(Game, PG-13) The Bonds That Break
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Thread: (Game, PG-13) The Bonds That Break

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    YA RLY Blueysicle's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Default (Game, PG-13) The Bonds That Break

    Rated PG-13 for violence and mild swearing. Although the rating might get pushed up much later on...

    Anyways, since I'm here, I figured that I might want to post the Fan Fic I've been working on. I already have the prologue posted on Serebii, so the people here that are also on Serebii might have already read the prologue.

    This fic has to do with the events that take place after the game Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. Although the prologue takes place before Pokemon XD.

    DISCLAIMER: Heck, I don't really even own the computer I'm using. So I obviously don't own Pokemon. Only a few of the major characters that will appear in this fic are mine.

    But you don't want to hear me blabbering on. Let's just get on with the fic, okay? ^_^


    The crisp fall air was carried throughout the forest by the cool breeze. Dead red and brown colored leaves dragged across the ground as the wind swept them away from the trees they fell from. The sky was painted with a golden hue from the sun mixed with scarlet colored clouds.

    Michael reached for one of the leaves that skidded past him. He sat down glumly on the pavement and began twirling the leaf by the stem. Moving a strand of red hair away from his emerald eyes, he depressingly laid his hand on his cheek and sighed.

    Everything had been so chaotic at the Pokemon HQ Lab for the past five months. The entire staff was running around the place non-stop, talking about a hero that defeated some organization somewhere in the desert, and about a new project that they were working on. They've been focused on those two things and nothing else. Even Michael's own parents were caught up in the mess.

    The electronic door from behind the nine-year old boy opened and was followed by a set of footsteps. The tall man spotted Michael sitting down glumly on the pavement, and began to approach him. His snowy white lab coat swayed with the gentle wind, as did his long red hair. The words "Pokemon HQ Lab: Director" was stitched on to his lab coat.

    "Mind if I sit down?" he asked Michael; his voice calm and cool just like the breeze blowing past them.

    Michael didn't bother looking into his father's green eyes as he slightly nodded. The director sat down next to him and laid his hands on his knees. He stared into Michael's saddened face while his own began to copy the negative emotions.

    Breaking the silence, the director spoke up while staring at the ground, "I've noticed you haven't been acting very happy lately. You've been looking rather sad; as a matter of fact. Is there something wrong?"

    "You're always busy and going places. You never have time for anything else." Michael moaned, keeping all eye contact away from his father.

    "So that's what this all about." the director whispered to himself. He moved himself closer to Michael and looked him straight in the face, "Michael, I know things have been pretty hectic around the lab lately; meaning that me and your mom have been very busy."

    Michael still avoided looking at the director and began picking at the sides of the leaf in his hand. Being the head of the lab, Michael's father was always under a sea of work and stress. If he wasn't at the lab working on the new project, then he out in other places researching.

    "Of course, that's no excuse for being so inattentive. I should be spending a lot more time with you and Jovi than I have lately.” Michael’s father admitted, full of sadness and regret.

    At first, Michael believed that his father couldn't understand how he felt, but the tone of his voice was enough for the boy to finally look into his face. The director seemed about as sad as Michael was just moments ago; staring at the ground dully and watching the leaves blow past him.

    “What are you working on, anyway?” Michael wondered, changing the subject.

    “Well, it’s a machine that we call the Purification Chamber. We’re trying to make it so that it will purify Pokemon whose hearts have been closed.” Michael’s father tried to explain, not exactly sure how to.

    “What does it mean when a Pokemon’s heart has been closed?” questioned Michael. He had heard a lot of people talking about closed hearts, but he never understood what it meant.

    “It’s hard to explain. You’ll understand it better when you’re older.” the director told him, knowing that the concept was too hard and complicated for a nine-year old to comprehend.

    “Is that why you have to go away again?” Michael asked glumly, staring into the forest. The leaves from the top of the trees concealed the sunlight from the forest floor, just like loneliness shadowed Michael's emotions.

    “Unfortunately, yes. I’m not too thrilled about it either, trust me.” he admitted, giving out a small laugh, hoping that he could lighten up his and Michael’s mood.

    But Michael refused to smile. He failed to find any joy or happiness when his own father couldn’t spend time with him; even though that was all he ever wanted. Before this "Purification Chamber" came up, his father would spend time with him every day. Now, Michael would be lucky if he spoke to his father once every day.

    The director sensed his son's negative sentiments. He didn't even have to look in Michael's direction to know how Michael was feeling. Ever since the day that the boy was born, the director knew there was a tight bond between them. He always compared such ties with a Spinarak and its web. The Spinarak was connected to the web, feeling the tiniest vibrations through the strands of the web, similar to the way the director could tell what Michael was feeling no matter how much he tried to keep his emotions hidden from everyone else. If the Spinarak's web was ever destroyed, then the spider-like Pokemon would just rebuild it, restoring the web back to its tight and firm state.

    “However, I don’t know exactly how long I’ll be gone. Since things might be awfully lonely for you while I’m away...” the director began as he smiled and reached into his pocket.

    Michael’s attention shifted to the object that his father slowly pulled out. His eyes widened and his face banished all of the sadness that was present in his emotions once he saw his father hold a small red and white sphere in his hands.

    “I know you’re not quite ten yet. But your birthday is in a couple months and I wanted to give you this before I leave; just incase I don’t get back in time.” the director explained, handing him the Poke Ball.

    Michael couldn't believe what he saw for a moment. Once he was sure that it wasn't a dream or an illusion, he reached for the Poke Ball and held it in his hands. He moved his fingers across the ball, soaking in the feel of the cool, smooth metal.

    A smile widened across Michael’s face as the gloom that once filled him vanished. He flung himself into his father’s arms, nearly knocking him backwards.

    "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Michael repeated over and over, hugging his father with more force each time.

    Once he regained his balance, the director wrapped his arms around Michael, holding him close. He relished every moment of the embrace, as if it was the last time he'd ever hug Michael again. The director reluctantly released himself from Michael, still trying to maintain a smile to hide his own negative emotions.

    "Well? Aren't you going to open it?" the director asked, his attention on the Poke Ball.

    Michael took his arms away from his father and excitedly pressed his finger on the small button in the middle of the Poke Ball. The top, red half of the sphere opened and released an orb of glowing ruby-colored light. The light rapidly formed into a brown, furry, fox-like creature. It had a mane of snow-white fur and a fluffy tail. It stared up at Michael with big, black eyes that would be able to melt anyone's heart.

    "Veeee?" the Pokemon squealed in a soft, endearing voice.

    "A... An Eevee!" Michael exclaimed, picking up the small and young Eevee.

    Michael cradled the Eevee in his arms, petting its velvety fur. The Eevee reached up and gently licked Michael on the cheek, obviously taking a liking to the boy. Michael laughed joyfully as he scratched the Eevee behind its long ears.

    As a flurry of leaves swept past Michael, the Eevee eyed them curiously, not taking its attention off of them. The Eevee squirmed in Michael’s arms, eager to examine the leaves. Michael bent down and carefully placed Eevee on the ground, excited to see its reaction.

    The Eevee slowly crept up to one of the leaves once the wind had subsided for a moment. It sniffed the leaf and began swatting at it playfully. When the breeze had picked back up, the wind had picked the leaf up into the air. The Eevee chased after the leaf and jumped at it when it floated above it. The Eevee eventually found itself in a large cluster of leaves. It swatted its paws frantically after the leaves twirling in the air around it, trying to catch one of them.

    Michael held his hand over his mouth, stifling his laughter. Watching the Eevee play around cutely with a bunch of leaves was so hilarious in his eyes, he couldn’t resist himself. Even his father let out a chuckle under his breath, struggling to keep the serious expression that was normally on his face.

    “Come on Michael. It’s late. We should be getting inside now.” the director told Michael, who was still in a fit of laughter watching the Eevee’s antics.

    Michael nodded to him and ran after his Eevee. Even after the Eevee was lifted of the ground, it was still swiping at the leaves on the ground. It tried to jump out of Michael’s arms and attack the leaves again, but Michael’s hold on it was too strong. Michael found his Eevee’s stubborn and adamant behavior amusing and failed to stop laughing.

    Once the Eevee had finally calmed down, Michael dashed back into the lab with his father. Seeing Michael that happy had brought a great amount of joy into his heavy heart. He turned to Michael and smiled at him, fearing that it would be the very last smile that Michael would see on his face.

    * * *

    Michael slept soundly wrapped up in the warm cotton blankets. His Eevee was curled up next to him, its paws twitching as it was trying to swat at something deep in its slumber. Both of them, absorbed in pleasant dreams, barely stirred at any noises that the occurred outside of their sleep.

    A thin ray of light pierced through the darkness as the bedroom door slowly and silently opened. The director peered through the crack between the door and the wall. He quietly entered the room and tiptoed to his son’s bed. He stood above his bed for a moment, trying to keep back the flood of tears that gathering behind his eyelids.

    Michael’s father bent down stroked the child’s head, letting the crimson hair pass gently through his fingers. He then kissed Michael on the forehead, hardly wanting to lift his lips up away from the boy’s skin.

    "Goodbye, Michael." he whispered in his son's ears before he lifted his head away from the boy.

    The director remained in the room minutes after he said his goodbye, staring at Michael as if he would never see him again. After imprinting the sight of the child in his memory, the director halfheartedly left the room, looking back several times.

    * * *

    The darkness of night fled away as the bright yellow sun rose over the hills. The small droplets of water that collected on the blades of grass sparkled dazzlingly when the light hit it just right. From deep within the forest, the morning songs of birds echoed through the trees.

    In the road in front of the lab, an average-sized transport boat was hooked up to a rusty-looking truck. The truck was obviously aged, with the pale-white paint peeling and various scratches and dents covering the exterior. Instead of wheels, the truck was supported by disc-shaped devices that would cause the truck to hover in the air when it was turned on.

    The boat, on the other hand, appeared to be fairly new. The black metal was polished enough that the reflections of the forest in front of it could be seen. On the side of the boat, the words “Black Dragon” was painted on it in a noticeable white paint.

    A young man, whose head was covered in shaggy brown hair, observed the boat admiringly. His narrow eyes stared into the shiny metal that coated that boat, admiring every inch of the vessel and envying the owner.

    As the man adjusted his glasses and continued to stare at the boat, the woman that was leaning against it shook her head and sighed. She didn't understand him one bit; obsessing over anything new and shiny that he laid his eyes on, whether it was a boat, automobile or a new piece of computer software.

    A professional air surrounded the tall, slender woman. Her face and deep emerald eyes was straight and serious; like many of the other people that worked and lived at the Pokemon HQ Lab. Her light brown hair was fashioned into a beehive style. She was dressed in a light, lavender skirt and black high-heeled shoes.

    “You wish, Krane.” a voice from behind the man laughed while he was circling the boat, looking like he was about to take it for a joyride in the nearest body of water.

    The director strode down the concrete steps, smiling and laughing at Krane's obsession with the boat he rented. Krane stop examining his fascination for the moment and laughed back at the director. “When you get back, perhaps I could buy this beautiful thing and take it out for a spin.”

    “When you learn how to drive a boat, that is.” the director chuckled, failing to imagine Krane on a brand new boat and keeping control of himself.

    The woman couldn't help but laugh at her husband's joke, as it was hard to imagine Krane in a boat and remaining sane at the same time. She and her husband found out the hard way that Krane should stay away from anything with a wheel when they foolishly let him drive a brand new truck not long after they had graduated from college.

    "You did say goodbye to the kids, right?" she asked the director once her laughing subsided.

    “Of course I did, Lily. I’m not that caught up in my work.” he assured her as he wrapped his arms around him and tenderly kissed her on the lips. The melancholy aura around him that was present around Michael was present when he hugged Lily as well; though he didn't dare to show it.

    “And don’t worry. We’ll be sure to keep the lab in order while you’re gone.” Lily guaranteed the director after she slowly pulled herself away from his lips.

    “Good. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get what we need and come straight back before all havoc breaks loose in the lab.” the director joshed around before putting his serious face back on, “From the rumors I’ve heard, the island where I’m heading has been said to hold of the many shrines dedicated to Celebi. And if has to do with Celebi; then I might be able to find something having to do with purification.”

    “Speaking of Celebi, the Relic Stone in Agate Village would be a much more logical place to research; since that was where the Shadow Pokemon was purified in the first place.” Krane mentioned after finally separating himself from the boat, “Are you sure about going to some far off place for research, when you could study in a place much closer to home? I mean, Timeshift Island isn‘t even close to the Orre Region.”

    “I’m sure. We can’t just rely on one place for our studies. For all we know, everything we need could be on that island.” the director refused Krane’s advice, in a rather unwilling and forced manner.

    Saying goodbye to his wife and friend, the director opened the creaky truck door and sat himself down on the driver's seat. He stuck his head out the window and waved goodbye one last time. After taking his eyes off Lily, Krane and the Pokemon HQ Lab, he turned to the wheel and started the engine. The truck's hover-devices forced a blast of lightweight, invisible gas at the ground, causing the vehicle to float in the air. The devices then faced the HQ Lab and thrust the truck forward down the forest road.

    Once the Pokemon HQ Lab was concealed from sight by the branches and leaves of the forest, a sudden feeling of dejection leapt out of the director's darkest thoughts and overwhelmed him. He couldn't help but thinking about his family every minute as he drove down the dusty road; but he also couldn't help but being taken over by the fact that his entire life at the HQ Lab was a lie. As much as he wanted to turn the truck around and return to his family, the consequences of doing so would be fatal to them. Besides, he knew that they couldn't handle the truth. The truth that revealed the life he kept hidden in the shadows.

    * * *

    The Eevee skidded across the smooth, polished floor as it chased after a rubber ball that bounced past it. It clumsily dashed after the ball, not used to running on such a slippery surface. The ball ricocheted off the wall and flung itself straight over the Eevee’s head. The Eevee abruptly stopped running, but continued to slide across the floor as if it was on a sheet of ice. It slowed down and came to a stop only inches away from the wall.

    The ball bounced back into Michael’s hands, who was standing above Eevee, chuckling. His father was right; the Eevee provided him relief from the usual boredom of the lab. The furry little Pokemon knew how to keep both itself and Michael amused. The Eevee playfully chased after nearly anything that moved; whether it was a rubber ball, dead leaves or Michael’s feet as he walked around. The Eevee’s tireless spirit meant that Michael had to play with it for hours at a time. Which wasn’t much of a problem, as Michael would just be staring off into space in his room otherwise.

    “Maybe next time, I’ll throw the ball a little easier.” Michael laughed under his breath, tossing the ball up and down in the air.

    The Eevee quickly sprang onto its feet and sprinted over to Michael with its tail wagging excitedly. It hopped up and down repeatedly like it was on a trampoline, trying to reach the ball in Michael’s hands. Even as it failed each time, the Eevee refused to give up. The ball had to be in its paws; no ifs, ands or buts about it.

    Michael grasped the ball firmly once it landed back in his hands. He stretched his arm back and proceeded to toss the ball, aiming it away from the windows which Michael knew he'd be in serious trouble if they were broken.

    But just as Michael began to thrust his arm forward, something had jumped up and grabbed a hold of his hands. At first Michael flinched at the feel of somebody suddenly grabbing him, afraid that somebody was trying to kidnap him. But once Michael realized that the hands weren't firm and hard like somebody was trying to hurt him, and that they were soft, small, and gentle, he grew less shaken and more annoyed.

    "Jovi wants to play with Michael's Pokemon too!" the little blue haired girl squealed, tugging at Michael's hands. Her high, childlike voice rang in Michael's ears, annoying him in nearly every way possible. Michael may have been free of boredom, but he certainly wasn't free from his little sister aggravating him every three minutes of his life.

    "Jovi! Not now!" Michael moaned as he tried to free his arm from his sister's grip.

    Only after constant struggle did Jovi finally release her hold on Michael. When tugging at her brother's arm didn't work, she moved on to her next strategy of persuasion. Her cheerful demeanor quickly transformed into a saddened state. She attempted to win Michael over with her big green eyes that began to look glossy from the tears forming. Jovi lowered her head, but continued to stare at Michael depressingly.

    She's not going to fool me this time, Michael thought to himself as he rolled his eyes. Whenever Jovi didn't get her way, she'd always act sad and cute just to get sympathy. It might've worked on her and Michael's parents, but Michael was determined not to be gullible enough to let Jovi win him over.

    Just as Michael was about to tell his sister to bug off, his attention shifted to the room next to him. His mother, Prof. Krane and a police officer had been in there for almost half an hour and they still haven't come out. Michael began to grow curious of what was being discussed inside as he stared pryingly at the closed door. A cold, chilling feeling came over Michael while his attention grew more focused to the room. Judging from the bad premonition that rushed through his thoughts, Michael knew that something was horribly wrong.

    "Alright, fine." Michael blurted out, forgetting that he told himself that he wouldn't fall for Jovi's tricks.

    Michael carelessly tossed Jovi the rubber ball, his attention barely on her. Once Jovi had the ball in her grasp after reaching for it clumsily, her fake tears disappeared and a smile replaced the frown that she believed won Michael over. Jovi's already rosy cheeks grew brighter as a joyful and victorious grin spread across her face. Charming other people easily was entertaining enough; but making somebody that isn't easily tricked -like Michael- to cave in was even more enjoyable to Jovi.

    Michael tiptoed over to the metallic door as his Eevee pursed the ball that Jovi flung across the room. He looked behind him several times, not only to make sure that one of the staff members wouldn't catch him eavesdropping, but also to be able to dodge out of the way in time if the rubber ball came flying towards him. Michael laid his hands on the cold, steel door and pressed his ears against the metal. Luckily, neither the walls nor doors in the lab were soundproof, so Michael was able to make out faint voices through the door. Michael blocked out every other sound around him; which included his sister giggling annoyingly; so that he could focus on the voices he wanted to hear.

    "How do you know it was his boat?" the voice of his mother asked, mixed in with mournful sobs.

    "Some of the debris from the boat managed to survive the explosion. We recovered a piece of metal that had the words ‘Black Dragon’ painted on it with white paint. And if I'm not mistaken, the boat that your husband rented a week ago was named the 'Black Dragon'" another voice -who was obviously the police officer, since Michael had never heard that voice before- explained.

    Michael's heart immediately sank at the officer's words. It couldn't be true. They couldn't be talking about his father. Michael shoved himself with his hands, hoping that he could wake up from such a nightmare. But he failed to jolt himself back into reality; because it was reality.

    "But why? Why would somebody plant explosives in his boat? He would never hurt anyone! I don't even think he's made an enemy in his entire life!" Krane stuttered, full of shock and disbelief.

    "Well my best guess is that some of the remaining members of the disbanded Cipher must've got word of the project. They probably figured that if they could kill off the director of the Pokemon HQ Lab, then the Purification Chamber project would fall apart and they would be able to rebuild Cipher." the police officer guessed with uncertainty.

    The name "Cipher" rang a bell to Michael, as he heard it several times by the staff members. He then recalled that Cipher was brought up every single time that the news about the organization that used to be elsewhere in the region. It wasn't long before Michael realized that "Cipher" must've been the name of the organization.

    "But no one outside this lab besides you has heard that we were working on a new project! We've hardly left the lab since we began working on the Purification Chamber!" Lily sobbed, pausing in between sentences.

    "Did your husband leave for research at any time before this?" the officer asked, his voice full of sympathy for the woman weeping in front of him.

    "Once. He said that he went out to the desert to try to find information about the Shadow Pokemon a while back, but it was only for a day." Lily answered, sniffling while trying to get herself together, "And besides, he would never leak out such information like that, knowing that there might have still been scattered members of Cipher!"

    Shadow Pokemon? Michael questioned to himself. The topic of Shadow Pokemon was mentioned a few times, but only in whispers. Although Michael had heard Shadow Pokemon being discussed without rest inside the Purification Chamber room. Suddenly, he remembered his conversation with his father just the evening before. His father mentioned that the Purification Chamber was supposed to heal Pokemon that had their hearts closed. Michael began to wonder if the Shadow Pokemon and the Pokemon with closed hearts were the same things.

    "Cipher must've heard about the Purification Chamber somehow. That's the only possibility I can think of." the officer sighed. The sound of his footsteps came closer to the other side of the door. Michael still had his ears planted on the door, knowing that from the sound of it; the officer wasn't close enough the door to leave the room.

    "We still haven't managed to recover his body yet. And as massive and fiery as the explosion was, there was no way he could've survived it. If he did manage to live through the explosion, then he would've drowned in the ocean, since it was about five miles away from shore. We'll notify you once we do manage to find his body." the police officer glumly informed Krane and Lily. He came right up to the other side of the door and stopped in his tracks before he opened the door, "I'm sorry. I truly am."

    Michael backed away from the electronic door seconds before it opened and the officer walked out. The tall man, dressed in the standard blue uniform of all police officers in the region, glanced at Michael solemnly before leaving the lab. Lily and Krane walked out of the room after the police officer did and stopped as soon as they saw Michael at the door. At any other time, Lily would've scolded Michael for eavesdropping, but with the grief filling her head, the thought never crossed her mind.

    Michael stared at his mother's tear-filled eyes, hoping for some reassurement that what he just heard wasn't true. He wanted to ask her if it was a lie, but the mournful silence was enough of an answer. Krane lowered his head and clamped his eyes shut, preventing a flow of tears that were about to burst out. The loss of his best friend was too hard for even him to fathom.

    Once Michael couldn't hold it in any longer, a river of water rushed down from his eyes as he threw himself in Lily's arms. Lily fell down to her knees and held her child tightly in her arms. Her shoulder quickly become soaked as Michael cried incessantly on it. His yelling and screaming for his father were muffled by his endless sobs.

    "Dad..." Michael cried, still unable to fully believe that this was happening to him.

    Michael's crying began to calm down after a few minutes, but he was still unable to see with the wall of water blurring his vision. Just as another cascade of tears was about to flow down Michael's face, a tiny, scratchy tongue licked Michael on the cheek. Michael looked over to his side, barely moving his head, and saw his Eevee sitting next to him, purring sympathetically. Michael reached his hand out to the Pokemon, stroking its soft fur. He hoped that the Eevee could help take his mind off his father, but no matter how hard Michael tried, the thought of him lingered in his head despite the Eevee’s attempts to cheer him up.

    Jovi stood in front of Lily and Michael, confused at the sudden feeling of grief that conquered them. Too young to understand the concept of death, the four-year old girl failed to understand why Michael was crying for their father. But even though she didn’t understand, Jovi felt sadness take over her while looking at her family’s depressed state.

    But even as Lily, Jovi and the Eevee offered him their sympathy, Michael eventually paid no attention to them. He was blind to the others around him for the moment. Sadness wasn’t the only thing that overwhelmed Michael’s thoughts and emotions. Anger ignited into a fiery hatred towards those people, this Cipher group, that killed his father. Michael simply didn’t understand. Michael didn’t understand why anyone would kill his father; why anyone would be so evil to do such a thing.

    But that didn’t matter now to Michael. Michael was sure that with the right training, Eevee would become strong and adept at battling. He was confident that he would somehow obtain new Pokemon and build a strong, unstoppable team. Then, and only then, Michael would track down these Cipher people and get revenge, the only thing that Michael now longed for.

    * * *

    The molten hot rivers of lava oozed out of the crater of the volcano. Towers of steam erupted from the melted rock as it met the cold sea. Fierce waves crashed upon the rocky shores of the foreboding island. Dark, gray clouds surrounded the island, concealing it from the rest of the world. A large, silver dome rested above the volcano’s crater, overlooking everything below it.

    Michael... Lily... Jovi..., the former director of the Pokemon HQ Lab thought painfully to himself. He stared out into wide open sea around him, regretting every second he stood on the wretched island. He betrayed the entire lab, his friends, his family. For all he was concerned, he no longer existed. He was dead to his family. At least that’s what they thought. He was no stranger to emotional pain, but nothing could ever amount to the heartbreak that he felt every moment. As long as he was with the very organization that the Pokemon Lab tried to stop, he could never see the faces of his family again. The family that was his children and wife, that is.

    Another man that resembled him a great deal, obviously his brother, stepped next to the former director. He was a tall, slim man with soothingly blue hair that stretched down beyond his shoulders. Like his brother, the man wore expensive-looking and elegant robes, although it was marked with blue and gray patterns, instead of red and gray. Blacks shades like the ones that his brother wore concealed his eyes and seemed to symbolize authority. Premature wrinkles formed around his mouth where a sinister smirk usually spread across his face. But no such smile was present at the time. Instead, his entire face was straight and calm, failing to show any other sort of emotion.

    “Eldes.” he addressed the former director, in a voice similar to his own.

    Eldes simply nodded, his spirits too low to respond with words. Eldes’ brother stared out into the sea with him, but neither were exactly sure what they were staring at. For some people, screaming or punching at something was a way to release negative emotions. A few others talked about their problems to get their worries and pains off their chest. But Eldes did neither. For him, the only way to relieve the pain was to see his wife and children. But his position in Cipher forbade it, meaning that the pain and misery would linger in him until Cipher finally crumbled.

    “Grand Master’s orders.” Eldes’ brother reminded him, breaking the silence.

    Eldes’ head filled with anger at the reminder, though his face didn’t show it. His word meant nothing against the Grand Master’s, which meant that Eldes wasn’t able to stop him from ordering him to do such a thing. Forcing him to fake his own death and sever his bonds with wife and children just to cause the Purification Chamber project to crumble; Eldes was beginning to wonder if the Grand Master was completely insane. Of course, the fact that the Grand Master barely even considered Eldes and his brother his own sons anymore was enough of an answer.

    Eldes never once thought that the Grand Master would command him to be separated from his family. The moment the Grand Master gave his orders, Eldes realized that he had somehow found out about the Purification Chamber, despite his attempts to keep it secret. If it was anyone else that had tried to commit treason against Cipher, they would’ve been put to death. Eldes figured that either the Grand Master still had compassion for him somewhere in his corrupted heart; or that Eldes was just too valuable of a trainer to throw away.

    Of course, there was obviously consequences for trying to destroy Cipher. The Grand Master was well aware that Eldes loved his family more than anything in the world, and losing them would be a much more painful punishment then simply killing Eldes himself. Surprisingly, a small, tiny bit of mercy appeared in the Grand Master’s soul that day. He gave Eldes a choice of which punishment he would rather have. Either the entire staff of the Pokemon HQ Lab would be killed and all the data collected for the Purification Chamber would be deleted; or that Eldes would have to forever leave his family and fake his own death.

    Shocked and horrified at the choices he was given, Eldes’ heart plunged into a sea of shadows and nightmares. Eldes would never be able to live with himself if the people he grown so close to was murdered, especially at the orders of his own father. But Eldes couldn’t stand never seeing his family again either. Both choices proved difficult and painful for Eldes to bear. However, he chose the latter, since he would much rather have his family live, yet never be able to see them anymore; then to have them killed.

    Not even a day after the Grand Master’s orders were given, the way Eldes would fake his death was planned. Using a rented boat, Eldes would claim to his family and the rest of the staff at the Pokemon HQ Lab that he was using it to travel to research at Timeshift Island; where a shrine dedicated to Celebi exists. However, the boat would be set on autopilot while a time-bomb was set to explode after an hour at sea. The boat would sail off without Eldes while he was being transported by his brother to the Cipher Headquarters. By the time the time-bomb exploded, it would be a few miles off of the coast of the sea-side town, Gateon Port. The vessel would be far enough away that no one would notice that there was no one inside, but close enough that the explosion could clearly be seen.

    “I know.” Eldes responded to his brother in a hardly audible tone.

    His brother looked at Eldes one last time before heading across the bridge leading into the silver dome. Eldes wasn’t even sure if his brother was giving him his sympathy, or just rubbing it in. Lately, he failed to show any positive emotion whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the only emotion that ever came out of him recently was anger; and that was only when he was putting incompetent peons in their place.

    As Eldes began to follow his brother, he questioned if the bond he used to share with his brother and father was severed as well. If he had any real family left was beyond him. His family back in the lab thought he and been killed, and the Grand Master just considered Eldes a pawn in his plan for all he was concerned.

    Eldes knew for sure that the only way that he’d ever have his family back was if Cipher was defeated. But with the Shadow Pokemon that supposedly can never be purified in development; all Eldes could do was stand back and hope. Hope for a miracle.

    I know. Long prologue. =_= I kinda went overboard...

    So yeah. If know that I'm a huge fangirl of Ardos and Eldes, then it shouldn't have been much of a surprise to find out that I'd be using them. And I am working on the first chapter. But with school and the evil Writer's Block bugging me, I can't promise you anything on when it'll be up.

  2. #2


    yay! XD fics! My favourite... *jumps up and down in excitement* For I have XD Gale of Darkness, how does Michael not notice his father (Eldes)? I guess you won't reveal that but it is kind of odd.

  3. #3
    YA RLY Blueysicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    In front of the computer


    *jumps up and down with Divinity* XD fics are my favorite too! Well, as long as they're well-written. :P

    Heheh. A lot of people asked me how Michael wouldn't reconize Eldes. After hours of brainstorming and repeatedly banging my head on the wall while screaming words that I'm not going to post here, I've come up with a way that Eldes would be unreconizable to Michael, Jovi, Lily, etc. That'll come up in the first chapter, which I'll hopefully have up sometime soon. :)
    The Bonds That Break

    ^My current FanFic. Click. Read. Now. X3

    Quote Originally Posted by Iroh; Avatar the Last Airbender
    Sick of tea?! That's like being sick of breathing!

  4. #4
    YA RLY Blueysicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    In front of the computer


    I is lazy. D:

    I am SO sorry for the delay. Writer's Block kept me from progressing on this as quickly as I wanted to. So yeah, I need to learn how to post chapters at reasonable rates. XD Anyways:

    Chapter One: Renegade:

    At first, Eldes thought that he hoped in vain when he dreamt about Cipher's downfall. No matter how hard he tried, the image of Cipher finally crumbling just wouldn't form in his mind. For a while, he believed that the chances that the horrific organization would be defeated was slim to none. Even though Eldes lost all hope for a brighter future, the final battle was taking place. The battle that would decide Cipher's fate once and for all.

    Eldes stood in front of the wide plasma screen that stretched across the control room, watching every second of the battle. Ever since Eldes was separated from his family, he dreamed of the day that some brave soul would finally take his father on. But little did Eldes know that the brave soul that he dreamed about was his very own son.

    After almost two hours of ceaseless fighting, it had come down to a strong-willed Vaporeon that remained standing even after all its comrades had fallen; and a tainted Zapdos that attacked its victims without any mercy whatsoever. The lightening-yellow bird ruthlessly struck the exhausted Vaporeon with midnight-colored bolts of electricity, taking in sadistic pleasure at watching its opponent suffer. However, the resilient, blue-skinned Pokemon withstood the surges of electrical energy against all odds. Once it was able to get back on its feet, it proceeded to assault its enemy with fierce jets of rushing water that formed from the moisture that the air around it held.

    It wasn't long before both Pokemon became downright exhausted. The Zapdos' wings grew too tired to support itself in the air, so it weakly stood on its feet while staring down its enemy. The Vaporeon struggled to keep itself standing on its wobbly legs, looking like it was about ready to collapse. Both Pokemon were nearly exhausted of all their energy. Neither of them had enough vigor to attack, nor protect themselves if they were attacked.

    While the tired Zapdos struggled to catch its breath, all its master could do was laugh menacingly; not bothering to show any pity or sympathy for the worn-out Pokemon. At first glance, the Zapdos’ master seemed to be a bald, harmless looking man. But his small stature and elderly appearance deceived what he really was; the cruel and coldhearted individual that was the Grand Master of Cipher.

    “Just give it up, child.” the Grand Master taunted the teenager that stood directly across from him, “What honestly made you think that you could defeat me? Your pathetic Vaporeon is on the verge of fainting as it is. All it will take is one more attack from my Zapdos for that worthless excuse for a Pokemon to put out of fighting for good! You don’t stand a chance!”

    It was evident on Michael's face that his anger reached a boiling point. It had been glaringly obvious that he despised the Grand Master to begin with, but a look of pure hatred formed in Michael’s eyes after hearing the Grand Master‘s comment. “Open your eyes, Greevil! Your Zapdos is just as exhausted as Vaporeon is! It barely has the energy to lift up a wing, let alone send out another attack! You’re insane if you think that you can force Zapdos to battle any more! Just because it’s a Shadow Pokemon doesn’t give you the right to treat it like a mindless drone!”

    “It is a mindless drone, you ignorant child!” Greevil erupted in a fit of laughter, “What did you think Shadow Pokemon were?!”

    Michael’s eyes only grew more agitated as the sound of Greevil’s sinister laugh echoed throughout the wide open arena. Once Greevil had collected himself, he glared at Michael maliciously while a malevolent smile crept across his face.

    “Should I remind you that Shadow Pokemon will listen to their master’s orders without argument? It doesn’t care how exhausted it is or how cruel it would be to mercilessly attack a Pokemon that has no chance of winning! All it’s concerned about is that it obeys it’s master! In other words, me.” Greevil chuckled confidently. “Zapdos! Finish this with Shadow Bolt!”

    Zapdos feebly straightened its posture and painfully spread its wings. Dark, electrical energy charged around its body as it focused on Vaporeon. Once the electricity grew strong enough, Zapdos let loose a flurry of crackling bolts of lightening. Each bolt danced in the air in wild spasms before they all forced themselves in the direction of the helpless Vaporeon. But every last one of the bolts either came close to striking Vaporeon, or struck the ground nowhere near its target. Zapdos had completely missed its mark.

    Greevil’s confident expression was quickly replaced with frustration as Zapdos came close to crashing to the floor. It attempted to attack Vaporeon again, but Zapdos proved to be too tired to attack with even the weakest Shadow Bolt. Zapdos’ legs shook uncontrollably as it strained to stay standing.

    Seeing his chance, Michael pulled out the last Ultra Ball that remained in his pocket. If Cipher was to be defeated, then the Ultra Ball would have to succeed in snagging Zapdos where ten other Ultra Balls have failed. Michael grasped the ball firmly while the machine that was attached to his left arm lit up with a florescent yellow light. The light transferred to the Ultra Ball, surrounding the white, black and yellow sphere in a bright, fire-like aura.

    Michael took in a deep breath and thrust the Ultra Ball forward, aiming it straight at Zapdos. The moment the Ultra Ball collided with the bird, Zapdos' body transformed into a glowing mass of red light. The Ultra Ball's top half opened and sucked in the mass that used to be Zapdos like a vacuum. The ball slammed shut and fell to the ground; where it began to wobble back and forth. Both Michael and Greevil eyed the ball anxiously; not sure whether to expect Zapdos to stay in the ball, or for the legendary bird to break free.

    But after the Ultra Ball had rocked back and forth three times, it suddenly paused and made a clicking sound as it locked Zapdos inside.

    A sigh escaped from Eldes' mouth the very moment the Ultra Ball succeeded in capturing Zapdos. It wasn't a sigh of disappointment or anger, but rather a sigh of relief. After years of endless toil for such a horrifying organization; after living without the slightest bit of hope and after forever damaging the lives of dozens of innocent Pokemon; it was finally over.

    Eldes wasn't the only one overcome with relief, however. Michael's demeanor seemed to be less tense after seeing that his last Ultra Ball succeeded. His shoulders dropped and his breathing began to grow more calm and less stressed. His Vaporeon stumbled over to him, smiling while gazing at the boy with its eyes that were as black as coal. Michael bent down and congratulated his Pokemon; scratching behind its fin-like ears and rubbing its rubbery hide before returning it to its Poke Ball for a well-deserved rest.

    But while Eldes and Michael were relieved, the only emotion that could be detected on Greevil's face was shock. His golden eyes were fixed on the Ultra Ball while his jaw hung open. When Greevil lifted his head, Michael saw that the disbelief had mixed with anger.

    "You... You got lucky! That was nothing but sheer luck!" Greevil hissed, clenching both his fists and his teeth.

    "So I got lucky. That still doesn't change the fact that I won." Michael retorted, picking up Zapdos' Ultra Ball.

    Greevil's fists tightened as he clenched them harder; an obvious indication that he wanted nothing more than to run across the arena and strangle Michael. But as the boy's words sunk in, Greevil could do nothing more than fall to his knees in defeat.

    "No... This can't be... He's just a child... He didn't win... He can't win..." Greevil muttered to himself, denying everything.

    Eldes got a glimpse of silky, blue clothing swaying elegantly as the air conditioner blew against it out of the corner of his eye as he was still watching the plasma screen. Eldes turned his head to get a full view; even though he knew who was standing behind him.

    "What happened here?!" his brother wasted no time demanding to know as he kept his eyes on the screen across the room.

    "The boy won, Ardos. It's over." Eldes informed him, remaining calm and hiding his pleasure over the outcome.

    Ardos growled lowly and muttered unintelligible swears under his breath. Ardos never liked Michael. As a matter of fact, he hated the boy, and being related to him didn't change a thing. All Eldes had to do was look at him, and the loathing and resentment that filled the air around Ardos would send chills throughout Eldes' body.

    Ardos spun around and stormed off to the elevator that led to the arena, still swearing in whispers. As Eldes watched his clearly fed-up brother rush to the elevator, his head began to swarm with horrible premonitions. The infuriated aura that surrounded Ardos was enough to give Eldes the impression that he was up to something.

    Not wasting any amount of precious time, Eldes dashed over to the elevator, nervously waiting for the platform to come back down. Although he knew that whatever was going through Ardos' head was certainly spiteful, Eldes had no idea exactly what he was going to do. But that didn't matter in the least bit to Eldes. He was sick of the shadows. Sick of the fear, sick of the hopelessness. And just when the torment seemed to end, just as the madness would finally be over, Ardos had to step in and try to keep the insanity alive. Eldes realized that it was about time that he stopped being a coward and stood up against Cipher for a change.

    When the platform had finally lowered down to the floor, Eldes took one last deep breath before stepping in. Seconds seemed like hours as the elevator lifted Eldes up into the battle arena. Anxiety dominated him to the point where he could hear his own heartbeat. Beads of sweat formed and rolled down his face; not only from the extreme heat of the lava that bubbled below the silver dome, but also from the fear of what was to come.

    The elevator opened its glass doors and revealed the gigantic, round arena. Every last bit of metal was either black or gray; lacking any trace of bright colors. Small beams of light escaped through small cracks in the dome-shaped roof above; which could open itself up at the press of a button.

    Standing in the middle of the arena like an Onix towering over a Wooper; Ardos stood above Greevil while shooting several hateful glares at Michael. "...if we're to continue with our plans, then we should destroy Citadark Isle while the boy is still on it."

    Eldes nearly felt his heart climb up into his throat, almost expecting it to stop altogether. At first, he refused to believe that Ardos said what he said. He did all he could to deny the fact that this was the same Ardos that Eldes knew from the very moment he was born, the same one that always stood by him and promised to always be on his side. Hearing such words be spoken by his own flesh and blood; it was almost if Eldes didn't know him anymore.

    "You can't do that! You'll kill everybody on the island!" Michael exploded, directing his fiery waves of anger at Ardos.

    “And that ‘everybody’ includes you.” Ardos retorted sharply before turning his attention back to Greevil, “If we don’t escape, then Cipher will surely be finished. There’s a helicopter waiting outside for us. We need to leave now!”

    While Greevil stayed in the spot he was, deep in thought as he stared at the floor; a spark of hope lit up in Eldes’ gloom-filled heart. If Greevil was thinking about Ardos’ suggestion instead of imeddiately agreeing to mindlessly murder dozens of people and Pokemon; Eldes knew for sure that he wasn’t as heartless as he implied for the previous five years.

    But even though hope still burned in his soul, dark, gray clouds formed and let loose a downpour of rain when Eldes noticed a glimmer of rage and fury in Greevil's yellow eyes. Instead of gambling on whether Greevil would agree or not, he stepped forward and yelled, "Wait!"

    His voice echoed throughout the arena as the three people standing before him all turned their heads towards Eldes simultaneously. Ardos narrowed his sea-green eyes from behind his sunglasses, which suddenly began to fill with frustration, as if he could tell what Eldes was going to say.

    "I thought that you were better than this, Ardos. You should be ashamed, even thinking about sacrificing dozens of lives just so you can carry out your plans!" Eldes responded to Ardos' obvious show of irritation; while feeling ashamed of himself for thinking that Ardos would never betray him.

    "Ashamed?" Ardos simply laughed, tightening his growingly spiteful glare at Eldes, "Why should we waste our time saving worthless servants that failed us, when we can escape now and ensure that Cipher lives? Being caught up in your foolish morals will only guarantee that Cipher will die!"

    Foolish morals? Eldes thought to himself over and over as he tried to grasp Ardos' words. What has become of him?! He can't be this cruel!

    "You failed in defeating the boy also. Does that mean I have the right to kill you?" hissed Eldes, which seemed rather foreign to the way he normally spoke. He was done tolerating Ardos’ merciless nature, and his darker, more irritable nature couldn’t help but put a stop to it, “The Grand Master, you, me; there’s no use in denying it anymore, Ardos! Cipher is finished and nothing you do will change that!”

    “Grow a spine, you coward! If you believe that Cipher is finished, then you mind as well just go up in flames along with that brat!” Ardos growled, showing more anger as each second passed. His pupils dilated into a ball of emerald flames; his teeth clenched to the point where Eldes thought they were about to break. The wrinkles that were prominent around his mouth grew more noticeable as his smirk was transformed into an infuriated frown.

    “You‘re the spineless coward! You can’t even admit that you lost!” Eldes erupted like a previously dormant volcano. All three of the people that stood around him stared at him with astonished faces, like they were expecting Eldes to explode into a million pieces. Even Eldes himself was surprised at his own outburst.

    “This never would have happened if that boy hadn’t interfered. The only way we can proceed is if we get rid of the boy...” Ardos snapped back, seemingly unfazed by Eldes’ furious reaction. His voice then dropped to a whisper as his malicious green eyes continued to direct their malevolence straight at Eldes, “...like we should’ve done a long time ago.”

    Eldes took a heavy breath to extinguish the flames that fueled his temper, but they were adamant in burning with each threat to Michael Ardos made. Eldes found that he now had two problems to juggle with: Keeping Michael alive; which was his original motive, and preventing Ardos’ tainted soul from driving him into insanity. But new fears began to surface when his more darker thoughts told him that Ardos going insane was inevitable. If he couldn’t convince Ardos to change his ways, Eldes hoped maybe he could sway Greevil’s decision.

    “Please. You can’t go through with this.” Eldes aimed at Greevil, his voice reverting to its original calm tone, “Think about everybody that worked tirelessly for you. You can’t just kill them off like tools that you could just throw away.”

    Greevil kept his eyes on the ground, still absorbed in thought. Even after all Greevil put him through, Eldes couldn’t help but felt sorry for his father on his knees choosing between his two sons. Eldes could barely imagine himself in such a situation, having to choose between Michael and Jovi. But the more Eldes thought about it, the more he pondered whether Greevil was basing his decision on who was right, or who he could benefit more from.

    The spark of hope that flickered deep within Eldes’ heart was blown out when Greevil lifted his head and announced his decision, “Ardos is right.”

    Every last bit of good-natured and hope-filled thoughts that lingered in Eldes’ head plummeted into an abyss when Greevil’s words were uttered. But while Eldes was lost in his feelings of shock, Ardos’ mouth widened into a sinister and menacing smirk; a sight that Eldes was familiar with.

    No... I can’t let him do this! Eldes screamed in his mind, terrified by thoughts of losing Michael forever, something that was impossible for him to fathom. Eldes realized that for the past five years, all he ever was a coward. Living each gloomy day in a hopeless shadow, fearing the worst out of everything that happened. Eldes couldn’t stand it anymore. He was done being afraid of the man that raised him from birth. Courage rose up from the depths of his soul and vanquished the fear that plagued him as he blurted out, “Please! Father!”

    Any other time, Eldes knew that Greevil would punish him if he called him something besides "Grand Master", "Master Greevil", or "Sir". But instead of becoming enraged, as Eldes expected, Greevil simply shifted his eyes in Eldes' direction, looking at him like he wasn't even aware that Eldes was his own son.

    "Don't call him that!" Ardos barked as he swiftly spun around the moment that Eldes spoke his words, "You're only to address him as the Grand Master!"

    "He is not your master, Ardos. He is your father, as he is mine; in case you've forgotten." Eldes retorted, only making slight eye contact with Ardos as he approached Greevil.

    As he strode past Ardos, Eldes' mind blocked itself from taking in any of Ardos' hateful words that he predicted would be said; although nothing more than a snarl escaped Ardos' mouth.

    "You know that this is wrong and that Cipher is finished, Father. Trying to rule the world by forcing Pokemon into maddness isn‘t only cruel, but it's not possible, either. Out of all people, you should've realized that a long time ago." Eldes honestly spoke his mind for the first time in years; all while maintaining a soft, gentle tone, "I was in the wrong as much as you, Ardos, and the rest of Cipher was; I don't deny that. I should've said this much earlier, instead of waiting until it got to a point like this. We'll have to face justice sooner or later; we can't deny the inevitable."

    "Are you suggesting that we turn ourselves in?!" Ardos screeched, his voice growing hoarse from the constant yelling.

    "That's exactly what I'm saying." Eldes answered under his breath.

    Eldes heard Ardos give out one last groan before turning his back and hissing like an Arbok, "You're a fool Eldes. Trust me, you'll regret this one way or another."

    Ardos stormed off, sending forth a vicious gust of hatred and a shower of raindrops that were not made of water, but pure contempt. He never looked back even once as his blue robes swayed back and forth while he rushed to the elevator like a furious hurricane speeding along the ocean, aiming for land.

    Once the elevator took Ardos out of his sight, Eldes gave a deep sigh and glumly shook his head. He felt like at that moment that a knife slashed through the connection they had and left it in a thousand broken pieces. All his life, he thought that their bond was unbreakable, like the hardest forged steel. Now, he realized that it more closely resembled glass, with which a single stone could indefinitely shatter it.

    Once he could escape from the fog of gloom that Ardos left behind, Eldes shrugged off the darkened clouds and turned his attention back to his father. “For the past five years, I got the impression that you didn’t consider me and Ardos your sons anymore. But I have always considered you my father, regardless of everything that you did to keep Cipher running. Nothing will ever change that.”

    It wasn’t hard for Eldes to tell that his words were starting to sink into Greevil. For the first time in what seemed like forever, Greevil had neither hatred nor sadism in his aura; but rather regret and guilt. He held his wrinkled hand to his forehead and clamped his eyes shut. “What... What have I done?”

    Nodding his head in satisfaction, waves of joy surged through his veins, disintegrating the dejection that previous occupied his thoughts. A small; but still clearly noticeable to both Michael and Greevil, smile crept across a face that hasn’t experience a real smile in the longest time.

    “You had the courage to admit your mistake and realize you were wrong; but please, will you now have the courage to stand up?” Eldes asked of him, holding out his hand.

    Greevil extended his hand to Eldes, resisting at first. Once his hand met Eldes', Eldes grasped it and pulled Greevil up to his feet. When he still refused to look him in the eyes, Eldes could tell that Greevil was far more ashamed of himself than Eldes could have ever been.

    "Everything... All of it... All of it was a mistake." Greevil muttered to himself, in such a low tine that Eldes could barely pick up the words.

    "We all make mistakes. I've made the same ones you did. You're not alone." Eldes assured him, sharing his feelings of guilt.

    But Eldes refused to let the guilt win over him at that moment. Cipher was no more, which was a cause for happiness, not looking back on dark memories. But still, Eldes couldn't find it in himself to celebrate when there was still one more problem to deal with...


    Eldes turned his head, expecting the spot where Michael stood to be vacant. But to his surprise, the boy was still present, beginning to put his body in motion and head for the elevator. Eldes wasn't sure why Michael still remained, when he could've left much earlier. Two possibilities began to form in Eldes' thoughts. Either Michael was scared that if he tried to escape, Ardos might catch him and kill him on the spot; or that he had faith that Eldes would resolve the issue at hand. Though Eldes was hoping that the latter was true, his sense of logic told him that the former was more likely.

    Before Michael had the chance to leave, Eldes approached him just as Michael began walking. The more Eldes looked into his face, the harder he found it to believe that this was his son standing before him. This was the very same boy that begged Eldes to play with him outside every chance he got. This was the same boy that turned to Eldes first out of all people when something troubling was on his mind. The same boy that was always dreaming that he could be a Champion Pokemon Trainer, was the same boy that defeated the strongest trainer with the most powerful Pokemon that Eldes has ever known.

    And yet, that same boy that showed Eldes more love than he could imagine at one time was the same boy that was glaring at him with the deepest feelings of resentment that Eldes had ever seen in a child's eyes.

    Eldes almost found it hard to speak, frozen in place just from seeing the bitterness that Michael was showing him. I can't keep this from him anymore, Eldes admitted in his mind, He has to know sooner or later.

    "Michael." Eldes addressed him, the nervousness becoming the prominent feature in his voice.

    Michael didn't bother answering. He just continued his bitter stare at Eldes as his feet inched closer to the elevator. His sharp, icy look chilled Eldes' blood. Seeing that sort of expression on his face; an expression that Eldes would've expected to see in Ardos, was a clear indication to Eldes that Michael loathed him.

    "If it wasn't for your bravery, then neither me or Father would've realized that we were following the wrong path all this time." Eldes finally spoke up, gathering all his courage, "For that, I sincerely thank you. I would be honored to have another battle with you someday, just not as enemies as we were the first time."

    Eldes once again held out his hand, hoping in his mind that Michael will not decide to hold a grudge and forgive him. But when Michael turned his head away, refusing to shake his hand, Eldes found that he couldn't hold it in any longer, "Michael, there's something that I need to tell you."

    Michael's emerald eyes slightly moved to make eye contact with Eldes, showing interest in what he had to say. But his unforgiving aura remained the same, no matter how much guilt absorbed Eldes' thoughts.

    "I never should've hidden this from you. You had a right to know and I'm done being scared of telling you who I am.", Eldes took a deep breath and let the words flow out of his mouth, "Michael, I'm your fa-"

    The ground suddenly and violently shook like an earthquake was splitting Citadark Isle in half, cutting Eldes off. Cracks began forming in the metal floor and small bits of steel fell from the dome-shaped roof over their heads. The fiery explosions from below that echoed in the arena failed to have an effect on Eldes' ears as his heavy heartbeat blocked out all other sounds once he realized what was happening. Ardos! He activated the self-destruct function by himself!

    The terrified expressions on both Greevil's and Michael's faces seemed to be out of place to Eldes. Never before had Eldes ever seen Michael in such a state of fear. Shivering in fright was the only motion that Michael's body made, as he was so terrified that he was frozen to the spot he was standing in. His uneasy hands trembled as his vision set itself on the floor, never focusing them on something else.

    Eldes couldn't bear to see Michael in such a condition, yet, he couldn't take his attention off of him. As much as Eldes wanted to run over to him and comfort Michael, he found that he was frozen in fear himself.

    While Eldes was still glued in the spot he was standing, the sound of the floor cracking behind him suddenly leapt into Eldes' ears. The moment he spun around, the floor beneath Greevil split open and revealed a pit of ravenous flames and a sea of bubbling lava. Greevil didn't even get the chance to let a horrified scream out of his mouth before he plunged into the lava and was consumed by the relentless inferno.

    "FATHER!" Eldes yelled with tears welling up in his eyes while towers of flames erupted from the merciless pit of death that boiled below him.

    The clouds of gloom and darkness returned to Eldes' soul, fogging his vision with grief-stricken tears. The darkness erupted with sorrow-filled thoughts that blinded his mind‘s eye to any of the brighter thoughts that remained in him. Is fear and grief the only emotions I have to live with?! My life is nothing but a living nightmare! Why can’t my life be a dream for once?!

    Immersed into a pool of bleak sentiments, it was only by chance that Eldes heard the floor cracking again. He broke himself free from the gloom that imprisoned him and instinctively dashed towards Michael as fast as his long legs could carry him. He had already seen the destruction of his and Ardos' bond and the death of his father. If he witnessed Michael's downfall, Eldes would be emotionally torn apart.

    Every move Eldes made felt like he was moving in slow motion. The area around him was distorted; Michael being the only clear image in front of him. As every second passed, the floor came closer to caving in and beams of red-hot light escaped from the cracks beneath Michael. Just as the floor finally broke apart and nothing but thick, heated air existed between Michael and the awaiting pool of lava; Eldes dove for Michael's hand, extending his own as far as it could go. Eldes' hand came closer and closer to Michael's until Eldes could feel the boy's hand touch his.

    But it wasn't enough.

    Before Eldes could get a tight grip on Michael's hand, the boy fell out of his reach and plummeted into the flames right before Eldes' horror-struck eyes. As soon as he slammed down to the ground, Eldes closed his watery eyes shut, not be able to bear the sight of his son's body being reduced to ashes. A waterfall of anguished tears rushed down Eldes’ eyes, soaking every inch of skin the cascade came in contact with. The broken-down man fell to his knees and slammed his fists on the floor. Nothing at that moment held Eldes back from letting out an agonizing scream that was spawned from every nightmare that haunted Eldes; a scream that felt like a tremor shaking the interior of his mind.

    * * *

    The startling sound of his own cries forced Eldes to bolt upright and open his soaked eyes. Every breath he took was a heavy gasp. His heart pounded in his chest and boomed in his ears. Only once he realized that he was not in a battlefield awaiting to be swallowed by the merciless fire; but rather in a cold, stony cell behind iron bars, did he begin to calm down.

    With a hissing groan, Eldes laid his head back down on the old, worn out cot that he was forced to sleep on night after night. Though his eyelids wanted desperately to close in front of his eyes, Eldes strained to keep them open. Every night was the same barrage of nightmares from his worst fears by twisting events from his past. Prison seemed like heaven compared to the plague that expected him every time Eldes would drift off to sleep.

    Prison didn’t frighten Eldes in the first place. Almost no one dared to approach him. The ones who did harass him screamed their insults from afar, like he was a fatal disease. Eldes knew exactly why he was so hated, even if being called a “disgrace to humanity” and a “Pokemon torturer” every day wasn’t enough of a clue. Eldes found it rather ironic that everybody who he’s come in contact with lately fears a person whose life is occupied by fear.

    It was no surprise to Eldes that not only the entire prison he served his sentence at; but everybody across the globe, hated Cipher and anybody associated with it. Being the highest ranked Admin at one time didn’t help Eldes in the least bit. Only one other person was hated more than he was; and that person was the only one in the whole world that shared a real bond with him. Even so, that bond was still weak, only starting to repair itself from repeated blows over the years.

    But it was still a bond.

    Over time, Eldes had began to notice that the Grand Master part of Greevil’s personality was starting to disappear, for the first time in a long time, Eldes could have an honest discussion with him. Besides, Greevil was all Eldes had and the only person Eldes could turn to if there was a problem.

    Even though Eldes could barely feel the bond between him and Greevil, he shuddered to even think what life would be like if his father never changed his ways. During time that Eldes worked for Cipher, he wasn't even sure if Greevil was his father anymore.

    * * *
    Feelings such as hatred was not normally part of Eldes' nature. Even though he tried to keep himself away from such emotions, he hated one thing more than anything: lies. Yet, he was forced to do what he despised everyday. Truth and honesty was rare in the words he spoke to the ones he loved. But Eldes was aware in his mind that the truth would hurt them much more than the lies would.

    Unusually calm waves splashed against the sides of the metal boat as it approached the volcanic island, carrying Eldes with it. It was unlike Citadark Isle not to be surrounded by vicious waves that would tear a boat apart in a matter of seconds. However, these waves were not created by violent storms or slashing blasts of wind, but by a machine hidden deep in the island that was designed to produce strong, artificial waves. The machine could shut off easily, giving a powerful figure of Cipher -like Eldes- a chance to reach the island upon notification, without being killed by the deadly waters.

    Within a few minutes, Eldes laid down the boat's anchor in a small bay protected by the island's rocky shores. He looked to his right, surprised that he didn't see a luxurious white yacht docked next to him, as he expected. Eldes quickly grew to ignore it and proceeded across the island, making his way across several bridges stretched across burning rivers of lava. He came to an electronic elevator built into a glass tube, scaling a sheer cliff that loomed above Eldes. The platform rose up the moment both of Eldes' feet made contact with the platform. The elevator brought him to the crater of the volcano where the grand, silver dome hovered above the lava, supported by large metal beams that was attached to the crater's edges. He made his way across the bridge leading into the dome, moving quickly to avoid being affected by the heat rising from the molten rock below.

    Once Eldes entered the dome through the automatic doors, he was relieved by the breezy air produced by the air conditioning in the dome as it cooled down his body after it was exposed to the sweltering heat. Once he grew adjusted to what felt like icy winter air compared to the hellish flames that burned below his feet, he strode through another set of doors that led into the main control room.

    In front of Eldes, Ardos stood before three peons, each sporting the same suits of armor. Each of their faces was concealed by white metal helmets and black visors that covered their eyes. Around their necks were scarlet colored bandannas that waved behind them as the air conditioning blew at the cloth. Their arms, shoulders, chests and legs were shielded by the same white metal as the helmet. The rest of their bodies was dressed with a black fabric that Eldes thought looked rather tight and uncomfortable. They each stood next to each other in a horizontal line, standing in a position with their backs straight and without the slightest hunch in their stance. Eldes could make out the faint outlines of their eyes from behind their visors and saw that their eyes were focused solely on Ardos without ever wandering off.

    "...once you are inside the lab, gather as much of the Shadow Pokemon data as you can and get out immediately. Cipher doesn't need to attract anymore attention than it already has. We've learned from what happened five months ago that making ourselves known to the public only results in utter failure. Neither me or the Grand Master will be very pleased if anyone finds out that we are still operating." Eldes caught some of the orders that Ardos was making to the three peons. His eyes scanned each of them as they stood motionless in silence. "Do I make myself clear?"

    "Yes sir!" the peons responded simultaneously in a soldier-like fashion.

    "Good. You're dismissed." Ardos informed them sternly.

    The peons marched out of the dome past Eldes in a single-file line. Once they had left, Eldes couldn't help but comment on Ardos' orders, "Shouldn't we wait awhile before attempting to return to our old bases? Since Evice was defeated, the Orre officials have been on high-alert across the region. Because their police force is currently scanning the region for anybody relating to Cipher, they might spot us recovering Ein's information and our cover would be blown."

    "And if these 'officials' find the lab, then they'll delete the data and leave us with nothing to rebuild Cipher from." Ardos argued smugly. Eldes wondered why he even bothered getting into a debate with him. Ardos always seemed to have an answer to prove Eldes wrong, and then enjoy his effortless victory.

    "I see that the Grand Master hasn't returned." Eldes changed the subject to avoid arguing with Ardos even more.

    "He informed me a while ago that he'd be running late." Ardos told him bitterly, still upset that it was one of the few times that Greevil left Citadark Isle without Ardos or Eldes, "Apparently, his meeting with Team Snagem was longer than he anticipated."

    "Why did he want to speak with Gonzap anyways?" wondered Eldes.

    "To cut all ties with Team Snagem, I assume." Ardos answered. It made sense to Eldes, since Greevil had often expressed his displeasure with the loss of Team Snagem's Snag Machine. "But we don't need them anyway."

    Ardos began to move forward to the elevator leading to the arena as his lips curled into a smirk. He turned to Eldes and widened his grin even more. "Come here. There's something you need to see."

    Even though Eldes wasn't sure if whatever Ardos had to show him was something he wanted to see, Eldes followed Ardos without a word. While the elevator lifted the two brothers up, Eldes considered each possibility for what Ardos wanted to show him. When he arrived at the arena, however, he threw away all his previous guesses, as Eldes thought he just saw the impossible.

    Electricity flowed along curved iron beams to form a cage almost tall enough to reach the top of the dome. The iron was newly forged and made from the sturdiest material. But the cage itself wasn't what created the awe that forced Eldes' jaw to drop; it was what was inside the cage that brought him into amazement.

    The Pokemon's coal black eyes leered at Ardos and Eldes as its slender neck arched up like a snake's. Its smooth white skin shone like glass when even the smallest ray of light hit it; while its ocean-blue chest had no glossy looks to it. The Pokemon made a half-roar, half-growl inside its tightly muzzled jaws as its long tail swished furiously as much as it could without hitting the electric cage. Indigo, rectangular spikes lined its back and tail. It stood on two clawed feet and had a pair of monstrous, hand-shaped wings folded against its body.

    Despite the unpleasant glare that it shot at Eldes and Ardos, Eldes sympathized with the Pokemon. Eldes could almost feel himself in the Pokemon's position, enclosed in a cramped up cage that would send volts of electricity through his veins if his body touched the edges even just a little; and a steel muzzle locked against his face, unable to even move his mouth.

    "How... How did... Where did you..." Eldes at loss of words while gazing upon the magnificent creature above him.

    "We located it around the Whirl Islands in the Johto region. Although it took our peons days, we eventually managed to exhaust it enough to bring it back here." Ardos replied without stuttering like Eldes did. While the Pokemon looked down upon him with raging eyes, Ardos simply let out a pitiless chuckle, smiling in the face of a Pokemon that could easily kill him.

    "I can't believe I'm seeing Lugia in front of my very eyes." Eldes gasped while his attention was on the breathtaking Pokemon, "What do you plan to do with it?"

    "Isn't it obvious?" Ardos tried to hold back a laugh while Eldes rolled his eyes.

    I swear he thinks I'm stupid sometimes. One of the things about Ardos that always annoyed Eldes like a Beedrilll hovering in his face was that Ardos took every opportunity to try to look more intelligent than him. Ardos knew as well as Eldes did that Eldes was the farthest thing from stupid; but Ardos simply didn't care. Eldes tolerated it when they were younger, as Ardos didn't try to be a showoff as often. But recently, Eldes often held back the urge to slap his hand across Ardos' face. There was no doubt that Ardos vied for Greevil's attention to make himself look better than Eldes; but Ardos had to be a know-it-all even when Greevil wasn't around, which vexed Eldes to no end.

    When Eldes remained silent, Ardos continued, "Once we can recover the Shadow Pokemon information from the lab and copy it like Ein was supposed to do, we plan to create a Shadow Pokemon out of this Lugia."

    "But how do you expect to turn Lugia into a Shadow Pokemon? Creating Shadow Tyranitar was hard enough as it was. Entei, Suicune and Raikou was just as difficult. Turning Lugia into a Shadow Pokemon would take years." Eldes regrettably argued with Ardos, expecting another show of egotism from him.

    "True, the process will be long and hard. But it will be worth it. And this time, our strongest weapon won't be in the hands of a fool that fell to children. The Grand Master himself plans to use this Lugia as the figurehead of his future Shadow Pokemon army.” Ardos explained; and to Eldes’ surprise, lacked any haughtiness in his tone of voice.

    “But what if the children that defeated Evice learns about our plans? They’d just snag Lugia and purify it.” Eldes tried to point out every flaw in the plan.

    “We’ll take care of that when the time comes. As long as nobody knows of our existence, then we will not have to worry about those children. The Grand Master figures that by the time Project XD001 -which is what he calls Lugia’s transformation into a Shadow Pokemon, by the way- is completed, there will be nothing anybody can do to stop us. To ensure our success, we will take every measure to guarantee that Lugia will be unpurifiable.” Ardos shot down Eldes’s hopes of pointing out critical weaknesses in the project.

    Before Eldes could have the chance to object to the project even further, the elevator doors behind them opened and dropped off a Cipher peon. “Sirs! The Grand Master has just returned to Citadark Isle. He wishes to see both of you in the control room,” the peon paused for a moment, opening his mouth several times with no words coming out, “...immediately.”

    Eldes cringed at the emphasis on “immediately” that the peon put in the word. If a peon came to him and Ardos and carried on the message that Greevil wanted to see them, it was never a good sign if the words “immediately” or “now” was used. Eldes figured that the meeting with Team Snagem got on Greevil’s nerves; but he feared that there was something more.

    Eldes and Ardos followed the peon down the elevator and walked into the control room where Greevil awaited them. As Eldes had suspected, Greevil had a sense of irritation around him. He sat in a throne-like chair that hovered above the floor, tapping his fingers on the armrest. He was silent for a while without saying a word. Yet, his yellow eyes spoke words of anger as he stared down Eldes like a Seviper would to a Zangoose.

    "Eldes." he spoke up calmly, although mixed with anger, "Step forward."

    Eldes glanced back at Ardos once before moving closer to his father. He had no idea what to expect from Greevil, as he rarely singled him out for discussion.

    "Closer." Greevil instructed once Eldes stopped in his tracks.

    He continued to move closer and once he stopped, he was only inches away from Greevil. If he was any closer, he would've been in Greevil's face, something that Eldes tried to avoid. Eldes and Greevil remained quiet, their eyes on each other. Eldes noticed that Greevil was grasping his wooden cane firmly as if it was a sword and he was warrior about to go into battle. Before Eldes could even take action, Greevil stood up on his chair and swung his cane at Eldes' chest.

    Eldes doubled over in pain, holding his hands over the area where the cane hit. While he was still gathering his thoughts, he felt another blow from Greevil's cane, this time, on his side. The blow sent Eldes falling to his knees, gasping for breath. Greevil's cane might have been made of wood, but it was just as hard as a rock. The throbbing pain prevented Eldes from standing. He remained on his knees, applying pressure with his hands on the area of impact.

    Weakly turning his head, Eldes saw Ardos looking down on him with shock and surprise; yet, no sympathy. He just stood there with his mouth half-open while constantly looking back and forth between Eldes and Greevil.

    "You have a lot of nerve pulling a stunt like this behind my back! You were sorely mistaken if you thought I was too stupid to let this go unnoticed!" Greevil hissed, clenching his fists even tighter around his cane.

    "I... I don't know what you're talking about." Eldes exhaled deeply, barely able to speak.

    "Don't lie to my face!" Greevil yelled, swinging his cane at Eldes again, "You know exactly what I'm talking about!"

    Eldes was desperate to keep the urge to yell out and cry inside of him. When Greevil considered both a sign of weakness, Eldes couldn't afford to show them.

    As Eldes stayed silent with nothing to say, Greevil asked, "Do the words, 'Purification Chamber' mean anything to you?"

    Eldes almost felt like he'd have a heart attack.

    How did he find out?! It was as if his entire world collapsed before his very eyes. He didn't need to be able to see the future to know it was all over. What he didn't know however, was whether it was over for the Purification Chamber and everyone who worked on it, or if it was over for his life in general.

    "Obviously, it does." Greevil continued, finally sitting down, "I shouldn’t have to tell you that I'm not going to take this lightly. However, I'll offer you a choice. Either you can choose to have everyone who knows about the Purification Chamber eliminated; or detach yourself from the Orre region and everyone that knew you."

    Eldes became dumbfounded by the choices Greevil had just given him. Making such a choice to Eldes was like having to choose whether he'd rather die by having a dozen spears gradually lodged in his chest one by one; or having burning acid dissolve every inch of his body from the inside.

    "Do... you mean... fake my death?" Eldes said, even though he already knew what Greevil meant.

    "Yes! What the hell did you think I meant!?" Greevil sighed with a roll of his eyes. When Eldes still remained silent, Greevil's irritation began to return. "Make your choice! I have better things to do than wait for your decision! I could just kill off your family now if you plan on remaining indecisive!"

    "No! Please! Don't hurt them Fa-" Eldes lifted his head and shouted, before abruptly cutting himself off. "...Sir."

    "Then I assume you'd rather have the second option." Greevil ignored Eldes' slip in his words.

    "Yes sir." Eldes answered halfheartedly.

    Greevil didn't show much of a response. All he did was slightly nod his head before saying "Get out of my sight."

    Eldes would have gladly stood up and get away from Greevil as fast as he could, but his legs struggled to lift up his bruised body. He waited for a moment, hoping that Ardos would run over to him to help him on his feet. But Ardos never even moved an inch. Eldes was forced to lift himself up without anyone's help. Still hunched over, Eldes dragged himself out of the control room with no desire to look back.

    Continued in next post 'cause it's too long. XD
    The Bonds That Break

    ^My current FanFic. Click. Read. Now. X3

    Quote Originally Posted by Iroh; Avatar the Last Airbender
    Sick of tea?! That's like being sick of breathing!

  5. #5
    YA RLY Blueysicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    In front of the computer


    * * *

    Eldes carefully laid himself on the cotton sheets of the bed and pressed one of his feathery pillows on his stomach; expecting the pressure to relieve the pain.

    But then again, no amount of pressure would quell the pain that his thoughts produced. Eldes should have known that Greevil would discover the Purification Chamber project sooner or later. However, Eldes never suspected that he would find out after only five months into the project. He had barely even started on it and it had already been destroyed. At that pointed in time, the thought of the Purification Chamber being completed seemed like a distant dream to Eldes.

    The Purification Chamber wasn't Eldes main concern, however. What would become of the ones he would leave behind? Would they move on, or would their lives be completely shattered.? Eldes felt like he mind as well have taken a mallet and crush their hearts personally.

    Eldes stared at the tiled ceiling, overcome by loneliness. With Michael, Jovi and Lily soon to be absent from his life, and with Ardos' and Greevil's obvious distrust in him, Eldes was left with nearly no one to turn to.

    The bedroom door opened while Eldes still had his eyes on the ceiling. Bitterness kept Eldes from moving his head. The last thing he wanted was to make eye contact with someone that refused to help him when in need.

    "Why didn't you say anything, Ardos? Why did you just let him do that to me?" Eldes spoke his thoughts out loud.

    "You know damn well that my word means nothing against the Grand Master's." Ardos replied coldly.

    "Even so!" shouted Eldes, "You shouldn't have just stood there! I needed your help and you never gave it to me! I would've been there for you if you were the one in my position!"

    "Oh, really?" Ardos gave a humorless laugh.

    Eldes turned his head with the intention to make Ardos realize that he was being truthful, and to let off his anger at the same time. However, the notion to do so vanished when Eldes saw the clearly visible, dark red circle that enveloped around Ardos left eye. The bruise that forced Ardos' eye to squint was similar to the streaks of red that ran across Eldes' chest.

    Without another word, Ardos spun around and left the room, leaving another weight of anger for Eldes to carry. It was then Eldes started to predict a bleak future for him and Ardos. Never before had Ardos shown strong and dark feelings directly towards Eldes. Once inseparable, Eldes could sense their bond slowly coming apart. Anything that Eldes knew, Ardos knew as well and vice versa. It had been that way since as far back as Eldes could recall. Little did Eldes suspect that the one thing that Ardos didn't know about was the thing that would cause them to drift farther apart.

    I'm a traitor... to everyone.

    With thoughts of betrayal still fresh in his head, Eldes closed his eyes and sought refuge in his dreams. Yet, not even in his dreams would he be free from the grief life just handed him.

    * * *

    There was no turning back now. The deed had already been done and there was nothing that Eldes could do to change it. Even if he could escape from the island that felt like a living hell and return to his family, the truth would have to be revealed to them; and Eldes could barely live with the truth himself.

    He wanted to let the pain go, but it wasn't possible when Greevil had called him up to the control room; and Greevil just loved to rub salt into the wound.

    The first thing Eldes saw when he walked into the control room was a row of light-weight, purple creatures floating above the floor. These Pokemon smiled wickedly with their ghostly eyes watching Eldes' every move. Horn-like protrusions scaled their purple backs. Their clawed hands were detached from their bodies; floating in place with the use or need for arms. The Pokemon's appearence unnerved Eldes, growing more uncomfortable with each second the Pokemon watched him.

    However, Eldes found the spiteful stare Greevil was giving him even more unnerving. His father wasn't the one to forget things easily, especially not after only three days.

    "I assume you're wondering why I've called you here." Greevil asked with the same tone he had three days earlier.

    Greevil strode past the row of the ghost-type Pokemon; stopping in front of one that stood out in particular. The Pokemon was of the same species as the others. However, it was colored with a slightly darker purple and had one abnormally large hand bigger than the other.

    "And you're probably also wondering why I have these Haunter assembled next to me." Greevil added.

    The Haunter may have had a chilling sensation to them, but there were ghost Pokemon, after all. However, they didn't give Eldes such an icy feeling as Shadow Pokemon did. Greevil was normally only interested in using Pokemon that obeyed him without question. Why Greevil assembled Pokemon that could use free will was beyond Eldes.

    "I should inform you that these are not ordinary Haunter. You see, these Haunter have been trained over many years to be able to reach into someone's mind. Once inside, they can erase certain things from that person's memory." Greevil explained, "I'm sure you can figure out what I intend to do."

    Once Greevil stopped talking, it took only seconds for Eldes to realize Greevil was beating a dead Rapidash. To force Eldes to cut all ties with his loved ones broke his spirit enough. But now to erase their memory of him rendered Eldes broken beyond repair.

    In his state of shock, Eldes barely noticed that the darker-colored Haunter had its stare directed at Eldes. However, unlike the other Haunter around it, this one had the first sympathetic look Eldes had seen in days. The Haunter still wasn't free of the dark sensation that came naturally with it, but the difference in its eyes that separated it from the other Haunter soon became clear to Eldes.

    "However, these Haunter cannot completely wipe a person's memory. They have the ability to delete three things; what me, you and Ardos look like, the sound of our voices, and our names. They are also to find any photographs, documents or tapes including us and destroy them." Greevil continued while part of Eldes was still focused on the Haunter. "These Haunter can wipe the things I mentioned from the memories of three people each night. With twenty Haunter here, it will only take a few weeks for them to affect the entire Orre region."

    The Orre region was one of the least populated regions in the world, mainly because of the dry, arid desert. Most of the people lived in the pine forest that was dwarfed in comparison to the desert that stretched across the land. With sixty wiped memories each night, it wouldn't take long for the little fame Eldes had to be gone.

    When there was nothing else to be said, Greevil dismissed Eldes, who sulked out of the room. Disheartened, he left behind any hope of reuniting with his family ever again.

    * * *

    That night became the start of many sleepless nights. Eldes' eyes were closed, yet, sleep failed to come to him.

    When so many thoughts screamed in his head, Eldes was not surprised he was developing insomnia. He tried to ward off bad thoughts with good ones, but he was fighting a hopeless battle.

    All of a sudden, the air filled with a sinister feeling. The silence in the room became worrying with the sensation of somebody watching Eldes. He sat up in his bed, unable to take the paranoia anymore. He reached for the small desk lamp sitting next to the bed. The light bulb only produced a dim light that barely reached the end of the bed, but it was enough to reveal the mass of darkness hovering over him.

    "Hauuuuunnnter!" the Pokemon breathed in a raspy voice.

    Fear froze the blood in Eldes's veins, rendering him motionless. When he tried to scream, all that came out was heavy gasps. Every thought disappeared from his mind, except for the frightening images of what the Haunter might do to him.

    Moments passed without the Haunter making a move. Eldes became less tense after he saw the Haunter meant him no harm. <i>But if it's not here to attack me, what is it here for?</i>

    The Haunter held up its index finger while its face showed concentration. It then opened up its black hole of a mouth and shoved its larger hand inside. As the hand remained inside its body, Eldes debated with himself whether he should have been scared or disgusted.

    The Haunter's hand came out of its mouth with a crumpled up piece of paper. Eldes' face twisted as he watched the Haunter's saliva slowly drip off the wet paper. He leaned back gagged when the Haunter reached its hand and the paper closer to Eldes.

    "Hauuun. Haunnnter!" it urged Eldes, reaching out even further.

    Reluctantly, Eldes extended his hand toward the ball. He made the mistake of grabbing it with his entire hand instead of with his fingertips. As a result, his palm became soaked by a thick, sticky liquid that caused his hand to shake. Eldes quickly withdrew his hand and carefully took the paper with the fingers of his dry hand.

    He looked back up at the Haunter, who was patiently staring at the paper. Sighing, he opened up the ball, careful not to rip it. When it was completely unraveled, Eldes thought he was dreaming.

    Michael's wide and joyful smile was the first thing that stood out to Eldes in the photograph. The picture also showed an equally cheerful smile on Eldes. Michael was sitting on Eldes' shoulders, laughing with all the happiness a child could show. In the background was a wide, open arena surrounded by sandstone walls.

    Eldes could remember the day the photograph was taken like it happened just days early. Michael was six years old at the time, with Jovi's due date in a few months. Eldes had decided to take Michael to the recently opened Orre Colosseum. It was just the two of them that day. Eldes had told Lily that he promised that they could go out and spend the day together. Lily understood completely, saying that days like that day in which they could spend a lot of quality time together would be good for Michael.

    Not only did Michael enjoy the day, but it had also sparked his interest in Pokemon battles. Whether it was reenacting Pokemon battles with plastic figurines or discussing possible winners of battle tournaments, Michael and Eldes found an interest that the both of them could always talk about.

    After a few minutes of relishing those happy thoughts while staring at the picture, Eldes looked back up to the Haunter with a sincere smile on his face. "Thank you."

    "Hauuun! Hauuun! Hauuuuuunter!" the Haunter replied, nodding its head enthusiastically.

    Eldes became so focused on the picture in front of him, he hardly noticed the Haunter leave by fazing through the walls. Only when the dim light finally blacked out did Eldes put away the photograph by hiding it under his mattress. At the very least, he now had some way to see Michael, even if he wasn't in person. Eldes still had doubts that he'd reunite himself with Michael, but the picture gave him some much needed faith.

    It was a start.

    And as you can see, I failed miserably at trying to not go overboard with length. XD

    Also, I know somebody is going to ask me this, so I'll answer it now. No, the Haunter can't make people forget that Cipher existed. They can make people forget Cipher's name and what the peons and admins look like, but the people would still know that there's an organization trying to take over the world with deranged Pokemon.
    The Bonds That Break

    ^My current FanFic. Click. Read. Now. X3

    Quote Originally Posted by Iroh; Avatar the Last Airbender
    Sick of tea?! That's like being sick of breathing!


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