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How the Seeds Sprout

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by DIO, Sep 14, 2014.

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  1. DIO


    Legendary Egg
    (Groudon Egg)
    Level 12
    Sep 14, 2014
    Chapter 1: The Beginnings

    "It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from their sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression." - Eric Hoffer


    Corruption is a quiet yet deceptively powerful evil. It took two simple conversations for the seeds to be planted in two good, innocent, moral, well-meaning people. All because of Mega Evolution.


    The first happened many years ago. A genius young man with a bright future and amazing hair was approached by another equally smart youth with equally amazing hair, inquiring what the other knew about Mega Evolution. The first replied that he didn't know much, but, intrigued, offered to help the other research the subject.

    That exchange led to a long and plentiful friend and partnership.


    The second conversation happened not too long ago. The region's leading Pokémon Professor met with his five pupils in his lab in Lumiose City and talked separately to the legacy of Pokémon battling, the girl raised on stories of her parents' Pokémon adventures and the legend of Mega Evolution. The girl admitted that, after hearing all the legends behind Mega Evolution, it was a major goal of hers to learn as much as she could about it and master it if she had the chance.

    The professor smiled and told her that he was sure that her dream would come true. And, he added, if anyone would unlock the secrets of Mega Evolution, she would be the key.

    The girl left glowing with his praise.

    A short time later, the girl's rival defeated her in a battle for ownership for the only Mega Ring.


    Serena walked dejectedly back to the Pokémon Center, feet dragging on the road of Anistar City. Calem had just beaten her, again. But this time hurt the most, by far. After she had trained and trained and trained her team, he still managed to outclass their efforts. Calem had torn through more than half of her team with his Lucario that he Mega Evolved as soon as it came out of its Pokéball. She just couldn't keep up with its sheer power and speed; it absolutely wrecked her Meowstic, Vaporeon, and Tyrantrum before finally being taken out by her exhausted Chesnaught. To finish the battle, his Gardevoir wiped the floor with Chesnaught and Absol. It seemed that although she would always be ahead of him, she would never be able to catch him to even give him a good battle.

    No, that's not it, she mused as her thoughts turned darker, brought on by anger, jealousy, and envy. It's all because of his Mega Ring! That's the only reason he keeps beating me so handily!

    Immediately after those thoughts popped into her head, she felt ashamed. Calem had won possession of the Mega Ring fair and square; on top of the Ring's mystical power, he was a powerful Trainer in his own right.

    ... Still, that didn't make losing so badly sting any less. Ever since their battle for the Mega Ring, Calem had always Mega Evolved his Lucario (that Korrina had given him for Mega Evolution!) and trashed her Pokémon with it. Every. Single. Time! And on top of that, he never used his Charizard, his most powerful Pokémon (which could also Mega Evolve) against her. She didn't know why, but she felt slighted.

    Head drooped in exhaustion and sadness, Serena wasn't watching where she was going; thus anyone reading this shouldn't be surprised when she slammed into another, larger person, putting her on the ground.

    "Oh, I'm sorry!" Serena exclaimed. "I wasn't looking where I was going..." her voice trailed off as she looked up at the person she walked into.

    "It's quite alright," Lysandre assured her, outstretching his hand. "You must have a lot on your mind."

    "Yeah..." Serena answered hesitantly as she cautiously took the fiery-haired man's hand, letting him pull her up. She didn't know why, but Lysandre had always given her a bad feeling, like he was hiding a dark secret.

    "Serena?" Lysandre's voice cut through her thoughts. "Is something the matter?"

    "Oh, no!" she smiled nervously. "I just need to get to the Pokémon Center right away. Calem beat me again..." she looked away in embarrassment. "He's really something else."

    Lysandre noted the wonder in her tone; did the two of them have something going on? Sometimes the way they acted... "He is indeed," he mused. "I certainly didn't expect him to master Mega Evolution."

    He didn't miss the way Serena flinched ever so slightly. "Yeah..." she answered quietly. She looked up at him, expression earnest. "But he deserves it," she declared, a light shining in her eyes. "Calem's the strongest person I know." Her eyes flitted away from him as she finished speaking.

    Curious, Lysandre thought, looking down at the Vanivillite native in front of him. She spoke as if she believed that, yet her body language spoke differently. "Professor Sycamore told me that it was a major goal of yours to master Mega Evolution," he said finally.

    She nodded. "My parents used to tell me stories about their adventures and the legends behind Mega Evolution. Of course, now that I've seen it up close and personal, I think the stories make it out to be a lot more..." she paused, puzzling for words, "dramatic and mystical than it actually is. But it is still very powerful." She hid it well, but her eyes showed some of the longing for the Mega Ring she still felt.

    Serena was surprised when Lysandre handed her some Revives. "I hope these will tide your Pokémon over for a while," he said with a rare smile. "Would you mind telling me how your battle went?"

    "Why?" Serena asked hesitantly, wondering what his motive could be.

    "You could say that I've taken a small interest in the two of you after what the Professor told me," he answered. "You two are two of the strongest and best Trainers of this new generation. I can't help but wonder what the two of you will do in the future- will you work to make the world a more beautiful place, or will you make it uglier?"

    Serena couldn't help the light blush that dusted her cheeks at the unexpected compliment, quickly reviving her fainted Pokémon. "It wasn't much of a battle," she admitted finally. "His Lucario tore my team apart, and his Gardevoir finished us off."

    "Mega Evolution?" he asked.

    "Yeah," she admitted quietly, looking down at her hands. A rueful smile tugged at her lips. "It's not like I should be surprised," she added. "He's Mega Evolved Lucario every time we've battled, and every time I lose easily. Sometimes we can't even defeat it."

    "And it upsets you," Lysandre concluded.

    Serena looked up at him in shock before looking away. "Am I really that easy to read?" she murmured. "I... I try so hard to keep it hidden so that nobody can see... so that nobody judges me and thinks badly of me. I know it's really stupid of me, especially since he won the Ring fairly, but... I keep having these feelings... I'm just so jealous, even when I know I have no reason to." Her eyes closed as she gave into the current of anger flowing though her. "And it's like he doesn't even care how I feel! Every single time we've battled since our competition, he's Mega Evolved Lucario, as if he's trying to... to spite me! And it hurts..." A tear rolled down her cheek.

    Lysandre couldn't help but wonder if the girl was more upset about the Mega Evolutions or the fact that it was the boy she clearly cared for who was hurting her. "You see, this is what I hope to abolish," he said, gesturing at her. "Feelings of jealousy, of anger, of arrogance, of spite. Such feelings cause the world to be imperfect, to be less beautiful! This world could be a paradise if only we could forget all our negative emotions!" The girl looked up at him, blinking away the remains of her tears. "You want to possess a Key Stone for Mega Evolution." It wasn't a question. The girl opened her mouth, most likely to deny it, but he rushed on. "You want the power, not for power's sake, but so that your friend looks at you like an equal, not as just another obstacle, not just a challenge to overcome." Her eyes widened.

    "I..." Serena couldn't find the words to deny his claim. Because she knew, and he knew she knew, that it really was what she wanted, deep down. She wanted Calem to admit that she was just as strong as him, that he was proud to have such a strong Trainer as a rival, that he felt the same way about her as she did him.

    Well, that last one wasn't too relevant at the moment, but the point was made.

    "What if I could give you this power?" Lysandre's voice brought her back to the here and now. "What if I could give you the ability to Mega Evolve your Pokémon, and prove to Calem that you're as strong as he is? To help him turn away from such negative and hurtful emotions? What if I told you that together, we could share Mega Evolution with everyone in the world so that there would be no more petty squabbling over it?"

    Serena couldn't do much more than stare at him, shocked. Was he actually offering...?

    "Lysandre Labs has recently had a breakthrough with a Key Stone prototype," the man informed her. "All it needs is someone who will unlock its true potential- and I have a feeling that someone is you."
    Serena couldn't believe it. Her biggest wish could come true! It sounded almost too good to be true.

    Lysandre extended his hand. "So, Serena, will you allow me to give you the instrument for you to achieve your dream, and in return, help me achieve my dream of shaping the world into a more beautiful state?"
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. DIO


    Legendary Egg
    (Groudon Egg)
    Level 12
    Sep 14, 2014
    This chapter has been slightly edited for language. It should now fit a film rating of PG-13.

    That's right, this chapter is rated PG-13 for language.
    Chapter 2: So Where Does This Leave Us?

    "Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them." -Ralph Waldo Emerson


    It had been a crazy day.

    Was it really just yesterday that Calem had been in Dendemille Town, getting ready to cross Route 17? Apparently after he arrived in Anistar City, defeated Serena, and went to sleep, everything had gone to hell.

    First he was woken up by a Holo Caster call from Gurkinn way too early in the morning. The old man had completely ignored Calem's frazzled question of how he had gotten ahold of him, frantically shouting that Korrina had disappeared. Barely awake, Calem had done his best to reassure him that he would be on the lookout for her before hanging up and rolling over to get as much sleep as he could salvage.

    After he had woken up, he had called his friends and Professor Sycamore, informing them of Korrina's absence. Strangely, Serena hadn't picked up; Calem wondered if she was upset with him for some reason. Lucario, perhaps sensing something was wrong with his former Trainer, had been restless and shifty all day. He had challenged the Anistar City Gym and Olympia, the Gym Leader, where he won the Psychic Badge after a rather... eye-opening battle.

    Pretty much right after he had stepped out of the Gym, Lysandre had appeared on everyone's Holo Caster, declaring to everyone that they were going to die in order to "return the world to a beautiful, natural state." Naturally, there had been a bit of a panic around the region, and Calem knew he had to do something to stop his mad plan.

    So he had flown back to Lysandre Cafe, since it was basically the only lead he had, only to discover an entire Team Flare lab hidden beneath it. He had defeated Lysandre himself and explored the entire effing lab, running into Sina and Dexio (seriously, who did they think they were fooling in those masks?), defeated all the Scientists in his hunt for the Elevator Key, encountered a 3000 year old king who just let Lysandre take the key to the ultimate weapon from his neck, heard his backstory, and followed Lysandre to command center for the activation of the ultimate weapon. Lysandre left, giving him the chance to stop Team Flare's ambitions right then and there- as soon as he beat the last Scientist, Xerosic. Given the choice of two buttons, one red, one blue, one that would activate the ultimate weapon and one that would disable it, Calem deduced that the blue button would disable the weapon since Team Flare was all about red. He pressed it and was proven right, disabling the weapon and saving the world once and for all against Lysandre and Team Flare's evil ambitions.

    Honestly, Calem would've been more than happy to end the day right there.

    But the weirdly pale and strangely red-haired fucker had decided to doom the world (again), activating the ultimate weapon with a remote, completely disregarding his boss's promise, and, as if he wasn't crazy enough already, claiming it was a victory for science. Honestly, if Calem hadn't been so pressed for time to get to Geosenge Town to stop Team Flare again, he probably would've had Charizard eat him.

    Remembering where the Team Flare Grunt had just disappeared during his last visit to the town, Calem had rushed inside the secret headquarters, where Lysandre had apologized to him for Xerosic but gave him another shpeal about how humanity was dooming the world and he must reset it. After defeating the Team Flare Boss for the second time, Lysandre had told him he was too late, inviting him, with an odd glint in his eye, down to the basement where a strange giant dark cocoon was being kept. But even then the man had lied, sending teams of Admins and accompanying Grunts to stop him.

    And Serena still had not appeared.

    Calem ran past the defeated figures of the Team Flare admin and his Grunt lackey, his ever-faithful Greninja following him as his Trainer desperately tried to heal his Pokémon while racing down the stairs of the Team Flare Secret Headquarters. That had been the third pair of Flare members that had tried to stop him from getting to the room with the dark cocoon, the power source for the ultimate weapon. Honestly, Calem didn't know why they were trying to stop him; they were clearly outmatched, especially since he had defeated their boss.

    "Merde!" Calem swore as he felt around in his bag's medicine compartment, feeling nothing. He barely spoke any French, but Serena had made sure that some of the first words she had taught him were cusses. Needless to say, his mother had not been happy.

    But in this situation, the foul language was entirely justified; Calem had just used up the last of his medicinal supplies healing his Pokémon after that third Double Battle. He wished someone (a certain someone, in fact) was with him, able to help him take on the Flare lackeys, but he was alone, and he had nothing left. Once his Pokémon fainted he'd have to restore them in the Pokémon Center. But since he was in the middle of Team Flare's base, he would be completely helpless.

    Dammit, I knew I should have picked up more supplies in Anistar City! Calem thought angrily. And in Dendemille Town... and in Laverre City...


    It must be keeping track of the amount of power it's sucking from that cocoon, the sixteen year-old thought grimly. If it's rising steadily, that means I need to hurry!

    He moved even faster down the steps, almost falling once as he rounded the corner. Why the hell are there so many stairs? And where is Serena? She must've seen Lysandre's Holo Caster message; I thought she would be here to help me stop Team Flare!

    Eventually they skidded to a stop in front of the end of the line: a giant red door with the orange Team Flare logo on it and an electronic lock. Curiously, the door was already opened wide enough for a person to walk through. Calem felt a chill run down his spine; it felt like it was waiting for him.


    Calem took a deep breath and cautiously stepped through the ominously opened door, followed closely by Greninja. His eyes were immediately drawn to the black and red machine on which perched the dark cocoon. Five strange wires were connected to the machine from the ceiling, pulsating with red light as they transported the stolen energy up into the ultimate weapon. Underneath another Team Flare symbol, a button glowed with blue light; the boy was immediately able to guess what it did.

    Actually, this was all in the background for Calem as his eyes zeroed in on a figure standing halfway between him and the machine, back turned to him. A figure with blonde hair in a ponytail that fell down to her back, a black sleeveless shirt, red skirt, and black leggings. A figure that looked a lot like-

    "Serena!" Calem called, making her turn around. He noted the new black pendant with a small red stone around her neck before focusing on the task at hand. "I'm pretty sure that blue button will stop it!"

    But the girl did nothing but look at him with an unreadable expression, a tiny and mysterious smile creasing her lips.

    An icy chill was born in the pit of his stomach and started to crawl upwards. "What're you waiting for?" he demanded. "Push the button!" The girl kept smiling her strange, bittersweet smile at him, eyes beginning to tear up. The icy feeling had reached his chest, but he stubbornly clung to denial. "Serena!" he shouted desperately, trying to breathe past the ice in his lungs as it crawled up to its neck. A tear slid slowly, meticulously down her cheek. Seeing it, he swallowed, feeling the ice in his throat. "Serena..." it came out as a plea. "The button. Please..." His eyes swam with tears as the ice he finally acknowledged as fear reached them.


    The girl sniffed quietly, blinking away the rest of her tears. "No, Calem," she said, her voice quiet yet resolute.

    "Why...?" he whispered, not entirely sure if he wanted to know the answer as denial melting away to confusion and despair. "Why would you do this? How could you do this! How could you do this to the world? How could you do this to us, your friends?" He lowered his head, hiding his face, and his next words were nearly inaudible. "How could you do this to me?"

    "You don't understand," Serena answered just as quietly, her heart paining her as she looked at him.

    Calem looked back up at her, tears trickling down his face. "Then help me understand," he begged. "Please."

    Nobody spoke for a short time as Calem wiped away his tears and Serena desperately tried not to cry.

    "I just want what all people want," she finally answered softly with a heartbreaking smile. "I want people to stop meaningless fights. I want people to be able to share. I want to get rid of rage, hatred, spite, revenge, sadness, envy, and jealousy in people. I want to save people from themselves." She hesitated for a split second before admitting quietly, "I want to save you, Calem."

    Calem's mind reeled from her stunning yet heartfelt proclamation. She wanted to save... him? Mind detached from reality, he heard himself say, "Save me? I... still don't understand..."

    "Calem... you and I suffer from all those negative emotions too," Serena admitted hesitantly. "That's the reason why..." She looked away and the boy realized instantly what she was trying to say.

    "That's why you joined Team Flare," he breathed. Serena shifted uncomfortably, refusing to meet his eyes. "So you could... save me?" As he spoke, another stroke of insight hit him. "I was the one to drive you to this, wasn't I?" he asked, feeling his heart crack. Greninja made a pacifying noise behind him, but Calem was too focused on Serena to hear it. "How?" he whispered.

    She finally looked back up with tears in her eyes. "I was so jealous," she said, her voice just above a whisper. "When you won the Mega Ring, all I could think about for a while after was how I deserved that Ring since it had been my dream since I had been a little girl. How I had been assured that I would get the Ring." Her voice turned scornful as her tears escaped their prison once more. "I was so ashamed I lost to a newbie Trainer who had never heard of Mega Evolution before and had only been in the region for a few months! It had to be a fluke, that it was a mistake." She locked eyes with him. "I hated you," she stated shamefully. "But then I realized that I was being so unfair to you; you had won fair and square, and entirely deserved the Ring. I just... you had the strength and the bonds with your Pokémon to beat me, and I understood that you deserved the Ring more than I did."

    Calem tensed at her compliments and self-defeating words; he could just feel the storm that was about to be unleashed. Beside him, Greninja's eyes narrowed.

    "It wasn't exactly easy to ignore my jealousy," Serena continued. "I just remembered how you treat your Pokémon and your strength and values. But I never forgot my childhood dream and my envy never really left."

    Her voice hardened. "But I couldn't repress my jealousy the next time you battled me. Remember? In Coumarine City?" He nodded, unable to talk past the icy lump in his throat. "You annihilated my entire party with your Mega Lucario." Her words had turned ice-cold, much like the fear in his body. "After I left, all I could think about was the Mega Ring's power and how I was this close to obtaining its power." Her eyes had started to look almost crazy before she blinked. "The I realized how stupid I was acting, and I cried for an hour over my selfishness." She looked at him. "Congratulations Calem," she said sadly. "You're the only guy to ever make me cry."

    Calem wanted to throw up; that was one of the last things he ever wanted to hear her say. And he had only made it worse in their subsequent battles without realizing it. "Serena-"


    "Then later at Route 14, I was so ready to face you," she continued after the computer interrupted him, her eyes fixed on a point over his head. She knew that if she looked at him, met his eyes, she would completely break down right then and there. "We'd never trained so intently before, and I was confident we would finally be able to match you in a battle." Her eyes lowered to the ground once again. "At least Chesnaught was able to defeat Mega Lucario. But Gardevoir..." She looked back up at him, tears swimming in her eyes. "You're something else, you know that?" she whispered. "You're a prodigy Trainer. The kind that... that I had hoped to be."

    If possible, Calem felt even worse.

    Calem opened his mouth to say something, anything, but once again, the girl rushed on before he could make a sound. "For the first time, I didn't just feel envious. I felt... despair. Like nothing I could do could ever match what you did. That you would always be better than me, so why do I even try?" She bit her lip and closed her eyes to keep the tears from escaping. "I felt... worthless."

    Calem's eyes widened incredulously. As long as he had known her, Serena had always felt that she was destined for greatness, and refused to be beaten down by any flak she received for it. If she was feeling worthless, that meant she had hit rock bottom. He had put her there. For him to make her feel that bad, low enough for her to question that... he wasn't sure if he deserved to be her friend anymore. But he'd be damned if he didn't try some damage control. "Serena-"


    Calem would happily kill the computer voice if given the opportunity.

    "Of course, I managed to bounce back," she continued with a ghost of a smile. She wanted to tell him everything, explain how she had ended up opposing him before he started to protest and shred her meager defenses. It was funny how her walls had only one flaw, and that flaw stood before her, challenging her dream once more. Maybe that was their fate.

    If so, fate was une salope.

    "We trained twice as hard as last time; we knew that you would be pushing yourself and your Pokémon to your limits, so we did the same. I was so desperate to catch up to you, to prove that I was worthy of being your rival, I fell asleep in the middle of a training session a few times," she admitted.

    "I was so confident in our ability to keep up with you... I felt sure that this battle wouldn't turn out like all the others, that even if you had evolved Lucario, or even Charizard, we would've stood a chance." She hung her head, hiding her face from him yet again. "So then, when we lost so bad..." Her shoulders shook with her tears despite the effort she was making to not cry. "I thought," she gasped out, "that maybe you... you would never feel the same way. That... I... I would be nothing... nothing more than your next-door neighbor... who would never amount to nothing to you!"

    She looked back up at him, surprising him with the anger flashing through her watery eyes. "And the worst part is that you kept doing it! Not only did you take my childhood dream from me and keep beating me, you did all with Mega Evolution! That's the only reason you won so handily! Do you know how much it hurt to keep being destroyed by Mega Evolution, and only Mega Evolution?! No you don't! You don't have to face anyone who can Mega Evolve!" Her gaze sharpened to the point where he could almost feel it cutting through him despite the water in her eyes she was desperately trying to stop from falling. "But that's not even the worst part. The worst part is that you would do it every time we battled! It was as if..." she swallowed hard before continuing, her voice slightly weaker than before, "... as if you wanted to show off your victory for the Mega Ring and rub it in my face that I lost! That you were mocking me for taking my dream! What goes through your head when we battle? 'Oh look, it's Serena. I'll battle her and Mega Evolve to shove it in her face!' Putain!" At this point her attempts to keep from crying had failed and the tears dripped unrestrained down her face. She turned away slightly, giving a small sniffle.

    Calem just looked at her, face pale, mouth opened slightly, tears falling slowly from his eyes. He had no idea she had felt all this and bottled it all up inside. He would have moved towards her if he could; hell, if he could he would've embraced her, reassured her that she was the best Trainer he had ever encountered, begged for her forgiveness.

    But the ice had spread throughout his entire body and he couldn't blink, let alone move. His mouth was dry, but he couldn't swallow. He longed to comfort her, to tell her she was far more to him than just his rival, but her words, her shocking and unexpected words, had fried his brain.

    How could he have put her through all this? She had channeled her previous dream, the one he had stolen, into challenging him, mistakenly thinking that he didn't see her as a worthy rival, an equal. And he had destroyed her each time, only for her to jump back with a smile on her face. He hadn't even thought about how she might feel when he Mega Evolved, but he never imagined she would feel this bad. He had underestimated the depths of her feelings when she appeared to shake off the loss of opportunity for the Mega Ring with a smile, but when he thought back on it now, he noticed her smile had been very, very strained. When they battled, he had always felt the odd twinge of guilt when he defeated her, but now that he knew it was just a facade to mask her conflicting emotions and despair, he felt like the worst scum on the face of the earth.

    He knew it was serious when he was calling himself worse than Team Flare. At least Lysandre hadn't continuously destroyed his best friend's dreams. Relentlessly over and over again.

    Greninja put a reassuring hand on his shoulder, giving him the strength to pull himself together enough to speak. Finally finding his voice, he rasped past the ice in his throat, "Serena-"


    If Calem didn't know better he would swear the computer was doing this on purpose.

    Serena wasn't trying to hide the tears running down her cheeks anymore. "It hurt, Calem," she whispered pathetically. "It still hurts. Every time I look at or even think of you, I'm reminded how much you hurt me- how much you're still hurting me. I never... I never thought you would hurt me like this! I never though my..." she trailed off. "I didn't think that-" she cut herself off again as she burst out into sobs, hiding her face in her hands. Not only had he crushed or stolen her dreams, seemingly mocked her for her tainted dreams, made her question her self-worth, and cry, now she was full-blown sobbing. All because of him. Honestly, he didn't know which of those things he had done to her was the worst.

    Summoning all his will, he took a step forward. "Serena," he began in a cracked voice, pausing for an instant to check if the computer would cut him off for the fourth time. She reluctantly looked at him through crying eyes and the the cracks of her fingers, drawn by the bitterness, pain, and self-deprecation in that one word. His heart ached at the sight.

    The traitorous part of Serena's mind ruled by her feelings noticed that he had never sounded so terrible, not even when he had caught strep throat at home and could barely speak.

    "I... I didn't know," he whispered desperately. "I never knew how you felt... not about the Ring or our battles." He lowered his head in shame. "I... I never noticed. What kind of friend doesn't notice when he's hurting his best friend?" He took a long, shaky breath. "I'm sorry Serena," he whispered solemnly. "I'm so, so, so sorry that I hurt you, that I was tormenting you, that I never noticed you were being hurt." He closed his eyes, squeezing them shut in a futile attempt to stop crying. "I can't forgive myself for... for hurting you like this. I'm not... I can't ask for your forgiveness, but just know... I never wanted any of this to happen. I never would've used Mega Evolution against you if I had just known about all the pain you were struggling with."


    He managed to stand up straight, taking a deep breath to steady his nerves and resolve before opening his eyes determinedly. "But if you insist on standing in front of that machine and keeping me from preventing mass genocide, then you're no better than Lysandre, a man who wishes to rule a lie and is more than willing to kill the vast majority of the world's population!"

    Her eyes widened. "Calem, please!" she pleaded. "Just think! We would live in a utopia, no negative emotions to rule or destroy us!"

    "You can't seriously expect me to believe that the 'sacrifice' of most of the world would be for the greater good!" he fired back. "C'est des conneries! And what about Pokémon? They'll be wiped out almost to extinction too!" His eyes, suddenly blazing with fire, bore into her. "Your corruption is blinding you! I don't get is how the strongest person I know can be twisted into believing Team Flare's shit! That 'clean slate' you're working towards? It won't be clean, cause you'll have all the blood of the people that were murdered to get this 'utopia' on your hands!"

    "Ta gueule!" Serena latched onto a vein of fury and exploded back at him, momentarily reverting back to French in her anger. "You don't know anything! I'm corrupted? You want to know why I accepted his offer and agreed to safeguard his dream? It was for you, you moron! So that I could save you from your destructive emotions! You'd given me plenty of reasons to think you'd fallen to them and frankly, I'm surprised at your blindness to see it yourself!"

    Her words rattled him worse than anything she had previously said, but he was able to keep his composure (sort of; they both had tears sliding down their faces). "I'm not blind! Don't you remember just a few minutes ago when you told me and I felt like a giant ass? At least I was able to see it in time! But you, not only do you not see what's twisting you, you refuse to see! You blindly follow a complete lunatic like one of his red-wearing Grunt buffoons!"

    "He gave me a promise!" she shouted back.

    "He's lied to me at least twice today and who-knows how many other times to other people!" he countered, focusing completely on his frustration and anger. He wasn't sure if he would be able to keep himself from falling apart if he didn't. "But I'm sure he'll definitely honor a promise he made to you!"

    "He agreed to spare you!" she shrieked at him. "That was my one condition, that he would spare you and Shauna and Trevor and Tierno and our families!"


    He sucked in a breath, refusing to be rattled by her admission about saving him. "That's not it Serena! You really expect me to believe you would you join a crime syndicate hellbent on world domination so you could keep us alive? I know you! I know you have an ulterior goal, so what the hell could be so important to you that would make you go to such extremes?"

    "Because of that!" she yelled, pointing to his wrist.

    Calem glanced down, face paling as he realized what she meant. "You don't mean..."

    "That's right," Serena answered as both their tear ducts refused to dry. "The Mega Ring. Such an innocent power, capable of the worst kind of longing in people, yet able to be abused so easily by the people who wield it."

    "Serena..." Once again, she had completely stunned him. "You would hand over the world for Mega Evolution?!"

    "So it could be shared!" Serena defended. "So that nobody would have to feel the despair and pain that I've felt, that I'm feeling right now! So maybe it's a completely selfish wish, and honestly I don't blame you for thinking terribly of me, but at least no one will know my same pain! It can be shared, and the envy it invokes can be pacified!"

    Calem just stared at her before shaking his head slowly. "I don't know if I should be more impressed with the extremes you're going to to see this pan out or disgusted by the fact that you're just letting this happen! Serena, you're willing to kill countless people all because you were jealous of the fact I could Mega Evolve?! That's so screwed up! That doesn't justify genocide! Lysandre's twisted your mind; you're not thinking straight!"

    "Shut up! You don't understand!" Serena screamed at him, unconsciously slipping into French as tears continued falling from her eyes. "You don't understand what it's like, having these feelings! You don't understand what it feels like to be crushed under the weight of your own inferiority complex because your cr... best friend put you there himself! You don't understand how much it hurts, knowing you, you of all people, was the one that hurt me! You don't know how much I want to hate you for it, which hurts! But I can't, and that hurts too! And you don't know how much I hate myself for going through with this, but it's the best way for people to understand my pain and why it needs to be destroyed!"

    "I don't understand French!" Calem shouted back. Despite the language barrier though, he could easily pick out her pain and, surprisingly, her self-loathing in her tone. Greninja looked at them worriedly.

    For a while, the only sound was the teenagers' sniffles as Serena desperately dashed the tears from her eyes and stifled the sobs that kept rising in her throat and Calem wiped his eyes. Eventually Serena spoke. "It doesn't matter," she said sadly in English, her voice slightly choked. "If you insist on destroying the machine, then I must oppose you. I can't let you impede my goal! If you wish to crush my dream once more and stop the ultimate weapon, you must get past me, la dernière ligne de défense pour le rêve de Lysandre!" She pulled out a Pokéball, waiting for his response.

    "Still don't understand French!" Calem called as he waved Greninja forward. He gritted his teeth, determined to get his Serena back. Because this wasn't his Serena, not really. His Serena was strong and independent, with an indomitable will and refusing to be beaten into submission by anyone. The person in front of him was a crushed shell of her, broken by him and corrupted by Lysandre for his own ends. He had to undo the damage he caused, otherwise he had no right to call her his friend. He had no choice; he needed to defeat her in yet another Pokémon battle, despite the fact that the last one they'd had had caused her to side with a pack of extremists. But this time it would be different. Calem would make sure of it.

    Today was the worst day of Calem's life, and he had a bad feeling it would get even worse, but he would do his damnedest to make sure that the next one was better. For himself, Serena, and the world, even if he had to fight the girl who was his neighbor, best friend, rival, and crush to do it..


    French translations:

    Merde!= Shit!

    une salope= a bitch

    Putain!= Fuck! *This is an interesting word. According to my research, "putain" means "whore," but can be, and is often, used like "fuck" is in English.*

    C'est des conneries!= That's bullshit!

    Ta Gueule!= Shut the fuck up!

    la dernière ligne de défense pour le rêve de Lysandre!= the last line of defense for Lysandre's dream!

    Serena's little rant at the end didn't get translated because I didn't feel like making you read the entire rant in French then have to check here to even understand it. Just making it easier for you all.

    I didn't just rely on Google Translate for these translations (you might be surprised how many web sites are dedicated to French swear words), but they may still not be necessarily 100% accurate.
  3. DIO


    Legendary Egg
    (Groudon Egg)
    Level 12
    Sep 14, 2014
    Chapter 3: For the Fate of the World


    "There are people that really live by doing the right thing, but I don't know what that is, I'm really curious about that. I'm really curious about what people think they're doing when they're doing something evil, casually. I think it's really interesting, that we benefit from suffering so much, and we excuse ourselves from it." -Louis C.K.



    Calem narrowed his eyes as Greninja stepped in front of him. Serena hadn't moved since pulling out her Pokéball except for her chest, moving up and down with her slow, deep breaths. Calem didn't know how she could be so calm; his heart was pumping and his body felt twitchy, like it wanted to move and move fast. He took a deep breath and swallowed. It didn't really help, but somehow Calem felt better.

    Unknown to him, Serena was asking herself how Calem could be so relaxed and at ease. Her mind was racing with possibilities of what could happen once she released the red and white ball in her hand and her hand was clammy with sweat. She just kept taking deep breaths, hoping to calm her mind.

    "Calem." The boy started, so focused on the inevitable battle his own name surprised him. "Please, I don't want to do this," Serena fixed him with a hurt, yet longing stare. "I don't want to fight you. Please Calem, can't you see I'm just trying to help you and everyone?"

    Calem lowered his head so that he wouldn't have to see the look on her face. "Tell me something," he murmured, barely discernible, "and tell me truthfully." He raised his head to fix her with a look of his own. "If I begged you, got down on my knees and pleaded with you to stop this and let me pass, would you?"

    Withering slightly under the intensity of his gaze, she slowly, ever so slowly, shook her head. If possible, his gaze sharpened. "You have my answer then," he replied. "You have your ideals and I have mine. All that's left is to figure out which will become the reality."

    Serena shut her eyes to keep tears from falling and tossed the Pokéball she held in her hand. The sphere curved gracefully before it unleashed the captured energy within, the red energy hit the ground and forming into a bipedal cat Pokémon. Her mostly white Meowstic stretched her blue-tipped arms in preparation of battle.

    What's her game plan? Calem wondered as he eyed the Constraint Pokémon. She purposely chose a Pokémon that's weak to mine, so she must either have some sort of plan or she's confident enough that Meowstic will beat Greninja, despite type disadvantage.

    The two rivals took a few seconds to analyze the battlefield and the other, sizing their opponent's Pokémon up. The Pokémon did the same: Greninja keeping calm and cool while staying alert at the same time and Meowstic readied herself for any movement from her opponent.

    Calrm decided to take the initiative. "Greninja, Water Shuriken!"

    "Fake Out!" Serena immediately countered. Greninja had begun to draw his arm back to throw the conjured ninja stars when Meowstic clapped her hands. The shockwave somehow generated shocked Greninja enough that he flinched, making the Water Shuriken dissolve.

    The Ninja Pokémon shook his head to clear it and charged towards his opponent, hand glowing with a light purple color. Before he could strike however, Meowstic opened her mouth and unleashed a cry that had Greninja stop and cover his ears in an attempt to mute the agonizing sound, Calem and Serena following his example. Greninja leapt backwards when Meowstic stopped to draw breath.


    Calem's thoughts raced as he focused on his starter as the frog ninja crouched, ready to either attack or leap away. In theory, Greninja had the massive advantage with his typing and superb speed, but he was hindered by Meowstic's impossible to dodge and super effective Disarming Voice and poor defenses. If Calem understood his physics correctly, Disarming Voice would also be more damaging closer to the source, effectively nerfing Night Slash, the only Dark-type move in Greninja's move arsenal.

    "Greninja, keep your distance!" Calem called. "Water Shuriken!"

    Greninja roared as he flung another group of ninja stars at the Psychic-type. Meowstic shielded her face and squeaked as the water blades hit her. Greninja, hoping to catch his opponent off-guard, took a step forward, only to stop and cover his ears at her immediate Disarming Voice counter.

    Serena's eyes darted between the two dueling Pokémon, absorbing the battle while steadfastly not looking at the frog ninja's Trainer. She couldn't bear to see the mismatched emotions dancing past the cold, determined light inside his eyes. She knew him well enough that he was completely focusing on the battle in order to ignore all his conflicting emotions.

    Just like I should be! she angrily reminded herself, turning her full attention to the battle before her. Time to end this!

    "Meowstic, Charge Beam!" she commanded. The white and blue Pokémon nodded and concentrated, sparks beginning to course around her body as the super effective attack charged, just waiting to be unleashed.

    But Calem saw a small window of opportunity and he knew he had to act fast. Since Charge Beam needed a short time to charge, it was the perfect opportunity to strike. "Greninja, strike with Water Shuriken!" he ordered hurriedly, flickering his eyes upward.

    Thankfully, Greninja had been watching him and immediately understood his Trainer's idea, summoning his signature ninja stars. Serena refused to give him time to strike, crying out, "Meowstic, let him have it!"

    With a shrill cry, Meowstic unleashed the electric energy at the same time Greninja threw his water throwing stars with all his strength. To Serena's eyes, the battle in front of her seemed to slow down so she could see the attacks move clearly towards each other, about to collide with each other-

    Serena gasped in shock as the scene suddenly fast forwarded and Greninja toppled over and cried out in pain as the electric attack coursed through his blue body. The Water Shuriken had actually just passed over the Charge Beam, completely missing both the attack and Meowstic, heading towards its true target.


    Metal screeched as the Water-type attack slammed into the five glowing red wires connected to the dark cocoon. The attack cut through three of the wires, causing them to darken, and damaged a fourth, leaving only the fifth fully functional. Sparks flew from the cut wires as alarms blared. Calem and Serena watched, one triumphant, the other astonished.


    While Serena and Meowstic were distracted by the pretty lights, Greninja, glowing with a blue aura, knocked out Meowstic with a double Night Slash combo. Calem grinned and adjusted his hat. Now he actually had a chance of defeating his neighbor before the ultimate weapon charged up to full power. True, the only think keeping Greninja on his feet was the activation of Torrent, and he had been hoping to defeat Meowstic quickly so that Greninja could still fight with most of his health, but he'd take this victory.

    Serena turned back to the battle just in time to witness Meowstic slump to the ground. Surprised, she froze for a moment before an wave of anger rolled over her. "Calem..." she growled low in her throat as she returned Meowstic to her Pokéball. "That was low, a cheap shot! I never would've thought you of all people would stoop that low!"

    "And lose before the battle even ended?" Calem fixed her with an intense gaze as he returned Greninja. "Time wasn't on my side, so I slowed it down. Maybe it was a cheap shot, but you weren't paying attention and I took advantage of that to increase the likelihood of my victory. But don't worry Serena, if I lose I won't be able to stop you once and for all."

    A myriad of emotions flickered across Serena's face before settling on a mix of anger and determination."You're making me want to beat you, Calem," she warned as they both pulled out their next Pokéball. "I mean, to shove it in your face that even your underhanded tactics won't let you win."

    "What are good rivals for?" Calem asked coolly as he tossed his Pokéball, Serena copying him.

    "Time to get serious, Gardevoir!"

    "Allons-y, Tyrantrum!"

    Calem's Embrace Pokémon floated to the ground once released from her ball, gown swishing slightly as she landed. Her red eyes opened as Calem sensed a feeling of anticipation and determination. Calem and his Gardevoir hadn't established a strong enough bond to communicate telepathically yet, but they could sense each others' feelings.

    His rival's Despot Pokémon exploded out of his Pokéball, hitting the ground with a loud crash. The resurrected fossil's eyes snapped open, jaws unleashing a roar so powerful, Calem swore he moved back an inch or so. The eager Pokémon's eyes fixated on Gardevoir, ready for battle.

    Once again, Serena confused Calem. Her Pokémon had the completely obvious disadvantage, and she was just standing there confidently. Why would she be so confident? And yet... something he could not grasp fluttered across his mind. He tried to grab at it, remember what it was, but it escaped his grasp every time, like a flickering dream.

    "You can still stand down," he called to his neighbor. "There's still enough time so we can stop this! Please, Serena."

    Serena shook her head sadly. "Stop, Calem. Just... stop," she choked momentarily on the lump that suddenly appeared in her throat. Once she regained control, she continued. "We're already set on our paths; nothing we do will deter us." She looked back at him, eyes filled with steel, yet strangely vulnerable. "The only thing we can do is battle for the fate of the future! En garde!"

    Calem gritted his teeth once again; if this kept up he'd have nothing but stubs for teeth. "If you want it like that, all you had to do was ask! Gardevoir, Dazzling Gleam!"

    "Crunch!" Serena commanded her dinosaur.

    Gardevoir raised her arm as Tyrantrum immediately charged at the Psychic/Fairy type. Calem's eyes widened and he sensed his Pokémon's surprise and fear as Tyrantrum moved much faster than either of them would ever have thought- when the gleams of light for Gardevoir's attack appeared, Tyrantrum's jaws were already bearing down on Calem's Pokémon.

    The light pinpricks immediately dissipated as Gardevoir desperately tried to avoid the crushing jaws of the Despot Pokémon, but she wasn't fast enough. Tyrantrum Crunched down on her slim green arm, and Calem winced as he was bombarded with Gardevoir's pain and fear.

    "Get it off! Psychic!" Calem called. Doing her best to ignore the pain, the loyal Gardevoir concentrated, eyes glowing pink. Tyrantrum grunted in shock as he felt a psychic presence before his jaws were pried open and he was thrown away from his opponent.

    Oh yes, Calem now remembered what he had forgotten before. Serena's Tyrantrum was much, much faster than anyone would expect- he was just as fast as Mega Lucario when he was charging. Somehow Tyrantrum was able to go from zero to sixty- figuratively- immediately without having to rumble up the momentum, probably breaking physics in the process. Maybe revived fossils had the ability to screw physics? Usually that wouldn't be a problem to beat, as Mega Lucario was just as fast and a couple Aura Spheres later the draconian dinosaur would be slumped over on the ground. However, not only was Gardevoir much slower than regular Lucario, let alone Mega, but Psychic moves and Gardevoir's only Fairy-type move, Dazzling Gleam, take a long second or two to charge up. Time that Tyrantrum, with it's fantastic speed, would be able to take advantage of and attack first. Even worse, his ability, Strong Jaw, increased to power of biting attacks- attacks that easily charged on the rush forward. So while Gardevoir had to stay still and concentrate for a second or two to unleash her most deadly attacks, Tyrantrum could in that same time charge forward and Crunch the living daylights out of her. At least powerful Dragon-type moves wouldn't affect her.

    Should he return Gardevoir? On paper, she had all the advantages, but in practice Tyrantrum's sheer speed and attack power swung the odds too much in Serena's favor too much for his liking. But as his fingers brushed her Pokéball, he felt a wave of annoyance and determination from the Embrace Pokémon.

    So she wants to keep fighting, huh? Calem thought, grinning. Well okay then.

    By this time, Serena's Tyrantrum had recovered and bellowed his defiance to the opponent. Serena's eyes narrowed in thought as she took in the battlefield. I saw his motion to return Gardevoir, so why didn't he follow through? Just because Gardevoir holds a type advantage doesn't guarantee a victory, especially if she can't get a hit in. Taking a deep breath, she straightened both her spine and her resolve. I should keep pressing my advantage, especially if Gardevoir needs time to prepare her more devastating attacks. "Tyrantrum, keep up the pressure!" she ordered. Hopefully this'll keep Gardevoir off guard and keep her from being able to hit Tyrantrum with a Dazzling Gleam; if one of those hit, I'm pretty sure this battle's over!

    Tyrantrum roared as he once again charged Gardevoir, readying his Crunch attack. "Confusion!" Calem hastily ordered. If she could just get Tyrantrum off balance...

    Gardevoir's eyes glowed as she unleashed her psychic strike. Confusion was a weak enough attack that all Gardevoir had to do was dramatically flourish her arm and a small pulse of psychic energy formed and flew into the rampaging Tyrantrum, predictably creating an explosion.

    Hopefully that slowed him do- Calem's thoughts were rudely cut off when Tyrantrum burst through the smoke, continuing to rush forward. The attack had been nothing more than an annoyance to the revived dinosaur, and Calem felt his and Gardevoir's fear spike as she once again hurriedly tried to dodge, but once again Tyrantrum was far too fast for her. The Rock/Dragon-type's jaws closed mercilessly on the green-haired Pokémon's shoulder, making her cry out in pain. Not willing to risk another Psychic to the face, Tyrantrum instead lifted her off the ground and tossed her to the side. Gardevoir hit the ground hard and rolled a few feet away.

    Calem sucked in a breath as he watched his Pokémon painfully attempt to rise, feeling her determination, hurt, and anger. She was determined to finish the fight, but Calem knew that she couldn't fight this battle any longer- if Tyrantum hit her again, she'd be out for good.

    Gardevoir desperately raised herself to her hands and knees as Tyrantrum once again attacked. Eyes blazing, she held up one trembling arm in an attempt to call an attack as Tyrantrum once again bit down-

    Only for his jaws to close on empty air as Gardevoir dissolved into red mist before being sucked into her red and white containment sphere. Calem breathed a sigh of relief as he reattached Gardevoir's Pokéball to his belt. She would probably be a bit upset at him, but Calem knew it was for the best, especially if he needed her to deliver one powerful hit later on.

    Serena gently called back Tyrantrum to her side; the large dinosaur growled and lumbered back to stand next to her as her thoughts raced.

    So he did return her. Why? She's barely conscious, another hit would faint her. I know she's one of the stronger half of his team, but she's a liability with how tired and damaged she is. Serena's brow furrowed in thought. So who's next? Even with his speed, Greninja is probably too weak to take down Tyrantrum, so he's probably not a reliable option. And Raichu may be fast and nimble, but if he gets hit with a single Earthquake or Head Smash, he's most likely out. That leaves Aurorus, Lucario, and Charizard. Neither Charizard nor Aurorus are as fast as Lucario, so Tyrantrum can probably deal a good amount of damage to them before he's defeated. And in fact, I don't think he'll pick Charizard just because of the double weakness to Rock. So that leaves Aurorus and Lucario. She bit her lip, coming to a decision. If he sends out Lucario, I'll switch. Otherwise Tyrantrum stays in battle.

    On the other side of the battle, Calem was coming to the same conclusions as Serena. Tyrantrum looks fine, but Gardevoir hit him with a Psychic and a Confusion to the face, so he has to be more damaged than he looks. Greninja's just too low on health to take out Tyrantrum before fainting, and Charizard's double weakness is a huge liability. Neither of them are ideal, even with Greninja's Torrent and speed and Charizard's power. That leaves me with Raichu, Aurorus, and Lucario. Lucario is the obvious choice, resisting both Tyrantrum's types and having the offensive power to go toe-to-toe with him... But I know Serena. I know she's expecting Lucario, and will switch immediately. A mischievous grin crawled across his face. Time to do the unexpected then! He grabbed Raichu's Pokéball and threw it, releasing the orange Mouse Pokémon. The mouse's cheeks sparked in defiance as the revived dinosaur roared confusedly at him.

    Calem was delighted to see the look of confusion on Serena's face. It wasn't often he got the best of her (except in Pokémon battles, but he supposed all but their first battle was null on the account of Mega Evolution), so he had to enjoy it while he had the chance.

    Serena, to her credit, recovered quickly and looked at Calem, stunned. "Wha... do you want to lose?" She finally blurted out. "Why wouldn't you choose Lucario and save Raichu for Vaporeon?!"

    "Why indeed?" Calem answered with a cheeky grin. "You just said the reasons yourself."

    It took a moment for Serena to understand. "You did this just to keep me off-balance? Calem, Tyrantrum's going to thrash Raichu!"

    The humor abruptly left him as a grim aura seemed to enfold him as Raichu growled threateningly (although it was more cute than threatening). "You're seriously underestimating him, Serena," Calem said flatly. "You might not be glad that you did."

    "We'll see about that," Serena noted, thrown by her neighbor's rapid change in mood. Is he bipolar? First he's happy he pulled a fast one on me, then he's all dark and, well, scary. I've... never really seen Calem scary; it's just not something Calem is!

    Calem took advantage of Serena's surprise. "Raichu, attack!"

    The sight of the small orange mouse racing towards her dinosaur Pokémon immediately snapped Serena back to the battle at hand. It almost made her smile, it was so cute. Raichu was, without a doubt, the cutest Pokémon on Calem's team. "Tyrantrum, crush it with Earthquake!" Then she rethought her choice of words. "On second thought, don't literally crush it..."

    Tyrantrum roared as he lifted up his foot and smashed it on the ground, creating cracks in the ground that quickly spread outward. Calem sneered, an ugly look on his handsome face. "Just like we trained, Raichu," he ordered. Raichu cried out in agreement as he suddenly accelerated, leaving a white trail behind as he bounded carefully over the cracks in the ground, only his speed saving him from the super effective attack.

    "Paralyze him!" Calem roared. Raichu's cheeks immediately began sparking as he jumped one last time, landing on the astonished Tyrantrum's back and Nuzzling the dinosaur's neck. The Despot Pokémon roared again (really, could it make any sound other than a roar? Calem wondered briefly) as electricity coursed through his body. It wasn't because of the pain of the attack, since Nuzzle was a weak attack and he was resistant to it. It was more the surprise that this mouse not only managed to avoid his attack, but also paralyze him at the same time. His eyes narrowed angrily. How dare this mouse, an inferior species to him, paralyze him to impede his attacks? Did he not know he faced the absolute king of the ancient world? Raichu yelped as Tyrantrum twisted suddenly, falling over onto his back to crush Raichu beneath him, growling in satisfaction at his impromptu Stomp attack.

    "NO!" Calem shouted as he reared back in fear. Serena gasped, her hand covering her mouth as her eyes widened in shock. Tyrantrum was nearly 600 pounds (that's about 270 kg for you metric people reading this); he could easily have crushed Raichu into, well, nothing. Calem didn't know how he would handle the permanent removal of one of his first Pokémon, one of his closest friends. Serena didn't know if she would be able to handle knowing one of her own beloved Pokémon had deliberately crushed an opponent beneath him to his death. And not just any opponent, Calem's Raichu, making it a million times worse.

    What? She still had feelings for him! She didn't want to lose him!

    All three of them were taken by surprise when yellow lightning suddenly consumed the Despot Pokémon's body. The two humans waited anxiously with bated breath as Tyrantrum arched in pain before rolling back to his feet with a nimble twist of his tail. An orange blur raced out of the small crater, just fast enough to avoid a follow-up Dragon Tail.

    Raichu skidded to a stop in front of Calem, flanks rising and falling at a rapid rate, bruises covering his entire body, and hissing in pain whenever pressure was put on his front right paw. But his cheeks were still sparking, and he was still glaring at the enraged revived fossil.

    "Tyrantrum, I said not to literally crush it!" Serena yelled, her eyes reflecting her relief and fear. Tyrantrum ignored her with another furious roar, charging forward as fast as his paralyzed body could. "Tyrantrum, NO!" Desperately, she grabbed for his Pokéball, but she inwardly already knew she would be too slow to stop his attack. Calem, forgive me!

    "Electro Ball! Aim for the knees!" Calem swiftly commanded. Raichu stood on his (slightly shaking) hind legs, enveloped by an electric aura before condensing it into a single ball on his tail. With a battle cry (so cute! Serena's innards squealed), he spun and launched the electric attack at his attacking opponent. The Electro Ball hit Tyrantrum's left knee as he was lifting his right leg up, sending him toppling to the ground with a dismayed roar, head first, sparks once again coursing through his body. Raichu nimbly dodged out of the way as Tyrantrum slid right past him.

    Despite the resistance to Electric attacks, Tyrantrum had taken quite a bit more damage than either he or his Trainer had anticipated from Raichu's attacks. Added to the damage Gardevoir had managed to bash him with, and the enraged Despot Pokémon was pretty close to fainting. Serena had no qualms about returning him to his Pokéball pretty much as soon as he hit the ground.

    Calem did the same, murmuring his thanks and praise to his tired and panting mouse. He still had a angry and stony look in his eyes, and it tore Serena apart inside to know that she was the cause of that look, however indirectly.

    "Calem, I'm sorry!" Serena cried out, her eyes slightly watery. "I didn't... Tyrantrum didn't... he's never... I don't know why he did that! He's... I've never trained him to do anything like that! Esp... especially on Pokémon that he could kill! I'm so sorry!"

    Calem let out a long sigh, hanging his head so that she couldn't see his eyes. "It's okay Serena," he finally muttered. "I don't blame you. It's not your fault. I know you would never order him to do that."

    Somehow, his soft and almost despairing tone didn't soothe her, and she bit her lip to keep from crying yet again. Her feelings had been more conflicted than a Seviper and a Zangoose ever since Calem had stepped into the room; she'd cried more in the last half hour than in the last six years, yet was completely unwilling to back down. She felt bipolar, and was willing to bet Calem felt similarly. It was probably a battling-their-closest-friend-for-the-fate-of-the-world sort of thing.

    Calem... suddenly there was a heavy feeling in her chest, something she desperately wanted to say and get it off. But... would his response make her feel better, or would it crush her? She'd wanted to know his answer for a long time, but she was also so, so afraid. And was now really the time or place, with the fate of the world at stake?

    Oh, à l'enfer avec elle.

    "I want to ask you something Calem," Serena said with much more confidence than she felt. Calem, reaching for another Pokéball, paused. "How... exactly do y-you feel about m-me?"

    Merde, there went her confidence.


    French translations:

    Allons-y= Let's go

    En garde= On guard

    à l'enfer avec elle= to hell with it (Google Translate)

    Merde= Shit

    My justification is that I hate physics.
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