Love and Sacrifice: Family Reunions

--------------------- August - 2090 , Eurel ---------------------

Quietly, Blade slipped out of the room where Indenki was being held until he and Shadow deemed him healthy enough to leave. The steel hybrid had been extremely surprised, no, shocked, at how Shadow had taken such good care of Indenki, taking over whenever Blade was too tired, and making sure the lightning hybrid was doing well. Usually, Blade was able to sense the character of others, humans and pokemon, yet like Siana, he was unable to sense anything about the mysterious dark hybrid. At first, he had thought that he was possibly cold and uncaring, but from the careful, quiet watch he kept over Indenki, it seemed that he might just be wrong... Of course, Shadow might just be helping Indenki out because he was valuable as a soldier, but then again, there might be something more to it.

Recently, the lightning hybrid had regained consciousness, but after a long rant from Blade, and a short command from Shadow, Indenki had realized that so much as attempting to leave was a lost cause; his two guards kept a close eye on him so he did not have a relapse. He had been in a coma for a month, and had only been awake for a week.

"Master Keisuke?"

Startled, and almost about to fall into attack mode, Blade turned around to see Jared, one of the many mercenaries who worked for the organization that had funded the creation of Blade and the many bases that were scattered around Eurel and Arasia, though mostly in Eurel. "Yes?"

"There's a young lady outside to see you... A Miss Tavis, I think."

"Tavis?" he repeated, confused. /Tavis... I've heard that name before... Nerina and Ferina Tavis! Only two of the most well know pokemon professors in the world./ "Is she outside, or did you let her in?"

"She's up in the house, talking to one of your sisters," Jared replied.

"Which one?"

"Which one, what?"

"Which one of my sisters?"

"Oh! Elena."

Blade nodded. Elena would treat the guest properly. Of his many half sisters, she proved to be one of the more sensible ones, serving as a medic for rebel troops when she could.


Up in the lobby, Donari was trying to listen to the young woman who was talking to her, and at the same time take in the appearance of the room she was in. Obviously, the steel hybrid had very wealthy 'parents', or the organization that had overseen his creation was rich. Either way, this was no house, but a mansion. She could barely even imagine how large the underground area must be.

"...I think Blade's coming."

The girl tuned back into the conversation. "How can you tell?" She asked, after looking around curiously, for she could see no one approaching.

"I've just always been able to tell when he's coming," Elena replied, shrugging. She seemed to be about... twenty or so, and had long , curly, flaming red hair scrunched into a ponytail, and bright green eyes.

As if on cue, the steel hybrid walked in, smiling brightly. He ran a tired hand through his wiry hair, and then made his way directly to Donari. "My name is Blade, and you are?"

Shaking his hand, she returned the smile. "My name is Donari Tavis." Although she knew it was rude, she could not help but gawk at the two of them. Blade had slight Arasian features, and looked nothing like his sister, who obviously was pure Eurelian. She seemed very much the opposite of her calm, composed, and slightly short younger brother.

"Different mothers," he said, almost as if he had read her thoughts.


Grinning, he glanced at his sister through the corner of his eye. "There are a lot more of them, in case you're wondering. I have twenty-nine half sisters."

"Twenty-nine?" Donari blinked. What kind of family, in these days especially, had thirty children, one of them a hybrid?

Nodding, he sighed. "I haven't met them all though. Elena's one of the few that actually live with Father." Glancing again at his sister, he coughed gently, and she left, realizing he needed some privacy. "I'm sure you came here for reasons other than to hear about my family, so follow me. I think we can find somewhere downstairs to talk in private."

"Thank you. It's rather urgent."


"So you see, I was wondering if you could knew where he is... Its been years since I've seen him, and..." The young girl wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, somewhat amazed that she had not started crying. A few tears wet her eyelashes, but none fell. "He probably hates me now, probably hates all of us, but still, I'd just like to see him again..."

Blade could practically feel the pain of the younger girl, and his heart went out to her. Rising from his seat, he walked up to Donari and put a comforting arm around her shoulder, allowing her to lean against him and cry freely. "I don't think he hates you Donari, I'm sure he understands why it all happened."

"If...If I were him, I'd hate me..." She managed to say, her mind running around in familiar circles. He was all she had left, and yet he probably did not want her.

"Donari, I don't think he-"

The door opened, and Blade whipped around to see who it was.

"Hi Shadow."

Donari froze briefly, wiping her eyes quickly to clear them of any future tears and then springing out of her seat, running to the door and latching herself onto the dark hybrid. "Sei!"


"I'm sorry Sei! I wanted to come see you more, but I couldn't, and..." She broke off into a rapid stream of an Arasian language that Blade was not completely familiar with, and he decided it would be best to leave them alone, so he left, finding Indenki not too far from the door, but very far from his room.

"What are you doing up?" the smaller hybrid demanded.

"Walking around," Indenki replied shortly, not stopping to make direct eye contact.

/He needs the exercise anyway.../ Blade thought, deciding to leave the lightning hybrid to himself and slipping into an empty room to sit down. /Everything's falling apart. The professors are... gone, and I've lost contact with most of the other hybrids except Siana, Erian, Merideth, and Xeth's group... That's a large portion of us, but I'd prefer to know what's happened to the others. We're all on our own now, and teaming up would be a good idea if we want to destroy Zentai. The world's against us now, too. They ran to Zentai like little lost growlithes who'd just been freed from a cruel trainer./ He leaned back, staring up at the ceiling. /If only they knew what Zentai was really like... And now that they have the Professors, all seventeen of them, this just isn't good. At least some of us are keeping an eye out for the few sensible peace-seeking leaders out there, like Jaris Oak. In our current situation right now, we just can't attack Zentai, or we'll be executed, and used to cause the continents to huddle further under Zentai's protective wing./

Realizing that being idle just gave him more time to think depressive thoughts, Blade got up and left the room. /I just wish Father would be careful. He's gonna get himself killed if he's not. He was already in danger from Zentai, and now he's taken over that mercenary group.../


"So you're not mad at me?" Donari asked, now sitting in Shadow, or rather, Sei's lap.


"That's good." Reaching out, she grabbed his braid, examining it thoughtfully. "I always thought you would've cut your hair by now..." Noticing the end, she undid the hair-tie and opened the locket, smiling when she saw the picture. "We're never going to be together like that again, are we?" She asked quietly, undoing his braid and letting the memories of the their old life flow back full force.

He shook his head, but held her closer.

"I still have you, right?" Freeing herself from his hold, she got up and stood behind him. She finished unraveling his hair and let it flow loose. "You have beautiful hair, you know that Sei?" She thread her fingers through his hair, combing out the tangles gently. After dividing it into three, somewhat equal portions, she started to braid it, losing herself in the simple task. How nice it was to be there with Sei, weaving locks of his hair over and under each other until she reached the end.

"Donari." He turned around to look at her, and she nearly broke into tears. Gone was the guarded, but wide eyed look of love, now replaced by dead, green emeralds that did not shine anymore, hidden behind his wild bangs. So much had changed about him, but in her opinion, he was still as handsome as ever. So what that he had fur? It only added to the exotic quality about him. "Donari, I'm a soldier," he finally continued, lowering his gaze. "I can't promise that I'll live to the end of this war." /And if I have my way, I won't.../ He added mentally.

"I know Sei, but I don't want to think about it, so turn around." As soon as he obeyed, she un-did the braid and started to do it again. She wanted it to be perfect. They would not be able to do anything like this for a long time, maybe even forever... "Your hair's all tangled! It's as if you haven't combed your hair for weeks, which you probably haven't. If you're not going to take good care of it, what's the point of keeping all of it?" She scolded, giving Shadow the same little speech she used to those long years ago.

And like those old days, he stayed silent while she fussed over his hair, talking to him about random things while he listened and sat still. Neither of them mentioned Tahari and Donna; neither of them wanted to spoil this brief illusion of family.


Love and Sacrifice: Side Story 4 - Swift

Ever since I could remember, words and flying had been my two loves. In-between my training, I would read books and poetry, listen to music, paying close attention to the lyrics, and at times, attempt writing my own poems, my own songs. Flying was something that I enjoyed all the time, for it is my type, and it is what I was born to do. It gave me an opportunity to forget everything, the war, my inevitable death in battle, and just relax, enjoying the air that rushed through my feathers. However, my Professor, who preferred I spent more of my time training, disproved of my 'obsession', as he put it.

------- 2083 - Swift's age, nine years -------

"I'm sorry!"

"Sorry won't cut it! What did I tell you?"

"To-to spend less time reading..." I sniffed, rubbing the sore spot on my cheek with one hand, and the tears with another. This had been the third time that week that he had caught me skipping a training session to read.

The professor nodded, his glare softening slightly. "I'm confiscating your CD collection and your books for a month. Next time," his eyes narrowed dangerously, "I clip your wings."

I gasped, and looking at the professor, found that he was serious. Shakily, I stood up from the corner of the room he had flung me to earlier and nodded. "Yes professor."

"Good, I'm glad we understand each other." The older man smiled, the hardness in his eyes completely replaced with a warm, fatherly gaze. "You know I care about you Swift, but sometimes you try my patience too much. We've gone over this before. You know what you are, and why you exist. When Professor Thomas died, and left me in charge, I had to make a lot of changes to what the original plans for you were." Sighing, he leaned in the doorway. "Many of the others working here say I treat you too much like a child. They say I got too easy on you, that you're not supposed to be given so much of a chance to think for yourself."

"I know, it's just..." I could feel the tears threatening to streak down my cheeks again. "I don't want you to be the professor! I need a father, not an owner. I may be half pokemon, but even they need someone who loves them to take care of them." Tired of holding it back, I started crying again, flinging myself on my bed and burying my face in the pillow.

I heard him walk up to me and sit by me on the bed, and then he picked my light frame up easily, setting me in his lap like he used to when I was younger. "Swift, I'm doing the best I can..."

"And it's not easy," I finished for him, leaning against his chest. "I'm sorry; I'm being selfish... It's not right for me to demand your time just because Mother's not around." Hopping off his lap, I grab a box that happened to be in my room and started filling it with my books and CDs. "I promise not to skip another session. Here." I handed him the filled up box, straining slightly under the weight.

"Thank you," he replied, leaving the tension filled room.

--------- 2088 - Swift's age, fourteen --------

"Where's mom?" I demanded, shifting my folded wings in frustration. My father had avoided the question for too long, and I needed an answer right then and there.

"She's not coming back," the professor replied, about to pass by me when I unfolded my wings, blocking the way.

"Where is she?!" The angry light in my eyes became frantic.

"Swift, let me through."


He picked me up easily and dropped me out of his way, walking off to wherever it was he had been going to.

"She's dead, isn't she?" I asked quietly, not even bothering to stand up.

"Yes." He turned the corner and left.

My mother was dead. One of the few who had treated me like a human, the only real parental figure I had... She used to read to me when I was little, taught me how to read when I was old enough, treated my skinned knees when I was learning how to fly but couldn't land.

"Hey Swift, something wrong?" Chris closed the folder he'd been reading and walked up to me, helping me up.

"My mother," I said hoarsely, trying to hold back the tears again.

Chris looked away, and I realized then that he had known already.

"Why wasn't I told?" I demanded, my hands balling up into fists at my side. I deserved to be told when my mother died!

"They didn't want you to know until you were ready."

"Ready? Who's ready to hear the news of their mother's death?"

"I know, I know. I tried to tell them, but I'm new here Swift. You know they don't listen to me."

I nodded, knowing that he was right. And he was my friend, someone that I could trust. "Fine," I said, unfurling my wings and wrapping them around my body. It was an almost involuntary act, something I did when I felt uncomfortable.

I looked at Chris and told him to go away. Maybe I said it too sharply, but it worked, and he left me alone in the hallway. I always hated those hallways. Like tunnels dug by a diglet, so tiny and cramped. I couldn't open my wings fully under there. So I sat there on the floor, my wings wrapped around me, crying, not caring that people walked by all the time. Ours was a small project, not many people involved, so they all knew why I was crying.

I had lost the chance to live a normal life, I had lost the freedom to do what I wanted with the damned life I lived, and I had lost the right to parents. At that moment, I decided that I would embrace death. Maybe if there was some sort of higher being, they would take pity on me, and I could soar the skies as a ghost.

End Side Story 4.