman’s terms, now, then I want to battle you, Giratina.” Giratina stared for a couple of seconds before smirking.

        “Well, it would be impudent of me to ignore the wishes of the Esteemed Elder, so I will have to agree.”

        “Great!” she exclaimed with a grin that matched her youth far more than her old age. The prick shaymin returned with a deeper scowl than before, landing at her side. “I wish for the area to be cleared,” she told him. “I will be doing battle.”

        “But, Esteemed Elder, none of us wish for you to be harmed,” he protested. She waved him off, still smiling.

        “Don’t worry about me—I’ve survived a lot more than you can imagine! Now, please?”

        “A…As you wish.” He flew down to the ground, and after a moment the grassland pokemon were clearing the area, hurrying towards their burrows with eager eyes peeking over the lips. Giratina backed away an acceptable distance from Elder Shaymin, who kept her place with the beam still clear on her face. “This battle will be between the Esteemed Elder and…Giratina,” he said with significantly less energy. “Both pokemon will fight until one or both cannot rise again. Let the battle…commence!”

        “This’ll be fun!” Elder Shaymin exclaimed. Giratina grimaced—did she really consider their previous scuffles some version of “fun?”—but before he could process the thought, she was on him. He had forgotten how fast she could be at times—within the span of a heartbeat, she was back in the air and on him, and by the time he managed to jump backwards, she had already struck him across the face and was several feet away skidding across the grass when he had recovered. His face stung, and he wondered how speedy an old shaymin could possibly be.

        Giratina planted its hoofs into the ground with a warning snarl, then released a widespread Flamethrower. Shaymin ran in a tight arc before leaping onto a spongey fungus that launched it into a highspeed spin that took it higher and higher, easily clearing the flames’ reach.
        I have wings too, prick, it thought angrily, pumping them and launching into the air. It wasn’t as fast, but it gained more altitude with each stroke, both due to raw strength and its ability to nearly nullify its weight totally. Shaymin made a short note of surprise as Giratina rounded on it, then gasped aloud as its tail went swinging. It tried to dodge but was a beat too slow, and Giratina had it spinning back towards the earth.

        “Elder!” the other Shaymin cried. “Don’t lose to that degenerate Giratina!” Giratina rolled his eyes—what an asskisser, that one. Elder Shaymin maybe did find the cry encouraging, because afterwards she righted herself with a swirling ball of green and watery energy forming in the air between them. The Energy Ball shot wide of Giratina and he dodged with a smirk, then turned back to see Shaymin glowing bright green. She lowered her head and a cloud of golden seeds exploded into his face.

        “Aagh!” he shouted, shaking his head furiously. He was forced to shut his eyes against the blinding pain, and without them he was left defenseless as Shaymin struck at the soft bits of skin between his armor over and over again.

        “Things never change, do they, Brother?” she jeered. He growled and swung back and force, clipping only air and grass as the true target of his rage flipped and flitted about easily. He remembered a time when he was envious of that too, a Shaymin’s intrinsic mastery of the air. For him, he basically fumbled his way around, especially in Altered Form.

        “For your sake, you better hope that things are the same!” he warned as he hit the ground with a heavy whump! It sounded like all the pokemon cleared his way and he didn’t feel any tiny bodies squish beneath his hooves. “Time out!”

        “What is it?” the bastard shaymin sighed. Giratina blinked heavily a few times but couldn’t manage a better sight than a watercolor world. Still, it was better than nothing.

        “Your Elder Shaymin is in its natural element,” it told the shaymin. “Shouldn’t I be owed the same?”

        “I’m sorry that we cannot transfer your twisted dimension over,” it replied dryly. Giratina stamped a hoof, sending the little pokemon scattering once more.

        “Then do me one better! Over there is my Orb—bring it here.” Giratina didn’t think it would need it, but now it seemed that the playing field needed levelling. Shaymin groused and grumbled but flew over to the area, rolling the Griseous Orb that was twice its size over to its owner. Giratina nestled up to it gratefully, feeling the familiar energy of his world flow through the cool surface and warm his skin. His body lightened and his wings shifted into more solid talons that curled into his sides at the sunlight. More importantly, his mouth guards sealed up, protecting a good fifty percent of his face from further injury.

        “Are you prepared now, Distortion Pokémon?” Shaymin asked with a tone that said it couldn’t be less interested whether the answer was affirmative or not. Giratina snorted and turned back to the other annoying green rat.

        “Does this answer your question?” Elder Shaymin wasn’t ready to dodge as Giratina rushed over, snaking across the grass to coil about it. Shaymin’s small size was no advantage as Giratina pulled tighter and tighter until it finally let out a pitiful breath.

        “Hurts—!” it cried.

        “Yes, it does,” Giratina agreed, getting close to it. Shaymin’s eyes were pointed, sharper, but still it was defiant, still it persisted. Giratina nodded once in acknowledgement of its long-time adversary before squeezing even tighter. Shaymin’s body glowed green again and Giratina turned its face away, but this time it had another trick: the grass and flowers around them broke away and began swirling faster and faster, forming a funnel of foliage that sliced itty-bitty papercuts into Giratina’s skin. “Was this supposed to hurt?”

        “No,” Shaymin choked out. The plants came to a standstill for a single breath, then they were propelled high into the air where they were compressed as if by a giant hand and formed into a massive leaf that eclipsed the painful sun. “This.” The leaf raised, then flapped down. The ensuing energy wave was so strong that Giratina was forced back into solid form, then the gust that followed was so powerful that Giratina was sent rolling across the field. After a while he stopped himself by rooting its talons, and just in time: a second later and it would’ve plunged into the water, and swimming was not one of its many skills.

        “Loser,” Elder Shaymin said, landing right at the epoch of its mouth guards. Giratina hissed in outrage.

        “The battle has not been decided yet!”

        “Loser loser loser,” it repeated, buffering Giratina with its wings. It roared in indignation, sending Shaymin flying, but as it tried to rise it found itself stuck. When it glanced over, it saw that thick green vines had sprouted around its talons and served as chains binding it to the earth. “You shouldn’t have given my seeds a chance to take root.”

        “You—you—”

        “Giratina is unable to rise,” said the other shaymin with far too much smugness. “Therefore, I conclude the winner—the obvious winner from the start—to be our Esteemed Elder.”

        “I had fun,” Elder Shaymin said, slowing its descent until it hit the ground.

        “Augh! You bastard!” Giratina roared, struggling and straining to no avail. Pokémon were drawing close, observing it like a sort of sideshow, and its anger grew to boiling point. The next one that dared to step near, Giratina slammed its tail down on whoever the poor bastard was.

        “Son of a rattata!” Shaymin exclaimed, stroking his damaged wings. Mud stained his white feathers, probably from when he face-planted, and Giratina would’ve been lying if he said that he didn’t get some pleasure from the sight. “This is why you should remain in your world, rather than destroy ours!” he growled, gesturing to the uprooted land and crushed flora all around them.

        “Excuse me, this was a two-part job here.”

        “Yes, but can you regrow plants within the span of a few seconds?” he demanded acerbically. Giratina rolled his eyes.

        “I don’t know about that, but I can regrow indifference magically quickly.”

        “Things like you have one place to be, and that is away from everyone else. I’d think Arceus a genius, then, for shoving you in the corner as he did.”

        “That is enough!” Elder Shaymin said, but it was too late. Giratina was back in the air, huge gobs of earth dripping from the vines that it had dragged along, eyes glowing even brighter than the sun.

        “I hope you’ve already said your final goodbyes,” he snarled, sinking into the shadows below. Shaymin jumped into the air but its ruffled wings couldn’t hold it, and it sunk down into Giratina’s open and waiting maw. Giratina only had time to savor its shocked yell before the Elder swooped in like the hero it had to be, snatching its wayward child and carrying it to safety. Giratina’s Origin Form dissolved and it hit the ground with a dissatisfied grunt.

        “Giratina!” the Esteemed Elder cried, anything but cheer on its face now. Its not-nearly-as-interesting son gave him a death glare that easily carried across the uprooted ground. “I believe it’s time you take your leave.”

        “Great,” it said, snatching up its Griseous Orb before taking off.
        It’s not as if I’ve ever expected to be buddy-buddy with the Shaymin population, it thought with a grimace as it broke through the cloud barrier. It’s not like I needed another set of enemies on my already long list, however. In any case, I don’t think I’ll ever have a problem with those rats.
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          #32    
        Old April 14th, 2017 (8:16 PM).
        Aisu's Avatar
        Aisu Aisu is offline
           
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          Spoiler:
          3.5. fear and love and loathing.
          part v

          ???’s p.o.v.



          The light was blinding and all-consuming only for a moment. When it subsided, all had changed.

          What’s happened? Where am I now?

          Green eyes blinked into another grand source of light—the sun. Scanning the area provided the sights of a frail-looking human girl and—oh, wow—and of Mew, who was hovering several feet from the frost-powdered ground and glaring with clenched paws.

          “Of all the pokémon to appear,” it said in a low voice. Its eyes, normally round and bright and full of wonder, were narrowed to chips of azure.

          A quirk of lips, real tangible lips, as those green eyes acknowledged small and pale hands that clasped and unclasped on command. Then a sharp chin was thrown back to let loose an even sharper laugh.

          “Mel!” the girl cried. With a swipe of those hands that move on command, she was flat on her back in the snow, eyes dazed. Ah, snow—it wasn’t good for grass-types, let alone flying/grass-types, but it was manageable nonetheless. After all, it was not too often that portals were opened into somewhere other than that blasted Distortion World. Mew’s paws shook as its tail batted and lashed and churned the psychic energy around it. Meanwhile, those borrowed green eyes of “Mel” never lost their edge.

          It seems I’m in the underworld. And if I recall correctly, Giratina is here too.

          Now,
          this should be fun.

          --------------------
          author's note
          Spoiler:
          there will be a sequel
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            #33    
          Old April 14th, 2017 (10:22 PM).
          Bay's Avatar
          Bay Bay is offline
          Darkinium Z
           
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          Sequel, huh? Should have expected it since it seems the trip to Yggdrasil won't be a short one all things considered. But anyways, I enjoyed the flashback with Giratina and the Shaymin there, the battle being fun. Lol over Elder Shaymin chanting loser to Giratina. Been really enjoying this story overall and look forward to the sequel!
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