From the backseats, Syr watched street sign after street sign go by, the distance between him and the cemetery closing fast. As many times as he’d gone there since the burial, it still felt strange, far from routine.
Doing nothing at all to help things seem less surreal to Syr were the things that he had learned about one of the ones who had been responsible for Esaax’s evolution, specifically Sylvester DeLeo. DeLeo was currently being tried for his crimes against the former wobbuffet alone since the one whom he had claimed to have worked toward bringing about Esaax’s evolution with had yet to be found and the strange, dark entity that had detached itself from Esaax had not been seen since it had escaped from the Hope Institute.
DeLeo’s fate had yet to be decided, and under different circumstances, Syr would have simply hoped for him to just be locked away for a good long while. But upon having seen that mechanized human disguise open up and having recognized the meowth within it… Between the genuine pity that he’d felt for DeLeo upon learning why he had made Esaax evolve and the sickening, heartbreaking recognition that DeLeo had betrayed someone who had been one of the meowth’s best friends, Syr hadn’t been and still wasn’t altogether sure of what he wanted to befall DeLeo. All that Syr knew for certain regarding that whole matter was that he might never be able to bring himself to speak to that meowth again.
There was, at least, one of his friends who had taken a turn for the better in recent times. Karo had recovered in the wake of his explosion, having been given ample encouragement to heal by the staff at the Haven; he was staying awake once more, with the pain of his injuries now gone altogether. Syr had furthermore been informed that the glalie who had also been injured as the result of Karo’s attack had survived and was also recovering nicely.
Syr had tried for the most part to focus on the things that were going well. More than ever, he felt an obligation to show strength for Jen’s sake, especially with the Hope Institute still closed at that time and the fact that Jen had not reacted well to the news of what DeLeo had done there.
Still, Syr neither could nor truly wanted to pretend the recent sorrows away, even though sometimes he wasn’t able to give audience to those matters without letting it show. He continued to pay visits to the graves of his fallen friends even though it still tended to result in him returning to the car visibly upset.
The convertible reached its destination, and Syr exited the vehicle, with Jen staying behind as usual. In silence, the arbok crossed the field and soon reached the place where Esaax had been laid to rest.
Syr coiled there, drawing a deep breath as he looked down upon the plaque before him. There were three names engraved there in unown-script; in addition to marking Esaax’s grave, the plaque also memorialized Faurur and Drasigon, at Syr’s request. This way, he had reckoned, the family could be together again in this way, at least, if no other.
Not long after he had arrived at the grave site, he noticed footsteps approaching. Turning toward their source, he found Ntairow standing a short distance away with an unfamiliar wobbuffet at her side.
Ntairow and the wobbuffet had stopped in their tracks the moment that Syr had looked up at them, and the former now looked as though she had decided to leave and come back another time, laying a hand upon the wobbuffet’s shoulder as if to shepherd him off and beginning to turn away herself.
“No, it’s all right,” Syr called out to them. “You don’t have to go… Come on over if you’d like.”
The other two pokémon hesitated to take him up on his offer, but only very briefly. Soon, they were both standing at the arbok’s side. Syr moved aside a bit in order to give them a better view of the grave. Almost as soon as he did, Ntairow knelt down before the grave, then extended and opened a hand over it, allowing a small, gray stone to fall onto the grass before her. As Ntairow stood once more, the wobbuffet placed a stone upon the grave, as well.
that’s where they’ve been coming from,
Syr thought, having found similar gray rocks lying upon the grave on some of his previous visits. He had considered clearing them away on a couple of those occasions and was now glad that he hadn’t done so.
Syr was curious about the ritual that he’d just witnessed, but he felt somewhat less than comfortable somehow asking about it and decided instead to ask another of the questions that had formed in his mind upon the arrival of the other two visitors to this grave on this day.
“Is he…?” he spoke up, nodding toward the wobbuffet, letting the question hang.
“Yes,” Ntairow said, “this is Zerzekai, my son and Esaax’s. Zerzekai, this is… I’m sorry, I never did get your name.”
“Syr,” the arbok supplied. “I’m Syr.”
Ntairow nodded in acknowledgment. “Syr was one of your father’s friends,” she told Zerzekai. Her gaze then shifted back to Syr. “…I would like to thank you for that,” she said to him. “For being there for him when and where you could. I could tell during our time together that you genuinely did care about him and wanted him to be well.”
Syr lowered his head, averting his gaze slightly as he felt tears beginning to sting his eyes. “Yeah,” he said solemnly. “Yeah, I did.” And… and I still do,
he added silently, and he meant it. He didn’t know for certain what lay beyond life, if anything… but he hoped that somewhere, in some way, Esaax and everyone else whom he’d ever cared for and lost were happy and well, with all their troubles left behind forever.
It didn’t quite ease the pain completely, didn’t quite stop him altogether from wishing that they were still with him. But it was some comfort, at least, however small, and as the minutes passed in silence, he hoped that the two who stood sharing those minutes with him had found or would find at least some small comfort of their own.
~ FIN ~
So there you have it. And yet, there remain lingering, unanswered questions. What about Anomaly? What about the deranics? And what
, exactly, erased humanity from the face of the world? Five words, my friends: There. Will. Be. A. Sequel.
Said sequel will attend to those questions with the specific level of focus they deserve as it continues to follow the (surviving) characters of The Origin of Storms
in a new story, and will also serve as the conclusion to this series. This series is made up of more than just two stories, however—I’m presently at work on another Pokémon fic set in this alternate universe.
That story, Communication
, will be coming here quite soon. It follows one of the characters from The Origin of Storms
—namely Solonn—from his beginnings to his role in The Origin of Storms
Once again, I want to sincerely thank all of you who have read and/or reviewed The Origin of Storms
. I am honored beyond description by the support you have shown. In the immortal words of Layne Staley:
“I wish I could just hug you all! But I’m not gonna.”
Thank you all. Thank you very much. ^^