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Old 09-26-2017, 03:26 AM
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Umbramatic Umbramatic is offline
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A father's day story.

Progenitors

He stood and stared at it, even with nothing but literal empty space to stand on. This strange orb of great size, made of barren rock and shifting magma wreathed in a thin veil of gas, floated before him amidst countless glittering stars, distant but even more massive.

The one he had been told by Arceus themself to give the gift of life.

Life. He embodied it, it flowed through him and radiated from him through the metaphysical heartbeats and breaths of the other Legendaries of this universe, and himself as well, flowing through his thin, hooved legs and body, his spiraling antlers, and shining from his wide, eager, X-pupiled eyes. But creating life himself... he was nervous. Only Arceus themself had done it before. If he failed this, he'd be the embarrassment of every other Legendary in the universe.

He shifted his front hooves nervously, realizing he'd need help but too nervous to ask. Then he got an idea.

He reared up, cupped his hooves together, and let the life radiating from his body flow through them, congeal, become gas then liquid then a solid shape forming between them until he had... An egg. A light pink egg.

He blinked, stared at it in confusion. This... Wasn't this the sort of thing Arcus and their children had hatched from? He had the strangest feeling Arceus had helped him, but why?


Before he could ask himself further questions in that vein, the egg began to crack. He panicked - had he done something wrong? Would something horrible emerge, or would it explode in his face?

But the eggshell fell away to reveal a tiny pink creature, one with a large head, tail, and hind paws but small forepaws, making mewling sounds and stirring softly.

"I... I did it!" he said. "Oh wow, this is amazing, I'm a huge step closer..."

The creature began mewling louder and clinging tightly to his leg.

"Ah! It's OK, it's OK..."

He used his hooves to ease the creature upward to his chest, where it clung tightly to his fur and mewled more softly.

"O-OK, you seem better now, that's good..."

The small creature opened their large eyes and made a more coherent noise looking up at him with wonder.

"...Mew?"

He gave his own look of wonder back himself.

"Wow, you already have your first word! Well, kinda, sorta... Mew, was it? That's actually a nice name, I'll call you that! I'm Xerneas."

He cradles them with a hoof, and they buried thir face in his fur, mewling more affectionately.

"Heh... Some of the other Legendaries call Arceus their "father"... Does that mean I'm yours?"

Mew looked up at Xerneas again.

"Mew!"

"Guess that settles it! Oh, that must mean you're my son! Er, or daughter, or neither, I can't quite tell yet..."

Mew merely clambered up to Xerneas' horned head and curled up in his antlers. If he had a visible mouth he would have smiled.

"Get as much rest as you need, little fella..."

He looked back to the barren orb before them.

"...We're gonna have a job to do."

---------

The heat was insufferable, even to them as beings of great metaphysical power. A red sky marked by a blindingly bright sun and moon looming huge - Xerneas wondered briefly how Solgaleo and Lunala were doing - stretched over them, seeming hostile to any and all possibility of life.

And yet here they were, in front of a pool of water amid the barren landscape, trying to create exactly that.

"Daddy?" Mew said, looking at the pool curiously, "What is this?"

Xerneas turned his head to her - she was a girl, they both had realized - and pointed a hoof to the liquid. "This? It's water! It's what we're gonna need to make life on this planet!"

"Make... Life?"

"Yeah! Like, we're both life, in a sense... But we need to make a new kind of it for this planet!"

"But... What, Daddy, and how?"

Xerneas shifted a bit, nervously. "That... I'm not sure of."

"Maybe we should start small! Like, really super small! I could try!"

Xerneas looked at her for a second, then nodded. "Go ahead! You remember what I said about using your powers, right?"

"Yeah! Lemmie try!"

She scrunched up her face as her body glowed; minerals and water were drawn from the pool and coalesced around her, forming particles that fell into the pool,dispersing, dissolving.

She opened her eyes and looking down, frowned when nothing seemed to have changed. "It didn't work..."

Xerneas frowned with his eyes as well. "Well, maybe we should try agai-"

He suddenly looked at the pool more intently. "Wait! I sense something! An aura of life, it's small, but it's there!"

His eyes glowed, and his and Mew's vision grew more amplified until they could see tiny round shapes squirming in the pool.

"Daddy! It worked! I made those!"

"Yeah! Great job!"

The squirming shapes begin to divide, multiply.

"And they're making more by themselves!" said Mew, giddly.

Xerneas blinked. "How? They don't power like ours..."

Their vision zoomed further, and then before them were strange spiraling molecular spirals, which to the two glowed in various colors, splitting and recombining.

"They... They have a physical code inside themselves!" said Xerneas. "One that lets them make more of their kind and is changing by itself every second!"

"And the code spirals just like your antlers!" said Mew.

"Oh, wow! I didn't notice that before, that's awesome!"

He was suddenly hugged by Mew.

"We did it, Daddy!"

"Haha, yeah, woo!" said Xerneas, stomping a hoof triumphantly. "Mission accomplished, Mew!"

He looked back to the pool.

"...Well, not quite yet."

"What do you mean, Daddy?"

"Well, so far this new life's only taken up one small pool..."

He looks around the barren landscape.

"Let's see what happens if it - and we - keep going!

-------------------

Xerneas looked around at the massive forest before him; lush, green, teeming with life - both the trees themselves and smaller plants, and the creatures scurrying and crawling and flying amid them. He could feel them, their Auras, the forces that flowed through each and every one of them, and it gave him peace.

He noticed one of those creatures land on his head - a large, green, segmented beast with red compound eyes and four massive wings - before glowing, stretching, shrinking, to reveal Mew.

"That's always so much fun, Dad!"

Xerneas laughed. "You really like the shapeshifting, huh?"

"Yeah!" said Mew. "I can be anything on this planet! I can crawl and fly and swim and use any of their powers and do anything!"

She frowned. "It's kinda exhausting too, though..."

Xerneas frowned with his eyes. "Why's that?"

"There's so much life on this planet now, especially since I was born... It's hard to be a protector and all that stuff to it all, even with your help..."

She shuddered.

"Especially when disaster happens and a lot of it... dies... at once... I mean, Aunt Yveltal helps take care of that, but still..."

Xerneas looks at her forlornly before suddenly perking up. "Wait! I've got an awesome idea!"

He cups his hooves again, charges energy between them, similarly gradually solidifying as before into an egg. Mew watched in fascination as another small, pink creature just like her emerged from the egg. Xerneas gave a look that if he had a visible mouth would be a goofy grin.

"There! Now you have a younger sibling to help you out!"

His eyes looked down at the new Mew and glowed. "Looking at his Aura, I think I'm better at this than you were born... I think he's a boy?"

"A little brother!" said Mew. "He's so cute!"

She floated up to and nuzzled the new Mew, who mewled back almost irritably. Floating back, she furrowed her brow.

"What do we call him? Mew two?"

Xerneas laughed. "That name's boring! If you're both going to be Mew, you should be Mew with different names!"

"Okay! Um..."

She scrunched up her face, then pointed at her newborn brother with a paw.

"His name is Bartelby!"

The second Mew mewled irritably, and Xerneas laughed again. Mew then pointed to him.
"And what should my name be, Dad?"

Xerneas blinked, looked away for a while in deep thought, then looked back to her, smiling with his eyes again.

"Pandora."

--------------

Not too far off from where Xerneas stood, two saurian Pokemon with white-feathered crests and beards were biting and clawing at each other in a territorial tussle. He was not so much concerned with that, however, as the sibling squabble before him.

"Bartelby, you need to mind your own business!"

"I was, Pandora, until I needed help with some forest blight and you were off cavorting with a clutch of Tyrunt!"

"You're one to talk like that, Bartleby," said a third Mew, "considering you were messing with me over a pond's ecosystem earlier!"

A fourth Mew, blue unlike his older siblings' pink, looked between them with concern.

"Pandora, Bartelby, Guyana..." he said, "please stop fighting..."

"A-Ask is right," said Xerneas, "you all need to calm down. Listen, I think working together on all that would be super-great, so why don't you all talk about handling that?"

Bartelby, Guyana, and Ask all look over to him and nod begrudgingly, moving off a bit to talk more peaceably. Pandora, however, hovered before him, scowling.

"They're so obnoxious when they gang up on me, dad!" said Pandora. "I hate it!"

"Er, I know, Pandora, just be nice to them, OK?"

"You think that'll solve everything!" she said back, paws on her hips. "But it doesn't! You don't understand us!"

"Pandora, I'm sorry, I er, um..."

He sighs and looks away.

"Gah, I'm sorry, I don't know what to do... I'm a terrible dad..."

"Now you're just guilt tri-"

Xerneas shrinks back.

"I'm sorry, Pandora, I didn't mean to make you feel bad..."

Pandora blinked, then sheepishly shifted side-to-side herself.

"Oh... You meant that..."

"Um, yeah, I'm sorr-"

"No, it's fine, I was rude..."

She looks over to the Tyrantrum with concern.

"Besides... There's something I wanted to ask you about."

"...What is it?"

"All this life we helped make... That me, you, and my siblings are guardians of... It all comes and goes so fast, when you think about it... And, I don't know, I'm probably better off asking Aunt Yveltal about the going, but... Where do me and Bartelby and Guyana and Ask stand there?"

"You? Well... You're all a bit different from me and Aunt Yveltal and the other Legendaries like us. We're part of what this universe is, we can't die like the normal creatures of this world can. You and your siblings, you're somewhere in between. You'll live as long as we do if nothing goes wrong, but if you were hurt enough you'd still..."

He stopped, stammered, shuddered. The thought of losing her alone, after all these eons, was something he couldn't bring himself to face. After trembling a few seconds longer he forced himself to be more composed and look into her eyes, faking a smile with his own.

"...But don't worry, Pandora, I'd never let that happen to you. You or your sibli-"

"Daddy, brother, sisters, look!" said Ask. "A shooting star! In the middle of the day!"

All immediately looked to the glowing light in the sky Ask was pointing at. All immediately widened their eyes in horror seeing what it was.

"Kids!" said Xerneas. "By me! Now!"

He ducked down, embraced the four Mew in his hooves and erected a pink barrier as a shockwave rattled the earth and boomed through the air.

Xerneas felt the dust and debri roiling around them. He felt the dull thuds of the broken bodies of the two Tyrantrum impacting off the barrier. He felt the agony of billions of living beings having their lives cut short by the blast, their Auras extinguishing en-masse. He felt the almost negative Aura of his sister flying across the world, reaping the souls of the dead to usher them beyond.

But he did not see, instead clutching the four Mew to his chest with his eyes closed, muttering the same two words to himself over and over in panic.

"I'll never..."


-------------

Pandora floated through an autumn forest, marveling at the myriad colors of the leaves. Her attention immediately shifted, however, as she heard the cracks of twigs and branches and turned to see Xerneas approach.

"Father!" she said, embracing him. "It's been literally ages!"

He nuzzled and laughed back. "Pandora, what's up? You said you wanna talk to me about something?"


"Oh, yes... About those humans!"

Xerneas blinked. "The humans? What about them? You know they caused a bit of a disruption when they showed up but they're doing fine now, right?"

"Yes, and far more than that! The humans of Kanto, they've taken to me!"

Xerneas gave her a quizzical look. "What do you mean?"

"They revere me, look up to me... I'm not sure what to do..."

"Oh! Funny story,the people of Kalos view me the same way!"

Pandora tilted her head. "They do? Father, how do you deal with it?"

"Well, I try to be a role model? Someone those humans can look up to? Even if I screw up sometimes."

He paused.

"...Okay, maybe more than sometimes. But still, you should try that! You'd do great job if they like you already!"

"Thank you Father, but I'm still not sure..."

"Well, if it helps, I've found a way to ease relations you can do too!"

Pandora hesitated before continuing.

"...Go on?"

Xerneas did not speak in reply, merely focusing as his body glowed, shrunk, twisted, until he was no longer a stag but a young adult human, with shaggy blonde hair decorated by rainbow highlights, wearing a long coat decorated in the visage of his true form, but with the same wide, dark blue, X-irised eyes.

"Ta-da!" he said. "I already knew I could do it with creatures like Sawsbuck or Stantler, but I and the other higher-up Legendaries are figuring out we can do it with those humans too! Makes 'em easier to deal with in more ways than one."

He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.

"The humans say that I look pretty young for one of their species, though, but not really as a bad thing so I just roll with it."

Now having a mouth, he gave a genuine grin at her.

"But you've had the whole shapeshifting thing down for millions of years longer than your own dad! You can totally pull this off!"

Pandora gulps. "I can?"

"Yeah! Come on, try it!"

Pandora hesitated before nodding and descending, glowing, twisting and growing until she herself was a human woman, with flowing pink hair and flowing pink robes to match alongside her own blue eyes. Xereas blinked at her in amazement as Pandora herself looked down at herself, staggering a bit.

"I... I did it!"

She turned to Xerneas, frowning. "But the humans... Will they like this form, father?"

Xerneas looked her up and down, then gave her a small smile.

"I think they will."

She smiled back and used her new human arms to embrace him. He quickly embraced her in turn.

-----------------

In a winter forest glade, Pandora and Xerneas, once again in their natural forms, were having a far different meeting, Pandora's tears falling from her eyes into the snow.

"Father, you can't... I... I need you..."

"Pandora, I'm sorry... But I need to sleep until the danger's over. You have to stay safe yourself."

"Father, why?"

"Something weird has been going on the past several millennia... Ever since the Ultimate Weapon, the Skybreak, especially... I and Aunt Yveltal need to hide away and sleep to stay safe until the other Legendaries and everyone helping us figure out what's going on."

"I'm helping too, Father! But I want your help as well!"

Tears start falling down Xerneas' face as well.

"Pandora, don't worry... It should only be a thousand years or so, that's nothing to us... Stay safe, keep all your younger brothers and sisters safe, please, it's going to be OK..."

Pandora stared at him before clenching her teeth in frustration and charging an Aura Sphere. Xerneas flinched before she flung it into the snow and flew off into the snowstorm, sobbing.

At that Xerneas seemed to shrink in on himself, close his eyes, until he literally began to shrink and shrivel into a small tree that quickly began to be buried in snow. As he fell into a deep slumber his voice echoed out telepathically one last time:

~Pandora... I-I'm sorry...~

------

He didn't know precisely how long he slept, dreamt. All he knew was he sensed vague pulsations of events happening outside; but they were wisps, shadows, he could only barely parse.

Until he heard her voice.

"Please, enough! This fighting must cease!"

"P-Pandora!"

He was suddenly awake, alone, in a black void with nothing but a thin layer of water beneath his hooves.

"People of Kanto, hear me!"

"Pandora, I'm coming!"

He ran. Suddenly a pulse of violet energy from above battered him, knocked him to his feet. He kept running, but meteors crashed left and right as he dodged the blasts.

"No... No!"

A vicious, terrible heat caused all the water to fizz, evaporate as Xerneas staggered through it and ran beyond it to dodge another meteor, than another.

"Please... You can't let it end this way..."

Xerneas staggered through cold this time, breaking free to run yet again.

"Father... Father guide me... Where are you?"


"Pandora, don't worry, I'm right-"

He stopped and stared in horror as an enormous, all-too-familiar flowerlike structure burst from the ground, unfolding before him. A blue core emerged as the entire structure glowed green in preparation to launch a beam that would break the sky, and Xerneas screamed in utter agony and fell to his knees as it drained the vitality from his body at an incredible rate. As it charged its beam his entire body began to crack and implode and he screamed louder and louder until there was nothing but a flash of white light.

----------------------------------

He woke up, with fuzzy vision, dazed, weakened, to the sound of alarms blaring and the gradual sight of a lab with flame-like sigils etched everywhere. At first confused, he then panicked at the sight of tubes and wires and clamps all attached to and siphoning from his body, and he bellowed and thrashed in feral panic breaking himself free from them all.

It was only then he noticed the young male human with a male Chesnaught and a female Charizard wearing a Charizardite X by his side, all looking up at him with awe and more than a tinge of fear. In panic Xerneas yelled out to them.

<W-What's going on here?!>

----------------------

On a sunny day, in a small town, a newly-reunited, currently-human Xerneas and Yveltal were talking, laughing.

"So, what's been up with you since you woke from your hibernation?" the former asked the latter.

"Well, I woke up the same time you did, and once I knew you were fine from when Flare captured you thanks to that kid I was so relieved, but I still wanted to find you. Plus after that whole fiasco I wanted to chill out, catch up with what the humans and mortal Pokemon were doing while we were physically asleep."

She rolled her eyes.

"Unfortunately Time Pony was, fittingly, an ass about it at first. Was a whole fiasco in its own right convincing him I could interact with other beings safely after so long asleep. Eventually I got to the ol' softie in him, even if he made Giratina babysit me."

Xerneas snickered. "Which is why you flicked me with his joint?"

"Well, you try to deal with wannabe-dudebro dimension dragon on a regular basis."

Xerneas grinned. "Hey, I always liked the guy!"

His smile grew softer.

"But now we're both awake I ought to see my kids again... Starting with Pandora! She's going to be so happy I'm back..."

At that, Yveltal froze. Xerneas raised an eyebrow at her.

"What? I mean, we kinda parted on bad terms but if she sees me again she'll be super-thrill-"

He froze himself. He remembered just what his sister in front of him embodied. He started stammering, shaking.

"No... T-That dream when Flare got me, it was them, it had to be them..."

"There was an uprising in Kanto, decades ago... When we were sleeping I felt her soul pass, followed by countless others..."

She started to tear up.

"Xerneas, I'm sorry..."

Xerneas started to tear up as well, but then immediately gritted his teeth.

"Damn it... Damn it, no!"

He vanished in a flash of light. Letting out a curse of her own under her breath Yveltal likewise followed in a whirl of darkness.

------------------

Xerneas rushed through the streets of Celadon City, looking around rapidly for any signs of her, any objects of reverence to Pandora. Seeing none, he rushed in a back alley and started panting, shaking, speaking rapidly.

"They respected her, revered her, protected her... But it's all gone, there's literally none of her old Kanto left... It's like it was torn down and this new one was built in her place in a few decades..."

"That's... Exactly what happened."

Xerneas whipped around to see Yveltal standing behind him. She shook her head sadly.

"Brother... I am a being of death and destruction. That does not mean I approve of every instance of either. I'm sorry."

Xerneas staggered over to her, kneeled against her, buried his face into her chest and clutched her shoulders, sobbing.

"Please... Bring her back... Death is your realm, life is mine... I just want her back, I'll do anything, please..."

"I... Xerneas, she's been gone long enough bringing her back in any way is beyond even my power... I'm sorry..."

Xerneas stopped clutching at her, staggered back, then screamed as he lobbed a Moonblast at one of the alleyway buildings.

"Damn them! Damn this new Kanto! Damn the people that took her away!"

He vanished in light again. Yveltal didn't bother to follow, just looked down and clenched her fistas as tears ran down her own face.

She stopped, however, as a strange presence dulling that of the humans and Pokemon in the city entered the area. She looked up to see the bricks dislodged by Xerneas' Moonblast being carefully put back into place, and she whipped around to see a certain blue-and-gray metallic dragon staring down at her. She quickly reverted to her own more natural red-and-black avian form and scowled at him.

"What are you going to do now, you asshole?" she said. "Sold him for property damage? Scold me for trying to break it to him? Hell, you were being a creep on us the whole time, weren't yo-"

"First off," said Dialga. "At the latter, Giratina saw what happened, was concerned enough to inform me at once."

He sighed and gave her a much more forlorn look. "Second... I'm deeply sorry. I knew of what had happened with Pandora, but if you felt the need to make sure he didn't find out some other way far worse in your search for him, were worried of losing him and Pokemonkind and humanity yourself... I duly apologize for my behaviour towards you."

Yveltal stared at him, blinked.

"Wait, why-"

Dialga sighed again. "I believe I am very much due to tell you the story of why I was so harsh towards you. Come, it's a story I'll need my siblings to tell as well..."

A portal opened through which he exited. Yveltal hesitated before following.

------------------------

In a forest clearing in his "homeland" of Kalos, Xerneas stood stock still, unmoving, dulled.

Eventually he felt a Fletchling pass over his head. He looked up expectantly at the noise, as if expecting her, but quickly looked back down, ashamed. Then a thought crossed his mind.

He opened his eyes wide, they glowed, and his vision was filled with the Auras of every living being in the forest, flowing, flickering, pulsing. He saw himself in each and every one, but this time he willed himself to look deeper, more physical.

And then he saw spirals, spirals lit up in rainbows by Aura, flashing, twisting, dividing, replicating before him. And in each and every one of them he saw her.

Tears streamed down his face again.

I miss you, Pandora... I always will... But you still are with me in every living thing...

...And so for you I'll stand strong for them all.


-----------------
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