Pokémon PI (Part 5 of 5)

This is a fanfiction. Pokémon is the intellectual property of Gamefreak. I am simply writing an original story in their world.

This fanfiction is rated PG-13 for mild language, frightening imagery, and scenes of violence.

I’m out the door and halfway down the street before Lee catches up to me.

“Milli,” he says before sucking in a huge breath. He’d sprinted to catch me and now can barely speak. “What is going on? What were you and Branwen talking about in there?”

I don’t have time to explain, and I keep moving. Lee tries desperately to follow me, so I talk as we move.

“Lee, this whole thing was a plan masterminded by the Pokémon Mewtwo. He’s been sealed in the cave in the Pokémon Village and wanted to be freed. So he used his mental influence to manipulate three people in the town into performing the freeing ritual. Three people to write out the words, two to speak it aloud, and one to make the ultimate blood sacrifice. Branwen, Narcissa, and the psychic have all written the ritual, the girls have spoken it, and the psychic slit his throat the day I found him. The ritual is done and Mewtwo is coming to do who-knows-what to this city.”

Lee is flabbergasted by the idea. “Milli, Mewtwo is just some crazy legend. You can’t actually think that some crazy powerful psychic Pokémon is getting ready to march over here and what? Tear the city from its foundation? That’s apocalyptic nonsense and you know it.”

I stop and turn to face him. “You don’t have to come with me, Lee. I’m still not one hundred percent sure I believe what’s happening. But there’s no harm in treating it like it’s true, where if I ignore it and Mewtwo really is coming – there’s no telling what will happen. Someone has to stop it, and I’m better equipped than most to face a psychic. So go back to Cora’s, keep sweet-talking her and see where it gets you, I don’t care. I’m going to try and stop this.”

When I walk away, Lee doesn’t follow me.

I make it to the Winding Woods and let out a sigh. I’d forgotten I’d have to travel through them again. Ebony stops too and she growls under her breath towards the trees. She doesn’t have happy memories towards this place either. We head inside, both treading carefully in case there’s trouble waiting.

What we find instead makes the hairs of my neck stand on end.

The path through the Winding Woods is perfectly straight. There’s a long, clear trail ringed on both sides by columns of towering trees. No twists, no turns, no underbrush, just a straight path towards the Pokémon Village. On each side of the path stands a series of Pokémon. I recognize noctowl, gothorita, amoongus, trevenant – all obediently standing in a line. Waiting for me.

They all turn to face me simultaneously as I step onto their trail. Ebony steps in front of me defensively and the lights on her body flare up brightly. But none of the Pokémon approach or make any aggressive movements. Instead, they gesture down the trail. Wings, arms, horns, talons, all move together in one smooth motion to point to the end of the trail. Commanding me to proceed. I look at the number of Pokémon again and shudder. To control so many at once with such precision and ease – Mewtwo‘s power has not been exaggerated.

I wonder how I could possibly defeat such a powerful monster.

“Let’s go, Ebony,” I say, trying to disguise the tremor in my voice.

We move through the crowd of Pokémon, still uneasy about their closeness and number. But they make no moves, simply waiting as we walk by and holding their various appendages high, always pointing to the end of the trail. It takes only moments to walk to the Pokémon Village, the obstacle that was once the Winding Woods now completely eliminated.

In the Village there are more creatures standing in a ring. Pokémon of all shapes and sizes, some so massive and strong they could crush me with a sweep of their arm, others so small and frail that I could step on them by accident and end their lives. Tall, small, powerful, weak, all are obedient and silent as I enter the Village. They’re awaiting orders from their master, simply watching. Their arrangement makes a direct path to the cave, and that’s where I go.

He’s standing at the cave entrance, and his visage horrifies me.

The psychic Pokémon towers over me, easily six and a half feet tall. His skin is leathery and alien, pale white like bone. His fingers and toes are bulbous and grasping, three fingers to a hand and three toes to a foot. A curved stem vaguely reminiscent of a brain stem connects his back to the back of his head. He has a long, sinuous tail that is totally motionless behind him. The thing looks like it could easily snap me in half. His chest is like a plate of bone. I look at his face and through my blackglasses I see the violet eyes. Intelligent. Powerful. Terrifying.

I feel the familiar sensation of itching on the back of my scalp. Something like a chuckle rumbles forward from Mewtwo.

Suddenly, the glasses on my face snap in half. They fall to the ground shattered, and I see Mewtwo‘s eyes clearly.

His thoughts are in my head. A hundred different thoughts all at once, and I can hear every single one. A certain pattern resonates within me, a series of staggered and broken words that I realize are meant specifically for me. They come slowly because all between them are his other thoughts, thoughts about the town, thoughts about his history, thoughts about things happening one thousand miles from here, all in one endless stream that I can only interpret because he has singled out a path for me to follow.

The-detective-has-arrived-at-last-Clever-trick-but-I-am-not-so-easily-fooled-My-power-is-beyond-any-you-would-expect-Now-let-us-see-who-we-are-dealing-with-here

His voice keeps rambling in my head, a stream of consciousness that overwhelms my mind with its power and scope. Meanwhile, he’s analyzing me, reading all of my thoughts and memories. Barriers I’ve spent years putting up are torn down with ease. He strips my history bare and lays it down before me like a specimen on a lab table, dissecting each and every piece to see what’s inside.

I’m vaguely aware of Ebony leaping forward to try and stop Mewtwo‘s probing, but she is effortlessly thrown to the side. He didn’t even turn to look at her.

Everything Mewtwo looks at, I remember. My whole life flashes before my eyes, not just my mind but my body remembering every single sensation. Every scrape, every bruise, every touch of my mother’s hands, every passionate kiss from every fleeting lover – good, bad, pleasure, pain, all of them hit me all at once and I experience my entire life again in one instant.

Mewtwo has chosen one memory in particular to focus on, to examine in painfully close detail, and it unfolds before me, eclipsing my vision so that I know nothing except for this memory.

I am a little girl again. My mother has given me a doll, a little girl in a pink dress with bows along the front. I love the doll, and I play with it always. But time goes on. I grow older, I love the doll less, and one day a very young Ebony gets hold of it. She tears it, pulls the plush flesh apart and sends stuffing every which way. I throw the doll away.

The doll remembers.

Hatred burns inside of it, and slowly that hatred forms into a malevolent spirit. A banette, the grudge of a beloved childhood thing taken physical form. It comes for me in the night when I’m sleeping. Pushing pins into its own flesh so that my flesh is pierced and bleeding. My parents don’t know what’s happening. Mother and father both do research, desperately trying to find the truth of this terrible affliction. Meanwhile, I see banette in my nightmares, sneaking through the shadows, sewing my mouth shut so I can’t scream when it drags me to Hell.

My mother realizes what’s happening. She comes into my room one night while banette is there. I wake up as they struggle. The Pokémon burns her flesh, punches her, claws at her, and she desperately reaches for the zipper that holds banette‘s mouth closed and keeps the malevolent spirit inside. She finally grabs hold and pulls, unzipping that evil mouth and letting shadowy energy pour out from within the raggedy doll. The shadow pours into my mother, and its final act of vengeance against me is to tear her heart from her chest.

I hear Mewtwo again.

And-so-you-grew-up-motherless-and-fatherless-too-His-heart-broken-he-blamed-you-and-you-raised-yourself-on-the-streets-of-a-city-too-dark-for-such-a-tiny-girl-How-interesting-Humans-are-so-petty

All I want is for the voice to stop. The interrogation to end. I beg him to take my life, to free me from his thoughts so I can rest in peace.

“Kill me!” I scream, screaming so loud my voice is raw. “Kill me!”

I realize I’ve been screaming this for several minutes.

I-shall-take-your-life-yes-but-you-will-not-be-free-All-minds-are-connected-and-I-know-them-all-Those-that-have-passed-are-as-present-to-me-as-those-which-are-here-Come-let-me-merge-your-consciousness-with-the-maelstrom-of-psychic-thought-whirling-through-the-cosmos

His tail has wrapped around my next, and I feel its muscles flex and lift me into the air. Like a noose around my neck, his tail begins to strangle me, just one more sensation in the endless barrage of muscle memory that his mind is forcing me to experience. I welcome death. My mind may be with Mewtwo forever, but at least this pain will end.

And suddenly, it does.

I’m lying on the ground gasping for air. My head is clearing and the world in front of me is coming back into focus. I see green grass before my eyes, feel it between my fingers. It’s hard to breathe, and my raw throat aches with every desperate inhale. I manage to look up, craning to see what happened.

Slim is here, his massive furry body bearing down on Mewtwo as he throws punches left and right. The psychic Pokémon is very momentarily caught off guard by the sucker punch. But within moments he is blocking each one of the pangoro‘s blows, the bear Pokémon’s fists stopping as if he wear punching sheet metal. Mewtwo thrusts a hand forward and unleashes a physical manifestation of his psychic might, blowing Slim backwards effortlessly.

Lee is helping me to my feet, and I realize that he’s talking.

“-have to get back to the town, we’ve got a plan, come on, Milli, we have to keep moving-”

No-plan-can-help-against-me

I stand up with Lee, my limbs shaky and weak from my near-death experience. Suddenly, Mewtwo is before us, standing between us and escape. He raises a hand and levels it at us, powerful energy concentrating within it to form a crackling sphere of power. Just as it begins to leave his hand, Ebony jumps in between us.

Her body is thrown into Lee and me, the three of us collapsing on the ground. I look at Ebony’s side to see that the wound is terrible. A huge gash has been blown in her flesh, bleeding profusely. Her breath is heavy and labored, and now Mewtwo is bearing down on us again.

Slim jumps in, wounded but still ready to fight. The psychic Pokémon is ready for him, stopping his punch with a psychic barrier before retaliating with a sphere of power that blows a gaping wound into Slim’s gut. I look down at Ebony to see her identical wound. The skin around it is glistening, and I smile as it begins to close up and mend.

Above us, the moon shines brightly in the night sky. Moonlight gives Ebony power, the kind of power she’ll need to take on Mewtwo.

“Call Slim back,” I tell Lee. “Ebony can hold him off.”

Lee orders Slim to run, the bear Pokémon nodding and limping away as best as he can. Ebony leaps out of my lap and delivers a powerful smack across Mewtwo‘s face. The psychic menace levies his power against Ebony, but she’s darting about with her bioluminescent lights flashing, leaving patterns in the air and concealing her location. Mewtwo is flinging blasts left and right, Ebony jumping in occasionally to attack him from behind. Her blows are doing little, and Mewtwo has regenerative abilities just like umbreon. The main difference is that his will not fade with the daylight – this battle of attrition is on a timer, and not in Ebony’s favor.

Lee and I take off running towards the trail through the Winding Woods. The Pokémon under Mewtwo‘s control are blocking the path, but Slim is there and he barrels through with ease. We follow in his wake as the mighty pangoro continues to charge forward, his fists lashing out left and right to punch enemies aside. A few manage to get shots in on him as well, but Slim is in a berserker rage and won’t be stopped.

He busts through the last crowd of Pokémon at the edge of the woods, and we follow through after. To our left, Branwen is standing at the doorway to the abandoned house. She’s been working hard – there are arcane circles painted on the ground with chalk, and some kind of weird makeshift altar in the center. I wonder momentarily where she got it, but then remember that this house is where the psychic – her father – did his work.

“Come quickly!” she shouts. I’m able to walk on my own again and I run ahead of Lee, who is trying to calm down Slim. But the pangoro is long dead, only his anger and fighting spirit keeping him going. The Pokémon from the woods are still after us and Slim is slapping them aside with mighty punches, each one crashing through the air like a thunderclap.

“What’s the plan?” I ask. Branwen looks into my eyes with both defeat and resolve in her stare. She’s thought long and hard about what has to happen.

“We have to perform the sealing ritual,” she says. “Three people must write the words of the ritual and read them aloud, then offer themselves as blood sacrifices to complete it.”

Lee. Branwen. Me. Three people. This girl is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice and she expects us to go along with it too.

“Who else is going to do it?” she asks. “We’re the only ones who understand the scope of this threat. You’ve met Mewtwo in person now. You know what it would mean for the world if we don’t do this, right?”

“I know,” I say. “This is the only way. It’s just…it’s hard to swallow.”

Minutes ago, I was literally screaming for death, begging for the release. But now…

“There’s one last thing,” Branwen says. “Mewtwo needs to be weakened somehow. Do you think that Ebony can hit him hard enough to make him vulnerable?”

I don’t answer. Ebony is strong and brave, but her strength has always been in resilience. She can take the heat. But I doubt she can dish it out.

Suddenly, Slim is blow backwards. He flies away from the forest entrance as Mewtwo steps out of the woods. He’s got some minor cuts and bruises that are healing up. Ebony comes out right on his heels, pursuing him and tackling him to the ground with impressive force. She’s always been good at chasing down a fleeing opponent – she’s not fast, but she never gives up.

“Lee, get over here!” I shout. “We have to do this quickly!” He runs over to me and the three of us unite around the altar. Branwen has laid out three notebooks, along with the sheet of paper showing the runes she’d drawn before. We simply had to copy them.

“How are we supposed to speak them out loud?” Lee asks. “I don’t know this language.”

“Language doesn’t matter,” Branwen reminded. “When I said the ritual before, I read it normally. We can do the same thing now.”

Behind us, Ebony is sent sprawling as Mewtwo smashes her with the force of his mind. His power is immense, being able to harm a dark Pokémon with psychic moves as if it were any other type. But the moonlight above, combined with Ebony’s natural resilience, keeps her going. She unleashes a loud screech to throw Mewtwo off of his guard, but he is not phased by her efforts.

“We have to work fast,” Branwen says. “Let’s go.”

I pick up the pen Branwen sat on my notebook and open to a random page. I begin to write, stilling my trembling hand to copy the runes before me as best as I can. Behind me, I hear Ebony cry out again. I try not to focus on her struggle. I have to trust that she knows what she’s doing. Writing is all the harder because Mewtwo is in my head, trying to mislead me.

I-will-stop-you-all-I-will-not-be-trapped-again-You-will-perish-You-will-rip-your-own-eyes-out-and-beg-me-for-death-yet-again

I hear him grunt as Ebony claws him. She breaks his focus long enough for me to finish. Branwen has been done for a few moments, and Lee finishes almost immediately after me.

“Now to say the ritual aloud,” Branwen instructs. “Repeat after me.”

She speaks, but the words that come out sound like gibberish.

“What did you just say?” I ask. She and Lee both look at me quizzically, as if they didn’t understand. Lee starts to speak – and I can’t understand him.

I-have-confused-your-words-and-made-you-as-foreigners-to-one-another

Branwen suddenly slams her book down on the altar in front of us. Though her spoken words sounded like gibberish, I can still read the page clearly. The three of us nod to each other and begin to read them together. It’s tough work, trying to speak along with them when they sound as if they’re speaking totally different languages, but the three of us manage to press through.

“Seal it by the power of the natural world,
Seal it by the words of magic we have inscribed.
Seal it in both body and in spirit
Seal it with blood, never to be freed.”

“It doesn’t even rhyme,” Lee complains. “Nothing poetic about that.”

“It’s a translation,” I remind him. “But it’s good enough.”

Branwen lifts up a sack onto the altar and opens it. Three knives, glinting in the moonlight. Knives meant for our own throats.

“We can’t perform the blood sacrifice until Mewtwo is weak enough,” Branwen says. “It’s all in Ebony’s hands now.”

We turn to watch. Mewtwo‘s attacks are growing fiercer, faster, and Ebony is reeling. She darts to and fro with as much speed as she can muster, but the spheres of crackling energy the psychic Pokémon wields seem to chase her wherever she goes. His blows send her staggering and leave her bleeding – her blows against him barely leave a bruise. Bruises which fade away in moments.

He unleashes a physical blast of psychic force, flinging her into a tree at the edge of the woods. A rumbling comes from his chest, laughter at the foolishness of those who would dare stand against him.

You-truly-think-you-stand-any-sort-of-chance-against-me-You-are-truly-foolish

Ebony slowly rises up, rushing forward and taking a quick swipe at Mewtwo. He goes to block it, the umbreon pulling the blow at the last second and striking him across the face. The psychic Pokémon roars with anger and lashes out at her, Ebony rolling to the side and flashing her lights brightly. He strikes at her again, his psychic power rippling through only an empty echo of light. Ebony’s patterns are flashing and leaving afterimages all over, Mewtwo frustrated now and desperately striking at each one. Ebony reveals herself behind him with a quick slap, and Mewtwo swings wildly with his tail. She leaps out of the way, the attack’s momentum too strong for Mewtwo to stop. His tail strikes him across the face, and Ebony leaps in. She puts all of her strength into a single strike, slamming the psychic monster right where his own tail had just struck. Putting all of her pressure and her power into that blow, she pulls Mewtwo down to the ground and smashes his head into the dirt.

“Now!” Branwen cries.

I hesitated only a moment. Ebony looks over at me, smiling at her victorious moment. Not realizing what is about to come.

I watch her eyes widen as she realizes. Tears spring to my own eyes.

“I love you, Ebony. I’m so sorry.”

The knife parts my throat with ease, and I feel the warmth of my lifeblood running down my chest.

My vision begins to blacken as Mewtwo cries out in rage. I watch as the abandoned house suddenly begins to glow, and the psychic Pokémon’s body is dragged forcefully towards it. He struggles and fights but cannot resist the force that pulls him in. The house drags him inside, and there he seems to evaporate into a pure being of light. The light fades, the house calms, and Mewtwo is gone.

I smile as blackness overcomes my vision.

————————————————————————————————-

Hello? Miss Milli, is that you?

My vision is swimming before me. I cannot seem to focus.

Milli, it’s me. Sissi! Someone wants to talk to you.

Slowly, my vision corrects. I’m in the bedroom that Narcissa and Branwen share – or rather, shared. Sissi is sitting on her bed, ringed by candles. In her lap is Ebony.

She really misses you. You two must have been friends for a super long time.

Ebony looks directly at me and then reaches out a single paw. I reach towards her as well – at least, I intend to. But my body doesn’t answer, and it takes me a moment to realize that I don’t have one.

She wanted to see you one last time. And I wanted to say thank you for saving us. So I practiced really hard with my psychic power until I could find you.

She’s accessing the maelstrom. That’s how she can see me. How she can speak to me.

Mommy is really sad. She misses Branwen. So do I. But Ebony has been helping me not to be as sad.

Just like she did with me. I smile at that.

I hope you don’t mind if I keep her. She’s brave and pretty and she makes me feel safe from monsters at night.

It takes a few moments, but I manage to speak.

“I want you to keep her, Sissi. I want you to watch over her and keep her safe. Just like she keeps you safe.”

Narcissa jumps back. I guess she wasn’t expecting to manifest my consciousness that strongly. But then she smiles, and she gives me a nod,

I’ll protect her always, Miss Milli. Just like you and her protected our town.

I feel the connection starting to fade. I try to speak more – I have so many things I want to say – but for now they will have to go unspoken.

Goodbye, Milli. Thank you so much. For everything.

My vision is blurry again as my consciousness fades. The last thing I see is Ebony, curled up in Narcissa’s lap, her little lights glowing as her lovely red eyes watch me fade away.

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