Twisted Paths, Forgotten Pasts

Chapter 9

Akira sat quietly on the grass. She had absently wandered to what seemed to be the town park, and had sat down on the grass, watching some children playing. But her mind wasn't on the children. To say it bluntly, Akira was confused, astounded, puzzled, pissed and frustrated. In other words, she wasn't very happy... Everyone kept leaving her in the dark about things, and when she asked questions, sure they'd answer, but they just left her with more questions than she had started with! Like when she decided to ask Taie how this whole thing started, Taie had simply said, "Well, its really complicated... But in short, we all had an argument and things went off from there."

That had left Akira with tons more questions. Like, 'What was the argument about?' and, 'Who started it?'. Her dratini, no, according to the others, her daughter, Arika or Rika, was not helping much either. She used the same tactics as Taie to avoid directly answering questions. A conversation between them often went:

"Arika, what exactly did Taie mean when she was telling her pidgey that she can't wait till her grows up and evolves so she can see him in his 'other' form?"





/Its complicated./

End of conversation.

When she confronted Jay after breakfast, he simply told her that she needed to remember on her own, and then he left the restaurant with Jyp! Come to think of it, he had been avoiding her lately... Akira didn't think she'd done anything to offend him, or had she? Before all this happened, they had such a close friendship, almost like siblings. He had provided a home for her after...the incident, and had helped her to start her life over. Was he not the one who stayed up late at night with her, holding her tight and trying to stop her from crying? The one who watched her like a fearow until he was positive she was not debating committing suicide? The one she loved to tease and play around with? What had happened? What could have possibly brought such an abrupt halt to their close friendship? Ever day they seemed to drift further and further apart...

Or was it the kiss?

Akira remembered that clearly. How could one forget a kiss from someone like Jay? But she had put that behind her, why could he not do the same? Was he ashamed? There was nothing to be ashamed about... It was just one kiss. One, small, harmless kiss... So why was he making such a big deal out of it?

/What's bothering you, mother?/ Arika asked suddenly. She had curled up near Akira's feet, soaking in some sunrays, when she had noticed her mother seemed to be worried about something. Unfortunately, she was not psychic so she couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was that was bothering her.

"Oh, nothing..." She replied absently, making up her mind to confront Jay later on in the day. Come to think of it, speaking of unusual behaviors, Ash too was acting a little weird, but when she thought about it more, he had always acted a bit weird around her. She wondered why... Pikachu seemed fine with her, although she wasn't too sure about Sorrow. Hmm, Ash was helping out the local Pokemon Center until it was time to go. And Taie was out and about with Rosc, probably trying to revive his memory. Why couldn't she do that with me? Or maybe...she had been trying? But where was Jay? "Rika, where's Jay?"

/I don't know. I haven't seen him around since breakfast. Want to go look for them? I'm getting bored of watching the human children play.../ The dratini slithered up to her mother.

"That's exactly what I was thinking!" She picked up Rika and placed her on her shoulders. "You've been doing some growing." She remarked, noting that the dratini felt heavier on her shoulders than usual. "After some time you won't be able to ride on my shoulders anymore!"

/Don't worry, I'll have another way of getting from place to place by then I believe./ But before Akira could ask Rika what she meant by that, she immediately changed the topic to where they might find Jay.

Eventually they found him and Jyp engaged in a deep conversation in tiny restaurant. Jay was sipping a coke and Jyp was lapping water from a small bowl.

"Hi Jay!" Akira called out cheerfully, nearly skipping over to him. "We need to talk." She told him, now serious.


Jay and Jyp had been discussing where they should go next, and whether they should wait until Rosc recovered his memory, or attempt to convince him to leave the town with them. All of a sudden, much to their surprise, Akira bounded over.

"Hi Jay!" she stopped in front of their table. "We need to talk."

Jay simply froze. She was the last person he expected to just walk up to him and tell him they needed to talk. "Uhh, Akira, me and Jyp are-"

"We need to talk now."

Jyp sighed, then leaped off his seat. "I'll go off with Rika, we'll wait elsewhere."

Akira carefully wrapped the dratini on the growlithe, then waited till they were out of hearing before sitting down opposite Jay. "Why have you been avoiding me?" She asked, deciding not to beat around the bush.

"Avoiding you?" He grimaced inwardly. So she'd noticed...

"Youre not looking into my eyes like you used to. Why?" She seemed sad, hurt, rejected, and Jay so much hated to see her sad. She had been so depressed when he had first met her...

He lifted his head, green eyes meeting blue eyes briefly. "I have my reasons."

"What are they?" She seemed frustrated now. "Everyone keeps avoiding my questions! Why can't someone give me a straight answer for once?"

"Akira, I..." No, he couldn't, he just couldn't tell her. He'd have to make up something, but what?

"You what?" She demanded.

He sighed, closing his eyes for a few moments. "I can't tell you... I'm not allowed to. She'd practically kill me if I did." He looked up at the ceiling. "I'd love to tell you, but I cant. You have to understand Akira! There's just... too much at stake."

Her shoulders sagged and her eyes lost some of their sparkle for a few seconds. "But..." She stopped. "Nevermind." She got up. "I'll just... go somewhere. Everyone else has something to do, I'm just in the way." She left before Jay could say anything, finding Arika and Jyp, then taking Rika before the growlithe could ask what had happened.

"Damnit!" Jay cursed, banging the table. "Why me? Why is it always me?"

Jyp came trotting up and reclaimed his seat. "What happened?"

"She asked me why I've been avoiding her, I told her I couldn't tell her... I guess she's been asking a lot of questions, and you know I can't tell her anything! She has to find out on her own..." He sighed wearily. "If only I knew what was blocking her mind," he looked directly at the pokemon, "if only we could find that damned book!"

This was a sore point for both of them. Prophecies were going to play a big role in this, or so theyd been told... How could they go through everything if they didn't have the book? Sure Jyp had a slight amount of foresight, and could predict a little something here and there, but it wasn't enough! How could they leave something with such high stakes completely up to themselves?

"We will find the book, eventually." The growlithe simply stated. "Maybe we could ask Kevin to do some research for us?"

"The pokemon professor? Hmm, yes, he is in on this after all... But I thought you predicted that we wouldn't be needing him until later on?"

"Well," the growlithe shifted uncomfortably in his chair, "I've always believed that he might know where the book is... He seems to know a lot about what's going on."

"Why didn't you tell me?!"

The fire pokemon shrugged. "No real reason... But in truth, the idea never popped into my mind when I was around you. As if someone's been tampering with me, but who could do that? I have a strong mental shield."

"That's true."

"Anyway, right now, you better go make up with Kira. The last thing our group needs is for two of our members to be fighting, and I know Kira holds grudges! Especially from what Taie told me..." Jyp grinned, his brown eyes bright. "Go on! Scat! I'll go... meditate or something!"

"Fine, but remember not to talk to strangers!"

In response, Jyp stuck his tongue out at Jay and crossed his eyes.

"Jerk." Jay muttered as he got up.

"Birdbrain." The pokemon retorted.

Jay smiled at his partner before leaving. Their relationship was the kind where you could insult the other, even injure him badly, but not mean any harm. Insulting was to them like calling your friend by a nickname was to others. Sometimes they did have some true bitterness behind their apparent playful teasing, but it do no harm. In fact, it kept them from leaping at each others throats and mauling each other.


Ash was having a great time at the pokemon center. Sure he loved Pikachu, and the newly acquired Shadow, and the other pokemon he was traveling with, Jyp, Rika, and Tilae were joys to be with, but he missed normal pokemon; pokemon that didn't necessarily understand every word you said, or have the ability to talk back.

During his break, he decided to ask Nurse Joy something that had been nagging him. "Do you have a Pokemon PC by any chance?"

She seemed surprised by the question. "As a matter of fact, yes! Why?"

Ash brightened up. "I'd like to transfer some of my Pokemon to here. Does it work long distance?"

She nodded.

"Great! Can I... get them now? Or maybe it would be best to wait till after I'm done for the day?" He paused to think about it. "I guess I'll wait. But thank you anyway!" And he returned to his 'work'. He wondered why there were so many injured pokemon in that town... It was probably training season there or something.

At twelve noon, when his volunteer duties were over, he immediately sought out the PC and dialed in the number of the PC where his pokemon were. He couldn't wait to see them! Blastoise, Venusaur, Pidgeot, Lapras, even Charizard! A little light flashed and he placed five pokeballs in the slots provided. Finally, after five minutes of waiting, the words 'Transfer Complete' flashed on the computer screen, and Ash happily scooped up the pokeballs, hugging them to his chest. "Bye!" He called out to the Nurse Joy, running outside so he could release his pokemon.

"Lapras, Pidgeot, Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, I choose you!" He yelled as he threw the pokeballs.

The five pokemon appeared, then as soon as they saw Ash, immediately rushed at him to greet him. Pidgeot teasingly pulled his hair, Blastoise hugged one leg, Venusaur rubbed the other, Lapras simply nudged its head under one hand, and Charizard hugged Ash, squeezing the air out of him.

"Hey, guys! It hasn't been *that* long! It's only been..." He thought carefully. He'd been on the road for about ten, eleven days with his new traveling group, and he'd seen them six days before he'd made it to Reva. "It's only been a little over two weeks!"

"Char, charizard!" The charizard said, hugging Ash again. It had taken some time before the two of them had gotten along, but once they started to respect each other a little more, they became great friends.

"I missed you too Charizard." He looked around. "Where's Pikachu?"

"Pika!" The electric pokemon exclaimed. He'd jumped off Ash's shoulder and was introducing Sorrow to the others.

"Oh yeah! Guys, meet Sorrow. She's our newest addition."

"Pika-pi, kachu pika pikachu kapi?"

"Oh yeah..." That was going to be a problem. He was only supposed to have six pokemon with him at a time, but now he had seven... "Oh well, let's just say Sorrow doesn't count, okay? Its not like I've caught her anyway."


"Good, now that's settled." He patted the other five on their heads. "Well, I have to ask you guys to return to your pokeballs..." He picked up their balls and recalled them. "Pikachu, Sorrow, its almost time for us to leave this town. Let's go look for the others."


Akira lay on the bed in her hotel room. Why did she always have to get mad at Jay? Damnit! She punched her pillow. But she had to admit, she really wasn't likening how things were going... It wasn't like she didn't believe everything, she did. It was just... She felt useless! Why the hell couldn't she remember? What was wrong with her?

A knock on the door.

"Who is it?" She called out.

"It's Jay."

Jay... She rubbed her eyes, trying to clear the tears from them. "Go away!"

"Akiiira! Let me in!"

"No!" She yelled defiantly.

Outside the door, Jay rolled his eyes. Temper tantrum... You'd think she'd have grown out of those by now... "I'll break the door down!"

"You wouldn't dare!"


Actually, she wasn't, but she didn't want him coming in no matter what. She didn't feel like talking to him, and she didn't want him seeing her like this, not that he hadn't countless times before...

However, Rika had other ideas, and she slid the room key under the door. Jay opened it quietly and snuck in. Poor Akira, she had been through so much... Why did he have to go and fall in love with her? "Akira?"

She turned, and looked at him darkly when s he realized he had gotten in. "How did you...?"

He looked at Rika.

"Traitor!" She buried her head in her pillow. "Go away Jay! I don't want to talk to you right now..."

He sat down on the bed. "Whats wrong?"


"Everything? How could everything be wrong?"

She sat up and glared at him. "Just. Go. Away."

"No. I'm staying right here."

She opened her mouth as if to say something then closed it, trying to think of something to snap back at him. "Fine, if you won't go, then I will!" And she got up, and was about to leave when Jay swiftly got up after her and managed to restrain her, holding her arms tightly behind her back. "Let me go or I'll scream!"

"Oh really?" He replied in a cold whisper that froze Akira, just the effect he'd hoped that retort would have on her.

She looked over her shoulder so she met his eyes, and as he loosened his grip on her, she threw her arms around his waist and started crying freely. "I'm...sorry..." She said between sobs.

"Hey, no need to apologize." He picked her up and sat on the bed, seating her on his lap; she was small enough after all. "Kira, stop being so hard on yourself... Its not really your fault that you can't remember."

"Then who's fault is it?" She retorted, wiping her eyes dry.

"It's no one's fault."

"How can it be no one's fault?"

He sighed. "Stop acting like a little girl Kira, you're twenty-one."

"So? You're twenty-seven or so, and who's the one who put the fake spider in my cereal?"

"Who's the one who hid and tackled me when I entered your house?"

She smiled ever so slightly. "Who's the one who wears boxers with cute little growlithe puppies on them?"

"Who's then one who... Hey! How'd you know that?"

She giggled, resting her head on his chest again. "I was looking through your stuff..."

"Little vulpix!" He grinned mischievously. "Why for that..." he gave her a mock angry look. "I should..."

"You should what?" She asked warily.

"Tickle you!" And he tickled her sides unmercifully.

"Hey, no fair!" She cried out as she laughed. "Jay, stop!" Giggling, she wriggled out from his arms and fell off his lap on onto the floor. "Ow." She got up, then tackled him, knocking him onto his back on the bed, and retaliated, ticking him back.

Rika watched all this happily. It was good to see her mother cheering up again. She only wished she could assist her mother in regaining her memory, but there was nothing she could do about that.


Taie was amazed at how fast Rosc seemed to be regaining his memory. Every now and the, she'd notice that he'd seemed to freeze, and blank out. When he came to, he would look around, seemingly confused, then shake his head. This had happened several times while she had been around. Finally, during lunch, he turned to her curiously.

"Just who, or what, are you?"

"What your memory says I am." She replied, taking a sip from her drink.

"So that makes me-"

"The Father of all Rock types." She nodded. "That's why you have such an affinity for rock pokemon." She looked at his plate. "Aren't you going to eat?"

"I'm not hungry..."

"Oh come on, a guy your size needs to eat." She smiled sweetly. "You're not taking this very well are you? I've known for most of my life, and it doesn't take much to convince a four year old... But you are... How old are you?"


"Hmm, that would be a problem, but let me assure you that it's true. I'm no psychic or anything, and I don't know anyone powerful enough to plant memories in your head, except maybe Ivan and Ivena... But planting a whole several decades of memory in someone's head would put them in a coma for a long time..."

Rosc wasn't really listening though. His mind was doing an 'instant replay' of his life, something similar to what Ash had gone through, but more personal than that.

Taie realized what was going on and stopped talking, waiting for it to be over. She didn't really remember what it was like to remember, as she'd been little when it happened to her, but she did know that it would be a very 'different' experience for someone who had already established a new life.


She stopped her train of thoughts. "Yes?"

"I'm coming with you guys. I'll get someone else to take over my job for me." He looked out of the window in the small restaurant wistfully. "I'm gonna miss this town though..."

"We can stay another day if you want."

"No, its okay. I'll just go get my Onix."

"Onix?" Taie's eyes opened wide. "As in... several feet long rock pokemon?"

He nodded.

"You'll... keep him in a pokeball...right?"

"Her actually."


He nodded. "Roan's really sweet once you get used to her actually..."

"I've heard many gyrados trainers say the same thing."

He grinned. "I get your point. Roan will stay in her pokeball."

"I knew you'd see it my way. Now," she got up, taking one last sip from her drink, "we should get moving. You need to pack a few things, and then we need to find the others."


After aimlessly chasing a wild meowth for a few blocks, Jyp decided it was time to search for his partner. For all he knew, Akira hadn't forgiven Jay and was currently attempting to murder him. Hey, it could happen...

He strolled down the streets, taking his time to observe the small town, which really needed paved sidewalks, or something easier on his paws than loose dusty dirt that made him sneeze.

It was as he neared the hotel though, that a sudden thought invaded his head:

Protect your mind, Child of Joy. Guard your thoughts with care, Make sure you mind is safe. The location of the book that you seek Is concealed within. Beware, danger lurks nearby.

Jyp stopped walking, freezing where he stood. What the hell did that mean? He tried to review the words, tried to translate it to english fast, but for some reason he couldn't think clearly. Every time he tried to go over the prophecy, his mind quickly jumped to something else. Was someone tampering with his mind as he had suggested earlier on? But... that was impossible! He had a strong natural shield! This was something he definitely needed to check with Jay.

Jyp ran as fast as his short furry legs could carry him, speeding into the hotel, hoping Jay was there. As he entered the hotel lobby, his vision became blurred, and he started to see things in doubles. The color vision of humans he was gifted with seemed to slowly fade to the nearly black and white way of seeing things normal growlithe had. /What the fuck is going on?/ Jyp wondered, panicking, and trying to run to the hotel room where he and Jay had slept the night before, which was just down the hall. It seemed to take more concentration than should have been needed to just put one paw down in front of the other. His clear vision, which he had just regained, began to slip away again. /What's happening to me?/ He asked himself in his mind, tripping on a rug and falling, unable to get up. He needed to get to Jay! He needed to warn Jay!

Using up his last ounce of energy, Jyp closed his eyes and projected one last weary thought to Jay. /Jay, the book... in Reva Get it. Forget... about me. My... my job is completed. It is...up to Goodbye my dear friend.../ Jyp's mind went blank, his head completely empty of thoughts, feelings, memories. He was now in a state that hovered dangerously between a coma and death, almost as if his soul had gone elsewhere, leaving an empty shell behind.


"Is he dead?"

"He's as good as dead. To revive him would mean someone else would have to give up their life, or trade places with him."

"Good. That means we've removed one thorn from their bush. A few more, and they'll be completely defenseless, leaving her free for us to take. Calisin would be pleased."

"Not if anything happens to her though; we must be careful. You know how much he loves her, and despite the changes his soul is going through, his love for her can never be erased."

She smirked, putting one hand on her husband's cheek. "Yes, I know. Much like our love for each other." She checked the growlithe, using her crystal to be able to view him without physically being there. "Should we leave him there, or teleport him to us where we can keep him guarded?"

"Let's leave him." He kissed his wife softly on the lips. "That took too much energy... His mental shield was very strong, hard to penetrate."


"His shield no longer exists. Even if his soul somehow returns to his body, he will be vulnerable." He sighed, stretching. "I need to sleep. We can plan our next move later. They will be too busy mourning the growlithe to make any real decisions for some time, but monitor them anyway."

"Fine with me. I have nothing else to do," she replied with a shrug, holding her crystal in her palm again. /Things are going well, I can only pray that they continue this way./


"JYP!" His creator cried out in anguish, pounding the floor in anguish. She was in her little safe haven between worlds, a place that did not really exist, but in its own way did exist, mostly in her mind. It was a place she went for peace, to rest. Now, it was a place for grieving. "Jyp, my little furry child... Why you? Why?" Tears flowed from her sky-blue eyes, down her pale skin. "I created you on my own, I raised you on my love, I watched your antics, laughed at your jokes." She tore a flower from her garden. "But when you need me the most, where am I? Where!?" She ripped out three more flowers. "Ionly there was something I could do... But to rescue you would mean to kill another of the same strength as you, and I cant do that..."

She slipped into the hotel, teleporting herself in unnoticed, and picked up the growlithe. "I shall keep you with me... I shall keep your body alive until I find some way to resurrect you!" She quickly winked out, as she could only stay invisible for brief moments.

"But how am I supposed to tell your brother ? Jay will be devastated... He loves you so much. He probably loves you even more than I ever could. You're the only true friend he's had all his life." Her tears fell on to the alive, yet dead growlithe she held, making his fur wet and salty. "Damnit! And after I've gone and forbidden him to love Akira... But I had to, didn't I? I know I had to, but now, he has no one to love! Akira's heart belongs to another, even though she does not know it yet, and he doesn't have Jyp anymore! Why wasn't I there for Jyp? Why? Why was I too late?" She wiped her eyes. "Listen to me... Just listen to me! Going on and on like the child I'm not!" She stood up, brushing the dirt off her dress.

"Then why do I like this form so much?" She asked herself. "Why do I like the form of a child so much? For my sister, that is her natural form... Her body just never grew. But for me, it's been voluntary. Why?" She laughed, but it was an empty, hollow laugh. "I seem to like saying 'Why?' today..." Then, she started crying again, still clutching the growlithe in her arms. "I just wanted this to be over! I just want my children to have happy lives! For the children of my siblings to be happy! I don't want anyone to die..."

Suddenly, a pale light filled her private area, and her brother suddenly appeared before her. "Stop this!" He commanded sharply.

"Br... brother?"

"Yes, it's me." He crouched down besides her, smoothing back her wild blonde hair. "Why are you doing this to yourself? You will only bring about the destruction of your children if you continue like this. You know that your emotions are felt by them, even though they do not know it, and such a strong release of conflicting thoughts and feelings is not healthy. For them, and for you."

"How did you find me?"

"It was easy. You are not hard to track sister. You've never been good at being secretive."

"Unlike you. I haven't seen you for...for centuries! Not since... that day. Have you been around all this time? I thought you were not going to get involved?"

"I'm not involved, not directly anyway. And yes, I've been around." He got up. "I must leave, I have other things to attend to." And before his sister could say anything, he was gone.

"Younger brothers..." She muttered, standing up. "As much as I have loved, and do love Jyp, I cannot let my sorrow for his 'death' to interfere with this..." She spoke with the fierce determination of someone saying something not to convince another person, but herself, and she kissed Jyp's furry forehead. "You never had the chance to evolve, or to open your heart to someone other than Jay..." She set him down for a brief moment. "I shall revert to my real self."

A cool blue glow surrounded her. Starting from her feet, it swirled around her, and when it finally faded, the real her was revealed. She was, or at least, she appeared to be, a young woman in her early or mid-twenties. Her wavy blonde hair tumbled halfway down her back, and flowers were entwined within her golden locks. Her blue eyes were no longer the wide, innocent eyes of a little child, but the wise eyes of an adult. She was quite tall, and had a mature, feminine body, clad in a white gown that seemed to flow off her, and moved as one with her. Around her forehead was a silver and gold circlet with a crystal flower in the middle. "Transformation complete." she spoke softly, her cherry lips widening into a smile of surprise at hearing her new voice. So musical, more serious than usual, yet still full of joy.

She bent down and picked up Jyp delicately with her careful hands, deciding never to let him out of her sight, and to put him down for only brief moments. Then, taking a deep breath, she walked over to the pond that was in the middle of her garden, and looked at her reflection. "I'm...beautiful..." She touched her hair in awe. "But, my sisters were always the prettier ones." Of her vast family, of which only she, one sister and her brother remained, she had always thought of herself as the ugly ducking off the family, hiding behind her cheerful nature. But now, as an adult, she still was not as beautiful as they were, but beautiful nonetheless.

She was about to sit down when she remembered she was wearing white... The floor was not a place you sat when you were wearing white. Sighing, she sought out the bench she had placed in her garden and sat there, with Jyp in her lap. "I must keep an eye on my children all the time then, but how? I cannot 'view' them all the time, that takes too much energy. Unless..." she smiled to herself, kissing Jyp again. "Jyp my dear, I believe I've solved something for once!"


/Jay, the book... in Reva Get it. Forget... about me. My... my job is completed. It is...up to Goodbye my dear friend.../

Initially Jay was surprised that Jyp was using their mental link to speak to him, but mere split-seconds after that, what his best friend had just told him hit him like a ton of snorlax, and he realized he could no longer feel his best friend's presence, as he always had ever since he had been created. It was as if... as if he had suddenly gone blind, or lost his hearing. "JYP!" He yelled, dropping the bottle of change he had been holding. It fell to the floor with a crash, coins and fragments of glass flying everywhere, shattering in the same way Jay's heart was. But Jay didn't care about the bottle, his best friend was dead! "This can't be..." He whispered to himself, running out of the hotel room to find Jyp. He had to be close, Jyp couldn't project over long distances. He nearly bumped into Akira, who had heard the crash and had stepped out of her room to find out what had happened.

He ignored her, and just kept running. No, the growlithe wasn't in the hotel, but he could have sworn he was... Jay sat down on the nearest chair. This couldn't be... Jyp just couldn't be dead! He couldn't! /Damnit, now I'm crying... I...I don't want anyone to see me like this... But... Damn! Why Jyp? Why not me?/ He blinked several times, trying to clear his eyes of the tears that were slowly running down his cheeks. /Jyp... I never got to seriously tell you how much you mean to me... You're like my brother./ Jay suddenly felt and arm slip around his shoulders, and surprised, he turned to see Akira sitting on the edge of the chair.

"What's wrong?" She asked, using a handkerchief to wipe the tears away. "Usually you're the one comforting me." She added teasingly with a little smile, hoping it wasn't anything too serious that had happened. Yet she knew it was. Jay wouldnt cry for no reason...

"Jyp's dead... I, I can't feel his presence anymore... He, he told me where the book is; it's in Reva. But, he told me that... I should forget about him, that his job's completed. And then he said 'Goodbye my dear friend'. He sounded like he was dying, and Jyp wouldn't say something like that unless he knew he had very little time left to live!"

This completely shocked Akira. Jyp...dead? She hadn't known him for very long, and originally she'd thought he was just any old growlithe, but in the days that she'd gotten to know him, she'd found him charming, and funny. Kinda like a furry Jay. And now he was dead? She knew how much he meant to Jay, they were almost never separated... Almost as if they were brothers, twins even! Tears started to journey down her cheeks too, and even Rika, who was on Kira's shoulders as usual, hummed a traditional dratini death keen. "Jay, I can't... can't tell you how sorry I am. But, are you sure he's-"

"Yes I'm sure!" Jay snapped, but when he saw Akira's hurt expression, he regretted that outburst. "I'm sorry, but..."

"I understand..."

At that moment, Ash entered the hotel. At first, he was happy to have found Akira and Jay, but when he realized that Jay was crying, and so was Akira, he immediately sobered. "What happened?" He asked, but he already had a good guess. The growlithe... It wasn't there, and it was always with Jay.

"Jyp...He's dead..." Akira said quietly, her voice barely above a whisper.

"Jyp's dead? But... how? Where?"

"We don't know... All we know is he's dead... Jay can no longer sense him, and the two have been connected ever since Jay was 'born'."

"What if he was in a coma?"

"I would still be able to sense him." Jay said, his voice lost. Akira had never seen Jay so sad and quiet before. It was almost... creepy.

At that very moment, Taie and Rosc entered. Ash rushed up to them, and gave them the news. Rosc didn't know what to do, as he'd never met the growlithe before, and had only just met Jay, but Taie ran up to Jay, her eyes threatening to cry, and she hugged him tightly for a moment. "Poor Jay..." She whispered to herself. "I know what it's like." And she meant it. It had happened to her. To have a friend or loved one die is horrible, but when you are linked mentally to the one that dies, the loss is doubled, and it's like losing a huge chunk of yourself. She fumbled through her purse, and finally withdrew a bottle of pills. She unscrewed it, and took one pill, handing it to Jay. "Take this."

He looked at the pill curiously. "What is it?"

"Some sort of sedative. I take two usually, and you're much bigger than me so it won't kill you, don't worry about that. But one will do for now."

"Swallow or chew?"

"Swallow." She looked around, finding a soda machine and getting him a coke. "Here."

He opened it, then swallowed the pill. "I don't feel any different..."

"Wait for it to kick in."

Sorrow dashed from behind Ash and hopped onto Jay's lap, her lightning shaped charm glowing beneath her fur. She stood in his lap, her front paws keeping her balanced by firmly placing themselves on his chest, and she touched her wet black nose to his nose, making a sound that seemed like a cross between a purr and a hum. Jay looked at her, completely taken aback by her sudden display of affection. He thought she hated him... He hesitatingly put one hand gently on her head, stroking her spiky fur as she continued to hum. After some time, his eyes started to droop, and he fell asleep.

"Strange, just one pill shouldn't have knocked someone his size out so quickly..." Taie remarked, looking at the bottle with a suspicious expression on her face. "Maybe Sorrow had something to do with this." She stroked Jay's cheek in a motherly sort of way. "Poor Jay... It's for the best anyway. At least he can forget for a while..."

"But what about the rest of us?" Akira asked, wiping her own eyes with her handkerchief now. "Too many have died already... First my family and friends, and now Jyp!" She swallowed hard, trying to keep the tears back. "How will we ever get through this thing now that Jyp's gone? He seemed to be the one who knew where everything was! And Jay's not going to be much help if we have to keep him drugged... They're the guides, aren't they? How can we make it without the guides?"

"Akira! Stop being so pessimistic!" Taie said sharply.

The Mother of All Dragons, socked by Taies little remonstration, shut up and bit her lip.

"I may not be the smartest, but Akira's kinda right." Rosc said. I may have only just regained my memory, but it is to my knowledge that the Guides play a big role in getting us where we need to be."

"We'll find a way!" Taie said indignantly, stamping her right foot. "We have to find a way!"

"Maybe we can be of some help?" A voice like a bell asked.

They all turned and saw a young woman dressed in a pair of jean shorts and a white T-shirt. Her blonde hair was tied into a high ponytail, and her sky blue eyes were, for lack of a better word, wise. Right by her side was a young girl of about six, with the same features as the older girl, except her blonde hair was loose, and had flowers in it, and she was even dressed in flowers. But the most astonishing thing about her, other than the fact that she seemed to glow, was that she was holding a growlithe, a very familiar looking growlithe.

"Is that...Jyp?" Akira asked hopefully.

The girl nodded. "Yes, this is Jyp."

"Is he...dead?" Taie tried not to get her hopes up, but it was hard.

"Yes, and no. His body is alive, but it might as well be dead. His soul seems to have retreated somewhere far beyond my reach... He can be saved, but to save him means someone else will have to die. Do not tell Jay this, as he will plead with me to let him die to save Jyp. I cannot let him do that, no matter how much I love Jay." She hugged the growlithe's body tighter. "And I will not allow any of you to give yourselves up for him. I shall find some way other than sacrifice that can save him, but for now, you will have to do without him." She sighed, then turned to look at the 'older' girl. "This is," her first choice for a name would have been Joy, but no... she needed a different name, one less conspicuous, "Sajoya." Sajoya would have to do; it was all she could think of in such short notice. "She will be traveling with you for some time. Please tell Jay there is hope for Jyp when he wakes up." With a flash of light blue light, the girl disappeared with the growlithe.

Akira looked suspiciously at Sajoya. The woman looked familiar for some reason, but she couldn't figure out why.... "Hi, I'm-"

"Akira. And that's Taie, that's Ash, that's Rosc, that's Sorrow, that Pikachu, that's Arika, and the one in the chair is Jay."

"How'd you know?"

"I was briefed on you guys." The young blonde woman put one hand on Jay's forehead. "He'll be out for the rest of the day, so I believe we're stuck in this town till tomorrow." She looked at Rosc. "Could you please carry him to his room? It's not far from here. Right down the hallway I believe."

He nodded, and picked up the older man, following Sajoya to Jay's room. Strangely enough, Sorrow followed.

"I guess this leaves us to roam around again..." Taie said with a sigh, sitting down in the chair that Jay had occupied previously. "I don't feel like going anywhere though." Akira said, sitting down in another chair. "I mean, after what's just happened... Kinda makes you feel vulnerable, doesn't it?"

Taie nodded. "Our little dream world bubble's been busted. You never know whose turn it'll be next, who'll be the next victim..."

"And poor Jyp, and Jay too... Both of them were always so full of life! Now Jyp's in some strange coma, and Jay is in a state of absolute mourning."

"If I may interrupt your gloomy conversation?" Ash spoke up.

"Yes Ash?" Taie said.

"Well, seeing as we have nothing better to do, why don't we go watch some movies? I know it doesn't seem right, to indulge ourselves while Jyp is... practically dead... and Jay is in very bad shape, but there's nothing we can do. And from the looks on your faces, you need some cheering up. As isolated as this town is, there has to be a movie theatre, or at least a video rental store. Rosc can show it to us when he gets back."

"Kachu." The pikachu agreed from Ash's shoulder. He too was saddened by the growlithe's state, but Ash was right. There was nothing they could do about it...

/Mother, he is right. I am very sad too, but sadness is not good. We must hope, not pity./ Rika rubbed her smooth head against her mother's cheek.

"I understand, Rika..." She got up. "I guess we should go then!"

Taie too got up. "But please, I really don't want to see any movies about some little whiny kid getting a pokemon and training it. I have seen enough to last a lifetime!"


/So dark. So cold. So empty.

I'm lonely... I'm scared... Jay, where are you? No... I told you to forget about me, so why should I be expecting you to save me? But I can hope, can't I? You never listened to me anyway. My only friend... Jay, I wish I could have told you how much you mean to me.

So dark. So cold. So empty.

I don't know how long I can stand this endless dark. I'm freezing, I'm lonely... I'm afraid of the dark... But is that a crime? There are many that are scared of the dark. I wish I could use ember to make a light, but without my body, how can I?

So dark. So cold. So empty.

Damn, why hadn't I been more cautious! The prophecy had warned me that danger lurked nearby... But I was foolish. Now, here I am. Or not? Do I even exist anymore? I can't feel anything except cold, I can't see anything except black. I have only my memories and myself for company.

So dark. So cold. So empty.

Jay, Jay, Jay... I hope you're all right. Don't destroy yourself over the loss of me. You have a duty. You have to fulfill it! I've fulfilled mine, now it's your turn. I'd do almost anything to see you again, for just one second, to have you pick me up and hug me one last time. To be whole just once more. To have a body...

So dark. So cold. So empty.

Is this what death is like? A cold, black nothingness? What happened to heaven? I would even welcome hell, if only to be able to see again, to have some company. Now I know why locking people in a dark pit is such a horrible torture. You feel so lonely, and it's so dark... At least they could commit suicide, I'm incapable of doing that. For all I know I'm dead already.

So dark. So cold. So empty.

I must not let myself go mad. I cant! Ill survive! If only for Jay and my creator... They will be hit the hardest by my death. It's hard not to go mad though... I can't tell how long I've been here. It's probably only been mere minutes.

So dark. So cold. So empty.

I wonder if I can even sleep here... Who knows? To stay aware for Lord knows how long I must stay here would be near impossible. I need to keep myself occupied. I'll go through my life, slowly. I'll replay everything I remember, and then I'll do it again, anything.

So dark. So cold. So empty.

I don't think I'm going to last very long.../


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