Beginning Flames

Black vs. White, A Gray Limbo

Zephyr walked menacingly toward me, and I fearfully backed away.

"Zephyr, whatever's bothering you," I said as confidently as I could, though my voice was shaking, "I'm sure we can try and work something out, you know, for the better." I showed a nervous smile.

The timberwolf slowly shook his head, uttering a low, dark chuckle as he did so. "Bargaining to save your skin," he said. "Such a cowardly tactic. I thought you were braver than that when you saved me from being crushed by that rockslide."

"Oh, please, Zephyr, I-" I paused, repeating Zephyr's last sentence fragment in my head. Wait a minute. That's not right. Hopefully, he hit his head on something and that's why he's acting like this...?

"No matter what you say or do, you're finished." I kept backing up until I bumped into the rock wall, realizing I just trapped myself further. As quick as lighting, Zephyr's clawed hand was grasping onto my neck, the claws piercing into my skin as he forced the breath out of me. "Such a pity. And to think I liked you a little." He casually shrugged, an evil smile still on his face. "Oh well."

Without warning, a chain was wrapped around Zephyr's stomach, and he was forcefully and quickly pulled away from me. As he was being pulled, his claws ripped into my skin, leaving behind four deep, bleeding wounds on the left side of my neck as I howled in pain. I fell to my knees because it was so painful. I placed a hand on my neck to try to stop the bleeding as I glanced up to see what was going on. Zekrom had come to my rescue, holding a kusari-gama in his hand, and he and Zephyr were going at it in heated combat, one strike of lightning after another, Zekrom swinging his gama at his son.

Zephyr, why would you do this...? Why would you try and kill me?

"Psst! Kid!" Vector's voice quietly talking, I looked around until I saw the Chaotix spying on me from the bushes. "C'mon! Get the lead out!" Vector whispered.

I couldn't move. I was paralyzed not only with fear but of betrayal as well. I glanced back at the fighting father and son until I was brought onto my feet and started being pulled away. I didn't look away from the fight as I was being pulled. Zephyr, who had his back to me, quickly turned around and threw a lightning ball at all four of us. I snapped out of my dazed trance.

"LOOK OUT!" I yelled, quickly shoving the guys away from me. The lightning ball hit the ground between us, sending us back in opposite directions. I tumbled a little before hiding.

"Oh, Cheyenne," Zephyr called in sing-song. "Come out and play."

Oh, that old line. No matter who says it, it's always creepy and evil.

"It's alright. I'm not gonna hurt you."

Bullshit.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are."

Even if I stay perfectly still, I'm a goner...! I gotta move.

"Leave Chy alone, you big bully!" Charmy squeaked.

Zephyr started laughing. "And what's a little bug like you gonna do to stop me?" he challenged.

He better not hurt Charmy. If he does, I swear I'll make him pay!

An explosion went off while my back was turned, the sound of the guys yelling in surprise. That does it! I came out of my hiding spot, ready to face my latest enemy, my cousin. "Hey!" I called out. His back to me, he turned around, lightning ball in hand. "It's me you wanna kill, remember? Or are you afraid that you'll have your ass handed to you?"

He threw his head back in laughter. "Are you serious?! Do you honestly think that you can take me on in a fight?"

I clenched my fist, fire circling it. "How's this for serious?" I threw the fireball at his feet, him quickly jumping aside to avoid getting burned. Even that action made me curious. Odd... he should've teleported, but he didn't. I quickly shook my head. Forget about that. You have to fight it out.

"If you're serious about dying young, then I guess we'll have to do this right." His body was enveloped in white light, the light then changing to an electric blue. The light grew bigger and bigger until it faded away, revealing that Zephyr had transformed into the giant black dragon Zekrom! I was fearing for my life at that moment. But I already had put my life on the line, so I had to be ready. "What are you waiting for?" he asked as he peered down at me.

Okay, he just turned into a dragon right in front of me. Now how do I do that?

"Niece!" Zekrom called. "Don't do it! Your body wouldn't take the extremity of the transformation!" As he spoke, he was down on his knees, a bit bruised and bleeding, clutching his stomach in pain. "You're not physically ready!"

Reddish-orange flames started to encircle me. "I believe I am," I said, and the flames consumed me as I felt myself transform as the white dragon Reshiram. Even in dragon form, I was still smaller than Zephyr. I started flying in the air, Zephyr was floating. This was it, I thought. The battle of black versus white was about to begin.

"Any last words before your life comes to an abrupt end?" Zephyr asked with malevolence.

I was silent at first. "All I can say," I started, "is that you and I are alike. We have Immortal parents, world-destroying powers, and if it were not for me, you wouldn't have regained the confidence you once lost. So please, come to your senses, and let us end this before it's too late."

Zephyr stared a minute before uttering a dark laugh. "You blind, ignorant fool. I told you once, I'll tell you again: WE! ARE NOT! THE SAME!" He let out a deafening roar, but that didn't sway me.

Very well. If that's the way he wants it...

With my mind officially made up, the fight had begun. We charged at each other, clawing, biting, scratching and ripping, one chasing the other around in the dark, rainy sky. It wasn't long until the elements came into play, with fire and lightning flying everywhere. I was getting more beat up than he was, but at least I was able to keep fighting on. After what seemed like an endless eternity that we were face to face, Zephyr let lose a lightning beam from his mouth as I breathed out fire. The two elemental beams met at the center, neither side not giving out an inch.

As the intensity of the elements grew stronger, I started feeling a sharp pain in my stomach. I cringed a little, but I kept my head up as I aimed for my intended target. However, the lightning beam started pushing the flames back. But instead of forcing the flames back, it cut through them like a knife through butter. I barely avoided the lightning as it scathed my wing a bit. The sharp pain in my stomach started getting more intense as well.

"What's wrong?" Zephyr mocked. "Getting airsick?"

I just uttered a small, low growl before answering. "I'm just getting warmed up for the grand finale," I said with a confident smirk.

"Niece!" Zekrom called from below. "Change back! Your body is nowhere near used to sudden transformations! Change back now before it's too late!"

How can I change back now? I barely know how to transform at all! "I'm sorry, Uncle Zekkie," I called back. "But I can do this! Even if it were to cost me my life, I know I can win this fight! I'll be a better dragon for it, too!"

"Enough talk," Zephyr spoke. "Let's end this."

"I couldn't agree more."

The fighting continued, both Zephyr and I taking one blow after another. The sharp pain in my stomach made me stop from attacking, making me cringe. That gave Zephyr the chance to attack me, pinning me to the rock wall. I struggled very hard to break free as the pain in my stomach continued to grow. I glanced up at Zephyr, who had the look that said, 'It's over, I've won.' He opened his mouth, another lightning beam starting to form. I closed my eyes, just waiting for the inevitable. But then, I had a sudden idea.

"Zephyr, wait," I said. "Before you kill me, there's something I want you to know." He didn't respond, but he rolled his eyes. "When I first came to Mobius, I felt like I was all alone. But then you came around and helped me cope with my situation. We had good times, and we were able to get through the bad times. I just hope you can find it in your heart and be merciful at the least." A tear rolled down my cheek. "Please, Zephyr. Please let's end this silly little charade once and for all. What do ya say? Forgive and forget?"

What I thought was hesitation was patient boredom. He was waiting for me to finish so that he could finish me off. At least he was polite, I thought. He fired the lightning beam that was building up, and everything went silent.


I woke up with a small groan, placing a hand to my head. I had become human again. "Man, what happened?" I asked myself. I sat up, looking all around me. Above me was a gray, cloudy sky. The entire world around me seemed gray. There wasn't even any wind blowing. The realization hit me like a ton of bricks. "Oh, my God. I'm dead. I'm actually dead." I looked at myself, my clothes having remained in perfect condition. "At least I'm not naked." I looked at the ground, the grass as gray as the sky. "But where in the world am I? It's not Heaven, and I don't think it's Hell..." I looked all around, hoping to see another person. I started walking forward, hoping to go somewhere.

As I walked, the same scenery kept passing by like how an old cartoon reuses the same backgrounds over and over. Finally, I saw what looked like a beach with a boat tied to a dock. Sitting on the dock was a human man who appeared to be elderly, wearing the same style as Reshiram was, with a bit of Zekrom's calm body language mixed in. I walked up to the man, hoping to get some answers. "Uh, excuse me?" I said, the man turning to me. "I was kinda wondering... What is this place?"

"Ah, yes, of course," said the man. "Thou art in a plain of Limbo."

"Limbo? So I'm nowhere...?"

"Not exactly. When one dies, they enter a plain of Limbo. Then they find their way to the water, with a boat ready to take them to where they're destined to be. But I must ask, young lass. Why are you here?" As he spoke, he sounded almost like Reshiram, his dark gray eyes filled with kindness and wonder.

"Well..." I sat down next to him. "I thought my cousin and I had some kind of understanding, and then he starts acting weird, and then we went into an all-out dragon fight, and-"

"Did you say 'dragon?'"

"Uh, yes...?"

The old man was silent a moment. "I see. You're one of my grandchildren."

"Whoa, what?!"

"Which of my sons are you the daughter of?"

"No disrespect, but what the hell are you talking about? Who are you?"

"Are you not half-Immortal?"

"Yes, but-"

"Then thou must know who I am."

"But I don't! I barely knew of my powers, and neither Reshiram or Zekrom wanted to say anything about..." It suddenly hit me. "I don't like imposing, but... Do you know two guys named Reshiram and Zekrom?"

"They are my sons, Kyurem as well, but he was always a troublesome lad." He held out his hand. "I am Gray Mur."

I took Gray's hand and shook it. "I'm Cheyenne Rowe." I released his hand, looking at the kind old man. "So... you're my grandfather, huh?"

"You've still yet to say which son of mine you have your powers from?"

"Oh, right. I have Reshiram's powers."

"Ah, yes, Reshiram. As a child, he was always so headstrong and studious. He never wanted to get married when he became of age. Zekrom, on the other hand, was a total ladies man."

I laughed a little. "I can believe that." I paused, a small frown on my face. "So, why haven't you gone in that boat? Are you waiting for someone?"

He let out a melancholic sigh. "I thought... she was waiting for me."

"Huh?"

"My wife. I met her when we were young. She was also pregnant at the time. Her name was Zekyura, and she was so kind and beautiful. With her being pregnant with her sons at the time, she was shunned and hated, being called a harlot, and possibly worse. I didn't care what happened in her past. I loved her no matter what." There was a smile on his face when he spoke which then turned into a sad frown. "Then the day she went into labor. We were so excited and nervous to be parents. But after my sons were born, she... became very ill, very fast. But she said that she would wait for me here so that we could both crossover to the other side. Then she passed on. My heart sank. When the day had come for me to pass on, I looked for her everywhere, but she was nowhere to be found. I thought she might've gotten lost. So I waited for the last eight to nine centuries just waiting for her so that we could both cross the vast waters."

Such loyalty, devotion, and love in this one man alone... And to think I could have gotten through to Zephyr if he had listened.

"I know I asked this already, but why are you here?"

"My cousin, Zekrom's son, I thought we had come to understand one another, and-"

"Why are you here, waiting?"

"Huh?"

"Can't thou hear it?"

I listened for a moment. Voices were echoing around us.

"Voices from people who love and care about you. Do you heed their calls and go back to the world of the living, or do you wish to crossover?"

The voices... They're ringing clearly. Charmy, Zekrom, Espio, Vector... and Reshiram...! They're all calling for me. I stood up. "I have an answer. Thank you, Gray."

"For what?"

"For not letting me give up." I proudly walked off the bridge, heading back to where I woke up from. As I walked, a golden light shone down on me.

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