And again Serena sat in the corner of the usually empty bright red café as her turquoise eyes kept looking from one wall to another; observing everyone that came in and out. No wonder Team Flare were safe as nobody would enter the place as it was tucked away nicely in tight alleyways or its insanely bright red walls were enough to repel most people away. And whoever had the guts to enter were only the few courageous ones or VIP customers that spent their every lunch there. Or maybe the casual citizens of Luminous City were nothing but Team Flare grunts in disguise.
Serena locked her eyes at the door’s entrance as it was the only part of the whole building that didn’t stain her eyes with bright red paint. Sitting alone in the further corner she could now became a hobby as she refused to see Ash or May back in the basement fighting until they no longer could breathe for a few scientists amusement. Not even Professor Sycamore would go this far and use children to test about an unknown evolution so few ever could master.
A week, one whole long week she had been spending her afternoons in the café until she fell asleep and would only wake up when the ‘waiters’ had finished for the day and were closing the shop. She was losing faith that she would ever gain that confidence she needed to save her friends.
“…F-Finally, I found this café again.”
A sound of a boy desperately puffing for air filled Serena’s ears. At first she thought nothing until his bright blond hair and light blue outfit covered the entrance door. Her instincts came over her quickly as she slipped under the table covers.
If she gave off the single indication that she had help from the outside there was no doubt in her head Ash or May would pray the price. Knowing that everyone knew how much Ash meant to her, they would play with him more than May until she kept quiet.
“I might have lived here my whole life but that doesn’t mean I know all the crooks and alleyways this huge city has.” Taking a breath, “I think I better get some cake for Bonnie and Dad since Bonnie still isn’t over the last time I was here.”
A light chuckle came over to where Serena was hiding. Hearing that Bonnie was still her usual arrogant self brought a smile to Serena’s lips as she saw the little girl like her own sister and in their whole group it was her that she spent most of her time with.
Clemont knew that laughter well as it was a laughter he hadn’t heard since his two best friends vanished without a trace. And it was their disappearance that would interfere as his job as Luminous City’s gym leader. Clemont hated returning back to either his home or gym and see Ash’s Pikachu run up to him with that look of hope that his trainer was found, but to no avail. He sometimes tried to make the little rodent forget his problems by asking to use him in one of his gym battles but afterwards Pikachu would return into that slump of depression.
Ordering a few sweet treats first Clemont made his way to where he heard Serena at. He knew that the table he was sitting at was where she was as her black sneakers would just be seen poking out of the table covers.
“I know you’re here Serena.” Clemont began, speaking softly. “But I don’t understand why. Why haven’t you shown yourself to me or Bonnie yet?”
Shivering in fear and knowing she would be heard, Serena stayed quiet.
“You must be pretty scared if you haven’t said a single word or shown yourself to me yet.” Clemont laughed slightly. “So where is Ash and May?”
With trembling hands, Serena just pointed to the bookshelf for a few seconds before withdrawing her hand back under the covers. Clemont noticed and gazed at the bookshelf.
“Are they alright?” The young inventor asked. Fear fell into him knowing that his friends weren’t with Serena.
Soft muffles and whimpers were heard from under the table and lucky for them both waiters had vanished suddenly but that still didn’t give any confidence for Serena to show herself to her dear friend. No words could describe how much Clemont wanted to comfort his friend but he knew that if Serena was too scared to show herself then he knew she had landed them all into huge trouble.
Trying to keep her whimpers and muffles as quiet as she could Serena opened her eyes for a moment and saw a handkerchief been offered to her. Taking it she held onto it tightly.
“I know it’s nothing compared to the one Ash gave you as kids but I hope it helps for now; long enough for me and Bonnie to save you from this mess.” Clemont saw Serena’s hand offering the handkerchief back. “Don’t worry, soon enough we’ll be all back on our journey and we’ll watch Ash compete in the Kalos league and find out your goal along the way.”
A smile crossed Serena’s lips. No words could describe how much Serena wanted to go on a journey right now without the fear of seeing any of her friends getting hurt.
“I’ll get help but for now you do your best here to save the others alright.” Clemont paused as the night where Ash and May fought off Team Flare to save him and Bonnie and Pikachu played in his mind. A fragile and confused Serena watched in fear as she tried to understand what her actions had led too.
“I trust you Serena.” Clemont spoke. “I really mean that. I can’t let one mistake ruin our friendship. After all; we all make mistakes.” Clemont paused for a moment. “I’ll get some help, hold on alright?”
The young gym leader rose to his feet as soon he saw a waitress return with his ordered sweets. As soon he rose his feet to take his first step away from Serena, he felt a slight tug. He looked down for a quick moment.
“T-Thank you…Clemont.” She muttered softly.
He smiled for a moment before looking away, “Your welcome Serena.” And soon he felt Serena release her grip of his leg as he came to what he originally came for.
It felt like to Serena she had let her only hope to be free, go, but deep inside her knew that she really hadn’t. Because the next time she would hold onto hope like that it would be the last because she was never going to succumb to her own selfish desires ever again.
Cold; so very cold, Ash could barely feel his legs. How long was his last battle? Two hours? Three? Ash had reached to the point where he no longer cared. How were they even still alive after such intense battles with their own respected mega-evolutions? Mega evolution was such a new concept that he knew deep inside him that it wasn’t going to be solved overnight. Maybe it would take his whole lifetime for them to just get more of the basics.
In the distance, a few steps from where he was lying were his best friend that got caught up into his mess. On her knees it looked like she was praying but she was indeed just trying to find a comfortable way to relax without hurting herself more.
“I wish I never got caught by Team Flare. I wish I wasn’t so easily used for the Expansion Suit to take control of me. I wish I was stronger.”
“Does it hurt…to not remember how this all happened to you May?” Ash spoke.
Looking back, “Of course it does. I only remember parts but after my lost to Dawn at the Wallace Cup I felt so depressed, even if I didn’t get to show you guys. When I got onto that boat hours later I heard a sudden loud boom from my cabin door and that was it. Next thing I knew I was working for these grunts in a powerful suit filled with memories blanks.”
Ash wanted to move and comfort his only friend but his body was screaming in pain he simply fell to one side and didn’t even bother to get back up. May heard the light thud and slowly made her way to her old friend and pulled him back upright.
“I’m starting…to lose hope, May.” Ash spoke unconfidently. “It’s been a week, maybe more and nothing’s change but the pain.”
With her hands softly on top of his shoulders, “Hey, if there is one person that we should not lose hope is Serena. After all she is our ticket out of here.”
Ash smiled for a moment but that smile quickly faded. “But she doesn’t believe that she can pull off such a thing. She always doubts herself and its takes a lot to convince herself that she is a strong person.”
May pulled back and gave off a warm smile. “…She really has left an impression on you, hasn’t she?”
“She’s really grown into a great person; I just hope she can convince herself that she is.”
The railings of their cell door slid open and there stood a huge large man wearing a suit that gave off an aura that he held huge power over the two of them. His red hair stood out like flames as May’s eyes trembled in fear. Ash had no idea why May was shaking badly but he knew this man was not good news.
“Lysandre.” May barely blurted. “Y-You monster!” She spat.
He grinned at the young brunette before giving off a glance to Ash. In his hands were objects neither trainer knew but were scarily familiar. He grinned as he rushed to grab the brunette’s arm and dragged her up to her feet.
“So you finally decide to show yourself huh?” The man’s voice was filled with such horror that it was causing May’s leg to shake with fear. “Well then, if you’re working for me again I better make sure you won’t escape this time around.”
May was screaming to be let go but Lysandre’s grip on her was tight. Ash rushed up to his feet but was pushed back by the Team Flare leader easily before he reached for his shirt and pulled him to his feet.
“And you brought along a friend.” Ash was desperately trying to pull from Lysandre’s grasp. “Lucky I brought a few spares.”
Grunts soon filled the cell and took the objects in their leader’s hands and soon pulled the trainers from his grasp and held them more sturdily. Both Ash and May struggled as much as they could but their hours of battling non-stop made them too weak to even stand on their own.
“What on earth is happening?!” Ash screamed; begging for answers.
“Not now boy. Don’t waste your energy on pointless questions. After all, you barely have enough to stand on your own two feet.”
Ash tried hard to move his head as much as he could to make whatever Lysandre’s grunts were putting on him an impossible task. But the older man quickly wrapped his hand around his small neck causing him to choke. Ash felt enough pressure from his grip that he was starting to choke even harder.
“Oh trust me, it won’t hurt.” Lysandre teased. “It will just make you see much better.”
With the fear building in him Ash closed his eyes and waited for the pain to seep into him and for his screams to fill the room, but that was the problem. As soon he closed his eyes he felt nothing in return.
May’s sapphire eyes shook in fear as she watched Ash fall without a conscience as he didn’t bother to rise up to his feet. He lied on the ground as if he had just been killed. Evil laughter was heard from Lysandre as he turned to face her. She shook and was now more desperate to be released from the grunts’ grasp on her but to no avail.
“If you could escape from the expansion suit I promise you this one won’t.” May’s heart raced as speeds she couldn’t control as something solid was pressed against her face.
And then suddenly darkness came and the fear was wiped away from her like a clean slate.
“Fear is always seen as a bad thing, but if you think about it closely it’s not so bad. It’s a sensation that reminds us that we are human and fear reminds us people that we treasure the most. With fear brings love.”
Her eyes flickering Serena’s eyes soon reminded the reality she escaped during her sleep. Sleeping in the corner of a normally empty store with no one to speak a single word too was getting to her. She needed to speak to somebody – scream help but the result was too much to bear alone as she knew what would happen if she even dared to open her mouth.
The small hidden red café’s doors closed before her, reminding of the prison she had let herself and her friends into as the ‘waiters’ and ‘waitress’ of the red café gave them glares that if she ever left, she would have no more friends to return too.
She wasn’t going to leave, no, not without Ash and May.
Lying to one side still, she pushed herself upright. Her eyes stuck at staring at the bookshelf she knew it was that time again to hide behinds those walls for another day until the help Clemont promised to get for them all would come.
Embracing her tightly, “I hope we all don’t die because of this.”
Walking over to the bookshelf Serena stared for a moment or two before taking out a book and soon the bookshelf slid to the left like it would always do. In front of her was a long staircase leading her to a long hallway with rooms to the left and right of her. It was too quiet and the hairs on her arms would rise up in fear. Taking the steps down each one just got harder by the minute. She wished today was the last day she would ever walk down these stairs, but she knew that wasn’t going to happen just yet.
By walking pass the cell where her friends laid seem to comfort and remind her of the goal of saving them. It gave her a strange motivation to not give up, like Ash was telling her personally. But looking at the door she noticed something was no right,
It was unlocked.
Rushing over her slide the door open and noticed her friends were gone. Had they escaped? Were they dragged into another battle or worse? Fear ran her mind as she started to picture horrible things Team Flare could already be doing to her dear friends.
“Serena correct?” A voice called her as footsteps were heard behind her. Turning around she discovered it was a person she did not recognize. “Such a beautiful name… but wasted.” He complimented.
“Where is Ash and May?!” Serena blurted.
“Your friends? Their fine; they are just getting ready for the final stage of the new world.” Lysandre didn’t waste any time of breaking the news to Serena gently. “And I have to thank you for that my little lady.”
“…it was a mistake to trust your creepy scientists!” Serena yelled, trying to defend her actions.
“Oh don’t make yourself believe that. You did the right thing. Because of you we can get rid of this world of the walking evil and let the pure remain.” Lysandre’s started to scare Serena. Serena noticed the five scientists started to walk up to their boss. There was no doubt to Serena that this was the boss she heard Mable and the others mention days ago.
“The plans are ready. We need your word to when the cleansing will begin.” Celosia bowed in front of Lysandre.
Putting the words together a loud gasp came from Serena’s lips as she fell to the ground in fear. Her whole body shaking as she played Team Flare’s idea in her mind over and over again, her head shaking, her hands covering her mouth and her sapphire eyes trembling in fear.
“Y-You’re going to do mass murder. Here in Luminous City?!” She snapped.
“This world’s beauty is being held back by the ugliness of the people all around us. Only Team Flare shall live the destruction that will happen hours from now.” Lysandre explained. “And I’m sorry little girl but I can’t let you interfere.”
His arm sudden moved and quickly took hold of hers and with such strength Serena felt her body fly into the cell that Ash and May once were in. Her weak fragile body crashed onto the cold floor as Serena quickly rushed back to the door which Lysandre quickly closed in front of her face. Slamming her hands on the jammed door Serena screamed.
“I won’t let you use them! Whatever you’re doing I’ll stop you even if I die for it!”
Slamming her hands again and again Serena kept yelling and screaming until she no longer could hear the voices from the other side. But soon their voices came back like a reoccurring nightmare. But this voice sounded different.
“I’m sorry.” The voice was weak. “I was weak – too weak to save you.”
Silence came over and before Serena could muster her own words in return the voice vanished. No footsteps or whispering gossiping – nothing.
Tears building, Serena slid down to the ground slamming the door over and over again; each getting weaker by the minute. Pressing her forehead on the cold steel door all Serena’s head could do was gather words of regret and foolishness.
“I’m a pathetic friend.” She cried. “Plain pathetic,” She repeated.
“Boss I may need to ask but you didn’t leave a good impression on that girl like you would always do on other strangers. Is there a problem?” Xerosic asked his leader.
With empty eyes, “If she isn’t an asset then I have no use for ugly trash.” He glared at the other male in the room. “Why didn’t you just toss her out like with the others?” He snapped.
Shaking, “B-Because Boss we worry that she might tell the police about us.”
“And who would honestly believe a ten year old girl who looks like she couldn’t ever stand up on her own two feet?!” He complained. “I didn’t hire you to make mistakes Xerosic!”
Bowing down with his notes in his hands fluttering everywhere out of his grasp, “Yes Boss Lysandre!” Xerosic stretched over his notes. “Here are the notes you asked for again boss.”
Taking the piles of notes Lysandre quickly read over them like he did the first moment he had arrived back in Luminous City. In every detail stated Ash and May’s dreams, goals and what they had already done in their short career span. Also where they had been and what Pokémon they had caught, trained and released. Lysandre kept on flipping page by page until he was done.
“Sir Lysandre!” Mable walked into the room. She gave off a salute to her leader. She didn’t speak until Lysandre nodded and gave her permission too. “The subjects are in the hospital wing recovering as you commanded sir. But if I may speak but why the sudden rush?” When the bluenette noticed her boss did not understand her she explained further. “Normally it takes a lot for you sir to take action yet after you received the reports early this week you made no hesitation to arrive here in Luminous City. Why is that?”
“It is simple Mable. It was because they can mega evolve. You cannot waste their talents by testing such beautiful subjects for hours and let them rot in a cell. You must show the world their power for them to fear as a new world shall be reborn in the process. The quicker we get rid of humans rotting his world, the better.”
Gazing through a window was no other but the test subjects that quickly got high priority in his field of work. On IV drops and masks over their mouths they lied silently. Machines connected to them showed green neon lights spiking up before dying down seconds later. Soon the process is repeated over and over again. Their bandages fresh and their wounds finally stopped bleeding.
“They are surprisingly stable after the shock they received after putting the equipment on them sir.” Mable informed her leader once more. “We are ready to lead a full out assault on your command.”
“And the others? Aliana, Bryony and Celosia?”
“Their getting their teams ready as we speak. I came over to make sure the test subjects are safe and are stable for war.”
A smile crossed Lysandre’s lips. “Wonderful. Soon we shall get rid of the world of the rotten and ugliness people possess. We shall start this world anew.”
“Sir there will be challengers ahead. I doubt the champion would let us slip under the radar.” Xerosic spoke.
Throwing his notes to the only male scientists in the room, “And that’s why we should be glad she is such a public figure.” Walking down the hall he glanced over his shoulder, “Get the subjects ready, for I and Ash will be paying Diantha a quick visit.”
“Fear gives us moments to really love, to really care and to really treasure what we have. It is what makes us human; it is what makes us unique.”