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Bringer of Wars

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Written for the Villainous Intent contest on Serebii Forums. I decided to focus on Team Galactic as shown in my personal favorite version, Diamond and Pearl Adventure!, and give everyone their own perspective on things. The chapter titles come from Holst's classic symphony The Planets, as Cyrus references the names in Platinum. Only I ran into some obvious issues (Mitsumi and B-2 have no planetary name, Charon has no equivalent suite) so I fudged a bit. I picked Mercury for Mitsumi because she's "closest to the sun" (Cyrus), and Uranus for B-2 for...obvious reasons. The unofficial Pluto suite was called The Renewer, and that works pretty well for Charon's plans. Cyrus, being the sun, is The Center. Enjoy!

Chapter 1: Bringer of Wars

It was a year since Boss Cyrus had signed the deal with the International Police to dissolve Team Galactic in exchange for clemency for most of its agents. Charon had been arrested, and nobody deserved it more than him.

I was supposed to go back to being a normal girl. But I've never had any idea what that meant.

"Mars," I said to myself, "You're going to go out there and be normal. You're not going to go back to your old ways."

Maybe it was me, but my mirror reflection always seemed to be a lot more sarcastic than me, like she was mocking every vow I made.

I was dressing nice, like the girls in magazines and in Jubilife did. Maybe it was a bit younger than my age. I'm not a teenager any more! But help me, I couldn't stand the dowdy and neutral colors that women my age were supposed to wear.

That was already a strike against me ever being normal.

I guess normal girls can look at the world passively. Normal girls don't have to resist the urge to hurt people that harm the world. Normal girls don't have body counts to their names.

Mitsumi would feel bad. I mean, she already tried to kill herself out of guilt, Jupiter said. Heck, Jupiter would feel bad. Saturn doesn't seem to regret what we did, but he still tries to fix it.

But I feel like I have to hold myself back. I CAN'T get involved. What we were doing was the right thing, no matter what we had to do to accomplish it.

Of course, not what Cyrus was really after. Wiping out all existence wasn't the answer. He was crazy. But if his revelation hadn't shocked me so much...

...Well, if I'd been able to do anything other than sit there and cry, I might have done something awful to him. And I would have regretted that, even if he was actively trying to kill us.

I still respect him. But I guess he's in the same boat I am. Neither of us can get out there and change the world or else we'll just find ourselves back where we started.

Jupiter was more of an enforcer. Seeing her change into something more docile was weird. Seeing Cyrus become quiet and withdrawn was shocking. He was always pensive and introspective, of course, but he could talk people into doing anything, and he did it often.

If he had told us in advance what he planned to do...I can't really say for sure that I wouldn't have gone along with it.

Whatever. It didn't matter now. We were all different people.

Jubilife is a great city for starting over. It's huge, and nobody knows you exist unless you want them to. And it's amazing how many employers don't do background checks, even when you go by what was originally a code name. Mars is my name now. That's all there is to it.

It was a nice day. A nice day to be alive, I think, although of course it would be much better under Boss Cyrus's rule.

Just as I thought that, I heard a yelp. It had come from a side street, one with apartments up and down it, and I ran towards it just in time to see someone run around the corner. "That man has my purse!" someone yelled. I didn't even see who it was, because I took off running after the man almost on impulse.

No, it was impulse. I was doing what I believed in.

The training I got in Team Galactic hadn't focused much on running, but it had focused on pokémon. I called out Golbat, a lot faster than me, who immediately shouted out at the man with Supersonic. He fell over, clutching his ears and the purse dropping from his grip.

I slowed down, approaching him almost gently. "In this world, we have to take what we need. But at the same time, justice must be enforced. Tell me, do you really need that purse?"

He probably couldn't hear me. Supersonic is a hell of an attack when used on a human.

I kicked the purse out of the way, and I'm pretty sure the woman picked it up. Someone was nearby anyway, watching me.

"So, you really need this purse? I don't think you do. I think you're an idiot. You didn't take what you needed." I knelt down to him and grabbed his collar. "You took because you could. That's not justice. That's not anything to believe in."

Pulling my fist back was another impulse. I hadn't felt like this in ages. It was awesome!

Some people count how many times they punch someone. Sometimes I did, but not then. A hundred. A thousand. A million! And all I could think about was that we would rid the world of all that wasn't needed. I wanted him gone.

Something got in the way of my volley though. Why would Golbat want to stop me? We were supposed to be a team, working towards bringing justice to the world. But its feet hung onto my arm, stronger than they looked.

"What are you doing? Get off me!" But a hand joined it; some woman. Probably the one who had her purse stolen.

"Stop it! I've already called the police! You don't need to do this!"

Yeah I did. That was what I did. But it wasn't worth fighting over. I got up and recalled Golbat, and walked off.

I was always going to be a Galactic. I couldn't be a normal girl.

But I'd always be me. Mars.
Bringer of Contentment

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Chapter 2--Bringer of Contentment​

I was going to stay by his side. I'd sworn myself to Master Cyrus and after his breakdown on the Spear Pillar, and his imprisonment by that traitor, I told him I never wanted to leave him.

Ugh. He always said that emotions only cause pain. Now I'm waiting around like some sort of faithful pet.

Better than nothing, I guess.

Sometimes I see Mitsumi. I don't know why she wants to see me so much. I'd tried to kill her before and she acts like we're all buddy-buddy now. Every so often I'll hear that annoying voice going "JUUUUUUPITER!" and my back jolts in the way it does when someone has a knife to it.

But she was concerned with some sort of contest so I wouldn't see her for a while.

It'd been a year since the team ended. I wondered where Cyrus was, because it had to be weighing on his mind.

Skuntank brushed against my leg and I knelt down to pet it. "Let's go for a walk," I decided.

Tangrowth and Crobat were already outside, hanging around the garden. They made a nice pair out there, with Tangrowth taking care of the vegetables and Crobat hunting whatever tried to invade.

"Come on." I didn't really have to say anything. They were so well trained that they'd come with a nod of my head.

Hareta didn't even have to gesture. His pokémon seemed to instinctively know what he wanted. It's no wonder that Master Cyrus took an interest to him. I wish I could have that sort of connection...

Sigh. I was doing it again.

"It's a nice day, isn't it? Sun is shining, Starly are singing..." That was stupid. "Disgusting..." I couldn't really fool myself. "Today's a bad day. Just...just a bad day." I kept walking, and from the looks of it I was going faster and faster, without any sort of destination in mind.
I wanted to run to him. He needed me. But his order had been to be my own person and I didn't know how to do that.

Mitsumi is a jerk. How could she be one of us and then go and be normal? I hate her so much, I hate her I hate her I hate her.

I'd stopped by then, and stood there with my thoughts racing.

Emotions only cause pain. It was as true now as it was then.

"Come on, kids." My pokémon had caught up with me by then. "Let's go to Hearthome and see a contest."
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The Winged Messenger

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Chapter 3--The Winged Messenger​

"Coming up after the break, the Master Rank contest! Please stick around for top-level excitement!"

At least I think that's what it said. I admit, I wasn't really paying attention. Applying eyeliner is harder than it looks!

I was halfway through, only one eye finished, when I heard sniffling. Emotions usually run high during contest preparation, so it isn't unusual. What was weird, though, was that she came over to me.

"Excuse me, miss Mitsumi?" I wasn't surprised that she knew my name.

I just had to twist my hips to swing the chair in her direction. She seemed a little older than me, and very unsure of herself. Her shoulders were shaking and her sloppy makeup was already starting to leak, coming dangerously close to the neckline of her sundress. "Are you ok?"

"No..." Before I could ask anything else, she threw her arms around me and started sobbing. "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I just can't ask anyone else for help!"

"Aaah, ok..." In the back of my mind, it occurred to me that it was good I hadn't gotten my dress on yet, but how selfish was that? "Do you want to go somewhere private and talk?"

She nodded against my neck. "Thank you for listening..." It took her a moment to back away from me so that I could stand up. "Gyah, I'm sorry, I'm such a mess today..."

"It's ok. We're all nervous." I patted her on the arm and took her out to the service hallway. Nobody was around, thank goodness, since all the hall staff were busy with changing the stage set. "Now, what's wrong?"

"I...I need to tell you something first," she sniffed, wiping her nose with her arm.

I smiled. "It's ok. You can tell me anything."

"This is so stupid...I made some big mistakes with my life. I shouldn't be here..."

"No no!" I hoped I was coming off as compassionate as I felt. "You earned it!"

"That's not it..." Another sniffle, another wipe, and she looked at me directly. "I...used to be in Team Galactic. And I know you were too."

That took me a moment. "I uh..." was all I could get out.

"I want to be here. I really do," she cried, "but I shouldn't be. I did so many awful things. So help me!" By this point, she was visibly shaking. "How do you deal with it? How do you go out there and be so happy when we're all horrible?"

It felt like the floor dropped out, taking my stomach with it, and I felt more than a little sick. I knew I was wobbling, so I stuck a hand out on the wall to steady myself. I had to be strong for her. I had to be strong for her, for me, for my pokémon...

It was difficult.

"I uh...I..." No, I had to get this out. "Uh..." My head was swimming. "Uh..."

She turned away. "I shouldn't have said anything."

"No no!" I blurted it out before I thought of anything to follow it with. "Uh..." Think, Mitsumi, think! "Contests are about being ourselves." It was the first thing that came to mind and I went with it. "They're about bringing out what we would have been without Team Galactic. Our real selves, unfettered"--had I really just said 'unfettered'?--"by our pasts."

That had gotten her attention. The further tears had sent her makeup cascading down onto her dress, and there wasn't going to be any time to get it out by the start of the contest. "We can't escape it though, can we? You're doing such great things with Professor Rowan, but even you..."

I wasn't sure what else to do. I was still feeling unsteady, but I had to help. So I grabbed her in a tight hug, wrapping my arms around her back with a hand on the back of her head. "Why did you enter the contests?" I asked as calmly as I could muster. "You couldn't have gotten this far without you being good at it."

She wiggled slightly, shaking her head. Her hair had only been about halfway done, but it had still taken me far too long to realize that I'd ruined it and felt even worse. "I did it on a whim. My pokémon wanted to--I have a Stunky; it still hasn't evolved...And suddenly we were winning all these awards and getting all this attention, and I don't want anybody to look into my past! Commander Mitsumi, help me!"

Commander. I hadn't heard that in years, even when I'd been coerced back on that horrible day. It felt like she was addressing someone else. "Your pokémon loves you. Stunky wouldn't want to do this if it didn't love and trust you. L-like I said, contests are about our real selves, and that includes our pokémon. It wants to show off its personality, and since you've gotten this far, I think it means you do too."

"I'm so scared..."

"Hey..." I loosened my grip and took a step back, with my hands still on her shoulders. "That's normal. Everyone is scared before a contest, and all of us trying to have lives outside the Team are scared. As far as what we can do to make up for what we've done..." That was something I'd never really talked about. As she had said, working with Professor Rowan was my primary focus. Even contests were more of a side interest, and battling with Cynthia. I took a deep breath and said whatever came to mind. "Truth be told, there was a day where I felt that I couldn't live anymore. I felt like everything I'd done was too much to bear. I almost died. But a friend saved me, and made me realize that there are people that love me. That there's a world outside Team Galactic, and there's a world outside our pasts."

She nodded, sniffling again. "So, you think I can find someone to love me even with the horrible things?"

"Your Stunky already does, and that's important. It was there with you for all of that and still relies on you and wants to share its life with you."

That got a slight smile out of her. "I want to make human friends as well."

"Well hey, there's a whole big room full of coordinators in there!"

She was about to say something when the speaker announced "Five minutes to showtime, five minutes to showtime, will all Master Rank coordinators take their places".

"Oh no!" This was loud, a far cry from the muffled tones she'd taken earlier. "I'm not finished! I need to do my hair, and--and my dress! It's ruined!"

I grabbed her arm and looked her up and down. "We're about the same size. Use mine!"

"Ah!" She took a step back. "I couldn't do that!"

"Nonsense. We'll trade."

"I couldn't do that! This is ruined!"

I smiled. "It's ok. I swear. This is your first contest and I want you to do your best."

"Uhhuh...ok then. Let's trade!" She wiped her nose again and headed for the door.

It wasn't my best appeal. With me in a stained sundress and makeup only half on, the judges paid more attention to me than to Infernape. But she was magnificent, her Stunky gathering attention and affection.

She was third. Not bad for someone's first showing.

Afterwards she came up to me, a grin a mile wide. Her face was clear and bright, and she had managed to arrange her hair nicely. "I did it! Or...I almost did it. Congratulations on your second place!"

I laughed, putting a hand behind my head. "I tell you, when someone brings a Wailord in, it's always going to have all the focus. I thought your use of props was top-notch."

"Miss Mitsumi..." Back to a more commonplace title. I relaxed a bit at that. "Thank you for helping me. You're so kind. I never thought anybody in the Team could be so kind. But now I..." A gulp. "I have hope for myself, and for the future."

I felt a sudden warmth all around me. Was this what they described as having your heart melt? Probably. "Anything to help a recovering Galactic. Now, let's get back in our street clothes and I'll buy you a new sundress."

Tears welled up again, but this time her makeup didn't run. "Thank you for being my first friend."
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Unrepentent Giovanni and Rocket fan
You know I wonder how they'd rehabilitate a Team that turned... well if not good, at least repentant. The Sun/Moon games hint at it a little with Skull members being eased back into society (though I wonder how much that would stick with the social and fiscal situations still more or less stagnant and unchanged on a Region scale...) in the ending... But the more "adult" teams like Galactic... you have to wonder, what would rehabilitation look like?

Well, you've answered it a bit. With Mars and her acceptance of her Executive identity and having issues trying to fit it into a world that clearly doesn't want a Galactic to Mitsumi who shed her Galactic ways and is trying to throw herself into an acceptable part of the world and break off from her past. Having the two characters pick opposite routes and still have their pasts haunt them (even if it's in a different way) was a nice show of balance in the narrative.

I'm curious as to what Cyrus and Saturn are up to, did you have plans to do chapters on those two?

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Oh, the fic has been finished for years with chapters for all of them. I was just pausing between posting the chapters in the hopes of reviews hahaha. Everyone is approaching this from different angles and I got to have a lot of fun with it.


Unrepentent Giovanni and Rocket fan
I can tell. Thanks for sharing this it's been fun and I'll be poking it for updates for sure.
Bringer of Aging

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Chapter 4--Bringer of Aging​

The old base was just like I remembered it. Well, it wasn't the base I was most familiar with. That one, Cyrus had blown up before heading to the Spear Pillar.

I still don't know what he was thinking when he had started heading towards Hareta when he knew the building was set to blow. Or why he made us all wait on the Spear Pillar for hours while he waited for the kid to show up, especially with what his plan really was. If he was plotting to mercy-kill the planet, why would he delay his plan to see one little brat again?

Not that I could ever really understand him. I was a commander and I knew less about him than even outsiders like Rowan knew.

The office, the new office, gave me the heebie-jeebies. Which is funny because my only real memory of the rebuilt one was catching a glimpse of Charon spinning around in the office chair. Of course, seeing someone who could act with such heartlessness having such simple fun was an unsettling enough image. That was probably why, then.

Ugh, I could hear his voice. "Saaaaturn!" He always drew it out, while Cyrus had practically barked it.

Just remembering that sent a jolt down my back.

And I had to pretend to follow that jerk. I had to keep my head down and do what I was told so I could gain access to Cyrus. And I had to keep it quiet that Cyrus was even THERE, since most of the team thought he was missing. People would walk past his cell every day and have no idea that he'd been kidnapped by that usurper.

Not that they would have done anything about it. Finding out that Charon had been using mind control on the pokémon explained how he had been able to get so many grunts to follow him. Fear only went so far, especially when it came from a funny-looking elderly man that nobody had ever particularly liked.

Rowan knew some stuff about Charon too. Apparently he'd been a much different person in his youth, with a best friend and a positive outlook. But one day that friend disappeared, right before they were supposed to make a scientific presentation, and it started his decline into utter heartlessness.

I still couldn't bring myself to feel bad for him. What Cyrus had planned...even the complete destruction of the universe didn't seem as bad as Charon's threatened bombing of the League stadium. Cyrus at least believed in something beyond himself, and genuinely believed that he was doing what was best.

Cyrus was a mad god, I thought, while Charon was a devil.

"Hey, Gallade." I let it out of its ball, and it shouted enthusiastically. "I'm sorry for yelling at you when we were at Lake Valor."

It just nodded. I'd told it before, a lot. It had been a tool then, something that could be thrown away when it no longer worked. I'd said it was worthless, but then Cyrus said the same to me.

And I was still loyal to him.

"Do you think my life is defined by other people?"

Gallade just shrugged. That species is defined by those it protects, so to them, something like that was just normal. They still had free will though, and lives of their own.

I don't think I even have that.

"I'm thinking about doing something with this place," I continued. It felt like a continuing thought anyway. "We did so much study into energy that it feels like we were already an energy company. We talked about it so much, and had those ads on tv that it just seems natural. We can get some of the old scientists together..."

But it didn't feel right. I was no scientist. I was no boss. I didn't know anything about running a business, or about how an energy company even worked. It was all complete fantasy.

It still felt like a continuing thought. "I was thinking the other day about how people I went to school with are already parents. They're always kids and teenagers in my head..."

Gallade nodded. I knew it didn't have any idea what I was talking about.

"Eh, never mind." Finally, that felt like a separate thought. I was just talking to make noise.

I ran my hand over the door to what had been Cyrus's cell but I didn't slow down. I didn't speed up either.

There wasn't much for me there, I figured. Maybe nothing at all, but I still hadn't learned to stay away. I felt like I'd never learn or grow up or be anybody other than Commander Saturn or be a human being.

Eh, it was better than nothing.


Unrepentent Giovanni and Rocket fan
And with Saturn we have something of a middle ground... An acceptance of his galactic identity (shown in the keeping of the name) and yet a wish to use what was gathered in the old times to do something new...

All while wrestling with trauma/bad memories and the like...

I wouldn't have thought "energy company" when strolling around a base... But it seems viable. Perhaps he'll revisit it later.

It's interesting so far that while Mars Sat' and mitsumi have picked wildly different paths for themselves a universal theme for them is thier bonds with thier 'mon.
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Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
With Jupiter? Hers was the second chapter.

The part about the energy company comes from the games. Saturn is kinda left in charge by default there and muses if he shouldn't turn the place into one.


Unrepentent Giovanni and Rocket fan
sorry, I meant Saturn, I don't know why I get their names crossed.
The Magician

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Chapter 5--The Magician​

"Whatever happened to your spaceman group?" Mom asked one day out of the blue. "You haven't asked me to fix your outfit lately."


She hit mute on the tv. "Fine, fine. Your performance group, Mr actor."

Somehow she had gotten convinced that Team Galactic was some sort of theater group and considering what it really was, I wasn't about to correct her. How she managed to avoid seeing the news, especially after the near-catastrophe at the League tournament, was beyond me.

"Why did they call you B-2 anyway?" As if she hadn't asked me that a bunch of times, and I mouthed the inevitable followup as she said it. "Don't they know that sounds like booty? That's not nice, making fun of you like that."

"I told you, I don't really mind." And of course I had to shift around right then. Being the "buttman" had some drawbacks. Really the only advantage is that it made me distinctive when every other grunt had looked more or less the same.

"I was talking to my friend the other day, you know, the one who works for a surgeon? She said that you should get the surgery."


That time she stopped her knitting. Whatever she was making was blue with white dots and I kept suspecting that it was supposed to be a night sky. "Come on. It's too hard for you to buy clothing and you can't sit like a normal person."

I know she meant well. She didn't mean anything bad by that, and more than a few of my teammates aspired to be normal. Still though, ya know?

"Anyway, you need to think about the future. If you're not going to play spaceman, you should think about settling down. Get a good job, meet a nice girl, maybe some kids..."

Every so often she'd bring that up. I hadn't had a girlfriend since grade 6, and even that was only some girl in my class who always wanted to hold hands, even during tests. I only went to the movies with her because we had exams coming up. "Mom..." But I couldn't really tell her off. I guess it didn't matter. I never felt the real need to.


"Ugh..." I shifted again, wishing that the couch cushion had a more pronounced indent. "Things are still quieting down. I told you the group broke up. What we wanted and what was realistic were two very different things."

"How a performance art group was gonna change the world, I'll never understand," she chuckled as she turned the volume back on. "You know, you'd make a good game show host."

She was watching some sort of variety show, with a segment where the host was asking some minor celebrities trivia questions. If they answered wrong, they'd be showered in feathers or a Torchic would run out and peck their ankles or something. "Uh...why do you say that?"

"You're so outgoing and quick witted, and you stay calm under pressure. You wouldn't give anything away."

Part of that was true. I'd managed to make real friends while in the team, and I'd been pretty cool during the Spear Pillar and the battle against Charon. But some of the stuff I'd done during that time was embarrassing, like blabbing that what I was guarding was a secret warehouse. "If you say so."

"Don't be so hard on yourself!" I didn't think I had been. "You're a good boy."

"Yeah, I know."

We were quiet for a moment, and she started knitting again.

Onscreen, the trivia segment had ended with everyone somehow un-feathered, and then there was a kickline of people dressed really badly like the Sinnoh gym leaders. "So uh...what's going on here?"

"Oh, who even knows. Last week they had a man dressed up like Cynthia and a little boy as her Garchomp. Hey, doesn't a friend of yours know Cynthia?"

"Yeah, Mitsumi and Hareta both do."

"That Mitsumi is really pretty. You like her?"

What the WHAT? "Oh GOD mom!"

"Ahahaha! Not your type?" Was it possible for knitting needles to sound sarcastic?

I sank as much as I could into the couch. "I don't even wanna think about those things. Just don't bring that up, ok?"

"Well, you could do worse. Ok."

Right when I flopped back against the cushions behind me, the show changed again to some historical drama parody with some guy flailing around a greenscreened battlefield trying to keep his giant helmet upright.

"So is this the sort of thing your performance group did? Or was it all space themed?" She was pointing with the needles.

"Not really. I guess it was more science based."

"Science skits? Now I've heard everything."

"You have, mom."

Someday I was probably going to have to cobble some skit together for her because she'd get it in her head to ask to see one. I wondered if I could wrangle the others into it.

But right then I could at least sit there. Even if it did mean I had to shift around every few minutes.


Unrepentent Giovanni and Rocket fan
Ah, fear the sarcastic knitting needles. That's a new one.

If it's any consolation I had a sarcastic paintbrush and threading needle in my past. Yourself?

B2's reaction to being potentially paired with Mit' and Har' is so much like someone screaming at their parent for them "innocently" setting them up with someone they think as an older sib. Utterly relatable. And poor B2 he was with a team that stereotypically associated with having its heads in the clouds and B2's mother takes the crown. Seriously, how could she not know?

I wonder how fishing is at the de nile this time of year?

Overall this was a wonderful humane addition to the cast, thanks for sharing another Galactic piece with us.

And... any plans on cobbling together a science skit for us?

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Oh golly I think if I wrote a science skit I would explode halfway through because me and comedy...yeah, this chapter is about what I can do for comedy, haha.

B-2 is a weird character and it was fun to write him in a more domestic scene. He's the one who stands the biggest chance of having a relatively normal life out of any of them and given his uh...obvious differences, that's kinda saying something.


Unrepentent Giovanni and Rocket fan
Oh golly I think if I wrote a science skit I would explode halfway through because me and comedy...yeah, this chapter is about what I can do for comedy, haha.

B-2 is a weird character and it was fun to write him in a more domestic scene. He's the one who stands the biggest chance of having a relatively normal life out of any of them and given his uh...obvious differences, that's kinda saying something.
Well, you would have to write it, allusions. could work as well!

Have B2 in front of his old Execs and peers trying desperately to explain why they really really need to act like that (an improv comedy show like "whose line's" is running with the 'mon equivalent of "hoe down" is playing in the background...) and him trying to coax... say Saturn into pulling Collen Mochrie or something...

"After all we almost re-wrote the world right? We can totally cobble something spacey to a beat like this!"

I can imagine Mars losing it, Saturn trying not to die laughing,.. because no... just no... and Mit' being like... "I think I can work this into a show...".

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Go for it. You should totally write it.
The Center

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Chapter 6--The Center​

If it hadn't been for that strange man Kaisei popping in from time to time and keeping me updated, I never would have realized that it had been a year since that fateful day.

Time to time. That was exactly the point. The Distortion World has no time, none that can be measured by anything but the instincts of my own body. I can count seconds, or how I perceive seconds, but it comes with the sensation that something is /wrong/, that doing so goes against the nature of the very world.

Kaisei doesn't seem to be aware of it. I had requested that he bring me a watch or some other timepiece, but upon his next return he admitted that he had dropped it. He reminds me so much of his son, despite them having been apart for most of Hareta's life. Even down to calling me "Surface", although Hareta had taken to saying "old man Cyrus" instead.

Mitsumi would snort in a way I even now couldn't possibly approve of. I asked Hareta how old he thought I was and he exclaimed "really old! Like my dad's age!"

I didn't know how old Kaisei was, but it may have been an accurate assessment. He was certainly on the underside of thirty.

And there I was thinking in terms of time again. It was a terrible habit.

I could leave. I could fetch that watch myself, and any other instruments to measure whatever I needed and determine the properties of that world. I would have to readjust to the outside, the so-called "real" world, but I could do so.

But I didn't want to. Things were finally quiet, not simply around me but in my mind as well. The utter chaos of this alien dimension was paradoxically soothing, and other than the occasional zoom of Giratina passing by on its way to some immeasurable place, I could be alone.

It had taken more of me than I thought possible, but I was coming to terms with what I had done under the guise of Team Galactic. Even if it was possible for me to become a god, I had not been worthy of it since the day I brought the team into existence. In my ambition to guide the world to a new beginning, I had lost the soul to truly do so.

I needed to be alone. It was the only state that kept my thoughts from wandering in that direction.

Thinking in terms of space was something else I had yet to break. As with time, it seemed to exist only as far as my perception. I could move across the platforms within, and see the physical distance I had traveled via footprints in the dust, but there seemed to be no sense of advancement through the perceivable dimensions.

Perhaps that was why. The utter confusion of the place forced those dark thoughts away as I struggled to understand my surroundings in a way that didn't lead me to infuriating conclusions.

I knew I'd leave soon. I'd planned on it since before I came in. And yet...yet as much as I wanted to learn more from Hareta and Mitsumi, it seemed so far off. An eternity.

...I wondered how long I was there. I hadn't seen Kaisei in...there was my reliance on time again. Perhaps it had been only a few minutes. Perhaps it had been years. Nothing seemed to work any more.

Confusion was the law of the land. Only Kaisei seemed immune, and he had become my lifeline. How he came to be able to navigate that world as easily as anywhere else I had yet to discover, and he would have to guide me out when the time came. I had seen portals away, but couldn't trust them to lead me to the correct places. Perhaps they led to Sinnoh. Perhaps they lead to other parts of the world. Perhaps they led to other planets, or indeed other planes of existence.

I couldn't take that risk. I was paralyzed with fear, or I would have been had I not been consumed with that confusion.

He was a strange man. Utterly beyond my comprehension, perhaps more than that world or its single shadowy inhabitant. He ate too much, he passed gas without apology, he jumped across the waterfalls as deftly as crossing a small stream, he laughed inappropriately and brayingly, and he had taken to asking me bizarre questions about the most irregular things. He had even blushed on occasion, turning pink as I had answered a question, something regarding the inherent rationale of Bibarel to build dams in dangerous waters.

But he was trustworthy, something that had been rare in my experience. My life had been riddled with the selfish and unkind...Hareta had been the first person I had met that had broken that. And Kaisei shared that trait with his son.

If I had had a friend like him before...

I couldn't afford to think like that. My dark thoughts had to go away, overcome by the chaos of that world. The void of it all, things even Kaisei couldn't overcome.

No, he did. It was my failing, not his.

I had confidence in him. Despite his utter lack of intelligence or common sense, he was earnest and able, and willing to lend a hand to someone who had fallen from grace. That was his strength. Perhaps together we could create a true, pure being.

No, that was madness. Madder than that world.

I heard a scuffle behind me, or perhaps in front, or above. "Hey Surface! I was wondering about something. Why do Cheri berries taste so good when they're so spicy? Because whenever I eat them I feel like I could breathe fire but I keep eating them."

An unmistakably Kaisei question, though one with an easier answer than usual. I could explain things like endorphins and serotonin, and how they triggered various reactions. Emotion was dictated there, fear and love and hate.

He smiled at me as I faced him, finding what passed for the correct direction, but his approach was marred by tripping over nothing in particular.

No matter what he did, I couldn't find him annoying. "How is the outside?"

He dusted himself off but sat on the ground. "It's fine. Oh, Hareta said he made friends with some sort of a super pokémon in the Kanto region. He says it's like a cat but a person. Know anything like that?"

I'm fairly certain that I grinned at the description, though I was unfamiliar with the being, or with what a smile fully felt like. It was a foreign reaction to anything. "Kaisei," I said in lieu of an answer, "thank you for coming."

"Hey, no problem!"

I knew I couldn't summarize what it meant to me. To be shown such kindness...

I would leave someday, back to that incomplete world. And I hoped he would continue to visit even then.
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Unrepentent Giovanni and Rocket fan
On a more serious note... Huh so Cyrus seems to be using the diatortion world as a means of therapy... An extreame anti sensory deprivation where he overwhelms himself to distract from his own... Well not quite megalomania but... Issues.

Its an interesting idea if a bit short sighted because the second he gets out...

A he's not going to have it anymore or at least easy access to his "antidote".

And B any subsitute hes going to need to replace or wean down with is likely not going to be strong enough considering a chaos dimensions barely cutting it now.

Anyways the contrast between Cyrus and his eventually would be guild is interesting. Earthy kid. Stoic emotionless "old" man. Is an interesting one.

Thanks for sharing. Will edit and cross post when time permits.

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Yeah but he also has something else that'll last him after he leaves, and that's friendship. Big smile!

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
  1. shaymin
  2. dusknoir
Chapter 7--The Renewer
Getting the radio was simple. All I had to do was behave like a syncophant when it came to orders from the prison guards and staff. It was disgusting--I was the Great Charon, after all!--but I'd become accustomed to playing the obedient servant under Cyrus's rule. That immature fool had believed himself to be a future god...What rot!

How he had escaped imprisonment himself was, a rare event, outside my comprehension. Simply signing a deal with the International Police dissolving Team Galactic shouldn't have been enough. The boy deserved to rot, and I'd have kept him in that cell until he was nothing but bones if I had to. They didn't have to mess around with that exchange, not when I had him locked up already.

The radio didn't have a motor, of course. It ran on batteries and got limited reception and was completely see-through, for security reasons but resembling the trendy style of about thirty years ago.

The pokémon of my past, a creature who had once been my friend until it proved itself unreliable and led to me being the laughingstock of the Sinnoh scientific community, was now my connection to freedom. Fortunately, it was stupid enough to believe that I wanted to make amends. When it had manifested in the blender while I had been working in the prison kitchen, it was a stroke of good fortune. How it had taken it upon itself to find me after so long only showed how idiotic it was.

But it was, of course, a valuable tool. Not only for escape but for revenge. Those traitors would ultimately pay, once I could awaken Heatran again. This time, those meddlers, those children, wouldn't be there. Neither would that officer Hansom, or Looker, or whatever name he picked out of a hat that week. Nothing would impede me on my road to glory.

The radio sparked, a sign that Rotom had taken control of it. I could dimly see its face in the dial strip, and it was grinning that foolish grin it had always had.

How had I once found this creature endearing? The ignorance of youth. I had wanted nothing but its companionship and could only look back on those days with revulsion.

"Now then, Rotom," I directed, "As I said before, talking in the kitchen would only result in you being found out. And then we couldn't be friends. They don't allow me to have pokémon in here."

It sparked sadly.

"That's why I have to leave here. I'm stuck in a place where we can't play. But you can help get me out."

It adjusted the dial to play a short clip of a random song.

"There's a machine called a generator. It controls the electricity here, but I'm sure you can play around in it. And it's got a motor! I know how much you love motors." My tone was disgustingly cloying. I sounded like a pre-school teacher! The Great Charon shouldn't ever be in these situations.

Another short clip, with the words "great deal" audible from a commercial. Had it been random or was this Rotom's attempt to show approval?

"You see, this door is held shut with electricity. After you play with the generator, you'll need to come back here and undo the lock. And then you can play the shocking game with the people that will come afterwards. Doesn't that sound like fun?"

It spun the radio around through means I'd have to study.

"Very good! Now, follow the electric lines and let me out!"

The radio fell to the table, a normal machine once more, and a dim spark traveled through the light above into the electrical grid.

This was a new beginning. Everything would be under my command, I mused as the room went dark so quickly. Everything would be rightfully mine, and no naive, deluded children would get in my way this time.

I was reborn. Master Charon had a nice ring to it.


Unrepentent Giovanni and Rocket fan
You know I've noticed a lot of the Manga second in commands (or seeming seconds) are so much more dangerous than their superiors. Charon definitely leaps to mind, as goes Ghestis (though he's more a puppet leader who shoves N aside in the last act to grab the reigns of power) I'm sort of hoping that in the remakes they'll address this aspect. That they'll have a game plus or an after-game like Omega/Alpha that digs into Charon making an escape and tearing things up, breaking the peace. If they did your snippet definitely feels like it could be easily inserted and applied to kick start that scenario.

Charon very much checks the antisocial checklist, using people/'mon as tools while harboring delusions of grandeur, and the like. I wonder what was the catalyst that caused him to shift from his more mundane seeming self to his present ways? And sort of wish we could have seen his perspective of that alteration in his thinking. His plot seems viable and it's nice to see its beginning motions even if you don't follow it to the end. Makes sense as this is a reflective "where is he now" piece more than an escape-centric episode, still I was left wondering how far he got if he got out at all.
Thanks for sharing another Team Centric piece, it, and the series, was an overall treat.
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