Disclaimer: I do not own pokemon, or the OC's/writing of ANI. I write this with the permission of Dark Magician Girl Aeris.
Author's Note: Though late in a godforsaken manner, this one-shot is my Christmas present to Aeris…which I only recently completed, XD. It also happens to be tribute to the Mew of the Apple Not Included and his race…suffice to say that of all the brilliant characters its creators have made, Mew has always been the one I feel most akin to. So I wrote this up, trying to keep it Rated T (I don't think I crossed any lines…), and prayed I wouldn't be stepping on anyone else's toes. From their reactions, I think I managed to avoid doing such well enough. The story fits in their minds, and they liked it, so….
Well, to all of the others fans of their grand work, enjoy.
(Oh yeah...and there are spoilers in this fic concerning Mew's past and the ancient war, just so you're aware.)
Translations (from Latin to English):
Gens – clan/tribe
Ingenero – generation
Eventus – fate
Aestuo - blaze
1:7 – Sunlight.
Rays of golden light filtered through the lush deciduous trees that concealed the glen where a human child and three sentient felines dwelled. The youngest of the beings, both female, had decided not long after dawn to thoroughly savor the day of peace they'd been given – for within these hours there would be no training, nor stories to eat up their time and attention. No tales needed to be told, and having nothing to threaten their content relaxation, the both of them lay out in pools of warm light, a dreamy sort of enjoyment evident in the shade of their auras. The girl, small and brown-haired, from a small town to the south and usually bursting with questions, amused herself with the act of weaving a long braid into her friend's long, violet hair. Ellie, not being the most gentle of creatures, made Evetwo wince occasionally at her incessant tugging. The young female Mewtwo only grumbled once however…she was enjoying the sun too much.
The oldest of the beings, Mew could tell Eve's older "brother" did not approve, but in the ancient kitten's mind, the male's love of the moon and shadows was scarcely a healthy obsession. That, and the simple pleasure of others always made him even more moody than usual. In the shade of a withered oak, he peered at the children with narrowed eyes, his tail lashing in barely repressed agitation. Perhaps it was simply that he could not see how any clone could feel comfortable in daylight, or a result of his thoughts on his planned hit on Team Rocket's Viridian Base, yet either way, he was hardly participating in the relaxation the afternoon offered. Then again, Mew had never seen him let his guard down, another one of his numerous character flaws.
But that was just the way Mewtwo was, and he wasn't likely to change anytime soon. Mew, currently of the female gender and sipping the milk she'd stolen earlier in the day, merely hoped that he wouldn't turn his "sister" into a similar creature – dark, virtually heartless, melodramatic, and above all, one who would wage war willing, regardless of the potential consequences.
She worried especially on this last point, fearing that Mewtwo would drag Eve into a battle she shouldn't need to fight at such a young and formative age. She wasn't ready for war, even though she'd already had a taste of it in the Sevii Islands. The fact was that further violence could well prove lethally dangerous to the young female…and Mewtwo was not likely to stop taking chances until one day he miscalculated and lost his "sibling". And even then, he would continue to fight, if only for vengeance – but by then it would be too late. He would have lost Evetwo, the only true sort of family he would ever know and have. He would have condemned himself to being alone for the rest of his life…and while Mewtwo seemed to have no issues with such an idea, Mew knew well how the suffering of it would be unbearable in time….
"You stupid, stupid child." The kitten was so tense he was actually trembling. "You don't understand a damn thing. The only reason you're alone is because of the selfishness of your own actions. You have no idea how it feels to be lost by yourself, cold and alone, as whole centuries go by. You don't know how much it hurts to open your heart, only to watch as those you care about grow old and die around you. It was your own greedy pride that led you to create those other clones, to thrust them into the same world that you so hated, so why should you have been surprised when they walked away? At least you didn't have to watch them waste away into nothingness. You can't even imagine what that's like, the death of someone you love. You can't imagine the anguish afterwards, the accursed knowledge that you're still here, still alive, and now horribly, gut-wrenchingly alone once more."
The kitten was lifting into the air again, almost as though he was being hoisted from the shoulders, and Mewtwo actually found himself stepping back. This was a side of Mew he had never seen before, this half-maddened creature before him, and he could not tell if he was merely unsettled by it or actually frightened. "I would have given anything for a sister then," Mew continued, his voice raising in a crescendo of anger and pain, "someone like me, someone who would understand. She's like you in ways I can't even compare to, similar to you in ways you can't even imagine. She knows, Mewtwo. She knows what it's like, living a false life, born in a lab. She knows how it feels to be stared at as though you had some sort of disease, to walk through the world with people whispering behind their hands the moment they thought you had passed. She knows what it feels like to be different, your kind of different. The scientists never hid their contempt from her, no, she had to hear it from their own mouths, to feel it in the sting of the whip she was beaten with, the blows that wretched tamer dealt with lashes and kicks! Night after night I had to listen as her heart cried, a secret pain that she couldn't even admit to herself. She knows, and even more so than you do, because she also knows what she should have! She knows what it's like to be normal just as well! She has memories of a brother who loved her and cared for her, one who put the bonds of blood they shared before anything else, and she grew dependant on that! Even now, she needs to have a brother!" Finally, the too-still tail moved, lashing through the air so fast it almost hissed. "She needs you, damn it! She needs you to look after her, to protect her from the world around her, to help her overcome her own pain! She needs you to help her heal, not to hurt her more..." And then, so softly he could barely hear it, "and you need her... before you turn out like me... you stupid, selfish child..."
The feline closed her azure eyes as she remembered her tirade against her "brother" …. Just how long would it take before Mewtwo understood that his stubborn self-isolation would destroy him? How long would it be before he allowed himself to give a damn about his "sister"…?
Despite their sometimes rough attitudes, Mew cared deeply for them both…but she worried that while today they were here and well, tomorrow they would both be lost to life, their "race" doomed to extinction by war, just as hers had been….
Unbidden, thoughts of the last years of her species presence on this planet entered her mind; followed with memories that were not her own, but a final, fleeting gift that had been given to her before her kind had perished completely - the recollections of one forlorn soul, dead for over sixty millennia. The images and emotions rose vivid and terribly real in her mind, formulating a single word of recognition in her heart….
Anti, the phantom Mew, as if hearing the silent, private thought, came to her, saying nothing. He, her self from another existence, knew that no words would bring her solace – only his nearness could give her any sort of comfort.
And so the Legendary's reminiscing began….
2:7 – Divined Fate.
The artic desert of the north was aglow with the whipping curtains of the celestial aurora, the fabric of iridescent light spun through with glittering stars. A pale-blue Mew of the shiny breed, named Solashur of Gens Glacies (the Glacier Clan), had flitted away from the warm stone caves of his pride in the early morning hour, savoring the way the icy wind felt in his fur. He somersaulted giddily in the air, leaving a trial of sparkles in his wake – for him, this night was a happy one! Tasha, his new-found mate, had conceived a little of kits in the hours previous, and the act of making new life had left him with an overflow of ecstatic energy. Once he calmed himself, he would return to her side – oh, he didn't doubt she was laughing now in delight at his response. He smiled widely, feeling incapable of waiting to rejoin her in their den.
But a strange sight in the heavens mad him pause and stare – for while one could see many shooting stars in the almost eternal winter night of the far north, rarely did they survive in the low altitude this one was tearing through. As he watched, the fiery stone from space plummeted to the snow and ice, its impact causing the air to fill with a blinding flash of light and the earthshaking roar from the explosion heralding its arrival. After the shockwaves had died, along with the searing heat, he slowly approached the simmering crater that had been created, his curiosity getting the better of him. He flew into the steaming zone, seeing something twinkling in its depths. A gemstone perhaps? Thinking that perhaps he could give the glittering thing as a gift for his mate, he swooped low to get a better look at-.
Without warning, a thick arm thrust upwards from the dark mist, the end of it wrapping around the feline's neck. The Mew gave an alarmed squeak of protest, his psychic energies lashing out and burning his foe, melting its body…but before the pyrokinetic energy could destroy his attacker, its grip constricted, breaking Solashur's neck. Both died within moments of one another. Yet the virus that had acted as the invader's DNA base began to spread and grow from the dead flesh, mutating and multiplying as it consumed the valuable protein that the Mew corpse offered. Then, unknown to the other inhabitants of the young, blue planet, the greatest threat they had yet faced began to form….
"Solashur was the first to make contact with the viral race we have since dubbed Deoxys, and like that first meeting, future encounters with them has proven deadly to anyone who has the misfortune of crossing their path. Though we are still uncertain of their exact motives, even after waging war with their kind for much of this past century, we have learned a great deal about what they are, and hence, how to fight and destroy them. Unfortunately, we are the only ones on Earth short of Arceus himself capable of defeating them in battle. You asked, Lunaris, why your cousins having been sent to join the hunting parties despite their youth? That is why! We are the only race on this planet powerful enough to drive the invaders back…though as you are all aware, despite our best efforts, the Deoxys have continued to spread and claim territory upon Earth."
…Of course we knew. We may only be a couple of decades old in age, but by no means were we oblivious to the happenings in the war, despite how we may try keeping ourselves detached from it. It was a difficult task to say the least – most of us had pride members out in the battlefields. And with the Gens' focus on the fighting, it was hard to escape the dark atmosphere that hung like a heavy weight over our heads, threatening to fall and crush us at any time. Yet that said, wasn't it our job as young ones to attempt to defy the oppressive mood? From across the lesson's den I glanced to the most mischievous of my ingenero, my generation, a rascal of a Mew named Fir. He gave me a silent roll of the eyes, clearly indicating his opinion of the stuffy lecture we were receiving from our old teacher. In private telepathy, he whispered, "If we have heard this speech once, we had heard it a million times over."
I stifled an amused giggle, for he was right – and to make it worse, the wording of it had never changed too drastically. We could repeat it nearly word-for-word back to the elders, though we were never quite so cocky to do so.
Sensing our exchange, Elder Azrael sparked our rears with a none-too-gentle Thundershock, "You two! For Arceus' love, act seriously! Your eventus will arrive very soon – for all you know, you could be sent to war! Grow up already."
This time I had to roll my eyes and snort – I did not know about Fir, but there was no way I would be fated to join one of the hunting parties. Above all, the Guardians of the Earth, the leaders of those groups and among our oldest war veterans, valued the ability to alter form and gender, to both battle the Deoxys and infiltrate the enemy lands to spy – and I, suffice to say, was not skilled in Transforming in the least. I had a difficult enough time attempting to become a different warm-blooded being, and as far as those whose vital fluid ran cold…well, it had never been a pretty sight. No, I was by far better attending and nurturing the plants of our wild gardens…and tailing Fir wherever he strayed.
As some recollections of the more adventurous of our wanderings came to mind, I smiled to myself. If I were to stay here in the colony, I prayed to Arceus that he too would remain – I was rather fonder of him than I cared to admit. To be completely honest with myself, I'd more than once considered joining him in his own den, despite that any form of physical relationship so young was discouraged by our kind. A shame that…yet within a few more years, what would be left to hold us back? For now though, I could only be wistful, and flush at his light touches and teasing, for that was far as it could go presently. Besides, who was to say if he would be the male to become my partner anyhow? After all, he was quite a flirt (to my fury) – he might just end up settling with someone else besides me entirely! I could not be certain that I would be the one held in his heart when the future arrived.
But I could hope, could I not?
Within a few more minutes the session ended, and I glided out with Fir, snapping his lower back with the tip of my tail. He turned to me in an instant, giving my an evil grin as he did, and plowed into my middle with his head – we spun in the air from the force of it, giggling madly in the glee of tumbling high above the floor of the dripping, hot rainforest, the air thick with the scent of exotic flora. The sun shinning through the lush canopy above us was bright upon the dens of our Gens Divum, and those who saw us gave us looks of mock exasperation and sly winks. My smiled widened at the evident humor of our interaction, and at what they wordlessly implied.
Abruptly, the peaceful atmosphere around us shifted, as if a storm had arrived and hidden the sun away behind its navy wind and rain. The firmament seemed to darken, and from the dens of the seers arose a miasmic flood of horror and dismay, washing over all of those in the area, causing us to halt and cease to speak. Then, all at once, the Mews who possessed the acute ability of Future Sight came streaking out from their chambers, moaning as if dying of anguish and grief. Fir, the others, and I flew to their sides, stroking and nuzzling their shivering pelts soothingly, asking what was wrong. The elder I was comforting and attending to, older than many of the great trees around us, merely gazed up at me with fathomless, milky eyes, and lamented in a groan, "Our Sight…we are blinded! We cannot See…!"
I stilled even as my heart raced in my chest. Were we to understand that the seers could not peer into the future? How was that possible? I felt as if someone had cruelly struck me with an Ice Beam, freezing my flesh and the air in my lungs, for we had always had Mews who could look ahead and see what was to come! They named us, guided us, and showed us the paths we were meant to follow – without them we would be lost! I did not understand the concept, my brain trying to find answers that no one could grasp. How could this have fallen upon us? What could it mean? In the following days, those questions haunted everyone's thoughts. As the seers told us, they had been pooling their powers of foresight to see where this world and our kind would be a century from now…a thing they had done countless times in previous millennia. Yet just as the image had begun to form, everything had turned to black, as if someone had covered their keen, psychic eyes. If that were not disturbing enough, not only had the long-range divining fled them, but also the holy names we were bestowed by our God – they had evanesced, leaving our children to come into existence without an identity. All that was left was the ability to determine one's eventus – nothing more.
After testing the potentials of their craft, it was discovered that a single female named Miori, of my ingenero, still possessed the blessed gift. As the weeks passed, much of the same calamity was found to have occurred in the other Gens. We had been cut from the future by a force far stronger than us…it seemed that Arceus Himself had intervened in our lives - though precisely why no one could begin to guess. Yet all agreed that it seemed an ill omen, and my stomach sank, sink and cold, as I pondered the event….
However, my distress over the disaster was well overshadowed by my own, personal catastrophe, which shook the whole of my world.
On the day of members of my ingenero were chosen for our eventus, our fates, I was announced to be a recruit for war. In my horrible shock, I scarcely heard that I was to join the hunting party of Guardian Fahnger in the far north. I could not believe what I'd been told! Myself, a warrior? Myself in battle, slaying the aliens who threatened Earth? The concept seemed far too immense and overwhelming, and ultimately, it devastated me. For how could I have been chosen for such a destiny? I was no fighter! I-I wanted to live among the plants, the seeds, the trees and flowers of my home! I did not want to go to the snowy and barren ice wastes of the arctic deserts!
But that was my fate. In a time of peace, I would have been able to pursue my desires and become a Guardian of the Forests like in ages old. Yet this was a century of blood and death, no matter how the others and I tried to deny it. Soon enough, I would learn that we were of an epoch when ignorance would get you killed if you dare to indulge in its bliss….
As it turned out, I was not the only one to received such a doomed path to wander down – all of the others of my ingenero, with the exception of Miori (who must be taught how to hone her abilities), were heading out to aid our brothers and sisters in the resistance against the Deoxys. Even my carefree Fir was sentenced to the dark life, to the arid deserts of the eastern continent. The dusk before we left, we gazed at each other from across the glen, seeing our fear and regret reflected in one another's eyes. We had held all the time in the world to be more than companions-in-play...but we had let that slip away from us, thinking that such a thing would remain true. Now we had no moments left…for despite our longevity, our strength, we Mew are not immortal. We can be killed…and we had heard enough wretched stories to know exactly what we were being forced it.
We would probably never see each other again after this night….
Other, I suppose, might have taken the chance to be together, just once, in what pitiful few hours we had left…but as fun-loving as Fir and I were, we were not fools – we understood that the morning parting would be too unbearably painful if we shared such closeness during the twilight. So instead we made a promise to meet after the war was over, even knowing that the chances of that were slim to none.
Yet for now, it was a thought, a dream, to sustain us.
The next morning I awoke before the light of false dawn, saying my farewells to my fellows, whether their blood flowed through my veins or not, and then drifted off on my own, savoring the scenery around me of the home I had never thought I would need to leave. I could almost curse Arceus for His verdict, but I had far more faith than that. As I readied my heart for the departure, Miori came to me, pulling me aside. She had always been a strange creature, but I liked her well enough – I was happy that she, at least, would stay here in safety….
"I have a gift for you before you leave, Lunaris: a prophecy. Would you like to hear it?"
Whether good or bad, one does not turn aside news from a seer when he or she wished to impart it. Resigning myself to whatever her words would be, I nodded, hugging her back as she embraced me close and whispered into my ear, "You will bring about a great wonder, Moon Blessed, and give our race what we most pray for."
…I could think of only one thing she could mean, my spirit lightening even as my heart took on the extra, heavy burden. "Will I bring us peace?" I murmured, trembling at the confusing thought.
As she pulled away, holding my paws in hers, she seemed to smile with a hint of sadness, and to my sorrow, she shook her head, "No Lunaris…you will not bring peace. Instead, you will bless us with something far more precious in the end."
My eyes met hers fully, silver on vanilla-blue, "And what is that?"
What would possibly be a grander miracle than an end to the war?
My friend's gaze shown with the light of the stars…, "Why, it's hope, Moon Blessed! You will bring us hope!"
3:7 – Guardian of the Earth.
Decades later, I saw nothing of the hope that Miori had claimed would follow me – instead, I only took in the endless dark of the bitter tundra, the snow of the northern wastes stained with ash and frozen blood.
Alpha Fahnger flew before the other and me, searching for a safe haven where we could spend a few hours to rest. We were in no-pokemon's land, a place where battles were not supposed to exist…but the Deoxys were not known to honor the unofficial rules of engagement and boundaries, not here or anywhere else. Their attitudes led to many sleepless "nights", and more often than not, the hunting party I belonged to would need to resort to falling into a state of deep meditation to recharge our energies. Unlike our enemies, we were cursed with the need to rest once every few days in order to retain our sanity. And all we could do to gain the quiet moments necessary for our lapses in consciousness was wound them dreadfully and severely enough to force them into periods of regeneration. Mutual recovery seemed to be the only pauses to the fighting these days. Yet it was a cycle that Fahnger and I were well used to, a rhythm we were in tune with after all our years together in the deserts of the arctic. The others currently with us, it should be noted, were not originally ours – they were remnants of fallen parties, and represented a mosaic of Gens backgrounds. Like us, they had not been "home" for quite some time…and there were a couple of their number rumored to not even have a colony left to return to.
I prayed to ever star in the nearly endless night sky that Arceus would keep my home safe – for without the knowledge that its beauty and warmth still existed, I doubted I would be able to continue to push forward. In the chance that it was destroyed by the invaders, I hoped never to hear of it. Since news from the Gens was scarce, it was more than likely I would remain oblivious to its fate – I found I preferred it that way. Better to believe in a lie and have something to fight for, rather than know the truth and loose the will to live. At least, that was how I saw things.
Eventually, Alpha Fahnger led us down into a shallow basin in the dunes of snow, a shielded spot before one of the ice cliffs. Three of the others swiftly settled down to attempt to sleep, huddling inside a combined bubble barrier to keep the cold and wet out. The two other kits, as I liked to think of them, despite their being older than I was, spied a passing flock of Altaria and went to join their number for the night. Wordlessly I gazed after them as they Transformed into the winged kind, retaining their male gender. I had no doubts on what they were planning to do. Since our race retained some of our core DNA when we changed, our seed is virtually impotent when concerning any other species. Like many others on the battlefield, those kits sought the physical warmth and blissful release that came when mating, and the lack of attachment that came from joining with a stranger you shall never meet again.
I will admit that there had been times when I had done much of the same thing to relief the stress that came from living a warrior's life, especially in the rare phases when I went into eretus. Out here, liaisons between two of our kind were forbidden by unspoken law. We all knew well that emotional attachments would only serve to backlash at us eventually, and we understood that this was the last place in which to conceive offspring. To avoid it, most parties turned to one gender or the other entirely. But this was not a particularly well-liked method – because when death could come upon you at any moment, you wished to be in your own, true form to face it.
That, and there were other risks…so many had come to resort to different methods of subduing the base longings. Turning my eyes away from the departing males, I conjured to myself several bitter, ebony-colored berries from thin air, teleporting them here from the nearly lifeless Umbra Island on the opposite end of the world. One by one, I consumed the Blak Berries, well used to their sour, acrid taste by now – I did not even feel the desire to gag or wash the juices away by this point. It was just another part of the life that I was used to….
"You shouldn't eat so many of those, Lunaris – repressing the pulsing of your womb may just kill it, in time."
I glanced at Fahnger in silence before saying, "I realize that. But I will not risk becoming feral like the others who spend too much time changed in order to avoid their urges. If I cannot bear new life, so be it – but I'll be damned to Nothingness before I slip away into another form and forget who I am. Besides, who are you to lecture me? You are the one who told me of these berries when I arrived in your party."
His eyes, one gold, the other green, glimmered in a mixture of remorse and amusement, "Aye, that I did…but back then you were a kit, not likely to survive a single winter up here in the north. Now you are my Beta, and a fine one at that – I am only trying to look out for you, Moon Blessed."
I smiled as he spoke the meaning of my name…I could not begin to guess of how he knew of it, for that was a seer's lore, but I would not ask. As he declared that he would take first watch, I nodded, bunkering down in the snow and curling my tail over my muzzle. Closing my eyes, I tried to force myself to drift off….
The next moment I knew was rife with shrieking and the stench of ash. Even as I remained blinded by groggy eyes, my mind raced at the sounds of battle, and the noises that came from the throats of the dying. There was no need to wonder over what was going on – I knew even without having to extend my senses that the Deoxys were here…and that they were setting upon the flock of Altaria perched nearby, for no more reason than to savor butchering what they deemed to be a "lesser" race. I felt the flying creatures die while sleeping, while stirring awake in confusion, while in the midst of a heated, passionate round of mating, while trying in vain to protect their young one and flee. The two Mew who had been while them, Shaymet and Leonyar, were already dead. With any luck, they'd had a satisfying time with the females of the flock before they'd passed – either way, they were gone now, unable to aid in the party's resistance. One in mind, the others and I charged ourselves for the first waves of the assault, counting nearly two dozen targets before aiming and firing loose our scorching energies. The frozen night air was soon filled with destructive light and deafening wails as our attacks tore through the very molecules of the atmosphere around us all. I folded my ears back and shut my eyes, allowing my empathic powers to guide me….
…The clash lasted scarcely an hour before it reached its horrendous conclusion. During that chaotic time, I had felt Ishiko, Boukon, and Jasmiya perish, their bodies turned to ash, saving the living the trouble of cremating their corpses, as was tradition to our kind. Yet they had done well before Giratina had stolen them away – taking the lives of at least four of our adversaries each. I wasn't certain how many I myself had incinerated – they blurred these days….
Soon enough, I found that one of the enemy was yet alive, and came to float above it, gazing upon its mostly destroyed body and its fading gem in silence. Then, speaking in the tongue of its kind, which I'd learned when infiltrating their makeshift society in years past, I asked it why. Why did its kind wage war on us and try to take our planet? Why did they seek to murder us and our fellow pokemon? Why?
Its voice was strained and rife with anguish as it answered me, as it confirmed the suspicions I had long since held in my beliefs, and gave me a truth that would alter absolutely nothing.
"We were exiled from our Paradise, bitter Mew…banished to wander in oblivion forever. We bowed to the edict, and have paid for far longer than you can possibly conceive. Now we only wish for a home again…a place to call our own! We have suffered too long…and this world is so very beautiful…."
The invader was fading…. It seemed sad to be losing its life, and I thought it a strange, foreign emotion to be expressed by the enemy. Yet in a manner, I could understand its feelings, its desperate need to make this heavenly planet its own, where it could savor life and thrive among its wonders. But the methods of its kind were all wrong – for in ridding the Earth of all those who naturally inhabited it, they would purge an integral part of what made it so miraculous. Furthermore, they must have been cast out of their realm for a very fine reason…and they proved that they had not redeemed themselves in their drifting by their current courses of action. Loneliness was comprehendible…but they seemed no more just than they'd been when they were exiled – for if they had truly changed, they would not attempt to take our world by force, correct?
Yet despite their flawed logic, I knew well the longing to have a place were you will belong, accepted and loved. In that way, if only in that way, our hearts were the same, though mine was of flesh and its was of crystalline stone. So I came close to it, powering my energies, and spoke the words of comfort to the dying one of the world beyond that would embrace it without a qualm…and then released my attack, burning it to ash, all but the nearly indestructible gem, the creature's now dead heart and mind. Sensing that another needed my presence, I flew to where Fahnger lay, the jewel in tow, and landed beside where he rested on the ice.
Though we Mew have remarkable healing capabilities, I could tell from a glance at his form and aura that he too, my leader, was leaving this realm of existence. He was an elderly male, weary and ready to welcome his end. The heat of this battle had literally cooked his innards past the point of usability…and I had felt the exhaustion in him growing for some time now, seeping black and rebellious in his blood. I had known the poison light that Deoxys shown with would kill him within the decade. So far, I myself remained unaffected by the sickly glow…but in time, I realized that it might just convince my body to revolt against me as well….
Quietly I set the gem aside, and tried futilely to heal him, my tail twinning with his to give him comfort. Once we had despised each other, but that time had long since passed. Tears ran down my face, and I didn't bother to hinder their flow - he deserved each one I could shed.
Peering up at me with glazing eyes, he rasped, "It is good that you can still weep, Lunaris. Some would say it is a sign of weakness, but I disagree. It's only when you can no longer cry that you've become truly weak."
I only whimpered, asking him if there was anything I could do. He chuckled with some pain, "As usual, continue the good fight and all that bird's crud. Personally, though, I would rather like to know what a seer told you once that haunts you so. Don't look so surprised – I used to be one myself. I know the feel of one who bears a secret of the future, whether it is good or bad. Either way, it is a heavy burden to carry."
I had never known that some seers went to battle…but after they had been blinded, perhaps it was the only option left to them. That, and perhaps some had seen what horrid things that might occur if they stayed behind in the colonies. It was a mystery to me….
Yet I told him what Miori had said, and for the first time I could recount, his eyes shown with joy.
"'Hope', eh? I'll bet she's right. You will make a fine mate and mother someday after the war, Moon Blessed…I know it. Your pale fur and your pretty eyes…you'll have no trouble finding love, as long as you keep that heart you have alive…and stop taking those godforsaken Berries."
My Alpha laughed, and as he began to quiet and his movements still, I sung him the prayer song of farewell as he moved into the afterlife. Once he had left me all alone, I gazed up at the twinkling stars and the whipping curtain of the aurora, my tears freezing on my cheek despite their salinity. It was so very cold out here…without another word I set my once-leader aflame, burning him to carbon dust with the jewel upon his chest, which shattered in the intense blaze. The foreign stone was his honor to carry on into the next world, marking him as a Guardian of the Earth. Arceus would give him a special place in Paradise for that…I was certain of it. Fahnger had defended His Earth well, and all the creatures of it….
Once the fire died, I sighed, my breath a mist of white in the dark air. Then, I began to change, the Transformation coming with ease in my experience as it never had in my youth. My form elongated, becoming serpentine and covered in diamond-hard, plate-like scales, the great dragon of the sky becoming my shape. In his voice, I roared out my loss and anguish and launched myself into the firmament, passing miles upon miles of the tundra in fractions of a second, searching for others of my kind, for a new party to join and lead. For I had survived past my mentor, my leader, and ultimately, it was not skill that gave you the right to be called a Guardian of the Earth. Instead, it was the ability to endure the war and guide others through its horror – and I had been on these bloody fields long enough to do that task…and now that my Alpha was gone, I was no longer a Beta.
I was Alpha now. And I would find a party to head, or gather the remnants of others together, no matter what their age, their sex, their ability, or their Gens, and lead them. That was the way of it – there were no fresh recruits anymore, so those who survived their packs would join another, making a new group in order to continue fighting, to continue to repel those who had turned our peaceful lives into ones of violence and destruction. For all those who had been lost, and for our world, I would battle until the invaders were finished, or I was.
Plowing through the freezing air, the icy, snowflake-filled wind flowed down my form….
There was another reason I had chosen the body of the king of dragons as my own, besides his speed and power…one which would be evident to any of my own kind when they saw me….
For dragons cannot cry.
4:7 – Dreams Beyond the End.
After countless years in the north, the warmth of the southern rainforests was nearly overwhelming in its thick, moist heat. It seeped into my weary bones, banishing the crystals of ice I imagined lay in my marrow, and restored my flesh with an inner fire that I had only managed to retain in my heart for all this time…and even then, the glow of it had only been a soft flicker, a tiny lick of flame.
Like the others of the so-called "last ingenero," I had been called back home. The war was not yet complete, though I could tell by gazing at the heart-breaking few of my Gens that it would not be long until it finally came to an end. A decade perhaps, maybe even less…. Either we would succeed in pushing the Deoxys away from Earth, or we would be annihilated in the attempt. Our few numbers were the reason behind this sudden call to return – it was up to my ingenero, those still young and healthy enough to conceive, to create new kits to keep our race alive. Looking around, I so no young ones thus far. But then, there were complications – after all, I had scarcely been the only one who had taken the Blak Berries. I, at least, go still go into heat. And that, more than anything else, ensured that I would be a sought after and desirable partner. For while we Mew could change our gender, only in our true forms could we conceive. For males could not possess egg gametes which they were not born with, and we females could not produce the potent material that would seed a womb. It was part of what made our birth forms so special.
Yet as for myself creating a litter, or more likely these days, a single child? Why bring a young one into a world that was torn with war, where it would most likely die before it could grow into an adult? Why make it suffer so? No, I would not breed, and that was a decision that others would have to accept. As a Guardian of the Earth and an individual, I had the right to choose. Still, as I went into eretus, many males, smelling the scent of it wafting from me, glanced my way, but knew better than to approach. They understood that I wanted no mate, and knew that it was my choice alone of whom my partner would be if I changed my mind about the matter….
Which, though I still possessed my doubts, I did….
Upon a dusk, as I wandered along among the flowers of the gardens, I heard a low, baritone voice call out, a soft note of surprise in the deep tone, "…Lunaris?"
I turned, and something kept buried and presumed lost so many years ago responded to the familiar sound of the male voice. The Mew who had spoken hung in midair some several feet behind me, his blue eyes wide with shock. His fur was unkempt, dirt clinging to his pelt, and his face marred with a long scar which stretched from his temple, over his left eye, to the end of his muzzle. Yet…I still knew him. Like I, he had changed in soul, but his core…that remained the same.
It seemed that against the odds, Fir and I had kept our promise to each other.
Even sullied and mutilated, I couldn't help but admire him. Unlike others I had seen, he bore no string of Deoxys gems to prove himself a warrior. He did not revel in the glory of battle, instead leaving it behind when coming home. Like me, he took no joy in our fates – and that, even if everything else had changed, appealed to me. So I floated over to him, pressing my muzzle to his scarred cheek and licking the rigid, smooth flesh of it in a Mew kiss we only give to those we are offering to take as lovers. Once, he and I would have courted, chasing after each other in races of endurance and skill as the ancients of our kind had done to test their potential mates. The Gens would have celebrated our inevitable pairing in the end. And while there were many who thought that traditions were more important now than ever, Fir and I could no longer pretend the times were so sweet.
With the act I told him I would be in my den…if he accepted my offer, he would come to me. If not, I did not want to see the rejection on his face.
However, as the night deepened, he did join me in my den. Our tails twinned, and he returned the kiss I'd given him, purring quietly as we began the acts that would make us one….
After our mating was complete, I lay cusped in his hold, my back against his chest…regulating my breathing, I turned my senses inwards, feeling the stirring of new life blossoming in my womb. Just one kit…but that was all we were called to create, and all I had once dreamed of sharing with him. My doubts still haunted my mind…I wondered if such a conception was right and just. Fir only held me tighter, murmuring that he too could feel the babe. Inexplicably, that obvious declaration make me smile, leading my thoughts onto lighter paths. Perhaps we had not truly sentenced our kit to doom – perhaps it would be born in a brighter world, rife with peace and victory. The war could end tomorrow – we could not know! For now, I was with Fir, my Fir, and held our little one inside me…surely, that was good enough? Surely, there must be some hope? At the very least, I could not change until the child was born, nor could I leave it to be raised by someone else. No, my mate and I would remain here, in this place, with the newly-made creature. And if the world ended tomorrow, instead of holding a promising dawn, there wasn't another place on this planet I would prefer to be.
With that realization, a strange emotion began to pool inside of me – and having not felt it for so very long, I did not recognize it at first. It was like liquid sunshine inside of me, bright and full of ecstatic energy, though it remained a mellow force in my weariness. But then its identity came to me: it was happiness…and, to some carefully guarded extent, love. With a sigh, I curled up closer to Fir, purring in pleasure at finding I was still capable of the miraculous feeling, and fell contently into sleep.
Several months later, I lay panting in our den, bathed in sweat and aching in all of my muscles. Yet a smile of triumph and delight twisted my mouth as I felt my newborn male kit suckling from a tit for his first meal of milk. Fir floated above where I rested, chirping happily at the sight of our son, and glanced at Miori, wanting to know the boy's divined name. The seer touched the tip of her tail to the nameless one's forehead and grinned, saying in a hushed voice, "Akiko. His name shall be Akiko."
I cocked an eyebrow at that, for 'Akiko' was usually a female's name, derived from some sort of flower. When I asked about her choice, she merely gave me a sly look, and muttered something about how he would come to favor the opposite gender above his own…for more than one naughty reason. Laughing aloud, I savored the concept – so Fir and I had made a flighty one! How that followed irony's twisted sense of logic, for had we not been much of the same when we had been in our youth? As the years passed by, we delighted in playing forgotten games with him and teaching him all we knew as he grew into maturity. On the day he went to war in our place, I bitterly and sadly understood that we could do nothing more for him – we could no longer keep him safe. And so, I simply embraced my child and murmured, "Bring us back a Deoxys' gem, my love."
For that was the common saying now. Before the invasion, before the fighting, the family and friends of the dispersers had asked for bloodless gifts from their dearest's travels. Ebony from Mt. Pyre…flowers from Celebi's woods…healing water from the spring of Purity Canyon. Perhaps soon we would ask for such things again, instead of an alien's dead heart. Then again, perhaps we never would have the chance to return to innocence. We all felt that the end of the war was near – the last battles were beginning, and I prayed our race would survive them…and that my son would live on to come home to Fir and me….
Eventually, on one muggy morning we awoke to the screeches of the other Mew of Gens Divum. Having witnessed too much destruction to take screams lightly, my mate and I charged out of our den, energies blazing, only to be knocked down not by an assault, but by the exuberance of the others. Within moments, the true feel of the area suffused us, the same as what arose around the entire world: Exhilaration! Joy! Relief so intense it reduced my fellows to tears. Flower petals filled the air like snow as the workers of the gardens danced and showered the others in their bliss, and the young and old alike cried, "It's over! The war is over! We've forced them into retreat – by Arceus' claws, we've won!"
As the unimaginable concept penetrated my mind, my heart rose to soar higher than it ever had before. Along with the others of my Gens, I began to shriek in happiness, and eventually found Fir in the excitement, rushing to him and spinning about with him in giddiness as we had when we were children. We nuzzled one another, weeping in our joy – for the fighting was over at last! All our lives the war had raged, and now, finally, we faced a future of peace as our kind had experienced in centuries long since fled. Rubbing his muzzle to mine, my mate laughed, "We are free of them, Lunaris! Finally, it's over!"
Then, only raising us yet higher, the members of the hunting parties arrived – our son included in their ranks. He flew at us, chirping giddily, and I thanked Arceus a thousand times over that my child had barely spent a few years in the violence of battle. He had not come back to us marred in soul – he was still our sweet Akiko! I took such joy in the fact that no tragedy had befallen him while he'd been away!
Yet faintly, I sensed someone gazing at me, and I turned, spying Miori across the glen. My smile faded at the expression on her face, and at the withdrawn, weary way she held herself. Whereas all the others were in the midst of celebration, the seer merely looked as if she were ready to begin weeping. When noticing my gaze, she tried to smile, but the attempt was weak – her lips twitched upwards, but nothing more. Confusion assaulted me…why wasn't she merry and rapturous?
An entirely grimmer thought struck me in that moment – had Miori Seen something that rendered our triumph meaningless? Had she Seen that some great catastrophe would befall us, even in our victory? I wanted to ask her, but I had no bravery in the light of such a concept. I could not face the idea that we might have won the damnable war, only to loose in some other way entirely. So instead, I turned away from her, shivering, and chose to celebrate with my mate and child instead of seeking the accursed truth. I shoved the thought of Miori's expression and what it might mean out of my mind purposefully…I longed to know hope, not further despair!
…Within weeks, I knew why she'd seemed so stricken.
Before the Deoxys had fled, they had struck out at us in one final, deadly blow – they had captured a few members of our kind, experimented on them, and once they had learned what they needed to of our physiology, the invaders had set the captors free…their systems carrying a stealthy, lethal virus, which could be passed by their breathing. It should be noted that they hadn't known they were carrying our doom – they had thought of their release as a lucky escape, and returned to their colonies thinking that all was well. It was only after their arrival that they began to sicken in their dens; the first signs of disease being dismissed as signs of post-traumatic stress. They lost the primal urge to mate, slept fitfully, and ran a low fever. A slight bug, swift to pass, was all that was thought of it.
Then the serious side-affects set in: infertility, high temperatures, and last and worst of all, an inability to use their powers. We Mew are not perfect by any means – our genetics have flaws, one of the most prominent being our difficulties in regulating our body heat under extreme conditions. We usually use fire and ice elemental essences to aid us in the task…but without the use of our special abilities, our very coding may begin to break down in high fever. We degenerate unless our healers are there to help us – but this viral infection was soon deemed incurable…and extremely contagious. Once the first patients died, their clan was slowly victimized by the atrocity too. The incubation period stretched from a few weeks to a matter of years, depending on the initial health of the contaminated individual. While young and healthy, in one's prime, the body's resistance can last for a decade or more…but once that period of strength has passed, the infected one succumbs to the disease – and it always proves fatal.
We called it Aestuo, the Burning Plague, since that was how it killed you – it overheated you to the point where the very essence of your cells begins to break down, destroying your internal organs and brain, killing you days after the later symptoms begin, while never touching your outer flesh. The irony of it did not escape me, for it was how we had always destroyed our enemies, melting and incinerating them in solar heat. Now they returned the favor, exacting their final revenge mercilessly and with a cold sort of cruelty.
I wept as it took Fir's and my parents, along with the other elders. Whole tribes across the planet fell into silence and the dark, never to be heard from again. Despair settled over us heavily, like a suffocating cloud of miasma as our race dwindled – soon, we understood, our kind would be extinct, a concept many could not handle sanely. After all, we had always existed upon Earth, always defended this beautiful world and loved our lives upon it. I grieved for countless nights before a dark sort of acceptance settled over my mind, and horrible bitterness. We had saved the planet and the others who dwelled here, we had given everything for Arceus…and now he would let us die? All of our struggles, all of our suffering…now it would be for nothing? There were twilights when I went off on my own, screaming into the sky for Him to answer me, to tell me why He would allow this abomination to occur. Yet He remained silent to me, and to all others who called His name, pleading for a reason…and for a miracle. They longed to leave something of our kind behind upon Earth as a final stand, our declaration and gift to all of pokemon-kind – a blessed child who would be immune to the virus, and who could watch over this world in our absence. How it disgusted Fir and me…for it was a dreadful thing to dare ask for. If we must die, than we should all fade into the next world together – that was how it should be, that would be a compassionate, humane way to leave this existence.
Eventually, the others came to see this last view to be proper as well, though their prayers did not cease. All the remnants of the clans decided in unison to leave their lands to go to our ancestral home: the Tree of Beginnings, our first sanctuary, and now to be our last haven. Such a move invited Aestuo to kill us all at once, and infect those previously untainted by its fire. But it would have only been a matter of time anyway – the virus was airborne, and no matter how we ran, it would hunt us down – at least this way, we would not be alone when the end came.
I came to resign myself to our fate, and spent all the time I could with my mate and child, waiting for the Burning Plague to set us aflame and turn our lives to ash….
Yet Arceus had a different plan for me – I would not die so swiftly. Not yet….
Within the night that yet another of my ingenero had passed on, I wept in my dreams, and from the darkness around me, the celestial being of gold and white, studded with emeralds, entered my sleeping world, looking down at me in silence. Rasping out the words, I demanded to know why He would let His first and favorite creations to be annihilated after all we had done for Him. He merely closed His eyes, seeming to sigh….
"You shall not all die, Moon Blessed. This world shall always know your kind, for I will not allow it the chance to forget your race. To ensure such, I will give you the gift your kind has pled for – for the next time you enter eretus, female, your mate and you shall create the last of your race. He shall be pure, untouched by Aestuo. He shall live on, so the world will not forget your sacrifices to keep it safe."
Yet this concept gave me no comfort. Shaking my head, I spat out, "No! No, I won't bring forth such a being just so it can watch the rest of us die – what You're suggesting is too monstrous, Arceus. It would only condemn him to a life of eternal loneliness. Being what he is, he could never have a family – he would never be fully accepted or understood. He would be an outcast, and I can't condone dooming any child to such a fate, let alone one of mine, even if it would give the others comfort!"
His eyes flashed, His head tilting, perplexed, "Yet if you refuse my will, great disasters will fall upon Earth. Without his intervention, this planet will fall into shadow and chaos – are you truly so embittered that you desire that?"
Wryly, I smiled up at Him, "Perhaps I am. And if this world truly is destined to be destroyed without the child's aid, than let it fall into ruin. If You honestly do care for Your creation, You will give others the power to defend it – there are other beings that nearly rival my race in their abilities. Have them take up our vacant mantel – we have done enough in Your name! Let us rest in peace…."
The god appeared to contemplate that, "…You surprise me, Moon Blessed. You would give up everything, the Earth, countless lives, all in order to protect a child who hasn't even been conceived yet from the pain of being alone."
My eyes gleamed in the dim, "Of course….I would think that You, of all beings, would understand that anguish."
He stilled…and then murmured, "I see. Very well then…but before you turn down my offer, allow me to tell you a secret of the future…perhaps, after hearing it, you shall change your mind."
He beckoned me to come closer, and while no one else would be capable of hearing our conversation, I approached, taking some comfort in the gesture of privacy. As He whispered His secret into my ear, my eyes shot wide, and I flew back from Him swiftly, my breathing quick and shaky. Did He mean what He said? If that were so, then perhaps….
"Do You speak the truth? Will this happen in certainty?"
"It shall. Like the past and the present, the future is an already written book. It is merely a matter of looking ahead to glean insight – for what is scrawled on the pages of time will not change. Those like your Miori know this well enough. Destiny is, after all, pre-ordained."
Staring at Him, I knew not how to respond to His words…and then I sighed, and bowed to Him, "Very well. I shall bear this Messiah of Yours. That is what he will be, correct?"
"You always were quite clever, Moon Blessed."
As He began to drift away, I cried out, "But why me, Arceus? You could have chosen anyone else to give this honor to, someone who would not have fought with You over it."
He paused…and then said, "It is because you argued with me that I chose you. Free will is endearing to me, and utterly essential in the babe. Furthermore…you have a strong heart, Lunaris. It endured unspeakable atrocities and losses during the war, and still came out of its evils capable of grieving – and not just for your own kind. You wept for your enemy too, cried because like your child-to-come, they are fated to wander, to roam throughout time and space without hope. That, Moon Blessed, and your mate is incredibly powerful. He has an acid tongue to add – he used some rather humorously choice words in trying to deny me just as you attempted to. For that, I commend you both – you are precisely the type of beings I will the Messiah to come forth from. Your traits, I know, shall be potent within him…."
With those words, He disappeared, and within my den, I jolted awake, my mate already risen at my side. As if my heat had already flared to life in my core, I felt a deep, desperate need to be with him. Was I the last who could still feel this way? I was certain that must be so…after all, try as they might, the others had failed to conceive whenever they had tried. Yet Fir and I were the exceptions – Arceus had left us the means to create one last child, one final, untainted kit of our kind….
We mated before we could begin to doubt the justice and mercy of it….
One by one, each Mew within the last haven woke from their dreams as they felt the faint pulse of a new life coming into being. Initially, many of their number could not recognize the beat for what it was…it had been so terribly long since a new child of their race had been formed. Then, almost all at once, they realized what the faint glimmer of energy meant: their prayers had been answered. A blessed child was created…the Mew legacy had finally been formed. And for the first time in over a century, the Mews felt an emotion they'd believed lost since the war and the resulting plague began….
5:7 – Brother, My Brother.
By the time the last child was born, Miori had fallen ill – yet all the same, she came to Lunaris and Fir in order to look upon the Messiah's face and do her sacred duty. Her verdict was that the son would merely be called 'Mew', for that was what he would become in the end – the Mew, not a Mew. The parents accepted her words with grace, agreeing that such a thing was proper, though the seer knew they would undoubtedly lavish him with pet callings nevertheless. He was, after all, quite the darling little boy – pale-pink fur, sky-blue eyes, with a high chirp that sounded like a chime…and with immense potential locked away in his quickened heart. He could do anything he wanted, Miori knew – he was Arceus' chosen Messiah of the pokemon world…the savior and "ancestor" of all.
As Miori succumbed to the disease like so many before her, she did so with a smile on her face, and whispered, "Well, shadows of our race to come…your sibling is born."
And even as Lunaris felt her friend perish, she could not help but continue smiling with watery eyes at the little one nursing at her breast, and nuzzling him, she murmured, "You have been touched by our god, my Mew…blessed by Arceus Himself. Welcome to the world, my dear."
The hallowed one cuddled into her fur and continued to suckle….
Several years later he flew after Akiko in the area that humans would later call the Andes Mountain Range. Of all the activities the young one enjoyed pursing, whether it was learning of the lore of his race or being taught new abilities by the others, he loved exploring the world with his playful older brother the most. Being spoiled and cherished by everyone else was amusing, yes, but with his sibling, he could be the imp he longed to be. For Akiko expected no wonders from him, and treated him with respect without practically worshipping him. For that, Mew held the time he was able to spend with Akiko very precious. As the elder son sped ahead of him, Mew tailed him closely, asking him where they were heading: Into forbidden caves? To secret springs? To glens full of starlight-kissed flowers? Akiko merely grinned at the inquiries, and in a hushed voice, he said that they were going to spy on a unique and strange group of creatures called 'humans'. He described them to be something like termites – making home from stone, wood, and mud, and led by those they deemed to be royalty. They walked on two legs, spoke in odd tongues, and appeared to be incredibly weak and frail when compared to any pokemon – but despite that, they seemed to thrive, and their numbers swell. Akiko believe whole-heartedly that they had great potential, for they had creative ways of manipulating their environment that made up for their inability to conduct the elements.
Best of all, they viewed the beings around them as magical and holy – they thought of their kind as gods! So Akiko delighted in visiting them and helping them out when they were stuck with something. The interactions entertained him, and they seemed rather harmless enough. Mew could tell the race held a special place in his sibling's heart, and soon enough, he comprehended why. They were intriguing creatures, and often gave them shiny trinkets to play with and sugary snacks to munch on when they appeared. Other pokemon seemed to have taken note of this treatment as well, and many appeared to be aiding the infant species out of appreciated compassion.
Mew liked the evident symbiotic relationship he saw – and he rather liked the humans too for providing that. In a way, they rather reminded him of his own race, in cultural and social aspects... Except that sometimes they were rather more aggressive than he was used to. Still, they never turned that animosity unto them, instead treating them with a hefty deal of wonder and respect…and that alone gave him solace.
Yet as more of the last Mew Gens began to burn away from Aestuo, he found little delight in the odd ways of the humans. Instead, he only wept as his teachers, friends, and extended family withered and died. As he and Akiko practice Transforming in one of the meadows within the Tree of Beginnings, he asked fearfully if they too would soon be killed by the Burning Plague. At first, his brother did not respond…yet then he smiled a little sadly, and shook his head, "No – I promise you, little brother, Aestuo will not take us too."
Yet finally, their number was reduced to only that of the "holy family." Their father, Fir, was the first of them to sicken and die, and in her grief over loosing her mate, their mother began to weaken and burn not long after his death. Before the virus forced her to follow her mate into the next world, she smiled with difficulty and gave her first child a gift – her memories. Something of old must be kept alive – the story of their race's last years must not be allowed to die with the Guardians of the Earth. She gave the tales to him, and murmured that when Mew was ready, he should receive them from him. The Messiah knew their legends, their fairytales, their greatest skills, but he needed to know what had led them to this end as well. When he was mature enough to understand, he needed to know, more than anything else, why he had been born….
Then she perished, and the brothers were all that was left of their kind. After the funeral ceremony of fire and song, they left behind the Tree of Beginnings, for though part of Mew was forever bound there, the place contained too much recent loss to linger within. So they returned to the Andes Region, the only other place Akiko knew home to be. For the sake of his little brother, he tried to remain cheerful and comforting, but he knew it would not be long before he went to join their deceased parents. Yet for now, he would continue to coach Mew on how to use his powers – for soon enough, there would be no one remaining to teach him their subtleties.
Within a few years, the last tainted Mew fell into sickness – try as he might to escape Aestuo, it had finally caught him, murdering him despite the promise he had made to his younger sibling that the plague would not succeed in defeating him. Now that his lie was clear to the child, Akiko told the boy the truth: that he was special, and now had earned the right to carry Lunaris' final gift to him – her memories of her life, the war, and its accursed aftermath – so Mew could understand, and never forget of all their kind had done to preserve the Earth….
Now…it was his turn to be the defender.
After Akiko had left him behind just as all the others had, Mew could not cease his crying. He was only a child, and the concept of being the only member left of his kind was too great a burden to bear and believe in, too heavy, in fact, to allow most creatures to retain some semblance of sanity with it lingering over them. So in his grief, the young one turned to the two things all those who gazed into the dark abyss of their own heart must seek for solace: an Almighty one, and to denial. For Mew's memory stretched back decades now, his own memories since his birth reinforced with those of his mother's. He recalled well her words to him on his birthing day, and as a lunar eclipse set into play above him, marking the day of endings, he slept under the light of the bloody moon and demanded within his dreams that Arceus, the god who had 'blessed' him, to show Himself and explain what He had allowed to occur.
In the grey zone of imagination, stretching in a thin plane between life and death, the deity came into the light of the emotional being, gazing down without a word at the weeping child, His chosen one. The nameless Mew glared up at Him before floating into the direct gaze of those sharp, fathomless eyes, his tail hanging limply behind him – he promptly began to shriek for answers, spitting venom at the Creator. The god remained quiet as the young one had his tirade, and after the little one had calmed himself, He answered his pleas.
"'Why did they have to die?' 'Why did I not save them?' Mew, it was not my place to intervene in the fate of your kind. All I could do was give them their miracle: you. Understand, young one, I grieve over the loss of them as much as you do – they were the remnants of my first and most beloved creation…the descendants of my first child. You only saw a fraction of them perish, but I felt each of them fade into oblivion – save for you, who I defended and saved for what is to come. The future needs you, Mew….the world needs you. You are a savior…and ultimately, saviors must experience great loss and sacrifice before they learn of compassion…and of love."
Yet like Lunaris before him, the entity's words gave Mew no comfort, "You…You took them all away from me! Every being I cared about is dead now because You wouldn't-! I…I don't have a heart anymore to give a damn about with, You-You horrible-!"
"Such strong words…I know it will be hard for you, and for that, you have my sympathies. But you shall triumph through this, I assure you – if you do not, you will have no hope of saving what shall come of your lost race. Keep that in mind, Mew."
The child's head snapped upwards, "…What? But how can something else come of my kind if I am the last…?"
The Almighty was silent…but Mew gleaned something of what He truly meant from His eternal mind.
And slowly, the child shook his head, his breath catching, "No…You mean someone, not something, don't You?"
Arceus close His eyes…for though He had told Lunaris the truth about what Mew now suggested, the verity of the matter had been the one thing she had held back from her children. The Creator had expected as much from her, and only murmured to the confused one, "In time, you will understand…but it will take many years, Mew - more than you can possibly imagine. I suggest that you rest, child…for innumerable millennia of loneliness will drive you mad unless you spend some of it in sleep."
But Mew was no longer listening – he shook his head, something akin to defiance stirring in his breast, rapid as the beating of his heart, "N-no! The only way anything can come from my kind is if I'm not the only one left. You've been telling me that I'm the last…but You've been lying,haven't You? You didn't feel them all die, did You? Someone…someone must have found a way to escape the plague! A feral one – a recluse – why didn't You tell anyone-?"
"No! I-I won't listen to You anymore! I can wait an eternity for whatever is to come of my species, and in the meantime, I can find its source! I will find whoever You're trying to hide from me, I swear to You that!"
In that perilous moment, Arceus understood that He had lost the child, that His intended comforting words had been twisted in the frenzied mind of the desperate one. He had no means of conveying reality to the kitten – for how could he understand that the humans, the strange, bizarre race, would come to wield His own power in time? How could He possibly explain that it was not from a living Mew that the shadows of the Mew race would spawn from, but from a shard of the dead? The Messiah was far too young to comprehend such things…so the god was silent as the little one left, turning to what would be futile and fruitless search to give him purpose and hope. Mew was all that remained…after a few centuries had passed, he would realize that…and then the true test of his strength to live on would begin….
For now, Mew merely awoke and took his brother's body to where Akiko had wished to be laid to rest – in the Andes, the true home of Gens Divum, near the humans, who had such odd ways of presiding over their sacred dead: they entombed their special ones. Mew thought it fitting that his brother should be honored in a similar manner, for he had loved the humans so deeply. As he made his desires to the infant race clear, its hollowed members led Mew to the temple they'd begun to build for his race. Within its innermost chamber, Mew buried his brother…and then sealed the room from the outside world. He had forfeited tradition for sentimentality…and in that act, insured the future creation of his 'siblings'….
As Arceus had known, Mew's quest failed. Over the many years, he found no others of his race, no matter how hard he searched and called out for them. Upon hearing his increasingly weak and pitiful pleas, other pokemon took pity on the lonely child, inviting him into their own clans, their packs, their versions of Gens. Albeit reluctantly, he joined their ranks, allowing them to teach him of the world that had been formed after the war had ended. He learned their lessons well, but living among them did not make him feel any more at home or complete – how could he ever feel such things when he belonged nowhere now?
Eventually, Mew reached something of a turning point, a revelation among his repetitive thoughts: if he could not be with his own kind, why must he stay a Mew? Following the techniques that his late brother had taught him, he began to alter shape and gender – his first long run as a feral creature being in the form of the dark wolf Mightyena. The pack he joined was initially wary of him, of his unbelievable strength in his youth, but they accepted him into their fold. Strong, healthy hunters were always welcome, after all. Together, the group and he brought down their dinners, sung to Arceus in the firmament above in thanks, frolicked in play, and raised the pups of the Alphas. Though he himself took a mate, a sleek female named Granite Eyes, they bore no children – it seemed that no matter how they mated, how he seeded her womb, conception between them was impossible. Yet wolves pair for life – she was with him until she died, loving him until her own life faded from her body.
And recalling her, Mew could bear nothing more of the presence of the great wolves. So he took to wing and the wind instead. This time he (she) took on female form, and the Pidgeot who came to soar with her admired her for her differences in attitude and soul. Mew grew fond of that eagle for his kindness and humor, and submitted herself to the powerful flier after several years dwelling in his forest. It felt strange, but not entirely unpleasant, to mate in the form of a female…and for a time, Mew found happiness with another again.
But Golden Feather too withered and died just as her previous lover had – and just as before, Mew moved on, changing into a cold-blooded dragon to cope with the pain. Surely, they, with their icy bodies and slow hearts, knew nothing of love and the anguish that came from loosing a mate? Surely, they did not bind themselves to their match for life? But even here, the wanderer failed not to grow attached – this time he had returned to male form, stronger and capable of driving any interested female away…but then another, stronger male came to his side, weary of the surly will of the reptilian females. Making love with this creature was unlike any pleasure before it – in the very act of physical bliss, Mew came to adore the Garchomp, delighting in his clever mind and smooth form.
And while he lived for several centuries with Mew, eventually, he too crumbled with age into dust. Mew roared his agony and sorrow into the tempest storming above his lover's corpse and returned to feline form, weeping bitterly. What use was it for him to find a mate to spend his long years with? He lost them all in time! It mattered not how strong or majestic they were…none could match his own longevity, and so he was cursed to watch as they eroded in the passing of decades. No…he could not stand this grief any longer! He would end this now – he would have no more of mates and mating…no more fruitless unions. No more….
But loneliness was not something Mew could long endure. So he made friends. He found other legendaries and learned their ways and behaviors. He played among them, mimicked their complex skills…but in time, their banal, unchanging mannerisms began to bore and discontent him. He left their company, and did the last thing the pokemon's Messiah should do – he turned his eyes away from them all. Not that it mattered then – so far, they had needed nothing of their savior. And there was another species to be intrigued with besides, another to watch and take delight in:
Their technology and society were swiftly evolving things – many pokemon had come into their services by this point to gain the benefits of a relationship with members of their kind. The infant race was still young, but they had structure to their Gens now: they had kingdoms…one of which was next to the Tree of Beginnings. Mew spied upon the humans nearest to his first home with eager, hungry eyes, savoring their interactions. Once or twice, he even took on the form of a human woman, teasing and flirting with men and women alike – it felt good after his long-held hiatus. But he never let them get too close to him. He always disappeared before any could touch him.
Yet soon enough, he could not help but find himself caring for one of them, and in the deep way he had told himself never to feel again – and she was their princess, their royal female. She had such warmth to her soul, a gentle, accepting, kind aura that embraced even the lowest of her kind and those of pokemon. He watched her heal the wounds of those who came to her countless times, washing their forms and bandaging their hurts. She had a gift for it, using herbal remedies and berries, and she did not consider the risks she took in getting so near to the diseased ones. And as if her own god favored her, she never sickened. Much like him, she seemed to be blessed with good health. Her brother, less than a year her junior, seemed terribly jealous of this fact, for he was always sickly and ill-tempered. Her younger sister took delight in her however, and always managed to cheer the young man up. Their parents though, were growing old – the woman, as soon as she married, would be the queen-to-be.
Abigail, for that was her name, had numerous suitors…but she turned each one that came down. However, somehow, none left bitter. She struck Mew as a curiosity, and he found himself stalking her with growing intensity. As an outbreak of leprosy struck, he began to go to her side in different pokemon forms, bringing her special plants to sooth and cure them. At first, she was greatly surprised by the gesture, then pleased, and seemed to sense that he was the same being beneath his exterior shape. She called him her 'fairy', and spoke with him as she worked. Her alto voice was faintly musical, and the soft lullaby of it delighted him. He came to love her as time went by, and as he had become accustomed to, he thought nothing wrong of such cross-species affection. Having never known differently, he held no prejudice or contempt for such emotions. Love was love, and that was all there was to the matter.
Yet he kept his distance…he never became human around her in those early years. All he did to indicate his identity was to keep the color of his eyes the same shade of blue during his visits – an unnecessary thing, but one made for her sake. As epidemic after epidemic passed, he continued to watch over her, guarding her when need be. He was her angel in this manner. Time passed…and eventually, he decided to allow himself to belong to another again. It had been so long since he had felt the touch of another being, too long in fact. So he took the shape of a human man her age, with magenta hair and wrapped in traveling cloaks. He doubted he would ever forget how her eyes widened when he came to her in her garden, or how she smiled as she stood to meet him. In the tongue of her kind and laughing quietly, she whispered, "What type of being are you that you can change so? Who are you, fairy?"
Her hands were dirty when he took them in his, but he did not care, "…I am Mew. Beyond that, I cannot explain it – at times, I don't even know!"
She caught the inflection of humor in his voice and grinned, "I see. Well Mew, perhaps you will show me your true self sometime. But I think I'll be content with this for now."
To his surprise, she leaned upwards and pressed her mouth to his in the human version of a kiss. After a moment, he held her, cradling her lips in return – it felt wonderful, and tasted faintly sweet. The joy only increased as he thought on what it meant: for she knew he was not human, yet accepted him anyhow. Perhaps she had always known that he was more than his appearance dictated….
A few months later, Mew married her. Protest had surrounded their union, and many hissed that he was a foreign spell-caster who had bewitched her, for how else could she have come to adore a complete stranger (and a peasant no less!) so swiftly? But his easy laughter and warm heart soothed the people in time – for at the very least, he made their future leader happy.
Their wedding night itself had been wondrous beyond what he could have imagined…for humans mated far longer than any pokemon, drawing the singular experience out…he had enjoyed ever inch of her pale, smooth skin, the silky softness of her sunshine hair, the way she'd cried out in joy and bliss. He'd delighted in how she gazed up at him, her eyes alight with love and adore…she was his bride, his wife, his mate. Each time he murmured her name, he felt closer to her, as if the people were right, though not in the way they thought…for if anything, she had been the enchanter….
And when she asked, he showed her what he truly was…and she had laughed with glee upon seeing how adorable he was in reality, and had calmly accepted his words when he told her he could give her no children. She did not seem to care overly much, at least not enough to try to break the bonds they'd formed between them. She had suspected as much in choosing him as her own, and cared for him regardless that being with him meant that she would never be a mother.
Years passed by…and Mew allowed himself to be lost in the illusion of his humanity. He paid no mind to how others spoke of them, or how they demanded an heir. His only concerns were for Abigail…he heeded her words, and very rarely did they ever find a situation in which they bickered over. His life with her seemed something of a perfect dream to him, an unflawed distraction from the truth of his existence. And in the moments when he thought on that, he merely prayed to Arceus to be kind, to let him grow old and die with her as he had never been capable of doing with any of his other lovers. This woman was all he wanted…all he needed to be content with living. With her, he could forget what he really was…and that was all he really wanted to do. To forget….
But like so many incidences before it, such a thing was not to be.
There came to be a time when Abigail's brother wanted the throne, lusting for the right to rule to an extent where he would resort to murder to take power. In his quest to become the ruling force, he poisoned Abigail's and Mew's wine goblets with doses of toxin lethal to any human, no matter how strong they might be. Yet Mew, being what he was, did not suffer anything but a mild sickness…but his bride was not so fortunate. Within hours, she lay on her deathbed, whispering for Mew and her sister not to cry. Yet Mew had always carried in himself a soft heart, no matter how he'd tried to turn it to stone – he could not help but weep for his beloved. When she at last died, terribly confused and distressed, he did not even get the chance to grieve over her properly, for all of the rumors that had been gathering about him had gained a physical force in the death of the queen-to-be. Why had he not aged as she had? Why had the poison not killed him too? All the signs of his power where he had slipped up in previous years now returned to haunt him, pointing the entire society to one conclusion: he was a witch. A sorcerer! And they refused to suffer him to live.
With them screaming their intentions at him and throwing heavy stones at his back, Mew fled into the forests, away from their torches, their swords and daggers, their pitchforks and the arrows being shot his way. Even the other pokemon, usually so kind to him, attacked, snarling at him and snapping their jaws at his fragile human flesh and clawing at his hair whenever they swooped down from the black sky. He had dwelled so long in this form that Transforming back into his true body was difficult, slow and agonizing, nearly impossible in truth. Yet eventually he succeeded, and soared as swiftly as he could manage from their wrath, the names they had called him becoming whispers that hissed in his mind: Monster! Abomination! Ghoul! Phantom!
'Phantom'…so many others had called him that over the centuries. Perhaps that was what he truly was: a shadow of a once great and wondrous light. In his grief and anguish, despair consumed his heart. He only wanted to die, but Arceus would not allow such a thing. Not yet…. With that horrible realization settling upon him, Mew desired only to sleep and never wake up. To rest forever, untouched by time….
So that was what Mew did. As the god had advised him to do so many years before, he fell into empty dreams…only to awaken over half a millennia later to a vastly changed world. There he roamed for several decades…but the sadness of his existence only returned. So again, he slept…and again…and again, in a cycle that only sickened his weary heart. Immortality, he thought, was no blessing - it was nothing less than a curse if you have no one to spend eternity with, for you were forced to see all you loved turn to dust before your eyes. Lovers and friends die; civilizations and beloved peaks crumble in ruin. Everything ended and began again, in a series of decay and rebirth…except for Arceus and himself. Yes, there were a few, select others who defied the years with ease, but Mew was so different from them, and they interested him not. For unlike them, he lived presently within the world, he had once possessed a family…but now that was gone, unable to ever be drawn back again.
Finally, Mew surrendered, letting himself fall into an abyss that his Almighty had tried to spare him from….
"…They are all dead, Arceus…it's been so long that I can't even remember most of their names! Please…please, please tell me, did they matter in the end? Do I…?"
The answer came gently, "…If they did not, Messiah, they would never have lived. Now rest child…the world will be a brighter place when you next awaken…."
And doubting that, Mew smiled with a terrible sadness, "…Arceus…I know my true name now, the name You denied them to name me out of compassion. It is 'Solitude'…for I am like you…always alone…."
With those words, he fell into the endless black of an almost comatose unconsciousness, waking scarcely a handful of instances when his presence had been needed...until nearly two thousand years after the birth of humanity's own savior, not half a decade before the dawn of a new millennium. The darkness had embraced him far longer this time than ever before, its only breakings to reality few and far between...and in that moment as he began to stir to life again, he did not understand his senses or his thoughts. What had drawn him back into wakefulness…? Why…? Soon enough, he sensed his answer: the humans, different now, and advanced far beyond reasonable comprehension, were invading the sacred ruins of the extinct civilization of the Andes Rainforest. Among the holy temples, they were searching for something…as he had so very long ago, they were searching for some remnant of a Mew. He followed them, watching their progress, watching as the wandered into the now exposed chamber where his brother had been laid to rest. There they found a fossil of the long dead one…and Mew, uncaring anymore, let them have it. And as a result, not even a year later, Mew then understood what Arceus had once told him about something new coming from his race. A clone, a shadow of the great species, had come into life…in a manner, his brother reborn. Different now…but in ways he could never explain to himself or to the chaotic child, still his brother.
Now Mew would watch over him…and the girl too, when she also came to be – for that was the duty of an older sibling: to protect the ones who come after you. And finally, no longer was he 'Solitude'. He was just 'Mew', and that was enough….
7:7 – Not Alone.
Evetwo's questioning voice broke Mew from her (his) thoughts, the girl asking her older "sister" if something was wrong. Realizing her happy mask had slipped, Mew forced out a chuckle, repressing her emotions to take some joy in the child, the sibling before her.
"Nah, Eve. I'm perfectly fine – no worries kiddo! I'm just thinking about you brother's stupidity, that's all."
The once-human girl seemed to repress a smirk, while Mewtwo glared openly, his tail lashing angrily at the comment. Mew only shrugged and left it at that, watching as Ellie pounced on the young feline, having been rudely interrupted in her braiding. As seconds passed of struggling, the young females tussled: Evetwo in protest of Ellie's hair tugging, the other child in determination to have her way with those long, violet strands of hair. The playful sight made the ancient being grin, giving her some much-needed solace...for what was more beautiful and delightful than to witness two children having innocent fun?
Meeting Mewtwo's eyes, she wondered vaguely how long this could last, and what was to come. Arceus had been correct in His thoughts all those centuries ago: she had something to survive for now, to guard with each breath she took into her lungs. This new family, no matter how dysfunctional, was hers…and she belonged among them, no matter what they might think at times. After all the years of waiting, she was a true part of something once more…finally, she…she had a home in them.
She prayed that would never change….
Author's Note:…And there you have it folks. A little whimsical towards the end, but other than that…I enjoyed myself making this. Maybe I'll write something for the gender-bending kitty again sometime. At any rate, please leave a review.
- WiseAbsol, aka Abby.