"So, you're the reason."
Max was standing before his aspect - An unholy mix of himself and a Palkia, the very thing that had brought them here.
"I guess you're probably filled with the one thing I have to my name, aren't you?" He smirked and readied himself. "I always was so very angry."
The room shrank. Palax was distorting space itself to attack.
Unfair, but not impossible.
"Why am I here?"
Sepia was staring at Weiss. He was unsure of how to react to the current situation. He and his comrades had been separated, but he knew it was no coincidence that he alone had been brought here: To Fel City, the Cyren region seat of government.
"I thought it was time we had a little chat."
"I suppose it is. Because, I mean, HONESTLY, you know more about me than you let on, don't you?"
"Very much so, Mister Sepia. I mean, not that it is your real name."
"Now that... that is a revelation. Because, I'm starting to remember. Just bits. Mainly, it comes from things that I should know. Things that give me deja-vu. Things I can't help but want to answer. But that..."
"You don't know?"
"No. I have no clue what you're talking about." Sepia leaned his head to the side and clicked it. It was a common thing for him - it showed a sense of nonchalance, giving him a relatively useful biology-based bluff. "And that... That IS worrying."
"You always have an answer don't you?"
Sepia turned his head near-instantly, facing Weiss and giving him a strong glare. "Yes."
"And I know why." Weiss smiled and hit a button on the computer in front of him. Sepia took a moment to study Weiss' desk. It was clearly old - antique, even - but had been retrofitted to conveniently house his PC and related items. It was impressive. It would be years before anyone would invent Pocket PC's and Interactive Pads, and he was impressed by the desire to emulate the future as best one could.
"Tell me then. Why do I know so much?"
"Because you're not human. At least, not anymore." Weiss struck another key and his Television came to life, displaying data - dates, references in texts, other related items, all referring to Sepia.
"What's so funny?" Weiss rose from his desk and slammed his fist on it. The whole object shook ferociously, and Sepia knew that he had finally trumped Weiss. He turned to face him.
"You're wrong. I think I know what you're aiming for, but you've sadly missed the mark. And I've just remembered why."
"Then tell me!"
"I'm not immortal. You've found me in history books, in books that aren't yet written, in carvings on ruins in distant places. And it is a nice theory. But I'm human, just like you."
"Ask Schwarz." Sepia narrowed his eyes. "My memory hasn't fully returned, but I remember why I'm here. " He turned to the television once more. "This is why."
He pointed to a date. It was 1498, and written next to it was 'Man and Pokemon Save Auquear Abbey.'
"You saved an abbey from a series of marauding Garchomp. So?"
"So, if I'm not immortal, then why am I here now?"
"Time travel..." Weiss sighed and tapped another key. An image of a Pokemon appeared - Dialga. "So, that is how Schwarz got his hands on Dialga."
"Exactly. I'm not sure how, but I was captured with that Dialga. I have just left Auquear Abbey, and arrived here. I don't know anything more than this: I was travelling with that Pokemon. I did not capture it, I simply travel with it."
"How fascinating. That explains this, then..." Schwarz opened struck another key and opened a door to the left of his office. The fading wood paneling revealed a creature - Sepia's aspect, a fusion of the man and Dialga.
"Well, you see, that's very interesting. I mean, super interesting. Because, I've worked out how these things work. They're not quite perfect, are they? They're like a fax - they show the black very well, but anything else might get lost in transit. Everyone has their version of the black - Its an emotion. Greed, Lust, Fear, Anger, Hate..." He turned, smiled and moved over to Weiss' desk. "What do you think mine is?"
Weiss' eyes grew dim, for he knew what was coming. "Another failure?"
"Abject failure. My aspect could only be one thing - compassion."
He turned and stepped backwards. His aspect moved to his side.
"Weiss, I finally understand. My memory has returned enough for me to know - you're trying to save the world, but you've forgotten one thing..."
"What is that?"
Sepia laughed and moved over to the television. "Touchscreen, good. This makes this easier."
"Makes WHAT easier?" Weiss had lost his patience.
"This!" Sepia pressed a few on-screen buttons and it began to display a timer. "My latest terrorist act. You get this one for free."
"The destruction of this building." Sepia had grown cold, now. He knew it was the only way.
"You'd kill me and everyone else in the building to ensure that you can destroy the planet?"
"I've seen the future too. I know what's coming. And I will stop it. But these Aspects are an abomination. I won't let you continue. You're going to start a war."
"Yes. I am."
Sepia laughed. "Of course. A war means money. Money in science, because if you use Pokemon they'll just beat each other to death until you catch some more."
"Exactly. I want funding. And I'll get it when your 'Team Temporal' starts a war."
"You'd use us to get your way?"
Sepia laughed and continued pushing buttons. In the background, the timer read 20:00. "You'll stop this. I know you will, but that isn't the point. This is..."
A door fell open beneath Sepia, and he fell through. He found himself in the lower offices.
"Hello everyone! Fancy meeting you here!" Sepia smiled and ran down the corridor. The other people in the room followed him - Roy, Vermil, Krystal, Fuschia, Polaris, Hari, Fujitsu, Wehc. All of them but Max. Even the new girl, although her and Krystal shared an unusual amount of nakedness. "I can't explain, but I've managed to activate a security loophole. I've been here before, you see, and forgot to do it!" Sepia continued sprinting, hurtling down the corridors. "Yes!" He turned one last corner and found himself in the main research laboratory. "Bad idea, putting in government. Too inefficient."
"What's going on?" Krystal finally shouted. She seemed concerned for the very first time, although Sepia deduced it was likely only due to her - for possibly the very first time - not being completely aware of her surroundings.
"I'm Indigo Sepia, I'm just a man but I have the most important thing... MY MEMORY!" He threw open several switches and the laboratory began to hum violently. "Congratulations! I've just crippled the aspect technology. You should be proud."
"That's not helpful!" Shouted Vermil, who had begun to notice a pounding on a nearby door.
"Weiss is trying to start a war. This world is doomed, you see, and he needs the money put into science to save it."
"That's... kind of nice?" Roy said, surprised.
"But its wrong. I've been to the future. I've seen it, and I'm going to stop it regardless, because this future isn't because of Weiss. It isn't because of you. Its because of ME." He hit some more switches, opening the door. Behind it stood Max and his aspect, Palax, a Palkia hybrid. They were both bloody and beaten, but Palax was the only one unconscious. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." He turned to Krystal and smiled. "Miss Spectrum, Operation 339!"
"339?!" She laughed and began flipping switches. "339!"
"What's happening, peeps?" Max said, laughing.
"I could ask you the same," Polaris said.
"Isn't it obvious?" Max laughed and motioned over to Palax. "I just beat down myself with the power of a god. It brought me back here, probably to trap me. It wasn't going down without taking me with it."
"Lucky we found you." Roy laughed.
"Not luck, Me." Sepia said, growling. "I only know how to do this bit because of a meddler."
Sepia hit some more switches, as did Krystal, and the research lab stopped humming.
"No, no no! Come on! Work!" He struck the console repeatedly, but nothing happened. It was a failure.
"No! I've worked so hard!" Sepia collapsed to the ground. He was exhausted and depressed.
Hari was surprised by how quickly his mood changed.
"Not to worry," Came a voice. Krystal recognised it instantly. "Mewvander?"
Mewtwo, a strange white creature appeared before them. "This was always going to happen." It was calm, almost serene, and it walked over to Vermil. "This boy can fix it."
"What?!" Vermil said, surprised.
"Sepia was going to die if I had not acted. I was trapped here, but I was released by his first attempt to destroy the aspect machines. If I had not stopped him, the laboratory would have exploded and the future would have been certainly doomed."
"But what do I have to do with it?" Vermil shouted, finally at his wit's end.
"I showed you. Remember? The day you fell? I did two things - I got you to release Origin, and I showed you the answer."
"I... released Origin?" Vermil was shocked.
"It was bound to the Aurrand Island caves. Your intrusion awoke it. I ripped open a hole in its binding in the form of a literal hole. And you fell in, woke it up, and it escaped. Then, you saw something else. Even I could not enter the caves. It had to be a human. The person was irrelevant. But I did what I had to - delay Sepia being able to truly destroy this place, and bring you here."
Sepia walked over to Vermil and handed him a small device. It was round, and had been removed from the console. "Its the only part left in operation. Do it." Vermil saw a series of buttons on the pad, each represented by symbols. He thought back, back to the time when he had fallen...
A pattern existed. He had walked a path to get to the statue - which, in hindsight, he assumed was Origin's sleeping place.
He began to press the buttons. Ice. Stone. Steel. Lightning. Elevation.
The laboratory hummed once more and the aspect machines began to spark and crackle, clearly overloading.
"Are we safe?" Polaris said, surprised. The machines themselves were tank-like structures, and each seemed to now contain a ball of pure explosive power, an electric energy desperate to escape.
"Its harmless enough - if you don't break the glass. It will dissolve over time, releasing itself harmlessly through the machines. Maybe a bit more static than usual, but that's okay. Vermil input an override code that vented the potential devastation into the aspect tubes themselves - and they're equipped to contain angry gods. Clearly, whoever built Origin's bindings wanted us safe." Sepia puzzled over it for a moment. "I don't know who that is, though. It isn't quite clear. Any hints?"
Mewtwo shook its head in response. "I am afraid my sight does not extend that far." Sepia simply laughed.
"So, no more aspects?" Polaris asked.
"Hopefully. I mean, there may be more machines, but these were the core units. Without them, their ability to create them is severely impaired. But Weiss only needs one to complete his plan - one that works. So we're still not safe yet."
A low beeping noise sounded three times.
"And that's the auto-destruct stopped. Which means security is tight again." Sepia turned to Mewtwo. "It is time, right?"
"Yes. This is as far as I can carry you. Sepia, it was nice knowing you."
"You too." Sepia smiled, before cocking his head to one side for a moment. "Say, do you know anything about my name?"
"A parting gift." With that, Mewtwo smiled. It was the first time Vermil had seen it's face change. It had, otherwise, been expressionless.
Into the room burst Rocket Logistics operatives. Before anyone could escape, a containment field was thrown around the group. They could no longer escape. Mewtwo had its own seperate one, Vermil noticed as a guard inspected it.
"So, we meet again." P had entered the room, leading the group. He smiled, but Sepia could tell it was weak. He was still injured, but he couldn't help but imagine he had demanded to be involved. Pride comes before the fall, after all. "Was it worth it?"
"Probably not, but it was fun." Sepia smiled, before falling to the ground in agony. The entire field had electrified, just briefly, enough to incapacitate the group. Sepia's senses faded quickly, leaving him little chance to stay on top of things. It really was a shame.
P spat at the ground Sepia was lying on. "You will speak when I say to. And I don't ever want you to." He turned to the other Rockets. "Take the beast to Cerulean Cave. We already have enough equipment there to keep it there forever."
"And the others?" A Rocket asked. It's face betrayed an unease around P.
"The only place they could possibly end up. The Sootopolis Penal Colony."
"Nobody leaves Sootopolis. Nobody." P laughed and walked out the door. "Just how I like it."
((Next post gets dibs on describing Sootopolis - it isn't quite the sprawling hub of civilisation that it will become... quite the opposite, in fact. But we'll get to that soon.))