In what seemed like an instant later, Mark Antony started, opened his eyes, and was assaulted by pristine white. He uttered a cry and stumbled back, but a pair of strong, gargantuan hands held him by the shoulders and forced him to straighten. If he had been a dog, his hackles would have risen and his teeth would have been bared at the touch. The Johtonian whirled around, jaw set firmly in indignation. All fury, and his voice, evaporated at the sight of a red eye glaring down at him.
“I see you came to your senses,” a voice purred from above him.
When Mark Antony grasped his nerves and turned away from the cyclops, he saw a pink feline leisurely fly from behind one of the many columns of polished limestone that circled the center of the white chamber. Tiny, triangle ears were perked in fascination, but the creature’s cerulean eyes were just as malicious as the twisted grin on his small snout. Mark Antony, with the ghost behind him, could only stand in shock. The Pokémon flew past him and circled him with pure curiosity, his long tail winding around the man’s throat like a loving snake.
“Who are you?” Mark Antony growled, hating the fact that his voice shook. This Pokémon radiated power, and it sunk into his bones and heart to make his entire being shake. No, it wasn’t only the god’s presence that made him shiver. There was a shroud of cold that embraced him and refused to let go. Feeling the cat’s tail caress his face, he couldn’t help but wrap his arms around his quacking frame.
It was then that he found his clothes had changed.
“You’re dead, or haven’t you noticed?” the feline chirped in his ear, a smile weaving into his words. “It’s the whole reason you understand my tongue.” The Legend flew back as Mark Antony expected everything from his ash-gray, swallow-tailed coat to the pitch-black dress pants that draped over his boots. He was startled back to his senses when the cat faced him again, and a green pixie joined the Legendary Pokémon from where she was perched on a pillar. The disoriented soul managed to twist himself out of the ghost’s hands and step to his left so that he could glare at the three strange figures. As he did so, he faintly felt something strapped to his back.
“Who in Arceus’ name are you?!” he repeated between chattering teeth; the olive-green scarf that was wrapped around his neck could not keep the chills at bay.
The green fairy let out a scornful laugh, her two transparent wings fluttering as she came closer to him. “We are his children,” her melodic voice told him, the tone suggesting he was an idiot for not knowing so himself. “I’m Celebi, the time traveling deity who has graced your region for centuries.”
As a spark of recognition ignited his now silver eyes, the first Pokémon’s taunting smirk melted into a dangerous frown that shadowed his gaze. It seemed that the fact that Mark Antony had the nerve to stand there, unafraid and demanding their identities as though he
was in charge, ruined his fun. “I’m Mew,” he curtly told him. “Arceus’ first child. Like I stated before, you’re dead, Mark Antony Colfax. Judgment has been passed before you, and it has been decided that you’re to be Death’s assistant,” he motioned to the Dusknoir briefly, “for now and evermore.”
Mark Antony clamped his gaping mouth shut. Without warning, he stepped up and grabbed Mew by the fur of his chest. Celebi’s antennae stiffened in rage while Death looked on with an indifferent look, the yellow mouth on his stomach twisting into a thoughtful frown. The time traveler, her clenched hands already sparking with blue power, was waved away with a flick of Mew’s hand. Mark Antony only saw Mew in his haze of red, Mew and that superior look the Legend’s eyes held even now.
you think you can decide my
fate?” His steaming anger was enough to keep his cold-induced stuttering away. “Gods you may be,” he spat, “but what becomes of me is my
choice and my choice only.”
Mew took one look at Mark Antony’s platinum irises and pale skin before chortling in his face. “You ignorant, ignorant human,” the god chastised him, growing amusement making his tail twitch. “When you’re dead, you have no say as to what will happen to you. If I so wanted, I could eliminate your soul from existence, and a part of me wonders, ‘Why haven’t I done so?’ You’ve killed many people, Mark Antony.” The human’s name sounded like sweet poison on Mew’s tongue. “Your heart is as dark as the Pokémon you created. There is no remorse, no forgiveness, in your hostile stare. Surely the world would benefit from your complete absence.”
The soul gasped when he was lifted in the air by an invisible hand that held his body painfully tight. Though he realized that he didn’t need to breathe, Mark Antony still found himself panicking when Mew’s psychic powers began to compress his windpipe. The scythe strapped to his back rattled as he kicked his legs and clawed at the deity that had floated from his hands. Mew took a moment to relish the struggle before intensifying his powers. Now Mark Antony screamed and held his head, doubling over in the air and wondering if he was really dead. He felt the coldness, the lack of a heartbeat, and the truth in Mew and Celebi’s words, but was the pain he was feeling just in his head?
The pain that stabbed at his mind like many knives was real. Mew’s next words were just faint, insignificant words that were drowned out by his yells. Celebi watched on with morbid fascination. Death closed his eye and bowed his head, waiting for Mew’s unneeded torture to be over.
“But at the end I said no,” the New Species Pokémon continued. “It would be too much mercy for the likes of you. You need to suffer for your sins against Pokémon and human kind, not be slapped on the wrist and disposed of. So I’ll take every grain of memory you have and leave you in the world of Purgatory with Death for all eternity.”
Mark Antony wanted to protest, but even when the pain ebbed away, he had lost the words in order to try and hold on to the memories that were running through his fingers like sand. Each time an image presented itself, it evaporated away. Placed and people he tried to recall no longer had any meaning, and after a while, even their names were lost. Again and again the pattern was repeated, and again and again he tried to hold on to something
; even the most insignificant of memories, like the smell of his childhood home, were grasped in vain.
And every time they escaped his fingers, even he, cold-hearted Mark Antony, had the urge to cry.
So it was when he was dropped to the floor like a forgotten doll that he looked upon the holy chamber with empty eyes. He tried desperately to feel angry at the beings that smirked before him, but every event, every memory, that had made him the callous person he was had been wiped away. Even the notion of knowing his whole life had just been discarded was gone in an instant. Mark Antony sat there, his eyes wide and fearful of everything he saw.
At length, all he managed was a shaky, “What have you done to me?” His voice grew stronger, yet his eyes still met the floor. “Why am I here?“
On the polished tiles, he studied his reflection. He saw faint scars with no explanation and eyes that pained for no reason. The skull perched on the top of his strapped scythe stared back tauntingly. Or was it in understanding? It, after all, was as hollow as him. Hesitantly, he stood up and reached for the scythe. Once he held it close to his chest, the feeling of having a weapon in his hands was a familiar tingle at the back of his mind.
Mark Antony jumped at the voice and turned around to face Death. The three gray flaps on either side of the Ghost-type’s cylindrical head had been flapping in silent anger for a while now, but they were still as he looked down upon the twenty-five-year-old with that sole eye of his. Death tilted his head and observed his new assistant. Interesting. Despite having no memories, the soul had a firm, determined look about him that was only hindered by the lack of a gleam in his eyes.
“I assume you will tell me what I need to do?” Mark Antony probed, noting that the energy he felt in the scythe could be felt in the hand Death laid on his shoulder.
The Dusknoir glanced at him curiously. “You do not wish to know who you are or what you’re doing here?’
The gaze that met him was one of defeat. “I have a feeling I don’t want to know.”
“And your name?”
The soul smiled a bit. “Mark Antony.”
Death glanced at Mew, not knowing whether that sliver of a memory was meant to comfort or torture. With that lingering thought, both he and his assistant disappeared in a plume of emerald fire. The two deities watched the curling flames wane and die away.
“Helping humans.” Mew snorted at the job Death had waiting for the dead sergeant. “Despite having no memories, a human can never change. He’ll loathe the job.”
Celebi’s grin faltered with an occurring thought. “What if he grows to like it?”
Her brother shrugged, though a malicious smile was present on his features. “Then he’ll be nothing more than a forgotten memory.”
With those murderous words echoing among the marble walls, both gods settled in to enjoy Arceus’ absence.
A/N: Wow, did that turn out longer than I expected.
This is how the story would have gone if I had used this instead of what I wrote in the official chapters: Mark Antony would have indeed grown to love his job, never knowing who he is but happy enough that he doesn't want to know. Death keeps this from Mew, so Mew never destroys his soul as he said he would. However, as the story would progress, Mark Antony would come to figure out his past, (by some events I never specified in my notes) and he would be conflicted with his cold past self and the caring guardian angel he is now.
But that is not going to happen. :P
After writing this chapter out, I miss writing about my official Mark Antony, but I cannot work on two things at once. So that's why I didn't start Chapter Eight yet. ^^; I need to update faster if I ever want to write the sequel sometime in this lifetime. *looks at the pages of notes*
Also, as I was proofreading that last part, I realized I never specified how Mark Antony could understand the Legends and Death (and not normal Pokémon). :x I'll go and fix that in Chapter Seven. *scurries off*
EDIT: Done. You can find some extra information when Mark Antony is talking to Death before his training begins.