Love and Sacrifice: There's no such thing as an innocent youth

---------- March -2090 ---------

Two green eyes flickered open, and Shadow's mind retreated sharply from the dark of sleep. Only four am, but that never mattered to Shadow. He had little concept of time in relation to day and night. Stretching to shake off his two hour rest, he realised that he remembered no dreams. He never remembered his dreams, only his nightmares.

After sliding out of his bed, he groomed himself quickly, brushing his fur and combing his hair. Regular brushing reduced the slight risk of shedding on a mission, but combing his hair was more of something that soothed him. It reminded him of someone that he had once loved, of the family he had once had.

With a slight growl, Shadow hastily braided his long black hair; his hands, nimble and experienced, made quick work of the task. He pulled on his customary outfit of black, loose, but tight enough to not rustle, pants and a long sleeve shirt of the same material. It had taken him several tries to find something he could wear on missions that did not restrict his movements or get in his way, and at the same time made little noise.

He wondered whether he might actually have a day of rest. While he could function perfectly on little sleep for a while, he knew his limit and that limit was quickly approaching. He doubted he would be free today, though. The Kaitan Alliance had expanded greatly over the years. Long gone were the days when it simply colonized the rest of the world. Now it owned everywhere. Crossing borders was deadly, and communication difficult and risky. It had reached the point where the Kaitan Alliance no longer had to fight for surrenders, as people preferred to avoid the horrible bloodshed. But now people were getting restless, so the Alliance was getting bloodthirsty.

There was a knock at the door, and Shadow walked over and opened it, staring at the person with his dead green eyes. "Yes?" He asked. What was once a silky alto was now a flat monotone, a dead whisper that tended to scare the hell out of those who were not used to hearing him.

It was one of the newer lab assistants. There had been a somewhat recent infiltration and the people that died had to be replaced. This one had been recruited just under two years ago, and like most of the new ones, had never quite gotten used to Shadow and the dark aura he had, since it was rare that they saw the hybrid around. "Th-the..."

One of Shadow's ears twitched and he shifted his weight from one foot to the other.

The young man paused a bit to catch his breath, as he'd probably been running around the base doing errands. "Our location has been discovered again. We need to move immediately. Professor Mikoto told me to give you this." He handed Shadow a folder, and then left in a hurry.

Shadow closed the door and leaned against it. His tail idly flicked back and forth as he read.

Mission 876 - Infiltrate the Kaitan Alliance base I have given you the location of and kill Lt. Jakata.

An assassination? There had been several of those lately, and they made much more sense than having him single handedly take on a whole army. That was what their 'normal' human and pokemon soldiers were for. He flipped through the file, quickly taking in the information. The base was thirty-two miles away, which meant he would have a good amount of traveling to do. Night would be the best time to strike, since he blended in perfectly in the dark, and could easily slip past the guards. "Lieutenant Jakata, omae o korosu... You shall die tonight," he whispered to himself, taking a good look at the picture of the man in about his thirties. "You are no longer human. You are my target."

----- That night -----

Shadow left the hideout, climbing up the stairs and then poking his head out. The air smelt different up in the world. It smelt... real. He took a deep breath then looked around, his green eyes quickly scanning the surroundings. No one. Slinking through the shadows, he found the motorcycle that had been hidden for him. He had not named it, but he was very familiar with it. The motorcycle had been specially made for him, specially made to conceal weapons neatly and to travel silently through the night. Shadow mounted it, starting it up. Unlike other vehicles, it made next to no noise. His own sensitive ears could hear the faint purr of the engine, but the ears of all normal humans, and most pokemon, would not be able to pick it up.

Shadow took one last look back at the base. He had not grown up in this one. Since he was ten, they had changed location with increasing frequency. And now... Now he doubted they could afford to have a base. The soldiers and scientists would scatter and re-locate with various rebel groups, and Shadow would live where he had to in order to carry out his missions.

He rode silently through the night, a dark figure with dark intentions. Along with what he had worn that morning, he wore a black hood cloak for the main purpose of concealing his tail and ears. Over his paw-like hands he wore black gloves that had slits at the finger where his claws could emerge if needed. In a holster around his waist, a gun, complete with a silencer, was hidden.

He made it to the base within an hour and a half. It would have taken less time, but he had to leave the motorcycle two miles away and walk the rest of the distance, for there were likely to be hidden soldiers nearby. It had been, in his opinion, ridiculously easy to sneak past the guards and their pokemon. The trouble would start when he got to the more heavily guarded camp enclosure.

Hidden behind a tree near the gate, he searched around for a way to get onto the base grounds. There was a tree near the wall that he could climb over, and if he was careful, he could avoid the broken glass that they had stuck on the edges of the wall to deter people from using that way to get in. He walked up the tree, unsheathing his claws and taking off his cloak, then climbing up, careful not to disturb the branches or wake up anything that may be sleeping in the tree. A pissed off Noctowl would cause more than enough noise to get him discovered.

Reaching the level where the wall ended, he walked cautiously on one of the sturdier branches that came within three feet of the wall. If he was careful, he could jump over and land on the other side. There were the possibilities that he would slip and fall to the ground and draw attention to himself by crashing through the tree branches or landing with a thud, or that he could fall on the glass and injure himself badly.

He would have to just take the chance.

Shadow lowered himself to a sort of crouching position, his bare feet ready to spring off the branch. Taking a deep breath, he leapt, clearing the wall and landing with a soft thud on his feet on the other side. It had been a difficult jump, and his landing was far from perfect, so he had to take a few seconds for his legs to recover from the shock of landing so hard.

He scanned the area hastily. No one. Why was their security so poor that night? Slipping into the shadows, he made his way through the courtyard and to the entrance. It was wide open, and Shadow tensed, wondering if this could be a trap.

That was when he noticed the dead body on the floor. The guard's throat had been slit cleanly, which meant that it was not a pokemon's doing. Much too precise of a cut. Did that mean someone else was also there to assassinate Lt. Jakata? He noted the dead growlithe lying by the body's side. Whoever it was, he or she was not taking any chances. Shadow sniffed the air delicately, unsure of whether the other intruder was human or pokemon by the scent. The scent was a sort of mix, very unfamiliar, and very...metallic? Maybe the other had a steel pokemon with him?

Realizing that it was not a good idea to just be standing in the doorway, Shadow followed the scent trail through the building. Same way he would have gone... He discovered several dead bodies along the way, human and pokemon alike, all killed with a cleanly slit throat. He took his gun from his holster and clicked the safety lock off.

Shadow stumbled upon the Lieutenant's room, and found the door locked. So the other had not made it there yet... He had lost the scent trail a while back though. Did that mean he had passed the other intruder on his way, or had the other simply gone to do something else? His ears twitched, and he listened for any sign of another life. Hearing nothing, he picked the lock to the door and entered. He walked up to the sleeping man, aiming the gun at the man's heart, and about to shoot him when his ears picked up some slight movement near the door.

"Who are you?"

Shadow spun around, gun aimed between the eyes of the speaker. But when he took a good look at the person, he frowned. Was this another hybrid? He had metallic grey eyes that somewhat reminded Shadow of liquid mercury, and his greyish/platinum blonde hair was very wiry. His skin had an unhealthy grey tinge, and his hands... He had six digits on each instead of five, and the sixth were thin, sharp blades. Judging by the blood staining them, they were how he had slit those throats so cleanly. His nails too; they were metal, and sharpened, and they were also bloody, though the boy had apparently attempted to wipe them off earlier.

Shadow noted all of that in a few quick seconds, not lowering his gun. Fellow hybrid or not, this other person could be an enemy. Taking a second good look, he realized the other was nothing more than a boy, probably only fourteen or fifteen. "You're young," he stated in his quiet voice.

The other appeared only slightly offended, but did not seem to lower his guard either. He merely looked into Shadow's emotionless green eyes and shrugged. "I don't think you're much older, Project H/C, Type #15: CXIII."

Shadow narrowed his eyes ever so slightly. So the boy knew about him... That meant he was from one of the other projects, but did not make him an ally. "What are you doing here?" He asked.

"Same as you. I was here to kill Lieutenant Jakata, and I happened to find you."

/Same mission.../ He thought to himself, taking a quick look around the room. There was a window just five feet away from him, and he was only on the tenth floor. He could make the jump.

Lt. Jakata stirred, sitting up sleepily. For a moment, he seemed confused, but then he noticed the two boys and sounded an alarm .

Without a word, in one fluid movement, Shadow ran up to the window, opened it, and leapt out, twisting himself in the way a persian does mid-air so he would land safely, which he did, minus a few bruises and maybe a broken or fractured bone. But he ignored it, and quickly fled the base, leaving the other hybrid to deal with the Lieutenant.

After killing Jakata, the steel hybrid leaned over the window in amazement. How had that older boy survived that jump? He had executed it with such grace... The boy blinked several times, wondering if he was dreaming, but the blood on his blades and the dead body lying on the bed not too far from where he stood told him that he was not, and that he had better get the hell out of that base before someone answered the alarm.

As he fled the base, he wondered what the other looked like when in light. All he had really noticed were the hybrid's black fur and his eyes... Glowing green eyes with a dead stare that seemed to burn right through your skull. There was no doubt about it; that had to be Project H/C, Type #15: CXIII... How could one mistake him for any type other than a dark type? How could nothing but a dark type project such an aura of... the only word Blade could think of was 'nothingness'. Even psychic pokemon, or humans with psychic abilities, could not close up their feelings that well.

Walking the one and a half miles to the roadside where a car would be waiting for him, Blade Keisuke, Project H/C, Type #14: 92, dared to wonder whether there were more of them, more hybrids like him and the dark stranger he had met just minutes ago. They had always assumed the other experiments except CXIII had failed, but maybe, just maybe, they had been wrong.

---- Elsewhere in the world ---- Corse ----

"Evacuate the base! Fire! FIRE!"

The secret Kaitan base in the peaceful town of Kinsville was on fire. Screams of agony could be heard as soldiers burnt to death, trapped in their rooms and unable to escape the flames of death. Fire engines would arrive shortly to put out the flames, but few would survive.

A mile away already, a young teenager sighed, collapsing with exhaustion. He had never even attempted to set something that big on fire before. He ran a tired hand through his wild red hair, his equally red eyes shining brightly. The screams... They still echoed in his mind. One of his hands sought out the cross that hung on his neck, and he held onto it tightly. He had to go on. He had to survive. Having caught his breath, Xeth got up and ran, his flaming tail trailing behind him. He admitted that melting the locks shut to the doors of the building was a bit cruel, but it was necessary... They had to die. And he had taken on the role of the Angel of Death. That was a big name to live up to, but he was doing a good job of it.

Forcing a smile, he continued on his escape. /"Promise me you'll keep smiling, no matter what? Don't ever change." I'm keeping my promise Sephir. Told you I would.../

He would be safely out of the country and on his way to Arasia the next day. Corse held too many painful memories for him.

------ Indeli ------

In a small town called Merina, a young girl was doing just the opposite, putting out a fire caused by the Kaitan Alliance. Sometimes the best way to get rid of rebellious thoughts was to set a town on fire, and few people dared to cross an organization willing to destroy entire families.

Dressed in a dark blue, hooded cloak, she entered homes, dousing the flames with various water attacks, and helping the occupants to evacuate. This was not her typical mission. In fact, it was not a mission, but she had been around, and she had enough time between now and being where she had to be.

But before anyone could ask her what her name was or even thank her, Corvet had left, hoping no one had noticed her light blue hair, the bluish tint to her skin, or her webbed hands...

------ Arasia ------

"Intruder? Where? The radar's not picking up anything outsi-" The man was cut off as his neck broke.

"Too easy..." The boy who had killed him muttered to himself. "Much too easy, even for a fighting type hybrid." He had snuck into the base, alternately knocking out or killing anyone he came across. Mostly, he only killed those that saw him, but others had to be killed just in case.

Kenji retrieved the information he had come for from the file cabinets and slipped out of the base, his orange eyes keeping a sharp look out for any soldiers who happened to be awake at that late hour. He disliked killing without a fair fight, but the soldiers had been foolish enough to let their guards down.

------ Jarlis ------

A black clad figure slipped into the kitchen of the Kaitan base in Jiras. He found their water supply and quickly poisoned it, and as an after-thought, poisoned their food supply too. His red, black, and yellow eyes glinted slightly as he peeked out of the kitchen, then slipped away quickly and left the same route he had snuck in through. His hood slipped off, revealing his hair, the same colors as his eyes. So as not to draw any attention to himself, Kaor quickly put it back on and disappeared into the night.

----- Corse -----

An extremely normal looking boy stepped out of the woods and up to the house where a Kaitan official was currently residing in while he negotiated with the head of the country of Calmir. Whistling a merry tune, his brown eyes twinkled and he casually walked up to the guard. Without a word, he turned into an alakazam and used confusion on the man, thankful that the attack worked just as well on humans as it did on pokemon. He turned back into a human, and stared directly at the hypnotized man. "Could you please tell me where his excellency John Kana is staying?"

"On the twenty-second floor, I think..." The man replied, looking around in confusion.

Devin, sighed. That was always the drawback to the attack; it made the guards obedient, but they were never sure about their answers, and were often wrong. Sighing, he transformed into a hoot-hoot and flew over to the building, checking in all of the windows for the man he was supposed to kill. After flying by several rooms, he finally found his target on the twenty-third floor. He burst in through the window, transformed into a fearow, snatched the sleeping man in the claws, flew out, and let the man fall to his death. Back in the form of a hoot-hoot, he flew back to his hideout.


Grinning to himself, a pale, transparent figure glided through one of the Kaitan bases leisurely, completely unnoticed because no one could see him. Tevix found it amazing how so many places still had no defense against ghost types. If he could get through, anyone could easily have sent their ghost pokemon in. Amazing how some people often forgot about the existence of that type. The new Kaitan Leader had been toughening up security, but for now, Tevix enjoyed being able to float in and out of bases.

He quickly found the files he needed and this time he did his best to make sure he did not bump into anyone. Wouldn't you be suspicious if you saw a bunch of files floating in the air on their own? He knew he would be.

------ Indeli ------

Posing as a fortune teller at a fair, Siana looked around with her wise, golden eyes, her completely golden eyes, no difference between the pupils, the iris, or the cornea. Her platinum-blonde hair was hidden behind the hood of the brown gypsy cloak she wore, and she looked very much like the part she played.

A man entered, the general she was supposed to kill. This was going to be easy. It amused her that a general in an alliance that had conquered the world would have such a superstitious nature.

"You would like to hear your future?" She asked, looking straight at the man, something that she knew made most humans and pokemon uncomfortable.

"Yes." He put some coins in the plate on the table and sat down.

"Stare into my crystal ball."

He obeyed, and the ball started glowing. Siana smiled evilly, and a light burst forth from the ball and hit him, killing him instantly. She checked to make sure he was dead, then sighed. "Humans... one tiny psybeam and that's it." She teleported out of the tent before anyone wondered what was taking the general so long.

------ Eurel ------

"Eric? Eric? Where are y-" The man let out a straggled cry as something slipped around his neck and swiftly broke it.

Vair withdrew her vines, looking down disgustedly at the bodies. "Kaitan pigs..." Then she sighed. "I hope you didn't have any loved ones who'll be saddened by your death though." She held tightly onto the diskette she had stolen and was about to leave the base when she noticed someone else retreating. Quickly using a vine to wrap around the other person's legs, she knocked him or her down. Wasting no time, she ran up to the other intruder. "Who," she noticed the fluffy white tail, the icy blue hair, the thin covering of white fur with a bluish tinge, "or rather, *what* are you? Another hybrid? I thought I was the only one left."

"Well you thought wrong," the girl answered coldly. "Mind letting go of me?" She snapped. "I'm on your side." Vair rolled her eyes but released the girl, who got up and dusted herself off. "Now if you don't mind, I've got to go. My name's Aita Aisu incase you wanted to know." She looked at her watch. "Shit! I'm late!" And she ran off.

Vair watched her go and then sighed. "People these days... So rude." She pocketed her disk and continued to make her exist, reflecting on her brief encounter with 'Aita'. Another hybrid was alive. Another soul that knew the living hell of being born to kill.


An unknown figure flew over a Kaitan base near a town called Vilit. He flew for some time before he found what he was looking for, a meeting between some Kaitan soldiers. He turned on his recorder and landed silently on the ground nearby and folding his wings behind his back. He listened to their conversation for a little while, and then he planted the recorder on the tree. A nice, simple mission. He liked that.

Swift back to his base, enjoying the feeling of the wind blowing through his feathers. Flying was fun, almost therapeutic to him. In his opinion, the ability to fly was worth being a freak.

------- Jarlis -------

Hali buzzed over the soldier's camp. Her task was simple. Put the soldiers to sleep, or paralyze them, whichever would last longer, and then retreat. Let the rebels take care of the rest. Blinking her large compound eyes, she took a deep breath and then flew over the camp, using a combination of sleeping powder and stun spore. When she was sure she was done, she flew back over to where the soldiers where and gave them the signal. Sometimes she complained that it was not fair that they did not let her do any serious fighting, but she admitted that she was no scyther, and that she was more useful for her powder attacks. Better to do stick to what she knew and live, than to die being someone that she was not.

Not to say she could not fight, though, because she could. She was not a butterfree either. She could handle most weapons that existed, and she knew how to do many things most soldiers had not clue about. But that was not needed yet. She lived in one of the continents less desired by the Kaitan Alliance.

------ Arasia ------

A blonde and brown haired youth reached the main power supply of one of the smaller bases in Arasia. He reached in and snapped the wires with his bare hands. The electricity in the whole weapon factory immediately went out, and he allowed one of his hands to crackle with electricity so he could see a little.


He looked at the Raichu, then picked up the quantum bomb the electric mouse was holding nervously. With careful precision, he began to set the bomb and placed it where he decided it would have the most impact on the building.

"Chu!" The raichu looked around, making sure no one was coming. "Raichu, chu!"

He finished setting the bomb, then picked up the raichu. "Let's go." The spiky haired youth, named Indenki, began to take his carefully planned route out of the building. This mission was too easy, not the kind he preferred, but it was not time yet for any big attacks. For now, they would resist in small attacks, just to let the Kaitan Alliance know that people were starting to seriously rebel against them again.

----- Corse -----

Merideth was having a pretty relaxing night. All she had to do was hack into computer files from her comfortable spot in her 'home base'. She smiled as she finally got through and deleted all the necessary files, changing some of the information in others. All this took her under an hour, as her mind could process things a lot faster than any human ever could.

Finally done, she kicked back and smiled to herself. Hacking was always a welcome change to killing. The blue haired girl transformed into a smallish sized dragon-pokemon creature and flew off, going to the kitchen for a midnight snack.

"Hey Mer! I need some help with my computer. Could you spare a minute?" One of the younger lab assistants, only eighteen, asked her as she flew past.

She stopped flying, turned back into a human, and grinned. "Sure thing, Max!" She twirled around, flicking her hair over her shoulder with a dainty toss of her head, and then hurrying over to the kitchen.

The dragon hybrid led far from an easy life, but she valued socialization, and a year ago she had forced the other people that actually lived in the base to treat her like a normal teenager, and not someone that would break their neck if they started her. Which she would if they were not careful, but she had incredibly hearing.

------ Farica ------

Erian appeared from a hole in the ground, a smirk on her brown furred face. She hauled herself out, then helped the sandslash that had gone with her to get out. "Who knew digging could be such fun?" She asked her human partners, dusting the dirt off herself, then shaking like a wet growlithe, sending clumps of dirt flying.

"Erian, did you get the files?" One of them asked nervously.

"Yup, right here!" She patted her backpack and then started brushing dirt out of her hair. "I need a bath..." She finally decided. Although she hated water, she knew it really wasn't good manners to walk around covered in dirt. "So do you." She told the sandslash, who snorted. "Well, Mission completed! Shall we go celebrate?"

One of her partners grabbed her arm and dragged her off. "Bath first." He said firmly, ignoring her pout.


Jorvis looked at the detonator in his hand, then at the base he was about to destroy. He did not like the idea of committing mass murder. Sure he had killed before, but not in such large numbers...

But then, these 'soldiers' had raided the nearby towns. These 'soldiers' had killed many of the people he had known in cold blood, laughing when they had begged for mercy. These 'soldiers' deserved to die like this. They deserved to die dishonorable deaths, killed in their sleep, not given a chance to fight back.

His grey eyes hardened, and Jorvis pushed the button, blowing up the base in three loud explosions. A look of grim satisfaction crossed his face as he watched the burning remains of the base. No one messed with this hybrid's people and lived to brag about it.