Ascension

Chapter Eight: Faith

It watched fearfully as it was hung upside down by its wings, too tired to resist, too drained to fight any longer.

They had taken it from its home and family during the night, where they proceeded to beat it to the point where its left eye no longer worked. It hadn't a clue of where it was or how it got there, as it had quickly drifted off into an unconscious state during the struggle.

And now they were hanging it upside down, the only thing supporting it were the spikes being driven into its wings.

"We hope that this sacrifice will bring us blessings, oh great one," a woman in a blue uniform whispered, kneeling at the base of where the dying pokémon was attached to.

Butterfree looked around and found an old friend close by, the Pidgeot that it used to be in the same team with. It didn't dawn on Butterfree that the Pidgeot, also upside down, was already dead. It didn't matter though, because Butterfree couldn't even speak anymore.

"We have brought you the first and second pokémon of the Chosen. We hope it will please you, oh great and revered one," said a man, his voice shaking as he spoke.

The bug pokémon knew at this point that it would no longer see its mate or offspring in this lifetime: it was going to die. With its one good eye it tried to see who their great one was…who the person that condemned it to death was.

Although it was upside down and with vision deteriorating fast, Butterfree could see a man sitting in an elaborately decorated chair, staring at it with empty eyes.

Jack Waterflower knew that this was barbaric, but he allowed things to continue. He would let the fools to think that this was all a religious affair, that the Chosen One would save them if they captured him and used him. While some joined the new Team Aqua for power and money, others joined after witnessing the first time Kyogre and Groudon fought all those months ago. This near-apocalypse reawakened the fear of a higher power, and the reigniting of long buried faith.

He misled some Team Aqua members into thinking that sacrificing some of the Chosen One's old pokémon would make a difference. In reality, he just wanted to make sure that the Chosen One did not have any unexpected backup. Jack's troops had already managed to eliminate the Primeape, Lapras, Beedrill and Raticate, all formerly owned by the Chosen One.

The only pokémon left was the Haunter now owned by Sabrina, the psychic gym leader. There was something special about that Haunter, as it was there when the Chosen One first died and came back to life. He had sent particularly fervent followers to capture it and bring it back to him for further study.

He watched as the Butterfree, one of the oldest of the Chosen One's pokémon, twitched violently, not long for this world.

His grunts had failed him the previous day when they tried to retrieve the Artifact. There were ten Artifacts, yet he only had a small portion of them…he needed them all, as they were essiential to the Ascension. Without them, his plans to revive his dead wife would not be realized.

Rose…

The Butterfree was shrieking with pain, and he had faith that he was ultimately doing the right thing.

-

The Shadow had been found before The Lost, yet he was designated as the seventh of the Others. This minor detail did not bother the one codenamed as The Shadow, as he was quite satisfied with the assignment given to him anyhow.

He was told to trail a man that looked very much like him, as well as a woman very much like the one he had tortured for over five years in his own reality.

The Rui he had such fond memories of always screamed when he touched her, but after three years in his company she had lost that ability sadly. He was looking forward to hearing her scream again, even if it was a different version of her.

Such small details like that did not bother him, after all.

He was close behind them, easily able to follow since the clouds were out, obscuring the sun and blanketing the arid desert with shadows. From there it was a simple matter of jumping from shadow to shadow, his powers seemingly enhanced by that Professor Ivy woman. He had a feeling that the collar put on him was there more so that she could keep control of him than increase his abilities, but he didn't care.

He didn't care at all, just as long as he could get his hands around that Rui girl's delicate neck.

-

James and Jessie had arrived on the scene too late yesterday; they only thing they saw was the twerp being shot in the chest by an attack, then falling unconscious. They had never seen him injured like that; even they were not that cruel.

They had left the scene shortly after, pondering on their next plan of attack.

"Would it be in bad taste to steal the twerp's Pikachu now?" Jessie asked.

James and Meowth looked at each other, before turning to Jessie and saying, "Yeah."

"It just wouldn't be right, you know? It would be pretty dirty to do something like that when the kid was injured like that," Meowth elaborated.

"I wonder what was with that pokémon that was attacking him," James pondered, crossing his arms. "I've never see anything attack the twerp so viciously before. Its like it wanted to kill him!"

"It did," Meowth answered quietly. "It was aiming for the kid's heart…trying to stop it with an electric shock. Trust me, I could tell."

The trio fell silent, horrified at the thought.

-

May watched Ash as he slept, her eyes tired from all the crying she had done last night when they brought him in. She was told that a pokémon had attacked him, and that they managed to subdue it. His Pikachu was on her lap, quietly looking at its trainer with wide, worry filled eyes.

She held on to his hand, feeling so foolish for being selfish earlier.

"I like you Ash," she said quietly, "I'm sorry that I'm so immature sometimes. It's just…I really don't want to lose you."

She was so focused talking to Ash that she did not notice Norie peeking from the hallway.

"You've only known me a short amount of time compared to Misty," she continued, "so it's natural that I get a little jealous, you know? I'm sorry."

Brock once told her that Ash had died at least twice before, but he always managed to get back up again. The wounds he had suffered weren't life threatening, so he was in no chance of dying.

May rubbed his hair affectionately, willing to wait by his side until he woke up, no matter how long it would take.

"When you wake, I'll be the first face you see. I promise you, Ash. I won't leave your side until then," she whispered to him, holding his hand firmly.

Norie left the hallway unnoticed, leaving the young girl alone with her boyfriend.

-

Gary observed the pokémon held in the unusually large pokéball (it was taller than him), a display window in place of where the button would be on a normal sized ball. His grandfather had created this machine for dire situations where pokémon were too dangerous to be held in a normal ball.

It had been quiet ever since yesterday, refusing to speak to anyone including Professor Oak. Ash's mother had stared at it earlier, yet said nothing the entire time she was in the room; Gary thought she just wanted to make sure it was securely locked up.

Gary pressed a button on the ball, allowing for the display window to turn into two-way mode. The Gardevoir looked up, finding itself being watched by a human boy, no doubt a friend of the Chosen One.

It would not speak for any of them.

"Tell me why you attacked Ash," he said quietly, staring it in the eyes.

It charged up energy, only to suddenly stop, a look of frustration in its eyes.

"It won't work. This containment unit dampens your power. It's best if you just answer my questions. Now, why did you attack Ash Ketchum?"

It looked away from him, bored with his presence, wondering idly if it could overload the system with its powers.

He slammed a hand against the display window, growing angry with the creature inside. "Tell me why!"

The Gardevoir merely smiled, then looked away, clearly refusing to answer any questions. Gary left the room after turning off the display window, knowing that he might have to resort to more unsavory methods to get that pokémon talking.

He became uneasy even thinking about it, but he wasn't left with much of a choice. He saw that Gardevoir had a look in its eyes…the kind of look that meant that it knew something big, something it would kill for.

-

"Your Snorlax is doing fine, Delia, still in astounding shape…" he said, finishing his examinations.

She nodded, looking lost in thought. "Thank you, Professor."

"Its the fastest Snorlax I've ever seen in this region, you know," he continued, handing the pokéball to her. "Most I've seen don't even come close to matching its speed."

"It's all a matter of feeding it the right vitamins, I suppose," she said, departing towards the door.

The Professor sighed. "He'll be fine Delia. Don't worry, Gary and I will get to the bottom of this. Brock and Tracey are running tests on the Gardevoir's data, determining which trainer it belongs to. If its registered, we'll have found the culprit for this mess."

She paused, hovering near the door. "Thank you Professor, but a mother can't help but worry about her son."

"Are you going to get the rest of your pokémon?" he sighed wearily.

"Yes," was her simple reply, as she headed towards the ranch connected to the Professor's lab.

She knew the pain of losing a child, once upon a time. She would do everything in her power to make sure she did not have to feel that pain again.

To be continued