Re: Behind the Eyes of Cipher [PG-13] ~Chapter 6 Up~
Street 40, Gateon Port, Orre
The girl and her mother were curled up against each other in the cramped closet, their flowing tears intertwining in their proximity. The mother clutched her daughter with too much force, praying and begging for her life. Unimaginable scenarios ran through her head, an endless movie of possibilities. Maybe she would be taken and her daughter would escape; maybe she would be killed in place of her daughter; but maybe, as the mother's sobs grew more uncontrollable, she and her daughter would both be taken and... executed.
It was too much. The mother could only see the girl in her mind by clenching her eyes shut; the closet was too small and murky to see anything else. I won't be able to see her in flesh before we're both gone. All the while, she attempted to silence herself as the sound of heavy boots and hissing Pokemon grew louder in their ears.
The girl, on the other hand, was scared - no, terrified - for her mother. She knew quite plainly that her mother was a strong woman who had already bore the guilt of losing her eldest child. This, the girl knew, is the only thing that possesses the potential to kill the maternal. The girl had seen her mother in a horrifying state when her brother left, and she'd barely lived through it. It was more than just fear for her son, but it was the guilt of knowing that he had said goodbye, as well.
For a mother's child to be killed - not harassed, or even to leave their family - was something that girl knew would take that mother's life. It wouldn't be a quick, painless death, either. It would eat away at the mother entirely, slaughtering all hopes and dreams of a pleasurable life. And before anything worse would happen, the mother would eventually weep and bawl herself into a neverending slumber.
That was not how the girl wanted her mother to die. Consequently, she clung to her mother with the same shaky, wavering fingers and the same firm grip.
"I don't even see anyone in here," a low, quiet voice said to his partner. Shortly after, a Pokemon whined and snarled with impatience.
The mother hugged her daughter closer, trying to stifle the terrified moans that emitted from both of their throats.
A second pair of boots, clunking on the kitchen floor. "Search harder. We've gotta have something to bring back. Commander's expecting us."
"What, not the targets?"
"No, you imbecile. He wants humans from here."
"What the hell does he want? But whatever, I meant that there's no tr -- "
"BREEEEAAAEEE!" The sudden shriek of one of their Pokemon startled the girl. She yelped softly and turned her head away, hypervenilating.
The scuttling footsteps got closer to their closet, and suddenly the mother's enormous eyes fell upon a vicious-looking Breloom sticking its nose in the crack between the wall and the door. Her already uncontrollable shivers increased, and she too turned her head away. Clunking boots made the floor shake beneath them...
The door burst open. An explosion of of yellow kitchen light, and the blurred voices of the two men.
"Agh, the curs. How could you not find them?" The mother shrieked and started kicking her feet haphazardly out of instinct. "Hell! Get them both."
"SOMEONE HELP ME!" the girl cried to no one. Her earsplitting voice rang in the agents' ears, but that hardly stopped them. The second man pulled them both away forcefully; neither of them would let go of each other.
"Damn it, what are they doing?" he sneered. The Breloom and the other Pokemon, an Ekans, rested silently by the first agent, having done their job. Though the girl and her mother continued to struggle, they were no match for either of them with the shadow Pokemon. They were eventually separated by the two men, crying and howling with disdain.
"Come on, just get them out of here..."
Mansion near Agate Village
Zone 2 Headquarters
Caiden stared blankly at the universally colored Cipher pokeball in his belt. The one that contained the Blaziken. Lately, its presence seemed to make him uncomfortable; it irritated him, even. I can't just return it... he'd thought to himself dozens of times, in response to the anxiety he now felt. Not after everything I did with it... no. I have got to get over this.
Shaking his head slowly, Caiden looked up. His gaze settled on the new pokeballs, sealed in one small plastic case that lay on the desk in front of him. The pokeballs contained the newly captured Pokemon from Agate Village. Caiden could see, the day before, that these Pokemon were not used to fighting as much as Cipher's were. But this was no matter; they would soon be just as powerful as the rest of the organization. That was no problem. The process of making them fighting machines was the problem.
Uneasily, Caiden stood and saw a figure across the room. A full-body mirror hung silently on the wall, its edges adorned with beautifully crafted iron. The lines of metal swiveled and turned around each other, dancing along the sides of the mirror. Their sole purpose was to enhance the appearance of the mirror's reflection.
Caiden, however, saw no enhancement. Upon seeing himself, the thoughts, the feelings, the whispers, the ethereal voice of his past; it all came back to him.
This isn't just about you, Caiden... you're hurting everyone...
"AAAGH!" Caiden screamed, doubling over and slapping his gloved hands over his ears. "Stop... go away...!" Holding himself together for a while, Caiden cautiously stood up again, peering into the eyes in the mirror. They were dull and lifeless, and they made the face he saw seem coldhearted, uncaring, even cowardly. The sight was repulsive. Caiden looked away, closing his eyes and turning his back on the mirror. Once again, he found himself staring at the pokeball in his belt. It seemed to protrude more than the others...
"Commander?" A powerful voice, made meek, came from the room's entrance. The door was cracked open, and the face of Helen, the scientist from so many months ago, stared back at Caiden as he looked up.
"What is it?" he snapped.
"I... I heard a scream." Helen opened the door fully. "If you don't mind, may I come in?" When Caiden did not respond, the agent blinked and stepped inside. "Is something wrong?"
Caiden sat down slowly, his looming, intimidating face facing the ground. "Nothing... I... nothing."
Helen was silent as she scrutinized Caiden's dark face. "Commander Hester, I don't think --"
"I said nothing is wrong."
Caiden sharply lifted his head and pounded a fist on the desk. Helen shrunk back, but her eyes did not leave his face. There was silence for ten long seconds, and then:
"Excuse me, Commander... Hester." She folded her arms in anticipation and began to speak softly; though, her meek voice was no more. "Hester... what's wrong with you?"
What did you say?! Caiden wanted to roar. Dare you speak like that to me, your commander?! But nothing came out. He did not so much as glare or put on a scowl. The commander felt numb from the inside out.
"I knew it," Helen continued, shaking her head as she stared, "this has really gotten to you... hasn't it?"
Still, no response.
"Hest -- Caiden."
The sound of his first name made him look up. His eyes were bloodshot, his face scarlet with internal rage. At the sight of him, Helen widened her eyes. "You look terrible, Caiden. And... I think..." She paused, at a loss for words. "I'm not sure how to say this... but I think you should -- "
"You will not tell me what to do," Caiden barked. His chin quivered and his eyes seemed to burn a hole in Helen's. "You will not give lip to your upper."
"But don't you understand? That this isn't what this is all about?" Helen replied. The sound of her voice, omnipotent and all-knowing, reminded him of a figure that he couldn't exactly name. But whatever it was, it silenced Caiden and he listened. "This isn't about commander and subordinate, Caiden. That will never get the job done... I know that you know that. Do you realize that you're killing yourself?"
He realized that the figure he'd imagined in Helen's place was the Blaziken. Of all things... get the hell out of my life... Caiden closed his eyes, but that only made it all worse. She and that damned Shadow... they're just the same.When the climax of his anger was about to burst into reality, the voice echoed in his head once more. Caiden could almost see his mother in front of him, smiling with sympathy.
Caiden, you must change this. For you and for everyone.
"STOP SAYING MY NAME!" he bellowed, eyes flaring. The veins in Caiden's neck and head were clearly visible, blood pulsing through them like jets ripping through the sky. "Just... leave me be..."
Helen fearfully turned away and closed her eyes in despair. "I'm sorry you won't change... Commander." A faint clicking noise signaled her leave.
Though Helen was gone, the spirit that lived in her lingered in the room. She was the physical symbol of all the absurd, ludicrous thoughts that pummeled Caiden's locked mind; the emotions that let in guilt and fear into his being; the reverberating voices. It was all there in his mind, and the girl only made it worse. He had to be rid of her.
He blinked out of his infuriated daze. "What do you want of me... mo-other?"
Only on the brink of losing yourself will you make the right decision.
Trembling, Caiden stopped his mumbling and rested his head on his desk. The words of his mother's spirit voice replayed in his his head like a haunting song. Maybe... some sleep is all I need...
"Commander Hester," an urgent voice called. The door was suddenly open with a bang, and three agents stood in the doorway. "An intruder has been spotted in the premises." Caiden stood up from the desk and strode briskly toward the window. His lungs froze promptly at the sight.
The girl. The girl from yesterday, standing proudly by the old man's side, never willing to give up. She was right there in Caiden's sight, her somewhat murky figure slipping hastily through the trees. She clearly had no idea that Cipher would be so close.
"What should we do, Commander?"
"...I'll take care of this." Clutching the pokeballs at his belt, Caiden pushed the others aside as he left the room. His legs were wobbly and unstable at first, but he soon recollected himself.
The mansion door burst open, nearly breaking down from the force fueled by Caiden's fury. Today is too much, simply too much. He made his way back toward the trees, where he'd seen the girl. At first, the darkness of the forest shaded her, but Caiden could easily see the girl's chest heaving up and down as she hid behind one of the thicker trees. She quickly burst out, hoping that she would catch Caiden by surprise. Instead, she met Blaziken, towering above her.
But she did not try to run. Instead, she said coolly, "First of all, I'm not intimidated by this... this monster you have." The Blaziken hissed and stomped its foot, ready to fight.
Caiden narrowed his eyes. "Who are you?"
"That's what I would like to know." Her fierce glare was just the same as the day before. "I want to know who you are and what you've done with the Pokemon."
Caiden was silent, and instead his universal headpiece flared. "Commander, we've got backup for you if you need it."
"There's no need. She's just a girl and she's unarmed," he muttered back to his subordinates.
The girl clenched her teeth together. "If you don't tell me what you and your sick group of dogs plan to do, I'll come back with arms." She scowled, looking up at the Blaziken. "Is it yours? It hates you, you know. Just as much as I do."
"Look," Caiden growled, nostrils flaring, "What you don't know is that I don't care if it likes me or not. It's under my control. I can kill you using it, do you understand?" He tried to shove off what the girl had said, and though in all consciousness he knew he wouldn't kill her, Caiden was having some second thoughts. But the girl didn't so much as flinch. Her glazing emerald eyes simply glared back at him.
"You disgust me. All of you," she responded, her voice dripping with contempt and hate. "I came back for the Pokemon. And I will not leave until I get what I want."
Caiden rolled his eyes. He wasn't able to stand any more of this. "Flamethrower."
From a flaming beak came a sudden rush of air and fire, enveloping the tree behind the girl but not hitting her. She screamed and dropped to the ground, and Caiden began to walk away, leaving the Blaziken to deal with her.
But as he left, the girl's voice rang in his head. The sound was much like the elder's voice from yesterday, but entirely dissimilar.
"You! You're terrible! Do you even know what it means to have honor? Do you even have a justified soul?"
Caiden stopped in his tracks, paralyzed. Her voice was the corporal, real sound of the thoughts that wracked his brain day and night. Not this... not again...
"That's what I thought! You don't even know where you're going. Don't kid yourself, you don't have any power at all. You've wasted your life, and you know it." Her piercing voice stopped momentarily. "You know, I feel sorry for you... son of a dog."
I'm sorry you won't change...
Was it all, from the very beginning, just to prove them wrong?
That may very well have been the answer. Those thoughts and those voices had tortured him seemingly ever since he became of power in Cipher. And the images in his brain were no different. Like there was some being - a Pokemon god, possibly - whose greatest desire was for him to suffer; not just physically, but mentally. Maybe he just wanted to prove that he was strong enough to hold his own against it. Or maybe, it all came back to his family?
Whatever the reason, Caiden could not stop gazing at the now empty glass case on his desk. The door was locked, the shades closed, the mirror broken to pieces. If there was another mission, the commander wouldn't have known. For all he knew, Cipher was outside the room, banging on his door. His agents may have fled the building; that was possible as well. Lord Kishiro himself may eventually come to their headquarters, seeking the problem to fix. It would lead to Caiden, of course. But he found himself not caring, even for his position as executive, or as commander.
The Blaziken suddenly meant much more to him now. Caiden didn't fully understand the Pokemon, but he saw through its gaze, and he tried to comprehend what must have been going through its head. He had given in to the emotions that caused waves of guilt and misery and regret. He had given in to the screeching thoughts, that told him to think twice about his actions. And now, he truly saw the despair and the grief of all those he had harmed. Mostly, they were Pokemon, which made him more aware of the Blaziken, standing ominously and unnoticed in the background. It, too, had become more aware of Caiden, noticing his abrupt change of mind.
But there was, in fact, an inspiration to Caiden's epiphany. The girl, about his age, with piercing emerald eyes full of hatred. Because he'd felt a glimpse of wondering why she opposed him so, Caiden had finally fully realized what was happening to him. Though it eased some of the internal pain he felt, it barely left him with a sense of what to do. In himself, Caiden felt an immense tear. Neither option - loyalty to Cipher nor giving in to himself - was the right choice.
The decision continued to wrack his brain as the Blaziken led him through the forest in the dead of night, approaching Agate Village in the utmost of disturbed silence.
Last edited by Silvyre; 04-22-2009 at 04:01 AM.