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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Guiding Light

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Ambyssin, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Drowning sorrows with Regice & Latios

    @git-it: Yup! It all goes back to what Necrozma said about the power of human will. Speaking of which...

    Again, thanks @Namohysip for beta reading!

    XxX​

    Chapter 98: Soul-Melding Genesis Supernova
    Bright lights and colors streamed by Shane. The cries of his teammates echoed all around him, but he was falling too fast to say anything… or even see them. For a moment, he wondered if he was trapped inside another one of Necrozma's nightmare prisons.

    Then, the ground rushed up to meet Shane. A bright, luminescent glow-filled his vision. Orange steam rose up from beneath him. He tried to fire Psychic rings at the ground… only to remember Necrozma had taken Psychic from him. A few seconds later, he hit the ground. The shockwave of pain was complemented by a geyser of orange slime erupting all around him. Having grimaced from the blow, Shane was unprepared for the ooze to rain down on him. Loud splurts echoed around the room as slime pelted his fur.

    "Augh! Gross! What is this stuff?!"

    Espy stood up, the slime reaching up to her belly. She was completely soaked. The goo weighed her ears and tail down, making it impossible for her to do anything but keep them folded. Her face paled. "It's between locks of my fur! Oh, gods, this is even worse than the time I fell in my own puke!"

    Tessa turned her disgusted expression on Espy, though it was tough to make anything out with so much orange goop on her face. "I did not need to know that," she said, trying to brush slime off her fur to no avail. "Well, at least if we are in Necrozma's stomach, then we know he has no acids to melt us with." The thought brought her little comfort as she looked at her tail and the slime trails trickling off it.

    "Hey now! Don't try and jinx us with that kind of talk." Silvally couldn't even fan his head crest out and his eyes were shut tight to stop slime from gunking them up. His steel memories had turned on by sheer instinct.

    Shane finally managed to get his bearings and stand up. As per usual, his disheveled mane had fallen over his face. Luckily, the slime made it sticky enough that when Shane flipped his hair back, it stuck against his neck.

    "Hey! Knock it off, Shane!" Tessa growled as orange flecks pelted her hip.

    "S… sorry…" Shane's tails tried to fan out in alarm, but the ooze had stuck them together. He blinked the orange out of his vision… only to wish his mane was blinding him again. "Oh… oh gods…" His legs grew weak. Before he knew it, his rear splashed down and more slime pooled up around his torso. "This… this is…"

    His teammates finally stopped worrying about their appearances and took in their surroundings. There were hexagonal grates strewn across the area, making each member of Team Radiance bitter that they happened to land in the one spot inside Necrozma with nothing to pass for a proper floor. The circular room was bordered by large, chitinous, horn-like structures protruding from the edges of the orange slime pool. They resembled curved dragon fangs.

    "Ugh. His insides are a mishmash of all the sci-fi movies he dragged me to," Shane whimpered, struggling to pull himself onto one of the hexagonal platforms. Tessa offered her paw in assistance, but Shane slipped right through her grip and fell back into the slime. She pulled her paw back, opting instead to look at all the large, gooey cords making up the walls and ceiling.

    "What are these things?" The slime weighed Tessa's aura feelers down too much for them to move. Not that it would've helped her, since the same pins and needles sense from when her aura reading was being jammed had made an unwelcome return.

    "There are bright lights flashing in them. And they all have different colors," Espy observed. She spun around, mindful of falling back into the pool like Shane had.

    "Guys, um… do you hear something?" Silvally crouched low to the ground. His cheek bolts rattled in their sockets. "Because I hear moaning. A lot of moaning."

    Having finally gotten to dry land, Shane tried to clear his ears out. He tensed up. His ears couldn't twitch properly, but an unsettling chill ran down his spine. "Yeah. It sounds like…" He blinked slowly. "There are thousands of voices all around us and they're all in pain!"

    Espy stood at the head of the group, facing the other side of the room. She was slouched over, whimpering softly. "Guys? I think I found where all these weird tubes are leading." Espy lifted a trembling forepaw. "They're going to Necrozma's core."

    Her teammates turned around. Tessa immediately wished she hadn't. "That's his core? No… it looks nothing like the big prism he took from Zero. This is some kind of… some kind of sickly cocoon! Like what Volcarona had been trapped in back in the Volcanic Wastes."

    Shane stared at the large, circular cocoon. It was a membranous sack dangling from the ceiling by six large, slimy cords bristling with flashes of light and pulsating like vessels. Multicolored lights shimmered in the center of the membranous structure. But so much fluid surrounded whatever lay at the center of the cocoon that there was no way anyone on Team Radiance could tell what it actually was.

    "Okay." Espy gulped. "With the way our travels have gone, I can't be the only one who thinks we have to break open this disgusting thing, right?" Her teammates shook their heads. "Yeah. Great. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Or do both."

    "Go AwAY!"

    The cocoon trembled and the cords feeding it swelled as if they were about to burst. "Get back, guys! I don't like the look of that!" Shane whimpered, his tails now dragging against the floor. His teammates shuffled back toward him as cracks splintered through the cocoon's membranous sac.

    "Oh, gods! Look at all the eyes." Tessa cringed. Bile rose up in the back of her throat.

    Espy frowned. Just like Tessa said, the cocoon was now littered with an array of different-colored eyes, all swiveling around and glancing in random directions.

    "Go AwaY!"

    The distorted voice made Team Radiance wince. Even though Shane was sure no attacks were used, a crushing weight pressed on his shoulders and chest. It hurt to even take a breath. "G-Guys. We… we have to…" He doubled over, wheezing loudly. Shane struggled to get a good look at his teammates, but he could see they were having problems, too. Even Silvally struggled to keep his head held up.

    "I hAte You! I HAte AlL oF yOU!"

    Light flickered in the cocoon's blue and red eyes. A sigil formed in front of each of them: one blue teardrop and one red flame. The sigils shakily floated toward Team Radiance. Tessa brought her paws up, charging an Aura Sphere to fire. Then, the sigils erupted in flashes of light. A burst of water headed right for Espy, while a fireball careened toward Shane.

    "Watch out, Shane!" Tessa hurled the Aura Sphere above her teammate's head. It stopped the fireball, but the resulting blast blew Shane across the floor. Tessa didn't get a chance to see if he was okay, however, as flames seared her from above. Thankfully, all the slime clinging to her fur acted as a natural buffer, shielding her from what should've been a serious blow.

    "BuRn! BuRN! BUrN To AsHeS!"

    Tessa looked up. More red-flame runes floated toward her. This time, they burst apart before they got anyway near her. A volley of fireballs rained down on her from above. There was no way Tessa could deflect all of them. She turned to flee for the slime pool, but a bright-white flash enveloped the fireballs and snuffed them out. Shane slid in front of her, most of the slime burnt off his fur.

    "You get away from her, Necrozma! I know you're the one doing all of this!" Shane growled, frost gathering in his maw.

    "StOP iT! StOP! StOoOoOP!"

    The cocoon shuddered. Shane's ears folded from the onslaught of voices. It was even worse than listening to Necrozma. But he had to hang tough for his teammates. "We won't stop until you're gone! You don't get to hurt anyone anymore!" He spat an Ice Beam directly into the cocoon. A huge grin spread across his face as the membrane rippled like a plate of gelatin prodded by multiple forks.

    "StOP HuRTiNG Me! Go AWAy!"

    Three yellow lightning runes formed around the cocoon. Silvally lunged for them, ground memories active. He dove right through the ensuing lightning strikes and tore through one of the veins supplying the cocoon with brown, mud-covered talons. Silvally hit the ground and smiled at Espy, who grinned back at him. The warm moment was ruined however, when the severed vein drenched Silvally in red slime.

    "Oh… oh no." Espy ran toward him, expecting something bad to happen. Silvally stood there, blinking at her. He tilted his head. Espy came to a stop. "You're… you're not hurt, are you?"

    "No. But I might want to throw up when this is all over," Silvally said, shaking out his pelt and feathers.

    Espy was about to say something, when the cocoon shrieked loudly. Blebs formed all around its membrane. The pustules popped, scattering golden fluid all around the cocoon that triggered a loud wave of hissing. Espy shrank back, tail crinkling. Overhead, star shaped runes drifted haphazardly around the cocoon.

    "I HAtE YoU AlL! LeAVe Me ALoNE! DiE! DiE DiE DIE!"

    The sigils burst open, creating four, blood-red eyes that spun around and distorted the air in the room. Shane shot an ice shard at the nearest eye, but it was shredded to bits inside a vortex. The air around the eyes darkened. Shane was promptly lifted off his feet. "Whoa! H-H-Hey! Not good! Not good!" He looked into a pair of miniature black holes determined to suck him up. "Someone help m—"

    Tessa grabbed Shane by his tails and tugged. Shane hollered, briefly worrying Tessa would yank the tails out of their joints. All the while, the black holes kept spinning. Tessa dug her free paw spike into one of the metal grates and held on for dear life. Across from her, Silvally had pinned Espy to the ground, using the added weight from his steel memories to keep her safe.

    "Enough of these stupid attacks, Necrozma! We won't let you kick us around like this!" Silvally snarled. He unleashed a Flash Cannon, trying to aim the gray beam at one of the other veins. To his relief, it managed to squeeze between the black holes and sever the remaining two veins on the left side of the cocoon. More red liquid sprayed across the ground. The cocoon shrieked as the remaining cords recoiled and sent it bouncing around the room.

    Shane fell to the ground with a splat when the black holes disappeared. He blinked stars out of his vision, only to get struck by a pair of glowing symbols resembling miniature clusters of Unown. Shane tumbled across the ground, groaning. He was completely unaware of the other sigils that had burst out of more boils that appeared on the cocoon.

    Tessa realized Shane was in danger. She ran toward him, using one paw to fire a Psychic ring. The pink blast broke two of the sigils apart. Silvally sliced the remaining glyphs apart with black, shadowy talons. Then he turned, energy blades glowing, and unleashed a black shockwave toward the lowest of the remaining veins.

    "StOp! StOP ThiS! YoU… YoU AlL hATE mE! WhY DOeS EvERYoNE HAtE Me?!"

    The cocoon's membrane briefly parted. Tufts of dragon fire kept the cocoon's cord safe from Silvally's Snarl. Espy, meanwhile, had snuck around to the back of the cocoon and rifled off a Psybeam. The cocoon couldn't summon anything to block the Psybeam fast enough. It sliced through one of the veins, which rewarded Espy with a neon-green slime shower for her troubles.

    "This is misery incarnate!" Espy shouted, smacking a forepaw against the ground.

    "Well, on the bright side, I think the color suits you well," Silvally said, wagging his tail and trying to offer Espy a cheerful grin. Espy responded with a look so chilling Silvally's fire memories switched on inadvertently.

    "GiVe UP! GiVe UP! GiVe… GIvE GiVE GiVE GIgIGiGYARggH!"

    Shane choked on the ice he was gathering to strike the cocoon. He had no idea what to make of what he was seeing or hearing. When they were battling Necrozma outside, it had sounded like Nicky was fighting for control with the void, but the cocoon's cries lacked the coherence of Necrozma's earlier rants. Had their Z-Moves reduced Necrozma to some sort of primal creature that could do nothing but lash out?

    The thought made him shudder, but then Shane caught sight of the rainbow glimmer in the center of the cocoon again. It reminded him of what he had seen in one of Necrozma's nightmare prisons: golden light wrapped up in chains.

    "Nicky!" The shout came before Shane even weighed his options. "Nicky, I know you're in there somewhere!"

    Tessa blasted a fireball away with an Aura Sphere. "Shane, what are you doing?"

    "Trying to see if there's any way to get through," Shane said. "Necrozma told me something when he had me captured. He said that human spirits possess something Pokémon lack: indominable wills."

    "i dOn'T cArE CARe cArE! Go AwAY! ShUT uP! ShUT Up!"

    Yellow-bolt runes burst apart. Lightning streaked toward Shane and Tessa. The latter tackled the former to the ground. Electricity grazed Tessa's back. She arced her neck up and cried out in pain. "Tes—" Shane wanted to ask if she was all right, but Tessa put a paw to his muzzle.

    "I'm fine," she said through gritted teeth. "Keep… keep saying… what you were saying."

    "U-Um… well…" Shane squirmed out from underneath Tessa, minding her chest spike. "Human wills are strong enough that, as long you have a fraction of the spirit around, the human's personality and all their memories will stick around." He got to his feet. "That's why I remained as Shane, even after I fused with Dark Matter. And that's why Necrozma hasn't been able to get rid of Nicky."

    "Be QuIET! Go AWaY! DiE! I hATE yOu! HAtE HaTE HAyAeRG— gYaAh!"

    Silvally slammed into the ground, bits of the last two veins supporting the cocoon wedged between his talons. Red and blue ooze dribbled down his sides. "It's… it's done." He turned around. "Now we can… huh?"

    The cocoon's membrane had fallen away, revealing Necrozma's glowing, prism-shaped core in all of its splendor. After a few seconds of floating in place, however, the core dropped to the ground and melted into a puddle. Silvally hopped back, squawking in alarm. Electricity crackled around his cheek bolts. "I'm gonna shock it!" he said. But before he got the chance to launch any Thunderbolts, a sudden gust of air knocked him back into Shane and Tessa. The trio ended up collapsed on top of one another.

    "Oof! G-Get off, big guy. You're, well, big!" Shane wheezed, smacking Silvally with a forepaw.

    "I know! I know! Stop smacking my rear," Silvally growled, trying to shake the stars from his vision. Shane's eyes bugged out and his face reddened.

    Espy managed to stay on her feet through the blast, but found herself frozen, watching the bubbling puddle. All of the fluid coalesced into a multicolored sphere that rose into the air. Its colors swirled around at complete random. It was making Espy dizzy staring at the core, so she looked away and smacked the ground with a forepaw. "This is unbelievable! We're still not done? What's it going to take to stop this guy?"

    "NoThInG CaN StOP… GiVE uP. GiVE iN. OuT. alL ArOUnD. UPsIDe… GrrArGHT!"

    The core's colors formed a circular pattern with a black spot in the middle. It spun around at high speeds. Espy's paws left the ground. "Hey! Hey, stop it! Guys, help!" she shouted, flailing at the air with her legs. She couldn't spin around to face the core and attack it.

    Shane looked up to see the luminescent colors of the room distorting and spinning about. His tails fanned out in alarm, however, when an invisible force yanked him off the ground, too. He slowly spun around the room, unable to see what was going on.

    "Hang on, you two! It's another black hole thingy!" Silvally cried, but choked on his own attack when the core even succeeded in hoisting him into the air. All of Team Radiance cried out in a panic as the black hole dragged them closer to the core itself.

    "No… no! Get away! Get away!" Espy shrieked, before slimy tendrils wrapped her forelegs up and dragged her into the core. Her teammates all dropped to the ground with heavy thuds. The colors faded away from the core's slimy surface, revealing a purple, reptilian eye. Team Radiance saw Espy inside the pupillary slit.

    "Espy!" Silvally's head crest fanned out. "We have to get her out of there!" He switched his steel memories on again and charged forward, a golden wheel surrounding his torso.

    "NeVER. DiE! DrOWn iN YoUR SoRRoWS!"

    Espy's muffled screams sounded within the eye. Small pink energy balls surrounded the core, then shot toward the rest of Team Radiance. Silvally was too far into his attack to shift his memories. Instead, he charged through the pink blasts, wincing with every step he took. Metal coated his forelegs.

    "Back me up, guys!" Silvally shouted, lunging for the core. Shane and Tessa were too preoccupied trying not to get blasted, however. Enough energy pellets struck Silvally to force him back to the ground. His cheek bolts revved up so fast they let out trails of golden sparks. His irises flashed gold. "No… let her go, you cretin!" Another golden wheel surrounded Silvally.

    "yOu dOn'T DeSErvE hEr. NoNE of You dEsErvE aNYThiNG exCEpT DeAtH!"

    Large balls of silver energy gathered around the core. Silvally was ready to lunge for the core again, but the energy balls turned into giant silver lasers. Yowling, Silvally dropped to his belly and rolled away from one laser, but it ricocheted off the ground, careened toward the ceiling, bounced off, and headed right for him. Silvally met it with a Flash Cannon beam.

    "This is ridiculous! Stop it, Nicky! What are you hoping to accomplish by doing this?" Shane cried, one of the lasers singing his right flank. "Come on, dude. I know you have to be tired of this. Look around you. Is this really what you want for yourself? To see so many people suffering like this?"

    "Espy! Espy!" Silvally lunged for the core, only for it to float just out of range. Espy screamed in pain again. The core generated a pink shockwave. Silvally switched to his dark memories and the attack phased right through him.

    "Give us our friend back!" Tessa cried, leaping over the shockwave and hurling an Aura Sphere at the core. It struck home and the core recoiled with a distorted wail. Silvally saw his opening and leaped up, shadows covering his talons. He slashed the core right through its pupil. Slime covered his talons, but he managed to tear the core open and grab Espy.

    "NOoOoO! StOP taKInG WhaT'S MiNE!"

    Loud squelching noises echoed through the room. Frowning, Silvally had to swat Espy out of the core. She dropped to the ground and bounced to a halt next to Shane. Black, scaly plaques dotted her torso, limbs, and tail. Espy trembled. Her forehead gem flickered like a luminous orb running low on power.

    "Espy? Espy! Come on… stay with me!" Shane said, pressing his forepaws against her in a desperate attempt at channeling Morning Sun. His heart sank when nothing happened.

    "Out of the way, Shane! I've still got an oran berry," Tessa said. Though a layer of slime covered her satchel, she pulled out the berry. Shane didn't even want to think about how sanitary it was. The situation was too desperate.

    The core responded to this development with a loud shriek. "StOP iT! STop HElPInG EaCh oTheR! I HAtE You ALl!" It drifted back from the group while its colors reappeared. A green delta symbol appeared on the side facing Team Radiance. The top of the sphere erupted and a large, slimy Rayquaza head popped out. "WhEn WiLL yoU lEArN? NoTHiNG mAtTErS ExCEpT PoWeR! The PoWEr tO DeSTrOY EVeRYtHING!"

    "Shane, I need you with me," Silvally said, fairy memories bathing him om a salmon glow. Ears sticking up, Shane left Tessa to tend to Espy. The core's new head launched a volley of dragonfire at Team Radiance. Silvally dug his talons into the grated floor. Golden light flickered in his cheek bolts. "Dazzling Gleam, Shane! Use Dazzling Gleam!"

    "R-Right!" Shane drew up fairy energy and released a wall of white light. To his surprise, Silvally gathered up a ball of moonlight and tossed it into the Dazzling Gleam. The explosive burst of fairy energy destroyed all the dragonfire and struck the core, blasting it into the wall. Shane turned to Silvally with wide eyes. "What are you doing? That gold glow… you're not getting overcharged again, are you? You can't do that!" He looked back at Espy, who Tessa was helping get back up. "We can't lose you again."

    Silvally fixed his gold-tinged eyes on Shane. The shimmering glow faded and they returned to a plain salmon color. "I'm fine this time. I mean it. Necrozma must've left the overcharge bit in… but I'm only using it in short bursts."

    Shane bit his lip. He didn't want things going like they did in the Prism Wastelands, but this was also a battle they couldn't afford to lose. "If you say so." He turned back to the core, only to gasp as, rather than dragonfire, golden Draco Meteors streamed toward them. Shane broadened his stance to absorb as many as he could, only for Silvally to buck him into the air. Silvally caught Shane on his back and charged toward the core.

    "What are you doing now?"

    "Necrozma's mixing types… like Dragonite did. I'm sure of it!" Silvally said, veering left to dodge Draco Meteors. He skidded across the grated floor and shot another Moonblast into the core. Though it spat up Draco Meteors to deflect some of the Moonblast, it wasn't enough to snuff out the attack. The core shrank back, its colors bouncing around its surface like a grotesque lava lamp.

    "No More. NO MoRE! StOP hURtINg mE! StOP iT!"

    "The only one who can stop this is you, Nicky! We're trying our hardest, but we can only keep attacking for so long," Shane said, though he honestly wasn't sure how much he bought his own words. At this point, he was speaking before thinking.

    "SToP LiFE. StOP liVInG!" the core screeched. Its Rayquaza head was gone. Now, the colors formed a silhouette of a Time Gear. The core rippled, then split itself into four smaller copies. One of them shrank back, while the other three floated higher into the air and molded themselves into copies of Darkrai.

    "You have nothing left to fight for. Give in. The world of darkness is finally here," the clones said in unison. They raised their arms, gathering black shadows.

    "Those are Dark Voids! Scatter!" Shane hollered, sprinting away from Silvally as black blobs rained down on the group from above. He didn't even want to think about why the distortion in Necrozma's voice had toned down so much. All he cared about was making sure he didn't fall asleep. He couldn't imagine what sort of horror that would mean if he was already inside Necrozma.

    "There's too many blasts. We can't navigate this," Espy said, tail curled around her waist as she sniped an incoming Dark Void with a Psybeam.

    "Well, what else can we do?" Tessa said, sweeping a Flash Cannon threw multiple Dark Void blobs before her paws burned. She then rubbed them together, wincing. "Um… follow me!" Tessa threw her arms up over her head and sprinted forward, trying to use the ground as an indicator for where the blasts would strike.

    "Tessa, look out!" Espy cried.

    Tessa looked up and saw one of the blobs expanding to catch her. She shrieked and pointed her paws up, but all she could muster was a few blue embers. Tessa braced herself to go under when the Dark Void popped open like a balloon. Silvally landed between her and Espy. "You two okay?" he said. Before they could answer, he shot another Moonblast up at the Darkrai clones.

    The clones clustered together over the lingering part of Necrozma's core. The Time Gear symbol spun around and the clones gathered Dark Pulse energy in their hands. "Not this time!" Shane snarled, fairy dust surrounding his shoulders. He launched a Dazzling Gleam burst at them, burning away the shadows and forcing the copies back together.

    "Fools. All of you… fools!" the core snarled.

    "Please, Nicky! Whatever you're doing… keep it up! It's working!" Shane shouted, leaping back to dodge a bunch of Air Slash blades shot out from the core.

    Tessa's aura feelers twitched. "What are you talking about?"

    "The distortion in the voice… it's getting lower. We're getting through to him! We need to keep up the pressure," Shane said. His voice was strained, but his teammates could tell how sincerely he believed that.

    "Okay." Tessa raised her paws and charged an Aura Sphere.

    "I will make you all suffer!" The core floated back to dodge Shane's Ice Beam and Tessa's Aura Sphere. It pulsated and rippled, then split itself into four copies again.

    "Oh great… now what's it doing?" Espy groaned. She shot a Shadow Ball at the nearest copy, but it hovered above the blast. Espy was ready to fire another one, only for the attack to falter and her eyes to widen when a familiar, glacial-blue color washed across all the copies. A red spot appeared in the center of each of them. "No…" She shrank back. "No! No!"

    Tessa looked at Espy in confusion, only for her fur to stand an end. "H… hey. Did it just get colder in here?" She threw her paws up onto her shoulders.

    Espy screamed and shrank down to her belly. Silvally was by her side in an instant. "Espy? Espy! What's wrong? Tell me! Please!"

    She pointed a trembling forepaw up. "B… B… B… B… Bittercolds!" Silvally looked up and gasped. Four identical Bittercold clones floated overhead. Ice swirled around their pointed, frost-covered edges.

    "Feel my hopelessness and despair!"

    The clones floated down so they were level with Team Radiance. Their spikes shot out in different directions. Three jabbed Shane in his hips. The icy energy that coursed through his veins made him yowl and fall on his side, twitching in pain. Tessa sucked in her gut and arched her back. Her legs trembled as she tried to hold the delicate position and avoid the frozen thorns.

    Espy was still in a state of shock, however. Silvally saw the spikes coming. He shifted his fire memories on and stood over her, heating his body up like he was going to use Flame Charge but not moving. Multiple spokes jabbed him from numerous angles. Silvally hollered in pain. His cheek bolts sparked. Espy saw golden embers flitter to the ground beside her. She tried to move, but unpleasant memories of the frigid temperatures of Glacier Palace kept her rooted to the ground.

    Tessa looked at her teammates' conditions, even as the icy thorns retreated into the Bittercold copies. They all floated into new positions facing Espy and Silvally. Tessa gnashed her fangs. They intended to strike while her friends were most vulnerable. Tessa couldn't possibly stop all of them. She shot a Flash Cannon beam at one of the clones, knocking it back into the wall. It dropped to the floor with a clatter, but the remaining three clones extended their spokes.

    Two jabbed Tessa's thighs, knocking her to the ground. All she could do was stare at the icy spear above her head, listening to Espy and Silvally's cries of pain. They brought her right back to the Prism Wastelands… when everything was going south against Zero. She remembered the look of helplessness on Espy's face and the resignation in Silvally's eyes as he planned to use Explosion. Her heart ached… and her stomach roiled.

    Despite the cold, her insides burned. She couldn't lay there and watch her friends keep getting hurt. Reasoning with Necrozma might've thrown him off, but he still refused to let up. He had to be destroyed. Tessa glanced at her looplet. She focused on the anger bubbling up inside of her. It wasn't long before a familiar surge of energy flooded her system. Tessa sucked in a breath. She had to keep control. She couldn't let the anger to consume her.

    Tessa thought of Silvally's smile… of their moment on the beach when he was still Null. She thought of the time Espy confided in her. And she thought back to the heart-to-hearts with Shane in Cosmic Cavern and Circadian Coast. Tessa arched her back up… then shredded the ice spike above her with newly-formed Metal Claws.

    "Leave… my friends… alone!"

    Seven different-colored ripples of light raced out from Tessa's body. She shot to her feet and shot out three Aura Spheres in rapid succession, not even noticing the rainbow lines running down her arms and legs. Each one struck a Bittercold clone and knocked them back into the wall. Tessa ran for Espy and Silvally without hesitation, her bizarre Mega Evolution's rainbow-colored aura dreadlocks trailing behind her.

    Silvally lay collapsed on his side. Black blood oozed onto his fur. Espy lay next to him, tears streaming down her face. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I panicked. I did this to him!" She was about to smack her head against the floor when Tessa stopped her.

    "You still have any healing items?" she asked.

    "Um…" Espy flipped her grimy satchel open and managed to pull out half an oran berry.

    "It's good enough. It'll do." Tessa took it and smushed it against Silvally's side.

    Shane, meanwhile, was caught between the Bittercold clones merging back together and the rainbow aura shimmering around Tessa. He wanted to ask if she was feeling like herself, but trusted that the fact she was tending to Espy and Silvally meant she wasn't in a complete berserker state like last time.

    "See, Nicky? My friends are willing to put everything on the line to stop all of this. And… and I am, too. That's why you have to keep fighting back!" Shane said. He spat an Ice Beam at the core. It rolled out of the way, then hopped into the air. The core bounced off the ceiling and looked to crush Shane from above. Shane jumped forward and rolled to a stop, but the core kept bouncing. It was going for his teammates.

    "Guys, watch out!" Shane cried. He sent another Dazzling Gleam burst forward, but there was no way it would reach the core in time. Luckily, Silvally got back to his feet and met the core with a metallic headbutt. However, Shane's relief turned to panic when he realized Silvally had knocked the core back toward him. Shane dove to his right, narrowly avoiding the core striking the wall behind where he once stood and drifting up to the ceiling.

    He staggered to his feet, breathing labored. "Come on, Nicky. We're doing everything we can." Shane looked at the core. A part of him thought it was useless to keep talking. It would only make Necrozma more upset and hurt his friends. However, he wasn't sure how much the team's attacks had damaged the core.

    'We can't keep this up forever. We barely have anything to heal ourselves with.' Shane shot another Ice Beam at the core. It dodged the attack easily, but was unprepared for two corkscrewing, dragon-shaped energy beams to blast it against the wall. Tessa and Silvally nodded at one another, their mouths venting blue steam.

    "We've had enough of all of this!" Tessa snarled, her paw spikes morphing into Metal Claws. "You've thrown everything at us and we're not down for the count. This fight's gone on long enough. Cut it out! Give us back our friends!"

    I'm trying.

    Shane's ears twitched. That wasn't the guttural, distorted growl he'd heard from the core. The voice was softer, lighter. He blinked a few names, not taking notice of the core squirming and pulsating. Hadn't he heard that voice not too long ago? Shane's eyes widened.

    'That's the voice that called out to me when Necrozma had control of me!'

    "Please… please keep fighting!" Shane shouted, gathering fairy energy in his eyes.

    The veins and cords in the room darkened. Blue energy flashed inside of them. The core rearranged itself into a clone of Zekrom, with slime dripping from its limbs and a single purple eye in the center of its face. "You are fighting a battle you cannot win. No matter how much you cling to the ideals of regaining what you've lost, the truth is that your situation is truly hopeless." Zekrom raised its gooey arms. Bright-blue electricity surrounded it.

    The Bolt Strike moved so quickly that Shane had no time to react. One moment he was standing. Then, next thing he knew, he was sprawled out on his back, legs and tails twitching. Zekrom circled up toward the ceiling. Shane's eyes widened at the realization he was about to be squished, but his limbs wouldn't respond at his attempts to stand back up.

    He braced himself for the worst, but instead of a horrible crushing pain there was a furious shout and the rumbles of thunder. Shane poked an eye open to find Silvally in front of him, up on his hindlegs with his ground memories active. His dusty-brown forelegs pushed back against the Bolt Strike as his cheek bolts twitched and crackled in their sockets.

    "You… won't… beat us," Silvally hissed. "I won't… give up… on anyone… who needs… my help!" With a furious shout, he shoved Zekrom back. Its Bolt Strike faded in time for a Dragon Pulse and burst of fairy dust to hit it from behind. Zekrom shuddered and coalesced back into the rainbow core. The room brightened up.

    Please… make it stop.

    Shane's head snapped up and he looked around the room, trying to pinpoint the source of the softer voice. "Nicky? Nicky! Don't listen to all the nonsense Necrozma's spewing. We can still salvage this. Even if it takes a miracle." Shane stumbled to his feet. "This world's no stranger to miracles. Give us an opening or something!"

    "Pay attention, Shane!" Tessa snapped, pointing her paws up and firing Psychic rings in tandem with Espy. Right when it looked like they'd strike the core, it split half, splattering juices across the ground. A red and blue glow took over the room as the two halves of the core expanded into clones of Latios and Latias.

    "There are no miracles left. Why cling to such empty dreams? Your desperation is filling you with sadness and rage," Latias said, voice as stoic and flat as Team Radiance had ever heard.

    "Hope is meaningless. It is unrequited," Latios added. The clones flew apart from one another. Silvally looked back and forth and switched to his steel memories, but then the clones flew right at him. Their slimy wings turned gray. Silvally realized his mistake too late and the clones' Steel Wings swept his legs out from under him. He crashed against the ground with a loud grunt.

    "You say that you can help everyone, but that's a lie," Latias said. "Your 'help' enables people to continue their poisonous behavior. All it does is make them think that you'll be able to solve all their problems."

    Latios turned its monolithic eye on Espy. "Isn't that right?"

    Espy's tail shot up the moment Latios flew toward her, wings glowing. Rather than try to run, however, she faced the clone down and fired a Shadow Ball at it. It scored a direct hit right in Latios' eye, sending it crashing to the ground.

    "On your right, Espy!" Silvally cried, scrambling to his feet. Espy turned to see Latias charging up a Draco Meteor. She hastily fired a second Shadow Ball. Latias choked on its attack and dropped to the ground beside its partner. Espy approached both of them, ectoplasm trailing off her forehead gem.

    "Want to know what I think? You may have a point. There are people out there who will take advantage of those who try to help them," Espy said, eyes narrowing. "But that isn't a reason to turn your back on them and leave them to flounder. It means you have to work with them to find a middle ground… or get someone else to step in and provide support, instead." She looked at Silvally. "If I had understood that, maybe I would still be friends with everyone in Paradise."

    White light glistened in her forehead gem. "People can change. They can fix their mistakes. But you don't want to give them a chance to do that!" She fired a point-blank Dazzling Gleam. The clones smushed back together in the spherical core. It rolled across the ground, its colors swirling around in a frenzy.

    I just want it all to stop…

    "We're trying, Nicky!" Shane cried. He shot an Ice Beam at the core. It bounced up out of the way, leaving Shane gnashing his teeth. Another thought struck him as he stared the core down. Nicky wasn't the only spirit supposedly trapped inside Necrozma. He looked around the room at all the alien veins flashing with bright light.

    "Everyone, please listen to me! You all have to try and fight Necrozma's grip on your spirits!" Shane said. "My friends are doing their best to destroy the core, but we need your help. Necrozma thinks that teamwork and relationships are meaningless. Show him that he's wrong! Work together!"

    Shane's teammates stared at him blankly, but then the entire room shook. The veins above them pulsated. Spurts of goo shot out into the room. Behind them, small plumes of slime shot up from the floor. Shane's expression brightened. "That's perfect! Keep doing that, everyone!" he said.

    Make it stop. I'm so tired. I want to rest.

    Incensed by the development, the core shrieked once again. It pulsated and rippled, then split apart into multiple pieces that melted into puddles. Shane spewed ice breath at the nearest puddle, but it joined up with the other puddles and expanded into a giant orange ball. The temperature in the room spiked and an orange glow overtook the walls.

    "That's a Fusion Flame! Run, Shane!" Silvally cried, channeling his water memories and attempting to put the attack out with a large wave. The fireball bounced back onto the floor, rebounded into the wall, and shot toward Espy, Silvally, and Tessa. They scattered in different directions. Tessa yelped as the fireball grazed her side. She rolled to a stop, clutching her smoldering right shoulder.

    The fireball burst apart to reveal a copy of Incineroar. Orange slime dribbled off its belt and its lone eye stared Tessa down. "People may change, but history is always doomed to repeat itself. Life is finite for nearly all creatures. Your sins will be repeated by the next generation. And the generation after that. And the one after that." Incineroar raised a gooey hand and conjured a fireball. "It's inevitable. Eventually, someone will take things too far. Then, everything you worked for will be erased. Legacies are worthless. Destruction is the only solution to reality's imperfections."

    Incineroar spun around, shooting orange fireballs to deflect bursts of water from Silvally and twin Dazzling Gleams from Espy and Shane. He jumped into the air, formed another large fireball, and shot toward Tessa. She cupped her paws together and thrust them forward, shooting out jets of aural fire. They struck Incineroar and brought him to a stalemate.

    "Tessa!" Shane cried. He spat an Ice Beam at the fireball, only to watch it evaporate.

    "I'll help her out," Silvally said, a golden wheel encasing his torso.

    Tessa's aura dreadlocks fanned out. The glowing lines on her body shimmered with rainbow light. All the anger Tessa was trying to keep contained was trying to burst out of her. She stared at the flickering sigil on her right paw.

    "You're the one… who's taking things… too far!" Snarling, Tessa tensed her arms and legs. More aura shot out of her paws. She pushed the fireball back far enough for Silvally to lunge for it. Water encased his talons and he drove them right into the fireball. Incineroar crashed into the ground near a doubled-over Tessa. She struggled to catch her breath.

    "I get that… what happened to you… is nothing short of awful. But you don't… have the right… to judge every world… by the actions… of a few people." Tessa straightened up. Aura flickered in her paws. "Lasting change is possible. People just have to work together to make it happen. And that's what we're fighting for. To give everyone a chance to change. I won't let you take that away from us!" She hurled an Aura Sphere at Incineroar. It melted down into a puddle.

    Tessa's eyes widened. She backpedaled. The puddle spread out toward her. Shane caught sight of this and shouted, "Jump off the wall!" Tessa hopped back, cringing as her feet connected with an oozing, pulsating vein. Nevertheless, she kicked off the wall and shot into the air.

    But that seemed to be what the core was anticipating. The puddle bubbled. Silvally saw spikes form in it, ready to impale Tessa while she couldn't dodge. Silvally hardened his body into iron and lunged into the air. He knocked Tessa aside and the spikes jabbed against his belly with a series of clangs. Silvally landed and whirled around to attack, but the core was already back in the air.

    I don't want to hurt you anymore.

    Shane looked around at all the brightly-flashing veins. He couldn't keep repeating the same tired lines over and over again. His stamina was running dry and he imagined his teammates were struggling, too. There had to be a way to put an end to this.

    "You cannot change the world. Your gods won't allow it. There will always be people who resist change. The ones who think and care only about themselves," the core said. "They cannot be stopped. They step on everyone around them until they're in control, then suffocate those who dare to disagree with them. And after that, they stab their loyal followers in the back." The core wriggled about. Slowly, its slimy membrane parted so a lone, violet eye stared at Shane. "You can disagree all you want, but I speak only the truth."

    Shane shrank back, his tails curling against his waist. "I, well…"

    "Need I remind you of what you really are?" the core hissed. More of its membrane split apart, until it was a slime cage housing the violet eye in its center. Gooey spikes poked out of the cage's exterior and its colors faded to black.

    Espy shrank back, eyes wide. Tessa tensed up, biting her lower lip. Silvally crouched low to the ground, a growl rumbling in the back of his throat. Shane glanced at his teammates, then stared down the Dark Matter clone. "If you're trying to break my fighting spirit or something stupid like that… then I'm here to tell you it's not working," Shane said, his brow furrowing.

    "Yes, I screwed up. A lot. In two separate lifetimes, apparently. If you asked anyone with half a brain… they'd tell you I don't deserve the amount of second chances I've gotten." He spat an Ice Beam at Dark Matter, but it hovered out of the way. Its eye flashed, then shot out six glowing orbs. Shane tensed up, ready to dodge them. However, instead of flying toward him, they hovered in the air. The energy balls grew bigger, until each one released a large energy beam.

    "Hit the deck!" Espy yelped, diving to her belly as a beam swept overhead. Across from her, Tessa leaped over a separate energy beam, stumbling as she landed. Silvally was too large to avoid the lasers heading toward him. He instead shot a large bolt of lightning at the lower one, creating a gap to squeeze through.

    "Be silent. All of you… be silent!" Dark Matter growled. "You're so annoying! Why don't you just accept your fates and die already?"

    "Because it's not up to you!" Shane said. "Look, I was one of those people who did everything I could to oppose change. But I see how wrong that is, now!" He looked at his teammates. "And it's all because of them. My friends showed me what it means to be a better person. To confide in others… and let them confide in me. I understand what it's like to help someone, now. And I want to keep helping people. Starting with you… and returning all those spirits you stole!"

    It's not fair…

    Dark Matter responded by shooting out more energy balls. Shane saw an energy ball heading for him and leaped away from the ensuing laser. He shot an Ice Beam at Dark Matter and it struck the center of the eye. His teammates managed to weave through other lasers. Air Slash blades hit Dark Matter from behind. An Aura Sphere and a Shadow Ball struck it from the side. Slime splattered across the ground. The eye shook inside of its gooey cage.

    Why didn't you help me?

    "Because I was an idiot, okay?" Shane's tails drooped. "I know… no amount of apologizing can make up for the bad things I did. Just like no amount of apologizing can make up for the fact that I'm also Dark Matter." Shane looked down. "No one can change the past. And one person alone can't change the present. But that's why you have to surround yourself with people who support you. So you can lift each other up and make a brighter future… together!"

    "There will be no future. None of you deserve one!" Dark Matter snarled, hovering out of the way of multiple sets of Psychic rings. "It doesn't matter what you do. It doesn't matter who you surround yourself with. There is no such thing as a perfect world! Better they all be erased than one person in one world be made to suffer!"

    Stop shouting… please. I'm so tired of this.

    "And what do you call what you're doing? Look at all the people you've made suffer with your actions!" Shane barked. "Even if we can undo the damage… the memories won't fade away!"

    "All the more reason to make everything disappear." Dark Matter shot out a bunch of bright-white orbs. Enough to form an entire wall behind it. Tessa's eyes widened. If they fired off lasers, there'd be no way to escape them all. Not without jumping right into Dark Matter.

    Shane tensed up, then noticed a glimmer coming from his looplet. He knew it wouldn't do any good to stop and think about if a Z-Move was even possible inside of Necrozma, so he focused on the looplet. His breath rushed out of him when the familiar warmth of channeled Z-Power spread down his limbs.

    Silvally backed away with a yelp. "Careful, Shane! We're not exactly in a wide-open space, here."

    An iceberg rose out from the floor. Shane glanced at Silvally and said, "I know. But I've got to try this. One way or another… we're putting an end to all of this!"

    Dark Matter fired its wall of energy beams at the same time Shane unleashed his Z-Move. The giant ice beam struck the lasers and pushed them back. It made contact with Dark Matter, blowing apart its slime-covered exterior and exposing the purple eye in the center. With blue haze still filling the room and blocking his teammates' views of the trembling core, Shane leaped toward it with a loud holler. The eye widened. Black tendrils appeared around the core and wrapped Shane up the instant he contacted the core.

    Espy dispelled the lingering mist. "Hey, where'd Shane go?" she asked, looking around the room in confusion.

    Silvally's beak hung open. He stared at the core. Though it lacked a face and limbs, he swore it was convulsing in midair. The various color streaks crisscrossed one another. "I… I think he's…" Silvally pointed his beak at the core.

    "What?!" Tessa's eyes bulged out. "We've got to get him out of there. Everyone… together!" She gathered her paws together to charge up an Aura Sphere when the core shrieked so loud that Tessa dropped to her knees and threw her paws over her ears. "Agh! M… make it… stop!"

    Silvally's eyes twitched. He squeezed them shut and staggered back, bumping into an equally-frightened Espy. "S… Silv, what's going on? The whole room is shaking and flashing like Sunset Shoals during Primarina's concert!"

    "I don't know! I… I…" Silvally hissed in pain, unable to do anything to stop his sonar-like ears from getting the full force of the core's screams.

    Before Espy had the chance to respond, the entire floor flashed white. She looked down, tail stiffening. "What the—"

    Another white flash ensued. Next thing Espy, Silvally, and Tessa knew, they were floating in midair. "H-Hey… what's the big idea?!" Tessa tried to look at the core, but the lack of gravity made it impossible for her to turn around. "Shane? Shane, can you hear me? What are you doing in there?"

    As if to answer, white energy raced up the walls in successive ripples. Bright-white glows surrounded Espy, Silvally, and Tessa. They all exchanged surprised looks for a few seconds, before they shot up toward the ceiling, leaving Necrozma's innards behind in three streaks of bright white light.

    XxX
    Continued in next post.
     
  2. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Drowning sorrows with Regice & Latios

    Continued from previous post.

    XxX​

    Shane found himself once again floating through a seemingly-empty space. There was one critical difference between his current predicament and the time Necrozma possessed him, however. A mosaic of bright colors twisted and spiraled all around him. He squinted, trying to discern some sort pattern in the rainbow in front of him, but he soon abandoned those efforts.

    "H-Hello?" He kicked at the air with his legs, thankful he managed to retain his Ninetales form this time. To his surprise, the action propelled him forward slightly. It was like doing a single breaststroke kick in a swimming pool. Shane kept kicking, moving through the alien space. The colors all around him kept shifting, but he couldn't make anything out from them.

    "Tessa? Silvally? Espy? Is… is anyone out there?" Shane bit his lip. He was seriously regretting his decision to leap toward the core, even though he firmly believed the only way to stop the core's rampage was from the inside. After kicking for a while without any sort of response, Shane stopped and hung his head. "Nicky? Can you hear me? C'mon, man, you know I wasn't a fan of Inception. Enough of this dream within a dream-type nonsense! I just want to talk… I swear!"

    I know.

    Shane gasped. It was the same voice he'd heard during the battle, but it was much louder now. "Nicky? Nicky! You don't have to hide anymore. I'm here! I can help! I can… I can make up for what I did." Shane's ears folded against his head.

    I'm right here. I've been here the whole time.

    "Huh?" Shane squinted. He even went cross-eyed. That's when he saw tiny cluster of golden embers floating across from him. "Is… is that really you?"

    It's… complicated. But you ought to know that by now, right?

    Okay, yeah. Nicky had a point. Blinking slowly, Shane reevaluated his choice of words. "You're… what's left of Nicky's spirit, aren't you?"

    I— yeah, I guess you could say that. I'm the last shred of humanity left inside of Necrozma. It's… it's really me. Your old friend, Nicky said, his voice filled with melancholy.

    Shane smiled. His tails wagged. He was relieved that his desire to find Necky wasn't wishful thinking. "I knew it. I knew you were still inside somehow!" He swam closer to the small ball of light. Nicky floated back, however, his embers rippling.

    No, Shane. It's best if you stay back for now, Nicky whispered.

    "What are you talking about? You've seen everything that's been going on, haven't you?" Shane said. "You've been trying to fight against Necrozma from the inside. I know you have!"

    The energy ball bristled. Shane, please. We… we don't have a lot of time. For once in your life — or, at least, for the life I know you from — be quiet and listen to me, okay?

    Shane frowned. He opened his mouth, only to nod slowly and lower his head. He'd interrupted Nicky enough times when they were human. Now wasn't the time to slip into that old habit.

    Whatever Golem did when he tried to strip me of my powers broke my spirit apart. The pain was… Nicky paused. I don't think words alone can describe it, to be honest. But the point is that, the part of my spirit that remained behind was filled with the same hatred that Golem and his assistants had in their hearts and minds when they brought me to this world and made me into the Guiding Light. That hatred mixed with the chaotic power of the ley lines that Golem used to create me. And thus, Necrozma was born.

    It all lined up with what Necrozma had told Shane during his rant about how he was actually Dark Matter. But somehow, hearing it from Nicky's voice made it sound more… concrete? Shane wasn't sure if that was the right word.

    The light ball flittered back, golden embers trailing off it. After that, I was imprisoned in the Ultra Nexus. I can't tell you exactly how long that was, but it had to have been at least several centuries. All that time, I reflected on the things that had happened to me. Well, all the negative things, to be more specific. They played on an endless loop for me.

    "I'm sorry," Shane whispered. He could scarcely imagine what it'd be like if he was trapped with nothing but his thoughts. It was no wonder Necrozma descended into madness.

    Nicky bristled once again. Shane looked away guiltily. Shane, I know you want to think that I'm a victim in this whole sordid affair. And maybe I am to some degree. But most of Necrozma's existence has been carrying out my will.

    Shane frowned. That didn't make a lick of sense. "What are you saying?"

    That I wanted revenge. I wanted to hurt people like they had hurt me. I wanted everyone to know what it was like to suffer… and I wanted to take their happiness from them by destroying the things they loved and cared about, Nicky said. I haven't been resisting that long. I've mostly spurned on Necrozma's actions.

    Nicky's words brought Shane back to his conversation with Espy about Necrozma's true nature. Was this what she had meant when she claimed he was too far gone?

    Just like you and Dark Matter are merged together… I'm merged with the void, the empty entity that battled Arceus and lodged itself in the core of the planet, spreading the ley lines that Pokémon hate so much, Nicky continued. My hatred fueled the void… and the void fueled my destructive powers by helping me harness the spirits of other Pokémon and control the ley lines within the planet. That was our relationship.

    Heck, it even happened before we started battling. Once I got a taste of all the power the void had poured into Necrozma's core… Nicky's particles shrank closer to one another. Shane, you heard Necrozma. That attack on the human world… that was all me.

    "Rebecca," Shane whispered. He imagined a Salazzle thrashing about in an empty space, screaming and snarling. If this was going to be the end of Necrozma… would she be trapped there forever?

    Not just her. With the powers I got from Arceus and the Unown, I sent his arms to attack Rebecca's school. Geoff was there, too, but I'm pretty sure he's dead now, Nicky replied, shrinking into an even tighter ball. It doesn't stop there. I must've attacked at least a couple of dozen colleges. All to take away people's happiness… just like I had my happiness taken from me.

    Bile rose in Shane's throat. As much as he resented many of his old classmates, he wouldn't wish death upon them. All he had wanted was for them to fess up and face justice for what he believed they'd done to Nicky. Instead, Nicky had exacted his own justice… as Necrozma. "Nicky." Shane's tails fell between his legs. "I don't get it. Then why were you fighting with the void for control of Necrozma?"

    Because I heard the things you and your teammates were saying. And they made me think of Xerneas. She was… The light ball expanded. She was my mate, Shane.

    "Seriously?!"

    Nicky bristled. A hiss echoed in Shane's ears and he shrank back, wincing. "S-Sorry. I wasn't, um, judging or anything. I mean—"

    We don't have time for this discussion.

    "But what about the stuff you said to my friends about the pictures on my computer?" Shane said, pouting.

    I just told you… I don't want to talk about any of that. We're on a timer, Nicky replied. As if on cue, the rippling colors surrounding them darkened.

    "What's that supposed to mean? I'm still really confused," Shane said. Then again… he did see a second silhouette wrapped in the void's chains. Now that he thought about, it looked vaguely Xerneas-like. And Necrozma had possessed Xerneas when he confronted Shane in the Prism Wastelands.

    Just be quiet and listen to me, Nicky growled. Shane shrank back again. Nicky sighed. When I confronted Xerneas, there was… a schism of sorts. The realization of what I was doing — of the monster I'd become — had finally hit me. There were sparks of that when I encountered you in the Tapus' various temples. But the void and I were still on the same page, then. After Xerneas, though… I started to have second thoughts. But then I got a taste of the void's true power and almost lost myself to it… until your team broke through and I realized how wrong I'd been.

    "Exactly! And now that we're together, there's got to be a way to—"

    No.

    Shane blinked. "No? What do you mean? Don't you want to be yourself again? I'm sure we can think of something." After all this work, he wasn't going to let Nicky slip away again.

    No, Shane. I don't want to return to being the Guiding Light or get put into a new body or anything like that, Nicky said, his golden embers dimming. I'm tired, Shane. So, so tired. I've been drowning in negative thoughts for such a long time… I just can't do it anymore.

    "You can't say that, Nicky!" Shane swam closer, but Nicky flittered back. "I know I screwed up when we were human. I missed all the signs that something was wrong. But not this time. I can help you. My friends can— err, I mean, my other friends can help you find happiness as a Pokémon. You don't have to—"

    Shane, I'm not saying I want to kill myself… again. I'm saying that it's impossible for you to restore me the way I am.

    "Oh," Shane whispered. Why hadn't he said that from the get-go, then?

    When I turned into Necrozma, the first thing I did was destroy my original body… and most of my spirit, as well. What you're seeing here really is all that's left. I can't maintain a physical form without leeching off of someone else's energy… whether it's the void's or Lunala's or anyone else's, Nicky explained. In order to restore all the spirits I've consumed, I would have to give up all of the energy I've taken in. All that would be left behind is a dormant core. But the void would still be part of that core.

    Shane recalled Team Paradox's story. Even if Necrozma was reduced to its core, it could still potentially cause trouble. He needed a better solution. "What about light energy or Z-Power? Can we use that to fill your spirit up enough to give you a new body?" Shane wondered, looking at his looplet.

    Even if that was possible, I don't want to.

    "But you just said—"

    Shane, there's no way I can go and live in any world after everything I've done, Nicky said, his golden embers dimming even further. I have too many bad memories. Of my human life, my time as the Guiding Light, and all the awful stuff I did as Necrozma. I've had enough. I want it all to end. I want to rest.

    Tears welled up in Shane's eyes. This time, Nicky's message was much clearer. Shane had to stop him from thinking like that. "C-C'mon. Don't say stuff like that. Didn't you hear what my friends and I were saying? People can change! You can—"

    But I would never really be happy, Shane. It's better for everyone if I disappear, Nicky whispered. You're right, though. People can change. You've changed, Shane. I'm stunned at who you've become. Somehow, being a part of Team Radiance truly transformed you… y'know, beyond the whole 'body of an ice Ninetales' thing.

    Shane was filled with too much guilt to accept the compliment. "N… Nicky. You don't deserve this…"

    This isn't a game, Shane. It's real life. Not everyone gets to have a happy ending, Nicky said. I know how upset you'd get whenever I tried to get you to play a game or watch something where there aren't happy endings involved for all the heroes. But I'm not a hero.

    "But you battled against the void from within!" Shane mentally kicked himself. He was this close to losing Nicky again. Couldn't he come up with something better?

    Only after blowing up the whole world. Even if that can be undone… I can't reverse all the damage to the human world. I'm sorry, Shane, but this is one of those times I need you to buck up and stomach something you don't like. Because I need your help for one last thing.

    Shane frowned. He wanted to save Nicky, sure. But was that actually a selfish wish? Shane mulled Nicky's words over. He wanted to disappear… but he had a last request. And Shane had done such a bad job with his requests when they were human. Sighting, Shane came to a conclusion. Even though his heart ached, Shane believed he owed it to Nicky to indulge whatever the request was.

    He blinked tears out of his eyes. "O-Okay. What do you need?"

    I need you… to take what's left of my spirit.

    "I… wait, what?" Shane's jaw dropped. That was… not the request he expected. It flew in the face of everything Nicky had said before… right? "But haven't we been—"

    Even though your team broke the vessels linking the core to Void Necrozma, it's still connected. I can feel all the spirits beating together like one massive heart. They're yearning to return to their homes, Nicky said. And I can make it happen, but we have to get the void and its toxic ley lines out of the picture for good. My will is only strong enough to hinder it, not take it out. But if you accept my spirit… our wills combined should be able to drive the void out of the core… and out of Necrozma. Then, we can destroy the void and restore everything that I took from this world.

    "So, wait… would this be like how Dark Matter fused with my spirit?" Shane said. The colors around the room swirled even faster. Though Shane floated in midair, he got the sense that the room was shaking. Was this the timer Nicky referred to?

    Yes. Your spirit's far more stable than mine, so it would be your memories and personality that would win out. However, I'd make sure to give you the knowledge needed to fix the things I broke, Nicky replied, his embers pulsating. This is my final request to you, Shane. Become Necrozma… be the new Guiding Light. Fix the things I broke and, hopefully, lay out a path for a bright future for this world.

    Nicky floated up to Shane. Gold filled Shane's vision. This was not a request to be taken lightly. His eyes darted about nervously. Shane knew he was impulsive. With Necrozma's powers… he could end up doing something hasty and making things even worse. "Are… are you sure you've got the right guy? I mean, I'm a total screw-up! There's no way I could handle that kind of power on my own."

    You wouldn't have to handle it for long, Shane. Because what we have to do… isn't something you're going to bounce back from.

    "Wait… what?!" Now Shane was sure the room was shaking. Spinning, too. He was definitely light-headed. "Y… you're saying—"

    That if you agree to this, you're going to burn out our combined spirit, Nicky said. So, yes, we'll both be disappearing.

    Shane clenched his jaw. "But… but then… what was the point of this whole conversation? I… I…"

    This is why I didn't want you interrupting until I'd finished, Nicky said, sighing. I wanted to explain it all clearly, but you kept peppering with me with questions.

    "But my friends… I want to stay with them! Please, there has to be some other way!" Fresh tears welled up in Shane's eyes. Thoughts of Espy's smile, Silvally curling around him protectively, and sitting on the beach with Tessa flashed in his mind. He couldn't leave. Shane promised that he would stay with them. They were a team. And their journey had been so different. It wasn't supposed to end the same way as the games.

    A thunderclap echoed through the room. Nicky's light particles distorted briefly. Shane's tails shot up in alarm.

    I'm sorry, Shane. This is the only way I can think of… short of having your team leave the world destroyed in exchange for breaking my core, Nicky said, a hint of urgency to his voice. I realize this must be hard for you. Your friends… are good people. People who care deeply about you.

    All Shane could think about was Tessa. Her smile. Her paw brushing against his while they talked on Circadian Coast. The encouraging words when he was trapped by Necrozma. "It's… it's more than that." Shane's voice trembled. "Tessa. I… I love her. I can't… I don't want to leave her. She's… she means so much to me."

    If you really love her, then don't you think she deserves to have her world back? Think about it… neither of us were meant to be here in the first place. We broke this world. It's only right we put it back together.

    Shane bit his lip. Nicky… had a point. After all the efforts Shane had taken to learn to be selfless, he couldn't throw that all away. Tessa deserved to have Gallian and Zoroark back. Espy deserved to reunite with her brother… and the Pokémon of Paradise. And, if he didn't fix the world, Silvally would never get to show people what he's capable of.

    Still, it wasn't fair. After all of his hard work… he wouldn't get to stay with his friends. Not without doing something extraordinarily selfish. Shane's ears drooped. There wasn't any further room for debate. He had to go along with Nicky. Otherwise, he'd be spitting in the face of all the things his friends had said in battle. And that wasn't right. Not after everything Team Radiance had done for him… especially all the second chances he'd gotten. They earned the right to get their world back… and experience true peace.

    Another thunderclap sounded. Well? What's your answer? I can't keep the void at bay any longer!

    Shane wiped tears out of his eyes. Yes, he'd made up his mind, but that didn't make it any less of a bitter pill to swallow. And, given how unstable Nicky made it sound like Necrozma's massive was, Shane wasn't even sure he'd get to say a proper goodbye. It stung. However, Shane forced himself to imagine his teammates reuniting with people whose spirits Necrozma had taken. It helped to settle his stomach.

    He extended a forepaw toward Nicky and said, "Okay. I'll do it."

    Even though Nicky lacked a face, Shane swore he saw a smile before his vision went white.

    XxX​

    "Lunala, look! It's Team Radiance!" Ephemeris pointed a wing toward Necrozma's neck. Three bright lights burst out of Necrozma's golden neck, orange goop trailing off them. Lunala flew forward and snagged Espy and Tessa in a psychic grip. She planted them on her back, cringing as slime squelched against her spine.

    "Eww. What happened to you all in there? You stink to Mellath Bog," Lunala said, face scrunching up.

    "Never mind that. Where's Shane?" Tessa looked about frantically. "Shane? Shane?! Say something, damn it! We did not come this far for you to—"

    "Ah! Necrozma's stirring!" Silvally squawked, pointing a talon forward. Everyone looked in Necrozma direction to see his head and wings reform, mismatched eyes and all. This time, however, there was no third eye on his forehead or extra eyes in his wing-joints. Necrozma sat upright, then coughed up a large purple eye. It swiveled around and stared at Team Radiance, then shot past them, shrieking in rage.

    "I wILl ObLIteRAtE AlL Of YoU! DiE! DiE! Die!"

    Ley line chains swarmed Void, expanding the size of the disembodied eyeball. Its pupil crackled with dark lightning. "Incoming!" Ephemeris cried as Void shot a purple beam toward Team Radiance. Ephemeris spewed a Flamethrower in retaliation. Lunala added a Moongeist Beam. Tessa threw her paws up and shot out a stream of aura. Espy shot a Psybeam and Silvally, encased by golden energy, unleashed a white-hot plasma stream.

    The attacks met Void's laser and forced it back. Void's pupil expanded. "No! No! NoOoO! ThIS iS ImPOSSiBLE! I Am AlL oF ExIStENcE! YoU CANnOT StOP m—"

    Team Radiance's attacks snuffed Void's laser out and struck it. Cracks splintered across its eye. It hovered back, pulsating and rippling with energy. More ley line chains burrowed inside of Void. Each one made it grow in size until it ballooned up to be twice as large as Ephemeris and Lunala.

    "ThIS iS The ENd foR yOU aLl!"

    Void unleashed another laser, far larger than the other ones. Everyone's eyes widened and they braced themselves for the worst, only for a rainbow beam to destroy the laser and strike Void directly in its pupil. Void spun through space, coming to rest by the giant rift leading to the sun.

    "What the—" Silvally turned around. "Necrozma?"

    "Guess again."

    Tessa nearly fell from Lunala's back upon hearing Shane's voice coming from Necrozma. He flew between Lunala and Ephemeris, his new, draconic body brimming with golden energy. Shane stared down Void. "I told you before… nobody hurts my friends and gets away with it!"

    Void tilted its eye meekly. "YoU ArE… mAkInG A HugE mIsTaKe…"

    "No, I'm fixing your huge mistake!" Shane said, flying up to the rift. The heat from the sun was suffocating, but the bright glow it gave off was also inviting. Shane hadn't felt this invigorated in either his human or his Pokémon life. He channeled the heat and energy from the other side of the rift, forming a giant golden energy ball overhead.

    Tessa's jaw slackened. "No way," she whispered. Tessa rubbed her eyes with an arm, convinced she had to be dreaming.

    "This is for everyone you've hurt with your sick, twisted beliefs! Our world is done with you… forever!" Shane tucked his head into his chest. The golden energy ball surged toward Void.

    "YoU Can'T Get RId oF mE! I aM NeCESsArY DeSTruCtIoN!" Void snarled. It gathered up the last of the remaining ley line chains, swelling up in size even further. It shot another purple laser toward the giant energy ball. Void's attack managed to stop Shane's light ball in its place, despite its massive size.

    "I aM ThE BegINNiNG… tHe MidDle… tHE eND! I Am EVerYThiNG! I aM… I aM… VoID. I mUSt… ConSumE. I muST… DeSTrOY!"

    Despite all of Void's efforts, it couldn't do more than keep Shane's attack in place. Shane's multicolored eyes flashed. The energy ball expanded… and swallowed up Void's beam. Shrieking at the top of its nonexistent lungs, Void poured all of the energy it could muster into its energy beam. It shrank down, ley line chains dissolving away as golden light raced to meet Void.

    "No! NO! NoOO! I woN'T… GiVE iN! I CaN'T! I… HaTE… HatE… HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE YOU!"

    "The feeling's mutual, asshole!"

    With one final burst of pink energy, Shane propelled his massive energy ball straight into Void. Bit by bit, the ball of purple and black slime dissolved away… until Void disappeared inside the energy ball. There was a blinding explosion, punctuated by the echoes of Void's defiant, rage-filled snarling.

    Team Radiance all had to look away from the brilliant golden flash. When the light died down, there was nothing left in Void's place. Not even a single fragment of a ley line chain remained. Shane's beak creaked into a grin. It was gone. Every last bit had been blown to smithereens.

    Ephemeris and Lunala exchanged curious looks and cautiously approached Shane. "You're… you're Shane, right?"

    Shane nodded. "When I dove into Necrozma's core… I was able to force the void out of Necrozma."

    "Shane, that's… that's…" Tessa was at a complete loss for words. "Does this mean we've, um, stopped Necrozma?"

    He smiled. "It does. We did it. We won… together!"

    "What's going to happen now? Even if we've stopped Necrozma from wiping out reality… our world's still been destroyed, hasn't it?" Espy said, ears drooping. She looked at Silvally and Tessa, who both lowered their heads.

    "It's going to be fine."

    Espy's ears twitched. She looked into Shane's massive eyes. "Excuse me?"

    "The hard part is over." Shane glanced at the rift, watching a couple of solar flares jump out. He drew them toward his back. Another surge of energy shot through him. "You all finally get to rest. I'll take it from here."

    Tessa cocked her head. "Wait, what are you saying? You actually have a plan to fix this?"

    "I do." Shane looked at Ephemeris and Lunala. "But I don't think it's safe for any of you to stay here. I need you to go into Ultra Space for a little while. You'll know when it's safe to return."

    "But what about you?" Tessa said, heart hammering in her chest. "It's not a true victory if we're not together in the end!"

    "I told you, Tessa, there's no reason to worry." Shane offered her the best reassuring grin he could manage with his giant, beak-like mouth. "Everything's going to be fine." He turned toward the rift. "I'll see you all on the other side. Don't start the celebration party or anything without me, okay?"

    Tessa tensed up. "No, it's not okay! What's your plan? What are you doing? Tell us, Shane! After everything we've been through, don't we deserve to know? I… I…" She put a paw to her chest spike.

    Shane closed his eyes. "I promise… I'll tell you everything when it's over. Deal?"

    Tessa's eyes darted about. Lunala had already opened up an Ultra Wormhole. Eyes squeezed shut, Tessa tucked her head in. Then, without warning, she leaped off from Lunala bag. Espy and Silvally cried out to her, but she ignored them. Her momentum carried her right onto Shane's crystalline beak.

    "T-Tessa, what are you doing?!" Shane said, his eyes turning a mix of red and orange.

    Tessa planted the tip of her muzzle against the top of Shane's beak. His eyes widened in shock. Tessa stood back up, legs shaking. "You better keep your promise, Shane!" she said. Tessa then leaped back onto Lunala, nearly jostling Espy off her back in the process. Espy stared at her in shock, but Tessa said nothing. She took one last look at Shane before disappearing alongside her teammates through the portal.

    Shane waited until the wormhole was closed. The red color receded in his eyes and face. Shane sighed and bowed his head. "I don't see why I couldn't have told them the truth. They're going to be heartbroken, Nicky. And Tessa… after that gesture… I should've said that I love her." He turned so he was fully facing the rift. Immense guilt over the fact that he had lied to Tessa bubbled up in his chest. In truth, he still had no idea if this would work. But that wouldn't stop him from going through with it.

    'After all, I was never supposed to be a part of this world in the first place. If I can give everyone else a second chance, then I can rest happy.'

    With a flap of his four wings, Shane clumsily made his way through the rift. Immediately, an intense wall of heat buffeted him. The wind rushed out of Shane. He was hoping his ethereal body would make this an easy feat, but the sun's molten surface suffocated him. He could barely think straight, but he knew he had to concentrate. Shane had to think happy thoughts to get this to work right.

    In his mind's eye, he pictured himself sitting on the hill overlooking Aeon Town. Soft fur brushed against his imaginary hip. He looked to his right to see Tessa sitting next to him. She wrapped an arm around his foreleg and smiled at him. Another tingle crossed his other hip as Silvally sat down on his left, with Espy at his side. All three of them looked out to the west, staring at a beautiful orange sky as the sun sank below the horizon.

    Shane trembled. The energy surging through him made him feel like he was going to burst apart at any second. But he had to keep himself together until he reached the center of the sun. Shane squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his crystalline teeth.

    "From darkest night… I'll light the way…"

    Shane dove into the sun. Burning pain shot down his entire body. His wings quivered. His tail spasmed. Crystal chunks broke off his body. The hexagonal tiles of Void Necrozma's wings fell apart the closer he got to the sun's molten core.

    "To a brand-new world… and a bright, shining day!"

    Golden light beams poked out from the center of the sun as it slowly expanded in size. Then, in a sparkling, rainbow flash, it exploded, bathing the entire cosmos in brilliant, ethereal light.

    XxX​

    Spawn of Chaos, Necrozma Core
    At last… Necrozma's terrifying true form reveals itself. With a ravenous hunger for spiritual energy, it will stop at nothing to destroy whatever stands in front of it. Though its enraged shrieks echo through the insides of Necrozma's body, a small, shrill voice cries out from the darkness.

    "Please make it stop! I don't want to do this anymore!"

    XxX
    If you've followed the blog, you'll know that I've been referring to the fic's final episode as "the golden ending." And now you know why. It's golden in the sense that Shane turns gold as a result of turning into Necrozma. This is the ending I've had planned for several months. I'm sure some of you might be confused, but it's not over yet. A lot of things still need to be wrapped up. I hope you found this to be to your liking. If not, maybe you'll consider letting me know why.

    Next time: the aftermath.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
    git-it likes this.
  3. git-it

    git-it Member

    The whole fight with the core was very interesting.
    One thing I thought while reading was that I felt sorry for Necrozma when he was saying 'StOP HuRTiNG Me! Go AWAy!' and 'YoU… YoU AlL hATE mE! WhY DOeS EvERYoNE HAtE Me?!', even if it seemed to be the void talking at this point while reading.
    But Necrozma may even in the beginning of this fight have had some influence by Nicky, because what I experienced with Void was that Void is acting merciless. 'Go away', 'Stop' and 'Leave me alone' are not nearly as serious as 'Burn' or 'Die', so in retrospect I think there may have already been some Nicky at that point.
    The fight was exciting and because of the conversations very diversified.

    And then you did it. Again.
    In the dialogue between Nicky and Shane, you made me cry.
    Twice.
    First when Nicky told Shane he wants to rest.
    And Second when he told Shane to end all.
    I knew that this point would come, because this is PMD, but I couldn't hold on myself. Again.

    Oh, I'm not looking forward for the moment when Tessa, Silvally and Espy find out. I think Tessa already is suspecting it, even if Shane was denying.

    Hats off for Amby.
     

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