• Welcome to The Cave of Dragonflies forums, where the smallest bugs live alongside the strongest dragons.

    Guests are not able to post messages or even read certain areas of the forums. Now, that's boring, don't you think? Registration, on the other hand, is simple, completely free of charge, and does not require you to give out any personal information at all. As soon as you register, you can take part in some of the happy fun things at the forums such as posting messages, voting in polls, sending private messages to people and being told that this is where we drink tea and eat cod.

    Of course I'm not forcing you to do anything if you don't want to, but seriously, what have you got to lose? Five seconds of your life?

Frontier Town Traveller's Haus - Guest Rooms

"I know that. I get it." Nova's fur prickled. He hated that it was saying it out loud. "Because I've gone through it... as me."

He shakily held up a foreleg with one talon extended. "One soul." Nova extended a second talon. "Two lives." He lowered his leg. That shameful look hadn't faded from his face. "A weapon to fight Ultra Beasts... who found freedom through a human's selflessness. Only to... meet an end at a different human's hands."

Now his turquoise feathers dimmed. "A weapon... to maintain order within Eternatus. Who didn't have that human's selflessness, and instead ended up rebelling out of anger toward their creator. The same human found them and defeated them again.

"Only this time... he showed me the first life. How eerily similar it was. And it broke me. I became his shadow pokémon."

After a moment, realization of Nova's rambling set in. "Nngh." He shook his head. "S-Sorry. I shouldn't have said all of that. I don't..." Nova looked down guiltily. "I want to be friends. It was just, y'know, this stuff about destiny makes me feel like the man controlling me is right. That fate is tangible. That it can be controlled."
Gladion extended a talon, as if for a handshake or something. He wasn’t really sure what the gesture was supposed to be, in a literal sense, but he hoped Nova would still get the feeling. “I’d like the same.” Of course I do. Even when you killed a version of me, I wanted to. Were those my free thoughts, or a force like gravity? I don’t care. I still want it. Nova’s cool, that’s what matters.

He wasn’t sure how to respond to Nova’s anxieties because in truth he wasn’t sure he could disprove them. How much of his time had de spent his time since arriving here wondering if his life was stained by some fucked up ‘destiny’ shit.

But he did find one reassurance: “Maybe there’s some element of truth to it, but as it was told to me there are some events that seem to consistently occur. And the one I know of in our lives is one you’ve broken off the rails of a lifetime ago.”
Last edited:
Nova chewed on Gladion's words and looked at the outstretched talon. Like he did for ARK, Nova lowered his head and tapped Gladion's talon with the tip of his head crest. "You're right. What happened back home... doesn't matter here. We have a way we can help Ark."

He lifted his head back up. "Though I'm not sure how we're meant to cure shadows. I know Laura mentioned radiance back in the lab, but..." Nova shook his head. "I met with Luz at the Wandering Zera the other day. And I... think we might be off the mark there?"
Gladion smiled as Nova’s crest touched his talon. Not the gesture he was expected, but a nice one.

“I’ll admit, I’m totally out of my depth with this stuff. I didn’t know what shadows were at all back home, nor radiance. I certainly didn’t notice my radiance pulling down my shadows, though. We’ve got people who know more about it working on the subject, though. Relics or whatnot, it all sounds like pseudoscience to my ears, barring the way I’ve seen and felt it myself… How was Luz, by the way?”
"Well..." Nova looked to the ceiling. "She's been through a lot. Lived a very long life. Clearly wants her successor to step in. So, y'know, guarded. Exhausted." After a bit of hesitance, he added, "A bit jaded. Not that I blame her."

He sighed. "You've gone to see the Escarpa, right? What are they, um, like?"
Gladion perked up. “Yeah, did a scrimmage with them since last we talked. They’re cool. I mean, I pretty much ended up fighting just one of them amidst the whole thing, but it was a good time. It went well socially afterwards. I’m… still worried about the political situation, but that’s… Actually I don’t really have a caveat there. I don’t have a solution. I guess it’s like shadows, I have to just hope we can find one.”
"I don't do politics," Nova deadpanned. "But, mmm, good social stuff?" His tail wagged a bit. "I'm still sleeping outside, so it'd be... nice to be around other people for that."
Gladion tilted his head. “As in, living with them? Sure, could be worth a shot, not that I know how they’d feel about it. They’re generally pretty serious, though, so you might wanna lay off the comedy around them. They’ll respect you if you know your way around a fight, and I know well enough that you are. I’d say go out and meet ‘em sometime.”
Nova blinked a few times. "Proud warrior types, then? I suppose... that makes sense." His cheek bolts slowly turned. "Luz called them her people, so I guess she was part of the clan before she ascended."

And maybe the replacement Luz was talking about was part of the clan, but staying with them for one reason or another.
“Hm. Yeah, that checks out, I don’t know for sure but I bet you’re right on that one.”

He tilted his head. “Might’ve been a chieftain in the past. It feels kind of weird to speculate, I’m not used to… Okay, ‘gossip’ is the wrong word but y’know what I mean.”
"I see the logic. A Saint should be a good leader and stuff," Nova mused. He wondered if other Saints passed their title and power to common 'mon like what seemed to be the case with Luz. It didn't appear to apply to Celebi, which was quite unfortune given something about their powers seemed more like the key to curing shadows instead of radiance.

"Well, I'm sure your tired. Sorry for bothering you." Nova stood up. "I guess I should ask, though. At some point... we're going to talk with Mewtwo about that whole 'being Giovanni' thing. I know you came to meet him, so just wanted to check if that's something you care about."
“Knew he was shady…” Gladion raised a brow. “To be honest, I’m not particularly invested in him, but by your mark do you think I should be? You spent time with him, he seem alright?”
"Well, he keeps talking about the power of friendship and the bond between humans and pokémon," Nova said. "But, y'know, his tone and body language while doing that screams 'obviously evil.' It's very strange."
“Creeps me the hell out,” Gladion laughed. “But hey, at least he’s consistently weird. Doesn’t make me want anything more to do with him.

Gladion pulled something else from the basket to eat.

“Good luck dealing with him. And thanks for the food. It’s nice talking to you, even if we seem to get existential most of the time. Gotta get that out with someone.”
"Sorry again," Nova mumbled. "I used to... have someone for that stuff a long time ago. Guess I still have... a lot to learn about being around others."

He turned toward the door, but stopped to nod. "Take care. And thanks for hearing me out."

Nova headed out of the room. Once he was out in the hallway, he nudged one of his satchels open and pulled out one of the disks he'd taken from the lab. A soft shade of pink. Or was it salmon?

"Things can be different, huh?" he mumbled to himself.

Nova's left cheek bolt opened with an audible whirr and he placed the disk in. He stepped outside, concentrating on his aura... and nearly tripped and fell on the ground from the lightheadedness that followed.

He turned and glimpsed a pink glow in the Haus' windows. Nova shut his eyes. Faint, blue embers crackled in his mind from the Haus' direction. Auras.

Not perfect, but it's a start.
Nova's pink crest fanned out. We'll make this work. Just gotta have faith, right?

Ch05: Tossing and Turning (Andre Solo)
Asleep or awake - Andre couldn't tell which he was, but whichever it was, it kept changing. Images of the bed he lay in melded into the darkness behind his eyelids, melding further into snapshots of people with blurred faces with voices familiar and unfamiliar. Every now and then, he was on his bed, and other times, he was standing, walking, sitting, pacing, struggling to stay upright, all in a human body back on Earth or something similar to it, at least.

He was with Katie, he was with Ellie, he was with Sakura, and everything was alright for a moment, but then, he was with ??? again. That someone he knew he knew but couldn't place. That black-haired someone who always brought with him a sense of peril and a stinging across Andre's back. When he was around, Andre had to watch his words, yet his words were also constrained by something else, restricted like his body sometimes was, rope coiled around his body.

This person was clearly dangerous. It didn't matter that Andre never saw him attack. That person must have threatened Andre to keep him in line. It was the only reason the two were spending time together.

Was it?

There was another feeling. A sense of moral obligation - Andre knew that feeling well. And a sense of... curiosity. It came with that book he saw over and over again yet couldn't read. The words he spoke but couldn't remember. Something... something ancient.

??? grinned, emitting warm, sunny aura. It felt nice. But it shouldn't feel nice, no. This person was... extorting him. Why did he feel... sympathy? Pity? Concern? Like the young man's actions weren't his own? Like he didn't deserve to die even though he was --

He was what? He was what? What had he done? What was he doing? Who was he?

Everything got tighter. The harder he tried to think, the more difficult it became to make sense of anything at all. Maybe this was all just a dream. Maybe this person didn't exist. Maybe he was from a movie or TV show. A comic. A story. A hypothetical.

Andre let go...

...and that's precisely when it came to him.

The young man's face. His eyes, his eyebrows, his nose, his mouth. His character. His insistence, his delusions, his god, his aggression, his fear. His crimes - he had killed, he had killed more than once, he had carved Andre's back and for none of it did he show shame or regret.

Andre remembered wanting to forget, but knowing that he shouldn't. That he alone was the one who could fix the situation, to get the young man to realize the gravity of his actions and the trickery of whoever had told him to go through with it all. So that he would confess. So that all those people could have justice and peace. So that the young man would be taken somewhere he couldn't hurt anyone again.

What was his name?

Andre remembered, and he spoke it aloud to make it real before it could vanish again.


Top Bottom