Brendan's Struggle part III

By Black Murder Heavangelon

Before I begin, let me clarify that I will include a song in this chapter called 'I Stand Alone' by GODSMACK. I do not own GODSMACK or their song, but I do own this fancy computer here. Anyway, this chapter will feature blood and murder, which was why I had to give this story a "T" rating. One more thing, I bet none of you know what's going to happen here, will ya? There might be a sequel and-oh crap!

Just….READ!

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The winds were blowing calmly as he stared beyond the edge of the cliff. The clouds were beginning to darken as his thoughts crept closer to his future that will end. His hand twiddled with the weapon in his pocket in impatience of the right time to do it. His white hair waded against the wind as his eyes looked to the bottom of the cliff. This was his day, the day he would end it, suffering and all.

He wouldn't take it anymore. Ever since his journey, he's been suffering from himself. But why was he doing it? Why would he make himself suffer throughout his whole life? Because he hated him; he hated the fact that he was him. He hated the fact he wore his clothes, he had his hair, he held his birthday, everything about him he hated. He didn't want him in this world. He wanted him gone, and today was the day that would happen.

The bushes behind him began to ruffle as Brendan's eyes flinched; it was earlier than he expected. He wanted a witness, and there he was right behind him. He didn't dare to turn around, because if he did, it would be a sign that he was afraid. He didn't want him to know that he was afraid, but the truth is, he's been afraid his whole life.

'How did he come to be?' he thought, 'Now that I think back, being born was only the beginning of my suffering.'

He remembered how it happened, in a tragic attempt to revive the lord of the land. If that hadn't happened, he wouldn't be here. But even if it didn't happen, he would still exist mentally, torturing him until the end of time. If only he had done something to stop them…

He walked back home after the neighborhood kids rejected to play with him again.

None of the kids in this whole town wanted to play with him. Why? He was just a young 10 year old white haired kid living in a small town in Hoenn. It wasn't because he had white hair or anything like that; he was really freaky to the other kids. Sometimes, he would insist on telling them to cause some trouble but not just any kind of trouble. He would tell them to set fire to a tree or set off a firecracker in the middle of the town. He would even tell them to throw rocks at some windows. Luckily, the kids were smart enough not to listen to him, but the real problem was that it wasn't him who was telling them to do all that stuff.

'Why won't anyone play with me? Just because I'm different doesn't give them a right to reject me like that!' he thought.

'Maybe you should get back at them for disrespecting you like that.'

'You…I won't listen to you!'

'Do you have a choice? Don't you just wanna let those kids know what would happen if they won't respect you?'

'But if I do that, won't they keep disrespecting me?'

'At least they'll know not to reject you. You can't let people reject you from time to time just because you express yourself.'

'But I'm not the one who's expressing myself.'

'But they don't know that. Why don't you let me…?'

"No! I won't let you take over my body!" he said, screaming his head off in public.

Some of the people walking by saw and heard his outburst and walked away slowly from the weird kid. The children around walked away chuckling, muttering "what a freak."

He felt embarrassed to have exploded like that. But he couldn't help it. There was a little voice in his head trying to make him do a lot of mean things to near-innocent people, in his opinion, when he didn't want to. And if he wouldn't, then he'd offer to take over his body to do those things himself. He was really losing it; believing that there was a second soul in him. He wanted him out, but he didn't know how.

'It's getting late, I'll resolve this tomorrow,' he thought.

'So, what's your mother making tonight?'

'Oh, I think chicken- Ugh! Stop talking to me!'

Later that night, Brendan had a tough time to sleep because of the 'voice' in his head. It was like he didn't want him to sleep at all. He was really frustrated, but pretty soon, he managed. But that didn't stop the voice. If it couldn't keep him up the whole night, then give him one hell of a nightmare to remember then. Brendan's nights were always this tough; there wasn't a single day of sanctity at all. It was really a miracle that he'd stayed sane throughout his whole life, but how would he become Pokemon Master if the voice in his head was trying to take the wheel? Just how long can he stay sane?

The buzzing noise of his alarm clock roused Brendan from his hard-earned slumber. He looked to his digital clock to see the time, 8:45. Shocked, Brendan quickly got up to put his clothes on. But then, something came to Brendan.

"Wait a minute, I don't have a digital clock," he said.

'That's pretty weird, but I think those steel bars and cinderblock walls were always there,' the inner voice said.

Brendan looked, and sure enough, there were steel bars and cinderblock walls surrounding him. There was also one small square window and the floor was cold. This wasn't his room, it was a jail cell.

"How the hell did I get here?" he said.

"We took you here," said a voice.

Brendan looked beyond the bars to see that there were three people standing there watching him. One was wearing red with a hood, horns on the hood, an M shaped mountain sign on his chest, and wearing a badge that said 'Grunt ranker Tabitha' on his chest. Next to the person he assumed was Tabitha was a red haired man also wearing red, an M shaped mountain on his chest, hooded like the grunt next to him, an edged caped, and wearing a shinier badge that said 'Admin ranker Maxie' on his chest. And the third person was also wearing red, but he had black hair, a scar on his left eye, a black and red suit split down separating the colored sides with a black M shaped mountain on the red side, and had a shinier badge with the words 'Team Magma leader Tommy' on it.

"W-who are you guys?" he said.

"My name is Tommy," he said, introducing himself, "this is Maxie and Tabitha," he said motioning to the other two.

"What do you guys want with me?"

"We heard of a little legend that involves you, care to hear it?" he asked.

"About me? What about me?"

"We heard that 'the black seed within the earth' has a soul powerful enough to awaken Groudon, the legendary lord of the land, if you've heard of him."

Brendan nodded in response to his question. He had heard of Groudon, he just thought he wouldn't hear of anything more than just his battle with Kyogre and the long sleep he took. The Magma leader continued.

"We are on a quest to awaken this beast and control the power of the land for our own purposes. Once we can control Groudon, we can control the world, but we're only missing one thing…"

"Am I this 'Black seed of the Earth'?" he guessed.

"Correct. We don't know how it could be you, but you're the seed. Maxie, Tabitha, take him to the chamber," he said as they opened the cage.

Brendan backed away from the two men out of fear as they approached. They grabbed his hands as he struggled to let go. He gave momentary grunts of struggling as they continued to pull him out of the cage. Despite the ineffectiveness, he continued to plead that they let him go, even though he knew they won't.

They dragged him through a hall where other Magma members wearing the same clothing as Tabitha watched him struggle to break free from their grip. The leader told one of the grunts an order, to get a machine ready. Brendan feared that they were going to do something to him and he was betting it would hurt. They entered a dark room were a giant gun-like electric podium was pointing downward to some shackles were Brendan guessed that was where he was going. There were also some Magma grunts that were in to watch the "show". He continued attempting to break free of their grasp, but to no avail. They walked to the holding place and locked him in the shackles as they awaited for their leaders orders.

"Is the machine charging yet?" he asked.

"Machine efficiency up 57," one of the grunts answered, "machine will start as soon as it has reached 100."

Brendan continued to struggle himself free from the shackles, but the locks were to hard. He continued to pull himself loose, but his freedom wasn't assured.

"Machine up at 63…69…71…73…75…"

With each passing second, Brendan tried harder, straining to pry himself free from his lockdown.

"…78…80…83…85…"

Brendan felt very scared. It was like he was being executed. He wouldn't stop until he was free, but that seemed impossible.

"87…90…93…98…99"

Before the grunt reached to 100, Brendan passed out. The sound of the machine humming to its power was the last thing he heard.

The next thing he knew, Brendan woke up in his jail cell. He felt a bit different though, like something was missing, but that didn't matter so much right now. He noticed that the Magma leader was standing by his cells bars like he was expecting him to wake up soon.

"So, you've awakened, my little failure," he said.

"Failure? What happened?" he asked.

The Magma Leader sighed as he began.

"When the machine was extracting your soul, I noticed a little problem. You began to break free of the machine's grip, and we had trouble keeping you in place. But when the machine finally extracted your soul, there was an explosion. The electric converter couldn't take the pressure your soul had, so I guessed it spat the energy out, but you were still conscious. I don't know what went wrong, but we don't have your soul, and we won't stop until we've got it!" he said with sheer determination in his voice.

With a snap of his fingers, he ordered two of the grunts hiding behind the walls to open the cell and bring him to the chamber again. Brendan felt too weak to fight back, so he couldn't help but let the grunts carry him out of his cell and to the chamber. He noticed that one of the grunts was the same size as he was in height, but that didn't matter.

They brought him back to the same room with the same grunts in it and locked him into the same place again. The leader walked in front of him as he looked at him.

"Don't even bother trying to escape," he said, "We made a few adjustments to the machine, and it can and will kill you. You may think it's a bit too far, but we're willing to go far enough for this. Activate the machine!" he yelled, "And don't worry, the machine was pre-charged, and you won't feel anything…"

The machine sent jolts of electricity into his body giving him pain everywhere as he screamed his lungs out.

"…after you're dead," Tommy said, as he walked away.

Brendan continued to scream for awhile. Before he felt like he was ready to pass out, the machine began to slow to a halt. The Magma members were confused as to what happened. The leader was now frustrated and asked one of the grunts what happened. The grunt responded saying there must've been some kind of power outage. He growled in anger and walked to exit the room, frustrated.

"Sir," said one of the male grunts, "I think you should come take a look at this."

"Great, more bad news," Tommy said as he followed the grunts to an unknown area.

Hours passed as Brendan lay there, locked, as he tried to regain his energy to prepare himself for another breathtaking shot of electricity. The machine hurted so much, he literally felt like his soul was going to be ripped out. Tommy said that was what the machine was supposed to do, but Brendan wondered a bit why the machine gave out when it was already fully charged. He didn't bother wondering anymore; he could hear the footsteps coming in through the door, believing that it was Tommy who was really anxious to see him suffer again. If three times weren't enough to satisfy him, Brendan thought, maybe he'll try to revive me then kill me again the fourth time.

Instead, an ordinary grunt rushed through the door, panicked, as he tried to catch his breath.

"Tommy! …he's been…he's…" he attempted to say, gasping in between.

Unfortunately, he didn't finish his sentence, for that a loud bang was heard from behind him and looked as if he saw the roof imploded. He fell to the ground with a dull thud as a figure holding a gun stood behind him. The other grunts were shocked to see this mutiny within their own headquarters; despite their evil ways, killing their own was a sin deeper than murder.

"You…you killed him!" one of the grunts yelled.

"Tommy's gonna be so pissed when he finds out!" Maxie yelled as he himself looked just as pissed.

The murderous grunts only smirked, his eyes overshadowed by the hood he wore, as he walked to the left revealing the shadow of Tommy from the hall lights.

"I don't think Tommy will care at all," he said, as the shadow that was once Tommy, fell to the ground bleeding, lifeless, and revealing a knife sticking out of his back.

All the grunts stared in shock as their leader was, already, hopelessly dead. Brendan stared in shock as the scene before him was actually real. It felt like he got the front row seat to a melodramatic horror film. But this was no movie, this was life. It was time he started to taste his future, and this would be considered a lethal dose; something Brendan would never be able to recover from.

"He's dead…" another grunt spoke out loud, "you killed him…you bastard! You ungrateful bastard!"

He only gave a laugh, a laugh so hideous, it was like by dying, he gained Tommy's hideous cackle. Once he slowed to a halt, he looked to them.

"Do you really think I care?" he said, "I don't care what you think of me! Nor would Tommy have thought of you! You all brought this upon yourselves, and by doing so, revenge will be served!" he said out loud with an evil smile.

"Revenge? What revenge?" one of the grunts said.

"Yeah, what did we do to you?" another grunt asked.

"Not me," he said, holding out six pokeballs, "Tommy."

He threw the pokeballs into the air, summoning six pokemon the grunts knew well; the pokemon that belonged to Tommy. A Mightyena, a Crobat, a Rhydon, a Tyranitar, a Sharpedo, and a Scyther.

The Mightyena noticed the scent of blood in the wafting air and noticed the carcass of his dead master. Soon, all the other pokemon saw the corpse and gasped in terror. The Scyther looked to the grunt in front of him in question. Then, before instinct kicked in, he yelled out loud, pointing to all the innocent grunts.

"KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL! THEY KILLED YOUR MASTER! THEY DON'T DESERVE MERCY!"

It finally clicked in for the grunts. They were being put to blame for a crime they didn't commit. And the worse part was, they were highly trained pokemon. They could easily rip a man to shreds in a second. Fear painted itself upon every face in the room except for the true culprit.

"KILL THEM ALL! …except for the boy," he said, referring to Brendan, who the pokemon could easily know who he was talking about. When it comes to revenge, only a pokemon knows who deserves it.

The first to jump was the Mightyena, who began to rip off the shoulder of the nearest grunt. All other pokemon followed, attacking any grunt they felt needed to suffer first. Brendan watched as the bloodshed happened. Blood, blood everywhere, and soon his would be shed too. The grunt walked through the hell as he was left untouched by the pokemon. He walked up the stairs leading to Brendan's prison and horror-with-a-view. He took a key out of his pocket and began to undo the locks that confined him. Scared, Brendan decided to ask anyway.

"Why are letting me go?" he asked.

"I can't let these guys have all the fun. I wanted some of the blood too," he said, keeping his evil smirk.

"You're a monster," Brendan spat back.

"Now, now, there are no such things as monsters, only monsters on the inside. Brendan, you had a monster."

"Had?" Brendan asked.

"Yeah. The monster inside you was slowly consuming you. Soon, you would've given in to his evil and do his bidding. Killing people left to right, soaking in their blood, hearing their young cries of pain, it was only a matter of time."

"H-how…how did you know?" he asked as the grunt finished undoing the last lock.

"Let's just say…I am my monster," he said, revealing his silver eyes from his hood as he looked at him, "Now, we must go, before the police come."

"Police! You called the police?" he asked.

"Nope, they called us," he said as they walked through puddles of blood and into the hallway. The grunt picked up the knife that he had stabbed Tommy with earlier, "They found the base, it won't be long before they manage to get in. you're wearing red and black, which isn't a good thing. They'll suspect you to be one of the members, and shoot you down to death."

"Got any bright ideas then?" he asked.

"Of course. I'll cover you with blood, scratches, rip a few portions of your clothing and you'll be off the hook, since you actually are innocent."

"…well, if it's the only way…"

The thought of being covered in blood wasn't exactly pleasant. He felt even worse knowing that it wasn't HIS blood, more like blood leftovers. The knife the other grunt held had a rigged side, capable of imitating a scratch from killer pokemon. He also did the work of tearing bits of his clothes to boost the 'I-got-caught-in-the-middle-of-a-fight-between-two-insane-Scyther' look. Once he was covered in blood, scratches, and his clothes were a mess, he literally looked like he'd been through hell and back, which is also ironic since the bloodshed was still going and they had to go back to get the blood.

"Now remember, you must look like you've seen a ghost," the grunt said.

"Just why are you helping me?" he asked, finally irritated.

"Because," he said, turning to him, revealing those silver, evil eyes, "if you were going to suffer, it'd be by my hand. Only your blood will satisfy my hate. Only your life is what I'm willing to take."

Brendan figured it out now. He never wanted to save him, he only wanted to let him live until he had the chance to kill him himself. It was one of those natural things that occur when two people, who hate each other to the greatest extent, end up helping each other only if it means living another day to hate. But what confused him was, why does he hate him? What did Brendan ever do to him?

"Now go, they're coming any minute now," he said, pointing to the long white halls ahead.

Brendan was about to ask what about him, but decided to drop it since he would end up wanting to kill him sooner or later. So he ran down the halls in means to escape, escape this hellhole, escape the bloodshed, and escape from him. He no longer has the heart of a child, more like the eyes of an assassin. His face was plastered with experience and unwanted bloodshed. In a way, he grew up, but not for the better. He would be forever haunted of this day and forevermore the rest of his life. Little did he know though, was that the haunt, wasn't over…

He was found by the police later outside of the base. His parents where with them, in search of their missing son. They were afraid beyond belief when he saw them, and he swore their fear rose when they saw the condition he was in. Well, it was all over. The pokemon were captured and sent to be put to sleep, the bodies were collected, and only one grunt managed to escape, who was put behind bars for being the admin of Team Magma. Brendan was asked of questions of what went on in there; he tried to sound frantic but managed to tell them everything. Well, except for the mystery grunt who saved him. Who knows? Maybe he'll never see him again.

He walked into his parents' car as it started up and took Brendan home. He looked back at the base and wondered if it was all for real. When he did, though, he saw the same grunt who helped him out of the base standing right there. His sinister smirk stayed on his face as the car slowly drove away.

'I wonder who he was,' Brendan thought as his view of the grunt was slowly dissipating.

Then, as if by a wish come true, the grunt removed his hood as Brendan perked up, curious, to see the grunts face. But in a split second, he regretted it. The hair, the smile, the face, all of it, was deathly haunting. His face was beyond impossible, but there it was. All but the eyes were so similar. It haunted him to know that the one person who wanted to kill him so badly…was himself. He was standing right there, yet, sitting there looking at him. There was no use denying it, it wasn't some dream. Brendan was standing before Brendan right before him.

'Just you wait Brendan,' he thought, 'you're nightmare hasn't ended yet.'

"So, how long has it been since we last met?" he asked as he still faced the sea out before him.

"Possibly about three months, at least," he replied with the same voice with sinister, yet, rusty voice, as if he were the very image of an evil villain.

"I know you've been following me…"

"And you've been running…"

"But now, I stand here to face you, I stand here in front of you," he said as he turned around, "and this time, I stand alone."

Before him was the spitting image of the champion himself, the 14 year-old, white haired boy, with a new look to differ himself from him and Brendan. He wore a green headband instead of his red headband, an all black sleeveless shirt instead of his red pokeball patterned shirt, orange fingerless gloves instead of his red and yellow fingerless gloves, and carried a green single strap backpack that was different than his orange one. It was like looking into a mirror, a green mirror.

Now I've told you this once before

You can't control me

If you try to take me down you're gonna pay

No I feel your every nothing that you're doing for me

I'm picking you outta me

You run away

"I see you have changed your outfit a bit," he said.

"I decided it was time for a change. I didn't want to look like you when I finally killed you," he said.

"You know pokemon aren't evil enough to kill a human, there's just no will to it. Killing me with them will only result in backfire."

"Who said I'll have my pokemon to do it?" he said, making Brendan feel uncomfortable since he wouldn't be using his pokemon against him, "besides, Pokemon can kill other Pokemon, right? Well, mine are busy…"

Brendan's eyes widened, knowing that his pokemon where in grave danger. His fists clenched in anger as he eyed the doppelganger in front of him. He's using his pokemon to destroy his most beloved pokemon of all. Taking advantage of the date this day held, almost as if he was planning it all along.

"You bastard. Did you know I would be alone, sending your pokemon after my pokemon one by one?" Brendan asked.

"Yes, it was quite obvious. But, my pokemon have a bone to pick with yours. Your pokemon have a very good reason to fight if they want to stay alive," he said.

'Great, he chose the six pokemon who have a grudge against my pokemon,' he thought, 'I ain't going down, though. By the name of my pokemon, I'll fight to the death if I have to.'

I stand alone!

Inside

I stand alone!

He walked towards the 'mirror' Brendan until he was about a few feet apart.

"Well, I suppose that would apply to us right now, would it?" he said.

"Are you implying on a fight?"

"It's my turn now to be chasing you. I've been waiting to get rid of you for a long time now."

"And so have I. You aren't worthy of wearing my face, now are you?"

"It's my face, and I'm about to ruin yours!"

Brendan threw a quick punch at the other Brendan's face who didn't do anything to dodge, he just stood there and took the punch. However, Brendan realized that his face barely flinched from the blow; he kept the expression steady as if the punch wasn't there. He looked and the fist on his face and scowled at it. As Brendan removed his hand from its place, the copy Brendan (A/N: who I'll refer to from now on) turned to him, resuming its original position, just with a different expression.

"Now, Brendan, you know you can't bring pain on yourself," he said, keeping his slit-eyed scowl expression, "you need other people to do it for you," he said as he pulled back his fist and threw a punch at his face.

This time, the blow did some real damage. He landed hard on the ground and was clutching his cheek from where the fist had landed. He looked at him, the copy, who kept his dull, bored expression on his face as he crossed his arms.

"Seriously, is that the best you could do? I thought this would be fun, but oh well."

You're always hiding be-hind your "so called" goddess

So what? You don't think that we can see your face?

Resurrected back before the final have fallen

I'll never rest until I can make my own way

I'm not afraid! Of fading!

I stand alone.

He had pummeled him in the most brutal way he could ever imagine. He'd try to fight back, but it was just no use. Every attack he'd made would be stopped by a counter attack. It was absolutely hopeless to win. All the desire he had to destroy him had vanished. If only his desire was stronger…

"Get up, you pathetic waste of carbon," the copy said as he stared down said carbon.

He looked up at the copy with great hate, but found no will to attack. Whatever he had build up enough to steal a gun had suddenly disappeared. It was as if he saw this coming and accepted it.

"You're just accepting your defeat as you accepted your future," the copy said , "What happened to all that hate? What ever happened to that stupid will of yours to destroy me? If you have no reason to fight me back, I guess you have no reason to save your pokemon," that's what pressed his button.

Brendan immediately shot up and gave his most powerful punch he had ever thrown. Though the copy barely moved from his spot, it was powerful enough to change the expression on the copy's face from a sinister smirk to a pissed scowl. Brendan removed his fist from place as he watched his head regain its previous position. Brendan smiled to himself as he saw some blood slipping from his mouth.

"I'm guessing your will has awoken?" the copy asked.

Without answering, Brendan resumed attacking the copy. The Copy managed to block all the attacks and countered an uppercut he threw at him. He was about to flip him onto the ground when Brendan planted his feet on the ground, twisted his waist, crashed onto the ground along with the Copy. He immediately shot up, grabbed both of his arms, and pulled from behind as his foot pushed against his back. He had him trapped.

Feeling your sting down inside of me

I'm not dying just yet!

I! Stand Alone!

Everything that I believe is fading!

I stand alone.

Inside…

I stand alone.

"How does that feel?" Brendan said, pulling harder as the Copy Brendan groaned in pain, "Painful? Maybe I oughtta dislocate your shoulders or something?"

"Actually," the copy said through teeth, his voice sounding like he's recovering from the damaging effects of the hold, "You're the one who should feel pain."

Suddenly, the copy pulled himself forward quickly, relaxing his shoulder muscles in a more recognizable position, causing to pull Brendan forward. Using the momentum, the copy threw his head back into Brendan's ribcage. Brendan fell back painfully as the copy lifted himself up and pulled out a knife, a vaguely similar, blood red knife. He walked up to the clutching Brendan and stared at him, diddling with the knife in the meantime. Brendan instantly recognized the blade, the same blade he used to kill Tommy.

"A blade can have many a history Brendan Birch," he said, "It can hold one drop of blood or have shed thousands of blood. No matter what, blood upon a knife marks the madness of a murder. No person is innocent, as everyone has held a blade that holds at least one blood shedding. Who's blood is to be shed next? Yours."

He attempted to stab at Brendan on the ground, but Brendan quickly rolled out of the way. Brendan stood up and faced the madman that was him. The copy came at him with the blade and tried to stab him, but Brendan quickly moved to his right and elbowed the back of his neck. The copy wasn't gonna give up yet. He landed his left foot hard on the ground and turned around, realigning the knife, and tried slashing Brendan blind. He missed as he was nowhere to be found, but he was immediately elbowed in the neck again. Now know what to do, he did the same thing, but this time, he'd make a full circle. He missed again though, which confused him until he looked down where Brendan was crouching. He shot up like a bullet and punched the copy in the jaw, but the copy held strong and since Brendan was defenseless, now was his chance. He swung his blade down with as much speed as he can muster and slashed Brendan's left shoulder, rendering his left arm useless. The copy laughed to himself as the blood dripped from the blade and onto the ground along with some water. Water? The clouds were getting heavy and sooner or later, it rained. The copy laughed to himself as he saw Brendan clutching his bleeding shoulder in the rain.

And now it's my time (now it's my time)

It's my time to dream (my time to dream)

Dream of the sky (dream of the sky)

Make me believe that this isn't plagued by the poison in…me

Help me decide if my fire will burn out before you can breathe.

Breathe into me.

I! Stand alone!

Inside

I stand alone.

"Heh, how does that feel," the copy said walking towards him as he backed up, making sure the shoe was loose, "Painful? Maybe I should dislocate those shoulders or something?"

"Actually," Brendan smirked as he was assured his shoe was loose, "you're the one who should get a taste of the pain."

Brendan immediately kicked towards the copy's face, who expected something like that. However, his shoe zoomed right into his face, unexpectedly grunting in the humiliating pain. The copy accidentally dropped the knife when the shoe connected. Brendan quickly grabbed the knife with his still well right arm, got up and slashed across the copy's right shoulder. He shrieked in pain as Brendan turned around, stabbing him in his left shoulder, rendering both useless. The copy fell on his knees, exhausted, as the rain poured upon both of them. The copy looked at Brendan with so much hate, it wasn't funny.

Feeling your sting down inside me

I'm not dying just yet!

I stand alone.

Everything that I believe is fading…

I stand alone.

Inside…

I stand alone.

"Damn you, how could you have overpowered me so easily?" the copy asked.

Today was the day. The day he would finally end it. His suffering. His misery. His struggling. He's been nothing but a struggle, an obstacle, in his life. He's wanted to remove him for a long time. He had been struggling forever. Now, today's the day he's gonna end it. Today's the day he ended his suffering.

He pulled out the gun he had been holding the whole time and let the copy rest his eyes on it. The clouds had blocked the sun, giving him a poor view of the weapon in his hands. When lightning flashed, the copy saw the gun and instantly knew his demise was waiting for him.

"So, you have the finishing weapon?" he asked, "Very well. I should've seen this coming. Go ahead, pull the trigger…"

Brendan obeyed and pointed the gun directly at his head as he slumped, accepting his fate.

"But before you do," he interrupted, "know that your struggling will never be over! There will always be a new struggle in your life. And no one will come to save you…"

Brendan didn't reply. It was pointless to tell him what he would've said, but didn't say anything, knowing he wouldn't listen.

'And when that struggle comes, I'll destroy it, and move on…' Brendan thought.

Inside…

I…stand alone.

Inside!

I! Stand alone!

Inside!

BOOM!

The gunshot echoed throughout the entire forest. The wild bird pokemon, alerted by the sudden blast, flew away quickly through the rain, abandoning the battle between the greatest of struggles.

He had no idea how long he had been wandering the forest. All he knew was, that the cut the copy made on his shoulder was big, and sooner or later, he'll die of blood loss. He had to find his pokemon, but he was wondering if they were still alive at all. From what he was told, they were fighting for their lives. It's not like he doubted them, he was just worried that he wouldn't find them in time. But if they did lose…then hope was lost.

Up ahead, he saw a blue figure standing over a red and green figure. Upon closer inspection, he saw his Swampert looming over a bleeding Sceptile. It looked like he was talking to the Sceptile; some sort of final saying before the Sceptile dies. But Brendan didn't care; his Swampert had survived. He walked closer to his Swampert slowly, adorning the site before him. His Swampert had defeated a highly leveled pokemon all by himself. Inside, Brendan was proud.

The blue mudfish then noticed Brendan standing there, smiling at him, and noticed all the blood he was in. Panicked, Swampert ran to his trainer over the bleeding grass pokemon. Seeing the bloody gash on his masters' shoulder made him fear of an unwanted demise. He looked at Brendan with great concern, feeling as if he should call the other pokemon for help. But before Swampert could ask what happened to him, Brendan fell to the ground, giving in to the fatal blood loss. He lay there, lifeless, as Swampert stood there, shocked, wishing it was all a nightmare, as Brendan's body continued to lie. His world went black, his body was bleeding, and his soul was lifeless…

His world was fading, away from his entity. He could no longer feel any life in him as he carried his cold body deep in the forest. He held back his tears as long as he can, he didn't want to cry just yet. He wanted to share his tears with his friends, his partner pokemon, to strengthen the mourn they had. But no matter how much they would cry, he wouldn't come back. He tried to be the best pokemon he had ever had, and Brendan was proud of that. But he's gone, all those beautiful memories, hastily thrown away in a matter of minutes. He tried so hard to surpass every pokemon he had encounter, but now, he couldn't try anymore. There was no more reason to keep trying to surpass other pokemon, because he wouldn't be able to see it. Swampert had no reason to see anything right anymore…

He found his friends together, all beaten up and wet due to the pouring rain, tending to their own wounds they had obtained from pokemon they all knew. They were discussing how it was possible that all of them had fought a pokemon they had angered in the past. Swampert decided to slowly walk in, letting his friends see what he was carrying since he didn't want to say anything about what happened. The first to notice was Winged Neo, sensing his presence easily by detecting his mind. She was about to greet Swampert, but her world suddenly faded as she saw the body he was holding as he frowned grimly.

Soon, everyone took notice of Swampert and the bleeding Brendan, and devastation swept through them all. Eyes widening, nerves tensing, hands shaking, denial…all these feelings began to build as their eyes lay still upon their masters' bleeding corpse. They wanted to know who did such a vile thing, but no words could be spoken, just curiosity and revenge.

"Wh…what happened to him?" asked Hyper, devastation filling her voice.

"I…don't know. I found him like this… He must've been fighting someone while we were……" Swampert trailed off, knowing that his friends would get it.

"So, it was an ambush?" Latios said, deep anger beginning to stir in him.

"Sw…Swam…pert…"

Swampert looked down to see that his master had woken up and was looking at him right now. His eyes told him he was still alive, but barely. Brendan didn't have much time left, but he won't leave this world without telling his pokemon his last words, now that his struggle is finally over.

Swampert easily let Brendan on the ground and held his head up to hear whatever his master wanted him to hear. His pokemon slowly walked up to him and listened to what their master wanted to say. But each word he spoke brought pain in their hearts as he spoke in grim, dull whispers.

"…my time has come…" he whispered, "…my struggling is over…I am finally happy…I can finally rest…"

"No…you can't leave us yet!" Hyper said, developing tears in her eyes, "thanks to you, I finally know what it means to live in this world and face it head on…"

"I finally understand how important friends are…" Titanium said.

"I've finally decided to rid myself of the mourn and live on with life. How am I able to live with this?" Blackheart asked.

"You accepted me no matter what I thought or what I said. You know me for the pokemon I am. I can't live if you aren't there to accept me," Winged Neo said.

"You taught me to let go of my past and make way for my future. This was what I wasn't looking forward to in my future, now how do you expect me to live with it in the past?" Latios asked.

"Brendan, you can't leave us yet. Look what you've done for us, to us. You're too valuable for us to lose," Swampert said, feeling his tears begin to gather.

"…I'm sorry guys…didn't know you felt that way…"

"Didn't know?" Blackheart bursted, "you were practically the only trainer who could accept us."

"…I only wanted to help you guys…" he said, beginning to smile but couldn't because of his pain, so he just grinned sheepishly, "but you guys made me…so happy…the pokemon who…I underestimated…"

This was bad. Swampert noticed he began to pause in between sentences more. He's losing his link to this world!

"No Brendan, you're the one who made us happy," he said, "I could never be able to repay you for what you've done for us. We owe you so much Brendan, just live a little longer for that…just live…" his voice was beginning to crack.

"You guys…all I wanted…was for you guys…to be strong…I never wanted…you to…repay me…can you at least…promise me…you'll stay strong?"

"Yes, we will stay strong," Hyper said, beginning to cry herself, "I'll train everyday just for you. I won't stop until the day I die. I'll even try to learn that move you couldn't afford to teach me…"

"Don't…over…do it…You guys…helped me…end my…lifelong…struggle…Now…if you really…love me…just let me…rest…for a while…" he said as he closed his eyes.

"No! Brendan wake up! Wake up dammit!" Latios roared, panicked.

"…Sorry…I have…to leave…"

"Don't Brendan! Don't leave!" Winged Neo yelled, already breaking out in tears.

"The sky…it weeps…for me…yet it urges…me to leave…and leave no…regrets…"

"Don't say things like that!" Titanium yelled, "No one wants you to leave! We want you to stay!"

"My time…is near…my page…has been read…my chapter…is over…my book…has ended…my saga…is finished…my hourglass…is empty…"

"No…Brendan…" Swampert said, hoping this wasn't the end.

"My only…regret…is…that I…must…leave…this world…without…my…love…expressed…to…the…one…girl…I…"

"Love? Brendan, who is she?" Swampert asked.

But when he asked, he got no answer. That was it…it was over…he was gone…and he wouldn't be coming back. The quiet that haunted the pokemon that moment was a silence that would haunt them forever. Their trainer, no, master, has vanished. He left them, with his words of happiness, and his life was finished, before his struggle finished him.

"Brendan?" Swampert asked silently.

Swampert touched his master and felt…it was cold. Cold like the rain that plagued them. Cold like the ice that crept within the shadows of fear. Cold like the world and its undying hinder of unpunished evil. Brendan was cold, drained of the warmth of life…

The pokemon dropped their heads in sadness as they saw their master leave this world with his final breath. His body still had the smile that he left them, and soon, the smile turned into a faint, dead, blank nothing. Swampert would never be able to forget this day, the day where his master had died right in his very arms. The one trainer who chose him, he was his first pokemon, and he would never be able to let go of this unforgettable burden on his shoulders. With every last bit of sadness, Swampert yelled to the heavens, in mourn, of his masters' death.

"BREEEEENDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!"

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Breaking news broke out all over Hoenn, interrupting the casual family breakfast most families would have in the morning. Hoenn wasn't prepared to face what the news had in store for them, for that this wasn't just some breaking news, it was to announce the finding of a young, white-haired, 14 year-old pokemon trainer.

'We interrupt your morning rituals to announce that police have found the body of a young boy. You may be wondering who this boy is, well, you'll be shocked to learn that the boy is none other than Brendan Birch, Hoenn champion, resident of Littleroot Town.

Police found the body by detecting unusual weather in the vicinity of Route 113, where a thunderstorm unexpectedly broke out, possibly caused by a pokemon. Other unusual weather from the same area attracted policemen's attention when the weather randomly broke out into sunstorms, rainstorms, hailstorms, even sandstorms!

Police went to investigate the abnormal weather conditions and found the body of Brendan Birch. Along with his pokemon, all near-fatally injured, police contacted hospital for backup. The six pokemon had suffered burns, electric shock, brutal cuts in the torsos, and rock-hard punches seen imprinted into the pokemon's flesh. The Nurse Joy's claims that it will take a couple of weeks to fully heal the pokemon back to full health.

While the Nurses where tending to the wounded pokemon, doctors did their best to revive Brendan from his fatal wounds. His parents were contacted as soon as possible as the doctors were on their way to succession.

Funded by Prof. Birch in his attempt to revive his son, doctors were able to save Brendan. Doctors now claim that he'll be making a full recovery by the end of this month, which is miraculously speaking seeing how the boy himself suffered fatal blade wounds.

Police don't know who could have been responsible for the near-death beating of Brendan Birch, but when authorities asked Brendan for questions before his surgery, he claims that he can't remember the whole incident. He says that he remembers everything else, he just doesn't remember what happened to him. It may be possible that this is the work of Team Magma or Aqua, but until authorities have their suspicions confirmed, the boy will remain in the hospital until then.

Let's all pray that the young boy makes a full recovery. Back to you John…

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He began to stir into the sunlight and opened his eyes. The white ceiling blinded his vision momentarily, but managed to adjust to the white room he was in. he sat up and found that he was hooked up to a few machinery detecting his heart pulse, breathing capacity, and a life-support stand. His parents were sitting by him, looking worried as they were working on some papers. His mother was the first to notice him sitting up and perked up in glee.

"Brendan! You're awake!" she said.

His father, the great Prof. Birch, noticed and shot up to give his son a hug. His mother joined in and held on just in time for the doctor to come in with some hospital food.

"I got some food for…Brendan! You're up!" he said, setting the cart somewhere else.

"How are you feeling sweety?" his mother asked.

"Wh…where am I?" he asked.

"You're in the hospital, remember?" his father said.

"Remember? Remember what?"

"He still can't remember what happened," the doctor said, "it'll take some time before we can get something out of him. Fortunately, one of the Nurse Joy's managed to heal one of his pokemon to optimal health."

"Pokemon…?" he asked.

Brendan realized none of his pokemon where with him. He looked panicked and was about to ask where his pokemon was when the doctor presented it before him.

"He'll be alright," he said handing it to him.

"Wh…which pokemon is he?"

"Your starter," he answered.

He looked back to the pokeball and sighed in relief, muttering that he was glad that he was safe.

"The rest of your pokemon are being worked on. Sooner or later, they'll be back to full health," the doctor said.

Brendan now looked confused. He can't remember what happened to his pokemon, only that they were fighting. The doctor looked concerned and asked his parents to follow him outside. Before he left, he told Brendan to be thankful he was alive. When they left, Brendan looked towards the window to see the sun rising. Putting his pokeball down, he stood up and walked towards the window to see the view the hospital garden below. The pokeball behind him wobbled and released the pokemon inside, who stared at Brendan.

"It's good to see the sun again, isn't it?" he asked.

"Yep, if only it wasn't raining," Brendan said.

"What do we do now?"

"Well, we'll wait until I get better. But once we get past that, we'll see what comes next."

"It was a tough battle, wasn't it?"

"Yeah, I really thought I was going to die."

Silence passed between the two as he looked out to the sun. as time passed, the pokemon behind began to get impatient until he asked what to do for real. He gave no answer and only continued to stare at the sun, his eyes filled with the thought and foreboding of what could've been. His eyes of silver…

"Well Brendan," he said, "you make it all too easy. And to think I was going to go down first."

"Are you saying he's still alive?" the pokemon, his Sceptile," said.

"Barely. The scars I left should've killed him from major blood loss, but he's somehow still clinging on. His pokemon were too beaten up to recover, so I don't know how long he'll last. But his life force isn't holding on much longer."

"So as time passes…"

"He's slipping from this world, piece by pathetic, little piece. He should've known, that his nightmare was just beginning."

"So now what do we do? Seriously."

"Like I said, we'll wait until I've recovered. But once I do recover, I'll be free. And I think I know who's life to screw around with now."

"Who?"

"He's in love with a girl, a girl named May. I find her and make her fall back in love with "me". once I do, I'll crush her weak soul and advance to every last person Brendan ever knew, killing them off one by one, starting with the girl."

"But what about Brendan? He might live long enough to stop you."

"And what will he do? He has no medical treatment possible and by the time he catches up with me, everyone he knows will be dead."

"I only have one question: Who will be the last one you will kill to satisfy yourself once and for all?"

He gave some thought to that, and came with an answer.

"Myself…if you know what I mean."

…end?