Okay, this ends the saga for now, I still am toying with a slight romance story to wrap it up, premise 'Seth and Rui's wedding', but I don't know if I'll actually do it. Until Colosseum's sequel, Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness, comes out, I won't really be able to do much for the next set of fics. I'm a visual learner, everything I see and experience influences my writing, so if I don't see the game's storyline firsthand, I can't write a good story for it. Thank you all for your wonderful reviews and my husband is the one who helps me with the stories by beta-reading, criticising and pointing out possible plotholes I may have accidentally left behind before every upload. Without him, my writing style would be far lower quality than you have come to expect from me. This ending was a combination of my husband's idea and my own, a fitting end for Cipher and Evice's quest to recover Wesley. Thank you all once again.
Standing just outside Phenac City, the heroes gathered to finish their quest. Anca held the Time Flute in her hands as the journal with the music lay open before her. Wes said his hellos, thanks and goodbyes to the other trainers, but now stood before his former love in silent sorrow.
"I wish I could stay and be with you, Anca, but I know that my time has passed on and that I must leave this world again." he murmured. Anca fought back her tears. It had been fitting that she would play the flute, she knew the fingering and she wanted to set her first love free.
"Wait for me on the other side, Wesley. We'll be reunited then." she whispered as he stepped back with a farewell smile.
"Rui?" he asked.
"When Seth is returned to you, tell him that I'm proud to know that he is the one to carry my image and my dream, and that I apologize for any misery my family has caused him and you." Wes told her softly, then smiled sadly, "And that I hope he will bring you the same joy Anca brought me, and never leave your side. Promise me that you will ensure Seth doesn't die and leave you alone, as I have done to my dear Anca." Rui nodded tearfully.
"I will. I'll miss you, and I'm sure Seth would too, if he had met you." she replied. Wes smiled wider, nodded to each of the other trainers and took a deep breath.
"Okay, Anca. I'm ready." he said and closed his eyes as Anca lifted the flute to her lips and began to play. Rui spoke gently.
"Fallen spirit, long since gone. Find your peace within this song. Leave this form that you have taken. Rest at last, no longer forsaken." she recited as the music seemed to swirl around Wes's body. A shimmer of white lifted from him, shaped like a young man as it reached out a final time to Anca, then disappeared like fading mist. "Goodbye, Wesley Evice."
With a sigh, the body that once housed Wesley's soul, that should contain Seth's memory, and held a sleeping Raykyoudon, slowly sank to its knees and toppled to the sand. Rui rushed forward and picked Seth up, hugging him tightly as she listened for a heartbeat. Red stepped forward and checked for a pulse.
"It's weak, but there. Without a set of instructions for the body, Seth can't wake up. We need to reinstall his memories and his personality." he remarked and stood. "Let's get to Pyrite." He and May called out their flying Pokémon and they climbed on, Rui continuing to hug Seth as they headed for the mine shaft that would lead them to The Under.
In a matter of minutes after arrival, Nett had Seth hooked up to his computer and the new hard drives installed and ready for upload. The group could only stand by and wait and hope as the data flow began. Nett sighed and turned to Rui.
"I'm glad you found him and his new backups. Let's hope that all the battling you did hasn't compromised the data. If anything is corrupted, Seth may never come back to us." he whispered and sat back to watch his monitor.
Human and Pokémon alike paced in tension as the hours passed. Anca hugged the journal and slept in a seat against the wall, dried tears staining her face. Rui rolled the two new Poké Balls in her hand, wondering if Seth could manage to purify the insane Arcanine. May and Brendan played cards, Silver tended to Red's burns as Pikachu scolded him, and the twin Eons Jupiter and Pluto stood watch over Seth's silent form, waiting for their master and comrade to awaken.
A pair of lights flashed into view, startling the group as Celebi and Jirachi entered the house. The Forest Guardian held out her hands to Rui as Jirachi spoke. Red translated as quickly as he could.
"The events set in motion are drawing to a close and soon all will be calm once more. The final victims in this tragic circle must find their own peace. Give us the Arcanine." Jirachi told Rui. The redhead blinked in confusion, but held out the ball and placed it in Celebi's hands. The Grass-Psychic bowed to her and turned to hold it up to the WishMaker. "I am Jirachi, the WishMaker. You who took the life of a human and the Chosen Master, what is your wish that you desire granted?" The Ultra Ball glowed a vile black and the sound of an agonized howl seemed to emanate from deep within it. Jirachi nodded and held out his own tiny hand, laying his fingertips on the surface of the device. "Your wish will be granted. Rest in peace and leave this world. Doom Desire!"
The ball shook as tiny needles of steel materialized and pierced into the shell, then, as the trainers watched in shock, the Ultra Ball turned gray and slowly crumbled into dust, vanishing into nothingness as it slipped through Celebi's fingers.
"You killed it." Rui whispered in horror.
"I granted his wish for an end to his madness. That was the only way to purify him." Jirachi answered, "My job here is done, now will you all let me sleep?!" With those final irritated words, the tiny yellow Pokémon vanished from sight. Celebi sighed and gazed over at Seth.
"The backups you are uploading are missing memories still. This is my final gift. Rui, take care of Seth for me. I don't think I'll be able to see you two again. And, I'm sorry for all I have caused." she murmured as she held out her hand and a tiny bead of green energy floated down to disappear into Seth's forehead. Then, she too was gone.
"What was that all about?" Brendan finally managed and jumped when Seth uttered a soft groan. Rui cried out and rushed over, helping the Snagger sit up as Jupiter and Pluto yipped joyfully.
"Rui?" Seth murmured in soft confusion, opening his eyes and focusing them on her face first, "Have I been gone for very long?" Rui sobbed happily as she hugged him fiercely, the memories of her loneliness during the weeks she searched for him fading like forgotten pain.
"Not long, Seth. I'm so glad to have you back." she whispered as Red motioned for the others to leave them alone. Seth smiled at her almost smugly.
"I told you I would come back to you." he replied and blinked as he finally realized what she was wearing, "Rui? Why are you dressed like me? And wearing my Snag Machine?" The redhead jumped back and posed for him, laughing in relief.
"Oh this? I thought I'd look more serious to Evice and Nascour if I dressed up like this. I snagged a Pokémon, Seth! Aren't you proud?" she exclaimed. Seth jumped from the table where he had lain for hours on end and walked up to her, drawing her into a hug.
"Whether you're my sweet innocent Rui or my heroic Snagger Rui, I will always be proud of you. And I will always love you." he told her before silencing everything else she might have said with a kiss.
"Here." Anca said, thrusting the aged journal into Seth's hands. It was early afternoon the following day as a small plane prepared to take Anca from Pyrite to Neon City. Red sat in the pilot's seat with Silver, waiting patiently with Pikachu on his shoulder. Seth blinked at the book, then looked up at Anca in confusion. "If you're going to fulfill Wes's dream for him, then you should learn about his life." Anca told him and smiled, "And I won't take it back no matter what you say! It's time for me to let go of my pain. I know I will see my love again." With that, she turned and boarded the small plane. Rui smiled and waved as the little jet lifted off and headed for Kanto.
"Good to see you two reunited!" Brendan called out as he and May rode on HeartSong's back, preparing to return to Hoenn, "Now stay that way! I can't drop everything to hunt you down around the world, Seth!"
"Take care of your man, Rui! He's a keeper!" May teased and laughed as the dragon squealed happily and flew off.
"I didn't even... What did she...? Who was...?" Seth stammered, completely lost as Rui giggled, her new Eons Neptune and Saturn snickering beside her as Seth's own twins looked at each other in confusion. The Snagger looked at her and blinked again. "Rui, can you tell me what happened since the Indigo Plateau?" he asked, "I think I've been left out of some cosmic joke." Rui smiled wider and hooked her arm around his own, glad to have the Snag Machine on his body where it belonged.
"I'll tell you all about it over lunch!" she remarked, "I made us a picnic lunch to eat, so let's go to Agate and enjoy it!" She motioned towards Seth's hover-speeder ahead. "Red found and brought it back this morning when he called for his personal jet. So everything is the way it should be now!"
"And when did I get a Caterpie? Why is it so mad at me? I think I'll need to be drunk for this." Seth sighed, then smiled teasingly as they climbed aboard the hover-speeder and zipped towards Agate Village.
It was late that night. Seth slept peacefully in the guest room at Eagun and Beluh's house, Rui was just as happy in her own room. No one in the village noticed a portly man with wild gray hair walking towards the Relic Forest, breathing hard as he staggered onwards.
Drawn by a voice only he could hear, Evice forced his battered, broken body to the Relic Stone and stood before it. The collapse of Realgam's sub levels had crushed him, but a miraculous green light saved him, dropping him not far from this lush oasis in the Orre desert. A voice called to him to come to the forest and he obeyed. Now he stood here, waiting.
"Father. Thank you for coming here." Wesley's voice whispered as the shining form of his spirit appeared over the stone. Evice gazed up at him, his face drawn and haggard, eyes filled with grief and pain, the madness implanted by Celebi washed away by the power of the Relic Stone.
"Wesley... my son..." he whispered in return. Wes smiled gently at him.
"Don't worry about all that you've done in your madness. I understand everything now. You have played your role in restoring Orre's hero and its dream. We can be together again now, Father." he murmured and held out his hands, "Let's go home, Dad. Let's go be a family again."
"Yes. Let's be... family..." Evice echoed and reached out, closing his eyes as he fell.
When the keepers of the Relic Forest found Evice's body the next morning, they sought out advice from both Eagun and Seth. They agreed to bury the old man respectively and took him out to the desert. Evice was laid to rest in a deep grave and covered over in the warm stones of the desert mesas. Eagun performed the ceremony as best he could while Seth and Rui stood over the grave. Both became aware of additional people coming in from a hover-car to stand with them.
Silent, but temporary, truce formed by the death of their former crime lord, Lady Venus, Miror B. and Professor Ein gazed down at the stone covered grave alongside the Snagger and his partner. No one asked how they escaped both certain death or jails, and no one offered the answers. At the ceremony's conclusion, the old foes looked at one another.
"It seems Cipher is truly dead now." Ein murmured, one arm in a sling, "By God's grace, may Evice find his peace."
"Perhaps one day, I'll find my piece of heaven on earth." Lady Venus added, hiding her tears behind her veils.
"Funeral dirges aren't my cup of tea, but samba music isn't appropriate either. I won't dance on this day." Miror B. muttered somberly.
"He wasn't a bad man, just a misguided one." Rui remarked, "He only wanted to have his son back. He was so lonely."
"He created me. I was meant to destroy, but I will devote my time and power to create and finish what he and Wesley originally wanted. A peaceful and green Orre." Seth whispered and closed his eyes. "Let the rain fall."
The clouds obeyed, sending a cooling rain to come over the sad mourners as they reflected on all the sacrifices made to restore a broken time and a plan for the future. All were unaware that, not very far away, a copy of Seth's memory was placed in the hands of a more dangerous foe, who would use the knowledge within it to ensure that the dream Seth fought for would be destroyed before it could be completed.