The Prologue and chapters one to five have been edited for the purpose of new readers only. If you are a returning reader, I would suggest jumping to the newest chapter.

As some of you may have already known, I rushed when writing these first few chapters; I completed two or three of them per day. Due to complaints from readers, I decided to revise the chapters for the sake of new readers. If you are a returning reader, there will be little value in reading these again; I have not changed the plot.

However, I will not be revising these chapters again. If you encounter a typo that you would like to be fixed, send me a PM with the specific sentence and the chapter's number/name so that I may correct the mistake for future readers. I do not appreciate reviews with comments such as, "This chapter had a lot of typos in it." Such information is absolutely useless to me; these types of "reviews" don't identify my mistakes, nor do they help improve the story. If you dislike my writing to such extremes, I would suggest that you cease reading and spend your time more efficiently (i.e. reviewing other stories written by authors who actually appreciate such remarks).

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon. However, my characters are of my own creation, so please do not use them without my permission. Moreover, I will give credit to any other member whose original character idea has been offered for use in this story.


Prologue: Never Say Never

Emergent potential amidst a dilute throng of experience… The image just didn't seem to fit, considering the circumstances. Progressively, most of the scientists left, leaving the young man and a few others to finish cleaning up, taking notes, and resetting the apparatus. The runt lamented it all as he extracted his work for future adjustments.

Of course they were all trained with evacuation procedures and such for the case of an emergency. It all seemed so pointless to the one, as it did for the whole. The evacuation drills were as overrated as the earthquake drills back at the academy; they weren't pragmatic anyways. Preparation no longer applies when chaos reigns and order dissolves… and nothing ever went wrong. Ever. Never.

Never say never.

The siren was bloody loud, roaring throughout the entire lab. He leapt up and knocked the machine to the ground. The word that his lips formed was drowned by the crimson emergency lights, which were also consuming the five-lettered disaster on the monitor.

As if that even made things worse anyways.

The tempest of confusion began commencing a pathetic little light show. He called for help, but everyone else was disillusioned. His curses were engulfed by the haze of recorded protocols. He fell back as the side panel bulged and smoke began to rise. Gathering what remained, he began keying away, trying to recover the data; it began to automatically reboot instead. The bewildered researchers exclaimed their mumbles, furious with the uproar. They all agreed that this never happened Never say never.

Abruptly, the lights appeared to dims significantly and also change source; the emergency lights were on, meaning that the lab's private generator was covering for the loss in mainstream power. That particular machine didn't stop; it wouldn't, it shouldn't, and it will not.

It pierced the air; correspondingly, cries were made, as if people couldn't already tell what had just happened. However, he didn't turn until the main door was blown several metres across the room, smashing a man into a work desk. His soul had already absconded from the gory vessel. He had found favour; he had been spared.

Some remained petrified. The others dashed to the body, desperately trying to save what belonged to he who was waving, not drowning.

Ironic.

I don't know what I should've felt at the time. I don't actually remember… I guess stuff like that happens. I mean, who would want to remember it? I guess that I'm a coward who can't just confront the son, the father of the man. That's all that I can do: guess and check and despair.

I liked all of these people around me to some degree. People...

The regret, the far, the perplexity… It was all there, but not really. After all… Well, it's too late anyways.

I guess that I unloaded the data chip just before the group of pitch-black figured flooded the room with weaponry that appeared to originate from a level, a bar in the future that humanity may never desire to achieve. Nobody moved; at least one barrel was aimed at each of our heads. I couldn't see a face. No one was breathing. I shifted my eyes, but it looked as if this was the end. I lifted my hands above my head, as did the others, but I moved my arms in such a way that some tears were wiped off of my face as well. However, I couldn't afford trying to reach behind my glasses. I was crying, yet who wouldn't?

Wouldn't.

Couldn't.

Shouldn't.

Someone new entered while all we could do was watch. It was then that I noticed that the emergency system was deactivated and everything looked as normal (excluding the dead body, the detached door, and the miniature army). He was wearing a pure white labcoat, and he kept his hands behind his back. I couldn't see his eyes because he was wearing pitch-black shades. His hair was a shade of brown, but I can't recall the exact details. My eyes were wet, and… Things were different back then… His face bore no expression, but a sadistic, deluded grin gradually emerged.

He brought his hands together, and the dim sound of a light but highly exaggerated clap resonated throughout the room. "Well done, well done," he said in a sluggish voice.

He was taunting us; he broke into the main headquarters, killed one of us, and then mocked us.

"A little Pidgey told me that you were developing the technology here..." he began. Pause. "I was waiting. Simply waiting. But I guess you finished earlier than I had originally anticipated. Perhaps this is one of the scarce locations I am glad that my hypothesis was incorrect."

He looked at me and probably noticed the panic, the anxiety smeared over my body. I knew what he was after, and thoughts formed as a cyclone in my mind. Possibilities, predictions, facts, assumptions, boundaries, restrictions, conditions, truth…

I realised that he knew about the project. He couldn't have, but it somehow happened anyways. I began to wonder if my program would still function properly enough to complete one single sequence…

And...

then...

I began to fear for what would become of me once if it all collapsed back down.

His voice rose to a frighteningly enthused pitch. "These new developments have the power to change the world! It's sooo fortunate that you completed the most troublesome part for me." He brought his hands together, and it soon thinned out, quickly absorbed into the tense air. I sucked another gasp into my chest, feeling, sensing, every single component of my body, every piece of myself and my being.

It was so evidently obvious what they would try to do, but I could only fear what it will lead to and where it would end.

We should all be dead now.

Yet we're not.

Because he knew.

I let out a pitiful whimper.

I wept in silence.

I wept not only because of my current situation, but that it was all I could do in my final moments and thus what would become chiselled into my remains.

"Shall we begin?"

begin