Love and Sacrifice: Stopping By

It had been three months since the hybrids spent those precious thirty hours together, thirty hours they would never forget. In that short time, friendships that would last lifetimes were started, and they began to form a sort of pecking order.

In the three months that passed, they had once again spread out through the world, doing as much damage as they could to the growing organization, Zentai, which bloomed and started to tighten its fist around not only Eurel and Arasia, but Corse and Farica, the two nearest continents to them.

The hybrids were regarded as terrorists, and handsome rewards were offered to anyone who could capture even just one of them, preferably alive. There were those who respected the outcasts, who knew that they were working for the good of the people, and who knew that Yiana and her like could not be trusted. But they were heavily outnumbered by those who actually supported Zentai, for it seemed to be a trustworthy organization, much more so than the domineering Kaitan Alliance.


Resting peacefully against the soft bellies of her charizard and fearow, with her persian snuggled in her lap, Donari gave off the image of your average teenage girl resting on a veranda with her pokemon.

But she was not your average teenager anymore, and those were not your average pokemon. Sacrifice was the sole son of Flame, a genetically altered charizard whose intelligence nearly matched that of a dragonite's, and whose fire-power could only be compared to that of a moltres. His father was no bull-headed charizard either, and had too been a prized specimen, also killed in the attack on the lab those many years ago. With parents like that, Sacrifice was a pokemon many would die to have their hands on, but only few would ever know about. With his psychic abilities, Sacrifice's worth was near immeasurable.

The fearow was large, to say the least, big enough to fly with about four adults on its back and not feel stressed. Like the charizard, it too had enhanced brainpower, though not as noticeable. Love, the persian, had no special skills, but owned a rather big heart and tenderly bouncy personality for its normally cold species of pokemon. Any family that could raise a 'sweet' persian was nothing short of remarkable, and that was exactly what Donari's family had been.

She had not heard of her parents for what seemed forever. Normally, one would have expected the capture of important figures such as them to be on the news, but no, there had been no reports. It seemed as if they had simply dropped off of the world and this upset her greatly. They were probably dead. Silenced before they could go public.

Although she had grown up knowing about the war, especially with having an 'older brother' being trained as a perfect soldier, the war had never been as real as it was now. She had witnessed attacks in person, something so much more real and shocking than the television broadcasts.

With a slight creak, the door opened, and a young woman, maybe in her early or mid-twenties, stepped in, looking around briefly before her eyes rested on the young girl. "Donari, there's someone here to see you."

Puzzled, she stood up immediately. "But this is a secret location!"

The older woman smiled slightly before opening the door for Donari. "I think you'll understand when you go."

Still puzzled, she gently shoved the persian off her lap and re-called the other two pokemon into the locket on her necklace. Who on earth could it be? Curious as a meowth, she raced into the building and down the many staircases to the bottom floor, skidding to a stop when she saw who it was.

"Xeth!" With the hyper affection that had never left her, she ran up to him and leapt into his arms. "How've you been?"

He grinned, catching her and giving her a small kiss on the cheek. "I've been good. I mean, I've narrowly avoided capture, torture, and death a couple of times, but I'm fine." Putting her down, he looked behind himself and frowned slightly. "Devin, Tevix, get over here!"

Confused, Donari looked around for who he was talking about, and then started as she saw a young, pale teenager materialize behind him, and a brown haired girl take shape from the rattata that had been at his feet.

"Meet Tevix and Devin."

Tevix bowed, and Devin pretended to curtsy. "Pleased to meet you," the latter said, eyes twinkling.

Xeth came in-between them and put his arms around their shoulders. "These two are my partners in crime. Tev's a living ghost and Dev's a ditto."

The girl snorted and stepped on Xeth's foot. "I am not a ditto. I'm only about half a ditto. I'm as much a human as you are."

"Ignore 'her'. Dev's a little sensitive when it comes to discussing what she is." The fire hybrid removed his arms from their shoulders and walked up to Donari. "So, what's the little princess been up to? Seen Shadow lately? Or Indenki?"

At the mention of the lightning hybrid's name, she blushed and averted her eyes. "No, I haven't see either of them for the last three months."

"You haven't?" He frowned. "That's weird... I could've sworn..." He looked at her briefly, then at the other two hybrids, who shrugged. "Oh well. We just need somewhere to hide during the day, and we needed to know if you guys wouldn't mind our hanging around the area?"

"Leah?" Donari turned to the older woman.

"They can stay so long as they leave tonight."

"We will," Tevix responded, walking, or rather, gliding over to her. "We would like to speak to you later though, before we leave."


"Later then!" Xeth waved, then pushed the other two out the exit.

"Interesting group." Leah remarked after they were gone.

Smiling, Donari nodded. "Very."

"Are all the hybrids like that?"

She shook her head. "No. They're some of the more 'cheerful' ones. Most of them are a little more on the... grim side?"

The woman nodded, understand fully what the young teen meant. "They're soldiers. Even those three. They all know that fighting is their life, it's what they were bred for..."

Sadly, the girl nodded. /Sei... You knew that your life was meaningless, yet when you turned to us to help you find something to love, to live, and maybe to die for, we turned you away... Why don't you come find me, Sei? If they could, you could too.../


"Xeth, please tell me that I can trust you to be a little more 'tactful' while we talk to Leah?"

The fire hybrid pouted, hurt by what the ghost hybrid hinted at. "Are you saying I don't have tact on a regular basis?." His lower lip quivered, and he threw himself at Tevix's feet. "Tevix, you don't love me anymore? I thought we were friends, buddies!"

Sighing, Tevix de-materialized and floated higher above Xeth. "No, that's Devin."

"Tevix! You've pierced my heart with a knife and twisted it!" Dramatically, he rolled over so he could look Tevix in the eye, and he clutched his heart, grimacing in 'pain'.

"Get up, Xeth! All I'm saying is that this is a serious matter that needs to be dealt with carefully." He floated down and knelt by his friend's side. "We can't keep going on as we have. We're only seventeen teenagers, funded and maintained by seventeen tiny groups. Sure some of us have human/pokemon back-up troops, but put together we make a very tiny army. In there," he pointed over the fading horizon "hundreds of troops are just waiting to be commanded! Sure they're a very tiny army too, but they've got the supplies, and they've got secret funding."

The fire hybrid had sat up by now, and looked intently into Tevix's pale blue eyes. "I know, I know...Help me up?" He held out a hand, and the ghost hybrid grabbed it and lifted him up. "Let's go, Devin's been waiting for too long."


They made it to the base by the time the night was pitch black and their only light source came from Xeth's tail. Waiting for them outside was Leah, the light brown-haired and green-eyed leader of the Arasia Resistance, formerly part of Zentai. She had quit a few years earlier, disgusted by their true intentions, and quickly became a leading force in the Arasian rebel force.

"So, what was it you wanted to discuss?" She asked, folding her arms across her chest.

Tevix stepped slightly in front of the other two and spoke. "As you may know, our mission is to destroy Zentai. Those are, and always have been, our orders."


"We need your help; there just aren't enough of us. Zentai has grown over the past three months, and there hasn't been much we can do to even just halt their growth, and we're getting desperate. Everyone thought this would be a short war, but it seems that's wrong, because it's not. This is going to last a long time if we don't make a big move."

She had listened carefully, and had heard his every word, but sadly, she shook her head and sighed. "We're not a suicide group." Turning halfway, she looked at them sideways. "Get yourselves killed for no reason if you want, but don't try to suck us in."

The three watched as she left, a little shocked by the way she had quickly dismissed the idea of an alliance, yet not entirely surprised by the act in itself. Her refusal had been a warning for them, a warning that they were against a ruthless enemy.

Xeth closed his eyes for a moment, focusing his thoughts within his mind. She was right to decline their offer. It was not time. When would it be time? Would it ever be time? He opened his red eyes and looked at Tevix and Devin, equally grim expressions on each of their faces. What were they doing here, three youths from a continent entirely different from this one? They were lost.


Love and Sacrifice: Test of honor

"These 'pokedolls' go against everything I believe." Sitting behind her desk, Yiana stared defiantly at Duke Dylan, the former leader of Team Rocket, the current leader of Sai, and her uncle. Her left hand, balled into a fist, lay in her lap, out of sight. Her right hand, calmly lying on her desk, did not betray the near uncontrollable anger boiling within her. Green eyes, sharp and deadly, were her only traitors.

"You have no say in this! The only reason you were able to become the leader of Zentai was because of your relation to me!" The man, aging but trying to hide it, had little of Yiana's control. His fury at her lack of servitude was displayed for all the world to see in the way he leaned too close to her desk, the way he spoke too quickly, often running words together. He was a rabid gyrados; she was a provoked arbok.

"It was not," she said calmly, but with force. "I am a more capable leader of this organization than any of the other candidates, and you know it." She paused, taking a deep breath and regaining her composure. It was not her nature to express anger so blatantly. "However, I do not like the idea of these pokedolls. What is the point of battle if fought between lifeless pokemon? The whole beauty of battle is the soldiers and pokemon willing to give up their lives for their beliefs."

"Who cares about the beauty of the battle? The whole point is that we won't lose any lives, and they are much more efficient than real pokemon!" Standing up, he smoothed his coat and looked coldly at his niece. "That is that. We shall be sending the pokedolls into Farica, Corse, Indeli, and Jarlis tomorrow. We've already started secretly deploying them in Arasia and Eurel." He turned, walked to the door and opened it, adding one last line. "Oh, and the hybrids might try to stop the shipments, so set up some sort of decoy so we can try to get rid of the little terrorists for once and all."

Eyes still blazing stubbornly, she watched him go and then sighed, picking a single red rose from her vase on her desk and twirling it in her fingers carefully. "Don't worry, Duke Dylan, I'll take care of the hybrids, but I am still against your precious pokedolls..." Pressing the com button to Haris's office, she ordered him to take over the task of destroying the hybrids the next day. She doubted they would get rid of all of them, but she at least needed to distract them for a while. She had other things to do.


"So, Lord Kehin, how are you planning on luring the hybrids to the transport ships?"

Haris turned, regarding the lady, the same age as him, nineteen, and answered in a cold voice. "Instructor Demis, nice to see you." Most could sense the sarcasm disguised as formality. "I'm going to have three shipments of the pokedolls. One by air, one by water and one by land. The hybrids keep a close watch on us, and they should catch up on the information and try to stop them, but we'll have some pokedolls and regular human and pokemon troops waiting. That way, we should be able to get the shipments through, but at the same time get rid of most, if not all, of the hybrids."

She nodded, ignoring the slight look of superiority Haris gaveher. The two of them somewhat respected each other, but there was a hidden rivalry that went on quietly between them. "Her excellency ordered me to hang around and make sure everything goes as planned."

The disappointment that flickered briefly through Haris's eyes was blatantly visible to Vaela, but she ignored it as she was too worried about Reix, who would be leading the land troops.

"Fine," the blonde man replied, returning to his planning. "Just don't get in my way."

Behind his back, unable to contain herself, Vaela rolled her eyes and stuck out her tongue.


Indenki looked at his orders, his eyes wary. Deep down inside, he had a feeling that something was up, but orders were orders, and even if there were back-up troupes, the pokemon could not be much of a match for his zapdos and raikou. A few minutes ago Shadow had contacted him to let him know that he too had orders to go after the land shipment, and he had a feeling that Xeth's little group who had would be making an appearance too. More than adequate back-up, he thought.


"Another convergence of us damned creatures to the battlefields we are condemned to live on..."

"Swift!" Taken aback, the dragon hybrid stared at the slightly older boy that was hovering by her side. She had re-encountered him several times over the last ninety or so days, and each time had caught a glimpse into his deep, poetic personality. He was not one to waste his words on meaningless things, yet unlike Shadow or Indenki, he did not really save his words for the absolute necessary, but to observe some sort of abstract event with carefully chosen words so that the right impact he wanted to carry out was achieved. At times, she noticed that he could be slightly on the morbid side, but he loved to try and find beauty wherever possible. One thing that took up most of what he said was flying, for to him, nothing could compare to the joy of feeling the wind rustling his feathers.

"Forgive me Meri," he said with a regretful smile, "but you must admit, it's true, and we all know it."

Sighing, she continued to fly around in circles, the only way she could stay in the air without really going anywhere for a long time. "I know, I know, but still..."

Raising his gaze from the ground far below them, he turned to look at her with his sky eyes, and suddenly grinned, playfully blowing a lock of stray hair away from his face. "I'm not the happiest of company all the time, am I?"

"No, you're not, but you're a lot more cheery than Shadow any day..." She muttered, remembering a time last month when the two of them had found themselves on the same mission, and he had kept his distance as much as possible.

Swift's grin faded, and his eyes gained the thoughtful glaze they had whenever he went back into a thoughtful trance. "Shadow has been through a lot. Genetically created to be silent, paranoid, and deadly, and then hurt in the way he so obviously was in the past..." A deep sadness washed over the flying hybrid and it flooded over to his companion.

Fluttering below them, Hali, the frail and tiny bug hybrid, dared to interrupt them. "I know I've come right in the middle of something, but I thought you should know that the aircrafts are coming in, followed closely by the trucks."

"Thanks Hali!" Merideth said brightly, pleased to see her small friend there, and healthy. Despite the fact that Hali was stronger than she looked, the dragon hybrid still found it hard not to be a little overprotective of her.

"Ready to battle?" Swift reached up to his silver collar, depressing the button and releasing his powerful fearow.

"Ready as I'll ever be," she replied, watching Hali swoop down before releasing her dragonite.


Silently, dead green eyes watched the three winged hybrids in the sky, and the others quietly gathering to their assigned positions. Shadow stooped down and rested two calming hands on the necks of his pokemon, telling them to relax, that it was not yet time to attack. Over their time together, they had bonded in the peculiar way only dark pokemon could, and were just about as close as they ever could get. Actual love and affection were emotions generally unknown, yet not unfelt by them, and friendship was just about as deep a love they could ever feel for one another. Shadow and his pokemon understood each other somewhat, and their situation, and realized that with each other their life purpose could be fulfilled, and they would feel needed to the world in a way.

"Umbreon?" The dark eevelution inquired, licking a paw nonchalantly. "Breon." It added.

"We're going to attack from the sidelines. They're bound to have large pokemon, and if we go out into the open, we'll be too vulnerable."

Understanding, the pokemon nodded, shifting restlessly on its feet.

"Doom," the other stated, looking over the horizon and pointing out to Shadow that the battle had somewhat already started.

"Now," he commanded, releasing his hands from their necks and starting to give them orders.


On top of his steelnix's neck, Blade had a perfect view of the battlefield, from the bright spectacle of Indenki and his two legendary electric pokemon, to Tevix and his Gengar wrecking havoc where they could. What puzzled him was those new pokemon he was seeing... He could have sworn Zentai did not have such large forces to deploy for only the transportation of some new pokemon... What could be in those vehicles that were so important?

"Go lower," he commanded the gigantic pokemon so that he could see what was going on a little closer. Was it just him, or did some of the pokemon they were using just not seem... alive? He was no psychic, yet he somehow felt that they were not really alive, just hollow shells that had orders being fed into them. When injured even by his steelnix, they did not cry out, and merely continued battling until they were defeated. "What are these?" He asked himself, furrowing his brow in puzzlement.

/So you've noticed too?/ Siana mentally asked him. /So have some of the others... I believe Zentai has come up with a new weapon./

Blinking, the steel hybrid looked at the pokemon troops they were facing, then up at the sky where Siana rode on her lugia. /Then that just means we need new strategies./


Blue eyes blazing indignantly, Indenki looked up as he saw a man he knew only from his files. Reix, the top soldier and trainer of Zentai. Wordlessly, the two assessed each other's skills and pokemon, noting that they both were using lightning types. Realizing he was at a disadvantage in mobility by being on his Raikou, Indenki swiftly switched to his zapdos so that he and Reix had equal chances at winning.

And they fought, their air-born pokemon rushing at each other full speed and releasing powerful lightning attacks. Forgotten were the cargo they were supposed to protect or destroy. This was a battle between only them.

Gripping tightly to the neck of his own zapdos, Reix was thoroughly enjoying the battle. It had been a long time since he had met anyone with the training skills and the pokemon to match his own. If he were to die right then, he would be happy, for he would have died in a glorious battle.


"Damnit!" Haris cursed as he banged his fists on the control panel. Despite the fact that the pokedolls were a lot more powerful than the average pokemon, they were still dropping like flies. All of the hybrids, except the lightning type, were crushing his troops with little effort.

"What now?" Vaela asked, leaning back in her chair and stretching, displaying her lack of interest openly.

Frustrated, he glared at her, but then smiled when an idea came to his mind. He knew that all the hybrids carried some sort of radio communications system, and getting a message to them would be easy. "Call the 099 base in Arasia!"


*Attention all hybrids*

Startled, Blade's mercury eyes flicked to the screen attacked to the neck of his steelnix that had suddenly switched on. /Kernel Haris? What the...?/

*I admire your strength, but if you really value the lives of those you're fighting for, maybe you should stop.*

Flying up next to him, Hali exchanged confused looks with Blade.

*I'm sure you're all aware of the exploding power of voltorbs.*

"He couldn't... he wouldn't!" Blade exclaimed, his mind quickly grasping the threat implied in that statement.

*I know some of you were created in Arasia, and even if you weren't, I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate the southernmost province being obliterated.*

"That bastard!" Hali exclaimed. Normally, Blade would have given her a shocked glance for such vehemence, but she had good reason.

*So if you recall your pokemon and surrender, the people of that area will be safe; however, if not...* The man trailed off, and then shut off the connection.


/Arasia... Donari!/ Shadow's eyes widened slightly as he looked around the battlefield and realized that the others had all stopped fighting, and like him, were looking around with bewildered expressions on their faces.

Swift recalled his fearow and slowly fluttered to the ground beside Merideth and Hali. "Should we surrender?"

"No," Blade answered as his steelnix deposited him softly near the three. "We can't surrender. Think what they could, or rather, would do if they got a hold of us! How many of us are carrying technology somewhere on ourselves that would be dangerous weapons in their hands? Or worse, we all know that it is possible for a psychic pokemon to be able to control another pokemon, so why not one of us? We can't surrender. We can retreat, but we can't surrender."

"He's right." The dark hybrid spoke from the branch of a tree nearby.

"We can't endanger Arasia!" Kenji exclaimed, his eyes blazing angrily.

"Is that one of the professors?" Jorvis, who had been completely silent up to now, pointed at the screen he carried on his wrist like a watch, and the other hybrids immediately turned to their own.

High up in the air, briefly pausing in his heated battle, Indenki's eyes were glued to the monitor. His Professor was talking:

*I surrender, but I will not give up my hybrid or the pokemon. I repeat, I surrender, but I will not give up my hybrid or my pokemon.*

Around him, everyone else who had been listening was confused, but the hidden message to that was clear to Indenki. Resting his head on the neck of his pokemon, he stroked its feathers softly and closed his eyes, building up a concentrated charge of electricity.

"No!" Reix sensed what the boy was doing, and kicked his zapdos sharply, commanding it to back away.

The electric hybrid lifted his head up, and with his eyes still closed, let loose the electricity he had generated, creating a huge explosion that knocked him off his zapdos, and they both fell to the ground at an alarming speed.

Shadow did not think. He did not have time to think. He leapt out of the tree and caught Indenki in the air, curling up with the younger boy in his arms as they landed so they rolled safely instead of crashing to the ground. Glancing over his shoulder, he noticed the zapdos being picked up by the Zentai troops, but there was nothing they could do right then. It was probably dead, anyway.

"Everyone, scatter! They're distracted!" Blade yelled, hopping back onto his steelnix. "Shadow, get on."

Looking up, Shadow stood slowly, realizing immediately that if he did not go with Blade, he would have a slim chance of escaping fast enough, especially with Indenki in his arms. Carefully, he laid the comatose hybrid over the back on the steelnix then got on after recalling his two pokemon. "Just drop me off a few miles from here."

"Why not just come to Eurel with me?" The steel hybrid asked. "We have the resources to take care of Indenki."

Shadow was about to decline when Blade turned around, his eyes meeting Shadow's. /He's a bad influence.../ He thought to himself, nodding anyway. /Don't get too close./ He reminded himself. /It hurts more when that happens./