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The Fear of Creation

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Blinding flashes of red and blue clashed like the patterns within a kaleidoscope---mesmerizing but dizzying. The shouting of lab workers could scarcely be heard over the enraged roars of the Deities, and the telltale colors of the draconic scales were the only pieces able to be discerned between in the chaos.

“It’s working! The merge---I think it’s actually working this time!” arose a voice from over the noise. “Master Cyrus, come quickly!”

Despite the urgency in the worker’s voice, Cyrus’s nonchalant expression didn’t falter, and his hands remained clasped behind his back firmly. Ahead of him, the Time Deity struggled viciously as a glowing crimson chain coiled itself around its legs and snaked up its long neck, effectively holding it in place. Another agonized roar, and the dragon opened its mouth to release a bright blue beam of pure energy that seared through the far wall of the lab like a hot knife through butter.

“Down, down!” shouted another man in a long lab coat, diving to the floor as the beam shot right over his head. Another employee behind him was not quite so lucky. The attack cut right through her--entirely vaporizing her on impact.

Cyrus again paid no mind and maneuvered over to her station to take her place. As the chain continued to envelop the blue dragon, sapping its energy until it was no longer able to resist, the Space Deity tore through machinery and technology with razor sharp claws, bucking and thrashing against its own chain. The pink dragon bellowed to the sky, blasting a hole through the roof with a surge of its own mighty attack

“Master Cyrus!” yelled one of his fellow scientists, pointing to the opening in the ceiling.

Cyrus cupped a hand over his eyes to protect them from falling debris, only to catch sight of three small glowing orbs circling overhead. “The Lake Guardians,” said he, “I knew they would come.” The man’s eyes were drawn back to the Deities, both of whom were now pulled into submission by the strength of the Red Chain. Two pairs of red eyes remained locked on Cyrus’s own cobalt, still fury-fueled, but unable to resist the insistent tug of the controlling chains.

“Dialga. Palkia. Obey your new master . . . see to it that the three who try to interfere with the making of my new world are destroyed. Leave nothing behind--Not a shred! Not even an atom!”

Against, their will, the twin Deities lifted their mighty heads to the Lake Guardians, still circling overhead. At once, both dragons unleashed their strongest of attacks, two blinding waves of undeniable power—the same power that formed and composed the very fabric of space and time. A giant burst of light drove Cyrus and his scientists back, then everything became black.

When Cyrus next awoke, it was mid-morning. The laboratory was entirely destroyed---nothing left but a pile of rubble in the middle of a cliff face. Here and there, other scientists were waking up, pushing smaller chunks of rubble off of their bodies and tending to minor wounds. Others weren’t as fortunate. Scattered about were severed limbs, bodies crushed beneath massive rocks, blood spatters coloring the fallen metal beams with crimson.

And then there were the dragons. Dialga and Palkia, both partially buried in rubble and both entirely unconscious, still bound in the Red Chains. Cyrus’s prize. The man slowly got to his feet, ignoring the muffled sobs of injured workers in favor of taking long steps toward his dragons. His left arm was entirely covered in his own blood, but if he was in pain, he gave no indication of it. He reached out with his other arm, fingers brushing over the blue scales of Dialga’s head. For a moment, he was awestruck. His science had brought two all-powerful Deities to their knees, submitted to his will.

“M-Master Cyrus, your arm---”

“Creating a new universe with the power of these dragons… It seems almost trivial, don’t you think?” said Cyrus slowly, “One would almost think we could be even more ambitious with our goals. The power of the gods is in my hand---I have the children of Arceus under my thumb. I won’t destroy this universe; I shall rule it. This is my destiny.”

“ … Sir?”
“Gather the survivors, Saturn. There’s much work to be done.”

Chapter Text

The mortal mind was not meant for silence and isolation; The quiet peace would soon become overwhelmed by the most terrifying and horrific noise of all—--complete and utter silence. Crea, a young lady no older than fourteen, had to learn this lesson the hard way. For . . . how long has it been now? A few weeks? Months? Years? A strange concept time could become when one has no ability to keep track of it.

Crea had been kept in isolation for so very long, she thought, because she’d done something very bad. Try as she might, she could never remember what terrible, vile thing she’d done to sentence herself to such a fate.

Mr. Cyrus, however, seemed adamant that she be punished for her villainy, so she would fulfill her sentence. Crea would do so if it made Mr. Cyrus happy. It wasn’t so bad, she told herself. She had crayons and paper to color and draw with, and sometimes an administrator would be by to give her new materials and sustenance. They were never allowed to talk for very long, however---Cyrus’s orders.

In hindsight, it seemed as though Cyrus visited the most frequently. He seemed to enjoy their conversations and he would allow Crea to sit on his lap and explain in great detail the drawings she’d made. Cyrus would nod along and critique her technique and uses of shading and lighting, and then he would put “new shading pencils” on his list of things to bring back to her on his next visit to her isolation ward.

But that was a while ago. Longer than usual. The administrators and Cyrus, himself, had not visited in… how long had it been? Crea’s pencils were running thin, and the erasers were down to the size of her tiny fingernails. Even her crayons had been worn down to little stubs… yes, it had been a long time.
Employees---the ones who all wore matching heads of green hair---would come by and slide portions of food and water beneath the door to her. They wouldn’t say hello. They wouldn’t even look in her direction.

This new cycle repeated several times until Crea’s drawing utensils were completely spent and she no longer had items to keep herself occupied. She would pace in her large white room and peer out from the gap beneath her door and wondered when someone would be by to keep her company. She had so very many pictures to share with Mr. Cyrus, after all.

After many, many cycles of portion deliveries, she began to wonder… what if they weren’t coming back for her at all? Had she done something else wrong? Was she being punished? Had they forgotten about her completely?

That night, Crea stuck her little hand beneath the door and screamed and cried and pleaded and apologized, trying to bring someone back---someone to speak with.

But no one came.

 

---

 

By morning, the poor little girl had curled herself into a protective little ball, sniffling and puffy-eyed and unable to fix whatever mistake she must have caused.
But then, by some miracle, someone opened that large door. It was Mr. Cyrus! He had heard her pleas and had come back to visit! Crea could not have jumped across the room and over to him any quicker, hugging his leg and repeating her apologies for whatever horrid crime she’d committed this time, but Cyrus---he grabbed her by the elbow and shoved her out of her isolation room, saying something about “staying out of the way”. Confused, the little girl attempted to maneuver around the massive door to see back inside the room, but a green-haired employee shouted to her to move aside.

A gigantic box was being pulled toward her and into the room by several large Pokémon, led by Commander Saturn’s large Rhyperior. Mr. Cyrus helped guide the Pokémon into the room, kicking aside Crea’s paper drawings and steering the massive container to be placed along the far wall. Soon after, a second container, slightly taller than the first, was brought inside, placed against the left wall and atop some of the scattered pieces of paper.

Crea would’ve been far more distraught over the loss of her work had she not been so perplexed by these new arrivals in her room. Now that the coast was clear, she scurried back into the room and hopped around the administrators’ feet and back to Mr. Cyrus himself. “What are these? They must hold a lot of shading pencils, Mr. Cyrus!”

Oh, the little girl was so excited she hardly knew what to do with herself, but Mr. Cyrus paid her no mind, continuing to speak in hushed voices to the commanders and grunts gathered in the room. Crea had so much company! She never had these many visitors at once! She was lucky to even have two!

“Make sure this door remains secured and no one under clearance level 12 gets inside,” said Mr. Cyrus, “We are making history here; Anyone or anything that could put this project at risk must be terminated immediately.”

“Yes sir!” shouted the gathered grunts.

“Cyrus, sir, and what about the, um…” Commander Mars began, eyes darting toward a very-eager Crea still hopping about their feet.

“…Right. Crea? Come here, little one,” Cyrus said, crouching down so he could be at her level, “I have a wonderful surprise for you. You no longer need to fill your punishment here in isolation! Instead, you will be supervised by the administrators and myself---fulfilling simple tasks on our behalf. Is that not exciting?”
All Crea took away from that was no more isolation. Yes, that was indeed very exciting! So very exciting that Crea missed the groans of annoyance of the Galactic Commanders gathered around the room.

“Excellent. We’ll begin immediately. All of you, leave this room immediately. I will take Crea with me and… show her the ropes,” Cyrus scooped the little girl up in his arms and waited for the administrators and green-haired grunts to take their leave before he, himself, made for the exit. As Crea was taken away, she thought she heard an odd guttural growl echoing from one of the massive containment boxes…

No. Surely she must have imagined it…

Right?

Chapter Text

As the years went by and Crea watched the seasons change from the windows of the facility, the girl more and more frequently found herself at her wit’s end. Her isolation had been discontinued long ago, and she was now pushing the age of sixteen. She’d grown into herself a bit more; Her childlike curly blonde locks had straightened out and turned a dark golden shade and her once bright and wide eyes were now dull with exhaustion.

Along with her physical developments, Crea also began to change mentally. She knew her place in the facility, and new better than to initiate conversation with any of the Galactic grunts, administrators, or even Cyrus himself unless she was spoken to first (which was not very often, all things considered).

Sometimes, she caught their hushed whispers or scornful tones, their sour glances from the corners of their eyes, and spiteful, almost pitying, shakes of their heads any time Crea wandered the hallways around them.

Crea was a servant here. She was to sweep and mop the floors and keep the cabinets and shelves dusted. Not a particle of dirt was to be found anywhere, or else there would be consequences. The girl still had no knowledge of what terrible crime she had committed toward these people or why they deemed her such a danger or someone to sneer at. Crea noticed, with time, that the grunts never spoke to each other with as much venom as they spoke to her.

There were many days where Crea wondered if perhaps isolation was a better sentence to serve, and maybe being removed from isolation and made to be the laughingstock of the facility was meant to increase her punishment.

Crea saw less and less of Cyrus these days. He would spend all day from dawn to dusk, and sometimes even past midnight in her former isolation ward, yelling at the administrators that accompanied him while loud crashing and banging could be heard through the solid door. Occasionally, these noises would be swiftly followed by bright flashes of blue and pink from the crack between the bottom of the door and the sleek white floor tiles.

Crea would sometimes stand nearby to listen and watch the light show, but was always swiftly diverted by the green-haired grunts keeping watch by the door.

It was around this time that the girl was first introduced to creatures called “Pokémon”. There were, apparently, hundreds of different species, each unique and distinct from the others. They were divided into types, and many of them could evolve. They didn’t speak, showed humanlike levels of intelligence, and displayed a heavy interest in battling one another.

Crea had her first run-in with this specific type of Pokémon trainer late one night. The administrators had all retired to their individual quarters for the night, but Crea had crept out of her room in search of a water fountain. She stealthily crawled alongside the wall, listening intently and wanting to evade any sort of run-in with her superiors--That would surely result in more chores or a heavier punishment for the next week.

Hearing muffled voices further down the hallway, Crea stopped to listen, pressing her small body back into the shadows. As she did so, a pair of grunts sauntered into the hallway.

“Yeah, man, that was brutal! I’ve never seen a battle like that before.”

“Nah, you’ve come to the wrong place if you’re looking for a battle. That’s not battling---- that’s mutilation.”

A laugh, “you can say that again! I’ve never seen a Skuntank with that kind of look in its eyes.”

Crea strained to listen more, but the grunts turned a corner and disappeared from view. Mutilation…? Furrowing her brow with curiosity, Crea turned into the hallway the pair had just emerged from. As she did so, she became increasingly aware of faint cheering and yelling from further into the facility.

The hair on the back of her neck stood up and a rush of adrenaline pooling into her gut made her steps falter. She had a god-awful feeling about going any closer to the source of the sound, but her desperation to know more outweighed the nerves. She stepped forward, tiptoeing the corridor until she found herself at a staircase spiraling downward into darkness.

The took the first few steps quickly, but a sudden uproarious cheering made her freeze in place. What was going on…? How has she never heard this before?

Crea swallowed and crept down the stairs, but what she found at the bottom made her stomach turn.

The bottom of the staircase led into an open room, where a ring of Galactic grunts formed around a large metal cage. The sea of matching bright green hair and the crowd of voices mixed with the stench of alcohol was overwhelming Crea’s senses, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away.

Inside the metal cage were two Pokémon Crea recognized as a Houndoom and a Raticate. The two were circling each other, teeth bared and snarling, saliva glistening off thick bloodstained jaws. A man pounded his fist against the cage impatiently.

“Do something already, will ya? Come on, I paid good money for this!”

This seemed to spur the Raticate into action. It lunged forward, incisors at the ready, but the Houndoom was faster. It leapt aside and opened its mouth, a blast of fire erupting from its throat. A direct hit!

The Raticate reeled back with a horrible screech, and Crea could smell burning hair all the way from the staircase. The Raticate retreated to the side of the ring, brown fur now scorched black on its shoulder and neck and holding one paw far more gingerly than the other. It was badly burned and was already weak from the attacks it had apparently sustained previously.

The crowd began to work up into a frenzy again with more grunts pounding on the bars and demanding action.

“Come on, Houndoom, finish it!”

“You got this, Raticate!”

The Houndoom took a sudden lurch forward and sank its teeth into the fur on the back of Raticate’s neck, hauling it around and slamming it into the bars.

The other Pokémon gave a cry, desperately snapping its incisors to get the Houndoom to release its grip, but it showed no signs of mercy. To the crowd’s delight, the Houndoom tossed the Raticate to the dirt and pinned it to the floor with its front paws.

Crea’s heart leapt into her throat. Who could watch this sort of event and not be entirely sick to their stomachs…? The growing enthusiasm of the crowd made it more difficult for Crea to see the Pokémon between the pumping fists and clanking together of beer bottles, but a sudden sickening crunch and the sound of ripping flesh was enough to make the young girl clamp her hand over her mouth to prevent herself from vomiting on the spot. Crea was only able to tear her eyes off the vile scene when she watched the Houndoom victoriously lift the severed head of the Raticate into the air as the crowd erupted into chaos.

Feeling disgusted and sick, Crea scrambled back up the staircase and into the hallway, tears stinging at the corners of her eyes. She felt dizzy and suddenly was unable to see the floor, so she turned her back to the wall and sank to the floor, hugging her knees and hiding her face in her arms. Choking back her sobs only made her feel worse.

Those poor Pokémon…

That poor Raticate… Slaughtered for no reason other than the enjoyment of humans. Crea had slowly begun to realize over the years that Galactic was not nearly as pristine and perfect as they liked to pretend, but even she had been completely caught off-guard by how brutal of a secret they’d managed to hide beneath the very facility she called home.

The grunts from earlier did get at least one thing right, though. That was no Pokémon battle.