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It took Athena awhile to process the information that had been presented to her, as did Fluffs. Nightmare; the strongest Dark Type in the world, and was most well known as a pacifist. The Pitch Black Pokemon spoke out for the discrimination of innocent Dark Type Pokemon, persuading the world that not all Dark Types were inherently evil or bad. Fluffs, when she was a little Cottonee, remembered hearing about Nightmare’s rallies. She remembered that the Fairy Colony residents, especially the Matriarch, held Nightmare in high regard. But when the Evil Type destroyed the Psychic Colony, all support for Dark Type equality vanished. Athena was able to put it together that Nightmare, know full well that there was nothing he could do, fled from the public eye, hiding in the Forest of Darkness and had Yin and Yang protect him and the forest from any intruders. Now, many years later, Athena had come to Nightmare, needing his help.

“I can’t believe it is you.” She stammered. “It is quite an honor to meet you.”

“I am gratefully sorry for everything my Type has done to you.” Nightmare stated, slightly bowing his head to Athena. Yang and Yin looked quite puzzled at Nightmare’s behavior to this newcomer. Raising his head up, Nightmare continued. “What is it that you need help with?”

“I want to end it all with the Evil Type.” Athena stated. Nightmare only looked at the Gardevoir.

“How does one Gardervoir even stand a chance at ending it?” Nightmare began to show doubt in Athena’s abilities. “You could try all you want, but you will need more to take them on.” He turned his back to Athena. She however wasn’t going to leave empty handed.

“Please Nightmare! You have to help me somehow! I want to be able to sleep peacefully for once in my life knowing that the…” Nightmare stopped suddenly.

“Sleep peacefully?” Athena noticed that she got his attention.

“Yes. My dreams show nothing but that fatefully night when my life was destroyed by the Evil Type’s leader and their forces.” Nightmare turned and looked at her.

“The leader is always in your dream?” Now Nightmare sounded desperate.

“Yes.” Athena said. “But my dreams are blurry and I can’t figure out who or what the leader is.” Nightmare floated over to Athena and Fluffs.

“What if I told you I can make that dream crystal clear?” A big smile formed over Athena’s face.

“Wait, you can help Athena figure out who the leader of the Evil Type is?” Fluffs asked.

“Indeed I can.” Nightmare replied.

“Master,” Yin interrupted, “how can you trust these Fairies so easily? What if they were hired by…”

“The Evil Type to kill me?” Nightmare finished her sentence. “The Evil Type would rather just kill them instead of align with them in any way.” Yin slowly retreated back to her rock, fearful of another remark. Nightmare focused back on Athena and Fluffs. “You have two other fighters with you correct?”

“Yeah.” Fluffs said. “They’re just outside the forest area.”

“Yang.” Nightmare called out. Yang stood up. “Go find their friends and escort them here. We should all be on the same page before we move any further.” Yang nodded, leaped off the rock and darted into the woods, vanishing into the mist. “My question is this Athena,” he said, looking at her, “will you do anything to find out who their leader is?” Without a second thought, Athena nodded.

“Anything. I will endure anything to find out.”

“Good. Because I can’t guarantee that the process with be painless.”

***************************************************************************************************

Yang returned some time later, with Galahad and Ragnarok following close behind. Day had turned to night since the Absol left. The two smiled upon seeing Athena and Fluffs, perfectly ok since they left. But they paused for a short while when they noticed Nightmare in their company. Introductions soon followed, and Galahad and Ragnarok still could believe that they were in the company of THE Nightmare.

“So you can find out who is leading the Evil Type?” Raganarok asked.

“Yes.” Nightmare replied.

“But just how do you plan to do that?” Galahad asked. Nightmare turned to Athena.

“Athena encountered the Evil Type’s leader the night her colony was attacked. In order for me to see who it is,” Nightmare paused for a second. “I will need to put you to sleep and use Nightmare on you.” Galahad, Fluffs, and Ragnarok gasped. Athena remained silent.

“No way!” Galahad stepped between Athena and Nightmare. “You are not going to do that to Athena. There has to be another way that you can…” He then felt a hand come to rest on his left arm. He looked to see Athena looking at him, calm and endearing.

“It’s ok Galahad.” She reassured. “I am alright with this. Just as long as it will shed some light on the leader himself. And I know it will.” Galahad looked at Athena, and after a few seconds, knew she was right. He lowered his arms and walked behind her.

“Are you ready?” Nightmare asked. Athena looked over to Fluffs and Ragnarok, the Whimsicott’s hands held each other tightly with worry, and the Aegislash looked on to his partner. Athena turned back, her eyes closed.

“Yes I am.” Nightmare then raised his left arm up, and a small ball of dark energy began to collect. Once finished, he brought it close to his chest looking back at Athena, who stood tall with her eyes closed. The group looked on as Nightmare held his Dark Void attack in his hand. And with a fluid motion, Nightmare pulled his arm back and threw the ball at Athena. Upon impact, the ball expanded around Athena’s entire body. After several seconds, the ball vanished and Athena began to fall. Galahad was ready and quickly caught Athena before she fell to the ground. Fluffs quickly flew over to them. Athena was fast asleep. Galahad drug the sleeping Gardevoir over to a fallen tree trunk. Sitting against it, Galahad laid Athena in his lap. Nightmare flew over to Athena, his right arm glowing black with energy.

“You won’t hurt her will you?” Galahad asked the Darkrai with worry.

“Only her dreams will hurt her Galahad. I am just a silent observer in her mind.” Galahad nodded to Nightmare. With his glowing right arm, Nightmare pressed his hand against Athena’s forehead. Both Athena and Nightmare became shrouded in a dark aura, for the Pitch Black Pokemon used the move Nightmare to induce Athena’s worst dreams. Now the group could only wait for Nightmare to stop and for Athena to wake before they could make their next move.
The room was silent save for Athena’s sobbing. Everyone was still trying to comprehend this revelation about her. The idea of a survivor from the Psychic Colony was ludicrous; no one survived the attack. Galahad, still holding onto Athena, stood up straight and no longer pushed her against the wall. He now was holding her up, preventing her from falling to her knees. She had basically lost all control, even the power to stand up. Fluffs couldn’t believe how much of a wreck Athena was in this moment. Galahad looked at the distraught Gardevoir.

“Athena, how did it happen?” he asked. Athena just could not compose herself. She continued to cry. “Athena, please.” Still no response.

“I can answer that for you.” Ragnarok spoke up. Galahad, Fluffs, Cobalt, and Shinobi looked at him.

“You can?” Galahad asked.

“Yes.” And the blade began to tell the story of Athena.

The Psychic Colony was Athena’s home, the only home she had ever known. She was a Ralts, the only Ralts there, when the colony was attacked by the Evil Type. A wave of Dark Type Pokemon surged through the buildings, slaughtering any Pokemon in their way. A Krookodile and its Krokoroks dug through the terrain, snatching up victims from all over. Flying Types flew overhead, attacking the helpless Pokemon below. Athena ran through the chaos, looking for a way out to safety. But there was no escape. She reached the cliff edge, following others that had leaped off the edge into the sea, hoping to swim to shore. But she saw only death below. Sharpedo and Carvanha waited below, ready to tear any new victims apart when they entered the water. Athena had no way out. Just then, a large figure lunged at her, it missed, but caused her to fall off the edge toward the sea. In one last ditch effort to survive, the young Ralts activated Teleport, and warped to a random location nearby. That location turned out to be a significant distance away from the colony, but still in the sea. Luckily for her, no Evil Types were there to attack her. She swam to shore, exhausted from the shock. Just then, she saw it. The Krookodile and Krokoroks used Dig to cause the cliff-side colony to become so unstable that the entire land mass it was on to sheer itself off and crumble into the water, disappearing forever. Athena was traumatized, now lost in the world without her home and friends. But that is when she found me.

We ran into each other in the Hub. Hiding from the larger, more powerful Pokemon, Athena was scared of this new world she was in. Running from others, she literally ran into me. I was just a Honedge at the time, so Athena immediately “latched” onto me. We became good friends and were pretty much inseparable. But then, when a Dark Type was harassing another Pokemon, Athena lost it. She grabbed me awkwardly, charged the Dark Type, and began waving me in front of it. Scared by the sudden “attack”, the Dark Type fled. It was at that moment something clicked in Athena’s mind. Working together, she and I could do great things to help others avoid conflict with the Evil Type. She began to train in the art of sword fighting, using me as her blade. She grew stronger and more skilled with the blade. We evolved together, Kirlia and Doublade, and then Gardevoir and Aegislash. We continued to fight others that meant harm, and made it our job to stop all Evil Types we could find.

“And that’s her story Galahad.” Ragnarok concluded. The others stood in awe from the story. They looked back to Athena, who had been able to collect herself; tear streams were still visible on her face. She was breathing hard, but was able to stand on her own two feet. Galahad let her arms go, and took the time to wipe Athena’s face off with his hand. She closed her eyes and looked away, still trying to retain her persona, but Galahad ignored it. He finally understood her pain. He finally understood her motives and why she fights the way she does.

“I am so sorry to hear this about you.” Cobalt spoke up. “I can’t even begin to understand what you went through.” Fluffs dove at Athena and hugged her tightly. Athena remained unresponsive. Fluffs was on the verge of crying herself, but tried very hard not to start.

“Athena,” Shinobi said. Athena looked up to him. The others turned to him. He paused for a short time, and then continued. “I’ll tell you where to find the Dark Type that will help you. Listen to my instructions carefully, because without them, you will not find him.”

***************************************************************************************************

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” Fluffs said, her voice wavering.

“Don’t worry,” Athena said, “remember that you are in safe company.”

Athena, Fluffs, Ragnarok, and Galahad stood on a hill overlooking the location that Shinobi told them to go to; The Forest of Darkness, an ominous wooded area that few Pokemon ever tried to enter. Acres and acres of dead trees lay before the group, shrouded in a thick mist. The forest seemed to stretch on forever, and there was no sign of life anywhere in it. But according to Shinobi, this was where they needed to be.

“So what now?” Galahad asked.

“Remember what he said for us to do when we got here.” Athena reminded him and the others. “Only Fluffs and I are to enter the forest. You and Ragnarok will have to wait here until it is appropriate.”

“Shouldn’t we at least have someone else to back us up?” Fluffs was worried. “What if something bad happens in there?”

“You and me have plenty of strength to take on anything in there.” She replied with confidence. Her fist glowed pink, indicating her Moonblast attack. Fluffs nodded weakly, remembering her Hurricane attack. The two looked back at Galahad and Ragnarok. The two nodded in agreement at the girls, and Athena and Fluffs turned and walked into the Forest of Darkness. Only a few meters in though, the two disappeared into the mist.

“I’m worried about them.” Galahad said.

“Don’t worry.” Ragnarok said. “They can handle anything in there.”

“But ‘what’ is in there?” Galahad asked. Ragnarok was about to reply, but realized that he didn’t have an answer. He only looked into the woods. Now he too, was worried.

***************************************************************************************************

Fluffs stuck close by Athena as they walked through the woods and mist. There was an eerie silence throughout the forest. All the trees were dark gray, no leaves on any of them, and the dirt was dry and dusty. It truly felt like she and Athena were the only living things in the entire forest.

“Keep you guard up.” Athena reminded her. “We don’t know for sure if we are truly alone here.”
Fluffs quickly looked around the area, making sure no one was following them. But with mist, it was hard to tell if there was anyone there. Though Athena had confidence, Fluffs was a nervous wreck. The pair continued on for a little ways more. Just then, a quiet voice could be heard coming from up ahead through the mist, causing Athena to stop in her tracks and Fluffs to dive behind her, clinging to the back of her shoulder.

“Do not come any further.” The voice said in an unsettling soothing female, tone. “Leave this place immediately.” Fluffs was terrified, but Athena had come too far to turn back.

“That is something I cannot do.” She called out.

“Why do you say that?” the voice asked slowly. Athena remembered what Shinobi had told her to say should she hear someone tell her to leave.

“I need help from you master.” She stated. The voice didn’t say anything. The eerie silence returned as Athena and Fluffs waited to see what would happen next. Fluffs ducked further behind Athena’s shoulder, but Athena didn’t even budge. Through the silence, footsteps could be heard. The footsteps were slow enough to indicate someone was walking toward them, but fast enough to indicate it was from a four-legged Pokemon. Athena stood firm as a figure could be seen approaching them. Fluffs was shaking in fear, and Athena braced herself, putting one foot behind the other, ready for anything. The figure emerged from the mist, revealing itself to be an Absol, the Disaster Pokemon. The Absol stood before Athena and Fluffs, her bright red eyes looking intently at the two Pokemon.
“Who told you about my master?” the Absol asked quizzically.

“Shinobi the Greninja.” Athena responded. The Absol nodded, understanding that it was Shinobi, someone she trusted.

“Very well. If Shinobi showed you here, then I suppose you can be trusted. My name is Yang.”

“A pleasure to meet you Yang. My name is Athena.” She pointed over her shoulder to the ball of cotton on her back. “And this is Fluffs.” Fluffs poked her head over Athena’s shoulder and looked at Yang, weakly waving at her. Yang simply nodded in understanding.

“You wish to see my master, yes? For what reason?”

“I will only state my reasons when I meet him.” Athena said. Yang looked at her.

“Of course. If that is the case, then I will lead you to him. Follow me.” she turned around and began to walk away from Athena and Fluffs. The Whimsicott floated to Athena’s side and the two followed the Absol further into the woods.

“Are you the only two that have come?” Yang asked.

“No.” Fluffs stated. “There are two others waiting outside of the forest.”

“Who are they?”

“A Gallade and Aegislash.” Athena answered. “We thought it would be in your master’s best interests if they stayed behind until it was safe for them to come in too.”

“Much appreciated,” the Absol gratefully said. “Pokemon that know fighting type moves would present a problem for my master.”

“What about Fairy Types?” Fluffs asked.

“Strangely, my master doesn’t seem concerned with Fairy Types at all.” Yang herself didn’t seem to understand. Fluffs and Athena smiled at each other, knowing that that was a point in their favor.

“What are you doing Yang!?” a loud voice cried from up ahead. Yang calmly stopped, but Athena and Fluffs jerked to a standstill from the sudden noise. “Why did you bring such Pokemon in here!?"

“They are not here to harm us Yin,” the Absol said, “Come out and don’t cause any problems.” A short time later, a quiet flapping sound could be heard approaching. And through the mist, a small Pidgey emerged, landing on a tree branch above the group. Athena and Fluffs both cocked their heads to the side in confusion.

“Wha….what?” Athena didn’t understand.

“Did that voice come from that Pidgey?”  Fluffs asked.

“HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT!” the Pidgey shouted. And before anyone could react, a large column of fire shot out of the Pidgey’s mouth straight at Athena and Fluffs. Caught off guard, the two dove out of the way, landing behind a fallen tree trunk. The two looked up from behind the trunk at the Pidgey, whose beak still had fire seeping out.

“What the hell!?” Athena screamed. Fluffs checked her cotton frantically to make sure it hadn’t caught on fire.

“Yin, that is completely uncalled for!” Yang exclaimed to the Pidgey. “What will master say about this? Stop with the trickery.” The Pidgey huffed loudly at her, but complied. The Pidgey suddenly began to glow, similar to evolution, but it wasn’t. Parts of the Pidgey began to change before Athena’s and Fluffs’ eyes. The wings turned into arms with sharp claws, the legs grew longer and larger, its tail retreated, and a long mane grew from the back of its head. The glow dissipated, and the Pidgey was replaced with a menacing looking fox-like Pokemon, which glared at the two Fairy Types.

“So that Pidgey was a Zoroark?” Fluffs asked.

“That explains the Flamethrower I assume.” Athena said, walking out from behind the trunk.

“Calm down Yin,” Yang said to the Zoroark. The Illusion Fox Pokemon huffed again and turned her head away. Yang only shook her head. She turned toward Athena and Fluffs. “Allow me to clarify. This is my sister Yin. She can be a bit of a hothead, but she means well for the master.”

“A bit of a hothead?” Fluffs was agitated by Yin’s sudden attack. “She almost caught me on fire!” The Zoroark didn’t even look back.

“Alright alright. Yin, I am showing these two the way to the master. Please don’t attack them anymore.” Yang said to her sister.

“Why would the master want to even talk to these two Fairies?” Yin asked with disgust.

“They have important matters with him. Just let them go.” Yin sighed loudly.

“Fine!” She jumped from the branch and landed in front of Yang, then began walking forward away from her. Yang turned toward Athena and Fluffs and motioned for them to follow.

***************************************************************************************************

The group of four had been walking for what seemed like a very long time. It seemed like it because since Yin joined the group, no one was talking. She wore what seemed to be a permanent scowl on her face, so Athena and Fluffs knew that they shouldn’t try to talk to her. The group continued on until they reached a small clearing. Two boulders lay on the sides of the circular patch, which was surrounded my dense pockets of dead trees. Yin quickly jumped up on the left boulder, while Yang slowly climbed up onto the right one. Both Dark Types looked at Athena and Fluffs, who stood at the entrance of the clearing. Yang then looked at the center of the clearing and spoke.

“Master, these two Fairy Types wish to speak to you.” Athena and Fluffs looked at the center, but saw no one. Yin continued to look at the two, while Yang focused on the center. After a brief moment, a low male voice spoke up.

“What do they wish to speak about?” the voice asked. Yang turned and looked at Athena, indicating for her to speak. Athena awkwardly looked at the center and began to talk.

“Master of Yin and Yang, my name is Athena. I am from the Psychic Colony.” Yin’s and Yang’s heads perked up at this detail in surprise, but Athena continued uninterrupted, Fluffs looking on with wonder. “I come to you seeking help. I have been locked in a lifelong struggle with the Evil Type. They have caused so much pain and suffering for many Pokemon in this world, and I have been fighting them for a long time now. I have both defeated and killed several powerful Evil Type members, but I need your help to stop them once and for all. Please, will you help me?” Silence once more filled the air. Several seconds passed without any voice speaking up. Then, Yin’s and Yang’s heads jerked back to the center. Athena and Fluffs now saw something strange on the ground: a rippling shadow pulsating from the center.

“Looks like you found favor with him Gardevoir.” Yin spat out.

“Indeed you have Athena.” Yang added. From the ripple, a white smoke like structure began to emerge. Fluffs dove behind Athena once more in fear, but Athena remained motionless, her eyes began to shrink. The white structure flowed like smoke. As it rose, a red pointed collar emerged, followed by a body the color of pitch black. Once the figure fully emerged, a singular eye flashed open, bright blue. Yin and Yang bowed toward their master. Fluffs peered over Athena’s shoulder, and Athena stood in shock.

“You’re…..a Darkrai.” She stammered. The Pitch Black Pokemon only stared at her. He then spoke directly to her.

“Hello Athena. It is a pleasure to meet you. My name….is Nightmare.”
Fluffs was a bit unnerved by Shinobi. The idea that his tongue was wrapped around his face just didn’t sit well with her. It just didn’t seem right. And on top of that, he was a Dark Type. The only Dark Types Fluffs had seen were Hood and Venom, both of which wanted her and her friends dead. Shinobi was going to have to do something big for her to fully trust him. For now, she decided to stay either near or behind Ragnarok. Athena stood before the Ninja Pokemon, prepared to get the answers she desired.

“I need to ask you some questions Shinobi.” Athena said. “Questions pertaining to a Dark Type’s unique energy.”

“Interesting.” Shinobi rubbed his chin. “What kind of energy do you speak of?”

“Energy that can lead me to a specific Dark Type somewhere in the world.”

At that, Shinobi’s eyes narrowed on Athena. Much like Fluffs to Shinobi, he was going to need Athena to do something big for him to trust her. “So, you wish to find ‘him’ do you?”

“Who is ‘him’?” Athena asked.

“Someone strong. Both in attacks and willpower. Someone I will never let you find.”

“Wait, you know where he is and you won’t tell me?” Athena was surprised.

“I don’t know you all that well. All Dark Types know where ‘he’ is, but we all know that ‘his’ location is something that should not be visited or disclosed.” He looked over to Galahad. “I know Galahad well from what Cobalt has told me. And even he knows not to ask such questions.” He turned his back to Athena and her group. “I’m sorry ma’am. I will not help you.”

Athena’s fists were clenched tight. Galahad had been keeping an eye on her the entire time since Shinobi appeared. But he wasn’t just interested in Athena; he was agitated by her. What was her problem? What is she hiding? Just who is this Gardevoir?

“I didn’t come this far to be ignored!” Athena shouted. She raised her right arm in front of her and in a fit of rage, began to charge a Moonblast shot in her hand, aiming straight for Shinobi. Cobalt jumped in front of him and began to charge Aura Sphere, ready to intercept. Fluffs and Ragnarok stood in shock at Athena’s readiness to attack. Galahad only became more angered by Athena. “I need to know WHY you won’t tell me where ‘he’ is!”

Cobalt stood ready to defend his friend from Athena. Then, gentle as a feather, he felt Shinobi lay a hand on his shoulder. “Stand down, both of you.” Shinobi said. “Do you really want to blow this place up over such a trivial matter?” After a brief moment, Cobalt and Athena lowered their arms and stopped their attacks. Shinobi looked at Athena. “There is something about you Athena that intrigues me.” He walked over to her. “Answer me this. Why do you fight?”

The room was completely silent. Cobalt, Shinobi, Galahad, Fluffs, and Ragnarok all looked at Athena, waiting for her to respond. Athena’s eyes darted around the room, avoiding contact with Shinobi’s gaze.

“Why do you fight?” the Greninja asked again.

Athena turned her head away from Shinobi and answered. “I fight to protect those who can’t protect themselves.” She then looked at Shinobi, whose gaze had remained the same.

“And?” he asked.

“And what?”

“What other reason do you fight?”

“Huh?”

“There is more to your reasoning than you lead on to believe. Just saying you fight to protect others is not a strong enough reason for some like you to fight the way you do.” He looked at Ragnarok. “To see two Pokemon working together in such a way is not normal. So I will ask again.” He turned back to Athena. “Why do you fight?”

Athena froze up. The room fell silent again. Fluffs was both scared and curious as to why Athena was behaving so strangely. Athena grabbed her right arm, showing signs of nervousness. Fluffs thought to herself what it was that Athena wasn’t telling Shinobi and everyone else. What could it be?

“Why do you fight?” Shinobi asked again.

Athena turned to him. She stuck out her chest. “To protect others.” Galahad’s fists began to close tightly.

“Why do you fight?”

“To protect others.” Galahad bared his teeth. His head was shaking with restrained anger.

“Why do you fight?”

“To protect others!” she said loudly.

“WHY DO YOU TRULY FIGHT DAMNIT!?” Galahad shouted angrily.

Everyone suddenly turned toward Galahad. He stood hunched over, breathing heavily, angrily staring Athena down. She stood in shock at his sudden change in tone. Fluffs hid behind Ragnarok.

“We know you fight to protect others! But there has to be something more than that for
someone like you to act like you do!”

“No there isn’t anything else. That is way I fight.” Athena responded, clearly in distress. But Galahad had had enough. He rushed toward her, grabbed hold of her arms, pinning them to her sides, and pushed her against the wall. Cobalt and Shinobi stood in shock. Fluffs started to fly over to Athena to help her, but Ragnarok blocked her with his arm. Both of them looked at each other, but Ragnarok was clearly calm and collected. Fluffs looked at Athena and Galahad, waiting to see what would happen next.

Athena tried to escape Galahad’s grasp, but he held on too strongly. She looked at him, only to see his piecing gaze stabbing straight through her. Athena was truly scared at what was going to happen. She froze up again realizing there was nothing that she could do. In a low tone, still full of pent up anger, Galahad began to speak.

“I’ve been thinking about you as a fighter Athena, ever since we met. What made you tick, what made you strong, what made you ‘you’. But I just couldn’t figure you out.” Beads of sweat began to form on the side of Athena’s head. “You can’t be a Gardevoir. I should know.” He hung his head, but his grip did not change. “I have met many Gardevoir. I was raised by them, cared by them, educated by them; I talked to them, fought for them, and cared about them. They all shared many common traits: they were kind, caring, generous, loving, nurturing, and above all, peaceful.” He raised his head and looked at her. “You on the other hand, are completely different. You’re cold, distant, vengeful, harsh, antisocial, and most importantly, aggressive. You are NOT a Gardevoir. You can’t be the Embrace Pokemon; you even call yourself the Valkyrie Pokemon, something completely foreign to all Pokemon!” He paused, catching his breath. “You’ve been a complete mystery since I met you. It has been a total enigma as to why you fight so valiantly in the face of everything society deems you……and I know why you truly fight.” Athena’s head jerked back at the claim. It was at this time Fluffs and everyone in the room noticed something strange about Athena. Her face looked vastly different than it had before. Then it hit Fluffs. It was an expression Athena had never used. The expression she had was fear.

Galahad continued. “I want to try to understand, Athena. But if I am going to, I need your help. I’m going to ask you one question,” the right blade in his arm extended and began to glow with Night Slash, “and I damn well better get the right answer.” Everyone, Athena included, held their breath, waiting for the question. Everyone, but Ragnarok. Fluffs looked at the Royal Sword Pokemon. He only stood still, his singular eye closed, for he already knew the answer, and knew that Athena’s time hiding it was up. Fluffs looked back at Athena, who was trembling in Galahad’s hands. After a brief moment of silence, Galahad, exhausted from shouting, asked his question. “Are you….a survivor….of the Psychic Colony?”

Cobalt and Shinobi did a collective gasp at the question. Fluffs’ mind was spinning. The Psychic Colony!? The colony that was destroyed along with all of its residents? Athena was from there!? Fluffs looked at the Gardevoir she had come to respect for her stern look and unbreakable nature. She looked as Athena began to completely fall apart. Tears were streaming down her face, she was sobbing uncontrollably, her head hanging low, allowing the tears to fall to the floor. After a short while, she opened her mouth to try to speak, but the words didn’t come out. But on her second attempt, she found them. Only four words, but each had great power.

“Yes…..yes I am.”
The group of four had made their way through the woods until they came to a dirt road. Galahad headed right, with Athena and Fluffs following behind. As they walked, numerous Pokemon walked either past them, around them, or stayed a safe distance behind them. Carts hauled by Tauros and Gogoat traveled by as well, with different goods and products being delivered to different colonies or areas within the Hub. The Hub was a central area on the continent that was bordered on all sides by the different colonies. All Pokemon could live in the Hub and most of the shops, meeting areas, government offices, and other services were located in the Hub. Residential areas were much larger than those of the colonies due to the high accessibility for all Pokemon types. While each colony was geared more toward their patron type, the Hub was inviting for all types. Galahad’s friend was in a Juice Bar somewhere in the Hub, but luckily knew which one he was at.

“Are we almost there Galahad?” Fluffs whined. “I’m getting tired.” The group had been traveling down the road for quite some time now.

“How could you be tired when you are floating in the air?” Ragnarok asked. Fluffs opened her mouth to respond, but realized that she really didn’t have anything to complain about. She closed her mouth and said nothing.

“So Fluffs, have you done things in the Hub for the Fairy Colony? You did say you were from there.” Galahad asked to break the tension.

“Oh, uh, yeah I have. I’ve done some errands for the Matriarch every once in a while, like getting herbs and berries, or maybe other miscellaneous things for other Fairy Types.”

“Good. What about you two?” Galahad turned his attention to Athena and Ragnarok, “What’s your story?” Athena and Ragnarok remained silent. Athena forcefully refrained from making eye contact with Galahad. He raised an eyebrow in suspicion. “What’s wrong? Meowth got your tongue?”

“There isn’t anything to say about us.” Athena abruptly said. “Were just both from the Hub. We haven’t done much to talk about.” Fluffs was quite taken back by Athena’s response. She remembered when she had asked Athena and Ragnarok about where they were from and remembered the confusion that took place as Athena and Ragnarok claimed to both be from the Hub when Ragnarok clearly stated he was the only one from the Hub. Fluffs hadn’t forgotten, and now here was Athena, stating the same thing she had before, but more distant and with the kind of expression one displays when they are obviously hiding something. Galahad noticed this, but didn’t pressure her.

“Clearly.” He said, his tone was one of disappointment. He turned his attention back to the road. “We’re almost there. Just a little bit more.”

***************************************************************************************************

“This is where he is?” Athena asked quizzically.

“Sounds like you haven’t been to a bar recently.” Galahad said. “This one is pretty popular around here. No doubt Cobalt is in there.” The group looked back at the bar they had arrived at. A large worn-out sign read “The Big Root Bar”. Much like other bars in the Hub, this one specialized in berry related juices. The building itself was actually built into a large stump left behind from an incredibly massive tree. Quite unique for a bar in the Hub. The group walked into the building.

“Well, don’t I feel out of place.” Fluffs said, dryly. The bar was packed with rugged Pokemon, mostly Fighting Types, all of which were loudly shouting across the main area. Throhs and Machokes conversed about strength they have and which one was better. Machops ran around the floor chasing each. It was pretty much controlled chaos. Galahad walked up to the bartender, who was a Machamp. Fluffs noticed that Athena was scanning the bar, keeping an eye on anyone that may pose a threat to her. She knew Athena was just as out of place as Fluffs was, though Fluffs knew she could take anyone in here. After conversing with the Machamp, Galahad motioned for Athena and Fluffs to follow him. The two quickly rejoined him. They followed him through the bar past numerous Pokemon until they got to a door marked “Private”. Two Hawlucha stood in front of the door, but when Galahad walked up to them, they stepped aside. Galahad opened the door and gestured Fluffs and Athena in. Once inside the door closed behind them and the noise from the bar suddenly vanished. The room was dead quite to the point where you could hear a pin drop. Ragnarok detached from Athena and floated to her right side, with Fluffs on her left. Galahad walked to the middle of the room, looking at some who was blocked from view by a support column.

“Hey Cobalt.” Galahad said. The other three moved to get a better look at Cobalt. He was leaning up against the back wall. His arms were crossed, his eyes were closed, and his blue ears were perked up. His red eyes looked up at Galahad, then at Athena, Fluffs, and Ragnarok.

“Who are they?” the Lucario said. Galahad turned toward them.

“This is Athena, Fluffs, and Ragnarok. Athena in particular needs your help with something.” Galahad began to walk backwards, giving Athena the right to speak to Cobalt the Lucario. She walked up to him, his posture remaining the same.

“Hello Cobalt.” Athena greeted him. Cobalt kept his expressionless gaze on her. “I am a fighter who is doing battle with the Evil Type, and I need your help.”

“What do you need my help with ma’am?” he asked. Athena paused, then breathed in.

“I need to speak to a Dark Type, and Galahad said you know one I can talk to.”

Cobalt remained motionless for a while. Then he stood up and slowly walked over to Athena until his face was right in her’s. Beads of sweat began to form on the side of her head. Fluffs could literally feel the tension that had formed between Cobalt and Athena.

“What do you want with him?” he asked the Gardevoir, clearly indicating the Dark Type that he knew. Athena swallowed, cleared her throat, and answered him.

“Like I said, I am fighting the Evil Type, which has been terrorizing other types all over the continent. After a recent engagement with Hood the Scrafty and his partner Venom the Drapion, I was able to sense a unique energy that is tied to all Dark Types. This energy can be used to locate one of the most powerful Dark Type Pokemon out there, and I need to find it as soon as I can. Please, I need your friend’s help.”

Cobalt kept looking at Athena, no doubt sensing her aura to see if she was telling the truth and that she had good intentions. He sensed that this was corrected and did back off from her. “You need his help, and with his help, you will find the one you seek. This one holds the answers you crave correct?” Athena nodded. “Well then, Shinobi, you alright with this?” Cobalt called up toward the ceiling. The Pokemon began to look above, wondering who it was that he was speaking to. And from the darkness, a voice could be heard.

“I don’t seem to have a problem with it.” Just then, and shapely figure swung down from the rafters right in front of Fluffs face, coming to a stop just in front of her, still hanging from the rafter. Fluffs screamed in surprise and flew behind Ragnarok. The blue figure leaped off the rafter, spun in the air, and landed next to Cobalt. His navy blue skin, triangular ears, and large tongue wrapped around his neck like a scarf made him stand out from the rest of the Pokemon in the room. “My name’s Shinobi,” the Greninja said, “What do you wish to talk about?”
Venom stood in shock as his partner lay dead on the ground, all the while still holding Fluffs and Ragnarok firmly. The Gallade turned his attention to the hulking Ogre Scorpion Pokemon. Venom bared his fangs at him, preparing to avenge his fallen comrade.

“Good luck trying to fight with your hands and tail full,” the Gallade said, indicating Fluffs and Ragnarok.

“Do you think I can’t fight you like this!?” Venom shouted back in fury.

“Let’s see.” The Gallade pulled his right arm back, extending his right blade out. The blade then began to glow in a shade of black, crackling with bolts of dark energy. Athena recognized the attack as Night Slash. The Gallade charged forward, slashing at Venom, but he was fast enough to dodge the attack. The Gallade tried again, but still the attack didn’t connect. As the Gallade charged forward for a third attempt, Venom spun around, dragging his tail, with Ragnarok still in it, on the ground, sending dirt and rock up and toward the Gallade, halting his attack. Once the Gallade recovered, Venom stood firm, waiting for his next move.

“Alright then, try this on for size!” He raised his left arm, extended its blade, and electrical energy began to collect in the blade. Spinning in the air, the Gallade swept his arm across, sending out a wave of electrical energy straight toward the Drapion. “Shock Wave can’t be avoided buddy. What do you do now?”

Venom on smiled. “THIS!” And suddenly, Venom raised Fluffs, putting her between him and the Shock Wave. Before Athena or the Gallade could do anything, the Shock Wave collided with Fluffs, causing electricity to pulsate throughout her body. She wailed in pain, having not anticipated to be used like a shield. Athena glared at the Venom, holding the now limp Fluffs in his claws. She stood up, pushed passed the Gallade much to his surprise, and began to charge Moonblast.

“I wouldn’t if I were you.” Venom warned, as he raised Fluffs up again as a shield. Athena still held the charge, trying to think of a way to get around Fluffs and attack Venom head on. Just then, she noticed the wind was starting to blow. She looked to the ground, and saw dust and leaves begin to blow underneath her, toward Fluffs. Venom also looked around in confusion, as the wind began to pick up. Soon, the dust and leaves began to blow up and around Fluffs, who now displayed an angry look on her face, her eyes squinted shut. Athena, Ragnarok, and the Gallade looked on in awe as the wind grew stronger and stronger, Venom now holding Fluffs at arms-length.

“You….” She muttered, barely audible above the sound of rushing wind. She kept saying it, louder and louder and louder, until finally, “HOW DARE YOU!!!!” Fluffs pushed her arms out, causing Venom to lose his grip, just as the wind reached its peak. Leaves began to be ripped from the branches above and trees began to bow toward Fluffs as the wind pulled them down. Fluffs was furious, breathing heavily with her chest pumping heard.

“What’s going on!? This can’t be Gust!” Athena shouted over the storm.

“It isn’t Gust!” the Gallade shouted back, “That’s Hurricane!”

The wind was howling throughout the forest. Venom was paralyzed in fear, unable to move with the winds blowing so fast. Athena took the opportunity to shoot Moonblast at Venom’s tail. The attack hit its target, causing him to lose his grip on Ragnarok. The sword quickly flew to Athena and attached himself, as the Gallade looked on.

“Brace yourselves!” Fluffs shouted. The Gallade extended his blades and laid on the ground, the blades piercing through the ground. Athena anchored herself the same way with Ragnarok, holding onto the sword with both hands. With all the Pokemon ready, Fluffs directed her Hurricane at Venom, who was unable to brace himself before the winds doubled in strength. Athena and the Gallade held on with all their might as the winds roared past them. Venom was suddenly in the air and moving up very fast, screaming in terror and defeat. He broke through the canopy and was sent flying off into the distance, his destination unknown. With the Evil Type gone, the winds died down to nothing and calm returned to the forest. Athena and the Gallade stood back up, reeling from the storm. The woods were a mess, leaves and branches were strewn everywhere. They then turned toward the Whimsicott, who stood dazed and confused, bathed in sunlight from the hole in the canopy that Venom made. She threw her arm behind her head and cheekily laughed.

“Sorry guys. Guess I got a little carried away with that.”

***************************************************************************************************

“It was really handy that you learned Hurricane in place of Gust.” Ragnarok said, complementing Fluffs new move.

“Thanks. To be honest, I didn’t think I was that strong.” She replied.

“You really helped us out there,” the Gallade said.

“No problem…..” Fluffs paused. The Gallade understood why.

“Oh! My bad. My name is Galahad.”

“Nice to meet you Galahad.” Fluffs said. He nodded to her. He turned toward Athena, who could be seen on her knees next to Hood’s body. She was using Calm Mind to both collect herself from the encounter and to gather information about what to do next.

“Who is she?” Galahad asked, quizzically.

“That’s Athena.” Ragnarok said. “She’s not your average Gardevoir.” Galahad smiled and walked over to Athena, as Fluffs and Ragnarok looked on. He stopped just behind her. After a while, Athena opened her eyes and turned her head to look at him.

“You fight just like a Gallade. I admire that.” Galahad said, extending his hand to help her up.

“Thanks.” She said bluntly. And she knocked Galahad’s hand out of the way with the backside of her hand, stood up on her own, and walked past him. Galahad stood puzzled, but then remembered what Ragnarok had said, nodding in acknowledgement.

“So, what are you going to do now?” he asked the group.

“Find more Evil Types, and do what needs to be done.” Athena responded. Ragnarok attached himself to her back and Fluffs floated closer to her side.

“Why do you want to fight the Evil Types? That does seem very unbecoming of a…”

“I have my reasons.” Athena stopped him. “I need to find their leader and stop him before more innocent lives are put in danger.”

“How are we going to do that?” Fluffs asked.

“I sensed a unique mental signature in Hood when I used Calm Mind,” she said, as she began to walk away from Galahad, Fluffs floating close behind. “It seems to be unique to all Dark Types, and has something to do with someone who knows about the Evil Type leader.”

“Wait, let me get this straight.” Ragnarok said. “Only Dark Types know where this important guy is. And this important guy is the only one that can shed some light on the Evil Type leader?”

“Correct.” Athena said.

“So all we have to do is talk to a Dark Type!” Fluffs exclaimed, understanding what to do.

“But that’s the problem.” Athena pointed out. “All Dark Types either avoid other Pokemon or are part of the Evil Type. And the Evil Type are surely not going to tell us.”

“So what now?” Fluffs asked.

“I know someone who can help.” Galahad stated. Athena and Fluffs stopped in their tracks. They turned to look at Galahad, who had been following them a distance away.

“Who, and where?” Athena asked interestingly, eyebrow raised.

“His name’s Cobalt. He is most likely at a bar in the Hub. I can bring you to him, and he’ll help you talk to a Dark Type.”

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darigo
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Just a regular guy putting stuff out for the world to see/read, I guess, maybe? I don't know...
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