Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
A/N: One of the things I like to do as an author is do a character study for my Ocs. For those who don't know what this is, this is a way for me to flesh my characters and delve into their psyches. It also helps me to prevent the creation of Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus. Gweneth Hylar is an OC from my upcoming fic, "Aura Knight" (unimaginative title yes, but it says what I need it to say). She is an Aura Knight (or Aura Guardian, they're the same thing in my book) and a important character in my story. This takes place before the events in "Aura Knight"
The cinders from the pyre rose in to the night sky, mingling with the stars. Gweneth Hylar stared into the flames, as if peering intensely into the flames would bring Markus, her Staraptor, back. Apollo, her Lucario, took her hand in an effort to comfort her, the rest of her team huddling close to her. She drew comfort in their warmth and their love, but she knew that those things wouldn't bring him back.
He was her first pokemon she caught, a sick little Starly that took very little effort to catch (naively she had thought that catching all pokemon was that easy). He always caught some sort of illness or another as a Starly and Staravia. She remembered the countless nights her and her team would stay up, nursing him back to health. Then he evolved and it was like he had gained a completely new body. As a Staraptor, he was strong and hale, brave and loyal to a fault. He led her to countless victories with only his courage and strength. It was as if the legendaries took pity on him and granted him a new body, one of power and vitality.
The flames leaped higher and higher as they consumed the body of her fallen comrade. In her grief-stricken mind she wondered if his spirit was soaring into the clear nigh sky, broken free of its mortal coil and now flying among the stars he so dearly loved.
He was the most jovial of her team, bringing a dose of carefree attitude in an oft somber group. To her, it seemed that his sickly days were behind them.
Then he had gotten ill a few weeks before the Sinnoh League. At first, she thought it was only a simple cough, nothing more. But it got worse, to the point that he had collapsed in mid flight during their training session, coughing up blood. The Nurse Joy there gave her somber news; that he had caught a virus that was almost always fatal to bird type pokemon, there was a very slim chance that he would beat it. She then whisked him away and hooked him up to numerous machine and tubes.
She nearly broke down again as she remembered the scene. The sounds of the machines, the smell of the antibacterial medicine and of the sterilization. Gweneth and her team kept a vigil in the room, even her Gyarados, but he was simply too big and instead laid outside the window. They prayed that he would get better.
Then, that night. Markus had asked Gweneth a favor, to unhook him from the machines and take him outside, so that he could die in peace, surrounded by the ones he loved most. She agreed, unable to bear watching in suffer. And so, with a heavy heart, Gweneth unhooked him from the machines and took him to a quiet field, away from the city and under his beloved stars. And there, while gently stroking his head, he passed away during the night.
She decided to give him a funeral pyre, after all, that was the tradition of the Aura Knights and he had proven himself a true warrior in her eyes. Besides, that's what he would have wanted, to let his remains fly to the stars.
And that is where they were now. The flames were now at a gentle smolder, almost completely consuming his corpse. The scent of the herbs that they laid down- in order to mask the odor of the burning flesh- filled the air, a complex scent of sweet and bitter.
There was no way she would enter the League now. She was one team member short (and therefore, at a disadvantage) and the competition would remind her of him. She would withdraw in the morning and leave the region, hoping to find her real meaning in her life.
But she was used to death. Her parents died when she was an infant and her older brother Erik died at the orphanage they were at, leaving her older sister Mary to take care of the two of them. Then a n Aura Knight adopted the two of them, claiming they possessed 'Aura'. And as an Aura Knight she was used to death, killing members of Team Rocket(who had wanted to kill or capture her) with the impunity of a battle hardened warrior.
This one, however, rattled deep down in her soul. Was this all she was destined for? Surrounded by death, whether it was her loved ones or her enemies? To be a Grim Reaper, to wield her twin swords as if they were scythes in a wheat field? Was this all she was meant for? It couldn't be, even though she wasn't convinced at the moment.
But there had to be something better, there just had to be. The flames were down to a pile of rapidly cooling ashes, which were then blown away by a gust of wind. "Fitting," she thought. The phrase 'ashes to ashes, dust to dust' popped in her head. Was this all they would end up as? Nothing more than a pile of ashes, to then be blown away by a puff of wind?
But Gweneth was stubborn and there was no way she would leave this world as a pushover, weak and destroyed by the atrocities of the world. No, she would go down fighting, wielding her twin swords and taking as many as she could with her. She would die a true warrior, just like Markus.
Gweneth squared her shoulders and strode away, clenching one of Markus's feathers that she kept, her team following her close behind. Tomorrow, she would withdraw from the competition and head to the Hoenn region, to find meaning in her life and her destiny.
A/N: Wow, I think that would have to be my best piece yet. I was practically bawling when I was typing the part about Markus dying. While my favorite type is the Dragon type, I have an abiding love for Staraptors, (I have one on my Platinum game named Horus) which is probably why this touched me so much