Krystal Spectrum sat in a blank room. At a desk sat Kiss, dressed in a suit, smiling.
"So, is this a dream?" Krystal said, unsure of herself.
"No, no. We're quite real here. I believe it is a pocket dimension. A place caused by my aspect in the collision. A real dream, if you were. I willed a suit and desk, so I imagine those rules apply."
"What will happen to me now?"
"Why don't we take a look?" Kiss said, pointing to her left. A crack emerged in the wall, and through it Krystal could see a field. In it knelt herself, coughing and spluttering.
"What?" Krystal was confused.
"This is you. When the explosion occurred, two things were thrown across time. The meteor's fragments, and the various Krystal Spectrums. Daebi and Jiroid, I fear, did not survive. They will likely be corpses in fields, somewhere. The energy'll be surging back, stopping Daebi from ever trying to save herself. Of course, you won't remember most of this conversation. That's how these things work."
Kiss lowered her head slightly.
The pair gave each other a look, long and lingering.
"That... That's terrible." Krystal stepped forward to touch the crack. It felt like glass, and as she touched it the image changed. Her aspect lay mangled in a tree. She winced and looked away. She touched it again, and this time it showed Kiss' aspect, fed upon by Spearow. Krystal fell to her feet and vomited. Kiss rolled her eyes and willed the fluids away.
"Control yourself. This isn't what I wanted either."
"Why... why did you do it?" Krystal asked. She stood before Kiss, who looked up at her and sighed.
"Because I'm like you. A strong willed girl with psychological issues who will do anything to make sure something's done right. The difference is, I was made. And I shouldn't have been."
"So you fought back?"
"I followed you all because Rocket was interested in you. I figured I could lure their bosses out by being around you. When that failed, I opted for the power approach. Enough power to defeat those that I knew had twisted the rules themselves."
"What you did was wrong."
Kiss smiled and looked away.
"I know you better than you think, Krystal. And trust me, you don't want to hear my response to that statement."
Krystal walked back over the screen-crack and pressed it once more. She saw herself, at a young age, amidst the wreckage.
"The Kanto Incident." Kiss looked grim. "I don't know much about it. But I think I understand. The wreckage of Jirachi 7 itself was thrown back, but it latched onto an early source of its own destruction. Quite ingenious. Time is wonderful."
"But... but why?"
"I don't know. I know you went through treatments, everything... You had those terrible dreams. Dreams of fire and destruction... I think they may have been dreams of that night from another perspective. From your own, all those years on, clouded by time itself."
"And that's why they think I invented Jirachi-model vessels."
"A lucky break."
Krystal turned her head.
"Who created them first, then?"
Kiss shrugged. "Who knows? Time isn't cause and effect. That's most of it, but it also relies on self-perpetuation. The existence of a paradox cannot be, so it is erased. The universe smoothes things over. Life goes on. It is entirely possible the original Jirachi 7 was less impressive, and in the course of avoiding paradox, it has been upgraded."
"Speculation about the non-existant... How very me."
"So, you never told me. Why were you made?" Krystal turned to her doppelganger, concern in her face.
"Me? I was a clone. All clones are, by necessity, different to the original. Pure cloning causes temporal issues. It works by ruining the timeline, pulling a copy out of a moment in time and attempting to patch the breach, making it so that it both did and did not happen. Any pure clone is a paradox. Then, you have Organic Clones. Ones like me, bred for a purpose. I was one in a long line of Rocket Clones, but the first one made from you. I am the original, really."
"I always thought you had middle child syndrome." Krystal said, half-smirking, half-worrying.
"Maybe I did." Kiss smiled and stood up, walking over to her double. She placed a hand on her shoulder, friendly. Their gaze locked.
"Don't worry for me, sis." Kiss smiled and reached out to the screen. "Hm. I suppose we really are sisters, in a way..."
She touched the screen. Krystal in the field, kneeling once more.
"I think that is you. Not the other that was on Jirachi 7, the actual you. I can't say what will happen, but you have to avoid creating any more paradoxes until this point. Everything is too unstable. The universe can only do so much."
"What about the other me?" She said, pressing the crack one last time. It showed her and Team Temporal, looking worried. Looking scared. But she was there, she was still in one piece, and she would be fine.
"You have a long and happy life."
"I don't know. Maybe we'll meet again. Maybe I'm really dead. Only time will tell."
"You know..." Krystal pressed her cheek to the screen, sighing. "I think I'm okay with this." She nodded her head as a white light engulfed her. "I think I really am..."
"What's happening?!" Shouted Fuschia, who was falling through a white void.
"I think we're experiencing something no one else has before." Came a voice through the void. Sepia's voice, still confident as ever.
"Sepia?!" Came Roy's voice. Fuschia couldn't see either of them.
"Everyone here?" Max called out. Darkitsu, Wehc and Hari all called back eagerly.
"Where's Krystal?" Roy shouted. "Why isn't she here?"
"I'm here!" Came Krystal's voice. It was different, though. Not overly, but Roy was still trepediatious.
"Krystal?" Roy called back. "Where are you?"
Fuschia listened intently as the two voices grew closer to one another. As they met, she smiled. Freefall with feeling.
"I've got you..."
"I think something's coming!" Sepia called out, feeling a rushing come towards him. Fuschia felt herself hit the ground, but the white still surrounded her. Slowly, her vision began to darken as the world came back into perspective, the blinding light of the void giving way to the real world.
"Well, we're all in one piece..." Sepia groaned a bit as he stood up. He wasn't sure how they'd survived.
"It worked!" Shouted Krystal. She looked... older, somehow. Sepia didn't quite understand it.
"Uh, are you okay? You're wearing different clothes..." Roy pointed out.
"Oh! Sorry. Its a long story. I'll explain later." Krystal said. "So, what now?"
"We need the big guns. We can't fight Deoxys on our own, and if he recruits help it'll just be worse. We have to do some recruiting."
"Like?" Max said, raising an eyebrow.
"Krystal, take out your PDA." Sepia said, pointing. She did so, and switched it on. "Do a trace for aspects. You must have enough data by now."
"What?" Hari said, confused.
"There's a lot of activity at the League up in Mt. Attara West. I think it might be safe to say that we need their help."
"We're going to... what?" Wehc spluttered, a little confused by it all.
"The elite four still have aspect technology. Best case scenario, we can recruit the best trainers in Cyren to help us in the fight. Worst case, we take back the tech and use it."
"I'm not sure I'm OK with this." Max crossed his arms. "But I see your point. We don't have much option but to go straight to a source of power. That's probably our best bet."
Roy made an awkward face and sighed. "I guess that's that... Now, we should work out where we are."
Sepia stepped forward. "I'll go scout while Krystal explains what just happened."
"You don't wanna know?"
"I think I've got the basics."
CHAPTER FOUR: END.
"I'm sorry for this Vermil. I know you're just an innocent bystander."
"You have a funny way of recognising that."
"Trust me. I'm working on something that will make all the difference. I may not understand this world, but I do understand that it must continue."
"Why should I trust you?"
"Because you really do have no alternative."