Chapters 16 - 20: The Winding Road to the Finish (Here we go.. The last upload.... A year in writing and this is finally done o.o - Enjoy, please..)


Day 7 - Around 10am

16) - Survival to Those it Merits

The car rolled quickly on towards the large city that wasn't as close as it seemed. Inside, the scene was as thus: the front contained Mattchu and Kichigai, the latter was driving, but her reactions were erratic, and Mattchu was trying to coerce her to swap seats for a while so she could calm..

"I'm fine.. I'll keep us going..."

So she stayed..

And seated in the back, there was Hayai, who was nestled in the corner and semi-asleep, and lying over the rest of the space with her feet towards Hayai was the rather different looking Kijutsu..

It was still Kijutsu; of that they were sure.. But they thought that she would be completely consumed by he that was in the ball when Kijutsu picked it up.. and though she was mostly consumed by it, she was still her, and of that everyone was glad..

The events of earlier today were getting to everyone; Hayai especially, as it isn't every day that he caused someone to die in such a prolific manner as he did before.. However, this was past, and so needed to be laid over by the passage of time..

They headed towards the near city; Miami; they were not being tailed from the Silph building, and they knew they wouldn't be, as anyone who witnessed the fight that took place would certainly not subject themselves to a possibility of it, even for the company they work for... However, Mattchu was thinking about the other two birds; what would come of them... He didn't know, though he felt he should..

Sadame had no insight; how could she, while she had insight on where Senkouhi was, and various aspects about Kichigai, and now Kijutsu, there was still the last pendant; that of fire..

"It is located in the city.. but it doesn't have anyone in possession of it just yet.."

So therefore, they didn't know exactly who they were looking for, that would have the pendant. But, they knew it was here, they would just have to hope it found them..

As they arrived on the outskirts of the city, the outlook changed; what once was free and uncaptive became buildings, pieces of metal, tall buildings, and other cars as they moved in; the typical inner city bustle, alive with anthro pokémon, sure enough, but alive all the same.. Like nothing had ever happened..
Kichigai didn't believe that things could go on so ignorantly.. but then, they had to carry on as they were if they could, as no other way was known...

[ That's probably because that's exactly the truth, Kichi... ] Jitsu noted.

Such thoughts were for later; right now, everyone was exhausted, it would be in the interests of the group to sleep. Mattchu noted this, turning to Kichi as she watched the road, it's endless horizon cut short by the tangle of buildings that had sprung from nowhere as they had travelled along.

"I'm not too fond of us continuing along just after that battle, Kichi... You think we should pull somewhere and sleep..?"
She replied, ne-er a glance going his way, "You're aware they're going to be after us.. We have to put distance into the city first, or we'll get found.."
Mattchu rolled down the window, and stuck his head out, looking backwards, "Well, I dunno what your rearview tells you, but I don't see anyone.."
Kichi looked to the rearview mirror; slightly tarnished it was, but it was lived with... And sure enough, what could be seen of the horizon through the heated back-glass was just...endless...stretching 180 degrees in the visible arc..
"...Okay, then... against my better judgement, we can rest off then..." Kicih noted, as she depressed the break, and the old car screeched to a stop. They were still outside the cuty, and this area was quite large; deserted, but space aplenty, being that a group of buildings just ahead had been demolished, probably not long ago, and there was an expanse of space where people had cleared out things... It was almost like one of those playgrounds of yore, the metalwork left of the buildings that weren't any more, coupled with the masses or tarmac-grey floor.. Such things held little importance to the two, as they settled back in the car and slept a troubled resting sleep.. Hayai and Kijutsu were asleep in the back, that sporadic anthromorphic combustion technique had cost Hayai a very decent bit of his mental reserves...

Sleep would do them well...

7 hours later..

An unknown training area, somewhere near - Inside, it was dark, the lights having been busted up, visible by the showers of old-lying broken glass under long hangings that were the normal housing for fluorescents.. The area had a dark, residual smell; for the events that took place here just a week ago were not pleasing ones...
This placed had been a pokémon gym, some of the stronger pokémon had trained here.. The only thing was, this could be told from the mess left around; at the time of the change these stronger ones had been left in a state of bewilderment, and this had caused them to do what many did; fight.. And the room was decorated with the odd splash of blood, as he who was in residence here had not taken the time to clean...

Standing in a corner of the area, lit under his own light, stood a brightly-furred morph, who was doing some punchbag training, knocking it quickly to a rhythm set in his own head; one intangible as to not be followed by any onlooker, though even among the darkness the morph would have probably heard any such being..
Fur brushed fur and also canvas as he dealt many blows to the bag; it moving on each blow, being sent into a spin by a kick, stopped with maybe another...
For these are the steps to take to make sure one was not maimed on leaving this place; something which he had watched happen in this room itself, and did not wish to fall victim to. So, avoiding this fate meant making oneself strong enough to cope. Which is what he was training for..
{You know that's not the only reason you are training..} he thought to himself as he laid in with quick one-two punching to the object designed for such purpose. It wasn't, really.. he knew what he was here for, and he knew where he'd go when he finished...

Punch followed punch, kick followed kick, both followed each other in the quick succession of blows dealt to thing as he stood. Knowing he wasn't likely to get this close to he who he would fight was no consolation; it ideally served to make each blow count. And bags weren't designed to take multiple beatings from an anthromorphic..

And then, it was time. You just knew it was, no-one would come with a bell, traditional parting message you here there "Time, gentlemen, please" - but then that was a previous existence, and this was now, and in the now period you trusted your instincts, for they were possibly the only things definitely on your side... So was the way, he guessed... but he wasn't getting pre-occupied, he gave the lifeless bag another kick, it danced like a spaz as he did, then he walked away from it, towards the door; if the bag coulda talked, it would probably have been glad, the way he was hitting that thing at the end...

He made his way out of the building, and headed for his next destination, which was one of the central roads leading through this city. Walking along past tall buildings, ne'er getting a glance from anyone around, he moved towards the main road; the place he and his foe had seen each other. A challenge, issued in the normal way by him; no self-respecting anthro turned it down, but it never was a fight to the death, and Kaen was never sure why...

And he continued walking, for fate lay on his path..

Another 2 hours later

Sleep had kept them for a good 9 hours, well this was for them; they deserved the rest... but as is known, such sleep does not go without an awakening.. and this one was rather untimely...
Kichi was asleep on the wheel of the car; it wasn't too comfortable, but what was confort when you're stuck in this... Comfort was unconsciousness, it sould have been a longer period, but for the simple fact of a breaking windscreen that showered both the femme morph, and Mattchu, in bits of shattered windowglass. Kichi was woken instantly, and jerked back up and against the backrest of the seat. The whole of the visible area was...wwell, it wasn't visible any more... It was alive, there were many many morphs crowding the area all around the car..
The noise that filtered through the open windscreen woke Hayai, who pulled himself off of the floor, where he had gone to sleep, as Kijy was lying fullsprawl along the back seat.. He gazed around at the sea of people that they were marroned in the middle of..
"When the hell did THIS become the latest tourist attraction?" he asked, half-asleep still..
Mattchu awoke, gradually, to the sound of a pidgeot morph peeking into the car.
"Shit... Er, sorry about the windscreen, and all... it looked harder then it was.."
"Err...." Mattchu muttered half-heartedly, and turned to Kichi, "So then, got any guesses?"
Kichi looked at him with an air of rhetoricism, "You think I'd know..?"
Mattchu turned back up to the windscreen, "Ey, you know why everyone's out here right now..?"
The same pidgeot popped his head back in from upside down, "Yeah - There's a fight on soon, be starting in a while.. Fights are always fun to watch and all.. You get a good view of the arena from up here, also.."
Kichi and Mattchu looked simultaneously towards both doors, which were packed, then they looked to the windscreen.
"Well, you going out first?" Mattchu asked. Hayai piped up from the back, "I'll stay here with Kijy - She wouldn't be able to go clambering over that lot, not right now anyway..."
"Which leaves us two, as normal.." Kichi pulled herself up and out through the hole where the windscreen used to be, her steps knocking away bits of glass. Mattchu did the same, narrowly missing nicking himself on a piece hanging from the top, but he stood up, and with Kichi he looked around for the arena; that of which a 'good view' could be obtained from up on the car..

The area was busy; the sort of crowd that made people feel intimidated, no matter if they were the large bulky Rhydon morph that stood several metres away, or if they were a small 10-year old pichu, who was somewhere in the crowd, or you'd have expected one to be, there were enough different types to facilitate it..
The ground moved in many different colours as the crowd did the regular crowd thing; each individual vying for a place nearer to the action..
Clouds billowed overhead like bits of cotton-ball, the night sky was evident, but no stars were visible, thanks to tons of waste put into the atmosphere by the people of the cities around here..
Mind, nothing doing to blame ignorants, Sadame thought, as she pondered all of this from her position..
{ What are we actually doing here...? } she thought to herself.. { What is running through Senkouhi's head, what would he do if he managed to succeed in killing off the group.. }
She dispelled the thought from her mind; such things were not to be considered. The group would not fail, she was sure..

She wanted to be sure; but the knowledge Tetsuya passed to her untryingly told her that things may not go all like that... And she ignored this for now; it ate at the back of her mind where she relegated it to, there it stayed..

The crowd was as widespread as the eye wanted to see... but there was one place untouched, a circle, and it seemed to be around the center; anyone would have seen this was the arena, but Kichigai and Mattchu were a long way away from it, and the crowd didn't look like it was one of those that would move just because two raichu had a need to see what all this was about; as most of them needed the same thing, and they weren't going anywhere...

Mattchu stepped from off the car, and Kichi followed. Mattchu set to thought; the easiest way to get through a lot of people... Well, the way it was always done normally, is one would just push... But the couple of rock'morphs that were looking the other way said to him that that wasn't a very good option.

Kichi, instead, suggested just zipping into any spaces left, as quick as necessary... they could do that, and in a crowd of this size, spaces large enough for people to weave through appeared all the time... Of course, they normally disappeared at around the same time, but the opportunity was there... and they looked both ways, ready, scanning for the first step in their move..

It came, one of those aforesaid rock pokémon moved slightly. A thin gap was left.
"Go!" Kichi shouted, her words were carried with her as she went for it, Mattchu after. They both had to duck to get under, but from there, the move was on..

Moving faster then most of the others in the crowd could track, the two raichus took advantage of as many spaces as would be allowed.. Mattchu nearly crashed headfirst into another raichu'morph who had moved slightly in the way at a speed almost comparable to Mattchu's. Instead, our resourceful rai just sprung up and over off the floor, turning once in the air just because he could, once again only seen by Kichi..
{ Showoff.. } she thought, and moved on..

After a minute or two of this, they came out in spaces about two rows from the front. From here, their slightly hindered view gave them a small look into the arena.
Inside they could see three figures; one was standing near the outside, the oher two were standing at opposite ends of the circle, doing something.
{ Warming up, I expect.. } Sadame thought for Mattchu. { This is a fight, after all.. }

Mattchu tried to gain some space forward, in doing so he accidentally knocked a similar-sized Sandslash forward. He stumbled, and fell forwards, stepping forward to try and regain his balance.

Suddenly, he didn't have a head any more. A Scyther, the figure who was the one standing near the outside, skidded to a halt. Kichi and Mattchu had seen that, the Scyther had just ran through, and lopped through the small morph's head.
"Uh... Oops?" Mattchu said to Kichi. She just shook her head, "Not you, him.."
She pointed to the Scyther, who walked to the now-gap in front of Mattchu.
"I only said that many times, no crossing the line while we have the fighters in here, please!" he lamented to the crowd in the vicinity, who had gone quiet. Mattchu moved forward to fill the gap, Kichi followed, and Mattchu got a better look of the combatants.

They differed in size greatly. One was about Mattchu's height, a seemingly ordinary ninetales morph who seemed a little off-colour in that he was more colour-alike to a vulpix then a ninetales. The other, a foot taller then he, dressed all in a black cloak, nothing else visible from this angle..
"Kichi... This looks to be a mismatch... I don't see how the 7 foot one can lose, really..." He tried to put a foot over the line, it was cramped, and the scytherblade was against his neck the next he saw.
"Coming any closer, ratboy?" the distinctly jeering voice beckoned.
"No... I was just wondering about this fight.. it doesn't seem really fair as it looks..."
"As it looks, maybe not... But these two have been fighting each other for a while... both have beaten each other before, yes.. Of course.. I have faith in the big guy, course.. I mean, he HAS had the prize the longest.."
"..There's a prize in for this..?" Mattchu asked.
"Oh, yeh... Look here.." He drew his right arm up, the blade chinking the floor, and draped on it was a pendant, that Mattchu knew on sight, and Kichi too..
It was the last pendant; an engraving adorning the front emblazoned to the fire it was representative of; Moltres.. that one which was never found..
"..hm.. Interesting..." Mattchu looked, knowing what he was going to do next. He flicked his own, almost identical pendant,m around, so it was out over his shirt. The scyther looked at it as he did so. "Looks similar to this, wouldn't you agree..?"
The scyther looked dubious, "Just... just hang on there for a minute, I'll be back in a second..." And with that, he rushed along the ground, feet not even looking like they touched the floor; which they possibly didn't, but that wasn't important.. approaching the tall morph, who bent to listen a sec, before glancing in the direction of the two raichus, still not a lot visible under that black hood of his, except maybe a snout.. then the scyther was back with them again, and all was as it was.
".. Could you stick around after they finish up here... enjoy the fight, and all... Damian wants a word after, dunno if Kaen will, but they follow each other anyway, and I follow Damian, so..yeh, After.." he muttered to the rais, half-caring, as he moved back to where he'd just been, nodding th the black-clothed one as he went. Mattchu put obvious names together in his head, and waited for this fight to begin.

After the longest time, the two finally moved, now standing in the center of the 20 metre ring. The smaller one hesitated for a second, then just after Kim moved away, he lunged at the other, Damian. Hope this was worth the wait, a lot of the crowd thought at that time. The ground under where he ran was slightly blackened; of course being a fire pokémon matchup, the whole ring was going to become black like that.. Damian slipped to the right, Kaen overstepped and went off in that direction, Damian turning to face. Kaen came to a stop not far away, and turned back around again. Paws came together quickly, trailing small amounts of fire, the same as the ones behind the fire attack just fired, which went towards Damian, not really all that fast... but enough. It hit Damian, very expectedly, dispersing off the cloak, leaving no trace that the attack had even hit at all. Kaen didn't seem all that surprised really, he just continued with his assault, or attempt of thus.
"Sneaky, huh? That thing could take a fire blast full-on and not be damaged. Sooner or later he's gonna remember to aim for the head, or not to use elemental attacks..."
Matt, who had been distracted by the fight, whipped his head around to see Kim standing next to him.
{I didn't even see him move...} he realised... His thoughts were cut short when the guy next to him, a Bulbasaur, who had actually worked quite hard to get to his front-row position, started to make a complaint to Kim about him being in his way, but was impaled before he could get two words out. Mattchu said nothing, and went back to watching the fight.

The fight hadn't progressed much from there, Kaen had tried a couple of odd blows, Damian had edged aside again; while he was doing plenty of moving away, you didn't see him try to put many of a hit back.. The blows glanced off, water wouldn't have done much more here.. The feeling was given that he was merely playing with the comparatively tine Ninetales, though this was supposed to be a proper match, and Kim said he had won at some previous point.. It seemed hard to believe looking at them that Kaen had ever won at all..
"Don't let them fool you." Kim said, apparantly reading Mattchu's thoughts. "They're both messing just now.. Maybe they'll be in the mood to fight properly in a small while.. for now, though..." He turned back to the fight, Mattchu had not done otherwise.

The avoidance battle dredged on.. Kaen would throw in an attack, and Damian would either step aside if it was physical, or the cloak would take it if it was fire. All well and good, but the crowd were starting to get restless, and even Kim was getting bored. Kaen stopped, he was on the opposite side of the ring right now. Another quick fire attack, it looked so aimed for the only place a hit could register thus; the head. Damian flung up an arm, the blow hit SOMETHING other then the cloak.... but still, nothing, yes... Mind, at least the crowd now knew he had arms..

The temperature around was still high, if there were any morphs particularly sensitive to heat, they'd possibly have fainted already by now; the battle wasn't going anywhere by the looks of it, as Kaen ran forward to shoulder-blow Damian; faster speed this time, it looked like it wanted to be a clean hit.. And, unsurprisingly, it was. Damian stepped back, crouching; for all the difference someone of his height crouching would make, of course.. To Mattchu the crouching spelled out FREE HIT in large flashing neon letters... He wondered if Kaen would think the same way. Kichigai, however much Mattchu was forcing himself to stay here while the battle ended, was bored. Mattchu saw this, and thought that something needed to happen right about now...

It did, mostly. Kaen rushed forward again, the now-crouched Damian still able enough to be kicked, and while crouched, the head seemed like the better target; so that's what he kicked for when he got to Damian. The crouched morph simply grabbed Kaen's leg as it travelled, and knocked away Kaen's free leg with his arm. Kaen, without anything touching the ground, just fell; wrenching his leg from Damian's grasp and landing on that one instead. Damian stood up, and draped off his cloak to the ground as he did thus. He stood about a foot taller then previously seen; unfolding his wings from around his body carefully, glaring at Kaen who was just watching. It got a reaction from the crowd, no doubt.
"Evolution?" Kichi said, from behind. Mattchu was unsure, Kim, who was still there, wasn't, he said so;
"Not really... Just a nice little effect for our bored crowd here... Course, it also signifies the start of the real fight." Kichi started watching again, Mattchu continued so; hoping the fight would live up to the fact it had only just started.

Kaen was nonplussed. He'd seen this many a time, so he also knew things were going to get harder from here, too.. To show thus, he drew his fists together and thought for a while. Both got hot, what would have been white fur now emulated it; he glanced up at the charizard and unleashed some white-hot fire at it.
Damian, not to be outdone, fired some fire; while not as hot, it served the purpose. The two forces collided; before the resultant mass exploded, leaving behind a rather smoky atmosphere, and another attack gone nowhere. Kaen rushed forward again; he knew what Damian was weak against, but he normally didn't get close enough to exploit this.. However, he decided to change this, as he went for a sharp jab to Damian's midsection. Damian countered quickly with his arm, glancing it aside, as Kaen went for a kick to roughly tme same place, Damian ended up having to use his other arm to block that. Kaen now had one arm free. Fire was pulsing the end of this, and he thrust the fire punch at the same place again, Damian now being hard pressed to block it well, and being the height he was, ducking wasn't really an option. Instead, Damian just lifted his leg up, and it caught Kaen square in the solar plexus. Kaen lost all will to stay stood up, and his attack stopped in midwater as he crouched trying to get the air back from his winded self. Damian, seizing his advantage, raised an arm and went to smash Kaen from above.
Most of the crowd thought the end was nigh; even Mattchu did, but Kim saw the next part coming, and it did. Kaen, however he did it, stood, grabbed the downcoming arm of Damian, and using that to pivot off, he thrust forward with both legs, hitting Damian on his right side. Damian, slightly taken by this move, did the first thing that came to him; he drew his arm back, and Kaen found himself flying through the air, heading for the crowd that stood on the other side of the ring. Damian looked happy when Kaen's landing onto a couple of smaller morphs caused a small conflict that Kim managed to separate, in his usual way...
Kaen left behind the Kim-caused bloodbath, and stepped back in, slight flecks of blood not his own were visible. Kaen then rushed forward yet again, fire pulsing in both handpaws as he did so. He wouldn't give Damian a chance to react, as he went in for the double punch, Damian just standing there.
And then he wasn't standing there. He was about 8-10 feet up, wings always being handy for such situations. Kaen just looked up, and fired off his store of energy at the unseeing Damian. It hit Damian's wings and seemed to do nothing. The charizard landed about 15 feet away from Kaen, and turned back to him, set on finishing this. The offensive came from he this time, as he stepped forward surprisingly quickly, pulling right arm back and throwing ot forward, aiming for Kaen's head. The ninetales flung both arms up and the blow hit those, Kaen then grasped the arm with both of his and went to kick Damian, hitting Damian's right leg. Damian brought his other arm around and swung for Kaen's head, Kaen let go and the blow sailed over his head.

It was now that Kichi managed to note a sound from not very far away; somewhere over at the back of the crowd. She turned towards the road they had come here from in the first place. She tapped Mattchu.
"Matt.. Can you hear that..?" Mattchu tried, glancing about... Near the back, the road leading to the Silph center from where they came yesterday; A large group was approaching the crowd and ringed area. It was hard to make out, but Kichi knew exactly who it was. So, for that fact, did Mattchu, who motioned Kim over, and Kim was over almost before he motioned.
"Ya..?" he said. Mattchu pointed to the large coming a way away. Kim had to gaze through many crowd, but the group had reached the back of the crowd, and were starting to clear it away.
"..what exactly are they doing?" Kim said..
"Looking for Articuno, no doubt..." Mattchu said. "I think, Kichi, we'd better clear out now..."
"They want you?" Kim looked bothered.
"Not as such... They want someone we know, who is back over..." He faultered. Which way was the car from here now, he thought? "Back at the car that this crowd had trapped in, somewhere over the other side of here..." Mattchu and Kichigai both came to the same thought; "Kijutsu." Kichi was slowly making her way back through the crowd, as shots rang out from the back of the Silph group. Both Kaen and Damian turned towards there. Panic gripped the crowd slightly, until everything just collapsed, and chaos ensued from there. The fight was stopped now, as the Growlies tried to make their way through, morphs were trying to fight thewm off; some were just standing there, others were running... Kichi took advantage of the chaos, and started running back for the car where they had left Hayai and Kijy before. Kim looked to Mattchu as he went to follow.
"Damian really needed that word... Get whatever you need to get done sorted, we'll sort out this crowd.." And Kim was gone. Mattchu followed back through the wave or morphs running in all directions, speed coming in handy so as not to hit anyone.

Kichi had made half the way when she spotted Hayai and Kijutsu; Hayai had Kijutsuwas carrying Kijy and they were both struggling not to get taken by the oncoming waves of fleeing morphs... Some more shots rang out from over where the group was; the Growlies couldn't get through the wave of people as the raichus had done, so they were doing it the typical way. Kichi met up with Hayai and Kijutsu, and shouted above the noise.
"Follow back this way! They're here for the Articuno, and if they find Kijy, they'll guess for themselves..!" Hayai wasn't getting anywhere though. Mattchu looked through to Kichi, as the wave of morphs prevented them from going anywhere. Kichi looked back, the ever-present glint there, as Mattchu clicked the same idea, and glanced around...
Mattchu chanrged up; slow, at first; more obvious as sparks jumped from him onto anyone that came within range.. he looked to Kichi who was starting to do the same, then to Hayai and Kijutsu, who was just stood there, trying to not be taken by the crowd...
The raichus fired off twin thunderbolts; they latched each other, and anyone in the way was electrocuted, and fell. The wave of people started to divert so as not to die, and a path was there, but not obvious.. When the thunderbolt attack was stopped, the path was there, but only for a small period of time; Hayai took his chance and sprinted over the people that had been hit with it first time; he wanted out of there as much as the next morph, of course... Kichigai followed suit, and the group of four moved into the ring, which Kim was still keeping free of people..
"You two okay?" Kichi asked; Kijutsu who was still asleep gave no answer, Hayai did instead.
"Yeh... I know who's just arrived, not too hard to guess..." he replied.. "Kijutsu looks fine also.."
"So then.." Mattchu asked. "How do we get out of this?"
The crowd was dispersing, most of the morphs had gone, and the Growlies were making their way towards the ring again. Hayai, juvenile though he was, seemed obviously nervous, and trembling slightly he looked to the others, beads of sweat visible, though this was probably from the heat of the area earlier..
"So... What do we do now?" he asked, faintly over the crowd's bustling around the ring which they were stood in; all of that crowd aiming to get as far away from those with guns as fast as physically able.
Damian and Kim entered a quiet conversation with each other; obvious discussing what to do.. Kichigai looked over to where the Growlithe-morphs were storming through, a small band made up of very disgruntled people who were probably related to the carcasses they stood on as they fought them.. Another shot, another shower of red, another one joined the massacre victims.. That number was dwindling, however, and she gazed to Kijutsu, blue hair wavering in front of her eyes; relaxed through knowing..
Mattchu glanced over in the other direction; to the crowd.. all made up of ground-based morphs, all the airborne ones had already got out of the area the obvious way.. Some were bleeding; either took a shot from one of the guards, or got caught up in moving while trying to escape and landed on someone's claw, or horn, or whatever.. He turned to Hayai, then the rest of the group.
"That's how we get out.. Go along with the group, get as far in there as can be done.. Of course.." he motioned the large charizard-morph, Damian, "you could just go out through the air.. But for the rest of us, which don't have that luxury, or.." looking at the scyther, Kim, now, "have it in the avaliability to get high enough with it.."
"I can carry two with me, I'm sure of that.." Damian said, before Mattchu finished his sentence. Mattchu looked him over, "Hm.. Well the two would most likely be Kijutsu, most definitely.. and Hayai.. The rest of us should have no problems.."
Kichigai, who was still glancing at the brawl in the distance, just nodded, "..I suppose we'd better move fast, too.."

This they did, with Kim, Mattchu, Kichigai, and Kaen, running towards the crowd. Damian, contrastingly, took to the air, grabbing both Hayai and Kijutsu and then heading up and in the same direction as the others..

The Growlithes at the other end were just toying at this stage... As people rushed up, trying to take random puches, the guards would bash them with their nightsticks a few times... and, if it was something not particularly defensive, like a Koratta, that would normally be enough. Anything else was stunned, and the Arcanine; he who wielded a subautomatic as well as himself, went over to them; his gun spoke in rough loud monotone, and that was that.
There had been around six dozen in the small group over here... Right now, there were two, who took the moment of silence directly after the Arcanine stepped in again, to turn tail, and bolt away, towards the rest of the dispersing crowd.
"Well... Now that we can get through..." the Arcanine, a rather cocky tall figure, clad in the typical stiff black Silph guard uniform, which was suffering slightly from overuse and right now was flecked with red..
"...if I'm not mistaken, isn't that the car they went away in.." one of the Growlithes commented, pointing a paw aft at what was left of Kichigai's car, which had been stuck in the crowd.
"...which means they're not as far away as we may think..." He glanced over at the crowd, rapidly trying to escape down the normal-sized road that led out of the area, "It also means we need to get that lot down there as quick as we can.. or we'll lose ground..."
He ran forward, the others following, not caring who they stood on while doing so..

The four that were going through the crowd were not making progress at all.. Various shouts from random morphs, who were all pressing forward; the crowd for this had been really large, understandably, and the Raichus were having the best luck then.. There weren't as many spaces they could dart for as before, but they were appearing.. and they were reaching slightly blood-spattered spaces as quickly as they could edge through the crowd...
Kim was having such luck, going even faster then the two Rai he was tracking along; Kaen, however, was not, he did not have the benefit of moving unseen, and so was stranded and just moving forward, slowly..

The Rai were only halfway through this crowd when the Silph reached the back of it, and started shoving through; they had the advice they'd 'killed too many' but should any of these start on them, it was then they would go to fighting...
A couple fought through, stepping past Kaen as they did so, he just followed them through a small way, gaining some ground on getting through them.. Kaen knew they weren't looking for him, they were looking for the Raichus...

They'd never see them moving though, and they knew it, so the point didn't seem clear.

The Growlithes were finding progrees hard, too... The sheer number of people in this area was making showing through fairly impossible... However, they tried, especially that Arcanine, who brushed aside several peopole at a time..
"ONE SIDE, SHITBAGS!" the brash morph would say, and whether they wanted to move or not, they would... It so appeared the people being moved were rather tired of it... but he was the one with the gun, so they weren't retaliating..

Or they thought they weren't, until he reached a point near the center... Kim was near here at this time, and he ran through his head a rather simple plan to get the Arcanine off his back...
Rushing past unseen, he grabbed the gun and was gone like he was never there... It took a few seconds for that fact to register on the Arcanine... but everyone else saw it instantly... and suddenly the rush wasn't on the front, it was on the morph.. The area of the crowd where he was became a claw-fight frenzy, and this was taken advantage off by the Raichus, Kaen, and Kim, who now found getting away much easier.. slipping through the last part of the crowd, which was by no means hard, the four ran down the street, following Damian, who had been waiting for them to fight their way through the crowd, and was probably leading them somewhere now..

The Arcanine, surprisingly, was holding his own against the large mob... until someone looked on the floor by his feet, and found the gun which Kim had intentionally dropped for some lucky morph to find... and suddenly, the Arcanine wasn't doing quite as well any more...


Day 8 - Morning

17) - Story Lines Must Continue, and So they Shall

They all had troubled sleep that night... none moreso then Kijutsu, who had been having it since the moment back in Silph a couple of days ago..

The group had followed Damian out; the scene left behind at the fight area was not to be looked back upon for any means.. He had led them here, saying he'd found the place on the way here..
The place was a shelter, rather like one for homeless people - except now it was one for homeless morphs, and there were many of them.. It was a rather bleak building, dreary outside and akin inside... but Marie, the one who ran the place, she tried her best...
The car and all the stuff along with it had been left behind... they could have gone to pick it up, but they wisely didn't.. They'd all just got there, and found something to lie on, namely a couch, a bed, the floor, and another couch... Kichigai was still wondering if Kijutsu would wake up again, but as they found out next morning, her fears were unfounded...

Kijy woke up early; the night moon still shone through, glinting off everything and anything, and herself; she was surprised she was still here for a start, as the last thing she could remember was back at Silph, when she had oh-so-accidentally caught Articuno...
The pendant hung like a lead weight around her neck. She touched it once, and then looked around. So she was here.. no conception of how or why, but she knew why when she saw Hayai and Kichi asleep on a couple of respectively-placed couches.

[You're awake... Finally...] A voice, from nowhere, speaking lightly...
{...wha?...} she questioned..
[Er.. The pendant, I'm linked with that and you - and right now you need to know something...]
Kijy already knew what was coming; a momentary flicker, a knowledge passed; Senkouhi stepping through the massacre left at the battle area, delighting in the stench of death as he went through...
Kijutsu froze, not very hard for an ice-bird to do, but she did; It seemed like the sidetracking they had done had finally caught up...
She dove out of bed, clicking claws across a wood floor as she hopped over to where Kichi was asleep, facing the other way. She tapped Kichi a few times, who stirred, and turned around to her..
".......uh......hm, wha.....Kijy?" she slurred out, waking the second she set gaze to her now-awake companion.
"Yes... I'm awake, everything seems okay with me... but not for us, I mean, think for a while; Senkouhi..."
Kichi clicked, "Shit... We'd better--"
"Run? That won't do us any good... he'll only follow us... And we don't even know what he wants yet..." Kijy said.
"Isn't it obvious? He wants to kill us all, for not seeing his way... And then he'll be unopposed, and you know that..."
"More deaths have been caused by us then by him... I don't know what we're aiming for any more.... I don't..." Kijy stumbled a paw on the couch, "What is this coming to..."
"Kijy... It's just how things are going.... He has everything planned, all of it.... By acting all untrying, he's even getting you to think he's not intending to do anything... but remember Choukou, Kijy... That was unmistakeable, what he did there... You couldn't believe that to be anything else..."
Kijy looked up, "I...suppose..."
Kichigai stood up out of bed, "Well then, if you'd like to wake Hayai, I'll get Matt up and we'll head out... Kijy hesitated a minute, before nodding, and heading over to the other couch... Kichigai went over to Mattchu, who had crashed right on the floor, in a corner.. slumped against the wall in a position that would give him cramp when he awoke...
"Mattchu.. You awake..?" she whispered. The figure looked up at her, a mirror almost dividing the two, "And you think I could sleep like that? Impossible... Anyway, we're going, what happens to Kaen and those other two..?"
Kichigai stopped for a second, and looked at him, blankly, "Uhh... Well, if we split now, then since he won't be looking for them, he'll go after us instead.."
Mattchu thought a while too, "That works... We'll head back here in a while..."

Other sounds were present in the building.. As the two raichus were talking, another figure made his presence known...
"You're all up early.." said the voice. Kichigai turned to it's source, someone they'd not seen before.. plainly a Nyura morph, with a slightly lengthened snout, ears hung with a crop of black hair in between.. whiskers, claws, fur, the works - Except in places, stripes, randomly, there were pink areas.. maybe a dot, maybe a row.. one narrowly missing his eye... Other then that, all he had on was a black top and some black trousers, slightly too long...
Kichigai looked the Nyura over.. "And, who might you be..?"
He stared, uninterestedly, thinking for a moment. "Name's Derek Taylor.."

Mattchu sat up at once. Derek didn't see this, as Kichigai came towards him.
"You know, I can't help thinking I know you from somewhere..." she said to him, as Mattchu slid from his reclined position on the floor, got up, and stood next to Kichi..
"No, Kichi.. Maybe we don't know him.. But, I think he'll know who I refer to next.." Turning back to Derek, he said, nice and loud, "So, how's Rebecca doing?"
Derek faltered slightly, "Er.. Hold on a moment.." He turned full face and shouted into the back, "BECCA? Could you come here a second please?"
Some sound was heard in the back, but it was too dark to see in. Mattchu and Kichigai waited..

From the depths of the room she came.. though Mattchu had not seen her, he did know what it looked like upon seeing it.. It was Persian, evidently.. the downy fur and general look told you that.. 6 whiskers were visible, extending from the cheek.. a red spot adorned hr head.. two rounded ears stuck out of a mass of purple hair that extended past the neck and down to around mid-back... hanging loosely around the ears, straight, unlike Kichi's which curved slightly.. As obvious cat eyes looked at the pair of Raichu, her lips curled into a smile, almost mocking, as a couple of feline canines made their presence known..
"Matt.." Evidently she had an equal perception ability, she knew who it was.. "It's been a long time.. and now is probably not the most.. opportune.. time for a meet..." Mattchu looked away a second.
"Can't be a reunion unless Daryl's here.. and no-one knows where he is... though I think I have an idea." He then turned back, stood with a slight grin, before looking right at Rebecca.
"So.. The situation seems interesting... Something in the building where we were holed out at the start caused all of this... you know, everything.. Then I get told by a supposed goddess that you two had something to do with it... What's going on, Rebecca? And why do I feel like I don't have a clue..."

Rebecca looked at him.. "Well, Matt.. Your source is indeed correct.. this whole thing was a cause of me.. However, it wasn't intentional.. Come, I'll tell you about it.."
Mattchu hesitantly followed, producing some paper from his trouser pocket, turning to Kichi.. "I stopped writing things down after the road trip, Kichi.. but I'll get this down.." and then proceeding to the back. Derek, apparantly uninterested, walked off down a different corridor. Kichi, who had been left standing there, just turned and walked back to Hayai and Kijutsu, who were talking quietly, sitting on a couch out of the limelight.
The room and it's adjacent corridors were visible, but the light was one which did not completely fill; it was light yet it..wasn't.. there was an equal amount of darkness in the room that the light could not dispel as it usually did... a very common trick of the light, but one which, Kichi thought, there may be some truth to..
{ Best not tell these two what Mattchu said, if they didn't hear.. I fear Rebecca would be in for a lot worse if everyone found out the whole thing was her doing... } she thought to herself..
[ I'll agree there, Kichi.. ] said the voice, Jinkei.. as they both waited for Mattchu to return to the room, still noting Senkouhi was here, somewhere, and they needed to make themselves scarce as fast as was possible...

It was around 15 minutes later that Mattchu emerged from the back room, every bit as solemn as when he entered.. mood unchanged, though the face of Rebecca matched, in a way.. Kichi stood up from the couch as he returned, still clutching his wad of paper..
"I suppose we've been help up long enough... It's time to move out.." he said, nervously.. voice sounding like a wavering violin string..
"Okay then.." Kichi turned around, and motioned the other two anthromorphs to get up and prepare for leaving.
"Going so soon?" Rebecca's expression was moot. She either knew what was set to happen by way of Mattchu, or she'd been eavesdropping earlier..
"Course, we could stay and get killed, but no, we'll go somewhere else and get killed instead.." muttered Hayai as he idled away past Rebecca and into the depths of the black, from where she had just come. Rebecca turned as he disappeared from visibility.. before turning back to the raichu couple, slighty perturbed.
"What's up with him..?"
Kichi was still looking back the way Hayai had gone... "I don't know.."

Kijutsu, in her angelic innocence, just looked lost..


18) - The Vicious Triangle

Rebecca didn't stay watching the group too long.. It was seeing Matt here and still alive that had first surprised her.. it was a face a little too close to home for her liking..
Since the onset of all this, which she had inadvertently brought about.. {I hope I'm not made to pay for that one later.. if anyone should find out then I'd probably be killed then and there... But Matt's not gonna have that, no..}
Paranoia had dug it's way in and set like concrete. And now the only way she would keep it solid is if she, like the group that had formed with Mattchu at it's head, took her leave.. She had always fancied Japan; it held an old charm to her from a time gone by.. It was her that had given Matt his knowledge of Japanese and the incentive to thusly name his pokémon the same way, after all..
As she walked down the blackened corridor towards her room, passing the distracted one on her right, and heading away, down another corridor.. she knew what she needed alongside.. {Must have Derek there.. of course..}

She still wanted him there.. even though it was his lack of care that caused her to be in her present state... {'But they couldn't possibly hold a problem now, it's been a day or two...' "Well, if you insist..."}
Her common sense of reason had screamed at her not to touch it, but she trusted Derek.. He'd not done that on purpose, because he'd picked a couple up too..
She didn't notice at first, when the spheres started to emanate light.. She did notice when her arm seized up, however, and the flurry of expletives bounced off of all four walls, and came back just in time for her to lose her ability to stand, and collapse forward... It was burning, it was freezing, all at once.. and the world was spinning like a simple child's toy, a spinny top, around and around, and the colours did likewise, before they all came together to a point, which gradually faded... the stream of expletives not uttered by way of mouth any more, but continued through her thoughts until her thoughts lost all sense of existence, and fell silent.. a simple off switch had been untryingly pressed..

It came back on again, eventually. She didn't know how long she had been out, but as her eyesight started to slowly warm up, she noticed the clearness of the room... it's slight lack of colour, but it's sharpness overwhelmed that.. because it was sight, yes.. of that no doubt could be held..
It was sight through Persian eyes, however. She knew this as soon as she saw Derek.
The figure once human was leaning against a wall... He saw Rebecca get up, calling out, "Reb.. You hear anything?"
Rebecca hesitated for a moment, before saying the line and asking a question she already knew the answer to. ".....De-"
"Yes, it's me.. I've been awake a while.." he stopped, and knocked his head against the wall, "WILL YOU BE QUIET IN THERE?"
Reb looked at Derek, oddly. "...What's wrong..?"
Derek looked at Rebecca; it was a glazed over look.. "Since I awoke, my Ditto, who now is part me and has the ability to speak into my thoughts directly, has been repeating 'Ditto' since I woke up... and it's past funny now..."
Rebecca thought for a while... {Does that mean..?}
She acknowledged another presence.. but it was mute.. She spent no time trying to wake it, and instead consoled Derek.. who's Ditto either had something against him or it was just something he'd have to bear with until it got bored...

She couldn't feel bad at him after that.. and, as she remembered previous events, she realised why she wanted him there.
"He's mine.. and that's all I need, whether human or hybrid.." she mumbled, a semi-happy tone coming as she turned the door handle to the room shared by her and Derek, and pushed the door inwards, padding inside the dull room.

Inside the room, was Derek, and an unexpected guest, who was Marie, the owner. She was a hybrid, as Rebecca, except the mix was that of Venusaur and Herugaa. She was a weird sight, green and black spiralling around visible skin, a half-large back flower which was uncovered, instead she wore an adapted blue top, over which very long yellow/white-green hair flowed.. as well as a long pinkish-white skirt that covered both feet..

"Oh.. Didn't expect to see you in here, Marie.." Becci said, looking absently away, and at the bookshelf adorning the wall to her right... Doing so served no other purpose then to not establish eye contact with Marie..
Marie said nothing. Derek turned to Rebecca, "So, what was that raichu about then..?"
She turned to him, mood slightly infringed, "Nothing much.. Someone I knew from back home.. I'll tell you about it a bit later.."
Her cat-like sense of smell picked something up.. It irked at her subconscious a while, she ignored it and walked swiftly to Derek, then looked at Marie over Derek's shoulder, "Excuse us.. It's a little early and.. well.. we plan to have a lie in today. A necessary one..."
"Er.. Rebecca, perhaps I should say something..." Rebecca became pushed to thoughts again.. He'd never, for any sort of reason, turn down a morning opportunity...
Rebecca pulled from him, "Go on, Derek, what is it..?"
Derek faltered. He never expected her to come in just then.. Much less did he expect to have to surface his thoughts... and as he thought of what to say, he caught the smell that Rebecca had picked up earlier.. and looked towards the room's bed.
Rebecca was still thinking about that, and when she saw Derek look at the bed, she knew right then.
"..You bastard, Derek." Rebecca said, bluntly. Derek made no attempt to shirk away..
But Rebecca had other things on her mind.. She knew exactly how to get at Derek... and by hell, she was going to go with it...
"Now then, Derek, you know what's going to happen next don't you.. Yes, of course you do, listen to the voice, it'll tell you exactly what you need to hear... Ditto ditto ditto, eh Derek?"
Derek winced, "Rebecca.. not now, and not here..."
But Rebecca wasn't stopping now, "Oh, but no, we can't stop now.. The voice can't stop now, you get to listen to that.. Ditto ditto ditto, Derek ditto.. Come on, you know it's gonna bother you.."
Derek leaned against the wall, hand to his head... Yes, he did have to listen to it, that thing.. Ditto ditto, ditto ditto. Always. Forever.
"What the hell are you doing to him?" asked Marie, her first words since Rebecca had come in.
"Oh, nothing, dear.. Derek knows what I'm doing, doesn't he, ditto ditto?" she taunted, at both Derek and Marie..
Derek threw his head back against the wall on a reflex, "STOP IT DAMN YOU!"

Marie had no clue what was going on.. Derek had said nothing about his problem and he wasn't intending to say anything... but Marie had found out, and Rebecca would be sure to keep this going...
"Had enough yet?" Rebecca taunted him as he leaned against the wall, headache beginning to sink in... Ditto ditto, ditto.. He heard it clearly, he always did.. though he'd forget about it at times it was always there, metronome-timing in it's continuousness...
Though it said nothing else, Derek would know what it wanted..
~Ditto, ditto, you know how to stop Rebecca, dit dit, it's very simple..~
Rebecca got bored with just taunting him, and slapped him across the face, "Come on, don't zone out on me now, I've not even begun to start yet..."
~Ditto, ditto~
Derek, while reeling, was still fully alert; he knew there was a coat hanger, a tall, heavy, metal-tube stuck up in the corner, with a few hooks and things atop it... Grabbing this, he let out a loud cry and swung it at the unsuspecting Rebecca's midsection. It caught her, perfectly, and sent her over the bed and onto the floor on the other side...
Marie moved forward at this point, Derek's swing carried on through momentum, and Marie didn't see it coming...
A dull thud sounded as one of the blunt hooks embedded itself in Marie's left eye, she was taken off her feet and she was smashed into, and partly through, the wall behind her... Derek was unseeing...
The voice continued... Derek had removed it's provocator, and in his enraged state he was very eager to remove the source... His heavy breathing and the voice was all he could hear... as he stepped backwards, he turned around and went to strike the wall, but there wasn't a wall there; it was actually a window... all pain was forgotten in the state he was in, and the sudden loss of balance forced him to lean forward, half out the window. Half of the glass had smashed, but half was lodged at the top, held by some messy paint work and some window sealant that obviously had some sort of relation to superglue..
As the repetitive annoyance rang through Derek's head ever more, he brought his head back up, and shouted loudly at it;
"SHUT THE HELL UP!"
As he did thus, the top half of the window pane lost it's holdings, and slid downwards suddenly.. the groove to each side tracing it's deadly descent, a particularly sharp piece ignoring the nyura head in the way, lancing it through vertically, and coming to a stop against the base of the window.
Derek neither saw this coming, nor felt it when it did... but as everything grew fainter, his blood starting to trickle it's way down the wall, the voice continued... and then just stopped. All other senses of perception followed the repetitive voice into the cataclysm of not being there...

Derek did manage to get rid of the voice, after all...


Surprisingly enough, the first person to find them was Kijutsu.. While they had been packing up to go again, she had felt the need to rush off quickly, in the general direction of the nearest bathroom...
As she ran hastily down the corridor, the sound echoing off the wood and into the culdesac ending beyond, Kijutsu took the wrong door, and instead of the door to the bathroom, she entered Derek and Rebecca's room...

Kijutsu opened the door, knowing by the size of it at first glance it was the wrong room..
"Oops.. Sorry, thought this was th-" She looked again. She could see Derek on the floor amidst a puddle of blood.. She could also see Marie, lying face forward in the same, looking pretty mangled up. Behind her was the wall with a large hole in it, and behind Derek was a completely smashed window.

Kijutsu did what any normal person would have done, and bolted.

"Kichi?" she shouted, as she ran into her untryingly while turning a corner. "Oops, sorry.."
Kichigai raised a smile, "No problem, Kijy.. What's wrong..?"
Kijutsu turned towards where she had come from, "Rebecca's room.. I went into it accidentally... Derek and Marie are both dead.."
Kichigai winced, and headed off down the corridor. Kijy went off in search of Hayai.

Hayai was busy elsewhere in the building, waiting for the others to get everything ready for their departure.. He found the door leading outside, opening it, to a breeze of fresh air, and stepping outside..
He looked around, there was nobody here. At least there wasn't when he looked around the first time, he said to himself, seeing someone. His surprise came when the someone walked towards him. He couldn't see who it actually was, but he turned to go back in anyway.
A momentary flick in his eyes, and the door swang shut. Senkouhi knew those two raichu had heard, but then again, that's what he wanted to do..
The young one glanced to him, full of fear.. wise he was to be so.. However, an unknown burst cased Hayai to step from the door, a black glow coursing thorugh his paws..
"Hey.. If it's a fight you're looking for.. I won't displease.."
Senkouhi laughed. Cute, very cute. As a followup, he swung his sword at the brazen youth.

Everyone in the place at the time heard the closing of the door.. however, a pendant-guided viewpoint of Senkouhi looking at Hayai caused both of the raichu to take it directly to heart..
Two second later, probably less, a slightly worried Kichi was standing behind Mattchu, who was trying to pull open the door, but it seemed to be locked, even though Mattchu had the key and he'd tried it, to no avail.. the door should be open, for all purposes...
{ Psychic lock.. } Sadame muttered, wistfully. Kijy appeared in the corridor, and looked at Mattchu straining with the door.
"Mattchu, could I try this?" Kijy asked.. Mattchu didn't see any harm in it, so he stepped back while Kijy walked to the door, and grabbed the handle. Then she closed her eyes.
The handle lit up around as bright as the light bulb, before she pulled open the door, with little effort.
Mattchu just blinked, Kichigai smiled, "Nice work.." before she followed Kijy outside.

There was no sign of anything wrong outside..

Except something pinned to the outside of the door, which Kichi picked up.
"Hm.. Here, listen to this:

To Mattchu, my hopefully not-too-confident associate;

Stopped by this morning, but there seemed to be something wrong with the door. No worries, I picked up something of value.. I'm sure you'll be interested..
Anyway, just saying; you seem to be out a lot when I come.. So, why not come to me? Not a bad idea, because I'm not going anywhere.. You may not want to miss this invitation, Hayai wouldn't be very happy..

You have one hour. Then I start finding alternative entertainment arrangements.. You know, a fun pastime is watching people scream when I amputate various limbs and such, obviously bar anaesthetic..

You know I'm serious. I've won, whether now or later. But I'm getting tired of all this, and I bet you are too.. Tell you what, come within half an hour, and I'll make it quick.

Senkouhi

and it's written in blood, too..."

Mattchu winced... He expected this, sooner or later...

"Forget the moving arragements.. Kijy, see if you can get the other three up.. Tell them that if they don't mind fighting and dying, if they could please come with us on this.."
Kijutsu nodded, and went off to do that. Kichigai turned to Mattchu.
"You don't think we're going to win this, do you..?"
"I don't think even an army could stop Senkouhi now.. so what chance have we got?"
"Plenty.. We're going ourselves, the others can catch up if they want.."
Kichi stopped, "You're saying an army couldn't beat him, and you want us two to go alone first? That's stupid!"
Mattchu shook his head, "Trust me here, if you don't at any other time... I know how he thinks, he thinks like me, and therefore this'll give us our best chance..."
He lapsed to thought, { Sadame, how far away are they? }
A brief pause, { Around 10 minutes, walking. You two can probably make it in less time then that... I'll guide you there.. }

Kijy came back, and they were gone.. She knew what they were doing, thanks to pendant relay.. and she waited for the other three..

And so, the final conflict drew ever closer......



Chapter 19

Mattchu and Kichigai went along the streets, following their conscience, or in this case, the quiet voice of the pendant twins, speaking in unison, even though each could only hear their own..
Mattchu didn't pay much attention to the actual surroundings.. he wasn't interested in what the buildings on the way looked like... The movement was a passing blur of grey, mixes of colours, random occurrances in a constant stream that he wasn't really focused on..

What he was focused on was the battle to come...

Kichigai, at this point, having already reiterated that Senkouhi by now would be too strong for even an army to beat.. and yet Mattchu had decided just the two of them should go first... But, surely they all should go, the mass of power at the start would give them a much better chance then if they went in sets and got beaten down...

The view of the place, the city, the street, the buildings, the random bits of paper scattering around on a street where the tall buildings turned the area into a wind tunnel... it was all hollow, she cared not for them being there.. She wasn't thinking of anything but why, and even as long as she'd known him, she still wasn't likely to work it out..

Then again, Mattchu knew Senkouhi, and Senkouhi knew him.. so she supposed Mattchu knew what he was doing...

The route they had taken led them out of the city to the east, and from where they were Kichi could see a large building ahead... Mattchu probably already knew it was there; it seemed to be his destination, and the place looked danuting, even from where Kichi was; it felt wrong, it's presence was marred by something Kichigai couldn't see but it was definitely there...
And they were heading right for it..

It wasn't long before they reached the building... or, rather, the outer gates of it...
It was a broken place, looking rather unused, even though two weeks earlier this place would probably have been full.. It was the local pokémon training gym.. but, a gate hung off it's hinge and was layed on the grass near the entrance... Windows and bricks ewre littered everywhere... And it was dark.. a cloud hung low overhead, laying in wait for the two, probably just like Senkouhi was..

Things as they were, they were of little concern now, and the two raichu'morphs walked down the central path, littered with glass, stepping wisely around it.. and entering into a bare door, the clawed remnants of it probably lay somewhere, rotting..

As if it wasn't dark enough outside... Despite the windows being smashed, and light coming in, it was fairly dark inside... a broken fluorescent ceiling lamp indicated why...
Various walls and floors were covered in amounts of blood, as they walked in; probably remaining from the short period ago in which there used to be training going on.. then the next second, chaos was likely to have broken out... Dents in walls, holes, and one wall, brick too, was in pieces... Kichigai winced upon seeing that; she could almost visualise the morph who had been flung through that...

After what seemed like an eternity, they passed through a gap in a wall, and reached the main battling hall... It was a typical gymnasium, and surprisingly, in the place you'd expect the most remnants of carnage, the floor was unmarked, and was as it should be; two trainer boxes, and the pokémon-side center line divided.. no red could be seen... But, the walls were a different story.. as various smashed windows and red smears told an obvious story of this place..

Senkouhi was here, Mattchu knew of it... From where he'd come, they didn't know..

"Hmm..." Mattchu looked slightly confused. "Knowing him, I'd expect him to be-"
"Waiting for you, perhaps?" The sound came from the other side of the room... or maybe it came from behind them.. The acoustics of the room were no help to them... until a thought dawned, on Kichigai first... It seemed slightly too close to comfort... seemingly inside-
"Mmhmm. You can't imagine what thoughtspeech does for intimidation purposes. Over half of the normal ones would have ran... but not you.. oh no. You're too dumb to know what's good for you.."
Kichigai was contemplating what the addition of psychic ability to Senkouhi would do for the oncoming battle... Mattchu had already guessed he had this...
"What's good for 'me' has no place here. What's better for me is to stop running away whenever we get word you're on your way here.. You know just as well as I do that there isn't anywhere on this earth we can hide from you... and yet one thing, unclear, unseen, even I don't get it, and I'm convinced you don't get it either.."
He walked forward.. For a voice inside his head, he was speaking pretty loudly...
"Over this past week, crossing half a state, you have pursued me, and the others... but mainly me.. And yet, I strain to figure out why.. What the hell do you want?!" He shouted this at a vacant wall.. where a figure made itself present from the shadows.. slowly, almost like he wanted to be noticed..
"You mean... you're running from me, and you don't know why? Oh! Haha..! That would be a very sorry state indeed.. But, I'll tell you, anyway.."

The place lit up, the source unknown.. A figure was visible on the other side of the room; bathed still in darkness despite the light, clothed in the darkness, also; black garments made up most of his clothing.. Once-fur was now replaced with the lightish-metallicism of mewtwo skin; Mattchu saw, but he didn't believe who this was..
"...Senkouhi?!" A simple exclamation, and Senkouhi knew it was coming even before Mattchu was here..
"Correct... Now, my reasons for coming after you..." Even from this distance, Mattchu could see the evil grin on Senkouhi's face..

"You know what it's like as a pokémon, Matt? ...well, evidently, look at you now... You have maybe a small idea... Yet you don't. Truely.. You see this?" Senkouhi held up a rather tarnished black ball, "Witness the one-creature Alcatraz that is the masterball, raichu.. I wasn't in this thing for very long, I know that.. However, I was in something like it, and I know you don't know what it's like in here.. Maybe you do, your previous self should have that knowledge... or maybe he forgot intentionally, having been out of the thing for so long, and so frequently.."
He started walking... at least, it would have been walking, had he actually been moving his legs, and if he actually had contact with the floor...
"And now, look where we stand.. or levitate, however you want to see this.. If you didn't guess what I want already..." His voice tone quivered slightly.. "You know what I want. You. Inside this thing.." He tossed it into the air, as if proving his point.
"However..." he said, the definite tone of voice, the one heard when someone is absolutely dying to tell you about some bad news.. "when I catch you.. there's a little quirk I found out by experience.."
Mattchu's look tightened. Kichigai listened..
"I have little doubt you've already discovered that the black ones will contain others like us.. yes, it does, but as soon as you get it, the ball empties; their power is yours, and that's the end of the deal..."
"Just get to the point, Senkouhi..." It was only then that Kichigai realised that Mattchu didn't actually know what the two of them were here by themselves for...

Which meant they could have just walked into the biggest mistake since the accident...

"But, I don't want you like that... That wouldn't be any fun; simply ceasing to exist as an individual means nothing to me.. had I wanted that, I'd have killed you with that stone, instead of Choukou..."
Kichigai winced. Whether that was deliberate to her, she didn't know.. Mattchu just kept looking...
"Will you just--"
"Fine.. If I want to keep you in this thing.. without the ability to accidentally end the suffering of being in here.. I'll tell you what it's like.. You don't have control. You do, but you don't... You're just in existence, somewhere between here and who-cares-where and no-one gives a fuck but you, and you can't do anything about it.... And, time is longer in there then regular; a second is two in there; a minute four; you aren't losing health, so it's possible for one to be in there for an eternity... I have thought that; I have seen it; and I will grant you the honour, call it as you will, of being the first mostly human mind to actually exist in this place... Because, dear Mattchu, you have to be a pokémon to be kept in these like that. That's correct, a normal, non-human, non-speaking, one-word-speaking, semi-sentient, raichu. It is that I shall have in this ball..
Because, Tetsu had something that not even her sisters knew about..."

Sadame was silent. Mattchu could hear breathing, which meant she was present right now... But, wait; she was always present...?

Wasn't she?

Then where was the glow to his left coming from...

Senkouhi looked up in surprise..
"...Sadame.. How nice it is to finally see you.. I've leeched so much from your thoughts this past week, I feel like I should know you better by now..."
Sadame was in no mood for this, "You know, as well as me, that we're not here to step in... But, as you also know, there was nothing me, or my sisters, were told about getting involved directly..."
"Look, stop boring me. If you want your sister back, tough for you; I don't know any way to separate after that - look at everyone in the world; you think THEY know a way either? And you can't do it, because I managed to get inside her mind first.. So, you're stuck, aren't you..."
Senkouhi gloated. Sadame rose off the floor, quite angry, but not showing it as well as she'd like... Mattchu noticed a bead of sweat.. and almost shuddered...
{ if she's nervous here... there has to be more to this... }
Sadame stopped, looked at the floor... she then took a deep breath, and looked up, "Senkouhi... Would you like me.. to come to you there, and rip you to pieces.. so I can FIND WHAT'S LEFT OF MY SISTER TO TRY AND REANIMATE IT?! Would you? Really, I couldn't give a damn about your petty bid to try and get even with Matt.. You know damn well, I'm more interested in Tetsu..."
Senkouhi placed a paw up, "Hold.. No, really, would you like to come and search me over for bits of your sister? I'm sure that would be very nice.. Care to try your luck? Or, wait, I could get you to the same place as your sister, if you want..." He held the ball up again, and laughed.. "Go ahead!"

Sadame didn't need a second telling.. The whole area, lit up already, was lit up a second time, the white robe of hers seemingly more luminescent now, like it wasn't before..

She stood, facing the other from the air... This would be an interesting battle, surely... and this is what she should about, as a small white orb of psi energy charged up in her paw..
Senkouhi thought the same.. but he was quite confident he would win... He had a plan already... all he had to do was wait..
She flung the orb at him, it went at speed... however, Senkouhi had been charging up too, and sent to meet the oncoming orb was an equal orb, of a varying black colour... The two were set on a collision course, this they did, and simply dispersed.
Senkouhi then went to floor, "Down, Sadame.. We could fling our psi all day, but we won't get anywhere... This must be sorted the proper way...". From nowhere, he drew up a sword... It was a rounded blade, and looked freshly tempered..
Sadame glanced at him. "You expect me... oh, fine. Whatever you will.." and drew her hands in front of her, slowly.

Throughout, Mattchu and Kichigai just watched.. though, Kichigai was hearing something from somewhere nearby... Something, muffled.. almost unheard.. probably deliberately hidden...
"Hayai...?" she mumbled. Mattchu caught this, and heard something from over the right side of the room, where a gap in the wall was present.
"You think..?" he started..
"Worth a look.." Kichigai said, before heading towards the gap, followed by Mattchu close at hand..

Senkouhi saw them go, and grinned... before looking back to Sadame, who now held a gleaming sword.. the common choice mew sword; a crystal katana, both swift and elegant.. and she held it close to her head as she stared at Senkouhi..
"Well then.. Come ahead, we've taken a long time at this as it is..." Senkouhi beckoned. Sadame printed forward, a vertical slash launched, barely touching the floor. Senkouhi was caught slightly off guard, and managed to parry the sword, and the mew, left. She turned instantly, and managed to swing the katana for his head. Senkouhi jumped backwards.
"Not bad, not bad at all.." he began, before Sadame started again. He parried that one directly forwards, then thrusted at her with the sword. She jumped back, catching the sword with her katana and lifting up, trying to swing it and Senkouhi's sword right around for another strike. Senkouhi responded with a quick kick to Sadame's arm, causing her pressure on the sword to disappear, and Senkouhi tried another slice... but, it was wide of it's target.
"So.. you fight dirty, as well..?" Sadame taunted. Senkouhi just looked on, "This shall certainly be a good battle..."

The muffling sound came from the next room, indeed. Kichigai and Mattchu stepped in, and saw a barely conscious Hayai.. Mattchu went over to him.
"You okay?"
Hayai nodded, weakly, then slipped again and lay there a while. Mattchu turned back to Kichigai.
"I wonder what the hell he did here..." he said, quietly.. Kichigai looked aside, then back to Hayai.. and saw him upright..
"Come on, then.. Let's get back to seeing how Sadame's doing over here..." Hayai went to Mattchu and leaned against him as the trio walked back through the wall gap and into the fighting arena..

Sadame and Senkouhi were at locked swords.. Slashes from each swung through the air, and met each other... Sadame went low,Senkouhi jumped and sent one high, which Sadame ducked under, sending the sword back up at Senkouhi's midsection, but he was moving through the air too fast, and the swing missed it's target. Senkouhi swung at Sadame from behind, she managed to bend forward and slash at the hybrid's arm; but he pulled the sword back quicker then the swing went, and the sword stopped before it could carry her back around under momentum.

~..unnh..~
{ Tetsu? }

Sadame sprang up at Senkouhi, knocking him back a bit.. before slicing at him again. He managed to jump right, and then back left, with sword forward. Sadame turned, parried him left, whacked him on the back to knock him off balance, and then ran forward, sword ready..

~...Sadame...~
{ How can you still be here? }
~I...I don't know...~

The turned Senkouhi was an easy target.. Sadame went for it, but he turned around again...
{ He's reading my thoughts.. }
[ Right you are, Sadame. You'll not hit me like this.. ]
Swords hit each other again; they tried slicing at each other again, but they always connected with each other's sword and got nowhere..

Mattchu and Kichigai were watching intently; so much so, they didn't notice Hayai when he stood up and walked to a wall on the left side of the room, away from them... and started searching for something... however, Senkouhi noticed.. [ That's it.. keep going... ]
Hayai picked something up, palmed it, and slipped back, slowly, to Mattchu and Kichi.. still they looked at the swordplay..

Senkouhi noticed this too.. { Ah.. Yes.. } before his momentarily lapse in concentration, coupled with a sudden thrust, gave Senkouhi a nice deep gash on his right arm. He promptly swung for Sadame's head, but clearly too high. He then had to bring the sword back in to deflect a blow heading for his unprotected midsection.
Now was not the time to make mistakes..

Hayai took the dagger in his hand, silently, and walked about, slowly, until he was behind Mattchu. The raichu was fully immersed in watching the fight, thinking there was no threat.. Foolish one he was..
Hayai stabbed the dager towards the raichu's head..
Mattchu heard something slice air, VERY close to home... He turned, and a split second later he had Hayai's arm held, the tip of the dagger just above his head. Mattchu blinked. He didn't try for that...
"Damnit.." Hayai muttered, and tried to complete bringing the dagger down, but the raichu suddenly hit Hayai's wrist with his paw; a nice move, if ever there was one, as Hayai's grip on the dagger disappeared almost entirely, and it dropped to the floor, landing on it's side by Mattchu's foot, with an audible 'clink'.
Kichigai turned, to see Mattchu holding Hayai's wrist above his head. Mattchu nodded towards the dagger, then looked at Kichi.
"Senkouhi has quite the nerve, trying to get one of my own to kill me.." Mattchu said.
"The mewtwo didn't do anything. This is all me, Mattchu." and he brought his fist down suddenly. Mattchu placed a kick to Hayai's chest, and the hybrid eevee reeled.
"What?" Mattchu stopped, slightly surprised. Hayai unleashed a sphere of black energy at Mattchu, which he took in the chest, being pushed backwards, claws leaving grooves in the floor.
"I worked out that there was more killing coming from our group then there was from Senkouhi.. There's nothing can commit that to being the work of the person fighting for good, is there?" Hayai said.
Mattchu couldn't offer a response. Hayai ran at Mattchu again, Mattchu knocked him left and threw a clenched paw at his back. Hayai slammed into a wall.
Kichigai watched both the fights progress, uneasily..

Hayai was not one to stop... Mattchu was getting increasingly more reluctant the more times Hayai swiped.. This couldn't be him.. but he'd said it was... and Senkouhi was tied up with Sadame, he couldn't have time to control Hayai from there... He worked out the best way to deal with this was to knock Hayai out.. which he tried to do.. He launched a thunder wave at Hayai, who managed to get out of the way... Hayai ran forward and swung at Mattchu's chest, but he got out of the way and connected with Hayai's temple.. failing to get him to stop, still..
It took a while for Mattchu to floor Hayai, which he managed to do by leg-sweeping the hybrid eevee and helping him finish his off-balance fall. He landed hard on the hard floor, and looked at the other fight...

Sadame took a particularly hard swing, and ended up back to Senkouhi.

~Sadame.. he's mine, leave it for now..~
[ ..? What are you doing? ]

She heard scuffles... and turned to be faced with a wall of white...
The other fight was halted.. as everyone watched this...

From the white formed something.. or someone... Sadame knew who it was instantly..

"Tetsu?!" Sadame couldn't believe this...

Neither could Kichigai...

The anthro mewtwo looked at everyone, a bit dazed.. "Senkouhi's.. well, I don't know where he is.. but he's not here... Not any more, anyway..."
Sadame turned to the others.. Hayai was just looking, and thinking what he'd been prepared to do for the wrong cause not so long ago... when he saw something...

No..

He tried to speak, but nothing came... Kichi noticed Hayai... and looked to his sight of vision...
"Oh god... Sadame!!" she shouted, a bit too late...
Sadame turned, and the approaching Tetsu thrust Senkouhi's sword straight through her sister... The mew looked shocked.. then gazed deep to her sister... and found.. nothing...
"...you utter bastard, Senkouhi......" she said, as she slipped slowly to the floor, in a puddle of half-red..
Tetsu turned to the others, "Quite simple.." before her form once again shifted... back to that certain anthro flareon-mewtwo that they knew was going to come back...
"And now that you, my raichu friend, are not under protection by the piece of metal decorating your neck.. you shall be mine." Senkouhi said.. and started to charge up for something....

Mattchu was still encompassed on one thing... He went to Hayai, "See what happened now... Now who's the evil one? Huh?"
"I...I...I'm sorry..."
Mattchu found it impossible to stay mad at him... Senkouhi now had a red glow.. Kichigai didn't like it, and Mattchu gazed back to him, "What the-"
Senkouhi thrust both paws forward then, and Mattchu rose into the air, trapped; paralyzed in an instant by a blue glow that appeared and grew with surprising speed..
Haai watched and stared... His actions now had caused this... and, somehow, he felt there was only one way he could retribute... He glanced to Kichigai, who was glaring at Senkouhi.. and then to the dagger dropped earlier.... He reached to grab it...

Kichi heard a cry from behind, and turned... Hayai, blooded dagger in hand, wound in chest, was slowly sinking to the floor... She once again glared at Senkouhi..
[ Simple, again.. He was broken enough.. And then the little voice in his head told him to kill himself, and he obliged... ]
Kichigai placed a paw to her head..
{ I swear I will see you dead if it's the last thing I do.. }
[ Oh, it may well be that, dear Kichi.. ]
Senkouhi grinned.. He watched the struggling Mattchu; he couldn't escape, there wasn't a chance..
Unless... He could sense the oncoming presence of the articuno.. This had to be quick...

Senkouhi looked at the floating Mattchu; encased in an unbreakable prison; to him, anyway.. and suddenly, the inside of it started to go opaque.. Mattchu was very much conscious... and he knew what came next, as he lost sight of everything in a mass of energy now going from red to black...
"Behold that which is de-anthroization... a once-in-a-lifetime possibility that never fails to amaze me..." Senkouhi said... Mattchu barely hears it, as his senses started to discorporate from the happenings of the room..

Back here... it was black, the same one that overtook that day not so long ago.. the reverse of what happened then... It wasn't pleasure and it wasn't pain.. but it was something becoming scarce... before it disappeared, and there was just.. nothingness...

Then the mist cleared, and the now raichu fell to the floor... He was weak.. and his eyes looked up to the dominating one; he would die, somehow.. but there was no way he could do anything...
[ No way is right... just stay there until I kill the others... and then you can forget about everything, and relax... for the rest of eternity.. ]

The part which bothered Mattchu most is he knew Senkouhi was right.... but, he waited for the others to come... unable to move, still paralyzed...

From the back of the hall walked four figures.. the winged Kijutsu.. the dragon Damian.. the vulpine Kaen.. the scyther Kim.. They looked at the scene afore them; a near-unconscious unmorphic raichu, Mattchu.. the hateful Kichigai, needing to fight right now... the dead Sadame, the spectral one impaled by an illusion.. the dead Hayai, killed on his own dagger he still held...
And finally, to the last.. A sign of pure evil for all it was worth.. Senkouhi, who looked at the new entrants with a mocking smile.
"Welcome to the festivities, lady and gentlemen.. Today's special is death by swordblade.. Any takers?"

And the battle began.



Chapter 20 - The End

The first thing Kijutsu saw was the deceased Hayai.. the other three were too busy looking at Senkouhi.. Kichigai turned to the rest of the group..
"Not looking too good, is it..."

Mattchu saw the rest arrive, and glazed..
[ Oh, don't go to sleep now, I'm not done with you yet... Even if they should win this, I'm still getting you... I will break you, Mattchu.. you're not getting off lightly... ]
The raichu didn't want to deal with this... he was tired.. and he needed to rest.. But, as he watched, he found himself to a different kind of sleep.. the one more commonly associated with controlled sleep...

The one he was in when Sadame first spoke to him..

Everything blanked out... spinning endlessly into multiple things; he saw these things.. but they weren't what they were on spinning... He was in a room.. not the arena, this was.. back in the league HQ... But this place had been destroyed...?

There was something messed up about this place.. The blood where Choukou had been standing, it was still there.. and it was still fresh...
"Like my little arrangements for you?" a voice called... Mattchu turned, and standing in that spot where he'd strangled Senkouhi at the start, there was a non-morphic hybrid.. It was flareon, but it wasn't..
Mattchu found that in this place, he could talk normally... "..How..."
"Oh, this is a not-real place.. of course.. But, it represents the first tine we fought, and it also represents my first kill.. something I'm proud of, even if it wasn't a fair fight... But, who needs to be fair?"
"Not you, evidently..." the raichu muttered...

Senkouhi walked towards Kichigai.. Kichigai moved backwards.. backing up against Damian... Damian stared at Senkouhi.
"Do you really think you can beat the five of us?"
Senkouhi moved over to Hayai, and looked down at him. "Yes.. In fact, I'm quite sure.. and if I wanted to, I could just look at the five of you and I'd be able to tear your limbs off, one by one, without lifting a finger... But, that wouldn't be particularly nice, would it?"
Kijutsu looked at Senkouhi, "..I..."
"Hush, child.. You may be psychic, but you have no place trying it on against me.." He pulled out a black ball, beaten it was, but useless it was not.. He dropped it on the dead Hayai, and he was gone in an instant..
"While the one from Mattchu's pendant would be a greater asset to me.. I wouldn't be able to catch her outright, even when she is dead.. But, this is what I seek for just now..."
He walked back a little away, towards Mattchu. "You know, one of you'd be wise to start attacking me now.. I'm just clearing up from the previous battle here, and all I want is the raichu.."
"And what do you plan to do after that, Senkouhi?" asked Kaen.. trying to be optimistic..
"Actually, I don't know yet.." Senkouhi said. "Involves killing you lot off, I'm sure of that... And, for two points, I'll tell you that if you manage to kill me, Mattchu will be returned to normal.. How's that for a deal..."
The group didn't hesitate to start attacking then.. Damian and Kijutsu took to the air, Kaen, Kim, and Kichigai kept to the ground...
Senkouhi grinned, "Peachy..."

Mattchu eyed the flareon, nervously.. What was he up to...
"Oh.. I have someone here that you may like to see..." Senkouhi said...
From the shadows of the place walked a figure that Mattchu recognised on sight...It was him..
Not him as in him, but the human for of him, the one before all this actually happened... but he was lifeless...
"Happy reunion? The trainer and his raichu.."
"But... I was told that..."
"You were told that you couldn't be separated by mind - Well, that's perfectly true... See, inside this mind would be Matt and the raichu.. but it's not, because that one was destroyed when I took in this form... You don't actually exist, I'm sorry to let you in on this now, but it's true..."
Mattchu thought for a while.. "How can I not exist if I'm here?"
"You're not really here.. You're being kept alive in mind by me.. And, these people on the outside are trying to kill me... And by doing so, they'd kill you too... But, they're fighting to save you from me.. so, they can't win, whatever happens..."
The flareon laughed... It seemed impossible to Mattchu that what he said could make so much sense and yet be illogical...

Attack after attack followed itself up... but they weren't getting anywhere... Senkouhi just stood there...
"Can't you do any better then this? I don't even have a barrier up!"
Unnoticed to most, the raichu Mattchu fell unconscious...

Most, except Kijutsu.. who took time out of the uneventful battle to see how he was...
She saw he wasn't awake, and checked for a pulse... still watching the battle... and a weird thing happened.. when Damian's attack hit home, Mattchu convulsed slightly... And with Kichigai's attacks, the same, though not as much...
"...Senkouhi..." She started up a recover attack... hoping they didn't damage more then she could heal...

"You're not going to let them kill us, are you? That would be stupid... considering they're trying to kill me so they can save you, of course..."
"If they kill you, it doesn't bother me either way.. I'm not here for anything else..."
The ball was squarely in Mattchu's court now.
"...er... But you have to stay alive... because...uh..."
"Do I?"
The place where they were fell silent.

Senkouhi decided he had to do something, immediately... He decided to go on the offensive...
"Well, your unability to hurt me got boring... So, I'll just be killing you now, and then I'll be on my way..." he said, arrogantly... He launched amounts of psychic energy at the nearest person to him... Kim, it was, who was about to try charging forward again... but he asn't expecting him to actually attack, and a paralysis hit him..
"...That was easier then I thought..."
Damian, who was in the air, saw this... He also saw red, and came down from the air, trying to land directly on Senkouhi... He hit the invisible barrier hard..
"Owch.." Senkouhi didn't look up, instead proceeding on the paralysed one, "Like these blades of yours?" With a thought, Kim's arms lifted up against his will, and turned around so the points faced the scyther-morph, each one directly in fromt of an eye... "Want a closer look?"
The barrier around Senkouhi shattered.. but it didn't stop Senkouhi from carrying out his intended plan of action... He forced the blades backwards... Damian only managed to watch on, as Senkouhi released the paralysis, and the impaled Kim fell to the floor...

Senkouhi found himself knocked forward very quickly.. Damian was right behind him... A fire blast later, Senkouhi avoided it... before pulling the sword out again, and swinging at Damian with it... He moved sideways from that and struck the back of Senkouhi's head, putting him off balance...
The flareon hit the floor, and Damian was on him, beating him while down a few times for good measure...
"You overstepped the line just then, Senkouhi... You can kill whoever you like.. but you chose to kill Kim.. and as his brother, I seek vengeance.."
He stood up. "Survive this..." He started to charge a red colour, before walking towards Senkouhi, who made no effort to get away... glancing over at Mattchu... never faultering his grin..
The explosion took out a large chunk of the arena... Part of the ceiling fell in, kicking dust and smoke around... Kichigai was closest, she coughed a few times... the others waited for the smoke to clear...
When it did so, there was no trace of Damian... and Senkouhi was there, barely scratched...
"Good! That was nice and strong... pity it was kamikaze, I would have liked to see more of that..."
He turned to the others, "Come on.. Give it up already... You won't get anywhere if that thing didn't harm me..."
Senkouhi seemed surprised it had done nothing...

Kijutsu wondered about something... If she was psychic, could she not try to do what Senkouhi was doing...? What had he said... He was trying to break Mattchu... Get inside his h--
She concentrated on something... she didn't know if it would work, but she tried for so, anyway...

The silence was almost deafening... but it was broken, by the sound of wings...
"What the..." The flareon looked up.. to see an Articuno, coming in from the shadows...
Mattchu looked up, and wondered...
The articuno looked at Senkouhi, "This is a very elaborate setup... You trap his mind somewhere else and make it so all your injuries affect his physical self...?"
Senkouhi looked up, "Rats.. I thought someone would figure it out... Didn't count on it being you, though... Of course, you've locked yourself here too... means I'll have to break you both, but no problem there..."
"..what do you mean..."
"Let me explain, now that we're stuck here anyway.. This place I created when I tried tapping Mattchu.. It exists somewhere in uncharted time and space.. and it's something like a holdall for people's thoughts, actions, minds... like virtual reality.. except not virtual. At the moment, you and Mattchu are both in lethargy back in reality..."
"So how are you fighting?"
"It's not me.. It's Myuutsu.. Having more then one loyal mind is helpful here..."
The articuno, Kijutsu.. remembered seeing Kim... "That's Myuutsu?"
Senkouhi nodded.. "If it was me, I'd most likely have killed you outright... He likes playing games... it's a habit of Mews and their clones... Except exactly what game is played differs between the two..."
Mattchu thought about this, "That means... you've given us a way to destroy you.. I should thank you, really..."
The flareon narrowed it's black eyes.. "You can't.. Kijutsu may, but if she doesn't know what this place is, she won't know how to get us out..."
"No.. Hold on a minute..." Mattchu got up, and paced... "If our minds are here, and so is yours.. then we can destroy this place, and it will destroy you..."
"Heh... Not quite... Remember, Myuutsu is out there not me. I haven't control of what he does - but he's doing a good job, no?" Senkouhi looked on...
"..Myuutsu is linked to you like I'm linked... therefore if you can get me... we can get Myuutsu too..." He turned to Kijutsu, "Try and tap Myuutsu from here..."
Senkouhi's grin faded. "It's not going to work..."
Mattchu turned to him, a mirror of he who he addressed, "Why shouldn't it?"
Senkouhi growled, "I won't let you do that..."
Kijutsu was already doing it... The place was lit up in a blue glow...

Back with Senkouhi... and something was wrong... He knew it.... Kichigai and Kaen watched as he progressed over towards them... then stopped, mid travel...
"Aaagh..."
He looked to Kijutsu, who had lapsed to unconsciousness atop of Mattchu.. The silent duo, setting up a trap for him... He couldn't let that happen.
But he couldn't do a thing about it... and everything started to swirl...

The figure of a mewtwo.. that wasn't quite.. walked in, and glared at the raichu, then at the articuno...
"Damn you..."
Senkouhi turned to Myuutsu.. "They're going to destroy this place now.. Glad to have you here..."
Myuutsu placed his paws to his face.. "..Matt's going to sit back and kill himself and two of his pokémon?"

Mattchu looked at them, "You ceased being mine the day I stopped being human.. And, you walked out on me... If there's one thing Mashu managed to drum in, it's that I'm not responsible for you any more... My responsibility is to make sure I destroy anything and everything that is of you.. because I've had enough.." He looked to Kijutsu..

Kichigai and Kaen looked at the fallen Senkouhi, not sure what had just happened... Kaen went up to him, and tapped him with his paw... ready to retreat should he be feigning...
"...what the..." Kaen looked to Kichigai, "He's unconscious.."
Kichigai blinked.. and looked over to Mattchu, and Kijutsu.. both in the same state... then he went over to Senkouhi...
"..I don't know... Is he still alive...?"
"He is..." Kaen nodded. "I'll go check the others..."

Kichigai looked at Senkouhi's sword.. he still had it in his grasp... The raichu'femme walked to it, slowly, and grabbed it... it's blade felt cold, exactly as she thought it would have.... She freed it from the bare grasp with a small pull... and then looked back at Senkouhi...
"If you're still alive... then I know how to solve that..."
She lifted the blade up.. reverse grabbing the helm, so the blade pointed downwards...

"Kichigai's about to kill Senkouhi.." a voice from nowhere said..
"She does that and the other two die too... I still have damage transferred throughout us all, you know..." Senkouhi said, coldly...
"I'll be happy as long as it gets you too..." Mattchu said, equally cold..
The articuno, still in the air, hesitated... Mattchu saw this...
"...no, tell her to stop..." Mattchu said, an air of disability around him...
"I already did.." said the voice... before another figure came out of the shadows.. wielding a sword... It was a Mew..
Mattchu blinked.. "But.. you died..?"
"It's very hard to actually kill a Mew.. This place where we are, or rather the reality it exists in.. this is where we go when we're not alive.. And Senkouhi knew this, didn't you..."
Senkouhi said nothing.. He couldn't say anything, Sadame had him paralysed, but none of the others knew this...
"And now you're in my realm, Senkouhi.. This is Tetsu's place, private from everyone.. and you're using it for your own gain... You sicken me.." She moved over to him, and plunged the sword into the unmovable one's back... and all of Senkouhi's illusionary images ceased to exist...

Everyone was floating... in a void, black, Mattchu, Kijutsu.. Senkouhi.. Sadame..
"...where did the other-" Mattchu began..
"They never really existed... All of this... He's still trying to break you..."
Senkouhi looked up at Mattchu.. just flareon, nothing more..
"...yes... and I'll tell you why, too.... Never good enough for you, Matt... I had a psychic ability before you even knew me... and, had you been half the trainer you were supposed to be... you'd have found that out.... I proved incentive to the two scientists that day... to create all this to happen.... because I thought.. I thought I could get you to notice..... but I failed..."
Mattchu looked away..
"...and after all is done.. I broke minds, I killed many... for you.. because I knew what you was thinking... and that's all you ever wanted to do... You've been having the time of your life, don't deny it.. you liked it back when you killed that bufferfree girl... that fight at Silph.. you've liked it all... and I managed to outsmart you, like I always knew I could... You and that raichu both..."
"...this was just a farce...?!" Mattchu looked back.. "This was all a game to you..."
"Consider it as a gift..."

"It's not a game.. I never thought of it as such... So many people affected... it's more disgusting... I never said I wanted this... nor did I think it..." Mattchu said.. but he was speaking to space now...
"...and the final illusion...... you cant exist here without me being alive...........so I'll see you very, very soon..............."

Senkouhi went limp then, and the void seemed to tighten...
"You know, he's not correct... if I can get the others working on it, we can free you both from here..." Sadame said...
"But you don't have five any more... Tetsu was killed too..." Kijutsu reminded...
"...well, we can use someone else to fill the gap, then.. can't we..." Sadame looked at Kijutsu... who fell mute... "We're sisters, yes, but not blood sisters... No, there's just two that have survived from the original five... And, somehow, fate always hands us another..."
Mattchu turned.. "But... you're fate, aren't you?"
Sadame nodded, "Exactly."
And everything disappeared just then.... Even now.. Mattchu didn't know who had actually won...


~Epilogue~

The room fizzed into view... The raichu could see ground... and he couldn't move...
A little help over here, please...?>> he said.. a raichu tongue it was, but good enough nonetheless...
It caught the ear of Kichigai, "Mattchu?"
Mattchu was trapped under Kijutsu... Kichigai gently lifted her off, and laid her aside... Kichigai noticed no pulse upon doing this... and looked down...
If you're wondering, she's not dead.. They needed someone to fill the gap left by Senkouhi's acquiring of Tetsu..>> Mattchu said, dragging himself weakly to his paws..
Kichigai felt for the pendant.. but it wasn't there.. "Know anything about this..?"
Mattchu shook his head, Maybe they took them back? Who knows...>>
Kichigai shrugged... It wasn't important...

They decided they needed to leave... nothing to stay for, everything was taken care of...
Gah... Someone give me a lift?>>
Mattchu moaned as they were walking out... he was lagging behind Kaen and Kichigai, badly..
"Just keep walking.." Kaen said back to him...

Silence was heard for a while... Kichigai turned around to make sure he was still there... and was faced with a rather large figure... it was part raichu, with ears, tail, mostly furred.. but shaped rather like a mewtwo..
"Mattchu?"
~You know, I'm not sure whether to be pleased with Kijutsu for this or whether to be upset... but hey..~ He was a few inches off ground... ~It beats trying to walk, that's for sure...~

Kichigai sniggered.. Kaen looked up at the sun... wasn't setting, it was barely the middle of the afternoon...and you just had to wonder...
The beginning of the end... or the end of the beginning?

But they weren't quite out of the watchlight yet... From the top of the building, they were watched... watched until they were out of sight...
The figure, unseen, held four of the pendants.. and wore the last around his neck... It was the pendant of fire... Moltres... The figure spread it's wings, and took off after the three...

He felt no harm in watching to see what happened next... Something had to, ne?

~End~


(You know, considering I made the ending around 3min before I wrote it... I don't think it was that bad an improvisation ;) - Comment, please o.o; - It's done now, there's little excuse to say something...)