Cinnabar stepped forward, still smiling broadly.
"So, what news on the rialto?"
Sepia set Celadon down, shaking his head all the while.
"You really don't know?"
"We stopped contact with Rocket when the execs quit. I don't know anything."
Wehc leant on the handrail. The room, almost little more than a rocky pit with a pokeball design painted on it, was indented into the floor. Any competitor had to step down from the gallery to begin combat. Sepia began to slowly descend the stairs.
"Your boss knows you're a traitor. Oh, and he's a god. Not an aspect one, a real one. There's going to be carnage. We were hoping you'd help." Wehc tipped his hat down, almost as if refusing to involve himself.
"It was Polaris, wasn't it? Schwarz saw me free him?"
"Weren't you betraying them?"
"Not quite." Cinnabar began to pace. "I told Vermil I was working for Silph to gain his trust. The double cross would be that I was actually working for Rocket. I know what you're thinking. Straight forward triple cross, I'm really working for Silph or something?" Cinnabar laughed to himself, sitting on a rock. "No such luck. I'm still a Rocket. THE Rocket, if you will. Rockstar by day, Chief Rocket Admin by night. But I wanted to preserve the order. Detaining people just to take their pokemon for research... That's a line I didn't want us to cross. So in I went, out he came."
"How touching." Lavender rolled her eyes. "So you ARE evil."
"Apparently." Cinnabar sighed. "You said my Boss was a God?"
"He's quite literally become Deoxys." Sepia was standing right in front of him now, sneering. "He's trying to revive Arceus and Regigigas. If he succeeds, we don't have much of a chance. We need your help. We're strong, but Deoxys is stronger. Weapons are all very well and good, but humans can only do..."
Cinnabar took a step backward, gesturing grandly at the machinery around him.
"Look what we have built! And for what?" He narrowed his gaze at Sepia. "I know you're telling me the truth. I'm not stupid. But I'm also not going to back down."
"What?" Sepia stepped forward, but was struck quickly by a blow to his stomach. As he gasped for air, Cinnabar stood towering over him, his face twisted in a crooked smile.
"Fight me, Sepia." He lifted him up by his collar effortlessly. Sepia's face dimmed somewhat. "I know all about your little box world powers. I also know that they're fading. Such a shame, I know."
Sepia pushed Cinnabar away, regaining his composure. "And you, on the other hand, have undergone Aspect Merging."
"I am indeed a god. The essence of Agrython flows through me." Cinnabar shrugged, stepping slowly, deliberately away from Sepia. "That is why I want you to fight me."
"A test of strength?"
"A test of success. If you can defeat me, then I'll join you." Cinnabar smirked, his face morphing into his merged body - a blue dragon, whose face was still distinctly Cinnabar's. His back sprouted wings that seemed to mesh with his clothing. It was as if the very clothes on his back were part of him, increasingly so as they twisted into scales. "If you can defeat one god, then you can take on more."
"Fine. But I have one request." Sepia stepped forward, proudly. "Rowan let slip that you have something of mine. I want it back."
"Your Dialga, is it?" Cinnabar laughed. "Fine. Take it." Cinnabar cast his arm to his side as a metal panel was torn from the wall, revealing Sepia's Dialga in a cage. Sepia ran over to it, smiling.
"You're alright! Good. Good. This is good." He was laughing, and from her vantage point Lavender could see in his eyes a happiness she'd never seen. She hadn't known him long, but she could tell he had been working towards this reunion for a long time. The cage swung open as the creature was released, and Sepia wasted no time. He leapt upon it's back and stared Cinnabar down.
"Cinnabar! I accept your challenge! The winner decides the fate of the opposition!" Sepia leaned over, speaking into his companion's ear. "I'm sorry I left you. Do me this favour and I'll make up for it big time."
The Dialga adopted an aggressive stance as Cinnabar took to the air.
"Agreed! I win, Team Temporal is disbanded forever! You win, you have the league's support against Deoxys. Come, Sepia! Show me you're a man!"
Dialga launched forward, snarling. Cinnabar swatted it away, sending it reeling away. Sepia leapt from it as it struck a wall, taking the opportunity to conjure a sword and strike Cinnabar with a slash attack. The sword was taken from his hand by the vengeful demi-god, in whose hands it dissolved.
"Your powers are weak, Sepia. Fight me the old fashioned way!" Cinnabar shouted as he hurtled towards Sepia. He struck the ground as Sepia disappeared, reappearing several feet away on Dialga's back.
"Time travel, gotta love it!" Sepia shouted, unclipping a Pokeball from his belt and throwing it at Cinnabar. Out burst Morphush, Sepia's 2nd evolution gel-leaf Pokemon from the Towan region. "Razor leaf! Dialga, Roar of Time!"
"Two down. One to go." Schwarz grinned madly as Polaris stalked the ground behind him.
"This body is... strange." He held his hands in front of him, examining them closely. Pale flesh. "But I understand your point. You may be a traitor, but even I cannot deny that our place is at the pinnacle of the heirachy. If this form is truly so crucial, then I will believe you - for now. But do not mistake me." Polaris' form warped from his own into that of a hulking, white behemoth flecked with grasses, bushes and golden plates that made him seem like something out of a myth, an ancient statue in tribute to a long-lost god. "If you betray me again, your death will be swift."
"Of course, my friend. Now, there is but one of our party remaining." Deoxys turned to Weiss, who knelt before them, still frozen.
"You... You'll get what's coming to you, Deoxys..." Weiss spat at him, striking Schwarz's leg. The god simply smiled, before striking Weiss in the face with his foot.
"You think anyone can stop me now? When you're yourself, Arceus, then I will be truly invincible." Schwarz bent down and grabbed Weiss' head and pulled it close to him. "Ssh, now. Be quiet. Everything'll be right soon, and the world will be ours."
"Sepia!" Came a voice from the gallery, and Sepia looked up to see Krystal and Roy rushing into the room. "Catch!" She cried, tossing the small, metallic device she'd obtained from Pewter's lab at him. He caught it and leapt off Dialga, ready to strike at Cinnabar. The dragon grabbed him and dragged him upwards, the pair flying towards the roof.
"You ever been on the receiving end of a seismic toss?" Snarled Cinnabar gleefully.
"Nope. Did you know that StopAll was originally meant to be injected?" It was Sepia's time to smirk, as Cinnabar's face dropped. He thrust the device into Cinnabar's scaly flesh, causing it to spring to life, injecting tiny needles into the creature. The pair hurtled to the ground, with Sepia struggling free to leap once again onto Dialga. The pair began to pace Cinnabar, Sepia's face beaming with pride.
"I didn't want to have to cheat, but I knew I had to. You and I both know you were holding back." He said, a sudden solemnity in his voice.
"I... You have... what it takes... it seems."
"I don't. I got lucky. I pulled a gambit and it worked." Sepia dismounted and walked over to Cinnabar, pushing a button on his metal injector. The needles removed themselves, returning to their base state. "I can't rely on this. I need help." He extended a hand to Cinnabar, whose limbs were beginning to move once again. "Help me, Cinnabar. For Vermil."
Cinnabar slowly rose to his feet, shaking off the paralytic.
"For Vermil." He said, confidently, grasping Sepia's hand. His aspect form melted away to reveal his normal body, clothes miraculously intact.
"Then it is decided." Sepia turned to the gallery. All of Team Temporal had since joined them, staring at awe at the destruction caused below. "Everyone prepare yourselves! Call your loved ones, your families, tell them you love them! Go out and enjoy yourselves!"
Hari looked puzzled. "B-but why?" He called down to Sepia.
Max answered for him. "Because tomorrow, we go to war."
"Sir, four minutes to touchdown." A young man spoke to Stoenn curtly, before saluting.
"Thank you. Please continue with your duties." Stoenn cast his gaze outwards as the man left his presence. He could see the Cyren Pokemon League rushing towards them. "So... It begins..."
CHAPTER FIVE: END.