----------- A month later -----------

Love and Sacrifice: Underground Resistance

*Kaor, I've been tracking down the Jarlisen resistance groups. They were suspicious of our ulterior motives at first, but I think they trust us now.*Hali's antennae twitched slightly, remembering how long it had taken her to get the people of the continent to trust her. Very few of them had known about the hybrid program as it was being conducted, and were not sure whether the half pokemon, half human teenagers were truly fighting for the people.

Kaor nodded, running his hand through his tri-colored hair. *Good. My base is going under the process of being modified to accommodate a few of them. How's the tunnel we planned going?*

*Great! Those sandslash and dugtrios that Erian lent us are really working out. It's a good thing our bases aren't too far apart though, otherwise it'd take weeks.* Hali brightened considerably. When Erian had offered to take the risk of sending the ground pokemon force she and Kaor desperately needed, she had been very grateful of the Farican hybrid's generosity.

Kaor smiled slightly, thanking Erian in his mind. The spunky little ground hybrid was the complete opposite of him, and he could not help but find himself almost admiring the ways she surprised all of them, whether by teasing Kenji mercilessly, or proving to be an excellent soldier in battle. *I have no idea what we'd do without those pokemon... There aren't many ground types in Jarlis.*

*Mostly poison and bug types... Oh well, I'm not complaining! I have to go, time limit's up!* Hali's image started to fade.

*Same here, bye Hali!*


Despite the fact that the hybrids had tended to 'hang out' in groups from different continents, the current situation had forced them to work together with those they had not originally been overly familiar with; the ones that came from the same places. In Jarlis, Kaor and Hali, surprisingly, had been two of the most productive ones, keeping the small tropical continent relatively safe from Team Rocket by going country at a time, finding those pokemon and humans capable of protecting the borders, then setting up training programs, and their own little pseudo armies.

But the reason that they were able to set up their army was not because of the size of Jarlis, or because the people were more co-operative. It was simply just because Jarlis was in a far off corner of the world, and neither Sai nor the Y-Faction, as the renegade Zentai members now called themselves, had bothered to attempt to take control of it, and now it would be too much of a hassle to do so. The only other continent that was free from Zentai was the gypsy ridden landmass of Indeli, where Siana and Corvet were from, but not for long. Due to the high number of humans with psychic potential, both Sai and the Y-Faction were doing their best to conquer the nation.


"This is pitiful, Siana," Corvet remarked as she sat a-top her Gyrados, regarding the new wave of volunteers to replace the injured and deceased soldiers and pokemon. "They're so young..."

"So are we," the Psychic hybrid replied, leaning against her lugia.

"But we're hybrids; we were born to mature faster. They're just normal humans!" She protested.

"Not all of them."


"Some of them probably have a little pokemon in them." Siana shifted her weight from the lugia to her own two feet, standing straight. "C'mon, they trust us to pick out the new recruits."

Sighing, the water hybrid followed Siana. She was not liking this new turn of the war... When it was just the hybrids in danger, she was fine with that, but with this whole new multitude of young men, women and pokemon, hands still clean from the blood of enemy soldiers... No, it was not right! She should not be letting innocent civilians march into battle like mareep to the slaughterhouse. They were too inexperienced. Maybe they could stand up to a normal pokemon battle, but this kind of fight? The only kind of fight they knew were friendly brawls by a campfire or unrealistic massacres on TV. Corvet had seen too many enthusiastic young teens rush into battle, only to return with their favorite pokemon, or best friend, lying dead and bleeding in their arms...

The two hybirds looked over the line of volunteers, and Siana shook her head sullenly. Corvet was right, they were too green, too soft and unaware as to what they were getting into. They would do though, but it might be a good idea to give them a tour of the injured ward and see their reactions... She spotted a few promising psychics that she might want to save for a last-resort battle, where they would need their most powerful forces. There were also a few allegedly good water-pokemon trainers that Corvet might be interested in.

When she really thought about it, this batch was not all that bad, just naive...


In Farica, Erian and Jorvis started to lose any hope that they had clung on to. The large continent, being close to Eurel and Arasia and a goldmine of resources and pokemon, plus able-bodied, young, impressionable people, had been an immediate target for the Y-Faction, and Sai. Unfortunately for Erian and Jorvis, they had to deal with two enemy groups at war with each other and a whole continent of confused people. And each other.

Laying sideways on a large armchair, Erian toyed with one of her braids, having braided her short dark brown hair again a few days ago to keep it out of the way, and spoke from where she sat to Jorvis over a comm. unit. "Jorvis, stop worrying about Hali! She's safe in Jarlis. You should be worrying about your own sorry rock-a**!"

Surprised at her blatant use of swear words, Jorvis stopped moping over the bug hybrid for a moment, and starred attentively at the screen with his dark brown eyes. "But what can we do? This is no simple 'assassinate the leaders and take-over their base' war! This is full-scale 'take over whole countries and keep the people on curfew' war!"

"I know, Joseph told me..." Erian sighed, for she and her brother were becoming more and more distant with each day. They did not have time to sit around and chat about nothing. They both had commitments that took them different places. "Look, just... get in contact with me if anything comes up."

He snorted, rubbed one hand over his nearly bald head. He could never keep still when he was agitated. "Nothing's gonna happen Erian... Everyone's too scared to fight back. They'd rather suck up to one side and hope they get protected. They've been doing that for the past month, so what makes you think they'd stop now?"

Erian did not even bother answering; she knew Jorvis was right. "Bye," she said simply, shutting off the link. She could not currently understand what Hali saw in Jorvis... According to the bug hybrid, he had a warm soft heart. Well, she herself had yet to see it, and at the moment, Jorvis was acting like a pessimistic stubborn jerk. She did *not* care if he missed Hali! She had her own problems!


On the worst ends of it all were the Arasian and Eurelian hybrids. Quite surprisingly, or maybe not, Blade was one of the ones suffering the most, not only from the war, but from his own family.

"Carey, father's going to do it anyway, isn't he?" Blade asked Carey, on of the younger of his sisters, only twenty-three. She had blonde hair and green eyes, and was a nice, tiny, pretty little thing, but being of Blade's family, she was, of course, intelligent.

"Blade..." She reached out to place a hand on his shoulder, but he flinched away, trying not to let her show any sympathy to him. Gingerly, she took her hand back and laid it limply by her side. "Little brother, there's nothing you can do to change his mind when he's like this. He's set on it."

, Blade turned to face his sister. His eyes were red, maybe from crying earlier, but they now held a glint of anger. Never before had Carey, or any of his sisters, seen him this displeased with anyone before, even their father. "He can't sign that contract with Sai! Is he mad?"

"No, he's thinking about the family."

With an anguished cry, Blade punched at the door, the steel blade piercing easily through the expensive wood. Panting, he tried to breathe in slowly, and calm himself, before withdrawing the blade and stabbing the door again, and again, and again...

"The door didn't do anything to you Blade-" She started to say, but stopped when he turned to glare at her, a maniacal gleam to his eyes.

"Would you rather I stab father? Maybe that's the best solution, don't you think?"

Carey walked up to him and slapped him. "How dare you say that about father!"

Un-repentant, he looked defiantly at her. "How dare you slap me..." He replied quietly. "He never liked me much, I know! He was disappointed that his only son should be a hybrid, and not only that, but-"

"You know he doesn't care about that Blade!" She snapped back.

"He doesn't care that I'm not really straight or human?" He let out a short bark of cold laughter. "Remember our Saturday night walks? Those were no father-son bonding experiences Carey!" Suddenly, the anger left his eyes, replaced by sadness. "Do you know that I used to watch him with you guys all the time, and envy the love he lavished upon all twenty-nine of you? Or how I used to hate the way his eyes would soften as he spoke to you, but harden when he spoke to me?" He half-turned away from his sister. "I know he still loves me, but it hurts..." He turned back to her. "It hurts like hell that he wishes from the bottom of his heart that I was more than I am! That I was different, that I was a normal, human boy! And that he hated my mother for letting them turn me into a hybrid!"

Now crying, Carey backed away from her brother, unsure of what to do. She had never seen him like this, never seen him let go of his emotions so completely. She could practically see the conflicting feelings swirling around in a chaotic mess within his heart. "Blade..." Again, she reached out for him, but yet again, he flinched away, and this time, ran out, seeking solace in Elena, his only sister that he believed saw things his way, and Sahn, his steelix.

That was two days ago, and he was now regretting what he had said.

"No..." Running up to Elena, he placed his hands on her shoulder, shaking her. "Please tell me I miss-heard you!" He felt like he had been run-through with his own blades, except it was not a physical hurt. It felt like... It felt like he experienced not only his own grief but the sorrow of everyone around him.

She gently took his hands off her shoulder and then hugged him tightly, resting her chin on top of his head, hoping he did not mind her tears in his hair. "I'm sorry Blade, but...he's dead..."

Valiantly, he tried to fend off his tears, but he could not, and now was not a time to keep his emotions locked up... His father had just died. Shot dead by a Y-Faction sniper.

"Blade," his sister said, knowing that he was going through worse pain than her, "please don't blame yourself; you couldn't have convinced him not to side with Team Rocket..." She broke off the hug and held him a little distance away from her, trying to judge how he felt.

"Yes I could've!" He protested, amidst tears. "Maybe if I'd just been a normal human..."

"Blade! Stop that nonsense now! You're fine just the way you are." She hugged him again, kissing his forehead. "Look," she wiped her own tears away with a tissue, then wiped his, "I need to go home to my mother, she needs me now..."

Again, Blade felt like he had been run-through with his blades, and this time, they had been twisted mercilessly until where there had once been solid flesh, was bloody pulp. "Can't... Can't I come?" He asked hopefully.

"Sorry Blade, but there's only one spot left in the car. It's dangerous enough as it is for me to go..."

He sighed. He had been wishing for too much. "Yeah, I know." Again, he hugged her. "Call me when you get there, okay? And tell your mother I wish her well."

She gave him one tight squeeze before letting him go. "Bye Kei!" She called out as she left his room, using the little nickname she called him every now and then.

Confused by the raging surge of emotions he felt all at once, Blade dug through his drawers and took out the keys Elena had given him. Quickly, he made it to the Professor's private little room and started to leaf through the documents, trying to find something of interest, something that would take his mind away from what he felt.

"The Xero system?" Curious, Blade opened the file, looking over the blue-prints. "Interesting..." And a weird, twisted little smile crept onto his lips.


Love and Sacrifice: Who knows best?

Shadow climbed to the top of a tree, looking down with a sigh. The recent weeks had brought nothing much for the dark hybrid to do, giving him more than adequate time to brood over his life. Despite the fact that he appeared to have a dead soul, deep inside him was a raging storm of feelings, a tangle of emotions that he would never even dare to try un-raveling and figuring out.

But he thought about them occasionally. When he could find nothing else about the current confusing war to think about, he found himself once again thinking about his life, wondering what on earth had happened to Tahari and Donna, who seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth, probably dead. Or what Donari was doing, on her isolated, un-charted island, a tiny little cozy place for refugees of the war to hide out. Sometimes he even thought about the other hybrids, Blade and Siana mostly, trying to think of a way that they could help each other to win this war, or just simply thinking about them.

Other times he actually thought about himself, and this was why he dread having time to think. When he thought about himself, he remembered what had happened to him those few years ago; he remembered how he had been hurt by those closest to him, and he remembered Essee... S.C, Specimen C. He remembered how at such a young age, his soul had started dying, killed by the lessons he was being taught, and when he grew old enough to be sent on actual missions, killed by the fact that he was taking other's lives.


Extremely grateful for the pokemon's interruption of his thoughts, Shadow climbed down the tree, looking curiously at the pokemon.

"Breon, umbreon," the pokemon spoke, its red eyes glowing. "Umbreon eon, umreon breon."

In response, Shadow sat down, leaning against the tree's sturdy trunk. "I thought we had agreed to stay out of each other's private life?"

The pokemon snorted, walking over to him and then sitting by his side. It emitted a shrill cry, and the houndoom also trotted up, settling by his other side. "You are our brother. We make a pack together," the umbreon replied in its pokemon language. "The bond between us is strong, yet you try to ignore it."

"Dark pokemon work together," the houndoom added, speaking using a combination of spoken words, nearly inaudible noises, and body language. "We are all dark pokemon, whether dual type, or a hybrid, or full dark type. We were created to be in this war together, and you are our leader, so we must work together like the dark pokemon we are."

Closing his bright green eyes, Shadow brushed away some of the wild bangs that covered his now shut eyes, his ears flat against his head. "I don't want to get close to anyone..." Was his whispered reply in an arasian dialect that the pokemon understood.

"I know what happened to you. Essee is dead, and your first pack left you. Forget the humans and the eevee. We are your pack now." The umbreon did not understand what the hybrid's problem was... Packs abandoned one sometimes, and deaths could not be avoided, or reversed. Why could he not just go on with his life and concentrate on the war? He was fine in battle, a perfect soldier, functioning as he should. But when they were not fighting, he was too much of a recluse, withdrawing from even them. Dark pokemon were not known to be affectionate, or vocal, but they usually stuck together. They did not abandon their pack at strange times to be by themselves.

"You don't understand..." Shadow told the pokemon, about to get up, but the houndoom had anticipated this, and body slammed him against the tree, winding him. "What are you doing?" He demanded when he caught his breath back.

"Listen to us!" The houndoom barked, its devil tail flicking with frustration. "You are letting your human side interfere too much! You are more pokemon than human, so don't let your lesser side dominate your more superior side! It has interfered with your natural instincts too much! You neglect us, and you ignore the offers of the other hybrids, despite their types, to join our pack!" Having said what he needed to, the devil dog pokemon got off him, standing in front of him with its head held high. "If you won't speak with us, then re-call us."

Not sure what to do, Shadow stood, looking at the two pokemon. "I wish I could get you to see things my way."

"No," the Umbreon answered. "We wish you would see things our way. The life you lead is dead. You lock yourself up and do not even attempt to understand yourself or others. Some may envy your way of life, not having to care about others, because you really don't have anyone to care about. But it's not a life. It's a pointless existence. Re-call us. Now."

Immediately, he pressed the button on the silver collar he wore, and the pokemon disappeared into the small red beams. Although the pokemon had only wanted to help him, they had succeeded in confusing him even more... But they were right, he did lock himself up and he did not even know who he was anymore. To him, he truly existed only on the battlefield, where he could redeem himself somewhat, fighting to help others.

Quietly, he returned to Indenki's base, where he and Kenji were staying at the moment, as it was closer to Eurel than their other bases, and at the moment, they were working on forming a sort of alliance with the larger continent. They also got to keep an eye on Jarith Oak, who had recently shown signs of coming out of his coma soon.


Corse was under much the same predicament that Farica was. Large continent, large population of able young men and women, large variety of pokemon. Exactly the kind of place that Sai and the Y-faction needed. Merideth, Xeth, and Tevix were under a lot of strain, doing their best to salvage some sort of army, for the Corsens where a stubborn kind of people, un-willing to go down without a battle, even if it meant nearly killing off their younger population.

From the window of a building he was currently stationed in, Xeth watched the people run to hide, for there might be a Y-Faction troop marching through any time that day. Sadly, he watched a group of orphans running into an abandoned store, grabbing as much food as they could carry, then searching for somewhere to hide. On an impulse, he opened the window he was looking out of. "Hey kids! Over here!" He yelled, and they looked up, fearfully at first, until the one that seemed to be their leader, a young girl with platinum blonde hair and green eyes, started to run towards the door to the building, and they all followed.

He ran downstairs, meeting up with them as they entered the front door. "I'm Xeth," he introduced himself, holding out his hand for them to shake.

At first, they examined him curiously, noting his long, pale tail, with the burning flame at the end, and his extremely smooth, hairless skin.

"You're the fire hybrid!" The leader finally exclaimed, dropping her stuff and shaking his hand with her own tiny one. "I'm Sarah Resith!" She introduced herself proudly. "This is my group. Chris is the brown haired one with the blue eyes, Gina is the girl in the yellow dress with red hair, Betsy is the girl with the black hair, and the little blonde kid is my little brother, James."

They all ranged from Sarah, the oldest, at about nine or ten, to James, at about three or four. Xeth wished there was something he could do for them, but the most he could do was provide somewhere for them to live in for that day, as his unit of soldiers would be moving tomorrow. "Nice to meet you. How'd you guys like to stay here overnight, meet some of the soldiers, maybe see their pokemon... Sound good?"

"Yeah!" They all exclaimed enthusiastically.

"Hey," Sarah spoke again, looking strangely at him. "Why are you doing this?"

He smiled, ruffling her hair. "I could use some company, " he said. "Now come on, let me introduce you to my troops!" Picking up James, for he had noticed that the little boy had seemed a little too tired, he led them over to where those of his group who were not fighting that day had gathered. At first, they were a little annoyed at him for taking in the little gang, but eventually they warmed up to the spunky little kids, especially the loud mouthed Sarah.


"Xeth's troops are being forced to retreat further and further west Merideth. We're losing the east coast!" Tevix exclaimed, speaking to her over a vid-phone. "So far my troops are doing well against them. They weren't expecting such a mixed group, especially such a high number of high level ghost pokemon, but it won't be long before they gather a force able to defeat us. We can only surprise them so many times."

"I know Tevix!" She exclaimed. "My troop of dragon, ice, and electric pokemon is holding out, but... Wait! I have an idea!"

The ghost hybrid perked up a little. "What is it?"

"Let's mix up our troops! Like, swap pokemon or something. That'll buy us some time. Not much, but it'll do for a while."

"That's a great idea! I'll tell Xeth." He was about to shut off the link, when he remembered something. "Have you heard from Swift or Blade lately?"

Her eyes darkened a little. "No..." She replied softly. "Well, I heard from Swift two weeks ago, he said that Blade's working on some new device that melds one's mind with their pokemon... I'm really worried about him though! He lost his father about three weeks ago, and no one's really heard much from him since."

"He's just caught up with his project I suppose," Tevix replied. "Sh*t! We're being attacked! I gotta go!" And he shut off the link abruptly.

Merideth shut off the vid-phone, sighing as she curled up in her chair in her dragon form. Like this, she was able to relax a little more, but not as much as she would like to. She was worried, very worried. Aita, Swift, Vair, Blade, Shadow, Indenki, and Kenji had it worse than all the other hybrids combined, and she feared for their lives, especially Swift and Blade...