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Love and Sacrifice: The cream of the crop

------------- One week ago -------------

Tevix watched Merideth hack into the Y-Faction's database, noting how she did everything slowly and precisely, as if trying to think out every detail and keep her mind off of something. And she was keeping her mind off something, or rather, someone.

Sighing, he watched as she paused, her fingers suspended above the keys on the keyboard. She blinked her navy eyes several times, then raised a hand to rub them, holding back tears. Taking a deep breath then releasing it, she continued.

Five minutes later, she stopped again, this time reaching over to her CD player and putting on some music. An upbeat teen group, Tevix supposed, though he was not sure who. As she worked, she hummed along, and Tevix smiled slightly, noting how beautiful her voice was.

"Done," she finally spoke, looking over her shoulder at Tevix. "Have you been standing there the whole time?"

He nodded, walking, or rather, floating closer to her, then taking a better look at the screen. "Good work. I suppose it's almost time to make our trip to Eurel, isn't it?"

Merideth nodded, swallowing deeply and sniffing slightly.

Fed up with watching the dragon hybrid deal with her sorrow by herself, for there had been many times when she had taken care of the other hybrids, Tevix materialized fully and pulled her into a tight hug.

"Everything will be okay Mer... everything will be okay," he said soothingly. Everything might not be okay, and that he knew, but the gesture was what counted.

Merideth pulled out of the hug, then nodded. "Thanks Tev," she said, tucking a lock of her dark blue hair behind an ear. "I'll go get the soldiers I'm taking along, and I think you should get your group."

He nodded, his pale eyes checking hers to make sure she was alright, or at least, as alright as she could be. "'kay," he replied, going back to his half ghost form and drifting away.

Merideth watched him leave, then transformed, flying out of the computer room, a dragon tear slowly forming in her left eye.


Corvet looked at the group she had selected, and was glad that there were at least seventeen worthy human soldiers for her to take with her. She knew that altogether, the hybrids might not have more than a hundred, but so long as they were a hundred well trained, top quality individuals, they were fine. She turned to look at the pokemon and smiled. At least they had a good pokemon force. She had picked out four of her best vaporeons, along with several of their best psychic and other water pokemon. Plus there were some other pokemon that had been trained personally by her troops, like Blast the dragonite.

Corvet's eyes fell on Elliot, one of the humans she had chosen, and she noticed that he was looking back at her. She almost looked away, but decided not to. Instead, a puzzled frown materialized on her face and she cocked her head to one side. Elliot, on the other hand, just smiled at her before turning his attention to his pokemon.

Still very confused, Corvet realized she would have to forget about it; their planes were ready. She could only hope that their ride would be safe and uneventful, and they would reach the base on time.


Vair sat uncomfortably in the plane, curled up in a corner, watching her troops. She knew that if Aita were there, she would be voicing her complaints to the grass hybrid, but Aita was not there... Aita was where they were going, and if things went well, Aita would be with Vair when they retreated, with few casualties.

But then, Vair remembered the conversations they had had when they first met the other hybrids, and again when all the hybrids got together for the first, and really, only time. Most of the hybrids spoke of wanting to die in the war, of not wanting to survive, for there was no place for them. They were outcasts; they were not normal. They could never be truly accepted by humans or pokemon, for they were creatures of war. They lived to fight... And what would people think of that?

There was no hiding the fact that each hybrid had single handedly killed hundreds of humans and pokemon, that they were cold blooded killers who lived to carry out deadly missions that normal humans or pokemon could not do. People would argue that it would be dangerous to let them live, for what if someone new controlled them? And Vair knew the hybrids could be controlled... They were human and pokemon, two species that could easily be manipulated if you knew the right tricks and had the right technology.

But no, now was not the time to think about that. Maybe after the war, after she freed Aita, and saw that the ice hybrid was safe.

Shifting in her little corner, Vair sighed, peering out the window by her side sadly, watching the sky, seeing a bird pokemon fly freely in the distance. That was what they fought for. Freedom...


Love and Sacrifice: This is a tale of war, love and sacrifice. And all tales have an end.

Devin entered the communications room as a venomoth, putting the soldiers to sleep before they knew what was going on. He ran up to a vidcom and immediately contacted Indenki, informing him that Yiana seemed to be expecting an attack, and had already killed all the professors. In the midst of giving Indenki the layout of the base, he got cut off by Colonel Haris, who used an Alakazam to Disable his Transform. Taken by complete surprise, Devin could only lunge at the older man and hope that he could hold him off in his human form. But Haris was no weak, desk soldier. Haris was a top Zentai soldier.

Devin shut his eyes tightly, waiting for Haris to finish him off. The colonel was obviously stronger, and had Devin pinned down. The normal hybrid had done his best to hold off the human, but he was too tired now. He was just... he did not want to outlast this war.

But then he realized his transform attack was re-enabled, and before the colonel could blink, Devin was an arbok, and had bitten the blonde haired man. Slithering away, Devin watched as the man gasped , then started trying to scream without anything coming out, as his throat was gradually closing in. Backing up against a wall, Haris slowly suffocated, dying with his face contorted into an expression of pure suffering. Without even pausing to close the man's eyes, Devin limped out, hoping to find another hybrid or a way out.


A thunderbolt, courtesy of Indenki, shot up into the air, illuminating the sky for a brief moment. All at once, the hand-picked army of the hybrids shot into action, first working toward making it into the base. They broke down walls, they short circuited systems, and they killed. They did not have the complete layout of the base, but they hoped they knew enough to make this a successful attack.

Reix gave quick orders to his group, then, hoping that they could either take care of themselves, or that Vaela would take over, he got back onto his Zapdos and flew up to the base. He had personal business to take care of.


Donari wondered what the hell she was doing. She was just barely fifteen, and here she was, making an international broadcast. She had wanted Leah to make the broadcast. The woman, though still young, was nowhere near as young as Donari. People might believe Leah more, but Leah felt that Donari's bloodline gave her the right to make this announcement.

"We're about to go on!" One of the people setting the whole thing up hissed to her. Donari snapped to attention, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. She stared straight into the camera, and for a moment, was incredibly thankful of the wide variety of people that lived on their island. Who would have thought they would be able to pull this off on such an impromptu settlement?

Something counted down silently, and she took a deep breath. Three, two, one. Go!

"My name is Donari Tavis. Maybe you know my last name, and maybe you don't. In the year 2051 Ferina and Nerina Tavis started the project that resulted in the hybrids as a sort of last resort defense in case the Kaitan Alliance truly took over the world.

"As we all know, that did happen. And then Zentai broke away from the Kaitan Alliance, and suddenly we had so many factions few of us truly knew what was going on." Donari paused, her expression now dead serious, and she frowned slightly. "This war has got to stop! Does anyone even know what they're fighting for anymore? Why must people keep dying? My parents are dead. Murdered by one of these factions because of their connections with rebel groups."

The screen now cut to a live feedback of the battle at Yiana's main base, but Donari's voice could still be heard.

"By destroying the threat of Yiana, we take our first step toward peace, but even with the Y-Faction gone, other factions still exist. See the hybrids fighting? They are not terrorists! They are young half human, half pokemon, barely older than I am, and they have done more for your freedom than you have. One of them has died, and all of them have lost people and pokemon close to them. So have you."

The screen cut back to Donari, and now she looked furious. "Let's stop this! Let's stop the fighting, the death, and the destruction! We must join together and work toward the end of this senseless carnage that does not even deserved to call war!" Her expression softened, and she smiled slightly. "We can come together. I know we can."

The broadcast ended, and Donari leaned back in her chair. Leah gave her a thumbs up sign, and she smiled a little, hoping that her speech had helped out somehow.


Yiana ducked under her desk, barely avoiding the shards of glass that scattered everywhere as a zapdos and its rider flew through the new hole. In a blur of motion, the rider recalled his pokemon and drew out a sword, right as Yiana emerged from her desk and grabbed a sword from her wall. The two pairs of green eyes met, and without a word, their owners fought.

Reix looked at Yiana, knowing that this was a fight to the end; it was not a game anymore. One of them would win, and the other would die. How had they come to this? How had this war gotten so out of hand that they, once best friends, almost lovers, were ready to kill each other?

"You've improved," Yiana said, parrying one of his attacks. Her voice sounded almost as though this battle was effortless, but Reix saw through the facade. She was getting tired, just like he was.

"So have you." He made a reckless stab, and as she moved to block it, he withdrew and was able to cut her shoulder. She winced in pain, but regained her focus and got him in the side. Shoving her away from him, he placed his left hand over the wound, hoping that it had not gone too deep. Quickly, he blocked one of Yiana's attacks and then went for her open spot, not realizing what he was doing until the sword pierced through her skin, right to her heart. Immediately after, it dawned on him that she had left that spot open on purpose, and he withdrew his sword.

The damage was done. He caught her as she fell and gently laid her head down. Unable to process what he had just done, he stared at her, half-expecting her to jump up and kill him. She looked up at him, that irritatingly composed expression on her face, as if she were not dying."I wanted you to be the one. I couldn't bear being executed, like a common criminal."

He shook his head. "They wouldn't have executed you."

"Yes they would have." She smiled a little, amused as she often was around him. "Are you going to kiss me or should I assume that our hatred has grown too great?"

"I never hated you." Reix leaned over her, looking directly into her eyes, searching for an answer to his questions but not finding one. He kissed her, and looked at her again, watching her eyes twinkle one last time before closing forever.


Merideth, Vair, and Tevix ran through corridors of the headquarters, trying to figure out where the prison cells would be. They could hear the battle outside, despite the fact that they were far into the building, and they knew they had to get out soon. An explosion boomed through the hallways, and for a moment, Vair debated leaving; but she looked at Merideth and Tevix, and she knew that there was no way those two were leaving the other hybrids behind.

"Tev?" A voice called out from behind them. "Tev! It's you!"

"Xeth!" Tevix ran up to the redhead and hugged him, appalled he could feel the fire hybrid's ribs so easily. "Where are the others?"

"Follow me." Xeth looked at Merideth and Vair, then turned and started to run. "We need to hurry and get them out of here. They're barely alive." It was a miracle that Xeth was able to move. The other three hybrids watched him as they followed, and they realised how hard each step was for him. By the time they reached the holding cells, Xeth had to lean on Tevix.

Shocked, they stared at the half-dead hybrids, tending to each other outside of a cell. They noted the bleak expressions on their faces, the loss of hope that they all projected. But when they saw their rescuers, sparks of light returned to their blank eyes, and Erian all but jumped for joy, but settled with letting out a happy squeal.

"Is Devin alright?" Xeth asked Tevix.

Tevix shrugged. "Sorry Xeth, but I've no clue. He got cut off while he was contacting us earlier..."

Xeth sighed, but managed to brighten up. "Well, we're still alive, so let's get out of here." He managed to shift his weight off of Tevix and limped over to Siana to help her up.

"What about Shadow?" Blade asked, cradling his broken arm with the other. His hands were bandaged, and there was something... different about him.

"Do you know where he is?" Vair asked. She seemed a bit edgy, eager to get out.

"No..." Blade looked around. "He was never with us. But I can find him!"

Merideth looked at Blade, torn between ordering him to come with them, and letting him go find Shadow. She did not want to lose Blade. She could not survive losing someone else, but... "Go ahead. Can you find your way out?"

Blade nodded.

"Then go!" Merideth smiled slightly and watched as Blade ran off. As soon as he went around the corner, she turned her attention to the hybrids they had just rescued, seeing who need help walking, and who could manage on their own.


Blade found the labs completely empty. How on earth had everyone evacuated so quickly? He looked around, opening his mind completely but unable to sense Shadow. He never had been able to, really.Dark types had this ability to be non-existent to psychic minds. A door labeled "Observation Room" caught his eye, and he walked in cautiously, faced with a one-way mirror.

/What the hell were they doing...?/ Blade walked up the mirror. The room on the other side was very plain; pure white, except there seemed to be dark stains on the floor and walls... Blood stains? /Again, what the hell were they doing? And... is that Shadow?/ In the very corner of the room, a dark figure lay curled up in a sort of defensive position. Should anyone approach him, he would be able to rise quickly and protect himself.

Blade entered the second room and held his guard, not letting the fear he felt show as the dark hybrid leapt to his feet, looking at Blade with dim recognition in his dead eyes. They stared at each other, each unsure what to. Tentatively, Shadow took a step toward Blade and then stopped. He seemed torn between attacking or trying to make contact.

"Shadow, it's me, Blade. Remember?" Blade took a step toward Shadow. "We have to escape."

The dark hybrid frowned slightly, his head tilted to one side. For a moment, it seemed that he had completely lost his memory, but then he shook his head and cleared the drug induced haze from his head. His ears raised and twitched a little. "You're not insane anymore."

Blade blinked, then smiled. "You might say that. Others might say differently."

Shadow snorted softly. "We're soldiers. We're all insane to someone else." The dark hybrid looked around the room he had been kept in, recent events slowly coming back to him. Turning back to look at Blade, a genuine expression of gratitude crossed over his face, but before either could speak, they heard a loud explosion and realised that it was time to leave.

As they ran, Blade started to lag behind, unable to keep up with the dark hybrid. Shadow's original training told him to leave Blade behind; the battle that was apparently going on outside would soon end up bringing down the headquarters, or at least part of it. Yet Shadow's training also meant that he was considerably strong, so he turned and picked up Blade, ignoring the fact that the smaller hybrid weighed a lot more than he seemed to. Blade protested at first, but a glare from Shadow effectively silenced him.


No one would ever know who really won that day. The history books would say the hybrids won, but the people would know in their hearts that the hybrids had not won. The battle had been a wild clash of the best soldiers alive, everyone fighting for their beliefs, yet not knowing what those beliefs really were. The Y-Faction fought for a dead leader; the hybrids fought for people that had forsaken them.

Maybe the battle would have gone on until only a few souls were left, too tired to go on. Instead, it ended with both sides willing to continue if they had to. Blood soaked the concrete ground. Dead bodies, human and pokemon, littered the floor; soldiers found themselves using fallen comrades as shields against incoming attacks. Valiantly, the Y-Faction tried to protect their headquarters, but the hybrid troops snuck attacks by them, pokemon ramming into the buildings, hitting it with their best attacks. The wounded either fled or fought till their death, and by that stage, nearly everyone was wounded in some way.

Those that witnessed the end would find it burned into their memory. They would remember the exact weapon they had just used, the attack they had just performed, the gash they had just received. They would remember the faces and bodies around them, the smell and taste of war, and the acute pain that traveled through their bodies.

And they would remember the sight of Reix flying out of a window, holding the body of a young woman who could have been the savior of the world through life, but instead saved it through her death. All fighting stopped, all eyes on the young man on his zapdos landing amidst the wreckage.

The words that he spoke would echo in their minds, would wake them up after nightmares and lull them into a more peaceful sleep. The words, delivered in a firm, confident voice that somehow reached the ears of all the living soldiers, were simple, almost too simple to be so powerful. Three short words contracted into three short syllables.

"It's over."