Love and Sacrifice: Loved ones lost

Donari ran her hands across the creamy fur of the persian, Love. Although she enjoyed the attention, he pokemon did not purr because she could sense Donari's unease.

Staying true to her intrusive nature, Donari was thinking about Indenki and Shadow, and what they must be up to. They were out there somewhere, and they were alive; she was sure about that. The news report yesterday had proved it, but one thing she did not understand was why they had attacked the base during the peace talk. Had they been tricked into it? That had to have been it. Shadow was not a terrorist, like the news reports claimed, but a soldier fighting for peace. That was what he was trained for.

One bit of evidence that it had not been planned as a terrorist attack was the fact that the five survivors had somehow been taken from the wreckage of the plane and laid safely on the ground away from it. And the fire had been put out before the ambulance or firefighters could make it. What terrorist would do that?

Hearing her door open, Donari picked up one of her textbooks and opened it, pretending that she had been studying for her biology test the next day.

"Hey Donari, your parents are here to visit you," her roommate said, peeking in. "They're outside the dorm."

Her parents? It had been a long time since she saw them. Grinning, Donari jumped off her bed and ran past her roommate, not minding the fact that she was barefooted. Taking the stairs two at a time, she made it to the dorm entrance in no time and flung herself into the arms of her mother and then her father. Love followed close behind her, bounding down the stairs with unhidden enthusiasm.

"Missed us?" Her mother asked slyly, reaching out to ruffle Donari's hair. "You cut it again, didn't you?"

"I like it cut..." She twirled around so they could see her new hairstyle properly. It was cut short, just above her shoulders, and in her opinion, it was very cute.

"I think it's nice," her father commented, smiling warmly at his daughter. He reached down and scratched behind Love's ear, then allowed to persian to bounce off to Donna and greet her too. He hugged Donari tightly, and then dropped his pleasant attitude. "Donari, we're going to have to take you out of the school again..." Inwardly, he winced when he saw the slightly hurt look in his daughter's eyes. "It's too dangerous. It won't be long before they find out who we are. Keeping Sacrifice hidden has been hard enough..."

"Is he alright?" She asked worriedly, looking around to see if they had brought the charizard.

"He's fine. We had to leave him behind though." Her mother answered. "Come on, we need to leave now."

"How are we going?" She looked behind her parents, not seeing any pokemon.

"By Fearow."

"How can a fearow carry all of us?" Donari asked, puzzled.

"Donari, we were practically born genetic engineers. Creating a large fearow for travel isn't hard. Now let's go." Tahari scanned the area then stepped outside the door and pulled out a pokeball, releasing a fearow which was about three times the size of a normal one. He got on first, and Donna and Donari sat behind him. He shot Love an apologetic glance, then called her into a pokeball.

Tahari kicked the bird lightly on the side, the command for it to take off. Silently, unlike most fearow, it lifted into the air, its massive wings flapping strongly. Donari was tempted to ask her parents where they were going, but she doubted they would answer. She tightened her arms around her mother's waist, a little scared of the speed the fearow flew at. Flying normally put her mind at ease, but there was nothing relaxing about this flight.

Many times Donari wished they could have been a normal family. For the first ten or so years of her life, she had lived underground, only going out to the 'upperworld' a few times a year. Then they had been sent away... Turned out that the 'Tavis' name was a very well known one, as Tahari's great-grandparents had been the starters of Project H/C, and were well known peace talk leaders. Professor Mikoto had wanted them to try and unite some of the rebel factions in Arasia, which was what they had been doing for the past few years. Donari, however, they put in boarding school under different names to keep her safe and out of the spotlight.

She knew little about what her parents were actually doing so that if she got discovered and captured, she would not have anything to say. They cared so much about her, but Donari thought that love was wasted. Sei was only about a year younger than she was now when they abandoned him. If they had left her for any reason, she would have hated them. Biting her lower lip, she remembered the last time they had seen Sei, and the way he had looked at them, as if he had disowned them, or rather, vice versa... She no longer saw love in his eyes when they met, but an emotionless gaze, as if the old him had died, leaving behind an empty, soulless body. He had simply greeted them, and then left, slipping off as he so often did when he wanted to avoid human or even pokemon contact. No hugs, no slight smile. He hadn't even asked about Sacrifice or Love. That had been their last visit to see Sei... After that, the project changed locations too frequently, and they could not keep track of where they relocated to.

Donari never could find it in her heart to feel slighted by the way Sei shrugged her off. But then, she could not blame her parents either for leaving him behind. She had a feeling Professor Mikoto had a lot to do with their being separated. That man had a twisted perspective on life, and sending away Sei's only family did not seem below him as a sort of lesson.

Her thoughts were interrupted as the fearow started to circle an area, slowly descending. For no reason that she could think of, her mind wandered to Indenki. So unlike Xeth, the fire hybrid he had ended up traveling with. She giggled, remembering what an odd pair the two made. Xeth was a funny guy, and pleasant to talk to, so the two of them loved to chat, and got along well. Indenki however, did not say much at all, unless he had to, and even then, he said what needed to be said in as few words as possible. He did not seem to like her very much, but she decided that the fact that he had not killed her yet meant he at least did not hate her. Somehow, she doubted he would ever kill her, though she knew he was not one to be underestimated. Like Sei, he was a born killer.

They landed, and Donari was forced to push aside her thoughts of the three hybrids she had met so far. Dismounting the fearow, she was belatedly reminded that she wore no shoes as her feet were greeted with cold, wet grass. Come to think of it, she had not even packed.

"Donari, the Kaitan Alliance was overthrown today in Arasia. Zentai has taken over." Her father informed her, recalling the fearow.

"Zentai?" The young girl had never heard the name before, and that did not surprise her. She knew little more than the average civilian.

"Zentai. They were part of Team Rocket and had been hiding under the guise of the Elite force," her mother explained. She frowned, noticing that Donari was not wearing much despite the cold weather. Before the girl could start to shiver, Donna took off her own coat and put it around her daughter's shoulders.

Donari gratefully accepted the coat, but looked at her parents with surprised and suspicious brown eyes. "But...why are you telling me? You never tell me any of this stuff." The last sentence was said in a slightly accusatory tone.

"We've been discovered," Tahari replied, casting his green eyes to the ground. "It won't be long before we're captured, and sooner or later, they may find you."

Donna walked over to her husband, putting an arm around his shoulder and idly running her fingers through his black hair. "We want you to know who to be wary of when we're captured. We refuse to let them get you."


"No buts. It's going to happen sooner or later. We've been able to keep hidden for this long, but our lucky streak was bound to end sometime. We leave you in charge of Love, Sacrifice, and this fearow."

"But father, mother... Can't you do anything?" She pleaded, her eyes starting to water. It took all her will power to not throw a temper tantrum, to restrain herself from lunging at her father and trying to make him take back what he said.

"No, we can't. Not without putting you, or any of the rebel factions, in trouble." Her father smiled proudly at her, noticing her exercise in control. How had she grown so much in these few years? Why had he missed seeing it happen? "You'll be taken care of, so don't worry, and I know that you can take care of yourself."

She nodded, now truly understanding to some extent how Sei must have felt. "Where are we going now?"

"There's a base near here. We're going to drop you off, and then we're going to surrender," her mother said.

"Surrender? You're not even going to put up a fight? Since when did you go down without a fight?" Tears were now running freely down her cheeks, and she spoke in a bitter tone. All their lives they had fought and fought, and *now* they were giving up?

"We did what we could." Donna seemed slightly offended by what her daughter had said. "You need to learn that sometimes fighting is useless. We might just end up being killed if we fight back, and get the rebels discovered. Instead, us in exchange for their lives, and yours, is a much better deal. Don't argue with me Donari. I've been ready to give up my life from the start of this."

Automatically, Tahari's eyes flickered down to his wife's leg, the one that she had never regained proper control of because of her bullet wound. She was right though; Donna had always been ready to die from the start. Ever since he had known her, she had been one of the most dedicated assistants for the project. Originally, he too thought it was stupid to just give up your life. If it had not been for his stubborn streak, she would be dead now... But sometimes, sacrifices were necessary, and this was one of those times. "Donari, this is for your own good." He walked over to her and hugged her tightly, breaking it off abruptly before what was happening really sunk in . "Now come with us. We have a lot to tell you before we leave."

Without a word, she nodded and followed her parents to the rebel group, listening intently. It was hard to accept the fact that her parents might die that night. No, what was she thinking? It was impossible to accept the fact. And it was all because of the stupid war. Zentai was going to pay for this... It was all their fault, and they were going to pay dearly, or her name was not Donari Tavis!

When they reached the base, her parents introduced her to the leaders of the rebel group in the area, but Donari did not listen, or pay any attention to them. She simply nodded and shook their hands. Her attention was focused on observing her parents, who were trying to appear calm, but she could sense that they were still frightened. Who would not be scared? Who could walk toward their death with a clear mind? Donari had doubts that even Sei could.

After the introductions, her parents handed her a silver necklace, but she only half listened to their explanation of the heart shaped locket really being some sort of high-tech pokeball. Her eyes flitted from mother to father, from father to mother, waiting for them to smile and tell her that everything would be alright, that they were not really going away forever. Then they hugged her, said their final good-byes, and left the base.

That was when she snapped out of her trance, struggling fiercely against the restraints of whoever it was that held her until a pokemon used some sort of sleep attack on her, and despite her attempts to ward it off, the world went black and she dreamed of nothing.


Love and Sacrifice(v2): A break from the war

Swift woke up with a start, breathing heavily as his eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness that surrounded him. /Just a nightmare... Nothing to be scared of from dreams.../ He thought to himself, sitting up and looking around, making out the shapes of the other sleeping hybrids. Judging by the rhythmic rising and falling of their chests, they were all sound asleep, and he was the only one awake. Taking a second look around, he caught a slight flash of light green in an isolated corner, and remembered that the dark hybrid had eyes of those color. Quickly counting the sleeping forms assured him that it was open eyes that he saw, for there was one body missing.

Rising slowly, careful not to disturb those sleeping near him, he stepped over everything and everyone, making his way over to the dark hybrid. Why he was doing that, he did not know, but he figured that if someone else was awake, he might as well talk to them or something. When he reached the other hybrid, he sat down, eyes fixed on the slightly older boy. "Why are you awake?" He finally asked softly, keeping his voice low.

The green eyes flickered over to look at the flying hybrid. They lingered there for a while before closing a little. "I don't sleep at night."

The flying hybrid nodded, wondering why he had not thought of that. Of course the dark hybrid did not sleep at night. "Do you have any idea what the other hybrids have planned for tomorrow? We can't stay here forever."

"No." Shadow looked over at the flying hybrid again, wanting to move away from him, but not wanting to be rude. He took a closer look at Swift's eyes and was a little startled to notice that they were a swirl of white and blue. One of his ears twitched, and he looked away.

"Are you scared of us?" Swift asked, picking up on Shadow's body language. It was subtle, but Swift had sharp eyes.

Shadow turned and looked at Swift again, but he did not answer. He did, however, try to relax his muscles a little.

"I didn't expect you to reply." The younger hybrid shrugged, drawing his wings over his body to keep himself warm. "I understand why you keep to yourself, but you shouldn't be so quiet. You have more experience than the rest of us, and there's a lot you could teach us." He sat there for a little while, unsure if he should say something more or if the dark hybrid might speak up. Finally, he stood up, his wings still folded over his body. "I'm going back to sleep now." He walked off.


Blade looked around the room at the group of hybrids, all sitting on the floor with their food rations. The steel hybrid doubted everyone had met each other yet, and it might prove valuable to know who was who. "Don't you think we should introduce ourselves?" He asked, setting down his piece of dried meat.

Xeth swallowed what he had been chewing. "Great idea! Who wants to start?" He looked around, an enthusiastic grin on his face that many of the hybrids regarded with cold stares.

Tevix raised his hand. "I'll go first. As you should be able to tell, I'm the ghost hybrid. My name is Tevix, I'm from Corse, and I'm fifteen."

"My name's Xeth, also from Corse, fifteen, and the fire hybrid."

"My name's Devin, from Corse, fifteen, the normal hybrid, and incase you were wondering, no, I don't have a specified gender." The currently brown haired girl grinned, and then winked.

"Swift, from Eurel, sixteen, flying hybrid."

They went around the room stating their ages, type, names and where they were from. When they were done, Blade gave them a moment to look around and process the information before speaking again.

"I know many of us are still suspicious of each other," a quick glance around the room, "but I have a feeling we're all on the same side. We all have the same goals, and if we work together, it'll be much easier for us to bring down Zentai." Here he paused and sighed, lowering his eyes to his lap briefly before raising them to meet the eyes of the other hybrids. "Unfortunately, I also have a feeling that's not going to happen. We're too independent, been working alone for too long, and we don't know how to work together. We can try, but by tonight, most, if not all of us, will be out on our own again. All I can say is 'Good Luck', and I hope we'll meet again as allies and not enemies." Blade looked around, wishing he could tap into the thoughts of all the hybrids at once, but he could not. Instead, he picked up his food and left the room, finding his way to the training room and settling down in a corner.

He finished his food quietly, then laid down, staring up at the ceiling. /We share the same pain of not belonging anywhere, but we do belong somewhere... We belong together. Why can't we all just see it?/ A slight smile crept onto his face. /How hypocritical of me. I give them a speech about how we will never work together, then I sit here and mope about how we should be together. But for that to happen, we need a leader, and who's willing to take that position? Me? Never./

The hybrid suddenly heard a chuckle beside him, and he turned his head to see who it was. "What's so funny?"

Siana smiled and sat down next to the younger hybrid, brushing a lock of hair away from his eyes in a rare gesture of intimacy. "Why are you called Keisuke even though you are from Eurel?" She asked, ignoring his question.

"My mother was from Arasia," he replied, locking back the wave of guilt that washed over him. His mother had died giving birth to him, but had lived long enough to name him. "But what was so funny?"

"Your thoughts."

"You read my mind?"

"Not purposely. Humans and pokemon tend to project their thoughts and feelings without knowing it. I just happened to be passing by, and found what you were thinking rather funny." Despite the smile that lingered on her face, there was no hint of mirth in her blank, golden eyes. "You constantly contradict yourself, and you realize it, but still continue to do it."

He simply blinked, and she sighed.

"You will understand what I find funny later." Her tone was slightly disappointed, as if she had expected him to get it immediately. "The war has only just begun, and we have only just met. Oh, and yes, you are one of the very few people, or pokemon, who has ever seen me smile, let alone heard me laugh." She stood, and smiled again. "By the way, great speech. You got the others thinking."

"Thank you," he replied, though he was not sure if she heard him as she teleported out.


A little over an hour after they had eaten, Swift entered the training room and looked around, his blue and white eyes widened in pleased surprise. It was well equipped, and more than adequate for him to get a little exercise.

"Hey Swift, look at Shadow."

He turned to see the little steel hybrid watching the dark hybrid in awe, and his own jaw nearly dropped in amazement. The dark hybrid was incredibly flexible! Like an acrobat or a gymnast. He was practicing on the equipment, and the ease with which he performed various moves was very deceiving to the actual difficulty of the exercises.

"He should've been born with wings..." Swift muttered under his breath, wishing the dark hybrid had been born with wings. The things he could have taught him to do! If someone could do what he was doing on the ground, imagine what he could do in the air?

All of a sudden, the dark hybrid stopped, landing with a soft thud on the matt below the equipment. His eyes were closed, but his ears were twitching in the way that the eevee evolutions' ears did when they were listening. They stopped moving, and he turned his head, eyes still closed, in the direction of where Blade and Swift were.

"You're very good," Swift said, causing the older hybrid to finally open his dead eyes.

The dark hybrid froze, looking from Swift to Blade. If it were not for the blank look in his eyes, his expression could have been described as that of a rattata caught between two persians. He seemed unsure of how to reply, as if he was not used to being complimented, which was probably the case. "A...Arigatou." He finally replied, somehow forgetting that the other two hybrids most likely did not speak his native tongue. As soon as the word was out of his mouth, he slipped out before they could speak again.

"A little rusty when it comes to interacting with others, don't you think?" Swift commented, looking at the door.

"Very rusty," Blade replied, smiling slightly.

The door swung open and a chattering Xeth entered, dragging a bewildered male Devin in 'default' human form behind him, while Tevix floated by their side, an amused look on his face.

"Xeth, on the other hand, is definitely *not* rusty," Blade added, and Swift could only nod, a smile on his face as they watched Xeth exuberantly try and talk Devin into playing a quick game of basketball with him. Listening to Xeth, Blade was almost convinced as to the full validity of basketball as a training exercise.


/I wonder what they're talking about.../ Kaor thought to himself as he walked by a room and saw Siana saying something to Shadow. He had caught the name 'Blade', and found it odd that they would be discussing the young hybrid. Well, not necessarily young as in he was several years younger than the others, but just that he seemed so much younger than all of them in his own way... He seemed so vulnerable really, though that was not the case, not with those steel blades; and judging from his little talk at breakfast, he was smart, and not afraid of saying what he felt. In other words, he was one of those people who fit perfectly under the category of 'Appearances are deceiving'.

Shrugging it off, Kaor continued walking through the hallways, simply wanting to find out where all the other hybrids were, and discover a little about the layout of the underground section of the dojo. Despite the tiny size of the upper part of the structure, the lower section was humungous, so much to explore. The training room had been one of the first places for everyone else to head to, and he would have gone in there, but he really did not feel like using up his energy... Training really was not one of his top concerns, for he could easily kill someone if they even just touched him.

"But Deh~vin! Basketball's fun, and good exercise." Footsteps were heard running towards the poison hybrid.

"I said no Xeth. Ask Tevix. He's from Corse too."

"I'd rather not play basketball... Not my type of sport. Besides, I have too much of an advantage. I am the ghost hybrid after all."

The three hybrids rounded the corner, and stopped in their conversation when they saw Kaor.

"Hey! I never got to thank you for saving me yesterday!" Xeth grinned, and walked up to Kaor. "You have good aim."

"Thanks," Kaor said curtly. The fire hybrid overwhelmed him, and he was not sure how to act around him.

"Yeah, well... Oh! Want to play basketball?" Xeth grinned brightly, hoping to win Kaor over with his 'endless charm'.

Kaor shook his head. "No thanks." Basketball? During the war?

Sighing, the fire hybrid snapped his fingers in disappointment. "Damn. No one wants to play with me!" He pouted slightly, looking accusingly at Devin.

Rolling his, its?, eyes, Devin gave in. "Fine, I'll play with you."


Kaor smiled slightly, almost glad for the presence of the three other hybrids. They were a bit entertaining, really. It was strange to see how all three male Corsens had bonded already. "I'll see you guys later. Have fun with your game." Leaving as they started to argue about how long the game should be, Kaor nearly bumped into Merideth, who was running down the hall with Vair close behind her.

"Hey Kaor!" The dragon hybrid chirped cheerfully, smiling warmly at him. "Want to play a card game with us? We need more players. At least three."

"Please Kaor? We're probably not going to all be together like this again, and tonight we all go our own ways," Vair added, a hopeful smile on her face. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she realised the absurdity of this action, playing a card game with her fellow killers. But then, normal soldiers did this too. While off duty, they played games to help keep their minds off the carnage.

"Aita doesn't want to play, Erian's pestering Kenji, Swift and Blade are talking somewhere, Xeth, Devin and Tevix are in the training room, there's no chance that Shadow, Siana or Indenki will play, Jorvis is talking to Erian's older brother, Hali is discussing something with Corvet, and that leaves us and you," Merideth rattled off the list in one long breath.

Wondering just how she had learnt the names of all the other hybrids so fast, Kaor dumbly nodded. He had no idea how to say no to the two girls, and he figured that agreeing was the easiest route. "I've nothing better to do."

"Great! Have you ever played 'Eeveelutionary'?" Vair asked him.


"Well, neither has Merideth. I'll just have to teach you."