Author's Note: Okay so for New Years I did some last minute cleaning! In return though, I have produced Speculum! I figured that was fair and my friend agreed with me. This is the shortest prologue I've had in a long while, which saddens me immensely. Thankfully the other chapters reach my typical note and with that, I can do this without shame. I have a fair few chapters already written too!
The trainers for the most part belong to me, such as Nai. He is a very fun character. I hope you enjoy him and my interpretation of N. This is the only story I've written him. Feel free to correct me if I seem inaccurate.
I hope everyone enjoys this bridge between Black and Black 2. Spoilers might abound. Welcome to Speculum.
When I was small, I played with Pokemon. I loved them. They were my friends, my family. I wouldn't dare to want to be parted from them. When I was small, I was free. There was no mother, no woman to tuck me in, and a fake father, a man who I never saw. All I had was Anthea, Concordia, and my Pokemon. To me, that was enough. That was all that had to exist in my world, at least to me.
But then I grew older. I began to hear things, began to learn them. I began meeting more Pokemon, bleeding, hurt, dying creatures. I understood them. They were suffering so much, destroyed by the care of my fellow creatures… my fellow Man. They trusted me despite it... and we became friends. Torn by the suffering of my friends, I began to hate. I began to be torn with the impulse to destroy.
That was when Father returned.
He was a cold, gruff man who almost never touched me. Instead the three people who followed me handled me. They were very careful, as though I were glass. My father sat on a chair, a throne, towering over me. For the first time, despite my height, I felt very small and weak. I did not feel like a cradled newborn, as I was with Anthea, but worthless, like one of my friends thrown aside like a doll.
As I sat there fidgeting he spoke, his voice deep and sharp, an icy pool. He told me a truth, what was to be my truth. He told me of the evils of humans and that Pokemon all over the world were crying out for a savior. My ears pricked when I realized it was me. He told me I had to become strong and good, become worthy. He said he would teach me and I would learn. With his guidance I would become a hero, the hero of Pokemon, of the world. It was a grand dream, a beautiful ideal. And I accepted the dream and all of what went with it.
That's right… it was a dream. Or perhaps… it was a nightmare.
Years passed and I grew. I was crowned a king, hailed a hero. As far as I knew, this was fact.
"N?" The teal-haired male jerked up his head. Below him was the large black dragon known to the world as Zekrom, Unova's god of lightning. It glanced at him with crimson eyes before turning back to the sky ahead. "You are brooding N," the dragon rumbled in its deep growl, reading his mind without doing so. It was a bad habit the dragon had developed since they had met. N never wondered how before, merely believing it was simply the magic of Pokemon. Now though… he wondered. He was questioning everything. The young male was not certain he liked that.
"I am merely reminiscing," the trainer countered smoothly, not wanting to admit the truth. I would never be suited to call upon Reshiram.
Zekrom gave a snort, lightning sparking from his nose. "For you they are one and the same and you know that."
N sighed. He could not deny that could he? "How is it you wonderful creatures can see through me so well?" he asked wistfully. There were no formulas to solve this, no wonders with which to understand this in a simple concrete manner. And he disliked that, immensely he disliked that and he didn't know what to do about it. There were so many things about this world to like and to dislike... and very few of them made any sense. Such as the wind which nearly took his hat.
"We Pokemon are not always so wonderful N," grumbled the dragon in amusement and dissatisfaction. "And one thing that we have learned about creatures is that they are not always what they appear. It is a trait of the empathic to look past the flesh."
N frowned. The words he could grasp but the meaning… "I am afraid I do not follow."
Zekrom made a quiet huff that almost came out like a sigh. "As creatures grow older, most begin to hide the truth from others. In response to that, the skill of reading to find that is honed as well."
The human stared in silence. "I… I do not understand. How would one see that?" If that skill was possible, perhaps he could have found his father's intentions much sooner and… but it was too late for that now wasn't it?
"You learn it as you grow, N, as you mature." It was rather patronizing and amused, judging by the sharp cut in the words.
"Are you saying I am immature Zekrom," N asked with a slight curt edge to his voice. He would not shout at the dragon no, but N knew how to be angry, at least a little bit. He ignored the fact that anger made him sound like his father. Even now he did not wish to think of him.
"No," replied the Electric type neutrally, as calm as ever. "I am saying you need to grow. You humans are the ones who decided people are mature or immature."
"Hmm…" N murmured, chastened. "I suppose…"
Zekrom turned to glance at the human he had chosen for a moment. "N… do not let your fear overwhelm your ideals. Change them yes, expand them, but not destroy them. I chose you as my hero for a reason N."
"You chose me because Father created me for the purpose of you doing so," N stated bitterly. "No more, no less."
"That is incorrect human," the dragon rebutted. "My reasons are my own and not the whims of a mortal."
"If you believe so," N finished, ending the argument. He could not see this as possible but he wanted to avoid an argument with the legendary. It was bad enough he had to keep it in a Pokeball if he wanted to go about everyday life below. Arguments among friends ended in bitter separation. The first one was his fault alone. It just was not fair but it seemed fate decided that life was never that way. "Where are we now?"
"I believe we are near one of the settlements of the Hoenn region," Zekrom replied. "Would you like to go down?"
N hesitated a moment. What if someone saw Zekrom and exposed him? He could be arrested. But… he was hungry and tired. It was better to sleep on grass than the back of the dragon he had decided at some point in his wanderings, as he had been traveling for over a year. The base desires won out over all in the end, as they usually did for survival. "Yes," he stated firmly, hiding the fear that had briefly clouded him. "I would like to."
The dragon made no comment on the inner turmoil claiming the human on his back, merely began to dive to the ground.
Don't look. Don't look…
Katrina Walker flinched at the sound of a crash and a pair of squeals. The red-headed teen turned back to her work determinedly, set to ignore the sounds of the outside. Her expression smoothed out again and she scratched at the paper with her blue mechanical pencil. There was another crash and she gritted her teeth. Standing, she slammed her chair into the gap on her desk and stormed to the living room window. Opening it, she took a deep breath and shouted.
On the other side of the picket fence, a small, light-skinned male looked up dizzily, black locks falling over his face. The twelve year old groaned before giggling as a sandpapery tongue licked his face. The small Poochyena barked enthusiastically as the boy next to him slowly rose to his feet. "Muu…" the boy groaned. "What's Kat yelling about?" He blinked his turquoise eyes dazedly and walked over to the house. "Whassa matter Kat?" he mumbled at her, still disoriented from when he had crashed into the fence only moments before.
Katrina growled before sighing, anger draining out of her. Her brother Nai was impossible to get angry at, especially when he looked at her with those dazed, innocent expressions like now. Besides, he was doing his job, keeping the day care babies occupied. She sighed again. "Nai, I know that Poochyena has a lot of energy. However it is not right to tackle each other into trees."
"Nai didn't do it," her brother murmured dazedly. "Nai tried to stop Poochyena but he was pulled after."
Katrina groaned. She could believe that. "Piku!" she snapped abruptly, looking above her to the roof where a yellow mouse was lazing on the shingles. "You're supposed to watch them." The Pikachu looked down at her and shrugged as if to say: not my problem toots. She fumed. "Honestly you're here to protect my brother…" She looked at the human boy, who had picked up the squirming Poochyena. "Take Piku and the three of you go play by the pond all right? Maybe that will calm him down."
Nai nodded, recovered now. "Okay!" he chirped cheerily. "Let's go Piku!" The Pikachu nodded curtly and somersaulted off the roof, landing on the boy's head. Nai winced but ran on happily, putting down the Poochyena to run beside him. He had to calm the little guy down before the end of the week. Then he had to go in the Pokeball and meet his new trainer. That would be sad but… that meant Nai could make a friend too. Hooray!
They reached the outskirts of the play area rather quickly. Poochyena went to sniff around, looking for a tree to mark. He buried his face in the flowers, covering his nose in yellow. Nai giggled, hearing the excited noises of tiny feet in the meadow grass. A Seedot leaped into his vision and Nai gently grabbed it. "Hello Birdseed," he chirped at the handless acorn, watching it climb gingerly up his head and stay there. The boy laughed again, only stopping when the Pikachu tackled the Grass-type off of his head and onto the ground. "Piku, stop that." His partner only rolled his eyes and then stiffened, ears shifting straight upward. Poochyena began to bark, abandoning his search to snarl at the air and even his own tail.
Both Pokemon abruptly began to growl at the sky. Nai blinked and followed their gaze before a powerful wind ripped through the plain, sending Nai tumbling to the ground again. Nai stared up in a daze as a large black dragon flapped its powerful wings and settled itself on the meadow. Piku and the Poochyena were crying out their anger but Nai stared in silence at the sight of an older male riding the black dragon, staring down at him with indifferent grey eyes. No not indifferent, he realized after a few moments, but wary.
The two stared at one another, almost registering the universe unhinging beneath their feet.