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Love and Sacrifice: Frantic Retaliation

----------------------- One week later - Indeli -----------------------

Completely hidden in the water, for like vaporeons, she was water-based, Corvet swam away from the enemy, her gyrados following her much deeper in the water. The Y-Faction was succeeding in taking over Indeli, and all that they could resort to was attacking at night, or using dirty methods like poisoning their food supplies, or bombing their camps. But it seemed as though the Y-Faction was indestructible, for no matter what they did, they just kept coming, kept pushing the resistance forces in, squeezing them into a corner of the small island continent.

It had gotten to be way too much for Corvet and her rag-tag army to handle. She had seen far too many deaths, far too many young humans and pokemon dying. They were only in their teens and early twenties; that was way too young for humans. Sure she was only fifteen, but that was her. She had been created to mature early. At even the tender age of five, she could have been used as the weapon she was now, although she would not have known enough attacks.

Emerging from the water, Corvet looked around, checking for any of her soldiers who had not yet left the area.

"Corvet! Over here!" A voice hissed.

Swimming in the direction of the voice, Covet discovered one of her more experienced soldiers. He had been with them for three months, and his name was Elliot. His specialty was psychic pokemon, as he was a human psychic.

"Why're you still here?" Corvet asked, treading water.

"Cause I used up my energy reserves helping my pokemon escape."

Corvet sighed. Elliot constantly risked his own life for his pokemon. It had become his trademark, so much so that some of the other soldiers argued that he only fought for the pokemon, and not for the humans.

Pressing the button on her silver collar, Corvet released one of the water pokemon she kept with her to help her troops escape. She usually kept vaporeons, for they were nearly invisible under the water and just big enough to drag a human along.

Holding tightly onto the vaporeon, Elliot smiled sheepishly, looking at Corvet. The eighteen year old was not sure if she knew, but he harbored a tiny crush for the blue haired water hybrid. Half pokemon or not, he admired her determination, and the way she handled everything that was thrown at her. At only fifteen, she was a master strategist and fighter, yet at the same time a compassionate young girl.

Although she had gone back to swimming underwater, Corvet would emerge every now and then just to check that she was going in the right direction, and she noticed Elliot was staring at her again. She wondered why the blond haired human did that, and it bothered her a little. Blinking her triple lidded eyes, Corvet decided to ignore him, and simply continue on. They picked up two more soldiers, and finally made it back to their newest base half an hour late.

The problem with the Y-Faction had grown so great that they started retreating, which was why her troops were now spending so much time in the water. They were trying to safely move out the civilians, who would have to travel on boats. Unfortunately for them though, Corse was the nearest landmass, but with enough of its own problems. Farica, the other closest landmass, was definitely not an option. From what she had heard, Erian had been captured, and her older brother killed, leaving Jorvis to deal with everything on his own, which he could not do. Last she had heard from him, he was debating fleeing to the adjourning continent of Jarlis, where Hali was coping alone, for Kaor had been captured too.

Eurel was definitely too far for them to make to on their own, not to mention that it and Arasia were the worst places, being the headquarters of the Y-Faction.

All Corvet could say was that she was so glad Devin had worked his way into the Y-Faction. The weekly information he sent the other hybrids was helping them out so much, and she was looking forward to - or was it really dreading? - the information that he would send the next day, hopefully informing her about what had happened to Siana. Why had the psychic sacrificed herself for Corvet? She could hold her own under torture!

Or could she? No, she could not lie to herself... While she could deal with normal fighting conditions, torture was something she could never handle.

After seeing to it that everything was secure for the night at the base, and the watch patrol had been set up, she returned to her own little office, which doubled as her room, and curled up on her couch, not bothering to change out of her light blue swimming suit or dry her hair. Unknown to her, Elliot snuck in once she had fallen fast asleep, and dried her off a little with a towel, then wrapped her in a warm blanket. Water hybrid or not, she was still half human, and she could still catch pneumonia.


Love and Sacrifice: What's in a name?








It hurts...

Slowly and with much effort, Shadow opened his eyes, blinking many times as they adjusted to the light. Who was he? Where was he? Why did he hurt so much? Why were all those images of being tortured and abused flashing in his mind? Was that his childhood? When he tried to recall those visions, they seemed to dance right out of his reach, as if they only wanted to be seen in his dreams, or rather, nightmares.

Upon examining his surroundings, he realized he was in a smallish white room with one way mirrors, and he could not see out, which meant he was being observed. Standing up, he began looking himself over. Fur? Why fur? Of course. He was a hybrid. That was why. For some reason he remembered that, but little details, like his name, he could not remember.

The sound of something opening reached his ears, and he turned around, retracting his sharp claws and finding himself facing a persian, a rather large and ferocious persian. He barely had enough time to move out of the way when it leapt at him, ready to rip him into shreds. Without even thinking about it, he retaliated, using a hyper beam to stun it. Before it could leap to its feet, he tackled it, jamming his shoulder into its chest and knocking the wind out of it, though at the same time, its claws connected at his sides, the large claws piercing into his flesh.


Quickly regaining its breath, it snapped at him, but he managed to keep himself out of biting distance while repaying the pokemon with a bite attack of his own, right at the pokemon's throat, with his own fangs, which though not as large as the persian's, were sharp enough to pierce though the fur and skin to reach the vein.


With his amazing speed, he rolled away from the pokemon, not bothering to spit out the blood and merely swallowing it. Keeping his eyes on the persian, he retreated to a corner, his hands at his side, trying to staunch the blood flow.

It hurts...

Men in black outfits entered, carrying the pokemon out, probably to heal it. Before he could dodge out of the way, they shot a tranquilizer dart at him so that they could heal him too without worrying about his attacking them, then they left, waiting for the sedative to sink in.

Curling up in his corner, he waited for the darkness to come. For some reason, all he could wonder was what his name was. Such a trivial matter, yet that was all he could think about. Before he slipped into the deep, dreamless sleep, it came to him.


A shadow. The result of light being blocked away. Darkness...


Love and Sacrifice: Melting tension

/It hurts. It hurts so much.../ Rolled up in a tight ball, Xeth's eyes were squeezed shut, and his arms were wrapped around his knees. /Devin... Where are you Dev? I'm gonna die soon... I'm gonna die. But then I'll be with Sephir, won't I? Sephir died... He was my better half./ Whimpering softly, Xeth tried in vain to stop the tears that were threatening to fall. He could not cry. He had promised Sephir that he would smile. Crying was not smiling. /Devin, Sephir... I want you two back. Hell, I want Tevix back. And Kenji./

Vaguely, he heard the loud, grating, metal sounds of the door to his cell opening and closing. That meant Erian was back. But that little connection did not quite happen in his tormented mind. His concentration was fading and he was dying.

"Oh God! Xeth!"

Bare feet scuffling across the cold floor. The sound of fumbling through...pockets?


Automatically, Xeth obeyed, unrolling himself although he did not want to. Erian took a hold of his tail and quickly re-lighted it with the matches she had been given. Originally, after the questioning, she had no idea why they would give her the little box, but now she knew.

The flame at the end of the fire hybrid's tail slowly re-kindled, and the colour started to return to his deathly pale face.

"What happened?" She asked, wrapping his blanket around him, but taking care to keep his tail away from the sheets.

Xeth was still shivering, but he raised his head and looked at Erian with his red eyes. "You should've just let me die. I'm not doing anything useful."

Erian slapped him. "Don't talk like that! Not after all you've done for me! I would never let you die, and you better not think of sneaking around my back and doing the job yourself. What the hell were you thinking?"

Xeth did not reply, but wrapped the blanket tighter around his body. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." She returned to her other side of the room, sitting down on her bed, but still watching him like a fearow. "What happened?"

"They were questioning me, and, I have no idea why, but I let loose a fire attack and nearly killed the guy interrogating me. They had a Feraligater use hydro pump on me." Xeth shuddered violently, remembering the feeling of being suddenly cold and wet...

"They questioned me too, but I didn't say anything..." Erian shook her head. "They're going to start using torture soon. Will you be able to bear the pain?"

Xeth looked directly into her brown eyes, his blood red ones strangely stoic. "Of course I can."


Side Story 5 - Siana

I have always been something of an oddity, but all psychics are. Not all psychics are trained for war, though. As a matter of fact, psychics usually are rather peaceful creatures. They have to be. Can you imagine if they were all violent? Bent on taking over the world? It's a scary thought. Every now and then we go out of hand, and when we do, it's deadly.

Do you know what it's like to have to be in total control of your body? Or even worse, to have no control because there is nothing to control? I live in a state of the former, but I have known the latter. I can never get out of control. The very idea has become revolting to me, and that's the way the professors engineered me to be.


"Where are we going?" I asked, my speech too mature for a four year old. "Is this a new training procedure?" My curiosity had not yet been curbed, and I asked questions constantly. The professors encouraged it at that age. They felt it stretched my mind.

"It's an exercise of the mind," the professor replied, glancing back at me, the little blonde girl skipping behind him. He opened the door to what used to be the play room, where I would practice levitating toys through versions of children's games that they had created. They painted the room white though. Everything was white. Everything except the strange... tank thing in the center of the room.

I looked directly at it, my head tilted to one side. "What is it?" I could only see it through his mind and I picked up strange feelings toward it. I felt very, very frightened.

"It's a sensory deprivation unit," the professor replied, not looking at me. They never looked at me much. None of the people in the little base did. I think they were almost scared of my blind eyes.

I frowned. Sensory deprivation? My fear had reached a limit now, and I ran back toward the door, trying to reach the handle by standing on my toes. Unable to, I tried to use my mind to push it down, but I couldn't. I just couldn't.

The professor grabbed me from behind and lifted me, tucking me under his arm. I was a small child. "You are going to be in there for one hour, and you must float, or you will drown." He stripped me and placed me into the metallic water, and I realised that my swimming lessons had a purpose greater than making sure I did not grow too weak.

Floating in there for over an hour, I learnt what it was like to be deprived of any outside stimulus. No sight, no touch, no sound, no taste, no smell. In a way, I was in control, but I felt completely out of control. I wanted to touch someone desperately, even if it brought an electric jolt of emotions. I wanted to taste or smell something, to hear a voice, even a harsh one yelling at me. The seeing I could do without, because I was used to it, but for the love of Mew, I could not do without my other senses.

I was crying when they lifted me out. Later on, I felt ashamed at my blatant display of weakness, but I couldn't help it. I was four. I knew what I was and I fully grasped the concept of being created for war, but I had never even thought of being cut off from the world like that.

I grew used to the tank. It did expand my mind, and it did help me to learn how to focus properly, to understand what it meant to shut out the world and draw from your inner power. But I would not wish that tank on anyone who was attached to the world, as I was as a little girl. I used to cling onto everything, using my ties to the world as my power.

It is rather obvious that I stopped. I want to start again. I have seen those who know how to detach themselves, then return when the time is right, and I want to be like them.

Maybe after the war.

End Side Story


Love and Sacrifice: A little TLC

"Stop being such a baby and sit still," Hali scolded, putting a little more of the rubbing alcohol onto the wad of cotton. "It'll make this easier for both of us."

Grimacing, Jorvis watched as Hali treated his wounds, dressing them carefully and doing her best not to hurt him. "Done?"

"Almost. I don't want you getting infected. Rock or not, you're still part human, and therefore flesh and blood." She finished up the last one. "There."

Jorvis grinned, looking at Hali. "Thanks."

She returned the grin, stepping back as he stood, towering a full foot and a half over her. "We're an odd match, aren't we?" She remarked.

He laughed, picking her up. "Yes, we are."

She giggled, a bright smile on her face. But then she sighed. "It doesn't feel right to be happy while there's a war going on..."

He sighed too, holding her close, but being careful about her wings. He knew exactly what she meant. Every moment that he stood in Jarlis, he felt like a traitor. "We'll find something to do... I just wish I knew what's happened to Erian."

"I hope she's alright. She's such a nice, spunky girl..." Hali closed her eyes, tilting her head back. "I think now's about the right time to try and contact the others, don't you? We need to see how we're faring, though right now, I think we need a miracle to win...


Love and Sacrifice: A plan.

Indenki tensed as Donari hugged him. Careful not to harm her, he pried her off of him. Warily, he watched as she backed away from him a little, but still smiled brightly. Aita raised her eyebrows, and he scowled at her.

Donari looked at the two hybrids. "What on earth are you doing here?" She tried to think of anything going on in the war that would bring the two hybrids to her. Taking a good look, she realised that they were not simply worn out from traveling, but slowly recovering from a battle.

"I have my reasons. Where's the person in charge?" Indenki asked, looking around.

Donari scowled, her hands on her hips. "I'm in charge," she replied.


"Yes me! I may not exactly be trained for the battlefield, but I do know how to manage an army. Leah helps me out when I need her to, but mostly she just helps the soldiers and pokemon in training. I make most of the decisions."

Indenki shrugged, skeptical of what she had said. Not only was she younger than the youngest hybrid, but she was human.

Aita looked at Indenki, and then spoke. "We need to attack the Y-Faction from their Headquarters. What we're doing right now just isn't working anymore; some of us have been captured. We do have one hybrid working undercover there, but it can't-"


"He/she, Devin doesn't have a fixed gender, can't do everything alone. It's a big base, and they have tight security. We need your best soldiers and pokemon."

Donari frowned. "We're a pacifist island and we don't want to get mixed up in this. What if you fail and they come after us?"

"Donari, be reasonable." Someone else admonished the girl.

Indenki whipped around, and his eyes widened ever so slightly. "Didn't you have blue eyes?"

"Contacts," Reix explained.

"We're related..." Donari mumbled. "But I'll help you. I want to have a part in this though. Either you let me come along, or you let me help."

"Help with what?" Reix asked.

"They're going to attack Yiana."

For a moment, Donari could have sworn Reix flinched. But why? "Vaela and I will go with you, then." He clasped his hands behind his back and seemed a little tense.

Donari nodded. "Good. You can be in charge of our soldiers, and I think you should take Sacrifice. He might come in handy."

Indenki seemed reluctant to have Reix around, but Aita immediately agreed. She trusted Donari's judgment. While human, she seemed mature and wise enough. "Thank you," Aita said.

This was going to be one hell of a battle.


Love and Sacrifice: Inside Help

Devin held back his anger when he saw the condition Xeth and Erian were in, though more so when he saw Xeth. He looked around, making sure no one was around, and walked up to the cell. "Having fun?" He asked in a haughty tone. There was another guard nearby and he could not risk discovery just yet.

Xeth looked up, his eyes widening in recognition and his face lighting up. "What do you want?" He played along.

"Meal time." Devin slid the trays through the slots provided. "I hear magikarp's not bad," he said with a wink. "Enjoy." And he left, whistling down the hall.

"What was that about?" Erian asked, going over to pick up her tray and looking at the food with clear distaste.

Xeth shook his head, signaling her to be quiet. He smiled to reassure her, and started eating his meal. He started eating his food, chewing carefully whenever he took a bite of the magikarp. He stopped chewing mid-bite and raised one hand to his lips, then ran it through his hair. When he was done eating, he walked over to Erian, bent over, and whispered into her ear. "Lock pick."

Her eyes widened, but she smiled a little. "Dev?" She whispered back.

Xeth nodded, then walked back to his side. "Do they really expect us to live on that stuff?"

"Or starve to death, yes. Though I don't think they want to kill us yet." Erian smiled a little. Xeth made it a point to complain about the food every meal, yet he finished every bit of it.

"Very true. I saw Blade going into the questioning room the other day. He didn't look too good."

"Neither do Siana and Kaor... Do you think the others will come rescue us?" She asked.

"That or come kill us if we're in too bad a condition to escape," Xeth replied grimly.


Love and Sacrifice: Sadistic Humans

"Hey, Charles, watch this," one of the interrogators said to the other, watching a tape of the questionings. "When you hurt one of the other hybrids, that one cringes... I think he's an empath."

Charles's eyes lit up. "An empath?" He grinned. "I heard empaths are great for torturing. You get two in one. Hurt one, you hurt the other equally."

"Hmm, I think we just might have found something we could use to get him to speak... Yiana's gonna demote us if we don't find out anything about the Xero system. Go get the psychic hybrid! She's the more delicate on."

Charles left and returned shortly with her. "Time for fun, eh?" He asked his friend and partner.


Blade looked at Siana in confusion, wondering why they were doing the two of them at once. They never did two hybrids at once. "What's going on?" He asked her.

Siana looked at Blade, then closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "You're an empath and they found out."

"A what?"

"An empath. You can feel what others feel. They're going to use that against you. Be strong."

Blade's mercury eyes widened, and he struggled against his metal constraints.

"Stop it. That's not going to help. If I could, I would teach you how to shield your mind, but I can't. Just be strong."

Blade stopped, a distressed look on his . Physical pain to himself, yes, that he could bear easily. But emotional pain? *And* the physical pain of others?

The two men that the captured hybrids had come to know and hate entered. "Playtime!" Jim grinned. "Now, all I need to know is where the Xero system is. Tell us, and we'll stop. Don't, and we torture her." He pointed at Siana.

Neither of them said anything.

"Ah, the usual." He walked up to Siana, taking a knife out of his pocket. "I heard that psychics are very weak against physical attacks, and you look pretty fragile..." Slowly, he dug the point of the knife into the sensitive part of her left arm, on the other side of her elbow.

Siana clenched her jaws together, not letting out a single sound as the knife pierced her skin and dug into her flesh. At the same time, Blade gasped, feeling her pain as much as she did.

"Well, so the rumors about empaths are true," Charles said, smirking. "This is going to be fun."

------------------ Two Weeks Later ------------------

Blade lay trembling on ground, rolled up tightly in a ball. In another corner, Kaor was standing, his eyes open but not registering anything around him.

"The Xero system is destroyed... The files are no more." Blade managed to say, his voice faint.

Charles took out a pokeball, releasing an Alakazam. "His mind is weakened, see if you can pry the true information about the Xero system out of it."

The pokemon nodded, walking up to the hybrid and touching his head lightly.

Blade felt a foreign presence enter his mind, and with what little mental training he had, he tried to shield his thoughts, fighting against the alakazam. /I can't... I won't. I've already caused enough trouble... I nearly killed Shadow... And Swift is dead./ He cried out in pain as the Alakazam directly attacked his mind, paralyzing the steel hybrid and taking the information it needed easily. Blade had been telling the truth; the files were destroyed. But he had some of the details in his mind. Not enough to rebuild the system, but enough to start.

"Good job," Charles praised the pokemon. They had tried getting information from the hybrids by use of psychic pokemon before, but they were too strong willed for the pokemon to get though. Now, however, their spirits had been broken. "Yiana will be pleased..."

In his corner, Blade started to cry. Sobs of pure, animal grief emerged from his throat. Had he not caused enough trouble already? How had he been so weak...? He dug his fingers into his wrists, wishing he could kill himself right then and there but even his steel nails had been removed. As a last resort, he brought his wrists up to his mouth, about to bite into the veins again, but Jim noticed, and Blade was restrained. They kept him tied up in-between torture sessions. He had tried to kill himself several times before.

Mission failed. Mission completely failed...