“You called me,” he stated casually, ignoring the fact I was trying hard to bury the words he had said.
“Yes…” I let the word roll around on my tongue before going any further. Altair simply studied me, not willing to force anything into the open. Just as I did, he had unlimited patience when he needed it. “I want to know what happened to Rye.”
I watched as the Pikachu pursed his lips. The change was almost so unapparent I would have missed it had I not been watching. That I had been, however, gave him away almost instantly.
“What do you know?!” I accused. “If you know something, Altair, come out and say it. I don’t have time for your riddles now.” I felt the anger fuming in heatwaves from my body and knew that he could sense it. Good, I wanted him to feel pain if he had caused Rye any trouble.
Altair sighed upon defeat, and turned away from me. “Your darker half came here in search of a way to redeem himself. He wanted to escape the darkness that was claiming his body. I told him I could not help him.”
I could clearly tell that Altair disliked talking about Rye almost as much as I hated to bring him up. I hoped it wasn’t because he felt threatened by his hold on me. Even as I thought the words, I caught Altair casting a glare in my direction.
I flashed a smile in return.
“I sent him to Darkrai.”
Wow, no beating around the bush this time. “YOU WHAT?” My mouth fell open. “Altair, how could you?! I thought you were on my side!”
“He wanted help!” The white Pikachu whirled to face me, meeting my rage head-on. “I couldn’t help him and he wanted so desperately to return to you, so I sent him to Darkrai; the only deity who holds dominion over darkness! The only one who could help him!”
“You only wanted Darkrai to corrupt him, didn’t you? You never wanted him to return!”
He didn’t deny it.
“You know what? You’re not my other half and you never will be! You’re JUST AS BAD as Darkrai, worse even! Because unlike him, you toyed with my feelings. At least he had the GUTS to do it to my face!”
“Well I still had the decency to tell you the truth!” he spat back at me. “Why didn’t you tell your boyfriend
about our little kiss?”
“You…” My voice was laced with poison. We were now barely an inch from touching noses, eyes glaring, sparks flying from our bodies in discordance. Altair had just registered he’d overstepped a boundary and backed off, but not before I had mustered up the courage to send my paw flying into the side of his face.
The impact met with a sickening thud, which sent him soaring a few feet across the room. I hoped with everything I had that it left a bruise. He deserved it. As my chest heaved, Altair dragged himself off the ground, rubbing his left cheek with a paw somewhat warily. He obviously hadn’t expected me to hit him.
“I only did it for you,” he said grudgingly. As if that would make everything better. What did he know about me anyway? If he had a clue what I wanted, he would not have sent Rye to the one Pokemon that was trying to doom us all. I now had no idea what had happened to him; what kind of foothold Darkrai could have left in his body. For all I knew, he could be plotting his revenge through Rye. I couldn’t trust the Elekid anymore. I couldn’t trust Altair. I couldn’t trust anyone. I was alone.
“Get away from me,” I muttered sourly towards the Pikachu. “Go away. I never want to see you again.”
Altair took a few steps towards me, raising a paw as if hurt by my remark. But I wasn’t having any of it. I’d had enough of all this otherworldly crap. And I didn’t need his.
“I said go away!” I lashed out again but the Pikachu dodged, catching my paw mid-strike. He was obviously ready for this one. With a slight tug he drew me inwards, cradling me into his chest. I struggled to free myself, but he had me in a grip so tight that breathing was almost becoming impossible. I was weak, unable to do anything. Powerless. It took a moment for me to register the wet liquid that clung to my fur, trickling down my face. I was crying.
“I’m sorry,” came the muted whisper from Altair. He pressed his head into my shoulder, like a child that was begging for forgiveness. “I never wanted to hurt you, but it seems that is all I keep doing.”
I finally ceased my struggles, taking in the Pikachu’s words. Maybe I had been unfair to hit him. But I was so angry. He had no right to say that. How could he do such a thing? He knew what Rye meant to me. His jealousy would only get in the way; he had to know that. The voice inside my head grew louder with each passing moment, uttering the truth I so desperately did not want to hear.
Rye was already tainted, Altair had no choice. It was Darkrai’s doing. He had no choice. It was his fault. All his fault. You were wrong.
“I was wrong.” I drew in a sharp breath as I admitted it to myself. I had been wrong. There was nothing anyone could do once Darkrai had set his plan in motion. It had not been Altair’s fault; it had been Darkrai’s. And he had known that Rye would seek him out, just as surely as he had known I would blame Altair. That monstrous deity. He would pay.
I couldn’t muster up the words to tell Altair I was sorry, because I was still angry with him. But I hoped telling him I was wrong would be enough. It was a start.
“Hey, Zanna.” I felt the warm, muted whisper on my shoulder again, and muttered in response. “This is going to bruise, you know.” I laughed somewhat shakily and withdrew from the Pikachu’s embrace, pushing him away lightly.
“I was hoping it would.” I brushed the last of the tears from my face, and was suddenly very conscious of how I’d let Altair see me break down like that right in front of him. Some strong Pokemon I was.
“You are not weak,” he told me, reading me like a book. “You are a very strong Pikachu who a lot of bad things have happened to. You have every right to break down once in a while. If you hold it all in, Zanna, you’re going to explode.” He offered me a small smile, but it was unstable at best. Altair lowered his voice a little, and took hold of my eyes. “I would take away your pain, if I could. But I am unable to.”
“It’s alright. I seem to be able to deal with things better while in this form,” I gestured to my white hue. “And anyway, it’s the thought that counts. Thanks,” I said awkwardly, not quite sure how to take his comment. It was odd that I couldn’t seem to stay mad at him, even though I very much wanted to.
He took me in for a moment, and once again, held out a paw. “Come, I want you to take a walk with me.”
I was hesitant to take the offered paw, but at this moment in time I had little choice. “I will come with you if you answer some of my questions,” I told him. I needed answers and I was sure Altair was the one to give them to me. He didn’t reply, but his eyes held a silent promise as I put my paw in his.
“There is a prophecy,” Altair spoke slowly, darting his eyes to the walls around us, “that tells of two powerful beings. I have determined that one of them is you.” He squeezed my paw a little tighter at the words and a sickening feeling began to enter the pit of my stomach. Through our hold, I could sense Altair’s feelings flowing into me. It was almost as if he had wanted this to happen, as if he didn’t want to hide them from me. Or did he want me to come to a conclusion before he said it?
“And the other?” I asked when he didn’t continue. The dreaded feeling in my stomach rose.
“The other is…I…am still trying to work out.” Altair suddenly dropped my paw and turned to me, placing his paws on my shoulders. “Listen to me, Zanna. Whatever happens please know it is for the future of Talzere. And this future must come to fruition.”
“Altair…?” The Pikachu was strangely starting to scare me. “What do you know?”
“The…the battle between you and Deoxys is going to be tough. You are going to need all the help you can get. I cannot see whether you will win or not, but…” He stopped abruptly and held my gaze, eyes quivering. Were they quivering? “No matter what happens, you will be safe.” He released his hold on me and turned to walk away.
I blinked. “That’s it? The battle is going to be tough, but I will be safe? Does that mean I won’t die?” Nothing. “Altair?”
“It’s time for you to go back,” he muttered, not bothering to turn to me as he spoke.
“Wait! I still need you to answer my questions!” Without realising it, Altair had created more questions for me to ask, instead of leaving answers.
“Not this time, Zanna. I have somewhere I need to be. And so do you.” He turned to me with a slight smile upon his lips, but it was odd. It looked forced. “In due time I will answer everything you have to ask, but now is not it. Just remember; you will be safe. Whatever happens, I can guarantee that.”
“How? I pressed, taking a step forwards. “How can you possibly know that?”
“Because even if your saviour never comes for you, I will not allow you to die. It is not your destiny to die at the hands of Deoxys. If he tries to harm you, I will stop him.”
“But what can you do from the Farplane?” My brow furrowed. “I thought there was nothing you could do from here?”
The white Pikachu drew in a breath, slowly, taking a step in my direction. He had closed the distance between us, and though he was not close enough to physically touch me, I felt sparks radiate between us.
“I will not let you die.” He pursed his lips again and placed a hand upon my chest, where my heart would be. I suddenly felt very tired. He was sending me back.
“No…” I tried to call out. I had questions I needed to ask him. “Altair…” I flailed about and felt my fingers grasp soft fur. Without even thinking, I latched onto it, curling it within my paws. There was something about the way he said it, but I knew he was telling the truth. He wouldn’t let me die. I wanted to hold onto that so badly it hurt. I was scared beyond belief, but if he was able to save me, I wanted to stay as close to that shield as possible.
A warmth surrounded my paws, prying my fingers gently from their hold. I was too weak, unable to fight back, and the frightened feeling within me grew. Then, as everything became white, a sudden calm overcame me and I revelled in it, knowing it was Altair’s doing.
“Thank you,” I managed to whisper before the hold on my paws faded into nothingness.
My eyes snapped open. Jumbled words began to reach my ears, and it was a moment before I realised I was back at the Missionary, and they were Rye’s words. He was still talking. I had been returned to the exact time I had left. I turned my head slowly to peer at Virok, who was still staring with shock at Rye’s form. The latter seemed to be enjoying his cowardice.
A prophecy that tells of two powerful beings…
Why wouldn’t he tell me what happened to those two beings? One of them was me…so who was the other? My eyes swivelled back towards Rye, and the sinking feeling that had come upon me when I was with Altair returned. No, it couldn’t be…
“I am giving you one last chance,” Rye’s words interrupted my thoughts. “Step down from here and you will be spared. You know this is not the right way to defeat Deoxys. It never was. The Light Pokemon is.”
“P-preposterous!” Virok stammered, glaring towards his son. “I know what is best for everyone! The Light Pokemon will never defeat Deoxys! It didn’t even work the last time now, did it?”
I felt a stab of anguish at the words, and knew he was referring to Altair. My paws subconsciously balled themselves into fists. He had some nerve speaking about Altair like that in front of me. I felt Rye’s gaze shift in my direction, and the instant I met his cold, glazed red eyes, my vision swam. It was as though his darkness was able to disrupt the light within me…and leave nothing but a black void in its wake. He quickly looked away.
“Zanna is the only way,” he repeated firmly. “I do not wish to fight you, but you leave me little choice.” He readied a battle stance, waiting for Virok to make the first move. I had never wanted this, but I could see now that the Electivire was not going to listen to reason. Messing around with dark forces had tainted him, warped him beyond repair. I felt horrible for what Rye had to do, but I could see it was the only way. As he had told me I was the only way. Perhaps he could bring Virok to understand physically, if words would not reach him.
Eon lay a few feet behind me, and I ran to her, using all my strength to push the rubble that covered her body away. My eyes scanned the floor for where Tali had been, and luckily, nothing had fallen on her. But the Buizel had again been rendered unconscious from the tremor. This was dangerous; I needed to heal them. I set about placing my paw over the Larvitar’s chest, and took in a deep breath, closing my eyes. It was easy now to feel the light that flew from my body into hers. I noted that it was also getting easier to tap into my powers. But I could feel the strain it left on my body, as I was gradually beginning to weaken. Tali would have to wait.
The next sound that met my ears was a loud crack. Virok had come in contact with Rye, and the two sparked electricity about their bodies wildly. It was like an untamed storm; Virok’s white hot lightning, and Rye’s dark black. Virok let a paw fly towards the Elekid who managed to grasp it within his own, and then knocked it back effortlessly. Virok stumbled, again surprised by Rye’s power. Even though the Elekid was hardly larger than a speck to him, he was able to hold his own against the towering Electivire. It was the first and only time I felt a glimmer of gratitude towards Darkrai. As soon as I realised it was there, I dismissed it entirely, scolding myself for such a thought.
Both father and son were now locked in an all-out war. The two Pokemon were exchanging blows one after another, neither seeming to connect in a way that would deal harm. I wondered if the two would become exhausted before anyone was severely hurt. It pained me to sit by idly and watch Rye deal out attacks against his father. I wanted to help him, to push him aside so I could deal with the mess myself, but it wouldn’t do. His pride was at stake now, and I had to let acts take their own course. Even if it meant…even if it meant he might be injured beyond repair. My head shook back and forth, negating the ill thoughts that clouded my mind. At this rate I would only worry myself
Rye raised his arms in a deft motion to quickly insert a barrier between himself and Virok. With another few movements he called upon more barriers, this time situated between the fight and myself, shielding the three of us – Eon, Tali and I – from further harm. Raising a paw to the shield placed before me, I felt a rippling effect as I touched the cool surface. It was void of any feeling; it just was. I realised that if I willed it, I was able to draw parts of my body through the barrier to the other side. It protected me from incoming harm, but I was able to go through it if I wished. Upon seeing my efforts, however, Rye waved his paw again and I was instantly repelled. Now, from where I lay, I saw the shield change shape, rippling and creeping upwards until it held the form of a dome. A dome that acted like a cage. As soon as my paw came in contact with the cool surface once more, it was repelled effortlessly. We were trapped.
I scowled, eyeing Rye with disdain. So he thought he was able to keep me from interfering? Well, we would have to see about that. The Elekid was now entirely focused on Virok once more, who had broken through his barrier and was readying a Thunder attack in his direction. But would electricity work? It certainly hadn’t when I had tried.
Virok released the charge and it jolted towards Rye with the intent to kill. When it was but a foot from him, however, the Elekid raised a paw to the incoming attack, the electrical current dispersing into thin air.
The smirk that had seen fit to place itself upon Virok’s face was now wiped clean. Obviously he wasn’t expecting that to happen. “DAMN YOU, YOU-GRR!” Unable to find words satisfying enough to pester his son, he merely started on the offensive again, dealing blow, after blow, after blow.
I was fed up with being inside a cage, and I wanted out. Damn his pride, this was not right! A son and father should not have to fight like this! I drilled my paw against the shield, watching a spiral flow outwards from where I’d made contact. “Rye! Let me out of here! I know you’re trying to protect me, but I want to help you!” When no reply came, I hit the shield again with more force, but it only served to send a searing pain up my arm to my shoulder. I flinched backwards. “This is not the time!”
My mind began to tingle, and I felt a familiar presence that was not my own, but someone else’s – a presence that probed my very being. It did, however, refrain from pressing too hard upon my conscience. The hold was fragile.
You’re being childish.
That was Rye’s voice. I ran up to the wall of the shield and peered out towards him, but he made no effort to return my gaze. It would have been silly of him, anyway, unless he wanted to be pummelled into one of the boulders surrounding the room. “Childish? You’re the one being childish; you trapped me in a cage! It’s as if you don’t trust me!”
The reply hit me like a bucket of cold water. No, a waterfall of cold water. My mind went numb, and I found myself subconsciously paralysed.
I don’t trust you not to interfere. He is my father, so let me deal with him as I see fit.
It took a moment before my thoughts could form coherently. “Rye! Please, let me help! I can’t…I can’t…” My voice trailed off as my thoughts wandered from what I had been about to say. No, now was not the time. There would be time for that later. If there was a later. Biting my lip sourly, I resigned myself to being held as a prisoner and retreated from the wall, denying myself the pleasure of a further rebuke.
My eyes wandered the field, watching the fight continue. It was never-ending and it was painful. I could remotely sense Rye’s anguish as he fought, though he was doing his best to beat it back with the darkness that surrounded him. At least he wasn’t the animal I had encountered that night. He was mostly in control now. But I wasn’t about to admit to him that it still tore at my insides to see him this way. Urgh, it was frustrating! I need to get out of here!
[continued in next post]