Love and Sacrifice: Sleep is Overrated ------------- A week later -------------

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Curled up on the ground by his motorcycle, Shadow's ears and tail twitched violently. Every now and then, he would roll over, or curl up even tighter into a ball of black fur, as if trying to hide from the nightmare he was having. Beneath his eyelids, his eyes could be seen to be moving back and forth despite that fact that he was sleeping, and he was biting down hard on his lower lip, almost hard enough to cause it to bleed.

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He woke up with a start, backing up against the tree his motorcycle leaned against. He was trembling, and when he lifted one hand to his face, he realised he had cried in his sleep for the fur there was damp. Like many nights before, his emotionless barrier dropped in his dreams. Why could he not push those memories back? Why did they keep on haunting him? He just wanted to forget... He just wanted to fight this war and be over with it and his life.

He wrapped his arms around his legs, resting his chin on his knees. His ears were flat against his head, a sign that he was troubled. Frightened by his dreams...

A beeping sound from his motorcycle brought him out of his dark mind. Once again, his eyes lost their sorrowful sheen, the light in them dying out, and he put on his mask, hiding his true feelings from the world then getting up to find out what his new mission was.


Love and Sacrifice: Waiting for missions

--------- In Arasia ---------

"Land! I knew there was a God!" Erian ran off the ship, running ahead of Joseph, and flung herself onto the ground, kissing it soundly. "My one true love..." She sighed.

Joseph shook his head again. He had given up believing that she would ever be serious, and he could only be thankful that there were other hybrids... He walked over to Erian and helped her up then tugged her along. "We need to hurry up and get out of here. You know that traveling from continent to continent is forbidden."

"You're the one who needs to get out fast. I can always burrow," she said, her jester exterior dropping briefly. Sometimes people forgot she had killed before. "So, where are we going? Can we go into town at night? I want to look around!"

"You'll get caught."

"No I won't." She looked Joseph in the eye. " I can take care of myself."

He held her gaze for a moment, then turned away. "Fine. But be careful."

"Thank you Joseph-chan!" She hugged him tightly.

"...chan?" He raised an eyebrow and looked at her curiously. Sometimes he wondered how they shared similar genes yet managed to be so different.

---------- That Night ----------

Indenki typed away at his computer, pausing occasionally to brush away a strand of spiky hair that had fallen over his blue eyes. He was currently hacking into some files that he needed for a future mission. All he needed was a few details on where they kept their artillery...

"Hey, whatcha doin?"

No reply.

"Aw, c'mon! We're on the same side!" A head with shockingly bright red hair popped up at his shoulder, trying to look at what he was doing. It was rewarded, however, with a sudden whack.

"Go away." The arasian boy commanded, his eyes never leaving the computer screen.

"You didn't have to hit me so hard..." Xeth complained, tenderly rubbing the spot that had been whacked. Casting one last glance at the electric hybrid, he scowled and returned to the bunk bed in the dorm room they shared. "It's not like I don't know how to keep my mouth shut about things... And we're on the same team. All the time, 'Xeth, go away' or 'Xeth, shut up'." He muttered to himself. "Can't you say anything else? I'm the Angel of Death! You better be careful or I might break your neck!" He called out to the other hybrid.

"Hn." Was his reply.

/Hell, if you put a rock up his ass you'd probably get a diamond within a day.../ Xeth lay on his bed, on his stomach of course, as he did not want to set the bed on fire. /He's so uptight. I know we're fighting a war, but it wouldn't hurt to let loose every now and then.../ His thoughts were disturbed as Indenki suddenly got up and turned off his computer, then started to look through his bag for something.

"What're you looking for?" Xeth asked.

"Shut up," Indenki replied, not looking up.

Xeth raised a bright red eyebrow. "I shouldn't be taking this from you..."


Xeth snorted, getting off the bed and walking around, very bored.

"You should study."

"Study? Why should I study? We'll be out of here soon anyway." Xeth smiled inwardly. /And if you bothered to think twice about it, I don't need to study. I could pass any of their tests any day./

"We don't need to stick out."

"I'll study later." Then he noticed what Indenki had removed from his bag. "A pokeball? Hey wait, that's an ultraball isn't it? What d'you need an ultraball for?" Of course, he did not get an answer. "Oh good Mew, Indenki! You know I won't shut up until you tell me."

"You'll find out later," Indenki said, looking at the ultraball in his hand for a brief moment before putting it away.

"What kind of a reply is that?" Xeth asked, although he knew he wouldn't be answered. "You are so annoying! Did you know that Indenki?"

And to his surprise, it seemed as if Indenki smiled, just ever so barely, effectively shocking Xeth into shutting up for the rest of the night.

--------- In Eurel ---------

"Hey Swift!"

The flying hybrid snapped out of his dreams and turned to look at who had been calling him. His sharp eyes picked out one of the professors standing below the tall tree he perched on. He sighed, for he had now lost his train of thought, but he flew down to find out what it was the professor wanted.

"Swift, you shouldn't be coming out so often. You might get spotted. There's a space inside where you can fly."

The teenage hybrid sighed, folding his wings onto his back. "But the air out here... It's so much better than down in the hideout. It feels better flying when I'm out. I feel free..." He shoved his hands into his pockets and shut up. No one understood his love for flying, so why bother?

"You won't be allowed to fly at allif you get caught," the professor reminded him. "Now, you need to hurry back in before Professor Augustus realizes you've come out again without telling anyone."

"You didn't tell on me?" Swift was mildly surprised. While this professor tended to be lenient on him, none of them were ever that lenient.

"Why should I have?" The blonde Professor grinned, then patted the young teenager on the shoulder. "Let's hurry up. I have a project to work on."

Swift smiled back at the professor, not knowing how to convey how grateful he felt that someone still considered him as a living human, and not just a specimen to be watched. "Thank you, Chris."

"You're welcome." Chris was happy to see the boy smile. He had been becoming a little too anti-social recently, and though that was actually a welcome trait in a 'perfect soldier', it killed him to see Swift isolated so much.

They re-entered the underground hideout and managed to slip back to where they should have been without being noticed by Professor Augustus.

"Now where was I?" Swift lay in his room on his stomach so he could stretch his wings out, holding a notepad and a pen. "The wind flows through your wings.... No, the wind flows freely though your wings, caressing your body like the...gentle hands of one's lover." He thoughtfully nibbled on his pen, his eyes seeming to scan the ceiling for answers. "The sky becomes your road, but there are no traffic lights to halt your progress. Speed is a need, one you can fulfill. You are free, free to go where you want, free to swoop down and dive, free to soar high up into the sky, to break through clouds. When you fly, you are alive, you are whole." He wrote as he spoke, the words flowing freely from his mind to the paper. He had always wondered if it was possible to describe the sheer joy he felt when he flew, to describe just how wonderful it was! He had tried many times, and he had never fully succeeded. He could only give those without wings a mere glimpse into what it was like. To him, the task was as difficult as describing colours to a blind person...

Someone knocked on the door.

"Come in!" He called, closing the notepad quickly. No one knew about his secret love of words, and he preferred to keep it that way. While it was acceptable for him to be knowledgeable about classics and such, as they gave his mind something to work on when he was not training, he felt his writings were private.

"Swift, get packed. Tomorrow we leave Eurel for Arasia." Professor Augustus poked his grey haired head into the room, looking at his creation with hidden admiration.

"Yes sir," Swift replied, folding his wings.

"Get some rest. You'll be doing a lot of flying tomorrow," the professor ordered, closing the door as he left.

"Flying, my one true love." A smile crept onto the boy's face as he withdrew his notepad once again. But then he noticed the time, and decided to put it away. Swift curled up on his bed, folding his wings over his body. "Tomorrow, I fly..." He whispered to himself as he shut his eyes and drifted into a peaceful sleep.

------------ In Corse ------------

"Humans are boring. Don't you think so, Haunter?" Tevix asked the ghost pokemon that had been sent to keep an eye on him while he went for a walk through the town. No one saw either of them, for they were invisible, and free to go wherever they wanted.

"Haunter, haunter haunt." The pokemon agreed.

"But they're fun to scare though, aren't they?" He added with a wink, and grinned when the ghost pokemon agreed again. "I'm gonna miss this town. They were so fun to terrorize! That is, until Professor Johnson forbid me from haunting them..."


"Oh well. There'll be more towns to haunt in Arasia and Eurel, right?" Tevix knew that he would not have time to play tricks on humans while overseas on his missions, but it never hurt to dream, did it?

"Haunter haunt haunt haunter!"

"You're not coming? Then you'll have to be content with me telling you all the details when I get back, k? Just remember that you better keep this continent safe. You'll be in big trouble if it's been captured when I get back!" He looked sternly at the ghost pokemon, who nodded solemnly. "Good, now let's get back to the base. It's boring out here in the day, isn't it?"


The pale boy floated a few inches off the ground, his jade eyes drinking in the scenery longingly. The wind was blowing, but his raven hair, which contrasted marvelously with his alabaster skin, did not stir.


"He's everything you want, he's everything you need, he's everything inside of you that you wish you could be. He says all the right things at exactly the right times, but he means nothing to you and you don't know why." Merideth smiled as she finished the verse and started humming the rest of the song along with the CD.

"Merideth, we're trying to concentrate over here!" A voice yelled from outside her room.

"Sorry!" She yelled back, turning down the volume of her CD player. As soon as the song ended, she took out the CD and replaced it with another one. "Ah, the Mission Impossible theme song." Again, she started humming as she worked away on her computer. "Well, well, mission possible!" She congratulated herself as she successfully hacked into some Kaitan files. "Aw man, we'll need to go to Arasia... That's going to be hard..." Muttering under her breath, she wondered how they would get through the barriers that prevented communication and traveling between continents, sometimes even between countries.

She printed out the necessary documents to take to the Professor in charge of the whole project. "Wing cramp..." Stretching, she was glad to be up and off her chair. Sitting down for five hours straight was not something she recommended to anyone. She unfolded her smooth wings and massaged her neck. "I need to do some training today. Been sitting around hacking files too much. I am, after all, the dragon hybrid, and I must be in perfect shape," she told herself proudly.

"Hey Merideth, Professor Smith wants to speak to you!"

"Coming!" She picked up the information she had just printed and arranged it, then folded her wings and ran out.


"What do I want to be today... Pokemon, or human? Male, or female?" Devin nibbled thoughtfully on a bar of chocolate that he had bought earlier. His professor would have a milktank if she knew he was violating his diet. "I think I'll be male, and..." He, looked into the mirror. "Let's try short black hair, blue eyes, same height as now, but sexy." He grinned devilishly as he concentrated on changing his genetic pattern, something that came as easily to him as flying did to a pidgey. "Good, it worked." He struck a pose. "The new Devin." Running a hand through his hair, he blew a kiss at his reflection. "You're a handsome devil today, aren't you?"

He left his room and checked out, inwardly grinning at the confused look on the manager's face.

"Where's the other boy?"

"He left earlier," Devin replied. "See ya later!" He waved and left. Today, he was crossing the ocean to go to Eurel. It would be a long and very illegal boat ride, but it was going to be a big ship, which meant lots of people for him to memorize the genetic patterns of. He never knew when a new identity might be handy. It would help to steal a few wallets too, as he could always use some spare IDs. /When this war ends, I might have a career as a con-artist waiting for me, a successful one at that./ Devin thought, followed by the afterthought that he might not live through the war, or that it might never end.