Titans: Midnight: "Heroes": Part 1: Hollow Spaceboy

"Welcome, my friends. Today's the day."

Schwarz was leaning on the window, knee on the glass, staring at the clouds below him. Weiss, stood next to him, was facing the other way, however. He stood triumphant, smirking as the legendary Team Temporal were brought before him.

"See, I told you we wouldn't need any soldiers." Weiss turned to Krystal. "What's wrong with the girl?" Weiss asked Sepia. He knew who the leader was. It was fairly obvious. The writhing, pulsating girl had been brought in on a stretcher.

"She's reacting to something. I think it's something that hasn't happened yet. Funny, she only started doing it again when we got here..." Sepia said, a sour look on his face. He wasn't laughing anymore. There wasn't time.

"Well, I can thank you all for coming. I was so pleased you could make it." Weiss rubbed his hands together gleefuly. Schwarz continued to look away. "I wanted to show you all something before we started, however." He motioned to a side door. In walked Polaris, plain as day.

"Polaris?!" Roy shouted, surprised. Max just laughed.

"I thought you gave this all up?" Max said, sneering somewhat.

Their former compatriot laughed a jarring laugh.

"You really think anyone could changes sides like that?" Weiss stepped over to Polaris and placed a hand on his shoulder. "You've all been had. In fact, even I was duped. Isn't that right, Schwarz?" He called back to his partner. Schwarz just grunted in agreement.

"What?" Sepia blurted out.

"Your 'friend' here isn't who he seems." Weiss pointed to a screen at the side of Jirachi 7's flight deck. It burst to life with images of a young man being captured by Rocket. "That is the real Polaris. We sought to capture his Smeargle. We threw him into a cell, unfortunately only to have a lethal allergic reaction to the StopAll that we had lined the bars with to prevent escape." The screen changed again, this time to the Polaris the group knew. He was behind bars, and the footage clearly showed a man with a Scyther releasing him. "Schwarz sent in his younger brother, an out of work actor, to figure out who was trying to undermine our Terrut operations. It turns out, funnily enough, that it was your friend, Cinnabar."

"What?" Roy exclaimed.

"He worked for us, I'm sure you knew that though. But he wasn't to be trusted, clearly. So we pushed onwards. We knew he had links to a young man who we'd already identified as one of the group that would cause Deoxys' meteor to destroy us all. Thus, he had a new mission. One he performed perfectly. How else did you think we were able to keep such close tabs on you?"

"So it is true. The meteor... It's a prison." Sepia said, genuinely interested. He stepped forward. "But what help have you given them? We've pretty much walked straight into their hands here."

"Not you." Polaris snapped. "This." He strode over to a wall and pulled a switch. Up came a panel and behind it stood Daebi, wired to a machine and surrounded by a thin, blue light.

"Daebi?" Hari said, surprised. "But how?"

"Chronon Loop." Daebi said, disgusted. "Time is like an ocean. I move by rippling the water. This disgusting device stops it. Freezes the water."

"I'm sorry." Sepia said, his face getting increasingly dim. "I'm so sorry that it came to this."

"I'm an abomination, really." Daebi said, laughing a hollow laugh. "Don't pity the damned."

Sepia turned away, sighing softly. Max stepped forward this time.

"We can't be the only threat to you. If you know the future, you must be able to just stop the main event. You can't surely mean that everything we do is a threat?"

Schwarz laughed, and Weiss turned to face him.

"He is right, you know. In many ways."

"It has to be like this." Schwarz sneered as Jirachi 7's lights began to flicker. Warning signs began to flash, advising that it was about to make its final steps towards its goal.

"And here we go." Weiss said, smugly. There was a tremor as the vessel broke through the atmosphere, making its way outward, sliding on its imaginary rails. The rumbling became more and more intense as Sepia began to wave his arms at the group. Signalling for them all to drop. They did so, attempting to cling to the white, polished floor they had stood on. Weiss, Schwarz and Polaris did not move. Eventually, the tremors ceased as the craft reached its destination - space.

"We're here!" Weiss said, ecstatic. He grabbed Polaris and hugged him, laughing all the while, before moving over to the window. "The first humans. We've done it. We've actually done it!"

 

A siren began to blare as warning lights flashed on the monitors scattered around the sides of the bridge.

Warning. Warning. Hull breach detected in Car 5.

"What?!" Weiss said, running over. He pushed a young rocket out of the way and started pressing buttons. "Nothing's working! We're losing pressure!"

"Code seven on Car 5." Schwarz said, still not moving from his viewpoint.

"Code seven?" Weiss said, blinking. "But that would separate it completely."

"And car 5, the final car, I should point out, is the prison. It has no inhabitants. The guards and prisoners are now on deck. It is no loss."

Weiss began pressing buttons, but another light began to flash.

"No good. The thing's stuck. It'll have to be done manually." Weiss pointed to Giovanni and his men. "You! Take everyone and get them down there. This is on autopilot now. We need you to repair damage!"

"But sir!" Giovanni was disgruntled, "That will leave you all unprotected!"

"Do as I say! We can handle ourselves!" Weiss shouted. Giovanni ushered his men, and the remaining flight crew, out of the door, mumbling under his breath.

Weiss stood up and turned to Team Temporal, still angry. "This... all of this is a feat of human engineering like nothing before. I will not let you destroy this."

"We don't want to destroy the planet!" Sepia shouted as he clamboured to his feet. "We just think there must be a different way to do it than starting a war!"

"War is the only option!" Weiss said, a vein in his head throbbing as he shouted. "Nothing else would justify the increased spending! No matter what we do, I am still an elected official. I cannot authorise the funding necessary to form proper defences in time! A war gives me emergency powers, and I can channel them into a project that will save us!"

"Why not use Pokemon?"

"We have relied too often on them. In doing so, our government sorely lacks the funding it needs. Even Jirachi 7 was built as one of the few scientific aims unachieveable by pokemon. And when it comes to stopping this, we simply can't. There is nothing powerful enough to stop the onslaught of a meteor. Not even a god."

"So we go to war..." Sepia said, sighing. "I can't believe it really is the only option."

"Then what do you suggest?"

"What about Jirachi 7?"

"We could fit it with whatever we like, but it would take a lot of money and time to get it operating at a level that could do some good. At present, our only option would be to ram it. I don't like that idea." He smiled a dark smiled and turned back to the view. A siren began to blare, causing Weiss to turn on his heels to look at his monitors. "Damn. We've been invaded, it seems."

Images of Kiss and her followers filled up one monitor, and on the other, Krystal Spectrum appeared in what appeared to be brand new clothes. Sepia's eyes widened when he saw the second Krystal.

"What?" He said, moving over to them. "How on Earth?"

The doors were ripped off their hinges as Kiss and her followers stormed the room. They still had their guns, a sight that surprised Polaris. Kiss herself rode a rudimentary throne constructed from her followers themselves, arching their backs and crawling where necessary.

"No! No weapons, Kiss! Nobody dies today!" Sepia shouted at her, but she ignored him. She kept her attention on Weiss and Schwarz.

"Now, where was I?" She said, smirking. "I have arrived, at long last, to bring you to judgement. You will pay for your crimes, and I will take your place. Fun, hm?"

"Telling me your plans before you kill me? A little cliché." Schwarz was still nonchalant, still gazing outward, ignoring the action.

"I thought it only fair." Kiss dismounted her throne, stepping delicately towards her intended victims. Unlike her counterpart, she enjoyed walking. She found it provided a certain austerity to her actions. "After all, the dead tell no more secrets than I will permit them." She laughed, before turning her gaze to Daebi. "You have her imprisoned? Rather excellent work. That little pest was always meddling in my affairs. Speaking of which..."

She clapped her hands and Jiroid appeared, as always, face covered by symbols of warding.

"Your Jirachi-based aspect, is it?" Weiss was smug, but telling cracks were appearing in his visage. "I haven't heard any reports of it being active for some time now."

"I haven't needed it. It has no power but to affect dreams and, don't you know?" She smiled gleefully as she made every crewman on board Jirachi 7 kneel before her. "I'm walking divinity now."

"No, you're not." Schwarz said, finally turning away. His face looked dead, emotionless, cold. Weiss turned to him, worried.

"Schwarz? Are you okay?"

"Better than ever." Schwarz still remained emotionless, even as he strode over to Kiss. He placed his hand on her forehead, and she screamed in terror as a pain shot through her. "You, worm, should know there will always be those far superior to you. Always." Kiss collapsed in a heap as he turned to her cultists. Every last one of them was assembled in the room. He smiled a wicked smile as his form changed.

 

-

 

"I have to stay out of sight." Krystal said. She knew what was coming. She had hidden herself in the engine room, knowing that she could keep track of what was going on without missing her chance. She began to examine the various dials and monitors in Jirachi 7's engines, noting various inconsistencies in them. Her eyes narrowed as she saw one final screen. The readings were clear, and she knew what she had to do. She set to work, pressing buttons, flipping switches, anything to get the readings where she needed them. "See, this is what I never realised. This is what I couldn't understand. This entire ship should have been thrown back to Kanto. It wasn't. Only the wreckage was. I understand that now. But... Yes!" She gave a tiny high-five to Constant. "There's a gravity field supporting this ship. When everything goes wrong, it will act as a sling, throwing us through time. If I adjust these, then only those with a direct connection will suffer temporal delay. Everyone else will still be thrown, but they'll stay within this timeline... Brilliant!" She smiled broadly as she realised. This was what she was here for. Her crowning moment.

 

-

 

The bodies of Kiss' cultists lay around her as she rose sluggishly to her feet.

"Good morning, sunshine." Schwarz was again in his normal form, his face still expressionless. "Time for me to do some explaining." He stood up and strode across the room. Kiss looked around her, saw the sea of bodies, and began to understand. She saw the covered face of her aspect lying on the floor, and she knew.

"No... no... Not again..." She began to tremble, uncontrollably. She gripped her head, screaming in pain. Her eyes began to glow brightly as she was consumed by it.

"No!" Sepia rushed over, placing his hands around hers, clutching them. "Hold on, Kiss. You can do it! I know you want to give in, but you can't! If you let it consume you, everything here will perish, including you!"

"But... I can't... I can't..."
"I know that it isn't easy. I saw it in your eyes. When you killed the Krystal Clones, it killed a part of you. It left a wound. You were always one of many. You thought it would help, but..." He placed his forehead to hers, still gripping the hands around her head. "You needed a family. You needed company. You needed to be loved... So you summoned your cultists without realising. Psychics imprinted upon with your image when you first gained your power. And I'm sorry, but you have to hold on. I know it hurts, but you have to hold on. You can't give in now!"

"I..." Kiss was calming, but her eyes betrayed concern. "It's going to happen. I'm sorry... I can't stop it."

"Damn..." Sepia gave her hands a squeeze and stood up. "I'm sorry it had to come to this."

"I only wanted to reshape Rocket... I should not have been born... I wanted to remove those that were creating monsters and replace them, shape things in a better image... Funny how power makes you lose sight of these things..." Kiss, still unsteady, crawled over to a young girl. She was only about nine, and she was one of cultists. This is what she had brought upon people. "I'm sorry..." Kiss pulled her towards herself and held her, tightly. Sepia could see a tear in her eye.

"How touching." Schwarz interjected. "Might I remind you that we're in the middle of something?"

"What's wrong with you, Schwarz?" Weiss was worried. He could see something in Schwarz's face that troubled him greatly.

"Well, no time for charades, is there? First things first, we are indeed on a direct course for the meteor. Weiss here seemed to be ignorant of this, so I thought I'd better fill that in."

"What?" Weiss grabbed Schwarz by the shoulders, shaking him. "Are you mad?"

"Quite." Schwarz laughed as Weiss was paralysed, frozen in place before him. "Now, you may be wondering why. See, what Weiss here doesn't realise is that when two objects that are identical come into contact, they become one. I don't mean 'similar', I mean two objects made from the exact same materials. The same piece of wood, in two times, merges into one. I, of course, was made from a fragment of the same Deoxys in that meteor. We are, as it happens, now one. The prison is opened, the prisoner released. Does it scare you to have a deity in the room?"

"Not as much as it should..." Sepia was graven. "Perhaps I've seen too much."

"Perhaps." Schwarz walked over to Krystal, who was still seizing. "This poor girl... I've been watching her. Poor thing thought the pain she was experiencing was from the wound she suffered. Little did she know it was because this moment was coming closer. She is literally on top of herself... well, more specifically, to the side, at a different point in her timestream. The other is unaffected, naturally. The ripple goes backwards. For the one who is chronologically in the future, it's like a low hum in the background. Maybe a headache. Possibly something worse if the past fights back. There, but ignorable. Krystal here is doing her best not to succumb. She's used to it, isn't she? Because she's so very special."

"Wait, why don't aspects merge with us, then?" Sepia said, slightly bewildered.

"The process takes a pokemon and adapts it to a human. If your aspects had encountered the pokemon they were based on, then they would have merged. But the human in them is rather like... icing."

"How convenient." Sepia narrowed his eyes at Schwarz. "So what now?"

"Now, I reclaim my throne." Schwarz laughed as he turned to the window. "This craft is on course to destroy the meteor, meaning the earth below is safe. However, it will only make a dent. What we have here, though, is a unique opportunity. When it strikes, we will have both a psychic explosion and, thanks to our other passenger, Daebi, a temporal explosion, meaning that I can say, without a doubt, the meteor will be not only be shattered, but thrown harmlessly across time and space in fragments so small that they will never be a danger to anyone."

"So, you've saved the world." Max snarled.

"Yes, and it will be ripe for the taking. I will, however, be kind." Schwarz discarded his body and resumed his Deoxys form. He was no longer a fusion. His Deoxys body was now the true incarnation of the beast. "I wish to restore my world as it was. I alone cannot rule, just as Arceus could not. So I will require time to reassemble my compatriots. But, and I must stress this, when I have freed Regigigas and Arceus, and they join me again, I will not be so forgiving. Until then, you are inconsequential. Even now, you are as insects to me. I see no reason to fear you, even with this one's memories."

"So. You are a monster." Roy said, his voice betraying his fear.

"And you fight monsters, don't you? Your exploits are impressive, but I assure you, they mean nothing." Deoxys floated back to the glass. Polaris approached him, changing his form in the process. Sepia let out an audible gasp.

"You would rob me of my free will?!" Polaris screamed at the creature.

"Polaris, I don't know what you've done, but you have to get away from him!" Sepia shouted.

"You... I'll kill you!" Polaris shouted, launching his rocky form at the beast. He was frozen in mid-air, and Deoxys simply laughed.

"I will enjoy one thing: My compatriots will only have their memories, not their stupidity."

"We... We've lost." Fuschia fell to her feet, crying. Wehc put an arm around her, knowing it wouldn't comfort her much. The situation did seem bleak.

Sepia walked over to Daebi and smiled weakly. "So, this is it, huh?"

"Don't cry for me, hero. It's not becoming."

"I always wondered why you had such free roam."

"I had to avoid myself to prevent merging with myself and forming a loop... But I was never anywhere. I guess this explains why I never really got around a lot, doesn't it?" Daebi smiled back, just as weakly.

Schwarz tapped the viewing window, and Sepia turned.

"Look, we're here!" The meteor, plain as day, lay before the ship. Its tracks of light ran directly into its heart.

"Brace yourselves!" Sepia said, ignoring the futility.

Schwarz simply laughed and laughed as the vessel gave way.

 

The End

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