Chapter 69 - Cosmic
- Aug 18, 2018
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Chapter 69 – Cosmic
“A thousand hands
A single heart
Working and beating as one.
Unite the lands
From worlds apart
Until our battles are done”
Anam rubbed his forehead, humming. He paced back and forth in his office, glancing outside at the setting sun. Then he looked to the entryway, where it showed a few Pokémon shuffling through the Hundred Hearts HQ to get some evening missions complete. He grinned and giggled.
“I like those lines. I think I’m gonna keep those for the Hearts motto. But what should I do with the way to finish it off? We need, um, we need a good rallying cry! Maybe… Oh! Maybe… maybe, maybe, maybe…”
An excited gasp filled the office.
“The darkness will fall to spirits of light!
We’ll protect our world and keep up the fight!”
He grinned, looking up. “I think that’s great!”
“I do not.”
Anam frowned at the voice in his head, rubbing his chin. “Aw, how come?”
“I find it offensive.”
The Goodra puffed his cheeks. “I guess so. Well, what did you have in mind, Mr. Matter?”
Anam gasped the moment he woke up, suppressing a shudder right after. Green eyes darted left and right until he remembered where he was—Hot Spot Cave.
“Ah, you’re awake. Wonderful.”
Nevren sat in the corner of his little cavern, reading a book titled The Whimsey and Wonder of Forest Ferals.
Tears immediately welled up in Anam’s eyes, stinging his face. “I—I want to go for a w-walk.”
“Hmm, are you sure that’s a good idea?” Nevren asked, rising from his seat. He made a gentle flick, and the book set itself down on the table. Psychic energy swirled around his claws. “Now, I recommend you—”
Anam felt something prodding at his mind again; overwhelming fear took over. He was going to do it again—Nevren was going to strip away his sense of will. Just like before; he’d be helpless to do anything but watch as he ‘behaved’ normally. No. He had to be himself—truly himself—he couldn’t let Nevren get away with this! But it was already too late; Nevren was inside the core of his mind. The thought to resist was already washing away; smiling sounded a lot better. In fact, resting in general felt a lot better than a silly walk. Why did he even bother with that, anyway? He didn’t remember why he was crying.
But then a new power took over, pushing Nevren’s influence away. A new, cold force, like Anam was falling into a dark pit. Anam’s mouth moved on its own and his vision went dark. “If Anam wants to walk, he will walk.”
The pink energy sustained itself, Nevren and Anam locking eyes. That coldness swirled along his body, black ink permeating his lavender slime. Please… stop, Anam begged. Don’t hurt him…
He doesn’t deserve your mercy.
Nevren dispelled his influence. “Very well.” He gave a short bow. “But I request that the walk be within the confines of Hot Spot. It is a bit late for an afternoon walk, and we should all remain here in case Eon attacks. I would rather that not happen while Owen is with him. This situation is… not expected for any of us, yes?”
More silence followed. The darkness faded from Anam’s body, and with it went the cold. Anam wobbled outside, sniffling and wiping his eyes. Were the others at least enjoying themselves?
Demitri and Mispy were the first that Anam saw; the pair lounged near Rhys’ home, neighbors to Anam.
“Hmm?” Mispy lazily turned her head. Demitri, somewhere inside her vines, wiggled until his head poked out.
“Oh, Anam. Are you doing alright? That whole blessing thing didn’t take out too much of you, did it?” The Haxorus was missing his axes. They were lying nearby; he must have taken them off so he didn’t cut Mispy while they relaxed together.
“I’m okay,” Anam lied, smiling. “Where’s everyone else?”
Mispy shrugged, resting her head near Demitri again. “Where?”
Demitri tilted his head back, using a few vines as pillows. “Uh, last we remember, ADAM’s making Hyper Beam traps near the entrance in case Eon or someone else shows up. Willow’s keeping him company and trying to figure out a way to make some of her shrink mist a trap, too. It’s kinda similar to when Owen puts his Fire Traps in the ground. I guess you could dig through them, but not if they don’t expect any of this! Right? Pretty cool, right?”
They’re sick of you. They want you to go. You’re bothering them.
“Thanks! I think I’ll go and see how they’re doing next.”
Mispy and Demitri waved politely. Demitri sank back down and leaned his head against a twirl of Mispy, looking up at her chin. She leaned forward, nuzzling him, while they mumbled to each other.
Anam glanced at Valle next, but decided that he would only irritate him with his constant movement. The Shiftry statue was where he always was, and while he was tempted to chat with him, he didn’t really know how to talk to a statue. He continued down the caves until he spotted Jerry’s abode.
Why bother? He blames you for every wrong in his life.
Anam frowned, continuing past the building. But then he stopped, squeezing his fist tight. No, he said. I… I still want to try.
He is perhaps even worse than all the others. You won’t convince him.
Maybe I will! Y-you just have to help me! Okay?
Anam turned around and stepped into Jerry’s home, knocking on the side. “Mister Jerry?” His soft knuckles made little plaps against the wall.
The Aerodactyl was perched on a small nest made of leaves from a spare bed that he borrowed from Rhys’ hoard some time ago. Since their attempt at getting a bed from Kilo Village hadn’t worked out as planned, Jerry just had to deal with a leafy nest.
He doesn’t like his bed.
“Um, are you feeling okay?” Anam asked. “I’m sorry you couldn’t get a good bed. Maybe after this is over, I can get you a better one?”
He hates that you’re trying to help him. He doesn’t want your pity.
“Why do you care?” Jerry asked, looking away.
He wished he could just disappear. He is plagued with thoughts to tear away that scarf that keeps him alive.
“I care because you’re my friend!” This earned an incredulous look from Jerry, followed by an eyeroll. Anam persisted, “I can see that there’s a lot of good in you.”
He thinks you’re a fool.
“Um, can I come inside?” Anam asked.
Jerry stared for a while, narrowing his eyes. His eyes trailed to the glimmering Provisionary Badge in the corner of the room; it looked like it had been tossed there.
He wants you to leave. He’s ashamed.
Right before Anam thought to turn back, Jerry snorted. “If you want.”
Anam made careful, slow movements, not doing anything sudden. First, he walked to the Badge, picking it up.
He wished you hadn’t noticed.
Anam smiled, looking it over. “Is it pretty?” he asked. “Sorry if it’s just a Provisionary one, but it’s really hard for me to maintain too many of the really strong Badges, and a thousand is a nice number, you know?”
Jerry stared for a while, eventually settling down on his nest of leaves. He grunted, trying to get in a better position. “Yeah, well, maybe I’m not good Heart material.”
Anam approached, step after wet step.
Fool! Don’t ruin his bed!
He quickly stopped, sitting when he was a few paces away. Jerry deflated subtly with relief. And then they sat in silence, Anam looking at the Badge to think of what to say. Jerry, too, stared at it, but Anam didn’t hear any advice on what Jerry was thinking.
Was it really true? Did he ruin Jerry’s life by rejecting him? How badly was he impacted when he rejected him off of only the darkness in his heart? He was desperate; he wanted safety and power; he had been wanted for so much before, so many crimes before he had even become a candidate. Yet, was it wrong to reject him? Could he have… become a better person by becoming a Heart?
He is feeling awkward and confused.
Anam blurted his next statement without thinking. “I’m sorry.”
“Eh?” Jerry blinked several times, looking Anam over, and then at the Badge that the Goodra was now squeezing tight.
“I… I ruined your life. You were looking up to me, and… and I let you down. I’m s-supposed to be the person who saves this whole world and makes it a better place. I b-bless the Dungeons and make powerful berries and seeds and scarves all to make the world a better p-place. A-and I still failed you. I f-failed so many people, and… and you’re right. You’re r-right to be angry at me.” Anam couldn’t see.
Everything was blurry; the world was on his shoulders, and Jerry was a reminder that even if he could make the Hearts sweep that world, and make Kilo Village a place of peace for all Pokémon, there were still others like Jerry who fell through. Those that he didn’t help.
“Oh,” was all Jerry said. He shifted in his nest, looking outside.
He’s still confused.
Anam didn’t know what to get from that. Why would Jerry feel confused after that? He was just apologizing, right? There wasn’t any hidden meaning behind it. It just meant that he had to work harder to make the world better.
He misses his mother.
But there was nothing Anam could do about that. “If—if there’s… if there’s anything I can do?”
“Forget it.” Jerry squeezed his eyes shut. “It’s already too late for me anyway. This—this Badge you gave me. What’s the point of it, huh?”
The Aerodactyl tucked himself under his wings, but he peeked out if only to address Anam. “When this is all over. Let’s assume you find some way to fix my… whatever this is.” He motioned with a wing-claw to the scarf. “What then? I take the exam and become a Heart? After everything I’ve done?”
“It’s—never too late! Definitely not. You can still make things better.”
“Yeah, and for who?” Jerry said with a defeated laugh. “Myself? Because that’s what it boils down to. For myself. For the pay. So I can live easy. Oh, sure, it’s not easy, because I have to do dangerous things every day. But so what? I always lived that way back in Pyrock. This is a step up. At least here we have blessed items.”
Hatred. Lost opportunities. Regrets. A longing to try again.
“I’ll wipe your record clean,” Anam said automatically. “E-everything. You can start new. After that, you can… you’ll be able to find something new to do, right? As a Heart… you can start a family, maybe?” Anam waited for the voice to say something, but he never did. “I just… I just want to make things right. I broke everything, and I just… please… just…”
Anam sniffled, wiping his eyes. Gooey tears slapped the ground.
“That’s really all you want, huh?” Jerry was no longer looking at Anam or the Badge, but instead the gentle glow of a nearby mushroom. Its blue radiance was the only thing that gave any light to the cave. “I don’t get it. For someone who has total control over the world, I don’t get it. I can’t get it, can I? Ha… everything is under you. You can do it all. Nobody can stop you. And all you want to do is help everyone.”
He doesn’t understand you.
“I know it doesn’t… I know it seems weird,” Anam said, “but it’s true! I… I just want people to be happy. That’s all I want. That’s all I’ve ever wanted!”
“One person can’t do everything. Guess that’s why you have a thousand others, huh?” Now, he gazed at the rocks at the edge of his nest. He squeezed his talons. “I just want to know why.”
“Why was I rejected? After that… it all fell apart. My whole life fell apart. I had it all going for me up until that moment. I just want to know why. What made you look at me, my top scores, and say… no.”
He’s scared. More than ever.
And so was Anam. He couldn’t just tell Jerry why—he wasn’t allowed to talk about the voice. But he also couldn’t just tell him that he saw all his darkness, all his misdeeds, all his selfish thoughts. Jerry knew it was coming, but he didn’t want to hear it. If Anam spoke about it now… what would keep Jerry from losing that scarf? He could do it right then. He could walk away and do it in private. They’d see nothing left of him.
The voice was right. He shouldn’t have come here. He should have let Jerry relax alone.
“W-well? What is it?” Jerry asked, his wing-claws squeezing next. “Is it because I—” It looked like Jerry had been about to go on a tirade, but his voice caught in his throat. “Oh—forget it. What’s it matter?” He slacked his wings, a claw tentatively brushing at the scarf, but he ultimately pulled away before he could tug.
“I was wrong,” Anam said. “I… I knew about your history, but I should’ve known that you were just… desperate to make things better for your family. I should’ve… I should’ve given you a chance. But I didn’t. And I…” Anam squeezed his eyes shut again. “I’m—I’m sorry. I’ve done so much to—”
“YAGH!” Jerry abruptly jumped out of his nest, swatting at his side. Anam jumped next; the voice in his head apparently felt no need to acknowledge the obvious emotions. Instead, a Zoroark appeared in thin air, sitting next to Jerry’s nest with her head cocked innocently.
“Hi, Enet,” Anam said, sniffling.
“H-how long were you there?! Stop doing that!”
Enet tilted her head in the opposite direction. Then, she held out a bowl.
“Eh?” Jerry inspected its contents; it looked like leftovers from the cooking competition that the Alloys had with one another.
Jerry is dissatisfied with the offering.
“Thanks,” Jerry said with a sigh, taking the bowl. “I guess since all the good cooks are out, I should just be thankful for what I have.” He took a tentative nibble, but then looked back at Anam. The Goodra had finally calmed down enough to look at Jerry directly.
Enet crawled a bit closer to Jerry, tilting her head. He didn’t react, so Enet went a bit closer, mere inches away. Jerry squinted, but didn’t move. Finally, the Zoroark curled up next to him, making a point to drape her hair over his lap with a protective growl.
Jerry took a deep breath, then let it out, unconsciously running his claws through her fur. “Look,” Jerry said. “I get it. You just want to make the world a better place. But y’know, I just… fell through the cracks. You can’t save everyone.”
“I—I can!” Anam said. “I just need to try harder. Then I can save everyone.”
He doesn’t believe you.
Jerry snorted, looking at the Badge. “I guess that’s the attitude that keeps your organization going, huh? Feh…”
“Maybe one day—when all of this stuff is over—maybe you can tell me more about why?” Anam asked hastily. “I—I think I can learn a lot from you! Maybe that way, what happened to you won’t happen to anybody else.”
He’s annoyed. You aren’t getting through to him.
“I don’t get how you can be so hopeful all the time, you know that?” Jerry snapped, his calm eyes suddenly shifting into a spiteful glare. His wing-claws held the bowl of leftovers a bit tightly. Enet’s fur bristled, making her appear nearly twice her size. Electricity coursed beneath her, making Jerry flinch. He didn’t try to push her away; instead, “Just—why? What’s with that look you always have? I see it in that kid, too. I just don’t get it.” He stared at Anam expectantly. “Just answer me this. Why? All of this. Why do you want total control of—the whole world? Is it really just so you can make everyone happy?”
He doesn’t want you to say yes. But he doesn’t want you to say no.
Anam had no idea what to make of it, so he defaulted to the truth. “I do. That’s my… my purpose. As a Divine Dragon, and as a Guardian, and as a Heart, that’s my purpose.” Anam closed his eyes.
“A Thousand hands
A single heart
Working and beating as—”
“Oh, stop with that,” Jerry said, waving his free wing in protest, even while he took another bite of soup. Enet watched Anam curiously, her ears flicking at the Thousand Hearts’ motto. It was clear that she had no idea what the words were, but perhaps the rhythm intrigued her.
“…as one,” Anam finished, looking at Jerry more thoroughly now.
“Unite the lands
From worlds apart
Until our battles are done.”
Anam them looked at Jerry, frowning. “You used to want to be a Heart… right?”
He hates that you are correct.
Jerry sighed, looking at the rest of his soup. He had barely taken a few bites. Resigned to his fate, he recited the final couplet.
“We serve Kilo and all its parts
Under one name: The Thousand Hearts.”
Anam beamed. “You still remember!” He clapped his hands, but then listened to the voice.
So Anam beamed even harder. “Jerry! Even after all this time, you remember! You know—I think that means you still have a lot of good in you. Don’t be so down on yourself, okay?”
“I wasn’t down on myself,” Jerry said defiantly. “I just don’t understand it. That’s all. I had a different upbringing, okay? You can’t just shake away habits like that.”
“Well, you can always try. You should try going on missions again, the ones open to Provisionaries like you.”
“I’m not a—”
“Nu-uh, you totally are!” Anam pointed at the Badge.
“I—that—you…” Jerry finally sighed. This time, he was completely defeated. “…You still don’t understand. But it’s your world. I’ll just play by your rules and… be glad that you really are just… trying to help.”
He leaned forward to get one last bite of soup, but something finally occurred to him. “Enet, can you stop making the place so dark? I can barely see a thing.”
It was true—it was indeed very dark. Gradually, ever since Anam had come in, or perhaps even a bit before that, it was becoming harder and harder to see even the walls. Yet, despite this, Enet tilted her head. “Dark?”
“I don’t think that’s Enet,” Anam mumbled, looking back. “The mushrooms…”
Slowly, yet certainly, the Mystic glow of Amia’s Hot Spot mushrooms faded away.
Gahi’s wings sang a wonderful tune through the afternoon air. He banked right, turning his head back just to see how far he’d gone. The Sceptile and Ampharos that had been guarding the entrance seemed too surprised to try to stop him. Did they even know what had happened?
Despite everything that had happened, the world still turned, the sun still set, and the world at large had no idea that Mew herself had tried to take down a Hunter. Something in Gahi’s gut made him try to stop her. Like Owen had the right idea—that perhaps they could have talked their way out of it all. Yet Star didn’t do that. “Feh…”
Gahi looked down; his hands felt sticky from being lodged in the severed ends of the mutant Meganium’s vines, but he knew from before that touching the pink, swirling Orb in his claws would kill him.
Gahi dove forward once he felt he was far enough away. Star couldn’t get him here, right? But what was he supposed to do now? Owen—no, he’d fight her off. Some dumb, pink furball wasn’t going to beat him for long. She just got the jump on him—if anything, Star would be begging Owen for mercy when this was over! Gahi smirked, looking down at the Psychic Orb.
Hopefully Rim was alright. But he probably couldn’t give it back to her, either. She was still a Hunter, and maybe this was the best way to get it back, right? But who was supposed to control the Orb now?
He landed in a small clearing where the ocean’s salty air was faint, yet the ocean itself wasn’t visible. The trees here were few and far between—it seemed to be more of a grassland than anything. He had landed on top of a small hill without a Pokémon in sight. He’d stand out, but the area was the best he could think of.
If he stayed in the shade, maybe his shiny body wouldn’t give him away.
Settling down, the Flygon placed the Orb in front of him and threw off the vines. It was in the back of his mind, but it crawled to the front, now. Star might still be inside Owen; if that happened, and she found him, he might not be able to run away as easily again. None of the others could take an Orb—from Owen’s memories, Gahi knew that all of them had Promised in one way or another to not claim another Orb.
Gahi didn’t see many other options. He also didn’t make any Promises. “Heh. Well, this’ll be stupid.” He shrugged and reached forward, grasping the Orb. Yet, strangely, it disappeared from his grip in an instant. “E-eh?!” Frantically, Gahi brought his second hand forward, as if it had somehow gone from his vision. And then, another second later, he realized that he had gone blind—no, that wasn’t quite right. He could still see himself, yet the afterimage of the shaded field he had been sitting in quickly disappeared.
That must have been how Owen felt when he first became the Grass Guardian. Gahi grunted and stood up, taking in his new surroundings. From above to below, Gahi only saw a black void speckled with white lights, much like a cloudless night. Though, it was a bit unnerving that this darkness was not only above him, but all around.
His eyes adjusted to the darkness—and, briefly, Gahi wondered why his eyes had to adjust at all, if he was technically dead—and a few new colors swirled in the black void. Red and blue hues mixed like nebulae, accompanied by an odd, disc-shaped, swirling aurora that faded in and out.
Gahi had never seen anything like it, but fragments of what memories he had of Owen’s life told him that this was a lot like a galaxy. Where did Owen get that memory from? Their sky looked nothing like this. He wasn’t even sure what a galaxy was, yet that knowledge was there. He only wished he had a bit more of Owen’s knowledge to figure out what it meant.
“Eh… anybody home?” Gahi called out; his voice had no echo. He took a tentative step forward; his green feet made a pulse of the same color on the flat, transparent ground. Soon, the pulse moved vertically several paces away from him, giving the outline of a wall. The pulse went higher and higher until it reached a tall ceiling; he’d be able to fly in a place like this without a problem.
With an intrigued hum, Gahi swept his tail across the ground next. A more rapid pulse of his green tail and red-and-green fan covered the room in a thin, murky outline of colors. He saw where it became a corridor.
He also noticed that some of those white specks in the air had black dots in the middle… and they were moving.
“Eh?” Gahi tilted his head upward, squinting at them. His eyes were good enough to spot things several seconds away from him at top speed, but in this strange place, it all felt distorted. Besides, how were they even doing that? That was past the wall. Which was also see-through. Was it just a barrier? Was this all a barrier?
Maybe his lenses were smudged. Gahi popped them off and inspected the red tint on the other side, making sure that they were clear on one side, but red on the other. It all seemed fine. He popped his lenses back on again and looked up; they were still floating around, though now they seemed a bit bigger.
And now he was starting to hear strange voices. They spoke in little squeaks and peeps and whistles, incomprehensible. But they were definitely voices—or at least, sounds? He had no idea what they were. “Eh—hello?”
Bah, c’mon, Owen, where’s this knowledge, eh? Gahi struggled to think back to his foreign memories, hoping that something—anything—from Owen would help him with this. But he couldn’t find anything. But now that they were closer, he realized what those things actually were.
Letters? They looked a lot like letters. Strange letters with—those were eyes.
The white things were eyes, attached to letters. Eon had called them something… Were they called Unknown? No! Unown! From the Book of Arceus! He knew that one. He didn’t even need Owen’s help for that.
“Oy, so, eh, figure I’m gonna get yer Core now,” Gahi said. “Rim’s sorta outta commission, so I’m gonna take over. D’you mind showin’ me the way ter that?”
The Unown swirled around in a great circle, each one glowing in the cosmic darkness. Gahi took an uneasy step back, another green ripple trailing through the invisible room. He glanced to the right and saw an opening to flee. If anything, he could probably find the core if he just ran along there.
The Unown flashed, each one a slightly different color. Gahi’s instincts warned him of the presence of Ice energy coming for him, followed by Fairy and Dragon energy, among the swarm. His muscles kicked into action; in a burst of speed, he evaded the convergent blasts and flew into the invisible hallway. Gahi brushed his tail on the walls again, revealing several corridors to follow. Behind him, the mix of Hidden Powers had turned the room he had stood into a swirling mess of chaotic, multicolored energy that sustained itself for several seconds.
He probably shouldn’t get caught up in something like that.
“Bah!” Gahi weaved through the halls again, thankful that the velocity that he swept on the ground translated directly to how quickly the ripples rushed through the invisible halls. He kept his wings outstretched, only using his feet to turn quickly.
The Unown were singing above him—at least, if he could call it singing. But then Gahi realized that part of the singing was because of his wings through the air; could that be drawing them to him? Well, didn’t matter—he couldn’t help that, and they were going to find him in the void anyway. Even in the weak light, he noticed that his shiny body still glimmered against what little it provided.
Gahi brushed his tail against the walls for the umpteenth time for another turn, but when he tried, his tail hit clear air. But why? He had been in a hall the last time he checked! Gahi banked left, swiping his tail on a wall that could have been further away, but nothing came, and the Unown were closing in as a sea of letters.
Something caught the corner of Gahi’s vision. A bright, glowing orb of golden light, far, far away. That must’ve been it—the Core! The Unown screamed again. Gahi decided to land; he descended to the ground, waiting for his feet to touch something—yet nothing did. The invisible ground that he had once used had evaporated.
It was a good thing he could fly. With a few powerful wingbeats, he raced for the Core. It would only take a few seconds for him to get to it, and the Unown had no hope of keeping up with him. This was a lot easier than—
Suddenly, Gahi’s wings stopped generating lift. There was no friction against the air, and therefore nothing to push off of—because the air was suddenly gone. Gahi tried to gasp, but instead, air escaped him. He clutched his throat and spun around, floating. Gravity was gone, too, and the Unown were right behind him, all glowing with another volley of Hidden Powers.
These Unown were controlling this Psychic realm. How was he supposed to go against that? No—Rim found a way. She had taken over this place the first time. But how was he supposed to rewrite a reality that these Unown had control over?
Gahi paused in his own thinking, even while the Unown had gathered in a circle around him. Rewrite reality. He’d just done that a little while ago, the same power Rim must have used.
Hopefully Owen wouldn’t call him an idiot for taking so long to realize it.
Filaments of light sprouted from Gahi’s back. Alright, how’m I gonna… bah, whatever. Gimme air!
Gahi swiped his claws forward; the Hands on his back brightened, and suddenly he could breathe again. “Hah!” He beat his wings, flying through the Unown swarm, knocking against a few of their bodies—they were a lot harder than he had expected—and then flew back to the swarm.
The Unown screeched; air disappeared again. “Nice try!” Gahi twirled his body, returning the atmosphere for his local area, and then kept flying until the Core was right in front of him.
The Unown stared, stunned, but Gahi wasn’t sure why. Maybe they didn’t expect another host to be so strong. Not that it mattered.
“Hah! I win!” Gahi didn’t know what to expect, but he slammed into the Core shoulder-first, grunting at the smooth, hard impact it returned to him. He adjusted until he had his arms wrapped around it, using his tail and wings as further leverage. What’s it supposed ter do now? Gahi said. The Core was supposed to just accept him, right? “Eh…”
The Unown floated toward him again, and Gahi was now frozen without an idea of where to go, a Flygon wrapped around a sphere in the middle of nowhere. Stars chaotically swirled around in a slow circle in the far distance.
“H-hey, oy, oy!” Gahi raised one of his arms. “Don’t think ter attack me! I got yer Core! What’re you even bein’ hostile fer?!” After all, he was on their side. They had a pretty basic choice—either let Gahi take him, or they’d be without a host and some other random person could take him instead. Most likely, Star! And they didn’t seem to care for her very much, either. Was that Rim’s influence on them?
Gahi squeezed his claws on the Core. C’mon, just let me in! he said. I promise, I ain’t that big an idiot!
If only because bits of Owen helped him make up for the fact.
The Unown collected in a small clump behind Gahi, strange shockwaves of clear energy radiating from them the closer they collected together. “What’re you doin’?”
The light distorted so much that new colors formed within, and soon, after white swirls faded to greens and reds, a second Flygon floated behind Gahi. It was an exact replica of him.
“Oh, eh… hey. Who’s the new guy?”
The Flygon, with several Unown floating around him like a storm cloud, squinted interrogatively at him.
“…Look, I dunno what yer deal is, you weird… letter-eyes, but I just wanna help. I’m Owen’s bro, an’ Rim’s… son, I guess. This is the Psychic Orb, right? Go read my mind er whatever. That’s a thing with you guys, yeah? Er what, is that Typist o’ me ter say?” Gahi briefly wondered if Owen could ever have privacy if Amia was his mother.
This Unown-doppelganger placed a claw on Gahi’s back, then his whole palm.
“E-eh? What’re yeh doing?” Gahi tried to pull back, but realized that he was stuck to the Core. “W-wait, eh—hang on, gimme a sec!”
Flygon pressed harder; it was starting to feel hot—scalding. Energy like electricity ran through Gahi’s spirit—being Ground all his life, he didn’t really know what that felt like until just then, the jolt of electricity that ran down his spine and to his chest. He gritted his teeth, even when his head fell in next. “C’mon, that all ya got?! I can take it!”
Flygon tilted his head curiously, then looked up at the Unown. Despite having no features to do so, it seemed that they shrugged with Flygon, and then pushed Gahi all the way in.
For a few seconds, all Gahi saw was golden light. He didn’t care for it; too bright, too hot. And then, he blacked out; and then, he was staring at the cosmic sky, several Unown floating around him, with a smooth, yet bumpy floor beneath him. “Urgh… so I take it yeh read my mind after all?”
The Unown bobbed.
“Well, good. Do that first next time, instead o’ that whole stunt.”
It seemed that the Unown were sorry.
“…Where’s the rest o’ you? Figure there were way more.” The swarm was a lot smaller. He followed the Unown’s bodies, tilting their gaze to something below Gahi. He tilted his head and realized that the smooth, bumpy ground was… more Unown.
The Unown greeted Gahi.
It wasn’t quite a thought sent to him, yet it was the impression he had in their cheerful gazes. A thought below his conscious thoughts, subtly telling him what they were saying. “Hey,” Gahi replied back, squinting. “…Alright. So, not very talkative, eh?”
It didn’t seem that they were, though he could hear their thoughts very easily.
“Whatever. Look, how long do I gotta wait?”
He wouldn’t have to wait long; like what happened with Rim, once they decided she was worthy to hold the Orb—well, more that she was too strong for them to fight off—she woke up. At least Gahi seemed fun.
“Fun, eh?” Gahi smirked. “Good. I’ll be fun. Just… help me out with how ter use this power when I wake up. I’m gonna fly back t’ Hot Spot, tell everyone what happened.”
The Unown didn’t know about Hot Spot. What was it like? Was it a friendly place?
“I think you’ll like it,” Gahi said, shrugging. When he shrugged, he noticed that little, golden lights were leaking from his body. “Eh? What’s that?”
The essence of the Core was linking itself to Gahi, and how that it was done, their spirits—the base of what manifested them within the realm—were leaving his body. Spirts were golden, after all. And more importantly, Gahi’s spirit was about to leave for the world of matter again.
“Oh, alright.” Gahi nodded. “Cool. I’ll figure out how ter visit you guys later.” He blinked a few times, shaking his head. “I gotta stop talking to myself. I’m becoming Owen.”
And then, Gahi was staring at a clear, blue sky. “Eh?” He sat up, rubbing his head. His scales felt a bit different, not quite like scales. In fact, he felt very smooth, or perhaps less smooth and more… He wasn’t sure what. Glassy. That was the word. Like his claws were running over a smooth statue, but then, when he went a bit deeper, it also felt like he was running them through his body, too. He squinted, finally looking down.
His body was completely black, save for some white, glowing specks beneath his body. “Huh. I kinda look like nighttime,” Gahi remarked, wondering if Rim had a similar form, or if it wasn’t as dramatic due to her Typing already being Psychic. He shrugged, briefly wondering if she was okay—but it wasn’t going to be a good idea to go back there. Star might still be rampaging… “You guys in there?” Gahi murmured, closing his eyes.
The Unown were there, and they were trying to figure out how he was feeling. He seemed worried, and they were worried about Rim, too. But they didn’t know what they could do. Did they have anybody to warn?
“Well, yeah, we’ve got someone,” Gahi said. “That’s right, yeah. We’ll go and fly back—”
Telepathy was a lot more useful to talk to them.
Gahi blinked, rubbing his head. Eh… I’m gonna go to Hot Spot. Warn ‘em there.
Gahi stretched his wings, flinching when he realized that they were transparent and filled with stars. He made a tentative wingbeat, feeling some lift, and then nodded. He hopped in the air, flying into the sky, but then the whole ground left him a lot faster than he expected. He fumbled through the air with a yelp, hovering in place. He had only beat his wings a few times, yet it was like he had suddenly jumped several tens of feet higher than usual—he didn’t feel that much stronger. What happened?
It wasn’t that hard to figure out; it was just a bit of Psychic teleportation.
“Eh? Teleportation? Hang on, lemme try that again…”
Gahi stared ahead; in what felt like a blink, he was suddenly over a different patch of forest. “Okay, I can get used ter this…”
Gahi flew over the forest, blinking ahead with every wingbeat.
Far ahead, in the darkening sky, clouds formed a vortex directly above Hot Spot Cave.