RE: Pokemon XD: Different Paths, Same Destiny
A GREAT CAUSE
Eldes stared at the world beyond the small, dark prison cell; nothing but a steel gray wall was ahead of the cell. But beyond the walls of this depressing place... oh, why was Eldes dwelling on these thoughts? Mere desires would not get him out of here; nothing would. His thoughts instead drifted to the events that occurred before he was locked up just a few moments ago.
When Eldes had unleashed all of his anger on Ardos–all of the pain, anger, and sadness that his horrible family had caused him in his life–he thought he was being so smart. He even had one tiny spark of hope that Greevil would decide against treating his red-haired son so harshly. He was wrong. Ardos had pretended to be hurt so that Greevil would hate Eldes more and more each day.
He knew that Ardos was acting like a little boy for two reasons; to get his younger brother Eldes into trouble, and just to piss him off. It was ordinarily very unlike Ardos to act so childish; normally, Eldes’s older brother was sensible, intelligent, and strong in every way. Ardos was planning this from the day Greevil rebuilt Cipher, Eldes was sure of it.
“Um...” A small voice broke Eldes out of his thoughts. The former Cipher Admin turned around to see Idgea, the short, blond-haired girl staring at him with sympathetic orange eyes.
“Hi,” she said. “It’s Eldes, right? I’ve heard your name mentioned before. You know, back when Ardos...” She shuddered. “Back when he did that to Luna.”
“Luna?” Eldes asked. “That’s her name?”
Idgea nodded. “I can’t believe they did that to her. In fact, I think those two deserve to be shot in the legs for that.” She added a quick “No offense,” for she did not want to insult Eldes; after all, after seeing the resemblance between the three men, she guessed that they were family.
“None taken,” said Eldes. “I never really liked them much. They’ve never exactly treated me like a prince, if you know what I mean. In fact, I’m getting really sick of them.”
“Is that why you got locked up?”
“Sort of. My brother Ardos is also trying to make himself look weak and defenseless around me. He made it look like I was trying to hurt him, but I never even laid a finger on him! My father Greevil always favored Ardos.” There was no mistaking the uncharacteristic bitterness in Eldes’s voice. “In fact, when I was a child, did you know that he used to beat me until I was bleeding if I so much as walked out of my bedroom without his permission? My mother never tried to stop him. In fact, I think she enjoyed watching me suffer.” Eldes paused to wipe a few tears from his eyes, and he had to remove his shades to do so. Idgea’s orange eyes widened when she saw his eyes; they were so... odd, so strange, so unusual! So... my good reader, I don’t believe I have any words to describe what she saw in detail that is good enough for you to clearly picture in your mind. Eldes’s eyes were an unusual variety of colors, striped and spotted with over a hundred shades of orange and yellow. They had a glow that was similar to his brother’s, but the glow in Eldes’s eyes was not cold and ruthless like his brother’s. Instead, they were kind and gentle, like a mother’s sweet, warmhearted eyes as she comforted her crying child. The yellow-orange of Eldes’s eyes were like two embers burning as brightly as the stars in the night sky; his black pupils were like two tiny coals.
“E-E-Eldes?” Idgea stammered in shock.
“Yes?” he asked, raising his head to look at Idgea.
“What’s in your eyes?”
“Other than tears, you mean?” Eldes chuckled, trying to bring some humor into the glum situation. “Nothing, why?” As he spoke, Eldes slowly placed his shades on the floor, intending to never place them in front of his eyes again. When Greevil restored Cipher and made Ardos and Eldes Admins, he made them wear the shades to help hide themselves. Eldes was pretty sure that Greevil was ashamed of the way he made his sons Admins with no second thought. Greevil probably thought that his other minions would see it as soft weakness and quit Cipher. But Eldes was tired of hiding. He wanted nothing more to do with Cipher. Perhaps it was already that way, as Eldes was now locked up in a small prison built by Ardos and Greevil. But now that Eldes was a mere prisoner and a slave, he had nothing to hide anyone, nor did he want anything to hide.
“Well...” Idgea paused, afraid that she might offend Eldes. “I’ve never seen eyes like those. They remind me of a barbeque for some reason.”
“Hah, barbeque!” Eldes chuckled, but stopped almost immediately. “Well... you might have guessed already that I’m Ardos’s twin brother right?” Idgea nodded, and Eldes went on: “He has the ice powers, and I have the fire powers.”
“Cool. I wish I had powers like that, you know.” Idgea’s voice was full of awe. “It must be awesome, having the ability to shoot fireballs out of your fingertips and zap everyone you don’t like with electricity.” She closed her fingers together tightly and then threw her arms high up in the air, shouting “BZZ, BZZ BZZ, BZZZZZAP!”
Eldes laughed, something he hadn’t done in years. But again, he forced himself to stop laughing. “Yes, well... to be honest, I never wanted these powers. They’ve given me nothing but trouble. Whenever I get angry, my fists and eyes burst into flames. It’s hurt me and the people around me. In fact, I once accidently burnt the school down back when I was a teenager. Ardos and I were expelled, and then my mother had to home school us because... well, you know how rare schools are in Orre. And Greevil... well, he beat me so bad that I was sore for days.” Eldes shuddered at the bad memory.
Idgea nodded. “I understand. But it wasn’t just YOUR powers that have hurt others.” She looked at Luna, who was sitting in a far corner, her blue eyes wide with fear and staring at something only she could see.
“I see.” Eldes sighed. “He’s hurt me a few times, as well. But I’d rather not talk about that.”
Idgea blinked sympathetically but said nothing more as she laid down and tried to fall asleep.
Eldes crawled over to Luna. He wanted to know how she was doing. He wanted to know how much Ardos’s spirit-shattering powers had hurt the once-strong girl.
“Luna?” he asked gently, hoping for a response of some kind. When he got nothing, Eldes gently tugged at the sleeve of Luna’s denim trench-coat. Still no response.
Eldes sighed, deciding that it was pointless to try any more. Luna was like a statue; cold and unresponsive. This was the evil of Cipher; the evil of Greevil. Most of all, it was the evil of Ardos.
Hours passed very slowly. Eldes could almost feel Luna’s despair, for he too felt a bit like a statue. There was no one to comfort him; then again, there never WAS anyone. Not even his own family when he was but a small child. For hours, Eldes’s mind was blank, too blank with sorrow for even one thought to cross his mind; that is, until it was about... midnight, was it? Eldes couldn’t be sure. He had already lost track of time. But it was then–whenever “then” was–that he suddenly thought about Ardos. He wasn’t sure what in Mew’s name made him think of his brother, but he suddenly thought about what the world might have been like if Ardos was never born.
Had it not been for Ardos, Luna would not be like a statue. Had it not been for Ardos, the threat to Orre known as Cipher would be weaker. Had it not been for Ardos–
Eldes jumped in shock as he heard footsteps approaching. He turned around to see a Cipher Peon standing in front of the prison cell. Eldes could tell that it was Carey, the first Cipher Peon to join Cipher after the explosion of Citadark Isle.
“Good evening, traitor.” She spat the word “traitor” at Eldes with a great amount of venom in her elegant, musical voice. “The Grand Master has ordered me to guard you four for the night. Now go to sleep, maggots.”
Eldes sighed as he, like Idgea, laid down and closed his eyes.
As all of that was happening, a teenaged boy with long dirty-blond hair was punching his snow-white pillow in frustration. Days passed, and yet Eli had done nothing to get Luna back. Yes, he had thought about her every minute of the day. At night, he would be so afraid for her that he would cry himself to sleep and then have horrible nightmares about things that could’ve happened to Luna; she could be... Eli didn’t want to think about what Cipher might have done to her.
Feeling too tired to punch his pillow any more, he collapsed onto his bed. I should be doing something, he thought. I should be trying to rescue Luna. She’s been gone for days; they must have done something bad to her by now. I can’t wait any longer! Those were the thoughts that crossed his mind almost all the time. But he couldn’t think of a plan of some kind. He thought of no ideas.
Perhaps he should go and read something. Yes, reading always helped him think, helped to calm him down. There was an old newspaper article on his wooden desk; maybe he should read that. He slowly got out of bed and picked up the newspaper article. He sat in his chair in front of his desk and began to read the front page.
BOY SAVES DIRECTOR FROM CIPHER
On Monday, April 15, 1735 A.I.A. (After Ice Age), the Director of the Pokemon HQ Lab, Professor Evan J. Krane was kidnapped by three men who we have recently learned were from Cipher, a criminal organization that threatened all of Orre five years ago. After Wes Turkiebaykon and Rui Annoyinghuladancingbigeyedcreepyhelplessfreakazoidnincompoop (“MY NAME IS NOT FUNNY, DAMN IT!” she once screamed when a reporter was in hysterics after he asked for her name) defeated the former head of Cipher, Evice, it has been thought that Cipher completely disbanded. After the Professor’s kidnaping, however, we now know better.
It was only two days later that a ten-year-old boy named Michael R. Fir found Cipher’s lab and infiltrated the base. “It wasn’t really that hard,” he said during an interview three days later. “But there was a girl named Lovrina who was really tough; she calls herself an Admin, actually, and she pretty much owns the lab.”
Eli put the article down before he finished reading it. Who knew that someone four years younger than him could inspire him to do something great? Who ever thought? In any case, after reading the article, Eli knew what he had to do.
A childish thought, perhaps, but Eli wanted to be like Michael. He wanted to be a hero. He wanted to be someone more than just an ordinary city boy. But more than that, Eli wanted to save someone he cared about; his sister Luna. But how would he convince his parents that he needed to save Luna? Since her kidnaping, they’ve been very strict about him leaving the house; he couldn’t even look out the window unless his mother or his father were with him. What was he supposed to say? “Hi, mom, I’m going out to risk my life on a dangerous mission to save my older sister from a gang of bloodthirsty thieves. Wish me luck!” It wasn’t exactly the same as going to compete at the Pyrite Colosseum. At the Pyrite Colosseum, Eli did not risk his life; or his Pokemon. He never really took Pokemon battling seriously. He thought it was just a sport that he and his Pokemon could enjoy in their spare time. But now things were getting serious. He knew that he or his Pokemon could get killed out there. But Eli knew he had to do it. Even if he did die, at least he would die for a good cause. At least he would go down fighting. At least he would die for someone he loved.
Eli knew that he had to come up with an excuse of some kind. Something believable. Of course, because Eli could not leave the house, let alone Pyrite Town, no excuse that he could think of could be... well, excused. He decided to tell his parents the truth.
He grabbed one of his reading books and tore a blank page out of it, ready to write a quick note to his parents. But... damn! He didn’t have a pencil! His heart sank. Now what was he going to do, if he couldn’t let his parents know what happened to him?
After a few seconds of moping, an idea crossed his mind. Smeargle! Smeargle was Eli’s first Pokemon, and they had been best friends since the day they laid eyes on each other. And these monkey-like Pokemon were known for their tails; tipped with a red liquid of some kind that was very similar to paint, they were known for their paintbrush-like tails.
Eli decided to wait until it was night, however, when the rest of his family were asleep. He didn’t want them to know what he was doing until he was too far away for them to track down.
A full moon shone in the dark black sky. Almost everyone was asleep at this time; except for Eli and his Smeargle.
Eli was sitting in his chair that was in front of his desk; Smeargle found it more comfortable to sit on the desk, and Eli was just fine with that.
“Smeargle,” Eli whispered, careful not to wake his family, “I don’t have a pencil with me at the moment, and I can’t find one anywhere in the house. I need you to write the note down for me, okay, buddy?”
“Smeargle-eargle!” Smeargle nodded eagerly and held his tail up high.
“Okay,” Eli whispered. “Now, write down what I say on that piece of paper....
“I’m sorry to leave you, but I have to do something about Cipher. It’s been days since Luna was kidnaped; Cipher must have done something horrible to her by now. I know you want the police to handle this, but they are taking too long. The more time goes by, the more chance there is of Cipher doing something worse to Luna; and I don’t want to imagine what that might be.
“I know I could get hurt out there; even killed. But if I don’t do something and Luna gets killed, I won’t be able to live with myself; and neither will you. And even if I die, I’ll be dying for a good cause.
“If I don’t come back, I want you to know that I love you; Mom, Dad, Heather. I want you to remember that if I die, I’ll be going down fighting. Heather, be strong. Don’t give up on training to be the Pokemon Master you’ve always wanted to be, no matter how bad things get. I love you all.
“Smear... gle...” said Smeargle with despair, realizing what was going on.
Eli sighed. “I know, Smeargle. These are some ugly times, but we’ve got to do something. Come on.” With those words, Eli tiptoed out of his bedroom, his Smeargle close behind.
There was, however, one thing that he wanted to do before he left.
If I don’t come back, Eli thought, I at least want to see my family one last time.
As quiet as a mouse, he tiptoed into his younger sister’s bedroom, telling his Smeargle to stay where he was.
Slowly and quietly, Eli opened her bedroom door. Heather was asleep in her bed, the pink covers pulled over her entire body below her neck. Her Teddiursa bear, which she called “Teddi”, was held tightly in her arms, the top of its fuzzy head pressed closely to Heather’s chin.
Eli felt a tear roll down his cheek as he saw his sister; so cute, so sweet, so innocent, hugging her most prized possession as she slept in her soft pink bed. This was the innocence that Eli was now fighting to protect. If he failed this mission, such innocence could be destroyed; men, women, and even young children like Heather all across Orre could end up like Luna; kidnaped. Or worse yet, killed. More tears rolled down Eli’s cheeks as he imagined the screams of pain coming from every direction; the shouts of men, the shrieks of women, and the cries of children, all being mistreated in some way or killed. Eli would not let that happen. He would rather die than let Cipher do something like that.
Eli reluctantly left his little sister’s room, trying not to glance over his shoulder. It brought him so much pain to do so, but Eli wanted to see his parents again. If Eli did not come back, it would be the last he would ever see of them.
The door to his parents’ bedroom was already open, as it always was. He tiptoed into his parents’ room to see them both sleeping in their gorgeous sand-colored double-bed. Both of them were also wrapped in their covers, their loud snores heard very clearly. To anyone else, it would have been a noise that was so annoying that they would want to go deaf. But to Eli at that very moment, the snoring was like the finest music to him. This could be the last time I ever see their faces again, Eli thought with despair. It could be the last time I hear them. But if I don’t do something about Cipher, they could end up like Luna; or worse.
Afraid that his grief would overpower him to a point where he would decide not to go fight Cipher, he quickly and quietly tiptoed out of his parents’ room. He did not look back.
His Smeargle was waiting patiently near Eli’s bedroom door. “Smear?” he whispered.
Eli nodded. “Let’s go.”
Eli and Smeargle left their house, their beloved home, for the first time in days. When Cipher had kidnaped Luna, Eli was pretty sure he saw them heading northeast. And that’s where I’ll go, thought Eli as he recalled his Smeargle and sent out his Skarmory.
“Skar?” the steel bird Pokemon asked when she saw the look of despair on Eli’s face.
Eli quickly told Skarmory the events that happened in the past few days, and he told her about his plans to rescue Luna.
“Are you up for it?” Eli asked.
Skarmory nodded eagerly. That was just like Eli’s Skarmory; she was always up for a challenge, even if it meant risking her life.
“Then let’s go,” Eli whispered as he climbed onto his Pokemon’s metallic-silver back. “Northeast.”
Skarmory flapped her powerful rust-red wings and was airborne in less than a second.
Eli’s mother awoke to the sound of wingbeats outside of her house. “Robert, wake up,” she whispered as she gently shook her husband.
“Huh, wha...?” Robert asked drowsily.
“I hear something outside, dear,” Amelia said fearfully. “It could be THEM.” Amelia jumped out of bed and looked out her window. A female Skarmory was flying in the air, her glossy silver feathers gleaming in the moonlight. Alarm rang in Amelia’s head like an alarm clock early in the morning. It WAS Cipher! But... no, it wasn’t! She let out a sigh of relief when she realized that the rider wasn’t wearing a Cipher uniform. That relief quickly vanished as she recognized the boy who was riding the Skarmory. It was Eli!
“Robert!” she exclaimed. “It’s not Cipher; it’s Eli!”
“Impossible,” Robert groaned. “Eli’s asleep in his room. How could he be out there?”
Amelia ran out of her bedroom and raced into Eli’s bedroom, just to make sure she wasn’t mistaken.
She gasped when she saw that Eli was not asleep on his bed; he wasn’t even there! But on his desk, there was a note with red paint scribbled on it. Eli was clearly in a hurry to write it. As soon as Amelia read it, she began to feel weak with fear. Her breathing became heavy as she read the last line.
“Robert!” she tried to call for her husband, but her voice was now very weak. “Rober... Rob...” Amelia fell to the ground in a dead swoon before she could finish speaking.