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Worldcore

Adamhuarts

Mew specialist
Partners
  1. custom/mew-adam
  2. custom/celebi-shiny
  3. custom/roserade-adam
Ivy floated beside the unconscious Cynthian like a protective chick. She looked on at the scene with Shield and Darkwhite with a smile.

"We did it Cynthian. Our friend can come with us now," Ivy muttered, full of excitement about getting to know more about Darkwhite, and then...

The haze was coming back. But it was different this time. Pink, a little white, a little cyan. The Mew's body wasn't stable, but now there was nothing holding it together. "Sword? What are you--"

Something clattered out of the Worldcore, slamming heavily into the ground.

Cal turned back and held her hands to her mouth, horrified. Something deep in her instincts were telling her to turn away, like she'd seen a horrible wound.

"No..." Owen stood up.

What came from that twisted haze as it finally solidified... was a core. Darkwhite's Core, split into several large pieces.

The glow in Ivy's eyes dimmed sharply and she froze on the spot. Something horrible had happened. Like when Cynthian disappeared into the burning light, but much worse. Much, much worse. When Ivy's eyes fell on Darkwhite's shattered core, it felt as if someone had pruned Ivy's one flowers off and left her to wither.

"No... why," Ivy whimpered. She left Cynthian's side and darted to the Darkwhite, now reduced to pieces of stone on the ground.

"Come back!!! Don't leave! Please, come back!!" Ivy pleaded with tears streaming down her face. She held one of the fragments and hugged it tightly. Ivy's chest hurt in a way she struggled to comprehend and detested greatly. Her own core filled with with anguish and sorrow.

"It's not fair!! Why do you have to go!! It's not fair!" Ivy cried out once more.
 

Virgil134

PMD Writer
Partners
  1. weavile
  2. kommo-o
Cabot, now shadowified from his strikes, watched as the phantom Lugia disappeared. He cracked a small, tired smile and let out a satisfied harrumph, before making his way back to Diyem.

"Yeah... we did," the Rampardos panted. "It's finally o-"

Cabot abruptly went quiet as, through Diyem's link, he realized what just happen in the other room. A defeated look spread over his face as he stared ahead in disbelief.

"No way..."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
Truffle immediately flew to Shield and Sword. He was about to conjure something for Shield, but he immediately shouted at him, "HELP HER!"

"Y-yes! Of course!" Truffle attempted to redirect, looking at the Mew, then at the Core again. "But is that not her?"

"Darkwhite's Core was... that was her, right?" Cal was trembling, pointing at her. "Sh-she shouldn't be alive."

"How do you know?" Owen asked.

"I just... do. It's an instinct thing, I-I think..." But all the other Ultra Shades would feel the same way. They were looking at someone a lot like them who, somehow, was not dying despite their very Core being destroyed. But it seemed that it would not last; Sword was fading. Truffle's spells did nothing. He tried to heal the Core itself, but it was inert. There was no life within it any longer.

"Shield... Will you be okay without me?"

"Don't--talk like that, we came here to save you!" Shield laughed desperately. "C-can't you pull yourself together?"

"...I'm really sorry that I caused everyone so much trouble here. I saw what I did. I saw everything that happened. It's exhausting... I'm glad I can rest. Shield... will you be okay?" She smiled a little more. "No... I know you will. You're strong like that. Thank you, Shield, for at least giving me peace. I'm sorry that it was so hard..." She closed her eyes. "I love you."

The haze was getting worse. Sword wasn't responding to anything Shield said, but he held her close. He was screaming for her to wake. Just then, Maple stepped into the arena, shouting, "Where is--what?"

"Maple! Do you have anything we can do?!" Truffle shouted over Shield. "We need to save Sword, now!"

"Save--what happened?" She saw the Core, then Shield, and then the pink Mew fading in his arms. The stunned silence of all the other Ultra Shades. And then at Owen and Wishkeeper, who were staring helplessly. Even they had no idea.

They all stared in helpless silence or frantic, but perhaps meaningless desperation to do something to save her. Heal Pulses, Protections, blessings, purifications, anything. It seemed to slow the process, but not stop it entirely.

"Please," Shield begged, holding her close. "Please..."

The Worldcore was darkening, like it no longer had power to spare. All of that red, black, and white energy had siphoned away entirely.

"I just want you to be happy," Shield blubbered. "I want you to be alive so you can actually see that things will be okay. I want you... t-to..." He held his breath. He couldn't finish. He only said, "I want you back."

Shield's words echoed. The cavern was solid rock again.

"Maple?" Truffle asked desperately in a hushed whisper.

"I..." Maple winced. "I lost... my power to heal long ago, Truffle." She looked down. "I'm sorry."

Shield felt someone next to him but didn't bother to look. He needed to memorize how she felt, how she sounded, and thought back to that Charmander, like it would somehow bring her back.

The person next to him, which not even Owen could see, was only visible when Owen noticed that some of Shield's fur had compressed in an odd way when it shouldn't have.

Sorry for the scare. I've got this.

Something touched Sword's chest. It was a soft glow. Flecks of gold accented by dark shadows and a red tinge gently wrapped around the Mew. Every single particle, every faded piece of aether, pulled in.

Theere we go. See ya.

And then the presence was gone. The light faded. Shield looked... puzzled, through his tears, and he looked back. "Who was that?" he asked. "Who... who's there?!"

Owen suddenly pointed at her. "G-get her healed! She's coming back together! E-everyone! Now!"

The Core was inert, but Sword remained. She was stabilizing...
 
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unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa looked around herself in a daze. The phantoms were gone. The team was alive. Darkwhite was present, but fading...

...Starr.

Brisa heaved Starr from her supine pose, heart hammering. How hard had Starr struck with that last pair of self-exerting moves...?

"Luz. Help me. Help her."

Every goddamn battle, it was something.
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Partners
  1. ho-oh
Pile up. Put together. Collapse. Rinse and repeat.

Petram sighed, while trying to connect the pieces of the core together. Something about the action made him squeamish, almost as the time when he had to help Icetales digging the graves. And, in a sense, for him it felt like trying to piece together a corpse.

Yep. Not a funny activity.

“Ooh, c’mon! Stick together!” he cried, trying once more to compose the core like a puzzle. Nothing. It collapsed again.

Petram whined in frustration and stared at his Daddy. The Ninetales was occupied healing their teammates, while the Shadow made sure to wound the walls further. It was so bizarre, to see two opposite sides belonging to the same individual.

Well, he resumed his activity, when he realized the commotion around him…

One of The Male Charizard said:
"G-get her healed! She's coming back together! E-everyone! Now!"

Petram dropped the pieces, and rushed after Icetales.

“Daddy! Healing! Stat!”

The Ninetales felt his heart leaping at his throat and quickly turned toward the group. He gasped and hurried toward them, bringing his Heal Bell.

“L-let me help!” he shouted, before holding out his healing magic. “Hang in there, Miss Sword!”

Uncaring of his own health, he poured all the magic he had left into that attack, and the bells chimes. Slowly but surely, the sounds became more limpid as he used every single bit of energy he had left.

“Thou will be swell…” he panted, struggling to keep his focus. “Thou… will be… swell…”
 
Location
Etherium
Pronouns
he/him
Partners
  1. silvally-dragon
  2. necrozma-ultra
Bahamut hadn't accompanied the team due to needing to look after the Tree. However, the shade wanted to see the chaos happen with its own eyes. So, it skulked in the back, clinging to the shadows flung about by Team Spectrum. But it wasn't chaos. It was a work of art. Reality warping in unfathomable ways and numerous true miracles playing out before the group's very eyes. The very latest of which transpired right in front of the team.

"... marvelous," it whispered.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
Shield pulled away just enough to see if it really was true. Heal Pulses, Owen's Bestow, enhanced Heal Bells, they all washed over them both until Shield only felt the phantom pains of battle in his bones. He was exhausted. She was exhausted. But, hesitantly, he brought his ears over her chest.

Finally, he smiled. "She's breathing. I hear her heart. She's... she's fine. She's going to be fi..."

It all caught up to him and he collapsed. A new wave of alarm washed over Team Spectrum, but Truffle quickly swooped over the two and held another wing up. "They're fine," he assured them. "They need rest. We must return to Destiny Village."

At around the same time, from the left hall--Truffle had come from the middle, and Maple from the right--Soda was hobbling inside with a noticeable limp. It didn't look like his illusions were up, either, because his fur was matted and he was making an effort to keep to the shadows of the cave so nobody saw his graying fur.

"What happened?" Soda grumbled, using the wall as support.

Something flickered in the high ceiling of the cave and flew out through the left exit. Soda didn't seem to notice, preoccupied with nursing what might have been an internal wound, muttering about "purple rats."
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
Relief, anger, then rage, followed by more exhausted relief. Too many emotions to even process properly, but finally... finally Darkwhite- no Sword now? was okay. She was saved. Alive. Okay. Somehow. A miracle? An act of some legendary out there? There'd be time to figure that out later, he guessed. All that mattered was that they had won.

No thanks to you , don't you think?

Relief rushed him and he flopped onto his side, panting. He'd done it. Saved someone. He let his gaze drift absently across the room, as the rest of the God Squad arrived. Soda looked a little worse for the wear, but he was sure everyone would just fine now...

A flash of movement in the top of the cavern caught Koa's eye before it vanished through the exit.

Wha-?

What was that?
 

Phoenixsong

the world's scariest violinist
Partners
  1. custom/skiddo-steplively
Well. That was... an improvement, at least. Now that Sword seemed to be stable in spite of the shattered core—somehow, she wasn't going to bother asking at this point—they could attend to other matters. Make sure the rest of the team was okay, for one, although it looked like Icetales and some of the others had that well in hand. Search the Worldcore for any evidence of just why this had happened in the first place, or how the regi-things had actually gotten here. Skara gave the cavern a quick scan, hoping something might reveal itself now that the all of the fog-damn glowing and warping had ceased, although aside from a little fluttering motion near the left exit, everything had gone still, almost peaceful.

...hm.

"Wait, what's that? That thing up there, moving toward the left? It's leaving— wait!" She tried to catch the team's attention, but there was no time to see whether anyone was able to follow right away. She muttered the words again, set her wings buzzing, and hurried after the moving shape, trying to keep it in sight for as long as she could.
 
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Negrek

Only the Lonely
Staff
This didn't feel like the most dangerous fight they'd ever had, but it was sure as fuck the trippiest. Nate cursed and tried to duck under a swarm of charmander phantasms, while Rocky laughed, bounding after them and snapping pictures with his badge. "What the fuck is wrong with you?" Nate snarled at him. "This is fucking serious! Get back here!"

Rocky stuck his tongue out at him, but returned anyway, flipping through the pictures he'd taken. Nate dodged a blast of energy from the fucking redux Blacklight dragon thing."Pay attention, goddammit!" he snapped at his familiar.

"I'm taking pictures for Cola," Rocky said breezily

"For--who?" But there was another volley of attacks after that, and Nate had forgotten all about it by the time they were rushing into the final chamber, where Regigigas lurked and, finally, Sword.

The battle had been mind-bending enough already, but somehow things moved even faster once the final chamber was unsealed. People were racing for Sword; people were flung away mangled and twisted and broken. Regigigas lumbered forward, swinging arms thick as telephone poles. Sword was dead? Sword was alive? Of course Nate was left behind by all the action.

The majority of the team had gathered around Sword and Shield by the time he caught up, wheezing for air. It seemed like... everything was all right? Mostly? Nate hung around the edge of the group, feeling conflicted. He could, like, offer Shield a berry or something? But it seemed like everyone else had this under control, they probably didn't want him to--Nate snapped around to yell when the vikavolt started yelling about something on the ceiling.

Was there something up there? Some kind of ripple--distortion, maybe--moving fast...

"Get the stone!" Nate hissed at Rocky, then turned and charged off after the vikavolt and the whatever-it-was she was chasing. Not that there was any point, it wasn't like he had even the faintest chance of catching up with anything. More invisible bullshit, he couldn't even--"Wait!" he called after the whatever-the-fuck-it-was, sprinting for all his might. "Who are you? How the fuck did you get down here?"

Rocky watched him go, then cautiously approached the remains of Sword's core. This felt kind of weird. Should he just take it? It was Swords. Maybe she wanted it. Plus, like, was it weird to touch somebody else's core, even if it didn't look like they lived there anymore? He didn't really know, but it felt kind of weird.

Keeping half his attention on Sword--he didn't think she'd notice, she seemed kind of distracted--in case she yelled at him or something, the familiar reached down and picked up one of the pieces of the broken Ultra Stone.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
It seemed to just be an inert stone, now. Deep inside the stone seemed to be a different kind of material that resembled purple obsidian, in a way, but was otherwise normal.

"Can you warp us out?" Owen asked weakly.

"Yes, I should be able to," Maple replied, though the moment she started to conjure a portal, she glanced back to see the others flying or running away, or at least a handful of them. "What...?"

Soda was running, too. Despite being weak, he still had the energy to run; Truffle was right behind him, shouting, "Soda!"

He looked back and grunted, as if offended, but then, with the last of his strength, leapt in the air and landed on Truffle's back. The duo went flying after the invisible presence with several more.

They kept up for a while, some faster than others. Maple created a portal for anybody who didn't have the energy to go back, but even those who had been almost entirely incapacitated, such as Owen, they still pressed to pursue. Others, however, took Shield and Sword back to the Guild. Considering they didn't want a repeat of last time--Maple landed them in Destiny Tower, where Arceus' radiance could be felt from across the portal. They would be safe, it seemed, though it never hurt to keep a close eye.

"Stop!" Maple shouted at the presence. They were getting to the edge of the Worldcore, where Flesh, Leg, and Potluck were standing guard. The latter of the three tilted his head, curious.

"What's wrong?" Potluck asked, but then blinked, as if he felt something. He looked up an instant too late to see the distortion that had gone past.
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Partners
  1. ho-oh
One last chime, and Icetales collapsed to the floor, exhausted. His eyes were tightly shut and his breaths deep and harsh, with a cough or two interrupting his panting. Droplets of sweat ran down his ears, while his tails twitched uselessly.

It was official. Now he knew he was utterly spent.

“…Hmph. Thou really cannot help but sacrifice thy health for others’ sake, can thee?”

Icetales opened one eye. Keo’Keo loomed over him, an unimpressed expression on his face. Rocks and dust adorned his phantom pelt, while his claws were blunt and broken. He looked… calm. Unleashing his fury on the rocky walls had been a good way to release the frustration.

“Heh. I… I have to…” whispered Icetales, before sighing. “I cannot… afford to lo—” He coughed once more and shut his eye, before lying completely on the floor. He didn’t even have the strength to reach out for his bag to get his remaining Max Elixir.

Keo’Keo rolled his eyes and fetched the beverage for his host, before cramming it into the real fox’s mouth. “Drink.”

Icetales sputtered and winced when he felt the liquid being poured into his jaws, but once the shock waned, he slowly sipped the elixir. He felt warmth as the strength slowly returned to him, but preferred to lay down for a while longer to not overexert himself.

“I swear, I will need at least two days of sleep after all of this…”

“Thou not say.”

“How… are the others?”

“Alive. At least for now.” Keo’Keo didn’t change his stone-faced expression when Icetales shot an unamused glare. “…Thou want me to check, yes?”

“It would be the least thou could do.”

Keo’Keo huffed. “Fine. I shall.”

Without another word, the spectral fox began checking the surroundings, in order to look for any comrade who needed some help. As long as his host felt relieved, he was relieved, too.

“So, anyone else wants or has enough strength to leave this death trap? Any volunteer?”
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Brisa's mind numbed itself to the sight of so many fallen friends, of Darkwhite dissipating, of the ultra stone fragments... She focused on Starr. On getting to safety. She tried to fumble with her satchel. She'd saved an escape orb. Right? Where was the fucking thing...

"Brisa."

It was here somewhere.

"Brisa, c'mon. Snap outta whatever this is."

She looked up at Luz, and her throat closed up. The zeraora-shade's face was characteristically delighted, as per usual, but there was just enough of an edge to that cheer this time to . . . make Luz feel like a genuine 'mon. There was something there, behind the fanged grin, to reveal she had a person's fears and worries.

"Okay," she gasped. Starr was heavy. "What now?"

Luz gestured about. "Get our friends safe. Maple's settin' up a portal. One at a time, now. C'mon."

There was a commotion. Truffle, shouting. Teammates running. She looked up—

"I'll get this one, darlin'," said Luz, firmly, before taking off.

Brisa nodded, vaguely. She'd just annihilated a phantasm of the Blacklight Dragon together with Starr in what was effectively two Blacklight-infused strikes. Yet once again, Starr was knocked unconscious, her body battered, her breaths shallow. Brisa was hardly in better shape. But they'd done it, together, just like that day when everything had got so much larger, when they'd raced side by side to victory, when they'd evolved together, when she'd realised that Starr wasn't only not the 'mon she'd thought, but a person she admired. It all felt so familiar.

She began the work of heaving incapacitated teammates through the portal. Starr first. Then Dave, whose body felt truly shattered. He'd protected and aided her almost every step of the way, this fight. And look at him now... Barely alive, by the look of him. She barely breathed, until she saw him through the portal and pressed sitrus paste into his wounds, and his own breathing strengthened. You'll get t'thank him, then. She kept working. Koa, next: the lad was conscious, but delirious with Blacklight, and clearly overwhelmed by the most pain he'd ever been in. He'd live to see more. "Y'did great, kid," she told him, as she helped him through.

It was gonna be alright.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
"Hm!" Truffle finished a conjuration and twisted through the air. Soda held tight. The Decidueye fired an arrow skyward at an angle, just outside the Worldcore's cave, which had finally reopened. The feather exploded and formed a great barrier of light several tens of feet across like a dome... but it seemed that it wasn't necessary.

The invisible presence had stopped just outside the entrance, floating about fifteen feet in the air, warping the light of the late noon sky. How long had they been in there?

Those of Team Spectrum who remained rushed forward and stopped behind Maple and the rest of God Squad near the Worldcore's exist. Something was forming.

"Hey!" Soda shouted. "What's the big deal? Who are you?!" He hopped off of Truffle and knelt down to maintain his strength. Then, he looked up again, shouting, "What were you doing in the Worldcore?!"

"We can't fight right now," Owen whispered to Soda, "We... barely have the strength to continue. Diyem can barely walk. C-careful..."

Soda jerked away with a scowl. "Get out of my space," he muttered, and Owen backed off.

Then, there was a new... noise. A rattling, hissing, buzzing noise that pounded rhythmically against their ears like trembling laughter. The distortion coalesced into a hazy cloud that completely and utterly obscured whatever was inside. It flickered in and out of the air like it wasn't supposed to exist. It was impossible to discern much about this creature--the body type, the color, the shape... Perhaps only the size. It was medium sized. Larger than S'more, but smaller than Maple's true form. It didn't narrow things down very much, but it was something.

That rumbling, buzzing, horrible laughter, like distorted white noise, stopped. A voice just as distorted came through next. "Jus͢t ̀ge͢tti̢n҉g p̵rec̷i̡sely̴ what ̕I̢ ͝n̨èe̡d̢e͘d͞.̡"

"Wh... what?" Owen's flame shrank. "What do you mean?"

"Ǫh?͜ Ỳou ̶d͘on͠'t̕ ̀know̨?" The presence conjured what was a vague collection of energy that resembled a smirking face. "̵I̢'m ̶wh̵a̕t Gi̡ov̢a͘nn͢i ͜wàr͝ned͘ yo͟u ́ab͝out͏. I'm y̕ou̸r̕.̴..͢ ̧spy͘."̴
 

Negrek

Only the Lonely
Staff
To no one's fucking surprise, Nate was getting left far behind. He would have been totally fucked if the whatever-it-was that they were chasing hadn't decided to... stop and wait for all of them?

The whatever-it-was gave an even weirder display than most pokémon. Full-on evil laughter and all that shit. Were they the one that stuck Sword in the Worldcore, then? And making her real again was somehow part of their fucking nefarious plan? (Jesus, that laugh was creepy, though.)

"Oh, yeah?" Nate called up at the hazy thing. "Don't seem like you got any interest in spying now. What, is this the part where you backstab Giovanni and go off to rule the world yourself or whatever the fuck?"

--

Nothing bad happened when Rocky picked up the piece of stone, so he studied it for a moment. Pretty. Mudkip probably wanted to take this to the lab and have the Porygon look at it, but maybe Rocky would get to keep a piece.

And maybe... Maybe if Sword got made into a normal pokémon, Rocky could be too. Then he wouldn't have to go back to Joule at all.

Rocky gathered up every shard of stone he could find, then followed the weary train of people through Maple's portal.
 

Adamhuarts

Mew specialist
Partners
  1. custom/mew-adam
  2. custom/celebi-shiny
  3. custom/roserade-adam
Ivy overhead all the commotion that happened around her, though she didn't pay much attention to it. Sword was fine somehow, and that fact brought a sense of relief to Ivy's chest. Yet, her mind still couldn't get over seeing an ultra stone like hers shatter before her very eyes. Her mindsstayed shaken, and she felt sick and tired to her core.

Ivy hugged the fragment she'd picked up and held it tight. Without a word or any expression on her face, she floated back to Cynthian and crawled into her bag. There, she waited for till things quieted down.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Luz sprinted up from behind the gaggle of 'mon trailing the apparition, and skidded to a halt near Nate.

"Howdy," she said, deadpan. "Let's get right to it an' hear yer agenda, yer demands, whatever y'got t'say."

Her digits twitched. The team was vulnerable. They didn't have their best fighters. Sky and stars...
 
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