Hello! It's me again! I am really struggling with this writer's block, and it's pissing me off! Well I managed to squeeze another chapter out, and it's only focused on the Ash and CO. because I couldn't find a way to write about what's going on with Elizabeth or Aaron yet xD Holy Crapola it was really hard writing this chapter, but i HOPE you enjoy reading it. And thank you for those who review, it keeps me going! :3
Also sorry if this a short chapter! I promise in the next it will have a lot of things to look forward too! Thanks again!
The building had now been broken down to a crumbled ruin, the smoke twisted through the air like black ghosts reaching out to the gray sky, and the lingering smell of ash contaminated the air. The ongoing rain set a calming ambiance, numbing the minds of those who mourned over the fall of the center. The rain's cold substance splashed atop of the crowd outside, over trainers and coordinators that had evacuated safely from the building. All of them stood in a solemn silence, watching the building slowly die. The downpour of the rain curtained the group, and common murmurs of who did this, and how did this happen echoed softly within the crowd. Arrived police officers continued to command their Water Pokémon to calm down any hotspots inside the Center's rubble, and guided the gawking civilians to move onto the next town. Two Officer Jennies were currently questioning witnesses, asking if they had seen who created this disaster. Many of the answers were No, and there were only a few who recalled the black cloaked men who had been terrorizing the trainers in the hallways, but other than that there was nothing that could give them any leads. The Jennies thanked the people they questioned, and asked them to please leave the scene so they could investigate. The witnesses agreed, and headed out their ways.
May's eyes followed after the two Jennies as they both carried their conversation in hushed whispers, slowly walking towards the rubble to investigate. Guilt weighted on the girl's shoulders as her hands tightly coiled around the damp blanket wrapped around her, and began to suppress all the voices that hissed inside her head. She knew this had all happened because of her and the mere thought of the many ways she could have prevented all of it ate away her heart. Because of her many lives were put in danger and her best friend had gotten badly hurt. May's eyebrows crunched as she lowered her lashes, covering her face with a hand. Why did I grab him into my room? It was a big mistake to allow the boy to see her. From the very begging she knew that. It had been her mission all along to stay hidden, away from Elizabeth, and away from anyone who got too close to her. Then why had she suddenly forget all of that when his name mentioned? May cursed silently to herself as she felt her own tears roll down her hand, growing frustrated that she was now crying. She wished she could reverse time. She wanted to go back to where she didn't have to worry about Elizabeth, or about her new self. She wanted to be just regular old May.
May's life had turned completely upside-down within only a matter of months. Ripped away from her family, and placed into a facility in the middle of nowhere, she had suffered through constant experiments and enclosure. Going in and out of the conditioning faculty where those lingering shadowed faces with long fingers touched and grabbed at her, as if she were something rare and could not be shared. Her first three weeks upon arriving were the worst days of her life, for she did not gain any sleep because of the loud moans that seem to easily seep through her metal door, or because of the constant paranoia of what was in store for her tomorrow. Recalling all those tormenting memories of shots and scalpels would occasionally flash behind her eyes, and it took everything for the girl to think of something else, just to keep her sanity. She could bear with it up until when she did sleep, and found herself rudely woken up from nightmares. Throughout her stay she had wondered how she got into this mess, and demanded answers. Ignored and cast away, it wasn't until she met the man behind her terror that was willing to grant her that wish. He told her everything she wanted to know.
He messed with her mind, telling her the hidden secrets of her arrival, and the reason why she was destined to be in what he called the Conditioning Faculty. May remembered watching the tall man as he pulled a chair across from her, feeling the mere panic of being just inches away from the man who was the reason for her pain. She felt exposed inside the boxed room of white, noting that the only furniture in the room was the two chairs they both sat in, and the large cherry wood table that divided them. The brunette's eyes were attracted to the blue bird patched onto the adult's shoulder, how it's deep blue shapes stood out over anything else, reminding her of the legendary bird Articuno. When she heard the man call her name she shivered and quickly obeyed his need of her attention. His piercing gold eyes bore into her sapphire ones, paralyzing her in the seat she so dearly griped onto, and a smile began to spread on his thin lips. She read inside those glowing eyes, seeing the way he slowly smiled within them, liking the idea that she was afraid of him. Like how everyone else here was afraid of him. Not moving, the man who soon introduced himself as Daniel began to reveal everything May wished to know.
At first she didn't believe him, but as he spilled everything out to her, the pieces seemed to click. Daniel explained it was her father that had brought her here. Norman used to work with Daniel who led a group study on the study of the chemical called ACH that he and his collages had discovered. Daniel had discussed to her how the wonderful discovery was the dawn of a new humanity, and how it would have changed the world. The scientist curled his lip and his eyes grew sharp, causing May to suddenly whimper. The next thing he discussed was something that obviously ticked him off, and his facial expression hardened with slight irritation. Her father along with two other scientists that worked on the project with him didn't like his idea of creating a super race –planned to dominate over enemies and Pokémon, and decided to take away the chemical behind Daniel's back, destroying all evidence of it. However, some of it was saved. With the small amount of the remaining ACH, the scientists— including her father, distributed it among themselves, five shots, to four people, and one of those people happened to be her. May wanted to believe everything that the man told her were just a bunch of crazy lies, made up only to make her angry, but it wasn't until her second month inside the faculty that she had realized that the man wasn't crazy at all. ACH, as what he described, is a chemical that boosts up a person's senses and physical movement, but in reality the chemical is actually a living thing given a chance to live amongst a host to produce those human advancements.
An electric flutter squirmed inside the upset teen, causing the girl to flinch and fearfully remove her hand from her face to her abdomen. The day the thing had awakened inside her and took control of her body was a day she never could forget. It was horrendous, exhilarating, petrifying… It was a living nightmare and an abnormal heaven. It was like both good and evil were battling inside her at once and her sudden transformation was almost like a rebirth. Everything came clearer to her, louder, and faster. It bugged her so much how she couldn't feel or see things in the past as she did now, now being able to feel every crevice and bump on a wall, or see floating particles that would originally be invisible to the naked eye. It seemed almost unfair. Her hand relaxed on her stomach, as she felt the power inside her slither away, and disappearing almost suddenly. May really didn't like the feeling of that thing. Again glancing to the crumbled building May stood there basking in her shadowed memories, as the calls of the sky soundly cried atop her head. She stared at the downpour, her advanced eyes catching every droplet gracefully spiraling to its end. Every shard of crystal shimmered in the dim evening, despite there being no light, twinkling invisible prisms of rainbows inside its form. The sight of the collision with the ground was strikingly beautiful, the trapped colors crashing into matted grass, and bouncing up and down in puddles. Like the sky was crying out diamonds rather than water. It was distracting, and disorienting. Her ability to see everything was still able to throw her off balance. If only everyone got to see the rain like this.
"Hey!" May cocked her head to her right, watching a girl with long bluenette hair approach her with a gentle smile placed on her lips, and arms tightly wrapped around her chest. It's that girl from before. Dawn crept closer into her jacket, pulling the hood over her dampened hair, and shivered, "This weather is crazy huh?"
"Yeah, but it's nice." May's shrugged, looking back to the rubble, "It certainly helped calm the fire."
"I guess." Dawn watched her breath come out in thin puffs as she followed the teen's gaze, "What a disaster. It's such a shame the Center is burned to a crisp." Her midnight eyes darkened, "The place only stood for a year. Did you know that?"
May cringed, "No…no I didn't." May shifted her weight to her opposite leg, "I feel horrible for all those people. Having to go through all that."
"Yeah" Dawn stressed in a sigh, and lifted a hand to push back a loose strand of Cobalt hair, "But at least no one got hurt! Oh, and Nurse Joy told me that all of the Pokémon in the center were transferred to another one just a few miles from here." A relived sigh came from May. Thank goodness. Dawn shifted her eyes to the older teen, "Are you okay though?"
May halfheartedly raised her bandaged arms to show the girl she was already taken care of and faked a smile, "It stings a little but I'm okay." Assured that the she was fine, Dawn watched the officers search through the center's rubble for any hotspots. For what felt like the hundredth time, May's eyes glided across the field to where three people sat, her gaze pinned on a raven boy who laid on the his back against the drenched grass, eyes focused on the sky as his mouth moved with a twinge of a smile, with the Nurse beside him caring to his wounds. May frowned. How can he be smiling and cracking jokes over there when he's hurt? May recalled him doing that before when he tried confronting Elizabeth, and wondered what his problem was. Or perhaps she was missing something? She really didn't understand it.
Dawn's eyes followed the brunette's stare and laughed, "Can you believe that? Chatting away as if there was nothing wrong."
"It's annoying" May muttered and clenched her teeth, gaze still locked on the now laughing trainer, "how is he able to do that?" It was making her jealous. Why couldn't she laugh at pain?
"Well, he's an idiot and probably just in shock. But I think he's just happy to be alive." May stared at her. Dawn's laugh sounded like clinking bells, and her cheeks rose from how big of a smile she gave to the brunette, "You should be smiling too." Not really sure how to respond to such a statement, May blushed and averted her gaze. I don't get them, all of them. I just don't get it… "Oh!" Dawn shouted with surprise, catching May's attention again. She stuck her hand out in front of the flustered girl and introduced herself, "My name is Dawn by the way, I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself when I arrived."
May firmly shook her hand, "I'm May." She paused, biting her lip, and tightened her hold on the girls hand, "I want to say thank you for rescuing me and Ash also, being that I haven't gotten the chance earlier." May contentedly smiled, dropping her hand to bow with gratitude, "Thank you so much."
Dawn fanned a hand as she nervously giggled, "N-No need for that! I would be willing to help anyone who was in a need of help!" May straightened her posture as Dawn wiggled beside her with embarrassment, "You're welcome though, even though it was Brock who really saved you two." May thanked her again, and removed her gaze from the blushing girl. Dawn was messing with the hem of her pink jacket, her cooling cheeks brushing the inside silk of her hood, causing her to slightly shiver. She wished she had gloves.
Inhaling the water stained air and shifting on her feet, the young girl listened to the squish of muddy grass under her feet and the low claps of thunder above her. The two remained quiet, listening to the chatter of officers, and the frequent laughs coming from across the field. Dawn's eyes chanced a look to see what the brunette next to her was doing, seeing that she was again looking in the direction of where the laughing was coming from. Dawn frowned at the sight, not liking how the teen's eyebrows crunched in deep thought as her face masked a sign of sadness and worry. It didn't fit her. Snuggling closer, face shadowed by her large hoody, Dawn hid. She thought about what just transpired an hour ago, remembering the scene of the room that was completely engulfed in flames. As Brock carried Ash away from the scene just before the building collapsed, Dawn rushing in to get the girl who stood frozen inside, staring back at the woman in white. The way those wide eyes stared at the attacker made Dawn almost want to cry. So much fear… Not letting her emotions get to her she managed to drag the girl out in time, just mere seconds before the room was consumed with the deadly collapse of the center's roof. Why were those people there in the first place? Most importantly, something that bugged Dawn the most, was who were they after? Was it Ash? Was it May? She exhaled, her head pinging in slight pain on the thought. I'll ask about it later. She didn't want to remind the teen about those people, seeming that she was not quite a fond of them.
May suddenly tensed, catching narrowed eyes from across the field to her, as the older teen smiled at her, and fanned a hand for her and Dawn to come over. May reached out to tap Dawn's shoulder, and began to move her feet, "I think Brock wants to talk to us." Dawn nodded and followed in her footsteps, crossing the drenched field over to the group.
"There you go dear, all wrapped up."
Ash scanned over the nurse's work and genuinely smiled to her, "Thank you Nurse Joy, I really appreciate everything that you've done." The woman smiled back, quickly returning her gauze's and supplies back into her emergency kit.
A gust of wind bit at his exposed skin, touching it as if to cool down the burns on his right shoulder, and calming down the anxiety packed inside him. His breath exhaled in thin clouds of smoke, fading into the dark night, to be illuminated by the red and blue flashes from Police sirens, and the few white beams from searching flashlights. Turning his chin, Ash set his gaze onto his Pikachu, who had been sitting next to him, not once moving away from his side. Ash gave his trademark grin and turned a fraction of his body tords the yellow mouse. The Pokémon moved closer to him, so that its soft cheeks rubbed against its trainers, a broken whimper calling out his name. Ash's eyes lowered as he tried to bite back his tears, choosing instead to lean his forehead into his friends in a way to comfort it. Ash didn't react when he felt something other than cold rain slide down his cheek, and only whispered comforting words to his best friend. For the past few minutes they both stayed like that, trainer and Pokémon nuzzled against each other as one repeated its best friends name in a native tongue, constantly regretting not getting to him sooner. Ash lips cracked into a small smile as he reached a bandaged hand to pet the top of Pikachu's head and behind its ears. Whoever said that a trainer and Pokémon couldn't have a strong friendship had never gotten the chance to meet Ash and his Pikachu. The way they looked out for each other, acted as if they were brothers rather than master and subject, just how they saw each other in general, was something rather amazing to see. If only real human relationships were that common, weren't as rare. Sensing that his Pokémon was at its breaking part, Ash forced himself to sit up, reaching out to pick up his small friend, and hugged it closely to his chest.
Ash glanced up to blue eyes staring at him, with a gentle smile, "Your Pikachu really looks after you" Nurse Joy shut the latches on her emergency kit, eyes still on the heartwarming scene, "And he's lucky to have a trainer who cares for him too."
"I'm really lucky he's my best friend!" Ash laughed, looking down to the now calmed electric type, "We've been through a lot together." The Nurse gave him another smile, and rose from her spot, walking away to return the emergency kit to Officer Jenny.
"Hey Ash" Ash turned to the breeder who was waving out to someone across the field, "I think we should get a hotel in Lilypad tonight, it's been a long day."
"Yeah that sound nice" Ash turned in the direction Brock was waving to, seeing two silhouetted figures slowly moving towards them, "I could really use some sleep." As if to prove his point he yawned, fanning a hand over his mouth. Brock chuckled, getting up and walking to ask if someone would give them a lift. The two silhouetted figures from before stepped into the space where they became visible, their faces fanned with reds and blues. Ash glanced between the two of them and eyebrow raised, "So you two have met huh?"
Dawn nodded, "Yeah, we were chatting it up a bit over there" she tilted her chin in the direction they came from, "How are you feeling?"
Ash gave a chuckle as he supported the Pikachu with one arm and using his bandaged one to scratch the back of his midnight hair, "I've been better, but all my cuts are covered up, and I walked away with just a dislocated shoulder! Nurse Joy had to pop it back in place." Ash cringed, remembering the sharp and discomforting snap it made, "It was kind of gross."
"Well thank goodness I wasn't here to see THAT." Dawn crossed her arms, and exhaled, "So what's up?"
"We're going to stay at in a hotel in Lilypad town. Brock just went to ask for a ride."
Dawn's eyes widened and an excited grin surfaced on her lips, "No freaking way! It's been a while since we stayed in a hotel!" Dawn squealed, and unexpectedly grabbed at the girl's hands that stood beside her, "We can share a room!"
May shifted her eyes, "I don't know… I mean, I don't have money to pitch into the room—"
"That's okay! I can pay for your stay. I mean it's no big deal really." May stared at her for a long minute, biting her lip. She frowned, "Do you not want to share a room?"
Her eyes widened, "N-No! I don't mind sharing a room it's—"
Dawn clasped her hands, a smile back up again, "Good! Then we'll share rooms!" Seeing that there was no use in arguing against the Bluenette, May sighed, and nodded in agreement.
Ash chuckled at the two, happy to see that they were getting along. May's eyes automatically moved to him, surprising him slightly because she was glaring at him. Ash gave her a questioned look, but only got a head turned in return. He blinked, what's wrong with her? Deciding to push the look away, the trainer carefully placed his Pikachu on the grass as he strained himself to stand.
May's attention was placed on him again, and she took a step forward, with a hesitant hand out to him, "Don't you think you should be lying down a little bit longer?"
The boy glanced at her. What happened to that look just a few seconds ago? Ash shook his head, successfully accomplishing standing, and stretched his arms. A few bones popped, and he tensed at the noise, hoping it wasn't his shoulder. Seeing that he could move his arms just fine he relaxed, and smiled in the direction of the brunette, "I'm fine, see? It takes a lot to keep me down!"
May just stared at him. Her eyebrows slightly furrowed as her eyes trailed over him, observing the damage that was now covered up. His bare chest was wrapped with gauze, overlapping so that it moved to wrap his right shoulder, clean to human eyes, but filthy in her's. Yellow blotches that will eventually turn blue patched up the left side of his stomach, and his arms just like her, were also wrapped with gauze. May's breathing hitched and she quickly removed her eyes, clenching her hands by her sides.
Ash noticed her sudden change of expression and frowned, his eyes dimming with distress, "May, I'm honestly okay." Ash waited for her to give him a smile, or a sign of ease, but she remained there, glaring at the ground. He sighed and stridden over to his backpack just a few steps away from the girls, and retrieved his white shirt, tugging it over his head. He really didn't like to see her this way. It bothered him so much.
"Alright guys!" Brock shouted to the three, jogging to inform them of his news, "Let's get going!"