Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 38)
I loved this chapter; it helps get across the desperation. And it gives it a lot more realism. They are, after all, facing seven very powerful trainers, it only makes sense that there would be a casaulty or two along the way. Her death was very well done, as well. It must have been hard to include this, but I'm glad you did...
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 38)
Yeah, Lucius may seem like a jerk - Actually, he doesn't just seem like it, he is one - But surprising though it may seem, he knows what friendship and loyalty are.
Originally Posted by Akimbo
Thanks. The desperation has only just started... Part six won't exactly be the cheeriest part of them all. And yes, realism is indeed among the reasons why I killed her off. It was indeed hard to do, even if I've known she was going to die since before she was even introduced into the story.
Originally Posted by Windywords123
Chapter Thirty-Nine: Umbra
Black and his pokémon walked through Chargestone Cave in a sombre silence for several days. With the loss of their friend a crushing wave of despair had overcome all of them. Before Capella's death, Chargestone Cave had seemed like an adventurous, mysterious, and bizarre cave full of strange mysteries. Now it was like a dark, sombre, and Sunless tomb. Without the Sun, the darkness n their hearts was matched by the darkness of the surroundings. They rarely spoke to each other, and when they did it was a short, shallow conversation; all of them were too preoccupied with Capella's death to talk about something else, yet they couldn't talk about that either because it hurt too much.
They progressed slowly because of all their wounds and broken bones. With no pokécenter in sight for weeks, it was likely most of the bad wounds would become scars. Octa was the only member of the team without broken bones or bad wounds. Toxica had had a large part of her flower cut off (though that would fortunately regrow in spring) and a broken arm. Lucius had broken two legs and had several ugly cuts. Selene had had her wing crushed, a bit of her beak chipped off, and cuts on her belly. Boreas had lost the tip of his tail from the Hyper Beam that annihilated Capella, had a nasty gash on his face that promised to become a quite prominent scar, and the whip marks on his back from where Tangrowth had flayed him might become scars too. Black had a broken leg and cuts all along his arm and torso.
Black had treated all wounds and set all broken bones, including his own, with skill, but it didn't compare to the cares of a proper nurse and a healing machine.
Just a day earlier, the thought of having to go through the rest of his life with the tip of his tail missing and a disfiguring scar on his face would've horrified Boreas, but now he just didn't care. He'd happily have his entire tail chopped off and his face disfigured much worse if it'd bring Capella back. He had to fight his tears as he remembered the smile she'd given him before she sacrificed herself to save him and the skeletal grimace after the Hyper Beam had killed her. The horrific image of her ravaged body's final moments would stay burned onto his eyes forever, he was sure of that.
Why did she do it? he thought morosely. Why did she sacrifice herself?
Because that's what she was like. Saving herself before me was something she could never have done.
But she should have! I will die in seventy years at most anyway... She had a whole millennium ahead of her.
She would never have made such an important decision so calculatingly... She'd never choose herself over a friend based on simple arithmetic.
I should never have put her before that choice.... If only I'd helped Lucius finish Tangrowth off before I went to save Toxica...
“Then you'd probably be mourning Toxica's death now instead of mine,” a kind voice spoke in his mind.
Boreas felt incredibly happy for just a moment before he realised it was just his imagination. Great, now I'm imagining dead people's voices in my head. Couldn't be better.
“Yes, you are, I'm afraid. But that doesn't mean you're going crazy. After all, you know I'm just your imagination trying to cope with a loss, not actually Capella's spirit.”
I wish you were Capella's spirit... I so want to talk to her. But I know I'll never talk to her again... She's dead, and there's nothing I can do about it any more. It's horrible. He couldn't hold his tears back by now and cried as he walked.
“You're right. But you can talk to me instead.”
Oh, perfect. A good round of talking to myself, I'm sure that'll be a great substitute for Capella.
“Talking to your memory of me. I may be dead, but I am still in your heart and mind.”
But I can't talk to you, that's the problem! I wish I could, because you always gave me hope and I could bloody use some right now. But you're dead, it's over! Not only can I never talk to you again, but you don't even exist any more! Sure, your body still exists, buried in the ground, and your blood still exists, drenching my fur, but your thoughts, your feelings, your personality, the things that really made you you? They're all gone forever!
“But all those things are still here, in your memories! If they weren't, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.”
But that's not real! Those are just memories inside my head!
“Of course they're just inside your head, but why would that mean they're any less real? Think of all the good times you had with me, were they not real?”
Of course they were, but those good times are gone!
“Not in your mind. You remember them, don't you?”
But that's not the same! They're over!
“Yes, but you still remember them and me. That is important.”
What does it matter whether I remember them? Capella is still dead, and whether or not I remember her won't change anything about that.
“It changes your feelings. I may be gone, but I'm not gone for you, not really.”
But you're gone for yourself! What do my feelings matter?!
“What makes you think I mind being dead? The very fact that I'm dead makes it impossible for me to have any emotions about the matter. I probably didn't want to die while I was alive, but now that I'm dead I don't want anything any more. Whether I'm dead or not, like all other things, is something I don't care about any more, on account of being dead. Your feelings are more important than mine right now, Boreas, because mine don't exist any more.”
No, they aren't! So maybe you don't literally care about it any more, but think of all that could've been! You could've lived happily for a thousand years... All the things you missed... Nine hundred years of happiness gone, oh Giratina, I could cry about it... And am, in fact. I remember when you were trying to cheer me up after Febby showed up with that prat Esper, and you mentioned you might find a girl you really loved and would spend the rest of your life with during my great-great-grandchildren's lifetime... And now that will never happen...
“Yes, that is a shame, but I lived a hundred and eight years, Boreas! I lived a very long life, much longer than you're likely to live.”
Long for me perhaps, but it was short for you! You shouldn't have had to die!
“But the reality is, I did. What do you think I would tell you if I was here?”
Why don't you tell me? You're supposed to be my memory of her!
“Don't mourn for me. This is my destiny. Hold your head high and remember my life with happiness, not my death with sadness. I was nothing before I was born, and now I am nothing once more. Overall I lost nothing, I just got a hundred and eight great years of life as a short break between endless seas of non-existence.”
You expect me to cheer up and be happy when you were so brutally taken from my life? How could I ever be happy again?
“Bleak though things may seem right now, you will eventually get over my death, like you got over the deaths of your family. Then you'll remember my life with happiness, instead of focusing on my death.”
How can I be happy for your life if it's my fault you're dead?! If I hadn't allowed Lilligant to let us end up battling next to each other, Tangrowth could only have caught one of us, and you could've saved whomever it was!
“You might as well blame Lucius; if he hadn't burnt Tangrowth so badly your Ice Beams would've hurt it enough that we could each have saved ourselves.”
But I've done so much more! If I hadn't lured Ferrothorn towards you we would never have ended up being caught by Tangrowth together! If I had listened to Selene we might've detected the Shadow Triad before they caught Black! If I had come up with a plan earlier we might've defeated Ryoku before it was too late! If I had left the team and gone with Aqua... His thoughts trailed off as he came to a horrible realisation. I made the wrong decision. Oh, Rayquaza, I made the wrong choice! I should've gone with Aqua, but I didn't and now Capella died for it!
Enough! I don't want to pretend Capella is still alive by talking to memories! She's dead and it's my fault! Something in him recognised that the only ones who were really to blame for her death were Ryoku and his pokémon, but he wasn't really interested in thinking sensibly now. The image of Capella's face, still alive but with most of the flesh blasted off her skull, was burnt in his mind forever. His fur was still drenched in her blood after three days; because of all the wounds that had needed cleaning, Black simply didn't have enough water to clean Capella's blood out of Boreas' fur too and now he walked around in her blood as a horrific reminder of her death.
Boreas felt as dark and gloomy as the tomb-like Chargestone Cave itself. Depressed, mournful, guilt-torn, and with gruesome images stuck in his brain of the death of the one person who had been best at cheering him up, his morbid mood was enlightened by only one light of hope... Aqua. He wanted to see her again more than anything now. He wanted to hold her, to cry on her shoulder, for her to whisper consolations in his ear with her sweet voice, and for her soft lips to restore his joy with a kiss... The thought of Aqua was all that kept him from just giving up out of pure misery.
They reached a three-way split in the cave. Black was about to lead them into one of the other directions when they heard sounds of other travellers come from the other way. Black curiously shone his torch into that way, and all thoughts disappeared from Boreas' mind. He ran at the most beautiful creature in the universe, by some miracle right here in the cave, pounced her with joy, and kissed her, letting all the sorrow disappear from his mind for a moment.
“Aqua...” Boreas happily spoke.
“My dear fellow,” Octa gravely spoke. “Tear your gaze away from her eyes for one moment and look at her companions.
Boreas hadn't even bothered to look at her companions until now. He took a few steps back as he felt as if he'd been lost in a desert for days, then found a jug of water just as he thought he'd die of thirst, only to find out after drinking it that it was sulphuric acid, not water. Behind Aqua stood a human in white clothes with long green hair and a Zoroark grinning cruelly, as well as some pokémon Boreas didn't know. The human and the Zoroark were all too familiar to him, though: N and Diego.
“No.” Boreas could almost hear the sound of his heart shattering. “No!”
Aqua looked at him sadly as he stepped backwards. “Boreas, I'm sorry.”
“No! You-you're with them!”
“I can explain, Boreas.”
“Can you?” Boreas spat, “Let me just ask you one thing: are you with N out of your own free will?”
The dust that was left of Boreas' heart burst into a burning flame of pure hate. “No buts, Aqua. How could you?” He asked as he stared furiously into her treacherous eyes. “You betrayed me!”
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 39)
Well done! The last thing I expected was for Aqua to be with N. Eager to read next chapter!
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 39)
And now I feel better because my paranoia was right on target! I'm sure there's more to the story, of course, but yaaay, after this is resolved I can finally stop feeling uneasy about Aqua.
Oh, and nice little conversation with 'Capella'. I loved that..
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 39)
Wow you really showed Boreas's sorrow well, and the next part with Aqua is a really well done cliff hanger
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 39)
Yeah, when you PMed me the things you suspected Aqua of, I was very surprised at how much you had right. The other half of it was utterly wrong, of course, but it was still very impressive. You're very perceptive, and I'm glad I can finally acknowledge that.
Originally Posted by Windywords123
Thank you. Now, let's see what happens after the cliffhanger...
Originally Posted by Akimbo
Chapter Forty: Eclipse
“I didn't betray you, Boreas,” Aqua said ruefully.
“You joined Team Plasma!” Boreas roared furiously. “You're here with N and Diego! Of course you betrayed me, N is Team Plasma's leader and Diego... Diego is an all-round bastard who went out of his way to torture me!”
Diego interrupted Aqua's response. “How's the tail, Boreas?” he grinned.
Boreas really wanted to kill Diego. He had sworn to after the Zoroark had hung him from the Ferris wheel by his tail, after all, but he had more important matters to deal with right now. “I'll deal with you later,” he spat.
“Listen Boreas,” Aqua explained, “I know you're upset and-”
“Upset?!” Boreas exclaimed. “Upset?! No, how could I be?! After all, the only thing that happened is my girlfriend betraying me to the people who murdered Capella!”
“Capella is dead?!” Aqua asked at the same time as N, who had been talking to a similarly furious Black.
“Yes.” Boreas spoke furiously. “Murdered by your Sage Ryoku. Truly a man as pleasant as he is fat. He had his pokémon execute her. This blood in my fur is hers. The same blood is on your paws now, Aqua.”
Aqua looked very sad. “Boreas, I didn't know-”
“You didn't know?!” Boreas bellowed, “Didn't know what?! That Team Plasma is a gang of filthy murderers?! Because I distinctly remember telling you all about them and the things they've done! They tried to kill me many time, set me on fire, broke my legs, and had me swallowed alive among other things! Don't lie to me, you knew all about them but just didn't care!”
“And don't you dare give me that Leppa metaphor! There's not just one rotten Leppa in this basket, all of them are filthy and rotten to the core! And so are you, you traitor! Let me guess: you joined those bastards to get your revenge on the humans for killing your darling Lothario?! Because clearly you loved him enough to mope about him for months and hate a whole species for him, while I can just be thrown away and betrayed like a piece of rubbish!”
Boreas could see anger rising in Aqua, but so far she managed to keep calm. “No. This has nothing to do with Lothario, and I wish you wouldn't talk like that. After you and I separated, I became incredibly lonely again-”
“Oh, what a convenient excuse! You were lonely, so you joined those murdering bastards! You're a pathetic traitor!”
Aqua looked angry now. “What if-”
“What if nothing! You betrayed me, you bitch!”
Suddenly Aqua burst out furiously. “BOREAS!” she roared, “now you listen to me! I didn't betray you, I just made a different choice than you! I'm not a servant you can order around, I was your girlfriend! I have a right to make my own choice!”
“You chose to side with those murderers, and now you're an accessory to Capella's death! That is not a choice, it's treason!”
“N is not like the Sages! N is a very good man, and would never harm anyone! He's a true hero, and if you knew just what he was planning...”
Boreas laughed a fake, hollow laughter. “He's the leader of them all, so he's responsible! Besides, he's helping the Sages' plan by working with them! You know, their plan to satisfy their thirst for power under the pretence of liberating pokémon?"
"The Sages are only human. Yes, they are evil people, but they're on our side. We work together with them, but they're not N! I did not join them, I joined N!"
"He is responsible just as much as they are. And what about that git Diego, I take it he's just a friendly, good person too?! I'm sure he only hung me from the Ferris wheel to give my back a nice stretching! How could you join them after all I told you?!”
“I didn't even know who they were for ages! Diego used his illusion to mask them both. And yes, he's a much better person than you think! I told him what a bastard he was for what he did to you, but now I see you probably deserved it! I would never have thought you were such a hard-headed, oppressive fascist! What makes you think you have the right to decide my opinions?! I thought you'd accept my choice after some initial misgivings, but you're much less flexible and considerate than I thought.”
“I should be considerate of you betraying me to those egotistical, murdering bastards?!”
“I-did-not-betray-you!” Aqua seethed, “I didn't tell N anything you told me! This is my choice! Mine! Not yours! Just because I kissed you and thought we had something together doesn't mean I'm yours to command!”
“'Had something together', hah! You were just winning information from me, using me, you filthy slut! And all this, just to avenge Lothario and not to go lonely! Boohoo, well if you're lonely maybe it's just that no-one likes you, and with good reason!”
“I was such an idiot to believe you would support my choice! You're a blind, inconsiderate fascist, and pokémon like you are the reason humans keep treating us the way they do! I thought you loved me and would support me no matter what, but now I can see what you're truly like! When you looked at me or complimented my looks I always thought you were actually interested in me, but now I can see you just liked my looks. You couldn't care less about me, it's just my body you want, isn't it, you heartless bastard?!”
“Oh, I see, I'm the one who betrayed our relationship now, how silly of me to think that was you for siding with my enemies! Maybe I was fooled by your looks! They made me think there was a beautiful person underneath them, but now I see that pretty face hides an evil mind! You're an evil, treacherous heartbreaker, Aqua!”
“How typical. You never even considered another point of view, did you? Just because you've had good experiences with a human makes you think you're his friend, and humans are good! Let me tell you, humans are evil! N is the only exception, because he was raised by pokémon instead of his own disgusting kind! Humans will keep oppressing pokémon forever if it was up to you! Even after I told you all the humans had done to me, you didn't care! I always accepted your opinion of matters, because I thought I genuinely liked you and you liked me. But now I see you never liked anything beyond my beauty, and I just liked you because you were the first meaningful contact I had had in months! But now I have real friends, and we will change the world for the better, without you!”
“What about you, then?! No matter what I told you, you kept supporting Plasma, and now you're one of them!” Boreas, blinded with hate, only now noticed N and Black were battling: Toxica was fighting a Ferroseed. “But that's enough talk. You are my enemy, and I fight my enemies.”
“Fine!” spat Aqua, “There's no way I'll ever get through your thick skull with words alone!”
Both stepped forward, about to attack each other, when Octa suddenly stepped between them. “Enough! My dear fellow, I shan't allow you to destroy what's left of your relationship with her like this.”
“Get out of the way, Octa! She's with Team Plasma and I'm going to get her for it!”
“I wouldn't get out of the way if she had personally killed Capella. 'Tis my duty as your friend not to let you do something you'll regret for the rest of your life. I shall battle her in your stead.”
Maybe something deep in Boreas recognised Octa was right. If it did, it was completely drowned out by the roaring fires of hate incinerating his heart. “Keep your haughty nose out of my business, you inbred twit! If you don't step away right now, I'll Ice Beam your arrogant face until your meddlesome brain literally freezes in your skull so you can personally go tell your idiotic ancestors of the trouble you got in for being a meddlesome nuisance!”
Boreas realised as he shouted it that he'd gone way too far. Octa's deeply insulted face told him the same. He realised he shouldn't have talked to Octa like that, but his anger was just far too great to contain.
“Fine,” Octa spoke icily. “Do it, then. Why should I care if you ruin your life with your own stupidity?” he stepped aside.
They were about to battle when N commanded: “Aqua, switch for Jacob! Nothing good will come of this fight!”
“No way!” Aqua yelled, “this is between me and him! Don't you dare interfere! Any of you!”
“Ready then, traitor?” Boreas sneered.
“Ready to destroy you,” Aqua replied.
The battle erupted at incredible speed. Beams of water and ice hit each other in mid-air, narrow parries and absorptions were executed, wind and water gyred through the cave furiously. The fires of love that had once burned in their hearts now burned as brightly with all-consuming hate. They wanted nothing more than to hurt and kill the other. Boreas used ice-attacks so cold they liquefied bits of air into a horribly painful rain that was much colder than ice and Aqua used Scald to blast boiling water at Boreas in an attempt to burn him. So far neither of them had managed to hit the other, but it was only a matter of time before they succeeded.
“I can't believe I let you even touch me! How could I have been so blind not to see what you are really like?!” Boreas raged.
“You're blind about many more things, Boreas!” Aqua sneered as she blasted boiling water at him. “Like which side is in the right, and which side is going to win! Your dogmatic adherence to the evil and the losing side will be your undoing!”
Aqua shot a beam of boiling water right at Boreas, and he immediately countered it with an Ice Beam. But she didn't stop, she just kept firing it and Boreas kept stopping it with the continuous Ice Beam. Massive clouds of steam formed with terrifying hisses at the point where they connected. That point approached Boreas, so he put more power into his Ice Beam to stop it. The power of both their attacks rose, and soon they were both fully concentrating on bringing even more power into their attack. Boreas realised this wasn't going to work and used slightly less power, so he could make a freezing wind of ice to blast Aqua from the left.
The Icy Wind hit her at the same moment that Boreas' Ice Beam gave up under the blast of boiling water. They both screamed in agony as their attacks hit their targets.
Diego was watching their battle with a wide grin. “Boreas, did she tell you she's now my mate yet?”
“What are- Yes, indeed I am. That hurts, doesn't it, Boreas?” Aqua grinned.
“How could you?!” Boreas asked as he summoned more and more cold.
“After how you treated me, you dare to ask that?”
“No,” Boreas grinned, “I meant physically. How did it fit in? He's twice as large as you! Unless of course... either or both of you has parts that aren't to scale.”
Diego roared in fury at that and tried to attack Boreas, but was caught in the crossfire of boiling water and Ice Beams burning and freezing him.
Since Diego had absorbed both their attacks they both had an opening in their defences for a moment and a chance to approach each other. Boiling clouds of steam and freezing clouds of hail collided at the same moment that the two Eevees did. They tore at each other, using tooth and claw as their weapons while clouds of steam and ice scalded and froze them. As he bit Aqua's flank, drawing a lot of blood, Boreas finally heard the voice in his mind that asked him what in the name of all legendaries he was doing, which told him that this was deeply wrong. But only for a moment, as he let his hate flow through him, incinerating his every fibre, and he listened to the voice that told him to hurt Aqua physically as much as she'd hurt him mentally instead.
The pain caused by the steam and the wounds Aqua inflicted only increased Boreas' hate for her. Even more so than when Capella had just died, he was a mad, hate-driven cyclone of revenge. They were entangled, trying to bite each others' throat, for several minutes before they somehow broke loose and stood facing each other.
“Enough playing around!” Aqua yelled, “Let me show you my true power!”
“You're right, time for the gloves to come off!”
A massive river of water flowed into the cave at the same moment that Boreas summoned a ferocious Blizzard he couldn't even control properly. Boreas was caught in the wave of water as the Blizzard made it rain hail and liquid air. The wave bashed into and around him several times with impacts like powerful punches. It whirled around him, grabbing him and attempting to break his bones with its phenomenal power. Boreas saw the furious Aqua swim in the water a few metres away, trying her very best to control as much of it as she could.
He made the Blizzard lash out at and she screamed in pain as she was pelted with hail and liquid air and her skin began to freeze. But then the water pulled Boreas under with a mighty current. He struggled and tried to swim back to the surface, but it was far too powerful and he soon began running out of air. He saw Aqua's elegant form under water, no doubt grinning as she drowned him.
He burnt with rage and he channelled it into an intense pulse of cold that rapidly froze the water around him into ice. It was easy to make the rapidly freezing water push him back to the surface and allow him to breathe. His body froze in, but he hardly noticed as he continued letting Neptunian amounts of cold freeze more and more of the water. It froze so fast the waves and currents that had flowed through it were still visible in the ice. Aqua looked terrified at the freezing perimeter rapidly approaching her. Freezing all this water cost Boreas incredible amounts of energy and he couldn't control it, but he didn't care, only having thoughts for freezing Aqua.
Aqua tried her best to stop the advancing ice. A pulse of boiling water expanded from her and met the perimeter of freezing water. Boreas concentrated on freezing the water while Aqua tried to boil it with all her might. The water on the perimeter boiled and froze at the same time, making the most incredible noises. The edge slowly crawled to Aqua, but Boreas was increasingly getting exhausted, and soon the edge began moving back. He looked at Aqua's firmly concentrated face and realised just how much he hated her for all that she'd done to him. The hate empowered him, and the ice's edge moved back to Aqua. But now he was getting so exhausted that black spots danced before his eyes and he felt his consciousness slipping away rapidly.
He gave one last massive pushed and relished in Aqua's screams of pain as the water around her froze. Boreas tried to freeze her with his final bit of power. But she launched another counter-offensive. This time Boreas had no strength and almost no consciousness left to fight her, yet he tried. As his vision went black he heard noises approach him closer and closer, and then he felt a terrible, boiling pain. But only for a moment before he blacked out.
Boreas awoke in pain all over. Then he wished he hadn't woken up at all as he remembered the fight with Aqua. He hated her, and yet he felt like he had done a horrible thing in fighting her.
“Boreas, you're awake!” Black said happily.
Boreas sighed morosely and with self-loathing. They were still in the same place, but N had left. Boreas' skin ached, but it seemed neither the burns nor the wounds were very bad. Aqua's water had also washed most of Capella's blood out of his fur.
“That was the same Vaporeon you met in Driftveil, wasn't it?” Black asked sadly.
Boreas said nothing.
“I'm sorry. I should've returned you to your pokéball, prevented you from fighting her...”
“You couldn't have stopped me,” Boreas said flatly.
“About an hour. Toxica stepped in when you fainted to prevent that Vaporeon from boiling you to death. She defeated her, and in the end we won...”
Boreas just said nothing. He caught Octa's eye for a moment and immediately wished he hadn't. Octa gave him such a withering, furious look. With terrible despair, Boreas realised the three people he cared most for where all lost to him in some way. Capella was dead, Octa was so furious at him he might never forgive him, and Aqua had betrayed him.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 40)
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 40)
Chapter Forty-One: In the Dead of Night
Boreas woke up in sweat, feeling nauseous and horrible. He trembled with fury, self-loathing, and guilt. He had barely slept the past week because of the way his dreams tormented him, and tonight was no different. The dreams were of course about Aqua, as most of his dreams had been since meeting her. But for the past week what used to be a source of very pleasant dreams was now a source of nightly torment. The dreams by themselves weren't even that bad, except for the one where he relived their fight. In fact they were quite similar to the ones he used to have before finding out she had betrayed him. But the way they made him feel was completely different. They only reminded him of what he'd lost now.
Boreas wanted to be alone. He stood up and silently sneaked away from the camp where his companions were sleeping peacefully. The eternal semi-darkness of Chargestone Cave was the same whether it was day or night. He pointlessly walked for a bit until he reached a deep gorge. Down in the depths mighty sparks flared occasionally. He sat down at the edge to look into it.
He felt as if his life had fallen into a deep, black gorge of despair, much like this one except more metaphorical and with less lightning sparks. Just ten days ago, his greatest worry had been Octa's silly determination to let his family choose his mate. Now his best friend was furious at him, his second-best friend was dead, and his girlfriend... Well, she was his girlfriend no more. He still couldn't believe the girl he loved had joined Team Plasma. It was treason of the worst kind, and he hated her for it, yet he cringed in shame and guilt when he remembered the things he'd said to her. Now that the fury had disappeared he felt horrible about his words and deeds. He realised he would never have reacted like that if it hadn't been for the fresh wound of Capella's death. Of course, he would've been furious at the treason regardless, but never in such a horribly nasty way. And Capella would've stopped him, and she wouldn't have gotten angry and given up even if he had insulted her like he had insulted Octa.
The horrible things they had both said during their fight kept echoing through his mind, even when he was awake. And it had only gotten worse as his sleep deprivation caused him to be only half awake at best. There was nothing he could do to take his mind off it: most of his other memories just weren't powerful enough. Those of Octa and Capella were quite powerful but only made it worse because they reminded him of what he had lost; memories of the blissful days he had had with Aqua were even worse. There was nothing he could do in the present to take his mind off it either: the dark environment of Chargestone Cave offered no distractions and neither his companions nor he were in the mood for conversation. Even the future offered no relief: his hopes and dreams seemed to have shattered or become hollow. Becoming the Champion would never bring back Capella or make Aqua's treason, or at least the things he'd said to her, undone. The awesome glory of helping Black become the most powerful trainer in Unova seemed empty and bleak. Stopping Team Plasma seemed impossible. Even getting revenge for Capella and his destroyed life didn't seem to hold that much appeal now that his anger was gone. It didn't matter anyway: he realised now how much luck they'd had not to lose any party members before, and that they should really all have been dead five times over already. Team Plasma was just too mighty, there was no stopping them. Aqua had probably been right when she had said Team Plasma was the winning side.
Aqua had said she had joined N out of loneliness. The realisation that she was lonely because Boreas had chosen not to go with her crushed him with guilt. She would never have joined N if he had been there. He had made the wrong choice, and it had destroyed his life. He'd gladly give up what little was left of it to have made the right choice. The things that had happened since he made his choices, the things that had been said could never be reversed. Aqua would never forgive him, and he would never forgive her. And he wouldn't forgive himself either.
Everything seemed to be gone now. Happiness, joy, hope, and love. Anger and hate had taken their place at first, but now even they had gone. Boreas was left with nothing but mountains of sorrow, guilt, and despair. He stood up and looked into the depths of the gorge. He'd jump in without hesitation if it meant undoing all this. In fact, as he looked into it those depths felt very attractive even if they didn't undo anything. He longed for his despair and guilt to be gone, and couldn't help but think that just a small step forward would take them away forever.
What did he have to live for? He had lost everything, and there was no way to get it back. A shiver went through him as Aqua saying he had only been interested in her looks echoed through his mind, and he cringed as he remembered his reply. Was he really only interested in her looks? She was gorgeous, there was no doubt about it, but Boreas was sure he'd been interested in more. He loved talking to her, listening to her, and had supported her when she was at her weakest... How could she say he was only interested in her looks?
With regret he knew exactly how she could say that as he remembered his reaction to her choice. He had called it treason and yelled at her for it, deeply insulted her. Yet, though he still thought it was treason, he had to agree that it was typically her choice. It was something she really believed in, and he had hated her for it, despite his claims of loving her.
The memories to the happy, carefree days he'd spent with her in Driftveil made him feel even worse, if such a thing was possible. The gorge seemed to beckon. Just one step forwards, and it would all be over. No more despair, no more guilt, no more sorrow, no more horrible memories. Just one step, and gravity would take care of the rest. He'd never even feel the impact, it'd be quite painless.
He lifted his paw, but something in him held him back. But he asked that something what he had to lose. His life was over and he was dead inside, he might as well make it official. He stepped on, put his paw into the empty air, and tumbled into the gorge.
Aqua trembled with anger as she remembered the names Boreas had called her. She had made the choice to fight for what's right with her friends, and he dared call her a traitor for it? She couldn't believe she had once loved him. Clearly that had been a complete mistake, and she'd only liked him because he was the first person she'd talked to in ages. Obviously she had never really been in love at all with him, so what did she care about his opinion? He was just some annoying, close-minded Glaceon who had joined the wrong side. She didn't care at all about his opinion or him.
So why was it she trembled with fury and had to fight tears whenever the things he'd said echoed through her mind? Clearly it must just be that she was sensitive to others' opinion of her. She would've reacted the exact same if Octa had said that, or-
Oh, who am I trying to fool? Aqua sighed, obviously I was completely in love with him, before I found out what a bastard he really is.
She remembered the happy days she'd spent with him with pain in her heart. After all those months of sad loneliness, she had been completely mesmerised by the cute, witty, charming and kind Glaceon. She remembered how happy and flattered she had felt whenever she'd caught him staring at her. She had been so sure she would have a wonderful future with him... She had thought he felt the same way about her, but now she knew better. He had been interested in nothing but her looks. If he really loved her, he would've accepted and supported her choice, as she'd expected him to do.
Or was he right? Maybe I did betray him... A small voice inside her said.
Never! He just couldn't accept my choice, accept me! He wants to dominate me and direct my choices, but I won't let him! She furiously silenced the voice.
It had taken her just one day, one single day, to become miserable after she'd said goodbye to Boreas when he left Driftveil. She'd been utterly mistaken: loneliness felt even worse with lovesickness added to it. Her feelings told her to get to Mistralton as soon as possible, though she knew it would take Boreas more than a month to get there too.
Three days after they had said their goodbye, Aqua had stopped at the riverbanks for the evening when it had all become too much and she'd cried.
“Hey, beautiful,” a voice said sympathetically, “don't cry, I'm sure whatever it is will get better.”
Aqua turned around with start and saw a Jolteon grinning at her charmingly. “Don't sneak up on me like that! Who are you and what do you want?!”
“Sorry. My name is Diego, and I want to bring a smile to those pretty cheeks. Surely whatever it is will feel better if you share it with me.”
“Diego?” Aqua frowned.
“Yes, that's my name. If you don't like it, feel free to think of a nickname.”
“Oh, no, it's just that name reminds me of someone. Some bastard Zoroark who once hung my boyfriend from a Ferris wheel by his tail.”
The face Diego made caused Aqua to burst into laughter. “Yeah, I know it sounds bizarre, but there's a long story behind it.”
“Yeah,” Diego grinned, “It certainly does sound bizarre. So, that sounds like it was painful to your boyfriend. I mean, he could lose his tail that way...”
“Oh, not to worry. His tail was still attractive. Uh, I meant attached.” Aqua blushed at her little slip.
“Well, that's great. So, where is your boyfriend then? I'd love to hear this story from him.”
“He's travelling to Mistralton with his trainer. I'm travelling there separately because I don't like humans.”
A cunning grin flashed over Diego's face, but was immediately exchanged for a friendly smile. “Don't like humans and headed for Mistralton? Well, isn't that a coincidence, I don't like humans either, and I'm travelling by Mistralton with a friend – he's a pokémon, of course. Why don't you travel with us?”
Aqua's heart brightened at the chance of travelling with companions, especially the nice Jolteon. “I'd love to! I hope your friend won't object...”
“What, object to such a pretty girl joining us? Never. C'mon, let's go to the place where I agreed to meet him.”
Diego took her to a clearing nearby where they waited for his friend while they chatted amicably. Finally a Slowking entered the clearing.
“Norin,” Diego immediately greeted the Slowking, “great to see you again!”
The Slowking frowned in puzzlement for a moment, then greeted Diego. “Hi, Diego. I see you had more luck with finding new friends than I did.”
“Yeah,” Diego grinned. “This is Aqua. Aqua, this is my friend Norin.”
Aqua greeted Norin. “So... You two were actually looking for new friends? Why?”
“Well,” Norin explained, “we are on a mission. A mission to make a perfect world. Did you tell her yet, Diego?”
“No, you tell it better.”
“Okay. Well, Aqua, have you ever heard of Zekrom?”
“Of course,” said Aqua, “it's one of the legendary dragons that were created when the original dragon of Unova was split into two.”
“Yes. The original dragon was split into two by the foolish humans commanding it. Humans are unlike pokémon, selfish and evil, and so they caused the dragon to split by their enmity. Zekrom embodies ideals, and I have a dream of a perfect world where humans and pokémon are separated. An ideal world, where pokémon can finally be perfect beings. But I won't achieve that by force: I will reawaken Zekrom, and together we will defeat the most powerful human trainers. Then everyone will see how perfect free pokémon are and liberate their pokémon.”
“But what about people who don't liberate their pokémon? And why do you need me?”
“You underestimate Zekrom's power. And I need you to help me become friends with Zekrom and to get to Dragonspiral Tower, where we can summon it.”
Aqua thought it was great she could actually do something about the humans in this way, and very much wanted to help Norin, but there was one problem. “I can help you along, but I have to stay behind in Mistralton. I promised my boyfriend I'd wait for him there. But I'd be delighted to help you until then.”
Aqua had thought for two weeks that N was a pokémon, before Diego finally dropped the illusions masking the both of them. Aqua had been furious and attacked both her new friends. But she realised that even with the deception they were still the only friends she had at the moment. She didn't want to go back to being lonely and alone. Besides, Boreas hadn't really told her anything bad about N, and she couldn't help but agree with him, and he really had a good plan. She had a very hard time to trust a human, though. But N explained that he had been raised by pokémon ever since he was a child. He believed his parents had been pokémon, and he had been born in the form of a human to be able to convince the humans their ways of treating pokémon were wrong. Ghetsis and the other Sages had decided to help him and created Team Plasma to fulfil his dream. He considered the Sages as wise, good men, though flawed and on occasion too cruel. Aqua wasn't sure whether N's parents could really have been pokémon or that he had just been abandoned to pokémon as a child, but either way he wasn't raised by humans but by pokémon. His behaviour was very inhuman, and it was easy to think of him as a fellow pokémon.
Diego, on the other hand, had not really been able to explain his behaviour satisfactorily. Apparently he hadn't even told N about what he'd done to Boreas, and the human was as angry as Aqua at him for it. Aqua had scolded and Scalded him furiously for the way he'd tormented Boreas. But of course forgiveness came a lot easier to N, as Diego had been his lifelong friend and he didn't love Boreas like Aqua did.
“Hey there, gorgeous,” said Diego as he sat down next to her.
“What do you want, Diego?” Aqua snapped.
“I just want to cheer you up a bit. You know I rather see a gorgeous smile then a gorgeous frown on that pretty face.”
“Save it, Diego. I'm not going to cheer up, not after what happened.”
“I think you will if you place it into perspective: you lost your boyfriend, but he was a git anyway. He joined the evil human oppressors and called you a traitor for joining the right side. He even tried to kill you, I saw it with my own eyes. You've got your friends to help you through this. Maybe I can even be more than just a friend to you...”
“Well, when we told Boreas we were mates, it was just a lie to hurt him like he'd hurt you, of course. But why don't we make that lie a truth? It's over between you now, after all, so we can both give in to the natural magnetism that's been between us ever since we first met.”
Aqua felt pretty uncomfortable at that proposal. On the one hand she wanted to say yes. Diego was attractive, powerful, fighting for what was right, and strong. He had always treated her well and supported her, even when Boreas didn't. But another part of her realised she felt nothing for him, while her heart had burnt and in a way still burnt, for Boreas. Because even though she hated Boreas now, part of her was still immensely attracted by him. “No. Sorry, Diego, but I think we're better off as just friends.”
“Okay. I understand, it is rather short notice, isn't it? I never asked you before, because I knew you had a boyfriend, but now that you're free I figure we can hook up. But of course I'll give you a while to think about it.”
“Diego, that's not what- You had better take that paw off my hip right now or I'll take it off your arm,” Aqua said only half-jokingly.
Diego quickly retracted his arm. “Okay, sorry about that. It's hard to resist touching such beauty.”
“Well, you'd better learn resisting it, because I'm not at all interested in you in that way.”
“Then what're you going to do? Go back to Boreas?”
“Never!” she exclaimed, though part of her wanted to. But she recognised that even if she forgave him for some unfathomable reason there was no way he'd want her back after the things she'd said and done. Maybe she had really betrayed him... Joining N after all that Team Plasma had put him through was very inconsiderate, she had to admit, even if it was the right choice. She trembled as the way he'd called her a traitor echoed through her mind. His voice had really ringed with the deepest sound of betrayal. She realised that maybe he really did love her, and had just felt incredibly betrayed by her choice.
“Hey, are you alright, handsome?” Diego asked.
“Yes,” Aqua lied. “Yes, just leave me alone for a bit. I... Need to think about some things.”
“Of course,” Diego grinned. “You shouldn't rush into a relationship.”
As Diego left her, Aqua remembered how Boreas had supported her when she'd needed him most. Falling asleep in his arms had been wonderful and she really began to question her sanity in questioning whether he really loved her as she remembered his passionate kisses. Of course he did. He loved her, and now she had destroyed any chance they might have at being together happily.
But, another part of her angrily brought up, even if he really did love her, he had still been horrible to her. She was a traitor, was she? A bitch and a filthy slut, and Capella's blood was on her paws? Even if they had loved each other, that was unforgivable. But then she realised just how it must've felt for him to have Capella, who he liked very much, die at Team Plasma's hands and then find out his girlfriend joined N. And then the things she'd said to him... She had tried to remain calm and explain the situation to him, but his words had infuriated her, and she had said some really mean things herself. She felt horrible and ashamed as she remembered it.
Boreas suddenly felt like his inner organs were being squeezed out through his mouth and arse as rope-like things caught him around his belly and heaved him up. He reached the top of the chasm and stood eye to eye with a furious Octa.
“Have you gone stark raving mad?!” Octa shouted.
Boreas was dumbfounded. In the year he'd known Octa, the Servine had never yelled at him. “O-Octa, I-”
“Yes, you! That's who it's all about with you, isn't it?! You!”
“Just because things aren't going your way for a bit, you decide to top yourself?! I have never heard of such a despicably selfish act, and am tempted to push you into that gorge myself!”
“The thought of how your suicide would affect us never even crossed your egotistic mind, did it?! Capella gave her life to save yours, and you would just waste her sacrifice by throwing your life away?! You would give us another friend to mourn?! How is Black supposed to deal with that?! How am I supposed to deal with that?! Hmm?”
Octa was right, Boreas hadn't tried to see it from that side yet. “I-I hadn't thought of that...”
“No, you hadn't, had you?! You stupid, inconsiderate, selfish nincompoop!”
“Octa, I'm sorry. I didn't realise you still cared...”
Octa took a deep breath. He stopped shouting and returned to his normal angry state: icy, snide, and calm. “You think just because you gravely insulted me and my family your death wouldn't affect me?Honestly, 'tis a shame such a smart mind is wasted on one as stupid as you.”
“Sorry. Sorry for everything, I didn't mean what I said to you. And I shouldn't have tried to kill myself, you're right. But Capella's death and Aqua's treason just affected me so much... You don't know what it's like, the emotions blind me and fill my entire being. I-I wish I was like you, without these emotions bothering me!”
Octa's eyebrows raised in surprise. “You think I have no emotions? I am no emotionless automaton, of course I have emotions. I just have a far better control over them than you, my dear fellow. I am as sorrowful as you are about Capella's death, but I don't let that sorrow control me and make me a depressed wreck. I am furious about your attempt to kill yourself and the insults you hurled at me, but I do not let that anger control me and make me a raging maniac.”
“Can you teach that to me?”
“Well, 'tis not like an easy trick one can simply be taught. 'Tis a form of self-discipline that requires a lot of effort and time to learn. I can only advice you to breathe deeply and try to calm yourself whenever your emotions threaten to overwhelm you. Always listen to your mind, not to your heart.”
“I guess... Octa, what should I do about Aqua? I mean, she betrayed me and said all kinds of horrible things.”
“Well, I do have some advice on that subject.”
“Get over yourself.”
“What?!” Boreas snarled angrily.
“Do you think your world view is the only valid one? Just because Aqua doesn't agree with you doesn't mean she betrayed you. I doubt betrayal was in her mind for even a moment.”
“But she joined Team Plasma, the people who killed Capella!”
“Yes, she did. But let me ask you something important: how much do you love her?”
“I don't,” Boreas lied.
“Poppycock. How much do you love her?”
“Fifty kilohearts!” Boreas sarcastically replied. “How am I supposed to quantify a feeling?”
“Close your eyes. Try to feel the full extent of your adoration for her. Now imagine it as a flame. Tell me how warmly it burns.”
Boreas did so and resolutely stated: “It'd burn Moltres-wings to dust.”
Octa whistled in amazement.
“And it's a bit too big and warm to be called a flame. More like the nuclear fires of a star, really.”
“Well, if that is how you wish to characterise it, let me continue along that metaphor: if nurtured and allowed to prosper, a star can illuminate an entire solar system, and sustain biospheres of life on nearby planets. However, if not nurtured, a star dies. It does so in a supernova of unmatched catastrophic proportions, annihilating absolutely everything in its vicinity, vaporising entire solar systems. If your love is truly like the nuclear fires of a star, you seem to have two choices of how to handle it. Now I am getting tired, therefore I shall go to bed. Be warned that I shall never forgive you if you decide to make jumping into gorges a habit.”
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 41)
Chapter Forty-Two: The Highflying Girl
When they finally emerged from Chargestone Cave it felt like a huge blessing to them all. Capella couldn't have been more mistaken when she had said they would have a great time in the cave. Now that horrible place was her tomb, and the site of the violent breakup between Boreas and Aqua, two events that kept haunting Boreas. Seeing the Sun for the first time in weeks was simply delightful. While it didn't really solve any part of the mountain of troubles and horrid memories plaguing Boreas the light at least made them seem slightly less overwhelming than the eternal darkness of Chargestone Cave did.
It had been winter when they'd entered the cave, but by now spring had clearly started. Flowers grew, birds sang, and trees had regained their leaves. Seeing life go on everywhere made the pain of Capella's loss easier to bear. But not the pain of Aqua's treason. When Boreas saw two Pidgeys courting, he felt so incredibly jealous he was just about ready to kill them both. Spring brought many such reminders to Boreas, and it made his mood the worst in the entire team.
They arrived in Mistralton on a beautiful day in early April. They walked the last part of the journey to the pokécenter, through Mistralton, exhausted and limping with various wounds and broken limbs. Their walking the streets so battered up and exhausted caught the attention of a pink-haired human woman in revealing blue clothes and a middle-aged man with an odd greying-brown haircut and beard. They rushed over to help Black and his pokémon. The woman threw Black's arm around her shoulder to help him walk, as the deep cut on his leg had got infected and gave him a limp now.
“Are you alright?!” the woman asked with concern.
Black was looking at her with a stupid, mesmerised expression on his face. “I... I am now,” he spoke.
“Don't worry, boy,” the man said in a pleasant baritone voice, “Skyla and I'll help you to the pokécenter. What's your name?”
Black didn't respond but kept staring straight into Skyla's eyes. “Hey there. My name is Black.”
“Right, Black, my name is Cedric Juniper, and this is Skyla, Mistralton's Gym Leader. And you are obviously exhausted and wounded, so we're bringing you to the pokécenter.”
In other circumstances Boreas might have giggled along with his friends and Lucius at Black's obvious smittenness, but instead he felt ice cold jealousy freezing him, and he could barely resist freezing Black as well. “So, what's you name?” Black asked.
“Professor!” said Skyla, “I think he might have a concussion or something!”
“Heh, 'or something' indeed,” Juniper chuckled, “I don't think the pokécenter can cure that, but at least it can heal their wounds. I wonder if he's the same Black my daughter has been talking about...” He inspected Octa for a moment. “Yes, he must be. That Servine clearly comes from Crimson Breeders: look at its pentafurcated tail- and backleaves and its long arms. I'm pretty sure only they have bred Servines looking like that.”
“You're right, Professor. Did Minerva give a Snivy from Crimson breeders to this Black? That's a generous gift!” Octa basked with pride at this.
“Yup. Always gave her friends big gifts for their birthdays when she was a kid too. Well, boy, if your brain is still working, you're probably wondering if I'm related to Minerva Juniper. And I am: she's my daughter.”
Black seemed to notice Cedric Juniper for the first time. “Oh, hello sir. I know your daughter, actually; she gave me Octa, my Servine.”
Juniper chuckled as they reached the pokécenter. “Did she? Well, what a small world it is. As Skyla here just showed me with her plane. Skyla, I'll let you know if something comes up again.”
“Professor, my plane is a cargo plane! You can't keep treating it as your private jet!”
“Aww, Skyla. If you keep frowning, your face might freeze like that, and that'd be a shame. We all have to help each other out, you know, both people and pokémon. Well, see you later. You too, Black.”
“Sheesh,” said Skyla as Juniper walked away, “it's hard to believe a happy-go-lucky guy like that could be a renowned pokémon professor. Well, Black, I take it you'll want to challenge my Gym, but first I want you and your pokémon to get a good check-up and rest at the pokécenter. I won't accept your challenge beforehand.”
Boreas awoke from the first good night's sleep he'd had in weeks. When he had told Nurse Armageddon's Audino he couldn't sleep she had given him some pills that had sent him into a dreamless sleep. That, coupled with the pokécenter's cares and the soft room meant Boreas awoke in a better mood than he'd been in since Capella died. It was still darker and fouler than the average Garbodor's stool sample, but at least it was an improvement.
Boreas looked at himself in the mirror that hung in the room. A grim, sad Glaceon looked back. The cheerful, intelligent gleam in his eyes was gone, replaced by a frown and a sad stare. A large scar marred his left cheek and the tip of his tail was missing. The fur on his lower jaw was darker than it used to be. It was quite a change from the last time he'd seen his reflection. He tried to smile, but it looked awfully fake and just as gloomy as before.
When Black awoke he woke his pokémon and told them to gather round. It was clear he was going to say something, but he didn't seem to be able to start.
“Um,” he explained. He was silent for a moment. “Guys, I have to talk to you about something. I... uh... basically, I'm not sure if I want to continue our journey. Capella's death made me think... It made me think about many things, but most of all about being Champion. It's what I've always wanted, but now I'm not sure any more... Capella's death made me think about the things that really matter, and I wonder if power is worth the chance of losing another on of you... So I'm considering returning to Nuvema. You can all come with me, of course. But I'm not sure, that's why we're going to continue until I decide and challenge Skyla today.”
Boreas didn't know what he thought of it. Getting away from it all by returning to Nuvema sounded great. But on the other hand, that would also mean stopping their fight against Team Plasma. Which was probably a good thing, now that he thought of it. No more death, no more fighting, no more danger. There was nothing they could really do against Plasma anyway, and the chance of losing more friends or running into Aqua again...
“Black, old chap,” Octa spoke, “as much as it pains me not to pursue our chance at glory, I agree we should most definitely consider returning to Nuvema, at the very least for a long break and perchance to retire from our endeavour entirely. Capella's untimely demise has affected us all severely...”
“Yeah, I-I guess you're right,” said Toxica. “It's just not the same without Capella. I don't know if I can continue like this...”
Lucius scowled and looked at each of their faces in turn. “That's funny,” he snarled, “I didn't notice all your balls were cut off during the battle!”
“What?!” Boreas exclaimed.
“You're a bunch of weakling cowards! Did your spirits die with Capella?! Is your ambition suddenly gone?! You're just gonna go home to whine about her being dead?! Well, if that's the way y'all think, I'm done with this team! You guys may be ready to give up, but unlike you Capella's death has only made my resolve stronger! I will find Team Plasma, and make them into a funeral pyre for Capella. Sages, grunts, pokémon, N, that lovely girlfriend of yours, pup. And I will get to the fucking pokémon league, and enter that fucking Hall of Fame! And if you guys are too wimpy to do that, I'm leaving the team the moment you give up, and I'll let myself be caught by Cheren, or another real trainer!”
It was silent for a moment, then Boreas, Octa, and Toxica started arguing with him. They fell silent, however, when Selene said: “I agree with Lucius.”
It was so rare that Selene said something that both made sense and was directly connected to the situation at hand that they all stopped arguing. “You... You have an opinion?” Boreas blurted out.
Selene looked as surprised as Boreas did. “Yes... I believe I do. I agree with Lucius. We can't stop now, I want to defeat the Champion. And stop Team Plasma. I think this must be important.”
Lucius laughed. “There, that crazy old chicken is being saner than all of you together. Good job, you crazy bird!”
“But Selene,” Toxica argued, “you can't really agree with 'im. I mean, what's becoming Champion going to get us?”
“Power,” Lucius spoke, “and glory and honour and recognition and all that. The entire region looking at us reverently, because we proved we are the most powerful pokémon in all of Unova! If we continue we can have enough power to avenge Capella and much, much more!”
“We shouldn't give up,” Selene nodded. “I think I'm certain of this. We can't give up just because we've hit a little trouble. If I'd done that when- uh, never mind. So anyway, I agree with Lucius.”
They began arguing again, but Black interrupted them. “Okay, I see not all of you agree with me. But I haven't decided yet anyway. Let's go challenge Skyla first.”
Though Mistralton was only a small city, the Gym was quite hard to find. It turned out to be inside an aircraft hangar on the city's busy airport. From the inside the hangar was quite unique: the huge hall contained two platforms raised high up in the air on poles. A huge blue cannon stood on the middle one and on the ground. The cannons were large enough for a human to fit in, and pointed at the platforms. Skyla stood on the highest platform, waiting. Black tried shouting at her, but she was too far away to hear.
“Selene,” Black said, “go to Skyla and try to find out if I'm really supposed to fire myself out of these cannons.”
Selene flew up and came back a while later. She simply nodded.
“Well,” Black said dubiously, “I guess it must be safe... But I'll return you all to your pokéballs for a moment.”
Boreas was released from the bizarre world inside his pokéball on the highest platform. Black looked quite bruised up.
“Hee-hee,” giggled Skyla, “did you enjoy flying with the help of the cannons? They're my pride and joy!”
“Well, they are quite a nice pair of cannons,” said Black.
“Well, the cannons may be fun, but battling is even more fun! We'll use three pokémon each, no switching out. Amelia, go!”
She threw a pokéball with a graceful pirouette, and a Swoobat appeared, soaring through the air. “Selene,” Black commanded, “you're up first!”
Selene looked up quizzically. “Am I? I don't see myself there...”
“He means you have to kick that Swoobat's ass, crazy bird!” Lucius barked.
“Oh, I see!” Selene took off and pursued the Swoobat. Boreas thought Selene was a very wise choice for the battle here. Just like with Elesa, their immobility was a big disadvantage, but Selene's wings solved that problem. Her type advantage was good too.
Neither Selene nor Amelia the Swoobat was a very graceful flyer. They flew around the large hangar flapping their wings loudly in powerful, rather than dazzling aerial combat. Still, they raced through the hangar, trying to get the better of each other. They pecked and bit each other, bashed into their enemy, hit the other with their wings.
Suddenly Selene plummeted down, falling to the ground like a brick. She was too far away for Black to return her to her pokéball, so it seemed she was going to crash into the ground. The Swoobat dived down even faster, using her wings to catch up to the plummeting Murkrow and rescue her. As soon as she caught up, Selene suddenly regained complete control of her flight, powerfully hit the Swoobat with her wings, circled around her and dug her claws into Amelia's back and wings. Lucius and Boreas cheered for her, but Toxica seemed unimpressed and Octa frowned disapprovingly.
The battle continued with low swoops and high flies, but after the powerful dark-type attack Selene had unleashed on Swoobat she had such great advantage that the battle was practically over. It wasn't long before Skyla recalled her pokémon.
“When I think about a match with a fabulous trainer like you, it's like walking on air!” Skyla said as she threw another pokéball. “It's your turn, Orville!”
With a flash of light a gleaming metallic Skarmory appeared. “Uh oh, that's a steel-type...” Boreas mumbled, remembering Ryoku's Ferrothorn that had been nearly impervious to damage thanks to its type.
“No problem, pup,” Lucius said, “my flames'll easily burn through that armour and roast the bird inside.”
“Well, that's not much good to Selene, is it? And besides, you'll have to catch it first. That won't be easy without wings.”
“Yeah, well, why don't you go give up and cry back to Nuvema, huh?”
Boreas' emotions were already stretched to their limit and the urge to attack Lucius was very hard for him to resist. “What is your problem, Lucius?!”
“What's my problem, pup?” Lucius scoffed, “I could ask you the same thing. We have an opportunity at power, fame, fortune, and glory and you just want to throw it away to go crying like a newborn?!”
“If you like power that much,” Boreas hissed, “why don't you join the Sages? Their plan sounds just like your thing!”
Lucius was furious at the suggestion. “Because they killed Capella, you dipshit! So maybe their cause is surprisingly good, what does that matter? I'm still gonna kill them all and everyone who helped 'em along.”
“Lucius,” Black commanded as he recalled Selene, who had just got badly beaten up by the Skarmory, “it's your turn!”
Lucius turned his furious glare away from Boreas and instead paid attention to the big metal bird that was rapidly swooping to the platform. A gigantic wave of flame erupted from his mouth. The Skarmory tried to avoid it, but it was too big even for a pokémon of its speed and it was caught right in the wave of flame, yet it emerged still flying though its conductive metal armour had to be baking it on the inside. Lucius breathed in to produce another inferno, but Skarmory's speed paid off and it swooped over Lucius, leaving long, deep cuts in his back with its metal claws.
But Lucius jumped at his opponent, his teeth ablaze with intense flames, and bit into its tail, leaving a red-hot mark before Skarmory managed to shake him off, nearly dropping him over the edge. They began a powerful, rough melee combat. Under normal circumstances Skarmory's metal armour would give it an immense advantage, but Lucius' teeth and claws were ablaze with flames, heating the metal bird's armour up with every hit and roasting the creature's flesh inside.
For a while the battle seemed to be going to Skarmory's side, as the cuts it left on Lucius forced him ever nearer the edge. But then the battle's tide turned as Skarmory's armour heated up further and further. In the end Skyla was forced to retract it as it began screaming in pain, being baked from the inside.
“This is my last pokémon,” she said, sending out a Swanna, “but I never give up hope!”
The moment Swanna appeared from the pokéball it unleashed a beam of bubbles on Lucius. The speed at which the bubbles moved meant the barraged Lucius powerfully with lots of water and soaked him as they blasted him back. The fire-type roared and yelled in pain, but there was little he could do any more.
“Boreas, it's all yours!” said Black.
Boreas pounced at Swanna to pin it down before it could fly away, but it took off immediately, recognising a faster and more agile opponent. Boreas almost jumped over the platform's edge as he missed, but managed to catch himself. His opponent, now soaring through the air, blasted him with the Bubblebeam. Though they were only bubbles, the force behind them was immense and it felt more like a beam of golf balls blasted at him with great force than bubbles. His skin was bruised by the great force, which felt as if it left marks on his bones. Boreas disrupted the Bubblebeam with a pulse of cold, then jumped out of the way, hit the head of the beam with an Ice Beam, freezing the nearest bubbles and turning them into a beam of hail the size of golfballs instead. He tried to let the cold spread up the beam to its user, but that was impossible due to the air between the bubbles and the speed at which they flowed. So he quickly stopped doing that, as the last thing he needed was for those bubbles to be solid and thus do even more damage.
He tried to hit his opponent with Ice Beams, but it was too far away to be hit by them. On the other hand, the small platform allowed him little space to dodge the Bubblebeam.
He tried to control the copious amounts of air in the large hangar, to whip it up into an icy storm, but that was not easy. The air was standing still here, lazy and stagnant; quite unlike the stormy, busy air he had used the last time he'd tried to control it. It didn't want to move, but he prodded it on with Icy Wind, slowly getting it to get off its lazy arse and start moving about, first as a calm breeze, then as a stiff cool wind that gyred through the Gym. Boreas found it increasingly easy to control and use it. He directed the winds to his opponent to interfere with its flight. Of course, he couldn't precisely control the unpredictable, chaotic air, but giving it a nudge and a suggestion for the general direction of what he wanted it to do worked just as well.
The bubbles stood no chance of survival in the roaring winds that now howled through the hangar and Swanna was having heavy troubles staying afloat. Skyla shouted commands at it, but it couldn't even hear her over the rapid winds. This was amazingly easy, Boreas thought. The air itself seemed to want to move and make a storm, all it needed was some encouragement to actually do it.
His opponent swooped to the platform, battling the fierce winds. But it didn't even have the mobility to dodge the five Ice Beams Boreas shot at it as it struggled against the winds and was hit by all. Thoroughly weakened, it managed to land on the platform, only to be taken down by two more Ice Beams.
“Wow,” Skyla cheerfully spoke as she almost lost her balance to the storm, “you're an amazing pokémon trainer! Being your opponent has been a new source of strength to me, as you won an amazing victory. Here, you earned the Jet Badge!” she handed Black a badge shaped like a feather.
“Thanks,” said Black.
“Y'know, I heard some things about you from the other Gym Leaders!” Skyla continued. “Six badges already, eh? Brycen and Drayden had better watch out...”
“Actually...” said Black. “I'm not sure if I will continue my quest.”
“But why?” Skyla asked with concern. “You're a great trainer, you have real potential. I'm sure you could make it to the pokémon league, and then who knows?”
“I just... Don't know...” said Black.
“Well, don't you want to continue for your fans, then?”
“Yeah, that guy with the long green hair standing in the hangar's doorway, he watched our entire battle. He must be a fan of you.”
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 42 is finally up!)
I have to agree with Lucius, or Capella's death would have been for nothing. Eagerly waiting for next chapter =)
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 42 is finally up!)
Chapter Forty-Three: Better to have Loved and Lost?
“What do you want, N?” Black angrily asked when he got to the door. “And where are your pokémon?”
“My pokémon are not here,” N stated, “because I don't want to have another fight. Battles are cruel and unjust, and our previous battle was even more so. I have to talk to you, I don't want to fight you, so I thought it was wise to leave my pokémon at the city's edge.”
“And how d'you know,” Lucius growled, “we won't just kill you now that you're undefended and be done with Team Plasma?”
“Because you wouldn't do that to an unprotected man. And because Team Plasma wouldn't be done without me, they would just change their plans, much for the worse of everyone. Speaking of their plans: that's what I want to talk to you about.”
“Really?” Black asked. “You're going to tell me Team Plasma's plans? Why?”
“Because they involve you. Walk with me and let me tell you about how Unova came to be. The warring people of Unova were united under two heroes who were friends with a legendary dragon. The heroes ruled wisely for a number of years, but they were humans. Eventually their warlike nature became apparent and they fought a destructive war with each other. One foolish hero closed his mind to what could be and was content with what was, pursuing truth. The other hero realised things could be better and strove for a perfect, ideal world. Their war devastated Unova after the period of peace they had ironically begun. Of course, they died in the end and Unova had some limited peace again. Without the heroes' force of will keeping them in this world, the dragons went to sleep in two stones, a light one and a dark one. Each awaited to be reawoken by new a new hero once again pursuing truth or ideals. I am that hero and I will resurrect Zekrom to make my ideal world!”
Black began laughing. Octa said: “Surely you must realise this is only a myth. Not the actual truth.”
“You've been with humans too long, Octa. You've adopted their narrow-minded attitude.”
“Narrow-minded?” Octa arched an eyebrow. “Is reason narrow-minded? Scepsis towards unproven hypotheses is not narrow-mindedness, but the entire foundation of knowledge. If one does not apply scepsis systematically, one's mind shall unavoidably be filled with nonsense, rubbish and superstition, for one can believe any non-contradictory claim made, regardless of whether or not there is any evidence supporting it. Scepsis, my good sir, is the foundation of reason and civilisation, therefore it does not surprise me to see Team Plasma's king so thoroughly lacking in it.”
Boreas grinned at Octa's little speech. It was great to hear Octa put N down like that. It made Boreas realise how much he missed Octa's clever wit and especially his friendship. He decided he should soon apologise for how he had insulted him during their last meeting with N.
N grimaced. “But I do have evidence that the myths are true. It's all a big equation, don't you see? But what's more important is Black's role in this.” He turned back to Black. “You don't want me to succeed, do you?”
“Of course I don't!” Black gestured angrily. “You want to separate humans and pokémon, breaking millions of friendships! Not only that, but your Team Plasma is doing utterly evil things to get to their goal. I would oppose you even if I agreed humans and pokémon should be separated.; your Team Plasma killed Capella and tried killing me and all my pokémon several times!”
“If you want to stop-”
But Black wasn't done yet. “What right do you have to shove your opinion down everyone's throat anyway?! have no problem with you trying to convince people to release their pokémon, but forcing them to? What gives you that right?”
N closed his eyes for a moment before responding. “Many different values mix, and the world becomes grey. That is unforgivable! I will separate pokémon and people, and black and white will be clearly distinct!”
“If you were really a hero, you would celebrate the world's differences, not seek to destroy them all!”
“Maybe. Maybe not. We'll see. When I resurrect Zekrom, I will conquer the Pokémon League and defeat the Champion in the final pokémon battle. Then, between my authority as Champion and Zekrom's power, everyone will release their pokémon. The normal trainers first, then the Gym Leaders and other powerful trainers too. Trainers like you, who really love their pokémon, will release them too, and that does break my heart a little. But it is for the greater good. There is one way, however, in which you can prevent this. Zekrom and I can only be stopped by an equal and opposite force: Reshiram and you.”
“Me?” Black asked in surprise.
“Yes, you. I have known it since Chargestone Cave: you are the other hero. I am right, therefore you will fail; but in the highly unlikely case that I'm wrong, Reshiram can stop me if you awaken it. Then you must defeat the Pokémon League after I do so and stop me. If you can win that battle, I will know I was wrong and stop my cause. But I won't lose the battle. You must search for the light stone. Team Plasma is searching for the dark stone that will resurrect Zekrom. Good luck and may the best win.”
He began walking off when Boreas stopped him. “N, wait. I want to ask something... Uh... How's Aqua?”
“Physically she's alright, but you hurt her deeply mentally. She's very, very angry at you and very sad.”
“Oh... Tell her... Tell her I'm...” Suddenly he realised he was about to apologise to a traitor who was partially responsible for Capella's death. “Tell her nothing.”
N shrugged and walked off. It was silent for a while as they thought over his words. “Completely bonkers,” Black mumbled. “But he has provided us with a way of stopping Team Plasma that's within our reach. It's probably a heap of nonsense, but we have to stop him! There will be time to go back to Nuvema later. Now we must find that light stone, and we must earn two more badges so we can challenge the League if N does. Are you with me?”
All of them, one by one, nodded and told Black they would help him stop N. But something irked Boreas. “But what about the Sages? I doubt they'll give up so easily, even if N thinks they will...” But he also nodded, as he wanted to stop N too.
“Then I must go talk to Skyla. I'll tell her all this and she can tell the other Gym Leaders, particularly Lenora. If anyone knows whether there is any truth to this legend and where the light stone could be, it'll be her.”
As Black walked back to the Gym, Boreas decided he might as well get to the tricky business. “Octa? I'm sorry for what I said to you in Chargestone Cave.”
Octa sniffed haughtily and frowned. “Oh, are you? Well, evidently that solves everything.”
Boreas was startled by Octa's sarcastic reaction, he had expected at least a bit of reciprocation. “Yeah. I- I didn't have myself under control. I was filled with more fury than I'd ever felt, and I couldn't help but lash it out. I shouldn't have, especially not to you. It's just... Capella had just died and then Aqua was with N... I wanted to take revenge, and you were wise enough to step in and I just couldn't help it...”
Octa said nothing but just stared at him.
“Thanks for trying to save me from doing something really stupid... I wish you had succeeded in stopping me... You're a real friend for trying to stop me from ruining myself, and I'm so sorry for what I said to you...”
Octa still said nothing. Boreas wondered if their friendship was really over this time, but he refused to believe that. He cringed as he remembered exactly what he had said to Octa. “I shouldn't have threatened you. I can understand if you find that unforgivable; you were trying to save me from my own idiocy and I threatened you for it... What's even worse, I think I would've made true on that threat if you had kept stopping me... I feel like such a bastard for it. Maybe I don't deserve your friendship.”
Octa still said nothing, but Boreas could see cracks appear in his cold, stern exterior. “I'm so sorry for calling you haughty and arrogant, you aren't, not really. Just proud, and rightly so... I don't think you're an inbred twit at all, your family probably has inbred much less than others thanks to your extensive knowledge of your own family tree; and you are a very clever, wise person. Much wiser than me, that's for certain. I shouldn't have called you meddlesome: you were trying to protect me from my own stupidity and I should've realised it. Your ancestors aren't idiotic, if they gave rise to you they must've been great people. You were my best friend, and I want you to be that again because you are in incredibly good friend. I'm sorry for everything, Octa.”
It was silent for a moment, then Octa grabbed him and hugged him tightly. “I forgive you, my dear fellow,” he whispered. “You're quite right, this is not worth it to give up a friendship like ours for. But please don't say things like that again.”
Boreas awoke from another nightmare. 'Nightmare' was relative, of course, as most people probably wouldn't consider a dream that mostly consisted of kissing and having fun with a lovely girl a nightmare. But Boreas did; it reminded him of what he'd lost. Why? he asked himself furiously, why did she betray me? We could've had such a wonderful future together and she had to go and ruin it!
Yeah, she shouldn't have done that. But what about you? If you hadn't reacted like you did and just remained calm you could still have had a wonderful future together. All it would've required was you saying “Aqua, I don't agree with your choice but I can respect it. Now kiss me, my love.” If you hadn't acted like such a git you could still have had that wonderful future together.
With that disgusting traitor?
See, that's what I meant. I called her a traitor, a bitch, a filthy slut, and a treacherous heartbreaker and tried to freeze her to death. Face it, I'm at least as guilty as her for throwing any chance at that wonderful future away.
That's not true! She joined Team Plasma, after all the things they'd done! They killed Capella, for a start.
She didn't know about Capella's death, though. And besides, do you really think Capella would want you to throw away your love to avenge her? I don't know what exactly she would tell me to do if she were still alive, but it certainly wouldn't involve breaking up with Aqua, I'm sure of that.
Even if she didn't know about Capella's death, that doesn't mean she isn't responsible. And what about all the other things Plasma did? She knew about them, she knew how much those bastards hurt me and yet she joined them!
Yes, that was awful of her, joining them despite what they'd put me through. But she's right: it's her choice, bad though it may be, and I acted incredibly horrible to her over it. The things I said to her...
She deserved them.
Maybe, but not from me! I am ashamed to think of them. She's right, if I really loved her I should've supported her and forgiven her. She trusted me to do that, and I betrayed that trust. Remember that night I spent at her burrow at the river? She may seem intelligent, self-assured, sexy, flirtatious, charming, cool, and so much more; and actually is most of those things, but she's surprisingly fragile underneath. She's like a tough wooden cabinet full of lovely delicate crystal glasses... And I took a mallet and smashed the glasses up using the key to her heart she'd entrusted me with... I filled the void in her heart, but then I cruelly left her heart empty again, and now she only has that bastard Diego to fill it with... She was clearly lying when she said she was his mate, but what if she really does hook up with him now? That would be horrible.
Let them rot together, the miserable gits. I don't know why I'm having these thoughts in the first place. Octa always tells me to listen to my mind, not my heart, and this time I'm going to do just that.
Don't flatter yourself into thinking this is a matter of your mind against your heart, both of these different lines of thought spring from both reason emotions. And of course, the heart isn't involved; it's just a pump that pushes my blood through my body. Both you and me are various areas of the brain, the same areas for the most part; only one of the other organs has a major impact on these thoughts. With a few rare exceptions, we're actually made by the same body parts.
Yes, I know that. Obviously I know that, because I'm arguing with myself here. That means I know everything you know... I think I'm going nuts, talking to myself like this.
It's a better kind of insanity than the kind that makes you insult the girl you adore and try to kill her...
I was not being insane! How could I just forgive her after all she did?
Remember what Octa said. Think about how much I love her. Is it really worth throwing that away?
What would I have me do, then? Apologise to her? Even if for some reason I did that, she would never forgive me.
Probably not. I've given her good cause to hate me forever. But it's worth a try if there's even the slightest chance of getting back together.
I don't want to get back together with that traitor!
Yes, I do. I love her, regardless of which side she joined. The time we were together in Driftveil was the happiest of my entire life. It's really sad that two people who are so perfect for each other have been forced apart by circumstances...
Circumstances she caused! She betrayed me to my worst enemies and I want nothing to do with her.
So that's it, then? I'm going to be unhappy and miserable for the rest of my life because I can't even apologise for being so horrid to Aqua.
I won't be unhappy for the rest of my life, because I will just get over it. I was with her for ten days, that's all. It was nothing.
That's rubbish. I am head over heels in love with her. It was not nothing.
I can go back to the way I was before meeting her! I was perfectly happy without her, I can be so again!
I didn't know what life with her was like before... I couldn't go without her now, having tasted of life with her.
I wish I'd never met her... If only I'd just stayed on the boat when I saw her. What kind of prat was I anyway, jumping off the boat just because I saw a pretty girl? I could've drowned. And that would've been a blessing compared to this.
So now I'm wishing I'd died. Just great. Things really have gone downhill fast since leaving Driftveil. If only I'd stayed with Aqua there...
If only humans wouldn't hunt wild pokémon... And if Team Plasma didn't exist.... We could've been so happy together...
But it's too late for that now. What happened happened, I can't change that. Only the future.
But I can't forgive her for joining Team Plasma. They've put me through too much.
I must try... And I must apologise to her, even if she doesn't accept it. The way I acted was disgusting...
Toxica lay awake too. She was lying on the ground, her regrowing flower folded for the night, but with her eyes open watching Octa sleep. Her eyes, well-adapted to see in the dark, traced his slender, serpentine form, watched his chest slowly move with his breath, and settled on his handsome face. She sighed at how attractive he was. Intelligent, charming, handsome, noble, charismatic, kind, and proper. She had been in love with him for almost a year now, ever since he'd evolved to a Servine. When she was an Oddish, he'd been her absolute hero. She had almost worshipped him, believing him perfect and amazing, and had been so embarrassingly obvious and in his face about it all in hindsight. She occasionally cringed with shame at how she had acted to him back then; it was no wonder he had never responded to her advances and Boreas was always so annoyed at her.
Evolving to a Vileplume had shifted her perspective by a surprising amount. Her obsessive, hero-worshippy crush had developed into a more mature love for him, and she had decided to give him more space and not hound him so much. Yet here I am, watching him sleep like some kind of creepy stalker, she couldn't help thinking.
Then, of course, Capella died and she was far too busy grieving for her friend to continue her advances towards Octa. In fact she still felt a powerful blast of sadness whenever she thought of poor Capella. Her death had devastated Toxica, and how could it not? She was always so friendly and kind and wise and always ready with help... The past weeks had been horrid, the only long period in her life when she hadn't been cheerful most of the time. She had never before had much trouble with being cheerful; she could never stop noticing how amazing and fun the world was. But Capella's death had knocked that out of her, and for a while the world had seemed like a sad, grey place full of death. But as she slowly got over Capella's death her old cheerful demeanour was slowly beginning to return to her.
Octa softly mumbled in his sleep, and Toxica giggled like a little seedling at how incredibly sexy that was. When she was an Oddish she had on occasion kissed Octa's cheek while he slept, but now she held herself back from doing that, recognising it was a pretty creepy thing to do. Remembering all the things she did as an Oddish, she really had to wonder about her sanity back then. Who knew a simple Leaf Stone could change so much? It made her wonder what she would've been like as a Gloom, and she felt some regret at having been a Gloom for barely half a minute before evolving on. Not too much, though, she liked being a Vileplume now, but if she could do it over she would probably have to a Gloom a week before taking the Leaf Stone so she could at least have experienced it for a few days.
She realised she was never going to get any sleep watching Octa, so she tore her gaze away from him and rolled onto her back. A sky full of stars was above her. Octa had explained the stars were really balls of hydrogen and helium undergoing nuclear fusion quadrillions of kilometres away. She looked at a pretty, bright yellow star in one of the points of a pentagon of stars. Capella had once told her she'd been named after that star, and Toxica found it strangely liberating to look at it as she fell asleep.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 43 is up!)
Chapter Forty-Four: Reunion in the Grasslands
Thick rain poured down on Route 7's high grasslands, soaking Black's team entirely. The copious amounts of water didn't just come from above either: the high grasses reached as high as Black's head and were very wet, so water came from above, below, and the sides. Black didn't even bother wearing his raincoat, as it would've had about as much use as wearing it while swimming. His pokémon didn't care any more either, as they couldn't get any wetter and it was pretty warm anyway. Only Lucius was in an intensely foul mood, even for his general bad disposition, hating all the water soaking him.
The grasslands were like a thick jungle of grass and other plants. There were many different kinds of grasses and tall flowers, the thing they had in common being that they were all very tall and none of the pokémon could ever look over them, while Black only occasionally managed to. It was strange how there were no trees or shrubs, only these tall grasses and flowers though the land was not worked by farmers. Occasionally a pokémon would scurry away from them, hiding themselves between the plants. They were passing through a field of huge sunflowers when Octa suddenly stopped. Boreas stopped too.
“Octa, what's wrong?” he asked.
Octa smiled. “Nothing is wrong, my dear fellow. Much the opposite, as a matter of fact: I recognise this location.”
“Recognise it?” Boreas asked non-understanding as they walked on to follow Black.
“Indeed. Together with my father, Lord Publius Cornelius. I was but a recently-hatched Snivy when he took my brother, my sisters, and myself on a journey through these fields. I shall never forget the view from the top of one of these sunflowers over the sunlit fields... 'Tis a pity it rains like this, for the view is quite splendid when the weather is clear and the day luminous.”
Boreas imagined Octa as a cute young Snivy climbing into one of these sunflowers and giggled. “You mean you really climbed into one of those sunflowers?”
Octa nodded and smiled wistfully. “Indeed. 'Tis too bad those flowers shan't hold my weight any more if I were to try it again...”
Boreas thought the idea of his pompous friend climbing a sunflower was hilarious, so he decided he was going to try to convince him do it. It wouldn't be very hard to convince him, judging by the nostalgia in Octa's voice. “I'm not so sure of that. Look at these flowers, they're huge and strong. And you're pretty slender and light. They could probably support you.”
Octa smiled with childlike glee and seemed ready to climb a flower, but then he suppressed his smile. “I... I don't think it could hold me.”
“Don't worry, some of these flowers are big enough to be called trees. If they can hold themselves up, surely they can hold you.”
“They could not be called trees, no matter how pantagruelian, for their stems are herbaceous and do not contain any lignin.”
“Right, but either way, they could probably support your weight.”
“Wwwell...” Octa seemed almost unable to resist the temptation. “I don't think I should. It would not be very proper.”
“Oh, c'mon. What's the harm of a little bit of light-hearted fun? It'll be just like when you were young.”
“I...” a determined grin entered Octa's face. “Oh, sod it, I'm going to climb that flower!”
Boreas chuckled as Octa began climbing a sunflower, using the leaves as footholds. The stem was indeed strong enough to support him at first, but bent as he climbed higher. Boreas held the stem to help support it, and soon Octa reached the flower. Black and all his pokémon looked on in disbelief as Octa laughed happily while he looked out from the flower. Then the stem cracked and he fell onto the ground.
“What on Earth got into you, Octa?” Black asked.
“I was merely scouting ahead,” Octa explained blushing.
As they all walked on, Octa started walking next to Boreas again. “Well, wasn't that fun?” Boreas asked.
“Hmm, yes, quite,” said Octa as he brushed the mud off himself. “'Twas most certainly an interesting flashback to my early childhood. Though the weather is far less aestival than it was last time, and the flora seems smaller than it seemed then.”
“So, if your father took you here when you were young, you must've been born near,” Boreas wondered.
“Crimson breeders is indeed located on Route 7, and with it of course my ancestral home. Though 'tis not quite proximal to our current location, for 'tis still several days of travel away.”
“You must be excited to get back home! I mean, you haven't been there in more than a year.”
“Indeed, my dear fellow, I am rather looking forward to a reunion with my family and shall endeavour to visit as we pass by.”
“I'm looking forward to it too. You talk about your family so much; it'll be fun meeting them at last.”
“You... want to meet them too?” Octa asked with concern.
“Well, yeah. I mean, if we're going there I'd love to meet them.”
“Hmm,” Octa pondered. “I suppose you could all meet my family... Though I'd have to teach you the proper etiquette first... Hmm, come to think of it, I don't think you could do it.”
“Of course I could! I'll be all proper and all that.”
“I wasn't just talking about you, though it does concern me that your rapid temper might cause you to forget proper etiquette. Think about the others: Lucius would likely deliberately offend my family merely for the fun of it. Selene just shan't understand. Toxica...” his voice trailed off.
“I'm sure they'd do much better than you think. Especially Toxica, if you tell her the etiquette you want her to follow, I'm sure she'll do so precisely.”
“Well... Yes... But... There might be other problems. Though I suppose I could give you a chance... Fortunately it won't be a direct issue for several days.”
As they walked, they heard the rustling sounds of pokémon in the grass to their left. Usually those sounds would quickly disappear as the pokémon scurried off, but this time the pokémon kept close for quite a while. Black suddenly seemed to realise this and the fact that his team now had only five pokémon, as he hushed his pokémon, grabbed a pokéball, and started sneaking to the sounds, ordering his pokémon with gestures.
Boreas sneaked through the grass, approaching the rustling sound. He could see it now vaguely through the grass, quite big and dark. He parted the grass and yelped in surprise when he saw a large, bipedal black fox with long black and crimson hair. He recognised the shoulder tufts pointing up like spikes and the dark purple eyes flaring with malice immediately.
“You!” he exclaimed.
“You!” Diego exclaimed as he immediately jumped into a defensive stance. Boreas now saw the rest of N's team too. Anger, adoration, embarrassment, hate, love, contempt, sorrow, and loads of other emotions all fought to be first as he saw Aqua. Her face tried on several different expressions for a moment, then settled on cold contempt.
“What's going on?” Black asked as he emerged from the grasses. “Oh, it's you.”
“Uh,” spoke N, “hi.”
They sort of stood there, not sure what to do. Boreas and Diego both waited for the other to attack, but relaxed a bit when he didn't do that. Aqua was looking somewhere else, pretending she didn't see Boreas. But then Diego shot her a glance that made Boreas shiver: he looked almost hungry as he looked at her.
“I...” said N, “I guess we'll be going on. We'll see you later.”
With a sneering smile, Diego turned and followed N. But Boreas was too busy struggling with the flood of emotions that Aqua unleashed in him to even bother thinking about fighting his nemesis. Aqua was following N, still not giving Boreas a single look. Part of him wanted to do the same, part of him wanted to apologise deeply to her, part of her wanted to kill her, part of her just wanted to look at her as she walked by, and all these parts tried to make their preferred course of action happen.
“Wait!” Boreas blurted out. N and his pokémon stopped and looked at him in surprise, including Aqua, though she quickly turned her gaze away to look at a raindrop dripping from a strand of grass.
Boreas was quite aware he was expected to say or do something now, but he couldn't get himself to say more. N shrugged and was about to walk off when Boreas managed to say something else. “Aqua, can I talk to you in private?”
It took her a while to answer. She opened her mouth several times, then retracted her answer and closed it. She almost turned to look at Boreas, but eventually she softly said: “No.”
Several emotions struggled for power as she turned away and began walking off morosely. But he felt he really needed to apologise and didn't care that everyone would hear it. “I'm sorry, Aqua. I'm so sorry!” Aqua stopped and looked at him. “The things I said and did were unforgivable. I don't agree with your choice at all, but I should've been supportive of it. After what we had together it was wrong of me to treat you like that. I was just... I was crushed by Capella's death three days earlier. I... My life for those three days had been a pitch-black cave of despair, and the thought that I would be reunited with you was the only light in my life... When you showed up with them, I-I- my emotions just went berserk... I-I tried to control it, b-but” tears where streaming over Boreas' cheeks now, “I-I couldn't. The things I said and did to you... Th-that was the worst day of my life, Aqua, worse than the day my family died or even the day Capella died... I behaved profoundly horrible to you, the most wonderful person I know, and I tried to kill you. It's unforgivable, and I just want you to know how sorry I am for it, even if you can't forgive me and never want to see me again.”
Only the sound of the rain was audible for a while, but Aqua looked Boreas straight in the eyes. He could see a great sadness in there, and she was crying too. Finally she spoke, her voice trembling. “Y-you're right, Boreas. What you did was indeed unforgivable. I-I want to forgive you, because I really believe you're sorry, but I just can't... I keep hearing the horrible things you said... But you're not the only one to apologise. It was my own fault too... I should've been more considerate of your feelings. Joining N, right though that choice was, without even considering your feelings was very bad of me. I should've realised how it must feel like high treason after all Team Plasma has put you through... Maybe it was high treason... I-I am sorry for it. And for the things I said and did too... I tried to keep calm, but you just... Infuriated me beyond control. I said some very hurtful things to you, things I should never have said. I-I don't believe for even a second that you really are only interested in my looks, for instance. I-I just didn't have my anger under control... Like you... Turning to Team Plasma was horribly inconsiderate of me... All this is my fault, and I-I wish you can forgive me for it, but I don't even think I can forgive myself...”
Boreas felt very moved by her heartfelt apology, but part of him kept seeing her as a traitor and an accessory to Capella's death. “I'm sorry, Aqua... But I don't think I can forgive you... Though I will try...”
Aqua nodded, crying. “I try to forgive you too, but it's so hard... Even if it's ultimately my fault.”
“No, it isn't! Well, I guess it is... But it's more my fault for overreacting so horribly. I should just forgive you...”
“We'll both try forgiving each other,” said Aqua, “because the days I spent with you in Driftveil were the happiest of my life...”
Boreas sighed. “Mine too, mine too... Things were so amazing then, just you and me and nothing else...”
It was silent for about a minute as they reminisced. “So...” Boreas asked, dreading the answer, “what happens next? With us, I mean...”
Another long silence fell. Then Aqua said: “Well, I think I can see two possibilities. The first is that we don't forgive each other and carry on as we have for the past month: enemies. We try not to be as hateful of each other as we were, but... No “us” of any kind.”
“No...” Boreas said breathlessly, “please... I don't want that...”
“Neither do I. It might be the easiest option, but I want to avoid that no matter what. I have a second idea, though. We try to forgive each other and part as friends. We carry on on our respective sides, but we avoid directly fighting each other at all cost and try to remain friends no matter what. And after all this is over and one side has won... Maybe then there can be an “us” again, but until then we'll always have Driftveil...”
Boreas nodded. “I like that better,” he said. “But I have an even better idea.”
“What is it? What happens?”
“I don't know,” Boreas stated as he walked closer to Aqua. “I haven't the faintest idea what happens, all I know is that it starts with you and me walking off together. After that, who knows?”
Aqua raised her eyebrows. “What, now?”
“When else?” Boreas smiled.
“So by this idea, we would have no plan, no idea of what will happen. It's just an uncertain gamble into a chaotic future. I love it, let's go!”
They began running off together through the grass, ignoring those they left behind and most of their questions. But Boreas felt he at least owed Octa, who was trying to keep up with them and threw a question after them: “My dear fellow, where are you going?”
“I don't know!” Boreas laughed.
“Well, when will you be back? Will you be back?”
“I don't know!” Boreas stated. “We'll see what happens later.”
“But how will you find us again if you wish to return?” Octa asked with concern.
“Don't worry, Octa,”said Aqua. “A captured pokémon wouldn't know this, but humans are really easy to find in the wild, even at great distances. The noise and smell they carry with them makes them very easy to find. We can find Black back, don't worry.”
The sounds of Octa's pursuit fell behind. “Goodbye then, my dear fellow!”
They stopped running after a while and just walked together, unsure of what to say to each other. They walked through the tall plants and pouring rain in awkward silence. They weren't sure how to behave to each other, as each still harboured a powerful core of hate, yet wanted to forgive the other and kiss them more than anything. Suddenly a bolt of lightning provided an entry into a conversation about the weather, a nice and safe subject neither of them had put much emotional stock in. The conversation gradually eased up as they both felt more and more at ease with each other. Talking to Aqua like this was like a breath of fresh air after spending several minutes under water to Boreas. He had forgotten how much fun it was to talk to Aqua, and for now he had completely forgotten his spiteful anger towards her. They laughed and had fun together as they talked about absolutely nothing. Boreas was getting completely immersed in the amazing company. He had to restrain himself not to stare deep into her pretty black eyes, or give her hips more than the occasional glance, or intricately look at the way her muscles moved under her gleaming blue fur as she walked.
Aqua sighed. “It's so nice to talk with you like this again... I had more or less forgotten what it feels like to simply be with you...”
A shiver of pleasure shot up Boreas' spine as their tails briefly brushed against each other. The momentary physical contact made him realise just how much he was in love with her again. “Yeah...” he sighed, “I can't believe I jeopardised this just out of stupid anger... I was being such an arse.”
“No,” said Aqua, who corrected herself: “Well, yes. But it was largely my fault. I was being very selfish and inconsiderate. And there was Capella's death, I'm sure you would've been much more understanding if she hadn't become a casualty...”
The horrifying image of Capella's mangled body exhaling her last breath as she lay in his arms with no more skin on her skull hit him again like a heavy mallet crashing into his heart. Tears shot into his eyes and he could barely continue walking. His former hate against Aqua came back in force, much though he tried to tell himself that she'd had nothing to do with it.
“What's wrong, Boreas?” Aqua asked with concern, and Boreas saw her approach him through a veil of tears.
“Nothing, stay away from me!” He said with spiteful sharpness.
“I'm sorry,” Aqua spoke sadly, “I shouldn't have brought Capella up... I know she meant much to you, and I would've done anything to save her if I could've...” Suddenly she embraced Boreas. He struggled for a moment, still irrationally angry at her, but then relished in the contact with her soft body and cried on her shoulder.
“I-I'm sorry, I shouldn't have got angry at you again... I-I saw her death before me again, Aqua... She died in my arms after saving my life...”
“Did she?” Aqua whispered in his ear as she rubbed his back. “I didn't know that...”
“W-we were fighting Sage Ryoku's Lilligant together, when his Tangrowth suddenly picked us both up by our tails... I tried to Ice Beam it, but it was still smouldering with Lucius' flames and my ice only brought it relief... Then that bastard ordered his Cradily to Hyper Beam us both... Capella and I looked each other in the eyes, and as I saw her smile and the fatality in her eyes, I knew what she would do... That look on her face... She knew exactly what would happen, yet she so bravely did it to save me. I tried to tell her to save herself, but she'd already spit flames at the vine holding me... She-she tried to save herself next, but she was too late: I only saw a blinding light with her as a smoke-like wisp in it and felt a searing pain as the tip of my tail was caught in the beam and annihilated... I thought she'd been vaporised, but it was much worse: the Hyper Beam blasted most of her flesh off her front side. But her backside was turned away from the beam and more or less alright, so when she landed next to me with that side to me I thought she was alright and I hugged her... And then I saw her... The image will never leave my mind, Aqua. Most of her flesh had been blasted away; I c-could see what was left of her organs and saw her skull instead of her face... But she was still alive. Her badly damaged heart beat a few more times and her one remaining lung drew one final breath before she died... I tried to tell her to evolve, but... Well... Sh-she died there in my arms...”
“Oh, my poor, poor Boreas...” Aqua whispered breathlessly in his ear as she softly nuzzled his hair and rubbed his back to comfort him.
Boreas kept shedding his tears on her shoulder. Feeling the pain of Capella's death again was crushing, but sharing it with Aqua like this was strangely liberating. He hadn't told anyone about what had precisely happened more than a month ago, as fact that she was dead mattered more to the rest of the team than the precise details, and it was far too painful to hear for them. He lay on the ground, shaking with tears in Aqua's embrace, but slowly calmed down.
“Thank you...” he said, “I've had no chance to tell anyone yet and you don't know how much that helped...”
“I think I do, actually,” Aqua whispered back. “You did the same for me when I told you about Lothario's death...”
Now he remembered. “Oh yeah... I did... Wow, that was ages ago.”
“Less than two months actually, my love. We only met each other two months ago to the day.”
“It feels like a lifetime,” said Boreas. “I wonder how much different my life would've been if I hadn't jumped out of the boat to go talk to a certain gorgeous Vaporeon.”
Aqua giggled. “Not that different. I was quite interested in you too, remember, and would probably have followed you to talk to you if you hadn't come to me. I mean, I was very lonely at the time and longed for someone to talk to. Besides, you looked quite attractive and fun to talk to, my clever, heroic, handsome Boreas...”
Boreas sneered. “You can leave the 'handsome' out of there. I don't imagine I look too handsome with the tip of my tail missing and a bloody great scar on my face.”
Aqua brought her face in front of his. “The bit out of the tail is a shame, but it doesn't change anything about how much I like you. And as for the scar...” She began tracing it with her front paw. Boreas was even more aware than before of how close she was holding him, their bodies pressed close against each other. “I like it. It looks pretty good on you, actually. A clearly visible memory of great heroics in battle. It makes you look...” She was now talking with her face barely ten centimetres away from his, giving him looks that made his blood boil. Her tongue seemed to beckon him as she talked. “Dangerous. Rakish. Who knows what could happen to me while someone with a scar like that is holding me?”
“What indeed?” Boreas whispered as their lips softly touched each other. The feeling of the kiss was intense and overpoweringly wonderful, and they immediately wrapped all four legs and their tails tightly around each other as they kissed passionately, never wishing it to end.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 44 is up!)
Chapter Forty-Five: The Ancient and Most Noble House of Equinox
Octa was looking cheerful for the first time in days. He had been gloomy and depressed ever since Boreas had left without saying whether he'd ever come back. Toxica had tried to cheer him up and make up for the leaving of his best friend by spending a lot of time with him and talking to him a lot, but it seemed she just wasn't a replacement for Boreas. Octa remained gloomy, though she could understand why: she missed Boreas too and hoped he'd come back soon.
But when Black had seen the road to Crimson breeders and told his pokémon he'd see if they could rest there for the night, Octa's mood had changed radically. The prospect of getting to meet his family again for the first time in a year clearly brightened his mood. He was chatting amicably with Toxica when a Servine jumped out of the bushes they'd passed by, Leaf Blade drawn.
“Halt, miscreants! How dare you intrude upon land possessed by the most noble house of Equinox?!”
Toxica yelped in fear and surprise. Lucius growled threateningly, while Selene on his shoulder was clearly more interested in one of the moons in the sky. Black hadn't noticed the Servine, though, as he was a bit ahead. Octa drew his own Leaf Blade and crossed it with the other Servine's. “Ha, miscreants?!” he replied in grandiose voice, “you shall pay for that, you surreptitious serpent! You're naught but a petty bandit, attacking weary travellers like us!”
The attacker trusted forward, but Octa dodged the blade with an elegant twist that made Toxica's heart do little jumps in her chest. Octa, using his opponent's temporary disorientation, trusted his own blade to his enemy's abdomen, only to have it parried swiftly. “How dare you, sir,” the opponent asked, “to insult a Servine of noble blood by referring to him as a bandit! Forsooth, I shall have you know I have cut men to pieces for insults less than that.”
Octa parried his strike and immediately reposed with a swift flash of his own blade, giving the other Servine a shallow cut. On the arm. Octa grinned. “My little sister is quicker with the blade than you, sir.”
The other Servine grinned too. “Of course she is, she's faster than anyone in the family.” Both sheeted their swords and suddenly hugged each other. “Octa, it's jolly amazing to see you again!”
Toxica looked at their hug, dumbstruck with surprise. “Marcus, how I've missed you!” Octa laughed.
“What the hell's going on?” Lucius asked with annoyance.
Octa disengaged from his hug with the other Servine. “Marcus, let me introduce you to my companions. These are Toxica, Selene, and Lucius. There's also Black, our trainer, who I believe hasn't noticed you holding us up yet, and Boreas, a Glaceon who is not with us at the moment. My friends and Lucius, this is my brother, Marcus Aurelius the second of the house of Equinox.”
“Good morrow,” Marcus greeted each of them. Now that Toxica looked at him, he did look remarkably similar to Octa, but his face was broader, his voice higher in pitch, and he had light blue eyes rather than Octa's camel brown eyes. Though Toxica found him less handsome than Octa, he was still considerably attractive to her and she found herself worrying whether her flower still looked good after its recovery from the cuts it had received in battle against Ryoku.
Toxica extended her hand. “Hi. Fancy meeting Octa's brother.”
To her surprise Marcus didn't just shake her hand, but he knelt and kissed it. “A pleasure to meet you, milady Toxica. I invite you, as well as your friends, to join us in our ancestral home.”
Toxica felt like her brain was boiling and her heart trying to jump out of her mouth. She stammered incoherently for a bit as Octa's almost equally handsome brother got up and released her hand. “You only mentioned your friends' first names, Octa, what are their houses?”
“I'm afraid they do not belong to any houses,” Octa grinned apologetically.
“Commoners? Oh dear. Great-aunt Galaxia shan't like that, you know.”
“I know, I was considering inventing some houses for them to silence her potential misgivings.”
“Heh, don't bother. The old hag knows every house, even of different species of pokémon, and shall see through your lies at once.”
Octa's brow furrowed. “My dear brother, our great-aunt may not be the most pleasant creature on the planet, but that is no reason to talk about her like that.”
“My apologies. 'Tis easy to speak ill of another if said person thoroughly irritated one that very morning.”
Octa nodded. “Fine, I accept your apology. Now let us go on, Black is probably quite a way ahead already and might start worrying about us.”
Toxica had never before seen pokémon live in a home that was larger, richer, and more decorated than their human owners'. Crimson breeders' central house, where the owners lived, was a rather plain wooden building with a permanently dirty floor and few, and pastoral, decorations inside. It had a pleasant charm about it that made you think a pleasant little houses in the mountains, but Octa's ancestral house was by comparison a palace. It was much larger, made mostly of stone, even of marble and granite in places. Its high, arched entrance was supported by lavish columns and statues of various Snivies, Servines, and Serperiors. After welcoming them into their house, Octa reunited with various members of his family, all at least as graceful and elegant as him, with oddly ritualised yet affectionate greetings. Then Octa introduced them all to his family one by one, and soon Toxica was struggling to remember the loads and loads of different forms of courtesy and address Octa and Marcus had quickly run her though as they walked the final bit to their home...
“Address everyone except my father and me as “sir” or “milady”. Address my father as “Lord Publius Cornelius”. As my friend, there is no need to address me as “sir”.”
“Unless Great-Aunt Galaxia is in the room.”
“Indeed. Don't speak unless spoken to to any of my family members. If you need to ask anything of them, ask me instead.”
“Unless Great-Aunt Galaxia is in the room, in which case, don't ask it at all.”
“Indeed. When encountering a member of my family, bow deferentially to them. Never touch anyone, nor make eye contact with them. Treat every member of the family, including myself, with the highest respect and as an utter superior.”
“Especially when Great-Aunt Galaxia is in the room.”
“Indeed. This also includes Marcus here. Though he is not currently standing on ceremony, I want you to treat him properly too when we are in my ancestral home, for he is of the house of Equinox as well.”
“Especially when Great-Aunt Galaxia is in the room.”
“Indeed. At dinner, use the cutlery provided to you properly; fork in your left hand, front paw, or wing; knife in your right. Only use a spoon for food it's specifically meant for, use a knife otherwise. Never speak with food or drink in your mouth, even when spoken to, and observe the proper ways to eat from me. Don't ask for a second plate or a refill unless asked. Don't spill food or drink, don't make digestive noises.”
“Will you please stop saying that? I believe the message is quite clear. Now, my great-aunt Galaxia can be rather troublesome. Her beliefs with regard to class are rather outdated, therefore she shall look onto you as servants as best. Be extra deferential and proper around her, and obey her every command. When inside, you can still treat me as a friend, but be more deferential. You can use the nickname 'Octa' when addressing me, but not when Great-Aunt Galaxia is in the room; use my full name or call me “sir” if she is.”
Toxica tried to remember the names of everyone she bowed to greet, but the long names featuring lots of c's, q's, and x'es quickly became one blur in her mind, especially since they were all the same species and had the same haughty bearing. She recognised many of Octa's features in his family, ranging from his face to his voice and mannerisms. After the introductions, Toxica found herself admitted into the house, and quite unsure of what to do. Almost two dozen Snivies, Servines, and Serperiors were home at the moment, and all of them wanted to speak to Octa and considered her and the others as if they were his pets at best. Since Lucius was a jerk and she didn't feel like dealing with Selene's particular brand of insanity right now, she pretty much sat on a chair clearly not meant for her species in a corner and just listened to Octa retell his adventures to his family. She really wished Boreas was here now, because though he could be quite annoying and she didn't get much time to talk to Octa with him around, he was also a pretty nice and funny person, and much more on her level than Lucius or Toxica, or even Octa, was. If Boreas was here, she thought, he'd probably be whispering some witty remarks now to make her giggle.
As Octa told his tale to his family, she looked around the room. It was lavishly, though not quite baroquely, decorated with loads of statues and paintings and beautiful marble. Most of the art depicted what clearly were members of the House of Equinox, recognisable by their pentafurcated tails and backleaves, curly collars, non-absent front legs, and faces similar to Octa's that seemed to be shared in the entire family, doing something heroic. A beautiful painting of Vigintus, Octa's ancestor who had belonged to Sir Edward Slateport, discovering Hoenn; the famous human sea captain himself only a minor detail in the painting's background, was especially drawing her attention. If Octa would look that amazing after evolving to a Serperior, she could barely wait.
It was a bit odd, now that she thought of it, that all Octa's family members seemed to have front legs even as Serperiors. She was pretty sure Serperiors normally had no legs at all, but Octa's family still had their front legs. Then again, she supposed it was quite useful as she looked at a painting of an ancestor wielding a Leaf Blade in one of them, duelling an evil-looking human wielding a metal blade. She remembered when she was an Oddish and had no front legs herself. While it never seemed that much of a problem at the time, having hands to do things with was a massive improvement and she couldn't even think how she would manage anything without them now.
She became aware of a piercing, withering stare fixated on her. An old Serperior, her tail and back-leaves curled and yellow with the autumn of age, was staring at her with a disgusted scowl that most people reserve for the insects you occasionally find instead of the nut when you open a pistachio. Though she had forgotten most of the names of Octa's family members, she did remember Great-Aunt Galaxia. She remembered what Octa and Marcus had said about her and resisted the urge to stare back or gesture to ask her what her problem was.
She tried to listen to Octa's stories or to marvel at the amazing room again, but Galaxia's stare was like two ice-cold daggers being stuck further and further into her flesh. Even cocking her head so that her flower covered her face didn't feel like it shielded her from that stare, perfected through dozens of generations. She knew Octa could stare like that too, but his stare was not nearly as piercing as Galaxia's. The house of Equinox had spent generations practising that stare to get fellow pokémon, and even their human trainers, to do whatever it was they needed, even at great personal risk, as long as it made them stop that stare. Even great men like Sir Edward Slateport had not been able to resist giving in to their companion's stare, and currently Toxica was having to fight her urge to listen to that stare and get out of the house to instead stay with the humans were Black was staying for the night. Her flower instinctively gave of pollen and a nasty smell and she sweated sap under that stare's pressure. She angrily decided to stare back, so she made eye-contact. It felt almost as if she was trying to win a staring contest against the Sun, except the discomfort was mental, not physical. Her eyes began watering and blinking within two seconds and she had to look away, completely unable to continue challenging Galaxia's stare.
She was about to give in and run away from the house when Octa, knowingly or not, saved her by talking specifically to Galaxia, forcing her attention away from Toxica. She breathed out, the stare's terrible pressure taking off her, and stooped a bit in the chair, delighted to be freed of it.
Toxica lay in the lavish bed she had been given for the night. The fact that this simple guest room was far more beautiful and richer than any other room she'd ever slept in was quite telling. The bed had a gilded frame with fake plants and even birds on it and the mattress was amazingly soft and warm. Several small artworks, mainly of family members as usual, were hung up on one wall, while the other three were covered in bookcases from floor to ceiling. It was amazing how many books were in this house; this was not at all the only room with walls fully covered in bookcases. Now at least she knew how Octa'd got his extensive knowledge of so many topics.
Things had actually gone surprisingly well. Though dinner began formal and Toxica had despaired thinking that no-one would say a word to her, her neighbours soon loosened up. She had got into a conversation with Octa's mother Claudia, his sister Livia, and their uncle Brittanicus. He was not technically Octa's uncle, he explained, but the husband of Octa's actual uncle, who had died several years earlier while exploring Mt. Silver's deep caverns with his trainer, and the family had since treated Brittanicus as their own son. His mother was a friendly, though slightly condescending Serperior named Claudia Marcella, and had come from a different family of Serperiors before being betrothed to Lord Publius Cornelius. Octa's sister Livia's wit was even sharper than her brother's, and she made several jokes that made Toxica giggle uncontrollably and Claudia frown and stare at her daughter.
Apparently, Team Plasma had even attacked Crimson breeders while Octa was gone, stating that their breeding of pokémon and selling them like inanimate objects was unethical. The entire family Equinox had helped their breeders defend against the attackers, fortunately without suffering any casualties. After some encouragement by Livia, Brittanicus had quite an amazing story to tell of his role in the battle, as he had led several pokémon in a flanking manoeuvre that had practically been the only reason they had won the battle at all, especially without casualties. Livia assured Toxica Brittanicus had still been very modest and downplayed the whole matter.
All in all, they made surprisingly good conversational partners, and Livia had even shown her around the mansion after dinner. The room that made the greatest impression on Toxica was a big room where an extensive family tree was beautifully painted on the walls. The intricate, green and purple tree wasn't oriented vertically as Toxica would've expected, but horizontally, from left to right; wrapping around two corners and making it almost halfway around the room before ending. It was a good thing it was drawn this way, as there would never have been enough room for the entire family if it had been a vertical tree. It was impressively detailed, showing all thirty-five generations of Octa's family, starting at the right of the door with Equinox I and his five children and running intricately through every generation before ending almost opposite the door with Octa, Livia, Marcus, and their brother Gaius, who wasn't at home, as well as a whole lot of cousins. Every generation except the current one had a small portrait of them painted by their name. Livia explained that this was because they hadn't evolved to Serperiors yet, so their portraits would be made later when they did. Toxica remembered quite a few of the names in the tree from Octa's stories, and Livia soon showed herself to be of the same stock as she began telling about various ancestors as well. Toxica had repaid her kindness by telling her about the adventures she'd had with Octa.
Now she lay in the bed comfortably, though it was clearly not meant for a Vileplume. It was far longer than wide, of course, to let a serpentine Serperior sleep on it comfortably, and even folded up her flower still made a bulge that the bed clearly wasn't designed to accommodate. But it could be much worse, she reflected, as the bed's softness didn't make it much of a problem. Before falling asleep, she shuddered again as she remembered Galaxia's powerful stare.
Since Black wasn't planning to leave until the afternoon, Toxica spent most of the morning with Livia, her new friend. Apparently breakfast was the only meal of the day not taken together, so Toxica just had a casual breakfast with Octa and his sister. They were soon cheerfully laughing about various stories the siblings had to tell about each other.
“...And seeing all those Leppas hanging off the tree's lowest branches, Octa and I somehow got the idea of a Leppa fight, throwing them at each other from a distance. So then I took an amazing, bright-scarlet Leppa, tossed it right at Octa, who was distracted by a Butterfree flying over...”
Octa winced at the memory. “It hit me right in the side of the head; it was incredibly hard. Honestly, my dear sister, you must have fired that apple out of a cannon instead of throwing it, for I can distinctly remember the impact nearly cracking my six-week-old skull.”
Livia and Toxica laughed, while Octa tried to hide his own laughter. “Well, you weren't quite so verbose in your reaction back then,” Livia giggled. “It was more like an indistinct scream of rage and pain as you ran at me, wielding that same Leppa like an axe.”
Octa blushed with embarrassment. “Well, I was only six weeks old, and my little harpy of a sister had just given me the worst pain I'd felt yet in my brief life...”
“Anyway, he couldn't catch up to me as I ran off, still holding a few Leppas, so he soon turned around angrily and returned to the mansion, when I felt one of the apples I was holding to be very soft, and decided to throw it at him as a teasing gesture of good-will...”
Octa winced even more. “The horribly spoilt thing exploded as it hit the back of my head, showering me in liquid rotten Leppa gone softer than a Tamato.”
Livia laughed. “Hey, at least that one didn't hurt you.”
“Not physically, no,” Octa spoke. “I still have deep emotional scarring related to spoilt Leppa dripping down my neck.”
After breakfast Toxica spent some time with Octa and Livia, before there mother Claudia surprised her by taking her apart. “You are attracted to my son,” she stated, surprising Toxica.
Her first thought was to deny it, but she knew there was little point. It had not been a question, but a statement, so Claudia had clearly seen it, and lying would only insult her. “Um. Well, yes... A bit, milady...”
“More than a bit. You quite obviously very smitten by him; 'tis hard to miss.”
“Oh. Am I that transparent, milady?”
“Quite, yes. Has Octa ever talked to you about this matter?”
“Well... No. I've never really admitted it to him...”
“That's strange. This should be as easy to recognise to him as 'tis to me, so he should have told you to avoid damaging your feelings over the long run.”
“Tell me what?” Toxica asked with a growing sense of dread.
“That it is impossible for him to reciprocate your feelings, even if he did feel the same way for you. Our family is kept pure-blooded and noble, so that our descendants can claim the same birth that we can. He shan't choose a Vileplume without a house as his mate, for he shall choose the mate his family, ergo us, choose for him.”
Toxica felt crushed.
“I understand this sounds harsh and cruel to you now, but 'tis far more cruel to rob his descendants of their nobility. Octa knows this and shall never allow himself to fraternise with anyone we do not pick as his mate. It has been our way for thirty-five generations, and so it shall be for hundreds more. I am surprised he never told you this to spare your feelings...”
“B-but...” Toxica stammered. “What about your husband's brother, milady? I mean, surely the family can't have chosen Brittanicus as his mate, 'cause they can't have kids together for obvious reasons...”
“Ah, but my husband made a big exception in the case of his brother Tiberius. You see, first of all, Tiberius had done his duty to the family already, choosing the mate chosen for him and procreating with her, despite not being attracted to females. When she and my husband's father died shortly after each other, the family, after much insistence of my husband, it's new leader, decided to choose Brittanicus, whomTiberius had always loved, as his second mate as a service to him. However, Tiberius' duty to the family had already been done, and there was no risk of contaminating the bloodline from the union with Brittanicus. Aside from the most obvious reason, Brittanicus is also a Serperior of noble blood himself. I'm afraid that even if you were to wait for Octa's mate to die, you could never be chosen as his second mate, for a union with you would risk contaminating the bloodline with your lower-class and Vileplume blood. I apologise, but 'tis our way. And I also apologise for my son's behaviour, not telling you this sooner, when you would not have wasted so much emotion on him.”
Toxica's eyes filled with tears. Claudia was right: the arranged mating of Octa's family might be cruel, but for him not to tell her anything about it was even worse. She had spent a whole year fawning over him, thinking she had a chance. Claudia talked on, trying to give her some solace, but Toxica didn't listen and could only think about Octa. He was a cold-hearted, haughty, overly arrogant bastard, she thought. A miserable upper-class twit, and if he'd told her about this she wouldn't have wasted so many emotions for such a long time on him.
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 45)
Chapter Forty-Six: Celestial Tower Skirmish
A week after their stay with Octa's family, Toxica had still barely spoken a word to the Servine. He had not simply broken her heart; he had shattered it and jumped on the remains. If he had simply broken her heart, it would've been so much better. The sadness and rage she felt reminded her of the meltdown between Boreas and Aqua in Chargestone Cave. At least those two had made up a month later and were probably having some how's your father together right now, Toxica thought bitterly and enviously. They had had it so easy with their love-life, barely facing any difficulties at all, while she had fallen in love with some stupid dental from a family on an incredibly high Rapidash. She hadn't told Octa that his mother had told her about his family's ridiculous habits yet, figuring he'd infer it from her behaviour. Surely her anger was unmistakable? She had even tried giving him the same stare Galaxia had subjected her to, but it didn't have remotely the same kind of effect without thirty-three generations of practise backing you up. Yet, despite all her obvious signs of anger and broken heartedness, he hadn't even asked her what was wrong. This made her feel even more furious and sad, especially since she had no-one to share her troubles with. She wished Capella wasn't dead, or at least that Boreas wasn't off fooling around with Aqua.
The grasslands were now lower than they were on the southern parts of the route, allowing Toxica to see her surroundings. The White Mountains, which she knew they'd have to climb to get to Icirrus, were visible on the horizon; very small and blue with distance. A tall white tower was also visible, much closer than the mountains. The plains they were now on would soon pass into a thick conifer forest growing on the White Mountains' foothills, by the looks of it.
At some point they noticed some humans grouped together in the plain to their left. Curious, Black went to them to see what was going on and found Skyla among them, talking to the other humans.
“Skyla!” Black greeted her happily, “what are you doing here?”
Skyla turned around in surprise. “Oh, hi, Black! I guess it's a small world after all, running into you like this! I flew here, because there's a problem in Celestial Tower.”
“Then it's a good thing I came by, I'll help you solve it,” Black boasted.
“Hmm, I could use some help. Are you afraid of ghosts?”
“Me? Afraid? I don't know the meaning of the word.”
“It's a strong, unpleasant emotion caused by the perception of danger,” explained Selene.
“It's a metaphor, featherhead!” snarled Lucius.
“Nah,” said Selene, “it's an emotion.”
As Lucius and Selene bantered, Toxica realised she was afraid of ghosts. She had never met one, but the idea of a malicious gaseous lifeform which lives in the dark and loves being around graves terrified her. Not to mention the many legends about them actually being dead people or stealing your soul... Toxica looked around to see if the others felt the same way as her, but they didn't seem too worried. Lucius and Selene had it easy of course, being dark-types. But Octa wasn't worried either. Admiration for his bravery and fury at his eternal cold, emotionless state both clouded Toxica's mind.
She tried to shake her troubled emotions off to listen to Skyla's problem. Apparently Celestial Tower was the large white tower. It was a burial ground, so naturally it was home to some ghost-types, but since yesterday they were much more numerous and powerful than normal, and had attacked the people manning the tower and taken over the village around it, chasing the villagers away.
“...So the villagers called in the help of me and Brycen, as Gym Leaders of the closest cities, and here we are,” Skyla finished her explanation.
“Brycen?” asked Black.
“Oh, he's just here, finding more information from the villagers. Brycen! Where are you?! Brycen?!”
“Here,” spoke a masked man in bizarre clothes who stepped out of the crowd. He wore a sort of woolly blue toga over a tunic.
“Woah, you startled me!” said Skyla. “You're so quiet, sneaking up on me like that. Anyway, this is Black, a trainer who defeated me and offered to help us. Black, this is Brycen, Icirrus' Gym Leader.”
Black greeted Brycen and extended his hand, but the older man simply nodded curtly without saying a word or shaking Black's hand. “Let's go,” he simply said, and led the way to the tower.
“Was it something I said?” Toxica heard Black whisper to Skyla as they followed Brycen.
“Don't worry, he's not upset, he's always like that. He just doesn't like to use many words.”
The village around the tower was deserted and empty, their footfalls the only sound in the vicinity. The tower itself looked scary and threatening as it loomed over the village. Usually a human settlement had at least some wild pokémon in it, attracted to the humans' food, but this village was abandoned by even them. Toxica's entire instinct told her to run away from this place, and especially from the threatening white tower. Somehow it was even scarier because it was white than if it had been black. Maybe it was because, though Toxica mainly lived by day and slept by night, her species was naturally nocturnal. But there was something else about it, she thought. Something about the unforgiving, plain white that looked hard and unpleasant.
Toxica would've fled, but the three humans and their other pokémon were walking so purposefully and undaunted, that Toxica had no choice but to follow, albeit a bit behind them and rather uncertainly. Normally she would probably have gone to Octa and talked to him for a dosis of his reassuring logic and bravery in a situation like this, but she definitely wasn't going to do that now.
“It'll be best if we attack the ghosts from two sides,” Skyla whispered, “that way we have effectively surrounded them. I'll fly to the top and work my way down while you two work your way up from the normal entrance.”
“Yes,” said Brycen.
Black looked from Brycen to Skyla with a disappointed look on his face. “Uh... Wouldn't it be handier if I went with you, Skyla? I mean, Brycen here clearly can take care of matters on his own,” he hopefully said.
“Maybe,” said Skyla with a grin, “but how would you fly up there?”
Black looked at his pokémon one by one, clearly disappointed to find only Selene could fly, that she was only fifty centimetres, and her feathers looked so ruffled it was a surprise she could keep herself flying anyway, let alone carry an adult human as well. “Uh... Maybe Selene could fly me?”
Skyla smiled pityingly, climbed on her Swanna's back, and flew away to the tower's top.
Black looked disappointed. “Well, I guess it's just you and me then, huh Brycen? Brycen?”
Without saying a word, Brycen was already walking to the tower, releasing ice-types as he walked. “Oh, great,” mumbled Black, “Instead of going with Skyla and having a chance of her spontaneously hugging me in fear when a ghost pops up, I get to go with mr. Icebucket.”
Brycen's team consisted of Cryogonal, Vanilluxe, Glalie, Mamoswine, Beartic, and Glaceon. Toxica's eyes went wide in surprise at seeing a Glaceon, and her teammates had similar surprised reactions. Black caught up with Brycen. “Oh, you have a Glaceon as well?” he chatted. “I have one too, y'know. He's just not here right now.”
Brycen said nothing.
“So... uh... that's like, nice and all...” mumbled Black.
“Yes,” said Brycen.
Toxica did notice, though, that this Glaceon looked quite different from Boreas. The dark hair on her head was arranged in an odd hairstyle that resembled a crown of three diamonds or ice crystals, rather than Boreas' unruly mess of semi-long hair which mainly resembled a mop. For a moment she wondered if the difference might be because this Glaceon was a female, then she remembered Boreas had had hair like that too shortly after evolving before it had come undone. Perhaps this Glaceon was recently-evolved, or perhaps she had taken care to preserve that odd hairstyle, contrary to Boreas.
Toxica had no time to think about it, because following Brycen, they had entered the tower. While the deserted village was scary, the tower was even creepier; a terrifying atmosphere hung heavily in the greasy air. The fact that the tower was filled with gravestones made it even worse. Row after row of rectangular stones stood like giant stone teeth in the semi-darkness. A wide staircase made a half circle around the floor as it climbed to the next floor, high above. It was even more silent than the village, a terrifying deathly silent that seemed less like the absence of sound and more as if something was actively making negative sound to make it even more silent than silence itself. Toxica wanted nothing more than to run away screaming.
Brycen and his pokémon were already climbing the stairs. “Yeah, great idea now that you mention it,” Black sarcastically mumbled.
Toxica took a deep breath as they reached the second floor, which was even more full of graves. This time the stairs started on the other side of the hall, meaning they'd have to fully cross it. They began walking in a deathly silence.
“You know,” she heard Lucius' snide, Brooklyn-accented voice whisper, “apparently a Chandelure's flames burn up the soul, leaving the body behind as a soulless zombie...”
Toxica's eyes went wide with fear, and she felt tears stinging behind them. “Sh-shut up, that's not true!”
Lucius shrugged. “Hey, I'm just repeating something I heard, I don't know if it's true. And y'know, a Banette is a doll left behind and possessed by evil spirits, imbuing it with an insatiable wish to kill anything alive. Apparently. A Ghastly can spread itself invisibly through an entire building, get into your lungs, and then suffocate you at any time it likes. A Gengar is a dead Clefable, come back to this world to steal people's souls. A Yamask used to be human, and its mask is a cast of its face... When it gets really wistful, it'll look at it with a great sadness... And a great desire to do the same to others...”
Toxica couldn't hold back her tears of fear any more and began crying, though she knew that was exactly the effect Lucius was hoping for. “Stop it... Please...”
Lucius' grin only widened. “A Spiritomb was made from fusing 108 spirits together, and it's looking for a 109th to add to the collection. A Dusknoir-”
“Did you perchance not hear the lady?” Octa asked Lucius in stern tones. “Cease your efforts to frighten her at once, 'tis not a very comradely thing to do, is it?”
“Shut up, Octa,” Toxica barked, grateful for his help against Lucius but unwilling to admit it, “I don't need your help!”
“Oh dear,” said Octa with a sarcastic bow, “I do apologise for springing to your aid when you were about to burst into tears.”
“I don't need you, Octa!” Toxica hissed furiously, “What would I need you for?! You're nothing but an arrogant git with an insane family!”
“What is your problem?!” Octa hissed. “You have acted hostile and displeased all week! Is there any reason behind this uncivilised, hostile behaviour towards me, or do you merely enjoy acting like this?!”
“You know perfectly well what's wrong!”
“I do not! I am not telepathic, so how could I know the reason behind your hostile, intolerant behaviour?”
“Fine! Let me spell it out to you! You know who else is hostile and intolerant?! Your family!”
“Oh, what an absolutely brilliant comeback that is. Truly, Oscar Wilde would feel quite insignificant next to your wits.”
“It's not a comeback, you git! Your family prohibits you from foolin' around with anyone they don't choose! An' that means anyone who's not a Snivy an' anyone who's not of “noble blood”, because they think it'll make 'em less pure, an' that's the most insane idea ever!”
“Oh.” Octa looked down. “They... told you about that, then...”
“Yeah, your Mum did!”
“I... I can quite see how it would make you quite upset...”
“Quite upset?! You've been hiding that from me for a year, though you apparently knew I fancied you!”
“You made me waste so much feelings on you! If you had just told me when you first realised I fancied you, I'd have got pretty angry at such a stupid rule, but then I'd have moved on! Now I've been pinin' for you for ages!”
“No buts, I-” Suddenly Toxica realised she and Octa were alone on the floor. Except they weren't, as lots and lots of little flying purple candles with faces on them were surrounding them, and disembodied glowing eyes were behind them, staring maliciously. “Oh, bugger.”
Toxica woke up in a dark, rectangular hole. She started up, a terrible weakness inhibiting her every move. “Oh... What in the name of Darkrai's dandruff happened?”
Then she remembered the ghosts... And nothing after that. She looked around the pit she was in and saw a rectangular slab of stone stand at the head of it. “Oh no... No, please...” she gasped with dry throat, realising she was lying in a grave.
BUT YES, spoke a voice like slabs of lead falling onto the floor.
Toxica turned around with a shock and saw a robed skeleton. A single red light, like an eye, flashed inside the skull, alternating between the two eyesockets. “No... No... You-you're-”
YES, it spoke in a voice like an epitaph being hacked into a gravestone. I AM DEATH. THE GRIM REAPER. I HAVE COME TO TAKE YOU.
“Y-you can't!” Toxica squealed in terror. Her heart pounded loudly in her ears. “Yes, you really can't! My heart still beats! I'm alive!”
YOU WON'T BE FOR MUCH LONGER.
“Y-you won't kill me!”
INDEED. I WILL MERELY TAKE YOU TO THE OTHER SIDE. BUT THEY WILL KILL YOU.
A Chandelure, a Jellicent, a Cofagrigus, a Drifblim, and a Froslass floated over the grave Toxica was lying in, and a big circle of twenty-five Litwicks floated around them in a circle. Death grinned at the new arrivals. All spooky eyes were aimed at Toxica.
“Ah... An untarnished soul...” Chandelure spoke. “She will burn well...”
“Burn her!” the Litwicks sang, their voices perfectly synchronous and very high-pitched, like the highest tones on a small flute. “Incinerate her soul! Leave her body an empty, mindless shell!” they chanted.
The legends Lucius had recounted echoed through Toxica's mind. She was so drowned in terror that she couldn't even scream.
“No...” said the Jellicent, its pink mass floating above Toxica like a macrocephalic monstrosity. “Don't waste her soul by by burning it... I want to eat and digest it until nothing remains...”
“Eat her! Devour her soul!” the Litwicks chanted, flying in the circle faster and faster.
“I will take care of her...” said the Cofagrigus, with a voice like slime dripping out of a rotting coffin in a swamp, “...I will turn her into a mummy, the remains of her soul forever imprisoned in a rotting body, hungry for the flesh of the living...”
“A mummy!” the Litwicks chanted, “One of the walking dead forever, so shall her fate be!”
“No...” spoke the Drifblim, “give her to me and her soul will forever burn inside me, helping me float...”
“She will be fuel for an eternity!” the Litwicks chanted in their ultra-high voices, “Her soul helping Drifblim fight gravity!”
A long blade of ice appeared in Froslass' hands. “But first... Let me have a little fun with her... Let me cut a few petals, fingers and toes off... Or maybe her eyelids? Maybe her lips? So many possibilities for fun...”
“Pain her! Cut her!” The Litwicks chanted, floating in circles so fast their flames were beginning to look like a single blue circle of light. “Make her beg for her death before the end! Make her scream! Make her suffer! HAAAAAAAA!!!” They chanted a single, continuous note.
Toxica had been afraid before, but now her entire being was utter terror. To say she was afraid would be like saying there was water in the ocean. She couldn't move a muscle, could barely breathe or think, couldn't scream at all.
Death grinned, for as far as its skull didn't always grin. I WAS MISTAKEN. YOUR SOUL WILL EITHER BE BURNED, EATEN, USED AS FUEL, OR FOREVER IMPRISONED IN A ROTTING SHELL OF A BODY. IT SEEMS MY SERVICES ARE NOT NEEDED EITHER WAY.
“Why do you talk in that funny voice?” a raspy voice above Toxica's head asked. All the ghosts turned at it in surprise, including the Litwicks, who got confused in their circle-flying and chanting because of it and collided with each other.
All this made Toxica slightly less afraid to the point were she could actually scream, so she did. She screamed in utter morbid fear, channelling all her fright into her lungs until Death swooped down and put its hand over her mouth.
I AM DEATH, IMPERTINENT MORTAL. THAT IS WHY I TALK LIKE THIS.
“Is Death a Duskull?” the other voice curiously asked.
“I'm no-” Death coughed, I AM NOT A DUSKULL, I AM AN ANTHROPOMORPHIC PERSONIFICATION.
“You're not very anthropomorphic if you're a Duskull. That's Duskullmorphic.”
That didn't sound much like Death, and Toxica now recognised it was indeed a Duskull, not Death. She bit its hand, which was still covering her mouth, and resumed screaming as it retracted it with a yelp of pain. She looked at the gravestone standing at the head of her grave, and saw the unmistakable, ruffled silhouette of Selene sit on it.
“Why is she screaming like that?” Selene wondered. Toxica was still too terrified to explain it herself.
“Uh...” stammered the Chandelure, “we... uh... We were going to burn her soul! And your too now, foolish mortal!”
“Are you?!” Selene asked happily. “Did you hear that, Toxica? This must be our lucky day!”
“Yes!” The Litwicks chanted uncertainly and much less synchronised than they did at first. “We will burn... What?”
“She likes it?” a Litwick piped.
“What the...” another mumbled.
Soon the Litwicks were all chatting through one another.
“S-silence!” roared the Cofagrigus. “I will turn you both into mummies, dooming you to an eternity of pain in a slowly rotting body as you hunger for the flesh of the living!”
“Wow,” Selene said, completely unperturbed. “I've always wondered what that was like, this is amazing! Hey, don't worry, Tox, they're just going to turn us into mummies.”
The Litwicks were now all chattering through each other as the bigger ghosts looked at Selene in utter puzzlement. “She's weird!” “What is she playing at?!” “She's just pretending!” “Weirdo!” “G-get her away...” “She scares me!”
“B-but...” the Jellicent stammered unsurely. “I... I will eat your soul. You know? Your very deepest “I” thing? I mean, you will suffer greatly as you're digested by me? And your body will remain as a thoughtless zombie. D-doesn't that scare you? A little?”
“A zombie? Cool! Think of all the people we'll scare, Tox! And we get to have our souls eaten, aren't we lucky?”
Toxica noticed she had stopped screaming to stare in astonishment at Selene, like the ghosts. In fact, the Litwicks were now routing, terrified by Selene, while the other ghosts seemed to be shrinking back slowly, muttering to each other: “S-she can't be serious.”
“N-no-one thinks things like that...”
“Let's just look into her mind using our telepathy, then...”
“I-I'd really rather not...”
“I'll give it a try- OH GIRATINA!!! I-I'm out of here!” the Chandelure floated away, its flames burning green with terror, as the remaining ghosts seemed unsure of what to do.
“What's all this noise?” a new, low-pitched voice asked.
“G-Golurk...” Jellicent stammered. “W-we were just playing a prank... But that Murkrow, s-she's utterly terrifying!”
“A prank?” Golurk asked. It now stood next to the grave and looked down at Toxica. “She is not laughing. Did you go too far again? You know mistress won't like that.”
“M-maybe a little... But that Murkrow...”
“A little?!” Golurk yelled angrily, “look at the poor thing, she's terrified! Go away, now, and tell mistress we're leaving. I'll have a solid word with her and you later.”
The ghosts fled, leaving Selene disappointed. “Aww, but they seemed so much fun...” she pouted.
Golurk extended a mechanic hand into the grave to help the still-trembling and crying Toxica up. “I'm really sorry for them. They're good deep at heart, but...” it paused, giving the impression it would have sighed had it had lungs. “They have a bad sense of humour. I'm afraid it's rather common in ghosts.”
Toxica grabbed the arm and let herself be helped up, but she was still trembling all over and crying. “Th-they were going to... G-going to do horrible things to me... They were going to b-burn my soul, and use it as fuel, a-and stab me...”
“They would never have really done those things. In fact, most of the things they threatened you with are impossible, just bits of the many stories told about ghost-types. Sadly our cruel sense of humour leaves people telling these kinds of stories about us, and to be honest I can't blame them...”
Toxica was taking deep breaths now to calm herself down. “O-Octa? Where is he? H-he's a Servine.”
“He's probably back with your trainers now. You were all dispersed in their attack, but the others have managed to regroup on the second floor. I'm afraid the others specifically attacked you because you must've seemed the most susceptible to their attacks and- hey, that is interesting...”
“What is?” Toxica asked.
“Well, let me explain it: I have lived for ten thousand years. I was built by a civilisation so ancient modern archaeology doesn't even know their name. When you have lived for ten thousand years, you know how time passes... You get a certain knack for telling what's going to happen next. And therefore, you can see a bit of the future... Mainly very big events, details are very hard... I had thought this might be coming before... But now that I've met you two, I'm certain...”
“What?” Toxica curiously asked despite her fear.
“A battle. The greatest battle of your time is coming soon, probably within a year from now. Two large armies will decide the fate of Unova, and possibly the world, on that day... But whoever wins, will do so at the cost of a great many lives. I can only hope it'll be worth it. And you,” it pointed at Toxica, “will play a vital part in this battle.”
“But... When? Where? What will happen? What will I do?”
“I don't know. The future is always in motion. Everything that happens changes it, so I can't be certain about any details... But the battle will happen, almost certainly. And now I must leave you alone. Your companions are a floor down, searching for you. I have to return to my own companions. We will leave this place in peace now, and I will have a strong word with them about how far is too far.” It walked off, to the stairs leading up. Toxica was too scared to follow her, and walked to the stairs down.
“Aww,” said Selene as she flew over Toxica's head, “It's a shame they're going; they were so much fun...”
“Y-yeah...” said Toxica. “Selene, you were so brave back there!”
“Was I?” Selene asked with a baffled expression on her face.
“Yeah, you were all fearless and stuff!”
“Well, yeah. I mean, what was there to fear?” Selene asked as if that was incredibly obvious.
“W-well... Getting our souls burned, or getting turned into an undead monstrosity and things like that.”
“Right...” Selene said as if expecting her to continue.
“So... You know, those were bad things.”
Toxica searched for words, finding none. “Be-because... Okay, I'm not going to talk to you about this any more, 'cause you're beginning to scare me as much as you scared them. I'll just say: thank you, and move on.”
Re: The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova (Chapter 45)
I love this fic.
I really don't get why there aren't more people reading this.
Please keep it up.
(You don't have to answer this but I have a quick quistion: Are you Dutch?)