Love and Sacrifice: Encounters of the strange kind

------- Indeli -------

"Yiana Naventa's rather hot, isn't she?" A young soldier looked at his shift partner, grinning.

The slightly older soldier shook his head, but smiled anyway. "Yeah, she is. But she's way out of your league." He stopped pacing, looking around uneasily. "Do you ever miss home?"

The younger soldier stopped pacing too. "Sometimes. But I wanted to be part of the cause, y'know? And my family really needed the money." He looked at the other man oddly. "You okay, Mark? You've been acting strange lately."

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just can't wait till I get a few days off. Been working here too long. Guarding, training, more guarding, more training... You don't get tired of it yet, Tim, but you will in about a year."

Tim laughed and continued pacing the hallway they were in charge of. Although there were cameras in and around the rooms in the hallway, the information kept in them was too precious to guard by only one method.

"You really do need a break," Tim said.

"And that's the truth."

They paced in silence for a while, and then Tim spoke up again. "You gonna start a family someday?"

Mark raised his eyebrows, surprised at the question. Lowering his rifle, now holding it with both hands, he shrugged. "If I can find someone that doesn't mind the fact that I carry one of these around almost 24/7 as part of my job, maybe. But this is a high ri-" The base alarm cut him off, and he held his gun properly, taking the safety off. "Be ready Tim. They might be heading this way."

Tim, relatively new on the job, had never been around for a break-in, had never been on a serious mission. Nervously, he gripped his gun and walked to one end of the hall. There were two entrances to that hall, and Mark was at the other. His heart pounded in his chest, and he wondered if he would survive this. Chances were it was just a false alert, but... he had a feeling it was not. He had heard about lots of break-ins nearby, and there had been high causality rates.

The noise of someone gagging, trying to scream, penetrated his thoughts, and he whipped around to see Mark falling to the ground, convulsing and twisting around, as if having a seizure. His body stopped moving, and Tim realised he was dead, poisoned somehow. He held his gun ready and cautiously started moving forward, wishing he had a gas mask or something. Why did he not have a gas mask? With Indeli's abundance of poisonous pokemon, one would think guards would be equipped with them. He lifted his shirt collar up, breathing through the material, but he knew it would not protect him from poisonous gas.

He caught sight of a tiny figure, maybe female, he was not sure, and he thought he saw butterfly wings, but how...? He pressed the trigger, then realised he had left his safety on. Panicking, he searched for the safety release, but a whirl of spores surrounded him, and he fell to the ground. But unlike Mark, he had been hit with sleep and paralyze spores.

After recovery, Tim would never know if it had been compassion, or sheer luck that had saved his life, but all he knew was that he had one life to live, and he took leave of the Kaitan Alliance.


Love and Sacrifice: Journey to another land

------------ The next night -----------

Blade looked evenly at Shadow, taking one last good look at the dark hybrid. "So you're leaving?" He asked, though he knew the answer.

Crouching by his motorcycle, the dark hybrid tightened the knots that kept his pack bound tightly to it. After a quick routine check, he stood and wiped his hands on his black jeans. "I can't stay," he said, knowing that would be the steel hybrid's next question.

Shadow mounted his motorcycle and revved up the engine. He had not yet put his hood on, and Blade could still make out the outlines of his face. The green eyes staring back at the steel hybrid did not blink, and turned their attention to the forest ahead of them.

"Till next time!" Blade called out as Shadow sped off to his next mission. It was not long before Blade could not hear the engine anymore.

One of the soldiers traveling with Blade walked up, staring out into the darkness. "Dangerous boy," he muttered.

"He's a soldier," the steel hybrid replied. "And I'm just as dangerous as he is." He looked up at Trevor, his eyes soft but serious.

"How do we know we can trust him?" Trevor asked, looking away from Blade. He liked the steel hybrid, and he was willing to fight to the death with the younger boy, but sometimes... sometimes he felt a little disturbed around Blade. The dark hybrid, however, disturbed him a lot more.

"We don't know, but so long as we stay out of his way, we're safe." Pausing, Blade looked up at the sky, then out into the surrounding forest. "I almost wish he would attack us though. Then at least I'd be able to see him again..." He hated to admit it, but he was lonely. All this killing, all this fighting... He had the soldiers with him, but they did not know him. Shadow did not know him either, but he could. He could if they had the chance to get to know each other.


Shadow had slipped past the border by the time the sun was rising. He was 'safe' for now, as he was in an independent country, one that had yet to be truly taken over by the Kaitans. However, there were barely even a handful of such countries left... It was only a matter of time before the entire east landmass of the world was completely ruled by the Kaitan Alliance.

Checking his wounds, he realised they had opened up and needed to clean them before he got an infection. Glancing around cautiously, he noted that by the number of wild pokemon around, there was bound to be a water source nearby, and few humans.

A pidgey flew up and perched on a branch nearby, looking at Shadow curiously. This only confirmed his suspicion that there were few humans around, for wild pidgeys that knew of humans kept away from anything that smelt even slightly like one.

He walked around silently, careful not to disturb any of the wild pokemon. Finally, he found a small stream and stepped into it, rinsing off his wounds. After using a pair of scissors from his first aid kit to cut off the fur around the wounds, he rubbed some cleaning alcohol on them and bandaged them.

With that done, he ate a quick meal of dried meat and fruit. Not the tastiest things in the world, but nutritious enough, and easy to carry around. Deciding that he had plenty of time to stay in that area, he unbraided his long hair and combed it, attempting to un-tangle the long black strands.

He looked at the hair-tie that he had taken off, and opened it, looking at the picture of his 'family' for a moment. It had been a very long time since he last saw them. They had become important figures to those countries that wanted peace, being the only living relatives of the late Ferina and Nerina Tavis. He had heard that Donna and Tahari had tucked Donari safely in boarding school under a different name while they continued their peace talks. Did they still have Sacrifice and Love? He could only wonder.

Pushing aside his last ties to humanity, he braided his hair, putting the tie back in its place at the end of the braid. He needed to be out of the country as soon as possible, but first he would need to scout around and check if there was another hybrid nearby. He had received reports of three recent attacks on the Alliance, two on the same night he had been ordered to assassinate Lt. Jakata, and one the night before. According to the natures of the attacks, he suspected that the fire and electric hybrids were both nearby, though he did not understand what the fire hybrid would be doing in this area... The fire type project had originally started in a whole other continent on the west side of the world. The electric, however, had started somewhere in this continent. Fighting, dark and lightning had all been relatively close together. At least, they had been from the start.

Considering the fact that the continent of 'Arasia' was being hit the heaviest at the moment, it was understandable that some of the others might have migrated from their original hiding places. The steel hybrid, for one, had obviously only just moved in, for his accent was different. It seemed Eurelian as far as Shadow could tell, although the boy did not look entirely like a native from there. He had slightly Arasian features.

He heard a high pitched beeping sound and returned to his motorcycle. He pressed in three codes, and after a pause, the face of Professor Mikoto appeared on the screen.

"Have you found any of the others?"

"I've found the Steel. Fire and lightning are nearby."

"Good. I have reason to believe they'll be leaving soon, so keep your eye out for any suspicious activities."

Shadow nodded, then switched off the screen. The base that had been attacked was hundreds of miles away, so he would have to find some way to travel during the day without being seen. He brought up a map on his little screen, and studied the various routes he could take. There was a relatively abandoned path full of many dangerous wild pokemon. Perfect for him. The pokemon would most likely stay away from him, and if they attacked, he could take care of them.

-------------------- Same day, continent of 'Farica' -------------------

"Do I have to?"


"Really have to?"


"Really, really have to?"

"ERIAN! Get on the damned boat!"

The ground type hybrid looked reluctantly at the boat, and the water it floated on, then looked back at the rebel soldier she traveled with. "Isn't there some other way we can get to Arasia?"

"Not in the time that we need to get there, and without getting noticed," he replied.

She twirled a short braid with one idle finger, frowning in thought. "If our boat sinks, or I somehow get thrown into the water, I'll personally murder you."

"Erian, the boat is perfectly safe."

"They said the same thing about the-"

He grabbed one of her furry hands and dragged her onto the boat, forcibly holding her back as she attempted to run off. As they sped away, she nervously peeked over the edge of the boat, then rushed away from the railing, staying where she could not see the water. "The things I do for this world..." she muttered to herself. "When will we get there?" She asked Joseph. She would have latched onto him, but she was rooted to the spot she was in for fear that she would slip and fall into the sea somehow.

"In a week."

"You mean we're gonna be on this boat for that long? This is torture! I'm a ground hybrid; I need the ground to feel comfortable! I've been through water tolerance training but that doesn't mean I like this! Are you listening to me? You better be or you're gonna be sorry. I swear-"

Joseph sighed, drowning out her complaints. They were meant to put all their hopes into a hybrid that was terrified of the water and complained constantly? He knew most of her complaints were in jest, but still... She overdid it sometimes. He looked at her, finishing off her rant, and he doubted her ability to live up to their dreams for a moment. "Fine, let me show you to your cabin, you'll feel safer there."

"Good." She got up and stuck close to him, and when they got to her cabin, she flung herself onto her bed, burry her head into her pillow. "I'm staying here until we reach land," she declared, rummaging through her bag and taking out a jar with soil in it, then hugging it. "So, are we going to continue my language tutorials?"

"Yes, now-"

"Kuso!" She cursed as she nearly dropped her jar of dirt when the boat rocked a little violently.

"Where'd you learn that?" He asked sharply, frowning at her.

She grinned nervously. "Uhh... I picked it up?"

Shaking his head, Joseph picked up a book. "Okay, today we're going to study the various levels of respect..."

--------------- Same day, continent of Eurel ---------------

"So, you're the grass hybrid?"

Vair nodded, a few strands of green hair falling in front of her eyes. "And you're the ice hybrid."

"Yup," Aita said.


"Hmm?" The ice hybrid was polishing her gun. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the grass hybrid browsing through some files on her laptop. They had tracked each other down, acting on orders from their superiors, and were taking a sort of break in a cave they had found. So long as they kept their voices down, the zubats and golbats did not bother them.

They worked in silence, occasionally stealing glances at each other. It was strange, suddenly finding out that other hybrids lived, and they did not yet trust each other. For all they knew, the hybrid might have been captured by the Kaitan Alliance at an early age and trained to fight for them.

"Do you think there are others?" Vair asked, tired of the silence.

"Obviously," Aita replied shortly, setting her gun aside and picking up her switchblade. The edge seemed a little dull, so she started sharpening it on a rock.

"Are you always so... serious?" Vair had been about to say 'cold', but caught herself just in time.

"I'm an ice hybrid, what do you expect? And look who's talking! You're not exactly the friendliest person in the world either." Aita looked up at the grass hybrid, her eyes narrowed slightly. She glared at her for a moment, then returned her eyes to her knife. She finished sharpening it and set it aside, then stood and paced around, flicking her fluffy tail occasionally. She never understood why she had that tail, but she did. No other part of her body had fur, although her skin was nearly as frost-blue as her hair, in the same way that Vair's skin had a green tint.

"Are you going to Arasia?" Aita asked. Maybe she could figure out what side Vair fought for.

"Yes. Are you gonna go to the conference?"

"Yes." Vair closed her laptop and stared at Aita. The ice hybrid seemed to be trying to figure something out. "Are we really going to attack in the day? I personally don't mind, but... We'll be seen!"

"That's the point. We want them to acknowledge our existence. Besides, hopefully the others will learn about the attack, and we might be able to get in contact with them. It's common knowledge that the Fighting, Steel, and Dark types are all Arasian. Steel, Ice, Flying and Grass are from Eurel, or nearby." She looked at Vair. "You are from Eurel, right?"


They were silent again, and Aita continued pacing while Vair re-opened her laptop. Though they had been trained to work alone, they liked the idea of having a companion, so would likely be traveling to the conference together.

"Say, Vair?"


"When was your first time?"

Vair looked at Aita with a puzzled frown.

"First time you killed someone, I mean."

"Oh," Vair did not look up, still scanning over something on the computer screen. "I don't quite remember. Maybe eleven? The past years are a blur."

"Same here." A wry smile stretched across Aita's lips. "Some childhood..." She murmured. "But we do need to eliminate the real threat. Not the Kaitans, but those hiding behind the guise of the Kaitan Alliance."

"Unfortunately for us, they haven't revealed themselves yet..." Vair seemed disappointed as she finished reading and closed her laptop.

"They will. They're just biding their time. They've got an excellent leader too. Lady Yiana Naventa. And she has a lot of well trained pokemon trainer-soldiers. They're going to be tough enemies." Aita stopped pacing and sat down again.

Vair noted the bored expression on Aita's face, and smiled. Right now, the ice hybrid likely disliked the waiting around and doing nothing, but soon she would miss it.

Aita looked at the grass hybrid then shut her eyes. "I'm going to sleep."

"Alright. We have two hours before it's dark enough for us to leave." Vair set aside her computer, then curled up on the cave floor. A two hour nap wouldn't hurt...