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Rocky Road ~ House of Diyem, Mellow, and Toast

Negrek

The Evil I
Staff
Nate jumped slightly when Diyem pointed out his tree. Jesus Christ. Imagine catching sight of that thing out of the corner of your eye when you were home alone. "I, uh, like the berries," he said weakly. Standing there with the charizard and the screaming tree and the bread writhing around on the floor, this was starting to feel like some kind of funky dream.

Nate gave himself a shake and rubbed at the back of his neck. Which was a lot easier to reach now, miracle of miracles. "Anyway, I mostly came by because I wanted to see how you were doing. After all the Xerneas stuff, you know? How's it been?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
Diyem regarded Nate with perhaps an analytical stare. He flicked his tail toward Toast, who snarled and rolled deeper into the forest, and then Diyem took a seat on one of the chairs that had been overtaken by shadowy vines.

"Lingering embarrassment has sped up my recovery," Diyem replied neutrally. "I feel that I am at my full strength again, aside from lowered power reserves. But physically, I am doing well. And my brief exposure to further Eterna energy has built up my tolerance to positive emotions again."
 

Negrek

The Evil I
Staff
Well, if that wasn't a hell of a carefully-worded answer. Said a whole lot by not saying anything.

"Well, that's good. Especially the positive emotions thing. Otherwise you'd probably've gotten blasted back to being a charmander just walking into the same room as Cabot, huh?" Nate eyed the other chairs suspiciously. He didn't think he could trust that nothing would grab him if he tried sitting in one of them. "Wasn't really talking about how you're doing physically, though. I mean, what Xerneas did to you, whether it was on purpose or not... Seemed like kind of a lot, you know?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
"I've been through worse," Diyem replied with a hint of bitterness to his voice. He leaned further against the vines and grumbled. "Like I said, it is an embarrassing episode that I can only hope to move past by ignoring it. I haven't spoken to Xerneas ever since that meeting and..." He trailed off. "Well, I suppose that's how it will remain."
 

Negrek

The Evil I
Staff
"Yeah," Nate said after a beat of silence. "You been through a lot of shit." As if that wasn't the understatement of the fucking century. Compared to all that, fair enough, it probably barely registered. But still. "Why d'you think you ain't gonna talk to Xerneas again, though? Like you don't want to, or is it more on the other guy's end?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
Diyem made a rumbling sound that would have been appropriate on a Feraligatr warding off an annoyance. He searched for the words, started a few times, but stopped. Then, after the third try, he said, "...Do you know what it is like... to be unable to feel positive emotions without pain... and then to end up with someone who can counteract it? Anyone. It's... addicting. Intoxicating." Diyem's claws dug into the vines. "It's something only Eien should be allowed to do."
 

Negrek

The Evil I
Staff
Nate listened solemnly, then tried to figure out what to say to that. His fucking legs were getting tired. He settled down on the floor, as much to give himself time to think as anything. "I mean, no, I definitely don't. It sounds fucking awful, though. Major fucked up. So blocking that is one of the things the energy nullification can do, is that right?" He paused, uncertain. Diyem had to have figured this out, didn't he? "You, uh, saw who's living inside 'Xerneas,' right? Ain't that one of Eien's kids? Maybe it runs in the family."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
"That could be it," Diyem muttered. "Or some fragment of her, but I do not want to take any risks. It does not 'feel' like Eien. Perhaps derivative." He closed his eyes, thinking back. "Yes... I remember. Xerneas, the one we've come to know, is not a Shade as we know them. It's more likely something without Joule's influence at all--something between myself and Eien, powered up by the host that it had overtaken. But I do not know what happened to the real Xerneas, or why the one we know now exists at all. Someone orchestrated it.

"S'more is the same way. I don't know what created him, but he isn't normal, either. I've taken a closer look now, and he feels to have elements of... Maple and Eien. Life and Eterna energy, but the latter is depleted. It had to have happened during that scouting mission. But how?" He rumbled again, opening his eyes. "I do not like what these all mean. Ultra Shades are a combination of four energies. Xerneas is a combination of a few as well. What happens if a new entity is formed from a combination of all five?"
 

Negrek

The Evil I
Staff
"Whatever happens, we're for sure gonna be seeing it soon," Nate said grimly. "Soda was all out collecting those five energies, right? And he got them. Best way to go on at this point is assume that yeah, there's some super-ultra-shade thing out there--probably up there, on the moon--that either's been around the whole time, or is about to get made. For whatever reason."

Which... maybe it was terrifying? But none of the shades they'd met so far had been bad, really. Even the one that apparently fucking ate Xerneas mostly seemed confused. If there was somebody out there who'd got the idea to put them together, to make that whatever-it-was come to life, that seemed to Nate like it was a much scarier deal.

"I still don't get why Joule started sprouting shades in the first place. Is that just what happens, when you get light energy and shadows and life all together?" Nate leaned his head on one hand. "S'more, though. Seems like he coulda picked up some Eterna energy just for being in the same area as all those eggs, if that was the source. Whatever made those magikarp go all big, anyhow, it was near there. As for the life stuff, well. Soda said he didn't kill S'more, but he was definitely around. Seems like the Radiance coulda come from him. Or maybe that mewtwo."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
"It's all a fog for us. The moment between Eien attacking Maple, to us arriving, still has too many gaps for us to make a proper picture of it..." He looked out one of the windows, toward the sky. Nothing so far. Not that he expected anything. Maybe a little.

"I'm beginning to wonder if there's someone behind this at all," Diyem admitted.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
"No, not an accident," Diyem said. "It's only a guess... I could easily be wrong. But I do wonder if the very nature of Cibus is what caused this to happen. Emotions, positive and negative energy... pseudoscience in other worlds is hard fact here. It was how I was born. How a Voice of Life is sustained." He looked at Toast, who was finally settled down near a flower. "What if this Blacklight crisis is an entity itself? What if it's the Blacklight... a force like myself? An entity that came to be... due to the desires of others?"
 

Negrek

The Evil I
Staff
"Yeah, I was gonna say. My world, sure, all the wacky shit happening turning out to be one huge coincidence is exactly how it'd go down. Be one hell of a funny joke for the gods that don't exist there. But Cibus? Feels like pretty much everything around here happens for a reason. Wouldn't be surprised if there's some kind of Blacklight... person out there somewhere. But then you gotta ask yourself, why? Like what desires we talking, here?" Nate watched Toast from the corner of his eye. He wondered if they were listening in, or cared at all. "Soda was talking about using the power to change things. Make big changes. Could it be something as simple as that? Like, people wanting for things to be different? Or maybe something more specific, like. A few people, or even just one, wanting to change something so hard they managed to create something that'd be able to do it?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
Diyem sighed. "If we want to tackle a problem like this, then we need to think as a Cibus native than an immigrant to it. As absurd as this world is... its rules are to be followed. It has some consistency. Let's look at these elements one piece at a time. In fact, Owen took the liberty of doing just that some time ago." He closed his eyes to recall it.

"Shadows. I know it well. They are hidden feelings, negative emotions, and often things that you hide away from others... or let them take you over from the inside-out. They are pent-up frustrations of Cibus. In my own 'Cibus,' I was born from the original flaws of the world, a dissatisfaction, a doubt. Shadows of this world might be similar."

"Light. Joule. To shine upon what does not want to be seen; to bring out what had been sealed away. Light reveals Shadows, and when exposed, the Shadows wither away to scrutiny. I believe it is the Light property that truly brings out everyone's inner feelings, their confidence, their impulses, more readily. I do not think it is Radiance as a whole.

"Life. Maple, Buffet. The will to fight, the struggle for survival. I think this is the most self-explanatory element because it is inherent to natural mortals. Humans and exceptional Pokemon in particular overflow with Life, from what I've observed. And Life and Light make Radiance... which is a struggle to reveal oneself.

"For a while, we thought that was it. Life, Light, and Shadow. Combined, the three make a force that is both all the dissatisfaction with something, the darkness from and toward the world, and an impulse and struggle to reveal it. It seemed intuitive. It was what happened with Joule. But even he was controlled; Joule's darkness has nothing to do with destruction.

"...Eterna. I kept it from you all, but I knew Eterna energy was involved, too. It is energy without a source; the ability to defy and distort reality itself. It is a means to do what Blacklight alone only wishes to do. Eterna... is power. Inevitability. Flow. And, as we've seen, nullification and futility."

Diyem sighed, rubbing his temples. "Eterna Blacklight, then, by these conceptual soft-sciences... would be a force that can generate its own power to seek out change in a world that is flawed. An inevitable and eternal struggle toward it... And a willingness and ability to distort reality to achieve those goals. Those four elements alone are extremely dangerous--and it is what is within Maple and Eien, right now, in the Tree of Life."

Finally, Diyem's face darkened. "It's the final element that we need to fear," he said. "Above Shadows and Light, above Life and Eternity, is the gods. Divinity, Creation. Beginnings and Endings. It is not something that shapes worlds or realities, but the very foundations that underpin what we know. It is the power of the universe, not just a world. Soda wanted to change not Cibus, but his home world.

"Divine Eternal Blacklight, then, is the ultimate power that is trying to form. The struggle to change whole universes to rid itself of a flawed one. That might have formed because of what a few tormented souls had wished for, being in just the right place at just the right time.

"But, again," Diyem said, sinking back into his chair, "I could be wrong."
 

Negrek

The Evil I
Staff
Nate listened as Diyem made his way through each of the different energies. Five of them. Like he'd said, at first they'd been thinking there were three. Nate dearly hoped nobody was going to start pulling more damn energies out of their ass later on. Five was more than enough.

"You could be wrong," he conceded at last. "But it makes a damn lot of sense to me, at least. One thing I'm a little unclear on, though. When you say universe, you mean, like, every world out there? Like whatever the hell is going down around here--it ain't gonna spill over and hit my world, too?"

It sure as hell sounded like Diyem thought it could. Nate scowled and tried not to focus on that right now. What mattered was how this whole mess had started, not how it might end. "Wishes from some tormented souls, huh? Right place, right time?" He leaned back on his hands, eyes half-closed as he thought. "You know, back at the end of Telum, you'd have most of those energies floating around. There's the Dark Matter, plus Maple's life and Eternatus in the tree. And then, you know, the tree. Is the energy in the Tree of Life Divine, or is it something else?"

Nate tapped his fingers against the floor. "One way or another, you'd have a whole lot of people wishing pretty hard then, in the middle of a lot of different kinds of power. Maple and all them, they probably mostly wanted Telum to be restored, which doesn't seem so bad. But imagine if you had something that got born out of whatever Giovanni wanted. No way that would be something good." Nate frowned in thought. "I kinda wonder, though, about that mewtwo, or Telum's Dark Matter. I know Giovanni's all on about how he's a perfect tool who can't think or whatever the fuck, but I dunno if I buy it. And one way or another it seems like the mewtwo was in the middle of a bunch of those energies, to end up like he did. Only thing I can't figure out is where the light would have come from, back on Telum, for him to end up with Radiance."

"Anyway, maybe that mewtwo would have wished for the power to get free of what had been done to him, or destroy anyone like Giovanni who'd try to do that to someone else. And Dark Matter... Well, I dunno. I figure if I was a Dark Matter, I guess what I'd be wishing most of all would be for there to never have to be someone like me ever again."

Nate sighed and rubbed at his temples. "Or I guess there was already supposed to be something dark going on on Cibus, even before Maple showed up. So maybe whatever-it-was didn't get formed so far back. Do you think it might've been Eien that Maple was sensing, or this world's actual Dark Matter? Since it sounds like that guy's still at large. When Eien and the God Squad fought, you'd have pretty much the same group of players that was around at the end of Telum, right? Same kind of energies, except with Joule's light thrown in there too. Plus maybe Soda's old arceus-powers or whatever the fuck. Maybe that's when this whole mess really kicked off."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
Is the energy in the Tree of Life Divine, or is it something else?

"The Tree of Life is, thankfully... of Life energy. But there could be traces of Arceus within Maple, if all of Telum fell, hmm..."

Do you think it might've been Eien that Maple was sensing, or this world's actual Dark Matter?

"I doubt it was a Dark Matter of Cibus," Diyem said, shaking his head. "I have my theory on this from what Sunny had told a few others. Eien was spotted here... but it seemed she hadn't done anything. Then she returns, feeling accomplished. Dark Matter of this world said he had a vision from the future..." Diyem shook his head. "No. I think Eien approached Dark Matter of Balm's World--his other half, like Arceus--and saved Cibus that way..."
 

Negrek

The Evil I
Staff
Oh, right. Tree of Life. It was right there on the fucking tin. Nate rubbed his face. Clearly he was too slow to try to be following Dark Matter roulette today, but here they fucking were anyhow.

"Lemme see if I got this right. Back when Cibus was dealing with Dark Matter, the guy ended up giving up and saying something about a vision of the future. Okay. Meanwhile, in Cibus 2 they find signs that Dark Matter used to be there, but they disappear around the time Cibus 1 was having issues with their own. We were thinking that meant the Dark Matter from Cibus 2 ended up going to Cibus and getting defeated there. But you're thinking Eien went and talked him down, so he maybe came over to Cibus to pass his message on instead. But then where'd he go afterwards? Would he have died, same as the Dark Matter here? Nobody on Cibus 2 ever got a chance to accept him, right? Could he have still disappeared?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
"Hmm..." Diyem considered this. "According to Pop, the Arceus of Cibus and the Arceus of the other are one and the same, a split soul meant to oversee both worlds. It wasn't done hastily like with Cola, so there were not any complications... And perhaps when the world was split and Dark Matter was dormant, so, too, was he split. If that's the case, it's possible that the Dark Matter of the other Cibus... simply recombined with this one." Diyem nodded.
 

Negrek

The Evil I
Staff
"Ah, yeah, he did say that. I guess that would make sense. If that was the case, then it sounds like what brought the God Squad here was either Eien, or some other non-Dark-Matter bullshit that was already happening. Somebody getting here ahead of time and trying to lure Maple and Eien in, get this whole thing started, maybe." Nate leaned back on his hands again. It felt like there wasn't any comfortable way to sit as a marshtomp. "Let's back up a second, though. When you're saying whatever this hypothetical super ultra blacklight thing is might be able to alter universes, are you talking about something that could end up fucking up my world, or not?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
"Hmm..." The fact that Diyem had to consider it was worrying. "I think your world is too far away for it to be a concern for you specifically. If this were to be set upon the Overworld, it may take ages to reach yours, assuming it isn't stopped by greater powers. ...Though, the fact that you're here may make it easier for it to find your world if it got a hold of you... somehow."
 
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