(A/N: This is my first story told in first person, so cut me some slack if there are any grammatical inconsistencies with tenses. I'll be working on this story simultaneously with my other Enigma Chronicles entry. Enjoy!)
Disclaimer: Pokémon and its characters are the property of The Pokemon Company, Game Freak, and Nintendo. I do not own any of the rights. This Disclaimer goes for not only this chapter, but the ones to follow.
The Enigma Chronicles - Echoes
Chapter 1: Slack Tide
Twenty Years Before Blessed Defiance...
Tossing my knapsack to the sand, I found myself sitting alone on the empty beach of the Olivine Shore, the sand so smooth it looked like a painting. But I touched it, felt the grains in the hollow of my palm, and knew this internal reality hadn't abandoned me; a psychopath could cherish the small things life. Not love... but cherish.
For a moment, I kept my eyes leveled with the sunset, reflecting on my recent past; here I was, a homeless youth of nineteen, having wandered the Johto Region for weeks without shelter or relishable food, with only my Gengar to keep me company, though I only rarely ever released it from its ball. But the irony was that I was enjoying this atypical seclusion. The isolation never felt so natural and genuine. Sure, I typically fancied my introverted customs, but the sheer abandonment at the hands of my adopted father and my so called best friend didn't appear to faze me, nor indulge me. This atmosphere... felt just... right. I liked being dead to the world; furthermore, I was wishing the world were more dead to ME. It was a kindred destiny, yet I was the only one capable of grasping such truth.
I decided that perhaps I was born to be a castoff, for it was all society could ever view me as. And no, I didn't care in the slightest what any of them thought of me. They weren't in any position to judge, those brainless hypocrites. But neither was I. We were all the same, but only in a primal sense. Civilization had long ago lost touch with its primitive roots. So now the world was just sphere of lies and disillusions. And all I wanted to do was trigger the cracks in the perfect society...
Pushing those thoughts aside, another little trinket caught my eye. Just off the olivine waters, a purple Shellder carapace lay half-buried in the thickening sand, and I slowly bent forward to reach for it. I picked it up, letting my hand linger in the foam to wash away the sand grains. And as it sat in my palm, I ran my thumb over the many curves and swirls, smooth under my skin. I held it up to the horizon and found that its interior had been all but abandoned by its previous Pokémon inhabitant. Poor thing, I suppose.
But truth to be told, this wasn't the first time I made connection with the shoreline and its offerings. Holding the empty shell closer to my observant gaze, I began to dwell in my childhood as I remembered the trips to the beach that my father would take me on when I was just a boy. And while Clint and the other schoolchildren would frolic and splash till their hearts content, I'd keep my distance from their pointless merriment and spend my time prowling the coast for seashells, for I was so intimately drawn to them for reasons I still can't quite assay; they just... appealed to me.
I opened my eyes, turning my gaze to skim above the horizon, squinting in the late afternoon light to see a Wingull tearing high through the graying sky. Gradually becoming aware of the dramatic shift in the weather, I rose to my feet, my sights held to the blackening heavens of the planet. Heavy storm clouds rolled restlessly above, the air thick with moisture. Dark, angry gray stretched endlessly across the sky for as far as thee I could see, and I could only imagine the crimson-eyed visage of my wildest dreams slowly receding from that torrid cluster of clouds. Clint had foiled those dreams, so I'd have to make do with mental figments.
Turning my head slightly, I spotted a lighthouse further down the shoreline. Its beacon lights didn't appear to be working. "That'll do.", I thought to myself in a throaty narrative. Instantly, I grabbed my knapsack and began walking towards the distant structure, doing so in nonchalance. And my imagination continued to recreate the storm above me.
When I reached the very top of the lighthouse, I stood beneath the drumming thunder and howling winds, and leaned forward against the railing, watching rhythmic breaking of restless waves crashing against the rocks and shore below. Then I stepped onto the first bar railing, and slowly raised my chin so that I was face to face with the storm. I gazed into the charcoal clouds, longing for those those insidious red eyes to emerge from their depths.
But alas, I knew it wasn't meant to be. However, I wanted to imagine it again; I wanted to picture myself poised between the glaring jewels of the winged behemoth! Closing my eyes, I stretched my arms out with a grim smile and stepped up onto the second bar; my waist was at the edge of the rail. I didn't care what happened next, for the images in my mind were too potent now! A crack of thunder hissed into my ears, and even with my eyes shut I could a see a flash of white barreling towards my erect posture!
But before I could I be struck, I felt the Aura. Her Aura! And then a hand grabbed my wrist and hauled me from the railing. Opening my eyes, I found that Anna was in my place, taking the lighting strike head on with a spume of protective Aura helping to sustain her from the immediacy of the aerial damage!
Once she had acquired full reign of the electrical stream through her Aura, she absorbed the energy into her body, allowing the subdued voltage to run through her veins and restore her strength! She then released her hold on the thread of lightning to let it vaporize in thin air.
I wasn't impressed; I had to give her inborn Cho'moken the credit for such a heart-stopping performance at my expense. But I kept my mouth shut. Maybe it was because I was fond of her company, not that I even knew how or why she had found me. It didn't matter.
"Were you trying to get yourself killed?", Her wavering voice shattered my contemplation.
I took a pause to carefully absorb her image. It had been years since I had last seen her, yet she had aged just as zealously as myself. She had eyes like ambers, hair like silken cobalt, skin as white as milk, and the face of a goddess; she was just as flawless I remembered her. Too bad appearances meant so little to me though.
"Dammit, Metsuma!", She hollered my name when she spotted a slight smile forming at the corners of my mouth. "I'm serious!"
The only way I could characterize Anna was as a childhood friend, moreso to Clint than myself. Years ago, my father had unearthed her Aura Abilities and decided to train her alongside Clint and I at his secreted laboratory. The bonding was admittedly pleasant, but I had become more withdrawn when I learned that she and Clint had developed innocent but tender feelings for one and other. The professor had sensed this and knew such emotions could provoke problems in Clint's training, so he sent her away. In retrospect, that was just around the time I had stumbled upon my father's secret research.
Thunder rumbled overhead. Minding this, Anna dragged me off into the tower's lantern room to escape the rain, and made it clear that we weren't leaving until the storm let up.
Fortunately, I had a change of clothes waiting in my bag. I followed Anna down the narrow, spiraling staircase and lifted my soaked shirt over my head to begin shedding my drenched clothes. I didn't care if Anna was looking or not, though I assumed she wasn't. She had yet to speak another word to me; I could only surmise that it was her hesitancy to express her bloated concern over my suicidal actions. Her Aura spelt all for my detection. Unlike me, she was so full of emotions.
It wasn't until I had finished dressing did she finally open her mouth. "Professor Wade had told me you left."
"Oh?", I uttered innocently, as if this weren't obvious.
She clearly wasn't interested in playing games. She leaned back against the wall, staring at me with hurt eyes. "What happened, Metsuma? And I want the truth."
I wondered what truth she had imaged. "I suppose you could say he gave me the boot.", My voice dropped down to a deep whisper. "He ousted me. Disowned me. Rejected me as his son and student." Some would call that tragedy. But I reflected on it like a wake-up call; Wade was no father.
She swallowed a lump in her throat, nervously asking the simple question, "Why?"
I exhaled, exasperated as I shook my head. I gave her knowing look, wanting her say the rest for me. She obviously knew the whole story. Why else would she be here? "Shed that mask, Anna. You're not fooling me. We both know why he expelled me." Indeed, I knew there was no reason for her to be here other than to condemn me.
Pushing off from the wall, she approached my side. Her voice fell grave. "That research wasn't meant for your eyes to see, Metsuma."
"Because Clint is the true prodigy, right?", I laughed gently, a hint of jealously in my tone. I guess that was one emotion I had learned to willingly adopt, but couldn't yet suppress. I needed that drive to keep Clint on my radar. But with all his accomplishments, it wouldn't be difficult to keep taps on him. He was the miracle child, after all. "My father adores him. Everyone does, yourself included." She shot me a perplexed glare, but I ignored it. "It's like I don't even exist."
She reached out and took my hand into hers, threading her fingers between mine. "This negative attitude of yours isn't very attractive.", She jested with a noteworthy simper. It was the first smile she had given throughout our exchange.
"Sorry to disappoint you.", I sighed, jerking away from her touch. I had no desire for her affection, nor anyone's. She could never be of any help to me, so I didn't hold back in voicing my charge of wrongdoing. "Any particular reason you're in Johto?"
I must have not said that coarsely enough, because now she was smiling at me ever so lovingly. "I... I came to see you."
I felt as though I were going to burst into a fit of laughter! But I managed to maintain my composure, given that I had no interest in dealing with her hysteria.
"And now that I know what's going on", She continued. "I want to help you..."
I rolled my eyes. "I don't need your help."
"You're homeless, Metsuma!", She spat in my face.
I merely smiled in return, which seemed to catch her off guard. "I didn't realize that was a crime.", I chuckled while shrugging."I prefer to be alone, anyway."
"Stop avoiding the subject!", She barked back, her eyes filling with both pity and disgust as she began to perceive just how alone I really was. "Look at you, Metsuma; you have no friends... no family... no goals..."
"I only have one goal.", I replied sternly.
Her brow furrowed. "Oh? And what's that?"
"To claim what's mine.", I whispered malevolently, sending chills down her spine; I knew this because my Aura had detected the sudden pattern of tremors rolling off of her back. "The prophecy belongs to me." I was emphasizing my point as if I actually gave a damn whether or not she cared. And I didn't disappoint, given her shift in expression.
Anna stared into my eyes, finding no explanation or sanity behind my words. And that was the problem right there; she could never understand my philosophy, nor taste the sweet freedom of the dawning chaos. But it truly was inevitable. I would make certain of that. Sure, it would take time... but there was no denying that my destiny would one day clash with Clint's. Giratina would be mine... the the world would finally succumb to the balance within chaos...
TO BE CONTINUED . . . .
(Next Chapter: The next chapter will pick up several years later. Metsuma will have finally gotten his life straightened out... but his sinister plans remain intact...)