Monochrome Memories: Where The Things Have No Color - Simply_Bored (2024)

Chapter 1: Prologue: Emmet - Paint it Black

Summary:

After the mysterious disappearance of Ingo, Emmet loses Battle Subway. Since Grimsley was no longer part of the Elite Four, Emmet took his place.

2 years after what happened, the sky turns a dark red color with black streaks and a black cloud circles over Castelia city…

Notes:

I changed the title, dw it’ll come back

Y’all already know the song reference but I’ll say it anyway: Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones

I thought it would be more fitting since the og cover album is mostly black and Hazlewart is from an album that is white. Also, the song name and the song in genera just fits better.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Ingo and I were a two cart train. Every day when I look in the mirror, I am reminded of him. That’s the thing with having a twin, you know? I beat myself over it every time that he’s gone. Forever. The events of what happened still haunts me. My hands couldn’t stop shaking and my voice never faltered more. We always stuck together and he was ripped apart from my life for a reason that nobody knows. It came out of nowhere and I can’t help but recall the conversation I had with Uncle Drayden that he went missing…

“The sky got verrrry dark in Virbank, it was a moonless night, remember? The lights from the lamp posts were the only we had as the two of us were taking a walk down Route 20 to get some fresh air after Roxie’s show. We were talking about- uh, ahem, right, I’ll get to it… We were talking until we heard a verrry mysterious sound. It must have been some kind of Pokémon, and it sounded like it was in pain…”

What happened was a complete mystery.

“We walked together on the path, searching for whatever was making the noise until we met the fork in the path that split the ways to Floccesy town and the Ranch. I told him to go near the waterfall, and I would go around in the forest on the other side.”

I waited so long for him to come back… and part of me now still wants to.

“I don’t remember how much time passed before the cries of this mysterious Pokémo got quieter. And as I was looking, I think some people passed by but didn’t notice me. I thought about asking them to help me but I didn’t want to sound crazy. They were probably going home anyway. Besides, they haven’t seen me and I haven’t seen them, so I probably would scare them verrrry much, especially Eelektross, who was helping me search. I could barely hear them but it seemed that they were in a deep conversation themselves-… right, I’m getting derailed again here, sorry…”

Two years, three months, and nineteen days. I completely gave up and lost hope in a year, seven months, and five days… I can’t help but count every day that passes. One day after. I didn’t even care if It was the anniversary of when he went missing, all I cared about was that I wanted him back so I wouldn’t have to spend another birthday without him.

“…I kept going for a few minutes longer in the hopes that I could find it. But before I knew it, I realized that I should go back to the fork and meet with Ingo. And by the time I arrived there, it was dead silent, so I called for him. A minute later I used my Xtransevier, but he didn’t pick up. At first, I thought he was ghosting me, maybe he found the Pokémon and was just tending to it, whatever it was, I was verrrrrry worried. More time passed and I thought that he lost his Xtransceiver. Soon enough, my anxiety was slowly getting to the best of me.”

My memories of him are still slowly fading.

“I walked over by the waterfall and started calling his name for only silence to be the only response. I started to get frantic and went deeper into the forest. Time passed faster than expected. 10 minutes. 15. 30. One hour. Two hours. I wanted to get help but I couldn’t leave. I kept thinking that he’d be right there, in the next corner. Then, I found nothing. I think the crashing waterfall muffled my calls. Anyway, I had just Eelektross in my party while Ingo didn’t have any of his since he thought that we’d be just fine with no Pokémon. He wanted to restrain himself from battling anyone, and give a reason to people who wanted to battle him on why he couldn’t. But I grabbed my Eelektross in secret, just for safety measures. I could tell that Eelektross knew that my heart rate was growing faster with fear…”

I tried so hard to move on yet I was somehow still in his shadow. Hugged by the dark like, leeching on me, slowly sucking the life out of me every so often as a reminder that I failed. I failed to keep our dreams alive when he left, no matter how hard I tried. It was all ripped away from me by someone with more money and a meaner heart.

“…We went deep into the forest, the only light I had was Eelektross and the XTransceiver. At that moment I wish I had Chandelure with me, she’d find him in an instant. Eelektross isn’t that bad at searching either since it’s part of his instincts… it surprised me that he found nothing still, at this point.”

Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore. I ripped the bathroom mirror off, and I shoddily repaired the wall. I am Emmet but all I saw was Ingo. If I found any reminder of him, I simply put it in a box and shoved it as far away as possible in his closet. We could barely get enough money to live in separate places. Battle Subway was our only shot at money and we missed it. I missed it.

“…Then I thought about the waterfall. At first, I thought that he’d never climb up that hillside, it’s too dangerous and he probably didn't know how to climb, and it’s most definitely something he wouldn’t do unless the Pokémon was up there. I told Eelektross to go into Floccesy’s Pokémon center. I wrote a letter on my notepad to give to the Nurse Joy, my hand could barely move.”

I became part of the Elite 4, since Grimsley went off somewhere in some other country. Every day after that was the same. I’m sick of it. It’s all quiet now. that Iris checks up on me every day, I knew If I said something off she’d immediately tell Uncle Drayden. I’m lucky to have a cousin as strong and great as her and every day I get more and more jealous of it. The more I get out of Ingo’s shadow the more I get under her’s.

“When I finished I rolled it up and gave it to Eelektross. For a moment I thought the he should get Uncle Alder, but I stopped myself. I thought that I was overthinking this, and so I didn’t bother going that way. I didn’t think that it would be that serious.”

Everyone’s still worried about me, despite my attempts to fend them off with a simple, “I’m doing fine” and changing the conversation as quickly as I can.

“Eelektross and I went back to the waterfall. Eelektross looked back at me one last time until he used his levitate ability to float fast through the air. I took a deep breath and started to climb right beside the waterfall. I almost slipped down a few times but in the end, I finally managed to roll over on the top and took another deep breath. I sat up and looked around, my back hurt a lot, I won’t lie. Right… I’m getting side tracked… Anyway, Ingo wasn’t found. I looked around as much as I could and was tempted to cross the water by myself… I know I’m bad at swimming but I’d do anything for him. So then, a verrrrrry strange feeling went over me as I stepped closer and closer to the shore…”

I want to let go… why can’t I let go? The events keep running through my mind on repeat. I wish I could have said “love you” At least once before we split. I wish I went him. I wish I wasn’t such a curious idiot.

“A Pokémon cried out and I jumped. I dashed back to the edge and peered over to see Eelektross. I called for him back and he turned his head up, he didn’t have the note with him so I assumed that he got help. He must have gotten impatient and came back after. Suddenly, I realized that I peered over the edge too far and slipped. I managed to catch the top edge of the hill with my arms, but they quickly got tired and I was left hanging by my hands. My feet slipped around, unable to find a place to put leverage on, and before I knew it, I finally fell and I cried out. I felt an impact mid-air, and suddenly, I was in the icy cold river below the waterfall…”

I wish he was alive.

Notes:

Sorry it’s very short but it’s the opening. Ingo’s Prologue is EXTRA LONG so yeah.

Chapter 2: Prologue: Ingo - Hazlewart

Summary:

2 years after Ingo arrived in Hisui, he had given up on going back home. His hope came back when Professor Laventon gives him a familiar Pokédex.

He and Akari looked for information on what seems to be his home region, until the the sky turns a dark red color with black streaks and a black cloud circles over Mt. Coronet…

Notes:

Gonna be real. When I first announced that I was gonna post this today, I wasn’t even NEAR being done with this part of the prologue. If you see any mistakes anywhere in this fic pls let me know. I really don’t mind. Critiques are also welcomed. I am aware I am not the greatest writer of grammar. That’s why I’m an artist.

Also, I use a little British slang for Laventon. I did research and stuff (because I am from the US) but if it’s cringe or something you can tell me and I’ll remove it. (And I will draw myself hitting my own head with a comically large hammer)

Song reference: Hazlewart by ORBS

Enjoy.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

I’d say it’s been a year or so since Akari defeated Volo. I was in Jubilife Village talking to Zisu, the captain of the Galaxy Expedition Team’s Security Corps. Out of nowhere, the sky turned red and Akari was exiled because Kamado thought she caused the mess. He set out to Mt. Coronet to repair the problem himself. Irida asked me If I wanted to go as well, but I had to refuse the offer. All I could think about at that moment was the villagers being suffocated by fear. Children failed to be hushed by their parents who were equally afraid, people lost hope, and Pokémon frantically ran around looking for protection. I could feel everyone’s despair, and I knew that they needed help. If I was going to die along with these people, with the rest of the world, I wanted to do it by being there for everyone else. It was a good thing that Gaelric and Azeru brought some of the clanspeople over to the village, some stayed in their places just in case of any Alphas rampage and caused more chaos. The rest of the wardens made it to Jubilife as well, surprisingly.

The nobles apparently wanted Us wardens did our best to help the others, reassure them that everything will be alright, that we needed to have trust in the people who went on the top of Mt. Coronet. “Are we gonna die?” a child asked, “Do you really think that Mr. Kamado’s strong enough?” a question from another. I made sure everyone knew they were fine, but I knew that Kamado would never be able to defeat the renegade Pokémon and their powerful disciple. Hours of fright plagued homes until the sun finally shone and people reluctantly cheered. I heard Lian’s large sigh of relief as he fanned his hat towards him, Melli swallowing his anxiety down as he tried to still retain his proper state, along with Azeru and Mai cheering. Gaelric and Calaba stayed quiet, and I captured a glimpse of Iscan and Paulina going from holding hands to hugging each other. Iscan laughed a bit hysterically. Sabi nervously scoffed, “I knew that would happen, see? I told you guys we’d be fine…” after the initial reaction to the day shining bright, all turned to me. I had a feeling that they all thought that I was trying to remember my past one last time but no. For some untolled reason my mind could only focus on Akari and how well she was, because I knew she would really be the one to take on Volo.

Akari and I went back to the peak of Mt. Coronet together a few days after the festival. By this time, she already released the legendary Pokémon, except for the avatar of Arceus given to her, for the sake of keeping balance. We came to visit Dialga and Palkia to see if they could bring us back home, only to be told that It was nearly impossible and very dangerous and that we wouldn’t just die but damage time and space itself more… The last thing they said will stick to me forever: “Some things are best hidden to the world”. Akari became enraged and if it weren’t for me she would have fought them once again. I will never forget her cries and pleas to go back to the life she had, saying that she wished she’d never saved the world. But now that I look back, if she didn’t save the world then even she wouldn’t have existed to go back in time. No savior would exist, nor would anyone.

Akari grew too much in this region, she researched Hisuian Pokémon and filled out the Pokédex, she did commissions and helped out people, and on top of all of that, defeated legendary and mythical Pokémon and saved Hisui, no, the world. She saved the world for Almighty Sinnoh’s sake and she’s still a child, nobody gave her the love she deserved. Everyone was her fan and everybody liked her, but nobody loved her, like family. I promised to myself that since I had no choice but to stay, I would do anything to give Akari the rest of the childhood she deserved, the childhood she needed. She was only about 16 after all, and someone still needed to raise her, despite her being good enough to go on by herself. I couldn’t just leave her there, hanging on life by a thread just as I was.

With her help I assimilated myself a lot nicer, I became a lot more fluent in the Hisuian language and understood mannerisms a lot more. In return, I would help her learn my mother language as well. And I made the choice to discard my old clothing after a while, since I knew that I wouldn’t need it anymore. I fashioned myself a black sandogasa hat that had yellow awaji knots wrapped around the brim. I borrowed a feather from Lady Sneasler that she molted and put it on the top. Akari helped me pick out a nice, dark purple kimono, and with the help of Melli (with a lot of convincing) he embroidered the Pearl Clan symbol on the back. Anthe used a similar design from the Sneasler outfit she created to make my hakama and obi. And to finish the look, I wore geta with black tabi, black gloves with pink stripes that went from the tips of my fingers down to my knuckle, like a Sneasler’s. It pained me to switch clothing but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to wear it forever anyway, no matter how much I tried. It was withering away with wear and tear so I hung it up for good. To make me feel better, Akari changed her outfit, too, from her survey uniform to resemble the starter Pokémon more, while also putting her spunky personality and style into it as well.

Another year and a few months pass. Life in Hisui was a lot more peaceful now, no Nobles in a frenzy, less Alpha Pokémon appearances. Yet, nobody knew what happened to Volo. We tried to put him in the back of our minds, but Akari insisted that I should train her just in case.

In the end, we had our own lives and we slowly found peace within the pain we felt. I kept going with my Warden duties, and helped plan where the next few towns would be since I had a great sense of spatial memory. I even created routes to make sure that they would be easy to travel to for all people. Akari continued to write down more information for Laventon, and even started to expand the information of the Pokédex from what they had started with. I’m so proud of her doing all of that, and doing everything for everyone. I don’t even know why she wanted to spar with me more often. If she'd defeated Volo once, she could absolutely do it again if she really wanted to but refuses to believe it. She’s quite the prodigy, a champion of sorts. I can’t help but be reminded of a strong young girl I once knew when I saw her battle, but I supposed all of it was behind me now.

Professor Laventon called us to his office in the Galaxy Hall on a brisk morning. We were immediately left with the statement from him, “I’m finally traveling back to Galar.”

“Wait, really?” Akari exclaimed, “But why go back? There’s still a lot to uncover in Hisui!” She was leaning on his desk and started to teeter over closer to him, but I swiftly and gently pulled her back by the collar. Sometimes I can’t help but shake the weird feeling I get when I do it.

I told her, “Professor Laventon can do what he wants, he has his own life, you know?” I tried to calm her down, and the man in the woolen hat finally responded.

“Don’t get me wrong, Hisui is a lovely place. It has quite the chipper atmosphere and It’s been very fun, however,” his face became filled with heartache, “I miss my home country. I think my work here is finished, and It’s about time I should settle down anyway, eh?” He put his hand on the girl’s shoulder, “I think that it’s time to pass down my mantle and leave the rest of the work to someone else, I’m just not as energetic as I was years ago. I need someone with a fresh mind to research all the new questions we made together. That chuffy lad Rei will help as well, I know he will. Apparently, Kamado’s getting a li’l curious about researching Pokémon, too.”

Akari couldn’t do anything but blink, not only in shock but confusion. She looked at me for a moment, I somehow knew she was just thinking about the Galarian expressions, I could only shrug in response

Laventon put his other hand on her other shoulder, “You’ve been doing a jolly good job, Akari. And you will surpass me, well, you already have.” Akari sighed once more, I couldn’t tell if she was sighing because of the blow from the information, or the compliment that she received, “You are young and free while my age is catching up to me a wee bit..” He removed his hands and straightened his coat until his face suddenly brightened and opened some of his drawers from his desk. “Ooh! Right, I’ve got a li’l sommat here…” The man fixed his knitted hat and finally lifted some large documents out and dropped it on the desk with a slam. “These,” he cleared his throat, “are Pokédex’s from other regions. I’ve gathered them from a few fellow professors from those places. One of them doesn’t have much though, the Pokémon there are dangerous and bare difficult to record. So the information is mostly the man chin-waggin’ away.”

He finally took notice of Akari’s expression after he was lost in thought. He cleared his throat and he changed his voice around a little bit to be more understandab;e. “Erm, sorry if I was confusing you. I’m just a little nervous to go home. Excited… but nervous.” He smiled awkwardly and his face flushed.

Akari chuckled to herself, grabbed one of the books, and dusted it off. “So, these professors…” she muttered, but the scruffy man butted in, “They were my colleagues, or at least some of them.” He then looked up at me softly. “I know you’ve all, Erm, moved on, but I hope that this information will do you some good anyway. Better to try it than not, ‘cause then you’d never know.” I glanced once more at the dex’s and grabbed the shortest one in the stack. “Ah! That one, it’s that one. It’s been estimated that the region right there has about… erm… 140? 150? I personally think that it’ll be 145 Pokémon. At least, of course. The ‘mons there have piqued my interest as well, very few have been spotted outside of that region, and a lot of the common ones around the world haven’t been found yet there either.” I brushed the dust off of the cover, and it read: Mesounova Pokédex. it sounded very familiar to me so I opened it up to the first page to find a grass type Pokémon that read: “Snivy. The Grass Snake Pokémon. ~0.6m and ~8kg. The more sun it takes, the stronger it gets. So, it basks in the sun all day to take up all the energy it needs.”

“Oshawatt’s from that region as well, it’s number 7.” I flipped more to see Pokémon that are staggeringly familiar. Names pass by, Watchog, Lilipup, Liepard, Pandage, Pansear, Panpour, I started to flip faster. “These Pokémon… I know these Pokémon” Unfezant, Blitzle, and Zebstrika. Words started to blur as I went through. A dark blue rock with crystals sticking out, a brown Pokémon that had metal claws…

“Wait… you’re familiar with them?” I didn’t even have to look at the names and knew them all by heart. a fighting type with a metal beam, another two fighting types that were red and blue, a bug type that was long and thin that spun silk, another bug type that was purple and secreted venom, I started to flip even faster, there was only one thing in my mind that I was looking for.

I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was. “Of course, I’ve battled them… I’ve battled them all! Endlessly, all the time…” a bug type with a large boulder resting on its back, a white elegant bird, I somehow knew I was getting closer when I saw a black rodent Pokémon with yellow wings on its arms. Vague memories flashed in my mind swiftfully. I could hear the sounds of Pokémon, see the moves that they had used. I remembered the trainers vaguely, commanding them. “I’ve seen them fly, run, jump, and battle.” I said, the words slipped out so smoothly I almost didn’t notice them. Professor Laventon and Akari were invested.

You’re Mesounovan? All this time? But your accent… it sounds nearly nothing like it. A few pages started to become blank or had blurry and vague sketches of it after a bug-steel type Pokémon with a lance, then there was one with gears, then more blank pages. Suddenly, I reached one where it had a vague-looking sketch, I stopped to stare at it. My mind searched into the deep ends of my memory to figure out what it was.

There were 3 dex numbers on the page and the sketch was only for the first one. “This Pokémon,” I breathed. “I’ve seen this one so many times.” The drawing of the Pokémon was a flame. A singular flame in darkness with two dots for eyes under it. It had a small description that read:

“this is a dangerous Pokémon that has a purple flame and yellow eyes. They are typically found around the dead, and do not get close to this thing. When you see it, turn around and go the other way and don’t look back. And whatever you do, DO NOT TOUCH IT’S FLAMES.”

I finally broke the silence and said, “I had this one… as my closest partner. Fully evolved.” I turned the book around to show the others, confusion spread across Akari’s face, but Laventon’s was covered in sheer horror.

“Th-that one?” Laventon stuttered, “but… that thing had been seen by very few people. Not including the ones that died looking for it… Impossible.” A singular thought, a sentence, came into mind that I blurted out loud.

“She was mine and she was very sweet… and very powerful. Her final evolution was extraordinary,” I couldn’t conjure an image in my mind, it felt so close like a warm fire, yet my thoughts ran cold, “I… wish I could see her… again.” I sighed. “I know it’s impossible but-… Look, I’m sorry Laventon, I knew you were just trying to help but-” the professor interrupted me.

“No, I understand… my apologies… I didn’t think that trying to make you remember any of the Pokémon would bring you pain, it was very inconsiderate of me…” He responded quickly as Akari still stared at the picture, numbly.

I responded, “No, you’re fine. Because I know now that I had a friend there, too. A lovely partner who’d never leave my side, just like the ones I have now.” I sighed and Akari flinched as I closed the book.

I tried to hand it back to Laventon but he only responded with, “Keep it, just keep it. You may have moved on but it’s good to have these memories with you still. When there are more Pokémon to be discovered I will make sure you get the latest copy. The Professor’s name is Cypress, I can give her a letter and-”

“How about I go there myself?” I rhetorically asked, then sighed as I gathered more of my thoughts, “Ah, right. My warden duties…”

We all stood in silence as I stared at the cover. This name… It doesn’t feel right. I thought to myself. Laventon intruded my thoughts by blurting out, “Well, actually, Lian’s actually moving there soon-”

What?!” Akari and I immediately cranked our heads towards him.

“Erm, oh, He didn’t tell you?” Laventon rubbed his hand on the back of his neck.

Akari spoke up, “When is he leaving? No, why is he leaving? He’s still just a little kid…”

She questioned as sweat started to drip off the man’s face.

You’re just a kid too, you know…I thought.

“He said that this region isn’t… um, he just wants to meet new people and see the world.” He laughed, “I’d like to say that he wouldn’t actually do it but this is Lian that we’re talking about. Palina was considering going with him. And Iscan too, apparently.”

“Palina too?!” Akari exclaimed, “Wait, Iscan, of all people, are going with them?” She co*cked her head to the side.

“Palina was going to go because she knew Lian needed someone to watch over him, he is still a child under that steel skin of his.” He fixed his hat, “She was also interested in a few bug type Pokémon there. The one that can sew quite nicely, If I recall correctly.”

“And Iscan?”

“Well, one reason is that there isn’t many ghost types there… or that’s at least what we think. As for the other reason, well… that’s just a secret.” He smiled.

Is there something between Iscan and Palina? I thought, Hm, nah.

Laventon kept going, “Anyway, Lian did a lot of research on Mesounova history and life there, so he’s quite committed. Maybe he can give you more information about the place. Maybe when you figure that out, you should try to visit the lake guardians. They can probably pick more at your brain after you’ve gathered some information.”

And there it was, the spark of hope ignited inside my body after so long and started a small fire in my heart once more. The choices before me plagued my mind: should I let it grow or smother it again? “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try.”

-

The trees and plains stretched as far as the eye could see as Akari and I rode Wyrdeer. The sun shone brightly as there were not many clouds in the sky.

After what seemed to be a while, Akari, who sat behind me, finally spoke, “Even if you get your memories back,” she sighed, “how would you even get home?” Silence filled the air except for the hooves hitting the ground in a sprint.

“I don’t know. But maybe if I get just a clear picture of my home inside my mind, maybe Dialga and Palkia would be able to get me home safer. ” I responded, “Even though they said it would be too dangerous, I think if I just focus on one memory, it can work.

Akari laid her head on my shoulder. “And when that happens, when you remember… I know I might sound selfish, but, will you stay with me until I remember something, too?.”

I looked towards her to find a pensive face, concerned, “Of course. And that’s not selfish in the slightest. I will never leave you behind.”

“Promise?” I saw hope rise in her face.

“Promise.” I smiled and looked ahead, and kept steering the Wyrdeer.

We finally arrived at Grandtree Arena where Noble Kleavor resides. Lian looked over in surprise, he fixed his large hat before it could slide off. “Howdy, Warden Ingo!” He smiled and tipped his hat, hopped up on a nearby rock, and sat down. He then took notice of Akari, who peeked out from behind me, “Oh, and howdy to you too, Akari! I almost didn’ see you there. That Seviper-on-stilts over there managed to block my view, haha!” I frowned at him, disapproving of the backhanded comment, “Come on, I’m just pullin’ yer leg.”

“More like my foot with your size.” I clapped back, taking my chance. As we’ve gotten closer as friends over the years, I start to find our game of creatively insulting each other enjoyable. I hope he never loses that imagination. And, it’s good to see him get more comfortable with having someone older to look after him, cause that means he just gets to be a kid again. I can’t imagine the weight he has to bear of having all the warden duties as a child, making him take on so much responsibility. Irida does a great job giving him accommodations, however.

“Yeesh…” He replied, surprised, “Anywho, what are y’all doin’ here? I bet it’s important.”

Akari and I slid off Wyrdeer, and it disappeared with a golden trace of petals.

We walked over to him and I replied, “Nice to see you too, Warden Lian. We heard that you were moving to Mesounova and I wanted to ask you a few questions about it,” a look of shock spread across his face, “If you wouldn’t mind, of course.”

I explained what happened to him, and Lian cheerfully responded, “Okay, okay, so,” He started, “There are only a few cities in Mesounova, but there’s a whole lotta land to explore there. There’s a desert, tons of mountains, a large coastline, rivers, forests, and a few little islands,” He grinned, “I know I’ll strike gold there, I gotta hunch.”

I stared back at him, “That sounds… nice.” A whole lot of the same that we have here… I thought to myself.

“Well, there is another reason I wanna go,” His face got more serious, “I’ve been writin’ to someone over there. They’re only a bit older than me by a few years. They told me a lot about the place and they’re really nice. I really wanna meet ‘em.”

I looked at him, suspicious, “You sure you wanna trust those people? Things happen all the time…”

He quickly retorted, “Hey! I got their address from the newspaper. It said that they were a family who invented things or something. I’ve only really been talking to their daughters, since I just understand them more than the long and, uh, hard-to-read words that their parents use.” His face got red with embarrassment, I chuckled back at him. I wish he wasn’t so insecure about his reading knowledge but I couldn’t blame him. “They seem really nice and answer all my questions! Not to mention that they’ve got a better sense of humor than most people here. Hisuinese jokes just don’t land well for me.”

I nodded in agreement, “Let’s reel back for a moment, where do they live?”

“Hmm… It’s, uhh… Nim… Niminous? Nimming? Nimrod! No, wait, that’s an insult…” he rubbed his chin, “Nimble. Nimblest? I remember some rhyme about it that they told me about, that a friend told them about.”

Well, if they got friends then they should be nice, right? And maybe in a nice community too… I thought.

“Something about dancing like a nova something… oh what’s the word… like a warden but for a company.”

A memory of a woman with black hair in pigtails with a large yellow puffy coat flashed in my mind. White lights flickering around her as she walked in a straight line above. “Nimbasa’s Pokémon can dance a nimble bossa?” Akari and Lian looked at me, shocked.

Lian exclaimed, “Yeah! That! The city is called Nimbasa! The rhyme is a bit weird to me but at least we got it. Wait, how did you know that rhyme?”

“No idea. I think I just remembered some woman I knew who said it.”

“How is a rhyme that dumb goes that far in time for you to hear it?” He co*cked his head to the side in confusion.

“Sometimes, dumb things last forever because it’s an iconic dumbness.”

“That makes no sense.” Akari groaned.

“That’s the point.” I replied.

“That’s stupid.” Lian retorted.

“That’s the point.” I responded once more.

“…I hate it.” They both said in unison.

“That’s the point,” I laughed, “I’m really glad that you’re getting it, but perhaps we should switch the conversation.”

“Yes, this is giving me a headache…” Lian fixed his large hat, the gem on

gleamed. “Have I cleared up enough for you or do you need more?”

“I don’t have a clear image in my head yet, this information did tell me where I have lived. However, it doesn’t quite feel like home to me.” I rubbed my chin in thought. Lian seemed to think hard as well.

Akari, however, seemed to already strike up an idea, “How about we talk about Pokémon? You’ve mentioned before that you had a sort of job that pertained to battling, right?”

“Yes, that is right… But how would we even begin with that?”

Lian butted in before Akari could speak, “Wait, you had a job that was all about battling Pokémon? No wonder you wipe the floor with everyone all the time…”

I sighed, “Yes, anyway, maybe we should start at the basics? Maybe just list some Pokémon types and I’ll probably end up recalling something. Just throw them at me, don’t wait for my reaction.”

Akari takes a deep breath, “Firewatergrasselectricflyingpsychicpoisonsteeldarkfairynormaldragonrock-”

I quickly reacted, “Dragon.” Akari nearly lost her breath and took another one in, and coughed a little.

Lian then asked, “What about Dragon types? I don’t know what to ask or think of next…”

“No clue. However, this feeling isn’t like a typical memory, it feels deeper.” I stretched my arms and tried to relax.

The girl turned to me, “So like, nostalgia?” Her face brightened, “What if you have family? And that they used a dragon type Pokémon?”

YES! Yes, they were very strong. I can’t remember the faces, though…”

Lian looked deep into my face, “Faces? As in plural? More than one person?” Lian blinked, “We got lucky with that one didn’t we?”

I stretched some more, “One of them was adopted by the other… I guess that means that person is a lot older than them… Wait, a lot older than me too. ‘Older than Pokéballs’, I recall him saying.”

The boy’s eyes flew right open, “He must have been a really old coot…” He stared into the distance, “Well, if that’s true I guess we could just sail over and get him ourselves.”

I quickly stopped him, “I think it was a joke or something… About how old he was. Or maybe Unova didn’t get the technology yet.”

“Unova?” The children said.

“Uh… That… Was a slip of the tongue but now that I think about it, I think that’s what it’s called, in my day.” I sheepishly replied, “I think I got it now, a better vision. If I keep thinking of this relative of mine, maybe I’ll get to him.”

Akari questioned, “And if this old man is gone?”

“Then he’s gone… and so am I. Out of all the things in my mind about my past, the memory of this man is clear to me.”

Thunder started to ring out in the forest, the sky turning dark red, and it startled all three of us. The young girl spoke first, “What the-? Oh not that motherf…” she glanced at Lian, then to me who was glaring at her, and to the sky again, “…That stupid GUY again! Out of all freaking times…

I interrupted her before she could really get riled up, “I agree that this is very inconvenient to our schedule,” I adjusted my hat, “If anything, this is a big opportunity. Giratina has the power of the space-time distortions, if we get close enough to them, then maybe we could travel.”

Liam hopped off the rock, “Wait, how do you know if you two belong at the same time?”

Akari and I looked at each other, then back to Lian.

Before I could speak, Akari already said the answer, “Well… I vaguely remember someone that looked exactly like him. Like, I saw him in this big picture… thing. It’s weird. Let’s just go, Ingo.” She took out her flute and played a tune which summoned Braviary.

I chuckled, “Akari, I have a better idea. Here.” I pulled out Alakazam’s Pokéball and casted him out. “We can teleport there.”

“Why didn’t we do that in the first place when we were getting here?” Akari sighed.

“Because I like spending some quality time with you. Also, the weather was also nice. Now, give me your hand.” The young girl dreadfully put her hand out as Lian’s mind seemed to not catch up to what was going on, I rubbed her thumb as we held hands, “Thank you for the help Lian, I apologize that we have to depart so abr-”

Akari spoke flatly, “Alakazam.”

We teleported to the entrance of Mt. Coronet before I could finish my sentence.

-

Before my mind caught up, Akari let go and sprinted into the cave, using her flute to call Wyrdeer. “W-wait!” I called out, but she didn’t hear me. I sighed and looked at my Pokémon, who snorted at me. “Don’t look at me like that, just get me up there.” We teleported again, without Akari.

-

I waited at the steps for a few moments before Akari rode to them on the Wyrdeer, she hopped off. “How the hell did you…” I raised Alakazam’s Pokéball.

“Your mind wasn’t clear enough to get us up here as fast as we could. You are very stressed right now.” I put the Pokéball back in my pocket and placed my hands on her shoulders. “You have done this before and that means you can do this again. As your caretaker, I want you to take a deep breath and do your best. We all believe in you.”

Akari complied, “…Right. Thank you. Let’s beat Volo’s ass.”

I winced at the comment, “I am quite sure I didn’t teach you that unsavory word. And that one you almost used earlier…”

“You did when you were drinking and complained about not being able to go back home,” She smiled almost evilly, my face turned into a sheet of white, “Also how much Melli is a pain in the ass sometimes. Anyway, let’s go.” She gingerly took one of my hands and booked it into the summit, nearly dragging me there as my face turned red from embarrassment and shame.

I guess I can’t blame myself for spiraling sometimes… I thought, my eyes suddenly widened. “Wait, WHY WERE YOU AT THE BAR!?

-

Volo was already ready for us on the other side of the shrine, patiently waiting. I knew immediately that something didn’t feel right. I couldn’t say anything since I didn’t want to ruin Akari’s moment.

“Well, well. That was quick. I’m impressed.” The blond-haired man spoke in Hisuinese.

Ah, right. Time for me to translate these words in my head for ten minutes and respond when the conversation is long over… I thought, Two years of learning this language and I’m still worse than a 12 year old…

The young girl called back in the same language, “I’ve been preparing for another fight with you for a while.” She grabbed one of her Pokéballs and unlocked it, not yet casting her Clefable out, however.

“Oh, but I’m not here to battle you. Not this time. I wouldn’t want to risk you ruining my plans again.” Volo grinned back at her. For some odd reason, I didn’t hate the smile because of how unlikable he is, but because of how kind of a smile that it looked. As if he were giving us mercy despite his one and true aspiration being the one to end the world and create it anew in his own eyes.

“Giratina’s power of space-time distortions can not just create one but can remember times when such things happened, and where the other side of the portal appeared. Even if such a portal were not created by Giratina, since it created such a thing in the first place! Isn’t that such a peculiar thing?” There, that’s what my feelings were warning me about.

“You wouldn’t.” I stepped forward and called out, grabbing Alakazam’s Pokéball.

“There’s a suitable place for this in a large city, perhaps the tallest building would work. Unfortunately, it is not in Sinnoh. However, there is an interesting connection between the two regions, so it would actually be easy travel and takeover. I don’t know what the connection is, personally, but I couldn’t care less since I’ll just destroy it all anyway.”

I froze, and my eyes widened in realization as Volo stared at me with a knowing, evil grin.

Akari took notice and looked at me, “Ingo… What is he talking about?

A blurry image of a dark cave formed in my mind. Then a large seaside metropolis, with buildings that stretched far into the sky. I knew what I had to do. Volo had already opened a portal for himself and Giratina, “Farewell, old world! You’ll only live for a few hundred years more before I squish you all like the bugs you are!” Before I could react, Akari sprinted over to him, and I snapped out of it.

Without thinking, I ran after her, “Akari! He could be baiting you! It could be a trap!” Before I could say more she had already jumped inside, “AKARI!!!” I switched my Pokéballs with Gliscor as I was sprinting and leapt into the portal right before it swallowed up, and a loud crackle of thunder rang out.

My breath was taken away from the sight that was inside. A dark world with pieces of land floating around. Lightning hit the areas and hurt my ears. Stay focused… I thought, and I let out Gliscor, and glided to Akari who was half-falling-half-floating in space. I grabbed her arm and we glided to Volo and Giratina, they didn’t seem to notice us yet. Slowly but surely, Gliscor was getting exhausted. I looked at our surroundings, tons of floating pieces of earth moved around… I noticed a pattern. “You got this, Gliscor!” I tried to think of a way we could get there faster, “Use strong style when gliding! Akari, run on the walls to make us go faster and give him more energy!”

She looked at me as if I were an idiot, “Doesn’t that defy the laws of physics?”

“Don’t tell me what physics is, WE ARE IN A WEIRD SPACE DIMENSION, AKARI! And YES!… Probably… Just climb on me and grab Gliscor!”

“OKAY! Okay. No need to shout…” She reluctantly climbed onto me and latched onto Gliscor.

Using my method, which only worked because the floating pieces seemed to revolve around Giratina, which gave us a clear pathway, we caught up to them. They were about to leave through another portal. Volo finally noticed us and smiled, “Good luck getting out of here with that Pokémon that can’t even fly!”. Gliscor growled angrily and started to dive down to him.

If we don’t make it… Would this really be it for us? I wondered. For what I thought was the last time, I searched back into my mind, the memory of the old man I once knew. The nostalgic feeling behind it. Somehow, the memory of him formed into something else: the man in white that I remembered, when I battled Akari for the first time. The same feeling was brought out to me, that feeling of reminiscence. My heart pounded.

I want to go home. I demanded, thinking that would be my last coherent thought.

The three of us made it through the portal a few moments after Volo and Giratina. Suddenly, a familiar falling sensation overtook me, and I realized that we were heading straight into a lake. By instinct, Gliscor tried to reel us up, but it only could for a moment. Akari’s hand slipped off from the force and mine soon after, right before Gliscor lost all of its energy. My hat flew off my head as we all plunged into the water.

Notes:

What I wanted to call this chapter: “Ingo remembers sh*t and talks to local cowboy for help until satan himself tries to f*ck up the world again. Ingo’s angsty daughter-not-daughter gets sick of satan’s sh*t and wants to dunk on him but they all fall through a portal and make all 10’s in the splash catagory of the local cannonball tournament.”

But I couldn’t.

Chapter 3: Emmet - Robot Stop

Summary:

Emmet walks out of the Pokémon League to find the sky blood red and a large cloud resides over Castelia City. He sees the other Elite Four members and Champion Iris watching a video of Ancient Pokémon terrorizing different parts of Unova. Shauntal brings out a very old Pokédex and finds the pages that show what they are. They all split up, and now Emmet has to face a large Basculegion in Humilau City.

Notes:

Song name: Robot Stop by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Aka: Emmet and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Let Emmet unmask.

ANYWAY. Sorry I didn’t post another chapter for over a month, school’s just happening. However, I did find time to write in my lit class cause my teacher is just allowing us to write anything for our last assignment, including fanfiction, and so I am using that to my advantage.

Also I’m trying to fix some formatting issues and stuff to make it easier to read cause this place will not copy where I tabbed paragraphs so everything looks like it’s in 1 paragraph and I’m sorry. I’m working on it…

Also my grandma got stage 4 stomach cancer okay buh byeeeeee~ xoxoxo

(…I don’t know how to feel. For multiple reasons.)

Okay last thing I’m sorry if you see mistakes with the “Pokémon” spelling, I was switching between phone and computer and my computer doesn’t auto correct it to Pokémon so yeah. L school chrome book.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

I am Emmet. I am one of the Elite Four in the Unova region. Today was nothing but peculiar and terrifying. I had just beaten a trainer early in the morning, then I heard thunder ringing outside. Nimbasa does have a lot of storms, so It didn’t exactly phase me until I looked outside to see the world. The atmosphere appeared as a dark red color with colorful lights randomly popping up in the sky. For a moment I thought that it was finally time, at the ripe old age of 20-something (I may know every detail about everything but… nevermind, forget it), that I went crazy. I quickly accepted it. But then I went outside to find the other members out there, not doing their jobs. So, I thought to myself, Maybe one day it’ll happen. So I won’t have to worry about life. Live free from the words I hear from others circling my mind. All of this should have been the last thing I should’ve thought about, but this is Unova we’re talking about. Weather is weird everywhere here. Nimbasa can be very stormy, there’s a desert right next to it with frequent sandstorms, and Opelucid city got frozen over by Team Plasma by controlling Kyurem… Okay that wasn’t a natural occurrence but since the ice melted, there has been frequent runoff and a lake formed nearby as well. I’ll admit that maybe I should have realized that it was actually the end of the world going on, but still. The forces of nature are an enigma here.

I ran up to the other Elite Four members, who were huddling over my cousin, Iris. I spoke, “Hey, Can anyone tell me-” Iris suddenly hushed me, “Shh! Watch this video!”, I looked at her with a scowl until I glanced at what was on Iris’ X-Transceiver. My eyes widened as I looked at what seemed to be a Pokemon, but I had never seen it before. The Pokemon was like a larger version of Basculin. It had what seemed to be a weird looking vermillion mustache on its face. From what it looked like, it was on the coast of Humilau City. Shauntaul gasped suddenly, nearly scaring me, and yelled as she sprinted to her office, “I know this Pokemon! H-hold on, I’ll be right back!!” I had to cover my ears as she exclaimed, “I HAVE A BOOK ABOUT THIS!!! I CAN’T BELIEEEEVE IT!!!” That must have been the loudest she’d ever been since all the others looked at her running away, surprised.

I took the moment just after to finally say something, “Can anyone tell me what is going on?! What’s up with the sky? That Pokemon? Huh?” Iris paid no attention to me and kept typing on her X-Transcevier.

Marshal responded to me instead, “We don’t know. Where were you?”

I stared back at him saying, “You don’t remember? A trainer came by, and battled me first. Don’t worry about them, though, they said they’ll be fine when going back home.”

I looked back to my cousin, “Is there… more of them?”

She was silent until she found a few more videos of a mysterious Pokemon, one that looked like a white Zoroark. I felt a chill run down my spine when the Pokemon suddenly attacked the camera, its eyes glowing. Then an Avalugg that had a larger head than normal with a brown underside. Another video with a Braviary with a purple and teal fiery aura on its face, and a Goodra with a silvery shell and a droopy (and even drippier) face. The only thing I couldn’t get out of my mind was how large and terrifying they all looked, their carmine eyes gleamed and left a trace as they moved. People screamed and ran away as fast as they could. I snapped out of it when Shauntal booked it back to us with something in her arms.

When I saw the object being a thick book, I said out loud, without thinking, “Please don’t make us read all of that.”

Shauntal scoffed and replied, “Oh please, We’re only just looking at- OH YOU FOUND MORE!? YEEES!” She screeched. I winced at her excited screaming, she took notice of it and apologized, then opened what seemed to be an old Pokedex. “This book is really old, but this is more of a… new version. Still extremely old, however.” The woman in the dark purple dress carefully flipped through the pages, we eventually found the ones in the video. The typings of the Pokemon were mostly different, but one page was missing: The silver Zoroark. I barely listened to everyone’s chatter until Iris called my name, and I turned to look.

“It’s getting more difficult to use the C-Gear to communicate, we need to split up and take down these pokemon before more people get hurt.” Iris looked around to see our faces, “I’ll take the Goodra, My Lapras can defeat it with ease with a few adjustments.”

Marshal crossed his arms, “I’ll take on the Avalugg, for obvious reasons. It’ll be quick work for me.”

Caitlin peered over to the book, “I think I’ll have a good fight with the Braviary.” Marshal lifted a brow at her, “Hey, it’s better to take that one than the Basculegion.” Her voice grew weary, “And I don’t want to go anywhere near that Zoroark…”

Shauntaul chipperly stated, “Well, Emmet’s Eelektross will definitely be able to cover Basculegion. So I’ll take the macabre looking Zoroark.” I squinted at her, but I didn’t bother saying anything since everyone else made rational choices on what to battle.

Iris smiled at us, “Great! When we finish battling we should stay at the sites in case more of them show up. I’ll go down to Castelia to see what the commotion is all about. However, for Emmet’s case, he’d be able to move around since Marlon could possibly take care of Humilau City after he takes care of Basculegion.”

I hummed in confusion, “ You know… Why can’t Marlon take care of it? He’s the strongest gym leader, he could do it, right?’

Iris shook her head, “Well… Marlon has quite the big fear of Ghost type Pokemon… And mixed with the fact that Basculegion is obscure, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was even more afraid.”

Why can’t he just get all that seaweed out of his brain and just fight it himself? I thought to myself. “Alright, let’s just… go then.” How does he even know? Maybe I just feel Chandelure’s vibe too much and don’t get it. We dispersed afterwards

It didn’t take long for me to arrive in the beachy city since it was close to Victory Road. People were running out and nearly tripped me over, they didn’t even care to apologize and just screamed in horror, running away. I looked around the dock, carefully stepping around. The city was barren, I looked more and saw Marlon. His knees buckled underneath him as his hand trembled so much he could barely grasp the Pokeball. “Marlon!” I called out, he yelped and tripped onto himself, nearly falling into the water. I rushed over to him, “Hey! Everything is going to be alright!” I grabbed Eelektross’ Pokeball and pressed on the button to prepare it for battle. Before I made it halfway to him, Marlon shouted.

“Emmet! Emmet! DON’T RUN! It can sense the vibrations from the dock!”

The dock? I thought, suddenly, I heard something in the water. The poles that hold it up… How could I be so stupid! I finally casted out Eelektross, and suddenly, a large shadow covered us and I looked over to see the colossal sized Pokemon, roaring as it leapt across the water. It’s crimson eyes stared at the three of us. Marlon screamed in horror as my mind took in the size of this gargantuan… thing. As soon as it made a huge splash when it landed, it’s like I snapped out of a spell. “Eelektross, get ready!” I commanded and he started to charge up, “Marlon, get over here! We shouldn’t separate!”

“B-but-!”

“Now!” I gave him a grimace look and he scrambled over, he was too scared to be quiet and the Basculegion lept out again, it used a move unfamiliar to me, the waves lifted over with Basculegion inside. A bright bloody aura surrounded the Pokemon and I shouted, “Eelektross, counter it with Thunderbolt!” I then thought to myself, Did the tide have to be high right now!? Eelektross swiveled in front of me as I tried to dodge, grabbing Marlon. The electricity surged at the move, but somehow, the water was somehow too powerful. I looked back in shock as the Basculegion slammed its body on my ace. Marlon was petrified and clinged onto me as it bounced off and into the sea.

Impossible… That should have negated the move!” Marlon quivered.

“This… This is good. Verrrrrry good,” I muttered, “I like strong opponent’s like this, it makes the battle even more interesting!”

Oh we’re so f*cked.

“Eelektross, are you alright?”

Stay confident stay confident stay confident stay confident-

Eelektross got up and nodded, determined.

It didn’t do anything, how does that even happen…ughhhh. There had to be at least some damage…

I looked around to find a paddle that was a couple of paces away.

“Marlon, I need you to do me a favor. Two, actually.”

He looked at me, bewildered, “Wh-what?”

“One: Pull yourself together, you are a very strong person and the 8th gym leader. You are a professional. This situation is only scary because it’s out of your comfort zone.”

His face softened and looked away.

“Two: I need you to carefully grab that oar by that house… ” I pointed over, “...and toss it to me.”

Marlon’s eyes widened, before he could say anything back I said, “I swear it’s more convenient for you to do it because we are in the middle of the dock. If I went over, there wouldn’t be any space for me to throw it nor would it be convenient to have that house in the way. Yes, the Pokemon will crash into it and we could catch it, kill it, whatever. But sometimes, people don’t have insurance or it just sucks, and I don’t want to be responsible for property damage, possibly get sued, and pay for it. You know how expensive that is these days.”

Marlon nodded, his face seemed to be full of thought, “Good point. But would you really be liab-”

“Please just grab the damn oar.”

“Fine. But it’s a paddle not an oar.” Marlon carefully stepped by as the water swished around under us, “Paddles are used for boating, oars are for rowing.” I rolled my eyes as he finally picked it up.

I noticed that he got more comfortable and responded, “I’ll ready my sea legs, then.” he laughed weakly and tossed it to me. “Eelektross, get ready to use thunderbolt again.” I commanded, and he nodded then started to charge up. I turned to the Gym Leader once again, “You ready?” Marlon gripped his Pokeball and nodded. “Pull out Jellicent, this Pokemon is also a ghost type. Prepare to use Shadow Ball or something.” A look of realization swept across his face.

“A ghost type? Wait… this Pokemon… No way… This can’t be…” He switched his Pokeballs around nervously.

“Alright, let’s do this.” I threw the oar across the dock.

“W-wait, this Pokemon is a Basc-!?” Marlon called out as he casted his Pokemon out, but before he could finish, there was another harsh bubbling sound from the water and Basculegion lept out. To its surprise, the two men and the Pokemon were not there. Eelektross charged up a little more before attacking.

Before he could attack, Marlon commanded, “Jellicent, take the hit!” The thunderbolt rang out suddenly, critically hitting Marlon’s Pokemon.

“Wh- Marlon are you INSANE?!” I yelled as the large eerie fish stared at the man, and he stared back. Jellicent fainted and went back inside of his Pokeball. “I would have finished it off if it weren’t for-”

“Stay here.” Marlon sprinted and leapt into the water.

I stood there for a moment and looked at my Eelektross, who was already sharing the same expression I had: pure terror. The both of us scrambled over to the side of the deck and looked into the water. It may have been clear but it was too dark to see through. “Get him.” I commanded, and my ace hopped inside. I turned on my X-Transcevier to see if I had any messages to kill time. To my surprise, only one popped up:

Shauntal: Emmet pleas hekp mobes r not effect

I squinted at the poorly written message, then It came to me. ‘Emmet please help moves are not effective’

I thought, There’s no way an author would have such poor spelling like that. My eyes suddenly widened in horror from realization. I stood up and took a few paces away. Suddenly, I heard a large splash and I whipped my head over to see Marlon… riding on the Basculegion.

At that moment I recalled that other moment when I thought that I was going crazy earlier that morning (yeah, remember?) and I quickly accepted that again.

“Marlon?! Marlon!” I called out to him, he looked over and it seemed that he commanded, actually commanded this wild beast of a Pokémon. They came to a stop at the dock and I offered my hand and the man took it as he climbed back up. “How…? What…? Why It didn’t kill you? Do you realize how… How ludicrous that was?”

Marlon looked at the Basculegion softly, “I had no idea what kind of Pokémon it was so I was terrified. But as soon as you mentioned that it was a ghost and water type and I saw the Pokémon more clearly when it was… not trying to attack me… it immediately clicked! You see…” the blue haired man looked at me with a grin plastered on his face, “My great great grandfather took care of a Basculegion! My family has many stories about him and that Basculegion, and so I used what I learned about that Pokémon through the stories to, well, tame and catch it!” My jaw practically dropped to the floor as he showed me it’s Pokeball. “He had a special one, though, but… That’s all we know. The story of this Pokémon was simply lost through time, it apparently held some great power to it.” I stared at him, unblinking, and to the large scaled Pokémon, then back to him. And when I did, his face looked dead and his legs were shaking, “I’m still so… so terrified….” His ankles finally gave out and he fell to the floor. “I really just… rode a ghost type Pokémon. The same kind that my ancestor did over a hundred years ago…”

I didn’t know how to react but to simply put my hand on his shoulder and say, “Uh… yeah that’s crazy, but Shauntal could be dead right now.” Marlon’s face filled with shock.

“WHAT?! WHERE IS SHE?!” He grabbed me by the collar and shook me.

“Ah! Eh- um- Somewhere White Forest… She’s fighting what seems to be a large pale Zoroark. It’s huge and has scarlet eyes just like the Basculegion,” Marlon looked as if he were in deep thought. “Do you happen to know anything about that Pokémon? She had this ‘dex but it was ever so inconveniently missing the page where it would show it.”

Marlon shrugged, “Beats me. But since it’s a far walk, you should ride on the Basculegion to get there! It’ll be much faster. And you could walk the rest of the way.”

“Wait, me? Ride on a Pokémon on water? Don’t confuse me with Grimsley here and his Sharpedo. I may be his replacement, but…” I looked at the ruby sky and back to the Pokémon. “Fine… Fine, I’ll do it. Just… tell me how.”

It genuinely didn’t take long for Basculegion to help me arrive at the destination. At first I was screaming my lungs off from the speed, and I nearly lost my hat multiple times. The only place where I could steer was at its… mustache? (Still not sure what you would call it on a fish Pokémon but let’s go with that.) The Basculegion was a little sensitive to it though, or maybe it was still bitter from me trying to defeat it. All I could think about when I finally touched grass again was how much I missed it, and how much I never wanted to ride a Pokémon ever again. And so, a little while later, I finally arrived at the White Forest.

The scarlet ambience made the silver trees look sinister and soulless. I heard a rustle and nearly jumped, then I suddenly saw a figure laying on the ground. I rushed over to see that it was Shauntal on her stomach. Her breathing was soft, but at least she was still alive. I casted out Eelektross, “Guard us.” I commanded, he nodded and distanced himself away and looked around. I turned her over to find a gash from her shoulder that almost reached her neck. Inches away from instant death. Petrified, I adjusted her collar to tightly wrap around the wound. Out of nowhere, one of my Pokeballs started to shake… It was Chandelure, I spoke, “This isn’t the time right now…” I should have not let Shauntal choose the Zoroark… It’s a Dark type, of course she had the disadvantage but… I thought to myself, Ugh, I shouldn’t have trusted her that much. This is all my fault… Chandelure’s Pokeball started to shake more intensely, Wait… no, she’s smarter than that. She knew something about this Zoroark… This wasn’t a mistake, she was calculating something and it cost her! But what could it be? Eelektross started to growl and I turned around to find a tall man with silver hair wearing black clothing. I could feel my heart nearly jump out of my chest, ears pulsed with the beat as I stared at the man who mirrored me.

“... Ingo?” I swallowed as I looked more at his torn clothing, puffs of cotton poked out of his hat. His partner’s Pokeball rattled violently in my pocket. I nearly tripped as I stood up, and I started to run over to him. Ingo laughed and smiled, opening his arms. “INGO!” I cried out, tears welted out of my eyes until Eelektross abruptly slithered onto my body, constricting my movement, which incidentally opened Chandelure’s Pokeball. “Wh-... What are you doing!? Let me GO!” I sobbed as I looked over to Chandelure, floating fast towards Ingo. His face dropped and so did his arms, confused. I suppose they can have their moment first… but why is Eelektross-

The flaming Pokemon summoned Overheat, going straight towards my brother.

Notes:

I really don’t know when the next chapter will be out. Maybe I’ll try to post a new chapter once every month.

Also if you feel like some explanations that you see in this fic are bs… Well, idk what to tell you. They make more sense in my head.

It’s also hard to figure out the damage a Pokémon would do from one generation to a Pokémon from another… Pls cut me some slack. Thanks.

Chapter 4: Ingo - Borderline

Summary:

Ingo and Akari find out that they landed near a city. As they walk through the forest to get there, memories flash for our beloved Warden. And now, they push further into this now familiar land and suddenly saw a muscular old man with a very recognizable beard…

Notes:

Sorry this took a bit I was busy with school once again. But now, I’m graduating within a few days!… and now I have to become the 15%(?) of autistic people and get a job over the summer… Someone give me job tips so I can stay employed.

Anyway the song for this chapter is obvious. It’s Borderline by Tame Impala.

I know, I know. I don’t like using popular music either but It mentions trains somewhere in the song so there. Boom. Next post will be posted soon.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

“Oi, Dad? Are you okay?” A muffle voiced of a girl called for me in Hisuinese, something brushed my shoulders and shook me a little, “Nobori!” I finally woke up and looked around, we were out of the water. The sky looked like blood, and I was soaking wet. I looked to the person who called out for me and realized it was Akari, “Please don’t tell me you got amnesia again.”

“I’m doing excellent, I only just got knocked out.” I responded and looked around more, we were in a forest, “Where are we?”

“Not sure, I was getting you out of the water. Nothing here looks familiar to me. Here’s your hat by the way, it flew off.”

I slowly stood up, and put my hat back on. I ignored the headache I had and once again, I inspected our surroundings. The trees were not the same ones in Hisui, nor was the landscape, “Where’s Gliscor?” My heart dropped for a moment.

“He’s in your Pokeball, I retrieved him for you and healed him up. He landed in a tree and fell down over there.” Akari pointed to a tree with some broken branches that were lying on the ground.

I sighed with relief and I casted out Machamp, my attention turned to him, “Hey, I need you to find a Pokémon for me. We need to figure out where we are.” The muscular Pokémon nodded and went into the woods.

“Should we stay put?”

“Depends if there’s danger.”

“What if we’re in the middle of nowhere?”

“Then we are.”

Akari frowned at me in response as I let out a chuckle, “I’m gonna climb a tree and see where we’re at.” She walked away and started to get on the branches.

After a few minutes she slowly climbed back down, and my Machamp returned, I asked, “What did you guys find?”

“A city is pretty close by actually. It looks completely unfamiliar to me, though”

“Any landmarks?”

“There’s a weird looking building with these statue heads of Dragon type Pokémon.” A thought flickered in my mind, a memory. I shook it away, thinking it was nothing. Machamp stepped aside to reveal a short black Pokémon with several bows and a purple face.. “What kind of Pokémon is that? ” Akari, pulled out a Pokeball, but I blocked her and she looked at me.

“Gothitelle, the Astral Body Pokémon. It’s a psychic type. It can predict the future by looking at the stars. It seems to be docile, or maybe it knew we needed help and didn’t want to battle.”

The young scout looked at me, “How do you know so much?”

“Not sure, I just know. There are a few regions that come to mind when seeing this Pokémon,” I turned my attention to Machamp, “Good job, this narrows everything down well,” I put him back in his Pokeball and looked back to the Psychic type Pokémon, “You can leave now, thank you for not attacking us.” The Gothitelle smiled and teleported away.

“Lets see: they show up in a few regions like Paldea, Kalos and Galar. However, if we were in Paldea, we would be in the flatlands. If it were Kalos, it would simply be impossible because it is only obtainable by evolution. And if it were Galar, we would be able to see bridges from here, and it would be a more open area. This leaves one more possible region…” My face slowly filled with realization, “No, it can’t be…”

Her eyes widened, “Do you… really think that…?”

“Akari,” I turned to her. Tears already started to flow from my eyes, “I’m home. ” She looked at me in complete shock. “We’re in Unova… I… we need to get to the city. ” I pulled out my azure flute and played a tune… No answer.

“Oh, right, we’re out of reach. Let’s go by foot, then,” Akari started to walk, “This way.”

As I looked around, the trees seemed very familiar. I saw something blue scurry in the grass. Karrablast. My mind immediately jumped to that assumption. At first I thought nothing of it until a few seconds later. I really do know these Pokémon… I looked around more, trying to see any other Pokémon I knew subconsciously. “I think we’re getting close.” I told Akari, she nodded back to me in response. A minute or two later, we saw an opening. When we arrived, there was a road and a tall building with these high fences. We sat low behind the trees and the building, looking around carefully for people. I took one side, and she took the other.

“Oi, Dad…” She did her best to call me out while whispering, “There’s an old guy over here, see if you know him. He looks really menacing and strong. He’s on the road going your way.”

I looked on the paved road and waited. My heart started to pump louder, and suddenly, I saw the man. He had a very muscular build, but it seemed that age was starting to catch up with him. His face looked a little sunken, and had piercing yellow eyes and a beard. Memories flicked back to me, but most of them felt like fuzzy lucid dreams. I took a look at his clothing: he wore a dress shirt and purple suspenders that had shoulder pads with yellow spikes on them. His pants were gray and I couldn’t see the shoes. He also wore dark purple gloves and some green gem with two ribbon sticking out from under it.

“Well? Do you know him?” Akari whispered again.

I nodded back and looked at her, and she was smiling… somewhat. I waved my hand to signal her to get over, and followed my command, “Are you alright?”

“Yeah, I’m… I’m just really happy you found someone you recognize. I really thought that we would be lost in Hisui forever but then, here we are.” She frowned a little and looked back to the road, before I could say anything she exclaimed, “Wait, he’s gone! We need to catch up to him!” She grabbed my hand and we went through the gate that led to a bridge.

We looked around carefully as we walked through, there was nobody standing around except the older man, who was walking on the bridge. He was already half way across, and so we took our time to walk to not attract attention from him. I looked up to look around and whispered, “I’ve been through here before. But, I dont think I saw this view very often.”

“How couldn’t you? This bridge seems pretty old, how’s it possible that you wouldn’t see it?”

I looked out to the river, “I think I was looking more over there.” I pointed it out.

“Pfft, why look at the ocean if you could see all of this cool welding?”

I glanced around more, then looked at the floor of the bridge and I nearly let out a gasp. My mind immediately called it out, “Tracks.”

“What?”

“Look,” I pointed again, “This bridge has a little view under it, and you could see the tracks.”

The young girl looked down through the metal, “Huh. I don’t think we had anything like this. In Sinnoh, I mean. Or… my Sinnoh.”

“I think there’s a ton of bridges in this region, actually. I’m pretty sure this is the only one that had this sort of thing under it. I think I was inside something that went on there, and that must’ve been the reason why I only had the view of the river.”

“I know I remember bridges, but I don’t think we had any tracks,” Akari looked forward, “Hey, we’re losing him, let’s keep going.”

It’s like I snapped out of a trance when she urged me to catch up. My body felt like it was anticipating for something to go under us. I kept looking down, in the hopes to find it, but it never came. Akari and I eventually went into the next area after taking one last look at the bridge.

The next route was very marshy, and it was even more soaked because of the rain. Nobody was in sight except for the man, we hid once more in the trees. We climbed on them and carefully moved. He suddenly stopped for a moment and we carefully went behind the trees a little more. I took my sandogasa off for a moment to hide better. The way he clenched he lifted his hand up to fix his glove… “He knows.” I muttered to myself, which ended up being too loud since his head whipped over to my general area.

He called out in my mother language, “Druddigon, let’s go!” and out of his Pokeball spawned a large Pokémon with red and blue colors and a spiky body.

Before I could signal Akari to not engage, she had already slid her self down to battle him, “Gallade, come on out!” I nearly face palmed, but I guess it’s because the natural instinct of a trainer to fight upon eye contact. Old habits seem to die hard, once a trainer, always a trainer. Or that’s what Akari told me, at least. The Psychic-Fighting Pokémon appeared out of the Pokeball with a flash. I thought to myself, if there was one thing I wanted today, it was definitely not fighting without figuring out-

the man’s words finished my thought, “Answers. Now. Why have you been following me?”

Akari took a moment to respond. She was getting tested of her knowledge of the language, and she choked on her words.

“If this is another Team Plasma scheme,” The man looked very agitated, “Then there wont be a trace left of you.”

Team Plasma? Many thoughts rushed through my mind but I had to shake them away. I grabbed Alakazam’s Pokeball.

Akari pulled herself together, “if you want to battle, I’ll give you one!”

The man grumbled, “So be it! Druddigon, use Fire Fang!” The large winged Pokémon suddenly had flames surrounding the teeth and was about to attack.

Akari directed her Pokémon in Hisuinese, “Gallade use-”

Alakazam! Dazzling Gleam! ” I commanded. Confusion spread across faces as the yellow Pokémon teleported in front of Akari’s Gallade, and summoned a burst of pink light and hit the Druddigon. Upon the hit, the Pokémon fainted before it could even attack.

The muscular old man looked around before completely freezing, he became very deep in thought and muttered something to himself and shook his head. He called out again, “Hey, what kind of sneak attack was that?!” My heart nearly stopped. Ohhhh no… I thought to myself, I didn’t have time to think.

I yelled back with the same language he spoke, “We don’t mean any harm, her reaction was only just a reflex!” I climbed down the tree.

I couldn’t see him but I could feel his hard gaze, “Then why were you two following me?”

I took a deep breath, I tried to think of ways I could be more approachable, which was really anything else than a Pokémon battle.

“Well?” His tone was filled with warning.

I took yet another deep breath and I put my hat on and tipped it down as I finally showed myself, obscuring my face still out of some sort of underlying fear that I couldn’t explain. I wasn’t even afraid of him, but I almost felt like something would happen, “All we want is for you to answer a few questions,” I clenched my teeth as I could feel my pulse throughout my body, “First of them being:...” In couldn’t help but take a third sharp intake of breath, “Could you please tell me…” I finally tilted my hat up to reveal my face, “...If you know me?”

There was a bizarre, awkward silence that filled the marsh. The muscular old man stepped closer, his face softened, “...Ingo?”

My voice cracked and shook after hearing him say my name, I responded in the same language, “Y-Yes?” My face couldn’t help but be red, and I looked away for a moment. As soon as I looked back I jumped a little because he was right in front of me, looking at me, taking in every detail. He suddenly grabbed me, or at least that’s what I thought it was until I realized it was just a tight hug. For a reason I couldn’t figure out at the moment, tears started to stream down my face.

“I-I thought I was going senile, hearing you again…” He hugged me tighter, I could hear his voice falter for a moment and he cleared his throat.

I managed to gasp out, “Y-you’re crushing me…”

“What else did you expect from me after disappearing out of nowhere for two whole years? ” He finally let go of me and rested his hands on my shoulders, “Leaving me and the rest of the family in the dust! What happened to you? Are you okay? You look so tired!”

“Family?” My voice was a bit low, but hearable, “I… I have family?”

“W-what? You don’t mean that…” His face filled with grief, “You don’t remember us? Anything?”

I shook my head, “I-I’m sorry. I’m sorry for disappearing, it was all an accident… I think. Whatever happened two years ago and my journey back is something you might find difficult to believe.”

“Don’t apologize, it wasn’t anyone’s fault, you got lost… or something. Now then, I don’t care how ‘difficult’ it is to understand. I’m an old man, I've heard everything .”

Minutes passed of me explaining what happened to us, the man responded, “Forget what I said about being an old man hearing everything. This story is… interesting and I do see why it is very hard to follow now. But I’ll believe it only because you’re my wonderful nephew..”

“Oh, you’re my Uncle? Uh… what’s you name?”

He let out a deep, pensive sigh, “Yes, and Drayden. What’s the girl’s again?”

“Akari, but once again, we don’t know her real name. She speaks mostly in another language, but she’s learning a lot of this one pretty smoothly.”

Drayden didn’t say a word in response, he looked at me and my clothing. I think the reason why I felt so afraid earlier was because I expected to be scolded, now that I know he was family. But I guess since I was presumed dead, not legally yet but still, for 2 years, I don’t know why I truly anticipated it. Maybe it had to do with a certain memory that flickered in my mind but I lost it already.

I tried to spark the conversation again, “Do I… have other family?”

The man let out a weak laugh, “You have a brother. As much as I know he would want to see you in person first, I’ll try to call him anyway.” He pulled out some device that I was familiar with, but It didn’t really look the same. I assumed that it was an older model because of how thicker it looked in comparison to the image in my mind served me at the moment. I peered over to the screen a bit as he moved the screen of big, bolded letters down as he swiped. He turned around before I could see any names, “You do have other family, too. My brother, who’s your other uncle, and his daughter, and I have a daughter myself.”

“What about my parents?”

He stopped moving for a moment, then kept scrolling, “As much as you have the right to know about them, It’s a bit of a sensitive topic that I would rather have you find out yourself.”

“Oh…” It was the only way I could respond.

He made a bothered hum to himself as his finger struggled to press a button on the screen. “I don’t want to message, I want to call…” He grew upset with the device, then finally pressed the button and turned back around. Akari snickered at him a little and I elbowed and glared at her, and she stopped, but still had a smirk on her face. Drayen looked at her, he already knew what she did and raised an eyebrow.

I covered for her, “Don’t worry about Akari, I swear she’s well disciplined, and very sweet.” I looked at Akari, raising an eyebrow and switched languages for her as Drayden turned away again, “Please, don’t get on his bad side.”

She responded back in Hisuinese, “Really? He looks kind of mean.”

“No, he’s not, and he’s also my Uncle .”

“Oh… Yeah I see the resemblance. Wait, why didn’t you tell me that earlier?”

I frowned at her, disappointed, “One: Wow, are you saying that I look mean? Two: I was busy explaining things to him, my apologies.”

“I didn’t mean it like that, sorry! I just meant… you guys have pretty serious faces?”

“You’re breaking my heart.” I sighed dramatically.

“Nobori.”

“Ah, you wont even call me ‘Dad’ anymore…”

“Well my apologies, father… ” She said, sarcastically, “...for hurting you.”

I chuckled, bouncing back, “This sass that you are serving to me is very disrespectful.”

Drayden grumbled a little louder, back on the device, “Why is he not picking up? I am your Uncle! I didn’t raise you like this…”

He raised us? A few memories flickered in my mind, it warmed my heart a little, As much as I would like to figure out who my parents are, or were, now’s not the time.

We looked over, I told him, “I think it will be best if we meet in person, since you said he rather would anyway. Do you think he’s busy?”

“Wait, you didn’t know… Okay, right, you two must have just arrived here.” We nodded and he turned the device off and faced me, “Excuse me for taking so much time struggling with this piece of junk. Anyway, there’s these Pokémon that've been showing up all over the region.”

Akari and I looked at each other again and looked back, “What do they look like?”

“Biggest Pokémon I’ve ever seen, with these glowing eyes.” Surprise went across his face, “About that, there’s one in Icirrus right now! Damn it, we need to go now! Follow me!” He started to pace over to the route’s exit.

Akari exclaimed, “An alpha?! Here?!

I caught up with my Uncle, “Wait, at least let me heal Druddigon.”

“With the three of us and Marshal, we could take it down without him.”Drayden walked into the city, and we quickly followed as I tried to figure out who Marshal was.

We made it into the city and looked around to hear a roar in the distance, Akari thought out loud, “Avalugg, this’ll be easy.” we sprinted over to the commotion to find a black man with baggy orange pants and a light blue vest and…

I called out, surprised, “ ZISU?!

The red headed woman spun around and spoke Hisuinese, “ NOBORI! You’re here! Don’t worry about the Avalugg, we got this!” Her Infernape chirped as it kept attacking the Alpha Pokémon.

Our jaws dropped, Drayen whipped his head to me, “You know that woman?!”

I looked back at him, “Yeah! We work together a lot, she’s the Captain of-”

“Oh you don't have to tell me anything about her, the whole world knows of that woman! She was the first Gym Leader EVER.

I blinked, shocked, apparently he was eavesdropping as her Pokémon made the finishing blow and yelled back in Hisuinese, “I’M FAMOUS??? ” She half-ran half-stumbled over to Drayden and then switched to our language, “You’re joking! First ‘Gym leader’? Never heard of it! What’s that? Who are you? Why are you with Nob- uh, Ingo and Akari?”

I blocked her off from Drayden, “Slow down, let me explain what’s happening…” I sighed.

Akari stepped next to me, “Let me handle the talking, you’ve already said a lot.”

I nodded in response and turned to the man next to Zisu, “I assume that you are Marshal?”

He looked at me up and down in shock, then nodded.

“And yes, I am Ingo. To put it shortly: I time traveled by accident and now I’m back. I suffered an injury that caused amnesia, but I am figuring out everything as I go.”

Marshal responded, “Does your brother know?”

Drayden answered, “We tried but he didn’t pick up at all.”

The tall black man looked surprised, “He must be in trouble, or busy with the Alpha Basculegion. Other than that, there’s no way he wouldn’t pick up in a time like this.”

“That’s what I was thinking! But knowing him, he’s probably doing just fine… Wait, an alpha what now?

“I don’t know what to tell you.”

I butted in a little and asked Drayden, “So you mentioned that the Alphas, the big Pokémon, are all around Unova earlier? Do you know where else they are?”

He turned to me, “They’re in Humilau, near Black City, Straiton, and another in Driftveil.”

“Are they in groups?”

“Each has one, no other Pokémon have been detected.”

“Not even normal Pokémon? Or the pre-evolutions?”

“Not at all.”

“That’s… interesting.”

Drayden looked back to Marshal, “Do you know where Brycen is?”

Marshal shrugged, “He’s probably in Castelia by now. There’s a large likelihood that he was doing another movie at Pokestar Studios.”

Drayden nodded, “Great, that makes my job easier.”

I spoke again, “We should probably be going, what’s the next city?”

Drayden turned his attention to me again, “Mistralton, but we have to go through Twist Mountain first. We could go into Clay Tunnel instead but I want to make sure that Mistralton is doing fine. Skyla might be there, but I doubt it.”

I thought for a moment and sighed, everything was going too fast but there was no way I could pump the brakes. Too many names and places filled my head, and it made it ache. I wished that there was more time to think about all the information, but there was no way I could make a full stop. I had no choice but to go full speed ahead, “Alright, I’ll get Akari and Zisu. They must be done with their conversation.” I looked over to the two women and I called for them, and they walked over.

Marshal quickly told Drayden, “I will stay here, just in case more Pokémon decide to invade the city.” My Uncle nodded and we finally left the city and walked into Twist Mountain.

Notes:

P.S. If you find typos or just have constructive criticism, I would really appreciate it if you guys mention it to me because I want to give everyone the best reading experience.

In other news, I am almost half way done with writing this fic. Soon, I might add pictures to this fic but Idk how to put it in. Like, I use Google docs to write these. When I copy and paste everything, the picture should be there too, right? Not trying to toot my own horn here but I’m pretty good at drawing. (Not the greatest obviously but I consider myself solid. Some people have considered my art as “eye candy” so I will bless you with some official MM art as you read. Maybe after I officially draw Akari’s design and post it on my TikTok. Maybe.)

Anyways, I hope you guys are enjoying this so far. If descriptions are wonky, that was me trying to write autism in the twins. I purposely put more “outside” detail in one and more “inside” detail in the other. Y’all probably know who I mean right? RIGHT??? 😭

Chapter 5: Emmet - Chase

Summary:

Emmet struggles to comprehend that a Zoroark from so far into the past knew who his brother was. He meets a smug person that was from the same past the Zoroark was in, and sets off with them to Striaton City to check on Caitlin.

Notes:

…Yes this song was in a JJBA opening.

I didn’t choose the song because it’s in JJBA, I chose it because the lyrics fit. /srs

Besides, a song is a song. If you guys don’t like it, I’ll change it since I have a backup. However, that might make two chapter name references relate to the same artist.

I also changed Emmet’s prologue title to be Paint It, Black. Because it just fit better and for one other reason that I want you guys to figure out.

Anyway.

chase - Batta

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

I couldn’t watch until what I heard coming from the smoke, it was a cry that I had never heard of before. I looked back to find two crimson eyes piercing through and into my soul. That look… NO… I thought as my eyes widened. As the smoke cleared more, I saw a large burn that boiled across his face. Burnt skin peeled off that revealed bloody tissue under it. I cried out unintelligibly at Chandelure. My brother’s eyes locked onto me, I expected a sob of pain to escape his lips, but to my surprise, he growled. His body started to change as he–no, it–glared at me. Its skin turned pale and silver fur grew out. This thing grew larger, its face stretched, and pearly fangs peeked out of it’s mouth. Large arms with black claws waved intensely through the smoke and let out a roar. Eelektross’ grip loosened and I struggled to stand up.

It was the Zoroark. And it somehow changed into my dead brother.

So many questions were circling my mind. Eelektross stayed close to me as I struggled to breathe, I didn’t even notice that my throat was closing up, How did it know him?! Does that mean… that Ingo’s alive?! The Zoroark growled as it circled us. Chandelure’s flames burned even brighter, I could feel her rage. I kept thinking, No… If he was then he would have been killed, because I have his Pokémon. I gritted my teeth, “You killed him, didn’t you?!” My despair quickly turned into fury, “I’LL KILL YOU!” I yelled in pain, my eyes were red from the tears. The monster roared back as the thunder shook in the bloody skies. The rain didn’t stop Chanelure’s flames. She looked back at me in understanding. Her saffron eyes and flames brightly blazed, waiting for my commands. I shouted, “Chandelure, use Overheat again!”

The Zoroark suddenly had a flowing cyan aura as its screech echoed before it disappeared. The lavender flames were dodged completely. I looked around frantically. Out of nowhere, It reappeared behind Chandelure and used a move I had never seen before. How the hell is it so fast?! The attack took her by surprise and it almost made a critical hit, “Now’s your time to fight back!” I commanded, and Chandelure used Overheat once again and finally made a hit. Somehow, she looked weak, my X-Transcevier started to beep and I checked her health. It was already so low. I realized what Shantaul meant when she said that no types were effective, This Pokémon is not a Dark type… It is a Normal and Ghost-type! There’s no way that move would have done as much if it didn’t have STAB damage! Either that or the move has a high power with the mix of its super effectiveness, but I doubt it considering how utterly terrifying its demeanor is. And it doesn’t look beefy enough to be a fighting type… I finally figured it out!

“Chandelure! Come back!” I withdrew her from the battle and I grabbed another one of my Pokéballs, “Haxorus, Let’s go!” The Dragon-type Pokémon roared, ready for battle as the rain drummed on his scales. “Watch yourself, this thing’s verrrry fast!” I warned him, and he nodded in response. The silver opponent panted from using so much energy and I used the moment to my advantage, “Attack now while it's tired! Use Crunch!” A dark aura came from Haxorus’ teeth, before the Zoroark could move, he bit down with a critical hit! The eerie Pokémon leaped back afterward, looking very weak. As he attacked, I used the time to grab my C-Gear and call an ambulance. I called out to him, “You’re doing great, Haxorus! Just keep using that move!” Interestingly enough, Drayden tried to call me a few minutes ago, I shook my worry away and I pressed 511 for help.

I waited for a response as they battled, but nobody answered.

I looked at my device but realized that my service was completely down. I checked Shauntal’s and her network was shot as well. I checked for a pulse again and listened for breathing. She was still hanging by a thread. I heard a noise and I looked over to Haxorus and the Zoroark. Thankfully, it was the noise of the white Zoroark falling to the ground, fainting, and I let out a sigh of relief. I looked through my co-worker’s Pokéballs and I cast out her Golurk. “I need you to fly her to a hospital! You have those rockets, right?” I asked. The large, beaten Pokémon looked at her and nodded, then gently lifted her. It looked like it was on its last leg like it could faint at any moment. I used a full restore on it so that it could heel, and it made a little chime in thanks. I quickly drew out my notepad and wrote:

Found at 10:20 am near Black City. I bandaged her shoulder. I will pay the bill.

To Shauntal, if conscience: Stay there.

-Emmet

I proceeded to write my number on the note so that the hospital could call me later after this whole world-ending ordeal was over. I took a picture of where she was lying down on the ground with the blood under her so that I could later send it to the police for the investigation of this time-space-bending phenomenon. Relief swept over me when the collar on her dress was removable. It was more like a scarf if you ask me. And since it was thick, it worked well as a temporary bandage around her shoulder. I glanced up at Golurk, “Make sure she’s breathing and don’t get her airway clogged, and keep the collar tight on her shoulder so it slows down the bleeding… A-And make sure her arms stay at her sides, there’s muscle damage.” I looked at Shauntal once more, my heart dropped with pain once again seeing her almost lifeless before the Golurk flew away with the note safely tucked between the side of her head and her glasses. I looked over to my Pokémon, “You did a good job, Haxorus.” I withdrew him and I couldn’t help but stare at the ground, then I turned my attention to the fainted ancient Pokémon nearby.

My ace croaked, “Tross…” I looked at him, and I found him already staring at me.

I could barely keep myself together, “Oh, right, thank you for looking after her as I battled.” I looked at him a bit more and figured out why he was really like that, “I know that I said that It didn’t affect me anymore but…” I looked back to the past version of the Illusion Pokémon, still talking to Eelektross, “...to see him like that with his uniform torn… Did you see his eyes? How exhausted he looked?” he didn’t respond, and there was a very long pause between us. I was too in pain to even end its misery as the Zoroark was laid down on the path, “Thank you, Eelektross. For saving my life,” I looked back to him once more, “And for relying on your instincts.” The Eel Pokémon slithered up and hugged me for a few moments, and then, one of my Pokéballs started to shake. It was Chandelure again. She must still be pissed… I guess she could finish the job, I wouldn’t mind seeing it be forever trapped in her flames, it’s what it deserves. I let her out. As soon as she appeared, she started to levitate away at a very fast rate. I put Eelektross back in his Pokéball and I sprinted after her, “Hey! Hey! Chandelure, wait!” I grabbed onto one of her metal limbs and pulled her down, she resisted and I called out, worried, “Calm down!” She wouldn’t stop tugging. “Chandelure, I know you’re angry right now but please, don’t leave! People still need our help, where are you going?! Don’t leave me here!”

I wouldn’t be surprised if the sight of my face pained her for the past two years. Ingo and I had a different articulations when we spoke, but our voices were still the same. It made her miss him tenfold whenever we battled together. I gripped harder on her metal limb, I didn’t care how hot it was or how close my hand was to the flame. I winced from the heating metal, “O-Ow… He’s dead, okay?! There’s no way he could be out there! Chandelure… I-I don’t know what to do, but please…stay!

She tugged again, with a lot more force this time, and my hands slipped off. As soon as my grip loosened off, she started to fly away, my tears finally burst out. I thought about the Zoroark, Shantaul, Ingo…

…I begged, crying out, “CHANDELURE! I DON’T WANT TO LOSE YOU, TOO!

She stopped and I saw her look back at me longingly. Because of her metallic frame, it was hard to see any emotion come out of her beside her eyes. But from this blank stare, I knew that all she felt was anguish.

“I can’t lose you… You’re one of the only things I have left of him…” I stared back, with tears still welting in my eyes, “Please… Don’t leave me here. If you do, I will never be able to forgive myself. If you do, you know that people will blame me again.” The memory of the public’s reaction after Ingo’s disappearance will haunt me forever. People argued, threatened, and accused me of murder. I never felt so miserable in a long time. I will admit that I was a little jealous of Ingo because he had a better sort of fame than me. People would give him nice gifts and would treat him well, but that was only because he just had “a better personality” than me. The comparisons between us wouldn’t stop. Arceus… How the hell was it my fault that I just grew up different from him? How was it my fault that I was just born with different traits than him? The ‘less agreeable’ traits just don’t fit into most societal standards, unlike Ingo’s. Sorry that I’m just “too different”. Chandelure knew this all too well because of the bad representation her kind has, not to mention that she witnessed my pain as well. But even if I wasn’t like that… if I wasn’t just too alien to fit in… there would still be no way that I would let her go. Ever.

I’m getting carried away… I wish that Zoroark never came. And now I’m just… never mind. Forget it.

Her bright lavender flames slowly calmed down and finally floated back to me. Another bush rustled, I quickly looked around and then I heard the Lamp Pokémon chime. I looked over to where she was looking and saw a tall, slender person stumble out. They brushed the dirt off with disgust on their face. Their lavender hair twirled on each side of their face, and they wore a navy blue sweatshirt with a pentagon symbol on it with a few lines. They finally took notice of me and started to speak in a foreign language. I couldn’t help but look confused, and I responded, “Um… Hi. Can you speak-”

“Oh, perfect.” I never heard a voice so sardonic, “Please tell me, the Great Warden Melli, where I am?” They spoke in a prim and prideful manner.

“I am Emmet and you are in Unova. How do you not know where you are?” I questioned, quickly wiping my tears away, realizing that they were still present. The lavender-haired person was thankfully not looking at me. They didn’t even look at me once.

They raised a brow, “I have no care for who you are. You see, it appears that I was chosen by the Almighty Sinnoh to travel-”

“The almighty what now?”

“Hold your tongue when the Great Melli speaks!” Their brows furrowed. I blinked at them. “AHEM! The Almighty Sinnoh chose me to travel from Hisui to here to save your world! So bow down to me, your savio-!” They finally looked at where I was, I'd already walked away a couple of paces. “GET BACK HERE! I AM THE HERO SENT TO YOU!” He stomped over to me, and I didn’t even bother to look back at them.

“Get lost, you weird cultist. Do you really think I’m gonna suddenly drop to my knees and worship you? Hell no! Grow up…” I sighed. I stopped walking for a moment. “Wait, Hisui? Like, Sinnoh?” I thought back to the Pokédex that Shauntal showed me.

“Yes, Hisui. Why are you calling it Sinnoh? That’s the Almighty Sinnoh’s name! And it’s not a cult, FOOL!

“Hold on, in that case, you weren’t ‘sent’ here on purpose.” I looked back at them, they were looking down in thought, it was like they were doing everything to not look at me out of sheer uncaring rudeness. “A ton of Pokémon from there have been showing up here, like that big white Zoroark!” I pointed over and they looked, fear filled their face as they jumped.

“You… Defeated an Alpha Zoroark? Without even knowing what it was?” They kept looking at the fainted Pokémon. “Th-that… ahem.. I’ll excuse your past grievances against me.”

“Uh... Thanks?” I scratched my head, “Can you tell me what’s happening? Why is the sky red? Why are there ancient Pokémon just dropping out of nowhere?”

“Ancient? Did you say ancient?” They couldn’t keep their eyes off the Zoroark. “You… What year is it?”

“20-”

IT STARTS WITH A TWENTY????” They finally looked at me, but their eyes were more directed at my clothing, and still didn’t look at my face. This felt like a whole other kind of impertinence, but I let it slide since I hate eye contact anyway. He realized, “Oh… Ohhhh… But it was just… And I… That means… Am I in the 20th century?

“No, 21st. What year are you from?”

21st?! Don’t even bother asking where- When I’m from Just in the 19th century…”

“19th… Wow… so like… you’re from the 1800’s? That’s… That’s crazy… ”

“Hmm…” He kept looking at my clothing. “Didn’t know that people in the future would wear such interesting outfits.”

“You’re one to talk…”

His brows furrowed again, but he didn’t make eye contact, “I will allow that grievance to pass since clothing taste has changed in this time.”

I switched the conversation, “You seemed to have been transported here by something along with a ton of Pokémon from your time. I just beat a… What was the name of the large Pokémon again?”

“Alphas?”

“Yeah, that. I defeated an Alpha Basculeigon up north but it turns out that it was suddenly okay for some reason. A person I know somehow tamed it and said something about a story he was told or something like that on how to do it. Then I-”

“Please speed up, I don’t have time for this.”

“I’m getting there…”

I kept talking about what happened with them, now that I think back on it, I don’t even think they were even that interested. They just kept looking around. I couldn’t blame them, I sometimes stretch out stories too long and get too into detail about… everything, really, and…

…I’ll stop doing that now before I get started again…

I informed the person, “Aside from all of that, we should go to Striaton. There’s an Alpha Braviary there and I want to see if another colleague of mine is having trouble with it. We should stick together so we can figure out a way to get you back.” Melli looked at me, suspiciously, then slowly nodded in agreement. We walked together and took a shortcut.

As we traveled, we kept conversing about what happened with Shauntal and the Zoroark, along with how I defeated it. They also shared more about Hisui, the Diamond and Pearl Clans, and the Pokémon there. Melli’s face suddenly darkened as I directed their attention to the looming dark cloud over Castelia, “The Renegade Pokémon, Giratina, is very powerful. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It has the power to travel across dimensions, but I never thought It would end up outside of Hisui in the far future. The power of time and space belongs to Dialga and Palkia. I wonder if this is all Volo’s doing…”

“Who’s that?”

Melli sighed, they looked tired as if this wasn’t the first time this happened, “He’s a man that has an affinity with history, but he’s also ludicrous. He wants to destroy the world and create a new one to be a God.”

“Oh, well, I know some people who’ve dealt with people like that. Years ago, this group called ‘Team Plasma’ tried to ‘liberate’ Pokémon from their trainers. But in reality, they were trying to take control over Unova by disarming everyone.”

“So they were trying to take away your rights to catch and take care of Pokémon and use it against you?”
“Yeah, some people thought it was fine because lots of people get hurt from Pokémon battles. But then some argued that it wasn’t the Pokémon who does it, it’s the trainer who did it since they commanded them, and that they should be held accountable more. Or just have more regulations on becoming a Trainer. This brought up a lot of questions with the government, that’s for sure. I’m not even sure if it’s a problem that’ll ever be solved permanently. It got even worse when children started to get injured.” I bashfully looked away, not like they were making eye contact with me anyway, “Nevermind that. Don’t worry about it.” You talk too much, Emmet… I thought to myself.

They couldn’t make sense of the word vomit that I spewed out, “It seems that Mesosunovans haven’t changed much, you are all still chatterboxes. Let me guess, Nimbasan?

“I’m actually from Opelucid. But I did live in Nimbasa for longer now that I think about it… How did you know? Have you ever been there?”

“There are some Mesounovans that moved to Hisui and they talk fast like you. And they never shut up about their religion, how much freedom they have, their terrible coffee… It’s like watching grass grow.”

“Well, good news for you: I’m not religious, there’s not as much freedom here as you think, and I hate coffee. Also, a lot has happened today so I have every right to speak my mind. Besides, aren’t you interested in the future?”

“Only the future that I will be living in. Everything else I couldn’t care less about. Except for the future of a certain Pearl Clan enemy of mine, perhaps… Besides, it all sounds boring.”

I looked away, shocked. I get where they were coming from, though.

We kept taking the short route to Striaton City, we made it there pretty quickly. I looked around to see a fainted Alpha Braviary on the pavement and Caitlin looking completely unbothered, as usual. She turned over to me and tilted her head, “Emmet? What are you doing here?”

“I got a text from Shauntal that she needed help, the Zoroark ended up being a Normal-Ghost type.”
Caitlin’s face dropped, “Oh… What?

“She’s…” I could barely look at the blonde woman, “She’s in bad condition, the Zoroark got to her. I healed her Golurk and it flew away with her to a hospital.”

I could see Caitlin’s heart shatter in pieces, she dropped to her knees, “Sh-Shauntal…”

I looked at her, she was trying her best not to have a psychic meltdown. I kneeled and put my hand on her shoulder. “I’ll make sure that Chandelure will detect her soul closely, okay? Shauntal will be fine, the Zoroark only made a gash on her shoulder and missed her neck. She will make it. She’s just unconscious right now, but she will be okay because she is getting help.”
Caitlin nodded slowly, holding back tears. I debated if I should tell her about the transformation Zoroark did, but she already sensed it, “Emmet… You saw something else, didn’t you?” I knew I couldn’t keep a secret from her.

I couldn’t look at the woman, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

She nodded and I helped her stand up and turned her attention to Melli, “Whose this?”

I responded before the purple-haired definitely-not-a-cultist could say anything, “They’re Melli and they’re from the past, too. The same one where all these Pokémon are from. They told me that this was the work of Giratina… ” I told her the same information that Melli told me, and they scoffed.

“It’s Warden Melli to you.” They sneered at me.

A child’s accented voice spoke, “Oh, yer here.” I looked around confused, “Down here, genius.” I looked down to see a young boy with… Is that Clay’s hat? He wore a white hoodie with a light-purple design with a few circles.

Melli looked at the boy in disgust, “Wonderful, this little one is here…”

“I’m ain’t li’l! I’m th’ perfect size for my age!”

Keep dreaming you-

I butted in, “Knock it off, please, the world is ending.” They both frowned and glared at each other. They knew I was right, then I turned to the kid, “What’s your name?”

“Th’ name’s Warden Lian.” he tipped his hat politely, and so I tipped mine as well.

“I am Emmet,” I sighed and looked at Caitlin again, “Did you fill him in?”

She nodded in response.

“I think we need a plan here. Let's meet up with the Striaton triplets, we can have lunch and gather our thoughts in their restaurant. Drayden tried to call me earlier but there was no voicemail. I want to see if they know anything about it.”

I assumed that he called me because the other Gym leaders planned something and must have tried to tell me. Either that or… No… he… He’s strong enough.

We walked into the restaurant and we already saw the three brothers arguing. Cilan spoke first, “I should be the one to go because I am good at representing all of us!”

Chili responded next, “But my Pokémon has a better offensive advantage!”

Cress looked over to him, “Yes, but I have a better defensive advantage!”

I was thinking of breaking them up by walking over, but I looked at the call bell and smirked. I tapped it and it rang, they immediately jumped and stopped talking, all of their heads whipped over and stood in a straight line.

The vigorous green-haired teenager exclaimed, “AH! IT’S EMMET!”

The calm blue-haired brother muttered, “Fanboy…”

The spunky red-haired brother glared at Cilan, “Weren’t you the one who was supposed to close the door?”

Cilan responded, “Doesn’t matter, Emmet’s here!” he grinned happily, his hands shaking a little as he walked over, “We’re closed now, but for you, we can make an exception!” His eyes practically sparkled.

I smiled, “Yeah, we would like to order something.”

Since it was stormy, we sat inside and had lunch. I could tell that I brightened up Cilan’s day, they all looked exhausted. At least they don’t have to worry about a lunch rush now since the entire world’s at stake and people are taking shelter. I still remember the tiring days of customer service too well. Ugh… That’s one thing I don’t miss when working at the Subway. We caught everyone up with the situation. Cress pulled out a high chair for Lian to sit in, but the young cowboy promptly borrowed a cookbook and laid it on a normal chair before sitting on it. He then noticed the blue-haired teenager, “Oh, you don’t mind me using this book, don’t you?”

Cress blinked, “Suuure…” he dragged the chair away with an awkward low screech.

I finally asked the brothers, “What were you guys arguing about anyway?” They all looked like they were gonna chew each other out again, “One at a time.

It became a unanimous decision to let Cilan speak first, “Burgh had the idea to meet up in his Gym in Castelia. We may not be gym leaders anymore, but he contacted us anyway. We were arguing because, well…”

Cress spoke next, “We need two people to take care of the restaurant. One person to keep the restaurant clear of Pokémon who want to eat the food.”

Chili chimed in, “...and the other keeps the Pokémon out of the fridge and freezer, just in case the power cuts out. If the food goes bad, we’ll be out of business for a few days. But that’s if the world doesn’t end today.”

Cilan muttered, “Could you maybe help us? I-I don’t think It’ll ever be solved if the three of us keep arguing.”

I nodded then thought for a moment, “Chili defends the restaurant from Pokémon breaking in. His attacks will be useful and will ward them away since the Pokémon here are pretty weak. Cress can defend the freezer and could keep it cold while the power is out and protect it, the defenses will be more useful there.” Cilan’s eyes brightened up, “Cilan should go to the city. I am aware that grass type is weaker but he is right, he’s good at representing and I doubt that you will fight Giratina-”

Caitlin and the triplets screamed, “GIRATINA?!

I flinched at the loud sudden voices, “Yes… Giratina is in Castelia. That’s why the sky is red and all this weird stuff is going on. Don’t ask me how it got here, I have no idea.”

The brothers looked at each other, wide-eyed. Cilan’s voice cracked, “You know, I think I’m very comfortable at the restaurant.”

Cress and Chili grinned, and it reeked of brotherly evil that I knew too well of. Cress snickered, “But the representation, oh dear brother.”

Chili sneered and patted his back, “Your Grass-type Pokémon will certainly do the trick.”

The green-haired brother’s face went pale, and his voice was a bit pitchy with nervousness, “Uhh… I-I don’t think sooo…”

This reaction only made them laugh mockingly, the prideful blue-haired brother grinned, “But we have all grown as trainers since we resigned from being Gym Leaders. Surely you can take it.”

The headstrong redhead moved a bit closer to Cilan, “Besides, the one and only Emmet is here if you need a leg to hide behind.”

I raised a brow, “Hey, don’t use me as bait. Also, stop being an ass to him. It’s obvious that the two of you are just as afraid as he is, so just stop.”

The two looked away, full of shame, mumbling an apology to their meek brother. As everyone conversed about the plans for what we’ll have to do next, I couldn’t help but still think about the Zoroark. I had never been more grateful for Chandelure’s ability to detect souls and spirits, a common trait of Ghost-type Pokémon, of course.

Cilan noticed my discomfort and changed the conversation, “Emmet, you seem a little out of it, are you alright?” I shook my thoughts away.

Caitlin responded to him before I could, “Don’t worry about it, we’re both pretty stressed out over Shauntal’s situation.”

I wanted to tell them on what else happened, but I didn’t have the heart to do it. It would send everyone over the edge and I couldn’t add salt to an already large wound, no pun intended.

Lian and Melli kept looking at each other as everyone spoke, and I eavesdropped on their conversation as they conversed at the other side of the table.

Melli muttered, “Do you think that…?”

Lian mumbled back, “Now that I have a better view, maybe…”

“Should we… Who should?”

“Well as a Pearl Clan member…”

“Are you sure that you can handle saying it?”

“Are you sayin’ that I ain’t mature enough for it?”

Melli’s eyebrow twitched, but then took a deep breath, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to argue right now, so just go ahead.”

Lian looked at me and his face suddenly turned pale, “But what if-”

Melli sighed and finally spoke out, “Your name is ‘Emmet’ if I remember correctly?” Everyone turned to them. Lian seemed to get a little more nervous as all eyes were on both him and his rival and tipped his hat down.

I nodded, “Yes?” I assumed that they were going to say a formal ‘I’m sorry for your loss’.

The purple-haired Warden looked hard at me with their eyes squinting and finally said, “Your brother… His name wouldn’t happen to be ‘Ingo’ would it?”

My eyes widened, “H-how did you know?” I couldn’t think straight any longer, my mind was getting out of control and I couldn’t pull the brakes.

Lian spoke afterward, “Well… You look exactly like him.”

Everyone turned back to me, as my face was purely emotionless, “What?” I shook my head a little, “W-WHAT?!

Every time someone spoke, everyone’s head whipped around to the other side to look. Melli said, “We know your brother, he was in Hisui for… how long?”

The boy in the cowboy hat replied, “Two years. He just dropped out of the sky, just completely out of the blue one day.”

My mind finally pulled some pieces together, “He went missing two years ago! So all this time he’s… he went back in time?” Anger rose inside of me, I stood up and leaned over on the table, “Why didn’t you two tell me this earlier?! We look the same, we’re- WE WERE TWINS FOR ARCEUS’ SAKE!

Melli put their finger up in the air in an as-a-matter-of-fact-ly manner, “Are. You are twins. He is still very much alive…” They dropped their hand slightly, “We think.”

Cilan exclaimed, “Huh?!”

Lian nodded, “Yeah, we don’ have any idea if he’s here or in Hisui. I mean, technically, he’s both dead and alive. Alive in the past, dead in the future? I guess now that we have time traveled, ain’t we all both alive and dead? I… I can’t keep up with this, this is givin’ me a headache.”

I was still livid, “So you’re just gonna ignore the fact that we are twins and you didn’t even notice?!

The boy spoke again, “I didn’t notice ‘cause it hurts my neck to look at yer face. Yer taller than a Farigiraf on its hind legs. I couldn’t see ya well ‘til we all sat down.”

Melli looked like they were going to say something snarky to the boy and ended up clearing their throat. At least they were aware that it was no time for insults. Melli said instead, “I didn’t notice because I was looking at the scenery and your clothing. There’s also a horrific stench in the air all the time here. And I thought my Skuntank had a terrible smell.”

“Yeah, I noticed that too, I was coughin’ up a storm when I got here. Oh, then there’s Hisuinese being the main language in Hisui. Ingo said to use his other legal name when referring to him in that language since it rolled off the tongue better. Y’know, ‘Nobori’. So hearing your name and remembering Ingo’s Hisuian name threw me into a loop a little.”

I tried to focus more and ignored their ironic impoliteness of not looking at me in the face when they spoke to me in the first place. My mind ended up forcing me to revert to talking in my customer service voice because if I spoke in any other way, I would be screaming, “So, how did the Zoroark know my brother, then?”

The boy responded, “After he came to Hisui, he joined the Pearl Clan ‘cause that’s who saw and saved him first. He wanted to give back to them an’ also serve a purpose to his new life. It’s located in th’ Alabaster Icelands, which is where th’ Zoroark lives. It must have seen him once and transformed into him when it saw ya so that it could lure ya up and kill ya. They tend to do that a lot back in Hisui. It’s both annoying and scary.”

“So he… he really is alive?”

Melli answered, “Oh he’s very alive, and he’s loud enough to make everyone sure of it.” they scoffed.

Lian added, “Yeah, and he’s a pretty fine battler, too. He’s got a whole unique battle system that he created all by himself. He’s even impressed Captain Zisu.” He then informed me, “She’s the leader of the Security Corps and usually handles th’ battlin’ stuff.” My eyes widened even more, My brother met the first-ever GYM LEADER?! My thoughts screamed, I looked over to the triplets and my co-worker, who shared the same shocked face as I had.

I blinked, “I’m… gonna need a moment.” No one dared to talk to me as I stepped outside of the restaurant to get some fresh air. I listened to the thunder and rain, then closed my eyes for a few moments to recollect my thoughts. I didn’t care to shield myself from the falling droplets. I found myself fidgeting with Chandelure’s Pokéball as I took deep breaths, trying to calm myself down. I recall only one thought I had as I stood there, getting wetter by the second from the drizzle as tears fell down my eyes: He can’t make it back home. And If I ever saw him again it would be just another Zoroark, no matter if it could battle alongside me or not. I tried not to think about how much the description they gave me of him fit my brother so well. You don’t hear many stories of Zoroarks taking the form of a human that often, it was usually just other Pokémon. But it seemed like the Hisuian Zoroark were verrrry different. There was nothing I could make of this situation, and I could almost hear Drayden in my mind saying to just keep pushing, so I walked back inside.

As I did, Melli was talking about some ‘Noble Electrode’ and Lian about a teenage girl who was also in the same situation as my brother named ‘Akari’, but it wasn’t her real name, and couldn’t remember it. I grabbed everyone’s attention and they all looked at me, “We need to head out again, we’ve stayed here for too long and I don’t want to waste any more time staying put. Is everyone ready? Are all Pokémon healed up?” I looked at the triplets, “Are you three prepared?” The three nodded, Cress and Chili walked away from the table, and Cilan still sat down, looking at the ground. I knew that face all too well. I helped him stand up from the chair, “You’re going to be fine. You’re not alone in this, okay Cilan? We have two people here who know what the deal is and you’ve got me here.”

He nodded in response, “Yeah… Right. I’m ready.”

“Come on, smile.” I looked over to my co-worker, “What about you?”

The Psychic-type specialist took a deep breath before responding, “I’m going to stay here. This is… too much pressure.”

I moved closer to her and lowered my voice, “It’s okay, don’t worry about it, I understand. You have your limits and I’m sure that everyone will respect that. Besides, it’s probably best that you stay here just in case another Alpha lands here.”

She nodded silently, then looked at me, confused, “… ‘Alpha’?”

“Big and scary Pokémon with red eyes. Like the Braviary, Baculeigon, and all the other Pokémon we were searching for.”

She nodded again, but right before I left, she grabbed the cuff of my coat, “Emmet… I know this is obvious, but I sense a lot of danger ahead… More than I had ever sensed in my life. And what’s worse is that I cannot see a clear outcome. Multiple timelines are intermingling right now and every time I try to read what may happen next, a different outcome is shown. Whatever choice you make right now will affect the world forever. Do you understand?”

I looked back at her and blinked, I guess I really could be walking straight into Death’s door, huh?

I finally responded, “I understand.”

She let me go, “Remember to remain calm and stay safe.”

I nodded, “I will, thank you.” I then left the building.

As we walked out of the city, Lian looked up at me, “Can you tell us what Ingo was like before he came to Hisui?”

I looked back at him as we walked through the shortcut, “Ingo and I worked at the same job. We were battle facility managers and conductors. Our workplace was a ‘subway station’ and there’s only one in Unova: Gear Station. A subway is where you can transport yourself, or cargo, from place to place very quickly in this metal wagon with wheels. It was all his idea to do it there instead of a regular building like a few other battle facilities. I mean, having a place where you could travel and battle at the same time was unheard of. No other facility ever even thought of it, and there’s not a single place now that copied us. Probably out of respect, but still!”

Melli questioned, “So you traveled and battled at the same time? How do you know when you are where you need to be?”

I thought for a moment, trying to figure out how to put it in simple terms that wouldn’t combust their minds, “We called out the name of the place every time we stopped at a destination and announced the next that we were going to. There is a technology today where you could speak into something and the words would come out somewhere else. It’s difficult to explain.” Their faces looked puzzled, “Don’t think about it too hard. Anyway, that was our job along with fixing engines, helping with cleaning, creating a safe environment for all, and lots more.”

Lian spoke again, “No wonder he’s so good at battling, it was his job…”

“Correct. He mostly worked with Single battles while I worked with Double battles. We also worked together for Multi Battles. Do you know what Double battles and Multi battles are?”

Melli nodded, “Indeed, They are a new invention from Hoenn. We use an altered version in Hisui where one person would use one Pokémon, and the other could use up to three at the same time.”

Cilan raised a brow, “Pardon me, but that sounds a little unfair.”

Lian replied, “It’s a test of strength. Typically, two Pokémon would be weaker so it’s more balanced than you think.” I found it still hard to wrap my head around everything so I just pretended to understand at this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were doing the same for me. The young cowboy spoke again, “Did Ingo do anything else?”

I laughed a little, “We traveled the world, or at least the places that had trains. Uh, trains are like big, long metal wagons that carry people, cargo, or Pokémon and it’s powered by coal, oil, or electricity. A place where a train could stop is called, well, a ‘stop’ or a ‘station’.”

Melli blinked, surprised, “He’s mentioned something like that before but he had no idea what he was talking about. Always talking about ‘destinations’ and the other things that you’ve mentioned. Oh, ‘tracks’ was another one as well. I think I could speak for everyone for a moment and say that we all thought that it all sounded foolish and eccentric.”

“Ingo was passionate, and so was I. He loved riding trains, battling people, the silly jargon we made up…” My voice slowly trailed away as I thought about how happy we were, and I sighed, “I wish it wasn’t all taken away after he left.”

They looked at me with surprise, Lian talked again, “Wait… It’s all gone now? What happened?”

I winced at the comment and I slowly stopped, and they turned back to me. I didn’t think that it would reopen the wound in my heart so harshly, “When Ingo left, a lot of people blamed me for it. All we did was go to our cousin’s concert and wanted to see a friend of ours in the next town over…” I took a deep breath, “we heard a Pokémon and we split up to search for it in the middle of our walk. I went into a meeting spot we agreed on then hours passed and I couldn’t find him. A-Anyway, we stopped getting money after his disappearance and eventually, a woman who worked for our biggest supporter bought e-enough of our private stock t-to take over the business. Sh-She became the new owner and w-we were all kicked out.” I rubbed my hand on my face, I knew they could see the pain but I still tried to cover it. Rain poured and thunder roared as we became silent for what seemed to be forever, and then I spoke again, “Now photos of him and his Pokémon are all I have left of him.”

Melli blurted out, “What a bitch.” They shook their head a little and looked at Lian, “Don’t say that.” They then looked back to me, “I can’t believe someone would take advantage of your situation. I’ll admit that I can be quite ill-tempered, but wow. I would never stoop that low.”

Lian raised a brow at his rival, “I know my dirty language, Warden Melli. And I can assure you that I am wise enough to not use it.”

“Ah, Palina already scolded you for it, didn’t she?”

“Auntie did nothin’.” the boy blushed and covered his face with his hat a little by tipping it down. Melli chuckled at his response.

I leaned down as we still walked together to whisper to Lian, “Don’t be embarrassed, I cursed a lot when I was younger and paid the price, just like you.”

He sighed, “Don’t we all?”

Cilan asked, “You said you wanted to see a friend after Roxie’s concert, right? Do you mean Alder?”

I replied, “Yeah, I mean Alder. But I guess he’s more like family than a friend. Like I have another uncle or something since he also lent a hand in raising me with Drayden. There was also a huge part of me that wanted to meet N if he was there, but I think it was a few weeks later did I know that he went under the radar for some soul-searching and connecting more with Pokémon. I don’t blame him for not wanting to be bothered, though. I know he used to be the King of Team Plasma, but after his story got out, I really wanted to connect with him and tell him about some of my experiences with…” I shook my head a little, “You know. I mean, we’re definitely different when it comes to our pasts, but there are bits and pieces where I see that we have some common ground. But it’s good for him to find himself, and I hope he’s doing better now.”

Cilan smiled, “You wanted to battle him, too, didn’t you?”

I proclaimed, “So badly!”

Melli tilted his head as he looked at me, “Wait, you wanted to make friends with the person who tried to take over the region by taking away Pokémon?”

“Uh… It’s a verrrrry long story that we don’t have the time for.”

Cilan squinted at me, “Emmet, why did you tell a person from the past about current events? Isn’t that going to ruin the timeline even more?”

“Well, they’re here so why not? You can’t ruin a timeline if it’s already ruined.”

“You can’t ruin it but you can certainly make it worse…”

“If the space-time continuum can’t handle my need to info-dump, I’m calling Arceus ableist.”

We all kept walking on our way and eventually got to Black City.

Notes:

I am currently writing pretty far ahead right now. I want to finish writing by the end of summer but I think it might take more than that. But even when I finish writing, I would have to go back and tweak mistakes and stuff. My goal is to post the rest of everything by the end of September. (Ik it sounds far but everything could be posted before then. I don’t know.)

And for compensation of waiting, I have a crack fic in the making that’s related to Monochrome Memories that I’m sure at least two of you readers would enjoy. And I’ll post them during the long periods of waiting for the next chapter of this fic just to keep you guys sane. They’ll be short and sweet so don’t worry about it taking up too much of my time.

Chapter 6: Ingo - Ghost Town

Summary:

Ingo and the others travel through Twist Mountain and found yet another Hisuian. They eventually arrive in Mistralton to find out that A young girl was finishing up a battle against an Alpha Goodra.

Notes:

Today marks the anniversary of me posting the Monochrome Memories concept designs on TikTok. So, I thought that posting another chapter would be a good way to celebrate. Also it’s been a little bit so I might as well post one anyway.

The song reference in the title is Ghost Town by The Specials

Please enjoy

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Zisu looked around as we went into Twist Mountain, taking in all of the tunnels and areas. She expressed in Hisuinese, “This place looks difficult to navigate through, there’s so many tunnels! How does anybody even know where they’re going? there are not even any signs!”

I smiled and replied in the same language, “I think it sounds like a fun challenge.”

Akari looked wary as she looked inside the mountain. She asked Drayden a question, switching languages so that he could understand, “I know this is a bit off topic but… I just realized that we haven’t had many wild encounters besides the Alpha Pokémon.”

My Uncle replied, looking around as well, “I suppose you’re right. I think they are afraid of the surroundings currently and won't come out.” His head tilted a little, “What kind of terrible person would even do anything like this anyway?”

Akari sighed before answering, “A man named Volo.”

His head turned around, surprised, “So it’s not Team Plasma? Well, that’s the first…” His attention turned to Zisu for a moment, glancing at the Galaxy Expedition patch on her shoulders. For a moment It looked like he was about to say something about it, but he kept quiet. I couldn’t tell what was running through his mind at the moment.

We walked some more until we started to hear something, far and deep into the tunnels. We stopped walking to listen, I stood behind Akari to have her back. Slowly, the voice seemed to get closer, and more recognizable. I called back in Hisuinese, “Hello? Who's there?”

I was met with silence until I heard a fast tapping sound hitting the ground, I listened to the voice once more, it was a young woman, “I’m over here! Where am I? Who are you?”

My eyes widened, “Irida! Is that you?!” I called out louder and faced the tunnel where the sound was coming from.

Suddenly, the young woman in red came to light, “Nobori!” She looked at everyone else, “Oh, you’re all here too!” She turned to Drayden, “And, who might you be? I’ve never seen you in Hisui.”

I informed her, “You’re not in Hisui, this is Mesounova. Well, It’s Unova now. Long story short, we traveled forward in time and now I’m back home.” I pointed to Drayden, “This is my Uncle, Drayden. He doesn’t speak Hisuinese.”

What?! We’ve traveled through time and space to where you’re from?! And he’s your Uncle?! I have so many questions…”

“Just save them for later, we are in a hurry right now because all of this is Volo’s fault. He’s trying to end the world again.”

She stared at me with possibly the most horror-stricken expression I had ever seen, speechless.

“Let’s talk as we keep going.” I turned my attention to Drayden and switched languages, “Let’s keep going. This woman here is the Pearl Clan leader, Irida.”

The older man responded, “You both have that same symbol, that’s part of the clan, right? You sure seem to have a lot of friends. It’s nice to see that you got better at socializing while you were away.”

I nodded in response, Akari snickered at me and I shot her a glare.

Zisu spoke in the same language, “Oh trust me, nobody bothered to speak with him until he beat me in a Pokémon battle, which was his first try. Pretty spectacular for someone with a little brain damage.”

I shot another glare and directed it at Zisu, I grumbled sarcastically, “Wow. Thanks for sticking your head out for me. I feel so confident after you reminded my family who I haven’t seen in two years that I still struggle to talk to people when they all thought that I was a lunatic con man trying to get attention.”

Drayden laughed and Irida looked at all of us confused since she only knew Hisuinese. I took notice and I switched languages for her, “Don’t worry about a thing that was just said, Captain Zisu was just fooling around.”

The blonde woman replied worriedly, “When the whole world is at its end?”

“Go tell Zisu that,” I then told everyone that we should keep moving forward, and so, we went further through Twist Mountain.

The Pearl Clan leader followed us closely, “Where are we going, anyway?”

I responded, “Mistralton City but I doubt that it existed in your time.”

“It indeed didn’t….” Irida’s face became shadowed with a particular fear that I was all too familiar with.

“I know you feel lost. Most of us are on the same track as you right now. But, we have someone to guide us through, and it’s someone who I trust deeply despite barely having any memory of him.”

“I suppose you are correct,” She nodded, and kept herself together, “So, he’s family, right? Do you have anybody else?”
“A brother, apparently. We tried to contact him earlier but there was no success. We were close, or at least that’s what Drayden said. As of right now, I still feel a very weak connection between myself and my memories.”

“Wow… Well, now that you mentioned it, it makes sense that you have a brother. You do act a little like a ‘big brother’ to some people. You direct people and take care of them, you make sure that someone is completely okay before moving on. Not to mention that you have a surplus amount of patience.” Irida laughed a little.

I thought back for a moment, trying to think of the times when I had acted like that, “I guess I sometimes am a bit of a ‘big brother’. I think that’s what my brother would refer to me as sometimes. W-woah! Ow…” I felt a sharp pain in my head.

Drayden looked back at me and stopped walking, “Are you alright? What happened?”

I switched languages once more, which has been slowly getting more difficult, “Yeah, just a headache. All of this information is overwhelming”

“Can you lift your hat? I want to see how bad the scar looks, I forgot to ask earlier. This could be the reason behind your headache, but I hope not because that could mean… several things.” I lifted my hat a little to reveal the large scar on the top right of my forehead that went back a little more on the frontal bone, “Did they cut your hair when they investigated or… ahem…

I switched the conversation back, slightly embarrassed by my hairline, “Do you think it’s that bad or not?”

Akari butted in, speaking in Hisuinese, “Yes, your hair looks atrocious.” I shot her an even more menacing glare, she kept quiet.

Zisu covered her face, giggling. She scolded Akari while holding back laughter, “Hehe… Give the man a break, Akari!”

Drayden finally responded to me, “I’ve seen some bad scars and wounds before, and this looks like it wasn’t too deep. Considering how relatively normal your personality is, I assume that you may have done some activities that have possibly helped you get your footing back.”

“I was in a coma for about two days after it happened.” We started to keep walking and I lowered my hat, I saw Akari smirk at me again and I gave her yet another disappointed look.

He nodded, taking the information in with a surprised look, “That is very lucky of you. We will have to give you information more slowly from now on.” Drayden then talked to the group, “Alright, we should stop distracting ourselves, the exit should be nearby. We need to keep our eyes peeled for Alpha Pokémon.”

We walked a bit faster and we made it out of Twist Mountain and went into Route 7, Irida’s face became shrouded with fear as she looked up to the red sky. She quickly shook her head and kept walking with us. For a moment I thought about how much I could relate to her at the time. We feel powerless when we have no direction, metaphorically and physically. Well, everyone has that feeling when it happens, but there was something with the way that Irida handled it that made me think of myself when I first came to Hisui. The only difference is that I had no memory of anything, yet we were both still clueless. I couldn’t help but watch my leader internalize everything, and one of my closest friends tried to make light of the situation. Then, there was Akari, the closest thing I had to family, who still struggles with the obstacles that life throws at her. I could tell that the only thing she thought of the whole time today was about a possible family she could have and lose on the same day. My heart tore even more when I saw Akari catch more glances at Drayden and myself.

Zisu talked to me, and I jumped a little as I was being pulled away from my thoughts, “Hey, are you alright? I didn’t mean to be mean earlier.”

I felt everyone stare at me, “Don’t worry about it, I’m doing fine. I was just thinking about something else.”

We heard a loud cry of a Pokémon coming from the city, and a voice of a girl that sounded so familiar commanded something.

Drayden looked shocked and muttered to himself, “I thought that it was in Driftveil…” He shook his head and sighed and spoke to me, “Do you recognize the voice?”

We started to move some more, the noises were coming from the runway, I responded, “Someone did come to mind for a moment when I heard her, but I barely had a grasp of it.” I groaned a little, “I feel so guilty for not remembering everyone.”

“You can’t blame yourself for your amnesia, it wasn’t your fault. Now go and see her, she’s been waiting for you for too long.”

I looked back for a moment to look at everyone else to find the three smiling at me. Zisu grinned even more after a few moments and put her thumbs up. It was one of the only expressions I could read from anyone, and it screamed: ‘You got this!’ which was cheesy, of course. However, it gave me a boost of confidence anyway, not because of the gesture but because of the Captain’s supportive charm that she always had.

My face flushed a little and I looked away, then I peeked over the corner to find a short black girl with dark purple hair. She wore a long, flowing pink dress. I looked around more and saw that she was battling a Goodra with her Dragonite. Her back was facing towards me, I started to freak out as I tried to puzzle together what her face looked like. It’s now or never, I thought. I took a deep breath and started to walk toward her, as her Pokémon was close to finishing off the Alpha Pokémon with a move that I didn’t care to identify. I wanted to call out her name, but nothing came to my mind, it was yet another dead end. I kept walking more, I was halfway there. She must be my cousin, Drayden mentioned that I had two, right? I remembered. She still has the same energy from two years ago. That same prowess and high-spirited demeanor… It’s all coming to me slowly.

I stopped a few feet away from her, she still hadn’t turned around and her Dragonite flew back to her, then took notice of me behind her and their eyes widened.

I spoke quickly to the short girl, “Good afternoon, it’s been a while.”

The girl turned around and for a moment it looked like she didn’t recognize me. Suddenly, she started to cry and ran over to hug me tightly, “INGO!” She quickly withdrew, “I-Is it really you? You look different. I-It can’t be, oh dragons, I didn’t hug a weirdo stranger did I?!”

I heard Drayden behind me, “It really is him, I found him as I walked past Tubeline Bridge,” I jumped with a yelp, not expecting him to be right there.

I talked quickly, “Don’t derail me like that! Let me talk to her myself!

The young girl laughed, her body curled over a little as she giggled, “Oh Arceus! It really is you!” She walked back to me for another hug and I gave her one back in return. “Haha! I missed your stupid train puns so much…”

“Alright, so… I don’t remember anything.”

Her smile slowly dropped, “What? What do you mean you don’t remember anything?”

I explained my situation to her, and she took in every word. Something about the young girl changed in the past two years, but I marked it off as growing up. That guilty feeling swept over me again as I realized that when I missed the years living here, I had also missed witnessing her growth and birthdays. I should have foreseen the pain coming, and then it took a toll on me. After I was done explaining, I asked, “What’s your name by the way?”

She looked at me pensively, then smiled softer this time, “Iris… Well, it’s ‘Champion Iris’ really, but you don’t have to say my title.” She sighed, “I can’t believe this… We all thought you were gone…” The knife that already stabbed my heart twisted itself inside as I saw another tear fall on her face, “I’m so glad you’re back, does-?”

Drayden butted in, “He doesn’t know, and I would rather have them meet first before we talk about him. Ingo expressed that he’s been getting some migraines, and it would be best if we keep a slow pace so that we can avoid it. We shouldn’t overwhelm him anyway.”

I looked at Drayden, “Who are you talking about?” I blinked, “Oh, right, my brother.”

Iris looked at me with surprise, “You don’t even remember him either?” I shook my head and she hugged me tighter, “The internet is down, we won't be able to contact anyone.”

Drayden looked at her with surprise, “Wait, the whole system is down? Or is it just here?

The young black girl responded, “I think it’s everywhere, I hadn’t got any service for the past few hours.”

“Really? We’re completely cut off from contact?”

“I think so. I was flying on Dragonite-”

Why were you FLYING on Dragonite during a THUNDERSTORM!?

“It didn’t get bad until I landed here, I promise!”

Drayden’s face darkened.

Iris nervously croaked and hid behind me, “I know, I know, I’m sorry gramps…”

The older man sighed, “You should have expected more severe weather, Iris, you know what can happen. Not to mention that if someone recorded you flying in such conditions…”

Her eyes widened and moved to stand in front of him confidently, “I understand, It was a terrible idea but Mistralton needed my help. I know that it would hurt my reputation if people saw me fly recklessly. But, I would rather sacrifice myself for others than take forever and let people get injured, or even die. I couldn’t just take my sweet time to walk down here!”

Drayden looked at her with surprise, and his face softened, “I understand that you will do anything to help others. It was very courageous of you to fly over here instead of taking the long route, I just wanted to make sure that you knew what can happen. Just don’t do it again, okay? You know how much I’m worried about you.”

“I promise I won’t do it again. Besides, I stayed away from trees, followed the path, and stayed low.”

He sighed with relief, “Good,” He raised his eyebrows and his arms opened a little for a hug, “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” She sighed and walked over to hug him.

Their communication warmed my heart, a memory flickered in my head that Iris used to have some trouble with Drayden. But later on, and even now, they are an inseparable father-daughter duo. I wondered about what happened earlier when Drayden tried to contact my brother. The way he expressed so much agitation, it was almost like they drifted apart after I left. Fear started to leak into my lungs, I knew I shouldn’t make assumptions but I just couldn’t help but think about what might’ve happened between them after I left. I hoped in the moment that it wasn’t my fault but deep down, I knew it. Somehow, I felt like my disappearance wasn’t the only cause of it. I saved the question in my head for later.

Drayden and Iris embraced each other, they laughed as the older man squeezed her too hard on purpose. I felt a hand over mine and looked over to see Akari being the one to hold it. she put on a small smile and whispered in Hisuinese, “We should keep going, Dad.”

I nodded and responded in the same language, “Right, we should.” I switched back, “Hey, Drayden, we should get to the next city. We’ve already talked a lot on the way and I think we should get to our destination faster.”

He looked over to me and Iris let go of him, “I agree, let’s go. The next city is Driftveil. We’ll have to go through Chargestone Cave to get there.”

Zisu’s eyes widened, “Another cave?!” She sighed, “How many caves does this region have?”

Iris responded, counting on her fingers, “Well, there’s Twist Mountain, Clay Tunnel, the Giant Chasm, Mistralton Cave, Reversal Mountain, Relic Path, Seaside Cave-”

Akari exclaimed in my mother language, “Why are there so many?

Iris kept counting on her fingers, “I’m not finished. There’s Chargestone Cave, Victory Road, Wellspring Cave, aaaand the Cave of Being. Eleven caves, wow, I guess that is a lot.”

Something triggered in my mind as we walked into Chargestone Cave, “Cave of… Being?” I muttered to myself. Something flashed in my mind, but it was fuzzy, and I felt a headache again. My stomach dropped as I tried to dig out the memory, I felt more pain so I shook it off.

Akari looked around at the glowing crystals, “Woah…” Zisu and Irida also looked around in awe.

Irida spoke, “Nobori, do you know why these crystals glow? Or do you not? Could you ask your Uncle?”

I shook my head and asked Drayden, who laughed, “That’s a question for Clay, I think he understands Sinnese. Well, I know that Hisuinese is a different script but I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew some.”

Zisu caught up to Drayden’s pace, “He has family in Hisui?”

“The region is called ‘Sinnoh’ now but yes, he does. All of his family is there, he’s a second or third-generation Unovan, I’m not too sure of which one. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any close family here.”

“That’s so unfortunate to have a family live so far away… ”

“I don’t think he minds that much, he’s happy about his success here so he doesn’t have much of a reason to visit. Not to mention that his cousin and his son are also very successful as well in Sinnoh.”

“What job do they all have?”

“Coincidentally, They all work in the mines, but Clay is more of a businessman. He’s just a head of his mining industry while the other two do the work in theirs in Sinnoh. Another intriguing fact is that they’re all Gym Leaders.”

Akari snorted, “Wow, sounds like it runs in the family.”

Drayden chuckled, “Probably, but Clay never really talked about family history so I don’t think we’ll ever know.”

I thought to myself, He sounds a lot like Lian, weirdly enough. Is he…? I’m not thinking about this anymore.

Iris turned to the older man, “You think we’d see him here? I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t know what was going outside, considering that this place always had bad service.”

He responded, “That is a possibility, but he’s more likely to be in Clay Tunnel.”

Zisu crossed her arms, “What kind of guy names something after himself, I find it a little egotistical.”

“I never cared to ask him why. But, It probably has to do with having a legacy or something. Like I said, his family is still relatively new to Unova so you might as well make a good mark before you leave the world for all of the future generations of your family to see. He’s more of a hard worker than you think, and he wants to show it in every way to inspire others to do the same… whether that means he has to put a lot of pressure on you or not. Clay’s pretty down to earth… No pun intended.”

Iris smiled at the unintended wordplay anyway and giggled. Irida, once again, struggled with the language barrier so I translated the vital information to her so she wasn’t left out.

Akari walked a bit more to catch up with my Uncle and smiled, “You know… Thanks a lot for guiding us, I really don’t know what we would do without you.”

I saw Drayden’s cheeks lift a little, presumably smiling back, “No need to thank me, I don’t mind doing this at all. A friend of my nephew is a friend of mine,” He said the last part in a very familiar tone, “And I am very glad to help you reach your destination safely!” He then winked at me and I squinted back, he chuckled softly at my silent response and looked ahead.

Irida asked me after she took the time to think about all of the information I told her, “Does your family have an origin, Nobori?”

I translated the question to my Uncle and he responded, “We have some from Hoenn. My cousin is part of their Elite Four, his name is Drake. You were a bit young when you saw him last, so don’t worry if you don’t remember his face.”

Akari raised an eyebrow, “Elite Four?”

“They are members of the Pokémon League that are the best in their respective region, except for Galar, which has a different system. If you beat them all consecutively including the Champion of the region, you become the new Champion.”

Iris put on a co*cky grin and looked to Akari, “And for Unova, I’m Champion! It took me a while, but, here I am! Ingo’s brother is also part of the Elite Four in this region, too. He didn’t have that title until after Ingo disappeared.”

Akari looked like she was full of thought, “Oh yeah, you mentioned that you had the title before. It must have been a very difficult test of strength.”

The young black girl looked at her, “The journey to where I am now was difficult, but with the help of gramps, I was able to achieve it.” She then smiled at Drayden.

The older man looked back, “Hey, you did most of it yourself. Give yourself some credit.”

A few more minutes passed and we finally reached the exit. I looked over to the sign to see where we were and read “Route 6”. I looked up at the crimson sky and the dark cloud above the sizable seaside city. The white crack hiding within the clouds was more visible now, I became full of determination as we kept moving. Irida spoke, “I dislike sounding like Adaman, but we need to move faster. We’ve wasted enough time talking idly.”

Akari nervously grinned and responded in Hisuinese, “Not even a little lunch break?”

My face softened when I looked at her and switched languages as well, “I don’t know if there’s a place to eat on the way. But even then so, Volo may have lots of patience but it will inevitably run out soon enough.” She nodded in response and our group kept pushing into Driftveil City.

Drayden looked around the area, “It’s clear, I’ll go grab Clay if he’s in the tunnel. Everybody stay here and look out for Pokémon.” He then walked up some stairs and turned to walk down, then he left into Clay Tunnel. I sighed and stretched a little.

Irida spoke, “I’m guessing that he’s getting that ‘Clay’ person?” I nodded to her in response. She looked away for a moment, “This is still so much to take in. So, are we really in Mesounova? In the future that you belong to? How do you know if it’s not in some alternate universe?”

I thought for a moment and responded in her language, “I don’t know, I get it that there could be so many more universes where I am still gone, but I feel a good connection with this one. But maybe I’m desperate, I just… I don’t know.”

Akari reminded me, “Yeah, but, Volo said he would go after what we love most, right? We went through the same portal as him, so this has to be your home… but as for me…” She looked down solemnly.

“I don’t think that Arceus would take someone from a different universe from mine. That would be cruel and wouldn’t make sense. They are all-knowing and they chose you for a reason, so you must belong here, too.”

Akari gave a weak smile and looked at me again, “How do you always know what to say?”

“I make sure all of my passengers are happy.” I winked at her and she giggled.

Eventually, Drayden walks back up with a familiar person, “Everyone, I would like you all to meet Clay.” The man looked a bit different from what I remembered. He had the same hat but his clothing was darker, and some of the other colors seemed to change a little.

Shock filled the air, Zisu blurted out, “You look a lot like Lian.”

To our surprise, the man confessed, “Lian? Like, Warden Lian? Wait, You’re Captain Zisu!” He pointed at her and then to my leader, “And you are Irida, the Pearl Clan Leader! It is an honor to meet you in person. I’ve heard many stories about you two passed down my family.” He tipped his hat respectfully. Her face, and so did ours, filled even more with astonishment.

Irida exclaimed, “H-how do you know… Wait, are you…?!

“Indeed I am, Miss Irida, Warden Lian would be my great-grandfather. I thought Drayden went senile when he said there were people from Hisui teleported here and not just Pokémon.”

Zisu snorted, “If Lian is here and sees you…”

Akari giggled and stepped towards Clay, “Expect Warden Lian to challenge you. But I don’t know for sure what kind.”

“I would say that I’d like a battle with him, but I ain’t sure if we have the time.” His gaze turned to me, “Drayden told me you were in Hisui. I trust you can fill me in later?”

I spoke the same language, “Yes, and I would love to hear about your family, but we need to keep moving.”

The cowboy looked up to the crimson sky. I saw a bit of fear in his eyes, which I am sure I had never seen before, or maybe only once, “Right, right… I understand. Let’s go, everyone.”

I questioned Drayden, “Where are we going next?” For some reason, there was an unexplainable feeling in my heart when I said this, and I hadn’t felt it when I asked him all the other times.

I saw his cheeks lift again. He seemed to be smiling again under his beard once more, “Well, first we go through the Drawbridge and to Route 5… after that, is a place I know will ring some bells for you, Ingo.”

I tilted my head to the side, trying to think, “The name is on the tip of my tongue… I just can’t.”

I looked down solemnly to the ground, and he wrapped an arm around me, “Nimbasa City.”

Notes:

We’re almost there…

Chapter 7: Long, Long, Long

Summary:

Emmet experiences trouble with his past and how it might affect him as he nears the entrance of Nimbasa City. When his group arrives, he sees a tall figure wearing a dark purple outfit and lowers his head…

As Ingo nears the entrance of Nimbasa, his fear grew of what’s to come and what might have happened when he was gone. A flood of memories come back as he sees the building he once worked at. he then sees a black-and-white figure sneaking around…

…and they both hope is that the person they see is their brother.

Notes:

It’s time.

Song: Long, Long, Long by The Beatles

TW: Internalized ableism.
(Just wanted to emphasize that a little)

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

We didn’t speak much when we went to Black City, but then questions started to pop up as we walked through Route 15 that came from both Melli and Lian. The young cowboy went first and asked about what he used to be like.

According to them, Ingo didn’t talk much at Hisui so he couldn’t share much with anyone. I wasn’t surprised since he didn’t know Sinnese, let alone an older version of it. And if there’s one thing he didn’t like, it was the lack of communication. They said he talked to Professor Laventon a lot since he was one of the only people who understood what he was saying. It’s weird to think that he’s had a conversation with a dead celebrity that was one of the most incredible geniuses ever. But then I realized that I was doing the same thing with Melli and Lian… minus the incredible genius part.

Well, they’re still smart but… tempered, especially towards each other. It seemed like the two of them had a history of rivalry and I found it surprising that they set that history aside so quickly for me. I guess it’s because I’m related to Ingo and they're curious about the future. I never knew that Sinnoh used to have clans, but I never really cared about listening in history class (I could just hear Uncle Drayden’s long lectures that I should’ve paid attention in school in the back of my mind as I thought about it. I mean, I get that it’s important to learn history so you won't repeat it, but how was I going to do that if I always wanted to get into Pokemon battling?) Now that dead people were telling me about their “current events”, it was way more interesting than having an old biased person tell it to you. The two expressed how hurt they were when I said wasn’t that interested in the first place, but as soon as I brought up their days learning about history, they went quiet. I suppose some struggles with learning about the past are generational.

They also talked about the different styles there were in battling like “agile style” and “strong style”, which piqued my interest. It was sad to say, but, I had to change the conversation about Ingo. I knew I could maybe talk about it later with them before we solve this time-warping-and-possibly-world-ending problem. They filled me in more about the first few weeks he was there, apparently, he got brain damage and developed amnesia. Ingo was with the Medical Corps for a while, he also had a couple of other injuries but none of them were as severe. He was in a coma for a few days, too. I couldn’t imagine how high he fell from the sky and how much it would hurt him. Then, they talked about “The Galaxy Expedition” as a whole. For a moment I thought it was an older version of Team Galactic but they did not sound as absurd, so I pushed that thought away. Lian talked about how he did in the Pearl Clan and became a Warden. It sounded more like a bizarre way of saying ‘People who protect an interesting-looking Pokemon that has powers, or Pokemon that were blessed by Arceus themself’ or something like that. Religion is really weird, and I don’t think it’ll ever make sense in my mind. But, I apologized to Melli that I thought he was in a cult anyway. It’s still totally cult-sounding though, but I was getting sick of him throwing snide remarks at me every time I breathed.

I slowly became more anxious as we traveled closer to Castelia. I looked up to the sky to see that the storm had become worse. Nimbasa had its fair share of thunderstorms but never in my life had I ever seen a tempest so aggressive and erratic. One minute, it will sprinkle, the next minute, I’m nearly blown off my feet. Lian had it the worst because of his size. To my surprise, he stood as tall as he could and kept his footing. As much as I tried to avoid the obvious resemblance, there was no way in hell that the kid wasn’t related to Clay. No matter the conditions, they’d always stand their ground… pun slightly intended. Melli was struggling to keep their hair out of their face, and eventually just stuffed it all in their hoodie and shielded their face. I was a bit awestruck to see Cilan resist since he was usually a frail guy. Two years ago, he used to be like a leaf: shaking around if he didn’t have the support of his brothers. But it looked like he finally found his roots and was able to blossom on his own, thanks to all the training he did… okay, that was my last piece of wordplay. But even though the others found their way to resist what was to come, I couldn’t help but think that I was losing my mind. It had only been just a few hours since this all started and I had no plan on what to do when we’d get to Burgh’s Gym.

I couldn’t even think about any of us being capable of fighting Giratina besides that one girl from about three years ago. Maybe that other girl two years before. It still marvels me how literal children have defeated Team Plasma. Now to think about it, many children have been defeating other war criminals in other regions. There was even a kid who defeated a whole gang and whatever that foundation was in Alola. I guess Alder was right to trust in the new generation of trainers, but at the same time, how utterly stupid do you have to be to have your ass handed to you on a silver platter by a child when you have a large group of people!? Aside from that, if a 10-year-old somehow beat the life out of the Renegade Pokemon, I might just quit everything and let them take my job. The more I thought about it in my head at the time, the more I just wanted to wipe the Pokemon off the face of the earth and maybe send it somewhere worse than the Distortion World…

Wait , I thought to myself, Pause .

My eyes widened as I thought, Isn’t the entrance somewhere on the summit of Mt. Coronet? Holy . Arceus. Above.

I nearly let out a whine in agony, How in the hell were we even going to send it back in there!?

I sighed as I continued to ponder, I’m so tired. I want to go home. I’d rather do taxes. I would even pry my eyes open to watch Steven the Steam Engine and listen to that boring narrator.

My sarcasm took over in my head, But nooooo . The world’s ending today .

My eyebrows raised and I looked at the sky in thought as I kept walking, At least Ingo has a questionable life status again. Maybe I should find a way to send myself back in time and space to see him again. We could run that system he made up together. Since people sort of liked him there, maybe they’ll like me too, My gaze lowered as I continued to think, Maybe a lot more than here. I mean, I can always come back to this time when I’m an old man and I could kick the Pokemon’s ass right there before I croak. So at least a few people here can actually appreciate me besides friends and family.

I shook the thoughts away, I knew I could never have it. I had to keep going and I hated every second of it. I only wanted to help the world not just because it’s what Ingo would have wanted, but because a lot of people would like to still live in it. Damn it , I thought, I’m wasting time thinking about him! I need to go full speed ahead! I started to walk faster, the others started to struggle to keep up with me until the winds softened slowly.

We eventually made it over to the Marvelous Bridge, before anybody could question why I was picking up the pace, we saw a man in a long, blue coat with puffy black pants. His long, messy hair was navy with an olive green under-dye. He turned to us and waved, “Oh, hello! It’s nice to see you, Warden Melli! Oh, and Warden Li-!” He looked at me with wide eyes, “Warden Ingo? What are you wearing?”

I replied, “I am Emmet. Ingo is my brother. You are in Mesounova and far into the future, it’s called ‘Unova’ now. I’ll let someone else explain the details. We are going into Castelia City, so let’s talk on the way.”

He co*cked an eyebrow, “W-wait, Warden Ingo has a-

“Yes, yes, he has a twin brother. We look alike. I am Emmet. I don’t mean to be rude but we need to keep moving.”

He looked at me with surprise as he looked at my face as I walked by, “Ah, so it’s ‘Emmet’ , huh? You seem to keep time as your number one priority. I wouldn’t expect you to be the opposite of Warden Ingo like that.” He started to walk with us, smirking.

“We used to hear that a lot. Who are you?”

“Adaman, the Diamond Clan leader. But calling me ‘Adaman’ is just fine.”

“Nice to meet you, Melli told me a little about you.”

Melli butted in, “It’s Warden-

I started to walk faster, “I don’t care, let’s stop wasting time here.” Cilan snorted at my bluntness and caught up with me.

Adaman grinned at Melli, “Sounds like he doesn’t put up with you. How does it feel to be ignored just the same as Ingo ignores you?”

“Ingo doesn’t ignore me, he’s just oblivious to my insults and responds to me as if I didn’t do anything. He’s a coward who’s afraid of my prowess.”

The Clan Leader inhaled air through his teeth, “That sounds a lot like ignoring , Melli.” He smirked as he teased them.

“You’d just have to see it for yourself, and you’ll get what I mean!”

Adaman looked ahead of him, “Whatever you say.”

Lian joined the conversation, “Even after a few hours, I still find that Ingo having a twin is a little… astonishing .”

Adaman chuckled, “I would agree, but I wouldn’t say astonishing per se, maybe more like uncanny.

The young boy continued“Now that I think more about it, I guess Ingo always felt like some sort of big brother to me. Everythin’s piecing together a lot more now, I really should’ve expected that he had a sibling.”

The Diamond Clan Leader nodded, “Oh yeah, Ingo is sort of like that to some people, huh.”

Melli looked at the two as they fixed their hair, “Some people tend to act in their old ways by habit, even if they don’t remember how it started.”

We passed the gate for Route 15, I started to walk a bit slower and sighed. The three Hisuians kept talking as Cilan caught up to me and stayed by my side, nervously looking around for any more Alpha Pokemon. It was impossible to calm his nerves once they were up, even though he was right next to me. It hurt me a little that, as his idol, he was still afraid. He whispered, “Did we make you upset when we talked about Ingo? I’m so sorry if-”

I quickly shook my head, but I just couldn’t smile, “No, no. You did nothing. Even if you guys did, it wouldn’t be your fault, Cilan. You didn’t bring him up first anyway, Melli and Lian did.”

The teenager looked at me with even more concern, “Emmet… You’re isolating yourself again.”
I raised a brow, “You say that like I’m going crazy.”

Cilan’s voice changed to a more serious tone, “Well… maybe I am .” his eyes immediately widened, “I-I didn’t mean to say that so rudely, sorry.”

I sighed and looked away, “No… You’re probably right. I’ll admit, I’m pretty out of touch. I have been for the past two years. I just…” I swallowed, “When Ingo died – I mean, disappeared – a big part of me was torn out. And the media only added salt to the wound and reopened it at every chance they got.”

Cilan looked at me, “Yes… it was painful to watch a lot of your fans turning on you as all the misinformation about the night spread. I… I wish I was there more for you. But then they tried to attack me since I’m a big fan and… a-and …”

I looked at him, he seemed close to crying, “Hey, don’t feel bad about it. You had your training to do and I am very proud of your progress. Besides, you wouldn’t have been able to do anything. The situation was completely out of control.”
“Well, you say that every time something happens to you. You can’t just keep taking in everything that everybody says and expect it to go away. I’m going to sound terrible, but…” He took a deep breath, “I think we can both agree that Ingo was the only one who shielded you for all your life. But you grew too much of a dependence on him and he’s not here anymore. You have to fight for yourself.”
I gave him a surprised look, but my voice remained calm, “You think I haven’t already tried? Cilan, I’ve been fighting all my life to prove to other people that I am worth existing. But everybody just kept coming at me until Ingo protected me. Everybody flocked away because they knew if they kept going, Ingo wouldn’t be their friend anymore,” I grew agitated, “Countless people tried to ‘correct’ me. ‘Do this instead, Emmet!’ and ‘Don’t be so mean, Emmet!’... ‘Can you speak correctly, Emmet? No, Emmet, you are wrong. You still sound like a robot. Let’s sit here until playtime is over so we can make sure you get it right! And afterward, we won't do sh*t for you when people call you an alien because we actually don’t care about people like you. We just wanted to look like a good person’.” I moved closer to him and stopped walking, “Do you even know why I’ve said, ‘I am Emmet’ for so long?”

Cilan started to look afraid and backed away. Something inside me sparked and I didn’t even notice his rising fear.

My voice seemed to remain calm, but it now had an undertone of an unfathomable amount of anger, “I did it because every time someone talked to me, they’d always assume that I was Ingo. That I was ‘the better one’ and the ‘kinder one’ and not the one who would ‘smile like a creep’ or ‘talk like a retard’ . I had every right to cut everybody off, Cilan. Yeah, sure, avoiding your problems isn’t the best way to cope, but it is when everyone is actively looking for you just so that they could tell you how much of a complete freak you are and that you murdered your brother, and that you should’ve never been born.

I was thankful at the moment that Adaman and the other Hisuians were so wound up in their conversation to not notice my voice getting harsher, yet still at a normal conversation volume, and worst of all, Cilan starting to cry quietly. My hands were shaking as I became aware of what just happened.

I did it again.

I thought I had it under control.

I was still that kid.

That stupid, annoying, and mean kid that I could have sworn vanished when I got older.

I hadn’t grown at all.

I was going crazy.

I-I’m still -

Cilan took a deep breath, which made me flinch out of my thoughts. He mumbled, “Y-you’re a m… ” My ears tried to twist his words. I couldn’t hear him for a moment.

“Monst-?”

Cilan interrupted, tears still streaming, “A mess .”

There was a long pause. Our gazes locked to each other, knowing what the other was thinking.

I whispered, “Right…”

I could’ve sworn that…

I looked at the ground, “... I am… I’m sorry.” I felt my eyes starting to burn, “I-I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to do that at all. I have no excuse a-and I’m acting like a-”

Cilan hugged me, “Emmet…” He kept looking at me as he wiped his tears, “I understand.”

“W-what? Look, I’m a terrible person. You have no idea how selfish and… and out of place I am-”

“And who told you that?”

The Hisuian people started to catch up. My heart beat faster and I quickly put my arm around Cilan’s shoulder and kept walking with him. I ignored his question, “I didn’t mean to have that outburst, It just came out of nowhere.”

“Emmet…” Cilan sighed, “You’re one of the greatest people I know. And it’s not because I’m a big fan of yours, but it’s because despite when all odds seem to always be against you, you get yourself back on your feet and keep going. Today is just one of those days. I can’t imagine the stress that you have to go through right now, and I can tell that your mind is just leaping back and forth with possibilities that will make it worse. It was my fault-”

“Don’t apologize-”

He cut me off, “ It was my fault that I brought it up and I apologize for my actions. I will be more careful next time and not assume things about you that I am not completely sure of.” Cilan sternly replied, “I don’t care how you feel about my apology, I’m making you take it anyway because not enough people in the world admit that they were responsible for something that hurt another. Especially towards you.”

I sighed, “Cilan-”

“Take it.”

I couldn’t speak. I wanted to curl up in a ball on the ground and let the weather take me. Cilan persistently looked at me with determined eyes. I looked back, “I don’t deserve you.”

Take it.

I whispered, “...Fine.”

I had a suspicion that my mind was twisting the conversation in a weird, misconceiving way. Maybe I was doing it the whole time. Everything was going at a pace where I couldn’t keep up and I couldn’t help but keep going.

After a long, awkward silence, I changed the conversation, “Since all these people came from the past, do you think I’d see Ingo here too? Or would it be some kind of alternate universe version of him and that mine is, well, actually dead?”

He turned to me, “I’d like to think so, it would be rather unfortunate if it wasn’t the case…”

“I don’t know why, but, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to know, or doesn’t even want to see him again.”

“I feel the same way, somehow. But the thing is, we’re all in this together. So if Ingo’s here or not, then that happens. It’ll hurt us anyway because we missed years without him. So if we see that he’s not here, or if we see some weird alternate universe version of him, I want you to promise me something, okay?”

“What is it?”
“I want you to promise to stop isolating yourself again, no matter how hard it hurts. I know we can both agree that everyone doesn’t want you to do it again, especially your family. Going through grief is a difficult journey, but it’s a bridge that must be crossed. You’re not alone and you shouldn’t make it that way. You still have Drayden, Iris, Elesa, and other people who will cross it with you. As a brother of two other triplets, I understand how close you were to him. So, I may be able to help, but only if you want me to. So if you ever need to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to drop by my restaurant. We can reserve a private table just for you.”

I looked at Cilan, and he looked back at me with a smile. I blinked and looked back ahead of me, “You don’t need to do this for me.”

“I know, but I want to. It’ll be good for you. Besides, it’s not like I can force you into therapy with a professional because you know how difficult it is to find a good one.”

“And what if I don’t take up on your offer?”

Cilan sighed, “Then… you don’t. I won’t force you.”

“A group of teenagers doesn’t need to talk to me about my struggles.”

“Then we’ll just listen. You don’t even need to speak at all if you want. We could just cook together and have fun. Maybe we could battle every week and we could use Pokemon we haven’t tried before. And then we could eventually invite others over like Iris and Elesa, maybe more.”

“I guess I could when it’s not Pokemon League season… or if the world didn’t end.”

You promise?

I thought about it for a moment. We were now at the end of the route, and the gate to Nimbasa was in front of us. I sighed, “I promise.”

Cilan proceeded to pull out a macaron, “You want one?”

My eyes widened, “Where the hell did you pull that out of?!”

“Hammerspace.”

“Ham- what?

“I’m kidding. My bag. I brought some so if anybody wanted anything to eat when we get to Castelia.”

I looked down to see Cilan’s bag, I didn’t even notice that he brought one. Several pins on it consisted of a Pansage, a Simisage, and several Grass-type Pokemon that were not native in Unova.

Cilan smiled, “I just say ‘Hammerspace’ because despite being a small bag, it can fit a lot. It’s just bigger on the inside.”

I put out my hand and he gave me the macaron, “Interesting.” I smiled a little at the macaron and ate it, “I thought you guys weren’t making Pecha-flavored ones until next season.”

“We test seasonal flavors before they come back on the shelves a few months prior so we have time to adjust them if needed. We added more sugar since it was a popular complaint from last year. Because, of course, the customer is always right.” He grinned, “I even added a marshmallow filling to make it more like a Pecha pie! I wanted to save it as a surprise when they come out since they’re both of your favorite flavors, but I thought that now would be a better time.”

“Mmmh,” I hummed, “Wow, that was great! I’m about to be in debt again… I suppose I could start saving money starting today.”

“Hehe!” The teen laughed, “I can give you our failed attempts for free when we’re selling. It’s better than throwing them away or draining your pockets. And until then-

I finished his sentence, “Don’t tell anyone, or else someone will steal the pie idea. Got it.”

We walked past the gate and arrived in Nimbasa City. It was desolate, I suspected everyone was underground in the tornado shelters just like in the other cities. There was no siren and somehow it made it all the more unreal. I looked back to speak with the group, “Alright everyone, the next Route is just around the corner. If you want to take a look at Gear Station, you can, but we need to hurry and-” As I kept walking and talking, I looked at my old workplace. Drayden, Iris, and some other people I didn’t recognize were standing by them. I hid behind the fence and peeked at them more. My eyes locked onto a tall man in a large dark purple hat and clothing who faced the building.

-

I kept walking with the group through the Driftveil Bridge and Route 5. Things started to feel a lot more familiar as we walked by.

Clay filled the silence, “I know you want to keep movin’, but can we at least walk and talk?”

I nodded and shrugged.

“Alright… So you don’t remember anything?”

“Only very few details. But most of it was just told to me. Drayden and Iris are withholding a lot of it back, though. All this new – I mean, old information – is overwhelming.”

“Well, sorry to hear that. Do you know how you ended up in Hisui?”
“Not a clue, but maybe after all of this, I could go back to where I last was and see if I recall anything. Do you know where it is?”

“Route 20.” He pulled out a device on his wrist, “It’s at the bottom left. See that yellow line right there between the blue dots? In the middle of the green squares? That’s it right there.”

The familiar technology took me by surprise once again, “Wow… huh. Interesting. Any more information?”

“You’d have to ask your brother. He’s… You do know his name, right?”

I looked down in self-pity, “No.”

“Don’ worry, It’ll come to ya.” He patted my back.

“What if I end up not getting all my memories back?”

“Hah! Nobody remembers everything . I surely don’t.” He whispered in my ear, “Drayden definitely doesn’t…”

My uncle looked at us, “I heard that.”

Clay kept whispering, “Don’t listen to him.”

“I heard that, too, you know.”

He said out loud, “Okay, we get it, old friend!” Clay then shook his head at me. I couldn’t help but chuckle softly.

“We’re here at Nimbasa’s gate.” the older man turned around to face us, “We need to stay more vigilant as we get closer to Castelia. We don’t know how much the danger of this journey will be for us as we move on from here on out.” We all nodded in agreement. We were nearing the end of the world, and all we wanted was to see the sapphire blue skies and the golden sun shining over us for another day. As we stepped into the gate, I could start feeling my heart beat out of my chest. I tried to swallow this rising fear inside of me but it only grew stronger. Drayden saw my unreadiness and reassured me, “As long as we stick together, we’ll be fine.” I nodded in response, it was weird that someone who I supposedly knew all my life knew all of my tells when it came to everything. It was almost creepy and awkward. Aside from that, We finally took our first steps into the city. I wish my first look wasn’t when the sky was a dark crimson color. Somewhere in my memory, I saw this place as bright and shining, unlike this barren city that’s comparable to a rotting carcass. There were some large buildings but one caught my eye in particular. It had a high metal fence around it, which I didn’t recall being there before I was forced to leave here. There was another set of bars that I did remember, but instead of being orange or black in my faint memory, they were light blue and white. There was an exit right across from where we entered and another exit down past the familiar building that went into the following route.

I couldn’t help but question, “What’s the large building with the fences? It looks very familiar to me.”

Iris grinned, “That’s Gear Station! You used to work there before you disappeared.”

A sudden rush of memories overcame me, “A-ah… I see. I battled there a lot, didn’t I? I even vaguely recall battling a young trainer in front of its doors before.”

Drayden looked back in surprise, “Yes, you did! Many people find you and your brother’s battles very difficult to defeat.”

Zisu chimed, “Heh, that sounds a lot like Ingo alright! Every time we battle, I have to use my full power!” She turned to me, “You don’t take it easy with every battle, don’t you?”

I blinked, “I’ve had quite a lot of experience. I find it hard to hold back. It’s just so fun .”

Zisu turned to Irida to translate information as we walked to the station. I heard a rustling noise nearby but ignored it.

I asked Drayden, “Why is there that metal fence if it already has a fence?”

The older man sighed, “Because someone else owns it now. She bought its private stock, took control, and booted your brother and all the employees out. Nobody knows what she’s doing in there, but there would be trucks picking cargo up or dropping them off every so often. It’s no longer a battle facility like it originally was, nor used for public transport except for people going from and to Anville town. They changed the inside of the subway and some tracks so that anybody using the train doesn’t see what they’re doing.”

“This is suspicious behavior… I hope we can get the subway back."

-

Lian questioned, “...And what?” his words made me snap out of my thoughts.

I looked at him and whispered, “Uh… Sorry, I forgot. Lian, do you know those people?”

Lian peeked around the fence, “Oh yeah! It’s Captain Zisu, Akari, the Pearl Clan leader, Irida!” He smiled and was about to walk over, I quickly grabbed and pulled him behind the fence.

“Sh! Whose the guy in the dark clothing?”

Lian looked at me with pure confusion and then had a face of realization and whispered back “Oh, that’s right, you don’ know… That’s Ingo.”

I looked at him with pure shock with my lips a bit pursed, “Hm? What? Like, the guy in the interesting-looking shoes, the big hat, the-”

“Yes, that’s him. He doesn’ wear that other weird clothin’ anymore. You know, that black coat and hat, remember?”

“That clothing wasn’t weird , it’s iconic and has a lot of meaning behind it. Nimbasa’s known for its unique clothing. However, I’ll let that insult slide this one time simply because fashion has differentiated over time.”

An energetic voice of an offended woman suddenly came from behind me, “Yeah, Emmet’s right! I helped make those, you know!”

I jumped at the sudden sound and looked behind me to see my best friend, Elesa. She was going through the new collection this season and wore this thunder-themed clothing with bright yellow and cyan lightning bolts with a cloudy, puffy collar. Even her new headphones resembled the theme as well, as they usually do. I blinked, surprised, and whispered, “O-oh! I didn’t know you were going to be here. Shouldn’t you be at Castelia right now?”

She grinned at me and chuckled at my response, “Hehe! Yeah, but since I’m so close I was just going to wait a bit longer until all the other Gym Leaders made it, just so I can make sure that everyone will be present.” She looked behind me, “Oh, hi Cilan. Wait, who are all these other people? And why are we whispering?”

I quickly dragged her behind the fence and whispered more, “Sh! Historical figures. They showed up along with the old Pokemon.” My hand gestured towards my friend and the Hisuians, “Elesa meet Melli, Lian, and Adaman. Melli, Lian, and Adaman, meet Elesa. She’s a friend of mine. Now everybody: shush.

It was almost like my heart got stabbed. I may have some memories of there, but hearing what he said tore me apart completely, “Well, is my brother okay, at least?”

Iris snorted, “He’s… doing terrible. He works for me now, but we don’t talk as much as we used to..”

Drayden added, “The two of you don’t have parents, you never really did, so all you ever had was each other. I may have been there for you two but it wasn’t the same. And after you disappeared he became standoffish. He’s always been a very nervous person, he had a script for himself of what to say. But when you left, he isolated himself and never spoke much unless it was important. There wasn’t anyone to keep his bluntness and brutal honesty in check. Nobody could touch him with a ten-foot pole.”

I guess that’s why he was agitated earlier when he tried to contact him…

Iris added, “Yeah, he wouldn’t talk to me that much even though we’re coworkers now.”

Suddenly, there was another rustling sound, I couldn’t make out the voices or what was being said. The older man sighed, “I could recognize that prattle from anywhere … You all stay here, I’ll get them.”

Iris raised a brow as she stood on her toes to get a better look, “Is that…?”

“Who else would it be?” Drayden started to walk towards the fence.

She whispered back, “Wha-? Why are we behind the fence?”

“Snooping. An ancient Zoroark turned into my brother and I almost died, apparently my ‘real brother’ is over there, but he could either be, like, an alternate version or an evil alternate version or another Zoroark.”

She yelled, “ INGO’S ALI-?!

I quickly shoved my hand on her mouth, “Shhh! We are snooping.

She looked up past me, “Too late.”

I felt a familiar shiver down my spine as I gazed behind me yet again to see Uncle Drayden towering over me. I smiled nervously, wide-eyed, “ Hi.

He raised his eyebrows, “What are you knuckleheads doing back over here?”

Elesa snickered and mocked me, “Snooping.”

I looked back at her with a death glare before looking back at my Uncle with my customer service persona, “She is incorrect. We were making sure that all paths were clear and…”

Drayden said nothing to me and just stared, devoid of emotion. A well-timed lightning strike hit close by.

I shuddered, squeaking, “Please don’t drag me…”

I heard brief yelling, aggressive whispering, shushing, and all of the above as Drayden walked to the fence. When he bent over the fence, I could just make out a shuffling noise and a small yelp.

A voice of a young man begged, “Hey, hey! I told you not to do it! Stop! ” When my Uncle stepped away, he seemed to be dragging him a little by the collar like an Arcanine scruffing its pup. He struggled to get out of Drayden’s grasp and eventually made it out, “You could have asked nicely , you know!” Drayden rolled his eyes. A group of people walked out from the fence, and my eyes widened. Warden Melli was snickering at the situation and Warden Lian was going through second-hand embarrassment, and then Adaman came out with a face filled with complete skepticism. Then, there was a teenager with bright green hair and a very fashionable woman who both looked like they could faint at any moment.

Irida was in shock and dashed over to Warden Lian, asking what happened to them, and he started to fill her in. Zisu greeted Adaman and Warden Melli. The teen and woman were familiar to me. When I inspected the young man, I vaguely remembered a nice place with good food. I could even detect a strong, sweet, aromatic smell coming from him. And when I looked at the woman, I felt a closeness to her, Like we were good friends. I recalled flashing lights and sparks of electricity. I realized that I had recalled her when I had that conversation with Lian before we made it here in Unova.

Then, there was the young man that wore black and white. He faced me, finally, and I couldn’t help but stare. He looked exactly like me to a T. Silence suddenly filled the atmosphere except for the raging thunder and harsh rain.

I opened my mouth, but before I could speak, he said, “I don’t believe that you are my brother.”

My mouth was still agape and I looked at him in shock, he didn’t even look at me anymore.

Drayden grumbled, “What?! How could you say that?! Yes, he’s Ingo!”

He ignored every word, “Earlier today when I made it to White Forest, a Hisuian Zoroark posed as my brother in his uniform. His clothing was torn and I had never seen a person look so tired and weak .” His voice shook for a moment, but kept his composure, "The damned Pokémon even held its arms out for a fake embrace, waiting for me to step closer so that it could kill me .”

I swallowed harshly, and the group I was in looked at him, speechless. We couldn’t help but stare.

He kept going, “I almost died. And so did Shauntaul. She’s in the hospital right now, or that’s what I would like to think because I have no idea if she’s safe since there’s a gash on her shoulder, just beside her neck. ” He looked at me with a daunting stare, “If you really think that you are my dead brother: tell me your name, former occupation, and what you think about battling.” I choked on my words. I could barely make a sound. He demanded, “ Now would be a great time to do it. You see that up in the sky?” He pointed to the dark cloud over Castelia City, “We are running out of time, and If you think for one second that I will take my sweet time with you, then you are dead wrong. Now give me answers .”

I trembled a little at his aggressiveness, “I-I am Ingo. I worked at Gear Station and…” I tried searching for words but couldn’t find them, “A-and… I’m passionate about battling. It’s what I am best at, and I find great joy in doing it.”

“What’s my name?”

“You… You are…” My mind was drawing even more blanks. All I knew was that he was the man in white that I recalled in my memories.

“You remember your former occupation, your love of battling, yet you don’t even know my name?”

Drayden scolded him, “He has amnesia, he can’t just remember everything so quickly!”

He didn’t even look back, “ He had two years . You obviously told him everything about himself.” There was another pause, I had so many things to ask or say to defend myself but it was all stuck in my throat.

Drayden, “He drew out an Alakazam from one of his Pokeballs! What Zoroark can do that!?”

Warden Melli frowned, “Unfortunately, there had been a few cases where Zoroarks was smart enough to do that…”

My Uncle gritted his teeth.

Akari was pissed, “That’s enough! I was with Ingo this whole time! Before we even arrived here in Unova! Please, trust him!”

The man in black-and-white looked over to my daughter, “If he is no Zoroark…” He was deep in thought and questioned me again, “How did you end up in Hisui if you are my brother?”

I tried to answer quicker, “I fell out of the sky. I gained several injuries, including blunt force trauma on my head, which caused my amnesia.”

“Do you remember anything beforehand?”

“I recall nothing.” My heart panged with distress, but it wasn’t because I couldn’t answer. For some reason, I just couldn’t figure it out.

“This… makes no sense .” Emmet grimaced, but it surprisingly wasn’t directed at me. He looked at the ground angrily, “How could you have ever even made it there? You must be from some other universe,” I saw a flash of sorrow on his face before he covered it by tilting his hat down. “Of course you are.”

A sneering voice spoke suddenly, “Push your emergency brakes, my little failed conductor.” We both looked over to see a woman with a large hat in the doorway of Gear Station.

My brother grimaced, “ Hali. ” He turned to her as she walked down the stairs, “How stupid do you have to be to forget that you have to pull on the brakes? You run the subway. Yet, you don’t even know how to make a simple emergency stop. Such a waste of a pun.”

My eyes widened with surprise. I thought to myself, She took it over?

She teased him, ignoring my brother’s comment, “Ah, my apologies. What was your name again?” She then mocked me, pointing at my brother, “You… You are… AHAHAHAhahahaaaa!!! Imagine that! The Subway Boss Ingo can’t even remember his twin brother! You’ve known him since birth, fool!” A veil on her hat prevented any eyes from seeing her face, but you could still see a faint silhouette of her with sunglasses underneath. (Whoever needs such excessive coverage? She was covered head to toe with clothing during summer for Arceus’ sake!) Her dress resembled a trench coat, which shared the same dark teal color as her hat. Towards the end, her voice became more conniving, “This is quite a fun turn of events! Too bad this family reunion will reach its final destination called End.”

My brother gritted his teeth and muttered, “This is a terrible time for a schedule change...” I couldn’t believe that this woman had taken over Gear Station. I turned to her, readying myself with a pose I used to do before I battled. At the same time, the man I knew did a mirrored version. My brother looked at me with shock before refocusing on the woman with the large hat.

She raised a brow, “Aw, two against one? That’s a bit unfair now, isn’t it? I suppose I’ll just even it out. ” She took out a device and spoke into it before throwing it to the side, and suddenly, a large group of people wearing gray uniforms with masks on their faces appeared out of nowhere. They surrounded us, holding Pokeballs and ready for battle.

Iris’ voice filled with shock, “ Team Plasma!?

Notes:

I have been working on the last few chapters for most of this year, so I haven’t written ahead. So, the next post might take longer.

Disclaimer: because Pokémon Showdown doesn’t have a PLA option, battling might be written a bit weird so I’ll make it more synonymous to the anime or something for the sake of better entertainment rather than gaming accuracy. If anybody has suggestions on where I can properly simulate battles, that would be awesome.

Chapter 8: Brothers

Summary:

Ingo and Emmet go against Hali in a not-so-legal Multi battle. However, something wrong was going on and Emmet tries to find out what it was and why. On the other hand, some of Ingo’s memories get jogged as they battled.

Notes:

EARLY POST!!!

Please excuse some mistakes, I am in college now and so I don’t really have much time to properly edit or write correctly. I know I maybe should have waited, but I left you guys on the nastiest cliffhanger and I couldn’t leave it alone forever.

Also, it is so damn hard to write Pokémon battling. Especially when you’re trying to keep track of FOUR POKÉMON at the same time and showdown doesn’t include PLA mechanics cause PLA didn’t have a local/online battle thing in the game (which, lore wise, makes sense. But come on! Couldn’t they have done it in the dream sequence thing post game or something but could’ve done it earlier? I don’t know!)

Also, I’m getting to the point where the tags are reaching their limit, so I’ll put some disclaimers here that are notable.

TW: Ambiguous suicidal attempt mention.

Song: Brothers by SIAMES

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Sinister faces surround us, but my eyes remain locked onto Hali’s. Of course, Team Plasma had to show up at a time like this. My thoughts ran wild of what they must have been doing in my subway with my trains. I was about to explode with anger, but I had to pin the feelings down so that I would make a decent impression on this man I couldn’t call my brother and the Hisuians. Hali had a knack for infuriating me by pushing the right buttons but I didn’t give her the satisfaction. I just couldn’t.

I heard Ingo’s voice beside me, “What’s the plan?”

I snapped out of my thoughts, “We do a Multi battle, just like we used to.”

“Multi battle?” He paused, “Ah, right, yes. That.”

“You don’t remember that either?” I groaned, “Ugh! Just let me handle her then if you-”

“No, wait!” Ingo’s voice was urgent, I didn’t break eye contact with Hali, who snickered to herself. The tall man’s voice softened, “Let’s do this together. I want to — no, I need to do this with you.”

I sighed, “Fine, but don’t slip up. We have to win to get out of here as soon as possible.”

Melli questioned, “This was the ‘Team Plasma’ you mentioned earlier?”

Adaman looked around, “Please tell us what we should do.”

I looked back at them, “I suggest you all pair up with someone from here and have a Multi battle. There will be two Hisuians left over, so you two should pair up.” The two nodded in response and everyone went into a pair. Akari partnered with Drayden, Zisu with Iris, Elesa with Lian, Cilan with Irida, and finally, Melli with Adaman as I asked them.

Hali chuckled, “You think you all have a chance of winning against us? You may be part of the Elite Four, but don’t think for one second that I can’t take that away from you too!”

I retorted, “Ingo and I trust our friends and family to stop you in your tracks!”
The woman circled her thumb around the button on her Pokeball, “You still stick with those puns? If anything, they just make you look more tragic, haha!”

“Old habits die hard.”

“If they do, then I suppose this Multi Battle will be quite fun,” Her voice became deeper and raspier, “I’ll make sure you’re decommissioned permanently!

“Let’s go, Excadrill!” I threw out my Pokeball, and the Subterrane Pokemon burst out of the glowing light. Hali’s first two Pokemon ended up being a Huntail on her right and Mienshao on the other side. Something was off with the Pokémon, they both had earpieces. I looked around a bit more to see that the other Team Plasma Grunts had the same on them. I deduced that it would be used to whisper orders to their Pokémon, but even then so, something didn’t feel right. I looked over to see the man next to me setting out his Alakazam, What a weird choice. Bronzong has a wider move pool and more well-rounded stats, why would he choose something less than that? Or did Alakazam have different moves back then?

“Alakazam! Calm mind!” He commanded.

Hali went next, “Mienshao, High Jump Kick on Excadrill!”

I was already at a massive disadvantage, but Mienshao miraculously missed despite having a 90% accuracy with the move. I raised a brow, confused, Wait, there are no items on her Pokémon! I had to move next, “Excadrill, use Aerial Ace on Mienshao!” The effects of Excadrill’s life orb took some of his health, but in return, made his attack much more effective against Hali’s Mienshao. I became even more confused when she smirked at her Pokémon fainting without even making a hit. Next Pokémon…

Hali withdrew her Mienshao and replaced it with a Garbador. Ah, well, a staple Team Plasma Pokemon. Of course she would have one, I thought, This battle might be a breeze. But then, I noticed the flame orb on the Trash Heap Pokemon. My mind searched for an answer to why it would have something like that. Hali commanded, “Huntail! Coil!” Ingo and I witnessed the Water-type Pokemon raise its attack, defense, and accuracy. My thoughts still focused on how easy the Mienshao was to defeat, It must have been a distraction in some way. Was she counting on the Pokémon to miss? What in the world did she have planned?

The flame orb kicked in for Garbador, burning it. My eyes widened and I spoke to the Warden next to me quietly, “Garbador has Facade, be careful.”

The man next to me nodded, “I had a feeling she had a trick up her sleeve as well… we move faster than her Pokémon, so we have a chance to knock it down.” He then commanded his Pokemon, “Alakazam! Use Psychic on Garbador!”

With the boost from the Pokemon using Calm Mind earlier, Ingo’s Alakazam was able to knock it out with one hit! It occurred to me that his Pokémon might have been a little stronger than mine or Hali’s, but I wasn’t too sure. Another peculiar thing I noticed was that his Pokemon didn’t hold an item.

Hali looked at Ingo with frustration and withdrew the Garbador. She grimaced and cast out her next Pokémon, “Beeheeyem!”

I thought to myself again, Ah, quite the underrated picks. At least she has some taste.

Once again, it was my turn, “Excadrill, Use Earthquake!” The ground rumbled under every Pokemon except mine. Surprise went across my possibly-a-fraud-brother’s face but shook it away.

I found myself smiling and spoke to Ingo, “No hard feelings?”

“Not at all.”

I thought, Yeah, how does it feel when you get hit by an Earthquake?! If that didn’t jog at least some memories…

Excadrill’s Life orb took away more of his health, then I remembered Beheeyem’s hidden ability, Analytic, which boosts the power of its moves if it goes last. If Ingo’s Alakazam had Trick Room, then the ability wouldn’t work. However, that means that Hali’s two Pokemon could move first and put us at an even worse disadvantage. Interesting tactic… but not a very smart one since not all people have Pokémon that know that move. Not to mention how stupidly risky it is. If this man next to me is smart, his Alakazam would have Shadow Ball and use it. But since he moved already, he would have to wait until the next round.

Hali waved her hand, “Huntail! Hydro Pump on Excadrill!

My eyes widened in surprise, Wait, the Coil! Hydro Pump’s accuracy is now-!

My Excadrill was completely wiped out by the Water-type move, but at least she has fewer Pokemon than we do. I made a mental note to perhaps think less and sent out my Escavlier. There weren’t many times I have used him in battle because of the total lack of a move pool and how slow it was. But now that I’m facing the Analytic ability, he was perfect to piss the woman off. And if there’s a fire-type Pokémon on her team, then Escavalier can eat the Occa berry he’s carrying… if he can.

Hali commanded, “Recover!”

I thought, Ah. Damn it. She saw it coming. I swear on Arceus if that Alakazam doesn’t have Shadow Ball-

Ingo, “Alakazam! Shadow Ball on Beheeyem!”

I find myself grinning like an idiot as the dark sphere forms and makes Hali’s Beheeyem eat absolute sh*t-

My reasoning interrupted my pride, Pay attention, this isn’t over yet!

The Beheeyem fainted and Hali didn’t grumble this time, she said nothing. Her hands started to shake as she withdrew her fainted Pokemon.

Hali said flatly, “Lilligant.”

The colorful Grass-type Pokémon emerged from the light coming from the Pokéball.

Oh my lord. I do love these species of Pokémon but holy sh*t. There are so many other better moves that they could learn. Wait… their moves… they’re the most recent to when they leveled up! AHAHA! This woman has no idea how to battle! No wonder this is so easy! I nearly burst out laughing once I realized the truth behind her Pokemon team. There are a plethora of moves to choose from, TMs, HMs, Move Tutors, and such. I exclaimed in my mind, Is this woman a Fossil Pokémon or something?!

The woman sighed and commanded the next move, flatly, “Huntail. Crunch on Alakazam.”

The move finished the Alakazam off, thanks to the Earthquake I commanded earlier. The Amnesiac glanced at me with a dissatisfied look before taking his first Pokémon off the field.

Ingo called out, “Let’s go, Tangrowth!”

I thought to myself again, Oh? Interesting. Risky to throw that out since Huntail is still faster. But even so, it’s obviously not going to have an Ice-type move on it since Hali’s an idiot when it comes to Pokémon battling, apparently. I guess he’s caught on to that as well. Unless her last Pokémon is a Fire-type, the rest of this battle should be a breeze.

I could have done this fight in a Single battle if I wanted to and let the man next to me worry about the world falling apart. I looked around briefly to check on teh other Multi battles happening. They seemed to work together well, so I turned my focus back on my own battle.

I commanded my Pokemon, “Escavlier! Swords dance!” I didn’t have any super-effective moves, but I did have a powerful one up my sleeve.

Hali commanded monotonically again, “Lilligant. Teeter dance.” Tangrowth and Escavlier were mesmerized and now confused.

My eye twitched as I cursed to myself and thought, Forgot about that move! Ugh! If I am correct, Lilligant should also have Quiver Dance, Petal Dance, and Heal Bell. Not like Heal Bell will do anything anyway. And Huntail should have Aqua Tail. And since it has the effects of Coil, it has an attack boost.

Hali commanded once more, “Huntail. Use Hydro Pump on Escavalier.”

The beam of water hit my Pokémon, and with the combined confusion, he was bewildered.

I called out, “You’re alright, Escavalier!”

Ingo then commanded his Pokémon, “Tangrowth use Sludge Bomb on Lilligant, Agile style!” I nearly forgot about Melli and Lian’s explanation about moves like those. I saw the cyan aura build up and, my eyes widened as I witnessed the fastest Tangrowth I had ever seen destroying the Lilligant with the super-effective move. By the way, the average weight of this massive heap of vines is 283.5 lbs. 126.6 kg if you want to be that annoying Galarian. Tangrowth was still confused and wobbly spun in a circle. Hali’s hand started to shake even more as she withdrew her fainted Lilligant.

Hali said quietly, “Furfrou.” The Poodle Pokemon glowed as it exited the Pokéball in a form with cyan tips on the ears and brown lines. Its tail was puffy with the same blue and it fashioned an afro with puffs of the light blue sticking out – It was the La Reine haircut.

I raised a brow, Wait, what? Furfrou isn’t available to catch in Unova. Someone must have traded it to her or perhaps she stole it from some tourist. And it’s a weird choice to have for your Ace Pokemon.

I commanded my Escavelier, bored with Huntail now, “Escavelier! Iron head on Huntail!” And so, my Pokemon rammed its helmet onto the Huntail. And while doing so, it miraculously shook off the confusion from earlier. My eyes widened with shock, That’s a 30 percent chance… Did her Pokemon make it weak on purpose? Is this why the battle is so easy? Does she want me to lose or not!? Or did the move change in general? Oh, it might have… It did a decent amount of damage but if there was one more move against it, then it’ll be just the Furfrou and us.

Halo commanded, “Furfrou. Cotton Guard.” The Poodle Pokémon raised a wall of cotton and gained its effect. It may have raised its defenses on both Pokémon by three stages, but I had something waiting for Furfrou that might bring it down. I got over my hubris for a moment to realize that Hali must have been afraid of something more than her loss. She must have heard something over the earpiece. I thought, Wait, N is not part of Team Plasma, he’d never go back. And Ghetsis has… Arceus knows what happened to him, and that scientist, too. If Hali was the leader, she wouldn’t be this afraid of losing against me, would she? And her Pokemon would be much more well-coordinated too! Is this a new leader that we’re going against? Or am I missing something… It’s just not adding up! If I wanted information from her, I got to get that earpiece out because It’s obviously throwing her off! Distractions ruin battles anyway.

Hali’s voice became shaky, “H-Huntail, Hydro Pump on Escavalier.”

The Deep Sea Pokemon hit my Pokemon with the beam of water, but with our bond together, Escavalier toughened it out.

I called out, and unexpectedly, the man next to me did as well, “Good job!” The Calvalry Pokemon grunted but made a loud battle cry, taunting the other Pokemon that he was still ready to battle.

-

I went next, “Tangrowth, Sleep powder on Furfrou!” My brother’s eyes widened after the command, the particles settled on the Poodle Pokemon and it fell asleep.

The man muttered to me, “Quite the move there. Getting the Pokemon to sleep so that we can have an easy win? You do know that’s a bit controversial, right? ”

I replied, “I know I could have knocked out the Huntail, but since you move last, you can do it yourself and then we can take care of her last Pokemon. If I let the Furfrou stay awake, it would have knocked your Escavalier out after your turn. Of course, you would have four more Pokemon left, but because of our time crunch, I thought that this would be more appropriate.”

He squinted at me, “You… made an opening?” It’s like time slowed down as I looked at him, “For me?

Something clicked.

The more I battled alongside this man and heard his monotone voice and his battle style, the more memories filled my mind. My head ached, overwhelmed, and I couldn’t focus.

What I do. What I say. Always the same…”

“The strength you have, your trust in your Pokémon, their never-ending support! Yep! It was the most fun battle ever! Please come back soon!"

“Let me cover your shift for the next few hours, you look tired.”

“I can’t help it, okay?! I have to be sorry! Everybody likes you, Ingo!”

“I am…”

“Ingo, you’ve got to remove Earthquake from Haxorus at some point, it keeps knocking out Eelektross! You do remember that it has Mold Breaker, right? And don’t tell me to replace Eelektross’ Magnet with an Air Balloon!”

"Hi, do you remember me?...”

“Ingo, please stop hanging out with those people. They make fun of me! I know you like them, but…”

“I am…”

“I didn’t want you to follow me here. J-just let me go. Please don’t make this harder than it needs to be. You’re better off without me. Everybody is!”

“I can’t believe we started this business. Look at these numbers! People love this! Maybe one day, we’ll even be iconic!”

“I am…”

-

I moved next, “Escavalier, use Iron head again on Huntail!”

The way the man next to me fought beside me, can he be Ingo? I still couldn’t wrap my head around it. The Huntail fainted from the move, and Hali was shaking even more now as she withdrew it. It was her turn again. I heard a high-pitched noise coming from the earpiece the Furfrou wore, and it woke up, barking loudly and afraid. It shook its head, the noise kept going and it whimpered with pain.

Hali had a fearful tone in her voice, “F-Furfrou!”

The earpiece flew off.

The styled Poodle Pokemon suddenly jumped at Hali, making her fall to the ground. Ingo was too deep in thought to notice. I watched the scene with surprise, I thought that her own Pokemon was going to hurt her. However, Furfrou must have had the same thoughts as me because the Pokemon chewed up Hali’s earpiece. She stayed on the ground, shaking and breathing heavily. Her ace Pokemon laid at her side, nudging and pawing her.

Hali was out of it, “Furfrou…”

By this time, the other Team Plasma grunts were defeated, and one stayed behind, “Hali, Let’s go. Remember your punishment if you-”

The Furfrou lunged at the grunt, not just tearing the earpiece, but barking in his face. Everyone gasped. The Pokemon was enraged as the man screamed, crying for help. We were all too stunned to do anything. The grunt eventually passed out, most likely from fear. I looked at the man who I paired with for the battle, his expression was blank, disassociating. I left him alone to walk over to Hali.

“You weren’t working for Team Plasma, weren’t you? What’s going on?”

Her hat was laid on top of her face and she whispered, “I… I can’t say anything here. Th-They’re watching me…” I looked over to the Furfrou, panting and wagging its tail as it nudged Hali. She commanded, “That’s all.” Furfrou stopped, “G-Good girl.”

I was filled with shock, “Wait… She’s a Service Pokemon? Team Plasma Made you battle with your Service Pokemon?!

She swallowed, “Yes… I-I had no choice.” She didn’t move besides the tremors happening with her hands.

“Wait, what do you need?”

“Don’t help me… I don’t need it.” She sniffed, she was crying, “B-but my friends… Th-They’re being held, hostage. I-I didn’t want to take your subway, I had t-to do it. They g-gave me enough m-money. They said I-If I did it, then th-they would let them go. B-but they didn’t because… because we had something they didn’t.”

“What do you mea-?”

“Not now. J-just… Whatever you do…”

-

“Ingo… I can’t express enough how much you mean to me. Even though you’re so much better than me in all the ways I should be, even though those people like you more, I’ve never hated you for it. Yeah, sure, I’m still a little jealous of all the attention you get, but despite all the fame you’ve gained for being so smart, talented, and social, you still stick by me. At every chance you get, you talk about me, even though I’m the opposite of you.”

“I am...”

“Okay, but being knowledgeable about Pokemon battling doesn’t count! There are more stable jobs than being a trainer or Subway Boss! We only got popular because nobody’s ever heard of battling while on transportation before. And doing it in a subway was your idea anyway. Even if there wasn’t battling involved, it would’ve been popular anyway because train rides are more affordable since people like to drive cars or fly planes now. It didn’t need any battling as I suggested.”

“I am…”

“Come on, Ingo, don’t say that. You would have still been happy without me. You’ve got all your friends and-”

“I am...”

“Are you sure? Do you really mean it, or do you just want to make me happy? Arceus, stop being so perfect-”

“I am…”

“I… I love you, too. I’m sorry, I’ll try not to talk like that again.”

“I am…”

“I am…”

“I am…”

The man in white asked, “Do you hear that?”

It was a dark, moonless night in Virbank City. We walked together on Route 20.

The man I was replied, “Yes, it sounds like a Pokemon in pain.”

The cry echoed.

My brother suggested, “We should split up and find it.”

I went by the waterfall. The cry became louder. I was getting close.

My heart started to speed up.

I climbed up to see a cave. I swam across to get to the entrance.

I heard people. I couldn’t see them. I walked closer to investigate.

I felt-

THUD!

I saw a bright light.

WOOSH!

M-my head…

CRACK!

I was being dragged by the Pearl Clan. They saved me.

A man with a hat made of yarn spoke to me, “Hello sir, you can call me Professor Laventon. You fell from the sky, so do not fret about the pain you’re feeling right now. And please don’t worry, we are taking care of your wounds as best as we can. Can you describe the incident for us?”

My hands were shaking, “I-I don’t know.”

“Do you remember your name?”

My mouth moved on its own, “Ingo.”

“Do you remember anything at all?”

I have a twin brother.

“No, I don’t.”

He and I were a two-car train. We rode the subway together, battled together, we did everything. I made sure of it. I never wanted to leave him behind.

“Are you sure?”

Every day when I looked in the mirror, I was reminded of him. I did everything in my power to try and remember as much as I could, but it was no use. How could you ever learn about the future if you are stuck in the past?

“Yes.”

I drank a few times over it. I thought that if I was drunk, maybe something would slip out, but then it became unhealthy and I quit. The events of that night haunted me, I couldn’t remember how it happened but I felt it in my brain. I felt my head getting bashed in. I still sometimes feel the blood drip down my forehead.

“That is most unfortunate. You must have amnesia. I am very sorry, Ingo.”

We always stuck together and he was ripped apart from my life for a reason that I don’t know.

One day, I went up to Irida, “I am forever in your Clan’s debt. Please allow me to join so that I can help you back.”

I waited so long for a chance to go back home. I gave up after a while. I burned my uniform to seal my fate. Yet, I still walked through Wayward Cave with a torch in my left hand, sometimes gazing at the shadow that appeared on my right. I knew I was missing something. Someone.

It was my brother.

“I am…”

I had a twin brother.

“I am…”

I have a twin brother.

“I am…”

It’s you.

“I am…”

-

I stared at him, tears starting to fall, “Emmet?

His head whipped back to look at me, “I am Emmet.

We were a two-car train again.

I realized that Hali was on the ground, she whispered, “Emmet…” His attention was grabbed again, all of our eyes were on her…

“Whatever you do… You must let the world end today.

Notes:

It just occurred to me that this fic is almost ending soon. I’d say about 4 chapters left, maybe more, I’m not too sure.

Oh yeah and I quit my job. 8 USD an hour plus $2 tipping fast food job I WILL NOT MISS YOU! But I’ll miss the messed up food that I could bring home (legally /srs).

Chapter 9: Liquid Skies

Summary:

Hali have a vague warning the twins of what Team Plasma has in store. Now that Hali was defeated, the groups merge together and push on. Emmet took the chance to try to reconnect with Ingo, and try to solve the mystery of what happened two years ago.

Notes:

The song reference is:

Liquid Skies - Hibiscus Biscuit

There aren’t any lyrics online, and I couldn’t understand half the words they were saying. But I know it’s about the end of the world or something like that and I like the guitar parts.

Enjoy!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Everyone looked at each other, confusion filled the air. Ingo walked closer to the scene.

I looked at Hali, wanting to get to the bottom of this, “And what if you’re lying about all of this? Why should we just become sitting Duckletts as the world we’ve known for all our lives get destroyed?”

Hali sat up, her hat properly on now. Her face remained shrouded by the veil, “I… I can’t tell you. I can’t say any more…” Her voice dropped into a whisper, “But I might be able to reveal more if you so happen to pretend to kill me with your Pokémon and also strike the camera that’s on the building behind me. Please make a believable scene of it, I beg you.”

Drayden snorted and spoke to me softly, “You’re not really going to-”

I didn’t miss a beat and replied to Hali, “Fine, whatever.” I then went into character and yelled at her, “You’ve got to have some nerve to take over my station!”

Ingo butted in, acting as well, “Our station!”

I thought to myself, I guess we’re on the same page again…

I pulled out Eelektross’ Pokéball and cast him out, “Eelektross, use Thunder!” Fortunately, Pokémon can hear and see through the Pokéballs, so he was aware of what the memo was. Hali screamed as Eelektross used the move on the camera. A move like that would have given the camera a great flash anyway with a one hundred percent of taking it out regardless since it was storming. I put my hands on my hips, “If this were any other day, I wouldn’t have lifted a finger. Understand?”

Hali nodded, “Understood.” She pointed to the passed-out Team Plasma member, “Do not bother dragging him away, he has always been afraid of dog Pokémon. He’s completely passed out.”

I shrugged, “Even if he heard, I wouldn’t let him get away anyway.” I sighed, “Before we get to the most pressing matter, what is Team Plasma doing with my station?”

Ingo repeated himself, correcting me again but more calmly this time, “Our station.”

She spoke quickly, “Team Plasma wanted to transport cargo here to put them onto trucks, get them to Castelia, and ship them away. I know where, but… I-It’s complicated.”

I raised a brow, “How so? Just tell me.”

She was shaking again, “Right after I took over the station, I knew the cargo was going to Kalos. I don’t know what they were supplying. But then, they started to ship somewhere else. Nobody said where, but people around said that the reason why they moved on was because the ‘contractee has failed to meet availability standards’ and not a single person said any more detail than that.”

Drayden squinted, “Team Plasma worked with someone outside? I never expected for them to expand so far.”

Hali replied, “Yes… They are on a new plan now since the last one failed. Like I said, no idea what.”

I scratched the back of my head, “Did some organization take the cargo?” My eyes widened, “Didn’t Team Flare get popular a few years back? Did they take it?”

Hali answered, “It was just one man from what I’ve heard. I do not have a clue what his affiliation was. Doesn’t matter because he’s gone now.”

Cilan’s eyes widened, “Wait, was it Colress, then?!”

Hali shook her head, “Colress is gone, he has been gone for years. Nobody knows where he is located anyway, he managed to go completely under the radar.” She was silent for a moment, deep in thought, “I do not who who the leader is. I haven’t even been in Team Plasma or this region for long.”

My eyes widened, “Wait, you’re not from here? That explains your Furfrou… How did they get you and your friends?”


Hali paused for a moment, her Furfrou leaned onto her shoulder and nudged her. She commanded her Pokémon, “That’s all.” She was silent for a few more moments.

“Uh… Hali?”
Her voice shook slightly, “Do not worry. It is… unrelated.” I couldn’t tell if it was a lie or not, but I didn’t want to press too hard. She finally answered the question, “Where I am from is currently unimportant. And so how they captured me.” She stood up, “Everything was a blur, I barely remember most of it and I don’t know why. And it all happened so fast and the world seems to be ending in a more peaceful way than I thought it would.” Confusion spread across my face, along with everyone else’s, she added, “Do not mind that. Something is stirring up within Team Plasma, and whatever it is, it will be big. Whatever you do, do not defeat Giratina.”
Akari exclaimed, “How did you know that Giratina was up there?!”

Hali sighed, “If it wasn’t Giratina, the sky wouldn’t be looking like this. Nor would ancient Sinnoh Pokémon be running around here,” She then added, “Team Plasma did not take part in this, I can promise you that.”
Ingo nodded, “We know that already. Just tell us the reason why we shouldn’t get there.”
Hali squirmed a little, uncomfortable with answering, “Listen to me. All of you. Heed my warning.” Her voice became more serious, “This is just the beginning. If we all make it, worse things are to come. And we will all face a fate worse than death. Two years of shipping cargo and information has been discreetly passed to others. This plan of Team Plasma’s must be more vile than the world has ever seen and it would be best if nobody ever found out what it is.”

I started to get angry, “Stop being vague! Why do you have to be so difficult?!” My eyes widened, “Damn it! You’re doing this on purpose!” I grabbed her by the collar, “I don’t give a Rattata’s ass if you’re lying to us or not, but f*ck you for derailing us!” For a moment, I saw a bit of her face through the veil. It was hard to see, but she was wearing sunglasses, weirdly enough. She was crying as well, but I couldn’t care less at the moment. Before Drayden could grab me, I let go and started to walk towards the gate to Join Avenue.

Hali yelled, “N-no! Emmet! I-I…!”

I commanded everyone, “Come on! Let’s go! No more distractions!”

Hali was in shock, and so was everyone else. One by one, everyone followed me. Hali looked around and pleaded one last thing, “Fine! But if you somehow manage to make it out alive, then meet me at Virbank! Someone will be there to get you to me! But I swear to you that you will regret facing the evil in Castelia!” She then added on, shrieking, “Be careful for what you wish for!

I waved my hand, dismissing her, “Yeah, whatever, shut up!” We then left Hali behind as we dashed out of Nimbasa City.

-

I was afraid to talk to Emmet, now even more so since he was not only in a bad mood, but Join Avenue was pitch black because of the blackout. I heard a Pokéball shaking, and my brother muttered, “Not yet, he’s not ready.”

I felt something hug my leg and I jumped, I heard the voice of a Pokémon, “Tross!”

I spoke quietly, “Yes, I missed you too.” The Pokémon then slithered up and wrapped its body around me, my arms and torso being squished together slightly, “E-eh…?” Suddenly, the Pokémon’s stripes glowed in the dark. People turned to see what happened.

Iris laughed, “Don’t suffocate him, Eelektross!”

The Eel Pokémon snorted in response and constricted me tighter, I grunted from the sudden movement before it loosened. Iris giggled in response and kept moving. Akari stepped towards the Pokémon and opened up her notebook.

I looked at her and spoke in Hisuinese, “Oh, is that why you’ve been so quiet? You’ve been taking notes the whole time? You’re such a studious girl, have I ever told you that?”

She smiled and responded in the same language quietly so nobody else would hear, “Yes, Dad. All the time.”

Warden Melli then spoke to my brother, “So… Team Plasma is now not exclusive to Unova now, isn’t it?”

Emmet groaned, “Apparently they are. Let’s not talk about that right now.” His gaze locked onto mine, “So… You remembered my name now?”

I replied, “More than that, actually… but not everything. It’s so difficult to grasp everything right now. I didn’t even know I had a family until I came here.”

The man on my right gave me a surprised look, “How? Did you never see yourself in the mirror before?” Elesa snorted at the question.

I sighed, “Well, yeah… I just had a weird feeling, though. I knew I was looking at myself but it didn’t feel like I was. I did recall glimpses of someone who looked like me but wore white, but I thought that the person was me until I battled Akari for the first time. But by the time I realized that, I had already changed so much as a person. I didn’t know what to make of the information at all, and I was already thinking of moving on.”

Emmet frowned, “Why did you want to move on?”

I looked down, “I know that if there are tracks that lead somewhere, it would always lead back. However, it felt impossible since I had no idea how I arrived in Hisui in the first place, and I still don’t know. After we battled together, I remembered walking on a path and… I… Everything’s still so fuzzy.”

Emmet stepped closer to me, “We were walking in Route 20 and heard a Pokémon that cried out in pain, so we split, and… here you are now.”

I felt my face harden for a moment, I was on the cusp of remembering something.

My brother sighed, “It feels weird to have you back. And it’s even weirder that you don’t remember much of everything. All the things we’ve done together mean nothing if you don't recall it. And you’re so different now! You’re playing a big part in the Pearl Clan and the Hisuian community, you’ve made your kind of mock battling facility, you’re wearing different clothing, you… You’re living a whole other life now.”

I frowned, “I only did what I needed to do to acclimate myself for the time being. Even when I gave up trying to go back, there was still a huge part of me that couldn’t let my past go. I love Hisui, it’s a wonderful place, but I know I don’t belong there. I never had.”

“Do you feel at home here?”

I couldn’t find my words and stayed silent momentarily before responding, “I feel at home with you, Drayden, Iris… and Akari.”

Emmet blinked, “I’m guessing because she also randomly appeared in Hisui like you?”

I started to sweat a little, “Yes, and… uh-”

Akari butted in, seeing that I was nervous about the information, “He adopted me.”

My brother tripped over his own shoe and stumbled forward, my uncle grabbed at his collar and pulled him up before he could faceplant on the ground, my cousin looked at my daughter and me from the corner of her eyes, Elesa hummed with confusion and Cilan stopped walking altogether. Clay stepped away and watched.

They all said in unison, “WHAT!?

I quickly explained myself, “The only people providing for her was the Security Corps but nobody ever stepped up to be there for her. She’s just a kid and she needed someone to look after her properly, so I decided to do that myself. We didn’t know if we were ever going to go back home so I signed the papers since she was legally an orphan in Hisui. Until I find her family, I am continuing to be her parent.”

Emmet was in shock and ruffled, “Ingo, that’s-!”

Iris interrupted my brother, “Awesome! I got another cousin!”

Drayden shook his head, “No! I get it that you wanted to do something good for her, and that’s incredibly generous of you. But, that’s someone else’s child! Even if she legally wasn’t in Hisui, she was someone’s child in general!”

Akari was getting ticked off, “Hey, I agreed to it! It’s not like he forced me to be his kid! I needed Ingo and I still do! He’s helped me through a lot of tough times and was able to cover for me when my Pokémon or I got hurt! He even taught me how to speak this language! Do you have any idea how hard it is to learn a dead script and this!? He cooked for me, helped me train my Pokémon, and traveled around Hisui with me, even though he had his own Warden duties in the meantime! I know because of his presence that I never had a father, and it makes me all the more grateful that I was able to have one for the first time in my life. I don’t even know if I have a family, so I think it’s just fine that he can still be my dad until we figure everything out! So don’t even start anything!”

I looked at my daughter, “Akari…” Her gaze became fixed on me as I spoke, “Thank you. I could have handled it, but thank you regardless.”

Drayden looked at the young girl, “Fine, but until we find your family, you’d might as well stay at Emmet’s house.”

Emmet blinked, “Wait what?

My uncle chuckled, “What do you mean ‘what’? You’re a responsible man and you can house both your brother and his daughter.” He then squinted, “Are you not keeping everything nice and clean? Do you not have food?”

My brother nodded, “I’m doing just fine! It’s just… taxes…

The older man sighed, “ Oh Arceus, I’m just giving you a hard time. I’ll pitch in a little, no need to pay me back as long as my new sort of grand-niece stays strong and healthy.” His beard hid his smile, but you could still see his cheeks lift.

Emmet stared off into the distance with a tired look on his face.

Elesa side-hugged Akari, “I can help you get clothes! Lucky for you, there are a ton of boutiques and malls we can go to! I want the best looks for you and I know just the right places!”

As Elesa talked about clothing options, Emmet spoke to me once more, “Yeah… You did change a lot.” He sighed, “I wish I was there with you.”

I smiled, “I know you do, but I’m here now.”

“But are you? What if my Ingo is dead and you were from some universe where you lived and ended up in Hisui? I-I just-”

My eyes widened, “Ah! I almost forgot! My apologies for the interruption, but Volo said a power that Giratina had was to detect space-time portals and rifts around the world since it had created such a thing. In addition, he mentioned that there was a mysterious connection between this region and Sinnoh. So they made a portal to here two years later than I had left, making our times synch perfectly. That’s how we got back.”

Emmet squinted, “That is… oddly specific. If he just wanted to destroy the world, why didn’t he do that this morning?”

I replied, “I am…. not sure.”

I didn’t even realize that Cilan was listening in until he spoke, “I don’t mean to joke about the end of the world, but it feels like some big boss that waits for you at the end of a game. Kind of weird that he hasn’t lost his patience yet. It’s almost nighttime and he’s probably hungry.”

Akari had enough of the clothing talk with Elesa and responded to Cilan, “He’s doing it on purpose. He wants Ingo and I to figure out who we are so that he can tear it away from us and make us hurt more.”

Adaman added, “That sounds more right,” He turned to the green-haired teen, “I don’t know about this ‘big boss’ at the end of some ‘game’ you speak of, young man.”

I looked at Emmet again, his brows furrowed as he stared straight ahead of him. A memory flickered in the back of my mind. Of him in great pain. It sounded so similar, but before I could ask, Irida grabbed my attention and spoke in Hisuinese, “What was going on earlier?”

My eyes widened and switched languages, “Oh, I’m so sorry I didn’t translate. I got caught up in memories and…” I sighed, then explained what happened.

Irida still looked pensive, “I wish I could understand the language better…”

I shook my head, “It’s okay, Irida, I promise nobody is judging you for it.”

Adaman spoke the same language and spoke to Irida, “Ingo might get his hands tied up for the rest of the day. I’ll translate for you from now on.”

Irida raised a brow, “I thought you wouldn’t want to waste time.”

The man smiled, “You are as important as everyone else in this group, even though we are just dead people in this day and age. If I don’t help you, that would be a waste of time.”

Irida smiled back softly, “Fine if you insist. But, I expect you to translate every word and don’t skip over!”

Adaman chuckled, “Yes, yes, I know how much you like to mull over every detail. I’ll do it, just this once.”

Zisu was overhearing the conversation, and mumbled in Hisuinese, “Ohoho! this will be fun.”

Elesa then walked next to me, “Nice fit by the way…” She felt the fabric, “Ah, the cotton is woven nicely, this must have been hand-tailored… I’ve never been more jealous to see you wear such wonderful, one-hundred percent authentic Hisui-era clothing! Who are you wearing?”

I blinked, “Sharon, better known as Anthe outside of Hisui.”

Elesa’s eyes widened, “Anthe!? The Anthe!? Now you’ve got me even more jealous! She created so many intricate designs that have spread across the world! She changed fashion altogether and some of her original designs still get reused today! I can’t believe it…” She pouted, “Stop being so cool right now! You’re not supposed to make my head spin like that!” The model chuckled and playfully punched me.

I thought out loud, “You were Elesa, right?”

Her face was filled with shock, but then she shook it away, “Yes, I thought that if you remembered Emmet you’d…”

“I remember some of you. The first memory of you I recalled was you saying ‘Nimbasa’s Pokémon can dance a nimble bossa’.”

Really!?” she then pumped her fist, “Yesss! You’ll have to tell Skyla that! She’s the redhead with the blue clothing, you’ll know her when you see her when we get into Castelia.”

-

We all eventually made it out of Join Avenue and into Route 4 and looked at the sky, or at least tried to through the sand spinning in the air. Eelektross slithered off of Ingo and went back to his Pokéball. Despite it having the Levitate ability, Eelektross still dislikes how coarse, rough, and irritating sand is.

Ingo’s daughter grunted, “Ah! My eyes!” Melli spat out some sand, and Lian had trouble standing up.

Irida grabbed Lian’s shoulder and spoke something in her mother language. The little boy groaned and nodded, then she lifted him and had him sit on her shoulders.

Ingo walked beside me, “We can make it through this, right?”

I thought for a moment, “It’ll be a bit difficult, but-”

Cilan chirped, “Allow me!” He grabbed a TM from his bag and a Pokéball “Simisage! Come on out!”

The Thorn Monkey Pokémon was cast out, “Sage!”

The green-haired teenager used the Technical Machine, “I’ll make Simisage relearn Sunny Day so we won't have to trudge our way through here.”

I grinned, “Ah! Very smart.” Cilan nervously laughed at my praise.

I thought to myself, Every time I try to talk to Ingo or show myself off, I get interrupted…

Zisu laughed, “You need some weird object to help a Pokémon relearn a move now? You can do it by yourself.”

Cilan raised a brow, “What? How?”

Zisu’s face was filled with confusion, “What do you mean how!? Anybody can do it!”

I stared at Ingo and his daughter, “Wait, can you do that too?” They both nodded in response.

Drayden grimaced, I didn’t even realize he was right behind me and my head whipped around to look at him. He stared off into the distance with a grimace, “I’ll give that move relearner a piece of my mind… This manual move-relearning was one thing that seemed to be forgotten in history.”

Iris raised her brows, “Wow, Drayden doesn’t remember something in history? Now that’s a rare sight…”

Clay muttered, “You’d be surprised-” he ended up not finishing his sentence because my Uncle gave him an extra hard glare. The Ground-type specialist then shrugged.

Melli snickered, “What, is it not free now? How pitiful that you would have to pay to make a Pokémon relearn a move.”

Cilan mumbled, “We’re just taking L’s after L’s… Hisui’s starting to sound really awesome to live in right now. Agile and Strong style moves, No fee for relearning moves, being in a place before urbanization…”

Ingo added on, “Half the people don’t shower often, Pokémon are more likely to attack you out of nowhere and kill you, not much medicine to prevent illnesses, you can get robbed by bandits and Pokémon…”

The young man shivered, “N-Nevermind.

Akari nodded, “The food is worth it, though. I could go for some potato mochi right now.”

A murmur rose in agreement with the statement coming from the Hisuian crowd.

Cilan smiled, “I brought macarons! Baked by yours truly!” He gave everyone in the group a few of the treats. He then gave Ingo an Aspear-flavored one, “This one’s your favorite, I hope you still like sour flavors.”

I watched Ingo eat the baked good, “I still do. Thank you very much.”
I grinned, “Can you still barely handle sweets?”

He replied, “Ah, no, it’s still too much sugar for me. But, I’ve been taking more of a liking to spicy foods.”

Akari asked Cilan, “Wait, what was your name again?”

The young man grinned, “My name is Cilan, and I like Grass-type Pokémon. And this is my partner here!” His Simisage grinned. Cilan eventually put him back in his Pokéball.

Elesa moved next to Akari, “I’m Elesa, the Electric-specialist Gym Leader of Nimbasa City, and I also happen to be a model.”

Melli pointed at both Clay and Drayden, “And who are you two?”

Drayden spoke first, “My name is Drayden. I am the Dragon-specialist Gym Leader and Mayor of Opelucid City. Emmet and Ingo are my nephews, and Iris is my daughter. My apologies for not introducing myself properly earlier.” He held the young black girl’s shoulder.

Clay smirked, “The name’s Clay. Ground-specialist Gym Leader of Driftveil City I run a minin’ business there too.”

Lian shifted a little on Irida’s shoulders, “What’cha mine?”

He chuckled, “Whatever we find to be a good spot.”

Lian was silent for a moment before continuing his questions, “That Jasper stone looks a lot like mine.” He fixed his hat.

Clay replied, “Well, squirt, it’s yer Jasper stone.”

“Okay, that’s it.” Lian groaned, “The more I stay here, the more weird it feels. I don’ like that I’m dead here and I’m lookin’ at my descendent in front of me while I’m over here at my young age, still alive. It’s even weirder now that I wanted to move to Mesounova I feel like I’m goin’ crazy! I’m feeling emotions I shouldn’t be feelin’! I don’ even know how children show up! I don’ even want to know!”

Clay gave the young boy a look filled with thought, “Well… stuff happens. And ya can’t stop it. Don’ worry ‘bout the future, just live it to your fullest before your time comes.”

Lian still had some worry on his face, “Did I do good when I was here?”

The Ground-type specialist paused for a moment before responding, “Ya doin’ good now?”

The young cowboy shrugged in response, “‘Guess so.”

The older man nodded, “Then ya did good.”

Thunder suddenly roared in the dark bloody sky.

Lian quipped, “I suppose that means that we should do better than good.”

Clay smirked, “Ya gotta as much grit as my father told me you had, I saw how strong ya were in battle, and you were exceptional.” The boy smiled in response and chuckled. The older man ordered, grinning, “Mrrrmph! Let’s get movin’! No more slackin’ off!” The group nodded, and they all moved faster to the exit, entering Castelia City.

I stayed back for a moment, thinking, This is it. This nightmare is almost over. I thought about Hali for a moment, What can be worse than this? Why did she have to leave information out if she wanted us to believe her? I remembered her crying, She was too scared… Anything could happen to her friends now… if she actually had any. Something feels extremely off with her. My eyes widened slightly, Did Team Plasma make her cover up so much? They made her stay anonymous, didn’t they? Is… Is ‘Hali’ even her real name? And why would they choose someone so bad at Pokémon Battling to take over Gear Station? Who are you, Hali?

I heard my brother’s voice, “Emmet? Is there something wrong?” I made eye contact with him and he added, “Everyone’s in Castelia. They’re waiting for us.”

I thought more, Oh, finally, it’s just the two of us.

I replied to Ingo, “I’m alright, just thinking about what happened earlier. Don’t worry, I’m not irritated anymore.”

Ingo stepped forward to hug me, “Good. I don’t like seeing you agitated like that.”

I looked down at the ground, “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you. I have no excuse to be so mean towards you.”

My brother frowned and hugged me tighter, “You were scared, Emmet. Now that I remember more of you, it doesn’t surprise me that you reacted like that. And it was even more unfortunate that you ran into that Zoroark on the way there. None of this was your fault.”

I hugged Ingo back, “N-no, I was being a douchebag and I wasn’t thinking clearly because of… of…”

Ingo pulled away slightly, “Because of what? There’s nothing you-”

I interrupted him, “Because I feel guilty, Ingo. If we didn’t split up that night… if I had more money to keep Gear Station…. If I had as many fans as you had… If I had been a better brother,” I felt tears welt up in my eyes, my voice cracked, “Then none of this would have ever happened.”

A wave of fear and worry took over my brother, “No, no, nononono! Don’t say that! You did all that you could have done! And nobody knew what was going to happen that night! Please, don’t blame yourself for something you had no control over.

I sighed shakily into Ingo’s shoulder, “No, splitting up was u-unsafe regardless. I-It was a verrry dark and I-I should have thought about either one of us ever getting injured o-or worse. I should have taken better safety precautions, I should have-!”

“Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve.” He pulled away fully and looked at me, “Emmet, you can’t change anything. I know it hurts, the event hurt me too. Terribly. But it happened. It happened and I don’t blame you and…” he paused for a moment, he looked at me longingly.

“A-and what?” My hands were shaking.

“I don’t remember much about you. Yet, being around you has given me nothing but a sense of love and comfort. I see you next to me and I hear your laugh in the back of my mind. I hear you talk about what you are passionate about and what’s hurt you the most. When you were trying to talk to me in Join Avenue, I recalled a moment so faintly of a night when you weren’t at the house and left a note. You used the same voice when I found you that night. Your voice is monotone most of the time, yet it has those moments where there are some hints of emotion behind them.” he sighed, “I heard your pain, Emmet, and it made my stomach twist. I still have little information about you, but that doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care what happened the night I left. I’ve never been more grateful to have you in my life, because no matter what, no matter how much I remember you or not, I love you. I still feel it. Even when I was in Hisui and had even fewer memories, even when I couldn’t even remember what we did together or even remember your name or who you even were, I still missed you. I was an empty shell of what I was until I came here and realized that my purpose in life was to exist here as your brother, to be the shoulder that you cry on, to work with you, to stay at home with you when you’d get sick, to travel with you, and to be the warmth in your life every single day.” Ingo started to cry, “I wish I was here, Emmet. I wish I was here for the missed birthdays, missed battles, and all the other missed moments in life that pulled us closer together. But I’m here now,” He pulled me into a hug, tighter than ever before, “And I promise that I’m never leaving you again.

I hugged him back again, and millions of thoughts ran across my mind, all the monochrome memories of us establishing which colors we’d wear to prevent people confusing us, having fun, getting into fights, reconciling, playing games with each other, battling and switching around our teams, sleeping on each other’s shoulders when working overtime, and the many, many times we’d blow the candles at the same time on our birthdays. I didn’t want to leave Ingo’s arms, I haven’t felt so safe in a long time.

I teased him, “Since when did you learn how to smile?”
He teased back, “Since when did you learn how to frown?”

We both laughed as we kept each other in our arms until the tears faded away. I sighed, “I’m so tired.”
“I know, I can tell. You were a bit more high strung than usual. I’m glad that I was able to ease the tension a little. I suspect that Drayden has been trying to do that for a while, huh? He was agitated when you didn’t respond after he called you a few hours ago, before we knew that there was a region wide blackout..”

I looked away, “Yes… he has been. It eventually got annoying. Lashed out on him on accident a few times,” I sighed, “I made a lot of mistakes with everyone I knew after you left. I had no choice but to stay away in the hopes that all of it would blow over, but all that did was make me become more bitter. I even substituted at this new academy here in Unova in the hopes to at least connect with some other people or maybe even rekindle my love for battling, but that only made me miss you more.” I shook my head, “I find it hard to let go of grudges and past feelings. You probably remember that.”
“I do. I don’t blame you for it. I can’t imagine how frustrated you were at the time.”

Suddenly, a loud, crackling lightning strike echoed in the sky, startling the both of us. I snapped out of my thoughts, “A-AH! We need to keep moving! We’re running out of time!” I let go of him and started to dash into the exit, but before I could leave, Ingo grabbed the collar of my coat to stop me, “Wh-what!? What’s wrong?”

Ingo then held my hand, giving me his usual serious face, “I love you, Emmet. I’m always going to be there for you. I just wanted to say that before we get to our last stop for today.”

I cracked a genuine smile, “I love you, too. Let’s go.” He let go of my hand and I made sure my eyes were dry before we finally stepped through the gate and into Castelia City.

Notes:

We’re nearing the end of this journey…

Chapter 10: Driving South

Summary:

The group finally makes it to Castelia City and saw familiar faces within Burgh’s Gym. As the plans to defeat Volo are shared, arguing ensues.

Notes:

Sorry for the late chapter. College stuff happened and I kept going back and forth on what to add and take away from the chapter. School has been in the way quite often when it came to making this fic so I wont be surprised if the pacing is weird. Mb, I’ll edit it later.

Song reference: Driving South by The Stone Roses

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Castalia City was almost devoid of people. Most likely underground in Nimbasa City because of the severe storms. Few people were outside with cameras and some were talking on a device. They didn’t spot us at all. Several police cars were around, a few firetrucks, and a large number of ambulances driving in and out of the city, most likely to transport patients to another hospital further away from the storm. Nobody in our group questioned why we took our time before arriving.

I announced, “Please forgive the unscheduled stop. Let’s keep moving!”

Elesa reminded everyone, “We need to go to Burgh’s Gym, everyone’s waiting there.”

We walked to the center before turning right down Gym Street, I recalled that I used to think that it was a very unoriginal name, and now that I have remembered more of my past, I still agree with that statement. The only light that illuminated the sky was the giant white crack above the tallest building: Game Freak Inc.

Elesa talked to Emmet, “I hope I don’t have to postpone my next fashion show, It was supposed to happen next week. I planned to showcase a lot of Pokémon walking beside the other models showing up, including a lot of Emolgas at the end.”

My brother snorted, “You and your Emolgas… How many?”

The woman giggled, “Uh… about 54. One full team is just for backup. So really just 48.”

Emmet chuckled in response, “Oh wow, and what? Are they just gonna fly around?”

She replied, “We’ve got a little performance. I don’t want to spoil too much. And if anything goes wrong, they’ve all learned the move Protect.”

I gave Elesa a soft smile, “Sounds well-planned and fun. I would like to see it.”

The supermodel grinned, “Well good! If you said you didn’t want to come, I would’ve forced you anyway! There’s no way I would let you miss this!”

Emmet’s eyes narrowed slightly for a moment before turning to Clay, “This just occurred to me… Hali used to work for you, what was she like?”

Clay rubbed his chin, “Well, first off, I never knew she was held captive by Team Plasma. She hid that very well. But looking back on it, I realize how obvious it was. Hali was always on her toes like she was walkin’ on eggshells the whole time. At first, she was nervous around me and I thought nothin’ of it because I’m quite a successful and big businessman. Her Furfrou alerted her quite often, even before she left to buy your station,” He raised a brow, “And I never saw her without a ton of clothing either, and I knew it wasn’t for any religious reasons since it would be disclosed in her documents. But one time, she removed her glove briefly. I didn’t get a good look but she seemed to be pale, and I mean almost white as snow. Team Plasma must have kept her captive for a while, probably somewhere with little light. It makes me sick to the stomach that they would do that to some poor innocent lady.”

Drayden questioned, “I didn’t even think about what you could have seen with her documents. Anything suspicious you found with that?”

The cowboy replied, “Some of the papers she gave me didn’t feel right, and I mean literally. I could have sworn that the stamp on her birth certificate wasn’t genuine. I thought nothing of it at the time because the nerves in my hands weren’t what they used to be.”

Emmet’s eyes widened, “Pull the brakes. What kind of birth certificate did she have? She said she wasn’t from here, so did you see any Green Card or…?”

Clay gasped, “I- No! I didn’t! So it was a fake! Dangnabit! I coulda stopped all of this if I trusted my gut!”
My uncle shook his head, “No, you couldn’t have. Who knows what would have happened to her if you did anything about it.”

Clay gritted his teeth, “Yeah, but Emmet could’ve kept the subway and Team Plasma wouldn’t be able to move all that cargo!” He then grumbled, “Yet… then she would’ve… Mrrrph!” The cowboy’s voice raised suddenly, “How come every time Team Plasma comes back, they just get more annoyin’?! We need to get to the bottom of this ASAP! I don’t care that Hali said all that don’-defeat-Giratina Bouffalant-sh*t!” He groaned, agitated, “Let’s go-uh.

We eventually made it into the Gym, the webs nearly gave me shivers up my spine. There was a lot of natural light seeping in, so the lack of lighting wasn’t much of a problem. Many familiar faces were talking to each other, I suspected most of them were the Gym Leaders around Unova. Then, my eyes widened with surprise as I saw the rest of the Wardens, who circled a table with the other people. I turned my attention to the Unovans, there was a young man with black hair and a red tie that I faintly recalled battling in the subway years ago. And then, there was a redhead wearing blue talking to Warden Sabi. I thought to myself, Oh, that has to be the Skyla that Elesa told me about. I looked around more to see an older man next to Warden Gaeric wearing what looked to be a light blue kimono with half of it removed. Next to Warden Iscan, there was a young black man in long blue swim pants and a black woman with dark curly hair pulled back with a headband. Warden Azeru and Warden Mai were talking to a tan older man with bright red-and-orange hair. A younger man with brown, curly hair wearing striped pants and a scarf spoke to Warden Palina. Lian quickly ran over there to hug her. Warden Calaba sat next to a young girl with white hair wearing a striped sweater. As soon as I saw her, nostalgia seeped through my mind.

I blurted out, “Roxie?”

She looked over at me, she seemed very bored with the conversation she was having with Ursaluna’s Warden. The young girl’s eyes widened and she bolted at me, “Ingo! You’re alive!” She tackled me head-on and wrapped her arms around me, my body tumbled down and I grunted. Everyone’s gaze turned to me and my group. My hat fell off and revealed the scar I had on my head, “Holy sh*t! When did you get that?! And the clothing?” She inspected my head more, “And why are you bal-?!”

I quickly grabbed my hat and put it back on, then put my hand over her mouth, “We don’t talk about that.”

She started to cry and hugged me even more, “I-I wish I went with you guys that night! I wish I forced you guys to s-stay after the show! I w-wish…!”

I looked at her softly and hugged her back, “No, no, do not blame yourself for it! Nobody knew what would happen. And I’m here, alive and well, and that’s all that matters!” I found myself repeating that a lot with everyone that recognized me. I knew the ones closest to me would get nervous and guilty when they saw me, but it seems like it just runs in the family to blame themselves before blaming others.

I heard the voice of a woman I wasn’t too familiar with, “Hikari?” I looked around again to see a blonde woman wearing black step out of the shadows. Her gaze locked with Akari’s.

The young girl blinked and echoed her and spoke in Sinnese, “Hikari? Hikari… Y-Yes! That’s me! I am Hikari!”

The blonde, young woman exclaimed in the same language, “Your mother and friends have been worried sick!” I had only a little bit of trouble translating in my mind, but I managed to fill in the blanks.

The older woman rushed over to hug the young girl, who responded, “Wh-who are you?”

The woman froze, “What?

The girl with the black hair froze, “I-I’m sorry… I don’t remember anything.” She paused for a moment, “Wait, I have a family?” She blinked and looked back at me. For a moment, I felt happy to know that she had family, but the way her fearful gaze pierced through mine, stabbed me in the heart. She still loved me like I was her father. She just couldn’t let go yet. Not after all we had been through together.

The woman was in distress but stayed calm, “I… My name is Shirona. I am the Champion of Sinnoh’s Pokémon League and a famous historian.”

A man with red-and-orange hair looked at the Hisuians that they were with, “Why didn’t you tell us that you knew them?”

Paulina shrugged, “We didn’t know that they were from here, and none of you asked.” I didn’t even know that Paulina knew this language until now. I suppose my influence had some people interested in what I spoke.

Azeru added, “We’re used to calling him Nobori, anyway.”

I didn’t even see Sabi approach me and I nearly jumped, “Nice to see you finally here, just as my clairvoyance predicted.”

Calaba squinted, “If you knew they would all come, then why didn’t you tell us?”

Sabi didn’t waste a moment to respond, “It would spoil the surprise.”

Several quiet groans were heard from the crowd, most likely the Unovans.

Irida understood some Sinnese since it was still similar to Hisuinese and spoke to Shirona, picking up the conversation from before, “You are a leader? You look a lot like Volo to me… not to mention that you just said you are a historian.”

The woman responded in Hisuinese, “I am the Champion, and Volo is… my great-great-grandfather.” shock rang throughout my crowd.

Irida’s gaze turned to Palina, “Lina! Do you know if she’s part of this?!”

The redheaded Warden replied in the same language, “She’s been with us the whole time. The Unovans here say that she’s a good person.”

Sinnoh’s Champion spoke again, “I know how terrible my grandfather was… but I promise I do not share his selfish obsession with creating a new world to become a god. I dedicate my studies to looking into the past so that terrible events like these will not repeat itself.

The blonde woman looked at me, then stepped closer, “Shirona is only my Sinnese name, I am better known as ‘Cynthia’ here.” She put her hand out.
I shook her hand, “Ah, yes, that’s more familiar. Have we met before?”

She let go, “I don’t think so, but I’ve heard of you, of course. It’s nice to meet you.”

The group of Hisuians we were with looked at each other wearily, but eventually settled down. More Unovans came over to me, some of them looked different from when I last saw them. They reminded me of their names and all of them were gym leaders except one.

The older man with red-and-orange hair shook my hand, “My name is Alder, I was the Champion in Unova’s Pokémon League a couple of years ago before your cousin, Iris.” A nostalgic feeling came over me, but before I could respond, he added, “Your Uncle and I are close friends, I’d sometimes babysit you and your brother. I also have a grandson, Benga, but he’s traveling the world currently. I hope that brings back some memories for you.” He then hugged me, “It’s wonderful that you are back home, son! You must tell me about your journey when this is all over!”

I could barely breathe from the tight hug, “I-I will share as much as I can.”

Drayeden grabbed everyone’s attention as he sat down in a chair, faintly grunting, “Let’s get down to business now. Has anyone thought of any plans to take Giratina and Volo down?”

Brycen replied, “I plan to take down Giratina with Gaeric and Iris. And whoever volunteers to take down Volo can go ahead and do that. However, some people think that it would be too risky since Gaeric has only three Pokémon on his team.”

Gaeric added, “I am more than capable of taking that beast down.”

Paulina replied, “Gaeric, we are talking about the Renegade Pokémon right now. I understand it would be weak to your Ice-type Pokémon, but it won't be enough.”

Iscan added to Palina’s comment, “Not to mention that it would be too risky to have lots of people up there. We wouldn’t want to destroy the building with all the attacks.”
Gaeric scoffed, “Destroying buildings is the least of our problems.” He gave a bitter glare to the Diamond Clan Warden, more so than Palina.

I butted in, “If the building is destroyed, you could fall to your death along with everyone else. And we cannot risk ripping more tears into the time-space continuum.”

Brycen sighed, “I agree with Ingo. if you die, Gaeric, then I wouldn’t be here. Now that they have mentioned that, perhaps it would be too risky to get help from the Hisuians up there.” Several people within my group, including myself, were jarred by the fact that they were related, but we quickly moved on.

Gaeric then glared at his descendent, “Well, you are here so that means that I did it successfully.”

Palina raised a brow, “Or you left the job to someone else.” I looked to Emmet for help, but to my surprise, he wasn't listening and kept writing notes. Well, mostly erasing them.

Drayden sighed, “Alright, alright, we hear your ideas. Any other plans?”

The young man with the red tie, who told me his name was Cheren earlier, raised his hand, “I thought that we could bait him to bring him down to ground level so that we could all corner him and attack. It is impossible to flank or get the upper hand when he is on the highest ground.”

Drayden nodded, “So, what’s the bait?”
Cheren rubbed his chin in thought, “I was considering that we taunt him. It seems like this man has a surplus amount of hubris since he dares to destroy the world, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get under his skin.” He added, “And now that more people are here, it shouldn’t be too hard.”

Adaman commented, “I agree that he does have arrogance, but he isn’t a fool. He’ll see through that plan immediately.”

Cheren sighed, “Well, it’s always worth a shot. Since he’s close to achieving what he wants, he must be more desperate than usual. Perhaps even desperate enough to fall for it.”

Emmet groaned suddenly, tore out several pages of his notebook, crushed them into a ball, and threw them away in a nearby trash can. He sighed and spoke calmly in his usual monotone voice to cover up the sudden burst, “In my opinion, all of these plans are too flawed and predictable. The stakes are higher than ever before, we have to be more careful than this.” The Hisuians we weren’t with finally noticed my brother and looked at each other, confused. Before anyone could say anything, he sighed, “I am Emmet, Ingo’s twin brother.” He pointed to the other Unovans, “Uncle Drayden. Cousin Iris and Roxie. Clay. Cilan. Best friend Elesa,” he crossed his arms, “No more questions. Let’s not waste time.”

Elesa shook her head playfully, mumbling, “Nice to know we’re still besties…” Something in my heart told me that there was a tinge of sarcasm within the comment.

The tall black woman who introduced herself as Lenora earlier changed the conversation to what it was before, “Well, I hope that you have a better plan since you brought up complaints.”

Emmet replied, “We need to think outside the box. It is storming outside, meaning that we have a Swift Swim boost and such within the battle,” He looked at me, “Ingo, what’s your team made of?”

I replied, “It needs healing, but I have my Alakazam and Tangrowth that you’ve met already. The rest of my team is Probopass, Machamp, Magnezone, and Gliscor.”

Emmet gave me a nod of approval, “That’s quite the interesting team. Any notable moves?”

Drayden chuckled, “His Alakazam has Dazzling Gleam. My Druddigon learned that the hard way,” He mumbled to himself, “Speaking of that…” He grabbed full revive out of his pocket and used it on his Pokémon.

My brother’s eyes widened, “What!? That’s insane!”

I went on, “Gliscor can re-learn Ice Fang, Machamp has Ice Punch and can relearn Rock Slide, Alakazam, and Probopass can also re-learn Ice Punch, not sure what other moves I would need to replace.” I went on to explain the moves they already had previously.

The group of Unovans were in shock, Emmet exclaimed, “They can learn those moves!? Well, that sure opens up options,” He added on, “Alright, here…” He wrote down moves, pulled TMs out of his pocket, and gave them to me along with the device on his wrist, “I suppose that we can’t quite do a Rain Team, but your Magnezone can also have Thunder because of the accuracy boost. Here are some TMs you might need in case they haven’t learned these moves before. It’ll be a lot faster than Zisu’s help. Use my XTransevier to input them.”

My muscle memory saved me from making any mistake when registering my Pokémon. I used the TMs just like he asked, “So, you want the both of us to take care of Volo, how about Aka-... ” I looked at my daughter, “Should I keep calling you ‘Akari’? Or ‘Hikari’?”

The young girl shrugged and spoke the same language, “Stick with ‘Akari’ for everyone’s sake.”

Cynthia added in the same language, “Her name is ‘Dawn’ for this language, but do as she wishes.”

I nodded in response and turned back to my daughter, “You have a lot of wonderful names.” She grinned and playfully rolled her eyes in response.

My brother questioned Akari, “What’s your team?”

Akari replied, “Gallade, Gyarados, Torterra, Electivire, Garchomp, and Typhlosion. I defeated Volo and Giratina once before, but I have a feeling that he might have a trick up his sleeve this time around.”

Cynthia raised a brow, “Garchomp and Torterra, huh?”

The young girl shrugged, “I faintly remembered fighting against a very strong Garchomp at some point, so I had to get her on my team. As for Torterra… it felt very familiar to me like I had a close connection.”

The blonde woman smiled, “That Garchomp you mentioned must have been mine. That battle was quite memorable. You won against me, but then you disappeared sometime after. I unfortunately had to take your place.”

Akari and I questioned, “Wait, what!?

Cynthia nodded and winked at the young girl, “We’ll talk about your adventures later, which includes the ones with your Torterra from here,”

Akari nodded, I still saw the worry on her face, but I knew that I couldn’t help.

While we conversed, Emmet already had a few TMs ready for Akari, grabbed the XTransceiver off me, and registered Akari’s Pokémon for her after he asked for the moves on each Pokémon.

Melli raised a brow, “Now hold on. How do we know for sure that this plan of yours is foolproof? Who is fighting who?”

Zisu frowned, “I agree with Melli. I do trust you, Emmet, but there are still disadvantages within everyone’s teams. Not to mention the lack of Fairy-type moves and Pokémon. It would be handy to have either against both Volo and Giratina.”

Emmet groaned, “Yes, I am well aware of this.” He turned to Burgh, “Your Pokémon box runs on a landline, am I correct?” The curly-haired man nodded and my brother added, “I’d like to log in and switch some Pokémon around.”

I raised a brow, “Wait, are you going to switch my Pokémon as well?”

The Elite Four member nodded, “Yes, but some may be on my team. Some you might have to let others hold onto while we battle.” He went onto the computer and started to type, “Half of my team are steel-type Pokémon. I need just a little more diversity, and coverage, and I’ll lend you some of the Pokémon we used to share.” I watched him place one of his Pokéballs in a box. He clicked and dragged icons around, He gave me two Pokéballs as he was on the computer, “Here. Switch Tangrowth and Probopass with someone else and take these two,” Both Pokéballs shook in his hand, one of them way more than the other. I saw a faint purple glow within the capsule, and a memory flickered. My brother snapped me out of my thoughts, “Don’t mind them. They’re just happy to see you.” I reached into my pocket and gave the two Pokémon to Warden Lian. I saw Emmet click and drag two Pokémon on the screen into his Party after the trade was registered. One was a big muscular Pokémon and the other was a large heap of trash, literally. However, the muscular Pokémon looked different from what I remembered. Before I could say anything, Emmet mentioned, “I evolved Gurdurr into Conkeldurr a while back, and I revamped his move set. He’s your Pokémon, but you already have Machamp, who has a wider move pool… you get it.” He sighed, looking around the screen, mumbling to himself, “Yeah, having more monotypes might be the best route.” He then logged off the computer and said the rest of his plan. “Ingo and I will fight Giratina. Despite having some bulky Pokémon, I’ll act as support while Ingo deals the damage. Akari will take care of Volo since she’s already done that before. If she needs help, then at least one of us will have enough Pokémon left over to help if we finish before her.” The Pokéballs in the box disappeared in a flash of light and opened up for him to grab. He used his XTranscevier to apply a few other TMs.

Warden Mai questioned, “What are the rest of us supposed to do then? We can’t just wait around.”

Emmet replied, “You won’t. It would be best if everyone split into teams of…” He counted the people in the room and he then whispered to me, “How many of the Hisuians have Pokémon?”

I whispered back, “Zisu, Irida, Adaman, Lian, Gaeric, Melli, Mai, and Sabi. So, eight of them. But some of their teams aren't full or are under-leveled.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Emmet nodded and finally responded fully to Mai, “Everyone split into teams of two. But then… wait, there’s only nineteen of you and we can’t split into threes-”

Brycen groaned, “You obviously made this plan on the spot without thinking! Let’s just go with my plan and be done with this already!”

Cheren argued, “We already established that your plan was too dangerous.”

The older Gym Leader retorted, “And we have established that your plan is too foolish.”

The young adult’s brows furrowed but didn’t respond.

Lenora sighed, “Please, everyone… Let’s settle down a little.”

Clay scoffed, “Settle down? It could be the end of the world, Lenora! Everything we know could be gone at any moment!”

I felt Roxie hold my hand, shaking a little. I whispered to her, “Don’t listen to them.”

My mind then refocused on the conversation at hand. Melli sneered at Clay, “Well, it’s not like some foreigners just randomly and mutually decided that they would make a plan instead of the people who know the damn person in control of this!”

I heard Irida sigh in the corner with Adaman as he translated, I had never seen the two look so helpless before.

Clay gritted his teeth, “Oh, we are the foreigners? Last time I checked, I’m in my home country right now!”

-

A sly voice of a man echoed in the gym with the sound of flapping in the distance, “How about we flip a coin?”

Everyone looked to the Gym's entrance to see a tall, slim man in a black-and-white kimono. His black hair had white streaks at the sides and his face was plastered with a familiar smug look, but he seemed more tired than I remembered, “Man oh man, what is going on today? Such a weird event going on here.”

Alder gave out an exasperated wheeze of surprise, “Grimsley!?

Iris was startled by the retired Elite Four member, “Where were you all this time?!”

Grimsly gave another one of his usual complacent looks, “What? Never heard of ‘Big G’ taking the surfing scene in Alola? Ah, I don’t blame you. I suppose that such a sport is incredibly niche these days.” He then waved his hand off to the side to show something, “Oh, and I also found this man along my way here.”

Nobody stepped into view.

Grimsly looked off to the side, “Where did he run off to?!” He walked away. I couldn’t make out what he was saying outside.

And soon enough, Professor Laventon entered, ginning, “Ey up!” He was out of breath and seemingly all over the place.

At this point, not many people were shocked anymore to see anything random and new thrown at us. Cynthia, however, looked as if she were about to bounce off the walls. But surprisingly, she kept to herself.

Akari stepped over to hug the Professor, “Laventon! You’re here!”

The man told Akari, “It’s a good thing I ended up here. I was wantin’ to give you and Ingo your medical records in case you two were going to find a way back this mornin’ but it slipped my mind. And It seems like you two did end up here!” He pointed his thumb in Grimsley’s direction, “This lad here told me about Ingo an’ his family. You got anyone here?” Akari nodded in response, and Laventon smiled a bit more, “Ah! Jolly good! I’m very proud of you two.”

Drayden stepped over to Laventon, “I’ll take the records if you don’t mind. I’m Drayden, It’s nice to meet you.”

The Professor almost bug-eyed Drayden when he saw him and croaked, “Aye, go ahead.” He sighed, “Quite the strapping bloke, aren’t you? You’re bigger than I thought you were. How old are you? if you don’t mind me askin’.”

Drayden sighed, “Just old. I would typically say ‘older than Pokéballs’, but I see that the joke wouldn’t land now it seems.”

The younger man chuckled, “Oho! Well, I say it’s still a smashing joke, good sir! Definitely made me feel like I aged three hundred years, though.” Laventon gave the medical papers to my Uncle.

Something felt off about this. Grimsley was awfully quiet. Too quiet. He looked around at the scene inside the Gym, but I knew that he wasn’t quite looking at the people. I thought to myself, His tiredness had grown over the years. I doubt that he was in Alola only for the surfing. My mind reached deeper in thought, Now to think about it, it would make sense that he would do that since many people would place bets in sports. Or maybe he just wants to keep winning to claim the prize money to pay off his debt. His skill with surfing on his Sharpedo must have helped him prepare for it. I wish he didn’t spiral and leave the Elite Four, but I guess nobody knew how to help him and his baggage anyway.

As Cynthia finally seemed to gain the courage to speak to Laventon, shaking slightly from excitement, Grimsley walked over to me, “So, a little Chatot told me that you took my place, huh? Quite the feat since you have no Gym-Leading experience.”

I nodded, “Yes, and I am aware. Besides, it’s not like I didn’t learn anything watching Drayden. Not to mention that the subway would be running year-round, and not semi-annually like the Pokémon League.”

Brycen practically growled at the former Elite Four member, interrupting our conversation, “Why the hell do you think that it’s a good idea to settle on which plan to go for on a damn coin flip?

My predecessor was unphased, “None of you can make a choice. So why not make a glorious gambit? Who knows if it’s all for nothing anyway? It’s the gamble to satisfy all gambles.”

Clay raised a brow, “Hah! I’ll never believe that this will settle your addiction.”

Everyone’s attention eventually turned to Grimsley, “Either way, we all die at some point. We could die with all the plans. We might even survive if we choose any of them! Isn’t that a gamble in itself? This little coin flip won’t be any different,” He gestured his hand towards me, Brycen, and Cheren, “Are you all willing to take what may be our final bet?”

As Brycen and Cheren shared a bitter look, my eyes were glued onto Grimsley’s, “I’m in. None of us have anything better to do.”

The two Gym Leaders were shocked.

Out of their self-pride, they agreed to the coin flip.

A child with green hair from the Diamond Clan commented, “I’m not helping anybody with this one… the answer is very clear.”

Grimsley’s crooked grin grew, “Looks like everyone’s all in. Glad that I’m not the only daredevil this evening. Heads or tails?”

Cheren spoke quickly, keeping his agitated look against the older man, “Tails.”

Brycen was after, retaining his glare at the young man, “Heads.”

The entire crowd stared at me as I thought about my answer, It’s a fifty-fifty chance… unless…

I answered, “Neither.”

Drayden’s eye twitched slightly, “I- What?! If you’re going to choose that… well…” He sighed and looked away,

My brother mumbled, “What are you thinking? Do you want to win or not?”

Roxie stepped in front of me, “Dude! What’s up with you?”

My eyes were still on my predecessor’s. Grimsley chuckled, which silenced everyone and made Roxie step away.

The black-and-white-haired man kept staring into my eyes, “I like you, Emmet. You didn’t even bother to look at the other players because… ehe… Ehahahahaa!” Grimsly flipped the coin high into the air, and my eyes didn’t flinch when Grimsley’s Honchkrow snatched it…

I held all the cards! It seems like I have met my match! You haven’t even faltered for a moment against my trick! Astonishing!”

Brycen snarled, “What!? You’ve got to be kidding!”

Cheren grumbled, “You cheated!”

Grimsley’s smug look dropped into a dark look, “No, I was going to do it the whole time to see if anyone was observant enough to hear my Pokémon enter the building. The fact that you two failed this test proves that neither of you was ever worthy enough to pay attention to every detail – it even reflects within both of your plans! Brycen was too co*cky and Cheren was too careful! You all agreed to this gamble, and so this is the result! Emmet is the true winner of this. So, suck it up because there will be no rematches!” Grimsley was right and It seemed like was still as sharp as the Elite Four member he used to be.

I approached Grimsley, “So, you think that settled that addiction of yours?”

The man sighed, “Well… I’ll admit that I haven’t gambled for about a few weeks, actually. I suppose that my withdrawal got the best of me. Too bad I couldn’t resist.”

I thought to myself, Ah, so that’s why he looked so run down and exhausted… The white hairs make more sense now.

Grimsley smirked, “However, even though I was more of a dealer in this situation, I felt as though I won the biggest jackpot alongside you. Everyone’s lives are in your hands now, Emmet, and I would have never trusted anybody else with mine right now. I was worried that you wouldn’t survive as an Elite Four member, especially because of the shoes you had to fit in,” He winked at me, “But after that game, I know now that Iris couldn’t have played her cards better when choosing you as my successor.”

I shrugged, “I’m sure there were better people than me, but thank you.” I changed the conversation, “Before we get up there, what are you doing here?”

Grimsley chuckled, “Just wanted to see how my old friends were doing. How are the other Elite Four members? Why aren’t they here?”

My heart panged with guilt, “W-Well… Marshal and Caitlin are protecting some cities from these Alpha Pokémon that got teleported here from Hisui. Shauntal is…” I sighed, “She’s in the hospital.”

The former Elite Four member’s smirk faded, “What?”

I swallowed and gave him the full story. Everyone else who I didn’t tell tuned in.

Grimsley grabbed my shoulders, “What hospital is she located in? Tell. me.”

I shook my head, “She must be in the hospital in Nacrene City since her Goluk flew her to the closest one.”

Grimsley nodded, “Thanks. I’ll be going there. See you around, then.”
I grabbed his shoulder before he walked away, “Before you go, I wanted to let you know that I need you to come with me to Virbank after all this.”

He raised a brow, “Why?”
I replied, “I can’t explain right now, but it’s important. Team Plasma related.” I let go of him, “Go to Shauntal now, she needs you.”

Grimsley’s brows furrowed, “Team Plasma is back? Well, that’s enough to convince me. I’ll see you there.” He then called out his Pokémon, “Honchkrow! Let’s go!”

The Big Boss Pokémon flew down and gave Grimsley’s coin back before exiting the building with him.

The other Unovans in the room we were with were silent for the most part, and some of the Hisuians they were with looked at each other with fear.

Alder spoke first, “Shauntal was attacked? I hope you weren’t lying about her wounds, they better not be worse than what you’ve said.”

I looked back to the former Champion, “I would never lie about something like that. You know that.”

Marlon was terrified, “So that’s why the text she sent you was so messed up… I feel so horrible for taking up your time…”

I stepped towards the gym leader, “Don’t worry. She’s somewhere safer now, even though the blackout is still going on.” I then asked, “You caught that Basculegion, right? You should probably release it or give it to someone from Hisui so they can put it back to where it belongs.”

The gym leader sighed, “Yeah, I guess I should… Here, Iscan.”

A black man who stood next to Marlon suddenly yelped, “A-Ah! Um… me?

“Yeah, fam.”

The man’s eyes narrowed, “F-fam?”

“Family. You’re my great-great-grandfather, by the way. So, like, take it, dude.”

“I’m your what?!” His voice lowered to a whisper, “W-with who?”

“You know who. Anyway, just take the Pokéball, yo!”

The Hisuian man slowly took the Pokéball out of Marlon’s hand as his eyes darted to the redheaded woman next to him and back to his descendant, “Okay… yo? Why didn’t you tell me this earlier?”

Marlon nodded, smiling, “Because you’d ask a ton of questions that I shouldn’t answer, dude. You all have already seen a lot here, which is tubular, so I don’t wanna, like, explode your brain or something, yo.”

Ingo put his hand on Marlon’s shoulder, “Please don’t confuse them…”

I slowly walked away awkwardly and over to Elesa and whispered to her, “There’s a part of the plan I didn’t mention before that I need you to know about…”

Notes:

PLEASE READ:

It has been very difficult on trying to write the next battle because Pokemon Showdown does not include Legends Arceus mechanics. So I’m letting you guys know that there will be inaccuracies (but it’s not like you guys care bc this is fanfiction about a fake world and fake animals but even then so, I just wanted to throw it out there).

Anyway, to give you guys a bit of a view on how the rest of this will play out, there will be about 2 or 3 chapters left. It’s crazy that I got this far.

Chapter 11: Dead Man’s Switch

Summary:

Emmet, Ingo, and Akari travel up the floors of the Game Freak Inc. building to meet with Volo on the rooftop. The storms rages on as the climax of our heroes’ stories have now been reached… it’s do or die from now on.

Notes:

The title is NOT a musical reference this time, and for good reason. I suggest looking up what it means after you read this chapter.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Ingo, Akari, and I arrived at the foot of the Game Freak Inc. building. The dark blood-red sky felt even more sinister as we were just under the dark cloud. The rain and winds were harsher than when we arrived in Castelia City. The police tape on the doors was practically torn off from the weather, and there was surprisingly not any police nearby. I shook my thoughts away.

Akari questioned, “What games do they make anyway?”

I replied, “It’s hard to describe. All I know is that Ingo and I were featured in one of them.”

My niece hung her head low, “I wanna be in a video game…”

I rubbed her back, “I’m pretty sure you are. Besides, we’ll see inside. But we need to be quick so Volo doesn’t get too impatient.”

She immediately grinned, “Alright, then! Let’s go!” She walked into the building. My brother and I looked at each other.

I spoke first, “She’s growing on me a bit. She’s not afraid to stand up for herself. I like it.”

He smiled softly, “Yeah, she has that effect on others. She can be anything she needs to be in just a moment. It’s an interesting skill she has.”

We walked inside the building, and I called Akari over before announcing, “There are twenty-two levels before we reach the roof, so I suggest everyone pace themselves a bit.”

My brother and his daughter looked at each other before responding in unison, “That’s nothing.”

I blinked, “Oh… okay.”

I thought to myself, So I guess I’m going to embarrass myself even more today. How wonderful… I hope everyone is in position…

I walked up the stairs as Ingo and Akari jogged. I looked around a bit each floor out of curiosity. The lobby floor had a lot of plants and models of the Kantonian starter Pokémon. Some posters of those Pokémon in their fully evolved forms hung around as well, except for Pikachu and Eevee which stayed in their respective forms. The next floor had some more Kantonian decor, the third had a mix of Kanto and Johto with the Johtonian starters… the floors would switch about every two and a half floors. I assumed that the sort of games they made were about studying Pokémon in some kind of simulator. It looked like they did this for a long time as well.

On the eleventh floor, I saw the more familiar Unovan decor. It showed a lot more history and drawings, which came as no surprise to me except for a concept drawing of my brother and I when we were both still Subway Bosses. I chuckled a little at the lack of color in the art in comparison to what other drawings had. But I guess you wouldn’t need to fill it in if the people you were referencing wore similar colors and the same outfit as the other. I didn’t expect to see the art still up, I knew that Ingo and Akari were a few floors above me so I looked around a bit more. I saw cards, posters, and other art of Ingo and I. It nearly made me break down for a moment. I forgot how much I used to mean to people, and yet, here I was. Here we were. Still there in the office. It wasn’t even collecting dust, I could feel the pages were still being felt by others. They still cared even though it was a long time ago since I was featured in a game. I put everything back where it belonged and went up the stairs before I became too emotional.

I was out of breath by the time I reached the twenty-second floor, my legs wobbled slightly as I leaned on the railing.

Ingo chuckled, “We’ve been waiting for you for a few minutes, did you fall to the first floor or something?”

Akari chuckled and I replied, “No… I got derailed… Hah… give me a moment,” I cleared my throat, “I wish the elevator was working… ugh.”

My brother side hugged me, “Come on! We’ve got no time to waste!” He looked to Akari, “Are you fully prepared?”

“Just a moment…” Akari wrote some last-minute note-taking and I wondered what she was writing. The young girl then nodded and finished, “I’m ready!”

Ingo opened the door to the roof and we walked out to be met with the harsh weather once again. The light coming from the crack in the sky brightened up the rooftop sinisterly. Thunder and lightning crackled in the distance as the rain pelted at our bodies like needles. There was a man on the other side who stood in front of the Renegade Pokémon. I squinted for a moment and couldn’t believe my eyes.

I spoke to Akari, “He dresses like a total geek. Did this man not have a parent to dress him up as a child?”

The young girl snorted, “Oh, he has a mother, but she pokes fun at him all the time.

I held back my laughter, “Didn’t know he was this much of a weirdo.”

The three of us moved closer, walking across the rooftop. The blond-haired man called out, surprisingly in my mother language, “So, it seems you two have brought a friend! I’ve been waiting all day for you!” He grinned, “Oh, and… how was the swim?

Akari groaned, and before she could respond, Ingo replied, “Refreshing! It didn’t kill us as you probably wanted it to!”

Volo waved his hand, “Why would I spoil the fun by ending your lives so early?” He then pointed at me, “I suppose this man must be some kind of family to you, Warden Ingo! Poor choice of support, I must say. A weakling like him is not worthy of a fight with me!

I stared into Volo’s eyes, thinking about various amounts of insults at the same time.

I replied to him, at least trying to fit in with the others slightly, “Don’t make a fool of yourself by judging me so quickly before getting a taste of my power!”

The evil man grinned, “Quite lively, aren’t you? Very well. You intrigue me. I suppose I’ll allow this last-minute addition. But don’t expect to defeat Giratina and I so easily!”

We all drew out our Pokéballs, ready for battle, and cast out our Pokémon.

I summoned Conkeldurr, and Alakazam appeared in front of Ingo, facing Giratina. Volo cast his Spiritomb and Akari cast her Electivire. The battles began.

Ingo went first, “Alakazam! Use Calm mind!” I watched his Pokémon conjure up its power, boosting its offensive and defensive stats by one stage. I wondered to myself why the move worked like that back then, and now when you use it, it would only raise a Pokémon’s special attack and special defense.

Giratina moved next: its body glowed with a dark aura, its red eyes piercing through it before it sunk into the terrain. I noted to myself, Shadow Force, its signature move. It’s a good thing it takes two turns to-

Suddenly, the Renegade Pokémon burst from the ground and hit Ingo’s Alakazam, then it shrouded itself in a dark mist. My XTransceiver notified me of its speed lowering. Yet, it didn’t tell me how many stages. Confusion took over me and I turned to Ingo, “What move is this? This can’t be Shadow Force, right? It’s evasion rose!”

My brother nodded, “It is Shadow Force! Does it not work the same in this time?”

I looked back at Giratina and replied, “No. What was the speed lowering about?”

He replied, “It means that Giratina will take a few turns to move again. It’s a powerful move, but it has its drawbacks.”

I nodded and commanded my Conkeldurr, “Use Focus Energy!” the Muscular Pokémon raised its critical hit ratio by two stages.

I used the chance to attack after my last move, “Conkeldurr, use Toxic!” Thankfully, my Pokémon was wearing the Zoom Lens which boosted its accuracy. Even though the crit hit ratio wasn’t boosted that much, I knew I had to take advantage.

The Renegade Pokémon was now poisoned badly, and My brother initiated our plan, “Alakazam, use Trick Room!” If it weren’t for the TMs I had, we wouldn’t be able to get this upper hand. The field started to glow around us, Since my Conkeldurr had the lowest speed, I moved first now instead of Alakazam.

Giratina looked around the purple-glowing field before using Shadow Force again against Ingo’s Alakazam. Miraculously, the Pokémon was still holding on despite being hit with the super-effective move twice. It’s evasion stat went up another stage and the Renegade Pokémon became affected by the poison, chipping away at its vitality.

I smirked, thinking, We’re now on the third turn, and I get to go again!

I commanded Conkeldurr, “Use Focus Energy one more time!” and now, its critical hit ratio rose once more by two more stages. I thought, Now I’ll have a chance to hit it even more effectively! But that’s only if I’ll be able to hit it…

-

Volo faced me, “I hope you aren’t getting tired, Akari. It would be a pity if you can’t keep up with me.”

I faced Volo, my brows furrowed as I was in my battle stance. I had enough of him. I had enough of everything. I could hear Dad’s voice in the back of my head, Akari, your mind isn’t clear… don’t be stressed!

I gritted my teeth and I commanded my Electivitre, “Use Light Screen!” I watched the yellow and black Pokémon create a shining translucent wall, protecting herself against special attacks. I had five turns to make this move count.

“I don’t recall that Pokémon ever being able to learn that move!” Volo ordered, “Spiritomb, use Hypnosis!” The Forbidden Pokémon’s ghostly projection swirled around, emitting a mesmerizing… I looked away just in case.

Nice try.

“Electivire! Electrify yourself!” I commanded, and the Thunderbolt Pokémon radiated energy, resisting his drowsiness. I grinned smugly as I stared at the Pokémon Wielder, “Shocked?” There was no better way to rub the strategy into his face. I think Elesa rubbed off on me a little too much.

Volo sneered, “Oh? Another trick of yours? I was nice enough to allow your little addition of that foolish man on your team. But this? Cheating in our battle that’ll determine the fate of this wretched universe? I will make sure you regret this. I am not playing games anymore.”

I retorted, “If anything, making your opponent unable to fight back is cheating!”

Volo yelled back, “Hypnosis is a very valid move to use! It’s a move that Spiritomb knows so I get to use it! It’s not unfair if it’s available as a move!”

I groaned, “Ugh! Let’s just keep battling! Electivire, use Thunder!” My Pokémon summoned lightning from the sky and reigned down onto the Spiritomb directly, taking more than half of its vitality…

I thought, …or all of its vitalities? I shook my thoughts away.

Volo rolled his eyes, “What a joke. Spiritomb, use Shadow Ball!”

Because of the Light Screen, the Forbidden Pokémon’s move was half as effective as it normally would be. I commanded my Pokémon, “Use Thunder again!”

Lighting struck down once again and finished off Volo’s Spiritomb. He glared at me as he switched his Pokémon out and cast out his Lucario.

He’s avoiding the Light Screen… I thought, But I’ve got another thing coming for him!

He commanded the Aura Pokémon, “Lucario, use Bulk Up!”

I watched his Pokémon flex and increase its attack and defense by one stage.

“Alright, Electivire! Use Low Kick!” The striped yellow Pokémon dashed over to its opponent and swung his foot, hitting hard with the super effective move, “Good job!”

The tall man fought back, “Close Combat! Now!” The Lucario sent a flurry of fists headed straight towards my Pokémon, which ended up taking Electivire down. I put him back into his Pokéball. I sent out my next Pokémon, “It’s your time to shine, Gyarados!” the large Water-Flying type Pokémon roared as she was cast out of her Pokéball. I ordered her, “Use Flamethrower!” The finned Pokémon breathed in then squalled flames from her mouth, finishing off Volo’s Lucario.

I thought to myself, We’re at a good spot right now! He has to take out Togekiss sice Gyarados wont be effected by Roserade and she’d destroy his Arcanine in an instant!

As I predicted, Volo sent out the Jubilee Pokémon, “Togekiss, use Calm mind!” The Fairy-Flying Pokémon took a deep breath and proceeded to raise its special attack and special defense by one stage. And then, The light screen previously set up by my Electivire disappeared. Volo smirked, “Looks like that Light Screen of yours was no use to you, huh?”

I ignored his comment and fought back, “Gyarados, use Thunderbolt!” The Atrocious Pokémon shocked the Togekiss with the super effective move – but it wasnt effective enough.

It was the Pokémon Wielder’s turn again, “Use Moonblast!” The moon shone brightly through the red skies as the thunder crackled around us. A beam of light gathered above Togekiss then bursted when it reached my Pokémon.

I went next once more, “Come on! Use Thunderbolt again!” The electricity hit the Togekiss again, but it wasn’t enough to take it down and I groaned a little.

The Togekiss was commanded to use Moonblast again, and then, my Gyarados was down. I groaned again but a bit louder, but I wasnt loud enough for Volo to hear me. I cast out my ace Pokémon, Typhlosion. Since he was my only safe option. His magenta flames burned ominously as it was ready for battle.

Volo raised a brow, “Ah, I’ve backed you into a corner already?” I made an effort to remain calm and not strangle him instead of battling. He commanded his Pokémon, “Togekiss, use Calm Mind once more!”

Then, I heard faint voices, K A . . . R I . . .

I looked around a bit before focusing on the battle again. I commanded, “Typlosion, use Thunder Punch!” The Ghost Flame Pokémon’s fist turned into a ball of energy and finished off Togekiss.

H I K A R I !

I heard a loud crackle of thunder as Giratina was weakened immensely. Its body was shrouded in a dark aura before its crimson eyes pierced through the darkness. The Renegade Pokémon’s body morphed, its legs imploded into its body to form spikes. Its wings were ripped from each other to create long, shadowy limbs. And finally, the metal on its chest and face shifted. It turned into its Origin Forme. Giratina’s roar echoed through the skies and the rain pelted harsher.

As Volo’s attention was turned to the Renegade Pokémon, I threw down a smoke bomb. I threw down every smoke bomb I had. I could hear the blond man coughing, “What?! What’s happening?! Akari, what is this?!

H I K A R I ! ! !

The entire rooftop was shrouded with smoke, I put my Typhlosion back into his Pokéball and I covered my mouth and nose with my scarf. I thought to myself, Please work please work please work… Uncle Emmet… It’s all on you now!

-

I cast out my Eelektross, “You ready?” and my ace Pokémon nodded. I looked up to the sky to see Ingo’s Gliscor, high up. I saw a lavender glow within the smoke and I ran over, “There you are! How does it feel to have Ingo back, huh?”

Chandelure’s flames burned brightly and she chimed proudly.

Akari bumped into me in the smoke, “Ow!” She looked at the Pokémon, “Oh wow! So this is Ingo’s partner Pokémon…”

I heard my brother speaking to his partner, “You’re as beautiful as I remembered.” His hands gently rubbed her metallic limbs as she chimed joyfully in response.

I yelped, not expecting him to be so close to me, “Ingo! You… Wow you look menacing. Like, the smoke, the flames… You and Chandelure still compliment each other, huh?”

Akari wrote in her notebook, “Chandelure… What a fitting name.”

Ingo pulled out a white flute, “Not the time for note-taking, Akari.” He then played the flute loudly. We all waited.

I whispered, “I can’t hear Gliscor.”

Ingo replied, “You might need to review it’s Pokédex entry.” He then commanded Chandelure, “Use Protect.” The Luring Pokémon spun around to clear the air a bit then summoned a psychic force that covered all four of us. And before we knew it, more of the smoke blew away after Gliscor swooped down, its fangs glowing a light blue with a frosty trail — Ice Fang. And the Fang Scorp Pokémon dived towards Giratina, before making the Renegade Pokémon crash into the rooftop, cracking it.

I thought to myself, Elesa… come on!

Suddenly, through the clouds, I saw a few black specks flying around the smoke. And then, it was a swarm. Eelektross growled loudly – another signal. I looked up into the sky, and I couldn’t help but grin a little madly as I saw the electricity in the skies accumulating.

Ingo snorted, “Don’t piss your pants, Emmet.”

I replied without hesitation, “Shut up and let me have my moment.”

Akari giggled and nudged Ingo with her elbow, he nudged back harder.

As the smoke cleared more, I could see the white and yellow faces of the black specks — Elesa’s Emolgas, the ones she was going to use for her show. I found my hands flapping a little. Akari questioned me about something but I didn’t hear it, “Sorry, what?”

She asked again, “I said, are you sure the building isn’t going to-”

“It’s fine.”

The electricity in the skies were now building up exponentially, I saw static emitting from my Eelektross. I mumbled to myself, “My Joltiks would love to see this.”

Ingo chuckled, “Oh, yeah… your Joltiks… um… yep.”

I leaned on Ingo a little, “You know, the little fuzzy balls with four eyes? They jump pretty high? Sucked too much electricity from the outlets so I had to relocate them that one time? The electricity bill spiked so much we had to work nightshifts, too?”

My brother’s eyes widened, “Oh, those little… okay, yeah I remember now. And I remembered how much I just wanted to throw them out the apartment window.”

“Hehe, yeah. It took them forever to teach them to not do that and made them soak up the static electricity from everyone instead as their main source of energy.”

The man next to me shivered slightly, “Oh, Arceus. Those parasites…

I squinted at him, “How dare you! They’re the Attaching Pokémon, not the Parasite Pokémon.”

Akari raised a brow, “Is there a Parasite Pokémon?”

I replied, “Not that I know of. If there is ever one, I’m not touching it with a ten foot pole, that’s for sure.”

I shook my thoughts away and commanded through the forcefield, “ Eelektross, don’t use Thunder until you have a clear view!” I turned to Ingo and Akari, “I suggest that we should all turn away. And cover our eyes for good measure.”

Akari sighed, “Aw, really? But… I wanna see the explosion! Not everyone gets to see a ton of Pokémon using the same move at the same time!”

Ingo doted on her, turning away from Eelektross, “Akari, listen to your Uncle.”
I added, also facing away, “If you look, you will be temporarily blinded. Maybe permanently. And your eyes will be verrrry hurt. And cover your ears, too.” Chandelure then rapidly moved her limbs to put more of her power into Protect.

I closed my eyes shut tightly, and heard a muffled fulmination behind me. After a few moments later, I turned around, put my hands down, and opened my eyes to see Giratina struggling to move. My Eelektross collapsed onto the concrete rooftop, the shield from Chandelure’s move shattered and I ran over to my Pokémon, “Eelektross! Are you alright?” The EleFish Pokémon groaned in response, laying on the ground. I smiled softly, “You did a good job.”

An abrupt roar filled my ears, I looked up to see the weakened Renegade Pokémon slithering in the smoke, my eyes widened with horror as I saw the metal on its face slightly melted off from the heat of the Thunder and Giratina threw Ingo’s Gliscor at us – it’s wings torn.

Ingo yelled out when he saw his partner Pokémon, “Gliscor!” he looked at Giratina, “That monster…”

Akari’s eyes widened and pointed somewhere off to the side. Volo.

I looked over to see the tall, blond man stumbling on the rooftop, his ears bleeding. He lifted the collar of his shirt to rub the blood off, his eyes were wide. Volo gritted his teeth, “You want to play dirty, too? Fine by me,” He turned to Giratina, “They’re yours.”

The Renegade Pokémon opened up a portal just under Ingo and he slipped through. I sprinted over to the portal, and in the corner of my eye, I saw another portal open. It was by the edge of the building and my brother was suddenly dangling there. “INGO!” as I was just about to put my hand through, I felt a sharp pain in my stomach and I let out a gasp. I lost my footing, stumbling aside, and looked down, my vision blurring slightly with tears. I found myself impaled by Giratina’s Dragon Claw. “N-no,” I croaked and gurgled, “Ingo…” I could see my brother’s gray eyes stare into mine.

As I felt the claw slip out I started to choke. Something warm was spilling out… my mouth… my stomach… I fell… Akari screamed… Ingo… plum…metted…

Notes:

*Points aggressively at “Creator chose not to use archive warnings”*

Y’all don’t start anything.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays.

Sorry if it feels short. It’s my first time writing something this fast paced. Once again, critiques are welcome.

btw, CONGRATS IF YOU READ THIS FAR! YOU'VE NOW READ THE AMOUNT ABOUT EQUIVALENT TO "The Notebook" BY NICHOLAS SPARKS (52,000 words) (Or for something more familiar, "The Great Gatsby" By Fitzgerald, which is 50,061 words) But luckily for you all, the story doesn't end here!

Chapter 12: Hikari - No Time To Die

Summary:

The fate of the universe lies on Hikari’s shoulders. How far will she go to save it?

Notes:

Song reference: No Time to Die - Billie Eilish

Gore warning for the beginning.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

I stared at Emmet’s lifeless body on the rooftop.

Blood spilled out from his stomach being opened completely, his lower body was about a foot away. Not even a string of an organ connected between either side of his body – it was a clean cut.

My eyes drifted to Chandelure. Her metal limbs were lowered. She stared down off the side of the building, I assumed Ingo fell in that area. Gliscor was barely breathing as it dragged itself to that side. it’s torn, bloody wings left stains on the rooftop.

I could hear the people down on the ground shrieking with horror.

I felt acid build up in my throat and fell on my knees, my stomach purged of everything it had inside. I struggled, gasping for air. The yellow fat jutted out of my uncle and so did his spine. Some other organs slid out and I couldn’t bear to look at him anymore. My hands grabbed at my face, covering my eyes, forcing myself to stop looking at Emmet’s glassy eyes. I heard footsteps and I quickly looked up to see Volo now standing in front of me, past my uncle’s body. I crawled back quickly and stood up, I felt my heartbeat pulse against my ribs, and my hands were trembling.

My lips managed to move, speaking Hisuinese, “You went too far.” I wiped the bile from my mouth.

The man didn’t skip a beat and replied in the same language, “It was inevitable. They were only livestock for my greatness to feast on; A necessary step for me to become God.” He chuckled as I felt something stir within my body, “This was never their fight, Akari. It’s ours. They were never meant to be here. They never mattered.”

My heart started to pump louder, my brows crossed as my anguish rose, “They mattered to me!

Volo’s silver eyes narrowed, “Then you shouldn’t have brought them up here.” he stepped closer, “Now it’s just you and me.

I looked past him to see Giratina lying on the rooftop as well. Beyond its melted face, its crimson eyes were dimmed. But, I could hear it groan. The Renegade Pokémon was weakened incredibly, but it was still alive. It used some of its last energy to get its petty revenge against Ingo and Emmet.

My voice cracked as I looked back to Volo, “You didn’t need to kill them! They just found each other and you tore that away from them!”

Volo grinned sinisterly, “No, I did them a favor. They won't ever part again.”

Tears streamed from my eyes, but I blinked them away as fast as I could, “You still think that Arceus would want to see you now? After you killed my father and my uncle?

“They’re not your real family.”

A wave of fury seeped into me, “I don’t care that we’re not blood-related! He took care of me like I was his own! Arceus, do you even think about what you’re doing!? You are a soulless piece of sh*t and if you truly think that this will allow you to meet Arceus, then you’re f*cking insane!

Eelektross grunted and saw what happened to his trainer. He started to growl and snarl at Volo, crawling over to him weakly. The tall man looked over to the Electric-type Pokémon before stomping his foot on the Pokémon’s neck. The Pokémon squeaked and cried out, it was too feeble to attack. The electricity it tried to build up kept frying out.

My voice turned more grave, “Volo.” He turned to look at me.

He spoke, “You didn’t play fair with me. I’m giving you a last chance to.”

My words were caught in my throat, all that came out was a croak.

“Finish your battle and become my last sacrifice to Arceus… No, my third sacrifice to myself.”

I stepped a safe distance away and Volo kicked the EleFish away, its body flipped in the air and landed hard on the rooftop, wailing in grief. I couldn’t think anymore and my hand shakily blindly grabbed a Pokéball and cast whoever out. Torterra was chosen and roared after being summoned. Then, his eyes widened as he saw what happened. I spoke, “Just keep your attention on the battle! Don’t get distracted!” My Pokémon nodded hesitantly and readied himself. Volo cast out his Arcanine and my heart was still pumping.

He commanded his Pokémon, “Use Raging Fury!”

“Torterra! Use Headlong Rush to run past the flames and hit it!”

The Arcanine summoned up energy and started to spew fire, aiming at my Pokémon. The Continent Pokémon started to charge quickly around the opposition, only a few flames were able to hit my Pokémon. Then, Torterra smashed into the Fire and Rock-type Pokémon.

Volo was furious about my strategy, “You damn snake! Our next move is for you!

Volo’s Arcanine summoned its power again and attempted to hit me directly. I screamed at the top of my lungs and tried to run, but tripped and fell. Torterra managed to finish off the Arcanine with another Headlong Rush, but he fainted as well after being hit again. However, the flames flew towards me at a rapid speed.

I breathed heavily and thought, Dad, Emmet… I’m sorry! I did all I could!

I felt the heat growing stronger until it stopped, but I still felt a faint warmth beside me. I looked behind me to see Chandelure using Protect. She then chimed loudly with anger and then looked at me, its glowing yellow eyes were filled with anguish. I looked at Eelektross, who was still low on energy and levitated weakly towards his late trainer. The quiet Pokémon didn’t even notice my near-death experience until he looked back at Chandelure and I. I mouthed to him, “Rest up.” The EleFish Pokémon nodded and took his time with Emmet.

Volo groaned, “Oh? So Ingo’s little Pokémon wants to protect you? Fine. But know that it will suffer the same fate as him.”

Chandelure chimed back, I could tell that she took it as a challenge.

He cast out his Roserade and I threw out my Gallade.

He commanded his Pokémon, “Roserade, use Spikes!” The Bouquet Pokémon scattered sharp stones across the rooftop.

I yelled out, “Gallade, use Bulk Up!” I watched my Pokémon pump itself up and raise its attack and defense stats.

Volo went again, “Now then, use Poison Jab!” The Roserade’s arms emitted a purple aura and dripped with poison, then it chased my Gallade around to hit it. And then, it finally did and my Pokémon was poisoned.

I shouted again, “Use Psychic!”

Now that the Pokémon were close, the Blade Pokémon was able to get a clear critical hit on the faster Pokémon. The move crushed the opposing Pokémon and threw it across the rooftop. Roserade weakly stood up again, ready to fight some more.

The blond man threw his arm out, “Petal Dance, now!”

As his Roserade swung its arms around, petals swirled out of its body and headed straight for my Gallade.

I thought, It’s got a chance of missing, he can land the final blow!

I commanded, “Use Psychic again!” My Pokémon’s eyes glowed and dodged some of the petals before throwing the Roserade around with its mind, finishing off Volo’s Pokémon. The poison effect hurt Gallade in the meantime.

I held back my tongue as Volo summoned his last Pokémon: Garchomp. I thought to myself, He’s not in a good spot right now… but who knows how much his ace has grown since we last battled.

The blond man pointed at me, taunting, “It may look like it’s over, but I promise that you’ve been mistaken! Garchomp, use Dragon Claw!” The Mach Pokémon surged foreward and slashed my Gallade, finishing him off.

I looked at my last two Pokéballs and thought hard, I can’t use my ace, I guess we’ll gave to see who has the better Garchomp!

I sent out my own Mach Pokémon and commanded, “Use Dragon Claw!”

Without even Volo’s command, his Garchomp knew that it needed to fight back with the same move. They clashed against each other, roaring. When one of them was hit, the other was hit as well. They were a perfect match… almost. I almost lost track of which of the Pokémon was mine or not, but Volo’s Garchomp was pinned by mine. Before my Garchomp could strike again, the opposing Pokémon had a surge of fury and critically hit my Pokémon, and it fainted.

Volo’s Garchomp threw mine off of it and roared, victorious. But this wasn’t over yet – I still had my Typhlosion. I was at a disadvantage, but I had a clean switch and Volo’s Garchomp looked like it was on its way out. I thought to myself, If I could land two more hits on it… I sent out my ace Pokémon and I held onto Chandelure’s metal arm for a bit of support. She chimed quietly in response. I finally cast out my last Pokémon and I directed it, “Shadow Ball, now!” A dark aura was summoned into a sphere and flew at the Garchomp. The Mach Pokémon’s claws emitted a purple glow once again and tried to fight back against the move to counter it, but the Shadow Ball hit Garchomp anyway.

Volo commanded, “Use Earth Power! Don't disappoint me!” The blue Pokémon roared and the roof started to shake.

I screamed out, “No, wait! The roof might collapse! Volo!” Part of the cement cracked and burst under my Typhlosion, it was super-effective, but my Pokémon stood its ground after the move. A hole formed where the Earth Power was used. “Typhlosion, use Shadow Ball again!” A dark sphere appeared again, targeted at the Garchomp.

Volo let out a twisted grin, “Use your new move to dodge it and attack!”

My eyes widened with horror, New move?! The Mach Pokémon’s body was surrounded by a menacing aura before sprinting past the Shadow Ball and tackling my Pokémon… and then Chandelure! I dashed away after Ingo’s Pokémon nearly shattered, completely unprepared for the attack. My thoughts ran wild, It can hit two Pokémon in the same turn!?

The blond man cackled, “Didn’t expect that, didn’t you? You’re not the only one with tricks up their sleeve! I trained my Garchomp hard since we last met, and it led to this. A new undiscovered move that I have dubbed ‘Dragon Rush’. It has quite the ring to it, doesn’t it?” He then commanded his Pokémon, “Get the snake and chandelier Pokémon.” The dark blue dragon nodded and forcefully punctured Eelekctross and lifted it. The black and yellow Pokémon clicked with pain, blood trickling down its body. Electricity sparked from the Pokémon but it was no use, Garchomp was immune because of its Ground typing and the Elefish Pokémon was too weak for anything else. Chandelure chimed loudly, floating in front of me again, a safe distance away just in case Volo’s Pokémon was going to attack again.

“Play the Azure Flute,” His foot moved down more, applying more pressure on Eelektross's neck. “Or this disgusting creature is next.”

Chandelure looked at me, its yellow gaze pierced into mine. I swallowed and mumbled, “I’m sorry.” I pulled out the Azure Flute, my lips trembled as I started to play the summoning tune. I looked up to the blond man and my eyes widened. Thunder crackled through the sky and the silhouette of a large Pokémon with a blue body and red wings hovered over Volo. I finished the tune with a different note and my hand was shaking as I pointed behind him. I had no idea what this terrifying Pokémon was but I hoped that it was there to help. I croaked, “Th-there.”

When Volo was halfway through turning around, the large Pokémon roared, the cloudy skies glowed violet, and asteroids headed straight toward Garchomp and Volo. The Mach Pokémon ended up releasing Eelektross out of shock, Chandelure swiftly glided over and I followed. The flaming Pokémon summoned the move Protect to keep the three of us safe. The mysterious Pokémon in the sky swooped down to cover Emmet’s remains.

I thought to myself, Wait… Drayden mentioned he was a Dragon-type specialist… is this his Pokémon?! It’s… terrifying.

Volo shouted at me, “You liar! You CHEAT!” He commanded his Garchomp, “Use Dragon Rush again!” The Mach Pokémon prepared itself for another attack, but it looked uneasy. I saw its defenses were lowered. Before it could even move, an asteroid hit directly at Garchomp, finishing it off and searing the Pokémon’s body. The blue-red Pokémon glared at Volo, its small black pupils sent shivers down my spine. The asteroid shower stopped, and the roof was in even worse shape.

I thought once more, One wrong move and it might collapse…

The shield faded and Chandelure flew rapidly towards Volo, its lavender flames burning brightly. Eelektross looked away, and I looked at the Elefish Pokémon in confusion before I started to hear the man start to scream. I let my tears fall as I saw my shadow stretch even more, the light from the flames burning brightly. Volo groaned, sizzling, and Chandelure chimes and the dragon’s roars filled up my ears, the tall man’s voice growing in pitch from pain, “AKARI! H-HIKARI! PLEASE! HELP! I-IT BURNS! N-NO! Noooo!!!... n-nuh…”

Eventually, nothing but thunder was heard.

From the corner of my eye, I saw a roasted body thrown off to the side of the rooftop. Before I could see more than a melted and disfigured carcass, Chandelure suddenly levitated in front of my view. She stared off to the side, and I looked at where her gaze was. Emmet.

Eelektross whimpered, helplessly slithering. I quickly carried the poor, bleeding Pokémon move over to his late Trainer. I did my best to patch the black-and-yellow Pokémon. His arms wrapped around my Uncle, squealing and clicking with sorrow. I grabbed Emmet’s Pokéballs to send out his other Pokémon so they could make a proper goodbye. I healed the ones who were hurt or fainted as well. They circled him, each one having their moments after I covered where his body disconnected with his coat and closed his eyes. I looked back to my side to find that Chandelure wasn’t there, she was levitating to the edge of the building.

“Hey!”, I called out to her. She stopped. I continued, “...Thank you. For saving me. For stopping him. Even though you weren’t able to save them, you still saved the rest of us. It’s what they wanted. You did it.” I looked over to the mysterious dragon Pokémon, “You too.”

The ominous Pokémon lingered there for a few more moments before lowering herself down past the building, the other Pokémon that helped followed. I walked towards the same edge and looked down to see my Dad in Drayden’s arms. I sank against the edge, curling up as I did, and cried. My face was pressed against my knees, my arms wrapped around my legs.

I heard a deep voice echo in my mind, Hikari. A message traveled for thee. I looked up behind me to see Giratina looming over me and shivered.

N-no… don’t…”

I am a threat to thou no longer.

“Wh-what?”

Hear ye… the message… listen close, mortal.

I tried to slow my breathing and listen. The voices I heard earlier came back to me:

H i k a r i . D o y o u h e a r ?

“Y-Yes.”

P l a y t h e A z u r e F l u t e .

“Why? Arceus can’t come here, it’s not Mt. Coronet.”

But their power lingers still.

I looked at the Renegade Pokémon, confused, “Are you… helping me?”

I was banished to the Distortion World, long ago. Whilst traveling to this time, I sensed an entity with great prowess that exists somewhere past my domain and my command. Something that goes against mine envisage.

“What worse can it do than you?”

The dark Pokémon was silent for a moment before answering,

We are forbidden to speak of this quiddity. Our voices are forever sealed from it. You may understand another day.

“And why didn’t you help earlier when I still had Ingo and Emmet?! Did they die for nothing?!

Their voices overlapped,

T h e y d i e d f o r a r e a s o n .

L i s t e n c l o s e , d e a r m o r t a l .

Play the Azure Flute, now.

I pointed at Giratina, “But you killed my dad and uncle… Why should I trust you?”

And thine almost killed me. I had no choice. If I had fallen, a terror worse than the world has ever seen would reign. If I had stopped the Pokémon Wielder beforehand, we wouldn’t have the ability to share such restricted information as we should.

I looked back at the Pokémon surrounding Emmet, and then down to where everyone else was mourning for Ingo.

T h e r e i s n o t m u c h t i m e l e f t .

Play the Azure Flute.

“And… what comes next? Who are these other voices in my head? They sound… familiar?

They didn’t answer the latter question.

T h y w e r e c h o s e n f o r a r e a s o n .

Y o u w i l l k n o w w h a t t o d o .

Thy can still save them.

S a v e u s . S a v e e v e r y o n e .

From the threats of this entity.

I pulled out the Azure flute again and my hands trembled.

W e k n o w y o u r p a i n . Y o u h a v e a s t r o n g r e s o l v e. B r e a t h e , y o u w i l l k n o w w h a t t o d o.

I nodded slowly, breathing deeply, and started to play the tune. The soft song filled the air as the rain kept pelting on us. I felt something lift inside my body, and the flute started to glow. I looked up into the sky to see Dialga and Palkia floating in the sky.

I looked back to the platinum Pokémon, its glowing eyes stared at me.

Do not fail.

The Temporal and Spatial Pokémon roared. The sky went dark, my only light source was the Azure Flute and I gripped onto it tightly. and I felt myself float as the buildings started to tear apart, I heard different voices of people all around me. It sounded distorted, it sounded… backward.

My heartbeat started to rapidly pulse in my chest as I looked around, the ground being lifted into the air. I saw Giratina open a portal and flew through – it was going back into the Distorted World. Some voices I heard were louder than others:

“?nomekeP etisaraP a ereht sI”

I thought, Wait… that sounds like me.

“.hgu… gnikrow saw rotavele eht hsiw I”

That’s Emmet! I looked over to see him moving back, then staring at a photo for a while. I was close enough to see that he was looking at a drawing of him and Ingo. I then looked up at his saddened expression. Suddenly, he started to move back more, out of my view. Everything was changing rapidly.

“.latipsoh eht ni s‘ehS …si latnuahS”

I looked around to see where Emmet was talking to Grimsley, I hope he got to see Shauntal. The world took yet another different shape to when the coin flip happened.

“.sdaeH”

It warped further and further…

“?srengierof eht era ew ,hO”

“...egaugnal siht rof ‘nawD’ si eman reH”

And then, I saw something else I hadn’t seen before. It was within the gate to Castelia City. Ingo and Emmet crying and hugging each other.

.niaga uoy gnivael reven m’I taht esimorp I dnA

It shifted and shifted…

“...emag a fo dne eht ta uoy rof stiaw taht ssob gib emos ekil sleef ti…”

“...efil ym ni emit tsrif eht rof eno evah ot elba saw I taht lufetarg erom eht lla em sekam ti dna ,rehtaf a dah reven I taht ecneserp sih fo esuaceb wonk I…”

Then, it moved slower.

“?ti t’nsi ,won avonU ot evisulcxe ton won si amsalP maeT …oS”

.htaed naht esrow etaf a ecaf lla lliw ew dnA .emoc ot era sgniht esrow ,ti ekam lla ew fI .gninnigeb eht tsuj si sihT”

My feet started to touch the ground again, I thought, Wait… here? I guess it’s enough time to let me think of a plan before we get to the tower.

And before I knew it… time moved normally.

I saw Emmet put his hands on his hips, “If this were any other day, I wouldn’t have lifted a finger. Understand?”

Hali nodded, “Understood.” She pointed to the passed-out Team Plasma member, “Do not bother dragging him away, he has always been afraid of dog Pokémon. He’s completely passed out.”

I thought, It’s when Emmet destroyed the surveillance and spoke to that woman… Hali, was it? At least I wont have to battle Team Plasma again right now.

Emmet shrugged, “Even if he heard, I wouldn’t let him get away anyway.” He sighed, “Before we get to the most pressing matter, what is Team Plasma doing with my station?”

Ingo repeated himself, correcting Emmet calmly, “Our station.”

Hali spoke quickly, “Team Plasma wanted to transport cargo here to put them onto trucks, get them to Castelia, and ship them away. I know where, but… I-It’s complicated.”

I raised a brow, “How so? Just tell me.”

How am I going to be able to do this? How am I going to save everyone? Think, Hikari, THINK!

Hali was shaking again, “Right after I took over the station, I knew the cargo was going to Kalos. I don’t know what they were supplying. But then, they started to ship somewhere else. Nobody said where, but people around said that the reason why they moved on was because the ‘contractee has failed to meet availability standards’ and not a single person said any more detail than that.”

Drayden squinted, “Team Plasma worked with someone outside? I never expected for them to expand so far.”

She replied, “Yes… They are on a new plan now since the last one failed. Like I said, no idea what.”

We need to bring more people on the rooftop for backup. But who?

Emmet scratched the back of my head, “Did some organization take the cargo?” My eyes widened, “Didn’t Team Flare get popular a few years back? Did they take it?”

Hali answered, “It was just one man from what I’ve heard. I do not have a clue what his affiliation was. Doesn’t matter because he’s gone now.”

Cilan’s eyes widened, “Wait, was it Colress, then?!”

Hali shook her head, “Colress is gone, he has been gone for years. Nobody knows where he is located anyway, he managed to go completely under the radar.” She was silent for a moment, deep in thought, “I do not who who the leader is. I haven’t even been in Team Plasma or this region for long.”

Emmet’s eyes widened, “Wait, you’re not from here? That explains your Furfrou… How did they get you and your friends?”

Hali paused for a moment, her Furfrou leaned onto her shoulder and nudged her. She commanded her Pokémon, “That’s all.” She was silent for a few more moments.

“Uh… Hali?”

Ugh, I need help! Why didn’t those weird voices and Giratina elaborate more?

Her voice shook slightly, “Do not worry. It is… unrelated.” I couldn’t tell if it was a lie or not, but I didn’t want to press too hard. She finally answered the question, “Where I am from is currently unimportant. And so how they captured me.” She stood up, “Everything was a blur, I barely remember most of it and I don’t know why. And it all happened so fast and the world seems to be ending in a more peaceful way than I thought it would.” Confusion spread across Emmet’s face, along with everyone else’s, and she added, “Do not mind that. Something is stirring up within Team Plasma, and whatever it is, it will be big. Whatever you do, do not defeat Giratina.”
I questioned, since I knew that i spoke around this time, “How did you know that Giratina was up there?”

Hali sighed, “If it wasn’t Giratina, the sky wouldn’t be looking like this. Nor would ancient Sinnoh Pokémon be running around here,” She then added, “Team Plasma did not take part in this, I can promise you that.”

Giratina and that other weird voices said they were forbidden to speak about this entity, but why not tell me a plan about getting rid of it? Unless…

Ingo nodded, “We know that already. Just tell us the reason why we shouldn’t get there.”
Hali squirmed a little, uncomfortable with answering, “Listen to me. All of you. Heed my warning.” Her voice became more serious…

“This is just the beginning. If we all make it, worse things are to come. And we will all face a fate worse than death. Two years of shipping cargo and information have been discreetly passed to others. This plan of Team Plasma’s must be more vile than the world has ever seen and it would be best if nobody ever found out what it is.”

I stepped forward to Hali, “We need to stop focusing on Team Plasma and talk about you. How did you know that the Hisuian Pokémon running around here was caused by Giratina? Are you some kind of historian? An event like this doesn’t happen very often, let alone outside of Sinnoh. So how are you of all people so sure about this?”

Hali paused and turned to look at me, I could hear her mumble…

“You weren’t supposed to say that.”

Notes:

Sorry for the huge gap of not posting. I was busy with college.

Anyway, GET CLIFFHANGER’D AGAIN MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I made some last minute changes to this chapter and I didn’t feel like revising it because I am tired and really wanted to post it today so there.

Cuz the dates match the year. Aha. Ahahaha. Haha. Ha.

Chapter 13: Deja Vu

Summary:

Hali knows much more than she's letting on and gives Akari a snippet of her wisdom. In the meantime, Emmet and Ingo find themselves conversing but have a feeling that the conversations they're having all seem too familiar...

Notes:

RECAPPING THE LAST CHAPTER:
the twins get brutally killed by Giratina but it was apparently because Giratina wanted to share information privately information about some being that has been tampering with the world and asks Hikari/Akari for help and there’s also these familiar, wispy voices that usher her to help. Dialga and Palkia appear with the power of the Azure Flute and send Akari back in time and space so she can change Ingo and Emmet’s fates… and Volo’s too I guess. And thought that her best lead would be Hali.

Author’s note:
Wow. it's been months.

I originally intended to finish this chapter before my first year of college ended but life seriously got in the way. My roommate wasn't exactly understanding of me and then after the year was over, I was trying to find a job, which went something like this:

*I submit an application, and call the next day*: Hey can I have a follow-up on my application?
Place: Our manager isn't here, call tomorrow.
*I call the next day*: Hey can I have a follow-up on my application?
Place* Our manager isn't here, call tomorrow.
*I call the next day*: Hey can I have a follow-up on my application?
Place: Our manager isn't here, call tomorrow...

You get the idea.

I then tried to make a Fiverr, but I was stumped on pricing, so that's gonna take a bit. And then I played Roblox and almost thousand percented Splatoon 2: Octo expansion (the matchmaker one with the rapid blaster took me FOREVER). Then, finally got the therapy that was long overdue. And lastly, I re-wrote maybe half of this chapter and finished it today.

TLDR: I had to go through several side quests before realizing all I needed was coffee with hazelnut creamer and chocolate syrup to get me to finish this chapter.

(P.S. Sorry for no song reference in the chapter title, I just couldn't find one that fit. I don't know when the next chapter will come since this fic has went down on my priority list considering that, once again, I need a job. But to settle all of your minds, just know that I know what the ending will, and I knew how to write it ever since I was a few chapters in, not counting the "Prologues". Oh, and, I've also revised some previous chapters and will replace the old versions soon.)

Anyway, please enjoy this chapter.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

I looked at the woman in dark teal, speechless. She mumbled to herself, “Emmet was supposed to get angry with me and…” Her hand balled up into a fist, then proceeded to talk to me at a normal volume, “We need to speak alone.”

Ingo’s eyes narrowed, “I’m not allowing that.”

I butted in, “I’ll be fine. She has no Pokemon and she’s a hostage of Team Plasma. Her Furfrou’s status as her service Pokemon supports that. None of us are in danger. Not like there are bigger Basculin to fry right now and she knows that.” I almost broke down into tears when he looked at me. I thought, He’s alive. Really, really alive. And… Emmet is, too. Is this real? Whatever this is, whatever opportunity I was given, I need to make this count.

Ingo sighed, “If you say so…”

I nodded and helped Hali stand up. We walked away from the others and stopped when we were just around the corner of Gear Station. I then whispered to her, “How did you know what was supposed to-?”

Shen interrupted, finishing my thought, “Happen next? And knew that you time traveled? Very irresponsibly? It’s too complicated for you as of right now. You may understand another day.”

I raised my brows, somewhat offended from being interrupted and insulted simultaneously. But, I had to admit that it was almost cool in a way but it also gave me a chill down my spine as I realized how utterly aware she was about what was about to happen. I thought, Wait, Giratina said the same thing: ‘You may understand another day’. Was this the Renegade Pokemon’s way of telling me where to go next? They said they were forbidden to say anything, but of course, they’re known to be quite the rebel.

Hali continued, “How did you do it? That was extremely reckless and dangerous. Refrain from doing it again.”

The more I heard her speak, the more I realized she sounded different now versus when we first arrived in Nimbasa. She had an accent I couldn’t recognize, it didn’t trigger anything in my memory.

I ignored her scolding, “I used the Azure Flute after Emmet and Ingo… passed,” I sighed, trying not to think about what happened before, “Giratina and these other voices told me to play the flute, so I did, and now I’m back here because I ended up summoning Dialga and Palkia. They appeared in the sky… or I think they did. They’re known to make projections sometimes. Well, Arceus is the one who does that but- Wait, wait, I’m getting off track here…”

I looked down from her face, and through the veil, I saw her pale skin. A pang of guilt rang inside of me as I felt bad for the situation she was in. Locked up and alone, forced to do Team Plasma’s bidding. But something felt off about her that I couldn’t put my finger on. Did she wear glasses? No, sunglasses?

My mind bursts with thoughts again, Arceus, this lady is a mystery… Sunglasses? And a Veil? With a large hat? Fully clothed from head to toe? Was this part of some Team Plasma-made disguise or is there something more I’m not catching? She’s only heaving when pressured too much.

I realized that I had to stop wasting time and keep digging for information. Hali replied and I shook my thoughts away, “The Temporal and Spatial Pokemon…” She thought for a moment, “Yes, I know of them. But that was still. Dangerous. You have no clue what could’ve happened by doing that.”

I huffed a little, thinking, Arceus sent me back in time once already…

“Look, Hali, they sent me back here for a reason, and I think it was to talk to you. You’re leaving out important information and I need to keep everyone alive. What now?”

“You can never keep everyone alive. It is an unfortunate reality-”

I interrupted, my brows furrowed, “I don’t care. I was chosen by Arceus for a reason, not to toot my own horn or anything. I spent a lot of time in Hisui, then traveled to present-day Unova, and now I’ve time-traveled back to speak with you. So, spit it out, you weird lady.”

She threw up her hands, a bit offended, “Alright, alright.” She sighed, “If the brilliant lights of the universe shined for a child such as you to do this… then fine,” She then grumbled, “Not like it’s the first time that’s happened,” Hali then continued some more, speaking normally again, “If my help does work, then do me a favor and tell Emmet to meet with me at-”

I finished her sentence, “Virbank City. Mind if I come, too? Pretty please?”

She paused momentarily before answering, “...Fine. But only because you were chosen by the Alpha Pokemon itself and nothing more.”

“Perfect, what’s the plan?”

-

My brother turned to me as Akari spoke to Hali in private, “Did you know what she was talking about? When she said that Akari wasn’t supposed to say something?”

My gaze didn’t break away from the two women, “No, and I don’t like where this is headed, and I don’t like how secretive they’re being currently.”

“You still don’t think Hali is a victim?”

“How am I supposed to know that she isn’t faking? It’s not hard to replicate fear.”

Ingo put a hand on my shoulder, “She gave you valuable information about Team Plasma, you’re becoming irrational.”

“‘Valuable’ my foot, she gave us nothing. I don’t care what they used to ship cargo, we need to know what’s in it and where it’s going. If you don’t recall, Ingo, when you have enough people to transport items, you can be as tight-lipped as you want about what’s traveling and where it’s going. Even though there are set destinations for trains, we don’t know which cars were empty or loaded.” I sighed, “Trust me, I tried tracking them right after I lost the subway but they made the window tint darker and kept everything in boxes or storage containers.”

Ingo became worried, “You were stalking them?”

“Yeah, I get it. I’m petty. Moving on,” I grumbled, stepping aside a bit more, “They were smart enough not to be in uniform, so there wasn’t a way of me knowing that it was Team Plasma. Like I said, ‘tight-lipped’. Verrrrrry big red flag.

Drayden’s voice made me jolt again, “They sure would’ve sued if I didn’t catch you first.”

I squinted at my uncle, “Yeah, well, at least we know they had ulterior motives, just as I suspected. Oh, by the way, I told you so.

The older man rolled his eyes and looked at Ingo, “You should’ve seen how paranoid he was..”

My brows furrowed, “But I was right!”

Iris butted in, “You were tweaking.”

I groaned at Iris, “You try losing everything you’ve built and your twin brother.”

The young girl’s voice lowered, “We did when we lost you, too.”

Drayden quickly ushered Iris away, I could barely make out his words, “Not here…”

I sighed, my frustration dying down. Then Ingo spoke, confused. “What did she mean by that?”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“No, I will. She’s my cousin too.”

“I’ve just been focused on finding you, okay?”

Elesa overheard and raised a brow, “And ignoring any help we’d try to give you?”

“You weren’t helping, you just wanted me to move on. And look, Team Plasma’s behind what happened to the subway and Ingo is alive.”

“That doesn’t erase how much it changed you,” She huffed, “If that weren’t the case-”

If.”

“Don’t let this get into your head,” Elesa she walked away, shaking her head, “Don’t even.”

I thought again, But I was always like this… right?

I turned to Ingo to explain more, but before I could speak, he said, “I think I get it now.”

An awkward silence spread between us before I changed the conversation, “Anyway… you remembered my name?”

“More than that, but it’s hard to grasp. My memory is still quite fuzzy, I didn’t know I had a family until I came here.”
“What? So even when you’d look in a mirror you wouldn’t…?”

“A feeling would show up rather than a memory, like the person I was looking at didn’t feel like it was myself entirely. I brushed it off until I battled Akari for the first time. Her style was different and felt much more familiar. However, I had already changed so much as a person at that point, I was already a Warden and committed to helping Hisuians, and I was thinking about moving on.”

My heart dropped, “You… wanted to move on?”

“Hisui is a very different place than Unova, it was hard to move back on the tracks that were made for me. I still don’t know how I got there, even after we battled, I vaguely remember walking a path, but that’s it.”

“We’ve lived our whole life together yet nothing rings a bell? You moved on, became a big part of the Pearl Clan, made your own mock battling facility, you’re wearing different clothing… you’re living a whole other life now.”

Ingo frowned, “I did what I needed to do to acclimate and survive. Even though I moved on, there was a part of me that didn’t want to let you go. I never belonged in Hisui, I never did, even though I love it so much. I belong here as your brother.”

Bitter thoughts crept up on me, You can belong anywhere you want to.

I replied to my brother, shaking my thoughts away, “Do you feel like you belong here?”

He chuckled, “Of course I do! I feel at home with you, Drayden, Iris, Akari…” His voice trailed off.

I raised a brow, “Akari? I assume because she randomly appeared in Hisui like you?”

“Well, yes and… I also adopted her.”

“Wh- hm?” My eyes widened with surprise.

Drayden popped up again behind me, “Who got adopted?”

I jumped again and turned to my uncle, “Stop doing that.”

Drayden ignored my comment and continued, “She’s someone else’s child, Ingo.”

Ingo defended himself, “She needed someone to guide her and teach her the customs and language of Hisui. She’d go out often by herself so I’d cook for her, too, and give her the safety and home she needed because there wasn’t anyone who knew how to take care of me when I first got there, too.”

Drayden nodded slowly, understanding as I was still standing there in shock. He then replied, “Well, I suppose as we figure out both of your situations, you two can stay at Emmet’s when we’re done with today.”

I snapped out of my thoughts, “Wait, what?

I suddenly felt uneasy and thought, Why does this conversation… sound familiar?

Drayden spoke more, “You’re a responsible man, aren’t you? You can house your brother and his daughter.” He raised a brow, “Are you not keeping-”

“Everything nice and clean? Sure. I might be struggling a bit on food… and taxes.”

Drayden’s cheeks lift, which was the usual tell that he was smiling under his beard, “Oh, Arceus, I’m just giving you a hard time, I’ll pitch in of course, as long as my new grand-niece stays strong and healthy.”

I blinked, “Right…”

And then… Elesa…

Elesa moved to stand by Ingo, “I wanna help too! Akari’s very pretty, I can already think of many outfits for her that I can get her. We should go to the mall together, boutiques too!”

I let my words slip out of my mouth, “You’ve really changed a lot, I wish I was there for you in Hisui.”

Ingo smiled softly, “I know you do, but I’m here now.”

A dark thought went through my head, “How do I know if it’s you and not some other Ingo? What if mine is dead and you’re in the wrong universe?”

Ingo’s eyes widened, “Oh! I almost forgot! Volo said a power that Giratina had was to detect space-time portals and rifts around the world since it had created such a thing. In addition, he mentioned that there was a mysterious connection between this region and Sinnoh. So they made a portal to here two years later than I had left, making our times synch perfectly. That’s how we got back. I meant to tell you that earlier but the battle we had got us preoccupied.”
“That’s… oddly specific.”

Why am I still going through Deja Vu?

“Why didn’t he kill us all this morning if Volo has this power?”

Ingo hummed, thinking, “I am… not sure.”

And then Cilan will…

Cilan opened his mouth to speak, but I spoke quicker, “Hold on, wait, wait. Ingo.”

My brother raised a brow, “Um… what?”

“Call me crazy but something doesn’t… feel right. Right now.” I was about to talk about the familiarity of the conversation, but I decided to brush it off and say something else, “I think we should be moving. We need to get Akari and go, we’ve been standing here for too long and the Gym leaders are waiting for us.” I turned to Cilan, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you.”

The young man replied, “It’s fine, I didn’t exactly make myself visible to you.”

“Yeah… right.”

Akari came back to our group after talking to Hali privately, Ingo then asked, “So, what did she say?”

She replied, “I’ll tell you later, just know that she wants Emmet to go to Virbank City after everything’s done today. I’m going with him.”
Ingo was getting worried, “Wait, what? Why not me?”

She shrugged, “Not sure, just trust me, okay?”

Drayden nudged my brother, “You need to go to the hospital after this anyway because of that head injury anyway… speaking of that-”

Before our uncle could inspect Akari, Ingo informed him, “Akari didn’t have any abrasions on her head when she came. She landed on the beach rather than on solid ground, like me. Sure, she still has memory loss, but she’s a tough one, right Akari.”

She giggled, “Please, Dad, don’t embarrass me.” Akari then sighed, “We should keep moving.”

After the conversation ended, we rounded up everyone and Ingo helped Irida with translating the conversation we had before Adaman decided to take the role. I still had an uneasy feeling lingering inside me as we left to go to the gate, leading to Castelia City.

-

Time passes and we walk through the gate to Castelia, Emmet’s Pokemon lighting the way up as it was slinked around Ingo, but instead of joining the others, I lingered behind to stay with my father and uncle for longer after everyone was done conversing. I remembered they stayed behind for a moment when we arrived in the City, so I took advantage of it. I hugged them, “I love you guys.” I turned to Emmet, “I know that it was only today that I’ve known you, but I already look up to you a lot,” My uncle’s face softened and I continued, “We all saw you battle, and you’re incredible. You’re also different from Ingo, more so than anyone probably expected, but in a good way. It’s pretty funny, too. You are also determined and you want to get the job done as fast as possible and you don’t let anything get in your way, you’re intelligent and easy to get along with, at least for me. I’m forever happy that you accept me as your niece and a new addition to your family.”

Ingo gave me a look that I was too familiar with; suspicion. I blinked. He stared. The yellow light coming from Emmet’s Eelektross made his face look a bit scary and I started to get nervous. His silver eyes bore into me. I stared back. Emmet helplessly looked back and forth between us. Ingo raised his brows. I raised mine. I thought, He knows. He knows. He knows…

Emmet broke the silence, mumbling, “You two are creeping me out.”
Ingo didn’t break eye contact with me, “Akari.”

…He knows. He knows. He knows. He knows…

He continued, “Are you alright there?”

Don’t do that. I don’t want to think about that. Don’t make me.

I replied in the most normal, calm manner I could muster, “I’m fine. What makes you ask that?”

His gaze softened, “Because if you were okay, you wouldn’t look at me so much.”

I squinted, “You told me it was proper to keep eye contact!”

“But you know it makes me uncomfortable if it’s so prolonged like that. You stare at me when you don’t want me to know something, expecting me to shy away. I’m not letting you get away with that, not today out of all days.”

It was almost uncanny how much Ingo sounded like Emmet when he got serious.

Emmet looked shocked and looked to his brother, “Woah, wait, are you even sure that’s what she’s doing?”

Ingo kept staring at me, “I live in a tight-knit community in Hisui. I see the same people, so I know everyone quite personally.” He raised his brows, “Especially my daughter who lives with me.”

I kept thinking, Don’t call me that or I’ll… n-no, I’m already…

Tears started to run down my cheeks as my lips tensed up to prevent myself from sobbing. Ingo pulled me in for a hug and I immediately returned it. I couldn’t help but break down in his arms.

My thoughts continued, Why does he have to hug me the same way he does all the time? With one arm going around mine so that his hand would rub my back, and his other hand on the back of my head or close to my cheek if I’m looking at him and crying, to wipe my tears. He never says a thing until I say something, anything to indicate that I’m ready to talk.

I didn’t deserve him.

Why leave me with no father all my life and then suddenly give me this miracle of a man only for him to die? Why tear me apart from my mother to give me this family I can’t keep either? No, no, I can change his fate. I can change their fates. That’s why I’m here.

Come on, feel the warmth of his embrace, and know that you can still have the father you need, Hikari. You can hear his heart beating in his chest, he’s still alive.

I finally spoke, “I’m scared,” I swallowed a bit of mucus that was building up in my throat from holding back my tears earlier, “W-What if things go wrong?” …again.

Ingo replied softly, “Then it goes wrong. But we will at least be together.”

No, we won't.

I tried to reply but I ended up blubbering out my words. Emmet put a hand on my shoulder, “We won’t lose. I’m sure you know how smart Ingo is, but you know that I’m also experienced. And, well, I’m also an Elite Four member.”
Ingo chuckled, “Oh? Does my Warden status not mean anything now?”

Emmet smiled, but it wasn’t one of sarcasm or mocking, no, it was almost childlike. A simple bright smile that made me feel better in a way, “That, too. Sorry, I’m still not used to you being here.” His eyes started to get a bit glassy and he hugged Ingo along with me, I took that as my cue to pull myself together and leave them be to talk.

Hali told me her plan. It must work, it has to.

I cleared my throat and dried my eyes, “I think I’ll be outside.”

My dad scruffed the back of my collar and reeled me back in, “Nope! Get back here!” I giggled and hesitantly wrapped my arms around him again. He added, “Until you stop crying, I’m not done hugging you. And we’re about to face someone with great power, so I need you not to get ahead of yourself like last time.” He proceeded to lift me into a Ursaring hug and I yelped.

I replied, “I know, I know!”

I questioned myself, Do I really?

Ingo put me down, practically reading my thoughts, “But do you? We don’t know what tricks are up his sleeve, so we best be more careful when we reach our last stop.”

I nodded, “Right…”

“I know you’ve done it before, but that doesn’t mean our victory is certain, so we must be vigilant.”

I kept thinking, I wish I could tell him everything. I wish we could go back to Hisui and live a normal life there. So what if I abandon what I had here? I don’t remember any of it anyway. I know I should care… but… If I could do anything to go back just a bit further…

Ingo noticed my mood dropping, “Hey, did I bring you down?” He frowned, “Sorry, look, I’m nervous, too.”

That comment forced a chuckle out of me, “Oh? So now you admit you’re nervous?”

Emmet spoke bluntly, “I think Volo is stupid. he’s just a human like the rest of us, there’s no way he could become a God. His ego is bigger than I’ve ever witnessed, and that’s saying a lot.”

My dad sighed, “You’re right, he is just human.” He sighed and put me down, “We need to get going.”

I thought as my eyes widened for a moment, Oh no. They want to move on now. I robbed them of some special moment, didn’t I? What If I fail again? Will I be able to have another chance? I was getting ahead of myself again, wasn’t I?

The three of us walked out of the tunnel, everything after was a blur. I wanted to speak but knew that’s not what I was here for. I only spoke when spoken to and acted appropriately to what I was before I went back in time. For some reason, my tears felt so much more prevalent when Shirona told me that I had a mother. I had to make her proud.

Drayden sits down, Gaelic argues about his plan to others, and Emmet scribbles and erases notes.

I thought to myself, almost there…

The Gym Leader Cheren then defends his plan, thinking about flankining, and then, Emmet’s cue showed up and I prepared myself.

The man groaned and tore out several pages of his notebook, crushed them into a ball, and threw them away in a nearby trash can. He sighed and spoke calmly in his usual monotone voice to cover up the sudden burst, “In my opinion, all of these plans are too flawed and predictable. The stakes are higher than ever before, we have to be more careful than this.” The Hisuians we weren’t with finally noticed my uncle, looking confused at what seemed to be a copy of Ingo. He sighed, “I am Emmet, Ingo’s twin brother.” He pointed to the other Unovans, “Uncle Drayden. Cousin Iris and Roxie. Clay. Cilan. Best friend Elesa,” he crossed his arms, “No more questions. Let’s not waste time.”

Elesa shook her head playfully and mumbled something to herself that I couldn’t hear.

As I saw Emmet’s frustration with his existence being ignored until he made a scene, I couldn’t help but feel pity for him. I started to zone out as the conversation kept going until Emmet gave Ingo his XTranscevier to input some TMs for his Pokemon.

I spoke, “I think Iris should come, too. She may use some Dragon-type Pokemon, since I remember seeing her Dragonite earlier, but Maybe she could trade her Pokemon temporarily so that she may have a better advantage.”

My gaze drifted to the younger girl, who was glaring at Emmet, “I agree.”

My uncle raised a brow, “Um… Iris-?”

She interrupted, “I’m surprised you didn’t suggest me, but I guess you just… forgot.”

Emmet’s eyes drooped, “Iris, please, not now. I didn’t forget you.”

“So why didn’t you-”

Drayden’s hand gently grabbed Iris’ shoulder, “Iris, please…

She shrugged his hand off, “No! I want him to answer.” Her gaze locked onto Emmet’s, “Why shouldn’t I go, Emmet? I’m the Champion, your cousin, the one you trusted most. But you flake out when you need me. Why?”

My eyes widened as all this unfolded, thinking, Oh… no. Is this supposed to happen?

Emmet replied calmly, “I just thought that four people may be too risky. We don’t know if Volo tampered with the building so if there are too many moves simultaneously, the building may collapse. Even if he didn’t do anything, it would still be high risk because of the weather conditions. We’d be in a high place, so it would be difficult to keep us all together. Not to mention, you have three Dragon-type Pokemon on your team.”

Iris’ eyes narrowed, “Really?”

The bearded man then added, “But, I suppose with Akari’s suggestion of you trading-”

Iris ignored Drayden, her eyes bore into Emmet’s, “So it takes some other person you know nothing about to-”

My uncle replied, blinking and looking away, “Ingo adopted her and trusted her with his life, so I-”

“Do you have any idea how stupid that sounds? We’ve barely seen her battle, even when we were fighting Team Plasma on our way here.”

Alder’s eyes widened, “Team Plasma is back?”

There was a mix of groans and shock amongst the Unovan crowd, Iris and Emmet paid no attention to it. I thought, That wasn’t supposed to be revealed until Grimsley got here… right? That retired Elite Four member…?

Emmet kept speaking to the young girl, “She and Ingo has a better advantage, I-”

“Oh, because they’re more family than we are?” My eyes widened as Iris snapped, “Who’s fault is that, Emmet?”

Emmet swallowed and continued speaking, “It’s because they know Volo better than we do, Iris.”

The Unovan Champion still looked hurt, “You think I can’t learn?”

“I think you can’t survive.” Emmet’s expression softened, “I’m not keeping you out because I don’t think your Pokemon are strong, I’m keeping you out because you aren’t strong enough.” Iris huffed a little as Emmet kept talking, “Your Pokemon and your bond with them are the reason you are Champion, but this fight is much more than that, it’s much more dangerous.”

“So it’s because I’m just a kid? That’s it? We’ll just pretend that other kids haven’t done this before?”

“No, not just a kid. You are my cousin, my uncle's daughter, and I’m not trading my niece’s life for yours. I’m keeping both of you.”

I snapped back into reality as Emmet declined my suggestion, the very person Hali said was needed, “No, she has to come.”

He looked at me, “Akari, you heard me.”

“I’m not and I need you to trust me – no, trust yourself. Besides, bringing Iris wasn’t the only suggestion I had.” I suddenly realized that I was getting a bit carried away, “You finish your thought, first Emmet.”

My uncle went on to explain that everyone would be in teams, he does his counting again, and finally, the former Elite Four member arrived with the Professor. More bickering ensues that I just couldn’t bother paying attention to since I’ve heard it all before, and then the coin flip happens. As Grimsly’s coin was launched in the air, and was stolen by his Honchcrow, I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding since despite the game being rigged from the start, there was still a chance Emmet would’ve been wrong about his choice. I snapped out of my thoughts again when Emmet told Grimsley about this other Elite Four member, Shauntal, and then to go with him to Virbank.

I thought to myself again, Well, Hali did say he was needed, too… but why him? How is Grimsley connected to this? How would she ever know him if she was here and he was in some other country…?

Emmet then went on to talk to Elesa after the black-haired man left, probably telling him about the Emolga part of his plan. I had to give it to him, using the Pokemon she intended on using for some fashion show was pretty smart. He then walked towards me, “So, you mentioned that you had some other suggestion besides bringing Iris?”

I nodded, “Yeah, and we’re gonna need Shirona and Drayden’s help.”

Before I could continue, Iris came to us, “So, am I still going?”

Emmet looked away, I could see guilt on his face before responding, “Yeah… Akari seemed persistent about it so I suppose you can. You’ll just need to rearrange Pokemon with someone because of your Dragon-types, maybe go to Cynthia for it.”

-

I watched my brother and Akari talk to each other and Iris leaving them. I couldn’t help but be curious on why my daughter was acting so strange.

I then felt a familiar hand on my shoudler, It was Drayden, “Do you think only the four of you can do it? I trust all of you, but…” He sighed, his voice trailing off.

I tried to comfort him, “I’ve grown a lot when living in Hisui and Akari has told me a lot about her first battle with Volo. I think we’ll do just fine.”

“I know, I just… I don’t want to risk losing any of you. Do you think I can go, too?”

“You’ve already been moving a lot today, and don’t think for a second that I didn’t hear you groan when sitting down.”

The older man raised a brow, “Are you calling me ‘old’?”

“I fully respect your strength, but I don’t think you’ll be able to walk up several flights of stairs and then battle afterward without taking a break.”

“Oh please, I’m still very much filled with the energy of life!”

Alder came by us, whom I didn’t even know was eavesdropping, “Come on, you’re an old man, just accept it. Good muscle doesn’t mean good bones!” He patted my uncle’s back.

Drayden grumbled, “I could say the same thing to you. Good hair dye doesn’t mean good hair…”

“Okay, ouch. Don’t get all grumpy on me, old friend.”

I sighed, speaking to Drayden again, “We’ll be fine, okay?”

My uncle nodded, finally accepting. We heard Akari call out to him and Cynthia, who was seemingly in a very deep conversation with Professor Laventon and Zisu, so it took her a moment to reply and get over to her. Drayden then wrapped his arms around me, “I love you, alright? Your future is still bright, don’t let it slip out of your hands,” He then let me go, “Protect our family for me, okay?”

“I will.”

Drayden left to go talk to Emmet, Akari, and Cynthia. I started to get a sick feeling in my stomach until I heard my Clan Leader’s voice, “You look uneasy.”

I replied in Hisuinese, “You don’t look so good yourself, you’re sweating buckets…”
Irida chuckled, Adaman was also with her. She then kept talking, “That curly-haired man in green gave me something called an ‘electric fan’, it looks similar to that one Rotom form you’ve told me about before. It feels nice, but it’s not enough. However, it’s certainly more efficient than a normal, folding fan.”

I smiled softly, “I’m sure that after this, there will be a way for you and everyone else to go back to Hisui.”

Her smile slowly dropped, “What if that doesn’t happen? What if we get stuck here, too?”

I put my hand on her shoulder, “If that is how everything comes out, then you have Akari and I to guide you.”

There was a long pause between us, Adaman then spoke, “You have quite a large family, don’t you? Is your memory still not serving you after getting to know them again?”

I shrugged, “It’s still bits and pieces, but a lot better than before.”

The Diamond Clan Leader grinned, “Well, after this, you’ll have all the time in the world to remember again, and so does Akari.”

I heard Emmet call for me and Irida held onto my sleeve before I could go, “Survive for us, okay?”

Adaman added, “And don’t waste a moment waiting, your time is now and you must act.”

I nodded, “I will, we can get through this… Thank you.”

I left the Gym with Emmet, Akari, and Iris, heading to the Game Freak Building.

Notes:

I was tempted to have Drayden say to Ingo, "Make sure your brother comes back in one piece" but I thought it was too on the nose... and maybe too early.

Also, side-note, f*ck Grammarly because it keeps telling me to delete words and then tells me to add them back afterward. I wish all this premium sh*t didn't exist, some please tell me what's better bc I'm at my final straw, guys.

Monochrome Memories: Where The Things Have No Color - Simply_Bored (2024)

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