“Cinnabar!” Sepia shouted as he burst into the room. He could see his body sticking out of the wreckage. He had transformed at the last minute, his aspect form taking the majority of the damage. “Smart kid...” Sepia muttered to himself, checking his pulse. Still alive. Excellent. “If you can hear me, don't move. I have things to deal with.” He stood upright, turning to get a feel for the room. It was a large, conference room-type space with large windows in the front. The collision had caused them to become smashed, leaving the wind to blow loudly across the gaps. In front of them stood three figures, instantly recognisable.
“Well, this is it, then.” Deoxys's form overtook Schwarz's silhouette, edging towards Sepia. Polargigas had adopted its merged state, likely for ease of access to the building, as had their prisoner, Weiceus.
“The final battle, huh?” Sepia removed a cigarette from his pocket and stuck it in his mouth. “Do you mind?” He waved his lighter in front of him.
“Of course not. A last request is customary, I believe.”
“Excellent.” He began to pull Cinnabar from the wreckage. Amser's tell-tale footsteps came from the wide stairs as the beast hurried into the room. Removing Cinnabar carefully, he placed him on Amser's back and pointed. The creature hurriedly ran the way it had come from, heading directly out of the building.
“You're not even going to fight me with your prize Pokemon? Don't tell me you're considering doing it with your own fists?”
“Now, why would I do that?” Cinnabar lit his cigarette and grinned. “Honestly, try saying that to my face.”
Deoxys floated over, expressionless as ever. It stood, as best it could, face to face with him. Sepia smirked and removed the cigarette from his mouth.
“Guess that's that then.” He flicked the cigarette into the air as he began to run toward the glassless window. He swan-dived from the window as his cigarette met the leaking fuel from Cinnabar's jet. The entire building shook as the explosion blew outward, rushing after Sepia. Celadon caught him, lowering him gently to the ground with her mind. His sword, not as lucky, clattered to the ground before him.
As his feet touched pavement, he began to look around. The charred bodies of Deoxys lay beside its compatriots, Weiceus and Polargigas. The latter began to cough, the blast having only knocked it out. Sepia quickly removed his StopAll injector from his pocket and threw it at Polargigas, quickly rendering it immobile. He limped over to Weiceus, the blast having taken its toll. Celadon rushed to steady him, but he nudged her away, bending down to pick up his blade.
“Are you yourself, or have you been merged?” He asked quietly, standing over Weiceus.
Sepia's palm met Weiceus' face. He awoke, startled.
“Are you yourself, or have you been merged?”
“I'm me.” Weiceus coughed. “You happy?”
Sepia stood back. “Deoxys has fallen. Your government is over. When we've cleaned up, I'm handing you over to the League. They assume power in a situation like this, right? I'll make sure you're tried for your crimes.”
Weiceus simply began to laugh. It was not an intimidating laugh, however. There was no violence or anger in it. It was hysterics.
For once, Sepia had won.
“Boss!” Wehc appeared from behind a building, several other commanders following behind him. Lavender, Fuschia and Giovanni, worn-down but still alive.
“What do we do now?”
“Get everyone together. We have to...” Sepia was cut short a tendril pierced his chest. Deoxys was stood behind him, no expression but indelible waves of anger pouring off it.
“Sepia!” Screamed Fuchsia, terrified.
Wehc rushed over, removing his cigar from his mouth and jamming it into the tendril. Deoxys recoiled in pain, only to freeze in time. Amser's face had darkened.
“I can stem the bleeding at the source, but we'll still need to bandage him.” Celadon said, turning to Fuchsia quickly tore the base of her uniform off. Celadon's psychic surgery cleaned the wound as Fuchsia dressed it. Sepia groaned in pain.
“This won't hold me forever.” Deoxys' voice began to filter into their minds. “I'm a god, do you think cheap tricks can hold me?”
“It'll... do until we... stop you...” Sepia said, grunting.
“We can't.” Giovanni said, darkly. “We got Deoxys' DNA from the future. It was the only way, what with the meteor and all. He has to survive until then.”
“We don't have time to set up a container... how far away was the future?” Sepia groaned as he returned to his feet, leaning on Lavender.
“One hundred years.” Giovanni began pointing, “But that's not all. There's a failsafe in the tower. Something dangerous. I oversaw its installation, but I don't know what it does. I do know that is set to activate if anything happens to Schwarz.”
“I guess that includes attempts at removing him from this timeline... Damn it!” Sepia said, suddenly recoiling in pain, clutching his side. Lavender pointed him in the direction of the former president.
“Weiss! What's in the tower?”
“A bomb... In case Towan won the war...” Weiceus resumed its laughter.
“I won't let this happen.” Sepia quickly tapped his earpiece communicator, turning to face the Fel City Memorial Tower. “All teams, evacuate Fel City. Get everyone out. Civilians included.”
Wehc stepped forward, transferring Sepia to his shoulders. “Guess we're going into the Lion's Den, huh?”
“No... Just me.” Sepia said, attempting to pull away.
“Don't make me punch you in the face.” Wehc said, laughing. “You ain't ditching us now.” He turned to Lavender, Giovanni, Celadon and Fuchsia. “You coming?”
All three simply nodded.
“Bring Cinnabar, we might need him.” Celadon said to Giovanni, who proceeded to remove the aspect-merged man from the Dragon's back and carried him with a well-performed fireman's lift.
“Amser... You keep Deoxys where it is, OK? Any sign that its breaking free, ramp up the control. Understand?” The Dragon nodded. “Keep an eye on Weiss as well.”
“How do we get there?” Lavender asked, somewhat dubious. “Ground level? That'd take time.”
Sepia turned his head to Celadon. “Think you can float us?”
Daegre roared proudly as Fujitsu's pokemon were thrown backwards.
“I am no ordinary Aspect. I am the product of breeding far beyond your meager origins.” She raised an arm and slashed it outwards, a wave of water emerging from the cold floor of Daegre's pocket battlefield and crashing over the stunned pokemon. Her stride kept her moving towards Darkitsu, her eyes steadily glowing. “This is for Fujogre you pitiful wretch.” Her hand shot out and grabbed Darkitsu by the exposed section of his neck, wrenching him off the ground. “Now DIE!”
“Thunder!” Cried Zapillion as Daegre was struck by lightning. She dropped Darkitsu and seemed to vanish. Darkitsu's eyes were trained enough to follow her movements. She was moving at an extreme speed, a blur to anyone but him.
“Zapillion! Dodge!” He called out, but it was too late. The Zapdos aspect's eyes bulged as Daegre reached her target.
“Everyone one of your accomplices...” Daegre pulled backwards, removing her hand from Zapillion's chest. It fell backwards, a gaping hole in it's body. Darkitsu knew it would be futile to assist. Zapillion had died the minute she struck. “... Will perish in the flames of perdition.”
“Not....” Darkitsu began to burn with a black flame. His entire body coursed with the flame. “Like...” He seemed to grow somewhat, as if the fuel of his anger was enough by itself to sustain him. “THIS!” He screamed as a black flame shot from his chest. He took hold, wrenching it out and wielding it as a weapon. He leapt forward, the black fire seeming to act as a propellant. He struck down hard on Daegre, the aspect crying out in pain as the flame enveloped her.
“BURN INTO NOTHING!” He screamed as it engulfed her. Her screams came thick and loud as she slowly began to fade, first from view as the flames took hold, and then from existence as they burned her through.
“How exactly did we get into this mess?” Roy's voice rose as he looked around the room. They had been swarmed quickly by innumerable creatures. Legendary Beasts of all forms assaulted them from all sides. They fought back valiantly, but the space around them began to shrink as they found themselves unable to hold back the encroachment any longer. Krystal braced herself as a Regirock leapt forward, aiming for the killing blow.
“Krystal!” Roy screamed as the strike came down hard, leaving a dent in the floor.
“What?” He said, momentarily confused.
“Hello again.” A voice rang out through the room. It pierced Roy's mind like an arrow. “Krystal is upstairs. I've carved you out a path. Get to safety.”
“This is no time for questions.”
Roy turned to see what appeared to be a literal path carved for him, legendaries piled high along either side, mangled pieces of machinery sticking out from each.
He did not wait for any further reasons.
“Max!” Hari yelled, running over to his fellow commander. “The action seems to have moved out of the civic centre. How's the containment coming?”
“We've got them swarming out of everywhere. Rockets, feral pokemon, anything that wants to fight is here. Not many civvies, though. They seem to have fled in response.” Max sighed and took out a cigarette. “Where's the boss?”
“Headed for the tower, last I saw.”
“Did he have Cinnabar with him?”
“I think he was being carried by Giovanni.”
“Giovanni?” Max chuckled. “The sly dog. Figures he'd swap sides.”
“Why did you ask?”
“No reason.” Max said, turning to face the tower. “But after the trouble I went to, I'm glad Cinnabar didn't miss.”
“What's going on?” Fujitsu stood facing Darkitsu. “Where are we?”
“That last attack took everything I had... It may have just burned me up too...”
“We stand at a unique moment.” Darkitsu's armored form stood before him in a howling abyss. The noise was deafening, but Darkitsu seemed to be speaking to him directly. “I believe this may prove futile, but you deserve closure.”
“What?” Fujitsu stammered as Darkitsu began stepping closer. “What are you talking about? Are we back inside my mind?”
“Your mind has been contaminated from the first moment we came into contact.” Darkitsu's footsteps were measured. His armour clanked and shook as he moved. Fujitsu had begun to back away, but he found himself teetering over an edge. He swivelled on his heel to regain balance, watching the floor light up beneath him. A white circular platform, a pattern in black emblazoned upon it. As he regained his footing, he could make out the silhouette of a Darkrai in the black.
“What are you doing?”
“Finishing this!” Darkitsu screamed as he threw his arms open wide. “Defeat me, Fujitsu! Reclaim your MIND!” Even in the darkness, Fujitsu could see the blackness fly from Darkitsu's armour. It began to amass above him, an ever growing ball, devoid of any colour. A thought flashed through his mind that it was, perhaps, the closest representation one could have of a void. He discarded the thought as Darkitsu's armour crashed to the ground. He took the warning, leaping forward as a spear of darkness shot from the ball and tore a chunk from the platform. He landed into a roll and came to a stop with one hand on the ground, his other flailing somewhat.
“Fight on your own terms.”
The words shot through his mind.
He leapt forward to dodge another attack, unable to pause for even a moment. He took hold of a piece of debris from the platform and hurled it at the darkness. He watched helplessly as it was simply subsumed into the mass. Another spear came hurtling. He moved to dodge but was too late. It struck him through the chest. The darkness drove Fujitsu into the platform, the pain like nothing he'd felt. He was defeated.
“Fight on your own terms.”
In his own mind, the only response.
“Your mind was always your greatest weapon.”
Fujitsu's eyes snapped open, a pale fire slowly growing in them.
A sphere of bright light enveloped him, the spear retracting as if the darkness itself was in pain. He clutched his head, overwhelmed, falling to his knees as the platform beneath him began to heal. He sat, panting for a moment, before finally returning to his feet. Through the howl of the abyss, he could hear his own voice, above everything.
Final Round! Fujitsu Versus Darkness Manifest! FIGHT!
He launched himself upwards as another spear came crashing down, using the attack as an opportunity to gain some ground. He used it as a road, rushing along the pillar of darkness like a jet, his hands glowing with a brilliant light. He launched himself forward and struck out, the light piercing the void for a brief instant. He fell back as the wound sealed itself, the darkness growing once more. He followed suit, using further spears are opportunities to gain distance on it, moving in for another strike. His assault came thick and fast, but made little impact. He slumped to the ground, his moment of triumph seemingly quashed.
“I can't...” He was panting, worn out and exhausted. He raised his gaze to the mass. “This is my mind. I've never been in control of it. Not until you came along, Darkitsu. I know you're trying to fix me by asking me to destroy your influence...” The spears landed around him, the darkness slowly enclosing him, sucking out the few slivers of light that remained. “... But my mind was a mess. You... made me better.” A tiny spark in the distance finally grew dim as the darkness became overwhelming. “DARKITSU!”
A blade of light cut through the darkness effortlessly. Through the carnage of the void, he could see Darkitsu's armour, still moving, still fighting.
“DARKITSU REMNANT HAS JOINED THE BATTLE!” It's voice rang out as it extended a hand. Fujitsu took it, and they stood before the darkness. As they faced the darkness, a tear ran down Fujitsu's face. He was not sad.
He turned to Darkitsu briefly and, nodding, turned to face the blackness once more.
He was content.
And in that moment, as a blinding light enveloped both of them, as the darkness seemed for the first time to shift, the pair spoke in unison.
“A NEW CHALLENGER APPEARS!”
“This machine...” Sepia was steady on his feet – barely. He was limping between consoles, examining them. The top of the tower was a large, open-plan done encircled with technology. He spied the aspect-merging equipment at one end, but was more focussed on the other. “It's wired the entire tower up as a conductor... and its already begun to count down. Must have been Deoxys' first death that did it.”
“Conductor for what?” Cinnabar muttered, finally waking up.
“It's going to suck the energy out of... everything. Plants, birds, people, arcedamn everything. Looks like its going to redirect it into the Earth. It'd split the damn thing apart.”
“What can we do then?” Sepia looked at Fuchsia, an earnest look on her face. His gaze sank. He felt... defeated.
“I'll let everyone know they need to get out of the tower.” Roy waved his troops to one side. “I figure it might buy people some time.”
“I can help.” Krystal said, floating over.
“No. Get out while you can. This is for us to solve.”
Krystal eyed Sepia for a moment, before turning to the exit.
“Right, well, on you go then.” He replied, turning to face the exit as they shuffled out. It left himself, Fuchsia, Lavender, Giovanni, Wehc, Cinnabar and Celadon. “So, it's just us and a brick wall...”
“Come now, Sepia. The answer has been staring in front of you all along.” Origin stood before him. The old God, making a house call. “Just thinking about this room.”
Sepia's gaze moved between the people. Fuchsia. Lavender. Celadon. Cinnabar. Origin, in the body of Saffron. Viridian Giovanni. Himself.... Indigo Sepia. It washed over him, a wave of realisation. He leapt up, ignoring the pain.
“Oh this is brilliant. Honestly, this is fantastic. You... you set this up, didn't you? Made sure this would happen... and I'd figure it out!” He grabbed Origin by the shoulders and kissed its forehead. “Oh, you're fantastic!”
“What's happening?” Fuchsia asked, but Wehc simply patted her on the shoulder.
“You see, I've been struggling over this since Deoxys was made. There's no real way to get out of this. We can't send him back, because that'll cause a loop... a form of paradox that'll just make things worse. You see, if we send Deoxys back in time, it'll be able to make sure we can't defeat it here. Send it forward, and we're just delaying things, but it'll still be a threat. One we can't fight, in theory, because we won't be around. Those were my first instincts. We can't contain it safely, because its very existence is a threat. It was trapped in a meteor, and yet was able to manipulate people into releasing it. I don't think putting it anywhere else will make sense. So that's why I raise another possibility. What if we DID send it back, though? To where this all began? What if we stacked the deck?”
“What are you saying?” Giovanni began to rub his eyes. “That we should let it run amok?”
“No, not at all! Origin, tell the good man how this all began.”
“There were six gods. Myself, Arceus, Agrython, Regigigas, Perigro and Deoxys. Arceus, Regigigas and Deoxys staged a rebellion, imprisoning myself, destroying Agrython, and splitting Perigro in the legendary birds known as Zapdos, Articuno and Moltres. Deoxys, however, became greedy. He proceeded to imprison Regigigas, before turning his sights to Arceus. The pair fought for days, and Arceus finally won. It imprisoned Deoxys in a meteor, only to be banished to a higher plane of existence by the very things it had been seeking to control.”
“What if we were able to change that outcome?” Sepia was nearly hysterical. “What if we didn't just send Deoxys back?”
“You mean, if we sent Origin too?” Cinnabar said, grunting. “Somehow, I think your plan is somewhat grander.”
“We stack the whole deck. We send back all of them, let them paradox merge, and then they duke it out.”
“You want me to sacrifice myself?” Cinnabar stood, shaking dust from his body. “I guess I've got nothing better to do.”
“I'll be Perigro.” Fuchsia shuddered slightly. “We need someone to do it, and besides... Rocket made my aspect out of it. Guess they must have though I was appropriate or something. Plus, I'm guessing that tube over by the wall isn't just for decoration.”
“It's a quick process.” Cinnabar said. “Split-second. Not for you, but for us anyway. Uses a form of time travel.”
“That leaves me and Weiss.” Origin folded his arms. “Now, get to the good bit.”
“Right, well, if you must. We can't use my Dialga to send you back.”
“What?” Celadon interjected. “But why not?”
“If we let Deoxys loose, even for a second, it would put all of this in jeopardy.”
“That's why you're here. Viridian Giovanni, you've got Rocket Access Codes. You can patch me into their equipment, right?”
“Sure thing.” Giovanni hurried over to the machines and began typing.
Sepia moved to another console and did the same. “Thanks. I'm patching through to Pewter's lab. If we can use the box system as an intermediary, we can reverse this conductor and use the energy it drains as a jumpstart for a temporal shift.” Sepia crashed his fist into the console. “Damn, not enough power. Until this tower begins draining energy, we can't get started. But when it does that, we're the first to go... Come on... think....”
“We need a burst of living energy. If I could make a connection, I could draw the life force of humanity towards this fortress.” Origin was staring out of a window, glaring.
“Won't that kill people?” Fuchsia asked.
“It's all about jumpstarting these things. If Origin has control over the connection, he can be very deliberate in what he takes.”
“But I need scope. Scope loses precision.”
“I can give you your scope and let you keep your precision.” Celadon's eyes were glowing. The conduit was speaking through her.
“Ah, Mr. Conduit. Nice to see you... Tell me, what was your name?” Sepia was an inch away from Celadon's face now, staring into her eyes.
“What was your name?!” He shouted.
“In life, I was known as Pallet.” The air began to crackle as Celadon was released. “I have manifested myself in this room. Do not take long, I may not be able to sustain my presence freely.”
“Oh, EXCELLENT!” Sepia said, jumping for joy, still ignoring the wound. “Celadon can link us to Pallet's power... Lavender, can you get me access to Titan's satellites?”
“If I redirect the energy, I can expand Origin's scope out to the entire world.” Sepia turned to Wehc. “But you. You're the only one in this room without a role. You... Everyone involved in this process is connected by one very specific thing. Their names. Everyone here's been Colour Traced, something Mewtwo told me he'd done in very cryptic terms but I didn't really understand until now. Everyone's name is shared with a city in Kanto, all named for colours, except for you. Wehc, what is your real name?”
“I'm not allowed to say. Its against the rules.”
“I'm dead, Sepia. I've been dead for a while now. I was brought back to make sure you made it to this moment. Hell, why do you think we first me in Miasma? That damn place is the thing that allowed me to come back.”
“I figured it out a while ago.” Fuchsia sighed. “I didn't want to say anything. Figured you knew.”
“Someone dead... with a name... The first arcedamn thing I saw, huh? Back when I lost my memory, sitting in Miasma, trying to make a television work.”
“You're so close...”
“The death of Attara Television CEO Mark Cerulean.”
“BINGO!” Wehc shouted. “I woke up dead, I suppose. And I knew I had to find you.... I just... somehow knew. Now, if you don't mind, please allow me to do my job.”
Wehc began working on a third console, pressing buttons almost at random. “I'm connecting you to Attara TV's satellites. We have twenty seven over Spectrum alone. They'll allow you to do your job without losing the spread of Titan's. Besides, ours are better.”
“Excellent. Now, we just need someone to be the first connection.” Sepia opened up the console itself, ripping off a metal sheet at the front and clutching at wires. “I guess that'll have to be me.”
“No, it'll be me.” A familiar face with red hair stepped into the room. She looked pale, shaken and malnourished. “Lady Kiss, otherwise known as Void Spectrum, at your service. I'm your final colour trace.”
“Why did Kiss save us before, Krystal?” Roy asked, resting his hands on his knees, panting.
“She saved you for me.” Daebi's voice was calm and serene as she floated towards them.
“Discarded the puppet then?” Krystal asked, readying her Starus.
“This is a battle I must face myself.” She extended a hand, pointing at Krystal. “Mother.”
“Oh come on... That's pretty stock-standard, isn't it?” Krystal sighed. “The final showdown between the original and the copy?”
“It is how it must be.” Daebi said, rising into the air before disappearing with a loud snap. Leaves fluttered down where she had stood. Krystal began to search around her, but was too slow. Daebi's fist struck her in the face, sending her reeling. “Daegre has been defeated. That means I have to enter the fray myself!” Krystal's Starus launched an Ice beam, but the creature was too slow. It struck only leaves.
“What's going on?” Roy asked, rushing to her side.
“I've been picking up temporal energy like nothing I've felt before. Something big's coming, and I'm pretty sure it's fried her brain.” Krystal rose to her feet. She did not use them often, but this was a special case. She needed the kind of thrust that only direct contact with a surface could give her.
It was enough. She launched herself forwards as Daebi's attack narrowly missed, her fist ploughing straight through a window, the glass shattering outwards.
“Good. You're fighting fair, at least. I suppose the energy's stopping any below-the-belt time travel.” Krystal said, kicking out forwards, her foot connecting with the small of Daebi's back. She howled in pain as she disappeared. “Come on out, Daebi... Wherever you are... Celetwo? Celystal? What would you prefer as you got your ass kicked by the PokeGoddess of Time?” She turned to see a fist rushing towards her. It connected with her jaw, knocking her to the ground. Daebi stood over her, laughing an unhinged laugh.
“That's not actually our naming system, you know. Our official designations have nothing to do with our pitiful origins.”
“Oh yeah?” Krystal wiped blood from her mouth. “Then tell me your name.”
Daebi lifted her foot high. “I am Celebi, The Mad.”
She brought it down on Krystal. The recipient braced for the impact, but it never came. Instead, she turned to see Daebi on her back and Roy standing over her.
“Yeah!” Shouted ID. “One for the team!”
“Roy gained the Power of Love!” Ego said, high-fiving ID. “Plus 5 to badass!”
Krystal stood, brushing her clothes. “Styx!” Her Starus stood before her and Roy, the trio forming a perfect triangle. She turned to Roy, who nodded briefly, before turning back to Daebi. “I can't believe I'm actually going to say this, but we have one thing you'll never have!” She and Roy both adopted a fighting stance. “Love!”
They both leapt forward, Starus generating a platform of Ice for them to slide down. They slid quickly, launching from the platform to strike Daebi, knocking her to the other side of the room. Krystal grabbed Roy's hand and raised a hand to the heavens. “My name is Krystal Spectrum! I'm no Goddess...” She pointed violently at Daebi. “I'm perfect already! Styx, Glacier!” She called out as Styx began to glow a pale blue. A strong wind blew throughout the room as ice began to form. Daebi cried out as from below, a pillar of Ice rose up, and in that moment, she vanished, a trail of leaves left behind.
“Did we win?” Roy said, panting once more. “I still don't quite get it.”
“All the energy flying around impaired her judgement. She started running on pure instinct – she's a copy of me back when I was unstable. Heck, I still am at times...” She turned to face Roy, smiling. “But I've got better... Because of you. I don't think she could handle that, eternally trapped in my own mind. So she came to settle the score.”
“In a base, primal way.”
“You're catching on. Anyway, I think that was pretty early in her timeline. The beatdown we gave her would at least explain why she never wanted to fight us.”
“Come on, then. We've won one fight. We need to make sure Sepia can too.”
Kiss' pokeball bounced off the wall. She had attempted to send it through a rift to attack Hari, in an attempt to fix the issues in her plans. But the white room would not allow it. It bounced and opened, the Seviper appearing before her. She could not move fast enough. Jezibelle was quickly bitten by the Seviper, a significant chunk of her body being taken. The blood came thick and fast from her, pouring out like a river. Kiss scrambled to try to help but it was no use.
Jezibelle died in her arms yet again.
In the distance, Kiss saw Jezibelle appear once more. Her dead body was gone, and now it was only her, once again approaching, sitting, speaking pleasantries, dying from the snake. Reappearing.
An endless cycle. Kiss could not see Origin, in the background, making sure it went just as planned.
“After Jirachi 7, I had a... moment. I was shown something. I was made to pay for my crimes.” She pushed Sepia out of the way, grabbing the wires. “You're the hero. I'm the villain. Only one of us should die here today.”
“Kiss...” Sepia said, sighing. “I wish things could have been different.”
“And yet...” Kiss said, pressing a switch. The cables came to life, using her as a conductor. The tower burst into a surge of renewed life, her body slumping to the floor as a result. It was still pulsing, brimful of energy. Sepia stood by her body for a second, before turning to gaze upwards slightly.
“I'm going to have to go onto the roof and make sure the transmitter is fully functioning. When I get back, I'll need three gods up here. Can I count on you to set that up, Pallet?”
“You have my word.”
“Excellent.” Sepia headed for the emergency exit and out onto the balcony of the tower. The wind howled around him as he began edging towards the ladder. It consisted of a rickety metal mesh suspended over supports, and he was less than comfortable moving across it. The exit had been designed for the original tower, the false exterior having supported it. As the device had been unveiled, the outer casing of the tower's top had been removed. Now, as it hung around the edge of the tower, it hung freely.
“Having fun playing the hero?”
Sepia turned to see Arceus before him, plain as day.
“So, they did manage to merge you after all... Guess you must have slipped past Amser... But I thought once you were all free, you were meant to be waging your war against mankind?”
“And what did you think would be the first blow, hm? The total defeat of the forces of Towan.” Arceus' face seemed to warp into a twisted smile. “You were to be the first blood. We did not, however, anticipate your gambit.”
“Well, what can I say...” Sepia removed his sword from its sheath. “I think on my feet.”
The beast lunged at Sepia, jabbing its forelegs towards him. His sword caught the brunt of the attack, the shrill sound of bone and steel trailing off into the howling gale.
“So, you're still recouperating, then? This doesn't seem like a god's strength...”
“My rebirth was... interrupted.” Arceus' white leg swept the ground infront of Sepia. He leapt backwards, placing a foot firmly on access ladder. He began climbing, Arceus following swiftly behind. He pulled himself up onto the upper gangway as the ladder came down, ripped from its hinges by the beast. He put foot to metal, rushing to the transmitter.
“You're running now?”
He flicked several switches and turned to the hound.
“Nope. Just taking the scenic route.”
The hound began to slowly edge towards him.
“You humans are so... flippant. It hides your fragility, doesn't it? You're like the ceiling of his building, nothing but glass.”
“Yeah, that's the problem with glass ceilings.” Sepia braced himself. “They make terrible floors.”
He launched into a tackle that sent both himself and the beast over the edge and down, through the glass ceiling, the hound cushioning Sepia's fall as they crashed into the laboratory below.
“We could use a hand... We have two more gods... we need up here... now!”
The air settled slightly as the conduit blinked out of existence, quickly appearing again with the two other aspect-merged beings and Amser. Fuchsia fell out of the Tube, now sporting three heads and feathers. Sepia, brushing the glass off himself, was more interested in that than the Gods.
He threw a switch and pointed to the door. “Cinnabar, Fuschia, Origin, you stay here. Pallet, keep the gods here too. Everyone else, get the hell out. Emergency access on the lowest level.” Sepia tapped his earpiece. “Sepia to the Vermillion. Code 29, target the Memorial Tower. Three minutes.”
“What's a code 29?” Celadon asked as everyone headed for the door.
Lavender, not pausing for a second, simply said “Intentional Collision.”
The group's feet hit steps rapidly, no time wasted. They needed to get out, and fast.
Aboard the Vermillion, Captain Hyperion was staring out of the window. “Do it! Full speed ahead, aim for the tower!”
“But Captain...” The first mate stood up to protest. “That'll kill everyone on board!”
“You listen to me, son.” Hyperion turned to the first mate and looked him square in the eyes. “We have an opportunity. If we act now, the lives of billions could be saved. It is unfortunate that yes, we will likely perish. But I will gladly give my life for the sake of the planet itself.”
The first mate turned back to his controls, recalcitrant.
“Captain Hyperion!” Shouted Fujitsu through the monitor.
“What is it, boy?!” He said, surprised at his appearance.
“We patched into your comms. We heard everything. Ram the VICTINI into the tower!”
“It's full of Porygon! Get 'em into the explosion and it'll ramp it up thirty times!”
“By Arceus...” Hyperion stood. “You don't mean...”
“A Fulton-Crosis Temporal Reduction Paradox!”
“DO IT!” Fujitsu ran back from the monitor to push some buttons. “Everyone here's dead or willing to go out with a bang. Don't disappoint us.”
“Full speed ahead! Strike the VICTINI from above!”
Step after step seemed only to spawn more as Sepia rushed out of the tower. He knew that if anything were to happen, being at the point of collision might kill him before any temporal effects took hold, it might not have the power to bring back the dead. The stairs were still full of the cyborg legendaries, many of them mangled bodies but more than enough living and breathing. Giovanni's Nidorino was taking care of more than a few, as was Lavender's Fearow, who was gliding down while using drill peck to knock back the onslaught. Sepia himself was relying on his sword, a few well placed swipes of which would incapacitate the legs of any assaulting creature.
“I think I've worked it out!” Giovanni said, holding a cyborg Azelf. “The cloning process needs fresh material every time. You take too much, you kill the source and make it finite. They were cheating... cloning new legendaries by building them around exoskeletons. Makes them a bit more resilient while also needing less living matter.”
“Great. Thanks for that. Now, can we get to the matter at hand?” Sepia said, slicing through the leg of a Suicune.
“I see daylight!” Shouted Lavender. The exit was within sight.
A few more steps.
Sepia was barely out of the tower as the collision came. He was working on the same principles as Jirachi 7 – if he forced a collision with a strong psychic presence, he could transfer the result to a temporal shift. What they lacked without Daebi, they had made up for with the Conduit and Sepia's configuration of the satellites. The explosion rocked everything, and before his eyes, Sepia saw the universe unravelling.
“What's happening?” Came a voice. Krystal and Roy were now stood beside him. Max, Hari and Fujitsu had since joined him, alongside Giovanni, Celadon, Wehc and Lavender. The ground was slowly separating out, a black void filled with dark, brown clouds of dust appearing around them, and they on their island, standing alone.
“Just as I thought. We fixed time... but the paradox was too great. We're about to see the true face of the universe.” Sepia said, pointing. From the blackness and the clouds came a hulking monstrosity, all tentacles and claws.
“This is the universe?” Max adopted a fighting stance. “Not sure I really wanted to fight to save this.”
“The celestial avatar. Here to remake the universe.” Sepia adopted a similar stance.
“Who's to say it won't just put things back how they were?” Krystal snarled.
“We are!” Hari said, launching himself forward. He struck out with a blast of psychic energy, but the beast swatted him away. Out of time, and out of space.
“Hari!” Celadon said, rushing to try and save him. It was too late, she too was struck down.
“Is it... erasing them?” Roy asked, perplexed.
“I think it's putting them back where they should be.” Wehc said, running forward. “I'll distract it. Somebody hit the damn thing where it hurts!”
He was quickly knocked away, only Max to strike at it with a baseball bat. As the bat struck, both it and Max disappeared. The beast began to lunge at the others, clawing them away, until only Sepia, Roy and Krystal remained.
“Krystal...” Roy turned to her, reaching his arms out and holding her close. “Remember me.”
The clawed hand came down and erased them from history.
“Guess that leaves me.” Sepia closed his eyes and braced for the impact.
It did not come.
He opened them to see the monster clawing at its chest, as if trying to remove something. He stepped forward, only to recoil when a fist burst through the Celestial Avatar.
“Honey, I'm home!” came Vermil's voice, a sound Sepia had nearly forgotten. The blond haired teenager burst his way out of the creature's chest and fell to the ground beside Sepia.
“Vermil! But... how?”
“I'm the very thing that caused all of this. Caused everything to be fixed. Now things are being put back, and so am I. But Origin taught me a few more tricks when I died.”
“Oh, like what?”
“I can show you.”
Vermil extended his hand out to Sepia.
Sepia took Vermil's hand.
A firm grasp.
The terror of the universe.
The pair turned to face the beginning and the end of everything.
Both were smiling a pleasant, contented smile as the universe ended.