Author's Note:

This story is a crossover, and that much is true. However, it is not a conventional crossover, in the sense that it was derived from two incredible pieces of fanfiction within the same fandom. Maybe, just maybe, we might see another fandom being worked into the mix later, but there's no promises on that.

Digital_Skitty's 'Pedestal'.

Crukix's 'Regret'.

I'm going to be a little honest here – I actually considered myself retired before I read Pedestal. All I had here was a sci-fi story for FFVII (it WILL be updated, Myshu, don't hit me...), which I was going to complete before pulling a vanishing act on FFN.

One day, I ended up back here somewhere near two in the morning, after some revision for that horrible, horrible paper – biochemistry's a bitch, it is. And by random chance, I searched for an OT story. I clicked in the first title to turn up, and well... I'm here now, aren't I?

Let me just make the disclaimer that none of the characters, etc. used in this story belong to me, save for the original characters (of which there will be a decent number). So you'll probably be seeing bits and pieces of the Pedestalverse and the Regretverse floating around in here eventually. Some of them may also be from one of my other stories, though I'm still undecided on who's to appear here (also attributable to Skitty – a pokemon crossover called 'Complex').

And now, without further ado, MasterShaper would like to present you with 'Memento'.

Strap yourselves in and get ready for the ride – hell knows I'm going to do my damned best to make it unique, and I do hope you'll enjoy the show.

Prologue

If there were two classes I always did enjoy, they would have been Training History and Training Basics. While I couldn't have been called a bright student by most definitions and remember gladly spending my mornings snoozing away in maths class, Training History saw me ranking among the top three in the class.

Training Basics, however, saw me consistently being at the top of class. So you'd probably understand what I mean when I say that I was – and still am - a pokemon freak. Those disgusting numbers and equations never stood a chance in comparison.

Like most other ten year-olds, I dreamed of the day when I would finally finish with school and receive my training license. The government had written a few new laws making it harder to get one, but the tests probably weren't that difficult, judging by the passing rate.

What did make me a little curious back then was the fact that no one seemed to ever remember what they were tested on, though. It was almost as if their memories of the testing had been blurred or otherwise completely forgotten.

But seriously, would you expect someone who just barely made it past their first decade to worry about such things?

Looking back, I realize just how naive I had been. Not just about the testing, but also regarding training itself.

Pokemon training was brutal. There, I said it. If there was one thing I learned rather quickly after starting my own training journey, it was that training definitely wasn't as sterile, predictable, and easy as the textbooks made it out to be.

Death, pain, shattered delusions, broken pedestals, and more pain. All part and parcel of being a trainer.

You might think that I was delirious when I said those things about training. Well, I wasn't – it was every bit as dark as I made it out to be. And yet, I wouldn't have given it up for anything in the world.

Emphasis on 'wouldn't'.

Why the doubt, you may ask? Well, that's all quite simple, really.

All you need to do is consider that life - even a trainer's - is nothing quite as scary as living with a bounty on your head.

xxx

The rain was coming down in sheets. Not droplets anymore, but sheets of water that came down to the earth with relentless force. Gutters were rendered invisible beneath several inches of water, and cars with stalled engines remained motionless on flooded streets. Occasionally, some surprisingly strong winds would blow this way or that, making the rain look like so many lace curtains billowing without windows to call their own.

Nobody in their right mind would be out during such a storm, and the streets were indeed empty.

Guess that classifies the three of us as lunatics, since we were running as fast as we could down one of those flooded streets.

As you might have guessed, running in several inches of water is never something advisable. Ian certainly got that knocked into his head when he slipped and fell face-first into the rushing rainwater.

"Get the fuck up and move!" Lucy shrieked as she almost tripped over him, her voice brely audible through the pouring rain. "Move it!"

He scrambled back to his feet, nearly falling back down a couple of times. "Shut it, Luce! You think I want to die?"

She didn't bother replying, instead grabbing him by the neck of his shirt and picking up her pace again. He stumbled a bit at first, but brought himself back up to speed and freed his collar from her grip. The two of them seemed about ready to kill each other, but somehow they managed to keep going.

Good for them.

We rounded a corner and found ourselves on a road heading to the edge of town. Up ahead, Mount Coronet towered over the forest that surrounded the sleepy hollow called Solaceon, its imposing mass visible even through the driving rain.

"Come on, you two!" I shouted back at them, barely able to hear my own words. "Just a bit further!"

Lucy and Ian, who had been facing the way were heading, saw him first. She let out a shocked gasp, and Ian tripped over his own feet in his haste to turn around. Only when I turned back did I see him, and it was all I could do to avoid falling over like Ian had.

There he was, standing in the rain, hands in his coat's pockets as they usually were. None of his pokemon were in our sights, but that didn't mean that they weren't within range – we'd learned that the hard way back in Celestic. Hell, the fact that he was there ahead of us meant that at least one of them was already out and about.

When the rain began to let up a little, it became clear that he had at least two pokemon out of their pokeballs already. How lovely.

"Shit!" Lucy cursed, even as the three of us began stepping backwards, slowly. "He's alone, do you think-"

"No way, Luce," I hissed, swatting her hand as she tried to unclip a pokeball from her belt. "Do you remember what he did to Gloria?"

Ian kept his eyes on our... friend. "He's coming closer, guys, and he's got company."

Lucy and I turned to take a look, and saw that Ian was right – our buddy in the trench coat was slowly walking towards us. A glowing red light was floating in the air next to him like a creepy, moving beacon, while something large and close to the ground was following him slowly.

"Head for the ruins," Ian said, just loud enough for the two of us to hear him. "Split up near the daycare, and head for the woods."

"Are you crazy?" Lucy snapped. "We could get lost in there, or worse!"

"Remember the clearing?" he said, somehow managing to sound calm. "We'll meet up there."

I nudged her in the side, and nodded. "Just do what he says. Better to die in the woods than... you know."

She looked downright furious for a moment, but that was it. "Alright, on three?"

"Three," Ian and I said in unison.

With that, we ran back the way we had come, causing the man in the trench coat to yell at our retreating backs. The rainstorm began to pick up on its intensity again, even as the ground shook beneath our feet. Rainwater sloshed about in the wake of the tremors, but still we managed to avoid falling over.

As we ran for the Solaceon ruins, the rain abruptly stopped.