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Nil Plateaus

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windskull

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"Are we allowed to leave? I don't think I want to be here."

Nip shot his shadow a frustrated look. Then turned back towards vix and ran a paw across his face. "No, really. I'm fine. I got my own problems, but I'll deal with them myself."
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
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Egg.
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Him/His
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  1. zoroark
Fair enough, if a bit of a throwaway answer just so someone could get away from someone else. Something about that stung enough for Vix to try and press further.

"Alright, then why's your shadow acting like more of a bitch than usual?" Vix huffed, crossing her arms. "Not that I didn't expect our shadows to be more of a fucking nuisance while we're here."
 

windskull

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"For that exact reason," Nip answered a bit too quickly.

"Maybe I wouldn't have to if you listened to me in the first place," the shadow muttered mutinously. "I'm just looking out for you, because no one else will."
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
Location
Egg.
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Him/His
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  1. zoroark
"Maybe I wouldn't have to if you listened to me in the first place,"

"Gee, I wonder if anyone else is goin' through the same shit here," Vix's Shadow grumbled, shooting Vix a sideways glance and waiting for her to notice. When she didn't, it grumbled and writhed irritably again.

Vix didn't pay the Shadows any mind, instead resting her gaze on Nip. Reading people wasn't exactly her strong suit, but when someone gives such a quick answer... shouldn't that set off some flags? Well it did for Vix, and those flags waved a big fat 'Oh, it's fucking Vix' sign on them. "I don't want to say you're bullshitting me, but I'm gonna heavily imply it. If you have a problem with your shadow, teach it a fucking lesson. Unless it isn't your shadow that's bothering you."

She couldn't tell what answer she was hoping for, honestly...
 
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windskull

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Was... Was she implying that he should beat up his shadow or something? He cast the pathetic creature a sideways glance. That would just be cruel. Besides, hadn't they been through enough?

Apparently his shadow, however, had taken offense to her comment. Though he still hid behind Nip, he let out a low growl. "Oh, I see how it is. You're the kind of pokemon that thinks you can beat other pokemon into submission, aren't you? That you can make me submit to your commands if you just show me how strong you are." He paused, grabbing Nip's arm. "I told you. You cant trust anyone. Let's get out of here before we get hurt. Again."
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
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Egg.
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Him/His
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  1. zoroark
"Oh, I see how it is. You're the kind of pokemon that thinks you can beat other pokemon into submission, aren't you? That you can make me submit to your commands if you just show me how strong you are."

Vix glared at Nip's shadow, her shadows burning off her body. This thing was really accusing her of being some... mindless brute that puts strength first? She had half a mind to blast that coward to bits for thinking so little of her!

"Like hell you know a goddamn thing about me! I'm not some meathead obsessed with power, I'm a fucking hero!" Vix barked at the Shadow, floating closer. "You're trying to act like you know me while you hide behind Nip, how about you talk shit to me to my face, huh?"

"All you're fuckin' doin' is provin' its point." Vix's Shadow growled loudly and a shadowy tendril reached towards the lamp, grabbing her by the arm. "Just calm down for a fuckin' second."

"I already told you not to tell me what to do." Vix pulled away from her Shadow, still glaring at Nip's Shadow.
 

windskull

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Both Nip and his shadow flinched, his shadow cowering behind him. "That's what everyone says," the shadow shouted back.

"Stop it," Nip warned, but his shadow didn't listen. In fact, it moved from behind him to glare defiantly at Vix.

"You all say that you're the good guy. That you're in the right and that you're doing things for the good of others. But all you care about is yourself, and you're not afraid to use threats, pain, and fear to force people to listen! Or you turn a blind eye to the pokemon doing it, because it's inconvenient to deal with."

"I said stop!" Nip reached forward to try and grab his shadow. But it yanked its arm away and continued to glare at Vix.
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
Location
Egg.
Pronouns
Him/His
Partners
  1. zoroark
"I say that I'm doing good things because I fucking am!" Vix hissed, floating up to Nip's Shadow. It picked just the words to get under her skin. "I have done nothing but try to help everyone since the day I got here, even when nobody gave a shit about me! I've nearly died so many times, and actually died, for the sake of everyone else! I am a goddamn Hero."

"Hell, just before I came here to get nagged on by you and this asshole attached to me, I was trying my damnedest to help Owen!" she said, jabbing the shadow in its chest. "I know I didn't see you doing shit then, and what did you do instead? Turn a blind eye and run away with your tail between your legs? Get someone else to fight for you?"

That last fight was still fresh in her mind, getting outshined by Brisa, ignored by Owen in the middle of their fight... being ignored by the rest of them when it was over. Had any of them even noticed she left? Did any of them care? Vix clenched her fists, shaking slightly as she tried to cast those scummy feelings aside.

"You try to deny what this Shadow is sayin', but take a fuckin' look at what you've been doin' here," Vix's Shadow grumbled. "Tryin' to beat Owen senseless? Threatenin' to kill him when he was losin' his damn mind? Do either of those sound like the kinda shit a hero would say? Like somethin' you would say?"

Vix winced, still glaring at Nip's Shadow but staying silent. She started to look unsure about something, but not even she knew what.
 

windskull

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The shadow didn't stand down. But the look on its face changed. At first, the anger remained, but as Vix advanced, its expression betrayed uncertainty, then fear.

"What, you think you're high and mighty for fighting a losing battle. For threatening to attack something that's hurting?" It paused hesitating, then mumbled, "...not that we're any better. Isn't that right, Nip?"

"
Wait, what are you-"

"I wonder who's worse. Us, or her? Someone who will kill if they think it justified, or someone who has?"

Nip made a choking noise, and his expression turned horrified. "Why are you doing this?"

"Because you want to tell her. Deep down, you don't understand how everyone can be so nice to you. You think it's all a thinly veiled guise of tolerating you, and that they'll turn on you the moment you give them a reason. And you can give them plenty of reasons." The shadow turned back to vix. "I'm going to prove us right."
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
Location
Egg.
Pronouns
Him/His
Partners
  1. zoroark
"What, you think you're high and mighty for fighting a losing battle. For threatening to attack something that's hurting?"

"I wonder who's worse. Us, or her? Someone who will kill if they think it justified, or someone who has?"

"Wh-What? I didn't, I-I never..." Vix floated back, her anger briefly faltering for confusion and fear. Her Shadow's writhing started to simmer down, and her flame flickered an dimmed for a moment before rising back up. "I-I didn't, I mean, I wasn't going to kill anyone! I would never try to kill someone!"

"And yet you did. If it wasn't Owen with his perceive, do you really fuckin' think that you wouldn't have killed them?" Vix's Shadow flowed over beside Nip's, it's cold stare bearing down on the lamp. "The worst part is... this wouldn't have been the first time, either."

"N-No, I... I'd never..." Vix stammered, her eyes darting between the shadows before her. A sharp pain pierced through Vix's body, and she started to melt. "I-I... I'm not... I didn't..."

Her shadow seemed to grow, towering over her. "You can't hide what you've done from yourself forever."

Vix's eyes widened, as if she had just seen this tower of darkness for the first time. She tried to back away, but her Shadow was always right there, no matter how hard she tried. "N-No... No I-I've never..."

"We both know you don't believe that."

"Sh-Shut up..."

"You can't move past it if you keep ignorin' it. If you keep ignorin' me."

"Shut up!" Darkness crackled around Vix's body as her body was soaked with fear.

Her Shadow didn't let up in the slightest. "What kind of hero do you think you'll be if you keep tryin' to live like this? Scared of your own shadow? Scared of yourself? Willing to almost kill your friend and try to deny you ever did? Can you not see how pathetic that is?" its voice boomed and echoed inside Vix's head as it spoke. Her Shadow suddenly reached out and grabbed Vix by the arm. "Look me in the eye and tell me that's the kind of hero you want to be."

"L-Let go of me!" Vix panicked and tried to pull herself away, but her Shadow's hold was strong. Running entirely on fear, Vix fired a Night Daze at her Shadow. The attack went right through it, just as it did before, and was heading straight for Nip.
 

windskull

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Running entirely on fear, Vix fired a Night Daze at her Shadow. The attack went right through it, just as it did before, and was heading straight for Nip.
Frozen as he watched the escalating argument between Vix, her shadow, and his shadow, Nip didn't see the attack until too late.

Vix's attack did 209 damage to Nip

Nip stumbled backwards, winded by the blow. He clutched his stomach, wincing, and looked to his shadow, who returned his gaze with a pitying expression.

"Do you understand now? Do both of you understand?" The shadow turned back to Vix. "You claim to be a hero, but you let your wrath take hold of you. That was accidental, I'm not foolish enough to miss that. But... Heroes have a duty to protect people from threats, don't they? You saw Owen as a threat, and you were willing to fight him, maybe even kill him, to protect others. Would you kill us if we were a threat, too? ...Maybe you'd be right to."

"Please," Nip whined quietly. His expression was pained; as much as he wanted to lash out, he couldn't bring himself to. "You don't have to do this."

His shadow ignored him. "Would you kill a killer? Would you be a hero if you did?"
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
Location
Egg.
Pronouns
Him/His
Partners
  1. zoroark
"Heroes have a duty to protect people from threats, don't they? You saw Owen as a threat, and you were willing to fight him, maybe even kill him, to protect others. Would you kill us if we were a threat, too?

"Would you kill a killer? Would you be a hero if you did?"

Would she? Vix... didn't know. She wanted to say she wouldn't have tried to kill them, that she wouldn't have killed anyone. That's not who she was, she wasn't a killer, she was... she was supposed to be a hero. But she wasn't, was she..? She had killed before, right? As much as she tried to deny it, she knew, deep down, that it was true.

"N-No I..." She wanted to say something, but she just... couldn't. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't find a way to counter

Then, much to Vix's surprise, her Shadow stepped in. "The hell does bein' a hero gotta do with bein' willin' to kill someone? Don't know if you've realized this, but when someone wants you dead, they ain't gonna hesitate when they get the chance. A hero havin' the moral high ground doesn't mean shit if they're dead, or if the people they fought for are dead either. Vix herself wouldn't even be here if it weren't her mentors killin' some... sick twisted fuck of a ghost."

For how long it's been, Vix was surprised she still remembered her first mission; fixing that dungeon, saving Marowak, and... that possessed Golurk... "How did you... when did..?" she asked her shadow, but for the first time here, it ignored her.

"If heroes were all-righteous, morally high, too-scared-to-kill bastards, how many of us would even have the chance to come to Cibus and play hero, huh? How long do you think a team of fuckin' pansies would have survived against an egotistical fuck like Giovanni?"
 

windskull

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Nip's shadow stared at them for an uncomfortably long time. Nip couldn't be certain if it was considering the shadow's words, or if it was just being quiet, waiting for someone else to act.

But finally, it turned it's back, and instead stared at Nip. "Well, what do you think? Is she a hero?"

Nip opened his mouth to speak, but his shadow continued. "Don't bother, I already know what you'll say. Perhaps it would be better to ask this. Do you think she'd be right to 'put you down', like she threatened to do to Owen? Especially if she knew the real you?"

Nip's expression twisted into a snarl. His throat constricted, and he stared down at his shadow with a look of hurt and anger.

But he couldn't answer. He was too afraid to answer.
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
Location
Egg.
Pronouns
Him/His
Partners
  1. zoroark
"O-Of course not," Vix said, although her voice was more uncertain than sure. "I don't know a lot about Nip, but I know he wouldn't have been chosen by Diyem if he wasn't a hero in some way himself. I wouldn't have a reason to... t-to kill him." Her flame flickered again, nearly going out.

"Don't speak so soon, you ain't got a clue what Nip is 'really like.' For all we know, Diyem just grabbed whoever he could, not just heroes." Vix's Shadow's gaze shifted from Nip's Shadow to Nip himself. "But... I'd be damned if you were so bad that anyone would've had to put you down." Probably a good idea not to mention that it was technically already damned.
 

windskull

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I don't know a lot about Nip, but I know he wouldn't have been chosen by Diyem if he wasn't a hero in some way himself.
Nip said nothing out loud, but he certainly found that hard to believe himself. Why he had been chosen... it was a question he'd been wanting to ask Diyem for some time, but every time he thought he might have an opportunity to, something had come up that kept him away. But Vix's shadow echoed his sentiments, more or less.

His feathers drooped and his shoulders slumped, but he couldn't find the strength to say anything, not even in defense against his own shadow. Because deep down, he knew that everything his shadow said was just how he felt about others. And, more importantly, how he felt about himself.

"If that's the case, then why are we being hunted in our world? She who chases us would gladly snap our neck. And we'd deserve it for the pain we caused."

"I was angry. I thought I was protecting them. Preventing hardship." Nip's voice was weak, like he didn't believe his excuse himself. But it's what he'd been telling himself for so long, bcause it was the only defense he had.
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
Location
Egg.
Pronouns
Him/His
Partners
  1. zoroark
"I was angry. I thought I was protecting them. Preventing hardship."

"Yeah, so did I..." Vix's Shadow spoke, its voice soft and understanding. Strangely enough, that's the same thing Vix herself thought to say... "It's been ages but... I still remember it like it just happened. And Vix knows about it too, even if she's hidin' it from herself. If she'd just remember it..."

"Not... Not right now," Vix muttered, floating over to Nip's side. Her Shadow let out a faint growl, then sighed, following behind her.

"It's not like I could blame you for being angry and doing something you thought would help. Look at what just happened, what you just said was what I was thinking during that whole... episode," she said, wincing a bit. Her mind was still coming off of that emotional roller coaster of being shadowed to hell and back, literally, so finding the right things to say wasn't easy. But that didn't stop her from trying.

"I don't believe you killed someone just because you could, even if you were mad when you did it. Your heart was in the right place, wasn't it? If it wasn't, would you really be beating yourself up over what you did?" Vix asked, looking out at the vast emptiness of the plateaus. It was kind of serene, now that she wasn't jacked up on anger. "That regret you feel... that's something a lot of heroes have to deal with, whether it's because of what they do or what they didn't do. You wouldn't have been the first hero to do something like that and be painted as a villain..." she lowered slightly, then turned to Nip and smiled.

"So to answer that other question, about whether or not I'd, uh, put you down if I found out about you, the answer is no. Why would I have to put down another hero?"
 
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windskull

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Nip glanced up at Vix for a moment, long enough to notice her smile. But he dropped his face again shortly after. "I... Find that hard to believe, if I'm being honest. As much as I want to say I had good reason to do what I did, all I really did was prove everyone who already thought I'll of me right." He paused, shaking his head. "But... Thanks for trying to cheer me up."
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
Location
Egg.
Pronouns
Him/His
Partners
  1. zoroark
"You would be surprised the level of bad things a hero can do in their lives. Vix's mentors both murdered several bands of bandits that were tormentin' her village, then went to repair a dungeon before it went to shit and spread across the country," Vix's shadow said nonchalantly. Vix winced, still not used to acknowledging what Castiss and Eera did. "Hell, we're all currently workin' under a fuckin' Dark Matter, an embodiment of evil. He's definitely got a couple million deaths on his hands. The main thing connectin' people like them is that they're workin' to make up for their mistakes."

"And then there's me... I don't, I still can't remember what I did, but..." Vix's voice trailed off, then shook her head and gave Nip a more reassuring look. "One bad thing doesn't make you any less a hero, Nip. I truly believe you're a good person, and that you only did what you did because you believed you had to."

"There are certainly people out there that have done worse than just kill someone."
 

windskull

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A part of him wanted to believe that. He wanted to believe it with his whole heart. But visions of snapping jaws and echoes of long past conversations with her... He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying to push the memories out of his mind. Instead, he focused on the shadow's final statement. "...I suppose you're right. In my tribe, we had rules and regulations for hunting. Who we could hunt, how much we could. All in the interest of keeping balance and taking no more than we needed."
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
Location
Egg.
Pronouns
Him/His
Partners
  1. zoroark
"Keepin' balance, huh..." Vix's Shadow muttered, then some of it moved into a shrug. "That's also kinda part of bein' a hero, funnily enough. But hell if I know, honestly."

Vix might not be the most skilled empath, or one at all, but she could very faintly feel that some uncertainty remained in Nip. Which she could probably tell more from his body language than her maybe being an empath. "I'd say knowing how to maintain balance is a heroic foundation, one of the better ones to have, actually. But I might've talked your ear off about that already, right?"

"I should... probably get going. There's a lot of things I need to handle, and I get the feeling that you do too. And, honestly, I'm probably not the best one to help you through it. Like I said, we barely know each other. What good is the help of a stranger, am I right?" She patted Nip on the shoulder, giving a slight smile. "If I were to give a bit of advice, it'd be..." her voice trailed off as she thought. She didn't have anything in mind at first, but something... came to her. Something she might have needed to do herself. "It'd be to forgive yourself, I think. Or maybe I'm just projecting onto you."

Vix's Shadow stayed quiet as she left Nip's side and went to its own, an odd look of surprise in its bright yellow eyes. "You got this, Nip," Vix nodded, then turned to Nip's shadow. "And... I'm sorry for being so hard on you earlier."
 
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