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Thread: FUSION // FISSION [SWC]

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    Default FUSION // FISSION [SWC]

    Spoiler:
    This is a cash submission.

    Two chapters, two sides of the same coin. Created for the PXFire Creative Writing Competition, prompted from the themes below, with Week 1's theme inspiring Fusion and Week 2's theme inspiring Fission:

    Week 1 Theme:
    Spoiler:
    A light in the dark.
    Stories about good and evil are classic, and their basic premise is known by all. A scrappy underdog defeating an evil tyrant, a brave knight defeating a greedy dragon! Create a story with a clear hero and villain.

    a) Good powers, evil powers. Sometimes, heroes are given similar powers to other heroes, and villains are given powers similar to other villains. What do you think would happen if a hero and villain had the same power? What ways would they use that power similarly, what ways would they use it uniquely?

    b) Fearful symmetry. Have a phobia play a major part in influencing one character's decisions.

    c) Mirror, mirror. Feature mirrors or reflections somewhere in the story.


    Week 2-3 Theme:
    Spoiler:
    Turning Tables.

    This round, you have two options, but major challenge. The options are to continue and to expand upon the story you just finished, or to select a different, well-known tale-- a fable or fairy tale, a short story or play, a popular book or movie, a story you wrote in the past, something of that nature.

    The challenge this round is this: You need to select a major character from this tale, and tell this new story in such a way that, if this character was good in the original story, they now appear evil, and if this character was evil in the original story, they now appear good. This could be before the main antagonist was corrupted into villainy; it could the hero living long enough to turn rotten; it could be a simple change in perspective showing that what you thought was true was truly reversed. It’s all your decision.

    The other challenges are as follows: like last time, you need to include a mirror in the story. But unlike last time, instead of having fear influence a character’s decisions, have it be love.



    FUSION.
    “He’s eaten the sun, mi’lord.”

    Frozen horns capture the firelight as slumbering head raises, turns. Yellow eyes, pupiless, glow a bit brighter as he focuses on the familiar figure sitting before him in the vast cavern. His thunderous growl echoes deeply, infinitely, against the icy walls.

    Slim muzzle rises and she gazes back steadily with ruby eyes, eyes that flash with the fire that swirls slowly between them. Before her, a sturdy wooden staff spins slowly in the air, fire licking at one end. Her left ear flicks. Its oversized tuft of auburn ear fur billows behind it, lagging behind the motion. The Delphox lets the silence, broken only by the crackling of the flames, settle for a few more moments. Then--

    “Would you like to see?” Her voice echoes in his thoughts again, softer this time. One of his feet takes a heavy step forward, its three claws grating against the elevated pillar of ice that he rests upon. He takes a look around the fire-lit dome of ice surrounding them, gazing apprehensively at the glassy darkness beyond, then long neck cranes his ice-plated head low, toward her.

    Voice so guttural, gravelled, and deep that when it booms out into the cavern, it’s almost indistinguishable from his previous growls. “Yes.”

    She closes her eyes. Psychic spin of the flame gradually slows, then reverses. It picks up speed until the disc of devouring flame forms shadows, then shapes, then images within its portal. Kyurem takes another step, cold heart heavy with dread.

    A lion crafted from golden steel, mane bursting like the sun, thunders with long strides across the darkness. Thick black armor locks around pure blue eyes like an obsidian mask. Shadowed arms, clawed like wings, spread from its similarly shackled back. The beast stops in the black void, swings its head from side to side, as if looking for something, then brings cerulean eyes to meet its viewers’.

    The Delphox gasps, eyes flying open as she brings furred arms clapped close about the fire. It extinguishes and plunges them into darkness. Through the cavern crafted from his own icy essence, he feels her paws slip, and the ice behind her erupts to catch her fall backwards. He feels her catch herself on the chunk, though her stick clatters to the ground. The beast rumbles, and this time, there’s something comforting about the sound.

    He knows what he must do. “Summon Reshiram,” comes the order, as Kyurem turns to lunge from the platform. His landing shakes the massive cavern of ice.

    “I don’t think she’ll--”

    “Now, Kichonne.”

    Unflinchingly, she glares, then slowly lowers herself down upon her crossed legs. She retrieves her staff, takes a deep breath, then exhales flame gently onto the limb. Palm holds the staff outward and it drifts, weightlessly, still for a moment before it begins to spin…

    ***

    His domain parts for him, ice crackling and popping as it seems to peel away from his very gaze, tunneling him up, up, upward. In the pitch black darkness, he doesn’t even realize that he’s close to the outside until he hears the low drone of the howling wind. It echoes down the path he’s left in his wake, hollow and mournful like the haunting calls of wind whispering through a seashell. He presses on, and opens the tunnel to the weather. Snow blasts his features, and he takes the blow without flinching, only pausing to realize fully how much worse things had become. He steps out into the blizzard created by his own domain.

    Whiteouts, the humans had once called these storms. Snow so thick and driving that it was all you could see, unable to tell up from down and left from right. But now, it was only black, without an ounce of light for even the snow to reflect.

    Nostrils set on draconic maw flare, then from them bursts a snort of air. In the pitch, the blizzard recoils from his form, exploding away from him as if it’d been struck. It casts itself out a mile, its whirling edges waiting far in the distance, hiding his domain from the outside while giving him a clear, funneled view up into the sky within.

    There’s nothing. It’s still black, like tar. If it weren’t for the roar of the wind moving to the distance, he wouldn’t even be able to tell that he’d done anything at all. It makes sense, though--without Solgaleo to chase the sun, the moon had no brilliance to reflect, leaving a dark and empty sky. Even if Lunala were foolish enough to herd the moon and make herself vulnerable to the light-devouring Necrozma, there wouldn’t be any light to shine. Kyurem’s yellow eyes narrow, adjusting again to the light just enough to be able to see the faint, almost nonexistent twinkle of the stars. He’s surprised that Necrozma hadn’t eaten, too.

    Far off, an orange glow illuminates the towering wall of the blizzard, a lick of fire blasting through it. Good. Another fiery glow dances on his own icy wings behind him. Kichonne emerges behind him, ablaze staff clenched in her paws.

    ”She’s here,” comes the telepathic message, dryly. Kyurem’s underbitten jaw juts forward, sets hard with his resolve.

    The pure white dragon alights before them, wingarms scattering powdered snow. Blue gaze glares at them beneath her long, split crest, its ends billowing behind her. Her light emanates from her thick, cylindrical tail, glowing with fire that bursts from between the tail’s containing bands. The fresh snow melts a bit beneath her two legs from the heat.

    In the cold, steam pours from heated form. ”Kyurem. You’re sure that we’re safe here?”

    He nods. ”The blizzard protects your light from his view, as long as you were careful outside.”

    Reshiram gives a soft snort of derision. If things were less dire, perhaps she’d be more insulted by the implication that she’d be the one who would get them killed. She knows why she’s here, but she asks anyway. ”You called?”

    ”We have to stop him.”

    Reshiram’s tail flares more fiercely as her expectations are confirmed. ”Why we? You know it’s the humans who woke him. Let them face their own consequences, let them stop him themselves.“

    ”They don’t have that kind of power.”

    ”And we do?”

    Silence.

    “...perhaps not,” he ventures gruffly, “but is this—“ Heavy skull swings to gesture at the imprisoning clouds that whirl around them in the distance. “—how you want to live?” If there was one thing that he knew Reshiram was afraid of, it was darkness, and begin consumed by it.

    The thin lines of Reshiram’s mouth twisted downward. She sighs.

    “Alright, then.” Head lowers, snowy wings folding back against her sides. Eyes drift close, then one opens to peer at him. “Try not to get us both killed, Kyurem.”

    He nods. Stance widens, bracing his heavy form against the ground. Icy appendages on his back contort, cocking forward. Brilliant blue electricity sparks between the icicles at their ends, lunging across his form. He closes his eyes. Streaks of frozen light surge forward and arc about the other dragon’s large form. They tighten about her, constricting, and sap the fire from her blazing tail, pulling it back to Kyurem.

    Their bodies begin to glow, the light intensifying into an all-devouring light, brighter than this world has seen in a long time, so bright that it pierces the thick wall of snow and clouds curled about them. When it fades, only one remains.

    Kyurem’s stance has straightened, his stature grown taller. Left arm has extended to one with a white-feathered wing, the left half of his crown flowing back in a billowing plume. His right blossoms into a bracer of ice.

    A horrendous screech tears the world asunder, a cry so piercing and wrenching that even Kyurem White cannot help but flinch. Heart thunders within frozen chest at the sound. He turns, slashing his arm out in Kichonne’s direction. She gives a knowing nod, then begins whirling her flaming staff more fiercely. A funnel of flame whirls from it, blasting through the snow and down to the neglected grasses beneath.

    The ring of fire circles them. Kyurem dips his head to her in thanks, and then she withdraws into the shelter of the cave. He closes the entrance behind her.

    Steel lion appears above, its steel and obsidian body glimmering in the firelight. It touches down in the snow several yards away. The light of their fusion had drawn a visitor.

    Kyurem stares into the glossy black mask, so smooth and crystalline that it reflects his features back to him. He stares at the mixture of his and Reshiram’s expressions, a rare mixture of emotions coursing through him. They would either save the human race from themselves, or they would die trying, though he’d be foolish to think that they were doing this for fully selfish reasons.

    ”Your creator would be disappointed in you,” Kyurem says. The great steel lion gives a snort of contempt. The sound rings and echoes clearly within glassy mask.

    ”I am my own creator.” That same screech from earlier echoes beneath lilting, alien voice, quieter, but still enough to make Kyurem’s ears ring.

    Here, staring at the beast that has devoured Solgaleo against his will, Kyurem sees that it is this that he could have become. Had Arceus not intervened when the humans had fused the power of the DNA splicer into him, he might have become just like Necrozma: hungry, insatiable, tearing the world asunder. Somewhere within, he feels pity for the alien creature, the alien creature that is not so different from him.

    He sees himself reflected in obsidian mask in the moment before it charges.

    Kyurem’s foot stomps heavily on the snow, summoning ice from beneath. Pillars rip from the ground in front of him, blocking the lion’s lunge, but not for long—it swings its black steel tail into the pillar as it lands. The ice shatters, shards flying, but Kyurem doesn’t flinch. He parts his maw and from it ripples a roar.

    The sound booms across the snow, echoing back on the distant walls. Necrozma takes a step back, its own crystalline body reflecting the Noble Roar painfully about it. It’s then that Kyurem ends the calm, and all at once the blizzard comes rushing in once more, roaring like a beast finally let loose.

    In the cover of the whiteout, things fall dark. He shrouds himself in snow as a soft orange glow whisks over his body, a deep burgundy aura wrapping about him as he charges the Ice Burn.

    A blast of metal bursts through the snow. The Mirror Shot cracks square against his shoulder. Icy left bracer shatters, its shards ripped away by the wind. He reels with a cry, upper body curling forward in pain for only a moment before black shadow streaks from the darkness.

    Kyurem coats his left wing arm with steel just in time to raise it up to shield his body. The lion collides with it, metallic mane braced against Kyurem’s wing. The force drives the ice dragon’s feet into the snow, but he feels himself slipping, faltering, sliding back. Necrozma surges forward, breaking the guard with a toss of his head, sending him flying hard onto his back and tail. He lunges forward to finish the downed dragon, but pillars of ice and rock erupt once more beneath the leaping creature. The ring of ice on metal screeches out as the glacier impacts the alien’s stomach. Necrozma lands on the snow with a thud.

    The dragon stumbles upright, orange glow sweeping about him once more, and this time, he makes it—the Ice Burn forms a ball of freezing light in front of him, and he launches it at Dusk Mane. In the glow, he sees the lion rise, its maw gape—

    —and then the ball has stopped in front of him, and it’s shrinking as Dusk Mane Necrozma devours the light.

    Stunned, Kyurem summons the blizzard’s full force. The wind screams as it whirls snow around them, but the alien creature isn’t deterred. Kyurem charges forward, the fire of a Fusion Flare erupting from his tail, charging what he hopes will be the only thing that can stop the inevitable—

    Necrozma reaches the threshold, and explodes with blinding light.

    The world seems to slow around him, and even has he parts his maw, Kyurem feels as if his jaws swim through thick tar to do so. Energy wells within, swirling and building until Kyurem blasts blue-hot fire through the creature's body as it ascends.

    The blizzard clears, and the world, illuminated with light, grows still.

    Ultra Necrozma hovers, its tall, spindly-winged form seemingly frozen in time above them, stories tall. It’s very being, formed with unbridled light, drifts in the air, split in two by the fiery blow that had torn it asunder mid-burst. Slowly, the two pieces slide apart, and then in another explosion, the beast imparts the light that it had stolen back to the world. Spears of light burst across the skies and across the earth as the light embodiment splits back into the pieces that had created him.

    Where Necrozma had been standing, Solgaleo opens his eyes, and where Kyurem had stood, he stands now with Reshiram, leaning heavily on the white dragon beside him.

    The sun-chaser staggers to his feet. Blue eyes turn upon the two dragons before him, and the creature, ever prideful, offers only a begrudging nod of thanks before taking an unsteady step, then bounding away.

    “You almost lost,” Reshiram observes lowly. Kyurem gives a soft snort, bumping his head against her stomach before pushing carefully away from her.

    ”But I didn’t.”

    They’re interrupted by a light in the sky as the sun finally rises.


    FISSION.
    She wakes in the darkness. The first thing she does is step carefully out into the night. Icy eyes turn upward just in time to see a sliver of the moon, curled like a slender talon, emerge from behind murky clouds.

    Good. The sun and the moon were not gone—yet.

    The white dragon turns silently back, stepping beneath the flame-scarred lips of the hollow.

    She treads into the depths of the cave, and as she does, the roughness of the charred walls slides into something smoother, glossier. Pale feathers of clawed wings brush against the cool, reflective rock until it runs cold, where the black turns to deep blue ice.

    They’d been whole, once, as one being, their essence fused so continually that you couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended, twirled together like the very genetic fabric that crafted the world. They’d been created them this way, a perfect balance between light and dark, perpetually intertwined, between them a million shades of greys as complex and vast as the universe around them.

    She smiles even as she thinks about it. The expression curls softly, fondly across her maw as she stares at her warped reflection in the ice. The smile is short-lived.

    They’d created this together, with their combined strength, their combined energy, their combined life, to shelter the twin human heroes blessed by Arceus to help guide them as they created Unova. With the older sibling, she wanted to create a kingdom. With the younger, he wanted to create a utopia.

    Back then, if you were to ask Reshiram, she would say that it was the humans who ripped them apart.

    It was her truth.

    If you asked Zekrom, he would say that it was only the humans who could have brought them back together.

    It was his dream.

    You fool, she thinks. Draconic muzzle then twists not with anger, but sorrow. You got us killed.

    ***

    He understands Necrozma’s hunger. As he gazes into the whirling flames, he sees himself in the light-devouring beast. He knows the feeling of being empty, of taking everything in his path in the hope that something he ate along the way would fill the void.

    Every legend has some grain of truth in it. Lacunosa’s, of a monster coming from the mountain to devour wandering Pokemon, had more than just a grain.

    When Reshiram and Zekrom had torn themselves apart, he had been the husk that had been left behind, empty and hungry and alone. He stares at the ravenous creature spun into the surface of the flames until its gaze turns toward them. Yellow eyes meet crystalline blue through the portal.

    Kichonne reels with a gasp, fiery wheel slamming shut as she falls back. Ice surges behind her, catching her, and in the dark, glowing eyes meet hers.

    Your mother was the first to fill the void, he thinks, and you were the first to suffer. There’s no sadness in the thought. He gives the order to summon Reshiram. Kichonne stares back, coldly.

    ***

    Zekrom had loved the boy, the twin who dreamed in ideals. He loved the human race, he loved their passion and their faith, no matter how sometimes misguided they were.

    ”They will always doom themselves,” she warned him, but not to hurt him. She wanted to save him.

    ”Perhaps,” he’d answered, electricity crackling softly between his black wings, as it always did when the was thinking. ”But they have a drive that we do not, a passion. There are some that use that fire to destroy… but those who use it to save, save with the passion of a thousand suns. Those are more powerful than any of us gods.”

    She wrinkled her nose, fire whisking from her nostrils at the notion, but doesn’t fight him on it. There was an electricity in those eyes—they were crimson, burning with the imprint of fire she left on him when they split—that meant that he wouldn’t be talked down. When he was like his, there was no fighting him.

    It was only a week after that the humans he loved betrayed him.

    ***

    Hulking titan of ice gazed hungrily forward. Gloved hand rested on the beast’s wings, wings shattered by the power of the DNA Splicer fused into Kyurem’s very flesh. Opelucid laid silent around them in its glacial grave.

    Blue lightning forked across the tumultuous ash sky, booming so deeply that it shook the very ice laid onto the buildings around them. If humans were lightning, then Zekrom was the thunder that chased them like a faithful hound.

    “You musn’t,” the dragon rumbled as he landed, thick-plated wings lowering, electricity hopping fervently between them. Round cone tail glowed with soft blue stripes of energy. Three-clawed feet clenched into the ice. The first layer crumpled like paper beneath him.

    “Zekrom. It’s a pleasure, really.” The drawl was high, venomous, slipping from lips paled by the cold. Long hair, beige with a touch of poisonous green, draped down his shoulders, heavy with frost. Styled locks swept back and up across his ears on both side, accompanied by a single standing lock at the top of his head, like a three-pronged crown. Ghestis reached up to adjust the crimson-lensed optic fixed on his right eye, his gaze honing in on Zekrom’s claws clenching beneath armor-plated bracer.

    "You’re better than this, Ghestis." Voice was low and growling. It was thunder.

    The man, cloaked in a thick cape split between deep purple and paled yellow and stitched with red-pupiled eyes, couldn’t contain his chuckle. “You are too trusting, Zekrom, really.” The Team Plasma emblem, emblazoned in electric blue against monochromatic shield on his gem-laden shoulder piece, caught Zekrom’s eye as Ghestis stepped forward. Gaze quickly drew across to follow the human’s hand as it trailed up the ice dragon’s neck.

    Kyurem’s eyes glowed a fierce red, where once they had borne yellow. Zekrom’s jaw tightened. “Last warning: let him go.” Large tail began to burn more fiercely with brilliant cerulean plasma, electricity beginning to bridge down to it from his wings.

    Ghestis stepped away from Kyurem with a smirk. “As you wish.” Fingers clicked together in a sharp snap.

    The ice dragon gave a thunderous roar. Wings twisted to thrust icicle-speared tips forward. Energy surged from them and the way it flickered and forked just like lightning sent chills down Zekrom’s spine.

    Obsidian dragon lunged forward toward Kyurem, then feinted with thundering feet toward Ghestis at the final moment. Electricity burst from the tips of his claws and coiled about the splayed bracer above. Right arm thrusted forward, talons reaching, swiping at the last second for the Plasma king—in the same moment that Kyurem whirls, not missing a beat, to smash icy skull into the black behemoth’s side.

    Something cracked within. Heavy body crashed to the ice, electric claws falling just short of landing their mark. He should have known—with Kyurem completely under Ghestis’ control, they were one entity. With a growling cough, he propped himself up and rose to his feet. Zekrom stares at the husk of what they once were, stripped of everything they’d once been.

    He thought of Reshiram, but doesn’t call to her. He had time. If he could just get to Ghestis somehow, even just for a moment, he was sure that he could get through to the light in him.

    Paralyzing electricity discharged from his downed form. It rolled from him in waves. Kyurem stepped heavily forward in front of Ghestis. Clawed foot smashed down into the ice and the ice obeyed him, bursting beneath his feet and upward into a glacial barrier between them. Sparks crackled, then fizzled out against it, like a wave crashing onto unyielding cliffs.

    Kyurem quietly raised his head and peered through the crystalline ice and into the warped image it presented of the beyond, searching for his opponent—his opponent who wasn’t there. Electricity hummed from above and the ice dragon swung his head upward just in time to see the black figure come crashing down, fist cocked back and brimming with energy. Skull jerked back, but not quickly enough to miss the armored bracer. With a thunderous crack, the fist's solid plating cracked the ice of Kyurem’s nose, the damage streaking up the beast’s crown in spindly crevices. He roared and swung away in pain.

    Zekrom reared back again, another Thunder Punch charging, but Kyurem twisted his body to smash thick cone tail into the black legend’s side. The blow sent him thundering to the earth. Within clawed fist, he charged a swirling ball of electricity, then blasted it toward his opponent as he struggled to his feet, but Kyurem was ready.

    Ice dragon’s wings cocked forward, icy spikes pointed toward the blast as he faced it head on. Energy surged from the points, twisting into a writhing yellow ball of light. The striking bolt sunk into the orb—

    —and didn’t emerge.

    He realized it a moment too late. Before he could stop his own stream of lightning, the ball exploded into streaks of light. Zekrom pushed off of the earth and surged into the air, and the missiles of energy plunged after him.

    They were faster than he was. His tail thrummed with brilliant blue lightning. Bolts streaked from it as the projectiles streaked near, managing to strike down a few, but the rest pulled forward.

    Light arced around him. It looped around his shoulders and pulled him back and tightened around his ribs. It burned. It burned like no fire ever could have dreamed of burning. It ripped through his very being, and he felt like he was being torn apart as he began to fall.

    “Zekrom!”

    The cry came in his final moment. Crimson eyes rolled slowly to the white-feathered figure gliding toward him. And he recognized that she had been right all along.

    If he could do it all over again, he’d try to be less naive.

    She screamed as his mind was stripped clean from his body, and as Kyurem devoured him.

    ***

    Hulking figure crouched upright. Reshiram could see which parts were his clearly, like night and day—heavy left limb, plated in obsidian armor, and raised left wing coated in shadow, and most of all, the blue electricity that swirled around black tail.

    Fire poured through the sky. She was a second sun, searing the ice wasteland frozen by the very beast that she’d created, that they’d created. She knew it wasn’t him, truly—she saw the glowing red eyes that weren’t the empty yellow they’d left behind—and yet she couldn’t help but feel betrayed. Like a falcon, her wings folded to her sides, and like a meteor burning with the heat of the atmosphere, she dove toward Ghestis and Kyurem.

    Kyurem turned his gaze upward, eyes narrowed. The air around him froze, massive shards of ice materializing from the very moisture of the air, and then launched at her. She needed only to flick her head to the side to swirl the flame around her into the projectiles’ path. They melted with ease.

    She would rip Zekrom back from them if it was the last thing she did.

    Thick, glacial ice whisked in a dome over Ghestis as she impacted, claws tearing down into Kyurem’s back as she landed upon him, smashing him down into the earth.

    ”Give him back!” she roared, the fire that enveloped her melting the very ice upon Kyurem’s form. Steam rose, water pouring down the dragon’s form, moisture clinging to both of their bodies in the few moments before the fire burned it away. Glowing red eyes saw opportunity. Electricity whirred, then surged from his tail in a thunderous blast that split the sky with sound as it blasted into Reshiram’s chest.

    The smell of burnt fur filled the air as it sent her flying. The flame about her faded as she laid, chest raw and gaping to the open air, body damp as she laid on the melting ice. Weakly, blue eyes turned toward Kyurem as he began to walk toward her.

    Zekrom…

    They’d been whole, once, as one being, their essence fused so continually that you couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended, twirled together like the very genetic fabric that crafted the world. She thought that maybe, this was the way things were meant to be, and that maybe, they’d be whole again if she let Kyurem take her.

    A light glowed before her, and a figure materialized between them.

    Heart dropped. ”You can’t,” she tried to manage, but her voice warbled with crimson in her lungs and bubbling up her throat. She pushes her thoughts toward him instead. ”You can’t, he’ll be lost. Ghestis will destroy him while he’s still inside.”

    Golden hooves floated above the ice, the ice still melting in the fading heat that still trickled from her body. An upright ear flicked at her protest, but he did not respond.

    Fury surged through her. She mustered the energy to raise her head, flame coiling between glistening teeth before blasting out toward him. His wispy tail twitched, swept it away like it was nothing.

    ”Don’t you dare do this,” she hissed in the confines of his thoughts. ”There has to be a way to get him back. Don’t you dare.”

    ”I must.” The voice that echoed back was deep, eternally calm. The calm only infuriated her more, but she could not coax her body to move. Her chest burned. The open air seared.

    A part of her knew what had to be done. But she couldn’t stop thinking of the way Zekrom’s eyes had met her in that last moment. She held that moment close as she watched the golden-ringed god walk, unafraid, toward Ghestis.

    Kyurem charged, ice building between his fangs. Emerald jewels embedded into the spike of Arceus’ golden ring glowed with energy, casting a bubble about him. The ice blasted toward him reflected away, up into the sky.

    Ghestis stood beside the melting ice prison that had just barely saved him, a small, thin device held in his right hand. Even as Arceus turned toward him, he smirked, and pressed down on the screen.

    Electricity surged about Kyurem’s form. The dragon roared in pain, crouching low to the ground as it arced about him. The dark obsidian plating began to recede, recoiling to reveal only ice on arm and wing and tail.

    ”Stop him!” she called, but Arceus was already trying. Thin sprouts sprung from the device’s seams, cracking it apart as it overgrew. But Ghestis laughed.

    ”You’ve been too late from the beginning, Arceus,” he rumbled. ”He’s already been gone, from the second that they fused. He’s devoured him.”

    Arceus, unfazed, continues to stride forward. Ghestis’ resolve does not falter.

    Gold-tipped muzzle tilts forward on long, slender neck. The black and white crest that flows behind him billows slowly in the breeze.

    ”Do it. Kill me, if it makes you feel like you have some sort of control. It’s already done.”

    And so he did.

    Ghestis felt only the softness of white fur before his body crumpled, the life drained from him. And as it did, Reshiram felt her own strength returning—the god did not pick sides; he picked balance, a life for a life. But it wasn’t the life she wanted to be saved.

    The red glow faded from Kyurem’s eyes. The electricity around him fizzled out. The behemoth blinked, slowly, turned his gaze from side to side, before launching up and away, into the sky.

    Reshiram’s roar of grief pierced the heavens.

    ***

    ”Reshiram.” She’s waken from her memories by the voice, one that she hasn’t heard in a long time. Lips purse.

    ”Yes?”

    ”He wants you.” The telekinetic voice is stiff, terse. Reshiram steps out, looks up at the sky. The sliver of the moon is gone. She snorts.

    ”Very well.”

    ***

    Kyurem gazes steadily at Reshiram as she alights, features expressionless. Yellow eyes meet her blue ones. He knows when she lands that he already has her. The hunger within, always lingering, hums. Just as Kichonne has no choice but to serve him while there were still things he could take from her, Reshiram has no choice but to fuse with him if she wants to feel Zekrom again.

    She merges with him again in hopes of feeling, even if for a moment, like they’re whole again, no matter how naive and idealistic that hope is. Twisting, tangling, their essence fused so continually that you couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended—

    —and bit by bit, with every fuse, Kyurem consumes her.

    fin.
    Last edited by K'sariya; 08-20-18 at 04:53 PM.

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    URPG Staff VeloJello's Avatar
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    Things that are marvelous!

    • The canonical characters represented here (with the exception of Solgaleo, who doesn’t really get a chance to - heh - shine on his own) are great reads. There’s a lot of respect for canon, but it’s mixed in with a healthy blend of fresh takes and new plotlines (ie Dusk Mane Necrozma and Kyurem-White beating each other up).
    • Codependency is a really unhealthy relationship dynamic. That does not make it any less interesting of a theme to explore in fiction, and you’ve really caught this theme up in this story. While the last section of the story really drives home the theme, it runs through the story’s entirety nicely, particularly in FISSION.
    • Reshiram and Kyurem are really fleshed-out and engaging. I laud how you’ve gotten into the legends’ headspace and given them life, keeping them reflective of each other while still keeping them unique from each other. Reshiram is especially interesting, as she really supports the theme with her actions and emotions.
    • There are places where your prose turns into pure poetry, and these are gorgeous. I can really imagine these breathtaking battle scenes; the dialogue is all reinforced by thick emotion that really makes everything feel real and deeply emotional/important.


    Things to learn from!

    • I’ve probably mentioned to this to you before, so apologies if I’m beating a dead horse, but you have a consistent pattern of starting sentences with nouns that don’t properly introduce the subject. “Slim muzzle rises and she gazes back steadily with ruby eyes, eyes that flash with the fire that swirls slowly between them.” is an example.
    • As much as I enjoyed your main characters, I found your background characters to be confusing. I don’t see why Kichonne stays with Kyurem - you mention there are things he can take from her, but what it’s not clear what these are. Arceus is confusing as well. Why does he intervene directly when Kyurem-Black is formed, but not when Necrozma devours the earth’s light? Arceus seems to be pretty reasonable based on the rest of the story, so I’m not sure why he holds back against a threat as great as a boosted Necrozma.
    • I admire that you were able to get the different parts of this story done in really short spans, but unfortunately, there are places where the seams show. For instance, “Gloved hand rested on the beast’s wings, wings shattered“ is the same sentence, and hiccups like that can be really confusing and take the reader out of the story. Proofreading is good.


    Verdict.
    Your length is ~28k, putting you right up against the length suggestion for Hard and Complex ranks. Your main characters and descriptions are spot-on; you stumbled a bit on background characters, and over grammar enough for it to be distracting. That being said, there’s nothing here that's outright bad, only points where things still have room to grow. Because of that and your stellar explorations of the headspace of two thirds of the Tao Trio (RIP Zekrom), I award you Complex rank and the attendant $30k. Your in-depth grade is pending. For now, work on making sure every character feels consistent with the story’s logic, keep on writing amazing emotional and visual descriptions, and enjoy your money!

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