Prologue: Commencer – To Begin
Savoir-faire – To Know and To Do
An LLS Production
Prologue: Commencer – To Begin
A constant repetitive beat echoed my running footsteps, merged with multiple layers of instruments that made it disturbing and discordant, echoes of a single song being played over and over again on different instruments at different speeds.
Beside me, Delphi screeched, glowing white with power, bright and great as a million-watt light bulb, especially after our defeat of Malva, the traitoress.
I heard the pattering of footsteps, and I laughed. “Well, Altair?” I heard my own voice, feminine and pitched low.
Both wings have been evacuated and cleaned, Altair nodded. I had no need to be present, not with Madame Drasna on hand.
“I got it,” I nodded. “Shall we, then?”
“Delphi, let us,” I ordered, turning on one foot to set off at a brisk jog. I must have turned many corners of darkened hallway before I came across the grunts of Team Flare. They posed, then they let out their Pokémon, howling for blood and an ideology that was never real. None of it was real, but an elaborate masquerade, after all.
“Go, Liepard!” they released the purple-and-mustard feline Pokémon,
“Altair, Swords Dance!” I ordered.
“Fake Out!” the female Trainer with the Liepard called as the purple and yellow leopard leapt forth to stop Altair.
“Good,” I praised with the sure certainty that Altair was already awaiting the next order. “Aura Sphere!”
A glowing ball of light was shoved up its nose. This probably had the effect of breaking cartilage, since I heard a crack of bone and the Liepard flew off into the distance.
“Bisharp!” the Trainer now called, releasing a living menace of blades. I just snapped my fingers. The skylights overhead crashed, a curtain of glass descending with the speed, colouration and claws of a Flygon.
“Delphi, Future Sight,” I ordered as Vega growled. “Vega, these Flare administrators. You're the fastest one here. Well?”
The dragon grunted in acknowledgement, a sphere of light charged within its maw.
“We're counting on you,” I nodded. “Dragon Claw at close quarters. Earth Power at far quarters. Anything in between is up to you, as long as you don't use Hyper Beam or Sandstorm. Altair, Delphi. The Legendary Pokémon still needs to be freed.”
The Delphox and Lucario murmured in acknowledgement, running as we took off for the next room.
Soon, we arrived at a circular vault, wires trailing from the ceiling sparking and showering us in stray bursts of heat and light, and there six Flare grunts took us on at once, falling prey to the various Future Sight attacks Delphi had long readied.
“Found them,” I breathed a sigh, approaching the platforms where the sleeping forms of the two Pokémon were. “I'm going to let you two out, alright? It's over.”
I stepped back. “Altair.”
Understood. He broke a steel cable.
Sparks scattered over the metal casing, and yet the Lucario did not flinch. Not as the tree shook, not as the egg began to crack. Not as pink and white light merged with red and black. Not as the branches of the tree began to shake, as the trunk splayed out into spindly legs. As the eggshell cracked, wings spread, and a beak formed to cry out.
As auras mixed, then he flinched.
Both Legendary Pokémon, began to scream, the walls shaking with their mirth and something larger and undefinable. The horns of the cervine Pokémon grew larger, the jewels upon it glowing with the colours of a rainbow that it swung as Delphi used his wand to defend me.
I screamed as my first Pokémon, the one that started this all, was beheaded in an instant.
The other, aquiline Pokémon, bellowed, the dark red aura flying out to strike that Altair and I dodged. “Everyone!” I screamed, unleashing three more Pokéballs.
Sealeo began to attack the Pokémon of Destruction with Ice Ball and Icy Wind. Deneb stood as my defence, and Banette was laughing at the ensuing carnage.
“Use Phantom Force!” I hollered at him, to which he complied. I then raised my arm. “Deneb!”
The Venusaur bellowed in answer.
“We're going to have to chase the Legendary Pokémon away from this town,” I called. “Understood? Altair, Sealeo and you, double team the other with ice and fists. Banette, you're weak to darkness, you're going to support Deneb with Will-O-Wisp.”
“Ne, ne!” the Marionette's mouth unzipped to show its teeth in a sharp grin.
The Venusaur cried out again, but there was no time, not since one of my Pokémon, no, my first Pokémon, had died, and then now... now I had a town to protect. I had a region to safeguard.
I raised my arm, and around my left wrist, I saw the jewel upon it begin to glow. “Evolve, Deneb! Venoshock!”
The flower on the back of the Venusaur expanded, glowing purple before it spat a mass of poisonous smog at the cervine demonic monster glowed with a pearlescent light before it jumped, lightning-fast, and then a pink Moonblast knocked Deneb back before it charged. The Venusaur bellowed as the flower upon its head was gored through, and the Banette was little better, the ghostly fire it used barely scratching at the true monster, the one shrouded in pink and waving its horns and then it attacked me.
I screamed as the pink blast nearly got to me, but Deneb had tanked most of it. My Venusaur was suffering, because this Pokémon didn't understand-
Sealeo backed slightly, its breath whistling.
“Icy Wind!” I called to the seal, who blew a spiralling gale that enveloped both shadowed, legendary monsters.
The horned one growled, as it lowered the proud arrangement of horns that glowed with the colours of the rainbow. I recognised the move as Megahorn. It was going to hit Deneb.
My Venusaur charged a Solarbeam, aware that this was going to be its last attack. Aware that it was defending its trainer to the last. He was going to die. My Venusaur bellowed in defiance, but could not move within the vortex created by the Solar Beam it was about to fire. Around it was the mangled remnants of some of the Flares' Pokémon, Delphi amongst them.
“Deneb!” I screamed, swinging out. I stumbled, landing in front of the charging Pokémon. The horn stabbed through my spine and came out in the other end.
I looked straight, into Deneb's dying face where the pointed end of the horn had breached his skull. “Fire!”
The Legendary Pokémon tried to move, but I held it down. Venerated Pokémon, or even infamous companion of Jeanne d'Arc, it could barely do anything but dig its heels and tug. Compared to holding onto a dying Venusaur for support, the cervine Pokémon was going to stay.
“I...” I began to cry. “Banette. Can you create a Destiny Bond between people?”
It nodded solemnly. A zip pulled across its face in a broad, jagged grin that belied its panic.
The deer screamed, trying to rip its horns out, but the many points it held proved to be its downfall. Especially as I clung onto them in my stomach, in my stained hands.
“Why did our comrades die?” I whispered. “I don't want this. All of this... Delphi and Deneb-”
Across the room, the bird was glowing a reddish-black. It threw a glowing red wing out, Sealeo throwing herself in Altair's path, tackling the Lucario off course but taking the brunt of the attack. Her empty eyes greeted me as the thick, fatty body slapped the floor.
“Altair,” I gasped. “Step back. Get Vega. Use Rock Tomb.”
What are you thinking?
Deneb cried, too tired to do anything but watch. The deer-like Pokémon, perhaps sensing death or the Banette's power in linking destinies, began to cry.
“For every wish these Pokémon granted, an additional curse was inflicted,” I gasped. “Altair... go! This is our best chance!”
Your spine-! Your body-!
“When you get back...” I whispered. “If they're still alive, Flash Cannon. Flash Cannon everything. Steel is the only way to kill the immortal. Now!”
The bird-like Pokémon screamed at the deer and I, trying to move if not for that one of its wings had broken under one particularly vicious attack.
“I gave you fair warning,” I growled as Altair hurriedly left. “I... do you think yourselves as gods to rain judgement upon humans? Just because you rule life and death? You lost responsibility the day we gained free will.”
It screamed some more, a low, musical cry of rage.
I saw the ghostly chains of fate intertwine in Banette's hands, and I fell down, leaning against the wall, half-dangling between Deneb's corpse, the horns, and the wall. I could see the bird Pokémon try to attack, move, do something, but I guessed that its bones were broken since it could barely do more than lift its head and bellow in impotent rage. Blood spattered on the ground; Altair must have drawn blood, and since arteries composed a major part of a bird's wings-
“I'm sorry our time is so short,” I whispered as I patted its head. “Thanks, Banette.”
Altair entered the room again, perched on Vega's back just as the bird managed to get off an attack to me. As I saw the Oblivion Wing approach, I reflected, how ironic that the immortal shall die with me.
A second chain fell, and my Banette embraced me. For once in my life, it was smiling, really and truly smiling. I held it close, like a doll. Just a girl, prepared to fall asleep with her favourite doll, knowing that she might never wake again.
“Banette love their Trainers,” I whispered towards her. “Banette bear a grudge, not for being discarded or how they are created, but love their Trainers so much to despise anyone who stands between their Trainer and the goal. They will not be alive... to enjoy this.”
The horned one screamed, along with the cries of the winged one. An Oblivion Wing shot at me, a Moonblast found its mark directly overhead. I laughed as I raised my head to stare into crossed eyes and slanted pupils in front of me.
I spat into the faces of the Legendary Pokémon who had plagued Kalos since time immemorial, the pain incredible. “I am the latest of the Kalos Champions, the princess abandoned by her people. If you wish to stop me, try, if you can go beyond my despair. Begone!”
Eternal life and eternal death. One is silence, stretching beyond the grave and to the next world.
I don't know it. It's not restful, life. Years ago, I wished to live, and the wrong legendary Pokémon heard it. I've lived as sixteen years old for nearly nine years now.
The only other person like me, AZ, he's lost somewhere. The last time I saw him was at the Honour of Kalos ceremony, after the Lysandre business.
It was six years ago that I buried them. Whatever that legendary Pokémon had done, it had not seen fit to gift them with the same gift.
Tomorrow marks the start of my proposal as a professor of anthro-Pokémon sociology; particularly, interaction with humans. Tomorrow, I present my paper to the highest of Pokémon academia.
Nearly nine years ago I stopped Team Flare, and I met the legendary Pokémon. I gained a wish that activated when I was on the brink of death from Lysandre; I wished to live. I have been sixteen for nearly ten years, due to the aforementioned legendary Pokémon. I am a living example of being careful what you wish for.
I am Marguerite Linden du Bois. Tomorrow, I begin a new career as a Pokémon professor. Tomorrow, I begin my rebellion.