LOVE AND SACRIFICE
Love and Sacrifice: All hell breaks lose
Blade looked at the 'Xero' system, delicately turning the two parts
over in his hands. "Are you ready?" He asked his steelix.
It had taken him a long time to not only figure out the system, but
to find the parts to build it. As far as he knew, this was the only
The pokemon nodded slowly, lowering its head down to Blade's level.
The hybrid had explained that this new metal thing would join their
minds and help them fight better, but the pokemon could not
understand how their minds could be joined as they were not psychic.
But Sahn trusted Blade.
"This might hurt..." He warned the steelix, placing the
tiny attachment right between the first joint of the pokemon's neck.
Its eyes widened in pain, then shut tightly, before it shook its head
a little and nodded again. "You okay?"
"Good." Carefully, Blade placed his part behind his left
ear, doing his best to conquer the pain and not black out. He had
never felt anything like that before, like his mind was being picked
to pieces and rearranged. When it was done, he too shook his head,
trying to adjust his thoughts. "Alright Sahn, this is it."
Picking up the controller, he took a deep breath. "Ready?"
Blade pressed the button. Again, Hybrid and pokemon went through
similar jolts of pain, except this time they let loose tortured
screams. How did such a level of pain exist?
"Uhn..." Blade slowly lifted himself from the ground,
trying to hold his head still with one hand. The aftershock faded
rather quickly, and he looked at his pokemon with blank, empty, yet
somehow determined, mercury eyes. "Let's go."
*Hello?* Shadow peered at the vid-screen.
*Umm, hi Shadow!* Merideth's face popped up on the screen. Noticing
his slightly sleepy expression, she winced slightly. *Sorry, forgot
you sleep in the day.*
*I don't mind.*
*Oh...Well....Oh yeah! I was wondering, have you heard from Blade
*Oh...* She said again, all cheerfulness in her expression
disappearing. *I haven't heard from him for weeks, and his sister
said he was working on something called the... Zero system, and-*
*The Xero system?* Shadow interrupted. *Are you sure?*
*Yup. But anyway, I haven't heard from him, so if you do, could you
tell him to call me? I'm really worried. His father died recently,
and he's been going through a lot of stress. And he's been acting
really weird...* Realizing that she was rambling and that Shadow
probably knew already, Merideth stopped right there. *Well, bye!* She
cut off the link.
/The Xero system... How did Blade get a hold of those files?/ Shadow
released his pokemon. "We need to find the steel hybrid. He
built a Xero System."
The two nodded solemnly. After their last discussion with the dark
hybrid, they had stopped any unnecessary talk with him, realizing
that he would not listen. Their relationship was strictly business,
He recalled them, and was about to slip out of his room when Kenji
and Indenki appeared at the door.
"Going somewhere?" Indenki asked.
"I need to find Blade." Somewhat wary, but not showing it,
Shadow looked at the two. Indenki's overall expression was
unreadable, but his eyes were grim, and somewhat disturbed. Kenji was
outwardly upset. "What happened?"
"Swift just contacted us. He's on his way here as soon as
possible, along with Aita. It seems Blade has been attacking civilian
settlements, as well as Y-Faction bases." Indenki frowned a
"In other words, he's been destroying everything in his
path," Kenji added, folding his arms across his chest.
For a split second, Shadow's mask fell and disbelief could be seen in
his eyes. "Blade? That's not the Blade I know..."
"Yeah well, whether he's the one you know or not, we have to do
something about him." Kenji idly kicked against the doorway with
the heel of one of his feet. "We can't have him doing that.
Civilians don't think well enough of us as is."
Shadow nodded slowly, still a bit confused. Were they all talking
about the same person? Why on earth would... The Xero system. The
dark hybrid's ears pressed against his head and his tail froze.
"You and I will go and investigate." Indenki directed at
Shadow. He noticed a change in the older hybrid's attitude, but
decided they could discuss it later. "Kenji can stay behind and
keep track of Arasia while we're gone."
"Okay," Kenji replied, looking up from the floor.
"We need to leave now though. We'll take my zapdos again."
"JOSEPH!" Squeezing herself out of a hole in the round,
Erian ignored the dirt covering her and ran over to her brother,
oblivious to the battles going on all around. "Joseph..."
Kneeling by his side, she dusted off her hands, then took one of his
in hers, squeezing it tightly. "Joseph-sama, you'll be alright.
Just hold on."
They had been fighting against a Y-Faction base, struggling to keep
it from completely taking over their region, but they were losing,
and they were losing badly...
"What was that you called me?" Her older brother asked, his
brown face strangely pale and drained of blood, blood that was
pouring out of the gash in his back that had him paralyzed from the
waist down. The savage dodrio that had attacked him now lay dead a
few feet away from the siblings. "You never used that high a
level of respect with me... Why now?"
Tears streaked down her lightly furred face, and she inched closer to
him, laying her head on his chest and ignoring the blood seeping into
her protective leather vest. "Because I love you. You're my
whole family, you're all I've got. Please don't leave me..." Her
keen ears could hear his heartbeat fading in his chest as it
struggled to pump the little blood he still had through his body.
"Erian, I love you too, and you're all my family... But
you can't fix the wound." He lifted his free hand and stroked
her hair tenderly. "Be strong Erian, be strong. They succeeded
in you where they failed in me. You are the right hybrid for the job.
I was just here to train you."
She lifted her head from his chest and looked into his deep brown
eyes. "No! You *are* here to train me! You will be! Don't die on
His eyes closed, and he took a deep breath.
"NO! Joseph!" She shook his shoulders lightly.
"What?" He replied feebly, a small smile on his lips.
"I need to rest..."
"No you don't! Stay with me!" She picked up his right hand
again, squeezing it harder. "Please don't leave me alone Joseph.
Don't leave me..." Sobbing softly, she tried to will him to stay
alive, for all the world seeming like a little lost sandshrew.
"Adios... Erian. Kill those f**king b*stards for me..." It
would be the first, and last time Erian would hear her older brother
swear in front of her, for right then and there, he opened his eyes
one last time to look at her, smiled proudly, his eyes radiating all
the love and respect he held for his little sister, then closed them,
a peaceful, joyful look passing over his face as he took his last
breath, and died.
"No..." Was all she could utter, the salty tears flowing
freely from her soft brown eyes, blinding her as she retracted her
digging claws. Sniffling, she kissed her brother on his cheek, and
gently caressed that spot before standing and commanding a soldier to
leave the battle and take her dead brother's body with him to be
buried. /Joseph, I *will* kill those b*stards, if it's the last thing
Blind with rage and sorrow, two overwhelming and controlling
emotions, Erian rushed into battle, disregarding everything she had
learnt about defending herself and killing carefully. She was
berserk; all she cared about was killing, killing the ones that had
brought about her brother's death. In her detached from life state,
she only noticed from a distance when she was paralyzed by a
vileplume, and she only barely acknowledged her being dragged away by
Y-Faction troops, swearing and screaming like a banshee. And she did
not even really feel it when they drugged her, putting her in a dull,
sleepless state so that they could imprison her without resistance.
All she knew was that Joseph was dead, and that she too was alone.
Two days later.
"F***ing h*ll!" Xeth swore loudly, his tail burning with a
bright and angry flame. Merideth's plan of switching pokemon had
worked, but only for a little while. Yiana Naventa was smart, too
smart, and she had caught on quickly, adjusting her troops. No matter
how much they changed, she would have a new troop ready to defeat
them. Rapidly, Corse was being taken over, and Merideth, Devin,
Tevix, and Xeth had been moving closer and closer to the middle of
the large continent, slowly having to withdraw from the resources of
the areas closer to the coast.
It was in the middle of a battle, and Xeth's energy reserves were
running low. When he had playfully explained to Kenji that he needed
to eat a lot because he was a fire hybrid, he had not been joking.
Food was his fuel, and he needed lots of it not only to keep his
tail-light, his life source, still burning, but to use the powerful
fire attacks he had been using. Recently, they had been short on
food, and what they had was of extremely low quality.
"D*mnit..." He put out his tail flame so as to conserve
energy. Xeth could survive for five agonizing hours without it, but
then after that, his life would slowly start to fade.
"Fire-spin!" Swirling pillars of flame shot out at an
advancing amphoros, causing it to squeal in pain and attempt to
retaliate with a lightning attack that Zeth's rapidash swiftly
"I owe you one," he thanked the pokemon, watching as his
charizard swooped down into the chaotic jumble of Y-Faction and
resistance troops, picking up an enemy soldier and using seismic toss
on him, the fall to the ground instantly killing the human. "Go
wreck a little havoc in there. I can handle myself," he told the
Worriedly, it started to leave, but then glanced at Xeth over its
shoulder. "Dash? Rapidash?"
"Yeah, go ahead. I can watch my back myself."
Reluctantly, the horse pokemon rushed into battle, crushing enemy
pokemon and humans alike with its diamond hard hooves. But Xeth was
not able to watch his back just as well as he had told his pokemon,
and in the midst of launching a flamethrower attack, a vaporeon got
him from behind, drenching him in cold water. Before he could so much
as blink, the world blanked out, and he felt nothing.
Three days later.
Restlessly leaning against Swift's back, Aita tightened her grip
around her articuno, for while she was bored, she was also painfully
aware of the fact that they were several feet above the ground, and
that if she slipped, there was a chance that Swift or the articuno
might not catch her in time to save her. "Do you have any idea
what's wrong with Blade?" Aita yelled against the roaring wind .
"What?" He yelled back, letting himself fall to her side.
She repeated her question, carefully removing a lock of her pale
white hair from her mouth when she was done.
"I have absolutely no idea. It's not his nature to be this
violent." Was his reply, followed by a sort of shrug. He
blinked, then peered down at the world below them. "I think
we're getting near where we're supposed to meet with Indenki and
Aita sighed in relief, thankful that they would finally get to touch
ground and stay there.
"Not the flying sort, huh?" He asked wryly, noting her
"Only sometimes." She answered. She was not sure if he
heard her because they started their downwards decent and the wind
rushed past their ears loudly. Shutting her eyes against the painful
sting of the wind, she waited to reach the ground. Never had Aita
thought she would be so glad to see grass again.
"They're here," Indenki informed Shadow, emerging from the
makeshift hideout they had created.
Climbing swiftly up a tree, Shadow watched as the two other hybrids
started to land. He leapt down from the branch he perched on as soon
as they had nearly touched the ground, and walked over to where they
Aita brushed off her tail, then her clothes. Her ears picked
something up, and she looked into the bushes. "Looks like we're
not gonna have to look for them."
Folding his wings, Swift looked over to where she had been staring,
and saw Shadow and Indenki emerging from the bushes. "Do we go
after him tonight?"
"Hai," Indenki replied.
"Nani?" Shadow asked, for originally, they had not decided
on a day.
Indenki nodded, then turned to the other two. "We created a safe
enough place where we can rest, then at around nine at night, we will
head for the area where Blade was last seen."
"Sounds like a plan," Swift replied, stretching his arms.
"Got any food?"
Shadow blinked once, then looked pointedly at a wild rattata that was
Aita paled a little, her skin going even whiter than it had been
before, and she swallowed forcefully. Unlike some of the other
hybrids, she had never been so far from shelter on a mission that she
had to kill for her food.
Swift laughed. "There are plenty of other things that you can
eat that don't walk around. Don't worry about it."
The ice hybrid looked up at the sky, wondering what was up there and
whether it was laughing at her, as she suspected it was.
Groggily, Kaor opened his tri-color eyes. "Where...?" was
the first thing that left his mouth as he put his hands out to hold
himself up, encountering cold, hard steel. Confused, he sat up, wide
awake, backing into a wall, also metal. Standing up, he looked
around, realizing finally that he was in a cell... Three solid metal
walls, a metal ceiling, and a fourth wall of bars with a locked door.
"Fricking f**king h*ll!" He yelled, punching a wall.
The raid... It had failed. They had tried to break into the Y-Faction
base to kill the soldiers by poisoning them, but somehow they had
been expected, and killed mercilessly...
/But then why am I alive?/ Kaor wondered, sitting back down on the
floor in the darkest corner of the cell, curled up. /Stupid
question... I'm a fricking hybrid! They're gonna want to try and find
some way to control me./ Shivering, he curled up tighter. /No more
tests... I've had enough of those in my life.../ Desperately, he
tried to stop the shivering, but they refused to cease, for the
poison hybrid was thoroughly terrified. He had one too many bad
experiments with labs when he was younger, and his fear of needles,
and tests in general, still remained.
He shut his eyes again, wrapping his arms tightly around his body.
"You're a soldier. Fight the fear Kaor, fight the fear," he
said to himself, trying to stay awake and focused, but the sedatives
that he had been given earlier kicked in again, and he fell back into
a dreamless sleep.
"If he attacks us, we're going to either sedate him or kill
him," Indenki instructed their group, mounting his Zapdos, but
releasing his Raikou too. Their electric attacks would not faze the
steelix, but they could distract the huge pokemon while he aimed for
"It shouldn't come to that," Shadow said. "Blade
wouldn't attack us."
Indenki looked at Shadow, his dark blue eyes not telling the dark
hybrid anything in terms of what he thought. "*If* he attacks
us," he simply repeated.
Swift and Aita wisely stayed silent, mounting their flying pokemon.
Shadow got on behind Swift, for neither of his pokemon were large
enough to carry him to their destination, which they reached fifteen
grim minutes later.
"There he is!" Aita exclaimed, tugging lightly on her
pokemon's reins and urging it to descend a little. "He's
attacking the town!" Surprised, she leaned to the side of her
pokemon's neck, straining to see clearly. "I don't get it. Why
would he do that?"
But her question went unanswered, and they all swooped down to where
the steel hybrid and his massive pokemon tore down houses. The all
too familiar stench of burnt lives, not only the bodies but all their
possessions, filled the air, and screaming survivors ran, trying to
escape the rampaging steelix. After seeing the damage of other towns
Blade had attacked, Indenki knew this one had been let off easy. At
least there were people still left to escape.
The hybrids landed, surrounding the mad pair. Shadow released his
pokemon, then, spying a ladder that led to the top of a burning
house, he ignored the others and ran to it, climbing up so that he
was somewhat on a level with Blade.
"Why are you doing this?" He asked as the others took
flight, circling Blade in the air. He almost had to yell to be heard
over the destruction.
Turning to look at him, the steel hybrid blinked. His eyes stared
directly at the dark hybrid, yet it seemed that he did not really
look at Shadow, that instead he looked through him. Did he even
recognize Shadow? "Because I have to." His voice was dull,
void of any life. "The Y-Faction and Team Rocket are not our
only enemies; the people are. They shunned us; many of them still do.
*They're* the cause of this whole war!" The steelix's tail
crashed down on a building. "If it weren't for their foolish,
selfish selves, we wouldn't have been created as 'perfect soldiers'
to fight this meaningless war!"
Shadow's ears twitched, and he frowned slightly. This was not the
Blade he knew... This was not Blade at all. That Xero system...
Shadow knew it was responsible for this, but how? It was only
supposed to heighten battle skills.
"They're not foolish, just scared. We all resent being created
for a war, but that's how it is! The people need protecting so we
need to fight, even if we aren't honored for what we do." Shadow
looked beyond Blade and at Indenki, realizing that the electric
hybrid did not want to waste anymore time. Defeated, the dark hybrid
hung his head and sighed. He could hear people in the distance,
people trying to rescue loved ones, neighbors, complete strangers,
from the completely destroyed buildings. Why was he even thinking
twice about trying to talk to Blade? How could he hesitate in
carrying out his orders?
Indenki wanted to reassure Shadow somehow, but he had to get this
done. The zapdos shocked the steelix, knowing that the attack would
not hurt, but would at least grab is attention. "Stop what
you're doing Blade!" Indenki said, flying dangerously near the
steel pokemon's head. Irritated, it snapped at the large bird
pokemon, but missed.
Shaking his head, Blade slightly narrowed his eyes. "You can't
stop me." As if to emphasize that, the steelix's tail came down
upon another house, close to where Shadow was perched.
Aita's articuno froze the steelix's tail, but it simply crashed out
of the ice encasing. In wild, quick swoops, Swift and his fearow flew
around Blade's pokemon, not attacking but doing a very good job at
"Stop it!" Blade frowned. The steelix's head swung around
and snapped at Aita and her pokemon, but like Indenki and his zapdos,
they dodged it. "If you don't stop, I'll be forced to kill
you," he said, his voice somewhat monotone, cracking only
Ignoring what the steel hybrid had said, Indenki fired with his gun,
hitting the steelix in-between one of its joints. Irritated, the
steelix swung around with a roar, smashing several buildings.
"Fine then. Goodbye Indenki." Blade said in an eerily
casual, `alright then' tone. The steelix glowed, and started to
gather power for what Indenki suddenly realized might actually be
hybperbeam. Right as the beam was about to shoot at him, Swift and
Aita crashed into the steelix, diverting his aim, but although it
missed Indenki, it went straight for the remains that Shadow stood
Erian looked up upon hearing the door to her cell open.
"Siana!" She cried out, launching her self at the psychic
hybrid, tackling her to the floor and hugging her tightly.
Already battered and bruised, Siana was not very appreciative of the
ground hybrid's enthusiastic welcome. "Please get off me."
"Sorry." She scrambled off of her, then held out her hand
to help the other hybrid up. "How'd you get caught?"
Erian was sniffling slightly, but her eyes were dry.
Siana glared at her and settled down on one of the two beds in the
cell. "I was saving Corvet's life. She'd snap like a dry twig if
she was captured. There's a better chance of my keeping my mouth
shut." She laid back on the hard mattress. "What about
Erian's ears flattened against her head. "My brother Joseph died
in battle, and I went berserk."
Siana nodded, understanding but not empathizing. "They didn't
get your pokemon, did they?"
"Do you have any idea where we are?" Erian asked after a
moment of silence.
"No. They have some sort of shield blocking my mind. I have no
Erian climbed onto her own bed, curling up under the thin, stiff
sheet she was provided with. "I'm going to sleep now," she
announced, shutting her eyes and trying to sleep, but she couldn't.
She had to admit she was glad that Siana was there, but psychic
hybrid would not be a source of comfort. Erian was still alone.
It happened too fast for Shadow to be quite sure as to what was going
on. One moment Blade was about to kill Indenki, the next he lost his
footing as the building was hit by a powerful attack from the
steelix. His lean body was thrown into the air by the blast, and he
landed sharply on the smoldering rubble of the town, his head loudly
cracking against a brick. The last thing he saw before everything
went red and black was Blade looking at him, somewhat surprised,
right before Indenki's zapdos plowed into him, knocking him right off
Indenki fell to the ground with Blade, and the two of them wrestled
viciously. Much to his surprise, Indenki found that underneath his
warm exterior, Blade had a strong body, one very resistant to
physical blows. The steel hybrid knew how to fight extremely well,
and he currently had a not very sane mind underneath a steel skull.
The most dangerous enemy was a crazy enemy.
Swift hovered over them worriedly, trying to find a way to pull them
apart, but they were absorbed in their battle, rolling over
constantly as one overpowered the other.
"Stop! I need to rescue Shadow!" Blade protested, trying to
wrestle from underneath the electric hybrid.
"No! You need to stop! Look at what you've done!"
Somehow, those words shocked Blade out of the Xero system, and he
stopped struggling, allowing Indenki to pin him down. Looking around,
his eyes widened at the damage that he and his steelix had managed to
"Yes. You did this," Indenki said, getting off of
the steel hybrid, who could only sit up in wonder.
"We're under attack!" Aita yelled. "The Y-Faction
found us!" She landed by them along with Swift. "We need to go
Indenki swore under his breath as he realized that they were
completely surrounded by a Y-Faction troop, both aerial and on the
ground. "We have to leave Shadow and scatter."
"No!" Blade protested, about to run towards the ruins where
the dark hybrid was, when both Swift and Indenki held him back.
"We've got to go," Swift said.
Blade looked defiantly at both of them, but then his glare subsided,
and he climbed onto his steelix, the others going to their respective
"Let's go!" Indenki yelled.
All at once, they scattered into different directions. Never before
had Aita been in a battle like this, such a desperate, lost cause.
"Ice beam!" She yelled hoarsely, ordering her articuno
while at the same time shooting sharp icicles at the pokemon that had
surrounded her. Where had they all come from? How had they got there
so fast? She bit down a scream as an attack cut into her arm. So lost
in the battle was she that she could not even tell what type of an
attack it was.
Swift did his best to outmaneuver the pokemon that flew after him, at
the same time going for the ones attacking his partners. He could not
think anymore. This war... this war had to end. Tackling a pidgeot
out of the sky, he grabbed one of his guns and shot at the human
soldiers on the ground that controlled the pokemon. If they could
just kill the soldiers... Then the pokemon would be easier targets.
He turned when he heard the screech of his fearow, and he saw it
falling to the ground, tangled with a skarmory. "NO!" He
screamed, then roared, his human side retreating into a far corner of
his mind. Fighting instincts took over, and he killed with wild
abandon. Even as bullets tore into his wings, he never slowed down.
His mind turned the pain into further reason to go on, to kill these
soldiers that had killed his partner, who were trying to kill his
Dimly, he recognized that Blade had separated from his steelix, and
now held his own on the ground, trying to slash at soldiers and their
pokemon, cutting through them while trying to dodge attacks. How much
of the blood that covered him was his own? Aita looked about to
faint, and while Indenki put up the appearance of being able to go
on, it would not be long before he ran out of electricity.
Maybe if his human side had been more in control, he could have
thought of some other way to save the other hybrids, but looking
back, it was highly doubted. Realizing that Aita's articuno was a
goner, Swift broke away from killing the soldiers and flew up to
Aita, plucking her off her articuno. "Indenki!" He yelled,
catching the electric hybrid's attention before throwing the ice
hybrid at him. Deftly, Indenki flew over and caught her, and she
clutched onto him, somewhat aware that she was off her articuno.
"GO!" He yelled again.
Indenki frowned. Go? Retreat? No. Never. He looked down at Aita, and
she shook her head. They had to stay. They had to fight.
Swift faltered, the damage done to his wings finally catching up with
him. Struggling to keep in the air, he gestured wildly with his arms.
"It's a lost cause!" He yelled over to Indenki, out-flying
pokemon. His human side started to regain control, wondering if he
was making a mistake. Was this worth it if they would not even accept
that he was saving their lives? Saving Shadow or Blade would be too
risky, but Aita and Indenki had been in the air, and he could
distract attention from them.
They realised what he was doing, and they realised he was right. Aita
held on tighter to Indenki, and with his last strength, the electric
hybrid shocked everything near enough to him, knocking out the
pokemon and killing some soldiers. Wrapping his arms around his
zapdos' neck, he whispered to it to take him somewhere safe, and he
only dimly heard Swift's last order.
With one last battle cry, Swift flew high up, enjoying the feel of
the wind through his feathers one last time. Smiling, he thought of
Merideth, then, eyes closed so that she could be the last thing he
saw, he swooped down and self-destructed, taking most of the
remaining pokemon and soldiers with him.