*sound effects* (facial expressions) [actions] –if I was writing normally this would be in parentheses–

These are the rules for all of these before and after notes, thank you and enjoy the stupidity ( ;p )

Me: I can't believe I had to do this, I am not happy! ( -.- )

Plad: Well you have to admit those first two chapters, especially 1 were pretty weak

Me: But the information is important! ( ;n; )

Plink: Why didn't you just combine all three to begin with?

Me: Because I liked the different quotes, but now I had to get rid of them… [pouting]

Chapter 1: Break

"Tonight I start the fire

Tonight I break away

Break, away from everybody

Break, away from everything

If you can't stand the way this place is

Take yourself to higher places"

~Three Days Grace "Break"


Soft golden light streamed through an uncovered window onto the still sleeping form of a golden haired boy. He wasn't really a boy, he was 16 years old, but in sleep he looked so innocent and vulnerable that it was hard to think of him as anything else. He had clearly fallen asleep in the middle of reading; the hard corner of his book digging harshly into his cheek.

A harsh noise, somewhere between a beeping and a buzzing sound, filled the room. Slowly, the boy opened his eyes, which were a brilliant shade of gold. He reached over, soundlessly, to turn off the alarm; the pale skin of his arm, covered in countless eerily pale scars, almost glowed in the bright sunlight. Wearily he sat up, rubbing absently at his cheek, where the corner of his book had bit into it, as if he didn't really care. Truth was he didn't. Small pains didn't bother him at all, not anymore. He was used to much worse. He was far more concerned about his book; afraid that, in his sleep, he had damaged its precious pages. A quick check, though, discounted his fears. He got out of bed with great care and carefully placed the book back in its place on the shelf.

Despite his precaution his movements stirred the Espeon and Umbreon who always slept on the end of his bed. The Espeon jumped off the bed, trotted over to him, and rubbed lovingly against his legs.

"Hey, Dawn." The boy said sweetly, rubbing Dawn's head gently. "How ya doin' pretty girl?"

Dawn looked up at him, about to reply, saw the angry red mark on his cheek and became instantly upset.

"Ray! You're hurt!" She exclaimed with anxious worry.

As far as Ray knew he was the only person who could understand anything that a Pokémon said as well as if they were another human being. A little fact that, over the years, he had always kept to himself.

"What happened?" The Umbreon asked from where she still lay on the bed. Her voice was a little deeper than Dawn's and she had always been mellower than her sister, but her voice was no less concerned.

Ray laughed.

"Listen to you two. Anyone would swear I was beaten and bloody if they could hear you." He joked, "I just fell asleep on the book I was reading, that's all."

"Probably not the most pleasant way to be woken up." The Umbreon remarked.

"Actually, Eve, it was the alarm that woke me up. I can't believe that you two slept right through it."

"Alarm?" Dawn echoed, momentarily confused. Even now, months after he had started doing it, she couldn't seem to get over her shock.

Up until this year, Ray never would have dreamed of setting an alarm. He had had only two means of escaping, even for just a short while, the torturous reality of his life; reading and sleeping. The black abyss of sleep was the better of the two and the only reason her would ever have cut it short was if something happened to Dawn or Eve. But that was all in the past. He had left that horrible city, where he was born, and found a new life here in the Orre region. And, for the first time in his life, he was safe; surrounded by people who cared about him. Now, at long last, his life was a good one.

The day had been uneventful. Ray hadn't had any "assignments" that he needed to take care of, so he had spent the day with his Pokémon. Ray was the most successful snager in the Team Snagem organization. When the leaders of the team found a trainer who abused their Pokémon is was the job of Ray and the other snagers to take those Pokémon from that trainer.

It was close to dusk and Ray was walking quickly to his room, Dawn and Eve following close behind. The sound of someone saying his name stopped him in his tracks. It sounded like Viper, the first member of Team Snagem that he had ever met the one who had offered him this new, and better, life. Ray would have kept walking, were it not for the scornful mocking that had been in her tone when she said his name. What he heard next twisted his heart so painfully that he was sure it would shatter inside his chest.

"That boy has to be the most gullible person I've ever met." She laughed, a harsh, mocking sound. "He actually believes all that shit about us only taking Pokémon from evil trainers, and us 'caring about him'" she drawled in a demonically sweet tone, "The only thing I care about is power, and his skill as a trainer is the best tool we have for gaining more power."

"Yes," The person she was talking to agreed. "That was well spotted on your part. The more Pokémon he snags the more Shadow Pokémon we can create, and the more Shadow Pokémon we create the power we can obtain."

"Although I must admit," Viper spoke once more. "I do rather enjoy the whole enterprise. He loves Pokémon ever so much and he doesn't even realize that we're the only ones who are going to hurt the Pokémon he snags from other trainers."

Ray stumbled backwards, his eyes wide, his breath quick and ragged. He stood, paralyzed for a moment, shaking his head as if he could deny what he had just heard. He mouthed the word 'no' but no sound came with it, before he bolted to his room.

The second the door had closed behind him he fell, hard, onto his hands and knees, fighting the gripping nausea that had hit him with the realization of what he had learned. He had broken out in a cold sweat and was shaking violently. Dawn and Eve tried, in vain; to bring to him even the tiniest bit of solace, but Ray didn't seem to notice them at all.

Finally the guilt, the remorse, the pain of bitter realization became too, much for Ray to bear. Luckily he had not eaten in several hours, but then again dry heaving is always much more painful. His body spasmed uncontrollably, trying to empty a stomach that already was, causing him to gag sickeningly and gasp with pain. It was several minutes before his body gave up on its futile attempts. Ray paused; breathing heavily, then he pressed his hot, sweaty forehead to the cool, hard floor and cried.

Several more minutes passed, while he cried brokenheartedly, before he looked up again. Out the window he could see the first star of the night appearing, the same star that he had waited for every night of his life since he was six years old. Since the first time he found out, in a book, that a wish could be made on that star with a simple little rhyme.

Starlight, star bright,

First star I see tonight,

I wish I may,

I wish I might,

Every single night, for over nine years, he had completed that rhyme with his one, and only wish.

Meet just one person who'll love me in my life.

For the past, almost a year now, he had still waited to see that star every single night, in honor of his wish having had come true. Or so he had thought. Did it think this was funny? To give him the one thing he had always wanted, only for him to find later that not only had he never had it, but also that in believing that he did, had done the worst possible thing that he could imagine, hurting a Pokémon!

Angry and hurt, hurt in a way that he had never been before, right down to the depths of his soul, Ray stood, glaring at that star through the tears pooling in his eyes, and screamed, as loudly as his naturally soft voice would allow.

"Are you happy!? Is this what you wanted!? Is this what I get for believing in you!?"

Then, exhausted and heartbroken, Ray fell to floor, once more crying his heart out, until sleep came to rescue him.

Bright morning light streamed through Ray's uncovered window, piercing through his closed eyelids, and waking him up. He propped himself up a bit and looked around in confusion, as if he didn't understand why he would have fallen asleep on the floor. He spent only a few more moments in blissful ignorance before he remembered what had happened the evening before. Convulsively, he curled in on himself, pained by the memory and by what he had done.

Dawn and Eve, already awake, pressed comfortingly against him. Their touch gave him the bit of strength that he needed. They, along with his other four Pokémon, were the only good things that had ever happened to him. He saw that now, accepted it, and decided that he would leave this place. But he would not leave quietly. No, he would take from them the only thing that enabled them to so easily steal other trainers' Pokémon, the snag machine. The snag machine was a device they had developed that could turn regular poke balls into snag balls, which were capable of capturing the Pokémon of other trainers. The machine itself; however, was very large. He would have to destroy it.

There was also a smaller "portable" one that had just been finished the day before. It was a device with the same function as its much larger predecessor, but designed to fit on the arm of a single person. As the best snager Ray had been the one selected for this project, the small snag machine molded to fit his left arm. Today was to be the device's first test run, but Ray had no intention of using it, at least not in the way that they wanted him to. Rather than destroying the small machine, Ray decided that he would take it. He didn't know what a shadow Pokémon was, but he had a feeling it wasn't good, and he wanted the small snag machine with him in case he found that he needed it.

Ray knew where the explosives were stored and how to get to them. Those would work perfectly for destroying the larger snag machine. Ray paused for a minute, considering the best way to do it all. He would have to use a lot of explosives; he had to be sure that it would be completely destroyed. But if he did that and simply took the small snag machine, using the access code, the explosion could very well kill several people. He couldn't take that risk. Even though they had hurt him deeply, Ray still believed that there was no reason that could ever be good enough to justify hurting someone else.

So, Ray devised a different plan. First, he would set up the explosives for the big snag machine. Second, he would use a small amount of explosives to break into the room, where the small snag machine was kept, from the outside. That would draw all of the other Team Snagem members outside of the hideout to catch whoever was trying to steal their prized achievement. This was where Ray would have to work fast; his bike would have to be waiting and ready to go once he stole the snag machine, if he wanted to escape.

Ray worked quickly and undetected to set his plan in motion. Those who saw him didn't think that there was anything unusual in the way that Ray was behaving. He gave no sign of intentions away; he didn't seem nervous or jumpy, in the least. Ray was an actor, and a good one; that was, perhaps, the only thing that he could thank his so called mother for.

When they got outside Ray looked right at Dawn and Eve.

"Okay, I want the two of you to wait for me in the bike, alright?"

"But—" Dawn began to protest, but Eve cut her off.

"We're not going to let you do this alone."

"Please, I don't want to have to worry about you," Ray pleaded, "I want to know that you're both safe.

Reluctantly, Dawn and Eve jumped into the bike's side seat. What Ray didn't see was that as soon as he turned around, Eve jumped out and followed him.

"Eve!" Dawn called out pleadingly; she didn't want to make Ray worry.

"Shh!" Eve whipped he head around, glaring at her sister. Eve absolutely refused to let Ray go into danger alone, even if he didn't want her there. As far as Eve was concerned Ray was too nice for his good, and she didn't understand how her sister could feel differently. Eve was tired of watching Ray be hurt because she followed his wishes and stayed out of it. This time, she wouldn't just sit back and watch. This time, she would be there when he needed her, even if he didn't want her there.

Eve caught up with him just as he was backing away from the wall, where he had placed the explosives.

"Eve," He groaned, "Why?"

"I told you, I'm not letting you do this alone."

"Alright, just stay close to me—"

At that moment the wall blew apart with a deafening sound. Ray darted into to room, Eve close on his heels, snatched the sang machine, and ran back out, glancing down to make sure Eve was still with him. They ran as fast as they could and jumped into the bike without breaking stride, almost as if they had practiced this a million times before. Ray gunned the accelerator and whipped the bike around just as everyone was rushing outside. Once he was sure that he had gone far enough to have lured everyone safely away from the hideout, he drew out the detonator, and set off the explosives that he had set up earlier.

Ray didn't look back to see the aftermath. So he did not see that the entire hideout was blown apart by the blast. All Ray knew was that he wanted to get as far away from there as he could, as quickly as he could. He wasn't even exactly sure which way he was going or what lay in that direction, but he didn't care. He knew that there was no way it could be as bad as what he was leaving behind.

Me: So, you are probably all wondering what's all the whining in the beginning about, why these seem to be three very different chapters –well they were– and who the heck these two goofs are.

Plad: I heard that! ( -.- )

Plink: Gee, I love you too. ( ;n; )

Me: Well, you have to keep reading to find out because I did not like having to combine these chapters, but I had no choice, it was obvious that people were reading 1, then were done, they didn't even give ch.2 a chance, well fine! But now new readers have to wait to find out about Plad and Plink, they were formally introduced in ch.5 (now ch3) so you have to wait till then

Plad: We do appreciate you reading though, please ignore her ranting ( ^^; )

Plink: And please review, she won't bite we promise (million dollar smile)

Plad: We will make sure of that ( ^^ )