“Well, this isn't what I was expecting.” Sepia looked around him, gauging his surroundings. He appeared to be aboard the Vermillion. He opened his fist to reveal an amulet, old and beaten.
“The amulet of Agrython, Dragon God of Time. You tricky devil.”
In the distance, he could hear talking. He approached a door to see Max and a Mismagius. “Fine. I'll set your arcedamn coordinates for you.”
“Coordinates... Cinnabar. He must have been the one that rigged Cinnabar's jet to interrupt Arceus' rebirth. But how? He doesn't know the first thing about programming, and I doubt the Mismagius can help... Unless...”
Sepia gazed at his wrist. He was wearing a Poketch, a trinket he'd bought years in the future. He'd been wearing it since he'd first arrived, though he hadn't really used it since Miasma. He hit a few buttons, leaving directions for Max in the notepad function. He unstrapped it and left it lying just inside the door.
The amulet began to burn in his hand as his surroundings melted away, slowly replacing themselves with an office block.
“Roy, come on! This way!”
Krystal's voice caused Sepia to duck behind a partition. He pressed himself against the surface, attempting to avoid contact.
“You shouldn't be here.”
A whirl of leaves.
“Neither should you, Daebi.”
“Well, we're all strange creatures, aren't we?”
Daebi laughed a little.
“When were you born, Daebi?”
“Same time you beat the smirk off Cinnabar's face at the Elite Four. I was made in response. A fail-safe.”
Daebi's usual smug grin gave way for a second as Sepia's face darkened.
“I die, don't I?”
He adopted a normal stance, a mark of respect.
“Krystal seemed a little surprised when I appeared before her... although, it might also have been my choice of body. Still, I played along.”
“Nothing we can do but keep on keepin' on.”
“It's Genthy Island, isn't it? There's a major event a few days back there that's giving off massive radiation like a Chronon Loop started the big bang. That's me, isn't it?”
“Guess I'd better get going.”
Daebi disappeared in a swirl of leaves again, her voice echoing as the room blurred and shifted once more.
“You think you could tell me about this and not expect me to see it for myself?”
Stoenn's room, on his Jirachi 1 airship. He recognised it immediately.
“Sepia, good you're here. Not sure if I like the clothes, though.” Stoenn slumped down into an office chair and sighed.
“Something on your mind?”
“I'm worried we really can't avoid a war.”
Sepia turned to face the window.
“What if it came to that?”
Stoenn picked up a small glass of whiskey and sloshed it around some, a drop leaving the glass and striking his desk.
“I'm not sure we'd be able to fight.”
“We or You?”
“I'm not sure I could fight.”
Sepia paced slowly over to Stoenn's desk, wiping up the drop of whiskey with his index finger. He lifted it and pressed it to Stoenn's lips.
“It isn't about you.”
Stoenn placed a hand softly on Sepia's and lowered it from his face.
“You have a wonderful way with words.”
“I know.” Sepia muttered as Stoenn turned away, leaving the room to blur once more.
This time, he was in the corridors beneath Fel's Government building. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Mewtwo approaching. He smiled and crossed his arms.
“We haven't destroyed the main aspect creation suite yet, have we?”
“No, but you're in the building.”
“That power of yours... You're in all times at once. Eternally yourself. Can you do me a favor?”
“Tell your older self that Vermil needs to take a certain path to Origin's chamber. Ice. Stone. Steel. Lightning. Elevation.”
“Because that's what he said he took.”
“I'm not sure I understand.”
The room began to blur yet again as Sepia sighed.
The blur shifting into falling leaves and ruins as Sepia found himself in Miasma, the broken city he had spent so much time in early on. As the winds blew through the decaying buildings, he heard a whimpering that echoed a lonely echo. The crunching of the leaves betrayed him, and the weeping subject turned scared to face him in the night time darkness.
“Wh... who are you?”
“Man...” Sepia knelt down and inspected the man. “Mark Cerulean...”
Mark Cerulean sat scared and alone, crouched among the fallen leaves of Miasma. “You know me...? Hah, of course you know me...”
“But you don't know me. You will, though.” Sepia offered him a cigarette, which he accepted, choking breaths interrupting his attempts to smoke.
“What's happened to me...? Do you know why... why I'm here?”
“You were killed. And for whatever reason, the universe brought you back.”
“To help me.” Sepia smiled and stood up. “I can't offer you time. But I can offer you a happy ending. You'll meet me, you'll say hi and I'll mention we're old friends. I have a tendency to... lose track of the world. So I'll be lying, probably, but just go with it. Eventually, I'll need help. You have to be there.”
Wehc stood up, regaining his composure. He began to smooth the creases from his suit.
“How do you know all this?”
“Stick with me Mark, you'll figure it out.”
Sepia began to walk away, the blur coming one last time. He turned around to say one final thing as the mist enveloped.
“And use your pen name. It's how this thing is supposed to go, apparently.”
Sepia found himself on a clifftop, the sea stretching out all around him. It was a nice view, and the muffled sound of voices crashed over him like a wave. He turned to face them, sounds coming from over a small outcropping. He heard a shout and the tell-tale sound of rocks shifting. He ran the outcropping, but paused as a hand touched his shoulder. Mewtwo, a smug look on his face, appeared briefly before disappearing.
Sepia simply nodded and began to climb.
Cinnabar's red hair blew in the hair as he ran away. For help, Sepia imagined, as he was running away from a large hole that had fallen through. He inched over and sat by it, making sure the ground beneath him wasn't about to do the same with a quick pat of the hand.
“Hey, kid... Are you down there? Call out if you are.”
A muffled response came. Whoever he was talking to, they'd fallen a long way.
“I can't hear you very well... Are you a Boy? Or a Girl?”
“I'm a Boy!”
“Sorry, I still can't hear you... What is your name?”
“Figures,” Sepia muttered to himself. “Why else would I be here?” Sepia lit a cigarette and processed things for a minute. He'd been brought to a scenario he knew Vermil didn't escape from. He'd been told so. This was the moment that Vermil accidentally released Origin from its tomb which, in hindsight, was a fantastic coincidence. He took a drag and decided to play a character.
If nothing else, he could try to make sure Vermil wasn't too scared.
“Vermil? Okay... Hey, anyone around here know a Vermil? Okay... There's somebody here who says he's your friend... What is His Name?”
“Is that Cinnabar?”
“He says his name is Cinnabar! Look, just wait there! We'll get you out soon!”
He heard an echoing from inside the hole. The sound of footsteps reverberating through a chamber. He'd heard the sound before. He was growing fond of it.
“You still there, kid?”
No response. He took another drag and sighed.
“I'm tired of all of this. I really am. These past few months have been nothing but death and...well, that's something I'm not ever particularly happy with anyway. I realise death happens but... I just wish it didn't happen so often to people I know. Everything keeps coming back to me... I can't handle this. I really can't handle this. I've lost track of how old I am, who I was, I struggle sometimes to remember where I was born...”
He began to stare at the distance, the horizon glimmering with the light of the water that surrounded Aurrand Island like a ring. It moved slowly and steadily, not in waves but in beats, the motion of the waves in the form of the movement of everything.
“I think my age might be in the triple digits by now.”
He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. He thought of the birds and the hounds and the dragons and the titans and the gods and of himself, he thought of humanity at its very best. Humanity at its very worst. The things he'd seen and the places he'd been.
The questions he had never been given an answer to.
The clichés that people liked to keep coming back to.
He flicked his cigarette into the hole, smiling.
“You know, Vermil, I'm starting to think there's something greater at work here. I've been thinking it for a while, to be honest, but now I'm doing it more than ever. It's a nice thought, that sending our own people back would fix everything. I think it worked, though, because something else was playing for our team. I think I understand it too. The universe is meant to exist. The greatest wish of all things is to simply be. The Celestial Avatar was meant to help that. But I'm pretty sure that was all bluster and bright lights, a show for the merry band of heroes who wanted to go out like one. To be honest...”
Sepia lit another cigarette and placed it delicately in his mouth.
“I'm pretty sure we're all doing the universe's job. Some more so than others.”
His eyesight began to fade as the world went white.
“Guess it's time to go to work.”