Epilogue

Down in darkness we were reborn

Moriko stood aside from the milling students and their parents and more than a few pokémon. There were orientation leaders with handmade type-glyph signs and raucous hats bellowing into megaphones and sounding off vuvuzelas, and one by one the student-ranger freshmen were joining them. She clutched at her own group assignment, thinking miserably of projects and other students judging her, starting into familiar teasing or withdrawing with customary suspicion.

Moriko! You came so far! How could there be any here who know you, here in this distant land? Remake yourself! Let me do the talking if you are so afraid.

Oh no. Oh no. That would be worse.

Please, I am a fount of wisdom and charisma. Do what I would do.

Moriko took a deep breath, and she strode over to the light-type orientation leader.

"Hi," she said, putting out her hand. "I'm Moriko Sato."

The leader shook her hand and scanned her pokédex, her face intent. Moriko's stomach knotted; this was a mistake, something had gone wrong, she hadn't been admitted after all, she was here fraudulently and everyone knew it—

She took a breath of the cool Hoennian air, and she smelled the sea and the mangroves and the plumeria trees dotting the campus. She reached into the green at her heart and felt the earth beneath her feet, and all the bright galaxy of life that she was part of.

I'm alive, so I keep going.

The leader grinned at her. "Welcome to Mossdeep, froshie! Are you excited?"

Moriko smiled. "Yes."


Give back your heart to itself,
to the stranger who has loved you
all your life

-Derek Walcott


Gods and Demons will be followed by So Comes Ice After Fire and by Gods and Demons II: Among the Exiles


Acknowledgements

Sincere appreciation to everyone following this story and everyone who has reviewed, including Negrek, Gerbilfriend, Clarilune, Shadow Serenity, UnluckyAmulet, Moriko no Hikari, Wyldclaw, jumping off of rocky cliffs, Enraged Glyptodont, Estuaree, JC Jackals, seiht, Julie, Swifthound, the-dragon-whisperer, Farla, General Failure, charpal, Shenya, ViktorMayrin, Jdragon, KawaiiKitsuneCub, silverfrost9, Sumire-kun, Mythical Moonrabbit, Ieva, Yawgmoth, SunLight, Quizer, Laghail, Nagashi, Irken Gir, LoneGrowlithe, Necroblade, Akamuna, detective ban, Vicroc4, glitchinvr, JakeTS, BenJS, NyeLew, Distopia, and anyone I missed. It's been far too long and I thank you for sticking with me despite the rollercoaster and especially the long hiatus.

Thank you to everyone who PM'ed me during the hiatus to try to spark my interest— eventually, it worked.

Huge thank you to anyone who has recommended the story on other sites. It's hard to get an OC fic noticed these days, to say nothing of OC fic with no canon characters, and worse still, only a few canon pokemon, so I treasure your attention and regard.

I must again mention Negrek, who has followed this story for over a decade. Your in-depth reviews have been of the highest quality and your observations and suggestions hugely improved the story. Thank you VERY much.

Thank you again to reviewer Julie, who submitted the Hurocco fakemon line and who has also stuck with this story for an absurdly long time.

Huge thanks to Swifthound/Sheliloquy for the illustration of Maia that I've used as the cover art, SO KIND AAAAAA

Huge kudos to fanart submitters Myst Icedragon, Whiskerwing, and acidic-fire/ketolic! I AM NOT WORTHY. AT ALL.

Thank you to Empiric for the Mirronos line.

Thank you to Pinecone Tortoise for Paraslit.

Big thanks to StellarWind for MANY hours spent chatting and comparing fakemon and written RP battles.


Please follow my tumblr/deviantart gaiienpokedex for more fakemon— I will be filling out the Gaiien pokedex as well as adding regional formes for canon pokemon, and I'll get to some fakemon from nearby regions as well.